9 Truths of a Perfect First Kiss

The first kiss is often unpredictable. When is the right time? Should it be a light kiss or a deep one? Do I need to ask for permission?
The fact of the matter is that there is no right or wrong answer. Men and women often want different things – romantically speaking here. But we can never be so sure. We decided it was time to take this matter into our own hands and ask our CMB members what they look for in a first kiss. What we found? The perfect first kiss isn’t so different for everyone after all…
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About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a dating app designed with women in mind. Founded by 3 sisters in 2012 in NYC, CMB aims to deliver a fun, safe, and quality dating experience that results in meaningful relationships.

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Cuddling Is Good For You Because Science (…But Really)

Note: The post was written by Laura Argintar and was originally posted on Elite Daily.

It turns out there really is some science as to why your sorry, single self is going to bed at night alone and waking up miserable.

We’re probably not the first people to tell you this — and don’t get all offended when we do — but you need to find a partner. According to collective research by Andrea Petersen in The Wall Street Journal, sleeping with a partner in the same bed provides an array of health benefits. And it doesn’t stop there.

Some scientists hypothesize that sleeping with a partner may be a prominent reason people in intimate relationships tend to be in better health and live longer than sad and lonely singletons.

Sharing really is caring after all, at least when it comes to your sheets. The new study challenges previous findings that women don’t sleep as well with someone else in their bed and that both sexes move around more when sleeping together.

While this may be true, according to Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, “the psychological benefits we get having closeness at night trump the objective costs of sleeping with a partner.”

So maybe don’t be so quick to f*ck ‘em and chuck ‘em next time, ya feel?

Here’s another reason to love your partner more: Sleeping together promotes feelings of safety and security, which may lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

“Sharing a bed may also reduce cytokines, involved in inflammation, and boost oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that is known to ease anxiety and is produced in the same part of the brain responsible for the sleep-wake cycle,” suggests the WSJ.

Perhaps if you’re feeling anxious before a big exam or presentation, you should give your cuddle-buddy a call — like a booty call 2.0.

And if you’re still single, there’s another reason to feel worse about yourself (no, it’s not about skipping a gym day).

Research also shows that women in stable relationships actually fall asleep faster and wake less frequently than single women or those whose relationship status changed during the study.

So if you’re going to cuddle your man, make sure you hang on tight and don’t let him go! Or else you’ll be single, cranky AND tired.

The science doesn’t stop there though. If you want to really boost your relationship happiness, you and your partner should sleep naked.

It’s fairly intuitive; sleeping naked together builds a sense of closeness and intimacy, which in turn, strengthens your relationship.

A poll of 1,000 Brits revealed that 57 percent of couples who sleep in the nude reported being “extremely happy” in their relationships, while less than half of the PJ-clad reported the same.

The lesson? Even if you ate an entire feast of Chinese food that night, don’t be afraid to take it off. Take it all off.

Basically, science is telling us something we already knew: One really is the loneliest number.

About the Author: Laura Argintar is the Senior Women’s Writer at Elite Daily. Listed among her achievements are performing stand-up, graduating from the U of M and writing for her favorite publications. LARG enjoys covering women’s topics, watching celebrities self-destruct and rising to any occasion. You can find more from her here, or find her on Twitter @LARGTwITS.


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11 Reasons Why Buddy The Elf Is The Perfect Holiday Date

1. Buddy is always optimistic. 

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2. He admits when he’s done something wrong.

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3. He plans the perfect holiday dates.

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4. Buddy isn’t afraid to get excited. 

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5. He’s always supportive. elf

 

6. He’s genuinely interested in getting to know you. 

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7. He will go to great lengths to make sure tasks are accomplished.

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8. Buddy isn’t afraid of the “L” word….

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9. …and he isn’t shy to tell people how he feels about you.

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10. If you’re having a bad day, he is there to give you a hug.

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11. He’s willing to try new things, even if he’s scared.

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 ” I think you’re really beautiful and I feel really warm when I’m around you and my tongue swells up.”

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Cheers to one of the cutest Christmas couples!


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5 Ways To Sustain Your Relationship

According to a research carried out on more than 5000 women by Menshealth.com and Glamour magazine, it was discovered that 26% of women broke up with their boyfriends over too many arguments and conflicts, 18% broke up because there is no chemistry in their relationships, 14% found a better guy, 11%  broke up because the men cheated, 11% broke up when the men would not commit, 9% broke up because the men weren’t a husband material, 3% broke up because of lousy sex.
The research showed that a lot of relationship are breaking up each and every day because of different reasons as can be seen above. In this article, we will be taking a look at how we can sustain our relationships and keep it from breaking up.  Below are some ways you can do that.
1.  Fall in love again
One of the main pillars that keep a relationship strong is love. When there is no love between two people in a dating relationship, breakup is imminent.  The question is, how can you keep the fire of love burning? You need to keep falling in love over and over again. Do the things that attracted you to each other at the beginning of the relationship. Do those things that your partner loves seeing you do and you will keep the fire burning.  The problem with ladies is that, once they are in a relationship with someone, they assumed there is no need to fight for the man’s love again.  That is a very wrong assumption, you need to keep doing what he wants to make him love and respect you the more.
2.  Confront your problems.
There is no relationship that is devoid of conflicts. This is because the two parties involved were raised by different parents, environment, ideology etc. Therefore, there is bound to be differing opinions about things when they come together.  You must learn to confront and solve all these problems and not overlook them.  For example, if you are in a relationship with a man who doesn’t deem it fit to clean his house and just leave everything scattered and you on the other came from a home where everything should be in their proper places.  There will be a problem in your relationship, you need to sit down and educate each other about it.  Another problem that can ensue is the issue of money, if you come from a family where money is not an issue and you get what you need without lifting a finger and you are in a relationship with a guy who does not have it all, you will need to come down to his level to make it work. Therefore,  confronting all the issues in your relationship will clear things up and give you a headway.
3.  Enhance each other’s live
Relationship has gone beyond selfish desires.  You must learn to look for ways you can add value to the life of your partner. What does he or she likes doing? How can you help her/him do it better without much stress? For example, while I was dating my husband, he discovered that I love to browse the internet and write.  He went ahead to buy Internet marketing magazines for me to get more knowledge about the stuff and turn it into a money making business. I started reading and getting ideas on how to start freelance writing online.  Since I love writing and browsing, it was easy for me to turn it into a money making venture and that is what I am doing today.  I still get to do what I love and make money from it.  I don’t see it as a job, but as a hobby and I am able to contribute to the family financially.  That is what I am talking about.  Look for ways to help your partner develop his/her passion and your relationship will grow stronger and stronger.
4.  Respect and Honesty
Being in a relationship with someone does not make you his/her subordinate. It is a mutual thing and you must respect each other’s values, opinions, way of life etc.  You can’t talk down on your partner simply because you are a man.  That is not a good way to show your manliness. Respect should be reciprocal, respect her and she will respect you.  Honesty is another value that you must uphold in your relationship.  Don’t cover up things that can be exposed later and cause problems.  Let your partner know who you are right from the beginning.  There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, no matter how long it takes.
5.  Care for the other person as much as yourself
Sometimes in a relationship, a partner may be too consumed about his/her need that he will forget to look after the other person.  For a relationship to triumph, you must care for one another. Look out for each other’s interest and guide it jealously.  Don’t be the only focus in the relationship, it takes two people to make a relationship work.
Are you ready to make your relationship work?  Then, follow the points highlighted above and your relationship will keep growing stronger and stronger.



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Sunday Funday: The Underlying Rules of Dating a Football Fan

Are you into football but dating/interested in someone who isn’t? Or vice versa? It’s NFL season and this means potential recipe for disaster.
Being a die-hard female football fan (Yes boys, I am single!) with a lot of non-fan friends, I know exactly what you are going through.  There are a few pet-peeves that really get to me when I am trying to watch the game with my friends. Whether they are guys or girls, if they don’t have a passion for football, I am generally annoyed with them each Sunday.
Non-sports fans! Here are 8 ways you can impress/support your sports fan dates – trust me, they will love you for it.

1. Never ask “Why Do You Care So Much?” 

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“Why do you like bacon?”
“Uhhhh…cause it tastes good”
That’s pretty much how we feel about football. There is no straight answer.

2. Act Interested 

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While you don’t want to seem too fake in caring, at least pretend to act interested. That can be as simple as just sitting there, clapping when they claps, or wearing a jersey.

3. Don’t Schedule an Event During a Game

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Here is what will happen. Your Bagel will either:
A. watching it on their phone all day
B. constantly checking score updates
C. frequently slipping away to “go to the bathroom” or
D. in a horrible mood because you made them miss the game.

4. Wear His Jersey or His Teams Apparel (NEVER BUY THE PINK JERSEYS)

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While this may just be a personal preference but ladies, PLEASE NEVER BUY THE PINK JERSEY! Yes, it’s cute and pink is a fabulous color but it has no place in the football world (minus breast cancer month).

5. Don’t Discuss Other Topics While Watching the Game

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Imagine you’re watching your favorite show and your Bagel is talking throughout the whole thing… how are you going to feel?

6. Never Be A “Fake Fan” 

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There is nothing more obnoxious than someone pretending they know what they are talking about. It’s better to say nothing than to say too much in this situation.

7. Be Supportive of Their Team 

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This speaks for itself… Never root for another team (unless you really are a true fan) or talk crap about their team. Just be supportive and get excited when you are supposed to get excited.

8. Invite Their Friends Over to Watch the Game

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Inviting their friends over for the game and being a great host is for sure going to score you some major brownie points! Have beer, chips, salsa, and pizza/burgers ready to go! This is not the time to worry about their health.
 
If you liked this post, read “Top 13 Qualities That Every Guy Wants In A Girlfriend


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The 3 Men You Should Date Before Settling Down

If dating is a game, I like to think it’s a bit like Bingo.
It has a sense of surprise, an unknown timeline, an individual way of keeping score, a huge payout and a bunch of ladies having fun with the balls.
And those ladies are doing it right.
Just like in the dating world, the best players keep an open mind about whatever comes their way.
I’ve learned that each number the dealer calls yields a purpose and each date you go on helps get you one step closer to a long-term partner. The more numbers you play with, the better your odds.
So keep an eye out for these very-real numbers. These three men will teach you things you need to know on your journey to Jackpot – and make the trip that much more fun.

The Three Men You Should Date Before Settling Down

The International Man of Mystery

Who is he: wealthy, foreign, seductive.
Whether it’s his smooth accent or worldly knowledge, the International Man of Mystery instantly thrills you. He is the kind of man to pursue you aggressively, confidently and without instruction. The International Man of Mystery doesn’t ask you out; he tells you where to be, when to be there, what to wear and what to order. Your conversations about your different backgrounds and perspectives serves to not only enlighten you, but make YOU feel more exotic and interesting. While you easily get caught up in the whirlwind, you know you’re never the only woman in his life. This globetrotter is a man of the world, and from him you learn you want to be more than someone’s layover.
End it when: He proposes a threesome; he travels for business, never to be heard from him again.

The Expiration Date

Who is he: trustworthy, teaching, a true friend.
Dating the Expiration Date is like starring in your own coming-of-age movie. He teaches you things you’ve always wanted to know and does things with you you’ve always wanted to try; helping you move from point A to point B in life. He is exactly who you’d want to wind up with, except for that one “but.” …But he’s moving. But you’re moving. But you’re not ready yet. But your families won’t get along. For some reason, it has to end and it will end. And because, ultimately, it won’t work out, every interaction you share is that much more heightened and noteworthy. When eventually you part for good, you’ll feel heartbroken and also wiser. More ready for whatever’s next.
End it when: time runs up; there’s no denying there’s no future.    

The Peter Pan

Who is he: excitable, hero-obsessed, mama’s boy.
Being with the Peter Pan is for the time in your life when you start thinking about taking care of someone else. His youthful outlook and silly humor brings out your nurturing, wise and mature side. He makes you feel comfortable in your ability to be a caregiver. Because it’s not that the Peter Pan doesn’t want to grow up, it’s that he wants to jump from the care of his mother to the care of his girlfriend or wife. Though he may have a successful career, grown-up possessions or manly features, you’ll eventually see his dependency for what it is. And you need someone who can equally care for you back.
End it when: he makes you do his laundry; his mother yells at you
 
NOTE: We acknowledge at some point, some women WILL settle down with these types of men. And we wish them luck.

Feeling ready for love? Read the 38 Times Love is the Best.


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Don't Give Up So Easily

It takes time. Don’t expect that you’ll find your man/woman of your dreams on your very first connection.

I’m sure you have a close circle of friends you share your victories and defeats with, and I’m here to be just one more encouraging voice amidst your friends.

Dating is hard and its tough.

I know that reality and truth all too well. Regardless of whether you’re online dating or dating people you know in real life, its challenging. If you’re really putting yourself into it and putting yourself out there, then you’ll discover that online dating is no less painful than dating people you know in real life.

Maybe you have no problems getting dates.

Maybe those dates go well and don’t ever blow up in your face.

Maybe you’ve only been on good first dates, but have seldom moved on to a second date. Or maybe you’ve only been on dates that are nothing short of disastrous and are wondering if men even know how to date anymore. Maybe you wonder if women know how to identify a quality guy anymore.

You could be frustrated, you could be bitter, you could feel hopeless. You secretly fear that you’ll be the most amazing person who remained single either his/her entire life as you live amongst cats.

You may think that there’s nobody out there for you.

You may think that online dating sucks and you were actually happier not dating, not just people in real life, but not dating at all.

Don’t give up.

Don’t give up hope.

She is out there, somewhere.

He is out there, somewhere.

Because once you find that love, you won’t need to hope for it anymore.

If you quit, you can’t win.

If you keep going, you can’t lose.

Don’t throw in the towel. Just because you’re online dating doesn’t mean this somehow makes dating any easier in the long run. It makes it easier to get started, but the process itself is still rough. The process is still tough, still requires patience, and at the end of the day, process still doesn’t happen over night.

I haven’t been on a single terrible date through Coffee Meets Bagel. Every single girl was of a high caliber and quality. They were all intelligent, motivated, and driven. They were all women of high moral standards.

Don’t blame the app. At the end of the day, you still have to put in the work.

These were my feelings at various stages through using Coffee Meets Bagel. I don’t have those thoughts anymore, all because I kept going. I didn’t give up and I had faith.

I now have a good reason not to use Coffee Meets Bagel.
My story to be told later. =)


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8 Ways Dating Is Like Starting Your Own Business

If you’ve ever attempted to freelance or start a small business, then you know that only one person is responsible for your successes and/or your failures – you. There are certain things that you need to do. You need to dress well – not that Armani suit, but you should be presentable. You should be able to converse on a variety of topics without appearing to have ADHD. You should also be yourself.

1) You need to be a bit shameless about self promotion.
Put yourself out there. You can’t get a date if you don’t talk to people. Don’t count of referrals or your friends to introduce you to amazing people. I’m not saying to throw yourself in front of every pair of legs or every handsome face, but at least make an effort. To make a solid effort you’ll need to…

2) Distance yourself from the pack.
Separate yourself from the rest of the general population. Why are you the best things since sliced bread? Why are you different than the guy that’s been trying to hit on every girl that walks up to the bar? You’ll need to put your uniqueness on display a little bit. If you’re good with your words, use them. If you can make non-creeper eye contact, do that.

3) Marketing
Do you have skills? What are your interests? Have more going on for you than good looks, spartan abs, and a salary. Sure, sparks can fly early on, but I’m pretty sure you can’t sustain that kind of emotional intensity in the long run. Have intangibles that let the other person you’re seeing see that there’s long-term potential here. Speaking of long term…

4) Have vision.
You need a business plan. You need a mission statement and this ties into legacy. You need purpose. You can date for the hell of it, or you can be in it to win it. I’m not suggesting you propose to her after three dates and I’m not suggesting you talk to him about baby names after four or five dates. I’m saying this mostly so that you can crystalize for yourself what your motivations are for dating. Be prepared, because…

5) You will be rejected often, get used to it.
You may be awesome, but it won’t stop people from not giving you an opportunity for you to put your awesomeness on display. That’s their problem, not yours. Be secure in who you are and what you have to offer. Know that they who just outright rejected you never gave you a chance and have missed out. So what if no one has clicked ‘Like’ for you in a month? You wouldn’t be moping around because some company won’t grant you an interview, right? You just move on to the next one. And…

6) You will fail often, get used to it.
You will get opportunities. It looks good at the beginning. The two of you click, finish each other’s sentences, and share many common interests and activities. Things couldn’t be going any better for the both of you. But over time, things start to dip and the happiness you used to share is no longer happiness. It could even happen suddenly. Things are going swimmingly and in a moments notice it all comes crashing down like the floor beneath your feet. What happened? You never saw the breakup coming. You were blindsided. It happens to the best of us. No one ever went very far in life in any pursuit without failing. It’s about bouncing back and recovering from the experience. Instead of sulking in misery over your failure, just know that…

7) You won’t be wildly successful right away.
Much like #5 and #6, the first person you go out with is probably not going to be the one you attach yourself to and walk down the aisle with. It will take time, not months, but years. If you’re in it to win it, it means you’re willing to accept the wait. Great friendships don’t happen overnight and neither do great romantic relationships that lead to marriage. If you’re doing dating and online dating right, it’s really hard work to get there and you need to keep doing the hard work to stay there. Every so often you need to step back and conduct a…

8) Performance Review.
I’m not suggesting you audio record your dates and analyze the audio and wear a lapel cam so you can analyze her body language with what you say to her, but you need to objectively evaluate how you’re doing with the various types of women you’re going out with. Do you notice trends? Is there a pattern with the kind of women you’re going out with and is the outcome of all those dates unbelievably predictable? Be in the moment and be aware of what he/she does in response to what you say and do. Be objective and not overly critical of yourself! The right person will like you for you!


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It’s Not Me, It’s You; Featuring 12 Ways To Make It Through A Nasty Break-Up

“Pull yourself together!”  My mom scolded me, exasperatedly.  I sobbed into my flip phone – barely able to enunciate my dramatic declarations of despair.  There I sat: cowering in the corner of the living room, my chest heaving forward with every exaggerated breath I took.  My head fell into my hands and for an instant I felt like a mangy mutt as I stroked my matted hair I’d neglected to wash for days.  I surveyed the dimly lit room, strewn with old boxes of Chinese food, empty bottles of wine and ash trays filled to the brim with half-smoked cigarettes.  My body felt hollow, lifeless and at the risk of sounding cliché, my heart hurt.  I can remember how I felt so vividly, because the feelings were so powerful, so debilitating, so unshakable.
Day after day, I went through the motions: peeling myself out of bed in a cloudy haze, brushing my teeth in slow, lackadaisical motions whilst taking note of my weary face (illuminated by pale puffiness) in the mirror.  I remember pushing myself into the shower, deliberately standing directly underneath the showerhead as it rained scalding water hot enough to boil a lobster.  For me, the heat served an important purpose.  It was a distraction.  I welcomed the water as it fell onto me – it was in those moments I was able to escape from the emotional pain I felt every. second. of. every. day.  I’d sit in my car in the parking lot during my lunch break and cry for a half an hour straight with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here blaring.  Then I’d wipe away my tears, dab under-eye concealer onto my dark circles, go back into work only to fake it until I could make it to the end of the day when I could get home and drink copious amounts of wine straight from the bottle in an unsuccessful attempt to numb the pain.
Now that I’ve really overshared  gotten your attention and given myself massive anxiety about said overshare  let’s get down to business, shall we?  We’ve all been there (and if you haven’t then I am extremely jealous and don’t think it’s fair happy for you and respect your good fortune) and can probably remember our first break-up pretty clearly because it FUCKING SUCKED.  Why?  Because someone who was once a huge part of your life suddenly wasn’t.  That’s tough to swallow.  (That’s what she said.  Also, I am 13.)  My first break-up marks the time when I realized why there are so many corny songs out there about lost love and oh my god typing those words will give me nerd chills for the next fucking month.  I can remember wondering to myself how in the world people got through divorces if I could barely get through this juvenile little collegiate break-up that at the time seemed like the fucking apocalypse.  I look back and don’t recognize myself and how utterly sad I was for such a long period of time and OH MY GOD I hope my ex isn’t reading this.  I was so desperate to find some kind of cure for my heartache, I’d ask anyone I knew with a pulse for advice, including the gas station attendant I saw weekly.  I’ve gleaned some pretty useful ways to cope with a break-up through my research.  Let’s begin:
1. Refrain from putting your ex on a pedestal.  He/she isn’t fucking Ghandi and in fact, he/she probably sharts, uses the acronym LMFAO and can’t distinguish the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.
2.  Let go of all hope that your broken relationship is fixable.  There is a reason the ‘ship is dunzo and more often then not, once it’s over it’s not going to be repairable.
3.  Try not to use a word coined by Kristin Cavallari in the 2nd season of Laguna Beach.  Especially if you’re 31. (word in question: DUNZO)

            k-cav!

 4.  Try not to drunkenly bang random people.  It will just make you feel more empty inside.  If you’re really yearning to be touched, go get a pedicure and ask for a happy ending.   Or buy a vibrator.  Just don’t hole yourself up in your room with it for days a la Charlotte from Sex and the City.
pedi!
5. It’s fine to vent to friends about the break-up for the first few years couple of days following the death of the relaysh but then move on. The more you talk about it the more you think about it so just stop it.  Stop it right this minute!  (Fuck, I just sounded like my mom.)  Plus after awhile, you’ll begin to notice how disengaged your friends become especially when you’re on a plane with them venting about your ex for the 37563756th time and they begin to read the vomit bag.
6. Focus on other things.  Keep yourself busy.  Watch the news/buy a newspaper.  Read up on the ol’ fiscal cliff or foreign policy or ObamaCare or whatever the fuck it is adults talk about at cocktail parties.
7.  Smile and laugh like an asshole.  I am a recruiter so it’s my job to constantly smile, fake-laugh, be friendly and act like an all around jolly pig in shit despite whatever I’m dealing with personally.  Having to fake it actually makes me feel somewhat better.  Rent Planes, Trains and Automobiles, head to Dolores Park and purchase some happy chocolates, invite your friends over and giggle away.  It’s no secret that laughter is the breast medicine and if you don’t believe me then I resent that I guess that’s okay and there’s not much I can do about it.  Call me.
8. Let yourself be sad.  Spend time alone with your thoughts.  Allow yourself to experience the MANY FACES OF A BREAK-UP (but do remember to brush your hair and avoid the spray tanning place on Union Street) :
breakup1 breakup2 breakup3
9.  Join Tinder, match with the former Bachelor, go on date with said Bachelor, become nervous on said date, drink entirely too much, bid Bachelor farewell and go meet up with your friends who are just as drunk as you are and fill them in on details of awkward date.  Subsequently vow not to go on date with guy who starred in your favorite reality TV show who you already know everything about (right down to mannerisms (touches left forearm often), favorite song (David Grey’s “This Years Love) and dog’s name (Scotch.))  My point?  Go on dates – some may not go well but at least you’ll have great material for your blog  funny stories to share with your delinquent friends.
benF!
10. Reinvent yourself.  Get a cool new haircut or bikini wax (you know you’ve always wanted a lightning bolt etched onto your nethers).  Just make sure you find the right stylist and specify that you want them to “hold the orange”.  I went to the salon last week and requested the “Gisele” balayage highlights and I walked out resembling carrot top. Thank Christ I’m not going through a break-up because my new ‘do would’ve made me feel so much shittier.  I will share with you the before picture but not the after, because well, I’ve shared enough revealing information in this post.  *I will be heading back into the salon this afternoon in an attempt to rectify the situation.  I know you are riveted by this information.
yelp!!
CT!
 
11. Recognize all of your positive qualities.  Jot them down into a list form so you can reaffirm your attributes any time you begin to feel unworthy.  I constructed my list while I was in a meeting with my boss.  I had everyone in the room fooled into thinking I was furiously taking notes on the subject of not losing the bathroom key.   SUCKAS! (please click on picture for legibility purposes)
breast
12. Realize that things could be worse.*
 You could have lice. 
I will leave you with a break-up sentiment from the movie Swingers.  John Favreau’s character had fallen into a pit of despair on account of his girlfriend leaving him.  His friend tells him, “I don’t know man.  It’s like you wake up everyday and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn’t hurt at all.”  THIS is so true: when dealing with a break-up alcohol or a dildo TIME is your best friend for sure.  Tick tock.
And remember, if all else fails – you can always stay in bed all day surrounded my thousands of Haribo gummi bears – that always seems to make me happy when I’m sad.
bearz!!!
 


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Date For Yourself

I sat down to write this and thought for some time about what I had to offer you that was new. What can I tell you that I would want to read myself, that’s not fatigued, that’s not belaboured, that doesn’t tell you who to be or who not to be. And I realized, as Kerouac once so aptly put it, that I really have nothing for you but my own confusion. Nothing new but my unique experiences. I can tell you about bad dates, but in the end, what does that do for you really? Does that improve your own? I’m not so sure. I can wax poetic about theories and why it is you’re still single, but I’m single and I don’t know you so really what does that do? Not much. So what I wanted to share with you now are things that at times I wish I could convince myself of, but that I know to be true and I know to be helpful. I want you to stick with me through this and come out knowing that when you date, you need to do it for yourself and not for anyone else. Understanding the difference between “for” and “with” will be our goals. I know it takes two to tango, but it takes one person to start the music. Here are 5 thoughts to bring with you through the day. In Ingrid-speak, of course. And I hope they take you in a positive direction, with your own interests and preservation at the forefront of your adventures.
1) There is always a line of people telling you who to be and how to be it. They need to mellow out.
Everyone has an opinion courtesy of themselves regarding how you can live your own life. They’re quite good at doling out the advice, though often don’t take it themselves. While it’s usually well-intentioned and comes from a good place, sometimes you need to block that noise out until you understand that you are the only person that is living your life. That includes dating. There are going to be times that you’re with someone who wants someone else. The reality of the situation being they want themselves to be someone else. Don’t take it personally. Recognize it for what it is and that its origination is not you. Move on.
2) It is human nature to detract in order to elevate. Know when to holler back.
Hear me out. In my old age (not really but whatevs) I have learned that some people are wonderful. Hang onto those people forever, because not everyone is. The need for self-preservation creates in human nature an instinct to put others down in order to help yourself rise. You have to walk away from it. Know your friends, but know your enemies. And know it’s ok to have enemies. I’m serious. When you are dating someone and they put you down in front of other people, that has nothing to do with you. And you need to walk away. What person ever looked better by telling others that their significant other sucked? Have you thought about it that way? Healthy-minded people not only keep good people around, but they know that elevating those close to them elevates themselves through improved relationships and association. If someone you love is putting you down, they don’t love you back. They think to shine brighter they need to dull what you’ve got going on rather than appreciate how good they look in the reflection. I call bullshit. Leave that in the dust.
3) Sometimes it’s hard to understand it’s not your fault. Genuinely.
Remember the scene in Good Will Hunting?  Where I’m going with this is you will encounter significant others that perhaps are innately good people. But they cannot handle accepting that they have hurt you through their own actions. And subsequently, the implication becomes that it must have been something you did that caused this hurt to happen to you. This is a toughie. It’s the rare person that has the wherewithal to step outside of themselves and see a situation for what it really is, or what it really was. Brutally hard, sometimes. Ultimately though, this can really bring your soul down. Because you leave thinking you create your own hurt, and that’s not true. And shame on anyone for making you think that. Point blank, they need to grow up and get it together. They will do that to someone else. These are “good” people but they are superficially good. We’ve all met them, a great many of us have dated them. They cannot accept they’ve inflicted hurt and intentionally or not, create scenarios that deflect and create doubt in their partner’s mind. At the end of the day, you need to know it’s not your own fault. It’s. Not. Your. Fault. Now there are things that will be your fault, for sure. But finding the balance between accepting hurt you’ve caused and that which you did not is one of the most important things I think you can ever hope to do. Because it enables you to know when you are not responsible for the pain you feel in a given situation. We all struggle with this, it’s ok to fail sometimes.
4) It’s alright to NOT be the nice one.
Ok. This one’s huge. I hardly love conflict. But at the same time, I don’t run away from it. There are things I will let go, and I’d like to think that at this point I’m better at choosing my battles (though bad manners still just grind my gears… oh no, here I go). However. It is A-OK to sometimes have to be angry with someone. I know that right now I sound like a grade school teacher. But this is something we all, especially women, need to work on every day. If we’re angry, we’re “crazy”. Frankly, that shit’s gotta stop. I don’t like to have to tell someone where to put it, but frankly if they cross a line, it is absolutely ok to let them know that it has been crossed. Now this is a two-fold situation, because sometimes not only do you have to work on mustering up the initial criticism part, but then you need to gauge their reaction and hold your ground. HOLD. YOUR. GROUND. I have totally had it out so to speak only to have a person come back and tell me that I must be nuts, I must be too sensitive, I must be anything other than correct. Because you know what? If I WAS correct then they would feel shame, and most people cannot deal with that. Similar to above, there are people that cannot handle feeling that they have done something wrong, and you know what? Tough.  Absolutely know where you draw your lines, and understand why you draw them. If they are valid, then they are valid and don’t let the personification of shame that gets thrown back at you tell you otherwise. You and your points rock. That’s all she wrote.
5) Be Kind.
This may seem like we’re all over the map, but I promise it’s all related. I spoke just above about having to not be the nice one so why am I telling you to be kind? Because not being nice on occasion hardly equates to not being a kind person. Just because you have ethics and stand by them doesn’t mean that you aren’t a kind person. In fact, that is exactly what that means. When my dad was alive, I used to marvel at how he treated everyone exactly the same. I try to do that when I am with all the very different people I encounter day to day. I try my best (it’s not always easy, I totally hear you) but I know that they don’t know what kind of day I had, so I probably don’t know what kind they did. It’s that simple. So take this into your dating life and try to remember that while you date for yourself, it is a two way street. And trying to create understanding while maintaining your own principles and self, will get you where you need to be. More bees with honey as they say. I think that’s what they say.
To close out, try to just remember that things happen to everyone, and sometimes they’re good, and sometimes they’re very hard. It all makes you who you are, and you choose moving forward how that affects your interactions with others. Everything is an adventure and a lesson to get you to a point where you know and understand yourself so you can know and understand others. So have a great rest of your day and know that when you struggle, others do, too. And when you succeed, even when it’s small, count the victory and recognize a new element of who you want to be moving forward.

palahniuk

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