The Stigma of Internet Dating: Why People are Ashamed to Use Dating Sites

After many unsuccessful trips to local bars or clubs, many people find that their search for true love leaves them feeling exasperated or hopeless. Some then turn to online dating sites such as eHarmony, Match, or OkCupid to improve their chances of finding the right person. Yet, when they do, some feel embarrassed or request that possible love interests be willing to lie about where they met.

In view of the times, is it surprising that more and more people are turning to dating websites to find love? And if not, why are some ashamed of using such a provision? Is the embarrassment felt worth the effort?

Why Dating Websites Thrive

In most cities or towns, there are only a few places that are socially acceptable for trying to establish romantic connections. These are usually limited to bars, pubs, nightclubs, and similar venues. The problem with trying to find love in such establishments, is they usually attract people who are seeking something far more temporary; those who prefer casual encounters over meaningful relationships. This creates an atmosphere which hides those few who are sincere in intent amidst the mass of those who simply want sex; thereby making it virtually impossible for like-minded individuals to connect.

True, there may be opportunities during the course of everyday life in which two people may cross each other’s paths and share a brief attraction, but these encounters are rare if they occur at all. And even if they do happen, their continuance is usually discouraged because neither person wants to seem “too forward” or “desperate.” This leaves such happenings up to the chance that these two people may meet again on another occasion, limiting the possibility of a relationship even further.

And so, since most people spend a large amount of time online anyway, checking email or Facebook pages, they decide to give online dating a shot. After all, no overly personal information is given, so what could it hurt? And yet, once they do join, some feel worse rather than better.

The Embarrassment Effect of Online Dating

It is not uncommon, once perusing the profiles of those using dating websites, to find individuals who are willing (or request that their partner be willing) to deny how the initial contact was made. Others explicitly confess shock or shame on their bios that they are actually trying to find love online. What is the cause of such negativity? The most common answer is feelings of failure or desperation.

Some view online dating as only a last resort. So when they try it for themselves, it isn’t surprising that they may feel their use of a dating website indicates they failed to find love using traditional methods. As previously discussed, however, it shouldn’t be surprising when experiencing such difficulty since the boundaries of social behavior make connecting with that special someone similar to finding the proverbial “needle in a haystack.”

If feeling like a failure isn’t the cause, the feeling of desperation is the most likely culprit for embarrassment. Since there is a widespread prejudice towards dating websites, a person may feel that availing themselves of their assistance indicates that the person severely desires companionship and is willing to find it in any way possible. Once again, this feeling is influenced largely by the social stigma towards online dating rather than logical reflection.

Advantages of Online Dating

Since it has already been revealed that the boundaries of acceptable social behavior limit the chances of finding a sincere connection with the right person, it must be accepted that dating websites offer a beneficial service. In allowing local singles to post pictures, interests, and intentions to anyone who is willing to look, the sites provide a safe mediator between those seeking love. It also saves time as a person can usually eliminate prospects that carry certain habits or values that a person may consider “deal-breakers.”

True, the possibility exists that a person has been less than honest when it comes to his shared information, but since these sites can also connect those who are only interested in a “fling,” most do not feel a need for dishonesty. Also, since similar interests like hobbies, movie preferences, or activities are entirely subjective, most prefer to convey information that accurately conveys their personality so as to find those who can relate.

As with anything, the use of such sites requires moderation. One shouldn’t be too eager to reveal personal information like phone numbers or addresses until a measure of trust is established. But if a relationship seeker is reasonably cautious, and willing to break through the initial hesitancy of using such sites, he or she may be pleasantly surprised to find that it is much easier to find, not just a date, but true love.

The Secret to Great First Dates: Every New Dating Experience Can Be a Success With These Tips

You don’t have to be an expert at dating to be a great first date. The key ingredients are having fun, being fun and sharing great conversation.

Consider: What exactly is a date? A pre-arranged opportunity for two people to spend some time together, explore a shared interest (even if it’s just burgers and a beer), hopefully getting to know each other enough to present the potential for a second date, third – maybe even a lasting romance.

It doesn’t mean spending two hours telling your life story at record-breaking speed. Nor does it mean you must crack one joke after the other in order to be considered a “fun” date.

Dressing for Date Success

Prepare by making sure you don’t mislead your date into thinking the evening will involve more than just some comfortable social interaction and casual conversation.

Dress appropriately, which means avoid plunging necklines and too-short-skirts, ladies. Guys, save the double entendre T-shirts and revealing Speedos for another time.

Remember: this is someone who doesn’t know you well. He or she may not even know you at all. What you wear is going to be your official calling card during that first date. The clothes you choose for that date are going to say a lot about you, so don’t overdo it. Concentrate on making a good impression by dressing appropriate to the event with class and style.

Speaking of saying a lot about yourself, the Cardinal Rule for a successful first date (one that will hopefully lead to many more) is don’t – don’t talk about yourself unless your date has asked you a specific question about your work, your background, how you feel about the last NASCAR race, etc. You want to focus instead on sincerely getting to know him or her.

Show Interest, Pay Attention

One of the most important rules in the Dale Carnegie course concerns how to win friends and influence people centers on making the other person feel important.

Therefore, show genuine interest in their thoughts and ideas. Literally make your date feel he/she is interesting, possibly downright fascinating – at the very least, genuinely worthy of your undivided attention as you participate in conversation designed to help you get to know him or her. And he/she should, likewise, do the same.

If, however, he sits sipping his double latte and seems content to respond to your questions, not showing much interest in finding out more about you, there are clever ways around that obstacle.

Take his or her responses and tag them with little personal tidbits about yourself.

For example, saying:

“You’re into wind surfing? Me too! I tried it on my first trip to Mexico back in ’98 and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

You’ve successfully let him know that:

  • You like something he does
  • You’ve been to Mexico more than once
  • He’s got a good chance getting a second date by inviting you to do a little windsurfing next Saturday afternoon.

Or: “You went to a psychic arts fair yesterday? I just love those things. As a matter of fact, I learned to read cards five years ago. I’d love to give you a reading sometime.”

Not only have you communicated a shared interest with your date partner – something you enjoy – you’ve also given her a perfect opening for setting up a second date with you.

The approach is to ask questions, invite conversation and attach commentary about yourself. You might call this the AIA approach: Ask, Invite, Attach. By doing so, you’ll put yourself in a perfect position for that second date – with potential for much more.

The Bachelor Semi-Finals: November 13th Episode

As the Bachelor closes in on the big season finale, Lorenzo went on romantic overnight dates with the three remaining ladies – Jenn, Lisa, and Sadie.

Jenn has completely snuck up on me, and I think Lorenzo too. To me she came from out of nowhere and is now in the final! Jenn and Lorenzo went to an amusement park where he won her “Simon Fred,” a big red stuffed animal. That evening they had a very romantic dinner; Jenn did accompany Lorenzo to the Fantasy Suite.

I’ve always assumed the couple sleeps together in the Fantasy Suite when they spend the night together. Also of course the cameras aren’t rolling; oh the side conversations we miss! However, that may not always be the case!

On the second overnight date, Lisa and Lorenzo went to a festival and drank wine and walked around. Lorenzo confessed before the date that he had doubts about Lisa. On their hometown date, she had put on a wedding dress brought over by her girlfriend while Lorenzo was there! There were also wedding magazines scattered all over her place. Can anyone else say, “timeline?” J

Lorenzo was growing increasingly concerned Lisa wasn’t in it for all the right reasons! On their date, he hit her with some pretty difficult questions and it was very awkward. Apparently two weeks after she split with a very serious boyfriend she was applying to be on the Bachelor!

Also every guy had always moved to be with her. When Lorenzo asked Jenn if she would move to NY, she said Yes without hesitation. Lisa, on the other hand, refused to answer definitively and basically said they would cross that bridge when they came to it.

During dinner Lorenzo didn’t even have to read the Fantasy Suite card; Lisa said she knew what it was and the answer was yes. So much for any anticipation! Lisa & Lorenzo also spent the night in the Fantasy Suite.

Lorenzo’s final date was with Sadie. This date was both romantic and relaxing! Lorenzo & Sadie got massages and then gave each other mini-massages. Sadie was having a tough time relaxing though because the whole time the Fantasy Suite was on her mind!

Lorenzo & Sadie went to dinner, and during the conversation Sadie had to get up and walk around. She said she needed to get away and think and clear her head. She really didn’t know what to do about the Fantasy Suite, accept or decline. Lorenzo & Sadie had a very honest open conversation about the Fantasy Suite though, and I thought Lorenzo was great!

He made it very clear that he just wanted to spend some time with Sadie and talk to her off-camera, and that he didn’t expect her to change her values. Sadie accepted the card, and they too spent the night in the Fantasy Suite. The big question remains though: did they or didn’t they? J

Lorenzo got rid of Lisa at the rose ceremony; hooray! He gave the final two roses to Sadie & Jenn. To me Sadie & Lorenzo have an obvious connection; Jenn and Lorenzo’s bond I’m not sure is as strong.

We will find out . . . after Thanksgiving at the big season finale. Which girl will Lorenzo choose? Will he propose? I sound like the show promos, don’t I? Looks like Lorenzo has a ring and is slipping it on someone’s finger in the end in the promos to me!

Next week’s episode is the comical “The Women Tell All” where, yes, Agnese, Lisa, Desiree, and even Erica will be back! Have Fun watching!!

The Bachelor Rome on ABC: October 30th Episode

On tonight’s Bachelor there were four hometown dates. Four girls went down to three and next week will be the romantic overnight dates in different romantic locales across Europe.

On the first hometown date, Lorenzo met Sadie in San Diego. They had dinner with her family and then went for a moonlit walk on the beach and ended up cozying up by a fire. It was a very romantic date, and it became apparent to Lorenzo that Sadie is very close to her family.

I think Sadie continues to be my favorite Bachelorette. Who is your favorite Bachelorette and why?

On the second hometown date, Lorenzo is in Portland, OR with Lisa and her family. Lisa’s best girl friend Ali shows up . . . with a wedding dress in tow! The look on Lorenzo’s face was pretty priceless at this point! Lisa tried on the wedding dress, and while she was slipping in to this, Ali asked Lorenzo if he knew all about “Lisa’s timeline.” I believe Lorenzo began to question Lisa’s motives – Is she on The Bachelor just to get married and fulfill her “timeline” or is she really serious about it because it’s Lorenzo she uniquely cares for?

Lorenzo and Lisa went to have dinner with her family, and afterward was definitely the funniest moment of tonight’s show. While Lisa was talking with her Dad, telling him how much her 2.5 carat diamond earrings were worth . . Lisa’s Mom had Lorenzo doing Pilates!! Hilarious!

Lorenzo’s next hometown date took him to FL to meet Jenn for some fishing. This part of the date was relaxed and cute; Jenn caught a baby shark! We find out Jenn is an only child and her Father is extremely protective of her. In a one-on-one with Lorenzo he has a gun out and is being quite intense and downright intimidating!

For Lorenzo’s final date, he heads back to Italy for a date with Agnese. They went for a gondola ride in Venice! Then they went to meet her family. This was definitely a close second for the funniest part of the show; none of Agnese’s family (Dad, Mom, brother, sister) spoke English! To watch Lorenzo try to communicate with them, and have Agnese half-translate, was very humorous! After they have dinner though they do turn on music and everyone is dancing around and laughing. This date is definitely way more fun and relaxed and less intense than the scene with Lorenzo and Jenn’s Dad!!

In the end, Lorenzo chose the following Bachelorettes to continue the journey with:

– Sadie

– Jenn

– Lisa

– And he sent Agnese home because they can’t communicate

Lorenzo did cry when he sent Agnese home; I believe he really cared for her and I thought it was sweet when he was crying showing that he’s become emotionally involved in this entire process.

At the end of the show, there was more Erika “jilted Bachelorette” commentary. She was equating the girls to vanilla milkshakes, saying they are very blah, bland and nothing special. Stay tuned for more from Erika! The next episode of The Bachelor is on in two weeks!

The Bachelor on ABC: October 16 Episode Re-Cap

When tonight’s Bachelor picked up we were down to nine girls. Tonight there were three separate dates, one individual one, one with six girls and Lorenzo (Whoa!), and the final with two girls and Lorenzo.

There was a contest for who would get the individual date, and the winner of that was Jami, a 27 year-old blond event planner from Texas. She went to the Opera with Lorenzo and they danced as an Opera singer sang. The evening would have been totally romantic . . except . .

Lorenzo sent Jami home on this date! He told her he felt like she was a friend and wasn’t attracted to her. OUCH!

What wasn’t clear to me in this episode is how they determined who would be the two to go on the other date, and who were the six to go on yet another date. ??

On the six-girls date, everyone went to Tuscany! They drank wine and hung out at night and played a rather racy version of “Truth or Dare.” This would bring me to I believe the steamiest moment of the night: Desiree passing a grape to Lorenzo mouth-to-mouth! WHEW!

Lorenzo kissed Lisa on this date, yet he gave an individual rose to Jeanette, a 23 year-old teacher from IL. Sadie also confessed to Lorenzo in a one-on-one that she is a virgin and saving herself for marriage. She said she wanted to tell him before one of the other girls did; smart idea!

On the final date Lorenzo ended up having Agnese and Erica to his house to hang out and eat pizza and drink beer! There was a fierce competition this night because there was only one rose, and whoever didn’t get it was going home.

Fortunately, fortunately, Lorenzo gave Agnese the rose and sent Erica home! She continues to be my least favorite Bachelorette with all her better-than-thou and drama. If she twirls and throws her hair one more time too . . . J

Next week will certainly be interesting because as I said in the intro., looks like Erica returns!

During the rose ceremony, Lorenzo only had to send one more girl home to get down to 6 Bachelorettes. He gave roses too

Sadie, a 23 year-old blond publicist from CA (She just may be my favorite at this point. Cute, nice, not too catty, and has good values!)

Lisa (brunette, She seems very confident!)

Jen (blond)

Desiree (blond) – At least she didn’t call Lorenzo “Baby” a thousand times tonight on camera. That was getting a little annoying but perhaps seems to be her style!

I am going with tonight’s funniest moment being when Lorenzo was trying to send Erica home and she rolls down her window and keeps going off to him, and telling him what a big mistake he made. Her drama and speech in the limo driving away was quite humorous too.

To me the cattiest moment amongst the girls was when Lisa made her comments on the group date about Tuscany not being romantic with all the other girls and comparing it to her one-on-one date with Lorenzo that was much more romantic. Even I could hear the “Me-OWW!” here!

Stay tuned for next week; it’s the final episode before the hometown dates according to the previews!

The Bachelor: Episode Two Re-Cap

I set my VCR to record the premiere and will watch it upon returning to my home state this weekend. I’m presently on the road for a record number of nights in a row!

I think I had a unique perspective on the show not getting to see last week’s premiere. When I picked up tonight, we were already down to 12 Bachelorettes, 11 Americans and one Italian gal with a name I can’t spell, a brunette named Agnese or something like that.

Tonight there were two group dates, one with five girls and one with six. Also there was one individual date with Lisa, a 25 year old brunette in Marketing.

As promised, here are some favorites/least favorites.

I’m sad to say I don’t have a favorite Bachelorette yet this season. No one of them really stands out to me as the total package, and a great fit for Lorenzo, especially considering he is royalty and a Prince! Lorenzo has struck me as very sweet, intelligent, and an all-around nice guy with good values. A great catch!

I am going with tonight’s funniest moment being the group date to the beach when Kim, 27, the blond, apparently drank too much and passed out!! She tried to pass it off like just taking a short nap, but who takes a nap in the middle of a date?

To me the cattiest moment amongst the girls was when Ellen talked to Lisa about what Lisa had said right in front of Lorenzo. I thought if Ellen had concerns with Lisa perhaps a one-on-one conversation would have been more effective here vs. in front of all the girls. Of course she made Lisa cry. Of note: Lisa got a rose tonight on her individual date with Lorenzo, Ellen did not get a rose and go on. She went home.

I can easily list my least favorite Bachelorette at this point! Ericka, the “socialite” from Houston, is a total drama queen and spoiled! Her direct quote tonight was, “Lorenzo is royalty . . not a commoner . . and he definitely needs me.” I was very surprised, but she got the last rose of the evening and is staying.

During the first group date, Lorenzo chose Sadie, a 23 year-old blond publicist from CA, for a rose. The group rode on scooters (Everyone on their own, except of course Ericka. She rode along with Lorenzo on the same scooter.), and then the girls each got to pick out their own brand new cocktail dress and wear it out that night to a party.

On the individual date, Lisa did get a rose. If she didn’t get a rose she would have gotten sent home!

On the other group date (The one Kim passed out on.) the group played tackle football on the beach, the girls in bikinis and Lorenzo topless (Can I add nice body to the aforementioned sweet intelligent nice guy garb??). It was the “blond bombshells” vs. the “brilliant brunettes!” On this date Lorenzo gave Jennifer, 24, a teacher from FL, the rose.

During the rose ceremony six additional ladies received roses. So now we have 9 Bachelorettes total vs. the 12 we started with. Other ladies receiving roses tonight included:

Jeanette (brunette)

Desiree (blond) – She seems wild, Lorenzo even called her a “total nut!”

Jamie (blond) – Did I mention Desiree and Jamie were in Lorenzo’s bed at one point during this action-packed episode, but it stayed fairly G rated?!

Gina (brunette)

Agnese (brunette, This is the Italian girl who can barely speak English!)

Ericka (blond, The “socialite!”)

I am very excited for next week’s episode, and I’m really hoping one of these ladies begins to stand out for me. Stay tuned for much more on The Bachelor!

The New World of Internet Dating

I met a couple from Colombia that had posted a video online about their relationship: how it grew, flowered, and sprung seedlings of its own. It was a tad bit too personal for my taste, however, as they divulged into personal first meetings and vows to save themselves for marriage.

I guess I didn’t think that people did that anymore; ensuring that their legs are closed before the sheets can be stained. Yet, this is becoming increasingly common.

They met online. One night when they were both browsing the personals on a web accredited (“meeting not sexing”) site, they stumbled upon each other. For him, he said, it was love at first sight. For her, she said, he was persistent and he liked an intelligent woman.

But they married, and are still together. Much like three other couples I can think of, including my Aunt who met the love of her life online just a few years ago after two divorces and countless boyfriends. They never say they met online, however, it was a plane journey, they say, and it was love at first sight.

There are obviously still stigmas attached to internet dating, but for those 40 plus, it seems like it’s the only way to meet people who are financially independent. My mother phoned me the other night to say that she was finally ready for a relationship. After not having anything serious since 2005, she found herself really considering the possibility of a man in her life who has his house, and his things, but spends some real time with her and my sister on the weekends. More and more people want this, as divorce is becoming as common as internet dating.

Yet there are horror stories that you hear about randomly through the grapevine – always a friend of a friend who suffered a crisis. I must say that because we live in an age where we constantly “need the scoop”, one is more likely to find an internet dating tragedy in the news. However, I do find that people are letting their guard down a bit too much, and maybe, simultaneously stretching the truth in regards to who we really are. If I want to gain a suitor online, I most likely will drop a stone off my weight, maybe, say I have been places I never have been to seem adventurous. Some people seem to venture into the world of online dating to be people they never can be in reality. I find some danger in this, of course, when in order to have a normal relationship, you eventually do need to meet the person you are lying to. Strange, indeed.

I have always felt that the phrase, “to each their own” is an important one. How can we judge others when we ourselves have never been in the same predicament? It is simple, if internet dating is the way of the future, I hope it makes people happy. However, I still prefer the old fashion way – buy me a drink and let’s talk all night first. If I can analyze your expressions, your body language tells me what your lips, or dating profile, cannot.

Spice Up Long-Term Relationships

Anticipation is a wonderful thing. Think back to the days of early fumblings, when physical intimacy seemed impossibly desirable and utterly unattainable. The urgency, the arousal and the beautifully aching frustration of wanting someone so much that it hurts can create a serious high.

But as people get older, relationships often speed up. Intimacy frequently thrives early in a relationship after which point anticipation gradually fades. Long-term relationships often lead to functional, rather than truly connected physical intimacy.

Little wonder, then, that many long-term couples feel a sense of ennui about a relationship, or feel that their love life has suffered, as time goes on. Luckily, this can be revitalised with a few simple techniques, and fun surprises, particularly if both lovers are keen to improve the situation.

A Second Chance of Romantic Bliss

While physical intimacy in a loving relationship can be fantastic, many people get into a rut and feel dissatisfied as time goes on. Reintroducing anticipation gives couples a second chance to savour the feelings conjured up in the early days. Slowing things down can really heat things up.

Spending an evening kissing on the sofa can help old passionate feelings stir. Some scientists even claim that kissing alone can act as a libido booster by raising women’s testosterone levels, as reported in the article “Scientists Agree: It’s in His Kiss” by Betsy Mason on Removing clothes can make it hard for lovers to resist each other: instead, enjoy the frisson of holding back a. A marathon kissing session can bring up all kinds of feelings … Try it at the cinema or on the back of the bus to relive those early experiences.

Using the eyes to communicate attraction can be intoxicating for a lover. Indeed, intense eye contact can get the pulse racing as much as hot and heavy action, particularly if it’s something that’s faded from a relationship over time. Using this and other body language techniques will increase the chances of a partner actually wanting physical intimacy. No matter how long a relationship has lasted, it’s always worth making the effort.

Add Sizzle to Your Love Life

While anticipation is all very well, after reintroducing kissing and flirtation to a relationship, things are likely to heat up. Fan the spark into a flame with some fun treats.

Feeding a lover can be intense, particularly if it develops into sucking on each other’s fingers which can make the mind wander to more overt acts. Using libido-enhancing foods such as asparagus, lobster or chocolate will add extra excitement.

Taking time to share fantasies – but not succumbing to physical intimacy – can also help build attraction to scorching levels. Sharing sweet and saucy whispers with a lover helps build intimacy – and improving intimacy is an important way to improve romantic bliss in a relationship.

Try non-physical acts such as phone sex to explore a new area of possibilities. You can establish rules beforehand. If unsure, try to call in one of chat lines with free trial to see how it works and take notes. Don’t go to far with this at the beginning as it may turn your partner off if done incorrectly.

Mutual self-pleasuring can be a valuable way for partners to learn about each other’s responses. Watching a lover indulge in self-pleasure shows exactly how and where he or she likes to be touched. But for real sparks to fly, self-pleasuring but denying a lover until the next night – or even the end of the week – can work wonders. Waiting for gratification makes it seem more desirable.

Reintroducing a sense of anticipation to physical intimacy can help lovers connect with each other once more and add spice to their relationship. Before long, the sizzle will be back, simply through allowing space for anticipation to build. Remember, all good things come to those who wait.

Single Women Dating Secrets: Beware of Manipulators

Finding the right person can be a challenge. In order to find Mr. Right, the single woman will have to meet many unsuitable candidates. Being open minded and giving chances to men is important. Nevertheless, there are certain men and situations that you should avoid. Be aware of manipulative techniques that guys use with one aim in mind: to get you in bed.

Meeting manipulators in bars, pubs and nightclubs

What is the chance for a single woman to meet her prince charming in a bar or a nightclub? Even though you may occasionally hear of a successful relationship that started in a pub, the chances of a single woman to meet Mr. Right in such an environment are quite slim. However, having fun and meeting new people in public places can be used as a way to increase your social circle and encounter single men.

Nevertheless, beware of the fact that most of the men will be intoxicated and will be in a flirtatious mood. There is nothing wrong with chatting, dancing and enjoying a night out, but know when to draw the line. When tempted to give a chance to a guy that you meet in a bar/nightclub, ask yourself the following questions and observe his behavior:

  • How much do I know about this man?
  • Is he a player who tries his luck on every girl?
  • What does his body language reveal about him?
  • How can I find more information about him: married status, maturity level and work?

Manipulation techniques used in dating

It is very hard to sense when you have been manipulated unless you know the techniques that the culprit is using. Often, the typical manipulator will use the following methods:

  • False pretenses
  • Charming personality
  • Offering fake jobs as an excuse to see women
  • Seducing techniques
  • Not taking “no” for an answer
  • Ticks such as lowering voice, using a calm tone, and rephrasing the same question
  • Persistence

Persuasion as a tool of manipulation

One of the strongest techniques that a manipulator uses is persuasion. The information manipulation theory of McCornack (1992) provides an effective way of checking whether the information that you obtain is valid or misleading and aimed at deceiving you. The theory evokes the idea that there is evidence of manipulation when one or more of the four maxims are violated:

Quantity: The expectation that no information has been left out

Quality: The expectation that the information is truthful

Relation: Relevant information

Manner: The way things are said

When having a conversation with a suspected manipulator, try to run a quick checklist on whether what you hear is truthful, accurate, and relevant. Furthermore, observe the manner that the information was delivered to you.

Often, a good manipulator’s techniques will be difficult to detect. Nevertheless, understanding how the manipulator thinks and acts will help you detect his methods before it is too late.

Relationship Gift Buying Pressures: Find out if You’re Exchanging Gifts With a Date!

I recently told a girlfriend the holidays were fun when I was a kid, but now they’re just stressful. In the midst of trying to decide what to get whom, in some instances you may even be wondering if you should be buying a gift for someone at all.

Then you decide to get them a gift, and what to get them? I’ve got some tips to help you just in the nick of time!

If you’re dating someone new, I would say the best advice is to have an honest assertive conversation with them. This way you’re not awkwardly caught off-guard when they surprise you with a gift and you’ve got nothing for them because you didn’t think you were exchanging gifts. It’s definitely a short conversation you need to have, but make it light and like it’s no big deal. Think Monica on “Friends” being “breezy” leaving the message on Richard’s phone!

Maybe you just went to dinner and picked up movies and as you’re settling in at home to watch them, just a quick, “Hey, I’m finishing up my shopping this week and curious if you want us to do a gift exchange?” This will get their ideas. They will either say, “Nah, that’s ok.” Or “Oh, I’ve already got your gift, and I’m totally planning on it!” Then you want to find out when they were hoping to do this. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or when? This way you are wrapped and prepared!

Another item perhaps worth clarifying is the price range you’re each spending on each other. It’s very awkward to spend $15 on a simple CD and get a rather expensive gift certificate for a Day at the Spa for example (over hundreds of dollars) in return!

Then if you figure out you are exchanging gifts what to get someone becomes a challenge. Obviously, the better you know them or the longer you’ve been together the easier it is. Think what hobbies they have, collections, or anything they’ve been mentioning or dropping hints on (a CD, a guitar lesson, a restaurant gift certificate)! Again, if you have no clue, ask them for some ideas. Say something like, “I’m really trying to find something extra special for you. Any clues as to what you’d love so I don’t get you something you already have?”

I recently was on and it’s a great site. It gives you tons of fun ideas and you can shop by occasion, recipient and their interests, or even personality, such as if he’s a “guy’s guy.” I would recommend going to a site like that if you are really stuck and want some fun ideas to kick-start you.

Of course with last-minute shopping your best bet is to go at the most unconventional times, because if you think Saturday afternoon is convenient when you’re off work, think how many others are thinking the exact same thing! I’ve heard first thing in the morning when the malls first open they’re usually not so crowded. Maybe you can go in to work late one morning after shopping and stay late to make up the time.

I wish you Luck figuring out who to buy gifts for, what the perfect gift is for them, and how to have a smooth exchange. I know for me it seems to become more stressful than fun each year. May your Season be filled with special times with great people and lasting memories!