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Dating & Friendship for the Over 40s...

Men Vs Women – Who should take charge of the first date?

You’ve swapped photos and the online flirting is heating up.  So now’s the time to bite the bullet and arrange an actual, physical date.

This next step can be daunting if you haven’t been ‘out there’ for some time.  Should you ask for the date?  Or should you wait to be asked?  How, exactly, do you make the next move?

Here’s my advice on arranging that all-important (and super exciting!) first date.


Now… I’m the kind of girl who is up-front, direct and not afraid to go after what she wants.  So you might expect me to say I think women should be the first to suggest a meet-up, right?


Men v women

If you're a strong woman, it's even more important that you DONT ask for the first date

Ladies… you must never be the first to suggest a date.  Sure, you can hint at it and use all your feminine wiles, but ultimately you HAVE TO GET HIM TO ASK YOU!


Well… firstly because men are from Mars and they love the chase.  You need to make him work for it.  (He LOVES having to work for it!)  You need to make him think you’re worth the effort.

Secondly, you need reassurance that he really wants this.  If you ask him out and he agrees, you’ll be wondering how keen he really is. Remember men are fundamentally lazy.  It’s easier to say ‘OK’ than ‘I don’t think so’.  So if he does actually go to the effort of asking you out, you can be sure he’s into you.

“But what if he’s just really shy?  I might never get a date with him unless I ask for it.”  Come on ladies.  Is that really what you want from your new relationship?  A man who’s so shy he can’t even ask you out?  Forget it.  Move on and find someone who can’t wait to ask you for a date.

So gentlemen… no more excuse.  You’ve read all of the above and you know we’re on to you.

Wen V Women

Boys - it's time to take charge




Chaps – you should also know that any smart, sassy, senior single lady will expect YOU to suggest the venue for the first date.  But don’t worry…  I’m not going to throw you to lionesses unprepared.  Read below for some tips on selecting the perfect first date venue:


Drinks Vs Dinner:

I would never suggest dinner on a first date.  A coffee or a glass of wine is much more appropriate and if that goes well, there’s no reason why it can’t evolve into dinner on the night.  But keep things simple and un-daunting and agree to meet for ‘just a drink’ to start with.


Be geographically considerate:

Choose somewhere that’s convenient to her.  She doesn’t want to be trekking across town or embarking on a major map-reading expedition (it’s true, we are TERRIBLE at that) to come and find you.  So do the gentlemanly thing and choose somewhere that’s nearer for her than it is for you.


Choose somewhere neutral:

In saying that, don’t propose a drink in her local.  She’ll be worried about someone she knows walking in and it’s not because she’s embarrassed to be seen with you, it’s just too much explaining to do at such an early stage of proceedings.


Read between her lines:

Before suggesting a first date venue, try to get a feel for what she’d like.  Rustic, charming and old-fashioned?  Or would she prefer somewhere a little more urban, flashy and impressive?  Re-read her profile for clues and make a call.  Get it right and you’ve made it to first base.  We really do notice when you’ve made an effort.

Am I right ladies?

Good luck!


Top Five Dating Don’ts

Having been on many first dates that also became last dates – I’d love to share my tips on what NOT to do in the early days of dating. 

It never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me when I talk to senior singles about their date’s shameful behavior.  Or, worse still, their own cringe-worthy episodes.

Although the rules of dating seem pretty clear, sometimes we all need a reminder about what NOT to do.  So here’s my Top Five Dating Don’ts:

DONT bang on about the ex:

“I hadn’t even had my first sip of Chablis when he started telling me about his ex-wife’s new lover.”  Talking about your ex on a first date is just not cool.  It also rings out deafeningly loud alarm bells that you’re still not over your previous partner and simply not ready to move on.  Yes, we all need to take the plunge sometime and second-time-around dating is inevitably going to be a journey laden with a certain amount of baggage.  But seriously, this is the last conversation you should be having on a first date.



DON’T diss the opposite sex:

This is another first date faux pas that happens with alarming regularity.  Ladies – you’re never going to bag the man of your dreams unless you drop that “Huh!  Typical men!” attitude.  Gentleman – all women are NOT the same.  Just because your ex cheated on you doesn’t mean your new girlfriend will.  (Unless you drive her to it with your raging paranoia).  To find true love you must date with an open mind and a happy heart.


DON’T forget to wash:

This might sound like an odd one but I went on a date last summer with a guy who was remarkably whiffy.  Yes it was hot in London that day, but come on! B.O. is always a no-no. Nobody aspires to getting down and dirty with someone who is… well… just plain dirty.  Even if you’re meeting after work, a quick freshen up before the date is mandatory. Ladies the same goes for you. Let’s all keep it clean.


Go easy on the martinis

DON’T get drunk:

This might be an obvious one and it’s the most basic first date rule.  But you’ve still been guilty of it, right?  Don’t get me wrong.  Getting tipsy with someone you’ve never met before can be a blast.  But sh!t-faced is NEVER a good look.  And please don’t tell me it’s Dutch Courage.  If you’re that nervous about meeting someone new, go and spend some time with your therapist before embarking on your next date.


And finally… DON’T let her pay:

Sorry but I’m very old fashioned when it comes to this one. If a man doesn’t pick up the tab on date one – there’s not going to be a date two.  I don’t care how big or small the bill is – boys, you simply MUST pay.  I once had a second date (dinner at a swanky restaurant of his choice) with a nice man called Andrew.  He paid with his credit card.  It got rejected.  Epic fail. Chaps – step up and cough up, or ship out.



Have you ever encountered some seriously shocking behavior on a first date?  We’d love to hear about it!  Comment below.


Dating Coach Jacqui Dubonnet explains why she could never date a man who doesn’t like Pi

Dating Coach Jacqui Dubonnet explains why she could never date a man who doesn’t like Pi


I remember having a phone conversation with a prospective date called Tony who I’d been flirting with online.  The web banter had been good.  He was a bit cheeky and made me laugh.  We agreed a physical date was the natural next step, but arranged to a have a talk on the phone before committing.


I was excited!  On paper, or should that be online, Tony had LOTS of potential.


He had a yummy voice and a nice accent, which I always like in a man.  And it was all going well until for some random reason, I asked Tony if he’d read Life of Pi.  I’d just finished the novel and was mesmerised by it.  I had found it spiritually uplifting, totally enchanting and wonderfully fantastical. I’d like to believe Pi’s story is real.  But that’s because I’m a slushy old romantic – in life and love.


“Hated it”, Tony replied with an alarming amount of vitriol.   “Load of tripe.  Bored me.  I couldn’t get into it at all.”


And all I can say is that at that very moment, a light went out.  In those few short seconds, Tony went from being prospective Love-of-my-Life to Mr. It’s Never Gonna Happen.


Without further ado, I politely made my excuses, ended the conversation and told Tony I’d be in touch.


I emailed him later explaining that I’d changed my mind and that I didn’t think we should meet up after all.  Sorry Tony, no date tonight.


Now… That may sound a little extreme and I’m sure Tony is a perfectly lovely guy.  But here’s the thing: The fabulous thing about online dating is that you’re pretty much spoiled for choice.  With so many members (especially on a site like this) you can afford to be a little picky.  And if something doesn’t feel right, you can simply move on.


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not doling out dating advice suggesting you must have all the same likes and dislikes and agree with each other on everything in order to be a great match.  (Wow!  How boring would THAT be?).  But we all have our deal-breakers and sometimes you just have to go with your instincts.


If something your potential date says jars with you (and you’ll feel it in your gut), especially in those early conversations, chances are you’re cultivating a plant that will never grow.


For me, the thought of spending time with someone who didn’t appreciate the kind of literature I love was a big turn-off.  I know I could never connect on a soulful level with a man who doesn’t like Pi.  So why waste both of our time with a first date, possibly even a second one that would ultimately end in goodbye?


Instinct is a wonderful tool when you’re navigating the choppy water of online dating (Pi reference for those of you who, unlike Tony, DO have a soul!).


You’ll know when it’s wrong.  Better still, you’ll know when it’s right.


And that, my friends, is when the fun starts.


Good luck!


Jacqui x


P.S. Have you experienced a similar ‘dealbreaker moment’ when getting to know a potential date?  We’d love to hear about it!


Make the most of the New Year

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to upgrade.
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Become a VIP

The VIP member is cool, smart, attractive and guaranteed to turn a few heads.  They’re 75% more likely to attract attention than anyone else.  Why?  Because they stand out.  How?  Because they’re a VIP of course.  By purchasing our Search VIP Bolt-on they’re now highlighted in search results and wears the Search VIP crown on their profile to show they mean business.  Get your Search VIP Bolt-on today!

Read Notification

The member who has the Read Notification is in control.  They know who has or hasn’t read their messages.  They know who their time is best spent on.  After purchasing the Read Notification Bolt-on, they know that when the ‘eye’ icon turns bold, they’ve read their message.  So while they await their reply, there’s time to focus on other things… like introducing themselves to more of their favourite members.

Contact For Free

This member is crafty like a fox, and what isn’t crafty about allowing absolutely all members the ability to message them?  That’s right, our crafty fox has created a world in which any member, regardless of membership level, can get in touch.   But how can you spot the crafty ones? Well, by simply looking for the ‘envelope’ icon on the top of their profile page, that’s how.

Reply For Free

Our Reply For Free member is a real go-getter!  Confident in the knowledge that a well crafted private message can guarantee a response.  So why not join them!  By using this Bolt-on you’re more than increasing your chances of a reply.  Remember, the more messages you send, the more replies you’ll get.  So what’s stopping you?  Go get!
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Enjoy 😉

What a wonderful summer!!

Well, the weather may not be the best, and most of the summer sporting spectacles are behind us for another year, but the air is definitely filled with love! July was our busiest month ever at MatureFreeAndSingle, with more people joining than ever before. To give you an idea, we’ve now got over 1000 single people joining the FreeAndSingle network of dating sites every day! And we’re growing at over 15% a month.

And we’re not stopping there. We’re spreading the good news abroad now too, with MatureFreeAndSingle sites launched in South Africa and Australia in July..

We’re very proud of our success to date, and know that it’s all down to you, our valued members. We are constantly trying to find new ways for your dating experience to be even better…so please don’t be shy if you have any ideas.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the Summer, and hope you have a great time dating!!

All the very best

Paula @ MFS.


Welcome to all our new dating singles!

January and February have been busy months for us at MFS, as joining a dating site seems to now be up there with joining a gym as the key activity to kick off the New Year.   A big WELCOME goes out to all of our new single members!    A quick run through of what you need to do in order to make the most of your dating site membership may help you to get up and running and out there meeting new singles as quickly as possible.

Fill out your profile

  1. Load your photo.  Be brave, go on.  Profiles are so much better for both parties if there is a photo.  Help other singles out, by showing your face!
  2. Your Name/Location are critical for others searching in their area.
  3. Your Characteristics supplement the photo, and help the reader understand the details around the photo, like height, hair colour etc.  There is a lot of bad press around people being economical with the truth… try and help turn this around, and remember that you might be meeting up with prospective viewers of your profile – so just tell the truth.
  4. Interests – is for me the most important area, alongside location.  It indicates what drives you, what you enjoy doing, what, for example, you could do with another person – on a date.  It only requires a tick in the box – and is very easy to complete.
  5. Lastly, your Profile, is a box of free text, for you to complete as you see fit.  You may want to explain the circumstances around your being single, or what type of person you would like to meet, or that you are looking for someone to take part in a specific event with you, or leave it blank if you have NO idea or expectations!

Get searching and send an Ice Breaker

Once your photo and profile have been approved, you can send your first ice-breaker. This is a type of “hello” to all those single dating members who match the criteria (age, location, etc) that you stipulate.  As a full member (paying) you can use the full astrology, diary, personality functions on the dating site as well as well as the email, chat and video facilities.

Words of advice

You will soon find that if you are active on the dating site, by that I mean responding to emails and winks from single seniors and making entries in your diary – that you will soon meet many new single people on the site.  You can begin to use filters on your email box so that you only receive emails and winks etc from people of a certain age group and location if you prefer to narrow your search.   Similarly, if you receive unwanted attentions from someone, you can “ignore” them – so you don’t receive any mails from them in future.  You can always reverse these settings if you change your mind.

The best advice is to set some time aside, and have a play around.  Follow the intuitive menus, and fill in the information requested.  If at any point you are confused, or not sure what to put, come back to it at a later date.  The sooner you get your profile up there, the sooner you can be meeting senior singles – just like you!


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