When I was about twelve years old, my best friend and I packed our little duffle bags with clothes, muesli bars and a box of bandages. We were planning to run away, (on her horse to America) and meet some wounded soldiers we could tend to. Watching Gone With the Wind too many times will do that to a girl.
We never stopped to really analyse where we would meet said soldiers, nor whether they would have the time to meet us. (It didnâ€™t even occur to us at twelve that the whole scenario was a total fantasy; until we were very cold and standing by the top gate).
But now, Australians have a new way to meet people in uniform looking for love.
Uniformdating.com, a prominent UK online dating service, has just launched here in Australia to help people in uniformed professions meet each other. Doctors, Nurses, Firemen, Police; the list goes on. Each of these uniformed service roles bring a unique set of job challenges and hours that can often make it difficult for them to meet Mr or Ms Right.
Â Being on call, dealing with people in times of crisis, long hours, working in high risk conditions; all of these elements can make meeting the right partner in a relaxed environment pretty darn difficult. Â After eight years in the UK, Uniformdating.com felt it was time to bring their tailor-made dating solution to Australia, a place where these everyday heroes play a big part in our communities.
But what about the reality of online dating and what does this have to do with me?
I canâ€™t say I have any first hand experience with â€śinternet datingâ€ť per se. I do however, have a whole lot of experience in meeting up in real life with people that Iâ€™ve met online, and Iâ€™ve learnt a lot that I can share. In fact the very first time I meet someone from the Internet, Iâ€™d met him on a BBS (bulletin board system) in the days before the internet as you know it! (His name was Phoenix and we met up at the milk bar).
Here is the advice Iâ€™d give to anyone wanting to try online dating:
- Go into each exchange with your eyes wide open.
- Never give out your home address, personal particulars, bank details, motherâ€™s maiden name (you get my drift)
- Always organise your first meeting in a public venue and, if you can, make it a group date.
- Make sure that someone knows where you are and when you are expected to return. A great way to do this (and an added security benefit) is to send an MSS pic of you and your date to your contact at the beginning of the night, and another once youâ€™re home safe and sound.
- Be honest about your expectations of what you want from a relationship. Thereâ€™s no need to go into the first date with a wedding planner, but by the same token if youâ€™re a homebody and you pretend to be into adventure sport to impress someone, itâ€™s going to end in tears.
- Never give anyone money; even if their cat / grandmother / child needs an organ transplant.
- Remember that good relationships take time. You may really hit it off with someone and think youâ€™ll be together forever (this goes for friendships too), but only time will truly tell the measure of a personâ€™s character.
They tell me joining is easy.Â You can join for free in the standard membership, which allows you to create a profile, upload a video, and use the search function. Once youâ€™ve created your profile you also have access to five free messages with your matches.
To get the most out of the site and all its features, itâ€™s $14.99 a month to upgrade to a full membership. This full membership will give you complete access to all aspects of the site including chat, messaging and upcoming new features.
Uniformdating.com is now open for business in Australia if you fancy finding yourself that special someone. (No box of bandages required)
Disclosure- brought to you by Nuffnang and Uniform Dating