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Solo Living and Dating for Expats in the United Kingdom

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: July 2013

Solo Living  

According to the 2011 UK Census published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of single-person householdshas increased dramatically in the last few decades, from 17% of all UK households in 1971 to 31% in 2011. So if you are living or moving to the UK alone, don’t worry: there are more and more people choosing a life style just like yours. 

If you prefer a single life in the UK, there shouldn’t be any difficulty in terms of many aspects of living. In most cases, you should be able to find an apartment or a house well fitted with the appliances you need in your daily life, either through an agency or online. Popular websites like Rightmove or Zoopla list most of the properties to let in your chosen area. Their websites can be found here: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/ and http://www.zoopla.co.uk/. You may like to cook for yourself, or otherwise, you can easily collect in person or look up online a nearby take-away’s menu and order some food. Furthermore, living alone doesn’t mean you will be isolated. Pubs, restaurants, clubs, leisure centres and shops shouldn’t be very far away, especially if you live near a city or town centre.

Dating

If you want to find your loved one in the UK, apart from the traditional ways of meeting, dating websites may be a good choice. There are more than 1,400 dating websites based in the UK. If you type ‘dating in the UK’ in Google, you will get more than half a billion entries, including links of dating websites, ranking of popular dating websites, and guides for dating. For example, the Telegraph gives the top 20 dating websites here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/online-dating/3356126/The-20-most-useful-dating-websites.html.

Normally, you need to register and create your profile when you use their services. And of course, you may need to pay for using their services in most cases. Some dating websites do offer free services, however there is a general view that paid dating websites provide better services than free ones. You can subscribe to their services for one month, three months, six months or a year. Some may accept a one-week subscription. Subscription fees are different between websites, but average less than one pound per day for a full membership. There are also some websites providing functions to compare the prices of different dating websites, for example, this one: http://www.datingtrail.co.uk/online.php.

Unfortunately, online dating does not always run smoothly, especially if you don’t have much information on the person you are going to meet. Online dating scamsare becoming a popular way for fraudsters to gain someone’s trust through a dating website, email exchange, or other kinds of dating contacts and lure him or her into giving money to the fraudsters.  Each year, billions of pounds are defrauded simply from subscribers of dating websites in the UK.

You should bear in mind that most of time it’s too good to be true. You can find some dating tips to avoid such scams by searching online using key words such as ‘dating scam’ or ‘romance scam’. You can download the guide to protecting yourself against fraud provided by Action Fraud here: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/sites/default/files/romance%20fraud%20letter.pdf.

If you do find, or you suspect, that you are being scammed, you should stop contacting and stop paying any money to the fraudsters. You also can contact Action Fraud at 0300 1232040 to report a crime or seek advice. Alternatively, you can report fraud online following this link: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime-questions.

 

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