Thursday, 15 March 2018

Finding Love: Why You Shouldn’t Give Up

When love has eluded you for so long that giving up seems like the only sensible thing to do—don’t. Here’s why:

“There’s a lid for every pot.” After a painful divorce, Christa fell into a deep depression. The man she married turned out to be abusive and unfaithful. When he finally left, he took with him her confidence that she would ever find a loving, loyal partner. “One day I visited my grandmother,” Christa recalled. “I was sitting in her kitchen feeling sorry for myself while she made dinner. She knew what I was thinking.”
Christa was suddenly jolted by an especially loud clatter as the old woman searched noisily through a cupboard of pots and pans. Finally, she emerged with an ancient-looking cast-iron lid and placed it gently atop a simmering sauce pan on the stove—a perfect fit. “Don’t worry yourself sick, darlin’,” she said to Christa with a wink and a smile. “In God’s kitchen, there is always a lid for every pot. You just have to patiently search for it.”
“I laughed out loud for the first time in ages,” Christa said. “She was right. It was pointless to think there is no one in the whole wide world who would be a good match for me.”
Finding Love
No matter how futile it feels, hope in finding love is never misplaced. A famous general was once asked the secret of his phenomenal success in battle. He replied, “I never retreated.” After a pause, his interviewer commented that this was difficult to believe. “Oh, I sometimes had to ‘advance to the rear,’ but I never ordered a retreat,” the general explained. Then his point became clear: Victory frequently depends upon refusing to accept the possibility of defeat. It matters what you say—and even what you think—about your life. Hopelessness, fed by negative attitudes and ideas, often becomes a self-fulfilling condition.
Don’t think you are a failure at relationships. Say you are training to succeed.
Don’t complain there is no one for you. Say you are searching for a gem of exceptionally rare quality. Don’t consider your time alone as wasted. Say that you are improving yourself so you’ll be an irresistible catch for an irresistible partner.
Clinging to hope isn’t mere wishful thinking. It literally helps create the conditions you need for success. Giving up guarantees failure. Any coach of any sports team knows that the surest way to lose a game is to not show up. Similarly, what are the chances of a tennis player winning the championship if she doesn’t enter the tournament? Or a job applicant getting the prized position if he doesn’t arrive for the scheduled interview? That’s right—zero!
Simply put, there’s no reason you can’t find the love of your life if you hang in there, keep going, and stay persistent. If you want to dramatically increase your chances of “winning” a wonderful partner, start by deciding to never give up.
If you’ve been burned by relationships that went sour, if you’ve grown weary of dates that lead nowhere, if you’re tired of being disappointed, realize that you are not alone. And most of all, resist the temptation to give in to hopelessness. Believe the best about yourself, and then always believe that a delightful partner is searching for you, too.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

8 Reasons Your Online Messages Aren’t Resulting in Dates

There is no denying that it takes true effort to turn online dating messages into face-to-face dates. This process involves opening up, keeping a conversation going (and interesting), asking solid, engaging questions, and having the courage to ask someone out (or say yes). Most importantly, though, getting a date means the person you are talking to must connect with you in some way.
For many online daters, the course from online messages to actual dating has become a mindless, thoughtless experience, an anxiety-provoking adventure, or an incredibly confusing process. It’s natural to be left wondering what went wrong if messaging appears to be going well and the person you are talking to suddenly goes MIA. Was it something you said (or didn’t say)? Is the other person dealing with some baggage or external life event that has nothing to do with you? Could you have done anything differently to ensure the initial spark or level of interest didn’t fizzle? While you don’t have complete control, you can increase your probability of building a connection by ensuring you are sending high-quality messages and avoiding the eight messaging traps below.
Here are eight reasons your messages may not be resulting in dates:
1. You sound cynical or negative.
While it’s smart to be real and you are allowed to state your thoughts on unpleasant weather, for example, sounding like a Debbie Downer interferes with making a positive first impression. Sounding cynical, depressing, or negative deters potential partners from wanting to get to know you as they are likely to assume you won’t add anything positive to their lives and therefore, don’t see the point of getting to know you. Stay away from complaining about life stresses, such as traffic, illness, work, family, politics, and random disappointments in your messages. Keep your tone upbeat and don’t use messages as a platform to air grievances about your life or the world.
2. You are using messages with new potential partners to trash an ex, complain about your dating life, or ask about their online dating experiences.
It can be tempting to bond with a potential partner over the misery you both may feel being single, or the roller coaster nature of online dating, but this is not a healthy foundation to a relationship. Although these topics may seem to be positive for bonding and creating commonalities at first, it’s your best bet to steer clear of any past relationship talk or negativity around your singlehood. Badmouthing an ex or previous date reflects poorly on you, especially in the early stages of messaging or dating when you are still pretty much strangers.
3. You come off as judgmental or insulting.
If you are using snarky humor or cracking jokes early on without a trusting, solid bond, you are likely to come off as offensive and mean-spirited. Or maybe you turn someone off by responding with a comment that sounds more judgmental than validating. Technology can also blur your intentions and lead to misinterpretation if you aren’t careful. For example, you may believe you are giving a compliment, but if you need to type “I hope I didn’t insult you” at any point in your message, it’s a sign you need to rethink your words and make sure you are being kind and open-minded. It is also insulting to reference sex, overly comment on physical appearance, or make judgments about someone based on the little bit of information an online dating profile provides. Instead of being a total jokester or making assumptions or statements as if you know someone, ask questions with curiosity and interest.
4. You are trying too hard to sell yourself, which makes you appear arrogant or desperate.
It’s natural to want to be liked and understood, but too much selling can do the opposite. Using a phrase like, “I am intelligent, successful, handsome, and generous, but you’ll see this for yourself,” is a no-no. Remember there is a difference between sharing your strengths, accomplishments, and personality traits and bragging, boasting, and announcing your successes in a grandiose or snobby way. If your messages sound more like a sales pitch, suspicious, or disingenuous, you are likely to lose dates.
5. Your messages are way too long and overwhelming for the other person to read and respond to.
While it’s positive you are open to communicating and sharing as the means to getting to know someone, sending messages that read like chapters in a novel or ramble on and on, can lead to a lack of replies. These types of messages can scare off a potential partner or leave them wondering how to respond, especially if there is too much information, oversharing, or numerous questions within one message. Aim to be short and sweet and remind yourself that you don’t have to be overly detailed or share your entire life story. Let the connection grow over time. Think layers!
6. You are barely giving the other person anything to relate to or respond to.
If the person you are messaging with is doing all of the work to keep the connection going, they are likely to give up. They might assume you are not interested, ready, or available or purely be exhausted from attempting to get to know you. It’s important to actively engage and ensure you are not making the other person feel like they are pulling teeth to get you to communicate. If you are shy or reserved, it’s better to be upfront and honest about that than to barely give anything in return without explanation. It’s okay to take your time, but also make sure you are actively participating and pushing yourself to be open and communicative.
7. You make scheduling a date with you way too difficult.
Often I hear clients complain when they hit it off with someone online and then ask for a date and the person says yes, but then makes the logistics nearly impossible to coordinate. Or the person doesn’t give a definite yes, but also doesn’t say no, and just ignores the question altogether. This creates mixed messages, confusion, and is likely to cause a potential connection to fizzle. If you want to go on a date, be willing to show motivation and to help plan something, as well as clearly say yes or be honest about your needs (examples — wanting to schedule a phone call first or spend more time over messaging).
8. You are using generic messages or sending identical messages to multiple people.
If the person you’re chatting with feels you simply copied-and-pasted messages, with little effort on your part, it is unlikely you will get a reply. Instead grab his or her attention with a unique subject line that signals you actually read their profile. Also, be aware that friends may compare online dating messages and even consider dating the same person without initially realizing it, so there’s a good chance you will get caught for sending generic messages in big batches. Do your best to make a genuine effort, get comfortable starting conversations about diverse topics, and lead with what you connected to in an individual profile instead of a cookie-cutter message that reads like spam.
Each time you draft a message and before you hit send, reread it to check your energy, tone, language, length, communication style, openness, etc. and assess how your message may feel to the person receiving it. By avoiding the common explanations for not getting dates listed above, you can take control of your part in getting messages and replies, leading to more dates with your ideal matches.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

15 Ways to Get a Closed-Off Person to Open Up

You’ve heard it said many times that communication is crucial for good relationships. Few people would disagree that open, honest communication is important—but that doesn’t mean everyone is willing or able to talk effectively.

So what happens when your friend or love isn’t open and you’re having trouble coaxing the words out? Try these strategies:
1. If this person is a clam, don’t be a crowbar. In other words, prying someone open usually doesn’t work. It will get you nowhere to demand, plead, or threaten. A gentler approach will get you much further.
2. Realize that for many people, being open is scary. Closed-off people are convinced that being vulnerable invites judgment or rejection.
3. Create a safe environment. Getting someone to open up has everything to do with that person feeling safe and secure.
4. Understand that some closed-off people have hidden wounds. A difficult upbringing or past romantic disasters may have contributed to the fear of being open.
5. Recognize that everyone is wired differently. Each person falls somewhere on the continuum of extrovert and introvert, guarded and transparent. This doesn’t mean that someone naturally closed off can’t learn to open up—but it helps for you to understand that person’s basic temperament.
6. Be an ally, not an adversary. It can be frustrating when someone you love refuses to open up to you. Don’t let frustration become another barrier.
7. Express what openness means to you. Say something like, “Our relationship is so important to me. I want to us to have the closest relationship possible.”
8. Take time for togetherness. Many people need time—lots of it—to feel the freedom to open up.
9. Know that nagging will get you nowhere. When we see someone we love struggling to open up, we want to help—and that desire to help can sometimes cause us to nag and nudge. Doing so will only leave you both frustrated.
10. Set the tone. Make sure the context and conditions are right for open communication.
11. Emphasize empathy. Convey to this person that you “get” what he’s saying and you identify with his feelings.
12. Be a “role model.” Verbalize your own thoughts and feelings, and then allow plenty of space for them to do the same.
13. Accentuate affirmation. Any time he or she makes the effort to be transparent with you, make sure y
14. Meet halfway. It’s not realistic or fair to expect anyone to immediately move from closed to totally open. Be satisfied with small steps forward.
15. Employ all of your listening skills. No one is going to be open with you unless he knows he has your full and undivided attention.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Finding Love: 15 Behaviors to Guide You There

Your ability to stay aligned with your goal of a healthy relationship is bound to be put to the test as you navigate the highs and lows of dating. There are times when you may feel the urge to give up, crawl up on your sofa, and never date again. You could feel rejected and let down when someone you like doesn’t feel the same. You will also feel the adrenaline pumping when you meet someone new, and actually hit it off. In a nutshell, dating will test your capacity to stay present, be confident, handle anxiety, be vulnerable, and be patient.

Knowing deep down you want love and companionship, but feeling burnt out by what it takes to attain your dating goals, commonly presents an internal conflict for most single individuals. When in doubt about what to do, remind yourself you don’t have to make any major, rigid or permanent decisions on whether to give up on dating, and acknowledge that it’s natural to feel confusion and impatience when things aren’t clicking in the ways you had hoped.
If you are going to make the commitment to put yourself out there, it is important to approach your love life with a healthy and reality-based mindset and not give up prematurely. It’s about tweaking beliefs and behaviors that may interfere with dating. It’s also essential to grasp what it really means and what it ultimately takes to create the relationship of your dreams.
Below are 15 signs you are approaching dating with a healthy mindset and acting in ways that promote connection.
1. You allow yourself to take breaks from dating when necessary, but don’t give up on your relationship goals. This means having control of your impulses, and refusing to give in to urges to quit online dating after a few bad dates.
2. You do more than simply show up for dates. You engage, share, contribute, try and be present. I like to tell my clients they can go on 100 dates, but if they are not present, open and emotionally available, forming a connection will be nearly impossible.
3. You give potential partners a true chance. This may mean you go on multiple dates with the same person (even when the first date wasn’t a perfect 10) and you give yourself time to figure out how you feel about someone by taking the opportunity to get to know them better. Remind yourself you don’t have to rush to decisions.
4. You take emotional risks and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Believing being vulnerable is weak is a problematic perception. In fact, love, connection and intimacy are all based on vulnerability. Bonus: you understand that being vulnerable does not mean oversharing or moving too quickly. It is about developing trust over time.
5. You believe in authenticity. You don’t hide who you are, disown the qualities you aren’t proud of, or change who you are based on someone else’s wishes.
6. You work on yourself and participate in self-discovery and reflection. You remain open to learning about yourself as you date. You reflect on what’s working well for you and what needs improvement without shaming or judging yourself. You are willing to learn from your hardships and miserable dating experiences.
7. You are clear on the type of partner you hope to attract and the kind of relationship you aim to create. While you are open-minded about your dating life, you have a strong sense of your desires and goals.
8. You heal dysfunctional patterns and old relationship wounds so you don’t repeat them. You own it and let go of blaming others for your own life circumstances. Also, you are willing to say goodbye to and end relationships with toxic people.
9. You believe in love. While you may be persuaded otherwise, if you want love, you must believe it exists.
10. You focus on feeling deserving of love even when your mind tries to convince you otherwise. If you can’t think of ten things you have to offer to a partner, start a list right now and let it grow as you reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, personality traits and values. Long story short — be confident and believe in your worthiness.
11. You ditch protective behaviors, such as playing games or drinking too much on dates. When you like someone, you go for it even though it’s scary and anxiety-producing.
12. You understand dating is more than just picking the next person to ask out or profile to message. It’s about intention and deliberate action that is in line with what you are looking for.
13. You put your happiness in your own hands. You give your power away when you wait for someone else to bring you joy and make you feel good about yourself. Always validate yourself, create the life you want in this moment, and treat yourself with kindness regardless of your relationship status!
14. You try multiple dating methods to see what works best for your personality and relationship goals, as well as meet a wide range of like-minded singles.
15. You understand love is a choice and an action (not just a feeling). It is something that grows and shifts through continued efforts and nurturance.
By using the fifteen points above as an assessment tool for how you are currently approaching dating, you can ensure you are tackling your dating life with thoughts and behaviors aligned with love.

Saturday, 27 January 2018


Romance is at the heart of any dating experience. If you don't consider yourself romantic then you are wrong. I don't know of anyone on this planet who doesn't have the ability to fall in love. Therefore if you can fall in love, you can be romantic too. Romance is not in the grand gestures , it is in the small details. Women will often say that it is the small things that matter. The small gestures but it is down to both men and women to start being romantic. It is a two-way process and both parties get an immense amount of pleasure from showing they care about someone. Yes we would all love to have a romantic picnic on a deserted Caribbean beach with the person of our dreams but romance begins closer to home with tips such as these:
Understand what romance means and why it is important and learn what romantic aspects there are to your own character. No one has a heart made of stone, however tough their exterior.
Understand that romance is not the sole domain of women and that men who are romantic are far more successful when dating
Romance has nothing whatsoever to do with masculinity. In fact, being romantic can enhance your masculinity and reputation with girls.
Not all women are naturally romantic either but that doesn't have to be the case.
The key to being romantic is thoughtfulness. So start being a little less thoughtless and selfish.
Communicate with your partner on every level and anticipate their desires and needs.
Look at your partner when they are talking and hold their gaze
Learn that mood, location, situation and ambience can heighten romance with dramatic effect
Phone just to say hello, I love you and surprise your partner
Learn to say, I love you and mean it. Don't say it ever, if you don't mean it
Send them notes and small cards telling them you are thinking of them
Be spontaneous and do little deeds that show you are thinking about them
Start going for walks together, whatever the weather
Put your partner first, particularly as a surprise with a spontaneous trip away
Think creatively and plan a surprise weekend away
Buy flowers any time of the year, nice ones not just roses
Remember birthdays, anniversaries and landmark days such as the day you first met and plan something
Listen to the clues your partner gives you, such as things they like and books they read and buy little gifts
Keep being romantic. In a good relationship, romance never ends
Compromise. Putting yourself first is not romantic.
Write him/her a letter and let them know that you love them and you mean it. People send far few letters these days. Use good quality stationery too.
Watch romantic movies together and invest quality time doing the things you share and both enjoy
Make cards rather than buying them. It shows thought and inspiration.
Take your partner on a picnic to the park or beach and prepare in advance without involving them. Initiative illustrates romance nicely
Don't be a cold fish. Learn how to hug, cuddle and make physical contact. Touching without sex is far more romantic but don't always hug without kissing!
Kiss your date and learn to appreciate the finer qualities of kissing for its own sake
Dance together when the occasion arises and show them special attention
Hold hands and do anything make your partner feel close to you
Hold and hug your partner in bed, especially after sex
Talk chat and converse about anything and everything
Allow your partner to breathe and do separate things to heighten the sense of romance when you are together
If you don't cook dinner for your date, start learning my friend. A surprise dinner with candles is romantic
Buy small gifts spontaneously that show great thought in what they enjoy. But not too many otherwise it has the opposite effect
Remember that romance is often about giving of yourself, even if it is simply your precious time when you could have had other plans. Making your partner a priority is vital
Do things that make you both laugh. Laughter and romance go hand in hand
Remember that romance is in the small details and does not need to be expensive in any way. I'd rather receive a handmade card any day than an expensive gift
Anticipate your partner's wishes and desires to show them you are listening to them and that you care
Expect rightfully that romance is a two-way process though the romance you provide is simply giving of yourself.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Women on Dating Apps Want Love, Not Hookups

She might be seeking something more serious than you think, a new survey finds

Dating apps like Tinder are supposed to make meeting women—and getting laid—easier than ever, but according to a new survey, there’s a good chance your match might be looking for love instead of lust.
To get to the bottom of how technology has really shaped our sex lives, Clue—a health app for women—teamed up with the sex researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute. The duo surveyed 140,000 people (96 percent of whom were women) in 198 countries about how apps and other forms of tech have impacted their sex lives, health, and relationships.
The researchers found that 34 percent of Americans have used apps to find sexual or romantic partners—but casual hookups aren’t the only type of relationship women are seeking. Of all the people surveyed, 15 percent reported using apps to find a partner, compared to only 10 percent looking for one-night stands.
When you break the results down to just American respondents, 36 percent of people said they were looking for either a short or long term relationship, 11 percent were cool with one-night stands, and 9 percent wanted to find regular sex with no romantic connection.
The least desired relationship? Friends with benefits.
Ironically, men are much more likely to use dating apps to improve their sexual relationships, the survey found.
Now, clearly some women are looking for casual sex when they’re swiping right. It’s up to you to find out if she wants something more. Bottom line? Don’t immediately expect sex on the first date because you met through an app.
That’s assuming you land a date in the first place. Can’t seem to score a one-on-one? Here’s why she’s not messaging you back on Tinder—and what you can do about it.

Friday, 5 January 2018

5 Scientific Reasons to Sleep Butt Naked

Most people are missing out on these health benefits

Only 12 percent of Americans sleep naked, according to a recent poll from the National Sleep Foundation. But that’s a damn shame. Not only does nighttime nudity feel awesome, it’s also good for your health. Here are 5 great reasons to let it all hang out tonight.
You’ll sleep better
Shedding your threads before tucking in will help you snooze more soundly, says Men’s Health sleep advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D. Your body temperature declines as you doze and climbs before you wake up, but clothing can interfere with this natural fluctuation, Dr. Winter says. The extra insulation can make you too hot as your temperature drops, leading to tossing and turning and waking up sweaty in the middle of the night. Nix the PJs and allow your body temperature to ebb and flow uninterrupted, Dr. Winter says.
You’ll ignite your metabolism
Staying cool throughout the night may help rev your metabolism, according to a 2014 study in the journal Diabetes. Researchers found that when people slept in a chilly room, they produced double the volume of brown fat—a healthy fat stored in your neck that burns calories to generate body heat—compared to when they slept in a warmer room. Keeping your body temperature lower by sleeping nude could produce the same effect, says study author Francesco S. Celi, M.D.
You’ll protect your testicles
Sleeping in your underwear increases the odds that you’ll get an infection in the worst possible place, says Brian Steixner, M.D., a urologist based in Atlantic City, N.J. Your drawers keep heat and moisture in—and bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, says Dr. Steixner. More bacteria makes for a higher likelihood that any chaffed or irritated skin down there becomes infected, he says. Skip your skivvies to keep your balls cleaner, drier, and healthier.
You’ll nurture your sperm
Your scrotum needs to be just the right temperature in order to optimize sperm production, says Dr. Steixner. That perfect temperature: 95 to 96 degrees, just slightly cooler than the rest of your body. When your testicles are too warm, your sperm quality suffers, according to a Finnish study that tested the semen of men who used saunas. Even tight underwear can be enough to raise your sack’s temperature above the optimum level, Dr. Steixner says. So for the sake of your future children, consider freeballing.
You’ll get closer to your partner
Skin-on-skin contact with another person triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin in your brain, according to Swedish researchers. The chemical reduces stress, makes you feel more connected to your partner, and increases your sex drive, the scientists say. And let’s state the obvious: Brushing up against each other naked in bed often leads to good things.