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February 23, 2017

How the Dating Scene Has Changed

Filed under: date, dating, friends, online, single, social — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 3:18 pm

By Damona Hoffman

If you’ve recently reentered the dating scene after a little hiatus that we call “marriage,” here’s some battle gear to help you prepare to date 2012-style. In the last 10 years, the dating scene has changed tremendously. When I met my husband online in 2003, meeting a mate through the Internet was still considered deviant — maybe even dorky — but now it’s how at least 20 percent of singles are connecting with their partners.

Fun fact: According to eHarmony, if you are over 50 your relationship has a better chance of success if you meet online ratjer than through other avenues.

Regardless of age, if you look around your social circle and see your friends coupling off — making you feel like you’re wearing a scarlet letter of divorce — you’re not alone. The good news is that meeting people is easier than it’s ever been before and there are now tons of matchmaking outlets that weren’t available before you tied the knot. But with all these options, it’s important to note that dating customs, trends and mores have shifted along with the changing modes of communication. From gender roles to technology, now that you’re back in the game, here’s some information need to know before taking a plunge into the dating pool.

1. Online Dating: What started with weirdos lurking in the dark behind sticky computer screens has become one of the top three ways to meet a mate. The expansion of mobile features, which allows you to access your profile on your smartphone, has made dating on the web even more accessible. Plus, with the advent of sites like HowAboutWe, which enables you to introduce yourself based on a clever date idea rather than a cheesy photo and opening line, daters are challenged to be more inventive. One of my clients recently said that she was excited to have a “How About We” date with a man who invited her over to reupholster his old chair. It didn’t strike me as particularly romantic, but it did catch her attention.

2. Social Networking: Feeling insecure about online dating? Wish you knew how many degrees away you were away from a blind date? There are plenty of sites and apps popping up that can help by tapping into your own social circle for dates, like Coffee Meets Bagel which gives you one match per day that is sourced from your friends-of-friends network on Facebook. There’s also TheComplete.Me, which allows you to create a Pinterest-like profile using your Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts to weave together a colorful tapestry of you. Or just go with an old-school personal recommendation on MySinglePeeps, where you can write and post a bio and photo of a friend for all the single world to see.

3. Meetups: These began as online communities for people to connect with individuals who shared the same interests. Now Meetups have become a major connector of singles. Some Meetup groups are specifically geared towards those looking for love, while other gatherings are for adventure-seeking pals with similar hobbies, who might just happen to be single. Either way, it’s a great venue to expand your dating portfolio.

4. Speaking Dutch: Sure, I may be a tad old-fashioned, but I don’t think it’s so prehistoric for a guy to buy a drink on the first date. However, for many men, apparently it is. Recently a female client of mine told me that after being asked out on a coffee date, the fella made her split the bill. A single man I interviewed countered by saying, “With online dating, you’re going out so much that you’ll go broke if you pay for every date.”

5. Non-Verbal Communication: As recently as five years ago, dates were invited and accepted over a much-anticipated phone call. Today, it’s more likely that you’ll be asked out via text or email. Some folks actually find a person-to-person call too forward now, while others believe picking up the phone wins the pursuer extra points. One of my clients shot down a guy because his first date invitation was an SMS. My advice is to ask your date how they like to communicate — simply expressing your interest in a direct manner goes a long way.

6. The Race To The Altar Is Off: If you were married and it didn’t end well, you might not be in such a hurry to tie the knot again. You’re not alone. The number of married Americans has plummeted 20 percent since 1960. So while you might have felt pressure to get hitched before, choosing to be single or cohabitating with someone you do not intend to marry (or living the cougar/vulture lifestyle) are all acceptable in any circles now.

All in all, the news is positive: If you’re divorced, there has never been a better time to be single. With new technology at your fingertips and social norms in a continual state of flux, you can write your own rules for the dating game and, armed with the weapon of knowledge, this time you’ll hopefully make a better match.

February 13, 2017

Regaining The Charm After Divorce

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:15 am

Once upon a time, I had a pretty traditional life: a husband, two beautiful children, a dog and a suburban house with a white picket fence — until I was blindsided with divorce. I suddenly found myself a single mom trying to uncover who I was again separate from my husband and was catapulted back into this thing called “dating.” I had a closet full of oversized black “mommy” tops, a bunch of nursing bras and neutral-colored Birkenstock sandals. Not a very appealing image. More importantly, I wasn’t feeling attractive and I didn’t know how to give signals that I was even interested in men. The last date I remembered having was going to a toga fraternity party with my college boyfriend. Boy, were things different! I didn’t know if I would ever get my groove back and feel like a sexy, charming and dateable woman again. This is where my journey began and it’s why I’m so passionate about helping men and women rediscover who they are, gain confidence and attract love.

Confidence is the number one element both men and women find attractive in each other. When you feel confident, you attract love and opportunity in your life. However, feeling secure when it comes to dating after divorce is easier said than done. One of the problems is that your identity has been linked with your spouse for so long that you forget who you are separate from that person. Despite its challenges, if you feel good about yourself and know what you want, finding love and dating can be easy. Getting back out there takes time, but there are a few things you can do to get started and regain some of those dating skills that have been dormant. Follow these easy tips so you can be on your way towards feeling more confident and charming.

Rediscover your passions: Do you remember all of the activities you enjoyed before you met your spouse? Often couples meld into each other’s lives to complement one another, which means sometimes giving up things you enjoy. It’s time to dig up the things that once made you who you are and get involved again. Perhaps there are hobbies, places to travel or extracurricular activities that you couldn’t do with your ex-spouse. Reconnecting with your passions will help you find the things that make you happy, focus on yourself and even meet other likeminded people.

Stop, slow down and focus on you: Right after divorce, many people try to numb the pain by quickly getting involved with someone else. That, however, is just a band-aid over a wound that needs time to heal. Slow down and don’t worry about getting into another relationship right away; take the time to get to know who you are again. Think of it this way — if you’re running a marathon and you want to get to the finish line, you can’t sprint the whole way. You’ll get hurt and fall short. Rather, you need to train, get your body in shape, run at a decent pace and take notice of your surroundings. That is what The Art of Charm helps clients do — train for the marathon so they can feel good about themselves and get to the finish line. Observe your environment. Create an energy that invites people towards you. For example, do you know if a women is looking at you? Make eye contact with and smile at women who are noticing you. Get rid of your tunnel vision!

Know your strengths: Most clients bring me a laundry list of what kind of woman they want and what qualities they must have. It’s great to think about the kind of partner you would like, but it’s more important to understand who you are first. Instead of focusing on the woman, focus on you. I tell my clients to write a list of their personality traits, all the things they are good at in their profession, what they offer in a relationship, physical traits, etc. This can be challenging for a lot of people, but I find that once people recognize their own strengths, getting what they want is a lot easier. This exercise also helps you come from a place of confidence so that when you are feeling anxious and uneasy about dating, you think of all the fantastic qualities you have and the insecurities go away. Knowing your strengths and accomplishments will also assist in getting clarity on who deserves you!

Have fun: It sounds so simple, but you need to let go of the urgency of finding that perfect partner right away. Interviewing several women on dates can be freeing and make dating fun. Find your inner child again by being playful and fun. Avoid interrogating your first date by asking a hundred questions to see if she meets your criteria for marriage. Instead, laugh, share stories, keep it light and ignite passion. Make her want more by showing the fun, playful side of you so that she’ll want a second date. You are not jumping into a relationship with anyone on a first meeting so just kick back and have fun. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know her if she is the right one.

Take Charge: A lot of anxiety, fear and insecurity may get brought out when returning to the dating scene after divorce. Because of this dynamic, it’s really important to do things to feel good about yourself. Women especially are attracted to men who can take a stance and have an “alpha” presence. So if you are a man, plan the date for the woman. Find out what her passions are, her favorite food or something playful that will make her laugh. By doing this, you will show that you are able to listen to her and she will feel that you are the kind of man who will take care of her.

Of course there are so many other ways to regain dating confidence after divorce. The whole point is to slow down and take baby steps until you feel you are in condition to run the marathon.

Pace it out, enjoy who you are, have fun and you WILL get to the finish line!

February 9, 2017

Too Much Or Not Enough?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 1:18 pm

College is the time when students break free of family restrictions and form a life of their own with new friends and relationships. On large campuses like FSU, young men and women are able to interact with all kinds of people.

With this new freedom comes the notion these relationships formed are more mature and closer to something that may result in a serious relationship.

Brenda Wilson of National Public Radio released a story in 2009 called Sex Without Intimacy: No Dating, No Relationships.

“The hookup is becoming a trend among young people who have entered the workaday world,” Wilson said in her article. “For the many who are delaying the responsibilities of marriage and child-rearing, hooking up has virtually replaced dating.”

College students have taken on the same mentality of hooking up—the more casual the better.

“Young people from high school on are so preoccupied with friends,” said Wilson. “They don’t make time for relationships.”

FSU senior Eric DeMott thinks women have the same expectations about dating that men do. He believes the casual relationship is desired by both men and women rather than what DeMott describes as an awkward situation stemming from unwanted advances in a high-pressure commitment.

“Both men and women want to have fun in college,” said DeMott. “Getting serious too soon makes the dating arena very complicated and uncomfortable.”

According to Wilson of NPR, dating itself has changed over time. It has evolved from courting, “where young women entertain gentleman callers, usually in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperon.”

Wilson stated as the 20th century approached, young couples started to go on dates to the movies or to dinner. She explains there was an expectation that dating, like courtship, would lead to a serious relationship. In DeMott’s eyes, men and women are prone to wanting casual relationships during their college years. He does not believe preference to casual dating is gender-based, but personality based.

“If anything, I think that our generation is too serious about being casual about dating,” DeMott said. “In a college town where there are so many people, there is a threat that you could limit yourself to one person and miss out on someone else. So relationships have a lot of pressure to be either very serious or very casual.”

In Wilson’s piece, Professor Kathleen Bogle of La Salle University says casual relationships and hookups happen in college, in particular among college freshmen, because they realize they will not be getting married for another five to 15 years. In FSU senior Stacie Milonas’ case, she found the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with through an initially casual relationship.

“Now, I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend Kris for nearly a year,” Milonas said. “When we first started dating, I did not think that I would be in it for this long-term until I realized that he was a perfect match for me. He understands and accepts all of my quirks.”

Deborah Roffman, who conducts human sexuality workshops, says in Sex Without Intimacy: No Dating, No Relationships, a relaxed attitude toward sex outside of relationships comes from women’s growing sexual independence.

“It’s not a new model,” Roffman said. “I think that most people would probably look back and agree that this has been a more traditionally, or at least stereotypically, male model.”

In the past few generations, women have become more empowered and hence, more casual.

“I really think that it is a personality thing,” Milonas said. “I have always been comfortable with the complication of juggling guys. I was young and that was fun for me, playing games and being able to be in control.”

Milonas also expressed she thought it was more common for guys to play games with girls then vise versa.

“It is a shock to them when you don’t care as much as they thought you should because you’re a girl,” Milonas said.

Roffman is sure women being overly casual is not the best way to demonstrate empowerment. Milonas believes our generation of women and men have lost the old tradition of courting. She also thinks we have a blurred understanding of the term. Milonas suggests women have always wanted romance while being accepted as an equal to men. In her four years of college, she noticed women take a more hands-on approach in their dating lives while wanting cliche romantic gestures from the man. It seems to Milonas, that men cannot understand what a woman wants unless she explicitly states her expectations.

“I think it is really important for women to vocalize their romantic needs to the man,” said Milonas. “It feels horrid to me that people have casual flings without knowing the person well enough.”

In 2001 the Institute for American Values did an 18-month study of the attitudes and values of today’s college women regarding sexuality, dating, courtship and marriage, entitled titled Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Mating and Dating Today. The consensus stated relationships between college women and men today are often characterized by either too little commitment or too much, leaving women with few opportunities to explore the marriage worthiness of a variety of men before settling into a long-term commitment.

In it’s study, the Institute for American Values stated, “As a result, the culture of courtship, a set of social norms and expectations that once helped young people find the pathway to marriage, has largely become a hook up culture with almost no shared norms or expectations.”

January 27, 2017

The Six Biggest Online Dating Mistakes Men Make

Filed under: dating, find, girl, online, photos, profile, women — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 3:16 am

By Alison Stephenson

The online dating world is a thoroughly competitive arena with thousands of lovelorn romantics all competing to nag a “wink” and a “kiss” and stand out from the cyber pack.

But talk to anyone who’s had a flutter on a dating site, and they’ll inundate you with a litany of horror stories from their experience.

And according to one online blogger, men are the worst offenders.

Ouiser Boudreaux, the ghost writer behind the A(n)nals Of Online Dating, a blog which shames the worst online dating offenders, says men are constantly making the mistake of not being their “best self” online.

“I get around 100 submissions a week and 80 to 90 per cent of those are from women about heterosexual men,” says Ms Boudreaux. “Of course women offend too but in my experience, it’s the men who have to do most of the blind initial messaging, so maybe it’s a law-of-averages thing.”

“You have a lot of guys who are trying really hard to set themselves apart and end up coming off as really weird or creepy, like guys who use pickup-artist techniques online,” Ms Boudreaux told AskMen. “And then you have guys who say or do things online that they would never do face-to-face, because it would be too awkward.”

Her advice to overcome this?

“Be nice. Be genuine. Be directly responsive to items in the profile of the woman you’re interested in. Keep the conversation appropriate and don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to a new ’real-life’ acquaintance.”

Here are the six most common mistakes men make when online dating:

POSTING UNREALISTIC, UNCLEAR AND PLAIN BAD PHOTOS

The number one trait women find attractive in men is BEING ATTRACTIVE. Keeping this in mind, for women there’s nothing worse than thinking they’re going to meet the Prince Charming they conversed with online, only to see Prince Charles turn up for coffee. Guys, you need to realise that lulling your potential date into a false sense of expectation is going to backfire the minute she meets the real you. Posting a photo taken 10 years/10 kilos ago which is not an accurate representation of your current self, will only make a bad first impression. First impressions are everything. Don’t blow it by disappointing her. Show her the REAL you and you’ll be more likely to find a match.

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

“Post photos with your shirt off (ugghh),” says online dater Heidi.

“Post photos of yourself doing extreme sports (can there really be that many heli-skiers in Sydney?),” she adds.

Post photos of the much younger, slimmer, fitter version of you (she’s going to find out your penchant for poptarts when she meets you).

Do:

Post a happy, handsome, recent photo. That’s it! That’s the brief! Stick to it and you’re more likely to end up with a perfect match #winning.

BEING “CREEPY”

Guys, how many times do we have to tell you? No one likes a creeper. While you may think you’re being smart, savvy or sexy by flooding a girl with persistent flattering messages – you’re actually being none of those things. You’re just setting yourself up as desperate, dateless and clutching at straws. Wait for the moment to tell her she is amazing and wonderful and your dream cyber girl – she’ll appreciate it more when she gets to know you.

Online dater, Lucy, 24, recalls her pet peeve: “Hands down worst online dating faux pas would be creepy persistence. Buddy, I’ve declined your invitation once don’t make me do it again. No amount of ’kisses’, emails, access to your hidden photos is going to make me change my mind. So please take a hint and be on your way.”

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

Inundate girls with weird persistent, creepy messages about how beautiful and amazing they are when they haven’t even responded your request. (this will be met with an immediate “back off”).

Be vulgar or overtly sexual when you’re getting to know someone (you’ll come off as only looking for one thing).

Use pickup-artist techniques online (they won’t work and they look rehearsed).

Ask girls to send you photos of them in bikinis (creeper alert!)

Do:

Be subtle and sincere with your compliments and your affection.

BORING HER SILLY

“Hey, what are you up to?” or “Hi, how was your weekend?” isn’t exactly going to set her world on fire. You sound like a teenage text addict with nothing better to do than check up on her. Read her profile carefully, comment on things, have a personality! Now we’re talking! PLUS rev up your profile a little. Sell yourself. This is a job interview for a relationship with a wonderful lady friend, after all. Describing yourself as someone who “likes to watch movies, hang out with friends” will only make you sound like the 103,470 other people with online profiles. Give them a reason to want to get to know you. Women want a guy with emotion, feeling and a little bit of romance. But DON’T forget tip number two, don’t be creepy in your brave attempt to overcome boring.

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

Write generic messages with “hi” or “hey” or leave no subject in the headline – be original.

Treat her like she is the same as every other girl you’re currently interested in – be thorough and thoughtful.

Do:

Get on with it already! (Make a move if you think she’s interested and then win her over with your humour and personality.

Read her profile carefully, ask questions, let her know that you’re interested in HER. Not just any woman with a heartbeat and online profile.

BEING A GENERAL DOUCHEBAG

This one sounds simple, but many men find it hard to avoid “douchebaggery” in their quest to impress. Yes you may own a yacht in the South Pacific, or you may be the reigning world fussball champion, but don’t put this on your profile. Give it time and don’t come off as holier than thou. You also might have great arms, but don’t flex your guns in your profile photo. A shirtless profile photo like that comes with an immediate warning to STAY AWAY (see tip one). Don’t write things like this either: “I will cuddle you until you file a restraining order against me. It is that serious. I will smother your a–.” Douchebag material.

One thing about men that annoys online dater, Heidi is: “Being super OTT about how much they earn and how amazing their lives are. There’s a lot to be said for just a little modesty guys! Also, I had this one guy say to me ’I like your tale… Let’s talk about caramels sometime?’ And another one say ’hey cutie we should talk. I’m bisexual, not sure you can handle that.’ Gonks.”

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

“Chest-beat” about your income or your success. Your lifestyle and the choices you make will reflect this.

Brag or boast or big-note yourself – you WILL come off as a douchebag.

Do:

Be modest. Modesty is the best policy.

NOT KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET AND BEING DISHONEST

Guys, you’re here to find a match. It takes two to tango, so actually read her profile and see if you are what she’s after. If not, you’re wasting your time. As Kaz puts it: “Actually read the girl’s profiles you are ’chatting’ with, don’t just look at their picture. If they specifically say they want someone aged between 25 and 30, never married and you are 45 and divorced with kids… really??” Live within your means. If a girl says she wants someone tall, be upfront if you’re 5 foot 5 inches (165cm). She probably wants someone with a bit of height because she’s a little lengthy herself. Respect her likes and dislikes and don’t assume she NEEDS to meet you. You won’t be compatible with every woman in cyberspace.

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

Brag or boast – you will come off as a douchebag

Approach girls who are clearly not looking for some

Lie about your circumstances, age, height, weight, income etc.

Do:

Be sincere, friendly and honest

NOT TAKING ACTION

You’ve avoided everything we just talked about, good job! So technically you’re at the final hurdle – don’t mess it up now. When you’ve convinced your lady friend that you’re interested, likeable and charming, you need to meet up. So when you think you might finally have a bite, act on it! Don’t email her forever. Emailing is not the new coffee. Step out from behind the keyboard and meet her in a real-life, no-pressure date. There’s nothing worse than looking for a relationship and ending up with an online pen pal.

Let’s recap:

Don’t:

Email back-and-forth for eternity

Take a long time to get back to her or ask her out – she will move on and lose interest

Do:

Ask her out for a simple, no-pressure date when you’ve gotten to know each other a little

January 24, 2017

New Dating Survey Reveals Political Affiliation’s Significance in Relationships

Filed under: love, partisanship, polled, relationships, survey, women — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 5:17 pm

A recent survey by SeekingArrangement.com, the worlds largest dating website that matches wealthy individuals with attractive people, revealed the importance of political affiliation when it comes to relationships and choosing a partner. The survey polled 4,000 of its more than 1.7 million members with equal numbers based on gender and location. Results found that on average 51.5% of American women and 59% of American men found partisanship a significant factor in their love lives.

We decided not to separate based on member type for this survey in order to access the situation according to gender and location, not income, says Brandon Wade, CEO and Founder of SeekingArrangement.com. The results surprised our team because of the gap between genders for each region.

The following are results based on the four regions of the United States on whether partisanship affected how men and women chose partners, as well as their love lives. Percentages for each state are available in the full survey.

West: 71% of women found partisanship to play a significant role in their love lives, while 34% of men said the same. Mid-West: 25% of women found partisanship to play of significant role in their love lives, while 69% of men said the same. South: 62% of women found partisanship to play a significant role in their love lives, while 84% of men said the same. East: 48% of women found partisanship to play a significant role in their love lives, while 49% of men said the same.

When asked how partisanship affected their relationships, those polled cited communication, preconceived notions, the stress and fear of backlash from their friends and peers, as well as a constant feeling of betrayal. For example, Janine, a graduate from Arizona State University who now lives in San Bernardino, California, is pro-choice and believes in the potential of Obama Care, so she is registered as a Democrat. While her ex-boyfriend, Vince, was pro-life and had a strong stance against gun control, but stood as an independent voter. Our conversations would go from a light-hearted topic, or even talking about a bill, then one thing would lead to another wed find ourselves in a heated discussion, says Janine. I felt betrayed and just a general disbelief that someone I really liked could believe in such things, let alone argue with me about them.

On SeekingArrangement.com, wealthy men and women sign-up to meet attractive individuals often referred to as Sugar Babies. CEO and Founder, Brandon Wade, coined the term mutually beneficial relationship which means a generous member gives an allowance or gift in exchange for companionship. People who use the website understand that these are two way streets, i.e., two people giving as much as they take from each other.

Unfortunately, most regular relationships aren’t mutually beneficial in nature, such an arrangement. If you are in a regular relationship where you feel used, or taken advantage of, you are most likely in a one-sided relationship where you are giving more than you are receiving, says Brandon Wade. That is why confusion happens and strains in the relationship occur, when, for example, someone is in mutually beneficial relationships, but their partner fully supports a stronger government and hand-outs. It doesnt match.

SeekingArrangement.com polled single members to find which of the three major partisan groups, other than their own, they would consider dating and who they would never choose as a partner: Single Democrats said that they would rather date an Independent rather than a Republican, while a single Independent would rather date a Republican rather than a Democrat. Of the single Republicans polled, they said they would rather date an Independent than a Democrat. The survey found that a 34% of the 4,000 Americans polled have changed their political affiliation at least once in the past four years.

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