Category: Males vs Females

Reading Between the Lines in a Relationship

Reading Between the Lines in a Relatinship

Reading through the personal ads can be a skill, an art in its own. You may find that skimming through the personal ads has become your latest habit, searching for the person that meets your profile needs and desires but without success.

Have you been looking for love but in the wrong profiles, or are you searching for more that is not written in the lines of a personal ad? If you read more into a personal ad than what is actually written in the profile and in the pages of the personal classifieds, you may find yourself conversing or dating a person that does not have the same personal dating ideas as you or the same objective in a relationship which puts you back at the beginning of the process again.

You already know that the listings in the personal section are from people just like you, people who want to meet someone special to fit into their life so starting with the personal ads is a great way to meet someone. However, maybe you are reading the profile of someone wanting to find just a friend, or maybe the profile you are reading is someone that is also hinting towards a search for love in a relationship. You need to be a distinctive reader.

The odds are in your favor when searching the personal ads for in finding a companion or lover. You already know that if the profiles you are reading are not seeking some type of friendship or relationship, they would not have created a profile for others to review. However, the steps in deciding who you will make contact with can be one of the most difficult in your search.

Your journey reading the personal classified section will require you to look within yourself to discover what type of relationship you are truly in search of. Are you searching for a friend, for a lover, or are you searching for a true lifetime commitment? Whatever category you place yourself in, choose the replies and profiles that meet your standards in your search for a relationship helping you narrow your search, which will make the personals much easier to sort through. If you would sit in front of your computer and continue reading all of the personal ads presented, you may find yourself overwhelmed with information and choices to be made. Narrowing your criteria and the idea of what type of relationship you are searching for creates the best results.

If you are searching for a friend or companion only through the personal ads, start with profiles that state this specifically. In discussing profiles of those who are not looking for a serious relationship, you may find the following phrases used: ‘want to have a good time’,’ not looking for a relationship’ and ‘not willing to give my heart away’, ‘just want to spend some time with you’ or ‘seeking another with a great listening ear’. There are various words used expressing friendship, companionship and those just looking to date. Use these expressions and words to help you sort through the personal ads narrowing your decision among the many people listed.

Profiles of people searching for friendship use words that stick out like: ‘looking for fun’, ‘friendship’, ‘no commitments’, ‘companion wanted’, ‘only looking for a good time’, ‘need help in building my confidence’, ‘I want to roller blade in the park all day’, finding words that express fun and friendship stating no commitments or relationship will help you sort through the profiles you are reading.

Are you in search of that someone special to be more than just friends are? Learn to read more into the written words. Find descriptions such as ‘looking for love’, ‘searching for that someone special’, ‘more than friends’, ‘quiet and cozy’, ‘easy going and lovable’, ‘special times’, ‘treasured moments’, and words similar to ‘lovable’.

So what about your profile, read over the words again. Does the profile really express your thoughts about a relationship, what type of relationship you are seeking and whom you are expecting to meet using the personal classifieds? Deciding what type of person you are searching for, what qualities you desire, and how far you want the relationship to mature are steps in realizing you are taking the right direction for meeting that someone special through the classifieds. Clarify your words, express your real thoughts and ideas about who you are seeking clearly which will aid those that are reading your profile connect easily with you.

Matching your personality and the relationship you are seeking with the personal profile or description of another person that is seeking similar relationships can be tough but using your feelings of what you want from a relationship as a basis when reading and sorting through the personals is a great beginning.

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Why Married People Flirt

Why Married People Flirt

Some people wonder why married people flirt. They make the false assumption that the taking of vows suddenly turns off any playfulness or sexual attraction with anyone but a spouse. The idea with marriage is that saying “I do” usually includes the unspoken understanding”… and I won’t with anyone else!” The idea of fidelity, of “cleaving to you only” is integral and common to most marriage vows.

That kind of action is well within the power of the husband and wife – you can always control your actions. What you can’t control is your desire – that is, you can’t say “…and I won’t ever want to with anyone else!” If a woman has always been turned on by firemen, for example, the idea that saying the words “I do” will suddenly turn off that biochemical response is ludicrous.

A Release Valve

Married people who realize this may also realize that there is a lot of pressure when you try to just “turn off” what might have been an ingrained habit established over years or decades. Not that everyone needs to flirt, or that everyone flirts, but if the reason you fell in love with a girl in the first place is because she was outgoing, teasing, and playfully engaging with you and others, why would you think that would be easy to just turn off?

It is certainly possible – and newlyweds especially usually only have eyes for each other, which makes it seem easy. But once that new-relationship energy wears off, and they settle back into their everyday life, the original habits return – and having to struggle to turn them off can become very frustrating. One of the reasons why married people flirt is simply to keep that fun in their lives – so that being married doesn’t mean losing a fun and harmless part of their joy in life.

A Matter of Degree

Of course, before married people flirt, it’s probably a good idea if they work out with each other what the definition of flirting is. Some very insecure and jealous people will try to enforce a rule like “Don’t even look at another woman!” which is both unrealistic and unfair in a culture that counts on sexy female forms in just about every kind of marketing.

But it’s a good idea to talk out with your partner what you think is flirting and what isn’t. Friendly conversation? Dancing a tango? Going to coffee? Sexual innuendo? What about online chats? All of these could be considered a form of flirting, and knowing what level it becomes uncomfortable for your partner lets you both make informed decisions – whether that be modifying your own behavior or your partner working on handling insecurity and jealousy.

The 2010 Oscar winner Mo’Nique made waves when she revealed that her marriage was “open” – it included the right for each of them to have other sexual partners. That’s an extreme level of “flirting”, certainly, but it illustrates the fact that “cheating” means breaking the rules – but the people who make the rules of a marriage are the ones who are in it, no one else.

Is It Really A Good Idea?

Of course, if married people flirt with others, it’s also usually a good idea that they flirt with each other, as well. One of the biggest dangers of marriage is reaching a point where it no longer feels exciting, where you feel like you’re in a rut. Some people go so far as to fear that they’ve fallen out of love with their spouse, and that’s when rules and marriages get broken.

Often what is really happening is a transition into a new kind of relationship, that goes deeper than the hunt-and-chase of the flirtatious dating scene and into the realm of security, trust, and commitment. But dating is fun, and by making sure you and your spouse are both still flirting, teasing, and dating – even after decades of marriage, like Mo’Nique – it will help give your relationship the best of both worlds.

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Three Stages of Falling in Love

Three Stages of Falling in Love

There are three stages to falling in love and different hormones are involved at each stage. Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness.

When we are attracted to somebody, it could be because subconsciously we like their genes. Smell could be as important as looks when it comes to the fanciability factor. We like the look and smell of people who are most like our parents. Science can help determine whether a relationship will last.

Cupid’s chemicals

Flushed cheeks, a racing heart beat and clammy hands are some of the outward signs of being in love. But inside the body there are definite chemical signs that cupid has fired his arrow.

When it comes to love it seems we are at the mercy of our biochemistry. One of the best known researchers in this area is Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has proposed that we fall in love in three stages. Each involving a different set of chemicals.

Three Stages of Falling in Love

Three Stages of Falling in Love

Stage 1: Lust

Lust is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone is not confined only to men. It has also been shown to play a major role in the sex drive of women. These hormones as Helen Fisher says “get you out looking for anything”.

Stage 2: Attraction

This is the truly love-struck phase. When people fall in love they can think of nothing else. They might even lose their appetite and need less sleep, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover.

In the attraction stage, a group of neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ play an important role:
— Dopamine – Also activated by cocaine and nicotine.
— Norepinephrine – Otherwise known as adrenalin. Starts us sweating and gets the heart racing.
— Serotonin – One of love’s most important chemicals and one that may actually send us temporarily insane.

Stage 3: Attachment

This is what takes over after the attraction stage, if a relationship is going to last. People couldn’t possibly stay in the attraction stage forever, otherwise they’d never get any work done!

Attachment is a longer lasting commitment and is the bond that keeps couples together when they go on to have children. Important in this stage are two hormones released by the nervous system, which are thought to play a role in social attachments:

— Oxytocin – This is released by the hypothalamus gland during child birth and also helps the breast express milk. It helps cement the strong bond between mother and child. It is also released by both sexes during orgasm and it is thought that it promotes bonding when adults are intimate. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.

— Vasopressin – Another important chemical in the long-term commitment stage. It is an important controller of the kidney and its role in long-term relationships was discovered when scientists looked at the prairie vole.

The frisky Prairie Vole

In prairie vole society, sex is the prelude to a long-term pair bonding of a male and female. Prairie voles indulge in far more sex than is strictly necessary for the purposes of reproduction.

It was thought that the two hormones, vasopressin and oxytocin, released after mating, could forge this bond. In an experiment, male prairie voles were given a drug that suppresses the effect of vasopressin. The bond with their partner deteriorated immediately as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors.

Looking in their genes

When it comes to choosing a partner, are we at the mercy of our subconscious? Researchers studying the science of attraction draw on evolutionary theory to explain the way humans pick partners.

It is to our advantage to mate with somebody with the best possible genes. These will then be passed on to our children, ensuring that we have healthy kids, who will pass our own genes on for generations to come.

When we look at a potential mate, we are assessing whether we would like our children to have their genes. There are two ways of doing this that are currently being studied, (to find out more click on the links): pheromones and appearance.

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Removing Comfort Zone for Lazy Man

Removing Comfort Zone for Lazy Man

One of the biggest criticisms of men is that they are lazy, they get too complacent, far too comfortable, especially in relationships. They think they have got you and think they can keep you with the minimal amount of effort. And to be honest, they often manage it. Why? Because you let them. By the time you have woken up to the fact that your new man is not trying, its often too late to change things, or him. You can of course leave him and often you do, but only after your man has wasted months of your relationships time.

So why does it happen in the first place? Well men are designed like hunters. They like hunting, generally in packs and sometimes alone. Either way, they are doing the chasing for women like you. The problem arrives like a bolt of lightening when they wake up one day with you beside them and realize that they have got you and you appear content. Appear being the operative word. They are in a relationship with you and the chasing has stopped (or so they think). Take away a man’s raison d’être and what have you got, a lazy man.

Remember that I blamed you. Well of course that’s only partially true. But the fact is, if you don’t keep your man standing on quicksand, he will lay down and go to sleep. As a man likes to chase, he likes to feel he has achieved greatness by achieving you as his girlfriend. Once he has done that he will proudly display his trophy and be content. He will set about creating his idea of perfect domestic bliss and being loved-up you will go along with it. What you may not realize is that you are putting up with a lot of crap along the way in the early stages. You may well know it , but unless you have kept him in check some ground rules may have been set. To become his mother is not the path to relationship heaven.

The question is, can you keep him on his toes. Can you keep him wanting you as if he was fighting for his life? Of course you can, you just need to do it that’s all. He is going to call you at work and ask what time you are home. He is going to make assumptions that you are doing some things he likes this weekend. He will assume you love spending your weekend with his nieces and nephews. You are going to let him do that? Of course not. You are going to make him worry. Unnecessarily of course because you love him. But this is for his and your own good before it is too late.

The path to relationship heaven with a man is to make him work for you, to date you, to want you, as if you were the only woman to walk the earth. You do that by changing his expectations and goalposts continually after you have become a couple. To settle in to domestic routine is to allow him to move into a comfort zone you will later regret. At first you may feel you want that too. You both want to be domesticated and fall into a routine. But then you will panic.

Who does the washing, cleaning and ironing ? Was it decided that you were the best at it? When you first met him, his shirts were perfectly laundered and you didn’t do them then. Who said you could cook better than him? Remember that perfect meal he made you on your third date? Where did those culinary skills go? Remember getting up at 6am to make you a surprise breakfast in bed, who said that had to stop? Little by little, you begin collecting his socks from the floor by the bed, you turn the TV off after he has fallen asleep on the sofa at 11pm. You pick him up from the bar after his regular night out with his buddies. And you blame him for getting comfortable? Okay , so it is time to do something about it.

You don’t need to change your man if you start early enough, because he is there for the molding. Men are starting to be aware that women implant ideas in their heads and let the guy take the credit but they are not yet generally advanced enough to make an issue of this. So plant away all you like. He will accept. The fact is, you need to ensure your man is never ever allowed to lay down flat in the comfort zone. Every now and again you have to stir things up and be as equal in ground rules from the very start, as he. Ignore this at your peril.

How many times have you heard men say, I only realized how much I love you after I lost you? That is because their comfort zone was rudely removed and they woke up. So your task is to not allow them to go to sleep in the first place. We all want a quiet life with no head games. We don’t need to play carefully constructed games as we get older? Ehm, I think you will find that you do. Nice games, but games that allow you to mature together before your relationship falls apart. You can be comfortable after 40 years of marriage in your dotage like your parents but to reach that point you better make sure that your man never takes you for granted. Not unless you want a life of unfulfillment.

Men will and do take their girls for granted because they are allowed to get away with it. By the same token, men love to chase their girls and feel huge pride in loving a real catch. To be the real catch you have to keep him fishing. And from time to time you need to get him to change the bait on his hook. Why would he look elsewhere at another women if he is constantly wanting and needing you? Let him take you for granted and watch what happens! So it is down to you to make that happen, to keep him chasing you. You could argue that you want a lazy life too and don’t want to get the man you love to stand on quicksand. Fair enough, the problem is you will realize all too late that you are not happy with your later situation and by then, maybe it’s too late.

To keep your man interested and chasing you may want to follow some of the tips here:

— Keep him out of his comfort zone by making rules early on, even if he doesn’t like them

— Make sure he realizes just how desirable you are to others
Never become lazy yourself

— Don’t be at his beck and call

— Ensure you retain your friends, interests, vacations and activities to a degree

— Never allow him to think you are reliant on him

— Keep some of your finances separate

— Don’t always return his phone calls

— Don’t allow him to know what you are thinking all the time

— Socialize without him occasionally

— All domestic duties are shared, no excuses

— Threaten to dump him occasionally

— Use all your womanly powers that you employ so well in the early stages of dating

— Change your mind about things occasionally and keep him guessing

— Ensure you retain male friends you had before

— Find his weak spots and use them when need be

— Do not run around after him

— Get him to do the laundry

— Go on vacation with your friends

A relationship is equal through and through. Let him get the upper hand and allow him to become too comfortable and he will abuse the situation. Just make sure you don’t allow it to happen in the first place.

Love Affair with a Married Man

Love Affair with a Married Man

Are you considering having a love affair with a married man? Before you do something you may regret, consider the pros and cons of having an affair. Regardless of your feelings about affairs, the fact is there are some benefits to cheating.

Sex

The most common reason people have an affair is for sex. Sometimes the affair is only about sex, while other times an emotional cheating relationship becomes physical. The married man may fulfill you in ways other men have not. He may also be more adventurous than your spouse or other men you have dated. Whatever the situation is, you are likely to have some great sex with a married man, even if most of the excitement comes from the possibility of being caught.

Excitement

One of the most exciting times in a relationship is at the beginning. Getting to know someone new and trying new activities together is a lot of fun. A long-term relationship may feel boring and stale in comparison. Even if you or your married lover has no plans of getting a divorce, the excitement of a new relationship may prove too hard to resist.

Love Affair with a Married Man

Emotional Fulfillment

Sometimes what causes a married man to have an affair is a need for emotional fulfillment. He may have grown apart from his wife over the years and wants to find someone whom understands him. If he also understands you as well, the satisfaction this brings will often be more fulfilling than sex.

Avoid Divorce

Some people think divorce is worse than having an affair. If you agree with that statement, then an affair could be seen as a way of saving a marriage.

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h3>What About The Downsides?

While there are several positive elements of having a love affair with a married man, the downsides are many and potentially devastating.

Getting Caught

The married man is putting his marriage at risk having an affair with you, and you risk the same if you are also married. You may not care about being caught, but your feelings may change if your spouse finds out and files for divorce. Sometimes we don’t realize what we have until we lose it.

Being caught involves more risks than just divorce. It can also ruin your career or your reputation. Even if you are single, you’ll still be labeled as ” the other woman” which can carry as much if not more negative stigmatism as the adulterous husband. You could lose friends and family support and your reputation in the city could be ruined as well.

He May Not Leave His Wife

Sometimes the hope of having a love affair is that he will leave his wife and marry you. This does happen in some cases. However, the majority of the time, the married man only wants to have an affair. Even if he says he loves you and plans to leave his wife, nothing is certain as long as he is still married.

Fantasy is Not Reality

Affairs often have a fantasy feel about them. The problem comes when you expect the fantasy to continue. Even if he does leave his wife and marries you, eventually the day-to-day realities of being married will replace the fantasy. In other words, getting what you want may turn out bad if what you really loved was the fantasy. In addition, in this scenario, your relationship will have been born out of cheating. Now that you are his wife, what’s to say he won’t start cheating on you?

Not Ultimately Fulfilling

If you are single and having a relationship with a married man, it will not be as fulfilling as dating a single guy. The relationship has to be secret, you can’t have your parents meet him and he will be in the arms and bed of another woman. Is that the kind of relationship you want?

Conclusion

Before you have an affair with a married man, carefully consider the good and bad elements. What may start as exciting might in the end cost you more than you were prepared to lose.

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Men just want to be accepted for who they are

Men just want to be accepted for who they are

I had a very interesting conversation with a male client of mine. We were discussing his challenges with his relationship. He told me that in his men’s circle (peer group), the common idea they have, is that they just want their spouse to accept them for who they are. They don’t want to be told what to do or how to do it; they just want to be accepted for who they are.

I asked him if he loves himself for who he really is? Perhaps his real challenge was his own self image. Did he truly accept himself, with his strengths and weaknesses?

Did his self-image include his yin/yang, his light and dark sides, his strengths and weaknesses? In his mind, was he instead supposed to be some kind of superhero without flaws, who therefore did not need any feedback on what he is doing? Was he holding a realistic image of himself or some super hero fantasy?

Working together, we saw that he did have the subconscious belief that as a man, he ‘should’ be super powerful and capable so that he could dominate the relationship. Consciously he did not want to dominate but subconsciously and culturally, he was supposed to be the dominant one. Therefore, whenever his spouse would ask for something that needed to be done or that he had overlooked… it meant that he was being criticized. It meant that he was not a dominant man, so he felt ‘attacked’ instead of seeing it as normal feedback between equals. Subconsciously, he felt that as a man, if he did not dominate, he would be weak and his spouse would leave him.

I think that as women it is easier to accept that we have both light and dark sides, strength and weaknesses. Why? Because it’s culturally accepted; we are not less of a woman if we have ‘weaknesses’. In contrast, in many cultures, you are less of a man if you have or show ‘weaknesses’.

I think that subconsciously as women, we are more comfortable accepting feedback or demands as it does not mean that we are less if we are shown what to do. One exception to this is when it comes to physical beauty or how to raise our children, as that targets what historically has made us ‘real women.’

For women, when we give feedback to our man and he does not follow it, we end up feeling that “he is a weakling or stupid” and that we will need to do “everything by ourselves.” This starts to create tension and challenges in relationships because her tone of voice changes. She sounds irritated when she asks something of her husband because “she knows” he will not do what needs to be done! That tone then kicks in his desire to stand his ground and avoid being dominated by her, which in his mind makes him less of a man. And…if he’s not a real man…she will leave him!

I think this is an amazing pattern that many of us get caught in and it creates romantic challenges.

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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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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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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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