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Dating & Friendship for the Over 40s...
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Face-to-face with your Mature Date!

Keep your first date simple.

Having used an internet dating site to meet your potential date, you will already have discovered basic information about each other by using the site’s email, photo and video systems.  You may for example, know that your date is tall, brown eyed, educated, speaks 3 languages, enjoys wine and theatre and is interested in gardening.  However, we all know that what we read on paper doesn’t give us the whole picture, and arranging a face to face is critical in finding out more about this person.

The key to a successful first date is to enable easy and comfortable conversation.  It should be as casual as possible, and it’s purpose, to confirm an attraction, and to gain better understanding of views, beliefs and compatibility.  Ideally, the date should not be too long, we have a lot to take in, and lots of questions to pose.   A walk in the park with a chance to have a coffee allows flexible time to converse.  Meeting at a museum or art gallery provides outside stimulus which can distract the nervousness we may experience when meeting a stranger for the first time.  Alternatively, meeting at a pub, club or café where you may both know others enables you to mingle with friends at the same time, as well as give you other’s views of your date afterwards!

Having a simple first date removes any awkwardness about cost, or anxiety about the date not going well and being stuck together for hours when you know it isn’t going anywhere.  With a casual arrangement, both parties can then extend the meeting to include lunch, or dinner, or both, if you are getting on like a house on fire!!!

Another important consideration is that you ensure that someone knows what you are doing, and where you are going, and who you are meeting.  Ensure that you have your own transport, and that you are not expected to take someone home, or are dependent on someone taking you home.

And if it all goes wrong…

Don’t be disheartened!  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  You can learn something from every experience you have.  As long as you have planned your date carefully, it should just be a subtle feeling of disappointment, or relief, and nothing too unpleasant.

Complete any feedback you have about your date on the dating site you used constructively.  If your date was completely misleading, let others know.  If you simply didn’t feel that you were compatible at all, thank your date graciously.  We don’t want to put each other off, but in these days of emails and texts, good manners and courtesy can be overlooked, and we are all dealing with human emotions.  Consider the meeting a chance to go somewhere you may not have been before, and to have met someone you would not have met if you hadn’t used the internet dating site.

And last of all, don’t forget you may both have nerves, and may not be as relaxed as you would like to be.  Give people the benefit of the doubt, and give them a second chance before you cast them aside.

Paula Taylor

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Gift…Set…Love

wimbledon gifts!Here at MatureFreeAndSingle.com we are always looking into ways to increase your chances of finding that special person!
Our research shows that an amazing 76% of people are more likely to respond to you if you send them a gift.
Take advantage of our LIMITED EDITION tennis gifts over this Wimbledon period in order to increase your chances of finding your perfect partner!
For a Limited Period Only!
Gift…Set…Love!
Paula
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Big improvements to MFS

Next week MatureFreeAndSingle.com will officially become exclusively for mature people only, making it easier to find the right relationship for you. Although we are for the Over 40s, as you know(!), we are proud to have had a lot of people join who are much younger. While this is flattering, it can sometimes make it harder for you to find that special person you’re looking for. From 30th June, you will no longer see these members who do not fit the profile of the site (ie 18-35 year olds).

What should I do?

There’s no need to do anything. Keep logging in and using the site the way you always have and we’ll do all the work for you.

What’s in it for me?

  • Better matches before you even start searching
  • Use tools tailored to make searching even easier
  • Only get messages from people you click with

I’ve got a question

For any questions just contact our Customer Care team 7 days a week via the Contact Us links on the site, or between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday via our free help line on 0800 987 5555.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy the difference come 30th June 2010.

Thanks for reading!

Paula

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Older, Wiser and Fitter

Running, the path to good health

I first ran a road race in 1987.  It was the Resolution Run in Denver, Colorado, and we started at 11pm on New Year’s eve, running 5K through Washington Park in the snow.  I had quit smoking Malboro Reds one week before, and although I finished the run, I just about crawled to the end and it took over an hour.

Yesterday, I went for my normal run, which I do three times a week with the dog.  I completed 13.5km in 1 hour 30 minutes.  As I was sprinting to the end, I was recalling that first run in Denver, and how my relationship with running has endured many different phases, and yet in my early 40s I am now fitter than I have ever been.

I met my husband (on an internet dating site) married, and started a family in my late thirties.  Before this I was mostly a single chick, working hard, travelling, studying, partying but running always played a part, somehow.  I am currently a full time mother, and have very little time to myself, but choose to use that time to do the thing that makes me feel great, to achieve my next running target.  It is ironic that all the effort put in to a university education, professional qualifications, career and financial status can all become irrelevant so easily, but your health and fitness continue to be more important than anything.

Joining a Running Club

Tomorrow night I am joining a running club.  After 23 years, I finally feel confident enough to run with proper runners who meet regularly and run in public!  I will probably meet a lot of people JUST LIKE ME!  And how great is that?  We are actually orienteering around a forest, which I’m really looking forward to, as I like working out maps, and I know the forest we are going to.  I would never have chosen to go orienteering unless I had met someone who is a member of the club, who encouraged me to join.  It has over 200 members, all local, and all from different walks of life – all with at least one thing in common.

Go on, give it a go!

There is a lot in the news these days about obesity, fad diets, weight watching, slimming clubs, and the need to exercise, join a gym.    Can I just tell you that if you can make the time to include exercise or any sport in your life, it will pay huge dividends as you get older.  The fitness, self-esteem, sense of competition and success are all great benefits, not to mention the social aspects that participating in a sport provides.  Running for charity with thousands of others is an exhilarating experience as well being a great way to put something back.

I feel really proud these days when I tell people I am a runner – it has taken many years of walk/run/walk but has more than repaid itself for the fun I am now having.

For more information about running clubs near you:

http://www.runnersweb.co.uk/ for information about UK running clubs, running for charity, marathons,

http://www.runtrackdir.com/ukclubs/ for an alphabetical list of running clubs by town.

Paula Taylor

Runner.

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Making friends in your senior years

Why is it we feel it is harder to meet new people and make new friends as we get older?

Making new friends can be difficult as you get older

While there has been much interest in Internet Dating and finding love over the past 10 years, much less attention has been given to the subject of making new friends in midlife.   The difficulty people experience in making friendships later in life can be attributed to a number of reasons:

  1. as we get older we have a tendency to do fewer new things.  We tend to stay in our comfort zone and thus, reduce the number of new people we meet
  2. we can become more selective about those we let into our lives, avoiding people who are unsure of themselves or who may have problems
  3. our lives are so set in schedules that it is hard to make time for new things
  4. careers can be rewarding, and relationships and friendships can flourish at work, but once you leave, you are soon forgotten, and often, the workplace friendships stay with work, and are not inclusive of family, spouses and location
  5. people get married, have children and get tied into the routine of family life
  6. people can relocate so readily these days that we know little history of our neighbors, which can fragment communities
  7. our first 20 years are typically spent in school, where we are constantly learning to make friends with our peers. Once we leave, we are either at the mercy of the people we meet in our workplaces, or our own social skills
  8. the older generation may already have a tight circle of friends and just aren’t looking to add any new ones
  9. the press has encouraged us to become wary of strangers.

So how do we make friends these days?

Where you go or what you do doesn’t matter as much as mixing in different social groups.  The more people you are exposed to, the more likely you’ll bump into compatible people and potential friends.

Whether you are new to an area, or live in the same place you were born, it requires effort and desire, in order to meet new people.  Luckily, there are hundreds of activities we are now able to take part in, and although we may have spent our lives so far interested in specific hobbies and interests, we now have an increased opportunity to try many new ones.   This all opens the doors to meeting new people.

The internet has been a godsend in enabling us to discover what goes on in our regions, or around specific interests as well as providing platforms for social networking, dating sites and research into special interests and hobbies.

Some of the ways to meet new people and make new friends include:

Joining a club, a class, a group, a gym or volunteering.  Finding something you already enjoy and getting together with others who also enjoy it provides an immediate commonality, which enables conversation and common ground between people.  Relationships can build from this point.

The key is putting yourself out there.  Potential friends won’t knock at your door, you have to get out there and find them.  Whether it be joining clubs, or using internet tools, like MatureFreeAndSingle.com to arrange meetings with likeminded people, it is all down to you.

And don’t forget what we innately learned as children, “you have to be a friend to have a friend.”  Do thoughtful things for the people you would like to get to know better.  If you are friendly and a good  judge of character, this won’t be hard once you make time to get yourself out with others.

Good luck with your friendships, and be brave!

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NEW! Gifts & Experiences for MFS Members

We’ve been thinking for quite some time that it’s great getting people together, but wouldn’t it be brilliant if we could offer you some exciting things to do when you’re out on your date with each other?

For example, when Tim & I met, we went for the safe option to start with (pub in the afternoon in Richmond, followed by a meal at a local restaurant as things were looking promising!) but very soon we were going to Comedy Clubs, and were down in Brighton for a weekend learning to paraglide! And it’s activities like that, we found, that are so much fun, and really give you a chance to get to know each other.

So why stick to the “safe” option when going on a date, we thought. For not much more than an evening meal and some drinks, there are literally thousands of ways you can have loads of fun, and get to know each other along the way?

Guided by our principles of value for money and heaps of fun, we’ve certainly had loads of fun sifting out the best experiences and gifts from providers across the UK, and are delighted to offer them now to you, in association with Buyagift.co.uk.

Here is just a taster of the brilliantly exciting things you can get up to together, on your own or with your friends, if you choose…And if your date’s gone really well and you want to show them what a wonderful time you’ve had, then we’ve selected quality gifts you can shower on your new-found friend, from spa-days & pamper days to unique and personalised gifts.

Driving Experiences

Take the wheel with our thrilling driving experiences.Whether you’re tearing up the tarmac or grappling with the gravel, there’s no greater thrill than an exhilarating driving experience.

Flying experiences

The widest selection of flying experiences in the UK, from flying lessons and helicopter flights to hot air balloon rides and aerobatic flights – perfect flying gifts for your high flyer.

Spa Days and Pamper Gifts

Give them the chance to relax and unwind with one of our superb spa days. With a series of fantastic pamper days on offer nationwide, treat someone special to a day they’ll never forget- an invigorating pamper gift.

Short hotel breaks

We’ve carefully selected luxury hotel breaks to suit every taste and budget. From short stays at health spa resorts to stylish city breaks and rural retreats at Country House Hotels, there’s a short hotel break for everyone!

Hot deals

90 products found with prices from £10 to £379. Take a look at what’s on offer today and make a great saving on one of our excellent experiences or great gift packages. It’s our way of showing how much we appreciate you.

Adrenaline experiences

The craziest, scariest, tallest, fastest, deepest, muddiest, wettest experiences on the face of the planet – from bungee jumps and paintball to sphereing and coasteering. Crazy gifts for adrenaline junkies everywhere.

Days out

See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London on a London day out or head into Oblivion at Alton Towers! Our fantastic days out include wine tasting, sporting events and fun family days out around the UK.

Hobbies

Whatever their hobby we have got the perfect gift whether they are a golfer, wine connoisseur, football fanatic, gardener, animal lover, singer or trainspotter! Find great gift ideas for all the family.

Unique gifts

Offering the very best in personalised gift ideas, treat someone special to a gift they’ll never forget! With gifts ranging from Moon Estates to Name a Star, our unique gift ideas make perfect gifts for any occasion.

Traditional gift ideas

For those that are experienced enough already we’re pleased to offer a fabulous selection of traditional gifts including hampers, wine, flowers, chocolates and many more traditional gift ideas.

Please come in and have a browse around. Let your imagination loose and see what amazing experiences you could be up to this weekend!

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