Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fun And Creative Date Night Ideas

Having a regular date night can save your marriage. Seriously.
Going out for a date with your spouse or partner on a regular basis strengthens your bond as a couple and can reignite romance and passion between you.
According to a study by the Marriage Foundation, couples who have a monthly date night are 14% less likely to break up.
Another recent study by The National Marriage Project called “The Date Night Opportunity” confirmed that date nights foster stronger relationships and marriages.
They cited five specific benefits from couples regularly going on date nights:
1. Improved Communication
Couples are less distracted by children, work, and other responsibilities, giving them the chance to talk about important topics and mutual pursuits and goals.
2. More Novelty
Couples in long-term relationships become habituated to each other and can grow bored in the relationship, taking one another for granted. Date night adds excitement and novelty to the connection which leads to more satisfaction in the relationship.
3. Heightened Romance
Date nights can help rekindle the romantic and sexual spark in the relationship when they engage in romantic and intimate outings together.
4. Stronger Commitment
Date nights solidify your couple-ness and the connection just the two of you share. It makes you feel more committed as you strengthen communication and romance.  Going out together signifies to other people as well that the two of you are a committed couple.
5. Stress Relief
Stress is one of the main culprits of relationship conflict that can threaten your closeness. Going on date nights gives you an outlet for relieving stress, as it allows couples to step away from the challenges of daily life. During date nights, couples can provide love and support to one another that is also stress-relieving.
Now that you know regular date nights are beneficial to your relationship, the next step is figuring out what to do on these special nights out.
Are you looking for something a bit more exciting or unique than just going out to dinner and a movie?

While this classic dating idea is just fine, it doesn't necessarily provide you with the opportunity to create long-lasting memories.
You may want to experience togetherness on your date in a way you can't do sitting quietly in front of a movie screen.
If you have been in your relationship or marriage for a bit of time, you are probably running out of fun date ideas. You also may need to switch things up and try something new.

Here are 13 fun and creative date ideas for couples:

1. Go treasure hunting.
Do you have consignment shops around you or thrift stores?
You never know what you are going to find in those places!
Take an afternoon to go through your local thrift shops, and see if you can find anything fun to buy. If nothing else, you will likely see some odd things that you can talk about later.
2. Go to a state park.
Grab a picnic and find your closest state park.
Not only can you walk around and enjoy your leisurely lunch, but you will also be able to see wildlife and other natural things that your park has to offer.
Check out this list of state parks by state.
3. Go on a ghost tour.
One  fun date idea for couples is to learn the tragic tales of the dearly departed with a ghost tour.
Many cities offer ghosts tours of some sort that involve local haunted houses. Find out what secret stories lie within your city and have a fun date night with your significant other.
This is a great date idea during October when it's close to Halloween.
4. Play a few rounds of mini golf.
If you enjoy some friendly competition with your spouse, then set up a mini golf date.
The great thing about mini golf is that you can spend the time interacting with your partner while you are playing. You can talk about anything, whether it is related to the game or not.
You might decide that the winner of the round has to offer something fun and sexy to the loser. Then you have something to look forward to when date night is over.
5. Go to a museum.
There are so many different types of museums to suit varied interests — from art museums in every state to the International Banana Museum in California.
You and your partner can spend hours wandering through a museum, learning new things together and appreciating history, art, fashion, nature, science and so many other disciplines.

Take your time going through the museum, and grab lunch on the way out so you can talk about everything you saw.
6. Go bowling.
Bowling seems like an activity of the past, but don't you remember how much fun you used to have doing it?
It doesn't matter how good (or bad) you are at bowling, you will have a great time having a date that involves a little friendly competition and ugly shoes.
7. Do some volunteer work together.
Giving back to your community is a great way to feel good about yourself and to show your commitment to cause as a couple.
Take your partner to the local soup kitchen to prepare food for less fortunate people, or go to the local animal shelter and volunteer to walk the dogs.
When you volunteer together, you reinforce a shared value that can strengthen your closeness. You will both leave the date feeling satisfied and happy.
8. Find the sunset.
Do you live near water or some beautiful mountains?
Find the best place in your city to watch the sunset, and spend some quality time with your partner enjoying the natural view.
Bring along some light snacks and a bottle of wine to make it even more memorable.
9. Cook together.
On a rainy night when you don't want to get out, you can create a date night in the comfort of your home. If you have children, see if they can stay with friends or grandparents for the night.
Spend some time looking for a delicious recipe that is fun but easy, and prepare it from scratch together.
Turn on some music, open a bottle of wine, and chop and stir together. Create a romantic setting with candles, a beautifully set table, and dim lights.
Don't rush through the meal. Savor the food and enjoy holding hands and having a long conversation.
10. Go out dancing.
Find a dancing spot in town that isn’t just a regular nightclub crowded with hundreds of people
Try something new together like the salsa, line dancing, the tango, or the waltz. You might even join a class or dance club. Dancing builds confidence, coordination, and closeness with your partner.
When you dance together, you also spend a long time touching and holding one another which enhances intimacy.
It's great to learn something new together that you can use on future dates. Having fun together while being active and listening to great music makes for a perfect date.
11. Go wine tasting.
If you and your partner appreciate wine and are interested in winemaking, go to a local winery  or wine store, or take an organized wine tour together.
Many wineries plan special events with food parings and lectures on various wines that make this date fun and educational.
If you prefer craft beer, try out some local craft breweries and sample the beers that they have. Just make sure to call a cab if you end up having a bit too much fun.
12. Go bike riding.
When the weather is nice, you can take an early evening bike ride around your city or on local trails. Look for leisurely rides so you can ride side by side and talk as you go.
Explore areas you've never been before, and plan for stops along the way to sit and talk or share a picnic dinner you carry along in a backpack.
13. Take a stroll down memory lane.
Take your partner on a ride and drive past all of your old houses, your old school, and even the places you used to work.
This will help your partner paint a mental picture of who you were before you met and understand a bit more about where you came from.
When you're done, ask your partner to do the same so you can see his old memories as well.
There are so many fun things that you can do on a date. Depending on your budget and your interests, you are sure to find something on this list that will create a lasting memory for you and your partner.
The most important point is that you go on regular dates. Don't allow the weekend to creep up on you with nothing planned. Protect and enhance your relationship by making date night a priority as a couple.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Good Man Is The Most Difficult Kind Of Man To Love

It is a hard thing to love a good man. A good man is not a nice man – he does not do things to be nice, he does things because he has a moral code, a set of values he prioritizes and will always do his best to make sure that his actions are in line with his own personal standards. A good man will not do the easy thing or the convenient thing, or even the thing that he wants to do; he will do what he knows to be the good thing. 
He will never lie to you to spare your feelings or attend something because social constructs deem it the courteous or polite course of action, and he will in fact do many things that anger and frustrate you. But you cannot get mad at him, because after all, he is a good man.
A good man is the man who will take his ex-girlfriends call while he’s with you, because he knows that she has anxiety and would only ever call in an emergency, and he is obligated as a good man to do whatever he can to help even when it makes those around him uncomfortable. 
A good man will put the wants of friends and family before his own needs, even when he recognizes that his friends and family are being manipulative or selfish, because a good man is always loyal. Worst of all, a good man will believe that his unflinching honesty about not wanting a relationship will negate his increasingly relationship-like actions, the kind of thoughtful deeds that a good man would deem necessary in any and all interactions with a female, despite the confusion they would cause. 
And the lucky woman who gets to spend this time with a good man will not ever get upset, because how could anyone ever be mad at such a good man? Any woman knows that in todays world of non-relationships, to be given the gift of such open communication is a true blessing, even when it hurts.
To be with a good man is certainly difficult, but to then be without one is devastating. No one can fault a good man for making the logical decision to end an arrangement, especially when he is not doing it for himself. Of course a good man will always be courteous and gentle, which then makes getting over him essentially impossible. 
A good man will change you; you will bask in the warmth of hours upon hours of meaningful conversation and the knowledge that your good man isn’t doing this for any other reason other than his genuine interest in you and your thoughts. And so a good man, despite his flaws and sometimes irritating habits towards goodness, has set the bar so high that no chance encounter at a local pub or conversation on tinder will feel like they can ever come close to your good man. 
And since you cannot get mad at a good man, you will not be able to get over him either, and will instead sit at your desk writing a horribly clichéd piece about him so as to distract yourself from texting him on his birthday, because you don’t want that good man to feel bad for inspiring such feelings that would make you remember his birthday 4 months after your non-relationship has ended. 
Feelings that he tried to keep you from having, because he is a good man, and feelings that you could not have kept from having, because he is a good man. So it is true that finding a good man is hard, but keeping one is even harder and losing one is simply impossible – impossible to deal with, impossible to accept, and certainly impossible to let go.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017


We’ve all been in enough bad relationships to know when we have something good, which makes it that much more devastating when you’re unhappy with your partner. However, if your love is something worth preserving, there’s hope. As the cliché goes, relationships, even the best and most compatible, take a lot of work. If you’re not feeling the love with your partner, here are five potential reasons why, and what you can do to change it.

1. You have unrealistic expectations.

Having high expectations for your relationship can cause you to feel dissatisfied, and, in turn, unhappy. By comparing your love story to The Notebook, you could be facing major disappointment. In light of the overly-romantic plots or over-the-top gestures often hyped in film and news media, your relationship may not seem as good as it really is. However, every relationship has different things that make it work and make a couple compatible, harmonious and happy.

If you know you know you’ve been having unrealistic expectations for you and your partner, it’s time to wise up. Instead of expecting your significant other to be romantic or on-point all the time, understand that this will never be the case. Resist the urge to compare your relationship to others’, especially ones on the silver screen. Instead, focus on the positives in your relationship and why you make such a great couple.

2. Things are becoming habitual.

Once you and your partner have started to get into a comfortable routine, it’s easy to find yourself suddenly missing the passion that used to be. If you live together, partners can start to feel more like roommates than soul mates. The loss of infatuation is a natural part of the relationship process. Still, when it feels like you’re stuck in a rut and you’ve lost your “spark,” you won’t be nearly as happy as you could be in a relationship, no matter how compatible you are.

To break up your routine, try doing something new with your partner. Take a class or learn something new together. Go on a weekend getaway, or have a special date night someplace you’ve never been before. Even doing something as small as making a new meal together can remind you of the things you love about your partner.

3. You’re over-thinking things.

If you’re one of those people who reads too much into everything, beware: your relationship may suffer. Analyzing every detail of your love life could cause you to think that the natural conflicts and imperfections that you have as a couple are worse than they really are. The same goes for reading too much into your future, individually or as a couple. Although it’s tempting to speculate, and a little analysis can be good, when over-indulged the urge to brood can cause minor problems to bloat out of proportion.

Instead of thinking about all the details of your relationship, try to look at the big picture. Think of the important aspects of your relationship and what keeps it together. This will show you that minor arguments and differences of opinion won’t ruin the whole affair, and that your relationship is strong and happy.

4. There’s a communication gap.

When the lines of communication in a relationship are strained, it can cause many problems. If you or your partner have feelings — however small — of jealousy, resentment or anger, and don’t talk about it, those emotions can build up. Without even realizing it, you could become completely unhappy in a wonderful relationship, all because of a few missed conversations.

To make sure you are as happy as possible with your partner, learn to talk about everything. Even if you know the conversation won’t be pleasant, dispel any negative feelings in a calm manner. In future, dealing with issues as they come up will help prevent negative emotions from getting out of hand and cause your relationship to grow much stronger.

5. You’re feeling stressed.

Yes, weirdly enough, the reason you may be feeling happy in your relationship could have nothing to do with your relationship at all! If you’re stressed about your work, money issues, school or any other reason, it could affect your happiness, and in turn your relationship.

To keep yourself sane and happy, try hard to de-stress. Take time each day to do something that makes you happy. Do your utmost to keep on top of outside issues, and don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help or forbearance if you’re feeling especially swamped. Identifying outside sources of stress and learning to manage stress effectively can help you and your relationship weather the storm safely.

If you know your relationship is enviable, but you’re not feeling as happy as you should be, you’re not alone. Whether it’s stress, bad communication or over-analyzing that’s making you unhappy, being aware of your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses and dealing with them effectively can help you to get your love back on track.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How To Find Your Dream Girl

If You've Been trying to optimize your online dating game to find a good girl, figure out how to pick up women at the gym, or meet women in general, you're on the right track. That said, there are plenty of ways to help make women more attracted to you. Use these 30—and, hey, good luck out there. 

1. Think more about who you are than how you look

A person with positive personality traits is much more attractive to the opposite sex than the same person without those traits, a 2014 study found. So buff your character and boost your brain to win more dates.

2. Clean yourself up...

In one poll, 85% of single women said they’d prefer a well-dressed man over a rich one. That doesn’t mean a suit and tie, says psychotherapist Moushumi Ghose, M.F.T. “Jeans are fine—just add a little something to make it nicer than normal,” like a cool jacket or a (wrinkle-free) shirt that matches your eye color.

3. ...but not too much

Skip the power shave: Evolution & Human Behavior found that women think a light beard or heavy stubble is sexier than a close shave.

4. Having said that: Ditch the bun and trash the ’stache

A man bun is kryptonite to 63% of women, and just 2% in a West Coast survey thought a mustache was sexy. But keep the chest mat—73% said they dig some body hair.

5. Be Authentic

“If she’s the one for you, she’ll be attracted to who you truly are,” says Ginnie Love, Ph.D., author, and intuitive psychotherapist. “So be yourself, and if that isn’t enough for her, no worries—it will be for the one who finds you.”

6. Give her an eyeful

If you have a little bit of game, use your eyes to get the green light: Glance down at her lips, and if she nods or smiles, that’s a good signal you won’t get a stiff arm when you make your move.

7. Don’t freak out if you’re not a muscleman

Sure, women like men with bigger muscles—if they’re looking for a short fling, a UCLA study found. But in long-term relationships, it’s not a key factor.

8. Spiff up your social media

About 48% of single women check out their date on Facebook first, so get rid of any unflattering pics or reveries on SI swimsuit models.

9. Get her laughing

About 97% of single women say how funny a man is is as important as how he looks. And a Psychological Reports study found that a guy’s more likely to get a woman’s digits if he uses humor. So steer clear of serious topics at first. Think about how you are when you’re in a playful, comfortable mood. And don’t be too sarcastic or too touchy. Keep it light and simple. Ask her questions, and definitely compliment her.

10. Don’t play the role of a trainer unless you are one

At the gym? Don’t correct her form or “suggest” how to do a move. Instead, offer to spot her, says author and sexologist Susan Block, Ph.D. If you get a conversation going, talk about your weekend, mention your dog...

11. Find love on Aisle 9

The low-key, family-friendly vibe of a grocery store gives some level of comfort and safety, says Love. “If the cues are right, make your way over and introduce yourself. It’s that easy.” But skip anything canned (so to speak): One-liners like “Are those melons fresh?” get guys eye rolls, not dinner dates.

12. Learn (yes, learn) how to relax

“Take deep, slow breaths to calm down enough to be your best self,” says Love. If that means mastering proper nose breathing—which calms you and makes your brain sharper, a Northwestern University found—it’s worth it. (Try the app—it’s free!)

13. Give her top billing

It may seem obvious, but ask her about herself and she’ll be more likely to feel connected to you. In other words: When you’re on a date together, don’t aim to make her think you’re the most interesting person in the room—aim to make her think she is. Be aware of what not to say on a first date, too. 

14. Don’t be a braggart

Got a fast car, hot job, sweet pad? Keep them to yourself. Wearing your heart on your sleeve can be endearing—but not your wallet.

15. Get a dog

Then go to the dog park. To a good woman, good dog=good man, says Block. Plus, right from the start, you know you have something in common.

16. Surprise her with surprising flattery

“If she thinks she’s smart, tell her she’s pretty,” “If she thinks she’s pretty, tell her she’s smart.” Keeping her a bit off-balance—as long as you’re not a dick about it—will up the intrigue.

17. Know when to play the old-fashioned gentleman

Treat her right. Make her feel special. Respect her, says Love. And a feminist streak is great, but bury it when the bill comes: 77% of couples say the guy should pay on the first date.

18. Look for the linger

If she keeps close to you—even if her eyes or head is down—or she stays through awkward moments when it seems you’ve run out of things to say, you’ll know it’s time to make the first move.

19. If you’re not sure, ask

No good at reading body language? Just say, “You’re really beautiful. I’d like to kiss you,” and wait. If she doesn’t say no or run, go for it.

20. Like her? Don’t play games.

If you’re genuinely interested in a second date, let her know right away, and try to make a date for three to four days later. Vulnerability (she may say no) combined with confidence (you’re asking her anyway) shows sexiness and strength.

21. Know her go-to mode of communication

Does she consider emails and text messages tacky? Phone calls annoying? Find out... “That way, you meet her in her comfortable space.”

22. Make sure your social media profile reflects you positively

About 48% of women check out a dude on Facebook before the first date.

23. If you cancel a date, reschedule asap

Consistency is key at the start. If something comes up, set up a new date right away, lest she think you’ve developed cold feet about meeting up.

24. Don’t forget: Sex isn’t a contest...

It doesn’t matter how long you go, or if you come every time (though it doesn’t hurt to try and make sure she does). “Sometimes it’s about the closeness and connection.”

25. ...then again, don’t be afraid to be a sexy beast

Once you’re more intimate, “text her sexy messages that let her know you desire her.” That’s text, not sext—unless she starts it, keep your Anthony Weiner side on a choke chain.

26. Prove you’re paying attention

Do things that let her know you hear her. If work’s stressing her, suggest something to help—a spa getaway, making her dinner, giving her a foot massage. She won’t forget.

27. Be passionate about showing her respect

Let her know how much you admire her and look up to her. Keeping the passion up is all about respect, admiration, and appreciation.

28. Fight gently

In the moment, men often forget they’re larger and their voices are deeper. Speak kindly and soft.

29. Give her space if she wants to take a break

Just hit the bricks and see what happens. A breakup doesn’t need to be final—but if you stalk her, it will be.

30. If you need to call it quits, do it kindly

“We all know when the spell’s been broken,” says Love, “when not just the attraction but the desire and communication are gone.” But splitting civilly earns you good karma—not to mention good word of mouth around town (or the Internet). And that certainly can’t hurt in the long run.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yes, It Is YOUR Job To Make Your Husband Happy

Why do so many of us buy into the myth that marriage is supposed to make us happy?

I’m glad to see how marriage has evolved. It used to be much more transactional — happening principally to foster economic benefits or social standings or to produce children — but nowadays people typically choose to commit themselves legally to each other for far more noble goals. More and more people marry with the intention of experiencing lasting love and companionship.
Unfortunately, too many women I know get married and somehow, perhaps unconsciously, expect their husbands to make them happy. When things get hard — and they always do — rather than looking inward at where they may be at fault, too many women point the finger toward their partners. They blame him (or her) for the problems in their relationship. “If he would just pay more attention to me our marriage would be great!” or “If she would just help more around the house, things would be so much better.”
Frustrated and hurt, these women compound the problems in their relationships by judging and criticizing they partner. Then the punishment escalates and they withdraw and withhold sex, affection, and attention.
“He can make his own damn dinner!” 

“I’m not having sex with him again until he apologizes!” 
“His clothes can mold in the washing machine for all I care!” 
“I don’t give a shit what he does. I’m right and he’s wrong!” 
So many women sit there in judgment and righteousness while their relationship falters. They expect a near perfect mirror image of themselves, someone who agrees with them and who behaves the way they want them to behave. 
These women let their hurt and anger run roughshod in their relationships. Small resentments turn into poisonous darts. Fights over the dishes become biblical. 
But the fights are almost never really about the dishes.
They’re about not feeling cared for, about feeling taken advantage of, about not feeling heard or seen. They simply do not feel loved or appreciated enough by their spouse.

Too often these women — even the strongest, smartest, most independent of them — weirdly believe that if they inflict enough pain back onto their partners or exact enough control of them, they’ll suddenly get with the program. Instead, the opposite usually happens. Their partners  not feeling loved enough and tired of feeling nagged, controlled, and criticized — do the opposite. They withdraw and tune out. And the cycle of drama and dysfunction only becomes more vicious and protracted. 
It becomes uglier and more painful.
It’s like that old prophetic bumper sticker: The beatings will continue until the morale improves. But the morale never improves!
Never does treating someone badly give you what you want — at least not in a healthy relationship based on trust and safety. 
You can fight. You can yell. You can withhold. You can sit there in your judgment and self-righteousness, running the narrative in your head over-and-over again about how you’re right and how he’s wrong, wrong, wrong. How he’s a selfish asshole. A frustrating idiot. An uncaring egomaniac.
But let me ask: How’s that working for you? 
Does that ever really get you what you want?
I know this damaging, dysfunctional pattern far too well. I used to be that woman who felt hurt, angry, unseen, and unheard. I also didn't feel loved enough by my husband
What did I do? Looking back, I admit that I did some crazy shit. And it is shit. Why did I ever think that punishing my husband by turning away from him and harboring resentments would EVER get me what I wanted? How could I possibly think that punishing him and withdrawing from him would magically give me more love, attention, praise, and affection? It’s nuts. It’s self-sabotage.
Why do so many of us do this? Why do you do this?
Ladies, if you want to be happy in your marriage, make it your job to make your husband (or wife) happy. 
Quit waiting around for someone else to go first, sponge up your hurts, love you perfectly, make you happy or  God forbid  "complete" you.
My marriage brought me to my knees. I was with someone brilliant, generous, funny, charming, and so much more. But Jesus, how we pushed each others’ buttons. The pain I felt in our relationship as a result was excruciating. 
After FINALLY figuring out that punishing him for my hurt gave me the opposite of what I want, I came to the last possible conclusion. I decided that I needed to change. I decided to try more love and tenderness and less judgment and punishment. 
I decided to do all that I could to make him happy and feed and nurture our marriage.
A mentor of mine, David Bell, said something brilliant to me, “Trying to change another person is an act of aggression. Trying to change yourself is an act of love.”
It took me a long time to understand this and act on it. 
I now know that love starts with me. And it’s changed everything.
I decided to put 150 percent of myself into our relationship and not sit around keeping score or waiting for love to wash over me. I stopped waiting for someone else to make me happy.
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband  prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially  not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband. 
Our relationship has become light years better, and I feel much happier and more empowered.
Now, it must be said: If you really make it your job to make your partner happy and he (or she) exploits your efforts or never truly reciprocates — never meeting your love with love  you may be in a deal breaker scenario. Despite your best efforts, you may be with someone who is unable or unwilling to love you back and you will probably need to terminate the relationship.
I have written a book that covers the painful drama of my marriage, and what we did to beautifully transform it. The book is called Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love. It goes on sale May 2nd. You can click to pre-order your copy here.
If you’re willing to do the work and put in the love; if you’re willing to open your heart and mind to the idea that love starts with you, and it’s your job to make someone else happy, Radical Acceptance can also transform your relationship!

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Article By Andrea Miller

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