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Dating // August 18, 2014

Ahhh, the one night stand. Whether they admit it or not, many people have had this casual sexual experience at least once, and usually during their 20’s. However common an occurrence in pop culture they may be, not everyone is sold on the one night stand (O.N.S) experience. Some view them as the greatest “after the party it’s the after party” night cap; in a glass half full kinda way. Others see them as the most embarrassing thing they’ve ever done after leaving the club; in a glass half empty kinda way. However you choose to look at your glass, there’s one undeniable fact: somebody quenched their thirst and got some.

One of the reasons why one night stands have become so prevalent is because the modern dating scene has become a little complicated. For some, dating has become something like the job interview process where, if you’re lucky, by the final stage of questioning you get laid. People don’t really have patience for the run around routine of dating anymore. The beauty of a one night stand is that it isn’t about checking your relationship resume. They don’t require confessing the background story on your last boyfriend or three dinner dates before you…. can show you’re qualified. The prerequisites for a one night stand are easy: as long as you have the complementary parts to get the job done, you’re hired.

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One night stands may seem like “the norm”, but trust me, they aren’t for everyone. Some are just using sex as a Band-Aid to cover up pain from past relationships, or as a tool to manipulate and hurt other people. (Payback for an ex maybe?) But O.N.S. do happen. So, when you leave the club this weekend, before for you decide to subscribe to the mantra of “YOLO” and go home with that cutie you JUST met, here are some questions to ask yourself: 


1) Can you accept responsibility for what is about to happen?

They say the first step to addiction rehabilitation is admitting you have a problem and thus accepting responsibility for it. Well, the first question of a one night stand is similar to that in that you have have to go into that experience knowing and accepting that whatever sexual encounter that is about to happen, is happening because YOU want it to. Far too often people find themselves making excuses for why they had a O.N.S because they feel embarrassed that this type of behavior may be deemed socially unacceptable. Don’t feel like you have to find fault with deciding to spend the night with someone you met hours before. So you slept with the guy from the wedding reception. Hey, it happens. We aren’t judging. But if you know you are going to end up making excuses for it after the fact by saying you were “soooooooo drunk “and blaming it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, maybe the O.N.S. isn’t for you. Be a big girl and own your mistakes with the same fervor as you would own your triumphs. If you’re confident in your decisions, there’s no reason to be ashamed. And vice versa, if you aren’t confident then don’t do it!

2) Can you Get In, Get Off and Get Out?

When you choose to have a one night stand, there’s a 90% chance that you aren’t looking at the guy you’re going to marry (that remaining 10% only happens in movies that are rarely based on a true story). As a matter of fact, a O.N.S is probably the most non-committal thing you could ever do. One night stands are strictly about sex - not love, not relationships.  Don’t expect breakfast or for your night time fun to sprawl over into a day date or some whirlwind romance. He probably won’t call you the next day (even though he said he would) and you have to be OK with that. Typically women are emotional beings and we tend to attach ourselves to situations relatively easy. If you’re the type to ask “what are we” in a relationship, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT partake in one night stand activity unless you want your feelings hurt when he says, “we aren’t anything”.  This all goes back to the #1 rule of a one night stand. If you know your reasons for sleeping with someone and you’re legitimately OK with the consequences, you won’t be shocked by the big let down that he doesn’t want to take you home to meet his mother because you don’t want to meet her anyway.

3) A One Night Stand Does Not a Whore Make

OK, so this isn’t a question but from the beginning of time, society has always classified women in two categories: the good girl and the bad girl. You’re either a virgin or a harlot. Marilyn Monroe or a Jackie O. Beyonce or Rihanna. Apparently as a woman, you can either have no sexual desires outside of the satisfaction of your marriage or you’re some wild woman out here bedding everyone with a penis. Don’t feel like you’re some skank or sexual deviant because you chose casual sex over companionship. We see it all the time with society’s double standard when it comes to sex: A man can have a wife, girlfriend and a side-chick and be considered “the man”, but let a woman sleep with people she is casually dating and she’s a ho. It’s ridiculous. I’m not encouraging you to change the way society views sex by hooking up with everyone to make a point, but I am telling you not to feel bad for getting it in a time or two. As long as you are responsible in your bed buddy choices, feel free to sleep with whoever, whenever and however you want to. Although they’ll try, nobody can really tell you what you can and cannot do with your body. Begin to own your sexuality. It’s surprising how empowered you’ll feel once you start being OK with your sexual preferences and stop comparing them to other people’s.

4) What’s Really Going On? Get Introspective...

Although it would be nice to say that all one night stands happen because you just felt the urge to get laid, there is a chance that your promiscuity is coming from someplace deeper. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to get over someone is not to get under someone else. Sex doesn’t equal love the same way a one night stand doesn’t equal commitment. A one night stand may sound like a great resolution to cure a bad breakup, but in reality it’s only masking an insecurity or self esteem issues you may have. A O.N.S works best when it is happening with purpose. Are you considering a one night stand because you want to let loose for a night or are you trying to get back at an ex by sleeping with his coworker in hopes to make him jealous? Be honest with yourself. Sex is more than just a physical act, it also warrants an emotional connection. Listen to your intuition and make sure you’re sleeping with people for the right reasons.

5) Are You Being Safe?

This isn’t just a PSA about practicing safe sex and using condoms (which is mandatory for a O.N.S by the way), but this is also about protecting your physical and emotional safety as well. Don’t sleep with someone who disrespects you or who doesn’t take your sexual boundaries seriously. Be cautious of who you give your address to and invite into your home. ALWAYS tell someone you trust (a girlfriend, a neighbor, your mom, etc.) your whereabouts and give as much detail about your partner as possible via text. Check in with your confidant if you can, so they know you’re OK. This tip may take the fun out of a casual hookup, but a huge part of owning your decision to partake in a one night stand is being responsible and protecting yourself.

So how do you know if you are capable of pulling off a O.N.S? Well for starters, make sure you aren’t just a girl looking for love. Make sure you aren’t just bed hopping in the hopes that someone will validate your worth and find you pretty or smart or funny. Don’t just succumb to the peer pressures of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” and irresponsibly sleep with people to uphold some warped self image. One night stands are for the girls who know who they are and what they have to offer outside of the bedroom. They are for the women who can look at a one night stand for exactly what it is: one night of safe, no strings attached, see ya when I see ya sex. Make sure you know who you are, what you can handle and what you are getting yourself into before you attempt to execute a O.N.S. Because while you do only live once, you don’t want to live with regrets.


Published in Dating
Thursday, 31 July 2014 20:46

Dating | Dating Phone Etiquette

Dating // August 4, 2014

Yes, you read that correctly: Dating. Phone. Etiquette. In this day and age, almost everyone is glued to their smartphones. Emailing, social networking, texting, dating apps…the list goes on. The world of digital dating can be perilous and there are so many things to think about that we may have neglected the most obvious: How we use the phone. Arguably, we do not really use our phones all that much to actually TALK with the person that we are dating (I mean think about it, when is the last time your phone actually RANG). So maybe we all need a little refresher course. Here are some tips for using the phone while dating:

Rule #1: Use the phone -- Like, use the actual send button and make a phone call. Unfortunately, the majority of people are so used to text messaging all day, that using the phone to talk has become awkward. You definitely want to take into consideration the time of day that you call, but it’s nice to hear someone’s voice and have a conversation. It also helps you connect and get to know a person better.

Rule #2: Avoid Side Conversations -- No one wants to get on the phone with anyone and be interrupted with you talking to your friends, your mom, or your co-workers. It’s such a turn off to be mid-sentence and the person on the other end is laughing and joking with someone else. If you care at all about the person, give them all your attention.

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Rule #3: Avoid text threads that look like a screenplay -- Seriously, texting was not invented for you and your new boo to have entire conversations in which you “lol”, exchange emojis and have extensive talks about your passions in life. I cannot tell you how many couples I come across who do not know how to hang out with each other because they spend too much time texting only to discover that they really do not know each other at all. For help with this please see rule #1.

Rule #4: Spell Check -- Yes, autocorrect can mess up a good sentiment, but it’s there for a reason. Too many “Ur sexy,” “I’m on da way, bae,” and “wyd” text will have your potential mate questioning your IQ. Proof your text because the person on the other end is judging you. Believe me.

Rule #5: Sexting -- Don’t do it. That is all.

Rule #6: When you’re together, put the phone away -- I get it. Your phone is a part of you. It’s like a new age appendage that God has bestowed on us. (Personally, I feel like my day cannot continue without my phone if I leave it at home, so I understand). But, while you’re on dates or spending time together, put your phone away. Of course it’s okay to occasionally check it, but please don’t set it on the table. Or on your lap. It also gets the other person’s mind moving in a direction you may not intend, i.e. “Who are they talking to?” and “It’s obviously more important than this date I made time for.”

Dating can be a challenge. Trying to conduct a relationship via smartphone may mean things get lost in translation. Remember your phone etiquette and perhaps it will become easier. If all else fails remember it’s better to exchange real emotion than emojis.

Published in Dating
Friday, 25 July 2014 23:35

Dating | Digital Dating

Dating // July 26, 2014

Searching for that perfect partner is never easy, and for centuries men and women have looked for love in many unorthodox ways. Women can no longer rely on romantic coffee shop run-ins or any other movie-like scenarios that have falsified our perceptions of love. It’s true, love hits us when we least expect it, but now that we’re living in the 21st century, we can no longer wait for Prince Charming to sweep us off our feet. If people are, to ever find the one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, it’s time that they become proactive when it comes to dating.

When the term “online dating” was first coined, the public's reaction was somewhat cautious, but this method of looking for love is not as new as you would think. According to an article posted on Return of Kings, this unconventional way of dating has been practiced since the 1700s. Of course, there was no internet back then, but when men struggled with the stigma attached to the inability to find a spouse by the age of 21, bachelors started posting their personal ads in newspapers. Although couples then often lied about the first time they had met, women found themselves curious over this dating strategy, leading them to post their own ads as well.

The internet, obviously, became the modern newspaper, connecting singles from every corner of the world. It took some time for online dating to shed its reputation as a desperate means for companionship, and it’s not surprising that some still look down upon it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the internet is an incredibly efficient way to meet new people, as explained by Brains.org. The success of social networking websites has clearly shown the human need for belongingness, even in the virtual world. Social features have even began appearing on other online platforms, such as gaming apps, so users can make human connections with fellow players. Gaming Realms, operator of mobile casino pocketfruity.com, revealed that the market for social gaming is expected to grow to $4 billion by 2015, which only goes to show that even though our primary purposes for the internet have nothing to do with dating, we still have the desire to establish human connections via the World Wide Web.

And with the modern advancements in mobile internet, hopeless romantics are now finding it much easier to form relationships. Critically acclaimed dating websites such as Match.com have branched out to mobile apps as new portals for online dating. Laptop Mag lists the best dating mobile apps to date, and given the amount of time we currently spend on our smartphones and tablets, it won’t be long until you potentially meet “the one”.

Some might still attach a stigma to online dating, but that won't matter if you find yourself falling in love with a person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Published in Dating

Relationships // July 7, 2014

This article was originally posted on Baucemag.com.

Whether he’s happy or not, the mention of couple’s therapy is enough to send any guy running. The idea of airing out his dirty laundry in front of a stranger isn’t exactly what he’d consider a day well spent. But if your long-term relationship is in trouble, and you want to fix it, couples therapy may be just what you and your partner need. With that being said, knowing when couples therapy is a viable option is important. It obviously isn’t for everyone and every situation. Read on to see if couples therapy could end up being the solution you’ve been looking for.

Couples Therapy Could Save Your Relationship If …

  • You have a specific problem to resolve. Go into therapy with a specific set of issues you and your partner would like to see resolved. Don’t waste your time and money by going into therapy without a clear set of goals.
  • You fail to understand why you keep having the same fight. Every individual has triggers – specific things that bother them that wouldn’t necessarily bother others. Triggers often leave the other partner at a loss for what the issue is or why it’s even an issue at all. A therapist can effectively facilitate a discussion on these triggers and help couples understand the basis for these reactions without the name-calling or finger-pointing.
  • You want an honest outlook on your relationship. Therapists won’t endorse a relationship if he or she thinks you’re better off apart, and won’t sabotage a relationship that’s worth working on. You’ll have access to an unbiased view that you can’t necessarily get from family or friends. However, your therapist won’t push you in one direction or the other. Whether you stay together or not is a decision only you and your partner are able to make.
  • You’re ready to put it all out there. Therapy is all about full disclosure. It’s essential. Throughout therapy, your therapist will ask you about your relationship as a whole, not just what you feel needs to be worked on, as well as your respective relationship histories. Your answers will help the therapist identify your communication styles and your past relationships will make it easier to identify recurring patterns. Be fully prepared to participate in the process, or neither of you will benefit.


Couples Therapy Is Not For You If…

  • You’re looking for someone to take your side. Therapy isn’t one-sided. Both partners need to acknowledge that changes need to be made – in both his behavior and yours. Basically, keep an open mind and be prepared to hear good and bad about yourself, not just your partner.
  • You haven’t been in your relationship for a long time. If you’re heading to therapy before the one-year mark, it may be time to reassess your relationship: Are you truly compatible? What are the chances of a long-term relationship blossoming?
  • If you’re trying to sort out trivial matters, such as laundry or dish duty. Unless there is a true inability to communicate, therapy is best for dealing with issues that the two of you aren’t capable of sorting out on your own – like infidelity.
  • You want to dominate the session. You must prepare to listen and stay silent when your partner speaks or is giving their point of view. Growth can’t happen if you continuously interject when someone else has the floor.


Whether your relationship works out or not – and I hope it does – therapy is a chance and an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the way you interact with the people in your life. This could never be a bad thing. Good luck!

Published in Relationships

Love + Dating // June 16, 2014

This article was originally posted on Baucemag.com and was written by Monique Gossett.

Relationships fail. It’s a fact of life. We’ve all had “the talk” with someone, and a few of us not-so-lucky ones have received “the text”, “status update”, or another equally trifling method as an end to a relationship. No matter who is at fault, someone wanted out and the relationship has failed. F-a-i-l-e-d. Failure. Ugh! The word is so negative. But guess what, you have the opportunity to get something positive from all the hurt, lies, and tears. Are you willing to see the rainbow after the storm? It does get better. Life goes on. If you can just embrace a few of the following lessons you’ll be a better woman for Mr. Right and be able to kick Mr. Wrong to the curb quicker! So grab a pen and a pad and take some notes!

1. Love yourself more.

If you start and end every relationship with this principle, you’ll always know how to make the best decision. How, you may ask? Well, if you love, value, and cherish yourself more than you do any man, you’ll demand the same standard of love from him. He will hold you in the same light you hold yourself in. Make him rise to the occasion!

2. Don’t believe the “Love conquers all” lies they told you!

Did I just say that? Yeah I did. Love is an action word that encompasses friendship, trust, support, accountability … need I go on? Believe his actions over his words. He’s gotta do more than whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

3. Trust your gut.

It’s really that simple. Don’t over-think it or try to justify it. Trust – your – gut!

4. Be his #1 fan, but not his groupie.

Adore him and seek to meet his every need. However, settle for nothing less than the same from him.

5. BUT…Don’t turn into his puppet.

It’s easy to lose your sense of self because you want to accommodate his every wish. Be the “you” that attracted him -- the vibrant woman who had an opinion about things, friends outside of his circle, and could go an evening or (gasp!) an entire day doing her own “thang” and not stalking his social media wondering what he’s up to.  A real man wants a partner, not a puppet!

6.  Say it with me – Compromise!

A relationship is a partnership. You must be ready to compromise and choose your battles wisely. But FIRST, have a clear understanding on the non-negotiables of what you must have to feel loved, valued, and respected as a woman. Outside of that list, compromise a bit!

7. Keep house at home.

Don’t air his dirty laundry or the arguments between the two of you. You’ll forgive his harsh words/deeds faster than your momma or bestie ever will. If it gets back to him you’ll also fracture the bond of trust and communication necessary to sustain any relationship. So keep everyone happy and keep ‘em out ya business!

8. Be a BAUCE, not a B*tch.

When the relationship is deteriorating, leave with love. You were sugary-sweet before him but he’s now turned you into a bitter, scornful woman with baggage for the next guy. Trust boo, the constant scowl and rolled-eyes you’re currently rockin’ are really not a good look! Go back to being the easy, breezy, beautiful woman that initially attracted him, so that it will catch the eye of the next guy.

9. Be the mate that you want.

What do you want in a man? Success? Stability? Maturity? Fit body? We’ve all got our  “must haves”, but how much of that can you check off for yourself? If you don’t embody most of the qualities you seek in him, work on yourself first. It’s a win for you and him!

10. Don’t beat yourself up.

Personally, I’ve made some mind-boggling decisions for prior boyfriends. These decisions affect me to this day – years after a break-up! And yet I’m not beating myself up over them. In fact, I refuse to do so. Why? Because I remind myself that although I’m still facing the consequences of those decisions I am now  a brighter, better, and wiser woman! I got there, and you can too, by learning your lessons.

Published in Dating

Love + Dating // June 2, 2014

Dear Made Woman,

I met this amazing guy on a dating site, he was very sweet, funny, charming, cute, smart and great to talk to. We didn’t live in the same city but every day he would text me and/or call me first, and even send me cute little good morning texts. Two weeks later, we decided to meet up and we finally did, five days ago.

We had a lot of fun on that day, by the end of the night, he was worrying about the distance and how the relationship would work.  I believe I saw him crying.

Then, he decided we should just be friends, but he did say when the opportunity comes, we can try again. He also said that he would text me later that night. So two days went by and I haven’t heard from him. I feel so awful and used.  I decided to step up my game and send him a picture of the day we hung out and he still hasn’t responded. I feel horrible and stupid. Is he trying to tell me it’s officially over? Please help me.

Thank you,

Lost in Love

++++

Hey love,

A truly amazing guy will be very sweet, funny, charming, cute, smart and great to talk to. Every day, he will text you and/or call you first as well as send cute little good morning texts AND continue to do so without disappearing off the face of the earth or crying about a measly 40 minute drive to you. I’m sorry, but he sounds unavailable and (I know this is disappointing) his behavior (especially the crying?) sounds unstable.

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I don’t want to leave the impression he is a bad guy, not at all, I just think he is not 100% ready, for the commitment you seem to be you are looking for. My boyfriend of two years, lived one hour from me up until October, when we moved in together. He would drive to me and I would drive to him. It wasn’t difficult at all.  Sometimes frustrating... but our time together was totally worth it to me and vice versa. He would stay over at least one night during the week and we would spend Friday-Sunday nights together.  It worked well!

This guy’s behavior, no matter how sweet he might be, sounds erratic.

Really hot one day and really cold the other, and that’s a red flag.

On another note, be wary of how much you communicate with your date before you meet them in person. A few short conversations are fine but be careful to not overly invest your heart and energy before seeing them… because you can end up in a situation like this. You grew closer to him in your conversations before hand and it makes distancing yourself from his unstable behavior now more difficult because of the over investment. You deserve and should be looking for a man that is consistent and reliable in his behavior in both words and actions alike.

Otherwise you’ll spend a lifetime beside yourself in confusion + mystery. In dating, I encourage you to observe impersonally rather than taking it personally as much as possible. Be mindful to not attach too much value to anyone until they prove themselves worthy.

Collect these experiences, put them in your tool belt of knowledge, extract the lesson, and throw away the rest.  Most importantly, know when to walk away. And learn to recognize when they are giving you all they have and it is STILL not enough.


xx,
Danielle
Made Woman Magazine


This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com.

Published in Dating

Relationships // May 19, 2014

This is for all the women out there that want it all (myself included): a thriving career, close friends and a fulfilling relationship with a “special someone.” But what’s the problem when you have everything at your feet and the “world is your oyster?” There are simply not enough hours in the day to enjoy and dedicate yourself to everything.

I was inspired to write this piece based on my own personal struggles to have it all. A few years ago, after just moving to LA, I had a few pieces of the puzzle: a promising relationship and a brand-new masters degree from USC—but I didn’t have many close friends and I was just on my way to building a career path.

Fast forward a few years later, and today, I have everything in spades. That promising relationship turned into a marriage, budding friendships turned into close friends and my career became more focused with every step. Granted, I am still working out the ins and outs of how to have (and enjoy) it all, but here are a few tips that have helped me and my marriage along the way.

1. Set Clear Goals and Communicate Them

One of the most important pieces of my life is my relationship with my husband. He is one of my biggest supporters when things are great (and when things go south in other parts of my life). Balancing a demanding career and a relationship (or marriage in my case) means open communication. We frequently discuss what’s happening at work and our goals. I know where he’s headed at work with both his short and long term plans for himself and he knows the same about me. We tell each other what’s going on and during periods of high work volume or unique opportunities, (like a networking event) we allow each other time to take advantage. Frequent communication and discussions make us a team in both home and career.

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2. Keep a Calendar

Juggling so many activities, events and dates is difficult, but making and keeping a clear calendar is key. I have a work calendar of course, but a home calendar is just as important. This way, both of us know when we have a dinner, late meeting or other event without getting flustered at the last minute over a forgotten commitment. A calendar is also a great way to keep track of your goals and check up on progress. If things are super hectic, (especially if you have kids too) you can use Google’s calendar which you can share with your honey.

3. Make a List

I am a big list maker. I love them! Grocery lists, shopping lists, travel lists, to-do lists, it’s part of my process and organization. Make a list of your projects, pending items, goals and specific tasks. Organize them by priority level and due dates. Include items that mean extra time at the office. If you know that you have to put in extra work time one weekend for instance, you might need to schedule your grocery shopping during the week to be able to spend your remaining free time with your partner. Making a list also helps you keep things in perspective and be realistic about your time commitments.

4. Set Work Limits

If I didn’t force myself to “unplug” from work, I would end up working 24/7. After spending too many anxiety-ridden weekends worrying about work, I have learned that you have to disconnect and take a breather. My husband and I have a rule not to check work emails past a certain time at night (or even if I slip up and do, I make a point of not responding until the next work day). Get into the habit of sticking to your “work hours,” whatever those might be and really allowing yourself to enjoy something else.

5. Schedule Dedicated Time

Be it a nice dinner or a day a beach, set dedicated time to appreciate your significant other and make sure that you are only going to be doing that one thing during this precious time. At dinner, don’t check work emails, and at the beach, logout of Facebook. Enjoy what’s in front of you and make the most of moments designated for family, friends and loved ones.

6. Work on Projects Together

As a counterpart to dedicated time, I also like to align my goals with those of family and friends. Chances are, your partner (and maybe even your friends) want to be involved in all the cool things you’re doing. Invite them to a networking event or include your partner in your passion projects.

7. Allow Yourself to Grow

As more things are added to your to-do list, and as commitments grow, it’s also important to know that no one is perfect and everything might not get done each week. There are plenty of weeks where my to-do list is neglected in favor of a movie night on the couch—and that is OK. Allow yourself to make mistakes, learn what works best for you and your boo and where your priorities are. But most of all, invest in things that make you happy. After all, living a fulfilling life is the end goal. Learn how you can get there by experimenting and trying different things.

What are you doing to balance your home and work life? Leave us a comment or tweet us @MadeWomanMag!

Published in Relationships

MW University // May 4, 2014

Lengthy classes, hours of homework, hefty loans: graduate school is stressful enough without the added pressure of dating and being in a serious relationship. Yet you’re actually preparing for your future as an adult, so you’re likely thinking that it’s time to settle down and find your spouse—or maybe you’re just sick of being lonely and would love somebody with whom you could share your agony over grad school. Either way, it’s tough to find somebody while you’re buried beneath projects and exams and staying in to keep up with the workload.

It’s also a difficult time to date during such an uncertain point in life. You may be attending school in a certain city, but what if your hometown is on the other side of the country? What if you have no desire to use your degree in the city or state in which your school is? Graduate school is probably the last, and most vital time, in which you should be selfish. This time is yours to work hard and succeed in school, so you can actually utilize that degree in which you’re investing vast amounts of time and money. Remember, to pursue your dreams before pursuing a ring on your finger, unless you are certain you could do both at the same time.

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That being said, if you’re still looking to date and are prepared to worry about a future with someone later, below are some great ways to meet people:

Tinder

Probably the easiest and most convenient app for (grad) students to meet.  It’s free and super easy to use. Tinder connects to your Facebook account (but hides your last name) so you know the people you’re looking at are least legitimate enough to have a Facebook account. You simply swipe through pictures of people and you can “Like” or reject whatever you see. If you like someone and they “liked” you back, it’s a match and then you have the option of messaging them. Be sure to actually put interesting details in your profile and your most flattering pictures.

DateMySchool

In order to fully use this service, you have to purchase a plan specific to your desires. It can be as low as $3 a month or as much as $18 a month, which isn’t bad since this site allows you to see people who have accessed your profile, exchange private messages, and customize your privacy settings so only people from the schools you designate with a certain age limit can contact you.

Networking events

Most graduate schools frequently host networking events or even parties where the students can congregate. Don’t skip these! Gather up your equally-stressed friends and have a blast. Get to know some classmates you’ve been overlooking because you never know who may be your soulmate.

Friends

However, if you don’t want to defecate where you dine (so to speak), simply ask your mutual friends to hook you up with someone they know from their job or other graduate school. In return, find a single pal from your school and bring them along for a fun double date. It might be an old fashioned, but it will at least keep traditional romance alive—meeting someone in person, rather than using a phone app to do so.       


Published in Dating
Thursday, 06 March 2014 23:09

Dating | 3 Ways to Date Better

Dating // March 9, 2014

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com.

Our relationships are a direct reflection of our own self-worth.
Who we love is intrinsically tied to our level of self-esteem.

Every day, clients tell me that they’re in a relationship with a person they care about but their needs aren’t being met. And every day, my sweet, smart, lovely clients ask me how they can change to keep that (mediocre, unfulfilling) relationship going.

Stop right there.

The only change they need to make (that any of us needs to make) is to be more authentically ourselves.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll never have to make another compromise. But it does mean that you should never abandon yourself to please another.

It’s human nature to fear the unknown and fear being left alone.
But, sweet friend, it’s not your partner’s fault if your needs aren’t being met.
It’s yours.

Responsibility and accountability are yours to wield.
Communicate your needs and choose someone who respects, enjoys + loves you.


We must practice getting comfortable with the unknown and with letting go of toxic relationships.  We must trust that we can co-create and design the life of our dreams -- not as we change to satisfy others, but as we embrace love and delve into deeper integrity.

Want to date better + find someone who’s as amazing as you are?

:: Practice self care + self love
 
You won’t find a calm, centered, happy partner when you, yourself, are frazzled and wound up. You won’t land that confident, loving guy when you’re fraught with self-doubt and anxiety.  Spend some time working on yourself and cleaning up your side of the proverbial street, and you’ll be that much more likely to find someone who is also balanced and self-aware.

Don’t worry about cultivating a six pack or getting an MBA if that’s not really what you’re into, just focus on becoming the best possible version of you and loving who you are.

:: Express your needs
Some people like to text every day.  Some people need a lot of alone time.  Some people want their partner to plan exciting dates.  All of these needs are equally legitimate. But your partner will never know what your needs are if you don’t tell him.  You needn’t open a first date with a checklist, but once things are clicking along, it’s okay to say “I want you to feel loved and appreciated.  How can I do that?”  When you’ve heard his suggestions, you can share yours.  And then when he does that for you?  Lots and lots of acknowledgement and appreciation.

:: Don’t settle – set a higher standard for who you date
Dating can be exhausting and demoralizing.  I know. (I really, really know.)  And I know it can be tempting to date that Really Nice Person Who Likes You. But please, hold out for the person who gives you what you need.

No more dating that hot guy who cancels at the last minute.  Or the sweet girl who hates her job and is buried in credit card debt.  Or that cutie who’s super negative and says snarky things about everything and everyone.

Time and time again, I’ve seen my clients struggle through subpar relationships. Eventually, after heartbreak and hassle, they find their person and – every single time – they say “I didn’t know it could be this good!  I want to shout from the mountain tops!  I wish I could convince my friends that they don’t need to put up with that foolishness – they deserve so much better!”

He’s out there.  He’s waiting for you.
And you’re wasting time with that cutie who isn’t right for you.
(And you know it.)


Of course in any relationship we have to compromise and find a middle ground. But please yourself first and then you will attract someone who is pleased with you.
This means embracing the unknown and being okay with letting go of something or someone that isn’t meeting your needs.

Ask yourself this question: “If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do?”



Published in Dating
Monday, 24 February 2014 08:11

Dating | Dating Diary: The Mile High Mistake

Dating // February 24, 2014

This piece is a part of our "Dating Diary" series, where real women share their dating horror stories. Yikes. Read the other stories in this series here.

I was living in Atlanta and dating a pilot -- yes, a pilot. I decided to get emotionally and physically connected to someone with one of the top five career paths known to influence infidelity; because I naively believed that not every pilot is a cheater who uses the fact that he travels for work to be dishonest (HA!).

In the beginning of our relationship, he would spend four to five days on the road and two to three days at home. His work schedule was convenient for me because I'm not the type to want to spend every waking minute with my man anyway. We didn't live together, but on his off days I would come over to his place and cook him a home-cooked meal and clean up a little bit so he didn't have to come home to chaos. For six months I would work a full day, leave my job, drive to the grocery store, drive 45 miles one way to his place, cook dinner, clean the house, start laundry, get sexy and await my man to come home for us to share 24 hours together before he hit the road again. It was ridiculous. I was exhausted, but I thought that in order to accommodate the special kind of relationship we had, certain concessions had to be made.

One night I found myself driving to his place after one of the hardest days I’d ever had at work. Once I got there, he looked like he was about to leave to go somewhere. "Where are you going?" I asked.  "Oh...Pinky, one of my flight attendants, invited me over for dinner so I'm going to run over there real quick and grab a plate. Do you want anything?" Stunned, I just looked at him. He couldn't possibly think his response was okay.

"Pinky?" I said. "Who the hell is Pinky? And what grown ass woman outside of the porn industry has a nickname of Pinky?"

“Don't trip, it's nothing. She's a real down-home type of girl and she doesn't know how to just cook a meal for just herself, so she made a big dinner tonight and just invited me over. Do you want me to bring you anything back?"

Not in the mood to argue, I just drop the issue. The next morning I wake up for work and venture into the kitchen for coffee. I see PILES of Tupperware in the fridge. I see this chick Pinky cooked this man a feast. *Side eye* Again, not in the mood to argue, I just got ready for work and leave the apartment. It’s only food right??

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A week later, we're back to our routine of me going to his house, cooking and cleaning. While I'm emptying groceries into the fridge, he comes in the kitchen and tells me he has to make a run over to Pinky's house because something is wrong with her plumbing. I’m thinking...oh, so you're Roto-Rooter now? You're just Captain Save 'Em and you have to rush over there to "fix her pipes?!"

In that moment I realized that Pinky held more of an important role in his life than I was willing to admit. It all became so clear -- a pilot and his flight attendant have a fling going on. How could I have been so blind? That's like a textbook couple!

Fuming, I stormed out of the kitchen and he left through the front door. Yup, he left. I grabbed my belongings and left moments after. We didn't talk for days after that fiasco. After enough of my cold shoulder and the silent treatment, he finally came to my job one day and invited me over for game night to meet his friends from out of town. I agreed and was looking forward to salvaging what was left of our broken relationship.

After work, I headed over to his apartment. I knocked on the door and a woman in all pink opened the door like she was the woman of the house. She was warm and friendly, but b*tch if anybody has the right to treat this apartment like its their home, it's me!

So I walk inside and he formally introduces me to Pinky and the rest of his friends -- that are all couples. Pinky is being the hostess with the mostest running around refilling glasses and making sure everyone is comfortable all while still cooking in the kitchen -- MY kitchen as far as I was concerned. Not trying to raise hell at his game night, I just made mental notes of all the foolishness and how comfortable she was in his place.

She then informs everyone that dinner was ready and we all made our way into the kitchen. That's when I saw it and that's when I lost it. All the groceries I had just bought days before were her ingredients in that night's meal. Her Houston, home-cooked recipe was sponsored by me!

I excused myself from the kitchen area and asked him to speak with me outside. I told him I wasn't about to bear witness to his date night disguised as a game night and that I wished him and his flight attendant girlfriend all the best. He tried to explain, but I couldn’t have cared less.

I got in my car and drove 45 miles home and never looked back for him or that relationship. As women, sometimes we neglect the obvious signs of infidelity that are right in front of our faces. This story is my lesson learned that if he walks like an asshole, talks like an asshole and looks like an asshole...he's probably an asshole and you shouldn't stay around to get the details.

Published in Dating
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