• Reserach shows we project our desire to cheat onto our partners...
    How to overcome jealousy
    Category: Dating Tips | February 17, 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.

  • Be clear if you are interested or not...
    Rawpixel com 351766 e1512685199842
    Category: Dating Tips | February 16, 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.

  • The culture influences our focus on the past, present, future...
    Alex holyoake 370400 e1512521142735
    Category: Dating Tips | February 15, 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.

  • 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...
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    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...
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    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.

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    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.

  • "Happiness comes from within." We hear this sentence all the time...
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    Category: Dating Tips | February 10, 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.

  • 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.

  • Empowered love is compassionate love...
    Romantic honeymoon ideas
    Category: Dating Tips | February 08, 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!”

  • 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.

  • 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 | February 05, 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.

  • 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...
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    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.

  • Many of us never really think about what having a relationship with yourself really means...
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    Category: Dating Tips | January 28, 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 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.


    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.

  • The last one is particularly endearing....
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    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!

  • Here are clues that it is time to end your relationship...
    Mixed signals from a guy
    Category: Dating Tips | January 25, 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. 

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    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.

  • First of all, we create more of what we focus on...
    How to find true love
    Category: Dating Tips | January 24, 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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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?"

  • How many times have we heard the phrase, “All men want is sex?”...
    How to make a guy miss you
    Category: Dating Tips | January 23, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 | January 20, 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.

  • 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.

  • Men get nervous, too...
    Platonic marriage
    Category: Dating Tips | January 14, 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.)

  • 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.

  • An app that helps you locate your potential Flatmate via a speed-match event...
    Blog img partnership 02 ovmurb
    Category: News | January 10, 2018

    We are please to announce that we (Spefz Ltd) are now in partnership with City Flatmate as of the 10th January 2018.

    City Flatmate is an app that focuses on matching individuals seeking potential housemates to live with. Living with the right people beats living on your own any day. When you live with the right people, you don't just share your space - you share your life.

    City Flatmate is all about helping you find those people. The right people who make sharing a home space amazing!

    Spefz Ltd will be in partnership with City Flatmate in organising speed-match events for it’s members from February 2018. We will use our unqiue algorithm to match potential housemates. Events will be organised once a month in a laid back setting. Members can chat about whatever interests them. Each member will have 1-5 minutes to talk to the other and the rest of the evening to socialise with whomever catches their interest (just like speed-dating but instead for flatmate hunting!) 

    Why not join us at our first meet-up of the year:

    City Flatmate Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CityFlatmateHQ/posts/

  • It can be a bumpy ride...
    Fearful avoidant attachment
    Category: Dating Tips | January 10, 2018

    Moving in with your partner is one of the most momentous (and terrifying) steps you can take in a relationship. It’s a big deal when you officially decide to cram all of your stuff into one (probably cramped) space, and agree to wake up to one another's ugly mugs pretty much every single day in the foreseeable future.

    Giving up certain perks of living alone (farting, leaving your underwear on the floor, only cleaning when you want to) can be really challenging for some folks. That said, there are some truly blissful moments (splitting the rent!) as well.


    1. Excitement 
    Once you come to the conclusion that it’s a good idea to shack up, the anticipatory excitement—usually mixed with a little bit of trepidation and doubt, if we’re being honest—sets in and preparations begin. It's about to get Pinteresting! 

    2.  Accomplishment 
    Things get real once you sign your names on that lease. You realize this is actually happening, and you might get some butterflies for the first time in a while. Don't take this feeling for granted. Go out and celebrate your last remaining days of not sharing a bathroom!

    3. Stress
    Let's make one thing clear: The first test of living together comes before you even actually live together—I’m talking about moving day. Sorry, but the act of packing, moving in, and then unpacking is always a terrible time. Try to counteract the inevitable arguments with as much pizza and beer as possible. 

    4. Compromise
    Is there anything worse than that Scarface poster he’s had since college becoming a focal point in your living room? No, but you're going to have to compromise somehow. Maybe a nice white frame will do the trick?

    5. Disgust
    Maybe you knew he was kind of messy before, but now you're certain that he truly does not understand the concept of a clothing hamper. Or that he’s not in the habit of putting the toilet seat down or doing dishes. On the flip-side, he'll probably be wondering how it’s possible that women shed so much hair on a daily basis.

    6. Frustration
    Couples fight. It happens. But the feuding dynamic changes when you move in together. It’s not like you can go home, because they live in your home. So that’s weird.

    7. Acceptance
    Everybody poops, and everybody’s poop smells bad. But it definitely produces several emotions when you or your significant other can’t hold it and has to barge in while the other is in the shower. Which does happen sometimes. On the upside, you can now shower together whenever you feel like it.

    8. Nostalgia
    There will be times when you yearn for the old days when you lived alone and could pretty much do whatever you wanted. This will probably be a fleeting feeling, though, because you’ll soon realize that things are better now than they were before. (And if you don’t come to this realization, well, you have some serious stuff to think about.)

    9. Adjustment
    Before moving in, many couples don’t seem to realize that they will be together all the damn time. There will be days when they only time you’re not with them will be while you’re at work, and sometimes you’ll spend the entire weekend together. Now might be a good time to start with that new fitness routine your partner has zero interest in. 

    10. Satisfaction
    True fact: Few things are greater than greeting your partner with a kiss at the end of a long day, or sharing some wine and conversation on the couch. Also, the bedroom is always just a few steps away (if you know what we mean). Enjoy it. You have what most other people want. 


  • The Women's Health Guy Next Door assures us that not all dudes are lone wolves...
    Saying i love you too soon
    Category: Dating Tips | January 09, 2018

    Bachelorhood has its perks, but no guy wants to spend his whole life in the dating pool. Eventually the water becomes cold, our fingertips become wrinkled, and we start to suspect that somebody’s peeing in the water. Romantic notion, right? But this much is true: Pretty much every man wants to end up in a relationship eventually. He wants someone to share his pool towel with, so he doesn’t have to spend his life treading water with the other pruning singles. So what is it that draws us to life in love? Let me explain:

    Well, no new strings, anyway. We were already committed to you before we got naked, so there are no subtle “what does this mean for us?” conversations afterward. Ahhh.

    We can make breakfast, or not. We can talk about last night, or not. But whatever we do, there’s no hidden subtext. And nobody has to take a cab home.

    Hey, we’re handy. We have tools and everything. No big deal. Actually, we think it's a pretty big deal and want to show off our skills, but our friends aren't usually that impressed.

    You like spotless floors, and I like clutter-free countertops. Consider the duties divvied. (But if we’re being honest, you should do the bathroom. Your hair is everywhere.)

    Would you use a sex toy with a one-night stand? Would you test new positions you weren’t sure about? Would you make a home video so the two of you could watch it together later? My guess is no, no, and definitely not. But in a relationship, you can do all that. And we want to.

    You think we can achieve big things, even when we’re not so sure. That’s huge.

    Okay, you’re right. A petting-zoo cocktail bar probably isn’t the best business plan. Thanks for hearing us out, babe. The next one will be the winner.

    Our coworkers see our professional side. Our buds see our rowdy side. Our girlfriend sees both—plus our tender side, our generous side, our stubborn side, our cranky side...

    Quirks? Rough spots? Flaws? We got ‘em all. And you still love us.

    Skinny jeans are still in, right? Oh, that’s over? Well damn. Good thing we didn’t just spend $100 on these.

    After the shower, when you drop your towel like it’s no big deal. Then you snap on your bra, slip on your skirt, shimmy into your blouse—yeah, all of that. As long as you're cool with it, we're totally allowed to stare in a relationship. And, obviously, we welcome you to stare back.

  • Dating's not easy, guys...
    Social mores
    Category: Dating Tips | January 08, 2018

    There's nothing more depressing than swiping left on, like, 20 guys in a row on Tinder. (And then not scoring a match with the one guy you swiped right on.) Now, a new study shows all that swiping might actually be taking a toll on people's psyches. 

    A paper presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention reveals a bummer characteristic that seems to be common among Tinder users: low self-esteem. Researchers from the University of North Texas asked a group of 1,300 male and female subjects (mostly college-aged) to score their feelings about statements on body image and self-esteem, such as “At times, I think I am no good at all,” on a scale of one to five. Each participant also indicated whether or not they used Tinder

    Respondents who used the dating app were generally more likely to have low self-worth, be less satisfied with their appearance, and be more embarrassed by their bodies—regardless of their gender, as opposed to the people who reported that they weren't on the app. And that’s not all: The data also indicates that Tinder users are more likely to view themselves as sex objects and be hyperconscious of their looks, especially as compared to others.

    But wait, there's a twist! The lowest self-esteem levels were registered by the men, not the women. Researchers speculate that the results skewed this way because, in general, there are more men on the app than women. Not helping the situation: Men have a tendency to be less discerning with their swiping habits, which ups the odds of rejection. (Where’s that sad trombone noise when you need it?)

    More research is needed to determine whether the app actually causes lower self-esteem or if people who gravitate toward it have lower self-esteem coming in. But until then, maybe go the ol' fashioned route and head to a bar.

  • 4 Ways that Sleep & Circadian Rhythms Differ Between Women & Men...
    Guilherme stecanella 370459
    Category: Dating Tips | January 07, 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.

  • When it comes to being introverted, we can all benefit from knowing how to make more friends. If this is you, here’s how to go about it...
    How to make more friends
    Category: Networking Tips | January 06, 2018

    You can meet people at school or work or while out with other friends but when you hardly ever leave the house, your social life is probably a little sad. And if you work from home AND you’re an introvert, it’s basically nonexistent. But that’s a lonely way to live, which is why you probably want to know how to make more friends.

    I get it. It’s hard meeting new friends the older you get. You just don’t go out as much and when you do, it’s usually not to go make friends with other people. There are very few ways to open a door to friendship with random people.

    Why you might not be making friends even if you’re trying hard

    A lot of us don’t exactly put out a very friendly vibe. As introverts, we get pretty tired socializing and this can often make us cranky and unapproachable. You may not be making friends very easily if you only go out for a short time and then leave angry.

    You could also be putting out some weird, creepy vibes, too. Since most people go out with friends in groups, a stranger trying to squeeze their way in isn’t exactly welcome. There’s an art of subtlety that has to take place in this situation and we’ll teach you how.

    How to make more friends when you tend to avoid people

    I’ll be honest with you. It’s hard. You’ll have to go out of your comfort zone and actually put forth an effort to form solid relationships. Someone else isn’t going to find you and proclaim you as their friend, as simple as that would be. Here’s how you can actually learn how to make more friends even as a severe introvert.

    #1 Think about why you want friends. Do you have friends already and just want more or do you have none at all? This does make a huge difference. If you already have friends and are trying to find new people to hang out with, ask yourself why.

    Are bored with them or do you just not like them? Maybe they’re not hanging out with you enough and you want more. Whatever the reason, it’s good to think it over a bit before trying for new friends.

    #2 Go out. Yes, you really do have to go out if you want to know how to make more friends. It all happens when you socialize. That is, if you want friends you can actually hang out with. Internet friends are an entirely different thing.

    But you have to make an effort to go out and meet people. How can you make more friends when you are never in a place to do that? Head to a bar every weekend and do some socializing!

    #3 Do stuff you enjoy, alone. I know this might sound odd but it works pretty well. When you go and do stuff you like alone, you might find someone else there in your same boat. The great thing about this is that you already have something in common so you know it has to be a decent match already.

    #4 Hang out with current friends and get to know your mutuals better. All the people your friends with have friends that you’re not very close to. Maybe you should change that. You never know who could end up being a really great friend to you if you just take the time to get to know them a little better. So get together and try a little harder to connect.

    #5 Try a new hobby you might like. Go to a beginner’s class for something you’re not quite sure if you’ll like or not. You could end up loving it and it’s perfect for getting to know others who are there because you’re both just as clueless. You can make connections and even go to class together sometimes.

    #6 Make small talk with many people. You don’t have to try to make connections with every single person you meet but chatting up many people with small talk can really help. Just saying hello or commenting on someone’s jacket or shoes could go a long way in making more friends.

    #7 Try to keep the conversation going with people you click with. If you’re talking to someone and you’re getting along really well, don’t just walk away and end the conversation. Keep it going!

    Put forth the effort to talk to them more and see if you can find more commonalities. If the chat is going well and they’re engaged in the conversation, it’s a great sign. Keep it up and you could have a new friend. Just make sure not to keep them talking when they’re trying to leave.

    #8 Get some phone numbers if you have to head out. It’s not weird to ask for phone numbers anymore. However, if you still feel weird about asking, just add someone on Facebook first. You can start a conversation on there and carry it over if things go well.

    The key here is when to ask. You can’t just say hello, have a great 2-minute conversation and assume it’s okay to get some digits. Wait until you’ve been chatting for a while but one of you has to leave.

    #9 Suggest activities to people. It’s not just about talking about your interests. Suggesting different activities to people is a great way to stay connected even if you’re not in any other way.

    Tell someone about a great little coffee shop with live music if they’ve expressed interest in that sort of thing. That way, they can find you on Facebook or tell you how great it was. That’s the fast-track to friendship.

    #10 Invite them to go with you to the next bar. If you’re at the bar talking and want to continue, but in another place, ask them to go with. Tell them about this little place you really like with great drinks and have them tag along. This keeps the conversations going and lets you see if they even like you.

    #11 Invite them to go with you somewhere fun sometime. This doesn’t have to be weird. If you’re hitting it off and have been chatting online or texting for a bit and would consider yourself friends, just invite them out. Ask if they want to go to a concert of someone you both like. You’ll be good friends in no time.

    #12 Keep in touch. Don’t just stop talking to someone after that night. If you add them on Facebook or any other form of social media, be active and engage with them on it. Losing touch with people you got along with will only set you further back on your quest for finding more friends.

    The key to learning how to make more friends is just putting forth the effort. It might seem odd at first but all it really is, is connecting with like-minded people and staying in touch.

  • Instead of focusing on what is wrong, try and focus on what is right...
    Best honeymoon destinations
    Category: Dating Tips | January 05, 2018

    When people feel more gratitude in their relationships, they're happier, more committed, and less likely to break up. They are also nicer to their partners and feel more appreciated by their partners. So if you've never done it before, start 2018 by expressing gratitude to your partner using one of the most powerful tricks used in the lab to induce gratitude. Skeptical? You are not alone. But if you just give it a try and see how it makes you feel, you might be surprised! It is two simple steps:

    1. Write a letter to your partner expressing your gratitude.
    2. Read it to your partner.
    Were you with me until step 2? If you are unsure about actually reading the letter to your partner, imagine how you’d feel if your partner asked to read you a gratitude letter that they had written to you. Would you feel good? Would you want to hear that letter? I expect your partner will feel the same way. But if for some reason you really can’t handle reading the letter to your partner, consider writing it as an email. If not even that will do, then please still take the time to do Step 1 and write the letter. It will be good for your relationship even if you are the only person who ever sees it.

    Go ahead and write this letter today to try it out. But I would not advise writing gratitude letters all the time as way to induce gratitude. If you try to write one too often you might find it difficult to think of new things to be grateful for and this can actually backfire, making you less grateful. This is a good trick to save for those moments when you really feel disconnected from your partner or are thinking about your partner in a particularly negative way.

    Gratitude Letter Instructions:

    On your computer or a piece of paper, write a letter expressing gratitude to your partner. Write to your partner and tell them all of the things you appreciate about them. Think about what your partner adds to your life, the nice things that your partner has done for you, what you like best about your partner, and what it is about your partner that attracted you to them in the first place.

    Start the letter "Dear _______,"

    Write as much or as little as you'd like, but write a few sentences at least.

    When you have finished writing the letter, wait until a good moment in the next day or so when your partner isn’t too busy and can listen. Bonus points if your partner could use a mood boost. Then ask if you can read them the letter. Make it clear that you don’t expect them to reciprocate, you just want to let them know how you feel. If you can’t handle reading it to them, consider sending it in an email tonight so that they get a nice surprise when they check their email in the morning. Save a copy of the letter for yourself and feel free to read it again in the future when you need a little reminder of everything you appreciate about your partner.

  • Love, sex and intimacy need special treatment in a digital age...
    Rebound guy
    Category: Dating Tips | January 04, 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.  

  • Learn when to just cut the losses and just say good bye...
    Anthony tori 120173
    Category: Dating Tips | January 03, 2018

    Relationships require a vast amount of investment such as time, money, and most of all emotional energy. The more you invest in your relationship the more it shapes your choices and ultimately your life. When you have so much invested it can be hard to let go, for reasons such as worrying about the impact on the kids, wondering if you have really put forth enough effort, or the fear of being alone. But when a relationship deteriorates there is inevitably always a time when the damage has been done and no amount of salvaging can save it. Knowing, when to let go is extremely key to being able to cut your losses, maintain your own mental health and well-being, and move forward toward the better relationship you deserve. Below are 4 reasons that would indicate it is time to let go of a relationship. If even one of these exist it is likely enough of a reason to move on.

    1. The goodness is gone.

    While chemistry and shared values are important, at the end of the day solid relationships are built on the goodness that exists between two people. Goodness is what holds relationships together. It is the kindness, the good will toward each other, the being on that person’s side even when they might be wrong, the willingness to forgive flaws and mistakes, the tolerance for their annoying habits. It’s the support, the admiration, the respect, the dedication, and commitment you have with each other. The goodness doesn’t generally disappear over-night, it’s something that erodes slowly over time. Behaviors that indicate the goodness may be waning include chronic irritability, anger, distance, meanness, and lack of respect of any kind. Unfortunately, once the goodness fades, there has generally been so much hurt in the relationship, that it is very hard to regain.

    2. You are being disrespected.

    Respect is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, it even trumps trust because you cannot trust someone who disrespects you. Even small slights matter, because the way someone treats you ultimately reveals their character and their true feelings about you. Disrespect can come in many forms and you may not always fully recognize it on the surface, but you will always feel it. It's that kicked in the gut feeling you get when some normative expectation that exists within the relationship has been violated. Behaviors such as insults, lying, or cheating are all disrespect and what they really show is a lack of concern about how you feel and the impact these behaviors have on you.

    If you’re not sure if someone is being disrespectful or just unaware, tell the person how their behavior is making you feel and see what happens. If the person makes an effort to understand your perspective and alter their behavior, then they are showing you that they care, but if they dismiss you or go right back to the same behavior, then they are showing a lack of respect for you and your relationship.

    3. You are trying too hard.

    The energy flow between two people in most healthy relationships is generally fairly equal. The give and take should allow both people, for the most part, to feel they are getting their needs met. When a relationship starts to deteriorate, it can feel like one person is doing all the work to maintain the relationship, which creates an unbalance and a disconnect. The person doing all the work can become resentful and the person on the receiving end can become more and more complacent. When you try too hard to get someone to come toward you, what generally happens is they move in the opposite direction. If you feel you’ve been doing most of the work in the relationship lately, take a big step back and see what happens. If your partner starts to pick up the slack and come toward you, then the possibility of re-aligning the energy still exists. If, however, you step back and your partner gets angry or continues to drift further away, then chances are he/she isn’t coming back.

    4. It’s all about the other person.

    While all relationships are different, both people should generally feel there is room for them to grow and develop, to feel their individual dreams and aspirations in life matter. They should feel there is space for their interests to be included in the relationship and that there is enough opportunity for each person’s needs to be met. Relationships that are unbalanced in this respect tend to revolve around one person. The person who the relationship revolves around is generally satisfied with this arrangement while the other person ends up feeling, resentful, used, and like they are living someone else’s life. If you feel like the relationship is all about the other person, try creating some space for yourself and being vocal about your needs, if the other person gets upset or isn’t responsive then it is likely that to find yourself and maintain your own identity, you may have to move on. 

    Saying goodbye is never easy, but maintaining yourself respect and dignity are key to your mental well-being and sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do for yourself. Know that when you take care of you, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to be in a happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationship and it is just a matter of time before you find one.

  • After the christmas break, here's six ways to forging ahead in the new year...
    Media thetimes je2xs3
    Category: News | January 01, 2018

    From hiring the right people to not wasting time in the email exchanges, owner-managers reveal how they are planning to develop and grow their businesses in 2018

    Richill Artloe, founded Spefz.com, a start-up that is building a dating and networking events platform.

    "Getting caught in back-and-forth email conversations was an Achilles' heel for me in 2017 and it can be a huge time-waster. I am effectively making everyone else's tasks more important than my own and i have learnt the hard way that it is importnat to take care of your own priorities first. I plan to disconnect from any communication two or three times a day in 2018 for at least an hour at a time, to focus on executing tasks without distraction."


    Author: James Hurley

  • We asked therapists, psychologists and other experts for signs that a relationship is healthy...
    Category: Dating Tips | December 29, 2017

    A healthy relationship doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes two people, however imperfect, who are committed to putting in the work to better themselves and improve their partnership in the process. 

    1. You have realistic expectations about love.

    “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is another matter. Long-term relationships are hard! There are many, many hills and valleys. Anticipating inevitable relationship challenges and having a plan to overcome them together (without overreacting) is the sign of a solid relationship.” ―Michele Weiner-Davis, therapist and author of Divorce Busting

    2. You don’t take the little things personally.

    “Rather than assume the worst, healthy couples will ascribe the best possible motive in the face of mistakes. Forgot to pick up the dry cleaning? Left the car with almost no gas? Rather than think, ‘She doesn’t care about me’ or, ‘He’s just out for himself,’ they think, ‘Even the most loving partners sometimes screw up.’” ―Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango 

    3. You act as teammates, not competitors.

    “While it may be good to compete in the workforce or in some athletic competition, it is not healthy for couples to compete against each other. Enjoy each other and keep the competition outside of the relationship.” ―Douglas C. Brooks, sex therapist 

    4. You take responsibility instead of always shifting blame.

    “Each partner will recognize a problem and look first to how they may have contributed to it. There’s a financial problem? Where did I overspend? The chores aren’t getting done? What did I miss? It’s not that the blame always resides in one person. In fact it rarely does, but healthy couples look to their contribution first before asking where their partner fell short. Unhealthy couples are quick to point the finger at the other and absolve themselves from blame.” ―Ryan Howes, psychologist

    5. You feel secure in the relationship because you trust each other.

    “Both partners have a deep trust and belief in the other person’s loyalty and veracity and are not jealous or suspicious. Healthy couples feel loved and they are not paranoid. They know their partner is trying to protect the relationship.” ―Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist

    6. You go out of your way for each other.

    “We live in a culture that emphasizes personal satisfaction and the importance of ‘following your bliss.’ Putting your own needs first or being bitter about prioritizing your partner’s needs is a formula for disaster. When you truly give your partner an emotional gift ― such as being willing to have regular dinner dates with your in-laws who you don’t really adore (but your husband does),  know that reciprocity is the usual response. Loving people do mutual caretaking.” ―Weiner-Davis

    7. You can talk openly about anything — even tricky topics.

    “Sex, money, frustrations, desires. Healthy couples want to know what the other thinks and feels even though the truth might be upsetting.” ―Reilly

    8. You grow individually over time, and allow the other to do the same.

    “As much as you loved and appreciated your partner when you met him or her, after years or decades, they are bound to change. You can rail against this inevitability or embrace it. Healthy couples recognize that change is good and developing identity is a lifelong process. They encourage new hobbies, career paths, friendships, and interests their partners embark upon. Of course, it is natural to feel fear if the change threatens your livelihood or sense of safety, but hopefully you can communicate this and navigate the changes together. You signed on to grow and change together, and this requires a true partnership.” ―Howes

    9. When you fight, you fight fair.

    “They can argue about something important without showing disrespect to the other person. If either of you resorts to name-calling, it means there can be no true communication. A healthy couple can debate issues ― even raise their voices ― but never hurls insults.” ―Schwartz

  • If one does decide on wanting to work things out and mend a relationship after cheating, it will mostly be a tough journey ahead....
    Signs of a stalker
    Category: Dating Tips | December 28, 2017

    The most unfortunate thing that can happen to someone in a steady, committed relationship is betrayal. For ones who may have experienced this feeling personally, the feeling might not even be describable, let alone doing something about it. The reason behind this could lie in the unexpected truth that surrounds a person on being faced with it. The knowledge that your loved one was not being truthful to you, this feeling brings with it a lot of insecurity, sadness and the realisation that things were not what you thought they were.

    In the midst of all the overwhelmed feelings, it might not be possible for one to think rationally, from the other person's point of view. The question concerning whether you can still put your trust in someone who supposedly did not even think twice, before betraying you. While contemplating on these ideas, one tosses and turns in misery, suffers sleeplessness, tearful, lonely days & nights. This probably happens because the person who cheated was too dear to be lost, forgotten, but was the source of a lot of pain. Would it be possible that person be forgiven? What are chances that what happened once will not, again?

    Writer Paulo Coelho feels it might not. In a famous quote he states what he feels about something that happens once cannot happen again, whereas something that happens twice might always happen a third time. So, one should consider his or her personal case first. Has it been happening often that acts of betrayal have come up to the fore? Or was it a one-time occurrence, done due to a slip of judgment? This should, for starters, help anyone facing this sort of trauma do some thinking about the situation. Also, one can think about whether the relationship is worth saving and being worked out again.

    If one does decide on wanting to work things out and mend a relationship after cheating, it will mostly be a tough journey ahead. In case of both the people involved, there are a lot of uncertainties, doubts, overwhelmed emotions and above all, a huge effort that needs to be made in the direction of sorting issues out.

    One can begin with talking. It might be the most difficult thing to do, but it is the most appropriate too. Also, try to understand each other's point of view, and try figuring a middle path that may help ease doubts & insecurities and help the two people know each other better, after something like a confrontation takes place. But one should always remember, to lose one's dignity should never be an option. Whichever path one chooses to follow, one's self-respect should always remain in place, as, the lack of the same slowly but gradually withdraws all kinds of emotions from within. With differing situations everywhere, it is not possible to come up with a clear cut solution, but these points can always help think better.

  • Having a depressed boyfriend is not as detrimental to your relationship as you might think...
    How to handle your depressed boyfriend
    Category: Dating Tips | December 27, 2017

    If you’ve never had clinical depression, you have no idea how impactful it can be to someone’s life. And that means having a depressed boyfriend can be a huge challenge. You can’t relate and therefore, you may lose patience quickly.

    Of course, it’s not fun to be with someone who has depression. It’s a challenge in your relationship but it’s not just difficult for you. Imagine how he must feel being depressed while also not trying to disappoint you and harm the relationship.

    When you can’t relate to someone, it’s harder to make it work

    This is why a lot of actors end up with other actors. It’s not because they’re just in the same social scene, but because they can relate to one another. They both understand the duties of the job and how sometimes they’ll have to make out and even fake having sex with other people.

    When an actor tries to date someone who doesn’t know that life and can’t relate, it often doesn’t work out very well. Arguments ensue because of the disconnect and it can end the relationship.

    The same is true for those who don’t understand mental illness. If you’ve never experienced it, no amount of discussion or research will make you understand fully. And if you don’t work together to overcome that, the relationship can end. 

    How to make a relationship with a depressed boyfriend work

    You can definitely make your relationship last even if your boyfriend is depressed. That doesn’t change your feelings or his feelings, either. With these tips, you can get through the rough patch and work toward better understanding and a deeper connection.

    #1 Talk to him. You can’t just ignore something like depression. While it might not affect how you feel about each other, it’s still a huge part of his life. It’s something he lives with day after day.

    You really need to sit down and talk about it. Ask how it affects him and what triggers may make it worse. Knowing the basic information like how long he’s had it and how it’s being treated is standard and it’ll help you better understand what he’s going through.

    #2 Don’t tell him you understand. That is, unless you truly do and have been through real clinical depression – not just a time period of sadness. What many people don’t understand is that depressed people don’t actually want to hear that you understand when you don’t.

    We think by comforting them, we make them feel better. However, your depressed boyfriend knows if you truly understand, and he’ll feel lied to if you really don’t. Depressed people struggle with feeling understood. If you pretend that you do, it’ll make matters worse.

    #3 Ask him what he needs from you. You’ll never know how to act unless he tells you. But depressed people don’t often speak out about how they need to be treated. That leaves it up to you to ask.

    Just ask if there’s anything you can do to make things easier or that’ll help him in some way. He’ll be grateful for you wanting to know and he’ll be more likely to tell you if you’ve prompted the discussion.

    #4 Be patient. Depression isn’t easy to deal with if you’ve never experienced it. You just can’t know what they’re going through and why they’re acting the way they are. You really have to be patient with your depressed boyfriend. Don’t get upset and angry when he’s doing something that’s connected with his depression.

    #5 Make sure they’re getting the help they need. Some depression is more severe than others. If your boyfriend is truly clinically depressed, he’s probably on some sort of medication that allows him to live normally.

    He could also see a therapist or someone who can help him work through that depression. What you have to be aware of is if he’s actually using the help he gets. Be cautious of any drastic changes in behavior so you can determine if they’ve stopped taking their medication or not.

    But also remember that it’s not your responsibility, either. Tell him that he needs to take it but ultimately, contact his health provider if you fear things are getting out of hand. Don’t try to deal with it yourself.

    #6 Be supportive and uplifting. What your depressed boyfriend needs is support. He wants to know he’s not alone and that you’ll still be there even if he has depression. So be supportive and uplifting when he’s going through a tough time.

    Be the positive force in his life so he can rely on you for help when he needs it. The more supportive you are, the more comfortable he’ll be going to you when he’s struggling.

    #7 Don’t offer solutions. This is not your place to suggest meditation or extra time out in the sun. Sure, those things may work for some people but if your boyfriend has depression, he already knows about them. Depressed people usually want to find a way to make things better, so they know of any and all solutions already.

    If you try to make things better by giving suggestions, he’ll just feel like you want to “fix” him. And that’s one of the worst feelings for someone with depression.

    #8 Don’t make it a big deal. The fact that your boyfriend has depression isn’t the only thing in your lives. It should never be the focal point. It’s just something he lives with. It doesn’t really change who he is and what he values. So don’t let it become the biggest part of your relationship.

    #9 Make sure he knows your feelings aren’t affected. The fact that he has depression might make him a little insecure that you like him less because of it. Just remind him that it doesn’t change anything.

    You feel just as strongly for him as you would if he wasn’t depressed. Make sure he knows of your feelings so there’s never a miscommunication in that respect.

    #10 Accept it as part of him. For some reason, people treat mental illness like it’s a separate entity altogether. They don’t often look at it as just being a part of a person. But really, you don’t treat a cold or the flu like it’s the other thing.

    You treat it as just being something your partner has. Having a depressed boyfriend is the same. The only difference is mental illness sticks around longer than the common cold. But it’s a part of him. It’s just who he is. Either you accept and love that about him, or you don’t.

    If you have a depressed boyfriend, it’s not a big deal. Discuss it with him so you know how severe it is and then be aware of how to treat him. The bottom line, however, is that depression doesn’t change your relationship.

  • A break up isn’t just a dramatic ordeal for women, men can feel just as down and out about it all, although they may not show it...
    How to sober up fast
    Category: Dating Tips | December 26, 2017

    Catch Up On Your Favourite TV Or Binge On Action Films 
    Get that macho, manly feeling back by watching your favourite episode of Top Gear or James Bond movie, anything that is going to make you proud to be a hot, blooded male again!

    Go For A Drink At Your Local With Your Mates 
    You know that you can always relay on your mates to cheer you up so why not head to your local and chat about manly things like football and food? Perfect!

    It's Ok To Let Your Feelings Out 
    Men don’t always have to be pillars of strength, if you feel you need to let your feelings out, then go ahead! Have a little cry in the comfort of your own home and then you may feel that you can start moving on.

    Treat Yourself To A Mans Night In 
    Night in's don't have to be just for girls. If you can’t face hitting the dance floor just yet, invite the lads round to watch the football with some pizza and beer. Break up? What break up?!

    Need To Feel Loved? Get Your Dancing Shoes On! 
    You've heard of the saying 'get back on your horse' well, this could be said for a break up. What better way to get over a break up then getting back out there and seeing what's out there? It will help you with your self confidence and make you feel good about yourself and know that you've still got it.

  • There’s been made a survey, which shows that 78% of men and women think that physical appearance is very important in a relationship...
    How to tell if a guy is flirting with you
    Category: Dating Tips | December 25, 2017

    We all would like to think that our future partner will choose us by our soul and brain, not by the way we look. However, for most people, appearance matters and this may influence the way you build your relationship. 

    There’s been made a survey, which shows that 78% of men and women think that physical appearance is very important in a relationship.


    Unsurprisingly, the survey shows that men are more likely to care about physical attraction in a relationship. However, for most of them, the face and look of their partner are more important than a body type. 62% of men said they would pay attention to the face of their future partner and 53% considered body as the main factor of attractiveness.

    At the same time, women are not that far behind. When judging a man’s attractiveness, 50% of the women say a man’s face is important, while 39% say the same for his body. And for both, their eyes, skin and lips seem to top the list.


    Of course, it’s impossible to build a long-term relationship without admiring your partner’s personality. The survey shows that women are more likely to notice personality traits of their partner than appearance. For men, still, appearance matters the most.

    Read also: Why Men Choose One Woman Over Another


    It’s very interesting how attractiveness of your partner will influence your relationship. The survey shows that, in fact, physical appearance matters only in first seven years of a relationship. After that time, the way your partner looks is not that much important. People tend to start paying more attention to the personal features and shared interests. However, it doesn’t mean that after 7 years of relationship, there is no need to look after yourself. More than a half of the men (57%) and almost half of the women (45%) said that they are less attracted to their partner when they don’t take care of their appearance.


    “Well, it definitely matters on some level. You gotta be attracted to the person, right?” – Chris, 26.

    “I think love makes everyone looks good. If you love someone, all their quirks, their imperfections… all those things that make them unique become beautiful to you.”
    – Myra, 33.

    “I really don’t think looks matter a lot. What matter is how they feel about you and how comfortable you are with them. What matter is your bonding with that person which will be very rare if you get to find one.” – Sara, 28

    “Looks are not everything but it matters a lot. People will say that “Love is blind” and all that stuff, but in fact, practically nobody falls in love blindly, though there are exceptions but majority wise you will find out looks are given the first preference.” – Liam, 36

    “Everyone wants to say it doesn’t matter. They want to think that everyone isn’t shallow. But honestly looks matter to almost everyone. Looks are what immediately attract you to someone and make you want to talk to them. As you get to know someone though, their looks become less important as their personality becomes more prominent.” – Ashley, 22

  • Having a depressed boyfriend is not as detrimental to your relationship as you might think...
    How to handle your depressed boyfriend
    Category: Dating Tips | December 24, 2017

    Having a depressed boyfriend is not as detrimental to your relationship as you might think. Here’s how to handle his condition and come out stronger. If you’ve never had clinical depression, you have no idea how impactful it can be to someone’s life. And that means having a depressed boyfriend can be a huge challenge. You can’t relate and therefore, you may lose patience quickly.

    Of course, it’s not fun to be with someone who has depression. It’s a challenge in your relationship but it’s not just difficult for you. Imagine how he must feel being depressed while also not trying to disappoint you and harm the relationship.

    When you can’t relate to someone, it’s harder to make it work

    This is why a lot of actors end up with other actors. It’s not because they’re just in the same social scene, but because they can relate to one another. They both understand the duties of the job and how sometimes they’ll have to make out and even fake having sex with other people.

    When an actor tries to date someone who doesn’t know that life and can’t relate, it often doesn’t work out very well. Arguments ensue because of the disconnect and it can end the relationship.

    The same is true for those who don’t understand mental illness. If you’ve never experienced it, no amount of discussion or research will make you understand fully. And if you don’t work together to overcome that, the relationship can end. 

    How to make a relationship with a depressed boyfriend work

    You can definitely make your relationship last even if your boyfriend is depressed. That doesn’t change your feelings or his feelings, either. With these tips, you can get through the rough patch and work toward better understanding and a deeper connection.

    #1 Talk to him. You can’t just ignore something like depression. While it might not affect how you feel about each other, it’s still a huge part of his life. It’s something he lives with day after day.

    You really need to sit down and talk about it. Ask how it affects him and what triggers may make it worse. Knowing the basic information like how long he’s had it and how it’s being treated is standard and it’ll help you better understand what he’s going through.

    #2 Don’t tell him you understand. That is, unless you truly do and have been through real clinical depression – not just a time period of sadness. What many people don’t understand is that depressed people don’t actually want to hear that you understand when you don’t.

    We think by comforting them, we make them feel better. However, your depressed boyfriend knows if you truly understand, and he’ll feel lied to if you really don’t. Depressed people struggle with feeling understood. If you pretend that you do, it’ll make matters worse.

    #3 Ask him what he needs from you. You’ll never know how to act unless he tells you. But depressed people don’t often speak out about how they need to be treated. That leaves it up to you to ask.

    Just ask if there’s anything you can do to make things easier or that’ll help him in some way. He’ll be grateful for you wanting to know and he’ll be more likely to tell you if you’ve prompted the discussion.

    #4 Be patient. Depression isn’t easy to deal with if you’ve never experienced it. You just can’t know what they’re going through and why they’re acting the way they are. You really have to be patient with your depressed boyfriend. Don’t get upset and angry when he’s doing something that’s connected with his depression.

    #5 Make sure they’re getting the help they need. Some depression is more severe than others. If your boyfriend is truly clinically depressed, he’s probably on some sort of medication that allows him to live normally.

    He could also see a therapist or someone who can help him work through that depression. What you have to be aware of is if he’s actually using the help he gets. Be cautious of any drastic changes in behavior so you can determine if they’ve stopped taking their medication or not.

    But also remember that it’s not your responsibility, either. Tell him that he needs to take it but ultimately, contact his health provider if you fear things are getting out of hand. Don’t try to deal with it yourself.

    #6 Be supportive and uplifting. What your depressed boyfriend needs is support. He wants to know he’s not alone and that you’ll still be there even if he has depression. So be supportive and uplifting when he’s going through a tough time.

    Be the positive force in his life so he can rely on you for help when he needs it. The more supportive you are, the more comfortable he’ll be going to you when he’s struggling.

    #7 Don’t offer solutions. This is not your place to suggest meditation or extra time out in the sun. Sure, those things may work for some people but if your boyfriend has depression, he already knows about them. Depressed people usually want to find a way to make things better, so they know of any and all solutions already.

    If you try to make things better by giving suggestions, he’ll just feel like you want to “fix” him. And that’s one of the worst feelings for someone with depression.

    #8 Don’t make it a big deal. The fact that your boyfriend has depression isn’t the only thing in your lives. It should never be the focal point. It’s just something he lives with. It doesn’t really change who he is and what he values. So don’t let it become the biggest part of your relationship.

    #9 Make sure he knows your feelings aren’t affected. The fact that he has depression might make him a little insecure that you like him less because of it. Just remind him that it doesn’t change anything.

    You feel just as strongly for him as you would if he wasn’t depressed. Make sure he knows of your feelings so there’s never a miscommunication in that respect.

    #10 Accept it as part of him. For some reason, people treat mental illness like it’s a separate entity altogether. They don’t often look at it as just being a part of a person. But really, you don’t treat a cold or the flu like it’s the other thing.

    You treat it as just being something your partner has. Having a depressed boyfriend is the same. The only difference is mental illness sticks around longer than the common cold. But it’s a part of him. It’s just who he is. Either you accept and love that about him, or you don’t.

    If you have a depressed boyfriend, it’s not a big deal. Discuss it with him so you know how severe it is and then be aware of how to treat him. The bottom line, however, is that depression doesn’t change your relationship.

  • Identifying the qualities you're searching for in a partner...
    What is pity sex
    Category: Dating Tips | December 23, 2017

    I was recently vacationing on a cruise ship where the majority of guests were middle-aged to “young elderly." Of course, there were many single passengers or those traveling with friends and family. But I was drawn to the couples, and there were many. Seeing people who looked as if they’d spent years together got me thinking about just what it was that kept people together for so many years, through so many experiences. Obviously, my own life experience and interest as a psychiatrist colors my personal point of view, and my imagination as well. But I thought that it would be interesting to try to identify some qualities that bind people together and that might help explain what sustains a relationship over the long haul.

    Obviously, since everyone’s experience is unique, you may want to identify your own essential qualities. But it is a very telling exercise to see what you consider to be the important elements, the building blocks that keep your relationship cemented together and yet allow for room to grow, for the benefit of you, personally, as well as for the couple.

    Here’s my list A to Z of what qualities create a caring relationship.

    Adaptable: This is an essential element for living life in general. Adaptability implies the ability to change over time. Life changes all the time, but sometimes the change is huge and requires mustering the strength and fortitude to withstand what happens to us in the midst of change. 

    Benevolent: This means being kindhearted and compassionate to your partner, which allows for the creation of an environment and a general atmosphere where a partner feels heard and understood. 

    Conscientious: Relationships need constant attention, work, and tweaking. This implies the recognition that by being consistently attentive to your partner and the life you are building together, you are paving the way to accomplish your goals and most desired achievements.

    Dedicated: This quality defines your commitment to yourself and your partner. When you fully commit and give of yourself, you are saying that you’re putting your full energy, desire, and love behind whatever you feel is important to the future of the couple.

    Equal: Equal speaks for itself. Each person is an integral part of the relationship, and although there may be certain times and certain projects where one partner takes the lead, on an ongoing basis each person counts as much as the other; one person’s desires and needs are equal to those of their partner.

    Flexible: This means that people are capable of change and can move with the flow in order to accomplish whatever is necessary. The opposite would be rigidity and stubbornness, which block the flow of change and keep people stuck in ways that don’t advance the individual partners and/or the couple. Other F words high on my list are faithful, which means staying true to your partner, and friend, a coveted role since it expands the level of feeling you give to those who are tried and true and have your back.

    Generous: There are so many ways to be generous. Certainly, you can give gifts, but true generosity means that you freely give of your time, energy, and effort.

    Honest: As much as you are able, you share your thoughts and feelings openly. You speak conscientiously from your heart, even if your honesty shakes things up, simply because sometimes that’s what is needed. There are other H words that are high on my list as well. Humor helps enormously. Healthy-living implies the desire to take care of yourself, not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of the couple as well.

    Interested: Maintaining an interest in what your partner enjoys outside of the couple allows them to continue doing what is important to them personally. It adds to the conversation and often engages the other partner in activities and projects they might otherwise not do. 

    Just: This means being fair to your partner, honoring who they are as an individual apart from the couple. 

    Kind: Kindness speaks for itself since this is a trait we need to be practicing in general with all people. Everyone deserves consideration and compassion, especially in those times when you may not understand what they are experiencing and when they are difficult to deal with.

    Loving: What's an intimate, caring relationship without love?

    Mature: This means often taking the high road, trying to understand someone else’s perspective (especially when it’s different from your own), and being able to see into the future for results over the long haul.

    Nurturing: When we nurture, we take care of someone’s needs and desires, oftentimes even more than our own. This implies that we offer attention and compassion, things that feed the heart and soul.

    Open: This is similar to honesty and says that we keep ourselves aware and willing to take in new ideas and points of view. We keep ourselves available and willing to listen. 

    Present: This is a very hard thing to do, but awareness and practice help. Being present keeps us focused in the here and now, allowing us to accomplish what is immediately important and necessary. Being present helps us solve/resolve what is right in front of us. The past and the future drop away when we are present. Another P word high on my list is passion — feeling intensely and fervently about something.

    Quality: This is the ability to distinguish that high ideal and/or standard may be far more important than quantity. We strive for the best we can achieve as individuals and as a couple in order to better our lives.

    Reasonable: We are able to take things into consideration and weigh ideas, beliefs, and perspectives thoughtfully and without prejudice.

    Soulful: This implies that we are in touch with our essence, that which makes us uniquely who we are. Bringing our essence, our soul, into a relationship with another enhances the quality of the relationship immeasurably.

    Truthful: Although this is similar to honesty, it further implies that we openly express our personal views and feelings, as much as we know them at any point in our life, to the best of our ability. 

    United: Regardless of differences, the couple agrees to compromise in order to create a united front, to work together for a common goal that ultimately benefits everyone.

    Virtuous: We strive for standards that are high-minded, morally and ethically. As individuals and as a couple, we honor those principled standards that are the foundation of what it means to be a human being. 

    Willing: This means that to the best of your ability you are present and open to meeting the challenges and tasks of life moving forward. It is the ability to want to try.

    X-traordinary: Although the nitty-gritty of daily life is enough for most of us to get through, many of us strive for extraordinary moments during the course of a lifetime. The willingness to push and persist in order to achieve these stellar moments during the course of a lifetime may unite a couple in a special way, and may add to a sense of satisfaction and contentment.

    Yin/Yang: This may seem a bit odd, but for me, the ability of each partner to develop an appreciation for the male/female within each of us helps us to appreciate our partner’s perspective in a unique way.

    Zeal: We wholeheartedly dive into life with enthusiasm and a sense of wonder.

    Your list may be very different from mine, but which words you choose may help you to better understand what you’re looking for in your closest relationships. Your A word may be adventurous. Your E word may be emotion. Your I word may be inspiration. There are no "right" words — it’s just what is essential to who you are and what you’re looking for in a partner.

    As an exercise, it might be interesting to choose a word/concept that you then work with every day, week, or month to help you refocus on a quality that is important to you in a relationship, but that you might have lost sight of along the way.

  • A new study published by the British Research Firm Mintel suggests that guys who are single aren’t feeling great about their relationship status...
    Gender stereotypes about males
    Category: Dating Tips | December 22, 2017

    According to their survey, 61 percent of single women revealed they were content on their own. Guys, however, weren’t as comfortable. Per the survey, only 49 percent said they were content without a partner. Additionally, the study also revealed that men would much rather have a significant other over their female counterparts.

    The Mintel findings also showed that 75 percent of women said they had not actively pursued finding a mate during the past year, compared to 65 percent of guys who said the same. The study seems to support other lines of research that suggest men struggle with sharing their emotions and therefore don’t talk about their feelings with friends.

    If you’ve ever experienced a rough breakup, you know how difficult the ordeal can be. And that’s sad news for guys because the tendency is to hold things in or pretend as if the loss doesn’t have an impact.

    According to a Senior Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, Jack Duckett, Women are “typically better at creating support groups with whom they can discuss their thoughts and feelings, putting less pressure on the need for a relationship,” he told Moneyish.

    Guys, on the other hand, experience a more difficult time opening up. In the absence of a partner to confide in, they could feel especially uncomfortable.

    “[With] many men still largely finding it difficult to be open about their thoughts and feelings, the absence of a partner could mean that they have no one they can talk with about issues affecting them,” Duckett told Moneyish.

    “With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that unattached males struggle to enjoy their single status.”

    Apparently, men and women are moving about the business of life in ways that are not conducive to building relationships.

    “It is easy to assume that all singletons are actively looking for a partner; however, our data shows that this is far from always being the case,” Duckett wrote.

    “Much of this reluctance to look for a partner can be attributed to the young increasingly prioritizing their education, careers and financial stability over being in relationships.”

  • Asking someone why he or she is single is the worst question you can ask on a first date...
    How to be nice to people
    Category: Dating Tips | December 21, 2017

    Have you ever been in the throes of a great start to a first date and suddenly he tosses out the dreaded question, “Why are you single?”
    At that moment you can feel your energy level go down a notch. Your body tenses up. Your mind is racing with how to answer in just the right way. You hate this question. Asking someone why he or she is single is the worst question you can ask on a first date. 

    What’s important about knowing this anyway?
    It goes without saying that many haven’t mastered the art of conversation in the sphere of dating.  What would it be like if you were to approach a date like a chat you might have with the stranger standing behind you in the grocery store line? It sure would take the pressure off and, I suppose you would be less flustered by such a question.

     Alas, that’s not what’s happening on so many first dates.  You’re only 50% of the equation and can’t control what your date - the other 50% of the equation -  is going to say or ask you. If you respond with an attitude or defensiveness, it’s a huge turn off to a man.  He thinks, “No wonder she’s single.” Instead you want to come across as someone who is thoughtful, has learned from her past relationships and is excited to find the right man.

    Here's how to turn the question around so that you don’t feel like you’re in the hot seat. After all, I want you to coming out smelling like a rose!

    Use lightness and humor.  It’s true that humor goes a long way to taking the edge off an uncomfortable question.  With a smile say, “Before I tell you, you have to tell me because you’re single, too, right?” In this way, you’re reminding him he’s in the same boat and putting it back on him.

    Be honest. Coupled with candor and a smile, “I’m serious about finding the right man for me. I’ve learned a lot from past relationships and I’m not going to jump into a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship.”

    Thus he’ll know that you’re not the kind of woman who’ll put pressure on him two months into dating that you want to get married.  You’ve conveyed that you’ve learned from previous relationships, so, he knows that you’re being deliberate about your approach to finding the right man.  This speaks volumes to a man about your intention and thoughtfulness.

    Another option is to say, “I’ve had other priorities and haven’t had the time to devote to dating.  But, I’m happy to be to be here with you tonight.  I made time for you.  I’m looking for one special person and you seem to have a lot of the qualities that I’m looking for, so, I’m looking forward to getting to know you.”  

    Ding, ding, ding! You’ve just made a man feel good around you.  This is exactly for what he’s looking in a woman - to feel good around her.

    Practice your response because this question will continue to come up.  You need to have a pat answer.  Then you can graciously re-direct the conversation to a topic that’s fun for both of you.

    How have you handled the dreaded ‘why are you single’ question? Post a comment and I'll meet you there.

  • How to Steer Clear of this First Date Mistake...
    Sweet ice cream photography 250621
    Category: Dating Tips | December 20, 2017

    First date impressions are so important. Avoid this common pitfall to ensure success.

    Crap dating advice is everywhere. It really is. And what’s worse, until you’ve done a lot of dating, especially when it comes to the first date, it’s hard to separate the good dating advice from the shit. Whatever you do, please do not make this first date mistake.

    In this post I’m going to talk about one of the most common dating myths out there and why it’s so subtle, yet fatal to your dating success. This particular piece of ‘conventional wisdom’ is the most common reason for dull and unsuccessful first dates between men and women who would, could and indeed SHOULD end up together. Like sex, dating, and marriage, ending up together.

    What is this first date mistake? What is this awful lie? What is this horrendous and deceitful fallacy, I hear you ask? It’s the idea that you go on a date with someone to… ‘get to know them.’

    OK, I can guess that you’re probably a little underwhelmed by my villainous portrayal of this seemingly reasonable approach to dating (asking questions to get to know her). But that’s the problem right there! Because the idea of going on a date to get to know someone seems so intuitively right. People literally follow this approach, question by question, and before they know it, they’re having bad, awkward and boring dates and left wondering WHAT HAPPENED?!?

    Well, I’m gonna tell you exactly why and how to avoid the mundane, the boring and the least likely to deliver results in love.

    The magic formula for having the best first date ever

    Now you know, the worst first date mistake is getting to know someone. So, instead of just trying to get to know someone when meeting them for the first time, or heading out on your first date, here’s what you should really be doing.

    Note: This list is laid out in sequence in order of importance:

    #1 Have fun – Always enjoy yourself and the company that you’re with. This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING that you can do on a date.  Also, if you happen to feel attracted to your date, you should move on to step 2.

    #2 Build attraction – Say and do things to make your date like you. Check out my article, How to Have the Best First Date, Every Time, to get more insights on having fun and building attraction. Once you’ve built enough attraction (you’ll know this because you’ve read the article on attraction, and you’ll see her attraction indicators) then move on to step 3.

    #3 Build a connection –Now you’ve finally reached the ‘get to know her’ phase, but you should only go here AFTER you’re having fun and built enough attraction. Building a connection is all about really getting to know one another, building trust and becoming comfortable with each other. After you’ve build enough connection, then move on to step 4.

    #4 Build sexual intimacy and seduce her – I’m presuming you wanna sleep with her, right?

    Do you see the difference between this approach and the conventional ‘getting to know you’ crapshoot?

    If you’re not getting it yet, let me show you an example of a typical ‘getting to know you’ first date conversation.

    Does this sound familiar?

    You: “Hey nice to finally meet you in person…  So, tell me a bit more about yourself, what do you do for work?

    Her: “I’m an architect. And you?

    You: “I’m an accountant…  And what brought you to NYC?

    Her: “Work. And you?

    You: “Work too… ” [Awkward pause while you think up next question.]

    You: “So, do you have any brothers or sisters?

    Zzzzzz… Kill me with boredom now. This is the kind of routine, same old, interview rut approach that so many people fall into when they’re dating with the mindset of ‘getting to know you’. It’s honestly just a dry and meaningless exchange of facts, serving more as an interview than a hot and romantic encounter. It’s boring, unnatural and totally unsexy. It’s a huge first date mistake that you don’t want to make, or there likely won’t be a second date.

    Let’s put it this way: Interviews aint sexy
    And this boring conversational pattern and ho hum behavior is a costly trap to fall into. The most common reasons women give for not going on a second date with a guy is because they lacked attraction or didn’t have enough fun with the guy they’d been out with. Women never refuse a second date because they didn’t ‘get to know’ the guy well enough.

    Women don’t decline second dates because they didn’t learn enough about you.
    They turn you down because they didn’t have fun with you, or weren’t attracted to you.

    This reality is a dreadful shame, because by the time you’ve gotten out on your first date, you’ve already gone to all the effort of impressing her in person or online, arranging the date and then going out on the date… Only to blow it.

    Way too many guys and girls fall into the trap of trying to get to know each other before having fun and building attraction with one another. I get it, most people don’t really know what they’re doing on a first date. So really it’s no surprise then that so many of these same people complain that dating is such an awkward and grueling process. It’s because they’re doing it all wrong. Duh?

    On a date, fun trumps facts!
    Even I’ve been on dates before where my date has asked tons of boring questions, one after another and I’ve answered them in an embarrassingly boring way and then BOOM! I totally derailed the fun vibe of the date and had to try really hard to get things back on track.

    The tendency to ask and respond to boring questions is hard to avoid – we almost do it without thinking or at least without knowing any better.

    Remember: Dates don’t have to be dull interviews and nor should they be. Especially first dates where first impressions are SO important. If we all focused more on having fun and building attraction first, every first date would be a lot more exciting, flirtatious and successful.

    The DateSchool First Date Equation:


    By now, I’m sure you can see the sense of having fun and building attraction should happen beforeattempting to get to know your date. This simple formula will help you become more comfortable on dates, enjoy them more and ultimately be at least three times more successful too.

  • Make a Beautiful Dating Profile Page...
    How to be fearless
    Category: Dating Tips | December 19, 2017

    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:


    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!


    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.

  • 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 | December 18, 2017

    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.

  • You can learn a lot about a person from the type of questions that they ask you...
    Manipulative men
    Category: Dating Tips | December 17, 2017

    When it comes to dating and finding that one special someone, it’s important to have an open heart and an open mind. But also, it’s important to give promising situations and each person that you date, a blank clean slate and a genuine chance. The best way to do that, is to have great communication skills, by asking the right types of questions, and by being a good listener. Having said that, it’s important that we’re not just the type of person who asks great questions, but also the type of person who listens to the responses, and even to the way that a response is given.

    You can learn a lot about a person from the type of questions that they ask you, from their responses, but in addition, from the tone of their responses. The best advice I can give to anyone, would be to risk getting hurt so that you can truly have the chance to fall in love. We should be cautious, but still, emotionally open enough to get to know another person. As well, we should be open to learning and receiving information about others, and to give the opportunity for another person to open up as well.

    No one likes to feel judged, and especially by someone who they just meet. Give people a clean slate and get to know someone including all of their differences. Don’t assume, don’t judge, and don’t react or give harsh and sudden responses to what you hear and learn about a person. The last thing that I’m sure that anyone would want, would be for someone who they’re just getting to know, to walk on eggshells, filter who they really are at their core, to hide things or close up, or to pretend to be someone they’re not, and just to please you and make you feel more comfortable. Remember to be open and to show acceptance, love, and understanding. Be compassionate, empathetic, and as the song goes, “Put a little love in your heart.” Having an open and heart and an open mind is more than just saying it, it’s setting the tone by being open and nonjudgmental. 

    Another thing that’s important when meeting someone new in with hopes of giving things a real shot, is not to be judgemental or assume things about another person from your own feelings or because of your own past experiences and things that you might’ve seen growing up or from people who you’ve known. It’s important to give promising situations a genuine chance by putting your best foot forward, by being the best version of yourself, and by doing everything in your power to give things a chance when they deserve one.

    This doesn’t mean that you should give every situation a chance or coequal every person for that matter. But when you see that someone ultimately wants the same things in life, that there’s enough fire, chemistry, and attraction, and that things seem to be flowing naturally and nicely with one another, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give that situation your all and try to make it work. Having said that, you should never have to make something work to the point where you’re forcing things, like your feelings. Your feelings for someone should either be there or not.

    And yes, it’s quite true that deeper feelings take time to develop. But you should know pretty early on whether or not you feel that spark with another person, and whether or not you want to continue pursuing a situation with them. It shouldn’t take weeks or heaven forbid, months in order to get to know another person and to see if you’re the right match for one another.

    And depending on your timeframe and the pace that you go during the dating process, you should be on the same page as one another. This is also something that can maximize your chances, and help your situation work and grow. Again, if you want a situation to have the best chance at working, you should be willing to put in the hard work and effort. And it all starts with being the best version of yourself, and by having the will and desire to keep your heart and mind open while getting to know someone. Don’t judge people too soon or at all, if you can help it. And don’t assume that everyone is the same.

    Last but not least, just because you might feel a certain way about certain things, whether they’re big or small things, and just because you have your feelings and opinions, it doesn’t mean that another person needs to share them. That is, unless they’re bigger issues for you. However, it’s imperative to remember, that we have to pick and choose our battles, and we can’t always have everything our way or just as we’d like things to be. As well, everything can’t be a big deal or a red flag. So figure out what’s a big issue for you, and what’s really important for you to have in a partner and what’s isn’t.

    But never, and I mean never, try to change someone into becoming more like you, to think like you, to feel like you, to act like you, or to act and think the way that you feel is “the better way.” Embrace each person for the individual who they are, rather than trying to change them into something or someone else. And if you like most things about a person, but there are certain things that you wish were different, learn to love people for who they are, accept people with all of their differences, and learn to see the beauty in that which makes them so unique and different from another.

    You don’t have to be with a person who’s your emotional identical twin. You see, many times it’s our differences that make us so beautiful. We all bring different things to the table in a relationship. And it’s important to understand that, but also to embrace the fact that balance is what will make every relationship better, healthier, and happier. Both people in a relationship need to do their share at whatever will make their situation more balanced. And this goes in every regard and in every aspect of a relationship.

    There’s balance in the mere fact that you’re two different people, raised in two different environments, from different parents, seeing the world in different ways and experiencing two completely different lives full of many different encounters, different types of people, and learning different things. We need to embrace our differences, and understand that there are reasons that we deal with things differently, that we have different opinions from one another at times, and that we don’t agree all of the time or have the exact same views on everything as someone else.

    Many times, we come from two different worlds so to speak, and that right there is enough to make two people feel differently about many things. But still, that shouldn’t make you or another person judgemental, too opinionated, or too closed minded where you can’t learn to love and accept someone, and even make light of your different ways of thinking or feeling.

    When it comes to big issues and things that are very important to us, we need to be on the same page as another person for those things. But that doesn’t mean that we need to be on the same page for everything, or to think and feel in an identical manner. A little bit of disagreeing and bickering never hurt anyone in a relationship. And if anything, many times it even spices things up and keeps things interesting when one person is a little feisty or feels differently about certain things.

    Remember, it’s all about how compatible you are with one another how you make one another feel, and how much love is there. At the end of the day, we all want to be with the type of person who will love us unconditionally, who will have our back, be our rock and be emotionally supportive, make us feel more alive and inspired every single day, and who will be accepting and understanding and know that we are special in our own way. We should all be loved for our uniqueness, for our differences, and for all of our little idiosyncrasies.

    The right person will love you, me, or anyone, not despite our awkward imperfections and unusual ways of doing things or thinking, but the right person will love us because of those things. And the best way to go about getting the type of love and support that you want from someone, is to let a situation have a great chance from the very beginning, by taking the right steps while getting to know one another. Have an open mind and heart early on, and without modifying or trying to reshape and alter a person because of your differences. Love someone, or even like someone, for who they are.

  • First dates can be nerve-wracking territory. There's the pressure to be charming, witty...
    24 091848 best questions to ask your date
    Category: Dating Tips | December 16, 2017

    First dates can be nerve-wracking territory. There's the pressure to be charming, witty, polite and attractive, plus you’re trying not to succumb to first-date Tourette's and say something that will blow your chances. At the same time, dating is a two-way street: It’s an opportunity to find out if you want to pursue things further, so you have to treat it as a kind of intel-gathering exercise, but without coming across like an interrogator. To ensure that you find out as much key information as possible while fostering a closeness and still holding up your end of an engaging conversation, here are the nine best questions to ask your date.

    1. What’s Your Dream Job?

    Most dates — in fact, most first meetings — begin with the casual question, “So, what do you do?” This is a conventional but somewhat boring way to start a conversation: It forces your date to discuss her current job, whether she likes it or not, and it doesn't tell you anything about what she'd prefer to be doing with her time.

    If you ask instead what work she’d most like to be doing or what her dream job is, you get an insight into her ambitions, values and priorities, plus you will instantly come off as more interesting and engaging than 99% of her other Tinder matches. If you're curious to know what she's currently doing for a job, in all likelihood that will flow naturally from this question, plus you have instantly broadened the scope of the conversation and guaranteed a more interesting, intimate chat.

    2. What’s The Best Thing You’ve Read Lately?

    This is a question which will reveal your date’s interests and give her a chance to discuss them for a while, which she's likely to enjoy. It's broad enough to encompass any books, blog posts and articles she's read recently, so unless your date doesn't read at all (a useful warning sign...), this should jump-start an interesting discussion.

    Similarly, “What are you listening to lately?” can spark a conversation about music, radio shows and podcasts, and is more original and easy to answer than simply asking, “So, what kind of music are you into?” Delve for a while into the various art forms and elements of pop culture you both enjoy.

    3. What Are You Looking For In The Dating World?

    It's good to clarify early in the game whether you and your date have the same expectations. Is she looking for a husband, long-term relationship or simply a casual hook up? And are you happy to oblige? Be clear on what you're looking for in return, because if you have mismatching intentions it’s best to clear that up earlier rather than later, before feelings get hurt and communications misfire.

    4. Do You Have Any Siblings?

    This is a fairly generic question, but it's a useful, low-stakes entry point into a discussion about her family and upbringing, which is always a fruitful topic to explore on a date. A person’s family background can provide clues as to what they're like as a person and about your compatibility, so try to extend the conversation beyond a simple listing of siblings into a polite discussion about where she's from and how she was raised.

    Resist the urge to play armchair psychologist or to get too intense, though — if her parents are divorced that doesn't mean that she's “damaged” or doomed to end up the same way, for example, and try not to pry about contentious personal details or dredge up painful memories. Aim to ease her in a sweet spot where she's comfortably discussing her family life but not feeling too vulnerable, because listening to your date talk about her background can give you a much fuller picture of who she is, and gives you the chance to provide her with the same.

    5. How Long Have You Been Single?

    Previous relationships can be fraught territory to bring up on a first date, but getting some idea about your date’s relationship history when you first meet is useful. Asking how long she's been single helps to determine whether she's a permanent bachelorette or serial monogamist (or something in between), and it does so in a non-invasive way. She can answer with a simple “six months”, say, but it allows her to elaborate if she'd like to. A good follow-up question is, “Was that your longest relationship?” if you want to spark a deeper discussion about her relationship history, and yours.

    6. If You Could Have Dinner With Any Three People, Who Would You Choose?

    Sure, this one won't win you many points for originality. But it's a classic ice-breaker for a reason: it allows you to instantly determine what kind of people your date finds interesting, and for what reason. The fact that it's a slightly clichéd questions means she may have already thought of an answer, which can help to avoid stilted conversation. If you're terrified of seeming unoriginal, tweak it slightly: Maybe ask which three people she’d want to be marooned with at sea, or who’d be in her ideal Power Rangers crew.

    7. What’s The Best Place You’ve Ever Travelled?

    Most people light up when they’re given the chance to discuss their favourite holiday or trip. It's light and evokes positive memories so it's perfect first date territory, and you’ll learn what kind of explorer she is: did she backpack through Southeast Asia for six months on the cheap? Did she splurge on hotels and shopping in New York? Did she study in Copenhagen? Her answer will provide an insight into what she enjoys and how she conducts herself in unfamiliar locations, and if she hasn’t done much in the way of travel (or if you haven't), it naturally leads into a discussion about dream locations yet to be visited.

    8. What Are Your Plans For The Weekend?

    First-date questions don't all have to cover big, meaning-of-life topics, and this question is useful to establish what your date does for fun, without the social awkwardness of asking, “So, what do you do for fun?” This way you can learn about any weekly soccer games, wild partying habits or child custodial battles with a simple, off-the-cuff question. If your date is on a weekend day, just ask about the remaining, or previous, days.

    Bonus: This question gives you some crucial intel for the next question, the final best thing to ask your date:

    9. Do You Want To Go Out Again Next Week?

    Let’s face it: the aim of the dating game is to find someone you want to see again. If the date's going well and all her answers have indicated compatibility and mutual interest, why not lock in a second date? Of course, depending on what you're both looking for and how much chemistry has been sizzling between you, a more fitting final question might be, “Your place or mine?”

  • The thing is: you never fall in love with that person, you always fall in love with the idea you have...
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    Category: Dating Tips | December 15, 2017

    One of the nicest things of tantra for me is working together with a partner. Letting energy flow from one to another; from a yin pole to a yang pole. But how to find the right partner; not only for tantra, but in life in general?

    This morning Hennie came over for a massage and a cup of tea. We know each other from our study Sport massage and ever since we’re friends. We have a bit the same look on life. Two free souls, who like to wander around. We have the same view on relationships as well. Loving our freedom. One of the topics we talked about is ‘relation stress’. We have so many people around us, who are stressed because they don’t have a relationship. We both like to go out on dates, but we are noticing everybody is convulsively looking for a partner. You can’t go out on a date anymore to have fun and just see where it ends up, it has to end up in a relationship. I think that ‘demand’ puts a lot of pressure on a date. But he, who am I?

    A partner will make you happy

    There is this idea that having a partner will make you happy. If you look at dating sites you actually see people shouting out for it. You will see profiles with phrases like: ‘Who is going to make me happy again?’, ‘I want to be together again, because life with a partner is nicer than alone’. To answer the first question: nobody is going to make you happy again, but yourself. I will write a blog about that next time. But for now, I’m sorry: you have to take your happiness in your own hands. It’s totally up to you. If you let it depend on a partner, you will only end up miserable.

    To answer the second question: is it really? Is life better with a partner? I know we are all trying to live up to this image that has been held in front of our nose for years and that tells you you ought to have a partner, a big house, big car, big television, lots of money and a big career. But is that making you happy, or is that the picture that is actually holding you back from happiness?

    I have a lot of people around me who are in a relationship. Believe me, a lot of them aren’t happy as well. Simply, because they are with ‘the wrong’ partner. Some of them were so eager to have a relationship, they actually forgot the question themselves if they were happy with it. Now they know they are not, but they are so afraid of being alone, they stay in it.

    Changing your partner

    Some friends – mostly the girls – think they will be able to change their partner, so their partner will be the person they can be happy with. I know one lady who actually says: “My husband wasn’t any good when I met him, but I’ve changed him in what he is now and I’m very proud on that.”  Believe me: people don’t change unless they want to change. Nobody else is going to do it. They might behave the way you want around you, but are they truly themselves or just acting the person you want to see? Do you want to be married with a real person or with somebody who is always acting around you and – be honest – in that way cheating you, because what they show is not real.

    I love the work of Don Miguel Ruiz, a spiritual teacher from Mexico. If you’re going to study yoga with me; you have to read his work. He wrote a masterpiece: Mastery of Love. He puts it very simple: if you want a cat, don’t take a dog. You meet a nice girl, you fall in love and for some reason we stay together, even when we find out it’s not working. The thing is: you never fall in love with that person, you always fall in love with the idea you have, the picture you create in your mind of that person. Only over time you can find out who that person really is. A first impression is just a first impression. The stupid thing is: often we know. From the beginning on. Last week I wrote a blog about polyamory (having more than one sexual lover; openly). In that blog I already gave you the example of a friend of mine. She was with a guy who didn’t fill her needs sexually and emotionally. She knew it form the beginning on. Still she stayed with him, because he was a stable guy to have a baby with. Now they have a child, but have also split up as well, because it wasn’t working. They tried relation therapy. No luck. Why not? Simple: she wanted a dog, but fell in love with a cat. She tried to make the cat bark, but it didn’t work.

    Blaming our partner

    She’s not the only one. A lot of us do it. We are blaming our partner for not being the person we saw in them when we just met them. It’s not fair to blame our partner. We have to blame our self. We created a wrong image in our mind on the first impression. It’s time to let go of that image and ask ourselves if the partner is the person we want to be with. Real love is not trying to change your partner to be the person you want him/her to be. That’s manipulation. Real love is loving your partner for who he or she really is. A cat or a dog.

    One of my best friends is my ex-girlfriend. A lot of people think it’s strange to be friends with your ex. We split up, seven years ago. We both know why. She is an amazing girl, but I’m looking for something in my girlfriend she hadn’t. That doesn’t mean she is not good enough, she had failed, it only means I’m looking for someone, something else. The other way around as well. She wanted something of me, couldn’t offer. Not because I’m not good enough, just because I look at life differently. So we split up. We still like each other a lot, still have a lot in common, we traveled around the world together, see each other, but we know we shouldn’t be together. It took us a few years to find out, than we split up.

    Splitting up isn’t always easy. It can be pretty comfortable together. But if you want your partner to be a cat and he/she is a dog, than the only option is letting go. I think that’s and act of love as well. If you stay together, while you are not happy you are actually cheating as well. Sometimes you have to let go to give your partner the chance to be happy with somebody that fits better by what he/she wants. And that way you are giving yourself the chance to be happy again as well.

    The path of tantra

    If you want to enter the path of tantra, it only works when you are totally happy with the partner you have. You want to get out of your mind and into your body. You want the yin and yang energy to connect and it never will if there is a mentally obstruction.

    And even if you are not interested in the path of tantra a relationship will only work if you love your partner for who he or she is. So if you like dogs, go and find a dog. If you are a cat person, go and find a cat. And when you find out your partner mews when you thought you had found your dog let go. When you find out your partner actually barks, where you thought he/she was purring, let go as well and find your real love. A love that you don’t want to change, that doesn’t want to change you but is fulfilling and overflowing.

  • As a couple, it should always be a joint effort by both the partners to keep the spark alive...
    How to pick up girls at a bar
    Category: Dating Tips | December 14, 2017

    We focus on grand gestures when it comes to wooing our partner but we often forget the importance of the little things. These small things carry far more weight and become memories for life. It is very important to cherish those little things in life to make a healthy relationship.

    As a couple, it should always be a joint effort by both the partners to keep the spark alive. Here are a few tips as to how you can keep a relationship healthy with these small gestures.

    #1 Call Your Partner

    Calling your partner to see if they have reached home safely is one such gesture. It is important to make sure that your partner feels okay after a long day at work. And asking them to just take care of themselves is not a small gesture.

    #2 Laugh Together

    Laughing together at the same thing; be it a movie or a discussion. Laughing is a therapy for personal well being. And the couples who laugh together always stay together as their intellects match.

    #3 Share thoughts

    Sharing your thoughts with your partner is an intimate gesture. It is very important to know what goes on in your partner’s mind. To enhance the emotional connection with each other it is essential to know stories from their past and incidents that affected them as a person. Sharing feelings with your partner helps enhance the bond.

    #4 Pulling each other’s Leg

    Teasing your partner for silly things may sound annoying but this is a magical gesture. It helps in keeping the spice of the relationship alive.

    #5 Pay attention to enhance your Relationship

    Paying attention towards each other is very important. It is a wonderful feeling when your partner remembers something that you told them. It may sound old school but mark my words, this trick always works wonders.

    #6 Walking each other out

    This is an old art and is almost forgotten nowadays. Walking out someone shows that the person is courteous. Seeing someone off means the person wants to see more of you. Old is gold and so are these old gestures to make your partner feel loved.

    #7 Keeping a Note 

    This is one way you can instantly rule your partner’s heart. To know those small little habits of your partner and things they are particular about. It feels great when someone knows you in and out. It makes your partner feel important when you know how they want certain things to be.

    #8 Being Honest 

    As they say- Honesty is the key to success! And trust me, it really is. Honesty helps build a strong relationship with your better half. It might sound rude but it’s always wise to speak your heart out. At times being blunt may hurt but it helps in the long run as there are no loopholes to anything. If they feel something is not right for the other person then its best, to be honest. Being honest with each other shows true love. This means they don’t want to comfort you with lies.

    #9 Fighting

    Fighting with or for your partner is basically out of concern. People tend to fight or express anger to the ones they love. If they fight with you to make you realise something which was wrong it’s probably because they love you.

    #10 Giving In for one another 

    Giving in for your partner does not mean you lost a battle. On the contrary, it’s a gesture to make the other person feel important. It could be anything, a spontaneous plan or a long-term desire. It might not be too much but if it gives your partner some sort of contentment, then why not?

    Moreover, it is very important to make your partner know how much you love them. In the long run what matters is the bond you share. Hence, these gestures will surely help you strengthen the bond and enhance your love life.

  • 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 | December 13, 2017

    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.

  • All relationships go through their ups and downs and heated discussions and disagreements...
    Ryan moreno 99464
    Category: Dating Tips | December 12, 2017

    Relationship failing? All relationships go through their ups and downs and heated discussions and disagreements are a normal part of a healthy relationship. But there comes a time when a relationship’s sweetness turns sour and the healthy fights become bitter and overwhelming.

    Sometimes, relationships can begin to fade almost as soon as they’ve begun and other times they can disintegrate over the passing months. Eventually it may become impossible to deny the fact that your relationship is falling apart. But sometimes it can prove more difficult to pinpoint when your relationship has run its course. To help, we’ve listed 5 signs to watch out for when your relationship may be failing.

    #5 Something just isn’t right

    This is a complex and difficult thing to pinpoint, but it may serve as one of the most potent signs that your relationship is in deeply troubled waters: the general feeling that something isn’t right. A constant, nagging doubt that your relationship may not be right for you is not something you should ignore.

    Of course, we’re not referring to the moments after heated fights or in times of extreme stress when you get a sense of being overwhelmed. We’re talking about the moments when all is calm and well, and yet you still can’t shake the feeling that maybe this isn’t where you’re supposed to be or the person you shouldn’t be with.

    Oftentimes when relationships end, people will note that they knew long before the final moment that their relationship was ending but ignored it in an attempt to keep it alive.

    #4 Not letting go of the past

    When you or your partner cannot let go of past mistakes or wrongs that have happened between you, it may be time to end your relationship. If one of you has done something to wrong the other and you have discussed it, dealt with your emotions and chosen to stay together and move on, the healthiest thing is to let those wrongs stay in the past. If your partner won’t let you forget your past mistakes or you can’t seem to let go of theirs, it may be because the past was something you couldn’t get past and your relationship simply couldn’t recover.

    #3 You’re making excuses to stay

    When you find yourself considering the end of your relationship, what comes to mind first? Is it the loss of your friendship and relationship or is it the disappointment your family will feel or the fear about losing your home? Do you worry about what your finances would be like or wonder which of you would get the car?

    While its normal to consider all the repercussions from the end of a relationship, especially a long and involved one, what isn’t healthy is when those repercussions becomes the reason you stay together.

    If you keep your relationship going because of the issues that may arise or the fear of being alone, you are doing yourself and your partner a disservice.

    #2 You’ve lost trust

    Are you still comfortable going away for the weekend to visit family or having your partner leave on a work trip or do you wonder what they’re doing?

    If you catch yourself questioning your partner’s fidelity or wondering if they are lying to you, a fundamental part of your relationship has been lost.

    Trust is the building block of any relationship and when it is gone and cannot be recovered, most relationships will fall too.

    #1 You can’t see the future anymore

    Did you used to be able to imagine where you were going with this person? Could you envision a happy future only to now have it become a hazy, gray path? If you can no longer picture yourself getting married, buying a home, or growing as a person with your partner, your relationship may be failing.

    If you plan events for the future and add the words (silently or not) “if we’re still together…” to it, your relationship is on rocky ground. The ability to picture yourself with someone long-term is something that is fundamental for the happy growth of a relationship and without it, a breakup may not be far behind.

  • Knowing how to make a man feel loved doesn’t have to be so dramatic...
    How to make your ex want you back
    Category: Dating Tips | December 11, 2017

    We’ve all watched The Notebook or Love Actually, and maybe that’s the problem. Knowing how to make a man feel loved doesn’t have to be so dramatic.

    This is the problem, people. We’ve been sucked into thinking that the only way to know how to make a man feel loved is if we buy them a brand new car or sit outside of their house with a boombox, playing some 80’s love song that’ll for sure piss off all the neighbors.

    Now, I’m not saying this won’t show them that you love them, but this isn’t the only way. I mean, real life isn’t like this which is somewhat saddening, I guess. That is, if you needed a new car.

    How to make a man feel loved

    Of course, you want to make your man feel loved and wanted. And for sure, you’ll be able to do that regardless of how much money you have. This is where people get mixed up and when some relationships don’t work out. It’s not that you don’t love that person but you weren’t showing them love. But don’t worry, I got you. We’re going to go through some ways on how to make a man feel loved.

    #1 Actually get to know him. Sometimes we end up getting so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget about our partner. Of course, we don’t actually forget them, but we forget to take the time to learn new things about them.

    I know you know how he likes his eggs in the morning, but maybe that changed. Ask him questions and connect, wanting to get to know him more.

    #2 Ask for his opinion. I mean, why else would we have a partner if you’re not going to ask him what he thinks about whatever topic? The whole point of a partnership is to be partners, to be an actual team. When someone wants to hear your opinion, it makes you feel wanted. Even if you know the solution, asking him for help doesn’t hurt.

    #3 Treat him. We get caught up in wanting to be treated with gifts, spa treatments, or new shoes. But what about your man? Have you ever surprised him by taking him to his favorite restaurant? Or buying him tickets to his favorite sporting event? Though he may do an amazing job of treating you, don’t forget that it’s a two-way street.

    #4 Make your space with him safe. You want him to be able to vent out his frustrations to you. It’s normal, you know, when you’re upset, you talk to him because he’s your support system. So, it goes the same way for him. Don’t be judgmental or quick to attack his emotions. If you want to know how to make a man feel loved, allow him the space to open up to you.

    #5 Tell/show him your appreciation. Like I said before, this relationship is a two-way street. If he’s been amazing lately and really helping you out, show him or tell him how much you appreciate what he’s doing for you. Of course, he’s doing these things because he loves you, so he’s not expecting anything in return. But that doesn’t mean you can’t thank him.

    #6 Be affectionate. I know you’re thinking, well, duh, but this is something easily bypassed. Small acts of affection such as kissing him on the cheek, rubbing the back of his neck, or holding his hand can have a huge impact on the relationship. It makes him feel wanted by you.

    #7 Don’t forget about sex. Yeah, sorry, but sex is important in any relationship. If you want him to feel connected to you, take the time to actually have sex. I know work makes you tired and if you have children, that’s a whole other story. But to keep the connection and have him feeling loved, sex is crucial.

    #8 Give him space. Now, you may be confused. I should give him space? Yes! Everyone needs some time on their own. Suffocating him will show him your love but it’s a little too much. Let him have time on his own to hang out with his friends or watch a football game. Give him his time to relax and in that time, go do something for yourself.

    #9 Give him a compliment. Literally, everyone loves to receive compliments. Maybe he looks really good today or smells amazing, of course, you see that but did you tell him? We think that men are secure but they’re just like women, they have insecurities as well. So, when you think something positive about him, tell him.

    #10 Detach yourself from your phone. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat–these are all highly addictive, I get it. But, when you’re busy on your phone, you’re not communicating with your partner, and this is the problem. When you spend time with him, leave your phone and give him that time only with you. Don’t let a screen come in the way of love.

    #11 If you get something for yourself, get him something. Okay, this doesn’t have to be for everything, but if you ran to the cafe to grab a coffee, just grab him one as well. You don’t have to ask him, just do it. It makes him feel cared for, and it’s a considerate thing to do.

    #12 Pay. I know, ladies. Some of you have it pretty good with your man. He pays for almost everything, but that’s not what a relationship is about. Of course, everyone likes it when someone else pays for them, but give a little as well. Next time you’re out, pay the tab, he’s not going to hate it. In fact, it shows him your appreciation.

    #13 Look at him. People forget the importance of eye contact. Okay, you don’t have to go all hippy and do some eye-gazing practices with him, but you hold eye contact and smile. Be playful and flirtatious. He’ll love it, I mean, he’s with you for a reason, so, these small acts can only make him feel more butterflies.

    #14 Show him that he’s a priority. It’s normal to get overwhelmed with work, school, family, and friends. However, try your best to show him that he is a priority in your life. The best way to do this is by giving him your time. Of course, don’t sabotage your other priorities, but learn how to create a balance.

    Now that you know how to make a man feel loved, it’s time you tried out some of these tips. Come on, let’s get this going!

  • Depending upon how you two broke up, you might feel very angry. Don’t rush to do something illegal and drastic...
    Relationship help
    Category: Dating Tips | December 11, 2017

    Ah, exes. Aren’t they wonderful? They promised you the moon and the stars at first. Then, towards the middle of the relationship, their true colours began to show, but you ignored some of those red flags because you wanted to give the relationship a chance. Finally, after many red flags had been waved, you surrendered and allowed yourself to exit this relationship. But, do you still struggle with giving yourself permission to move on? As determined as you are to get over your former flame, there might still be a part of you that is holding on to the memories in what you hoped would be a long lasting love affair. You know in your heart whether or not you need to let go of your ex. If you don’t know how to let go of a relationship that is no longer serving you, here are some tried and true ways to break ties with your past and move forward in the future:

    Accept that moving on will take time

    I used to think that I would always carry a torch for some of my former flames. But, now, I am happy that I no longer feel the need to ignite the sparks that I used to feel for some of my exes. I now see no point in trying to reignite a relationship that didn’t work in the past, and time has given me much needed perspective. Can you relate to this mindset? If not, you will eventually feel the same way. You need to accept that healing from a break up, much like building a relationship, is a process that requires time and strategic planning. That’s not to say that you should wallow in your misery of missing your ex. You need to do everything possible to get the grieving and rebuilding process underway.

    The first step is to deliberately distance yourself from anything that reminds you of your ex. Turn down the framed pictures of you your ex posing together. Toss or donate the gifts that your ex gave you. Holding on to the things that you associate with your past love will delay the moving on process. You are the only person who can give yourself a fresh new start.

    Search for examples of successful relationships

    One of the hardest parts of letting go of an ex is the fact that in doing so, you feel that you’re letting go of your goal to be with the right person. The breakdown of your past relationship does not need to determine how your future relationships will go. Only you can prepare yourself for a more fulfilling and successful relationship opportunity. The Internet is filled with websites featuring true stories of men and women who picked themselves up from relationship disappointments, dusted themselves off, and tried again. Use your local bookstore or library to find motivational books and tools. Study those books and learn from people who have experienced and overcome their disappointments.

    Be proactive about searching for examples of people who pursued their ideal lifestyles. If you don’t search for motivational stories about people who rebuilt their lives, then you won’t find information. Before you search, you first need to be willing to seek what you’re after. You will know that you are ready to let go of your ex when you focus your mind on what you want to build instead of focusing on your emotions over how you feel about what you lost.

    Create a new routine

    You and your ex won’t be going to movies, clubs, restaurants, or any more social events together. That part of your life with each other is over. The last thing you should do is isolate yourself from other people. Reach out to friends and even to strangers, and fill your datebook with new events. If you’re strapped for cash, you can create some “home” events that don’t require spending money. These new events can be as simple as writing thank you cards or emails to the people who have helped you in special ways throughout your life. Organize your sock drawer. Or, watch a movie at home, take a walk outside, build a fire in your fireplace; these are all moments that you can enjoy solo or in the company of people.

    Try out some new restaurants and clubs that you and your ex never went to. And for goodness sakes, make every effort to avoid listening to songs that you and your ex used to dance to and enjoy together. Keep your mind focused on creating new habits and discovering new pleasures. When you deliberately create a new routine, you won’t have time to think about things like what your ex is doing or if your ex still misses you. When you’re ready to venture into the dating scene again, join a couple of dating websites and local singles groups.

    Depending upon how you two broke up, you might feel very angry. Don’t rush to do something illegal and drastic if you’re feeling impatient to get revenge on your ex. The very best revenge that you can get on someone who has disappointed you is to move on from them completely. Living well really is the best revenge, and when you draw firm boundaries in your life, your ex will not be able to interfere with your progress. There are billions of other people on the planet who you can reach out to and form friendships and relationships with. Don’t allow your past disappointments with your ex to prevent you from creating brighter possibilities. You need to be open and willing to welcome new opportunities into your life because new options and people will only be available when you’re ready to look for them.

  • Decoding the communication cues that say it all...
    How to make someone like you
    Category: Dating Tips | December 10, 2017

    The follow-up after a first date is rarely as simple as: "I like you, I had fun, let's get together again." There are layers of meaning in texts to unpack, not to mention timing: who reaches out first and how quickly does the other person respond? It can all feel like a giant chess match.

    Either party can play coy because a) They don't want to look too eager/desperate and b) They're not sure how the other person feels, but there are a number of cues that can confirm your date is going swimmingly. Below, our dating expert Rich Santos spells them out to spare you the next-day mental math.

    1. Completing the Date

    Low bar, we know, but hear us out. Though seeing the date through to its end may seem like an obligation for most people, Santos says there *are* exceptional dating disasters where you have to cut it short for your own sanity.

    "Most people are courteous enough to do the absolute minimum on a date: finish whatever activity you're doing together and devote sufficient time out of respect for the other person," he says. So provided your date's not running out with an "emergency text from a roommate" after twenty minutes, it's an easy first sign that things are going well.

    2. Wanting More One-on-One Time

    When your date wants to spend time with you alone instead of calling in backup for a group date, says Santos, it likely means that he's comfortable around you and wants to spend more time getting to know you. "One tactic to combat a boring date," he says, "is calling in 'reinforcement' friends" as social buffers.


    3. Extending the Date

    Suggesting something (other than going back to someone's place) after dinner is a solid indication that your date's asking for an encore. "A masochist like myself might ask a girl to spend more time with him if he's not enjoying her company," Santos says, but if they're willing to extend the date past the "easy out" first location of a bar or coffee shop, that's a good sign.


    4. Suggesting *Another* Date

    "Sometimes I get so excited during a first date I play my cards by suggesting other things we should do together," says Santos, though timing may not be that immediate. A common time to suggest another date is at the end of the first one. Some may do this as a friendly gesture before making a quick exit, says Santos, but it can't be bad if your date is enthusiastic enough to suggest a second meet-up. They just have to make good on their word.

    5. The Friendly Follow-Up Right After You Say Good-bye

    A good sign that a date went *really* well, says Santos, is when someone giddily follows up after a date to let you know they had a great time without waiting around. The alternative: "If I'm not interested after the date, I'll head straight home and begin my process of fading out of this girl's life (following up is not part of that process)." Of course, not hearing back right away isn't a definite rejection, but the excitement of a speedy follow-up message speaks for itself.

    6. Striking While the Iron's Hot

    When you don't get that speedy affirmation text, or a greeting within a few days, it can mean a number of things. Waiting too long to follow up is a sign the other person is flaky or disinterested, which either way is not worth your time. "If I enjoyed the date I'll contact her within a few days. This doesn't necessarily mean I'm asking her out again. I'm just keeping the conversation going," he says.

    Being ghosted or receiving non-committal responses without concrete plans to set up another date is another sure sign of disinterest. And though men often feel pressured to make the first move, there's no harm in taking a feminist stance of reaching out first if you're really interested.


    7. Consistency

    When you start dating someone and haven't established exclusivity, says Santos, it's always important to measure signs that the other person is as on-board as you are. This could mean making regular conversation or establishing dates at a consistent frequency. "Hold him to a higher standard than one extra date, or one call back after the initial date. How many times have you gone on a few dates only to have it fizzle out?" he says.

    Transparency is key if you're not looking for anything serious, too.

    8. Planning Spontaneous, Non-Cliché Dates

    The informal text to see if you have the afternoon free to spend time together, unannounced, is the key that someone's thinking of you even when there's no pre-determined date. "Take notice when they ask you to do random little things like run errands together or go to the park. It's that next step when they're getting to know you that they want you around whenever, wherever," Santos says.

    There's a big difference between the impromptu hangout invitation and the "lol u up?" text, though. If you're seeking a more serious relationship, pay attention to whether the other person is exclusively asking you to hang out at night or clearing their schedule for a daytime meet-up.

    Santos' bottom-line advice? "Use these indicators as guidelines (they usually build on each other as things progress)." Every relationship is different, but if you're not sure of where the other person stands, what's there to lose by asking?

  • Theo Randall’s cooking at a fair price in a relaxed atmosphere
    Img theo randall dume4b
    Category: Venues | December 09, 2017

    The opportunity to try Theo Randall’s cooking at a fair price in a relaxed atmosphere. A great spot for a date where the food impresses without the formal setting.

    As we made our way from Earl’s Court station to Theo’s Simple Italian I was actually slightly apprehensive. Theo Randall who came to fame as head chef at River Café, opened Theo’s Simple Italian earlier this year with the aim of creating a casual dining experience, where the recipes would be pared back, and the ingredients would do the talking. I am a great fan of simple but it is reliant on top quality ingredients and the dishes being cooked to perfection. There is no margin of error and as I was making my way there, I was just hoping that Theo would manage to pull it off. After all, simple is often far more difficult than complex.

    I needn’t have worried though. There is a relaxed atmosphere within the restaurant that comes across straight away. We were given a warm, friendly welcome, and shown to our table. They have worked hard to ensure the décor fits with the simple, casual dining approach. As such, the restaurant is well-lit, with light wooden panelling, marble tables and comfy leather chairs.

    For the “primi” course I went for the Tagliarini Pescatora, whilst my date opted for the Penne Pomodoro and Burrata. Expectations were high, after all these two dishes are staples of Italian restaurants all over, and if you are trying to create a casual Italian dining experience, these are the dishes that you need to get right. What we received on our plates met these expectations – both meals having a freshness and a clean flavour that is rarely met in London Italian Restaurants. Moreover, the portion size was generous on both plates, and they could easily constitute a meal by themselves at a very reasonable price.

    As good as the primi were, it was the second course that really delivered. I had the Agnello al forno and it was delicious. This is lamb at its wonderfully tender best, where every mouthful was full of flavour. My date went for the grilled beef. Again, a generous portion with a richness that is offset by a fresh rocket salad. The staff, who were attentive throughout without being overwhelming, were extremely useful at this point. On the whole, I tend towards caution when it comes to ordering wine in restaurants and stick to fruity wine that I already know. But trusting the knowledgeable waiter, I went with a glass of full-bodied red, which ended up complementing the lamb perfectly.

    Having had two good sized dishes, a dessert felt ever so slightly indulgent. Again the waiters managed to convince us that we could probably manage to share a dessert. In the end, we chose a chocolate cake, which was tasty without being too rich or adventurous.

    A more casual offering than the Intercontinental, Theo’s Simple Italian gives you the opportunity to try Theo Randall’s cooking at a fair price in a relaxed atmosphere. A great spot for a date where the food impresses without the formal setting.

  • Not all marriages are between people who are madly in love....
    Are soulmates real
    Category: Dating Tips | December 08, 2017

    Not all marriages are between people who are madly in love. Plenty of people have a platonic marriage. Here’s why they may have chosen that route.

    Marriage is an interesting institution. You’re basically vowing to spend your entire life with someone and are bound by law. Usually, this is when two people love each other and want to spend forever together. But what about platonic marriage? Do people really get married as just friends?

    Well, yes. This type of marriage exists. The thing about getting married is that it’s a choice by two people. The law doesn’t care if you are truly in love or not. If you say you want to get married, you can get married.

    Shouldn’t you marry your best friend, anyway?

    You’ve probably heard this time and time again. “Make sure you marry your best friend.” So what’s the difference with a platonic marriage? In truth, this advice is solid. The person you marry should be your best friend, but that’s usually said while assuming you’re in love with someone, too.

    The difference is that platonic marriage is between people who are ONLY friends. There’s no romance in the equation. This can be confusing because why would someone choose to get married to a person they’re not in love with?

    Why people decide to be in a platonic marriage

    If this concept is confusing, or even intriguing, you’ll want to know why it is people want to live like this. Here are a few reasons people go ahead and get married even though they’re not completely in love with each other.

    #1 They want a family now. Unfortunately, there is an expiration date on having children yourself – for women, at least. People who end up in a platonic marriage might very well just want to start a family and they haven’t found someone they’ve fallen in love with yet.

    What they do to solve this problem is just marry a friend who also wants a family. You don’t have to be in love with someone in order to start a family together. These types of marriages confirm just as much.

    #2 They made a deal. You know when you hear about two people vowing to marry each other if they’re both still single by the time they’re 35 or something? Well, those deal really exist. They’re not just confined to a couple romantic comedies.

    This is usually in relation to both people wanting a family. They decide to get married if they don’t find people they’re in love with by a certain age. So long as they’re still friends, it’s a platonic marriage.

    #3 It’s time to settle down. There are a lot of people who feel pressured to get married. They think by the time they hit thirty they should settle down and find a partner. If two people feel this way, they might agree to get married to each other and start the process of slowing down and settling into their lives as a married couple. [Read: 12 signs your partner is ready to settle down but you’re not]

    #4 They’re both aromantic. If you’re not sure what aromanticism is, it’s when someone doesn’t feel romance. They have no desire for a romantic relationship so instead, they end up marrying their friend.

    This is often between two aromantic people simply because it’s better understood and there isn’t one person wanting romance when another doesn’t. You’ll also find this with two asexual people, as well. Sex isn’t in the equation, and so it’s a platonic marriage.

    #5 Covers for being homosexual. This isn’t really all that common today as it was many years ago. Back in the day, when gay marriage or being gay at all wasn’t really tolerated, people would get married so they didn’t draw attention to themselves.

    There are even cases when a lesbian woman and a gay man would end up getting married for the sake of appearing to be a heterosexual couple. However, these people are only friends – even if they do end up having children together.

    #6 They just want to marry their best friend. Some people get married platonically but then have relationships outside of their marriage. They want children and they’d rather raise those kids with their best friend, someone they care about and admire, than with someone else.

    This is usually the case when two people want kids and a family but just haven’t found that special person. To them, their best friend is better than anyone else and they’d rather have them be their children’s parents. Or they just want to spend forever with their best friend instead of some fleeting lover.

    #7 It fades into a platonic marriage. Sometimes your marriage can start out being full of love. You were truly in love with your spouse and then over time, that love faded. Not all loving marriages end up staying that way.

    Some people who are with their spouse for decades end up in a platonic relationship instead of a romantic one. But they stay together because they still love each other, just not in the same way they did when they first got married.

    #8 They still love each other. Some people want to bind themselves for life with someone they truly love, even if they’re not in love with them. They feel like the difference is immense. Being in love with someone can change over time, loving someone platonically isn’t likely to.

    Those people would rather be in a platonic marriage and keep that level of love than a romantic one and risk losing it over the years.

    #9 Making it work for the family. The thing about divorce is that everyone assumes you hate your ex. But those who end their marriage can often stay friends. Just like those who decide to stay married can also just be friends.

    Their romantic relationship has come to a close but they still like each other and want to remain a family. The only difference is that they don’t have the romantic aspect even if they’re working together to raise a family.

    #10 They did it for tax and insurance purposes. This is just the truth sometimes. It’s not always true that people get married for the love. Sometimes, the tax and insurance benefits are just too alluring.

    This could also happen if someone is in need of much better insurance than they have. If you’re struggling with a chronic condition and your insurance decides to drop you, marrying a friend with great insurance can be worth it. This type of marriage would be platonic and only serve a couple specific purposes.

    Platonic marriage isn’t always about just marrying someone who’s your friend. Some people do it for very specific reasons. Regardless, this type of marriage definitely exists for all kinds of reasons.

  • How To Start a Conversation With Your Crush On WhatsApp?...
    Low maintenance girl
    Category: Dating Tips | December 07, 2017

    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?

    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.

  • There is no point in sugar-coating it...
    Jeremy wong 342291
    Category: Dating Tips | December 07, 2017

    There is no point in sugar-coating it. Maintaining a long distance relationship can be the hardest obstacle a couple can encounter. But why does the thought of being long distance fill so many people with dread?

    The answer is that unfortunately a long distance relationship brings to the surface every anxiety a person might have about the relationship lasting. What if she meets someone else and falls in love with them? What if we grow apart? Will he cheat on me?

    This worry is completely normal, but often unnecessary. The fact that a couple have decided to stay in a relationship in spite of a sizeable geographically boundary, is already promising proof of a dedication to each other.

    So whether you have just started such a relationship or you’re a seasoned survivor, here are some tips on how to cope with a long distance relationship.

    Don’t let the envy get to you

    When you are spending time away from your partner, it can become very easy to get jealous of other couples around you. Suddenly the sight of two people holding hands becomes sickening to you, as you know you can’t do that with your partner.

    You may start to grow angry with your partner that you cannot see them as often as you like. Or start having thoughts about whether the relationship is worth it. Be careful as this kind of thinking can become harmful to your own relationship. It is important to share these concerns with your partner. It is quite possible that they’re having the same thoughts too, and by talking about them it will bring you closer together.

    Maintain regular contact

    No, I don’t mean constantly texting or phoning your partner to check up on them. Too much of that can actually damage your relationship as it gives the impression that you desperately want to be with you partner, which can come off as a bit clingy. Or worse, that you don’t trust your partner to live their own life.

    Every couple, not just long distance, should have their own life outside of the relationship. But while being independent and living your own life, make sure you maintain regular contact with your partner. Texting each other ‘Goodnight’ before you go to bed, for example, is a perfect form of regular contact, especially if either of you have had a busy day where you couldn’t talk properly.  It lets your partner know that they are still in your thoughts.

    Don’t forget little romantic touches

    Even though you and your partner may be long distance it doesn’t mean you still can’t be romantic with each other. In fact, it’s vital that romance is still present.

    You could both watch a film at the same time and text each other your thoughts about it. Or why not turn on Skype while you’re both preparing dinner, so you end up with a virtual dinner date? These simple activities can help maintain the closeness that you may feel is sometimes missing with your partner.

    Write a letter or send a gift

    Everyone likes a memento, and even more so when it reminds you of someone you care about. Sending letters may seem a little old fashioned in this age of texting and instant messaging but they can be a brilliant source of comfort in a long distance relationship. Your partner is guaranteed to appreciate the time and effort you have put into writing a letter.

    If writing letters doesn’t sound like you, then you could always send your partner a small gift, like a film or CD and include a message like: ‘Saw this and thought of you’. Also make sure you have pictures of you and your partner around to remind you of all the memories you have together.

    Remember, it’s not forever

    Finally, whenever it feels like the distance is too much, just keep in mind that you and your partner won’t be apart forever. Make sure you both always plan ahead for when the next time you’ll be together. That way you’ll always know when the next visit will be and it will make the time spent separately more bearable.

  • Here are some dating etiquette rules we should remember before, during and after a date...
    Pexels photo 160322
    Category: Dating Tips | December 06, 2017

    That first moment you meet someone you think worthy of your time, that someone that makes you smile and laugh and cringe and giggle. You’ve been there, right?

    The thing I learned about dating is that it’s a sprint not a race. You’re going to have some excellent amazing dates, and you’ll have some truly awful horrendous ones. And then one day, you’ll meet your version of Prince Charming.

    Here are some dating etiquette rules we should remember before, during and after a date.

    Meeting and greeting

    Giving flowers is great, it says “I was thinking of you and so I brought you flowers because I wanted to see you smile.” Rather than red roses they should be yellow. Oh my God! I know right? Yellow roses say “Let’s be friends.” Which any dating “expert” will tell you is the perfect basis for a healthy relationship. White roses suggest new beginnings, also an appropriate shade to be giving on a first date.


    Sure, give her a compliment but make it matter. Take a nice long look and while I wouldn’t suggest complimenting her shoes I’d recommend going for her nails, or even her eyes. Women work extra hard on the nails and the eyes when they’re going out on a first date. You noticing that signals that she’s not only done a good job but that you care enough to notice.

    Making jokes

    I cannot stress this enough. There is a difference between laughing with him, and laughing at him. Don’t do the laughing at him thing – It is both rude and mean. Do not, no matter what, ever make jokes about needing Viagra, ever. This is not funny.

    Keeping your achievements to yourself

    I have a friend who embarrassingly has slept with every female I know our age (and then some). I’m pretty sure it’s the reason so many of us girls stopped talking to each other over the last ten years ago. The worst part is that he brags about this almost every time I see him. It’s not amusing any more; it’s actually kind of humiliating. For everyone involved. Yeah, even for me, I admit I am ashamed that I was one of his… conquests. This is one of the most important dating etiquette rules: no girl wants to feel like a number on in a black book – so really there’s no need to ever discuss how many women you’ve been with.

    Being realistic

    Ladies, your first date might teach you what it feels like to be standing on three inches of ice in the middle of the coldest ocean on earth. In other words there is a chance you will be terrified of everything he says and does and you’re going to want to second guess every move he makes. Whenever you feel yourself comparing this guy to, remember this new guy isn’t your savor and he isn’t your hero, but nor is he the man that you’ve , just left.

    Gentlemen, let her be a lady, don’t second guess her either, or try to push your views on her. Accept her as she is she’ll accept you as you are, and hopefully you’ll both have a wonderful evening.

    Getting physical

    Assuming the date goes amazingly, swimmingly, everything has gone perfectly do you, or don’t you, have sex on the first date? No! Sex is more important to women then it is to men, because sex is about giving life. It is about sharing a piece of yourself that not everyone in the world gets. That being said men have some more self respect. I admit I’ve had my fair share of one night stands but I take them about as seriously as you do. If the girl you are dating is worth keeping around, she’s worth waiting for. More importantly if you’re worth having around, you’re worth waiting for too! This is especially true for a woman who has just escaped an abusive relationship. If you really want to build a future with this person, sex can wait. It’s the getting to know part that makes sex amazing, because it’s all those tiny moments that combine together to create true intimacy.

    Saying goodbyes

    If you really are not interested in the person, do them and yourself a favor and try a simple “I had a really great time but I just don’t think we’re looking for the same things.” Or hell even “Hey so my life is super crazy right now and although you seem really great I just don’t have it in me to have a relationship right now” It is perfect it’s easy and it lets you both off the hook without anyone’s feelings getting overly hurt.

    Guys, if you are not going to call her tomorrow don’t tell us you’re going to call tomorrow. It’s a dick move. It’s also a waste of time. I will never understand what enjoyment men get out of thinking we’re waiting by the phone for you to call. We’re not. No seriously, many of us actually did have a life before you came around and we’ll continue living it long after you’re gone.

    Social media stalking

    Do not, whatever you do attempt to find them on Google, Facebook or Twitter! Especially Twitter. If ever you want to be completely turned off by someone’s personality, look at their Twitter account. No offence to our friends at Twitter, but we all know people say things via Twitter they wouldn’t say in person. Facebook should and is meant for friends and family not for you to investigate your dates. With our world being as interconnected as it is, leave some mystery. When and if they are willing to share their social media with you, they will. Until then let your dates keep their secrets and you keep yours.

    Moving on

    Ladies! If you get one of these texts that they are not into you, do not freak out. Whatever the reason may be it is not your fault, there is nothing wrong with you and your life is not over. You will not be single forever. I can prove it. I’m going to marry Chris Evans and I promise to post an “I told you so” picture on Instagram the moment it happens.

    Did I miss anything? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

  • John Mayer describes the very essence of “Cuffing Season” in one of my favorite tracks by him – St. Patrick’s Day...
    How to make someone like you
    Category: Dating Tips | December 05, 2017

    According to John, the first phase of Cuffing Season starts in November, and we all know that the highlight of November is Thanksgiving!

    This led me to ponder, how do you know if you should introduce your boo to your friends and family this holiday? Will they be around for the whole year, or just for the season?

    Going by John’s timeline, if you’ve just recently met or started dating someone in the fall, you’re still reeling from the excitement of getting to know one another. Your conversations are long, your texts are frequent, and you’re asking lots of questions revolving around your favorite-this-and-that.

    If things are still new, it may be a good idea to hold off on the mass introduction this Thanksgiving.

    Just think about it – Thanksgiving is one of the few times per year that you see people that you haven’t seen in forever. Expect an interrogation for not only you, but for your date as well. Do you really want to find out things that you don’t know yet, in front of your whole family? Are you prepared for questions about “how serious is it?” “when’s the wedding?” and “what are your intentions?” I think not!

    Take some time to figure out what’s going on yourself, before you give others the opportunity to pick your new coupling apart.

    Leading up to and right after Thanksgiving, you’ll probably start getting Christmas Party invitations. If you’re still holding up, this may be a good time to let your boo hang out with your friends. Though some interrogation does occur, Christmas parties are more focused on ugly sweaters, egg nog, and cheap gift trading.

    If by New Year’s you’ve been with your boo for a couple of months, you’ve survived the major holidays and you’ve started plotting for Valentine’s Day, you may finally be in the clear to introduce them to your family.

    By now, all the visiting family has gone home, and you only have to deal with “the regulars.” There’s still some remnants of holiday cheer left in the air, so maybe they won’t go as hard on your partner as they would during a less-festive time of year.

    Per John, after Valentine’s Day is when the Cuffing Season flames start to fizzle. Snow starts to melt, the sun starts to shine a little brighter, and all those seasonal feelings begin to fade away. Hopefully your holiday love lasts for much longer, but if not – you’ll at least be safe until St. Patrick’s Day.

  • “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
    Text from your ex
    Category: Dating Tips | December 05, 2017

    The only thing worse than not listening to someone is pretending to listen.

    Giving the vague murmur of agreement, or a quick nod to communicate “Yes, I'm listening, totally,” when really, we're not.

    I remember vividly a dinner I had with friends about four years ago. I'd been backpacking in New Zealand for twelve months and had just returned to the UK. Traveling in the car to my friend's house, I imagined how the night would look…

    There would be lots of laughter (it was always side-splitting when we all got together).

    There would be lots of hugging (I hadn't seen them for a whole year after all)!

    There would be lots of storytelling (I would get to share my epic adventure).

    Did all of this happen? To some extent, yes, but not how I had imagined.

    In fact, I left feeling a little miffed, a little gutted.

    At first, I couldn't work out why.

    My friends were the same old fun-to-be-around people.

    Despite ‘finding myself' while traveling (I joke), I felt I was pretty much the same old person.

    So what was different?

    It hit me.

    The constant. Mobile. Phones.

    The entire evening was tainted by endless selfies, videos, status updates, incoming phone calls, outgoing phone calls, and notifications.

    Distraction, after distraction, after distraction.

    There were moments you could have heard a pin drop as the four of us, faces illuminated by the glow of the mobile phones, sat, hands glued to our devices. Ironically, telling anyone who was on Facebook and Instagram that night what a terrific time we were having.

    To begin with, I was angry with my friends. But sooner I realized I was really angry with myself. I was equally guilty, and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones after all.

    What could have been, rather, what should have been, an evening of being deeply present with one another, each one of us offering our full and undivided attention, was tainted by technology, spoiled by social media, marred by meddling mobiles.

    Backpacking was more campfires and deep life conversations below the stars, so this evening was felt like a return to reality. Most of us struggle to put our flipping phones down.

    If we stop and think about it, what message does it send to the human beings in front of us when we are busy on our phones?

    I made a vow that evening to get better at this, to be more present with friends and family, anyone I'm communicating with.

    I didn't want to make anyone feel how I felt that evening—unheard and unimportant.

    Zoom forward to today and, well, I'm much better but far from perfect.

    Technology certainly is a huge barrier to presence, but it's not the main culprit.

    The main culprit lives between our ears, the mind.

    The mind is a lot like a talking alarm clock, and you have no control over when it goes off and what it will say.

    For example, I can be sitting face to face with someone, physically a few centimeters in distance, but consciously, a world away.

    Instead of listening to what the person sitting across from us is saying, we listen to our thoughts.

    Hey, did I leave the oven on this morning when I left the house?

    I hope my breath doesn’t stink.

    Why is that stranger in the corner laughing—is my underwear tucking into my shirt?

    Or literally, anything else. Anything. Any other thought can pop up at any moment, pulling my focus momentarily away from the person in front of me.

    Luckily for us, people can't always be certain when we're not being fully present with them, especially if we're an expert fake listener, able to give a very convincing response like “Yeah, sure, I get you.” Occasionally, I sense that the person I'm talking to senses I haven't been listening. I feel bad and forgive myself for being human, before returning to the conversation.

    On the other hand, when someone is really listening to us, fully present with us in the moment, we can be certain. Without a doubt, because we feel it.

    It's tough to put such moments into words, but you just know.

    Moments when we're fully present with someone and it's reciprocated, it's like magic, like the rest of the world fades into the background. Like the first time you fall in love and you just feel connected; you feel the dance of communication, the resonating, the synchronicity, the oneness.

    That's it. This, for me, is what presence is all about. The oneness.

    A few of my favorite ways to get present and cultivate oneness are:

    Eye contact

    The eyes truly are the windows to the soul. Giving eye contact really lets people know they're being heard.

    Listening to understand instead of listening to respond

    We're stuck in our heads if we're listening purely to plan our response. Tuning into a person's words and also how they say the words has greatly helped me to connect with people.

    Limiting distractions.

    Technology, off. The world can wait.
    Remember the good old days when only landline phones existed and if you weren't at home people would leave a message and patiently wait for a response? Bliss. Nowadays, we're available on mobile, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, email… the list goes on. Flight mode is my friend. Anytime I want to get present, flight mode is activated.

    Facial expressions.

    When I really listen to someone, I find I empathize with them so much more. Naturally my facial expressions will reflect this, communicating I understand how they're feeling. We all wish to feel understood.

    In a few weeks' time, I'll be flying back to the UK to spend time with my family. In fact, this will be the first Christmas in six years we'll all be together (my dear parents, older sister, younger brother, and me).

    A part of me is sad knowing that around the world, there will be families sitting in their living rooms, surrounded by their nearest and dearest, but not really being there.

    Distracted either by their own minds, their mobiles, or maybe their new presents.

    It doesn't have to be like this. Board games can be played and conversations can be had, with presence, together.

    In truth, we needn't wait until the holidays to connect in this way, as any moment, any conversation, offers a chance to be present with each other. But the holidays, for me, really are prime opportunities.

    To be surrounded by the ones we love most and be with them more than just physically, but emotionally and spirituality too, well, this is worth more than any gift you'll give or receive this year. This holiday season, give presence.

  • Moving to a new city for a significant other is a big commitment...
    Anthony tori 120173
    Category: Dating Tips | December 04, 2017

    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.”


    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.


    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.

  • Into the abyss of dating over 40 but under the geriatric age threshold was where I was floating...
    Random questions to ask a guy
    Category: Dating Tips | December 03, 2017

    I did not think it would be that hard to meet someone wonderful after my divorce. Having in mind that the divorce rate is 50%, I should have a huge pool of well-trained men from which to choose, right? Single men who have learned to put their crap away. Gentlemen with a career and lifestyle in which I could easily fit. Males looking to connect and find what they want from a relationship because they have a clear perspective on what they don’t want.

    This was going to be sooooo easy for me. I look and act young for my age. I teach spinning, see tons of concerts and I am hip. My divorce is civil and we co-parent well. These exceptional qualities, coupled with my large network of friends, were sure to get me introduced to my next partner in crime, passion, love, family. This girl was on fire!

    More shallow waters than it seems

    I was 100% wrong. Think about it, at 40-something, most of my friends are married and have no idea what to do with the ‘single’ girl. ‘Do we invite her or her ex?’ ‘She won’t want to come, it’s all couples…’ was the mantra.

    But secretly I knew that they thought divorce may be contagious. It was almost like Zika…divorce is prevalent in the US and there is a good chance that if I looked like I was having fun being single, the bug may bite their wife or husband. So, while I waited for friends to introduce me to prince Charming, I just got lonely and frustrated.

    I had to look elsewhere for advice and motivation, as I furiously taught my spin classes at lightning speed and struggled to find sitters for the kids so I could just ‘be out there’. Books on tape like Men Don’t Love Women Like You by G.L. Lambert were motivating and terrifying to me, but I listened and read and stayed coachable.

    Just dip your toes in

    ‘It will happen when you least expect it!’ my friends would say. Really? I do expect it. I want it. ‘Try match.com. Isn’t everyone on that site?’ ‘My friend Julie met her husband there in like three months and they are married now…’ I would hear. Ok, that means it is easy and I can certainly do it because Julie is no ‘looker’ and she is no way as fun or as cool as me!

    Or the polar opposite, ‘Wow, aren’t you afraid to go online? There are so many bad people out there.’ ‘Be careful!’ Many were emphatic that everyone online was a catfish, ‘I have heard that most of those men are really introverted boys in a basement who make things up’, like Brad Paisley croons in So My Cooler Online. Oh shut the fuck up. Why was I even taking advice from people whose last real date was in the 80’s?

    I am quieted by the fact that, according to match.com, there is only a 17% chance of liking a date who was set up by a friend (I’ll let them off the hook). Married friends’ relationships have their own growing pains and I was just not top of mind for them as they coach sports, chauffer their kids, try to have family dinners, work to pay their bills, find time for their own sex life and keep up with the ‘Jonses’. I get it. In fact, I’m doing all of that too…and looking for a partner.

    ‘Let it happen organically!’ my brother guffawed with a snarky look like I’m an idiot for even spending time online to date. Listen, the only thing organic in my life comes from the grocery store in the form of an over-priced vegetable. Unless it’s wrapped up in a joint or a grocery bag, organic just is not in my universe. So, my friends don’t know what to do with me and my closest peeps think looking for a man is permeating my world and that I need a new focus. Screw organically, literally.

    Don’t be a chicken, jump in!

    Enter the online dating over 40 world. On one end we have people who still do not believe in Facebook and have only recently started adding emojis on their text messages. On the other end, we have the tech savvy minority who love what social media can do for them personally and professionally. Let me be clear. Social media is the new name for the Internet, the World Wide Web and basically is taking over the television as a place for entertainment and content. Gary Vaynerchuck said it best: ‘social media is the biggest game change since the printing press’. People can connect, share and find love online. It’s a must do, so I did it.

    Us over-40-somethings did not grow up with computers or cell phones. We have had to train our thumbs to move quickly across a 2×5” screen in order to connect with our kids, school, work, friends, the world and now-dates. A few had a computer in college, but the world wide web had not opened up, email was non-existent and Mark Zuckerberg was still tottering around in a onesie and pull ups. But if I yearn to be in a partnership, be a part of a team, morph into that great family on the sidelines of the baseball field…I have to do the online dating thing myself.

    And so I did: match.com, E-harmony (twice, because the first time I was only separated and had not figured out that lying was a huge part of setting up most of online profiles), Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Bumble and others. Woah, that first group of pics of my matches was awesome! I thought ‘the Internet is perfect for me and I’m going to find the perfect, grown up, evolved man to join me for the rest of my fun-filled, awesome life.’

    Hit refresh! I was over 45. The match up just did not work. And then… I got the online prompt for OurTime – a dating site for seniors. WTF? Seniors in college? because there is no way I am a senior in real life terms. The only place that the words ‘our time’ fit into my world was Spikoli’s quote from Fast Time at Ridgemont High. ‘Isn’t this our time Mr. Hand?’

    Into the abyss of dating over 40 but under the geriatric age threshold was where I was floating. A gaping hole where the older men want younger women and the older women want men who are evolved, grown up and not just chasing tail. Does this exist for either group? Stay tuned and I’ll let you know.

  • 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 | December 02, 2017

    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.

  • Scarfes Bar at Rosewood, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
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    Category: Venues | December 01, 2017

    OK, I am being harsh and unhelpful to the lovers out there who will no doubt be looking for ideas. If you were wooing me in London, I’d want to be taken to Trullo, Brasserie Chavot, Garnier, The Ledbury, Casse-Croûte, Honey & Co or Café Murano. If you wanted to not woo me, yet see how far away I can throw a shoe at you and still hit your forehead, take me somewhere ‘no reservations’ and ask me to stand in the doorway.

    I was sent to Scarfes Bar at the recently re-enlivened Rosewood hotel in Holborn to check out its capacity for romantic ambience, which seemed to have great potential due to its enormous, twinkly prettiness as one passes from the road, plus the beautifully restored Grade II-listed Edwardian courtyard through the arch, which has the ‘wow’ factor quite vital to wooing. The bar itself, I am told, had been ‘lovingly evolved into a living canvas by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’ and ‘meticulously designed’ by the renowned Martin Brudnizki. It’s a high-end hotel bar in Holborn with a roaring fire, velvet armchairs, over 200 single malts, oodles of champagne, rare specialisations in sloe gin, dozens of cocktails and bookcases filled with antique books hand-picked by a Portobello antiques dealer.

    But let’s be frank, it’s a bit like Alexander Meerkat’s living room: pretty and pompous. I can’t vouch for the comfiness of the velvet armchairs. I called in the morning to reserve a table and was informed they have a ‘no reservations’ policy, but when I arrived there were ‘reserved’ signs on the tables, which caused my mood to curdle so badly a knot of dead toads fell from the sky in Michigan.

    In plainness, Scarfes Bar, at the moment, has great potential for fabulousness but misses the mark. The bar staff are handsome and expensively kempt, but lack that golden touch of knowing when one requires serving, even if you’re sitting in direct eye-line miming chronic dehydration. Gosh, I miss American bars, where they’re so on the ball it’s impossible to leave. I drank Perrier-Jouët at £16 a glass and attempted to order bar ‘delicacies’ from a menu inside an antique book that was swept away whenever I put it down. A pianist tinkled through mournful jazz versions of ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry and Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. An affluent barfly two seats west of me chatted up office girls and seemed unsure what day it was. I tried a jar of Jason Atherton-esque smoked salmon pâté. Well seasoned, charming enough. Some skewers of chicken tikka — I found no evidence of tikka. Lobster momos — think Wagamama dumplings — were watery and ignorable. Lamb cutlets lacked any oomph and flapped about on the bone like a Heathrow windsock. My favourite item was the fish goujons: essentially posh fish fingers with mayo in a slightly spiced breadcrumb. I would not cross the road to eat any of this again and this is a problem.

    At around 11pm, just as I was about to pay up, a fantastic female jazz singer appeared and hammered through one of those sets one might catch on Jools Holland. Yet here she was on a wet Wednesday playing to chuntering hotel guests and corporate groups comparing laptops. Scarfes Bar is fitting for Valentine’s Day as it feels like many relationships I’ve been in. All the right elements are present. I’m just not in love with it.

  • Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2 (020 7877 7703). Meal for two, including drinks: £220
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    Category: Venues | December 01, 2017

    You can tell a lot about a place by the punters it attracts. By that measure the City Social, Jason Atherton's new restaurant on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the City, is to be avoided, at least by me. Early on I am waiting at the bar where I am approached by a middle-aged woman with hair the colour of the peroxide aisle at Boots. "I don't normally interrupt people," she says with the nasal twang ofAlison Steadman's Beverly in Abigail's Party. "But I'll make an exception for you. I'm a newly elected Ukip MEP and a real foodie and I'd like to invite you to lunch."

    It speaks much for the Liberal-Left bubble I inhabit that I am astonished she should admit to her Ukip victory. But she's said it with such enthusiasm that it's clear she's said it before and been met with applause. Not this time. "You support a party which attracts racists, homophobes and bigots," I say. "Lunch is not going to happen." Her lips quiver. "You're… you're the bigot," she shouts. And she storms off. I suppose in the sense that I am bigoted against bigots I am indeed a bigot, but only over a very narrow bandwidth.

    City Social, the latest in a line of London restaurants with the S word in the title, really isn't very. It is all the very worst of the 1980s revisited. It's full of clumping tumours of men, jangling change in their pockets and barking at each other about the latest position taken by Millennium Capital. There are large tables of men, with hard jaws and bald heads and glazed eyes from the working hours, boasting, and stamping and clapping each other on the shoulders. The testicle count is enormously high here, which is fitting because there's an awful lot of bollocks at City Social.

    The place is fitted out in the 427 shades of brown visible to the naked eye so as to suggest an old gentlemen's club: curving leather banquettes by the windows, wood trim everywhere, dark floors that suck what available light there is so that menus have to be read by the torch app on your smartphone. Except it's only just opened and has the whiff of the glue-gunned stage set.

    They try to serve cocktails in pewter tankards, as if it's a proper old inn that is slipping into the Thames. It isn't. You can tell that from the wraparound view of London up here. It should be said that the chaps behind the bar quickly nod agreement when I laugh in the face of pewter and ask for a bloody glass. Indeed, the barmen are the most human aspect of the whole place.

    The rest is faff and bother and heel click. It's the kind of place where dishes are brought on trays by one person but delivered by another in a clumsy dance that stops all conversation; where waiters are drilled to scrape the table for crumbs none can see; where if you decline bread they will remove your bread plate so you may never change your mind. The staff behave as if constantly on the edge of being bawled out by the customers. (Nothing to do with me being recognised; the PR company later made it clear that they didn't know I'd been in.)

    Wine service is the pits. It's one of those lists priced to make you feel inadequate. It's priced to give the tedious men barking at each other about Millennium Capital a way to look interesting by spending stupid amounts on wines with names they can't pronounce. I ask the sommelier to find me a bottle of Pinot Noir for under £50. He puffs out his cheeks, shakes his head, points at things costing £56 and, at one point, something costing £99 which isn't Pinot Noir. "It's very difficult with Pinot Noir," he says. No it isn't, I tell him. You can get a great one for under a tenner wholesale. It turns out there is one for under £50 – a Chilean for £49 – but I spot it after he has left our table. The man either doesn't know his own list or wants us to spend more.

    All this grind and hand wringing and willy-waving makes the food an afterthought, which is a shame. At his best Jason Atherton, who oversees the kitchen here for the consultants Restaurant Associates, which actually runs the venue, can be very good indeed. Witness his seafood linguine: a coil of silky pasta lies in a bowl surrounded by curls of crisped squid, steamed mussels and cockles and a dice of razor clam on the shell. On to this is poured a seafood velouté that is heavy with the cooking juices. Aside from the irritation of wrestling the sauce boat off the waiter so you can have more, it is about as good a seafood pasta dish as you could hope to find in London. As it should be for £14.

    But Atherton does have a tendency to overwork things. What might be a great steak tartare – heaps of chopped and seasoned prime beef scattered about the plate – is undermined by splodges of "dried vinegar", a vinegar gel, the acidity of which bullies the subtleties of the meat. A beautiful tomato salad with tomato jelly and sprinkled with basil granita is let down by tomatoes which are like some of the clientele: all right to look at but with little to say for themselves.

    Technically, mains are a masterclass. There are pieces of rabbit saddle, bound together and wrapped in ham to form a cylinder, plus an impressive rabbit sausage and a side dish of a barley-like grain with braised rabbit. A duck dish brings hunks of breast and boulangerie potatoes and a berry compote. Technically impressive they may be, but they lack heart and soul. About the meat there is the raw squidge and bloodiness of sous-vide. The animal proteins have been denatured under vacuum, but not uproariously cooked. A kind of perfection has been achieved; it is not the kind I enjoy.

    Dessert, at least, is without a fault: a foamy strawberry soufflé, a classic custard tart with a welcome dusting of ground nutmeg. But the whole effect is deadening. Across from Tower 42 is the Heron Tower with, at the top, Duck & Waffle, looking down upon us. Midway through my meal I look up and know that if it's dinner and a view I'm after, that's where I'd rather be. It's 20 floors higher, 50% cheaper and 100% more fun.

  • Conducting a bit of online research on someone before a first date is a good idea in general...
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    Category: Dating Tips | December 01, 2017

    I really, really, don’t like to call myself a “dating expert”. That’s not to say that I disagree with the idea that there are experts when it comes to dating, relationships, sex, and anything else that falls broadly into how humans partner with people, I just don’t think I’m one. What I know is that I’m experienced.

    That experience is what I think makes me, not an expert, but a qualified voice to offer dating and relationship advice. I’m not always right, and I don’t think what I have to say is the end all be all when it comes to dating and relationships, but I know where my opinions come from.


    Lots and lots of dating mistakes. Like, too many to count, and more often than you think. It all worked out in the end of course, but all the mistakes I made inform how I’ve dated in the past, and what sort of advice I give.

    So let’s talk about some dating mistakes I’ve made so you don’t have to:

    Spending way too much on first dates

    When I was younger, how I differentiated between dates when I was broke and “real dates” was dollars spent. At some point I started to qualify whether or not something was a real date by how much money I spent on that date. When I was young and broke a date with me probably involved a ton of walking, making out in public parks, and trying to find cheap/free things to do. Once I grew up that changed to an extent. The mistake I made was overcompensation, by spending too much on first dates. I went from spending $20, max, on first dates by finagling free drinks to dropping 20% of my  two weeks pay on a single first date. (Seriously, god bless NYC gallery openings, and any other open bar deal I found in the early to mid 2000s,  if not for you I’d never had been able to date in NYC)

    Now, “too much” is relative of course. If you’re a millionaire, spending $200 on a date is nowhere near too much for you, but if you earn minimum wage, that might be too much for you.  I’m all for splurging when you can, but I could not afford to spend 20% of a paycheck on a single date with someone I didn’t even know if I liked.

    My advice to you is to never spend “too much” on first dates, whatever “too much”means to you. If that means putting dating into your budget, there’s nothing wrong with that. Not every date needs to be expensive, or even cost a cent.

    Trying too hard to impress someone

    Here’s a very specific, very silly, and very thirsty mistake I made that had little to do with money, and more to do with too much effort too soon for a stranger. Mind you, it wasn’t even a date.

    I met a woman who, in passing, mentioned that she liked a very specific bagel place. At most she mentioned that she used to live near that place and subsisted on these bagels for years. Foolhardy, and ever ready to go above and beyond to impress a pretty woman, I planned to meet her on her break from work and bring her a bagel. Cute right? On its own, maybe, but let’s add some layers to confirm how thirsty and over the top I was being. For starters, the bagel place was in Brooklyn, fairly close to me, but inconvenient to get to. Next, she didn’t work anywhere near Brooklyn, she worked in Times Square, where dreams go to die. Third, who wants a cold, surprise bagel it took 30 minutes to deliver? Nobody that’s who. I delivered that bagel and never saw or heard from her again. With good reason I might add, she really dodged a thirsty-ass bullet in my opinion.

    It didn’t cost much, and it was mildly inconvenient, but whatever. The issue was, it was just too much effort for someone who wasn’t all that interested in me romantically. That I think, is the bigger mistake. It’s one thing to try your hardest to present the best version of yourself, it’s a whole other thing to go above and beyond for someone you’ve never met. The amount of effort you should put into impressing someone before a first date, or in the early stages of dating, should be at the “job interview” level. Best foot forward, but don’t show up to your interview (or first date) in a tuxedo. You get me?


    Conducting a bit of online research on someone before a first date is a good idea in general, because people are strange and potentially dangerous. The mistake I made would be over-researching. I’m guilty of conducting internet research that escalated from assessing risk to full-on private detective work. I’d never found anything too bad about someone before a first date, but I did learn things that made me lose enthusiasm for a date, or things that made it hard to have normal first date small talk.

    If you’ve already stalked someone’s Facebook, and learned where they went to school, what they do for a living how many siblings they have, that they played clarinet and high school, and so on, I can promise you that it can be very awkward to try to have a normal conversation. Learn from my mistakes and do just enough searching so you avoid a date with a career criminal, but not so much that you run out of things to talk about because you already know them.

    Being too accommodating

    What’s the biggest way you’ve inconvenienced yourself for a first date? Mine was traveling almost 2 hours for a “date” where I helped a woman shoot a student film with her friends. I kid you not, I traveled almost 2 hours (then had to travel 2 hours back home), on a Saturday, to meet a woman for our first date knowing that our date would also double as her finishing up some weird MFA project she had going on. Now, this situation is obviously very specific, so here are the mistakes I made in general terms:

    I traveled completely out of my way for a date. Didn’t meet half way, a quarter of the way, we met all the way in her neighborhood because I was accommodating her.
    Our first date wasn’t a date, so much as a hang out with friends, and I HATE group dates with strangers.

    Now, my version of being overly accommodating might be different from yours, so here’s a good way to tell to see if you’re too accommodating: Ask yourself, how much inconvenience you’re taking on for a date compared to the person you’re seeing. If you’re taking on 100% of the inconvenience of a date just to go on a date with someone, you’re doing it wrong.

    Going on dates just because

    Have you ever agreed to a date you had no interest in? Maybe there’s a teeny, tiny chance that you’ll have a good time but in my experience, where my mistake lied, was in counting on an unlikely eventuality. There’s always the off-chance that you can meet someone when you least expect it, but you can’t brute-force things like chance.

    It’s one thing to continue dating when you’ve become disheartened, it’s another to go on a date knowing you don’t like the person and don’t enjoy the date idea, in the hopes that through some miracle, you’ll have a good time. By all means, date through disappointment, but that doesn’t mean going on a date with just anyone. It’s natural to get a bit down on dating, it happens to the best of us. What you should avoid doing is going on a date where you know you won’t enjoy yourself.

    If nothing else, I hope you learn from my mistakes. I’ve made plenty in the hopes that you won’t have to.

  • If you’ve been single for a while, the prospect of dating can seem like a fantastic, thrilling experience...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 30, 2017

    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.

  • Did I just literally bump into an old buddy last night who now has an amazing girlfriend whom he met online?...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 29, 2017

    Have I been to the wedding of a happy bride and groom who met online? Yes. Have I been personally responsible for advising said groom to get online because he wasn’t meeting the types of girls he wanted? Yep. Did I just literally bump into an old buddy last night who now has an amazing girlfriend whom he met online? Yes I did. Do I still hate online dating? Absolutely. Hear me out.

    Why I hate online dating

    As a man, I hate online dating. Why? Because it’s you versus every guy in your area that doesn’t have the balls to get rejected in real life, which is 99% of men. You see, the success of online dating is not surprising to me at all because I know men. I know their desires, their fears, and their sticking points. And the biggest sticking point of every guy is the fear of approaching. Even as a dating coach for over 5 years, I too still feel this fear as well. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. No one is safe.

    Obviously, no one likes rejection. But it is inarguably a much easier pill to swallow when you are behind a dimly lit screen swiping right on faces you hope have personalities. Ironically, this is precisely why women hate online dating as well. Let’s go there.

    Most women are just as frustrated with online dating as men, but for very different reasons. It comes back to the whole men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing.

    Men are frustrated because of oversaturation. This leads to a lot of lack of responses, lack of dates, and lack of girls who value the man’s time because she’s already excited about meeting the next guy, Brad… no wait, Brandon. For men, this leads most interactions down the way of Ghost Avenue, Flakey Way, and Overall Disinterest Drive. Bummer for all you dudes out there fighting the good fight. But wait, here’s the M. Night Shyamalan plot twist. You know… before The Village.

    Women are also frustrated because of oversaturation. I can literally hear your confusion from here. Let me clarify. Sure it’s nice to have literally unlimited options in potential dates, however, the flip side to that coin is when woman starts to feel overwhelmed and can’t keep up. When you are an average looking girl or better, you feel like there are so many options that all the men just become one big haze of potential baby daddies. Science has shown that the more options we have for anything, the less satisfied we are with whatever choice we make, no matter how awesome he or she may be.

    “Wait, what were we chatting about before?”

    “Hold on, oh yeah, this is the soccer player guy from somewhere far away.”

    “Oh shoot, I liked this guy but totally forgot to reply last week. No, wrong guy. Oh wait, yeah that’s him.”

    This is the internal dialogue of the average female using only one online dating site. How do I know? I have a lot of female friends and I do one thing very well that most men do not — I listen. To be honest, it’s weird. I have a lot of attractive female friends who have no problem meeting men when we are out and yet, when they talk about their online dating experiences, it usually rabbit holes way down to how ultimately dissatisfying it is to meet stranger after stranger hoping that she, A. Won’t get kidnapped and B. Will get kissed by prince charming.  For better and for worse, they usually get neither one.

    Women have it hard too, fellas, just in a different way. “But wait,” I hear you say, “If you and all your female friends hate online dating, why bother? Why do you still love it?” Great question.

    Why I love online dating

    I love online dating because it offers me the potential to meet a girl I would have never met before because she lives 10 miles away. I love online dating because it gives me more options in general. If even one girl goes on a date with me, that’s one more date than I would have gone on before. All of this offers me an opportunity to practice and hone my dating skills, which makes me a better dater, man, and coach.  And all because I swiped a few hundred times and connected with a stranger on my pocket internet machine.

    But you wanna know the biggest reason why I love online dating? It is mindset.

    That’s right, I said mindset. Because of online dating, I am able to see the hundreds… no thousands of girls looking for Mr.Right. And even if not a single one of them think I am that guy online, I at least know that there is an infinite amount of single women waiting for a guy like me but just don’t know it yet.

    What does all this mean? It means that because I see how many women are single and actively looking, I am encouraged to approach and meet women everywhere. You see, men feel approach anxiety because of a lot of different reasons and one of the biggest ones is that he feels like women probably doesn’t want to be bothered. “She’s probably busy,” he says to himself. “She probably has a boyfriend,” he thinks to himself. But with the insane number of single girls online, it’s easy to get this mindset to flip — to get into an abundance mindset.

    Men, think about it. If you went online and found only 2 women in your area that were single and actively looking, you would think that the dating world is scarce. You would go into scarcity mindset and this would destroy your chances of not only overcoming your fear of talking to women but especially your chances of dating her. Why? Because women are repulsed by men who live in this mindset. This is the guy that seeks her approval all the time by being constantly agreeable and ultimately ingenuine. This is the guy that is needy and gets weird at the slightest sign of disinterest, even if it’s not. He reads too much into everything and takes everything very seriously because, to him, it is. If reality is perception, his reality is doomed.

    Now for the real reality — the way it actually is out there. If you download an app or log onto any online dating site, your reality will shift. You will see all this potential out there just waiting for a great guy like you. You will see the abundance of women in the world looking for a guy like you. This will put you into the abundance mindset, which is where you need to be to attract women.

    Women are attracted to men who feel like they are in abundance. Men who are in abundance don’t take much seriously when talking to women and are fun to talk to. He’s easy going and carefree. He’s unstifled and completely himself, take it or leave it. He’s still a good guy, except now he’s a good guy with an edge. To summarize, he’s every girls’ Mr.Right.

    Go up to any girl and tell her that you know what she wants and she will look at you dismissively. Then say “You just want a good guy with an edge.”  Watch her jaw drop and her doubt dissipate. If she’s honest, she will agree. Having this mindset is how you become that guy and the catch for this to work rests upon two things.

    Firstly, you must not take rejection personally. Even if you’re getting no dates from online dating, it doesn’t mean you’re not attractive as a man. It just means you aren’t good at conveying your attractiveness online. Also, with every other guy on there, it’s even harder to stand out so good luck even if you are!

    Secondly, you must approach women in real life. If you can into this abundance mindset by noticing the thousands of quality women single and ready to mingle, you will feel less approach anxiety. In addition, you will feel more relaxed when chatting with women overall. Because you know there are plenty of single women out there, you won’t stress about one!  If you don’t connect, move on! Your potential wife is just around the corner waiting for you even if she just swiped left on you. And because not many men are approaching her, you will automatically stand out!

    This is ultimately why I hate and love online dating. Because it’s an overfilled cup of infinite options that, with the right perception, can lead to Mr. or Mrs.Right.

  • We're all busy people, but what happens when you are soo busy you can't find time to see your mates...
    Category: News | November 28, 2017

    Richill Artloe, founder of the dating app Spefz, thinks micro-hanging is the way to go.

    "i have managed to create a well balanced life without getting too overwhelmed." she tells us.

    "I have a routine that allows me to efficiently manage and allocate my time to my professional and personal life withput being burnt out"

    Sounds great. But is being this time savvy too good to be true?...

  • Women-reduce your hair or alter the color, try putting on dresses more frequently ...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 28, 2017

    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.

  • Dating can stir a feeling of anxiety in the pit of most people’s stomachs...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 27, 2017

    Dating can stir a feeling of anxiety in the pit of most people’s stomachs. After all, it is a pretty risky territory: venturing into the unknown, unsure of who you are going to meet and whether or not you will actually connect with the person who you go on a date with is a pretty daunting process, guaranteed to unnerve even the most confident of people. So how to overcome shyness when dating?

    Even if you are a really shy, quiet person who lacks confidence and self esteem at the best of times, yet alone having to go on a date with someone new and, heck, be faced with the prospect of actually having to have a conversation with them, there are ways in which you can overcome shyness and  pave the way for a bolder, braver you.

    Look great, feel great

    We all know that looks aren’t everything and that true beauty is found from within, however, there is nothing wrong with taking a bit of extra pride in your appearance for your first date. After all, you owe it to yourself a little bit of pampering to make you feel special. It is amazing what a decent hairstyle, nice makeup and clothes can do for one’s self esteem. So, when you have time, (and money, more to the point!) book a hair appointment, nothing too drastic as you want to be boosting your confidence not hindering it if you end up being unsure of your new hair, take a bit more time on your make up and treat yourself to a new outfit. Also, book in for a wax, not that anything will be seen as it’s only a first date (and if so, no judgement!) but you do have a tendency to feel much cleaner and more confident with smooth, hair free skin. Confidence comes from within, so even feeling good about the way you look can help immensely with settling your nerves.

    Think about your good qualities

    You may be so shy that you feel nobody would ever want to date you because you come across as boring and uninteresting. This is simply not true. You surely have many amazing, redeeming qualities, you just need to remind yourself of them whenever you are feeling down. As silly as it may sound, make a mental list of your best features. It could be that you are the person everyone turns to for advice or in times of need, you make people laugh, or everyone always complements you on your wonderful dress sense. The point is, you are fabulous and have lots going for you, so make sure to remember this when you are feeling unworthy of having a date with someone who even resembles a fun, decent, attractive person. Repeat to yourself that you have a lot to offer to someone and any individual would be lucky to date you.

    Focus on your likes and interests

    Many people feel at a loss of what to talk about whilst on a first date. This is only natural. After all, you don’t really know much about this other person, so how can you be sure whether or not you will have anything in common, or even know what to talk about?

    If the thought of going on a date terrifies you that much, then there is no harm in “practising” a little beforehand. For instance, make a short list of potential topics for discussion, as well as conversation starters if you should feel at a loss of what to talk about next. That way, you can avoid awkward silences. We all know there is nothing worse than those, and they can infact contribute to you feeling shy.

    Stick to safe territory to begin with. For example, talk about your hobbies and what you like to do in your free time, maybe even begin with discussing something that happened during your day, something along the lines of “Did you see what they are doing to that new development in the city centre?” (I am sure you can come up with something far more interesting though!) Pretty soon, conversation should flow naturally, until eventually you end up talking about your careers, friends or hobbies. As long as the conversation doesn’t branch out to discussing your ex’s you should be fine. Then even if you don’t get with the other person and know you won’t want to see them again as you feel that you have nothing in common, at least you will know that you stayed true to yourself.

    Do not lie

    You may be feeling so shy when faced with the daunting prospect of dating, that it may seem tempting to lie. Whether you exaggerate the truth a little, or even to the extent of fabricating complete fictional tales, it will not do anything to help you to overcome your shyness. Sure, you will feel that initially it will make you feel a lot more exciting, but you will have to remember the lies you have told to avoid getting caught out, which will only result in making you flustered and even worse, trip yourself up in front of your date. As you have guessed, this will only make you feel even more shy and more self conscious, as you will be thinking, “can he sense I’m lying?”

    Occupy your hands

    In certain stressful situations we do not seem to know what to do with our hands. It may be hard, but please try to keep them well away from your phone. There is no bigger turn off than being in the company of someone who is constantly fiddling around on their phone. Not only is it incredibly ignorant and rude, it makes you look uninterested, as though you have somewhere else that you would rather be. This would leave the other person unimpressed and not looking to pencil in a second date anytime soon. Instead, there is nothing wrong with talking with your hands, holding a drink or even a little bit of flirtatious hair twirling.

    Be a good listener

    Finally, this last point is exactly as it sounds. If you reach a point where you really are at a loss for what to say, then let your date do the talking and simply listen. That should then prompt you with further questions to ask and what to say next. If nothing else, you will come across as being considerate and a good listener, and that you can only be commended for.

    Overall, all of these points have quite clearly summed up how to overcome any dating nerves, but, most importantly of all, remain true to yourself. Try to feel some inner confidence knowing that your date has asked you out because they want to get to know more about you, besides being attracted to you, they also feel that there is something about you: something that intrigues them, lures them in making them want to discover more. Remember that you have appeal and plenty of redeeming qualities and are fun to be around.

  • Eight infractions inside of a couple days of texting...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 17, 2017

    A friend of mine recently went out with a guy, Sam. They had a good time, smooched a little, and went their separate ways for the night. So, the seed was planted for a second date at the very least.

    But Sam's mistakes turned a promising situation into a bad one very quickly. You can find a list of his infractions below. Let me know which one (or more) is a deal breaker for you:

    General Psycho Behavior

    Allison woke up Sunday morning to a 7:30 "Good Morning Beautiful" text. Unless he was up at 5AM, it looked like Sam immediately texted Allison as soon as he woke up. That's a bit over-eager.

    Seizing Poetic License on Pet Names

    In the first text after the kiss night, it's a little strange to be dropping nicknames, even if it's something as general as "beautiful". It pushes things beyond casual way too fast.

    Text Novels

    Sam's texts shattered character limits. Allison would routinely receive 3-5 long texts in a row, all connected ramblings.

    Over-Aggressive Texting

    Sam wasn't keen on giving Allison much time to answer his texts before he was on the attack again.

    Forcing a Date

    Early on in his text assault, Sam asked Allison to get together during the upcoming week. But Allison said she was busy at work and offered to set something up for the next week. Instead of respecting her wishes, Sam fired back with "Well, I was really hoping to see you before the weekend."

    Making A Woman Feel Wrong For How She Feels

    It didn't take long for Sam's intense texting to turn Allison off. She politely explained that he was coming on a little strong but wanted to remain friends. Instead of accepting Allison's words, Sam argued that he wasn't a game player(implying that Allison was interested in games).

    Inadvertent Insults

    After accusing Allison of being a game-player, Sam went on to explain that he was a "grown man interested in a deep committed relationship." He instructed her to let him know if she was ever interested in the same. Allison came away from this exchange feeling like he called her a whore.

    Hubris and Glibness

    After the ordeal was over and Sam finally accepted he lost his grip on a chance at another date (and reality), he finished it off by texting that he "never had this happen before." What a stud he must be. Judging by his behavior, it was pretty easy for Allison to glean that he has probably been through this quite often.

    So there you have it: eight infractions inside of a couple days of texting. Which of these do you think is the worst, and at what point would you be fed up? I explained to Allison that she should have been freaked out by the 7:30AM text, but hindsight is 20/20. So what are your thoughts? What is the worst text or texting infraction you've received from a guy?

  • Take notes, ladies....
    Jeremy wong 342291 1
    Category: Dating Tips | November 16, 2017

    Real talk: Dating is sometimes harder than it should be. After countless dinners and drinks, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and resign to nights of forever watching Netflix alone in your bed. But when dating is done right, it can be amazing, and those great dates often lead to great relationships. So consider this your dating playbook, with all the information you need to survive the first date and make sure there's a second one.


    Sure, you might meet the love of your life while sipping gin and tonics, but wouldn't it be so much cooler to say you met at a mud run? You never know where you're going to meet the next person you date, so if you're only looking in one spot (like that bar where you're a regular) then you're missing out on tons of possible partners. We know plenty of couples who have met while standing in line at the grocery store, a Target parking lot, even a naked reality show. The takeaway? Love can crop up anywhere, so get out there and keep your eyes open.


    No one loves you quite like your friends do, so let them set you up with someone that they can vouch for. "It's better for single people to meet through friends because there's a familiarity and comfort that goes with that," says behavioral scientist Christie Hartman, Ph.D. "A friend setting you up means the guy is 'vetted' to some extent." So let them play matchmaker—but first, lay down some rules. Make it clear ahead of time that the way the date goes is totally not a reflection on your friend, or you, or the guy. Hey, sometimes chemistry is there, and sometimes it isn't. So unless your friend is Patti Stanger, remind her that it's no one’s fault if this goes horribly wrong. (But if it goes totally right, you should probably buy her a drink).


    The term "friend zone" should totally be banished—in part, because your friends can sometimes make the best dates. Think about it: Someone you're already friends with is likely to have similar values, to know your background and your family, and to make you feel ultra comfortable with them. Plus, friendship is the foundation for any relationship, so having that bond established can be key, says relationship expert Jane Greer, Ph.D., author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.


    The Internet is a beautiful thing: It brought us Twitter, cat videos, Orange Is the New Black, and now, it can bring you love. But when you're ready to make the plunge into online dating, how do you decide which site to sign up for? We found a handy cheat sheet from digital matchmaker Julie Spira, who gave us the lowdown on 12 popular dating sites. Think about what it is you want out of an online dating experience—A hookup? A boyfriend? A marriage?—then choose the site that matches your interests, so you're not just wasting your time online (that's what the cat videos are for).


    First dates can be overwhelming, so streamline your focus into making the first few moments count. It takes only 12 minutes for you to decide if you're interested in the other person (and for them to decide if they dig you) so bring your A-game the second you arrive. To make a stellar first impression, make eye contact, smile, and focus on what he's saying, according to Susan RoAne, author of How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections—In Person and Online. And don’t forget to check in with yourself, too! You might be so focused on making a flawless first impression that you forget to ask yourself if you’re even into the other person.


    We've all been told that guys love the chase, but according to research, that's not exactly true. One study showed that men are more attracted to responsive women, and women who were kind and warm right off the bat. That doesn't mean being over-the-top eager—you don't have to laugh at his jokes if they're not funny—but it's definitely OK to respond to that text in a timely manner, or tell him how much fun you're having. Being kind is definitely a turn on, so forget what you’ve been told about playing it ice-cold.


    Word-vomit happens, but one way to tank a first date is to admit how long you spent Google stalking him or accidentally blurt out, "Woah, you look exactly like my ex!" The censorship walls can come down after a little bit, but try to steer clear of these awkward comments on a first date, or we're guessing there won't be a second one.


    It's more than just what you're saying—it's how you say it. One study showed that when men talk to a woman they find attractive, they tend to vary their vocal pitch from high to low tones (in a sing-songy way). If you're looking to analyze the long-term potential, pay attention to the types of words you both use. Another study suggested that people who use the same function words (maybe you both say "quite" and "tons" a lot) are more likely to couple up and stay together.


    Is it love at first sight? It depends on where their eyeballs land. Research suggests that when someone feels a romantic connection, his or her gaze tends to linger on the other person's face. When they just feel sexual desire, their eyes tend to wander around the person's body. During the next date you're on, follow their gaze. If he's staring into your eyes all night, there’s a good chance he's really into you.


    Getting your friends' (and family's) opinion on your new beau is essential, but if you ask too soon, it could color your own feelings. One study showed that when opinions were framed differently—saying that "seven out of ten" people liked your date, versus "three out of ten" people didn't like him—it can seriously affect our own evaluation. So you might want to avoid asking for an outside opinion until you've gotten the chance to make one yourself.


    Dating someone who you're just not into is a total waste of time. Be realistic with yourself: Are you embarrassed to call him your "boyfriend"? Has he met your friends? Would you rather be watching Netflix than talking to him? Are you only with him for fear of being single? These are all good signs that you're just not that into him, and you should peace out of this relationship. Trust us, being single is way better than being in a crappy relationship.


    We heard about a woman who committed to going on 100 dates this summer as a way of learning more about herself, and what she wants in a partner. While we don't think you necessarily need to do a dating marathon, it's often important to just get out there—especially if you feel like you’re in a rut. So when your date goes awry, or that relationship turns out to be a dud, don't give up. Your next amazing date might be right around the corner.


  • That ring may be nowhere near his radar...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 15, 2017

    I have a few buddies—married men, now—who used to drink and sleep around like you wouldn't believe. In college, their dorm rooms smelled like gym shorts and beer cans. If I'd given it any thought at all (which, I admit, I didn't), I would have sworn they'd never get married, or at the very least, that they'd be the last of our group to pop the question.

    But over the last few years, I've seen these knuckleheads change from keg-stand champions to husbands and—gulp—even fathers, because at some point, something changed in them. And that's a common story with guys: We never seem ready to settle down until, well, we are. 

    Knowing these guys through their philandering years and into matrimonial bliss has helped me recognize some of the ways guys change when they start to think long-term about relationships. So if you're wondering whether a guy sees himself as serially single or ready to lock it down, here are a few of the telltale signs he's not ready for the ring:

    His reluctance to marry might not be about you at all. If he can't decide on, say, what career path he wants to follow or where he wants to live, he probably doesn't know himself well enough to settle down yet. 

    In 10 years he wants to be a CEO with a huge yacht and a leash-trained lion named Simba. Great. As he's musing out loud about these plans, does he speculate on how you'll fit in? If he's talking about moving to São Paulo, does he ask if you like warm weather? Because these things matter. Even if he's just joking around, it's a bad sign if he constantly talks about his future self as a lone wolf—unless, of course, you're the lion on the leash, which would make for some very strange role playing.

    Again, if he's not yet tailoring his pipe dreams to yours, he's not yet thinking about your lives together. It's not like he has to account for every little detail, but if he isn't showing an interest in your future, it might be because he doesn't see himself in it.

    Relationships require maintenance, and hey, fights happen. But when you get into a spat, does he launch right into a blowout fight or calmly try to explain why something bothers him? Does he talk to you when he's upset or totally shut down emotionally? If he loses his cool during small disagreements, it's not a good sign for any of the larger conflicts that may come down the line.

    If it's just minor eye-rolling during the cheesiest and most cliché-riddled scenes (he stopped the wedding at the altar?! He raced through airport security just to kiss her?!), then don't read too far into it. But if he's grunting, growling, and whimpering like he's in pain for the entire duration of Titanic, he's sending a message. You're just not his Rose.

    If he doesn't want to attend your parents' anniversary party with you, then he probably isn't thinking of them as his future in-laws.

    Say you've moved in together, and you need a new kitchen table, a headboard, a Vitamix, and some pink flamingos for the lawn. It makes sense to split them, right? Of course it does—if you feel confident that you'll never fight for ownership. If he makes a clear declaration of who owns what ("you buy the headboard, and I'll handle the flamingos."), then he's probably not yet feeling that confidence.

    Accepting you means accepting the people who you surround yourself with. If he can't bring himself to do that—or at least make an effort—then he's not ready for a serious commitment

    Invariably, somebody will make an awkward joke about you being husband and wife, or they'll ask flat-out when you're going to get hitched. It's one thing if he deflects with something harmless ("She'd never be able to put up with my crap"), but it's another if he takes a firm stance ("No way—we're a million years from even thinking about it."). Similarly, if he jokes about breaking up or about the hot other women he wishes he could sleep with—despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable–then he's not marriage material.

    He doesn't like that you wear so much pink? Or that you take days off work to hang out with friends? Or that you'll spend $60 on a blowout? (I'll be honest: I'm not even totally sure what a blowout is). If he's constantly voicing disapproval over the small things, then he's not ready to take on the big things. You can do better.


  • There are plenty of happily coupled people who 100 percent did the nasty on their first date...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 14, 2017

    It’s crazy that in 2017 we are still worried about whether it’s OK for two consenting adults to have sex on the first date, but here we are. Or that being sexual when and how you want to means you cant find love like a proper lady. Bullsh*t. Folks, if the old adage “why buy the milk if you can get the cow for free” were true, humans would have ceased to exist on this planet a long time ago. I mean, do you really think every couple you see are together because they waited at least three dates to enter le bone zone? No, of course not. There are plenty of happily coupled people who 100 percent did the nasty on their first date — or even before it. How do I know? Because I’m one of them, and guess what, I know plenty of other people who have, too.

    Are there creeps out there that will hold your comfort with your own sexuality against you? Of course. But who cares? You wouldn’t want to go long-term with someone like that anyway. If they are freaked out or judgmental about your sexuality, you can bet they’ve got some other hang ups about women, too. I say, “Boy, bye.”

    Here's what having sex on the first date really means for a potential relationship.

    The Majority Of Dudes Are Fine With It
    The old belief that if a woman sleeps with a guy that they will lose all respect for her is dying. Sure, some people cling to those antiquated (and sexist) ideas, but those people are jerks. In a 2013 study conducted by Cosmopolitan, in which they polled 1,000 18- to 35-year-olds, a whopping 83 percent of women believed that having sex on the first date would make men lose respect for them, but when asked, 67 percent of men answered that they “absolutely don’t think less of a woman who has sex on a first date.” Bam.

    In fact, according to the 2017 Singles in America study done by Match, men are three times more likely to use a one-night stand to start a relationship, and in 2016, this same study showed that 25 percent of them have turned a one-night stand into one. OK, so are we done with this stigma? Yes? Good.  

    You’re Not Alone
    If you decided to hook up on the first date, you are in good company. According to the Singles in America study, millennials are 48 percent more likely to sleep with someone right away to see if there is a connection. Here’s the thing: Sleeping on the first date may actually tell you that there is no connection there, so I guess technically it could ruin the relationship, but no more than discovering any other incompatibility. And honestly, wouldn’t you rather know sooner than later?

    Love Is Not Dead
    Conventional wisdom says that sleeping together on the first date is a romance killer, but actually that’s not true. Despite being 48 percent more likely to do the deed right away, millennials are also 30 percent more likely to have a first date that leads to a second. Looks like us ladies are keeping them coming back for more.  

    There's Never Any Guarantee That A Date Will Turn Into Love
    While the taboo about sex on the first date is fading, some experts still warn against it for various reasons. For celebrity matchmaker Alessandra Conti, it comes down to biology, which puts women at an emotional disadvantage after sex. When women have sex, their bodies are flooded with oxytocin, which makes them want to trust and bond with their partner. This can make a potential ghosting much more painful. “When a guy ghosts after sleeping with you, he would most likely ghost you even if you didn't sleep with him, but the difference here is that you are now emotionally and chemically bonded to him, which will make getting over the jerk much harder than it would if you had just gone on a couple dates,” she says. She also warns it's a pretty efficient way to add unwanted f*ckboys to your life. Fair point.

    Another thing to consider is how leading with sexual chemistry can cloud your judgment. Relationship and etiquette expert and author April Masini warns: “Once you start sleeping with someone, you may tend to let things slide, like deal breakers. Chemistry is not always your friend if you’re looking for a compatible, long-term relationship partner.” Never sacrifice your needs and emotional well-being no matter how good that first date D was. And never, ever feel like you owe someone sex. If you choose to hook up day one, it needs to because that is what you want, not because of outside pressure or a sense of obligation.

    Whether you sleep with someone within 15 minutes of meeting them or wait forever, there is no way to guarantee that any date will evolve into a long-term relationship, so at the end of the day just do whatever the hell you want — so long as you do it safely (i.e. condoms always!). If it’s to have sex right away, Mazel Tov! Or if your decision is to wait, that’s A-OK, too. The right person will love you whatever you decide.

  • Every moment that we let pass without doing this is a moment that we could lose the opportunity to express how we feel forever...
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    Category: Dating Tips | November 13, 2017

    It seems like no more than a week goes by before some kind of tragedy or catastrophe rocks the foundations of our fragile existences. This week, it was the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 and injured hundreds more. Now more than ever, it has become so, so important to figure out how to tell someone how much you love them. Every moment that we let pass without doing this is a moment that we could lose the opportunity to express how we feel forever.

    Although most devoted couples likely drop I love you bombs on one another regularly, it never hurts to go that extra mile to really let them know just how much you care and why. There's no need for things to devolve into a Nicholas Sparks novel, but taking the time to give the person you love some extra TLC is literally never a bad thing. This way, you can fall asleep knowing that one of the most important people in your life knows how you feel. Life's short — it's up to us to seize every moment to fill those around us which as much love as we can.

    1. Tell Them You Appreciate Them
    Letting the people around us know that we not only love them, but also appreciate them, is something that most people forget to do regularly. I get it, life is busy and matters of the heart can be the first things that are pushed to the wayside when life gets stressful. But don't let that be your excuse for not thanking your partner for all of the wonderful things they do for you. No relationship is perfect, but if you and your partner spend the majority of your time together happy, then someone's doing something right.

    2. Tell Them How Their Presence Makes Your Life Better
    At one point or another, we've all probably consumed enough self-help media to know that no partner or relationship should be able to make or break our self-esteem or self-worth. That being said, it would be so unbelievably negligent to pretend that our partners don't bring so many positive experiences to our lives — ultimately making us happier than we probably would have been without them.

    In the midst of life's chaos, it can be such a relief just to know that you don't have to suffer though hardships all on your own. Whether it's a partner, friend, or family member — even if there's just one person you know you can call who will be loving and supportive — don't miss your chance to let that person know how much joy they bring to your life.

    3. Tell Them You Love And Accept Them For Who They Are
    It can be so easy to take those we love for granted. Instead, we should take every opportunity that presents itself to celebrate all of the wonderful and unique qualities that make your partner who they are. Sure, sometimes they get on our nerves, but they also do so many other things that outweigh the bad. Nobody's perfect — there may very well be things that we all might secretly want to change about our partners if we could. But the moment they weaseled their way into your heart was the moment that you agreed to accept and appreciate their short-comings — just like they probably have with yours.

    It only takes a few seconds to send a text and only few minutes to make a phone call, and in the end, it could very well make all the difference. So pick up the phone and let the people you love know that you care.

  • What I need to know is this: How can I tell when someone likes me, especially if they're too scared to say it?...
    Playful banter
    Category: Dating Tips | November 12, 2017

    I've been told before that I'm "intimidating." What this means exactly, I'm not really sure, because internally, I feel like the biggest dork in the world. But there have been times I've been super into a guy and wondered why he's never pursued me — only to find out he was too shy to make a move. This made me wonder, how can you tell if a guy is scared to ask you out, but he really wants to?

    Listen, I do enjoy being sought after. But I wouldn't mind doing a bit of the asking out sometime, as long as I was sure the person in question actually liked me back. I'm not trying to set myself up for failure and heartbreak here. And sometimes, it can be hard to tell if someone is actually interested in me in that way, or if they just want to be my friend. What I need to know is this: How can I tell when someone likes me, especially if they're too scared to say it? Anyone? Help? Please?

    I asked Lori Salkin, senior matchmaker and dating coach at SawYouatSinai.com, and dating expert Jen Kirsch about the signs a guy is too scared to tell you he likes you... so you can just ask him out instead!

    1. He Checks In On You And References Jokes You Two Have
    Sometimes, your crush might truly like you, but they're waiting for the right timing, so they do other little caring things to show you they like you.

    "If he’s referencing inside jokes with you and checking in on you, he’s likely just waiting it out, hoping for an eventual go-ahead from you," says Kirsch. "A guy like this is a keeper. I say ask him out and act fast before someone else finds him while he’s waiting on you."

    2. He Always Finds A Way To Talk To You
    If your crush is going out of their way to try to talk to you, then yeah, they are probably interested — even if they're not asking you out just yet.

    "If he’s texting you all the time, for no reason whatsoever," then Kirsch says he probably likes you. She continues, "People who constantly reach out and make nonsensical convo or send links, quotes, or emojis are solely messaging you so that you can keep them top of mind. This is a sign that he’s definitely interested."

    So check your text history with your love interest. Are there a lot of memes? Then, yeah, your feelings are probably mutual.

    "Whether he gets info from social media stalking or by asking mutual contacts, suddenly, he's mentioning last night's episode of your favorite show, suggesting he might get tickets to that concert you've been dying to go to, or needs information about a vacation spot you just happened to come back from," Salkin adds. "He's definitely interested in striking up conversation with you as often as he can."

    3. He Finds Ways To Spend Time With You
    If someone is trying to find little ways to spend time with you, even if they don't have the courage to explicitly say it's romantic, then they probably have a crush on you.

    "When he starts regularly asking when you're taking a coffee break and volunteers that that's when he is, too, and he joins you, or he happens to also be there ... it's not likely just a coincidence," says Salkin.

    So essentially, if your crush is lightly stalking you and seems to be popping up everywhere you are around town, you're in luck! As long as you like them back, at least.

    4. He Suddenly Becomes Friends With Your Close Friends
    If they start to infiltrate your inner circle, it's probably because they low-key want to infiltrate you (read: sex stuff). OK, maybe not to that extent just yet, but still.

    "If he wins your friends' approval and starts popping up at the dinners, happy hours, and basically any event that your circle of friends is doing, it's likely that he is trying to get to know you better and fit into your world," says Salkin.

    Perhaps this person doesn't have the courage to ask you out one-on-one, so they become BFF with your buddies instead.

    5. He's There For You
    If someone is willing to be there for you emotionally, then they probably have feelings for you that run below the surface.

    "When he asks you if you need something when you seem sad or stressed, and offers an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on, he's not just the most empathetic human being; he has a true interest in you," Salkin explains.

    If you find that someone you're interested in is taking time out of their day to help you figure out your problems, it's probably because they want to show you how deeply they care about you. If this is how they behave in a friendship, they'd probably be pretty good in a relationship, too.

    But how do you move past the friend-zone once you know your crush likes you? Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini offers some advice on how to ask these shy types out.

    First, she says you can just ask them to ask you out, period. "The reality is that men love feeling like they’ve won you over, and if he does the asking — even if you’ve rolled out the red carpet for him to do so — it’s better for him (and for both of you) if he feels great about having asked and you having accepted," says Masini. So basically, you can plant the seed in their head, and see what happens.

    Or you can always ask for your crush's help. Tell them you need some assistance at home with something you can't do yourself (like assembling IKEA furniture or something), and then, Masini suggests, "have coffee or a bottle of wine with snacks ready for an impromptu visit after the chore... and let him take it from there." Essentially, ambush your crush with a date. I like this idea.

    So if you think your crush might like you back, but you're not sure, just ask them out anyway. Life is short, and what do you have to lose? Plus, Kirsch summarizes, "Let's face it, ladies: You don’t get if you don’t ask. There’s nothing worse than finding out years after the fact that the guy you were crushing on was crushing right back on you at the same time."

  • Getting back together with a former flame is one thing, but how do you stay together for long-term after?...
    How to end the first date gracefully when youre not interested
    Category: Dating Tips | November 11, 2017

    We all have that ex that we can't help but wonder "what if" about. Mine was a guy we'll call "Bryan." I met him right after high school and we dated for three years. He was amazing. Tall, gorgeous, and just an all around great guy. The problem was, we got together at 19 and we both wanted to do way more living before we settled down. Eventually, we split and moved on with our lives. I'm happily coupled with someone else now, but sometimes I wonder if I had known how to win your ex back then, what could have been. Probably it would have been a hot mess, but it’s something to think about.

    Still, getting back together with a former flame is one thing, but how do you stay together for long-term after? That’s were things get tricky, so I called in a professional to get some advice. I reached out to April Masini, a relationship and etiquette expert and author from RelationshipAdviceForum.com. Masini assured me that not only is it possible to rekindle a romance, but that breaking up can be the best thing you could have hoped for, because “sometimes breakups can be the wake-up calls that relationships need to survive.”

    That’s definitely great news, but how do you actually go about winning your ex back? Well, it starts with getting real with yourself about the past.

    Think About Why You Really Want Them Back
    Before you continue any further, take some time to assess why it is that you are in such a rush to reunite with your ex. Is it because you really care about each other but you needed some time away, or made a rash decision? Or is it because your heart is lonely and you would really prefer not to be alone anymore? If it’s the latter, you should choose instead to move on; otherwise you are setting yourself up for heartbreak when the relationship inevitably falls apart again sooner rather than later.

    Be Realistic And Don’t Romanticize The Past
    It’s so easy to look back on a relationship with rose-colored glasses, particularly if the breakup is fresh and your heart is hurting. But before you even consider rekindling things, you need to take some time to really think about the relationship, particularly the bad parts. Focus on those and really assess if they are things you can live with and let go of. What about them really got on your nerves? Because if you’re successful in getting back together, those habits won’t have magically disappeared. Have a realistic view of what being with that person is and if, at the end of the day, that’s really what you want.

    Consider Why You Broke Up And If It’s Fixable
    Why exactly did you break up in the first place? Was it just bad timing? Or were there serious foundational problems that made you incompatible? Did one of you cheat? That can obviously have lingering negative effects moving forward if one (or both) of you can’t let go of the hurt that caused the breakup. If it’s not something you can reasonably fix, or if they just aren’t a good fit, save yourself and them from the pain of another go round.

    Reasons Why You Should Never Get Back Together

    While some things, even infidelity, can be worked through if you are both equally motivated, there are some times you should never, ever even consider getting back together. Mansini explains that you should give a hard pass to reuniting with exes you have a chronic make up/break up pattern with, as it’s likely caused by a desire to avoid being single rather than a real love connection. The other type of partner she says you should never take back is an abusive one. “If you break up because your partner is abusive, but you miss them and go back in spite of the abuse, that kind of reunion is a bad idea and a time bomb," she says.

    Assess Your Odds Of Successfully Reuniting
    The next step is to asses the chances that the relationship can be repaired at all. Breakups can do a lot of damage, and sometimes they're irreparable. Also, sometimes people just fall out of love. In that case, your best bet is to try and heal your heart and move on.

    So, what are the factors that increase the likelihood of success? According to Mansini, it’s all about the reasons why you split to begin with and where that leaves you both emotionally. “If you and your ex still love and respect each other, it’s a lot easier to win them back than if there’s hate and mistrust,” she says. “For instance, if you’re facing a deal breaker that one of you is willing to compromise on, it’s easier to get back together than if you’re with someone who’s a chronic cheater.”

    Do Things To Improve Yourself And Your Self-Esteem
    One thing I’ve learned about breakups is that you discover you suddenly have a lot of extra time on your hands. Rather than spending it wallowing, now is the chance for you to do some self-improvement and work on your self-esteem. It takes two people to break up, but sadly the only party you have total control over is yourself, so here is your chance to work on being the best you that you can be. Take into consideration your part in the split; are there some habits, lifestyle choices, or psychological issues you can work on that will not only help you be happier, but improve your chances of making it work with your ex?

    Give It Some Time

    Speaking of having some time on your hands, you’re going to want to give the breakup some breathing room. That’s good because it gives you time to really consider all of the things above, and also give your ex some time to miss you, experience life without you, and realize it’s a bummer not having you around. I suggest giving it at least a few weeks, if not months. If, at the end of that time apart, you still want to get back together, here’s what you need to do.

    Open With A Friendly Text 
    Go ahead and reach out to your ex with a text. Something friendly, but not to intense. Maybe something referencing a positive memory. Like, say you saw a movie on TV and it reminded you of that day you saw it together, and how much fun it was. See if they reply and gauge their receptiveness. If they seem happy and open to hearing from you, then consider asking them to hang out.

    Keep It Light And Friendly
    When they agree to hang out, don’t be a wierdo. Keep it light and fun, and don’t rehash the past. Let them soak in the awesomeness that is the new, happier, and improved you. Treat it like a brand new fresh relationship and leave the baggage at home.

    Have An Open Conversation About Getting Back Together

    If all goes well and it seems like they may be open to the idea of getting back together, have a frank and open conversation with them. Find out if they are actually interested in getting back together. And if they are, you can talk about what to do better as a couple this time around.

    Mansini explains that it’s essential for you to apologize and take ownership of the hurts you may have caused:

    “Taking responsibility for your part in the break up and your part in the compromises necessary to get back together is a great way to go about improving your chances at a reunion after a breakup. Flowers and make up sex won’t do it. There has to be a real understanding of your part in the break up and a real attempt at empathy and generosity in the getting back together pitch.”

    Getting back together isn’t impossible, but it can be hard, especially if you do it right. Give it a lot of thought before you dive in and be ready to do the work if you do get back together. Like Masini says, your breakup may be exactly the wake up call you needed to realize you really do belong together. Good luck!

  • So here's how to figure out if you're in love with someone, or if this is just a rebound...
    Pexels photo 48017
    Category: Dating Tips | November 10, 2017

    I have been the rebound, and I have rebounded after a breakup. To be honest, neither really feels good. But sometimes, it's not exactly deliberate on either end. I wasn't trying to lead on the people I rebounded with, and I'm sure the people who prematurely dated me didn't have awful intentions. It just happened. But I frequently wonder how to know if you're in love with someone, or if you're just trying to run away from the feelings of your past. I mean, they always say that to get over someone, you need to get under someone new. That seems a lot easier than actually dealing with your feelings.

    However, rebounding, unfortunately, will get you nowhere. It certainly won't get you over your past breakup. It will only prolong it and drag other innocent bystanders along in the meantime. In an effort to move on from exes, I've forced myself to date new people, only to find out it makes me miss my ex even more. Then, it forces me into new breakups with the people I just started dating. It's a vicious cycle, but it's one that can be avoided if you're aware of how you actually feel about your old and new partners.

    So here's how to figure out if you're in love with someone, or if this is just a rebound. Because rebounds should just be for basketball. (Sorry. I didn't know how to end this paragraph, so I just went with a sports metaphor. Sports!)

    1. Do You Post Pics To Make Your Ex Jealous?
    Before you hastily post on social media after a breakup, always ask yourself who you're posting for. It's normal to take pics of you and your new boo in the beginning of a relationship. You want to show each other off to the world, and things are exciting. But if you're posting to get the attention of someone from your past, then you're just objectifying your new partner and using them as a prop, not a person.

    Figure out why you're posting and who you're posting for. If you're doing it to get someone else's attention, then your relationship might be a rebound.

    2. Do You Think Of Your Ex During Or After Sex?
    Sometimes, hooking up with someone new is the best way to figure out whether or not you're actually ready to move on. After one memorable breakup, I burst into tears after having sex with someone new. The guy, rightfully freaked out, thought he had done something wrong. I had to explain that, no, boning him simply made me realize I still loved my bonehead ex.

    3. Do You Compare Relationships?
    If you're comparing your new relationship to your old relationship or the specific behaviors of your new partner to your ex, then most likely, you aren't ready to move on.

    It's important when dating to judge people as individuals. You can't bring your old baggage into new relationships and keep unpacking it every time you meet someone new. Eventually, your suitcase of sh*t is gonna get pretty heavy. So if you find yourself telling your new significant other, "My ex and I did things differently," then you probably aren't ready to move on.

    4. Are You Hot And Cold With Your New Partner?
    If you're inconsistent or hot and cold with your partner, then that's probably because they aren't your main priority. When you truly care about someone, you want to treat them well. You respect them and their emotions, and you give them the attention they deserve. However, if they are just a prop in your life to fulfill a need (like a rebound), then you might be desirous for them when you feel lonely and want to dispose of them quickly when you crave independence or time alone.

    It's hard to know if you're truly ready to move on sometimes, and we may move on too early intentionally as a defense mechanism — to make others jealous or to distract ourselves from heartbreak. Either way, the results are never good for ourselves, our exes, or our new partners.

    If you're fresh out of a breakup, take some time to actually get over it first, before you move on. Your new relationship (and your heart) will be all the better for it.

  • You don’t need to have all the answers to all the questions on your first date either
    Is she into you
    Category: Dating Tips | November 09, 2017

    You don’t need to have all the answers to all the questions on your first date either. There is beauty in peeling back the layers and getting to know someone…

    For many people, putting together a dating profile is the easy bit (although believe me, there are plenty who find this task nearly impossible). They even think that chatting in emails or on the phone isn’t so bad either but when it comes to actually going out on a date — the very reason they were online dating in the first place — this is where they panic. Seriously.

    They worry they’ll get found out (whatever that means) or that they’ll get tongue-tied and have nothing to say. They fear they aren’t interesting and will bore their date, hence make a fool of themselves. These thoughts are actually real to them. But let me tell you something: it’s just thoughts, and your thoughts aren’t facts.

    The fear is real, I get that, I’ve felt it many times! You are anxious and going out on a date with a relative stranger can feel awkward. Remember that your counterpart is likely to be as nervous as you though, even if they don’t look it!

    As a coach I listen a lot more than I talk, it’s the nature of what I do. It’s also a strategy that works well if you find yourself nervous. People, on the whole, love talking about themselves. So, to take the pressure off, arm yourself with some great questions to ask your date.

    Remember that genuine interest makes all the difference. You don’t need to have all the answers to all the questions on your first date either. There is beauty in peeling back the layers and getting to know someone, it’s something that really could end up taking a lifetime!

    Here are 17 questions I’d love to have been asked when out on a date:

    1. What’s one thing you wish you’d known 20 years ago?
    2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
    3. If you didn’t live where you currently live and you could choose anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
    4. Who’s your role model? Who inspires you?
    5. Who’s your best friend and what do you love about him/her?
    6. What are you reading at the moment?
    7. What’s your favourite way to spend the weekend?
    8. What do you do for fun?
    9. What was the last film you watched that moved you/made you laugh out loud/inspired you?
    10. Who has had the greatest influence on your life so far? (Parent/grandparent/schoolteacher/boss/colleague?)
    11. What are 5 things you couldn’t do without? (Not oxygen, water, world peace! They might be things you carry in your handbag/purse at all times!)
    12. What’s your dream job if you’re not currently doing it?
    13. Where do you go when you want to feel calm/happy/peaceful?
    14. Tell me something about yourself that might surprise me.
    15. What’s your proudest moment in your life so far?
    16. If you had 24 hours to do whatever you liked in your city what would you spend it doing?
    17. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
  • Love, Explained: The Science of Romance...
    How to be in a relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | November 08, 2017

    AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating. During a series of mini dates, each spanning no more than a couple of minutes, participants in a speed-dating event evaluate a succession of eligible singles. They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.

    The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world. One speed-dating company in New York City, for example, holds a gathering almost every day. Last year online coupon company Groupon hosted the world’s largest speed-dating event, with 414 attendees crammed into a restaurant in Chicago. Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.

    Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. As it turns out, I like to talk—a lot. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch). As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.

    I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating. Even if meet-and-greet matching events might seem like the most efficient way to comb through many options at once, a wealth of data reveals that the context in which we make a choice weighs heavily on the outcome. Speed-dating events can promote a particular decision-making style that might not always work in our favor. Yet we need not be passive victims of our circumstances. Knowing how your environment influences your mind-set, a quality known as ecological rationality, can help you make the choices that are best for you.

    Decisions, Decisions

    Traditional dating can seem haphazard, contingent on seemingly minor details such as whether you signed up for the right yoga class or patronized the same bar as your future love interest. Online dating, too, has its drawbacks, requiring hours to sift through profiles and craft careful introductory e-mails before arranging to meet in person. Speed dating, by comparison, offers the opportunity to chat up many eligible singles in rapid succession.

    In a typical speed-dating event, participants pair off at individual tables and chairs for a few minutes of conversation. When the buzzer sounds, half of the singles move to another chair and a different partner, in a kind of round robin. After the event is over, the daters submit to the event’s organizers the names of the individuals they would like to see again. It sounds simple, but each variable in the design of the event can affect the daters’ outcomes.

    In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond. In a study in 2011 in the journal Biology Letters, University of Edinburgh psychologist Alison P. Lenton and University of Essex economist Marco Francesconi analyzed more than 3,700 dating decisions across 84 speed-dating events. The authors found that when the available prospects varied more in attributes such as age, height, occupation and educational background, people made fewer dating proposals. This effect was particularly strong when individuals were faced with a large number of partners. Additionally, in speed-dating events where the characteristics of the daters varied much more, most participants did not follow up with any of their matches.

    Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding. A study in 2008 by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings. Participants presented with a broad array of potential partners more closely aligned with their anticipated ideal did not experience greater emotional satisfaction than when presented with fewer options.

    Prior research by Lenton and Francesconi provides some insight into why people might struggle with speed dating. They found that when the number of participants in a speed-dating event increases, people lean more heavily on innate guidelines, known as heuristics, in their decision making. In essence, heuristics are ingrained rules of thumb that allow us to save effort by ignoring some of the information available to us when we evaluate our options. For example, in those events with a relatively large number of participants, the researchers discovered that people attend predominantly to easily accessible features, such as age, height, physical attractiveness, and so forth, rather than clues that are harder to observe, for example, occupation and educational achievement.

    These rules of thumb are evolutionarily adaptive, however, and not necessarily a bad thing. Millions of years of experimentation with different heuristics, conducted in a range of environments, have led us to learn which ones are most effective. Very generally speaking, good looks and youthful vigor are indeed useful metrics for mating because they signal health. Yet if lifelong love is what you are after, a smorgasbord of singles might propel you to make stereotypical selections.

    Know Your Environment

    One problem with both speed dating and online dating may arise from how we hunt for the things we want. Some items can be found with a simple search targeted at objective qualities. So-called search goods include laundry detergent and vitamins. Other desirables can be identified only through an interaction; these “experience goods” encompass movies and puppies.

    In a study published in 2008 psychologist Dan Ariely of Duke University and his colleagues set out to demonstrate that when it comes to dating, people are the ultimate experience goods. They asked 47 single men and women to list the qualities they look for in people they would consider either marrying or dating. Independent evaluators then rated the characteristics as either searchable or experiential. In both conditions, men and women mentioned more experiential traits—nearly three times more for dating partners and almost five times more for spouses.

    Ariely and his co-authors argue that criteria such as “the way someone makes you laugh” or “how your partner makes you feel good about yourself” are harder to define in an online profile than a fondness for kittens, baseball or crème brûlée, leading people to make judgments based on searchable characteristics. They note that using attributes such as weight and height to choose a partner is similar to trying to predict the taste of a food based on its fiber content and calories. A similar argument could be made for speed dating, in which the conversation can resemble an interview more than a fun experience.

    In an upcoming book, Lenton, Fasolo and their colleagues summarize the key message of recent research: how we end up choosing our wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends is a function of the social environment in which the decision is made. To conserve both mental exertion and time, we judge potential partners by comparing them with others we have encountered rather than by measuring them against some cognitive ideal. In a 2006 study, for example, Raymond Fisman of Columbia University and his colleagues showed that when participants in a speed-dating event were asked what they seek in a potential partner, their answers did not match what they ended up finding attractive during the event. What we select depends on what else is being offered.

    Becoming aware of that malleability in our taste, and gaining control over our decision-making strategies in response, is known as ecological rationality. It is equally important when choosing between jams at the grocery store and partners to date; the only difference is the stakes.

    If you do attempt speed dating, avoid static, standardized conversations. Annual income and body mass index, after all, cannot give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. To obtain more experiential information, try telling a joke or casually mentioning that you plan to go, say, bungee jumping next month to see how he or she reacts. Perhaps if I had been more ecologically rational a few years ago, my speed-dating experience would have been more successful as well.

  • Wtsmrmohhmegtvolhjjt
    Category: Dating Tips | November 07, 2017

    I’ve been trying to navigate online dating for several years now with honest intentions and I can tell you for certain, it’s changed dramatically — and not in a good way. Actual relationships are rare and drama and disappointment is plentiful. Online dating is mostly bullsh*t now. I’m five months sober from looking for love online, and here’s why I’ll never go back:

    1. IT’S NOT AUTHENTIC ANYMORE. Dating online has never been an organic way to meet someone, but it’s even more apparent now than ever before. Many users aren’t looking for anything real, and are mostly trying to kill their boredom or sexual urges. Hours are spent pointlessly swiping, messages go routinely unanswered and people take out their bitter feelings of their last relationship out on a complete stranger. Yay?

    2. CONVERSATIONS ARE SO CLICHE. If you’ve been online dating for a long ass time like I have, you’ll get to a point where the initial conversations bore you to tears, but you have to have them in an effort to get to know each other. How many “Hi, how are you? How was your weekend? What do you do for work/fun?” conversations have to be had before one finally jives? Even when you do put some creativity into the conversations, those messages mostly get ignored.

    3. I’M SICK OF THE UNWANTED SEX TALK. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a seemingly innocent conversation with a guy and he suddenly starts talking about my boobs or makes completely uncalled for sexual comments — or even worse, he sends an unsolicited d*ck pic. Is it too much to f*cking ask that you talk to me like a normal human being and not some object for you to stick your d*ck into? I know you’re practically salivating at the idea of getting a woman into bed, but calm down — you’re a grown up, act like one. Ugh.

    4. THE ODDS ARE THE SAME IN REAL LIFE. I’ve been meeting just as many date-worthy men in real life since I disconnected. When I truly think about the logistics, I used to chat with numerous men before just one of them stood out enough to take the connection offline. Now that I’m not constantly distracted by Tinder notifications when I’m out and about, I actually get approached by men again. Nothing has been promising so far, but the number of opportunities in real life are just the same as anything I experienced online. It gives me hope for meeting the right person for me organically.

    5. SEARCHING FOR MR. RIGHT IN A LAZY WAY IS CONTRADICTING. It’s actually pretty lazy to think that you can find your Prince Charming while sitting on your couch in tattered PJs with chip crumbs in your lap. Maybe this works for some people — and more power to them if it does — but I feel like what I want is worth the extra effort, even if it means waiting a bit longer.

    6. IT DISCONNECTED ME FROM REAL LIFE. Like I said, when I was constantly searching for love online, I would be out and about constantly distracted by my phone and all the dating apps I had. “You’ve got a new match!” and “You’ve got a new message” was always captivating my attention. Now that I’ve set myself free from the chaos, I’m actually fully aware of what’s happening around me all the time, and you’d be surprised how many opportunities for connection are right under your nose everyday.

    7. I’M SICK OF COMPETING FOR AFFECTIONS IN A SHALLOW ONLINE WORLD. I’ve dated plenty of men who are constantly keeping their options open and continuing to persue and even date other women they meet online even after months of us dating. And then they tell me sh*t like, “Well, we haven’t made anything official yet” even though I’ve met their whole family and have a toothbrush at their place. It’s f*cking painful and it happens all the time. F*ck that.

    8. I’M PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF DATING THE OLD FASHIONED WAY. It might take me longer without all the options I used to have right at my fingertips, but that’s OK. I can honestly say my life is a happier one without the constant and daily rejections, rude comments and anxieties that come with looking for love online. I might meet less men this way, but the ones I do meet feel meaningful right from the start and I’m confident that I’m still going to find love, even if I don’t look for it online.

  • Ory6afftpqape8tvbx7z
    Category: Dating Tips | November 06, 2017

    Follow these eight tips to maximize your chances of getting the date you want.

    Most of us are busy people. Work, social gatherings and other responsibilities keep us busy so it's easy to neglect your love life when your mind is focused on other things. So, what do you do when you want to meet new people but you can't find the time to fit in your schedule? Try speed-dating!

    Everyone has their own idea on what speed dating is. There are so many myths and stigmas out there attached to these types of events but the truth is, speed dating is one of the most effective ways to meet new people for dating. Why? The key to successfully securing dates is exposure. Even if you have limited time to spare, speed dating only requires an investment of two hours and it allows the opportunity to meet and connect with 20 plus singles who have all come to the event with the purpose of getting to know you. The more people you meet, the more of an opportunity you will have to socialize, practice your dating skills and possibly connect with someone who is a perfect match for you.

    So, if you're interested in exploring what speed dating can do for your love life, here are some of my top tips to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

    • Know what you want: Make a list of the qualities you want and do not want in the type of person you expect to meet at the event, do not settle for less nor lower your standards
    • Adjust your mindset: Love yourself and know that you derseve the exact person and qualities of that person within your list
    • Dress up: You should definitely dress appropriately to make the ultimate first impressions. Your clothes should make them feel like you are the hottest person in the market. If you are wearing something that makes you feel attractive, you will naturally exude confidence.
    • Show up early: Try to show up at least 20-30 minutes earlier than the event start time. This will give you some time to register, get familiar with the venue and mingle around. This is also perfect opportunity for you to get to know the event hosts and ask questions. If your hosts know the type of person you are looking for, we may be able to point you in the right direction by initiating pre-event introductions with other participants.
    • Smile: Smile and your date will smile with you. Projecting a friendly, positive and confident vibe will get you far. And not just in dating!
    • Don’t talk too much about yourself!: Sometimes nerves make it easy to get carried away but rein it in if things are getting too one-sided. Listening is an important part of any relationship so keep it balanced. 
    • Avoid work chat: It’s more much interesting to talk about what people are passionate about when they aren’t at work so divert conversation that way instead.
    • Target you match: locate the members that match exactly to your list in which you felt a good repor with and approach them to initiate a conversation. If too shy, ask your host to introduce you. Some good questions to break the Ice between you and your potential sucessful date:
      • Where did you grow up?
      • Do you have any trips planned for this year?
      • How do you usually spend you weekends?
      • What 3 items can't you live without?


  • I am horrible at confrontation. Or at least, I tell myself I am...
    Dating tips young moms
    Category: Dating Tips | November 03, 2017

    I am horrible at confrontation. Or at least, I tell myself I am. I never had any examples of conflict resolution growing up, so when I became an adult and got into arguments with friends, boyfriends, or in the work place, I had no idea what to do. And when it came to knowing how to break up with someone, I was essentially clueless.

    Growing up, my parents never fought. You'd think that was a good thing, but if you never see people fight, you also never see them make up. So my beliefs growing up were that 1) people in relationships do not fight and 2) if they do, they should break up, because communication isn't an option.

    Usually, if you think you're bad at confrontation, it's because you think constructive communication is a bad thing. It's something that only happens when there's trouble. You associate emotional vulnerability with discomfort, so any conversation that requires openness and honesty immediately becomes problematic rather than enriching. This is usually a learned behavior, and it doesn't have to be your mindset forever. It's all about switching your perception, so that communication is seen as an authentic human interaction, rather than an obstacle you have to overcome, avoid, or win.

    So here's how to break up with someone when you're bad at confrontation. Because it doesn't have to be as awful as you think it is.

    1. Plan Out What You're Going To Say First
    I still remember the first time I ever wrote a breakup script. I was in eighth grade, wanted to end things with my VERY SERIOUS boyfriend at the time, and was terrified to do it. So I wrote out exactly what I wanted to say (several pages long), called him at home on his landline (we had those back then), read it to him verbatim without allowing him to respond, and then hung up.

    While this is not the most desirable way to break up with someone, winging a breakup can be intimidating. So having some sort of plan of action or an idea of what you want to say can help the guide the conversation to go as smoothly as possible.

    Remember to make sure you approach the situation with love. Talk about your feelings, but don't confuse them with facts, which are different. Leave room for this person to ask questions and clarify any confusion, so both you and your partner can get closure. And don't forget to set clear boundaries for the future, so you both know how to proceed with moving on.

    2. Practice
    Like they say, practice makes perfect. So after you've created the perfect breakup script (or at least have some sort of idea of what you're going to say), practice it to yourself or with a close friend. Think of it like running lines before an actual scene, so that the conversation feels organic (and not like me in eighth grade) when you and your partner finally meet to talk about your relationship.

    If you're practicing with a friend, you can even try to anticipate topics of conversation that might come up during your breakup, so you're extra prepped for anything that might arise.

    3. Treat It Like A Conversation, Not A Confrontation
    There is a difference between confrontation and having a conversation. Confrontation usually alludes to fighting, anger, or disrespect. None of that has to happen during a breakup unless you allow it to. A breakup can be just as loving as your relationship was, if that is your goal.  

    Think of a breakup more like a transformation. It's the beginning of a new segment of your life. While it's the ending of the romantic dynamic between you and your partner, that doesn't mean talking about it has to be scary. You just need to change your perception about what a breakup is.

    So if you think you're bad at confrontation, that's OK, but realize you're probably not. Maybe you just have a skewed definition of what confrontation actually is. Replace the word confrontation with "communication" in your vocabulary, and see if it gets any easier for you. You might be surprised at how changing your thoughts can help change your actions.

  • Take it from me: It's hard to know how to break up with someone when you have to still see them on a regular basis...
    Istock 613532674
    Category: Dating Tips | November 02, 2017

    Have you ever dated a co-worker? What about your neighbor or someone who lives in your building? Well, it's all fun and games until you end up hating each other, and it's time for your relationship to end. Take it from me: It's hard to know how to break up with someone when you have to still see them on a regular basis. What's the strategy for that? Are you really even broken up? How are you supposed to get over them if they're still around all the time?

    I am kind of an expert on this topic because I very foolishly dated a co-worker at my old office, and it did not end well. In fact, we both ended up leaving the job, and I moved cities. At first, dating my co-worker was great. We were in that honeymoon period, and we couldn't get enough of one another. He'd come to my office during his breaks, and we'd have lunch together. We'd drive to work with one another and grab a drink on our way home. It was the perfect scenario, completely smothering the person I loved for practically 24 hours a day, five days a week!

    And then, the breakup happened. And when I wanted to go through my Bridget Jones mourning stage, I still had to see the person who broke my heart every day. That means I couldn't cry under my desk, and I couldn't complain to everyone about what an *sshole my ex was, because unfortunately, I worked with my ex.

    What I learned from my situation is that, as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't sh*t where you eat. So here are some important things to consider when you break up with someone you see every day. Because while it might suck, it doesn't have to be the end of the world.

    1. Set A Boundary Or Schedule
    If you and your ex have to run into each other on a regular basis, then it's helpful to create some sort of boundary or schedule to limit your exposure to one another. If you live in the same building, designate a time when each of you can use the laundry room, so you don't have to watch each other clean dirty underwear. If you work together, take lunch breaks separately, so you're not fighting over the microwave or literally having awkward conversation by the water cooler.

    If you've been dating, then you probably have a pretty good sense of one another's schedules. Instead of using that knowledge to stalk, use it to avoid this person. After a little time goes by after your breakup, running into them probably won't be that big of a deal anymore.

    2. Stay Professional If You're At Work
    When it comes to dating co-workers or people you might see on a regular basis, you have to leave the drama at home, and not bring it out into the world with you. One time, my ex and I got in a blow-out fight at work. It was by no means appropriate, even I'll admit that. We started yelling at one another in the staff break lounge (this was right before we broke up), and our boss came in and told us to take the rest of the day off.

    The situation got worse when my ex started dating another girl at work. Each day, they would eat lunch on the patio outside of my office, so I would have to stare at them through my window while I took meetings and phone calls. Distracting much? I know he did it intentionally to make me upset or to try to provoke a reaction, and believe me, I wanted to react. However, by this time, I had my wits together and decided I was not going to let my ex ruin my professional or personal reputation, no matter how hard he tried.

    Don't let a messy breakup make you a mess or inhibit your own personal or professional success. The best revenge is living well. If you're feeling triggered by an ex whom you still have to see all the time, try not to react or retaliate.

    3. Prepare Yourself For Interactions
    If you are going to see your ex on a regular basis, then it's best to do some emotional prepping. You don't want to be taken by surprise and not know what to say. That's when the verbal diarrhea comes out, to put it eloquently. So it's best to have a plan of attack — that doesn't involve any attacking whatsoever.

    Think of potential innocuous topics of conversation that you can discuss with your ex, should you run into one another: "Wow, the weather sure is being very weather today!" "Did you see the sports last night? Very sports." If you keep conversations short, pleasant, and uncontroversial, seeing your ex on a regular basis will soon become a stress-free situation.

    4. Fake It 'Til You Make It
    No matter what, this seemingly disastrous situation will get better. It's all about perspective. So if you focus on how awful it is to have to see your ex every day, then it will certainly make life awful. But if you try to make the situation as pleasant as possible, even if you're faking, it will actually become pleasant (or cordial) with time.

    Listen, I, of all people, know running into your ex on a regular basis isn't fun. Whether you work together, live in the same area, or go to the same school, it's difficult to constantly be confronted by someone you used to love. Keep your composure, kill them with kindness, and fake it 'til you make it. I promise, it gets easier with time.

  • You have to get mushy and cheesy every once in a while if you want to find true happiness...
    Open marriage rules
    Category: Dating Tips | October 31, 2017

    I am afraid of romance. Something about it makes me feel uncomfortable. However, you can't really have a relationship relationship without it. So I often find myself asking, what are some romantic questions to ask your partner that I can use to help deepen the connection? I need some major help in that department.

    If it was left up to me, I'd let my partner do all the work in the courtship, flirtation, and romance departments. However, I know that it, of course, takes two to tango (or more, if you're polyamorous), and I need to put in some effort as well if I want my relationship to survive and thrive. And that means asking some cheesy questions every now and then so that my partner knows I'm interested and invested in moving our relationship forward. You know, things that help me continue to find out who my partner truly is, their likes and dislikes when it comes to dating, and what their hopes are for the future.

    So here are five romantic questions to ask your partner so you can make your love even deeper. Because you have to get mushy and cheesy every once in a while if you want to find true happiness, I guess.

    1. What Do You Like About Us?
    Ask your partner what they like best about your relationship. An alternative way to pose this question is by asking, "What do I do that makes you feel special?" You want the chemistry with your significant other to stand out from the dynamic you have in all the other relationships in your life. So find out what makes your relationship unique and magical to your partner. Acknowledging what you like about the person you are with is important so that your SO feels loved and appreciated.

    2. What's Your Favorite Memory Of Ours?
    Nostalgia is a great way to bond. It allows you to reflect on all the good times you and your partner had together and to figure out what brings each of you joy in your relationship. As you go through your favorite memories, you can even make a scrapbook — something tangible that you both can have forever.

    3. What Does The Perfect Relationship Look Like To You?
    Ask your partner what their ideal relationship looks like, because their view might look different than yours does. Once you have a concept of what makes your partner happy, and they know what you desire as well, you can try to emulate that for one another. Finding out what your partner likes and catering to it shows a level of thoughtfulness that is sure to deepen the connection you have to one another.

    4. What Is Your Sexual Fantasy?
    While emotional intimacy is what keeps a relationship together, a sexual connection is what distinguishes it from a friendship. Additionally, a healthy sexual relationship can actually help establish better trust and communication between partners.

    So ask your partner what their sexual fantasy is, and if you can hop on board with it, try it out in the bedroom. It might actually strengthen the bond you two have with one another.

    5. What Is Your Love Language?
    Don't roll your eyes when I mention the words "love language." This sh*t actually works. In case you don't know, this is a philosophy established in the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which concludes that each person has a different style of giving and receiving love: through gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

    Once you figure out how your partner receives love best, you can tailor how you show them love to their individual needs. For example, gifts don't mean very much to me in relationships, but I really respond to physical touch. I'd much rather have a hug than a piece of jewelry. So by informing your partner of how you feel most cared about, you're able to strengthen and deepen the love you have for one another.

    When it comes to relationships, emotional depth is an integral part of fostering a long-term, intimate relationship. While lust can bring you together, love and compatibility will sustain you. Don't be afraid to talk about your feelings with your partner. After all, they're exactly whom you should talk to about them.

  • There are lots of subtle and not-so-subtle ways to know that your feelings have begun to evolve into something less platonic...
    Attractive qualities 938x670
    Category: Dating Tips | October 30, 2017

    In the movies, love is a big, loud emotion that drowns out everything else. But in real life, love can be sneaky. Rather than a crashing wave of emotion washing over you, it creeps up out of nowhere. One minute you’re buds, and the next you keep catching yourself imaging what it would be like to kiss them... on their mouth... like a lot. But changing a friendship into a romantic relationship can be risky, so you want to be sure what you’re feeling is real. So how do you know if you're in love with your friend and not just lust?

    There are lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways to know that your feelings have begun to evolve into something less platonic. You may find the way you act around them begins to change — maybe you’re weirdly nervous or you can't stop finding ways to touch them. Or maybe it’s just that the vibe in the room has changed. What used to be so relaxed has a hint of tension. While you may not be sure of how you feel, usually deep down you know… you just don't want to admit it yet. So, let me help you out by running through some scenarios to see if you really are low-key in love with your friend. Although chances are, if you're reading this, you totally are.

    1. You Get Jealous When They Start Dating Someone
    You can’t help it. You just feel like there is someone else out there who is better for them. Someone who just so happens to look, act, and think exactly like you.

    2. You Want To Spend All Your Free Time With Them
    I mean, you could hang out with other people, but why would you when they are obviously the most fun person to be with. Every moment. Of every day. Until death do you part. Just sayin’.

    3. You Would Do Anything For Them
    No, seriously, anything. Yes, you say that to all your friends, but somehow you know deep down in your heart that you’d go that extra, extra mile for them and them alone.

    4. Everyone You Date Is Disappointing Next To Them
    Whenever you meet someone new, you can’t help but compare them to your bestie, but no one ever seems to measure up. I can’t imagine why?

    5. Your Day Is Not Complete Until You’ve Talked To Them
    If the best part of your day is talking to them, or it feels incomplete without at least touching bases, then your love may not be so low-key.

    6. People Mistake You Two For A Couple. All. The. Time.
    You can't understand why people think that, just because you are the two closest people on the planet who spend all your time together and are always each other’s plus-one. Also, when you’re apart, you talk about them constantly. Yep, it's a real mystery why people are always so confused.

    7. You Can't Stop "Accidentally" Touching
    Whoops! My arm brushed against yours for the tenth time. Totally on accident and no, it didn't feel like an electric shock. And no, I'm not going to accidentally do it again in about 60 seconds.

    8. You Would Rather Hang Out With Them Than Go On An Actual Date
    If the idea of grabbing pizza and hanging out with your “just friends” friend beats out looking for romance with a sexy new stranger, then, girl, who you trying to fool? Even pizza is not that good.

    9. You Start To Feel Butterflies When You See Or Think Of Them
    Uh oh. You may have been able to deny you've caught feelings before, but this is a glaring sign that reads "Exiting The Friend Zone, Bon Voyage!"

    10. Their Happiness Is Everything To You
    We all love to see our friends happy, but if their happiness is literally your happiness (or, worse yet, more important that your own happiness)? That's a love connection, homie.

    11. They Are The First Person You Want To Share All Your News With
    When something amazing happens in your life, your first instinct is to share it with them. Because only they can really understand what it means to you.

    12. They Are The Shoulder You Cry On
    The same goes for bad news. When negative things come your way, the only one who can actually comfort you is them. They are your safe space and the shoulder where you leave all your tears.

    13. You Always Try To Look Your Best Around Them
    But not like you're trying too hard. Low-key sexy. Yeah, because you're just friends. Ha!

    14. When You're Not Together You Can't Stop Checking Their Social Media
    If whenever you're apart you cant resist keeping tabs on their Insta, you better take a beat and ask yourself why. Spoiler alert: You're in love.

    15. You Keep Thinking "Maybe Someday"
    Do you find yourself wondering more and more if someday you'll be more than just friends? Maybe when they break up with their lame girlfriend. Or wondering if it's worth risking the friendship every time you’re around them. Yeah, just friends don't usually do that.

    16. Past Relationships Have Ended Over Your Friendship
    Have you or your friend been broken up with by one or more partners because they felt like the third wheel in the relationship or like they come in second place? Come on, don't make me say it. You know what's up.

    17. There’s No One In The World You Trust More
    Trust is one of the hardest things to earn in a relationship. If you have total trust in one another, you’ve already got a solid foundation. Maybe it's time to get real with yourself and take things to the next level.

    If you do decide to take that leap, just keep things respectful, fun, and honest. That way, if for some reason it doesn’t work out,  you won’t have to sacrifice the friendship. But also, don’t let fear hold you back from exploring a romantic relationship if you are both feeling it. Otherwise, you might miss out on something really amazing.

  • Ory6afftpqape8tvbx7z
    Category: Dating Tips | October 28, 2017

    What Are Tinder Reactions? Tinder Releases New Animations To Send Your Matches

    Dating apps can be confusing and exhausting for multiple reasons, but one of the main reasons, as far as I'm concerned, is the fact that you're constantly having to think of new things to say. I mean, how can anyone be that clever and witty all the time?! HOW are you supposed to constantly come up with the *perfect* responses to whatever these random strangers are saying?! Well, luckily for all of its users, Tinder has a new feature that should help ease the pressure. Tinder released Tinder Reactions today, and they are the new answer to every "WTF should I say to this?" text you send to your BFF, along with a screenshot of the weird thing some guy on Tinder just sent you.

    Basically, Tinder reactions are like little stickers you can send to your matches, in lieu of actual words. (Because who has time for words anymore, amiright??) They're kind of like Bitmojis, but a little less personal, because why should this random stranger you don't even want to waste your WORDS on deserve a personalized Bitmoji?! Anyway, if you really like someone on Tinder, you can even use the reactions to HIGHLIGHT your words. Ah, what fun!

    All right, now, let me show you some of them and give you a little rundown of exactly how I would use them.

    Next time that douchey guy with a bathroom mirror selfie as his profile pic decides to grace you with a 2 a.m. "u up?" don't even bother wasting any precious finger energy typing a response. Just hit him with the "NOPE!" reaction and call it a day.

    You could use the "Strike!" reaction for when your match is treading on very thin ice.

    This one's fun because you can number the strikes. So, like, if the guy sent you a 2 a.m. "u up?" text, and you still want to give him a chance, instead of explaining your whole thought process, you can just quickly send him a "Strike 1!" reaction. Then, if he says something insulting, you hit him with a "Strike 2!" And if he follows it up with a dick pic? BOOM, "Strike 3!" He's out. No need for further explanation.

    You could use the "really...?!" reaction for when they say something ridiculous.

    Let's say the two of you are having a perfectly normal conversation when they suddenly ask you about your ex, OR they bring up how much money they make, OR they ask if you think the two of you are gonna bone on your first official date. Whatever weird thing they say, don't bother with a real response. Just hit them with a "really...?!" and force them to do some real reflecting on their actions.

    You could use the crying laughter reaction for when they're being absolutely hilarious.

    This isn't just any crying laughing emoji. No, it's a crying laughing emoji that will legit fill your match's entire screen with crying laughing emojis. So, as far as I'm concerned, this reaction is a big deal that should only be reserved for two special circumstances. The first of which is when they're actually being HILARIOUS. If you're actually LOL-ing IRL, let them know by sending this reaction. The second is if you need to take their ego down a little. If they're bragging about themselves too much, send this reaction along as a lighthearted way to humble them a little.

    You could use the "UGH" reaction for when they won't stop making fun of you.

    So you've matched with that person on Tinder — the one whose only means of flirting are to make fun of you in a flirty way. You don't want to be into it, but alas, you are. But after a while, there's only so much you can say to a person who's consistently sending you messages like "u suck" and "ur weird" in a joking way, so just hit them with a flirtatiously sassy "UGH" reaction.

    You could use the martini glass for when you want to go out for drinks.

    So it's finally come down to the moment of truth. They ask you what you want to do for your first official date night! You could just type "let's do drinks," OR you could save some time and just send them the martini glass reaction and let them figure it out.

    And just a heads up: Only girls will have access to ALLLLLL of the Tinder reactions. Sorry, boys. But don't get too sad. Guys will still be able to access the basic ones.

    All right, now that you're a pro at using these reactions, log on to Tinder and start putting them to work!

  • After much deliberation, you send a cute one-liner, and to your horror, he responds with something rude...
    Category: Dating Tips | October 22, 2017

    How To Get Someone Banned From Bumble, According To A Bumble Exec

    So you're scrolling through Bumble when you come across the profile of this seemingly normal, hot guy. You swipe right, and a little while later, you match. You're excited! And because Bumble adheres to a ladies-first approach, you start thinking of how you're going to make your move. After much deliberation, you send a cute one-liner, and to your horror, he responds with something rude. It can be anything. Maybe he sent an unsolicited dick pic. Maybe he was a misogynist pig. Whatever the case, there are ways to get him banned from Bumble so no other woman has to deal with this total jerk.

    Alex Williamson el-Effendi, Bumble's head of brand, and I go way back. You see, for the past year or so, I've been running a weekly column called "Boom, Ghosted," where people share stories of the times they were ghosted. The couples featured in my column rarely started off as Bumble matches, but one time, they did.

    This woman went on a Bumble date, and shortly after being ghosted by him, she realized he had changed his bio to "Pleeease don't be fat in real life." Shortly after publishing the upsetting story, I received an email from el-Effendi, who had come across the article and was hoping I could put her in touch with the woman who submitted it, so they could ban the guy from the app. That's when I realized Bumble's girl-power ethos isn't just an act. It is genuinely passionate about creating an app that's safe for women to use, and more than happy to ban a few (or more) jerks to make that happen.

    Last week, I had the chance to sit down with el-Effendi, who is also one of Bumble's first employees, to talk about the app's commitment to maintaining a safe platform and keeping the it free of jerks.

    It all started with one jerk named Connor.

    In June, el-Effendi and her teammates heard about a misogynist guy named Connor on their app. He was having a pretty innocuous conversation with a female user at first, when the user asked him what he does for work. That's when he freaked out. He called her "truly shameless and unintelligent" for asking what he does and proceeded to accuse her of trying to pry into his "earning potential."

    The Bumble team was disturbed by the conversation and decided they weren't going to stand for it. There can be a lack of accountability when it comes to online dating, and they decided their app was going to be different in that respect. "People feel like they can hide behind screens and treat each other differently than they would if they were being held accountable for their actions, and that's what we've tried to change at Bumble," el-Effendi tells Elite Daily. "We try to actually hold people accountable for their actions and protect our users."


    el-Effendi was so upset about this misogynist guy on the app that she decided to not only ban him from the app, but also  to write an open letter to the guy, along with including the screenshots, letting users know that Bumble isn't cool with that sort of behavior.

    "We banned him from the app, and I think it set a real precedent for Bumble in terms of what we would and wouldn't stand for, and our community really rallied around it," el-Effendi explains. "I think that our users began to understand what Bumble is trying to accomplish through that."

    This is how to get someone banned from Bumble.

    Bumble relies heavily on its community when it comes to the banning process. It isn't reading through every one of your conversations, so it's really up to you to step it up and tap on that "report" button when you see something uncool.

    "We're not big brothery — we don't read people's conversations," el-Effendi says. "We rely on our users. We have a block and report feature in the app where [users] can report [other users] on the app, or we have a lot of people who reach out [to us] via social, too."


    And don't go thinking that just because Bumble is a girl-power app that they only block dudes. Female users are just as likely to be blocked, depending on how they're conducting themselves. "We don't discriminate men or women," says el-Effendi. "We just ban people if they're not being kind or respectful. Really, it is all dependent on the person."

    This is what will get you banned from Bumble.

    "We are pretty heavy handed with blocking," says el-Effendi. "It's a choice that we've made to protect people and ensure that there's a sense of trust and community on Bumble."

    So what constitutes such a threat to the Bumble community that it could potentially get you blocked? Well, there are some things that are guaranteed to get you banned from Bumble. The app explicitly bans hate speech, shirtless bathroom mirror selfies, unsolicited dick pics, and anything and everything misogynistic.

    Outside of those surefire ways to get banned, Bumble has a pretty simple way of figuring out whether or not someone is going to be blocked.

    el-Effendi explains:

    Basically, the key to determining whether or not somebody is banned is, would we want to run the risk of them treating another user this way? And the odds are, if they're going to treat one person that way, they're going to treat others that way, and they're not allowed on the app.

    Another pro-tip to keep yourself from getting banned from the app? Don't be rude to any employees of Bumble HQ, either.  "If somebody is rude to our team, that, to us, is a clear sign that they shouldn't be on Bumble," says el-Effendi. "If you're going to talk to people on our team in a rude way, we don't need to even investigate. You're for sure going to talk to people that way on our platform."

    And the team has no issue banning people if that means they're upping the quality of their users. "We'd rather take bans and have people who want to talk that way and feel that way not be on Bumble and lose those users," el-Effendi continues. "I'd rather them just not be on our app in general, and if that means that we have slower growth down the line because we've alienated people who are going to be rude to each other, that's OK because our entire idea is rooted in respect and kindness."

    Amen, sister.

    This is how to know if you've been banned from Bumble.

    So what happens to someone once they've been blocked? el-Effendi breaks down the way a user will find out: "They can't log in, and they get an email. Typically, it's just a general email about being banned, and then, if they reach back out, we always take the time to inform them, which I think is really important to educate people."

    Personally, I love that Bumble provides solid reasoning for a ban when people reach back out to them. This means taking the time to report a jerk not only saves the rest of the Bumble community from having to deal with his behavior, but it also potentially serves as a learning experience for this person to better themselves.

    And beware: Getting launched from one mode of the Bumble app means you're banned from all modes of the app. "If somebody is reported in one mode of the app, whether it be Bizz, Bumble, or BFF, they're not allowed on any of them," el-Effendi explains. So if you mess with someone on Bumble, say goodbye to your chances of meeting your future mentor on Bizz.

    This is how to conduct yourself like an upstanding member of the Bumble community.

    Despite all of this talk of blocking and bans, Bumble prides itself on having "industry-low reports of harassment." In el-Effendi's own words, "We don't see a lot of it." And that's likely because the Bumble team quickly effectively deal with any issues as they come up.

    So who is the ideal Bumble user? "I think that our users are very forward-thinking, they're very respectful, and they treat each other as equals," says el-Effendi. And isn't that the way it should always be?

    Bumble really is a platform that tries to make all of its users feel safe, so as a member of their community, do your part! Don't be shy about reporting users who make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. As el-Effendi said, if they're treating you that way, odds are, they're going to treat future users that way as well.

  • It's time for you guys to take this year's costumes to the next level...
    Category: Dating Tips | October 20, 2017

    If you and your partner are intelligent jokesters, then I don't need to tell you that Halloween is the equivalent of your Olympic games. If there ever was a time to show off your boundless and cutting wit, All Hallows' Eve is it. It's time for you guys to take this year's costumes to the next level. It just so happens that coming up with clever couples costume ideas is a lot easier than you think. All it takes is some creativity and planning, and you and your boo will be the life of the party. We can pretty much guarantee that if you guys can execute a witty costume well, you may very well be taking home the gold at just about every costume contest of the evening.

    Although we've compiled this list of some of our favorites, it never hurts to keep your ear to the ground for any groundbreaking pop culture news that could be transformed into some pretty epic Halloween costume fodder. There's a reason puns never get old. Why? Because even when they're tired, they're still pretty funny. OK, maybe not always, but you get the picture. Check out these eight witty costume ideas that are sure to keep your whole crew laughing up a storm.

    1. "Sugar" Daddy And "Sugar" Mama
    Perfect witty costume idea for my couples who don't have time to get together a bunch of costume elements. The key to nailing this satisfyingly funny couples costume is all about the props. All you're going to need is a sack of sugar swaddled in a blanket and stuffed in either a stroller or an infant carrier.

    2. Guy And Girl Fieri
    I chuckled for about five minutes at this one. Who doesn't love Guy Fieri? And honestly, the only thing I could think of that's funnier than dressing up as this decadent food connoisseur, is dressing up as him and his feminine alter ego, Girl Fieri. Why? Because you can. Mr. and Mrs. Fieri are both going to need that trademark spiked blond hair and goatee. If you're going for the classic look, then you're definitely going to want to get your hands on a couple of flame shirts and some mirrored sunglasses.

    3. Pigs In A Blanket
    For all my super cute couples out there that still want to make a splash at this years Halloween festivities, you should definitely consider this oldie but goodie. All you really need is some pig gear (i.e., snout, ears, tail) and a couple of blankets or sheets. If you don't mind being attached at the hip so to speak, then feel free to use one sheet or blanket and cut out two holes for your heads.

    4. Brawny Man And His Paper Towels
    This funny twist on the classic Lumberjack costume is sure to get more than a few laughs. Whichever one of you is going as the lumberjack should make a point of wearing a red flannel shirt and jeans. The person being the paper towel roll might want to consider a white tube dress with the logo adhered to the front. If you're feeling a bit artsy, you could also use big piece of white construction paper and draw on the logo.

    5. Paula Dean And Her Favorite Ingredient
    Despite Mrs. Dean's questionable verbiage, we can't pretend we haven't all seen her show at least once and been truly floored by the woman's decadence. If anyone ever told you that you could use too much butter, then ol' Paula proved them wrong. Why not dress up at Mrs. Dean and her most beloved ingredient, butta?

    If you're trying to throw something together on the fly, then the butter can totally just wear a shirt that says butter. If you want to get elaborate, then don't hesitate to round up some white trash bags for the rapper, a red marker, a cardboard box, and yellow paint, and you're just about an hour away from a pretty legit art piece. Paula needs a blue button-down shirt, white apron, crazy wig, and spatula.  

    6. Tourists
    And I'm not talking about any old tourists. I'm talking about the cargo-short-wearing, fanny-pack-carrying, selfie-stick-swinging kind of tourists that make cutting around Times Square — no real New Yorkers go anywhere near that hell hole if they don't absolutely have to — a literal nightmare. Don't forget your pineapple print bucket hats (which are low-key kind of hip).

    7. Kevin Bacon
    Although you are totally allowed to dress up as the real Kevin Bacon, the key to getting maximum brownie points on this one is all in the subtlety.

    If "Kevin" is feeling a bit lazy, then he could wear whatever he wants and slap on a Hello my name is... name tag and, you guessed it, write Kevin on that sucker. Side note: They also come in shirts, who knew? "Bacon" can invest in a quality bacon suit that can — but probably won't — be repurposed for years to come. For extra brownie points, please bring a lined backpack full of actual bacon. Your friends will thank you.

    8. Devilled Eggs
    OK, OK, this one's a bit cheesy, but in a cute way. Eggs are totally cute. "devilled" eggs are even cuter. And the best part is, there is already a costume for that.
    You're now one click away from putting all that what-will-I-be-for-Halloween-to-prove-I'm-funny-but-also-smart-at-the-same-time-induced-IBS behind you. Good luck.

  • Some people were kind of confused. But don't worry; Madison's here to clear up any confusion...
    Category: Dating Tips | October 19, 2017

    Madison O'Neill Asked For A Wedding Date On Twitter 2 Years Ago & Now She's Marrying Him

    You were invited to a wedding, and you NEED a date. Ugh, you can't go through the humiliation of showing up to another family event alone with everyone hounding you about how you're STILL single. So, like any good millennial, you turn to social media. You put a tweet out there asking if anyone wants to be your date. And because you are a normal person, this will go one of two ways: Either no one will respond, or a murderer will respond. But for one lucky woman, this storyline turned into a fairytale. Madison O'Neill asked for a wedding date on Twitter two year ago, one guy said yes, and now, the two love birds are engaged.

    How it all started was that our girl Madison had to go to a wedding, and in the most relatable story of all time, she didn't have a date. While many of us would probably just drink a little too much wine and inappropriately text a few exes or a platonic friend we drunkenly think could actually be a viable romantic option, Madison decided to turn to Twitter. On July 10, 2015, she posted a tweet saying, "So HMU if u wanna be my date to a wedding tomorrow," which you can read for yourself in the tweet below.

    Now, if I did something like this, nobody would respond. Either that or a psychopath would respond and then proceed to murder me at said wedding. But for Madison, things worked out a little differently.

    A guy named Chuck Dohrmann slid into her DMs with the least creepy response ever: "Dude I'll be your date to a wedding! When is it?" The wedding just so happened to be taking place the next day, and she finally let him know the time at 2:14 a.m. on the day of the wedding. Luckily, he was still in! No, this isn't the plot of your new favorite romantic comedy. This is real life.

    The couple actually went to the wedding together, and Madison came out of it totally alive, so that in and of itself would have been adorable enough to last me a lifetime, but no, things get even more adorable for these two.

    They apparently had a really good time at the wedding. And when I say a really good time, I mean, like, a really good time, because just two short years later, he asked her to be his date to another wedding... theirs.

    Madison posted their engagement photo along with all of the other milestones of their love journey on Twitter, with the caption, "crazy how things work out."

    Needless to say, the Twitter world FREAKED OUT over this news. In addition to the almost 90,000 retweets and 450,000 favorites, plenty of people responded to the big news.

    Some people were kind of confused.

    But don't worry; Madison's here to clear up any confusion.

    People are hoping for a livestream of their wedding.

    You know I'm absolutely tuning in. But now, there's one question we're all wondering here: Did they know each other before, or was Chuck actually just some random stranger she found on Twitter.

    A guy named Ethan finally asked what we've all been wondering.

    And it turns out — drum roll, please —they did know each other.

    AH, JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT THEIR STORY COULDN'T GET ANY CUTER. The two went to the same high school, and Chuck was that older, obnoxious guy she just thought was annoying originally. THEN, HE RANDOMLY REACHED OUT, AND SHE REALIZED SHE ACTUALLY LOVES HIM AND IS GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF HER LIFE WITH HIM.

    According to Madison, he currently lives in San Diego, but she will be moving there next summer for them to start their life together.

    Cheers to the happy couple!

  • if you didn't get quite so lucky with your partner, and you're sitting around wondering why he hasn't said "I love you" yet, let me help shed some light...
    Art of seduction
    Category: Dating Tips | October 17, 2017

    I love my boyfriend a lot. We've been together over a year, and I've probably loved him for the vast majority of that time together. That being said, if he had not said "I love you" first, there is absolutely no way in hell that I would have initiated that conversation. Luckily for me, my boyfriend knows he's dating a spineless weenie when it comes to that sort of stuff, so he said it first. But if you didn't get quite so lucky with your partner, and you're sitting around wondering why he hasn't said "I love you" yet, let me help shed some light on his possible psyche for you.

    I'm not an emotionally unavailable man, so unfortunately, I can't give you any insight from my own personal life, but what I can do is provide you with some quotes from actual men who explained on a Reddit thread why it is that they haven't told their ladies that they love them. Brace yourselves, because some of these quotes are going to hit you with some painful reality checks. But other ones might fill you up with hope! Read along and let the overanalyzing begin! (Just kidding, don't overanalyze these PLEASE.)

    Because they've only been on seven dates.

    Because I've known her less than a month, and we've been on like seven dates. Admittedly, 3 of those, she slept over at mine, but still, too early.
    — /u/Duelingdildos

    Because he's afraid of pushing her away.
    Because with 95% probability this assertion would push another person away
    — /u/vorodm01

    Because he doesn't want to lie to her.
    because I don't? That would be a cruel and pointless lie.
    — /u/Freevoulous

    Because he knows he doesn't matter to her.
    Cuz she's been in a relationship for 4 years and I'm not even a speck of dust in her life as it seems.
    — /u/GregButcher

    Because he has to love someone else.
    My wife would be mad
    — /u/Kortemann

    Because she's married to another person.
    Cause she married to someone else.
    — /u/b0guslotus

    Because she has a restraining order against him.
    Because of that restraining order.
    — /u/Aatus

    Because she cut him out of her life, and he doesn't know why.
    Because she stopped talking to me 5 months ago and I'm not sure why. I wish we could be friends again
    — /u/nTranced

    Because he doesn't love her.
    Because I don't.
    — /u/Y___

    Because they broke up over a year ago, and she moved on.
    Because its been more than year since our split and she is happily engaged with a man that is probably a better fit for her, same career and religion. Im truly happy for her and telling her that would only cause more pain and drama.
    — /u/chennnnnn

    Because he's waiting until he's known her a full week.
    we've only hooked up once so it may be too soon lol. last time I gave myself a full week
    — /u/nubsta

    Because he's not totally sure she feels the same way.
    Because I'm not 100% sure if she'd say it back...
    — m/u/imakeitmoist

    Because he already has, and it didn't go so well.
    I have, but she doesn't.
    — /u/Little_Umbrella

    Because he doesn't want to ruin their friendship.
    i'm too scared to ruin our friendship and i don't think she likes me that way, plus we're 2+ hours apart at college.
    — /u/vPixel1

    Because he has a feeling it's not mutual.
    I don't think she loves me back
    — /u/Jamjam-47

    Because they're not officially together, and he doesn't want to come off as creepy.
    Because it'd be creepy to say shit like that to someone I'm not even dating.
    — /u/pfcgos

    Now, you can read these excerpts and really ruminate on whether or not your guy is thinking some of the same things as these dudes. But another option on the table is to just tell him how you feel and see how he responds. I mean, if the responses on here are any indication, there's a pretty good chance he feels the same way, and he's just been too scared to tell you.

  • It can definitely be a bit difficult to completely figure someone out in the early stages of a new relationship...
    How to overcome jealousy
    Category: Dating Tips | October 16, 2017

    So, you've met someone new and they check all of the boxes. They're witty, smart, and attractive. Now, things are starting to transition into possibly exclusive territory, and you're counting the days until you're officially an item. Only problem? There's something about them that makes you wonder if you can really trust them. If you have a sneaking suspicion that something could be off about the new person in your life, keep an eye out for red flags at the beginning of a relationship before you let them get too close.

    It can definitely be a bit difficult to completely figure someone out in the early stages of a new relationship. Even though, at face value, it seems like you are obviously spending time together with the hopes of getting to know each other better, we all know that at the start of any promising relationship, everyone is usually on their best behaviour. Sometimes, it takes a while for the real person behind the shiny mask to rear their ugly head. Fortunately, most people (who aren't complete sociopaths) have trouble keeping their problematic tendencies from slipping through the cracks.

    If you notice any of the following red flags, it might be a good idea to take a step back.

    1. Controlling Or Overly Critical Behaviour
    Look, there's a pretty good chance you've either dated or been friends with someone who is really bossy. Some people just really can't help but make it their personal duty to shower you with unsolicited advice on what to do and how to do it. It's totally aggravating, but in the end, pretty harmless. But then, there are people who, instead of making presumptuous suggestions, feel the need to make decisions on your behalf or intensely criticize decisions that you make.

    At the beginning of a relationship, if the person you're dating does or says things to make you feel inadequate in any way, this could be a sign that they are a control freak. Whereas bossy people tend to remain at a consistent, albeit harmless, level of annoying, potential control freaks tend to get more and more controlling as time goes on.

    2. Recklessness
    As an adrenaline junkie myself, I totally sympathize with those thrill-seekers out there who aren't afraid to really turn up or try something spontaneously cray. That being said, if the person you've just started dating ends up completely trashed and throwing punches on even a semi-regular basis, then it could be that they are dealing with some deeper issues.

    This may not be a reason in and of itself to cut the cord, but if at any point they ever put you in a situation where you feel unsafe or pressured, then it could be that they don't have your best interest at heart.

    3. Selfishness
    Early on, selfishness can be a bit hard to detect. This is because in the beginning, we're still putting in a ton of effort to impress each other. Most people are smart enough to know that if they were to do something completely self-centered, not many people would want to stick around. So the signs may be a bit more subtle.

    The thing about selfish people is that they have this paranoia that if in any given situation, they aren't looking out for themselves, then somehow they are going to end up with less than they "deserve." This fear of not having enough (attention, love, money, etc.) makes them act quickly and impulsively to try to manipulate situations so that they are on the receiving end of the best case scenario. For instance, if the person you're dating regularly "forgets" to carry cash with them on a night out, thus always leaving you to front the bill, that is selfish. If they are bad about making plans in advance or even responding to your texts, but love to blow up your phone at the last minute trying to scrape together a "date," that is selfish. If they avoid putting a label on your relationship when you've been dating for months without being communicative about what kind of arrangement they are looking for, that is selfish.

    4. Commitment Issues
    Not everyone who is actively dating necessarily wants to be in a committed relationship. This is totally fine. If the person you're seeing has told you they are looking for something casual and you keep pursuing them in hopes that they change their mind, then it's likely that you will end up disappointed. If, however, they have said with words or direct actions (i.e., introducing you to their family) that they are seriously interested, yet continually avoid putting a label on it, then you could very well be getting played.

    People who are scared of commitment usually have baggage they need to work through before they are able to be a solid partner for someone else. It may be tempting to suffer through being strung along when you really like someone. But trying to play it cool when deep down their wishy-washiness bothers you isn't only unfair to you, it also sends the message that you're OK with being low priority. Unfortunately, once you've moved down someone's priority list, it's rare that you will suddenly move up.

    5. Dishonesty
    Dishonesty should rarely be tolerated. Especially in the beginning of a relationship. If someone can't be honest when things are easy-peasy, they certainly aren't going to be honest the minute the going gets even the slightest bit tough. If you suspect the person you're seeing is being dishonest, it may be worth it to do a bit of low-risk detective work. Since they haven't had enough time to earn your full trust yet, you can afford to be a little guarded. Someone with nothing to hide will be pretty chill about questions as long as you don't get crazy or sound too accusatory.

    Ultimately, you shouldn't rush to judge the person you're dating too soon. However, it never hurts to take it slow if the person you're seeing gives you a reason to not trust them.

  • I remember once I thought I was just meeting someone I had recently started dating for a nice sushi lunch, when suddenly...
    How to be social
    Category: Dating Tips | October 15, 2017

    Have you ever been caught off-guard by the DTR (define the relationship) conversation? I feel like I usually am. I remember once I thought I was just meeting someone I had recently started dating for a nice sushi lunch, when suddenly — between the edamame appetizer and sushi rolls — they started talking exclusivity. Cut to me shoving a bunch of spicy tuna rolls in my mouth to buy myself some panic time, running through all the questions to ask yourself when you have to decide if you want to lock it down. In that case, I wasn't ready (but I was very full).

    When my current partner decided they wanted to DTR, they had just gotten back from a business trip to Japan. It was the first time we had been apart since we had begun dating. He had brought me back some gifts, and while I was distracted by my new Hello Kitty foldable umbrella, he dropped it on the table. "I think I love you and I want us to be together." Again, my mind started racing and I realized I hadn't thought this through. Like, at all. Was I ready? Did I even want to be exclusive? Is this too fast? Eventually I said yes, but only once I was able to honestly answer the following questions.

    1. Do I Trust Them?
    Well, do you? Before you movie forward into a relationship, there is only one right answer to to this question: Yes. If not, then ask yourself why. Is it because you don't know them well enough? Is it because of problematic past relationships? Or is it because of something they have either done, or not done, to make you feel like you can't trust them? If it's either of the first two, then you should take some time to work through them before taking the plunge. If it's the latter, though, this isn't relationship material.

    2. Am I Rushing Into This?
    There are lots of reasons we move too quickly from dating and into a full-on relationship, so try and take a moment to ask yourself if you are moving too fast. Are you just caught up in lust? Are either of you on the rebound? Do you actually know this person? I realize that those early feelings you have with a new connection are powerful, but healthy relationships move at a natural pace that both parties feel comfortable with.

    3. Do We Communicate Well?
    Have you figured out how to have real conversations with each other? Even when the topic is a difficult one? Or that requires one or both of you to be vulnerable? When you've had serious conversation with them did you feel heard? Even when emotions are running high? Do you walk away from these confrontations wondering if you're crazy or confused about what just happened? In order for there to be any chance of this relationship actually going the distance, you've got to get your communication styles on the same page. Otherwise, it's just a ticking time bomb.

    4. Are We Friends, Too?
    Do you like spending time with them? I mean, outside of the bedroom? Do you actually have fun hanging out or going on adventures together? Do you have things in common above the waist? Do they make you laugh? All relationships ebb and flow, no matter how hot they start out. So you're going to need a foundation of friendship to get you through those dry spells.

    5. Have I Seen Them At Their Worst?
    You're gonna fight. That is just a fact. So before you get fully boo-ed up, you really need to know their fighting style. Do they turn nasty? Go for the jugular? Ice you out? Refuse to take responsibility for their part? Gaslight or pout? People are very good at hiding their worst side early on, but you need to know what you're getting yourself into. Don't commit until you've fought at least once. Also, don't commit if you're fighting all the time, obvs.

    6. Am I Myself When I’m Around Them?
    Sometimes it can take a while for you to really let it all hang out, especially if you really like someone and what them to like you. But no one can keep up the facade forever. In order for the relationship to work, you have to be able to drop that and just be yourself, and give them a chance to love the full you. If you can't or don't feel safe being yourself around them, then it's not relationship material.

    7. Am I Sure I Really Want To?
    All right, here is the last question and it's a biggie: Do you really even want to? Does the thought of being exclusive scare you? If you're really honest, do you still kinda want to see other people? Are you feeling a lot of outside pressure from them or from people in your life who want you to settle down? Are you just settling because you're tired of being alone? These are all terrible reasons to get into a relationship. If, however, when you look into your heart you know this person is a good fit and they make you happy, then go for it — define away!

    The key here is just to be really, brutally honest with yourself. Only then will you finally be ready to label the relationship.

  • Try something you’ve never tried before, not with the intention of meeting someone but with the intention of feeling alive through doing something new...
    How to be fearless
    Category: Dating Tips | October 14, 2017

    The Garter Brides have learned that there are many ways to meet men. When we speak at events one of the first questions we’re always asked is “How did you meet your husbands?” We interviewed countless women for our book “LOVE FOR GROWN-UPS: The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying For Life When You’ve Already Got a Life“ and have asked the thousands of fans of our Facebook page the same question: “How do you meet men?” We’ve compiled this list based on their stories and would love to hear from you, too!

    1. Blind Dates: We speak from good experience — two of us met our husbands on blind dates. Yes, we all have blind date horror stories, but, one good blind date can change your life. We know it!

    2. Get set up with Online Dating: you may be new to ‘being out there’ but, grab a friend and create an online profile (see our Huffington Post blog on creating a successful online profile).

    3. Volunteer for an election campaign: It’s an election year — it’s important to be involved AND you might get involved with someone you meet volunteering!

    4. Go to reunions: Yes, go to your grammar school, high school, college or workplace reunion. Tish reconnected with her high school crush at their reunion and became a Garter Bride!

    5. Join a committee at your church or temple (not the babysitting during services one): You’ll meet new people who will take an interest in you and want to see you happy.

    6. Let your married friends know you are looking: We found from speaking with so many women that your married friends can be a big help. Happily married people want to see other people, well, happy.

    7. Try something you’ve never tried before: not with the intention of meeting someone — but with the intention of feeling alive through doing something new. One Garter Bride we spoke to always wanted to learn to fly — she wound up marrying her instructor!

    8. Always go to Weddings and Parties: say “yes” to all those invitations! So many women that we spoke to met men at weddings or a parties. We know how tough it is to walk in alone — but take the chance. You may walk out with someone special.

    9. Don’t be afraid of an office romance: We understand that this is not always the optimal place to meet someone — at some places it’s not even permitted — but, the truth is, many people meet someone where they work. Be low-key, but keep your eyes open!

    10. Be open at all times to meeting someone great: You really never know! One woman we spoke to met someone on line at a department store. Another met her great man when her mother hosted a barbeque, another on a shuttle bus ride to a beach weekend. In other words, be open at all times to the possibility that a great guy could be, literally, right around the corner!

    We hope you’ll try the Garter Brides’ tips and that they’ll be successful. And maybe you have some ideas of your own that we haven’t thought of. Please share your story of how you met someone special!

    Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Lampl and Tish Rabe are the authors of “Love for Grown-ups: The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life,” a relationship guide for women over 35 on how to find Mr. Right, marry and find life-long happiness. The Garter Brides are a sisterhood of women who got married later in life and wore the same garter at their weddings! They offer tried and true advice on how to have the love and life you want.

  • Just as important as making time to connect with your partner, is to make some time to disconnect, too...
    How to romance a woman
    Category: Dating Tips | October 09, 2017

    No one starts a new relationship saying, "Gee, I hope this really sucks. He makes me sooo miserable. I hope we stay together forever." I mean, not consciously anyway. Although now that I think about it, that would definitely help explain some of my past relationships. (Yes, David, I'm talking about you.) Anyway, the whole point of sharing your life with someone is to be happy with them, but that doest mean you know how to be happy in your relationship. Here's the thing, though. It doesn't just happen; it actually takes work to make your relationship successful and emotionally satisfying. That may not sound very romantic; I mean, who doesn't want to be swept off their feet to a happy ending full of awesome sex and zero arguments whatsoever? Yeah, that's not gonna happen.
    Even though reality takes actual work, this is still awesome news, because what it means is that you have a lot more control over your own happiness and satisfaction than you might think. It turns out that, like in so many other areas in your life, it all comes down to having the right attitude and expectations. So, if you want to commit to being with this person forever, you'll need to commit to doing the following things, too.

    1. Being Grateful  
    There are definitely things you are entitled to in a relationship, like emotional and physical safety and honesty. But approaching all areas of your relationship with an entitled attitude is a great way to make each other miserable. You’re guaranteed to be disappointed and resentful, and you can count on your partner picking up on that. Instead of focusing on small shortcomings, take a look at the bigger picture and spotlight the things you are grateful for.

    2. Being Respectful  
    Treat your partner like you do your friends, and by that I mean with respect. You probably aren’t nitpicking and judging your friends, so why is it OK to do to a partner? Nothing kills a relationship faster than contempt. It’s absolutely lethal. Commit to leading with kindness and empathy and with the intent to help build them up instead of tearing them down.

    3. Being A Teammate
    One of the best things about being coupled up is having that person you know will have your back. Knowing you can have someone to get through the hard times with and a partner to enjoy the good times, too. But to not lose sight of in all this awesome togetherness, one thing you need to remember is your individuality. Don’t expect to meld into one person and spend every waking hour together. Remember to take time to be yourself and pursue the things you enjoy on your own, and encourage your partner to do the same.

    4. Remembering You Have Needs, Too
    When you really care about someone, it’s easy to get into the habit of putting their needs first. That’s a very kind thing to do, but do too much of it and you’re on the road to Resentmentville. The scary thing about this is that it can creep up on you slowly. So before you even begin down that path, make a commitment to yourself that you will do regular “state of the unions” with yourself. Are your needs being met? Are you happy? If not, what do you need? And then do some adulting by telling your partner how you’re feeling and specifically what you need from them.

    5. Always Fighting Fair
    This one can be hard, especially if you have a history of fighting dirty. But here’s the thing, when you fight dirty, even if you “win” the fight in the moment, you lose. Maybe you got your partner to relent and tell you that you were right just to make the fight stop. Or they went away so hurt and emotionally defeated it feels like a win. But man, was that a fail. Two things come out of fighting like that: It eats away at your bond and it doesn’t solve anything long-term.

    If you want this relationship to have legs, you need to learn to fight fair.  So, no getting nasty. Step out of the room for a moment to cool off if needed. Most importantly, practice mindful listening. What that means is taking turns giving each other time to speak uninterrupted, then responding with, “What I am hearing you say is….” That way, you don’t have miscommunication. Maybe it’s not as cathartic as flipping a table, but it’s a lot more effective at resolving things and keeping your relationship together.

    6. Having Fun Together  

    When you’re first together, this comes pretty easily. That new relationship energy means you are looking for ways to spend time together and have fun. Eventually, though, life gets busy and you can forget to spend quality time together. Which is why you need to commit to spending a certain amount of time together each day (or week) to just have fun. Put the stress aside and just connect and remember why you’ve chosen each other, because you, ya know, like each other.

    7. Having Alone Time, Too
    Just as important as making time to connect with your partner, is to make some time to disconnect, too. Spending every moment together is not healthy. You need space to be separate from time to time, to maintain friendships and do the things that you as individual love. Plus, it gives you a chance to miss each other.

    8. Keeping It Spicy
    I don’t care how hot and heavy y’all are right now… give it a few years. It’s normal and natural for things to slow down a bit. Rather than just letting it be, commit to putting in a little extra work to keep things spicy. Try new positions,  talk dirty, role play, get kinky. Commit to doing whatever it takes to keep it sexy, and both you and your partner will be grateful.

    9. Being Happy
    No, seriously, decide to commit to being happy. It’s all about taking proactive approach instead of waiting for someone else to make you be happy. In addition to having a positive attitude, pledge to stop sweating the small stuff. If it’s not major, let it go — you’re only stepping on your own potential joy. And try and really appreciate the small things and moments that enhance your happiness.

    At the end of the day, you get decide how you approach things in life, especially your relationship. So why not decide today that it’s going to be amazing? You might be surprised what a self-fulfilling prophecy it is.

  • But wait, it's not all sad news...
    How to unhook a bra
    Category: Dating Tips | October 01, 2017

    Swipe right on enough closet weirdos and dating can start to feel more like cruel and unusual punishment than the start of a timeless love story. And a new survey from Match.com says, for some of us, love really is elusive.

    According to data from their Singles in America study, which probes into the dating lives and romantic attitudes of over 5,000 single guys and gals across the country, one in five men say they’ve never been in love. Not even once.

    But it’s actually not all that much better for women. Eighteen percent of the ladies report never having been in love, either. 

    Surprisingly, many dudes are still pretty optimistic about the prospect of a fairytale ending. Fifty-nine percent of guys believe in love at first sight and 41 percent even claim it’s happened to them at least once. Awww.

    Match’s survey also found that men tend to get swept away more frequently than women. The average dude falls in love 3.7 times in his life, compared to only 2.9 times for women. We'll chalk that up to the fact that women are a bit more discerning when it comes to choosing their mates.

    It’s OK—keep those standards high, girl.

  • This is not another article about holding in your farts...
    Poly relationship
    Category: Dating Tips | September 30, 2017

    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