Playing Matchmaker: Helping Others Find Love

I’m not saying that I’m an expert at this by any means, but lots of my friends do seem to come to me to ask for help and advice with their love lives. These past few weeks saw me talking through the options with a friend of mine. He’s an older divorcee and really keen to find someone new to date seriously, and hopefully have a second chance to do all those fun things like moving in and making a home together.

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But, as I said to him, you have to start at the beginning. You eat an elephant one bite at a time, and you start a relationship with a single message or conversation. But how best to start those conversations, especially in during a local pandemic when talking to strangers is frowned upon, and socialising with people outside of your household has become a thing of the past?

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There’s loads of ways to get online and start exploring the world of online dating. Apps where you can swipe right, apps that tell you when someone nearby is looking to meet, and giant global websites that can facilitate connections all over the world. However I’m not sure that these giants of the online dating world are the best way forward. These days, as I told my friend, I tend to go more local.

So I recommended a Gloucestershire dating site to him and urged him to give local dating a try before he went for one of the big, household names. This way, as I said to him, you’re in with more of a chance of meeting someone nearby who you can more easily start to build a life with.

I think that local dating sites need a slightly different approach. Be more guarded with your personal information than you might be on a larger site or app. It’s much easier for someone local to identify you and your habits based on casual information that you might give out in conversation. But on the other hand, it’s much easier for you to both find a mutually convenient place to meet – you’re both local to each other, so this should be a cinch!

The other tip I have for local online dating is that if it all goes wrong just try to make sure you leave things on good terms if possible. You’re likely to see each other around your local area in the future, and it can be a rubbish experience for all concerned if those interactions in the future are awkward or even downright unpleasant. So be polite if you say you don’t want to see someone again whenever you can.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how my friend gets on. He signed up a week ago and he’s already talking to someone who he’s hoping to meet for a coffee after this lockdown is over! As is true in so many areas of our life, going local really does seem to be the way forward. So have fun and stay safe. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable.