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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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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.
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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.
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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.

Love Affairs

Small towns have highest risk of intimate partner violence

“We tend to think in a continuum from urban to suburban to rural, but for intimate partner violence, it’s actually the suburban areas that are the safest, and small towns that have the highest risk.”

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Despite common perceptions that big cities have more violence, women living in small towns are most at risk of violence from current or former spouses and partners, according to a recent study by Washington State University criminologist Kathryn DuBois.

For the study, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, DuBois analyzed the responses of more than 570,000 women from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1994 to 2015. She found that women from small towns were 27% more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) than women from the center of big cities and 42% more likely than suburban women.

“In criminology, we often have this urban bias. We assume big cities are the worst and paint other places as idyllic,” said DuBois, associate professor at WSU Vancouver. “We tend to think in a continuum from urban to suburban to rural, but for intimate partner violence, it’s actually the suburban areas that are the safest, and small towns that have the highest risk.”

The National Crime Victimization Survey collects information through a large sample of interviews about a range of personal crimes committed every year. Part of the intent of the survey is to uncover the “dark figure” of crime, DuBois said, those crimes that may not be reported to police.

While the survey defines many locations as simply urban or rural, DuBois analyzed the data by population density to delineate urban, suburban, small town and rural areas. Small towns were defined as urbanized portions of non-metropolitan counties with populations up to 50,000. They are distinct from suburban areas that exist just outside of big cities.

“Many surveys assume that everyone in those nonmetropolitan counties are the same, but there’s a lot more heterogeneity across them,” Dubois said.

DuBois originally undertook the study to try and reconcile the inconsistency between national surveys, which typically find rural areas have less or similar rates of IPV to urban areas – and ethnographic research, in-depth qualitative studies that have indicated that rural isolation can exacerbate gender-based violence.

Many community members held the view that relationships between LGBTQIA people could avoid the inherent sexism and patriarchal values of heterosexual, cisgender relationships, and, by implication, avoid DFV/IPV.

While the study data cannot reveal the reasons behind the violence, the finding about the high rate of IPV in small towns indicates that there may be a different set of factors at play, DuBois said.

“Small towns have populations large enough to have the difficult problems of a big city, while at the same time these are some of the hardest hit areas economically, so they don’t have specialized services and policing needed to deal with family violence,” DuBois said.

IPV is also a big issue in the LGBTQIA community, even if this doesn’t particularly get as much attention.

In June 2020, for instance, a study found that domestic and family violence (DFV) and IPV were perceived by community members and professional stakeholders to be a “heterosexual issue that did not easily apply to LGBTQIA relationships.” In particular, many community members held the view that relationships between LGBTQIA people could avoid the inherent sexism and patriarchal values of heterosexual, cisgender relationships, and, by implication, avoid DFV/IPV.

Earlier, in July 2018, another study noted that abuse among gay couples stems from stress factors that also apply to heterosexual couples, such as money issues, unemployment, and drug abuse. However, gay couples are said to face additional stress from internalized homophobia, which may also contribute to IPV.

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Love Affairs

How women and men forgive infidelity

If partners feel the relationship is threatened by the cheating, it’s harder for them to forgive – regardless of their gender.

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Infidelity is one of the most common reasons that heterosexual couples break up. Researchers who have studied 160 different cultures find this to be true worldwide.

However, men and women look at different types of infidelity differently.

Men usually regard physical infidelity – when the partner has sex with another person – more seriously than women do.

Women regard emotional infidelity – when the partner initiates a close relationship with another person – as more serious.

Despite experiencing the different types of infidelity differently, men and women are about equally willing to forgive their partner. And the new findings show that the degree of forgiveness is not related to the type of infidelity.

“We’re surprised that the differences between the sexes weren’t greater. The mechanisms underlying forgiveness are more or less identical between genders,” says Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Psychology.

He has co-authored a new article – “Breakup Likelihood Following Hypothetical Sexual or Emotional Infidelity: Perceived Threat, Blame, and Forgiveness” – in the Journal of Relationships Research. The article addresses infidelity and the mechanisms behind forgiveness.

A research group at NTNU recruited 92 couples for the study. These couples independently completed a questionnaire related to issues described in hypothetical scenarios where the partner had been unfaithful in various ways.

One scenario describes the partner having sex with another person, but not falling in love.

In the other scenario, the partner falls in love with another person, but does not have sex.

So how willing are people to forgive their partner? It turns out that men and women both process  their partner’s infidelity almost identically.

Most people, regardless of gender and the type of infidelity, think it unlikely that they would forgive their partner’s infidelity.

Despite experiencing the different types of infidelity differently, men and women are about equally willing to forgive their partner. And the new findings show that the degree of forgiveness is not related to the type of infidelity.

“Whether or not the couple breaks up depends primarily on how threatening to the relationship they perceive the infidelity to be,” says first author Trond Viggo Grøntvedt, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology.

The more threatening the infidelity feels, the worse it is for the relationship.

Whether partners believe the relationship can continue also depends on how willing they are to forgive each other, especially in terms of avoiding distancing themselves from their partner.

Of course, great individual differences exist, even within each gender. People react differently to infidelity, according to their personality and the circumstances.

“A lot of people might think that couples who have a strong relationship would be better able to tolerate infidelity, but that wasn’t indicated in our study,” says Professor Mons Bendixen at NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

Another aspect plays a role in cases of emotional infidelity, where no sex has taken place. To what extent can the unfaithful partner be blamed for what happened?

If you willingly have sex with another person, it pretty much doesn’t matter whether you feel it’s your fault.

“The degree of blame attributed to the partner was linked to the willingness to forgive,” says Bendixen.

The relationship is at greater risk if the partner is required to bear a big part of the responsibility for ending up in an intimate relationship with someone else.

“The blame factor doesn’t come into play when the partner is physically unfaithful,” Grøntvedt says.

If you voluntarily have sex with someone other than your partner, it’s more or less irrelevant whether you think it was mostly your fault or not. Possible forgiveness does not depend on accepting blame.

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Love Affairs

When it comes to happiness, what’s love got to do with it?

People often think that they need to be married to be happy, so we asked the questions: Do people need to be in a relationship to be happy? Does living single your whole life translate to unhappiness? What about if you were married at some point but it didn’t work out?

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How accurate was William Shakespeare when he said, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”?

Researchers from Michigan State University conducted one of the first studies of its kind to quantify the happiness of married, formerly married and single people at the end of their lives to find out just how much love and marriage played into overall well-being.

The study – published in the Journal of Positive Psychology – examined the relationship histories of 7,532 people followed from ages 18 to 60 to determine who reported to be happiest at the end of their lives.

“People often think that they need to be married to be happy, so we asked the questions, ‘Do people need to be in a relationship to be happy? Does living single your whole life translate to unhappiness? What about if you were married at some point but it didn’t work out?,'” said William Chopik, MSU assistant professor of psychology and co-author of the paper. “Turns out, staking your happiness on being married isn’t a sure bet.”

Chopik and Mariah Purol, MSU psychology master’s student and co-author, found that participants fell into one of three groups: 79% were consistently married, spending the majority of their lives in one marriage; 8% were consistently single, or, people who spent most of their lives unmarried; and 13% had varied histories, or, a history of moving in and out of relationships, divorce, remarrying or becoming widowed. The researchers then asked participants to rate overall happiness when they were older adults and compared it with the group into which they fell.

“We were surprised to find that lifelong singles and those who had varied relationship histories didn’t differ in how happy they were,” said Purol. “This suggests that those who have ‘loved and lost’ are just as happy towards the end of life than those who ‘never loved at all.'”

People often think that they need to be married to be happy, so we asked the questions: Do people need to be in a relationship to be happy? Does living single your whole life translate to unhappiness? What about if you were married at some point but it didn’t work out?

While married people showed a slight uptick in happiness, Purol said the margin was not substantial — nor what many may expect. If the consistently married group answered a 4 out of 5 on how happy they were, consistently single people answered a 3.82 and those with varied history answered a 3.7.

“When it comes to happiness, whether someone is in a relationship or not is rarely the whole story,” Chopik said. “People can certainly be in unhappy relationships, and single people derive enjoyment from all sorts of other parts of their lives, like their friendships, hobbies and work. In retrospect, if the goal is to find happiness, it seems a little silly that people put so much stock in being partnered.”

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If someone longs for a lifelong partner to start a family and build a happy life together, Chopik and Purol’s research suggests that if that individual isn’t completely happy to begin with, getting married won’t likely dramatically change it all.

“It seems like it may be less about the marriage and more about the mindset,” Purol said. “If you can find happiness and fulfillment as a single person, you’ll likely hold onto that happiness — whether there’s a ring on your finger or not.”

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Love Affairs

How social media makes breakups that much worse

Before social media, break-ups still sucked, but it was much easier to get distance from the person. But now, it can make it almost impossible to move on if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online.

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Photo by Cristian Dina from Pixabay.com

Imagine flipping through your Facebook News Feed first thing in the morning and spotting a notification that your ex is now “in a relationship.” Or maybe the Memories feature shows a photo from that beach vacation you took together last year. Or your ex-lover’s new lover’s mom shows up under People You May Know.

Scenarios like these are real and not uncommon, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study exploring how breaking up is even harder to do in the digital age.

“Before social media, break-ups still sucked, but it was much easier to get distance from the person,” said Anthony Pinter, a doctoral student in the information science department and lead author of the study published in the journal Proceedings of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).”It can make it almost impossible to move on if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online.”

The research team recruited participants who had experienced an upsetting encounter online involving a break-up within the past 18 months and interviewed them for over an hour.

Among 19 who underwent in-depth interviews, a disturbing trend emerged: Even when people took every measure they saw possible to remove their exes from their online lives, social media returned them – often multiple times a day.

“A lot of people make the assumption that they can just unfriend their ex or unfollow them and they are not going to have to deal with this anymore,” said Pinter. “Our work shows that this is not the case.”

News Feed, the primary interface that opens when one launches Facebook, was a major source of distress, delivering news of ex-lovers announcing they were in a new relationship. In one case, a participant noticed his roommate had already “liked” his ex’s post. He was the last of his friends to know.

Memories, which revives posts from years’ past, was equally heart-rending, with one participant recalling how a sweet years-old message from his ex-wife popped up out of nowhere delivering an “emotional wallop.”

Even when someone unfriends their ex, if a mutual friend posts a picture without tagging them in it, that picture may still flow through their feed.

Many shared stories of encountering exes via their comments in shared spaces, such as groups or mutual friends’ pictures.

“In real life, you get to decide who gets the cat and who gets the couch, but online it’s a lot harder to determine who gets this picture or who gets this group,” said Pinter.

In 2015, Facebook launched the Take A Break feature, which detects when a user switches from “in a relationship” to “single” and asks if they want the platform to hide that person’s activities. But people like Pinter, who don’t use the Relationship Status tool, never get such an offer.

“Facebook doesn’t know we broke up because Facebook never knew we were in a relationship,” he said.

Even when someone unfriends their ex, if a mutual friend posts a picture without tagging them in it, that picture may still flow through their feed.

And even when they blocked their exes entirely some reported that the ex’s friends and family would still show up on Facebook as suggestions under People You May Know.

“Am I never going to be free of all this crap online?” asked one exasperated participant.

The research stems from a larger National Science Foundation grant award called Humanizing Algorithms, aimed at identifying and offering solutions for “algorithmic insensitivity.”

“Algorithms are really good at seeing patterns in clicks, likes and when things are posted, but there is a whole lot of nuance in how we interact with people socially that they haven’t been designed to pick up,” said Brubaker.

The authors suggest that such encounters could be minimized if platform designers paid more attention to the “social periphery” – all those people, groups, photos and events that spring up around a connection between two users.

For those wanting to rid their online lives from reminders of love lost, they recommend unfriending, untagging, using Take a Break and blocking while understanding they may not be foolproof.

Your best bet, said Pinter: “Take a break from social media for a while until you are in a better place.”

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Love Affairs

Four dating rules to try

Here are some dating rules that you could consider in this modern world, where the world is your oyster. There is no right or wrong, you just have to find out what you prefer and what works best for you.

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If you’re single and ready to mingle, then the dating world can feel quite daunting for some, as well as overwhelming. If you have been with someone for a while and then broken up, you’re likely to be new to all of the apps and online dating scene, which is obviously rife at the moment due to coronavirus. You might also be thinking about what you do and don’t want, and what dating rules you want to have.

With that in mind, here are some dating rules that you could consider in this modern world, where the world is your oyster. There is no right or wrong, you just have to find out what you prefer and what works best for you. You do you, boo.

IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY.COM

Date multiple people

Even if you’re all for monogamy, there is no reason to be doing so in the early stages. Dating a few people at once helps you to see what is out there, and the things that you do or don’t like in a partner. If you find someone that you like, and it is mutual, then things can go from there. But to start with, it helps to not be so emotionally invested in one person, just in case things stop or you suddenly get ghosted. When you are even slightly attached to someone, then the sting from the disappointment is real. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket to start with, and it will do good things for your emotional well-being. 

Keep dates short

Whether online or offline, it is a good idea to keep dates fairly short. Keeping them under two hours means that you have enough time to talk to someone and get to know them, as well as help you to feel a spark if there is one. At the same time, it helps you to not get carried away imagining different scenarios in your head. A dinner date that then turns into an all-night movie marathon can be fun, of course, but it can be confusing, as well as it being upsetting if nothing more comes from it. Take it easy on yourself and take your time with dates; there is no need to rush.

Get online

Online dating isn’t going to be for everyone. But for finding people and chatting to people, using dating apps and even things like gay chat lines can be a good way to dip your toe into the water, so to speak. If you are newly out then it can be a positive thing to do, as you embrace who you are and what dating is like. Even if nothing comes from it, talking, getting to know people, and having fun, is what it is all about. 

Know what you want

It is important to be clear with yourself to know what you want and what you are looking for. If you are looking for a long-term thing, then you need to be clear about that. Just looking for a fling? That’s fine too, but be honest with yourself and with who you are dating. Otherwise, you could get hurt, or could end up hurting someone else in the process.

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Love Affairs

How to comfort your partner when they are stressed

If there is anything worse than experiencing these emotions yourself, it is seeing your significant other struggling with copious amounts of stress, whether it is work-related or not. It can rub off on you, as people sometimes tend to absorb their partners’ feelings and emotions.

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Stress and anxiety are both completely normal parts of life. They’re annoying as hell, and they surely aren’t healthy, especially if you’re subject to those feelings on a daily basis. Not only does it tamper with your mental health, but it also has a very negative impact on your overall well-being. 

If there is anything worse than experiencing these emotions yourself, it is seeing your significant other struggling with copious amounts of stress, whether it is work-related or not. It can rub off on you, as people sometimes tend to absorb their partners’ feelings and emotions. The feeling of helplessness is also one that accompanies these moments – it seems like there is nothing you can do to help your loved one, especially since you’re not the cause of the problem. 

Prolonged periods of increased stress can be detrimental to your relationship. It can creep into your plans for the weekend or even your sex life. How are you going to be able to go on that city break to Vienna if all your partner can think about are their issues at work? Not to mention getting together to try out the “best penis extender” you’ve recently ordered online – it’s impossible to explore your mutual kinks if one of the minds is constantly preoccupied with something else. 

So what can you do to help your significant other relax and relieve some of their stress while being considerate of their thoughts and feelings? Follow this guide to find out what you should and shouldn’t be doing when trying to get your partner out of an emotional rut. 

Talk About It – Or Don’t 

The willingness to immediately discuss problems and crises as soon as they come up is a very personal and individual matter. Some people expect their life partner to come to the rescue and play the role of a therapist – talk everything out to find the root of the issue and come up with a solution. On the other hand, a lot of men and women prefer to sit on these things for a while and think everything through before opening up about them. Finally, there are those who simply don’t want to bother their partner about these issues – a lot of the time, and they are the ones that need help the most. 

Before you decide to confront your loved one about their feelings and offer a helping hand, probe them, and figure out whether it’s actually the best approach. Sometimes talking about stuff that triggers their anxiety is the last thing they want to do. In those cases, it’s better to simply avoid the topic and lend your support in the form of providing your boyfriend or girlfriend with a good time. 

Blow Off Some Steam 

Regardless of whether you’ve talked about the demons plaguing your stressed-out partner or decided to leave it be, for now, the next step towards comforting them is entertaining them with fun activities that will surely help them take the edge off and relax, even if just for a little while. 

Studies have shown that one of the best ways to overcome crippling stress and anxiety is physical activity. In order to help your significant other, you should come up with fun and creative ways to actively spend your free time. It can be anything from a long bike ride, going for a swim or getting together with your friends to play team sports. Another surefire method to physically exert yourselves is getting down and dirty in the bedroom – not only will it get the two of you to move around more, but it will also help your partner relax thanks to the most powerful, natural stress reliever known to mankind – the orgasm. 

Be There For Them 

When your significant other is dealing with increased stress and anxiety levels, one of the worst things you can do is to detach yourself emotionally from them. Don’t get confused with the earlier advice about giving them their much-needed space – these two are very different. Emotional detachment is a way for you to escape the drama and worries related to your loved one’s problem, whereas giving them space is simply letting them be alone whenever they need it. 

Even when you decide that it’s best to leave your partner with their own thoughts for a while, you should be sure to let them know that you’re always available if they want to talk or even just sit in silence together. 

Staying emotionally available and offering up support for your significant other is an absolutely crucial element of comforting them when they’re most stressed. A large part of being in a relationship is knowing that you can rely on the other person when things get rough. 

Final Thoughts 

Dealing with your life partner’s elevated levels of stress is a very delicate matter. While you don’t want to invalidate their feelings by encouraging them to “get over it,” you shouldn’t let them sulk in their own worries indefinitely, either. If you really want to help them, stick around, observe their mood, offer up your time and, most importantly, your ears – if you can’t listen to each other, you can never hope to help each other deal with these kinds of issues. 

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