Feeling Tinder

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Feeling Tinder

Being single is a lot like Brexit, its’s confusing, you wish everyone would shut up asking you about it and despite all the important dates so far nothing has changed. When it comes to dating it just needs to be right once which is more than most of the British politicians ever seem to achieve. With over thirty billion matches to date Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps in the world right now so here are my top tips for swiping right on Mr or Mrs Right!

 

5 Write a bio, in theory Tinder is  possibly the most shallow of all ways to meet a partner but attractions is an essential part of dating. Clearly if you’re on Tinder other methods haven’t worked for you. Cosmopolitan recently surveyed some female Tinder users and discovered that they're 98% less likely to "swipe right" on someone if they don't have anything in their bio. It’s a conversation started if you get a match, a few well written titbits can be as effective as a great profile picture. It gives you the opportunity to avoid the old “hey how are you” opening gambit.

  

4 Good quality photos – I shouldn’t really have to include this but flicking through profiles of both sexes (it’s important to know what I’m up against) the standard in this country is rather poor. From basic things like a dirty lens when taking this photo to unflattering angles you are asking for a left swipe if you don’t make an effort. You don’t have to be a supermodel and please don’t filter the bejaysus out of your pics so that your date doesn’t actually recognise you in person but given the standard of camera phones today a poor profile photo is inexcusable. Some tips are picture one should be a relative close up of your face, a second should be a full body image, (fully clothed for God’s sake lads) other photos can be conversation starters, travel, hobbies friends. Lads remember the more pictures the more chance of getting a match. Women get on average 20 times more likes that guys so to avoid a deluge of message they are much more thoughtful when swiping right, given them something to work with. 

 

3 Don’t over swipe right – Tinder is watching us believe it or night. We all know that Instagram and Facebook have algorithms that determine how many people actually see our posts, well Tinder is no different. If you swipe right on every single profile or left 100% of the time your profile will be suppressed meaning less potential partners see it. The sweet spot is 30% to 70% so it’s rather generous but worth knowing at the same time. Interesting other factors which determine your success on the app according to sources is your rating, it is believed to your attractiveness on the site. This is calculated based on the percentage of people who like you and the percentage who you like back. Apparently once we have our rating we are shown to others at our general level for example a “7” will be show to “6”and “8” but not lower and higher. I find this difficult to believe in Ireland given the population size and based on experience but is possible in larger countries

2 Message your Matches - Another factor determining your visibility on the site is your messaging rate. If you constantly match people and don’t messaged them that’s a black mark. What’s the point in being on the site if you’re not at least going to chat to your match, it’s like training all week and not showing up for the game on Sunday, pointless. We need to stop over thinking dating in the country, match, chat, ask out. I always tell girls I’m not looking for a pen pal, good as technology is nothing beats meeting in person. That is the only way you can truly tell if there is a connection. Meeting for a coffee is no big deal, we are all busy but if you have time for Love Island all summer you have time for a quick date that could literally change your entire life.

 

1 Give it a go -  it’s 2019 we do everything else on our phones, why not meeting your perfect partner there. There’s no shame or embarrassment in it any more, it’s not just a hook up site for teenagers, it’s a legitimate and viable way to meet someone. People often complain to me that there are no single people around, or if there are they never see any of them out. Well if your going to sit on the couch every night watching the soaps at least this is giving yourself an opportunity. Identify the type of partner you are looking for and be mindful of this, is distance an issue, I don’t want to meet the girl of my dreams only to discover she lives in Belfast so my setting are adjusted accordingly. Similarly you might not want to meet a gym bunny when you’re on first name terms with the pizza delivery guy.

 

So there you have it, my top Tinder tips, best of luck and remember if you’re not in you can’t win.

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Lovin Galway

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Lovin Galway

 

At this point most people know that I’m from Mayo but Galway has well and truly stolen my heart, (except when it comes to sport obviously) It’s a truly special place, the old adage of Galway being the graveyard of ambition is beyond a farce, most people’s ambition is to be happy and I’ve rarely seen as many happy faces anywhere else I’ve visited. Here’s a few reasons why I believe its Ireland’s greatest treasure.

 

Festivals

 

The only city on the Wild Atlantic Way is famous for its festivals, some say Galway has more festivals than I’ve had first dates. With 65 festivals that I can think of the figure is obviously much lower than my dating endeavours but it’s still an impressive tally. There is genuinely something for everyone from the most famous and my annual highlight The Galway Races, to the Galway International Arts Festival to a Ukulele Festival in September and everything in between. The diversity in this tiny place is heart warming, easy to see why its Europes Capital of Culture in 2020.

 

Small

 

Galway is technically a city but it’s a town really, while the traffic is a serious issue once you have the car parked up it’s a joy to circumnavigate. Shop Street itself is a tonic, no matter what day of the year you make your way down it’s cobbled streets the vibe is just amazing. You can’t leave Shop Street in a bad mood, even if you get caught in a Galway shower, but if you’re not prepared for a drop of rain in Galway then it’s your own fault, and I know a man that wants to sell you a few jars of Galway air. From end to end Galway is a comfortable walk and with heels you can easily enjoy a tour of the city on a night out.

 

Food

 

In the last few years Galway has become a gastronomic hub with a sensational array of excellent eateries. From Michelin Star restaurants to brilliant barfood, instagramable café’s, epic pizzas, sensational seafood and mouth-watering burger joints, its now wonder the prom is always so busy with people trying to walk off the amazing dishes. I created a list of places I want to try last year and despite working my way through a fair few the list continues to grow. Galway is a treasure for foodies there are a few people in particular that were catalysts for this but it’s great to see the passion for food spread across the city and county.

 

 

Nightlife

 

I often get asked, why “Galway Player” why not “Mayo Player” and its an easy response, you think of Mayo you think of football, you can mention Galway to someone and you just watch them glaze over momentarily as they fondly recall a childhood holiday or a weekend away with friends. Galway is hands down the best place to go out in Ireland, 7 nights a week, 364 days a year you will find a session and a great atmosphere in some or all of the cities amazing pubs. As someone who works in the hospitality industry I am painfully aware of the blood sweat and tears that go into creating the unique Galway spirt. From the buzz of students mid week to tourists in the early evening, to the locals catching up it’s always a good night out in Galway. For a town the endures so much rain it has some exceptional beer gardens and some of the friendliest bar staff you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

 

People

 

Speaking of friendly people that’s probably what I love most about this place. I came to Galway a very shy lad from Bonniconlon but partly down to my love of sport and mainly down to the people I have loved every second in this place. One of my fondest memories was the Galway 2020 announcement, I was on Mainguard Street amongst a 2000 strong crowd awaiting the announcement. After weeks of tireless campaigning in with the business pulled together in an inspiring fashion, I was standing on the podium under the huge screen (where else would I be) and to watch the sheer joy and emotion from an extremely diverse yet passionate group of onlookers was honestly inspiring.

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Christmas Crackers

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Christmas Crackers

Is it just me or does everything last for ages nowadays, with the obvious exception of people’s attention spans. I’m no Grinch but Christmas has been more drawn out than the announcement of the Dancing with the Stars Ireland participants. Christmas is lasting so long at the moment that poor old St Nick has less holidays that’s Irish teachers.

 

Christmas has changed; a lot like dating if you think about it. Back in the day it was a simpler time, we didn’t over think everything and made the most of what we had. The digital era leaves nothing to the imagination, the first week in December the only trees that should be in your living room are on I’m a Celebrity. Now on Instagram when I’m trying to decide fake or real it’s Christmas tree’s not…. Instagram followers.

 

It kicks off with Black Friday which is a lot like Tinder, going for things that you don’t really need or have any interest in, just because you can. Let’s buy that new hoover that plays Westlife’s greatest hit’s when it’s full just because there’s a fiver off it is a lot like texting Sinead in Waterford. You have great intentions at the start but it’s not practical and it fades faster than a Pennys top after one wash.

 

Choice is the problem really, back when we lived our boring not best lives, everyone had the same decorations criss – corssed across the room and nobody cared. Now people are spending longer taking the perfect photo of their tree than took them to decorate the bloody thing. They are getting hashtag “inspo” pics from some blogger who probably rocked up to the nearest 5 star hotel and made out it was her own living room. Thanks to social media and online shopping the possibilities are endless so we are constantly on the look out for the newest and best, just like dating. Imagine being from the West of Ireland 30 years ago, you could probably draw the family tree of every eligible singleton within a 10 mile radius. Now thanks to the power of dating apps I can get rejected by girls all over the world from the comfort of their own living rooms.

 

We are image obsessed, it’s all about perception. A relationship can be over before it even begins due to over thinking. You match a person, you pour over and analyse their social media platforms, you try to preform psychological analysis on texting style, you go CSI Knocknacarra all over their Instagram. Before mobiles it was

 

Landline

Him: You free next Saturday

Her Yeah

Him: Ok see you at 9 outside Moons

 

And then you got on with your lives, imagine that. Imagine not having to whip the girls Whats App Group into a frenzy over the fact that he was online an hour ago but didn’t go into your message. But they managed it, most of us were created without Tinder or Bumble, without POF of Two’s Company, so what I’m trying to say, in my own roundabout way, is CAN WE PLEASE LEAVE THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC AND DECORATIONS UNTIL BLOODY CHRISTMAS

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Best Brunch in Galway

Sunday Brunch has become one of the must have meals of the week and when I’m not togging out in some far flung gaa hotbed in Mayo I try to visit one of Galway’s many amazing brunch venues. Here are a few of my favourites based on nothing but personal opinion;

 Caprice – just over two years old now this is one of my favourite places in Galway. The décor is stunning, the staff friendly and the menu delicious. They host a number of themed evenings during the year which are well worth checking out.

Caprice Cafe Galway

Caprice Cafe Galway

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dela

Dela

When you say brunch you invariably mean Dela, drive through town on a Sunday morning and the queues outside it’s door will attest to that. The interior is superb again, the staff are very welcoming and helpful and the food is sublime. My most recent visit saw an elderly lady stop and ask what I was eating as it looked so good. It was the “posh egg’s” a mouthwatering dish with scrambled eggs, chrizo and prawns. Absolutely devine.

 

https://www.facebook.com/delarestaurant/

Hyde

Hyde Bar

This new kid on the block has to be included and not just because I work there. The interior is stunning it’s an Instagram dream. Hyde is famous for it’s enormous Gin selection but it’s quickly become a very popular brunch venue, the flower wall and Glasshouse are particularly popular areas to sit and enjoy this scrumptious menu.

https://www.facebook.com/HydeGalway/

 

 

Kai

To be fair its ages since I’ve been here but from what I hear standards haven’t dropped a bit. The philosophy of this multi multi award winning restaurant is very simple, head chef Jessica sources fresh, organic produce from local suppliers to create daily menus bursting with flavor, texture and colour. All menus change on a daily basis dependent on what is fresh and in stock from local suppliers.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/kairestaurantgalway/

 

 

Ard Bia

Another very popular venue with waiting times of up to an hour on a Sunday and it’s worth the wait. Located in the Spanish Arch this cosy little restaurant is full of nooks and crannies ideal for catch up’s on the previous nights shenanigans. An exquisite meun with a stylish twist on all your favourite’s awaits diners. I have to add the staff are excellent and understanding especially the lad that was able to tolerate my super fussy friends on Ladies Day.


Ard Bia

Ard Bia

kai

https://www.facebook.com/ardbia/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honourable mentions include, Coco Cafe in Salthill, especailly on a sunny day, Tribeton, 1520, The Corrib Tea Rooms. 

 

Am i missing any? Where is your favourite, let me know! 

Dela

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Environ Friendly

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Environ Friendly

Self care is not selfish!

It’s a quote I heard again recently and absolutely love. A few weeks ago I was invited to Westport to undergo a skin consultation in Gearldines Skincare Clinic after a recommendation from my good friend Hayley Coleman. If you follow Geraldine on social media you will know that she is really encouraging men to look after their skin and is treating Mayo GAA legends like Aiden O Shea and Lee Keegan and boxer Ray Moylette in order to encourage men to look after their skin better. So when I told my friends I was going for a facial I was greeted with replies like, “isn’t it good for some” or “aren’t you good to yourself”! Skincare shouldn’t be seen as a luxury it’s a necessity.

Environ combines the best of science with cutting edge technology to offer skin care principals that provide superior scientific-based skincare for all. The man behind Environ is Dr Des Fernandes who designed Environ to help correct the visible effects of the chronic deficiency of vitamin A that everyone suffers from in the exposed areas of their skin. Few people understand that this deficiency leads to the appearance of major skin problems we develop and attribute to aging and sun damage. 

The formulae of Environ are entirely based on the need to help replenish all the essential skin nutrients lost by exposure to the sun and environmental factors, and at the same time moisturise the skin's appearance. Environ skin care products have been formulated to combat and relieve the harmful effects of today’s harsh environmental changes, specifically pollution and ever-increasing doses of radiation from the sun due to the thinning of the protective ozone layer. Added to these are the modern-day effects of social and work stresses and poor diet. 
 

On my first visit I had an Environ Hydraboost Treatment using Hyaluronic Acid. This holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water. It is used to hydrate and plump the skin reducing premature wrinkles caused by dehydration and general ageing. The facial felt amazing but most importantly I was given a number of products to take away and use. I have been using these for three months now and while this is a relatively short amount of time I can already see and feel the improvements.

Each day I use an Environ Cleanser, Toner and Moisturiser (I’ve just moved onto level 2 of the Environ Vitimin Step- Up System) and Advanced Nutrition Skin Vit A Capsule’s so my skin is getting treated from inside as well as outside.

Now all I need is to sort out the diet and drink more water!

A huge thanks to Gearldine and her team for the treatments and the great advice during the treatments

 

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Light up my life

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Light up my life

One of the most useful tools that I have purchased I have purchased to help with my photography without doubt, a ring light. It is compact and versatile but makes a huge difference to the standard of my photographs.  It works equally well for video too which is my next venture. Photography is incredibly technical obviously but essential for both my blog and my job so it's an area that I am keen to study in far greater detail. 

I've had this ring for about 6 months and find it excellent, I'd say next purchase will a lightbox. What equipment do you guys find best?

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Petite Beaute

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Petite Beaute

Life is pretty stressful and takes its toll on all of us. Between work, events, sport and a social life, it’s rare that I get time to myself. Even rarer that I get to enjoy a treatment that helps me unwind and relax away from the cursed phone.

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Wedding Bells

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Wedding Bells

Any excuse that I get to visit the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point I will grab with both hands. After my amazing recent stay I make the return trip to see the hotels wedding fare. After experiencing the incredibly warm West Clare welcome I knew that all perspective couples would be in for a treat when they met the team.

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Skincare - not just for girls

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Skincare - not just for girls

Blogging has taught me a great deal, about myself, the world around me and the importance of looking after your skin. I have got to try lots of great brands and one of the best is without doubt Clairns. I was recently sent two new products by the legendary French brand.

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Common Scents

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Common Scents

Anyone that follows me on social media will be well aware that I am a big fan of aftershave. As my collection grows so too does my interest in different and scents and brands. I’m not the kind of person that sticks to one fragrance for a while, I like to have a selection suitable for a whole host of occasions.

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Anti Wrinkle Galway

Botox, a simple safe beauty treatment or a shameful, risky vanity indulgence. Talking to the majority of my friends it would appear to be the latter. When it came to getting Botox, like every decision making process in 2017 I threw the question into a trusted What’s App group.

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Yarn - At Standun

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Yarn - At Standun

I am delighted to be hosting a terrific event tomorrow evening 21st of September in Standun of Spiddal. The event in association with Galway Now Magazine promises to be a fun and informative evening. Join us on the eve of Galway Culture Night 2017 for YARN – where traditional meets contemporary in this exclusive evening of style and entertainment!

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Shopping Local

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Shopping Local

I’m all about looking forward: the next gadget, the newest hotspot in town, I’m on it like CNN on Trumps latest daft tweets. However, every now and again it’s nice to enjoy and appreciate some of the more traditional local business’.

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Fancy a Cuppa

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Fancy a Cuppa

Last week I had my first ever cupping therapy session. I think like a lot of people I first noticed it during the Olympics when Micheal Phleps amongst others had those distinctive marks on their back after the treatment. I was delighted to accept the offer from Lorraine and travel out to Claregalway for a treatment.

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. You can get it for a whole host of reasons, friends of mine go to alleviate pain, I just with the goal of relaxation and wellbeing.

To begin I was given a massage with oils and then the suction cups were applied. Lorraine, my lovely masseuse talking me through the entire process gently moved the cups around my back, at all times ensuring that I wasn’t feeling any pain or discomfort. I honestly found it so relaxing, it was such a lovely experience.

The basic principal is that as the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the blood vessels to expand which causes your skin to expand. The cups were gentle moved around my back to stimulate the entire area and encourage blood flow throughout.

I’d honestly highly recommend a treatment, I feel so great afterwards, really relaxed and refreshed. I met a friend just after the treatment and he asked if I had just woken up, as I looked so relaxed.

I think its critical to unwind and relax nowadays. I have always found playing sport an amazing way to relieve stress but as I get a bit older its harder to play as often as I’d like to. This or any treatment that you find helps you to relax and feel reenergized is so worthwhile. Treating yourself a few times a year can have serious long term benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing.

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Feeling Jaded

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Feeling Jaded

The poor old English get blamed for a lot of things in this country, most unfairly but some is justified. The Irish were a randy bunch back in the day until Queen Elizabeth and the gang stopped all the fun.

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Skinny Love

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Skinny Love

Skinny Love I’m generally at my happiest with a large flute in hand, so when the invitation to attend the launch of Thomson and Scott Skinny Prosecco dropped in the letterbox I was delighted.

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Dear Galway Player

Dear Galway Player  

This is the strangest letter I’ve ever had to write but it’s been a while coming. Just over five years ago after an exasperated conversation about the world of dating you were born. It was impossible to predict then the profound change of my life the simple act of setting up a twitter account.

 

In all honestly I was struggling at that time, struggling with my confidence, self esteem and my direction in life. Despite my amazing friends and family I felt lost and it took you, an alter ego, a fictional character to teach me who I really am. The joy and happiness that I have experienced thanks to this blog over that has been immeasurable, but more importantly resulted in my personal development and the restoration of my self-confidence. I have truly never been happier, working in my dream job as part of the marking team for An Púcán, The Connacht Hotel and Active Fitness.

 

The world of blogging has taught me more about life and myself that I ever imagined. Marketing is about standing out and I certainly achieved that, maybe I took the saying that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity” a little too far but I am so proud of my achievements with this sometimes divisive character. If you told me six years ago that I would have written a book on dating and have a regular segment on national radio giving advice, I’d have laughed, proof I guess that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

 

Being anonymous was both the best and worst thing about that blog, now however is the time to part ways. The Shift and Drift lifestyle was a lot of fun but it’s time for me and the blog to move on to the next step. I have been fortunate to work with amazing companies in the past and look forward to working with more and sharing my personal thoughts and experiences. I have developed a previously unknown love of writing and a passion for fashion and male grooming, I hope that the next stage of the Galway Player Blog can be a source of reference to Irish typical Irish guys, like myself.

 

From the bottom of my heart thanks so much to everyone that I’ve met and has supported me on this journey, far too many to mention here. So Galway’s worst kept secret is officially out, see you all soon.

 

Kieran O Malley

The Galway Player

 

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