How To Overcome Your Online Dating Fears

Are you one of the few singles left who hasn’t ventured into the world of online dating?

Let’s talk about why you may be afraid and crush those fears one step at a time!

ROOTED IN TRADITION

You are convinced your future boyfriend, partner, or husband is the guy who will catch you when you fall off the sidewalk on your way to work. I love a great fairy tale too, but let’s open up your options! You’re hesitant to make an online profile because you don’t want to admit to the rest of the world you met your significant other online. It’s 2016, if you tell someone you met your partner online dating, they will most likely respond with “I did too!” or “My friend met her husband online dating.” There is no shame in meeting someone online, it’s extremely common in this day and age. What matters most is that you have found love and true happiness with someone you can call your best friend.

PRESSURE TO SUCCEED

You’re worried it simply won’t work for you. Don’t expect yourself to find Mr. Right the same day you create your online profile. Finding someone special takes time; I suggest logging into your dating app at least once every day to stay actively engaged online. By popping in frequently will result in more messages over time. Be patient, say yes to more dates and maintain a positive attitude.

SELF IMAGE

You’re currently thinking, I’m just not that desperate. I don’t NEED to go online to find a date. Making an online profile does not prove you are desperate, it shows you are open to a world of possibilities! Just think about the millions of people you are missing out on the opportunity to meet by refusing to go online. Often we receive emails from our success couples who met on PlentyOfFish that admit they would have never met their husband had it not been for the site!

THE UNKNOWN

You’re panicking because you’ve never been on a date with a complete stranger before. You can’t even “creep” because you don’t share any mutual friends on Facebook. You don’t have to date your best friend’s boyfriend’s roommate! In fact, it’s a bad idea all together. Try sourcing your next prospect outside your friend group and get online! Let yourself be the sole judge of character upon first impression.

OVERWHELMED & NOT SURE WHERE TO START

If you are new to the singles game or in an extended dry spell, online dating is the perfect place to start. It takes approximately 10-20 minutes to create your profile on PlentyOfFish. (Fun fact – men and women who take 20 minutes or more to create their online profile are 80 percent more likely to leave the site in a relationship according to PlentyOfFish data.) Break your profile write up into three short paragraphs; a little bit about yourself, what you like to do for fun and something unique about you! Remember there is always the option to edit your profile, so if you want to add or take away anything you have written, you have the power to do that!

Online dating gives you the opportunity to chat and get to know someone before you decide to meet them or not. At the end of the day, what do you have to lose!

 
Taking baby steps will help you find your stride again!

 

Best First Date Spots – Take Your Next Date

So you’ve been messaging someone back and forth on PlentyOfFish for a few days and the connection is on fire, the witty banter is on point and all that’s left to do now is to go on a date…TERRIFYING! It doesn’t have to be! If you’re genuinely excited and simultaneously want to projectile with the thought of the first date, this is great news! This may have potential to go somewhere beyond one night.

Picking a first date spot can be daunting; worst case scenario – you’re in an empty restaurant where the overzealous waiter continually asks how your first few bites are followed by the awkward lurk around your table waiting to fill your water glass because the only other customers are crickets.

Let’s straight up avoid the place where dates go to die and check out my top 10 list of ideal first date spots!

Casual Day Beer

Day date you ask?! YES, dates don’t always have to take place at night at a dim lit bar! There is no rule saying you have to do the “dinner” date the first time around, in fact, I always save this one for later when I know we won’t be sitting in silence for the most awkward 2 hours of life. If you are someone who gets super nervous before a date, I highly suggest grabbing a cold one at a local brewery, pub, or restaurant. Now it’s important to scope the place out before taking a date, as you want to make sure it has a solid vibe and you like the place yourself. It is important to find a joint that has a great beer selection, isn’t too loud (you want to still be able to hear your date) and doesn’t smell like the night before. If you are feeling ambitious and want to add a little something additional to this date, you can tack on a bike ride before hitting up the local watering hole!

 

Sporting Event

If you or your match has a favorite team or sport, I recommend checking out what games are playing in your city! I am no sports fan but I genuinely love going to the stadium and experiencing the excitement of the crowd, chowing down on a juicy vendor hot dog and taking part in the audience “wave.” If the two of you are sports addicts, you just scored the perfect first date idea!

 

Ice Cream & Walk

The one tricky thing about this date idea is it can be seasonal depending on where you live. If it’s snowing, ice cream isn’t usually your first go-to, but fear not, you can sub the ice cream for a hot cup of cocoa at an intimate cafe followed by a walk in the snow. If you permanently experience the bliss of warm weather, ice cream and a stroll around town is a perfect short and sweet date. This is also a great date idea if you are looking to avoid drinking alcohol the first time around.

 

Hike Up A Mountain or a Molehill (depending on your physical prowess)

If you’re Tony Perkis from the 1995 Jud Apatow film Heavy Weights, this date idea is perfect for you. Do not, I repeat, do not take your date on a 10 hour hike. I know you may want to impress them with your bulging calves and buns of steel but this isn’t the time nor the place. You will end up looking like a show off and that is a huge turnoff. If you know your crush enjoys exercise, suggest a 5-7 kilometre hike that will take you max 3 hours. Hikes can be unpredictable as some trails aren’t marked as well as others; make sure you’ve done the hike in the past and can confidently lead the way! Getting lost in the woods will not get you a second date because you would be lost…in the woods.  

 

Picnic in the Park (weather dependent)

I am a complete sucker for a guy holding a blanket, loaf of fresh bread and a wheel of Brie. He had me at cheese. A park picnic is a great location for a first date because there is a lot going on and it forces you into the great outdoors. If the two of you are nervous and struggling to find things to talk about; you can resort to one of my favorite pastimes – people watching. Hopefully this isn’t the case and you are playfully feeding each other grapes and sipping on fine wine!

 

Mini Putt

You don’t need to be Tiger Woods to make this a hole in one! All you need is a great attitude and some friendly competition. Mini putt is a safe win; you are playing an activity, it’s quiet enough to chat on the course and your date can show you a thing or two about your swing or vise versa which will allow you to get closer (physically 😉 ). Now this is where the fun comes in; place a bet on the game to give it a competitive edge. Example – If you win, he has to run around the course in nothing but his briefs and if he wins, he gets a kiss! You can play around with bets you two are comfortable with.

 

Cooking Class

If you’re a foodie like myself, and by foodie I mean, will eat anything and everything placed in front of you, taking a cooking class with your date is a great way to interact, get your hands dirty and find out what kind of food your date enjoys. Also it’s a secretive way of checking if you’ve got a Bobby Flay on your hands or a Delivery Boy. You will learn something new about one another and possibly gain ideas for your second dinner date!

 

Raw Canvas (for the artistically inclined!)

Maybe you’ve taken a look at the list so far and nothing screams great first date because you dislike sweets, hate all forms of physical activity and aren’t a drinker! But seriously who doesn’t like a good mint choco cone!?

This date option may be right up your alley! For those of you who don’t know what raw canvas is, it lets you get creative with your date through the art of painting! You can find studios that have classes that will supply the materials and give you an intro on where to begin your composition! Give Picasso something to be jealous about! 

 

Improv Games or Comedy Show

If you appreciate a great sense of humor, this idea will have you and your date in stitches! Going to a comedy show is a perfect way to break the ice and share a laugh with your new match. If you want to take it a step further, improv games are hilarious and sometimes require audience participation. You and your new beau can show off your own set of skills.

 

Get Your Brunch On

Brunching appears to be the “trendy” thing to do these days and nothing wakes me up more than a morning mimosa! You may be asking how is this any different from a dinner date? Well a couple things, a brunch date is much more casual as it takes place at around 11am vs. 11pm and usually the service is very speedy for quick turnover; therefore, you can be in and out if the date is a complete bust. For those of you who are dating on a dime, brunch tends to be on the cheaper end of dining and this date won’t break your bank!

 

Alright there you have it; the inside scoop on where to take your next date. You literally have no excuses; I just planned the date for you, now all that’s left to do is schedule a day and time and you’re already one step closer to Date # 2!

 

POF Survey Reveals 80% of Millennials Have Been Ghosted!

PlentyOfFish recently surveyed 800 millennial daters between the ages of 18-33 and almost 80% of singles answered YES to having been ghosted (someone they were dating suddenly ceased all communication without an explanation)!

 

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Surprising? Not entirely.

This percentage is high but it is also to be expected. Online dating is a great platform to meet a plethora of singles versus 10-15 years ago when we were limited to dating within our immediate social circle. When you meet someone online, go on a couple of dates and come to the realization it isn’t going anywhere, your immediate reaction may be to trigger the avoidance tactic. You send messages few and far between in hopes your date takes the hint.

Since the likelihood of running into this person down the road is low, paired with the convenience of hiding behind a device, millennials have opted to take the easy way out by ghosting one another instead of giving a clear, “I’m just not that into you,” answer.

I think I speak for most when I say, all singles want is honesty. 

So now you may be asking, “Ghosting Scott last week wasn’t the best thing to do?!”

Ding Ding you’re correct!

Ghosting Scott was a poor choice on your part and I am here to tell you what to do when ghosting feels like the only option!

SCENARIO ONE: “I’ve gone on one date with Scott, ONE DATE, do I need to let him know I’m not interested?”  

Accordingly to the PlentyOfFish survey, 40% of singles will follow up 1-2 days after a first date if they see the potential in a second. Therefore, if Scott messages saying he had an absolute blast and would like to see you again, the appropriate response would be to let him know, unfortunately, you didn’t feel a spark but wish him all the best! At least a quick heads up will let Scott know he can move onto the next.

If Scott does not follow up after the date; it is evident the both of you are on the same page and a message is unnecessary.

SCENARIO TWO: “Scott and I were dating for two weeks before I ghosted him. Now I feel guilty because he was a great guy and he’s been messaging me but there is zero text banter and absolutely no spark.”

You can still make amends based on two factors; how long you’ve ghosted them for and when they last sent you a message. If it’s been over two weeks, let’s not rub salt in the wound.

If you haven’t spoken to Scott for under two weeks while he’s been trying to reach out, you can clear the air by sending a quick apology text as to why you’ve been MIA for the last week and that he’s genuinely a sweet guy, but unfortunately there is no connection for you.

If you’ve cut off all communication for over two weeks and Scott hasn’t reached out for over a week, there is no follow up required. He got the picture. And you never know, maybe Scott is within the 14% of singles from the PlentyOfFish survey, who admitted to having scheduled multiple dates for one day/night! Scott wastes no time!

SCENARIO THREE: “I ghosted Scott after a couple dates because I wasn’t ready at the time, but now I regret my decision and want to give it another shot! Can I message him?” 

If you don’t give it a proper go, you will never know. You have to consider and respect that Scott may have moved on to dating someone else while you were flip-flopping. The best thing to do here is draft up a message to Scott admitting your cold feet the first time but that you would love to get together for a coffee/drink on Saturday if he is interested!

Worst case scenario, Scott doesn’t reply. That’s okay, you’ve just been given a taste of your own medicine and you move on.

Or.

You may be pleasantly surprised and Scott agrees to take you up on your offer.

“Ghosting” has become the newest trend when ending a relationship, but we have the ability to change that by revisiting the “old school” method of honest communication. At the end of the day, 73% of single millennials are all looking for one thing, a serious relationship. Don’t waste each others time!

How To Ask Someone On A First Date

Many of you were struck by the title of this blog post because you’ve never actually asked someone out on a “real” date before.  Perhaps you have always stuck to dating people in your friend group where your past boyfriends have transitioned seamlessly from being just your friend to your boyfriend. You never really had to ask them, it just happened. Now you find yourself single and wanting to date again!

If you are a first time dater, here are the most common scenarios followed by the most effective ways to claim a date with your crush!

Scenario 1: You meet online

You’ve decided to pop into your PlentyOfFish profile and bam, his profile jumps right off the screen. His main picture places him easily in “Major Babe” status; but you know the game all too well and cautiously click through the rest of his photos. This is too good to be true; he is giving you the perfect taste of who he is and what he likes to do for fun (he heli skis in his spare time?! Major Babe status has just been taken to a whole new level!).

So you’ve creeped every photo at least 8 times over and studied his interests and bio until you have them memorized word for word. But what’s next? How do you move from class five creeper to his date? Well here’s an idea…you could just ask him out!

Ladies, it’s 2016, you don’t have to wait for the guy to make the first move! Sign into your profile, go to send him a message and write, “Hey (Name), I’m going to be honest here, I have looked at your profile at least twice in the past hour and it took me another half hour to think about what to write to you. I think it’s really cool that you (name one of his interests)! Hit send; now the ball’s in his court!

If you don’t receive a response, don’t worry about it; move on and try again with a new prospect! Rejection can be a kicker, but it’s far more worth it to put yourself out there knowing you tried than sitting back and wondering what could have been. If you do get a response, jump up and down and exchange a few more messages until you confidently ask “Let’s meet up this Saturday, are you free at 8pm for a drink?”

Boom, you got a date.

Scenario 2 : You meet in person (gym, bar, coffee shop)

I am going to focus on the gym meet for this one as it can be one of the hardest locations to ask someone out.

You’re profusely sweating on the treadmill when in walks “Major Babe” of the gym! You look up, make eye contact, then increase your lame jog to full on iron man sprint just to impress him. It’s been about three weeks since he first walked in and you so badly want to coincidentally run into him at the water fountain without looking like a complete stalker who pre-planned every step. The best moment to approach a gym babe is right after their workout, NOT when they are lifting or on a machine. Catch them on their way out of the door with a simple, “Hey, you crushed it in there! You made me want to work out harder.” Followed by a smile. I wouldn’t ask him out after this first interaction as the gym babe takes a couple days to warm up; but once you find yourself having a conversation the next couple of sessions, go for it!

Scenario 3: You meet at work

This one can be tricky and I haven’t been one to date within the workplace, but let’s get real; it happens often. You spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with your coworkers. It is important to exercise caution when asking out an associate. Before you jump right into it; remember, you will see this person every single day for however long you want to stay in your job. Take time to think this one through before you dive head first. If the connection is undeniable and you see a potential future with this colleague, the safest approach is to ask them for a casual apres work coffee/drink first to see what your dynamic is like outside the office. If the feelings are mutual and you both know it, ask them out again.

Scenario 4: You meet through friends

Your bestie is thrilled because she’s found out her boyfriend’s friend is single and he is just your type. She has described him in full, from what he does for work, to what his favorite breakfast food is (this must mean he loves brunching just as much as you). He sounds pretty damn incredible and your friend is already planning a future double date, so you better get on it and ask him out! You ask your friend for his Facebook name because you can’t fathom asking him out without a solid creep sesh first. My best advice is to try and avoid this step and go straight to setting up a date, because your friend has already laid it out for you. Ask your friend for his number and send a quick message saying “Hey (Name), I got your number from (name of friend) and thought it could be fun to link up this weekend. Do you want to go for a drink/coffee on Saturday?. With this scenario you may have a slight upper hand because you both have friends in common.

Maybe you have found yourself in all these scenarios before but never had a clue how to approach any of them. I hope this post encourages you to go for what you want and not be afraid to put yourself out there. Even if you start with a simple smile, hello or text message, you are one step closer to finding your next date!

It’s Never Too Late To Find Love

Every day at PlentyOfFish, we receive multiple emails from happy couples who, once upon a time, met on our site. Each month on the blog, we will highlight some of our favorite love stories.

Today I would like to share the heartwarming story of Terri and Paul, who found true love later in life!

Single? Make Online Dating Your #1 Resolution!

Make 2016 your year! It is time to break out of your comfort zone and open yourself up to the world of online dating!

Here are 7 reasons why you should make online dating your #1 New Year’s resolution!

 

  • Date outside your friend group – Break the habit of dating a friend or someone in your social circle. I think we default to this because we are scared and find comfort in knowing a little something about a person prior to dating them. Also, it doesn’t help that all your friends are telling you to go for him/her when in your heart of hearts it feels like a forced relationship. Try something a little different this time and explore the prospect of finding someone online. Many of you will say “but I’m not desperate yet…” Making an online profile does not determine you are desperate, it proves you are open to a world of possibilities! I guarantee you will meet people you would have never met otherwise!
  • Bigger pool to pick from – Online dating provides a much bigger pool to choose from, when selecting a potential partner. At PlentyOfFish we see a whopping 4 million people logging onto their profile daily. With numbers like this, I am surprised when single people tell me they aren’t actively online dating!
  • Peak season – This is the best time to shine! Historically, right after Christmas until after Valentine’s Day, PlentyOfFish experiences a permanent increase in signups of over 20%! If you have ever wondered whether you should try out online dating, right now is the ideal time for you to take the plunge and test the waters.
  • It’s genuinely fun – You have the power to make your online experience what you want it to be. One of the best ways to approach this ample world of opportunity is to have an open mind and a positive outlook! Checking out profiles from afar can be really fun, without the pressure that you would typically endure in a traditional setting like a bar or party. Crack a bottle of wine, slip into your pjs and start scrolling!
  • Save money – Online dating is not only extremely convenient, but it is rather inexpensive as well! You can create a profile on PlentyOfFish for free and immediately start talking to singles. Going out with friends to check out the opposite sex can be really fun, but doing this on a weekly basis will make a significant dent in your bank account.
  • Practice – As they say, practice makes perfect! If you are newly single or in an extended dry spell, online dating is a great place to start. You have the opportunity to really chat with someone before you decide to meet them or not. Taking baby steps will help you find your stride again.
  • Accessibility – The start of the new year tends to be a little chaotic as you’re attempting to nail down your routine for the months to come. By the time you get home from work, you realize you haven’t had a solid conversation with anyone because you were glued to your monitors all day. Well you don’t have your busy schedule as an excuse anymore, because dating has evolved! Mobile apps make the world of dating much easier for those on the go! Sign into PlentyOfFish and set up a date while on your way to Starbucks in the morning or on the treadmill after work! dbf34e1f49f74deb1193b743029c2594

 

 

A Long Distance Love Story


Imagine falling deeply in love with someone who lives over 1,000 miles away. Would you dive in head first and try your hardest to make it work, or would you give up and always wonder what could have been?

Love knows no boundaries for the two incredible people you are about to meet!

We learned about Marcus and Gina’s special PlentyOfFish success story just this past November and are very excited to share it with you.

Where do you live?                                                                     

Gina: New York City, New York
Marcus: Orlando, Florida

Distance?

1,105 miles, 7 states apart, 22 hour train ride, 3 hour flight 

Who initiated the first message?

Marcus: Gina took the reins on that one and messaged me first. I noticed her profile once before and thought, whoa she is beautiful!

Gina: I definitely reached out to Marcus first. I saw his picture one day, but at the time I had gone on a couple dates with someone else. In the end that didn’t work out, so I went back on PlentyOfFish and there was Marcus again under Meet Me. I decided to go for it!

Why did you feel so compelled to message Marcus?

Gina: I viewed his profile and noticed we had a lot in common; both liked the Yankees, he was a family man (I have a son myself) and had great taste in music. He was fully clothed in his profile picture (laughs!) and I was definitely attracted to him.

How long did your first conversation last?

Gina: June 30, 2012 was the first message and we talked from 3:44pm-5:37pm  (yes, I timed it and saved all our conversations)! Marcus asked for my number at the end of our message thread, we exchanged texts which eventually lead to phone calls and an invite to NYC for our first date!

Marcus: Once we started talking there was no looking back from there. This was it. When I visited Gina in NYC, we had to make a trip to Sprint to get Gina’s phone fixed from the amount of saved messages she had from our lengthy conversations.

What was your first date like? Were you nervous? (3 weeks after they first met online, Gina and Marcus met face to face in NYC) 

Marcus: Nervous? Not at all. Gina had mentioned to me that her son had joined a bowling league so I thought it would be a great first date idea. I already felt so comfortable with Gina since we had talked so much on the phone together.

Gina: I was so nervous to see him for the first time! I picked him up at the airport. We arrived at the bowling alley but there was quite the wait so Marcus suggested we play a game of pool. I used to play pool often and knew I could kick his butt, my nerves got the best of me and I was a hot mess.

What is the most romantic thing Marcus/Gina has ever done for you?

Gina: There have been a lot of things. Out of the blue he will send me little videos saying “I miss you, I love you and I can’t wait for us to be together.” There was this one morning in Florida at 4:30am when Marcus woke me up and said let’s go to the beach and catch the sunrise. We sat on a lifeguard chair with a blanket while the sun came up on the water and to our surprise a pod of dolphins swam by! I will never forget how I felt in that moment with Marcus.

Marcus: I’m a huge football fan and my team was playing a big game in London, England but unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the game. I made a trip to NYC to visit Gina and when I arrived she had her living room set up like the city of London with props, photos and an amazing food spread. She knew just how much the game meant to me and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

At what point did you know this was forever?20151114_224600

Gina: To be honest it was almost immediate for me, but it felt too good to be true, I kept pinching myself. I never imagined a relationship like this one was even possible. After Marcus left NYC on his first trip, I was sitting on the porch with my best friend and he looked at me and said “Gina you have a glow about you, who is it?” He knew I was head over heels.

Marcus: I was telling a coworker about Gina when I got home from NYC and he said “she’s the one you will end up with, I just know it.” Gina still wonders what I told him! (laughs) It was a steady progression for me over time because the more I got to know Gina, I realized we clicked on all levels. Every day just keeps getting better and better.

What are you most looking most forward to in the future together?

Gina: I will be moving to Orlando, Florida with my son in the New Year which is a huge step for our little family.  I can’t wait to have the two families together and legitimately be able to see Marcus on a daily basis.  No more tearful goodbyes at the airport!

Marcus: I am looking most forward to starting our lives together in one place and growing deeper in love every day.

Am I Being Ghosted?

The other day I told my mother I was ghosted. Horrified by this mysterious term, she quickly asked, “Katie what does ghosted mean and who did this to you?!”

Ghosting (ˈɡōstiNG/) for those of you who have never been guilty of or victim to this selfish attempt of letting someone down easy, is the act of cutting off all communication with someone you are dating, in hopes that they “get the hint” you are no longer interested. The ghoster usually justifies his/her actions by admitting they did not want to hurt the feelings of the person they were breaking up with.

How do I know I am being ghosted? Easy!

  • He/She starts cancelling or changing plans on you. You make excuses in your head as to why? They are busy at work, hanging out with friends, and the list goes on. After a week, these excuses run dry.
  • He/She has all of a sudden stopped commenting or liking anything on your Facebook wall; when only weeks before they were all over it, sending you links or making witty remarks on your cat photos.
  • You have reached out on multiple occasions only to receive zero communication from the other side. This means no phone calls or text messages. It is as though the person you’ve been dating for the last month is a figment of your imagination.

If you suspect you are being ghosted, I highly suggest you break it off yourself! This shows you are the bigger person who respects yourself and refuses to waste your time dwelling on what could have been. It is time to move onto someone deserving of your time.

So is ghosting bad?! 

YES. (especially if you’ve met his/her family)

Not only do you look like an absolute coward, you have given no answers to the confused ghostee, whom is left ultimately asking themselves what they may have said or done to “mess” it up. Just because you couldn’t muster up the courage to call them and communicate honestly, you have caused unnecessary stress for the ghostee kept in the dark. Now the one exception, if you have only been on one or two dates and you both know it isn’t going to work, no I don’t think a follow up phone call is necessary.

Rejection can be tough to swallow, but it provides a lot more clarity than the trend of ghosting. There is a level of respect that comes with dating and it is really important to take into account the vulnerability of the other person’s emotions.

Single, But Are You Ready To Mingle?

Shortly after a breakup, you may feel the urge to jump right back into the dating scene to find Mr. Right, seek comfort, or simply dabble in casual hookups for instant gratification. I challenge you to try something a little different this time.

It is important after any split to take a step back and legitimately be “single” for a period of time before putting yourself out there again. The word “singular” better describes what I am getting at. Singular meaning individual, a separate person or thing. Abstain from casual flattery and properly take the time to reflect on who you are without your partner, now ex or anyone else on the side.

Without this time to clear your head and shift your mindset, you may end up getting right back into something for all the wrong reasons. Emotions are at an all time high and your mind is in a vulnerable state, which may lead to a regrettable act of false contentment. This new and exciting attention may be flattering but don’t get sucked in too deep.

Striking the right balance in your life can be tricky to master, but I urge you to take this new found freedom as a moment for yourself, however long that may be. The last thing you want is to settle on someone who isn’t right for you or worse, drag along an unsuspecting hopeful on your self reflecting journey. Don’t panic, take one day at a time, and find what truly makes you happy as an individual.

Follow my tips below on how to enjoy this time of singularity!

  • Instead of texting your hookup buddy, foster other relationships and call over a friend for a movie night. You will actually get the support you are looking for which will give you both instant and long term gratification.
  • If you can’t stop thinking about your ex, take your aggression out at the gym or fitness class. This workout will probably be one of the best you’ve ever had. Your endorphins will be turned on and you will feel emotionally and physically better about yourself. Try to make this more of a routine than a one time pump.
  • This sounds cliché, but it works for me every time. Write down your emotional thoughts in a journal to rationalize exactly how you are feeling and why. Get to the root of the problem, instead of leaving your ex a horrendous voicemail or novel text. Keep a notebook next to your bed or on hand for when you just need a good rant. This also makes for a great advice book of your own for future reference.
  • Meet new people without the intention of finding a potential partner. Expand your social network. Friendships are a huge support system when going through a breakup. Step out of your bubble of sorrow and get out there without carrying the pressure of pleasing someone.
  • Rediscover who you are with things you truly want to do. This can be as simple as reading a book you’ve always wanted to or joining a creative class. Now that you have the time, soak it up and make the most of it because you won’t be single for the rest of your life!

Together Or Separate? How To Respond To This First Date Question!

First, second, and even third dates can be made awkward for a variety of different reasons but lately the question of “who pays the bill?” has been the topic of conversation among my single friends, men and women alike.

I caught up with a friend over coffee and she confessed she was back in the singles pool and actively dating again.

Exciting? Very. Awkward? Extremely.

Gabbing about our latest dating experiences, my witty, outgoing, gorgeous friend surprised me when she admitted she was at a loss for words on her last date. She said,

“The date was going great, both of us in the groove, conversation flowing, but then my anxiety crept up at the very end when the waiter looked down at the two of us and asked, “will this be together or separate?” I froze instantly. So many thoughts whirling in my mind…Do I grab my wallet? What if he puts his card down first, do I put mine on top? Do I argue with him? When do I stop arguing with him? Do I offer to pay half? Do I sit and say nothing? I got so awkward! I didn’t want him to think I was expecting him to pay the full bill!”

My friend went on to tell me she has gone as far as buying gift cards to restaurants for dates, telling her date it was a present from a friend, just to avoid the awkward method of payment at the end. This way they were “both” getting treated…

I realized quickly this was a problem for my friend and most likely other singles attempting to navigate the uncharted realms of the dating world.

Expectations can vary among daters, but I have always stuck to a couple guidelines before heading on a date to keep me in check.

Never assume the bill will be covered

The majority of first dates I have been on, my date has covered the bill but this isn’t always the case. Whether it be drinks, dinner or a movie, I have never expected my date to pay the full bill. When the check is placed on the table, pull out your wallet. If your date says they’ve got this one, thank them politely, put your wallet away and say you’ve got the next one, if you want a second date that is.

Always carry cash

Take money out prior to a date just in case you two decide to split the bill. If your date only has card, let them know you have cash and have no problem going halfsies! Cash in your wallet is also helpful at old school restaurants that refuse to take card! I have definitely found myself in that awkward situation before.

Talk about it

I would reserve this conversation for the fourth, fifth or sixth date when you have established some sort of exclusivity. I think it is really important to understand each other’s expectations and dating style early on. The rule that has worked best for me in the past is going date for date. For example, if I treat my boyfriend to a date night on Friday, he will get the next one the following weekend, so it becomes an equal playing field.

I want to know how you choose to pay the bill?! Together or separate?