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Relationships

  • Everything You Need To Know About Sugar Babies

    “I always say this and people take it the wrong way, but I think it’s awkward to date someone who makes less money than me.”

     

    This bold statement comes from Brook, a pretty 24-year-old who is easily the centre of gravity at the bar we’re in. Originally from California, she has long brown hair falling in loose curls to her shoulders, and a confident manner that makes socialising a breeze.

    She’s good company, and she knows it – if I were wealthy and had a penis, she might even charge me for it. Brook is a sugar baby, you see. She arranges relationships with sugar daddies, men (usually older, always richer) who shower her with gifts and money.

    We’re in a bar in central London, drinking strawberry-topped champagne with 30 other women who want to be more like Brook. Hosted bySeekingArrangement.com, an online dating site for sugar relationships, this is an event for sugar babies to network and swap tips. Brook, who’s been a sugar baby for four years, is a spokeswoman for the brand and says it’s not all about the money.

    “I want to feel that someone’s on my level and that I can learn from them, and that they’re at least as successful as me. It’s just, like, you have to have a similar lifestyle expectation to get along. And that’s true of any successful relationship.”

    Since launching in 2006, Seeking Arrangement has swelled to over 5.5 million members. If you’re in search of a pretty young thing and are prepared to put your money where your heart is, then the odds are in your favour – a whopping 4 million of Seeking Arrangement’s users are sugar babies. Just be aware that joining the site will pit you against other sugar daddies with an average salary of around £220,000.

    But despite Seeking Arrangement’s many members, mainstream morality still tends to look down on sugar babies. Outlandish Daily Mail headlines decry such scandalous behaviour, while ‘gold digger’ is still a common insult used to describe a manipulative woman willing to use her sexuality to ensnare a rich, unwitting man. Is that really what’s going on in modern sugar relationships?

    As I stand here in this pretend-cave bar, surrounded by fake foliage and an exotic fish tank, I can’t help but be reminded of the kitsch 90s game show Man O Man. To many, the concept of sugar dating is just as throwback. At a time when women are free to pursue their own careers and make their own money, why do sugar babies choose to stay dependent upon men? Just as the rise of third-wave feminism tries to crush the idea that a woman’s worth comes only from her ability to attract men, why do sugar babies appear to be running backwards towards old, sexist tropes? And what kind of man is actually willing to pay money for a ‘relationship’?

    The Spoiling

    Brook first fell into the sugar game as a 20-year old journalism student. In the bar of Las Vegas' five-star Cosmopolitan hotel, a 37-year old man who “made most of his money in tech” decided to make his move on her.

    They arranged to meet for dinner and hit it off. The following weekend she visited him in Miami where they checked into a fancy hotel room and went shopping. In the five months the long-distance relationship lasted, Brook was treated to a series of holidays, Louis Vuitton shoes and more shopping. But it ended when things started getting too serious. “He wanted me to move to Miami and switch schools, and I didn’t want that because I wasn’t ready – I couldn’t even drink,” she tells me.

    It wasn’t actually until a friend told her to join Seeking Arrangement that Brook realised she had been a sugar baby. “I was like, ‘What do you mean? There’s a word for that?’” Not only did she sign up to the site, but she applied for a job there and now travels the world representing the brand.

    Brook sees the main difference between a sugar relationship and a “normal” relationship as “the spoiling. And me being OK with being spoiled. A lot of women are not okay with even having dinner paid for them. They’re not comfortable with a man taking care of them,” she says.

    “And I totally, 100% respect that, more power to you. But there’s the other girls who don’t want to go Dutch, who do want a guy to take care of them, who expect a guy to pay – and I’ve always expected a guy to pay.”

    Mutually Beneficial 

    Although the bar is largely full of young women, keen to learn how to turn their encounters into something financially rewarding, my expectations are being challenged. I spot a young man, seeking a sugar daddy himself perhaps – or maybe a sugar mama? It’s not just the older-guy-and-younger-girl stereotype. Roughly 1 in 8 sugar babies on Seeking Arrangement are men (a mix of both straight and LGBT men), while for every three sugar daddy members there is also one sugar mama.

    Brook tells me about sugar daddies who aren’t looking for sex because they’re older and unable to perform, or married men whose wives don’t want to hear all of their gripes at the end of the day. “They want to have a beautiful girl who will touch their arm and tell them everything’s OK,” she says.

    “I know a sugar daddy who was going through a transition late in life to become a woman,” Brook says. She talks of a transgender woman who had recently divorced her wife of around 40 years and now had no one to talk to. Through Seeking Arrangement, she found a female sugar baby who taught her how to wear makeup, accompanied her in public during her transition and who she could talk to.

    For Laura*, 21, a sugar relationship saved her from a situation that had become increasingly desperate. As a student in London nearing her exams, she was forced to get a restraining order on her house mate, who had become aggressive and had started destroying her possessions.

    Moving into emergency accommodation, she was left with piling housing debts, which weren’t helped by a scheming landlord who had stolen her deposit. Around the same time, one of her parents lost their job while the other was demoted, and Laura worked three jobs in order to pay her rent and send money home for their mortgage. Unsurprisingly, she became ill from the stress.

    “I was like, even with all my jobs, I need to move and stat, or otherwise I don’t even know what’s going to happen to me,” she says. “I was thinking about sex work and escorting. But I was like, I don’t want to get into sex work through desperation.”

    When Laura joined Seeking Arrangement, her first few dates were “completely platonic”. “I was like, I’m not going to sleep with anyone, I’m just here for theatre shows, trips, companionship. And I managed to make a few hundred just from that.”

    Then she met a couple in their thirties who shared similar interests with her and who she got on well with. They paid her £500 a month to be in an open relationship with them and took her to Paris. Laura says the sex developed naturally. “They weren’t paying me to have sex with them, they were paying me because we were in a relationship. They cared about me.”

    Although the relationship ended after six or seven months, the experience was, for Laura, a positive one, and she continues to seek sugar relationships today.  “All my other relationships have been platonic. Just from the last couple of weeks I’ve made £500 from dates with people. So I think it can be such a good thing for girls to do.”

     

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  • 11 signs you should never let her go

    Occasionally, we meet a woman who turns out to be the one we’ve been looking for our whole life — the woman of our dreams. Such encounters are often completely unexpected. Nevertheless, they change us forever.

     

    Nature made us in such a way that two contrasting halves can become a perfect whole. The search for that other half often turns out to be an arduous journey. But believe me, you’ll know you’ve found her if you can say these 11 things about her. And if you’re lucky enough to find that single, perfect flower out there in the desert, hold on to her as strongly as you can; never let her go.

     

     

     

    She’s supportive

     

    Every man needs a woman who has the wisdom to help him get through life successfully. It’s often said that behind every great man stands an even greater woman, and this is true. Without a woman, a man can sometimes be little more than an egoist. A woman will bring meaning and direction to his life, and make him wiser.

     

     

     

    She’s beautiful

     

    Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. If she’s the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen — according to your taste, and no one else’s — then hold on to her. There are people who pay too much attention to someone’s physical appearance, and there are those who, perhaps in reaction to this, have revolted against the very idea that external beauty is important at all. Yet human beings have reveled in each other’s beauty as long as they’ve been able to see, and they shouldn’t feel ashamed to do so. But only if we recognise that, whilst it’s important, it’s not the most important thing we should value in someone.

     

     

     

    She’s kind and attentive

     

    If a woman isn’t kind at heart, then what meaningful place can she really have in your life? It almost goes without saying that the love of your life should be someone who looks after you, in every sense of the word.

     

     

     

    She’s energetic

     

    Sometimes, life is complicated. Sometimes, it can be boring and monotonous. Women aren’t there just to distract men from all this. Nevertheless, it’s more likely than not that you’ll feel a great deal happier with a woman who is energetic, lively and looking for adventure.

     

     

     

    She loves you to the bottom of her heart

     

    This is without question the most important thing. When a woman loves someone, she loves them with all her heart, dedicating herself entirely to them. If you find a woman who genuinely loves you, then you’ve found the most precious treasure the world can offer you.

     

     

     

    She knows how to compromise

     

    Everyone can be stubborn. Often we’re satisfied with the way things are, and aren’t especially open to the idea that something needs to change. Of course, finding a woman who’s ready to compromise is only half the battle — you have to be ready as well. A successful relationship is built on compromise, and you have no choice but to accept this if you want it to last.

     

     

     

    She makes you feel that you’re in the right place

     

    You know you’re in love with someone when you feel that you’ve found your own unique place in this world, as if for the first time in your life. You’re where you should be, and you don’t need anything or anyone else. If you see your own soul reflected in her eyes, then you’re home, at last. Why on Earth would you leave?

     

     

     

    She’s more than happy to tell you when you’re wrong

     

    Every man needs a woman who will let him know when he’s acting foolishly. Guys have this strange ability to make the wrong decisions and do really stupid things. When you find that woman who keeps you on the right track and tells you when you’re wrong, you’re life can only get better — even if you sometimes find it frustrating.

     

     

     

    She has strength of character

     

    All of us are looking for someone who fits our own idea of the perfect woman, but in every case this means some combination of strength and feminity. A woman with strength of character is exactly what every man needs. And one that expresses her feminity in whichever way she chooses is...well, also ideal. These two qualities are not contradictory; in fact they can be combined in an ideal way.

     

     

     

    She’s passionate

     

    A life filled with passion is the only one worth living. To feel the fire of passion within and have no one to express it to is impossible to bear. Passion only works when it’s expressed between two people. And if she doesn’t have this, then chances are your relationship is lacking something vital.

     

     

     

    She means everything to you

     

    Very often, when we fall madly in love with someone, we can’t explain why. The point is that you don’t need a reason. If you love her and can’t imagine life without her, don’t let her go. You should realise how much she means to you. Sometimes, men don’t see this until it’s too late. We always assume we’ll get a second chance to be together — well, perhaps you will. But there’s an equal chance that you won’t; you really might lose her forever. And then you’ll be filled with regret for the rest of your life, because you let the most important thing in the world slip through your fingers. Don’t risk it.

     

    Author: Paul Hudson

     

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  • 7 ways to tell if someone is cheating on you

    Ever wonder if your significant other isn't being entirely truthful?

    First of all, there's a good chance you're right — it's perfectly normal to lie.

    But if you're worried that someone's fibbing extends into the important stuff, like happiness or fidelity, you might have considered trying to catch them in a lie.

    Unfortunately, science can't tell you if your partner is sleeping around, but it is getting better at spotting when someone — especially a significant other — is being deceptive.

    Here are seven ways to tell if your partner might be keeping something important from you.

    Ask a friend. 

    Other people — strangers, even — have an uncanny ability to detect when something's not right in someone else's relationship.

    BYU psychologists tested out this idea by having couples draw an object together, with one participant blindfolded and the other one giving instructions on what to draw. The whole thing was videotaped. Before they started, the scientists had the couples answer a few questions about their relationship in private, including whether or not they'd ever cheated. 

    Then, the researchers had a group of strangers watch the footage and guess which couples included a partner who'd ever cheated. The volunteers were surprisingly accurate.

    Although preliminary, the research suggests that, simply by watching a couple doing something that requires working together, an outside observer may be able to detect infidelity or unhappiness.

    "People make remarkably accurate judgments about others in a variety of situations after just a brief exposure to their behavior," the researchers wrote in the study.

    Mull it over while doing something else. 

    People are generally bad judges of character — consciously, at least. When we are given time to process another person's actions subconsciously, however, we're far better at telling truth from deceit.

    In 2013, a team of psychologists had a panel of student judges watch people give testimony and decide if they'd lied or told the truth. The students who were given time to think before they made a decision — so long as they were made to think about something other than the case they were assessing — were better at figuring out whether the person they were judging had been deceitful.

    "These findings suggest that the human mind is not unfit to distinguish between truth and deception," write the researchers in the study, "but that this ability resides in previously overlooked processes." 

    Listen carefully to the words they use.

    For a recent study, Southern Methodist University professor of psychology James W. Pennebaker looked at some data he and his colleague Diane Berry had gathered from a text analysis program. They found that some specific patterns of language were helpful at predicting when someone was avoiding the truth.

    Liars, they found, tended to use fewer of the following three types of words:

    First person words, like "I," "me," or "my"

    Cognitive words, like "realize" or "think"

    Exclusive words, like "but" or "except"

    But they tended to use more of the following types of words:

    Negative emotion words, like "hate," "anger," or "enemy"

    Motion verbs, like "walk" or "move"

    Listen to the sound of their voice. 

    Canadian researchers recently had a group of volunteers listen to a pair of voices and rate how attractive each speaker sounded. Then, the researchers asked them to judge how likely each person would be to cheat in a romantic relationship.

    The female volunteers were most likely to say the men with lower-pitched voices would cheat; the men typically guessed that the women with higher-pitched voices would cheat. 

    Research has shown that men with more testosterone tend to have deeper voices, and as it turns out, higher levels of testosterone in men have been linked with higher rates of cheating. The jury is still out on whether there is any such association in women, though, and the researchers have yet to link their findings with actual observed behavior.

    Pay attention to social media use. 

    Does your partner spend more time Snap-chatting than talking to you? Recent research suggests that people who are highly active on two other social networks — Facebook and Twitter — may be more likely to have social-media-related conflict, and subsequently more likely to experience "infidelity, breakup, and divorce." (They haven't studied Snapchat yet.)

    In his study, University of Missouri researcher Russell Clayton studied the social media habits of close to 600 Twitter users. Most people used Twitter for roughly an hour a day, 5 days a week. But those who used it more often than that were more likely to get in arguments with their partners, get divorced, or cheat. The more time they spent on Twitter, the worse the relationship outcomes were.

    It's unlikely that too much tweeting, posting, and liking caused other people to cheat, of course, but if anything the study showed that there's certainly a connection between the two.

    Watch for sudden changes in behavior. 

    If you've been with your significant other for a while, chances are you know how they normally act — what type of foods they eat, how they react to challenges or surprises, how well they listen, and so on.

    Sudden changes in body language, from facial expressions to patterns of speech, can be red flags for duplicitous behavior, according to research from Lillian Glass, a behavioral analyst who once worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to study how to spot signs of deceit.

    "Your body experiences these types of changes when you’re nervous and feeling tense — when you lie," she writes in her book, "The Body Language of Liars."

    Lookout for silence, personal attacks, or repeating the question. 

    One telltale sign of lying, says Glass, is a sudden inability to speak. This happens because our automatic nervous system often responds to stress by starving the mouth of saliva.

    Another is veering into personal attacks rather than answering a question that's been asked, write CIA veterans Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero in their recent book, "Spy the Lie." 

    And in a study published in 2011, UCLA professor of psychology R. Edward Geiselman found that people who are lying tend to repeat questions before answering them, "perhaps to give themselves time to concoct an answer," he said in a press release.

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  • How To Start A Conversation With A Girl Online

    In today’s day and age I can totally understand if you want to know how to start a conversation online. We are surrounded by online dating sites and weird but highly effective dating apps. A couple of years ago you were frowned at when you said that you met your girlfriend on an online dating site. Today this is the most normal thing in the world.

    Today people are rather shocked when you tell them that you met your girlfriend without the help of modern technology. There are millions of attractive single women who hope to find their knight in shining armor on one of many online dating websites.

    The only problem is that the high number of women who are looking for the right partner attracts an even higher number of men who dream about being that perfect partner. The competition doesn’t sleep and the more men are hoping to get a date with a woman, the more important it gets to set yourself apart from the other guys.

    Saying the same things as everyone else and hoping that she replies doesn’t work .Therefore, the completion is simply too high. Because I wanted to know how many messages a hot girl gets on an online dating profile I recently made the test and set up a fake profile with a sexy picture of a half-naked girl. I received over a dozen messages in the first couple of minutes.

    The girl you want to write to has probably about ten messages in her inbox that she hasn’t even opened yet. This experiment will show you what I mean. You are definitely not the only one who wants her but with the following tips you are the one who gets her.

    Step 1: The Perfect Subject Line

    How do you start a conversation online? Okay, it usually starts with setting up your profile, adding a professional photo and writing some interesting stuff about yourself, but I simply assume that you have already done that.

    What’s next? You look for a girl you are attracted to and you write her. Saying the right things to her is important but there is one thing that she will see even before she reads your message. The first thing a woman sees when you send her a message on an online dating site is the subject line. Ignoring this tiny detail would be a huge mistake.
    Come on, you can be more creative than all the other guys who write a boring “hey”, “how are you” or “hello beautiful” in the subject line. Be funny, be playful and make her want to open your message.

    Even though the following subject lines sound completely ridiculous they actually worked with a great success rate when I used them:

    10 Reasons Why You Should Open this Message

    You are beautiful but why are you so shy?

    I am not a prince but I am charming

    Step 2: Forget About the Standard Message

    What do most guys write in their first message they send to a girl online? A lot of them use the same message for every girl they write to. The message they tend to use looks like this:

    Hey, How are you? You are really beautiful and I just wanted to say hi.

    Opening a word document, writing down a line that she has already heard a million times before and hoping that you are one of the twenty guys who wrote the same crap who she will actually reply to is not the best way to start a conversation online.

    Do yourself a favor and forget about the standard message. If you don’t personalize your message at least a little bit she will instantly know that you just play the numbers game and that you write the same thing to every girl.

    This is like throwing a tomato on the wall and hoping that it sticks. It doesn’t work like that. Oh, and make sure that you don’t end up writing the stuff like these guys.

    Step 3: Give Her an Individual Compliment

    Now that you know that you shouldn’t write the same message to every girl, it is time to have a look at what you can actually write to make her heart thump. Giving a girl an honest compliment is great but in the online world you have to be more creative than in real life.

    A girl who you approach with a direct compliment on the street will be flattered and excited when you tell her that she looks beautiful, because nearly no man has the balls to approach her. In the online world things are a little bit different. Men are a lot less afraid of writing to women than they are of talking to them in real life. As a result of that the average girl on an online dating site gets a lot of compliments.

    The two most common compliments are definitely “you are cute” and “you are beautiful”. Women who are actively searching for a partner online have heard those lines a million times. If you want that she replies it is time for something new.

    Look at her profile picture and give her a compliment that you can only give her and not to any other girl. In case she has blue eyes, blond hair, a red top and a friendly smile you can use all those elements to design your perfect compliment. A compliment that you can’t simply give every woman will make her feel special and when a man makes her feel special he deserves to get a reply.

    Step 4: Use the Information She Gives You

    Telling a woman why you are attracted to her looks is great but if you want to make her feel really special you have to be one of the few guys who tell her that her personality and her hobbies are also nothing to sneeze at.

    Take your time and look through her profile. If you have never done that you will be amazed at how much women reveal about themselves in an online dating profile. Make use of the information she gives you.

    If she says that she traveled to six countries within the last year, you would be stupid if you wouldn’t tell her that you like the fact that she is well-travelled and that it is amazing that she is brave enough to travel all around the world.

    Step 5: Give Her a Reason to Reply

    Now she knows why you write her. You made clear that you are not only attracted to her beautiful smile, but also to the fact that she is an interesting person. It is definitely nice to know that you like the fact that she is well-travelled but does she have any proof that you not just say that without meaning it?

     

    If you only tell her that you like the fact that she is well-travelled without linking this characteristic to yourself, she can easily get the impression that you just say it to impress her. Tell her exactly why you love this fact about her and share your own interests and experiences with her. Provide her with an answer to the question “why should I reply?”

    Once you tell a well-travelled girl that you traveled through South America and that you dream about embarking on a trip all over Europe, she will know that you will have a lot to talk about when you meet each other in person and that ending up in a relationship with you will be anything but boring.

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  • Pickup Rules Women Want Men To Know

    Hitting on women is not always easy, and there are plenty of potential mistakes that will turn the interaction sour, rather than successful. Picking up women requires a delicate blend of respect, confidence and nonchalance about rejection, and it can sometimes be difficult to strike the right balance. So here are eight pickup rules women wish all guys knew, to help make the task easier for you:

     
    1. Don't Bother Us In Public

    It disappoints many men to hear this, but women generally don’t want to be hit on when we’re going about our daily business. Truly. If we’re walking down the street with headphones in or selecting ripe fruit at the grocery store, that’s not a good moment to interrupt us to announce your romantic intentions towards us.

    It’s true that there are some women who don’t mind being approached in this way, but so many women find it annoying, off-putting and occasionally even threatening that it’s really not worth it. Remember that you’re probably not the only guy who has tried to approach a woman like this, and she may have had to fend off two or three (or more) similar approaches already that day. That starts to add up to a feeling of constant harassment, so don’t add to women’s discomfort by hitting on them in locations where they’re just trying to go about their daily business.

    Stick to traditional venues where it widely accepted as okay to approach women romantically, such as bars and singles events — or, of course,online dating sites and apps, like Tinder. And if you see a woman on public transport or at the laundromat, no matter how attractive you find her or how sure you are she’s your future wife, leave her be — especially if she’s reading or listening to music.

    2. Don’t Try To Neg Us

    At this point, negging is a pretty dated and inefficient pick up strategy.Negging, in case you are unaware, is the process of issuing a backhanded compliment, or a kind of half-compliment/half-insult, that is meant to confuse your “target” and cut her self-esteem down just enough notches to make her interested in you (e.g. “Nice dress! I’ve seen it on two other women tonight.”)

    Sure, it’s conceivable that negging a woman can sometimes work, but it (a) relies on the woman you are hitting on having low self-esteem and high levels of insecurity, which aren’t qualities you should be encouraging in a potential partner (come on: you should care for and respect your partners, sexual or otherwise, on a baseline level!), and (b) sets your relationship off on a negative foot.

    Instead, try a more sincere and approach. If you’re going to compliment the woman you’ve approached, do it in a straightforward way. This is likely to make for a more meaningful connection, and avoids the corny, overwrought mind games inherent in so-called “pickup artist” strategies like negging.

    3. Keep Appearance-Based Compliments Non-Creepy

    It’s fine to tell the woman you are hitting on that she looks good, but try to keep appearance-based compliments above board. Don’t, for example, make sleazy compliments about her body (and, for goodness sake, don’t mention her breasts at all!), and it’s better to use lines like “You look great!” and “You look amazing!” than “You look sexy!” or “You look hot,” especially on a first approach. Crude, body-based compliments are likely to make women feel self-conscious rather than sexy, and that will make it harder to successfully pick up the woman you’re trying to talk to.

    Complimenting a woman on her smile, her hair or her outfit is often a safe place to start: It’s thoughtful but not invasive, and chances are she’ll appreciate your attention to detail. Once you know her well and have a good grasp on her comfort levels, you can start to broaden out your compliment range.

    4. Don’t Persist In The Face Of Rejection

    You’re not going to get anywhere by persevering in the face of a woman’s disinterest. If she has mentioned a boyfriend, for example, don’t say “Well he’s not here tonight” and wink, and if she’s said she’d prefer to just hang with her friends tonight, don’t hound her — that means “no.”

    It’s often tempting to keep trying to hit on a woman in the face of these negative signals to prove that you aren’t *really* being rebuffed, because, let’s face it, no one likes the feeling of rejection, and we’d all prefer to pretend it’s not happening. But continuing to chase a woman who has signaled her disinterest comes off as hostile and creepy, and it has the terrible side-effect of putting many women off going to bars and clubs in the first place.

    It can be difficult for women to reject men outright because some men get overtly aggressive in the face of rejection, so if her body language is uninviting or she has a string of excuses for why she won’t give you her number or talk to you, it’s best to interpret that as a “no” and move on. As grandpas often say, there are plenty more fish in the sea, so don’t get hung up on pursuing a woman who's not interested to the ends of the earth.

    5. Talk To Us Like We're Humans

    So much dating and pick-up advice for men centers around the idea that women are a foreign species from outer space, with a complicated set of rules and procedures for activating our approval buttons. You heard it here first: It’s all nonsense! Women are, in fact, human, and we function much the same as men: We like to be listened to, for our interests to be taken seriously and for our whole personalities to be treated with the same (or more!) importance as our looks.

    So, instead of chasing women around the bar trying to flirt with pick up lines from the ’90s, why not ask her about her favorite movies or songs, or what she likes to get up to on the weekends? This is a strong way of establishing mutual interests, which will endear you to her, and it will help you determine if she’s an interesting enough person to captivate you long-term.

    6. Tailor Your Opening Line To The Environment (Online vs. IRL)

    Because so much of our flirting occurs online or on our smartphones these days, it’s important to tailor your opening to the circumstances. OnTinder or online, it’s often more appropriate to go with a longer, more overtly clever opening, whereas a simple “hey!” will be boring; IRL, however, the opposite is true: a simple “hello” is unthreatening and leaves the floor open for conversation, whereas a complicated opener is likely to be perceived as awkward and forced.

    Online, you will often know a fair bit more about the woman you’re approaching than you would IRL, so you should use that to your advantage. Whatever quirks and interests she’s revealed in her bio or profile are ripe conversation starters, so don't be too shy about referencing them. If you’re meeting IRL, you’ll have to rely more on confident body language and a simple approach: Perhaps you could walk up and say “Hey!” then offer to buy her a drink if the response if positive.

    7. Follow Through With Strong Conversation

    Picking someone up isn’t just about your opening, it’s also about your follow-through and ability to sustain interest. You don’t necessarily need to have a lengthy, sustained conversation — that’s what first dates are for — but you need to appeal to her enough that she wants to give you her number, and doesn’t ignore you when you text her later on.

    Try to land a few kind-spirited jokes or interesting anecdotes and establish at least a few points of mutual interest before moving on — unless you’re certain that your physical chemistry was so sizzling that there’s no chance she’ll ignore your call.

    8. Consider Where To Go From Here

    If your initial approach has gone well and you’ve secured her number, you need to think about where you’d like to take things from here. If you’re only interested in casual sex, that’s fine, but it’s unethical not to be up-front about this. Let her know you’re not looking for anything serious, and if she’s still up for some no-strings-attached fun, then that’s a win-win situation. If she’s not keen on keeping things casual, don’t try to dupe her into having sex with you — just move on to someone who is equally keen to stay unencumbered.

    If you’d like to date her more seriously, try to come up with an appealing first-date idea. It doesn’t need to be anything wacky or uber-novel like salsa lessons or a game of paintball, but it should be something at least moderately interesting, so that you both have a good time and you don’t come across as dull and uninspired.

    Look for new restaurants or cafes that have opened up in the area, or partake in low-key cultural activities like attending gallery openings or live music in bars. Take the charge and be decisive: most people find coming up with date ideas a bit challenging, so avoid the “I don’t know, whatever you want to do?” agony and come up with a clear plan.

    So, there you have it: Those are the basics that women wish all guys knew about picking us up. It’s pretty simple, really: approach respectfully and politely and heed clear signs of rejection, and you can’t go too far wrong. Good luck!

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  • Top 10 Ways To Know If You're Compatible

    It’s easy to think a girl is perfect for you when you’re in the first stages of dating. At that point, you’re each on your best behavior and are showing your most charming, desirable sides, while keeping your less attractive qualities under wraps.
     
    Slowly, though, the truth will reveal itself, and you might find you are less compatible than it first seemed. How do you prevent this coming out months down the line? Well, here are 10 ways to know if you’re compatible, right from the early stages:
     
    1. You agree on the big issues
     
    You don’t have to have identical opinions and tastes, but on big, important issues like religion, politics and your general life goals, you’re going to need agreement and understanding, if not the exact same positions. It’s generally pretty heavy to cover these topics on the first date, but you should spend the early stages of getting to know each other uncovering some of her stances on these issues, because you don’t want to find out that you have completely different values after you’ve been dating for months and she’s met the whole family.
     
    2. You have mechanisms for resolving conflict

     
    Sometimes healthy conflict resolution takes time to work out together, but if you’re having screaming arguments and tearful misunderstandings right from the jump, this could be a sign you don’t have long-term compatibility. If you can’t have disagreements without resorting to personal attacks or yelling at each other, or, worse, you can’t resolve matters after you’ve had less-than-mature arguments, you might need to find someone with whom you’ll enjoy a more peaceful state.
     
    3. You feel strong chemistry
     
    Physical attraction isn’t everything, and strong relationships can be forged even if there aren’t exactly fireworks right from the start. But you should feel some kind of spark when you are around your (potential) significant other; whether that’s in the form of wanting to rip her clothes off, laugh at everything she says or talk to her until the wee hours, you need to have some warm fuzzies to remind you why you want to hang around when the going gets a bit rougher.
     
    4. You can live together harmoniously
     
    Ultimately, for long-term relationships, you’re likely to want to live together at some point. It’s not always easy right at the beginning of a relationship to know if you’ll be able to live together, but there are definitely some warning signs to pay attention to: are you an absolute neat freak, while she leaves her clothes strewn everywhere? Do you steadfastly refuse to cook or clean, or does she? Pay attention to these early signs to determine whether you might be able to cohabitate one day.
     
    5. You share some interests
     
    Again, you don’t need to be twins or mirror images of each other, but it really helps to gel a relationship together if there are certain activities you like doing together. It could be anything from watching movies together to playing sport, or even just hanging around chatting and drinking beer, but if you’re constantly away from each other doing different activities — or if you can’t stand the things the other person likes doing with their time — the forecast for the future might not be so sunny.

    6. She doesn’t take minor things too seriously, and neither do you

     


     
    Compatible couples don’t tear apart at the seams as soon as there’s a minor issue at hand. Sometimes one or both of you will say thoughtless things, or leave dishes in the sink or forget an anniversary. These are crappy things that should be apologized for, but they shouldn’t be deal breakers or cause endless tirades of “I knew you didn’t care about me!” or “You’re always so selfish!” Both of you will need some ability to forgive and move on from minor infractions, and if you can do this from the start, that’s a strong sign.
     
    7. You both put energy into regenerating the relationship

     
    This is one that takes a little bit more time to determine, but when things have become a bit routine between the two of you, is she making an effort to spice things up or make sure you’re still interested? Are you? We’re fed a narrative about relationships in movies and pop culture that landing a partner is the hard part, and then the rest is easy. It’s nonsense: relationships take constant work, and require renewed energy from both of you.
     
    8. Your friends and family like her, and vice versa
     
    Sometimes the people close to us have better compatibility radars than we do for ourselves. If your friends and family are making comments like “you two are so cute together!” or “when is your new girlfriend coming around again?” that’s a great sign. Conversely, signs of disapproval — although they’ll likely be more subtle — are an important cue, too.
     
    9. You find yourself factoring her into the future
     
    You don’t tend to imagine buying a dog and designing a house from scratch with someone that you’re fundamentally incompatible with. Sure, we all fall head over heels for people who aren’t right for us occasionally, but if you’re making long-term plans and imagining a future with your new girlfriend, it probably means things are going well, and that you’re a good match.
     
    10. You don’t want her to leave

     
    Time apart in relationships is healthy — let’s clear that up. However, strong partnerships are built on a fundamental liking of one another, and enjoyment of each other’s company. It’s natural, in a good relationship, to feel pangs of longing when one of you is on holiday without the other, and to miss each other when you’re separated. If separation fills you with relief rather than mild discomfort, that’s a red flag, and you might need to keep searching for someone you want near you more often.

     

    Compatibility really comes down to a few fundamental components: shared values, mature conflict resolution, liking each other and treating each other with respect. If any of these factors are lacking a few months in, you may not be the best match for one another, but if you’re saying a resounding “yes!” to all of these signs, congratulations: you’re onto a good thing!

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