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Have you ever thought of dating multiple men at once? Asking yourself how many? The answer is 3. And here’s why.

Delfino writes an interesting article on XOJane.com about how to play the field. https://www.xojane.com/relationships/how-to-be-in-charge-of-your-heart-a-pair-and-a-spare-method

She introduces the “Pair-and-a-spare-method,” which tells women to choose three men to date at the same time. I totally agree with her method and I’m here to break it down and as well, disclose my own personal take on how to play the field.

Background/Disclaimers
  • This is not the same as polyamory; that is a conscious decision to date continuously and absolutely multiple people at the same time (and usually all partners are aware and consensual).
  • This method is for 1) those who want a monogamous exclusive relationship with one person eventually and 2) the casual dater.
  • This article is not for the faint-hearted and might be considered somewhat taboo. But this is also for the gal who might find herself overwhelmed with options and needs some objective strategy to ensure she doesn’t waste her or an anothers’ time. This is also for the gal who has too many a time, put all her eggs in one basket.
Basic Ground Rules
  • Assume no exclusivity on both parties unless there has been a mutual agreement and discussion.
  • Don’t mention you’re dating other people unless prompted to (Kind of kills the vibe a little).
  • Decide on how long are you willing to ‘play the field.’ What’s your time window? 1 month? 6 months?
  • Define what are “dating” activities and what are “in relationship” activities. For some, relationship activities might mean sexual contact, holding hands, intimate disclosure, PDA, or introduction of friends/family members. For others, that can all be included before the relationship label.
Why it Works 
  • As Delfino mentions in her article, dating multiple men at once will automatically put you in a more attractive and proactive mindset. You are ‘choosing’ your partners rather than ‘settling’ for someone.
  • Dating multiple people will put characteristics, red-flags, and preferences in bright Technicolor.
  • You won’t ever be ruminating over why one guy never texted you back or why that other guy didn’t take you out like he said he would. Cause you don’t have the time or attention to care (Well, not substantially so).
  • Once you’ve come to the final decision, you’ll feel very uplifted in that you proactively chose your partner rather than succumbing to the idea of someone. In turn, you’ll value this person a lot and so will they.
Procedure 
  1. Funnel the prospects. And pick two major candidates. Often, I find that they are either both really great packages of guys (so hard to reject on the get-go). And pick a third still quite an attractive guy.
  2. Understand there’s a tier even with these 3 guys. So rank them.
  3. Make sure that these 3 guys are in close caliber of quality. If one brings up multiple red flags, drop, drop, drop him! And replace the third position consequently.
  4. In your time window (Let’s say 3 months), you will need to go on dates with all 3 men. You should have a good sample of each guy- enough to make a decision.
  5. Start to prioritize who gets the most share of your time. This will naturally unfold.
  6. Checks and balances. Dating 3 men will make it abundantly clear to you on what one man is doing and what another is not.
  7. Weigh and evaluate. This is when you reflect and your time window is nearing a close. Midway, you should have knocked out your third candidate.
  8. Focus and compare. Now, in the last 1/3 of your time window, you need to dedicate your dating time to only this pair that you have chosen.
  9. Decide! This is the last and most tricky part. You have to choose your number one choice and dive in.
Strategies/Important Notes

-Pick wisely who these 3 suitors are. You will be expending a lot of your time and energy. Make it worth it!

-Understand that you might lose both or all of your 3 options in this process. Dating multiple men at once is difficult (Emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially even).

-You’ll have to be very good at multi-tasking. DON’T MIX THEM UP.

-Space out or clump dates when necessary. You need your ME time too!

-Have fun! It’s the ride. You’ll learn about yourself a lot.

 

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HIV and Sex Toys

We all know that staying protected during intercourse is important, but did you know that HIV transmission is also possible by sharing sex toys? Bodily fluids remain on sex toys after usage and won’t go away until they get washed. That means that if one user is HIV-positive, then the virus may be passed to future users. It’s uncommon, but it has unfortunately happened before.

If you want to share that rabbit vibrator with your GF, BF or BFF and you’re unsure about their sexual history, then read on to find out more about how to keep yourself safe.

Beware, Don’t Share!

When it comes to sex toys, sharing is NOT caring. You will have no risk of being infected with HIV from sex toys at all if you don’t share sex toys with anyone. If you never share your sex toys with anyone or use sex toys that belong to someone you don’t know very well, then you don’t need to worry about protecting yourself from HIV.

In some cases, though, sharing is something you’ll still want to do. Maybe you and a new sex partner want to explore toys together. Maybe you want to share a great toy with a best friend. When this is the case, use the next three tips to help you keep safe.

Wash Thoroughly

The good news is, washing a sex toy thoroughly with soap and water is more than enough to get rid of any risk of virus transmission. To go the extra mile, you can buy a specialty sex toy cleaner. Those cleaners help to keep toys free of dust and other dirty stuff you don’t want to come into contact with.

Use Condoms

If you can’t clean your sex toys after each use, or if you’re unsure of the cleanliness of someone else’s sex toys, you may want to consider using a condom. Just slip the condom over the dildo, butt plug, or vibrator the way you would put it on a real penis and the toy will be good as new. After each use, throw the used condom out and Voila! An easy alternative to disinfection.

Use Non-Insertive Sex Toys

You only need to use condoms if your sex toy is insertive. If you want to have fun sharing sex toys but don’t want to worry too much about cleanliness, then try using non-insertive sex toys such as nipple clamps, sex swings, and handcuffs. Those toys can lead to the intense pleasure of a whole ‘nother dimension with no insertion necessary. As long as you don’t get body fluids on these non-insertive toys, you will not have to worry about any HIV transmission.

More Safety = More Fun

Sex toys are an indispensable part of the modern-day sexual experience! Today’s advanced toys help give orgasms leagues beyond what unaided intercourse can achieve. At the same time, though, this increase in the popularity of sex toys means that safety is more important now than ever.

Go ahead and love yourself using some hot sex toys! If you decide to share with someone else, then take these steps to do so safely!

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Reader’s Question:

My husband and I have been married for seven years. We have two children and both work full-time. We are in our early 40’s. He has been “seeing” someone online. I caught him masturbating with her through an online site and he admitted it has been an ongoing thing but says it has no real meaning. He said they talk daily, text, and have some video sessions. Is this an affair? I am embarrassed to talk about this with anyone and don’t know what to do.

To be with someone and truly not know them at all…

Where is the man you fell in love with? There are a bunch of possible reasons why things changed. Sometimes we don’t figure it out until it’s too late.

Yes, your husbands’ online affair is cheating.

The sad truth:

Over ten percent of all affairs started online in 2017. Forty percent of those turned into offline, hands-on affairs. An online affair involves the same basic aspects as a physical affair.

Differing views on what constitutes cheating do exist. Here are some examples to help outline my personal view on what makes a cheater:

  • Engaging in sexual talk.
  • Spending time with a person in secret.
  • Touching intimately. E.g. sleeping in the same bed, holding hands, et cetera.
  • Giving intimate gifts, money, or paying their bills
  • Online affairs. 57% of people have used the Internet to flirt. 38% of people have engaged in explicit, online, sexual conversation. 50% of people have made phone contact with someone they chatted with online.
  • Any form of sexual contact, including kissing.
  • Becoming emotionally involved with someone else (emotional infidelity).

I’m sorry this happened to you. You must not let this experience cause you to develop trust or anger issues. Don’t let this relationship ruin future ones. People who cheat are not worth the issues we give ourselves over it.

Trust me, I know.

A survey on cheating was conducted in 2017 by a company called Trustify. The results are worse than you want to hear, but exactly what you need to know. Trustify found that people who have cheated before are 350% more likely to cheat again, compared to those that haven’t cheated before.

Hence, “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

I’m guessing you have a pyramid of different questions building up in your mind.

Questions like:

  • Is he unhappy?
  • Does he have feelings for her?
  • Have they ever met and been actually physical?
  • Does he want to work this out?
  • Will he stop seeing her now that I know?
  • Who else knows about this?
  • If you want to get past this and keep your marriage, you should start by asking him any and all questions you think you need to know.

After you have his answers, take some time to process what you learned and decide if you want to stay and try, or leave and not.

Recovering the love and trust that was lost will take time. It will require high levels of emotional strength. It may not work out no matter how hard you try.

You can’t be in a marriage that causes anxiety every time he looks at his phone or tablet.

What if catching him is his “out?”

If you decide to talk this over and not just leave, prepare yourself for him to use this situation to unload his truth. He may not want to work it out.

Let’s face it… he cheated on you. This is probably it.

Remember, it’s okay for you to walk away from this all together. Call him a cheating d*&k and leave.

Life is short. Don’t spend time miserable if you can help it.

Click here for another article about infidelity you may find helpful.

I wish you the best of luck.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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In the age of Tinder, OK Cupid and other apps that lets you hookup in a wink, how do you ensure that you and your partner get some action that’s different and fun? What are the different ways in which you can make sure that the passion between you both never dulls no matter how many times you do it in a day?

The answer lies in the following pointers, which will help you make sex fun again, night after night after night. Without further ado, take a look at them to know what should be next on your to-do list.

1.Start It Slow

A lot of us are in a hurry to get to the big ‘O’ but in throes of passion, we forget to enjoy the tiny, sensual moments that build the momentum. Go back to the basics and start is super slow. Feel each other’s body and breath and gradually increase the tempo. This is surely going to make you both yearn for each other more. If slow sex seems a tad bit dull for you, pep it up with a warm, soothing bath together or an erotic massage.

2.Seal It With A Kiss

Bring back the good ol’ days of making out wildly before you get into the act with your partner. What you can do is start with a light peck and then work your way into full-on frenching your partner, exciting them to the highest level. And there are so many varieties of kissing that boring would be the last word on your mind. If you would like to work up your imagination a bit, start watching random kissing scenes from TV series and movies. Here’s are some of the most iconic movie kisses that may ignite the passion. It’s not only a sexual act but also helps you bond deeper than ever.

3.Spice Things Up

Doing little things can effectively change it for you and your partner. It needn’t be going that extra mile, but instead make tiny changes in your daily routine that will eventually help bring the spark back into your sex life not just for one night, but for several nights in a row! Changing the position of your bed, switching the side you sleep on and having food that is considered aphrodisiacs for dinner are some of the things you can try for more effective sex. And ladies, you can always surprise your partner with by opting to tighten vagina minutes before as that will ensure more pleasure for both of you

4.Let There Be Mess

No matter how kinky you get, there’s something about messy sex that is hard to resist. Play with massage oils, lubricants, ice, whipped cream, chocolate syrup or even cookie batter. You can get as creative as you want with the mess and can change the items from time to time.

5.Introduce Some Games

One of the best ways to turn sex attractive and fun is to indulge in some games and you don’t need Christian Grey’s Red Room Of Pain for that! While there are sex toys and sex games that are easily available online or at specialty stores, you can always invent your own special game. For instance, blindfold your partner and make them locate you on the bed and tease them. Alternatively, you can also take role-playing games to the next level by enacting characters and situations from your favorite shows.

6.Talk It Out

Both men and women love to listen to their partners’ innermost desires. Men especially would love to know how they can please their partner in bed. In turn, they would like to be appreciated. Take the cue and tell your partner what you like and what you like them to do. Guide them by taking whispering sweet nothings related to sex in their ears. All the same, appreciate and encourage them when they try a new move that turns you on.

7.Sext, Sext and Sext Some More

You don’t need to be in a long-distance relationship to sext or video call and indulge in some virtual sex with your loved one. Surprise them by sending your nudes when they are busy at work to let them know what awaits them when they get home. Alternatively, you can also sext them while having dinner. The moment they give you the knowing look from across the table, you’ll know that it’s time!

8.Read Out Passages from Erotic Write-Ups

Remember the Mills and Boons? While they will always remain an old classic for teen girls, they sure can help you get in the mood. If you’re not an M & B person, Google up some erotic text and read it aloud in your sexiest voice and ask your partner to do the same. Maybe, you both can enact some of the passages now and then.

9.Do It Everywhere

Don’t restrict yourselves to the bedroom. Take it a notch high and find out different places to indulge in foreplay, heavy making out and sex. You can start with the kitchen while doing the chores, in the laundry room pinned against the washing machine, in a secluded spot in the parking, down in the basement, in the elevator, under the table while playing footsie, the car, the stairs…just let your imagination run wild!

10.See Yourself Doing It

Make the most of the full-length mirror in your home to watch yourself in the act. This can be in front of the dressing table mirror or in the powder room. This will give you both a kick and get you in the groove in no time!

The Wrap

These are some of the ways to rev up the sex for you and your partner like never before. The crux is to try your luck and also to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t wait further and get started by implementing these tips starting now.

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If you decided to date someone in the longer term, it's easy to get caught up in what will be rather than accessing what's happening in the present. People can be inclined to jump on ship on something that might be a semblance of what they think will be good for them. They blur all the red flags as to fulfill that dream that they're the exception. But instead, you need to ask yourself more often, “Am I the rule?” Because sticking to the present and understanding the rules will bring you closer to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling reality. Here are 11 tell-tale signs that you are the rule, not the exception.

The meetings between you two are sporadic & spotty.
  • Quantity matters just as much as quality. The number of meetings should increase as time goes by and the caliber of your quality time is important as well. Not just “Netflix & chill”(s) or simply “going out.” There should be room for more formal settings (from plays to banquet dinners to concerts to sporting events to friend meet-ups to weddings).
Invitations to understanding your personality/character/inner soul are either ignored or skimmed over.
  • Superficial details clutter your relationship and forgo your supposed connection with this person.
Time, money, emotions, actions, or words are being put in emptily.
  • Because the investment comes from a place of convenience. If it’s convenient for the person to talk about their feelings because they want to be comforted, then it’s nothing special. The same goes, if he’s rich or free during the summer, or a smooth, smooth talker.
You differ in any of the following: communication styles, passions, humor/disposition, conflict-resolution, core values, lifestyle, and long-term/short goals.
  • If you both speak the same intuitive or perceptive language, it’s a lot easier for things to flow. And it’s a lot easier when the going gets rough as well. It’s also just fun to have someone understand the playful you. It’s attractive to feel invigorated. So is having the same obstacles and vision during a certain stage of life.
Fighting is an opportunity to realize strong differences instead of seeking and embracing similarities (and relating to each other).
  • Whenever, I fought with this guy, we would just try to impose others’ opinions on each other. I thought maybe we were being honest and that was healthy, but I didn’t realize that we were just speaking totally different languages. We did not really easily perceive the others’ problems or even attempts in resolving them.
You’ll only feel cared for enough but not ever all the way.
  • There are always lulls in any stage of dating, but there’s a totally different tone when the effort feels more forced and chore-like rather than willful, sincere, and warm.
Games, games, and games.
  • Hot and cold. On and off. Fight and make-up. Cycle and repeat. Just shaky, manipulative, and heady. When it’s a game from the start; it can only continue or end as a game. And no one truly wins when that happens.
Your (or their) Ego, needs, and desires are the forefront of the relationship.
  • And sometimes, there are cases where both parties are like that and there will be too much friction. Sure, it may seem exhilarating. But all that blood burning isn’t passion; it’s sneakily subtle contempt.
Your lives are separate and going in parallel directions.
  • There’s rarely or no interweaving of routines, plans, or goals whatsoever. Even if you get a sneak-peek, it’s all fluff or all compartmentalized so that you never get the full picture. The big ones are: friends, family, career aspirations, background, important hobbies, and personal dreams/aspirations.
You (or they) are not physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, or spiritually ready to have a relationship.
  • This goes without further elaboration. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready.
Something is missing.
  • You can’t easily put your finger on it. But something about this person just doesn’t make your soul ache. Or you feel like you can’t ever be your full self with them. You also don’t feel appreciated. It could be as random as their quirks annoy the living h*ll out of you. It could also be how you might feel that they are too doubtful or suspicious of you just being you. In the end, you need to be you and supported as you. No shaky relationship is worth stifling the essence of who you are.
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Few events in life can be as earth-shattering as a bad breakup.

While some lucky people seem to have their soulmate dropped conveniently into their lap about the time that hormones start flying, most of us will go through at least one genuinely horrible breakup in our lives.

However, things are as dire as at the beginning, when you stare at the bottom of another carton of ice-cream.

The truth is, even bad breakups can make you more empowered.

Stages of a Breakup

Of course, people are not supposed to go from the breakup directly into self-help mode; there are a few stages to navigate first.

Stage #1: Falling Apart

The first stage involves crying your eyes out and sleepless nights of despair. When you manage to fall asleep, the once beautiful butterflies in your stomach, now turned moths, wake you up:  “Did we really break up or was it just a nightmare?”

Stage #2: Going Postal

You feel visceral anger whenever someone mentions your ex by name.

You’re mad at them for not appreciating you, for taking you for granted, for all the fights you had. But you’re also outraged at yourself; you can’t believe you let them get away with it for so long.

In this stage, you get rid of everything reminding you of them, from their gifts to their number on your smartphone.

Your friends become collateral victims of your breakup, they have to listen to your rants every day.

Stage #3: Numbness

Now that you vented your anger, you start feeling an unusual sense of calm. You simply don’t care anymore and start realizing you’re better off without your ex.

You don’t feel the need to talk to them, and you’re pleasantly surprised when a whole day flies by without them even popping into your mind.

However, in this phase, there are still some residual feelings. If someone mentions them or if, God forbid, you see them, you get emotional and go back to venting or even crying.

Luckily, this doesn’t last long; the next morning, you’re as good as new.

Stage #4: Comfortable Numbness

You’re finally okay; there are no emotional outbursts, even in the situations mentioned above. You spend time with your friends without venting and get your life back on track.

But, bear in mind that this stage is crucial.

This stage is where you decide if you will lead a comfortably numb life or you will grow as a person. It takes just a little shift in your attitude to reach the fifth stage, empowerment.

Personal Growth Following the Breakup

After going through the first terrible stages, you will be able to see that there are (at least) five blessings in disguise of a bad breakup.

1. You become more focused

One of the most crucial steps to finding self-empowerment after a breakup is to regain your focus.

The chances are that the dying stages of a relationship took some of that focus away.

On the other hand, the shock of a sudden breakup might have caused you to lose sight of what is essential.

Now, you can put all that aside and concentrate on what is actually important. For many, that may mean work.

With no more distractions from your personal life, you’ll become more productive.

Thus, a breakup could be the catalyst for a promotion or a raise. You may even use the free time you now have on your hands to earn some extra money, save up, and go on that trip you had always dreamed of.

For others, it could mean more time with friends and family, especially if they love and value you even when you’re ranting. You can focus more on their problems and give them advice based on your experience.

2. You become a better version of yourself

Being rid of the dead weight of an unfulfilling relationship means that you get a lot more “you-time.” Use it to focus on what is important for you.

It does not necessarily have to be all about getting a job or learning a skill, although those certainly count. If it is valuable and worthwhile for you to take the time to go travel, then do it.

If not, find who you are and make peace with that person, even if it means looking at some uncomfortable memories from the past.

With detachment comes objectivity: you will be able to admit the mistakes you made in the relationship and learn what you have to work on.

On the other hand, you should also think about all the times you took the blame; was it truly your fault?

You will know what you (don’t) want from your next relationship.

3. You become healthier

For many people, finding time to get healthier is a significant component of finding time for themselves.

In the beginning, exercising can help you stress less about your relationship going splitsville.

After all, it is hard to hear the rest of the world when you are sprinting or spinning at full pace. Also, the law is much more understanding about taking out your post-breakup rage on a punching bag rather than on your ex.

Speaking of finding vengeance on your ex, everyone has that dream of ‘casually’ running into them after a major body transformation.

You can make yours, at least partially, a reality.

4. You become more confident

Working out and spending more time on yourself is also a vital key to empowerment in that you will find yourself more confident.

You could have all the skills and charm in the world, but if you lack confidence, it is for nothing.

After a breakup, you’ll have more time to do things on your own, which will make you more independent.

Stepping out of your comfort zone without being harmed, as well as going through a breakup without many bruises, makes you feel invincible.

You may soon find yourself believing in yourself more than ever.

This is crucial – when you start to base your self-worth on an internal motivation rather than what someone else thinks of you, you are not merely on the road to self-empowerment, but you are almost there.

5. You become happier

Above all else, finding self-empowerment after a breakup can lead to greater happiness.

No one wants to be unhappy, but so few people achieve real lasting happiness.

Being focused, self-aware, healthy, and confident is a winning recipe for success both in and out of the romance world.

Simply put, one of the primary purposes of a relationship is to help you find happiness. However, no one can perpetually provide that level of joy.

Instead, it can only come from you. Look for the person who uses it as fuel for an even brighter flame.

A Final Stage: Empowerment

Hopefully, now you can see that breakups are not the end of the world.

Sure, that high school flame may have been cute, but you left for college afterward without anyone tying you down.

While it may not seem like it at the moment, being able to push through and become empowered from a breakup can help make sure that you get the most of the relationship in the end.

 

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the Urban Dater is a blog covering the topics of Online Dating, Relationship Advice and Sex. Check out our latest entry here: the Urban Dater - A Blog About Online Dating, Relationships & Sex

The anticipation of a New Year can be both exciting and unnerving. The New Year means mean new worries, new loves, and new desires. You can feel the apprehension…Here are 12 empowering resolutions to relieve that feeling and take the New Year by the horns!
  1. “I’ll be proactive.”

I won’t make excuses if I ever feel dissatisfied with my dating life. We can control how we react to our current relationship statuses. And seize the opportunities that haven’t been hiding but sitting in front of us all along.

  1. “Say no when I need to.”

There have been ton of good people that I have passed and a ton of not-so-good people that I have said yes to. The guy who’s a classic d, and by d, I mean derrière. The girl you feel no spark for. Or to yourself. When you know you could do better.

  1. “Keep healthy.”

Healthy body, mind, and heart. Enough said.

  1. “Embrace regrets.”

It’s liberating to understand that things won’t ever pan out 100%. And that’s just life. Call it timing. Genetic or environmental dispositions. Fate. Call it being stupid. Haha, but isn’t that why we love it? View regrets as Life’s nagging but well-intentioned reminders.

  1. “I’ll be open.”

If you widen your periphery, you won’t believe how much you can let in. Date outside your comfort zone.

  1. “Go steady with someone.”

It takes as much guts to go down a path the long way as it does to go down the unfamiliar way (Resolution #5). For we can’t predict the consequence but isn’t that the thrill? There is that pondering thought of missing out on something better…But knowing someone, truly getting them, doesn’t happen briefly. No matter how many something-betters you may run into, you’ll still be around a short-lived profile of a person rather than someone you have come to learn to love fully, steadily, and deeply.

  1. “Lose 10 lbs. Volunteer. Bungee Jump. Get promoted. Visit Paris…”

Keep having goals. Keep living passionately every day. And a partner will come as a great bonus.

  1. “Grieve long but grudge short.”

Heartbreak is inevitable. And if you’re not hurting, you’re not trying. It’s okay to mourn over a loss. And you can take your sweet bittersweet time with it. That’s the only way to heal. And if you want to rebound begrudgingly and go on an empowering revenge trip, you go girl! But at the end of the day, we need to sit before we walk, and walk before we run.

  1. “Say yes when I want to.”

So what if you just met this girl on a connecting flight? Yeah, sure he’s 8 years your senior. It doesn’t matter if he lives in Toronto and you in Tokyo! So what if the woman who you clicked with is your late cousin’s frenemy’s sister’s best friend? She might be your next, first, and last wife.

  1. “Play hard.”

I want to live life with vivacity. Youth is a mentality. While I’m young or old, up or down, I want to meet new people, learn new things, and have new experiences- both romantic and not. Nourishing the desire for human interaction and connection– what other lifeblood is there for a relationship?

  1. “Remember memories.”

What’s the use of memories without remembering? They say the more we reexamine a memory, the more it changes. Alternatively, I think…the more it stays the same.

  1. “Be present.”

The best gift you can give anyone is sharing the present with him or her. Give your state of being. Without the clutter of tomorrow or the past. It’s the most authentic way to see someone because it doesn’t matter how many years will pass, who are we really, but who we are now? Let’s not hesitate to be ourselves and take in others who do the same.

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the Urban Dater is a blog covering the topics of Online Dating, Relationship Advice and Sex. Check out our latest entry here: the Urban Dater - A Blog About Online Dating, Relationships & Sex

The concept of dating later in life rarely gets the attention that millennial dating receives. From apps and websites like Tinder and eHarmony, the dating landscape of those in their younger years dominates most of the discussions in the online space.

Even research itself has failed to look at the topic of dating in later life, despite its importance.
But all of this is changing – especially as research continues to show that online dating for older adults is on the rise.

In fact, statistics from previous years have shown that adults over the age of 60 are now the fastest growing group of individuals who are dating online. Since 2013, it is understood from numerous surveys that the trend of online dating continues to rise among people of all age groups, particularly for older adults.

Benefits of Dating Later in Life

Of the studies that have looked at dating later in life, women, in particular, have certainly acknowledged their reservations about dating. Despite this, they still view dating later in life as both very enjoyable and beneficial.

There are several primary reasons why people choose to date later in life: companionship, fun, and intimacy. Women also choose to date later in life to combat loneliness, among other reasons.

One study that specifically looked at the experiences of women who dated later in life found perceptions of dating varied for each woman. Not all women viewed dating as merely a path to remarriage – most of them, for instance, considered dating as a means for attaining a level of companionship that they couldn’t achieve before.

For example, women in the study cited that dating would mean that they would be able to dance with a partner, see movies, enjoy dinner together, talk with their partner and so on and so forth.

Overcoming Obstacles

It is important to acknowledge the obstacles that men and women may face when it comes to dating later in life. First and foremost, women, in particular, often have reservations.

The study above, for example, found that women often feared being taken advantage of either emotionally or financially.

Interestingly, all of the women in that particular study were able to cite their own horror story of a friend, or a friend of a friend, who had a negative dating experience – but, again, despite these concerns, they still viewed dating positively.

It is for this very reason that the topic of dating later in life becomes part of the conversation; these horror stories shouldn’t deter women from experiencing the companionship and intimacy that comes from dating later in life.

Other research may provide relief for those having reservations regarding the quality of their dates.

One study, for example, has shown that when it comes to online dating, older adults are much more interested in representing themselves in an honest way. They are also more interested in finding someone who is compatible rather than looking for one-night stands, commonly observed in the younger adult population.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, dating later in life offers a level of intimacy that cannot be achieved through friendship alone. For women who have lost their partner, dating can offer companionship, fun and reduce loneliness.

It is important that the benefits of dating later in life don’t become overshadowed by horror stories and that the topic of dating later in life gets the attention that it deserves.

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the Urban Dater is a blog covering the topics of Online Dating, Relationship Advice and Sex. Check out our latest entry here: the Urban Dater - A Blog About Online Dating, Relationships & Sex

As the cold winter months get closer, if you're single, you'll no doubt want someone to snuggle up and get warm with. There’s a reason behind that: it’s “cuffing season.” Introduced to Urban Dictionary in 2011, it’s the time during fall and winter when singles get serious about finding a partner to be “cuffed” to, or tied down with during those cooler times.

Naturally, it’s also the time of the year when online dating sites see a spike in user activity. If the cold weather has you yearning for a partner to cuddle with, then here is your guide:

1. Look Inward

Look at cuffing season as a time to reflect on past relationships. Be honest with yourself about why you want a relationship, and you’ll be a lot better off, not only through winter but also for the long-run.

For instance, if you’re making impulsive decisions online in pursuit of a partner just because you want someone on your arm at holiday gatherings, you could be making yourself more susceptible to online dating scams. Studies show that impulsivity is a significant trait of victims.

Above all, a confident mindset will help keep you cozy through winter (with or without someone else).

2. Update Your Online Dating Profile

With so many other singles wanting to be “cuffed” and thus turning to online dating this winter, a good impression will help you stand out. Make sure you’re not presenting yourself falsely, or you can bet that your first date will be the last.

Replace old photos with current ones that get appropriate attention. Doing something interesting in your photos is the perfect way to start meaningful conversations.

Also, consider the kinds of messages you’re sending. Be honest and approachable in your profile and your chances of finding someone special will increase.

3. Look Out For Scammers!

Cuffing season brings out the online dating scammers just like Black Friday brings out the holiday shopping sales. With an influx of online daters looking for someone to be cuffed with, there will inevitably be more fraudulent profiles to look out for.

Is your match a scammer? Here are a few signs:

• He or she is “out of the country.” International business people and members of the armed services make easy cover stories for scam artists.

• He or she asks for money. (The request might even come at a made-up sob story). Treat any requests for money as a clear red flag for a scam.

• He or she expresses love or affection too much, too soon. Anyone wanting to push a relationship forward too fast likely has other – malicious – motivations.

The nightmare of falling for a scammer or a predator-in-disguise won’t compare to the negative feelings of being “un-cuffed” this winter, so don’t skip these no-brainer online dating safety measures:

• Look at his or her social media profiles. If the information from one social network to the next is not consistent, consider this a reason for more research before continuing to engage with this person.

• Check the person out by running a background check. A comprehensive background check service such as BeenVerified.com will give you information about addresses, aliases, criminal incidents and known associates.

• Let your intuition be your guide.

Remember that cuffing season brings an increase in online dating activity, which means higher chances of coming across a scammer.

We hope this guide helps you have a Merry Cuffing Season.

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“Online Dating is so easy.” — Said by no one. Ever.

The tools available to modern dating audiences are numerous and they have grown easier to use as they have evolved simpler user experiences. Swiping is a phenomenon that has consumed the online dating world. Even more, traditional dating sites like OkCupid got in on the action. Tinder still reigns supreme, based on their sheer user figures.

Bumble has made a lot of noise since their launch with small innovations such as having women make the first move after matching with a potential suitor and more recently with their business networking features. Personally, I'm a big fan of Bumble and use it instead of Tinder. I've had a couple one-nighters from the app so I don't think it's necessarily any better than Tinder when it comes to the promoting the notion of “hook-up” culture. Maybe it's the colors or maybe it's just not a “tech bro concoction” in spirit, but I much prefer Bumble to Tinder.

How hard can it be?

Online dating is like playing life on level: FUCKING EXPERT. Put another way, online dating is just fucking hard. Even if you are what society considers attractive. Match, meet, repeat. It's a vicious fucking cycle and is friends to not one goddamn dating app/site user. True fact.

Bumble puts the onus on women to initiate contact once two people have right-swiped one another. As a man, I like that dynamic let's get women more comfortable with approaching a guy. There's nothing wrong with that, especially in our society where we are pushing so hard for gender equality.

Still, it's tricky. All too many times I hear Goddammit! I keep matching with men and they NEVER message me! from my female friends. It's brutal and no one really knows why that happens. I can hazard a few guesses based purely off of my own experience. For me, if I don't message a woman it's generally because her profile lacks details or her opening message is kinda lame. So let's unpack that shall we?

What makes for a good profile?

Bumble gives you 300 characters in your profile to help you tell the world who you are. Too many times, I see a woman resort to a list of things they are, things they like to do, who they want. Inherently, it's not wrong to do that. However, I do find that it is better to inject your personality into your profile rather than bullet journaling your bio. For me, and some male friends I asked, they would rather catch a glimpse of a woman's humor, personality, or wicked bad-assness. And with a 300-character limit that is hard to do but I only if you over think it.

Share a weird fact about you; maybe share something that made you made recently; maybe share some obscure bit of knowledge you have. The point is to be you and to keep it light and inviting. Weird is certainly okay. If you do get out on a date, you'll have plenty of time to share the bullet points that make you, you.

If there's a showstopper that you don't want to deal with, that's okay to put out there, too. Are you looking for only a serious relationship plus kids? Then by all means, put that into the profile. That's a good way to qualify a would-be suitor.

What kinds of pics should I have on my profile?

If you ask ten motherfuckers what kind of photos work best you're sure to get ten completely different answers from each of those motherfuckers. So what's a dame to do who wants to chat and date sweet babes from the internet all day long?

There are a lot of myths about what makes for a good photo but I think there are a few solid guidelines that can help with that.

  • The first image someone lands on should clearly show your face. Having your hair cover it up or having sunglasses fit for the Green Giant is a no-no. Just don't do it.
  • Should you smile? Should you be flirty? Should you be kinda blank-face? A smile goes a long way, however, people will find all kinds of reasons to talk to an attractive woman no matter what barriers exist. So do your worst (but I always advise doing your best and giving “good face”).
  • One of your photos should be interesting or mysterious, something to stir up a conversation.
  • If you have a photo of yourself doing something that you enjoy that's pretty cool, too.
  • Have fun in your photos, don't be afraid to poke fun at yourself. The crazy image is a good example of that. Wit and humor always win the day on the Urban Dater.

Some good photo examples (just my opinion there)

I chose these photos because they seemed compelling/interesting…to me!

On Messaging

Women on dating sites and apps are deluged with messages and it's a firehose of bullshit from most accounts that I've heard. However, there's always a few people who get through that initial line of defense, who float to the top of the pile with a rare mixture of sincerity, wit, and not being a fucking creep.

While I'd like to believe that common sense dictates that online penpals are a baaaad thing people still engage in persistent long-lasting back and forth message exchanges on the various dating apps and Bumble is no exception.

What to do when you match? 

Ladies, when you match with someone on Bumble and they interest you send a message. Do better than “hello” or “how are you?” People, it takes effort to stand out. Quality is what matters. So when you're ready to send that message, look at the profile, read it, study the pics and send a conversational message—a message that is inviting that kickstarts further conversation.

Within a couple messages you should have an idea if you want to meet. If you're interested in going on a date, put it out there. IT'S OKAY to state your intentions. Women, own your romantic destiny!! Don't wait for the man or the woman to make that move. You never know what's going on over there but you know what's going on with you and you can control what gets put into motion. So do the thing.

So what's the plan?

As a guy, I almost always ask women out. I find out where they live and I'll suggest some places near them AND between us (although, women always choose the place closes to them. Always). You can always chime in with your own ideas, too, obviously.

The venue selection needn't be hard but it also shouldn't be too easy. As a general and very personal rule, I will NEVER select a chain. I'm in Los Angeles so that's pretty easy to do. Your mileage may vary. But try a place you haven't been to or suggest a new place neither of you have been to, it's always fun to navigate uncertainty together.

Be safe and sensible

It should go without saying that when you meet your date that you do so in a public space like a bar or similar. Don't wane to pressure to go over to a person's residence for the first date (unless you're looking to get your naughty pants stripped off).

What happens if my date is flaky and just doesn't follow through?

Ah, yes. This happens a lot with men and women. You may get a few messages into a conversation or texting and then someone falls off the map for a few days or they never quite zero-in on that magical date date and time. Remember, Bumble is a dating app and not a trophy case. If someone likes you they'll let you know with follow through or they'll be fucking heroic at letting you know what's going on to assure of their interest even if they can't make the date happen right away.

 

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