Chat and Flirt

Modern dating advice for the internet.



August 2014



15 Reasons to Date a School Principal

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Working up your nerve to visit the principal’s office? Here are 15 reasons to date a school principal:

1. To get over your fear of the principal’s office.

2. In fact, you’ll want to visit the principal’s office.

3. You’ll be dating someone in a position of power who commands a certain respect from students and colleagues alike. Can you say turn-on!?

4. Enjoy watching the sunrise? You’re in luck. Principals are early risers. (P.S. Coffee is much appreciated.)

5. Principals work hard, and have to judiciously balance the needs of students and teachers, while dealing with the school board. To excel at the job, your date must stay cool under pressure.

6. Date night will be a much-anticipated break from a stressful week of dealing with unruly kids and school politics.

7. You’ll be dating someone who can be simultaneously strict, compassionate, and wise.

8. Your date “meets the parents” all the time. She’s a pro.

9. Summer holidays. Enough said.

10. You’ll be dating a respected member of the community.

11. Not all principals like kids, but the ones who love their jobs do. So if you have kids, your date will know how to talk to them with respect.

12. Principals have leadership skills and excel at team-building.

13. Worth noting if you’re in it for the long haul: Your date has a good pension and will retire well.

14. No graveyard shifts and weekends at the office. Sure, some times are busier than others, but at least evenings and weekends are technically free, right?

15. Principals are organized multitaskers. No lazy bones here!

Why else should one consider dating a school principal?

The post 15 Reasons to Date a School Principal appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



15 Ways to Avoid Mr. or Ms. Wrong

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Let’s be honest — no one ever sets out to spend a lifetime in a relationship with the wrong person. That’s an outcome we all are trying to avoid. And yet, if the number of failed relationships is any indication, that’s precisely where a sizable number of people end up anyway.

The truth is, many men and women complicate matters by letting blind emotion do all the talking, when a little systematic reasoning would go a long way. In the heat of a new romance, it is difficult to think straight. Which is why it is helpful to make up your mind well in advance about how you will go about making such a momentous decision and know what criteria you will use in the process.

Here are some ways to sharpen your focus and take a clear-eyed look at whether a potential partner is the right one to accompany you into the future:

15 Ways to Avoid Mr. Wrong:

1. Check your romantic radar. First things first: make sure you’re not overeager to get into a relationship. Desperation leads to a multitude of mistakes.
2. Avoid the addict. The man who has an unaddressed addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography) will make the object of his compulsion the center of his life—not you.
3. Look out for the guy who loves himself more than you. Confidence is what you want; conceitedness is not.
4. Ditch the deceiver. Beware of the man who will “shade the truth” with you—little lies will lead to bigger ones.
5. Pass on the passive man. Sure, you want to find a nice, amiable guy. But you also want one who will stand up for himself … and you.
6. Watch out for Mr. Wonderful. The guy who seems too good to be true—suave, sophisticated, super-successful—just may be.
7. Forget about the flagrant flirt. What seems at first like harmless sociability can conceal heartbreak waiting to happen. Find a man who only has eyes for you.
8. See through the sarcasm. A man’s sense of humor reveals much about his inner self. A jeering joker who relies on crudeness, put-downs, or laughter at someone else’s expense is not kindhearted.
9. Look for the master of disguise. Some men are highly skilled at adopting a persuasive persona, presenting themselves as something they’re not. If you detect a whiff of duplicity, ask yourself why the guy feels the need to fool you.
10. Beware of the man who’s easily bored. If you’re with a guy who seems chronically restless and antsy—always ready to move on to the next promising prospect—do yourself a favor and let him get bored with someone else.
11. Forego the control freak. The fastidious, uptight guy who wants to micromanage your life is probably not someone who want to live with day in and day out.
12. Evict the eternal adolescent. Some guys can’t seem to grow out of their high school days. You deserve better than sophomoric behavior.
13. Detach yourself from the detached man. The person who is preoccupied, distracted, and emotionally unavailable is not going to attach to you in a meaningful way.
14. Move on from the mama’s boy. It’s admirable when a guy loves his mother–but not when extreme attachment interferes with your romantic relationship.
15. Trust your gut on a guy’s trustworthiness. If you have a hint of concern about your man’s truthfulness and dependability, listen closely to what your instincts are telling you.

15 Ways to Avoid Ms. Wrong:

1. Know yourself. Before you can see whether she is the right fit, it helps to confidently know the contours of your own personality.
2. Beware of the chemistry. Emotional fireworks are a good thing in a healthy relationship. But physical attraction shouldn’t be the only thing holding you together. If you suspect that it is, think twice.
3. Take your time. You’ll never get a thorough look at a prospective partner in just a few euphoric weeks or even months. Give things a chance to evolve, and you’ll see how you mesh through all of life’s various moods.
4. Solicit advice from people you trust. You may be rendered senseless by the red-hot excitement of a new romance—but your friends and family won’t be. Let them give you reality checks.
5. Ask hard questions. No one wants to be accused of “buzz kill” in a new relationship by bringing up issues that might be uncomfortable. Yet often that is the only way to learn important things about each other.
6. Learn her history. The best way to understand why a woman thinks or behaves as she does is to know what she’s been through on her way to you.
7. Look out for mismatched goals and values. Be brutally realistic about whether your respective lives and desires are pointing you in the same direction, or whether impossible compromises lie ahead.
8. Observe how she handles conflict. Fights happen—and how a person behaves when feeling angry or threatened provides valuable insight into her character.
9. Discuss the M word … money. Researchers long ago identified financial stress and incompatibility as the leading cause of marital strife. Head off trouble by mapping out your beliefs and goals up front.
10. Talk about kids. After the arrival of children is the wrong time to discover you have very different ideas about parenthood. Thoroughly discuss this critical issue well ahead of time.
11. Be honest about your motives for wanting a lasting relationship. Are you unable to imagine spending life with anyone else, or are you simply tired of being alone?
12. Make sure you understand her motives as well. What are her expectations? Does she expect things from the relationship you can’t deliver?
13. Get to know her friends. Her choice of friends is a window into her most unguarded values.
14. Observe her in stressful situations. Stress has a way of revealing a person’s true character and ability to handle tough circumstances.
15. Take seriously any sign that she is less than truthful. Even little, seemingly inconsequential lies can foreshadow big problems later on.

Looking back, what were the biggest signs that someone may have been wrong for you?


EHPlus-05222014-MED-5About Jeff and eH+:

eHarmony’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 Jeff can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

The post 15 Ways to Avoid Mr. or Ms. Wrong appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



35 Ways to Better Your Life Right Now

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I recently experienced a health scare with a good ending. While I studied and practiced measures to improve my health, I also enjoyed more energy and vitality overall. As a result, I have now incorporated these health strategies into my regular habits, usually daily or at least consistently each week. These tips have improved the quality of my life, giving me a feeling of vibrancy. As a result of this increased enjoyment of my life, I decided to share these ideas with you.

Each body and health history is unique, as well as tolerances and sensitivities. Use common sense and your intuitive feelings to find out if a suggestion is right for you. You may also wish to do further research and consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner. At the minimum, you may get out of your rut and open your mind to alternatives that could enhance your life.

Here are 35 suggestions to improve your energy and your health:

1. Drink more water. Whatever your current level of water consumption, add to it! Water helps each organ of our bodies run more efficiently, boosts your immune system and helps flush toxins away.

2. Reduce or eliminate soda and alcohol. Neither are helping your body remain vibrant. Soda can weaken bones, create weight problems and has many other determents. Alcohol can impair your mental function and clarity and cause a plethora of serious health issues.

More at to Be Happy: Hint! It’s a Process

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Consider a foundation of a plant-based diet. Eating more vegetables and fruits can lower your risk of major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, to name a few!

4. Reduce meat consumption, especially beef, pork, and chicken. Sway toward loading your plate with more salads, soups and vegetarian choices. Eating less meat can make you smell better and reduce your blood pressure and risk of serious disease.

5. Consider reducing gluten. Try eating less bread and explore gluten free alternatives. You may see your belly slimming down and experience increased regularity.

6. Consume less dairy products. Experiment with products such as almond or rice milk. Dairy products may aggravate allergies, sinus problems and headaches.

7. Reduce sugar. Skip dessert or eat fresh fruit instead. Reduce your cavities and your weight with less sugar.

8. Sleep and rest more. Go to bed earlier or integrate naps into your day. Improve your memory, mood, immunity, and even enhance your sex life!

9. Walk. Take a 15 minute or more walk each day. Like sleeping, walking is a powerful health enhancer and can also put a zip into your sex life!

More at 10 Uplifting Quotes to Make Your Day

10. Get more sunshine. Add 15 minutes of sunshine to your skin each day—you may combine with this with walking! Grab your natural vitamin D and keep strong bones.

11. Clean out the clutter. Get rid of anything that you no longer use, enjoy or absolutely love. You may feel more productive, mentally sharp and focused as you release the stagnant energy of clutter.

12. Consider scheduling colon hydro-therapy session, a colonoscopy, or colon cleanse. A clean colon helps your overall health. Release toxins, improve absorption of good nutrients, and reduce constipation, all of which boost your energy level!

13. Be less busy. Stop trying to do everything. Learn to pare down and say no. Connect with others more deeply, recharge, and enjoy the simple pleasures that surround you.

14. Read or listen to inspiring books. Daily inspirational reading or listening, especially first thing in the morning, sets a positive tone for the day. Reading also exercises your mind improving your knowledge, concentration, and memory.

15. Practice relaxing. Add meditation, mind-controlled relaxation or visualization techniques, deep breathing, yoga, and other relaxation tools. Relaxing helps us cope with the stresses of life on this planet and returns us to balance when we experience an upset.

16. Visit a health care practitioner. Schedule a massage, acupuncture session or other therapeutic practice to give back to your body and re-balance. We all need self-care mixed into our lives so we have enough in our energy tanks to give to others without getting depleted.

17. Exercise your body. Gradually add more exercise into your life. Elevate your mood, tone your body, and experience more self-confidence and well-being.

18. Exercise your mind. Focus on what you want in life with affirmations and goal setting. By focusing your mind, you gain clarity and opportunities often come your way, especially if you write and review your intentions regularly.

19. Practice gratitude. Write in a gratitude journal or reflect on gratitude daily. The ritual of gratitude reflection can improve your sense of well-being and contentment, especially if you take the time to write down what you are thankful for each day.

20. Reduce your exposure to the news. Most T.V., radio and newspaper news is negative, so avoid it. Since most media leads with bad news, you might find yourself missing all the kind acts that happen and feel gloom instead of hope.

21. Play happy or peaceful music. Add some singing and dancing with the music to get even more out of it. It is hard to feel sad while singing and dancing to uplifting tunes!

22. Forgive more quickly, deeply, and completely. Practice forgiveness each day. Forgiving helps your heart heal and opens the door to more love in your life.

23. Love. Use kind words. Say “I love you” more often. Look for ways to love others and yourself. Love may extend your life, or at least create more happiness as you live it!

24. Worry less. Worry is the misuse of your imagination. Worry often leads to illness, and what you worry about may never come to pass!

More at 20 Tips to Increase Your Happiness Every Single Day

25. Slow down and be present now. Wherever you are, be there with your full attention. Enjoy fewer accidents and more meaningful relationships with people.

26. Smile. Smile at everyone you see. Look younger and attract other smiling, happy people to you!

27. Laugh. Find humor in your life and express it with a good, hearty laugh as often as possible. Release those feel-good brain chemicals and see your stress level lower!

28. Think positive. Focus on and visualize the best possible outcome. Looking for the sunny side of life and searching for the good in a challenging situation helps you cope and reduces unnecessary struggle.

29. Be enthusiastic. Practice enthusiasm, even with routine tasks. Life becomes more fun with enthusiasm, and you may attract more opportunities and success along the way!

30. Avoid criticizing and complaining. Look for the positive in events and people. Look for a solution, take positive action, and switch your mood for a more pleasant experience.

31. Appreciate beauty. Notice beautiful things around you. Nature and people are filled with beauty if you take time to look, which can provide you with immense pleasure.

32. Keep an open heart and mind. A change might be just what you need. Tolerance can facilitate peace in your heart and in the world.

33. Simplify your life. Focus on quality over quantity. Simplicity gives you more time to relax and enjoy what really matters in your life.

34. Respond instead of react. Be thoughtful and mindful. Mindfulness lessens regrets and increases respect and kindness.

35. Practice the ‘Golden Rule’. Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. What goes around comes around, so start a positive cycle and enjoy the lasting benefits living a life of compassion and caring.

Do not assume that loss of energy and vigor are an inevitable consequence of aging. Many mid-aged people and seniors are dynamic and energetic. Diminished energy and poor health can be insidious. Bad habits may have been slowly creating problems for years. Now is the time to take measures to correct patterns before more significant negative health consequences erupt.

Which of the above suggestions are you ready to add to your life?

More at

This post will make you stop drinking soda – like instantly.

5 Clear Signs You’ve Found the One


This article was originally posted at 35 Ways You Can Improve Your Life Instantly

The post 35 Ways to Better Your Life Right Now appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



15 Ways to Know It’s Time to Break Up

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The road to a fulfilling, enduring relationship is almost always littered with a few attempts that turned out to be unfulfilling and unenduring. That’s what dating is all about—finding out if two people have the qualities and compatibility to sustain a relationship over the long haul.

Sometimes you know for sure when it’s time to break up. But other times you’re not so sure. Should you hang in there and give it a chance? Or should you move on so you don’t squander precious time and energy? Here are 15 indicators that, yes, it’s time to move on and seek better prospects:

1. Questions keep popping up in your head. It’s natural and healthy to evaluate a relationship at critical steps, but don’t ignore those nagging concerns that are trying to tell you something.

2. You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling way too soon. If you don’t feel consistent sparks and fireworks while dating, it’s a sure sign the chemistry just isn’t there.

3. The people closest to you express concern. If several people sound the alarm about your relationship, it’s wise to at least take it seriously.

4. Mistrust has crept in. Trust is the glue that holds couples together. If you have legitimate reason to doubt your partner’s trustworthiness, you can be sure more trouble is coming.

5. You wonder about your partner’s emotional health. If your dating partner is very self-absorbed, paranoid, overly defensive, easily angered, or anything else that indicates an emotional health deficit, it’s best to move on.

6. You’ve realized the two of you have missions in life that don’t mesh. Sometimes two good people simply have goals and ambitions that don’t complement each other’s.

7. The two of you differ on important aspects of life. If you have significantly different perspectives on social issues, religion, politics, parenting, environmentalism, and use of finances, it’s best to find a partner whose convictions more closely align with your own.

8. Your partner is holding too tightly to the past. Take note if the other person talks often about his ex, relives the glory days of past achievements, or is held back by old friends. Thriving relationships live in the present and plan for the future.

9. Your communication is strained or superficial. If you and your partner struggle to have open, heartfelt communication, the relationship will surely suffer.

10. You can’t resolve conflicts. In solid relationships, two people learn to manage their conflicts thoroughly and efficiently so that harmony prevails most of the time. Relationships fall apart when conflicts don’t get resolved.

11. Your interests don’t interest each other. If you have five or six major interests, it’s a good idea to find someone who shares two or three of them. The more hobbies and activities you both enjoy, the stronger your relationship will be.

12. You don’t feel free to be yourself. No relationship is going to reach it’s potential unless both partners are authentic. You will feel stifled and suffocated if you cannot consistently express your true self.

13. The pet peeves have piled up. The way people live day in and day out (punctuality, grooming, personal habits) can be no problem or a big problem. If it’s the latter for you, don’t ignore the annoyances.

14. You don’t feel 100 percent supported. If you notice that the person you’re with shows little regard for your ambitions and consistently displays a me-first attitude, you’re probably in the presence of someone more selfish than selfless.

15. You notice wandering eyes. It’s natural to admire attractive people, but if you or your partner frequently “check out” others, it may be because you feel something significant is lacking in your current relationship.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you? What have been the biggest reasons for your break ups?


The post 15 Ways to Know It’s Time to Break Up appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



15 Ways to Get Along with Nearly Anyone

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Much of success in life hinges upon the ability to relate well to others. In preschool, we were told to “Play nice … share … treat others as you want to be treated.” Those basic people skills apply to grown-ups just as much, whether dealing with neighbors, clients, coworkers, or roommates. And especially potential romantic partners.

Sometimes you meet people and a connection happens naturally and effortlessly. Other times, relationships take work and patience. Consider these strategies, which will help you get along well with anyone you encounter:

1. Believe the best. If you approach any relationship believing the two of you will strike up a close friendship, chances are good that you will.

2. Be positive. Negativity is an instant turnoff. An air of pessimism is a thick fogbank that forms around you and warns others away. But an optimistic attitude will draw people to you like a beacon of light.

3. Help the other person feel good about him/herself. We will always love the person most who helps us feel best about ourselves. Likewise, we will be loved and appreciated by those we help to feel valued.

4. Ask questions that get the other person talking. Ask, “Who has been the most influential person in your life?” Or, “What’s the biggest dream for your future?”

5. Compliment. Every person on earth wants to hear something positive about themselves—their appearance, achievements, or acumen. Make sure your compliments are sincere and specific.

6. Be fully present. In our world of distractions, being engaged with complete attention is one of the greatest ways to show respect and appreciation.

7. Find common ground. Bonding happens when you discover a shared interest, be it golf, travel, or Humphrey Bogart movies.

8. Show sincere interest. Develop a real desire to know more about the person you’re with. Make it your mission to truly listen and understand.

9. Self-disclose. Openness begets openness. Emotional connection happens when two people reveal important information about themselves.

10. Encourage authenticity. Allow the person you’re with to be free to be who they are. Total openness, with no judgment.

11. Choose your battles. Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but most can be defused before they detonate. Ask yourself if a battle is really worth fighting, or worth letting go for the sake of harmony.

12. Avoid game-playing. In our age of slick advertising campaigns and political ploys, everyone has their antennae up for manipulation. You will build trust by shooting straight and being clear about your motivations.

13. Practice generosity. In any relationship, you will get back what you are willing to give. It is within your power to help the one you are with feel important and esteemed.

14. Learn the art of storytelling. Often the most powerful ways we connect with others is through our personal stories—childhood memories, the famous person you met, your most embarrassing moment. Keep the best stories fresh in your mind, and bring them out when the opportunity arises.

15. Find the hidden treasure. Everyone has an aspect of life that is their greatest source of joy—their children, the screenplay they’re writing, the mentoring program where they volunteer. Discover the person’s passion, and share in the enthusiasm.


The post 15 Ways to Get Along with Nearly Anyone appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person

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A soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable, this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why?

The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you may mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy.

Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras  doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept.

Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

10 Signs of Unavailable People

1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
6. They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.

At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise; this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

To find true love, you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.”


Surrender book cover

Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine and USA Today.


The post Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



15 Reasons to Date a Painter

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Working up the courage to ask that cute painter out for coffee? Just do it. Here are 15 reasons to date a painter:

1. Who wouldn’t want to be a muse?

2. Painters are self-disciplined, passionate, and motivated.

3. Your date might challenge the way you look at the world around you.

4. You’ll be exposed to a whole new world of galleries, art events, and exhibitions. Date nights will be fun and inspiring.

5. Your date’s friends are not boring. You’ll meet creative, interesting people.

6. Most painters are self-employed and have flexible hours. Spontaneous road trips are welcome.

7. Painters work hard for their money and don’t necessarily make a lot of it. They’re careful with cash and are driven by their passion, not a paycheck.

8. Your date probably has fantastic taste in a lot of areas. Her restaurant recommendations, wardrobe tips, wallpaper suggestions, and music picks will be worth paying close attention to.

9. Painters are open-minded and are willing to give new ideas and opinions a chance. Expect lively discussion and debate.

10. You’ll be inspired — and maybe challenged — to pursue what you’re passionate about, too.

11. Like to travel and see the world? You’re in luck. Painters enjoy seeing, doing, and trying new things.

12. Painters are interested in the world around them. Your date will likely show a genuine interest in getting to know what makes you tick.

13. Painters don’t settle. They care about improving their skills and constantly bettering their art.

14. Your date is creating something-out-of-nothing for a living. If that’s not brag-worthy, what is?

15. Painters can spend a lot of time on their own. They don’t need constant stimulation from people all day to be creative — but will appreciate date night at the end of a quiet day at the studio.

Why else should one date a painter?

The post 15 Reasons to Date a Painter appeared first on eHarmony Advice.



August 2014



First Date Affection: How Much is Too Much?

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The proper limit of physical affection on a first date is an important thing to really think about. How much is too much? Is it possible to display too little? Let’s shed some light on the subject by answering the question as succinctly as possible: How much first-date affection is appropriate? Absolutely none. “Huh?” you say. Let me explain.

We realize some may consider that approach to be hopelessly outdated. If TV shows and movies are any guide, fulfilling first-date sex is routine these days — a long way from the bygone standards of proper etiquette. But if you are serious about building a lasting relationship, on a solid footing of mutual respect, then the first move is clear: Go slow.

To understand the reasons why, it is necessary to see the differences between physical “touch” and “affection.” These words are by no means synonymous and convey very different messages between two people who have only just met each another.

Here are a few examples of incidental touching that can actually deepen a first-date experience and contribute to your goal of getting to know important things about each other:

• A man reaches for his date’s hand to help her from the car.
• His fingers brush her shoulders when he takes her coat in the restaurant.
• She lightly and briefly touches his forearm across the table to emphasize the point she’s making in conversation.
• Their elbows touch on the movie theater armrest between them.
• He places his hand on her back to steady her as she walks on high heels up a flight of steps.

Touch is inevitable, and even desirable, between people who have chosen to spend time together in close enough contact to explore their romantic compatibility. When it happens lightly and spontaneously, as described above, it can provide valuable evidence of healthy respect and a commitment to honor one another’s personal boundaries and dignity — while still acknowledging the possibility of mutual attraction and future closeness.

However, the type of contact we would term “affection” is the physical expression of inner feelings of intimacy — emotions that cannot genuinely exist between strangers. That’s because it requires a foundation of familiarity, compatibility, and vulnerability that always take time to develop. The first several dates are meant to lay that groundwork and allow ample time for those feelings to surface naturally — or not.

Without that, intimate physical contact that might be welcomed in a few weeks or month’s time can be uncomfortable or downright threatening on a first date. It certainly runs the risk of sending the wrong signal and destroying any chance of landing a second date.

Here are three possible causes of premature affection:

1. Sexual overeagerness. It does not take a genius to know the biggest question on a woman’s mind when out on a first date: Is he truly interested in me, or only in getting me in bed as quickly as possible? A man who can’t keep his hands to himself removes all doubt.

2. Hasty desperation. Excessive physical contact on a first date may signal a desire to rush through the “formalities” of getting to know each another and fast forward to the benefits of a settled relationship. Generally this is a symptom of dating fatigue and loneliness — an understandable state recognizable to anyone who has been single for some time. But these people mistakenly put the cart before the horse and hope that displaying outward affection will be the same as having the emotional intimacy to support it, without the usual work and waiting.

3. Possessiveness. One of the quickest ways to chase away a prospective partner is to smother them with premature expectations. Public affection creates the illusion of much greater intimacy and deeper involvement than ever exist on a first date — and can foreshadow potential problems around issues of personal space and autonomy later on.

Here’s the bottom line: Gentle touch on a first date indicates your care, interest, and respect in the other person. There is plenty of time for physical affection as you get to know one another on a deeper level.

EHPlus-05222014-MED-5About Jeff and eH+:

eHarmony’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 Jeff can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.


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July 2014



Do You Believe that Finding Love is Only for a Lucky Few?

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Are your mating myths holding you back?

Myth #1: “Finding and keeping love is only for the lucky and the few.”

Please take a moment to answer two questions:

1. If you could have a marriage or love partnership that would be happy and last your lifetime, would you want it?

2. Do you think you can have it?

Year after year, when I ask my students the first question, nearly every hand is raised. But when I ask them to keep their arms up if they believe they can have a happy lifelong marriage? Hands and faces fall. I got a note from a man named Jean, who said, “Two years ago, there was all this hoopla about a friend’s wedding—now they’re fighting. You see why I’m a cynic? Can two people be together forever, and be happy?”

There are many reasons this cynicism has taken hold, such as news stories, movies, novels, and music about love gone wrong, plus your personal experiences with your own or other people’s relationship implosions. Even the legal system plays a part; since 1970, the ease of divorce has ironically led to less happiness even for those who remain together as exposure to others’ divorces has made people forecast and fear their own. Jean has a point.

But the belief in probable divorce is bad for you because it creates ambivalence: uncertainty of whether marriage is worth it. And how likely are you to organize yourself to find and keep a life partner if you’re not even sure it would make you happy? Today, fewer people are marrying at all, as faith in the possibility of a good marriage has plummeted and a belief that happy marriage is blind luck has risen.

Replace myth with fact: The antidote to the Luck lie is simple: You need exposure to accurate information.

Replace those untrue thoughts with the following fact-based realities.

First: Marriage does make most people happy—happier than any other living arrangement.

It’s true that having a horrid marriage makes people very unhappy. In comparisons of various types of people, the miserably married are the most miserable of all.

But it’s equally true that having a lasting, good marriage is one of the few things that really do make people happy. A single, solid marriage makes people happier than wealth, fame, career, or many of the other things we spend our lives striving for. It also makes us far happier than cohabitation, permanent singlehood, divorce, or widowhood. And that’s true in every country where comparisons have been made. We could do worse than following E. M. Forster’s epigram, “Only connect!”

Second: Happy marriage is a common, renewable resource.

Are you worried the world will run out of gold, copper, or oil? Or chocolate, which, heaven forbid, I hear is in short supply? Good news! Love doesn’t work like that. It’s common. And highly renewable. Lots and lots of people do, in fact, have happy marriages. More than half of first marriages in the USA today last a lifetime, and about 2/3 of divorced folks remarry. Roughly 25% to 40% of them stay together for life too.

Meaning? Lifelong love is normal, not rare. The majority of the population forms a lifelong bond! And they’re usually happy.

Bonus! Happiness lost is frequently regained in the very same marriage. Those we have loved, we can usually fall back in love with. For instance, in one study, 86% of people who had stayed married through a period of unhappiness were happy again within five years.

Third: Happiness in marriage isn’t random—it’s learnable. 

Although many people feel that finding and keeping love is a gamble, something random that might, but probably won’t, fall onto them from some benevolent-yet-unpredictable Love God, that’s not so. The skills that create and sustain happy marriages are highly learnable.

Finding and keeping love is a series of positive actions. It is something I learned. It’s something my clients and students and blog readers have learned. And it’s something YOU can learn, too.

What’s common is love like Katrina’s for her husband:

“Recently we were apart for two weeks and he was picking me up at the airport. I suggested that there was no need to park and that I would walk out of the airport and meet him. About quarter way down the escalator I saw my husband standing, waiting for me. I realized seeing him made me grin from ear to ear. He makes me as happy today as he did when we met 10 years ago.”

Look around you. There are actually plenty of people who find and keep a wonderful mate. My husband and I share the kind of love Katrina feels for her spouse. A lot of folks do. Open your mind to it. Your heart will follow, charting a new, happier course.

About the Author:

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, coming in January, 2015.  She also contributes at Psychology Today and teaches psychology at Austin-area universities.  You can read more of her work at her blog LoveScience:

This article contains excerpts from Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do.

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July 2014



15 Reasons to Date an Esthetician

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An esthetician is more than just a pretty face. Here are 15 reasons to date one:

1. Estheticians have great skin. It’s part of the job. Your date doesn’t slack off in the self-care department and likely embraces a healthy lifestyle.

2. Because of #1, your date is going to age fantastically.

3. And if you stick around long enough, so will you.

4. Estheticians have great people skills, informing clients about procedures and addressing their concerns. You’ll be dating a good communicator.

5. Your date sees potential in people, and helps them address their insecurities and feel better about themselves.

6. Estheticians are often self-employed, business-oriented and very motivated.

7. Your date is likely a good listener and trustworthy keeper of clients’ secrets.

8. Estheticians are in demand. He’ll always have a job if he wants one.

9. Estheticians are smart, focused, and have had extensive training. This is not an entry-level job.

10. Your date has a well-paying job with reasonable hours. Very relationship-friendly.

11. The cute lab coats. You’ll be dating a man/woman in uniform.

12. Estheticians’ jobs depend on their ability to be gentle with people’s faces. You’ll be in good hands.

13. Estheticians’ offices are generally calming environments. You won’t be dating someone who is constantly stressed out by a hectic workplace.

14. Your date spends all day pampering other people. It’s your turn to pamper her. She’ll really appreciate it.

15. Estheticians have high standards for their work and demand excellence of themselves. You’ll be challenged to be your best, too.

Why else should one date an esthetician?

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