• Healthy connections regulate you, and unhealthy ones destabilise you....
    Leap of faith 1024x682
    Category: Dating Tips | June 28, 2018

    One of the biggest challenges that we face in our efforts to build meaningful, fulfilling and loving relationships is that–thanks to what might be some pretty painful experiences in our past–we might be unclear about how to recognise healthy relationships and interactions. Becoming educated about healthy boundaries as well as having greater awareness of what I call code amber and red issues and behaviour are undoubtedly vital, but us humans do have a tendency to become hypervigilant for potential transgressions rather than empowered.

    We quite simply don’t realise how guarded we’re being instead of boundaried.
    We build walls to protect us from our fear of the past happening again (or to assuage our guilt about where we think we royally messed up either through actions or inherent inadequacy). Despite what might be our increased awareness and knowledge, we play Columbo. We also engage in catastrophic thinking and routinely doubt ourselves despite what might be overwhelming evidence that something isn’t right.

    If we have increased awareness and knowledge of what constitutes unhealthy behaviour/situations, why do we doubt ourselves?

    "It’s because we tend to wonder if we’re being needy/dramatic/too sensitive/unreasonable/unfair/psychotic/jumping the gun/judgemental/over-emotional"

    It’s like knowing the signs of fire but wondering whether you’re being melodramatic as the place is burning. So many of us have a fear of not only making a mistake but also just straight-up listening to ourselves.

    The aim of life isn’t to only listen to ourselves when we’re guaranteed to be right! We have to tune in and be OK with sometimes getting it wrong–vulnerability. Life is on-the-job-training and by listening and learning, we gain personal security and hone our judgement skills. We become happier.

    The irony is, of course, that if we’re criticising and doubting ourselves in response to something, it’s a code red alert. Something is very wrong. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the person/situation is shady, but it definitely means that we don’t have our back. We are the feeler of our feelings, thinker of our thoughts and keeper and advocate of our needs and desires. If we’re not listening, no one else can.

    Our boundaries being crossed is undoubtedly an issue but how big it’s going to become comes down to whether we have an active response. Where we stand with an issue that we’ve responded to from a place of loving, caring, trusting and respecting ourselves (even when there’s a possibility that we haven’t got our assessment of things ‘perfectly right’), is very different to where we stand when we’ve either not responded at all or we have but from a place of busting up our boundaries.

    Our feelings provide vital clues to our emotional state, our needs and what may or may not be going on around us.
    Feelings aren’t facts, or more accurately put–the stories, judgements and assumptions that we pad around our feelings aren’t facts. The fact that we, for instance, feel anxious, doesn’t mean that the sky is about to fall down. We’re being signalled to either reassure ourselves or make a decision.

    Identifying what tends to trigger a spiral of thoughts, feelings and subsequent actions allows us to make self-care driven choices. E.g. If we have a pattern of becoming anxious when the going is good or when we have free time, we can compassionately acknowledge these reasons. We learn that we’re still fearful of a past situation happening again and so protecting us from being “too happy” or that anxiety is our pastime– it’s a habit we use to fill time or to cover up other feelings and thoughts. Choosing to consciously respond from a different place allows us to move forward.

    There’s a simple formula that works every time for recognising healthy people, situations and relationships:

    Healthy connections regulate you, and unhealthy ones destabilise you.
    In healthy interactions and relationships, there’s consistent calmness, steadiness and sense of self. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have occasions where you feel anxious, stressed, frustrated, etc (hello, you’re human), but you will be able to go ‘back to base’.

    No matter how fabulous you are, persisting in hanging on to something or someone that isn’t compatible with your values will destabilise you.

    A hell of a lot of people unwittingly (and sometimes consciously) believe that destabilisation is love. It’s not; there’s a fine line between excitement and fear.

    If you’ve become less of who you are, the person, situation or thing is not in alignment with you.
    It’s time to change the way in which you’re interacting with it/him/her. Or, you need to recognise that life is communicating something crucial to help you move closer to your values.

    Working in a job that makes you feel as if you have to medicate in order to function? No longer seeing your friends, family or doing any of the things that matter to you? Run, Forrest, Run! Acknowledge the toll that whoever or whatever it is is taking on your life. It’s communicating vital information about who you really are and your needs. And then start working on getting out.

    If by becoming involved with somebody, you can’t seem to eat, sleep or think straight, or it’s as if they’ve come along and decimated your life, you’ve been activated, triggered.
    Something about that person, the dynamic, what you’re trying to ‘get’, what you’re avoiding, is a reflection of an unresolved wound. It’s unhealthy. You’re being invited to see something that you couldn’t see before. If you weren’t misunderstanding something about your worth in relation to your past, this situation wouldn’t exist. The relationship is here to wake you up. It’s forcing you to confront the pain, fear and guilt that you’ve been carrying around. In doing so, you will make space for the people, opportunities and things that are in harmony with who you really are and how you want to live.

    Pain is not love.

    Healthy connections regulate you, and unhealthy ones destabilise you. This is a simple yet powerful way of quickly gauging where you’re at. Listen and learn.

    Your thoughts?

  • Why online dating profiles can't live up to real life....
    Img 2432 1024x768
    Category: Dating Tips | June 27, 2018

    One of the reasons online dating is so popular is that depending on which site or app you use, daters can gather information up front about the suitability and attractiveness of a prospective partner. On the flip side though, many people find dating challenging due to feeling as if they can’t trust the information in profiles. Experiences of feeling misled, used and disappointed are a turn-off.

    ‘According to their profile, we like and want a lot of the same things, work in a similar field and have a similar sense of humour—and yet, they were so awful to me. How could I have got it so wrong?’

    ‘He described himself as a religious, hard-working, family-loving vegan looking for love. Why did he ignore me after I declined to sleep with him on the second date?’

    The internet has created a shift in who knows what and our ability to gather trusted information.
    We used to fear being sold a lemon when we were buying a car. While that can still happen under certain circumstances, by and large, we can gather a great deal of information (including about many other items and services), making it trickier to be screwed by the salesperson.

    There’s no longer, as the economist George Akerlof showed in his study of how the used-car market used to work, an asymmetry in available information. Nowadays, we can research most things and sometimes know as much as, if not more, than the seller. That, and there’s plenty of laws, warranties, guarantees and the threat of a poor rating or review. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘fully informed,’ but we’re certainly more armed.

    Despite this, we still don’t know a great deal more about our compatibility with someone than we did pre-internet. We like to think we do because of the photos, the info we gather, plus the chatting before meeting up, but we don’t.

    Being used, misled and disappointed isn’t new.
    It’s always been possible to have “amazing” dates and never hear from them again. There were warnings about those who were only “out for one thing”. Some folk have always been good at talking out of their bottoms and it not being spotted for a while.

    Many daters, past and present, have fallen into the trap of believing that information gained through dating sites/apps protects them against problems. It doesn’t.

    It feels as if we get to know people a little before we engage with them in real life. We believe that our attraction to specific profiles or our isolation of particular traits and lifestyle signals that seem like ‘commitment indicators’, will save us from spending time on somebody who isn’t a good fit.

    Granted, if someone acts shady before we’ve even met or we feel turned off by their profile (or our searching), it spares us from having to interact in real life. But once we decide that we’re going to engage with somebody and possibly meet them, we are stepping into the same Great Unknown of getting to know someone.

    When we meet somebody, they don’t come with a service history or log book.
    There’s no verification; there are no benchmark test results for their levels of honesty, integrity, emotional availability, etc. They might be all of the things that they have put down; they might not.

    Each party holds and distils their information. Each of us is the thinker of our thoughts, feeler of our feelings, holder of our needs, desires and expectations. It’s all relative though, because it depends on self-awareness, self-knowledge, our availability and integrity.

    Sometimes we don’t know what information we’re holding; sometimes we’re ignoring information because we’re unaware that it matters or because we’re prioritising something else; and sometimes, whether we admit it or not, we’re spinning that information.

    We’re not always aware of our intentions, motives, fears and biases.

    We might be incredibly honest, but that doesn’t mean that the other party is.

    We might be super aware of our intentions and values, but someone else might not be.

    Someone can share plenty about themselves, and we still have to get to know them based on our experience of him/her. No matter the dating site or app, there’s no getting around this.

    If they’re different to what we expected or how they portrayed themselves, it’s not that they’ve changed; we’ve got to know them.
    If we look at dating as a discovery phase, then in theory, because each party is supposed to be getting to know each other, then there isn’t that imbalance. There isn’t that asymmetry of information. Of course, this isn’t true in practice, and it’s for these reasons:

    1) Not everyone approaches dating from a confident, honest or authentic place.
    Many daters, for example, treat dating like an audition for the starring role in someone else’s life. “Choose me!” Problem? It affects the information they gather and convey.

    2) Regardless of our intentions or knowledge, sometimes the other party possesses far greater material knowledge than we do.
    If they know that they’ll be cutting and running at X point or that their previous partners experienced the same issues with them that they’re claiming are in our imagination, we’re not a party to this hidden information.

    The answer when it comes to trusting what we find out through online dating is to avoid extremes. There’s no need to carry on as if everyone is shady, but we also don’t need to be naive.

    We can’t avoid disappointment because it’s part of the journey to getting closer to the right relationship.
    We can, however, stop setting ourselves up for disappointment by not treating online dating as if it’s Compare The Market! What we look for or disclose about ourselves on dating sites/apps isn’t necessarily what we (or others) need regarding compatibility. Instead of treating dating profiles as if it’s their relationship credit score based on facts, we must expect to perform due diligence. The discovery phase of dating means taking it as a given that we will have to get to know someone in person and that may or may not meet expectations.

    Adulthood is about unlearning all of the unproductive and harmful lessons that we picked up in childhood.
    We have all made assumptions about what we need, how relationships work and what love takes. To find the right partner and enjoy mutually fulfilling relationships, we have to correct any misunderstandings that our assumptions represent.

    When we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop or we know that we’ve ignored information but proceeded anyway, there’s always an imbalance. We can’t deny, rationalise, minimise, assume and excuse and expect to feel confident and trusting.

    And you might be wondering — how do we achieve that symmetry of available information in our relationships?

    Through trust and vulnerability. We have to be open to knowing more than we already do as well as more than what we assume. We’re always finding out more about those we love and care for (if we’re showing up and taking an interest). Mutual trust happens when each party has consistently shown up over time. That’s not something we’re going to get from a dating profile or a handful of dates.

    Your thoughts?

  • How To Start a Conversation With Your Crush On WhatsApp?...
    Low maintenance girl
    Category: Dating Tips | June 25, 2018

    Technology always has ways to make the world a much easier place to live. The invention of mobile phones has taken up the communication field especially texting. Who doesn’t love chatting on WhatsApp?

    Cell phones came to help a great deal because you can always carry them around so you will not miss out on any messages. Look at a situation where you have a crush on someone. You don’t have to send a letter for them to get your message. Thanks to WhatsApp, you just need their number and boom. The journey just begins.

    Now, commencing a conversation with your crush isn’t a hard nut to crack if you are the brave type of person. The battle is not that easy, but if you are geared up, you will enjoy every bit of it. You need to be careful with what you text because you do not want them to have the wrong impression of you before you make a friendship.

    If you are still brainstorming on how to start a conversation with your crush on WhatsApp, you can chill now. There are only a couple of dos and don’ts that you have to keep at your fingertips, and before you even realize, your crush will be intrigued and may fall for you harder than you crushed on them. Awesome, right?

    Here are some cool conversation starters with crush on whatsapp;

    Be creative
    Don’t be that flat person who just cannot get inventive for their crush. Being unique while texting that person will make your blood flow a little faster.

    Your ‘hi’ should demand a lengthy response.
    Most people tend to use the casual ‘Hi’ which only requires a one-word response. However, adding a question mark or emoji to your ‘hi’ will make it look more appealing, and the reply will not be a single word.

    Your questions should be open-ended
    Questions that need a simple YES or NO answer will leave you more than disappointed. Ensure that you ask those that need some sentences to make sense. In this process, another topic might pop up, and your conversation will likely last longer.

    Be cool
    If you are flirting, do it smartly. Use the emoticons because they are a better choice other than words. Nevertheless, overusing them will annoy your crush. Just ensure that you don’t appear like you are only after getting physical with them.

    Make them laugh
    They say that if you make a person smile while chatting via phone, you are special to them. Your crush is no different. Why are memes there? There are thousands of them, so pick the funny ones and send to your crush. You will be surprised at how happy they will be at the end of it. After all, funny people are amazing to chat with.

    Compliment your crush
    Compliments make one feel appreciated. Tell them they look good or say something about their personality. Compliments are a positive vibe that never flops.

    Be patient
    It feels pathetic when you send your crush a text, and they take forever to reply, and you obviously know they have their phone at hand. Unfortunately, you have to deal with it. Don’t keep texting them asking why they aren’t responding to you. This is a great turn off, and that could be the end of your conversation.

    Use their name
    Names are special. Calling your crush by their name via text increases intimacy. If you use this trick, you will get a reply faster than you thought. They will want to know why you are calling their name after all.

    Ask personal questions
    This doesn’t mean you go overboard anyway. As much as you expect to get closer to them, they might end up thinking you are too much. Keep the questions friendly and ask them in a fun way.

    Send voice messages
    Voice messages are rarely used on WhatsApp. When you use them, you break the monotony of texting, and it might turn out to be even more fun. Hearing your crush’s voice could never feel any better.

    Tease them
    You have to be a little more careful here. Some people don’t understand humor. Make sure that your crush knows when you are teasing them to avoid getting them angry. You want them happy, don’t you?

    Feel free to text them first
    After all, you are the interested party. If you wait for them to text first, you might get you grey hair still on the wait. Take it upon you to their phone first, and the jackpot might be yours this time around.

    Compare them to a celebrity
    Famous people always have something good one can say about them. Tell your crush he/she looks like so and so. If they like it, you are almost winning their heart.

    Share your hobbies
    The best thing about knowing what you love doing is that you might have common ones. This is a chance for you to ask them out for a movie if it’s among their hobbies. Isn’t this a step ahead?

    Verdict
    You can see that how to start a conversation with your crush on WhatsApp is not as tricky as it appears. The tactics above will get you to your special person and who knows, he/ she might be your happy ever after.

  • This is what you should shoot for on a first date. An activity or venue that allows for communication...
    Rawpixel com 378005 e1507754256457
    Category: Dating Tips | June 22, 2018

    Planning dates is  pretty hard thing to do. Sure, it’s easy to just randomly pick a place and time and say “let’s meet here and do this”, but planning dates with strangers is rarely that easy. You might have a list at hand for things to do or see when a friend wants to hang out, but planning a date can be a bit more nerve-wracking. You’re navigating around the perceived preferences of a relative stranger to plan something you hope will, maybe not impress them, but at the very least give off a good impression. If my description gives you more anxiety, sorry about that. The good news is, I’ve got some date ideas I think you’ll love.

    Your mileage may vary based on the city you’re in, the abundance of nightlife or cultural options, so feel free to adjust these ideas as you see fit. Think of this less like specific recommendations, and more like ideas that should work as a framework for planning future dates.

    First, some basic guidelines for what to do on first, second, and third dates.

    This is what you should shoot for on a first date. An activity or venue that allows for communication, one that will leave a good impression that reflects you as a person, and something you’ll be comfortable doing. Avoid movie dates or anything else where you can’t really talk, avoid spending way more than you can afford on a first date, and avoid doing something that makes you so uncomfortable you have a bad time.

    A second date should build on the first date, though what you do on that date is entirely up to you. Communication, good impression, doesn’t make you uncomfortable. What you do isn’t nearly as important as continuing to set a good precedent, and figuring out whether you like the person you’re on a date with.

    Third date is the milestone for when you can finally mix things up a bit. By this point you probably have a good idea as to whether you like them, and they like you, so throw the rules out of the window.

    So with that out-of-the-way, let me give you some date ideas that I think you’ll love:


    The Cocktail/speakeasy date

    Confession for you, I’m not the biggest fan of “speakeasy” style bars. My annoyances with how contrived they are aside, cocktails/speakeasies tend to make for great date venues. Primarily because they’re not rowdy, you can usually find somewhere to site, and while the cocktails tend to be a bit pricey, they’re not exactly “buying bottle service” level prices.

    If you happen to be in NYC and want to go on a cocktail date, I’d recommend Weather Up. Either the Brooklyn location, or the Manhattan location.

    The Hidden Gem date

    While a cocktail speakeasy date is one that is likely to impress your date, it probably wont tell your date much about you. A hidden gem date should accomplish this. Planning a date around a place you consider a hidden gem is a great way to show your date a bit more about your personality.

    It’s hard to call any successful bar or restaurant in NYC a “hidden gem”, but bear with me. Mission Dolores, Pig Beach, Lavender Lake, and Livingston Manor are maybe not hidden gems, but not so popular that you can’t walk in and grab a drink.

    “This place has the best…” date

    This type of date is less about impressing your date with the ambiance of a place, and more about impressing your date with the quality of this place. That quality can be the food, the music, the drinks, the coffee, whatever you think is appropriate. This sort of date works especially well if someone mentions something that they like that corresponds with a place that you know that has the best version of that. If the place that has the best version of something isn’t the best venue for a date. If that’s the case, plan a second stop for your date and let your date know. i.e. I remember you telling me that you love pizza so let’s go here since they have the best pizza, then we’ll grab a drink afterwards.

    Here are some of my recent favorite “this place has the best…” spots: Taqueria St. Marks in Manhattan. Their suadero taco is the best taco I’ve ever had, bar none. ALSO: Bunsmith in Brooklyn (both in Prospect Heights and in City Point) has the best damn pork jowl bun I’ve ever had, and they carry one of my favorite beers, Stillwater Artisanal Extra Dry Sake Style Saison.

    The walking/cultural institution date

    The walking/cultural institution date might be harder to pull off in some places compared to others, but it’s a good one. And no, it doesn’t have to be a last resort date because you’re broke. You can plan a date that involves walking around, or hanging out at a cultural institution (museum, park, etc.) and not have it seem cheap.

    Here’s a few ways to pull it off in NYC. Pair a walk on the High Line with a trip to the Whitney (it’s right next to it and costs $25). Or do a walk up the High Line and then go to Frying Pan for drinks. Or take a walk around Prospect Park, pop into the Prospect Park Zoo (it’s like $8), then head into the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and then the Brooklyn Museum of Art ($25 ticket for both). Or, create your own brewery crawl in LIC by hitting up Big Alice, Transmitter, Rockaway, and LIC Project, then take a walk through Gantry Plaza State Park.

    The Seasonal date

    I have no clue what the weather is like where you live, but up here in NYC, as of the date of this post, it’s getting very autumnal. The perfect weather for dates in bars with fireplaces, or walks through nature to see the changing leaves, apple-picking, and so on. In the summer, go for dates on rooftops or other outdoor spaces.


    So there you have it. Now go forth and plan a great date.

    Good Luck Out There.

  • Is there a secret recipe to finding the right person, or is it really just down to luck?
    Best dating advice for men
    Category: Dating Tips | June 21, 2018

    With so many apps, profiles and photos to sift through, the task of online dating sometimes feels impossible. Is there a secret recipe to finding the right person, or is it really just down to luck? To find out, we turned to our very own success stories from Guardian Soulmates and asked long-term couples what advice they would give to singles hoping to find love online.

     

    Don’t look for perfection

    With online dating, it is easy to think the grass is always greener. One more date might just lead you to that flawless someone. But in striving for impossible perfection, we risk overlooking the potential in the people we meet.

    Pete and Josie* met on Soulmates five years ago and were married in 2016. “There’s a tendency to just keep looking, and looking, and looking. Don’t look for perfection, it doesn’t happen,” says Pete. Not that you should settle for the first person you decide to meet up with, but simply be more forgiving of those you do. Much of the joy of a relationship is that you understand and embrace someone else’s shortcomings – just as they do yours. “It’s all about getting to like each other and accepting the faults as well,” adds Josie.

     

    Don’t give up – go on that second date

    We all know how nerve-racking first dates can be. More than likely, your date will be nervous as well, and it can take time to be relaxed around a new person. When Amy met Ryan seven years ago, their first date didn’t quite have the fireworks they were hoping for. But rather than give up, they gave it another chance. And it was worth it. They’ve been married now for three years, with a son who’s 20 months old. “I’d say go on that second date. We got on well the first date, but I didn’t feel the spark,” says Amy, “I was on the fence, but I’m glad I went because I did feel it after that.” Give people the benefit of the doubt. If the conversation flowed the first time, be brave and go for that second date.

     

    Be honest in your profile

    Something that all the couples we spoke to mentioned was the importance of being honest. It creates a base level of trust that is essential if you are looking for a long-term relationship. “Be honest in your profile as the truth will out in the end,” says Ivan, who just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with Emily, whom he met through Soulmates in 2014. And he’s right. With still so much uncertainty about identity online, it sets a bad precedent to lie on your profile and is likely to put someone off. Be honest in your profile; this will up your chances of finding people who like you for who you are.

     

    Try to have fun with it, let your true colours shine

    At the end of the day, the key thing is to enjoy the journey. “My advice would be to try and have fun with it. Try and be authentic, be true to yourself, and don’t be afraid to put down who you are and what you’re looking for,” is Naomi’s suggestion. She and her Soulmates partner Sam were married last year. “She’s right,” says Sam, “keep looking for the little things that stand out about people. It might be a user name, details from their profile or their smile.” If you let your true colours shine from the beginning, your date will be on the same page when you meet.

  • Week 1: As the "suppose side chick" spoke to James girlfriend (undercover) and discovered he was getting married this Saturday!..... #lovejourneyHelen
    Uas26jy3pybkzuhtsukr
    Category: Dating Tips | June 18, 2018

    #lovejourneyHelen - Week1 - I am unsure how i am feeling. I have been feeling quite lost and confused...but certainly not emotionally hurt. It surprises me how some people (in my case men) find it easy to toil with the emotions of others (women). Ok ok, i know i was initially in the wrong to get involved with a guy who was in a relationship, but in all honesty, i was under the impression James was in a complicated relationship which was coming to an end, only to find out he is getting married Saturday 16.06.18.....MARRIED! yes!...married!.....lol... not even engaged...but MARRIED!......

    Just to keep you updated on my journey so far....to fully understand this blog, do click #lovejourneyHelen or just read my first blog "The Journey So far in finding Mr. Right"

    Anyway, this is how my week in the journey of "meeting mr. right" went and how i found out about Jame's wedding:

    12.06.18 [Tuesday] - Falling for Sean
    I have been speaking to Sean quite a lot, i am unsure what's happening but i think i am falling for Sean. All the "Good Morning" & "Good Evening" messages, the endless care of how i am doing....if i have had dinner.........its all soo sweet. It feels absolutely lovely to love....(or should i say care? its a bit too soon for love).... but it feels absolutely lovely to care for someone who loves you back and who is not in any form or shape in a complicated situation, complicated relationship or with any abnormal emotional baggage.... yes, so far he seems normal...lol.....absolutely no trace of any bad track records (like someone i know...James).

    Sean being around is definitely making it quite easy for me to emotionally let go of James.....I am just a little nervous, because i have not met Sean in person, he may sound and may be lovely from afar...but who knows who he truly is in person. Lord knows, i am trying so so hard not to create an imaginary prince charming in my head and not to fall too deep for him....men are not perfect neither am I....... but you know...just trying in every way to remain positive about it all.

    13.06.18 [Wednesday] - Discovering James is getting married!
    I'm feeling good about myself, feeling good about Sean being in my life, i believe there is just a 20% emotional level left for James to be completely erased from my life...yeess!! it's about time. So i know James's girlfriend is a wedding planner, i am curious to know how she's been quite successful to hold him down, though he claims the relationship is complicated. I know what she looks like physically through social media.....errrm....she looks normal, less geeky than me.....but quite on the big side....and she seems lovely too........but i believe You can tell a lot more about who one really is from the tone of their voice, so guess what i did?....yep......  i decided to give her "the wedding planner" a call, just to hear her voice...and yup....i got through to her, pretending to be a client.......and to my surprise, she sounds absolutely Lovely!!!! we had a brief conversation and laughed over the phone and she mentioned she could not arrange an appointment anytime soon as she was getting married on Saturday..........in my head i was like WHAT!! wait wait! WHAT!!! James is getting married this Saturday!!....you can imagine the silent shock i was going through whiles she was still speaking...this certainly doesn't seem like a complicated relationship to me if leading to marriage...right?.........BUT..believe it or not.....i congratulated her. We spoke about arranging an appointment after 16.07.18 saturday, the day she and James are getting married.....and then we said our goodbyes........what a mess! ......what an absolute mess!

    Now....obviously, i am surely not going to call again - she seems absolutely lovely...with a bit of a french accent, though she sounded more like the dominant personality in the relationship..but definitely not going to call again...and nope...i am not that "psycho ex lover that seeks revenge"....lol...though it would have been soo easy to have planned one.........but anyways, was shocked about it all and decided to delete all James contacts (i should have done this a long loooooooooong time ago). I had absolutely no clue that James was even engaged, let alone getting married and we were only together just last week....a week before his wedding.......unbelievable!..... Tell me....is this normal for men to be venturing around with other ladies before getting married? what does it mean? is it a sign of nervousness? or a sign that he is unsure of whom he is marrying?

    I was left soo confused and somewhat, in a mental shock.....i messaged Sean immediately saying "lets just get married".....yes yes...i know, not a smart move...but i guess i was seeking some form of attention and appreciation to console myself...console my emotions. Surprisingly i was not hurt nor in pain by the news of James getting married, but shocked on how well he managed to deceive me...and how i have been a fool...i blame myself....but most sadly.....i feel sorry for her, for if she is truly a good woman....she deserves a lot better....but if she had a clue of his behaviour and is in denial.........then good luck to her... - i know in my case, this is definitely all over.......

    14.07.18 [Thursday] - All buttered up by Sean
    I woke this morning to view all text messages sent by Sean yesterday evening in response to my "lets get married" text! the responses were soo positive...lol.....i was actually very happy. He even asked "What year would you like to ge married?" and ended the message with an emoji smile......interestingly enough, i didnt answer the question properly, i only responded back with an emoji smile. I do like Sean, but trying not to fall deep till we've met in person. And from there on, the whole day from morning to evening was all pleasant with sweet, encouraging conversations.

    17.07.18 [Suday] - How i feel
    I am unsure how i am feeling today, finally saw photos of James wedding with his "new" wife. Men truly baffle me - it's totally put me off in communicating with Sean, but i must learn not to carry on past disappointments into new relationships. Anyway, i have deleted everything to do with James.....facebook contact, numbers, emails .....EVERYTHING! Good luck to them living in denial........not looking back anymore....just moving on. 

    So, what i have done so far is:

    I am a bit unsure about online dating - i just feel it's very judgmental and doesn't give one the opportunity to know the other in person. I always say, if i were to have met James on a "swipe left right"  dating app, i would have definitely swiped him left as i initially did not find him attractive, but getting to know him.....swiping left would have made me miss that opportunity to know him (not that he was worth knowing anyway from what has happened so far...lol) but anyways, here goes.....

     

    so tell me.......how do you recover from such a mess and confusion? ...Is it normal for a guy to be venturing around with other ladies before their wedding day? what does it mean? is it a sign of nervousness? or a sign that he is unsure of whom he is marrying?......

     

    Previous blog #lovejourneyHelen:
    The Beginning: 30 and single: The journey so far in Finding my mr. right!

  • In the simple act of being willing to see more of what is good in your partner, that good increasingly becomes evident...
    How to win her heart 938x670
    Category: Dating Tips | June 17, 2018

    Thanksgiving is the perfect time to accelerate your partner’s affection and passion. It’s the holiday that reminds us to be thankful for all that we have, and to show appreciation for our bounty.

    Applying this concept directly to our romantic lives creates a dramatic impact on our partner’s love for us. The power of appreciation isn’t just a ‘nicety’ that we should do. It’s the key to creating love.

    Appreciation is the magical ingredient proven to augment love’s growth and guarantee its continuance.

    I first became aware of the research surrounding this theory a few years ago while attending a lecture given by the noted psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D. As a world-renowned relationship expert, and founder/director of the Milton Erickson Foundation, Dr. Zeig stressed the profound power of appreciation when applied to the arena of love and partnership.

    Here are 4 steps guaranteed to spark your mate’s affection this holiday season:

    1. Appreciation amplifies love.
    The act of appreciation dramatically amplifies the amount of love we experience in our relationships. Even in cases where a love had been wounded or frozen by hurt, it revives when met with appreciation.

    We soon realize that appreciation serves as a form of Miracle-Gro; love begins to blossom. Our partner feels safe to express their love for us, and we in turn feel safe to express our love for them.

    Stunningly, stagnant relationships begin to flourish. Partners who were shut down begin to step-up and show their affection again. All humans need to feel ‘okay’ in the eyes of their partner. Appreciation is magical activator of this principle.

    2. Small acts of kindness are huge.
    The key to this winning formula lies in demonstrating daily ‘small acts’ of warmth towards your mate. Expressing what’s right and good in your partner is the fuel that keeps the fire alight as it awakens passion and reciprocity.

    It’s not the splash of grand gestures, but rather the consistency of smaller meaningful moments that creates this gift so universally sought. A vibrant relationship thrives on the littler forms of consistent, positive reinforcement. This is the cement that allows your love to weather the storms of relationship issues and challenges.

    Those small, seemly insignificant moments of appreciation are powerful. You may choose to express your appreciation through an approving smile, a warm touch, or by listening to your mate with genuine interest. This foundational output forms the bedrock upon which relationships survive and grow.

    3. 5 positives erase 1 negative.
    Having worked intimately with the most brilliant minds in this industry, Dr. Zeig cited the 5:1 “Magic Ratio.” Based on research done by colleague Dr. John Gottman, humans have been proven to need at least 5 positives experiences to bear the weight of 1 that is negative.

    That means, for every one upsetting situation you and your partner meet, there must be the balance of five other positive events to erase its negative impact. “This is the constant,” Dr. Zeig stated. Moreover, if you’re wondering about the credibility of Dr. Gottman’s work, Zeig continued, “He can predict divorce within 97% of his clients.”

    4. Validation reboots a stagnant relationship.
    Look for the good in your partner. When you’re focused on what’s wrong with your mate you can’t see what’s good. Attention to the negative only reinforces noticing more of what’s negative in your partner.

    Actively noticing and looking for the positive is a form of mental reconditioning. The effort involved in this exercise is small when weighed against the tremendous gains it reaps.

    Concrete research has documented that feeling appreciated is key to the survival of a marriage as well as all other forms of committed partnerships. Being attentive, appreciative, and seeing the best in your partner creates the cohesion needed to withstand the vicissitudes of real-world living.

    In the simple act of being willing to see more of what is good in your partner, that good increasingly becomes evident.

    Try this winning holiday recipe for yourself. Over the next few days, be mindful of showing appreciation toward your mate. You’ll see a notable shift in your partner’s attitude as you spark their affection through positive reinforcement. Soon, you’ll both be reaping the ultimate benefit of this holiday season.

  • So why aren't millennials going out, partying it up...
    D806a4ba b280 4abe bffd e5de06b9a70e stocksy txp8274c6bf3xy100 small 1800974
    Category: Dating Tips | June 16, 2018

    My time to be a party girl came and went during my junior year of college when, fresh out of a long-distance relationship, I decided to “let loose” and join my friends at frat parties every Tuesday night. We also got thirsty on Thursdays, and it was a blast, don’t get me wrong. But looking back now, I really don’t know where I mustered up the energy for it all. It’s honestly hysterical to me that people wonder why millennials don’t go out more, because honestly, who even has the time? Gen X? Baby boomers? Bueller? I can't hear you.

    TBH, I didn’t even have the time to party when I was going out four out of the seven days of the week in college. Between going to class, keeping up my 3.6 GPA, traveling in and out of the city twice a week for an internship at a prestigious magazine, and working a waitressing gig part-time, the fact that I would go out and stay out until 2 a.m. was, in hindsight, actually pretty stupid, because all I really remember is feeling tired all the time. I’m yawning just thinking about it now.

    And then there's that little thing called money. At 21 years old, I was basically paying $45 every week to travel through Port Authority to be an intern in the city, which is why I had to get that part-time job as a waitress to make ends meet. I'd also opted out of the all-inclusive meal plan at my school, so most of my food purchases were being paid for with whatever actual money I could spare from my bank account. I guess because my loving parents were helping me pay for college at the time, I wasn't exactly sweating finances. These days, though, that's an entirely different story.

    So why aren't millennials going out, partying it up, and spending money on booze? Well, it might be because they're a little more practical than they get credit for.
    Am I the only one who’s just a wee bit confused here? Millennials get a lot of crap for being "irresponsible," and yet here they are, working their asses off, trying to make a decent living while paying off their student loan debt in the hope that the housing market will cut them a break one day, and somehow people still have the audacity to shame them for not going out partying? Seriously, how does that make any sense?

    What does make sense, however, is the fact that many millennials are opting to stay home, watch Netflix, and DIY their own fruity cocktails, instead of wasting time, energy, and at least $25 at a rowdy happy hour on a Thursday night. According to new research from Mintel, roughly three in every 10 millennials prefer boozing it up under a blanket on their couch, because going out after an already-long-day at work is “too much effort,” while only 15 percent of baby boomers would rather spend their nights in. Personally, I don’t know many baby boomers heading out to the bars on weekends, but for those who do, good for them. I know myself, and to me, that cash is much better spent paying off my loans than splurging on a tower of sangria I could easily make and enjoy in the comfort of my own home.


    BTW, this "antisocial" nature, or this sense of frugality, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t a millennial thing; it’s circumstantial. In an interview with Business Insider, Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, and author of the book Small Change: Money Mishaps and How to Avoid Them, said that your spending habits, whatever they may be, didn't take shape just because you were born somewhere between the 1980s and early 2000s, nor did being born in that era cause some sort of fundamental change in your brain. Rather, he explained, your spending habits seem different from generations before you simply because the world today is much different than the world your parents grew up in. He told the news outlet,

    One of the findings in behavioural economics and social science is that we make decisions as a function of the environment we're in.
    Ariely added, It's so easy to say: "It's millennials and it's personality traits" and so on, I don't think that's it, I think it's what the world around is giving them opportunities for, and sadly the world around them is not that hospitable.

    Plus, aside from the fact that millennials have to think about where their money is best spent, just the act of going out, in and of itself, is exhausting on top of everything else.
    In 2016, New York Post made a bold statement, identifying millennials as “the greatest generation of couch potatoes.” And look, the news outlet isn't exactly wrong, but I also don’t see any reason why this should be taken as an insult. After a long day of waking up early, working out, going to the office or to class, sprucing up your living space to make it, you know, livable, and trying to feed yourself anything that isn’t takeout, you better believe you’ve earned your right to be a “lazy” spud for a few hours.

    Honestly, when I reminisce on the nights I spent out with my girlfriends, the best parts of the night were when we’d put our makeup on together, and come stumbling back into my apartment after the party was over, eat Doritos, and recap the huge moments of the night that would only be significant for a day or so after the fact. I couldn’t tell you what I wore, or who I danced with, but I can recall, almost verbatim, the late-night conversations, and how good it felt to just be young and silly with my best friends.

    These days, I don’t necessarily need alcohol or too-loud music in a crowded hole-in-the-wall to make those memories. All I need is a good book, a cup of tea, and my husband by my side on a Friday night to make me happy. I don’t consider myself a cheap, antisocial millennial, but I certainly don’t have anything against going out every once in a while, either. If I "can’t hang," it’s not because of my age; it’s because life can be tiring AF, going out all the time gets expensive, and, like anyone with debt, I’ve got my mind on my money and my money on my mind. So #SorryNotSorry if your millennial friend is passing on plans; let them do them, and you do you.

  • Lucky for us, there are always going to be those certain people who go out of their way to cause a commotion...
    Aa397678 d577 4481 93d7 a0001dc61565 stocksy txp8f1719adtwo100 small 320100
    Category: Dating Tips | June 15, 2018

    You don't have to go through life creating drama. You could make the conscious decision to navigate through existence without causing conflict, sailing smoothly and leaving the world behind in peace. But where's the fun in that? Conflict makes things interesting. Without it, no stories would be gripping, no dreams would be worth following, and we'd waste our precious time on Earth feeling a whole lotta nothing. Lucky for us, there are always going to be those certain people who go out of their way to cause a commotion. In fact, there are even certain zodiac signs who love to start drama. Humanly incapable of taking a chill pill and letting sh*t go, they make absolute sure that drama is not going anywhere.

    While we could all use a little drama in our lives to keep things exciting, some people take the concept way too far. Drama can definitely become routine. For some people, remaining calm and relaxed for a lengthy period only makes them crave shaking things up a bit. If they go too long without sipping on some tea, they'll brew the damn tea themselves. And don't lie, you know you enjoy being poured a cup, too. Just beware. While that tea tastes juicy, it can turn your life upside-down.

    Aries: They Start Arguments Just For The Sake Of Arguing
    While some choose to ignore negative interventions in life and move on, an Aries simply cannot resist taking an opportunity to start a fight. It doesn't even matter what the fight is about. It could start with a stranger saying something offensive in their presence, a customer service rep rolling their eyes, or their boyfriend leaving the toilet seat up for the second time that day. Whatever the case, an Aries will never go down without a fight.

    If you attempt to tell an Aries to breathe deep and rise above, you'll only make them angrier. Luckily, the sight of an Aries rolling up their sleeves and readying themselves for a heated argument is enough to send anyone running the opposite way. Which is smart, because an Aries will always win.

    Gemini: They Stir The Pot & Then Watch It All Go Down
    A Gemini doesn't start drama directly. Oh no, they prefer to stir drama behind the scenes, pitting people against each other, and spreading gossip that may or may not be true. The spectacle that always follows is just the type of entertainment a Gemini needs. The worst part? Their dual-sided personality makes it easy for them to put on a coy face and pretend they had nothing to do with it at all. Good luck trying to figure out who started the whole mess because you'll never be able to prove it was the Gemini.

    Perpetually restless and inevitably bored, a Gemini can't resist creating a commotion when things are going well. Peace and quiet? Not in a Gemini's world. They crave drama like some people crave sugar.

    Cancer: Their Mood Swings Make Everyone Dizzy
    A Cancer has more moods than a rainbow has colors. Each of them are dramatic, intense, and overwhelming. They say Geminis have two personalities? Well, a Cancer has at least 10, and they have no control over any of them. Even the subtlest shifts in energy are enough to send a Cancer into one of their dreaded moods. One minute, they're cuddly and sweet. The next, they're everyone's worst nightmare. If you're close to a Cancer, you know that they'll snap at you and hug you within the same breath.

    If you ever offer to help a Cancer learn how to keep their emotions in check, a Cancer will probably laugh. Or yell. Or cry. Bottom line: They simply cant help but cause drama with their moods.

    Leo: They're More Dramatic Than A Soap Opera
    A Leo will turn even the most minor conflict into a full-blown saga. It's like they think they're starring in a film and it's the most important role of their life; one that's going to land them that Oscar. For a Leo, everything is dramatic. For everyone in a Leo's life, that drama is never too far away. While something might seem completely insignificant to someone else, a Leo sees it as an opportunity to completely overreact.

    People who know a Leo well probably constantly attempt to explain that they should just let certain things go. However, a Leo can't hear them. They're too busy thinking about how they're going to blow the next thing out of proportion.

    Although summer doesn't officially begin until the solstice on June 21, traces of the season are swirling through the air this week. With Mercury entering Cancer on June 12 and Venus entering Leo on June 13, it's clear the planets are feeling as impatient for the transition as we are. Slowly but surely, we're descending into the sultry wildness of summer like stepping into a pool, sensing our bodies gradually adjust to the temperature of the water. If you can't deny the feeling that this season is destined to change you for the better, then your June 11, 2018 weekly horoscope will show you how.

    With Mercury in Cancer and Leo in Venus, you're entering a period of unapologetic self-love and fierce empathy for others. It's likely to crack the glass surrounding your heart and set free all the feelings you've been yearning to talk about. With a new moon in Gemini darkening our sky on June 13, you can take these emotional waves and use them as fuel, refining the purest version of yourself and blazing through summer with unmistakable authenticity.

    However, a new moon in Gemini is never set in stone. While a new moon is always a time to planet fresh seedlings and embark on something new, Gemini changes its mind as often as mother nature does during a summer rainstorm. It's a multi-faceted air sign full of spontaneity, restlessness, frivolity, and charm, pushing you to be as open-minded about yourself as you are with the world around you. With a new moon in Gemini preparing you for summer, who knows who you'll become?

    Aries
    Pay close attention to the needs of your home base, because as Mercury in your fourth house of family opposes Saturn in your 10th house of career, you may find yourself stretched thin trying to balance work and your personal life. However, as the new moon in Gemini occurs in your third house of communication, you'll find that expressing your needs first will become most important, pushing you to prioritize your mental health.

    Taurus
    As Mercury in your third house of communication forms a sextile with Uranus in your first house of the self, you'll feel like communicating your greatest truths to not only everyone around you, but also yourself. Prepare for gratifying transformations. Allow changes to manifest slowly, however, because as Mercury opposes Saturn in your ninth house of adventure, you may feel like things aren't unfolding as swiftly as they should be.

    Gemini
    You may feel pulled to engage in financial enterprising with Mercury in your second house of finance and material possessions. However, as Mercury opposes Saturn in your eighth house of death and rebirth, you may find it difficult to negotiate your responsibilities and follow through. With the new moon in occurring in your name, however, you've still got all the power to plant the seeds for a big business idea. Be patient.

    Cancer
    With Venus in your second house of self-worth forming a square with Uranus in your 11th house of community, you may enter a dismal state where you feel disconnected with your social life. However, with the new moon in Gemini occurring in your 12th house of spirituality, you're learning how to become happier and more at peace with yourself, no matter what friends are surrounding you.

    Leo
    When Venus in your first house of the self forms a square with Uranus in your 10th house of career, you may enter a period of wondering whether or not your job is making you happy. If your identity is being challenged, allow your thoughts to sit but do not ignore them completely. With a new moon in Gemini occurring in your 11th house of community, you're entering a period of emotional connection with your friends and the world at large. Perhaps the answer lies there.

    Virgo
    You may feel a spiritual disconnect with where you've been and where you're going, with Venus in your 12th house of the subconscious forming a square with Uranus in your ninth house of adventure. If you're feeling dissatisfied with your accomplishments and mentally unstimulated, use it as motivation to take your world to greater lengths. With the Gemini new moon occurring in your 10th house of career, you can start off on a new foot.

    Libra
    Uranus in your eighth house of death and rebirth are forming stressful alignments with Mercury in your 10th house of social status and Venus in your 11th house of community. Your place in not only the lives of your friends, but also the entire world, may feel challenged. Don't let it bring you down, however, because the new moon in Gemini is taking place in your ninth house of adventure, and you're embarking on something wild and new.

    Scorpio
    You may experience beauty as well as fluctuations in your love life this week with Uranus in your seventh house of partnerships. As it forms a square with Venus in your 10th house of social reflection, you may feel like you're not getting what you need from either facet of your life. However, this new moon in Gemini is transforming you from deep within, lighting up your eighth house of reincarnation with clarifying energy.

    Sagittarius
    With Mercury in your eighth house of difficult transformations opposing Saturn in your second house of possessions and money, you may feel like you're not being responsible with your money. All the while, you're learning how to handle it with a more mature eye, bringing more wealth into your life in the long run. With the Gemini new moon in your seventh house of partnerships, this could be a good time to ask for help on the matter, or perhaps forge a financial connection with someone else.

    Capricorn
    Your relationships are being flooded with intense energy this week. With Mercury in your seventh house of partnerships forming a sextile with Uranus in your fifth house of fun, you're heart is being filled with romantic energy. However, Mercury also forms an opposition with Saturn in your second house of material self-worth, causing you to rethink whether or not you're focusing enough on yourself. With the Gemini new moon occurring in your sixth house of work, you'll be inspired to refocus on productivity.

    Aquarius
    Your family and home life is being both challenged and cradled this week. With Uranus in your fourth house of core values forming a square with Venus in the seventh house of partnerships, you may find yourself having to choose loyalties that you don't want to choose. However, as the Gemini new moon infuses your fifth house of creativity with energy, you'll find a way to make everyone happy. Most importantly, you can make yourself happy.

    Pisces
    With Mercury in your fifth house of pleasure forming an opposition with Saturn in your eleventh house of community, you may find that your personal interests are not correlating with the interests of your friends. With Venus in your sixth house of work also forming a square with Uranus in your third house of communication, you may find difficulty working on those interests. The new moon in Gemini in your productivity house should help you begin to come up with a course of action.

  • D43b42a6 fd2c 4f28 8378 4b1ee10f786b stocksy txp719e6023aky100 small 650242
    Category: Dating Tips | June 14, 2018

    Plane ticket for one, please! This summer, you're looking to book a solo trip. You want to get away from the stress of everyday life, and leave your worries behind. Putting your planner away and packing a suitcase seems ideal, especially when you're off to somewhere that's so serene and a bit tropical. It's not that your friends and family wouldn't make for the best travel buddies; you'd just rather see the world solely through your own lens, ya know? These relaxing places to travel alone will let you wind down and chase your wanderlust, for a summer well-spent.

    Traveling alone truly has its perks. You don't have to worry about anyone but yourself, and can explore on your own schedule. Yes, you'll have to get comfortable with eating meals without a crew, and take lots of selfies. But after a few days of following your own two feet, you'll have the routine down. You'll spend your afternoons getting some much-needed peace-of-mind by the beach, and maybe hit the spa in the morning if you're at an exotic resort.

    You've been wondering exactly where to go, though. Checking out a city wouldn't quite be what you're looking for. The bustling streets and bright lights won't leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the real world again. Instead, consider one of these seven places for your relaxing solo trip this summer. Your wanderlust is too real, and so is your need for some winding down.

    1.] Burlington, Vermont
    Take a little road trip through the Green Mountains, to get to Burlington, Vermont. Settled right next to Lake Champlain, this will be the prime destination for your solo trip this summer, especially if you're already located on the East Coast.

    Cities aren't exactly on your radar, but this one is unlike any other. With quaint bookstores and farmer's markets on the reg, you'll feel like you're in suburbia when you're strolling down the streets. Not to mention, there's a Ben & Jerry's on every corner. A scoop of Americone Dream, anyone?

    2.] Sedona, Arizona
    Set your sights on Sedona, Arizona if you're looking to have a bit of adventure by yourself. Nothing will ever recharge you like getting back to nature, and connecting with your roots. There's just something about seeing the beauty of the Earth that makes you feel so humble.

    Although this spot will likely be hot and full of hiking trails, you'll love relaxing in the sunshine and soaking up all of the red rock. While you're there, be sure to extend your trip to places like Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon for vibrant and unreal views of this planet.

    3.] Tree National Park, California
    Pack a bag and go to Joshua Tree National Park. You've probably heard by now that the West Coast is dubbed the "best coast," and when you see places like this one, it's truly hard to disagree. With sand, sun, and desert plants everywhere you look, and some sweet spots to camp, this is the ideal destination for winding down.

    Maybe you'll spend a night under the stars of the California sky, or just take a day to do some exploring. Be sure to pack a water bottle if the weather is warm, and a quality camera to capture those cacti, too. A few days in the desert is exactly what you and your wanderlust needs.

    4.] Banff National Park, Canada
    You better believe that Banff National Park should be at the top of your bucket list this summer. Canada may have not been on your mind, but there's so much you won't want to miss in the Alberta region. During the day, you'll want to see the magic of Lake Louise and that bright blue water for yourself. Of course, you'll be doing lots of hiking, or at least driving through the mountains.

    On your way back home, you might stop in the city of Calgary. Honestly, relaxation comes in all different forms, and sometimes following your feet on a trail can be just as rewarding as a facial at the spa.

    5.] Split, Croatia
    Let me tell you the scoop on Split. When I studied abroad, I spent 15 hours on a bus from Florence to reach this spot in Croatia. It was long, and let's be honest, there wasn't much leg room. But, it was incredibly worth it the second I saw so many friendly faces and those pebble beaches.

    This country is full of a lot of natural beauty, from the waterfalls at Krka National Park to the islands like Brač. Take a day to cruise over to the coastal towns, and experience all the bliss of the white marble and Adriatic Sea. You seriously don't have to settle solely for those beach towns on the East Coast this summer.

    6.] Maldives
    May you experience all the relaxation in the Maldives. Imagine waking up surrounded by the waves, and sticking your feet in the sand. I'd say that's a lot better than whatever else you had planned this summer!

    Sure, you could head to a tropical island in the Caribbean, but if you're looking to truly get away, you'll want to hop on a plane and hit up sun and surf a bit elsewhere. Just be sure to come back — although it'll be hard to leave that luxurious lifestyle.

    7.] Santorini, Greece
    Get yourself to the Greek this summer if you're in serious need of a solo getaway. The land of gyros and white and blue architecture is calling your name, and those beautiful Mediterranean beaches are a must. Let's be honest: Monday mornings are better when you're waking up relaxed and refreshed by the salt air of an island like this. Wouldn't you say so, too?

    Santorini is probably one of the most picturesque places on the planet (in my personal opinion), so be sure to take lot of photos of the serenity you're going to be experiencing. Seriously, this trip will leave you with only the best and brightest #content, as if you were traveling like a blogger would!

    So, when are you going? You're beyond ready for all the wanderlust and winding down coming your way this summer.

  • Be thankful for what you have, you'll end up having more...
    Couple on a swing
    Category: Dating Tips | June 13, 2018

    “Be thankful for what you have, you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~Oprah Winfrey. Occasionally, I experience moments of what I can only describe as “pure bliss.” It's like a cool wave of peace washes over me, cleansing me momentarily of my worries, stress, and issues. Last week, I had such an experience. You may be curious, what was happening for me to experience such a state? The truth may come as a surprise.

    Because my outer reality was, well, rather underwhelming. I was walking home carrying the weekly shopping, having visited the supermarket. Not quite the setting for ”pure bliss” one may imagine. Perhaps you imagined me sat crossed legged, draped in silk robes, deep in meditation atop a mountain. Or, perhaps, gazing up at the glistening galaxy on a clear night.

    Nope, just a chump walking home with the shopping.

    As the late spring sun shone down on me, I smiled and said aloud, ”Man, I'm lucky.” Although externally, all was hum-ho and there was nothing out of the ordinary, internally, thoughts were flowing, like serene streams, forming a deep sea of appreciation in my mind. I appreciated the lush green forest I could see in the distance.

    • I appreciated the fact that I was walking.
    • I appreciated that I had food.
    • I appreciated that I had a home to return to.
    • I appreciated being alive and experiencing it all.
    • As I reflect on this experience, I'm curious: Why is it that such moments are rare?
    • What stops me (and others) from tapping into this state of bliss more often?
    • My answer, my truth is this: the disease of more.


    We spend so much of our time focusing on what is lacking in our lives. We focus on being, doing, and having more in our lives. When we focus on more, we become blind to all we are already. All we can do. All we have in our lives, right now.

    Like the proverbial donkey chasing a carrot on a stick, our focus on what is out of reach blinds us from all else surrounding us.

    What if, in many ways, we've already won the lottery of life?

    And what if the path to bliss was appreciating the carrots we already have rather than chasing more?

    I admit it can be challenging to appreciate the little things when you’re dealing with trauma, tragedy, or hardship. But I suspect that most of us lose sight of these gifts simply because we’re focusing on everything we want but don’t have.

    To deepen the appreciation I felt recently, I've researched each of the things I celebrated on this day. I hope by sharing my experience, I may help others to see that they, too, may have already won the lottery of life.

    1. I appreciate my senses.
    My apartment backs on to some forest and, although I see it every day, on the walk home this day its beauty captivated me. The different shades of the green trees and the forest's sheer size as it towers over the houses in the village—wow, it was spectacular.

    I realize now how often I take my eyesight for granted. According to a 2010 data collection, it's estimated that 39 million people worldwide are blind and 246 million have low vision.

    We have five traditional senses—sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste—but did you know we have fifteen other senses? These include a sense of balance, sense of temperature, and a sense of time. And they’re all worth appreciating.

    2. I appreciate my body.
    A wise friend of mine once told me ”If you want to feel more appreciative instantly, change your ‘I have to’ statements to ‘I get to’.” The first time I made this subtle change, it was profound.

    Late last year, I was feeling grumpy about having to walk across town to meet with a client. Remembering my friend's advice, I changed the story in my head from ”Ergh, I have to walk across town” to ”I get to walk across town.”

    The sudden appreciation I felt for my legs made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Since then, I no longer complain about having to walk places. It's a gift to have a functioning body, a gift many people sadly don't have.

    3. I appreciate that I have food to eat.
    Nearly half of the world's population—more than three billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty—less than $1.25 a day.

    I didn't mind carrying the heavy shopping bags home. I'll be honest, there are times when I've complained. What a first world problem! I realized what a luxury it is to have a supermarket in walking distance where food is so readily available, and to have the money to purchase it.

    4. I appreciate having a place to live.
    The last time a global survey was attempted, by the United Nations in 2005, an estimated 100 million people were homeless worldwide. As many as 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing (Habitat, 2015).

    When I read this statistic, my mind was blown. Imagining one million people is difficult enough, let alone 100 million. Many of us dream of a bigger house. The reality is, to many, the place we live in currently would be considered a palace.

    5. I appreciate being alive.
    As I returned home from shopping on this day, I felt an appreciation for life itself. Scientists estimate the probability of any of us being born at about one in 400 trillion. Think about that number for a moment. Let it sink in. For you to be here, right now, reading this, a ridiculous number of elements had to line up perfectly. That your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents met at the exact time they did is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The fact is, you are here right now. Your eyes have enabled you to read this. Meanwhile, your autonomic nervous system has been regulating your bodily functions, including your breathing and heartbeat, all without your conscious thought.

    There’s no limit to what we can appreciate if we’re paying attention. These are just a few of the things I celebrated recently. I appreciate having the opportunity to share them.

  • Dating is all about putting yourself out there and maximizing your chances...
    Dollarphotoclub 72868101 1
    Category: Dating Tips | June 12, 2018

    Dating is all about putting yourself out there and maximizing your chances of meeting that special someone. Many people find there are less and less opportunities to date and meet new people because they’re so busy with their work schedules or their single friend pool is declining.

    Speed dating is a great alternative for those that have a limited amount of time to date, are fed up with their current dating situation or are just looking for a great night out to meet local singles. Bringing quality, professional singles together, Speed dating events provide the perfect platform to find love, in a fast and effective way. Speed dating questions really help you get to know someone in a quick period of time.

    What makes a Speed dating event different than a regular date?
    Unlike a regular date, you typically have 5 minutes, plus break time to learn about your date. You will be rotating, meeting upwards of 10-15 dates in one night, therefore it is important for you to maximize your time with each date and learn as much as possible about them by asking speed dating questions.

    How do you know what speed dating questions to ask if you only have 5 minutes per date?
    In order to combat nerves and being tongue tied on your speed date, we have created some fun and easy speed dating questions to ensure you learn as much as possible about your date when you’re pressed for time.

    If you need to prepare, think of 5 great things that you can talk about so that you won’t feel under pressure or be tongue tied.  Choose speed dating questions that suit the mood of the conversation and that reflect your needs and personality. We also encourage you to stay away from extremely serious questions that require more than a 5-minute introductory conversation. Out of fairness to your date, reserve questions that require more detailed answers, for the second or third date. Ultimately, you want to go with the flow of the conversation, once you have that flow, questions come natural to you.

    Speed dating questions are designed to help support you to determine chemistry first and foremost. The questions should also be tailored to seek out similar interests so that you have enough information to decide if you want to go out with them again.

    What questions should I ask my speed date?
    Below are some of Single in the City’s top Speed dating questions:

    Apart from starting with a “Hello, I’m (insert name).”

    To Start:

    • What is your name?
    • How was your day/week?
    • Where are you from originally?
    • What do you do for work?


    On the lighter side:

    • What is your favourite food?
    • What do you do for fun?
    • Do you have any pets?
    • Do you like to work out/do you like to be active?
    • What is your favourite restaurant?
    • What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
    • What is your favourite way to spend a weekend?
    • Are you an early riser or night owl?
    • What is your favourite TV show/movie?
    • What are your hobbies?
    • What makes you interesting?
    • How would your friends describe you?
    • Do you like to travel?
    • Where have you travelled to recently?
    • What is your favourite thing to do in (insert where they live)?
    • Do you prefer a night out or night in?


    Speed dating events provide a great opportunity to meet local singles that you may not necessarily have had the opportunity to meet under normal circumstances. Applying a new approach to your dating life is sometimes all you need to break dating ruts and open yourself up to great new prospective partners.

  • Part 01: The beginning.....where i am in my journey in fidning mr.right... #lovejourneyHelen
    Uas26jy3pybkzuhtsukr
    Category: Dating Tips | June 11, 2018

    #lovejourneyHelen - Hi, my name is Helen. This is such an awkward blog to be writting, but i believe it's totally worth it! who knows, i may just meet Mr. Right right here! lol.
    So..when i got asked to blog about my journey in meeting mr. right, i felt quite embarassed, given that i am over 30 and sooo single....what happend? "I absolutely don't know"........and is there any hope in meeting mr. right in my 30s'?  "I haven't a clue either". To be honest, I am unsure why i am still single...so these weekly blogs are to..more or less....gain your advise and opinions on my dating life and to discover what i can do better or what it is i am doing wrong.....Basically, how i can better myself in being  more date-able in order to attract my mr.right.

    Unfortunately, i have no intentions of visiting a dating coach, my budget doesn't reach that far. I have checked prices and they come no less than £400. Considering i have to pay rent, bills etc this is really not an option for me, though i highly believe finding the love of my life is very important.

    So for now, I will stick with the views, feedback and advise you guys give me and i am hoping through it all i will finally become more date-able and eventually meet the right partner for me....So....here goes!....an introduction to my journey so far:
     

    The Beginning:
    I have been single for over 4 years now, that is not to say i have not had a few lovebirds here and there -- "A few" -- lol. I have literally tried everything, from blind dating; to speeddating; to online dating and nothing promising came out of it all. I believe my last relationship (where i was actually someone's girlfriend) was at university, which lasted for 3 years, since then its all been guys i have admired who eventually ghosted out on me. 

    So, I live in London, I am a bit of a geek - always on my bike cycling to work - i work in finance and i deal with a lot of figures and all that boring stuff. I'm just a very simple looking girl. I would love to look very sexy, but each time i make an effort, i end up looking normal. I mostly wear dresses and skirts, so at least i feel more feminine and not get caught up being masculine in my daily hectic life of work and trying to form a business.
     

    At present, in my life, there are 3 lovely guys seeking my attention; James, Kenneth and Sean - no current commitments, all currently on the border-line of being friends and slightly beyond friendship................and i am in the process of trying to figure out if one of them may be the right match for me or if i may have to look beyond what is currently before me.
     

    James - The consultant:
    James is a consultant in a consultancy firm. Meeting James was an unexpected mistake. I met James in 2016 at a networking event. I initially was not attrcated to him, i just thought he was a pleasant looking guy and very easy to talk to. I happen to sit right next to him because the only chair available was the one next to him, and we got on really well in conversation. There was another James present at the event whom i spoke to and hoping to potentially form a business partnership together with. I shall call this James "The potential business partner". Both James gave me their business cards. Unfortunately i meant to communicate with James "The potential business partner", but was mistakenly sending emails to James "The consultant" thinking it was James "The potential business partner"...(...are you with me?...ok...good). After meeting in person and realising it was the wrong James, I was quite saddened, disappointed i think (i was looking foward to talking about business and making money) but i still gave the opportunity to get to know James "The consultant"..........and this was the beginning of an on going heartbeak - Only if i would have known.... lol

    James and I have been on and off for 2 years now - I love James dearly and i know he loves me, but James is involved in a relationship he claims to be complicated and can't get out off. I actually last saw James wednesday 06.07.18 and we spent the evening together. I think i am the side chick, but my sister says "You are only the side chick if you think you are". I've been through all sort of emotions with James. There's been many times i thought there was no point in living each time we went our seprate ways, or each time i saw an instagram photo of him and her (yes...i was stalking James on social media...lol). I've been with James, hoping that there would be an "US", but it's been almost 2 years now and i believe it is time to let go. I would have never gotten involved if i knew his relationship with his girlfirend was very strong, but i was under the impression they were on a verge of a break up and that he was not in love with her.

    I feel James suspects, my love for him is fading, in a way...i feel he's scared of losing me...i feel i brought a lot of geeky energy, encouragement, happiness and excitment in his life.......but anyway, it is what it is and i have been a fool for too long, it is time i moved on. I at times consider her (we'll call her, Imani) to be lucky to have James even though he does not love her.....wait! ...but then again, why would i want to be with a man who is disloyal? and what makes me think he would not do to me what he's doing to her? 

    So, the long story short....James and i are kind of together but we're slowly drifiting apart........

     

    Kenneth - The Business Man:
    Kenneth owns his own bussiness, working in the oil industry. A divorcee with 2 kids. I met kenneth whiles on holiday in april 2018. I was working in the library when he approached me and started to talk to me, asking questions who i was etc etc. Kenneth is lovely! so funny! We got on really well. He asked what i was working on, I spoke about my project and he was very impressed and interested in investing.

    I believe i almost fell in love with Kenneth, i was beginning to think he was probably mr. right until he started being forceful. Yes, i do want to get married, yes i do want to be in a relationship, yes i do want to be someone's girlfriend but i refuse to be rushed, pressured and forced into a relationship.

    I discovered, Kenneth is quite a possessive man, i get the impression he treats people like businesses - he seems to be "a go getter for everything" with "no" not being an option. He kept calling consistently, wanting to know what i was doing every second....he was waaaaaay ahead of me emotionally....and everytime i expressed the way i felt (lets take it slow)....i felt i was not being heard.

    I last spoke to Kenneth last week thursday 07.06.18. I feel Kenneth is hurting right now because i dont feel the way he feels. He hardly calls anymore, which i am perfectly fine with as it gives me some breathing space. I genuinely like him....i just feel, emotionally he was moving too fast, he just seemed very impatient emotionally which totally killed my love for him. kenneth and i never kissed and neither have we been initimate.

    So, the long story short....at the moment, there's a bit of silence between Kenneth and I.

     

    Sean - The Entreprenuer
    Sean owns his own small business in the car industry and the exporting and importing of oil. I have never met Sean in person, we've spoken twice via phone and had numerous conversations via text. I got introduced to Sean 2 weeks ago, through his cousin Charles (who is a friend of mine). Sean happend to see my photo on Charle's phone and literally forced his cousin to give my number to him (without my permission).  We had our first phone conversation on sunday 10.06.18. He's such an absolutely lovely guy and having seeing his profile photos on whatsapp, also quite handsome.

    I initially was giving Sean quite a hard time in getting to know me, James seemed to be confusing me, Kenneth was irritating me and i was just fed up with men. But when Sean went quiet on me (absolutely no communication, no text messages), thats when i realised i liked him and missed him.

    So, the long story short....Sean has made it obvious that he likes me and I believe i do like him too...we are currently speaking to know ourselves a lot better and to see if we truly are the right match.

     

    At present, Sean holds a stronger place in my heart. I am yet to discover if I may have to consider other options in meeting mr.right, but for now i am pleased with Sean but also considering:

    • registering on bumble & Happn (online dating apps)
    • attending spefz social/dating events
    • and making more of an effort to meet with friends for lunch and drinks

     

    So, follow me on this journey...lets see how this goes, hopfully in 3-6months (by december 2018) i should know who my mr.right is......please do offer me as much advise as possible on this journey...................trust me...i will need all the help i can get.........

     

    so i have a question for you - where are you on your love journey?........

     

    Next Blog #lovejourneyHelen:
    Week 1: 30 and single: Just discovered the guy i was dating is getting married!!

  • The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are...
    Pexels photo 8
    Category: Dating Tips | June 08, 2018

    “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~Carl Jung

    Often when people want a new relationship, they either look for someone to complete them or they imagine sharing their life with someone just like them. So they try to present themselves in the best possible light for their imagined future partner—either as one perfect half of a whole or as an ideal version of what they believe their future partner will want.

    In my experience, finding your soul mate requires a different, far more soul-enriching approach. Here are six steps that worked for me:

    1. Stop looking for your soul mate and find the missing parts of you.

    This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s exactly how I met my husband. I stopped looking for “the one” after a two-year relationship ended, which I had believed was the one. I decided to turn my attention inward—to get to know and accept myself, to heal past wounds, and to explore and develop new parts of myself.

    Previously, I needed to be with someone in order to feel content, to have someone love me in order to feel loved. Breaking up with past boyfriends was so painful because it felt as if I was breaking up, as if I was being torn from a part of myself.

    What I discovered was that I had to learn to be whole. And when I started to work on that, my life changed.

    2. Live your life as you want to live it.

    When I started to discover more about myself and to follow my own path, I started to live a life that was meaningful to me. I was no longer following someone else’s rules and ideas about what I should do.

    This can disappoint some people close to you, such as your family. But if you want to find fulfillment in your life, you have to fulfill yourself, not someone else!

    And doing what is right for you means you will be in places, jobs, and near people that are aligned with your life path, and with you. So you will have a much better chance of meeting your soul mate, because your soul mate will also be connected to your life path.

    3. Stop trying to appeal to an imagined, potential partner.

    A side effect of leading the life you choose is that you automatically become more attractive. You become more real, authentic, substantial, valuable, passionate, happy, and present. This makes you more beautiful in a natural and effortless way, and it will also make you attractive to your soul mate.

    Whereas when you try to make yourself attractive in order to find someone, you alter the way you behave and present yourself so that if your soul mate were to show up, he or she might not even recognize you.

    So just be yourself, whether that means you dress in corporate attire or resort wear, or casual clothing or more formal, or if your preference changes at different times.

    You don’t need to be a particular weight or have large biceps or wear uncomfortable shoes if you don’t like them. Go to the gym only if you love it, do yoga if you love it, walk or surf or cycle if you enjoy those activities.

    A partner who you will be with over the long term will not make a decision about your worth based on a superficial aspect of your appearance. So tap into what feels right for you, do the activities you enjoy, wear the clothes that suit you and in which you feel comfortable.

    You will be far more attractive to your soul mate if you look like yourself when you meet them.

    4. If you are attracted to particular qualities in someone else, find or develop those qualities in yourself.

    Most of us express only a small part of who we are. We limit ourselves to the personality—or self—we have become in response to our childhood environment. This is an unavoidable stage in our developmental process because we have to form a self—or ego—that enables us to survive and hopefully thrive in our family and social setting.

    And the way we do that is by developing characteristics that meet our survival needs and pushing away any characteristics that aren’t valued or needed.

    So we all have hidden or disowned parts of ourselves that at some point we need to unearth.

    When we haven’t yet unearthed and embraced our disowned parts, we are drawn into relationships with others who express those parts. It is like we are unconsciously trying to complete ourselves through our relationships.

    These relationships usually involve intense attraction at first and are characterized by feelings of completeness. But inevitably, they become stifled by strong relationship patterns that form where people get stuck relating to one another from one main part of themselves that bonds with its opposite in the other person. These are called “bonding patterns.”

    So, for example, a very responsible man might become a “responsible father” in relation to his partner’s inner “pleasing daughter,” and a nurturing woman might become a “nurturing mother” to her partner’s inner “needy son.”

    If the woman doesn’t become conscious of her own responsibility, she will rely on her partner to be responsible. And if the man doesn’t connect with his nurturing side, he will want to be nurtured by her. But then when stresses and vulnerabilities arise in the relationship, these bonding patterns turn negative, and the partners turn on each other.

    I am so grateful to have learned about bonding patterns because the awareness of them not only helps enormously in my relationship, but they also act as a guide for which parts of myself I have lost connection to.

    Because bonding patterns are the natural way that we give and receive love, they are unavoidable. And no matter how conscious we become, there is always something that’s unconscious! But bonding patterns can be navigated successfully.

    When you become aware that you are attracted to other people because of what you have disowned in yourself, and then work on owning those qualities in yourself, your relationships transform. I

    If you are in a relationship already and you begin this process, then as you and your partner reclaim your disowned selves, you start to become more fully yourselves with each other and your relationship will become richer.

    5. Engage with life; accept the gifts that are offered to you.

    The night I met my husband a friend had invited me to a party hosted by one of her friends, and at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go.

    I was tempted to decline the invitation because I didn’t know the person whose party it was, and it was a Sunday night, so I had work the next day. But I didn’t have a compelling reason not to go and I had promised myself that I would accept the gifts life offered me, such as saying yes to invitations that seemed to come from nowhere. And this was one of those.

    When I got to that party, there he was: my future husband, with whom I have had three children and twenty-five years of a wonderful life together.

    Was I looking for someone when I went to that party?

    No. And it was a surprise to meet him there. If I had been intentionally looking for a partner, I probably would not have even spoken to my husband that night.

    When you look at each person you encounter as if you are screening them for a job with a life-long contract, it changes the organic flow of events and natural connection that forms with the people you encounter. It is also off-putting to be evaluated as a “catch” and it is likely to make people run from you!

    The simplest way to stop assessing others as potential life partners is to just stop looking for a partner and connect with the people you meet with genuine interest. Then enjoy the type of relationship that naturally develops—or doesn’t—whether that’s a friendship, a business connection, or a bond based on a mutual interest.

    6. When you meet someone, don’t hurry things; allow the relationship to unfold.

    When you meet someone you have a good connection with, allow that connection to develop and grow. If the person is a soul mate, he or she will also be into you, so if you both pay genuine attention to each other then something will develop.

    There is no need to play games or to try particular seduction techniques or to achieve milestones by a particular time. A successful long-term relationship is not a game.

    Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone you had to manipulate into it? Do you want your partner to be enchanted by an image you have created so that you have to hide yourself in some way? Or do you want your partner to love you wholeheartedly? What kind of relationship do you want to bring children into if you end up having them?

    Each relationship is unique, just as each person is unique, so how your relationship unfolds will be unique too. You can’t plan for it to go a particular way. You have to engage with the process of it and with each other, and then make decisions as you go. There is no one line you can say, no one action you can take, that will lead to a particular result.

    All you can do is live your life more fully, learn to accept and love yourself more fully, and you will love and be loved more fully.

  • This is not another article about holding in your farts...
    Poly relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | May 31, 2018

    There’s no doubt about it: The very beginning of any romantic relationship is the best. It’s filled with so much excitement, desire, and intrigue. 

    But after a few months or years, you might start to think there’s nothing you don’t know about your boo. You've memorized how he chews his food, and you even know how much time he spends locked in the bathroom. Luckily, there are still ways you recreate the mystery you found so damn sexy in the early days of your courtship—no matter how long you’ve been together.

    1. Surprise Each Other

    Think back to the activities you did when you first met. Day drinking at the beach? Playing hooky from work? Those were the moments that made you fall in love, so you best believe that spark will reignite once you recreate some of those memories. Try surprising your partner at an odd time—for example, meeting him for lunch in the middle of the workday. “Little surprises count, too, like doing romantic things for no reason at all,” says Grant Brenner, M.D., a Manhattan-based psychiatrist. “That could mean making breakfast for her in bed one morning or a delicious dessert in the evening.”

    2. Switch Off Who Plans Dates

    Throw gender stereotyping out the window and alternate who calls the shots. “This isn’t a chance to be passive-aggressive by ‘making’ the other person do something you think will be ‘good for them,’ or something you want to do that they ‘never let you do’" says Brenner. "This should be a fun adventure.” If you’re at a loss for good ideas, poll trusted friends or family members. They may be able to help you think outside of the box and come up with something you’ll both love, but never would have thought of on your own.

    3. Share Your Deepest Sexual Fantasies

    No matter how many years you two have been getting down and dirty, your partner probably still wants to impress you in the bedroom. “You can’t be upset that your partner doesn’t change up his or her technique if you’re not vocal about what you want and expect,” says Brenner. “If there’s a certain scenario or role-playing technique you’d like to play out, let him know. This gives him a chance to surprise you later or at an unexpected time by playing out those fantasies with you.”

    4. Change Up Your Routine

    Don’t get us wrong—creating a routine is a healthy aspect of any relationship. But, as the saying goes, everything in moderation. “While it’s great to have go-to activities, excessive routines (i.e. movie nights every Friday or Netflix and nachos on Sundays) can lead to boredom, which is the opposite of mystery,” says Brenner. This could be as simple as choosing a different restaurant, neighborhood, or type of entertainment to explore. “It doesn’t always have to be amazing, but if you both approach it with the spirit of curiosity and mix up novelty with tried-and-true experiences you know you both always enjoy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much fun you can have,” says Brenner. 

    5. Don’t Get Too Complacent

    It’s great to feel comfortable with your partner, but when we stop caring about what the other person thinks of us, that can be problematic, says Rudi Rahbar, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in couples and families. That's not to say you need to wear makeup on every date with bae. But when it comes to your Aunt Flo-stained undies and weekly upper lip bleaching routine, an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality has its merits.

    6. Learn Their Bucket List and Make It Happen

    Maybe it’s as specific as scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or something more general like learning how to cook. “Sign up for cooking classes or salsa lessons and surprise them with the opportunity,” says Brenner. “You’ll be surprised by how much your partner appreciates the thought and care that went into these plans.” If bucket-list type things are not your cup of tea, narrow down the list to things you can do at home or even locally. That could mean wearing some fun lingerie when he or she comes home—or surprising him with tickets to one of his all-time favorite bands.  

    7. Spend the Right Amount of Time Apart

    "It’s important to have individual time to energize oneself and bring something new to the table for the other person,” says Brenner. “In order to have a healthy, happy relationship, you both need significant amounts of time to pursue individual activities, both work and personal, including outside friendships.” Just don't stretch yourself too thin.

  • No cheesy date-night suggestions included...
    Im not good enough
    Category: Dating Tips | May 30, 2018

    You once sat in a Starbucks for seven hours with this person discussing your hopes, dreams, and GoT fan theories and now you’re…bored? How the eff did this happen? Where did the spark go? And more importantly, will it ever come back?

    “Oftentimes I hear from young couples a couple years after the wedding that they feel a little bored, and it’s kind of a let down,” says Rachel A. Sussman, L.C.S.W. and author of The Breakup Bible. “The excitement of dating has passed, the excitement of falling in love has passed, the excitement of the engagement and the wedding has passed, then it gets stale."

    Here's what it means if your relationship is giving you the yawns—and how to break out of a rut without breaking up.

    Step 1: Stop Worrying
    If you two have been together for a while, getting bored at some point is pretty inevitable. Phew.  Our brains are hardwired to look for the newest, most exciting things, says Sussman. (Hello, why do you think Apple gets away with putting out a new iPhone every year?) We get tired of the same old, same old in every aspect of our life—jobs, fitness routines—and that goes for our relationships, too. “Expect it to happen, notice it, and try to make a change,” says Sussman.

    So what do you do? Well, you could break up and flit from relationship to relationship, always ending it once you get bored. Or, if you value your S.O. and want to make it work, proceed with the next two steps. After all, runners don’t quit running, they just find a new path.

    Step 2: Figure Out the Root Cause
    First, determine if this is mere boredom or something bigger. While this problem is super common, it could also hint at underlying issues. Sussman suggests asking yourself these questions to assess the damage: Are you still having sex? Are you questioning whether or not you’re attracted to this person? Are you on the same page when it comes to family and friendships? Do you argue over finances or work/life balance? Are you questioning if you have anything in common? Do you feel yourself growing apart? If the answer is yes to any of these, then you’ve got more than just a snoozefest on your hands.

    If you're just feeling a little restless, ask yourself if you're also feeling lost in other areas of your life. “You have to have balance, relationships can’t be your everything,” says Sussman. “Make sure you feel stimulated in your job, in your friendships, and in your relationship. If you want to have a stimulating and exciting life, it’s each person’s responsibility.”

    If you're feeling pretty solid in other areas of your life, it's time to have an honest discussion with your partner about what you can do to spice things up.

    Step 3: Make a Plan
    Now, the fun part. Sussman says she and her husband solved their relationship boredom by planning a vacation together. “Not only did we plan a trip to Italy, we decided to take Italian lessons for the whole six months leading up to it," she says. "We studied together, we quizzed each other, we cooked Italian food on the weekends. So by the time we got on our trip, it was so enhanced because of that.”

    Try and pinpoint what part of your relationship is boring you. Is it the lulls in conversation? Hit up a museum or read a book together to get things flowing. Has your sex life become routine? Change things up with naked Sundays. No shared hobbies? Try something new, like running a half-marathon together. Whatever the case, the key is to get out of the ordinary and mix it up.

    Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up—this happens. Use it as an opportunity to have fun and learn a thing or two.

     

  • Thirty percent of millennials won't move forward with a relationship if you're not on the same page about this...
    How to romance a woman
    Category: Dating Tips | May 29, 2018

    If you’ve ever wondered how your TV-watching habits affect your love life, we now have some insight.

    Xfinity surveyed 1,935 adults, ages 25-49, to see if their time spent together in front of the boob tube affects their IRL relationships. And in a short answer: yes. They might even prevent a new relationship from blossoming.

    Thirty percent of millennials actually factor in someone’s TV preferences when deciding whether to date them. Consider that when you update your Tinder bio. Here’s what else Xfinity found.

    • 66 percent of couples say watching TV together strengthens their bond. Up that to 75 percent for millennials, a.k.a the generation that introduced 'Netflix and chill' to the world.
    • 30 percent of couples have actually bailed on plans so they could watch a show together. No shame—double date with Mindy and Danny or Rachel and Ross (for the re-watchers) trumps date night with your obnoxious neighbs.
    • 50 percent of couples confess they’ve cheated, as in watched the next episode without their partner. (Note: If you have TV trust issues, you can prevent that infidelity with a set of rings. Nothing, and we mean nothing, says commitment like waiting for your S.O. to watch the next Game of Thrones.)

    In conclusion, if you’re striking out a lot or you can’t seem to find that *spark*, take another scroll through the channels, and you might just find what you’re looking for. 

  • Meet-up groups for socially awkward singles? Yep...
    How to get a girl to ask you out
    Category: Dating Tips | May 28, 2018

    Can't seem to score with the nerd of your dreams on Tinder? Never fear. The dating app Clover recently launched a new chat feature called "mixers" to allow people with likeminded interests (think: Pokemon and chill) to connect online or via a meet-up. Instead of swiping right, users can take their time and digitally mingle with scores of people who share the same hobbies and quirks. 

    If you're picturing tons of chat rooms dedicated to Game of Thrones fanatics or folks looking for a one-night stand, think again. Clover analyzed data from their 1.5 million users to nail down the most popular groups and what they found was pretttty interesting. These are some of the hottest topics people are using to connect in each state: 

    1. Okhlahoma: Socially Awkward Singles
    Ever find yourself tongue-tied trying to chat up a hottie at a party? You're not alone. The most popular mixer in Oklahoma is for social awkward singles. Luckily, mixers allows you to host a virtual meetup, so you can be “social” right from your couch. Grool.

    2. Seattle: Nerds Into Nerds
    Nothing is cooler than nerd love, but we’ll 'fess up that we were surprised that Seattle, not Silicon Valley, was the place where geeks were seeking geeks. Here’s to hoping that Mr. Right is also into Mr. Robot. 

    3. Las Vegas: Piercings and Tattoos
    Want to get lucky in Sin City? Gambling might not be your best bet. Most people are talking ink and piercings, so if you want to hook up, you might need to get tatted up first.

    4. Miami: Fitness Fanatics
    Are you into long runs on the beach? This popular Miami group might land you a guy—or at least a running partner.

    5. Los Angeles: Serious Relationships
    If all those Bachelor casting calls are leaving you in need of some TLC, you’re in luck. Folks in L.A. are looking for lasting love. The most popular mixer room is filled with people who are in the market for a LTR.

  • They could spell trouble down the line...
    Questions to ask a girl to get to know her
    Category: Dating Tips | May 27, 2018

    It’s no secret that meeting the parents is a BFD. And while we're sure you want to impress your guy’s parents, experts say you can also use this time to learn more about him.

    The way a man interacts with his family—and the way his family interacts with you—can give you important clues about what your future may hold together. “Your partner's family relationship dynamics can have a huge impact on your future as a couple,” says Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D.

    It’s also a good way to see if there are any major red flags to look out for. Here are the ones Cilona says should be on your radar:

    We learn how to interact from our families and tend to adopt similar ways of communicating, responding to conflict, and expressing anger, says Cilona. And if your guy grew up in a family where yelling was how people made their point, he may internalize that and do the same. If you realize this applies to your guy, it’s important to tell him if you’re not OK with this method of conflict “resolution”—and to express how you'd prefer to communicate about issues, says Cilona.

    Whether your guy wants to spend all of his time with his family or they want to get all up in his business, a lack of boundaries can get really old once things get serious between you, says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., and author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?  If either of these scenarios are the case, “it may mean that your decisions as a couple will involve his family,” says Durvasula. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's worth having a conversation about what should stay between the two of you. 

    “If jokes and humor repeatedly cross the line, it could indicate unhealthy dynamics in communication,” says Cilona. The real red flag here is if his fam is firing repeated insults. So if your partner’s brother makes a joke once about the fact that your S.O. has gained a little weight, it’s not as big of a deal as bringing it up several times or bringing other family members into it. If you notice this, ask your partner what he thought about the "jokes" and go from there.

    Disrespecting a dude in front of someone he’s trying to impress is just crappy behavior, says Durvasula. And if he also does it—for example, pointing out that his sister flunked ninth grade or trash-talking his parents right in front of them—that's a sign of a problem. “It's just a matter of time before he treats you the same way,” says Durvasula. Cilona recommends taking a step back and categorizing the interactions you witnessed as “respectful” or “disrespectful.” If there were plenty that fell into the latter category, you need to have a chat about why that's not cool.

    This one is subtler, Cilona says, but it’s important. “Pay close attention to your own reactions to your partner’s family members and family relationships,” he says. “Lingering feelings of unease and discomfort might be a reaction to troubling relationship dynamics that aren't obvious at first.” Try to pinpoint hte problem by paying careful attention to what's giving you pause, she says.

    Of course, plenty of great people come from dysfunctional families, and just because your guy's fam has some red flags doesn’t mean he’s going to be a terrible partner. “Strained or unhealthy family relationship dynamics do not always carry into romantic relationships,” Cilona says. “Many people do not succumb to repeating unhealthy patterns in other relationships.”   

    Durvasula agrees: “A screwy family should not be a permanent red mark on your record.”

    That being said, it’s important to talk about things you notice, if only because they made you feel uncomfortable. “If these dialogues are generally positive and productive, it’s less likely that the red flags will end up influencing your relationship,” says Cilona.

  • Because the “how do you feel about your ex?” convo definitely needs to happen....
    How to tell if a girl is interested
    Category: Dating Tips | May 26, 2018

    It’s no secret that divorce happens. And, while experts say the divorce rate is now lower than 50 percent, the odds are still pretty decent that you’re going to date a divorced dude at some point.

    While there's nothing wrong with dating a guy who's been previously hitched, there are some potential issues that can crop up. A lot of it comes down to how the divorce went down, says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay or Should I Go? For someone who was only married a few years without kids, divorce could feel like a normal breakup except with lots of documents to sign, she says. "[But] a divorce for someone who was married a long time or has kids may mean having to integrate all of those factors into the relationship."

    Regardless of the circumstances of his previous marriage, going through a divorce can also impact how a guy sees or acts in a romantic relationship, says Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D. That's why you should ask him these key things before you get serious:

    Are you comfortable talking about your divorce?

    A man who completely avoids the topic or shows “significant discomfort” talking about his divorce may still be emotionally invested or, at the very least, has some serious tension about the topic, Cilona says. And that’s a red flag. It shows that he has an unhealthy connection to his previous marriage and/or spouse, which could be trouble for your future.

    Do you want to get married again?

     

    You might assume that since he's been married before, he wouldn’t have any issues hitching up again, but as Durvasula points out, that’s not always the case. “Some may not want to get married again after experiencing it once,” she says. It’s important to determine where your guy stands on the issue, and how it aligns with where you see your future going.

    Do you believe that you can spend your life with someone?

    Even if neither of you is interested in marriage, it’s a good idea to find out whether he thinks two people can be together for the long haul—ring or no ring. Think: Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. He may not want to legally commit again, but could be completely open to the idea of a forever-commitment or living together. “Plenty of divorced folks believe in love and commitment as much as anyone,” Durvasula says. If your guy no longer thinks that two people can be in a loving, committed relationship, that’s a red flag.

    Did you want the divorce?

    According to Stanford University research, 70 percent of divorces are initiated by women. And, while your guy may not have initiated the divorce, it’s good to find out if he wanted it. “You want to suss out that he is not still pining for his old life,” Durvasula says. “You also want to find out if he is still holding a torch for his ex.” Granted, it’s possible he didn’t want the divorce but he’s since moved on. However, his answer to the question can provide clues as to whether that’s the case.

    How do you feel about your ex?

    Not everyone can speak highly about their ex (kudos to Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck), but if he’s super bitter or angry about her, that could be a sign that he’s still emotionally invested in the relationship, Durvasula says.

    Other bad signs: Your guy puts the blame for the demise of his marriage on his ex, or says he’s learned gross generalized lessons about women or marriage based on his experience, Cilona says. “No matter what the situation, each partner has accountability and contributes in some ways to the relationship and dissolution of the marriage,” he points out.

    Above all, keep this in mind: Divorce can be a very healthy thing. “Staying in a broken relationship is not honorable, and many people grow from them,” Durvasula says. “But you do need to ask these questions to decide if you would be OK with being spouse number two if it came down to that.” 

     

  • Here's what you need to know....
    Pexels photo 160322
    Category: Dating Tips | May 25, 2018

    It's one of the standard questions you get asked immediately after you tell your friends that you're seeing someone new. Right after "What does he do?" and "Where does he live?" usually comes, "How old is he?"

    If there's not much of an age difference between you two, the conversation moves right along. But people can get pretty hung up on the topic of age once they find out that your new dude is five or even 10 years your senior (ditto if he's that much younger than you).

    Judgey friends aside, is there actually an ideal age difference for a relationship?

    A few years ago, researchers from Emory University surveyed more than 3,000 men and women and found that even a five-year age difference resulted in an 18 percent higher likelihood of divorce compared to couples who were the same age, says sex and relationship expert Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D. The researchers also suggested that a 10-year age gap boosted a couple's chance of divorce by 39 percent, and a 20-year span led to a 95 percent increase in the chances of divorce. On the flipside, a one-year difference in age only resulted in a 3 percent higher chance for divorce.

     

    However, the survey may have overstated its results, says O'Reilly. "More recent research has shown that the Emory University researchers' data can’t accurately predict a couple's likelihood of divorce based on their age gap alone," she says. (The study authors later admitted that while there was a correlation between age gap and divorce, they couldn't definitively predict a couple's risk of divorce.)

    And it makes sense. "There are so many other factors that differentiate you from your partner," she says. Your culture, geography, family history, education, and income, for example, all shape your personality and relationship values, says O'Reilly.

    In fact, being 20+ years older or younger than your partner (think: Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Jason Statham), can sometimes be a good thing, says Jane Greer, Ph.D. "This offers the opportunity for the younger partner to bring vitality into the relationship, balanced by the older person bringing wisdom and experience," she says.

    Unfortunately, aside from the anecdotal evidence from experts and the Emory University study, insight on the perfect age gap in a relationship is super light.

    That's because there's no way to make an accurate prediction about the success of a relationship based on age alone, explains O’Reilly. “No matter how much data you collect, you can't predict how future marriages will unfold," she says.

    That being said, one surefire way to doom your relationship is to get hung up on the age difference, says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. Reality check: You're not destined to be a statistic. "If you get along, have good communication and problem-solving skills, and you love each other, that's far more important than your ages," says Tessina.

    If other people have a problem with it, let it be their problem.

  • But wait: One of them is now happily married to the guy...
    How to get over a friend
    Category: Dating Tips | May 24, 2018

    Let's take it back now ya'll with a trip down memory lane for one of TV's most awkward dates (which still lives on forever thanks to gifs) on The Hills. Remember that time Audrina went out with that shaggy-haired guy who got like 30 text messages and random phone calls during their date. If not, let us refresh your memory:

    Let this be a reminder that bad dates happen to good people all the time. And though they are incredibly awkward, embarrassing, or just awful, they make hilarious stories we can all (mostly) related to.

    With that in mind, we asked ladies who've been there, lived through that to share the worst date they've ever been on—ever.

    "The worst date I went on wasn't because the guy messed up, it was because I got so violently sick. It was our first date, and I must have eaten something earlier in the day that gave me food poisoning. I ran to the bathroom and spent a while vomiting. When I came back out, my hair was a mess and I was so pale. I also smelled like vomit. It was so embarrassing. At that point, he was relieved to see me; I think he thought I ditched him or something. I told him what happened and he said it was no problem and drove me home. We were silent the whole car ride. I was pretty nauseous and not really in the mood for conversation. I thought he'd never speak to me again, but he texted me when he got home to make sure I was okay and asked me how I was feeling. Two days later, we redid our first date and it went really well. We dated for three months after that." —Elsie S., 31

    "On our first date, my now-husband showed up late and drunk! Two no-nos. He came into the restaurant about 40 minutes past the time we were supposed to meet and smelled like tequila. His face was flushed and his eyes were droopy. We could barely hold a conversation because he couldn't keep his eyes open. When he asked me what I did for a living, I told him I was a nurse and he thought I said that I worked at a nursing home—so he was asking me questions about old people. Since he was so wasted, I ordered three shots and tried to catch up. I wasn’t quite on his level, but I was definitely drunk and stopped caring about how terrible the date was. Though the date was terrible, we ended up sleeping together that night. I woke up the next morning in his apartment and I swear he was so confused as to who I was. He remembered like 20 percent of the night. He apologized and we went on our second date that night. We have been inseparable since. He explained that he was so hammered because he was drinking with clients all day at work to impress them. We've been married for five years and laugh about that date. He has never been as drunk as he was that first date." —Rosalva W., 34

    "On my second date with this guy, we had dinner and went out for a drink at a fancy bar. When we left the bar, I went to get into his car and started giving him directions back to my place. That's when he told me that I should really come back to his place with him. I declined because I wasn't ready to sleep with him yet. When I told him no, he said, 'If you don't come home with me, I'll never talk to you again.' It was shocking how aggressive he was. And it sucked because I actually liked him and thought he was a nice guy. He complimented me throughout the night and even paid for my dinner. I literally told him to go f—k himself. He told me to get out of the car and left me stranded in the middle of the parking lot, like 30 minutes away from home. I had to Google a taxi service to pick me up. I'm glad he showed his true colors, though." —Ashley V., 26

    "I was on a date with this guy I met online. He wasn’t as attractive in real life as his photos were and we didn't seem to have a lot in common once the conversation got going. When he started talking about sports, I told him I don’t follow any teams so he changed the subject to the election. He was a Trump supporter and I was not. I voiced my opinions about how I think Trump is a narcissistic idiot and he told me that Hillary was a liar and a puppet. It turned into a 20-minute fight over dinner. He started taking personal jabs at me saying I didn’t know what I was talking about because I didn’t go to an Ivy League school. I called him a douchebag. After the waiter cleared out plates, he said he had to go to the bathroom and then he never came back. I asked the server to check the bathroom and he wasn't there. I had to pay for the $250 dinner and drinks myself. I texted him to pay me back but he never responded. He dined and dashed and ghosted me!" —Lauren D., 31 

    “I was on my fourth date with this guy, and things were going well. He seemed like a gentleman, took me out to nice restaurants, and always paid. He actually appeared to be ready to be in a relationship with me. That night, he told me to come over to his place so he could cook for me. I go to his tiny New York City apartment, and he made me an amazing meal. After dinner, we started making out and taking our clothes off. All of a sudden he pulled away and told me that he had something to confess. I had no idea what he was going to say. He looked me in the eyes and told me that he's married. His wife and kids live in New Hampshire, and this is where he stays when he works during the week and some weekends. I started laughing because I thought he was kidding. He didn’t seem like he was a married man or a dad. He told me he was serious and showed me pictures of his family. He was hoping that I would be his girlfriend in NYC. I immediately put my clothes on and left. I deleted his number and never saw him again.” —Christine O., 31

    “I went out for drinks with this guy on our first date, and we ordered a bottle of champagne. It was a good time: We had a lot in common and the conversation was flowing. On date two, he picked a French restaurant where everything on the menu is at least $50. It wasn't really my kind of place, but I said okay because I liked him. The date went really well; the conversation was intimate and I felt like I could talk to him about personal things. He even ordered for me because I didn’t speak French or know what to get. We shared some dishes and had a bottle of champagne. When the bill came, he pushed it toward me and said, 'You’ll get this one, right?' I really didn't expect that. Then, he said, 'I paid for our first date. I figured we’d alternate?' Then I said, 'But you picked this place?' And he shrugged it off. I was completely turned off by him in that moment. It was like he used me to pay for this fancy dinner. I agreed to pay for half and he was not thrilled. He told me that it wasn’t nice of me to make him pay. Seriously, I think he is delusional. Once the bill was paid, I put my jacket on and left without saying goodbye. Good luck to him, really.” —Joelle P., 37

     

  • “Is it weird to order a three-course meal for myself?”...
    How to describe an orgasm
    Category: Dating Tips | May 23, 2018

    Is it, like, a couples holiday today or something? OK, fine, those of us without a Valentine this year are well aware that love is all up in the air. (And on the off chance we forget for a sec, we have plenty of Fifty Shades Darker promos to jog our memories real quick.)

    If you're all by yourse-e-elf relationship-wise on February 14th, remember that there are tons of single ladies out there enjoying a solo wine and cheese night right along with you—and odds are, you're probably all thinking these things: "I am the Queen of Baked Goods"

    Who even has time for a date when you consider that there are a kajillion DIY heart cakes, red velvet brownies, and strawberry-chocolate combos on Pinterest that NEED to happen. You get a pin! You get a pin! You get a pin! "You know what sounds amazing?"

    A Dateline marathon! Nothing says livin' la vida single like murder and Lester Holt. More of this please. Oh, and pass the brownies. "Where my vibrator at?"

    Whether it's post-Galentine's party or just a celebration of solo love, it's time to get reacquainted with your electronic friend. The best part? You don't have to worry about whether it will be good or not. That lil' guy always comes through.

    You get that February is romantic as hell, but as you decorate your Disney Valentine's to all your Galentines, you can't help but feel warm and fuzzies for your girlfrandz.

    Not to be a hater on National Love Day, but even the Valencia filter can't erase his late-night video game habit or her constant need to play grammar police (you mean "there," not "their," honey bunches of oats).

    Honestly, all these Snapchat stories of lobster and cheesy pasta are becoming too much to take. You don't need a freaking boyfriend to down a bomb-ass meal, but you do need stretchy pants, which you have. Let's roll.

    The best part of making your own V-Day plans is making your own V-Day plans. Drinking an impressive amount of wine in sweats? Sure! Shopping for fancy AF candles? Why not! Dancing to "Single Ladies" with your girlfriends in da club or in front of da couch? Absolutely. You do you! 

    A cute, sweet single dad who's still in love with his dead wife, but opens his wounded heart to one kind, funny, special lady at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day? Come on, people! Let's get real.

    Rise, shine, and get to the drugstore. Those 75-percent-off boxes of chocolates aren't going to eat themselves.

    All the damn love in the air is enough to make any reasonable girl reconsider the dude with the goofy smile and graphic tee who keeps popping up on Bumble. Maybe he's really nice to his mom?

    That guy you dated a month ago is on the line, and he wants to know if you want to have an adult sleepover. Apparently some single dudes can't handle their solo status on Valentine's Day. New phone, who this?

    JKJKJK—poor fashion sense is one thing, but emotional unavailability? Deal breaker.

    As ballsy babe Jennifer Lawrence famously told a Vogue reporter in 2015,  "Cheers to my hymen growing back!" If J. Law can be cool with it, you can be cool with it. Welcome back, old friend. 

    Yes V-Day is a cheesy holiday driven by consumerism, but it's also not going anywhere anytime soon, and while you don't have to participate in the most cliché of ways if that's not your jam, who couldn't use another reminder to be grateful for the love in your life (from your friends, your fam, your coworkers— #loveisloveislove)? 

  • This woman tried it—and it worked...
    How to rebuild trust
    Category: Dating Tips | May 22, 2018

    When it comes to dating, some play “the game.”

    You know the one: You act unavailable, don’t text back right away, and dodge date invites—essentially, you're playing hard to get.

    Some men have actually grown to expect games from women. I’ve been told that the chase creates mystery and excitement. One guy says it “establishes value” because you’ve gotta work for a spot in their schedule. There’s a rush of nervous energy because you don’t even know if the person in question is going to text you back or blow you off. Sounds sooooo fun, right? As a recovering game-player though, my best advice is to cut it out.

    How I Started Playing

    My indoctrination to dating games was accidental. In my early twenties, I was a sorta-bookworm finishing a double major at a rigorous college and working full-time hours as a freelance journalist. I was also enjoying some newfound attention from the guys in a slightly older social circle (my best friend at the time was several years my senior).

    So there I was: Coming into my own and growing real confidence for the first time ever. While I was still focused on work and college first, I was starting to entertain dating more often than I’d done in the past.

    At first, I wasn’t an intentional game-player. I am reserved by nature, so men would often call me “mysterious.” (Huh.) I was also genuinely busy and had a jam-packed schedule. So when a guy would get my number, I couldn’t always meet up right away. Small talk wasn’t easy for me, but guys who engaged in wordplay were my kryptonite. They broke me out of my shell, and I seemed to vibe with the wittiest charmers of the dating pool. (Spice up your sex life with this organic lube from the Women's Health Boutique)

    The guys with whom I sparked most frequently were socially-savvy, career-oriented, and very assertive. They were also competitive and liked to pursue women who seemed inaccessible.

    At first, I didn’t actively think about how playing hard to get was impacting my dating life—but then I’d go on a few dates with a charming guy and think, “Oh, wow. I think I do like him,” at which point I’d develop feelings. That’s when the seesaw would tilt in his direction—and he’d start to play games with me. Sometimes he’d be unresponsive, refuse to text back for a few days, or suggest a maybe-date only to make me wait around and see if he’d come through. In retaliation, I became forever “busy” (even if I wasn’t), I would not text him back for days at a time, and I'd cancel drinks at the last moment.

    Why I Never Won 

    If I trace it all back, I now realize this vicious cycle began because I wasn’t dating for a relationship. I wasn’t actively investing in anyone. The resulting relationships were haphazard and often unhealthy. But at the time, the games were bad habits, and I was hooked. I’d always resort back to games when I felt defensive or wanted the upper hand, which is the exact opposite of how to build a great relationship.

    According to Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at St. Francis College and co-founder of the Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab (SABL), most of the games we play are the result of societal influences. There was even a best-selling dating book in the 1990s called The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right . Some of those dating guidelines included: Don’t accept a Saturday date after Wednesday.

     

    But those tactics perpetuate inauthenticity in relationships. “If both people are playing games, they aren’t being true to their own wants and needs,” Cohen says. “If we aren’t honest with our partner, we aren’t actually building a healthy relationship.” Since dating sets the stage for any relationship, those games run deeper than the surface-level intrigue.

    You may not actually like the person anymore. (And why would you? These behaviors are often infuriating.) But the psychological component of wanting affection, and being unsure if you’ll get it, keeps you coming back for more, says Cohen. It’s no longer fun and games. It’s basically an addiction.

    Even if you do wind up in a relationship, your dynamics are already out of whack—and you may end up walking on eggshells around your S.O., so he won't withdraw affection again. In a way, an abusive relationship is operating similarly, Cohen says. “People are often so immersed in the relationship that they fail to see toxic signs; the abusers can appear to be very loving and attentive at times, giving the abused person the reinforcement he or she needs to stay in the relationship.”

    Quitting For Good

    I eventually realized this merry-go-round of drama never produced healthy relationships. I just generally felt like crap the majority of the time.

    It seems so obvious, right? Any solid relationship prospect would want to feel special. If a person is only into you for the games and the adrenaline rush you provide, their interest will be fleeting. So, if you actually want to build a healthy, happy relationship, your best strategy is showing selective interest. Don’t play hard to get. Just be hard to get for everyone but those special, healthy, compatible matches.

    This is a strategy I employ now more than ever. I try to dial back a bit on all the fun, flirty banter and get to know a person intentionally first. That way, it’s easier to notice which guys seem interesting, kind, and worthy of special attention.

    Try it. When you finally like what you see in a prospect, make moves! It’s 2017 for crying out loud. If a person is turned off by your genuine interest, that’s not your person. Authenticity is a great filter for those who just want to mess with your head.

     

  • Summer loving, had me a blast?
    Pexels photo
    Category: Dating Tips | May 21, 2018

    Summer loving definitely isn’t always the sassy, splashy dream romance epitomized by Danny and Sandy in Grease or in High School Musical.  In fact, there are so many things you fantasize about happening that aren’t even close to the reality of what actually goes down when you find a fling that's just fun from June to August.

    (Add something extra to your sex life with the JimmyJane Form 8 vibe from the Women's Health Boutique.)

    1. Expectation: Making out so hard on the beach sounds bomb.
    Reality: Except sexual activity and sand are, in fact, the worst combination of all time. Let’s get real: Outdoor summer lovin’ is best kept by the pool. Or, you know, in the air conditioning with Orange Is The New Black on.

    2. Expectation: Strolling through the streets licking an ice cream cone hand in hand.
    Reality: More like fighting froyo farts and your bloated stomach busting out of your romper. Notions of you two frolicking down the main drag, arm in arm, enjoying a sweet treat (a la Noah and Ali from The Notebook) are quickly dashed when you realize you’re both lactose intolerant and still in that new love phase of trying to pretend like digestive issues don’t exist.

    3. Expectation: Rolling through a grassy meadow, making flower crowns, and feeding each other grapes.
    Reality: You spend more time swatting away a bajillion insects than actually enjoying this outdoor foreplay. Pack some bug spray in that picnic basket, girl. Pretty sure bite marks aren’t in your picturesque vision, at least not the kind you get from bloodthirsty mosquitos in the middle of July.

    4. Expectation: He’s going to invite you to live out your days with him in an Italian castle.
    Reality: His invite only comes after he hits you up for bus fare. Oh we’ve all got the foreign lover fantasy. When in Rome, drink wine, explore hidden alleyways, and find a dashing European gent to sweep you off your feet and steal your heart. But check your wallet to make sure he didn’t steal your identity first.

    5. Expectation: Your summer fling's main purpose is to be your wedding date for the next few months. 
    Reality: Jokes on you. You weren’t even given a plus one. Apparently those are reserved for serious couples only. Looks like you’re still flying solo. What was the point of this summer hook up again?

    6. Expectation: “We met on vacation in paradise, but the long-distance relationship we're facing now will never break this bond!”
    Reality: But 18 TSA pat-downs later, you're having second thoughts. You’re wondering why you ever thought you could make a Miami to Seattle romance work—his biceps, oral skills, and witty comebacks aren’t worth all the airfare.

    7. Expectation: Hot summer nights are sultry, sexy, and, well, hot as hell.
    Reality: Tangled up in the sheets with your electric summer fling, sweating so profusely it feels like you both went swimming pre-sack sesh. Thanks but no thanks.

    8. Expectation: Makin’ love in the hot tub sounds like the making of your own sexy reality dating show.
    Reality: But IRL, you're just making a bacterial infection. You wanna get busy with your dream man in the Jacuzzi? Better make plans to get busy with your gyno, too. The love in this tub is gonna turn into a raging yeast infection real quick.

    9. Expectation: Sunbathing together all day makes for a pretty hot night.
    Reality: Well, it is hot. But that's because you're both lobster-level sunburned. It was all fun and games until you fell asleep in each other’s arms and forgot to reapply SPF. Now the only thing that’s getting a rub down tonight is your scorched red skin with a gallon of aloe.

    10. Expectation: This summer fling could be the life-changing romance that turns into a wedded bliss by next Fall.
    Reality: It's all fun in the sun until you realize that you literally have nothing in common. You were attracted to his poolside abs and sexy smile, but now that you're a month or two in you're realizing that those are pretty much the only two things you like about him. The only solution: Less talking, more sexing.

    11. Expectation: Making out on the ferris wheel at the state fair.
    Reality: Being stuck on that thing for an hour when it breaks down is not so fun. Neither was the sticky leftover candy apple left in the seat by the previous passenger, the long-ass line you had to wait in to get there, or the astronomical ticket price of the state fair these days. Kiss on a porch swing at home; the view isn't that great anyway.

  • Why it's best avoid them like the zodiac plague...
    Yzp3rcqcp c tom sodoge
    Category: Dating Tips | May 20, 2018

    Before you go barreling headfirst into a new relationship, the stars might have something ugly planned for you and your latest S.O. Lucky for us, the AstroTwins are here to tell us the definite DON'Ts for each sign and why it's best avoid them like the zodiac plague.

    Aries (March 21–April 19)

    Don't date: Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

    Aries are rule breakers and Capricorns are rule makers. You'll constantly feel criticized for your renegade style which can frighten well-behaved Cap. Spontaneity is your jam. Capricorn can't even go to dinner without making a reservation. You're both high achievers, but workaholic Capricorn is married to the job. You may feel like you're in a polyamorous relationship with Capricorn's boss—and good luck getting that Recommended Daily Allowance of attention every Aries needs.

    Taurus (April 20-May 20)

    Don't date: Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

    Wait…what? Do. Not. Compute. Although you like your rules and traditions, Aquarius' wiring feels downright robotic to you. In relationships, you're all warmth and heart—with a side of vintage champagne and French chocolates. Aquarius operates on a confusing paradox of logic and rebellion—and they're far too egalitarian (and after a few dates, cheap) to pay for your luxe indulgences. Things could get experimental between the sheets, but in the real world? A total buzzkill.

    Gemini (May 21-June 20)

    Don't date: Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

    The seductive game playing is undeniably hot in this combination with both of you volleying naughty Snapchats and sexting throughout the day. But things go south when you try to seal the deal. You thought this was a cool flirtation and you just want to "see what happens." Scorpio demands exclusivity and fidelity before you even kiss. With their willpower and manipulative charm, you'll quickly become the sub to their dom.

    Cancer (June 21–July 22)

    Don't date: Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

    Wild, freewheeling Sagittarius rushes into your life like a whirling tornado—and sometimes, that's just what you need to get yourself out of that shell. But you can't ride that inconsistent wave pattern long without throwing your fragile sensibilities into a state of extreme anxiety. Archer's insane social (and travel) schedule will clash with your nesting instincts and longing for one-on-one time. When you're baring your soul, Sagittarius cracks a joke—and won't understand why certain things (like spending time with family) are a big deal to you. The disconnect is just painful.

    Leo (July 23–August 22)

    Don't date: Pisces (February 19–March 20)

    Dreamy, dazzling Pisces will instantly enchant you. At last! The magical playmate who will cuddle up with you in Never-Never Land. You could literally lose your foothold in reality staying up until dawn with this nocturnal creature. But beneath the fantasy-fueled veneer, Pisces' somber moods can get stormy and depressive. You'll take it personally—and even freak out—when Pisces goes dark, ignoring your texts for longer-than-a-Leo-can-manage spell. And neither of you has much willpower when it comes to your money. This one could leave you in debt!

    Virgo (August 23–September 22)

    Don't date: Libra (September 23–October 22)

    At last! Someone who can appreciate your refined and discerning tastes—and actually volley back some decent suggestions of their own. The first few dates will be pure magic…if you can get them scheduled. You demand definites. Libra speaks in "call me maybes." Before you can relax and get intimate, you need know that a relationship is actually heading somewhere. Libras can barely commit to a dinner plan. And they refuse to be rushed into a romantic entanglement. Your patience will wear thinner than angel hair pasta, bringing out the frustrated mean girl in you—not a good look, Virgo!

    Libra (September 23–October 22)

    Don't date: Virgo (August 23–September 22)

    Bookish, cultured Virgo seems like a great match at first. You have similar tastes and both enjoy the finer things in life. But results-driven Virgo is on a constant self-improvement mission while you prefer to view the world through a rosier lens. You'll feel rushed by their demands for action and certainty—and henpecked by "Coach Virgo's" meddling (and unyielding) self-improvement tips. You're a gift giver who spares no expense on the ones you adore; Virgo is cheap with everyone but themselves. And when they turn that critical eye on you, bye-bye sexual chemistry.

    Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

    Don't date: Gemini (May 21–June 20)

    Though you're hopelessly attracted to Gemini's mercurial style, the inability to pin them down (or make them commit!) will bring out your absolute worst. Gemini's erratic communication patterns will leave you obsessively checking your phone and their unrepentant flirting will turn you into a raving, jealous lunatic.

    Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

    Don't date: Cancer (June 21–July 22)

    Cultured, epicurean Cancers make great hanging buddies, but keep them in the friend zone. In love, this coolly cynical sign can get cloyingly sweet and clingy. Your intimacy alarm bells will clang as Cancer basically moves in to your bachelorette pad after the third date—and the sentimental cards and letters might activate your gag reflexes and crueler sense of humor. You just…can't.

    Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

    Don't date: Aries (March 21–April 19)

    Aries is the zodiac's infant and you're the provider sign. The power dynamics are just off here. Unless you're searching for a sugar baby, this combo could quickly turn into a romance-killing dependency. Even if you are both rainmakers, entitled Aries may feel perfectly justified spending your hard-earned fortune while hoarding theirs.

    Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

    Don't date: Taurus (April 20–May 20)

    As much as you admire Taurus' romantic fervor, their passionate intensity could leave your levelheaded sign mystified—if not overwhelmed and catatonic. You just can't understand why they need to hear "I love you" with every text or get insecure when you plan a friend hangout without them. Their expensive tastes are a total turn-off to your humanitarian sign. While they order oysters and caviar, you'd rather be making a donation to the ACLU and saving up for an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru. Clashing values will ultimately kill this connection.

    Pisces (February 19–March 20)

    Don't date: Leo (July 23–August 22)

    Need a nap yet, Pisces? At first, you'll be dazzled by Leo's sweeping chivalry and gallant romantic gestures. And oh, how the two of you will spend on "one more drink" that turns into a 48-hour marathon date. But who is this person who swept you off your feet? Your desire to plunge into deeper waters will be thwarted by Leo's constant performing and praise-whoring. The proud lion's struggle to be vulnerable could make you feel like the hot mess in the relationship—until you discover their credit card bills. Run!

  • Apparently LA's hottest matchmaking event, the science of smell has come to London...
    How to talk to a girl for the first time
    Category: Dating Tips | May 19, 2018

    Don't bother trying to smell nice for your next date – the hottest LA trend has made its way to the UK: pheromone parties. Rebecca Holman spends three nights getting smelly in the same T-shirt

    I was going to start this piece by listing all the strange things in my quest for love (sex). Then I realised that my commitment to meeting my one true love is pretty fleeting at the best of times. I got bored of Tinder after a couple of weeks, I’ve never spent more than four consecutive weeks in a row on a dating website, and I’ve never been speed dating or to a singles night.

    So, it was with more than a drop of trepidation that I agreed to try out Pheromone Dating – the ‘latest’ dating trend to come out of LA (I say ‘latest’, what I mean is the strangest right this second. I was going to jokingly suggest someone will introduce blood type dating next, and then I Googled it and realised that’s already a thing).

    Anyway, pheromone dating works on the concept that we can literally sniff out a potential partner by getting a whiff of their pheromones (best not to wear deodorant or perfume) – and if you’re attracted to their smell then you’re off to a good start – dating experts believe that a good pheromone match plays a big part in what makes couples attracted to each other. It’s science, innit?

    So, you arrive at the event with a cotton T-shirt you’ve worn for three nights in a row, sealed in a zip lock bag, and your bag is assigned a number and added to the pile – the red numbered bags are women’s T-shirts, blue numbers are for guys.

    Then you get sniffing. Literally, that is it. You smell all the T-shirts and if one takes your olfactory fancy, you have your picture taken holding the bag – and number – up. The pictures are then projected onto a big screen, so you can see who’s got the hot for your pheromones.

    I could now explain the science behind it at this point, but really you want to know what happens when a group of grown men and women get a bit pissed and start sniffing T-shirts don’t you?

    I was pretty up for this idea at first, because I’ve been complimented on my perfume more than once (as in, almost twice) – apparently I smell nice/ not terrible. Also, if you’re basing it on sheer science, then the usual things that let me down – annoying personality quirks, unwashed hair, won’t matter. But then I remembered that I’m quite a sweaty sleeper (sorry), so there was still a fair amount of potential for me to be the smelly girl in the room.

    Nonetheless I wore my T-shirt for three nights, as requested, and resisted the urge to cheat by spraying my T-shirts with extra deodorant or perfume on the final morning. This, I later discovered was my first mistake.

    As well as a smelly T-shirt, I was also asked to bring a guy along as there were fewer men than women signed up to the event – was the pheromone dating night in fact my entire life in microcosm?

    So, I signed up my single friend Rob, who dutifully also did the cotton T-shirt trick, and off we went. I was expecting maybe 20 men and 20 women. How many people are you really going to get to come along to what’s essentially an evening in a gym changing room, but with cocktails?

    Obviously I was wrong – there must have been 150 people at the event, which was held at Stories bar in Broadway Market, everyone clutching a ziplog bag full of sweaty pheromones. Rob and I were assigned numbers, added our bags to the (weird) pile of dirty T-shirts in the corner, and went straight to the bar, as is our want.

    I relaxed slightly when I realised there was absolutely no forced participation involved. Forced fun is my kryptonite, and nothing makes me run off screaming into the night like being made to talk to a total stranger. As it happens, it was perfectly acceptable (if a little redundant) to hang out at the bar without sniffing anything, or having your photo taken. I tried this for about 30 minutes, necking white wine and gazing anxiously at the big screen on the wall out of one eye, waiting to see if my number came up. Nothing.

    And while I was contemplating my own smelliness, Rob’s number popped up several times in quick succession. As he was performing a self-congratulatory high five with himself, I glanced over to the table zip-log bags and I’m pretty sure I saw a guy pick up my T-shirt, smell it, grimace and hand it to his mate – like a weird version of that smell my belly button game, but involving my nightclothes and self-esteem.

    I was tempted to stomp off into the night at this point – I found the whole thing a bit forced and stressful – but Rob was revelling in his new role as an olfactory stud, and it seemed a bit churlish to leave without giving the whole thing a proper go. So I got sniffing. There were a couple of absolute stinkers, of course, but plenty smelt of washing powder, or nothing, and it took me a while to find one that stood out. Finally I found a T-shirt that smelt really fantastic – part deodorant, part washing powder, and party body smell. But in a good way. So I took the plunge and had my photo taken with my new prize. Taking care to obscure as much of my face as possible, naturally.

    Deed done, I skulked off back to the bar, and got talking to a girl who had come along on her own, simply because she lives nearby ‘and what’s the point in living in London if you don’t do these things?’ I certainly admired her chutzpah, it wasn’t the sort of thing I’d have wanted to stick around at without a wingman. People were mingling and talking, but these are the sort of hyper-confident people who believe they’ll be able to pull on sheer smell alone. I’m not one of those people.

    As I loitered near the T-shirts (they were next to the bar), I heard a couple of girls telling people to avoid certain numbered bags, as they were the real stinkers. Wait a minute, were people being … pheromone shamed? Yes, yes they were. And similarly a couple of other women there had become suspicious when they noticed that one girl’s number was coming up loads, so they smelt her T-shirt and discovered that she’d almost certainly sprayed it with perfume before the event. They were scandalised, I wished I’d had the foresight to do the same thing.

    The point of pheromone dating, I presume, is to cut out an element of the superficiality – there’s no way of judging someone on their looks until you know if you like their smell. But instead, we’d all found new ways to judge each other, and introduce competition to the proceedings. Maybe it’s because how you smell is so hyper-personal that it left people feeling vulnerable. And what do you do when you feel vulnerable? You become defensive – whether that’s by judging other people more vehemently that you’re being judged yourself, or by finding reasons and excuses to explain why they’ve succeeded when you’ve failed.

    But once the smelling part of the night was over (I had my picture taken with my ‘picks’ twice, I got picked once – I can live with that – although I didn't speak to him, he looked odd, tbh) and everyone started to relax into it, and I had a great time. Although I had a little bit too much of a great time; I got hammered, frankly, and ended up giving the photographer my number.

    Regardless, the genius element of a singles event isn’t the gimmick that ostensibly gets you there (although it does go someway to ensuring the right ‘type’ of people are there for you – quirky? Intellectual? Sporty?).

    It’s the fact that you’re in a room full of other single people, you’re all there because, broadly speaking, you’re looking for some sort of relationship and, if the organisers have done their job properly, there should be a fairly even ratio of men to women. And, as any single woman living in London will know, that’s worth its weight in gold.

     

  • As research suggests many people are happier single, Liz Hoggard explains that life spent alone, rather than being lonely, can be liberating...
    How to talk to a shy girl
    Category: Dating Tips | May 18, 2018

    Last Thursday I had a really promising date. Of course it wasn’t really a date at all, but rather a coffee to see if we wanted to meet for another coffee. At best, online dating is a form of genteel audition.

    The rendezvous was at a London railway station so he could avoid catching the dreaded “vomit train” home. I arrived late and flustered, having bolted from a film screening, but for three hours solid, we talked and laughed. Kissing my cheek at the end of the evening, he said warmly: “We will do this again.”

    I wafted home fuelled by several glasses of red wine (think blowsy, mid-period Liz Taylor) and began making a frenzied to-do list: book Pilates classes, clean flat, learn to blow-dry hair properly (cf tutorials on YouTube). After being single for 18 months, there’s clearly plenty to do. Of course I don’t technically have another free night until November (like most singles, the diary’s a bit mad). But hope springs eternal.

    And then radio silence. No follow-up text or email. I could see he’d logged back onto the dating site. Possibly the lovely man had met an even lovelier girl, with more Thursdays in prospect.

    A week on, I’ve allowed myself a brief moment of disappointment. Followed by, well, could that be relief? The to-do list can go back on hold. Ditto the body maintenance, if I won’t actually be disrobing in front of anyone new this winter.

    It seems I’m not the only one to flirt with ambivalence. This week a new survey by researchers at the University of Auckland found that - contrary to the persisting perception of Bridget Jones types, weeping into their Chardonnay - many single people are actually happier on their own than being coupled up. And according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of single people (happily so, or otherwise) is on the rise - up three million in a decade - with increasing numbers choosing to divorce, or never marrying in the first place.

    Of course, past research has also shown that good relationships bring stability, happiness and better health. Not to mention a significant other to help with zips and applying suncream.

    But if you shy away from hurt and drama, or have what psychologists call high “avoidance social goals” (i.e. you try at all costs to avoid conflict), then a single life is likely to bring more contentment, according to the survey of 4000 people, who ranged in age from 18-94, and whose relationship status varied from single to married for decades.

    I can see the advantages in staying single - it’s a form of emotional armour. Not only is it safer, it automatically removes the anxiety associated with relationships. Is he bored? Is she angry? Am I stifled? When did we start talking about the cat so much?

    Because emotional intimacy takes work. And many of us who travel with baggage are too scared of losing our unique selves, of letting other people see us as we really are (complex, flawed). We dread being too much - or too little - for a beloved.

    In that sense, life spent alone – as opposed to being lonely – can be liberating. “This is actually the first evidence that being single doesn’t necessarily undermine life satisfaction or wellbeing and in fact may offer benefits including protection against being hurt or rejected by relationship partners,” says Yuthika Girme, who led the Auckland study.

    I’ve always considered myself a positive single. There were no fantasies about white dresses growing up. A late starter on the social scene, I threw myself into work and travel in my twenties and thirties. Occasionally I longed for a night in with beans on toast with a significant other. But an ability to attract commitment-phobic men meant that fantasy was rarely tested.

    So I can see how remaining single long-term must, whether at a conscious or unconscious level, involve an element of choice. When I did finally settle into a grown-up relationship in my forties, it felt thrilling. But gradually I realised no one person can answer all your needs. And if you’re proud, it’s hard to ask for help. You can crave intimacy without being able to articulate it.

    When my boyfriend and I broke up after two years, I felt real pain but also some peace. Life is calmer after the hurly-burly of a relationship that is only just enduring. You can now PLAN things, book holidays, not feel guilty that you’re enjoying yourself or actually want to go to that last-minute party. And obviously the gnawing worry about exactly when it’s going to end it is over. You have nothing more to lose. “Rejection is the beginning of being free,” as Germaine Greer once brilliantly put it.

    Plus, I can’t say it loudly enough: friends are the joyous, freely chosen part of our lives. I don’t really believe in The One (yes, he clearly doesn’t believe in me, either). But it is my love affair with my friends that has formed the cornerstone of my life.

    “Come on Baroness,” texts my 35-year-old gay friend, Peter. “There’s a cocktail waiting here for you.” This month for my birthday he booked four of us into a gorgeous historic house hotel. It was unapologetically glam with a high thread count (the waiters were utterly mystified by who was dating who) and nobody argued. Even in the car.

    No wonder that researchers at the London School of Economics, who spent three years recording the ebb and flow of 50,000 people’s moods, discovered that most were far happier when with their friends than they were with their partners.

    I have friendships I have nurtured for 35 years. They take work and care to bloom. They don’t just crash-land into your life. I’m slightly irritated when people say: “You’re lucky to have so many friends.” Luck has little to do with it: it’s all about the admin. Remembering birthdays, people’s parents, new jobs. Friends are the new para family. We just happen to live separately.

    Are we happier that way? Ostensibly so. I love my flat - bought when it was the tiniest, cheapest flat in London. Every single woman needs a maisonette; somewhere the cats can hold their heads up high.

    But I do appreciate that living alone for decades, in a clutter-less room of one’s own (apologies to Virginia Woolf) can be problematic, too, and leave you a bit set in your ways.

    One day I plan to live communally again in a riotous halfway-to-hell house (top of the current wish-list is an Edward Lutyens house outside Eastbourne) with my friend Helen, her husband and fellow ageing waifs and strays. We just need a pool and a cinema and a stairlift and some bendy assistants.

    So have I given up on love? You might think… I sympathise so much with the singles identified by this survey who prefer to avoid the drama of relationships. But however much I adore my friends, I persist (perhaps foolishly) in hoping something more will “take” one day. Ideally when I’m not even looking.

    I wonder if the real lesson in this research is that learning to handle a fear of hurt and rejection - to take life more on the chin - might be an even better strategy than opting out, for those who do yearn, deep-down, to be met.

    Admittedly, my life might be easier and kinder if I was happy to retire altogether from the romantic arena. I really do envy people who know they prefer their own company to anything else; who would actively choose a great boxset or meditation or baking over a B-list night out, content in their own skins. It’s a gift.

    Me, I’m always hiring. The potential of connecting with another human being is just too exciting - I’d hate to give up on the project.

  • Most of us are all too familiar with the spookiest phenomenon to hit the modern dating scene – the ghost
    Pexels photo 70154 e1461854879595
    Category: Dating Tips | May 17, 2018

    Most of us are all too familiar with the spookiest phenomenon to hit the modern dating scene – the ghost. The ghost is the date who seems warm, solid, reassuring and entirely human, only to disappear to another dimension, sometimes after the first date. They were charming, and you were charmed. You thought you had chemistry and a connection. What could have gone wrong? Ghosting is rude, and if you do find yourself let down by a sexy spectre, you’ve probably had a lucky escape. However, it can knock your confidence, so why not give these tips a try, which will keep dates keen for a second meeting and have them giving up the ghost in no time.

    Keep things brief

    We’ve all been on that perfect first date where eyes meet over a cocktail, and it feels as though you’re ready for marriage after three courses and coffee. Dinner dates are fun, but the trouble is that they’re too intense and don’t give you the space to build a connection. Make sure the first date is a quick coffee, and they’ll be left thinking about all of the subjects you didn’t get around to discussing – and desperate to do it again.

    Don’t tell all your stories

    One of the best and worst things about being single is that you’re told to bring your A game to dinner parties. There’s an unspoken pressure to perform and entertain, as your coupled up friends imply that you don’t have a partner because you’re constantly out having crazy adventures, even if the wildest thing you do is get a lasagne out of the microwave before the recommended five minutes are up. As a result, you develop a fine collection of hilarious anecdotes. Even if you know that you can tell a story that will make your date laugh until jus spurts from their nostrils, don’t feel like you have to deploy it on the first date. It’s a conversation, not a performance.

    Be a bold texter but don’t bang on

    There are old fashioned rules about waiting a few days to message, not being the first person to get in touch and leaving hours between replies. These rules are pointless, sexist and stupid, as well as probably being responsible for our declining birth rate. If you like someone, don’t wait to get in touch – they’ll be delighted to hear from you and impressed by your maverick style. However, once communication has been opened, don’t start messaging every hour, on the hour. That’s how you maintain a sense of mystery. But, if you suspect he is not that into you then take a step back from the phone.

    Suggest something fun

    During the first date, put thoughts of the second and third date in their mind with vague, yet intriguing statements like “I’ve always fancied trying rock climbing,” or “I can’t wait until it gets warm enough for a picnic at Kew Gardens.” Give the best representation of your future life – as if it’s a well filtered Instagram feed – and make them feel like they want to be in those photos with you, eating giant ice creams or dancing at the pop up silent disco at the museum. Don’t be specific about dates or times, just let them start to imagine how much fun the next few weeks with you could be.

    Show that you have your own life going on

    When dating, you have to walk the fine line between showing that you’re ready for a relationship and demonstrating that your life is already pretty full and exciting. It’s best to focus on the latter at the very beginning – so mention holidays with friends, work projects that you’re looking forward to and classes and workshops you intend to take. You want to show your date that your time is precious, and if they don’t fix a second meeting soon, they might miss their chance with you.

    Follow Daisy Buchanan on Twitter @NotRollergirl

  • How to keep sex and love alive: 'argument enders', alone time and 23 other secrets to solve relationship problems
    City man person skyline
    Category: Dating Tips | May 16, 2018

    Kate Figes is an author. Her non-fiction books include 'Couples: How We Make Love Last’ and 'Our Cheating Hearts: Love and Loyalty, Lust and Lies’

    Don’t expect to be one and the same. One of the more ridiculous myths about “true love” is the idea of the soulmate – that there is someone out there who is your perfect match. A good relationship is about navigating the numerous differences between you – over politics, food, money, how to raise children. It’s those differences that make life more interesting, as our lover opens up a whole new way of seeing or understanding the world. Enjoy what others have to offer rather than trying to change them to fit your own template of how life and love should be.

    Accept that your partner is fallible. Expecting someone to be everything you need and everything you are not is a recipe for disaster. We all make mistakes, particularly in our love-lives, as relationships are never easy. But if you can exercise forgiveness in small ways at the start of a love affair then you’re more likely to find ways to forgive the bigger hurts and transgressions, if and when they happen.

    Learn to talk about “why”. There are good rows and bad rows but make no mistake – everybody argues. Ridiculing or humiliating each other is not a good idea, or a good omen. But if you can both talk honestly about what irritates or upsets you and why, you are more likely to understand each other better. It can feel easier to avoid being honest if we feel that could be hurtful, but it is only with honesty that trust is built, and trust is the essence of a good relationship.

    Accept that sex changes. There are different qualities to sex at different stages in a long relationship: first, passion; the urgency of reproductive sex; snatched sex in the early years of parenthood; then the slower intimacy of midlife onwards. But our culture presents only one type as being valid: youthful, vigorous, usually penetrative. It is possible to maintain a happy sex-life for decades with the same person. It may not be as often, or the sort of sex that you think you should be having, or think others must be having (but aren’t) – just relax and enjoy this special kind of intimacy together.

    Appreciate what life still has to offer while you can. The great wonder of middle age is that we know our time is now limited. If you have managed to surf the ups and downs of bringing up children, work and making ends meet all within the same relationship, the rewards can be great. You have a wealth of shared memories to laugh over. You accept each other in your entirety. Rather than fearing getting older, remember that many couples in a long relationship find these to be their happiest years together.

     

    Irma Kurtz is a writer and journalist. She has been the agony aunt for 'Cosmopolitan’ magazine since 1970

    Forget trouble for a little while and laugh together. A good laugh is like good sex: spontaneous and uninhibited and an act that unites two beings as one. It’s worth going out of your way to have a good laugh, especially if things have been rocky. Go to a place where you used to laugh or where there’s a good chance of laughter. That moment when you exchange a look and end up laughing, often over a shared memory, is the best way to understand each other again. It can be pretty sexy in bed too – as long as you’re laughing together.

    Shut up and listen. No matter how bad things are, give your partner a chance to speak. Given silence in which to speak or rant, they’ll say more than they meant to – even more than they knew they were thinking. It can be surprising and revealing and paves the way for honesty. We tend to jump in with an opinion before we’ve heard each other out. Don’t scream, keep your cool: it makes a big difference. So often, things can be resolved by learning to listen.

    Arrange time without the children. When you have kids you adore, find time to be just you alone so you remember and remind each other of who you were before they arrived, who you are now, and who you will be when they are gone. It’s natural that attention shifts to the children, but it’s a good idea to remember why you are together, and have a child together, in the first place. It’s possible to make it work by setting aside a time in the week and asking a relative to mind the children. Easier said than done, but important.

    Invest in the relationship with your partner’s family. These relationships can be rocky. Keep yours smooth by remembering birthdays and anniversaries, by butting out of family disputes, and by never forcing your partner into the position of taking sides with you against their mother, father or siblings – those relationships go back a long way. Try to establish a friendship with the most sympathetic of your in-laws who can be your defender, if necessary, when you are not present. An ally in the family can also fill in aspects of the past that may help you to understand your partner.

    Don’t snoop. If you’re tempted to check your partner’s inbox or online history, stop, talk to yourself (whatever the psychologists say, it’s good for you). Ask, “Wait a minute, am I doing this because I think my partner is up to no good?” If so, have it out with him or her – you don’t need evidence, you need a conversation. Suspicion needs healing. The internet is a great place for expressing wishful thinking – but it’s important your partner is able to talk to you about those feelings.

     

    David Waters is a couples counsellor and faculty member of The School of Life, where he teaches classes including 'How to Communicate Better in Love’

    Be able to reveal vulnerability, even if it feels daunting. When we start a relationship we like to feel in control, powerful even – to protect ourselves from the vulnerability that comes with opening up to a lover. We may carry the hurt from past relationships, so we protect ourselves by trying to appear in control. Yet no relationship was ever deepened by lovers’ attempts to assert themselves over each other – rather, it is through the mutual exploration of their imperfections, fears and anxieties that true connection occurs. It may sound counterintuitive but it’s true.

    Change the metaphor that you associate with developing your relationship. Instead of “working” at it, learn to “play”. “Work” feels heavy and makes us think of future struggles, whereas “playfulness” engages the things you associate with good times, childhood comforts and moments of spontaneity. This means that instead of navel-gazing and pondering, you’re coming at the difficult things in life with humour and a lightness of touch. A couple that can laugh together, even mid-row, is in a healthy place.

    Learn to spend time alone. Developing a relationship with yourself, deepened by solitary pursuits, hobbies and taking time out from work and relationships, will pay huge dividends with your partner. You will come back to the relationship refreshed, more able to express your needs (as you’re more likely to know what they are). We will always ultimately be a mystery to each other – it’s more healthy for this to be acknowledged, celebrated even, than denied.

    Don’t be cruel. According to research, people who sneer, ridicule or talk down to their partner are on a fast track to relationship destruction. Those in successful relationships hardly ever speak to each other that way, even when angry. If you find you want to be cruel to your partner, ask yourself what’s really going on. The fact they haven’t made the bed is never really the issue – it’s far more likely you fear that this means they don’t care about you. Instead of attacking your partner for their laziness, show your true feelings.

    Adopt a new narrative. Instead of thinking of your relationship as an arc, with a beginning, middle and an end, try to think of it in terms of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Harnessing the idea of seasons can be particularly helpful when couples start a family. Despite the joy that babies bring, they often feel like a bomb going off in a relationship – the exhausting demands of parenthood can feel overwhelming. Yet get through those first few winters of despondency and there will more than likely be the spring of renewal and love rediscovered.

     

    Judy Ford is a psychotherapist, counsellor and the author of 'Every Day Love: The Delicate Art of Caring for Each Other’

    Be prepared for surprise and open to change. Love matures and changes as we mature and change. The qualities that make a loving partner are the same qualities that make a loving person. You and your partner are dynamic creatures. Just because you believed one thing when the two of you began your relationship doesn’t mean you will still believe that same thing years, months or even weeks down the road. As the two of you grow, your partner’s desires will change and so will yours.

    Understand that you can only develop yourself. We often fall in love with a person who has the qualities that we would like to develop in ourselves. We see all the budding possibilities and are excited to be accepted by such a wonderful and perfect person. Watch out! This sometimes means that rather than developing the qualities in yourself that you would like, you will try to develop the other person’s potential instead, and this creates havoc.

    Realise that it is in moments of restlessness and upheaval that you find out who you are and what it truly means to love. It’s easy to be considerate and loving to your partner when the setting is romantic, when you’ve got jingle in your pocket, when you’re looking good and feeling fine. But when one of you is out of sorts, exhausted, overwhelmed and distracted, behaving lovingly requires conscious effort.

    Be kind. Becoming a more effective partner is the most efficient way to assure a loving, intimate relationship. Kindness and having your partner’s back are essential. Using “argument enders” and “intimacy builders” will strengthen your connection. Argument enders include: “I never thought of it that way”; “I’d like to think that over”; “Can we continue this discussion tomorrow?”; “You’re right”; “I could have handled that better”; “I’m sorry, please forgive me”; “I know you’re sorry; I forgive you”. Intimacy builders could be: “Help me understand”; “I’m on your side”; “We are in this together”; “Good idea”; “Let’s give it a try”; “We’ll figure it out.”

    It’s not about being right or making the other person wrong. Don’t allow your relationship to be about quarrelling. It is about understanding and learning to talk about hot subjects without getting heated. A relationship presents countless opportunities to rise to the occasion and be the best person and partner you can imagine. A relationship is working and playing together, it’s finding delight, joy and comfort in each other. It is about facing difficulties and eventually becoming wise.

     

    Janis Abrahms Spring, a clinical psychologist and family therapist, is the author of 'After the Affair’ and 'How Can I Forgive You?’

    If you have been unfaithful, you must be “giving” to your partner in order to reconnect. We get attached not only by what we receive from our partner, but by what we give to them. Thinking about what matters to them, then consciously reaching out with acts of consideration and affection will not only make them feel closer to you, it may help you to feel closer to them.

    Explore the root of an affair in order to move past it. If an affair happens, both partners need to explore why it happened, and ask themselves, “What does the affair say about me, my partner, and us?” Maybe one or both of you felt ignored by the other, maybe you felt dead and the affair brought you to life, maybe you were rebelling against the rules of the marriage the way you’ve rebelled against rules your whole life. Promises never to stray again are meaningless unless the “fault lines” within and between partners are addressed.

    If you want to reconnect to your partner, you need to turn toward that person and treat them in ways that foster caring and closeness.You won’t figure out if you want to be with your marriage partner by busying yourself with other people or activities. People often want to feel loved by their partner before they begin the hard work of trying to repair their relationship. But I’ve often found that the opposite works: feelings of love may blossom after you've recommitted, taken a fair share of responsibility for what went wrong in the relationship, and treated your partner in ways that foster trust and intimacy.

    Understand the true nature of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a gift from the heart of a hurt partner – it’s a transaction between the two people held together by a violation. Unfaithful partners must work hard to produce bold, humble, heartfelt acts of repair and take responsibility for the harm they caused. Hurt partners must work hard to encourage their partner to make good, take a share of responsibility for what created a space between them, and allow the injury to recede into the backdrop of their lives.

    Work to rebuild intimacy. Becoming sexually intimate is often complicated and challenging, particularly after a troubled time. Both partners need to reach out with tenderness and compassion, recognising they may each feel vulnerable and raw. This is time to take off any pressure to perform and to put aside expectations for high performance and orgasms. The couple’s sexual intimacy will grow if each partner works to warm the space between them with acceptance and affection.

  • One of the saddest things I ever read in a dating profile was written by a man
    How to get your life together
    Category: Dating Tips | May 15, 2018

    One of the saddest things I ever read in a dating profile was written by a man – the gist was, “I’ve spent all my life putting work first. Now I’m retiring and realise I have no one to spend my time with.” He might have been cynically playing a ‘poor me’ line but as a former sufferer myself I did sympathise, although not enough to actually get in touch. Work addiction, or being married to the job, is a tough nut to crack. It can strike anyone, any time, anywhere and it’s a problem as old as the hills. Imagine, for example, being a baker’s wife in 1666. He’s up in the middle of the night, knackered by lunchtime and his customers see more of him than you do – then he takes his eye off the ball for half-an-hour and burns down half the City of London. I suppose the modern equivalent would be a rogue trader.

    The problem with today’s working life is where do we draw the line between necessity and compulsion? The difference being that while a career in Tudor baking would have been a matter of doing what you did in order to live – where modern life is concerned it’s more often than not the other way around. Once we’ve risen to the dizzying heights of earning enough to cover the basics, that urge kicks in to keep working harder, faster and longer for a little more, and then a little more on top of that. Ironically that can mean dropping a dollop of hard-earned income on the latest state-of-the-art technology to keep us in touch with all things – but mostly the office – at all times of the day and night. And it’s surprising how quickly we become accustomed to regarding previously unattainable luxuries as absolute essentials.

    There’s also the matter of self-esteem. It feels nice to feel needed and important. It’s one of the ways we evaluate our place in society and build our confidence. But self-worth comes in many guises and our mistake in the 21st century is to equate that and everything else to our professional lives and owning the latest Porsche. Down-to-earth driven types might scoff at the term ‘work-life balance’ but that’s what we’re talking about here. A place for everything and everything in its place applies to more than just the filing.

    One of the best (and most hilarious) illustrations of work taking over when you’re not at work is to be found in the film ‘Carnage’ when Mrs Cowan grabs Mr Cowan’s constantly interrupting phone, and dumps it into a vase of tulips. It also neatly demonstrates my point about self-importance because that, of course, is why he keeps taking calls during a tense meeting with another couple about their sons. He seeks to intimidate them with his absolute indispensability and impressive client list. And perhaps, just maybe, he can’t actually cope with life either.

    The burning question is whatever can we do if we find ourselves in a relationship with someone whose life revolves around one premise only, that the office cannot function without them? The first thing is counterintuitive: don’t complain. I know you want to – in the same situation I wanted to very badly indeed – but it gets you nowhere. They’re probably getting complained at every hour on the hour at work anyway so you become just another person who wants something. Get to the back of the queue! Try listening instead and at some point try offering a remedy in the form of what we will call ‘downtime’. Initially this is likely to go in one ear and out of the other and if it keeps doing that you might find yourself officially scheduling something via Outlook but if you’re persistent it will eventually lodge somewhere and begin to sound appealing. This would emphatically not be a ‘date night’, an expression that comes burdened with expectation.

    What I have in mind is ‘downtime’ that takes the form of unstructured not-doing-anything-in-particular-with-no-expectations-whatsoever time. This is the hardest thing for a work obsessed person to contemplate – they need to be physically doing something every second of the day and it’s a hard habit to break. Mobile devices play into that and most of us start to twitch after about 30 minutes of not checking emails, messages, social media, the world in general… So be realistic because things are likely to be a bit prickly in the early stages of rehabilitation.

    Having said that, it’s important to remember that there will always be occasions in anyone’s working life when the job must take priority. What you need to ask yourself is whether two months of flat-out 60-hour weeks is just a phase while a big contract is negotiated and put to bed or whether it’s a pattern but you’ll need to watch and wait to answer that one. Times when it’s a genuine case of all hands to the pump are times when unquestioning support is required from your partner and which one of you has the biggest pay packet is largely irrelevant. If one of you is under pressure the other steps up and props up. A relationship is not a competition and the word ‘reciprocal’ has a vital role in it.

    But let’s not be too hard on the poor workaholic because there are many positive aspects to these kinds of relationships, chief of which is that your commitment to each other will be thoroughly tested. And that can never be a bad thing.

  • What do men in the UK most commonly search for online, around the topic of dating?
    Serial dater
    Category: Dating Tips | May 13, 2018

    Are pick-up lines a lazy tool to ‘charm’ someone into going home with you, or a tongue loosener to help get conversation flowing when you meet someone you actually like? We’ve asked around to find out.

    What do men in the UK most commonly search for online, around the topic of dating? ‘Pick-up lines’, apparently. If you’re as surprised to learn this as I was, you probably won’t feel reassured to learn that ‘cheesy pick-up lines’ comes in second.  Pick-up lines, or chat-up lines as they’re otherwise known, are a notoriously clichéd way of flirting. So why are these crude, insincere phrases being Googled more than, say, ‘how to flirt’?

    I threw this question open to the office. Which pick-up lines were common? Interestingly, everybody seemed happy to talk about this, shouting out their favourites, but almost everyone asked not to be named in this article. “I’ve lost my number, can I have yours?” said W, 27. “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” piped up C, 28. “Do you have a name or can I call you mine?” chimed in A, 25. We agreed these were unoriginal, yet pretty inoffensive as pick-up lines go. The kind that might, at best, win a wry chuckle from the receiver.

    Asking the same question to people beyond the office, I heard some more thought-through lines. B, 60, believes that chatting up someone with a generic question such as ‘Do you come here often?’ deserves a cold shoulder, while telling them what you like about a place, letting them choose how to respond, is both friendly and non-personal. “It doesn’t assume too much interest – and keeps the early chit-chat grease-free,” she says. At the more romantic end of the scale, H, 26, said that if he ever met a woman he liked who was a nurse or doctor, he’d jokingly tell them that by law, if there was anything wrong with him they’d have to help. Which in the past had prompted replied such as “What’s wrong with you?”, to which he’d smoothly say “a broken heart”. Sweet and playful lines like this might do the trick for H, when coupled with his good looks, but you run a high risk of sounding soppy and unimaginative.

    Are sexually predatory lines worse? A, 25, said he’d once been approached by a man boldly stating: “That shirt looks good on you, but it would look better on my bedroom floor.” While F, 29, spoke of a (loose) friend who once told a woman: “You remind me of my toe, because I can see myself banging you on my table later.” I’m not sure what to say to that, but I hope the woman in question had the audacity to throw a splash of her drink in his direction. Opening the conversation out to the Soulmates Twitter network, a follower pointed out that interested singles often send ‘unsolicited dick pics’ as a conversation starter. R.I.P chivalry, charm and decorum.

    Perhaps there’s just no place for pick-up lines in our culture? M, 26, believes we shouldn’t use them at all. “They’re so clichéd,” she says, “I think they give a forced, unnatural approach (to dating).” M, 31, agrees. He believes it’s far better to “act normal and have a nice conversation” when you meet someone you like. C, 26, goes further, explaining that they make her feel uncomfortable. “I don’t know how to respond around them,” she says. “I just find them really corny.”

    Which pick-up lines fly and which flop comes down to personal preference. However, as a rule of thumb it’s probably worth avoiding anyone who questions whether you’re feeling tired after running through their mind all night. Similarly, dodge he who asks you to feel his jumper and tell him what it’s made of, as let’s face it, it’s not boyfriend material unless you’re looking for a relationship full of uninspiring moments. If you’re still feeling unsettled by the dominance of ‘pick-up lines’ among search terms, you might feel reassured to learn that ‘long distance relationship’ is the third most commonly searched dating term tapped in by UK males. Let’s just hope the relationships they’re looking to extend across counties and overseas weren’t forged on cheesy chat-up lines.

  • The problem with expressing needs in a negative way is it comes off like criticism...
    Pexels photo 48017
    Category: Dating Tips | May 12, 2018

    In the heat of an argument, it’s far easier to say what we don’t want than what we do. Stan Tatkin, the founder of the psychobiological approach to couple therapy, proposes that people are better built for war than love. Sometimes it seems that way.

    We say, “Stop being so sad,” instead of, “I wish you would tell me what’s making you sad.”
    Or, “You’re always neglecting me!” instead of, “I feel really lonely and need your attention.”

    The problem with expressing needs in a negative way is it comes off like criticism. Despite what some people say, there is no such thing as constructive criticism. Criticism triggers a person to become defensive and protect themselves from an attack, which blocks the resolution of a conflict.

    It doesn’t matter how much trust and intimacy there is in a relationship, it’s still nearly impossible for someone to listen to a personal attack without becoming defensive. This is true even for very happy couples. As witnessed in Dr. Gottman’s Love Lab, on the rare occasion that one happily coupled partner began a complaint with criticism, the other partner became defensive.

    For conflict conversations to succeed, you must state your feelings as neutrally as possible and transform any complaint about your partner into a positive need. Doing this for your partner is the equivalent of creating an instructional guide to winning and keeping your heart.

    It is important to note that the negative emotions that lead us to blame or criticize are often signposts of what we value most. Think of a negative emotion as a clue to your hidden wish. When you express that hidden desire directly, you’re more likely to make that wish come true.

    For example, hidden underneath anger may be feelings of loneliness. When you become aware of that loneliness, you can ask your partner for the things you need to feel more connected.

    In the weekly State of the Union meeting, Dr. Gottman has discovered that partners need to ATTUNE to each other before problem solving. After witnessing thousands of couples fighting, he discovered that the Masters of relationships did one powerful thing: they transformed their criticisms into wishes. This is the second “T” in Dr. Gottman’s ATTUNE conflict resolution model for couples.

    The courageousness of wishes

    Blaming our partner or hiding our feelings by criticizing is easy. Speaking our feelings and fears requires a willingness to be vulnerable. Often this vulnerability is mistaken as a sign of weakness, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Vulnerability is courageous. It’s a willingness to drop your shield and expose the unguarded underbelly of your fears, doubts, and insecurities.

    Because of this discomfort, many of us avoid being truly vulnerable with our partners. I know I have done this in the past and sometimes still do. But as I have come to learn, owning my fears and insecurities and then naming them in my relationships is actually a strength. As Brené Brown puts it, “Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage.” It also determines the depth of the emotional connection in our relationship.

    Often with couples I work with, there are barriers to being vulnerable with their partners. For example, Kris and Christina found it really difficult to focus on the wishes behind their criticism. They were fighting over when to have a child. Christina was ready to make the leap into parenthood, but Kris was not sure it was the right time.

    Christina would get angry and leave the room when they would have a fight. This hit Kris’s raw spot and pissed him off. In their State of the Union conversation, all he wanted to say was, “You are such a baby. You interrupt me and then walk out of the room, which makes me feel like the bad guy. No wonder I don’t want to have a baby!”

    But by owning his feelings and taking notes during their conflict conversation, he was able to turn his criticism into a wish: “I want to be able to speak with you about how I feel about having a baby right now without you leaving the room or getting upset with me before I’m done talking.”

    When Christina had the floor she also made adjustments. Instead of saying, “You’re out of control. Whenever we disagree, you turn into a bully. Anyone would get upset and sprint away from you,” she said, “I want us to discuss issues calmly without either of us raising our voices. That’s what I need to stay in the room and truly listen to you.”

    Do you see how being vulnerable can transform your relationship and help you get your needs met?

    It’s also important to not wait for conflict to happen to be vulnerable and express wishes in a positive way. Pay attention to ways you can proactively be vulnerable with each other outside of heated conflict. For example, by saying, “Please slow down your driving so I can feel safe,” rather than, “You’re driving like a crazy person! Slow down!” you give your partner an understanding of why you’re feeling the way you are, rather than blaming them for what you’re feeling.

  • emotions are devious creatures...
    How to make your ex want you back
    Category: Dating Tips | May 11, 2018

    As we all know, emotions are devious creatures. They elude our understanding for a vast number of reasons, among which are the inescapable facts of daily life. Unfortunately, with so much focus being invested in the small crises and stressors that arise in our jobs and daily activities, it is difficult to find a moment to truly connect with what we are feeling.

    As a result, our emotional lives often spiral out of our control, and internal pressures build up. At a certain point we explode, and this affects our relationships with those we are closest to – potentially harming our bonds with those we care about the most.

    If we cannot identify our own emotions, how are we supposed to understand them or process them? If we cannot understand and process them, how can we communicate about them with others? How can we expect our partners to be a source of comfort and support?

    These are problems we all struggle with! If you feel frustrated in your inability to have intimate conversations about your deepest feelings with your partner, you are not alone. Right now you’re probably thinking that “misery loves company” isn’t particularly helpful. But that’s not our message. Our message is that we can help.

    As exhausting and frustrating as all of this is, Dr. Gottman encourages us not to feel too overwhelmed. He and his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, have designed an incredible approach to help us achieve focus and explore our feelings, ultimately gaining the skills we need to discuss them with our partners.

    In What Makes Love Last, Dr. Gottman describes some incredibly effective and largely unknown techniques for identifying our emotions. Identified by renowned scientists, including a number of research psychologists, there are certain physiological signs that can help us to understand what we are feeling. This week, we are excited to offer you a few tips that you can use in your own home to build intimacy with your loved ones. We wouldn’t want to reveal all of Dr. Gottman’s secrets, but here’s a teaser!

    Ask open-ended questions

    If you ask questions that require only a yes or no answer, you are destroying conversations before they even have a chance to begin. You are accidentally slamming the door that you are trying to open. This door is unfortunately labeled “Intimacy.” Instead of “Did you watch that movie?” ask, “What was your favorite part?” Instead of “Are you upset?” ask, “You seem upset – what’s going on?”

    Stop and breathe

    If you are bothered by your inability to label your emotions, stop and meditate for a moment. Clear your mind. Search for a word. When a word comes to mind and your body relaxes, you have hit the spot. Here are a few examples you can use in this activity. Remember, these are just a starting point!

    Positive Emotions

    – Amused
    – Appreciated
    – Lucky
    – Satisfied
    – Silly
    – Turned On
    – Joyful
    – Safe
    – Proud
    – Powerful
    – Playful
    – Fascinated

    Negative Emotions

    – Alienated
    – Tense
    – Misunderstood
    – Powerless
    – Ignored
    – Inferior
    – Criticized
    – Ashamed
    – Betrayed
    – Numb
    – Unsafe

    We share a few more skills for building intimacy with you in our following blog post, What Makes Love Last: Expressing Compassion and Empathy. This post will show you the fundamentals of deepening connection in your conversations and expressing compassion and sympathy.

  • One of the most common sources of conflict in marriage is money
    Sad alone girl sexy
    Category: Dating Tips | May 10, 2018

    One of the most common sources of conflict in marriage is money, how to spend it, and how to save for things that really matter.

    It doesn’t make sense when you think about it logically. Money is simple. Keeping a budget is something an 8-year-old can do.

    For a marriage to be wealthy, a couple needs to have more money coming in than going out. It’s just addition and subtraction. Debt needs to be eliminated, and money needs to be saved and invested for the things we want. You know, toes in the sand with a drink in our hand.

    If you and your partner follow this rule, you’ll have no financial issues for the rest of your lives. But it doesn’t feel that way, does it? It feels like we need a Master’s degree in Finance and Wealth Management.

    But do we?

    Dr. John Gottman wanted to find out, so he went to a group of 8-year-olds and asked them for money advice. He told them he works with moms and dads who are fighting about money, so they can stop fighting and love each other more. All the kids understood this.

    He told them a story about a couple.

    The husband’s story went like this: “I don’t want to save for tomorrow. I want to live for today. I want to spend money enjoying life. Uncle Jack saved up millions of dollars living in a one room condo and he never went out. He never truly enjoyed life. I don’t want that.”

    The wife’s story went like this: “My family grew up poor. We never had any money when an emergency came up or if somebody got sick. We never had enough to plan for the future. When my parents got older and couldn’t work as hard, they had nothing. They couldn’t retire. I don’t want to be like my parents.”

    One wants to spend now. The other wants to save for later. They are stuck in financial gridlock.

    Dr. Gottman looked at the kids and asked, “What should this mom and dad do?”

    A hand shot up. “Save some and spend some.” The other kids looked at each other and agreed.

    The 8-year-old believed that the couple should work out a compromise with each other. The best option would be to work hard for a while, put some of the extra money in savings, and use the rest of it to enjoy life so they don’t end up like Uncle Jack.

    That’s all it takes. Kids are totally logical.

    So what’s wrong with us adults? Why do we struggle with money when an 8-year-old knows what’s best?

    Money Isn’t About Money

    Money, to a degree, defines us. It determines how we dress. How we eat. What social groups we join. Whether we like it or not, money influences what we can and cannot do with our lives. So where does all this start?

    Out of all the forces that determine our relationship with money, the most influential is our personal history – the melting pot of our childhood, teenage, and adult experiences that have sculpted and resculpted our likes and dislikes about money throughout our lives.

    Our unique experiences come together to form what Dr. Gottman calls our Money Map.

    We spend our lives swimming in a sea of moments that sculpt our financial dreams and fears. Maybe it was your father’s gambling problem, or your mother’s uptight way of controlling the household finances. Maybe it was your sister’s expensive interest in riding horses. Maybe it was your wealthy uncle who had a nine car garage, leaving you to feel like you couldn’t measure up.

    These, along with thousands of other moments, create our individual beliefs about money.

    Money Maps, like Love Maps, are often subtle and difficult to read. You may have grown up with an alcoholic mother who spent food money on liquor, making your meals unpredictable, so you made a promise to yourself that high-quality, expensive food was more important than saving for retirement. Or maybe you were picked on by kids in school for the way you dressed, so you spent all of your savings on custom tailored suits and ate Mac and Cheese every night so you wouldn’t get made fun of.

    It’s these personal meanings that guide how we deal with money in our marriage. Logic has very little to do with it.

    So when your partner complains about the expensive organic groceries you bought at Whole Foods, or the silk tie that costs more than a plane ticket, an argument breaks out. To you it’s not just food or a tie. These privileges represent stability and success. They protect you. They define you.

    Money is loaded with power and meaning that can make can discussions heated and hurtful. Arguments about money aren’t about money. They are about our dreams, our fears, and our inadequacies.

    What 8-year-olds don’t understand is that the key to managing conflict about money is to not focus on how much something costs. Instead, it’s to go beneath the dollar value to explore what money really means to each person in the relationship.

    To move past these arguments, you need to use conflict about finances to understand how your partner came to be that way. Work together with this new understanding of each other to create shared meaning around money that brings you closer, rather than pushes you apart.

    So what does money mean to you in your marriage? Is this different than your partner? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Couples who share a common purpose with similar beliefs, values, and goals develop a spirit of “we-ness” in their relationship
    Platonic marriage
    Category: Dating Tips | May 09, 2018

    Researchers Elizabeth Robinson and Gail Price found that couples in unhappy marriages tend to underestimate the number of positive interactions in their marriage by 50%. As Dr. John Gottman explains, every couple has a “Story of Us Switch.

    When the switch is turned on, couples tend to look back on their early days fondly. When they talk about the tough times they’ve had, they glorify the struggles they’ve been through, drawing strength from the adversity they’ve survived together.

    When the switch is turned off, however, couples tend to look back on their early days with resentment and blame. For some of these couples, the Story of Us Switch may seem stuck in the off position.

    We all make mistakes when judging situations or people, and biases influence many of our conclusions. Failing to recognize and manage these biases can keep an unhappy marriage in the dark.

    Confirmation bias

    In the 1960s, English psychologist Peter Wason conducted a simple experiment where he presented his research subjects with a sequence of three numbers, say 2-4-6. Wason then asked his subjects to identify the rule that described the sequence by offering additional number sequences that followed the rule. His subjects offered other sequences like 4-8-10 and 6-8-12. Each subject concluded that the rule was a sequence of three ascending, even numbers. They were wrong.

    In Wason’s experiment, each subject formed a hypothesis about the sequence of three numbers and set out to prove it. Because none sought to disprove their hypothesis, they failed to discover the actual rule Wason had applied, a simple sequence of ascending numbers.

    Wason named this phenomenon “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias is our tendency to pursue and believe facts that “prove” what we already suspect or believe to be true. Confirmation bias affects what we believe about ourselves, about the world, and about our relationships.

    Consider an example. Jamie and Rick frequently argue about spending. For Jamie’s birthday, Rick surprises her with an evening out at a new restaurant he’s heard Jamie talk about. As the hostess seats them at their table, Rick notices that Jamie hasn’t said a word since they arrived.

    “You seem upset,” he says. “I thought you’d be happy.”

    “We can’t afford this place,” she replies. “Didn’t you look at the menu? You never look at how much things cost!”

    Rick’s plan for a happy evening with his wife dissolves in an argument as Rick defends his choice, and Jamie continues to accuse him of frivolous spending.

    In an unhappy marriage, confirmation bias can be destructive, especially when paired with negativity bias.

    Negativity bias

    Negativity bias is our tendency to give greater attention and weight to negative information.

    Rick has noticed that his relationship with his wife seems different since Jamie left and came back from a week-long visit to her mother’s. Visiting her mom is something Jamie does once a year, but Rick insists this time is different.

    Jamie didn’t respond to a couple of Rick’s text messages while she was away. She didn’t answer her phone one night when he called at the time they’d agreed on. Since she’s been back, she seems quieter, and a few nights went to bed early. Rick now believes that Jamie has been distancing herself from him.

    Married couples need to be careful to not draw negative conclusions about their relationship before carefully assessing all the facts. A premature, negative assessment of your marriage may set you up for unnecessary conflict, dissatisfaction and divorce.

    After a month of suspecting Jamie was giving up on their marriage, Rick confronted her after Jamie failed to answer Rick when he called to her in the kitchen from another room in the house.

    “If you don’t love me anymore, why can’t you just tell me instead of shutting me out?” Rick said angrily.

    “What are you talking about?” Jamie answered.

    He started listing her offenses, “You just ignored me when I called you from the other room. You didn’t return my texts when you were at your mother’s. You didn’t answer my phone call. You’ve been going to bed without me..”

    “What is this about? I didn’t hear you from the other room,” Jamie explained. “The dishwasher was making too much noise.”

    As for the other incidents on Rick’s list of offenses, it turns out Jamie’s phone battery had died a few times when she was away at her mother’s, and she couldn’t get to her charger right away. The nights she went to bed early, she had to get up early the next day to make it to early meetings with clients.

    The antidotes to bias

    Dr. Gottman has identified five tools that couples can use as effective antidotes to confirmation bias and negativity bias in their relationships.

    1.Fondness and Admiration

    Fondness and admiration grow when couples intentionally put a positive spin on their relationship, on their history together, and on each other’s character. When they talk about each other and their relationship, they choose words that express warmth, affection, and respect.

    Measure the strength of fondness and admiration in your relationship with this short assessment. Often, when it appears fondness and admiration are dead, they are only dormant and can be revived with concerted effort.

    Dr. Gottman’s New York Times bestseller The Seven Principles that Make Marriage Work offers several exercises couples can do together to breathe life back into your positive feelings for each other. Consider beginning with this “I Appreciate” exercise.

    2. A spirit of we-ness

    Couples who share a common purpose with similar beliefs, values, and goals develop a spirit of “we-ness” in their relationship. When people allow themselves to succumb to confirmation bias and negativity bias, their focus often narrows to who’s right and who’s wrong. A spirit of opposition can develop with each spouse defending their own needs and desires.

    Couples who choose to focus on the beliefs, values, goals, and dreams they share in common develop a sense of we-ness. When they tell their story, it’s most often about what’s important to both of them.

    3. Love Maps

    Confirmation bias and negativity bias can make spouses experts at pointing out each other’s failures and flaws. Doing so undermines the foundation for a happy marriage.

    Happy couples build their marriage on an ever-growing catalog of knowing each other’s likes, dislikes, desires, and dreams. Dr. Gottman calls this vivid knowledge of the path to a spouse’s heart a “Love Map.” For help strengthening your Love Maps, start with this easy-to-use guide.

    4. Stand together

    Couples who’ve adopted a narrative that focuses on each other’s flaws and failures tend to fight against each other when problems arise in their marriage. Because they tend to criticize and defend against each other, put-down each other, or stonewall, their response to negative events drives them further part.

    Negative events are inevitable for any marriage. One difference between happy and unhappy marriages is the tendency among happy couples to stand together during hard times, rather than against or away from each other.

    In doing so, they overcome many problems that arise, and develop stronger bonds with each other that contribute to greater happiness, in spite of their difficulties.

    5. Eliminate negative thoughts

    Once thoughts that your marriage is a disappointment or a mistake becomes a focus in your marriage, they’re like stains on a favorite shirt, and just as hard to remove. Confirmation bias and negativity bias can make a couple miserable.

    Happy couples extinguish those negative thoughts as quickly as they enter their minds, and don’t allow them to take root.

    In happy marriages, spouses believe they’re matched with the right person, and can’t imagine a better life with someone else.

  • Trust is the key to any kind of love. Does he trust you?
    Stay confident relationship anxiety
    Category: Dating Tips | May 04, 2018

    Only those with true anxiety disorder really “get” the waking nightmare that is anxiety.

    So when this anxious behavior mixes with love, it's naturally a whole different kind of situation. And when you're in a new relationship and are trying to assess whether or not someone really cares for you, it can be even more difficult.

    Those of us with anxiety tend to overanalyze and scrutinize even the smallest, most minute details as if they are the most important in the world.

    For example, say you're in a sort-of relationship. The guy you've been hanging out with, hooking up with and having deep thoughtful conversations with has made it clear to you that he feels strongly about you and that he sees a future with you.

    Or maybe, he's even committed to you, but he hasn't said “I love you” yet, which leaves you in an unfairly vulnerable state. And so your anxiety goes into overdrive, making you question what he really thinks and feels.

    But regardless, in either situation (and in most situations where you're wondering whether a man loves you or not), you may get confused and nervous trying to figure whether a guy loves you or not, and it can drive you crazy.

    But when you have anxiety, it takes on a whole new kind of fury.

    So with that, here are six signs he loves you:

    1. He tells you vulnerable information about himself.

    If you have anxiety, you probably automatically assume the worst. You may even overlook conversations you've had with him that clearly signal he is in love with you without realizing how meaningful they are.

    For example, does he reveal extremely personal information about himself, the kind of stuff he tells no one else? This is a major sign he loves you.

    2. He has your back.

    A huge sign a man loves you is the fact he will defend you against anyone who tries to emotionally harm or hurt you. Men have a protective instinct when they love a woman.

    If something in your life is making you anxious and you vent to him, how does he react? Does he seem annoyed, indifferent or just brush it off? If so, this signals he might not be in love with you.

    If, on the other hand, he goes out of his way to comfort you and wants you to stay away from whatever it is that's making you anxious, this shows a certain protective instinct he has when it comes to you.

    Or, if someone insults you and he immediately comes to your defense, this is a big sign he loves you.

    3. He truly accepts and loves you for who you are.

    Have you told him weird quirks about yourself or things that you might not think most people would accept? If he not only accepts, but also loves you and all your quirks, this is a sign he's in love with you.

    He might even specifically mention things about you that make you say to yourself, “Wow, he really gets me.” This comes from him truly accepting and loving you for who you are.

    4. He trusts you.

    Trust is the key to any kind of love. Does he trust you? Or does he do things like go through your phone and try to figure out what you are secretly doing behind his back?

    This is a big one when it comes to love. The reason is because without true trust (or at least a huge amount of trust), you can't have love.

    So, if he trusts you, it's a sign he loves you.

    5. He is affectionate.

    When I say affectionate, I am talking about more than just sexually. What I mean is, he does things like hold you in his arms, cuddle with you in a way that makes you feel warm butterflies and gently touches you in ways that just feel “right.”

    6. He asks for your input in major life decisions.

    If he has a major life decision — whether to take a new job, move somewhere or handle some kind of difficult situation — and he asks for your opinion and advice, this is a major sign he is in love with you.

    So, there you go. Here are six key signs that show a man is in love.

  • After a wonderful Memorial Day trip to the beach, I came up with this list of things I love and hate about summer and dating....
    Pexels photo 89873 1
    Category: Dating Tips | April 30, 2018

    After a wonderful Memorial Day trip to the beach, I came up with this list of things I love and hate about summer and dating:
    The Pros:
    Happy Women: When women are happy, it's easier to get a date. Fall and winter seem to sap the female spirit. By April, the ladies are pining for sun and warmth. Summer is prime time for guys to make their moves.
    Lots of Light: I'm energized by the extra summer light. That energy helps me get motivated to date.It's easier to meet people because they stay out of their homes, and they stay out later.
    Legs: All guys know to grease the swivels on their necks for the first few weeks of summer. During those weeks, women dust off their sundresses and short skirts. After a long cold winter, legs are everywhere.
    Outdoor Dates: After months stuck indoors, we can hit the beach, dine al fresco, and take long walks. Whether it's a bike ride or a glass of wine on a rooftop deck, we can go on more creative dates.

    The Cons:
    Sweat: Heat and humidity turn me in to a walking swamp.When I'm outside, sweat stains appear in weird places on my shirt like the lower back area — not attractive.
    My Farmer's Tan: Every year I promise myself I won't let it happen: farmer's tan. At least I don't wear wife beaters in the sun.
    My Beach Body: Like my farmer's tan, my beach body (or lack of body) represents a promise unfulfilled. Every year I hit the off season with the goal of shedding that beer gut. But by the time beach season rolls around, that beer gut is still there — yet another reason to keep my shirt on at the beach.

    How Women Can Sit On the Beach For Eons: How do women sit on the beach so long? I understand the beach is relaxing and more time means more tan. But after flopping around in the water and tossing a football for an hour,I'm over it. During my annual boys' only trip with my college buddies, we don't set foot on the beach. When I am at the beach with a girlfriend, I dread the fact that I will have to put in time on the actual beach.

    What do you think of my list? What are your favorite and least favorite things about summer dating?

  • Could you get over an infidelity?
    2015 06 life of pix free stock photos foat woman back santalla
    Category: Dating Tips | April 27, 2018

    You've probably heard about the hacking of the website Ashley Madison, which billed itself as “the most successful website for finding an affair and cheating partners.” The hacker collective calling itself “Impact Group” promised to “out” the site’s members, including explicit descriptions of the individuals’ sexual fantasies.

    As a therapist specializing in working with couples, I know a truth most people don’t know—that relationships can bounce back from infidelity. They can even become stronger than ever. I am not at all advocating for affairs, but I do want to instill some hope that relationships can overcome them.

    Ashley Madison is only one of many of websites and apps where people can pursue extramarital affairs. What does this say about the success or failure of marriage as a cultural institution?

    (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

    Some researchers have estimated that approximately 2.3% of married women and 4.3% of married men cheat, while other studies suggest that as many as 25% of men and 11% of women will, at some point in their lives, end up in bed with someone other than their partner. I suspect the numbers are even higher.

    Recent research strongly suggests that, despite cultural and religious assumptions and demands, humans are not actually wired for monogamy. That being said, infidelity is the number-one reason couples come to me for counseling. They are desperate to stay together and sincerely want to work through the pain and betrayal, which can hurt almost as much as the pain we experience when someone we know has died. That's because, in many ways, the marriage has died, but that doesn’t mean a new one can't be born. 

    In fact, when a relationship does survive an affair and the couple makes it to the healing on the other side, their connection typically becomes better than ever. But that doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work and many difficult conversations along the way.

    Here are four essential things that must be in place for a marriage to survive cheating and come out of the experience stronger than ever. 

    AN UNDERSTANDING THAT AFFAIRS DON’T NECESSARILY INDICATE A BAD MARRIAGE

    People cheat for many reasons. Some of my clients have told me they cheated because they were too afraid or ashamed to talk to their partner about their sexual preferences or fantasies. They may have cautiously suggested a sexual practice that was met with disbelief, disgust, or accusations of perversion, and vowed never again to raise the subject.

    However, suppression of a fantasy or desire, as the majority of therapists will acknowledge, does not rid a person of the desire. In most cases, it simply shoves it into the unconscious, where it will eventually come out in inopportune, inappropriate, and destructive ways.

    Some men, rather than bringing up such a subject, feel so much shame that they automatically assume their wife will freak out. They then project their own shame upon their partner, often unjustly. Even if the wife initially isn't open to such experimentation, the man’s desire for it isn't likely to go away, and he may seek out a different avenue with which to vent it. Similarly, a husband’s unwillingness to be more romantic doesn’t mean his wife’s desire for it will go away, either.

    These couples need to learn how to have honest, open, and extended conversations about such things, to see each other’s different points of views, to give each other the chance to feel empathy and compassion toward each other, and, perhaps, to be willing to experiment.

    A COMMITMENT TO NOT REFRAMING THE NEW RELATIONSHIP DYNAMIC AS ONE OF PERPETRATOR AND VICTIM

    Love and desire are extremely subtle and complicated emotions. Internationally known author and psychotherapist Esther Perel says, “The dilemmas of love and desire are way too complex to yield simple answers of good and bad, victim and perpetrator, right and wrong.”

    I agree. If the betrayed partner, for example, takes the victim’s attitude of, “You did this to me, and now it is up to you to fix this problem because I have nothing to do with it,” the problem will neither be understood nor resolved. The problem may be rooted in feeling sexually frustrated, neglected or neglecting, ignored or ignoring, lonely, or many other things. Condemning the partner who cheated and taking refuge in the role of victim is not only useless, it's damaging.

    Even worse is when the injured party becomes the shamed one, as in when a friend or relative says, “How could you even think of staying with that cheater after what he did to you?” It takes real courage to face the subtle problems that led to infidelity. Such simple judgments by others only compound the problems. Frankly, shaming the injured party for staying and working things out seems to be in conflict with our cultural message that marriage and relationships matter and should be fought for.

    THE WILLINGNESS OF THE BETRAYING PARTNER TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED OPENLY— AND USUALLY WAY BEYOND THEIR COMFORT LEVEL

    The betrayer has to be willing to listen to the pain of the injured partner for as long as is needed to begin to lessen the trauma and rebuild trust. They must be able and willing to feel and share their remorse, guilt, and empathy for the hurt they caused.

    It's important that this talk happens in a controlled situation, i.e. in the presence of a therapist or in some other ritualized and controlled setting or healing space. This venting of one’s pain shouldn't be spontaneous or done in public or in front of other family members or children. Such strong reactivity must be contained by both parties to ensure a healthy dialogue. It is much too vulnerable an interaction and would be quickly polarizing for anyone outside of the relationship to witness. 

    THE WILLINGNESS OF THE BETRAYER TO BE COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME

    That means no secret passwords for emails or computers and no secret meetings or letters. Nothing can ever be deleted. Otherwise, the injured partner cannot learn to trust again.

    Over time, the injured partner needs to understand that total transparency is no longer useful and must prepare for that to end and learn to trust in the dark. This isn't easy, but it is necessary.

    Infidelity has been with us since the institution of marriage began. If the mere existence of Ashley Madison is any indication, it will remain with us in the future as well. So it is important that we can, as a society, come to terms with that reality, find ways to effectively deal with the shame and pain, and try to help couples reestablish the bonds that first brought them together.

    As for the broader question of monogamy, as a society, we may eventually have to come to terms with the idea that some of us are simply not well suited to it.

  • Swolemates gone wrong....
    Signs of a bad friend
    Category: Dating Tips | April 26, 2018

    While there are several dating apps geared toward people searching for a swolemate (Snap Together, Sweatt, etc.), plenty of women still get hit on the old-fashioned way—at the gym.

    And whether the flirting is welcome or not, at least it usually makes for a good story. That's why we asked readers to share the pick-up lines guys used on them at the gym and how it all turned out.

    Be warned: Most went up in flames.

    "This flirty dude offered to help me with my squat form. I wasn't interested, so when he asked for my number, I gave him the wrong one. But then he called me right on the spot—and knew I'd lied because my phone didn't ring. Awkward!" —Sarah Scott, 28

    "I was lifting weights in the weight room when a guy came over and asked pretty loudly, 'Do you box? Because you definitely have the back for it.' It's one thing to say I look good, but ew, please don't stare and comment on one part of my body. Especially so loud that other people hear you and check out my back, too." —Rachel Maj, 26 (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!)

    "I always wear my hair in a ponytail, but I forgot an elastic one day. This guy with a man bun noticed—he told me my hair looked nice down and proceeded to hand me one of his own hair ties in case I wanted it. Then he was like, deadpan, 'If you ever need anything else—water, a tampon maybe—come find me.' If I weren't married, I'd definitely have gone out with him! Humor always wins."—Benai McClanahan, 31

    "I used to work at a gym and guys would hit on me all the time. The weirdest one was when I went up to a leg press machine that already had two 45-pound weights on it and this guy jumped up from whatever he was doing and started taking the weights off while saying something like, 'a pretty lady like you doesn't need to be lifting this much weight.' And I said something like, "Thanks, but I was actually going to leave those on." Then he proceeded to hover over me while I was using it and told me I looked very mature. He asked me if I had a child, and then asked if I would like to go on a date." —Skye Willen, 23

    "This guy came up to me to comment on my squat form. As if that wasn’t creepy enough, he suggested that I start doing butt lifts as a warmup. He followed up with that by saying, 'You clearly have great genetics…are you Latin or something?' I awkwardly thanked him, wished him a good workout, and walked away as he was calling out for my phone number." —Michaela Wetter, 24

    "While I had an exercise ball between my legs, my trainer said, 'Just remember, if it slides out, don’t be afraid to slip it back in,' and winked at me. Ew. He friend requested me on Facebook later that night." —Carly Parker, 23

    "I was working the Fuel Bar at Barry’s Bootcamp when someone left me a note on their napkin that said, 'I’m smooth,' with their phone number. Not so much." —Tori Jones, 25

     

  • Mainly, ask permission before deciding to get weird...
    Emotional connection
    Category: Dating Tips | April 25, 2018

    They say sex is like pizza—even when it’s bad, it’s good. But when it comes to the art of kissing, that rule does not apply.

    From bad breath to a total lack of fundamental understanding, so much can go wrong on both sides of a smooch. However, there are a few problems that seem exclusive to our male counterparts.

    1. Sometimes less is more. While a little tongue can be nice, no one is here for a game of tonsil hockey. Seriously, it feels like there is a dying fish flopping in my mouth. Move past middle school.

    2. Read our lips…and the rest of our body language. We get that guys aren’t mind readers, but there’s no excuse for being completely oblivious. If we pull back or are obviously trying to change the rhythm, take notice. Otherwise you might as well grab a mannequin.

    3. PDA isn’t for everyone. For most people a peck in a public space, like at a party or on the street, is fine. But let’s keep it G-rated. While some women like a long make-out session up against the bar jukebox, a lot of us don’t. Even if it’s 2 a.m. and last call.

    4. Neither is biting. If your teeth graze our lips, we won’t hold it against you—but that’s where it ends. Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten? You can’t just go around biting people, willy-nilly. If you’re into that, no judgment, but please ask before you go all Edward Cullen on us.

    5. There’s no shame in asking for feedback. “You like that?” can take you SO far. Seriously, why do guys think of this as a sign of weakness? And spoiler alert: You have to actually listen to the response. Don’t just ask because you feel you have to and then keep going about your weirdo kissing business. If you get a "hmm, not really" that means this smooch isn't working out. Your next question should be, “What do you like?”

    6. Hickies are juvenile. You can kiss and gently suck on a person’s neck without branding them. We are not cattle; we are women.

    7. There’s a difference between being dominant and being forceful. Men can take charge without being aggressive and pushy. Yet, somehow, so many dudes are unaware of this. For example: If it feels like you're face-raping us with your mouth, slow your roll.

    8. Follow our lead. Women kiss the way they would like to be kissed. It's pretty much the golden rule of making out. Mirror us and you can’t go wrong.

    9. Stop touching our face so much. Seriously. Unless this is the climax of a Nicholas Sparks film, there is no reason for your hands to be all up in our grill. The germaphobe in us is thinking about all the gross things you’ve touched that day, like bathroom doors and your balls. Not romantic. This goes triple for randos we just met—stop.

    10. Get excited but not too excited. We’re flattered that a kiss can turn you on that much. Truly. But most of us don’t appreciate your boner rubbing up against us after a few moments of lip locking. Even worse is when you purposefully push it on us. No, thanks.

    11. Slow the eff down. This is not a race, and no one is playing to win. We get that sometimes passion can pick up the pace, but there’s no need to be over eager. Slow and steady wins the girl.

  • Love, sex and intimacy need special treatment in a digital age...
    Rebound guy
    Category: Dating Tips | April 24, 2018

    Every year at this time I look ahead, anticipating the challenges couples will face regarding sex, love, and intimacy.

    In 2018 these will undoubtedly include infertility (and the consequences of fertility treatment); erection problems (including troubling new ways it’s being defined); managing menopause; and anorgasmia or painful sex in women and men.

    I’m also aware of the cruel impact of criminalizing abortion; continued censorship of sex education; the barbaric punishment of teen sexual expression; the ever-expanding sex offender databases that protect no one; and the effects of health and aging on sexuality(in an increasingly older, and therefore less healthy, population).

    Summing it all up, we can condense most of the sex/love/intimacy challenges that people will face next year into these four categories: InfidelityPornography; Desire Discrepancies; and Conflict Management.

    That’s not to minimize the seriousness of other issues, but these four involve aspects of them all (including guilt, shame, autonomy, body imagefear of being known, childhoodtrauma, and existential issues).

    These four challenges are all driven by urgent concerns about what’s “normal,” well-defined cultural myths and social pressures, and rigid gender stereotypes (still!).

    And as the internet is increasingly influential in our lives, the definition and complexity of all four of these has changed. We have more choices than ever before, including the interface with more potential partners than ever. As the internet instantaneously brings us the entire world (past, present, and even future), our own lives and relationships often seem terribly pale and limited in comparison.

    And with so much of daily life happening online, most people’s communication and conflict management skills have eroded—or did not fully develop in the first place. For most people, smartphone use does undermine intimacy and sexuality.

    Ultimately, I see these topics as four sides of the same coin. In all of them, difficulties frequently degenerate into struggles to determine who is right, who is a good person, whose definitions of things shall prevail, and who will control the narrative of what has happened—and therefore what needs to happen now.

    When people lack sufficient curiosity about how their partner feels and why they want what they do, coupled with insufficient communication skills and the ability to disagree productively, the result is relationship gridlock. Which weakens sexual connections, of course.

    Couples coming for therapy often want me to understand that they definitely do love each other—as if that can be a substitute for skills, patience, empathyself-discipline, and a genuine comfort with the messy business of sexuality. I’m afraid it isn’t.

    * * *

    Unfortunately, most therapists get very little (or very poor) training on sexual issues such as desire and pornography. Some therapists actually reinforce harmful myths in their patients, like “Secure attachment always leads to strong sexual desire,” and “Pornography use is a form of infidelity.”

    Other therapists see sex addiction in almost every conflict (such as in infidelity, interest in ‘kinky sex’, porn use, going to sex workers, contrasting sex drives), which typically punishes men without creating sexual intimacy or satisfaction for the couple.

    In the arena of sexuality, most would-be therapists must depend solely on what they've learned from life (and the mass media). In America, that almost always involves shame, guilt, secrecy, and male-female stereotyping. If you are seeking help, make sure your therapist has additional training; otherwise therapists are in a very difficult position when facing sex and intimacy problems in the office—-just like their patients.  

  • The culture influences our focus on the past, present, future...
    Alex holyoake 370400 e1512521142735
    Category: Dating Tips | April 23, 2018

    Current culture in the United States emphasizes a focus on the present. “It’s the journey, not the destination”. It’s not where you’ve been or where you’re going. What is important is where you are now.

    Scripture in the Book of Matthew tells us to be like birds who don’t worry. Worrying cannot add a single hour to our lives. A popular song when I was young told us to “live for today and don’t worry ‘bout tomorrow”. Recent research shows that mindfulnessmeditation, which focuses on the present, reduces depression.

    But what if the destination is better than the journey? Arriving in Hawaii is much better than the plane trip there. And being in Hawaii is much better than the plane trip back. The plane trips are tolerable only by anticipating being in Hawaii or good memories of being there. Sometimes where you’ve been or where you’re going is better than where you are.

    A focus on the present sometimes has negative consequences. In a study of over 72,000 social media users, a focus on the present was associated with depression. In contrast, those who focused on the future were less likely to be depressed. If the present is unpleasant, an ability to see past it can be helpful. Eleanor Roosevelt said that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

    Research shows that focusing on the past can also have mental health benefits. These include recovery from depression and trauma. Analyzing a past problem can provide a perspective on it. As George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".

    Not everyone is as focused on the present as people in the United States are. People from East Asia have been found to be more focused on the past and future than people in the United States. This is because the past and future provide a context for the present. People in East Asia tend to be more interdependent than those in the United States. Relationships are highly valued. So, focusing on the past and future guides one to behave in a way that will maintain relationships.

    A key reason that people in the United States are more focused on the present than people in East Asia is that they are also focused on themselves. People in the United States tend to be independent. They are not as concerned about how their present behavior will affect past or future relationships. But an extreme focus on the self—narcissism—can result in depression for oneself and for others.

    A balance between the past, present, and future is needed. And a balance between the self and others. Where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going are all important. And who you’re with.

  • Be clear if you are interested or not...
    Rawpixel com 351766 e1512685199842
    Category: Dating Tips | April 20, 2018

    News stories have increased awareness of the amount of unwanted sexual attention that women receive from men.  It can leave women feeling more vigilant and men feeling wary – and super-cautious about approaching a woman.  This greater awareness is an opportunity for more communication about sex and desire between men and women, not less. Women and men still love each other and want to be in romantic relationships.

    Being more mindful of the signals we’re sending and receiving may be the key to staying connected and enjoying contact. There’s a wealth of research on nonverbal communication that can help you to understand and be more aware of these signals.

    1. Notice your posture. Your posture can give off a lot of information about your availability to being approached.  Phone gazing slouch, (sometimes called iHunch) in which you’re looking down with your shoulders slumped and your neck crunched and head down signals disengagement, but also puts you in a submissive posture.  Research shows that posture not only sends signals to the observers but it also affects how you feel.  Nair et al. (2015) found that compared with upright sitters, the slouchers reported significantly lower self-esteem and mood, and much greater fear; linguistic analyses revealed that slouchers were much more negative in what they had to say. So by sitting or standing upright and keeping your head straight, eyes level and shoulders back, you’ll be signaling assertiveness and positivity to others – and even yourself!  Amy Cuddy says, “Your physical posture sculpts your psychological posture, and could be the key to a happier mood and greater self-confidence.”

    2. Use your gaze deliberately.  Meeting someone’s gaze can signal respect, interest, attraction, or threat depending on the context and the other nonverbal messages you’re sending. When you first meet someone, it can be challenging to hold a steady gaze. Research shows that meeting someone’s gaze for a few seconds is optimal to signal interest. Don’t look away abruptly if you’re interested - they may take it as rejection or that you’re too easily distractible and/or untrustworthy. But don’t stare a hole in their forehead either – this can come off as threatening. Gently move your gaze around different areas of their face. We naturally shift our eyes when we recall information from memory as we talk.

    3. Watch the flutter. Eye blinks are correlated with autonomic arousal aka anxiety. The more you blink, the more anxious you are (and appear to be to others). You might be feeling anxious because someone you like is giving you their attention or you might be feeling anxious because someone you don’t like is giving you their attention. The thing is they can’t tell the difference – they just know you’re having a reaction to being looked at by them.  If you’re not interested, look away skillfully.  Don’t flutter or look down or tilt your head then turn away. If you flutter, tilt and look down then look away – you’re signaling submission and they might think you’re just being shy. If you keep your head level and simply pivot your head and/or your body away and remove your gaze, it comes off as decisive non-interest.  If you are interested, stay open, smile – and meet their gaze.

    4. Where's your attention? In recent articles, on dominance and attention and the Male Gaze, I discussed the importance of knowing where your attention goes in social interactions. If someone is giving you unwanted attention the natural tendency is to feel more self-conscious and anxious. Ironically, self-consciousness can act as a magnet and draw more attention to you when you don’t want it. So keeping your attention out and on the other person is better until you’re sure you want to draw the person into your private personal experience. By focusing on the person giving you unwanted attention, it takes you out of focusing on your reaction to them and reacting; you’ll feel more in control and won’t draw them closer.  Bottom line: Keep them out by keeping your attention out; Draw them in by focusing inward.

    5. How you look versus how you feel. In social interactions, we sometimes take a third person perceptive of imagining how we look to others. Psychologists call this self-objectification; it can be triggered anytime we notice someone looking at us and we start to imagine what they’re seeing. We may also self-objectify when we look in the mirror imaging how we will look to others as we prepare to go out in public. It’s good to be able to take this perspective but sometimes we can get stuck there: that is, acting as though others are watching us (whether they are or not). To the observer, this can come off as inauthentic and it can backfire because we’re less aware of what is actually happening in the moment. Research shows that self-objectification takes us out of the present moment, disrupts concentration, and makes us less in touch with our body sensations and emotions. So it’s better to stay in touch with yourself and not worry about what you look like to others. Sometimes your body knows before your mind does. If you’re focused on how you look to others, you’ll short circuit this powerful channel of intuitive information.

    Knowing how to send and receive clear signals helps you feel confident and comfortable in any social situation. It shows respect and dignity for yourself – and for others too.

  • Reserach shows we project our desire to cheat onto our partners...
    How to overcome jealousy
    Category: Dating Tips | April 19, 2018

    Jealousy is a serious problem. Not only can it lead to suspicion, arguments, and break up, but violence perpetrated against women by their male partners is most often motivated by sexual jealousy. Scientists should be making every effort to understand more about jealousy , because we can only combat the negative consequences of jealousy if we know how and why it emerges.

    Angela Neal of the University of South Carolina and Edward Lemay of the University of Maryland are striving to discover more about why we are suspicious of our partners, and recently published the results of their research in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

    They had around 100 male-female couples complete daily surveys for one week. Each survey included questions about respondents’ anger and negative behaviors directed toward their partner, about how attracted they felt to people other than their partner, and about how attracted they suspected their partner felt to other people.

    Neal and Lemay found that volunteers suspected their partner’s attraction to others was low when it really was low, and high when it really was high. Their estimates weren’t 100% correct, but they were quite accurate.

    However (and here’s where it gets interesting), volunteers’ own attraction to others was much more closely linked to their estimates of their partner’s attraction to others. Put another way, people who hankered after a fling suspected their partner wanted one too; people who thought of no one but their partner believed that their partner was similarly innocent.

    A person’s suspicion of their partner was much more strongly predicted by their own attraction to others than by the partner’s actual attraction to others.

    This process is akin to the psychological phenomenon of ‘projection’, first formulated by Sigmund Freud. It’s the idea that we deal with undesirable emotions and attitudes by assuming those emotions and attitudes are held by other people. We think others are guilty because we feel guilty ourselves; we think our parents are angry at us because we are angry at them.

    So, why do those with a wandering eye project their desire for illicit sex onto their partner? The researchers speculate that it could be because, when we are asked to theorize about our partner’s desires, our own desires come more readily to mind. We feel similar to our partner in other ways, and it may simply be easier to assume their wishes are the same as ours. Another possibility is that we project because of what psychologists call “motivated cognition”: that is, we are inclined to reach certain conclusions because they make us feel better. This means that if we feel guilty about being attracted to someone else, a belief that our partner is also guilty may reduce our own feelings of guilt.

    This is really important because, as Neal and Lemay found, people are angrier with their partner when they suspect their partner of harboring desire for sex with another person, and their suspicions are stronger when they themselves are fantasizing most about illicit sex.

    So, when you next find yourself obsessing about your partner’s interest in other people, you might benefit from taking a look in the mirror and asking yourself if it’s your own fantasies that are to blame. Conversely, if you discover your partner really is a cheater, and can’t believe you didn’t spot the signs, console yourself that it was probably your innocence rather than your naivety that put a check on your jealousy.

  • How to establish a strong foundation before you say, "I do."...
    Art of seduction
    Category: Dating Tips | April 18, 2018

    Finding the “Right One” is one of the most important things you will do during your lifetime. In all probability, you’ll go through a few significant relationships before you find the person you don’t want to live without. For some of you, there will be many people you will have dated, a few seriously; for others, maybe there has been only one or two relationships before the “right one” comes along. And for those rare cases, the “right one” is the only one you’ve ever been seriously involved with.

    You might think that the more experiences you’ve had with relationships, the better. That’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes, having had too many relationships is far too confusing, leaving you to wonder if maybe there’s someone better for you waiting just around the corner. And so you keep on looking for the real “right one.” Some people have very high expectations for a lifelong relationship, often too high for someone to fulfill. On the other hand, there are some people who have little idea about what to expect in a committed relationship, but know they like what they see in a particular person, and that simply seems to be enough to qualify as the “right one.” Everyone is different, and each person’s search for the “right one” is its own unique story.

    Regardless of how you get to that place where you feel ready to commit to another for a lifetime, it’s absolutely certain that there is an essential need to establish a basic understanding that will guide you and your partner through your relationship. And the best way to establish the guidance and provide the “language” for the relationship moving forward is by asking several basic questions before the commitment is fully made. 

    1. Have you taken the time, energy, and effort to explore and develop who you are?

    Before you commit to a lifetime relationship, it is most important that you know yourself — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so that the person you bring to the relationship is the most authentic you can be. (And by the way, it doesn’t mean you stop improving once you’re in a committed relationship. There is always room for growth.) The stability you bring to your relationship will serve to anchor and secure  the two of you as a couple moving forward. 

    2. What have you and your partner learned from past experiences, especially relationships?  

    Do you have some insights about what was wrong with past relationships and why those relationships didn’t work (e.g., the problems, conflicts, and areas of dissatisfaction and disagreement between you and previous partners)?

    3. Are you honestly willing to acknowledge “red flags”?

    Is there a history of cheating, being unfaithful? How about abuse of any kind? Has either partner been an abuser or been abused — physically, verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually? Is there a history of addiction: problems with drugs, alcohol, gambling, spending money irresponsibly, etc.? How about trouble with the law? How about skeletons in the closet? Are you prepared to reveal secret parts of yourself, perhaps things you’ve done that you’re ashamed of, that you may try to ignore or hide?

    4. Do you trust your partner completely?

    Committed partners are consistently reliable and responsible. Trust means that partners are sure that they can count on each other to come through no matter what. Complete trust implies that there is no deception of any kind.

    5. Can you effectively communicate with each other?

    Communication is a skill (often acquired over time) that requires focused attention to what your partner is saying. It means that you give your partner the floor to express themselves fully. You listen and you don’t interrupt. All too often, people think they are communicating when they discuss and argue, but in fact, they have a hard time hearing and accepting a perspective that may be very different from their own. With good communication, there is no shouting down, criticizing, demeaning, and/or insulting in order to “win” a point. Good communication means leaving your ego at the door. You communicate to clarify and compromise.

    6. Are you willing to share life on equal terms?

    Can you accept another person on the very same terms that you would want to be accepted? Do you admire your partner as a completely unique individual apart from yourself? Do you respect, support, and encourage your partner to be the best they can be? Aside from partners and lovers, are you best friends?

    7. Is there enough room for each of you to grow and expand your potential within the context of your relationship?

    This is an especially essential piece. Think of a pie. The relationship may take up a fair amount of the pie, but there needs to be a portion of the pie that centers on an individual’s needs. Circumstances change during the course of a relationship. What works at a certain phase may not work later on. Remember that as much as the couple shares, each partner has individual needs and interests (friends, hobbies, projects, causes) that may not be part of the relationship and need to be pursued by the individual. “Power playing” with your partner unfairly takes them hostage.  

    8. Do you share basic values and ideals?

    Do you want the same basic things out of life moving forward (e.g., lifestyle, where you live, having a family, sharing religious, spiritual, and moral beliefs)? Repeated open discussion is essential in order to identify what you both want to achieve in your life and in your relationship. Any major differences need to be discussed and ironed out before you commit to a lifetime together. There should be no surprises later on.

    9. Are you and your partner on the same page about family?

    Family can become a source of conflict for a couple. This includes the family of origin, the extended family, and the family you plan on having together. Is either partner too involved with family of origin issues/problems/dynamics, so that it would interfere with your commitment to your partner? While family of origin and extended family are a wonderful source of love and support, it’s essential that partners set clear boundaries so that their own intimacy and privacy is respected.

    10. Do you agree about finances?

    Is there an expectation that money is shared, or is there an agreement that each person retains and manages their own money? All too often, one partner is left to manage the family finances, while the other partner is left in the dark about what money there is and how it's being used. There should be absolute transparency regardless of how you and your partner decide to manage your finances. There should be no use of funds without your partner being aware. 

    These 10 questions should serve as sound guidance while making your decision to commit forever to the “right one.” The answers to the questions will form the foundation of your relationship. However, even with all the right answers and a strong foundation, it will be the work of the individuals, throughout the lifetime of the relationship, to be aware and sensitive to the needs of each other and to the needs of the unfolding relationship.

  • If you dread the thought of seeing your former flame, there's some valid science to back it up...
    80597202 40f5 4587 9b4c 40d62da66499 stocksy txpe4a47576nap100 small 809278
    Category: Dating Tips | April 17, 2018

    Whether you were dumped or you did the dumping, breakups are not easy. Untangling your life from someone you shared everything with is a grueling process — one that breathes truth into the saying "time heals all." There are a ton of steps you can take to potentially help yourself speed up the clock, like seeking professional help, learning new things, going out with friends, and getting back into the dating pool. Why is it, though, that no matter what you do to mend your ailing heart, running into your ex after a breakup always seems like the worst timing?

    If you dread the thought of seeing your former flame, there's some valid science to back it up. According to experts, after a breakup, your body chemistry goes a little haywire, which could lead to things like situational depression, withdrawal, high blood pressure, skin outbreaks, and even broken heart syndrome. (Yup, that's a real thing.) That physical roller coaster ride, paired with feelings of loss, rejection, isolation, and a slew of fears (i.e. are they over me already, how do they look, do they have a new partner?) makes seeing that person in the flesh seem entirely intimidating.

    We've seen the breakup story in the media a thousand times: You have the awkward run in, the scorned lover, the embarrassing tears, the drunken outbursts, or the "accidental" hookup. However, the real-life version of the emotions you might experience when running into your ex might surprise you. Here's what no one tells you when it comes to running into your ex.

    You Might Feel Forgiving
    Maybe you broke it off because your ex betrayed you or refused to compromise, or maybe they broke it off with you out of the blue without offering any clarity as to why. In either case, you're angry. Instead of the common mistake of putting them on a pedestal, you have banished them into the fiery depths of hell, totally villainizing them.

    Listen, people do bad things. We all make mistakes. I'm not making excuses for someone who hurt you or saying that you should welcome them back into your life. I'm just saying that humans are not black-and-white beings. It is likely that when you fixated on that defining action that lead to your breakup, it's possible you forgot about all the other things that made your ex more than that one thing. A run-in with them could lead to the realization that you may not forget, but you can actually let go of the hatred and forgive (and finally move on).

    You May Feel Stronger
    It's easy to romanticize a past relationship. When we lose someone we love, we tend to focus on the fun times that we are missing, not on the full scope of who they were or what the relationship was. All those late-night arguments and jealousy issues are suddenly covered up by the memory of that one time you adorably ate pasta like they do in Lady and the Tramp.

    All that pining can make you feel super vulnerable and weak. It might seem like seeing your ex in the flesh would crush you. In actuality, though, if you've idealized your relationship to a wild degree, some face-to-face time with the real them might be just what you need to break the fantasy and build your self-assurance back up.

    You May Feel Calm And Collected
    Hands sweaty at just the thought of an encounter with your ex? You may be freaking out, thinking about how awkward a rendezvous with your past SO could be. Nervousness over unwanted scenarios is a practical response given your fight or flight senses. However, your anticipation of the situation might not match the reality.

    Once the initial shock has passed, you might find that you're really quite zen standing in front of them. And if enough time has passed, you may even find that you're ready to be friends with your ex again. (That is, if you're sure you're mentally ready for it, and your ex is, as well.)

    You Could Even Feel Butterflies
    There are important questions to ask yourself before you consider getting back with your ex, but your answers might even point to yes. If time has passed and you fully both gave yourself the space to heal, your relationship wasn't toxic, and you still both feel something, it might be worth reconsidering the breakup.

    No matter what your reaction to seeing your ex is, if you handle the situation with dignity and respect, you'll walk away feeling better than you had before.
  • Just because you are not in love with your partner doesn't mean that you don't care for them...
    9adb40a2 f607 4504 a3c3 c7cd3ce1d44e stocksy txp44798258l6p100 small 1595313
    Category: Dating Tips | April 16, 2018

    Falling out of love can happen in any number of ways, and the red flags you're not in love with your partner are different, depending on the scenario. Sometimes, it feels like you are sliding down a rocky incline. You try to scrabble your way back up, clinging on to the memories that made your relationship something worth fighting for, only to find that these positive attributes have disappeared into the past. Other times, your relationship feels like a skin you have grown out of or a shell that doesn't suit you anymore. Like a hermit crab, you need to move into a new shelter, one that accommodates your changing form and immense growth.

    Just because you are not in love with your partner doesn't mean that you don't care for them. And falling out of love isn't necessarily antagonized by anything the person has done to you. There might have been no betrayal, no argument, no issue that you can put your finger on except for the fact that the feelings you used to have for a person have fallen away, and new ones have not grown back into their place.

    If you're falling out of love with one person, that means that you'll find it again with another. Here are the signs that this is the process currently happening to you.

    1. You're Speaking Without Communicating
    It's possible, within a relationship, to do a lot of talking without saying what really needs to be said. You and your partner might be talking all of the time without expressing anything of substance when it comes to your needs and desires within a relationship. You might have given up on communicating your emotions to each other because you knew that you wouldn't be heard.

    According to Three Day Rule’s date coach and matchmaker, Nora Dekeyser, if you're not communicating, it means that you have decided your relationship isn't worth the effort. "The most important part of a relationship is communication. If you do not have this, you are not respecting each other and clearly don't feel for the other as you do for yourself," she told Elite Daily.

    2. You Easily Irritate One Another
    You never noticed how annoying your partner was, but now, you can't stop flinching every time they take a bite of dinner. Who knew that someone could consume pasta so noisily? Or maybe that little snort they do when they find something really funny used to be adorable, but now, you find it embarrassing. You didn't know when your partner became really obnoxious to you, and you're hoping that something will change the way you see them. Unfortunately, the only thing that will make room for that change is a necessary loss of the relationship.

    If your partner makes you want to scream just by being themselves, then you need to cut your ties so that both of you can find people who appreciate both of you, just by virtue of being yourselves.

    3. You Can't Picture A Future With Them
    You used to get excited about having a future with your partner, and would find yourself swept away by fantasies of the two of you being together. Even if marriage wasn't in your long-term plan, the prospect of doing things like taking vacations as a couple or moving in together would get you excited about all the beautiful things that were heading your way.

    Now, it's hard to get excited about a long weekend together, let alone the rest of your lives. You might even be thinking about a way out already. According to relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter, frequently imagining leaving your partner is an indication that there is a “palpable emptiness in the relationship.”

    4. You Feel Alone In The Relationship
    The biggest indicator that a relationship is really over is when you feel like you are alone, even though you have a partner. I don't mean alone in the sense that you savor your solitude or that you are willing to go out and do things alone. Feeling like yourself — and being able to spend time with yourself — are actually indicators of a secure relationship.

    So what does feeling alone in a relationship actually look like? It looks like going to your grandparents' funeral by yourself because you don't feel like your partner is good at supporting you through the tough stuff. It looks like consistently making weekend plans without your partner, because you can't count on them to be available. It looks like going to your friends first and your partner second, because you feel like you can't be around them if you aren't at your best.

    “Love eventually turns into a true partnership between best friends that are also attracted to each other," Dekeyser explained to Elite Daily. If you and your partner aren't treating each other as well as your best friend treats you — and having sex to boot — then that isn't a relationship. That isn't even a friendship. And quite frankly, you can probably be a better partner to yourself than they are being to you. So what are you waiting for?

  • 4 Ways that Sleep & Circadian Rhythms Differ Between Women & Men...
    Guilherme stecanella 370459
    Category: Dating Tips | April 13, 2018

    Jokes about blanket hogs and stealing the covers aside, my practice is full of couples who report incompatibility with regard to sleep. And while certain conflicts may be due to relationship issues or personalityfactors, some of the mismatch between women and men during the night is most certainly due to sex differences in sleep and circadian physiology. Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health, a monograph recently published by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep highlights the ways that sleep and circadian rhythms are different between women and men. Here are 4 ways that sleep and circadian rhythms differ between the sexes:

    1. Insomnia is more common in women than men. Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling or staying asleep and/or the experience of non-restorative sleep. The sex difference in insomnia first emerges around the time of puberty, when girls show more than 2x the rate of insomnia than boys. In contrast, adolescent boys do not show the same association between sexual maturation and insomnia. Thus, although psychosocial factors, such as early school start times, increased social opportunities, and decreased parental involvement in setting bedtimes could be implicated in sleep disturbances in tweens and teens, female sex hormones associated with puberty and menarche also may play a role in the development of insomnia in girls. Sex differences in insomnia persist across the lifespan. Epidemiologic studies indicate that midlife women have about a 40% increased risk of insomnia than men, and women ages 65+ have more than a 70% increased risk of insomnia compared to men the same age.

    2. Women are more likely to be “early birds” and men are more likely to be “night owls.” This sex difference may be driven by differential circadian rhythm physiology wherein women have shorter circadian cycle lengths, on average, than men. Other circadian rhythm dissimilarities include higher sleepiness levels during the night and lower levels during the day in women compared to men, as well as differences in the strength or “amplitude” of circadian rhythms. Sex differences in circadian rhythms have implications for how women and men experience circadian sleep disorders such as shift work sleep-wake disorder and jet lag. Further downstream effects on health may also be related to these circadian sex differences as shift work has been associated with increased risk of breast and endometrial cancers.

    3. Sleeping pills can work differently in women than in men. Studies show that some hypnotic medications (e.g., zolpidem) are metabolized differently in women and men. Because of slower metabolism in women, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that zolpidem be given at a dose no higher than 5mg in women, compared to doses up to 10mg in men. In addition to metabolic variance between the sexes, rat studies show different pharmacologic activity of zolpidem in female versus male brains. Since women are more likely to experience insomnia than men, sex differences in hypnotic agents have important implications for treatment of this common sleep disorder.

    4. Sleep disorders can present differently in women than in men. Sex differences can play a role in manifestations of both common and rare sleep disorders. For instance, narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which patients experience severe daytime sleepiness, episodic muscle weakness called cataplexy, and disturbed sleep-wake cycles. Geneticsand immunologic factors are believed to contribute to this disease. Women with narcolepsy show symptoms at a younger age than men, but also report a longer duration—by 12 years—between the onset of symptoms and proper diagnosis than men. Women with narcolepsy also have more sleepiness during the day than men when measured with objective sleepiness testing.

    In contrast to narcolepsy which is estimated to occur in only 1% of the population, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common sleep disorder, affecting about 24% of men and 9% of women.  In this syndrome, patients experience multiple pauses in breathing during sleep. Consequences of sleep apnea include sleep fragmentation, low oxygen levels during sleep, daytime sleepiness, and cognitive impairment. Men with sleep apnea tend to report snoring and witnessed apneas, whereas women are more likely to describe symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, and depressed mood. An estimated 90% of women with obstructive sleep apnea remain undiagnosed, likely because women don't report the classic symptoms typical in men. In addition to presenting a diagnostic challenge, the sex differences in OSA have important implications for treatment.  For instance, women typically require lower levels of continuous positive airway pressure (also known as CPAP, a device used to keep the airway open during sleep) than men and may also need smaller masks to deliver CPAP.

    Growing evidence indicates that healthy sleep and circadian rhythms are critical to good health, and understanding physiologic sex differences can help promote healthy sleep in both women and men—and may also promote harmony in the bedroom as well.

  • News you can use, people...
    Womanizer
    Category: Dating Tips | April 12, 2018

    It’s pretty much a given that if you thought a guy was creepy, you wouldn’t be dating him. But, love can be blind and all, so it’s possible you could be seeing a creep and not even know it. Enter, science.

    A new study published in New Ideas in Psychology  sought to figure out what, specifically, makes a person creepy because…why the hell not?

    For the study, which is appropriately dubbed “On the Nature of Creepiness,” researchers had an international sample of 1,341 people respond to an online survey on what they considered creepy. Participants answered several questions, which scientists then analyzed to get to the bottom of creepiness.

    Here’s what they discovered:

    • Men are more likely to be labeled as “creepy” than women.
    • Women are more likely to think sexual threats are creepy (duh).
    • Acting unusually was associated with creepiness.
    • Some hobbies and jobs make people creepy.

    Let’s discuss those jobs, shall we? If you’re a clown, taxidermist, sex shop owner, or funeral director, sorry—people think you’re creepy. (Worth noting: People think clowns are the creepiest of them all.)

    There are also some behaviors and nonverbal cues that make someone come across as a creeper:

    • Being extremely thin
    • Not looking you in the eye
    • Asking to take a picture of you
    • Watching people before interacting with them
    • Asking about details of your personal life when you don’t know them
    • Displaying too much or too little emotion
    • Being older
    • Steering the conversation toward sex

    But WAIT: The last question people had to answer in the survey was the best: “Do most creepy people know that they are creepy?” Nearly 60 percent said “no.”

    Apparently there’s a reason why we get creeped out by some people more than others: Researchers say it’s an evolved adaptive emotional response to uncertainty about the presence of threat that allows us to be more alert when something or someone seems a bit off.

    So, if you end up on a date with a taxidermist who moonlights as a clown and won’t look you in the eye—you've been warned.

  • Here are some red flags that may signal that your significant other is cheating....
    Depressed man
    Category: Dating Tips | April 11, 2018

    When you get suspicious that your significant other is cheating, be careful not to appear to be paranoid. You have to walk a fine line — you don't want to make false accusations.

    So, while I'm sharing this list of cheating red flags, I concede that it's a tricky situation. It's hard to be sure if someone's cheating, but protect yourself: Be vigilant, and pay attention to your mind and spirit within the relationship. But, at the same time, be careful not to let anxiety lead the way because unnecessary paranoia will just drive your lover away.

     

    Here are some red flags that may signal that your significant other is cheating:

    1. Less Sex

    Unless he's Superman, he can only have so much sex. So, if he's getting it from another source, you might notice. Whether it's another woman or a porn addiction — even if he's not cheating — a decrease in sex signals serious issues in the relationship.

    2. Jumpy Cell Phone Habits

    In a perfect world, we'd be open about sharing our correspondence with our significant others. Most of the time, we trust that we don't have to worry about who is texting or calling them. But, if you notice that he is getting protective and/or nervous when he gets calls or texts, it may be cause for alarm.

    3. Gushing or Talking About Someone Suddenly

    You know that exhilarating feeling you get when you meet someone new and exciting? You want to tell the world about him. One of my exes began talking about a guy a lot near the end of our relationship — he just always seemed to be at her social gatherings that I didn't happen to attend. Sure enough, after she dumped me, she began dating him.

    4. Disconnect

    Even though relationships ebb and flow naturally, if you're sensing that he's drawing away from you, then there may be someone else. Emotional disconnect should be investigated regardless of whether it's caused by cheating. There's a problem if he's not laughing or seeming as passionate as usual. It's hard to spread love/passion between two people, so the person who used to have it will feel it slipping away if it's being given to someone else.

    5. He's Pulling Houdinis

     

    If he's disappearing, traveling, or unavailable to the point where you are starting to wonder, then he could be cheating. Also, these times tend to take on a pattern because it's tough to synch up schedules, especially in secret.

    6. Friends Acting Strange

    His friends will certainly remain loyal to him in most cases. They will not let you know what's going on, but they will definitely be racked with guilt, and their behavior may change slightly when they are around you while protecting his secret.

    7. Caught in Other Lies About Other Things

    If you catch him in a lie, your trust will naturally be damaged. Don't hold a grudge — forgiveness is a good thing. You can forgive, but don't forget. If he consistently breaches your trust, it's establishing a pattern of behavior that leads to cheating. Do yourself a favor: If he keeps lying, whether these lies are big or small, get out while you can and don't let him talk his way back in.

    8. Been There, Done That

    I always say: "Once a cheater, always a cheater." If he's done it before, he's definitely capable of doing it again. It has nothing to do with you, which is why you can't say that he cheated on his previous lover because she didn't keep him happy. Cheating is a self-serving act in which the cheater doesn't take his significant other into consideration. If someone is upfront with you that he's made mistakes in the past, maybe give them a chance — but make it a long probationary period before you let your guard down.

    9. Your Gut Tells You So

    Don't ignore your sixth sense. People are gifted at sensing when something doesn't feel right. Whether there are red flags in your relationship that are clueing you in or not, if something feels off, don't ignore this feeling. Usually that feeling is right, and something intangible may have led to you figuring it all out.

    Do you have any red flags that you'd add to this list? Would you say that you're generally good at figuring cheaters out, or do you seem to find yourself getting cheated on often? What sorts of behaviors do you think are characteristic of someone who could be a cheater?

  • So, you've been seeing/dating/sleeping with/messaging a guy and he doesn't want to label things....
    Priscilla du preez 107403
    Category: Dating Tips | April 10, 2018

    So, you've been seeing/dating/sleeping with/messaging a guy and he doesn't want to label things. While you don't need that kind of headache in your life, sometimes it's hard to understand why guys don't want to commit, and we can drive ourselves crazy replaying every possible scenario on how or why things went wrong. To keep you from heading down that tragically depressing rabbit hole, Marie Claire consulted relationship expert Rich Santos to give us the top reasons why guys resist commitment. Hint: Most of them have nothing to do with you at all. 

     

    1. He Still Wants to Play the Field

    Once a guy commits, he will lose the chance to date other women. Most guys try to hold on to this opportunity as long as they can, especially when they are not sure what they are looking for, which leads us to...

    2. Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys

    "Committing" means "growing up" to some guys. And a lot of us guys don't want to grow up, or we want to delay the process of growing up as long as possible. Commitment is a sign of maturity, and some guys are simply too immature to commit, especially in their twenties. 

    3. There's Someone Else

    It's hard for a guy to commit to one woman if he's got others on his mind—imagine trying to commit if you had a couple of guys on your mind. 

    4. He's Got Other Priorities

    In life, it's tough to balance love, family, work, etc. If there are things in his life that demand more attention than his love life, he'll commit to the other stuff and deal with love when he can.

    5. He's Got Baggage

    It's possible that he's had a bad experience with a past girlfriend, or he's a child of divorce. Unresolved pain in his past can prevent him from committing.

    6. He's Afraid It Won't Work Out

    Committing involves risk; you are essentially taking a plunge, and investing energy in the relationship. Some people feel that it's not worth a try unless it's 100% certain it will work out. But, you can never really be that sure of things, and that unknown keeps some people from committing.

    7. None of His Friends Have Committed

    If you are able to get the first guy of his group of friends to commit, I commend you. Most of us guys want to commit eventually, but we don't want to be the first one, and there is respect among guys for the last single guy in the group.

    8. He's Only in It for the Sex

    Sadly, some guys are just out to bang a whole bunch of women. Usually, if you have a gut feeling that this is the case, you are right.

    9. He's Not into You Enough to Commit

    Most of the reasons a guy won't commit have to do with the guy. But he may see you as a fun person to date, but never thought of you as someone he'd commit to in the end. It's tough to swallow when this is the situation, but sometimes it's easy to resolve it in your mind this way and move on.

    10. You're Pressuring Him Too Much to Commit

    If he's going to commit, let him come to that moment on his own. If you continue to bring it up, he may become bitter and annoyed at the whole thought of it. You'd rather him come to the decision to commit naturally on his own, and not because he was pressured to do so anyway. Just think about how you feel when someone pressures you to commit.

    So, our top advice: He won't commit? Sucks for him. Go find yourself a better guy who appreciates you so much he won't hesitate to make you his GF. 

  • "Happiness comes from within." We hear this sentence all the time...
    Home bar essentials
    Category: Dating Tips | April 09, 2018

    "Happiness comes from within." We hear this sentence all the time, and it's predicated on the belief that if you dig deep enough into yourself, you will figure out who you are and everything else will fall into place. While I agree with the overall message in that you are responsible for your choices, it has become increasingly apparent to me that happiness comes from "with" as much as it comes from "within."

    The problem with the relentless quest for self-knowledge and inward focus is that it can become an excuse for self-interest and even narcissism. Don’t get me wrong; it is important to take care of ourselves; eating well, getting enough rest, being mindful, and exercising are valuable pursuits. Mastering a breathing technique to help us relax and taking a hot bath are good stress relievers—and can certainly help us stay strong in the face of daily stressors—but too much emphasis on the self can lead us astray.

    When the focus is exclusively on me, myself, and I, we risk missing out on what is most valuable about being a member of the human race—that which lies beyond us. 

    New York Times columnist David Brooks laments how today we live in a culture of the "Big Me" that glorifies personal happiness at the expense of community and relationships. The irony is that studies show that focusing on the "Big Me" actually undermines happiness and well-being. Research shows that the happiest people have close ties to friends and family. Social interaction beyond one’s immediate circle is important, too. Studies show that people who connect with other human beings, even strangers on a train or in the checkout line, report brighter moods. Behavioral scientists call this "social snacking," and it may just be the healthiest snack in the world.

    Happiness is not a solo enterprise, and well-being doesn’t occur in a vacuum. 

    We are social creatures, and our health—both physical and mental—depends on our social relationships. It's well-known that having a shoulder to lean on can help us navigate our way through a difficult time. Less well-known is the research that shows how doing things for others helps buffer against stress. In a research article titled "Prosocial Behavior Helps Mitigate the Negative Effects of Stress in Everyday Life," participants who engaged in "other-focused" behavior, such as holding a door, asking someone if they needed help, and lending a hand, reported better moods and lower daily stress levels than those who didn’t engage in helping behavior.

    The key is to actively seek pathways that will help us transcend ourselves and escape the echo chamber of our minds. As tempting as it is to dive inward, make it a priority to connect, to interact, and to add value.

  • There is just a very thin line separating love and hate, goes the old song. But is it true? Maybe…
    Sweet ice cream photography 250621
    Category: Dating Tips | April 08, 2018

    Both of it is a very strong emotion but what is a love-hate relationship? Is it possible that you can feel love for your partner in one moment and hate them the next? Or both at the same time. Does your partner give you all the support in the world on one day and then appear to recoil from you the next? Find out the signs of a love-hate relationship.

    The Opposite of Love is Not Hate

    Many people make the mistake of thinking that the two emotions are on the opposite end of the love scale. This is not true. The opposite to love is indifference. Love must, by definition include caring; indifference does not. It is possible to hate someone for their behavior, but to care about them deeply at the same time. Ask any mother of a difficult or wayward teenager.

    An interesting fact is that when murderers are asked why they killed their wife, many say, “Because I loved her.” That is the case far more often than, “Because I hated her.” Therefore we might assume that being loved intensely by someone is far more dangerous than being hated.

    13 Signs You Are in a Love-Hate Relationship

    • You often feel that your relationship is a sham. You both present a ‘happy couple’ face to the outside world, but sometimes you feel as though you are living an ugly lie.
    • Your relationship is a never-ending competition or even a battle. It makes you exhausted just thinking about it. Two egos slogging it out.
    • You are always breaking up and making up. There is a sense of being together/not being together even if you don’t physically split up. It can be lonely inside a love-hate relationship.
    • You bring out the best, and worst, in each other. You might be lovely people, individually, but together…? You experience behavior in yourself that you never thought you’d be capable of. You sometimes shock yourself with the intensity of your emotional responses. You wonder where your hateful words came from; at the same time you cannot believe anyone could say such foul things to you in return.
    • You can’t fix your conflicts. You think you do but, in truth, you have skimmed over the cracks. Pretty soon, the same issue will surface again. And again.
    • You swing wildly from one emotion to another. You are immersed in your lover. You adore them. Next thing you detest every little thing about them. One feeling you never feel is indifference. It’s either very, very good, or very, very bad. Periods of stability and level emotional states are few and far between.
    • Thinking about your relationship is a way of life. It’s always there, usually in the forefront of your mind, or at least, never far away.
    • Your partner has characteristics that set them apart from others. You adore them. No-one can come close. Your partner has behaviors that set them apart from others. You hate, detest and even fear them.
    • Monday: you are so happy you met your partner. Tuesday: you plan what you are going to wear to his or her funeral.
    • You realize that your relationship follows a definite cycle. You begin to distrust the happy times because you know that bad ones are on the way.
    • You or your partner display narcissistic or sociopath traits.
    • Empathy is missing. Your major concern is how you feel, how the other person affects you.
    • You can’t see a future in this relationship. That’s because you are going round and round in the same holding pattern.


    Can a Love-Hate Relationship Work?

    A love-hate relationship can last a long time and usually does. This is because both partners are addicted to the emotional turmoil. When you are apart, everything seems dull and gray because they are not there. The relationship is a complex cocktail of narcotic-like emotion. Yet, like narcotic drugs, a love-hate relationship is always toxic. Neither partner is able to be at their best at work, or socially, because the relationship is like a millstone that has to be carried around.

    Counseling may help a love-hate relationship. You will learn how to build and expand the areas of the partnership that work well and manage the issues with coping strategies. It really depends on whether both partners want it to succeed.

    When to Get Out of a Love-Hate Relationship

    • If there is any form of abuse, emotional or physical, by either or both partners, it’s time to end it.
    • If you hate them more than you love them, it’s time to leave.
    • If you are deeply unhappy most of the time, it’s time to call it a day.


    Areas to Work on in a Love-Hate Relationship

    If your relationship is to work, then certain areas must be addressed.

    Commitment. If only one is committed to the relationship, it’s not going to work, so both partners have to be 100 percent certain that they want this.

    Trust. If you or your partner experience intense feelings of jealousy, then this must be examined and dealt with. No relationship is able to survive the constant battering of jealousy.

    Forgiveness. Learning how to forgive, forget and move on is so important. Should one or both continually refer back to past misdemeanors, it creates a poisonous atmosphere. Letting the past go, is key to making a go of it.

    Compassion and empathy. If this is love, then you have to care how the other person is feeling. You have to realize what effect your words and behavior are having. If, in the heat of the moment, you could care less, then perhaps you are not as committed as you thought you were.

    Time for yourself. It’s a human necessity to pursue friendships, activities and relaxation away from the other partner. Not only that, when you have a healthy life outside of the relationship, both partners are able to bring freshness to the other. You are not constantly tied together in a stale, toxic bond. All relationships need space in order to change, evolve, grow and adapt. That’s how they last for a lifetime.

  • How many times have we heard the phrase, “All men want is sex?”...
    How to make a guy miss you
    Category: Dating Tips | April 07, 2018

    When I was 17 years old I was sure it was true. When I was 37 years old, I suspected it might not be true. And now that I’m 73 years old, I know it’s not true. Now don’t get me wrong, sex can be wonderful at any age, but there’s something that is more important than sex, but it’s something that men have difficulty admitting and women have difficulty giving.

    This understanding has dawned on me slowly and became most evident to me in my men’s group. I’ve been meeting regularly with six other guys for thirty-eight years and sex has been a topic that has run through our discussions over the years. Like all guys we are somewhat competitive and we all want to be seen as successful, but we also have learned to be honest with each other. We not only talk about our sexual successes, but also our failures, fears, and confusions.

    From the time I was a young I learned that wanting sex was synonymous with being a man. In high school I remember overhearing a girl I liked talking about a guy we both knew. She wasn’t complaining that he was preoccupied with sex, but that he “didn’t come on to me like other guys do.” She went on to tell her girlfriend, “He’s not being very manly.” The message was clear, “real men” want sex and if you don’t “come on” to a girl, you’re not a real man.

    This early lesson was validated through the years: Always wanting sex is the mark of manliness for many. It’s better to be turned down again and again and be seen as a jerk who is totally preoccupied with sex than to want something more than sex and be seen as “less than a man.”

    So, what do men want more than sex? We’ve all heard that women need to feel loved to have sex, but men need to have sex to feel loved. Let’s look more deeply at what it is exactly that men are getting when they get sex. Sure, there is the physical pleasure, but there is a deeper need that is being satisfied. I call it the need for a safe harbor.

    The world of men is a world of competition. On the most basic level, males compete with other males for access to the most desirable females. Males make the advances and females decide which males they will accept. Sure, in modern times these roles are less rigid than they once were, but for the most part, whether we’re peacocks or people, we strut our stuff and hope it’s good enough to get us chosen by the woman we go after.

    Getting taken into her body gives us a sense of peace and homecoming that goes way beyond simple sexual pleasure. Of course, I’m talking about heterosexual men here. There’s a similar dynamic in the gay world, but here I’ll focus on men and women.

    ……..

    It takes a lot of time and maturity for men to admit to themselves that they need a safe harbor where they can be nurtured and embraced by a woman.

    ……..

    Many of us remember the early school dances we attended. If you wanted to hold a girl in your arms, you had to make the long walk across the room with everyone watching and ask the girl to dance. If she accepted, you were in heaven. If she refused you were in hell. The key here is that you must make yourself vulnerable to rejection to hold and be held by a girl.

    By the time we become adults, we’ve already been battered and bruised by the world of competition and rejection. We long for that safe harbor where we don’t have to pretend to be something we’re not in order to be chosen. We long for someone who sees us for who we are and wants us anyway, who can hold us and touch, not just our body, but our hearts and souls.

    “Always wanting sex” is part of the male persona we wear to show we’re manly. What we really want is a safe harbor where we can take refuge, relax, and be cared for. In other words, we want the feeling of being nurtured that most of us didn’t get enough of when we were children. But admitting these needs makes us feel like little boys, not big strong men. Better to be manly with our sexual desire and then once we’re inside her body, we can relax, be ourselves, and be infused with love. That’s the hidden desire we have when we have sex.

    One of the things I love getting from my wife, Carlin, is to lie in her lap and have my scalp rubbed. This is one, wonderful, safe harbor. I don’t need to have sex in order to have this need satisfied. I just have to ask for it. Here, I’m being touched deeply, accepted completely. I don’t have to perform or prove myself. I just must be willing to be deeply vulnerable.

    Just as its difficult for men to ask to be held, nurtured, and touched; its often difficult for women to give that kind of intimacy. There are three main reasons, which are often subconscious:

    First, women have their own conditioning about men being men. If he doesn’t want sex, they worry that they may not be attractive enough.
    Second, a man wanting to be held and nurtured, triggers feelings that they are dealing with a boy, not a man. I can’t tell you how many clients I have who say things like “It’s like I’ve got three children in the house. There’s our two sons, and then there’s my husband.” Women want a man, but worry they have another little boy.
    Third, women fear men who don’t feel manly. They know that the most violent men are men who feel weak and powerless. They’ve often had experiences of men allowing themselves to be gentle and vulnerable, only to have them respond with anger and rage later.

    It takes a lot of time and maturity for men to admit to themselves that they need a safe harbor where they can be nurtured and embraced by a woman. It takes a lot of courage to let his woman know he may want sex, but more important is his need for security, love, and nurture. It requires a level of wisdom to know that allowing ourselves to be as vulnerable as a child may be the manliest thing a man can do.

    For a woman, she must also go beyond her own conditioning and be open to a man who is making himself vulnerable in new ways. She must have a great deal of self-love and self-confidence to accept being a safe harbor. She must also have the strength to protect herself, when his shame at being vulnerable turns to anxiety, anger, or depression. It isn’t easy for men and women to take these kinds of risks, but the payoff is a life-time of deepening love and intimacy.

  • Here are clues that it is time to end your relationship...
    Mixed signals from a guy
    Category: Dating Tips | April 06, 2018

    It's a question I face frequently in my therapy practice and in my advice column: "I know my relationship has issues, but do I really want to end it right now? Would I truly be better off alone?"

    Of course, real life is not an experiment, and there is no control group. We can never be certain about the potential outcomes of the path not taken. Whatever decision you make, it will be the one you'll live with, and you won't ever be able to know with 100-percent certainty how the opposite choice would have turned out

    Sometimes, however, you can make an extremely educated guess. There are concrete signs that a relationship is unhealthy for you, and keeping you from meeting your full potential. Often, the inertia is strong enough that you may choose to remain in the relationship because the short-term discomfort of ending it keeps you trapped. That feels more visceral — the immediate fear of the (temporary) negative consequences of breaking up — even if you know that in the long-term you would be better off. (Many things that are good for us carry this long-term versus short-term battle, from not wanting to get out of bed early for exercise, to being unable to keep from downing an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies.)

    Of course, we must keep in mind that deciding you're better off alone when you've been married for 35 years is very different than deciding you're better off alone after your fourth date. In a future post, we'll address the steps to take to extract yourself most healthily from a relationship. For now, though, here are some considerations that suggest your partnership lacks the potential to truly fulfill you.

    1. There are constant "if-onlys." 

    Whether it is you, your partner, or both of you having these thoughts, it's a bad sign if there is always a sense that the relationship could be satisfying if only a certain thing fundamentally changed. Yes, many relationships go through phases where things don't feel quite right, but in the case of a relationship that constantly feels like it needs fixing, true satisfaction will always feel just out of reach. One or both people can start to live in the hypothetical and perhaps unattainable future, rather than in the here and now, which precludes the possibility of true happiness. Does your relationship feel 90 percent good, but that other 10 percent is something that nags at you every day and never feels quite solvable? Sometimes, that can be a sign that you'll never fully fit together well.

    2. You don't feel understood.

    Maybe you feel that you are loved under certain conditions only, or you keep up a facade for your partner. This can get in the way of true emotional intimacy and feel empty over time — the idea that your partner wouldn't genuinely love the "real" you, if you were truly allowing yourself to be that person. Perhaps you are pretending to be someone you're not, hiding an important part of your personality, or even feigning interest in certain hobbies or activities of theirs to keep them happy, letting them call the shots about how you spend your time. Or maybe you are being yourself — and yet you never feel like your partner actually "gets" you. These types of emotional disconnects can lead to profound loneliness that — ironically — may make you feel even more isolated than if you were single.

    3. You feel drained by your partner, even when they're not being particularly draining.

    In any relationship, there are times when one partner takes more than gives; equal and perfect reciprocity can rarely be maintained all the time. Good relationships have flexibility and don't bean-count. That said, sometimes someone might feel constantly exhausted by a partner — even if that partner isn't really doing much to be exhausting. When you are always frustrated by a partner, and you feel that you need a break from them far more often than being with them provides a break — that is a sign that something is seriously off. Perhaps it is something fixable, but if you find it hard to solve or even to put your finger on, it could be a sign that being with them is always going to be more taxing than a relationship should be. 

    article continues after advertisement

    4. You hide major parts of your partner from friends and family.

    Perhaps you cover up your partner's drinking, or lie about how well they treat others. Maybe you're ashamed to admit how often you fight, or you find yourself censoring the fact that your partner has a long-standing problem with gambling, or you've lost trust in their faithfulness. If you find yourself painting a picture of your partner to others that is not at all representative of who they are, it is a sign that they are simply not measuring up to the standards that you know you should have. It's one thing if you don't feel like telling your conservative parents that your new boyfriend grew up on a commune. But if you are consistently making your partner out to be someone they're not to multiple friends or family members, that's a sign that you know they are not someone with whom you're proud to be.

    5. You always assume or imagine that they'll change in some major way before you have a future with them.

    Perhaps you've spent years imagining your future with your partner — but it includes a different version of them. You fantasize that they'll magically become more ambitious, more kind, or more helpful around the house. You picture that you'll finally be ready to get engaged when they become more responsible, or that once they "see the light" about commitment, you'll feel ready to settle down with them. Don't fall into the trap of committing to a version of a mate that isn't real. Do you want to be with your partner for the person they are, truly, right here and now? That is much more of an important metric.

    6. You have to make apologies for yourself, and often.

    It is a warning sign to be taken seriously if you frequently have to apologize to your partner for who you are. Does it seem that you are never good enough? Do your partner's standards feel like they can never be met? When taken to the extreme, this is a clear-cut sign of a controlling relationship. But even in its milder forms, it can take a significant toll on your psyche to feel like your very existence involves doing things "wrong." Maybe it even goes in the other direction: You have big hopes and dreams that you feel "silly" for having, or that you feel that your partner will quash. Do you long for the freedom that would come with living how you want to live, liberated from criticism and guilt? So, why are you keeping yourself from that freedom?

    7. Conflict is constant, and you don't fight "right."

    Much marital research has shown us that it is not necessarily the presence of conflict, but rather how you fight, that predicts how happy your relationship will be over time. Are your conflicts riddled with unhealthy patterns, like stonewalling, giving each other the silent treatment, or engaging in hurtful personal attacks? Does resentment grow with each argument, with the real problem never truly getting addressed, let alone solved? Do your conflicts feel not like opportunities to resolve differences or times to understand each other's perspective, but rather opportunities to hurt each other and get out some aggression? Unless you both are motivated to work on these patterns, it is not likely that things will magically change to make your relationship smoother.

  • Many of us never really think about what having a relationship with yourself really means...
    Sdltqte7rvmhxov0atrj 6565
    Category: Dating Tips | April 05, 2018

    Many of us never really think about what having a relationship with yourself really means. However, it is the key to everything we truly want in life; the key to peace, joy, contentment, love, and connection. Often we are not aware that it is our automatic thoughts about ourselves and of life that robs us of the very things that we are striving to attain. We often think that the way we can attain love, peace, joy, contentment, happiness, is by perfecting the “content” of our lives. If we get the “right” job, the “right” amount of money, weigh the “right” amount, be in the “right” relationship, we will find what we are looking for. The longer we pursue these goals as a means of attaining happiness, the more we recognize that the feeling of happiness or peace when the goal is met never lasts long.

    THE HAMSTER ON THE HAMSTER-WHEEL

    The minute we achieve a goal, we are onto the next, thinking that it is the next goal that will provide us with the feelings we are trying to achieve. It’s like we’re hamsters on a hamster wheel, always running towards something to make us feel the peace and satisfaction we crave, only to recognize that the feelings are still out of reach. The more we are stuck in this pattern of searching for perfection, the more anxiety, depression, overwhelm, dissatisfaction and disconnection we feel. We believe that we need to keep “fixing” ourselves to achieve what we desire. This fixing and perfecting creates a relationship with ourselves in which we feel like we’re not enough.

    END THE VICIOUS CYCLE!

    The way out of this vicious cycle is to recognize that you are trying to perfect yourself to feel like you are whole, and that is a race to nowhere. You are already whole. And, this automatic habit gives us no access to a change in our focus.  Having a satisfying relationship with yourself involves grounding yourself only in the moment right in front of you. It involves constantly recognizing the habit of trying to fix and perfect. When you are able to accept exactly what is, and exactly what isn’t, you develop a relationship with yourself that is peaceful and loving. And it is this peaceful and loving relationship with yourself that is the basis for everything that you want in life.  Moving from the unconscious, automatic habit of fixing, changing and perfecting, to a conscious choice to accept yourself and your life exactly as it is in this moment, is the key to a life of joy and gratitude.

  • Empowered love is compassionate love...
    Romantic honeymoon ideas
    Category: Dating Tips | April 04, 2018

    We fall in love via the toddler brain — the wonderful, emotional, impulsive, and volatile limbic system — which reaches structural maturity by age 3. We stay in love in the most profound and most stable part of the adult brain — the prefrontal cortex, which reaches full maturity around age 28. Toddler-brain love is filled with wonder and joy at first, but inevitably faces conflict and pain due to its cognitive limitations, especially the inability to see other perspectives or to see other people apart from how we feel at the moment. Adult love rises from our most humane values of compassion, kindness, nurturance, and desire for growth.

    Most people would agree that, despite their moodiness and occasional temper tantrums, toddlers are joyous, loving, fascinating, and fun. And that sounds a lot like a description of falling in love. Toddler love can be lots of fun for adults when they emphasize curiosity, wonder, and affection. But when we retreat to the toddler brain under stress, as we’re wont to do, we become impulsive, reactive, self-obsessed, and demanding.

    We're actually prone to shift to the toddler brain in love relationships. For all the wonderful things it adds to our lives, love exposes our deepest vulnerabilities in ways that most of us haven’t experienced since toddlerhood. In early relationship conflict, when habits of interacting are formed, most lovers have not felt so emotionally dependent and powerless over their deepest vulnerable feelings since they learned to walk.

    Adults who love like toddlers often confuse intimacy with having their partners think and feel the same way they do. They perceive rejection and betrayal when loved ones think and behave like the unique individuals they are, with interests, tastes, and vulnerabilities that fail to mirror the fragile sense of self embedded in the toddler brain. Most complaints in toddler love take the form of: “Why can’t you be more like me? Why can’t you know what I need and just do it?”

    Love Comes Easy to the Toddler Brain

    You may have heard the saying, "Love is easy; relationships are hard." The truth is, relationships are hard, because love is so easy in the toddler brain. In the beginning, euphoria and boundless energy flow from hormones like vasopressin and oxytocin, which are instrumental in social behavior, sexual motivation, and pair bonding. They can make us feel like we’re walking on clouds and barely have to eat or sleep. And then there’s the hyper-focus of newly acquired love; we can think of little else besides the beloved. You can tell the “in love” couples in a restaurant; they’re so into each other, they barely pick at their salads, oblivious to the sights and sounds around them. The toddler brain facilitates bonding through its principal way of discerning other people, namely, projection. As the toddler brain falls in love, we attribute our best emotional states and impulses to the object of fascination.

    As the bonding hormones that brought us together wane — they can only last a few months — the euphoric feelings of falling in love fade. We stop the idealistic attributions and begin to see things in our lovers we don't like. It's not so much that we don't like who our lovers really are, it's just that previously they seemed to be everything we really liked. If we just stopped the idealistic attributions, it wouldn’t be so bad. But the self-obsessed toddler brain cannot stop projecting. When it feels bad, it projects negative qualities onto the now disappointing loved one. This inevitable disillusionment is what couples begin to fight about, as early as the second year of living together. They struggle, in the wrong part of their brains, to balance what I call the Grand Human Contradiction.



    The Grand Human Contradiction

    Human beings are unique among animals in the need to balance two opposing drives. The drive to be autonomous — able to decide our own thoughts, imagination, creativity, feelings, and behavior — must compete with an equally strong drive to connect to significant others. We want to be free and independent, without feeling controlled. At the same time, we want to rely on significant others — and have them rely on us — for support and cooperation.

    Other social animals — those who live in groups and packs and form rudimentary emotional bonds — have relatively little or no discernible sense of individuality to assert and defend. Solitary animals are free and independent, but do not form bonds with others that last beyond mother-infancy. Only humans struggle with powerful drives that pull us in opposite directions, in which too much emotional investment in one area impairs emotional investment in the other.

    The competition between the drives for autonomy and connection is so important that it emerges in full force in toddlerhood, which is why “the twos” can be so “terrible.” Toddlerhood is the first stage of development in which children seem to realize how separate they are from their caretakers, when they become aware of emotional states that differ from those of their parents. They had previously felt a kind of merging with caregivers, which provided a sense of security and comfort. The new realization of differences stirs excitement and curiosity, but also endangers the comfort and security of the merged state. Now they must struggle with an inchoate sense of self prone to negative identity: They don’t know who they are, but when aroused, they know who they’re not — they’re not whatever you want. Thus we have the favorite two words of the toddler: “Mine!” and “No!”

    The increasing conflict with parents wrought by the drive for autonomy endangers the other powerful human drive — to connect, to value and be valued, to be comforted, and to comfort. Hostility toward their parents, however short in duration, stirs uncomfortable feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety, which fuel intense emotional distress — the classic temper tantrum. Internal conflict is overwhelming for toddlers, because they lack the self-regulatory power of the adult brain. 

    We cannot balance the competing drives for autonomy and connection in the toddler brain. For love to endure, we must develop the skill to switch into the adult brain under stress. There we can replace the toddler coping mechanisms of blame, denial, and avoidance with the adult coping mechanisms of improve, appreciate, connect, and protect.

    Here’s a quick test to see if you’re in a toddler brain relationship: Write down a few exchanges you’ve had with your partner in an argument. Regardless of the content, toddler brain exchanges will take the form of one of you saying, “Mine!" or, "My way!” and the other saying, “No!”

  • Moving to a new city for a significant other is a big commitment...
    Anthony tori 120173
    Category: Dating Tips | April 04, 2018

    Moving to a new city for a significant other is a big commitment. While taking the leap can sometimes work out wonderfully, relationship experts caution that things can go awry without serious forethought.

    Real estate site Homes.com recently surveyed nearly 800 people nationwide who had moved for love and found that 43 percent wouldn’t relocate for a relationship again. When asked why, 23 percent said it’s because they broke up after doing so. Eighteen percent said it’s because “moving failed to save a rocky relationship,” and 17 percent regret moving because they disliked the new location. 

    It’s critical to pinpoint exactly why you’re moving before you do so, Elisabeth LaMotte, a relationship therapist in Washington, D.C., told HuffPost. 

    “Relocating to a new city is a major decision with personal, professional and emotional implications,” she said. “If your primary motivation is love, the key is to make the decision from a place of strength rather than from a place of desperation.”

    Here are six signs you and your partner aren’t ready to relocate for one another, according to therapists.

    1. You believe moving will solve your relationship problems.

    Be wary of moving for someone else if your relationship “has a volatile, up-and-down, on-and-off history,” advises Kurt Smith, a relationship therapist in northern California. “If the partner you’re moving for has a tendency to be selfish, then be careful about making such a big sacrifice since it’s likely not to be appreciated the way you hope.”

    Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist who practices in Pasadena, California, warns against “pulling a geographic” ― a therapy term for expecting your personal life or relationship to improve just because you shift locations. 

    “If living apart has been difficult because your partner is selfish and you communicate poorly, don’t expect these dynamics to change just because you live in the same town,” he said. “Sure, you’ll have more face-to-face access to one another, but this doesn’t necessarily change your relationship. ... Relational flaws don’t disappear when a partner moves to town. It may actually inflate them.”

    2. Your partner didn’t ask you to move. 

    It may sound simple, but LaMotte notes that having your partner’s support for the move is key.

    “Never relocate for love if your partner isn’t encouraging the move,” she said. “Some people have a pattern of choosing unavailable partners because they aren’t ready to fully commit. ... If the desire to relocate is one-sided, it’s better to stay put, focus on making your life in your hometown as full and engaged as possible, and see if your relationship can survive the distance.”

    WESTEND61 VIA GETTY IMAGES

    3. You and your partner aren’t on the same page about the future.

    “Ask yourself some tough questions, and be honest with your answers,” LaMotte said. “Are the two of you equally committed to the relationship? Do the two of you have compatible visions for the future? Have you discussed what it means that you will be giving up your work, your community and your comfort zone?”

    And especially don’t relocate if you’re doing so only because you hope it will lead to an engagement.

    “Never move for love if what you really want is to become engaged or married and your partner is not ready,” LaMotte added. The move “will backfire if there is an unspoken expectation that it’ll lead to engagement and marriage and this expectation doesn’t materialize.”

    4. The move will distance you from family. 

    Living farther from your family isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Smith often sees partners who wish they still lived near their loved ones back home. 

    “Closeness to family members and the value of those relationships cannot be underestimated for a lot of people,” he said. Having family around is especially important “when you have young kids and need the helping hands,” he added.

    STURTI VIA GETTY IMAGES

    5. You never thought about moving to a new city before you were in this relationship.

    Relocating only to please a significant other spells trouble, according to Howes. Be wary of moving for love if you had no interest in moving before you met your partner.  

    “Ideally, moving to [a new] city is an idea you already had, independent of the relationship, and the relationship is simply the nudge you need to tip the scale,” Howes said. “You should consider the very real possibility that the relationship won’t work out and you’ll be fending for yourself in a new ZIP code. If your love for the new town is strong enough to make it a realistic possibility, it could be a good choice.”

    6. You feel like you’re giving up a lot.

    “If moving requires you to give up too much, such as a valued or hard-earned job, school, career options or important family connections, then think long and hard before deciding,” Smith said. A move of that kind would be warranted only by a marriage or a proven, long-term relationship, he added.

  • If you’ve been single for a while, the prospect of dating can seem like a fantastic, thrilling experience...
    Pexels 248016 web
    Category: Dating Tips | April 03, 2018

    You’ve made it past the first date and it seemed promising: you liked each other and you want to meet again. Now it is time to take the next step and seal the deal. If you’ve made it to a second date, then all may seem well, but how do you keep the spark going once the excitement of the first date has dwindled? How do you keep them wanting more? It may be easier than you think. Follow the second date advice that will guarantee you success.

    1. Don’t rush into it

    If you’ve been single for a while, the prospect of dating can seem like a fantastic, thrilling experience. Now you’ve finally met someone you can’t stop thinking about. Time to bombard them with texts and phone calls, right? Well, maybe not. Be sure to take your time when going into something new. Every date you go on won’t necessarily bloom into a long term, loving relationship, and the best thing you can do is remain positive regardless of the outcome. If they don’t want a second date, at least now you can move on, and if they do – fantastic! A lot of the time the novelty and excitement of the first date can over shadow the first date and by the end of it you should know whether or not you want to see this person again. Also, if your first date was absolutely out of this world, try not to hold all the other dates to this high standard in the future. The first date is normally nerve wracking, and a lot of people may confuse the feelings of nervousness with the feelings of being in love. If you don’t feel as enthusiastic as the first date, or don’t have the butterflies in the stomach then don’t worry! Eventually all the feelings will level out.

    2. Choose a fun activity

    Traditionally, the first date consists of something along the lines of dinner, drinks and a few “getting to know each other” questions. This is all well and good until the second date is looming and you realise you’ve exhausted all your go to ice breaker questions. The solution? An activity date! For the second date, try something a little more daring. Mini golf, ice skating and horse riding are some of the few examples of a more out-of-the box date. Alternatively, if a daring date definitely doesn’t seem up your street, something as small as a game of pool at a bar can have a similar effect. Adding a slight competition into the mix will get tensions rising (in a good way of course) and even pulses racing. Even better if an added wager is in force, for example – loser buys the first round of drinks. An amusing pursuit may also help you suss out their personality. By the end of it you will know if they are all out and up for an exciting ride, or if they prefer to stick to a quieter, more laid back environment.

    3. Lay your cards on the table

    Often one of the most annoying things about dating, especially in modern times, is time wasting. You think the person you’ve been texting and hanging out with is definitely into you, and you’ve already planned what you will wear when you meet their parents, the all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they hit you with the “I’m not looking for a relationship” speech. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be irritating if you’re not both on the same page from the beginning. The easiest way to conquer this is to let them know what it is you are looking for. This may seem like an old fashioned technique to give the game up straight away, but in this day in age it’s much easier in the long run. Nobody wants to have their time wasted! Although this may seem awkward at first, it’s a lot better to get it out of the way as soon as possible. If at the time you’re still unsure what it is you are looking for yourself, ask them. It’s almost like flipping a coin to help you make up your mind – if their reply is the complete polar opposite of what you were thinking, then you will have made up your mind.

    4. Use your body language

    Now this may seem like an age old technique to tell whether someone is romantically interested or not, but it has been tried and tested for years. When talking to someone you are attracted to, always make sure your body language is open and welcoming. There is nothing more intimidating for a potential date than speaking to somebody that looks completely uninterested. Arms folded across body and looking down a lot are biological signs of boredom and or aggression. Be sure to keep making regular eye contact while conversing, or even nodding occasionally to show you are listening. Relax your body, and use hand gestures when talking. Another way of picking up signals is to suddenly change your positioning, if the other person then mimics your movements, it means they are paying attention to detail and reading the signs. This also works both ways – if they change their positioning or posture, slightly mimic the movements to give off the same vibe.

    5. Make plans in advance

    You go on a fantastic date, everything goes extremely well and you can’t wait to see them again, but suddenly, it’s been almost three weeks since the last rendezvous and he hasn’t texted you for almost a week. Sometimes, while finding a new partner, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance, particularly if you’ve been single for an extended amount of time. There is now this whole new section of your life that previously didn’t exist and finding space and time for this comes with new challenges. A lot of people find it difficult to keep on top of it all and end up losing sight of any potential romances, before they have time to properly blossom. Most of the time this is not a concious decision made by either party, it is merely just, as they call it, ‘fizzling out’. An easy way to overcome this is to set a date and time for the next get together whilst still on the current date. It’s much easier to make plans together in person than it is once the working week begins and you are back focusing on your day to day life. Once the plans have already been made, any later plans will then be scheduled accordingly around your pre-planned arrangements.

  • Women-reduce your hair or alter the color, try putting on dresses more frequently ...
    Z img 01 oiroqn
    Category: Dating Tips | April 02, 2018

    Shamefully The truth is that which i was intrigued through the VH1 show “The Get Artist”. Essentially some guys who’ve good game educate several nerdy, socially handicapped guys the way to select up chicks. The show got me believing that I really will have a little arsenal of understanding that assisted me to obtain a large amount of dates through the years. My home is Newport Beach however i am certainly not the normal manufactured blonde, fake boobied , size , depriving model that’s indigenous to the location. Initially glance I understand that i’m not what most males are searching for in Oc. Regardless, I’ve been capable of getting dates with all sorts of attractive men through the years. Here really are a couple of strategies for you (guys and women) that could be helpful (or may be annoying for the way they are being used).

    Tip #1- Learn some cheesy (but funny) jokes

    This really is my factor-I usually utilize it after i venture out. It’s a terrific way to open communication with someone you initially meet and also to show others that you’ve a spontaneity. It is also a great way to discover if there’s any interest as well…because if a person has an interest in your soul they’ll usually keep your conversation pursuing your joke. At most, you’re going to get lots of laughs and individuals will feel comfortable and happy surrounding you. At the very least, you explosive device after which ask someone should they have a much better joke (because individuals enjoy being the middle of attention). I usually ask individuals to let me know their jokes -usually I approach saying “hi does anybody have good jokes will be able to increase my collection?” I pay attention to their own after which I tell my very own. *If you’re a guy- Don’t tell dirty jokes to women (it’s a switch off). We prefer cheesy to dirty.

    A couple of of my personal favorite cheesy jokes:
    How come Snoop Dog carry an Umbrella? For Drizzle.
    Where are you finding Virgin Made of woll? Ugly Sheep.
    Where are you finding your dog without any legs? Exactly where you left him.
    Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Simply because they taste funny.
    What did the player say as he lost his tractor? Where’s my tractor?
    A Pirate walks right into a bar using the controls of his ship in the pants. The bartenders asks” why on the planet have you got a controls inside your pants?” The pirate replies “Aaaaargh, its drivin me nuts!”

    Tip #2: LOOK Your Very Best

    This can be a given, however i think many people don’t know very well what their “best” is. So be brave and get your buddies to let you know the things they consider the way you look (suck up, it will likely be healthy for you). I simply don’t realise why you may still find guys travelling with comb- overs, skinny jeans, foul breath and bad style. Proceed-try something totally new together with your appearance to determine why is you appear your very best!

    A couple of ideas:

    Guys-increase your hair on your face out or shave them back. Begin working out. Have a partner (or perhaps a guy friend which has taste) along with you shopping if you wish to enhance your wardrobe. If you’re losing hair shave them back (bald is gorgeous).

    Women-reduce your hair or alter the color, try putting on dresses more frequently (all men love dresses), put on contacts rather than glasses (or the other way around), purchase good quality quality makeup and learn to utilize it to experience your best features.

    Tip #3: Learn How To Listen

    Me, me, me, me, me, me, me! This really is all I hear should i be made to sit across from the man and nod because he drones on about themself in excess of fifteen minutes. Don’t misunderstand me, I wish to find out about others, however a conversation involves a couple speaking-not merely one. I met a guy online once so when we finally spoke on the telephone our conversation survived just a little over an hour….contributing to 59 minutes of this conversation only agreed to be of him speaking about themself. Obviously which was the final time I ever spoke to him. It is true-everyone loves to speak about themselves! So learn to become a good listener. Women especially like to talk plus they love that you should question them questions since it shows that you’re truly thinking about who they really are. So Men, talk less, listen more (oh and then try to be funny whenever you do talk). Ladies, you have to you also.

  • We asked a therapist to break down six common scenarios.
    How to help someone up
    Category: Dating Tips | March 31, 2018

    There’s a general consensus that honesty is key to a healthy relationship. Case in point: The 2015 Way We Are Now survey, which polled 6,000 people in the U.K., found that 70 percent of respondents value it over anything else—including communication, commitment, and even sexual attraction—when it comes to romantic success.

    But are there ever times when fibbing might actually be better for your relationship? “As a therapist, I don't generally suggest lying to your partner,” says relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D., licensed clinical social worker, director of Wasatch Family Therapy, and author of The Assertiveness Guide for Women. “However, I do think there are situations where it is appropriate to lie or leave out details,” she says. 

    Here are the six of the most common things people tend to lie about in relationships (from small to pretty effing big), according to Hanks. Plus, her take on how important it is to be totally honest in each scenario:

    “Whether it's ‘OK to lie’ really depends on the specifics of the situation,” says Hanks. “Lying (or withholding the details) about the fact that you went over budget on a new dress is different than not telling your partner that you have racked up $50,000 in credit card debt over the past year."

    Ask yourself this: How much of an impact is this going to have on my relationship and on my partner's life? If the answer to that question is “a whole lot,” says Hanks, it’s important to tell the truth. “If you both work and keep your accounts separate, and you each pay for half of the bills, then indulging in buying an amazing pair of shoes is more of a personal purchase,” she says. “But if you share an account and your agreement is that you will pool your money, and you get a significant raise but don’t disclose that so you can keep putting your old salary amount into your collective funds, that's really not OK to lie about.”

    “If you get up and tell your partner that you're going to work every day when in fact, you've been laid off for two months, that lie has the potential to severely damage trust,” says Hanks. But if your partner asks why you're late getting home, and you share that you stopped to visit a sick friend, but leave out the fact that you stayed a little longer than necessary, that's OK. "It's not a trust-breaker,” says Hanks. If the line seems fuzzy, ask yourself whether your partner would feel betrayed or deceived by the details you left out. If the answer is yes, you should probably tell the truth.

    “If your partner is asking you about your past relationship and where and how you had sex with them, how good he was in bed, or how he compares to your ex in bed, it's OK to leave out the details and share more generalities,” says Hanks. Ask yourself these questions before you respond: How relevant is this information to my current situation? Will this cause more closeness or distance in my current relationship? (Sidenote: If your partner remains overly curious or jealous about your past relationships, that should probably raise some red flags.)

    When it comes to being honest with your partner about your attraction to other people, it’s important to ask: What will be gained or lost by sharing this information? “If you think a co-worker is kind of cute,” she says, “do you have to disclose that? I don't think so. But if you are having intense feelings for a co-worker and it's impacting your connection with your partner, that's probably a discussion to bring into the relationship—assuming you want to stay in your current relationship.”

    In general, fibbing when it comes to parenting is a bad idea, but once again, the size and scope of the lie determine just how much of a bad idea it is. “I don't think it's ever a good idea to go against the other parent's boundaries,” says Hanks. “That said, it's not the end of the world if you give a kid a cookie on the sly even though she hasn't finished her veggies, like the other parent requested. If something is an isolated incident, it's likely not a big deal." When it comes to ongoing patterns of sabotaging the other parent's boundaries, though? Not cool. 

    In general, Hanks says you wouldn’t be doing your partner or your relationship any favors by lying or keeping an affair a secret. Even if it was “just a one-time thing,” it’s “really over,” or it “didn’t mean anything” for you emotionally and you’re worried that it will just hurt your partner to find out. “Cheating is always tricky because there's a lot at stake,” says Hanks. “If you have actually slept with someone else, you've not only betrayed trust, but have put your spouse or partner's physical health at risk, too. STDs don't care if you have an emotional attachment to the person you're sleeping with or not.”

    Telling the truth doesn’t mean getting into the nitty-gritty details of when and where you had sex, says Hanks. “That is not helpful information, even if the spouse or partner who was cheated on asks for specific details,” she says. Instead, she says, “It's much more productive to have a conversation focused on understanding the meaning of the affair to the unfaithful partner and the impact on the relationship.”

    The bottom line: Secrets impact relationships—period, says Hanks. “Even if your partner doesn't consciously know you've lied, you know it, and it will have some sort of effect,” she says. “You may find it more difficult to be vulnerable with you partner, or you may start withholding other information.”

  • Researchers asked married couples who met online for their best moves...
    Pexels photo
    Category: Dating Tips | March 29, 2018

    This article was written by Suzannah Weiss and provided by our partners at Prevention.

    As any gal who’s ventured onto Tinder or OKCupid knows, that first message is daunting. Should you lead with a compliment? A simple “Hey, how are you?”

    To find out, the dating site Plenty of Fish asked more than 1,000 people who had met their spouses online what their first message said.

    Your best bet: Mention something specific in his profile, like his Raiders T-shirt or your shared obsession with Game of Thrones. Nearly 20 percent of the women surveyed said their husbands used this trick.

    That doesn’t include comments on his appearance, like “You have beautiful eyes.” Only 9 percent of the marriages started that way.

    “My profile described my deep love of grotesque horror films,” says Cat, a 36-year-old writer from Columbus, Ohio. One guy sent her a link to an upcoming scary movie marathon, which became their first date.

    They hit it off, and now are hitched.

    Kaitlyn, a 32-year-old grad student in New York City, could tell she and her fiancé had a lot in common when he referenced her literature Ph.D. program in his OKCupid introduction.

    “He asked me what time period of literature I studied and told me about his thesis in literature,” she says. “He was clearly smart and focused on what we had in common.”

    So scour his profile for a quirk or hobby that intrigues you. Beyond how great he looks in those jeans.

    If his username references a band, see what he thinks of their latest album. Or if he’s wearing a Mets tank in one of his photos, ask him out to a game. It just might be your last first date.

     

  • “I’ve got 60-year-olds reaching out to me online.”...
    Freestocks org 177996
    Category: Dating Tips | March 28, 2018

    Once you reach 30, you've officially achieved grown-ass woman status. Woop, woop! And while the hangovers are slightly worse, the sex is exponentially better and you've learned not to waste time on boys who don't have their sh*t together. #BoyBye

    However, there are some super weird things that come with dating after your twenty-something days are behind you. If you're Jess from New Girl, that means asking a construction worker to go as your date on a double date with the guy you've been seeing, who apparently is seeing other people. Yikes.

    But in the real world, the weird stuff actually involves having to explain why you're single during a date, trying to actually pencil in a date when you have a killer career and family priorities, and dodging increasingly inappropriate comments about your love life from family.

    Here, women who've been there, done that share the strangest things that come with dating as a 30-year-old boss lady.

    "I'm currently dating a man who has kids. I only ever thought of this fact in relation to how felt about it, but it affects every aspect of our relationship, like how quickly our relationship gets serious, how often we can spend time together, and what we do when we are together. It's four people in a relationship, not just two." —Elise, 33

    "Sure, I knew that some men my age would be seeking younger women, but I’ve got 60-year-olds reaching out to me online who think it’s totally reasonable that I’d want to be with someone 30 years older at this stage of my life.”—Anne, 34

    "It is hard to meet new people, especially if you don't use dating apps. Though I've found that even people on the apps aren't always interested in serious relationships. And then there are the guys who message you via the apps to ask 'Why are you single?'"—Lisa, 35 

    "I guess I never realized how set in my ways I’d be in my thirties. It’s this constant push and pull because I want to be in a relationship, but I’m also so accustomed to being alone. The thought of sharing my space with someone terrifies me! Any little annoying thing a guy does feels like it’s going to be a deal breaker." —Patricia, 33

    "The weirdest thing about dating in your thirties is having to talk about your age and why you're single, especially with your family. Recently, a family member actually said, 'tick tock, tick tock!' to me." —Amanda, 37

    "I was engaged to my high school sweetheart, so I didn't date that much when I was younger. Though dating hasn't been a top priority for me at the moment, I was surprsied how difficult it is to put myself out there and find someone. Fortunately, my coupled-up friends fully support my nonexistent love life." —Robin, 38

    "Schedules are so packed, and I don't want to introduce my kids to someone until it's serious. And if he has kids and those kids are on a different schedule than my family's, forget it. The 'I can meet you every other Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.' is a real relationship killer."—Meagan, 34

    "Honestly, my thirties have been great dating-wise. I finally know and love myself. As a result, I pick men who are way better suited for me. There is no way I ever would have been happy with most of the guys I dated in my twenties. In fact, the thought of marrying one of them terrifies me. I think holding out until this age to find someone to settle down with is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made." —Leigh, 32

  • How to tell and what to do about it....
    Why is he ignoring me
    Category: Dating Tips | March 27, 2018

    Being single now isn’t like back when your parents were dating. At that point in time, they were limited to hooking up with classmates, colleagues, or friends of friends. Now, you can date pretty much anyone, anywhere thanks to a slew of dating websites and apps like Tinder. And, it turns out, that’s creating legit dating addicts.

    According to Match’s new Singles in America survey, which polled 5,000 people on a variety of dating habits, one in six singles say they feel addicted to the process of looking for a date. Men are apparently bigger addicts than women: A whopping 20 percent of single dudes say they’re hooked on dating.

    And yup, this is a newer thing: According to the survey data, millennials are 125 percent more likely to say they feel addicted to going on dates with new people than older generations.

    It sounds crazy, but Helen Fisher, Ph.D., biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor to Match, says she’s not shocked by the findings. “Looking for love is the most important thing we do in our lives,” she says. “You’re trying to win love’s greatest prize, a mating partner. I’m not surprised that people become addicted trying.”

    It makes sense that millennials in particular would become addicted to dating because they’re in the prime dating years, she says. During this time, “the body and brain is built to fall in love and have babies,” Fisher says.

    And it's actually pretty easy to know if you’re a dating addict—you just go on first dates constantly. “I’ve heard of people dating every night for three months,” Fisher says. Of course, you don’t need to be that extreme to be hooked on finding love—even 15 dates in 30 days is pretty extreme, says Fisher. And while it seems impressive to go on that many first dates, it actually works against you.

    Fisher says there’s a sweet spot in the human brain where you can only handle five to nine things at once. So after you've gone out with nine people, you’re less likely to end up having a second date with any of them than if you were dating less people. “Your brain is just overloaded, so you become paralyzed and do nothing,” Fisher says. “From there, you cycle on and on in this addictive mode.”

    If you feel like you’re falling into addictive dating behavior, try this strategy to break the cycle, says Fisher: After you’ve met nine new people, stop putting out feelers and get to know at least one of them better. That means going on at least two more dates with him or her. “All of the data show that the more you get to know somebody, the better you will like them,” she says. After all, how well can you really get to know someone if you can't get past the first-date small talk.

    Try to go on dates where you do something exciting and new to get dopamine flowing and really take a good look at that person.

    If they’re not for you, that’s OK, but at least then you’ll know that you tried…and kept yourself out of full-blown dating addiction in the process.

     

  • Inside the dating habits of the very, very rich....
    Things to talk about on a first date
    Category: Dating Tips | March 26, 2018

    Though I dated lots of guys casually, I didn't get married until I was in my thirties. I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and specialized in cancer drug development. Back then most guys couldn't handle that work was my first priority.

    But when I met my husband, who worked in the oil industry, on a golf course, I was smitten. He was exactly what I wanted in a partner: fun, funny, and not intimidated by my career. We dated for more than two years before getting married and were together a total of five years when he died of brain cancer in 2013.

    Before he passed away, my husband told me that he wanted me to try Selective Search, an elite matchmaking service used by a lot of wealthy men and women, to find someone else after he died. Before we met, he'd dated women via Selective Search and really liked it.  But after he passed away, I needed time to get my head together before meeting new men. After about two years, I decided that I'd like to start dating again. I realized, hey I'm young, I could still meet someone. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!)

     

    Dating The Old-Fashioned Way

    To test the waters, I started dating again by going on a lot of blind dates set up by friends. I also tried online dating, but I wasn't comfortable with it because the profiles felt misleading. The quality wasn't there. One guy I went out with said, "I don't like when other guys look at you." That was red flag for me. Another time, I went out with this guy who seemed great, but when we went back to my place, he said, "I couldn't provide you with this kind of life."

    Those dates mostly made me feel insecure about myself.

     

    Dating Like The Rich And Famous

    After striking out with the guys I met online or through friends, I realized I had to be more proactive. No fairy godmother was going to come knock on my door with a dress and a prince.

    So I contacted Selective Search, and they set me up with my agent, Jessica. She came over to my place to interview me and get a feel for what I look like in real life, my demeanor, and how I am in my own home. It felt very private and personal.

    During the interview, we talked about what qualities are important to me in someone I'm dating. My checklist included: a man who is taller than six feet (because I'm really tall), between 45 and 60 years old, can make me laugh, doesn't have small kids or a bad relationship with his ex, and won't work crazy hours.

    From there, she did all the screening to find guys that I would be interested in. When she found someone, she'd send me his profile and we'd hop on the phone to talk more about the guy. Then, if I was interested, Jessica shared my profile with him and gave him my phone number to call me.

    Paying Like The Rich And Famous

    Full disclosure: Though all of Selective Search's clients are in the top 10 percent of the federal tax bracket, I fall within the top 5 percent, earning $415,000 a year or more a year. Though I no longer work, most of my money comes from the wealth my husband and I accumulated during our marriage and the investments I've made, which I now live off of.

     

    The base fee for Selective Search is $25,000, which includes 10 introductions in one region of the country. Though the company offers an affiliate program, where women and men can be part of the Selective Search database without paying, I wanted to be a client. I wanted the team to work for me. Plus, I figured, if this service has a lot of male clients willing to pay thousands of dollars to find a partner for them, they would be able to find me a guy who was as successful as me.

    Though the base fee is $25,000, I decided to expand my search to other regions and meet more than 10 men. My total bill came out to be more than $50,000 dollars.

    Finding Another Partner In Crime

    Right away, I could tell I was definitely getting my money's worth. Besides the personal attention my agent provided, I met lots of guys who weren't turned off by my lifestyle and had lots in common with me. Actually, on my first phone date via Selective Search, we chatted for nearly eight hours!

    In June 2016, roughly a year after I signed up, Jessica matched me with a Dan. When we spoke on the phone for the first time, we talked and laughed for hours. Since he lived in another state, we spoke on the phone every day for weeks before actually meeting each other. We even sent photos back and forth.

    I was shocked by how attentive he was; he remembered everything about me. When we finally met in person, he flew to my city to take me on our first date. At that point, it was clear that we already had feelings for each other. The date felt effortless. We were eating food off of each other's plates at the restaurant, and I felt so comfortable with him that I asked him to stay over that night.

    The next day, we took my jet to Aspen and our first date ended up lasting five days. We went hiking, I'd make breakfast, we'd do yoga together, and he met my friends.

    A couple of weeks later, I met him and his family in Italy, and we spent three weeks on his boat in the Mediterranean. Our second date ended up lasting three weeks. Besides the beautiful vacation, I loved seeing that everyone in his family liked each other. It made me want to be a part of it. Though we're still dating long-distance, we're falling more and more in love as time goes on. He's like the guy version of me.

    To me, paying more than $50,000 to meet my current boyfriend was completely worth it. I knew what I wanted, and Jessica found him for me. 

  • Plus, screenshots of how they implement these tactics IRL...
    Signs of a needy man
    Category: Dating Tips | March 23, 2018

    Online dating is complicated. And while we hear success stories of couples who found love in a hopeless place (i.e. Tinder, Bumble, whatever), achieving relationship gold seems pretty impossible when you're in the thick of swiping left and right.

    And once you do match with a few lucky dudes, you've got to weed out the winners from the ones who think a great opening line is, "Yo."

    Since no one has time to deal with all that nonsense, we talked to women about how their strategies make the online dating world slightly less maddening and monotonous—and asked them to send screenshots of how these tactics really go down IRL.

    "I REFUSE TO MESSAGE THEM ON ANYTHING BUT TINDER."

    “Guys always ask me to switch to a different messaging app like WhatsApp or to connect on social media. I have a rule that I always reply ‘no.’ I’m testing how the guy reacts to the refusal (seriously, some of them freak out) and am preserving my own safety while trying to get to know him as much as possible.” —Sandra B.

    "I ASK A MILDLY SOUL-BEARING QUESTION."

    “After staring at my computer for 10 hours a day, the last thing I want to do is look at another glowing screen. It's exhausting. So I go with this opener, ‘What are you feeling most passionate about these days?’ It challenges the person to be thoughtful and articulate and produces an authentic and revealing answer that quickly tells me whether or not we'd be compatible. When a guy replies, ‘cars and women,’ I just saved myself a handful of back and forth messages. It’s a win-win for me. I stand out amongst the crowd and get an informative answer. Many guys have responded positively to this question and commended me for such a strong opening line." —Madison H.

    "I START EVERY CONVO WITH 'HEY [THEIR NAME]!'"

    “While I always appreciate an opening line that's more specific and personal, it does get tiring trying to come up with something different to say to dozens of people—especially because I prefer using Bumble which only allows women to send the first message. I think it strikes a nice middle ground between something super specific and the generic ‘hey.' It shows that I noted his name, I took the half-second required to type it out, but I'm not going crazy over it. If I were meeting someone in a bar, I'd probably just say hi to get the conversation rolling—and I usually find that the same approach works online, too.” —Kate W.

    "I SEND A GIF OF KELLY KAPOWSKI FROM SAVED BY THE BELL GIVING A FLIRTY WAVE."

    “For a while, the Kelly gif was my go-to. It’s fun and simple (which is what I’m looking for in someone), requires minimal effort, and places each guy on an even playing field, depending on their response. Honestly, it worked almost every time, and I thought it was hilarious." —Allie H.

    "I HAVE A GUESSING GAME IN MY BIO."

    “Potential suitors have to guess where three out of the seven tattoos on my body are located for a prize (which is usually my phone number or that I’ll buy the first round of drinks). This strategy helps me decipher who actually wants to get to know me from who’s just looking for a hookup. It’s also a way to get the conversation started because there’s a ton of meaning behind each tattoo. I like to share the stories behind my two favorites, and the other person’s response is usually quite indicative of what kind of person they are. I also immediately unmatch anyone who asks to see a picture of my butt tattoo because NOPE.” —Alyssa J.

    "I CHOOSE THE LOWEST POSSIBLE MILE RANGE IN DISTANCE."

    "Whether it's at home or while I'm traveling, I always choose the lowest possible mile range in the distance filter. If my nearest matches are lame, I'll make the range a bit wider, but closer is always more realistic and bodes better for first-date planning.” —Aly W.

    "I SCOUR THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA."

    “My number-one tip to weed out the not-so-great guys on online dating apps is to use social media to my advantage. After I’ve matched with a guy I think may be a good fit, I friend request him or check out his Instagram or Twitter. The way I see it is it’s better to see what I’m dealing with up front rather than after I’ve invested a lot of time and energy. And if a guy is hesitant to accept me as a friend, it’s a red flag that he's hiding something. Also, most people only post their best photos on Tinder or other dating apps, so I look through as many previous profile pics as possible on their other social media sites to get a better idea of what they actually look like to avoid being catfished.” —Kris R.

    "IF HE'S FLEXING, GOOD RIDDANCE."

    "I automatically rule out any man without a shirt on that's flexing his pecs whether he is in a bathing suit, a towel, or posing in a mirror. I don't need a man who needs to impress me with his ‘six-pack.’ If I did, I would have just found one at the bar." —Rachel T.

  • "I like when she looks like she hates me..."
    Toxic love
    Category: Dating Tips | March 22, 2018

    If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Before you roll your eyes, hear us out. That weird freckle on your forehead or the shape of your nose might annoy the hell out of you, but to someone else it could be the thing that makes you most special and gorge. (Spice up your sex life with this organic lube from the Women's Health Boutique)

    Want proof? In one epic thread, the men of Reddit shared the unconventional attributes they find most attractive in a mate. Here are the dudes’ most out-there responses:

    1. Resting B*tch Face
    “Women who look like they hate me. Like, obviously, I don't want them to actually hate me, but resting b*tch face just does it for me.” —Swampfyr

    2. Bad Dancers
    “Women who are terrible dancers. If your attempts at dancing look like a dry-heave set to music, I'm into it.” —Reddit user (his account was deleted but his comment remains on Reddit)

    3. Tired Eyes
    “Bags under a girls eyes. I had a huge crush on Brittany Murphy because of that. And my girlfriend kinda looks like a raccoon because of her eye bags, which I find adorable.” —yosol

    4. Bored Beauties
    “Yawning. Or anything equally tired. If they made sleepy/bored porn, I'd never leave my room.” —YourDailyDevil

    5. A Growly Voice
    “Deep voices from women. Emma Stone could talk to me for days and I wouldn't get distracted.” —Nevermind04

    6. Fangs
    “Canine teeth (for girls) Don't judge.” —Reddit user

    7. Your Nose
    “Big noses. Dunno why. WHO NOSE? But seriously though, I think they're great.” —Dilsenberg

    8. 80s Hair
    “Girls who have that crazy, puffy, curly hair. Probably because I was really into a girl who had hair like that in high school. Maybe it's just some kind of association related instinct, but I love it.” —awesomeness032

    9. Big Ears
    “Ears that stick out. The farther out the better. I think they're adorable.” —Reddit user

    10. Total Disdain
    “When my wife looks at me, completely unimpressed by my actions. Sounds weird, but I love it.” —LuxFixxins

  • She’s won’t embarrass you, and she certainly won’t challenge you, she’s the perfect girlfriend...
    How to be funny around guys
    Category: Dating Tips | March 21, 2018

    She’s won’t embarrass you, and she certainly won’t challenge you, she’s the perfect girlfriend – an online dating Barbie. Rebecca Holman is most disappointed

    Unsurprisingly I’m rubbish at online dating. I possess the right (wrong) combination of laziness, disinterest and misplaced bravado, which means that although I’ve had at least one online dating account, pretty constantly, for the last six years, I’ve probably been on about 15 actual dates, resulting in maybe four second dates. Statistically speaking, that’s terrible. And possibly scientific proof that I’m actually undateable.

    BUT, Wired magazine have come to my rescue, they’ve worked out the words and phrases that make the perfect algorithm – basically, they’ve worked out what the most popular words to feature on your dating profile are, along with the best movies and TV shows to name-drop and considered what people consider to be their best features versus the features other people tend to be attracted to.

    The results varied, but yoga and surfing are the most popular activities to mention, both straight men and women favoured a flat stomach (lesbians went for legs, and gay men favoured arms, if you’re keeping track). Men who refer to women as 'women' do better, while confusingly, women who refer to women as 'girls' are more desirable. Even more bafflingly, men who use whom instead of who tend to get 31 per cent more contact from the opposite sex.

    So lets look at where I’ve been going wrong. Popular words for women include yoga, athlete, surfing, Homeland and Radiohead. It makes sense – show me a man who doesn’t want a physically fit, stretchy woman who loves wearing a wet suit and watching boxsets and I’ll show you … a man who isn’t doing online dating, presumably.

    But dig a bit deeper, and the data starts to paint a contradictory character – part perfect (fictional) girlfriend, part ad-exec’s wet dream.

    Meditation, ocean, creativity, hiking and awareness are popular buzzwords, bringing to mind a Zenned-out, sporty hippy chick, who’s happy doing downward dogs on the beach after a day of something surfy. She’s the laid-back sporty girl in Lulu Lemon gym gear who will happily go for a 10-mile walk without whining, loves camping and doesn’t roll her eyes when her boyfriend announces that he’s decided to take up wakeboarding.

    But then the words f***, wasted, holidays and laziness are also popular – so maybe what men actually want a YOLO hedonist party girl? Although not too much of a hedonist – whereas men with tattoos tended to do better with the opposite sex, women with tattoos are a turn off. She can be wild, but not that wild.

    Incidentally, the words ‘model’ and ‘actor’ are also popular – either a sign that men tend to go for women who are models, or proof that you can just say you’re a model on your profile and men will automatically feel more attracted to you – is it genuinely that simple?

    I’m inclined to take most of the data with a pinch of salt, but there’s still a grain of truth there. The image we’re sold of the perfect women, and one I’m sure men subconsciously emulate when asked to describe their ideal girlfriend is of someone who ticks all the right boxes without introducing an ounce of controversy to the proceedings.

    She’s sporty and fun, but not too fun. She has a cool job, but likes curling on the sofa with a box set (which is her boyfriend’s favourite boxset, luckily – no romcoms for her!), she’s whimsical but driven, down-to-earth but not too homely, and crucially, she’s never too controversial – her tastes, character and hobbies never stray too far in any one direction. In fact, she’s never too anything. Don’t believe me? How on earth else do you think Radiohead got into the mix?

    She’s won’t embarrass you, and she certainly won’t challenge you, she’s the perfect girlfriend! Online dating Barbie!

    Now I’m not saying that I’m so subversive and quirky and cool that I can’t possibly relate to this character, in all her blandness (I am a bit). But, like 98 per cent of the female population I’m certainly less perfect, and I’d hope, a bit more interesting. Maybe I’m just bitter, because I’m crap at yoga, scared of surfing and haven’t listened to a Radiohead song since 2004. But it annoys me, because this woman doesn’t exist – she’s a fictional construct, and she’s constantly sold to us as an ideal in books, TV, films and in adverts.

    But what about the men (I hear you all ask)? Passports, music, blue eyes, flying, photography and puppies all feature as words women find most attractive on men’s profiles. Puppies? Actually that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Men with dogs are catnip for single women – not sure if it’s because it makes men look more nurturing or if it’s just the cute factor. Personally I think uncharismatic men use interesting dogs to divert attention from how boring they are. Like how men with unremarkable faces have embraced the beard trend.

    ANYWAY, back to online dating. Disappointingly, no word on how men with beards do, but blokes who mention children tend to rate highly amongst the opposite sex (women who mention children don’t do anywhere near as well), which makes me think we’re all after a blue-eyed sensitive hunter gatherer who loves the outdoors and rescue dogs, owns a camera phone and has been to Calais at least once. Hope you’re keeping note chaps. Pretend you’re in a Gillette advert and you’ll be fine.

    I suppose the trick – which the rest of the universe seems to have caught on to long before me – is to fake it. No one’s actually perfect, but the bloke reading your online dating profile doesn’t know that. So what if you meet up and discover you have nothing in common whatsoever? And who cares if you then have to spend the next three years pretending to be really into hiking/ abseiling/ Claire Danes’ cry face – at least you’ve managed to bag yourself a man with a dog. And isn’t that every single woman’s ultimate goal?

  • Darren from Dating Price Guide talks through some tips for introverted men to make dating enjoyable
    Photo 1472162314594 eca3c3d90df1
    Category: Dating Tips | March 15, 2018

    Being an introvert can make life a little bit harder and dating tends to be one of the most difficult things to cope with for shy guys. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that your inclination to blush easily, sweat profusely and stutter your sentences when talking to someone you find attractive are sure to mess with your dating life. However, that’s not actually the case. Believe it or not, some women are attracted to shy guys because, unlike lots of men, they don’t tend to be arrogant, self-assured, or assuming.

    Want to woo the woman of your dreams but are seriously shy and socially awkward? Here’s what to do (and also, what not to do).

    Look for the signs they’re interested

    Ask any dating coach and they’ll tell you how crucial signs of interest are. If you see someone you like the look of, take the time to figure out if they’re interested in you. Do they keep looking over? Have they smiled at you? Are they standing closer to you than normal? These are all signs that they are attracted to you. The key to success when it comes to dating – this applies to anyone and everyone – is to look for signs the other person is in the right place to be approached. If she or he looks tired, fed up, or stressed out, it’s best to leave them be, you can always ask them out another time. If, however, they look calm, cool, and happy, it’s fine to approach them.

    Do not be creepy

    When you’re socially anxious and find dating difficult, shall we say, you’re more likely to come across as creepy. The chances are, as an introverted man, you find it easier to talk to people you’re interested in when it’s just the two of you. That’s all well and good, but if you proposition them in a confined space, you can make them feel uncomfortable. It’s easy to make the mistake of blurting something out like ‘you’re so pretty’ or ‘let’s hang out at my house’, but if you don’t know them well it can seem seriously creepy. If you want to get to know someone better, tell them that and simply ask if they’d like to meet for a drink sometime. That way, they can pick the time and place, and don’t feel pressured.

    Become friends first

    Socially awkward people find it difficult to approach people that they don’t know well. That’s why before asking someone out, it’s best to build a rapport with them first. To up the chances of getting a date, aim to get to know the person. Social anxiety and dating don’t go hand in hand, but if you get to know the person first and build a connection with them, your chances of dating success are higher. This will allow you to be less nervous when asking the person out, which will make you more likeable. Studies have shown that when someone appears physically nervous – sweating, stuttering, and so on, it can make others feel uncomfortable. Get to know them, and then when you ask them out, you’ll be much calmer, cooler, and more collected.

    Have some self-belief, because believe it or not, it is possible to be an introvert in love. Dating as a shy man isn’t always easy, but remember what exactly you’re bringing to the relationship and make finding someone special a little less stressful.

    Darren is an online dating consultant and writes for various industry-leading websites as well as his own, where you can find more of his dating tips: DatingPriceGuide.co.uk

  • It’s vital to be clear about what you’re looking for in a potential partner
    Weird questions to ask a guy
    Category: Dating Tips | March 14, 2018

    From picking your pics to knowing your “type”, blogger Lauren Crouch gives her tips for getting noticed in the world of online dating

    Writing what is essentially a personal sales pitch – your online dating profile – can feel like a somewhat tricky task, but it doesn’t have to be.

    It is however, important to get it right. There are hundreds of people in just the same position as you, so making sure you’re the one that logs in to a full inbox is all down to what you include (and don’t include) in your profile.

    Don’t: Be shy

    Us Brits pretty much rule the school when it comes to self-deprecating humour, and although it can seem weird listing the things you think others will find attractive in you, be confident and go for it. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or colleague that you trust to tell you what they think your best traits are. Don’t be afraid to show off a bit, just be careful not to cross the line into the arrogant arena.

    Do: Be honest about what you want

    It’s vital to be clear about what you’re looking for in a potential partner, whether that be the kind of relationship you’re after (casual or serious) or the personality traits you find attractive in others. It won’t be seen as being picky or judgemental – everyone has a “type” to some degree.

    Don’t: Tell fibs

    There’s no use filling your profile with claims of how much you love to cook when in reality your solitary signature dish is spag bol from a jar. Highlight the things you really like, rather than what you think sounds impressive. Also, be honest when it comes to filling out your statistics. Of course dating isn’t all about looks, but no potential relationship will get off to a good start if you turn up to a date standing 8 inches shorter than you claimed.

    Don’t: Be too brief

    A profile consisting of one sentence along the lines of “Looking to meet someone nice, message me if you want to know more” is just lazy. If everyone wrote a profile like that, imagine how boring it would be.

    Do: Avoid an essay

    While one-liners are ineffective, the same can also be said for excruciatingly long essays. You want to retain the interest of whoever is checking you out, so while it’s important to include interesting information about yourself, there’s no need to write an autobiography.

    Do: Get your pictures right

    Soulmates gives you the option to upload nine pictures, so make the most of this if you can. Sunglasses in every photo are a no-no, as are too many arty pictures that don’t actually show what you look like. It’s a good idea to have a couple that are clear, head-on portraits, along with a few that will portray your personality and the things you enjoy. A good photo can be a great conversation starter.

    Don’t: Be afraid to be different

    Everyone enjoys travelling and eating out, so include things in your profile that’ll make you memorable and help you stand out from the crowd. Weird random facts about yourself or silly jokes might seem embarrassing, but actually it’s little things like these that will set you apart from the rest.

  • The truth is, it is tricky for anyone to figure that out (even the experts)...
    66da3645 8c6c 48b9 899f 41193026f11f stocksy txpb48b5d45l4p100 small 1210303
    Category: Dating Tips | March 13, 2018

    They say when you know, you know. Well, that seems like total BS. For most of us, falling in love is not completely intuitive. People come to unions with a lot of stuff that makes it tricky to decipher if what they're feeling is the real deal, or if what their partner is expressing means they feel it, too. Stuff like emotional baggage, insecurities, biases, agendas, and timelines all make that natural notion that "you just know" seem entirely cliched. You might need some assistance in sorting out the signs you're truly in love.

    The truth is, it is tricky for anyone to figure that out (even the experts), because the cues of being in love are mostly nonverbal. "Actions speak louder than words, as they say. Showing being in love must accompany any words, because no matter what people say, if they don't manifest their love in their behaviors, the words are hollow," says Dr. Grant H. Brenner, MD, psychiatrist, consultant, and psychoanalyst in NYC.

    It makes sense that words alone don't amount to much. It doesn't take much effort to say something, then again, but behavior doesn't always take much effort on its own. The way we act is largely based on our personality. Say your last fling was very into PDA, but your current, more serious partner never holds your hand in public... that's a confusing non-verbal message. And in that case, just because your current partner isn't into bigger displays of affection, doesn't mean they don't love you.

    Sometimes, words are usually a lot easier for some people to express their love and for us to understand. So what do you and your partner say to each other that might hint to the big L word? There are some questions and statements to listen up for.

    1. "How Can I Help?"
    When people are in love, they want to take care of one another. Offering support, even if that support is just listening, is something we do for the people we care about. "Good conversations are a good sign of being in love. Conversations which show a level of mutual give-and-take," says Dr. Brenner. Opening your ears is akin to opening your heart.

    2. “It Just Feels Right When We’re Together.”
    Bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter explains that telling someone what you have feels right means that "the connection with your partner is effortless." That doesn't mean it has to be all bliss, all the time, though. "True, there are challenges, but those challenges are met with conflict resolution," she says.

    3. “Let’s Find A Solution.”
    Being in love doesn't mean you never fight. Quite the opposite, in fact. It means you have conflicts but find a way to work past them, together. "You both have a way of diffusing each other and getting into negotiated brainstorming as an effective means to the solution of your problem," Winter says. "You can’t stay mad at each other. At the end of the day, there is more love than there is resentment or animosity."

    4. "I Feel Like I Can Tell You Anything."
    A willingness and desire to share yourself with your partner is a sign that you are not afraid to be vulnerable around them. The comfort expressed in your and your partner's ability to be vulnerable says a lot about how committed you both are to the relationship.

    5. "I Like Learning About You."
    Love takes time. If the feelings come too quickly, it is best to proceed with caution. "When someone tells you they love you really soon or quickly in a relationship, it's worth being cautious," says Joanne Davila, PhD. "The issue is this — how can you really love someone unless you really know them?" Instead of waiting to say or hear those three sought-after words, taking an interest in wanting to learn about each other is way more powerful.

    "You only get to know someone over time, as you see how they behave and treat you in different situations, particularly stressful or difficult situations," says Davila. A desire to understand your partner means that your interest in them is deep and your intentions pure.

    6. "I Really Like You."
    Getting out the words "I love you" can be scary. In spite of that, your partner saying "I like you," while you feel the other L word can feel like a huge blow. Rest assured, though, that it could be a good thing.

    "One way to know that you are truly in love is if you like the person," says Davila. "It's one thing to profess your love from a passionate place — we all know that feeling — but it's more important to actually like the person you're in love with."

    Going doe-eyed for someone makes us a little bit blind, but Davila points out that the important things that matter in a relationship are feelings of respect, safety, and meeting each other's needs. "These are the things that make us genuinely like one another," she explains.

    What you say and what you do are super intertwined when it comes to matters of the heart. In other words, talk the talk, but also, walk the walk. It'll bring you one step closer to spotting true love.

  • We all hope to be with someone who we feel will complete us, and make us feel happier...
    Lack of communication in relationships
    Category: Dating Tips | March 12, 2018

    For those who are single, and perhaps have been single for some time, many people will tell them not to fret, to keep hope, and that there’s someone for everyone. And honestly, I pretty much agree. However, that’s an empty statement, unless you expand on it. The only way that there’s someone out there for you, me, or anyone else, and who’s going to fit us just right, is to be open to finding him or her. Being open to meeting and getting to know different types of people is imperative if you want to have more of a chance at finding the one. But what’s also important, is not to be too picky, to the point where you pass people over and look the other way when every little thing doesn’t match up to your wants and needs.

    We all hope to be with someone who we feel will complete us, and make us feel happier, and more alive. One thing is for sure, we all want to be with someone who we’ll feel comfortable with, can laugh with, and who will be easy going. And we all deserve to have the type of partner who will be our rock, our shoulder, and more than anything, our best friend, as well as our lover. We should all have what we want in our match, and never settle for less. You’re not being too picky for knowing what you want and not settling for something or someone who almost fits. Especially, when your expectations are reasonable. We all deserve to be with a person who fits us just right.

    We should be with our soulmate, our beshert, and the one who truly brings new meaning to the idea of being whole. And obviously, there’s no telling who or when we’ll meet that special someone, or if we’ll ever really know if they’re our actual soulmate. But one thing is for sure, when you’re with the right person, things will flow for the most part, you should feel complete, you should smile more than you frown, laugh more than you cry, and you should feel it in your gut that this is the person who you can imagine growing old with.

    I believe in love, in soulmates, and that we all have that one special someone out there—somewhere. But, we won’t find him or her unless we do the following.

    • Be optimistic.
    • Have pure intentions.
    • Know what you want.
    • Have an open heart.
    • Be on the same page.
    • Be honest, trusting, and direct.
    • Give people a clean slate.
    • Be authentic and genuine.
    • Be happy, whole, and confident.
    • Resolve your issues first.
    • Stop judging others too soon.
    • Acknowledge red flags.
    • Give promising situations a chance.
    • Be available and make the time.
    • Have a balanced life.
    • Stop the game playing.
    • Pick and choose your battles.
    • Compromise.
    • Be kind, giving, and selfless.
    • Put effort into everything.
    • Know when to forgive and when to let things go.
    • Nip things in the bud, rather than avoiding drama or conflict.

    The things that I’ve listed above are not only important for finding someone, but also, important if you want to make a situation work and give things more of a chance. I’ve previously written on all of these subject matters, and some of them, many times. Feel free to read through any that might seem of interest to you by clicking on the links. We can all improve ourselves, as we all should. And this is hopefully why you’re reading this—because you care enough about improving yourself, as well as to improve your chances at finding the one. So yes, we all have that one special person who I truly believe that we’re destined to meet and be with, but if you don’t put your all into everything, including being the best version of yourself, then your chances at finding that person will be slim, and take much longer.

  • Men get nervous, too...
    Platonic marriage
    Category: Dating Tips | March 09, 2018

    I'm shy. Er, well, I'm sometimes  shy. If you were to arrive with me to a restaurant to find out that our reservation had been screwed up, you would probably classify my reaction as... forward. I also write on the internet, which also does not suggest bashfulness. However, when it comes to real life crushes and dating, I get shy. Here's a super hot take: Men get nervous, too. The signs a shy guy likes you probably look a lot like me on a date. (Squirmy and weirdly trying to keep her mouth from opening too wide.)

    About that mouth bit? The fear of having something in my teeth always upstages my ability to flirt like a human. (Yes, even if it's just a drinks date.) That said, if I like someone, there are probably other signs my body is making in his direction, whether I am conscious of it or not. There's the age-old "pointing your knees towards the other person," but that's sort of a given if you are sitting face-to-face, shy or not.

    First off, what does being a "shy" person even mean? I spoke to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini about shyness and dating. "A shy person who is interested in you may not speak up," she explained. Ah, of course. The phenomenon of "shyness" is really about being hesitant to speak up, which we've all felt. (Well, maybe not our current President.)

    It means you're nervous. It means you're careful with your words. It means you don't want to overstep boundaries, or impose on anyone. While these qualities can sometimes be hinderances, I find them very endearing. If you are crushing on a shy cutie, here are some signs they might be into you too:

    1. They Want To Get Close To You
    And not in the lightly imposing "yawn-and-put-my-hand-on-your-shoulder" way. As a shy person, I certainly have to work up a lot of courage before touching the body of a person I like. Arm, cheek, leg, or otherwise. That kind of touch can be normal to some, terrifying for others (hi!).

    A shy person who is interested in you will want to "be near you," says Masini. "They’ll walk over to where you are, or sit near you." Seems about right. In the shyest phase of my life, middle school, I always tried to get, like, three feet as opposed to 10 feet away from my crush on school trips. (I also nicknamed him "blue" so that I could say "I love blue" and have my friends know what I meant. Oops.)

    2. They Make Nonverbal Connections With You
    In addition to walking your way (and possibly giving you a code name), a shy person who's crushing on you will have "You"-radar on at all times. I'm thinking especially of coworkers, or gym crushes.

    "They will look for you, so watch for eye contact," says Masini. "They’ll smile at you and try to connect without speaking up." If they accidentally catch eyes with you and then grimace and look away instead, they could be super shy, or they could just have been thinking about french fries and not actually be that into you. See if it happens again?

    3. They Make Small Talk With You
    You know that type of person who says, "Cancel your plans this weekend, because I want to take you out"? Yeah, that is not a shy person. A shy person with a crush on you will absolutely try to make conversation with you, but it's probably going to be a lot of small talk and clunky jokes. (Speaking from my own experience trying to flirt.)

    "They’ll skirt around the subject and take a lot longer than someone who is not shy to ask you out," says Masini. So don't stress if they've been Gchatting you for months, with daily walks by your desk, and STILL haven't asked you out. "It may take them a few more attempts at these conversations to even get the offer to date out." (IT'S SCARY TO OPEN YOURSELF UP TO REJECTION! Sweating just thinking about it.)

    4. They Are A Little Bit Flirting With You
    At the end of the day, shy or not, you'll know in your gut if someone is flirting with you. Masini says that humor, compliments, and flirting are bound to happen, even if someone is less inclined to be the alpha male or female in the courting process. If you are reading this article and thinking that the next person who makes small talk with you per number three has a crush on you, well, they might just be a friendly person.

    If you like someone enough to research the little signs that they might like you too via the internet, you have an adorable and sweet heart. I want you to be un-shy for a moment and follow your gut. Here's something less time consuming than looking for hints of a crush: Ask whoever inspired you to read this article for coffee or a drink. As a shy person, I can confirm that pushing through the fear and asking someone out anyways is incredibly liberating. Even if it doesn't work out. (Multiple times.)

  • Make a Beautiful Dating Profile Page...
    How to be fearless
    Category: Dating Tips | March 07, 2018

    We’ll just come and say what everyone is thinking: the vast majority of first messages on online dating sites are lame. They are predictable, impersonal, and often repulsive enough to make the recipients cringe.

    You don’t need us telling you that’s a recipe for disaster – especially so considering that second chances are very rare in online dating. Most people will take no more than a few seconds to determine if you could be “the one” for them. So, it’s worth getting the first impression right. If you’re only getting one shot, make it count!

    Don’t forget that with more and more singles joining online dating services, the competition is fierce now more than ever. To ensure you grab someone’s attention, you need your first impression to stand out from the crowd. Be yourself, but present everything in a unique and eye-catching way.

    If you are a single and looking to score big in online dating, it’s time you fine-tuned your game plan. Meeting someone online isn’t the same experience as in person. You have to adjust somewhat to meet the technology by taking advantage of every feature of the hosting service.

    Keep your profile updated and follow these tips and tricks to make every message count:

    ONLINE DATING 101: HOW TO GRAB SOMEONE’S ATTENTION

    Most people think of face-to-face contact when it comes to making a first impression. However, the rules are somewhat different in the world of online dating. Here, your dating profile is the first thing people see – sometimes even before the program allows them to communicate with you. So how you craft your profile can ultimately mean the difference between a physical date and an ignored message.

    Make a Beautiful Dating Profile Page

    Anyone can find themselves frustrated over the particulars in creating a perfect online dating. Think of it as merely how you present yourself. You wouldn’t go out meeting singles with old clothes and without showering, would you? In the same way, it’s absolutely vital that you create a profile that accurately represents the best you have to offer. Even after mastering the art of branding yourself on a personal or professional level using social media, you might find using the internet to connect with somebody on a romantic level much more difficult. That’s okay! Starting out, everyone has a learning curve in a new dating service, Pheramor being no exception.

    Here’s a quick guide to creating the best profile page:

    Show, Don’t Tell!

    Remember kindergarten show and tell day? Think of that as you describe yourself and your goals. Keep things simple and imagine your profile page as a first date. You’re not just listing information about yourself. That’s not enticing enough. Show, don’t tell! In other words, present the information in a story that depicts how your likes and dislikes make you feel. Just stating them isn’t enough. Use some creative language to paint a picture in reader’s mind.

    Thus, mention topics that you would say on a first date. Avoid TMI comments! Don’t discuss how your past relationships made you depressed or how much money you make. Instead, stick to things like fun activities you enjoy, what you look for in a partner, and the kind of music or movies you love. But, don’t just give a long list of scattered topics.

    For instance, say you hate cauliflower (who doesn’t?). Merely listing that fact doesn’t explain why you have a strong aversion to the tasteless veggie. Maybe you’d want to recount your childhood experience trying cauliflower in your grandmother’s casserole and your immediate reaction.

    That’s a somewhat silly example, but the principle idea remains the same in how you should describe the qualities you expect in a partner, your life aspirations, and detailing your perfect date night. You can turn every bullet point face into a narrative to really capture the imagination of the reader. Words are very powerful in expressing all kinds of emotion. It pays here to learn the nuances of rhetoric and poetry. It’s a shame many programs have a character limit. Optimize your profile space as best you can to grab the attention of potential dates.

    Honesty is the Best Policy

    You want to seem unique from everyone else. At the same time, you shouldn’t exaggerate or outright lie about yourself. Be you! Also, be sure you use only current info, even if that requires you to update your profile frequently. For example, posting a photo of yourself from 5 years (or 20-pounds) ago will make you seem disingenuous.

    Don’t be ashamed of yourself either! If you have a unique quirk that you think is worth sharing, go ahead and post it. Give it time, and someone else will eventually see it and relate to you.

    Think of it all as a marketing campaign for yourself. You need to sell your personality by highlighting your best qualities. Of course, you should still be honest. Don’t lie, but you don’t have to put yourself completely out there either. Everyone hates those annoying clickbait ads online, so sound original and creative!

    Don’t Sound Desperate

    Avoid anything that may portray you as lonely, desperate, or with a demanding attitude. It’s good to be open about what you’re looking for in a date; in fact, I highly recommend putting your standards out there for someone to see. But to describe your ideal match as “a gorgeous blonde who earns a six-figure salary and wants x-number of children” will only make you come across as narrow-minded. Again, be you – but not so open as to show your worst sides when you don’t need to do so. Even with positive attributes, leave something to be desired by presenting them in a way to lead a reader to ask questions. Having mystery surrounding you is good if done in the right way. Remember, avoid TMI. Oversharing weird or very personal information won’t portray you in a favorable light.

    Snap the Right Selfie!

    And finally, the photos you post on your profile serve as the ultimate game-changers. Thus, choose them wisely. You should ideally have a gallery of different types of shots, including close-ups, with friends, and in various settings. Think about the environment of the shot and maybe clean up the image with some filters or an editing program. Since there’s plenty of free photo editors online, you really don’t need the best camera for the job. Just make sure it’s uploaded in the right size on the dating site, so it’s not too fuzzy or pixilated. You can edit it up to look artsy as long as it doesn’t distract from your physical self too much. Make sure the background isn’t cluttered with dirty laundry or your obsessive ex.

    Snap some photos wearing clothes that make you feel confident. But, avoid outfits and poses that are too edgy or revealing. Booty or bust pics look cheap and desperate. You don’t want to attract the wrong crowd or seem conceited.

    Overall, the idea is to make your profile positive and upbeat with a unique touch. However, just the profile is not enough to find you a date, let alone the love of your life. A good profile can grab the attention of your potential “dates,” but if you want to hold on to that attention, the first message is crucial. Here are some tips:

    5 Qualities of Successful First Messages in Online Dating

    1 – Keep it Short and Simple

    Don’t go overboard with the title in your first online dating message. Try keeping it short and to-the-point. Feel free to be creative by personalizing it with a witty joke or cute pickup line. But, unless you want to come off as lame and inappropriate, avoid using phrases like “hey sexy” or “hello hottie”. To compare your first message to an ad campaign, think of it as a headline to an article about yourself. Keep it under 10 words with fairly clear intentions and a little flair. You shouldn’t rant on in an essay to them or just give the standard (and boring) “hi.”

    Example: “Hi there! I really enjoyed going through your profiles and looks like have a lot in common.”

    2 – Point Out Connections

    Concerning the content of your first message you send, the tone should evoke warm and comforting thoughts that bring you together. You’ll want to sound friendly and respectful. Starting with standard greetings, then emphasize a connection or something interesting you found on their profile. Use it to show them that not only did you take your sweet time going over their profile, but you saw something in common too.

    Example: “Hi there, my name is Maggie, and I see that we are both cats lovers and have similar taste in hip-hop music. That’s awesome!”

    3 – Compliment Them

    It’s okay to compliment someone on their looks but do so in a classy and non-creepy way. Don’t focus on someone’s butt or bosom like that’s the first thing you noticed! Be more sentimental and extol your match’s smile, hair, eyes, or well-groomed facial hair (trust me, guys love when you admire their beards). If you are good at giving compliments, you’ll likely earn you a few bonus points. However, make sure that any praise based on their physical appearance is not the focal point of your first messages. Don’t overdo it and sound like a suck up!

    Otherwise, you could compliment their career success, life goals, Pokémon figurine collection, or on how adorable their pet hamsters are! Be creative, polite, and subtle. Flirting with well-worded compliments is about being smooth, and it’s an art you can master over time.

    Example: “Hey, I am David! Nice to meet you! Love those eyes! So, you also enjoy horror movies?”

    4 – Establish a Point of Contact

    Once you grab their attention, give them an easy way to reach out in the future. However, you shouldn’t demand their phone number or social media. Just ask their communication preference and go from there. If they are local, you could try being bold at the end of a chat session by inviting them to meet at a common area. Think of this part as your “call-to-action” that encourages a response.

    Be careful you trust the person enough the share personal information. You should never feel you MUST give out your contact information. If you ever feel uncomfortable, play it safe and walk away.

    Example: “Wow I really enjoyed our talk! Maybe we could text in the morning? I can give you my number if you don’t mind…”

    5 – Learn From Feedback

    Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from a wingman! Your message might sound perfect from your perspective, yet, remember, you’re more than a little biased. It helps give a second opinion on every word you type. Venturing into online dating without support can give you unnecessary jitters of nervousness and anxiety. Plus, having some backup can save you from creepers (or sounding like one yourself!). Make sure you get constructive feedback from a close friend that cares about your safety and success in all your relationships. You’ll mainly find it helpful to have some critique from a friend of the opposite sex. Girls are complicated and may be best understood by other girls.

    As you continue to explore online dating programs, you’ll find yourself continually experimenting with different approaches and styles in chat messages. Some will work, others – well, not so much. Trial and error will lead to some embarrassing mistakes; nevertheless, you’ll learn a lot about how the opposite sex thinks and feels. If you genuinely reflect on your dating history online, you’ll discover a ton about yourself too. Learning by experience is the best way to find how to make the best first impressions. Don’t get discouraged by haters or matches ignoring you. Start with the right attitude and eventually you’ll find that special someone!

    Example:

    You – “Hey, so I asked her if she everything was okay. She took forever to reply and just said ‘it’s fine’” 
    Wingman – “Oh yeah she’s definitely mad at you. Give her time and maybe…”

    So, that’s my guide to making a great first impression in online dating by making the most of your profile information, photos, and crafting your first messages. But hey, these are just my ideas. Feel free to compare them to other dating guides or your own experience. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from our readers via email and social media.

  • First of all, we create more of what we focus on...
    How to find true love
    Category: Dating Tips | March 06, 2018

    Most of us have been taught the problem-solving approach to improvement. It sounds logical enough—determine what's broken and fix it. All you need to do is solve enough problems and you'll have a happy and rewarding life. This is deficit-based thinking and, without our even realizing it, it's crippling our ability to create a different future.

    First of all, we create more of what we focus on. When we constantly focus your energy on what's not working we'll become experts on what's not working. We learn to look at our lives through the prism, and prison, of our "defects." We're never going to hate ourselves to success.

    Second, problem solving is designed to return things to a normative state. Is that what you want? Or do you want to find your strengths and passions and carry them forward to an incredible future? When you start focusing on more of your inherent strengths you will outgrow the things which are holding you back. I can speak from deep personal experience. One of the reasons I no longer drink is because I spend too much time writing and talking about the things that excite and delight me.

    Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-finding change methodology that focuses on what gives life to human systems when they are at their best. It posits that questions and dialogue appreciating and affirming our successes, values, and strengths are transformational. The very act of asking positive, strength-based questions will change our future—even before we have the answers. As Jackie Kelm puts it, "what we believe, we conceive." That's why the last section of the following questions focuses on dreaming of an incredible future.

    Think about your closest relationships. What might be created if you spent time discovering what unique strengths and values you each bring to the partnership? What would you feel as you remembered moments of working together harmoniously? Imagine spending time together imagining your ideal future in great detail using uplifting and affirmative words. Images inspire action.

    The following questions are formatted in the style of an Appreciative Inquiry interview. What would it create if you sat down with your partner in a calm and peaceful environment and answered these questions? Would it help you uncover each of your unique gifts and celebrate the amazing moments you have shared together?

    Consider playing some soft, uplifting music while you answer the questions. It adds so much depth to the experience.

    The best in our relationship:

    All people have their own experiences and strengths that contribute to who they are. You have done meaningful and purposeful things during your relationship that should be celebrated and acknowledged. You have been a teacher, a student, a lover, and a friend, and during your journey you have lived moments of great significance.

    Article continues below

    1. Reflect on all the moments and memories in your relationship with your partner. Connect to two to three moments worth celebrating.

    What was it about these moments that made them worth celebrating?
    What qualities did you bring to those moments?

    2. What are the super powers you bring to this relationship? Reflect on three to five of your highest strengths as a partner and friend and describe them in as much detail as possible.

    What do you value most about yourself that contributes to the healthy and happy development of your relationship?
    What is it about supporting your partner that gives you the greatest sense of meaning, purpose, and/or fulfillment?

    Flourishing together:

    Creating and sustaining a beautiful and nurturing relationship is a collaborative effort. A relationship lived through the lens of empathy and understanding will be resilient and long-lasting while allowing acknowledgment of the strength that lies in our differences.

    Article continues below

    1. Describe a time when you worked together to make a decision in a way that made you both feel respected.

    What was the high point of this process? When did you feel you were at your best?
    What made it successful?
    How did you contribute to helping each other feel included and valued?
    How did you each know your voices were being heard by the other?

    2. Tell me about a time when you have felt the greatest sense of alignment in your relationship?

    What did you value about both of you in this situation?
    What made this particular situation special?

    3. Think back to a moment you have felt the deepest sense of connection with your partner.

    Describe how you felt both emotionally and physically.
    What were some of the words you used when talking to your partner during this time?

    Article continues below

    3. Talk about a time you had fun together.

    What were you doing?
    What made it so much fun?
    Describe how you show your partner when you are having fun with him/her.

    Bringing our best into a magnificent, joyous future:

    In a productive and harmonious relationship, each party brings their strengths to create a different future. You each have unique and complementary skills that can support and elevate each and lead to creative and collaborative problem solving. The foundation to all of this is based on mutual respect.

    1. What would you like to see more of in your relationship that would create a greater feeling of harmony and peace?

    Describe what an ideal situation or interaction might look like.
    What strengths can you contribute to creating more of those feelings?
    What words would the other parent use to describe you that would make you feel proud?

    2. When you look back on your relationship with each other 10 years from now:

    What types of images would give you the greatest sense of pride, meaning, and fulfillment?
    What would tell you that your contributions to your partner have been meaningful?
    What types of experiences, conversations, feelings and/or memories would give you the greatest sense of joy?

    The year is 2020, and you are at a holiday gathering surrounded by friends and family. The mood is festive, and joy abounds. There is a beautiful fire roaring in the fireplace. You hear the sound of glass clinking. The host looks your way and says, "We all want to know your secrets for creating such a happy and amazing relationship with your partner. You radiate love for each other and you are obviously each other's best friend. How do you do it?"

  • Nothing is worse than a broken heart. At times, you feel as if you can’t breathe ...
    How to be romantic with your girlfriend
    Category: Dating Tips | March 05, 2018

    Is there anything worse than losing the guy you love? Quite arguably, no. If you want to get him back, here’s how to make a guy miss you and want you back.

    Nothing is worse than a broken heart. At times, you feel as if you can’t breathe and as if  you can’t think. Like losing something critical to your being, losing the man you love is one of the most bottoming out feelings in the world. And learning how to make a guy miss you is important if you want to win him back.

    How to make a guy miss you

    If you are the one who blew it, it feels extra shitty. But, fret not, even if you were the one who put the last nail in the coffin, there is still a way to turn it all around and come out un-single. If you use these tricks for how to make a guy miss you, you can win his hand and heart back.

    #1 Show up “unexpectedly.” In the new age of social media, you don’t have to be a total stalker to show up at the right place at the right time. Find out where he will be and show up without notice. Nonchalantly bump into him wearing his favorite outfit and perfume, and maybe, just maybe, old habits die young.

    #2 Stop blowing up his phone. If you continue to send him messages of either apology or telling him how much you want him back, stop. If you don’t give him time to miss you, guess what? He isn’t going to miss you at all.

    In fact, all those little messages that you leave probably make him pretty irritated, especially if he is still angry and can’t get past it. Whether you want to get him back or not, there is nothing appealing about begging or pleading. It just leaves you with less self-esteem and him feeling like you are stalking him. For the time being, cut him out of your head.

    #3 Start dating someone new. I know, I do, that you want him back. But, you can’t sit around and pine over him forever. There comes the point where the pity party should end. It has to end with you deciding whether you can get him back or not. You can’t stay stuck.

    Dating someone new is not only an excellent way to get his attention and make him miss you, but it is also a great way for you to find out if he is really worth all the effort to get back. Seeing you with a new guy definitely makes him think about all he lost.

    #4 Post happy things to your social media. Now is the time to turn up the volume on your social media accounts. Send pictures of all the fun things you do, how much fun you have, and all the many ways that you are getting on without him.

    If he sees you aren’t that same girl who begged him to stay, but you moved on to bigger and better things, he might wish he was joining you in your new endeavour and want you back. It may be obvious what you’re trying to do, but hey, it works so who cares! 

    #5 Work on your revenge body. Okay, so it wasn’t him who cheated on you. You were the one who messed up. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on your revenge body to get him back. Lose those extra ten pounds you put on while getting comfortable with him and tone things up a bit.

    You would be surprised at how much a little effort put into your looks does for a guy who loved you before. He might just be capable of seeing you in a new light. 

    #6 Find out what you did wrong and change it. If you did something that caused the relationship to deteriorate, acknowledge it and try to change. Don’t ever go changing for someone else. If it is something you did that you regretted and was the cause for you to lose the man you love, work to better yourself so that it doesn’t happen in your future relationships.

    The sad reality is that if you can’t win him back, you must find someone else. And, only by recognizing what happened, can you prevent the same mistake from happening again. Once you create the change in yourself, tell him you aren’t the same person anymore and ask him for one more chance. He might grant it to you. He might not. But all you can do is give it your best try. 

    #7 Say you are sorry. Sometimes the best way to get a guy to miss you is by saying you are sorry. No one misses someone who messed up and never even showed concern for their actions or tried to make amends for it.

    If you want to make him miss you, present something to him that shows you are a different person and remorseful for whatever you did to hurt him. Try to find a way to show you are sincerely sorry. If you could do it all over again, you certainly would not have done what you did.

    #8 Be confident again. Sometimes when relationships decline, we form different habits contrary to who we are. Your behaviors and reactions might not have been solely from your own arsenal.

    There might have been things he did to make you feel the way that you did, leaving you less than you. If you want to find a way to make him want you back, find the you inside that you were when you met.

    Try to shed whatever it is that brought you down and find the woman he fell in love with. If she is still in there, the man that loved her might be too. It is worth a shot. In the end, you will end up restoring your own mental health and healing.

    Losing the guy you love is the worst feeling in the world, especially if you feel to blame. The good news is that things don’t always last forever. Whether you make him want you again or not, the reality is you won’t be alone always. Sometimes when one door closes, another opens, but I digress…

    Maybe instead of worrying about trying to get him back, you should focus on yourself and what you need to feel good and find the confidence that you lack right now. In the end, no matter what you try to do to get him back, he isn’t going to want you unless you are happy and secure with yourself.

    So, find that secure person lying within and bring her back to life. If you can do that, you have the key to understand how to make a guy miss you. And if he doesn’t come back, another guy will come running.

  • Scientists examined data from 16,000 Americans and found the happiness‐maximizing number of sexual partners in the previous year is calculated to be one...
    How to satisfy a man in bed
    Category: Dating Tips | February 28, 2018

    The benefits of relationships and canoodling abound. Yet contrary to what some men may claim in locker rooms, dorm rooms, and after one too many hours at happy hour, more sexual partners does not equal more happiness.

    Scientists examined data from 16,000 Americans and found the happiness‐maximizing number of sexual partners in the previous year is calculated to be one.

    That’s right, according to research, one sexual partner over the span of 365 days is the ideal number to achieve happiness (and that’s not a euphemism). One is better than two—or 200.

    These findings run contrary to the Coolidge Effect, an anecdotal story about President and Mrs. Coolidge visiting a poultry farm in the 1920s:

    The President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown separately around an experimental government farm. When Mrs. Coolidge came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” Upon being told, President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” President: “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

    Thus was born the Coolidge Effect: the tendency of the males of most mammal species to seek variety in sexual partners and exhibit greater sexual desire for new partners, even after "exhausting" themselves with previous partners. Study after study shows that rats and hamsters most definitely exhibit the Coolidge Effect.

    So, what about humans? There are two sides to the equation, one spurred by evolution and survival of the fittest and one spurred by the mental health of an evolved species in modern times. While we may be biologically wired to follow the Coolidge Effect to guard against putting all our eggs in one basket, the study clearly shows one sexual partner a year optimizes happiness and a meaningful life.

    Bottom line: monogamy rules.

  • We all know how important public speaking skills are. It’s common for people to freeze up in mid-sentence. But, you can learn how to speak clearly...
    How to speak clearly
    Category: Networking Tips | February 27, 2018

    Speaking in front of people is terrifying. No matter how many people listen to you. It could be that you must speak in front of your co-workers, at a wedding, or in school. But, no matter where you speak publicly, nerves always seem to creep into what you say. But one you learn how to speak clearly, it will make all the difference and take you far in life.

    Honestly, not only is it traumatic for you, it’s unpleasant for people listening if you forget your lines, stutter, speak quickly, or mumble.

    How to speak clearly

    But it doesn’t mean that just because you’re not a good speaker doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you. Work on your public speaking skills and improve the way you speak in front of people. Sure, you’ll encounter bumps in the road, but, with practice, you become a more fluent and confident speaker.

    So, this is why you’re here, let’s get you going on the path to speaking clearly. It’ll take some practice, but you can do it!

    #1 Why are you having problems speaking? Is it nerves? Is it that you don’t know what you’re talking about? Figure out why you have problems speaking clearly. It could just be you’re having issues pronouncing specific letters which is easy to fix once you know that that’s the problem. So, when speaking, be aware of the problems you have. 

    #2 Calm your nerves. Speaking is a nerve-wracking experience. Take a sip of warm water, hold a small object in your hand while speaking. Calm your anxiety before speaking. It helps you to speak slowly and more clearly. When you’re nervous, it increases your speed, you stutter and then your anxiety is amped up even more.

    #3 Take time to think before you speak. When we rush through our thoughts, we don’t take the time to process what we’re going to say and prepare ourselves. By thinking about what you want to say, you’re able to plan your words out, preventing the chances of you slipping up. You can rehearse them in your head which even helps with your pronunciation.

    #4 Practice regularly. You need to practice. Doing this once isn’t going work. To improve your speech, this is going to be a long-term process. You’re not going to be speaking like a celebrity overnight, this is going to take months and months of practice. But that’s the point, you’re going to need to practice daily, at least for five minutes with tongue twisters.

    #5 Warm up the voice. When you go from not speaking to suddenly reciting a speech, it affects the way you speak. You need to warm up your voice. When your voice isn’t warm, your vocal cords can easily become irritated and inflamed which cause issues when you’re speaking. Hum for a couple minutes before speaking and drink warm water. This relaxes your vocal cords. 

    #6 Stand in front of the mirror. This is the best way to see how you speak. You need to look at yourself in the mirror. It could be that you don’t open your mouth wide enough on certain vowels which causes you to mumble, but you don’t know until you see yourself speak.

    #7 Record yourself. When speaking, you’re not actually hearing yourself how people hear you. So, I recommend you record yourself speaking. Record yourself with tongue twisters or the speech you’re going to give. Then, listen to it out loud, you’ll be able to see where you go wrong. Then, re-record yourself and hear the improvement.

    #8 Know where to breathe. You may not have thought about it but your breathing is extremely important when it comes to speaking. Breathing is the engine of the voice, it’s what fuels your sound. So, breathe through your stomach rather than your chest. This takes some practice as many of us are used to breathing through shallowly through the chest.

    #9 Don’t take a slip up as a failure. You’re going to make mistakes even when you think you’ve perfected your speech, this is normal. But, what you shouldn’t do is see it as a failure. When it comes to learning how to speak clearly, don’t let small slip-ups prevent you from progressing with your ability to speak clearly.

    #10 Work on self-confidence. Your ability to speak clearly is highly tied to your confidence. You need to believe that you speak clearly and fluently. If you don’t believe in yourself or what you want to say, that’s going to come across when you speak. Look within and trust yourself with what you’re going to say.

    #11 Practice in front of friends or family. If you need a second opinion, practice your speech in front of friends or family that you trust. They’ll be able to tell you when you speed up or when you mumble. If you’re not able to record, this is a great way to see what the issues are when you speak. 

    #12 Avoid slang and jargon. When speaking in public or if you want to be understood better, the best thing you can do to speak clearly is to avoid jargon and slang. Keep your speech clear and clean. It helps you avoid any slip-ups if you use proper English. In addition, you won’t confuse your audience when you speak in a way that everyone understands.

    Now that you know the best ways for how to speak clearly, it’s time you started practicing. It’ll be hard in the beginning, but you’ll notice the improvement when you speak.

  • If you want to attract men, you have to put yourself out there...
    Signs of a committed relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | February 25, 2018

    Regardless of how old you are, the only way you can successfully connect with a man in the "I think you're hot and would be interested in going out with you" way is to flirt.

    When I suggest that to the over-40 women in my dating workshops and coaching programs, I can see them cringe. Most of these otherwise outgoing women have no idea how to flirt, and many consider it childish and classless.

    I have news for you. Here is what you get when you don't flirt with nice men: a nice conversation. That's it. But you're not looking for a buddy, right? You want to be asked out.

    Here are four ways to flirt with flair and get that date:

    1. Compliment him.
    Have you ever noticed that we use compliments to connect with other women? "I love your purse!" "Your job sounds amazing!" "You crack me up!"

    Why don't you do that with men? Granted, it takes a different approach, but everyone likes to be complimented.

    Men love to know that you think them to be smart, capable, fascinating and funny. A sincere compliment in those areas will take you a huge step forward toward connection. (Ahem: note the word "sincere.")

    Tell him when you agree with something he says. Ask for his opinion. Let him suggest a book or restaurant; laugh at his jokes or tell him his business sounds interesting.

    You can tell him he has nice eyes, and he'll appreciate it. But that won't go so far as these more substantive compliments. The confident, grown up good guys need to hear more than you think he's cute.

    2. Use your body!
    Using your body to flirt does not have to be slutty or silly. Remember how you flirted when you were 22? Much of what attracted those boys in bars is still what attracts men in Starbucks.

    Be subtle, not aggressive. Stand straight in front of him and make eye contact, be playful with a little teasing (stay away from sarcasm), brush your hand against his arm or shoulder, twirl or flip your hair, and use open hand gestures.

    Responding to this type of behavior from a woman is instinctive, ladies. Men can't help themselves.

    3. Show off a little.
    This may be the hardest part for you; it is for many women. We aren't used to talking about ourselves because we've been told it's selfish and braggadocios. (Yay! I get to use that word!)

    You've got to get over this. You want to be memorable and enticing. He's only going to know how fabulous and confident you are if you get some of your shiny stuff out.

    Squeeze in mentions of your unique or shared interests, accomplishments, interesting life experiences, kind heartedness or passions.

    Don't tell him long stories. Keep it brief, and if he's a match for you, he will want more.

    4. Show clear interest.
    A simple: "I had a great time talking with you, Bob. It would be nice to do it again" is all it takes to let him know that you're open. Help him feel safe and appreciated, and if he's interested, he will make a move.

    Notice that I'm not suggesting you ask him out. Let him do that.

    One last note: Remember that if he doesn't go for your attempts, he probably knows something you don't about why you're not a good match. (He's married, gay, not looking for a nice girl, is mad at women, etc.)

    Don't get discouraged. You'll rack up dating karma points if you make him feel good about himself, and you'll find it easier to do the next time you try. And who knows? That time the guy may be your perfect match!
     

  • So, you wanna keep him interested but not sure how to keep a text conversation going with a guy? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there...
    How to keep a text conversation going with a guy
    Category: Dating Tips | February 23, 2018

    You know, people say texting can be quite harmful to a relationship, and I agree in many cases. However, when  getting to know someone, texting is a really valuable tool to use. You have time to think about what you’re going to say, you don’t have to deal with any awkward silences, and you’re through all the small talk right away. That is why you need to learn how to keep a text conversation going with a guy.

    But what happens to most of us when we text is that we tend to overdo it and become a bore. Texting is addicting and when you’re texting someone you like, sometimes we freeze and only write “lol” or “yeah” or we send essay-length paragraphs. I still don’t know which one is worse. 

    How to keep a text conversation going with a guy

    But there are some things you can do to keep the text conversation with a guy flowing smoothly. Things that you’ll have to be aware of when texting him so that you keep your cool even though you’re freaking out. So, what do you have to do when texting a guy? Slow down there, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you everything there is to know about how to keep a text conversation going with a guy. It’s not as hard as you think it is.

    #1 Relax. I know you like this guy, but if you’re freaking out already and you haven’t even sent a text yet, it’s not going to go well. You’ll overthink what you’re saying and it won’t be the natural you speaking. So, just take a breath and chill out for a second before talking to him. Sure, he’s cute and all that but he’s just a guy. Repeat to yourself, “He’s just a guy.” 

    #2 Conversation is a two-way street. This is the important part when you’re talking to a guy. You need to make sure the conversation is going both ways. If you’re the only one talking, then you need to back off. Don’t be the only one talking.

    If you’re asking him questions but he’s not giving much back, then he may not be interested. If you only talk about yourself and forget to ask him questions, well, you come off self-absorbed.

    #3 Stick to your style. Don’t try to change the way you text to impress him. Keep to your own personal style and stay true to that. But this also means you need to be aware of the way he writes. You may use emojis when you speak which is fine, but if he doesn’t, don’t assume that he’s not interested. Everyone has their own style when it comes to texting. 

    #4 Know when to stop the conversation. Just because the conversation is dying doesn’t mean that you aren’t connecting. Don’t try to force the conversation to continue. Instead, when you see that it’s dying, tell him that you have to run or go to work. It adds some chase to the relationship as you’re the one letting go of the conversation rather than him.

    #5 Throw in a couple voice messages. Now some people really don’t like them or they’re unable to listen to them because of work. But, overall, voice messages are great. They’re another way to add a personalized touch to your texts. Plus, sometimes your thumbs get sore, so, give them a rest by sending a voice message.

    #6 Go easy with the replies. What I mean is, don’t send eight texts in a row because they’re taking more than two seconds to reply to you. Play it cool. Remember, outside of the texting world he also lives an actual life. So, if he doesn’t reply for a couple hours, don’t think of it as the end of the world. Just because there’s a lag in response time doesn’t mean he’s not interested in you or the conversation is over. 

    #7 A proofread goes a long way. You may not think of it, but rereading your text message before you send it goes a long way. When excited we think quicker than we type, so, make sure your sentences make sense. Before pressing send, double check your message to make sure it flows smoothly.

    #8 Ask questions. If you want the conversation to keep going, then ask him a question. But there is a fine line here. You don’t want to have it look like a job interview, so throw in a question here and there, but don’t constantly ask him one after another. He’ll get scared and create distance between you.

    #9 Stay positive. He isn’t your boyfriend, so you’re still trying to get to know him and see where he stands with you. Keep the conversation in a light tone. Of course, if you have a bad day,  tell him but keep the whining and complaining down to a minimum. No one likes sitting through a conversation with someone spewing negativity.

    #10 Get to know him. When it comes to knowing how to keep a text conversation going with a guy, don’t be shy to ask about what his interests are, if he plays sports, what movies he likes, etc. This is a good opportunity to filter out the basic information about him and see if you generally are interested in the kind of life he lives. Of course, you don’t have to ask him straight up if he likes movies, but you can ask him indirectly by commenting on a movie you watched and then see what he says.

    #11 Keep the overanalyzing to a minimum. I know this is going to be hard because we all overanalyze. But seriously, try to keep it down to a minimum. Don’t read over his messages, again and again, trying to see the emotion behind it. Just leave it. Listen, if he talks to you, you already know he’s curious, so that’s a good start.

    #12 Don’t be so quick to answer. You don’t have to always answer his messages within seconds of receiving it. Remember that people pay attention to the patterns of others. Get him used to you not quickly replying to messages. It gives him the idea that you’re busy and also gives you the time to think about how you reply. 

    #13 When in doubt, call him. If you tire of texting and sending voice messages, just call him. At some point, you realize you spend a lot of your time texting each other. This is when you transition to a phone call. Of course, you can still text, but if the conversation keeps going on and on, just pick up the phone and call him. It’s easier on your thumbs, give them a little rest.

    So, now that you know how to keep a text conversation going with a guy, it’s time you put these tips into practice. Just remember, take a deep breath and don’t overthink what to say.

  • So you’re crushing on a guy....So OBVIOUSLY you want to know how he feels about you...
    Does height really matter in a relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | February 21, 2018

    I mean, c’mon. How could you NOT want to know? The unfortunate part is, you’re probably the worst person to objectively figure out whether he likes you or not. You’re just too emotionally tied up in the situation. How can you expect to get real perspective on it?

    That’s where I come in. I’m going to give you the biggest giveaways that a guy likes you.

    That way, you only have to look for a few specific things to get your answer, rather than trying to figure it out while your emotions are going crazy and you’re hoping to death that he’s into you. So let’s get into it. Here are some objective signs that your crush likes you.

    Exactly How To Figure Out Whether Your Crush Likes You

    He’s Always Asking You Tons Of Questions

    If a guy likes a girl, he wants to know more about her. He wants to know what kinds of food she likes. What movies she’s into. Whether she likes to read and what books she likes most.

    Where she grew up. Her dream place to live. What makes her laugh. What she loves to do.

    In essence – he wants to know who she is underneath, what she’s truly like. And the best way to do that is to ASK about it.

    So if your crush asks you lots of questions, that’s a very, very good sign that he feels about you the same way that you feel about him.

    He Touches You A Lot

    Think about it this way – you want to touch your crush, right?

    You want to be closer to him. You want to get more intimate with him, physically and emotionally. You want skin to skin contact.

    It wouldn’t be a crush if you didn’t.

    So suffice it to say that if he’s also crushing on you, he’s going to feel the same way.

    That’s why it’s a huge sign that your crush likes you if he’s always finding excuses to touch you.

    Whether it’s giving you a big hug whenever he sees you (that lingers a little longer than you would expect), or helping you in or out of a jacket, or reaching out a hand to steady you if you look a little wobbly on your feet – if he likes you, he’s going to take every opportunity to touch you.

    He’s Always Very Curious And Attentive When Your Love Life Comes Up

    If he likes you, he’s going to care about whether you’re dating someone else. That’s obvious.

    I mean, think about it. If he was talking about his love life, you’d be RIVETED. Right?

    Well, same with him – although he might try not to show it.

    If the subject of your love life comes up, you can bet that if your crush likes you he’s going to be paying close attention to every word you’re saying.

    He’ll especially be interested in whether you have a boyfriend, but really anything about your romantic life is going to be vitally interesting to him if he’s crushing on you.

    Just like his love life is vitally interesting to you because you’re crushing on him.

    You Always Catch Him Looking At You (When You’re Not Looking At Him)

    C’mon. This is practically what crushes are FOR. If you’re crushing on a guy, I bet you’ve caught yourself gazing absentmindedly at him, without even realizing that you’d been centering your stare on him for an uncomfortable amount of time.

    Looking at someone for too long goes part and parcel with having a crush. It’s just part of the whole experience.

    So if you catch him looking at you pretty often, it’s a good sign that he’s crushing on you.

    Just make sure that he’s not looking at you because he’s caught you so many times looking at HIM.

    He Makes Excuses To Spend Lots Of Time With You

    Look, this one’s obvious. I’m not going to waste time asking you whether you want to spend time with him, since the answer is so obvious. He’s your CRUSH. Of course you want to spend time with him! Well, turn that around. If he’s crushing on you, then he’s also going to want to spend lots of time with you.

    That might look like him cancelling plans in order to hang out with you, or him always appearing in group hangouts where he knows you’re going to be, or even him calling you up and making plans with you pretty often.

    Whatever the reason, if he likes you, you can bet that he’s going to go out of his way to make sure he spends lots of time with you.

    Because when you’re crushing on someone, you WANT to spend lots of time with them. Because you like them!

    The main thing to take away from this article is this: look at your own behavior and apply the same logic to him. If you’re crushing on him, you’re already doing lots of the things that people do when they like someone else.

    So take a step back and think about how you act towards him, and ask yourself whether he’s acting the same way towards you. That way, you’re likely to get the right answer, and know for sure whether your crush likes you or not.

    I hope this article helped you figure out if your crush likes you. Before you decide what to do next, you need to know about the pivotal moment in any relationship that determines if you get to live happily ever after or he leaves you so pay attention to this next step because it’s vitally important: At some point he will ask himself is this the woman I should commit to for the long term? The answer to that will determine the fate of your relationship: Do you know how men determine if a woman is girlfriend material (the type of woman he commits himself to) or if he see’s you as just a fling? If not you need to read this next: The #1 Thing Men Desire In A Woman…

    The second problem will undermine whatever relationship you have if it’s allowed to fester and destroy your relationship from the inside, so read this right now or risk your relationship because at some point he starts to lose interest. He doesn’t call you back or he becomes emotionally closed off. He seems like he’s losing interest or pulling away – do you know what to do? If not you’re putting your relationship and the future of your love life in great danger, read this now or risk losing him forever: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This…

    Want to find out if he really likes you? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Does He Like You” Quiz right now and find out once and for all if he likes you…

    In summary…Exactly How To Know If Your Crush Likes You

    • He’s always asking you tons of questions.
    • He touches you a lot.
    • He’s always very curious and attentive when your love life comes up.
    • You always catch him looking at you (when you’re not looking at him).
    • He makes excuses to spend lots of time with you.
  • He says he sorry. But does he really mean it?...
    How to make your ex want you back
    Category: Dating Tips | February 20, 2018

    As stated in my previous posting to this site, learning that your partner has cheated on you is miserable. The betrayal you feel is overwhelming, and you may feel as if you can never trust him (or anyone else) ever again. That said, it’s possible that he truly does love you, that’s he’s remorseful about his infidelity, and that he wants to men your broken heart. A few signs that he’s making a sincere effort to do this are as follows:

    1.] He Will Develop and Display Empathy for You: The single biggest step a cheating man can take toward repairing his broken relationship involves empathy. Empathy, in case you are wondering, is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another sentient being. This is something that most women are naturally good at, and most men are naturally bad at. The good news here is that even though emotional empathy does not come easily to most men, it can be developed with practice. The bad news is that, for men, learning to decipher another person’s thoughts and feelings is not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll know your man is working on empathy when you can tell he’s really listening to you, and you hear him say things like, “I sense that you’re feeling some anxiety right now. Is that correct? And if it is, can you explain what you’re anxious about? I really want to understand what you’re feeling.”

    2.] He Will Learn to Disagree in Healthy and Productive Ways: Disagreements are inevitable, even in good relationships. And that’s a good thing. Believe it or not, arguments can evolve into deeper relationship intimacy. Plus, the desire to argue is a strong indication that your relationship is worth saving. Think about it: Do you argue with people you don’t care about, over topics you don’t care about? Probably not. The trick, of course, is learning to resolve these conflicts healthfully, in ways that strengthen rather than diminish your relationship, which can be very difficult after trust is lost via infidelity. If you feel like your partner is listening to and hearing your side of an argument, that’s a very good sign. When that happens, he’s not fighting against you, he’s fighting with you—as members of the same team—to overcome whatever it is that the two of you disagree about. 
     
    3.] Instead of Telling You He Cares, He Will Show You: After infidelity, actions speak much louder than words. Sure, it’s nice that he tells you he’s sorry and he really does love you, but after all the lies and secrets, you may struggle to believe that. When he remembers dates and events that are important to you—not just your anniversary but your sister’s birthday, the neighborhood picnic, and your monthly night out with the girls—you’ll know he cares. When he wants to spend time with you, even when you’re doing things he doesn’t enjoy, you’ll know he cares. When he takes care of little tasks you don’t enjoy (without expecting a pat on the back for doing it), you’ll know he cares.

    4.] He Will Keep Relationship Trust in Mind at all Times: Let’s face it, your man is going to be in the doghouse until he repairs relationship trust. You’ll know he’s working on this when he’s honest not only with you, but with everyone he encounters, and when he keeps his commitments (especially if/when they involve you) no matter what. When your partner actively works to rebuild trust, it helps you to heal, him to heal, and your relationship to heal. One day you’ll wake up and realize you haven’t questioned him in weeks. And that will feel incredible. But you shouldn’t expect this to happen overnight because it won’t. Rebuilding trust after infidelity generally takes a minimum of six months, and often a year or even longer.
  • Are we becoming obsessed with online snooping?...
    How to break up with a girl
    Category: Dating Tips | February 19, 2018

    How do we feel about someone who leaves their wedding ring at home when they go out? Or what do we think when our partner pays some extra special attention to someone else? You probably could not say that these behaviors in themselves are cheating, but we certainly would be less than impressed by them.  Such behavior has lately been termed micro-cheating, possibly because they suggest that a person might have the intention to cheat given the chance. 

    The age of online communication and social media now allows people the opportunity to interact far more easily, and behaviors which might fall within the definition of micro-cheating may include:

    Obsessively checking someone else’s (not your partner’s) social media posts. 
    Disclosing information to or confiding in someone other than one’s partner when you’ve had a bad day.
    Saving someone’s name as something different in your contacts to avoid detection by a partner. 
    Using romantically charged emojis in a communication with someone outside of your relationship.

    Yet when we think about it, whether these actions are just playful flirtation or whether they suggest that a person is romantically interested in someone outside of their relationship is a complex issue and may depend on a variety of factors.

    Our research in this area attempted to clarify to some extent a definition of micro-cheating, which we referred to as online infidelity. In one study, our participants were given scenarios describing an online interaction between two people who were not in a relationship. Participants were asked to judge them on the basis of whether they considered them to be cheating behavior. Two salient factors which we manipulated were the time of day of the interaction, and the degree of disclosure of information between parties (low disclosure being factual and high disclosure being more emotionally charged disclosure). Not surprisingly interactions late at night were judged as more unfaithful than those taking place in the day.  We speculated that this may be due to the secretive natureof night-time interactions.  Similarly, interactions describing greater disclosure levels between people were judged higher in terms of unfaithful behavior (Graff, under review).

    Are there gender differences in perceptions?

    We also asked how jealous, angry, hurt or disgusted our respondents would be as a result of a partner interacting online with a person outside of the relationship.  The consistent finding was that females were more emotionally affected by these behaviors than males, suggesting that online infidelity or what has been termed micro-cheating is experienced more strongly by females. Our research does suggest that it is not the behavior as such, (whether called micro-cheating or online infidelity) which is important, but rather the context and intention with which it takes place.

    Social media privacy

    Using a more specific scenario, Nicole Muscanell and colleagues asked their participants to consider a scenario which described a relationship that they had or would like to have where they found a photograph of their partner with a member of the opposite sex on Facebook (Muscanell, Guadagno, Rice and Murphy (2013).  Participants were then asked to consider the scenario further where situations in which they discovered that their partner’s Facebook photos were set either to private, viewable by just friends or viewable to all users. Observed jealousy ratings were highest in the scenario where the photos were set to private, which would seem to convey a need for secrecy. Further, this study found that overall females gave higher jealousy ratings compared to males.

    Is checking on your partner OK?

    One possible reason why micro-cheating and what we do during online communication gives rise to jealousy is quite obviously that we see these behaviors in our partner as the possible start of something more than just harmless flirtation. Given this reasoning, should we keep a check on our partners and does obsessive checking improve things? A survey carried out in 2013 questioned 2,400 UK respondents who had either been unfaithful themselves or who had found out that their partner had been unfaithful. The survey found that a staggering 41% reported that the infidelity came to light through evidence revealed via a phone (Waterlow, 2013) strongly suggesting that partner surveillance may be justified. 

    Does partner monitoring improve relationships?

    However, whether needless partner monitoring actually sustains relationships is another matter.  Kelly Derby, David Knox and Beth Easterling gave a 42 item questionnaire to 268 students with the aim of investigating the degree to which they monitored their partners (how often they did it, their reason for doing it and what happened as a result of this. They found that two thirds of respondents confessed to ‘‘snooping’’ through their partner’s text messages and logging onto their social networking sites. Reported reasons for monitoring partners were curiosity and suspicion, with females reporting more monitoring than males. Incidentally, monitoring behavior was reported as taking place most often when their partner was safely in the shower. They warn that monitoring a partner’s behavior should be done with caution, as they noted that 28% of relationships worsened as a result of partner monitoring with only 18% improving as a result of this (Derby K, Knox D, & Easterling, 2012). 

    What difference might relationship length make?

    By the time people are happily married it would seem plausible that the effort involved in constantly monitoring a partner’s behavior might have ceased. Yet Ellen Helsper and Monica Whitty present evidence that suggests partner monitoring continues into married life (Helsper & Whitty, 2010). The researchers collected data from more than 2,000 married people who were asked whether they had monitored their partner’s activities by doing any of the following.

    • Reading their emails.
    • Reading their text messages.
    • Checking their browser history.
    • Reading their instant message logs.
    • Using monitoring software.
    • Pretending to be another person.


    They found that in almost a third of couples, one or both had looked at their partner's emails or text messages without the partner knowing, and in one in five couples, one or both partners had checked their partner’s browsing history.

    Overall, then it can be said that micro-cheating at least via online communication is not defined in terms of an action itself, but rather the motive for that action. In other words, liking an ex-partners post on social media is not micro-cheating if a person’s intention is simply just to like the post. However, social media and online communication has increased the potential for interaction and the way in which we interact, making communication far more ambiguous. Sadly, this may be motivating us to compulsively check out our partner’s online activity. Yet, as pointed out in the study by Derby et al (2012), this doesn’t make things any better.

  • Actually getting him back isn’t that hard. With a couple tricks, it’s actually really easy, the tricky part is actually KEEPING him once he’s back...
    How to get a girl back
    Category: Dating Tips | February 14, 2018

    Want to know the strangest thing about getting your ex back? Actually getting him back isn’t that hard. With a couple tricks, it’s actually really easy. The tricky part is actually KEEPING him once he’s back.

    Lots of women get their exes back every day. Most of them lose him again. Why? Because the same problems that destroyed their relationship before are still there, unaddressed. And unless you know how to find and solve those problems that are rooted in the dynamic of your relationship, they’ll stick around, waiting to ruin your chances with him again.

    To get your ex back and KEEP him for good – that takes a little bit more.

    (But not a lot more – don’t worry.)

    In this article, I’m going to give you a 5 step plan that will magnetically draw your ex back to you – and KEEP him there once he’s back.

    Getting your ex back is only hard when you make mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to make mistakes when you’re struggling with the pain of a breakup, feeling lost, confused, and miserable.

    Getting your ex back is only hard when you make mistakes.

    But when you have a 5 step plan – you won’t feel confused. You’ll know exactly where you’re going, and exactly how to get there, and exactly how to get over the breakup.

    You’ll get to see the light at the end of the tunnel – and you’ll have a straight line that will get you there in the shortest time possible.

    This article is your plan. Follow the steps I give you, and you will irresistibly draw your ex back to you. It’s not rocket science. It’s not even complicated.

    Here’s the truth – you’ve done a lot of the hard work already. At its core, getting your ex back is about letting him remember how much he misses you, and how good your relationship was.

    And that’s exactly what step 1 is all about.

    Step 1: Cut Off Contact With Him

    If you want to get him back, and KEEP him… he has to realize how much he misses you. And for that to happen, there can’t be any contact between you. So here’s the rule: Cut off contact with him for at least 4 weeks.

    What does that mean?

    It means:

    • No Calling Him
    • No Texting Him
    • No Contacting Him Online (Facebook Messages, Email, Gchat, Twitter, IM)
    • No Spending Time With Friends In Common To Run Into Him
    • No Running Into Him “By Accident” (Exactly what you think it means)


    Why are you cutting off contact with him? For a couple of reasons:

    First, it’s to get control of yourself and get some perspective on the relationship.

    After a breakup, everybody gets pretty messed up – and trying to get him back while you’re in that state is only going to make things worse.

    If you want to get him back, and KEEP him… he has to realize how much he misses you.

    That’s why you need these 4 weeks to calm down, put the pieces back together, and take a real look at what your relationship was. Getting perspective means you can see clearly whether you were happy, whether you were right for each other, or whether you even want to have the relationship back.

    Plus, it gives you the time to get past the initial unbearable phase of missing him and into a more even-tempered, secure mentality. Instead of trying to figure out signs your ex still loves you, you’ll be working on yourself and getting yourself into a better mindset. It gives you the space to say, “I don’t NEED him to be happy – I can be happy all on my own”.

    Second, it’s to give him space to miss you and realize (all on his own) that he wants to have you back. If you want him to notice how much he misses you, he has to have the space to notice that you’re gone.

    He won’t notice the hole that you left in his life unless you let him. So if you’re still in contact with him, he won’t get lonely. If you’re still having sex with him, he won’t miss the sex and companionship. If you’re still emotionally engaging with him, he won’t miss the love and satisfaction of being with you.

    The saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true – and this is the time for you to put it to work. When you cut off contact with him he will remember all the good times you had together and the memories of the bad times will fade.

    Remember, you don’t have to remind him how much he liked being in a relationship with you – he’ll notice all on his own.

    If you woke up without an arm, you’d notice pretty quickly that you were missing something that was vital to you. You wouldn’t need the arm to tap you on the shoulder to remind you it was gone.

    You would immediately notice the ways that not having it makes your life worse, so let him notice all the ways that missing you makes his life worse.

    Here is everything you need to know about the no contact rule.

    But What If… (No Contact FAQ)

    What if he contacts me? Is that breaking No Contact?

    If he contacts you (like he calls you, or texts you, or sends you some other message), it’s not breaking no contact. But if you respond to him reaching out to you, that DOES count as breaking the rule. Responding is the same as reaching out to him on your own.

    If it’s a true emergency, you can respond – but keep the conversation centered around the emergency and nothing else. No personal questions, no relationship questions, nothing about either of your lives. Stay focused on only the emergency that he contacted you about.

    What Should I Do If I Broke No Contact Already?

    The only way to truly gain the benefits of the no contact rule is to follow it all the way through. That means that if you broke the no contact rule, the only thing to be done is to start the no contact period over again.

    The only thing that will get him missing you again is time, and the only way to get him thinking about how good the relationship was and forgetting about the pain is uninterrupted time without contact.

    Plus, it’s about going cold turkey and proving to yourself that you can live your life without him in it. If you can live without him for 4 weeks, you’ve proven it to yourself.

    What If We Bump Into Each Other?

    First of all, don’t bump into him “on purpose”. You know what that means.

    Second of all, if you truly accidentally bump into him, then here’s exactly what to do. Be upbeat, positive, and in a good mood while you’re talking to him. Let him lead the conversation and pick the subjects, and whatever you do don’t bring up relationships or your relationship with him.

    Shoot for about 10 minutes and then end the conversation with him. The goal is to be upbeat, positive, and give the impression that you’re fine, everything in your life is good, and you’re feeling happy. Showing bitterness or resentment is only going to drive him further away from you.

    What If He Finds Someone New During No Contact?

    The short answer is – he’s not going to.

    When a guy gets out of a serious relationship, he’s not going to fall in love and find someone new right away. Most guys don’t even want to get in a relationship right after getting out of a serious one. When they do, it’s almost always a “rebound” relationship designed to distract him from the pain of losing you – and it never works.

    If you’re really worried that your ex is going to get into a new relationship, or you know he’s in one and you want to find out whether it’s real or not, this article will give you the signs that his new relationship is a rebound. That way, you can get a definitive answer to the question, “Is he in a rebound relationship?” and move on with putting the no contact rule to work for you.

    This is about trusting that giving him time is going to make him miss you, and getting into a better mindset so you are as attractive to him as possible. The alternative is panicking, stalking him, texting him constantly, and begging him to take you back – which NEVER works. Trust that this is the only way to get him back (and keep him for good).

    Does It Really Have To Be 4 Weeks?

    Yes. Remember, he needs space to remember how much he misses you, and shorter than 4 weeks just isn’t going to cut it.

    Also, you need time to recover from the breakup and come out stronger, happier, and more positive. That’s just not going to happen in under 4 weeks, and it’s going to work against you if you try to do it in a shorter period of time.

    Isn’t this rude, or even cruel to him? It seems so over the top.

    This isn’t about “punishing” him, or being rude, or being intentionally cruel to him. It’s about giving both of you some much needed space to get perspective on the relationship and really identify the issues that drove you two apart.

    Remember, the no contact rule isn’t about him, it’s about YOU. You’re not cutting off contact to try to spite him, you’re giving yourself time and space to heal from the breakup – just like you’re giving him time and space to start missing you again.

    Finally, here’s the biggest reason for the no contact rule:

    It stops you from making the fatal breakup mistakes that will truly drive him away for good – that we’re going to talk about in the next section.

    Step 2: The Fatal Mistakes (And Ignoring Your Instincts)

    This section will cover all the fatal mistakes that women make after breakups. These mistakes will drive your ex away from you and all but ruin your chances of ever getting back together with him.

    The worst part about these mistakes is that they’re so natural. These mistakes happen when you follow your instincts after a breakup.

    These mistakes happen when you follow your instincts after a breakup.

    At first glance, that doesn’t seem fair… and it’s not. It’s not fair that your instincts will urge you to do things that will ruin your chances of getting back together with your ex.

    That’s why the no contact rule is so important – to take away the chances of you making any of these fatal mistakes.

    Mistake #1: Letting Him Do Whatever He Wants And Just Taking It

    After a breakup, the temptation is to just give your ex whatever he wants in the hopes that it will bring him back to you.

    This is one of the worst things you can do – because all that does is signal to him that he’s in control and that you’re not going anywhere – which means there’s no reason for him to get back together with you.

    If he’s getting everything he wants from you without doing any work or having to get back together with you, what incentive does he have to rekindle the relationship? None.

    In addition, giving in to him and giving him everything he wants shows him desperation. It makes your vibe desperate, which turns him off consciously and unconsciously and ruins your chances with him.

    In fact, a lot of relationships end with this fatal mistake. Here’s how it normally happens:

    The beginning, or “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is an exciting, magical time. You two were doing fun things together. You were enjoying getting to know each other and exploring with each other. You were equal with each other.

    Then, as the relationship goes on, something shifts…

    Instead of feeling equal, it feels like you’re losing him. Like you have to chase after him to get his attention.

    Like you have to bother him to get affection from him.

    It feels like slowly but surely, you’re losing him… and you don’t know how to stop it.

    You start to get worried that he’s pulling away or withdrawing, and so you put up with his bad behavior in an attempt to make him want to stay.

    Unfortunately, all that does is make him lose respect for you and see you as desperate, which undermines the relationship even more and pushes him away even further.

    It inevitably becomes a downward spiral that continues until the relationship falls apart.

    The only way to have a good relationship is if you demand a good relationship from him. If you don’t, and give him everything he wants to make him want to stay with you, you’re sabotaging the relationship and destroying your chances with him.

    Mistake #2: Giving Him Tons Of Affection

    This ties back into the first mistake – except instead of convincing him to get back together with you by putting up with his bad behavior, you’re trying to convince him to get back together by showering him with affection.

    The key mistake here is trying to convince him to get back together with you. That makes you look needy and desperate – which will turn him off completely.

    When you shower him with attention and affection, it shows him that you’re desperate. He knows you love him – he just broke up with you. When you remind him how much you love him, what actually happens is that he thinks you’re trying to manipulate him into getting back together with him, and it turns him off.

    Remember, a conclusion he comes to on his own is always going to be way more powerful than a conclusion you manipulate him into making.

    Mistake #3: Trying To Use Pity To Get Him Back

    Pity isn’t attractive. Neither is begging.

    When you first got together with him, you didn’t beg him to be with you. You didn’t rely on his pity for him to go on a date with you. Those things won’t help you now.

    All begging or using pity does is convince him that he made the right move. It sabotages your vibe and makes you seem needy and desperate, which forces him to recoil from you and push you away from his life.

    Mistake #4: Getting Super Jealous If He Starts Dating Someone New

    Obviously, this can feel like a super upsetting thing. After all, he’s dating someone new, that means your chances are ruined, right?

    Actually, not nearly as much as you’d think. Like we talked about before, when a guy starts dating after a serious relationship, it’s almost always a rebound relationship – not a real one.

    And rebound relationships are totally ineffective ways of moving on. All it will do is remind him that he cares about you more, and that he wants you back in his life.

    Acting jealous won’t make him want to come back to you – it will do the opposite. It will push him even further towards the other girl, and once again make you come off as needy and desperate.

    Mistake #5: Calling And Texting Him All The Time

    This is covered by the no contact rule, and it’s one of the biggest reasons the no contact rule exists.

    Your instincts are going to be screaming at you to call him and text him all the time. You miss him, you want to talk to him, you want him to acknowledge you, you want contact with him!

    Unfortunately, your instincts are working against you. Contact with him will only push him further away and tell him he was right to break up with you.

    So as hard as it is, it’s best to follow the no contact rule. Without it, it’s much more likely that you make this fatal mistake.

    Mistake #6: Acting Cold, Aloof, Nasty, Or Desperate Towards Him

    Just like your instincts are telling you to call and text him, they’ll also be telling you to be nasty to him. After all, he broke your heart! It’s only natural that you’ll want to hurt him back.

    This will obviously work against you – by driving him further away and reinforcing in his mind that he doesn’t want you in his life. Even if it feels good in the short run as a cathartic release of pain and frustration, in the long run it will surely drive him away from you forever.

    Remember – causing him pain won’t make him want to get back together with you. It will just mess you up and push him away.

    Mistake #7: Trying To Make Him Jealous By Talking About Other Guys

    This is another reason for the no contact rule – to prevent you from making this fatal mistake.

    If you’re trying to make him jealous by flaunting the fact that you’re seeing other guys in his face, all it will do is make you look desperate.

    He’ll be able to see right through it (after all, you’re seeing other guys to make HIMjealous, so he’s still in control), and it will feel like you’re trying to manipulate him. That will turn him off and drive him away from you faster than anything else – so definitely avoid this mistake.

    Mistake #8: Talking To Him About The Relationship And Asking Him About His Love Life

    Like we talked about before, letting him come to his own conclusions is much stronger and more powerful than trying to lead him there yourself.

    It’s so much stronger when we figure out something on our own than when someone else tells us.

    It’s like when you realize something on your own vs when a friend tells you something. It’s more powerful when it’s self generated.

    It’s more powerful when you realize something on your own.

    So let him come to his own conclusions about the relationship. Don’t ask him how his love life is going now, let him realize that it’s not as good as when you were dating.

    Those are the top fatal mistakes that will destroy your chances at getting him back.

    Now it’s time to move on to step 3 – what you should be doing during the no contact period.

    Step 3: Get Stronger While He Gets Weaker

    So you might be wondering: what am I supposed to be doing during the no contact period? There’s a very simple answer to that: you’re going to be getting stronger while he gets weaker.

    While he notices your absence from his life more and more, you’re going to be improving yourself, feeling better, stronger, and more independent, and becoming physically and emotionally healthier.

    That means that as you grow as a person, become more comfortable, confident, and happy, and gain perspective on the relationship, he’ll be sliding backwards into thinking about you, missing you, and ultimately wanting you back.

    Think about it this way: these 4 weeks of no contact are your detox period. You’re detoxifying yourself from the relationship, and getting past all the pain and heartbreak of the breakup.

    If you never detox from the relationship, then that same negativity, desperation, and pain will prevent you from ever getting him back. After all, you can’t get your ex boyfriend backif your mind is working against you.

    What does it mean for your mind to be working against you?

    It means that your negative emotions are in control of you. The pain of heartbreak is in control of your mind (and driving you towards all sorts of bad instincts, described in Step 2), and if you don’t detox and get rid of that pain it will push him away from you for good.

    These 4 weeks of no contact are your detox period.

    Think about it this way: negative emotions and feelings are working against you, and will wind up pushing him away, while positive emotions and feelings will work for you, and magnetically draw him back to you.

    You need a foundation of positive emotions in order to get him back – and to do that you have to let go of your negative emotions.

    The best, most effective way to let go of negative emotions is to point blank accept the fact that the relationship is over. It’s not something to pine over, something to hope for, something to obsess over – it’s gone.

    When you can let go of your relationship and accept the fact that at the moment you’re completely single, it will get rid of the root of any insecurity and empower you to bring positivity back into your life.

    The best first step to take towards detox is this: get rid of all reminders of your relationship and your ex boyfriend.

    You don’t have to throw them away – but definitely put them away in a place you don’t have easy access to, and whatever you do don’t revisit them.

    So write down his phone number and address on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere out of the way, then delete them out of your phone. Get rid of all the pictures on your computer and your phone that remind you of him. Delete his screen names from your lists and get rid of his emails and texts.

    Don’t delete him off Facebook – just ‘unfollow’ him so it doesn’t look like you unfriended him.

    Take any gifts and physical reminders that you have of him and put them away and out of sight. Remember, your goal is to have nothing that reminds you of him in your day to day life.

    The second step towards detox is to erase his power over you.

    The more you think about him, the more you’re going to miss him.

    That’s why actively fighting your urge to obsess over him is going to serve you so well in the long run – because the more you obsess over him, the more power he has over you, and the less that you’re able to get over him.

    Instead of thinking about him, there are a number of things you can do to trick your mind into forgetting about him for a while, so that you can relax and stop obsessing.

    There are a few great ways to do that. The most effective one is also the simplest – set your mind on someone else.

    The more you think about him, the more you’re going to miss him.

    It’s easier said than done, but by far the easiest way to get over an ex is to start thinking about someone else that’s new in your life. Think about other men and set your desire on them, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly your mind turns to the new guy (and not obsessing about your ex).

    A great exercise is to try fantasizing about other men. Try to do it at least once per day. Even if it feels silly, pick the guy you’re most attracted to and go for it.

    It works better with guys you know in real life, but if you’re having trouble getting started then pick your favorite actor. The important part is that you do this once per day, and that you really stick with it. It might not seem like it’s doing much at first, but in reality it’s detoxing your mind consciously and unconsciously from your ex, and putting you in a much better mental state.

    The third thing to do to erase his power over you is simple. Take out a pen and paper and write down all the things you didn’t like about your relationship with your ex. Everything he did that annoyed you, all the things you didn’t like about the relationship, and even all the things you didn’t like about BEING in a relationship.

    Write all those things down and focus on them. That will help force your brain to realize that your relationship with him wasn’t all sunshine and happiness, and in fact there were a lot of reasons that you might not have been happy. Do that – and you’ll make huge strides in erasing his power over you.

    So Other Than That, What Should You Be Doing During No Contact?

    The best thing to do for yourself is to focus on yourself – and focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be.

    One of the best possible things to do during no contact is start exercising (or to throw yourself into exercising if you already have a program).

    Not only does it help you look your best, it gives you a place where you can stop thinking about your ex and just put all your focus and energy into your workout.

    Plus, working out improves your mental state and makes you feel way better about yourself. The endorphins flooding your brain help you detox from the relationship and move on even faster.

    Getting compliments from other guys definitely helps you move on too. One of the best ways to move on is to have a bunch of guys in your life who are fighting for your favor.

    When you’re friends with other guys, then your ex has to wonder if one of them is dating you. You don’t have to date any of them, but just being friends with them and having them around is enough to give you a confidence boost and help you get over your ex.

    Plus, you can use those guys as emotional support too, instead of feeling the instinct to lean on your ex.

    Finally, the most important thing to focus on during the no contact period is your vibe.

    What’s Your Vibe? Your vibe is your most attractive asset. It can work for you or against you, and when it’s working for you it’s magnetically attractive to any guy.

    Your vibe is essentially your mood. It’s how you’re genuinely feeling at the moment (not how you’re pretending to be, but what you’re genuinely and truly feeling deep down).

    So when your mood is genuinely good, relaxed, and happy, your vibe reflects that. When you’re feeling anxious, worried, desperate, or upset, your vibe reflects that too.

    There is nothing more attractive to a guy than a woman who has a good vibe. Women who have a genuinely good vibe are more attractive to guys than any woman with a bad vibe, even if she’s got super-model looks.

    The best way to understand what your vibe is and what it does for you is to use an example from your own life. Think about a friend you’ve known, either now or in the past, who just can’t help being negative.

    There is nothing more attractive to a guy than a woman who has a good vibe.

    It seems like every time you talk to this friend, they’re complaining about something that’s gone wrong in their life, or telling you about a problem that’s not their fault, or unburdening their unhappiness onto you.

    It doesn’t feel good to talk to that friend, does it? When you see their name pop up on their phone, do you get an excited, positive charge?

    No! You wind up with a sinking feeling in your gut! You’re not excited to talk to them, you’re dreading it.

    That’s all because of their vibe. Because of their negativity, their vibe suffers, and it doesn’t feel good to be around them. If their vibe was good (because they worked on being in a good mood more), then you would feel happy and excited to talk to them.

    That’s what you’re aiming for in your own life. When your vibe is fun, happy, and positive, people will be excited and happy to get closer with you.

    The best way to make sure your vibe is as positive as possible is to focus on making sure you’re in the best mood possible, and the best way to do that is to do the things that make you feel good.

    During the no contact period, fill your life with things you love to do. Things that make you feel whole and that are massively fun to you.

    When you focus on the things you really enjoy doing, it automatically improves your mood and revitalizes your vibe. One great thing to do is to put pictures of yourself doing all the things you love to do up on Facebook – because it’s super attractive to guys to see that you’re having fun and enjoying yourself.

    Guys are attracted to a woman who has her own life, her own happiness, and feels whole outside of a relationship. In an ideal world, your relationship is just the icing on the cake – it’s not what makes your life good, but having it in your life makes your life better.

    So focus on your vibe by doing the things that make you feel good and make you feel whole. When you do that, you naturally help yourself move on from the relationship (and become massively more attractive to your ex in the process.

    If you’ve followed all these directions, eventually you’ll come to the end of the no contact period – and you’ll move on to Step 4.

    Step 4: What To Do When He Reaches Out (Or How To Reach Out To Him)

    At this point, take a second to pat yourself on the back. You made it to step 4 – and that’s worthy of congratulations.

    At this point, the image of you as someone desperate, needy, and clingy in the mind of your ex has faded, and he’s almost certainly wondering what you’re up to.

    He’s also thinking about the good times you two had together, now that the fresh memories of the painful breakup has faded.

    And therefore, now is the perfect time to strike.

    Here are the conditions you should have met by now, in order to maximize your chances of getting him back:

    • You haven’t contacted him in a full 4 weeks and followed the no contact rule.
    • You’ve gone out with another guy at least one time during no contact (this is maybe the best way to eliminate needy and desperate behavior and give you the best chance of getting your ex back)
    • You’ve put time and effort into making your life better and making positive changes.
    • You’ve fully accepted the fact that you and your ex have broken up, and you believe that you’ll be OK no matter whether you get back together with him or not.
    • You know deep in your heart that even if things don’t work out with your ex, there are millions of other guys out there that can’t wait to give you the love and happiness you’re looking for.
    • You’ve recovered mentally from the breakup and are in a much better mental state.
    • You’re confident and convinced that getting back together with your ex is the right decision.


    If you can check off every item on this list, then you’re ready to get in contact with your ex. If he hasn’t contacted you by the end of your 4th week of no contact, it’s time to reach out and get in touch, then meet up, and then… He won’t be able to help himself.

    While he’s been missing you and remembering the good times, you’ve been improving your mind, body, and self-image, and the full package will be irresistible.

    So if you’ve successfully gone at least 4 weeks without contacting him, and you’ve made serious improvements in your life (by following the advice in Step 3), then you’re ready to reach out to him.

    How Should You Reach Out To Him? When it comes to reaching out to your ex, the best way to do it is through text messages. You don’t want to call him right away – better to let him build attraction in his mind before you two talk on the phone.

    So that begs the question – what kind of text should you send him?

    When you’re breaking the ice and contacting him again, the best kind of text is one that gives him a reason why you’re texting him, and also gets him thinking about you again.

    One of the best ways to do that is to tell him about something positive that happened in your life that reminded you of him.

    The best kind of text gets him thinking about you again.

    Maybe a TV show or movie you saw recently made you think of him. Maybe you saw a commercial for a vacation and it reminded you of a trip you took with him.

    Whatever it is – it’s an opportunity to text him, “Hey, I saw a commercial for a cruise the other day and it reminded me when we went to the beach for a week together. That was so much fun, I’m really glad we did that together.”

    The most important thing to remember is that you want to be subtle and positive. You’re not texting him to try to get him back, you’re not texting him to remind him of the relationship, you’re not even texting him to get him to like you again.

    The reason you’re texting him is because it would be fun and feel good to talk to him again – and nothing more. No hidden motivation (like trying to get him back), no manipulation, and no agendas.

    Now, a lot of the time, your ex will actually text you first. And when that happens, you’re going to want to have the perfect response already lined up.

    That’s why I wrote this article about how to respond to your ex’s text messages.

    Whatever message you want to send to him (whether it’s “I miss you and would love to get back together” or “stop texting me freak I want nothing to do with you”), you’ll find out the best way to say it in that article.

    Now let’s get back to getting in touch with him after the no contact period is over.

    Whatever you do, when you first text him, don’t bring up the relationship or the breakup. Don’t talk about how much you miss him, or that you want to get back together, or that you’re miserable that he’s not in your life.

    Along the same veins, never text him with negativity. Don’t send him bitter or angry messages that will 100% make him ignore your texts and undo all your hard work in the no contact period.

    At the same time, your text can’t just be ‘nothing’ either. Sending him a text that says nothing, like ‘heyyy’, or just a smiley emoji is going to turn him off.

    One more thing to remember: don’t text him over and over again. Give him time and space to respond to your text, and never send him more than one text message in a row without him texting you back.

    Here’s your mindset when you reach out to him: you’re happy, strong, content with your life, and fulfilled. You know you’re attractive, and you have full choice in your love life.

    You’re not trying to get him back, you just think that it would be a shame to throw away such a good friendship that you two had.

    The way to frame the conversation is just like this: you’ve reflected on the breakup, and you fully believe that breaking up was the right thing to do – and that it was for the best for both of you. Still, it would be stupid to throw away such a great friendship.

    How To Meet Up With Him:

    The best way to ask your ex out again is NOT to call it a date. Remember – you want to be friends with him and keep your friendship going – and calling it a date is going to send

    him running (because it reveals that you have an agenda of getting back together with him, which will turn him off more than anything).

    As long as you’ve completed the items on the list above and really put in the work, you’re going to feel and look great when you see him.

    You’ll be super attractive, super confident, and super laid back – ready to just have a good time with him and enjoy yourselves together.

    The best way to ask your ex out again is NOT to call it a date.

    The most effective way to get him to come out and see you is by calling him. You can suggest meeting up for coffee or a drink, with the mindset that they’re a friend you want to meet up with, not an ex-boyfriend you want to get back.

    As long as you focus all your energy and attention on having a good time in the moment with him and making sure that your mood is good (which makes sure that your vibe is good, which is the most attractive thing you can do), then the work you put in during the no contact period will do the rest.

    Remember – the thing he’ll remember most about seeing you again (more than what you said, or what you did together, or who paid, or what you were wearing, or anything else), is your vibe.

    If you’re wearing your cutest outfit and you’ve been working out and you look amazing and you have an awesome tan and you’re having a perfect hair day and you’re in a bad mood and have a bad vibe… that’s the only thing he’s going to remember.

    (Sure, he might think “she looked good…”, but he’ll also be thinking “spending time with her felt really bad, I remember why we broke up.”)

    It’s important for him to feel really good about spending time with you again… especially if things ended badly between you. The contrast between how things felt at the end of your relationship and how things feel now is key in getting back together with him.

    If things felt awful, strained, and tense at the end of your relationship (which is very normal), then making sure your vibe is good is the best thing you can do. That way, he’ll be shocked at the difference in how it feels to be around you.

    He’ll feel amazed at how good it feels to be with you if your vibe is good – which will remind him instantly of why you dated in the first place (and get the gears spinning in his head that you should maybe start dating again.)

    If you’re in a bad mood and have a bad vibe… that’s all he’s going to remember.

    All a bad vibe will do is remind him of when you two broke up – and reinforce in his mind that you’re better off apart.

    So remember – when you meet up with him again after your breakup and after the no contact rule, it’s all about your vibe!

    I hope this helped you understand exactly what to do in order to get your ex back. There’s one more thing to remember – even when you do get him back it’s very difficult to keep him… unless you know how to make him want to be with you and only you forever. You need this secret formula to get your ex back in your arms for good. It will reveal how to get him to see you as “the one” and desperately crave you by his side forever. If you don’t read this now you might miss your chance to get him back forever so don’t wait: Do You Want Your Ex Back? Use This To Get Them Back…

    Step 5: Take The ‘Can I Get My Ex Back’ Quiz

    Take this quiz right now to get personalized advice based on you and your specific situation. This quiz will gather all the information necessary to knowing exactly where you and your ex stand, and what the most effective way to get him back is. THE QUIZ
     

    In summary…Exactly How To Get Your Ex Back

    Step 1: Cut off contact with him
    Step 2: Avoid the fatal mistakes by ignoring your instincts
    Step 3: Get stronger while he gets weaker by working on yourself
    Step 4: Do the right things when he reaches out to you (here’s what to do)
    Step 5: Take the Quiz

  • Whether you two are in love, like, or lust, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to have sex that's as dirty as it is tender...
    82861288 3517 4fe8 9b0e 40a7aef883c8 valentines day sex moves couple in bed
    Category: Dating Tips | February 13, 2018

    Valentine's Day comes with a ton of pressure and expectations, and the holiday only gets trickier when you're broke AF and still dying to spoil your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you're doing V-Day on a budget this year, I'd say one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is a mind-blowing night in the boudoir. (That's my way of saying multiple orgasms. You can give them multiple orgasms). It's easier said than done, I know, but studying these five Valentine's Day sex positions is a good place to start.

    In my opinion, this holiday is not the time to go all Fifty Shades on your partner. Instead, it's an opportunity to engage in intimate, special, and crazyromantic sex moves. Whether you two are in love, like, or lust, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to have sex that's as dirty as it is tender. (As in, not the "Oh, let's get a quickie in before Westworld starts" kind. Hmm? That was just my exes? Cool, cool, cool.)

    So break out the bubble bath, stock up on chocolate syrup, and light enough candles to hold a freaking vigil. Here are five scorchingly hot sex moves to try with your partner this Valentine's Day.

    The Edible Arrangement

    That's right, friends. Strawberries aren't the only thing you should be covering in chocolate this holiday. This move is simple and sexy and absolutely scrumptious: Just drizzle chocolate all over your partner and lap it up like the sex kitten you are. Be sure to twirl that tongue around, too — don't want to miss any drips.

    (Note: Chocolate syrup's fine to throw on men, but opt for chocolate-flavored lube or even coconut oil if your partner's female. Otherwise, you run the risk of giving them a yeast infection, and no one wants that.)

    The Rose In Bloom
    This one's basically your standard Lotus Position, but with a Valentine's Day twist. Sprinkle your bed with roses, then sit down facing one another, and have the receiving partner wrap their legs around the penetrating partner. The motion here is more about slowly grinding and rocking than aggressively thrusting, which makes it feel a million times more intimate.

    The Sensual Soaker
    Sure, shower sex is hot in the movies, but it's far from romantic in real life. (So much slipping, so much sliding, so many questions about where and how to prop up your leg.) Instead, fill your bathtub with bubbles and essential oils, light a few dozen candles, and hop into the tub with your SO.

    Use your hands to lather up every inch of their body, mixing up your speed, pressure, and focus areas as their arousal increases  (you can even use the shower head as a sex toy, if you really want to take things up a notch).

    The Rocking Horse
    Similar to a cowgirl position, but with a rocking motion instead of an up-and-down bounce. Have the receiving partner straddle the penetrating partner, with their knees bent on the bed (or floor, or pool table, or field of wildflowers — you do you). Then simply lean forward and grind your hips forwards and backwards.

    By swapping the bouncing for a slow grind, you've not only got a better shot at stimulating all the right spots (it is V-Day, after all), you also have the opportunity to kiss and nibble your partner's neck, shoulders, earlobes — everywhere.

    The Anvil de L'Amour
    French makes everything sound sexier, doesn't it? Anvil is a Kama Sutra position, wherein the receiving partner lies on their back, with their legs wrapped around the penetrating partner's neck (or on top of either shoulder). It's a move that has you two wrapped up insanely close, allowing you to deepen your pleasure and chemistry.

    All that's missing is a little Marvin Gaye.

  • In fact, a new study by Ebates found that a lot of people agree a Valentine's Day proposal isn't really that cheesy...
    44f83927 e23e 43e3 baef 83fb3df13d3b stocksy txpb230a7c3s2p100 small 1511174
    Category: Dating Tips | February 12, 2018

    Every Valentine's Day, my newsfeed gets clogged with three kinds of posts: the sappy "I love you" Valentine's Day shoutouts to people's significant others, unnecessarily bitter single people complaining about the fact that they're single on Valentine's Day, and finally, people sharing proposal pictures. The sappy "I love you" posts make me want to vomit, the bitter single people make me want to gouge my eyes out, but the Valentine's Day proposals leave me in a little bit of a grey area in terms of my feelings toward them. On one hand, a Valentine's Day proposal feels so cliche and overdone. But then, on the other hand, if you're going to pick a holiday to propose on, why not pick the most romantic day of the year?

    In fact, a new study by Ebates found that a lot of people agree a Valentine's Day proposal isn't really that cheesy. Propeller Insights surveyed 1,008 American adults for Ebates, and they found that, surprisingly, a significant percent of Americans don't find a Valentine's Day proposal as cheesy as one might think. In fact, 48 percent of us agree that a Valentine's Day proposal is actually romantic. I mean, Valentine's Day is literally a national holiday dedicated to celebrating being in love... is it really that outlandish to imagine getting proposed to on that day? I don't think so.

    Even if you aren't making the decision to spend the rest of your lives together on Valentine's Day, the study found that most of us (64 percent) still plan on celebrating the holiday.

    So how should you go about celebrating? Don't worry, the survey looked into that, too. For the most part, they found that people like to celebrate with some yummy food. Almost half of the respondents agreed that they would be celebrating the most romantic night of the year with dinner at a nice restaurant. Slightly less than a third of them (28 percent) wanted to celebrate with a chill night in, and I'm assuming they're also going to be eating whilst in, so, like, again, people are celebrating with yummy food. Only a small 23 percent of people said they'll be celebrating with some sort of rom-com-style grand gesture, like "a horse-drawn carriage" (who can afford this???) or a "thoughtful gift."

    In addition to just celebrating with each other, the survey also found that people are planning on treating their baes to some gifts. So if you're worried your SO might not treat you on V-Day, fret no more. Over half of the respondents (54 percent) admitted they were going to get a gift for their partner. And if you're one of those people not planning on buying a gift, you better watch out. Almost the same amount (49 percent) said they were also expecting a gift in return.

    The most popular gift choice is, surprisingly, pretty simple: Over a third (34 percent) of Americans agree a night out would be an ideal gift. At an extremely close second in popularity is the classic chocolates, with slightly less than a third (32 percent) agreeing this would be the best Valentine's Day gift.

    Following the chocolates in popularity is a bouquet of flowers, accompanied by a thoughtful card, with 26 percent of their respondents saying they'd like this. If you're planning on going down this route, it's probably a safe bet to go with roses. Why? Because the study found that 47 percent of the Americans who wanted flowers preferred roses. Another fun fact: We may give dudes grief for never listening to us, but the survey found that way more men (61 percent) know what their bae's favorite flower is than women (37 percent) do.

    Finally, a small 23 percent of people said they'd love a gift card... but my only question is to where? Like, a sexy Victoria's Secret gift card I understand, or maybe even a spa gift card. But what if your partner gets you a gift card to, like, Starbucks? Speaking of, is there anything you shouldn't you get? Well, almost a quarter (24 percent) of Americans said a gym membership and tools were tied for the worst possible gifts. And yeah, those suck pretty badly.

    None of these gift ideas may have sounded extravagant, and that's because, well, who can afford extravagant, honestly? The survey found almost half of Americans (44 percent) are still doing some saving following the holiday season, so they're not trying to spend anything more than $25. Only 13 percent said they were willing to splurge by buying over $50.

    “Our research shows that Americans are interested in spending quality time together and buying meaningful gifts,” said Amit Patel, CEO of Ebates. “Ebatesis the one-stop shop for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s saving on a romantic dinner, flowers or chocolates. We make it easy to get the perfect gifts for all your loved ones.”

    Cheers to whatever you plan to do on Valentine's Day. Remember, just don't buy a drill for anyone, and you'll probably have a good day.

  • Fb384651 ee27 461f a55a 9ea683294377 stocksy txp0f09a33ecyo100 small 519136
    Category: Dating Tips | February 11, 2018

    With Valentine's Day just around the corner, couples everywhere have officially started stressing about making plans and figuring out WTF to get their baes. If you are on a budget and are looking for some heartfelt, free Valentine's Day gifts, then you are in luck, because they definitely do exist. Despite what consumerism and Hallmark holidays might lead us to believe, there is pretty much no connection between love and spending hundreds of dollars on expensive jewelry and a lavish meal. And while I'm pretty sure 0 percent of people would object to being treated like royalty, there's absolutely no shame in being thrifty. And if this is the case, then creativity is key.

    It's worth noting that expectations when it comes to Valentine's Day plans and gifts vary from person to person, so it's important to communicate with your partner and get a solid feel for how they feel about the holiday. However, a good gift certainly doesn't have to be expensive. But it definitely needs to be thoughtful. If you're truly feeling stumped on what your partner might appreciate, then spend some time thinking about their lifestyle and what could make their life a little better or easier. Here are some free(ish)  gift ideas to get you started.

    1. A Coupon Book
    This go-to couples' gift has earned its title for a reason: It's hard to go wrong with a homemade coupon book promising anything you know your partner loves —  from their favorite meal to sexual favors to foot massages. And while it might not be the most original idea, it's still a sweet way to show them you care.

    2. A Fancy, Home-Cooked Meal
    If your bae is a foodie and you've got some skillz in the kitchen, why not enjoy a romantic, candlelit dinner at your place? While this isn't completely free (you know, because ingredients), this idea will still save you a ton of money compared to going out to a bougie restaurant. If you want extra brownie points, take a risk and plan a unique 3-course menu for them, complete with some of their favorite ingredients.

    3. A Mixtape
    And by "mixtape," I totally mean a Spotify playlist — unless your bae is into kicking it old school, of course. If having something tangible to give them is important to you, then this gift can be dressed up by loading the playlist(s) onto a cute USB drive.

    4. A Love Letter
    Sadly, handwritten letters professing your undying love are turning into a bit of a lost art form. This is totally sad, as few things are as romantic as reading your bae's innermost feelings whenever you need a sentimental pick-me-up. If you really want to impress them, go for some snazzy stationary that will hold up to a bit of wear and tear.

    5. A Photo Album Chronicling Your Relationship
    This has got to be one of the most heartfelt, meaningful gifts I have ever received. Depending on if you're OK with spending some money, then you may want to purchase a cute photo album. But if you want to stay in completely free territory, a digital album is perfectly acceptable.

    6. Plan A Staycation For The Two Of You
    Sometimes, the best gift of all is just being able to enjoy a relaxing weekend without interruptions. Planning a weekend getaway can definitely get pricey, so a cost-efficient alternative is to organize a staycation. Are they a fan of the outdoors? Cool! Pitch a tent in the backyard. You can also string up some romantic lights around the living room and finally have that movie marathon of classics you can't believe they still haven't seen.

  • The pursuit of love is a path we all travel, sometimes many times over...
    How to tell if a girl is interested
    Category: Dating Tips | February 09, 2018

    I know because I was there: reading and absorbing everything I could in my own pursuit of lasting, healthy love. I found myself more frustrated than satisfied. More hopeless than hopeful that true and lasting love was possible for me. Finally, I tossed aside all the books and everything I had "learned" about manifesting and embarked on my own journey.

    Through my journey, I discovered that manifesting is a lot more than spiritually bypassing the "believe it and you will see it" idea that's so popular in today's culture. It was through this honest and personal journey that I discovered a thoroughly modern, distilled, and pragmatic means through which we manifest what we desire in a way that provides both sustainable attraction and long-lasting change to our lives. This process helps us to authentically manifest very real, very tangible things in our life, and there is no place more deserving, and more wanted, of this tried-and-true form of manifesting than our personal romantic relationships. So, let’s get started:

    1. Know your worth.

    One of the very first things I guide my clients through is an in-depth exploration of self-worth. By magnetizing this area and removing blocks that keep us rooted in low self-esteem, we begin to shift how easefully we are capable of attracting quality people to us. It's important to note that many of these subconscious beliefs around worth are created in our formative years and center heavily around our caretakers and life experiences during this time.

    If you need help uncovering and reprogramming these beliefs, you may wish to work with someone who can guide you. This is a fundamental step, however, as when our self-worth is low we find this reflected in the people who are drawn to us. It’s not that we are not worthy of high quality, healthy, and beautiful people and relationships! It’s that we must believe and be so firmly rooted in high self-worth that we ARE in fact worthy of this in order for these people and relationships to enter our lives.

    2. Know what you want—and also what you don't.

    This will go against a lot of what we have been taught and has been beaten into our minds regarding manifesting, but it’s high time we debunk this myth. The root of all of our manifesting comes from the highly generative subconscious, not our thoughts. You manifest what you don’t want by having a subconscious, which is heavily rooted in limiting beliefs, all of which center around your being unable, unworthy, or incapable of having that which you desire.

    Knowing the type of partner you are looking for (adventurous, compassionate, conscious), how you wish to feel by him/her (supported, loved, accepted), as well as what you don’t want (liars, cheaters, unwilling to commit) is central to forming a list that encapsulates what you are and are not looking for.

    This list then serves as your petition to the subconscious, to the Universe, of what you desire and are calling forth. It is worth noting in this section that you cannot manifest someone into loving or finally committing to you. You can only manifest for the self, so save yourself the time and the creation of more low self-worth. If someone needs to be manifested or otherwise led into loving you, then they are not worthy of the love you provide.

    3. Think small.

    When I was first manifesting love, I was all about the destination. Sound familiar? We want a healthy relationship, lots of passion, intimacy, and loyalty in the form of readily available and unwavering commitment. We want the marriage and the white picket fence with 2.5 kids. All of this is great and a wonderful stretch goal, but the truth is, when I was trying to manifest these things I hadn’t been on a date in over six months! Which made this list of what I wanted a bit out of reach vibrationally and practically.

    I had to start first with manifesting dating experiences. By opening up the pathways for energy to flow through these dating experiences, I was moving myself closer and closer to the ultimate goal: making manifesting that a lot more practical than when I hadn’t been out on a date in half a year. Take your big goal and begin chunking it down until you have several smaller goals. These are exponentially easier to manifest and draw toward, you and as these things are manifested, you find you are organically and very efficiently moving yourself closer to your ultimate goal. Think of manifesting as being like a recipe. You have to follow the steps in the order they are provided if you want that dish to taste sublime.

    4. Be prepared for the tests.

    When I was first manifesting a partner, I was surprised to see how many ex-lovers started to roll into my life. It took me off my game for a while because I saw the arrival of old lovers as a sign. Maybe they were ready! Or maybe I was being tested.

    Same goes for when someone who almost fit my list would arrive on the scene. I would allow self-doubt to tell me I was being too picky or that I shouldn’t let a good one go because who knows if this is it? Nope, I was being tested. The universe will test us with the proverbial carrot to test our resolve. Are we fully rooted in our worth and not willing to settle for less than what we know we deserve? Do we want a partner more than we want the self-respect of fully intact self-worth? Are we willing to settle for less?

    Don’t worry if you have "failed" a test. I've failed many. It may set us back a bit, but it does not in any way, shape, or form mean that we have failed the art of manifesting. It simply means we must get even more dialed into what we desire as well as our self-worth so that when the next test arrives, we pass with flying colors.

    5. Be ready to receive.

    Our subconscious beliefs serve as the programming we upload to the computer of our brain. These beliefs program our brain on what information to accept and process and what information to ignore and reject. This is a necessary function of our brain, as it is subjected to millions of bits of information every minute and cannot possibly take in and process all of it. It is our beliefs that then inform our brain on what information to accept. So if you believe you are not worthy of love, your brain will only seek out and accept only information that affirms this and reject the plethora of evidence to the contrary. Be ready to receive that love.

    We are all here with ample love to give and want to be seen, valued, and loved for who we are. Manifesting this in a partner and a relationship is absolutely possible when we take the time to move through the process. It may require a bit more work than the standard "just think it into being," but I promise you it equally brings far more sustainable satisfaction and results.

  • How to get your crush to text you back and start a loving romance...
    How to get your crush to text you back
    Category: Dating Tips | February 07, 2018

    When you reach out to someone you really like, you want them to respond, right? Then learning how to get your crush to text you back is crucial.

    Not everyone will just reply to a simple, “Hey.” It’s not interesting, it’s not engaging and worst of all, it’s not memorable. You want your crush to see you as being set apart from the crowd, right? Then you want to figure out how to get your crush to text you back.

    And that means luring them into it. Some people are too busy and may not think your texts are of importance. You need to make them see that you are so you can start a real conversation.

    That first conversation and the few following are the most important

    This really sets the basis of your to-be relationship. The better you connect during those first few conversations, the better chance you have of locking them down and becoming a real couple.

    That’s why you can’t just wing it – especially if you’re the nervous type. You’re bound to mess up a time or two but if you plan for a way to talk, you can avoid deal-breaking screw-ups. And knowing how to get them to actually engage in those conversations is most important. [Read: 40 first date questions to have a great conversation]

    How to get your crush to text you back and start a loving romance

    If you really want your crush to text you back, you need something they won’t be able to resist. That means you need something clever. Here are some messages to send their way that’ll make them want to reply right away.

    #1 “Did I just see you at __________?” This can be completely made up – and that’s what makes it so clever. You can be out and about and just text them as if you saw them there. You know the answer will be “no” but you’ll get a reply either way.

    And that’s just because they won’t want to seem like they’re ignoring you if you really think it was them. So go ahead and send this one, but don’t do it more than once.

    #2 “I have to know. What’s your favorite place to eat around here?” This seems like a pretty general question, but the fact that you’re saying you “have” to know makes it seem more urgent. And it makes them want to comply since you feel it’s so important. You can also use this information later when you finally get to go on a date.

    #3 “Why haven’t you texted me yet today?” This one is very bold and should only be done if you have some back and forth going already. AKA, you flirt a bit already and are relatively comfortable.

    If you do this when things are still super new, it’ll basically ruin everything. It’ll seem pushy and even clingy. So only do this once you’re comfortable with each other and can tease one another. Then this one is perfect and they’ll feel guilty and also happy that you wanted them to talk to you. [Read: How to text flirt with a friend]

    #4 “Remember when we talked about _____? I have a new take on it!” This is perfect if you had a great discussion a day or so prior and want to pick back up with it. Now, you actually have to have a new take on the subject or this will be too obvious of an excuse to talk to them. If you do it right, they’ll reply right away with this one.

    #5 “Wow. You were right. That Netflix series is amazing. But there’s just ONE problem with it.” People are defensive by nature. We all want to confirm that our opinions and thoughts are true. That being said, saying this will definitely pique their interest and make them want to know how you could disagree with them.

    #6 “Hey! Did you write down that assignment? I totally blanked during it.” Obviously, this one only works if you’re in school together. They don’t just want to leave you hanging so they’ll reply right away. Just don’t make a habit out of it or it’ll be annoying and they’ll start to think you only want to talk to them for school stuff. [Read: How to text a girl for the first time and leave a good impression]

    #7 “I was just telling my friend about the _____ you told me about and just can’t remember the name.” This could be a band or a unique food or really anything. It just has to be something you’d actually forget. It can be a little tricky to come up with but if you think back to all the things you’ve talked about, you’re bound to come up with something.

    This works because it’s simple. They want to give you information you’ve already received before. Plus they’re probably a little curious and excited as to why you’re talking to your friend about them.

    #8 “I just saw that movie and couldn’t stop thinking about you during it!” This isn’t just cute, it’s also confirming you’re watching something they told you to. So not only are you connecting with them, you’re also telling them that it reminded you of them. They’ll want to know which aspects and basically, they’ll want details.

    #9 “I had an interesting dream about you last night.” This can get a little weird if you’ve only just started talking. But if you’ve been into each other for a while, this is perfect. People are curious by nature and since dreams can be of pretty much anything, they’ll be interested to know what yours was about.

    #10 “Good morning! Hope you had a great night and have an even better day!” It’s really simple, but it’s so sweet that it would be rude and mean to not reply. And that’s the point. They’ll text you back right away and you can discuss their plans for the day and then some.

    #11 “I’ve got a bone to pick with you!” Not only is this really funny, it’s pretty playful too. They’ll never know what you have to argue about and because humans are curious creatures, they’ll want to know right away. It can even be something tiny and insignificant.

    #12 “I can’t think of a single thing to watch on Netflix. Any suggestions?” People always want to suggest their favorite shows and movies. And if this person likes you even a little bit, they’ll be throwing suggestions at you right away. It’s all about getting them to give you names because then you have other material to talk about, too.

    Knowing how to get your crush to text you back is essential for keeping your connection open and even deepening it. These clever texts will intrigue them and make it nearly impossible to resist replying.

  • More often than not, the truth can set you free, but sometimes it can kill you...
    Resentment in a relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | February 06, 2018

    More often than not, the truth can set you free, but sometimes it can kill you if you can’t take it. And this might be one of those times.

    What you’re about to read and try is likely to blow such a big hole through you and your spouse’s denial that your relationship may not survive. And truly, if you have one of the above conditions, it could actually kill you.*

    On the other hand, it also has a very good chance of bringing back trust, intimacy and love that has been dormant rather than dead for decades. If it does that, one or both of you are likely to begin convulsing — and I am serious — as you reawaken it.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    As I looked out at the marital and relationship landscape I saw at first the leak and then the hemorrhaging of trust, intimacy and love out of them. I saw relationships have all the relating leave them and turn into arrangements. I saw couples who didn’t want that to happen but had no way to stop it and no way to bring back the trust, love and intimacy.

    The tragedy of something that could have been preventable or retrievable has caused me to search for an elixir and antidote.

    And here it is.

    The Three Most Powerful Questions

    To do this, you will find a private and quiet place to ask these questions of each other looking deeply and intently into each other eyes with a sincere desire to hear what the other person says. When they respond, you will not react, become defensive or take what they say personally, but rather you will see them as finally getting something off their chest that has been weighing them down and pulling them away from relating to you for a long time.

    When you are set to start, flip a coin and the winner gets to go first asking them of your partner or having your partner ask you for you to answer. If you are the one answering the questions, provide both answers and instances to further explain and do not hold anything back.
     

    • What have you been most disappointed about regarding me, yourself and us during our marriage? Explain and give me some examples.
    • In each case did you feel more hurt or more anger and how much? Explain and give me some examples.
    • What did you do about it and what do you now want to do about it? Explain and give me some examples.


    Simple but incredibly daunting questions.

    If you are too afraid to ask them or answer them, you don’t have to, but your relationship in which you have already grown apart will continue to do so and no amount of buying things, having children, collecting pets or just frenetically keeping busy will stop it.

    You can still continue in it, but you know as well as I do that loving and liking each other will have died and your relationship will have become an arrangement and at best a marriage of convenience.

  • It’s really annoying when he never texts you first but always replies right away when you send him that text...
    He never texts you first but always replies
    Category: Dating Tips | February 04, 2018

    It’s really annoying when he never texts you first but always replies right away when you send him that text. Here’s what it means and how to deal.

    You’re rightfully irritated. It’s super easy to get frustrated when he never texts you first but always replies like he’s thrilled you’re talking to him. I mean, what’s the deal?

    Does he like you? Is he just playing games? Why won’t he text you first if he DOES like you? It’s all so confusing and it leaves you in the dark almost all the time. You have great conversation but are super annoyed by the fact that you always make the effort and he never does.

    How to know if a guy is even worth dating

    I understand how you feel. If he’s doing this already, is he even worth pursuing? You can’t just jump to conclusions right away though, and I’ll tell you why.

    You don’t know what’s going on.

    There could be some serious stuff going on in his life that you’re not privy to because he’s just getting to know you. It’s wrong to just think he’s not worth it simply because he never texts first.

    But you should be aware that if this is an ongoing problem and you’ve been seeing each other for months on end, he might not be the type of guy you need. Discovering why this is an issue will help you figure out if he’s worth it or not. 

    What it means when he never texts you first but always replies happily

    It’s not that he’s annoyed. You text him and he always gets back to you with a smiley or wink face. It’s great conversation and yet, he just never texts you first. Why is that and what’s going on in his adorable head? Here are some of the reasons he’s being such a butt.

    #1 He’s not sure how you feel. Guys can be pretty cautious with their hearts, too. It’s not just girls who guard them. He might just be unsure of how you feel about him and therefore, he only texts you when you’ve already reached out.

    That way he knows for sure that you want to talk. This is also an issue with insecurity. If he doesn’t feel that great about himself, he might not think you want to talk to him and will only text back once he knows you’ll actually reply.

    #2 He doesn’t want to annoy you. Some guys think they’re really annoying if they reach out first. Some girls have complained about annoying, clingy men and it could be why he’s waiting for you to text first.

    He also may have had a previous girl tell him he was too clingy and that’s why she didn’t want to continue things with him. It’s all a precaution if this is the case. He doesn’t want to mess up his chances with you so he waits for your move.

    #3 He’s really busy with stuff. He could just be busy. If he’s having a busy time at work or with his other personal life, he might not be able to text you first all the time. It also means you’re not really a priority to him.

    Guys who text you first are making you a priority. Plus, even if he is just busy, he still has time to send a quick text that says he’s at least thinking about you. Next time you’re talking, just ask about his workload and what he’s been doing for fun in his spare time.

    #4 He’s keeping his distance for reasons. Maybe he’s double-timing a girlfriend or maybe he has commitment issues. Whatever the reason, he could just be keeping his distance. That means keeping you at arm’s length so you don’t get too close to him.

    #5 He doesn’t want a relationship. One reason he could be keeping his distance is because he doesn’t want a relationship. What he wants right now is something casual and to chat with someone cool. That means he won’t want to give you the wrong idea by texting you first. But he is always happy to chat just because he does find you fun and interesting.

    #6 You text him first too often. Do you ever give him the opportunity to text you first? It could be that you’re just beating him to it all the time. You could get done with work before him and that means you’ll always text first.

    If you’re texting him first thing in the morning and right away when you’re off work, it doesn’t leave much room for him to do the same. Take a break for a day or so and see if he reaches out first. If so, problem solved.

    #7 He’s keeping things casual and as-is. Basically, he’s happy with your relationship as it is and doesn’t want to go any further. This is something guys who like their lives do. They want to have a girl on the side so they can have some fun but otherwise they don’t want any other responsibilities or changes.

    #8 He’s afraid of bothering you. Once again, he’s just being precautious. Think back to your discussions and try to remember if you’ve ever said anything about clingy guys.

    Maybe you talked about how your previous hookups were always so needy. If you’ve mentioned anything like this, he’s likely just trying not to bother you. He’s letting you take the lead so he stays on your good side.

    #9 He’s trying to gauge your interest. The more you text him first, the more you like him. That means he’ll pick up on that and it’ll confirm that you’re actually into him. Despite all the signs being there, some guys are still clueless. So if he’s wondering how you feel, he’ll probably let you text first until he’s sure. 

    #10 He doesn’t like you as much as you think. He’s basically just being nice. He’s not really into you as much as you think he is. As much as he might enjoy your conversations, he’s not interested enough to start them himself. However, he’s probably trying to keep his options open by replying every time.

    #11 He’s playing hard to get. Some guys do this for some odd reason. They think that by making you work for it, they’re hooking you. This doesn’t always work but the more you text him first, the more he thinks it definitely does. So just lay off a while and see what happens. 

    #12 You’re coming on too strong. This is probably the biggest reasons he’s hesitant to text you first. You may be coming on too strong and scaring him a little bit. If he hasn’t had a relationship for a while, this could definitely be the reason he never texts first but always replies.

    Just back off some. Wait for him to reach out and if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t like you and he’s not worth your time.

    You’re probably overly frustrated when he never texts first but always replies, and understandably so, too. Hopefully these explanations can help clear the air for you.

  • If the man you’re with is not interested in the things that are important to you, he likely isn’t interested in a long-term relationship...
    How to make your relationship stronger
    Category: Dating Tips | February 03, 2018

    I’ve been in my fair share of relationships. Relationships that, for one reason or another, are now over. And while my relationships have ended for a number of reasons, when it comes time for parting words there is one send-off I dread more than any—the all-too-common “I’m not ready for a relationship” breakup speech.

    “I need to find myself first.”

    “Things got very serious, very fast.”

    “It’s not you; it’s me.”

    “I prefer being alone.”

    “I’m not sure I’m capable of love.”

    You get the idea.

    Rejection is a tough pill to swallow but most especially when the reason is that he simply doesn’t do relationships. Seems like something to mention on the first date, right? While I don’t regret any of my past relationships—they have, after all, taught me what I desire and deserve in a relationship—I still can’t help but wonder: Was there a point when I should have called it quits myself instead of choosing to stick things out?

    Debra K. Fileta, M.A., LPC, author of the book and blog True Love Dates, helps shed light on five important questions you should ask yourself. Once you’ve begun dating seriously, ask yourself these questions—and if you can’t answer yes, it might be time to cut bait.

    01. Do you share the same dating goals?

    Shared intention is a basic foundation for relationships. If you desire something long-term, be honest about that.

    “What does a date mean to you, and what does a date mean to him?” Fileta asks. “Is dating a series of casual get-togethers for dinner and drinks, or is it an interaction that’s moving toward the goal of commitment? If you’re not on the same page, someone will inevitably get hurt.”

    Now, this doesn’t mean you need to tell him your desire to get married on date one. (In fact, you probably shouldn’t.) But a man who is interested in a serious relationship will be happy to hear that you are not just looking for a good time, and a conversation about your intentions will hopefully prevent confusion in the relationship moving forward.

    02. Does he initiate spending time with you?

    Another mark of a commitment-ready man is his ability to reach out to you. He should enjoy spending time with you and initiate it. If a guy is sitting back waiting for you to make all the plans, he may not see you as a priority. Pay attention to whether he makes you part of his life. A mature man is confident in the life he lives and will include you. Many women give too much without expecting much in return, Fileta says. A healthy relationship is one of equal give-and-take. Consider whether he gives you the time, attention, and energy that you need to feel cared for and prioritized.

    03. Does he handle conflict well?

    You can tell a lot about someone’s emotional maturity by the way he or she handles conflict. “Couples who tell me they never have disagreements are couples that actually scare me because someone is holding something in,” Fileta says. “Holding things in and keeping feelings to himself might make for a peaceful relationship yet one that will eventually blow up in your face. A healthy guy knows how to interact, listen, work through conflict and even disagree while still maintaining respect.” A recent study from Baylor University found that withdrawal from conflict harms a relationship and is associated with lower overall satisfaction in the relationship.

    Think about how he handles even the smallest of conflicts, like when the two of you disagree on where to eat dinner. Does he get upset or defensive? Does he bring up past conflicts? Do these arguments play out via texting instead of face-to-face? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be dating a man who is not up for the rigors (or deserving of the rewards) of a real relationship.

    04. Does he respect you?

    Respect goes a long way. Does he respect your boundaries? Your body? Your feelings? Your career? A man who is pursuing a meaningful relationship with you should accept you and respect your values. “A relationship exudes respect when you feel that you are being heard—and not only heard but listened to,” Fileta says. “What you say matters, and he shows you that by responding to your words.”

    If the man you’re with is not interested in the things that are important to you, he likely isn’t interested in a long-term relationship.

    05. Does he express his feelings openly and honestly?

    Sure, not all men (or women) are super attuned to their feelings, but a guy who is looking for a real relationship will be eager to find someone he feels comfortable opening up to. A man wants to connect with his partner, too, so he will at least make an effort—even if it is a struggle—to be vulnerable with you.

    Fileta explains: “There are three levels of conversations: facts, ideas/opinions, and feelings. It’s important to be able to interact on each of the three levels in order to have healthy communication and interactions. Some people didn’t grow up speaking on the deep level of emotions, but it’s something that can and needs to be learned along the way in order for the potential of a nourishing relationship.”

    If you’re dating a guy who wants to keep emotions to a minimum, beware. Communication is a necessary ingredient in a healthy relationship.

    Take heart, ladies: Relationship-ready men are out there, and finding one will be very rewarding. Keeping these five questions in mind as you embark on your next relationship will help protect your heart and keep you from wasting your time.
     

  • The best way to know if you are on the same page of things in your relationship is by communicating...
    What is gaslighting
    Category: Dating Tips | February 02, 2018

    Relationships can be hard at first. But they can even get harder as it matures. You can only hope for the best when you have a form of understanding and proper channels of communication.

    So, here are a few ways on how to tell if relationship will last and live its course.

    You communicate and talk about everything

    The best way to know if you are on the same page of things in your relationship is by communicating. Finding the time to talk and listen to each other is the key to any lasting relationship.

    You not only get to know each other more but learn new stuff about each other. You learn to solve and overcome your differences and attributes. Communication can be a challenge as most people prefer to run away from it. But it is better to know where you stand with each other.

    You are in control of your relationship

    The world is full of toxic and poisonous individuals who are always about other peoples lives. They never stop, its their job and duty to destroy everything new or old. Do not let them in, be in control of your relationship from day 1.

    Do not let outside forces control the way you and your partner live your lives.

    Always try to fix it when it seems broken

    Don not run away from problems or challenges that may come your way. Fix every broken bridge between you and your partner.

    Most people throw away good things just because they are broken. Do not let this be the basis and nature of your relationship. Learn to work out your differences and arguments. Learn from them and build your relationship into something solid and unbreakable.

    Care for each other

    The more you care for each other, the longer your relationship will last. Respect and show affection to each other. Make the feeling different, emotional, sensual and unique. Let each encounter with your partner lustful and enjoyable. Make them feel special in ways that their family and friends cannot.

    Also remember to help each other all the way in your relationship. It is not only thoughtful but makes you spend quality time together.

    Admit to Mistakes

    Denial is the first step to failing to accept your mistakes. When you do wrong no matter how embarrassing and threatening it is to your relationship. Be sure to make amends quickly by admitting to it. The quicker you do this the less it builds-up to something else.

    So, there you have it, how to tell if relationship will last. But remember every relationship is unique and has different challenges. Just find what works for you and your partner.

  • wondering about some of the signs that things could really be over between you and bae...
    38ee969b 6473 4824 bf26 3d6e0546b165 stocksy txpc9009ab5oro100 small 1220708
    Category: Dating Tips | February 01, 2018

    The only thing that's worse than being dumped is being kicked to the curb seemingly out of nowhere. Looking back, it's almost always possible to spot the signs that things between you and your partner were nearing their expiration date. But when you're caught up in the mix, it can be much easier to overlook the red flags your partner wants to break up.

    It goes without saying that every meaningful relationship goes through ups and downs. If you're in a relationship that hasn't yet seen both ups and downs, it's probably because it's still early or one of you isn't being totally transparent. While hitting a bump in the road might make you quick to assume that things are falling apart, it's important to remember this isn't always the case. Moments of conflict almost always come with the opportunity for growth.

    But if you're wondering about some of the signs that things could really be over between you and bae, then there is certain behavior from your partner that shouldn't go unnoticed. While it may seem like a good idea to just sit back and see what happens, choosing to take action — just by starting a conversation about your partner's behavior — is so much better than being blindsided by a breakup. Here's what to look out for.

    1. They Seem Closed

    Sometimes, withdrawing in a relationship is a temporary phase that happens in response to a stressor. When you don't have the time or space to address other feelings (like feelings for your partner), then sometimes, people operate by shutting down for a little while. However, if your partner is continuously reluctant to let you know what's going on when you bring up your concerns to them, this isn't a good sign.

    "If someone is pulling away, it might be a telltale sign that they are feeling smothered or not happy in the relationship," Dr. Nikki Goldstein, relationship expert and author of Single But Dating: A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age, told Elite Daily.

    Although this is likely to make you want to chase after them to show your support, it's probably better to wait it out. "Don't follow them," says Dr. Goldstein. "If they are pulling away, give them the space and see if they come back. They might just need a bit of time."

    2. They Start Seeking Support From SOmeone Else

    In any relationship, no matter how much you love each other, expecting one person to be your only support system is not a healthy expectation. It's so rare that you'll have all of your social and psychological needs met by one other person, which is why having other friends to turn to is so important. But, if your bae is actively freezing you out, spending more time than usual with their friends and family, or is starting to emotionally rely on another person, then this could mean they are contemplating a split.

    "If your partner secretly wants to end the relationship, he or she will start looking for support outside the relationship, for when the break does occur. This support will show up in other singles — as new friends," dating expert April Masini, of Relationship Advice Forum, told Elite Daily. "These friends don't hang around when you're around, and you'll mostly hear about them from late-night phone calls or text messages that you're not privy to, or your partner will meet up with them, seemingly innocently, without you."

    3. You Start Fighting More About Minuscule Things

    "Often, if someone is being overly argumentative about smaller things, they are holding on to deeper issues that they are struggling with," explained Dr. Goldstein. These "deeper issues" may lie dormant under the surface, but they could be brought up by a disagreement over something completely unrelated.

    If you and your partner are getting into spats frequently over seemingly small things, it is so important that you have a non-confrontational conversation about it. At the very least, asking them if there's anything deeper bothering them will let them know that you really care about how they feel. While they might not open up about everything that's bothering them right away, starting a dialogue is the first step. And once you find out the deeper issues going on, you can both work to resolve them — potentially avoiding a breakup entirely.

    4. Something Feels Off

    Sometimes, you just know something's not right between you and your partner. "You should never underestimate your gut instinct," said Dr. Goldstein.

    We've all experienced that eerie feeling when you have a hunch about something being wrong, even though you have no concrete reason to believe it's true. It's called intuition, people. Trust it. "Often, woman are told they are being silly or stupid, but don't let anyone diminish what you feel," Dr. Goldstein continued.

    The end of a relationship can be a difficult and downright terrifying time. But don't let wanting to avoid a shitty situation keep you from being honest with yourself and your partner about anything and everything you think the two of you need to work on. And if you do end up going your separate ways, remember that there is a whole sea of other amazing people out there who will treat you with the respect and love you deserve.

     
  • Let us learn to express ourselves through our hearts and souls...
    Are we successful in our relationships
    Category: Dating Tips | January 31, 2018

    Lovely emoticons flood our Facebook page. With every new update, WhatsApp and other such social media pages add another set of mind-blowing emoticons. We will search and search for the right emoticon to express our exact state of mind and heartwhen we chat with others in our group.

    Nice. Really nice!

    We will be oh- so – professionally courteous to our colleagues, superiors, and juniors in our workplace. We will bow down and say thank you. We will warmly hold on to their hands to express our appreciation. We will smile and give people a thumbs up to show them that we respect their work. We will hug people professionally to give a personal touch to our professionalism.

    Nice. Really nice!

    But do we ever appreciate or even express our emotions to our family members? Why do we reserve such basic common courtesies for people who fall in our second and third circles? Why do we hesitate to show our appreciation and our gratitude to our immediate family?

    A father spends two and a half decades of his life to give his children a decent education. A mother spends an entire lifetime taking care of the physical and emotional needs of the entire family. Sisters go out of their way to do things for their dear brothers. Brothers go out of their way to do things for their sisters.

    And last but not the least; children go out of their way to do things for their aging parents.

    Yet, there is never any appreciation for their time, money, efforts and love.

    Yes, this post may well end up in the category called – Philosophy for youth.

    That surely does not mean that only the youth needs a big dose of philosophy.

    Because of all of us, at all ages, need to think about such things.

    I would like to deviate a little from the main topic to make a crucial point here:

    I watched a video clipping of about 4 minutes over Whatsapp. A lovely young lass comes jogging over from the seashore one fine evening and sits beside a middle-aged young woman. They start chatting, and the woman briefly shares her current predicament in life with this youngster. Her married son and daughter in law apparently left her when she reprimanded him over some domestic issue. She stated with a quiet dignity about how we all enter this world crying and wailing our lungs out and how we need to master the art of learning to smile despite the setbacks we face in life.

    Why are youngsters always blamed for such situations? Why do we so conveniently shift the blame to people who are not around? Why do we judge and condemn people without knowing the real issue?

    Relationships matter. Relationships matter the most in all our lives. Yet, when it comes to compromising or adapting or changing outdated ideas, we all struggle.

    Appreciation is not always about being courteous. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ may grease and ease out strained relationships. But they will never solve the real issues within the relationship.

    Appreciation is also not about acknowledging the effort that goes into making a great dish at home or completing a difficult project with a complete focus on the time frame and quality.

    Appreciation is about observing how our mother goes about doing the most mundane tasks at home quietly, willingly and cheerfully.

    Appreciation is about how a deadline or quality is maintained despite a crisis on the home front.

    Appreciation is about how that security guard at the office gate always greets us with a smile despite our eternally preoccupied state of mind.

    Appreciation is about how our children put up with all our outdated beliefs and notions even when they personally do not believe in them. They do this because they love us!

    Appreciation is about how our parents tolerate our ridiculous flighty dreams quietly and are always there to support us and pick us up when we come crashing down from our dream world!

    Look up. Look within. Look around. Look down. Look through people. Look….See…..Observe…………Feel……

    Let’s respect people for what they represent. Let’s love people the way they are. Let’s connect with people to broaden our perspectives of life. Let’s communicate openly with people to share our thoughts and feelings.

    Let us learn to express ourselves through our hearts and souls instead of using those lovely emoticons and one-sided video clippings that show people how we should feel about things and situations.

    Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Raksha Bandhan…..we may well have dedicated a day in a year to celebrate all our relationships. But unless we connect at a personal, emotional level we cannot really call any relationship a successful one.

    A relationship, any relationship thrives on love.

    A relationship, any relationship connects two people.

    And unless there is mutual understanding, two-way communication and a shift in perspectives from both ends………we cannot really call any relationship a successful one.

  • Did you know that happy couples report having the same amount of conflict as unhappy couples?...
    How to hug a girl
    Category: Dating Tips | January 30, 2018

    According to Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the difference between the two groups is how they manage their conflicts within the relationship.

    Resolving conflict with your partner can be challenging—especially when tempers seem to quickly flare and an argument suddenly appears out of nowhere. When anger is triggered, it may initially feel like a slight irritation or frustration, yet those feelings have the potential to become full-blown outrage. We all experience anger in different degrees of intensity that ultimately dictates how the conflict is going to go. It is predictable that if your conflict begins in a harsh way with blame and criticism, it will end up in a harsh way ending with a lack of resolution.

    Couples who struggle with conflict typically have two ways of dealing with their anger: they either suppress or vent. One partner tends to either deny or subdue their anger, feeling exasperated but deciding to remain silent in an effort to preserve the harmony. The danger with this strategy is that, over time, resentments will build. The other partner may react quickly with angry, critical, and/or demeaning remarks. Expressing anger in this way only serves to reinforce old conflictual patterns that prevent relationship change. Both strategies in dealing with conflict this way are not effective. These are predictable patterns that lead to endless cycles of blaming, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

    Although many people consider anger to be a negative emotion which should be avoided at all costs, it is a necessary emotion. When triggered by anger, your emotions are letting you know something is not quite right and needs to be corrected. Your anger can be a useful tool, helping you define yourself, your life, and your relationship more clearly.

    Before addressing a conflict ask, yourself these questions: What is the real underlying issue here? What are we trying to accomplish?

    What is the real underlying issue here? What are we trying to accomplish?

    Happily married couples …… set a designated time to discuss the issue. They set some ground rules. They begin the discussion by taking turns as a speaker and listener. They take turns pinpointing problems using “I” statements: “When _____ happens, I feel _____. I would like _____.” They listen by paraphrasing what was said by rephrasing the speaker’s major point and feelings.
    … focus on clear communication. They avoid using “you” statements that suggest blame. They avoid using terms such as “always” and “never.” They describe the situation and how it has affected them, but not the behavior of the other person. They look at their partner from a positive perspective.
    … take a break. When they are starting to feel overwhelmed by a conflictual discussion, they decide to take a 20-minute to 24-hour break from the discussion. If they get flooding with emotions, they know it will be nearly impossible to have a meaningful, effective conversation that clears up the issue. They know it is best to stop while they’re ahead.
    … remember they are friends first. Happily married couples generally see their partner in the best possible light, recognize they are human, and will make mistakes from time to time. They see the other as a friend who is in their corner, not their adversary.

    Learning how to handle conflict and make your relationship work better is possible. When you can both understand the cycle you are participating in, then break destructive patterns, you may find more resolution to problems and experience less frequent escalating disagreements. Keeping yourself from being overwhelmed and taking a break when you need it will help you stay calm after your emotions are triggered by a fight. When you can act in a way to generate positivity and focus on your partner’s positive qualities, you are taking a step in the right direction.

    If you have been stuck in a negative pattern of conflict with your partner for a while, it might be the right time to seek professional help from an experienced marriage counselor. You, too, can change the way you manage conflict by learning and applying some new, more effective conflict resolution skills.

  • We all want to have a healthy relationship. The problem is that we may not know where to begin...
    Courting a woman
    Category: Dating Tips | January 29, 2018

    We all want to have a healthy relationship. The problem is that we may not know where to begin to have this kind of relationship with the person we’re with. Most of the time, although our good attentions are there, we carry excess baggage into the new relationships we form. As a result, we have a union that’s less than ideal.

    Get Yourself On Track To Having A Healthy Relationship

    What we need is to refocus. We need to identify, first, the aspects that make a relationship healthy. After that, we can exert all of our focus and efforts on achieving each of the aspects. Below, we’ve listed down different points that a couple needs to work on to have a healthy relationship:

    1. Realistic Views Of Love

    It’s nice to think about your relationship as that of Romeo and Juliet’s or other movie or story characters’. However romantic the idea may be, it’s simply not realistic. Mundane issues, as well as big ones, will arise. A couple who will make it accepts that problems are inevitable and is ready to face everything together.

    2. Tiny Errors Are Not A Big Deal

    Instead of assuming the worst when a small mistake happens, a couple in a healthy relationship doesn’t think too negatively of it. For example, being late to a dinner date, forgetting to pick up a package, not delivering clothes to the dry cleaners. These mistakes are easily pardonable.

    3. Team Work

    Some couples tend to compete with each other in all aspects of life. Whether it is financial, emotional or physical, there are couples who tend to one each other up. That’s not going to work when you’re aiming for a healthy relationship. Act, instead, as if you were part of the same team. Where one is lacking, the other should step in.

    4. Taking Responsibility

    It’s hard to admit that you are wrong during arguments. However, a healthy relationship requires it. Instead of pointing fingers, it’s more ideal to admit that you need to work on something.

    5. Trust

    Security is a big thing in a healthy relationship. When your partner hangs out with his or her friends, you don’t feel like you need to worry because you are secure in what you have. There are minimal trust issues and both of you know that you are in it for the long haul.

    These are five points that you need to work on when you want to have a healthy relationship. You won’t be able to achieve these points overnight, but the more you do these, the more that your relationship will improve. For more tips on how to strengthen your relationship, check out more posts from our blog.

  • The last one is particularly endearing....
    Getty 529076288 338546
    Category: Dating Tips | January 27, 2018

    Romantic relationships are challenging, rewarding, confusing, and exhilarating--sometimes all at the same time.

    Should you take things slowly at the beginning or dive right in? Can things stay hot in the bedroom even after years of being together? What happens when one of you wants to use a holiday bonus to invest in Bitcoin and the other wants to go on a vacation?

    The answers aren't always clear, but when it comes to marital satisfaction, science has some interesting things to offer.

    According to research, the happiest couples are those who:

    1. Don't fight over text

    What seems obvious is now backed up by science: a study out of Brigham Young University shows that couples who argue over text; apologize over text; and/or attempt to make decisions over text, are less happy in their relationships.

    When it comes to the big stuff, don't let an emoji take the place of your actual face.

    2. Don't have kids

    Children are one of the most fulfilling parts of life. Unfortunately, they're hell on relationships. Numerous studies, including a 2014 survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships, show that childless couples (married or unmarried) are happiest.

    This isn't to say you can't be happy if you have kids--it's just to understand that it's normal to not feel happy sometimes. Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have what they've always wanted (a long-term partnership with children), but the reality of kids is that they're very stressful on relationships.

    3. Have friends who stay married

    If you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you're also just as married as them.

    According to research out of Brown University, you're 75 percent more likely to get divorced if a friend or close relative has already done the deed. When it's someone one more degree of separation out (the friend of a friend), you're 33 percent more likely to get divorced.

    Researchers had this to say on the ramifications of the results: "We suggest that attending to the health of one's friends' marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one's own relationship."

    4. Fight at the beginning, then not a lot

    Psychologists like Dr. Herb Goldberg suggest that our model for relationship is backwards--we tend to expect things to go smoothly at the beginning, and for problems (and conflicts) to arise later. In fact, Dr. Goldberg argues that couples should have "rough and ragged" beginnings where they work things out, and then look forward to a long and happy incline in the state of the relationship.

    Research agrees: a Florida State study found that couples who are able to be openly angry in the beginning are happier long-term. According to lead researcher James McNulty, the "short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation" is healthy for the relationship over the long haul.

    5. Are comprised of one first-born child and one last-born child

    There's an entire body of research on how your birth order impacts your life, including your relationships as well as professional success. One of the happiest pairings for couples? Someone who was the youngest child with someone who was the oldest.

    Researchers hypothesize this may be because the relationship has one person who enjoys being taken care of, and one who's used to taking care of others.

    6. Know who does what when it comes to housework

    According to a UCLA study, couples who agree to share chores at home are more likely to be happier in their relationships. An important caveat: couples who have clearly definedresponsibilities are far more likely to be satisfied.

    In other words, when you know what to do and what's expected with you, you tend to be happier both yourself and with your spouse. This might be a good thing to sit down and discuss in the new year, especially if you're newly cohabitating.

    7. Are gay--or straight and feminist

    In a recent study of 5,000 people, researchers found that gay couples are "happier and more positive" about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. Straight couples made less time for each other, and were less likely to share common interests and communicate well.

    If you're going to be hetero, though, you're better off being feminist. Research out of Rutgers shows that both men and women with feminist partners are more satisfied in their (hetero) relationships. The name of the study? Feminism And Romance Go Hand In Hand.

    8. If hetero, are comprised of a lovely lady and a not-as-lovely man

    Levels of attractiveness within couples has long been the subject of debate (not to mention song lyrics). According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when husbands view their wives as the more attractive of the pair, not only are they more satisfied in the relationship, but the wives are, too. The opposite was not true--when husbands thought they were better-looking, they weren't as happy.

    9. Are best friends

    The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study demonstrating that marriage, on the whole, leads to increased levels of happiness (they controlled for premarital happiness).

    Perhaps more telling was the finding that people who consider their spouse to be their best friend are almost twice as satisfied in their marriages as other people.

    "What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole," researcher John Helliwell said. "Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life."

    10. And have a lot of friends in common

    In 2013, Facebook released a report that analyzed 1.3M of its users, looking at, among other things, relationships. The conclusion? Couples with overlapping social networks tended to be less likely to break up--especially when that closeness included "social dispersion," or the introduction of one person's sphere to the other, and vice versa.

    In other words, the best-case scenario is when each person has their own circle, but the two also overlap.

    11. Spend money in similar ways

    The two biggest things couples fight about are sex and money. When it comes to the latter, it's well-known to psychologists as well as social scientists that for some reason, people tend to attract their spending opposite. Big spenders tend to attract thrifty people, and vice versa.

    University of Michigan study corroborated this. Researchers found that both married and unmarried people tend to select their "money opposite"--and that this causes strife in the relationship. The happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that is saving or indulging.

    12. Have sex at least once a week

    Probably the best statistic of the bunch comes from a 2004 study, which showed that upping your sexual activity from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much if you made an extra $50,000 a year.

    The study, entitled "Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study" sampled 16,000 adult Americans. One of its main conclusions: "[S]exual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations."

    13. Celebrate each other's achievements

    Anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to this one, but now there's research to confirm it: A study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when couples celebrate their partner's accomplishments as if they were their own, they're more satisfied in the relationship. 

    "In good times and bad" includes the good times--something it can be easy to forget. And it's true; there's nothing quite so satisfying as having your partner be loudly and enthusiastically in your corner when you do well.

    Joy, after all, multiplies with love.

    ----

    "Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years." - Simone Signoret

  • The turning of the calendar year is traditionally a time when you feel inspired by the possibilities of a new start...
    How improve your relationship money 2018
    Category: Dating Tips | January 26, 2018

    The turning of the calendar year is traditionally a time when you feel inspired by the possibilities of a new start, a new beginning, and the onset of positive change. It can be a time that is empowering, energetic and life supporting; it can forever alter the trajectory towards a more successful money life.

    But like any change, you want to consider the good, the bad, the ugly, and importantly, the challenges that transitions can bring.

    You can conquer your transition by distilling it down to key essentials components:

    1. As Simon Sinek says, “Start with Why”. Understand not only why change is beneficial to your life but also that the outcomes are so powerful and important that no other choice remains. Begin with a declaration.

    For example: I must become debt-free within the next 12 months; or
    I must accumulate X dollars to go towards a down payment on a home, or
    We must open and fund a college savings program for my child by February 1.

    You get the drill; it’s about why, in your heart and mind, something must occur. These are known as your “Money Musts”.

    2. The second step is to get a handle on where you are right now. If your “must” is to pay off your credit cards, then you have to know exactly how much money you owe, to whom, and how much money you have to reduce the debt. Using credit card debt as the example, you might need to tighten your belt and alter some of your spending decisions to a greater or lesser degree. If paying off the cards is so important, ask yourself what you’re willing to do to make that happen!

    The same question applies for savings and investment goals. If you cannot make more money, the cash flow needs to come out of your current spending and shifts need to be made in your spending habits.

    3. Look back to look forward. Your money beliefs, habits and behavior typically stems from your childhood. What you heard, synthesized, and adopted from your early life becomes your “normal” in adulthood. However, just because this is what you grew up believing doesn’t make it necessarily appropriate or beneficial for you today. Consider that those beliefs, habits and behaviors might not support your adult values—or your partner’s, if you have one. If that’s true for you, it’s time to rethink your beliefs, rewire your habits and realign your behavior to actuate your life today and your future goals.

    4. Anchor past successes. Can you remember a time when you made a successful change? It doesn’t matter how small it might seem, but if you can recall what you did and how your mindset impacted the outcome, it can be a powerful tool in working towards success on your New Year’s resolution. Remember the feeling you had when you accomplished your goal; and use that sentiment to commit and motivate you to make future positive changes and money habits.

    5. Consider the roadblocks. If you’ve ever been on a diet, you know that somewhere between the first day of eating sensibly and you reaching your goal, there will be a piece of chocolate cake, dish of ice cream, candy bar or bagel that looks you right in the eye and demands you to eat it—tempting you to veer off your track to success. Your ability to get past that “demand” is the difference between success and failure.

    These transition periods can be hard to overcome, but if you know it's coming and mange your expectations so as not to be suprised or off put, they are less difficult to conquer.

    This is where you need a support system, so that when that part of your brain is telling you to dig into some retail therapy or that delicious looking cookie, you need to be armed with the strength to resist. This is where having friends and professionals around you to help support you is so vital.

    Surround yourself with those who have the expertise and the willingness to help support and guide you through the process of getting yourself to where YOU want to go.

    6. Small steps rule! Setting up small steps leads to successes and lowers the pain threshold. Small steps are less intimidating and tend to be easier to envision; and thus take action on. If you are currently paying the minimum on the credit card each month, consider the following: pay your bill every time you get paid, not when the bill is due.

    Taking this small advanced action step can make a big difference. Find places in your spending that hold less value to you than getting out of debt. Start with the areas of the least pain. For example, set a smaller entertainment budget by, say, $100 per month and adding that $100 to your payment. Think of the things you can change that won’t kill you, but that will help decrease your debt each pay period.

    Related: Understanding Resilience Through a Wealth Psychologist

    7. Missteps are common. It’s not uncommon to make mistakes. If you’re changing your eating habits, and one day you fall to the desire for a piece of cake, there is nothing preventing you from starting the next day anew with the understanding that a misstep is not fatal. The same applies to changing your money behaviors. You decide your goals and the road to get there.

    8. Appreciate the journey. CELEBRATE each success! Each step forward deserves acknowledgment. The act of focusing on what you did right sets up the next victory. Each dollar you pay off, or dollar that you accumulate, brings you closer to your ultimate goal. Don’t wait to celebrate! Build one victory on top of the other. You deserve it.

    Your New Year’s resolution can be the beginning of a new, richer and a more purposeful money life. It requires awareness, action and support to take it from thought to action. I know you can do it!

  • If you’re someone who always takes the blame no matter the situation, you might want to learn how to stop feeling guilty. Here’s how...
    How to stop feeling guilty
    Category: Dating Tips | January 22, 2018

    There’s a lot one can feel guilty about in life. And if you’re someone who seems to take the blame from others even when it’s not your fault, you suffer a great deal more than most of us. It can even ruin your life if you don’t know how to stop feeling guilty all the time.

    But there is hope because there is a way to shut the incessant, nagging voice of guilt going off inside your head at all hours. It might take some time and a lot of mental effort, but in order to better your life, it’s worth it.

    Those who feel guilty were often blamed a ton as kids

    This isn’t true for everyone but for a lot of people who feel guilty most of the time or take the blame no matter the situation, they were typically blamed a lot as a child. They may not have done anything wrong and were still shamed for things beyond their control.

    Others, however, tend to be people with controlling personalities. They have to make everything go their way and when it doesn’t, for reasons outside of their control, they still feel responsible. 

    How to stop feeling guilty so you can finally enjoy life again

    Everyone deserves a great life. If you’ve been struggling with excessive guilt and can’t seem to get rid of it, we can help. These are our best tips for dealing with taking too much of everyone else’s burdens.

    #1 Let go of some control. When you take control over everything, you’ll naturally hold onto more guilt when things don’t go your way. In order to get past this, you have to give up some of that control. Realize that you can’t make everything happen the way you want.

    But that’s okay. Nobody can control every single outcome. It’s normal to want things to go a certain way and then feel guilty or awful when they don’t. If you realize that it’s not under your complete control, you’ll start to feel less guilty. 

    #2 Stop blaming yourself. When something goes wrong, you probably start berating yourself in your mind. Those who feel guilty do this often. No matter the situation, you find a way for it to somehow be your fault.

    You have to stop that. More likely than not, it wasn’t your fault at all but rather, a combination of events you have little to no control over. Remember this and stop putting the blame solely on yourself.

    #3 Look at the facts. Instead of getting in your head about this, just sit down and look at the facts. Step away from the situation and assess it as an outsider. What happened exactly to make things go wrong?

    When you do this, you’re able to see things for what they are. Those of us who feel guilty often only look at stuff that directly affects us. We’re blind to the facts and those are what we need to find peace with ourselves. 

    #4 Talk to someone. Holding everything inside is a terrible idea. If you’re truly feeling guilty about something – specifically something that affected someone close to you – just talk to them.

    You’d be surprised how much of your guilt is solely in your own mind. So open up and talk to them. They can help you realize where your thinking is off and how you can get back on track to stop feeling so guilty.

    #5 Remember that you’re not responsible for others. If you want to know how to stop feeling guilty, remember that your decisions are your own and someone else’s decisions are theirs. People who often feel guilty take on the responsibility of others when it’s not theirs at all. If you do this, just try to stop.

    Repeat this to yourself and it’ll help a lot. Everyone makes their own choices and if something goes wrong, you’re not the one who should take the blame, especially if you were barely involved at all. It’s okay to feel bad for someone, just don’t feel guilty. 

    #6 Look at it from another perspective. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would you still blame you if the roles were reversed? If not, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about what happened. You can’t blame yourself for something you wouldn’t blame someone else for.

    So whenever you feel yourself feeling particularly guilty, simply look at it from a new perspective. Ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed and this will help tremendously.

    #7 Look deeper at the situation. You might not truly be feeling guilty at all. Guilt is a very broad emotion if you think about it. Instead, you could feel resentment, dread, anxiety, or anything else other than guilt but you’re just defaulting to that as a means to keep yourself together.

    Digest the situation in full. You’re allowed to feel more than one thing at once. You could feel guilty and upset with someone. You could have anxiety in addition to the guilt. Overall, looking deeper at what happened can help you learn more about yourself and this can help with the guilt. [Read: How to look deeper and find true meaning]

    #8 Ask yourself what you can do about the situation. If you’re trying to figure how to stop feeling guilty, just stop and think about what action you can take instead of worrying about how guilty you feel. Those who tend to feel guilty super easily usually don’t take much action at all.

    Stop yourself and ask, “What can I do right now?” If you come up with an answer that works for you and will aid the situation, then do it. If you can’t do anything and you’re still feeling guilty, talk to someone.

    #9 Focus on your own needs. You can’t only care about everyone else. You matter too and your feelings are valid. Those of us who feel way too guilty all the time tend to be very empathetic. We take on the emotions of others.

    Obviously, that isn’t a good thing when it comes to your own feelings. You have to remember to take care of yourself first. That’s not selfish, that’s necessary. You can’t feel bad and guilty for everyone all the time. [Read: How to stand up for yourself and get want you deserve]

    #10 Remember that it’s okay to feel guilty sometimes. It’s normal and it’s okay. You can allow yourself to feel upset and guilty for a little while. The problem is when guilt is taking over your life for no good reason.

    We all go through periods of time when we take on the guilt of others. That fine if you don’t allow it to get too excessive. Relax and work through the guilt so you can start living for yourself.

    Feeling guilty is normal and natural at times but if you find yourself feeling this way more often than not, you’ll want to know how to stop feeling guilty. These are our best tips to kick that debilitating annoyance.

  • Let’s say you meet someone for a first date and have sex. Or you start dating them and...
    Alex boyd 262022
    Category: Dating Tips | January 21, 2018

    Let’s say you meet someone for a first date and have sex. Or you start dating them and it seems like all your time spent together seems to be in the bedroom. Or, you haven’t had sex yet, but you’re concerned that your openness and comfort with discussing sex and sexuality might give off the impression that that’s all you’re looking for. How do you get across that you’re looking for more than sex?

    First things first, I’m not making a moral judgment that there is something inherently  wrong with just wanting sex. If all you want is sex, that’s perfectly okay, this isn’t the post for you though. I’d write something about how to effectively get across that all you want is sex, but that post would be one sentence: Tell people all you want is sex. They’ll believe you.

    I don’t think the same could be said for conveying that you’re looking for more than sex. People tend to be skeptical when you tell them “I’m looking for more than sex”. Society conditions you to believe certain things about people based on their comfort level with discussing anything sexual in nature, their gender, when they decide to have sex with you, and sexual orientation. We’re all influenced by those factors, whether we disagree or not. In my experience as a straight man dating women, not a single woman I’ve ever told “I’m looking for more than just sex” believed me when I said those words, but they were more likely to believe me when my actions reflected that statement. Usually anyway.

    Keep that in mind when trying to get across that you’re looking for more than just sex. People will consider their own experiences, and what society has told them about sex and sexuality when they consider whether you’re looking for something more than sex. Even if you’re being 100% honest about your intentions, some people wont believe you no matter what.

    That said, there are some things you can do to try to subtly get across that while sex is cool, you’re looking for more.

    For starters, try to shift the focus away from discussing sex. Or, at the very least, don’t make sex the primary or only subject of conversation. I’m not saying that anyone who discusses sex at length is only looking for sex, but people tend to equate frequency of discussion with interest.

    You should also consider planning dates, instead of just meeting up to sleep with someone. Even if your goal is to eventually end up at one of your places for a bone session, plan an actual date, and not a “I’ll come over and we’ll watch a movie together” date. If you want more than sex, plan for more than sex and ask for more than sex. You should try to find a balance between having sex be an end-goal for when you see the person you’re dating, and not the main focus of when you see them.

    Alternatively, you can plan a date/hangout/meetup, etc., and purposely not have sex. This is about as direct a way to say “I want more than sex and let me prove it” without just flat-out saying it, and probably more effective at getting the message across. It’s easy to say it, but it probably says more when you remove sex as a possibility.

    There are other ways to get the message across, but they all can be best summed up as not focusing on sex, not making sex the driver of your time together, the absence of sex, and finally, connecting over something other than sex. Sex can be a part of what connects you, but there are smaller things you can learn about someone that carry a lot more weight when it comes to chemistry. It’s easy to ask someone what their favorite position is, or what gets them off, but learning about their interests is going to do a lot more to endear you to them, and show that you’re looking for more than just a hookup. Learn about them, share yourself with them, and grow closer. Sex can absolutely be a big part of that, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Finally, I would recommend being inflexible about these sort of things. If you sleep with someone, and whether they say it outright or not, you get the feeling that they think all you want is sex, show them that’s not the case. If you recommend a date and they insist upon a Netflix and Chill date instead, don’t budge. If they keep trying to steer conversations toward sex while you try to learn more about them, don’t feed into it. If they persist, it’s less a question of convincing them that you want more, and more a question of whether they want to give you more.

    Some things you can never get across, especially if the person you’re trying to convince doesn’t want to be convinced otherwise. If you’re doing all you can to tell someone subtly that you’re looking for more than sex and they refuse to get it, the issue isn’t with you, it’s on them. Don’t spend too much time trying to convince someone you want more than sex. At some point, if they refuse to believe you, or refuse to give you more than sex, you need to move on.

    Good Luck Out There.

  • If your partner can’t let go of their ex, there are a few things you need to consider...
    Qhblafpy2uu sergey zolkin
    Category: Dating Tips | January 19, 2018

    There is a rule about “Out of sight, out of mind” that applies when it comes to getting over an ex. However, if your partner still has their ex on their mind, that’s a major red flag. Maybe their ex wants to be wanted—even just a little bit. Or maybe their ex wants to cause drama in your relationship. But what if your partner is the one leaving the door open?

    If your partner can’t let go of their ex, there are a few things you need to consider if the relationship is worth saving. Maybe it’s time to cut ties and leave your partner yearning for their ex all by themselves.

    The Six-Month Rule

    Love is an addiction, and an ex can become as addictive as binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix. However, the brain can only be to blame for so long. In fact, after about three-to-six months of being away from an ex-partner, the brain should be broken of its addiction. However, that is not the case if your partner is continuing to feed it with constant communication. So, if you are in a relationship with someone who is fresh from a breakup, you need to think twice. Sure, some of their feelings may be superficial and nothing to worry about, but only time will tell. Your best solution is to take it slow and give them plenty of space.

    Pity Versus Yearning

    Does your partner just feel bad for their ex, or are they possibly yearning for a second chance? The best way to answer this question is to ask yourself just how present your partner is within your current relationship? You should take precedence when it comes to their time and thoughts, and if you don’t, there’s a good chance your partner can’t let go of their ex. You may never be the most important person in their life.

    Too Good to Be True

    One of the quickest ways to ease the pain of a broken relationship is to find a stand-in. This happens when one partner collects all the love, dreams, and hopes they had from their last relationship and throws them all at a new partner’s feet. It may feel a bit exciting and overwhelming at first, but unfortunately, this love story is not yours to keep. In fact, you are likely only borrowing it for a bit until your partner realizes you are not the same person who began this story. Many “hot” relationships burn out as quickly as they began, so be wary of any budding relationship that seems just too good to be true. You may just be a stand-in for their ex.

    Opening the Curtain

    Sometimes one partner may not realize what they are doing. They may not see how their ex is manipulating them, or in some cases, they may be in denial of how in love they still are with their ex. Regardless of what’s going on, you need to talk with them about what you see going on. Be understanding and sympathetic of their point of view, but remember your purpose here is to let them know that you are not okay with the situation as it stands and the fact that they can’t let go of their ex.

    It’s Them, Not You

    Whenever a relationship is not as you’d like, you probably tend to focus on what you must be doing, or could do differently to make your partner want you more. However, the reality here is that your partner’s relationship with their ex has nothing to do with what you are doing, and everything to do with the feelings they (may) still have. If your partner can’t let go of their ex, it’s certainly not your fault.

    Maybe You’re Not Their True Love

    Until we find something better, we miss what we once had. Your partner could be unhappy and pine for their ex because you aren’t their true love. Think about it; you know you aren’t. When you do find true love, the path ahead of you will be quite clear. You’re not their true love, so your path with them is murky and void of focus. The good news is that they’re not your true love either. Otherwise, they would be able to let go of their ex. If your partner can’t let go of their ex, then this is not the relationship you’ve been waiting for.

  • Most of us women are, by default, a stickler for love affairs...
    How to end a friendship
    Category: Dating Tips | January 18, 2018

    We love the idea of falling in love and bask in the glory of being swept off our feet by those swoon-worthy souls with their perfect hands.

    And when the going gets tough, we’re not ones to give up too easily on the relationships we’ve given our all to. But sometimes, as unwilling and disgruntled as we might be about it, we choose to give up on love.

    It kills us inside, it tears us apart. But we grit our teeth, and go through with it. Women walk out on relationships they’ve built with their partners over years. They give up on a life they had built around their partners, a life of love they had woven with everything they had, even when it breaks their hearts to have to do it.

    Women leave because, even in seemingly stable, happy relationships, their partners take them for granted.

    Don’t get me wrong. These men aren’t douchebags, they aren’t bad at all. They’re good fathers and they support their family. But these men are so engrossed in work and going about their day, they’re not present for the love of their life.

    As we get increasingly entangled in the humdrum affairs of our lives, we tend to overlook and neglect the little details.

    We don’t pay as much attention as we should to those who form such a huge part of our lives.

    It isn’t something we’re doing consciously. It just so happens that we let our circumstances get in the way of love. And we’re too caught up in our everyday charades to even realize that we need to put in more effort, and invest ourselves and our time a little bit more in building a more fruitful, fulfilling relationship.

    Men, we want to feel your presence, your passion.

    Justice Schanfarber in his insightful piece writes, “Your wife is not your property. She does not owe you her soul. You earn it. Day by day, moment to moment. You earn her first and foremost with your presence, your aliveness. She needs to feel it. She wants to talk to you about what matters to her and to feel you hearing her. Not nodding politely. Not placating. Definitely not playing devil’s advocate.”

    You know what we find most attractive? Your passion for life. And the fact that we’re a vital part of that.

    Let us know that, from time to time. We want to know. We want to feel it, and be a part of it.

    Pay attention to her. Pay closer attention to yourself. Delve deeper. Touch her with your full attention. Notice the most subtle sensations and emotions.

    You cannot imagine how magical it feels to hear you pour your heart out.

    Openness is sexy. We love listening to what you have to say. It feels fantastic to hear you talk about something you’re truly passionate about, to hear you blurt out every profound or silly little thought that might cross your mind. We want you to live in the moment, be fully present, with us.

    ”Hold my hand, look into my eyes, and tell me what you’re thinking.” Believe it or not, there’s nothing more heartwarming and reassuring than that.”

    Take some time out everyday, and be there, fully, completely there, for the love of your life.

    As skewed as it might sound, this holds true for both sexes.

    It isn’t just the men, but even women fail to be emotionally present in their relationships. We get so caught up with ourselves, and our own little worlds, we end up losing out on treasuring something that we hold so dear.So, irrespective of whether you’re a man or a woman, don’t forget to nurture your relationship. Let them know you’re there, that your relationship matters to you, and you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep the spark alive.

  • Perhaps your feelings of ambivalence are based on the idea that getting involved means at least you’re not single anymore!
    How to date successful women 1
    Category: Dating Tips | January 17, 2018

    When sadness strikes, especially if you’ve been sitting at the singles table for awhile then you may be tempted to clutch onto a relationship that you’re sort of sure isn’t really right for you. Perhaps there is someone in the periphery who is attracted to you but you’re not attracted to them, but the idea of seeing them is becoming desperately tempting.

    Perhaps your feelings of ambivalence are based on the idea that getting involved means at least you’re not single anymore! When you get this urge to “settle,” re-read the list below and you may change your thinking. Truly, it’s never a good idea to settle for the wrong relationship just to have a relationship – but we all get the urge.

    Don’t settle…

    It takes more energy to be in a bad relationship than the right relationship. Get ready to feel run down and “not quite right” if you are putting your energy into something you know deep down, isn’t really what you want.
    It will hinder your personal growth and take time away from working on yourself. Self-growth and expansion only goes 

    two ways – out or down.

    Your time will be compromised because you will need time to see this other person. It won’t be long before you feel crowded and overwhelmed if you’re not head over heels in love.

    You will grow to resent the person you picked on a whim. The initial courting period is a very important time for both people to decide to go further.

    You won’t be open to a deep and lasting love that is healthy for you. Other available people, who could be right for you might walk right by you … You must be available for love to receive it.

    Being in a relationship isn’t everything you think it is. If you’ve been single for a while, you may be under the illusion that when this incredible relationship finally shows up, you’ll suddenly be smarter, make more money… you’ll have a whole new life and be a whole new you. These things may or may not happen, but they won’t happen because of a relationship.

    It doesn’t prove you’re a lovable person just because you’re in a relationship. Grasping for love from any adult partner who comes along may be an attempt to finally get the validation you could not receive as a child. No partner can survive under this outsized expectation.

    You might miss the big promotion. When you go against your instincts repeatedly, eventually you won’t be able to hear your intuition. You won’t be as sensitive to what is happening around you. This dulled intuition will affect more than just your love life.

    There is always a consequence to our actions. Anxiety is a clue to what is really going on inside. Knowing that you are just holding on to someone until something better comes along or because you are afraid of being alone, will create unease and even anxiety as time goes on.

    Throwing yourself into something out of fear tells the universe that you don’t trust that good things are coming.

    Take all the energy you wish you could spend on that special someone and throw it back into the world. Spend time with family and friends and know that though you may be technically “single” you are not alone. You are a part of this beautiful love affair called life. You are brimming with this miracle of existence all on your own.

  • Sometimes we lose the experience of being in relationship because we are so busy looking to get somewhere in a relationship...
    Platonic friends
    Category: Dating Tips | January 16, 2018

    Sometimes we lose the experience of being in relationship because we are so busy looking to get somewhere in a relationship—that promise, that ring, that wedding day, that shared dwelling place. There is never a guarantee. Yet there are some things we can do in order to make the most of the romantic relationships we’re in. Here are my top five suggestions:

    1. Rather than worry about what they might do tomorrow, be present with them today.

    It is easy to get caught up in worry when we are attached to someone—worry that they will leave, worried that we will make a mistake, worried that this might not be “the one.” Instead of worrying about the future, be present, enjoy the moment and take it all in. Why forgo the happiness you could have today by worrying about not having it to tomorrow?

    2. Stop trying to control their behavior, thinking it will guarantee the outcome you desire.

    You could be controlling your partner in many ways. Do you tell them who they can socialize with and how often as a means of trying to guarantee their loyalty and fidelity? Do you try to control what they eat, how they dress and how they spend their money? If you love them, let them be themselves. Nothing destroys a relationship faster than someone trying to control the relationship and their partner. You can’t prevent deception with control. If they are going to deceive you, they will find a way, no matter how much control you think you have.

    3. Stop taking turns 

    Stop playing the “whose turn is it” game. If you’re keeping track of how many times you did the dishes or how many times they took out the garbage, you’re missing the point of a relationship. Relationships aren’t always 50/50. That means you both won’t be putting an equal amount of effort into it all the time. But, that’s okay. It’s about taking care of each other, not keeping score. If you lose some of that pride, you may improve your relationship!

    4. Stop editing your partner’s words to fit your own story. 

    Don’t read between the lines and look for insults where there are none. Listen to your partner’s words and ask for clarification when needed. There is nothing worse than being in a relationship that lacks communication and understanding.

    5. Don’t put the failures of your last relationship onto this partner.

    Don’t bring the woes of your last relationship into this relationship and don’t compare your current partner to your last partner. Every person deserves a fair chance. If you’re waiting for this partner to make the same mistakes as your last partner, or repeat the same patterns, you are potentially damaging your relationship. Think of it as a pair of old glasses. If your old glasses cause you to draw comparisons between your current partner and your old partner, put on a new pair of glasses! If you can’t help but make comparisons, you should consider resolving the issues from your previous relationships before trying again with someone new.

    Many people call psychics because they want to know what the future holds for them. But nothing is static and nothing is etched in blood in the universal fabric, so I suggest you call a psychic and ask about improving your present. This article is just a sample of some of the advice I offer my callers. If you want to learn more about yourself and how you can love better, call me.

  • An introvert takes a bit more work, but it's totally rewarding...
    What do women want in a man
    Category: Dating Tips | January 15, 2018

    I've always been a sucker for an introvert. Quiet, withdrawn, shy — that's the trifecta of extreme desirability for me. Throw in a little awkward and sad, and I am in love. Maybe it's the extrovert in me, but I’ve always been drawn to people who I need to crack open a bit. I guess I like a challenge. Or maybe it’s their air of mystery? Either way, I find them irresistible. The problem is, it can be really hard to recognize the signs an introvert likes you back.

    Getting to know, let alone date, an introvert takes a bit more work, but it's totally rewarding. There is something really special about knowing that you are one of the few people that they have let into their very private world. But it's easy to mistake their introversion for a lack of interest, or to get confused by what seems like they're sending mixed signals. That's because the clues can be (frustratingly) subtle, but I promise you they are there — you just need to know what to look for.

    So, is there an introvert in your life you wonder about? If so, here's how to know if that shy guy (or gal) is secretly crushing on you.

    1. They Suddenly Just Seem To Always Be Around
    An introvert who is interested in you may not directly make plans to spend time with you, but instead opt to conveniently just be around where you are… a lot. Whether it’s making sure to join in any group outing you’re a part of, or showing up at places you frequent, if they are just suddenly very present in your life, it’s a sign they crushing on you.

    Introverts tend to sit back and observe before they jump in; this is their quiet way of getting to know you.

    2. They Change Their Behavior When They’re Around You
    Have you noticed them change their behavior when you walk in the room? Do they suddenly get quiet, or turn up? If you have an effect on them, it's because they are secretly into you.

    3. They Let You Into Their Personal Space
    This can be literally letting you get near them and touch them, or, more figuratively, they share their alone time with you. Introverts tend to value their quiet time, so if they are willing to include you in that, then girl, you have made it — you have cracked the shell of the illusive introvert. But seriously, that's really special and you should feel amazing.

    4. They Get Personal With You
    Introverts tend to play their feelings close to the vest, so when one begins sharing their innermost feelings with you, that’s a pretty big deal. It's not easy for them to share their private side with people, so if they are going through the effort to do that, it’s big flashing sign they’ve caught feelings and that they feel comfortable around you enough to do it.

    5. They Go Outside Their Comfort Zone With You
    We all love our comfort zones. They're just so, you know... comfortable. Introverts most of all. So when an introvert who's previously avoided social gatherings is suddenly going to the party or hitting the club when you're “coincidentally “ there, then you know they've got it bad. Maybe it’s making small talk or calling you on the phone — if they are pushing outside of their safe space for you, you can be pretty confident they're crushing hard.

    See, it’s really easy to let these signs slip below your radar, but they are there. If you're vigilant and patient it's worth it. Take it from me, falling for a sweet and thoughtful introvert is the best.

  • 9 Fun Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend While Texting Him...
    How to write a dating profile
    Category: Dating Tips | January 13, 2018

    I've never been great at texting. In fact, I'm a D-list texter. Whether I'm texting my dad's neighbor about which plants he needed watered or texting someone I am genuinely crushing on, I suck across the board. That is why I envy you, Ms. Googler of "fun questions to ask your boyfriend," because you must be a god damn A-list texter. Consistent, responsive, and inquisitive for the people who matter most. Hell, you're even willing to do some research. Cheers to you.

    I know that my terrible texting mostly means that I am lazy. I am certainly capable of crafting cohesive, thoughtful strings of words, but something about the iMessage button-to-thumb pad ratio drives me nuts. I commend your dedication to not being lazy in your communication with your SO. Très mature. (Pronounced "ma-tour.")

    In a couple, talking to each other with your mouths is crucial, but talking to each other with your fingers is important, too. (I know, I know... that's what he said.) Finger-speak is especially important if you are long-distance or if you have trouble making time to see each other in person. While I'm in unintentional-innuendo land, you can't always be sexy-texting your SO either. You both have jobs! (Hopefully.)

    Since I seem to be a laissez-faire texter, and thus an inadequate one, I decided to challenge myself to come up with 9 fun questions to ask a partner. I was curious to see if I could overcome my laziness with a deadline. I think I did, because I don't currently have a partner, but now I want to text one these Qs:

    1. What's The First Thing You Thought Of This Morning?
    OK, so I definitely co-opted this one from Vogue's "73 Questions" series, but I really love it. First off, I'm not exactly sure what the first thing I thought about this morning was. (Probably: Why is everyone on Instagram drinking more juice than me?) Bae will have fun noodling on this one. Also, it's interesting to find out what the F goes on in your partner's head first this in the AM. Early morning thoughts are weeeeeird.

    2. If You Could Only Have Ice Cream Or Cheese For The Rest Of Your Life, What Would You Choose?
    For the lactose intolerant and vegans SOs, you can switch this up. French fries and pizza works, as does wine and coffee. To clarify: The respondent can eat things other than cheese and ice cream, but if they pick "cheese," then they can never have ice cream again. And vice versa. I like this because it's hard and also because food is dreamy.

    3. Who Would You Have A Threesome With At This Party?

    My friend in a very loving relaysh gave me this one. This is a sexy, across-the-room text that could also totally backfire and lead to a jealousy-spin on one of your parts. Tread carefully. You could also sub "of all celebrities" for "at this party." That's a fun way to spice up the work day.

    5. What Are Your Top Five TV Shows Of All Time?
    I like to add "that you could re-watch forever" here, because sometimes smarty pants like to name the most zeitgeist-worthy, "classic" shows like Oz, which, let's be honest, they were probably too young to watch.

    6. What's Your Favorite Rap Lyric?
    Another borrow from Vogue, but this is an excellent question. Mine is probably "If heaven had a height you would be that tall" by Common. I'm soft. Or wait. I forgot about Kanye...

    7. What's Your Favorite Kanye Lyric?
    From the deeper "I'm so gifted at finding what don't like the most / So I think it's time for us to have a toast" from "Runaway" to the more, um, straightforward "If you ain't no punk holla we want prenup!" (and everything before it), this is a superb point of conversation.

    8. Want To Meet Up For A Midday Drink?
    Or coffee. Or lunch. Playing hooky rules, and playing hooky simultaneously with someone you date rules even more. Whether you are both at work, or just at different friend commitments, taking an hour to meet up is delightful.

    9. Do You Want To Try The Butter Churner Tonight?
    Your partner might assume you went to a flea market in Brooklyn and got some strange new vintage appliance to test out. But no, the "butter churner" is a sex position. (Proof.) Sending any text that gets your boo thinking about what you both might get up to later that evening is v hot.

    There you have it. If you give any of these a go, please do report back. (If they work, maybe I've finally moved out of the "D-list" category of texters.)

  • It's difficult to figure out how to break up with someone...
    How to deal with a depressed person
    Category: Dating Tips | January 12, 2018

    On-and-off relationships are the worst, especially because you don't know how to handle yourself during the "off" period. Moving on might feel a bit like cheating, even if you and your partner both know you have to take some time away from your relationship. It's difficult to figure out how to break up with someone, particularly if you think, at some point, you'll want to get back together. It all comes down to breaking up respectfully.

    I was in an on-and-off relationship for five years, and breaking up each time got incredibly complicated. Because let's be real: Breaking up with the intention of possibly getting back together is actually more like taking a break. Each time we'd split up, we knew we were going to get back together, so everyone we would date on our off periods just felt like a rebound. Plus, we never really knew when to take a breakup seriously, since they usually ended with us getting back together anyway. We started using the word "breakup" pretty flagrantly.

    But sometimes, you intentionally want to take some time apart to address the issues in your relationship, reevaluate things, and see if you're actually right for one another in the long run. So here's how to break up with someone you might want to get back together with eventually... as if love wasn't complicated enough already.

    1. Separate With Love
    While breakups can hold a lot of anger and resentment, if you have plans to get back together in the future, it's important to move forward with respect for one another. Otherwise, you ruin your chances of getting back together in the future.

    Separate with love, and honor what you had and shared in your relationship. Remember the good times you had together, and try your best to part as friends. If you stay focused on your own personal growth during your breakup, instead of ruminating on the things your ex did that upset you, you might be able to get your relationship back on track.  

    2. Set A Clear Boundary
    Are you going to talk? If so, how often? Are you going to continue to follow one another on social media? Is it OK to date other people? Will you let one another know if you do?

    One of the hardest things about taking a break is figuring out the parameters of the break so that neither you nor your (ex) partner gets hurt. This means establishing clear and explicit boundaries — and sticking to them.

    If you find that, during your break, you need to deviate from what you've decided, arrange a phone call or in-person meeting to recollect your thoughts. A break is for figuring out whether or not you're better off together or single. So if you find the single life is more suited for you, there's no harm in telling your partner that and making the final decision to split up for good.

    3. Figure Out What You Need In Your Time Apart
    Breaks are the ultimate time for introspection and personal growth. Instead of blaming your partner for any issues in your relationship, turn your thoughts inward and figure out where you can work on yourself. Use this precious time alone to develop yourself as a person. You'll find that you will either outgrow your ex in the meantime or become an even better, more mature partner for your relationship.

    4. Re-evaluate With Time
    You don't need to set a strict time limit for a break, but after you and your partner take some space from each other, figure out whether or not getting back together is right for you. If your break is destined to become a breakup, then end your relationship and move on for good. But if you've learned things during your time apart and you're ready to address your relationship with fresh eyes and skills, then get back together and try again.

    Breaking up is hard to do, especially if you're not sure if you want it to be forever. So if your breakup looks more like a break, make sure you handle it delicately. If you don't know what the future holds, you need to handle your present with love and care.

  • So here are some questions you can ask your crush to figure out whether or not you might have a future together...
    How to be social
    Category: Dating Tips | January 11, 2018

    I recently went on a date with a guy who liked La La Land, which is pretty much my least favorite movie of all time. We actually got in an argument about it over dinner. Did this mean we weren't destined to be together? Well, he must have thought so, because we haven't talked since. But it brought up a good question: What are some questions to ask your crush on a first date, so you can find out whether or not you're truly compatible? You know, so you don't find out a year into your relationship that you and your partner vary in opinion on important movies and TV shows (or other super important things).

    Well, I guess it all comes down to figuring out if you're compatible in a day-to-day, real-life sense. When and if you start doing couple-y things, would you actually like doing them together? If you like flea markets and your partner likes heavy metal concerts, your relationship may not work out in the long run, unless both of you are really willing to compromise. Either that, or you'll be spending a lot of time apart.

    So here are some questions you can ask your crush to figure out whether or not you might have a future together. Because if you don't like the same TV shows and movies, then what else is there to life, right?

    1. What Is Your Favorite TV Show?
    Ask your crush what kind of TV shows they like to watch. It will probably give you some good insight into their personality. Do they like true crime docs? Dramas? Comedies? Reality TV? These all give off a very different vibe.

    Maybe they don't watch TV at all, and instead, they're the reading type, which can either be great or annoying, depending on whether or not they look down on your obsession with Real Housewives.

    2. Do You Like Horror Movies?
    This question is a good way to test your compatibility and actually gives more insight into the other person than you might think. This might seem surprising, but according to OkCupid, if you want to know if you and your partner have what it takes to survive long term, you should ask them if they enjoy scary movies. Why? Well, it gives you a good look into their personality. Someone who likes horror movies might also be attracted to other forms of adrenaline rushes, or they may be risk takers in life in general.

    3. What's Your Favorite Way To Spend A Weekend?
    If you're a homebody, and your crush is a party animal, then it's probably not a match made in heaven. Find out early on how your crush likes to spend their free time. Because if you're in a relationship, you're going to be spending a good chunk of your free time together.

    4. If You Could Travel Anywhere, Where Would You Go?
    I am a lay-out-and-lounge kind of gal. I also like a museum or a good restaurant. But you know what I don't want to do? Go zip-lining through the jungle or take a zillion-mile hike through a glacier. I have also realized with time that camping is just not for me. I don't like dirt, and I enjoy clean bathrooms.

    So ask your potential partner what their dream vacay looks like. If you're thinking tanning while they're thinking tents, you might have a problem on your hands... or at least some compromising to do.

    5. What Is Your Family Like?
    If you're going to be in a relationship with someone, then you need to be compatible with their family as well. So on a date, I always like to ask what someone's family is like. Personally, I know that I would never get along with someone who comes from a strict, conservative upbringing. I have tattoos, a bizarre sense of humor, and essentially lack all sorts of boundaries. So if my significant other and his fam are proper in any way, then a relationship between us would never work out.

    So if you want to find out if you and your crush are compatible, maybe ask them a few of these questions. Depending on their answer, you might have a great future ahead of you.