Where Harry Met Meghan

 Now happily married and parents to baby Archie, following a modern fairy tale wedding, Where exactly did Harry and Meghan’s love affair begin? Well we know a matchmaker essentially introduced them, whether an official matchmaker, or well-meaning friend playing Cupid has not been revealed.

 But where does a Prince of England take his future Monarch on a first date?

Clearly Harry took into account, his Hollywood actress date was part of a hip-crowd. And where do the who’s who in entertainment mix with aristocracy?

 Soho House group, are renowned for providing a private environment for the who’s who in the creative industries to network, dine and party in comfort and style.

 Harry’s choice of house was Dean Street townhouse. The club is compromised of a pair of Georgian residences, built in the early 17thcentury.

With aristocratic beginnings, homing King Charles II’s mistress at one point.

In 1928, Socialite aristocrat David Tennant founded a club well known as a hang out of politicians, intellectuals, artists and those famed in the entertainment world.

Good conversational point for a monarch and an actress.

And quite fitting given the blend of their backgrounds.

 Soho Dean Street definitely has a very traditional British Feel. 

Still very closely linked to the arts, I personally attended one of their life drawing classes.

They met for a drink rather than a formal sit down dinner.

Which is more relaxed than you might expect for a royal date.

 However anyone who has observed Harry over the years, can see, he is very easy-going, and even down-to-earth.

 For anyone else visiting, you firstly need to be a member to get through the door, or at least have a friend who is a member that invites you.

Drinks can be brought over to your table, if you are fortunate enough to grab one.

 Evenings are pretty packed as you might expect in bustling Soho.

Drinks off the menu include a ‘ British Classics’ selection 

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 English Milk Punch, mixed with Mount Gay Black Barrel, Remy Martin, Somerset Cider Brandy 10yo, arack, milk, pineapple spice mix, oolong tea, citrus, aromatics.

Bramble Bombay Sapphire, Blackberries, Lemon.

Fizz selection 

French 75

Bombay Sapphire, Lemon, Champagne.

 As well as a wide selection of  spirits, wine and champagne..

Harry could have even gone for a Draught Pint, to appear especially non-pretentious.

 Who knows what they sipped on, but we do know they hit if off.

 "We met for a drink," said Markle, "and then I think very quickly into that we said, 'Well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.'’ So for those who think playing it cool and waiting at least a week before meeting again, or a few days to follow up on a date. Take a leaf out of Harry and Meghan’s book, take down the guard, and keep the momentum going.

The couple went on a second date and Prince Harry then invited Markle to accompany him on a trip to Africa just three or four weeks later. "I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," he said, describing the whirlwind romance. "Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other."

 What did Meghan wear for her first date?

Well it was revealed, stitched into her wedding dress, was a piece of blue fabric. Following the tradition of wearing something blue on your wedding day. And its not just anything blue, she chose to stitch a piece of the fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with harry. So there we have it, its not just a little black dress that works, but a little blue dress too.

  Siobhan Copland

siobhan@cupidinthecity.com

 

Mature love signs

Mature love has less to do with your age and more to do with how your love has evolved over time. It has to do with your willingness to love each other unconditionally and stay committed (even through the tough times.) Even after the newlywed/honeymoon phase has ended, and even after the euphoric feeling of new love ends, these couples are able to evolve into a deeper more committed type of love...a mature love.

Here are some characteristics of couples with mature love:

1. THEY ARE INTENTIONAL ABOUT MAKING THEIR MARRIAGES WORK. People that have mature love...have it because they put in the work. In the article, The Truth about Falling Out of Love, Amy Morin- LCSW says: "People who experience mature love don’t allow themselves to passively fall out of love. Instead, they take action. Choosing to take your relationship to the next level doesn't come easy. It requires you to behave in a way that is contrary to your feelings at times. It takes hard work, dedication and commitment."

2. THEY CONTINUE TO HAVE LOVING ACTIONS, EVEN WHEN LOVING FEELINGS AREN'T PRESENT. People that have mature love know that marriages have their seasons and their ups and downs. And even when they are going through their rough spells, they continue to have loving actions for each other. Dr. Johnny C. Parker, Jr., author of Renovating Your Marriage Room by Room, says: "When a couple chooses loving actions, often times loving feelings emerge again."

3. THEY SET GOALS. Goals are a great way for you to grow your marriage and family. Goals provide direction for your marriage and will strengthen your relationship as you work together to achieve them.

4. THEY KNOW HOW TO LOVE EACH OTHER. These couples take the time to find out how their partner needs to feel love (their love language) and then they choose to do it. Understanding each other's love language is one of the keys to having lasting love.

5. THEY KNOW HOW TO WORK THROUGH THEIR PROBLEMS...TOGETHER. We've seen couples overcome infidelity, financial issues and more. And the one thing that makes them different from couples that do not survive the storms is their ability to work (together) to solve their problems. Couples that have mature love work as a team!

SIOBHAN COPLAND

Work and love

Friday feels like the day of freedom for many office workers; a time to let your hair down, loosen your tie, get a few cold beverages down your neck to kick off the weekend, two days of ‘rest’ - which normally involve catching up with chores -family, friends and back to work Monday. A typical week for many professionals.

If you’re a professional with bags of ambition, Friday will not be the end of the working week. Many of the top firms in accounting, finance, and consultancy have a culture where dedicated staff are expected to put in the extra hours over the weekend to show their commitment to the project at hand.

The use of technology and work phones synced to emails mean people are plugged into work mode more often than ever. It is hard to switch off. 

 Those in relationships suffer through lack of quality time. Although physically you may be in the room; checking emails or taking calls is absence. With men and women’s roles becoming increasingly blurred, work and play between the two becomes a juggling act.

Singletons feel that they have to make a sacrifice between work and dating. With work seeming like a surer bet in the success stakes, they are more willing to place their energies into accelerating their careers than love life.

Natasha for example, 40, CEO of a start-up, bordering the now-or-never age regarding starting a family, having yet to meet her Mr Right  has decided to give dating a back seat. “At least I know with work, I have control over how successful it can become; with men, I feel like I have none”.

Natasha doesn’t seem to be alone in her views.

Although others may not admit their lack of success in love so directly, most tend to use the excuse of ‘being too busy to meet anyone’, inexorably throwing themselves more and more into work to avoid disappointments of the heart.

It’s not uncommon for dates not to progress to the relationship stages due to busy work commitments and schedules.

Ross, a Director in Dubai was dating Sarah, a Marketing manager; despite their few dates of chemistry their busy schedules took the momentum, fun and spontaneity out of the equation. They found themselves ‘talking shop’ each time they met up. Which Ross said, for him killed the spark.

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The Book ‘ Life lessons’ by Elisabeth Kubler Ross asks people in a hospice at the end of their lives what they learnt about life. Most people said it wasn’t about a change in career, or longer hours… instead they said they wished they had spent more time with loved ones and wished they’d been less preoccupied with work and money.

Although putting the hours into careers may seem to make sense now, in the long run, investing time in building and maintaining healthy relationships is the best investment.

We work to live, we don’t live to work.

And Love after all is what makes life worth living.

Siobhan Copland

SIOBHAN COPLAND

First date nerves

It's natural to be nervous about meeting someone for the first time, especially for a first date. You may not have been on a date for a while, you may have previously been in a long term relationship, life commitments or career goals may have pushed back the priority of dating. Let's face it, dating can sometimes feel very daunting!

Dating is almost like an interview and you are the interviewee! Getting to know someone for the first time involves questions; finding out about this person, who they are, what their interests are, what elements determine that you both 'click'? You almost feel like you are put on a pedestal to be judged. All you have to do is remember that the person you are going on a date with, is probably, (definitely) feeling the same!  

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Getting ready is generally where the nerves start to kick in, all of a sudden making you question aspects of who you are as an individual, wondering the whole time ... "will they like me?". Everyone wants to be accepted,  it's human nature to want to feel wanted. Even if you're the most confident person in the world, a

little nerves will tickle that confidence, but that's ok.



There are a handful of super-human people on our planet that don't let other people's opinions and judgement effect them. They are who they are, and if others don't accept them, they move on, so high five to them! But the majority of us do let other people's opinions get the better of us and its only natural. The easiest thing to do in life is just be you, as you are. You were born you, not Susan or John down the road, so be confident in yourself. 

Get ready for a date the same way you would if you were meeting your friends. You don't have to put huge pressure on yourself. Most people fall into a sense of feeling like they have to change, or improve who they are. This is not the case.  

First of all, buy or wear something that makes you feel good, something that makes you feel comfortable being you. Try lots of outfits, get an idea of what looks good and what makes you feel great. Clothes are an excellent way to express your personality and who you are. If you feel good, your confidence level will rocket.

While you get ready, pour yourself a glass of wine, listen to music that makes you feel good, music that lifts your mood. It's an instant way to relax and help you prepare for your date.


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One thing that may have you feeling anxious is ... "will the conversation flow?" Maybe think of a few topics to discus beforehand, it's always good to have something as a back up if an awkward moment of silence pops up. Holidays? Pets? Family? Interests? anything is better than silence!



Experts out there will all say the same thing, 'confidence is one the most attractive quality in a person'. If you are confident in yourself, if you feel good about yourself, it really shows and the nerves will settle. There are lots of tips and tricks out there to help you gain more confidence and to help suppress those dating nerves, but here at Cupid in the City , we help build that confidence for you. 

Lastly, just remember that the whole time you're getting ready for your date, there's someone else getting ready for it too, with the same thoughts and questions running through their mind. Be optimistic and feel excited, because this is exciting and could be the start of an amazing relationship!

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SIOBHAN COPLAND

Outsourcing the search for love

For some people admitting that you have hired help to find love may seem like something, which is taboo, just at 10 yrs ago people may have been reluctant to admit they had met their partner online. Images of a loner in the corner of a dark room might have sprung to mind, when imagining an ‘online dater’ but times and attitudes have moved since then. So much so that people openly admit not only meeting online, but even openly discuss disastrous dates from sites and apps. Often with people complaining that there is no a lot of people online, but just not enough of what they’re looking for.

A recent Pew survey found that a third of people using Internet dating sites have never actually met up with someone they found online. It has become like shopping at a jumble sale, you may pick up a great buy, but chances are you’ll end up walking out frustrated.

Matchmaking may not be so widespread as an option for finding someone, but is by no means a service for desperate's instead as a luxury service, for people who may already have hired help in other areas such a personal trainer, executive coach, or personal stylist.

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Matchmaking is nothing new, in fact it is one of the oldest ways of people finding love, and still exists as a the fabric of many cultures particularly where arranged marriages still exist. But again, images of some meddling, middle-aged women may spring to mind. And modern matchmakers now have quite a different image, and perhaps cater to a slightly different crowd.


People now seek modern matchmaking agencies not because they are necessarily under family pressure, of course we may have all experiences our parents asking, when we are going to make them grandparents. But in today’s western world and modern society, people are unapologetically choosing to pursue education and carve successful careers before making marriage and children a priority. And when the time comes for them to meet a partner with the view of making a life long commitment, they are not doing so desperately but highly selectively.

With over 50% of the UK being in the singles market it can prove to be hard to dodge the time wasters and undesirables and meet likeminded individuals. Which is where matchmakers come in with a helping guiding hand.

Matchmakers have a network of singles that they have met in person personally. Good matchmakers are highly selective in who they welcome into their network. Such requirements may include well educated professionals who are well travelled and cultured.

Which counts for a lot as all of the elements that make people click are not just a bunch of ticked boxes on a profile, but how a person speaks, laughs, looks, gestures, their passion for life, their likes, dislikes, quirks, their dreams, goals, with whom and what they like to spend their time, views of the world.

You also have the safety of knowing that the likelihood is that the person you meet is who they say they are as matchmakers do background checks such as checking their work and education history.

Some agencies also hold events, which give those who are apart of their network the opportunity to meet in a relaxed atmosphere.

No matter how advanced apps become, you can never replace what we all seek as human beings, someone who ‘really gets us.’

If you'd like to find out about how the matchmaking team at Cupid in the City work, book in for a free coffee consultation 

Book before the 31st of January and get 25% off annual fees, and first social event free.

SIOBHAN COPLAND

Ace a first date

First dates can be nerve wracking or exciting, or a little of both.  The potential of meeting someone truly special or maybe awful, the idea of being judged and judging, all muddle together to make for a pulse raising ride.  As matchmakers we know how important the first date is, it's actually the most important date, since if it doesn't go well this is where the romance ends.  Without adding too much pressure any first date could be like your most important job interview, probably even more so if you imaging letting the love of you life slip through your fingers with one simple mistake. So it stands to reason that just like in a job interview you should prep a little to be the best version of yourself.

Do a little research 

Chances are you have spoken a bit before the date, or at least got some info in terms of a profile, so make sure you have a good read, just like you would on a company or job spec before an interview.

Show you have paid attention to things they are interested in.

If you are already connected on social media, you can find out quite a bit more about what they’ve been up to and what they like to talk about.If you met online it's also a good idea to re-read their profile and remember the things that attracted you in the first place.  These will always make great topics of conversation.

Look your best

This sounds like such basic advice but we see it as one of the number one fails from new clients and the reason we offer wardrobe consultations and makeovers.  It's so easy to turn up straight from the office and bringing zero sexy to your encounter, or playing it over casual and appearing unsophisticated and sloppy.  Men are completely visual and feeling chemistry is imperative for a second date, ladies it's always a good idea to show off your figure and flaunt your best assets to some degree. Wearing red has been proven to make men subconsciously find women more attractive so glam it up, I've never heard a male client complain his date was too sexy. Gentleman a good blazer is a fail safe and up your shoe game, women will inevitably be checking these out, judging you harshly on their merits. Adding an interesting twist to an outfit makes you stand out from the crowd and appear interesting, a good watch or wallet, a shirt with a great cut or luxury scarf will escalate your style.

The ideal place to meet

This is another one that is so easily messed up, in fact we make our clients run their date locations by us for approval because it is so crucial.  There seems to be a trend of initial meeting over coffee, this is planing to fail. You can't flirt in Starbucks! Give yourself and them a chance.  A date should allow time to continue on late into the evening with food and drinks. There should be enough privacy to talk freely and enough atmosphere to keep it lively.  We love dates in hotel bars or walks through food markets or galleries.  If you want to start with a walk know a place along the way to settle for refreshments and relax, make a first date special even if it's your fifth of the week.

Topics of conversation 

One of the top complaints we hear back after a failed first date was that it was too intense.  There is a fine line between showing an interest and grilling someone.  A first date should really be about having fun not weighing up the long term prospects of the person, save this for date two. Relaxed questions about their day, hobbies, recent holidays or places they'd love to go make great conversations. Tell jokes but don't swear, have a drink but don't get drunk.  Prying in to their relationship history, religious or political beliefs or financial status are not first date topics.  Here's a really easy break down of first date easy conversation openers if you struggle with this part.....

Open: Compliment, just one.

Lead: How's you day/week been, let them know about yours, stressing the fun and interesting parts.

Make an offer: Find out if they are hungry or thirsty and fix this.

Tell a story: This can be something about your location, or a funny anecdote about why you chose the location or are happy with the choice of location or what drew you to wanting to go on this date and what you find interesting about them.

Closing a date 

This is possible the most underrated part of a first date and I'll tell you why.  You've had a great time and definitely want to see them again, however you didn't express this, they in turn leave with a sense of uncertainty about how it went and rather than face a possible rejection decide to not like you first. It's so common for us to see first dates fizzle out just because each party though they weren't good enough.  Make it known you'd like a second date, if you think there's chemistry a kiss is great! (This isn't easy outside Starbucks). If you've had a great time tell the other person and make it easy for them to contact you and follow up. Don't make yourself appear super busy for the next few weeks or if you are going away ensure to keep in touch and keep the momentum alive.  Men often cite lack of chemistry for not wanting a second date, based on thinking the lady wasn't attracted to them. So ladies work on flirting, this should be where you lead the way. Body language and light physical contact go such a long way in showing your interest and ensuring a second date. If in doubt think of this little trick leave you scent on your date to go home with and have them thinking of you all night.

 

SIOBHAN COPLANDComment
Dating after Divorce


When you get married, divorce isn't exactly something that crosses your mind. You are both in your happy place and you just don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you. You plan your wedding, celebrate with family and friends and share all of this with the person you think is ‘the one’. Newlyweds feel indestructible because, at that point in your relationship, the thought of ever being apart is just ‘unthinkable’.  

The sad reality is that more couples go through a divorce than ever before. Some of those couples have been together for years, some only ever being with that one person. So when the ‘D’ word gets mentioned and your partnership slowly breaks down, one of the things that you start to worry about when the dust settles is meeting someone new.  

If you have come out of a long-term relationship or marriage, this can be really daunting. There was a time when you thought you would never have to date again and now here you are, looking to meet new people. You get comfortable when you have been in a long term relationship, you think you both know each other inside out. When you go on your first date with new people you are filled with all sorts of feelings and emotions. (see First Date Nerves)

There are so many reasons that lead to divorce. Financial issues are a common factor, the lack of compatibility in the financial arena is heavily to blame rather than actual lack of money. Different priorities and interests is another way relationships can break down. Having mutual hobbies to enjoy and share with a partner keeps the connection. Common interests are a way to spend quality time together. Other issues like the inability to resolve problems without resenting one another, or not being able to compromise are also very damaging. 

Statistically though, the most common reason for divorce is when a partner is unfaithful. If your previous partner was unfaithful and the cause of your divorce or break up, when it comes to dating someone new, trust is a huge factor.  It’s only natural to feel weary and the biggest reason for this is that you are trying to protect yourself from being hurt again.

When I found out my ex husband had been unfaithful, I felt a great sense of mistrust. All of a sudden, you are face to face with someone you thought you knew and trusted and they let you down. Unfortunately, that sets up the majority of people with a fear of trusting anyone again. You face the challenge of trusting others. 

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When you are ready to take that first step into the dating world, you have to look at new people with new eyes. When you go on a date, you need to think, “this person was not the cause of my failed relationships”. It can be hard but it will be a much more enjoyable experience for the both of you if you take down a little bit of your wall. You will soon learn that not everyone is the same. Stepping into your past can damage the future. You must take each day at a time and embrace the present.  

They call it a fresh start for a reason. It's your opportunity to find someone you can connect with in a positive way. Someone you can share memories with and someone you can trust. Taking all of the negatives that caused your breakup and turning them into a positive,  learning from them to build a stronger, happier union. At the time of my divorce and broken relationships, I didn't think I would find peace with love, but it came and as cliche as it sounds, i'm the happiest I've ever been. 

Teresa Mascia

SIOBHAN COPLAND

Dinner date spots

London is full of amazing places to eat with great menu's and some fabulous views of the city. From classy to quirky, whatever you fancy, London has it all.

Here at Match Me Cupid, we like to go beyond just finding you your special someone, we also like to advise the best places around for you to wine and dine and get to know your new match! Every month we will recommend our favourite London dining destinations perfect for your date. Here are a few of our top picks.

Gaucho's, Tower Bridge

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Gaucho's is situated on the edge of the Thames with a view of the iconic Tower Bridge, which provides the perfect backdrop for your evening. Argentinian cuisine at its best, you can tuck into one of the finest steaks in the city. With a wide range of menu's including Pre Theatre, A la Carte, Gluten Free and Late Night Dining, there is something for everyone. It offers an intimate lounge for pre or post dining cocktails where you can enjoy the city's skyline and talk the night away.

Joe's Southern Bar & Kitchen


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If you are looking for a more casual, laid back setting for your date, then Joe's Southern Bar & Kitchen, located on Kings Street, Covent Garden, is the perfect place. South American style dining in London at its best, the menu is full of BBQ delights, with southern fried chicken, popcorn shrimp and sticky BBQ ribs to name a few. A very relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a cocktail or American beer at the bar beforehand.

Duck and Waffle


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Situated on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, Duck and waffle is one of the highest restaurant in London with breathtaking views of the city. Open 24/7, you are free to chose when you wish to dine. You and your date will be transported to the restaurant from a private entrance on Bishopsgate via two express, double-glazed scenic lifts, which only take 40 seconds to reach its summit. A playful take on traditional British cuisine, their dishes are designed for sampling and sharing. If you want something a little out of the ordinary, this is certainly worth trying.

Sketch London





One of our favourites here at Cupid in the City is Sketch London has five fantastic restaurants and bars to offer. The Lecture Room and Library is a sophisticated and relaxed dining experience, with a Michelin stared menu created by French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire. A perfect hot spot for a first date, this award winning restaurant offers a spectacular tasting menu as well as A la Carte.

Skylounge, Hilton Tower of London

The Skylounge, situated on the 12th floor of the Doubletree, Hilton Hotel Tower of London, is the perfect place to enjoy dining alfresco, with a great view of the city. With two terraces to choose from, you get to enjoy 360 degree views of the city. The Skylounge signature cocktails can get your evening started before tucking into one of their innovative dishes with the Tower of London as your backdrop. With the weather heating up, there's nothing better than early evening dinner whilst watching the sun go down.

Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden

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Now if you want to go all out, then Close Maggiore situated in Covent Garden, is the place to dine. Voted London's most romantic restaurant, be sure to book well in advance due to demand. Set out like a scene from A Midsummers Night's Dream, the cherry blossomed adorned conservatory is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the award winning, contemporary French cuisine. A truly warm and intimate setting, enjoy a glass of wine from their 100 page, award winning wine list, boasting over 2,500 selections from 18 different countries.

London is full of amazing places to eat with great menu's and some fabulous views of the city. From classy to quirky, whatever you fancy, London has it all.

Here at Match Me Cupid, we like to go beyond just finding you your special someone, we also like to advise the best places around for you to wine and dine and get to know your new match! Every month we will recommend our favourite London dining destinations perfect for your date. Here are a few of our top picks.

Gaucho's, Tower Bridge

Gaucho's is situated on the edge of the Thames with a view of the iconic Tower Bridge, which provides the perfect backdrop for your evening. Argentinian cuisine at its best, you can tuck into one of the finest steaks in the city. With a wide range of menu's including Pre Theatre, A la Carte, Gluten Free and Late Night Dining, there is something for everyone. It offers an intimate lounge for pre or post dining cocktails where you can enjoy the city's skyline and talk the night away.  

 

Joe's Southern Bar & Kitchen  

If you are looking for a more casual, laid back setting for your date, then Joe's Southern Bar & Kitchen, located on Kings Street, Covent Garden, is the perfect place. South American style dining in London at its best, the menu is full of BBQ delights, with southern fried chicken, popcorn shrimp and sticky BBQ ribs to name a few. A very relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a cocktail or American beer at the bar beforehand. 

 

Duck and Waffle

Situated on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, Duck and waffle is one of the highest restaurant in London with breathtaking views of the city. Open 24/7, you are free to chose when you wish to dine. You and your date will be transported to the restaurant from a private entrance on Bishopsgate via two express, double-glazed scenic lifts, which only take 40 seconds to reach its summit. A playful take on traditional British cuisine, their dishes are designed for sampling and sharing. If you want something a little out of the ordinary, this is certainly worth trying. 

 

Sketch London

One of our favourites here at Match Me Cupid, Sketch London has five fantastic restaurants and bars to offer. The Lecture Room and Library is a sophisticated and relaxed dining experience, with a Michelin stared menu created by French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire. A perfect hot spot for a first date, this award winning restaurant offers a spectacular tasting menu as well as A la Carte.  

 

Skylounge, Hilton Tower of London

The Skylounge, situated on the 12th floor of the Doubletree, Hilton Hotel Tower of London, is the perfect place to enjoy dining alfresco, with a great view of the city. With two terraces to choose from, you get to enjoy 360 degree views of the city. The Skylounge signature cocktails can get your evening started before tucking into one of their innovative dishes with the Tower of London as your backdrop. With the weather heating up, there's nothing better than early evening dinner whilst watching the sun go down. 

 

Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden

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Now if you want to go all out, then Close Maggiore situated in Covent Garden, is the place to dine. Voted London's most romantic restaurant, be sure to book well in advance due to demand. Set out like a scene from A Midsummers Night's Dream, the cherry blossomed adorned conservatory is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the award winning, contemporary French cuisine. A truly warm and intimate setting, enjoy a glass of wine from their 100 page, award winning wine list, boasting over 2,500 selections from 18 different countries. 

 


SIOBHAN COPLAND

Who pays for dates?

As someone who has been on countless dates over the years I have had experiences that vary from a paid date, which cost a small fortune, to having to pay for my own £10 Nando's meal.

I was dating a guy, who made every effort to impress, booking box seats at the theatre, the table with the best view at the shard, afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason. Dates which had I had to contribute to financially, would have been well over my budget, if the bill was on me, I would have been more inclined to book something less ' fancy'. However, out of politeness I would offer to pay my way when the bill arrived. Thankfully he declined such offers. But I insisted on at least leaving a tip or buying the next round of drinks. To ensure him I wasn’t there taking advantage, if things didn’t develop romantically, which they didn’t.

Recently I dated someone who was happy to pay, following my genuine intentions to pay my half, we reached a happy compromise where I would leave a generous tip to the waiter.

Most of my friends, who are also modern independent women, with some traditional values, are of the view that the man should pay every time.

And it is unheard of for the woman to foot the bill.

A friend of mine even dumped a guy, when after dinner, en route to a bar announced "Cocktails are on you"

A recent study found, two thirds of men said they believe women should pay their share, however 76% said they would feel guilty about accepting payment.

I genuinely am happy to pay my half, and always offer. But admittedly if a man does pay, I am grateful, and he does score a few more brownie points.

Men also don't necessarily take into account how much women spend on ' looking the part' for a date. A trip to the hairdressers, nail salon, plus a new outfit, can cost above and beyond what it would cost for a meal for 2, and a few happy hour drinks.

Despite how far we've come with gender equality, the truth still remains that often in the first instance men trade on money, and women trade on looks.

The expectation is on us to look the part.

The most popular bio on tinder for example, is the tongue in cheek "if you don't look like your profile pic, you're buying the drinks until you do."

In my experience Men are always happy to pay, what they are unhappy with is the expectations of them. They like the opportunity of saying. " It's ok this ones on me." Rather than having to watch a woman conveniently need the bathroom as the bills called, or slowly reaching for her purse.

Or worse still sit there with arms crossed, with not so much as a thank you at the end.

Men want to still feel like the providers, regardless of the leaps and bounds we come in regards to gender equality its instinctual.

But they also don't want to feel like just some free meal ticket.

Graciousness and gratitude go along way.

So next time you're across the table from who could be your future husband, try offering, even if its to give a tip, or get the next round of drinks in. chances are you have nothing to lose.

And men if you haven’t budgeted to cover the cost of a date for two, don’t feel you have to splash the cash to impress, as the right woman, will be happy in your company, regardless of how much you spend.

So perhaps pick somewhere modest to begin with, and save the flashy dates for when you feel you have met someone you really want to invest in and treat.

Siobhan Copland

Top 10 dating tips

Dress smart but comfortably

Of course you want to look hot for your date, but what makes you look attractive is also being comfortable in your own skin, constantly fiddling with your outfit and hair, can make you look insecure. And dress appropriate for where you'll be spending your date, for example if you're just meeting to go walking round the park, chucking on your stilettos, may not be such a good idea, ending up limping with blisters is never a good look especially on a first date. Practical, but stylish is always a good way to go.

- Be yourself!

Sounds like an obvious one, but when first dating, it can be tempting to think you need to act a certain way in order to impress. But let's face it if you're hoping for a relationship, you can only keep up an act for so long, and why would you want someone to fall for anyone other than the true you. If they don't like you for who you are to start with, they're not for you.

- Don't drink too much

We've all done it, necked a good few glasses of wine, for Dutch courage, but over drinking on a date is a recipe for disaster for a number of reasons. Not only may you make a fool of yourself, but it also impairs your judgement, and you may end up jumping into bed with your date, and feeling pretty embarrassed about it with regrets in the morning. Two drinks maximum, if your date is pressuring you to drink too much, best thing to do is cut the night short, then end up on an all night bender. They'll definitely not lose any respect for you in doing so.

- Don't bring up your ex.

You may get asked why you're single, don't make it into a story about your ex, give a reason, which is short and sweet, and in relation to your current situation. Your singledom should actually be nothing to do with your past. Its about your present situation. If you get asked about why you broke up again, short and sweet is the way, and move on from the subject quickly. Certainly don't give the indication that you're bitter towards your ex, as it gives off signals that you're not really ready to fully move on.

Have in mind what you're looking for.

- Ask the right questions, but don't make it feel like an interview. A date should be about getting to know someone but more importantly about enjoying one another's company. Ask questions which show interest, but not in a way which appears as if you're simply fact finding. This can make a person feel interrogated, and not a way to create a comfortable atmosphere.

If you don't like something don't pretend you do

Just to make it seem as if you have everything in common with them. It's ok to have differences, it's great to have some things in common, like shared values, and interests. But just because you don't like all the same things as a person, doesn't mean they'll like you any less. Some of your differences may actually make you appear more interesting. And it may give you cause for some banter, which is always a good thing.

Get off your phone when on your date,

It doesn't matter how important your job is, or what you're friends are up to on face book, when you're out with someone you need to learn to switch off. Calls can be returned and texts can wait. If you literally have an emergency situation when you need to be on call, then its better you cancel your date, then to sit there constantly checking your phone. Your focus and attention should be on your date and your date only, its really that simple.

- Be positive.

When asked how your day or week has been, sure you may have had some stresses to deal with at work, and your may want to vent. But lets face it noone wants to be in a relationship with a moaner. Stay positive, you can be honest and say, you had a few situations to deal with, but always end on a positive note. And if your date has a bit of a moan, be supportive but try to see the bright side in the situation too, and not dwell on the negative.

Don't talk too much about yourself.

Of course its great that someone is showing an interest and wants to get to know you, but try not to get too carried away, talking about yourself, when asked questions, try to keep answers relatively brief, and keep the conversation flowing by asking about them in return. The conversation should be two way, when it ends up turning into a dialogue, your date will eventually switch off and lose interest. No matter how interested they are in you, if they feel you're too self centred it can prove to be a turn off.

Don't be afraid to say what you want.

- Often people are afraid to lay their cards on the table, for fear of the person running away. But if you are sure of what you want, why go along, playing the guessing game, wasting both your time. Be upfront and honest, and if it turns out you're not looking for the same things, better you know sooner rather than later down the line, kicking yourself for settling for less than you deserve. In the dating game, what you want is out there, you've just go to be in in to win it!

As featured in Female First magazine

Dating success in 2019

successdating.jpg

The new year marks the perfect time to start over and set goals in your life.

If you're single and stuck in a rut, dating coach Siobhan Copland says there's no better excuse than the beginning of 2018 to really take stock of your love life and de-clutter.

The professional matchmaker advises the best way to ring in the new year is to refocus your approach to achieve a healthier and romantic life.

But that means taking action and following several key steps including dumping the 'friend with benefits' who is draining your energy. 

Siobhan, who launched her own dating company Match Me Cupid in 2009, told FEMAIL why being selective when choosing a partner is not a failing but will help lead to a successful relationship: 'You're better off satisfying yourself until you find someone who is fully on your wavelength.' 

If you've been seeing someone casually it's time to cut them off and find someone who is willing to be available to all your needs not just sex

DUMP THE FRIEND WITH BENEFITS 

Seeing someone casually who 'fulfils certain needs' is a big no-no according to Siobhan, she says it's time to cut out the energy zapper.  

'When they’re not available at your beck and call, it becomes frustrating and could well be getting in the way of you being fully emotionally available when the right one comes along. 

'Best to leave that arrangement in 2017, and wait for the full package,' she said.

'Sex after all is also an exchange of energy, be picky with who you share your energy with.'

Go out and experience meeting people in person, that way you're not hiding behind online dating apps

FOLLOW A THREE DATE RULE

Before dating apps, people would get to know someone over a period of time giving a chance to get to know someones personality fully before making a call on whether they are right.

First date nerves are real, and you should make a call once you can see a person is relaxed with you.

Plus people always put on a bit of a show first date, but by the third you can usually see consistency in their character.

With todays fast paced dating landscape people are quick to jump back on the app after one date to see if anything better else is out there.

If you find someone physically attractive, and you didn’t have a mind numbingly boring time, give that person at least three dates to get to see them in different circumstances, and a chance for romance to develop. i.e First date could be a drink, second date could be an activity, and third date you could even offer them over for dinner or a take away. It also means you won’t be asking all the questions you want to know all on one date, which can make a person uncomfortable and like being interviewed, it will feel more natural, allowing them to reveal themselves over the course of dates.

STREAMLINE YOUR ONLINE DATING  

Siobhan also advises against spreading yourself too thin, instead if you are using online dating apps to stick to just one and improve your profile. 

'There is such a thing as app fatigue. Pick one app where you feel you can find your tribe. And keep your profile short and sweet.

Ask your friends to set you up on a blind date or seek the help of a matchmaking service to find a new partner

'Think of three things you would like to find in common with someone, and include it in your bio. Steer away from saying what you don’t want.' 

She says asking your friends for help in picking the right photos; but encourages women to wear a dress with heels and men should opt for a blazer and jeans to attract matches.  

GO ON A BLIND DATE

Siobhan says that your friends can be key to meeting someone, so ask them to set you up with a friend of a friend or even join a matchmaking service and get someone to do the hard work for you.

'Many successful relationships have developed as a result of having a blind date, like on the programme!

'They get to know a few things about a person before picking their date. You could have your own at home version, get your friends to line up a few prospects, and pick the one you most like the sound of.'

( As featured in the Daily Mail online)

Married for 86yrs

When people are usually in the Guinness book of records, its usually for something bizarre of what many may view as simply insane. But Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher have made their mark by proving that monogamy does still exist, and marriages don’t have to end in divorce as many do today, by officially being named the world’s longest married couple with a marriage spanning 86 years. Not only have they being married the longest, but they’ve both lived to see over a century with Zelmyra aged 101 and sadly Mr. Fisher passed away earlier this year at the remarkable age of 104. When asked what their fondest memory was of their marriage, they replied”Our legacy of 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.

Before Mr Fishers passing, they both took to twitter to give advice to us less than experienced ones in love, on how to maintain a lasting loving relationship. Here’s some of their wise advice below.

 We are both Christians & believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with & for each other every day

 Respect, support & communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest & true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.”

 Agree that it’s okay to disagree, & fight for what really matters. (Never physically) Learn to bend – not break

 Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win

 There isn’t any secret. It was only God that kept us together.

 Everyone who plants a seed & harvests the crop celebrates together, We are individuals, but accomplish more together.

 The couple also prove the importance of accepting and respecting your differences as the couple had different religions. Herbert was a member of Pilgrim Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and Zelmyra is a member of Jones Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

 For all of their married life they attended their own churches, going their separate ways every Sunday morning. They both agreed if they had to do it again, they wouldn’t change a thing. Now thats what we call Love!


Wants v Needs

Matchmaker Siobhan Copland writes for Female First about the divide between wanting and needing in your romantic life. 

Many of us today aim for success, in society and the media as a whole the pressure is on to lead perfect successful lives. In our education, career in our relationships and eventually as parents.

Some of us our highly successful and focused in our careers when we reach peak adulthood, but still a void exists in terms of our personal relationships. It’s common for men and women to complain they can’t even find the time to add a partner to fit in their busy schedules, yet the time comes and the need and want for love often becomes greater.

Many successful individuals especially those we see in the public eye, struggle to maintain long-term relationships, and suffer insecurities as a consequence.

But what about us every day working class people, do we look for anything different than these high-profile celebrities? The answer is probably no, apart from the need for trust being even greater for them, with their broken love lives dissected by the press. And the fear of being used for their financial gain.

We all want to be with someone who loves us for who we are, regardless of our flaws, and somebody we can trust, who we can share our dreams and future with right?

But the difference in successful relationships and those that fail, regardless of physical attraction, compatibility and all the other factors that come into play, mainly boils down to whether your needs are being met. A good way to understand your core needs in a relationship is to discover your love language.

Take the test here

We often search for what we WANT rather than what we NEED.

Like material things, which we want, we obtain it, and then shortly after there’s something else we want. And we soon lose interest in what was once a ‘must have’. But if however our basic needs were taken away, such as our shelter, our warmth, our food our bed, it would become much more of a focus, and without them we couldn’t really function. This is what happens in a relationship when are needs aren’t been met.

If we don’t establish what exactly our needs are when looking for a relationship, we will only keep getting what we want, but wants change, needs have a much more solid and fulfilling foundation.

We all carry some baggage from previous relationships, and we come looking for more from the lessons we’ve learnt. If your ex didn’t spend enough time with you, and that was key in the breakdown. You may go into your next one, needing someone who can give you the time that you seek.

If you were previously in an open relationship, or one where you were cheated on, you may need as a priority to be with someone who shows themselves to be loyal.

Saying your future partner has to be 6’0, athletic build and earning over £50k a year for example, may be depriving yourself of someone who may be able to give you what you need in the long term.

Ask yourself why do I need this? What need am I fulfilling by selecting this criteria.

Is it for social validation? Fear of someone feeling inadequate financially?

If I have all this, but this person for example isn’t affectionate, doesn’t value quality time, is this a compromise worth making? Or would you be better of with someone who feels comfortable financially, can still afford to do the things you like to do, is a little shorter than your preference, but makes up for it in personality, and makes you feel secure in many other ways?

If you’re already in a relationship and you feel your needs may not be getting met, then it doesn’t mean they can’t be. You need to make sure you communicate with your partner, in a non aggressive manner, and make them known. Take the love language test here and understand one anothers core needs.

If their needs are different from yours it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re incompatible, it means you may need to adapt your approach.

How to meet people

I’m often asked this question, Where do I go to meet people? That may seem like a perfectly reasonable question coming from someone who lives in a remote village someone in the highlands. But living in a monster city like London, jam packed full of over 8 million people, you’d be lucky to find a spot, where you can be in solitude. Despite being crammed into tubes, and buses daily with people intimately close by no fault of their own, sat opposite each other for long journeys, avoiding eye contact at all costs, instead choosing to bury our heads in the daily free paper, or a round of angry birds. We miss or more accurately avoid opportunities to ‘ meet’ people every day.
The only conversations with strangers we have are often alcohol induced, rather than human curiosity. Ever since childhood we’ve been taught not to speak to strangers, and for some its as much as a fear, as public speaking or as daunting as attempting a mariah carey cover at Karaoke.

In reality, working in London during rush hour, we see thousands of people every day, yet how often do we make new connections? Rarely.

Even the ‘old fashioned’ ones who refuse to go down modern methods such as internet dating to form new connections, preferring to meet the love of their life while at the deli counter in Waitrose, take no proactive action. Life is not a romcom, most handsome, confident men, don’t come up and ask whats in your basket, and they’re certainly not mind readers, so without a signal, they’ll just keep shopping!

I met my first love on the tube, it did feel a bit like love at first sight, eyes met across the carriage, and all, but to be fair, I would never have approached him, as I felt too shy, and he hesitated too.
Fortunately I had a ‘ matchmaker’ friend present, who didn’t hesitate at all, to race up to him, telling him I fancied him (much to my embarrassment at the time) but had she not taken the initiative we’d have both missed out on a great romance!

Living in a city you have the advantage that people are out every day of the week, spilling out of restaurants, pubs, bars, galleries, parks, libraries, the tube, everywhere, the only thing coming in-between you and them is Fear.

And there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

So think of a good ice-breaker and break the habit of not speaking to strangers!

I’ll be posting a video shortly with some more tips on how to approach strangers, and get a positive response!

Long distance dating

Siobhan Copland answers a Female First readers question.

‘ Can a long distance relationship work?’

These days with modern technology such as emails, video calling, instant messaging, it is much easier to maintain contact with your partner. However connecting virtually of course doesn't compensate for human interaction, and the time spent and affection you can enjoy when in one another's company.

There are two different types of long distance relationships, one is if you began your relationship long distance, in which case, it can often feel more like a holiday romance, much like the part time parent scenario where time is precious, and it's all about having fun when you see each other. The reality when together day in day out, can be quite different.

Then there's the type where you have already build a stronger foundation, but other commitments such as work/ family cause you to be apart. This kind of long distance relationship tends to have a better chance of survival, as the trust is there, chances are the conditions of being apart would have, and certainly should be discussed.

It's important to be open about what you expect from being apart. Such as how regularly you speak to each another, and whether you are still going to remain monogamous to one another.

Another important thing is that people are making a near equal amount of effort, so for example, it shouldn't be one person always travelling, you should take it in turns, or else the person who is constantly going out of their way, will soon start to feel resentful.

Ultimately the only way it can work in either situation, is for there to be a specific plan for the future, and that plan simply must entail you both being together in the same place eventually.

Dating Etiquette Tips

(As featured in Female First Magazine)

he days of courting may seem to be a thing of the past, in today's fast paced dating world. However we needn’t forget our manners when it comes to dating behavior, here are my top 10 dating dos and don’ts.

Keep the conversation future focused

Be on time. One of the most common peeves for people when dating is poor time keeping. It's important to show that you value the other person's time as much as you value your own. Slackness when it comes to keeping to the arranged time, sets the tone for the date. If you leave your date to get a head start at the bar, while waiting for you, don’t be surprised if they head for the door, sooner rather than later. Many people have a limit on how long they are prepared to wait, before calling it quits. If you are going to be running behind, beyond your control, communicate your ETA in advance, along with your apology.

Plan a time to meet, which gives you more than enough time, taking potential transport delays into account, and date night is not the time to agree to overtime at work.

Put your phone away. What did we do before mobile phones? We had uninterrupted conversations. The best compliment you can give your date is your undivided attention. Taking calls, texting, snap chatting, instagraming that all can wait until you have alone time. If you wouldn’t do it during an interview, then it’s not date appropriate either. Even if your meal looks picture worthy.

Don’t clock watch. Unless you’re worried about the clock striking and your carriage turning into a pumpkin, watching the time appears rude. As does double booking your evening. If you’re looking for an escape route to cut your date short, simply cut the date short if you need to, and say you better be getting home as you have a super early start. Dashing off to meet friends because you've made other plans, will leave your date feeling a little robbed of time, and not much of a priority.  The least you can do is keep the evening free. Even if you are super popular, and spreading yourself thin. If you want a relationship, you need to show you are willing to make space for one first, not just squeezing one in.

Pay your date compliments on their appearance. A small compliment goes a long way, after all they will want to feel that they are attractive, and conscious of making a good impression. They may have spent considerable time and effort on wearing the right outfit, and grooming in preparation for meeting you. And if they compliment you, it is polite to thank them, and return a compliment. Anything from remarking on the colour they are wearing to complimenting them on their hair looking good, the smartness of their attire to simply saying, they look nice.

Which leads to, make an effort with you appearance, including grooming and keeping good personal hygiene.  Bad breath, body odors, and unkempt hair are not reasons why you want to be remembered. So ensure you arrive, looking and smelling fresh. Avoid eating smelly food if going for dinner, and if you're a smoker, and your date is not, try not to smoke while on the date, if you must, ask if they mind, and carry chewing gum and fragrance to remove the odour. Particularly if you are hoping for a kiss.

Be interested in them. Going back to giving them your undivided attention, ask questions which show you are interested in getting to know more about their likes and dislikes so you can find commonality. When asked questions, answer in detail, but find a way to bring the conversation back to them, people like people who show an interest in them, and who are open about themselves. Without telling them their whole life story, give them enough of an insight to leave them wanting to get to know you more.

Avoid talking about previous or upcoming dates. Particularly speaking about previous dates and exes, in a derogatory manner. Mocking others you have dated, only makes you appear insulting, and plants the seed, that they may well be the butt of future jokes.

If asked about previous relationships, keep the explanation brief, and allude to the fact you are not one to dwell on the past and are feeling positive about meeting the right partner now.

Don’t ask ‘ why are you single?’ It’s the most irritating question any single person gets asked, and suggests that something must be wrong with them. It doesn’t give you any more of a connection, even if you both answer the same. There are far more interesting ways you can find common ground. It's not like they are going to be getting references from exes. So why ask?

Follow up after the date, and check they got home safe.

Whether you think you’ve found the one of not, they have still given you their valuable time, which should be respected and acknowledged. Thanking them for their time, and checking they arrived home safe is the courteous thing to do. If you want to see them again, suggest meeting up another time. If you’re sure there is not prospect for romance. It’s better to be clear, rather than leave things hanging in the air.

Meet up a second time to be sure. In the days of choosing a partner through a quick swipe, it can be easy to quickly write someone off. But if you found them somewhat attractive, and had a good time in their company, but perhaps didn’t feel fireworks, consider meeting up a second time. This will help you to get to know them some more when there are less nerves, and perhaps in a different environment, where you may well see a different side to them. If a relationship is what you are after, it can take time to develop, so have patience with the process. Great relationships are built, not bought.

P.E Campbell interview

Siobhan Copland interviews author P.E Campbell

Joined in the Deja Vu Fm studio by P.E Campbell the author of erotic/thriller novel a touch of templeton, in addition to discussing Cupid's Corners topic of the week, When is the right time to discuss Marriage, should a woman bring it up, or wait for a proposal?


SIOBHAN COPLAND

Questions before marriage

50% of marriages end in Divorce, so to ensure the odds are in your favour, it is worth asking some serious questions before making such a serious life long commitment.

What kind of friend are they?

Knowing how they treat their friends is very important. 1. Because they should start by being a friend to you. And 2. Their friends have more of an insight into the real them, before you do.

Are they supportive towards them? Are they the kind of friend that others seek for advice?

Do they motivate, encourage them, how do they deal with friends highs and lows. Are they sympathetic to the lows? Or do they have an attitude where they’d rather not hear about it?

Are they generous, giving freely, or hold account of every good deed, or feel begrudged when asked for help? Do they take an interest in their friend’s family? Are they considered to some friends ‘part of the family’.

Their attitude towards money

Regardless of how much money someone makes, it’s important to know their attitude towards money. A very common reason for divorce and bust ups in relationships, are money related.

It’s one of those subjects which people often feel uncomfortable discussing, but it’s something you need to bring to the table early on, especially if you’re going to eventually be in a situation of purchasing or saving with this person.

Are they a Shopaholic spender or a thrifty saver?

Is this person the kind who as soon as money reaches their hand its gone, or the kind who believes in budgeting, and saving for the future? Someone who works hard to put money aside would soon get frustrated with a person who is reckless with money. During the courting phase, a saver may not mind splashing a bit of cash on gifts and extravagant dates, but in a partnership it’s important to have an agreement in place, are you going to save together, have a joint account? It’s also worth knowing if this person has racked up any debts, especially if you’re to enter a mortgage together.

Their dreams

One of the nice things about getting to know someone is hearing about their dreams for the future. We all have dreams, but realistically not all end up pursuing them..

How does this person view their dreams, are they actively pursuing them or just talking about some pipe dreams. Do you share any of the same dreams? They don’t have to be career related, as it's perfectly normal to have different dreams in that area, but do you both dream of having a family for example. Or do they dream of going to live overseas? And how likely are they to pursue those dreams and how would it potentially affect your relationship?

Their goals

Does this person have any goals, they are actively trying to achieve? Or are they happy just to go with the flow, and be reactive rather than proactive towards what they get out of life?

When they talk about their goals, are you part of them?

And what’s the end goal? Someone may have many goals in terms of a career, and financial, but the end goal could simply be to provide for a family.

Find out what the main purpose of their goals is.

Their purpose

Following on from their goals, what is the purpose behind why they do what they do.

Is it for recognition, fame, personal development, a burning desire, to make a difference in the world? Finding out what they believe their purpose to be and the purpose to their actions tells you a lot about a person.

Their family

When you marry a person, you are not just marrying them, but effectively marrying the family too.

Are they on good terms with their immediate family, if not why? Does their family welcome you? And have you developed a bond with them? Having the family support when you and your partner are going through tough times, can really help keep you together. Do you like being around their family?

And how do your values compare when it comes to how much time is spent with family, or keeping in contact? If you are the sort of person who is on the phone to your parents daily, and see them a few times a month but your partner keeps them at arms length, that could pose a problem especially when it comes to having support when you have children together.

Do they want to have children?

Seems like an obvious one to be discussed before marriage, but some people wrongly assume that children will come part and parcel of marriage later down the line, only to discover later on that their spouse has no real interest in extending their family.

If they want to have children, ideally how many, and how soon would they want them?

What are their views on parenting?

Often people decide to have children together because they love one another, and both want children, but often don’t find out the others views on parenting, until the children already come along, which is kind of too late. When both parents have conflicting views on what parenting should look like. Things to take into account include, what you would want to teach your children, if you both have similar values, or and religious beliefs, for example, chances are you’ll have a similar message you want to portray.

Also what are their views on raising children? Are they going to be super strict, liberal, or somewhere in between? What was their own child hood like, and how does that impact their views on parenting? but what about things such a discipline?

Do you both agree on the way in which discipline should be shown? Such as if one parent believes in smacking a child, and the other strongly disagrees, how would you reach a compromise?

You don’t have to agree on everything, but similar views on how children should be raised, would give you a better chance of staying together as a family in the long run.

How they handle conflict

Do they accept sometimes you can agree to disagree? Are they able to express their opinions without being forceful with theirs? Do they walk away in a strop or give the silent treatment when it’s time to discuss matters? Are they willing to listen to your point of view?

Do they lose their temper easily? How do they manage their anger? How are they able to compromise? Do they forgive and forget quickly, or hold a grudge? And how do they like to resolve issues?

Their sex drive

People often underestimate how much compatibility also includes sexual compatibility.

Are they Mr or Miss Vanilla, or they a little freaky in the sheets? Are they happy to have it a few times a month, or are they randy most days?

Notably, work, stress, health issues may cause this to fluctuate, but judging on an average, when you’re happy, stress levels  are low and in good health, how often do you need to be having sex?

In the beginning of a relationship you may be at it like rabbits, due to an undeniable lust for one another, but long term, what’s going to keep you satisfied in the sack?

If one of you is happy to have it once a week after a candle lit dinner, and the other, needs it’s spontaneously twice a day every day. It’s not hard to see that sooner or later, it could be a problem.

What about sexual preferences. Do they have any particular fantasies, fetishes? And are you comfortable that you may be able to fulfil them in the long run?

Their attitude towards a work life balance

When people are single, they have the tendency to throw themselves more into work, and when they find the one they enjoy spending time with, hopefully spend less time doing overtime at the office, and start to enjoy more leisure. Although to some, being a workaholic is literally an addiction which is hard to break, don’t expect from getting married, that career person, is going to transform into homely house husband or wife, or change their habits at all.

It’s important to find out, how this person manages their work/life balance, as spending Friday nights alone, for extended periods of times, can soon make a person to feel neglected, and cause for resentment.

How much time will they have to spend with you, and would you be satisfied with that?

And how do they like to unwind?

Do they make you laugh?

Laughter is the cure of many ills. And it’s amazing how many people end up in relationships, where they can’t actually have a good laugh with the person.

What’s their sense of humor style. Are they sarcastic, dry, or witty? And do you laugh at their jokes out of politeness or do you really get it?

Can you make each other laugh? It’s a really bonding experience which is often underestimated. And couples, who can laugh together tend to sail through the good and bad times far easier.

What are their religious beliefs?

You don’t always have to believe in the same faith, but the important thing is knowing what you both believe, and how you express those views, are they willing to accept the views of others who have a different faith? And if you plan to have children, how do they want their children to adopt these beliefs?

What are their political beliefs?

Again like religion, you don’t necessarily have to have the same beliefs, but do they have any radical views, which could later cause conflict? What would their ideal world look like?  What changes would they like to see in the world, and how comfortable do you feel about that?

Their lifestyle choices

Do they drink once a week, or go out on a binge? Do they laze around on the couch at weekends, or lead an active lifestyle, regularly hitting the gym? Are they a smoker?

What are their vices, do they have any addictions or previous addictions? These are things to take into account, if you’re a fitness fanatic, are you going to be satisfied with a couch potato who’s down the boozer every night? And if they have a previous addiction, how might you handle it if it were to resurface?

What are their views on Marriage?

Marriage is of course not about just the wedding day, but spending the rest of your life together.

So aside from getting caught up in the excitement of diamonds, and frills, it’s important to know how they view the concept of Marriage itself.

Is Divorce ever an option and on which grounds?

What do they expect to change once you’re married?

And what essentially does marriage mean to them?