Author Archives: Stephen Sutherland

About Stephen Sutherland

I've found my dream job in founding Social Circle. Having met people from across the globe, travelling and experiencing many, many different cultures, I can speak with almost anyone and drum up a conversation in any situation.However, being Scottish probably means I'm also full of waffle. I've always found assisting in the enhancement of people's social lives very rewarding. Two kids also help to keep me grounded.

The Reason Why I started Social Circle.

 

Recently I questioned the reason why I started Social Circle

Recently I questioned the reason why I started Social Circle

I recently listened to a Tedx Talk on Finding your Why.  It really got me thinking. It reminded me of why I started Social Circle in the first place – and my vision for the future.  Believe me I needed the reminder. When Taxes are due and I am having to explain myself three times to get stuff done, you can easily lose sight of your passion.   So I sat down and thought carefully about the  reason why Social Circle exists, and why it will always be my passion.

#1 I was just like you.

I was in my thirties when my marriage broke down, and I made a life-changing decision to move to Manchester with my job.  I had no one. My colleagues were nice enough but going out for ‘ a swift one’ after work wore thin. I decided I needed to take action to go out and meet new people. Back then, there was little to cater for my age group and interests.  So I put an advert out inviting people to meet me in my local pub and the rest – as they say – is history.

#2 Being Sociable is a Life saver.

As much as you can enjoy the single life, loneliness in a big city can pave the way to depression and other mental health issues.  Having people around you that share your humour and interests can be lifesaving at times, and the key to a long happy life. My friends from the early days of Social Circle are still by my side – and kicking my ass.  It gives me great pleasure in seeing Social Circle members form deep and meaningful friendships with each other. #Notallheroeswearcapes

#3 Life does not revolve around a single interest.

There are plenty of social groups catering for a single hobby, such as hiking or photography.  I joined a few walking groups myself. However, I was quickly discouraged by the fact that when it came to exploring life outside the ramblers group that people were not so keen.  I wanted to meet people like me, who had a thirst for life and all it offers. As it happens, my Friday night drinking buddies were also up for exploring life outside the Slug & Lettuce. Soon, I was arranging walks, nights at comedy clubs and meals out.  Today we offer 100+ events every month.

#4 It takes f**king courage to introduce yourself to others.

So you want to meet people. Great. Then the fears kick in and before long you have talked yourself out of going. You find your excuses and then Boom! Another year has flown by without you meeting anyone new. I get it.  Truth is that it takes a lot of courage to introduce yourself to anyone, never mind walk into room full of strangers. It’s the reason why –  when I could not be in 100 places at once –  I enlisted the help of our expert hosts. Our hosts will run out into the rain to rescue you when you are frozen with nerves at the doors of a restaurant. I make sure they send everyone a text, or call nervous newbies, because I know exactly what it takes to turn up to that first event.

#5 I wanted to explore the world with others.

I love travelling.  It feeds my soul. I am happy to travel alone, but some experiences are so much better shared with others.  I found that travel for single professionals can be a little pot luck at times – you can be changed through the nose, or have an amazing time.  So when my Social Circle members suggested we organised weekends away, I jumped at the chance. It is through these budget friendly weekends away that I have managed to travel extensively, tick off a few of my bucket list activities and meet the love of my life.  This year, we are going to so many exciting new places I can hardly contain myself. I am even gatecrashing the Galway trip as a co-host as I have always wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher.

#6 I got sick of small print and hidden costs.

I am a man who likes to keep things simple and straightforward.  No – I don’t want to read 100 clauses of legal mumbo jumbo. I certainly don’t want to turn up to your free event and find I am being charged for the privilege.  And if I am paying something, I expect to get what I paid for. I found a lot of places short-changed me, so I was determined to be open and honest with my own members.  That the reason why you get unlimited free events with your membership, and anything that does cost that little bit extra is clearly marked on the calendar.

#7 Because I just love bringing people together.

When it come down to it, I am a big ol’ softy at heart.  I love bringing friends and family together, and still regularly rally them round to mine for pancakes or a movie.  Over the years I have run Social Circle, I have seen shy wallflowers bloom into confident socialites. People stepping out of their comfort zone and finding their passion and purpose through trying new activities.  I have introduced many husbands and wives to each other. Everyday, I hear what a difference being a part of Social Circle is making to our members.

Its that, when it comes down to it, that is why I battle through the hard times.

I just love seeing people find happiness.

So tell me, what is your Why?

Q & A Why should I join Social Circle?

Why join social circle? Well for starters we are your kind of people...

Why join social circle? Well for starters we are your kind of people…

 

In my last blog, I invited you to send me questions you wanted answering as part of my regular Q & A spot.  You didn’t disappoint! Many of you asked ‘Why should I join Social Circle?’ I am glad you asked. With so many free groups like MeetUp out there, it is a question that will cross the minds of anyone thinking of joining.  So I put together a little list of reasons that makes social circle so good.

Firstly, it is important to know why I set up Social Circle. After travelling and living abroad during my teens and twenties, my life turned upside down when my marriage fell apart. I found myself moving to Manchester to accept another job.  In my thirties, totally alone and in need of company, I put an advert up to meet like-minded people. The rest was history. From that, I built a business, found the love of my life and introduced hundreds of people to their best friends and significant others.  Social Circle is my passion and life purpose.

  1. Time Saved Scrolling.

Today, people are still craving connection with others.  We look to modern technology to help us make friends.  You can either meet individuals or groups with a single common interest. Firstly, there is not just one group on MeetUp or similar, but hundreds in some cities.  What if you want to do more than one activity? Are you meant to spend yet more hours finding other groups? At this rate you can easily spend more time on the app than you can out socialising. Then there are the various charges for tickets, or admin costs!   

I know variety is the spice of life, which is why our events calendar is jam packed with wonderful events from meals out to cinema nights and it is all included in one price. We are web and phone savvy too, so you can just book on any event with a single click.

2. No Drama

Have you ever tried to organise a night out with your friends?  How about a weekend away? First there is the alarming rate at which people develop a mystery illness and have to drop out. Then there is always someone who wants to go to someplace else and is very vocal about it.  Or you end up the only single one amongst couples. At Social Circle there is none of that. When we organise our calendar, we book everything. The tickets, the table and the time. Our weekends away are organised with military precision.  If you want to join us – great! If not, then there will be something else you fancy.  All you have to do is show up and meet people who like the exact same things.

3. Help with the nerves.

I am a confident and sociable guy, and I get nervous when I meet new people.  I can completely understand how terrifying it must be if you have anxiety in social situations or are more introverted.  Can you rely on amateur organisers to understand? Some will be sympathetic, but others may not have a clue and it can be difficult reaching out and asking for help.  

Our hosts always call and text ahead, and will run out and meet you if you have an attack of nerves at the door. I am also proud to say we have members who are warm and welcoming and will always take any nervous newbies under their wing.

4. Fresh and Familiar.

Part of why we reach out to social groups is to meet new people.  So imagine you meet a kindred spirit on an event, forget to swap numbers, and never see them again. Ever.   Lets face it, we don’t just want to meet new people – we want to make new friends. It can be difficult when there are so many people attending an event that you end up being the new guy (or gal) at every single event.  So what is great about being a member is that other people are members too!

We have a members facebook group and regular events means that you will start to bump into the people you gel with more often. Some people have been members for many years and have met their best friends and partners through social circle.   For me, providing a membership encourages people to attend events regularly so you get to meet new people and see some familiar faces, that way friendships can really start to blossom naturally.

5. Your kind of people.

The hardest part of using apps is trying to find people who are – well – more like you!  Maybe you moved to Manchester with your career and are looking to set down roots.  Perhaps you are the only divorcee in a social circle of smug marrieds.  Either way, hanging out with a group of twenty somethings may not bring you the friends you seek.   When looking for friends – we not only want to share interests – but values and life experiences.  We know our members well and many share stories similar to my own. Like attracts like right?  Social Circle is full of great, friendly professionals, aged thirty plus who are just as keen to meet you.

Still wonder if it is for you?

You can reason with yourself, mull it over, and ponder the pros and cons all you want.  Its not getting you off the sofa and out there. If you want to see Social Circle for yourself, meet other members and hear about their experiences, and see how events are organised then come along!  You can attend an event for free

3 Brilliant Ways to Meet New People.

Ready to Mingle? Find out the best ways to meet new people.

Ready to Mingle? Find out the best ways to meet new people.

 

I think most people know that expanding your social circle is key to finding fulfilling friendships and romantic relationships.  As a social guy, I am often asked for advice on how to meet new people. Of course, Social Circle was founded on the principle of bringing like-minded people together.  However, over the years I have learned that certain events make it even easier for people to get chatting and make new friends. So here are my top 3 activities to meet new people and make friends.

#1 Go for a Walk.

Walking is one of my favourite activities.  Whether it be a leisurely stroll around local woods or something more challenging, walking has several benefits.

  • it gets you out of the office and moving which contributes to your health and wellbeing.  
  • Fresh air and great views are great for mental health.
  • You can talk to other walkers at the same time!

There are loads of MeetUps and similar groups that focus on walking, although our members tell us they prefer the way we do things rather than going it alone in a crowd.  However, the fact is however you you do it, it gives you time to chat to other people and exchange details. This makes it a winning activity for meeting new people.

#2 Find your Foodie Heaven.

Lets face it, we are a nation of food lovers.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a food snob then it is easy to find kindred spirits in Manchester.  Firstly, have you tried signing up to group cooking lessons?  It is a perfect way to meet people who are also refining their skills.  Foodie events like food tours of Manchester and taster evenings also give you a chance to mingle with other food lovers.  Finally, look for events at your favourite restaurants  – what better way to get to know people than sharing a meal?

Plus you can check for any disgusting habits before you take someone on a date.  Sloppy habits can be dealbreakers for some you know!

#3 Mingle All the Way.

If you are looking to meet new people then take the bull by the horns and get out there.  There is literally zero chance of you meeting new people if you are sat at home.

Maybe you can initiate a conversation with a random in a bar, but if that makes you nervous, then why not meet up with others as part of an organised night out?  

Just a reminder – meet and mingle parties are not all about dating – they can be a great way to let your hair down and meet new people in Manchester.  So if you are keen to expand your social circle then why not look for a few mingle events in the area? Maybe you will be lucky enough to join in the fun at one of Manchester’s hottest venues, totally free of charge (hint, hint)   If you have never been to a meet and mingle event – then we tell you what to expect here.

Of course, rather than searching for various events, you could just join us and chose from 100s of fun events each and every month. 

An Open Letter to Britain’s Loneliest Woman

Emily Fox, 32, describes herself as Britain's Loneliest Woman. (c) Caters

Emily Fox, 32, describes herself as Britain’s Loneliest Woman. (c) Caters

Yesterday I read about Emily Fox, a 32 year old single mum who has dubbed herself Britain’s Loneliest Woman.  The message that it is not just the elderly that suffer from loneliness resonated with many people across the world.  My heart broke when I read her story, so I wanted to write an open letter to her, and anyone else who may feel exactly the same.

Dear Emily.

It takes great courage to admit that you are lonely, and to reach out to people in order to make friends.

I know this, because I have been there too.

Just over 10 years ago, my marriage broke down and I moved halfway across the world from Australia to the UK.  A  father of two and in my thirties,  I didn’t know a single soul in Manchester. 

I could have easily isolated myself and simply gone about my routine.  

Get up, work, watch TV, have a drink, go to bed. Repeat.

Emily says shopping is the only chance she gets to interact with others. But it need not be that way  (c) Caters.

Emily says shopping is the only chance she gets to interact with others. But it need not be that way (c) Caters.

I know many people that shut out their loneliness by doing the same thing.

But I didn’t.  Instead I decided that I was being given a clean slate to find myself and build a dream life.

I know it can be difficult socialising when you have children.

Family comes first in my book. You have three beautiful children, and dedicate your time to them, but there are still lots of things you can do.

You are not the first parent to crave adult conversation, and you will not be the last.

 Family fun days, inviting other parents out for a coffee, or organising a walk in the park with dogs and children will enhance your life and theirs. Even when you are doing the weekly shop, go with someone and chat over the groceries.

Reaching out is the first step.

I know since sharing your story, lots of people have reached out to connect with you.  So your courage in speaking up is already leading you down the path to fulfilling friendships.

Social Media is great for finding like-minded individuals.  Personally, I find that fulfilling friendships are formed from meeting in person. There is something really special when you find a connection with someone who laughs with you and shares your passion in life.

I found great friends  (and my dream career) by reaching out to others.

I found great friends (and my dream career) by reaching out to others.

I put an advert up inviting other professionals to join me for a drink.

“What if no one showed up?”  But they did.  Men. Women. Every single one of them just like you and I.  Craving connection and friendship with others.

My new friends and I went from our weekly Friday night at the pub, to going abseiling in wales to going on holiday together.  I loved every minute.

It was how I founded Social Circle.  Now I have my dream career helping people, just like you, meet new people and find new friends.  I even found the love of my life this way.

Finding friends need not be difficult.  You just have to know where to look.

Finding friends need not be difficult. You just have to know where to look.

It is important to carve out time in your diary for you.

I know you say you don’t have much support, but it is out there. Whether it is an hour or two, use your family, willing friends or a childminder to give you a much-needed couple of hours break from the kids.  Use that time to try out new activities and do the things you have always wanted to do. Don’t feel guilty (or let anyone make you feel that way). Taking time for you is important and benefits the whole family.

Always wanted to paint? Look for art workshops and PopUp painting in your area.

Want to travel?  Learn a language of a country you want to visit.

I promise you will inevitably start making friends with people who share your passion.   

Do you fancy letting your hair down and going out for a drink with a few adults?   There are plenty of ways you can achieve. Start looking for groups like Social Circle – or do what I did. Start your own.

I wish you the best of luck Emily, now is the time for a glorious new beginning filled with friendship and fun.

Lots of Love.

Steve x

How a Digital Detox let me connect with Loved Ones.

We rely on our phones for so much. But is it time you took a digital detox?

We rely on our phones for so much. But is it time you took a digital detox?

Have you ever felt so tired and cranky that you are just completely joyless?  I used to think it was the time of year or that business was getting on top of me. It was only when I read more about the effects of being glued to my phone did I realise that I really needed to switch off from the world and take a digital detox.   I found it was the best way to reconnect with my loved ones, and myself.

Believe me it was a tough call.

After all I run a business and need to be able to answer emails and calls from members.  My business is based on connecting people after all.

But I found myself scrolling through my emails instead of watching my favourite TV programme.

I found myself checking my phone, even briefly, whilst at dinner with friends and family which annoyed them intensely.

That all too familiar feeling of guilt and annoyance when the messenger bubble pops up.  ‘Can’t you all just leave me alone’ I wonder.

A quick scroll through social media late at night when I couldn’t sleep doesn’t seem too bad, yet I kept waking up cranky and not looking forward to my day.

Sound familiar?

I was shocked to find that smartphone addiction is a thing. We rely on our smartphones for everything, from paying bills to connecting with family and even booking social circle events.  I know people who liken misplacing their phone to losing a limb.

Yet, if we are not careful we can find ourselves hunched over our screens, taking in all the drama of other people’s lives and disconnecting from our own. It is damaging to our relationships and our emotional and physical health.

So I took action.

I vowed to take a digital detox.

Ironically, I used my phone to book a holiday for me and Louise to Malaga. 

Me and Louise relaxing away from our phones!

Me and Louise relaxing away from our phones!

I delegated any Social Circle stuff to Cathy and my team of amazing hosts.  I confess at times I did cave in and I did send a few emails only to get told forcibly ‘ thought you were on holiday’.

Whilst it was hard not reaching for my phone, after 24 hours I felt less stressed and got the best nights sleep in a long time.  I found myself looking up as I explored the old towns with my wife, hand in hand. We got some good quality time together and found ourselves laughing and talking over our evening meals rather than looking at our phones. 

It is the best thing I have done in a long time.

If you needed convincing as to why a digital detox may be good for you, then read this article for inspiration.

In the meantime, I have had some ideas of my own as to how I can maintain this sense of calm and not let my phone rule my life.

Switch off notifications.

Your phone constantly pinging causes you to reach for it constantly.  We touch our phones a minimum of 80 times per day. Half of the notifications are not even important and cause you to lose focus.  Change your phone settings so you only get notifications from certain apps.

Switch off an hour before bed.

The blue light in phones and laptops can have a disruptive effect on our brains, interfering with our sleep patterns.  Further, energy and happiness can be quickly zapped by getting yourself embroiled in social media drama meaning the last thing we think about before we hit the sack is Julies latest brawl with the in-laws or Pete’s political standpoints.  

Use your phones flight or do not disturb mode so no one calls. Leave it in another room and buy an old fashioned alarm clock.  If you must have your phone near you at least use ‘night mode’.

Have a phone free day a week.

Easier said than done but if you have a day off from your laptop and phone then you will really feel that you are getting a break. You will boost memory, creativity and concentration for switching off so put your emails on auto respond and peel yourself away from facebook.

Imagine what you can do with all that free time?  Perhaps read a book, have a lie in or connect with nature by going walking or cycling.  

Put your phone on flight mode when you are with friends.

The saddest thing I saw recently was a family at a restaurant all glued to their phones. There is no excuse really. You only need one photo (if any) of your food and when everyone has arrived then put your phone onto flight mode and put it away.

 If you are attending one of our events, then vow to put your phone onto flight mode and put it away so you can connect with like-minded people through good old fashioned conversation.

So no excuses. Switch off when you can so you can connect with those around you.

manchester events social circle people mobile phone

A Review of our New Website and Brand image.

 

We took on your feedback when building our new website.

We took on your feedback when building our new website. 12 months on – what do you think?

When Social Circle first started over 10 years ago, we built our brand around fun, friendship and adventure.  However, people and businesses mature and evolve and needs change. So, just over a year ago we launched our slick new website so it provided a clear message of who we are.  We look back on the past twelve months, and let you into our secret plans to make our website better than ever.

Everything Changes (but you).

Members are at the heart of everything we do. Our investment into a new brand and website was largely as a result of honest feedback from our members.  Thank you so much. We wanted to make it even easier to meet new people and connect via sharing quality time together. Social Circle is now better than ever and it is all because of our wonderful members. (No, I am not crying. You are crying.)

So here is how we made your website wishes come true.

Our Enviable Event Calendar.

We know the event calendar is everything.  You wanted more variety, more events and complete clarity on what was included in the membership.  So we gave you exactly that. Social Circle offers over 100 events every month, from cinema nights to walks in the country. We have even made it easier to satisfy that particular craving for a type of event by listing events categories.  The majority of our events are completely free to attend and our colour coded calendar makes it clear if there are any additional charges.

Everything you need to know  in a few clicks.

The old website was full of information, stories and pictures. But what started as a small site grew into a bit of a monster!  So we streamlined everything to make it easier to find your way around.

In this modern age of technology, the website is now the first way new members will connect with us.  We included our story, our philosophy and oodles of testimonials as well as clear links to our taster event.  We are pleased to see this worked, with more new members joining us this year than ever before.

Your Social Life organised on the Go.

In a few short years we have gone from clunky PC’s to organising our life on our chocolate bar phones.  We  streamlined the website so it could be accessed easily on PC, tablet or phone.  Now you can plan your weekend during your commute to work.

Making it easier to connect.

We wanted our website to be more than a piece of marketing, but a way to feel connected to Social Circle hosts and members.  Our blog is now packed full of interesting articles from ‘5 reasons why friends are the best’ to our most popular blog ‘Happily Single or Desperately Seeking Someone.   You can send us a cheeky tweet on Twitter and follow us on Facebook. Feel free to share events with your own friends and let them know how much fun you are having at a weekend.

Our new look.

R.I.P old logo….

The old logo was meant to portray a couple of mates sharing a laugh over a drink.  The last website was intended to invigorate the senses and inspire a sense of fun with bright, primary colours and bold headlines.  However, what worked in the early naughties does not work now. Market research suggested that we were sending out the entirely wrong message. Eek!

We brought in specialists in branding, making it clear that Social Circle is an inclusive and welcoming environment to meet new people.  We cater for a diverse range of interests and care about one another. Our brand needed to reflect the fact our members are intelligent and professional individuals.  We are very happy with the resulting logo and website which is a lot more sophisticated. More importantly, feedback suggests you love it too!

So what does the future hold?

We are continually updating the website.  Some of you have noticed that the events pages are getting a face-lift as well as more testimonials appearing across the site.  We created a fab new join us page to make it even easier to join (if you haven’t already 😉 )

We know you want to connect with your friends within social circle so we are updating the site to make this easier.  So you can expect to see new ways of interacting with other members, including uploading your pictures and discussing the events you are attending. 

We will be adding even more value to your membership by extending our activities to include more UK and European holidays and well as even more activities and events across Manchester and Cheshire. 

But all these changes are down to our lovely Social Circle members. So tell us, friends, what would you like to see in the next 12 months?

Want to meet new people in Manchester? I did and my life changed for the better.

 

Social Circle celebrated 10 years of introducing friends in 2017.

Over 10 years ago, I found myself alone in Manchester after my life and marriage fell apart. I took the first job I could.  I was a divorced 30-something father-of-two in a strange city with no friends locally. I missed company on a weekend. I realised that had to change and I needed to get out there and meet new people. 

My days of picking up strangers in a club were long behind me. I wanted something meaningful.  Something real that happened naturally. Even today, the large majority of people find their significant others through friends. I decided my social life needed a boost.

I told myself that whatever was meant for me, whether it be love or friendship, would not pass me by.

I set up dating profiles on every website going.   I even downloaded those apps and got swiping. But what could I bring to the table?  All work and no play made for awkward and dull conversations and my profile was like every other out there.  I got tired quickly of it all. I am a romantic at heart and believe that a good relationship starts naturally, without pressure, between friends sharing mutual interests.  

So I joined existing social groups. But  they were lacking in so many ways.  I could not find a group that suited my needs as a thirty-something.  It was either boozy nights out for students, gentle health walks for silver-haired retirees or clubs for semi-pro runners.  Come Friday, after a busy week at work, I just wanted fun on my doorstep with people who had similar interests to me. I did not want to be stuck to doing one thing on one night. I wanted my social calendar to work around me.

There had to be more people like me? Right?  Surely other singles were looking to meet new people?

Fortunately my hunch was correct.  Before long I had found other funny, genuine and smart men and women who had also experienced a major life change and wanted to meet new people – but didn’t know where to start.

 A pint at the Slug and Lettuce  turned into hiking adventures, meals out at restaurants and evenings at local comedy clubs.  I found there was always a new friend willing to join me at the cinema or share a laugh at the Frog and Bucket. As my social circle grew, so did my confidence. I found I wanted to try more events as my new friends introduced me to their friends.

It turned out I was doing everyone a favour by starting Social Circle.

 We all want to try something new, but we are often time-poor or exhausted from work (or both!) to organise anything ourselves.  Word soon got around that you could just book an event and turn up. I went from Billy-no-mates to always being the centre of attention at parties. I always had offers of dates.   After all, I seemed like a fun and interesting guy who found it easy to meet new friends!

Soon I had built an action packed calendar with events taking place at top Manchester Venues every night of the week and lots of new people joining us.  People, just like me and you. Soon I had to recruit a team of  hosts to make sure each event ran smoothly and that everyone got a warm welcome.  Of course, all our hosts are also members so know exactly what it is like to be a nervous newbie.

Yet, I am proud to say that after all this time, I am still close friends with the people who took a chance on having a drink with a stranger on a Friday night.

In fact it was one of my Social Circle friends,  who suggested that I organise a weekend away for Social Circle to Barcelona.   It just so happened that a new member Louise, decided that she would book the trip.  It was love at first sight and 2012 she became my wife.

Steve and Louise on their Wedding Day. A Social Circle Success Story!

Who knew that within years after turning up to my first event, that I would have a thriving business,  great friends and have met the love of my life?

So take a chance and step out there.  You never know where it may lead.

Time for a Highland Fling? How to Celebrate Burns Night in Manchester.

 

Every January 25th, Scots all over the world celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns. You will have heard rumblings of some of the Burns supper traditions such as the pipers, the Haggis served with neeps and tatties, and of course…the Whisky!

Have your Haggis and eat it (even if you are Vegan!)

The jewel in the crown of any Burns Supper is the Haggis. A delightful Scottish delicacy made from grains, spices and the innards of farm animals. (Hey waste not want not!). Serve it with Neeps (parsnips) and Tatties (roast potatoes) and lashings of whisky sauce. Even those of you who are doing your bit for animal welfare via Veganuary can join in, as we hear 8th Day in Manchester does a nice vegan haggis. If you don’t fancy the idea of midweek cooking, then just take yourself out to one Manchester’s fine restaurants. The Old Wellington have some fabulous Burns night themed offerings all week 22-28th January.

Read Poetry to your Sweetheart (or friends)

If you are feeling a bit romantic (and want a cheap way to impress your date) why not light some candles, pour your date a drink and read poetry whilst looking deep into their eyes. (Try not to laugh.) We suggest the old favourite My Luve is like a Red, Red Rose. Aww!
Of course, literary-loving singles can still have a fun night in with friends. Why not organise a Burns Supper potluck support, whip up some Whisky cocktails and read poetry around a fire. If you want to get traditional, download some scottish pipe music onto your iphone and ‘play in the Haggis’ (or whatever your mates have decided to bring.)

Engage in a bit of Banter.

One of the lesser known traditions of the toast of the lassies, where selected lines of Burn’s poetry are read out to gently poke fun at the ladies within the room. Then the ladies get their bittersweet revenge in the Lassies Reply. Given this tradition is likely to land you in hot water, we suggest you leave the humorous banter to the professionals and get yourself to a midweek Comedy Night at one of Manchester’s finest Comedy Clubs.

Of course, the more traditional amongst you may want to join in with the ever popular Social Circle tradition of ‘Gate Crashing the Boss’ where we all arrive at the home of Steve Sutherland (a genuine Scot), laugh and make merry, and break into his Whisky collection when he is not looking.

Get tipsy at Manchester’s Best Whisky Bars.

No Burns night is complete without enjoying a ‘wee dram’ of ‘Scotch.’ Whether blended or straight, connoisseurs will know that the water, grains and barrels gives each region’s local Whisky a unique quality. If you want to learn a few fun facts about Whisky and sample a few drams (careful now!) then join us at one of Manchester’s oldest and best known whisky bars, the Britons Protection for a burns night-ish themed evening, with a focus on the whisky.

Book yourself a Road Trip.

We find one night is not enough to appreciate all that the Highlands has to offer. We are offering Manchester-based singles an amazing opportunity to complete a 500 mile road trip through bonny Scotland to discover her beauty and history. Visit tranquil beaches, rugged mountains and the most breathtaking views with like-minded people and relax and unwind as the scenic beauty, magical sights and ancient history soothes your soul.