I came across this article online – and thought it was worth sharing.
The excerpt below was written by a man who’s marriage had failed – and these are the 16 things he would have done differently, were he able to get “a do-over.”
1. DON’T STOP HOLDING HER HAND
When I first dated the woman I ended up marrying, I always held her hand. In the car. While walking. At meals. At movies. It didn’t matter where. Over time, I stopped. I made up excuses like my hand was too hot or it made me sweat or I wasn’t comfortable with it in public. Truth was, I stopped holding hands because I stopped wanting to put in the effort to be close to my wife. No other reason.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER:
I’d hold her hand in the car. I’d hold her hand on a star. I’d…
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Re-Blogged From: Gala Darling
Maybe not first date material, but perhaps third or fourth. What could be better than sitting close on a rooftop somewhere, talking & laughing & watching the sun come up? Take a flask of hot coffee for extra points.
Have an extravagant brunch at 8am
Get dressed up & do breakfast properly. Make a big deal out of it, & include fabulous pancakes, decadent waffles, poached eggs & the best hollandaise. Boutique hotels often do a brilliant brunch, but a bit of surreptitious googling should set you on the right track. Thick white linen napkins first thing in the morning are a magnificent way to start the day — & then you can either go your separate ways, or take a walk.
Go to an art gallery on a Saturday afternoon
You’ll learn a lot about the person you’re standing next to if you go & check out art together. Plus it gives you something so much more stimulating to talk about than the last episode of The Bachelor!
Bring half an evening
One person organises the food, & the other organises a movie, or one person organises tickets to an amusement park, & the other plans a walking tour. Very collaborative! You get the opportunity to impress your crush with your superior taste while also finding out more about them. You don’t have to meet at someone’s house, either — a park bench, good picnic spot or even town square could work too.
The double-Netflix date
For those of you not in America, Netflix is an on-demand DVD rental service that the entire country seems to have a subscription to. Sorry to be so geographically-specific, but “double-Netflix” rolls off the tongue a little better than, “Let’s just each bring a movie & subject one another to our extremely questionable taste”!
The Case Of The Mystery Band
Grab a copy of your local newspaper or magazine, close your eyes, run your finger over the “live music” section & choose a band neither of you have ever heard of to go & see. It could be amazing; it could be completely hellish — you won’t know until you go! But even if it’s shocking, it’s definitely a bonding experience, & maybe even something to tell the children, eh?
Make a fort
Mix CD trade
Are mix CDs antiquated? Maybe you could just make one another a playlist on your iPod or something… Either way, sharing & discussing music is one of the world’s great, little-known aphrodisiacs. Truth. (Unless all they listen to is Richard Marx. Damn.)
Do something neither of you have done before
Pottery class? Swing dancing lessons? Hiring a moped & driving out into the country? Who knows, but it’s nice to share an experience that is new to both of you!
Random restaurant date
Search Yelp for restaurants in your area, close your eyes, roll your mouse & point at the screen. Just like the mystery band date, you never know how it’ll go — it could be a hidden treasure or a total health hazard, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?!
Hot air ballooning
Not the cheapest date idea, I’ll admit, but certain to score you points & to impress your lover-to-be. Maybe if you’re an heiress?!
Decorate a Christmas tree together
Yes, this one is seasonal, but think how fun it would be! It’ll cheer up your (or their) apartment, give you a visual reminder of them (assuming the date goes well), & maybe you could even go ice-skating afterwards. Cute ++.
The Sunday New York Times crossword date
Bonus: intellectual stimulation, nerd points & you get to find out how clever they really are, all in one fell swoop. & wouldn’t it be great if you looked at them across the table, sunlight falling across their face, & they smiled at you & you thought, ‘I would like to spend every Sunday this way’? Yes. Yes it would.
Slides are exciting. Monkey bars are fun. Swinging side by side is totally awesome, & you can have a contest as to who can swing higher. (Hint: if you are younger you will probably win this one. Older people, I have learned, sometimes feel motion sick on swings. Definitely one of the downsides of maturity.)
No explanation required, but if you take them to a secret treehouse that no one else knows about, please don’t be surprised if they propose on the spot!
Video game arcade date
This isn’t always a perfect match, especially when it comes to girls in high heels & those weird shoot-em-up zombie games. Or whatever. (How impressed would you be by a drop-dead gorgeous girl kicking immense zombie butt, though?) But everyone likes air hockey. Don’t they?!
Ye olde photobooth hunt
Trawl your city for old-school photobooths & take as many strips as you can. Take props, maybe a silly wig or two, & see how bizarre you can make them. P.S. Photobooth.net is your go-to source for major photobooth info!
A drive-in movie
I admit, this one seems ultra-cool to me just because I’ve never done it & I am in love with Danny Zucco from here until eternity. Just don’t try to take your ring off by wiping it through your greasy hair & hit your girlfriend in the boob!
Simple. Go to a convenience store. Buy cheap, evil, sugary treats. Find somewhere to sit & glut yourselves on them. Then see what happens. Spontaneous dancing? A completely misguided shopping trip? Leapfrogging over small children?! Let us know!
Pretend to be tourists
Go & do the stuff you’ve never done because, well, you’ve always lived here. Wear a baseball cap, khakis & a bum bag (“fanny pack”) for a feeling of real authenticity, & don’t forget to take plenty of photos!
“My old neighbourhood” date
Walk around the area you used to live, & tell your date about where you used to ride your bike, what happened on that one lawn, which house was best to hit up on hallowe’en & who the really creepy neighbours were.
The really long one-way walk
No rules except that you just have to walk for a really long time in one direction & not turn around. When you’re really exhausted or you hit the ocean, it’s time to go back. Catch a taxi or a bus or something to ease the pain.
Take a dog for a walk
It doesn’t have to be yours, or even hers. Borrow your friend’s dog! They’re adorable & fun & will give you something to talk about if you get stuck. Plus, people will come up to you & say, “Cute dog”, & you can beam at each other like proud parents.
Go to the beach
Take music, towels, a big floppy sun-hat or two & enjoy the day. Build sandcastles, put sunscreen lotion on one another, go swimming & then travel home together as the sun is setting, relaxed & happy.
I love karaoke. I love karaoke. I love karaoke. Again, it’s a great way to get to know someone — you’ll instantly know how outgoing they are, how much they like a challenge & what their music taste is like. Plus, usually in my experience, a day-glo private room & weird drinks are part of the package. Who could say no to that?
Collaborative art date
Get a canvas or even just a big piece of paper, some paint, pencils or pastels, & go nuts.
Walk around to different bars & tell stories about what happened
This one is kind of odd, but I was once on a date with a guy where we went to three different bars & as we walked around, he told me about the strange & hilarious memories he had associated with those places. It helped that he was cute & a good storyteller, but still, it could work.
Go & listen to jazz
Aka, pretend to be sophisticated. Or actually be sophisticated, depending…
Take cameras & explore an abandoned place
An excellent opportunity to be artsy-fartsy, or if you like to be on the other side of the camera, get them to take photos of you pulling your most beautifulest face!
Oh geez, does this need any explanation? No! Eating with your hands, handsome knights, silly hats? Sign me up!
“First date” night
This one works best if it’s not your actual first date. Like, for example, you’ve been together for 3 years & live in the same house. Get dressed separately, meet somewhere strange & a bit awkward, & pretend you don’t know one another. Start from scratch. Ask all those banal questions you’re supposed to ask (“So, what do you do?”). Then at the end of the night, rejoice that you’re in a relationship & not dating any more!
The generational date
Pretend you’re an age that you’re not, then act accordingly. A senior citizens date might involve going lawn bowling, making apple sauce & watching The Price Is Right. A teenager date might involve roller-skating, making out in public & drinking vodka in an alley-way. You get the idea…
The recession date
Triple B’s: eat at Burger King, take the bus to get there, then go & play bingo. Maybe you could go window shopping afterwards or huddle around a cigarette for warmth (very Withnail & I).
The silent date
In a loud, noisy, overstimulating world, it can be nice to unplug & escape. But it can be nice to do that with your new favourite person, too. Hold hands & read books on a wharf & occasionally look adoringly at one another. Cool.
Make cupcakes together
You know you want to.
Make a video & put it on Youtube
You could really do anything & make a video of it, but it does at least give you a purpose & a goal. Plus, later on you have a record of what went on — & a slew of idiotic comments to wade through. Haha!
Liveblog your date
Upload pictures, tweet it, even give it a hash-tag. #evan&madelinesfirstdate. Cute.
Travel without going anywhere
The premise is simple. Have a normal date but speak with an accent. You both have to do it, by the way, or it doesn’t count. Choose something difficult for extra hilarity points, like Scottish or South African. Och aye!
Write letters to one another & post them
Maybe if you were on a date with a contender for Macho Man Of The Year this wouldn’t work, but I think it is almost the cutest idea ever. It’s definitely worth a try.
Dye each other’s hair
There’s nothing like a radical change to make life more exciting. Try blue-black or red or even pink! I wrote a how to, so there’s no excuse!
Sneak into a rooftop pool
They often have them at hotels, but they are usually only open to guests, so you might have to use your best sweet-talking skills, but it will be totally worth it if you can swing it. My suggestion? Just act as if you’re supposed to be there, & them questioning you is really just a waste of your time. Be charming but efficient. Godspeed!
Jump on a trampoline
The hardest part will be finding one, but I have faith in you!
Use sparklers to draw each other pictures
& maybe even write “GD + MK 4 EVER”. (Take photos.)
Get a really, really, really big sundae & split it. Bicker over toppings. Then, when you’re done, find somewhere to lie down & talk about how sick you feel. A bonding experience to be sure!
Have a five-course dinner… at different places
Have an appetiser at one place, soup somewhere else, a main here, a dessert there, & coffee at your favourite cafe.
Play truth or dare
Three-hour make-out session
Choose a good location & use a stopwatch if necessary. Sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon to me!
Cozy up to these fun couples activities that won’t cost a dime.
By Jené Luciani
What does your idea of a romantic evening entail? Fancy dinners? Flowers? Gifts? Sometimes it’s important to remember that being romantic doesn’t have to mean spending all your dough. There are many ways to treat your loved one to a special date without emptying your wallet (or his). MrFreeStuff.com has shared his list of 40 Great Date Ideas—and they’re all free!
© 2012 Weider Publications, LLC, a subsidiary of American Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
I’m sure I’m not the only one – but I’ve been stuck on Pintrest a few times this week, just browsing at what other people find interesting enough to ‘pin’. Anyway, I came across this idea and thought it would be perfect for Ty and I . We’re usually pretty good at occupying our time with things that need to be done and things we’d like to check out but as most couples find, there are the days where the conversation goes something like this:
Would you like to do something this weekend?
What you wanna do?
Hmmm . . . It doesn’t matter . . .What you wanna do?
It doesn’t matter . . .
I know, I know. We live in the Land of Paradise (as one of my friend calls it) and all we can say is “It doesn’t matter”. Well not anymore a solution has arrived. So to create your every own “Date Night In A Jar” all you have to do is pick up some coloured popsicle sticks, a black sharpie and a drinking glass from your local dollar store. Next you just write the different date ideas on the coloured sticks. Now how easy is that? And after browsing random sites online I came across this list of ideas to use as a guide. Enjoy & Happy Date Night!
Pink Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $$
Hotel stay for the night
Jacksonville Jaguars Home Game
Dinner and a movie (her choice)
Dinner and a movie (his choice)
Progressive Meal (drinks at one restaurant, appetizers at another etc; )
Pool/ Darts at a Local Dive Bar
Castle Fun Park
Go to an Amusement Park
Visit a Place Listed in an Entertainment Book
Go to the Zoo
Go Rock Climbing
Try a New Cuisine
Orange Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $
Go to the Beach
Go See a College Sports Event
Go for Ice Cream
Go for a Scenic Drive
Go Wander through the Mall
Visit an Art Gallery
Visit a Local Farm
Go to a Book Store
Visit Another Town – Walk Around Main Strip
Listen to Live Music
Have Lunch at a New Restaurant
Go Out for Drinks
Visit a Tourist Spot in Our Hometown
Go See a Local Band
Go Fruit Picking
Visit a Winery
Blue Sticks: At Home Dates – $$
Takeout and Scrabble
Nachos and Yahtzee Night
Paris night: Baguette, French Wine, and Cheese
Chinese Food at the Warf
Sculpture a Block of Ice Cream (Get generic brand to ensure firmness)
Make (decorate) T-Shirts for Each Other
Indoor Unbirthday Party (for both of you)
Build a Hobby Shop Project Together
Champagne & Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Accomplish a ‘Home’ Project
Restaurant at Home (Recreate a menu from your favorite restaurant)
Make Ice Cream Sundaes
Green Sticks: At Home Dates – $0
Popcorn and a Chick-Flick
Crosswords and Breakfast for Dinner
Make a Dessert Together
TV Series Marathon
Homemade Pizzas and an Italian Movie
Cook Dinner Together – with Smooches
Bake Cookies Together – with Smooches
Read on the Couch Together
Sensual Back Rub Night
Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries & Bath Night
Work-Out Together – set up stations: jump rope etc;
Total Theme Night – Dress, Dinner & Movie
Yellow Sticks: Activities Outside the Home – $0
Go for a Walk
Hike in the Woods
Lie in the Grass & Find Shapes in the Clouds
Build Sandcastles/Snowmen (depending on the season)
Go People Watching
Make Kites and go Fly Them
Explore a Local Park
Go for a Bike Ride
Watch the Sunrise/Sunset
Take a Walk Around a Lake
FALL IN LOVE
With summer winding down, it’s time to start thinking ahead to cooler temperatures, especially when it comes to love. Not sure what to do or where to go with your guy? Between outdoor adventures and season-specific outings, fall can be a lot more fun than you think.
There’s no better way to eat seasonal and local than by heading to the closest apple farm to pick your own fruit. Not only will you be enjoying the fresh air, but you can gather enough goodies to go home and try your hand at baking a pie together. The crisp, fall air is energizing and apple picking is something you can only do in the fall, which makes it special. Check out PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you.
Cotton candy and rides and games, oh my! What could be better than a day spent arm in arm with your man while you take in the action at a local state fair? Greasy food, silly rides and the chance for him to win you a stuffed animal all combine for a laid back but ultra-fun day for two. Fall is prime time for fairs, so do a quick search here to find the closest one to you.
A fall hike is a great way to get to know someone better or boost your bond with someone you’ve been seeing for a while. Whether you’re six months into a relationship or six years, a brisk walk through some gorgeous trails makes for a romantic (and athletic) afternoon. Local Hikesprovides a comprehensive list of hiking trails near metropolitan areas making it easy to find one near you. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the fall colors.
Too blustery out for a hike or trip to the fair? There’s nothing more romantic than staying in and cuddling up under a blanket together for a cozy night in. Stock up on your favorite snacks, choose some movies you both want to watch, light some candles, open a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon or evening relaxing in the warmth of your living room.
Whether it’s to hike further afield, check out a cute town you’ve never been to, or simply do something different for a day, taking a mini road trip is a fun fall date that goes beyond your usual activities. The best reason to get out of town in the fall? To see the fall foliage! Check out where to head to see the bursts of yellow, red and orange with a handy fall foliage map.
© Copyright 2003 – 2012, SheKnows LLC, A Division of AtomicOnline LLC, All Rights Reserved
By Ruth Purple
Perhaps every woman dreams of having a wonderful husband, adorable children, and white picket fence house in the suburbs. A life so ideal and simple, but is it really that simple?
When a woman marries, and decides to have children, it is anything but simple. Marriage is far from easy. It is a constant struggle of give and take, of compromising. Likewise, in having children, you need to be brave and wise enough to guide your children, because their life and their future depends on your sanity. So, where do you put yourself?
It has been commonly said, that when a woman made a decision to give herself in marriage and have children, she put herself last.
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with this one. When it comes to prioritizing between marriage, children, and yourself, I strongly believe that you should prioritize yourself first, then your marriage and then your kids. This may sound selfish, but it is not. Hear me out.
Half of your union depends on you. In the first place, your husband decided to be with you for the rest of his life and made you the mother of your kids, because of “you!” So, why would you put yourself the least? You are important. Knowing this fact, you should take time to heed your needs and prioritize your growth.
Give time to nurture your soul and your spirit. Also, keep the balance within you. Your kid’s welfare depends on your emotional and mental stability. You need to have a sound mind and spirit to make wise decisions. You are their nurturer. How can you nurture, if you yourself needs nurturing? Therefore, if you love your husband, respect your union, and adore your kids, prioritize yourself.
Now you know why you need to keep yourself a top priority, what about when you are torn between your marriage and children? Who should come first? Experts have agreed that if you put your precious little ones first over your union, you are hurting them more than your union. Look at it this way, let the house be the metaphor of your kids and the foundation of that house is your marriage. If the foundation is weak, and breaks into pieces, the whole house will crumble into pieces, too. Therefore, it is safe to say that if there is instability in the foundation, there is turbulence in the house. Keeping the foundation strong, stable, and peaceful secures your children’s long-term well-being. It is unquestionable of how great the impact of divorce is to a child. Its memories always leave a lasting, and sometimes permanent fracture in the kid’s well-being. A strong marriage protects your kid’s well-being during their development into adulthood and helps them prepare for an equallystrong and stable relationship.
Let us be clear though, children’s basic and essential needs should come first. Nobody here is advocating neglecting children’s physical or emotional needs. That being said, the marriage should be prioritized over the kids. Parents sometimes go way overboard in meeting their kid’s needs. They should keep in mind that a child can thrive without piano lessons three or four times a week, but they cannot fully thrive when the family is shaky.
Ruth Purple, is a Relationship and Dating Expert. Conquer Infidelity and Experience a Happier Love Life through her New eBook. Visit her website atRelazine.com.
Source: Black Love & Marriage
By Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
There are few things as wonderful as young love, especially when it happens in Spring! Remember when you first met the partner of your dreams?Everything felt so alive, right? You probably felt a general blissful wonder while your endorphins ran on high. Every time you saw or thought of your sweetie, the butterflies churned, and your heart thump, thump, thumped at the mere thought of your new love! Then as time went on, those butterflies took flight and found other couples ready to relish in young love, while you and your partner resigned to be grouchy and cranky in “old” love.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you grew up with old fashioned stories about relationships based on minimum effort, on necessity or convenience, these three truths will help you understand that there are some key things you have to do to truly live happily ever after.
1. When you marry your mate, you marry their family! When two people come together, how can they not be impacted by each other’s families unless they run as far as they can in the opposite direction and have no contact with them at all?! Remember the character Michael in the movie “The Godfather”? He mentions to his girlfriend Kate that he is not his Mafia family, but he ends up being exactly like his father anyway. Families come along with the person you marry. There is no way around this, even if you try to extricate yourself.
2. Love isn’t enough. If that were the case, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it is. Instead, practically every relationship would be destined for sublime happiness! Realty check: You have to work at relationships in order for them to work. Firstly, communication is by far the most important foundation you need. If you don’t talk and listen effectively, you won’t get far. Sweeping unspoken expectations and various other issues under the rug will only serve to fester until the straw breaks the camel’s back. Don’t skimp on this vital key to a healthy relationship!
There is also no way around the crises that will happen in life, so if you aren’t communicating in the first place as these occurrences come your way, it will be harder to weather them. You have to be consciously aware of how you express yourself: say what you need to say while being sensitive to your partner. And listen, listen, listen! Active listening with an open mind and heart shows a level of respect and caring that is necessary to making your partner feel safe and supported, e.g. no hidden agenda allowed!
3. Money does NOT solve problems. In fact, it can actually add to them. Research shows that couples whose income increases to a higher level than what they had in the beginning have more money problems. Certainly money can help with some things we all need in life, and having a little extra is great. But money can’t buy good health, personal happiness or a great marriage! If you believe that if you had more money, things would be better, what you’re really wanting is something other than money to change or be resolved. Yep, money can be a mask for underlying issues!
As our world changes and progresses, our expectations also change; this includes the expectations we have of our relationships. In today’s modern relationships, we really need to be as conscious about what we’re doing as we can. Then we’ll have the very best chance of our relationship having a fairy tale ending. So Spring into YOUR happily ever after. You deserve it!
About The Author: During the past 25 years, renowned relationship expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin has helped hundreds of people rekindle romance and reignite passion in their relationships. The solutions in her Relationship Toolbox™ help couples re-build romance so intimacy inside and outside the bedroom can flourish. Through her successful 25-year marriage and her experience of raising 4 children, Dr. Patty Ann has earned an international reputation for saving relationships. To reignite your flames of passion, visit her site at www.drpattyann.com.
Source: Black Love & Marriage
Remember a time when you couldn’t keep your hands off your partner? When with one look, one touch, you’d spend all day glowing in what felt like an all-consuming passion?
You used to have endless energy and time for romance and lovemaking, but now that you’ve been together a while, things have changed. Your days are filled with to-do lists and social obligations rather than steamy all-nighters and love notes. When your partner caresses you, you might get sleepy rather than turned on. A nap or watching TV might sound better than sex. You love your partner, but maybe you’re just not “feeling it” anymore.
When we first fall in love, the romantic thrill happens effortlessly because pleasure-boosting hormones create a neuro-chemical cocktail that drive us toward greater intimacy. Nothing is more important than being with that one person who makes you feel like you’re on fire. It certainly didn’t take planning or feel like work to keep the flames of lust burning and your interest in one another growing.
Unfortunately, this euphoria rarely last forever, especially when the demands and responsibilities of real life take over. Suddenly, there’s precious little time or energy left over in your day for an affectionate caress, an intimate conversation or a night of romance.
It isn’t long before your partner seems more like a roommate than a lover. You lay down each night next to a person who feels miles away from you. You begin to wonder if you even know each other anymore. When this emotional disconnect starts to happen, you’re entering the danger zone.
For monogamous couples, is it just a matter of time before the romance is dead and the relationship begins to drift apart?
Not necessarily. It depends on the little things you do on a daily basis that can mean the difference between a passionate, thriving relationship and one that’s on a slow death walk towards infidelityor divorce.
Is it really possible to keep the passion and romance alive after 5, 10, 20 years together?
Absolutely. Giving each other a daily dose of what I call the 3 A’s — attention, appreciation and affection — are the critical factors in keeping any relationship alive with interest and desire.
If taking a nap, watching TV, being on Facebook or chatting with friends sounds better than making love to you, here are six strategies to immediately apply to get the enthusiasm and closeness back in your relationship, pronto!