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Getting a Phone No

We live in a society that is both more open and more frightened than any that has ever existed before. In America, the idea of the chaperone has become a quaint part of our history. What we’ve forgotten is that a chaperone served a very distinct purpose: A chaperone allowed two people to get together, while keeping an eye on things. Sure, you couldn’t hold hands, or kiss, or – heaven forbid – do anything more intimate without being tsk-tsked to kingdom come, but it also meant that you didn’t have to worry about improper or uncomfortable advances or fret that your date would interpret your intentions as less than honourable.

Having a chaperone along may have felt restrictive, but it also meant safety. Today that restriction – and that safety – is done. Now you’re facedĀ  with the same urge to merge but with few guidelines and no one, other than yourself, for protection.

If the two of you are ever going to have a date, you have to be able to connect. Of course, you could agree to meet on a specific street corner or at a party or a restaurant or after a class. But sooner or later, it will occur to one of you that being able to get in touch if plans should change would be nice – and that means a more personal way to connect. And that means a phone number.

Getting a phone number means that the two of you have moved from being strangers to at least being acquaintances, and that can be a very large and somewhat scary first step. To compound the problem, men and women have different senses of times and different sensibilities. Men often feel they have to ask for a number even they have no interest, and women often feel they have to give out a number if they have no interest. To help you, this blog covers how to both get and give a phone number – with the minimum wear and tear on both of you. It also covers what to say during the call, and if you’re hesitant to hand out your home phone number, you can also find phone number alternatives.


September 14, 2009 Posted by | Dating | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take a walk to a new place

Yeah, I know this sounds like a metaphor, and it probably is, but we are influenced by our own behavior. A walk makes a slower pace, together in a larger world, exploring a place neither of you have ever been before. Look, don’t be sillly. I’m not talking about walking through a dark park at midnight and worrying about whether or not you’re going to get mugged, and getting lost isn’t necessarily romantic. Use caution and sense and your head. Go for a walk on a new beach or a national park in daylight, a hike through a woods, or even a stroll around the block. The idea is experiencing both something new and part of the greater world together. A picnic lunch is optional.

Other cool places to experience together:

Aquariums: Water is always romantic, just don’t go out for seafood afterwards
Zoos: Don’t go on a Sunday unless absolutely necessary or you’re very found of small kids.
Amusement Parks: Beware of rides that make you nauseous.
Water parks: Fun and water is seductive.
Beaches: I love the water; I’m prejudiced
Museums and sculpture gardens: You can walk, hold hands, and talk.
Botanical gardens: Make sure it’s not hay fever season.
Churches: The air is special and candlelight is always flattering.
Row boats: Being on the water is lovely if you can row.
Mountains: Don’t get caught unprepared.
The desert: Being outside is almost always lovely, and a desert is austere and basic. Bring water.
Paris: Okey, so I love spitting cherry pits and walking on the Champs Elysee.
Redwood forest: Being around something that’s been around that long puts things is perspective.
New York at Christmas: What can I say?
Carriage rides: Lots of cities have them.
Fireplaces: Gets us right back to the caves and our ancestors.
Country lanes: Beware of traffic.

The point of St. Valentine’s messages was thinking about the concerns of his friend even through he was imprisoned. You’re not imprisoned or a martyr, and we’re talking more than friendship here, but you get the point.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Share Baby pictures and Stories

Your mom trots out your baby pictures for a reason: You were really cute and cuddly and sweet and innocent, and there’s something elemental and basic and charming and nostalgic about seeing who you were then. I know you’re feeling a little silly about this, but if you’re willing to show your love a little about you were then, your love will know a bit more about who you’ve become, just don’t make this sharing time a chapter meeting for the dysfunctional and abused victims of the world. No harsh episodes or horror stories.

If you can’t conjure up any pleasant memories from your childhood, you probably need to think therapy, not dating, It’s really true that it’sĀ  hard to love anyone else until you can love yourself. And if you can’t love your baby self, get some help so that you can.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan A Mystery Date

Instead of falling back on the old stand-by or the “So what do you want to do?” Ploy, take the time and prepare a special date. Don’t make your date responsible for anything other than showing up. You pick the place, choose the activity, buy the tickets, arrange for the dinner – you get the picture.

It’s important to settle on the time ahead of time so that you’re not trying to whisk your love off to paris for the weekend just before a major presentation is due on monday or to a romantic picnic on the day the corporate boss is scheduled to come in for a review. Your feelings will be hurt at their likely response, and this is romance 101, not Guilt for Fun and Profit. But once you have agreed on the day or the hour or the weekend or the month, let yourself get really creative. Pretend your are planning the world’s most spectacular experience to delight the head and heart of the one you love.

You can pick something lavish or low-key, romantic or rustic, close or far away (another advantage of off-season Vslentine’s celebrations). Just make sure that you are planning something your love will enjoy, not your fantasy date and place. Focus on making a date, with all the trimmings, to delight your love. The date doesn’t need to be expensive, just imaginative: A picnic can work as well as a cruise, a home-cooked meal as well as a catered affair. We’re talking heart, not wallet, here.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give a “Generous Soul” Gift Certificate

Even through the best relationships are based on communality of interest, into every relationship a certain amount of difference falls. She loves professional wrestling, he loves ballet; he loves horses, she gets starry-eyed over drug racing. But going someplace you loathe because you love some-one who wants to be there is a sign of not only being in love, but also of being a generous, considerate, empathetic, and sensitive adult as well. So no whining! Being a good sport is way cool – especially if you keep reminding yourself that karma is a boomerang.

Rather then being dragged kicking and screaming, offer an ollie, ollie home free good for one date, to any event you usually loathe, without complaint, and with no strings attached. Not only is it good karma, but it’s also an opportunity to stop being a pain on the neck and experience something voluntarily that you may actually learn to like or at least tolerate because it was your idea in the first place.

The willingness to do something you hate because someone you love loves it is one of the true signs of love.

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Your Love’s Place

If baths are sexy and sensual, shampooing a rug (no, not his toupee, silly) and cleaning her sink (don’t even think about it) can certainly drive some of us into a frenzy of appreciation and love. The idea of someone we love doing something we loathe just for us is really cool. Besides, cleaning someone else’s place ism’t nearly as icky as digging out your own.

Remember, no fair peeking into drawers, and giving a gift certificate is probably better than risking being arrested for breaking and entering by trying to do it as a surprise.

July 24, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shampo and bathe your love

From earliest times, from the Romans to the Japanese, baths have had ritual status as a way of not only purifying, but also of preparing and relaxing and celebrating.

Geishas have it right. There is something very loving about washing someone: warm water, soap, bubbles. The sensations fake us back to being cared for and pampered and loved. A long, careful, gentle shampoo is lovely enough to have a very movie named after it, starring Warren Beatty, Goldle Hawn, and Lauren Becall. If you can find some scented candles and soft music, so much the better, but resist the notion of a quickly shower; vertical just doesn’t quite do it.

Again, if your relationship hasn’t moved to a sexual level, it’s okey to wear bathing suits. the idea is fun and pampering and sensuality, not seduction.

July 23, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give a Massage

What you’re going for here is a way to celebrate sensual intimacy independent of sexuality. A massage isn’t seduction, but pleasure; it’s sensual good feelings that aren’t genitally centred, feeling warm, happy, contented – not sexual. Also the idea isn’t you do me and I’ll do you. Treat the massage like a gift; you can get your own massage at a later time.

For a massage, you can either splurge on some good massage oil, use baby oil, or put a drop of almond extract in mineral oil for a lovely scent. Find a flat surface in a comfortably warm room (okey, yeah, a bed will work, but we’re going for sensuous, not sexual here – just keep telling yourself that), and make sure that you’re not messing up your best sheets or towels. Find some soothing music and soft lighting. Too bright isn’t relaxing, and too dark makes it hard to find each other.

If you are giving a full-body massage, remember to include the hands and feet. Because you’re going for intimacy and closeness, not sex here, it’s good idea to exclude genitalia, and always offer the option of underwear kept on. (If the two of you aren’t at that stage of your relationship, offer a hand and foot massage as an alternative to a full body massage or scout up a professional masseuse or masseur. The gift of massage is always lovely but even more special if it’s you personally laying on hands.)

Take your time – at least an hour – and warm up the oil in your hands first.

July 22, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reminisce about your first date together

Even if it was a disaster, thinking back to how you two got started out is fun. Sharing your history with each other can give you both a perspective that allows you to weather temporary glitches on the radar better, because of the sense of shared past. Nothing is more romantic than the sense that we’ve come through troubled times together. It’s metaphorical equivalent of being cozied up in front of a roaring fire together with a cold wind blowing outside.

July 17, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Write A Love Note

Just as flowers speak volumes, putting pen to paper bespeaks extra effort, something from the heart.

You don’t have to rhyme, be bill Shakespeare, or be flowery. Cards are fine, but struggling through on your own is even better. Don’t try to be cute or funny. Your words don’t have to be poetry (although poetry’s cool), and if you’re really talented at drawing, terrific, add a sketch or two. But the point the point here isn’t so much about artistry as sincerity. Just write a sweet sentiment from your heart. Something gentle and touching – and try not to make it a mash note (body parts shouldn’t be too graphically mentioned).

Buying a nice sheet of paper is much better than ripping something out of your notebook, and post ’ems are to be avoided just this once. Don’t even think about typing the note. If your handwriting is lousy, print – and no pencil, please. Also, try not to misspell a whole lot. Just make sure your note’s legible, and don’t worry about points off for punctuation (after all, your love isn’t your English teacher – I hope). Understand that the real value in writing a love note is that it’s hard to do. We’ve all been talking a lot longer than we’ve been writing, so sometimes you can really get to the heart of the matter (get it??) a bit more quickly by putting pen to paper rather than word of mouth.

One last word about love notes: Make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. No passing it out in class.

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment