Archive For The “Relationships” Category

Top 10 First Date Ideas

Top 10 First Date Ideas

Pairs Well With… A positive frame of mind + A glass of wine + The Great Love Debate

The overwhelming percentage of first dates usually falls into the category of one of these three: Dinner, Drinks, or Coffee.  Now I don’t consider coffee to really be a first date, more like a pre-interview to qualify for a first date.  Dinner and drinks are certainly dates, and good ones, but like coffee, they are basically exercises in sitting across from another person and interviewing them. And, because both the guy and the girl generally have a bit of a wall up on Date #1, that interview is sort of like a conversation that would take place in a jailhouse visitation center – it might as well be on the phone through glass.

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Single vs. Taken: A Comparison

Pairs Well With… Knowing what you want in life + Understanding your relationship potential

At various points in our life, we debate whether we want to be single or in a relationship. Am I ready?  Can I do this?  Do I want to do this?  Have I achieved what I want by myself? Am I a better version of myself when I have someone I love in my life?  Do I know myself well enough to be a good partner?  Will I get what I want out of a relationship?

First and foremost, before any of the above questions come into play, you must first understand which is more fulfilling and what works for your world.  And guess what?  It’s okay not to know.

Naturally, there are pros and cons to both ways of life, but the simple answer is what is in your heart, and what do you desire.  Are you happier single?  Or is the person you’re with make every day more worthwhile, memorable and lighthearted?

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10 Best Dating Lessons

10 Best Dating Lessons

Pairs Well With… “Wait for someone who keeps you sane, but also drives you crazy in all the right ways.” – Unknown

My first boyfriend’s name was Skittles. (Insert ridiculous joke here.) You can imagine how that one has followed me around for my entire life, and if you have the same kind of friends that I do, they won’t let you forget…that you dated a guy named Skittles.  I will caution you not to date anyone whose nickname is rooted in candy, gangster names or cartoon characters.  You will be the butt of jokes for years.

Name aside, there were many reasons why things with Skittles didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean I gave up in the dating scene.  I went on to date a series of men, each with their set of quirks, troubles, goals, life plans and bad jokes.  Some of these relationships worked out longer than others, but each taught me something about myself to take with me on my dating journey. It’s understanding and reflecting on our journey of the past that sets us up for future romantic success.  The better you know yourself and your feelings, the easier it will be to identify real, meaningful relationships when you find them.

These are the most important lessons I’ve learned in dating:

Open Heart, Open Mind: You cannot love if your heart is not open to significant experiences and your mind is not susceptible to new possibilities.  Sometimes the relationships that have the most staying power are the ones we never saw coming, the ones that fell into place naturally and sent your world into a different sort of orbit.  Stay tuned into what works for you, but most importantly, what feels right and comfortable.  You always want to feel like you can be yourself.

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Beneath Your Beautiful

Beneath Your Beautiful

Pairs Well With… “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande

If you’ve ever done a free fall before, you know that you are at the mercy of sixty seconds unknown, gravity and trust and that they all work together to get you to the ground.  It’s your job to trust the ground below you, and that you’ll land on your feet.

Remember that anxiety ridden, adrenaline rushing moment where you closed your eyes, took a deep breath, trusted and then after much internal debate, finally let go?  Almost like a free fall, but in your life?   Yes.  That was the moment you stopped being a heart guarding ninja and let your wall down to let goodness in.

In the dating journey, it’s not always easy to be freely unguarded, let alone trust someone you know so little about with your heart until you understand their intentions and what they are about. Memories of what went wrong and reflections of how we were treated in past relationships dance around present day feelings. When you’re guarded, you possess a heightened sense of awareness to ensure no one that can hurt you is let in. You are tuned into yourself and your feelings. Because you’re in such a state of high awareness, you’re also able to recognize the things you’ve been missing. Oh, the internal conflict…

I’m convinced that we build walls due to skepticism of unfamiliar people which in turn has us fighting off good things than surrendering to them. That is no way to live. On the contrary, I am constantly reminded that not all things we encounter in life are hurtful.   We’re all deserving of great things.  We should be fighting for the great things.

Sometimes we get stuck on repeat so long inside our heads that we choose not to or forget to change the tune because we feel more in control that way.  After a while, all you hear is white noise and background music, nothing you pay attention to.  It seems as though we put an abundance of effort into pretending we don’t care, suppressing feelings when we have “all the feels”.  Our energies need to be spent on emotional self-awareness and openness instead of fearing the following:

The Unknown:

The phrase “the best is yet to come” is an endless truth as we become wiser (one would hope) as we get older.  As we age, we see things differently and gain valuable perspective from our surroundings that sheds light on our daily interactions. You can’t know what’s on the other side if you don’t let yourself cross the bridge, and you certainly can’t let fear paralyze you from great opportunities.  Fear doesn’t get to win.

Gravity:

Despite channeling my inner Harry Potter superpowers, there’s not a time in my life where I can recall falling and being able to hit pause to regroup midway through.  My grace (or lack thereof) has even seen me meet a sidewalk or two in my time.  There’s no stopping the fall.  Gravity is concrete: you’re falling, or you’re not.  Now, take love for instance: you’re free falling (into it) because your heart is open and you are letting go, or you are clinging for your dear life because you’re in full force ninja mode.  Always take the chance.  You’re either loving or learning.

Trust:

Trust is the foundation for love.  It is built on time and communication and is found in small moments that hold extraordinary meaning and understanding. Trust is often associated with cheating, but trust is so much more.  It is sharing, understanding, empathizing, and most importantly, respecting.  Yes, the judgment that can come from sharings is intimidating, but the bond created through sharing is so much stronger. Always.  When in doubt, always trust yourself.  You know what you are doing, and you know yourself better than anyone else.

The sides of ourselves that we keep hidden deserve to be shown – because they are beautiful. They are a part of who we are.  Each day we need to trust that our hearts will be held with intentionality and care, and we will land on our feet.  Meanwhile, enjoy the free fall.

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