Category: Dating Ideas

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5 Ways to Clinch the Third Date

[unable to retrieve full-text content]But the next step might not be what you think. So instead of the oh-so-cliché Friday night dinner, suggest one of these five third-date ideas. Sure, they all start in the afternoon—but don’t be surprised if they end the next morning. 1. Head to an ...

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Where to Go on Your First Date

Where to Go on Your First Date

That is an age-old question. Cave men had it made. They firmly believed in kidnapping and taking their date to a filthy cave out in the middle of nowhere. Those were what was known as the good old days. Now

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What to Talk About on a Date

What to Talk About on a Date

I’m sure you want your date to have fun and you want to have fun, too! You want to ensure that the conversation is interesting and stimulating to both of you. Body language always speaks first in any conversation. When

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Get them excited on the First Date

Get them excited on the First Date

When you have been talking to someone online for a time you both may decide to take the next step with a real life date. Online dating can be very beneficial but without a good connection in real life, you

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Fun Date Ideas For Couples

Fun Date Ideas For Couples

Many people think of dates as something for young, new couples who are in love. This is true. However, when people say that, they think fun dating trips and outings are exclusive to this group of people. This is not

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Eight Most Seductive Dating Ideas

Eight Most Seductive Dating Ideas

Whether you are in a relationship or in a dating stage, you need to be aware of the significance of seductive dating which has great impact on keeping or even establishing a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, your

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The Going Out Guide

I have to say I always find something I want a full glass of at Bluejacket, and I usually start with a flight of all the new beers that have been added since my last visit. The "standard" beers are interesting enough for people who just want an IPA, o...

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Got Plans: Advice from the Going Out Guide

I have to say I always find something I want a full glass of at Bluejacket, and I usually start with a flight of all the new beers that have been added since my last visit. The "standard" beers are interesting enough for people who just want an IPA, o...

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How Nobel-Winning Economic Theories Can Help Your Online Dating

By Paul Oyer

You surely have days (or at least did when you were single) when you wonder how you will ever find the right life partner. Invariably, you come back to the same old realization: “I need the advice of an economist. An economist would know how to solve my problem!”

No? Not familiar? Well maybe you should give it a try. The dating world is a market and markets are what economists know best. When I recently began dating again and went searching for a new partner online, I saw firsthand that understanding economics can give you a leg up.

So I’m happy to share four ideas that were so insightful in the world of economics that they won Nobel Prizes – and how you can apply them to find the perfect mate online. In a nutshell, my advice is to go big, beware the assumptions that will be made about you, put your money where your mouth is, and settle.

Step 1, Picking a Site: Go Big

Pick a big dating online site. Or, in economic-speak, go to a “thick market.”

Potential life partners are like any other “differentiated good”: No two are alike. If you were to rank everyone on a given dating site in terms of how perfect a match they are for you, you are likely to find more people who are better matches if there are more people to choose from. It’s that simple (though actually making markets thick can be very complicated, which led to Al Roth’s 2012 Nobel Prize).

Drawing a parallel to the job market, consider an engineer looking for a position in St. Louis versus one looking in San Jose. There are lots of great jobs for engineers in St. Louis. But there are so many more engineering jobs in San Jose that a given engineer will, on average, find a job that better fits her skills in San Jose than in St. Louis. By the same token, you are more likely to find a partner to your liking on a large site such as or eHarmony than you are on a smaller site like or

Step 2, Creating an Online Profile: Be Careful What You Say – People Make Assumptions

When I first posted my online dating profile, I listed myself as “separated” because my divorce was not final. While I thought “separated” meant “ready to move on happily to the next relationship,” I was told by many women that “separated” also suggests “emotional wreck still really bitter over recently failed marriage” or, worse yet, “testing the waters but may end up going back to my spouse.” This might explain why the response rate to my initial messages to women was not exactly overwhelming.

George Akerlof won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for explaining my problem. “Adverse selection” suggests that you should beware of hidden information. Akerlof described this in the context of selling a used car. He pointed out that people assume your car is a lemon unless there is a way to prove otherwise. People assumed that I, like so many separated men, was not emotionally ready to move on – that is, I was a relationship lemon.

So be careful what you say about yourself because people make assumptions. If you are in your forties and have never been married, people will assume you cannot maintain a long-term relationship. If you admit you like Nascar, people may assume you are a redneck. Your idiosyncrasies will be cute to your significant other someday, but they are negative stereotypes to people who don’t know you yet. 

Step 3, Meeting in Person: Burn Money on Your First Date 

I hate to shatter your illusions but online dating profiles are full of exaggerations and lies. Objective data show that men lie on dating sites about their income and their height while women under-report their age and weight. Anecdotally, I can tell you that many women whose profiles promise they are fun, optimistic, and “athletic and toned” are either liars or delusional. (As to what they might say about the accuracy of my own profile, I can only speculate.)

What does that have to do with economics? Economists think lying, or “cheap talk,” is just a rational way to influence others. Smart consumers should discount people’s statements on dating profiles because we all feel some pressure to be less than truthful ourselves.

A few dating sites abroad have started verifying information about height, income, and other objective claims. But what can you do if you can’t use such a site? What you ideally want to do is prove that you are rich (or whatever characteristic you want to highlight) by incurring some cost that those who do not have that trait would not be willing to incur. This idea of “signaling” won Michael Spence the Nobel Prize in 2001, though he focused on the higher education market rather than the world of romance.

A great example of effective signaling can be found in the movie “The Dark Knight.” The Joker burns a big pile of money to prove to his co-conspirators that his goals are broader than just making money. So, if you want to prove you really are rich, you could burn a big pile of money on the first date. Ironically, to an economist, the crazy actions of a maniacal and evil movie character seem like a great way to impress a date. But even economists understand there are social norms and that the money bonfire may not be effective. So you may want to use more conventional methods like wearing expensive clothes, picking up the check, tipping well, and not keeping the receipt.

Step 4, Choosing a Partner: Settle

I tricked you. I told you that I was going to help you find the perfect mate. But there is no perfect mate and, even if there is, you will never find that person.

Once you accept that, you can apply the ideas in “search theory” that won economists Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides a Nobel Prize in 2010. Basically, they analyzed the economic consequences and trade-offs that people face regularly when deciding whether to accept the best option available or to keep looking. In the online dating world, this means that looking at another profile may unveil someone who will make you happier than anyone you know. When you think of it that way, you almost feel a responsibility to look at another profile. How can you sit here reading this column when the very next profile you look at could be the best match for you? But we all know that logic doesn’t work—we don’t spend an unlimited amount of time looking for “the one” because we also want to eat, earn money, and watch “Homeland” (well, we used to).

Settle. There, I said it. You don’t want to admit it. You love your mate and think he or she is the greatest. Or, if you are still looking, you are hoping you will find someone “perfect.” But, at some point, you should say to yourself (though I don’t recommend you say this out loud), “My partner is truly wonderful. If I kept looking, I could probably do better. But I have to earn a living, make dinner, walk the dog, and do a bunch of other stuff. So I’m going to settle for this person and move on with life. It could certainly be a lot worse.” An economist would say that, by doing so, you maximize your expected utility.

What happens to people who search too much – who can’t settle? Mortensen and Pissarides show that picky firms and overly choosy job seekers contribute to unemployment. When it comes to life partners, settling for someone really good is better than waiting for someone who is perfect and potentially being “romantically unemployed” for the rest of your life.

We economists have even more great dating advice to offer but let’s leave it there for now. The key is that dating is a market and you have to be in the market to succeed in the market. It worked for me. Through online dating, I found a wonderful and sweet girlfriend. So get out there and remember – go big, watch what you say, put your money where your mouth is, and then settle for less than perfection.

Paul Oyer is a professor of economics at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Labor Economics. He is the author of “Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating.”

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10 offensively terrible dating tips from the religious right

10 offensively terrible dating tips from the religious right

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNetWe may have survived yet another war on Christmas. But we must remain vigilant. For the very same secularist, Muslim, homosexualist, communist, atheist freedom-haters who try to take the Christ out of Christmas (and put the melanin into Santa and Jesus) are attacking the very nexus of our entire 2,000-year-old (give or take) Earth: the relationship between man and wife. But have no fear. Below are some handy and holy tips on love, relationships, dating and marriage, which allow you to please yourself (not that way), your mate and your Lord.

1. Girls: Shut up. Justin Lookadoo (how sexy is that name!) is a faith-based dating coach, motivational speaker and former juvenile probation officer (killer combo). His books include “Dateable: Are You? Are They?,” “The Dateable Rules” and “The Dirt on Sex.” Lookadoo’s website offers the following  gems:

  • “Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves.”
  • Shutting up also prevents girls from doing undateable things like asking boys out.
  • “God made guys as leaders. Dateable girls get that and let him do guy things, get a door, open a ketchup bottle [never thought of that one]. They… let guys be guys. Which means they don’t ask him out!!!!!”

Also, a dateable girl “isn’t Miss independent.”

2. Boys: Be wild, but godly, and cover up your ladies. Lookadoo says dateable boys “bring God into it.” But that’s more fun than it sounds, since “men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren’t tamed.” But that doesn’t mean being too wild: God’s dateable guys know “porn is bad for the spirit and the mind. They keep women covered up.”

3. Share an eating disorder. The Christian Broadcast Network has some (101, to be exact) ideas for “ Creative Dates.” A few of my favorites are nutrition-related: “Make up a fun diet together,” or “Eat creatively one whole day for $1.18.”

4. Engage in strange, antisocial and alienating behavior. Among the CBN’s date ideas are, why not “Kidnap a friend for breakfast … visit the library and ask the librarian a bizarre question … develop a new laugh together … survey the neighborhood with a self-made, bizarre questionnaire … go to the airport and watch people … run your own neighborhood day camp for one day.”

5. Pretend to be senior citizens. The 101 dating tips above are so fun you’ll probably run through them in no time. But don’t despair. Focus on the Family has even more great suggestions, including, “Date like you’re from the generation older or younger than you actually are. Eat ice cream cones and rollerblade in the park for a date fit for teenagers. If you prefer senior-style fun, eat applesauce, play bingo and watch a black-and-white movie.” While you’re at it, rock some Depends underwear, blast Fox News, and complain about having to keep up with the latest terms for black people.

6. Transcribe the Bible together. If you want to bring religion directly into your date, try out the following Focus on the Family  idea: ”Find a flat piece of scrap wood and use a permanent marker to write out your favorite Bible verses. Take it to a nearby beach, river or lake and toss it in the water. This may be of great encouragement to whoever finds it later on.” Fun for you, fun for your date, and totally creepy for the random person who finds it! What’s not to like?

7. Wives: Keep the devil out by submitting. Karen Blake, the author of  “Do You Hear the Battle Cry? An Essential Handbook for the Wives of Christian Men,” has  a lot to say about marriage. The bad news is that, “Satan is out to kill your marriage and destroy your ministry.” (But we already knew that.) The good news is that “God has given you the tools to defeat him.” One of the best Satan-defeating tools is submission: “The devil has worked for centuries to set up a world system that says a strong woman must never submit to a man. It says, “Submission means getting walked on.” God clearly commands, “Wives, be subject—be submissive and adapt yourselves—to your own husbands” (Eph. 5:22, Amplified).” As usual, Michele Bachmann is right.

8. Put out so your husband behaves. In her book  ”No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage,” Julianna Slattery offers some great tips on how women can help their helpless husbands resist temptation. Take the story of Sheila and Mark:

“While Sheila seemed content to put their sexual relationship on hold for the time being, Mark responded by initiating more frequently. If he was a deer panting for water, she was a camel who seemed capable of walking through the desert for months at a time without a water break. [powerful imagery!]

Over time, Mark began to direct his sexual needs through masturbation and light pornography. A few nights a week, he would stay up late, surfing channels, hoping to catch a glimpse of something sexual. The guilt and shame he felt only intensified the rift of intimacy in their marriage…. More than anything else, he longed to be pure, to share his sexuality only with Sheila. But life was too busy, his desire too strong, his will too weak, and the gulf between them too great.

Like Mark, your husband depends on you to be his partner in his battle against sexual temptation…. you are a key component in his victory. You’re the only woman in the world whom your husband can look at sexually without compromising his integrity!”

9. Dump your Muslim girlfriend. Pat Robertson has much good advice for relationships. A Christian (duh) viewer of Pat Robertson’s 700 Club asked the holy host if he should marry his Muslim girlfriend of three years.  Pat’s answer: “No way…. She wants to do her Muslim thing….Walk away.” Worried that walking out on a girlfriend isn’t the Christian thing to do? Don’t worry. It totally is. Robertson explains, Christ is “not gentle Jesus, meek and mild, he really isn’t.” Like so many men, Jesus Christ is merely misunderstood.

10. Stay married to your husband who sexually abuses your kids. In her surprisingly not very forward-thinking book,  “Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious,” Debi Pearl literally  tells women to stay with their abusive husbands:

“But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself…. Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution. Will this glorify God? Forever. You ask, “What if he doesn’t repent even then?” Then you will be rewarded in heaven equal to the martyrs, and God will have something to rub in the Devil’s face. God hates divorce — always, forever, regardless, without exception.”

God totally hates divorce. But he hearts abuse!

Katie Halper

More Katie Halper.

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The 9 Best Ice-Breaking First-Date Ideas

Friday, 12/13/2013 at 10:30AM


Sometimes all it takes is the right location to ease into a first date. Reddit came up with some great ideas (and some puns, but I didn’t include those because how many “ice breaking” puns do you really need in a comment thread, really?) as to how to make the awkwardness of a first date work for you. Here are the nine best, as voted by Redditors.


1. “I took my wife to the zoo on our first date. she’s still with me now, and I’m an asshole, so I guess it worked.”

2. “A coffee date worked for me and my girlfriend. It got us comfortable enough with each other that we made our second date a hike through a national park. (Meaning she trusted me enough by that point to go somewhere I could have dumped her body with no witnesses). Edit: My girlfriend is still alive.”

3. “I always liked mini golf. Just a good way to have some fun and check out her ass while you let her win.”

4. “It literally is ice skating…the girl, whether she wants to or not, will have to hold your arm or hand, you are both occupied throughout the activity, and one of you falling will break down the embarrassment barrier! Ice skating and then a meal is a great first date.”

5. “Bowling, for many reasons. It’s a dumb game that you can laugh at together. It’s competitive but playful at the same time, so you can flirt and mess around a bit with the trash talking. You don’t have to be next to each other the whole time but to have to pay attention to the other person. It’s easy to celebrate a strike or a good roll or whatever. And there is always a bar.”

6. “Alcohol.”

7. “Dog walking…To be clear, I don’t just ask strangers to walk dogs with me. The situation has always been that I get to know them first in larger group settings (bars, work, sporting events). Then, when I’m looking for something we can do as ‘just the two of us’ I suggest they come with me to walk my dog. Conversation seems to be easier when you're walking, and you can always fall back on talking about your dog. It helps that my yellow Lab is the world’s biggest sweetheart.”

8. “Museums. You can learn a lot from someone just based off of what they like at the museum. What they know, how smart they are, what they’re into. Everything is an easy conversation piece. It’s usually free and interactive.”

9. “Amusement park! The excitement will lower the amount of awkwardness.”

—Written by Jillian Lucas for HowAboutWe

Have you tried any of these date ideas for a first date? Any other good ones to add?

More From HowAboutWe:
*20 Questions We Wish We Could Ask on a First Date (but Never Actually Would)
*11 Dating Dos and Don’ts We Learned From Broadway Musical First Date
*13 Things That Go Through Your Head Before a First Date

Photos: Courtesy of FOX

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Guys’ guide to date ideas in London: Coal Vaults

Guys' guide to London date venues: Coal Vaults

You’re a guy in London. You’ve somehow managed to wangle yourself a date, but you’ve discovered Nando’s is no longer an acceptable date venue – what do you do? Try taking her for cocktails and light bites at Coal Vaults.

For the modern gent, there are a variety of things you must consider when selecting the perfect date venue.

One of the factors being what type of occasion you’re trying to nail.

Typically, a couple celebrating an anniversary will be looking for something a little different than a pair on their first date, yet frustratingly, these are the hardest (and most crucial) to get right.

So allow me give you a helping hand.

For the all-important first date, there are few places I could recommend higher than Soho basement bar Coal Vaults.

Coal Vaults

Situated on the bustling and uber-competitive Wardour Street, the easily missable Coal Vaults front door will lead you down to an intimate setting featuring all the classic Soho bar traits.

Copper, timber, steel, raised tables, exposed brickwork – it’s got the lot..but this is by no means a bad thing.

The look is very on-trend and will automatically give you and your date the sense that you’re in for a stylish, yet relaxed evening where you can really get to know each other.

Once you’re both comfortably perched on your stools, you can tuck into the wonderfully created seasonal sharing plates, with expertly made homemade cocktail infusions to compliment each dish.

Devilled (read: spicy) popcorn, monkfish cheeks, potted crab and pulled rabbit light up the ever-changing menu, and prices range from a very moderate £4-9 per plate.

You have to have some food cross your table to satisfy licensing laws, and four to five plates will comfortably fill a party of two – but don’t forget, you’ve got some cocktails to get through!

Like the food, the cocktail selection (also £9ish) changes by season, although they do keep the house favourites around so it’s worth asking what’s hot.

And if by the end of the night you’re still unsure whether you’ve had a satisfactory evening, a trip to the penny-covered ladies loo, or the gents’ steel orb urinals should definitely sway the balance.

Click here for more information about Coal Vaults

MORE: Guys’ guide to London date venues: Coya

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Cheap date night ideas for lovebirds on a budget

Dating can be an expensive business, especially in the early days when you’re both eager to impress.

Even for long time lovebirds, the financial cost of date night can quickly extinguish your enthusiasm.

Fortunately, and perhaps contrary to popular opinion, the cost of a date doesn’t determine it's quality. Aside from saving money, many of the best dates are borne out of creativity rather than price.

Here are some date ideas that can be romantic and thrifty.

Related: Is it more expensive being single?

Explore local markets and festivals

Some quick online research will reveal any upcoming markets, festivals or other free events in your area. Getting out and about is a savvy move for early stage dates, as the constant stimulus will distract from your nerves and keep the conversation flowing.

Related: Money saving tips for every day of the week

Arrange a picnic

If you’re aiming to impress, you might want to spring for some gourmet goodies here. But it still beats an expensive restaurant dinner, which can be a stuffy setting. You also get to BYO drinks which means it’s always happy hour. The bonus is that picnics are equally suited to daytime or evening, weather permitting of course. If you can nail the location, you’re definitely onto a winner.

Related:10 ways to reduce your grocery bills

Exchange your skills

The basic premise here is fostering a sense of reciprocity. Share a passion of yours with your date. Teach one another to cook a meal, surf or draw, whatever your specialty happens to be. It can be a fun way to learn more about each other and provides the opportunity to see one another in your respective elements. Find out how to turn your hobby into a cash cow.

Cheap Tuesdays

If you like eating out but are trying to keep a lid on your spending, find a happy medium and do a little bit of research to find out where has a good deal or themed night on. Most pubs have some good food bargains on throughout the week and cinemas often have discounted tickets on ‘cheap Tuesday’. This means you get out and about without the hefty price tag. Consider taking your date to a pub quiz, with free entry and prizes up for grabs.

Compare: High interest saving account

These are just a few of the creative and original ways to enjoy a special date with your partner, without breaking the purse strings. There are plenty of other romantic options out there, so get creative and don’t be limited by tradition.

Was this article useful? Use the feedback button below or comment and share your tips on our facebook page.

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Lifestyle: Seven cheap and creative date ideas for broke couples in love

For the low maintenance ladies out there looking for creative and cheap date ideas that won’t have you ordering off the dollar menu of a fast food joint, listen up. Dating does not have to abide by a strict dinner-and-a-movie rule. And if you’ve been dating the same man long term, you might be trying to save money for your future together. Grab your someone special and a few bucks and try some of these super creative and cheap date ideas. After all, you can still spend time with the one you love without spending tons of money.

1. Stage a fun photo shoot

When it comes to creative and cheap date ideas, staging your own couple photo shoot could really be a lot of fun. Go out to the nearest dollar store and buy a few props, such as oversized sunglasses, fake mustaches, glittery stickers or plastic hats. The dollar store is the perfect place to get maximum goofiness on a minimum budget. Then get out there and snap some photos. Instagram it on your phones or go old school and find yourself a disposable camera and a one hour photo lab. Either way, you’ll have a cute little date, some mementos to remember it by and pictures to show off.

2. Browse a local flea market

Flea markets are a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning with the man you love. You can wander around and get nostalgic about all the old toys you used to have. Maybe the two of you will find some cheap vintage decor for the apartment or just browse the wares while sipping on a fresh squeezed lemonade.

3. Make it an evening of competitive play at the cafe

Grab a Scrabble board and a hot coffee and put some friendly competition into your date night. Wager that the loser buys the dessert. With just a few board games and a cozy spot at your local coffee shop, you can have a fun and budget-friendly date that you both will enjoy.

4. Look for an outdoor movie screening

For the traditional couples who love going to the movies but aren’t looking to drop the $40 on tickets and snacks, seeing an outdoor movie is the best of both worlds. Weather permitting, local outdoor movie screenings can be a romantic get-together. Bring a blanket and some popcorn and cozy up to a screening of a celluloid classic. While this option is not available in every location or at every time of the year, if the time and place are right, give an outdoor movie a try.

5. Spend a day volunteering together

If you’ve found someone you really care about, you know you have a lot to be thankful for. So why not spend a day at a church fundraiser, soup kitchen, animal shelter or other worthy cause? Volunteering your time together will help you grow closer as a couple and will keep you mindful that expensive gifts or five-star restaurants aren’t the most important things in life.

6. Have a picnic in the park

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