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eHarmony is a having another free communication weekend!

Summer is in the air and so is love. Time to give online dating a try. Have you ever wanted to try online dating, but you were not sure if you wanted to pay for a subscription? Or maybe you KNEW you didn’t want to pay for one! Well, either way here is your chance to try eHarmony at no cost. No commitment if you don’t like the experience (and no shady credit card payment required to give it a try).


I’m not saying that one way is better than the other, but try a free weekend and try a free site at the same time. See what one you find to be the better fit for you. Typically the services you pay for do have some extra benefits and what better time to test?

This is a holiday weekend and most people will be having a cookout or get together. I know when I was single I always felt down around these times. I was pretty much the oddball out without a date. Now you may just feel comfortable alone at gatherings, but I’m guessing you wouldn’t be on this page if that was the case. Being part of a relationship is rewarding and one for me is knowing that someone in this world has my back.

Say you go to a barbeque and you really don’t want to be there. When you have a significant other it’s easy to get away by saying we have to go to his or her’s friends after this.
OK so may that’s not so good of an analogy, but I think you might get the point. Being with someone else on a holiday just makes things better and I be eHarmony knows that too since they offer these free weekends mostly on holidays!
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By trying the free weekend you will definitely understand the some of the workings of online dating, at least for this one service. Once again it’s free to try and no commitment. You can’t beat that. I hope that you give it a try if you are still looking!

The free event runs from May 24th to May 28th 2018. You can sign up for the free weekend here.

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You’ve been talking with a match online and the time has come: it’s time for the first date. Being prepared can help tremendously with the first date jitters. You can read Brad’s guide to online dating to help with some develop first date questions if you get stuck and don’t know what to say. However, it’s also good to think about your own approach as a list of questions is a start, but not necessarily the end of the planning.

It’s not easy meeting a stranger for the first time and sometimes nerves can get the best of you. This is particularly true with the early first dates. What I mean is when you’re still somewhat new to online dating or having had a date in a while: the first time you get back out there can be stressful. So how do you deal with it? I can only speak for myself and some of the things that have worked for me, but let me share some thoughts:

A First Date Doesn’t Need Fight or Flight

Remember this is not a life or death situations this is a coffee with someone hopefully that you are interested in. Your body might try to convince you it’s life or death, with a racing heart or sweaty palms, but it’s not. Try to remind yourself that they agreed to meet you so you already have that going for you. Odds are that they are interested in you…or at least interested in finding out if they are interested in you. So keeping this in mind and half the battle is won. They like you-you like them (or we each hope that will be the case). Now it’s just the time to see if you click.

Now you might find it hard to convince your body/mind that this first date is a safe and good thing. If so, try taking some slow, deep breaths. It’s okay to be stressed, but it’s best if you can avoid allowing the stress to create a bad first impression. Sometimes a “bad” first impression is just you not really being yourself so try to fight through it so the other person really gets to meet the real you.

Nerves Go Both Ways

Everyone get’s nervous and if someone says they don’t get nervous on first dates, chances are that they are lying. So, I say just go with it. Consider the idea of telling the other person that you’re feeling nervous. Chances are they are too or they will respond with empathy and understanding and tell you that there is no reason to be. This actually can serve as something of an icebreaker: it helps you be real and allows for some interesting conversations. And you don’t even have to frame it as being new to dating (even if that’s the case). You could comment about how you hear some many stories about bad first dates so you always get a bit nervous. This could then open the door to talk about bad first date stories you each have heard, which can be fun and a good way to get settled in.

Once that ice is broken it’s pretty much game on and the conversations can come more naturally. But let’s just say for the argument you have high anxiety and you’re still nervous even after your date has assured you there is nothing to worry about. What can you do? One way to calm yourself is to reset your focus. If your listening to negative thoughts in your head then it’s almost impossible to listen to what your date has to say. Focus in on what they are saying. Being a good listener also helps us to be great conversationalists so you get a two for one: change what you’re concentrating on while investing in what your date has to say. When you focus on them, it takes you out of your own head and allows you to respond without overthinking. I know that I can be my own worst enemy, and these techniques have worked for me.

Create the Right Environment

I’ll go on to say that you might want to have a backup plan for in case that things don’t go the right direction…or even worse than that! When you’re planning the first date, keep things light, there’s no need for a major outing on a first date. I also feel like the “keep things simple” approach for first dates helps with the nerves too. You’re not going to some huge event or something you need to blow up in your mind as a huge deal. Instead, it can just be grabbing coffee or ice cream and leave it at that.

One other benefit of keeping it simple is you can also start off by keeping it short. With this approach, if you find you’re not connecting well with your date then you can have relief in the fact that you intentionally kept the first date short. In his guide, Brad talks about how he would intentionally tell women he was meeting he could only do a quick meet up for 30 minutes. This way, if the date wasn’t going well, everyone was ready to move on anyway and he didn’t have to come up with an awkward excuse for leaving. On the flip side, if you only schedule 30 minutes but you’re having a great time, you still have an opportunity to ask if they have time to extend the date.

Other Tips and Thoughts for the First Date
    • Before you go to the coffee shop or wherever you’re meeting, take a few deep breaths. This could be in your car or as you’re walking to the destination. Try and focus on the now. When you get there and meet them, just be with that person and what’s happening right in front of you. Don’t try and be a fortune teller and look into the future. Don’t turn into your own worst critic and mentally kick yourself for everything you say. Listen to your gut if you get a strange vibe. Maybe take action by having a girlfriend call you. If your gut says that things are good then follow that. I can’t stress enough that you need to not let your thoughts carry you away. Meaning, don’t be in your head too much. Try and stay focused on the task at hand.
    • Go with the flow there’s not always going to be ongoing conversation a few gaps here and there are natural.
    • I have heard it a million times and have also said it myself “just be yourself.” This is a bit cliche but I think another way of saying it is “be honest”. I know it feels tough to really be honest…but people appreciate honesty. If you try to hard you come off as fake and if you lie well then it goes without saying that you will eventually get caught. Even if you don’t get caught outright, many people are going to pick up on that things aren’t quite right. When you’re willing, to be honest about who you are and what you enjoy, that will often create a fresh and unique experience for the person you’re with and you’ll sound much more interesting than just spouting off the same things everyone else is saying (because they think they have to) Like the saying goes honesty is the best policy.
    • I know for me sometimes I can use the nervousness to my advantage. I let myself talk it out. Run at the mouth so to speak. I use the nervous energy to speak it all out. It has had a positive effect for me to say how I’m feeling and whats going on in my head. However, this isn’t necessarily great for everyone! Some of us have things running through our heads that maybe shouldn’t be shooting out without thought. So your results may vary here. I’m not saying spout off like a loon here. I’m saying use the nervous energy to drive you to talk.
    • To reemphasize a point I made earlier, I’ll share a recent experience. I was on a first date not too long ago. I was nervous and I realized I was nervous because I wanted to see this woman beyond the first date. So, I mustered up my courage and I told her how I was feeling and what I was hoping. Her response was that she felt the same way. My point is if you say whats on your mind then you will find out the answers to the questions playing in your mind. Things don’t always go perfectly but it still feels like the best approach to me. My experience has been that communication is the key to it all. Without communication, nothing can move forward.
Sometimes You May Not Be Ready

One surefire way to kill a date is to let yourself get so nervous that you don’t talk and become awkward. Stay out of your head and stay in the game and being in the moment is the key. But some people just aren’t able to do it…or they convince themselves they can’t. To be totally honest, if you get to this point of not being able to speak and communicate with your date, then I would say that you may want to consider if you are really ready to date.

Knowing yourself and your limits is always a plus. If you don’t think you’re ready for a first date then don’t rush into anything. Take things slow. Let the other person know that you prefer to take things at a slow pace and would like to know more about them before you meet. I know for guys this is hard because from my experience some women express that they don’t want to be pen pals for a long period of time. If he or she is not willing to wait to meet you then are there other things you can do to make yourself more comfortable? Maybe a walk in a park would be better than sitting face to face. I know some people like that more. Or maybe keeping the date short would help or even memorizing a few questions you want to start out with.

So, maybe you’re feeling your not ready for a first date, but you want to be. You can do a few things to get yourself prepared and one that I recommend is Brad’s free guide to online dating. It is filled with great ideas to help us along the way. He goes step by step and even gives you questions and scenarios you can use and learn from. There are no guarantees in online dating, and what may work for one person may not work for another, but there are some simple guides that everyone can relate to and use to their advantage.

Final Thoughts

All in all meeting someone for the first time can be nerve-racking. It’s how you deal with the nerves that matter. As always you can Google how to deal with first date nervousness, and there are plenty of articles out there to help (just like this one!). I can only speak to what has helped me and what methods I used. I hope that you found this article somewhat helpful and that you know have some tools to help you on your next first date. If you have any helpful hints please feel free to leave them in the comment section. Thank you for taking the time to read, and good luck in your search for love.

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It’s another free weekend at eHarmony which can only means one big thing: the opportunity to talk to your matches for absolutely free. The free weekend will run from March 29th, starting first thing in the morning, and will run until the end of the day on April 2nd. You don’t need a credit card for this free communication weekend. If you create a free account (or log into your existing account) you can start the communication process at no cost.

Log in or sign up at eHarmony to Try the Free Communication Event

It only rolls around a few times a year, these free weekends. I kind of look at it as test driving a car. If you don’t like it, there aren’t any worries because you don’t have to buy. If you do like it then take it home with you…so to speak. The big difference is where you can test drive a car most days, these test drives only come around every now and again.

Additional Details on Free Weekends

The only drawback you may not like is the fact that you can not see your matches photos unless, of course, you pay for the site. If you have good communication skill this won’t matter. You can still talk with people and see who they are from the way they respond to you. Getting to know someone through communication without seeing a picture makes it easier in my opinion. You don’t have the pressure if they are the model type and no pressure if they are not. It’s like Russian roulette, but I think you can make a deeper connection because you need to go beyond the physical, and use your intellect. Can’t hurt to try, and nothing to lose because it’s free. And if you go on a first date and there’s no chemistry, well, it’s just a first date and not some major commitment. So to me it’s a no-brainer. Who knows you might meet someone that you really click with.

When the free period is over, you may want to become a member to keep the conversation going. With that in mind, it’s important to watch the calendar: the free weekend may be longer than the weekend but it still comes to an end!

From a personal perspective, I’ve been quick to try the free eHarmony weekend in the past. In my most recent attempt, I was unable to meet someone. The weekend was plenty long enough. I just didn’t find anyone I clicked with, BUT that doesn’t mean you will have the same experience and I’m still happy to see additional free weekends roll around.

Please be advised if you have used the free weekend in the past you will still be able to do so again. This is for newbies and for the old-pros. Everyone is invited. That seems fair to me, plus if it was only new people that would mean you’d have less people to talk to during the free weekends. So I’m glad everyone is invited! You might ask, if you could use the free communication over and over again then why ever sign up? And I think some people are able to use the service that way, which is fine if it works for them. Apparently eHarmony is fine with people who do this.

If you’re new to online dating and looking for a great way to get your feet wet again, this opportunity is for you. Good luck with your online dating!

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Picking a dating site that you feel comfortable with is not always easy. I’m going to review a few in this article and hopefully help you make an informed decision. I’m pretty sure if you are currently up to date and have a TV and internet connection, you know which ones are the most advertised. Most of the time I see either eHarmony.com or Match.com aiming for my attention.

I even see specialty sites such as Farmersonly.com only and EliteSingles.com advertised so I’ll try to cover some of them here. While Match.com and eHarmony.com take an approach of being an option for everyone, sometimes people want to find a site that speaks to who they are as a person. Some examples of this include Farmersonly.com and elitesingles.comfarmers is pretty obvious that its clientele is mostly made up of the hard-working women and men on farms. Others such as elitesingles.com are not so obvious from the name unless you’re in the know. EliteSingles.com is for people who hold themselves to a higher standard of learning. In layman’s terms smart people. So let’s take a look at some of the top rated sites according to Consumer Reports:

Zoosk

Zoosk sells itself as user friends and having attractive features. However, in conversations with people who have used Zoosk, I hear it is one of the more hated services. They apparently have some practices that “trick” people into spending more and more money. You’ll notice in the Consumer Reports article, Zoosk is rated the worst.

Match.com

This is where Brad met his wife so obviously working with him on this site I see a bit a bias! Not that that’s a bad thing, our experiences shape our opinions. Regardless, Match is a heavyweight in the industry and they’ve been around since 1995, which is kind of amazing if you are old enough to remember what the internet was like back then! Match is a good choice if you’re looking for a ton of options when browsing…lots and lots of people to choose from.

eHarmony

eHarmony is often billed as the dating service for marriage minded people. In their marketing, this can be seen and I’ve often seen them refer to marriages as a measure of the value of the service they provide, which is a very different way to marketing compared to other services that talk about things like the number of first dates.

EliteSingles

As mentioned, this dating service is geared toward individuals who value intelligence and success. Although I think some of us would have to work up the nerve to call ourselves “elite” even if we do have a nice house and fancy car. Still, there’s a set of people out there who are tired of weeding through less motivated folks on other services and Elite Singles give them an option to better find exactly what they are looking for.

One other interesting fact about the dating services is that they all ranked very poorly! Even the most popular, most successful services couldn’t get higher than a 56% rate. That’s really bad…we’re talking out of 100! So obviously, when you talk to people about dating services, the frustration of not being able to find a perfect match is going to cause many of us to dislike our dating service…even if it’s the best one around. I wouldn’t read too much into the low scores, other than that it’s a good reminder that online dating offers a tool but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

What About Other Services?

Ok so we were able to give you a few of the top sites, but I want to see what more is out there for people who want a specific site to who they are. If we have dating sites for farmers…what else is available out there? Instead of focusing on specific services I’m going to focus on categories. All, please know that I’ve not tried any of these services and I can’t vouch for them. I just thought it would be fun to dig around for some unique ones and share those with you.

Music Lovers

So my first pick is music because I myself love music and I’m a musician. I figure what an easy and upbeat way to connect and if a woman loves music enough to use a service around it, then maybe that might give my musical self an upper hand (can’t hurt!). A quick search on google reveals tastebuds.fm and asoundmatch.com both music based site who match their consumers with musical liked minded people.

tastebuds.com would be my first choice if I wanted to pay for another site. The reason why is, as a musician they let you add your own work to the site. I think that’s great. It shows another a potential date who you are as an artist and person. If you’re like me your music also reveals a lot about your mind and soul.

Asoundmatch.com is free although if you want more features you do need to pay, but you can listen up to twenty-five songs a month in the free service. That’s not a bad deal if you want to meet people that share your same love for music. I also think it’s a great way to break the ice sharing music you both like. They give you a three-minute music personality test then match you with people who have similar taste in music. You can share your music with other members and send them songs. You can also have music on your profile. I think that dating services like these are going to increase in popularity in the future. Having something to talk about right off the bat makes things a lot easier. Music is a great conversation topic.

Money Lovers

So I laugh when I write it, but there are services for “money lovers” too. And I guess that sort of thing has been happening forever even if the people in those relationships may not want to admit it. So if that’s you and you don’t feel any guilt admitting money is attractive, then a site like MillionaireMatch.com might be for you! For many of us, that idea sounds bad but I’m not going to judge. There are also site like SugarDaddy.com where it gets even more specific in that it’s women looking to date men who will take care of the financially. Should we have a conversation about ethics and what this looks like…? Let’s skip it this time!

Free Lovers

After doing more research on the web and google searches I realized there are a heck of a lot of specific sites. It just depends what category you might log yourself under. Maybe your top interest is a dating site that you don’t have to pay for. Well, we have those too. The top two are Plenty of Fish and OkCupid. Plenty of Fish sometimes referred to as POF, has been around forever and was known for a clunky interface. However, that interface didn’t slow them down and like the CraigsList of dating, it rose above its sub-par design and became the number one free dating service. I’m even seeing TV commercials for the site now.

Note that people who run dating services do need to pay the bills, even if the dating service is free. So for the free services, expect to see lots of advertisements on the website.

Geek Lovers

Another service that’s been around for a while that is interest-based is Geek 2 Geek. As you might expect, this is a service that aims to bring self-proclaimed geeks together. An aspect of this service that I like is it’s welcoming nature for those that consider themselves geeks. A sort of “come as you are” approach. Because the truth is that many people find it difficult to be really honest about what they enjoy. A service like this could even allow people to find better matches than they normally would based on interest…although in my experience a service like this has a lot fewer users. But really that’s true for every service focused on one particular area since not everyone shares the same interests.

Are Shared Interests Most Important?

I’ve often heard that opposites attract, but do they really? We see all these services that drive us further and further to finding very specific people that are normally similar to us. A new study shows that “birds of a feather flock together”. Opposites attract is an interesting idea, and sometimes it’s true, but studies suggest that the opposite is true more often.

It’s our similarities that most often bring and keep us together. It only makes sense that we would want to be with like-minded people. I know that this might sound redundant but I for one find it so much easier to speak with a person that shares my same views, interests, and values. As a musician being with someone who doesn’t care about music feels so disconnecting to me. So, if you think you are better suited with an opposite you may want to think again. I’m not sure how you found this article, but odds are it’s because you do want to find someone with similar interest and background as you and are looking for ways to do that.

We live in a time when everything is right at our fingertips and we have more options than ever. If you can think it, it’s most likely out there somewhere. Finding the person you want to spend time with, becoming friends with, and ultimately marrying is difficult and takes effort. But there are lots of resources to help along the way. Take a look at Brad’s guide to online dating. It’s full of helpful tips and hints to help you achieve love. You can’t sail a boat if you don’t know how and it’s the same with online dating. Learning how to use an online dating site ensures more success. You want to get the most out of your money and know how to navigate the seas of online dating.

So in closing, it’s easy to see that there are a ton of good choices out there for you, and choosing a hobby or interest-based dating website might just lead you to your one true love.

Of course, me ever being the optimist, I’ll say you never know until you try. There’s defiantly no harm in trying out new things and don’t be afraid to go your own way. If you like Nascar racing guess what there is a site for that. Nasmatch.com. Have an interest? Hop on Google and you might be surprised by the options. I’m not saying all of these side sites are the best. With anything, you should investigate and see if the site is legit. With sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com, that’s not as required since they are established sites and have good reputations.

What Do You Think?

Do you have thoughts on what makes for the best online dating service? And how much does shared interests really matter? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below…I can’t claim to know about every service an you might have a lot to add for others!

I hope this article helped you with your online dating decision on what dating site is right for you. If anything at all I hope it opened your eyes to the almost endless array of website out there designed for particulars. I think you get the picture. Thanks for your time, and good luck with your online dating.

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Valentine’s day is peak season for online dating. From the new year to February 14th, there are more people dating online than any other time of the year. This isn’t to say that everyone will disappear on the 15th. It seems more like the motivation from New Year’s resolutions starts to wear off here and many people with a relationship resolution see February 14th as a date where the decide if they were successful or a failure for their resolution.

However, this also means that many people will be putting in a lot of effort with online dating sites prior to Valentine’s day. This means there’s a good chance that many of us giving online dating a try might find ourselves with a date on Valentine’s day, maybe even a first date.

First Dates and Valentine’s Day

There are many good ideas for Valentine’s day if we’re talking about it generally. A dinner at a fancy restaurant is always a good time or is it? Depends on if you want to be among the millions of others that take their dates out to eat. However, online dating can put a twist on this and it really depends on where you are in the relationship. If this is the first date, in most cases it makes more sense to keep things simple. Plus, trying to get a reservation can be a huge task if you’re just scheduling a first date now.

There is even an argument that scheduling a first date on the 13th or 15th is better. While there’s no rule against the first date on Valentine’s day itself, it can create some awkwardness or some people might find it off-putting. I wouldn’t say that you should never go on a first or second date on Valentine’s day, but at the same time, you might be saving yourself a headache if you meet on the 13th. And really, is it bad meeting a day earlier? I don’t think so.

For Those that See Valentine’s Day as “Failure”

I mention above that many people will stop online dating because they feel like they failed. I would encourage you not to do this. I’ve been using online dating for over six months at the time of this writing. There have been a lot of ups and downs and more than a few frustrating days.

But I keep trying. And my life is much more interesting because of that. So if you approach the 14th as a day where you declare yourself a failure, don’t! You’re not because you’re just like so many of us. If this dating thing were easy, somebody would have solved it long before services like Match.com or eHarmony came along.

No one wants to be alone on this lovers holiday. If you’re lonely but not trying anything at all, take a step toward love by joining a dating site. This time next year you could be one of the lucky ones enjoying a special evening with that special someone. And yes, it might take a year, but let’s be honest with ourselves and agree that things worth having almost always take work. Some people are alone on Valentine’s day but don’t have to be if they would turn their attention to the effort.

Also, I realize that by the time many of you read this there’s no time left to really find that date for Valentine’s day, even if you sign up for a service now. I would encourage you to not dwell on “failing” and instead try getting together with some close friends. Don’t forget that single can be just as fun or exciting as a private evening for two.

Recognizing Many People Give Up Now

One more argument for not giving up on your online dating efforts when Valentine’s day passes. You now know that many people will be giving up around this time. But what about the people who don’t? What about the people who see Valentine’s day roll by and say, “I’m not giving up. I’m sticking with this”. That seems like an interesting group of people and I’m going to be one of them.

In addition to the good feeling of sticking with it, I think it’s possible to meet some really great people who are committed to finding a relationship even when the going gets rough. That’s a quality I would love to find in someone I date: resiliency and the ability to stick with things that are hard. And let’s be honest: relationships are often hard so I see this as a great quality. Of course, there’s no guarantee that meeting someone on February 20th means they’ll fit this mold, but I think it’s another reason worth sticking it out.

I’d like to argue that you’ll also see a reduction in competition too. But I don’t think that’s being totally honest because not only will some of your competition quit, but so will some of the people you can meet. So I think your competition will stay the same…but that’s not the point. The point is to keep trying and if you do find someone in the weeks after Valentine’s day, I promising that years from now you’ll never even give a thought to that last Valentine’s day you spent alone. You probably won’t remember it at all!

For Those in Budding (or Longer) Relationships

There are a lot of ideas for Valentine’s day itself. My two key rules are: 1) do something special for your partner and 2) don’t forget. Valentine’s day is a very special time, especially for those who are more sentimental. Most guys know that their significant other not only expects something but would be crushed if we forget. If you do forget fellas, you’re going to be in the doghouse. I’d recommend for all those guys in a relationship to jump onto your Google calendar right now and create a recurring meeting every year to remind you on February 1st to not be a jerk by forgetting Valentine’s day!

As for what to do, we can discuss the fancy dinner I mentioned earlier. That’s a good choice, but I like making the day about the person I’m with and love staying at home. I know that may not sound exciting, but handled the right way, it can be an excellent option. Here are ideas for those of you that want to stay home on Valentine’s day.

  • One good idea for a Valentines is a romantic dinner for two at home. Fellas learn to cook her favorite meal and dessert. I’ve found that even if you end up not being the best chef, this doesn’t work against you. Bad food with loving intention often creates a memory that will last for years.
  • Being at home can be so relaxing and if you’re in a relationship with a particularly busy person this can present you with a great opportunity to celebrate while also giving them some downtime. Go out to the store a few days before the big day and get all of the supplies. I’m talking popcorn, chocolate, the works. Enjoy a romantic movie on Netflix and make sure that everything is taken care of so your loved one can really relax.
  • To build on this idea if you have time and resources is to create a spa type atmosphere. Pamper your lady (or man!). Give her a pedicure or a massage can be a great addition to a relaxing evening at home. Think candles, essential oils, and dim lighting.
  • Another idea for a Valentine adventure at home would be a project to do. Something that you’ve been wanting to redo or start. That could mean changing the drapes in the living room to taking wallpaper down. Often doing things for a common good brings people closer together. Of course, if you and your significant other fight like cats and dogs when working on projects, then stay away from this one!

Staying in isn’t for everyone but just doing a nice dinner feels overdone. My approach to this is to take that person out for their favorite thing. Maybe he likes skiing take him to his favorite slopes for the weekend. Maybe she loves rock climbing. Take her to favorite indoor spot. There are a ton of things to do and you don’t have to keep things traditional with flowers, candy, and dinner. Some people love to read and would enjoy getting a book signed by their favorite author. Some might want to jump out of an airplane together. You won’t find me jumping out of any planes anytime soon, but if I were asked to take a nature hike I would love that. It’s all about recognizing who they are and what they love even if that means doing something extremely untraditional. Do it together and focus on your love for one another and who cares if other people think that it sounds odd for the holiday.

Final Thoughts of Valentine’s Day

First, I would remind everyone that showing you’re affection for someone does not have to be just once a year on V-day. Often I think we forget to show how we care. Showing how we care is in a loving way can mean much more than just telling someone how we care. At least for me, it does. I’d rather have a person show me their love for me then tell me every day. There are many ways we can show our love for people by our actions and the list I mentioned above could happen at any time. Or something small like a note in someone’s lunch every day is a sweet reminder to say “Hey I’m thinking of you and I care.”

Other things you can do for your significant other can be to take some of the workload off of his or her shoulders. If the wash needs to be done through a load in. Maybe the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. Any household chores will really show you care. Fellas, if she asks you to do something like trim the bushes, for the love of Pete don’t wait for five months to do it! Do it when she asks and see it as celebrating Valentine’s day all year long. Believe me, this may all may sound trivial but to your partner will mean the world.

Every day counts not just Valentines Day. So. if you do follow my advice of showing love not just say it when V-day comes around just roses and a card will catapult you into the stratosphere. The build-up is what makes the day so great.

As I mentioned before if you don’t have a date for valentines day I recommend that you try online dating. This doesn’t mean your first date has to be Valentine’s day, but it could mean that you will have a date for next year. More and more people are using online dating to find love. Don’t be left out and definitely don’t just beat yourself up every day for being alone without giving yourself a chance to fix that.

Even if you don’t have much experience with a computer or using a dating site I think it’s worth a try and you can treat it as an adventure. We provide a free online dating guide on how to get started if you’re not even sure where to begin. It walks you through step by step how to build your profile and many other areas.

This year could be your year to find that special someone. Don’t let more time pass by. Can you imagine if you do meet someone and then next year you’re no longer beating yourself up when the holiday arrives? What would that be like? Try to motivate yourself to try even though it will be hard (it will) and even though you shouldn’t expect to be in a relationship immediately (you shouldn’t).

I wish you all the best good luck in your search. Remember, you’re not the only one who struggles. I deal with the frustration too, but let’s both commit to continuing to put the effort in to find that special someone!

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Valentine’s day is hot on the horizon, folks! Is it worth celebrating? And how can you best use this celebration of love to improve your online dating success?

I used to view Valentine’s Day as a shallow Hallmark holiday. I used to feel expressions of love were forced because of a colander date, and that capitalism was the impure driving force behind this holiday. Over the years, my perspective of Valentine’s Day has shifted into a more and appreciative understanding that it is a modern day ritual. Valentine’s Day comes with traditional expressions, such as dinner for two, gifting roses, and requesting one to “be our Valentine”. Though the underlying sense of meaning for this day comes from connecting with our partner(s) in loving ways.

Showing our love can be channeled through different ‘love languages’ (as outlined by Gary Chapman), including spending quality time together, gift giving, physical touch, acts of service, and words of affirmation. This goes for budding relationships as well. Everyone prioritized different channels of love differently, so be true to what love language you prefer and with time, you will learn what speaks most dearly to your date / partner(s). Above all, maintaining respect and honesty are key, which we are seeing play out in a big way with the #metoo movement. Respect supports connection, and quality connection is what gives life meaning!

Make use of Valentine’s Day by inviting someone on a date. Your time together will be held in a ritualistic space with the very clear air of romance. Whether you desire to perform traditional V-day actions, like bringing a rose, is up to you. If you don’t feel that is appropriate to your fresh connection, or if you don’t particularly vibe with common valentine celebrations, you can opt out of the card exchanges and go for a hike or even meet for coffee. The point is, even a casual date on Valentine’s Day will be enhanced with a sense of being ‘special’ because it falls on February 14th. Take advantage of this! Everybody loves to feel special, and a lot of folk adore holiday celebrations. Why not invite someone to enjoy the day with?

The key is to manage your expectations, and not to get caught up in someone else’s expectations of what the day is supposed to look like. Everybody feels differently about Valentine’s Day, and it doesn’t have to be something tha weighs on your shoulders. If you are longing for a date, if you are bitter about the consumerist ideals behind V-day, or if you’re nervous your date might be disappointed if you don’t bring him or her a rose, then then take breath. The truth is, the day is about connection, and we can form genuine and uplifting connections with or without tradition. Feel into the moment, and flow with it!

Furthermore(!), the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day are some of the busiest days for online dating networks. Busier networks mean greater likelihood of meeting a suitable match! Folks flock to the online scene as the desire for love becomes a more prominent theme in our culture – heart chocolates in the grocery store, flowers for sale on sidewalks, and likely releases of romantic comedy films. Love is in the air! If you have been struggling to connect with people online, you’ll likely have better chances if you start sending messages to individuals, and even set up a Valentine’s date!

Keep your eyes peeled for discounted rates for your preferred online dating network. These discounts and perks are shared directly through the app or website, and are often found through e-mail newsletters. So, if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, it might be something worth considering!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentines Day! . . .Or, as some people in my community joke, “Happy Singles Awareness Day!”Whenever this holiday rolls around, it can be a tough one for singles seeking a partner with whom to share those wonderful depths of intimacy. This cultural celebration makes astoundingly easy to draw a sharp contrast between the “haves” and the “have nots” of romantic relationships, but do we really have to be so divided?

For anyone feeling down about not having a special someone for Valentine’s Day this year, I have some good news. First, online dating becomes a bustling pool of active fish as people become motivated to find a date for February 14th. This means your chances of finding someone to enjoy a fun night out are higher, even if it is due to cultural pressures! Restaurants, movie theatres, and downtown streets are all decorated to set the scene for a gorgeous evening of romance, which will give your date a special ambiance easily remembered.

I’ll be honest, I’m not someone who feels particularly invested in Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t raised by a culture that does place significance over celebrating it. This also doesn’t mean I refuse to celebrate with people who find this yearly celebration of love makes their hearts warm and their spirits giddy. I remember going on a double valentine’s date with someone who I didn’t yet know very well and two of his friends (who were madly in love). I didn’t care about the valentine’s aspect of the evening but it was certainly enjoyable to be out on a double date. What surprised me, though, was that one of the women from the other couple brought a rose for both me and her girlfriend.

The rose wasn’t a gift that came from my own date, hilariously enough, but it was the first time somebody ever gifted me a rose on valentine’s day. This is one of those traditional acts of love for this holiday, and even if I don’t feel any need to celebrate Valentine’s, this gesture nonetheless touched my heart in a way that has caused me to remember it year after year! It seems that being raised by a culture that tells stories of women receiving red roses on February 14th embedded a quiet little desire within me to be able to live the story out for real. I had no idea the desire was there until she handed me the rose and I found myself with a huge smile on my face. The point is, even if you or your date are like me and don’t feel a strong connection and devotion to this holiday, being able to celebrate it together can still feel special.

Let’s make the choice to see next Wednesday as an opportunity for love to blossom. There are plenty of individuals dreaming of a date for this night of the year, so put yourself out there and invite someone out. You never know if it might end up being the perfect match!

Even if it isn’t the perfect match, or if you end up spending the night alone or with friends, let’s relate to February 14th as a day to remind us of the importance of love as an internal force. No other person can make us feel in love. We can only love when we open ourselves to do so. When we love in the purest form, beyond attachment and rooted in acceptance, trust, and a celebration of authenticity, we are cultivating a deep power within ourselves. It effects the way we relate not simply with people romantically, but also with our friends, communities, our work, our bodies, and life as a whole.

Every moment is an opportunity for us to choose love, and Valentine’s Day is no different. Let’s choose to love purely and help to set this tone of unconditional love for every other day of the year. Valentine’s is a beautiful expression because it reminds us to see the love that surrounds us.

What are your Valentine’s plans? How do you feel about this holiday? Share in the comments!

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THIS WEEKEND ONLY, January 26th – January 29th, eHarmony members can communicate with their matches absolutely FREE! This includes anyone who has signed up for a free account in the past as well as those who sign up for a free account today. There’s no payment required to try the free weekend – create your profile and you’re ready to go.

Valentine’s day is right around the corner and it time for a free eHarmony communication weekend. You could be one click away from that special someone. Why not take a chance on love?

Let’s face it being alone on Valentine’s day sucks. We all want to love and to be loved. It’s in our nature. Meeting online has become more common then you might think. The percent of marriages in the last year in which the couple met on a dating site is 17 % The percent of current committed relationships that began online are 20 % These statistics are from 2017 and most likely will increase in the year 2018.

If you have never tried online dating this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet, so to speak. To learn more about free eHarmony weekends, see Brad’s full write-up on the pros and cons of them here.

Now there are drawbacks if you want to look at that way. You can’t see your matches photo and that’s kind of a bummer. I would say you might find a deeper connection using only words.

I know that people are becoming used to using an app to swipe left or right. I think and this is just my opinion people who use eHarmony are more focused on the long run. You must keep in mind that not all of the bells whistle come with the weekend, but if you are interested in eHarmony this is a great way to learn about the site and its assets. Like the white-haired man in the commercials says they match you on a deeper level.

Good luck on your search for love.

Message Matches for Free 01/26/2018 – 01/29/2018! No credit card required!

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It’s that time again…a New Year and new goals. As I think about my own resolution, I’ve decided to try to focus on exercise and getting more fit as I continue dating online. Thinking about my resolution got me curious about how others handle their resolutions and how much success people do or do not have.

The sad thing is most people do pick goals for the New Year, but give up before they see any change. It’s happened to me and it’s probably happened to you. Don’t let that be you this year! Almost fifty percent of American adult make resolutions each New Year. Looking at PracativeChange.com, we see some depressing numbers for resolutions:

The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:

  • past the first week: 75%
  • past 2 weeks: 71%
  • after one month: 64%
  • after 6 months: 46%

When you look at these numbers, one thing you could think is, “Wow so many people don’t keep their resolutions!” If half of Americans have a resolution, it means over 1 in 4 people in the US fail each year within 6 months. But I see something else here too: while only 46% of people keep their resolutions after 6 months, that still means that someone is doing something right! What is it about the people who succeed that is different from those that fail? There are probably too many areas to cover in one article, but here are three ideas I think could help you have better success with a resolution:

Plan for the Risk of Failure
Just as Brad talks about in his online dating guide, success rarely comes on accident. The online dating guide argues that planning and research can help you with online dating, the same is true for your resolutions. I’d suggest the first part of planning is admitting to yourself that resolutions are hard and decide right now what you will do when you’re tempted to give up in a month or two. That may sound pessimistic, but I think it’s better to plan for the “bad” than to assume everything will be good!

Pick a Specific Goal
If you’re in school or work in a corporation, you might be familiar with SMART goals. If not, check out the link…but basically it comes down to making sure that your goals are created in a way to give you something clear to work toward and a way to recognize when you have success. For example, your resolution might be, “I’m going to try online dating”. That’s not a great resolution…the only option for success, we would assume, is meeting someone and entering a relationship. A better goal would be, “I’m going to try online dating for the next three months with the goal of going on three first dates in that time”. This, in my opinion, is a much better goal!

Have Support or Accountability When You Can
Another area that has really helped me is having support or accountability with resolutions. What’s the difference? Well, if your resolution is to work our regularly the “support” could be a workout partner where “accountability” would be more like a workout coach. If you were online dating, support might be finding a friend who is also trying online dating and sharing the ups and downs with each other. Accountability in this example might be asking a friend to check in with you once a week to make sure you’re still giving it your all. In either case, support/accountability can help us stay on task even when we feel frustrated.

Online Dating and Resolutions

I believe many people end up using online dating as a part of their New Year’s resolution (although not many people admit to online dating being their resolution). When you look at the most popular resolutions, fitness is in the top 3. There are many reasons that people want to get fit, but I think if spend much time on this website, then a fitness goal is likely in part related to wanting land more dates.

I know myself that health will play a big part of my new year. In a sense, I want to attract women that are attracted to men who keep themselves in shape. I can only speak for myself, but I know the type of woman I’m looking for is healthy and might be labeled as “fit”. I want to offer the same and while I’ve heard that women are more forgiving than men, I’ve noticed women ask for men that are physically fit or want to get fit regularly in online dating profiles that I’m seeing.

So I ask, why not get fit for love? I can’t guarantee that it will increase the number of dates that one may have, but I do really believe that it will make a difference. Not only in the number of possible dates, but just in everyday life.

Imagining a Good Way to Start a Resolution
Let’s take a walk down fantasy lane. Let’s imagine for a moment that you want to change your life. Can you imagine that? OK, let’s say one of your biggest goals is to get fit and you say to yourself,
“This is the year. Nothing can stop me from achieving my goals this year!” So, where do you start?

I would keep it simple and as I described above, start planning! So step 1: deciding on a gym, or some other place to work out, and be intentional to find something that is right for you. Do you have late nights? You might want a 24 hour gym. Were you a swimming all-star in high school? A gym with a pool might help you stick to your goals. Whatever it is that makes you “you”, make sure you find what’s most likely to work before you commit.

Next, you want to do is commit to yourself that you will go and plan when. Imagine the outcome, imagine how better off you will be a month from now, three months from now, a year. Imagine how hard it’s going to be…that’s right! Because we need to be honest with ourselves. And maybe even imagine sharing your goals with a friend who will keep you on track.

Now, let’s say you follow through with everything. Even before you shed all the pounds you want to, chances are you’re feeling good, and when you feel good about yourself you become confident. When you feel good and you are confident you become more attractive to others. Studies have shown that introducing even a small amount of discipline or habit can have big impacts, even before you meet your final goal.

Speaking of goals: a good thing to do is to date people who share the similar goals. It doesn’t always work out this way, but it’s something to look out for. That might mean you start dating someone and it’s easy for you both to transition into working out together at the gym. Again, this is my goal but it could really be any resolution in theory. I would think that the shared successes and frustrations of a particular goal could bring people closer. Working together for a common goal usually has those results in my opinion.

Getting Fit…Even Without Love?
While I’m motivated to work out because I’m dating online, there are benefits even if it doesn’t lead to more dates. What are some benefits of working out? From what I’ve found as I’ve done some research, not surprisingly, there is a lot that shows that working out improves many, many areas of lives. Sure, it improves our health which we all know, but there are other areas too. Which isn’t to say that losing weight or looking better isn’t a good reason. But here are some reasons on top of those:

  • Working out is a mood changer and has been shown to improve how we feel. I’ve read that it can even help reduce depression in some people.
  • It helps to boost energy even on days when you’re not working out.
  • Working out keeps you more healthy, helping the body to fight high blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol.
  • An obvious effect of working out is that you lose weight. It also helps you maintain weight.
  • Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night and fall deeper into sleep.
  • Working out can help reduce stress – even limit amounts of exercise regularly have shown to help here.
  • Exercise can improve your self-confidence. You feel good from working out and often you looking good from working out.
  • Working out can help get you out of the house and into the great outdoors which is also something healthy to do, which more and more of us miss out on in our modern world.
  • The brain releases dopamine which is a rewarding drug to the body a natural high. So working out can help you stay away from other addiction that may be bad for you.
  • Longevity is also a great effect of exercise. While there’s no guarantee for a longer life, there’s no doubt that exercise helps people avoid so many of the diseases that can cause an early death.
  • And last but not least exercising can improve your love life…without getting too detailed, I think we all realize that stamina is a good benefit for more than just the gym!

So yes, I am motivated to get healthier in part because I’m dating online. However, I’m also trying to keep all these other areas in mind to help keep me motivated too.


My Final Thoughts
If you’re thinking about getting healthier like me, don’t let another year go by making excuses for why you can’t work out. I can only speak for myself, but I have found that people who are serious about something will do it…they find a way, they find the time, they follow through. I know for me it has been a struggle most of my life to follow through when it comes to working out but I’m back at it again and I’m happy to share that with all of you here. Maybe you’ll even help hold me accountable!

So if you’ve been reading this thinking, “Easier said than done!”, I can relate because I have had trouble with this too. I have found that it’s about pushing forward one step at a time, even if you do fall back a few steps sometimes. And maybe you’re nervous about dating, but I’ve found that stepping out of your comfort zone can do amazing things for you. In 2017 I began to do just that with online dating and it has been a real eye-opener for me. I hope that if you are reading this that you go for it this year. We may not know each other but know that I’ll be pulling for you all the same!

So, now I have to find my gym. I have no idea how many gyms there are out there, but I do know there are a lot. As I discussed above, I believe that finding the right one is a personal choice so I’m trying to take into account what will work best for me. I know that Planet Fitness focuses on having a facility where you can feel safe or at least not judged as much. They even don’t approve of some activities in the gym because they don’t want their other clients to feel intimidated. I think that would be a good gym for someone who is just beginning and they also have personal training for you. Although, I would imagine that most gyms have this. I’ve also looked into a gym that’s open 24 hours a day and has a swimming pool although I’ve not found one close enough to me unfortunately. I’m sure I’ll find the right one…and you can too!

So, that’s where I’m at. I hope my thoughts will “try and pump you up!”, but ultimately the choice is yours. Finally, if you want another take on New Year’s resolutions, check out the video below. Best of luck to everyone trying to exercise discipline in a new way this year!

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions - YouTube

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Try the eHarmony Free Weekend, Dec 29th to Jan 2nd 2018

eHarmony is once again continuing their tradition of providing a free communication weekend as we start the New Year. For those in the US, you can try eHarmony for free starting on Friday, December 29th and it continues until the end of the day on January 2nd, 2018. You don’t need a credit card to try out the free weekend – just create your free account and you’ll be able to participate.

Signing up anytime before (or during) free communication will enable you to go through the communication process on eHarmony. Also, if you already have an account at eHarmony, you’re also able to try the free weekend.

Click here to sign up for the eHarmony Free Communication Weekend

The Good of the Free Weekends

One of the best parts of the eHarmony free communication time, particularly at the beginning of a new year, is that there will be many new people joining. This means you should see additional matches coming in over the free time. In January, lots of people sign up for dating services for their New Year’s Resolution and for a variety of other reasons, so even without free weekends January is a good time to see new matching on eHarmony.

A second good part of the free weekends, although it will sound silly since it’s so obvious, is the ability to communicate! However, I think it’s important to point this out because so many people will do something like the following:

  1. Sign up (or sign back into an existing account) on Friday.
  2. Look over their eHarmony matches and think about starting the communication process but do nothing.
  3. Saturday or Sunday finally work up the nerve to contact one of their matches.
  4. End the free weekend having contacted only one person.

I understand people who do this…heck, I used to be one of these people who approached online dating this way. However, if you decide to try the free weekend let me recommend that you try contacting as many of your matches as you can. Again, I realize this advice sounds so straight-forward that it seems like not stating, but having talked to so many people about this over the years, I know it’s important to remind people of this.

The communication process with eHarmony takes time. There’s back and forth between the individuals that won’t allow you to be in a place where you’re scheduling your first date in the first hour or so. The free weekend is helpful not just because it’s free, but because it helps you get a handle on the communication process within eHarmony.

So my rule if you’re logging in for a free weekend? Communicate early and communicate with as many matches as you can. Try to communicate with all your matches (gasp!) by Friday night if you can. If you’re talking with someone and feel like it’s not going anywhere or they’re not someone you want to meet, that’s fine! But better to communicate and know this than to not try at all.

The Bad of Free Weekends

You’re probably already picking up on one of the “bads” of a free weekend: you only have so much time. My emphasis above in regard to being intentional about contacting people is based on the fact that you only have 5 days in this case. Of course, nothing will stop you from signing up to communicate beyond 5 days, but for many people, the whole point of the free weekends is to try to explore for…free!

In addition, while eHarmony is made to be free to communicate, this free time does not include every single feature that a paying member would have. The most important missing feature is that you won’t see photos. Which does take away quite a bit from the process and I think eHarmony wouldn’t lose much by including this feature (it’s been this way for close to 10 years so I don’t expect it to change).

One of the other features that aren’t included in the free weekend is Skip to Email. This is a feature where when you see a profile that you feel a connection to, you can skip the eHarmony Communication process and immediately email one another. I don’t see this missing feature as problematic as missing photos though. A part of the benefit of eHarmony is the communication process and how it helps start the conversation when you do get to emailing.

The final feature missing is Secure Call. This is a feature where you can call each other through eHarmony but not provide your real phone number to one another. Again, would it be nice if this feature were included in the free weekend? Sure. But missing it doesn’t take too much away. Things have changed a lot since I started dating online (all the way back in 2005!) and in the last 10+ years, I’ve seen online dating from being suspicious of everyone all the time to people giving each other their phone numbers in the first or second email! I’m not saying that I think giving your phone number out in a first email is a good idea, but things have changed. If you make it through the eHarmony Communication process, you’ll then be able to email one another any details you want (until the end of the free time). I’d assume one of the details you’d send one another would be phone numbers! So this missing feature isn’t really taking much away.

But I’m Already a Member…This Isn’t Fair!

What if you’re already paying? Is this unfair since all the people who aren’t paying are going to get to use a service you’re paying for?

I suppose you could look at it that way. However, I look at it differently. One of the negatives I see in eHarmony when comparing it to something like Match.com is that you can’t browse every member. Instead, you need to wait for eHarmony to provide you with your matches. If you’ve been on eHarmony for a month or two, you’ll see that there are times where you’re not getting as many matches as you used to. This can particularly be seen if you live in a rural area.

So, while it’s true that other people are going to get to communicate for free, as a paying member you’re going to see a lot of new people join. You might go from having only a few matches to a dozen overnight. I do get the complaint that you’re paying for something someone else isn’t, but I think if you stay on top of things and communicate with your matches, you have a better opportunity during the free weekends too. Plus, you get to see the photos which is something!

Keep in mind: the goal of paying for an online dating service typically isn’t about what you’re paying. It’s about who you’re meeting. Try to look at the free weekends that way: lots more people to talk to.

Good luck to anyone trying the free weekend and hope everyone has a great New Year!

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