Friday 31 January 2014

5 Dating Tips For Introverts

5 Dating Tips For Introverts

A lot of dating experts give people advice on how to navigate the crazy world of dating and relationships. They tell people what to say or what not to say on a date and offer tips on how to get a person's attention and attract an emotionally mature partner. All of this is great and useful information. But the thing all of these experts have in common is that they're ALL ignorning a large segment of the dating population -- INTROVERTS!
An introvert is a quiet and introspective thinker that lives in the world of thoughts and ideas. These people typically avoid parties and social gatherings like the plague—and if they do go to a party, they often feel drained and low on energy very quickly. Dating is a little bit different for these people. Here are some dating tips for introverts!

1. Confidence: If you don’t have confidence, you don’t have anything. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert--confidence is key! People can tell in a matter of seconds whether you value yourself or not. You must be confident in who you are and what you stand for--even though we live in a culture that values quick decision-making and constant talking. Blah, Blah, Blah! You provide insight, wisdom and thinking--people can learn a lot from you! So be proud of the gift you were born with.
2. Find A VERY Extroverted Partner (I’ve seen many introverts go in this direction): Extroverts love people. They need to be around people at all times. They will become the center of your social world and help you navigate the extroverted world. In you, they feel they have a partner that they really know. You can also teach them the value of silence and reflection.
3. Join Clubs Or Groups That Interest You: Love Chess? Join a group. Writing classes? Go for it! Book Club? Yes! You will find many introverts like you in these settings. SciFi Clubs? Are you kidding me? Yes, go there!
4. Be Brave And Take Chances: As proud as you should be of being a thinking and reflective introvert, it is also important to be brave and do something out of your comfort zone ever so often. If you like someone, just ask them out. If they say “No,” keep going. Rejection is a part of life and learning to deal with that rejection is important in becoming a healthy human being.
5. Love Yourself: Look at everything about yourself as a positive—because it is! You can’t love others until you love yourself. Here are some positive introvert qualities:
-You can stop and think for long periods of time before making a decision. That’s wonderful! This thinking will help you avoid a lot of pain and mistakes in your life.
-You can also sit quietly for hours and hours at a time and just master new skills! That sounds great to me too!
-You are a wonderful listener and wise friend. Wouldn’t you like a person like this in your life? Of course!
Now go out there and meet people!

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Sexual Awakening: The Truth About What Women Really Want

Sexual Awakening: The Truth About What Women Really Want

Are you a woman? Me too! So we know exactly who we are when it comes to sex: It’s better if we feel an emotional connection with our partner. We’re not crazy about pornography, but if it must be on, we prefer it narrative, softer lit, less violent. We are, relative to men, seductive, submissive, receptive, and monogamous. We get more attached than men do when we have sex. We want to be in trusting and respectful long-term relationships. Let’s call ourselves Dutiful Wives.

But wait—this just in: Journalist Daniel Bergner finds that none of the above is true! We are in fact turned on, he reports, by every contextless pornographic scene imaginable: straight and gay sex, masturbation, copulating apes. We get turned off by the too familiar (husbands…); we need distance and novelty to enjoy sex. Up to 60 percent of us fantasize about being raped by a stranger. We can have clitoral, vaginal, even cervical orgasms. We’re wilder and lustier than men, but we’ve been brainwashed by society to believe we’re Dutiful Wives. Let’s call ourselves Bonobos instead, after the famously most sex-positive primate species.

Bergner lays out the history of this brainwashing and then debunks it in his entertaining new book, What Do Women Want? (Ecco). He recaps ingenious studies that have plumbed our desires, including those we deny or hide from ourselves.

Another new take on female lust is British academic Katherine Angel’s Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)—a more personal journey into the wilds of female sexuality, using literature, politics, and Angel’s own experience rather than science as guides. She weaves impressionistic sketches of her ecstatic sexual experiences together with musings on feminism, pornography, and quotes from the likes of Virginia Woolf and Susan Sontag.

Neither book answers the clueless query of Freud’s that gives Bergner his title; in fact, neither addresses the inherent absurdity of one answer fitting all 3.5 billion of us. But they do try to expand the sexual territory women occupy in the world, and thus point us toward the questions we need to ask ourselves about sex.
Bergner surveys the history of men writing about women’s sexuality. I was shocked to learn of the long-held belief that women couldn’t conceive unless they climaxed—a scientific “truth” for 1,500 years that clearly was not vetted by women! Meanwhile, fear of lustful women has been spun out in cautionary tales from the myth of Pandora to whichever halls of power women manage to infiltrate today. In the 1600s, scientists discovered that orgasm was not necessary for reproduction, which only paved the way for a new myth—that of the sexless female (less scary because she can’t be disappointed). In the nineteenth century, women thus became purified, the gentle reins on men’s animal natures, enduring the indignities of the marriage bed—thinking of England!—to keep civilization up and running.

Bergner points out that though we now laugh at Victorianism, women’s supposed monogamous tendencies remain a core assumption about feminine nature via the ruling secular doctrine of evolutionary psychology: that men spread their seed, whereas women seek a lifelong mate to provide for the offspring. This construct is Bergner’s main target, and it’s about time. I’ve noticed that evolutionary psychology is especially beloved by men. Their fairly straightforward drives are mirrored in the animal kingdom more than women’s are: Unlike our mammalian sisters, we mate regardless of whether we’re not in estrus; our lust doesn’t aim at procreative sex—we’re usually trying not to get pregnant; and intercourse isn’t the primary means by which most of us achieve orgasm.

As Bergner points out, evo psych also validates the old double standard: If a guy cheats on his girlfriend or wife, it’s in his nature; you can’t argue with science, baby. But if she strays, she’s an aberrant slut. “Does the fact that women are expected to be the more demure gender in Lusaka and New York, in Kabul and Kandahar and Karachi and Kansas City, prove anything about our erotic hardwiring?” Bergner asks. “Might the shared value placed on female modesty speak less to absolutes of biology than to the world’s span of male-dominated cultures and historic suspicion and fear of female sexuality?”

Those excellent questions lead Bergner to studies that swing the needle from Dutiful Wife to Bonobo. The niftiest is researcher Meredith Chivers’ measure of women looking at pornographic images with a plethysmograph tucked into their vaginas, a sensor that measures blood flow and wetness. The women watched a range of pornographic clips: straight and gay sex, men and women masturbating, bonobos copulating. As they watched, they typed about what turned them on and what left them cold.

You know where this is going. While their fingers said, “Not really my thing,” their nether regions clanged the lust-o-meter’s bell like a young stud showing off for his date at a carnival. The only image that didn’t win the little ladies a stuffed animal was that of a hunky man sauntering on the beach, erectionless. As another sex researcher, Marta Meana, puts it, “The male without an erection is announcing a lack of arousal. The female body always holds the promise, the suggestion, of sex.” The plethysmograph also found that women got more turned on by imagining sexual encounters with strangers than with friends or their romantic partners—even as they typed out their denials.

Men, when administered a similar test, revealed no such dissonance. Gay-male porn made the gay men hard, but women left them limp; vice versa for the straight guys. What to make of this? I would venture that while everyone’s sexuality is shaped partly by culture (look at the range of female sex objects, from the Venus of Willendorf to Kate Moss), women’s lust is more so, and it’s vastly more complex. We’ve been the objects, not the authors, of sociological study for most of history, and we bring more shame, doubt, and worry to bed with us. Many women report having rape fantasies and like being overpowered in bed—we seem to use taboos very creatively to turn ourselves on.

Bergner concludes with a study challenging the proposition that speed-dating patterns prove men are less choosy and women more monogamous because men check more boxes indicating people they would like to date than women do: At gatherings where the women rather than the men got up and moved on when the bell rang, the women checked “I’d date him” as frequently as the men did when they were the “movers.” Prowling for prey seemed to excite more openness and desire in both sexes.

I enjoyed but was not really convinced by Bergner’s book—he seems to want to ground women’s sexuality completely in their physicality in much the same way men seem to be, rather than digging deeper into this fascinating mix of biology, culture, and psychology. Ideally, of course, we would rid society of misogyny and then see how our fantasies and behaviors change—but I’m not holding my breath.

I expected Katherine Angel’s Unmastered to be more my cup of tea, bookwise. I was certainly predisposed to trust a Katherine more than a Daniel on the topic of female desire. Angel raises familiar anxieties about being female and sexual: the pressure to be silent, pleasing, sexy but not too sexy, and never greedy. But she doesn’t connect them to her own sexual reveries, and her feminism doesn’t seem to impede her pleasure with her dream guy. She shyly asks him to rough her up, and his response is “pitch-perfect”: He won’t do it right then, on command, but he ambushes her later when she’s not expecting it. It is as sublime as she had hoped, unclouded by feminist guilt. I was left wondering, Then what’s the problem here, exactly?—and I hungered for more quoted insights from Sontag and Woolf.

Angel doesn’t connect the personal with the political, while Bergner peddles a new strain of animal-based essentialism: We’re nothing like those Dutiful Wives—we’re all Bonobos. But both books raise the right questions. Every woman’s sexual self is patrolled by a bewildering array of good and bad cops—our parents, our religions, our femininity, our feminism, our fear of being undesirable, our training in pleasing and making others comfortable, and a culture that’s subtly or not-so-subtly misogynistic. We need to turn the spotlight around and inter-rogate them all, along with all the “experts” who historically have used their science to keep our sex, and our sexuality, in its place.

We need to question anyone who seeks to explain us to ourselves. For example, are we all on board with the idea, which Bergner unmistakably implies, that to have more “masculine” sex is progress—that we’ll be happier if we all embrace stranger-sex and exult in the hunt and the conquest, or if we scavenge for a new hot thing when the sex cools off? Would buying sexual services enhance our sexuality—does that way lie liberation?

Might it be possible to ignore the clamor of other voices and listen instead to ourselves and our lovers? Is it Victorian to suggest that discovering your freest sexual self might be connected to trusting, liking, and—sorry, Bergner—maybe loving the person you sleep with? Angel cocreated a relationship where kink could bloom organically, pushing back the censors and finding heat in the contradictions and the defiance. We don’t need to censor our lust. We know this intellectually but can’t quite believe it, and so we keep defaulting to outside opinions of what’s “normal” or “natural.”

The important questions about sex for women are not category questions—because who feels sexually normal, consistent, or classifiable? Anybody else a little bit Dutiful Wife and a little bit Bonobo? Some mix, however subtle or implicit, of straight and gay? Anybody else occasionally surprised by what she wants? “What do women want?” is a terrible thing to have to worry about. It distracts from the only two questions that do matter in sex: What do I want, and what do you want?

Thursday 30 January 2014

Why Boys 'Fall in Love' with Their Teachers

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz in the movie 'Bad Teacher' Photo: Courtesy

Why boys 'fall in love' with their teachers

Being a young female teacher is not the easiest of things. You not only have to put up with randy male teachers who try to make passes at you, but also naughty students high on testosterone hormones trying to hit on you. 

Tales have been told of teachers who are forced to minimize their movements in class by, for instance, teaching while standing at one spot — throughout the lesson — to avoid destructing such boys. The moment such teachers turn to the black board to write something, these boys ‘undress’ them and start imagining their own things. Some are naughty and courageous enough to wink and whistle suggestively at such teachers.

After a rueful four years in college studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Jacinta Mlai expected an easier and less intrepid sequel heading towards the job market. She had not envisaged a world where she would be the subject of amorous praise from her male students. The attention, as she describes it, “is creepy and very unsettling.” 


Jacinta is just one among many young female teachers in the country who have been made objects of obsession by nymphomaniacal high school boys riding high on incendiary hormones. Speaking to Crazy Monday over the phone from Kakamega where she works at a public school institution, Jacinta bemoaned the precarious position she has found herself in. 

“I am dealing with boys who recently broke their voices and think they are men enough to handle a mature woman. When I was posted here, I had a premonition about this. During my teaching practice in Nakuru, I met young boisterous adolescent boys like these ones. They would use suggestive words while I spoke to them, but they weren’t as lurid as the ones I am facing now.” 

It’s agony, ecstasy and debauchery that she says doesn’t seem like will dissipate any time soon. Caught between her job and three blocky chests of renegade musketeers, Jacinta had no option but to involve the school principal who did nothing much than let off a hyena’s laugh. 

Even though she has tried hard enough to wear the right clothes and put on a stern face, Jacinta’s duck is all but cooked as the boys have continuously confessed their undying, unwavering, unflinching but destructive love for her. 

“How far has it gone up to now?” this writer asks to scour the bottom of her unfortunate situation. 

After a moment of thick silence, probably as her mind flipped through a tome of episodes, she narrates: “One time, while teaching biology, one of them stood to ask a question, looked me straight in the eyes and enquired: ‘Mwalimu, will you teach as the topic on reproduction using practicals; I think it would be an efficient way to go through it as it’s a difficult one.’” 

She proceeds to say that everybody — including herself — laughed. But it wasn’t all hanky-dory when one time another boy performed a cockerel’s seductive staggering dance around her: “It got me to an emotional threshold. I swore to leave teaching and get something else to do.” 

Like Jacinta, Maryanne Wambua who teaches in Nairobi is sick of the glances and crassly words of ‘affirmation’ she has received from her nefarious student suitors. “It’s plainly sadistic when you think of it. 

How can small boys possess the knack to tell me that my derriere looks nice. I have never been astonished this much in my life,” says the lady, who despite making known her doctor fiancé to everybody at her school, firmly remains under the microscope of prying hawk-eyed boys in her class. 

According to Maryanne, the problem is much bigger in Nairobi — where there are more courageous school going boys — than in other places around the country. Though she admits to revere descriptive adulation from men, she says her heart shudders with squishy shame when her students pull one on her.

“I have had to assume that they are not on my heels,” says Maryanne. “But I can only do this for so long; there are tipping points for every person. When I catch any vision paths glued to my chest or any other part I feel should remain private, I boil with anger; it’s like he is hell bent on stripping off my clothes.” 


The extent of abuse (if you may call it that) on young – and definitely salacious – female teachers go through isn’t as superficial as it may seem. Actually, many of them have had to contend with it in the hope that they’ll grow out of it with time. This is true if what Matilda Nyongesa and Reena Maftai say are anything to go by. 

Though she works at a prestigious private school in Nairobi, Miss Nyongesa says she has experienced subtle, but incessant comments with sexual undertones from young males in her school. 

She says: “I don’t really care about all the unsolicited attention from these boys because I know the furthest it can go is them ogling at me. They are at a sexual peak of adolescence and you have to understand that hormones, than their brains, largely control them. It’s much ado about nothing really: I would only take offence if I am touched or if their words pique beyond certain depths of human imagination.” 

Meanwhile, in one of Thika’s high flying schools, Reena remains cheerful in the face of sexual advances from young men she is assigned to teach mathematics and chemistry. Her miniscule size makes her look powerless; even stolid words wouldn’t do much to shoo off the smitten boys. 

However, her sculpted pear-shaped figure might be her ‘undoing’. “The boys are big; they basically look like men, but their thinking is awful. Their flirting is not hurtful to me — though I have to admit I get frightened when I think of what they may be capable of,” she expresses her fears. 

Behind the cranium of an adolescent boy lies a brain still under development towards adulthood, at least according to Catherine Mbau. As a psychologist, she has spent enough time studying adolescent behaviour to peak through into their train of thoughts. 

“There is no greater time adolescents find exciting as the age bracket encompassing 14 to 18 years. They are at the mercy of their raging hormones and they don’t even know it. Sex, at this time, is particularly an interesting subject that attracts their curiosity more than anything. This overzealous feeling drives them to talk and behave in a naughty way; try to impress, standout, make jokes and make fun of every situation,” Mbau projects. 

Many young men can attest to the psychologist’s view. Wycliffe Siang’a, a well-accomplished marketer with a telecommunications giant in Nairobi can’t forget his days as a teenager — tormenting and pining over a young lady on teaching practice at his school. “To date, it’s a memory that will forever remain etched in mind. She was wonderfully and fearfully made — if I may say. All of us boys dreamt of having her for company, and, of course, our imaginations went beyond wild.” 

He incredibly admits that he felt ‘something’ for her and would even go the extra mile of bombarding her with revision questions, which was in essence, disguise to bring her closer. In a strange turn of events, he actually credits her for his good performance in KCSE. 

“I know it sounds weird but when she left, I got so depressed and felt so encouraged to get good grades and come to Nairobi where I would meet her. I passed, came and I realised searching for her was a pipe dream; she had probably graduated and left by the time I was registering my first year,” he says, feeling rather sodden on the big miss. 

In the course of piecing together this story, it was rather hard to find students who weren’t afraid of opening up about risqué behaviours directed towards young attractive teachers. We, however, managed to talk to Ngirachu, a Form Three student at one of the prominent schools in Nairobi, who, despite not being involved in the circus, was willing to talk about his experiences.

“I find it very awkward and unimaginable; I just can’t seduce my teacher even if she looks young enough. When they come for teaching practice, some boys get really excited. I can’t tell where they find the courage to make moves and drop hints. But one thing I can say is that those teachers look beautiful and dress attractively. They know how to use make-up,” he offered. 

Does that justify it? 

“No,” Jacinta disagrees. “My job is to give these boys an education. Just because they are growing up does not make it right. It’s harassment and sometimes it surpasses boundaries of privacy. Furthermore, I don’t want to be held responsible for any student’s misfortune of failing exams, and I am not a cougar.” 

Mbau says that errant boys can only be tamed if the adults take restrictive measures. She points out that being naughty is expected of any growing teenager engorged with enough hormones. “It is only the teacher or the parent who can instill discipline in this boy. It doesn’t matter his outward maturity because his mind is still young and impulsive with wild thoughts.” 

This, however, adds the psychologist, is not to say that wretched behaviour from boys should be condoned. She says that it can be controlled through sternness to stem any escalation and the extent to which it can go. 

The bad news though (to the professional young damsels) is that naughty boys won’t stop being naughty; chances are high that when you are making a point on the chalk board and all of them look hearkened on the topic, they probably are fascinated at the sight of something else.

5 Lessons We Can Learn From French Women:Dating, à la Francaise

Dating, à la Francaise

The mystique of the French woman tends to be a hot-button topic that evokes strong opinions. Either to debunk what is dismissed as a trite cliché or to admire it as a standard to be mimicked, the debate that French women are superior in regard to style and disposition will undoubtedly remain open for discussion.

While it should be said that being true to who you are is the embodiment of style, one idea that can be adopted from French women is their direct approach to dating. By positioning themselves in control of their emotions while asserting their expectations, they do not fall prey to the uncertainty and self-doubt that often cast over new relationships.

Shifting your thinking from “the rules”, let’s take a look at how to date comme les françaises.

1. He’s Just Not That Into You?
To start off, the word “dating” does not even exist in the French language. The culture of wondering if he is interested in pursuing a relationship while casually dating (sometimes for months!) is considered a waste of time. By the third rendez-vous, it is defined that the couple is together or they are not.
2. Gossip Girl
You will never hear a French woman exhausting her girlfriends with complaints about her man. Of course girl talk exists en français, but if she is unhappy about something in her relationship, she will manage it without seeking conflicting advice from outside sources.
3. Moi et Toi
While online dating is slightly altering the landscape for the younger generation, the current standard is that the French do not date more than one person at a time. Multi-dating (even if it is still ‘the beginning’) is grounds for termination for both men and women. The myth that all Frenchmen cheat and the women coolly accept it should be tossed with the old stereotype that all French people are rude.
4. The Break-Up
After a rupture, a French woman will remain strong in her resolve to quickly turn the page. With her privacy being a leading factor, she would sooner lose her Louboutins than openly and obsessively harp over a relationship that didn’t work out. When it’s over, it’s over.
5. The L Word
The French are not afraid to say “Je t’aime”. They don’t hold off on expressing emotion that they feel should be acknowledged with seriousness. When they feel it, they say it, unapologetically.
Invariably, relationships require work; there is not one single culture that can claim to have the definitive answer on how to lead the perfect one. However, the unambiguous method that the French follow reduces misunderstandings and games, while circling back around to the initial point: being true to who you are. Mais bien sûr! French women wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Top 5 Dating Tips for Both Men and Women

Top 5 Dating Tips for Both Men and Women


After interviewing gurus that counsel both men and women on dating, we noticed something that was quite curious. Some of their dating advice was actually gender-neutral and could be applied to both sexes. As we see it, good advice is good advice.

Here are the top five dating tips for both men and women:

  1. Be Open Minded: The number one rule we have heard from both sides of the fence is to go into every date with an open mind. Your ideal partner, based on your personal checklist, may be completely different from the person that you could be truly compatible with. Everyone has this warped sense of who their perfect partner should be, but when interviewing countless older couples who have been married for more than 50 years – their life partners were completely different from the person they initially imagined.
  2. Don’t Research Before a First Date: In these days of Google and Facebook, it’s easy to be tempted to do a little research before you even go out on a first date. Don’t do it! You’ll get a false impression of the person, and can make strong judgments without even knowing him/her yet.
  3. Don’t Bring Baggage: Avoid talking about old relationships, negative experiences, etc. Have those conversations only after several dates. There is little to gain by dwelling on the past.
  4. Be Honest About Yourself: You can avoid specific topics early on, but don’t lie about things. Starting a relationship based on lies is never a good idea.
  5. Leave on a High Note: Keep a first date short, and it’s always better to leave on a high note. Meeting for coffee or a meal is great, but don’t make long drawn out plans for another date – excuse yourself and say goodbye. Better to leave the person wanting more.
View the original article here

The 11 Most Attractive Things Men Do Without Even Realizing

The 11 Most Attractive Things Men Do Without Even Realizing

What makes a man attractive might have less to do with how hard he tries, and more the things he does without even realizing.

That seems to be the conclusion of a Reddit thread where user porotart asked female users: "What do men do that's attractive, that men don't know about?"

The resulting comments covered everything from being kind to animals to driving a stick shift, and the majority of the responses weren't actions or traits specific to men. Our main takeaway? Small gestures matter the most.

As Tracy Moore at Jezebel put it: "It's not tough guy power tripping or dick-swinging, just small, good things that demonstrate basic good personhood: caring, passion, kindness, and using the advantages of cultural masculinity for good."


Here are the 11 most attractive things a man can do, according to Reddit users:

1. Be kind, especially to strangers. Whether that's tipping the delivery guy extra when it's raining, pulling over to help someone with car trouble or holding the door open for someone with their hands full. As one user wrote, "Catching you doing something that shows your character... sexiest thing ever."

2. Laugh out loud. Because who isn't attracted to someone who finds joy and humor in the world? For one Redditor, "Genuine, uncontrollable laughter makes me want to kiss them."

3. Roll up their shirtsleeves. Redditors love forearms, which are "the equivalent of boobs for women" and "swoon-worthy."

4. Go gooey-eyed. The way someone looks at you can be very telling. One Redditor loves "When [your partner's] eyes get all sparkly when they first see you" -- who wouldn't?

5. Speak passionately. Commenters on the thread were in agreement that the topic is less important than the way they talk about or argue for it. One user wrote: "When my [significant other] talks excitedly about anything he cares about, even if it isn't really one of my interests, it is insanely attractive to me."

6. Hold a conversation. Being able to make "intelligent conversation" is a seriously underrated point of attraction. (For anyone who needs help, there's an app for that.)

7. Concentrate hard. "I love the look a guy has on his face when he is trying to figure something out," one user wrote. No know-it-alls required.

8. Cook. One Redditor explained how watching her partner cook was a huge turn-on:
"I f**king LOVE watching my boyfriend cook. I can stand there and watch him all day long. He's bustling around, chopping veggies and putting dry rub on meats and stirring things around in a pan, all confident and sure-like. He thinks he's just making dinner. What he doesn't know is that by the time the meal is ready, after watching him be so competent and unself-conscious and focused on making the food, I want to rip his clothes off and have my way with him first, and eat dinner later. "
9. Use eye contact, "especially when there's a bunch of pretty girls around." Knowing that someone is giving you their full attention is a huge plus.

10. Be thoughtful. One user appreciates a guy "sending a text out of the blue to say you're thinking of me or sending a text in regards to something I said in passing." Forwarding an article you think might interest someone, remembering a difficult anniversary or wishing someone luck at a big meeting -- all small things that make a huge difference.

11. Hug from behind. According to one user, "It's cute, and it makes us feel safe." And who doesn't like hugs in general?

Find such a man at Fish2FishDating

View the original articles here

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Single Woman Seeking Part-time Lover?

Single Woman Seeking Part-time Lover?


(CNN) -- Remember that old tune "Friday, I'm in Love"? Well, some daters are looking to make it a reality.

"I have found a wonderful weekend lover," reads a testimonial by "Leah, 38" on the new dating website, "He asks for no more, and the times we spend together are magical."

The site, launched in early January, is the brainchild of relationship author and blogger Helen Croydon. Its target demographic is people who want to be independent but also want to fall in love, she says.

Some may wonder whether Part Time Love is simply the newest in a line of dating sites where users troll for one-night stands. But the site isn't just Tinder with a romantic sheen, if you believe its marketing spiel.

"We are not a no-strings website. We are for singles looking for regular partners with mutual attraction, genuine friendship, respect and a magical spark but whom have no expectations of moving in after three months and value their free time and independence," claims the site, which users must opt into via other, more established dating sites.
Croydon asserts that a low-maintenance or part-time relationship is distinctively different than the eloquently named "booty call," or the even more lucid "casual encounter" in that the goal is lasting love.

Croydon admits it's not for everyone. She envisions her demographic as users in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s who are set in their ways and might find it difficult to adapt domestically to a new partner.

"They're realistic on the fairytale," she says.

In 2011, writer Laura Tennant wrote a column "We're happily semi-detached" in a British newspaper about her part-time cohabitation with boyfriend, Sean Walsh. She had just completed a difficult divorce -- "aren't they all?" she joked in an e-mail with CNN -- and wasn't sure she ever wanted to get married again. What she was sure of was that she and Walsh worked really well together as the relationship stood.
They were "living apart together," as she called it.

Fast forward to 2014, and now Tennant is engaged to marry Walsh.

"Over time, Sean and I have become more and more sure that we are each other's soulmate and life partner," she says. "And we have slowly but surely got to the point where we are ready to make the ultimate commitment to each other."

But, that doesn't mean they each won't have their alone time.

The couple is planning for Walsh to have a pied-à-terre, but not in the Ernest Hemingway sense.
"As it is, it is totally workable, albeit somewhat unusual," she says. "We are working out logistics at the moment, but I reckon we will live together and Sean will rent a work-live space nearby where he can write, sometimes sleep, and recharge his batteries."

Croydon explores what she calls "low-maintenance relationships" in her new book "Screw the Fairytale: A Modern Girl's Guide to Sex and Love," in which she debunks the traditional ideal of the omnipresent partner. Croydon says she never wants to get married or have kids. (She's also quite familiar with unorthodox dating styles; her first book, "Sugar Daddy Diaries," was about her penchant for older men.)

"You don't have to see someone three to four nights a week to express love," she told CNN over the phone from London.

"In every other aspect of life, we've gone for convenience, independence and where individualism is promoted," she says. "Yet, you have this socially approved model of relationship that you live together."

Croydon says for it to work, the partners' emphasis is still on a genuine relationship, in that there is romance and sparks but "without all the monotony and obligation of a full-time relationship."

Jill Weber, a Virginia-based clinical psychologist and author of "Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy: Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships" says this particular style of dating can certainly feel empowering as it allows daters to compartmentalize the relationship.

"It protects you; there's less vulnerability," she says.

Sooner or later, though, she says one or both partners might catch stronger feelings and want something more.

"Ultimately, what connects us with one another is being vulnerable," she asserts.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Weber says it's also important for each partner to feel like they have their own life.

"You should feel safe and at ease in your relationship," she says, meaning that you aren't constantly worrying where your partner is and vice versa. If that's not the case, a conversation about space is in order. Failing that, it might be time to re-evaluate the healthiness of the relationship.

As for Croydon, she's still single and ready to mingle part-time.

Would you use a website to find a part-time lover? Share your take in the comments section below.

Girls - Unexpected Friendship Ruiners

Unexpected Friendship Ruiners

Wanna keep tight with your wifeys? Read on dear friends…

She earns more than you
It’s a close friend’s b’day next week and she sends out a Facey invite to Mexican and mojitos… and it’s $80 per person. Sure, she can afford it on her law-firm wage, but you’re still making lattés for a living, and sorry but that’s <way>more than girlfriend can afford.

If you have a mate whose exxy tastes are leaving your bank looking bare (“Wait, you want me to fork out how much for a bridesmaid’s dress?!”), the resentment can start eroding your friendship. So why does it feel so awkward to bring it up?

“It’s often considered impolite to talk about money,” says finance expert Sarah Reigelhuth. “This can lead to misunderstandings between friends about what they can or can’t afford.”

Chances are your friend has no clue – so bite the bullet and tell her. “Be open,” says Reigelhuth. “Explain you love spending time with her, but right now your budget isn’t the same as hers, so you’d like to find things to do together that cost a little less.”

On the flipside… If you’re the one raking in the moolah while your soul sister is still at uni, be mindful that she might not be so flush with cash.

She’s on a detox
You text your friend: “Lunch today?” She writes back: “Hell yes! But I’m on a cleanse, so cold-pressed bevs?” Insert eye-roll emoji.

So much socialising revolves around chowing down on tucker, so if your buddy exists on kale alone it can be seriously boring. “The reason behind following fad diets and detoxes is usually poor body image,” says nutritionist Rosie Mansfield. “If your friend rearranges or cancels plans to fit in with her meal plan, it’s a warning sign that she may have an unhealthy relationship with food.”

The thing is, it’s not really up to you to tell her what to do with her health, according to psychologist Meredith Fuller. “She’s your friend, you’re not her doctor,” she says.

So stick to doing what mates do best – listening. “Enable her to talk about her worries and concerns rather than labelling her,” suggests Fuller.

She loves to party… too much
Well, in your opinion. She’s one of the raddest people you know, and you adore her when she’s sober, but as soon as there are shots involved, she can’t stop, and she won’t stop… until she’s throwing up at 4am.

The Aussie government classifies more than four standard drinks per sitting as a binge, but according to Dr Ginni Mansberg, you should be more concerned with how your pal acts when she’s drinking.
“What would alarm me is if they’ve started missing work or uni because they’ve drunk too much the night before; if they’re drinking alone, have an alcohol-fuelled potty mouth, or they’ve had brushes with the law, such as a DUI,” says Dr Mansberg.

If you are really concerned, be subtle. “Gently plant seeds, but in a non-judgemental way,” says Fuller. Maybe steer clear of clubbing with her for a while. If you’re feeling really self-sacrificing, suggest doing Dry July together (or any month). Swap the pub for plays, and instead of meeting for a vino, catch up over gelato or dumplings. Don’t make a big deal of it, though. She really doesn’t want to feel like Amanda Bynes at rehab.

She’s got a new boyfriend (and you’re not his no.1 fan)
When a sister gets a mister, things can change. She may not be so keen to hit the clubs until 3am, which is cool. But what if she flakes on your lunch plans? Or worse, she brings him to a girly dinner without asking?

Losing your wingwoman to a guy can be hard (espesh if you’re not his biggest fan). But kicking up a stink will only push her further away. “We all spend a bit of time dating the wrong person. Let her learn from her mistakes,” says Fuller. Even if he’s a d-bag, bite your tongue!

“The worst thing you can do is criticise him – she’ll just think you’re jealous and cling to him more,” says Fuller. “Instead, show you are accepting of him. You want him to say, ‘She’s a great friend, go and have a drink with her.’” Fingers crossed she’ll see he’s like Spencer Pratt: a sucky person.

View the original article here


Monday 27 January 2014

How to get over “The One”

How to get over “The One”

Your mobile tortures you with messages from everyone but him. You mope around asking yourself “What went wrong?” We talk to experts about how to snap out of it, and move on.

Some relationships die a natural death: the passion fizzles, they peter out or it’s a mutual decision. But when someone you imagined going grey with calls it quits, you’re left reeling – and that person stays in your head for years. “We never forget the one that got away,” says Dr Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of Why Him? Why Her? “When you fall in love with somebody you trigger the brain’s dopamine system. It’s responsible for wanting, for craving, for obsession – and if it’s not satisfied, if you didn’t win that person, they’re seared in your memory.” Dutch scientists recently found being dumped by a lover can actually be heart-stopping – so how do you begin to recover?

Rent Titanic
Forcing a smile when you’re devastated only prolongs the suffering. “Have a weekend of watching tear-jerkers, playing gloomy music and really wallowing in your sadness,” says counselling psychologist Jacqui Marson. But once that weekend is over, it’s time to get moving. Start by treating yourself to a mani-pedi and blow-dry, but also make time to work out, which releases feel-good endorphins. For added benefit, exercise outside, since sunlight exposure delays your body’s release of melatonin (the sleepiness hormone) and elevates mood. 

Change your brain
While it’s not (yet) possible to erase someone from your memory, in the style of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, according to Dr Fisher it is possible to change your brain circuitry. “It’s important to get hugs from old friends as it’ll drive up oxytocin,” she says. Your body is flooded with this feel-good hormone when you have an orgasm, so it’s something your body is craving after a breakup. “Doing novel things with interesting people will boost levels of dopamine in the brain and make you feel better,” says Dr Fisher. 

Lisa, 22, found that a weekend hip-hop class helped distract her from her ex. “I was sick of spending Saturday mornings having breakfast with my mates and their boyfriends, so I decided to try a dance class – something I never had time for when I was with Tom,” she says. “I met a whole new group of single girls there, and the class got me excited about the weekend.”

Rally the troops
After a breakup you need to re-build your network – get in touch with old friends and put yourself in situations where you’ll meet fresh faces. “It’s good to ask for help,” says Marson. “And it helps to give friends a specific support role.” Whether you want them to be your exercise buddy, travel with you, take you out on the town or be that friend you call at 2am when you’re tempted to text the ex… make sure they know their job and are prepared to dispense tough love when needed.

Delete his number
“Don’t call, don’t show up where he hangs out, don’t ask his friends about him,” says Dr Fisher. When someone’s been the centre of your universe it can be gut-wrenching to wipe them completely from your life – but it’s the quickest route to sanity. If your ex wants to be friends, tell him it might be possible in 2013. “You will still continue to crave that person and it might be three years, maybe 10 years, before it’s feasible to have a friendship with them,” says Dr Fisher. (Get over him with a fresh start: Fish2FishDating)

Don’t sleep with him
Jo, 26, never got over her first boyfriend Charlie. “I’d managed to push him to the back of my mind until he added me on Facebook last year,” she says. “He could see from my status I was engaged, but it didn’t stop him poking me daily and sending me flirty messages. My fiancé was working late one night – I felt a bit neglected and so I decided to meet Charlie for dinner. The spark was still there and we ended up sleeping together. A few weeks later I broke off my engagement – only to have Charlie break my heart again.”

Cyber stalking, or even meeting up with an ex for coffee, is playing with fire. “If I could have a penny for everybody who’s in one relationship, but still half in their old relationship, I’d be a millionaire,” says marital therapist Andrew G Marshall, author of Heal and Move On. He sees many clients still emotionally cleaved to an ex “soul mate”. “We need to get rid of this idea that there’s one single person who is right for us,” says Marshall. “There are different people who are right for us at different stages in our lives.”

So, instead of holding a candle to the one that got away, think about why. It’s easy to get caught up fantasising about the life you might have had with an ex but it’s so much more helpful to remember why it didn’t work.

View the original article here

Women Gain 7lb in a New Relationship, Men Lose 4


Women Gain 7lb In a New Relationship, Men Lose 4

A new relationship means plenty of love, laughter and smiles and an expanding waist line too, according to new research.
The research has revealed the effect that a woman’s frame of mind can have on her weight, unveiling that the majority of women in the UK claim to have been at their ‘skinniest’ in recent years when they’ve been most unhappy in other areas of their life.
The study also found that the average woman will gain 7.2 pounds in the first year of a new relationship with majority putting weight gain down to being happy. However, just under half put blame on their partner’s poor diet as the reason for weight gain.  
So it’s no surprise that the men who lost weight during the first year of a relationship put it down to the healthy foods their partners were cooking.
Sarah Bailey of, who conducted the research, commented on the findings:
“It seems that our frame of mind has a huge impact on our weight, and although men seem to lose weight when in a happy relationship- the average woman will gain half a stone! It was incredibly interesting to see just what effect happiness has on our weight, and it seems that unhappiness often equals Weight loss amongst women. Being comfortable in our love lives often equates to increased self-confidence, perhaps explaining the weight gain that many experience. As long as you’re a healthy weight though, this shouldn’t be anything to worry about- happiness can give you a huge health boost, and is probably more important than squeezing in your jeans!”

View the original article here

Sunday 26 January 2014

Friendly Gathering or Pending Romance?

Friendly Gathering or Pending Romance?

Dating and hanging out look alike these days

Singles are having a hard time telling when they're on a date, versus just "hanging out" with a pal, a new study suggests.

It's confusing, say the 2,647 singles surveyed for "The State of Dating in America" report, commissioned by ChristianMingle and JDate, an online dating site for Jewish singles.

"The standout finding of the report, released Tuesday, is that nearly 69 percent of those surveyed said that they were at least somewhat confused about whether an outing with someone they're interested in was in fact a date or not," wrote Liz Fields for Good Morning America.

New York-based psychotherapist and relationship counselor Rachel Sussman underscored the point, telling ABC News that "There's no longer any formality in dating. It's becoming very much a culture of getting a text at 9 o'clock saying, 'Hey, what's happening? Where are you? Do you want to meet up?' This type of behavior can go on for months. It's become so ambiguous."

She also noted that her younger clients often correspond more by texting and Facebook, rather than in more personal ways.

Not Cheating: Facebook and texting popular with younger daters

"A date is someone personally asking you out — that sometimes can get confused with a one-on-one hangout, depending on the way they mention it or which medium they use to ask you or if it happens to be a group hangout," Sara Svendsen explained to USA Today's Sharon Jayson. The 25-year-old said she's wondered if she was on a date when she has gone out with someone.


She's been wrong "on both sides of that," she said.

The data, taken from the online survey, said 80 percent agree that a planned one-on-one hangout is a date, but 24 percent also think a date is a planned evening with a group of friends and 22 percent said it's a date if someone asked them out.

It's the second such survey the two faith-related dating sites have commissioned and they asked Sussman to evaluate dating in America. Among the key findings:

— Attitudes on what cheating is have changed, although the vast majority believe having sex with another person repeatedly is being unfaithful (86 percent of men and 92 percent of women).

— Flirtatious messages are somewhat less likely to be viewed as cheating, down to 68 percent from 82 percent for women and 56 percent to the current 51 percent for men. There were also drops in how many view "passionate kissing" with someone else as being unfaithful while dating. But nearly a quarter of singles said they would consider marrying someone who was unfaithful to them while they were dating.

— Two-thirds of men prefer to date someone younger than them; 83 percent of women would rather date someone who is older than they are.

— Both genders said they'd consider marrying someone who had children from a previous relationship. "However, interest dropped dramatically if a potential partner had children from multiple relationships," the report states.

Among the dos and don'ts of dating: Half say it's bad to be a messy eater and one-third of women don't want men ordering for them. Both men and women tend to believe that the man should pay for the first date (69 percent of males, 55 percent of females). Those numbers are lower than the previous survey.

As for what the report call "deal breakers," men cite hygiene (35 percent), smoking (24 percent) and weight (14 percent). For women: hygiene (34 percent), unemployment (21 percent) and a tie between drinking habits and smoking (each at 16 percent).

Most singles, regardless of gender, say they'd break up with someone who did not get along with their friends.

View the original article here