Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Be careful what you post on social apps

In the last few years, hooking into the dating scene has become increasingly easy; you can "meet" potential partners without leaving home. This means that privacy is a real issue and one that you need to take very seriously. It's why many people prefer to use a traditional dating agency like RSVP
But even the best dating agency and singles club cannot help you maintain your privacy if you are not careful about what you are posting on the internet.

If you have weak privacy settings on Facebook, everything that you have ever posted can be seen by potential / new partners and kill off a relationship before it starts. Remember:
  •  Don't post anything you do not want a potential partner (or new friend) to see.
  •  Avoid comments that can be interpreted as bigoted.
  •  Remove or un-tag unfavourable pictures and be careful of your album privacy settings
  •  Keep an eye on what is posted on your wall and remove anything distasteful that your friends have posted.
Also, run a periodic audit on your privacy settings to make sure you're revealing what you're happy to reveal. Bear in mind that Facebook makes changes to privacy settings from time to time, so keep up to speed with these.

You also need to be aware of the ability for your images to be geo-tagged which means that a geographical id has been added to photos, videos, websites and SMS messages. Smartphones and some digital cameras automatically capture this information. Using particular tools and programs, a person determined to find out information for their own purposes can follow you around, virtually.

Whilst Whatsapp has pretty good privacy settings (but bear in mind this may change now it has been bought by Facebook), people can find images and postings and then message you if they have your phone number. Your Whatsapp picture may define you, so make sure you choose that image carefully.

Again, just remember to check your privacy settings if using Instagram. For example, the Photo Maps app will show all your geo-tagged pictures on a map - making it very easy to find where you have been and with whom.

Twitter is a very casual way to find someone and see what they are following or tweeting. Many random people follow each other but remember it just isn't as private as Facebook or Whatsapp. Anything you post on Twitter can be easily shared around the world. Even David Cameron was caught out when it was discovered he was accidentally following an escort agency.

The key message here is to be conscious about what you are sharing online and far-sighted about the effect of that sharing on relationships in the future. In today's easy-come easy-go world, it doesn't take much to put off a potential partner, so keep your social media cards close to your chest.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

What is chemistry and can I influence it?

So much of our feedback from members after dates, here at Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP, is that the introduction we provided was great, but there was just no chemistry.  And this got me thinking about whether or not there was anything that you could do to help give chemistry a nudge when out on a date.

So, first of all, what do we mean when we talk about the chemistry between people? Well, I believe it goes further than just instant physical attraction. I think there needs to be an emotional and intellectual connection with the person you are with. And this means the brain needs to be making the connection so you get that feeling of ecstasy and bliss when you meet someone you like.

When we are in a pleasurable state, our brains release dopamine, the pleasure chemical. Linking dopamine to pleasure is a simplistic summary of what happens, but we do know that when dopamine is around we get a feeling of happiness, bliss and sometimes addiction. So strong is the effect of dopamine that, even one dopamine "high" will cause the brain to increase our desire for more and therefore react positively to repeat the same experience. That's got to be a good thing if you want a second date!

Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of attraction:
  • Remember how you hate going out to the gym, but once you have exercised you feel pretty good? Well, that's down to dopamine. So, why go for a walk or a bike ride for you first date? Or you could go on one of our fantastic adrenaline singles events or singles activities.
  • Scientists tell us that we need tyrosine to convert L-dopa into dopamine in the brain. One of the best natural sources for this is chocolate - so you can see that the Milk Tray man was correct - bringing chocolates along as a gift on your date has got to be a good idea! And there is evidence to show that when dopamine is released it dilates the pupils which replicates the effect of love and lust. Bananas, dairy goods and avocados also have the same affect - so maybe you want to make sure they are on the menu if you are going out for dinner!
  • When we laugh, the brain is stimulated and dopamine is released - creating that sense of euphoria. Furthermore, a recent study revealed that women have evolved to appreciate humour and to appreciate a man who can make them laugh. So now we know that women really do find funny men more attractive — so what are you waiting for? Make them laugh!
  • Ditch the phone when you are on a date! I've said before that just the presence of your mobile phone can have a negative effect on the connection and the quality of our conversations. What we also know is that we can get a high from just the sound of a text coming onto your phone which has been caused by dopamine and the addictive nature it can have on the brain. What this can mean, when out on a date, is that you get more pleasure from the interaction with your phone, than you do with your date, and this masks the real feelings of attractions you might otherwise have.
So, when there is so much riding on making the right first impression, don't leave things to chance. Make sure you do everything you can to make a great first impression.

If you want some more help or advice on dating have a look at the RSVP web site or at out other dating blog posts.