Spring is the perfect season for a fresh start, so whether you're newly single or you've been unattached for a while, now's the time to take advantage of your relationship status with these fun activities. We're sharing plenty of options — a mix of girlfriend dates, hobby ideas, and ways to get in some me time — to help you celebrate your singledom. Grab your calendar and take a look at these creative ideas for a fun, happily single Spring!
Now's the time to kick start your Spring cleaning, so why not spruce up your dating approach, too? From new hobbies to a fresh, self-loving attitude, a little bit of change can go a long way — both for your confidence and for your dating habits. Love is in the air this season, so boost your odds of meeting someone by following these five simple tips:
- Sign up for a class. You're not going to meet someone if you're sitting around all day, so take the initiative and join a class of some kind. Whether it's a fitness class or a cooking workshop, you're bound to meet new people — and the more people you know, the more likely it is that you'll find a connection, so boost your odds by getting out there.
- Stick to smaller groups. A giant crowd of females can be more than a little intimidating, so ease up on the estrogen and go out with just a few close pals instead. Smaller numbers mean less pressure, making it much easier for guys to approach you.
- Host a get-together. Take matters into your own hands by throwing a casual party for your pals. Encourage them to bring other friends to help you expand your social circle. Keep things low-key — think wine and games, not extra loud dance music — to promote plenty of conversation.
- Do your own thing. When you're busy and fulfilled, your best self is able to shine through, so pack your planner with whatever it is that makes you feel happiest. Be sure to regularly pencil in some "me time" to lift your spirits and stay satisfied.
- Prioritize your social life. Love a good cozy night in? It's great to rest every once in a while, but you definitely need to free up some time for a few nights out, too. Putting yourself out there and penciling in a few fun activities each week will improve your mood and help you feel like you're on the right track.
Just because you're single, doesn't mean you can't think about Valentine's Day. This year leave the clichéd traditions for couples, and find something special for your single friends. Here are a bunch of sweet or cheeky gifts you can hand out on Feb. 14 — or any day!
-Additional reporting by Tara Block.
We're happy to present this article from our partner site Yahoo Shine!:
Take a look at Pinterest and you'll find plenty of boards dedicated to amazing weddings. The perfect dress. Gorgeous engagement rings. Romantic up-dos. Awe-inspiring do-it-yourself decorations that would put Martha Stewart to shame. But among all of the wedding offerings, certain boards stand out: Ones created by women who are proudly and publicly planning for the big day even though they're still single.
They're not pretending otherwise, either. With titles like "How single girls plan their wedding," "Planning my wedding while single," and "Single with BIG wedding plans," the boards are packed with Cinderella dresses, party theme ideas, and pictures of enormous diamond solitaires -- playing up the myth of the perfect wedding while ignoring the reality of real-life marriage.
Thanksgiving is a holiday full of lots of family and friend time. With everyone's significant others around the table, you may have a moment or two where you're feeling a little bit of lack, or even lonely. When the question comes up, and it certainly will if you've got a family like mine, take a breather and give yourself a quick reminder. There are so many reasons to be grateful for the place that you're in today, regardless of whether you've got a beau on your arm or not. Here are five things to remember, and get grateful for, this Thanksgiving.
- Quality time with your people. It can be a little bit of a battle to figure out where the two of you will spend Thanksgiving. Instead of stressing about splitting the time evenly, all you have to worry about is spending quality time with your family and friends.
- Holiday movie marathons. While the Christmas movies are starting to pop up on TV, you know that Thanksgiving kicks off the endless supply of full-blown holiday movie marathons. No need to worry about missing back-to-back showings of A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street while the boys are watching what seems like an endless supply of football.
- Pure freedom. You are the center of your world right now. You've got the privilege of coming and going as you please. There's plenty of time to consider someone else in your future, but right now focus on the abundance of options you have in your life today.
- Skip the drama, mama. No need to stress about your fam not getting along with your boyfriend, or not so secretly cringing when your brother embarrasses you in front of everyone. The only thing you've got to be worried about this holiday is getting first dibs on your favorite Thanksgiving foods.
- No settling for this girl! There's a reason you're not in a relationship right now, and it's because you're not looking for anyone, you're looking for the right person. You are awesome enough to recognize that. And that's something to be grateful for.
This might be a bit of a rambling post, but I've been feeling really down on myself lately and I think I need some encouraging words and/or a kick in the butt from some helpful strangers. I've always been very confident in myself and my abilities; my relationships are another issue. I've had two serious relationships — one in high school, and one that covered my last half of grade 12 and my first semester of university. That relationship ended nearly 2 years ago, and I've been single since. I've gone on first dates here and there, and hooked up with a few guys, but nothing has stuck. I feel like I have very few opportunities to meet guys. I work 12 hour days, go to bed by 9 pm on weekdays or else I'm a zombie the next morning, and am usually so wiped by the weekends I don't want to go out. I work two jobs and all my coworkers are female. I also do volunteer work that I'm incredibly passionate about, but the vast majority of males volunteering through the organization are gay. I've made friends, but my work/volunteer situations are not conducive to potential new relationships!
I feel like I'm getting out there the best I can, but just can't meet anyone who's right for me. I've started considering online dating, and even chatted with a few guys online, but I'm so young (20) and feel like I shouldn't have to resort to that. I realize that since I'm young, maybe this is my time to enjoy being single. And I do, a lot of the time — I like having freedom and little emotional stress, I like that I can hook up with guys and flirt with whomever I want. Contributing to all these negative feelings is the fact that I'm in the beginning stages of a NSA (no strings attached) situation with a guy that I'm already getting a bad feeling about. I don't want to date him and I'm realizing at this point I'm too vulnerable to handle something like this; while I've previously had no-strings sex work out well, at this point it feels like I'm just jumping at the promise of intimacy and affection, and I get those from him sporadically at best. My gut is telling me I should not see him again, especially since I feel horrible when we go a while without speaking, but those random nights we spend together are pretty great. My brain knows it's a bad idea but my heart realizes how lonely I feel and how nice it is to sleep with someone else in the bed.
I realize this is kind of all over the place and probably pretty sad sounding, but I just feel like I have no idea how to find someone who can be a good partner for me. In just the past few months, I feel like I've reached my breaking point and have started to really acknowledge how lonely I am. So, here I am, reaching out. Any advice, suggestions . . . whatever. Things can't get any worse so I might as well try to make 'em better.
We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Today, Damon Young names five reasons being a single man is overrated.
While most will probably remember 2012 as the "Year Of The YOLO" (and by "most" I mean "like seven people"), it holds special significance for me because it’ll likely be the first year since 2002 where I spent the entire year single. I haven’t completed a full calendar year yet — May will make it seven months since the former Lady Champ and I decided to go our separate ways — but because I seem to enjoy doing random anthropological experiments on myself for absolutely no reason (and because I’m an INTJ and INTJs apparently suck at relationships), I’m confident that I’ll make it to 2013 without having to change my Facebook relationship status again.
Anyway, if I could sum up my seven months of singledom in one word, it would most likely be "interesting." I’ve met some "interesting" people, done some "interesting" things, made some "interesting" decisions, and, most importantly, thought some "interesting" thoughts. The most "interesting" of these "interesting" thoughts? Being a single man is kind of overrated.
Now, as I stated on the day where I wrote about orgasms, "overrated" doesn’t mean "bad." In fact, as the careers of Tupac and Derrick Rose continue to prove, something can be very, very good — even great — and still be overrated. I’ve enjoyed being single, and will likely continue to enjoy it. But, while it seems like many assume that being a single man (a single Black man, at that) is nothing but an utopic stream of easy popsicles and cold pancakes, there are a few downsides.
It can be very lonely. As a person who wanted to be single, is a natural introvert, and generally enjoys doing things by himself, I’m surprised by how, for lack of a better term, "noticeable" the solitude and loneliness of singledom can be. Even when seeing multiple people and/or having tons of friends, being single means that you are . . . single, by yourself, and there may be times when you want to have someone around but there will be no one that you want to be around readily available to be around.
Then, to add insult to injury, if you’re an angsty motherf*cker like me, you’ll start thinking things like "Wait. I’m a single man. A single Black man. My dad named me after Dolemite. Shaka Zulu is my second cousin. People who’ve never even met me call me "Champ" for chrissakes. Why the f*ck do I feel lonely right now?" which’ll make it even worse.
You have to wear condoms. And, wearing condoms sucks. If you’re one of the 137 people left on Earth who always has protected sex — even if in a long-term, monogamous relationship — just skip this section and move on to #3. Also, I’ve left a plate of gotdamn sugar cookies at the end of this post as a reward for your duty. Please eat them with a gotdamn smile.
If you’re not one of these people, you should be able to relate to how frustrating it’s been to go from condom-less sex to having to worry about having gotdamn condoms all the damn time. And, even if you’re not actively having sex, "Do I have condoms?" and "Since I don’t have condoms, is there somewhere close where I can buy them?" always has to be on your mind.
Also, from a logistical perspective, they’re a hassle to put on, they smell like a pack of slutty balloons, and "sex with condoms" will always be the Mike Conley of coitus. There is always the alternative — just don’t wear condoms while single, either — but I think one Cromartie per generation is enough.
(Btw, is it just me, or has the price of condoms spiked dramatically in the past four years? I was last single in 2008, and I don’t remember a box of condoms costing as much as it does to fill a gas tank. Does this qualify as a "first world problem?" If a Black blogger bitches about condoms in the woods, would Kanye’s missing draws make a sound?) As much as condoms suck, they don’t suck as much as . . .
Having to participate in the dating game. In a paradox so annoying that I almost didn’t mention it today because I plan on spending an entire day on this sole topic soon, I love meeting new, interesting women but I hate the process that usually goes along with meeting new, interesting women. I understand (and appreciate) the purpose of the process, but knowing why it’s necessary doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy it.
The superficial romantic connections synonymous with singledom gets old. Ironically, the best thing about being a single man — possessing the ability to have myriad short, commitment-free relationships AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!! — ends up being one of the worst after enough time has passed. This actually hasn’t happened to me yet. I guess I’m still in the single honeymoon phrase. But, I’m certain it will, and the thought of this happening is already depressing me. Actually, this entire list is getting depressing. ***Making note to self to make sure tomorrow’s post is about the playoffs or strippers or something***
You start to realize some, um, "unpositive" things about yourself. I’ve been in three long-term — "long term" = "monogamous relationship lasting at least a year" — relationships as an adult. Each of these relationships failed, and my wanting to be single was the main catalyst behind each of these failures. Now, because I’ve always been a guy who did all the "right on paper" relationship things — I’ve never cheated, never physically or verbally abused any girlfriends, always followed the chivalry handbooks, etc — I’ve always assumed that I’m good at being a partner. But, these last few months have made me realize that I have some real deficiencies in the relationship department — personality quirks that have subtly sabotaged each relationship I’ve been in.
I wouldn’t quite call myself a trojan horse — the sabotage isn’t intentional (at least it’s not consciously intentional) — but I’m just not very good at this relationship thing right now, and I intend to spend the rest of 2012 trying to figure out why.
That’s it for me today. Fellas — single or coupled up — how do you feel about the concept of singledom? Is it all the beer commercials make it out to be, or do you agree that it may be slightly overrated? Also, ladies, are the "single man problems" expressed today at all similar to any "single woman problems?"
While Matthew McConaughey is stripping down in Magic Mike these days, we can't help but reminisce about his iconic role in the rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. In the movie, Andie Anderson showed us quite a few dating don'ts — from a superstitious love fern to an eerie scrapbook of future children — but it's possible to lose a guy's attention long before the 10-day mark. First impressions matter, so how you act during an introduction can make or break any chance of a first date. Looking for love? See what not to do and learn how to lose a guy in 10 minutes. Follow these steps and all bets are off:
- Make it all about you. One of the fastest ways to turn off a guy is to rattle on about your day, your friends, your family — all without asking him a single question. Go for a conversation, not a monologue, and leave room for him to listen and respond.
- Make it all about him. It shouldn't be a one-sided interrogation, either. Steer clear of 20 Questions so that he doesn't feel like he's in the hot seat.
- Scan the room. If you're constantly surveying your surroundings, he's going to feel like he's not good enough — and that you're not worth the time. Maintain eye contact to show your interest and let him know that you care about what he has to say.
- Say you're a "guy's girl." Bragging that you're just one of the guys will make him think that you can't get along with other girls. (Talk about a red flag.) Step back and see what you're really trying to express, whether it's your love for sports or your low-key attitude.
- Chug your drinks. It's fine to sip your drink throughout the interaction, but if you're looking for lasting love, avoid any top-to-bottom swigs. Drinking heavily can send the wrong signal and you're likely to ruin your conversation skills.
Keep reading for more dating dealbreakers.
First dates are awkward enough as-is — much less when you ask personal, inappropriate questions. There's a fine line between getting to know someone and digging a little too deep, so try to think before you speak. Don't want to make him uncomfortable? Steer clear of these questions to make date number two more likely:
Is Google right about you? A quick pre-date Google search is totally normal, but it's definitely not normal to bring up your findings. Curious about his football days? Mention your favorite sports team to steer the conversation in the right direction.
Who are you voting for? Bringing up political preferences is a major don't. If it's part of his career or the topic comes up naturally, go ahead and (very politely, very briefly) address it, then move on.
What's your "number"? Learning someone's sexual history is very important — once you're sleeping with them, that is. There's no need to raise the issue right away, though, so hold out until it's necessary.
How much do you make? You're trying to gauge how well you get along, not whether you want to hire him. Finance talk is rude and uncomfortable, so keep any career-based conversation on the surface level.
Do you still talk to your ex? Keep the past in the past. If kids or an ex-wife are involved, let him be the one to raise the topic.
Read on for more inappropriate first-date questions.
We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. You may want a relationship, but the real question is “are you ready?” Your answer may surprise you.
I know what you’re thinking right now — “of course I’m ready for a relationship — it’s what I’ve been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I can get one started!”
Well, I’m certainly not arguing that you want a real relationship; I’m asking if you’re ready for a real relationship. That one’s tough to answer, because it entails really looking at yourself and your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors in a real, open, and honest way. And that’s never easy.
One thing I can tell you is that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that spot where all I could think about was how I so wanted a real relationship, with all of the affection, understanding, support, and love that comes with it. And that’s when I asked myself this very same question, and I realized that I didn’t like the answer. I had some major changing to do.
So how do you know if you’re ready for a relationship before you start one with either the wrong guy or Mr. Right at the wrong time?
Well, if you’re showing any of these warning signs, it means you’re not ready for a relationship and you have some work to do on yourself before you can be in a healthy, happy relationship with someone else.
- Your compass is not pointing north. Your great guy compass is off, and it's consistently pointing you to the wrong type of guy. This typically happens because you’re subconsciously trying to sabotage the relationship from the beginning by choosing a guy who’s not actually relationship material. Your friends and family have warned you that he’s a player, or a loser, or a (enter your favorite derogatory term for a bad boyfriend here), but you’ve written them off, believing that you’re going to be the one woman that can change him into the perfect partner. No, the truth is that inside you know you won’t change him, and that’s actually OK with you, because you subconsciously fear a deep relationship.
- You need a guy to feel happy. You feel miserable unless you’re coupled up. If you get an invite to a party or event, and you don’t have a guy to bring, then you’re likely to make up an excuse, send your regrets, pass up the night out and sit at home feeling sorry for yourself because you are oh so alone. Then you spend the entire night googling “best places to meet men” and reading articles about what men find attractive instead of doing something would make you happy (like going to the party you were invited to.) The truth is that if you did meet a great guy while in this mindset, you’d hold on so tight so quickly that you’d most likely strangle the relationship anyway. Find what makes you happy before you’re in a relationship, then find someone to share that happiness with.
Written by Jane Garapick for YourTango.
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