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The possibilities of making the kinds of connections you want are very realistic, and many long lasting relationships and marriages have begun via online dating services, not to mention casual relationships as well if that is what you prefer. The possibilities are all right there and waiting for you, but there are a few key rules you need to know and follow in order to find your perfect date online. Download to learn The Golden Rules of Online Dating – 6 essential rules to finding the perfect online date!

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Dating Sites Study: Women Are Pickier Than Men

It’s safe to say that online dating has revolutionized the general dating scene all around the world. Ever since it became one of the best matchmaking options for single people, most individuals have changed their routines and their attitudes when it comes to romance. For example, people nowadays don’t have to go out and search for the perfect date, they have it all in one place, just a few clicks away. If a guy wants to meet a mature hottie, for instance, he can simply visit a cougar dating website and find a perfect match. The same goes for women; they can now look for a perfect companion from the comfort of their own home. Even though these advantages sound rather nice, some studies show that online dating platforms have made women pickier than men. Let’s see how and why.

Ladies Are Very Specific In Their Searches

One of the main reasons why most women are pickier than men is the fact that ladies are rarely looking for one night stands and casual relationships. Moreover, most of them are searching for suitable partners with whom they’ll be able to start a serious relationship. This is why most single ladies are rather specific in their online searches. On the other hand, the majority of young single dudes who have profiles on dating sites are not that specific, simply because they’re ready to settle for less in order to have some fun.

Their Potential Date’s Education Is Very Important To Them

Women, no matter how young or restless, are always thinking about their future. This is why they will never settle for someone with whom they can’t fulfill their dreams and achieve their goals. This is why they consider the level of education to be one of the most important indicators when it comes to their potential match.

Namely, women associate education with intelligence and success, which means they will continue to search until they find a good-looking man with a college diploma. We can honestly say that most men don’t take this parameter too seriously, which also goes in favor of the claim that ladies are pickier than fellas.

Women Are Most Picky Between the Ages Of 18 and 30 – Here’s Why

According to an Australian study that was conducted by Dr. Stephen Whyte and later published in Psychological Science, women are at their pickiest between the ages of 18 and 30.  Whyte and his team came to this conclusion by analyzing the dating routines of 41,936 persons. But what are the possible reasons for that?

Well, the fact is that women are most fertile during those years, which means they’re simply looking for a man who will prove to be a suitable partner and a potential father of their children. Naturally, most women don’t want to start a family with just anyone. What is more, they’re looking for a perfect companion with many virtues and qualities that are in their opinion essential for establishing healthy marriage and happy family.  Given the reason for the pickiness in this case, we have to agree it’s fully justified.

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8 Dating Hacks from Single Women

Skeptics will tell you there is no way you can have dating hacks, but we’re here to prove them wrong. Listed below are the top 8 hacks from single women of all ages and backgrounds that can help you find love online, and keep you sane in the process.

#1: Choose the Lowest Possible Distance

Using the distance filter at home or when traveling proves to be very useful on so many levels. There is no time wasted on someone who just lives too far away when you’re not at all interested in a long-distance relationship, plus planning a first date is far easier with someone who lives nearby. If there are no good prospects in the area, you can always increase the range little by little.

#2: Check them out on Social Media

One of the easiest ways to weed out the guys who don’t seem like a good match is to check them out on social media. Find them on Instagram or Twitter, and send them a friend request on Facebook. If they don’t reply to the request, they’ve probably got something to hide. Keeping in mind that most people put the best possible photos of themselves on display online, take the time to try and dig out something that may attest to the fact that person might not be such a good match.

#3: Only Use Apps in the Morning

If you only swipe in the morning, you’ll save yourself plenty of time at midday, plus you’ll see which users are up at a decent hour. If you swipe him right, and he doesn’t reply until 3 pm, what could that tell you? Among other things, that he works nights, which could involve dangerous situations or drugs and alcohol, just to name a few.

#4: Standards Can Be Flexible

Not everyone you meet will be marriage material, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be awesome for a (few) one-night stands. Maybe you don’t like what they do, the way they dress or they just seem they could be trouble down the road, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in a relationship with them. Maybe their smile is irresistible, and they’re a really good kisser. That’s a great candidate to have some fun with despite your high standards!

#5: Engage Your Dog to Help

Who says that a date has to take place on a Saturday night? How about a Sunday morning at your local off-leash dog park? You can get a better idea of what someone is like when you see them during the day than when they posh up for evening, plus it’s harder to put the moves on someone at 10am than at 10pm, which will give you a better picture of the kind of person you’re dealing with. Also, you can tell a lot about a person based on how they interact with animals!

#6: Dance

It’s true that not all guys out there would be thrilled to be seen on the dance floor, but if a cutie you’re chatting up on Tinder plans to seducing you right, he better start on the dance floor! Dancing can be extremely sensual, which isn’t necessarily what you have to go for, but it can tell you a lot about a person’s level of self-confidence.

#7: Let Him Woo You

It’s nice to be in control on your dates, and in many cases it’s also a turn on, but sometimes you just need to let go, and let your date court you old-school style. Allowing yourself to be wooed doesn’t make you any less of a feminist, and doesn’t mean you’re giving up the right to vote! Finally, if the guy is willing to invest his time and energy into the courtship process, that sets the stage for a fulfilling relationship down the road.

#8: Don’t Forget to be Yourself

There are plenty of people out there searching for the exact same things that you have to offer. Hate Sci-Fi? Love sports? Don’t be afraid to say that! We all like to travel and think we’re not difficult, but that’s not what makes you unique. Fly your flag openly and catch the right kind of fish, instead of the slippery one!

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No Use in Fighting it or What I’ve Learned by Giving Someone a Chance

Down with insistence on how one can easily find love online. As hard as dating can be sometimes, many of us have good stories to tell thanks to the matchmaking abilities of our friends. Needless to say, kissing a few (or lots of) frogs in the process is pretty much a given, but at least it is all worth it in the end. This blind date story has a happy ending thanks to my friend D who set me up A out of the blue one early spring Saturday.

Blind dates are possibly even worse than job interviews because there are lots of interviews out there where you walk in knowing the interviewer or at least being acquainted with them. On a blind date, you don’t have the slightest idea who the person sitting across the table from you is. Sure, you’ve seen their photo and heard a short bio, but still.

In any case, I decided to give it a shot not really believing anything would come of it. I agreed to meet up with A one Thursday afternoon and go for a joint dog walk through the park, my Labradoodle Ben and his Weimaraner Romeo in tow. Side note: for a blind date pick, as neutral a ‘venue’ as possible, and if dinner seems too formal as it does to me, go ahead and take it down a notch. Since a dog walk can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on how much fun you’re having, you’re going in with a bullet-proof exit strategy in case things turn out badly. And if they go well, you can tell all your friends (kids and grandkids included) that you’ve met by chance at a park walking your pooches!

I wasn’t taken aback by A immediately. It took me some time to really get his vibe so it’s not like this was love at first sight. He wasn’t really my type either. He had dark hair and dark eyes, and I’m a sucker for baby blue eyes, you know, like Cillian Murphy’s. Anyway, I was surprised how much we had in common and the more he talked the more I realized I really liked what he had to say. I was becoming more interested because I didn’t feel like he was trying to play me at all. He was just being himself, and pretty much everything he said was spot on. He took initiative, was smooth, and seemed to care just a touch about impressing me, which I found cute.

Then I realized he was cute! He had full lips and a beautiful set of pearly white teeth, something I never really pay attention to because I always look at the eyes. And his weren’t blue but they were just as deep. It usually takes a pair of pale blue eyes looking deep into mine for the butterflies in my stomach to start having a party, but this time it took a smile. Or several smiles, that is, one for every time I said something he was impressed with, like what my job was or which countries I’ve lived in.

We didn’t stay too long. After about an hour and a half, we said good-bye and went our separate ways. The next morning, he gave D, my matchmaking friend, a ride to my place because she needed to pick something up from me. Did I think this was just a ploy to see me again? Sure. Did I think it was lame? Not a chance because for a full 24 hours after our ‘date’ I was still drunk on the whole thing without having a drop of alcohol.

A few days later, he sent me his first text, and that was more than a year ago. He still makes me weak in the knees despite the fact we moved in together a few months back. I don’t know where D kept him all this time, but I know our encounter was definitely not by chance. I was meant to meet him and realize that you absolutely never know where or who is going to sweep you off your feet.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/6VjPmyMj5KM

Looking For Love Online: A Guide To Finding Love Later In Life

If you are over 65 and you have recently become divorced, when time has passed and you begin to feel ready again, the sound of starting over might appeal. If you have a small social circle and you don’t know where to start, online dating may be a good idea. A new study by Pew Research found that a majority of people believe online dating is a great way to meet people. Moreover, around 12% of mature daters reported using an online site at some point in their lives compared with only 6% in 2013. The fast pace of life in urban areas means that it can be difficult to meet new people with shared interests. The Golden Rules of Online Dating will enlighten you on the essentials of finding the perfect date while being honest and optimistic and enjoying the journey towards your new life.

Who can you meet online?

People from all walks of life sign up to dating sites to find the person of their dreams. If you thought you would never find someone who matches your interests, experiences, and abilities, think again! The fact is that ‘grey divorce’ – divorce in over 50s – is more common than ever before so there are many more interesting singles on the market than just a few decades ago. As noted by the Office of National Statistics, “In England and Wales, divorce is in decline – our most recent 10 years of data show a 28% fall in the number of divorces between 2005 and 2015. But older people are bucking the trend. In the same period, the number of men divorcing aged 65 and over went up by 23% and the number of women of the same age divorcing increased by 38%.” There are several reasons why people are getting divorced older. One is that life expectancy has increased considerably; people who turn 50 or 60 realise they have many decades left to enjoy life and wish to do so with someone who is compatible with them. Another important reason is the fact that second or third marriages tend to last shorter. This phenomenon leads to a higher percentage of single seniors.

What about non-age-limited dating sites?

What if you are over 50 but wish to not be defined by age? Some people can feel that limiting themselves to ‘mature dating sites’ can be limiting. After all, who is to say that the love of your life won’t belong to a different age bracket? The good news is that sites like Plenty of Fish have millions of active daily users. You can use an age filter when you are searching for a partner if you choose, making your search as wide or limited as you like. Ultimately, joining a site with a large percentage of active users is key, since it means your experience will be dynamic and that you will be getting messages and Likes/winks from day one.

What sites should you try?

Mature Dating UK is aimed at singles over 40 and 50. It does have a charge (ranging from a free three-day trial to £11.99 for six months?. The site has pretty cool features, including the fact that it allows you to upload many pictures and videos to your profile. You can flirt with users by sending them a ‘wink’, chat on the online forum, and send each other emails and instant messages. When you sign up, you will be asked to fill out a personality and lifestyle test. This will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding compatible singles. Another popular site is Dating Over 50s. It encourages mature users to sign up and get to know other people with shared interests or hobbies. The site is free to join but you can also pay a small fee and enjoy membership privileges – such as sending and receiving private messages, chatting online with instant messenger, seeing who has viewed your profile, creating and reading dating diaries, and adding multiple photos to your profile.

How do seniors feel about online dating?

Research carried out by scientists at Swinburne University shows that older adults have taken to online dating like a house on fire. Some of the reasons that make this system so appealing include the difficulty of meeting other available singles in day-to-day life; the ability to find matches that are compatible in terms of interests and locality; and the excitement of meeting various prospective partners. The study showed that unlike younger online daters (who tend to date online for a brief period), seniors like taking it nice and easy, dating people for months before deciding to settle down.

Making the most of online dating

If you don’t find love as quickly as you’d like, stay positive and focus on increasing the size and quality of your network. The great thing about online sites is that they also allow you to meet friends on features such as online chats and forums. This in itself can lead to meetings that can indirectly open your circle and lead you to people who may not actually be members of the online dating site you are using. Some people find love surprisingly quickly; others wish to take it slower. Because your choice of partners is arguably one of the most important things in your life, being certain before making a commitment is key.

How to present yourself?

There is no point in using an old photo or presenting yourself as something you are not. The reality show Catfish shows how deeply painful and disconcerting it can be to be lied to by someone. Because your aim is to find someone that truly loves you, it is important to be honest from day one. List your real interests and hobbies; if you are a homebody, say so instead of trying to impress. You may be surprised to find that there are many people out there who appreciate the things you do – even if your ideal night involves snuggling by the fireplace and catching a great film on TV.

If you have just got divorced, online dating may be a good place to start once you are ready to meet someone new. Think about whether or not you would like to limit your search by age, and pick the appropriate site. Sign up on sites with many active users, and consider any membership fee an investment that will enable you to get to know others at a deeper level before agreeing to meet in person.

6 Unromantic Financial Things To Do After Your Honeymoon

Money talk is probably the last thing on your mind right after you get back from your honeymoon.

You might be thinking – you just got back from a romantic getaway with your spouse after your successful wedding that’s thoughtfully planned and splurged on. You’re not even done unboxing all of your wedding gifts. And now you’re going to talk about financial paperwork?

Well, sorry to say, but it’s got to be done. After all, money is one of the leading causes of divorce. Financial issues, no matter how daunting, should be discussed before they become bigger and more damaging in the relationship.

A blissful marriage isn’t measured on the number of date nights, romantic vacations, and lavish anniversary gifts. Couples who face financial hurdles together and overcome them together come out stronger than ever.

So if you’re ready to do some daunting financial tasks after the wedding, here are top 6 things you should do as a couple.

1. Manage your bank accounts

Have you decided to have a joint banking account and merge all of your finances for household spending? Or you want to keep your personal account? Or perhaps do both by having a shared account and a separate account for personal spending at the same time?

Whatever that is, make sure you’re both on the same track about this matter and do all the paperwork together.

Once you’re married, you should have each other’s names on all of your accounts. It’s also important to change your beneficiary information for those accounts: If it’s your first marriage your beneficiaries are likely your parents. If you’ve been married before, it’d be your ex.

Make sure to update it ASAP to avoid bigger and more expensive problems should anything bad happen to you.

2. Lay down your debts

“Til death do us part” or “Til debt do us part”?

Debt should be openly discussed and addressed as early as possible to avoid it to cause further damage to the relationship.

Get out the paperwork, provide copies of your own credit reports, look for the real bottom line, and deal with it. Debt catches up eventually – whether it’s the tax collector, your university, or creditor. One day, the terrifying details of the past will come creeping out when you’re trying to get a mortgage and other loans.

3. Discuss your assets

Not all money talk is bad. Some prudent men and women enter marriage with trust funds, investment accounts, real estate properties, and other significant assets. Your spouse should know what you have and what you can share unless you have a prenuptial agreement that excludes the spouse from any benefit. Again, beneficiary names should be updated.

4. Assess expenses and work on a detailed budget

Now that you’re married, looking at your paychecks and other income sources is just a right thing to do. You’re a team here, remember?

It’s crucial to determine your combined monthly income and how it’ll affect your spending and savings.

Make a detailed budget out of the combined list of all your monthly expenses: housing, utilities, internet, cable, phone, groceries, car payments, leisure, and other routine costs. Plan for payments on debts too. Last but not least, make sure to have a budget for unexpected expenses that may come up, like home repair and medical bills.

5. Start saving money as a couple

Odds are that, you’ve splurged on your wedding and your honeymoon. YYour first year together is the perfect time to recoup those losses and continue saving up for the future.

Don’t forget to feed your savings account – together. We can all agree that having a financial cushion for emergencies and retirement is a must.

You can fuel your savings by finding ways to be frugal. You may limit nights out and put your focus on groceries and rent. Be wise when going on vacations. Set limits for internet, cable, and electricity use. It’s more fun to celebrate your first year of marriage without overindulging.

6. Set financial goals together

Communication is key to a successful marriage, especially in terms of money. Couples who discuss money matters, set financial goals and help each other achieve them tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t.

Take the time to sit down with your spouse to talk about money – your short-term and long-term goals and your plans to make these goals a reality. Discuss where you want to be in five years. Are you planning to build a business? Will you buy stocks or other investment vehicles? Will one or both of you work abroad? Do you have a plan to level up on your career?

Talk about money handling practices and expectations. Are you guilty of poor spending habits? Do you plan to quit certain expensive vices? How often do you plan to go on vacations?

Talk about future expenses that will eventually arrive, including children’s education, buying your first home, your first car, and the emergency and retirement funds.

I know these things may be too much to talk about, especially if you’re just starting your life together. However, it’s great to be open about these things and to know that you and your partner are on the same track.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. She may be hopeless romantic but she’s got some straightforward pieces of advice about love, dating, and relationships

5 Fun-Filled Dates on a Budget

 

First dates can be a stressful experience, especially if you do not have a lot of money to impress the object of your affection. The best way to overcome this stress is to have lots of fun, which often does not require much money at all.

Here are some inexpensive and fun-filled ideas for dates as well as some important dating tips:

  1. Perform Karaoke

First dates are notorious for creating lots of tension and nervousness. So, why not do something that will almost surely relieve this tension and your nervousness: perform karaoke.

Lots of bars and pubs these days have karaoke machines, and most of these places are not expensive. Before you go, check what songs they have and select a few. You might even want to practice singing them before your date, either at the bar or in the comfort of your own home. Then, at the beginning your date, bravely take the stage.

Understand that it does not matter if your singing skills are not the best. In fact, getting your date to laugh just may be the best reaction to get. But don’t worry about the reaction. Just go up there and have fun, which can be very contagious. No matter how well or poorly you perform; you will certainly break the ice and show your date that you are adventurous.

Then, try to entice your date to take the stage as well. This can be tricky, so if this person is hesitant, suggest a duet. Something you two will always be able to remember. Even if your date is still hesitant, you can still have fun that night laughing at everyone else.

  1. Go to an Arcade

Do you remember how much fun arcades were when you were kids? Well, guess what, they are just as much fun when you are adult, especially on dates. What’s more, they provide lots of inexpensive entertainment that will make both of you feel young again.

First, find out what kind of games your date likes to play, and let them know what you like. This can be a great icebreaker, as you can learn all sorts of things about each other and what you each enjoy. Then, play all the games both you and your date love. You can even make it a competition, though you probably want to make certain that your date wins at least 50% of the time, if not more.

Also, try to find games that you can play against each other, such as air hockey. As your minds will naturally focus on the game, they won’t be able to focus on how nervous you both are, which can open all sorts of possibilities for conversation.

Some arcades even allow you to win prizes, which can be a great keepsake for your first date together.

  1. Go Geocaching

There is nothing more fun than going on a treasure hunt, and this is basically what geocaching is. The way it works is that you use your mobile devices to find “treasures,” which have been hidden in places all over the world. Not only is this a fun way to spend a date, but it will cost you almost nothing.

All you need in addition to a mobile device is the free Geocaching app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices, and a pen or pencil. Armed with these basic tools, you and your date, search for buried treasure while exploring your town or city on foot. The treasure hunting aspect of your journey is a great conversation starter, and you will have lots of time to get to know each other, especially if you stop for a drink or snacks along the way.

The object of geocaching is not only to find buried treasure, but also to log what you have found it. This is why you need a pen or pencil. As an added benefit, this leaves a permanent record of your first date, which you could one day possibly relive. Maybe even with your children or grandchildren.

  1. Visit a Zoo

The great thing about taking your date to a zoo is that you are certain to have a good time with all those cute animals to entertain you. Another certainly is that you will not have to spend a lot of money.

You can learn an awful lot about your date during a trip to the zoo. You can not only learn what animals they like, but you can also exchange pet and other animal stories from your past while you explore the grounds. The animals and their antics will also help take away your jitters, and they will make you feel comfortable.

Similarly, an aquarium or other places that feature wildlife can be a great option as well.

  1. Cook Together

There is no rule that says that your first date must be in a restaurant or in a bar. It can be in your own home. While you could just cook for this other person, it is much more fun to cook together, and unless you’re cooking something crazy like lobsters it should be very affordable.

First, discover your date’s favorite food. Then, invite them over to cook together. You can learn lots about this person while you are doing this, and you can have lots of fun together while you make all sorts of messes. You can also find out just how well you function as a team.

The great thing about this kind of date is that it has a proven track record of success. Famously, Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle while they were cooking roast chicken together.

In conclusion, there is no reason to let a small budget limit the fun of your first date. Simply follow the dating tips contained here and you will escape the friend zone, and perhaps you will even take that first step toward finding the love of your life.

 

Discover How Marriage is the Perfect Place to Learn Valuable Leadership Skills

Marriage is a rollercoaster. It provides happiness and escape from everyday life. It occasionally comes with a unique set of trials. And it is the perfect place to develop and hone leadership abilities.

This is because leadership and marriage have something in common – a partnership. One spouse can’t have a healthy marriage without the help of their partner. Similarly, leadership involves teamwork and cooperation in order to be successful.

Leadership can be used on various occasions throughout life. In marriage, business, or even simply coaching a sports team. Marriage impacts how a leader speaks to their team. It sets the tone for how much trust, consideration, and communication there is in interpersonal relationships.

Here are 7 ways marriage equips you to be a strong leader in your life.

  1. The Power of Listening

In a healthy marriage, both partners learn how to listen to one another. Couples are happier when they feel they can speak their mind and that their partner is hearing them.

Partners must be empathetic when they listen. They pay attention to what emotion is coming forward and react accordingly. Part of listening also means not interrupting or overreacting, even when they feel like their partner is completely wrong or off-base about certain claims.

These positive qualities of listening are essential for a strong marriage. They are also helpful in developing good leadership habits.

Leaders must listen to their teams concerns and comments. They must be able to hear criticism without getting upset and show their team the respect of being uninterrupted. This will ultimately make the team stronger and more united.

  1. Teamwork is Everything

The Australian Institute of Family Studies discusses eight characteristics of long-married couples. The long-term study on marriage found that some of the most important qualities in a lasting relationship are adaptability, enjoying each other’s company, and a balance of power.

This balance of power, or teamwork, is the cornerstone of a healthy marriage.

The study goes on to have partners cite reasons why they believe their marriages have been successful. Among the top reasons listed were agreement on goals and aims, treating a partner as a best friend, and being committed to making the marriage work.

Leaders must also be able to appreciate teamwork. Ego has no place in a team environment. It is only with the help and support of others that a leader is able to lead effectively.

  1. Communication is Vital

Communication is the backbone of any good relationship. Couples communicate to get to know one another better. They also talk when they need comfort, forgiveness or fun. But, communicating is more than just talking.

Partners must be honest with one another about their thoughts and feelings. Communicating effectively means talking about a problem instead of attacking your spouse. It involves active listening and empathy.

Healthy communication can help resolve arguments and prevent misunderstandings from happening.

These are vital skills for those in positions of leadership. A leader must be able to understand their team, clients, and colleagues. Communicating will help make tasks and personal relationships a breeze.

  1. Always Keep Learning

Nobody gets married and then gets crowned the best husband/wife in the world the very next day. Learning about a partner takes time and patience. Couples must put in the effort to learn how to make their marriage work.

Partners should never feel too embarrassed to learn more about their spouse. They need to ask questions, make time for one another, and communicate regularly.

Leaders also learn to hone their craft. They learn about their team. They learn about their own strengths and weaknesses. And they look for opportunities to continue to grow and get better.

Nobody ever stops learning. Not married couples and not leaders.

  1. Celebrate Success

Couples who are truly in love know the value of sharing their successes and celebrating each other’s victories.

Studies show that couples who celebrate successes together are more likely to associate their relationship with happiness and well-being. Couples who did not share their triumphs together were commonly quotes as relating their relationship as poor.

Positive emotional exchanges are an important and sometimes overlooked aspect of a healthy marriage. Partners love and appreciate when their spouse shows appreciation for their work and celebrates them achieving their goals.

Leaders should also celebrate the success of their team. Doing so creates personal connections and raises team morale.

  1. Never Give Up

Marriage is a wild ride that is full of ups and downs for every couple out there. There are times when being married will feel like winning the lottery every day. There will also be times where a husband or wife will question why walking down the aisle ever seemed like a good idea.

But those who are true to their marriage vows have one undeniable leadership skill. They never give up.

Couples who love each other work through their problems and vow to stay together through thick and thin. They address problems and talk to each other in order to keep their bond strong. Nothing will stand in the way of their marriage being a success.

Leaders have this same drive and passion when it comes to making their goals a reality.

  1. Trusting Gut Instincts

A married couple is deeply in-tune with one another. This connection allows them to realize when something seems amiss in the relationship.

A leader must be able to follow their gut instincts. They must know when something seems off about their team. They should have a firm grasp on their goals and be attuned to their gut instincts. This will help them re-adjust personal relationships and goals for the greater good.

Many lessons learned through marriage can be applied to one’s personal and professional life. Teamwork is essential both in marriage and in running a business. It’s equally as important to know the strengths of yourself and your partner. Yes, marriage is the perfect place to learn such valuable leadership skills.

How to make your divorce as painless as possible

In a perfect world, every “I do” would be for life, and everybody would live happily ever after. However, because life, unfortunately, isn’t a fairy tale, divorces do happen, and they bring a series of question with them. What do I do now? Do I get an attorney? What happens with the house? Who gets the dog? What do I tell the children? In what is possibly the most uncertain period of your life, here are some pieces of advice to help you see it all through.

 

“I used to think that divorce meant failure, but now I see it more as a step along the path of self-realization and growth.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor

 

1. Gather your wits

Even though this is an emotionally trying stage for you, you have to be able to think clearly. There are a time and place for everything, so while it is perfectly reasonable and even beneficial to express your emotions and lament your losses, you need to make a point of not letting your feelings cloud your judgment.

Think about divorce as any other kind of business – your marriage is essentially a contract that you want to terminate. You need to be objective about it and find the best way to do it. To be able to go through the process in the easiest way possible, you need to educate yourself on the laws and regulations regarding marriage and divorce in your jurisdiction. Use all resources at your disposal to gain as much insight as you can – the internet is overflowing with useful info, and you can always ask for help in any law clinic, free of charge.

2. Plan

You can deal with the divorce itself in several ways: by settling it with your ex directly, without any lawyers involved; you can go through a mediation process, or you can go to court if all else fails. If you and your ex, are still in an amicable relationship, and you still trust them, the cheapest way is to do it yourself. However, because the law systems are never simple, you and your ex might want to get attorneys even if you’re still in a good place. For example, in Australia, you can’t get divorced unless you’ve been separated for 12 months, but there are family mediation services in Sydney that can explain your options to you if that is too much time for you to wait. Every jurisdiction has its own separate set of rules, and sometimes it can be difficult to navigate them without a professional at your side. In any case, you need to choose the preferred method for yourself, based on your own unique situation.

Of course, there is more than just that. You need to consider the ways to share your property. Start collecting financial evidence of your and your partner’s situation, in case of necessity. Talk to your ex about dividing the household items. Make a list of everything that you mean to keep, and everything that you can live without, to make the negotiation easier. In other words, prepare yourself as well as you can, because a tiring process is before you, and you’ll be thankful for any head start you can get.

 

 

“There’s nothing like a family crisis, especially a divorce, to force a person to re-evaluate his life.” – Michael Douglas 

 

3. Think of the children

If you have any children, the things are only going to be more complicated. It this case especially, it’s crucial to be level-headed and to try and be as civil as possible in all dealings with your former spouse.

The most important thing is not to let the kids be dragged into the dispute between their parents. Their parent’s divorce is already extremely traumatizing for them, so the last thing you want to do is add more stress to their lives by bad mouthing your ex or making them choose between the two of you. Regardless of your feelings, you have to make sure that the children feel as safe as they can possibly be, and you need to show them that you and your partner will love them, no matter what. Always remember, your ex is your ex, but they are a constant in your children’s lives, as much as you are.

4. Learn to rely on other people…

…That are not your ex. The bottom line is that you need to feel secure. If your friends and family are giving you that sense of security and you don’t feel a need for a therapist, that’s great! If that is not the case, however, and you feel that everything is too much for you to handle, don’t be afraid of asking a professional for help. If it’s the emotional baggage, see a therapist. If the law is too complicated, find an attorney. If your attorney is a problem, you feel that they don’t understand you, or you’re getting the feeling that they’re playing you against your ex to prolong the process, fire them immediately and look for a better professional.

5. Reclaim the control of your life

Even though it may seem that somebody has cut the ground from under your feet, try to hold on to the idea that every end marks a new beginning. You are starting the next chapter of your life, and no matter how scary it is, it can also be wonderful. In the process of divorce, try to secure a better head start for yourself and your future. Do not agree to anything that can be harmful to you in the long run.

 

Remember, the divorce only happened because the downsides of your marriage outweighed the upsides. That means that, by terminating your marriage, you’ve rid yourself of a toxic aspect of your life. However hard it might be, try to adopt a positive perspective. Try something new. Do that thing that you’ve always wanted, but never did because you didn’t want to upset your ex. Find the strength in the new beginning and don’t be afraid to change. 

Bridal Accessories

5 Most Important Accessories That Complete Your Wedding Look

When Celine Dion got married to René Angélil in 1994, she wore a 7-pound crystal tiara that had to be sewn to her head. Several tabloids pronounced it the “worst celebrity wedding looks ever“. Though her wedding dress was tagged as one of the most gorgeous dresses of all time, the tiara was a big no-no.

Sure your wedding dress may be the showstopper on your D-day, but your wedding look is incomplete without the right accessories. Accessories have the power to make or break any outfit.

When it comes to accessorizing, you have a plethora of options to choose from. But, it is best not to go overboard. However, here are a few accessories that you may want to unfailingly include in your wedding ensemble.

1) Veil

A veil is more than just an extension of your wedding gown. It’s a statement piece in itself, and a wedding dress is complete only after the veil falls beautifully on the bride’s face. Here are the key styles all brides should know of:

  • Juliet Veil: Mostly associated with a vintage bride, this veil got a revival after Kate Moss chose to wear it on her wedding day. This 20s-inspired veil has a cap gathering at the top of the bride’s head that holds the veil in place.
  • Two-Tier Veil: This veil is held in place with an invisible comb and looks impeccably stunning with a floor length gown.
  • Bird Cage/Bandeau Veil: This type of veil is made to frame your face, and it pairs well with short swing dresses.
  • Embroidery: You can wear embroidered veils with low-back or backless gowns if you don’t want their details to get lost.
  • Mantilla Veil: This is a chapel-length veil with heavy lace embroidery that gives it a Spanish flare. It looks good with both, embellished and simple dresses.

2) Headpiece

If veils are not your thing, you can go for other headpieces like hair combs and fascinators. Check out the different options available to brides:

  • Bridal Barrette: Go for this if you plan to let your hair fall on your shoulder. The barrette will clip back your hair and keep your bangs from falling on your face.
  • Hair Comb: Brides who want an up-do on their D-day can consider hair combs. These are also great for embellishing a birdcage veil.
  • Tiara: You can wear this irrespective of whether you are opting for an up-do, or planning to let your hair loose. A tiara is perfect to complement the princess look. Think Anne Hathaway’s bridal look in the Princess Diaries.
  • Fascinator: Fascinators give the ideal finish to the vintage-bride look. You can wear them with almost any hairstyle and also attach it to a birdcage veil.
  • Flowers: Keep your hairstyle simple, yet stunning with flowers as your headpiece. You can stick a few flowers in your up-do, or wear a floral tiara as both look great on brides.
  • Hair Ribbons: These are meant for brides who go for a braided hairstyle. They look good on both, long and short hair.
  • Headbands: These will keep your hair out of your face if you are wearing your hair down. Headbands are also a flattering choice for brides with short hair.

3) Footwear

The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is your footwear killing your feet. Choose comfortable shoes so you can enjoy your day to the fullest. If you want to wear heels, make sure they’re comfortable because you will be standing for long hours and you don’t want to be cringing in pain before you have even hit the dance floor.

You can go for kitten heels or stacked heels rather than stilettos. Look for heels with ankle and toes straps for more security. You can also consider adding gel insoles to cushion your feet. Another great advice is to pick a pair of shoes that you are likely to wear again. Choose silver over a pure white pair, as you can wear it later with different dresses on outings and other weddings.

4) Belts and Sashes

Belts and sashes make lovely wedding accessories. Just because your wedding dress doesn’t come with a belt doesn’t mean it won’t look great on it. You can customize your gown by adding a belt that is embellished with matching rhinestones and gems.

Consider a classic satin sash or metallic leather belt for an instant upgrade to your ensemble. Make sure that the belt you choose complements your body type. Brides with a short torso should wear thin belts while those with a longer torso should go for wider belts. If you are slightly heavy at the waist, choose a beaded or heavily embellished belt. Women with a petite body frame can go for a belt with V-shape appliqué.

Tip: Stick to a belt that is no more than three-inches wide if you don’t want it to overpower your gown.

5) Jewelry

The bridal look is incomplete without the right jewelry, but don’t overdo it or it will end up shifting the attention from your wedding gown. Here are a few tips to choose the right jewelry:

  • If your dress is strapless, skip the necklace and don an elegant pair of chandelier earrings. Wear clear crystal for a sleek look or add a hint of color with your birthstone or any color from the flowers in your bridal bouquet. Vintage-loving brides can add an art-deco style bracelet or wear a 20s-inspired feather barrette as a headpiece.
  • If your gown has a V-neckline, wear a delicate chain with a small pendant or a crystal choker. For a classic look, single or double-stranded pearls are a perfect choice. Finish the look with matching earrings, and a gold or diamond cocktail ring.
  • Skip the necklace if you are wearing a halter-neck gown. Instead, focus on your tresses. Wear a headband or a tiara to add panache to your bun. Choose a delicate ring from a plethora of stunning rings to go with this look. Keep it minimalistic and wear delicate diamond studs that will look striking with the up-do. Take inspiration from Meghan Markle’s wedding look. The Duchess of Sussex wore some of the most beautiful accessories – understated stud earrings, a tiara and a simple veil that complemented her messy bun.

Once you have said “yes” to your wedding dress, it is time to look for the right accessories. The essentials mentioned above will add the finishing touches to your bridal look and complete your wedding ensemble. After all, the goal is to look the best and the most beautiful version of yourself on your wedding!

Spice Up Your Wedding Reception With These 10 Tips

Everybody wants their wedding reception to be unique and memorable. With all the other couples trying to be original, here’s how you can truly achieve that with a couple of cool tricks.

1. Let the guests get creative

Formal mementoes are not that interesting anymore, so why not offer your guests DIY trinkets and crafty gifts? You definitely have some guests that enjoy making stuff with their hands, so why not give them the opportunity to make their own memory from your wedding day and have fun in the process?

2. Hire a magician

Who doesn’t love to be surprised by pure magic? Hiring a magician is an easy thing to organize, and it’s equally fun for adults and kids. The magician can perform the tricks during the drinks reception and entertain the guests who want to take a short break from the dancing.

3. Photo scavenger hunt

This is fun for all ages and something that will make your wedding reception different than any other before. The hunt can be made in such a way so that the guests can compete throughout the whole day. You can also include the catering staff in the game. There are some competitive individuals among the guests for sure so bring that nature in them out.

4. A crazy first dance

You may have seen it on the YouTube – the bride and the groom who have secretly been learning a dance routine to amaze the guests at the right time and mark the beginning of a crazy night. Choose the style you both feel comfortable with and ensure your wedding reception is remembered for a long time.

5. Singing waiters

Why not find a unique group of waiters that will definitely bring a smile to everybody’s face? There’s no better way to liven up the dinner time than having waiters who suddenly burst into song and surprise everybody!

6. Wedding drink station

Booze is pretty important at a wedding reception, so take it to the next level. Give your guests the opportunity to customize their own drinks with various liqueurs and fruits. A creative wedding drink station can be so popular that it could easily become the focal point of the whole reception.

7. Install a photo booth

A photo booth may have become a classic in the recent years, but it doesn’t mean you can make it unique – it all depends on what type of photo booth you install. The great thing about them is that they come on various shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect one to fit in with the style of the whole reception. It can be something cool like a caravan booth or a magic mirror. Or why not let your guests be creative with GIF booth hire options and post the pics directly on Facebook and Instagram? Everybody enjoys making ridiculously funny pictures after a drink or two!

8. Have a tasting station

A full bar is a great addition to the reception, but take it one step further by offering your guests an interactive drink experience – let your guests sample various drinks and learn a thing or two about a specific drink. The best drinks to be offered at the tasting station are wine, whiskey and beer – who would refuse the possibility to taste different types of their favorite drink?

 

9. Think of the kids, too

Children often get forgotten at wedding receptions, left to quietly sit and be bored. Well, not at your wedding reception! Come up with some cool special area just for the little ones. Fill it up with toys, colouring supplies and colouring books and other fun things. Both the parents and the kids will be grateful to you and you can be sure your wedding reception will be remembered.

10. Plan a surprise for the end of the night

There’s nothing more fun than a wedding where guests get to be really surprised, especially at the end of the reception. You should make sure that most of your guests stick around to the very end by teasing them with the special end. It can be a crazy dance routine for everybody or a karaoke session. If nothing else, a bit of firework for the end of the night always amazes everybody.

Final words

Any of these tips will help you get there – creating a fabulous wedding reception. A one or two original ideas – and your wedding will be remembered for the years to come.