The problem with promoting only getting married once. 

How delightful it would be, if we could all fall in love just once. If noone experienced heart break, we could all meet ‘the one’ and get married, have 2.5 kids, grow old together and die together, holding hands in a nursing home. 

Unfortunately life doesn’t work like that. In the wise words of little mix (!) “You made my heart break and that made me who I am” heart break changes us, it teaches us. Being in different relationships help us to work out what we want, and don’t want in a partner. 

Life happens. Sometimes you give everything to a partner and it still doesn’t work out. That’s okay. You have not failed because a relationship between TWO people did not work out. ‘It takes two to tango’ and all that jazz. 

The real issue with posts like this is the stigma it inadvertently applies to people who do get divorced, who do get married more than once and who (heaven forbid!) do have children with more than one person. 

You don’t have to have a cereal box family. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. Children can thrive with one parent, two parents or even more.. there is no ‘normal’ family. (I think we can all vouch for that one!) 

What really concerns me is that many women* in abusive relationships will say that one of the reasons they did not, or do not want to leave is the fear of the stigma attached to being a single parent and also getting into another relationship. This is not helped by many perpetrators using this to their advantage and convincing their partner that no one will ever love them again because of this, everyone will look down on them and that the kids will not thrive in a single parent family. This reason alone should be enough to end the stigma of marrying more than once or having children with more than one person. 

So for all you people who only want to marry once, no divorces, no cheating. Make sure you want it for the right reasons (because the person you’re with is the right person for you.) and don’t worry too much if it doesn’t work out. Life happens. 

*I have lived experience with women from abusive relationships naming this as a reason for staying. I have no lived experience with men from abusive relationships saying the same thing, however I have no doubt this would also be a problem for them. 


A year of dates

The idea is to plan one date a month for the next year. I saw it a while ago on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try for my partner for our first anniversary.

Here’s how I did it:
Step one: Think of some date ideas. I picked some dates that I always wanted to try and some I thought he like might to try. I looked online and scrolled through loads of ’50 things to do with your partner’ type posts. Also worth looking what’s going on in your local area, any events coming up in the next few months etc. Groupon also helped me to tie together the last few ideas. See bottom of article for my 50 top date ideas.

Step two: Decide how you want to put it together. I went into an office/art supplies shop and managed to find a display book and some paper/card. I considered a scrapbook or a folder but they didn’t feel right for what I wanted. I’ve seen them look quite good with envelopes too. Do whatever feels right for you.

Step three: Get some scrapbook materials. I had a lot of these left over anyway from a scrapbook I had made however I got together lots of stickers, transfers, photo holders, different papers, scraps of material etc etc. Don’t forget the glue and some double sided tape or glue dots also come in handy. Shops like the works, hobby craft and qds are good for this as well as local craft shops.

Step four: Write it all down. Plan it. Make sure you know what you are doing on each page before you make it. Particularly if you can’t change it once it’s done eg: you make it in a scrapbook. Make sure you check the expiry dates of any pre-bought tickets! Plan to do it before it expires, write it on the page if necessary so you don’t miss out! Note: I wrote down how many of each letter I would need to make the months of the year which helped when I was buying the stickers!

Step five: Start making the pages. Be creative. I made some pages with envelopes and the tickets inside, some I drew or printed pictures of things to do with the date. Some I made a guessing game (the photo shoot) some I made a whole page depicting the date (go karting, picnic on the beach at sunrise) and some I just wrote down what we were doing. I’ve seen some where people buy gifts to go with each date for example a small prize for a games night date. I’ve also seen (if you’re organised/have enough money) people put away enough money to spend on each date for example money for a babysitter or money to buy an icecream on the beach. I quite liked this touch as it seems more prepared however I didn’t have enough money at the time to do this so some of my dates I’ll be paying for at the time.

Step six: Once each page is made I then bought the date. I did this last incase I made any last minute changes, for example zorbing was going to be punting! I can’t stress enough to check the expiry dates! Most of my dates I bought from Groupon although you could also look at experience days, spas, theatres, events etc. Hopefully you’ll have already planned this stage you’ll just be buying and printing off tickets. Buy earlier if the tickets are likely to run out.

Step seven: Gift your partner, thank me later.
Kim’s date ideas:

Here are 50 of my tried and tested date ideas. I’ve been on or want to go on all of these dates. Bear in mind I’m not the most active person so you could always include active dates if that’s your kind of thing!

  1. Zorbing
  2. Bingo
  3. Salsa /dance Lessons
  4. Couples makeover and photoshoot
  5. Ghost Tour
  6. Pumpkin picking
  7. Ice bar
  8. Winter wonderland (London)
  9. Christmas tree buying and decorating
  10. Games night
  11. Food crawl (starter,main and dessert in all different places.)
  12. Bar crawl
  13. Cocktail night (set amount to buy ingredients for a signature cocktail whosever tastes nicest wins a prize)
  14. Karaoke
  15. Go karting
  16. Spa day- this could be at a spa or you could give each other massages, face masks etc.
  17. Segway experience
  18. Picnic on the beach (at sunrise or sunset for added romance) /day at the beach
  19. Bonfire (don’t forget marshmallows for roasting)
  20. Watch the fireworks, bring sparklers
  21. Theme park or water park
  22. Theatre
  23. Movie night (night in or at the cinema)
  24. Special cinema- outdoor cinema, drive through cinema, bed cinema, hottub cinema- you’d be surprised!
  25. Flower market
  26. Punting
  27. Pedalo or boat ride
  28. Wildlife park
  29. Aquarium
  30. Mini golf
  31. Arcade
  32. Fair
  33. Carnival
  34. Circus
  35. Local fete
  36. Local tourists- visit tourist hotspots you never go to
  37. Day out in London-possibilities are endless here! Check out trip advisor.
  38. Scare day- zombie experiences, haunted house, ghost hotspots check out Google!
  39. Find somewhere with a great view- could be a local park or an attraction like the London eye or the shard. Everything is more romantic with a pretty view!
  40. Swimming
  41. Trip away together
  42. Visit a local farm or petting zoo
  43. Watch the sunrise or sunset -why not go out and do it especially
  44. Bookshop date: go to a local bookshop/library and find your favourite book from when you were a child, your favourite book now etc. Read to each other
  45. Learn a new hobby or skill together- language classes, cooking lessons etc
  46. Soft play centre- some of these do adult sessions and it sounds silly but you forget how fun a ball pit is!
  47. Volunteer together- lots of animal centres will let you walk /play with the animals, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen, whatever floats your boat.
  48. Try something from another culture- I’ve seen Japanese tea shops, sheesha bars etc.
  49. Museums/art galleries
  50. Star gaze-why not wake up in the night and star gaze, remember to bring a blanket to keep warm. You could even visit a planatarium

A guide to online dating.. For men

I’ve been on/off ‘dating’ websites since I can remember. I say ‘dating’ because I’m not sure the people of tinder or pof are really looking to fall in love.. but I’ll hear them out.                   Anyway I recently jumped back on the horse and put up a profile- mostly for a confidence boost (hey 2500+ guys ‘want to meet me’!) and partly to get some flirting practise in.                          Here’s some of my pet peeves with countless of guy’s profiles.. I just want to improve these men’s chances of finding ‘love’! 

1. No selfies

Now I don’t know if this only applies to me but I don’t like a man who takes loads of selfies. In this sense by ‘selfie’ I mean arm in photo, pouting, flexing and most probably topless or in bed. Mirror selfies are the worst. All selfies are the worst. 

2. A selfie doing something cool is fine. 

Whist on the subject of photos, normal photos you’ve taken of yourself are fine, obviously.                                                  Funny or interesting photos are the best (my favourite was a photo of a guy reading a book called ‘online dating for dummies’) I don’t want to play a guessing game of who’s who and what you look like, make it clear.                                           For the love of god don’t crop a woman (an ex, obviously) out of a photo, just take a new one. Avoid photos with women if possible. (Don’t ask why, it just makes sense.) If all of your photos are taken whilst you’re wasted and you haven’t got a reeeeally interesting bio, I’ll probably swipe left. 

3. No kids. 

Why include pictures of your children on your dating profile? It’s great that you love your kid.. it really is, but I don’t need to know what they look like! Save that for later! If you’re going for cute, try a puppy photo. (Men=100x sexier with a puppy) 

4. ”Just ask.”

Possibly the single most annoying phrase used on every other persons bio. Also see ‘I don’t know what to write here’, ‘I’ll fill this in later’, ‘If I fill this in we will have nothing to talk about’ etc. No. Stop being lazy. We have nothing to talk about because I can’t spark up an interesting conversation from ‘just ask’  so we are left with the insanely boring ‘hey, how are you’. (I’ll move onto that later!) 

5. You’re a chilled out, laid back kinda guy. You love any kind of music. You like a night out sometimes but you’re more than happy to stay in, cuddle and watch Netflix. 

So you are just like everyone else then? Don’t list your hobbies/likes and dislikes either, it’s samey. Tell me something interesting. Be clever. Make me laugh. Well written, grammatically correct, funny bios are a turn on. And yes we have ‘made it this far’. 

6. Don’t insult us before you’ve even spoken to us. 

Thankfully this doesn’t apply to everyone but comments like ‘all the girls on here are fakes’, ‘no one ever replies on here, giving up soon’ or general misogynistic ‘sick of girls doing this..’ is not going to make me want you. The worst one I saw was a really cute guy who seemed really nice in his profile until he wrote ‘sick of girls putting their body weight as ‘average’, if you take up two fucking seats on a plane you are not average’. No words. 

7. Hey how are you?


8. Messages

I could go on forever about the content of our messages. I make short, sharp decisions based on our first few messages and probably am a bit brutal in the process. (Hey there are a lot to go through! Ha. ) So few words of advise; I am not your babe or honey and won’t ever be if you call me that straight away. Keep it interesting and give me something I can reply to whilst showing you how great I am. Obvious copied and pasted intro messages are a little insulting, and I hate being asked if I fancy getting to know each other? (Surely that’s a given if I reply?!) I’m not giving you my phone number or going meet you straight away so wait until I’ve deciphered that you aren’t going to murder me before asking. Don’t hassle me to reply, I’ll do so when I get the chance and I won’t ever reply if you hassle. Last but definitely not least; if you just want sex that’s fine, I respect that you’ll admit that given that it may put some people off before they’ve even spoken to you but for the love of God please please don’t send us pictures of your penis. 
So there you go, you may now go forth into the world of online dating equipped with this new knowledge… Good luck. And if someone could write a guide for women too that would be just fab. 

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