Follow These 4 Tips To Change Your Dating Game

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Dating advice tends to fall into two categories: mostly terrible and completely heinous. It's Cosmo giving women bogus tips on how to trap a man or pompous pick up artists telling men how to seduce a woman. Either way, everyone loses.

But every once in a while, beneath the steaming garbage heap of trash dating tips, there are a few nuggets of genuine wisdom. They aren't about how to dress sexy or charm a date with pre-planned pickup lines. In fact, they aren't really about your dates at all. They're about you.

Changing your dating life means changing the way you approach dating. When you adjust your actions, mindset and expectations, you can totally transform your dating game. Follow these four tips to give it a complete overhaul:

Be willing to work for it. We cling to the idea that love is supposed to find us suddenly and sweep us off our feet. It's a romantic notion, but utterly impractical. Relationships don't just happen – you have to work for it, just like you put work into your career. Make dating a priority. Meet new people. Go outside of your comfort zone. It's the best way to increase your odds of finding someone you really click with.

Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by their profile. Just because everyone's trying online dating doesn't mean they're any good at it. Some people are awful writers and aren't photogenic, but they're great dates when you meet them in person. Other people nail the profile but don't live up to it face to face. Ultimately, a good profile only means that you're good at writing profiles. The only way to really get to know someone is to do it in person.

Focus on how someone makes you feel. It's impossible to date without judging. In a way, that's what dating is about – evaluating people to determine if they're a potential partner. Just make sure you're judging the right thing. Picking apart someone's clothes or hairline is superficial. Instead, focus on how they make you feel. Are you comfortable? Are you happy? Do you feel like the best version of yourself when you're around them? Those are the things that really matter.

Get used to taking risks. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” is a tired cliché, but it's 100 percent applicable to your love life. Dating means taking risks, unless you're willing to settle for whatever accidentally comes your way. Guys, approach someone even if you think they're out of your league. Ladies, start approaching men if you've always been the approach-ee. You'll begin meeting better quality partners when you put yourself out there and go after what you really want.

How To Meet People When You're Tired Of Online Dating

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You love chocolate, but even chocolate would be boring if you ate it every day.

You started online dating with a mix of nervousness and excitement. At first it took up all of your free time. Every spare second was spent swiping or sending winks. Nothing compared to the rush of meeting someone for the first time and even if the date was a disaster, you could write it off as a funny story from your online dating days.

But eventually, even the most serious swipers get tired of Tinder. OkCupid's questions don't seem so fun anymore. eHarmony feels anything but harmonious. Online dating burnout is a real phenomenon, and when you find yourself with a diagnosed case, it's time to switch up your routine.

There's just one problem: do you even remember how to meet people anymore? Once you get used to signing in with a username, it's hard to imagine how singles met in quainter, less tech-savvy times.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, to a scary new dating site called The Real World. Here's how to meet people face to face when you've put your digital dating service on time out:

  • Reach out to your social network. There was a time when “social network” meant the friends you actually know in real life, not the ones you pretend to know on Instagram. Be open with your friends and family about your interest in meeting new people. As the people who know you best, they may be able to make introductions you're actually interested in.
  • Say yes to social invitations. It's easy to say no. Pajamas are comfortable, ice cream is delicious, and Netflix is addictive. But if you really want to meet new people, you have to put yourself where people are. Attend weddings, reunions, birthday parties and any other social gatherings you're invited to.
  • Check out local events. Visit museumes, wander through art galleries, see live music – explore the local culture. Not only does it get you out and about where you might meet a potential date, it also gives you a greater appreciation for the city you call home. You may even find the perfect location for your next date.
  • Join a club, group, or professional organization. This is the easiest way to meet somone who shares your interests or goals. And since we all know that's key to a successful relationship, you already have a jumpstart on getting it right. Taking classes is another great way to meet someone with shared interests while building your skill set.

Whatever you do, remember this important rule: put down the device. You won't meet anyone if your face is glued to a screen.

Afraid of Messing Things Up with your New Love?

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I have to admit, when I was single and dating, it was much less stressful to go on a bad date rather than have a good date with a guy who had potential. The reason? I didn’t trust myself enough to think that I knew what I was doing; that I could somehow convince him to like me enough to stay.

It sounds needy when I write about it, but when you have been on several dates with someone and really feel the relationship could be going somewhere, it’s terrifying. Should you just be yourself, and run the risk of scaring him off? Or do you consider everything he could possibily be thinking (and therefore drive yourself nuts trying to change)? Or should you play it cool, and avoid showing him you really care because you might not be on the same page (and that would just be too embarrassing)?

Here is the assumption: dating is a bit of a dance. In the beginning, we are always up for trying new things (Star Wars marathon, scuba diving, or playing baseball – sure why not??). We do feel more adventurous when we are sexually excited by our date. We want him to know we are fun, cool, exciting and mysterious – all those things The Rules taught us - lurking in the backs of our minds.

The truth is, your true selves will emerge sooner or later, so it’s time to get comfortable with the fact that no matter what, you will make mistakes. But here's the good part: you can’t really "mess things up." If he’s truly the one, you will know that he is interested. You won’t have to try so hard to get him to like you. There won’t be mixed messages. He will go out of his way to let you know he's interested - despite your embarrassing moments.

The thing about guys is – when they want a woman, they pursue her. Even the ones who claim to be commitment-phobes. If you are afraid you will come across as goofy, nerdy, not attractive enough, or somehow unlovable when your guy is really interested in you – stop. If he is the right one for you, he won’t care about that time you spilled ice cream down the front of his shirt, or drank a little too much, or kept going on and on about your work conference. He will be much more interested in you, not your quirks or mistakes. In fact, he probably finds them endearing.

Most importantly, you won’t be chasing him, or wondering what he thinks, or second-guessing yourself at every turn. So instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, it’s time to just enjoy dating him.


Healing After a Break-Up

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The end of a significant relationship can really take its toll on your overall well-being. It’s hard to move past the depression and heartache, and we often find ourselves indulging – whether it’s binge-watching TV shows, eating poorly, drinking too much or having sex.

We all find different ways to comfort ourselves, but eventually, we know we must move past the heartache and deal with our pain. Part of the process of grieving past relationships is understanding the relationship itself, what you learned, and finding a way each day to move past the hurt – bit by bit.

Following are some ways to start the healing process post-breakup:

Nurture yourself. There’s no time like the present to start taking care of yourself. Book a massage – the power of touch is underestimated, and a very valuable part of the healing process. Take a relaxing bath. Meditate. Do things that help you replenish your energy – you need to recharge your emotional battery.

Get exercise. There’s something about the power of endorphins. I never liked running, but when I started, while it was difficult at first, the payoff of feeling wonderful was too big a reward. You feel better, you gain a little more optimism, and you have something to look forward to each day, rather than wasting away on your couch. Try walking, or a Zumba class, or whatever floats your boat. Any type of exercise is helpful to healing.

Enlist the support of friends. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help – likely they want to support you but don’t know the best way. Let them know you want to go out for dinner – don’t just hole up in your apartment until you are ready to socialize again. Talk about your break-up, and ask them about their lives, too. Friendships are invaluable during these difficult periods in our lives.

Find a new hobby. It might sound cliché, but learning a new sport or craft, or really investing time in a hobby that you love does wonders for your healing. For one thing, you can be completely in the moment when you are trying to learn something new, which takes you out of your grief. Another plus – it could lead to a new passion.

Venture into a new routine.  Instead of frequenting the restaurants or coffee shops you went to with your ex, drive to a new neighborhood and try something new. Introduce yourself to a neighbor you never really spoke to before. Try a morning jog instead of going out for coffee before work. Mixing things up is soothing medicine for the soul.

What are your Dating Deal Breakers?

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All of us have our own personal lists of dating “deal-breakers.” If you’ve been on a date recently, chances are you’ve encountered someone who did something you can’t accept – whether it’s spitting his food when he talked or grabbing your leg under the table – or maybe she lied about her weight in her online dating profile.

Some of these things are upsetting, and when they happen more than once, they can become dating deal-breakers.

Deal-breakers vary for all of us, but usually have to do with a lack of respect or consideration for the other person. We don’t like being lied to, talked down to, having our dates assume we are “DTF,” or any of an array of bad behaviors.

Details magazine recently polled fifteen women to find out their dating deal-breakers, and most shared a very specific experience that they are sure never to repeat. Sometimes, one person’s actions can leave such a bad impression that they become the benchmark for what you don’t want in a date.

It’s good to remind ourselves of what some typical deal breakers are when it comes to dating – so we can demand better behavior of our dates. It’s great to keep an open mind about everyone, but it’s also important to balance this with respecting yourself, your time, and your emotions.

Following are a few red flags to watch out for that you can consider dating deal-breakers:

She’s rude to waitstaff/ valet/ etc. If she refuses to tip the valet, gets testy with your waiter, or otherwise treats people in a rude or dismissive manner, this is a huge red flag. There’s no need to spend your time with someone who doesn’t see people as equals.

He leaves you hanging. Does he text you last minute only to cancel? Does he show up late every time you’re supposed to meet? Does he neglect to text or call? If he’s flaky, it’s not because he’s too busy, it’s because he is disrespectful on your time. Move on.

He is aggressive sexually. If he grabs your leg, your backside or other body part without your permission or against your wishes - or if he presses you for sexual favors when you’re not ready or not interested, walk away.

She talks a lot about the ex. Take the hint – if she’s not thinking about you on the date and talking about her ex, chances are she’s still hung up on him, even if her ex makes her angry. A date isn’t a therapy session, or a walk down memory lane. Time to go.

She is critical. Does she tell you what you should order, how you should dress, or what she expects? Nobody should be so controlling or demanding, especially when you’re just dating. If she makes you feel “less than,” run the other way – that’s a deal-breaker.

5 Things to Savor While You’re Single

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Have you been single for a while? Do you date hoping to meet someone special - because you crave the companionship, the support, the life shared together?

All of these things are wonderful. Having a relationship is a great goal for your life. But the truth is, there are times when even the people who are happily committed want a little space and freedom from the demands of the relationship. It’s important when you are single to keep some perspective, so you don’t fall into a mode of self-pity. In reality, there are positives and negatives to both – being single and being part of a couple.

It’s time to focus on the positive aspects of being single – and what many people in relationships wish they could have:

You can book a last-minute trip. Anywhere. This is an amazing perk of being single – you are completely in charge of your time and your budget, so if travel is your priority and you don’t have to consult with a partner, then it’s really easy to say yes to those last-minute trips. Or that European vacation. Take advantage now, because that kind of freedom is not quite as easy to pull off in a relationship, especially if you decide to start a family.

You don’t have to share your calendar. Do you want a weekend getaway with the girls? When you are partnered up, you might have to spend that weekend with your in-laws or at your boyfriend’s cousin’s graduation instead. Family time obligations are doubled when you are with a partner, as well as dealing with two different sets of social obligations. You will be busy doing things you don’t always want to do when you are part of a couple, so enjoy setting your own schedule now.

You can spend your weekend however you want. If you want to spend all day shopping, or having a leisurely brunch with your girlfriends, or play poker with your buddies, go for it. There’s nothing stopping you.

The only habits you deal with our your own. Do you like the dishes to be put away before you leave the house? Are you kind of a slob who leaves your shoes and clothes everywhere? No matter your habits, good or bad, clean or messy, your partner will likely have different ones. Enjoy doing things your way now without compromise or consideration - it won’t last forever.

Eating whatever (and whenever) you want. If you like to eat cereal for dinner while you binge-watch Mr. Robot at 10:00 at night, you can without hassle or regret. If you want ice cream for lunch and you don't have to worry about making something for your partner, go for it. You won’t always have this kind of freedom and ability when you are partnered up.

Enjoy the single life – embrace the present!