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Loveawake.com blog

Free dating tips and advice


10 Easy Summer Dates Ideas

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-13 12:36

What is it about summer that so emphatically screams “find a fling”? The warm weather? The short shorts? The feeling that school’s out and you’re finally free (even if you work 80 hours a week and haven’t attended class in nearly a decade)? Perhaps it’s just the concept of ‘summer love,’ that breezy, simple type of romance that starts with some innocent hand-holding and ends by getting busy down in the sa-ha-haaaand (see: Grease; see also: From Here to Eternity, LFO’s “Summer Girls”). I suppose it also has something to do with biology, as so many of these things do; no doubt your fit caveman forefathers felt similarly randy once the tundra thawed, albeit with a bit more grunting and far less hair gel.

With a dearth of major holidays and an abundance of opportunities to bump into sexy strangers, summer is the perfect season to start a romance. Long days and balmy nights provide just the type of meteorological foreplay that makes it possible for you to seal the deal with only minimal effort, so I’ve compiled for you a list of warm-weather dates so laughably easy to execute that you might think I’ve lost my otherwise-hard-assed romantic marbles. But that’s the joy of women, isn’t it? We are impossible to understand yet surprisingly easy to impress, especially when we’re feeling tan, sexy and scantily clad.

Have a Picnic in the Park

Eating outdoors is exceedingly romantic, especially, for some unknown reason, when it involves a blanket on the grass. The beauty of a picnic is twofold: one, it takes exactly 15 minutes to plan, and two, your table doubles as your boudoir, should your lusty lady be so moved by your romantic tendencies that she asks for dessert. Anything goes on a picnic menu, so grab a baguette and an assortment of fruit, meat and cheese, pre-made salads/ sandwiches from the local deli, or boxed picnic dinners from your favorite restaurant, then pick a semi-shady outdoor spot (don’t forget to check the area for trash, poop, and other unsavory décor before you plop down) and let the magic unfold.

Remember the essentials: a blanket (or two); a nice bottle of wine (Riesling and Gewürztraminer are good choices for summer); assorted foodstuffs; cups, plates, napkins, corkscrew, and utensils.

Include for extra credit: a few pillows to “lounge” on post-meal; a massage; a funny book, MadLibs or some other source of portable entertainment.

Sip Champagne at Sunset

Sunsets are the stuff of love poems and Ethan Hawke films, and as such, symbolize being swept off one’s feet in the best way possible. A successful sunset viewing is comprised of a good vantage point (research this in advance for the best results) and a festive, bubbly beverage. That’s all! So simple. It’s the kind of date that should feel spontaneous, so while you can (and should) research your locale in advance, you might want to wait until the mood strikes and the timing’s right to spring to action. If you’re feeling motivated, though, you can plan an evening picnic, pop some champagne and hope for a scenic sunset, thus creating a shock and awwwwww campaign of such romantic grandeur as your lady’s never seen before.

Remember the essentials: A good spot to sit and watch the sun set, which can be found by perusing open fields, beaches, rooftops, and other vista views in advance (or asking your friends); a bottle of champagne (champagne flutes optional – sometimes it’s more romantic to drink straight out of the bottle, you know).

Include for extra credit: strawberries to accompany the bubbly (they actually bring out the flavor of the champagne. They’ll also remind your date that you’re a master of seduction).

Play Games

Take note: this is the only time I’ll advocate game-playing in a relationship, because these are the kind of games that strengthen rather than test your bond (and get you hot and sweaty in the process). A game of basketball, tennis, golf, volleyball, kickball, soccer, or other sporty miscellany qualifies as both exercise and quality together-time, making it an efficient way to kill two proverbial birds with one ball – er, stone. It also shows your lady that you’re health-conscious (and fit for other taxing activities). Just try not to gloat too much if you win.

Remember the essentials: a place in which to play your game (if you don’t belong to an athletic club, most city parks have tennis courts, soccer fields and baseball diamonds that are free to the public); whatever sporting equipment you need for your game; long enough shorts to avoid embarrassing yourself while running around.

Include for extra credit: if you’re out in the park, bring water bottles and towels for both you and your date; if you’re at the club, make an afternoon of it with a post-game visit to the spa, dip in the pool and/or a trip to the juice bar.

Take in an Outdoor Concert

Are we sensing a theme? Things that are fun indoors are automatically more fun and much more romantic outdoors, and live music is no exception. Don’t worry about getting tickets to the biggest event of the season; small classical or acoustic concerts are often more romantic than big festivals or sold-out rock shows because they allow you to relax and chat with your date. Plus, these concerts – which you can find no matter where you live by searching online, checking the local paper or looking at TimeOut or Metromix – are usually free, and they make you look cultured. Bonuses all around.

Remember the essentials: tickets, if you need them; picnic items (see above) if you’re attending a concert with lawn seating.

Include for extra credit: if you plan a few days in advance, you can research the music you’ll be hearing so you’ll have something to chat about before the show (a little bit of background knowledge is especially impressive when it comes to classical music).

Embark on an Afternoon Adventure

Summer is a time for road trips, but you don’t have to commit to a weeklong excursion in order to have an adventure. Look for towns under 100 miles away from where you live that boast some sort of historical significance or interesting attraction (even if that interesting attraction is the world’s largest ball of twine). There are countless websites and books devoted to off-the-beaten-path adventures, so a quick Google search for ‘unique tourist attractions’ or ‘offbeat road trips’ should yield a bunch of good results. For a guaranteed good time, head to a nearby vineyard or brewery for an afternoon tour with a side of cheap drunk.

Remember the essentials: directions (spend some quality time a map before you head out, especially if you’re going to unknown territory); a full tank of gas; tunes to drive to; a sense of adventure (and freedom to stray from your original plan if necessary).

Include for extra credit: a few interesting stops along the way (famous roadside diners or wonders of the natural world work well) instead of one vague destination; chilled beverages to quench her thirst on long stretches of highway.

Throw a Barbecue for Two

FYI, barbecues aren’t just for beer, brats and your bros. This testosterone-fueled take on the traditional candlelit dinner is a lovely (if sneaky) way to welcome your new woman into your home without coming off as a creep; it’s also a way to show off your grill skill and wow your date with your raging manliness. I’ll take a loveburger well-done, please.

Remember the essentials: whatever food you enjoy grilling most, especially if it’s a self-proclaimed specialty (women love men who own their skills); a few sides, pre-made if you don’t feel like a Top Chef; a six-pack of (nice) beer or bottle of whatever wine goes best with your main course; plenty of candles or outdoor lanterns, with which the nice people at Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, or Ikea will be glad to assist you.

Include for extra credit: a mellow playlist, played through outdoor speakers or an iPod dock; dessert from your favorite bakery.

Go for a Hike in the Woods

Enjoy the Great Outdoors together with a hike through the wilderness (and in this case, ‘wilderness’ can be a park or the Redwood Forest), complete with stunning vistas (casually put your arm around her as you gaze at nature), potential peril (protect her valiantly from over-eager bunnies) and the endorphins that accompany outdoor exercise. If either of you have dogs, bring them along; it’s a great way to show her your affection for cuddly creatures, hopefully followed by some cuddling of your own.

Remember the essentials: a good pair of hiking boots; a backpack with water, trail mix and sun block (you’re so prepared!); if you aren’t familiar with hiking trails in your area, make sure to bring a map (and don’t’ stray too far from the path lest you embarrass yourself or become the subject of a Lifetime original movie).

Include for extra credit: your (or your friend’s) lovable pooch pal; a camera to take pics of your lady and remind her that you want to gaze at her always (or at least for another few weeks).

Use Your Home Field Advantage

Baseball season is upon us, and we ladies are just as excited about drinking beer and yelling at catchers under the sweltering summer sun as you are. If you and your date are sports fans, spend the afternoon at the ball park and get in the winning spirit together, all the while masking your afternoon cocktail habit with “enthusiasm” and “sportsmanship”.

Remember the essentials: tickets, bought in advance (haggling with scalpers is the sort of thing you do only after you’ve been dating someone for a while), preferably in a part of the stadium with actual seats (the bleachers lose their luster after college).

Include for extra credit: a jersey or baseball cap for your girl, to help her get in the spirit of the game.

Take a Midnight Dip

There’s no better way to cool off on a sweltering evening than with a dip in the water, clothes optional. This is another one of those “spur-of-the-moment” dates (a la our aforementioned champagne super-sunset), but it’s a good one to keep in your back pocket – at least until your back pocket comes off and you run into the water in your birthday suit – for the inevitable night when you and your date have no plans but want to enjoy the weather… and each other.

Remember the essentials: the optimal skinny dip spot is one that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, so if you don’t have a private pool handy, find a spot at the lake or ocean that’s away from parking lots and cop-patrolled areas. Part of the fun (might) be getting caught, though, so don’t worry too much about being a rebel.

Include for extra credit: extra-plush towels to warm her up post-swim; a bag to stash your clothes in so as not to lose your drawers.

Teach her Some Astronomy

Summer stargazing gives you a triple-shot of romance: warm night breezes, the cover of darkness and an overwhelming sense that we are but tiny specs floating in the vast expanse of the universe. You may only be able to identify one star, and that star may or may not be part of Orion’s belt, but in ten minutes of internet research you can learn enough to come off looking like a (cool) NASA scientist. Then you can distract your date with whatever it is you’re actually good at.

Remember the essentials: a spot with a clear view of the sky (head out of the city to see the most stars); a blanket; cursory knowledge of the stars and planets.

Include for extra credit: an extra blanket or oversized sweatshirts to guard against chilly nights; a pillow to guard against not being able to lie down and contemplate the universe together.

The post 10 Easy Summer Dates Ideas appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

Problems Your Marriage Will Have And How To Fix Them

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-13 12:15

You’ve bitten the bullet and gotten hitched. Things are going along swimmingly. You never thought marriage would be so easy. You naive, naive man. Some marriages are pretty smooth, sure, but there will always be problems — and way more so than when you were just dating. Ultimately for your sanity, it’s how you deal with those problems. You can do so successfully — just first learn to recognize what the problem is.


This is, of course, the classic marriage problem. It could be that she — or you — spends too much on things you don’t need, like classic cars. Other issues can be a joint checking account or disagreements on how much money to put in savings. Arguments as mundane as how much money to give a niece for her 7th birthday has been know to be the beginning of the end for some couples. Money will at some point be an issue. Be ready to deal with it.

How to Fix It: Solving a money squabble is sometimes difficult because the issues are so varied. But you can apply something we like to call ‘compromise’ to the situation. We were all raised differently when it came to money issues. That’s why there are support groups for adults who’s dads drank away their college savings. You need to first recognize that you were both brought up with different schools of thought regarding cash. Then decide the best middle ground for the two of you. Yes, this means sitting down and discussing it like the adults you are pretending to be. If she wants to put $1,000 away in savings every month, but you want to spend $200 on video games, compromise on a reasonable alternative. Or go and get a job at a gaming store. You’ll get a nice employee discount.

Hanging with the Guys

This is the one area of freedom you want to hang on to: your posse. Just chilling with the boys and taking in a beer, or a game. Sadly, many wives do not prescribe to this particular thinking. Now that you said “I do”, she believes you would rather be sitting beside her on the couch every night watching Sex and the City reruns. The edited ones, at that. Sure, you want to spend time with her, you married her. You just need some R&R sometimes with your mates.

How to Fix It: You have to start by making sure you aren’t spending too much time with the guys. Two to three times a week is pushing it. Keep it in check — unless she is hanging out with her gal pals that many times, then it’s all good. You also need to make sure you have scheduled time and dates to be with her. This will show her that she comes first. For good measure, you should turn down a couple of invitations to go grab a beer with a friend. Do the turn down in front of her and then invite her to go somewhere with you. We guarantee the next time you want to go out, she’ll encourage you, too.

Her Stuff/Your Stuff

She’ll have more stuff than you, that’s for sure. And by ‘stuff’, we’re talking about little figurines, throw pillows placed randomly around the house, and baskets full of what looks like tree bark. Your stuff — no matter how much sentimental value it has — will be crap to her. The jersey you wore in 8th grade when you hit a free throw will now be stuffed in a closet far away from anyone’s sight. You’ll be lucky if it doesn’t end up in the trash. Forget hanging any of those beer clocks up, either. That’ll never fly.

How to Fix It: This marriage problem will not come out great for you, but you can make it a non-issue by your craftiness. You will, of course, continually be asked if you like her latest decoration, or how she arranged the bookshelf — which contains mostly women’s books about getting pregnant, for some reason. You will kindly nod and mumble your approval. Next, you want to show her your idea for your ‘man section’ of the house. A garage is ideal, because most chicks could care less about that forgotten room of the house. But if you do not have a garage, but have a room in the house that is not in use for anything other than storage or a spare bedroom, explain to her how you would like to design your ‘office’. Complete with your memrobilia, comic books, and a poster or two of Michael Jordan. If she balks, you insist that you just want a small section of the house to decorate on your own. Yes, use the word ‘decorate’. That’s one of the few words she understands.


Some guys are notorious for being jealous over nothing. But chicks are the worst when it comes to jealousy. Especially when they are wives. You may not be the catch you used to be, either. Maybe you’ve lost some hair and gained some weight, but if a semi-not-gross women laughs at your lame joke when you are at a bar with your wife and some friends, you have better believe your wife will punish you later for even telling the joke. As soon as you get in the car, you’ll start hearing about the slutty woman who kept eyeing you all night. God forbid one actually does eye you. You’re likely to get smothered by your wife in your sleep.

How to Fix It: You will never know when jealousy will rear its ugly head. It usually comes out of nowhere and you are blind sided by it. You’ll have to be sensitive and careful in order to not keep getting the brunt of the anger, so tread softly. Playing dumb to the situation will get you started. Then as your wife’s jealousy continues, pay her a compliment and toss off any thought of another woman. Yes, you may like the attention, and maybe you did notice it, but never admit to that. You’ll be sleeping on the couch for a week. And while you are out and about with the wifey, careful not to do anything to provoke attention from another woman. That’s a death sentence.


We all can’t always agree on what makes us laugh (you), cry (her), or dance (also, her). But we can usually find some sort of entertainment we agree on. Well, mostly. Okay, some of the time. Agreeing on a shared love of a certain movie or TV show or album is harder than it seems for some couples. A marriage problem that seems so simple to fix, but is actually pretty difficult. Just sitting in separate rooms watching different shows or going to the movie theater to watch different movies is not a good way to handle the situation. That just send signals you’d rather be apart.

How to Fix It: First, find the entertainment that you both do enjoy. It could be karaoke or bowling. It may be a certain TV show or the same actor on the big screen. This is your focus. Same with music you play around the house. If she listens to Celine Dion, divorce her. Just kidding (maybe). And she probably doesn’t like your Death Metal collection. Make a deal with her that she gets her crappy music when she has her headphones on or in her car. And you will do the same. She can watch “The Real Housewives of North Dakota” when you are not around and you will check out football while she is shopping. But when it comes to both of you sitting down, you’ll agree on a show you both like. When watching a movie, since the selection is limited, you may have to take turns choosing. That means for every romantic comedy you suffer through, you get just as many comedies.

In-Laws and Other Family Members

Seriously, does anyone like there in-laws? Or what about the crazy cousin that is in town and your wife invited her to stay with you guys for the month? Family members are the cause of many problems in marriage and it’s usually because your wife’s family is a bunch of backward morons. We can all get on board with that, right? This will be something you realized before you got married, but thought it would slowly disappear. It doesn’t. It only picks up steam like a vicious and overly-annoying hurricane.

How to Fix ItYou can try speaking your mind to your lady about some of her family members. She will know the ones that are pretty awful to be around. Suggesting that they not spend a week at your house when there are other relatives they can stay with is a great start. When the in-laws are the subject of the matter, be careful. Some wives can be very sensitive about the way they were raised and who raised them. If her parents live in another state, count your blessings. If not, try to make excuses to take on more work when they comes around. Keeping your mind busy will help block them out and your wife will appreciate that you are around when her parents are — even though you haven’t heard a word they have said.


Hey, we’re not casting stones. There’s a lot of spare tires and weak biceps in the office. But we know that you want your wife to look good no matter what you look like right now. This is a two way street, however (Hmmm, we heard someone compare marriage to that once). She might start complaining about your level of fitness these days and you may want to complain about hers (but can’t because she will murder you). This is a problem.

How to Fix It: Get yourself to a gym. Or start jogging every morning. Pick up a weight or two every day. Clean up your diet. This will get you in gear, but when she sees the results you are getting, she will likely join you. If she doesn’t get the hint at first, ask her to go with you on a light jog — or something she might like to do that requires getting off of the couch. Something like biking, hiking, or swimming. Get her doing some activities that will shed some pounds and also keep you heading back towards fighting shape. And plan these activities as much as you can before she gets a chance to sit back on the couch.

The post Problems Your Marriage Will Have And How To Fix Them appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

10 Signs She Is Your Soul Sister

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-11 12:59

Friends will come and go. Some will stay for a season, some will be around only long enough to teach you something. Some friends will be in your life for multiple chapters, and if you are lucky enough, you will meet that special person who will connect to your soul for a lifetime.

We believe friendship should mean something, that it should have value. We give too much of ourselves to those who have not really earned it. Your friends should be the type of people who motivate you, show loyalty, and inspire you to be a better person.

There are very few people who will come into your life that earn the right to be a part of it forever. One of those people is your soul sister.

Here are ten reasons why she is your soul sister:

She Knows You Better Than Anyone

Your soul sister can read you like a children’s book. She knows the depth of your soul and the greatness of your heart. There is not one dirty little secret in your closet that she doesn’t know about. She understands the extent of your fears, anxieties, and insecurities and she helps reduce them all. She knows your true hopes and dreams, she helps you believe in them, and she encourages you to chase them.

She Clears Her Schedule

There is nothing more important than friendship. When something is going on in your life, she is the first person by your side. It doesn’t matter if she is working or out on a date night, she will drop everything when you need her. Whether you break up with your boyfriend or it’s that time of the month and you are just extra emotional, you can always count on her to be there.

She Listens to You

God gave us two ears to listen and one mouth to speak. She got that memo. When you speak you have her undivided attention at all times. She shows interest in what you have to say and she cares about your feelings. She only shares her opinion when you ask for it. One of the best feelings in a relationship is to be heard, and she never lets you leave the room without feeling that way.

She Speaks Highly of You

Your soul sister would never speak badly about you, she doesn’t participate in gossip, and if someone else has something ill to say about you, she won’t stand for it. You are confident that when she brings up your name she speaks with pride, and portrays you for the amazing woman you are.

She Is Empathetic

She always approaches you with kindness and compassion. She never makes you feel like your feelings are not justified or that they are wrong. Instead, she makes you feel like you are valuable and worthy. She feels your pain and does everything in her power to help you through the healing process. She makes sure you never feel alone.

She Encourages Vulnerability 

Sharing your deepest darkest secrets with others, no matter how close you are, is never easy. The things in your life that matter to you, matter to her. She wants to be the person you can let your walls down with and she will help build you back up. She allows you to be yourself, and loves you for that.

She Shows Up

She believes that friendship should be like marriage: you commit through sickness and health, and through better or worse. She shows up with wine and tissues when you need a shoulder to cry on, and she shows up with champagne and her party pants when it’s time to celebrate. She knows when you need a friend, a partner in crime, a wing gal, or a confidant, and she is always there.

She Is Always Honest

If you deserve the promotion you don’t feel qualified for, if your texting a guy you just met too much, or if you have a muffin top in your new jeans, she tells you. Sometimes she tells you things you don’t necessarily want to hear, but you know she’s telling you because she always has your best interest at heart. She’s the one person you can count on to be honest, one hundred percent of the time.

She Is Your #1 Fan

She is always on the sidelines cheering you on. She lifts you up and motivates you to be the best version of yourself. You can be in a little black dress for a date night that makes you look like a million bucks, or hanging out in your yoga pants with your hair in a bun and she is still going to make you feel like the most beautiful person in the world.

She loves you unconditionally.

One of the greatest life lessons you can ever learn is to love and support your friend unconditionally. This is also one of the most difficult. She may not always agree with every decision you make, but you are confident that she will always support you no matter what. Her love for you has no bounds, no limits, and no restrictions.

Being a true friend is a task that many strive for and only few accomplish. When you are lucky enough to find your soul sister, make sure you always show up in return, she deserves that. True friendship is a gift that makes the world a better place to be.


The post 10 Signs She Is Your Soul Sister appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How to Date a Sporty Girl!

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-10 17:16

There are the ladies that prioritize being healthy and athletic. If you happen to be sporty yourself, then you’re in luck because you pretty much know how to go about it. But to those who aren’t really that into sports but are into girls who are active and sporty, then this might be of help. These are the babes who love to keep in shape through what they eat and the activities that they partake in every day. Here are a few ways on how to date a sporty girl.

Exercise with her. Even if it’s just once in a while.

If you are the type of person to exercise and work out on a regular basis, then you won’t have any problems. But if you don’t like to exercise, then you might have to make compromises. But you shouldn’t have to change your lifestyle if she really does like you. However, you need to at least make an effort. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, accompany her at the gym or wake up early for a morning job. She will appreciate that you are taking time out of your day just to be with her, even if it is at the gym.

Expect a healthy-conscious fridge.

If she’s into sports, then she will be into living a healthy lifestyle. And that includes eating healthy. Expect lots of healthy organic foods inside your refrigerator. From organic vegetables to salads of different kinds, don’t be surprised of how little “good” food will be inside your fridge. Of course if you can’t really have that kind of lifestyle, let her know. She will try to convince you. Try to negotiate with her on what food you will get at the supermarket. That’s if you are living together that is. Other than that, it’s not really too big of a deal as long as you openly tell her your food preferences.

Try to learn a thing or two about properly giving a massage.

Most likely, she will be working out and exercising seven days a week. If she’s not exercising, then she is probably playing sports. Because of that, her body will be sore and her muscles will need rest and relaxation. One good way for you to gain some brownie points is by giving her a proper massage. You might not be a massage therapist but as long as you know the basics, then you are good to go. She will definitely appreciate it.

The post How to Date a Sporty Girl! appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How to Date A Nerdy Girl!

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-10 17:12

Dating nowadays have become so diverse that you can practically meet anyone from all over the world. With billions of people staying connected through the internet, the possibilities are endless. You can meet all kinds of people and don’t forget to mention that you can meet all these different types of babes with different personalities. Just like what a lot of people say, there are so many fish in the ocean. Basically, the opportunities are endless and all you have to do is put yourself out there. With that said, this is going to be a series about all the beautiful ladies and their different personalities and how to approach them. Here’s how to date nerdy girls.

It’s all about her interests and hobbies.

If you were a nerdy kid back in high school, then you are most likely aware that nerds and geeks really have a passion for what they are interested in. They put so much time and effort in knowing everything about the hobby that they have. So, the most effective way to get to know a nerdy girl is through her hobbies and interests. Find out what she loves to do and do a little research about them. If you’re not really into what she is into, then at least know the basics. She’ll definitely appreciate the effort.

Go traditional.

Some nerdy girls are really into romance and she will be expecting her partner to be romantic as well. Ask her on a date. Go see a movie and then eat dinner at a nice restaurant. Take her somewhere special and make an effort to make her feel special. Most nerdy girls are bookworms. Just because they read books all the time does not mean they only read books for academics. Most likely they will be fans of romance novels and the like. They will definitely be impressed by your gentleman-like or prince-like attitude towards relationships.

Appreciate her beauty and her brains.

It has to go both ways. If you only appreciate her beauty, then most likely she’ll kick you out to the curb in an instant. On the other hand it will be disastrous as well if you only appreciate her brains. Make her know that you like her through and through. Not just for her looks or her smarts. Letting her know that you appreciate her beauty and her brains will earn you a few brownie points. After all, she is still a girl, nerd or not.

The post How to Date A Nerdy Girl! appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

Fighting with Family The Right Way

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-06 14:49

“Bite me!” is what I want to say, but since I’m staring into the face of my mother, I can’t. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t end well. Then again, fighting with family never does.

I know you’ve been there too. You’re frustrated, at your absolute wit’s end and all you want to do is scream, rage, or let rip a string of curses that would make a trucker blush … but you can’t because you’re dealing with a loved one. We’re not talking about a fight with your boyfriend or spouse, we’re talking about sibling fights, family feuds, and all-out grudges. How can you confront a loved one without causing a familial rift that nobody can bridge?

Fighting with Family 101

Pick Your Fights

Not everything that bothers you (and there will be plenty of things that bother you) is worth disrupting the family dynamic for. It’s important to know what is most important to you and only get up in arms when that is challenged. Learn to let the little things roll off your back, and for the love of all things sacred, don’t hold grudges about them, either. The only person you hurt by holding onto all those little hurts is yourself. Some things you can let slide, others you bring up and then let go, and a few things you really stick to your guns on. Know when to do those and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Pick Your Words

I like to lead my conversations, no matter how angry I am, with “I love you.” Most times, though, it is followed by, “I love you…but I don’t like you right now.” It’s okay to not like somebody so long as they know you still love them. The truth of the matter is that you are family, and that isn’t about to change any time soon, so you have to find a way to get your point across without alienating them for life.

Think about what you need to say, what you want to get across before you call, text, or email them. Too often we say things in the heat of the moment and regret them later. There are consequences for your words and while family, in theory, should always love and forgive you, everyone has their limits. Don’t say anything that you can’t live with and remember to save the low blow insults for the stranger who cuts you off in traffic.

No Middle Man

There is nothing worse than being dragged into the middle of a family feud. It’s uncomfortable, awkward, and there’s really no way to get out a winner. If you have a problem with somebody, handle it on your own. Recruiting other family members, asking them to pick a side, or using them for insider information is just not fair. Not only do you run the risk of alienating other family members, but they’re sure to resent you for placing them in a no-win situation. It’s your argument and you need to be adult enough to handle it on your own.

Know When To Stop

You’ve said your piece and you know that you’ve been heard. Hopefully, the problem resolved itself and all is well in the world again, but maybe it isn’t. Despite what we want to happen, people don’t always change just to please us. Occasionally, they are stubborn and you’re fighting a losing battle. Know when to stop vocally waging war. I’m not saying you can’t still be upset with them, but being vocal and causing further tension isn’t getting you any closer to a resolution anymore. It’s okay to agree to disagree, or just not speak, and go on with life. Do not be the person who holds a grudge and makes every family dinner, holiday, and event miserably uncomfortable.

Say You’re Sorry and Mean It

Hopefully you fought, remembered that blood is thicker than water, and have gotten over your argument. If the fight is over, be gracious enough about it to say that you’re sorry, and mean it. There is a difference between the sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek “sorry,” and a true “I’m sorry.” Saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean that you’re going back on what you felt or where you stand, but rather that you’re sorry you hurt them, that you fought, and that it had to come to that. You don’t have to take back your view to acknowledge that you don’t like fighting with your family.

Fighting with family is never fun; it’s always complicated. Whenever possible, it’s best avoided. It’s not always possible, though, so if you do argue with family, make sure you do it with as little collateral damage as possible. Your objective is to be heard, resolve the problem, make sure you can still smile across the table from each other at dinner, and say “I love you” and mean it.

The post Fighting with Family The Right Way appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

Scams Of The Heart: What is a Romance Scam Anyway?

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-05 10:57

If you have ever received a questionable email saying that you have just inherited a huge amount of money, or you have won a lottery you don’t remember entering, but they need you to send them personal information and/or money, these along with other emails, are part of what is known as Nigerian 419 scams. Romance scams are a branch off of the 419 scams and are very effective in hooking victims while destroying bank accounts and breaking hearts.

Romance scams typically get started when someone joins an online dating website. But they also start on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tagged. Romance scammers mostly come out of West Africa, from the countries of Nigeria and Ghana, although other countries, such as Malaysia, and Russia also have romance scammers in force. They work in teams and work around the clock at scamming victims because to them, this is a job and nothing more. They do not care about the devastation they cause their victims.

It starts simply. On dating sites, they will wink at every profile they find, hoping for a lot of responses through the dating sites’ email or chat program. Once they get the desired response, they very quickly push to switch from the dating site to Yahoo Messenger, or some other instant messenger program. Once they have their victim at Yahoo, they start in with the questions, asking as many as they can, while answering as few as they can asked of them. This is one of the methods used to build a profile of their victim and is called “social engineering”. It is also how they create their own persona to match what the victim is looking for in a romantic relationship. If family and/or friends suspect something might not be quite right with the new relationship, the scammer will simply tell the victim that they are jealous or that they don’t really want the victim to be happy, so just ignore them.

Scammers steal photos from modeling websites and from public social networking websites (a great reason to keep your privacy settings to “friends only”). They use these photos as their own and if by chance someone accuses them of stealing the photos, they will say no they are the original owner and someone stole the photos from them. They always have an answer to any accusation so that the victim will believe them. They will even take it to the point of anger and turn the accusation back on the victim by using guilt. For this they will say that “How can you accuse me of such things and tell me you love me?” Or “I thought you loved me. How could you believe this lie?” In very rare instances, the scammer may decide to admit to being a scammer, but this only leads to a worse scam, called a Green Card Scam where they try to convince the victim that they started out scamming him/her but now have fallen in love and want to marry and move to be together in the victim’s country. This will be mentioned in another post.

Once the scammer has the victim to a point where they believe the victim will respond favorably, they requests for money begin. Or the first request might be for merchandise of some kind, usually cell phones or laptops, but often for clothing. Sometimes the scammer will get the victim’s home address and send flowers or candy or a teddy bear. In this case they are prepping the victim for what is known as a reshipping scam or check cashing scam for which they need to verify the victim’s home address is real. If the victim has money the scammer will ask for money. If the victim has no money the scammer will try to entice the victim to participate in one of these other scams all the while making it sound completely legitimate.

If you have been approached or you know someone close to you who has been approached in a similar manner, please do not hesitate to get help. On this site you will find many helpful links. You also can go to our chat room website and talk in real time to other scam victims who have found healing and peace with what has happened to them and wish to share what they’ve learned with you. If it is a loved one you are seeking help for, please do not give up hope. The longer the person is involved with the scammer, the harder it can be to end it. The sooner we can get victims to help, the better the course of healing and recovery.

Who Can I Turn To Now??

Let’s face it! Getting scammed is embarrassing. Getting caught in the web of deceit known as a romance scam is even more embarrassing. Trying to talk to friends and family about what happened can be a huge headache as well as very painful. So many times they just don’t understand. It’s been said to feel like “emotional rape” and like having to mourn the death of a loved one but without a body or funeral. Maybe you lost money to the scammer. Maybe you didn’t. It’s still a fact that you were scammed. The pain that goes along with it is not easily understood by people who have not been through this kind of situation themselves.

Victims get called many things, including stupid, foolish, and worse. Some have lost their family members because no one could understand how this kind of thing could even happen. Many have isolated themselves from friends and family because they don’t know how to talk about it. So what do you do when this happens to you?

Finding a support group is a huge help. Unfortunately, there are not many support groups out there geared to recovery from this kind of situation. There are a few places online where you can report the scammer and tell your story. But once you have done that, then what? What do you do with the horrible empty feeling left behind and you have no one to talk to?

Whether you decide to report the scammer to any of the links listed on this lens is up to you. If you lost money it is probably a good thing to at least fill out an IC3 report. If you are in the USA, your financial losses can be claimed on your tax return. When you find yourself needing someone to talk to, come visit us. There isn’t someone available 24/7 but most evenings USA time, there is someone there. Even afternoons you might find people there. We have a multi-national group so you may find people at all kinds of hours, so if no one is there when you first come, keep coming back until you find someone.

Dealing With Emotions

After the Scam

When will the pain end? How do I stop this heartache? These are questions I asked myself when I was trying to recover from being scammed. When it happened to me I felt like a big hole had opened up beneath me and I had fallen in. I felt abandoned, lost, like I had lost everything that had any meaning for me. I was in short devastated!

I had built my life around this fantasy that the scammer created for me. I lived and breathed this “relationship” only to find out it was all lies! I just could not wrap my mind around what had just happened.

Slowly, as I came out of the fog, I realized that some of the feelings I had were similar to when my son passed away. At first I denied it to myself. It wasn’t true, the scammer was for real, he really was my true love. Even though I had researched online and found all the red flags and knew he was a scammer I denied it. Then I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I just wanted to be left alone in my misery and hold everything inside.

First stage of grief: Denial and Isolation.

Then I got angry! I was as angry as I had ever been in my life. I wanted to find this creep and heavens knows what I would have done! Tie him up maybe and tickle his feet with feathers til he screamed for mercy? I don’t know, but I do know the anger seemed to give me a purpose again. I actually could feel again.

 Step Two: Anger

Then I started saying to myself, if you forget about this guy and try to find someone new everything will be alright! That’s what you do, you get someone new and start dating and you will be right as rain! NOT It didn’t work of course as I was still so caught up in my emotions over what had happened that every little thing about any new man I met either reminded me of my scammer and made me terrified, or he didn’t measure up to what I wanted, that fantasy the scammer had created for me.

Step Three: Bargaining

Then came the blues in wave upon wave. I cried and moaned and felt completely miserable and out of touch. I kept telling myself it was all lies and that would bring on a fresh bout of tears. There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed, didn’t want to drag a brush through my hair, didn’t want to get dressed, didn’t want to face the world at all. I felt like everything was hopeless and there was nothing left of the world I had known.

Step Four: Depression

One morning I decided to go online and do some research and found a lot of helpful links on romance scams that led me to a romance scams group. I went into their chat room and found acceptance there. I mean literally found acceptance. All the members had been through what I had been through. They understood every nuance of this horrible crime and what it does to you mentally and emotionally. Slowly but surely I was climbing out of that hole and starting to see the world again through clearer, but wiser eyes.

Step Five: Acceptance

Now I realize that I went through the Five Stages of Grief, just as one does when you lose a loved one, in my case my son. It occurs to me that when you are scammed in a romance scam, you feel that this person is the perfect mate that you have been looking for all your life. He becomes part of your family so to speak and you feel like he is going to be a permanent part of your life. When it all falls apart it is like losing a loved one that you cherished and adored.

There is no set timetable for this grieving process. Some work their way through it in a few weeks or months. Others have a harder time and it might take them much longer. The thing is not to put pressure on yourself. Take it at your own pace. Allow yourself as much time as you need to go through all the emotions you are feeling .Don’t be afraid to cry. Tears are healing.

When you feel up to it, find a support or help group(there are a lot on the web). Talk about your feelings. They will understand as they have been through it themselves. Your family and friends can be supportive and helpful too. However sometimes you need to talk to others that have been through it themselves. In some cases you may need to seek professional help. Do not be afraid of that either. If you need help get it.

You will see that slowly you will accept what has happened to you and you will be able to make your peace with it. You will realize that you are still that same loving, giving, caring person, but that you are wiser and more aware. You will understand that you are still capable of making good judgments and wise decisions.

Allow yourself to go through the stages of grief. It is a helpful process that enables you to get through the experience and being able to recognize the stages enables you to climb out of that hole and move forward with your life. And we all want that don’t we?

How to Check the IP Address on Received Emails

Finding the Email Header and IP Address

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself online from a romance scammer or even a 419 scammer is to learn how to find the full header in each email you receive and then learn how to take that header and find the IP address indicating where the email originated.

Each email program will have similar methods for finding the full header. For the purposes of this instruction I will use Yahoo email. Yahoo appears to be the most used by scammers, however they do use Hotmail, GMail and others. What you generally will not find is a scammer using a local ISP email which is the email address you receive when you sign up for internet service at your home. The main reason for this is that the scammers are not using home computers, but are sitting in internet cafes using public computers to send the emails they use to scam us. Therefore, they will be using web-based email services, and Yahoo is the most popular choice.

To find the full header in an email, first open your email inbox. (Other web-based email providers methods vary but may be similar to this.) Click an individual email to open. Once you have it open, you will see a toolbar across the top of the actual email. This toolbar includes Delete, Reply, Forward, Spam, Folders, Print, and a Cogwheel for Settings followed by an up arrow and down arrow. Click on the cogwheel and a menu box will pop up. In that menu box is a selection “View Full Header”. Click on that option.

Once you have clicked on “View Full Header” you will see a pop-up box with a lot of computer gibberish inside. You will want to highlight the entire contents of this pop-up box and right click your mouse button to copy the highlighted field.

In a separate tab or window you will need to have open one of the following websites. iptrackeronline or Scam Email P

Paste the highlighted computer gibberish taken from your full header pop-up box into the blank box on one or both of those IP tracker websites and click the submit/analyze button. The results will give you information on the originating country and originating city that the email you received was sent from.

The results most likely are going to show Lagos, Nigeria, or Accra, Ghana.However, any location other than the location the sender claims to be from is a big red flag that this person is not telling you the truth about who he/she is or where he/she is located.

There are some cases where the IP address is going to show up in the general area the person claims to be located. If this happens, you will need to continue your research to make sure. The scammers have ways of masking their IP address so as to fool their intended victims. Finding out someone claiming to be in your state is actually in Nigeria or Ghana, however, will tell you right away that this is a scammer attempting to trick you into giving your money to him.

There are times that by the time you have learned how to check the IP address, the person you are talking to has already claimed to have been sent to Nigeria or Ghana for some job or business reason. At that point their emails will show Nigeria or Ghana and will not be so questionable. What IS questionable is that anyone you might be talking to would ever be sent to Nigeria or Ghana in the first place.

If the IP address you have found points to either Nigeria or Ghana (or even Malaysia or some other country where the person is not supposed to be located) you can pretty much know that this is a scammer. By the way, if you are using Yahoo email and one of the results comes up Sunnyvale, California, know that this is Yahoo’s base of operation and that will show up on the analysis results, but not as the originating city.

GMail is the one email that tracking an IP address is difficult. This is because apparently Google has chosen to mask all email IP addresses of its users. However, not being able to track the IP address is not a big problem. Finding the IP address is just ONE of the major warning signs pointing to a person being a scammer. The thing is, when you do this IP tracking and you do find out the person is in Nigeria or Ghana, you can know it is a scammer without much further research at all. The stories they tell us of why they are in Nigeria or Ghana in the first place just do not fit real life.

There is also an email program you can easily add to your computer that will give you the origins of all emails you receive. There is a free trial period and then a small subscription fee if you like the program. It is called Read/Notify and can be found here. With this program you can get extra information about emails you send as well as receive. For instance you can check the time and location of the person you send emails to as to when and where they have opened your email.

Whatever the results you get when you do your IP tracking, NEVER SEND MONEY to anyone you only know online and have not actually met face to face. Also, be very careful about giving out personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, last name, children’s names, etc. Don’t share photos unless you are absolutely sure you know who this person is because the photos you share may be the next ones they use to scam their next victim.

How Safe Are Your Photos Online?

Everyone is doing it! Posting your own photo or those of your children, grandchildren, spouse, pets, house, etc. has become a very popular pastime on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tagged. But how safe is it really?

Romance scammers are stealing photos online every day! How do you protect your photos from being stolen and used to scam someone out of their money and heart? The safest way of all is to never post photos online in the first place. But if you are going to post anyway, make sure the location where you put your photos has privacy settings that you have control over. Then make sure that you set your privacy settings to either “Only me” or “Friends Only”, or whatever wording is used to mean that you control who gets to see those photos.

Romance scammers use the military to make themselves appear real. If you have created a website or profile somewhere to honor your loved one who gave their life in the military, add privacy controls so that the photos and other information cannot be stolen. It’s bad enough that the scammers are getting military photos online from public profiles of soldiers who are alive and well. To know that they are also using photos of those who have given their lives to defend us makes the military scams even more horrendous.

One of the most difficult things to deal with after a romance scam is knowing that the scammers have my photos. Any photo I sent the scammer of myself or anyone in my life is now in their possession to use as they choose to and I have no control over it. If you are talking to someone online that you only know online, please don’t freely give them your photos or those of your children or grandchildren, or even your parents. Wait until you know for sure that the person you are talking to is not a scammer. Follow the instructions given elsewhere on this lens to find out if you are dealing with a scammer or not before you share photos. Even then, it is better to meet the person face to face first.

How are the photos used? Photos stolen off the internet or photos shared by other victims of romance scams can be used on dating site profiles, social networking site profiles, and in emails to help convince victims that the person they are in contact with is real. When you see a photo of a nice looking man or woman playing with the family pet, or standing outside a beautiful home, or even driving an expensive car, you tend to believe that the person really is who they claim to be. The more information and the more photos that can be stolen from you, the more ammunition you hand over to the criminals to use against their next victim.

The last thing any of us wants is to find out our photos have been used to hurt someone else. Make sure you have checked all your privacy settings every time you want to share photos anywhere online. Those settings are out there for your protection. Use them wisely.

The post Scams Of The Heart: What is a Romance Scam Anyway? appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Tattoos: Dos and Don’ts Of Getting Inked

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-04 14:06

Everyone from gas station attendants to Rhodes Scholars sports ink these days. But you’re going to want to know a thing or two before you book time and sit in a chair. Since the day a friend inked me at the tender age of 16 in his Brooklyn loft (don’t do this), I’ve been hooked. Here are some valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way.

1. Pick the right spot

Good customer service is a must. If you walk into a place and aren’t greeted and attended to in short order, leave. There are plenty of other shops out there that actually want your money. Take a look through artist portfolios—or —and bring a friend who knows from good tattoos. The untrained eye can have difficulty telling the difference between good work and mediocre work. Tattoos don’t exactly age like fine wine, so you want to get it done right the first time.

2. Look for an artist who shares your aesthetic sensibilities

For example, I prefer a certain retro look to my tattoos, as opposed to a faux retro look. Thus, I go for shops that have an old school feel. It’s not that there aren’t “better” tattooists out there. It’s just that they aren’t “better” for my purposes. Once you’ve found a spot, talk to the artist a bit about what you want, then get him to quote a price.

3. Treat your ink as an investment.

You should never bargain shop for a tattoo. When you divide the cost of a tattoo by the number of years you’ll have it, even top-notch tattooists are a bargain at $250 an hour. I generally shoot for the $100 to $150 range. Your focus should be on finding the right artist for you. Haggling is, of course, totally out of the question.

4. Go to a pro.

I wish I lived in a world where this didn’t need saying, but… never get tattooed anywhere but a licensed shop. Your friend who’s apprenticing might be able to ink you for the price of needles. He can’t, however, magically control the environment for pathogens. Remember: A good shop smells a bit like a hospital because it’s more like one than a garage.

5. Choose your ink wisely.

Think long and hard about what you want. It’s going to be on your body for the rest of your life. Talk to your artist about it. Chances are pretty good that he or she can offer suggestions to make whatever you have in mind better. Defer to his or her judgment on placement. Some tattoos just “belong” certain places on the body. True story: Tattooists often take anatomy classes as part of their training to help with placement.

6. Consider your career.

If you’re an upscale professional, get something easily covered by a shirt. Otherwise, go nuts. As a freelance writer I can get tattooed just about anywhere. I have hand tattoos and want more, but I’m (mostly) avoiding my neck and face. Brian Setzer offers the advice that one should never get tattooed anywhere that a judge will see. I don’t worry much about prospective employers or Johnny Law, but you might have to.

7. When in doubt, opt for the classics.

I’ve got an anchor, the Virgin of Guadalupe, a tiger, a swallow, a few roses and stars and the name of a Black Flag song across my chest, among others. Creative? No. Awesome? I think so. Ultimately, it’s all about whatyoulike and what youwant. I know a guy who has the logo of defunct fast food chain Burger Chef tattooed on his leg. It takes all kinds, people.

8. Charm your artist.

An irritated tattooist won’t purposefully mess up your ink. Still, no earthly force can convince me that I don’t pay less because I’m laidback and not a pain in the ass. Feel free to chat. It won’t throw him off his game and it’s a good distraction from the pain. But don’t treat him like a therapist. He really doesn’t care about your problems. And don’t bring a dozen of your homies or your kids. Girlfriends and wives are OK. Anyone else… why?

9. Eat, hydrate, shower and use the can before you sit in the chair.

Be ready to sit or lay there for a couple hours before you take a break. Try to stay still. A certain amount of flinching happens, but nothing irritates an artist more than Twitchy McSquirmsalot.

10. Don’t whine constantly about how it hurts,

boast about how much you like the pain or ask dumb questions like “are tattoos really addictive?” Don’t hit on your female artist. It’s a great way to get thrown out mid-tattoo. Don’t wear Ed Hardy to the shop. Come to think of it, just don’t wear Ed Hardy.

11. Make sure to tip.

Tattoo artists only take home a percentage of what you are paying for the tattoo, so you’ll want to show them some love—especially when they do great work and you’re planning to come back around. Some people say 20 percent of total cost. I just throw in an extra $50. Let your conscience be your guide.

12. Think of tattooists as a more manly kind of hairdresser.

They could have done a ton of other things, but they chose to spend eight hours a day mostly slapping butterflies on college girls’ ankles, after several years of doing bitch work for little or no pay. Treat them with the respect you’d give a doctor or a lawyer and everything will be fine. And yes. They hurt. Any attempt to avoid this with booze, drugs and topical anesthetics is cheating, gents.


The post The Gentleman’s Guide to Tattoos: Dos and Don’ts Of Getting Inked appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How to Be Happier Right Now

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-04 12:00

Happiness. It’s an exclusive motherfucker. But it turns out we can feel better about ourselves and life in general right this second. No really, we can. At least, that’s what Shawn Achor says. And we should probably listen to him. In addition to having one of the most-watched TED talks ever, Shawn is a former Harvard lecturer and the author of two New York Times best sellers, The Happiness Advantage and Before Hapiness. Here’s Achor’s advice for being as psyched about life as someone in a Pharrell video, in his own words.

Every day when you wake up, write down three new things you’re grateful for that have occurred over the past 24 hours. That helps you practice scanning the world for good things.

Shift your happiness paradigm.

Guys especially get the formula for happiness wrong in the first place. We think, “If I can work harder right now, I’ll be more successful, and thenI’m going to be happier.” And it turns out, that’s not true—partly because every time we hit a goal, our brain changes what success looks like, so happiness is on the opposite side of a moving target, and we never get there. But if guys can create happiness in the present, they can actually dramatically improve their success rates long-term.

Be grateful.

Every day when you wake up, write down three new things you’re grateful for that have occurred over the past 24 hours. That helps you practice scanning the world for good things. It also helps you practice optimism.

Keep a journal.

Journal about a positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours. Type every detail you can remember in just two minutes in a blank Word document. That’ll help you relive that experience.

The research isn’t in it yet, but we are willing to bet that running next to a hot blonde will not make you sad.

The research isn’t in it yet, but we are willing to bet that running next to a hot blonde will not make you sad.

Work out every day.

Fifteen minutes a day or 30 minutes three times a week of fun, mindful cardio activity is the equivalent of taking an antidepressant, but with 30 percent less relapse six months later. That’s because, first of all, exercise produces endorphins, which cause short-term happiness.

But what really matters is what exercise does to your brain. When you exercise, your brain records a victory. You’ve been successful. And it creates this cascade of success. So you start developing more positive habits. In fact, people who exercise create entire constellations of positive habits in their lives, such as eating healthier and picking up meditation. Speaking of which…


In work that I was doing at Google, we invited workers to meditate. We found that just two minutes of watching your breath go in and out each day can increase your accuracy rates, decrease your levels of stress and raise your levels of happiness.

Thank someone.

Writing a two-minute positive email to somebody you know, praising them or thanking them for something, increases your social support dramatically. And it makes you happier while you’re writing that note.

Consider the source? Achor looks like a pretty optimistic fellow to us.

Take a vacation. A good one.

Research shows that people return from the average vacation with lower levels of energy and no greater levels of happiness. So I did a study in December of 400 travelers to find out, can we create greater levels of happiness on vacations? And it turns out we could. We found that it wasn’t the travel that was causing people to feel less happy, it was the travel stress. So we were able to decrease this in three ways:

One, plan early. Ninety percent of the happiest vacations are planned out more than a month in advance. Two, travel far from home. Don’t just take a staycation. And three, travel with a friend, or meet up with a local host or guide. A company like Monograms, in addition to dealing with travel details, can make sure there’s a local host at your destination.

Ditch the antidepressants. Or supplement them with action.

Antidepressants serve a very valuable function in society when there are severe cases of depression. But they have to be coupled with behavioral changes as well. Because what matters long-term is knowing that our behavior can impact our levels of happiness. Coupling that antidepressant with gratitude exercises or physical exercise can dramatically improve the levels of happiness you feel long-term.

Make the best of bad times.

My mentor, Tal Ben-Shahar, says, “The best things in life don’t always happen to you. But you can make the best of the things that do happen to you.” So it’s not about complaining about the cards that we’re dealt, but looking at the cards we have and trying to make the best of them. That’ll help us change whatever reality we have into a better reality in the future.


The post How to Be Happier Right Now appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How Dating a (Way) Younger Guy Helped Me Get My Groove Back

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-04 11:55

“Usually I meet girls on Craigslist,” Dan* said.  “Then I insult them until they cry.”  This was his opening line on our first date, drinks at a dive bar.

The mutual acquaintance that had set us up touted Dan as everything I wanted: smart, interesting, kind. Perhaps my acquaintance had lost his dictionary.

Things deteriorated quickly.  I told Dan he was creeping me out.  “I’m obviously joking,” he scoffed.  Then he asked if I wanted to do shots.

I thought, I am twenty-nine years old.  All my friends are getting married.  I live alone with two cats, one of whom pees on me while I sleep.  (“It’s an affection thing,” my vet says cheerfully.)  I go on zillions of dates, and they are all with Dan. 

How is this my life?

As I turned to leave, I noticed a cute guy sitting with his friends.  I had nothing to lose and zero fucks to give, so I sauntered over and said hi.  “I’m Corey*,” he replied, flashing a confident smile.  “Can I buy you a drink?”  We talked until closing.

That weekend, Corey took me to dinner.  The chemistry was crazy – we were finishing each other’s sentences, holding hands across the table.  Despite our different backgrounds, we had a lot in common: our love of art, our commitment to personal growth, our close bonds with our families.

“My little brother’s my best friend,” I declared.  “I mean, he’s almost 26, but he’ll always be my little brother.”

Corey furrowed his brow.  “He’s your younger brother?”

“Yeah.”  I was confused by his disbelief – I hadn’t said anything particularly surprising.

And then it hit me.

“Wait,” I blurted, suddenly terrified.  “How old are you?”

“I’m twenty-two,” he said.

Twenty-two years old. I was at dinner a guy who was younger than the Internet. He said he would understand if I couldn’t stomach the age difference, but it didn’t bother him.

I said I’d think about it.

It seemed obvious that I shouldn’t see Corey again.  I’d been twenty-two once and I’d “dated” twenty-two-year olds then – i.e., had sloppy drunken sex on or against Ikea furniture.

And after nearly a decade of playing “Who’s the Hottest Person I Can Get to Sleep With Me?” (a great game, while it lasted), I was determined to finally take dating seriously.  I wanted to meet someone I could have a deep, fulfilling relationship with, someone who could inspire me to be my best self.

Up until now, though, my search for such a person yielded mostly different varieties of Dan.  Dan the lawyer.  Dan the teacher.  Dan the finance analyst-turned-transcendental meditation guru.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like I should give Corey a chance, and my happily married girlfriends agreed.  “He’s gotta be so fit and virile,” one of them sighed.  “All the rest of us get these days is dadbod, assuming we’re not too tired.”  The others nodded solemnly.  “Besides, it’s not so bad.  The guy has a job and he can legally drink.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “but he still can’t rent a car.”

I called him back anyway, and we went to dinner again.  Afterwards, we made out furiously against what we thought was the outside wall of the restaurant but was actually an opaque window.

I didn’t care.  I wanted him.  Badly.  It was a feeling I hadn’t had in a while.             

In truth, not every guy I’d dated recently was a Dan.  Some had been, in a way, even worse: Wonderful But Boring.  The guy who is kind and intelligent and would clearly be a loving partner but who, for whatever reason, doesn’t turn you on.  Oh it’s you, you think when he texts, sliding your phone back into your purse untouched.  I wonder if the dry cleaner is still open, you think as he smashes his mouth against yours.  Time and time again, I had hoped that I would eventually become attracted to such men, but I never did.  You can’t force desire, no matter how hard you try.

When we got to my apartment, Corey was awed by everything: how nice my furniture was, that I had a paintings on the walls, that I actually used my kitchen.

I, for one, was awed by his perfect body and his cleanly shaved pubes (the latter I had no opinion on, but it was certainly different).  “Is that what the kids do these days?” I asked.

He didn’t bother to answer.

I could tell you that we had incredible sex three times that night because my twenty-nine-year-old confidence and his youthful ardor were a great match (true), or because he was working extra hard to please me (also true).  But that would suggest that I think you should go out and bag the first fresh-out-of-college-aged guy you see, and that seems imprudent.  As I recall, Ikea furniture breaks easily.

My involvement with Corey is still new, and I have no idea whether it will sustain itself over time.  We’re at different points in our careers and our personal lives.

But I already know that, whatever happens, this will have been an important experience for me.  I’m rediscovering what it means to enjoy dating someone, to be both attracted and intellectually engaged.  If Corey occasionally makes me roll my eyes (“Love Actually is one of my favorite movies”), he also surprises me with his insight (“It’s amazing how people willfully misunderstand feminism so they have an excuse to be against it”) – and frankly, isn’t that everyone?

So I’m reserving judgment and having fun.  And if I ultimately want to do those shots at the bar, I know Dan’ll be there, lime in hand.

*Names changed to protect the (young and) innocent.


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