Title:  Turn Up The Heat On First Dates With These Conversation Starters
Author:   jcabrera1981  |  Location: TEXAS
Date: 07/16/2017      

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Wanted to share some of my tips and techniques for turning up the heat on a first date. Trust me these work!

Life is too short for there to be taboo topics. I say put it all out there so as not to waste time. You want passion in your relationship? Talk about topics of substance. Religious views, politics, sexual preferences...everything you were always told NOT to talk about on a first date are the conversation topics that will really enable you to see if you're going to be compatible with and potentially connect with a person in the long run. Why wait till the third or fourth date to find out that they voted for Trump? Seriously, do you have that kind of time to waste?

You don't necessarily want to dive into your recent divorce or how your college sweetheart broke your heart and you're still in therapy trying to get over it. However, relating on a "single in the city" level is a good thing. If you met online ask what their worst online date was. I'm sure you've had your share of bad dates as well. This topic should provide much entertainment value and give you insight into your date, giving you the knowledge so you hopefully won't make the same "bad date" mistakes of your predecessors. 

The internet and technology have enabled singles to date 24/7. How do you stand out and become more than just another first and last date casualty? Skip the boring, run-of-the-mill first date questions that the masses engage in and mix it up. Find out his/her celebrity crush. If they could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of their live where it would be, what they would or wouldn't do for a million dollars. This line of dialogue is open ended, flirty and fun and will allow you to gain more insight into your potential mate.

If your date is a movie buff or geography guru, rather than just talking about the subject turn it into a game. I.e. pick an actor or actress and go back and forth naming their movies until one of you can't come up with one. Whoever lasts the longest wins and gets a massage and/or the loser picks up the next round of drinks. A little competition is healthy for a relationship, especially a new one. It will help you gauge how intelligent, creative, competitive, collaborative and most importantly, what type of winner/or loser your date is. It also creates a the good type of "sexual tension" that will help secure you a second date. 
Title:  Why Speed Dating Is The Way To Go
Author:   jcabrera1981  |  Location: TEXAS
Date: 06/10/2017      

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Speed dating is a great way to meet people. I've tried speed dating in Austin and I've also done speed dating in NYC. I MUCH prefer speed dating to online dating for several reasons. With online dating there is all of this back and forth correspondance that has to take place before you even meet. I'm an efficient person and don't like to waste time. Quite often you'll meet the person you're corresponding with and realize you have absolutely no chemistry with them. Not to mention all of the people who are not honest in their dating profiles. Be it photos from 10 years ago, lying about their age, weight, height or anything in between. 

What is so great about speed dating is that you get to meet 10-20 singles in one night over 3 minute dates. You don't have much time on a speed date but you do have enough time to assess if there is enough chemistry to want to go on a full blown date. It's a really non-pressure way to date and also very efficient.

Speeddating is also a better route for meeting someone than trying to pick up women at a bar. At the bar you never know who is actually single and looking to meet someone and you also have to be very assertive and confident and okay with approaching women. Which isn't for everyone. With speed dating the hosts do everything for you. 

You can meet more people speed dating in one night than some people meet with a year of online dating. Not to mention it really works. I ended up meeting my fiancee through a speed dating event. We've been together for almost six years now. And it's not just me, I've heard about several friends and family members who had success through speed dating events. 

If you haven't tried speed dating and are seriously looking to meet someone for a serious relationship or just new people in general I seriously suggest you try it. Speed dating is affordable, efficient, effective and fun. Make sure you read reviews on the companies you are looking to speed date with because some are better than others. You want to sign up with a speed dating company that guarantees a minimum number of dates and I think dating companies like OnSpeedDating are good b/c they offer really "niche" singles events that give the opportunity to try to meet the types of singles you are interested in meeting.
Title:  The Top 8 Spots/Ways To Meet A Significant Other
Author:   jcabrera1981  |  Location: TEXAS
Date: 03/27/2017      

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1. Volunteering at your local animal shelter or food kitchen: It's a great way to meet "good" people passionate about helping others and I know of at least 3 couples that have met this way in the past. Even if you don't meet "the one" at least you didn't waste time and it was for a good cause.

2. Intramural sports teams: There are so many organizations out there for recreational team sports. Get on a co-ed team. Doesn't matter if you're good at the sport or not. After the games the teams usually head out to the local watering hole and socialize. This is a great way to meet a significant other. I know of several relationships that started this way. My now girlfriend took it to the extreme and played on an all men's volleyball team with Urban Volleyball to increase the odds of meeting someone. Glad that didn't end up working out. 

3. Lyft Ridesharing: If you're single, why not share your ride versus take your own taxi or car service? You'll save money and maybe hit it off with the guy/gal you're sharing the ride with. Win-win.

4. Coffee Shops/We Work: These are both great spots to potentially meet someone. If you're a regular at either of these places it will create a sense of familiarity amongst other regulars and make it more likely someone will engage you in conversation. This is a great spot to meet fellow single entrepreneurs. When the offer to buy you a coffee you've got yourself and instant date.

5. Speed Dating / Singles Parties: These are better than bars because you know everyone in attendance is looking to meet someone if not only for the night. There are fun icebreakers and activities that help facilitate conversation. These are better than dating apps as you get to check out the "merchandise" in real time and in person. We have hundreds of singles that find their significant other through our singles events. While they may not always end up meeting "the one," they will sometimes meet a wingwoman or wingman that will end up introducing them to their future partner. And with OnSpeedDating's "themed" events...Fireman Parties, Size Matter's Speed Dating for women that like tall men, "Have Passport, Will Travel," there is something for everyone and you're more likely to hit it off with the singles in attendance if you go to an event that caters to your preferences.

6. Quiet Clubbing: These silent disco parties are a great place to meet new people and socialize. While not everyone in attendance is single, you never know who you'll meet. Unlike the club scene there is not blaring music so you can actually have a conversation without screaming at the top of your lungs. Based on what color the LED lights of someone's headset are you can tell if they have similar music tastes and quickly strike up a conversation. 

7. The Park: I know a woman who met her now husband of five years by just laying out a blanket out at Sheep's Meadow in Central Park and putting out a nice spread of food. She was super friendly and approachable looking. When a cute guy would walk buy she'd ask them if they wanted to join her for a quick nosh. Definitely paid off. 

8. Karaoke: I know a few couples who have met doing karaoke at The Watering Hole. This is a great way to meet a significant other. Simply pick a great duet song and approach any individuals you're interested in to sing the male/female part. When you sing together you'll get a sense if you have chemistry and if they like you, you guys will definitely be together for more than just one song.


Title:  Reality v. The Dream
Author:   JimReese007  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 11/09/2014      

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When I was a kid, my dream woman is a half-Asian, half-Colombian gymnast with a degree in culinary arts who is a die hard fan of the N.Y.Giants.  She had an English accent and a Richard Pryor sense of humor.  In my child-like imagination, she was out there.  I just needed to be in the right coffee shop, in the right city, at the right time.  She'd come in and we'd lock eyes. Fireworks would go off in my head and privates.  She'd wink, and I'd give a smooth up-nod and say something clever like "Took you long enough."  And we'd laugh.  There would be passion.  And great food. And gymnastics.

Right. The dream.

The reality is that I got older.  And a little wiser, perhaps.  Waiting for that butterfly-inducing romantic comedy moment was tossed aside with my aspirations of space travel and ninja training.  I met elderly people who had been married longer than I have been alive, and I listened to their stories.  My grandparents met in a drug store in Virginia, back in 1953.  Grandpa was single, Grandma was engaged.  He persued, she shied as a betrothed woman should.  They didn't see each other for months.  Grandma's wedding was on the horizon, and grandpa went for it.  Grandma relented. She came clean and broke off the engagement.  Two months later, she and grandpa were married.  They were together, inseparably, for 60 years before grandpa passed last year.  The other guy probably thought grandma was his dream girl.

Yep. Reality.

So now I guess my dream girl is a woman who'll stick around, even when somebody as undeniably suave as gramps comes along and tries to sweep her away.

Title:  Halloween!!
Author:   HomiLoverFriend  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 10/26/2014      

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If you're like me, this is your favorite time of year.  How often do adults get to play dress up and get drunk without anybody judging them?  So, I am looking for some awesome ideas for a costume.  Last year I was the girl from the Sun Drop commercials (you know the one with the jean shorts and the headband). This year I need to step up my game for these parties.  I won't be doing anything generic like a sexy nurse, or a princess. Dig deep. Go!
Title:  Friend Zoned?
Author:   MmmKay  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 10/26/2014      

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Getting out of the friend zone isn't that complicated.  If you find yourself there, it's either because you haven't informed your crush that you'd like to be more than friends, or you did, and you were given a no.  In the second case, you keep it moving and don't look back, obviously.  But if you haven't said anything, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  Sometimes you have to be a man (or woman) about the situation and put your cards out there to get what you want.
Of course, there are situations, or shall we call them excuses, that make people hesitate.  Your crush just came out of something serious, and you want to give them time to sort things out without laying ultimatums down at the wrong time.  Or maybe you don't want to run what is already a genuine friendship.  Those are rare, I get it. But again, either you are content with the current standing as a platonic acquaintance, or you want more. You can't leave the ball in the other person's court.  Sometimes a person simply doesn't think of you that way until you present yourself as such, and you may be surprised what happens if you give it a shot.  Get to it!
Title:  A Poem About Things I Love
Author:   Wolverine1  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 10/19/2014      

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Angelina's mouth.  
Turtle shells. 
Yoga pants.
Spiced rum and beach weather.
A woman's sigh.
Friendly pit bulls.
Socks out the laundry.
Cheese, on everything.  
Sunday living rooms full of beer and football.
Baby laughter.
Breakfast for dinner.

Title:  Speed Dating
Author:   HomiLoverFriend  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 10/16/2014      

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Remember back in, say 2000, when people used to look down on internet dating sites and the whole concept of meeting someone online?  Yeah, since then a bunch of folks who are now happily married have disclosed that they met on the Web, and now the whole idea looks a little different.  In fact, it is laughable to think about how we can view certain actions a certain way in one generation, only to find that our stigmas were based on hangups rather than credible cause for concern.  Don't take me wrong, you still have to screen people for crazy (as much as you can), but how is meeting someone on the Web more dangerous than meeting them in person? The way I see it, you can size up a person with the buffer of physical distance in between you before deciding they're OK, and then you can decide the terms of this meeting.  Someone coming on strong in person? There's the awkwardness of letting them down easy and not looking a certain way.  Letting someone down on the net is pressing a block button and putting their emails in the spam folder.

Speed dating is similar, but different.  Sure, it's more physical, more superficial, but it's a crock to say you don't care about the physical attributes of a person who catches your eye.  You may not have supermodel expectations, but you'd like to be attracted to someone you're spending time with.  Understand that I mean attractive to YOU, and not necessarily the general public.  The interesting and useful part about the concept of speed dating is that it removes the pretenses found at pubs or clubs.  The flock of beauties who come out in their most luxurious plumage, who irresistably girate on the floor only to block all advances before they begin.  Or the dark and broody gentleman at the end of the bar, who just wanted to drown out his thoughts with loud music and the laughter of others.  These are NOT the type of people you meet at a speed dating event.  Everyon who attends is looking for someone, else they wouldn't have gone through the trouble of getting prettied up.  Even better, the event you're attending is usually for a specific age group and "type" (divorced, students, etc.), so yet another layer of pretense is removed by simply attending.  I think the hardest part about it is the act of putting yourself on display to be judged by another, but there is little risk of embarrasment unless you ask a presumptuous question during the course of the brief convo, like "so you're going to pick me, right?"  In my experience with speed dating, I find that everyone is cordial and polite, even if they aren't interested, and the selection process is done discreetly, so there is no chance of shattered egos.  There is, of course, the fear that no matches will occur, but such is the risk in any form of courtship.  All in all I would endorse speed dating because it provides the safety of online dating (events always happen in public places with tons of people and security around), the ego protection, and combines it with the irreplacable aspect of meeting a person, feeling their vibe, admiring their choice of perfume/cologne, then tops that with the efficiency of timed interactions.  
Title:  First-Time Callers
Author:   NicetoMeetYou  |  Location: NEW YORK
Date: 10/12/2014      

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It occurred to me after a bunch of first-time phone calls from numbers I had given out at parties and bars (not THAT many!) that some have difficulty getting past that awkward first convo, or rather, getting into it, and may not be aware to the first impression's effect on your chances.  It's understandable.  You don't know if I'm changing a diaper with one hand and cooking with another, or if  I am holding a business meeting while running a marathon.  OR, I could be staring at the phone and waiting for your number to pop up in between pillow fights.  You just don't know.  Which means the first thing you should expect is to expect nothing. The flirting and the laughter and even an agreement that you would call at a certain time don't necessarily guarantee that we'll be receptive of the contact.  Any number of personal things could have happened in our lives between the exchange and the call.

The last guy that called me was already at the bar, drunk, and wanted to know if I wanted to come out.  That wasn't the offensive part, what offended me was that he didn't say who he was or where I knew him from before inviting me out on the town.  Factoring in the slur in his speech, it still occurred to me that the common act of identifying your self first isn't par for the course, and this is why I say it is the first thing that needs to happen before any expectation of rapport.  When we see your number in our phones, there are any number of things that could surface, such as "Oh, it's him!"....or "who is this [insert your name], and why is he calling me?" If the number exchange happened during a "partying" situation, there is a stronger chance of the latter. Something like  "This is [name], and you know me from [meeting place or mutual friend]" at least gives us the opportunity to figure out the nature of the call.  If remember you and seem genuinely pleased that you called, great.  If we don't, and don't have the time or patience to try and figure it out with you, then you have about three chances to remind us in more helpful ways before excusing yourself.  Sounds mean, but if you're still getting fuzziness after several attempts, it's either because I am not intrigued enough to play along, or nothing you did was memorable enough to justify continued communication.

Once you've successfully identified yourself, the answer to the previous uncertainty is to simply ask if the time of the call is convenient for the person you called.  If you are in such a rush that you skip past considering my time, then why would I set aside time for you in any context?  A lot of people think "How are you?" counts as the same thing, and for some it does, but I think that expression is so common that it easily has the same meaning as "hello".  You may get a "fine" that means something else, like things aren't fine but I don't know you enough to vent. Also, starting out a convo by quizzing someone on their state of being forces them to decide how much to reveal to you in the first sentence, so I find that "Are you busy?" or "Did I catch you at a bad time?" more general and appropriate to the status quo.  On top of that, it shows you are considerate, which will never make you look worse in any social situation.

This is where the initial etiquette branches off into specifics, as it is more about your specific personality and the personality of the person you called, so you're kind of on your own beyond here.  Sometimes being forward works, sometimes it doesn't. Depends on the person, depends their mood.  Who knows, maybe I'd have been bored and looking for something to do when the guy called from the bar and hopped on over, or maybe I had just finished crying over something happened a long time ago.  

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