5 New Fall Date Ideas

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Where has the year gone? Summer might have blown by fast, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to get your date on before the holiday season. Autumn is a great time for pursuing love, or maybe just meeting some new people. There’s a chill in the air, the nights are longer, and there’s more than enough pumpkin spice to go around.

So for your next Tinder date, maybe it's time to venture outside the coffee shop and get a little more creative. Check out these fall date ideas:

Halloween Costume Shopping. Stores start decorating for Christmas in August, so why not begin thinking about your Halloween costume in September? Take your date to some local costume shops and go through the racks together. Try on a costume or two if you are feeling brave. There's something cool and sexy about Halloween, of course! If you enjoy each other’s company, you can talk about your Halloween plans without feeling pressure.

County Fairs. This is the time of year for fairs in your city, so harken back to your childhood and bring your date along for some rides, games, and carnival treats. Deep friend Snickers? Check. Deep fried pickles? Check. Great date night? Check.

Haunted houses, rides…haunted anything. Okay, maybe I’m a little too focused on Halloween, but only because it’s a holiday that’s filled with so much creative potential. There are countless events centered around ghosts and ghouls – including haunted houses, haunted hay rides, and even haunted theme parks if you live in major cities. These are great places to wander with a date and get you in the holiday spirit.

Star gazing. Fall is a good time of year since the skies are clear for the most part, but the weather isn’t yet brutally cold, making it an ideal time for star gazing. If you live in a crowded city, it’s a good time to take a little trip to the city limits to an observatory or park where you can bring a picnic and bottle of wine, along with a few blankets. Cheers!

Volunteer. In California, the state-wide beach clean-up is usually in late September, after the crowds of summer have gone. Likewise with the national parks looking to nurture the habitat once the crowds have dispersed. If you want to lend a helping hand to preserve natural areas, it can make for a great date, too. Invite your date to a beach clean-up or other environmentally conscious activity, followed by a coffee or drinks. If that's not your thing, try lending your time to a local soup kitchen or food bank. Get into the holiday spirit by giving back.

6 Signs A Breakup Is In Your Future

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Sometimes an impending breakup is as obvious as Donald Trump's comb over. Other times it creeps up slowly, leaving you in a long period of uncertainty and doubt.

Should you give it a chance? Maybe if you hang in there, things will get better.

Should you move on? Maybe it's better to end sooner rather than later. Why waste precious time and energy on something you know is doomed?

Here are five signs it's time to seek out new prospects.

The same nagging concerns keep coming up. It's not only natural to ask questions about a relationship, it's healthy. All relationships must be evaluated at critical steps in order to determine long-term suitability. But if the same questions and concerns keep popping up, they're probably trying to tell you something. Take them seriously.

You don't feel free to be yourself. A relationship can only reach its full potential if both partners are completely authentic. If you do not feel free to express your true self, or your partner does not, the relationship will never be satisfying. Instead you'll feel stifled, suffocated, and prevented from personal growth.

You can't resolve conflicts. It's impossible to escape conflict in a relationship, so you must be able to handle it with grace and maturity. A healthy relationship is built on a solid foundation of communication – at all times, but especially when things get challenging. A relationship is guaranteed to fail if conflicts can't be resolved.

You don't feel supported. There's no place for narcissism in relationships. If your partner has a bad me-first attitude, or shows little regard for your interests and ambitions, they're not the right partner for you. In a healthy relationship, your partner will actively express interest in your life, your thoughts, your feelings, and your goals. You will not have to question their support for you.

Someone is stuck in the past. You can't get where you're going until you leave where you've been. Before you can build a future with a new partner, you have to be done with the past. If either of you is holding onto something, the weight of the baggage will drag your budding relationship down. Remain single until you're ready to live in the present and plan for the future.

Your life plans don't intersect. There's no way around it – if your life plans don't match, you're not a match. Someone who wants to be childless in a big city will never be a suitable partner for someone who wants a big family in the country. A relationship that is otherwise good will still crumble if your ambitions aren't complementary.

Single? Here’s How You Should Enjoy It Now.

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I spent a lot of time single fantasizing about what my life might be like with a partner. Specifically, how much better everything would be. I thought about road trips and vacations we’d take, driving up the coast - or settling into a bungalow in Bora Bora, sipping cocktails as we watched the sunset.

I thought about how having a partner would be an answer to the problems I was grappling with. I thought it would make me happier in my career, feel more secure financially, and give me companionship (not to mention sex on demand). Of course I knew there would be problems, but with the right person, we could address them.

Because of my “grass is greener” approach to being single, I missed out on a lot of opportunities. Thankfully, a couple of years before meeting my partner, I decided to take a different approach – to embrace my single status and to really enjoy the moment. It made me a happier person, and as an added bonus made me more attractive to the men I did meet. Dating became fun.

Here’s how you should enjoy being single and embrace the present now:

Pursue your passions while you date. I could have done a lot more with my time than binge-watch Real Housewives or sip cocktails with friends. I love hiking, and thankfully, I started to do more of it on my own until it became part of my routine. Do you write, play volleyball, ride horses, or garden? Are you looking to start your own business? Use this time to begin now – because in a relationship, you won’t have your schedule all to yourself.

Travel on your own. There’s nothing more liberating than being in a foreign country on your own schedule, and seeing what can happen. If that is too adventurous for you, then try a smaller trip – a drive up the coast or a weekend getaway. When you travel alone, you are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers and act with more spontaneity – not to mention making new friends to visit again.

See a movie or have dinner by yourself. Again, it can be liberating. Plus, you get to eat desert for dinner and watch an avant-garde art film if you want, no judgment.

Do something spontaneous once a week. When you’re in a relationship, you tend towards routine. Mix things up when you are single by trying a new coffee shop, exploring a new neighborhood, or trying your hand at surf lessons. It doesn’t matter what it is – trying new things keeps us curious and engaged (and happy).

Own your schedule. One of the perks of being single is that you can do what you want, when you want. Make plans with your friends. Work on that novel. Go hiking. It doesn’t matter what you do, just enjoy the fact that you have choices.

How Do You Approach a Woman for a Date?

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We all have social anxiety to some degree, but some people have an easier time walking up to total strangers and striking up a conversation. For others, the fear of rejection is so strong it prevents them from even saying hello to someone who catches their eye.

So what can you do about dating if you tend to be shy in social situations?

It’s not easy. But thanks to online dating, some of the initial barriers to conversation have been removed. Chatting with someone online can is easier than chatting with them in person – mostly because you have a little time to think about responses (and delete!), putting your most charming self forward from the start.

But if you find yourself at a bar, on a hike, or at Starbucks and someone you find attractive walks by, instead of looking down at your phone, it's good to muster the courage to say hello. There are a few things to keep in mind when you don't know how to approach someone in person.

Practice makes perfect. Don’t assume that you have to walk away with a phone number or else you’ve failed. The win is in the small steps taken and the effort made. If you have terrible anxiety about approaching a woman, try to strike up a conversation without a goal in mind. And if she isn’t interested? Just try again. Not everyone is going to be open, and you’re not going to be Casanova right off the bat. Give it time, and allow yourself to practice.

Don’t open with a pick-up line. Instead of putting this kind of pressure on yourself to “impress” her with your cheeky confidence, try instead to be more authentic. Compliment her on something unexpected (not her body or curves – but the details like her sense of style, or even her laugh). Aim to make her smile, not to get her number. If she thinks you’re just looking at her as a “score” you’ve already stopped the conversation.

Take your mask off. When you are genuinely being yourself, people connect with you because you are most confident as your true self, according to dating coach AJ Harbinger. If you are wearing the mask you think you should be wearing, then it’s harder for people to trust you. When it comes to connecting with women, they need to feel secure. They need to feel like they can trust what you say before they open themselves up to you. Be yourself.

Make her feel safe. Women like to flirt, but they don’t like to feel like prey. Instead of coming across as aggressive or overly flirtatious, try asking questions and getting a feel for who she is and what she likes. If you don’t know if you should try a line, then don’t! Instead, take a classy approach to allow her to trust you. Trust is the most important thing to gain before you can truly attract a woman. As dating coach Julie Spira advises, offer to pay for valet parking rather than just drinks. This will earn points, because you are showing her that you view her as a person, not as a conquest.

5 Dating Tips You Need If You've Been Online Dating Too Long

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Picture the nerd stereotype you've seen in countless movies. His eyes are glued to a computer screen. He looks like he hasn't showered in a week or seen sun in several years. The closest he comes to social interaction is chatting on gaming forums. He's probably in his parents' basement.

The image is meant to be funny, but it hits a little too close to home for an online dating addict. Your eyes are still glued to a computer (or smartphone) screen. You're so focused on swiping right or sending messages that you may never get to the actual date. Can you even remember what face-to-face interaction looks like?

If that sounds (even remotely) like you, it's time to step away from the screen and re-engage with humanity. Your introduction back into society may be difficult. You may have forgotten how to interact with real people. But remember these tips, and you'll be out of relationship rehab in no time.

  1. Take a break from your smartphone. Step #1 should be obvious. If you're constantly checking your email or uploading pictures of your meal to Instagram, you're not engaging with the world. That's the ultimate guarantee that you won't meet anyone special (and if you're already on a date, it's just plain rude).
  2. Make an effort. Online dating services streamline the process as much as possible. The less work for you, the better. Algorithms are designed to take the guesswork out of dating, but let's face it – if you're not willing to work to find your partner, what are you will to work for? Does it get any lazier than swiping? In the real world, you have to be proactive. Approach someone intriguing and say hi.
  3. Reacquaint yourself with body language. All that slouching you do in front of your computer? It sends the wrong message when you're with a date. Things like posture and gestures speak volumes about who you are, so make sure they're saying the right things. Smile. Make eye contact. Sit up straight. Learn how to project confidence and interest.
  4. Have a shtick if you need it. Online, striking up a conversation can be as easy as clicking a button to send a digital wink. Offline, communication is a little (ok, a lot) more complex. Thinking on the spot can be hard, especially if you haven't done it in while. It's ok to have a few stock questions or ice breakers in mind if you're anxious about meeting people in person.
  5. Get comfortable with yourself. The photos on your dating profile can have careful lighting, Myspace angles, and so many filters you barely look human. Since no one has invented real-life Photoshop, you have to get comfortable with your real self. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and attractive, whether that's sweatpants and a t-shirt or custom-made Valentino. You're automatically more attractive when you feel comfortable.

Avoid These 4 Social Media Mistakes If You're Online Dating

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The debate about social media is nothing new.

Supporters say social networking sites allow us to stay more connected than ever before, no matter how many miles are in between. Detractors say all that connectedness is doing us harm – or, worse, isn't real connection at all.

Regardless of which side you fall on, we can all agree on one thing: social media makes dating even more confusing.

Gone are the days of anxiously waiting for the next chance to see your crush, or slowly revealing parts of your life as you get to know someone. We drive ourselves crazy monitoring every single update on our love interests' social media, and that isn't helping anyone.

For the sake of your sanity, you need to simplify. Avoid these 4 social media mistakes to streamline your love life.

  1. Don't cyber stalk. It's hard not to do this, especially when you're online dating. In fact, a small amount of research might be a good thing for online daters – but only enough to confirm that you're talking to a real person who you feel safe meeting, and nothing more. There's no reason to go so far down the social media rabbit hole that you know the name of your date's high school girlfriend. If things go well, you'll find out everything you need or want to know organically.
  2. Don't overshare. Social media is meant for communication, but that's no reason to unleash an explosive case of verbal diarrhea on your unsuspecting followers. You don't need to catalogue every up and down of your dating life. If you're happy, resist the urge to gush. If you're unhappy, resist the urge to write bitter missives condemning love. One day you may feel differently, and the old posts will be uncomfortable reminders of the past.
  3. Don't follow in the first place. If the first two rules are too hard for you to follow, follow this one instead: no friending or following. When you're in the early stages of dating, social media is a minefield of potential disasters just waiting to explode. The easiest way to avoid the anxiety is not to add each other in the first place. Not that you can't ever do it, but it's best left for a time when the relationship feels more secure. Get to know each other in person, not through a screen.
  4. Don't compare. Even if you're not in a relationship, social media rules apply. Research has found that negative emotional consequences arise from comparing yourself to others on social media. It's an incomplete picture – we only show our best and brightest moments online, meaning it's easy to assume our friends have perfect lives when reality could be much different. It's impossible to compare the surface portrayed by a social media profile to your fully three-dimensional life. Don't let it get you down if you're single and it seems like all your friends are ecstatically in love.

The bottom line is, social media is a great tool – as long as you stay aware of the added pressures it brings to the rest of your life.