Escaping the Game – 10 Reasons to Take a Break from Dating

Sure, dating is great and all – especially if you find someone you really click with – but it can also be completely exhausting. We all hit breaking point, though, and eventually get sick of the endless stream of bad (non)romances.  When that happens, it’s probably a good idea to take a break. After all, there are plenty of things you can do besides looking for a guy.

You can go au naturel. That’s right – no more shaving! You don’t need to stop shaving completely – unless bushes are your thing, then by all means, rock on. But now that you’re not dating, it’s okay to let your legs get to brillo pad status without even looking at a razor.

You can binge on Netflix in peace. Nothing is more obnoxious than when you’re happily three seasons deep into Gilmore Girls on Netflix and the guy you’re dating puts his two cents in about how your sedentary lifestyle and bag-a-day jelly bean addiction is bad for your health, blah blah blah. Now you can watch whatever you want for as long as you want, minus the judgey side-eyes from anyone else.

You can recover your lost sanity.  Does he like you? When should you text him? How come he didn’t text back right away?  All those needling questions you get when you’re in that awkward third date stage where you just don’t know where it’s still headed will disappear when you take dating out of your life’s equation. Sanity saved.

You can be as messy as you wanna be. Dating is about 50{5bc55beb08889ad05a7e7a6b77d532c6a271732d053bf26757b0ccd6cd3a3c03} upkeep – upkeep of your body, your clothes, your house, your car… When you bid dating a temporary goodbye, you can leave your sweaty workout towels in the back seat of your car or leave that old pizza box on the coffee table until tomorrow, with no worries that someone will get a glimpse of your disgusting side. You can even spend an entire Saturday in sweatpants if that’s what you want.

You can keep the toilet seat down. Where it belongs. Your toilet seat stays down. It stays dry. It keeps its girly lavender smell. Heaven.

You can learn to love the life you already have. Finally, you can put away your  creeptastic “fake smile with nods of agreement while you fall into a coma” face that you end up using on nearly every date. You already know you don’t need a man to complete you, but now you can put your money where your mouth is and live life for YOU, not for love.

You can save some serious cash. Dating is expensive. Between the money you spend on looking good, gas to get there, dinner, drinks – your finances can seriously take a hit. Quitting the dating scene for a while can save your money from another beating. Finally, staying in and ordering Chinese food pays off.

You can simply enjoy being off the relationship roller coaster. Dating, falling in love, falling out of love, break-up. After a few rides on the relationship roller coaster, you’ll feel like you want to hurl. And when you feel like that’s happening to you, it means you definitely need to back off for a while.

You can reconnect with your girlfriends. When you invest so much time in trying to find a romantic partner, you tend to forget the platonic ones you already have in life. Your best friends are there for you when romance isn’t, and it’s time you give them some love, too.

You can figure out what you really want. Take an inventory on the past few guys you’ve dated – do they seem similar to each other? Did they all end up being douche bags?  Sometimes you can’t see that you’ve been voluntarily swimming in pool full of scum until you get out of the pool, so to speak. A break would be a good time to figure out how you got there, where you want to go and what kind of person you want to meet.

Read more:

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  • Do You Have Sarmassophobia? It May Be Why You’re Single
  • Unless These 13 Things Are True, He’s Probably Not Trying To Be Your Boyfriend
  • 12 Reasons You’re Single Even Though You’re A Catch

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8 Ways You’re Killing A Guy’s Interest & Don’t Even Realize It

Have you ever heard of “a two-week show”? You know the story – a man puts on a performance for about two weeks during the beginning stages of your relationship (or non-relationship), which is when he’s trying to impress you. In his mind, he’s still in hot pursuit of you in the beginning and therefore needs to plan dates and actually put effort in. Once he thinks he’s caught you, however, the curtain goes down and the show is over. You’re left wondering why he’s stopped trying and wishing the two of you could go back to the dynamic you had in the beginning. So what changed?

You started pursuing him. He’ll no longer pursue you if he feels you’re now pursuing him. If you start inviting him to things, initiating contact, and showing too much interest, why would he feel he needs to continue his pursuit? You need to let him come to you, not the other way around. It really is that simple.

You agreed to a night in too early. He used to take you out to cool restaurants and bars, but now he’s stopped planning dates like that. Why did he stop taking you out? One Friday night, he probably asked you if you’d like to just come over to his place to have some wine and watch Netflix. You agreed, and the date-night-in was born. You see, once a guy thinks you’re cool with just chillin’ at his place, there’s a chance he might stop taking you out altogether, because inviting you over is so much easier for him. The cardinal rule is not to agree to go back to his place at all – for any reason – too early on.

You slept with him too soon. Sorry, but it’s true. Men often will look at you differently if you sleep with them too soon. They’d prefer to place a higher value on your affection, which only happens if you make them earn it.

You showed all your cards. Maintain an air of mystery for as long as you possibly can. He shouldn’t always know where you are, what you’re doing, or know everything you’re feeling when you feel it. Not yet, anyway. If he thinks you’re mysterious and wants to get to know you and find out what you like, he’ll try harder to get to know you on a deeper level. Mysterious women are incredibly sexy – even if it’s just an illusion.

You’re overly attentive to his needs. Maybe you’re too available, too flexible, or revolve your life around his schedule. Maybe you politely offer to meet him at the restaurant rather than asking him to pick you up. Maybe you’re even bringing him gifts. All of these actions prove that he need not put forth too much effort. You’ve made it clear you’re his, and that you’re not going anywhere. You’re allowing him to be lazy, and trying so hard so that he doesn’t have to try at all.

You don’t have high enough standards. You should have high standards for how you deserve to be treated. For example, if he blows off plans with you, you can’t be too nice about it. If you’re too nice, he’ll walk all over you instead of trying to be better for you. If he thinks he can get away with treating you badly, he’ll keep pushing boundaries to see what he can get away with.

You’re complacent. Instead of asking for the things you deserve (like a dinner out instead of takeout at home for once), you settle for what you’re given. Whether it’s because you’re worried you’re going to scare him away or you don’t want to come across as high-maintenance, you have for some reason decided not to communicate what you want to your man. If a man likes you, he won’t think you’re high maintenance. Instead, he’ll respect you for standing up for what you deserve, as it shows you have self-respect. If that scares him away, good riddance! He’s just boy, not a man.

You never give him a time-out. If a guy you’re dating is acting like an immature boy instead of a respectful man, give him a time out! Treat him like a child if he’s acting like one. The best way to teach him a lesson is to avoid him for a few days, making it clear that you’ve got one foot out the door. Then he’ll realize that he needs to up his game or you’re out.

Read more:

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20 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness

Happiness may be the ultimate goal in life, but it isn’t something that is easy to achieve. Even when you find yourself in a place where you feel happy with your life, and who you are, it can all fall apart at any moment. That’s the thing about happiness. It isn’t guaranteed, predictable, or overly stable. We need to learn to appreciate what we have in the moment, because I hate to say it but, YOLO, ladies. Let’s make the most of it and stop making the same old mistakes.

You won’t accept what you can’t change. You’re never going to have the chance to date James Dean, no matter how positive you are that you’re soul mates. Let it go.

You worry too much about what people think. Strangers on the street don’t care that your hair’s a mess, and you’re clearly doing the walk of shame. You got laid last night. So walk proud, because no guy would be ashamed to take the subway home on a Sunday in last night’s outfit, and you shouldn’t be, either.

You stay in relationships that are bad for you. Life is too short to waste time on a guy that doesn’t get you. It’s not cliche if it’s true.

You keep jobs that have no room for growth. It was a great entry-level job, and you should be grateful for the experience, but it’s okay to move on when it’s time. They’ll find a new recent grad to fill your position and continue on just fine without you.

You stay friends with toxic people. Just because you’ve known each other since you were 8 doesn’t mean you’re meant to keep trudging through life with her attached to you like some kind of dead extra limb. Cut her loose.

You don’t speak your mind. Whether you believe this or not, keeping your emotions inside does cause physical illness. Finding a balance between tact and honesty is a necessary skill that will do wonders for your stress levels.

You constantly put others before yourself. You’re #1. Repeat it like a mantra until you start living it.

You talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. You don’t want to be one of those people who is all talk and no action, do you? You hate those people. So quit making elaborate plans you’ll never achieve, and start doing something real with your life.

You’re okay with awful sex. That thing that keeps popping up on Instagram says it all — “Life is too short for crappy sex and bad relationships. So go find someone who sleeps with you right and treats you how you deserve to be treated.”

You let guys that don’t care about you lead you on. He’s just not that into you, and if you’re being honest, he’s not that subtle about it. Get it through your head! You don’t need a guy around just to have a guy around. He should be worthy of your time.

You consistently live beyond your means. “Budget” is not a four-letter word. It will guarantee you get to do the things you love, but help you avoid that “past due” credit card bill stress that is frankly, not necessary.

You never take “mental health” days. Sometimes you need a Wednesday off work with nothing to do but leisurely window shop, and treat yourself to a cafe mocha on a patio. Who said you have to be suffering from “probably swine flu” in order to take a sick day?

You stress over the small stuff. Very few things are the end of the world. So unless nuclear war is imminent, take a deep breath and know that this too shall pass.

You obsess over whether you’ll be single forever. You won’t be. Unless that is what you choose for yourself. Let’s just leave it at that.

You let other people bring you down. If you are going to be down, it will be because of something you are dealing with personally, not because you let someone else drag you down with them. Be strong. That’s why they chose you to lean on, because they knew you could take it.

You don’t make time for your hobbies. Life is busy, but it doesn’t have to be all about work and obligations. If you love to paint, then paint! If you love Cross Fit, then work out! Do things for YOU.

You’re too afraid to put yourself out there. You never know what could happen if you just give a new place, a new person, a new job, or a new experience a chance. You’ll regret it a lot more if you don’t try.

You’re not getting a good night’s sleep. You know you’re cranky when you don’t sleep well, so make it a priority from now on. It will make every day brighter, and worth living.

You count calories like it’s the most important thing in life. A balanced diet is great and all, but you deserve that warm, gooey Cinnabon once in awhile. You can work off the extra calories in Pilates later if you absolutely must. But it’ll be worth it.

You wish the time would go faster. Don’t will your time away. Before you know it, you’ll be 80 and wishing you could go back to those busy work days you thought were never going to end. Because they will end, and you’ll want to be sure that you appreciated them while you had them.

Read more:

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  • They Might Not Seem Like It, But These 12 Things Are Emotional Abuse
  • 16 Reasons The Best Women Often Stay Single The Longest

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Still Single? 9 Reasons Your Social Media Obsession Could Be to Blame

Who’s not guilty of spending just a little too much time uploading selfies to Instagram or going on a pinning spree? Social media can be fun, but it can also be problematic. You sit at home griping to your girlfriends about how you could possibly still be single, but the answer could be the phone glued to your hand that you can’t put down for a second, because heaven forbid you miss a status update from your ex from five years ago. So how exactly can social media ruin your love life?

You never realize you’re being hit on. It’s wonderful you’re letting all your friends know where you are and taking pictures of your drinks, but it’s time to put the phone down and look around you. Surprise! You’re not the only one there. Pay attention to the guy who’s been trying to get your attention. He might not be the one, but he could make for one hell of a story later.

Everyone knows you’re stalking your ex. I don’t really get why some women feel the need to stalk their exes on social media. Be grateful you’re rid of the loser and focus on finding someone better. When you’re busy keeping up with what your exes are up to, you leave behind clues. Guys are getting smarter and if they see you’re still obsessed with what your ex is doing, they’re going to run the other way. Honestly, can you blame them?

You forget to use your words. A social media obsession is just as bad as a texting obsession. You’re thrilled to be out with your friends, so what do you do? You sit holding your phone like it’s the last diamond ring on earth. Slide, tap, click, read, repeat. Yeah, that’s a fun time. When you’re out with people, use your words, not your phone’s keyboard. You can update your status or hashtag your selfies later.

Too much information is never a good thing. How much do you share on social media? Employers aren’t the only ones who check out your profiles before making a decision. After all, if women can do it to see who a guy really is, why can’t a guy? Posting your entire life story isn’t good. Some baggage is best left offline. It’s fine to share with close friends, but not the guy you just met.

You seem desperate. Ladies, let me tell you a little secret. Guys can smell desperation. It can make even the slowest man run like an Olympic track star. Nothing screams desperation quite like your daily updates about being single, how much you hate guys, harassing your latest one night stand for night calling you and 20 different Pinterest boards about a wedding that doesn’t even have a groom yet. I’ve seen these women. Guess what? They’re still single and can’t seem to figure out why.

All you want is perfection. I want to applaud you for thinking you are perfect and deserve perfection return. Okay, now for a reality check. No one is perfect, despite what your friends are posting. Social media makes us feel like crap because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else. This makes you want perfection. It’s the only way to compete. You end up turning down great guys over some imagined flaw. Forget the imaginary world of social perfection and see how incredible a guy with flaws really is.

Your friend list is like a little black book. The great thing about a little black book is it’s private. Most people with a social media obsession don’t bother hiding their friend list or list of people they follow. Far too many people have more booty calls as friends than anything else. Guys can tell. It’s like a hidden super power. If you’re looking for an actual relationship instead of random booty calls, keep your lists private. It’s not a double standard either. Guys need to keep their social media black book private too.

Two words – selfie overload. This should be self-explanatory. New selfies every day or multiple times a day is just creepy. You’re not a celebrity. If you have so much time on your hands to post a selfie of everything you do, you don’t really have time to date. Selfie overload on social media is like a massive billboard that says – I’m in a relationship with me, me, me!

You’re the queen of debate. You have an opinion about everything. You must share it on every post that even remotely disagrees with you. Congratulations. You won the argument and never noticed  that hot guy across the room. Did I mention how any guy checking out your latest activity doesn’t see “winner”? He just sees a woman being a bitch to all her friends. Trust me, no one finds that attractive.

Read more:

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  • Do You Have Sarmassophobia? It May Be Why You’re Single
  • 14 Little Things That Look Like Love But Are Actually Manipulation

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Are You REALLY Open to Love? 10 Signs You Might Not Be

“When you’re ready for love, it will find you.” Chances are, you’ve read that quote off someone’s unfortunate calf tattoo and thought to yourself, “Yeah, I’m ready for love. Definitely!” and “Oh man, I hope that’s a temporary tattoo.” But are you really ready for love? If you’ve been meeting the wrong guys – or not meeting anyone at all – here are a few signs that you’ve been sabotaging your dating life because you haven’t been quite as open to romance as you might have thought.

You’re suspicious of happy couples. Finding someone is tough – so tough that when you see a couple that seems genuinely happy, you immediately suspect a ruse. He’s probably gay or she’s probably a cheating on him, because you just cannot imagine love actually working out between anybody.

You’ve become cynical about romance. Not only are you suspicious of happy couples, but you roll your eyes at rapid fire speed whenever someone mentions Valentine’s Day (money making scheme invented by big business!) or when your best friend starts posting love poems or quotes about her man on Facebook.

You hate going on dates. A blind date would be your absolute worst nightmare because you can barely stomach going on a regular date.  You have to get super dressed up and be all coquettish and it’s just annoying. Why spend a night having an awkward dinner with a stranger when you could just go have some sushi with your friends?

You haven’t learned from past relationships. You truly believe in your heart of hearts that your past relationships would’ve worked out if your boyfriends weren’t such nutbags who were full of issues. Of course, you did nothing wrong at all. It was all his fault!

You have ‘single’ celeb heroes. This past year, it pained you to see serial daters George Clooney and Cameron Diaz abandon their single life to get married.  They were your single heroes! They were your light of hope that single people can be just as happy and fulfilled as people in relationships. Thank goodness you still have Taylor Swift’s grandiose single life to admire on Instagram.

You can’t stop talking about your ex. He’s the bad guy and you have issues to work out so you’re constantly rehashing the relationship and nitpicking everything he did wrong with your friends or (gasp) new guys you go out with. You wonder what could have been and you daydream of an alternate universe where you stayed together and lived happily ever after.

You don’t notice guys who really like you. You’re at a stoplight and a song comes on that reminds you of your ex-boyfriend.  You get lost in thought and you fail to notice that the Jake Gyllenhaal lookalike in the next lane has been smiling at you, hoping to catch your eye before the green light.

Your dealbreaker list is extensive. If only you could find a shy but wild guy, who’s kind and smart and funny and sensitive… but not too sensitive because you don’t want to go out with a sissy. But he can’t be too macho, either, because you don’t want to date a knuckle-dragging caveman. And sure, he can be funny, but he’d better know how to get serious in the bedroom. But not too serious, because it’s fun to be silly in bed.

You’re overly critical of yourself. Your automatic response when someone compliments you is to come back with a rebuttal as to why he’s way off.  It feels like a lie when someone tells you that you’re pretty or nice because, ew, have they seen your flat nose? And he only thinks you’re nice because he’s never seen you when you ‘hangry’ before. If you don’t believe nice things about yourself, how will you ever accept that a guy you’re dating believes them?

You don’t like getting personal. A big reason you sometimes dread going on a date is because whenever someone tries to get to know you, you think he’s being nosy and invasive. You’d prefer it if your dates could just talk about weather, current events and why Kim Kardashian should respect artistry and admit that the blue/black-white/gold dress debacle is what really broke the internet.

Read more:

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  • 16 Reasons The Best Women Often Stay Single The Longest
  • Unless These 13 Things Are True, He’s Probably Not Trying To Be Your Boyfriend

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How to Survive Another Wedding When You’re Still Single

Spring is almost upon us, and along with warmer weather and fresh, pollen sprinkled air, comes the start of the wedding season. This more than likely means you’ll be invited to at least one, if not a half dozen weddings this year. After a while, wedding ceremonies can be agony for a single person who can’t or doesn’t want to find love.  But don’t tear up that invite just yet! Weddings don’t have to be so bad, as long as you’re prepared.

Have your tantrum. I  know. Yet another person found their special somebody while you’ve been on Tinder for months and have yet to swipe right and not immediately regret it.  It’s okay to feel a little bitter, sad or hopeless. As long as it’s not on the day of the wedding or during a wedding function, you’re totally allowed to wallow in your feelings for a day or two. Once you’ve purged yourself emotionally, you’ll be less likely to dwell on it during the wedding.

Be genuinely happy for the couple. When you’re invited to someone’s wedding, you’re invited to the most important day of his or her life. It’s a happy moment that THEY, the happy couple, are choosing to share with YOU.  Simply put, it’s about THEM, not you. It sounds harsh, but here’s the good news: focusing on someone else’s happiness is an instant cure to your single blues. When you push aside all your personal junk and share in the couple’s excitement and love, your sad feelings will temporarily take a back seat.

Treat yourself.A wedding is a great excuse to get dressed up and treat yourself to a few things you normally wouldn’t get to do, like buying that amazing dress you’ve been eyeing with zero guilt. You’re going to a wedding! You have to look nice, right? Cut and color your hair, have a mani/pedi done and go out of your way to get gussied up to the finest, because it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re looking all kinds gorgeous.

Enjoy the cake. So much cake! Not only are you dressed up and looking good, but you’ll also be getting cake. For free. Just remember, any day that involves putting cake in your mouth is a damn good day.

DANCE WOMAN, DANCE! Dance like no one cares because really, NO ONE CARES. No one is looking at you, no one is judging you, no one cares because everyone’s focus is mainly on the bride and groom. Use this complete lack of attention to take advantage of the dance floor. Do the robot, partake in both popping AND locking, bust your favorite boy band moves with your friends and be completely unapologetic about being a dancing goof. You won’t be able to help but have a good time.

Ogle hot guys in suits. I’m definitely not saying to use wedding as an opportunity to hit on guys, I’m just saying that it’s a great place for some serious eye candy because, for the most part, guys in fancy suits or tuxedos are a beautiful, albeit rare sight. So enjoy yourself!  Check out the groom’s best men and rate them according to whose broad shoulders are the yummiest.

Plan something fun with friends. Put together a wine tasting trip with friends, a weekend in Las Vegas or stay in your pajamas all day and have an slumber party. Big or small, gather up some friends and start planning. It’ll give you something to look forward to so you won’t be a big bag of bummer at the wedding.

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Ditch Your Type – 10 Ways to Widen Your Dating Pool

Do you find yourself constantly gravitating towards certain types of men? It could be because they have qualities you admire, or maybe they remind you of someone you never quite got over. Whatever it is, there is a reason why dating the same type of guy never seems to work out. If you want to find someone who is right for you, you have to be open to everyone – especially if they aren’t the type that you would normally go for. Look deeper, and you’ll realize there’s a lot more to know about people than what attracts you to them in the first place. You could discover a whole new world of men!

Stop using Tinder. Dating apps that require you to judge someone based solely on their appearance are only going to train you to go for the same physical type over and over. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to mostly dark haired guys, but you’re missing the best part about dating with these apps – the mutual chemistry.

Get out of your comfort zone. If all you do is go to work, work functions, and hang out with people from work, you’re going to constantly be around the same types of people. Hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with your career will expose you to more personalities than you thought possible.

Open your mind. If you have it in your head you’re gonna end up with a tall, dark, business man type who is at least 5 years your senior, you aren’t going to be open to the artistic, laid back, spontaneous guys who might actually give your life that sense of adventure that you need to get out of your shell.

Stop letting your standards control you. That list of deal breakers you have running through your head while you get to know someone is holding you back. So, rip it up and try actually paying attention instead of mentally making everything they say a point for or against them.

Rethink your non-negotiables. Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger is all about the non-negotiables. While there’s no need to waste your time on guys that are super religious or politically conservative when you are the complete opposite, just make sure you aren’t using shallow criteria to rule someone out. If your type has always been the fast track CEO, but it never works out because he has no time for you, maybe you need to accept that a guy with a less demanding job (even if that means he makes less money) will make you happier in the long run.

Say yes more often. Say yes to going out with a new group or friends. Say yes to a blind date with a co-worker’s brother. Say yes to a make your own sushi class. Say yes to a new project at work that will force you to do things you have never done before. Say yes to every new opportunity that comes your way, because how do you know it’s not for you if you don’t try? The same goes for guys.

Quit worrying what everyone else thinks. The first time you make it to a second or third date with the type of guy your friends have never seen you with, they’re going to wrinkle their noses and question your judgement. But that’s only because you’ve trained them to see you with a certain type, and only that type. Ultimately, they just want you to be happy, so if you break they habit, so will they.

See the big picture. So he might not have the best fashion sense. He might prefer beer over wine and he might like cheesy action movies. But is he there for you when you need him? Does he treat women with respect? Does his odd sense of humor have you in stitches more often than not? Those are the things that will keep you interested in the long run. Don’t pick your next boyfriend based on frivolous things, and your relationship will be a lot more likely to stand the test of time.

Age is but a number. You might have this idea that a guy who’s younger than you will never be mature enough. Younger guys are perpetual frat bros who will never be able to keep up with you, right? But that’s not always the case, so don’t let finding out he’s 3 years younger than you shut down an otherwise promising connection.

Don’t compare him to anyone else. Your exes are your exes for a reason, so why would you compare your new prospects to them? Leave the past in the past and focus on what you want and need right now.

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7 Awkward Relationship Firsts and How to Get Through Them

Getting into a new relationship is fun and exciting, sure, but let’s be honest – it’s also super nerve-wracking. It can be hard to navigate awkward and embarrassing moments with your new man, but it’s not impossible. Plus, once you’ve moved past them, you’ll realize those moments weren’t so bad after all. How can you survive? Don’t worry, we’ll help.

The first date. Come on, what’s more awkward than getting together with someone you hardly know (if at all) to mutually judge each other’s personality and looks? First dates are as awkward as they come, especially if you have to find the guy in a crowded bar or pretend like you didn’t just stutter when he asked you how many siblings you have. Breathe, girl. Have a drink.

The first time you totally insult him. Whoops, how were you supposed to know he absolutely loves tiny dogs? You didn’t really mean that men that own them are totally pansies and that you’d never date one. Time to backpedal. Apologize for putting your foot in your mouth and remind him that he clearly changed your perspective on that topic.

The first time you talk about exes. Talking about exes for the first time can be a little awkward because he might ask you how many guys you’ve slept with or if you’ve ever cheated on anyone. Or he might reveal that his ex girlfriend is your favorite actress, which is unsettling in a whole different kind of way. The best thing to do in this situation is to be mostly honest, but remain calm. You don’t want to hide anything that you would regret later, but you also don’t want to lead with the fact that your record of breaking hearts is unmatched in the state.

The first time you have to poop at his house. Ugh. You’ve done everything you can to not drink coffee over at his place when you sleep over, but this morning he surprised you with breakfast in bed. Cute, but now you’re poop-tastic and have literally no idea how much longer you can hold it. It’s bound to happen eventually, and you don’t need the reminder that it’s totally normal, but it’s still weird. He probably won’t be lurking around the bathroom, but if the bathroom is in the bedroom, do what you can to lure him into the other room and then say you’re going to hop in the shower. Then pray that he has air freshener or matches.

The first time you see him naked. Hopefully this is super hot and thrilling and not actually awkward at all, but things happen. The first time we get physical with someone, there’s a lot to take in, from penis size to manscaping and everything in between. Plus, we don’t know each other’s personal preferences, so there can be a bit of trial and error involved the first time we get down. If you happen to be caught totally off guard by something weird happening, it’s best to speak up now or forever hold your peace. It just gets more awkward later when he asks why you didn’t mention your hatred for doggie style until after the 25th time you did it.

The first morning after a really wild night together. Well, if he didn’t know before now, he’s all caught up on the fact that you’re still really bummed out about that kindergarten bullying incident. Wait, did you really invite him to every friend’s wedding that’s occurring over the next year and then shed a couple tears but blame in on being sentimental? Whoops. Your only chances of not feeling a little awkward this one are totally laughing off the night and hope that he was just as drunk and said some weird things himself.

The first time you wonder if he’s lying to you. Odds are your guy is a good one and he’s not lying to you, but it happens. Whether or not he is actually lying, there will probably be a time that you wonder about it. Then what? Awkward. If you tend towards paranoia, try to slow down your manic thoughts so you don’t accuse him of something weird, but when it’s appropriate, just ask for clarification. “Oh, did you mention that you have an ex that lives next door? I missed that.”

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What You Should Know Before Dating Someone Who Lives At Home

Three years ago, I ended a serious relationship, moved out our place and moved across the country to live with my Mom. I’ve since learned that living with a parent(s) as an adult and dating is… well, interesting. If you’re considering dating someone who lives at home, here’s a few things you should know first.

We’re probably going to have to hang out at your place.  This is especially true if we’re going to get naked together. Although I don’t mind having people over at my place that I share with my mom, there’s just not the same kind of privacy. The last thing I want to do is make her feel uncomfortable in any way. With that said, I’ve definitely had sex under my parents’ roof, but it’s not my #1 favourite location. I can relax and let go way more when I know that there’s zero possibility of a family member making an unexpected appearance.

I’m not a prude, these walls are just really, really thin.  Same goes for phone sex. I dated a guy recently who was really, really into talking dirty on the phone (when I told a friend of mine this, she said, “What is this?! 1996?!”). Although I don’t mind some good dirty talk, I’m not going to do it when other people are home. These walls are very, very, thin and no one aside from you and me needs to hear that stuff. So, I hope your sexting game is on point. After all, it is 2015.

I’m living at home for a good reason. Otherwise, why would I subject themselves to this kind of insanity as an adult?! I always feel slightly embarrassed and defensive when I have to explain my living situation to people, because I automatically assume they’ll think I’m living at home because I’m lazy or have somehow failed at being an adult. The truth is that I paid my way through school and lived on my own for 16 years. Now I’m living at home so that I can launch a business and pay down some of my student debt. So, don’t jump to conclusions. This isn’t permanent.

I don’t need you to pester me about when I planning on moving out.  Trust me, I already worry about this stuff all the time. A few years ago, I dated a guy who’d constantly ask me when I was planning to get my own place. I learned that this was because he had a couple of kids and didn’t want to have me over on his custody weekends (but still wanted to hook up with me, if he could get a babysitter). The easiest way to earn points with someone who is living at home is to be understanding about their situation.

The late night booty call probably isn’t going to happen. Although it’s sometimes nice to receive a late night text message like, “I miss you! Wanna come over right now?” I can’t always accept these invitations if it’s past a certain hour and other people are home. My mom worries if she doesn’t know where I am, which is why, out of respect for her, I like to tell her where I am going. Although she understands I’m an adult who has a sex life, leaving the house at midnight incites a lot of unnecessary awkward questions and forces her to picture me doing things she probably wouldn’t. I also refuse to sneak out of the house like a juvenile delinquent. It’s a respect thing. She allows me to live with her, which means I have to respect her personal boundaries. If you want to see me, make plans ahead of time or at the very least, earlier in the day. You should be doing that anyways.

You’ll probably end up meeting my parents sooner rather than later. Because I live with one of them. My mom isn’t going to hide out every time you come over just to avoid the “meeting the parents” scenario. She’ll probably want to say hello. Don’t worry – this isn’t a big deal and doesn’t mean anything about where we’re at in our relationship. It simply means you’re meeting the person I live with. Besides, my Mom is awesome and everyone loves her. I’m sure you will too.

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How to Protect Your Online Reputation

These days, anyone from your future boss, to a blind date, to even your new boyfriend’s mother has the option to get to know you a little bit before you ever come face to face with them. If you have social media profiles, chances are you can be found with a simple Google search. Even if you didn’t post that photo of you doing a keg stand at a frat party in college, if you’re tagged in it, someone might find it. Luckily, there are ways to make sure your most shameful moments don’t end up out there for everyone to see – and you don’t even have to quit all social media cold turkey. You just need to be smart about it.

Google yourself. First things first. You need to see what other people see when they Google your name so you can adjust accordingly. If the first thing that pops up is your LinkedIn profile, you’re on the right track. If it’s that blog rant you wrote about how you just can’t stand your job, you have some work to do, so to speak.

Use the privacy settings. Every social media website has privacy settings for a reason. You should keep accounts like Facebook, and maybe Instagram, as private as possible. You can get away with leaving Twitter and LinkedIn a little more public if you’re using them primarily for career-related things. You don’t need a future employer (or a stalker, for that matter) to know you’re half in the bag at a friend’s bachelorette party one Friday night.

Consider using an alias. A lot of people prefer to guarantee a potential employer won’t be able to find them on Facebook by using their middle name instead of their first name. Your friends and family will still know it’s you, but anyone else will be a lot less likely to find you if they search the name on your resume.

Make sure your friends know the deal. You aren’t 21 anymore, so taking a hundred pictures a night probably doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to. But we all have that one friend that just doesn’t get it. If she can’t be trusted with tagging privileges, delete her as a friend. Maybe then she’ll get the message.

Ask your friends to delete certain things. Even if you aren’t tagged in that photo where you had an accidental nip slip, it’s still online, and there’s just no guarantee it won’t even up somewhere you don’t want it to. Hopefully your friends wouldn’t post your nipple online anyway, and if they would, you might need to reconsider your friends.

Don’t add everyone and their half-cousin as a friend. It may be tempting to pad your follower count with a bunch of people you’ve never even met, but resist. Keep Facebook for people you actually know in person, leave LinkedIn for career networking, and maintain a healthy mix on Instagram and Twitter.

Curb your compulsive TMI. It may be hard to believe in our current culture of over-sharers, but generally no one cares what you ate for breakfast today, or how your boyfriend has learned some new skills in the bedroom *wink*. Just shut up, or you’ll find yourself unfriended.

Be nice. Celebrities are constantly engaging in Twitter feuds that end up as a series of screenshots on TMZ. But you aren’t a Kardashian, and it makes you look unstable when you’re constantly calling people out on social media. If you have a bone to pick, do it in person, and spare your friends and followers the drama.

Don’t be an attention whore. Hands down, the worst kind of people on social media are the ones who post vague woe is me status updates for the sole purpose of getting people to ask them what’s wrong. It’s insincere, and extremely obvious what you’re doing. So don’t.

Don’t tweet while under the influence. At least your indecipherable drunk texts are only going to one person. If you tweet gibberish at 1am on a Saturday night, everyone knows why. Think twice before you post that photo of you and your third tequila shot on Instagram too. By the time you wake up in the morning and delete it, it’s already too late.

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