Today's Love Tip
Someone once said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and it rings true, particularly as we age. It's great to have close friends to depend on when things get rough and to celebrate our successes. But your Facebook account... Read More
More Love Advice
When Platonic Relationships Might Not Be So Platonic

Do you have a friend who lately seems like they might want to be more than just a friend? Are you having a hard time figuring out just how platonic your friendship might be? Navigating any relationship can be difficult, but there a few fairly reliable ways to figure out if your friendship could be headed to the next level.

The first thing you need to think about is how you and your friend communicate, as this can often be the key to your true feelings.

Communicating With Your Friend

First, ask yourself: How do we communicate? Do you email, text, call or primarily talk in person? Each method of communication has its own level of intimacy. If you find yourself on the phone with your friend just to exchange basic information that could be sent through text or email, there may be something to that.

If you're using any excuse you can muster to hear his or her voice, there's a good chance one of you wants more than just friendship. The more intimate the mode of communication the more intimate you probably want to be.

Next, you'll need to consider how often you communicate. Emailing and texting might not be super intimate, but if you're doing it all the time, your relationship could definitely be slipping outside the lines of platonic. Do you find any excuse you can to text your friend? Do you email them when you discover something just a little bit funny online or you have a question about "that one movie with that one guy..."? Are they doing the same? These are big clues that you want to be more than friends.

Paying attention to how you keep in touch with a friend is a great way to see if you might want to make out more than just hang out. Keep tabs on how you keep tabs on each other and you'll be one step closer to determining where you stand.

After you've considered how you communicate with your "platonic" friend, the next part of your relationship to examine is your level and nature of physical contact. In other words how often and where do you touch? Body language holds many answers for friends who might secretly want to be more.

First, ask yourself, how do you touch? Does your friend find any excuse to touch you? Have there been many times that they've "accidentally" brushed your arm or leg, or touched your hair? Do you find yourself doing the same? If so, chances are that there is some physical chemistry brewing under the surface. If you're unsure of where your relationship stands start paying attention to how you touch one another and you'll likely find some answers as to whether you are more than just friends.

Next, consider what's going on with your body language. How close do you sit to one another? Do you turn your bodies towards each other? Are you often touching yourself (hair, lips, face)? The more you're facing each other and touching yourself, the more you're likely projecting what you want to happen - in other words, being close to them and touching.

Do you find yourself caring more about your appearance when you know you're going to see them? If you're making a point to wear your best clothes and use your favorite perfume or cologne when you know you're going to see your friend, chances are pretty good that you want to arouse their attraction. You should ask yourself whether you care about those things when you hang out with other platonic friends. If not, it's time to consider that your platonic friend isn't so platonic.

Keeping track of how you touch, use your bodies and present yourself is an easy way to determine what you really want from a relationship and puts you one step closer to knowing if you're more than just friends.

Once you've really nailed down your verbal and non-verbal communication habits, including body language, it's time to look at the reality of what types of relationships you both have with other people. All the signs might be there, but if your platonic friend is in a serious relationship with someone else or is sleeping with a lot of people, it might not matter.

Are either of you dating someone else? Are those relationships long-term? If your platonic friend already has a non-platonic friend it might not matter how often you talk or touch. Even if a spark is there, do you want your friend to end a relationship they've been in for a long time? They might have feelings for you that go beyond platonic, but those feelings might not be strong enough to end their current relationship.

If you and your friend aren't in long-term romantic relationships with other people, you should move on to the reality of your sex lives. Are you or the platonic friend sleeping with anyone or a lot of other people? If they are, all of the signs that suggest you might have a not-so-platonic relationship might just mean that one of you likes to flirt or that one of you is more of a touchy-feely person. Sex and love are two different things and you might not want to ruin your platonic friendship for a romantic relationship that might not pan out in the end.

When all the signs are there and you find yourselves getting out of-or ending-physical relationships with other people, the chances are good that you are more than just friends.

Keeping track of how you touch, use your bodies and present yourself is an easy way to determine what you really want from a relationship and puts you one step closer to knowing if you're more than just friends.

Relationships can be complicated, even when both parties make their desires and interests known. But in less straight-forward circumstances-such as when platonic friends develop romantic feelings for one another-it isn't easy to determine what you might be feeling-let alone what your friend might be thinking! By keeping an eye out for a few key signals, you'll have a better idea if your supposedly platonic friend is interested in being more than just friends.

Pay attention to how and when you communicate, what you're both doing with your bodies and what (if any) romantic relationships you might have with other people and you'll be that much closer to understanding what you both want from each other.

If you still aren't sure, consider a quick kiss. The truth may lie in what happens when your lips connect!

Read More
5 Signs He Is the Right One For You

Wish as we might-and despite what romantic comedies would have you believe-there is no magic answer to finding the perfect mate. Discovering if someone is the right one for you usually takes some time. Although we may wish to act solely on instinct-which can be helpful in determining if he is the right one-it is important to give it time before reaching that final decision.

While there is no set-in-stone policy for finding love, there are 5 signs you can use to determine if he is the one.

Sign #1 He Is the Right One - You Respect One Another

When it comes to figuring out if he is the right one, respect should be at the top of the list. Respect is also something that should go both ways. He should respect you and you should respect him, in turn.

You can tell he respects you when:

  • He is willing to compromise
  • He listens to your concerns and feelings
  • He notices when something is wrong and asks you about it
  • He values your opinion
  • He appreciates you
  • He is genuinely happy for you when you succeed

All of these are signs that he has respect for you. You should also demonstrate these same things to him. On the other hand, if you find that either of you are unwilling to compromise, concerns and feelings are dismissed, or you notice something is wrong but don't inquire, then you have some tell-tale signs that there is a lack of respect.

If either of you flippantly dismisses the other's opinions or act as if they are inconsequential, there is clearly a lack of respect. If you greet one another's successes with jealousy instead of enthusiasm and support, you need to take a minute to assess the level of respect that exists in your relationship.

Sign #2 He Is the Right One - He Has the Qualities You're Looking For

Ideally, you should know ahead of time what qualities are important to you in a mate. Trying to figure it out after the fact can lead to serious problems. If you have a good idea of the qualities you are looking for-the ones that are the most important-it will help you determine if he is the right one.

It helps to write a list. Select at least 10 qualities you are looking for in a man. Put that list in the order of importance. Take a serious look at the list and cross off any qualities that aren't so important. Some qualities are probably negotiable. If that is the case, they can likely be removed from the list. The idea is to get down to at least the top 5 non-negotiable qualities that you are looking for.

All of this must be done by keeping 2 important things in your mind. First, no one is perfect. If you are looking for Mr. Perfect, you might as well stop looking and recognize that perfection simply doesn't exist. With that in mind, know that you don't have to just "settle" for "good enough." You want to have the confidence of knowing that he is not someone you have simply settled for but he is the right one for you. The list of qualities you are looking for will help determine that.

Compare your list of top 5 non-negotiable traits and compare it to the man in question. Remember, these were non-negotiable qualities that you selected, so if he doesn't fit all of them, there is a good chance that he is not the right one for you. It's surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of trying to change your standards, but you should never change your standards to fit someone else. You can't make someone be who they aren't.

If he meets every one of your non-negotiable qualities, chances are good that he may be the right one for you.

Sign #3 He Is the Right One - You Share the Same Values

What do you value most? What values make up the life you have chosen to live? These are important questions to ask yourself, as they will help determine if he is the right one for you. Values are usually in-line with those non-negotiable items that will give you a clue as to whether or not he is the right one. If you don't share the same values, consider that to be a red flag.

An important factor to consider is if you find yourself compromising your values for him. Values really make up who we are. If you are changing your values in order to please someone else, then you are essentially trying to change yourself and that is never a good sign in a relationship!

Values are something that should be discussed ahead of time. Don't guess at what he values most in life, ask him! If he doesn't seem to have any values, or he can't articulate them, that might be another red flag to look for. A man of real substance is flexible, but will possess firm, well-reasoned values.

Sign #4 He Is the Right One - Your Intuition Tells You

Your intuition-your gut-should never be ignored. At the same time, it should never be THE deciding factor. Your intuition should serve as a guide, something you rely on when considering whether or not he is the right one.

Intuition is more than just how physically attracted you are towards him. It goes beyond that to a place deep inside where you just seem to "know." It's usually just a sense or a feeling that this person is the right one.

Whether your instincts are saying he is or isn't the one, it's an important consideration. Many times our instincts are right. Of course, our best instincts can be wrong and someone can present themselves to be something that they are not. This is why intuition is only one sign to consider in determining if he is the right one for you.

Sign #5 He Is the Right One - You Can Be Yourself With Him

You will not be appreciated or valued by a man who tries to change you or who cannot love you, flaws and all. So if you can be who you are when you are with him, he might just be the right one for you. This means he not only accepts the good in you, but also your weaknesses and faults. When you can be yourself, you will experience a sense of freedom. You will have confidence in knowing that he accepts you just as you are.

When taking these 5 signs into consideration, you will have a good idea if he is actually the right guy for you.

Read More
Pick-Up Tactics That Work

If you're a single woman who is in the market for a great date, you may be wondering about how to successfully pick up men (or women), particularly if you've decided that you would like to meet someone the old fashioned way - i.e. in person and face-to-face. Once you spot someone you're interested in, it's time to consider what pick-up tactics work.

Many women shudder at the idea of hitting the dreaded single's bar, where the only thing you're guaranteed is to hear a bunch of cheesy pick-up lines, often with nothing to show but disappointment and a lack of quality meetings.

Best Places to Pick-Up Men (Hint: It's Not the Single's Bar)

Depending on your age and objectives, you may picture single's bars or dance clubs as the best places to meet men. You may think that all you need to do is throw on your sexiest outfit and head out, where you're guaranteed to pick up men all night. But your competition in these settings will be very high, and these dark, loud, and often smoky settings aren't conducive to figuring out if someone is right for you.

Some of your best chances for a successful pick up will happen in more organic settings, such as a dog park, the beach, a coffee shop, grocery stores, sporting events, or even the Laundromat. These places allow you to more easily strike up a natural conversation-about the weather, a pet, a book-instead of relying on tired pick-up lines that do nothing to showcase your brain, personality, or creativity.

Instead of meeting in a single's bar where everyone is busy trying to get noticed, you can actually spend time getting to know someone in a more natural environment, where you're both more likely to be relaxed and act like yourselves.

The best places to pick up men are often daytime venues and relaxed atmospheres, neither of which apply to single's bars or clubs. These settings also have the advantage of letting you see what the man is interested in, whether it's books, bikes, pets, or football. This helps you to hone in on men with whom you share similar interests or hobbies, generally making for a more pleasant experience for the both of you.

When you're relaxed, you're more likely to use natural body language and make eye contact, both of which are important factors when trying to pick up someone that you are interested in.

Flirting at the Park

A large public park-particularly one that allows dogs or has spaces for playing Frisbee, football or soccer-is one of the best places to meet men and employ some pick up tactics that work. If you spy a man enjoying time with his dog and think you'd enjoy time with him too, you're in luck. This is a great opportunity for flirting with a cute guy.

You can flirt naturally by telling him how you cute you think his dog is, openly showing affection by petting the dog and asking questions about the breed or age of his furry best friend. This can lead to a conversation about other things and gives you a chance to feel him out and see if there are any sparks between the two of you.

He doesn't have to have a puppy to get the conversation going. If you see an interesting man sitting on a park bench and reading, ask him about the book he's reading, and so on. Keep things casual and cool and you have a low-pressure way to show interest in someone new.

Flirting at the Beach

If you've got plenty of body confidence and a nearby body-of-water, you might want to consider the beach as a pick-up zone. But there's more to it than showing up in a bikini and hoping that a cute guy will happen to trip over your beach towel.

Grab a friend or two and head to the beach for a day of fun. And here's the key: actually have fun! Come armed with some piece of sporting equipment, a cooler full of cold water and snacks, and a great, open attitude.

If a man sees you having fun with your friends - playing Frisbee, paddle ball or sand volleyball - he's more likely to wander over and introduce himself. Likewise, don't be afraid to make the first move. If you see a good-looking man or group of men that are chilling on the sidelines, ask them to join your game.

Pick-Up Tactics That Work at the Coffee Shop or Book Store

Maybe you'll meet your next date when you're both at Starbucks and your eyes lock across a tall, non-fat mocha Frappuccino, or you both reach for the same book in the narrow aisles of a local book store. Yes, these situations are the stuff that romantic comedies are made of, but there's a reason that film cliché exists. You've practically got a built-in pick-up line at the ready. Comment on the drink he ordered, ask about the book he's holding, or offer to buy him a coffee.

Flirting at the Laundromat

Single guys need clean clothes too! Instead of plowing through this seemingly thankless weekly chore as quickly as possible, keep your eyes peeled for any cute guys who seem to be there by themselves. Scan their laundry basket for any signs of a girlfriend or wife-i.e., women's clothing-and don't be afraid to employ the tried-and-tested "Do you have any extra quarters/fabric softener/detergent/magazines?"

Yes, it's a pick-up line, but it's a practical one as well. If he doesn't bite, you can play it off by asking the person next to him for the same thing. If, however, he gives you a friendly smile, that's your cue to turn the request into a conversation. Start with something non-threatening ("I can't believe how quickly this stuff builds up. I swear, it multiples while I sleep.") and move the conversation along to something more interesting and non-laundry-related.

There is no guaranteed formula for flirting or mastering the art of the pick-up. The best thing that you can do is to act naturally and to have fun, no matter what you're doing or where you go. If you are relaxed and seem happy and easy-going, you're far more likely to attract the attention of single men who will want to get to know you better.

The pick-up tactics that work are the ones that are the most natural. Try a new hobby, or sign up for an intramural sport at the local parks and rec. The more active and engaged you are in your community and the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to meet someone new and have the confidence you need to get their number.

Don't be afraid to approach someone who seems interesting. Just look for something to kick off the conversation (their book, their dog, their bicycle), smile, make eye contact and keep it cool. Most important? Be open and be yourself.

Read More