Should I date someone I met online?

Online dating has always gotten a bad rep because there are a lot of people out there who ruin it for us. What with reports regarding date rape and the spread of HIV, who wouldn’t be scared of dating someone you meet online? Especially if you’re a woman on the prowl.

But here’s what they don’t tell you.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

There will always be bad people walking this planet. Your job is to look out for yourself and detect when something isn’t quite right.

On the flip side of things, there are far more good people in this world than there are bad. What if it works out? What if this person is the one you’re looking for? Then you would definitely regret not having given him/her a chance to get to know you. Whether or not the relationship built transcends into something romantic, at least you have gained a new friend, or a new member of your network.

I know of several people who have successful relationships borne from the internet. There are those who live continents apart and managed to make it work. There are even those that never blossomed into romance, but they ended up being good friends or even business partners. Technology should be used to communicate and forge relationships that would never have happened.

But how do you go on a date with someone you met online without being paranoid? Here are a couple of tips.

  • Find a common friend. I generally would trust someone I met online if we had at least ONE common friend who could vouch for him. Before a date, I would probably milk said common friend of any information I could get so I would know what to expect.
  • But what if you don’t have a common friend? Establish a relationship with him online for a little longer. It’s important that you get to know more personal details about your date for security and safety purposes. In the event you do decide to go out with him, you should leave any information that you can with a trusted friend. This way, if anything bad comes up, they would know where to find you.
  • Take a photo of your date and send it to your friend. Again, for emergency purposes.
  • Don’t try to over impress him. If you’re interested, it’s best to show him the real you instead of putting up a front. When you’re yourself, you enjoy the experience so much more. Remember: at the end of the day, your goal is to gain a new friend, and not necessarily a new boyfriend just yet.
  • Wear something comfortable. There’s nothing more annoying than having to pull down your skirt when it climbs up your butt, or having to constantly cover your cleavage. Trust me, your dating experience will fare much better when you dress more comfortably and decently rather than slutty. This way, you also won’t be bothered by your date constantly checking out your chest.
  • Have fun. This is a choice. It’s your choice to make the most of any experience and online dating turned real life is no different. Stop overanalyzing every single move he makes and just take it for what it is. If you’re worried about the kind of impression you’re making, he probably is too. Relax and enjoy. Treat him like you would a friend and everything will be easier.

xoxo,

Cristine

 

30 Things Divorced People Think You Should Know About Marriage

Just because someone is divorced doesn’t mean he or she didn’t walk away from a failed marriage without learning some valuable lessons on marriage. Quite the opposite, actually.It’s in failure that we often garner our most strength and wisdom. Like Janet Fitch says, “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”

Divorced people have “burned” and emerged, and most often for the best. We know better — we want better. We understand marriage in an intimate yet difficult way. Some of us wish we did things differently — some of us wish we had married a better fit. No matter what the tale, you can learn a lot about the value and delicacies of marriage from someone who loved and lost.

1. Your marriage is not as good as your vows. It’s what you put into it each day.
2. The roots of your love need to run deep from the start. If the love is attraction- or surface-based, the love will die.
3. Some parts of your marriage will be frustrating, but love enough to be patient to ride out the lows and receive the highs.
4. The grass is not always greener. Even if it looks more lush, you don’t know the quality of the soil.

5.  Tend to the garden of your marriage, lest it get overrun by weeds.

 

6. It’s more than the ring. Can you imagine growing old or being sick with this person?
7. It’s best to cool off alone before throwing down harsh words in a fight.
8. Both of you need to take turns steering the wheel.
9. If your partner backs away and avoids talking, you may have to wait for them to come back around. Patiently.
10. Marriage is not always exciting. Finding the joy in the day-to-day will serve your marriage well.
11. A good marriage means getting your hands dirty. Participating each day. Not expecting perfection.
12. We are all under construction as works in progress. Accept your partner as long as he or she is working on it.
13. Intimacy is the one thing that separates your marriage from your other relationships. Nurture it.
14. A good marriage requires two people who are both still learning about life and each other.
15.  Sometimes, marriage requires you to bend down and tie your partner’s shoes when he or she just can’t do it.
16. Expect there to be some serious storms in your marriage. You might question your love for your partner and feel alone at times.
17. But good marriages have two partners who work through tough times and see the light of a brand-new, better day.
18. A good partnership is simple, really. It just feels easy — most of the time.
19. If your partner feels like he or she has an eye, hold, or lock on you, it’s not love. It’s toxic control.
20. Love is letting the other party rest sometimes and be lazy. We can’t be our best selves 24/7.
21. And the simple little gestures you do or DON’T do each day add up . . . or subtract.
22. Doing those little gestures can lead to great changes for the good in a marriage.
23. Creating lots of joy, love, and more time to connect and “deposit” in each other’s love accounts is important.
24. Don’t be surprised if you two have issues that can feel as if they’re taking a long time to get over.
25. In marriage, as in life, slow and steady wins the race rather than rushed and hasty.
26. There will be small, tiny moments in your marriage that will feel like heaven. Enjoy that paradise.
27.  Savor it.
28. And let both of you enjoy the fruits of your life. Each of you deserves many bites of happiness.
29. Never let anyone else in your intimate emotional space. Those little “affairs” do so much damage to a marriage.
30. Decide each day to be true to yourself and your partner. Your word and deeds are all your partner has to go on.
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Is This The Reason So Many Relationships Fail?

Eli Finkel, a US university professor specializing in social psychology reckons there’s a very common reason modern relationships fail—and it’s all about our expectations. In an interview with The Atlantic about his new book The All-or-Nothing MarriageFinkel explained he considers many people in relationships too idealistic.

Basically, rather than just being content that our partner provides us with a spare pair of hands to sort out the home and go about our daily lives, we’re expecting them to be everything to us.

We are, he reckons, demanding WAY too much of them. A lot of modern couples expect their significant other to love them because, duh, but also to “help them grow” and become our best selves. We want them to make us feel attractive, smart, hilarious, sexy, basically all the things all the time. And this, he says, is putting so much pressure on our relationships that we are totally screwing them up.

Why though? Finkel says in the past 100 years, marriage and relationship expectations have blurred due to cultural changes.

In his The Atlantic interview, he said:

“I would just urge everybody, think about what you’re looking for from this one relationship and decide, are these expectations realistic in light of who I am, who my partner is, [and] what the dynamics that we have together are? If so, how are we going to achieve all of these things together? Or alternatively, how can we relinquish some of these roles that we play in each others’ lives, and outsource them to, say, another member of your social network?”

What he’s saying is, in order to not overload your partner with expectations, you probs could maybe go to a pal or family member for the assurances your partner can’t give you. And that’s totally fine.

He continues:

“The question isn’t, ‘Are you asking too much?’ The question is, ‘Are you asking the appropriate amount, in light of the nature of the relationship right now? ‘The idea of ‘going all-in’ is, ‘Hell yes. I want to ask my spouse to help make me feel loved and give me an opportunity to love somebody else and also [be] somebody who’s going to help me grow into an ideal, authentic version of myself. And I’m going do the same for him or her. I recognize that that is a massive ask, and because I recognize that that’s a massive ask I’m going to make sure that we have sufficient time together. That when we’re together we’re paying sufficient attention to each other, that the time that we’re investing in the relationship is well-spent.'”

So if Finkel’s theory is true, we need to accept most of our expectations are a tad too much. In order to avoid constant disappointment and inevitably, the end of our relationship, we need to not pile too much pressure on that one person.

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By: Paisley Gilmour for Cosmopolitan

How to Deal When Your Woman Earns More Than You?

As a female lawyer, I’m one of the lucky ones. I am blessed to have a partner who understands the career choice that I have made and doesn’t give me flak for it. He never makes me feel that I should tone down my intelligence and for me, that’s why our relationship works. Even though I potentially earn more than he does on a regular basis.

But when I was in lawschool, I dated men who just couldn’t deal. My ex boyfriend would constantly feel insecure that I would leave him for someone else more successful and stereotypically career-driven. He was a graphic artist you see, and didn’t make a considerable amount of cash since any project given was mostly based on referrals. While I understood his situation and only cared for how he treated me, my ambitions and his just didn’t match. He was happy where he was, and while I was fine with that, he constantly prevented me from reaching my own goals. Needless to say, that relationship failed.

Fast forward to today, and I am constantly being asked how my man deals.

Here’s our thoughts on the matter.

When the woman earns more than her man, the latter should just consider himself blessed. Society has always taught us to be inferior to men, but times have drastically changed and that isn’t the case. Men, on the other hand, have been bred to always be superior to women. But the truth is, we can do whatever men can, if not better. We can raise a family on our own without their help. We aren’t confined anymore to the four corners of a regular household. These days you see women in male dominated industries. You see women in the legal profession, racing cars, arguing with fellow politicians in the Senate, building businesses, or shooting guns at military camps.

So what does this mean for the man? If her personality trumps yours, you only have two options. Whether you stay where you are. Or go where she is going. If you have a woman earning more than you, you tend to be more inspired to hustle. You are now made aware that being inferior just won’t cut it. That being mediocre won’t pay the bills. Instead of sulking about your current situation, use the influence your partner has over you to motivate you and push you harder to achieve your own goals.

Real men are not intimidated by a woman’s success. They step up to meet it.

I have many female lawyer friends who are single but they are wonderful women. They’re gorgeous, smart and have an amazing sense of humour to boot. But they’re single because no man could ever deal with their ambitions. But here’s what I always tell them:

A relationship is a partnership and not a competition.

It’s okay to be single instead of being with someone who sees you as a competitor. From how I see it, when any relationship leads to marriage, having an intelligent, career-driven woman helps the man deal with managing the household more efficiently. The bills are paid and obligations are shared. As a bonus, since the woman has something going for her, there would also be less time for conflict. She won’t feel like she’s selling herself short and is less likely to start blaming her partner for not being able to go after her own dreams.

In my current relationship, we hardly ever argue. I chalk it up to the fact that because we have our own respective careers to think of, there’s just no room for negativity. Instead of berating each other and putting each other down, we lift each other up. Instead of blaming each other, we share the blame for any bumps on the road. Instead of arguing over any financial hiccups, we find a way to get out of it… together.

Train yourself to always see the positive and the good of every situation. If you’re with an intelligent woman, congratulations! You found yourself an amazing partner who won’t settle for mediocrity. Consider her a blessing to keep you on track towards making your dreams come true. And if you’re a woman reading this, never spread yourself too thin. The world is yours. And let no man tell you otherwise.

xoxo,

Cristine.

 

10 Crazy-Simple Things All Guys Want During Sex

Sex is simple; It’s everything surrounding sex that’s wildly complicated.

And just because this is about the things all guys really appreciate during sex, sex is actually about two people (or hey, three or four) taking care of each other’s needs. You should be with someone who is willing (and excited) to give you the same respect and attention in the bedroom he himself wants.

1. An orgasm. Although this is not to say that sex can’t be awesome without one. But orgasms are kind of why you show up to sex in the first place, much the same way the only reason anyone goes to baseball games is to eat hot dogs. Sure, the game is fun, but if you don’t get a hot dog, why did you go?

2. Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm goes a long way, and hopefully you and your partner are both very enthusiastic in bed. That in and of itself is a huge turn on. The opposite end of the spectrum for anyone would mean just laying there while having sex done to you. And while there are probably some people out there that would… appreciate… that, most people would probably find it off-putting.

3. Ambient noise. Absolute and complete silence during sex usually means you’re not enjoying yourself or worse, you’re asleep. So by all means, be vocal. It’s the best barometer he has for knowing if he’s doing it right.

4. Foreplay. Foreplay is incredibly important. Without foreplay, it’s like a roller coaster without that slow climb to the top of the track. It’s just the drop. The anticipation is key. Granted, rides that are just drops are literally “Tower Drop” rides and (like foreplay) they have their time and place. But they’re not as good as roller coasters. This is a fact.

5. The lights on. Men are all about the visuals. So of course they’d like to have the lights on so they can stare deep into your boobs eyes during sex.

6. Compliments. It’s not like he needs to hear “good job! You’re doing great!” every thirty seconds, but a little bit of positive dirty talk goes a long way. Say some nice things about his penis if you’re ready to wrap things up.

7. Communication. Communication is critical to good sex. That doesn’t mean you need to be shouting out plays or stopping mid-coitous to make a pros and cons list of doggy style. Your foreplay doesn’t need to be trust falls. Communication can involve talking, but it can also be through wordless understanding. Or maybe expressing a desire to try new things beforehand so you can feel it out without stopping the action. Essentially, it’s about working as a team to get each other off.

8. Variety. Variety is always great. It’s why people love buffets. Using more than one position is never a bad thing.

9. A shared workload. No one wants to do all the work. Give each other a break from thrusting and grinding and all the other sex verbs you’re doing to get off.

10. A post-sex nap. Sex is exhausting. Sleep it off.

*****

By: Frank Kobola from Cosmpolitan

10 Types of Sex People Who’ve Been Dating Forever Have

1. Angry Make-up Sex. Make as many arguments as you want for being perpetually single and free. You’ll never get to have make up sex where you simultaneously can’t wait to not be fighting anymore, but also let out any leftover aggression. There’s a very strong argument for this being the unequivocal best kind of sex.

2. Casual Masturbation. Sometimes, you can’t be bothered to go through all fanfare and hullabaloo of sex. So instead, you just rub one out through your pajama flap while you lay in bed together. Ah, romance!

3. “Let’s Get Out of Our Comfort Zone” Sex. It should be noted that “comfort zone” is subjective. Some couples might see it as buying a pair of fur handcuffs. Others might just want to introduce a few new positions or watch some porn together. Other couples might go to orgies. Who knows! But once you’ve been in a relationship for long enough, there comes a time where one of you says, ‘Hey, I think we should really switch things up.’

4. Incredibly Lazy Sex. There are days where you wake up hungover, or groggy. There are nights where you’re tired but horny. In a long-term relationship, it’s fine to just go at it with the bare minimum every once in awhile.

5. Rediscovering-sex Sex. In a long enough relationship, you go through peaks and valleys in the amount of sex you’re having. Any long-term couple has had a bit of a dry spell together followed by a tornado of intimacy.

6. We’re-Supposed-to-be-Ready-in-Five-Minutes Sex. Sometimes you just can’t help it and you wind up wildly late to that fancy dinner thing. It’s not his fault you look irresistible dressed up.

7. Vacation Sex aka They’re-Going-to-Have-to-Light-This-Hotel-Room-on-Fire-After-We-Leave-Because-They’ll-Never-Get-Rid-of-the-Smell Sex. Seriously, how is every hotel not a biohazard by now?

8. Baby-Making Sex. At some point in the relationship, couples might decide to have kids. And having sex with the goal of procreation in mind is a whole different beast with two backs. There are schedules to adhere to and menstrual cycles to keep track of, and it can sometimes even feel like an obligation. Like how you might love McDonald’s french fries, but if you worked there you’d get sick of them.

9. We-Actually-Have-Time-to-Ourselves Sex. As couples get older, their obligations change and pile-up. Promotions at work mean spending more time at the office. Friends and kids and the kids of friends and your kid’s friends all eat up your schedule. Sometimes, you have sex just because you actually have a few hours to yourself.

10. Sex. Sex doesn’t really change that much. Long-term couples are still having sex whenever they want. And while they’ve got more experiences together under their belt, they’re still just having good old- fashioned sex.

*******

By: Frank Kobola for Cosmopolitan

Things that POWER COUPLES do

You probably know a couple that you look up to. You know, you see them and wonder how they can keep their relationship afloat. Not only do they look good together and are successful, they also have a genuinely strong bond. They may not be perfect, but somehow, they manage to make it work. Think Jay-z and Beyonce. The following are the best practices that would make any couple great. Follow these to a T and you’re well on your way to taking over the world with your partner.

 

  1. They APPRECIATE each other. Now, you might think this is pretty obvious because hey, you’re WITH this person right? Of course you appreciate him/her! But not all people let their appreciation be felt. In fact, some of them don’t even know they need to show it, let alone act appreciatively. Most relationship problems actually often begin this way- when someone doesn’t appreciate the other. This could lead to unhappiness and an overall lack of drive to be productive. But showing appreciation makes a world of a difference in making your significant other have a healthy perception of himself/herself. We all have self-doubts but when your partner shows you or tells you that you matter, it suddenly gives you a little something more to live for. It makes getting up in the morning easier to do too- knowing that you matter to someone. It boosts their overall self-esteem and shows that you’re not taking them for granted.

  1. They give CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMS. First of all, be KIND. You are with this person not to be mean to him/her. A relationship is supposed to improve your life and not destroy it. You’re supposed to feel good about yourself and not the other way round. But there are indeed instances when someone will mess up driving you into a rage where you start calling each other names. Not only is this unhealthy, exhibiting reactive behavior leads to words said that you may not intend. So before you start picking on your partner for a mistake made or a behavior that you simply did not like, assess first the consequences of opening your mouth and bite your tongue for 5 seconds. If you must, then be conscious of what you say. Instead of picking on him/her as a person, point out the ACT which pissed you off. He isn’t stupid, but the thing he did was stupid. Always remember that behavior does not necessarily equate to the individual as a person. Mistakes happen. Bad things happen. But deal with them kindly, calmly and as rationally as you can.

  1. They make GOAL SETTING a habit. My partner and I have this regular goal setting date where we sit down to give updates about our individual lives and what we want for the future. We even make lists of the type of businesses we would want to own and the countries that we want to visit. We have actually made some of those dreams come true! This works because you’re more encouraged to reach for your goals when you are with someone going through the same struggle. You are with someone who will also be affected by a failure. This gives you a bigger sense of responsibility as a couple because it’s not just about you alone anymore. It’s about both of you.

  1. They SUPPORT each other. This is one of the obvious factors, but not something that ALL couples realize. By simply telling your partner that you believe in him/her works wonders in boosting their self-confidence. By supporting one another, you are giving off the message that you will help your partner achieve his/her dreams, no matter how big and seemingly unrealistic they may be. Your presence and support means the difference when winning something as simple as a basketball game to building a company from the ground up. Behind every person we consider successful is a group of people who served as an inspiration. Be that inspiration.

  1. They are QUICK TO APOLOGIZE. You know what one of the most unproductive things a lot of couples do? They prolong fights. They don’t stop arguing in circles and usually about arguments that cannot be resolved. Chalk it up to human nature where we’re wired to want to always be right. While arguments are inevitable, wasting time is a choice. Instead of arguing about the petty stuff, why not put your energy into something mmore productive? Keep in mind that a relationship is not a video game where someone has to be the winner. The sooner that you can swallow your pride and apologize (assuming you’re in the wrong), the sooner can you spend more time building your empire.

  1. They continue to FLIRT with each other. Once you get comfortable in a relationship, you may tend to feel lazy, always trusting that your partner knows everything there is to know, so there is no need for surprise. But the lack of passion and romance proves to be an effective buzzkill that destroys the spark that was once there. Even when busy, never stop thinking, doing, saying what your partner fell in love with you in the first place. Show your adoration as much as you can. It never gets old.

  1. They have INDIVIDUAL LIVES. It’s easy to fall in the trap of only hanging out with your significant other and forgetting that there are other people in the universe. But this isn’t healthy. We all need to interact with different types of people. We need to have an extra activity that we can do outside of work that our partner may not be interested in. If he likes to play golf with his buddies, let him. If you want to go shopping with the ladies, he should also let you. A perfect relationship is one where you’re still yourself but with someone who complements who you already are.

 

xoxo,

Cristine.