Ladies: Is Love Really All You Need To Get Hitched?

Come on, I know what you’re thinking. Most romantics would agree with the title. All you need is love. A lot of women believe this is the only reason to get married. It’s so easy to say, but when it comes down to it, is it really true? After all, times are different now. Back then marriage was about stability, a promised future, and certain social status. Today, you can marry any man you want and all you need is two witnesses and to be happy with his, um, assets. Before you make the plunge, consider the following points:

• The first thing we have to check out is how the two of you interact during a problem or crisis. Can the two of you really handle one another or do you find someone pulling more weight than the other? I’ve seen couples go both ways, but no matter what reactions they had there was a hidden balance. Balance being they were able to work with each other, not against one another. A husband should be like a secretary, if you call in for a week they should be able to take over right away and pick up your slack with ease. Teamwork is important. You can’t be a one woman team, if you want to be, go ahead and enjoy being single until you’re ready.

• A lot of people don’t admit it, but having security really is a huge part in a couple’s relationship. You might be finishing up a college degree while he stays at home and plays Call of Duty on his Xbox. Don’t get me wrong, a man having gaming habits is a nice way to receive some space, but if this is all he does, is it worth it? A man has to have a job or some kind of dream of becoming more. You know the women that stay with the starving and struggling artist, it’s because they truly believe he will make it big someday, no matter how long it takes. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. Bottom line, ensure there is ambition within him or else you’ll be wondering why you never questioned it sooner.

• The biggest and most common question is the trust you hold within each other. You can love someone till the end of time, but if you’re torturing yourself day after day wondering if he’s seeing someone on the side based on his past, it’s not going to work. I say this because I care. Women are sympathetic, they want to be the ones to change their ways, but we have to accept the fact that sometimes it is not an option. Do not, I repeat, do not torture yourself if you question his intentions. You do not want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t care about you. By the time it’s over, you could have been happily married to some other guy for years. Don’t do it. Follow and trust your instincts on this.

Don’t get me wrong, loving someone is half the battle, but it cannot be the only thing you contemplate before making a life-long commitment. If you’ve honestly considered all of these ideas and still have some positive thoughts about your man, you have my personal blessing to get hitched. If later down the road you realize you’d made a horrible mistake, no big deal. You can always get your ring appraised and find out how much your diamond worth is and resell it.

Fran Delaney writes on love, relationships and marriage from her hometown of Los Angeles, CA.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Women

Valentines Day can send women into hopeful daydreaming, and because men know this, it can send men into panic mode. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make a woman’s heart flitter and stomach flip-flop (in the most romantic possible way, of course), and they don’t have to cost you a fortune, or a trip to the shopping mall. Need some ideas? Here are some great Valentines Day gifts for women:

A mix tape. You don’t have to find cassette tapes (and a tape recorder, for that matter) to create a mix tape, and a well-considered music compilation might just be the sweetest thing you can do for a woman (or anyone, actually). Need inspiration? Think of all the special, fun, or funny times you had together and include songs from that “soundtrack.” Also, be sure to include any song(s) that make you think of her, or your love for her.

Love Book. Visit the Love Book website to create a custom book all about the special woman in your life. From the easy to navigate interface, you can choose your book cover, title, pages, images, and text. You can even write your own pages, for a special touch. Love Book is a great way to create a keepsake that will make her smile every time she sees it.

Framed photos. In this day and age of digital cameras and smart phone pictures, you can make a great Valentines Day gift by making a custom piece of art out of a real photograph. Choose a special picture that you feel best represents your relationship, or even that depicts a memorable moment or a private joke, and take it to a custom framer to have it matted and framed. To go above and beyond, write a special message, or choose a favorite poem or text, and have it set into the matting.

Pampering. No matter what your woman’s tastes are, you really can’t go wrong with giving her a day of pampering at the spa. Show her how much she means to you by treating her to a massage, a facial, a pedicure and more. Call local spas and ask about their Valentines Day specials. You’ll be amazed at the deals you can find.

As you can see, there are many special things you can do to show your love on Valentines Day, and those things don’t require a lot of money. However, they do involve a lot of thought and consideration . . . which is exactly what she’ll be loving you for all the more the day she opens your gift.

About the Author: Gaylord Buhrman is an EKG technician on a tight budget. He and his wife have been married for 27 years and he knows that a thoughtful gift is far more important than a thoughtless and expensive gift.

Dating in a Foreign Country

Traveling abroad is a unique opportunity to get completely immersed in an entirely new culture.  You have the chance to learn about history, taste traditional foods and beverages, explore city landmarks, and possibly practice a second language.  Why not share this amazing experience with a stud muffin from the area?

Dating abroad can be refreshing and incredibly fun!  That being said, many people are skeptical of foreign flirtation, so I’ve created the following convincing argument:

Why date abroad?

1.  Because the men in your city just aren’t cutting it.  Surrounded by elderly gents?  Military men?  Gangsters?  Move it or lose it, sister!  Get out of town and explore what else the world has to offer.  There are nearly 7 billion people on this planet.  The problem is they’re not all conveniently located within a 60-mile radius.  That would be absolutely terrifying.  Time to set your sights on a new land and a new man!
2.  Visit a foreign city’s hidden gems.  Blend in with the locals at the best pubs, restaurants, stores, and city hot spots that tourists don’t know about.  Yes, you’re probably using your date to be hipster cool in a foreign city, but he’s probably using you to look popular…sooo whatever.
3.  Opportunity to learn and practice a foreign language.  Si, oui, da…that’s what you’ll say when the cute guy asks you out.  In all honesty, dating someone who speaks in a foreign tongue can be the best way to learn a new language.  You pick up on vocabulary quickly, and you begin to perfect the accent.  One of the perks: If you mess up, you don’t get reprimanded; you get kissed.
4.  Learn from the movie thriller Taken.  Without a doubt, there are dangerous, manipulative men everywhere, and they target innocent, female tourists.  Don’t be naïve.  It’s incredibly important to be hyper aware of your surroundings.  Avoid travelling places alone and always let a friend know where you’ll be going.  It is probably a smart idea to meet in a crowded place for your first dinner date.  Good luck.
5.  What’s the worst that could happen?  Chances are you’re in this new place for a limited amount of time.  If you somehow manage to make a disaster out of your date, you can avoid run-ins with the guy for a very, very long time.  Takes a lot of the pressure off!
6.  Great storytelling!  Your friends back home will undoubtedly want juicy details from your travels.  They will absolutely love hearing about your date, and you will enjoy re-living the romance, humor, or drama.
7.  Dating is a great way to meet people anywhere.  No matter the place, you can always enjoy time spent with someone new, interesting, and exciting.  Every date teaches you something—about the place, the person, and/or yourself!
Convinced?  I sure hope so!  Start planning your next adventure abroad and be open-minded about the foreign dating game. You might fall in love with the place or the man…or both.  You can definitely find reasonable flights on travel sights, such as Travelocity.com.  Don’t forget to use a promo code for Travelocity to save!

Erin Prickett is a dating enthusiast and an experienced traveler.  She spent a summer in Mexico and four months exploring several parts of Europe.  Prickett recommends that you use a promo code for Travelocity to save on your next romantic adventure.

5 Unusual Celebrity First Dates

It must be hard for a celebrity to organise a great first date. It’s got to be stylish and a bit different, but at the same time low-key and a little bit secretive. While most settle for a table in a quiet corner of a fancy restaurant there are a select few who have taken a bit of a gamble, with varying degrees of success. Here are five of the best.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

For his first date with Demi Moore Ashton Kuthcer decided to treat his future wife to the delights of In-N-Out Burger, a regional fast food restaurant chain across Western America. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a good burger but you’d think a Hollywood movie star might go for something a bit more upmarket.

He’s since explained that the date was deliberately low key in order to try and keep it hidden from the press. Whatever the reasoning the burger tactic obviously worked, and the couple were married for six years until there recent separation.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

This one is undoubtedly the flashiest entry on our list. Back is 2005 Hollywood’s most famous action-man treated Katie Holmes to some sushi, which might not sound all that unusual. However, it was served on Cruise’s very own private jet! Not many of us can claim to have ever done the same.

I guess Cruise was essentially showing off, but he obviously impressed his date as they were engaged to be married in just two months.

Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham

Mark Wahlberg took Rhea Durham (who is now his wife) to a catholic church for their first date, which is pretty unusual in itself. But what made the date even more extraordinary was the fact that Durham wasn’t even a catholic, which must have meant the whole experience was pretty intimidating.

Durham has now converted to Catholicism, and the pair were married in a traditional ceremony in 2009.

Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush

So far all of our unusual first dates have grown in to marriage, but Reggie Bush’s first date with Kim Kardashian is evidence that going off-piste isn’t always successful. Reggie began his first date by asking America’s premiere socialite to pick him up from the car wash. He then took her to Chipolete for a burrito, which I can’t imagine is somewhere the Kardashians regularly frequent. In defence of the NFL star though, they are good burritos!

Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift

This is another whirlwind romance that started with something a bit different. Jake Gylenhaal took Talyor Swift for a spot of apple picking on their first date in the Autumn of 2010, which actually sounds really romantic. Apparently he even did the gentlemanly thing and paid for all the apples they picked (which cost him about three dollars if you’re interested). What a brilliantly different idea for a first date. It’s just a shame the relationship didn’t last.

Johnny Anderson often writes about celebrity and relationship gossip. When he’s not doing this he spends his time researching and writing about Valentine’s gifts for the online gift retailer Find Me A Gift.

A Valentine’s Gift for your Man, Whatever the Stage of the Relationship

As Valentine’s Day approaches most couples start to think of the card and present they’ll get to show each other that they care. If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time then you may have developed some sort of established routine, or thought up a new surprise to celebrate the day.

Young Love

When relationships are new and you have only been together a matter of weeks it’s not always easy to know what your new boyfriend might like as a Valentine’s gift. In the beginning a small gift is more appropriate, such as a CD of a singer that you know he likes, or perhaps a book or DVD.  If you want to get something a bit more personal, and you know his size, you might want to get him a shirt or some other unique menswear item, perhaps from a Hugo Boss or Barbour outlet.

Shopping for the man in your life is never easy, but most women get more adept at it as time passes. When you get to know each other better, perhaps when your relationship has passed the three months mark and you begin to think of yourselves as a couple.

When you have been seeing each other for a few months you are still getting to know each other, if you want the relationship to continue you might want to find him a Valentine’s gift that will impress. Even though you don’t know everything about each other, you’ll know whether your guy has a particular interest or whether he is into the latest gadgets. If you know he’s been coveting a particular boy toy, a particular radio controlled car for instance, then why not make his day with that present.

Getting Serious

If Valentines Day comes around when you have been together for six months or more then other people will see you as a couple and the relationship is probably on a more serious footing.

If the weather is still very cold, as it often is in February, you might want to get him that sweater, part of a unique menswear range that would bring out the blue in his eyes. If you want to give him a Valentine’s gift of a shared experience, then why not book a table at your favourite restaurant. When you’ve eaten you can produce cinema tickets for the film you’ve both been meaning to see, surprise him why don’t you?

Long Term Partners

Once you’ve been together for a year or two, you may be looking at the long haul; there are plenty of personalised gifts available at stores like a Versace or Barbour outlet. By now, if you’re like most young couples you’ve probably been on holiday together and have lots of things to talk and laugh about.

One of the things to emerge in recent years has been the gift of an experience, or better still a shared experience. It’s possible to book experience weekends and although these are often sought after by businesses for a corporate team building exercise a growing number of individuals and couples enjoy the experience.

Shared experiences are the things that help to build and cement a relationship and Valentine’s Day is one of the best times for doing this.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Anna Davies the renowned Barbour outlet who stock a great range of unique menswear ideal for gifts.

The Top 5 Ways to Kill Someone’s Interest in You

I remember a time when this guy was interested in me. He was doing everything he could to make sure I noticed that he was in to me, and I was doing everything I could to make sure he didn’t know I was interested in him too. Of course soon he gave up on me and found someone else. That’s a mistake I never made again!

If you are single and looking then you probably don’t want to ruin your chances with someone who is interested in you – especially if you are interested in them back. By avoiding doing all the wrong things that drive them away, you will naturally do all the right things that keep them attracted to you, so here are the top 5 ways to kill someone’s interest in you.

1. Pretending You Are Not Interested in Them

Many people are advised to play this game with someone that is interested in them. It’s supposed to be a way to make them even more interested in you – kind of like a cat and mouse situation where they have to chase you. For the most part it doesn’t work.

Normally the person doing the ‘chasing’ becomes unsure of whether or not the ‘chasee’ is really interested in them. Soon the fear of rejection causes them to lose interest in the chase and move onto someone else. And even if they are not scared of you rejecting them, they will probably just grow tired of your coy attitude with them and give up.

2. Trying to Make Them Jealous

This is another game that many people are advised to play. It’s supposed to make the person attracted to you grow even more attracted to you due to jealousy. It’s a dangerous game, and instead of winning at the game, most of the time your admirer will quickly grow angry that you chose someone else instead of them. This will cause them to move on to someone who actually shows interest in them, and them only.

3. Showing Your Mean Side

If your admirer is attracted to you it’s probably because of one or more admirable traits. But nothing can overshadow those traits like a fit of rage and anger can.

Not many people will be attracted to you because you are mean or cold in nature. Even a glimpse of that side of you may be enough to turn someone off, so remember to always show your best side out in public – and try to always live your best side. You will be happier and you will keep your admirers around!

4. Complaining

A person can only listen to so much complaining from someone before they completely cut that person off from their ‘I’m attracted to this person’ list. Complaining makes you look crabby, unreasonable, and difficult to deal with. Who would want to get into a relationship with someone like that?

To thwart complaining start taking action! Don’t waste time complaining but instead fix the issues that would cause you to complain in the first place. It’s much more admirable. Plus you will gain attraction by your admirer if you are a go-doer who gets things done.

5. Criticizing Them The Wrong Way

Chances are the person interested in you is involved in your life some way. If you are interacting on a conversational level then you want to make sure that you don’t bruise their ego in some way or make them feel as though you believe you are superior to them.

If you point the finger at someone and tell them they are doing something wrong in a negative way then you will instantly lose their respect and gain their annoyance. You may think that you are being helpful when you tell them how to do something, but you may actually cause them to think that you are telling them that they are wrong and you are right. Anyone attracted to you will be turned off immediately!

Of course there are times that they will be doing something wrong and you may need to direct them in a different direction. Instead of pointing the finger or blaming them in a direct way, use the indirect method with constructive criticism. This means giving them positive feedback followed by constructive criticism.

For instance, if you are critiquing an office memo they wrote then you may want say something like ‘You really know what you are doing when it comes to getting your point across!’ followed by constructive criticism such as ‘maybe you can point out even more great things about not eating other people’s lunches.’ This sounds a lot better than saying ‘You need to add more detail to that list!’

While these are the top 5 ways to kill someone’s interest in you, there are many ways to lose the interest of an admirer. Remember that keeping their interest boils down to being the real you, letting them see you in a positive light, and making them feel as though you value them. Remember those tips and your admirers will always admirer you.

About The Author:

Bellaisa writes for the Relationship Circle, a blog with relationship advice on everything from common relationship issues to how to find love.