As most of you know, this blog was never planned!
The 30 Dates Challenge was a knee-jerk reaction to a bad experience with a boy. I posted an ill thought-out Facebook status, asking my friends if they had any single male friends who might want to go on a blind date with me … and a few days later the blog was inadvertently born.
As a result, there has never been a key message behind the blog. I just wanted to remind myself how fun dating could be. But as the blog grew in popularity, and the dates began to see it more like a competition, ’30 Dates’ has begun to represent different things for different readers.
I know a lot of my male friends read the blog because they find it funny. Their favourite dates are the bad ones, and if they had it their own way, I would spend my life at appalling Speed Dating events!
My married friends read the blog to remember the excitement of dating, and have lived vicariously through me as I met one blind date after the next, often sitting nursing their babies in the early hours of the morning as they read my post-date updates!
A number of my single friends have used the site as a guide to London dating, and a head’s up as to which Dating Sites to use, and which Singles Events to avoid.
And thanks to my honest reviews of Date Venues, and dating etiquette, an increasing number of magazines, dating websites and singles events companies have begun to approach me for my advice (an idea which would have been crazy just three months ago!)
The cool thing about dating and relationships, is that they affect us all in some way. Everyone has their own story. Which is why when I began to think about Phase Two of the 30 Dates Blog, I was taken by the idea of The Experiments. Because I don’t have to be doing these Experiments on my own.
I am just one dating voice.
I have no idea what it’s like to date as a guy. Or to be a lesbian. I’m not a single mum using internet dating, or a Sugar Daddy, or a Cougar Cub. I don’t know what it’s like to be married, or divorced. Or God forbid, widowed.
There are countless faces to dating. And everyone’s experiences are completely different.
One of the really cool things about 30 Dates is that people genuinely use the site for dating advice, and recently I’ve received some really touching emails from people who have been inspired to date because of the stories I’ve told of my crazy summer.
And so, whilst I’ll obviously continue with the mad, funny dating tales (because to be honest, that’s the most fun part for me!), I also want to widen the breadth of dating knowledge and experiences on the blog, and make 30 Dates a true representation of what it’s like to be young(ish!) and single in 2013.
This is where you guys come in ….
I need 30 Different Daters. When I say ‘Different’ – I mean different to me.
The Experiments are broken down into 30 separate categories, and I hope to investigate each of those topics in a number of ways, including having write-ups from people who have a different stance or experience on a particular Dating Topic. Take ‘Family’ for instance. Whilst for me, as an orphan, that might be the confusion of living up to what I think my parents would have wanted me to find in a partner, or the reality that my parents will never be at my wedding, for a single parent, the idea of ‘Family’ and dating means a very different thing.
Have a look at the Dating Categories, and if there’s a particular one which you think applies to you (from a Dating standpoint) and which you would be happy to write or talk about, then please get in touch. Ideally I’d love for the volunteers to be happy to write their own articles – so they are truly written in your own voice, not mine. However if you’re really keen to take part, but not happy writing, please still let me know.
I’ll introduce all the blog contributors with a ‘Dating Questionnaire’ of sorts (see below) – so you can tell the blog readers a bit about yourself and your dating history. You’ll be given a Blog Nickname, and if you like, your photo can go up on the blog (but if you’d rather not, that’s not a problem!).
And then the fun begins, and you can have actual input into the 30 Dates Blog, and the Dating Experiments!
If you want to apply to be one of the ‘Different Daters’, please contact me either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or over Twitter @30Dates.
Send me a brief email about why you’d like to be involved, and any previous writing experience you have. If you can highlight what makes you a ‘different dater’ to me, that would be great, and also if there’s a particular Dating Experiment Topic that you think you could contribute to, please let me know which one. In fact, if you want to go ahead and fill out the questionnaire below (just for me for now) it would be really helpful!
Please don’t be offended if you don’t get picked – if anything, it will be because I think you’re too similar to me! (Which I clearly don’t think is a bad thing!)
And don’t be put off if you’d like to take part and are not single, as sometimes I’m definitely going to need a ‘married voice’ on the Blog.
Below is an example of how I will introduce new contributors on the blog … You don’t have to answer all the questions if you don’t want to, but it kind of reminded me of the silly emails we used to send around as teenagers, so made me grin filling it out! (I also realised, as I started filling it in … it looks pretty similar to a Dating Site profile … so you never know, you might end up getting some offers from readers in the process!!)
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Blog Name – Miss Twenty-Nine
29, oops, oh God … 30! 😉
Relationship Status – Single, for just over a year
Sexuality – Straight female
Religion – Atheist
Height – 5’8”
Body Type – Athletic (despite not seeing the inside of my gym for the last three months!)
Job – Banking (and part-time ‘Dating Expert’ allegedly!!)
Education – Masters Degree
Hobbies – Bikram yoga, gym, extreme sports, writing, blogging (!), going out, pub lunches, pub quizzes, Rose and Lemonade
Ideal Partner – Tall – 6’2 to 6’4 – sporty man, ideally into rugby and cricket. I’m a sucker for hot young guys, but have learnt my lesson and realised most guys aren’t ready to commit until they hit at least 26. Normally attracted to pretty boys, with thick hair – not fussed about hair colour etc. Ideally would love to date a professional guy, who has travelled a lot and enjoys adventures. Decent skiier or snowboarder is a definite advantage. Needs to be confident, but not too arrogant, and able to hold his own in social scenarios.
Longest Relationship – Hmm … slightly embarrassing one …. 6 months, maybe?? (I’m guessing my boyfriend when I was 14 doesn’t really count?!)
Why do you think you’re single? – Because I’m really picky. I set high expectations for myself, and expect the same in a partner. I’m not ready to settle, and have spent a lot of my life single, so am very independent. And now I’ve become a bit of a bloke in my attitude to dating, thanks to this blog!
Good Relationship Traits – I’m honest, committed, affectionate and enjoy spoiling people.
Bad Relationship Traits – I get too excited too quickly, I over-think stuff, I can be a bit jealous, I get bored easily
What Dating Experiment Do You Want To Do? – All of them! They were my idea!
How would you describe the way you date? – Up until this Challenge I was really picky. I’d only ever go on dates with guys I’d already established I really fancied, and would spend lots of time before dates working out if there was any real future with a guy. If there wasn’t, I wouldn’t bother going on a date.
Recently, I’ve begun to enjoy being single A LOT more. This Challenge has made me realise just how much fun you can have on a date, even if you’re not attracted to a guy. I’ve also begun to appreciate just how many cool, different date options there are out there. Instead of searching for ‘The One’, I just want to enjoy myself, and feel happy about being single, and in control of my own love life.
What do you find most attractive in a date? – A good sense of humour, enthusiasm, a sense of adventure, wit
What do you find least attractive in a date? – Rudeness, an argumentative nature, poor personal hygiene, laziness, lack of enthusiasm
Best Ever Date – Hinthunt and Dans Le Noir with a guy called The Enigma
Worst Ever Date – I once went on a date where my Date was really rude about all the people sitting near us on the Tube (Good old Mr Twenty40)
Celebrity Crushes – Max Irons, Liam Hemsworth, Alex Pettyfer, Greg James, Henry Cavill, Stephen Amell (Phew, at least the last two are older than me!)