Natalie asks :

I have recently ended an 11 year relationship and I’m 34. All my friends are in relationships. I have tried dating apps but have found no one real. I am a lesbian and need some advice where I can meet new women that I can go to on my own.

Our Resident Real Fairy Godmother Michelle Zelli answers one of our reader dilemmas: Click here for original article

All my friends are in relationships

All my friends are in relationships

Dear Natalie,

It can be a shock to the system when we step into the big wide dating world after a long-term relationship ends. Eleven years suggests you’ve naturally undergone personal change and growth. In other words, you’re not the same woman you were. This is the perfect time to take stock of your changes, review your current criteria and your red flags. What did you learn about yourself, and your wants and needs, over those eleven years? What are your deal breakers vs nice-to-haves?

Take time to step back and re-discover yourself and who you’ve become. We often lose a little – sometimes a lot – of our own identity with a partner. It’s easy to make the mistake of forging new ties before the fresh, post-relationship, new you has emerged.

It can help to write a list of qualities you value in a partner. They are unlikely to be the same as when you entered your last relationship, becoming consciously aware of your current dating criteria is a powerful exercise.

When you have connected with the current you, why not ask your friends and family to go through their own contacts to see who might be a good match for you? Birds of a feather really do stick together and who knows, your friends could be harbouring a wonderful connection just waiting to happen!

Dating apps can be a jungle, it seems we have to kiss a lot of frogs before our prince, or princess, arrives and for many of us that’s just too much to bear! But it’s worth remembering that 2017 research shows 19% of married couples met their partner online. Even more surprisingly perhaps are the surveys showing that half of British Singles have never asked somebody out on a date face to face.

If you do pursue the online path, a common problem to watch out for is all too often lesbian and bi-women are seen as a tick on someone’s sexual bucket list. Women encounter requests by ‘bi-curious girls, looking for a gay girl to teach all there is to know’.  Then there are the abundance of heterosexual couples searching for someone to have a threesome with. These are signs of a dating femme fatality waiting to happen!

It seems dating apps have given free reign to the flaky, snaky and shaky brigade to play en masse. Take heed and proceed with caution and care, the good girls are out there! A brief phone chat can save hours, days and sometimes weeks of wasted time. Great text chemistry often evaporates the moment connection moves to chatter, it’s your sign to move on. If the call lights a little spark for you, just arrange to meet for a coffee, keep your eye on the clock, an hour max. This way you’re minimising disappointment but maxing up opportunity of meeting single, likeminded women, even if there’s no face to face romantic chemistry. It sounds as though you could do with a footloose and fancy free friend or two to have a giggle with and let your hair down, whilst exploring a few fun nights on the town!

It sounds corny but check how you’re beaming…. What are you sending out to the world? If you’re feeling bruised and a little battered from your romantic break up, take time to reset your belief system. We attract potential partners at the level of our self esteem. When we love and value ourself, we attract a partner who values us too! Karmic Coupling is powerful and puts you back in the control seat!

Up your odds of meeting people by striking up conversations when you’re out and about! Friendly people love friendly people, whether at the bus stop or in the supermarket queue. You might be surprised where a simple conversation, whilst grabbing your Starbucks, leads!

Summer is a special time with festivals at the top of my list for a safe and vibrant place to meet likeminded souls and stretch our comfort zones in a healing and positive way. Many people head to festivals solo and meet fabulous people who remain great friends and even lifelong partners. Dust off your favourite outfit, sunnies and source a weekend party in a forest or field. Different events have a very different feel, there are literally hundreds to choose from, do your research and remember your lists of criteria. Sorry to sound like a party pooper but make a note to head for the more natural and organic variety …. Soul Circus or Wilderness to name but two, where you’ll be Downward Dogging by day and dancing to DJ decks by night.

Magic really does happens when we get out of our comfort zone. Happy glamping.