Category: Dating Tips and Advices

Relation Fears: Afraid Of Losing Your Freedom?

Relation Fears: Afraid Of Losing Your Freedom?

I have many clients coming to see me distraught because they are not in a committed romantic relationship. They dream of it, yearn for it and feel depressed that they are not in one but when we dig in we uncover that deep down they are afraid of losing freedom: Not necessarily the freedom of flirting and being desired by which feels good to the ego, but the ability of being able to do what they want when they want.

In my coaching practice I work a lot with the subconscious mind because even though you may not be aware of it, your subconscious mind runs the show most of the time. Some experts believe that up to 95% of what we do is due to conditioning from our past experiences: our family dynamics, our friends, and other social connections, what we are taught at school, through the media, our cultural background, all of these have an influence on us without us being aware of it. Talk about lack of freedom! We think that we are choosing to be with someone because we love them, when in fact, we may be with someone because when we were a teenager that type of person was the cool type to be with, which obviously as an adult may not be the most fulfilling relationship to have.

Fear of commitmentI have many clients coming to see me distraught because they are not in a committed romantic relationship. They dream of it, yearn for it and feel depressed that they are not in one but when we dig in we uncover that deep down they are afraid of losing their freedom: Not necessarily the freedom of flirting and being desired by many, which feels good to the ego, but the ability of being able to do what they want when they want.

Relation Fears: Afraid Of Losing Your Freedom?

In my coaching practice I work a lot with the subconscious mind because even though you may not be aware of it, your subconscious mind runs the show most of the time. Some experts believe that up to 95% of what we do is due to conditioning from our past experiences: our family dynamics, our friends, and other social connections, what we are taught at school, through the media, our cultural background, all of these have an influence on us without us being aware of it. Talk about lack of freedom! We think that we are choosing to be with someone because we love them, when in fact, we may be with someone because when we were a teenager that type of person was the cool type to be with, which obviously as an adult may not be the most fulfilling relationship to have.

During childhood, we make up constructs about what love is through observing our parents and family, which naturally has a major defining impact on our lives. While growing up, if you observed one of your parent being a ‘slave’ to the other or felt that because your parents loved you, you had to do what they wanted all the time, you may well have associated being in a relationship with losing your freedom. And subconsciously you will steer away from the person that could bring you a committed relationship.

This is why it is important to know the difference between needing someone vs loving someone. One makes us lose our freedom and the other one not. As a child, you love your parents but you need them for your survival and therefore, may not have the freedom to do what is for your highest good if it goes against what your parents think is best for you. Equally, if you observed one of your parents being a ‘slave’ to the other one it was most likely because that parent needed them either for financial reason or lack of self-esteem.

True freedom is not the ability to do what we want when we want, but the ability to listen to our hearts vs our emotions because that is what makes us truly happy. Our emotions call us to go after pleasure, after what feels good to our senses, but not necessarily what is good for us ultimately, which jails us. For example eating cake all the time may feel good to the senses but ultimately will get you in trouble with your health or going after the cute girl/guy who has nothing in common with you may make your ego feel good for a while but in the long run will get you in trouble.

It is also the ability to do the things we need to do to follow our hearts desires. And some of those things will be fun and some of those things will be challenging. If you are in a committed relationship you may not be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it all the time, however through learning how to love you experience true happiness. Happiness of the heart which is deep and fulfilling cannot be replaced by the pleasures of the senses/emotions.

fear of commitmentWhen we truly love someone, we want the best for them while respecting our needs. When you look at love this way love becomes a give and take, it gives you true freedom.

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Seven things to keep in mind on next dating

Seven things to keep in mind on next dating

Let’s face it, when it comes to meeting the next Mr or Ms Right, we could all do with a little help. Here are seven things to keep in mind next time you’re out on a date.

1. Don’t forget your manners

Without getting too Sir Lancelot about things, a little etiquette goes a long way. If she looks nice, tell her that. Maybe open the door as she walks through, or offer your arm as she steps down from the curb – but play it by ear and don’t go too overboard. Also, make sure you remember her eye colour (trust us on this one) and when you’re comfortable, maybe test the waters by leaning in a little closer as she speaks – if she backs away, well, it’s probably not going well.

2. Be confident

Everyone’s nervous on a first date, but there’s nothing more attractive than a bit of self-confidence. When it comes to conversation, stay in your comfort zone by coming up with a few topics that you can talk about easily so you’re not out of your depth too early. But it’s a delicate balance – no one wants to be the guy who bangs on about his comic book collection all night, or what a pro his is on the bench press. If in doubt, ask your date about themselves and go from there.

It sounds simple, but choosing someone with similar interests is a big plus. If you like nothing better than watching the footy over a few beers – and they hate sports with a passion – it’s probably not going to work out. Just be yourself and don’t try to force it.

Seven things to keep in mind on next dating

3. Offer to pay

If it’s a first date, it won’t do you any harm to pay – or at least offer. Quibbling with who should pick up the bill is a bad look and it’s hardly going to give the best first impression. Then again, remember it’s not the 1950s anymore, so it’s perfectly fine to level the score a bit if you end up seeing each other regularly.

4. Keep it casual

Drinks are fine for a first date. After all, no one wants to sit through the seven-course degustation with someone you’ve only just met – especially if you both realise it’s not going to work after the entrees appear. Also, if it’s a first outing, maybe head to a bar you’ve been to before – you’ll at least know your way there, and it’s one less thing you have to worry about. But avoid just heading to your local watering hole – it’s obvious if you’ve chosen somewhere that’s just around the corner from your pad. Try for something that’s convenient for both of you to get to.

It’s perfectly ok to keep first or second dates to weeknights, but anything after the third outing together should be at the weekend. Otherwise, they’re going to wonder what you’re doing that’s so much more interesting than them. Or, worse, who.

5. Be prepared

Your first date is a great opportunity to show her what you’re made of. And trust us, first impressions count for a lot. If you look like you’ve just stepped out of bed, your date is going to think you don’t really care. Get your hair cut, maybe invest in a new outfit, and check your teeth and nails are looking presentable. Plan to arrive a little early, so you’re not flustered when you walk in the door and you’ve got a bit of time to give yourself the quick once-over in the bathroom mirror.

When it comes time to order, play it fairly safe by avoiding anything you’ve never tried before or that’s tricky to eat. As a general rule, if it involves a bib, best to steer well clear. If you’re no wine boffin, go with the most recent vintage white, or drink pinot if you want red because it suits more food than not.

6. Get a second opinion

If you’re a little clueless or just want to make sure you’re on the right track, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for a few pointers. See what they think of the outfit you’re planning to wear, or the venue you want to take your date to. It might mean you end up dodging the restaurant that gave your mate gastro last week, or that you avoid wearing that shirt all your friends hate. You know the one.

7. Eyes in front

Remember, when you’re on a date with someone, they should the centre of attention. Ask them about themselves and pay attention to their answers. And don’t try to get a sneaky look at your watch or phone – and that blonde sitting at the bar who you just checked out? Yep, they saw that, too.

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Positive elements: How to talk to a woman

Positive elements: How to talk to a woman

Recently single and trying to date after divorce is a tough place to be. It’s scary, self-esteem probably isn’t the best right now, and you’re probably a lot older than you were the last time you were dating. Most likely, there’s a little bit of insecurity going on.

Yet, there is a positive element to being newly divorced and dating again. You are starting a fresh, new chapter of your life, and despite feeling uncertain, there is an element of excitement to it, call it hope, perhaps. It’s a chance to start over—this time with someone who is more right for you.

So, here are my 12 tips for “How to Talk to a woman”:

  1. Be yourself. That’s all you can be. If a woman doesn’t like that, it isn’t a match and you aren’t interested in her either.

  2. Be honest. You might as well be upfront about almost everything, because as the relationship progresses, we’re going to find out later, anyhow.

  3. Being funny is great, but we also don’t want to feel like we’re in a room with Eddie Murphy. That said, women love funny guys who make us laugh.

  4. Ask her about HER. All people (not just women) like to talk about themselves. So, if you can’t think of what to say, just ask her something about herself. Chances are, she’ll go on and on!

  5. Be kind. Just be the nice person that you are. Whatever woman says that women don’t like nice guys is an idiot.

  6. Compliment her, but don’t overdo it and act like you’re sucking up. That is a turnoff.

  7. Don’t act shocked when she tells you her age. Over 45, we don’t buy that act.

  8. Don’t go on and on about your ex and badmouth her. She will never go out with you if you do that. And, if you call your ex the b word, or heaven forbid the c word, forget it. You’re done.

  9. When talking about your kids, it’s cute to be into them, but don’t go on and on for a really long time.

  10. When talking about your job, if you hate it, I wouldn’t share that. Try to talk about the positives of it. There is nothing worse to a woman than a man who hates what he does and does nothing to change his situation.

  11. If you really like her, ask her out during the conversation, not just before you’re ready to walk away. Asking during the conversation makes a woman feel secure and happy, and then the conversation just gets better and better.

  12. My favorite: after you get her number and leave, text her a couple minutes later and say something really cute and witty. We LOVE that!

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Wanna transform your love life?

Wanna transform your love life?

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.

Go beyond the bar scene

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.

Let your friends set you up

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).

Wanna transform your love life?

Consider dating your friends

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.

Focus on first impressions

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.

Don’t play it cool on a date

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.

Avoid oversharing

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.

Pay attention to how you talk to each other

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.

Follow their gaze

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.

Don’t let your friends ruin your vibe

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.

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5 Simple steps to impress a woman on the phone

5 Simple steps to impress a woman on the phone

Getting her number is half the battle. Once you have it, use it wisely or you’ll never get past “hello.” Women don’t just judge guys based on looks; they’re also drawn to dudes who have a way with words. Treat each phone conversation as if it’s as important as a date, and you’ll impress a girl with your maturity and manners.

Step 1

Call at an appropriate time, and have a reason for calling. Don’t call early in the morning, too late at night, or when you know she’s tied up at work or school. It’s OK if you’re just calling to chat, but let her know at the beginning of the conversation. Better yet, ask her to get together and turn your phone call into a date.

Step 2

Speak clearly. Maintain a moderate volume, so she can hear what you’re saying without straining, or without having to pull the phone away from her ear. Use a pleasant tone so she can hear the smile in your voice. When you’re talking to girls on the phone, you need to convey your charm through your voice alone; she can’t see that you’re grinning from ear to ear, but a soft chuckle will give her a clue.

Step 3

Eliminate distractions when you’re calling a girl. Turn off or lower the volume on the TV or stereo. Step outside if you’re in a noisy, crowded place. If you’re driving in your car, roll up the windows. If there’s too much background noise on your end, you won’t be able to hear her clearly and you’ll be shouting in her ear to compete.

Most anything you do while you’re on the phone is audible to the person on the other end of the line; don’t multitask, chew or flush the toilet. If you need to clear your throat, cough or sneeze, turn away from the phone and excuse yourself. Carrying on a conversation with someone else who’s in the room with you while you’re on the phone with her is a big no-no; it’s immature, rude and disrespectful.

Step 4

Show interest. Listen when she’s speaking, and don’t interrupt. When she’s finished telling you something, draw her out even more by asking questions. Direct the conversation to topics you both know something about; don’t try to impress her with a monologue about football when you know she isn’t a fan.

Step 5

End the call gracefully. If the conversation is going strong, by all means, keep talking. As soon as you notice the conversation winding down, or you feel an uncomfortable silence, wrap it up. Maintain an upbeat tone and let her know you’ve really enjoyed talking with her. Instead of making her wonder if you’re bored with the conversation, excuse yourself with a solid excuse — meeting up with a friend, taking the dog for a run — and solidify plans for your next call or an upcoming date.

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How we use social media for sex and romance

How we use social media for sex and romance

Social media allows us to meet new people, explore our fantasies, and connect with others who share our desires. It allows us to create sex-positive, supportive communities and learn more about our sexuality. But, it can also give us false hope that the “perfect” person exists, and that if we just search hard enough, we’ll find them out there somewhere.

It’s up to us to use social media to connect with others in positive ways, rather than shut-out potential good-fit partners because they don’t meet a strict criteria. So, how can we use social media, and particularly quick and easy dating apps like Tinder, to enhance our love life rather than tear them apart?

Think About Quick & Easy

In many ways, the digital and technological world is a reflection of our “real life” experience. It is built to meet our growing demands, and many online communities, sites, and dating apps are built off of our fantasies and desires. The technology fills a gap, and gives us what we’re looking for – like a super fast-paced experience that allows you to judge potential partners in a few seconds based on their best picture and possibly a small bio, if you care to read it.

Yes, it’s incredibly fast paced. But, it’s meeting our demand for quick, looks-based connections and mutual matching in the blink of an eye. Think about if that’s the kind of relationship you want. Do you want something primal, physical, hot, and done in a flash? Or do you want something more slow, personality-based, and possibly long-lasting. Or, do you want to fill a particular desire or kink with a niche community? None of these are right or wrong, but pick the app or website that is more in tune with the experience you want to have, rather than thinking you’ll get long-lasting love from a quick-and-easy hookup app.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Social media’s impact on our dating and sex lives is as good or as bad as we, as individuals, allow it to be.

As a good thing, social media allows us to have a much wider variety of romantic and sexual options than before. It allows us to connect with people with similar interests and desires, and learn about and explore new kinks and fantasies. You can even find communities of people with your same fantasies, allowing you to find well-matched partners that are as excited about your kink as you.

On the flip side, social media can also make us more picky about our partners. If you get caught up looking for someone better, hotter, smarter, or who’s interests perfectly match yours… you might be endlessly seeking for someone who just doesn’t exist. Dating sites often suggest that you can find someone truly perfect, but we have to remember that “perfect” in itself is a fantasy. Your perfect match will never be perfect at everything, and often, the persona you meet online is a very polished version of their real-life identity.

Should we go back to meeting people at bars?

Social media and hook up apps are the modern-day solution to classified ads, dating videos, and meeting people at random. Those options have become outdated to a younger, more modern consumer who would rather browse for their partner from the convenience of their smartphone while bored at work or riding home on the subway. Current technology has an advantage, because you can message one another heavily in advance. From behind your phone or computer, you can safely get to know them closely, to feel them out and see if they’re a good fit before ever meeting in person.

In many ways, social media also beats out meeting people at a bar. At a bar, you have no idea who’s single, who’s taken, who’s interested in talking with you, or who has the same interests as you. On an online dating site, you all know you’re there for about the same reason – to meet other people, whether it’s for love, sex, or casual dating. Then, you can filter out who’s the right fit for you physically, intellectually, and based on your interests. Narrowing your focus allows you to get better matches faster, rather than maybe 1 out of 10 people being single and interested at the bar, and even less than that having the same interests as you.

Be Open to Fall in Love

It is absolutely possible to have meaningful, fulfilling, healthy relationships with people you meet online. There’s no reason to think that meeting online hinders the connection you can build in the future. Meeting online is an open door to meet new people and potentially make awesome connections.

It’s then up to the people involved to build on those connections and forge a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with people who go online to meet other people. It doesn’t mean they’re socially awkward or can’t figure out how to interact in person. Often, it’s people who are new to a city, find the bar-scene limiting, or just haven’t found the right person.

Ultimately, dating online, through apps, or social media allows us to get to know people on a deeper level and fine-tune our process of finding the right match, but it’s only as good as we allow it to be. We can choose to use it to create sex-positive, supportive communities – or, we can use to to keep searching for “perfect” person that doesn’t exist, or the guy that’s hot but wants just a one night stand. It’s in our control to use social media in positive ways, whether it’s to find love, casual fun, or sex.

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7 tips for staying safe while online dating

7 tips for staying safe while online dating

Navigating online dating can be a bit of a minefield, and with people joining sites in their thousands unchecked staying savvy is a must. If you’re new to online dating or just want to up your online dating safety game – here are the 8 online dating safety tips everyone should know.

Know who you’re talking to

Whether it’s an app you’re on or a dating site, be aware of the amount of information on offer from the people you are chatting to.

Sure, people knock off a few years here or there and might use a picture that’s six months out of date, but, if someone has minimal information about themselves or one grainy picture be aware that they might not be who they say they are.

Leave a paper trail

As tempting as it may be to rush into the first date before really getting to know each other online, gathering some basic information about your date is important.

Even if it is just a telephone number and an email address – make sure you have contact details about your date beyond their online user name.

Check them out online

The advantage of everyone living their lives online now is that you’ll be able to verify a person’s identity before you meet them by looking them up on social media.

There’s no need to get their inside leg measurement and mother’s maiden name but, checking they are a “real person” before a date will give you piece of mind before you meet.

If in doubt, delete them

If in any doubt about a person you meet online, stay safe and move on. As quick as it is to meet a person online it is to delete them.

You are under no obligation to meet someone, regardless of how long you’ve been chatting to them, and, if you feel under any sort of pressure to do so, it’s time to move on.

Opt for a neutral meeting place

When meeting someone for the first time (read: second, third and fourth) arrange your date in a neutral place – and never accept a dinner invite at a person’s house.

The same goes for being picked up in their car from your house. No one needs to know your home address within twenty-four hours of knowing you.

Morning dates

Dates are traditionally something which happen after dark, however, with the increased number of people online dating and meeting via apps, and the increased frequency of dates, it’s not unusual to suggest a ‘day date’ – meeting for brunch, for example, or grabbing a bite to eat on a lunch break. This presents you with an excuse for a getaway.

Spread to the word

Tell a friend (or five) about your date. Give them a little insight before you meet them too, by letting them know who you’re meeting and where you are planning to go – and don’t feel awkward about nipping to the loo on the date to give them a quick text updating them of your whereabouts.

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24 things you need before dating a messy girl

24 things you need before dating a messy girl

  1. The first time you come over, we’ll feign disgust over how much of a tip our room is. When really we’re a bit ¯_(ツ)_/¯ about the whole sitch.

  2. Oh, and if we planned for you to come over to our place, we’ll have hastily made it look non-gross. Just do NOT look under the bed, or in that wardrobe. Or else.

  3. On that note: never open our wardrobes/drawers ever unless you want a flippin’ avalanche on your hands.

  4. You’ll soon learn there’s an art to making it across the floor unscathed.

  5. But just know that we know exactly where our shit is on that floor so don’t go messin’ with our system, kay? Method in the madness.

  6. You will never, and we repeat NEVER, win a cleaning stand-off against us. Think we’ll eventually give up and clean that mug that’s starting to grow life? Think again, buddy.

  7. Yes, we need that pile of miscellaneous clutter (read: shit we definitely don’t need). Get used to our ‘stuff.’ We have a lot of it.

  8. Keep the f*ck away from our handbag. Seriously, don’t do it man. It has taken good men before you.

  9. But… if you need a pen/mouldy gum/a safety pin/half eaten cereal bar/plastic fork then our handbag is your disgusting-on-the-inside saviour.

  10. You’ll soon learn that messiness is a way of life, not limited to external forces. We have messy brain/life too. Don’t expect our iTunes to have been updated since 2005. We’ve got 3 email addresses because we keep forgetting our password. Our desktop has the most shit ever on it. And we will probably forget our anniversary, soz.

  11. Laundry. Lol.

  12. You literally can’t take us anywhere. Because, spillage…

  13. There’s probably going to be sand in the bed a lot. Or crumbs. Or both.

  14. We’ll hoard the shit out your gifts. And ticket stubs/beer mats / Kinder Egg toys. So much so you’ll stop buying us nice things.

  15. If we end up living together, you’re going to have to be pretty strict on boundaries. Like, we’ll probably need an actual cleaning rota or there’s no fecking way we’ll tidy.

  16. And you’ll soon realise unannounced guests are our idea of hell.

  17. Accept we’re never going to be the kind of chick who wears sexy matching underwear.

  18. We WILL steal your socks. Who even knows where ours end up?!

  19. Our car is a pigsty. In fact, that’s an insult to pigs.

  20. Sometimes we forget stuff that’s in the fridge. It happens, ok?!

  21. You’re going to have to accept that weird things belong in weird places. Get over it.

  22. Our hair is all over the shower/bathroom and we don’t even care. Likewise, get used to bobby pins turning up everywhere.

  23. If you do any of the following, we’re just not going to work:

a. Iron your underwear.
b. Get pissed off about mess.
c. Don’t like taking the bins out.
d. Are offended by rogue empty loo rolls.
e. Are familiar with the term ‘storage hacks.’

  1. Ultimately, you need to know that research says messy people are more creative people, making us BOSS. So you can go ahead and worship our creative, messy asses.
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The worst dating apps for harassment

The worst dating apps for harassment

Dating apps literally take the uninhibitedness of the Internet and combine it with the horned-up vibe of a bar on Saturday night so… yes. Things can (and do) go awry, and polite flirtation can turn into harassment before you even realised you have a new match.

But which dating apps serve as breeding grounds for the most cases of harassment? According to a new survey conducted by Consumers’ Research, Tinder and OkCupid are the worst dating apps when it comes to harassment.

Of the several hundred dating app users polled, 39 percent of respondents reported harassment on Tinder, and coming in at a very close second, 38 percent reported harassment on OkCupid. The harassment also functions on gendered lines: far more women (57 percent) reported being harassed than men (21 percent). And of course these numbers come as a bit unsurprising, considering how Tinder and OkCupid are also among the most popular, free dating apps available, and also considering how Tinder basically feels like a men’s locker room that women occasionally wander into and OkCupid is a free-for-all, with zero boundaries in place to keep creepy dudes from messaging with reckless abandon.

This is just to say be careful out there and don’t hold back on using the block button. Or if it’s truly bad, and someone is making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, report that shit. People who use dating apps to harass others are just ruining the experience for people who are using the apps to actually find something meaningful, whatever that may be.

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13 Things not to say in a relationship

13 Things not to say in a relationship

1. “How do you spice it up?” As if it weren’t already spicy. When you’re in a really, really good relationship, you don’t have to search for spices — they’re just there in infinite supply.

2. “You’re young! You need to get out there and experience what the world has to offer you.” And by that do you mean “have one-night stands with guys who don’t know what they’re doing and first dates that are awkward as hell”? I don’t judge if that’s what you enjoy. But if I found My Person, there’s no point in going on dates that I don’t really want to be on.

3. “How’s the ball and chain doing?” Or “How’s the boyyyyyyfriend?” you might say while rolling your eyes as if to suggest it’s such a chore to be in a happy, steady relationship. He’s great and we love the shit out of each other, actually! Thanks for asking.

4. “People in long-term relationships are just people who are way too comfortable with each other.” Allow me to clarify: A comfortable relationship is not an unhappy relationship. I’m comfortable with my significant other in the sense that I will walk around with no makeup and send him ugly selfies. Comfort does not make us dislike each other.

5. “It’s so weird that you have no one else to compare him or your relationship to. How can you even tell if he’s The One?” This is hard to understand for someone who hasn’t found their person yet, but if you have found your person, you know. To put it in simple terms — your favorite personal belonging probably isn’t your favorite because some external force made you realize that it is. Your favorite green bracelet is your favorite green bracelet because you love it and it means something to you. It’s that simple. So, yeah, I just know.

6. “I don’t believe in monogamy.” And I do. Which is why I am me, and you are you. Oh, look, a poem!

7. “Come on, just be my wingwoman!” Uh, no, that’s boring for me. I don’t bring you out on my dates because you’d rather poke your eyes out than be a third wheel, which is totally fine. But that’s what being your wingwoman feels like to me.

8. “Doesn’t it get boring?” If it were boring I wouldn’t be doing it. I’m in a committed relationship with a person, I am not in a committed relationship with boredom. Thanks though.

9. “You can’t be together long-term if you don’t hook up with other people first.” This is a real thing that someone told me once, and it blew my mind. Just because the first guy I got with ended up being the only guy I wanted to get with doesn’t mean that it’s not real. (See no. 5 above, ahem.)

10. Not ever inviting me to girls’ things where it’s mostly single girls because they assume you don’t want to come. Just because I am in a relationship doesn’t mean I am against hanging out with single people. When I’m going out with my best girlfriends, the last thing I am thinking about is anyone’s relationship status. So if you’re going out for a fun night of drinks and food, whether or not you’re looking for hookups, count me in!

11. “How do you know? You’ve only been with one guy.” <—The ~sAsSy~ remark you get whenever you try to give relationship advice. Yes, I have only been with one guy. Because he’s an awesome hell of a guy who treats me exactly as I should be treated. Because I know how good it feels to be in a happy relationship, I know that the way that douchebag is treating you is wrong. And you deserve to be happy!

12. “You must think about other guys all the time.” I mean yeah, I have eyes. I think that Eric Decker is hot as hell because he is. I acknowledge that a man is attractive as he walks past me on the street because I am a living human. Just because I am monogamous doesn’t mean I want to rip off my clothes at the sight of a hot man who isn’t my man.

13. “Do you really think he’s ever only been with you?” I really do because we’re in a trusting relationship. That’s what monogamous relationships are. And that’s what I like having in my life.

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