Relationships // November 18, 2013

So if you clicked this article, you’re either A) bored at work and looking for something interesting, B) a weirdo like me who is just super fascinated by anything dating related or C) you actually suspect your boyfriend might be cheating on you.

If it was “ding ding ding” Letter C for you, first off, I’m sorry, and secondly, I have to tell you that if you really do suspect he is cheating, he probably is cheating.

When it comes to knowing whether or not your boyfriend is cheating, the first thing you have to go with is that ever-present gut instinct of yours. We girls like to think the best of people and sometimes ignore the obvious signs, or act like our gut instinct doesn’t exist. But if we get real with ourselves, we know to trust that instinct -- because it is usually spot on.

If you have that feeling in your gut, here are a few signs he may be cheating (note that these aren’t all individually indicative, but when the majority of these things seem to happen together … you have to wonder. It’s like that old phrase, “If it looks like a dog, walks like a dog, and barks like a dog, then it’s a dog.” ... And in this article, yes, dog stands for douche bag dude):

  • He can’t “say your name”—He steps outside or walks into a different room to take a phone call if you’re around.
  • He has an excuse for everything—You catch him in situations that are strange and his explanations about them just seem off. Example: Your guy says he was out with his friends last night and when you ask him about it, he is weird about giving you more details. If it doesn’t make sense, there’s probably a lie somewhere!
  • He is acting extra defensive for no reason and starts arguments where normally there wouldn’t be one.
  • He is acting standoffish and needs more space. More and more things going on in his life seem to be “none of your business.”
  • He starts acting less interested in you—stops saying the sweet things to compliment you and make you feel like the only woman in his life. This also applies to the bedroom—if your sex life has taken a noticeable nosedive and when you try to get him in the mood, he doesn’t want to have sex, there may be a problem.
  • He starts distancing himself emotionally—putting on the moves to try and get you to break up with him (because he may be too cowardly/guilty to do it himself and admit his mistake.)
  • Your communication seems to be way off—conversation is a lot more difficult than usual and you notice he’s not making an effort to talk with you or ask about your life, etc.
  • He starts hesitating when talking about the future with you, when it used to be something you both enjoyed musing about. Ex: There are very few of those, “Aw our kids are going to have your eyes and my smile” comments or, “It’ll be so crazy to see Europe with you one day.” This is a sign that he doesn’t see you in his future and he may avoid making future plans with you entirely.
  • You have plans and they consistently get pushed back. Ex: He was supposed to meet your parents and for some reason, something keeps coming up every time you plan it.
  • He doesn’t invite you along to spend time with his friends the way he used to.
  • He’s unavailable and hard to reach for extended periods of time where he used to be much more available and transparent with you.
  • He starts finding faults and criticizing you where he didn’t before. (This is to make him feel less guilty for what he did by putting you down. He wants to make you feel bad, just because he feels like crap himself. And yes, he is a piece of crap if he cheated on you.)
  • His appearance significantly changes and he no longer looks like the person you’re used to dating. This new look could accompany other new, out-of-place things about him. For example, he may have a total new taste in music. He may be looking to fit in/impress someone else.
  • He accuses YOU of cheating on HIM. He thinks that maybe he isn’t as bad of a person if he questions you. It makes you, the girlfriend, the subject of attention and wrongdoing instead of him. (Guys are dumb sometimes.)
  • He stops saying “I love you” or dodges your “I love yous” and changes the subject.
  • He says he wants to take a break and take some time for himself without good reason. (Usually this means he wants to be able to test-drive other women.) Note: if he does want a break, make sure you understand the terms of your relationship, and whether or not you are still exclusive during this time period. Either way, know that this may be a time where he isn’t exclusive and know that this “break” may be an easy way out for him or as a result of something he did -- like cheating. It is statistically rare that people come back from breaks and remain in successful, monogamous, long-term relationships.

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So, when it comes down to it, if many of these signs are present, it may be time for you to let your gut make the decision for you. If you feel like you have to scroll through your boyfriend’s phone or dart into his email inbox while he’s in the shower, you’re doing it for a reason. Be a confident woman and know your value and worth. If the signs are there, you owe it to yourself to get real with the situation, find out answers, and move on!

Published in Relationships
Monday, 23 September 2013 02:21

Dating | Get Closer With the Closer App

Dating // September 23, 2013

Are you a bit like Cher from Clueless… always looking to make the perfect match? Or are you like Tai aka Brittany Murphy who was open to getting matched up by her best friend?

If you answered yes to either of the above, you’re in luck!  Two young entrepreneurs -- aided by the advances in technology (thank you, iPhone!) -- have come in to save the day with a new app called Closer which is “totally bangin!” (sorry, had to bring the Clueless references full circle). Closer lets you play both the matchmaker and the matchmakee all in one place. It’s a mobile tool that makes getting people connected simple.

Here’s how: the application works by connecting with your Facebook account and loading in all your friends. You simply click the friend that you want to match up and the person you’d want to match them with and it sends them the introduction. And if you are looking to meet new people, you can handpick specific friends on Facebook whom you trust and request them to set you up with people they suggest. You just slide to the right or slide to the left to either “get matched” or “start matching.” It’s easy to use and has a very sleek, cool vibe to boot!

Adding on to the basics, there are a few cool extra features like the “You are Close!” feature that allows users to receive push notifications when matches are close by them and the “Matchmaking Feed” that allows users to see when the friends they set up interact on Facebook (become friends, get tagged in a picture together, change their relationship status, etc.)

So, who spearheaded this awesome idea? Ladies of course! The concept came from two friends, both serial female entrepreneurs in their twenties. Pretty awesome, right? Eugenia Kuyda and Taisia Antonova went to school together in Moscow, but lost touch for many years, until they randomly ran into each other at a bar, reconnected and then came up with this idea for an app.

The co-creators say that Closer is their way of fostering authentic human connection -- because at the end of the day, our friends really know us better than any computer algorithm can. Who better to match us than the people who know us best?

Taisia and Eugenia look forward to expanding this project and opening this up as a way for people to not only meet new dates, but also meet new quality friends and business connections. “The tool is there to create matches and this could support various types and forms of relationships throughout life,” Taisia says.

If you’re digging their mission and want to check out Closer, it is FREE on the iTunes App Store. It’s not yet available on Android or on the Web, but that is in the works as well, according to inside sources.

They are looking for feedback on their app as it continues to grow and improve, so if you can, add some comments below and tell them what you think! Cheers to amazing matches in our lives!

Published in Dating
Friday, 22 March 2013 22:19

Dating | Tips for Online Dating

Dating // March 25, 2013 

Oh, the world of online dating…it seems every time we turn on the TV, there’s a advertisement. Click here to find true love and happiness!”

Yet, when (heaven-forbid) some of us try the online dating experience to meet someone new, it doesn’t seem to always end in butterflies and rainbows like we think it might. In fact, sometimes it ends in some ridiculously creepy story that you’ll always have as a go-to “OMG do you want to hear a crazy story?” story.

We all know the type of dates I’m talking about - those ones out of the Twilight Zone that make you cringe… those ones that make you never want to try online dating again.

I feel you, and I’m here to help you avoid such moments with some personal tips on the online dating front from someone who randomly and successfully met their ultimate match on Match (Yes, I’m one of those 3/5).

And while there are a million things to talk about in regards to this subject, I’ll start with perhaps my BIGGEST tip:

Don’t be someone who you’re not on an online dating site. Be yourself!  

This includes the entire way you present yourself - from those oh, so imperative pictures to the words you choose to paint the picture of YOU. Be honest when you answer the profile questions. Take some time to reflect about your responses. We have reached an age where we can almost handpick our partners like we are doing some serious online shopping. Why not be real about what you want and who you are?

How To Pick The Right Picture

Question for you to ponder: Do you really think you’re going to get away with a 30 pound differential between the “you” in your pictures and the “you” on the real-life date? I’m pretty sure, with the exception of someone who is actually legally blind, that you’ll be busted, and it will end awkwardly.  Why start off a relationship like that?

While we may have changed since five or ten years ago, and we may prefer those older pictures, it is mandatory to choose pictures that accurately reflect who you are in the present moment. You want someone to love you for who you are right? You, of course, want to pick photogenic pictures of yourself. I also suggest getting your friends’ opinions before putting them up on an online dating site! They can provide another point of view about what is valuable in a photo.

Lastly, pick the pictures that visually tell your story, so that your potential matches can compare the words of your profile to your photos. In other words, get pictures of you living your life out loud. If you are a free spirit and love traveling, socializing, animals, yoga, and are passionate about giving back (I may or may not be talking about myself here), choose pictures that show you doing these things: pictures of you doing yoga, traveling, attending a personal development event, hanging out with your friends, volunteering at an animal shelter, etc.

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As humans, we are very visual creatures, so storytelling through photographs is a great way to help someone judge you more correctly. Let’s face it…we are going to be judged…so we want to put our best and most strategic foot forward.

Through being genuine online, and really assessing the truthfulness in others online, you can really increase your chances of success on an online dating site (and avoid those creepy moments!) if you are honest. So be YOU so that others can see YOU and value YOU.

Published in Dating
Monday, 10 September 2012 15:39

Dating | The Truth About Approaching Men

September 10, 2012 

As a dating coach, sometimes I get the question from women, “Is it okay for me to approach a man?” And while some people believe that a woman should steer clear from approaching a man simply because it may insult his masculinity, I tell my clients, “It is the year 2012 for God/ Allah/ Buddha’s sake! Of course it is okay for you to go for it!”

Think about it this way: if a hot, confident girl goes up to a guy to introduce herself, do you think he is going to mind? I don’t think so. Sure, some guys enjoy the challenge, but at the same time, many might be quite relieved to skip out on the hard work/potential rejection of going up to a cute girl.

There are exceptions, though, and sometimes you do need to evaluate the situation before you make your move. For example, if you’re eyeing a male supermodel, who looks just like Brad Pitt or David Beckham, you might want to reconsider the go-get-em approach.  Guys who are that pretty are probably a little too used to being hit on, and you might be better off playing hard to get. 

Alas, there is an easier way to gauge mutual interest before going full steam ahead…and women can usually do it quite well. If you’re nervous about walking right up to a guy, one trick that works really well is to make eye contact with the man you are checking out. It’s natural, simple and allows you to avoid the potentially painful rejection face-to-face.

How is it best done? Scan the room for a guy you’re attracted to. Once your ideal target is identified, find a place to settle yourself and confidently do your thing (talking with a girlfriend, ordering a drink at the bar--you know the drill) and then give a few quick, flirty glances at the cutie.

If you are conscientiously making an effort to glance over at him--and can sneak in a smile--99% of guys will get the hint that you are interested. At which point, this gentleman will come over to start a conversation if he is A) straight, B) interested and C) not in a relationship because he will assume that YOU are A) straight, B) interested and C) not in a relationship. Done and done.

If he doesn’t come over, it is best to assume that he is either gay, taken or “just not that into you” as the 2009 star-studded movie has educated us. Or that he has NO game or social skills whatsoever--in which case, you might have just dodged a big bullet!

Ultimately though, it is best to treat each encounter separately and play it by ear. Usually your gut feeling tells you everything you need to know.

Do what feels right to you. If you’re shy, try the eye contact game. If you’re feeling ballsy, go for the direct approach.  All power to you ladies.

Published in Dating
Monday, 16 July 2012 05:04

Health | Cleansing 101

July 16, 2012

I write this article having just completed a nutritional cleanse. If you’re confused about what on earth a nutritional cleanse is, I can completely relate. Up until two years ago, I had absolutely no idea either, but then a friend introduced me to it and it was all uphill from there. I’ve been doing cleanses ever since. Yes, that’s right… I voluntarily give up my favorite foods for days at a time.

To sum it up, a nutritional cleanse is a health regime we can do for ourselves to help us feel better and foster long-term healthy habits. It’s taking a plan of action to rid the body of harmful toxins, while also giving it a huge dose of nutrition to leave you with a refreshed and renewed body, mind and spirit.

The program combines exercise, drinking a lot of water, eating an organic healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, and supplementing diet with an array of vitamins and minerals the human body craves.

You might be thinking, “Well this sounds like what a normal healthy person should be doing anyway. What makes this a nutritional cleanse?”

The missing link is that there’s an extra piece of the equation that really kicks it up a notch. In addition to exercise and healthy eating, one or two days during the month of my cleansing regime, I eat no solid food, but instead drink lots of water as well as a cleansing beverage throughout the day.

As a quick side note, a cleanse is not to be mistaken for a fast. They are two very different things! A fast equals no eating, while a cleanse means not eating heavy foods, but still consuming vitamins and minerals, thus providing your body with ample nourishment.

Back to the cleansing beverage… this juice-like drink is full of natural, homeopathic ingredients that have been proven to help detoxify the body. There are different companies who create cleansing supplements like this, but by far the one I’ve found to be the best is a brand called Isagenix.

If you want to use a pre-made cleansing drink like these, do some evaluation before choosing the product for you, as there are many cleanse fads out there. For example, have you heard of the “Master Cleanse?”  

What sounds better to you? Maple syrup, lemonade, and cayenne pepper cleanse or a cleansing beverage of Vitamin B6, aloe vera leaf gel, ashwagandha, burdock root extract, fennel seed extract, yellow dock root extract, peppermint leaf extract, turmeric root extract, blueberry extract, raspberry extract, and more?

I know giving up your tasty, but fatty In-&-Out burger may sound too difficult. But by flooding the body with these nutrient-dense ingredients while giving your liver and vital organs a break from the digestive process, your body will feel much stronger.

Cleansing has also been known to help people reduce cravings for undesirable foods, clear up skin, help people lose weight/ lean out the body and gain increased energy and better sleeping habits.

Lastly, it makes you very appreciative of food and can be a time of reflection to evaluate your health choices and your own steps moving forward. This regimen is not for everyone and you should research cleansing extensively before you take the plunge. But for me, I appreciate this time of purposeful, healthy living and I think you will, too.

To a happy and healthy you!

PS—For more information on Isagenix, feel free to check out my profile on the site or message me for more information/ discounted prices on products.

Published in Health
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 21:09

Dating | #TrueStory I Date Older Men

July 2, 2012 

Ever since I was old enough to want a boyfriend, I didn’t really want a boy. I wanted a man. Not that I was 18 wanting to date 40-year-old men; I just admired guys who were at least a few years older.

Why, you ask? Well, guys who were older than me always seemed to have a lot more to offer.  For instance, when I was in high school I went out with an older guy and he was able to take us to the movies in his truck.  That sure beat us having to load into my mom’s bright blue mini-van and get dropped off. Perk? I think so. 

When I was 19, I dated someone who was 23. Although the age difference isn’t that large, he had already graduated college and wasn’t nearly as wild and immature as the 19-year-old frat boys screaming “SHOTS!” while running around without their shirts on. The lack of embarrassment was yet another perk.

Now at age 23, I’m engaged to an older man.  He is confident, has a good head on his shoulders, and is secure with who he is, what he wants out of life, and how I fit into the equation.  In his younger days he may not have been ready for this kind of relationship, but at this point in his life he is. 

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always seen value in dating someone who is one step ahead of the game. In my opinion, guys who have lived a few more years than guys my age have gone through more life lessons and have more insights to share with a younger woman. These years usually add up to men with more maturity, experience, and wisdom. An older boyfriend can not only be a loving partner; he can also serve as a mentor, role model and protector. And while not all women seek this type of relationship, many women do.

An older guy is usually more in-tune with what he wants, both professionally and personally. If a long-term relationship is what you’re looking for, older men are much more inclined to be on the same page. Guys usually need at least a few years of freedom before they are ready to “settle down,” and guys who are a little older tend to have gotten most of this out of their system. With time, men reach a point where they start to really value the idea of a relationship and having someone special to spend time with.  It’s much more healthy to date someone who is ready to date!  

It’s also nice to date someone who has worked out a lot of kinks already! In my experience, an older guy knows how to better treat and please a lady.  They have more experience dealing with women and hopefully have learned from mistakes they’ve made in the past. Of course, there’s exceptions to this rule:  there are plenty of young/mature and older/immature guys out there.  But in general, wisdom and maturity do come with age.  

I’m by no means saying that dating an older guy is the key to happiness in relationships for everyone.  We all look for different qualities in a partner, and each individual is their own person.  But for me, dating a few steps above my age range has worked out really well.  

Have you had any experience dating outside your age group?  Share with us in the comments; we’d love to know your thoughts!

Published in Dating