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LOVE AFFAIRS

Astrid and Ziekent: Davao City’s lesbian power couple

Astrid and Ziekent see many challenges besetting the LGBT community. For Ziekent, “our fellow LGBTs can be troublesome. And so no matter how well we show other people that LGBT people can also be good, there are still LGBT people who are troublesome and who give us bad rep.” But both continue to be inspired.

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Astrid was involved in an organization that had lesbian members even before she met Ziekent. “I was a member of UP Mindanao’s Happy People’s Club way back in college. I was not even in a lesbian relationship then, and I still identified as ‘straight’, but I had a lot of gay friends so I joined them,” she said. And while the club did not have advocacies, she felt happy as part of it since “it allowed us to get together and show how proudly gay we all were.”

Ziekent wasn’t as “lucky”. “Simula pa nung bata ako, matagal ko na pinangarap na may grupo na tutulong maipakita ang kakayanan naming mga lesbian. Pero kasi wala akong mahanap noon kaya naging active ako sa pagtulong sa charity works kasama ng mga missionary sisters kahit noong high school pa ako (Even when I was young, I longed to have a group that will help show the capabilities of lesbians. But because I wasn’t able to find one, I instead became active in doing charity works with missionary nuns even when I was still in high school).”

The two eventually crossed paths, becoming lovers. And at this junction of their lives together, they decided to establish the United Lesbians of Davao (ULD), a lesbian organization that wants to veer away from just holding parties (supposedly the “usual” activity of local lesbian organizations, and instead conduct civic-minded activities.

“I am a lesbian. In the past, I actively fought for the rights of students when I was a secretary general of Anakbayan in UP Mindanao; now, I should be able to do something to bring into light lesbian issues and that we can actually do more for the community,” Astrid said.

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For Ziekent, becoming an advocate was a no-brainer. “Bata pa ako ramdam ko na yung iba yung tingin ng tao. Kahit sa work minsan, may mga work na di kami pwede or need namin magdamit babae para magka-work. Sa akin lang, sana pantay pantay (Even when I was young, I already sensed the different way people looked at us/treated us. Even at work, there are situations where they don’t hire us or they force us to dress according to our assigned sex at birth before they allow us to work. For me, equal treatment has to happen).”

While both Astrid and Ziekent recognize the many issues plaguing the lesbian community, as a couple, they are very vocal about the need for same-sex relationships to be given legal recognition.

Nag-process kasi kami ng mga personal stuff namin like SSS, PhilHealth, et cetera. Ang hirap lang kasi isipin na di ko mailagay ang partner ko as beneficiary kasi hindi kami legally married. (We processed our personal stuff, such as SSS, PhilHealth, et cetera. It’s hard when I can’t even make my partner as my beneficiary because we’re not legally married),” Ziekent said.

“Simple things like that are irritating. I know marriage is just a piece of paper, but it is a paper that signifies equality,” Astrid said.

The two see many challenges besetting the LGBT community.

For Ziekent, “kapwa LGBT na mga pasaway. Kasi kahit anong gawin nating pagpapakita ng mabuting gawa, kung may mga LGBT naman na napapariwara, gumagawa ng kabulastugan yung nakakasira ng dangal ba… parang nakakapanghinayang lang kasi paano natin mabago tingin sa atin ng iba, di ba (our fellow LGBTs can be troublesome. And so no matter how well we show other people that LGBT people can also be good, there are still LGBT people who are troublesome and who give us bad rep… and so it’s sad to note the difficulty of changing how others perceive us, right)?”

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Astrid added her disappointment in the “lack of interest from fellow LGBT people to participate actively even in something as simple as Pride March in Davao.”

But both continue to be inspired. As Ziekent said, “yung tipong parang susuko ka na dahil sobrang dami pang gagawin tapos iilan lang kayong kumikilos. Tapos may kasama kang magsasabi na kaya natin ito (there are times when you feel like giving up after seeing the work that needs to be done and only a few of you work. Then someone who works with you tells you that we can do this).”

“It makes you feel empowered. And refuels you to do more,” Astrid said.

And with ULD, doing more is what Astrid and Ziekent aim to do.

For more information on the United Lesbians of Davao, visit http://outragemag.com/united-lesbians-of-davao-uniting-for-a-cause/.

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LOVE AFFAIRS

How to master the art of online dating

Many people still struggle with online dating. It requires a certain level of strategy and patience in order to get people responding, let alone securing a date in person. Here are just a few tips to help you master the art of online dating.

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Photo by rawpixel from Unsplash.com

Online dating is more popular than ever. There are an estimated 50 million Tinder users in the world, whilst the likes of more traditional platforms such as Match receive 35 millions users a month.

The reason online dating is so popular is that it can be done at any time from any location. It’s also a lot less nerve-wracking than real life dating – it’s easier to talk to someone from behind a screen than it is to talk to someone in person.

That said, many people still struggle with online dating. It requires a certain level of strategy and patience in order to get people responding, let alone securing a date in person. Here are just a few tips to help you master the art of online dating.

Cast your net wide

The first important step is to cast your net wide. Don’t just sign up to one dating platform – take advantage of multiple platforms. This could include general dating platforms such as Match.com as well as more niche dating platforms such as Fonochatlatino.com. Just be wary that certain platforms may charge you to sign up.

After this you want to consider your parameters such as the age range you’re looking for and the area you’re willing to meet someone within. Don’t make these parameters too narrow – it’s unlikely you’ll find someone the same age as you who lives in the same neighborhood. Try a 5 year age gap and a 100 km range and see where this gets you.

Say cheese!

Appearance matters – the first thing most people will look at is your profile picture and you can bet that this will make up the bulk of their decision as to whether you’re a match or not.

Consequently, you want to use the best photograph possible that you can. Don’t settle for a quick selfie in your dimly lit bedroom – go somewhere social and get someone else to take the photograph for you.

Women are better off smiling in their profile pictures in order to show a sense of warmth, whilst men are better off ditching the smile for a more serene look (probably not what you were expecting). Both sexes meanwhile can benefit from keeping their photo free of other people including kids and pets. Make the focus on you and you only.

Some sites allow you to post multiple photos, in which case you may want to try using a range of photos from different situations. This could include something more formal and then something more casual. Feel free to upload pictures of you getting involved with hobbies that you feel could spark interest.

Photos should always be clear. Avoid blurry images or photographs in which your face is obscured by sunglasses or a hat. Halloween make-up is also probably not a good idea.

Finally, make sure to use modern photos. A photo of you 10 years ago isn’t going to give people an honest representation of what you look like now, which leads to the next point…

Be honest

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There’s no use deceiving people with lies about your achievements or fake photographs – sooner or later you’ll get caught out. Keep your profile honest so that it’s a true representation of you. Make sure that people know you have kids or that you’re going through gender reassignment or that you have a disability. Those that aren’t put off by these things are the people that you want to attract to your profile.

Of course, you don’t have to tell strangers everything there is to know about you – it’s worth keeping a few surprises such as hobbies or past achievements.

Keep your profile fun

Your dating profile shouldn’t read like a CV. Keep it succinct and humorous to show people that you are a fun person. Tell people a funny fact about yourself, use smiley faces and avoid negative language. You may also want to keep out religious views or political opinions, unless your date needs to share these opinions as a minimum requirement.

The profile setup is different on each dating platform – some sites allow for more detailed sections whilst other platforms such as Tinder allow space for only a couple sentences. Try using different information on each dating platform, allowing you to try out different strategies and see which ones work.  

Watch your spelling

When writing your dating profile and messaging other users, it pays to use good spellingIf you’re using words such as ‘teh’, ‘cuz’ and ‘ur’, you could be 13% less likely to get a reply. This goes for your dating profile too, which deserves to be well-written.

Message first

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It doesn’t matter as to which gender you are – whilst messaging first is traditionally the role of the man, many women are starting to break this tradition and message first. Messaging first shows that you’re keen – don’t just wait for the messages to come to you.

When sending your first message, think careful about the content. Don’t just open with ‘hi’ as this doesn’t inspire conversation. Instead, find an engaging greeting that tells people immediately that you’re looking for an interesting conversation. Discuss a shared interest or mention something they wrote in their profile that captured your attention. Alternatively, you could try opening with a riddle or a funny situational question (e.g. ‘would you rather fight an army of duck-sized horses, or a single horse-sized duck?’).

Time your message strategically so that you’re more likely to get an answer. 3PM on a weekday is not a good time to message someone as they’re likely to be working. In fact, sticking to mornings, evenings and weekends if you can.

Know when to seal the deal

Once you start getting replies, you may soon after find yourself in a full-blown conversation, at which point you may start to wonder when it the best time to seal the deal and ask for their phone number/invite them on a physical date.

The important thing to realize is that both of you are on that dating platform for the sole reason of finding a date, therefore you don’t want to be carrying on conversations for days or even weeks. You should therefore aim to ask the question fairly early so that the person you’re talking to knows you’re interested.

You don’t need to spend ages talking to them online to determine whether they’re a good match. In fact, you should try to save some of the juicier conversation questions to when you go on a physical date so that you have something to talk about.

Ideally, you should avoid adding someone on Facebook until you’ve met them in person – allow yourself a bit of mystery when going into the date so that you can get to know each other more naturally as if you met in real life.

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LOVE AFFAIRS

7 Steps to becoming truly love-ready

Know that even before one looks for a partner, he/she must first know oneself.

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Photo by rawpixel from Unsplash.com

For relationship-hunters, being single is no fun when you’ve been wishing, hoping, and praying for the right partner to come into your life. But what would you do if Mr./Ms. Right appeared? Would you be ready to be in a healthy, loving partnership?

According to matchmaker Kailen Rosenbergauthor of “Real Love, Right Now: A 30-Day Blueprint for Finding Your Soul Mate — and So Much More!”, even before one looks for a partner, he/she must first know oneself.

“In order to know if you’re truly ready for love or not, especially if the new guy or gal in your life is the ‘right’ one, you must know what kind of ‘mate’ you are,” Rosenberg said. “Are you a Life, Soul, or Ego Mate? Knowing and understanding who you are when it comes to love makes all the difference. We all think it’s a soulmate we want, but that’s not necessarily true.”

Here are seven steps to becoming truly love-ready, according to Rosenberg.

  1. Envision love for yourself: To be love-ready, you must not only believe in love, but be able to envision it for yourself. Picture love in a wholly positive, sexy, fun, and healthy way, and envision this existing for you in your own life. To really achieve this, you’ll have to let go of the old blocks, fears, and self-sabotages that have kept you from love in the past.
  2. Let go of desperation: One huge clue that you are now love-ready is if you no longer feel desperate to find the kind of loving relationship that you want. You want love — and you’re excited for it — but you don’t need it as badly as before.
  3. Radiate loving energy: When you are love-ready, your new energy will radiate out from you to the rest of the world. The more you approach all of life with this loving energy, the more you’ll notice the impact this has on those you encounter, from friends and family to strangers on the street. The person you are waiting to meet will notice it, too!
  4. Listen to your inner voice: Another sign that you are love-ready is that you can now listen to and truly hear the inner voice you used to block out because you were afraid of being alone. You can see the warning signs of problematic, unloving behavior in a potential partner sooner, and you have a heightened awareness of who you want around you.
  5. Deal with past wounds: Issues from your past that have not been dealt with can prevent you from being completely love-ready, though it is still possible to find love if you aren’t fully healed. Just be aware that you will bring any fears or hurts you carry into the new relationship. If you can deal with them and heal them now, you’ll give yourself and your future partner the gift of an emotionally clearer and more joyful start to your partnership.
  6. Shift your self-image: Becoming love-ready doesn’t always mean conquering a dramatic, painful past. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perception. Seeing yourself honestly and lovingly is an extremely important part of being truly love-ready.
  7. Let go of excuses that are holding you back: You know all those reasons you tell yourself as to why you haven’t found love yet? It’s time to put those aside. The excuses are fairly universal and common, such as “the divorce rate is so high,” “my friends are all unhappy in their marriages,” “my parents had a miserable marriage,” “all men are jerks,” “all women just want money,” “no one wants to date a single mother with little kids,” “all of the good ones are taken,” and so on. Sound familiar? Here’s the thing: we receive what we believe by investing in our belief systems with our attitudes, words, and actions that make them come true. Stop subscribing to these limiting beliefs and you might surprise yourself with how much easier it feels to be open to love.
READ:  LGBT-affirming churches gather

Identify what kind of mate you are to find the perfect mate via The Real Reveal.

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LOVE AFFAIRS

5 Lessons ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ can teach everyone about love

By using ABBA’s songs, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” teaches important lessons about loving – including the need to grab every moment as they come, and savor these moments, because some of these moments may not happen again, and there’s no sense living with regrets for what-could-have-been’s.

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SCREENSHOT FROM 'MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN"

In 2008, the world was re-exposed to the music of Swedish pop group ABBA, thanks to the summer blockbuster “Mamma Mia!”. In that musical-turned-film that was based on ABBA songs, we followed the story of Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), who – while looking for her real Dad before her wedding because her mom (Meryl Streep) opted to remain secretive about her past – ended up discovering the real meaning of family.

It helps, of course, that the story is pushed forward by ABBA songs – from the melancholic “I Have a Dream”, to the always-lively “Dancing Queen”, to the poetic (albeit sad) “Our Last Summer” and “Slipping Through My Fingers”, and to the flirtatious “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” and to the very title of the film, “Mamma Mia”.

That film earned $615.7 million in the box office, highlighting – perhaps – that ABBA has not really gone (even if the group disbanded in 1982). By successfully encapsulating the essence of the songs, we – like Sophie – journeyed to joyful self-discovery.

A decade after “Mamma Mia!” was released, we revisited Sophie and – yes – ABBA via “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”.

This time around, the story picks up with Sophie (Seyfried) pregnant and single just as her mother, Donna (Streep), was years earlier. A spoiler: Donna is dead. So in her place, and to comfort Sophie, Donna’s friends and former bandmates, Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) share stories of Donna in her adventurous youth.

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And from this, there are five lessons I think “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” can teach everyone not just about family, but about real love.

1. Love can come from unexpected places.

With Donna’s death a year earlier, two of her fathers (Harry and Bill) unable to make it to the reopening of Donna’s hotel, and Sky (her partner) in New York, the pregnant Sophie was not having an easy time.
But even if these people very close to her are not (supposedly) around, she is not lacking for love. Rosie and Tanya, for instance, are there for her; and even the community that they helped shape via Donna’s hotel back her up.

I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Nine of the singles of ABBA – formed by Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid in Stockholm, Sweden almost half a century ago – are about love, which is the group’s most-popular subject. Five of those songs went to No. 1: “Waterloo”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Name of the Game”, “Take a Chance on Me” and “Super Trouper”.

As an FYI: The group’s next most-popular subject matter (with four singles) is about lust. But none of those reached top spot [even if “Voulez-Vous” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” reached number three].

2. When you find real love, hold on to it as long as you can.

Remember the way the first film ended, with Sophie’s three dads basically saying that it doesn’t matter who her biological father is, they all claim to be her family because they love her?

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” continues that premise.

That is, that when you find real love (whether it’s romantic or familiar or whatever), hold on to it.

3. Not all heartbreaks break us.

Three of ABBA’s singles are about heartbreak, and two are about loneliness – themes that “Mamma Mia!” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” also tackle.

And while the first movie included “The Winner Takes It All”; the second one included “Why Did It Have to Be Me” and “Angel Eyes” – all these songs actually lamenting about lost love.

But here’s the thing: These songs may be sad, but they are also self-aware, with the one singing it actually being thankful for the loving. This highlights that there may be moments when loving hurts; but this does not need to break us.

4. Your past never disappears; you just learn to live with it.

That Donna is dead exemplifies “past”. But instead of just forgetting the past, it may be best to learn to live with it instead. This is why Sophie is celebrating Donna.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” also shows that your past will eventually catch up with you. The first film, after all, had Donna claiming her mother is dead; but in the second movie, this mother appeared in the person of Cher.

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To this end, too, ABBA’s “Fernando”, as sang by the indomitable Cher, is more than apt: “Though we never thought that we could lose, there’s no regret…”

To survive, we all move on from our past, learning how to live with the lessons we got from it.

5. Live in the present.

Donna’s character was always in-the-present (which explains her falling in love with three succeeding guys; and then – when she got pregnant – deciding to settle down to form a family). And there is something that can be learned with loving from Donna. That is, to grab every moment as they come, and savor these moments. Some of these moments may not happen again, and there’s no sense living with regrets for what-could-have-been’s.

Dancing Queen” may arguably be ABBA’s most popular – and catchy – song. But to summarize this lessons in loving, I’d say “Thank You for the Music” is more apt. The words may refer to music as a whole; but it may as well refer to loving, i.e.:

“So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me…”

So I say thanks to “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” for giving me a glimpse of real love.

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LOVE AFFAIRS

What to do when an ex won’t let you move on

Whether your ex was guilty of infidelity, including cyber cheating, or love just fizzled out doesn’t matter. Whatever happens, you owe it to yourself to find your route to freedom.

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Photo by Nick Fewings from Unsplash.com

Ending a relationship is never easy. Unfortunately, some ex-lovers will make it harder to walk away than others. Worse still, it’s almost impossible to know whether a person is going to become difficult until the relationship is over.

Whether your ex was guilty of infidelity, including cyber cheating, or love just fizzled out doesn’t matter. Whatever happens, you owe it to yourself to find your route to freedom. Here’s how to regain control of your love status and general life.

Photo by Pixabay.com

Seek A Clear Financial Resolution

It’s never nice to jump straight into the financial battles. Sadly, if you were in a serious relationship, it’s inevitable that disputes will occur. Therefore, it’s imperative that you tackle those issues head on. Otherwise, you’re asking for another obstacle to appear.

Some couples can do this without the courts. However, the fact that your ex is being difficult suggests that you’ll need to do this in an official manner. Given the situation, it may be best to sell the home and other major assets. Aside from being an easy solution, it avoids the threat of you being left with items that have emotional ties.

It’s very difficult to move on with your life or make a fresh start without first achieving that financial solution. Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but this is one of the most crucial parts of your recovery.

Stand Up For Yourself

A sense of assertiveness is particularly crucial at this time in your life, not least if your ex is trying to be difficult. This is even more important if you’ve been in an abusive relationship, physically or emotionally. Break their dominance, and you’ll finally be set to move on.

It is possible that your ex will try to get desperate by falsely dragging you into situations and legal battles. When fighting these situations, leave it the experts and ignore any personal contact with your ex. A child abuse lawyer should be able to prove your innocence. When coupled with your lack of interaction, your ex-partner should soon get the message.

Photo from Pixabay.com

The worst thing you could do is sit back and let them walk over you or claw you back into their life. As tough as it can feel at times, standing up for yourself is vital. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, and you won’t go far wrong.

Move On

After suffering a toxic relationship, you may not be ready for another serious one for some time. However, there’s nothing wrong with the confidence boost from a little dating. Alternatively, you could start a new hobby or class to see if anything naturally surfaces there.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to invest time in yourself and learn to be happy in your skin once more. Your needy or demanding ex may have knocked your confidence for six. Hiring a personal trainer to get you back into shape can be a life-changing experience. This is a great time to focus on career goals and other achievements.

It may not feel like it right now, but it is possible to break free and get your life back on track. Now that you have a winning plan of action at your disposal, it’s time to make things happen.

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Literary Pieces

Five foot eight

Will you date someone who doesn’t conform to the standards you set? What if – by breaking these standards – it means you find the one you’re looking for?

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Photo by Oliver Schwendener from Unsplash.com

It’s raining again today.

Much to my dismay, I see the sky outside my window. Bleak. Gray. And even with the negative illusion of my dark room that should show that one tiny window as a square of light, it’s more like a faint projection on a blank wall of a Serbian art house film.

I check the clock, it’s barely past seven in the morning, and I will myself up from the sticky, oppressive heat of my bed, which despite the best efforts of my poor, ancient, and overworked air-conditioning unit, feels more like an electric griddle set on low than the dreamy softness that grinning salesboy promised when I bought these sheets. Another day off to a rip-roaring start, to be sure.

Stumbling across my room into the small lav in what could probably be the unsexiest pair of pajamas ever known to man, I flipped a switch and heard a soft moan and a rustle in the bed I just left.

Right. Anton spent the night.

I took a piss, relishing the sound of a steady stream make contact with the toilet water, hoping it would drown out the soft sound of the rain against my window. As I relieved myself, I started to trace back my steps last night.

***

“Anton.”

“Terry.”

He smiles: “Like, ‘Wag mo akong ma-Terry Terry!

We laugh. Mental note: Please don’t do that, like ever again.

“Mike said you’d be here on time. Sorry, I was caught up in traffic.”

Not an excuse for being almost 40 minutes late, but whatever. “It’s alright, I work in the building, so I went down when I could and I figured I could read a bit while waiting.”

He plops down on the sofa directly across me. He’s totally not what our mutual friend Mike said he would be. For one he’s NOT 5’10’, more like pushing 5’8” tops. As a tall-ish guy (About 6’ tall), I do try to date people within my height range.

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“What are you reading?”

“Some stuff for work.” He makes a face.

“Really, put those away, you’re off the clock, right?”

I put my papers back in my bag. I will concede this point. “I’m sorry. You have my undivided attention.”

He takes a sip from the bottle of beer that somehow materialized in front of him at one point. “Good. I have been reading up on the Queen and her deliciously sordid relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton.”

“Oh really now? And?”

“I haven’t made my mind on it as of the moment.” He continues. Looking dead straight into my eyes.

I confess, I averted my gaze.

“So how do you know Mike?”

“I knew Michelle from college, when they got married, I was dead set against it. Mike is just too short for Mich.”

It took all the strength I had in me not to laugh in his face.

“Anyway, Mike seems to have taken it upon himself to overhaul my sex life, so he offered to introduce me to you.”

I take a sip from my drink, and arched my eyebrows. “And why would he do that? Is there something particular about your sex life that needs fixing?”

He laughs and pats his belly. “I seem to have an awful knack of devouring the souls of all I come across, at least in his estimation. I work in advertising, so I guess he’s right.”

“So tread carefully is the name of the game, is it?”

“You can say that. We can also call it bad publicity and fake news.”

“You sir, are a hot mess it seems.” I raise my drink to him with a slight smirk.

“And you sir, are not in a better place, believe me.” He raises his beer and gently clinks it against my glass.

***

I take off my pajamas and step into the shower. I turn the tap and turn around to let the water run in cold rivulets down my back. I wonder what fresh hell awaits me back at the office.

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I hate Mondays. As Garfield would say, but unlike that goddamn cat, I actually have a reason to hate it. I start to lather up my hair and beard, and I work my way down. Making quick work of washing up the sticky scent of sweat, gunk, and sex. I took care to wash that nasty business back there. I never enjoyed being on the receiving end of penetrative sex: it always makes me uncomfortable the next day. Like legitimately makes me feel out of sorts: like my back is all out of alignment. If it’s a psychological thing, or an age thing, I don’t know exactly: but I keep forgetting to stretch before getting into it. And I have a theory that this hamster is trying to kill me by jackhammering me every time we meet.

***

“So, Terry: Apart from your riveting work as an auditor for one of our country’s finest banking institutions, and a possible history of homicide involving your ex-husband’s mistress, what should I know about you?”

“Very funny, something tells me, that is your favorite movie.”

“If it is, will you hate me?”

“No. I wouldn’t. But you will be judged. Though I haven’t really seen it.”

“Then I am judging you. Maricel Soriano is a national treasure.”

I snort. This conversation is absurd.

“Oh, mock me all you want. It doesn’t make you superior. Sexier, perhaps, but not superior.”

I snort again. Loudly. People from the other table look at me.

“Okay, significantly less sexy. Are you retarded?”

We both laugh.

“I must say you are turning out to be so much more vexing than Mike initially led me to believe.”

He smiles, “Well, I do try.”

***

“Room for one more?”

I turn my head and open my eyes to look at him, framed by the door.

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“Don’t be ridiculous. This shower wouldn’t fit us both. Go read a magazine or something. I’m still pondering the secrets of the universe.”

He doesn’t listen (as always), and proceeds to slowly peel off his clothes: First that ratty t-shirt, and then those boxer briefs. I stare at him, taking in the lurid little striptease. He steps into the shower and I feel the coarse brush of his chest hair against my back. His arms, thick and strong envelop me in their embrace.

“So troublesome. Must you invade my every waking moment?”

“I intend to invade every inch of you. Must you protest so vigorously every time I do?”

His hands begin to unravel each excuse, each justification. I feel the heat rising in my body for the first time today, as I felt his cock firmly press in between my thighs. I turn around, not without much difficulty, in the small space we now share, and I face him. His eyes glow like obsidian, his lips taste like cocaine.

And 5’8″ seems to be the perfect height after all.

***

“Go ahead. You can say it. Mike warned me about your height preference.”

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. I made a mental note to kill Mike later.

“It’s not a requirement.”

“That’s good to hear. It would’ve been a shame, you know.”

“Why?”

“Because I only date people who are 6’ and taller. So you’re the perfect height. If we don’t hit it off, I’ll have to find some other giant to climb.”

“Given that the average height for our people are around 5’8″…”

“Ouch.”

“That implies that you don’t get to climb very often. How do I know if you can climb well enough?”

“Oh I can climb pretty well, thank you very much. You’ll just have to trust me on that.”

“Well, we’ll see.”

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LOVE AFFAIRS

A guide to boosting your dating game

This guide to boosting your dating game should help you out. It’s time to turn things around.

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Photo by Joshua K. Jackson from Unsplash.com

When you’ve had a bad time on recent dates, it can be hard to get things back on track. It becomes so frustrating that you start to consider giving up the entire thing. You might start to lose confidence in your own abilities, but the truth is that you’re probably just approaching dating in the wrong way. Maybe you keep bringing up certain topics that are too heavy for the first date, or maybe you keep picking the wrong type of person for you in the first place.

Whatever the case, this guide to boosting your dating game should help you out. It’s time to turn things around.

Ask plenty of questions. That’s the best way to keep the conversation flowing.
PHOTO BY RAWPIXEL.COM FROM PEXELS.COM

Work on your conversational skills.

For starters, your dating game will take a turn for the better if you work on your conversational skills. You need to avoid each extreme end of the spectrum. It’s bad to talk so much that your date struggles to find an opportunity to speak. But it’s also bad to talk so little that your date has no idea who you are. You need to work on finding the perfect balance in the middle.

Learn to participate in the conversation enough to reveal your personality to your date, but make sure that you listen to them too. Ask plenty of questions. That’s the best way to keep the conversation flowing. It’s a simple piece of advice, but it’s one that doesn’t fail (unless your date is also nervous and struggling to speak).

Be bolder in public.

The best way to boost your dating game is to date as much as your schedule allows. By this, we mean that you need to be more confident. And we’re not just talking about confidence on dates – we’re talking about being confident enough to arrange more dates. If you barely ever date then the problem might be that you’re not putting yourself out there. You might not be as unattractive to potential dates as you think; it’s just that people can sense shyness. If you seem reserved and hesitant then people might not be willing to give you a chance when you ask them out (and they might not want to pursue you either).

You need to confidently seize opportunities in public. If you end up talking to somebody who’s cute then you should ask for their number (or even a link to their social media profile) before they leave. Be bolder in public, and you might be surprised by the results. It can’t hurt to schedule multiple dates. Even if you’re still working on your conversational skills or overall confidence, you can see each date as practice. If things lead to a second date then that’s great. If not then you’ll have learned something for the next person you date.

Get help from dating agencies and companies.

Whilst you should always try to approach people in public if you think there’s a chance that you could end up on a date with someone, it’s not always that easy. It can be disheartening when you think you’re making progress with someone, but you find out that they’re already in a relationship or they’re not looking to date at the moment. That’s why dating companies can be so helpful. They succeed where many dating apps fail. There are plenty of people on Tinder and Grindr who are just looking for an ego boost and don’t actually want to date. But many dating companies will help to set you up with singles who actually want to date you. They’ll also pair you up based on similar interests, preferences, and personality types.

If you’re a guy who’s looking for other guys then you might even want to get help from a company that can set you up with people in your local area. You should check out the GuySpy Voice gay chat line. It can really help to talk on the phone with people who share your interests or personality type. You don’t have to ask out a stranger on a date and hope that you hit it off. Dating companies will help you out by setting you up with people based on your specifications. Better yet, you’ll be talking to singles who want the same thing as you. That’s something which isn’t always guaranteed by dating apps, as good as they can be.

If you’ve not been having much luck on Tinder, Grindr, or whichever app you’ve been using then you might want to try non-dating websites.
PHOTO BY PIXABAY FROM PEXELS.COM

Try non-dating websites.

As discussed previously in one of our other articles, non-dating sites can be the best for finding a potential future partner. Statistically speaking, a high percentage of online users have found their boyfriend or girlfriend on standard social networks. Obviously, part of this is because the big social networks have a larger user-base than any dating website (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to name just a few). But it’s not just a result of the numbers game; many of those big social networks have plenty of features that come in handy when it comes to assessing a potential date. You can see whether you have mutual friends with someone, check their pictures to see what kind of lifestyle they lead (or the lifestyle they reveal, anyway), and pop up to them on chat to see if you have a connection.

Additionally, social networks such as Twitter have private messaging functions (we’ve all heard about people “sliding into the DMs”), so this can provide a slightly more personal way in which to talk to someone. If you’ve not been having much luck on Tinder, Grindr, or whichever app you’ve been using then you might want to try non-dating websites. It’s always better to make sure you can vouch for somebody’s legitimacy (through a mutual friend or a Skype call) before meeting up with them to avoid stranger danger. But make sure you meet up with a new person in a public place such as a shopping mall or a coffee shop. That’s always a good way to be sure that you’re meeting the person with whom you’ve been talking. It’s smart to pick a safe environment.

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