With the holidays slowly approaching, I’m reminded of a romantic comedy movie titled “Meet the Parents.” This 2000 film is a remake of the 1992 original with the same title. For those of you that have not seen the movie, the 30 thousand ft. view went something like this: The man of the relationship decides that the time has come to get serious with his girlfriend. With the proposal set in his mind, he decides that the ideal way to propose is during the weekend trip to her parents’ house in support of her sister’s outdoor wedding event. Instead, the weekend turns into an onslaught of nightmares due to misunderstanding and miscommunications between the couple and her parents resulting in the man being shunned out by his girlfriend and her family. At some point in the revised 2006 movie, the couple makes up and her parents decides that it’s time to meet the man’s parents. While this movie creates extremely outrageous examples, it does beg the question, is meeting your partner’s parents still a “thing” today. Does it matter to you or your partner based on your culture? Are the ways of the old traditions of asking the parent’s permission to allow you the opportunity to grow with your partner still relevant? If you’re already serious in your relationship, and have not thought about this yet, it may be a good time to understand each other’s view about what meeting the parents may mean for each of you. Knowing this ahead of time, is a good way to ensure that if and when that time comes, you’re ready.
If you research this topic, you’ll get a response of over 26 million articles, blogs, and case studies supporting both the acceptance and rejection of the idea. In this wonderful digital age we live in, you’ll likely date individuals that provides you more reasons to say YES to friends with benefits because meeting Mr. or Ms. Right is difficult to find in the minefield of modern dating. Match conducted a study in 2017 of a population of singles living in the United States. Their research of 5000 participants states that 69% are really looking for a serious relationship. What’s interesting about their analysis is that 55% of the singles are or have had “friends with benefits” relations that stemmed from just “being friends”. That’s in comparison to, only 40% who preferred to build a “friendship” first or 44% of those who prefer to go on official dates where they skip the sex and prefer to just hang out.
So what does this mean? Well, on one hand, you might be thinking that it’s a great way to get your sexual fix without the hassle of commitment. On the other hand, you may be asking yourself, if it’s really “OK” that the benefits are temporary and that person isn’t really just for you. To know where you stand on this topic, ask yourself how you would feel if you had to share your cell phone, or toothbrush with others. How about your vehicle, clothing, expensive designer bags, or shoes? For most of us since birth, we’ve been taught to take anything and make it our own. You’ve done it when you’ve consumed milk as a baby, you’ve done it again as a child when you received something you really like, and you’ve done it as an adult when you’ve invested time, money or energy towards something you really enjoy. Bottom line is when you want something that makes you happy, there’s a higher possibility that you’ll claim it for yourself.
Now don’t get the wrong idea, sure we share. It just depends on what that is. You decide if friends with benefits are the way to go, or if you want it to be more exclusive. Once you’ve crossed that line and go from just friends to friends with benefits, it may be challenging to revert back to just friends. Just remember that the longer you decide to just be friends without pursuing it further, the higher the possibility that your friend can be swooped up by someone who wants them exclusively for themselves. After all, it’s only human nature.
First dates can be full of surprises and unexpected moments. While there’s no such thing as a cookie cutter formula to the perfect first date, there are questions that can tip things in your favor. There’s something really attractive about a date asking well thought out questions that keeps you engaged and interested. Below are some of the best used questions that focus on learning more about your date’s personality, compatibility and gauge of connection. Remember to keep it conversational. The questions below should come out naturally, and really be based on what you may already know about your date, or want learn about during the date. This way you minimize that awkward silent moment that kills any shot of a promising first date. Use these conversation initiators and see where the conversation takes you. Leave a little room for the unexpected, pay attention to their responses and body language when you ask the questions.
What’s a typical day like for you?
This is great question to learn more about your date. It’s much more personal than the old “So what do you do for work?” question. The response gives you a bird’s eye view about their careers and what they spend their free time on. This can lead to follow up question such as, “how long have you been doing that?” which can be interpreted as how long they’ve been working on a specific job or career, as well as hobbies or passions that take up their time.
What’s it like to do (name one thing that your date mentioned when talking about their typical day)
This is nice follow up to show interest in the conversation, and show that you’re paying attention to them. It’s also a good way to get them to open up more by saying back what stood out to you, which can make your date feel good about your interest towards them. This works really well when you follow your own curiosity about the topics that your date is telling you. Once you’ve felt that they’ve described it a bit, you can follow up with question like “that sounds amazing I’d like to know more about it?” it also puts out the impression that your attentive. It’s a sexy trait to have, and counts towards extra brownie points to a potential second date.
What sort of vacations do you like to take?
This is a good lead question to get your date to open up about the details regarding their getaway destination spot, and activities that interest them. You can also follow up with questions like “what’s your favorite thing about that vacation? Take the time to gauge your date’s level of interest. If it’s starting to look like you’re beginning to get them to open up, feel free to start asking more interesting questions to really get to know the other person.
If you’re worried about not having anything to bring up, or if you’re really nervous and want ideas, then you’ve come to the right spot. Below is the ultimate list of questions to ask about to help break that uncomfortable feeling when you meet your date for the first time.
What’s your typical day like for you?
Are you more of a daytime or night time person?
What’s it like to do (name something you date mentioned in their typical day)?
How long have you lived here in (insert the city where your date is taking place)?
Have you lived any where else aside from this city?
What do you like to do when you’re not busy working?
Do you prefer indoor or outdoor activities?
Have any pets?
Have you had a chance to sight see in city?
What was the last show or movie you saw?
What’s your favorite alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink?
Do you have any siblings? (If yes,) how many siblings do you have?
What were you like when you were a kid?
What’s your favorite type of food?
What are some of the favorite restaurants you’ve tried?
What was the last tv series you’ve seen?
What are some of the books you’ve really enjoyed?
Who are some of your favorite authors?
What would you do if you won the lotto?
What’s your dream job?
What would you do if you never needed to work another day in your life?
If you can vacation anywhere, where would it be?
Within your close group of friends, what are you best known for?
What type of music are you in to?
What are some accomplishments that you’re really proud of?
Name a couple of things that you’re always down for?
What’s your favorite song?
If you had a chance to have one super power, what would it be?
What do you think is the cutest animal in the world?
What would your best morning look like?
What is your favorite color?
What is your ideal city to live in?
What’s your favorite app in your phone?
What country will you like to visit?
What country would you never visit?
What weird talent do you have?
If you had the time to do it, what would you like to learn?
Do you speak any other language?
How tech savvy are you?
What’s your favorite snack or dessert?
Do you currently go to school?
What school do you go to?
What subject or major are you going for?
Have you ever changed career paths?
What made you choose that profession?
What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike about your job?
Do you play any instruments?
What’s your favorite sport?
Do you have a sports team you follow?
What are some of the things you look for in a relationship?
How long have you been single?
What’s the longest relationship you’ve been on?
Are most of your friends’ single, dating or married?
Have you ever had a horrible date? What was it like?
What was the last joke you remember?
Do you have any tattoos?
Do you like to cook? If so what’s your favorite to make?
Do you prefer coffee or tea?
What’s your favorite coffee or tea?
Are you a big social media person?
What do you consider too much social media?
What would you say is in your fridge right now?
What’s your silly habit?
Are you working on any projects or event right now?
Are you allergic to any type of food?
What are some foods that you would never eat?
What’s the last ah-ha moment you’ve had?
What was something you thought was so small, but had such a huge impact in your life?
What type of car would you like to own some day?
What did you do on your last vacation?
What did you do on the holidays?
What are you most grateful for these days?
What do you believe makes a great friend?
What was the last song you listened to?
If you had just 1 year to live, what would you do different?
What’s your zodiac sign?
What’s your element sign?
What’s your spirit animal?
What games are you into?
What’s the most interesting fact you know about today?
What was your favorite thing to watch on tv growing up?
If you can be a part of the cast for any movie or show what would it be?
What would you say is something that you’ve done that no one else has?
What’s the one thing in your daily routine that you wish you can do without?
If you decided to start a business for yourself, what type of business would it be?
What music artist do you always listen to?
What would you recommend that every person try at least once?
What’s the strangest place you’ve visited?
Where would your friends be most surprised to find you at?
If you can go back in time in any era where would you go?
What’s your favorite international food?
If you can give yourself a cool nickname, what would you like others to call you?
What’s the most beautiful view you’ve seen?
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
What’s you’re go to funny story?
What’s your favorite quote?
What are your kind of people?
What’s your favorite place to hang out as a kid?
What do you care the least about?
What would you do with the extra time if you never had to sleep again?
When you were a kid, what seemed like the best thing to be a grownup?
If you could send a letter to yourself in the past, what age would you choose, and what would you say?
How different do you act around people you know vs. people you’ve just met?
What do you like to eat to cheer you up?
What fashion or fad did you never understand?
What’s the silliest conversation you’ve had with someone?
What’s the strangest conversation you’ve had with someone?
What’ the most ridiculous thing you’ve done when you’re bored?
What’s happening now that people will look back and laugh at?
What was the cheesiest pick up line someone has used on you?
If you ruled the world, what would you change?
What’s one thing you’ve tried that you’ll never ever do again?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten and enjoyed?
If you could be the opposite sex for a day, what would you do?
If you had the power to change the law, what would you change?
If you had the power to transform into an animal, what would you be?
Have you ever felt like you’ve met someone in a previous life?
If you could read minds, how would you use that gift?
Would you rather live full time in a boat or full time in an RV?
Would you rather be incredibly fast or incredibly smart?
Would you rather have true love or win the lotto?
Would you rather marry a nice person or a bad boy/bad girl?
Would you rather spend 2 weeks eating only from McDonalds or Burger King?
Would you rather go to an amusement park or family or friend get together?
Would you rather work behind a desk or use your hands?
Would you rather be a hard worker or smart worker?
Would you rather live in a place that always had tropical weather or live in one with 4 seasons?
Would you rather bungee jump, be in a cage surrounded by sharks, or sky dive?
Would you rather be able to stop time or age at half the rate of normal life?
Would you rather have one close friend or many casual friends?
Would you rather live in a mansion or a small cozy house?
If you could give everyone one piece of advice, what would that be?
If you could have the answer to any question in the whole world, what question would you want to answer?
What do you miss about life 10 to 20 years ago?
What’s getting worse as you age? What’s getting better as you age?
Who taught you the most about life?
What’s the hardest you’ve worked toward something?
What friendship have you had that had the greatest impact to you?
If you could be famous for something, what would that be?
What are the top 5 things you like to talk about?
Where would you like to retire?
What sport would be the funniest if the players were all blind folded and drunk?
What’s your favorite holiday?
When do you feel the most like yourself?
What a cheesy song you really like listening to?
What were some of the happiest times in your life so far?
Would you rather have an incredibly fast car, or incredibly fast internet
What took you way to long to figure out?
What fact blew your mind away when you heard it?
Who is the best role model a person can have?
What’s the best way to spend your day off?
What’s the best way to spend a weekend off?
What combination of toppings would make the best pizza ever?
What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve received?
Who in your family are you closest to?
Who among your friends are you closest to?
What’s a New Year’s resolution you’d like to stick with?
What’s one of your favorite memories with your friends or family?
What’s something you’re financially saving for?
What quality is an automatic “No Thanks, not for me” when you’re pursuing a relationship?
When you were growing up, what did you hope to do as an adult?
If your life was a movie, which famous person would play you?
In one word, how would you describe yourself?
What do you look for in a relationship?
If you were stuck in a deserted island, who would be there with you?
Aside from money, if you could have one material thing with you for the rest of your life, what would that be?
If you could cure a major illness or problem in the world, what would that be?
What do you find most attractive in a potential partner?
What’s your dream house look like?
Who inspires you? Who do you inspire to be like?
What was your first cell phone like?
Tell me what your favorite attribute about yourself?
If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why?
Breathe…. Kudos to you for taking the dive! If you’re ready to try dating in today’s, stressful, nerve-wrecking, dating pool society, then a great place to start is by applying the following to your date: Simplicity, fun and a casual setting. You’ve probably heard the saying “Keep It Simple” from somewhere before in one form or another. It refers to not over thinking the process of the date by having so much stuff planned that you lose track of the opportunity to get to know your date. That’s where we come in.
You got the date, now you need a place that’s says you’re not a creeper or complicated. Better yet a place to get away if you’re date is a creeper and or complicated. You want a few options on locations that makes a good impression on the other person, but not on your wallet. To help with that, we recommend a few places to get you through that memorable or “memorable” first date, if you know what I mean.
Going to the park that’s easy for both of you to meet at is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a great location if you prefer to have your first date in the day time. You can sit on the bench or under a shaded tree and look at the water fountain (if that park has one). You can also go for a walk, or go to the playground and sit on the swing. The park is great because nature has a way of helping us feel relaxed, calm and in tune with our senses. If that’s not your thing or you prefer a more modern but classic place for your first date, you can go to a….
Ideal for a low-key location if you’re not too sure about the other person or vice versa. Like the park, this is a great location for a first date in the day time, but can be fun at night because of its casual setting. Because it’s typically inexpensive, it can help reduce the pressure of forcing to like each other to get your money’s worth. For certain individuals, especially if they’re being cautious, may like the crowd and feel more secure and comfortable in that setting. Plus, it has good ambiance. If you don’t drink coffee or not much of an outdoors person, you can also go to….
Playing games can be a great ice breaker because they’re light and playful, and can take the anxiety out of not knowing what to say or how to act. Because of this, an arcade may be a potential good place for a first date. The key, is to enjoy the games TOGETHER. Look for co-op games like House of the Dead, or Time Crisis. And If you’re feeling a little competitive, games like skee-ball, basketball shootout, and air hockey are also fun. It’s ok to be competitive, but don’t be too serious. You don’t have to be really good at the games to have fun. Beating your date on all games is definitely not a good look. No one wants to go on a second date with someone who’s primary focus on the date is all about themselves. Relax and use the games as props to engage conversation with your date and have a good time.
Now that you have a few suggested places, we want to leave you with a small pep talk. Be yourself. Don’t over think it or try to be someone else in the date. It’s who that person is looking for. Trying to fake it, will get you caught and potentially lose out on a second date. Be confident. People are drawn to those who believe in themselves. And finally, learn to be a good listener. Listening to what your date says during your conversation is a great way to learn about what they’re into. Now go and have a great time!
Need a little help with questions to talk about with your date? Click here
If you get through the date and feel that it may turn in to something more serious, click here
So, what if you’ve been together for a while, then I recommend using the “3 I’s” to gauge your situation. It’s something we use to determine the value of anything that’s worth our precious time and resource. It works in any business and work environment, as well as our relationships. The first “I” stands for Issue. What’s the issue or underlying problem? Is your partner closed off on all discussions and topics you deemed important enough to bring up? For example, let’s say you want to talk about your future together, are they interested in hearing your views? What about providing their thoughts or feedback? Do their views match and support your goals in the relationship? Are they willing to discuss it at all? If you answered “no” to any of the questions, it’s potential sign that they may not be interested taking it further. The second “I” is for Impact. What would the impact of a toxic relationship mean in your life?? if you make the decision on your own to solve the potential lack of support or trying to force a response from the other person, what is the impact to your character, your self-respect, or the way you view things in life. Again, be honest and trust your gut for the answers. The last “I” is for Importance. What does the importance of this relationship mean for you happiness? What is the importance to feel appreciated and connected? to have a partner that supports you, and values your time and everything that makes you who you are.
After you’ve had a chance to think through those questions, have a heart to heart with yourself by asking If you believe that person (your partner) is just having an off day, week, month etc, and this will come to pass, then that’s great! Then our recommendation from here is to communicate your feelings. Try not to hold anything in. If you’re feeling separated, express that to your partner. Be specific and use examples of times you’ve felt so. This way they can learn to understand your pain and frustrations. It may be possible that they just didn’t know it. Those that are closed up, may have issues that prevents them from opening up to you. There’s a really good psychology study done on our ability to attach to others that starts back in our early childhood known as “Attachment Theory.” I’ve attached the link here for reference.
If you’re going to communicate with your partner, remember to exercise common courtesy. If you’re both mad, it’s best to let the heat of the argument chill a bit. It’s harder to communicate if you’re both yelling and frustrated.
On the other hand, it’s also important to never settle for anything less than what you deserve. All the reasons you’re telling yourself about wanting to change your partner out of that phase, or hoping that they’re attitude will pass may seem logical. However, it may also be excuses to justify your feeling to hold on to someone that may not have the emotional intelligence needed to keep you engaged and fulfilled. Contrary to what others may say in the internet, relationship should not be rocket science. While the saying “nobody’s perfect” may sound like a good reason to continue to try to make a difficult relationship work, there are times when you just need to accept that like some used cars, a relationship can be a lemon, and you need to accept its reality, cut your losses and try again.
If you’ve read past the title, the good news is it’s not game over just yet. As human beings it’s perfectly normal to feel unappreciated or distant when your partner isn’t giving the responsive support you need to assure yourself in the relationship. The feeling of “being alone” at times is enough for some to call it quits and find someone better suited to fill that “emotional gap”. If you see yourself approaching this crossroad, or if you’re already there and it’s time to decide, here’s something to consider:
Where are you both in your level of engagement? Is it happening in the early stages? If you’re already feeling disconnected with your partner after just a few dates in, it may be a warning sign of things to expect in the future should you decide to stay. Sure, you can say to yourself that “the sparks in the beginning was great, and just because you’re not seeing eye to eye now doesn’t mean that it will stay that way”. This is an attempt we use to try to justify the means of something that’s not aligning with your gut instinct. If you haven’t voiced this out to anyone, then it’s likely that no one is challenging your initial thoughts this early in the relationship. But, your “gut instinct” has a way of being honest with yourself even if at first you try to reject it. Our theory is that this part of yourself acts as a deterrent for things that will not be in your favor. Think about a time when you felt something was just off. Your gut instincts keep you aware of that situation and you can’t stop thinking about until you act on it, towards or against your feelings. And in most cases, it will always be in your favor. That’s why It’s even more important to think about yourself and your wants and needs before anyone else. No one wants to be the only person engaged in a relationship. It’s like driving a car with only 2 wheels on one side. The sparks you see and feel may be exciting for the moment, but the cost of damages to your emotional vehicle can be very expensive to repair.
It may seem difficult to just let things go especially if you’ve already invested your time, resources and emotional intelligence towards that person. It can sometimes feel like a game of tug of war, when your trying to decide with your gut and your mind on deciding to stay or move on. Do you remember that feeling you had when taking that quiz and ran across a difficult multiple-choice question that provided an A through D of potential answers? You read the question and gloss over the 4 letters along with their different responses. At that point, your first gut feelings and knowledge in your being says the answer is A, but you second guess yourself and try to make a logical decision to go with C because it also somewhat answers the question. So, you go with C, and when the quiz is given back to you, you missed the points for that question since the correct answer was A. For a just a moment you question the logic to why you selected something else, when your initial gut feeling and knowledge applied towards that question already decided for you. You knew the answer but you second guess it, because something swayed your otherwise. That’s kind of what this situation is now. Your gut and intuition told you A, which is your first instinctive choice, but you’re trying to make sense of justifying to yourself why it should not be A, but something else. According to Albert.IO, In most cases, your first gut choice is often the right one. If you feel that the relationship is fairly new, and you’re seeing the signs of problems to come, trust your gut and life experience to help direct your motives towards that answer.