The Dating and Relationship Blog

How to spend Valentine’s Day in Danvers

Break out the red cupid cutouts and pink paper hearts; it’s that time of year again.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many folks are in a frenzy drumming up romantic date ideas. Whether you’re the last minute type, or your workweek leaves you with little brainstorming time, there’s no need to panic. Here are some picks for lovey-dovey date and gift ideas located right here in Danvers.

For a dining experience guaranteed to wow the foodie in your life, there are plenty of restaurants in town that are perfect for an enchanting evening out. Italian cuisine lovers will melt over Calitri’s, Supino’s and IPazzi, which all offer an authentic taste of Italy.

“Typically we serve about four to five times as many people on Valentine’s Day, in comparison to other days,” said Calitri’s Administrative Assistant Karen Lapolla.

Lapolla also explained that the restaurant will run specials throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, which all include a champagne toast with dinner. Live entertainment will also be featured in the bar on Saturday, Feb. 12, starting at 8 p.m.

As for American eats, both Danversport Yacht Club and 9 Elm boast an exquisite menu combined with a casual fine dining experience.

And don’t forget dessert! Grab a sundae with your sweetheart at The Cherry Farm Creamery or delight your darling’s taste buds with their favorite chocolate or candy from Putnam Pantry.

For a special get away right in your own backyard, The Crowne Plaza North Shore can provide the perfect weekend for couples and families alike. For the spa savvy twosome, a couple’s massage is a romantic and relaxing way to share the holiday. The hotel is also offering a spa package for the month of February, ensuring that you don’t empty your wallet while spending time with your significant other.

“The dimly lit lounge atmosphere features a double-sided fireplace making it a nice quiet place for couples to sit and reconnect,” said Jennifer Dellamonica, director of sales for The Crowne Plaza North Shore.

 And if you can’t ditch the kids for a weekend of romance, thankfully the facility boasts a wild indoor water park called “CoCo Key Water Resort,” and it’s guaranteed to fill your family trip with fun.

Another special way to bond is to set up a couple’s photography session and put together a scrapbook of love with the pictures afterwards. Danvers is home to a multitude of photographers, such as Joan Ross Photography.

Break out the red cupid cutouts and pink paper hearts; it’s that time of year again.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many folks are in a frenzy drumming up romantic date ideas. Whether you’re the last minute type, or your workweek leaves you with little brainstorming time, there’s no need to panic. Here are some picks for lovey-dovey date and gift ideas located right here in Danvers.

For a dining experience guaranteed to wow the foodie in your life, there are plenty of restaurants in town that are perfect for an enchanting evening out. Italian cuisine lovers will melt over Calitri’s, Supino’s and IPazzi, which all offer an authentic taste of Italy.

“Typically we serve about four to five times as many people on Valentine’s Day, in comparison to other days,” said Calitri’s Administrative Assistant Karen Lapolla.

Lapolla also explained that the restaurant will run specials throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, which all include a champagne toast with dinner. Live entertainment will also be featured in the bar on Saturday, Feb. 12, starting at 8 p.m.

As for American eats, both Danversport Yacht Club and 9 Elm boast an exquisite menu combined with a casual fine dining experience.

And don’t forget dessert! Grab a sundae with your sweetheart at The Cherry Farm Creamery or delight your darling’s taste buds with their favorite chocolate or candy from Putnam Pantry.

For a special get away right in your own backyard, The Crowne Plaza North Shore can provide the perfect weekend for couples and families alike. For the spa savvy twosome, a couple’s massage is a romantic and relaxing way to share the holiday. The hotel is also offering a spa package for the month of February, ensuring that you don’t empty your wallet while spending time with your significant other.

“The dimly lit lounge atmosphere features a double-sided fireplace making it a nice quiet place for couples to sit and reconnect,” said Jennifer Dellamonica, director of sales for The Crowne Plaza North Shore.

 And if you can’t ditch the kids for a weekend of romance, thankfully the facility boasts a wild indoor water park called “CoCo Key Water Resort,” and it’s guaranteed to fill your family trip with fun.

Another special way to bond is to set up a couple’s photography session and put together a scrapbook of love with the pictures afterwards. Danvers is home to a multitude of photographers, such as Joan Ross Photography.

Buying a gift for the opposite sex can often be a difficult task, but these picks are sure to please:

For men looking to surprise that special someone, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Whether her style is simple or extravagant, you’re sure to find the perfect gift at one of Danvers’ multiple jewelry stores such as Carter’s.

If jewelry not is in your budget, check out the Partridge Tree Gift Shop for novelty gift items, home décor and candles. If your sweetie enjoys a good pampering put together a basket full of soaps, lotions and bubble bath—all of which can be found at Partridge Tree—and throw in a gift certificate for her to get a mani-pedi at her favorite salon.

And be sure to surprise your gal with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Curran Bros. Florists, or send an arrangement to her workplace and brighten up her Monday.

If you’re stumped on what to give your husband or boyfriend, Things Remembered at the North Shore Mall has a number of men’s items that can be personalized. Grab something he would use frequently, such as a beer mug or a money clip, and engrave it with a special note or your anniversary date.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, Pier 1 Imports, at the Liberty Tree Mall, sells a set of chalk note glassware—a carafe and wine glasses with mini chalkboards on them. Write him a sweet note, stock up on his favorite vino and hold your own private wine tasting.

FYI: Danvers places to know for Valentine’s Day

 · Calitri’s Italian Restaurant

126 Newbury St., Route 1 South

· Supino’s Italian Restaurant and Gourmet Pizza

250 Newbury St., Route 1 South

· IPazzi Italian/Mediterranean

50 Maple St.

 · Danversport Yacht Club open at 5 p.m. (normally closed Mondays)

161 Elliot St.

·9 Elm American Bistro

9 Elm St.

· Cherry Farm Creamery

210 Conant St.

· Putnam Pantry

255 Newbury St., Route 1 South.

· Crowne Plaza North Shore

50 Ferncroft Rd.

· Joan Ross Photography

301 Newbury St.

· Carter’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry

150 Andover St.

· Partridge Tree Gift Shop

10 Elm St. Suite 4

· Curran Bros. Florists

15 Park St.

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Hopelessly Romantic Ideas for Dates

Hopelessly romantic.It’s harder to find the definition of a hopeless romantic than you might imagine since it’s such a commonly-used term. But very few reputable sources care to define “hopeless romantic.” Consequently, if you consider yourself a hopeless romantic and somebody disagrees, it’s unlikely they will have any verifiable data in their defense. All I can say is… if you are seeking a romantic way to impress your date, then you might not be hopeless, but you are indeed romantic.

Hopelessly Romantic Date Guys Can Set Up

*Disclosure: This date works best if you and your girlfriend don’t live together. If you do, that’s great and you can still pull it off, but some modifications may be in order.

Men, you will go down in your girlfriend’s history books as the most romantic guy of all time if you pull this off. Tell your date that you would like to take her out for dinner and mark your calendar. Here’s the secret, you aren’t actually going to take her out for dinner. But rather you are going to make a hopelessly romantic dinner for her. And the great thing is; it really doesn’t matter what you make for dinner, although I recommend something more challenging than tater tot casserole and Oreo’s.

You see, what makes the date hopelessly romantic is that you had the wherewithal in the first place to come up with the idea, but even more so, that you went to the effort of making it a surprise. Women love it when you surprise them. Not the … scare the crap out of you … kind of surprise like if you were to jump out from a dark alley dressed as the silent reaper; but rather the sweet, … aww, you did that for me?… kind of way.

So here’s the plan. Two days before you are supposed to take her out, call her and ask if she can drive to dinner since your car has to go in for servicing (and on that note … remember to park your car out of site on date night). When she comes to pick you up, answer the door and let the romance begin!

Tips on How to Be Hopelessly Romantic During Your Date

  • Make the extra effort to dress nicely on date night.
  • Present her with flowers when you answer the door.
  • Don’t wear too much cologne.
  • Have romantic music playing in the background (keywords here are ”romantic music” and “playing in the background”)
  • Mood lighting is important. No overhead lights other than in the kitchen, which should be well lit. Use lamps and romantic candles in all other rooms. No exceptions.
  • Make certain the bathroom is sparkling clean, check all those places you usually don’t!
  • Make an appetizer, main entrée and a dessert.
  • Prepare something with a French name such as Coquille St. Jacques, Coq Au Vin, or Chicken Cordon Bleu because many women find a French accent super sexy.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, allow her help with the dishes. She will want to and she might even insist, but just rinse the dishes and put them in the sink. Tell her this dinner is your treat … and her evening. Even though you will have to deal with a crusty mess the next day, it’s worth it for the romance points you will score.
If you arrange this date, then you really are a hopeless romantic and she’s one lucky girl.

Bon Appetit, Monsieur!

Hopelessly Romantic Date Girls Can Initiate

*Disclosure: This date is only romantic if your guy is into sports. Though it’s hard for most women to imagine that there could be men on the planet who aren’t into sports, if yours isn’t, modify accordingly.

Start out by telling your guy that you’ve both been invited somewhere and then make up something painful. Spare no mercy here, providing you don't make up something he considers so terrifyingly boring that he creates a fake illness to get out of it.

For instance:

  1. “We received an invitation today to attend a couples baby shower at my friend Desiree’s next Saturday night.”
  2. “Oh, I’m so excited, Jenny and Rick have invited us to their annual Murder Mystery on the 17th and your part is the Sea Captain. But don’t worry; I’ll bring your costume!”
  3. “You’ll never believe it; I scored two free tickets for us on Friday to attend the “Chronology of Lithography” exhibit at the Museum of Art.”
Then, for your real date, surprise him by doing pretty much anything else and he’ll think you are everything and all that, but I would suggest something like this:

Get two tickets for an NHL, MLB, NFL or MBA game and take him to a sports bar for a burger and beer first.

Girl… you are a hopeless romantic when it comes to your guy!

Go Team!!

Read More »

Hopelessly Romantic Ideas for Dates

Hopelessly romantic.It’s harder to find the definition of a hopeless romantic than you might imagine since it’s such a commonly-used term. But very few reputable sources care to define “hopeless romantic.” Consequently, if you consider yourself a hopeless romantic and somebody disagrees, it’s unlikely they will have any verifiable data in their defense. All I can say is… if you are seeking a romantic way to impress your date, then you might not be hopeless, but you are indeed romantic.

Hopelessly Romantic Date Guys Can Set Up

*Disclosure: This date works best if you and your girlfriend don’t live together. If you do, that’s great and you can still pull it off, but some modifications may be in order.

Men, you will go down in your girlfriend’s history books as the most romantic guy of all time if you pull this off. Tell your date that you would like to take her out for dinner and mark your calendar. Here’s the secret, you aren’t actually going to take her out for dinner. But rather you are going to make a hopelessly romantic dinner for her. And the great thing is; it really doesn’t matter what you make for dinner, although I recommend something more challenging than tater tot casserole and Oreo’s.

You see, what makes the date hopelessly romantic is that you had the wherewithal in the first place to come up with the idea, but even more so, that you went to the effort of making it a surprise. Women love it when you surprise them. Not the … scare the crap out of you … kind of surprise like if you were to jump out from a dark alley dressed as the silent reaper; but rather the sweet, … aww, you did that for me?… kind of way.

So here’s the plan. Two days before you are supposed to take her out, call her and ask if she can drive to dinner since your car has to go in for servicing (and on that note … remember to park your car out of site on date night). When she comes to pick you up, answer the door and let the romance begin!

Tips on How to Be Hopelessly Romantic During Your Date

  • Make the extra effort to dress nicely on date night.
  • Present her with flowers when you answer the door.
  • Don’t wear too much cologne.
  • Have romantic music playing in the background (keywords here are ”romantic music” and “playing in the background”)
  • Mood lighting is important. No overhead lights other than in the kitchen, which should be well lit. Use lamps and romantic candles in all other rooms. No exceptions.
  • Make certain the bathroom is sparkling clean, check all those places you usually don’t!
  • Make an appetizer, main entrée and a dessert.
  • Prepare something with a French name such as Coquille St. Jacques, Coq Au Vin, or Chicken Cordon Bleu because many women find a French accent super sexy.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, allow her help with the dishes. She will want to and she might even insist, but just rinse the dishes and put them in the sink. Tell her this dinner is your treat … and her evening. Even though you will have to deal with a crusty mess the next day, it’s worth it for the romance points you will score.
If you arrange this date, then you really are a hopeless romantic and she’s one lucky girl.

Bon Appetit, Monsieur!

Hopelessly Romantic Date Girls Can Initiate

*Disclosure: This date is only romantic if your guy is into sports. Though it’s hard for most women to imagine that there could be men on the planet who aren’t into sports, if yours isn’t, modify accordingly.

Start out by telling your guy that you’ve both been invited somewhere and then make up something painful. Spare no mercy here, providing you don't make up something he considers so terrifyingly boring that he creates a fake illness to get out of it.

For instance:

  1. “We received an invitation today to attend a couples baby shower at my friend Desiree’s next Saturday night.”
  2. “Oh, I’m so excited, Jenny and Rick have invited us to their annual Murder Mystery on the 17th and your part is the Sea Captain. But don’t worry; I’ll bring your costume!”
  3. “You’ll never believe it; I scored two free tickets for us on Friday to attend the “Chronology of Lithography” exhibit at the Museum of Art.”
Then, for your real date, surprise him by doing pretty much anything else and he’ll think you are everything and all that, but I would suggest something like this:

Get two tickets for an NHL, MLB, NFL or MBA game and take him to a sports bar for a burger and beer first.

Girl… you are a hopeless romantic when it comes to your guy!

Go Team!!

Read More »

Valentine’s Day: Best ideas for a fun first date

Sometime between New Year's and Valentine's Day comes this weird, almost instinctive urge to get back in the gym, back on a budget, and, if you're single, back on the dating scene. You can meet people on Match, OkCupid, or the just-moved-into-Washing...

Read More »

Valentine’s Day: Where to find bromance

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're coming up with lots of ideas for dates and for girls' nights out, and suddenly we realized ... we never write about hanging out with our guy friends. But as the popularity of "The Dilemma," "The Hangover" or, nearly...

Read More »

Valentine’s Day: Where to find bromance

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're coming up with lots of ideas for dates and for girls' nights out, and suddenly we realized ... we never write about hanging out with our guy friends. But as the popularity of "The Dilemma," "The Hangover" or, nearly...

Read More »

6 Cheap Date Ideas for New Year’s Eve

Monday, 12/27/2010 at 3:00PM

New Year’s Eve (only four days away!) is considered by many to be the biggest night of the year to party. But if pricey cocktails and way up-there cover charges don’t tickle your fancy, we’ve cooked up six cheap date ideas perfect for frugally festive fun.

1227_friends_new_years_party_sm.jpg

1. Invite a few friends over for a potluck. Your delicious smorgasbord will be way more wallet-friendly than dinner at a fancy pants restaurant. Plus, you’ll have plenty to snack on while waiting for the ball to drop.

2. Order delivery and watch your favorite movies on DVD. If you and your beau are hoping for a more intimate way to ring in the New Year, call up your favorite delivery spot. Remember to place your order super early (at least an hour before you’d like to eat), delivery times on big holidays can be pretty intense.

3. Have dinner at a diner or burger joint. If you’d really like to go out on Friday but don’t want to drop a ton of dough, head to a hole-in-the-wall spot you love. Your dinner bill will probably cost less than cover charge at a fancy club. And since most party-minded folks will go to dressy and expensive restaurants that require reservations, your no-frills dive shouldn’t be too crowded. If you’re feeling really festive you and your fellow could splurge and order a milkshake. With two straws.

4. Prepare a few fancy appetizers and drinks and have a romantic night in. Get in touch with your Iron Chef fantasies by whipping up your favorite culinary goodies.

5. Get your game on. Play one of your favorite board games together while sipping champagne. Slightly saucy Scrabble, anyone?

6. Have sex. Ditch the party hats, streamers and noise makers and have a celebration for two in bed.

Are you a fan of New Year’s Eve? Do you have big plans for this Friday? Or are you doing something mellow?

Happy New Year!
* 13 Ways to Guarantee a Great New Year’s Eve
* Perfect Your New Year's Eve Smooch
* New Year’s Resolutions: Women Confess Their 2011 Dating-o-lutions

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Visit Shopglamour.com for cute stuff starting at just $10!
Enter the latest Glamour sweepstakes!
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Photo: Jupiter Images

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Great date ideas for Portland LGBT in autumn

Thinking about going on a date this fall? Here are three great date ideas to do in and around Portland, Maine: 1. Take a walk on Willard Beach (SoPo): Located in South Portland, this little beach is beautiful at both low tide and high tide. Look for s...

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Great date ideas for Sacramento and surrounding areas

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Want to go out on a date, in Sacramento? A fun date, a great date; God forbid you are asked out and given the opportunity to choose what you're going to do, and your only response is a blank face and "Umm..." I don...

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5 Ideas for Dates with Friends

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5 Ideas for Dates with Friends

  • Home
  • Mail
  • News
  • Sports
  • Finance
  • Weather
  • Games
  • Groups
  • Answers
  • Screen
  • Flickr
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  • More
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    • Jumpstart 2014
  • Love + Sex
    • Video
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    • Burning Love
    • Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth
    • Bethenny
    • The Girl's Game
  • Home Design
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3 Cheap Date Ideas for You and Your Girlfriends

Saturday, 10/16/2010 at 12:00PM

We’ve talked a great deal about cheap date ideas for you and your guy, but what about having wallet-friendly fun with your besties? Here are three cheap date ideas for you and your girlfriends that I’m mad for.

DIY Brunch
1016_cheap_date_ideas_brunch_sm.jpg
If it were up to me, my gal pals and I would gossip over brunch every Sunday. Sadly, those pesky sky-high prices prevent us from doing so. But, hosting a pot luck-style brunch is a lovely alternative. Whip up a savory breakfast casserole, put the coffee on and invite your friends to each bring over their favorite morning treats. One gal could stop by the market for the champagne and orange juice. Another could bring a tasty fruit salad. And the baker in your bunch could make some delicious pastries to share. Set your delicious goodies out on a large table or counter and get your gossip on! You could even create adorable (and free!) eVites to send to everyone!

Play Dress Up
1016_cheap_date_ideas_clothes_sm.jpg
I debated telling you guys that this is something I actually do with my friends, but embarrassment be darned, we had such a blast that I couldn’t keep it under wraps. A few weekends ago, two of my girlfriends came over and one shared that she had no idea what to wear for an upcoming job interview. We shopped my closet for ideas and after trying on a few pencil skirts and shift dresses, we thought it’d be fun if she tried on a few adventurous styles that she’d otherwise never wear. It was like Sarah Jessica Parker’s outfit montage from the first Sex and the City movie, with far fewer designer labels. We pumped the Britney Spears Pandora station, ordered pizza and enjoyed a few beers Chris had in the fridge. We kept ourselves giggling (and for some reason dancing) for nearly two hours.

Movie Mavens
1016_cheap_date_ideas_movies_sm.jpg
Find a dollar theater, a movie theater that shows older films at bargain prices, and head there with your dolls. The dough you save on admission could bankroll your bounty at the concession stand. Or you could be naughty and sneak in your own treats—I won’t tell anyone! The thing I love about dollar theaters is that since the flicks have been out for awhile, the audience is often kind of sparse. If you have the whole theater to yourselves, you girlies could dissect and critique the movie the entire time and not worry about being shushed.

What are your favorite budget-friendly things to do with your gal pals? How often do you ladies splurge when going out with your girlfriends? And please tell me some of you still play dress up with your besties!

Looking for even more cheap date ideas?
* 3 sweet (and affordable) ideas for double dates.
* 4 dates for crummy weather.
* And here are a few ideas for a mellow night in.

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Photos from top: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize, Jupiter Images, Stockbyte

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Advice for Older Single Guys

Until recently, I was one of those “older single guys.” Past 35 and still not married, people always said, “We have to get you married” or “You're such a great catch, why aren’t you married”. Of course, someone always had a suggestion of a great woman. I was happy people still thought of me but it was actually pretty tiresome and exhausting. Despite the optimism and encouragement of others, I started to lose hope. Scores of dates over the years had worn me out. Too many times I’d either wasted my time or gotten my hopes up – only to be disappointed. I was slowly becoming convinced that for whatever reason I was never going to get married.

Despite everything, I did meet an amazing woman and we recently got married. I learned a lot along the journey to the chuppah and have observed what many singles seem to be doing right… and wrong. In the interest of helping others cut down on the wear and tear of being single, here are some pieces of advice for older single guys (and probably many younger guys as well):

1. Get back into the race. What choice is there?

More times than I care to remember, I went out on first or second dates that I thought were terrific only to find out the woman thought otherwise. When I found out the “bad news” I would feel as if I’d been kicked in the stomach. Inevitably I’d call my rabbi. I’d tell him what was going on and unload the full weight of my being single. It was usually pretty depressing and melodramatic.

What my rabbi sang to me was closer to reality than my over-the-top sense that there was no hope.

He’d listen carefully and be sympathetic, but then (and I kid you not) he’d sing me lyrics from Frank Sinatra's That's Life: “I pick myself up and get back in the race.” He did this every time. I can’t say I was thrilled the first few times; it didn’t match the terrible state I felt I was in. But eventually I realized that what my rabbi sang to me was much closer to reality than my over-the-top sense that there was no hope. I needed to just keep going, and while I might be a bit down or need a short break, there was no choice but to get back into the race.

2. Have “turnkey” date plans ready

I had way too much going on my life to constantly think of amazing new dates all the time. If you like finding new things to do, then by all means, go for it. But if being a social activities director is a bit much for you, have a few set date ideas that you know work. Examples: a Starbucks date (in a Starbucks that you know has seating available) or a miniature golf date etc. Make it easy on yourself. As long as you offer your date a reasonable option or two, in general she’ll be happy with the choices. Keep in mind that the main point of the date is to get to know your date – not to try out every single dating possibility on earth or to show how creative you are.

3. If you're dating to get married, then act like it

Remember why you are dating and what the purpose of a date is. Don’t just go out and hang out over and over again. While the date can be fun – just make sure you are learning about the woman you are dating. Have an idea of what you want to ask and what you want to learn about her. Otherwise, you may go out several times and still not know each other much better than you did after the first or second date.

4. Be forgiving

Dating requires having a thick skin. When you have been dating for a long time, you can become overly sensitive to slights and insults, imagined or real. So try to have a forgiving attitude. If your date doesn’t say exactly the appropriate thing, let it go. This doesn’t mean you have to become a doormat (never a good idea!). But don't turn the tiniest offhanded comment into a big deal.

5. Be willing to do what it takes

To find my wife, I needed to be willing to do whatever it took. If that meant traveling, I traveled. If it meant going to someone’s house for a Shabbos meal, I went. If it meant going to a matchmaker, I went. Trust me, I didn’t like doing all this stuff. But I realized I needed to do my part in the process. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t always cheap or fun. But it eventually led to meeting my wife. It was worth it.

6. Slow down there, Bucko

If you met a woman you like, that's fantastic. Now build on it. Many guys dating a woman prematurely roll out a laundry list of all their problems, weaknesses and “issues.” Would you do this with a new client or with a new colleague at work? While there are exceptions, the third date is not a signal to let down your guard and spill your guts about your deepest feelings and fears. It is a bit early, to say the least. Women may listen sympathetically and even be quite involved in the conversation, but that does not mean it makes them like you more or feel closer to you. It's a bit immodest to share so much so quickly; it creates a false intimacy. It's like microwaving a fine dish that really needs slower cooking.

Yes you need to share, but unpeel the onion slowly.

When we talk about other parts of our lives (work, shul etc.) we're usually positive, upbeat and have a “can do” attitude. Have that attitude about yourself on dates. I am not suggesting lying or being closed. I am suggesting that you pace yourself. No need to spill your guts about negative stuff early on.

Yes, you need to share – how else are you going to connect with a woman? But make sure to unpeel the onion slowly.

7. Listen to what women tell you about dating

Women told me that they did not like going out without being told beforehand whether they were going to dinner or not (they didn’t care either way, but would eat beforehand if they knew to do so). They didn’t like going out (the first few dates) with a guy who had no plan for the date. They preferred being given an option on a date (would you like to go here….or there?). If women in your life give you advice about dating – listen. Chances are it will very helpful.

8. Despite it all, have fun in your life and on dates too

Yes, it is tough being an older single. Okay, next topic. That really needs to be your approach (except for the conversations you have with your closest friends). People will listen, they’ll smile, but you gain very little by becoming the raging single that spews forth about terrible first dates, awful matchmakers and evil dating websites. You’ll sound bitter, you'll become bitter, and you will be concentrating on the tough things in your life rather than the sweeter things.

Sharing a funny anecdote is fine, but don't become a complainer.

Instead of focusing on what's missing, enjoy life, do fun and meaningful things. Don’t wait for marriage to give you permission to vacation, to volunteer, to host people….whatever it is. And enjoy your date. After all, women are a lot more attracted to someone happy and upbeat.

While you're dating you are on a waiting list to get married… so make sure to enjoy the wait. And keep in mind a quote from Winston Churchill which kept me going: “Never, never, never, never give up.”

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3 Cheap Double Date Ideas

Monday, 10/4/2010 at 3:00PM

We’re pals with quite a few couples so I’m always down for double dates. But the old standby of meeting up a cute neighborhood restaurant for dinner can get pricey fast. So we’ve put together a fun list of double date ideas that won’t break the bank.

Retro Double Features
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Invite your best couple friends over (after you’ve both had dinner) and watch your favorite movies together. Ask them to bring along a copy of an older movie they can’t get enough of. Whip together a few snacks (this one looks tasty!) and enjoy! After you’ve watched their movie, pop in a classic movie you and your beau love. Chris and I would pick Ghostbusters or Bladerunner.

Kingpins and Queenpins
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Bowling is surprisingly budget-friendly, especially on weekdays or during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. While there are plenty of fancy-schmancy lanes out there, I prefer the old-school, 80s style venues. They remind me of being a kid, plus they’re usually way more affordable than the high-end spots. A little competition is always fun; you could play guys against gals, couple against couple, older versus younger, whatever rolls your bowling ball! The losers can buy a round of drinks or snacks for the victors. Light beer and nachos at the snack shop won’t set you back too much.

Game On
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Speaking of competition, invite a few of your couples friends over for a few rounds of your favorite board or card games. Each couple could strategize to gain the upper hand or it could just be a free for all. When I’m playing Monopoly, I’m in it to win it! During rounds (and trash-talking) you can all munch on tasty homemade snacks or guilty pleasures like Funyuns and CornNuts.

Do you like double dates? What are your favorite double date activities? Do you tend to go out on doubles with his friends or yours?

A few more ideas for dating fun on the cheap!
* 4 cheap dates ideas for a mellow Saturday night.
* Staying in? Try these fun dates on for size.
* Ideas galore! Smitten readers share their favorite no-frills dates.

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Photos from top: Chris Clinton/Lifesize, Thinkstock and Vincent Le Prince/Stockbyte.

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Fun, Creative Date Ideas Make Being Frugal Sexy from Informa Research Services

CALABASAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--If you were being set up on a blind date with someone described as “frugal,” what words would come to mind? In a recent survey by ING Direct, “3.7 percent answered ‘sexy,’ while 15 percent picked ‘boring’ and 27 percent chose ‘stingy’” (Source: New York Times). Considering the current economy, frugality and financial savvy should be the newest additions to the list of attractive attributes for a prospective sweetheart. Informa Research Services, a subsidiary of Informa plc (LSE: INF), suggests some fun dating ideas that won’t put you on bad terms with your date or your bank account (http://www.erate.com/).

It is important to remember that when dating, your focus should not be on the amount of money spent, but instead on the quality of time you are spending with your special someone. Here are some budget-friendly dates that won’t break your bank:

  • Visit a museum. Depending on your date, a museum can be a fun choice of venue for getting to know each other a little better. Some museums, such as the Getty Museum, are free all the time. Check each museum’s website to get details on admission prices and to see if they offer free or discounted admission at certain times throughout the month.
  • Go for a walk or a run. Find a fun part of town where you can take a stroll among shops and restaurants while engaging in casual conversation. People watching can be a great conversation starter! If you are both into sports, a run along the beach can be a fun way to get some together time while getting your workout done.
  • Take advantage of happy hour deals. Even if you don’t drink, most restaurants offer great deals on their appetizers and food. Furthermore, these promotions usually do not require coupons.
  • Look online for deals and coupons. Look to the Internet to find great deals on dining and adventures. Sites such as Groupon, Restaurant.com, and LivingSocial offer deeply discounted deals on restaurants, spas, and sports for major cities around the country. Sign up for their email newsletters to stay informed of the latest deals.

Speaking of searching the Internet, online rate tables found on sites such as ERATE.com make it easy to find local banks and credit unions offering great rates on savings accounts, which can help maximize the benefit of your conscious frugality. For instance, American Express is offering a high-yield savings account that earns 1.30 percent annually. This is over three times the current national average, according to Informa Research Services weekly interest survey (Source: Informa Research Services’ Interest Rate Review).

Follow Informa Research Services on Twitter (@InformaResearch).

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Permission is granted to reprint this release in part or in its entirety as long as source credit is properly listed.

About Informa Research Services, Inc. (www.informars.com)

Since 1983, Informa Research Services, Inc., has provided the financial industry's most extensive array of market research, mystery shop, and decision-support information.

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How About We…Not? : 8 Creative ‘Date’ Ideas That Should Put You On Guard

You may have read the Sunday Styles piece this week about HowAboutWe.com, a new dating site that emphasizes the date activity over, say, your height/age/weight preference in a potential mate. So for instances, you’d go on the site and see that a guy has proposed to go to the opera and then take a stroll through the park, and you are just that type of gal that LOVES operas and parks. Bingo, date time!

Of course this site, much like The New York Times previous Internet dating profile subject, SeekingArrangements.com, has it’s drawbacks. You can see what a guy looks like, but since it’s more about a shared interest in activities, there isn’t as much information to go on about this web date you’re about to blindly tumble into. So we’ve created a handy warning chart for “how about we” ideas that might end up differently than you planned.

• How About We: Go to the Highline Park, get ice-cream, and hang out in the dark alley behind my house for a couple hours.

• How About We: Just put the lotion in the basket, or get the hose again.

• Just totally gorge on chocolates all day while visiting different candy stores. Oh my god, so much chocolate. I love chocolate so much. You: Must love chocolate as much as I do, or else this will never work between us. Let me feed you chocolate. I’m what is described in our community as a “feeder.”

• How About We: Go avenge my father’s death. The danger is sexy!

• How About We: Rob a bank. J/k. Unless you’re into that? No cops plz.

• How About We: Go to my house so you can watch me play Halo for 17 consecutive hours. That will give you a sense of what our relationship will actually be like.

• How About We: Go to the library, and spend a relaxing day looking up our family trees to see how far back we can trace our heritage? Btw, I only date girls whose ancestors are descended from a pure blood line.

• How About We: Go shopping. Chicks dig shopping, right? (Maybe afterwards we can go play some Madden on my PSP, no pressure, but I did take you shopping.)

Looking for a date? Check out more dates — hopefully not the creepy kind — at our sister site TheGloss’ new dating page, brought to you in partnership with HowAboutWe.com.

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