SHESAID resident psychologist Kim Chartres answers your most awkward and confronting questions.
It’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene where ‘hook up’ culture reigns supreme and men are, well men are douches. However, despite popular opinion, chivalry isn’t dead.
Every now and again our faith is restored in men, when we’re lucky enough to witness an act befitting of a true gentleman! These men exude chivalry in even their smallest actions and remind us that there are still good ones out there.
It certainly doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a lady over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and a genuine display of romantic interest. To prove this to you, here are 5 signs that chivalry isn’t dead.
It’s surprising how few men still do this. Whether it’s opening the door to a cafe, or rushing around the car to let you in or out, this simple gesture goes a long way.
A man that goes out of his way to make sure you’re comfortable and puts your well being first is certainly a keeper.
Giving you his jacket
It’s been a long, cold winter, so a man who is willing to give up his jacket when you’re cold is basically a commodity. Once again, this shows he cares enough to put your needs above his own. Men may generate natural warmth better than women, but when it’s frosty out, they’re bound to get cold too.
Cherish this gesture because ladies, it’s the little things that count.
You know how they say the way to a man’s heart is through food? Well any man who’s willing to share their mouth-watering dessert, especially the last bite, is a man you should never let go!
Have you ever received flowers at work? I haven’t, but some of my colleagues and friends have, and let me tell you, it’s made me jealous! I’m not talking about a hundred-dollar bouquet of roses; I’m talking about something much simpler. A single stem of your favourite flower, or a bunch randomly picked up from the supermarket. Random gestures that shows he’s thinking of you are the best sort of gestures.
Holding your hand
This simple, romantic act of intimacy is thrilling, especially when you’re in a new relationship. It’s one we often take for granted but it’s also one of the things we can do to be close to those we care about without having to rip our clothes off! A man who will hold your hand is a man who truly cares because your relationship goes well beyond the sex.
Chivalry isn’t dead; knights in shining armour still exist and courteous men are not extinct!
Image via Pinterest
The term ‘puma’ is tossed around a bit nowadays, and it’s not just a brand of shoe.
In 2015, the push for female autonomy is stronger than ever. Women are moving up the ranks in the workforce, fighting for a larger voice in politics, and #freethenipple has become a global phenomenon. Female fortitude seems to be at the forefront of everybody’s minds and news feeds. So why, in a society where women are clamouring loud and proud for equality, are we still uncomfortable with women dating or sleeping with younger men?
Uncomfortable is actually the wrong word. ‘Disgusted’ is more accurate. Or ‘repulsed’. Or ‘grossed out’. All of these and more have been thrown my way when I reveal my ‘sexual preference’. Yep, I am a self-confessed puma. Not familiar with the term? According to Urban Dictionary (don’t knock it; they know their stuff), a puma is defined as: “A woman who is not quite old enough to be a cougar, but still likes to date/mate with younger men.” Pumas are aged about 26 to 34, and have a thing for guys aged 19 to 25. I know what some of you are thinking: that’s cradle snatching, weird, freaky, blah blah blah. But I’m here to ask one question – why?
Picture this. You run into this guy at a café. He’s sweet, funny, super-hot, and pays for your double shot skinny latte before he knows your name. Soon enough he asks you out. You go for a drink, things are going great, and you feel the two of you might have a real connection. BUT, he lets slip that he’s in his last year of a Bachelor of Commerce.
You do the maths… That would make him approximately – wait for it – 21. The alarm bells start to ring. You panic, and think back to every staggeringly stupid reason why this is a SERIOUSLY BAD IDEA. Men mature later, he’s not after anything serious, he’ll be inexperienced in bed, all of which tie into the patriarchal notion that men must be the dominant force in a liaison. They are the grown-up, the protector, and most importantly, the elder. And before you know it, you’ve grabbed your purse, made up some excuse about missing your friend’s 30th, and bolted out of the joint, having passed up the relationship opportunity of a lifetime.
Why are we clinging to this pre-1950’s notion? And why do we have so little faith in the competence, intelligence, and sexual prowess of men? A guy friend of mine, who is five years my junior, once told me over pad Thai that any member of the male species would give up his Xbox to be with an older woman. Even (and especially) if only for a night.
Up until then, I had been somewhat embarrassed by my penchant for a younger crowd, but that conversation (and eventual hook up) got me thinking. Why should I conform to this outdated social norm of lusting after older men, when I had a mostly untapped (no pun intended) market at my fingertips? From that day on, I ignored the shocked looks and furtive pearl-clutching. I embraced my puma-dom, and it’s fabulous.
I’m not saying that a woman should never seek a man her own age or older. If you are a lady who likes to be with an established, slightly older gentleman… Congratulations. But if you’ve finished your Masters and are still sleeping with guys in the first year of an Undergrad… well, that ain’t such a bad thing either. Give younger men a chance. But don’t expect them to pay for more than coffee. Youth Allowance can only stretch so far.
Image via Madamenoire.com
Looking for a datable man and continue to attract the do-able variety? Well there is a secret between the do-able and datable man and it’s high time single ladies knew the difference. It’s not about how hot he is and it’s not about the amount of money in his bank account. The do-able man might have everything you want on the surface, but under that attractive exterior you just may find there’s something seriously missing.
The first thing you need to look at is if the man you’re interested in has loyalty. The stats suggest that one third of people cheat and for many of us this is a deal breaker. So, will this potential partner cheat on you? There’s the million dollar question! I’ve been round the block a few times and there’s a fairly easy way to tell if you’ve got a loyal man in front of you, or if you’ve got a player.
For one: the do-able man will lie, while the datable man will be honest. Sure, the datable man may not have the gift of the gab and may stubble around his words a little, but that’s not the only indicator; so it’s about looking past the words and seeing if they have any merit. For example: is that awesome car out there really his – and just as importantly, did he really pay for it? Or is it his mates in which he is passing off as his own, or perhaps a gift from mum and dad and he’s basically using it as bait to get you into the sack. Hey, this stuff really happens – and what’s more, it happens more times than you think!
Apart from being truthful, loyalty can be seen in how they treat the people around them, starting with how they are with their friends. You probably won’t see eligible men with family members until later, so close friends are the next best indicator. You need to ask yourself: are they respectful, kind, truthful and thoughtful? Or do they come off like an arrogant a-hole even if they say it’s just in fun. There is a difference in how loyal men treat their friends and it’s a great indication of how this man will treat his lady. Particularly if the lady in question ends up being you.
The second and most significant thing to remember is that words are only words, ladies! A datable man will back his words with his behaviour pretty much every time. The do-able man won’t. For example: did he really lose your phone number after a date or a hook up only to never get in contact again, or did he move hell and high water to reach you in some way, shape, or form because he really wanted to see you again?
The datable man will do that even after a woman has had sex with them. Ladies who find themselves chasing after some man no matter what hard luck story they’ve been given are just kidding themselves. You clearly mean less to him then you’d prefer, and in these situations, women set themselves up for a fall.
Lastly, an interested man will track you down, want to spend time with you and will treat you like a princess no matter what obstacles stand in his way. Whether it be distance, finance, relationship status, whatever; just ask any male you know if this is true and you’ll find that this is the case in most datable men. Once a datable man has his sights set on you and you would like to start a relationship, nothing will hold him back. Nope! Not even if he’s shy. It may take him a bit longer to get around to it, but eventually most datable men will go after what they most desire.
That’s when you know you have a datable man in front of you. The do-able man may have everything on the checklist like the looks, the car, the job and the bank balance, but seriously, how many of them are there that have everything you really want? The datable guy probably won’t, but if you find a man with honestly, respect and loyalty, you’ll have a pretty happy life together.
Image via persuasivelitigator.com
Who hasn’t joined Tinder at one point or another? Whether it’s been to check-up on the ex (don’t lie), have a laugh with friends, or to get that big ego-boost when you instantly match with someone. Regardless of your motivation, below are a few tried and tested dating tips from yours truly – so, relax and have fun!
Location, location, location
Proximity counts. Who wants to be matched to a good-looking, (eligible) bachelor who lives more than 40km away? Did you just waste all that banter for nothing? Make sure to bring down the location to at least 10-20km – something which actually seems plausible.
We matched… Now what?
Have you ever matched with someone on Tinder only to be let down by the lack of conversation? Start it yourself, girl! Most users will actually swipe right to multiple women at the one time, then come back to the drawing board afterwards. If you like what you see, start a casual conversation. You’ve got nothing to lose and who cares if he doesn’t reply? *Unmatched*
It’s good to have a bit of variety in your pictures on Tinder. Isn’t it annoying finally finding someone who only has one photo of themselves – which doesn’t even show their face? Post pictures of yourself, but don’t over-do it with an in-flux of images with your friends. How will they know who you are? Oh the frustration!
Don’t over-do it in the description section. Keep it short and sweet without offending people in the process. Tinder now has a new function which allows you to link your Instagram account into the game of love – that is, if you want random strangers lurking at your profile.
Whether we want to believe it or not, there are hundreds of fake profiles circulating around Tinder for a multitude of different reasons. Use your discretion and never reveal too much personal information about yourself to someone you’re unsure about.
Check to see if you have common friends and interests – this will usually be a great indication as to who the person is you’re speaking to.
So… You’ve matched with a friend?
We’ve all done it before… Re-connected with an old friend from high school on Tinder. This scenario is easy enough to avoid, especially if you’re both working with a similar sense of humour. Otherwise, you have no option but to pretend it never happened. Ever.
Also known as too much information, this type of thing will happen a lot on Tinder. It goes without saying sometimes. If you don’t want to talk, the Unmatch button is simply just one click away. Tinder is only as serious as you make it out to be.
Images via Words From Abby, Tinder Lines, That’s Mags,
With the recent success of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, more women than ever are trying to nab their dream date with the sultry Christian himself.
To ensure things go as smoothly as possible, SHESAID chatted with Laura Dundovic to get her first date tips – including the dos and don’ts – and advice on how to dress for dinner and drinks on any occasion!
What are some of your tips for the perfect date?
Don’t put too much thought into it. As girls, we think in between the time. We meet someone and on the first date we can sometimes start dreaming them into being ‘the one’ and can then get let down. I don’t think of a date as a potential relationship but more dinner with a friend. If there is chemistry, then great! One step at a time, girls!
Drinks or dinner… Which is better and why?
I always prefer dinner. Generally it’s a little easier to speak and get to know someone. Also, you know how long you are there for. Once the food is finished it’s time to leave the restaurant, but with drinks, when is the right time to leave and not look too keen, but not look too cold either? One drink? Two drinks?
Could you share some of your best do’s and don’ts for a first date?
Do be confident, don’t be arrogant.
Do be yourself.
Do make conversation but listen and ask questions, too.
If you like him be flirty, but don’t be needy!
What about an outfit… What is your favourite for dinner and drinks?
Dinner: I’ll usually go jeans and a nice top. That way you can wear hot heels and nice jewellery and not look over or under dressed wherever you go.
Drinks: I’d where a nice fitting but not too revealing dress. I usually take a cute leather or denim jacket with me so I’m not too over the top.
Fifty Shades of Grey is released on Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital with UltraViolet on May 21st, 2015.
So the hard part is over – you’ve scored yourself a date. But instead of suggesting the two of you wine and dine at that great new restaurant down the street, you’ve invited you’re love interest over for dinner and now you have to entertain (oh the horror!). I mean, as if the first few dates aren’t already nerve racking enough.
Before you decide to reschedule, or worse – cancel, Steph Peet from Eat now has provided us with a few of her fool proof tips on how to host the ultimate date night. So breathe a sigh of relief, ladies, you’ve got this!
Unless you’re quite the whiz in the kitchen or thoroughly enjoy cooking, take a load off and order in. The more relaxed you can be, the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Save the potential food disasters for the second or third date when you’ll be more inclined to laugh it off.
Don’t eat too early
Plan for your delivery to arrive after 8pm, says Steph. “This allows enough time for a glass of wine and a catch up prior to dining.” What’s more, if you and your date happen to run out of conversation early on in the evening, you can chat about the meal when it arrives. And in dire circumstances, at least having a mouthful of food minimises any awkward silences!
What to eat
Deciding on what to eat can require deep thought. Thankfully, Steph has recommended a few dishes that are perfect for date night. Her first pick is risotto, because “it’s filling and easy to eat, even with the early dating jitters,” followed by a garden or Greek salad. “No one likes to over indulge when on a date, so it’s the perfect fresh side option.”
There’s something to be said for saving the best until last, so as far as dessert goes, Steph insists opting for a choolate mousse or tiramisu. “Nothing is more romantic than a touch of chocolate or coffee when on a date.”
What not to eat
Regardless of what people might say, first impressions really do count for something. Leaning in for a kiss at the end of the night with bad onion breath might not go down the way you’d imagined. Steph agrees: “Anything heavy on garlic or onion – steer clear! A big ‘no-no’ when getting close to someone new.”
She also insists that you skip on messy dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, taco’s and ribs. “[They] can be difficult to eat when sitting in your pjs on the couch, let alone when trying to impress someone. Make your choices wisely.”
Create a nice atmosphere
Lighting a few candles while you sip (or skull) your wine is a great way to set the mood and relax as you get to know your date a little better. Furthermore, if you’re meal arrives in plastic bags and containers, pull out the fine china – so to speak – and serve your take out in a few nice bowls and dishes, says Steph. “[It] will create a better dining experience, even if you’re just eating on the lounge.”
Get the bill
By ordering takeout you still have to endure that dreaded ‘who gets the cheque’ moment. Therefore, Steph recommends that the person hosting date night – so in this case, you – should take care of the bill. “The invitee should bring a bottle of wine,” she says. “It’s a nice gesture that everyone will appreciate.”
“If your date isn’t a big wine drinker, bring dessert.”
In its goal to create as many happy couples across the world as possible, online dating service MySingleFriend has scoured the European dating scene and developed an interactive dating map detailing the need-to-know basics for dating across the continent.
It’s not news that more and more couples are meeting digitally, and with the introduction of dating apps that enable you to connect with new people from wherever you are in the world – location is now not a factor in finding love. Broadening your horizons has developed a whole new meaning!
Reports from the Economist show that within British marriages, 9 per cent include a spouse born outside the UK, whilst in the Baltic states, more than 15 per cent of married couples include a non-native partner.
With this in mind, it’s important to know some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to dating abroad. For example:
- In Malta, you should never turn up empty handed if you are visiting a girlfriend or boyfriend’s house. Even a houseplant will do!
- If you were to date an Icelander, be prepared for the freedom! Nudity is embraced in the Nordic country, and body confidence is something that can only be seen as a positive!
- In the Czech Republic, if you want to impress the ladies – roses and tulips are the way to go. Avoid Cala Lillies, they may look striking but are often associated with funerals.
- Have you ever heard of the saying ‘going Dutch’? Splitting the bill with your date in the Netherlands is the norm – equality and all that jazz?
They say it takes three seconds to make a first impression, but can dining etiquette make or break a date? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked Levi Aron from Yumtable to share a few tips on how to approach your first dinner date in order to secure a second.
Don’t be late
Turning up fashionably late is disrespectful and embarrassing. To avoid this, Levi advises giving yourself a 15-30 minute buffer depending on how long the commute is. Don’t forget to factor in parking if you opt to drive!
Do offer to pay
Okay, this one is more for the lads than the ladies. But nonetheless, offering to pay is a kind gesture that will ensure your date doesn’t feel like they’re being taken for granted. If you make them feel appreciated, you’re more likely to see date number two.
Don’t just walk into a nice restaurant
Save time and hassle by booking ahead. “It shows thoughtfulness to plan the date ahead of time,” insists Levi. Restaurant booking apps such as yumtable.com.au are quick and easy to use and discounts are generally applied – extra brownie points!
Do have a plan for after dinner
This doesn’t mean going back to your date’s apartment for post-dinner ‘coffee.’ Instead, scout out another restaurant nearby for dessert, insists Levi. Maybe you want to try that new Gelato place that’s opened up down the street, or head to that dessert bar that you’ve been dying to check out since forever – either way, a “nice romantic walk” will mix things up a bit.
Don’t use your hands
This rule is a given when it comes to eating – unless you’ve ordered crab or lobster, in which case it’s inevitable. But if you want to make a good first impression remember your table manners. You might also want to avoid messy dishes all together – there’s nothing more unappealing than someone slurping down soup and spilling it all over their new threads.
Do take your time
If you’re the type of person who tends to get nervous, you may be inclined to wolf down your food. Be mindful and try not to get too ahead of yourself. Try putting down your knife and fork between meals or sipping on water. Alternatively, “take some extra time to talk to your date,” says Levi. “It’s not a race to see who can finish eating first.”
Don’t touch your phone during dinner
Unless you need to slip to the bathroom to organise an ‘emergency’ call from one of your girlfriends, leave your phone in your bag or pocket. Also, refrain from leaving it on the table, urges Levi. Not only is it a distraction, but it takes away your attention from your date.
Tips courtesy of Yumtable
Image via Google Images
For those individuals fortunate enough to have a Valentine by their side this February 14 is an undeniably romantic occasion. Those in love tend to be showered with chocolates, flowers and tiny trinket hearts. This is the one day of the year for you to grab your partner and embrace the gooeyness of it all.
However, sometimes saying “I love you” simply doesn’t cut it and when you realise that you’ve given all of the standard Valentine’s Day gifts you can stand, it can be a challenge to come up with something original.
No idea what to do with your partner? Fear not. Your own personal cupid has compiled a list of quirky, romantic, fun and relatively inexpensive date ideas for this Valentine’s Day:
1. Run away for the day
Day Trips are an easy bet. For a luxuriating experience, try a spa weekend or treat yourself to a couples massage. If you’ve got a taste for the outdoors why not rent a cabin out of town? What’s more romantic than cuddling up in the wilderness with your loved one and a glass of wine?
2. Recreate your first date
Nothing could be more romantic than recreating your first date with your partner. Whether you return to the bar where you
shared your first drink, eat the same food you both shared, or rent the movie you first watched, this date is sure to impress. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?
3. The $0 date
This year try a ‘no gift no cash’ policy. This date is the real deal when it comes to finding out whether you and your partner are a match made in heaven. Think old DVDs, people watching, window shopping, etc.
4. Jump for your love
Two facts for you: Exercise induced endorphins improve your happiness AND doing new things together as a couple ignites
the same feeling as falling in love.
Head to your local Flip Out trampolining arena and spend the afternoon jumping around like a kid with your partner. Mixing up dates with a fun activity is sure to keep those butterflies alive!
5. Catch the sunrise together
Unless you’re not a morning person, in which case there’s always the sunset!
6. Karaoke challenge
Whilst it may not be a first date activity, you’ve surely been together long enough to relish in a little embarrassment. Let each other pick out a song and give those vocal chords a workout. If you head to a local bar prior, you’ll forget how offensive each
other’s voices really are.
7. Hire a moped
And drive. Literally, any direction, to any destination. Everyone knows how much fun adventures can be. How long has it been since you two have done something crazy?
8. Double date
For those couples who could do without another night in with their other half, why not enlist one of your favourite couples and hit up your favourite restaurant or bar? Making fun of the hopeless romantics staring into each other’s eyes should provide endless entertainment.
This month’s Australian Open could tell us more about our love lives than we might think, with the eHarmony Dating Index revealing that Aussies’ interest around romance and dating increases around major sporting events and long weekends.
The new research from leading online dating site eHarmony.com.au compared overall interest in dating against established measures and events like economic factors, key political moments, and popular culture phenomena such as Royal Fever to reveal the factors that impact Australians’ dating habits.
The eHarmony Dating Index measured interest in dating from 2012-2014 using Google search data for relevant terms like ‘online dating’ and ‘date venues’, social media mentions of phrases such as ‘date tonight’, and traffic to eHarmony.com.au, to plot daily interest in dating on a scale between 0 and 100. It found that the average daily score for Australia is 41.
Among the findings, the Index shows that yearly interest in love and dating starts to climb from the end of September and continues to surge around the AFL and NRL grand finals, as well as the October Labour Day long weekend, when the Dating Index increases by approximately seven points over the daily average score – suggesting that the warmer weather, combined with the extra time off work and national sporting excitement are the perfect boosters to dating activity.
This trend continues over the summer season, with heightened interest in love and dating over the Christmas and New Year break, Australia Day and towards the end of the Australian Open, with an average Dating Index increase of 27 per cent, from 41 to 52.
One standout date on the Dating Index was 29 September 2012 when the average daily score rose to 60 – the day of the AFL grand final, with the NRL grand final and October Labour Day public holiday taking place the succeeding days; a pattern not repeated in subsequent years.
eHarmony dating and relationship expert, Melanie Schilling, says the Australia Day holiday is the perfect opportunity for singles to make the most of the social opportunities the long weekend has to offer.
“Those looking to enter or re-enter the dating world should get out there, be vital, actively mingle and fully participate in all that the Aussie summer and sporting culture has to offer!”
One exception to the warm weather trend is Melbourne Cup, when the Index drops to an average score of 35, signifying Aussies are more interested in the ‘Race that Stops the Nation’ than they are in looking for love.
The research, also carried out in the UK, found the economy has the biggest impact on Britons’ dating habits, with interest in dating tending to rise or fall with UK economic growth. The UK index also heated up during the week of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement.
In Australia, however, the Dating Index shows little relationship between economic indicators or Royal fever and dating, even throughout the Royal visit to Australia. Instead, local dating patterns are seemingly more affected by seasonal factors, holidays and sporting events.
“This is not entirely surprising given our economy is more buoyant than the UK. Relatively speaking, Aussies still have a reasonable disposable income to invest in our dating pursuits, and as a sporting nation, we’re more inspired by Kyrgios and Hewitt than we are by Kate’s pregnancies,” Schilling said.
Despite the impact of sports on Australians’ dating habits, it seems the weather has the biggest bearing. Major sporting events during the colder months, including the 2014 Soccer World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, and year-on-year State of Origin matches is when Aussies show the least interest in dating, with the average Dating Index score dropping to 37.
“If 2015 follows the Dating Index trends we’ve seen from over the past three years then we’re heading into a really busy dating period. With the Australian Open and Australia Day long weekend in late January, we can expect to see Aussies going on more dates which makes it an exciting time for both singles and couples.”
To make the most of this period, Schilling suggests that singles take advantage of the social atmosphere and keep an eye out for potential matches.
“Treat each event as an opportunity to present the best version of yourself, go with an open mind and be prepared to mingle with people outside of your usual ‘type’. Call it a social experiment and see how many different people you can connect with during this peak social period. Collect some phone numbers so you can reap the benefits of your efforts during the quieter, coming months.”
‘Tis the season to be jolly, so why not wave goodbye to being single and say hello to a new partner this festive season? With online dating sites such as My Single Friend offering a convenient and simple way to meet people around your busy lifestyle there’s no excuse for being lonely under the mistletoe, so here are five useful tips to find a Christmas cracker.
Write a quirky profile
These days, many people log on to find a potential love match with internet dating now thought to be the second most popular way to pick up a date. That means there are many profiles out there to sift through so try to make yours stand out from the crowd. Be fun, interesting, engaging and avoid waffle at all cost to avoid boring people.
Don’t please the masses
There are many things you could say that are sure to please the masses such as: ‘I’m kind, loving and patient,’ or, ‘I’m hardworking, passionate and loyal.’ These statements are all well and good but they won’t set you apart from anyone else, so try focussing on things you really like and enjoy – even if it excludes the masses. Saying you’re a Star Wars fanatic might send people running for the hills but it could also attract your perfect love match.
Include a picture
Believe it or not, there are many rules to follow if you want to post the perfect profile picture. The right snap could get you noticed so opt for smiley profiles, action shots and full-length images and make sure anything you put online is recent, after all, no one cares how you used to look ten years ago. Professional shots are nice but more natural ones can also be appealing so include a variety.
Use correct spelling and grammar
The strange thing about the internet is that people can and will judge you before they’ve even met you. They’ll scrutinise your photo as well as your spelling and grammar so always check everything thoroughly before posting it as numerous errors can be off-putting. If the written language isn’t your strong point, try writing things in a Word document first and using spellcheck before copying and pasting into your profile. That way you should spot mistakes before your page goes live.
Be honest and open
When people go online they can feel a sudden urge to create a persona and lie about their hobbies, job or appearance. If you’re looking for true love making up lies will do you no favours in the long run, so be as open and honest as possible. The truth has a strange habit of coming out, so don’t say you’re 6ft 4ins if you’re 5ft as this will make a first date awkward and don’t pretend to be in a different profession just to try and impress. Be truthful upfront and you’re more likely to find a suitable love match.
Internet dating is supposed to be fun and could lead to new and exciting opportunities so if you’re single it’s certainly worth giving it a go. You never know, you could find the love of your life which is sure to get 2015 off to a great start.
A first date can prove to be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you were set-up by mutual friends and in actual fact, you’ve never actually met before! It’s important to be yourself, and exude confidence, even if you feel like the butterflies in your stomach won’t stop.
As you’re walking into meet your date for the first time, is there anything you expect from them? Read our top five things that all women (whether they choose to admit it, or not), expect from their blind date.
We are women, hear us roar? We all just want a little banter instead! Sometimes this can be platonic, sexual, or even non-existent. Banter and good conversation is so important, since it acts as the foundation for future chemistry. So steer clear from all the conventional questions (How old are you? What do you do for work?) This isn’t a job interview! If you already have some mutual friends in common, don’t be afraid to bring them up in conversation.
Drinks.. and dinner?
It is a fact that most women choose a quick drink as their first date. Why? Not only is it an easy getaway, but have you ever tried having a conversation will a full mouth – not likely. If the suggestion of dinner does come up, don’t be a party-pooper and shake your head at every suggestion on the menu. Choose a light appetiser which will allow you to enjoy some yummy food, but still be able to carry on the conversation.
No, I’ll pay
We don’t know about you, but sometimes a date can become a little territorial when it comes to paying the cheque. While this is nice, don’t just sit there with your arms crossed – this just looks like you’re entitled. Be proactive and suggest that you will pay for the next date. Pretty smooth, right?!
Keeping up appearances
Social media has taken the fun out of blind dates, since you will mostly likely be looking up their Facebook or Instagram profile before actually agreeing to a date in the first place. But sometimes, social media, filters, cropping, and angles can be deceiving. Don’t be upset if your date looks nothing like his photos, it could just be an old pic!
As a general rule, your phone should not be at the table. Constantly texting, receiving calls, and checking your Facebook feed (seriously, can’t you do this afterwards), is pretty disrespectful when on any sort of date. Keep your phone on vibrate and in your pocket, or handbag until the end of the date. If you’re desperate to take a picture of the food/drinks, avoid posting it on Instagram until you’re home (or at least said goodbye).
Have you ever been on a blind date before? What are some of your expectations? Tell us your story in the comments below.
Image via First Post
Australia’s Millionaire Matchmaker – aka Trudy Gilbert – has just released her new book 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker. SHESAID was lucky enough to peer through the pages and snag an interview. So we took the opportunity to ask her about the book, her dating knowledge and what’s next for this highly ambitious lady. We even unveil a few extra secrets, which The Bachelor fans will find exciting, so read on.
49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker contains the type of advice Trudy offers her clients:
“Having helped so many people, it got me thinking: “What if I was able to help more people besides my clients?” Thus the idea for the book was born. 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker is a culmination of everything I’ve heard and learned over the last nine years from single men and women. I’ve learnt so much, from what I’ve seen work to what I’ve seen fail, and why some people find a match and others don’t.”
The clients Trudy is talking about are some of Australia’s top-earning professionals. They aren’t mainstream singles you’ll find on standard dating websites. All are looking for long-term relationships. Membership costs $4995, so Trudy’s clients are pretty serious about the business of finding a partner.
We asked Trudy if some of the book’s content would be more relevant to her clients, rather than mainstream singles:
“It wasn’t difficult to give a broad view of dating as these are common issues we all face… some issues are common and others are more specific.”
That explains why Trudy included a chapter on narcissism, which other dating advice books neglect:
“I included narcissism in the book as I wanted to save them from being attached to these personalities. It can be hard to detect these personality types until sometimes you are too far into the relationship.”
Trudy explains around 1 in 100 people has narcissistic traits and therefore the chances of bumping into a narcissist are reasonably high, particularly for high paid execs. Although she has no intention of entering into the mainstream dating market, the information she’s presented does translate well for the masses. Things like happiness, attractiveness, why people are still single, game playing, myths, settling, chemistry and so much more.
It’s not just a book for women either. Men get an idea of what women want as well. It seems Trudy has the dirt on both sexes! We wanted to use some of her knowledge to our advantage, so we asked what she believes are the main differences between single men and women:
“Men focus on what a woman looks like vs women who focus on personality. Men don’t need to know so much about a woman before they meet (whereas women do). Men focus on a fun bubbly personality and women look for a man who is reliable and trustworthy. Men tend to live in the moment, whereas women tend to jump ahead and analyse. Eg. Will he be my husband while on date number 2?”
Sounds pretty spot on. The book goes into these sorts of things in much more detail. There’s gender-specific chapters, singles specific chapters and general knowledge which anyone could benefit from. Many of Trudy’s clients are now off the market, but what they’ve shared is highly relevant for people looking to revitalize their relationships or understand their partner a little better.
Trudy clearly has something to offer couples as well as singles, so we asked if she’s thought about widening her focus:
“No, not yet. I am so busy with my current business. When daters become couples, my job is finished and I get an incredible amount of joy hearing they are happy.”
It seems Trudy is one of those inspirational ladies where anything is a possibility so, we had to ask what’s next:
“Currently working on another book, in talks with a production company for a new dating show, licensing opportunities for the business around Australia.”
Hmm, now here’s a lady who thinks BIG! Looks like The Bachelor fans may be in store for some home-grown competition! After reading the book and interviewing Trudy, one would assume her contestants would have a much better chance finding real love, than the recent Bachelor fiasco! That’s for sure.
For now though, 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker and Elite Introductions is Trudy’s primary focus. When we asked her if there was anything else she’d like to share about the book, upcoming events, promotions; anything which she would like to let readers know about, she finished off with:
“If you want to have a great date before Christmas, give us a call. My clients appreciate the high standards I hold when encouraging people to join the agency. Ladies, believe me, there are still some lovely, chivalrous eligible single bachelors in this town who want the same as you – a beautiful relationship”.
If you don’t meet the demographic and are looking for love, buy yourself a copy of 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker instead. It’s well worth every cent!
Landed the date of your dreams but find it difficult to open up? Don’t let your shyness get in the way of a good relationship, especially when you’re about to go on your first date together!
Below are some important ways that shy girls can open up, without feeling out of their comfort zone on a first date.
Make eye contact
This one might seem a little obvious, but don’t avert your gaze whilst talking to your date. Eye contact is sometimes more important than words, and it’s a great way to show that you’re interested in what they have to say.
If you feel a little intimidated, don’t sit across from each other as this can only make you feel more anxious. Choose a scenario where you’re sitting next to each other, or even at a 90º angle instead – this will take the edge off.
Steer the conversation
If you’re emotionally shy, it’s best to steer the conversation yourself – especially if you’re avoiding talking about certain topics. This will make it easier to filter out things that you don’t want to bring up, and instead engage your date in some quality conversation.
Discuss common topics which will help you get to know each other – this isn’t a therapy session! Have fun and see where the conversation takes you.
Go on an active date
Choose a fun outdoor activity if want to kill those pre-date nerves. Not only will this relax the both of you, but it gives you something else to focus your energy on. Avoid dinner or drinks since this will only put the spot on you, and make it feel like an interview more than anything else.
Sometimes being thrust in a new or unfamiliar environment is enough to make a shy girl shut-down completely. Choose a place that you are comfortable with, since this is the best way you can actually be yourself.
An environment which puts you at ease is the best foundation to a first date, since you’re automatically programmed to feel better in a place that you know well.
Sometimes being shy can often be misconstrued as not being interested – this is far from the truth! Your quiet disposition doesn’t have to be a man repellant, but you do have to show a little more obvious interest in your date.
Make eye contact, and let your flirty side come out – this should be natural if you really like the person!
Image via Robert Hargreaves
Dating apps such as Tinder and Grouper (if you’re scared to go at it alone) are making it that much easier to find a partner without actually stepping foot outside your house – or anywhere that has free WiFi in fact. Whether you’re looking for a long-term partner or just a summer fling, here are five personalities that should have you running for the hills. Or simply just un-match them instead, whatever option better fits into your exercise routine.
You meet online, then you chat for a few days (perhaps a week), before taking the plunge and meeting face-to-face for the first time. While the first date is mediocre, the clinger will still continue to text, call or even FaceTime you more than ever. Just a little tip here – if you’re definitely not interested in the clinger, let them down early on. This may save you being deleted or possibly blocked from Facebook down the line.
The Serial Texter
You can always expect a text waiting for you when you wake up, leave your phone unattended for five minutes, or even multiple texts at a time. The serial texter loves nothing more than to ask an unlimited amount of questions (most of which are repetitive in nature). Some common examples include but are not limited to ‘How are you?’, ‘What are you doing’, ‘What are you eating?’ Although are these people speaking to you because they’re interested in what you have to say, or are they merely just passing the time? Is that another question?
The Serial Non-Texter
The complete opposite to the serial texter. This personality contacts you once in a blue moon, and usually stops replying – even though they initiated the conversation in the first place.
The One Who Won’t Take No For An Answer
Never exchange your mobile number with this personality – that’s unless you don’t want a few hundred calls to your number at all hours. The one who won’t take no for an answer is under the disguise of a well-dressed, nicely spoken character who is essentially harmless. If they pick up a scent that you’re interested, this will result in an unlimited amount of texts, calls, Facebook messages, and Instagram requests (I’m assuming you’re already on private). But once you agree to a date – they lose interest altogether.
The Great Banter
Anyone who loves a bit of a laugh will tell you that good banter is hard to find – in person and online. Just like a needle in the haystack! So why is there a problem exactly? Great banter is exactly what it says it is – banter. Although you might be quick-witted, hilarious, and have exchanged a few ‘lol’ and ‘haha’ with each other during your two-week texting rendezvous, this personality will almost never meet up with you for a drink, let alone dinner.
Image via Stock Photo
So you’re going on a date. You may be having a picnic, heading to the cinema, or maybe brunch, and you want to wear what you wear everyday, only better, right? Of course, you should always wear what you feel most comfortable in, but if you’d like to take a load off, we’ve got you covered with these stylish looks.
Blue jeans + white shirt
Style Icon: Olivia Palermo
Girly + grunge
Team a flirty, feminine, floral dress or skirt, with a leather or denim jacket and some ankle boots for an edge.
Style Icon: Miranda Kerr (See image at top – she’s got you covered for every occasion!)
The button-up, shirt dress
If it’s a beautiful day and you’re spending it outdoors – go with an easy-going midi, tea-length or maxi dress to look like the goddess you are.
Style Icon: We Wore What
Images via modeandprerogative.blogspot/dailymail.co.uk/mirandakerrfashionstyle.tumblr/weworewhat.com
If you’re tired of ye’ olde Grindr, Blendr and Tinder, say hello to 3nder – the new dating app for threesomes. 3nder (pronounced “thrinder” in case you were wondering) allows singles and couples to hook up with each other and create their perfect (or maybe just average) threesome. According to its website, 3nder is “the easiest way to form a trio, without the knowledge of your friends and family”.
Like Tinder, the app allows you to browse and select couples or singles you’re interested in based on a small profile. On top of a photo or two, you’re asked to list your interests, desires and the gender and sexuality of your preferred partner/s.
So the pros and cons of 3nder:
Pro: You can find a threesome near you…
Con: … Or up to 200 miles away. Are you really going to travel 200 miles for a threesome? Really?!
Pro: You could fulfill a long-time fantasy
Con: Since you’re engaging with strangers, this fantasy could very easily go awry
Con: 3nder will indeed keep your habits private from your friends and family… but it will cost you! Your profile remains public unless you pay to go “incognito” which will only hide you from your Facebook friends.
Pro/Con: I don’t think many people have cottoned-on to this new service, so options are limited. The pro: No need to worry about bumping into someone you know. The con: Finding a threesome near you is the whole point of the app. How can you find someone if nobody is there?
The bottom line is that a threesome is a tricky venture to master. It can be awkward and requires some decent sexual skill and a liberal attitude. If it were easy, perhaps we’d all be having them. And if you’re not having them already, perhaps it’s a sign you’re not ready to launch yourself into a sexual situation you didn’t have enough game to arrange in-person. You also need to be safe. While online dating is common, the risk is increased when you pit two against one.
However, if you feel capable and prepared go forth and 3nder!
Online dating can be difficult enough without the prospect of catfish, scammers and everyone else in between. It is possible to land the partner of your dreams by just logging-in, but it is more important to make wise decisions and never give out your personal information to strangers. If you’re new to the online dating scene, take these few tips into consideration the next time you’re online.
Don’t go overboard with your online dating profile. Try and convey the best version of yourself into an online profile without disclosing a heap of personal information. Rather, as you begin to chat, this will be a natural part of the friendship or future relationship.
Start off by creating a solid foundation for a possible relationship by first becoming friends. This doesn’t mean that the cheeky or flirtatious banter will be non-existent, but try and get to know each other, and see how the friendship progresses with time.
Know your audience
Before creating your online profile, do some research on the site and make sure that you are happy with the kind of attention you may likely receive. There are a bunch of personalised dating apps and sites which take career, location and even religion into consideration when looking for a partner.
What do you want?
One of the most important factors when online dating (or simply dating in general), is to know what you want. This will make it so much easier to eliminate people who don’t match your criteria. For example kids, marriage and other serious life-alternating changes could prove to be a deal breaker in the future.
Get to it!
Don’t babble on and on in your online profile. Although in a face-to-face scenario this could come across as cute or endearing, sometimes humour just doesn’t translate on print.
No, we’re not suggesting you create an exaggerated online persona of yourself! But adapt your dating profile, text and images to each site or application that you’re using. This will make it easier to grab the attention of people that you want, instead of others who could simply just be wasting your time, energy (and possibly internet data).
Image via Huffington Post
Good listening and communication skills, loyalty, and a sense of humour – these are the basic building blocks for long lasting relationships – not only of the romantic variety, but friendships too, according to eHarmony. In the second instalment of the online dating site’s Relationship Study, friendships come under the spotlight, focusing on the qualities that make for strong bonds, similarities between friendships and romantic relationships, and perceptions of best friends.
Friends are same as partners – sort of
eHarmony’s study finds that Aussies ultimately seek the same qualities in a friend as they do in a partner, with good listening skills and loyalty topping the list as the most valued qualities in both relationships. This also shows that a foundation based on friendship is essential to long-term romantic relationships. In fact, the study found that nearly 90 per cent of Aussies think a partner should actually be a best friend.
As for the differences, it seems it takes more to qualify as a partner, with Aussies preferring intelligence, attractiveness, strong morals and a hard working attitude much more in a romantic partner than friend. The only qualities we value more in a friend are a supportive nature and good listening skills.
Commenting on the findings, eHarmony’s Marie-Claire Ducharme Sayers says that the qualities we seek in a friend are not far off from what we seek in a romantic partner: “Our study finds that a solid foundation based on compatibility, trustworthiness and good communication is key when it comes to important relationships, whether it be with a best friend or a partner.”
Top qualities that make for good relationships:
|Good shoulder to cry on||51%||49%|
|Good moral compass||50%||62%|
When looking at friendships more broadly, the research shows more than ninety percent of Aussies believe it’s better to have one friend than 10 acquaintances, with the majority (88 per cent) realising that some friendships are not meant to last forever.
eHarmony Relationship and Dating Expert Melanie Schilling says this is a trend that has come out of social media sites creating shallow connections. “With the rise of online networking, hundreds of thousands of interactions occur by the minute. But our research reveals we are overwhelmingly seeking deeper, more meaningful relationships with a core group of friends.”
“Although social communication is easier than ever before, our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is finite. And while this number may vary from person to person, what holds true in all cases is that quality relationships, founded on compatibility, loyalty and empathy, are most important,” Schilling said.
When it comes to best friends, those aged 18 to 24 have phased out the notion of having a single best friend, instead defining this as a tier of people (75 per cent) – a feeling that consistently diminishes as people age.
Interestingly for some, work seems to double up as a social hub, with more than 60 per cent of Aussies having met some of their best friends in the workplace.
The votes are in! According to a survey conducted by manly scented grooming brand Old Spice, Australian tradies have been voted Australia’s most manly breed (53%), narrowly beating firemen (52%), security guards (50%), miners (49%) and mechanics (49%). But what’s most surprising is it seems our manly tradie heroes have achieved this great honour despite their mum’s unwillingness to let go of their baby boys. In the Old Spice Great Manliness Survey, one third of the mums of tradie types* aged 18-24 have been found to still buy their son’s underwear (36%). Over half are still insisting on doing their son’s washing (56%) and a third are following their son’s every move on social media (32%).
And it gets worse for the most hardened of our rugged manly warriors. On the extreme end of the scale, no less than four percent of these mums have been caught stalking their tradie sons while on a date with a girl. Around the same number have called their son’s girlfriend the wrong name on purpose. Another 8% of these mums have walked in on their sons while in the act.
Australia’s most well-known tradie Tom Williams understands only too well:
“I for one love my mum, but even she has been known to cause the odd case of severe man-barrassment over the years. From sharing a naked photo from my childhood at my 21st to freezing out a girlfriend she didn’t like. When I think back to my younger tradie days I really do understand these guys’ plight.”
While having a manly occupation is one way to show your manliness, we all know Australia’s manliness is inherent in our culture. Those who can’t claim a manly occupation like to make up for it by enjoying beers with the boys (23%), watching Friday night football (20%) and hibernating in their self-constructed man caves (20%) – all good manly activities to do while wearing the manliest of Old Spice body sprays regardless of mum next door cooking you dinner!
It’s a jungle out there! Modern-day dating can be a wonderful time of fun, self discovery and love/lust but also a baffling, upsetting and bloody strange experience. In the spirit of the World Cup 2014, here are some dating “red cards” which should equal automatic send-off. No ifs and buts, ladies, send the bastardo walking! There a lot of good men out there who are actually worthy of your precious time and attention – go find them, and stop knocking socks with Mr Wrong.
Disappearing act: If the man you’re dating suddenly goes AWOL, sorry to be the one to tell you sister: He’s more than likely done a runner. And lucky you really, because why the hell would you want him now anyway? If he can’t show you the simple courtesy of a phone call or text to let you know he’s just not that into you, feel sorry for the rude bastard, for his poor communication skills and cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing.
Opening the X-Files: This is an automatic red card in my book – if his ex is still very much on the scene, get out of there as fast as your heels will allow. How can your relationship flourish if he’s still living in the past? You are the future, girlfriend, and ain’t nobody got time for that disrespectful BS. Find a man whose emotional baggage is more akin to the size of a Chanel clutch than an entire Louis Vuitton luggage collection. Abort!
No marriage/kids: If the man you’re dating openly declares he has no desire to get married and/or kids, and this is something you want for your future, red card him, NOW. No one can predict the future but don’t waste your precious time with someone who doesn’t even want the same things as you. Lots of men do want marriage/kids – don’t try to force a man to the altar. If the dude you’re dating looks as though he may vomit when you raise the marriage/kids topic six months into a relationship – it’s time to kick him to the curb.
Doesn’t do exclusive: If the man you’re playing the blanket monster with wants to “see other people” on your time, and you want a relationship, red card him! To me, the phrase: “I think we should see other people” is a more dishonest/less direct way of him saying: “I don’t love you and/or respect you enough to be exclusive”. Abort, abort, abort! And say it with me, and to him: “I don’t like to share!” After all, you deserve a bloke who’s so into you, and you alone, that he wants nothing more than to come home to you every night.
Emotional train wreck: Bullying, be it in the workplace, school yard or relationships is so not on. And it is especially not to be tolerated by the man in your bed. If the guy you’re dating starts to emotionally abuse/manipulate and/or dictate to you what clothes you can wear, foods you can eat and which friends you can hang out with, red card him so fast you give him a nose bleed! You are not his counsellor – let him sort out his mummy/daddy/self-esteem issues on his own time. Red card!
Author’s note: I dated a LOT of these Very Bad Men myself in my 20s/30s until I met my husband at 34. Don’t lose hope – hang in there sister – the right guy is trying hard to find you, too.
By Nicole Carrington-Sima