Do you believe in love at first swipe?
So, now that you’ve blown out your 50th candle, what do you have to lose?
If you’re sceptical about online dating, you’re not alone. A “serious” mindset is not guaranteed and most of us still prefer the idea of meeting someone organically. However, in addition to becoming more popular, online dating is also becoming more successful.
In the UK, one in five relationships start online, with one in five married individuals aged 19-25 meeting their spouse in this way. Research at the University of Chicago also shows that couples who met online are more likely to be compatible than those who met via more traditional routes, contributing to relationships that happier and 25% more likely to last.
Don’t be fooled into thinking online dating is for younger daters only. Research from eHarmony predicts we’ll see the biggest rise in users among the 55-64 age group. Studies also suggest that dating gets more fun and interesting as we get older because we tend to be more spontaneous and feel less pressure than we did in our 20’s and 30’s.
But, if you do decide to take the plunge, we know choosing where to go on a first date can be tricky. Fear not: we’ve pulled together a few ideas to make sure it’s a memorable one.
Go to a food festival
You’re both food lovers?
The Winter Food Festival, taking place on 10th-11th November in Northampton, could be just the spot. With more than 80 stands boasting all kinds of artisan food and drink, as well as gifts in the run up to Christmas, you’ll be able to sample new tastes while enjoying each other’s company.
Food and love are inexorably linked, so why not take advantage of that bond.
We all know it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and staying fit. If you’re looking for someone who loves exercise as much as you do, taking part in something active could help kick-start a connection. It will boost your endorphins, too, so you’re both feeling good by the end of the date.
Don’t know what activity to choose? We’ve pulled together some fun exercise classes to inspire you.
Attend a literary event
If you and your date are both passionate about literature, walking through book stalls and listening to authors discuss their writing is a great way to spark conversation.
The 2018 Folkestone Book Festival, 16th-20th November, is an international festival that invites authors from different countries to talk about a range of topics – from healthy eating to fighting plastic, astronomy, politics, art and much more. It will have you thinking, discovering new ideas and exchanging thoughts and opinions, so you can get to know each other better.
You could even ask your date to suggest a book for you and read it whilst taking a soothing bathe.
Go on a romantic weekend trip
If the first date goes well, and you continue to enjoy one another’s company, why not go on a romantic weekend away? There’s no better way to connect than by discovering a new place together.
When we think of Italian cities our minds often run to Venice, Rome or Florence. But you may like to consider the smaller metropolis of Bologna instead.
Known as Italy’s gastronomic capital, grab a ‘piadina’ – a thin flatbread, usually filled with prosciutto, squacquerone or stracchino cheese and rocket – and take a stroll through romantic medieval streets whilst listening to live street music. Make sure you visit Piazza Grande, a lopsided and steeply sloping square surrounded by palazzos, and enjoy the view from Canale delle Moline, part of the city’s old waterways lined with colourful houses.
If you’re looking for a new romantic connection, dating apps may be a different but exciting option for you. You’re in complete control of what information and pictures you share, and can decide when and how to reply to find a date and time that works for you. It’s simple: swipe right from the comfort of your couch or while relaxing in a comforting bath.
So, what are you waiting for?