Dating on your doorstep

Dating on your doorstep

WE are most definitely in an age of supporting anything that is local to us. Whether we are talking about local shops, businesses or service providers, the overriding mantra is BUY LOCAL, and the concept makes perfect sense. Why travel when you have everything you need conveniently based right on your doorstep, and the products you need are tailored exactly to what you want.

Using local businesses makes us feel good because we know we are supporting our local economy AND at the same time we enjoy feeling connected to our community as there is great sense of ownership and responsibility.

There is an increasing trend for doing things and buying things near to where we live. We relish the familiarity and security that buying local gives us. Buying local makes us feel GOOD. And it is easy.

We are positively embracing buying our food locally, so why not apply the same theory to online dating?



After all, dating sites are service providers, the taboos of yesteryear are now a distant memory, and they have to be based somewhere. More often than not, trying to find a real person as opposed to a multi billion dollar business behind a dating site is pretty impossible. is based in rural Oxfordshire and is owned by two entrepreneurs who both live locally and have strong local connections. The team that supports the business is also made up of local business owners with backgrounds in web design and development, PR and communications and, of course, accounting and business services.

The whole project is deeply embedded into the local Oxfordshire community and provides a specific dating service for people in that area. With the city of Oxford and its dreaming spires right on the doorstep, there are plenty of amazing venues for dates and a wide selection of local single people who want to spend time with each other, rather than embarking on arduous journeys in the hope that this might be ‘the one.’

Members can be secure in the knowledge that the site they have chosen to use (which is, incidentally, currently free) is owned and controlled by real people who live in a village probably not that far from them. Add to that the fact that at least two of the people involved in developing the business have racked up over 100 Internet dates between them, and most definitely know what they are taking about, and any qualms you may have had about joining a dating site should quickly disappear. The business is ethical,  transparent and has a website jammed with free dating tips and advice.

While the big boys of Internet dating such as Match, Pof, OK Cupid and others remain undoubtedly the market leaders, smaller sites like are championing the cause for “buying” local and using local services.

Clare Beaney, is one half of the business partnership. She said: “I have had a lot of internet dates, and I didn’t want to travel hundreds of miles to meet someone. The big sites do have hundreds of thousands of members which is great, but do we really have time to wade through a large percentage of ‘unsuitables’ who live too far away? was created to provide an open and honest approach to Internet dating and to offer single people an enhanced online dating experience. We have taken this one step further by limiting our members to an area local to Oxford and Oxfordshire. We accept this this could be a business risk, but conversely also feel it makes us unique in what is a very overcrowded market.”

With many newbie online daters feeling overwhelmed by the well established dating sites, and horror stories regularly appearing in the media about online dating as a whole, is friendly, small and has a nurturing, community feel to it. The idea is to link up local people with similar interests and see if Cupid takes over.

Anona Hessler, the other partner in the business added: “We set out to provide an honest Internet dating experience, and that is what we will continue to do. Oxford and Oxfordshire has a wealth of interesting single people all looking for love, and we aim to bring them together by making matching as easy as possible. Why waste time connecting with people who are half a day away, when you can spend that precious time getting to know someone who almost lives on your doorstep?”

Dating rules! What rules?


I love my job. In fact, I think I probably have the best job in the world.

I can work at home-in a onesie if the mood takes me-and write about things that I really enjoy and have knowledge of. For the purposes of this blog, that ‘thing’ is of course onlinedating,and dating in general, a topic that I have extensive knowledge and plenty of direct experience of, good, bad and ugly. In some cases very bad and extremely ugly.

However, happy as I am to share my dating experiences with everyone, I am finding that quite apart from writing about dating, I have become the person that single friends call on in times of dating crises. Delighted as I am to listen, advise and soothe, I am not entirely sure I ever really provide them with the answers they really need.

For example, the old classic question of ‘how long should I wait until I text him back’ just keeps on cropping up and to be honest with you I am simply not sure what rules actually apply. Over the years, many books have been written about the so-called dating rules, but do they help us shape relationships or potential relationships or do they hinder? Do they hold us back and lead to missed opportunities or protect us from a broken heart?

I have heard single friends of mine refer to the rules many times, and each time I have to question why they are putting so much trust in, and emphasis on, something that has largely been made up!

Personally I think we should throw out the rule book and I have said this many times before. The rules change depending on the book you read anyway, and the so called expert you call on, and I am just of the opinion that life is too short to play games.

If you meet someone, you like them, you get with them and you feel like you want to spend some more time getting to know them then why wait for three days to answer a text?! It is dating madness and potentially relationship suicide. Dating is tough for men and women so don’t make things harder by playing waiting games.

For a start men are scuppered from the word go because whatever they say or do can so easily be wrong or misinterpreted, and as for women if we are too keen they don’t like it and if we are too standoffish then we run the risk of missing out!

I know these are both generalisations, but really my friends just get out there! Go on some dates, if you like each other then arrange to meet again and if you don’t then politely move on.

We are now in the festive season, a time of goodwill to all men (and women) so do yourselves and your dates a favour, be honest, be safe, have fun but don’t waste time tying yourself up in knots trying to play by some made up rules. Just go with the flow and who knows who you might find in your Christmas stocking this year?

Take the plunge!


Take a plunge and create that perfect profile!

AT HQ we are all a quiver with the sheer excitement of the launch of the amazing NEW way to date on line!

We all know it is a bit scary out there in cyber space, who knows who you might bump into (or what!!!) but our lovely new website is the perfect way to start your internet dating career, as well as a fresh start for anyone who has tried it before.

There are loads of useful tips and bits of advice on the site to help you create a really brilliant profile.

Having a killer photo is the first step as it is really important for any potential dates to see your lovely little face beaming out at them from the screen!

Our dating site is all about the H word! HONESTY! So although it might be tempting to upload a photo that is ten years old, or of your younger sister, do not give in to this terrible temptation! Everyone is beautiful after all, and we are ALL different so get a good friend to take a few nice shots so that you can choose your favourite and get it out there!

When it comes to writing your profile you might want to enlist the support of that good friend to lend a hand because writing about ourselves is really hard! Remember that once you write something about yourself it is OUT there so choose your words carefully and think hard about what you want to reveal…save a bit of info for when you meet your date!

There are lots of great tips elsewhere on the website, but just as a little reminder here are our top five:

Be honest, open and clear
Saying that you like to go out and stay in just makes you sound, well, normal! Instead be a bit creative and give some detail about what you really like to do
Keep it lively and chatty, remember this is your shop window to the world of internet dating!
Don’t moan!
Don’t talk about your ex or go on endlessly about your children. I am sure you DO have adorable kids but this is about YOU not them!
Have fun! This is your time to shine! 

Hope to hear from you soon!

Sarah x

Are you HONESTLY dating?


HAVE you promised yourself that 2014 will be the year when you find love online? Have you tried dozens of dating sites only to end up disappointed, dejected and disillusioned? Well a brand new dating website launches this month that is guaranteed to blow away those January blues! is a brand new dating experience that offers a fresh and unique approach to finding love on line. To celebrate its launch, there are 500 FREE  memberships up for grabs.

The business is owned by best friends Anona Hessler and Clare Beaney, and mum of two Clare has a wealth of experience of internet dating. She met the love of her life online, only to have him snatched away from her following a tragic accident. Clare, 40, said: “I know that it IS possible to find love on line because I did! Lots of people criticise dating sites because people use out of date photos and embellish their profiles with loads of stuff that isn’t true! This is why we have launched Our approach is totally different to other sites, we encourage members to be brutally honest and really buy in to our concept of being transparent, truthful and totally honest about who they are and what they are looking for.”

The site differs from others because as well as encouraging honesty, it has a unique feedback system that is not available on other sites.

Anona, 42, who is married with three children added: “We know that we are operating in a highly competitive market and that we needed to offer something much better to our members. Looking for love online is serious, we are offering a service that can change people’s lives and it is vital that we offer really good value and a quality service. Our feedback system gives members the chance to rate their date. We hope that this will really reinforce the need for honesty and help people with confidence, personal development and to make some positive changes to their approach to dating.”

It has been reported that some dating sites may buy databases of details to boost their membership and give the impression that the site has tens of thousands of members.

Anona added: “Everyone knows that this can be common practice, but there is nothing worse than visiting a site, seeing loads of photos of available, attractive people and then parting with your hard earned cash, only to find that the profile you were interested in was fake. We don’t work like that! We only want REAL people on our site and that is why we are offering hundreds of free memberships to launch the site.”

To be in with a chance of winning a free membership, all you have to do is follow@honestlydate on Twitter or visit the Honestly Dating Facebook page and like us.


Note to editors. For photos, interviews and more information, please contact Sarah Edwards