10 Easy Conversation Starters For Singles

Picture this: You’re sitting down together in a cute cafe, the server has just taken your drink orders as you settle into your booth together, you look her in the eyes (you like her a lot already), and THIS is the moment to start a great first date conversation…but you’re drawing a blank.

Don’t Make These Dating Mistakes

No one wants to know that they are at fault for why their relationships are falling apart. I mean sure we aren’t perfect, but are we purposely self -sabotaging our love life? If you are constantly finding yourself single and disappointed, then perhaps it’s time to look at what you may be doing wrong.

Here are 8 mistakes you could be making in your dating life:

1: You are choosing the wrong people to date

Chances are if you keep finding yourself in the same situation, then you must be dating the same type of person over and over again. Sure, we all have a type, but make sure that ‘type’ is also someone who values and treats you well. It’s one thing to be attracted to certain physical traits, but it’s altogether another thing to not look beyond their appearance and take into account their character. If you can identify where you are going wrong, then try and choose consciously to date someone that is going to be better for you.

2: You are giving off mixed signals

They don’t know whether you’re coming or going, and this is probably because you don’t know either! Make sure that you are whole and happy before you start your search for love. Have a clear idea of what you want in a partner and how much you are willing to invest. Playing games or being hot and cold, will only bring confusion, frustration to both people involved.  You don’t have to play games to win at love, so be open honest and transparent.

3: You have unrealistic expectations

We all want the fairy tale, but it doesn’t always look how we can imagine it to in our heads. When you go on a date make sure you are enjoying and staying present in the moment, instead of ticking off boxes in your head. Have a good idea about what you want and need in a relationship but remember to be flexible and realistic.

4: You keep settling for second best

This is because you haven’t learnt just how much you are worth. When we successfully love ourselves in a healthy way, we are then able to set the bar for how we let others love us. Don’t date out of loneliness, fear or desperation, make sure you are happy and complete before you put yourself out there. Know where boundaries need to be placed, and the difference between compromising and settling.

5: You get too serious and attached too fast

We live in a fast-paced instant society that wants everything yesterday! Take your time to get to know someone’s character and intentions before you let them into your heart. Good old fashioned courting means that you can get to see just how serious your date is about wanting you in their life.

6: You keep bringing up the past

Talking about your past relationships or hurts is not going to help your present or future love life. This isn’t about denying what has happened but rather choosing the right time in a relationship of when to talk about it. As a rule, you should never discuss ex’s in detail on a first date. Make sure you have fully healed and let go of your last heartache before you embark on a new relationship.

7: You’re trying too hard

Whilst it’s great to be active in finding love, there also needs to be a point where you can be overdoing it. No matter how bad you want to find the right one, make sure you are choosing quality over quantity. Serial dating only leads to frustration and confusion. Try not to overwhelm yourself, by taking time in between dates and not dating just for the sake of it. If you are on the hunt, your suitors will sense it and probably run for the hills. Make sure you are at peace within yourself and also able to enjoy your time alone.

8: You’re not trying hard enough

And then on the other hand you may not be active enough. Love isn’t going to turn up on our doorstep, we need to create opportunities to invite it into our life. This might be as simple as setting up a dating profile, or expanding your social circle. More than likely you will have to get out of your comfort zone. Remember the golden rule, dating is only as complicated as we allow it to be.

5 Ways To Ensure You’re Not Taking Your Partner For Granted

Over time, most long-term relationships accommodate certain (often treasured) routines, but even the healthiest partnerships can fall victim to romantic ruts. To avoid complacency in your love life and continuously appreciate your special somebody, in no particular order, here are 5 ways to ensure you’re not taking your partner for granted.

  • Listen – Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not, always. Sometimes it’s something as simple as being engrossed in a show on Netflix while your partner gets home and tries to tell you about something that happened at work. Despite every ounce of you not wanting to miss one second of Black Mirror, your partner deserves your full attention. That means you may have to mute the television, or mute some music, or stop what you’re doing and sit down beside them, or step out of a room to take their phone call, depending on circumstances. It’s about respect, and being an active listener can take some real work, but undistracted communication will make your relationship stronger!

 

  • Kiss Hello/Goodbye – This one sounds even easier – but it shouldn’t be underestimated! Physical contact with the person you love, even with a quick kiss, is a great way to reinforce your bond. Life can be hectic, but a hello/goodbye kiss can almost act as a seconds-long team pow-pow, and lets your partner know that they are important to you. Make this your appreciation ritual!

 

  • Help Them – But you already help your partner already! Of course you do. However, sometimes it’s about going the extra mile. This can range from tougher stuff like identifying when they are struggling in everyday life and making yourself available to support them, to simply taking on their chores for the night when they’ve had a crazy one at work. As a rule of thumb, treat your partner how you would want to be treated. When you’re truly partners, you pick up where the other person leaves off, and make an effort to be strong when they are feeling weak.

 

  • Pay Sincere Compliments  – Next time she does something new with her hair, or wears that dress you like, or even tidies up the kitchen, let her know you’ve noticed! Too often, we may be thinking something nice, or assume that our person inherently knows we think something already, that we don’t actually ever tell them what’s going on upstairs. The more unique the compliment, the better. Pro tip: Some of us aren’t great at vocalizing this stuff, so try penning a short note for your special someone, paying them a short but sweet compliment!

 

  • Carve Out Time Together – This can be a tough one. Especially when you’re both working and trying to stick to commitments, social lives and hobbies outside of each other. Time apart, and in a big group of friends can be fantastic for a relationship, but to make sure you’re not taking your partner for granted, make time for just each other, too. This can be as simple as referring to tip #1 of this list, or going out for dinner to reconnect. Quickly research some fun, cheap date ideas in your city, or if time and money allow, indulge in a romantic week together!

You’ve Got Her Number, Now What?

“When is he going to ask me out?”

is the top question I get from women about men’s texting. These women are frustrated.  They are confused. They are wondering why you asked for their number if you only wanted to know what they had for lunch. So stop vague-texting, and do this instead.

  1. Call her

I cannot overstate this: Texting is a trap.

When people are texting, they make mistakes that are then used to judge the entire person, ending relationships before they’ve even begun.  Yes, truly.  Tone of voice and the relating of a conversation smooths over such mistakes. Plus, calling is now so retro—especially for the under-30 crowd—that dialing a number is the equivalent of highlighting your interest.

And to win a woman, you have to show open, obvious, clear interest.

If calling feels like overstepping, text to request a call: “I would rather call than text, if you’re okay with that.  Is there a good time?”  You can always revert to texting if she says she’d rather do it that way.

  1. Ask specifically

If you’ve asked, “So, wanna hang out sometime?” you may be hoping she will finish the job and ask you out.  But as recently as 2012, 88% of women still weren’t initiating dates.

Women have always valued men’s confidence and responded to cues that make us feel secure; it’s an evolutionary thing.  Technology has not changed our wiring.  Your hesitation could be because asking makes you feel vulnerable, but that is the point: in asking, you are giving a powerful cue and an enormous compliment by risking yourself for her.  It’s heroic.

So ask her out to a specific event, at a specific time and place.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just clear and definite (and ideally, also fun): “I’d love to take you roller skating next Friday at three at [location]; does that work for you?”

  1. Ask ahead

Spontaneity is cool—in a long-established relationship. But a woman you don’t know isn’t your fallback plan.  Show respect by asking ahead, and by not keeping her living on the edge hoping for an ask.

When you ask at least two days ahead, it sets you apart from the crowd—and there’s a crowd!  If you like her, so do other guys.  You want to be the one giving her all the good feels, not one of the pack taking her for granted before the relationship has even begun.

  1. Confirm plans

Confirm your meeting the day before.  Otherwise, you’re getting associated with feeling insecure—a risky move if you like this girl.

What if you’ve changed your mind?  Say so, at least two days ahead.  “I’m very sorry, but I’ve decided to make different plans for Saturday.  I wanted to give you time to make another plan of your own.”  She won’t like it, but she’ll like it more than being stood up.

Upshot?  Repeat after me: confidence and security are woman-bait.  Ask with clarity and confidence, which will help her feel secure.  And prevent my in-box being clogged with questions about your vague texting!

7 Ways To Drive Any Woman Wild

All the small things… remember that song?

Saucy word play aside, it really is the small things about you that make our pulse race. And it might not be what you think. Whether we’ve just started dating or we’re happily coupled up, here are seven times you drove us absolutely wild without even knowing it.

When you brushed past us at the restaurant

When we’re truly into you, all it takes it a small touch in public. Accidentally-on-purpose brush past us. Lightly graze our arm with your fingertips. Rest your hand on our lower back. Because we know what’s coming when we get home.

When you wore that cologne

We have absolutely no idea what it is, but you smell amazing. It’s like success and sophistication mixed with a whole heap of sexy. Wear it again. We’ll find our own way to thank you.

When you opened the door for us

In an era when chivalry is as hard to find as a seat in Starbucks, gentlemanly acts make us swoon. Yes, we’re strong and independent. But showing your noble side makes us feel safe and protected. And it’s sexy!

When you shared your fantasies with us

There’s nothing sexier than when you share your saucy confessions with us. It makes us see you in a whole new light and we feel closer to you knowing you trust us with your innermost desires. And it also makes us feel more comfortable sharing our desires with you.

When you looked at us across the room

Sometimes you look sexier from afar, glancing at us from across a crowded room and looking at us in that way.

When you wore a suit

Tailored. Smart. Sexy. Whether it’s for that important client meeting or a big interview, we love how you look in a suit. Any time. For any reason. Find a reason. Just…. YES.

When you gave back

“What’s that babe? You’re volunteering for the hospital foundation? We LOVE when you’re kind. Generosity is HOT.

Do you know what’s sexiest of all? The fact that you weren’t trying in these moments.

You were just being the best version of yourself, and you won us over. That’s all you need to do. It’s simple, confident and sexy.


More from Cheryl Muir – To read the first three chapters of Cheryl’s erotic crime thriller, Angel of the Night, click here 

Top 5 Fall Date Ideas

And just like that, you blinked, played a Drake song or two, and Summer 16 was history. It may be a little chillier and a little darker, but Fall 16 has fully descended upon us, and believe it or not,  it’s the best time of year to try out some exciting new experiences in your love life!

Because pool parties and barbecues are overrated, and actually pretty awkward date ideas anyway, here are our top 5 fall date ideas:

1) A Pumpkin Patch

I know it sounds a little corny, but it can be pretty cute! Farmers markets are bustling with activity during the autumn months, so get in on the fun and check out one with a pumpkin patch! While rocking your gumboots, roll out into the patch and snag the perfect Jack’ O Lantern. Afterwards,  stick around and grab some local veggies to cook up together for dinner.

2) A Halloween Party

Sometimes, it can be fun to play pretend and dress up as someone else entirely. You may even see a completely new side to your date that you didn’t know existed. Even if you just head to a haunted house together, it’s great to get a little spooked all in the name of fun. If you’re really strapped for cash, a scary movie can create a similar ambiance for you and your special someone. Ghostbusters anyone?

3) An Art Show

When the weather is great, you probably don’t want to coop yourself up inside for hours – but that’s what fall is for! I guarantee there are some great places within your community to appreciate art, both great and small. So after some due diligence on some places that interest you (or bonus points, the style of art your DATE loves), grab some lattes and spend a rainy afternoon getting some culture! Even if you end up not loving the art, there’s no shortage of conversation starters! If you’re not wild on art in general, I recommend perusing your local bookstore or craft market!

4) Spa Day

This comes with a pricetag of course, but sometimes dreary autumn days call for a generous helping of good old fashioned TREAT YOURSELF. Indulge in massages and relax by the hot tub or pool. If that sounds a bit hard on the wallet, there are some great DIY spa recipes you can put to the test, without having to leave the comfort of your own home!

5) Brewery Tour

These days, it’s impossible to swing a purse without hitting a craft brewery in almost any neighborhood, so why not embrace it!? Many of these breweries boast seasonal offerings, so if it’s pumpkin flavor you’re after, you’re in luck! On a sunny, crisp afternoon, walk, cab, or take some responsible mode of transportation down to your local brewery for a tour of the premises, and indulge in a beer or two! Bonus points for most likely supporting a local business.

Signs He Is Emotionally Unavailable

We all ideally have the type of guy we want to meet, envisioned in our heads. And I’m pretty sure that the love story you have imagined will involve him falling deeply for you and being able to commit. Choosing to date someone emotionally available is sometimes harder than we think. Mainly because we won’t know if they are until later down the track. However, if you find yourself constantly “ghosted” or single, then perhaps you are addicted to dating men who aren’t ready to invest in love? Here’s a few tell -tale signs:

1: You can’t seem to find someone to commit

When a man is ready to be with a woman, he will do anything to make this happen. Unfortunately, if he has already decided that he doesn’t want anything more, than there’s not much you can do to change his mind. Just because you might be compatible on some levels, doesn’t mean he is emotionally ready to invest himself. This isn’t a reflection of who you are, but rather either a case of bad timing or the wrong guy for you. When someone chooses to commit to you, it means in every way.

2: You are constantly chasing after them

Whilst there shouldn’t be any games in love and relationships, there is always an element of chase. However, it should be the man wooing the woman. Not the other way around. If you are constantly chasing men who just seem to always be out of reach or only giving you false hope, then chances are these men aren’t emotionally available. Save yourself the time, heartache and energy, by guarding your heart and watching their actions. Are they actively pursuing you? If not, then move on.

3: You give them everything and get nothing in return

Love is a two-way street and you shouldn’t be the one doing all the work. When a man wants to invest in you and your relationship, he will be meeting you halfway. A healthy and fulfilling relationship shouldn’t leave you feeling drained.

4: You keep holding out hoping they’ll change

This is so easy to do, but incredibly exhausting. You can’t enter into a relationship in hope of what you want it to be. You need to see it for what it is and decide whether or not that is enough for you. Trying to fix your man or forcing him to feel the same way will only cause heartache, conflict and tension.

5: You make excuses for their behaviour

This is probably because you have put them on a pedestal which can happen when feelings are one sided. There is nothing wrong with elevating the person you love, but they should be lifting you up to. When there is an element of chase, we feel compelled to try and try over again to win that person over. This often results in us making excuses for their behaviour, because we don’t want them to lose any interest in us. We cling to what little they give us.

Top 5 Things That Make Men Run!

So you have a lot to offer and want to find a great guy. So what then are you doing to make men run? Whether it’s them or you, it’s always good to know what positive self-changes we can make to become great partners and attract equally fantastic men. So here are 5 common things that make men head for the hills:

1: Clinginess

This isn’t about playing hard to get, but rather giving a guy the space he needs. We don’t want to smother our man, as it sends the signal that we don’t know how to be independent without him. Being affectionate and attentive is one thing, but being clingy is another. Give the man a chance to miss you, and show him that you are quite OK on your own.

2: Lack of confidence and insecurities

Men love a confident woman. Period. When a woman stands firm in her self-worth and purpose, it becomes incredibly attractive to a man. Simply because it shows that she isn’t afraid of a challenge and rejoices in who she is. It also reveals a level of strength which draws guys in. Constantly obsessing about how you look or where you are failing will only turn men off.

3: Being too available

This doesn’t mean you have to leave him guessing and give him 6 “no”’s to one “yes”. But there is something more attractive about a woman when she shrouds herself in a bit of mystery and gives a guy a bit of chase. Nope this isn’t about playing games, but rather continuing on with your own life instead of putting it on hold for him. Keep doing what you are doing, learn to compromise to some degree but make sure it’s reciprocated.

4: Indecisiveness

This is a little bit annoying for anyone, but especially to men. When you can’t make up your mind, it shows two things; 1: that you are not having the confidence to do and say what you really want or 2: that you have no clear direction in your life . Be firm, say what you feel the need to say and be a decision maker. Don’t leave it up to the guy every time. Take initiative with plans and make the calls. He will love you for it!

5: Nagging

Probably the biggest turn off for a guy is when the woman he is with becomes a nag. Communicating what you want is necessary, but incessantly nagging him about it is not. If they guy doesn’t listen to you or take action, then you have two options; 1: do it yourself or 2: find someone else to do it for you (within reason of course).

And remember when we become the best versions of ourselves we open the door to attract the best man for us.

Speak Your Partner’s Language

Have you ever wanted to date someone outside your city, state or even country to see what options may be outside of your local watering hole, grocery store, or coffee shop? Or perhaps you have met someone online and want to make the first contact, but English isn’t their first language.

Well, I did.

And guess what? I was able to do so despite there being a language barrier in the beginning. In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to break the language barrier between you and your potential match. But first, let me tell you about my personal story…

In 2013, I was interested in dating a Brazilian woman.

Problem #1: She didn’t speak much English and I didn’t want to restrict myself to only people that did.

Problem #2: I didn’t speak a single word of Portuguese.

So, I decided to come up with some techniques to be able to communicate in Portuguese on a basic level.

Here are 4 of these techniques that you can use right now to be able to achieve the same because you can apply these to any language!

Using Google Translate to Understand Your Partner

Unlike what many people think, start with Google Translate. It should be used only to understand what your partner says because it won’t always give accurate translations, but with the context, you should be able to understand what it is your partner is saying.

Linguee – Excellent for Translations

Now that the understanding part is figured out, comes the part where YOU write something in his/her language. Linguee is, in my opinion, the best tool for doing so. However, finding the right translation is not instantaneous, because it generates about 25 of them, in order of relevancy.

Go for small sequences of words for better results.

Using the Google Search Engine to Check For Language Accuracy

Google has a huge amount of correctly written samples in a lot of different languages. Take advantage of them by checking if your sentences are correctly written.

This can be done by typing a small sentence in quotes as such: “eu acho você bonito”. Then, look at the number of results at the top to see whether it is likely “correct” in that language.

Generally, the higher the number of results, the more accurate the sentence.

Mimicking Your Partner

Start mimicking how your partner speaks. After all, he/she speaks the language better than you can. Take what your partner said (which you understand with the help of Google Translate) and reformulate it to express your own ideas. You and your partner will start to feel more and more connected!

So, there you have it. Apply these techniques and get ready to possibly meet the love of your life.

Why Older Women May Be Attracting Younger Men

Unless you’ve been on a remote island for the past ten years, you’ve probably heard the term “Cougar.” It’s a provocative term that conjures up an image of a hot, sexy, martini-holding older woman typically throwing herself on an innocent younger man. As a self-proclaimed Cougar and host of the Internet channel: The KarenLee Poter Show, about dating and sex, I’d like to share the truth as to why Cougars are the prey rather than the predators.

A little personal background: I became a widow several years back, and found myself thrown into the single’s world. After being married for 24 years, I was ill prepared for this new life. The first time I heard the word in reference to me, was in a restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. I was sitting at the bar when a group of younger guys approached me. One brave soul named Aaron asked, “Are you a Cougar, my friends think you are?”

This was the beginning of a six-month long distance relationship, which admittedly was mostly sexual, but nonetheless exactly what I needed at the time. Aaron was enthralled with my openness, confidence, lack of inhibitions, and sexual expertise. I began to notice a trend when I’d go out with my divorced or widowed friends, which was that nine times out of ten, the guys who hit on us were younger – much younger. This was also the case with the men who reached out to me on on-line dating sites.

Here are reasons why I believe some men are attracted to older women.

Older women have self-confidence both mentally and physically. They’ve been through many life passages and have learned how to accentuate their strengths while minimizing weaknesses. Guys don’t have to constantly validate an older girl’s looks or accomplishments; they simply enjoy being around the energy of a self-assured person. This confidence helps in the bedroom too. What’s more fun than being with someone who knows what they like and aren’t afraid to ask for it?

Older women don’t play games. They know the deal going into the relationship and express their concerns from the get-go. When I met my boyfriend, I told him the first night that if he was looking for kids, he was barking up the wrong tree. A Cougar won’t try to manipulate a guy to be her next husband or “forget” to take birth control. Younger guys who want to focus on their careers love the no-nonsense attitude about older women. You’ll never find an older woman ignoring a younger guy’s text just to make him wonder if she’s interested in him. She’s way past those days.

Older women are independent. This means she won’t “need” a guy to take care of her financially or emotionally. Most likely she’ll have a career or money saved. She’ll want to be with the younger man for companionship and sex – not his money. This is liberating to a man who’s just starting to be self-sufficient.

Older women are experienced. Guys want to be educated by a woman who knows her own body and what will turn a man on. Younger men love a Cougar’s uninhibited ability to verbalize her needs in sexually and are eager to accommodate them. Future girlfriends will forever be grateful for the lessons learned.

Older women are nurturing. They’ve been through relationships and realize past mistakes. Older women live in the moment and aren’t looking for future fathers for their children. The relationships can be less demanding and more fun.

The only issue I must warn younger men about is this: Once you’ve been with an older woman, you may become addicted.

In the meantime: Happy Hunting!

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