Inspiring Interview – Matthew Williams of Love, Laughter & Truth blog

Inspiring Interview – Matthew Williams of Love, Laughter & Truth blog

I met Matthew when I put a shout-out on Facebook offering a couple of free dating photo shoots for guys in exchange for  being able to use their photos for PR purposes. One of my dating contacts put us in touch. I sent him the Hey Saturday pre-shoot questionnaire before we met so I knew, from his answers, that we’d get on really well. But I had no idea how fun and easy a shoot it would be. Matthew is full of stories and so easy to talk to and what I loved most was how all his life experiences have helped make him very emotionally intelligent; I found myself agreeingwith everything he was saying about dating. Find out more his views on dating here and don’t forget to check out his blog, Love, Laughter & Truth. All photos taken by Saskia Nelson for Hey Saturday

What made you start a dating blog? Lots of women do it but it’s quite unusual for a guy. 

The decision to start my blog wasn’t particularly thought out – 16 months on from the end of my marriage and after subsequent ups and downs with dating I found myself in a difficult place in the lead-up to my first Christmas as a single person for 20 years. On the spur of the moment I decided I would write about it, and that’s what I did. The main themes of my blog emerged very quickly – divorce, dating and depression, three things that I’ve learned a lot about in recent years, for good and for ill!

I guess it’s pretty unusual for a guy to write about these things but I’ve always been an open person and once I started to write I realised that it was something that helped me and that could help others facing similar challenges, particularly men who may not feel as comfortable speaking about such things but who nevertheless have to deal with them.

The bulk of my followers tend to be women although I’ve had a number of friends contact me upon facing the same issues in their own lives and it feels good that they can find some comfort reading about my experiences.

best dating profile picture

What are the key things you’ve learnt about yourself since starting the blog?

The main thing that I’ve learned is just how much writing helps me.  Writing about my experiences allows me to make sense of things, to put a bit of distance between myself and the situations that I have found myself in; it enables me to take a more objective view of things and to take the lessons that are available through the inevitable challenges.  I’ve also learned that I can articulate myself in writing in a way that I can’t otherwise; that has been a bit of a revelation to me, and a very rewarding one.

best dating profile photo

What would be your top tips for people dating post divorce? 

Mainly that there is no timetable and no formula.  Date when you feel ready to and enter into it with no expectations.  Take each date as a night out and a chance to get to know somebody, rather than as a meeting with the potential love of your life.There will inevitably be false starts, disappointments and maybe even some downright disasters but try not to take it personally, that’s life and not everybody is going to be your cup of tea and vice versa.  It’s important to treat people with decency and respect, we’re all looking for happiness at the end of the day and if someone isn’t for you it’s best to let them know rather than dragging things out and stringing people along.

Trust your instincts about people and judge them on their actions more than their words – it’s much easier for people to say the right things than it is for them to consistently do them.  If they’re into you you really shouldn’t be having to wonder about it and for the most part you’ll know from their actions whether they are keen or not.

Learn as you go, learn more about yourself and what you want from a partner and don’t settle for less than will make you very happy, life’s too short to settle.

Finally, don’t lose faith that the person for you is out there somewhere, either waiting for you to walk into their life or about to be struck by an unexpected but very happy surprise!

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What’s your own experience of online and offline dating been like? 

A rollercoaster!  I’ve met a lot of people, most of whom have been very nice but I think it’s rare that the spark is there on both sides.  I try not to take that personally, the chances of meeting someone that you can laugh with, talk about everything with, with whom you share common values and that you fancy the pants off is pretty rare really, but it’s worth the wait when you find it!

I’ve also made some new friends along the way which has been nice, it can be hard for people that haven’t been on the dating scene to understand just how draining it can be sometimes so it’s good to meet people that you can swap war stories with!

How do you handle the downside of dating?

There have been times when I really wondered whether I would ever meet a decent person to enjoy spending time with; it seems like a simple thing but dating can be very complicated, especially when one or both parties have children.  And then there’s the ghosting, baggage, people that lead you on…  Sometimes you just need to take a time out, other times you need to dive back in and just forget about those that have proven themselves to be unworthy of your time and attention.  Again, there’s no formula and you just need to do what feels right for you.

good dating profile pictures

What’s your favourite piece of dating advice? 

There’s so much advice out there but most important of all I think is to always be yourself and be honest, you’ll never meet the right person – or keep them anyway! – if you are trying to be someone that you’re not.

Dating can seem very difficult and complicated at times but when it comes right down to it, when you meet someone that you click with and it feels right then it’s pretty simple – you know that you want to be with that person and they will want to be with you, no matter what the inevitable challenges along the way.

When you meet that person, hang on to them!

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get back into online dating

I talk a lot on here about the importance of creating visually compelling dating photos. But creating emotionally compelling dating photos is important too.

The ideal dating profile is both visually and emotionally compelling.

But how can you create an emotionally compelling profile?

Well a good starting place is asking yourself this question. How do you want to make them feel when they look at your profile?

Do you want them to feel happy, optimistic, inspired, energetic, calm, playful, entertained, warm, loving, goofy, serious, welcome, awed.. or my personal favourites intrigued & delighted?

Wanna try? Write down a few words that sum up what you want to evoke in them when they look at your profile pictures.

Now you have a starting point from which to build on.

If you've written down words like happy, inspired, playful, warm - then keep these in mind, when creating your profile photos. Lead by example. You'll need to be channelling these emotions in the photos as they're being taken. Choose outfits, backdrops, colours and props that align with the vibe you're aiming to portray.

In your bio, think about the words you're using and how you're using them. Instead of telling people about you in a linear way, try telling a story. A genuine story that makes YOU feel something. Chance are, they will feel it too.

The minute you make someone feel something - something that they want to be feeling, you’ve created a meaningful connection.

And your dating profile, in essence, is a tool to help you build these connections.

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #dating #profilephotography
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Oh hello! Just heard from LoveConnection.org that we’re at number 5 in the relationship blog charts in the US. 5 out of 100. Hot dang 🏆🔥✨ Feeling that. And a huge Hey Saturday shout out to @laurenpsyk for contributing such quality articles over the years helping make the blog such a success 👏🏽👏🏽

Since I decided to start my days from a place of appreciation these days, I’m definitely much happier for the rest of the day.

What are you appreciating today?

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #dating
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When it comes to your dating life, what stories are you telling yourself?

All the good ones are already married, so it’s unlikely I’ll meet anyone worthwhile? • I’m too old for this sh*t? • I’m not where I want to be in life, so no one is going to be into me? • Dating is such a chore, I just want it to be over? • I have so much going on at work, I don’t have time to meet anyone?

It’s worth being mindful of the stories you create for yourself around your dating experiences. I know, from experience, that they can hold you back.

In my early days of online dating, I used to tell myself that because I’m a bit of an introvert who’d lived on my own for many years, I couldn’t imagine finding someone I could handle living with. Surely they’d drive me up the wall, just by being in my space... never mind all the change they’d bring into my routine!

After some years of this, I came to realise that this wasn’t helpful thinking. I seemed to be attracting guys who would do just that & feed into my negative bias. And then the more that happens, the more you want to believe your story, of course.

I was repeating this story many times to friends and family and it dawned on me that perhaps I was creating my own negative outcome. The more I spoke this ‘truth’, the more men came along who lived up to it.

I needed to test out a new approach. I decided i needed to change tactics and see if I could attract a better result.

I dropped that story and instead told myself, that when I met someone who was a good fit for me, our lives would mesh together beautifully.

I’ve lived with Giles now for 10 out of the 12 years we’ve been together and our lives mesh together beautifully. I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t have attracted him into my life with my old, unhelpful narrative holding me back.

What dating narrative are you telling yourself?

#dowhatyoulove #youareenough #lovelife #youareworthit #creativevibes #goodvibesonly #startup #entrepreneur #brand #personalbranding #creative #Selflove #selfworth #loveyourselffirst #loveyourself #badass #loveyourlife #dating #single #photographer #datingphotos #mindsetreset #psychology #onlinedating
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What I love about helping our clients visually share their story in their profile pictures, is that it actively encourages them to step back from their busy lives for a hot moment and look more deeply into their values, their lifestyle, passions and vibe.

If you roll with it, it can become a perfect opportunity for reflection and growth as you take a moment to think about what you’d like your dating app photos and profile to say about you.

It’s a gift in a way.

An opportunity to get closer to figuring out who you are, who you want to be, what you want and, crucially, who you want to be with on this journey. This feels pretty cool to me. It’s not easy and I know there are clients who push back. But it can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself and for your love life ✨

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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The best dating app profile pics give people an insight into what it would be like to date you and be in a relationship with you.

If dating is the main thing happening in your life, though, you’re probably going to struggle to enjoy the dating process.

It becomes a much more enjoyable experience when you focus on creating a good life for yourself ... whilst making sure to set aside time and space for dating within that.

Plus, as soon as you start throwing yourself into creating a good life for yourself, you’ll find it easier to create eye-catching profile pictures that reflect who you are and what you’re about.

People are drawn to people who are passionate about things and engaged with the world around them, so you’ll notice a much better response to these kinds of profile pics 🙌🏽

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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✨ The Unexpected Benefit of Dating During a Pandemic ✨

Online dating is challenging at the best of times... but throw in a highly contagious, deadly virus, confusing government directives & national social distancing mandates & it’s no wonder people have been struggling since the start of the pandemic.

Because of this, over the last year, there have been shifts in how people approach dating... but could they, despite everything, actually be beneficial?

Trust has taken on a whole new significance. People are having to weigh their emotional and physical needs against (life and death) safety concerns.

With this in mind, it’s not a surprise that research is demonstrating that people are craving deeper connections with the people they’re meeting online.

For anyone who is over hook ups and looking for lasting relationships, this is good news.

People are asking themselves questions like ‘is this someone I could handle another lockdown with?’.

Many people are being more intentional about who they spend time with. And lockdown has taken away the noise and craziness of regular life, opening up space to get to know the people we’re dating in a different way. People are focusing on getting to know them emotionally and mentally before connecting physically.

Many are shifting into slow dating, it seems, and research is suggesting this may last long after lockdown has ended.

*this is an excerpt of a blog post I’m writing about the unexpected benefits of dating during a pandemic. I’ll share the link when it’s done, if you’re interested 👀

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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I don’t know who needs to hear this but we’re gonna be back in action soon in the UK, doing what we do & love ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Very excited for this.

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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Choose profile pics that tell people what it would be like to date you. What it would be like to be in a relationship with you. This will help you attract people who resonate more with your vibe.

Show them who you are, what you love, where you like to hang out, what you love to do.

Showing up authentically in your photos will help secure more and better quality dates 🙌🏽.

#onlinedatingphotographer #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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Wait what? If you’re not doing this already, here’s a super simple way to increase the attention you’re attracting online.... by 27% according to @tinder.

As an experiment this week, swap out your leading photo if it doesn’t clearly show all of your face. Swap out pictures of your face that are in profile, half hidden in shadow or by sunglasses, anything like that.

Choose, instead, a good quality, well-lit, smiling close-up of your face and shoulders.

Make sure your smile or laugh is a natural one - you’ll know by checking to make sure your eyes are engaged in the smile too.

They’ll be the tell-tell crinkling of your upper cheeks. This is important to check as people are subconsciously drawn to genuine smiles and put off by fake ones.

And make sure your eyes are looking at the camera. It’s more engaging. Your eyes are the most important part of the photo - it where people look first and subconsciously decide whether you’re trustworthy or not.

OK, let me know how you get on. Oh yes and don’t forget to include bright red somewhere in the shot, if you can, to really maximise the attention you’re attracting to your profile.

#tinder #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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Whether you’re aware or not, your clothes are telling people a powerful story about you.

They can reveal things like what mood you’re in, what kind of lifestyle you lead, what you’re into, how much money you might earn and even how you feel about yourself.

Wow, ok. Super revealing. (And also I’m really glad no one has been able to see what I’ve been wearing the last month or so 🙈).

But, that said, there’s evidence to suggest you don’t have to dress how you feel... but how you want to feel. Brilliant!

This means, when you’re heading out for your dating photoshoot and on dates, you can choose clothes with intention. Ones that make you feel sexy, confident, in control, feminine, cool, flirty, formal, informal, comfortable or whatever you want to say about you. Keep it authentic though. The clothes need to feel right, don’t force it.

I love knowing that simply by tweaking your outfit, you can improve your whole mood and uplift your confidence levels 🔥🔥

#pyschologyofclothing #clothing #fashion
#singlelifeproblems #singlelady #singlewomen #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #datingprofilephotography
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It’s party time at Hey Saturday HQ 🌿

We have just started a partnership with @onetreeplanted. For every Hey Saturday photoshoot we sell, a tree is planted in Ethiopia.

I’ve finally woken up and realised you can’t build a just and equitable society on a planet that’s been destabilised by human activity.

The fights against climate change and racial injustice are deeply intertwined as marginalised communities are disproportionately impacted by it.

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with trees through my forest bathing practice and they are pretty dang magical at helping to save our planet.

The tree planting project in Ethiopia links environmental restoration with income generation, providing the local community with the knowledge and tools to conserve their land, protect their water supply and create a sustainable, diverse economy for future generations 🙌🏽

*Huge thank you to David Attenborough whose powerful documentary, Our Planet, needs to be seen by everyone. It’s a huge fuck-off wake up call. We’re killing off the planet and marginalised communities are already suffering for it.

#tree_magic #trees #onetreeplanted #planetearth #savetheplanet #savetheearth #racism #equality #equalrights #lifeonearth #forest #forestbathingtherapy #ethiopia #planetearth #healthyliving
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💋9 indulgent ways to be your own dang Valentine💋

If you’re single today and feeling it, maybe it’s time to get indulgent and celebrate yourself and your most important relationship ever. If you can be someone who makes YOU happy, that’s literally the most important thing.

Plus, being single is cool af and always worth celebrating when you can. Here are 9 indulgent ways you might celebrate yourself today... give me a shout if you have others 🙌🏽

❤️ Dress up
❤️ Fill your day with positive affirmations spoken out loud to the mirror and then repeated in your head like a background mantra (sounds woo woo, but once you get over that, this is pure awesomeness)
❤️ Go back to bed and indulge in some sweet, sweet self-loving
❤️ Treat yourself to something a bit special (buy yourself a nice present online, something you’ve had your eye on maybe)
❤️ Pick up some flowers for yourself - you’re gonna be home a lot to enjoy them this week
❤️ Take a social media break & focus on doing exactly what you fancy doing
❤️ Take the focus off yourself for a while. Phone your gran, write a letter to an old friend, make a donation to a charity, buy from a black and /or LGBTQ+ owned business or something like that. (Also do that last one whenever you can). Doing something nice for someone else is always a guarantee to make you feel good
❤️ Cook, bake or make exactly what you fancy eating right now, however indulgent
❤️ And my personal favourite- dig out your bike, skateboard, rollerblades or whatever you have lying around that you loved doing as a kid outdoors - head out to the park and celebrate that kid inside, they need letting out to play now and again and today seems like a great day for that...

#singlelifeproblems #singlelady #singlewomen #singlemen #singleandreadytomingle #singleandsearching #singlelifestyle #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #onlinedatingsucks #onlinedatingfail #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #valentines
#galentines
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