Chat and Flirt

Modern dating advice for the internet.

Friday

27

February 2015

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8 First Date Questions You Just Gotta Ask

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The best first dates are relaxed and real, as you get acquainted with someone new. No one wants a first time out to be filled with anxiety. I’ve heard plenty of people complain, “The date felt like a job interview!” Or, “I got the feeling I was being interrogated.”

It’s true also that one of the primary goals of a date is discover important things about the other person so you can evaluate if you want a second date (or even a third).

As naturally and casually as you can work them into conversation (rephrased in your own words, of course!), here are eight first-date questions you should ask, since the responses will reveal significant things about the other person:

1. “Where did you grow up, and what was your family like?” Eminent psychologist Karl Menninger said that one of the most reliable gauges of a person’s emotional health as an adult was a stable, satisfying childhood. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should automatically avoid someone who had a difficult upbringing. But you do want the assurance that the individual has insight into his or her family background and has sought to address lingering wounds and unhealthy patterns.

2. What makes you laugh most? A good sense of humor appears on virtually every study of “what singles want in a partner.” But of course, not everyone finds the same things funny. Some people laugh at humor that others find rude. Others are turned off by “sophomoric” humor and are drawn to sophisticated, ironic humor. The point is, what a person finds most funny says a lot about his or her personality and perspective on life.

3. “What’s your big passion?” This gets to the core of a person’s being. If the individual responds with “I dunno,” that might be a red flag that he or she isn’t passionate about anything. But you’re likely to get valuable insight from the person who answers, “My kids … Travel … My church … My career … The mentoring program I’m involved with … Rock-climbing …” Follow up with questions about why the person become so passionate about this particular endeavor or emphasis.

4. “What are you looking for in a relationship?” This may strike some as too pointed—like you’re trying to determine if you fulfill the job description. But it is helpful to know right up front if someone responds, “Fun and companionship. I’m not interested in anything serious right now.” It’s also helpful information if someone says, “I’m looking for someone who shares my values and wants to explore a future together.”

5. “Is there something you’re working toward right now?” This isn’t exactly a “trick question,” but the point is to assess if the person has ambition and motivation. It’s probably a sign of complacency or apathy if your date replies, “Goals? No, not really.” But if that person has a goal he/she is working hard to achieve, that indicates drive and determination.

6. “What do your Saturdays usually look like?” How discretionary time is used says a lot about a person. If she works on her “day off,” she might be highly career-oriented…or maybe a workaholic. If he spends the day coaching a kids’ soccer team, it’s a good bet he loves sports, enjoys kids, and wants to help others excel. If he watches TV and plays video games all day, you may have a couch potato on your hands.

7. “Who are the most important people in your life?” Your date might answer, “My parents” or “My college roommate” or “My kids.” In addition to understanding the other person better, this question allows you to assess his or her ability to form close relationships.

8. “What’s your dream?” You’ve asked about the person’s goals, which tend to be short-term and narrowly focused. Dreams, on the other hand, are usually grand in scope and vision. You probably have dreams for your future, whether they involve career achievement, world travel, volunteerism, or artistic expression. You want to know if the other person’s dreams mesh with your own. If your dating partner’s highest dreams involve owning a Malibu beach house and driving a Ferrari while yours involve serving starving children in Africa, that’s going to be a problem. Listen closely to discern if your dreams are compatible and complementary.

What are your “go-to” first date questions?

About Ashley and eH+:

eH+Ashsuit09102014-15eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Ashley can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

The post 8 First Date Questions You Just Gotta Ask appeared first on eHarmony Advice.

Friday

27

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Coffee Meets Bagel Secures $7.8 Million in Funding

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Coffee Meets Bagel has been overshadowed by its more aggressive competitors (like Tinder), but lately has emerged as a serious, lasting contender in the dating app space. The company is showing its app has real growth potential by securing $7.8 million in a Series A financing round led by existing investor DCM Ventures. Quest Ventures and Azure Capital also participated in the round.

This round of financing is followed by the steadily growing success of an app whose founders lik ...

Thursday

26

February 2015

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COMMENTS

15 Reasons to Date a Surfer

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No doubt surfers have a certain mystique. They have a laid-back vibe and a hang-loose approach to life. Plus they look super hip carrying their surfboard down to the water and paddling out to ride the next set of waves.

If you date a surfer, you’ll find many more cool qualities besides a casual, carefree attitude. These people have a variety of characteristics that would enhance a romantic relationship:

1. Surfers seek adventure. These people want to live life to the fullest, getting up before dawn to catch the best waves.

2. You’ll get to hang out at the beach with your love–often. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday … or any day.

3. Surfers fall and get back up. Falling off the board is an expected part of a surfer’s day—and so is getting back on time after time. You want a partner with that kind of resilience.

4. These people have learned patience. They know the best waves are worth waiting for—just like a romantic partner.

5. Travel to exotic places. Surfers dream of going to the top spots in the world—Bali, Costa Rica, Australia, Hawaii —and you could be their special guest.

6. They know how to read and navigate waves. Since daily life is full of up and downs, this ability will benefit a long-term relationship.

7. You can learn to surf, too. If you’ve always wanted to give it a shot, you’ll have your own personal instructor.

8. Surf culture has amazing music. Whether you prefer The Beach Boys or The Surf Punks, Weezer or Jack Johnson, you’ll have lots of great tunes to listen to.

9. They live in the now. Surfers know to seize the moment and go full-tilt all the time.

10. Tandem surfing. This is when two people surf together on a single board—more good practice for a long-term relationship.

11. You’ll never lack for something to do. Your next couples’ outing is only as far as the nearest beach.

12. These people appreciate and respect natural beauty. With this attitude, your surfer-lover will hopefully appreciate your beauty as well.

13. You’ll add to your vocabulary. Surfers have their own lexicon of fascinating terms and words, including “goofy foot,” “rhino chaser,” and “bombora.”

14. Surfers are tanned and strong. This may not be the top reason to date someone—but no one complains about a partner who’s fit and vibrant-looking.

15. You can slather on your partner’s sunscreen. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

Tell us other great reasons to date a surfer…

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Thursday

26

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Protecting Your Heart: Balancing Control with Surrender

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There are many things in our lives over which we have no control. We can try to protect ourselves all day long, but in the end we are still powerless to prevent the setbacks we all suffer as a part of life. So we must learn to surrender to that which is bigger than us.

One of my favorite stories about surrender is that of a Buddhist teacher whose only son died suddenly. The teacher left his monastery for several months to be with his family, and when he came back, he was still very distraught. His students gathered around him and one commented, “Master, you have deep rings around your eyes and the joy is gone from your face. You taught us that all of life is but an illusion! And yet you look so very broken.”

The teacher looked back at his young students, paused, and said, “Yes. Life is an illusion. But children are the greatest illusion of all.”

There are some things we cannot transcend, choiceless moments of pain and loss when philosophy, psychology, and even religion are useless. In these moments, abstraction and doctrine cannot speak to or satisfy the wounds of the heart. The depth of our love—whether for our family, friends, or the organization we’ve poured our soul into—can break open our hearts. And when it does, it’s okay to remember that our pain is choiceless. No matter what we’ve done to prepare, or how “positive” we are about the glass being half full, sorrow will have its way with us.

There are literally hundreds of “think positive” books and web sites with “It’s your choice to be happy!” as their central theme. The thought of looking into the eyes of a bereaved parent whose five-year-old daughter just died and saying, “Remember: It’s your choice to be happy!” hurts my heart. Ninety percent of the time, these books are right. We do have a choice. And we should do everything in our power to make it a good one. But 10 percent of the time, it’s an insult to people’s intelligence and humanity to tell them that it’s their choice to be happy or to have a nice day when their heart is broken and their dreams of the future have been altered forever.

In any given moment, there are countless people across our beautiful planet who are suffering terribly. In a living hell, they have absolutely no power to change their situation. But we have the power to do something. Visionary leaders like Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who commit their lives to ending poverty, violence, hunger, disease, pollution, hatred, brutality, and slavery—and who champion peace, justice, and human rights—are living testimony to what is possible. Meanwhile, those who suffer will continue to summon whatever strength and resources they can to carry on through the grief, heartache, and injustices they endure.

We have the power to heal. To rise out of the ashes of despair. To live and fight another day. To prevail over even the greatest periods of turmoil in our lives, as my good friend Susan did. Susan’s husband of 32 years was caught in a terrible scandal last year and is now serving time. He is also being sued for a large sum of money. Needless to say, this has turned Susan’s life (and heart) inside out. She has lost her husband and is probably going to lose her home and a good part of their life savings.

Several months ago, Susan decided to move in with her daughter a few towns away and to legally separate from her husband. This has angered her children, who still do not know the full extent of their father’s wrong-doings and cannot understand why Susan is “abandoning him.” Most days, she fluctuates between feeling terribly guilty, furiously angry, and just sad.

Living in her daughter’s small guest house gave Susan some measure of peace. The only friend with whom she’s stayed in touch bought her a small peach tree. There was something about putting her fingers into the soil and planting that tree that made her feel good for the first time in many months—and she decided to put in a small garden. Watering and taking care of her plants every day became a refuge from the world. Her garden was a source of peace, hope, new life, and a new season.

In his classic work Candide, Voltaire wrote, “Il faut cultiver son jardin”—“It’s necessary to cultivate your garden.” If we ever find ourselves in a winter of turmoil, like Susan, perhaps our spring can start somewhere unexpected, like the backyard.

Our most horrific suffering and losses, as my dear Uncle Irv (whose wife was a holocaust survivor) reminded me in a letter sent shortly after Jenna’s death, is the darkness we must summon the strength to overcome. We can lift ourselves up out of even the greatest despair. And help others do the same. Yes, we are powerless, white flags flapping in the turbulent winds of life . . . and we are powerful, beyond measure and imagination.

Though we are powerless when faced with the often-overwhelming challenges life puts in our paths, there are many things over which we do have control. Ironically, sometimes we can only access this hidden reserve of power when we admit our own powerlessness.

Remember that:

You have the power to define and design your life, and to set your terms.

Most of us can name a situation, work- or relationship-related, in which we have felt relatively powerless. Acknowledging and accepting this actually helps us regain power in our lives and make needed changes.

reallife rulesYou have the power to recreate your personal journey, choosing a healthy, whole alternative. It’s never too late to tap into the strength and get the help you need to change course.

***

Ken Druck, Ph.D., founder of The Jenna Druck Center in San Diego, is a grief and resilience expert, speaker, organizational and family consultant, and award-winning author of several books including, The Real Rules of Life (Hay House). Follow Ken’s blog or find him on Facebook.

 

 

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Thursday

26

February 2015

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COMMENTS

How Dating Apps Rate Among Users

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More than one in ten Americans have used a dating app or online dating service of some kind, according to a recent study from Pew Research. And dating apps are only increasing in popularity.

But despite peoples’ love of technology, online daters don’t seem to be finding what they want, and are not so satisfied with the dating app experience. No matter how many new apps hit the market, it seems the inherent problems with online dating (lying, old photos, bad behavior) – are still ...

Wednesday

25

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Why Forgiveness is Necessary When it Comes to Love

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We’ve all heard the saying “forgive and forget,” but how many of us truly know what this means or how to do it? Forgiveness involves engaging with a complex series of emotions – anger, pain, frustration, and fear – which most of us try to avoid.

Unfortunately, we can’t escape these feelings in life, at least not for long. Chances are, you have been hurt in the past, and you have experienced anger, pain, frustration, and fear. All of these emotions have shaped your current perception of the world, along with the decisions you make, your health, your attitude – nearly every aspect of your life.

The real question is – to what extent have you let these negative emotions go?

Forgiveness is not easy. It’s not a benevolent gesture to be bestowed on someone who has wronged you, to free him from guilt. It’s not about him at all. Instead, it’s an active, challenging internal process that is specifically to help you. It is a shedding of those negative emotions that hold you back, that prevent you from feeling peace, happiness, and even love.

Let’s take an example. Do you have an ex who cheated on you or somehow blindsided you? Did you have to give up on your idea of what the relationship was – and the life you thought you’d have together? Now think about how you dealt with the pain. Did you allow yourself to grieve, or did you emotionally attack your ex in anger? Or did you hold the pain inside of you, forcing yourself to internalize your hurt and carry on?

When you hold on to negative emotions like these, they manifest in your psyche. Over time, you don’t trust men (or women), and have sabotaged recent relationships trying to achieve some sort of guarantee that you wouldn’t get hurt again. Or maybe you have numbed yourself, hiding behind a string of casual relationships that never quite satisfy you. Either way, there is a common link here. You have become so wrapped up in the injustice of the past that you can’t live in the present. Perhaps you’ve become depressed and anxious, or you can’t help but look at the world as a frightening place that needs to be controlled, because it will only let you down.

Maybe it’s time to let go of the baggage you are carrying. Maybe it’s time you considered forgiveness.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with justice, or denying your own pain and the other person’s responsibility in hurting you. Rather, it’s a choice to help yourself – to release the emotional prison you’ve constructed that is no longer serving you and is in fact, keeping love out. Forgiveness is ultimately an act of love for yourself – to allow you to feel peace, joy, and love again.

Forgiveness not only helps heal your emotional scars, but physical ones, too. The Mayo Clinic looks at the health implications of letting go of grudges, resentments, and pain, which they say leads to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Higher self-esteem

As you forgive and let go, your life will no longer be defined by your pain. Instead, you’ll have greater compassion and understanding towards others. As I say in my book, Date Expectations, your perspective changes because you have changed.

If you aren’t ready to forgive your ex, start with more manageable goals, like forgiving the guy who cuts you off on the highway or your neighbor who had the loud party last night. When you are able to forgive and let go of the small things, you’ll be better prepared to let go of what’s really hurting you, like your ex’s betrayal.

Forgiveness is a process, so be kind to yourself along the way. The more you work towards compassion for others, the more prepared you’ll be to allow forgiveness to work its magic in your life.

About the Author:

Kelly Seal is a writer, award-winning dating blogger and author of the new book Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love. Her musings can be seen on Slate, The Huffington Post, eHarmony Advice, Yahoo! Shine, and YourTango among many others.

The post Why Forgiveness is Necessary When it Comes to Love appeared first on eHarmony Advice.

Wednesday

25

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Study: How to Create the Perfect Online Dating Profile

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How do you create the perfect online dating profile? There’s been a lot of advice and speculation over the years, but brace yourselves – there is now a study that shows you how to create the perfect online dating profile. That’s right – it’s science.

Scientists from Barts, the London School of Medicine and The University of North Texas have discovered the secret to the perfect online dating profile. In an analysis of 86 psychology, sociology, computer, and behav ...

Tuesday

24

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Why the Time for Pleasure is Now

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Pessimism can be a bad habit. So can negative thinking or self-talk. And trust me, that’s all they are—habits of thought that can be broken. You may have grown up in a family that had a propensity toward depression and chose to identify with it, saying, “That’s just how we are in this family.” I don’t care what your family’s culture is or whether your brain is currently wired for negativity. You have the power to change that.

Your nature is joyous radiance. You don’t have to ask permission to seek or receive pleasure. Your happiness serves the world and yourself, keeping your vibrational energy high.

Here’s how it works: Your heart’s electromagnetic field reaches out from your body and interacts with the field of energy we all share—you’re actually wired to reach out and connect to pleasure. This energy field radiates throughout the universe via the electromagnetic field. Scientists know about these fields, but don’t necessarily think of them metaphysically. They’ve discovered the Higgs Boson particle, which is the evidence theoretical physicists have been searching for because it explains how energy coalesces into matter. Unity Minister Catherine Ponder’s term for the Higgs Boson is “divine substance.” Others have called it “the God particle.” When you have fun, your energy changes and so does the field around you, and that shapes physical reality—creating nitric oxide and endorphins in your own body. How that energy of pleasure manifests in the physical world outside your body is a marvelous mystery.

So adopt this motto: Fun is important. Fun is what keeps you ageless. Dream up a pleasurable adventure, get out there and do it, and chances are someone else will do it with you. Drive into the city to take a tango lesson. Book the cabin for a girlfriends’ weekend in the woods during the dark months of winter. Pull out the card game or board game, get some people together, and laugh yourself silly over a trivia question.

The time for pleasure is now. I remember when I finished my medical residency at age 30. I’d been a nonstop student since I was in kindergarten and now my peers were choosing postdoctoral specialties. I wondered when I would get a chance to stop following the carrot on the stick and finally have some fun in the present instead of someday. I’d had enough. I said no to doing an ob/gyn subspecialty fellowship. It was time to live my life. How about you?

Learning tango or singing in public may not be giving food to the homeless or helping as a hospice volunteer, but these pleasurable pursuits are important. We’re taught that good women spend their free time endlessly giving, selflessly serving, never caring about themselves. Tango is all about me, being in my body and feeling pleasure, but my dancing the tango gives others permission to indulge in their own gratification. Joy starts in our bodies, as nitric oxide and neurotransmitters, and then its positive energy heals our cells and then radiates outward to heal others and the planet. Dancing is a form of healing—in fact, any ecstatic experience can be healing not just for you but for others. Therapy is good to help you think differently and break patterns of pessimistic thinking or negative self-talk. But we have to be joyful, dance, and bring pleasure into our lives deliberately.

Life’s too short to settle for the lousy theater seats, so buy the best or figure out how to become a volunteer usher so you can sit in the orchestra section. Get in touch with what really makes you feel good. Become an ageless god or goddess of pleasure. In fact, make pleasure a sacrament. That will be a gift to yourself and the world.

goddessesAbout the Author:

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a board-certified ob/gyn, former Assistant Clinical Professor of ObGyn at Maine Medical Center , and New York Times best-selling author,. Her newest book Goddesses Never Age releases February 24th, 2015. Dr. Northrup stays in touch with her large community worldwide through her Internet radio show Flourish!, Facebook, Twitter, her monthly e-letter, and her Web site, www.drnorthrup.com.

 

The post Why the Time for Pleasure is Now appeared first on eHarmony Advice.

Tuesday

24

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Happy Couples Are Probably Just Tricking Themselves Into Believing They're Happy

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Here's a post-Valentine's Day reality check: happy couples may not be happy at all, just really good at deluding themselves.

Publications like Cosmo would have you believe that the secret to romantic success is seeing your partner as they truly are. And it does sound nice, but psychological research suggests it's the wrong approach. Instead, the key to a happy relationship is seeing your partner as you wish they were.

Just think about it for a second and sudden ...

Monday

23

February 2015

0

COMMENTS

Why Women Love Jerks, & Why You Should Be a Nice Guy Anyway

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Do women truly prefer jerks — men who treat them rudely, who act like they could take ‘em or leave ‘em, or who actually do take them…then leave them?

If it weren’t for the stories and letters, I’d have to wonder; I myself prefer good, true, honest, loving, kind, faithful men—most especially the nice guy I married. I’d choose him again and again.

And yet we all know women who can’t seem to get excited about anyone but a jerk. So yes, it’s true: Some women want jerks. The bigger question is why.

The Status

Think back to your high school days. Now shudder. Now remember the guy who got all the girls. Yeah, him. I’ll bet he was a jerk.

On personality inventories, jerks aren’t sociopaths — they’re just really disagreeable, per scientific studies on personality. If you want to test your own personality traits, you can look here before continuing.

High school rewards jerkiness. Abundant science plus your own experience back this up: Girls dig status. In high school, status comes from having the quickest wit or the most athletic prowess, or both. All humor is pain redefined. The funniest guy in high school is typically hilarious at others’ expense. And jocks are not always known for throwing their weight around in the kindest possible ways.

The Money

The reason girls love status is the same one women do: In study after study, it’s associated with a man’s ability to provide and protect. Just as the toughest jock would have made a great protector in the ancient past—where all human mating psychology comes from—women today are drawn to whoever gets them and their kids/genes to survive. In today’s terms, that means money.

And jerks have money. Across a series of studies, the “jerk perk” is worth about $10k a year on average, or 18% more than more agreeable male peers. They aren’t better employees, but they have no hesitations about putting themselves or their interests forward. And that leads to ka-ching.

The Panties

There’s an industry directed at teaching men to be jerks—to alternately fake long-term interest, feign indifference, and/or pretend they’ve got more money (or degrees, cars, houses) than they really do.

There’s probably something to this; in studies, some women admit that when they have casual sex, they maintain high standards for a guy’s high resources. A cocky attitude may in itself tell a woman a guy has the goods, and lying can cover the rest.

Your Mission?

Jerks probably do get women more easily in casual sex scenarios. But they don’t get or stay married more easily; they aren’t loved more, or longer. Factually, their lives and loves are crappier—not happier. And studies show that very few men want to play the field all their lives; men and women alike want lasting, true love.

But jerks often lack what it takes to sustain that. In numerous studies, jerks are, by their own admission, less relationship-oriented, friendly, forgiving, trusting, helpful, warm, caring, cooperative, and sympathetic than non-jerks—precisely the opposite of the kind, loving, loyal heart women in 37 cultures and countries say they absolutely require in a mate. Jerks are less well-liked, they have more stress, and they have less happy lives. Basically, they have a little more money, and that’s it.

And money isn’t everything. Nice guys are good breadwinners, and in many decades of science, it’s clear that once you have enough money for the basics, you won’t be substantially happier with more.

No, everything is actually the way two people in love relate to one another.

Jerks aren’t into relating. But nice guys tend to show a woman that they genuinely like and care about her. They take the brave risks of saying that they’re in love, and backing it up with their behavior.

I can’t overstate this: In studies, the most attractive thing you can do is to openly admire the person you’re with. Liking leads to liking.

So, nice guys, keep being nice. If you’re going to change something, change your idea that somehow, being a jerk will give you a better life or love, or guaranteed success with women. It won’t.

In reviewing 40+ years of solid science on long-term love, here’s what I know for sure: If you can find and be someone kind and respectful, your relationship will work well, and if you can’t it won’t. Getting together with a woman who needs you to be a jerk so she’ll be into you is a guarantee of misery.

LoveFactually-Final-CoverUpshot? Your character counts. Nice guys finish first in every way that matters. Be one, openly.

About the Author:

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do (2015); this is a partial excerpt. The book is available now. You can get a free chapter and learn more at http://www.lovefactually.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Why Women Love Jerks, & Why You Should Be a Nice Guy Anyway appeared first on eHarmony Advice.