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**

Are You Really Ready to Love In Sickness and In Health?

Are You Really Ready to Love in Sickness and in HealthA Picture of Illness in Action is Worth a Thousand Words

In the year and a half that the Warrior Poet and I have been together, I’m managed to keep this part of me hidden from my love. It wasn’t a conscious decision for me to hide it from him; it just turned out that way. He just happened to catch me in a mostly good spell. And while I had occasional flare ups outside of his company, I had never showed signs of my movement disorder in front of him. He never had to see me at my weakest.

I never had to ask him the question I’d wound up having to ask several men before him: Are you really ready to love in sickness and in health?

Read the rest of my article at Singles Warehouse to find out if WP is ready to step up to the plate:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/11/really-ready-love-sickness-health/

How to Address the Dubious Sexual Double Standard for Women

sexual double standard for women

Src: flickr/JimmyBrown

Much of the discussion over the racy (or raunchy) VMA performance by former Disney star Miley Cyrus has focused on whether it was pointlessly over-the-top, whether it was morally irresponsible for a star with so many young fans, and even on whether her allegedly crude gestures and antics were offensive to black people. These are all interesting topics to debate, and I have elsewhere at length. But one thing that is also pressing on my mind is how to address the dubious sexual double standard for women today.

Blurred Lines On Young Women’s Behavior

There are more blurred lines for young women growing up today than what’s in Robin Thicke’s slick pop song, but some of his lyrics help shed light on the problem. Thicke croons that he’s going to take a good girl who <i>must</i> want to get nasty because of the wild way she behaves. The way she dresses is a green light for him to come in and “liberate” her from the type of lover who “tried to domesticate” her. Does this sound familiar to anyone else in today’s dating world? How many of us have just wanted a fun night out on the town, decked out in high heels and bare legs, simply looking to feel sexy while out dancing with friends, when we’ve run into the guy who wouldn’t believe us when we asserted, “not interested!”

Go to Singles Warehouse to read more about the

The Dubious Sexual Double Standard for Experienced Women

Can You Ask to Bring Your Love to a Wedding?

CanYouAskToBringYourLoveToAWeddingSummertime is finally here, and with it comes the annual parade of graduations and weddings. The Warrior Poet and I went to his cousin’s graduation party last weekend, have another cousin’s wedding coming up in September, and one of my cousins living a couple states away is getting married in August. Yet I came up against a wedding etiquette conundrum the other day: When in a committed relationship, can you ask to bring your love to a wedding if the invite is only for you?

WP’s invitations to the wedding and Jack-and-Jill party included a “plus one.” My invitation, which was actually part of my parents’, did not. This absence instigated a humorous battle between my parents that has stretched over several days.

Find out how I decided to handle this sticky situation on Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/06/can-you-ask-to-bring-your-love-to-a-wedding/

Vote For Me While I’m Still ‘SingleInMy30s’

2013BestNicheDatingBlogYesterday I woke up to the exciting news that this blog, SingleInMy30s, was a finalist for the Best Niche Blog of the Great Dating Blogs 2013. I’m honored to be chosen especially as this blog hasn’t seen quite as much activity this year as in previous years that I’ve been writing it. Those of you who have been on the journey with me for a long time remember my online dating play-by-plays, sharing the crazy emails I’d get and my pointing out the far-out profiles I’d come across. You’ve been there when I’ve had my heart broken, when I’ve broken hearts, and you’ve been cheering me on in my quest for love.  You’ve even offered your support when I’ve revealed my health struggles. Some of you I have grown to consider friends, close friends. I can’t thank you all enough for for continuing to read this humble chronicle of my dating life, sharing in my joys and occasional sorrows.

I’m proud to be in such good company in the Great Dating Blogs competition. There are so many fantastic dating bloggers out there, truly, and you really should take the time to read some of their posts. Some are absolutely hilarious, some are incredibly inspiring, and others ponder great issues that we all wonder about but may be afraid to voice publicly.

VoteForMeThis may be one of my last years where I fit my particular niche of SingleInMy30s. While I’ll undoubtedly continue to write about my life, the content and tone will certainly be evolving. It would mean a great deal to me to celebrate and honor what has been a home for me here since January 2011. So consider clicking on that button to the left and vote for me under ‘Best Niche Blog’ of 2013.

Love, lust and romance to you all!

SingleInMy30s

Six Steps to Claim Your Sensual Confidence

SixStepsToClaimYourSensualConfidenceOne of my younger female friends reminds me a lot of myself before I came into my sexual confidence. Despite having the slim and fit build and striking looks envied by many women and admired by many men, her insecurity about having smaller breasts not only feeds her jealousy of her loving boyfriend’s perceived attraction to other, curvier women, but also interferes with her ability to fully accept his open adoration (and wild lust) for her physical self. A conversation we had one day inspired these six steps to claim your sensual confidence.

To Love Thyself Is To Know Thyself

And vice versa is also true. And knowing and loving thyself makes it so much easier for others to know and love you too! There is nothing more sensual than a person who is exceptionally comfortable in their own skin, recognizes their own strengths and talents, who knows what they like, and goes after (attracts) what he or she wants from life and from you.

Find out the rest of the steps on Singles Warehouse here:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/06/six-steps-to-claim-your-sensual-confidence-by-soloat30/

Can Anyone Find Me A Video Game For Cleaning The House?

Src: hellobeautiful.com

Src: hellobeautiful.com

Yesterday I found myself reliving a scenario common to just about any romantic couple living together. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in this position, so while it didn’t come as a complete surprise, I was still unsettled that it would come so soon after we’d moved in. After discussions he instigated that Sunday afternoon would be our day of doing chores and cleaning the house, I found myself left with the Lysol bottle while he disappeared to the computer.

I tried to fight any negative emotions that bubbled up as I scrubbed the kitchen sink, after washing the dishes. He had told me he’d take care of the kitchen if I took care of the other stuff. Yet as soon as we’d finished the lunch he’d doled out, he leaped from the room, down the long hallway, out of sight and out of reach.

I knew what he was up to. Earlier, after we’d come back from the gym, he’d told up me about this character he wanted to fashion in the last epic video game he promised himself he would play before retiring. While we were eating, he had put up the podcast we enjoy listening to—except while the speakers had my rapt attention, the boyfriend was panning through character descriptions from other video games for various attributes and powers that would fit his ultimate warrior. I asked him a question about the podcast, and he had no idea what I was talking about, so immersed in this other world was he.

With a kitchen full of dirty dishes and counters begging to be wiped down, I set to work. “Why do I get grime-scrubbing duty while he gets to play video games,” I asked myself.

“Because he doesn’t notice the grime,” I answered myself. Or after years of bachelorhood, he’s learned to overlook the grime for much longer than I care to.

Src: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Src: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

It’s not as if I hadn’t been forewarned. There are some things that my man is very good at, such as moving heavy things, reaching things at heights I can’t reach and he’s great at retrieving things for me when I am in the middle of something. And he takes care of his laundry, does most of the cooking and usually he will do his share of the dishes—though it may take longer for him to get to them than I’d like. He’s repeatedly told me he’s good at taking directions if I request help, though there are some things he won’t/can’t do well.

Yet as I found myself scrubbing down the bathroom and putting his forgotten laundry into the dryer, I couldn’t help having a smidgen of that old feeling of resentment. I know I shouldn’t. Right now, he’s financially responsible for everything, which I hope to fix very, very soon. Yet I remember old relationships where “We need to clean” always turned into me cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, buying groceries, etc.

I’m doing my best to remind myself that this relationship is very different from ones of my past. We have a loving partnership, in which he is very much invested in all ways. I know he will do his best not to take me for granted, as I will do everything I can to show my appreciation for all he does. Most of all, I have to remember that this wonderful man and I can communicate better than I ever believed possible for me in a romantic relationship. If I need help or need to see some signs he is pitching in elsewhere, I don’t have to be afraid to just ask.

How to Deal With Your Partner’s Ex Who is Still Hanging On

HowToDealWithYourPartnersExWhoIsStillHangingOnFrom the beginning, my boyfriend and I have been very open and honest with one other about our past relationships. He knows about many of the issues that led to the breakups with my biggest exes, and I know his perspective on what some of the biggest factors were that ended his last four-year relationship. He knew that I casually kept in touch with a couple of my exes, considering a couple actual friends, and I found out that occasionally he and his ex had text exchanges. It became apparent that she hadn’t moved on from him, though it’s now been almost two years since they officially broke up. Yet it never really concerned me because she’s never made a presence in my actual life…but that’s about to change. So now I’m left wondering how to deal with your partner’s ex who is still hanging on.

Read more here: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/06/how-to-deal-with-your-partners-ex-who-is-still-hanging-on/

On Singles Warehouse

When You Reach a Crossroad In a Relationship….

AreYouAnOstrichOrEagleAtRelationshipCrossroadSometimes the future sneaks up on you sooner than you predicted. You really have two choices when a serendipitous opportunity is right at your fingertips. You can hide your head in the sand like an ostrich, too overwhelmed with anxiety over the unknown to look it in the face —or in reality, sprint away from the situation with fear. Or you can raise your head, unfurl your wings, and trust where the wind will take you after removing the safety net of the well-trodden ground beneath you. When you reach a crossroad in a relationship, are you an ostrich or eagle?

Find out what the Warrior Poet and I are when a big opportunity comes across our path in a new post on  Singles Warehouse.

Judge Judy shares grown-up guidelines for moving in together

src: shutterstock

src: shutterstock

I was lingering after dinner the other night, with Inside Edition in the background (don’t judge—my parents always have it on leftover from watching the news the couple hours before), when I heard that something actually relevant to current circumstances in my own, real, non-celebrity life was about to be discussed. Surprisingly, words of wisdom were about to be imparted by that infamous courtroom reality star, and because it spoke specifically to the next stage of life I was entering, I was curious enough to listen. Yep, when Judge Judy shares grown-up guidelines for moving in together, I’m all ears.

Last month, Judge Judy released her book, What Would Judy Say? A Grown-Up Guide to Living Together With Benefits. In it, she pairs no-nonsense advice with humor about the highs and lows of moving in with someone before marriage. While some of what she shared were common sense tips that were emphasized by my live-in experiences from the past, there were a few that gave me pause.

Man is handing a house key to a womanWhile the judge recognized couples don’t find it romantic to set guidelines, she stressed the importance of setting down rules before moving in. Before you start joining together your lives and possessions even more, it’s important to consider important questions like this biggie: What happens if it doesn’t work out—who stays in the apartment?

“Write it all out, just so that there’s no wiggle room,” she advises on CBS This Morning. “There are courts for people marry and it doesn’t work out, but there are no courts for just living together.”

Judge Judy, who has been married three times, twice to husband Jerry, had three big rules for Inside Edition:

1. Keep your property separate

While Judge Judy believes you should split expenses in half, she has strong feelings about not having joint property. And she doesn’t mean to simply keep your bank accounts separate; she goes one step further: “No joint anything!  No joint dog, no joint time share, no joint car.” A big part of me has to agree.

My college boyfriend, with whom I lived, and I took several of the same courses. To save money, often he would buy books and course readers for a class, and we would just share them. This was all fine and dandy for my bank account at the time, but when we broke up, I was left with only notes from some of my most beloved classes while our books got dusty in his parents’ basement, never to be looked at again.

Yet that’s nothing compared to the next serious boyfriend after him. When I moved out, I left our shared CDs and DVDs, which actually wasn’t that bad since I’d burned most of the CDs before I actually moved out.  I left behind a powerful vacuum cleaner given to me that did so well with animal fur and dust. I also left the Tempur-Pedic California King-Sized mattress and bed that I’d purchased for us primarily because my body was in pain 24/7. The dog he later welcomed into the home after I left wound up chewing up the mattress. Grr!

287119554_d88909ba45_oAnd last, but most important of all—what cut me to the core—was that he wouldn’t let me take our two cats with me, despite the fact that he got them for me and despite the fact that it was I who fed them, cleaned up their mess, played with them, took them to the vet and loved them up more than he ever had and ever would. Thinking it was suitable punishment for me leaving him (and I think also thinking I could never leave the cats behind, thus I could never leave him), my ex refused to let me bring them home with me. Now they spend most of their time half-feral in the basement. My beloved boy has developed an autoimmune disease (like mama, like cat son) that causes his fur to fall off, unless he gets shots.

So yes, I get Judge Judy’s point.

 2. Postpone having kids until you have a wedding ring.

“I’m old fashioned in that respect,” she said. And she will have no disagreement from me. Still not 100 percent that having kids is even in the cards for me, I have no problem waiting until I am absolutely sure that their father is someone who I truly want to be in our lives for the long haul, and I know will be.

AND

3. Set a time limit for how long you’ll live together

This is such a huge one that I find so often overlooked. When so many of people my generation and younger go into living together as a trial run, the attitude seems to be when it stops being fun and starts being miserable more than 75 percent (give or take) of the time, that’s when you book it out the door. So people are living together six months… or six years.

For people who believe in marriage, after an extended period happily living together, the mind starts to roll over that quaint phrase my close friend Sarah gave me for some time in another relationship life, “He has to shit, or get off the pot.”

Src:Engagementrings.lovetoknow.com

Src:Engagementrings.lovetoknow.com

The problem is Judge Judy doesn’t advise how long a time limit you should set. And that totally depends on the individuals that make up the relationship and the circumstances in which they find themselves. I know one ex’s true colors didn’t truly start to come out in full force until about six months after living together, but with others, it may take a year or more, all depending how open, honest and intimate the relationship is in the first place.

So while I personally don’t have answers for that, I would probably say that for me, if I have been with someone for three years, and at least a full year or more of that time has been living together, I would seriously hope my partner knew by then if he wanted to marry me or not—and at my age, that’s being generous, ha.

I’ll give Judge Judy the last word, of course. “”I would say it’s wise—live together, give it an old college try, if it doesn’t work, move on,” she said. “And if it does, get married.”