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If you are a shy bloke, meeting people online may seem like an ideal dating solution. You don’t have to summon up the nerve to walk up to a perfect stranger. You can carefully construct your profile to present yourself in the best possible light. When you do connect with someone, you can think up some charming, clever banter without being put on the spot. You can cultivate a rapport before she’s even heard your voice.

It’s the next part – moving out from behind the screen and into the real world – that gets tricky. “Most men perceive that women expect men to be confident and suave,” says dating coach Colin of Day Game Dating. “It’s unrealistic, but the pressure exists regardless. Men are exposed to a lot of social conditioning that dictates how they should look, be and act. Feeling that they don’t live up to this perceived social standard, combined with inherent shyness, makes dating especially challenging.”

So how does a shy guy handle the first phone call? The first date? The first kiss? How can you overcome your shyness, and the nerves that go with it, to navigate the murky waters of coming on too strong or not strong enough? To appear confident and in control, even when you’re not? Here are some expert dating tips especially for shy guys to help you sail through.

Challenge your inner critic

As a shy male, you probably have a little voice inside you telling you you’re not good enough. Turn that negative thinking around. “It’s a good idea to have a mantra, motto or affirmation on hand for these moments,” says psychologist and relationship expert Melanie Schilling. “Set it up as a daily reminder on your phone; choose an image that represents the uplifting phrase and make it your laptop wallpaper; or write it on a Post-it note and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day. This will jolt your unhelpful voice out of its patterns and shift you into a lighter, more constructive and confident place.”

Be honest

Resist the temptation to create a misleading image, Colin cautions. “If you over-embellish in your dating profile, then you will find it challenging meeting up in person. Keep your profile honest so when you go on dates you can feel comfortable that she won’t be disappointed.”

Choose your first-date setting wisely

Seek out an environment you know you’ll be comfortable in. “I would avoid going to the movies or any particularly loud venue,” advises Colin. “Also avoid places that are too intimate, as it could be awkward, and other people listening is a concern for many shy people. I like weekend daytime dates or an early coffee after work, which could lead to dinner if things go well. The first few dates should be very casual until it’s obvious you like each other.”

Focus on your body language

Boost your confidence before you even leave the house with this easy hack, recommends Schilling: “Stand in a powerful posture, shoulders back, chin slightly up, using open gestures and smile! Adopting high-status body language can make you feel more confident and psychologically prepared.”

Get in the moment

“When you are shy, you are in your head – meaning, you are self-focused,” Colin points out. “What you have to do is get out of your own head. Take a breath and switch your focus onto her. Learn about her and what her interests are, as opposed to how you’re coming across and how well you are doing.”

Own your shyness

Being a shy man is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, as Colin says, “Shyness can be attractive, as can confidence.” Schilling agrees. “Many women love a shy guy or ‘beta male’,” she enthuses, “especially those who have been hurt by extroverted or overly confident men. These women will be drawn to your humility, kindness or generosity, and won’t care that you’re not the life of the party. It’s important to play to your strengths and focus on what you are, rather than what you are not.”

Read her signals

“Women constantly give you signals about their level of attraction to you,” Schilling says. “You just have to pay attention. Watch her, listen to her; it will soon become clear if she’s into you or not. In the current #metoo climate, it’s more important than ever that you get this right.”

Don’t be afraid to step up

If you feel your first date went well and you built up a good rapport, be forthright about asking for a second date. “This is sometimes easier said than done,” Schilling acknowledges, “so take advantage of the range of communication mediums available to you. You don’t have to ask her face-to-face – you can send a text, an email or a social media message.”

Go for the first kiss on the second date

Initiating the first kiss is always a risky move, whether you’re shy or not, Colin points out. “But taking a risk and going in for a kiss is part of dating. It is never guaranteed that she will kiss you back, but failing to make a move can also lead to rejection. Look for signs that the date is going well. Do you feel a good connection? Is she laughing regularly, even touching you occasionally? These could be signs that she would be open to a kiss. If she has agreed to meet up again and is displaying any of the aforementioned behaviour, the risk is worth taking.”

Remember, above all, that dating is fun

“Take the pressure off yourself before you even go on the date,” advises Colin. “Remind yourself that this is not a job interview, it’s a date. This is about two people connecting. Keep it fun, keep it light and if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other dates in the future. It’s all a learning experience, isn’t it?”

Are you looking for your compatible other? Sign up today and review your matches for free. And to learn more about dating, love & relationships follow us on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

The post A shy guy’s guide to dating appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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If you’re like most of us, you’ll find writing about yourself really hard. And that can become doubly so when trying to write your eharmony profile.

Our user data analysis reveals that people who fill out all of their profile sections are more successful than members who leave them blank. So, our No1 tip is to fill out all the sections and reveal as much about yourself as you’re comfortable with. This way, you’ll give your matches a better sense of who you are and increase your chances of finding that perfect match.

Filling out your profile is easy when remembering these five simple rules:

  1. Highlight your positives
  2. Avoid clichés
  3. Reveal your values
  4. Check grammar and spelling
  5. Have fun and show your personality

Here we take you through each section, provide our expert tips and an example response for each. Now log in to your profile and let’s get started!

What I’m most passionate about

This is the perfect opportunity: a) to reveal what’s important to you and b) for your matches to connect with you on a deeper level. User data reveals that members find this section important if it is filled by more than just a few words or a short sentence, and those who write more than 50 words get over 19% of their matches to initiate communication. Our tip is to make sure your response reflects your core values, i.e. what are the things in your life that make it worth living? For example, if you’re highest values were health, fitness and travel, you might write something like this:

Things I’m thankful for

No need to over complicate things – just write down the first three things that come to mind. eharmony data shows that being brief is best in this section, with most users writing between 1 and 5 words.

  • Family and friends
  • My health
  • Living close to the beach and bushlands
My best life skills

 This is a chance to showcase your true talents. Everyone has something they’re good at! Simply select up to 3 options from the drop-down menu.

  • Achieving personal goals
  • Making friends laugh
  • Intellectual curiosity
How my friends describe me

It’s a good idea to actually ask a friend this question, then select up to 4 options from the menu.

  • Ambitious
  • Good listener
  • Caring
  • Passionate
5 things I can’t live without

Include a mix of meaningful and fun responses that relate back to your values and passions, while also revealing your personality. User data reveals that while most members leave this section blank, but those who do write between 1 and 5 words get over 18.5% of their matches to communicate.

  • The fresh coastal air
  • My cat
  • My laptop (for writing, reading and connecting).
  • Music
  • Tea
 I typically spend my leisure time

These should also reflect your values and naturally follow on from your passions.

The most important thing I’m looking for in a person

This is another important opportunity to draw in matches that align with your core values and beliefs. Be brutally honest and remember that your answer should reflect your highest value, not your preferences (which should be flexible).

The most influential person in my life

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? Perhaps it’s a family member, close friend or mentor. Be sure to explain how that person has helped shape you. Our data shows that this is an especially important section where more counts, with users writing more than 20 words receiving 25% more communication requests than those who leave it blank.

The first thing people notice about me

Best to ask a close friend if you’re unsure. This seems to be another important section for users, with those who write more than 30 words receiving 23% more communication requests than those who leave it blank.

The last book I read and enjoyed

Use an all-time favourite if you’re having trouble remembering your last good read, and don’t forget to explain why you liked it so much. Users seem to find this section interesting when choosing which match to communicate with, with 20% more communication requests seen in members who fill out this section compared to those that don’t.

The one thing I wish more people would notice about me

Highlight another positive attribute that also reflects your individuality. Again, you’ll likely receive more communication requests when this section is fully complete, with users writing more than 50 words getting almost 18% of their matches to initiate communication.

A little more about me

This one is your blank canvas and your last chance to express anything else important to you that you haven’t mentioned already.

Ready to narrow down the world of possibilities? Find someone made for you, sign up to eharmony today! And to learn more about dating, love & relationships follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The post A simple guide to writing your dating profile appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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To celebrate Australia’s sexy single farmers, we put together 10 good reasons to date one.

1. He’s committed

It takes a lot of hard work, passion and perseverance to run a farm and you can bet these great qualities will extend to a relationship.

2. He’s got a great physique

When your daily routine consists of outdoor activities like rounding up sheep, checking crops and riding horses, you enjoy the benefit of being naturally fit, toned and tanned. Remember Hugh Jackman as The Drover? Enough said.

3. In touch with nature

It’s sexy to be eco-aware. From being able to translate the sun’s position to the time, to knowing the moon cycles and weather patterns, your farmer is as close to being ‘at one with the land’ as they come.

4. Traditional values

Most farmers subscribe to good ol’ fashioned values like loyalty, chivalry and family. Any guy with these values will be proud to treat you with kindness and respect.

5. Independent

His farm-managing capabilities aside, this man also knows how to take care of himself. You can rest assured he’s not looking for someone to complete him, but a partner who also values their independence to share a rich and colourful life together.

6. Appreciates the company

In saying all this, a farmer’s life can get pretty lonely so he truly appreciates the company of a woman. You’ll have his time and attention.

7. Compassionate

For an abundant crop or healthy livestock, one really learns that your grass is greener where you water it, and understands the great affect of care and compassion.

8. Positive outlook

Farm life comes with many ups and downs, and when there’s a bad season or loss of farm-life, farmers really learn to maintain an optimistic outlook even in the face of adversity.

9. Handyman

This guy is all things practicality – from operating machinery, fixing things or growing crops – whatever the goal, he can make it happen.

10. Rural lifestyle

Swap the sky-scrapers for a green open landscape and get back to your roots with Mother Nature. The fresh air and organic lifestyle that comes with dating a farmer will nurture your body and soul!

Got any other reasons to date a farmer? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

The post 10 reasons to date a farmer appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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You’re beyond the trepidation of the first date and the chit-chat of the second. A third date is where the magic might happen.

What does it mean when you find yourself on a third date with someone you really fancy? As a rule, the first date is all about the basics. Both of you are nervous, you’re trying to put your best foot forward, all the while aware that first impressions are lasting.

The second date is still tentative because, even though you evidently liked each other enough to say, “Let’s do this again”, you’re still scoping out who the other person is.

But the third date can be the clincher. You’re circling with a bit more focus now, a coffee in a cafe during the day may well have moved on to dinner in a restaurant. There might be wine involved. And the possibility of intimacy is definitely in the air.

Psychologist and relationship strategist Melanie Schilling says, “Your online communication and first two dates are often all about assessing your date on a reasonably superficial level. Do your lifestyles align? Do you share similar interests? Would your friends get along? By date three, you are ready to delve deeper and ask more serious questions.”

During third date conversation, hopefully you’ll discover you share similar values and hopes for the future. You’ll be better informed as to whether or not your respective personalities are compatible for a long-term relationship.

And then there’s sex. If you liked each other on the first date, you may have kissed. You probably kissed more on the second date. But there may be expectations that by the third date, you’re ready to move to, well, third base and beyond.

While Schilling doesn’t abide by any rules when it comes to intimacy, she does recommend you ask yourself some questions in the lead-up to the third date.

  • Do I feel comfortable to be myself with him/her?
  • Am I starting to build trust?
  • If we had sex and I never heard from them again, how would I feel?
  • How do I expect sex to change our relationship?

Essentially, know your boundaries, stay safe emotionally and physically, and most of all, try to have some fun.

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.  And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities? Sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

The post Third date: is it time to expect fireworks? appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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Life’s too short to waste dating a player. If you’re serious about meeting someone special, look out for these red flags so that you end up with a catch and not a broken heart.

1. They say one thing and do another

Actions really do speak louder than words. If someone is genuinely interested in getting to know you, they will put in the effort. This means that they’ll keep their word and follow through with plans. If it feels like your date leaves you in hope and false promises, and doesn’t value and appreciate your time – move on to someone who does.

2. Conversation is sexually-charged

You can tell a lot about someone from the way they speak to you, and simple things like compliments can really give you a good indication of whether or not they want something serious. “You’re hot” as opposed to “You look beautiful” sends two completely different messages. If they are making more sexually-charged jokes than meaningful questions, this is a sure sign they have a short-term agenda on their mind.

3. You’re the last of their priorities

When someone wants to be with you, they will make every effort to do so. It’s that simple! They will prioritise you in their life and schedule and make sure that you are aware of it. You shouldn’t have to fight for a position in their life because if they were serious about getting to know you, you would already be a priority.

4. You don’t know where you stand

Dating a player will always leave you second-guessing and wondering where the relationship is headed. Whether it’s broken plans or agonising about when they’re going to call next, players love the chase and have no intention of committing to plans, let alone a future with you. You deserve certainty, consistency and clarity about your relationship so don’t settle for anything else.

5. You haven’t met their friends and family

If you’ve been dating for a few months and haven’t met any of their friends or family, this is a pretty big sign that you’re dating a player. Someone who sees a future with you and truly wants you in their life will be excited to introduce you to their loved ones and integrate you into their world.

6. They can’t commit to anything

If someone is serious about you they will book you up, make plans with you and won’t leave you wondering if they are seeing someone else at the same time. A player, on the other hand, will never be able to lock anything in, only see you when it’s convenient for them, and will have no long-term goals with you involved.

7. A player always try to get you in bed

A big deciding factor is whether or not they are able to hold off on the physical side of things. A player will usually have one thing on their mind, and with no strings attached. Someone worth keeping will value getting to know you before getting intimate.

Did you find our tips and ideas useful? Tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities and find someone made for you- sign up to eharmony today.

The post 7 signs you’re dating a player appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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If you you’re stuck in that emotional post-breakup rut, here are 10 reminders to help you move forward and get over your ex. Yes, they’re common sense and fairly simple — but not always so easy to follow.

1. Cry

Denial doesn’t solve anything. If you need to cry it out, do so. Or maybe you need to head to the gym and find an available punching bag. Be honest about your ever-changing emotions.

2. Cut off contact

Don’t try to be friends. Don’t still hang out with his buddies. Don’t text him when his favourite song plays on the radio. The easiest and healthiest way to get over your ex is to initiate clear boundaries. Defriend him on Facebook, unfollow him on Twitter, and stop getting your nails done with his mom. “Out of sight” doesn’t necessarily mean “out of mind,” but intentional space can certainly make getting over an ex easier.

3. Spend time with your friends

Now that he’s out of your life — or she’s out, this article applies to exes of both genders — seek out supportive friends. Fill that time you would spend with the ex with those who love you and want the best for you. Catch up with the people you may have neglected when you were head over heels and distracted. Don’t just retell breakup stories either; let your thoughts become less narcissistic.

4. Get rid of reminders

Throw out his magazines and toothbrush lying around your house. Don’t ask for your stuff back. Stop cheering for his team. Don’t wear his old shirt to bed. Let yourself mourn and start fresh, with no lingering reminders or memory triggers of what once was. (If you hate tomato sauce and it’s only in the fridge because he’s addicted to it, toss it.)

5. Write it down

Journal. Give your friends’ ears a break — and give your troubled mind an outlet — by journalling your thoughts and feelings. Instead of calling up your ex and leaving him angry voicemail messages, write him a not-to-be-sent letter to help you process your emotions. Reread your words and try to identify what is really bothering you — and what you need from a relationship going forward.

Write a letter to yourself about why the relationship wouldn’t have worked, regardless of who ended it. (Don’t just remember the good times; remember the bad ones, too.)

6. Stop analysing and regretting

If you initiated the breakup, don’t let yourself second-guess it. After you’ve talked and journaled about your frustrations, stop analysing the play-by-play of your relationship. Don’t get stuck in the “would haves” and “should haves,” stop looking for reasons and explanations, and learn to accept the finality of the breakup.

7. Stay active

Remember that punching bag at the gym? Use it. Clear your head with some physical activity. Join a running group, find an intramural team, play basketball at a nearby park. Even taking your dog for more walks is good for both the body and soul. A little fresh air can go a long way when your brain is taxed and your heart is weary. Too many days on the couch will only make you start resenting yourself. Don’t let a breakup justify sloth-like behaviour.

8. Take advantage of your new freedom

Now that you’re single, take advantage of the extra time and freedom such a status allows. What have you been missing since you and “the ex” got together? Enjoy a few more girls’ nights out (or guys’ nights out), take a class, spend more time with your family, and indulge in a few guilty pleasures. Pursue happiness in other areas.

Look at this next chapter in your life as a fresh start. Get organized. Purge. Evaluate what your dreams, priorities and bucket-list items are — and start chasing them.

9. Give yourself time and space

Even if you’ve done everything on this list, understand that getting over a relationship can take a lot of time. Let yourself off the hook when you have a bad day, or burst into tears for no apparent reason. Give yourself permission to heal slowly, one long day at a time. You’ve likely been through a lot. Be gentle with yourself.

10. Stay single for a while

The rebound relationship is rarely successful. Even if your instinct is to bounce back with someone new in your life — choose to remain single until the edges of bitterness, anger and sadness soften.

Enter into your next relationship when hope and optimism returns. Give the next guy or girl a fair shot at being “the one.”

Which of these tips was the key to help you get over an ex? What is your best advice for those struggling to move on? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. And to learn more about dating, love & relationships follow us on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

The post How to get over your ex appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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It’s the day after that first meeting and you think there was chemistry. Working out the next step can tie people up in knots. Communication is the key to moving forward.

It was a great night out and you’re keen for round two.

You’ve got thousands of thoughts running through your head. Who makes contact first? How long should you wait before doing something? Do they feel the same way?

It’s natural to be excited, terrified and nervous all at the same time in the early stages of getting to know someone.

You don’t want to appear over-the-top and scare someone off, but equally you don’t want to give the impression you’re not interested by being aloof. Remember, they are most likely going through the same thing.

Thanks for the memories

Regardless of how you feel about the person you’ve just met, it is polite to send them a message soon after you’ve parted company to thank them for spending time with you. Nothing needy about that, and it is non-committal.

You want more

It doesn’t hurt to review how things went in the cold light of the next day. If, after such reflection, you would like to see the person again, don’t be shy. Just drop them a line and say so. You don’t have to wait for them to make the first move.

This can be done either by phone, text or email – there’s no etiquette minefield to navigate here – or perhaps send flowers or cupcakes with a message card if you’re feeling playful.

Don’t wait too long though – 48 hours max – in case you run the risk of implying you’re not interested.

Silent treatment

One of the reasons online dating is such a brilliant tool for finding romance is that it gives you access to so many more compatible matches.

Of course, the more dates you go on means there will be occasions when it doesn’t work out. It’s the same for everyone.

In an ideal world people would be upfront and gracious if they don’t see things progressing to a second date, but if you don’t hear back from someone you like, don’t take it personally.

Just go on another date!

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

The post The first date went well. What next? appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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Try practicing these easy additions to your daily life and watch the suitors come pouring in!

So you’re fresh back in the dating game and while there’s no quick fix or a magic pill to increase your dating appeal, forming this new set of constructive daily habits can truly transform your life.

These simple switch ups will not only boost your dating demand but will also make you look and feel more confident and happy.

Get moving

Make time to exercise. A short daily walk or a run will release feel-good endorphins in your body. They will trigger all those positive feelings you longed for and will reduce feelings of stress and pain making you instantly happier. Such energy buzz can last up to 24 hours, so get moving!

Be grateful

Nothing  improves happiness quite like gratitude. No one wants to be around someone who always sees the worst in a situation, but someone who appreciates their life and the people in it. Now that’s attractive!

Simply start by writing down three things you’re grateful for before bed each day or while you sip your morning coffee. Do this daily, invite more positivity into your life!

Take a breath

We live in an incredibly chaotic world. Not all of us can channel our inner monk but it can be helpful to spend a few moments a day (especially when life or love seem a little overwhelming) practicing deep breathing. Try a simple practice of breathing in for 5 seconds, pausing and breathing out for 6. Deep breathing will calm you down and will reduce anxiety.

Be kind

If you find it a little difficult to be kind to yourself, channel your kindness towards someone else. Whether that person is a colleague, a friend or even a complete stranger, an act of kindness, whether big or small, will not only make someone else’s day but subconsciously top up your own positive mindset. It could be as simple as paying for a stranger’s coffee or giving up your seat on the train. This will definitely get the good vibrations ‘a happening (and yes, we did just quote The Beach Boys).

Overcome your fear

Break out of your comfort zone by overcoming your fears. Try something new: take a different route to work, talk to a stranger, try out that new bootcamp class you’ve always wanted … New behaviour patterns will quickly build up your confidence, which in return, is a great way to attract an amazing life partner. Don’t wait around, propel yourself towards a more confident future!

Embrace a growth mindset

So much of how we experience the world comes directly from our mindset and the way we see things. Instead of seeing challenges as negative and stressful, learn to view them as opportunities and potential for positive growth – congratulations, you’ve developed a growth mindset. If you view any failure as a step on the way to the solution you will feel much more comfortable when things don’t always go your way.

Never neglect sleep

Sleep is one of the most important processes your body goes through for recovery and rest. Despite many of us wearing it as a badge of honour in our busy modern society, lack of sleep can be hugely detrimental to our focus and clarity, our mood, our ability to regulate our eating and even our reaction time. Start small by aiming to squeeze in an extra half an hour per night (do you really need to watch that episode of Friends for the fifteenth time) and feel the difference!

Ditch the clutter

We’re not suggesting you begin folding your socks, Marie Kondo style but getting rid of excess in your life can be greatly beneficial. Not only does it simplify your space (and potentially leave room for your future partner) but it can help you let go of things you didn’t know you were emotionally holding on to. While you’re de-cluttering your home, why not try to simplify your life too, unfollow social media accounts that don’t bring you happiness and begin to let go of any emotional baggage dragging you down.

Wake up early

That early bird and worm aside, waking up early (although often challenging) sets you on a pathway to be in control of your day. Instead of playing catch up after you’ve snoozed the alarm seven times, you’ve enjoyed a couple of key hours to focus on the things you enjoy before heading off to face the day. Once you form this habit, it will be a hard one to break thanks to all the extra hours you’ll feel you gain in the day.

Embrace a growth mindset

So much of how we experience the world comes directly from our mindset and the way we see things. Instead of seeing challenges as negative and stressful, learn to view them as opportunities and potential for positive growth. If you view any failure as a step on the way to the solution you will feel more comfortable when things don’t always go your way.

Never neglect sleep

Sleep is one of the most important processes your body goes through for recovery and rest. Despite many of us wearing it as a badge of honour in our busy modern society, lack of sleep can be hugely detrimental to our focus and clarity, our mood, our ability to regulate our eating and even our reaction time. Start small by aiming to squeeze in an extra half an hour per night (do you really need to watch that episode of Friends for the fifteenth time) and feel the difference!

Ditch the clutter

We’re not suggesting you begin folding your socks, Marie Kondo style but getting rid of excess in your life can be greatly beneficial. Not only does it simplify your space (and potentially leave room for your future partner) but it can help you let go of things you didn’t know you were emotionally holding on to. While you’re decluttering your home, why not try to simplify your life too, unfollow social media accounts that don’t bring you happiness and begin to let go of any emotional baggage dragging you down.

Wake up early

That early bird and worm aside, waking up early (although often challenging) sets you on a pathway to be in control of your day. Instead of playing catch up after you’ve snoozed the alarm seven times, you’ve enjoyed a couple of key hours to focus on the things you enjoy before heading off to face the day. Once you form this habit, it will be a hard one to break thanks to all the extra hours you’ll feel you gain in the day.

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

The post Daily habits to boost your dating appeal appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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The rules about how men and women relate to each other are being updated constantly. There used to be almost universal acceptance that the man paid for the night out. Who picks up the tab now?

 It is a vexing question, this “who pays?” thing, and nowhere near as straightforward as you might imagine.

While on the face of it you would think that splitting the bill would be the natural thing to do, and in many circumstances that is the easy, uncomplicated way – appropriate too in light of the push for total equality between the sexes.

But we are talking about romance here and nuance is very much a part of the equation when it comes to engineering a successful date.

 Tricky situations

 You can have a perfectly pleasant first date where everything goes well and things look promising – and then the bill arrives.

 Here are just some of the scenarios that can then ruin the moment:

  1. He or she insists on splitting a paltry bill, making them look stingy.
  2. He or she makes no move to pay for anything, expecting the other person to fork out. Not cool.
  3. He or she orders extravagantly while the other is restrained, but is then expected to subsidise the extravagance. In other words, if your date orders a bottle of Grange Hermitage and you’ve signed up for Dry July, you shouldn’t be asked to split the bill. That too is just plain rude.
Be positive

Just remember that for every story you might hear about poor bill behaviour, there are a thousand others where it wasn’t even an issue.

Keep the date simple

The best move is to keep that first date simple and inexpensive, such as arranging to meet for a cup of coffee.

You could also take cost out of the equation altogether, by arranging a stroll in the park or a bushwalk.

Another strategy is to arrange an activity – roller skating, visit an art gallery – and meet inside the venue, so each person pays their own admission fee. If they don’t show up you still have a good time!

Choosing a bar or cafe for a few drinks or bite to eat is a good option too – if things aren’t working out, you can pay for everything if necessary and walk away without taking a big hit to the wallet.

Anything more expensive than that and you’ll have to gauge the situation when the time comes, but remember, you have zero entitlement to a cost-free date, unless it has been spelt out beforehand.

Be prepared to pay your way – and your date’s if necessary. But equally, if your date insists on paying even after you’ve offered to cover your share, don’t stress out about it. Lots of people are generous like that.

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

The post It’s the first date. Who pays? appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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In our Dating Diaries, real people talk about real dates … what went right, what went wrong, what they learnt from the experience. And the biggest question of all: was there a second date?

Janine is a 46-year-old COO of a superannuation fund. She is divorced, has no kids, and is looking for a long-term relationship with a view to marriage.

Who did you go on a date with? Adam, 47, Aircraft Technical instructor, two kids.

Where did you go? Pilus at Freshwater.

Who picked the venue? We live a fair distance from each other but he wanted to come my way and take me somewhere nice so he chose the venue.

How did you meet? We met on a dating site. I made the first move. Adam took five days to respond and I wasn’t fazed (plenty of fish in the sea!) but I loved his profile and I was thrilled when he made contact.

What did you like about their profile? He was cute, he looked fun, he surfs, plays guitar and used grammar correctly.

Did you chat much before the date? Yes! I don’t like a lot of texting so we spoke on the phone numerous times.

What did you wear? I had a bit of a wardrobe meltdown but I settled on a fitted black dress and high heels. I still have a Pinterest page dedicated to that outfit!

What were your first impressions when you met in person? He was tall and had a nice smile. He opened the door for me and was a total gentleman.

What did you talk about on the date? A lot of things! His kids, our previous marriages and relationships, and work. It turns out we had been working within 200m or less of each other for nearly 25 years but didn’t meet until I left. He was kind and clever and a good listener and was interested in me. I told him I was looking for a long term relationship and he agreed.

Any embarrassing moments? Apparently, I bent over to say goodbye to my cat and flashed him!

 How did it end? We finished dinner, he paid, and he drove me back to my place. He kissed me goodnight at the door (he says very awkwardly, I say it was gentlemanly and smooth!).

Do you want to see them again? I did! We’ve been together ever since. Adam worked hard to get me, and he works hard to keep me. We move in together next weekend!

What did you take away from the experience? Be honest without being overbearing, be clear about what you want so that you can be clear to them about what you want.

Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? Please reach out via eharmonyau@eharmony.com or let us know in the comments below. And to learn more about dating, love and relationships join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram

The post A Valentine’s Day miracle appeared first on eharmony Relationship Advice.

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