Tag Archives Relationships

It’s Time To Take Control Of Your Life!

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There’s kind of a strange thing that can end up happening to a lot of people. This is especially true as you get older and you become more and more familiar with the ins and outs of adult life. You start to feel as though you can’t quite remember how you got to where you are. You look at around at your life and it feels like you just sort of ended up here by accident without really paying much attention. It’s incredibly common for a lot of us to start to think of our lives as something that just sort of happens to us. As though you’re standing on a conveyor belt just being carried through your life. Living on rails rather than being able to actually steer your life in any particular direction. Of course, living that kind of life is very likely to leave you feeling pretty unfulfilled and unsatisfied. This can lead a lot of people to become frustrated and even depressed as they feel as though they don’t really have the agency over their lives that they want to. However, that’s not how things need to be. Here are some of the most important areas of your life and how you can finally start to take control of your life.

Your career

take control of your life

The most obvious part of someone’s life that they often find themselves stuck in against their will is their career. Most of us have plenty of ideas of what we want to be when we grow up, but often the world can pick those ambitions apart bit by bit as you come up against the cost of education, the need to earn a living in order to support your family, or simply just being afraid to go after what you really want because of the risk of failing. So then you end up in a job you never really cared about wondering how you got into this position. The truth is that the way out of that situation is simple but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. You need to think about the kind of career that you want for yourself, and how you can achieve it. Whether that means getting further qualifications through things like MSN to DNP programs or if it means retraining entirely for a totally new career, you need to be able to see the steps towards the kind of career that you want. The idea of starting all over again can be pretty scary, but at least then you’re moving forward and not just standing still forever.    

Your relationships

Love and relationships are some of the things that we are all taught are more important than just about anything else. From close friends to romantic partners to your family, having people in your life that you care about is incredibly important. And yet, plenty of people end up settling for far less than they’re actually worth when it comes to their relationships. There are those whose family treats them poorly or whose friends don’t make the effort to be around them, but the most significant place where this is an issue is almost certainly romantic relationships. A lot of people find themselves wanting so badly to have the kind of relationship that they think they’re supposed to have, that they settle for something that doesn’t make them happy and end up resenting their relationship instead of enjoying it. It’s important that you take a long, hard, honest look at your relationships and ask yourself if they’re actually a positive part of your life or not. And don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with being alone sometimes. In fact, time by yourself can be incredibly valuable.

Your health

take control of your life

StockSnap / Pixabay

If you were to ask them, the vast majority of people would say that they want to be as healthy as possible. After all, a healthy life is one that you’re able to enjoy for as long as possible. And yet, most people tend not to bother practising what they preach when it comes to their health. They don’t bother to be as active as they could, something that is an increasingly serious issue given how much time so many people spend behind a desk, and they don’t really pay that much attention to what they’re putting in their bodies. This not only brings with it the risk of potential health problems, but it can also impact your emotional well-being as well. If you’re out of shape, or you find yourself getting winded easily, or you simply feel bad about your body because of your size and shape, a lot of the time that comes down to how healthy your lifestyle is. Now, this is not to say that there is anything wrong with being something other than perfectly thin and toned, far from it. But if you’re not making the effort to look after yourself, you’re not going to be able to feel as good about yourself as you otherwise could.

Your home

take control of your life

How much time and effort do you put into your home? For many people, the answer to that is probably not very much. One of the most common reasons for this is because many people rent their homes rather than buying them. This is because the housing market is simply too expensive for a lot of people to be able to afford. Renting carries with it the reality that you’re technically living in someone else’s property and that can make it difficult to want to put your own stamp on it. A lot of people think that they’re probably not going to be in that home for more than a couple of years so why bother making it feel like a home? Well, the reality is that making your home feel wonderful and comfortable isn’t just a matter of making your mark on the place or increasing its value. It’s a matter of making it into somewhere that you feel safe and comfortable and where you actually want to spend your time. It’s a simple and small change to your life but one that can make a big difference.

Your hobbies

Do you have any hobbies? It’s kind of shocking how many adults don’t really have any hobbies that they engage in on a regular basis. When you’re a kid you have loads of hobbies. You play sports, you ride your bike, you do all kinds of things! And yet, as an adult that all seems to slip away. The most common reason for this is that adult life is busy and it doesn’t always feel like there’s time to engage in any kind of hobby. But the truth is that no matter what kind of hobby it might be, having something that you enjoy that is separate from work and pretty much anything else in your life is one of the very best ways to make your life feel more like something you have control over. It doesn’t matter what that hobby is, painting, music, hiking, martial arts, you name it! What matters is that you have something in your life that is just there for you to enjoy.

Goals

If you really want to be able to get away from that feeling of letting your life move around you without having any real control over it, the best thing that you can do is to start setting yourself goals. Think about the things that you really want in life. Don’t just think about what’s wrong with your life but rather, what could be better. Then give yourself those goals so that you have something to aim for.  This is how you can begin to take control of your life.  As long as you’re always moving forward towards something, you’re never going to end up feeling as though your life is passing you by.

take control of your life

Free-Photos / Pixabay

There’s a good chance that most of these things sound kind of simple and maybe even obvious. However, the point is that they’re often the kinds of things that we tend to take for granted. It’s very easy to feel as though these are the kinds of things in your life that will just happen to you. These are the obvious things that we all want out of our lives so we don’t actually spend much time thinking about how we could go about taking them for ourselves. And, in fact, when a lot of people find themselves in a position where they know the things in their life that they want to change but they still don’t for one simple reason: fear. The idea of making any kind of change in your life, even if it is unquestionably a positive one, can be incredibly scary and a lot of people would simply rather be comfortable than take the risk of going after the kind of life that they really want. The truth is that the cliche of “fortune favors the bold” is entirely true. If you want to take control of your life, you’ve got to be willing to work for it and take the leap.

Read more lifestyle and health articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Pexels and Pixabay CC License

The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

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In case you haven’t already heard, today is international kissing day. That’s right, there is a day dedicated to celebrating kissing. A quick Google search will yield several articles about this common show of affection and why it is significant. This international recognition began in 2006 and since then, people take July 6th to appreciate their significant other, their children, and their family with the simple, but meaningful gesture. Whether you’re appreciating a loved one or the mere connection that we all share as human beings, it’s important to remember that we all need a little love in our lives. To celebrate today, let’s take a look at some of the best on and off-screen kisses.

International Kissing Day: Some of the Best On-Screen Kisses

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious”

The Best On and Off Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” Kiss with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Photo Credit: RKO Pictures, Ernest Bachrach

This one is for the film buffs out there who know their classic cinema. Or for those of you who don’t, here’s why this scene is so effective. The famous director, Alfred Hitchcock, found a way around the 1940s film Production Code’s ban on lengthy kisses. At the time, on-screen kisses weren’t supposed to last longer than three seconds. Hitchcock cleverly bent the rules by creating a two-and-a-half-minute kissing scene. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman didn’t actually break that three-second lip-lock. Instead, they kissed for three seconds, took breaks to deliver lines, and then began kissing again. It was utterly genius and seamlessly executed. If you haven’t seen this kissing scene, you may be underestimating the power of the on-screen kiss.

Victor Fleming’s “Gone with the Wind”

The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler’s Kiss from “Gone with the Wind”
Photo Credit: REX FEATURES

Again, it’s another classic, but come on, who can deny the chemistry between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler? The film, based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name, is set in the backdrop of the American Civil War. O’Hara and Butler are perhaps one of the most notoriously tumultuous couples to ever grace the silver screen.

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” Han and Leia’s Kiss

The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

Han and Leia’s Kiss in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm LTD, 20th Century Fox, Disney

This kiss is pretty epic and it’s not just because it’s from a Star Wars film. The chemistry between Han and Leia is something that we all feel, thanks to Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher’s portrayals. Han and Leia are a perfectly relatable couple and that’s what makes the payoff so great.

International Kissing Day: Some of the Best Off-Screen Kisses

The Times Square Kiss

The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

Times Square Kiss 1945 by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Photo Credit: Getty Images, Alfred Eisenstaedt

Everyone has seen this photograph. Celebrating the end of WWII, the sailor was captured mid-kiss with a nurse. All thanks to a well-timed photographer and incredibly high emotions, this photograph is probably one of the most reenacted poses for modern-day couples photos.

Painting: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This vibrant display of lovers in an intertwined kiss was created by the famed Austrian painter Gustav Klimt in 1907-1908. If you’ve ever in Vienna, Austria, stop by the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum to catch a glimpse of this painting in person.

 

Don’t forget to appreciate someone with a kiss today!

 

Read more Entertainment posts on ClicheMag.com.
The Best On and Off-Screen Kisses for International Kissing Day. Featured Image Credit: Getty Images.

 

 

 

The New Matchmaking Site You Should Know About

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We live in a day and age where finding love is in the palm of your hand. With thousands of dating apps ready to be downloaded, matching with someone is as simple as basic math. A study conducted by Pewter Research Center in 2015 reported that 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds use an online dating site or mobile dating app. While ‘matching’ with someone is essentially effortless, research reports that one-third of online daters on dating apps and websites have not met up in real life with someone they initially found through online services. Although reasons were not listed, I think we could name a few reasons why (think creepy messages and mixed signals).
 
This was the norm until Three Day Rule. Kiss swiping left or right and waiting for notifications on your phone goodbye, and say hello to Three Day Rule, an online dating service that provides serious singles in search of love with hand-picked, compatible matches who are just as serious as you. Featured in Marie Claire, Fortune, and Good Morning America, Three Day Rule uses facial recognition software, interests, backgrounds, and what you’re looking for to match clients with their best matches. Once you take a short quiz and meet with your personal matchmaker, Three Day Rule searches and meets with candidates that share similar interests with you. “It’s sort of like having someone go on all of your first dates for you, and then sending you all the good ones,” says matchmaker Clancy.
 
We spoke with CEO and founder of Three Day Rule, Talia Goldstein, on what inspired her to start and how the process of finding a perfect match works.
 


 
Cliché: What inspired you to start Three Day Rule?
Talia Goldstein: I was working as a producer at E! Entertainment and noticed that my co-workers were all having trouble finding love.  In my spare time, I would set them up on dates for fun and eventually started hosting singles events all around LA. As the parties grew, I saw that there were so many successful, attractive singles that were struggling with dating. I knew that there was something missing in the market. So, I took a huge leap of faith, quit my job, and started Three Day Rule.
What questions are typically asked by a matchmaker?
We ask the matches the same questions that we ask all of our clients. We ask about their dating history: what worked and what didn’t work in the past.  We talk about their family history, their parents’ relationship, their hobbies and interests, and what type of partner he/she envisions in the future. We’re in the business of making long-term matches so it’s important for us to really understand and get to know each person that we match with our clients. 
What types of qualities make a match compatible between two people?
Matchmaking isn’t an exact science. We use intuition coupled with technology to help make successful matches. One trend that we’ve found is that great couples balance each other out; one person is typically the “star” while the other is the “rock.” The “star” is generally extroverted, outgoing, and more of a risk taker, while the “rock” exudes a quiet confidence and is more of a steady, supporting force in the relationship. 
So what are you waiting for? Ditch the games and get matched at ThreeDayRule.com today!
Read more Lifestyle posts at ClicheMag.com
Featured image courtesy of Three Day Rule

When It’s Time To Leave A Relationship

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broken heart photoToxic relationships aren’t good for anyone. They’re bad for so many reasons, whether you’re just arguing non-stop, or if things have progressed to a stage which can actually be considered dangerous and even abusive. Unfortunately, none of us are immune to these types of situations.  Relationships can start out really well, but before you know it, they can go terribly wrong, with either one or both parties to blame. It doesn’t matter whether you’re smart, whether you’re a man or a woman, or anything else;  we can all be victims to negative situations in the name of love.

That being said, we can take steps to protect ourselves from toxic relationships.  Sometimes we get caught in a cycle which feels impossible to break, and we’re too deeply traumatized that we don’t even have the strength to leave. Other times, we don’t even recognize that there is anything wrong – situations can become so normal that we’re unable to see the truth. When one partner is controlling, overly jealous, threatening or has bad habits that affect the happiness of the other, then it’s time to consider other options as you don’t have to put up with this.  Even though you might tell yourself that the arguments aren’t even over anything big you need to ask yourself… is anything really going to change?

Us mere mortals are not alone. Plenty of people who are rich and even celebrities find themselves in bad relationships all the time, proving that these types of situations can happen to anyone. Take Rihanna’s ill-fated relationship with Chris Brown in 2009. The whole traumatic ordeal was widely publicized after he was physically violent to her in an altercation.  Nobody should have to go through that, especially when you feel that your relationship is based upon love.

Of course, not all toxic relationships involve violence. They can be equally damaging through verbal abuse or even negative situations which sometimes allow the relationship to end in a natural way. Famous people like ​Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, and Amy Winehouse and her partner Blake were in relationships filled rife with drug abuse.  As you know, this often unfortunately ends in tragedy, as in the case of Cobain and Winehouse, who both passed away at 27.

Emotional abuse is also a huge problem. Eminem has been accused of perpetuating such negativity, due to songs containing murder threats to his partner. (Eminem has several nasty songs about his ex, Kim). The thing we have to remember is that famous people who are bad in relationships are just part of a much larger problem.  We often forget the bad things they say and do towards their partners – their fame overshadows behavior that’s beyond what should be acceptable.

Abuse should never be tolerated. Toxic relationships often extend beyond the remit of simply ‘private matters’, and often the victims of such situations need to be listened to and believed.

Everyone’s situation can vary in severity, but if it’s not good for you, it’s okay to admit it. Leaving someone you love (but who also hurts you) can be one of the hardest and most complicated things in the world. However, you deserve to be happy. We promise!

Read more relationship stories at clichemag.com
All images provided by Flickrr CC.

Cuffing Season Chronicles

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Entertainment Copy Editor Emilio Giron writes a series of Cuffing Season Chronicles from two fictional, though alarmingly accurate perspectives. Alone and fatefully seeking love in each other, the love life of these two characters are chronicled during the winter months. This short and fictional story is a follow-up to “The End of Cuffing Season.”

Month 1

I wasn’t looking for anything or anyone—I was just trying to do me. You know? I was trying to be studious, or something like that. Hard-working. Nothing else mattered until ol’ girl walked by, looking like she was smuggling pillows underneath a tight skirt. I mean, it was enough to provoke a statue.That’s distraction! That’s a paralyzing thing.

*

We met at a mixer held at Restrepo’s apartment on Halloween. Everything we talked about was unimportant and forgettable. I’d like to think all we remembered was how we made each other feel… Anyway, it was about that time: the weather was changing, the darkness and cold in me spread like the creeping advent of autumn, and I was losing light with each passing day. My skin went from a sun-kissed olive cream to something lighter, pale really, a bitten complexion; and a pair of vampiric fangs were the only things I failed to develop.

I could tell you how Restrepo hooked me up, but it’d be factually untrue; and possibly, technically, true. Restrepo told me So-and-so was feeling me, and though she was a dusty catch, she was still a catch; but as I fished, if you follow me, things didn’t pan out as expected. My third-eye peeped the auras of a worthier prospect, and as the sound of So-and-so’s voice became inaudible, I focused my attention on the other visage, who’s glow pierced the huddle of dancing shadows.

She was direct, a brisk, cold direct, warming up only when she wasn’t repeatedly asking me if I was at the party with anyone else. She told me her name is Soraya and how she heard things about me, and how she let slip to the far reaches of my circle of friends that she had her eye on me for some time. I didn’t believe her, but I was impressed—she was pulling me in. Later, we went to her place. She drove us in her brand-new Mercedes-Benz, that I was goddamn sure wasn’t hers. The windows were tinted and the seats reclined to sexual levels. We were creeping. Her place was far, but she drove quickly, craning her neck around every street corner before turning. Something bothered me. I knew this was easy.

*

“That’s a great deal,” Restrepo admitted. A huge one. There wasn’t much to this thing. We hollowed out a groove. “Lazro? Cuffing season’s started early for you.”

 

Month 2

Soraya brought him to her room once, and knew she wasn’t going to do that again. That decision was made by the time he sat in her car. Firstly, she thought, this thing wasn’t supposed to flourish. She doesn’t think it’s serious, and as far as she knows, he doesn’t either. Also, as far as he knows, she’s single. Secondly, the point was to get off the climax she had reached not too long ago, a culmination of bubbling factors that bounced against the walls of her heart—such as, and among other things, a live-in cheater boyfriend dirtbag abroad, a despot who owned the bed she had recently besmirched with one, Lazro. There was a third thing, she thought. Whatever the point was, at this point, it has become pointedly unimportant.

**

Seated at the far end of a low-lit coffee shop on a poetry night with her not boyfriend, our fated couple toss each other through a labyrinth of questions in an effort to build upon the sands of their relationship, and instead, tumble upon the reality of their cosmetic scheme. They don’t know a damned thing about each other. Silence between poetic sets, they cramped between the corner they sat against and the married couple seated before them, whose merriment sold Lazro and Soraya every bit of substance.

Third thing, she thought.

 

Month 3

“What do you think this is? What do you think we are?!”

***

Lazro was enchanted. To him, they were the morning after, the sleep in between things, and the party at night. They were the science of McConaughey’s Interstellar, remaining ageless as time went on. Soraya kept him warm. Lazro kept her busy. She gave him life in Elysium, and for her, he was a safe bet—a good man to have around while the worst of men was yet to come.

“Come here,” he says. Soraya doesn’t respond. He wonders at her silence, then turns in his bed to look through the window. It was light out, and the snow was melting. “Damn, looks like another snow day.”

If he told her to leave and go home, she would have never returned.

***

Hindsight

I’m sure the game was rigged. I’m sure I was doing what my father, and his fathers before him, was doing. I’m sure I was doing something that I thought was right for me. It felt good, to win. To forget everything else, and not be alone. To say whatever and feel good. I was her passing fancy, a fuck given when fucks were plenty. Now, she was a memory. A burning flash like a droplet of water to hot oil. I knew something was up, that she was partly with me, and that there wasn’t a thing I could do to pull her in wholly. I feel like I wasted time. Who was she, really?

She was a passing comet, and we both died trying to inspire.
Read more on Relationship Features at Clichemag.com
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons at Flickr

Put Your Relationship to the test with The Shoe Game

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With months of witnessing break-ups and divorces everywhere from your own inner circles to Hollywood romances, it’s time to shine some light on those that are keeping things a bit more in tact.
Let’s switch gears and take a moment to appreciate those in relationships— apologies to those flying solo, your day will soon come, but this might be something to consider doing with your significant other in the future.
Put your relationship to the test with The Shoe Game
the-shoe-game-1
If you haven’t come across a video of The Shoe Game in action via the “likes” of the ladies in your Facebook newsfeed, allow me to catch you up to speed with just a taste of how this game is played and puts a little twist on something familiar to The Newlywed Game. Here’s an example of how things go down:

Seems simple enough, right? You each hold on of your own shoes and one of your significant other’s shoes and answer the questions asked by raising the shoe corresponding to the person that is most likely to fit that description— prepare yourself for “oooh”, “awww” and lots of laughter from the audience witnessing the inner details of your relationship.
Some suggested questions to ask are:
1. you first met, who made the first move?
2. Who is the better driver?
3. Who is smarter?
4. Who starts the argument?
5. Who is first to say “I’m sorry?”
6. Who wears the pants in your relationship?
7. Who is messier?
8. Who has the smelliest feet?
And of course always ending with— “Right now, who do you love more than anyone in the world?”
So, how well do you and your significant other know each other?
Photos courtesy of Bridal Guide

Prescriptions of Style

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PoSPreview cover
Hey Ladies …. Did you ever go to a cocktail party, you looked amazing in your latest fashion, and your boyfriend looked like he just came out of his man cave? Then, the short read, “Prescription of Style” is for you to read, translate “style” for your boyfriend and get him ready for the next party. The good doctor, Courtney Hammonds, has seven simple “prescriptions” ranging from “Reinventing Your Style” to “Know Your Audience”. After your boyfriend takes his “medicine” he will never look the same, but remember, he’ll will look great to you and other women as well.
Get a copy of “Prescription of Style” by Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds at www.amazon.com or www.courtneyahammonds.com

Erin Bowman’s Favorite Summer Date Ideas

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My Favorite Summer Date Ideas! 
By Erin Bowman

Erin Hey Summer

Summer is such a great time of year when it comes to dating because there are so many possibilities. You don’t have to be stuck inside because the weather is nice, which is such a plus! There are so many fun outdoor activities you can do. Keep reading for some of my favorite summer dating activities.
1. Zoo Date
If you’re an animal lover like I am, then the zoo is a perfect date! Nothing is more fun than looking at those cute, little, furry guys with someone you like. When the weather is nice during the summer and all the animals are out: AHH, SO FUN! There are great zoos all over the country for all you animal loving couples out there!
2. Beach/Lake Date
If you’re on the east coast or west coast, nothing is more romantic than a beach date! If you don’t live near the ocean, lakes are fun and can be a romantic spot for a date. There are so many great restaurants on the beach to go to, or if you’re the cooking type, why not make a meal and picnic on the beach as the sun sets?
3. Baseball Game Date
Now I know some of you are probably thinking, “why would I want to go to a baseball game?” But believe me, they’re actually really fun! I was always into playing sports and not much into watching them on TV, but when you go to an actual game, it’s completely different. Going to a stadium and watching the game live is super exciting, and if you’re not into the game itself, they have great food. If you’re of age, you can always enjoy a good drink during a hot summer day or evening. The atmosphere of a major league or even minor league baseball game is a great setting for a summer date! 
4. Bike Ride/Hike Date
For those of you who are the active type or maybe those of you who want to become the active type, a nice bike ride or hike is a perfect date. Not only is it fun, but it’s also good exercise! You can find great trails all over the country. Some of you may think hiking could be boring, but try it before you scratch it off the date list. You never know, you might love it! A couple that hikes/bikes together, stays together.
5. Amusement Park Date
I love amusement parks and I know that I personally would love for someone to take me there on a date. Amusement parks can get a little pricey though, especially when it comes to food. If you’re on a budget or just cheap like I am, pack hoagies and drinks in a cooler and go back out to your car for lunch! It’s such a fun summer day date! Nothing says fun like a picture of you two on a roller-coaster screaming your heads off together!
There are so many fun summer activities to do when it comes to dating; what are some of your favorite summer time date ideas? Be sure to share them in the comments below!
 
Erin Bowman contributed the piece “Erin Bowman’s Favorite Summer Date Ideas” for Cliché Magazine.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Dating

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creative-commons-2

A Gentleman’s Guide to Dating

If you can’t remember the last time you had a second date, it may be the right time to re-evaluate your dating technique. First dates are hard; there’s the need to impress, the worry about awkward silences and the hesitant first kiss, and according to new research by AXA, we only have 12 minutes in which to make good impression!
Below are some useful dos and don’ts to ensure you come across as a true gentleman:
Look Your Best
It’s likely your date has spent hours deciding what to wear, and then hours getting herself ready. If it means you have to go out and buy a new shirt or a new pair of jeans, do it. You want to show your date you know how to take care of yourself, but in a non show-off kind of way. You also want to make sure you look as good as your profile photo on this awesome site, My Single Friend. Dress up a little and go for a smart casual look, especially if you’re going out for dinner or drinks.
Don’t Be Late
No matter how busy your day is and how far away you live from the restaurant, do not be late. If you’re not picking her up, be at least 15-20 minutes early. She is bound to feel much more relaxed when she walks in knowing that you’re already waiting for her.
Turn Off Your Phone
Sitting at the table checking your phone and texting your friends does not make a very good first impression. Turn it off at the start of the date, not on silent, completely off. You can turn it back on later when you send her that all important ‘it was lovely to meet you, when can we do it again’ text.
Compliments Are Essentialstefano santucco
Be sure to compliment your date, women like reassurance when it comes to their appearance, but whatever you do, don’t start rolling off the cheesy chat-up lines. Keep the conversation flowing by taking an interest in her life, job or anything else that she likes to talk about and open up about your life, family and friends too. Share stories and memories, and be sure to give her a laugh or two.
Don’t Be Cheap
It says a lot about you as a gentleman if you offer to pay, and the majority of women really appreciate this show of generosity. Make sure you offer to pay and don’t take no for an answer. As well as being a kind gesture, offering to pay is a good way to get a feeling about how the date is going. If she offers to pay, kindly refuse and say that it is your pleasure.
Kiss Her
If the date has gone well, go in for the kiss at the end. A recent survey by Female First revealed that 29% of Brits would go back in time in order to change elements about their first dates with the biggest one being not making the first move. Why not go for it?
(images provided by a Creative Commons License via Flickr Photo Sharing)

The End of Cuffing Season

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These two singles knew there was only one way they were going to survive the cold and lonely wintry nights, and it was through bout after bout of seemingly coincidental engagements. Cut to round after round of pre-planned and self-fulfilling cuddleage with each other; all precursors and tell-tale signs of the notoriously hashtagged and socially-noted Cuffing Season.

Cuffing Season is the time when wanton singles bundle up with one another and cease their promiscuous summer activities to avoid spending the winter months cold, alone, and depressed. However, when winter’s icy grip relents, and as the ice and snow begin to melt the cuffer’s self-imposed metaphorical shackles, so does recede the necessity for these heartwarming dates (I use the word loosely). Both realize the freedom to once again meet beautiful, new, and possibly (likely) more interesting people. These two feel a pull, something tugging at their shirts, a reminder of what used to be, of what could be, and during this time there are particulars that become considered, discussed, and eventually addressed. There are red flags that hint to these pseudo lovebirds that they must eventually nip this relationship-y thing before it blooms into an unnecessary drama-filled life bane. The warning flags are plentiful, and they’re usually picked up by the most astute of cuffers, but if your participation in this illegitimate affair is born of more romantical aspirations, then it’s best you read on and brace yourself for the end. Behold, the end of Cuffing Season.

V-Day
This day of romance does more than celebrate love–it also serves as the beginning and the end of all Cuffing Season activities. Valentine’s Day is kind of like storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day (if you know your World War II history). Not every couple is going to make it. Think about it: after months of on-and-off rendezvous, flirtatious conversations, odd yet strangely arousing body contact, or, for the least inhibited, sexual encounters, someone on either side will eventually anticipate this particular day. One of the two will become self-aware, and on that day, if gifts aren’t plentiful (among other things), one will ask the other with a tone unheard of before the winter months, “So… what is this?” Boom. Silence. There it is… the proverbial dagger. The inquisitor with the courage to ask such a question may have just cut down their fanciful fling to the flames of Hades. Valentine’s Day will always weed out the first wave of cuffers (this is what I’m calling them) who have overstayed each others’ welcome.

March Madness
At this point, this unholy alliance has either gone south, turned sour by a Valentine’s Day debacle, or evolved into a chirpy Kodak moment–something someone might recall during the summer months over drinks and nostalgic laughter. The spring time is a test of endurance, because it shines a bright light over several cuffers, notorious for their nocturnal activities; it forces them to go public with their naughty venture. Days become longer and nights become shorter, and less and less beneficial; people (friends and family) begin to notice and wonder why introductions haven’t been made.  “Who’s that person you’re always with?” someone might ask. There’s also the matter of competitors. These are the months of legitimate and totally non-secretive romancing, and lovebirds hot off the heels of Valentine’s Day are staking claims to each other. Social statuses go from super vague yet telling posts, like “gonna have fun tonite ;P” to something more ominous and exclusive like, “I’m tired of these games. I need more.” Since these cuffers passed the first test of V-Day, they’re likely realizing that they don’t actually know who the hell they’re talking to, and begin to reevaluate this whole thing. March cues the marathon months, a true test of how long one can stand the other person when they’re not in your bed or, you know, on your phone (if people still do that).

Island in the Summer Sun
They found each other and it made it work once. That was some time in October, but this is the now, my friend. The month of May and the following summer usher in the theme of finality for delinquent cuffers who, by this point, haven’t faced the ultimate truth. It’s over. Usually, people who are cuffing never admit that they are dating one another, and after months of straight up denial to other people, especially themselves, an observer–such as my humble self–might wonder if insanity had finally set in within either of these two crazies. They’re no longer an accessory to cuffing; either person can totally walk away from it all and move on with their life–maybe even pick up a summer fling (that takes much less dedication); however, the truth is the sun is out, adventure is everywhere, and people are exposing a considerable amount of personality and skin. Mostly skin. Temptation is everywhere, even for people in established relationships, and cuffers, with their lustful appetites, are prime for these sizzling hot summer days.

Never doubt Cuffing Season. Ever. One can lose themselves in the nightly bliss that it provides while the world and its brilliant gifts freeze for some time. Take note of these following months and whatever you do, don’t play yourself out.

Photo courtesy of George Eastman House Collection on Flickr