How to Turn Your Online Flirting Into a Real Life Date

When Dating Online Turns to Real Life

Couple on a date, Src: Flickr/sblackley

When it comes to meeting dates online, there will always be an interim period where you get to know each other through messages before meeting up. This can be an exciting time, where every new email in your inbox can make your heart beat faster and you look forward to the next stage in the conversation. But what about when it comes time to meet? How do you turn your online flirting into a real life date? Here are five steps to lead you in the right direction.

1. Take it Slowly

There’s no need to rush. While you don’t want to spend too long going back and forth with messages, if you want to get to know your match a little better then feel free to wait. If the first meeting is awkward, you’ll be less likely to want to meet up again, so it may be better to wait until it feels right.

2. Don’t be Too Forward

Flirting online is all about keeping things light. You might have already discussed what you’re looking for in a relationship but using loaded words like ‘marriage’ or ‘motherhood’ may not be a good idea before you’ve even met. You’re looking to suss out the potential for a match, not commit yourself for life.

3. Ask for Their Personal Email

If you’ve been messaging each other for a while on a website such as eHarmony, and you’re getting impatient waiting for the next step, try asking for their personal email address. It’s a good first step towards a face-to-face meeting and it’s not too intimidating.

If they’re hesitant to give it, they may just be enjoying the attention without wanting to take things further.

An online dating success

An online dating success? Src: Flickr/adam_jones

4. Suggest a Relaxed First Date

When it comes to meeting up for the first time, you might both be feeling nervous about talking through the details. Try keeping things simple – if you have a favourite coffee shop or laid-back bar, ask your interest if they’ve heard of it and suggest meeting there for a drink. A relaxed, familiar atmosphere will help set the scene for a good first date.

5. Look for Partners Close By

If you’ve been messaging someone who lives far away, there may always be a reason why you can’t meet up. Long-distance relationships can blossom into long-term partnerships, but it’s hard to get things off the ground when you’d have to take a week off work to arrange to even meet them.

Try finding singles in your area by using online dating (click here to find out more) and you’ll be better placed for real-life encounters with potential matches.

**This is a sponsored post by eHarmony**

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How Accurately Do You Describe Yourself In Your Online Dating Profile

DatingWithaKissWhile reading a bestselling thriller the other night, I came across the concept of the Cool Girl. The book Gone Girl describes a Cool Girl as the embodiment of the ideal women to certain men: Hot, intelligent, funny, sexually adventurous, not afraid to enjoy her food yet stays fit and slender, and feminine while still able to handle herself in a typical guy environment with beer, sports, poker and dirty jokes. A Cool Girl is understanding, never gets truly angry, and gives her man the freedom to do what he wants. The concept resonated with me so deeply because of all the online dating profiles, including mine, where women wind up describing themselves in some shape or another as a Cool Girl. It has me wondering: How accurately do you describe yourself in your online dating profile?

Find out if you’re getting it right in your online dating profile in my article at Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/how-accurately-do-you-describe-yourself-in-your-online-dating-profile-by-soloat30/

Post-Breakup: My Personal Formula For Moving Forward

breakupTo say I was completely unprepared for my recent breakup is an understatement. After 10 months together, just a couple months before we were planning to move into a new place, I was blindsided by something I felt, and still think, is a preposterous reason to end a relationship with someone who is your soulmate, someone you claim to love with all your being.

Impervious to my pleas to talk about resolving the issues, ignoring my apologies about something for which I wasn’t entirely sure what I was to blame, my sobs and shock turned to frustration and yes, a bit of anger. One of his own very good friends said he was foolish for letting something so trivial end something so powerful that he seemed to have been searching for all his life. If our relationship—something he had always described as so strong, special and sacred—wasn’t worth fighting for, then clearly it didn’t carry as much weight, or have as strong legs, as I thought it did.

After I spent time mourning, I decided that fighting the inevitable was pointless. I still knew who I was. I still knew what was important to me and what I wanted, both in a mate and from a relationship. If anything, the breakup emphasized how important certain things about communication and relating to your partner were to me that had been a little off-center with us.

So, to the surprise of family and friends who thought I was moving too quickly, I decided to re-activate my OkCupid account. To be completely honest, I first signed on to see if there was still hope—I was another year older, life had struck another blow, and I wasn’t even sure I would see anyone on there who would interest me enough to get to know.

I was surprised to realize I still attracted not only older men but significantly younger men too, divorced men with kids and men my age who have never been married, corporate businessmen and world-traveling teachers. I also realized that there were still so many interesting men out there to learn about and potentially meet, though I wasn’t in a rush to do the latter.

With the knowledge that there still were formalities of the break up to deal with—things to return to each other, letters of closure finally received and occasional pangs of “did this really actually happen?”—I knew I had to make some promises to myself. I wasn’t going to go just out with an ex who still has hope that we’ll eventually get back together seven years and a kid (his) later. Nor have a fling with a former FWB. And I wasn’t going to jump into a relationship with the first guy who I felt a great connection with, no matter how strong.

FootprintsThat’s where the 7×3 formula came along. They are relatively arbitrary numbers, 3 and 7, but I’ve called them my lucky numbers all my life. So here’s the deal: I have to go on dates with at least seven different guys before I make a final choice to pursue a relationship with any single one. Any contenders must be dated at least three times. No hanky-panky is allowed; kissing is welcome to assess chemistry.

So this week I agreed to a date with one of the fellows who has been writing me. He’s intelligent, socially conscious, thinks ahead, seems kind and has strong and influential women in his family. He’s a father of two young children, has lived all over the U.S., and he’s experienced some pretty cool things over his lifetime. I always looked forward to his emails, and while his looks didn’t make me swoon, I decided the personality attracted me enough to meet him.

In the meantime, another guy dramatically came on the scene. We rapidly exchanged long emails about our travels, teaching and our similar mindset about life and relationships at this point in time. He very quickly asked for my number, expressing desire to meet each other sooner than later. The day before date #1 with the other guy, Mr. Wanderlust asked if I wanted to go to a coffee house for a snack at the last minute. Going with the whim of the moment, I agreed.

Despite his admitted nerves, the date was non-stop conversation. We looked at travel photos and talked about whatever came to mind while we had dessert and tea, followed by a light dinner of wraps. He also really made me laugh—not from the absurdity or ridiculousness of what he said, but because he was sincerely funny. It was exciting to be around his energy and his enthusiasm for life—it didn’t hurt that he was very open about his interest in me, enough to ask for another date before this one ended.

Next day was the date with Mr. Left Wing (he’s the son of a radical feminist and is a proponent of radical social change). The night started off oddly as he attempted to psychoanalyze me, and I took his extreme mellow demeanor as a blasé attitude toward life in general. But soon our masks were off, and we were engaged in deep conversation about life-changing experiences. He revealed quite a bit more than I did, whereas with Mr. Wanderlust, I felt there was a much more even exchange. Yet I enjoyed our time together and was surprised by a goodnight kiss.

I’ve decided the new formula is perfect in instances where you meet several interesting people who you want more time to get to know, while also having several comparison points to keep things in perspective. I have a feeling eventually I might not want to go through all those first dates, but I think it will be healthy for me. And if I decide I’m just overwhelmed all-around and need more time to try to make some kind of sense of my last relationship, I always have the choice to just stop everything and go back into my dark bedroom and mull over things—or better yet forget about men entirely for a while, and just enjoy my friends, my family and my career. I’ll keep you updated.

Be a Safe and Savvy Dater This Season With a Secure, Second Mobile Number

The world of modern dating is an exciting one. You can literally meet people from all walks of life and, if you’re especially adventurous, from across the country—even from over the world. In days of yore, your main options for connecting with romantic interests were meeting them at school, work, church or community organizations. Otherwise, your friends or family might set up with someone they knew.

While the pool of suitors is more limited in traditional dating, in most cases, you had a better idea of what you were getting into. Today, with online dating sites and meeting friends of friends of friends from Facebook or other social media sites, you are often meeting virtual strangers and putting trust that they mean you no harm or ill-will. Unfortunately, quite a few of us have our fair share of stories about dating strangers, from creepers to genuine stalkers.

That’s where MyAKA comes in. It provides savvy singles with a free secure, second mobile number for your privacy and safety. The assigned virtual phone number, with your own area code, is not linked to your personal information in any way. While calls go to your own cell, your real number is protected on both incoming and outgoing calls, ensuring cellphone privacy. MyAKA also makes it easy to block callers who cross the line or who don’t get the hint that you are not interested. And if you want a break from those who have your MyAKA number, it’s easy to set up the Do Not Disturb feature, which relays your calls to voicemail and stores your text messages for later retrieval.

MyAKA is offering my readers a 7-Day Free Trial. Truly free—what’s that catch? There’s no catch. With this special offer, you can enjoy a worry-free week of flirting through MyAKA, without even entering your credit card information! How sweet is that? And if you decide to keep the service, which is a smart move for any active, dating single, it takes two easy steps to upgrade your number on the MyAKA site. It’s as easy as AKA to date safely this season. Sign up today for a fun and safe way to communicate with your dates using a no-strings-attached second cellphone number!
*This is a sponsored post for MyAKA

Find A Fellow Night Owl Who Makes Your Heart A-Flutter While ‘Up All Night’

According to the CDC estimates, 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from insomnia. So is it any wonder that singles all over the country are frequently looking for love in the wee hours of the night?

The online dating site Chemistry.com recently released a list of the Top 10 Sleepless Single Cities in the U.S., investigating where in the country singles visited their website between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. in six of the nation’s time zones respectively. While New York City is known as The City That Never Sleeps—as a global power city and cultural and entertainment capital—Chemistry.com found that singles are most sleepless in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Top 10 Sleepless Single Cities in the U.S.

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. Virginia Beach, VA
  3. Nashville, TN
  4. Scottsdale, AZ
  5. Brooklyn, NY
  6. Long Beach, CA
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Henderson, NV
  9. Fresno, CA
  10. Mesa, AZ

Chemistry.com is sponsoring a free special access pass for the single night owls across the nation during their Up All Night event, which runs tonight, August 30, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday. Participants are invited to take a unique personality test designed by renowned biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, and then review matches, browse full profiles with photos and email other members. They can also take Chemistry’s exclusive get-to-know-you games. All singles can register for the free event here.

Dr. Fisher, chief scientific adviser to Chemistry.com, said that living in a 24-hour society means that a lot of people are now working into the night, from nurses and policemen to those employed by the tourist industry in some of top sleepless single cities, like Honolulu and Las Vegas. She feels the natural night owls are biologically disposed to work at night, but others aren’t.

Src: Holly Exley Illustration / hollyexley.blogspot.com

“There at least 18 genes involved in whether you are a night owl or a lark,” Fisher said in an interview. Though she always wanted to be able to stay up late, Fisher woke up early, even as a teen. When it came to relationships, however, she  found that she need not always date a fellow lark.

“In my case, it worked extremely well that I am a lark, and that the men I have been with have been owls,” she said. “I would get up really early in the morning and have a good 5 hours of myself to get my work done.” Her partners would have their downtime after she had gone to sleep.

“It’s most important that whatever your partner’s lifestyle is, it fits into your lifestyle,” she said. “It’s the lifestyle that they want to lead together and whether the pattern of their daily rhythms mesh.” A relationship is not going to thrive in one partner wants to be asleep by midnight when the other wants to be dining and going out to parties at that hour.

But if you are a single looking for a partner to stay active late into the night and sleep in late alongside you, log on to Chemistry.com tonight to join in the fun of the Up All Night event. Maybe you’ll find a fellow night owl who makes your heart go all a flutter.

Is My Heart Ready to Surrender to Love Again?

“Bent Objects” by Terry Border

With a bevy of bachelors virtually at my fingertips, thanks to the world of online dating, it isn’t impossible for me to have a date with a different guy every day of the week. Yet there are some weeks where it feels like that truth is too terribly close for comfort. Yes, it can be fascinating to meet new people regularly for a while, to learn about their various passions and pastimes. But I can honestly say that for me, sampling from the buffet of singles can get pretty old pretty quickly.

Call me old school if you like, but when it boils down to it, I do my best dating one man at a time. I am what is known as a serial monogamist, tending to go from one committed relationship to the next, with breaks of varying lengths in between. However, it’s been more than a year since I’ve dated someone for anyone longer than a couple months—my longest drought in 10 years.  The yearning for a real, lasting relationship has been building up strongly again in the past few months.

So why when I’ve recently found a man who so strongly stirs my soul am I so hesitant to take the plunge? Get the low-down on my latest post for The Singles Warehouse:

Committing to the Search for Love, One  Man at a Time

In Online Dating, It’s a Small World After All

src: justaboutthedetails.com

One of my favorite aspects of online dating has been the opportunity to broaden my horizons and open up the doors to a more diverse pool of potential mates. Through online dating, I have had love affairs with two Canadians and dated British and Polish expats. I’ve had a fling with a pilot, dated two sexy cops and a few men involved with the military in some form. I’ve been involved with a Christian rocker, a chef, a world-class track athlete, a videographer, a psychotherapist, a neuroscientist, a pathologist—and a pathological liar.

I’ve also found myself in relationships with men I’d previously considered to be swimming outside of my dating pool due to their “status”—while not taboo, they were not exactly most desirable to me either. These have included young divorcees, significantly older men with a lot of emotional cargo and fathers of young children or grown kids.

This mixed bag of men doesn’t even include the long cast of colorful characters I’ve simply had multiple conversations with through phone, text and emails. It’s definitely been a wild trip, and for the most part an adventure from which I’ve learned a lot.

Yet one of the most surprising things I’ve learned about online dating is how small a world it really is. Whether I find friends of friends, matches from other online dating sites, friends’ exes, my own exes or other faces from the real world, it can feel either like kismet or damn bad luck when my next match rolls around.

Find out just how small the online dating world can be over on The Singles Warehouse in my latest post:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/05/in-online-dating-its-a-small-world-after-all/

Be Still My Heart: Is Ashton Kutcher Looking For Love Online?

Is that really Ashton looking for love online?

The next time your friends rag on you for using the web to find a potential mate, you can tell them that even the rich and famous are throwing their hats in the online dating ring. The newest sizzling single in the online dating market? None other than Two and Half Men star Ashton Kutcher.

The latest celebrity gossip columnists have been hinting that Ashton has been heating things up with Mila Kunis, his former costar on The 70s Show, but The Hollywood hottie may in fact be looking for a girl-next-door this time on WorldWideLovers.com. Not too surprising coming from the funny man who has embraced sharing ALL aspects of his life online.

WorldWideLovers.com brings potential suitors to life through video, rather than relying simply on words and a few of your best (or not) snapshots. Think you’ve seen all there is to see of Ashton Kutcher? He shares surprising sides of his personality you’ve never seen before in this hilarious video sequence:

• The Bollywood producer Raj, channeling The Love Guru.

• The “Enlightened” Hippie Nigel

• The flamboyant fashion designer Darl, with his beloved Chihuaha

• And the bearded biker Swordfish (no really, that’s his name)

A man who can make me laugh is halfway to winning my heart. But if Ashton’s boyish charms and antics aren’t your style, check out http://www.worldwidelovers.com for more!

[This Post is Sponsored by PopChips]

How About We…Forget About Age for A Moment

src: brokelivin.com

Everyone is the age of their heart.  ~Guatemalan Proverb

My regular readers know that I haven’t been too shy about trying out various dating sites with varying degrees of success. Though I’ve had my share of horror stories and hilarity, I also met the V-Man and Mr. Etiquette through Match.com, and more recently, my heart and mind became entangled with The European off OkCupid, which prior to I had mostly referred to fondly as OkStupid.

Then I started hearing some fellow dating bloggers talk about this site HowAboutWe. What set this site apart from the rest, as far as I could tell, was that its aim seemed to really be focused on getting people right off their computers and meeting in real life. One could suggest a date:

How about we….check out a Poetry Slam on Great Poetry Reading Day

or

How about we…pack a lunch and hike to the peak of Talcott Mountain

or

How about we…grab a beer and watch the NCAA Basketball Finals together

Whatever floats your boat, you can throw it out there, and see if anyone else is intrigued enough by your date proposal or your profile alone, and you can go from there. It seemed like a pretty interesting idea, so I put up a profile but refused to pay money for a membership.

A few weeks ago, I received an email for a 72-hour free access to the site, meaning I could exchange emails and do all the things a regular member could do. Honestly, there were only about three or four people who were even vaguely interesting, but one profile in particular caught my attention. One guy, whose proposed date was a fun and active one, had done a mountain bike race through EMS in Nepal, of all places!

Nepal—the country that had mystified and bewitched me more than 10 years earlier when I accompanied my college boyfriend on an organized study trek there at nearly the last minute. With the breathtaking sights, the myriad of sounds, the vibrant colors, the tantalizing smells, the warm and friendly people, the completely unfamiliar yet intriguing culture, the spectacular geography, it was love at first sight.

The couple of times I had met someone who had also been to Nepal, it was as if we immediately became members of a society with our own secret language and shorthand. So here was another person from Connecticut who had actually been to the country in an intense way. I didn’t even care if there was a romantic connection, but I knew I wanted to meet him.

We exchanged an email or two on the site before he disappeared for a couple of weeks. In my email back to him, I told him I only had free access for the weekend so gave him my personal email address. Not hearing from him, I was a bit disappointed, but life goes on.

Then I got an email from an unfamiliar address, and it was the man of Nepal, telling me he had been in a work bootcamp for the last couple weeks. He didn’t pull any punches, asking for my number if I was willing and suggesting that maybe we could meet sometime. How about we, indeed?

To abbreviate, we had a nice phone conversation and quickly set up a date for a few days later. The plan was to go this restaurant in the city, where we’d grab dinner before heading downstairs to their comedy club. I arrived to the place a little late, fortunately at the same time as he was coming in, and I was surprised by his appearance. He seems quite a bit older-looking than I thought he’d be, I thought to myself, but I returned his very warm smile and we went in to dinner.

We had great conversation over our meal, finding out that we shared many things in common. Not only did we have very similar impressions and spiritual takeaways from our respective trips to Nepal, but we shared a lust for travel in general, a passion for health and wellness, music, foreign and independent film and, more importantly, we seemed to have similar philosophies on many aspects of life.

In the course of our talking, he also told me how he had previously been married for 26 years, that he had met his wife as a late teen. He had a son and daughter, the latter graduating with a five-year degree this year, and I sat there me trying to do the math in my head. Okay, technically he could still be 45 or so, right? Not that it mattered.

The night progressed to the comedy club, where we were fortunate enough to actually see three humorous comedians. None of them made me want to cringe or throw tomatoes from my seat. Renaissance Man, as I have dubbed him for having a plethora of talents and interests in an array of fields, who laughed at all the appropriate times too, told me, “You have the greatest laugh!”

With his hand on my back, we made our way back up to the restaurant where a two-man band was playing. Again, fortune was on our side as these guys made up a phenomenal act. In addition to enjoying the music and our conversation with each other, I was also noticing how personable Renaissance Man was with everyone—male or female, young or old, waitress or performer, it didn’t matter. He praised them, asked them interested questions and you could tell made them feel good about themselves.

I told him I noticed this later in the car, after he’d paused in the middle of a surprisingly heated kissing session to say, “You are incredibly beautiful. Here,” pointing to the bare skin at my neckline, indicating my heart. “Here,” tenderly caressing my face. “And here,” he said pointing to the side of my head, making reference to my mind.

So, it seemed, was he.

After he dropped me off at home, with ideas percolating for future dates, curiosity got the better of me, and I logged into the site to see if I could still see his profile. That milestone birthday he recently celebrated certainly was a big one, I thought, laughing with surprise. But other than a few signs of enjoying the weather on his handsome face, one would hardly guess.

Ironically, I had just had a long conversation that week with a classmate of mine who was married to a man 20 years older than she (there’s less of an age difference between me and Renaissance Man, btw). “He looks so much better than a lot of men 10 years younger than he is,” she told me. “He is so full of energy, and we don’t even notice the age difference. He takes such great care of me, and we just are a great team.”

That, I thought, is what really matters.

I remembered how once Mr. Etiquette was around his kids, the 10 years of age difference between us that sometimes became apparent in his old-fashioned thoughts and occasional parental way of behaving, melted away instantly. While he was more mature than all the previous guys I’d dated before, he was also one of the most playful, and we had so much fun in the happy periods of our relationship together.

So I look forward to my second date with Renaissance Man tomorrow, and our third date on Saturday, and we’ll just take it day by day. If there’s one thing my years of dating has taught me, romance can sometimes come in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected forms.

Age is a question of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  ~Leroy “Satchel” Paige

With Matters of the Heart, Hope is Not the Destination

src: greatist.com

When I hopped back onto OkCupid a couple of weeks ago, my sole purpose was to reactivate my profile and prove to my ex—I-don’t-know-what-he-was—and, yes, to myself that I was truly completely finished playing games. I was done pretending to be a couple on the weekends, kind of friends during the week, when the only true commitment we had was sexual exclusivity and a reliable activity partner. Because when I pulled myself away long enough, I realized that’s all we really were anymore, and ending the charade didn’t hurt me as much as staying in it did.

OkCupid was how we were introduced, and so I decided OkC was where I would officially make my exit. I wasn’t expecting anything more would come out of turning my profile back on than that.

I certainty was not prepared for the fact that within a couple of days, a man from one state over, originally from another country, would send out a teaser that I would be unable to resist. Not only did this man greatly appeal to my visual senses, he was also educated, athletic, and social, appearing to be kind, funny, playful and “deep”. His emails went beyond the surface questions, and his curiosity about me led him to play detective in the cutest of ways.

Yet keenly aware, now more than ever, that appearances can be deceiving, I was grateful that the weekend he asked to meet for the first time was the weekend I was leaving for a week’s vacation. I could get away from the dramatic backlash that somehow I had allowed myself to fall into (and let’s face it, help create) from the “breakup” with the ex-something-or-other. And I could also see if this new fellow would find someone else to become entranced by in the days to follow.

What I discovered during my relaxing, sunny days away surprised me. One, I realized that as much as I was disappointed by—and in some ways, disgusted by—what went down with the ex, I also felt sorry for him seeming to be stuck in this phase of his life. I realized that being angry with him wasn’t going to change anything about the situation, and this period together, just the few past months, were really just a teeny drop in the ocean of my life. I could just…Let. It. Go.

The second thing I discovered was that my new pal from OkC was really becoming a new friend. Our communication was becoming more personal, more open and even a little flirtatious. I found myself really looking forward to coming home because that meant my date with him was right around the corner.

We’ve all had terrible blind dates and so-so blind dates. But I was unprepared to have my expectations blown away—in the very best way. Not only was he even more attractive in person than his photos could really give justice, which were really darn cute too…but he was also the absolute gentleman, incredibly perceptive and sensitive, a great listener, funny and just the right amount of flirtatious. At the end of the date, he asked me to play him some songs, which he enjoyed. Then, saying he was worried he had tired me out, he gave me a hug, said he hoped we would see each other again and left.

To be honest, as amazing as our time together had felt, I worried the rushed end of our date meant I had somehow had been reading things incorrectly. Apparently, thankfully, I was wrong. After a few tentative texts back and forth later that night, we had plans set for the next day as well.

I really don’t want to try to describe how lovely our next date was; words can’t fully capture how truly wonderful it felt. To say that we talked for hours about things that really mattered to us growing up, that matter to us now and that we envision for ourselves in the future is oversimplifying it.  We felt accepted and understood, after baring bits and pieces of ourselves, and surprisingly close to one another afterward.

IF-Caution by Karee Barrett

Even though he revealed a few of his own insecurities, which is part of the reason he left so abruptly the first night—he apparently thought I wanted him to leave—and even though we had two great dates, and even though we’ve been keeping in touch whenever we can this week, my guard is still so way up. On the one hand, this is probably a very smart thing since we are just starting to get to know one another. One the other hand, this is someone new who shouldn’t be silently questioned and doubted at every turn just because of someone or something that has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Yesterday I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day than to wake up to his email, which read, “Hello my little sunshine!” I carried that happiness in my pocket, took it to appreciate it in between my work, and then tucked it away again for later. All through the day, he reached out to me, making me feel connected.

Today, I woke up, and there was nothing. I went through the day with one voice telling me, “He’s just really busy,” and the other voice saying, “See, I told you so.” There was no email or text to dispute the argument, and the people in my life were just as conflicting. I tried to pretend like it didn’t matter either way. There were plenty of more fish in the sea.

And then, finally he emailed me apologizing for making me wait so long, telling me how busy his day had been, commenting on all the important things from my last email. He ended with: “Any plans for the weekend already? Would you like to meet again?”

He earns extra brownie points for asking me out on Wednesday, but even more for reminding me it’s okay to still want to believe.

Do you become vulnerable putting yourself back out there like that again? Yes, there’s no question about it. But you also become available for something potentially beautiful. Could you get hurt? Yes. Could you potentially find love? No one knows for sure; possibly so.

Is it worth the risk? Sometimes fear of being hurt is enough to put down screeching brakes. Maybe you’re simply not ready to put yourself out there yet, or this person just isn’t worth chancing it. Trust your intuition, ignore the noise. Sometimes, hell yeah, it’s worth throwing yourself in the race.

So for now I will proceed with caution, but I won’t be afraid to enjoy the journey and hope for happy trails ahead.