10 dating tips from matchmakers every single woman needs to read

More: Why sushi and drinks is the best way to guarantee a second date

 

Here’s what our professional matchmakers and dating bloggers recommended…

 

1. The perfect significant other is relative

 

It’s important to think less about what you want and focus more on what you need. Once you let go of expectations, you’ll be surprised about what the “perfect” package might be.

 

2. Don’t fear your baggage

 

Absolutely everyone carries some emotional leftovers from life with them. If you meet someone without any, that’s almost more alarming than having a lot of it. Be honest and up front about it, and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

 

3. Ghosting is literally the worst

 

Whether you’re being ghosted or the one doing it, it’s rude. And lying always ends badly. Be forthcoming when something isn’t working out.

 

More: 5 things your friends are getting wrong about relationships

 

4. Throw away everything you thought you knew about date night

 

As great as “Netflix and chill” is, you need to get out of the house. Be a tourist in your own city by creating a bucket list of dates and working your way through them. But don’t rely on the old standbys. Movies, plays, and opera dates should be avoided in the early stages because they don’t give you a chance to talk and get to know each other. Similarly, avoid the easy coffee date — you want to go someplace that’s sexy and lets you dress up and feel special.

 

5. Screen your dates

 

No one wants to sit through a potentially bad date if it could have been avoided. If you’re online dating, schedule a phone date to get to know each other first. This will give you the chance to see if you want to take that next step to meet. But make sure you’re talking and not just texting — the latter leads to a lot of gray areas and distorted interpretations.

 

6. A first date is like a job interview

 

You want to prepare for the first date in the same way you would for a new job. Be prepared, know what you want out of it, and come up with things to talk about. Most of all, be your own your quirky, geeky, unique self, and pull down your walls from the start. Don’t spend the whole time stressing about trying to make the person like you.

 

7. Pick people who share your lifestyle choices

 

If you want to find the right person, choose someone who has the same values and whose life mirrors your own. Seek out those you respect, admire and adore — according to dating coach Laurel House, they should make you feel “safe, sexy and seen.”

 

8. Showcase your best self in your online profile

 

Be authentic to who you are in your dating profile. Showcase the things you love, smile, try to look open and approachable instead of like a staged version of yourself. You don’t want to attract someone based on a lie!

 

9. Be wary of your friends’ advice

 

Friends are prone to the same emotions we are, and that includes jealousy and selfishness. If they’re negative about your relationship, ask yourself if it’s because they genuinely see red flags or if misery loves company and they’re thinking more about themselves than you. They’re also likely to be highly overprotective, so they may be putting unrealistic expectations on your relationship. But if all your friends and family are saying the same thing, it’s time to take them seriously. They love you and have an outsider perspective you may not be capable of seeing from within the relationship.

 

10. The perfect date is what means the most to you

 

A date doesn’t have to be the fairy-tale dinner and dancing under the stars. It can be as simple as a stroll around the park, talking and getting to know someone, or a picnic in the grass with great conversation. Don’t let expectations of what something should be get in the way of enjoying something simple.

 

Big thanks to our experts — international matchmaker Laurel House, dating blogger Michele Danna and celebrity matchmaker Jasmine Diaz — for sharing their wisdom with us!

 

More: 11 things we learned about real relationships

 

 

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Why I won’t date someone who needs to be fixed

Perhaps the scenario looks like this: When you begin the relationship, he’s a great guy. Then as weeks or months go by, true colors start to show. He arrives late. He starts having you meet him at places instead of picking you up. He stops calling you daily and texts you every day instead. Then he texts only every few days. You are confused. Do you ask why the phone-calling stage is over? If you’re like me, the answer is no, because even though it was noticeable, you don’t want to rock the boat.

 

More: 11 things we learned about real relationships

 

Problem number one: I thought I was in the boat with him. In truth, I was not. That was a scenario that existed only in my head.

 

Sadly, my insecurity let me live in that comfortable boat of relationship fantasy, cruising down the river to disappointment. Have you cruised there? I see you nodding your head in unison. Good, now I don’t quite feel like such a fool.

 

I swear I tried to stop the fixing thing, but the problem was my effort was working! He was being more considerate about being late. He was listening to things that bothered me and changing his ways. I was, too. I was keeping my mouth shut. I’m no longer the “nagging wife.” I’m easygoing. I’m cool. What a breakthrough!

 

More: 3 phrases to help you fight fair with your spouse

 

Then he broke up with me. Over. Kaput. I was left back in my boat wondering what the heck happened. Time went by, and I heard he’d met someone else and was married — married to someone he’d known less than five months!

 

I fumed. Here I spent all this time making him a better man, only to realize some other woman was going to receive the fruits of my labors for the rest of her life. She met Considerate Man from the get-go and thinks he’s always been like that

 

The worst part is there is nothing I can do — or so I thought.

 

After the beesting healed, I came to what I believe is a mature realization that will hopefully set me on a path toward a happier, more fulfilling relationship in the future: Don’t pick a man who needs fixing.

 

If I meet one, I will run. I will run from the recently divorced. I will sprint from the separated. I will leap hurdles over the sad-faced guy in the corner at the party — you know, the one planted near the chips and dip. If I ever find myself offering expert advice or life coaching or starting a sentence with, “Have you ever considered…” “You really should read…” or “How can I help you?” I will shut my mouth and excuse myself from the table until the feeling passes.

 

I am not a life coach. I am not a therapist. I should concentrate on fixing me — only me.

 

Truth be told, I am sick of being that person. It is exhausting, embarrassing and mainly uncalled for. If and when I’m back in the dating pool, I’ll take a different approach — the mature, interested, adult approach. I will learn how to have something called a “conversation,” instead of something called a “consultation.” Wish me luck. And if you have any advice for me on this topic, well, keep it to yourself!

 

More: What I learned from a year dating outside my comfort zone

Wendy Williams’ opinion on Kesha’s sexual assault is irresponsible (VIDEO)

Williams said on her show that she believes the judge’s ruling, which basically forces Kesha to work with a man she says drugged and raped her or else totally give up her career, is “fair” and that if Kesha wanted to prove she was raped she should have filmed her attack.

 
 
Wendy Williams talks about Kesha rape case

 
 

Wendy Williams talks about Kesha rape case

 
 
 

More: Music industry insiders reveal why they’re not supporting #FreeKesha

 

“Unfortunately business is business, and it sounds like it’s fair. If everybody complained because somebody allegedly sexually abused them… contracts would be broken all the time… Kesha’s no spring chicken. I mean she’s, like, 30 years old… so she wasn’t stupid 10 years ago and neither was her mother when the sexual abuse — alleged sexual abuse —started. Why weren’t they rolling camera on it?”

 

Let’s break this down. First, by saying, “If everybody complained because somebody allegedly sexually abused them… contracts would be broken all the time,” Williams is implying that any woman who wants to be a part of the music industry must accept that sexual abuse will be part and parcel of their career and should just suck it up and take it.

 

Second, she mentions Kesha’s age like one’s level of maturity has anything to do with someone’s ability to slip you drugs and rape you. Implying a woman can’t be assaulted if she is old enough to “know better” is a blatant example of irresponsible victim-blaming.

 

And then there is the absolute topper of them all: If Kesha was really raped, she — and even her mother — should have known it was going to happen ahead of time and made arrangements to videotape it.

 

More: 18 celebs join the cause to #FreeKesha in the days after her ruling

 

So, according to Williams, we should call up our psychic friends daily to see if there is any kind of sexual assault coming up and, if so, make sure cameras are set up anywhere it could possibly occur — or at the very least, have our moms hide somewhere to record it with their iPhone.

 

“It’s so easy,” Williams added, “boys are so stupid. If you’re sexually abusing us it’s so easy to catch you.”

 

It’s so easy to catch an attacker that only two out of 10 rapists will ever serve time, according to RAINN.org.

 

More: Dr. Luke tweets about Kesha rape case, insisting the “truth will prevail”

 

Williams’ opinion on the case was slammed on Twitter.

 
 
Reactions to Wendy Williams talking about Kesha case

 
 

Reactions to Wendy Williams talking about Kesha case

 
 
 

Williams has not discussed how she is perpetuating rape culture by espousing such victim-blaming ideals.

RHOBH’s Brandi Glanville dated a very unexpected A-list comedian

More: Brandi Glanville’s Twitter followers lash out in response to family death

 

Long before she was a star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Glanville was romantically involved with a surprising star who went on to become an A-list comedian: Ben Stiller.

 

Stiller is currently promoting Zoolander 2, and on Wednesday’s Watch What Happens Live, he dished some details about his unlikely relationship. Though he appeared caught off-guard by the question about dating Glanville, Stiller did say their time together was “short-lived” and that he wouldn’t “characterize it as a relationship.”

 

It was a couple of dates and fun,” he continued. “I’m not sure my wife [Christine Taylor] is even aware of that.”

 

While the news confirmed that Stiller and Glanville were once an item, there has been speculation in the past that Stiller was one of the men Glanville described dating in her 2014 book Drinking and Dating.

 

More: Brandi Glanville has a nasty nickname for Lisa Vanderpump

 

I’ve never had a problem getting f***ed,” Glanville wrote, before alluding to some of her more famous conquests, all without naming names. The passage that may have been referring to Stiller describes the man as a “height-challenged up-and-coming comedian” whom she dated in the ’90s and says would later become a household name.

 

“He had the kind of face you remember,” Glanville wrote. “Sharp features, thick dark hair and a goofy grin.”

 

She said that during one date, “We laughed so hard… that my stomach was hurting and my jaw was sore (it sometimes ends up sore after a date, but not from giggling).”

 

But when Glanville and this mystery comedian hit the bedroom, things got awkward.

 

“We had spent the entire evening laughing so much that I couldn’t stop laughing when it was time to get serious,” she wrote. “Every time I looked at him, I’d think of something funny he said or remember one of his characters and would burst into hysterics. It didn’t help the mood.”

 

More: Brandi Glanville refuses to move on from her past with Eddie Cibrian

 

Do you think Glanville was describing Stiller in her book?

Toronto Gave Drake a Key to the City in a Massive Case of Misplaced Hero Worship

Why has Drake earned so much praise–even a key to Toronto–even though he writes sexist and blatantly misogynistic lyrics?

 

Living in the Greater Toronto Area, I hear a lot about Drake. The rapper hails from Toronto and has become something of a hometown hero. Here’s a sample of some of the respect and recognition he’s received around here:

 
 
    • In a 2015 ad for Spotify, Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said that Drake “represents what Toronto is all about.”
 
    • Drake is a “global ambassador” for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. In November 2015 the team held its third annual Drake night, complete with a Hotline Bling booth. Fans were encouraged to enter the booth and dance as Drake did in his video for the hit song.
 
    • Drake was named coach of Canada’s team for the NBA All-Star Game, which takes place this weekend. His assistants include former NBA star Steve Nash and current Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.
 
    • Drake partnered with famous Canadian chef Susur Lee to open a restaurant near Toronto’s theatre district.
 
 

So loved is Drake in Toronto that they’ll probably give him the key to the city any day now. (I must be psychic. I wrote this sentence before today’s announcement that Toronto Mayor John Tory will, indeed, give Drake a key to the city tomorrow.)

 

The adulation extends beyond Toronto, of course. Drake is an international star who recently appeared in Super Bowl ads for T-Mobile and Air Jordans. The love-in continues on the awards circuit, where Drake has been nominated for four Grammys and five Juno awards. Crafty people have even made Valentine cards with Drake’s image.

 

 

Drake's The Gift Without a Curse Album CoverDrake’s The Gift Without a Curse Album Cover Image: Rgs

 

 

I’m sure on some level Drake is a swell guy. He’s certainly a big booster of Toronto and proud of his roots. His recent song You & The 6 pays tribute to his mother and hometown for “raising him right.” At one time, he was even known for being “soft” and “sensitive” in comparison to other rappers. In fact, his profile on Notable.ca states that his songs are “more watered down [than other artists’] in the disrespect for women department.”

 

Uh-huh.

 

That Notable.ca profile was written in 2012. Drake’s songs since that time have definitely intensified in the “disrespect for women department.” Yet, the shiny veneer on Drake seems not to have chipped or faded, despite lyrics like this:

 

“Tell her, ‘Stay the night, valet your car, come fuck me now’…

 

…Jump when I say jump, girl, can you take direction?”

 

(Drake’s lyrics in the song Jumpman from his 2015 collaboration with rapper Future)

 
 

And this:

 

“And I rock Kentucky blue on these hoes;

 

Drafted, I’m getting’ choose by these hoes;

 

Usually they just leave when we done;

 

I don’t wanna share no room with these hoes.”

 

(Another collaboration with Future, called Scholarships.)

 
 

And from 2014’s 6 God:

 

“I got one girl, and she my girl, and nobody else can hit it;

 

She’ll admit it, she’ll admit it:

 

She ain’t fuckin’ with you niggas;

 

And just like every single other thing in my life;

 

You can have her when I’m finished.”

 
 

Then there are the songs in which he provided guest vocals. He may not have rapped anything stronger than “bitch” in some, but he was present in videos like Love Me, with its caged women and revolting lyrics from Lil Wayne. He was also part of the F**kin’ Problems video that referenced “bad bitches” several times. His 2015 work with Future led to the lyrics above, as well as another gem called Change Locations, rapped by Future with Drake sharing some of the vocals. The song opens with a line about “60 naked bitches” then goes on to talk about how these “bitches” are used:

 

“We do them favors, them bitches do cater;

 

We go fuck models then go fuck neighbours;

 

Fuck all the strippers then we go fuck waitresses, yeah.”

 
 

All this and Drake gets a key to the city.

 

It appears many people have drunk the same Kool-Aid as the Notable editors where Drake is concerned. Mayor John Tory certainly has. Some observers have a more realistic perspective, however, including Toronto Star writer Ben Rayner who wrote in December, 2015 about Drake’s “casual misogyny.” I have highlighted some of the rapper’s more blatantly sexist and degrading lyrics above, but Rayner argued that the form of misogyny practiced by Drake (and fellow Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber) tends to be lighter and, therefore, disregarded:

 

Only rarely is this [casual misogyny] acknowledged, however, because the artists have managed to glaze over the general sexism of their oeuvres with a veneer of regretful, tormented sensitivity.”

 
 

Rayner references Drake’s monster hit Hotline Bling, a song that has been called out by other writers as well for its subtle sexist vibe. In the song Drake derides an ex-girlfriend for “wearing less and goin’ out more,” going places she “doesn’t belong,” and “getting’ nasty for someone else.” In other words, he shames her for moving on and doing what she likes, including having sex with other guys.

 

In academic circles there is a term for the attitude exhibited by Drake: heterosexual script. As described by psychologist Deborah Tolman and colleagues, the heterosexual script teaches people that sexuality carries different meanings and consequences for men and women.

 

Sexual double-standards are one of the key elements of the script and something with which we are all familiar: sexual desire and experience are appropriate and normal for males but not for females who risk losing their “good girl” status if they appear sexually assertive or promiscuous.* And women who have a lot of sex? Well, they’re sluts, bitches, and hoes. Such tropes appear often in Drake’s songs. (For a full rundown, I encourage you to read the article “Sorry, but Drake’s obsession with ‘good girls’ is sexist” by Tahirah Hairston.)

 

Psychologists have expressed concern over the impact of the heterosexual script on teens. Psychologist Janna L. Kim and colleagues believe it may normalize traditional attitudes toward male and female sexual roles. The normality of the heterosexual script may also mean that many adults fail to notice its strong presence in teen media:

 

Indeed, it is because the Heterosexual Script is so invisible and perceived to be so natural and normal that its potential impact on adolescents’ sexual decision-making is so formidable.”** (Capitalization present in the original.)

 
 

In other words, the heterosexual script is nearly invisible because it is so “normal,” but it can teach kids some very unhealthy lessons about sex and relationships. In Drake’s case–or at least according to the persona he has adopted as a musical performer–the message is clear. Men call the shots, need sex all the time, can (and will) discard women who are not worthy (i.e. hoes and bitches), and can degrade women with impunity. Women, on the other hand, are to behave according to a man’s wishes, stay faithful even if he has moved on, and be grateful for whatever attention he bestows.

 

Of course, media influence is not, as academics say, hypodermic. Kids do exercise discretion and can judge what is right and wrong. (For example: a song like Groupies by Future.) But when the person delivering the message is lauded in the way Drake has been, what is the wider message? Sexism, degrading language, and misogyny–whether blatant or casual–are excused. And if attitudes like those expressed by Drake are not challenged, they will continue to exist and become increasingly normalized.

 

The fact that Drake counts among his admirers some of the men that young boys tend to look up to–baseball and basketball players–lends him further legitimacy. Are these men okay with women being characterized as disposable sex toys, bitches, and hoes? Are they on board with Drake’s view of men as entitled to control, dominate, and degrade women? I doubt it, but none have done anything to prove otherwise, and their tacit acceptance carries weight with boys and young men.

 

It’s all rather discouraging but, to paraphrase Drake’s recent album title, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late. You can chip away at the veneer, look under the surface, and see what’s really there. And you can use this misplaced hero worship as a lesson in media literacy for your children: teach them to look beyond the brand of blind celebrity adoration accorded to Drake and consider what an artist really stands for. Only then can they truly determine if that person is worthy of the lofty perch on which he or she has been placed.

 

 

*Tolman, Deborah et al. “Rethinking the Associations between Television Viewing and Adolescent Sexuality Development: Bringing Gender into Focus” Journal of Adolescent Health 40, no. 1 (2007): p. 84.e9-84.e10.

 

**Kim, Janna et al. “From Sex to Sexuality: Exposing the Heterosexual Script on Primetime Network Television” Journal of Sex Research 44, no. 2 (2007): p. 146-7, 156.

 

 

 

Further Reading:

 

The Soapbox: Don’t Let Drake’s “Sensitivity” Fool You – He’s Still A Misogynist

 

6 Drake Lyrics That Are Actually Super Sexist

 

Atoning For Hip-Hop’s History of Misogyny: From Dr. Dre to Kanye West

 

Pop Rhetoric: Has Drake Gone Too Far?

 
 

Why Whole30\’s restrictive diet did not work for me

More: Alison Sweeney: My tips for creating a healthy kitchen in 2016

 

I spent months planning, reading recipes and stocking my freezer with Whole30-approved choices. I was so excited! When I did all my research, everything seemed so positive–this will change your life, everyone said. Well, I felt I needed to share my negative experience to help people contemplating Whole30 see both sides of the program.

 

At first I felt great. The newness of the plan was keeping everything interesting. I still craved sugar, so I was turning to fruit and Larabars — lots of Larabars, which can be healthy choices, but my diet was suddenly mainly fruit. Without hummus, my carrots where just sitting in the fridge drying out. Without grains, the hungry in my stomach kept growing, as did my hanger.

 

My once fairly well rounded diet seemed to be getting more and more lopsided. Without a nice piece of toast to help make breakfast filling, I was eating more bacon and sausages. It just didn’t seem like I was being healthier.

 

More: Eating less meat could help your wallet and the planet

 

I’m sure the program does work for some people. I definitely believe whatever helps an individual eat healthier is a good thing. So many Whole30 recipes use mayonnaise, and even if you’re making it yourself, there is nothing you can say to make me feel that is part of a healthy recipe. Grains, legumes and red wine are all part of a Mediterranean diet, which is often viewed as one of the healthiest lifestyle choices. On Whole30, my choices were so limited, and some of the food I was limiting had great nutritional value.

 

There’s no need to feel guilty enjoying some white beans in my tuna salad to help fill me up longer and give some antioxidants to my day .

 

For me, any type of restrictive diet is not a good choice. As someone who struggled with eating disorders as a teen, whenever I’m faced with a set of food rules, I find myself obsessing over them. I was constantly thinking about food and my diet, which definitely helps lead to my constant hunger.

 

Instead of having a small bit of chocolate when I was craving it, I would just spend all my time thinking about it. Before you knew it, I would be sitting on the kitchen floor eating frosting out of the container. Some may call quitting Whole30 after just 19 days a lack of self-control, but for me it was what I needed to do in order to maintain my healthy lifestyle.

 

I don’t think food should make you feel guilty. I firmly believe in everything in moderation. If I’m in the mood for fried chicken, I’ll make myself some and pair it with a nice salad. As long as I am cooking all my food, I have complete control over what goes in my body — I don’t need a program to tell me what I should and shouldn’t eat. I know my body, I know how it feels, and from now on I’ll be making all the decisions of what goes into it, not letting the raving opinions of strangers on the Internet dictate what’s good for me.

 

More: 4 Diet fads to avoid to help you lose weight

Surviving the Tattle Battle: A Quick Guide For Parents

Whether in the classroom or at home, tattling can drive adults crazy! We all want children to have the ability to solve problems on their own. However, what we often forget is the complexity of the social/emotional skills involved in problem solving.

 

 

Young children with only a few years of life experience and brain development are just beginning to be in environments where they are expected to negotiate, share and all the other aspects of social problem solving.

 

 

Surviving the Tattle Battle: A Quick Guide For Parents

 

Public Domain Image via Pixabay .

 

 

First Things First … Understanding Why Kids Tattle:

 

Young children resort to tattling for a variety of reasons, both at home and in school. Here are a few reasons why:

 
 
    • The Rule Follower: Preschool and kindergarten children are constantly learning rules at home and in the classroom. They are developing morals, trying to figure out right from wrong, consequences for broken rules and what it means to be fair. Young kids tend to be very literal, as their cognitive development cannot recognize abstract reasoning yet. They are concrete in their thinking and are expecting the rules to be inflexible and are compelled to tell an adult when an infraction occurs.
 
 
 
    • The Power Player: The “Power Player” wants to be in control. He/she may have a need for power by controlling the teacher/parent through by tattling.
 
 
 
    • The Attention-Getter: Children as well as adults have a right to feel that they are a valuable person in their home and classroom community. As young children are finding their place, they ask for affirmation by tattling.
 
 

Tattling … Tale or Truth?

 

Our concern as teachers, parents and caretakers is to help children reconcile their conflicting perceptions, NOT to find out whose version is true! Let’s face it — unless we SEE the incident, we really have no idea who is telling the truth!

 

Although tattling happens, there are ways we can help to minimize this behavior. First, acknowledge your child’s feelings when he comes to you with concerns about a sibling or peer. It is important that he/she has opportunities to vent and feel validated. Second, take opportunities when you are playing with your child to promote taking turns and give them the chance to make choices and problem solve. Finally, teach your child to differentiate between a problem and a real emergency through puppets, role-play and discussions – based on their age level of development.

 

Tattling, “Do’s and Don’ts”

 

Though tattling is annoying, frustrating and sometimes worrisome if a child is a habitual tattler, adults need to see beyond the action of tattling and understand that he/she is indirectly asking for help. Here are a few suggestions for how parents can mitigate this behavior and survive this phase:

 

Do:

 
 
    • Assess the situation to make sure that no one is physically hurt.
 
 
 
    • Remain calm and listen to the child’s concerns, even if he/she tattles often.
 
 
 
    • Acknowledge that the child is upset. He/she needs to know their concerns and feelings were heard.
 
 
 
    • Ask the child if his/her issue is a problem or a true emergency.
 
 
 
    • Teach problem solving skills by asking if the child tried to work it out with the other child(ren) and if he/she needs your help.
 
 
 
    • Mediate by asking the child what he/she can do to solve the problem (play with someone else; ask the other child(ren) to stop the behavior that is bothersome or hurtful).
 
 

Don’t:

 
 
    • Attempt to figure out who is telling the truth. It doesn’t really matter, and it’s not what is at the heart of the issue.
 
 
 
    • Compare kids/siblings. This just fuels feelings of resentment, anxiety, anger and inadequacy.
 
 
 
    • Ask who started it. Your job is to mediate and getting the truth to this question is pointless and next to impossible.
 
 

For more information on how parents and kids can better manage tattle-related issues, check out the following books on the subject:

 

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson, Maria Dismondy & Kim Shaw

 

Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales by Jeanie Franz Ransom & Jackie Urbanovic

 

A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook

 

Tattlin’ Madeline by Carol Cummings, Ph.D