How To Have A Low Fuss “Friendsgiving”

A “Friendsgiving” is a great way for friends to get together for a potluck and wine. Perfect for those who can’t afford a plane ticket back to their hometown. However, when getting a group together with different personalities and expectations drama can enter the chat. The best thing is getting ahead of it by knowing what is assigned and knowing your strengths. How can you prepare for the potluck without the headache?…..

Understand the assignment…..

Everyone needs to know who is bringing what. There needs to be wine, appetizers, sides, and dessert. The host should be providing the turkey, but should do what makes logical sense to the group. Non-cooks should volunteer to bring wine and cheese and people who are well-versed in cooking should bring a side dish.

Don’t nickel-and-dime your friends…..

Listen… you will be spending money. Don’t Venmo-request people later and understand that everyone is pulling their weight. Honestly, even if they aren’t, don’t cause a scene. Spend what your budget allows you to spend. For some people, it’s no big deal to drop $50 plus, whereas others may feel that is steep. 

Help with prep if needed…..

Depending how close you are to the host, offer to help prep. This can mean from chopping vegetables to making pies. Make it fun by playing music and having the football game in the background.

Offer entertainment….

Like I said, there will probably be football on. As a backup plan, have a drinking game going or something to entertain people while the pies are baking. I always keep a deck of cards in my purse just in case. 

Be ok with breaking into groups…..

It’s natural for little groups to form. Depending on how many people were invited there might not be space for everyone to sit at one table together. In that case a buffet style where people help themselves makes the most sense. Try to mingle within groups until you find one that clicks best. 

Think twice about bringing your “situationship”….

There are people who don’t deserve to meet your friends. Any guy who doesn’t even know your middle name should not be invited. I know it feels better to bring someone, especially when everyone is coupled up. Resist the urge and be brave representing yourself. These are your friends and you should spend quality time getting closer to 2nd- and 3rd-tier people. 

Don’t get too wasted….

I mean, if you can handle your liquor, then go for it, especially if you don’t plan on driving. This is the time to indulge a little bit more and enjoy yourself. However, be mindful of how the group is acting and what the energy is. You don’t want to come across as sloppy.

Don’t overstay your welcome….

Make sure to help clean up as much as needed. Don’t be the last guest unless there is an understanding you will be spending the night or something. Pick up on the vibe and get ready to leave when people are going back home. 

Bottom Line…..

This is a great opportunity to make distant friends become closer. You never know who you will be hitting it off with. Get all the information from the host and do not make assumptions. It’s best to know what you should be bringing and if you need to show up early to help prep. Understand your strengths even if they are not food related. You could be persuasive in starting a fun drinking game or being the DJ for the evening. Just don’t push fun on people who just want to watch the game and relax. This is your opportunity to bond with friends you haven’t seen in a while and get introduced to new connections.

Is “Hood Fishing” Ethical?

“Branding” yourself on the apps and in person is a tactic that should be used in dating. You want to highlight your strengths and understate your flaws. It’s tricky to toe the line of being 100-percent honest versus putting your best foot forward. For anyone who doesn’t know, a “catfish” is someone who is faking an identity and tricking someone to believe they are a completely different person. So what is “hood fishing”?… It translates to lying about your neighbor hood (where you live) to come off as more desirable, or see people in a higher population area. Is this ethical to your dates? Or a slight stretch that won’t matter long-term?…..

The reason to lie….

Anyone who doesn’t quite live in the heart of the city will fudge a bit just to date people in a larger area. They are more than willing to travel the extra distance. It is cooler to say you live in a city proper versus the outskirts.

 They could work in the city….

He or she may actually spend their entire week in the actual city. It might be practical to meet up for happy hour downtown after work. They might decide to move to the actual city eventually, it’s just a matter of finances at this point. 

The hosting person should try not to “hood fish”….

Some people are perfectly happy to host eventually. Usually, this is a person who lives in a better area anyway and has no roommates. It is more fun to stay at a person’s place who is walking distance to bars and restaurants. I still feel personally this should be the guy. Only because I have found that it’s more of a risk for a woman to disclose her location to strangers.

Long distance is always a challenge…..

The semi – long distance is way worse than across the country long distance. Living an hour plus away from each other does not seem like a deal breaker. However, with traffic your time is sucked away and you have to leave early to head back home, or you force closeness and spend the night too soon. It either rushes the dynamic or halts it from ever forming.

“Hood Fishing” for safety….

On the apps you can show your exact location. For a woman, or anyone concerned for safety, it’s best to not have an exact location. Go into your app setting and make sure the “precise location” button is off. It usually will throw you in the larger city bracket if you are close enough.

Don’t take it personal for not getting the second date….

Dating is hard enough to make it work with local people. When you factor in travel for a total stranger, it puts a strain on getting to know each other. Some people are more than willing to travel and are happy to do so. I just wouldn’t hold your breath.

Bottom Line….

“Hood Fishing” is a gray area in dating. It makes sense to tell a white lie about your living situation. For people who are in the city for most of the week it sort of makes sense to want to meet people downtown versus where your apartment complex is. It can be used as a safely precaution for people who don’t want to disclose their exact location. Honestly, any tricky obstacle can be used as a great excuse to not continue the relationship. You could be rejected off the bat, or they are happy to have the built-in excuse to keep the relationship casual and short term. When he is willing to do the inconvenient thing it is a better sign he is more serious (or you are his only option). It’s best to try to meet people who are in close proximity, if possible, so you can pace the relationship in a healthy way.

Rankings Of How An Average First Date Will Go

Expectations are how people get super-disappointed in dating. Those who base dating and love through movies and TV will get an exaggerated version of how a first date actually goes. For obvious reasons, any scriptwriter isn’t going to showcase an average date because…yawn. However, anyone who is new to the dating scene needs to get their agenda in check before they get all wide-eyed about how they think it will go. Over the years, I have collected the data of how my dates have gone. This is the ranking from most common to least common on how a first date will go….

You have no opinion except he is nice….

Hands down, the most common type of energy. You don’t hate him, but you aren’t bursting with attraction either. These types of dates are actually hidden gems because you never know what this person will be going forward. I have had instances where the date became a very close friend or was a stepping-stone to meeting other people. When coming across this type of date, don’t dismiss it and still try your best to get to know them.

You think he is a little unhinged….

Ok, yea… you might run into a guy who is a little… off? Immediately thinking “nope” in your head as you give him a greeting hug. Once you start chatting, you don’t agree on the fundamentals and morals, or maybe he is the “I don’t even own a TV” type of guy. You try to wrap up the date when your meter has run out and make a polite exit.

You like him more….

Ok, so now you might meet someone whom you are attracted to. The only problem is it might not be 100 percent mutual. This can be a big bummer and the dates I come back from where I am kicking myself. “Why did I talk about jalapeño poppers for two minutes straight!?” You will be hard on yourself after this date and you will think about it days later. You might be more upset when he doesn’t do a follow-up text the next day. 

You don’t want a hookup… but he does….

This one can be tricky and a little insulting. It’s flattering that he does find you attractive, but you know he only sees you as a hookup and does not care to get to know you. Depending on your mindset at the time this can be fine. But when you want a guy to take you seriously, this is a letdown.

You are instant besties….

This can certainly happen when you both feel a more sister / brother vibe rather than attraction. He might make you laugh, but he isn’t your physical type. In some cases this guy is the slow-burn guy that can grow on you. He might be the healthier option rather than the typical bad-boy type you always date. Keep him around and see if your feelings change. 

You really, really hate him….

This type of date probably happens more in the political climate we are in. Anyone who is tuned into politics or has very firm opinions will struggle with anyone who isn’t on their team politically. In a lighter way, you might completely disagree on sports teams or movies. You could actually get into arguments and make everyone around you feel uncomfortable

You are both insanely attracted to each other…..

This is physically you both are like….wow. And then you probably have a few drinks and might have a make-out at the bar. However, it’s hard to know if it’s just surface-level attraction or if it can become something more meaningful.

You both experience “love at first sight”….

The most rare of dates. I think this has happened to me once. And it wasn’t even a date. I just was introduced to him in public. Either way, this is the date that is portrayed in movies and television. It has a Romeo and Juliet beginning where you are both physically attracted, but also intrigued about the person. When this type of date comes along you need to go to the gas station and buy a lottery ticket because it is extremely uncommon, especially coming from an app date. 

Bottom Line….

This list is very generalized and some might overlap into different types at once. I have certainly been on a date where I really hated the guy and was very attracted (weird I know). You need to understand while dating that you need to get your head right. Not saying that you shouldn’t be excited and hopeful. A more realistic approach is to go into expecting to meet a pretty cool person. You should always be adding new friends and acquaintances to your friend circle. Leaving every date with an attitude of, “no one likes me – we didn’t click” is very common. A true mutual attraction is very rare especially with both parties wanting a relationship. Stay grounded, yet hopeful, and don’t take a great connection for granted. 

“Quiet Quitting” For Dating

There has been a lot of buzz about “quiet quitting” in an office setting. Meaning, not being a total slave 24/7 to your boss and putting up healthy boundaries to have a balanced life. This can translate into dating for people who tend to overextend themselves. With the apps, it’s tempting to send the first message and then keep up the pursuit. As a woman dating men, you run into guys who are excited to hook up, but are not pursuing you back. Being in a masculine energy creates a lot of “busy work” rather than results. How can you work smarter, not harder, when it comes to love?…..

Clock out more…..

Once you have the apps on your phone at your disposal, it’s easy to be on call 24/7. Turn off notifications and only get to swiping and chatting for an hour, tops, a day. 

Don’t give out all your contact info…..

When he has access to Snapchat, Instagram, your phone number…and the app… he will choose the lowest form of communication. Be strategic and only give out one way to contact you (preferably, not Snapchat)

Try not to circle back…..

Priorities are crystal clear in early dating. Anyone who has ever canceled, then wanted to reschedule in the distant future, had doubts (or found a better option). Yes, they can always say “work got crazy!” But if he knew work could have gotten in the way, the date would have been on a Sunday. Trying to revive the date and poke him to take you out never works.

Pick his brain before the date…..

Yes, a first date is all about vibes. However, it’s good to actually know his situation before you agree to meet. You need to know his living situation, what he is looking for, and anything that is a waste of time to you. Your time is precious and should not be given out willy-nilly. 

Take it offline….

There is a window of attraction for both parties. Some matches can live online forever. I have seriously matched with the same men for years. Expect your match to get to the point and ask you out within a 48-hour period.

Give 110% on appearance….

Do not phone in your look for a first date. Men fall in love with their eyes first, then they will see if you have a personality. However, consider the time and place. (You don’t want to wear a ball gown at a coffee shop). Just looked pulled together and feminine.

Only accept total synergy….

Yes, there are guys who are slow burns. On a first date, there should at least be some intrigue or attraction. It doesn’t have to be sexual. It could be a feeling of “knowing a person” or feeling at ease around them. Trust your gut with who you want to spend time with. Even if the connection only results in friendship, it’s much better than forcing a vibe. 

Bottom Line…..

Dating is hard work. And just like in an office setting, you are better off being strategic with your energy and time. A lot of time is wasted chasing the wrong guy who only wanted a hookup. Go out with your friends more and outsource to others for a setup. Your main job should be to dress up a bit more when you go out, even if it’s just hanging with friends. Turn off your notifications on the dating apps so you won’t be distracted all day long. Don’t get caught up for too long on a rejection. Think in abundance, not scarcity when it comes to a job and dating.

“The Vampire Method” For Making New Connections

It’s almost Halloween and it inspired me to take lessons from scary movies. Vampires have the best rule which is “to only enter if invited.” This to me always stuck around on the back burner of my brain. I identify as a go-getter in many things. Unfortunately, that can translate to scheming about how to hook men and to get friends to hang out with me. The vampires have all the time in the world and have figured out that maybe taking a step back is the way to go. How can you have eternal coolness like the vampires?…..

Let him make the first move…..

Whether it is in public or on the apps, let him take the plunge. In the book, “The Rules,” there is a huge chunk of the rules mainly stating that he needs to start the courting process. It’s the only way to truly know if he is actually interested or just being polite. It can save you a lot of therapy sessions and late night texts with your girlfriends. 

Dip your toe in slowly for new friends…..

My go-to method for making new friends, for me, did not evolve past kindergarten. I used to very quickly smoother a new friend and proclaim, “we are best friends now.” In adult friendship you want to build up more second-and-third tier friends for socializing.

Ask three separate times then pull way back…..

Most social interaction is reading between the lines and picking up on social cues. When you get hit with excuses rather than scheduling, stop reaching out. No one wants to be rude and say they don’t enjoy your company. You have to take it upon yourself to move on and not bother that person. 

The three signs a first date doesn’t want to see you again….

The telltale signs you will get ghosted are: 1. He doesn’t offer to buy you a drink or coffee, 2. There is no physical contact (touching arm, hug, kiss etc), 3. He leaves saying, “it was great meeting you” with no plan for a second date. Will he still orbit you on social media? Absolutely. However, he will not ask you out again. Save yourself time and forget about him.

Be careful about giving out info or getting contact info….

Some bar friends are simply that. Trying to expand it to the next level will end in confusion. When you go out and bond with people over shots, enjoy the moment. Yes, there will be a mutual feeling that this is bigger than one night. Just don’t shove your phone in their face while they reluctantly type in a number. It’s best to just live your life and more than likely you will bump into each other again. 

Get invited rather than suggest….

As a general rule it always feels better to be invited. When it comes to courtship never invite yourself over to his place no matter how casual the dynamic is. He will more than likely say he is busy or, worst case, you go over and he plays video games the whole time. With new friends you will find out how a person cares when you are on the invite list. 

Bottom Line…..

Making new connections doesn’t have to be a horror show. It will be less confusing when you look at this face value rather than making things happen. On your end, be that bubbly person that is a delight to be around. No one wants a sulky Sally who only brings down the vibe. If you are going to invite a friend, pick an event (band playing, karaoke, comedy show) so there is more incentive for them to come out. Allow yourself to be courted. It can be frustrating to wait on the sidelines, but it feels so good to be invited and have dates planned by him. Follow the “Vampire Method” all year round to avoid social faux pas. 

Halloween Dates Beyond The Pumpkin Patch

When I picture a October date I see the filtered Instagram post with the infinity scarf in a pumpkin patch. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I do think it is popular for a reason. Spooky season can bond couples more by fear. There was a study that I call the “shaky bridge study.” The control group spent a regular date together while the test group experienced walking across a shaky bridge. The result was those who felt fear and adrenalin felt more bonded than the control group. This is the season to get closer and bond. What are activities to try out?…..

Movie screenings….

Seems like a no-brainer. Most cities will have horror movie screenings. Hulu and Netflix etc have Halloween specials. You can do it old school by reaching for your old DVDs to curate your own film fest. Set the mood, light candles, get some snacks.

Cocktail Parties…..

I love a themed cocktail party. Create invitations for Goth Night. Dress code is black. Create a Spotify playlist for Goth music and keep the lighting dimmed. Create a cocktail menu with two cocktails and one non-alcoholic option for non-drinkers.

Campfire Stories….

You can also use a fireplace, or even flashlights. Gather around and prepare ghost stories to tell. Feel free to tell your own experiences or read a story from a book.

Tarot Readings….

This might require a friend who knows how to read the cards. It will go more smoothly when someone already has knowledge. You can also look up palm readings and what the lines mean. It’s a great time to touch in an innocent way.

Have a get-ready party for Halloween….

Make getting ready for a Halloween an event. The pre-game can be the best part. Make sure to have a photo setup to take all the pics for Instagram. Most of the time while out you forget to capture your costume. Play Halloween-themed music, whip up a few drinks and help each other with their costume.

Bottom Line…..

There are so many bonding activities for new couples or early dating. Get into the season by embracing the woo-woo. While watching a scary movie hide on his shoulder, grab his hand, and laugh together. You can also involve other people by hosting a ghost reading party or Goth Night party. Pre-game Halloween night with drinks and a photo session. Bond now and reap the benefits for cuffing season.

The Freak In The Streets: How To Dress Sexy For Halloween

Halloween night is the time to take risks and go a little bit more risqué with how you normally dress. You should feel free to express yourself and embody an alter ego for the night. One person’s sexy is another’s mild. As long as it is out of your comfort zone you are on the right track. How can you pull out the tricks for fright night?….

Wear a body suit….

This can actually be slimming and surprisingly conservative. You aren’t showing any skin, but it is tight against your body. It’s great for a super hero look or a skeleton. Make sure it’s not too tight so you can still dance and move. Remember to lock the bathroom door because you will have to pull the whole thing down.

Show some cleavage….

Now is the time to show off the girls. Even as a witch with a long black dress the top can be low cut. Make sure to wear a push up bra or use tape. For girls who are less endowed you can wear a plunging neckline. Just wear some pasties or bandaids.

Booty shorts….

You can wear short shorts for many costumes. It’s best to wear tights underneath even if they are nude. You don’t want to be too cold, plus your inner thighs might chaff. A fishnet stocking always looks halloweeney and appropriate.

Go glam with your makeup….

Even if you decide to go a little gorey still make it a little sexy. You should amp up your eye makeup and add long false lashes to complete the look. Watch tutorials on Youtube or go on Pinterest to get inspiration. Get some press on nails and get those claws out.

Make sure your shoes are walkable….

It seems like the time to wear eight inch heels. Unless you wear that type of shoe all the time play it save and wear a block heel or boots. I like to think of the shoe first then build a costume around it.

Shop your closet…..

Try to not wear a costume out of a bag. It might be ill fitting and expensive. Try to wear as much real clothes as you can. Go to the thrift store and you can modify clothing by cropping it or taking off sleeves etc.

Consider the weather….

Depending on where you live you might have to include a coat. It’s best to make the coat apart of the costume in cold climates. A great look can be an old Hollywood starlet with a faux coat or Cruella de Vil. In hotter climates you can get away with less clothing.

What purse to bring…..

A purse can throw off a costume. When you wear a normal bag it seems disjointed. Make sure your bag goes with your costume. Also it’s best to be hands free if possible since you will be moving around and dancing. A belt bag might work best with most costumes. Bring only the essentials and leave the huge bag at home ( unless it’s apart of the look).

Bottom Line….

Be the freak in the streets! It’s not often that you can dress however you please and experiment with heavy makeup, wigs, and nails. Even the most conservative girl can get down with a little skin showing. You should also adopt a sexy attitude and confidence. Try do a dry run with your outfit in advance and make sure everything is working. If you are a last minute gal at least try it on the night before to make sure everything fits. Be scandalous, yet comfortable. You want to be free to move, dance, and go to the bathroom. Most important is to pick a recognizable costume that shows off your assets.

How To Move On From A Twin Flame

Yes, this article is going to be woo-woo….But tis the season of spooky. I understand that most people roll their eyes when someone brings up auras or Saturn returns. I do take such things with a grain of salt, yet I couldn’t deny that I have a twin flame. I was listening to “Girls Gotta Eat” podcast and their guest was “Mystic Michaela.” She is a psychic medium and reads auras. For the first five minutes of the episode I was a little skeptical, but kept listening. Then twin flames were brought up and my jaw dropped. I realized that she was describing a person that I could never seem to get over and it was the biggest heartbreak in my life.…

So let’s break down what a twin flame is…

Michaela explains it so well. She also has her own podcast called, “Know Your Aura with Mystic Michaela.” The episode titled, “Twin flames, soul mates, and kindred spirits” really breaks it down. Basically a soul was split in half and put into different bodies. Not everyone will meet their twin flame because it goes though multiple timelines. Ending up with your twin flame is rare because of this. If you do meet your twin flame, it is a sign that your are going to change spiritually and it is a message. You will have a honeymoon phase where you can’t be apart….then…problems come up. There will be a runner and a chaser and it will not make any sense why you can’t just be together. Then you will finally separate. He might pop in and out of your life. You could run into him in the grocery store or get a random text here and there. Dreams about him will be common, especially when he is still in your life.

So… what can we do about it?….

Listening to the podcast really helped me. I finally felt validated for feeling the way I did. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything to be done about it. It might trigger him to be around you, who knows. Either way, it will be memorable and teach many lessons from how you treat relationships going forward.

He will fade away once the lesson is learned….

You will go though angry resentful phases with him. I actually blocked him for over a year. Yet the second I decided to unblock him he sent me a text a day later. There will be a lot of yo-yo interactions where you won’t know where you stand, yet he keeps reaching out. However, he will fade out once you are healed and in a new place in your life.

Be grateful for meeting him….

I met him the worst year of my life and then my life got a lot more calm after that. Think about the situation with love and gratitude. It hurts to grow and change into better people. He could have pushed you to grow since he is your mirror. It can feel raw to look at yourself and see your worst qualities reflected back onto you.

Go though the normal break up protocol….

If it’s still fresh then yes, block, unsubscribe, and give yourself space. It’s not a good idea to tell him you are twin flames. That probably won’t go over well. Just mourn the loss and then date new people. This is very simple advice to give and it can be agony to not be able to reach out. He had been blocked, unblocked, deleted from my phone so many times. He is the reason why I needed to write about dating and hopefully prevent someone from making the same dating mistakes I did.

Only talk to spiritually woke friends about it….

Your friends who don’t get it will probably laugh at you. Keep the information private and only express it to your witchy friends. It is hard to get the skeptics to be on board with this kind of thing. You do not need to force your point of view on them. Just explain it was a rough breakup that is hard to get over.

Bottom Line….

If you have gone though it, then I feel your pain. This situation isn’t having an abusive boyfriend. All the conflict will be just confusion and frustration. If you are still in the angry phase, just be by yourself. You really do need to build a life without him. I wouldn’t advise you spending a fortune on spammy tarot readings and breaking curses. Protect yourself and just gather information. Not everyone meets their twin flame and that’s totally fine. You will not have to go though intense heartbreak and that’s good. Either way grow from it and look at it with gratitude when you are ready.

Meeting People In The Wild Part 2

My social life completely shifted once I took a few brave steps. There have been trials and errors and data collecting. It can be overwhelming to even fathom going out by yourself. However, that’s where the magic happens. It’s when you are confident and having fun solo that people want to go up and talk to you. You need to flex your social muscles to be able to be approached by a guy. Your not knowing how to chitchat will make the first impression suffer and you might not get that phone number. It all starts with baby steps. What are more tips to meet men or new friends in person?….

Pick events to go to….

It’s more likely you will get people chatting at an event. This can be a band playing, comedy show, or drag show. When there is a focus for the night most people are so occupied with the event they do not notice who is alone or in a group. A concert, especially, is the type of event that you can weave around with ease…and there will at least be entertainment if nothing else.

Start with a question or compliment….

The other weekend I was out at a bar. I turned my head and saw these two girls laughing with each other. One girl was wearing a “dump him” tee shirt, a la Britney Spears. I had to ask about the shirt. That snowballed into dancing and hanging out the rest of the night. It can be that simple.

Go to the bars where you got social before…..

In my town, there are bars where not even the bartender will chat with you. And on the flip side, there are bars where I make a new friend every time I go. Certain vibes are something to pay attention to. This could also be any place in general, not just bars. Maybe you meet friendly people at a certain grocery store. Go where there is a welcoming vibe and become a regular there.

Do less than you think you need to….

I used to try so hard to be the funniest in the room. I found when I stopped cracking jokes was when more people said, “you are so fun to hang out with.” I was baffled because I felt I was doing nothing and was even boring. Remind yourself that it’s fine to listen more and just enjoy yourself. You aren’t the hired entertainment for the evening.

Trust people will like you…..

It can get very nerve-wracking to be out alone. You get flashbacks of the cafeteria where no one would sit with you. People are going to be more accessible than you expect. Try to erase those old tapes of you as a child. Your ego wants to keep you small and safe and that’s normal. You need to collect positive data.

Practice with the bartender….

As a first step just dip your toe and chat with the bartender for a minute and see how it goes. You need to be cordial in a short bite-sized form because they are working. It’s a great lesson in how small talk works. It’s easy to bring up what’s going on around town or what’s the best drink to get, toeing the line of professional chitchat. This is the energy you need for the first impression with a new person. Have a boundary of not diving too personal and keep it light. Most importantly, know when to walk away.

Don’t have an agenda….

Enjoy your night just for you. See if the other person wants to exchange numbers or socials. I have found most who give out information usually do not follow up. It’s best to carpe diem the night and know that you will probably run into each other again. This is why it’s great to be a regular at a bar / cafe or two. You want people to start recognizing you and feel comfortable to chat.

Bottom Line…..

Building basic social skills starts with trusting yourself. Most people have been hurt in the past and get flashbacks of being bullied in middle school. Your ego wants to keep you safe from being burned again. You can gather positive data for yourself by dipping your toe in socially. Once you gain a few positive interactions it will build up your confidence. The biggest lesson I have learned is to do less. You think you have to be the prettiest, funniest, or smartest. The reality is you don’t need to entertain all night long and can just listen and throw in your few cents here and there. Know how to do surface level chitchat and know when it’s time to leave the conversation. Less is always more. If you left too soon, they can seek you out later. The network you build can lead to what I call the golden introductions. You getting an endorsement from a friend is going to go so much further than you “cold calling” a guy at a bar. Remember to gain positive interactions and practice once a week and you will be miles ahead of swiping on an app.

The Sneaky Link: Why Guys Hide Women

I just came across the term “sneaky link.” It essentially means keeping a person as a secret hookup. No social media posts, no bar hopping, and most importantly, no telling friends. It comes down to the harsh truth of dating that a man can be attracted in the bedroom, but not enough to be proud to take you in public and claim you as his. However, there are actions that can prevent a secret hookup from happening. This was a brief subplot in the show “Sex and the City.” It was in the early seasons where Carrie chats with a man who has an amazing sex life with a woman he did not take in public. Carrie asks why he can’t take her on dates? He explains that she doesn’t fit the physical mold and ideal for him. So, he just keeps her in the dark to save himself from embarrassment. It’s a hard tough-love thing to write about, but I had to come to terms with it because it’s happened to me over and over again. What are the reasons and preventable things to block the dreaded “Sneaky Link”?….

Never go to his place of residence…..

In early dating, he will try his hardest to get you to “watch a movie” at his place. Don’t go. You need to smoke him out and know he wants to be seen with you in public. It’s tempting to save money, not stress about a going-out outfit, and being cozy on the couch. Yet, you haven’t built the trust with him yet. He could totally see you as the late night secret hookup girl.

Look your best….

This one….is the tough one to hear. I am speaking to myself too. I have let myself go a little over the years. A lot of late-night pizza and not being super strict with my diet has resulted in not being at my ideal weight. Our current society standards are not fair for women. We are competing with celebrities who are receiving constant plastic surgery. Either way, there is an expectation and a difference when a man sees you as representing him in public. You probably already know when your appearance is slipping by how you are treated. “Pretty privilege” is a real thing and you will receive more positive attention and people going the extra mile when you look good. As humans, we judge based on appearance. Everyone feels comfortable by someone who looks healthy, clean, and put together. Notice how you are being treated on dates. Anything less than him doting on you and going the extra mile means he is not attracted.

Have high standards of what a date is…..

You are the one who decides what type of date you get. It will feel like you are in a business negotiation sometimes. It’s better to state what your values are, rather than caving to a guy’s selfish needs. You won’t get a humanitarian plaque to hang on your wall for being accommodating. If anything, he will respect you less for not having a spine. As a reminder, a date is in public where he pays for you.

Shift your energy back…..

This will not click in your brain until it happens in reverse to you. I have had guys who I did not like all that much, so my energy was not towards them. This causes a guy who likes you to push forward and chase. Once you see it done to you, it illuminates how you were acting and coming across. When you like a guy your brain will shut off and we will become impulsive. Texting him, asking him to hang out, agreeing to come by late night. Even just taking him off a pedestal and not have him consume your thoughts is a start.

Date for dates….

Going back to the in-public thing. Date to go on dates and enjoy your time together. Truly this is the best part of dating. Go to events, check out a music show, dance in the bars. A man who wants a shortcut does not value you. He will say, “it’s so expensive to go out,” “I don’t feel like seeing people – just come over,” “I just want to relax.” All of this translates to “I don’t see a need to pursue you or convince you to be with me.” When he is saying any variation of this, he doesn’t see you as girlfriend material or high value. He wants a free lunch where he does not need to claim you. Or worse, he doesn’t want to risk running into someone he knows with you on his arm.

Bottom Line….

It is never fun to be a “sneaky link.” A guy should be excited to show you off to his friends and take you on dates. Are there f*boys who do this to every woman they meet on the apps?….sure. However, it’s better to have firm boundaries and not give that type of guy what he wants. A “take it or leave it” attitude is because he does not value you as a real option. The hard truth is to admit that maybe you aren’t looking your best. This can be earth- shattering for women and full of trauma, so try to be as gentle as possible. View it as motivating to get better and on a healthy track for yourself. The most important thing is to never cave and fall into being a secret hookup. This means playing defense and only accepting public dates. You can’t be a secret when you are out in public together. But you will be a secret if you agree to hide in his home for every hangout.