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You'll do anything for love...but you won't do that. It's not just a song; it's important to establish intimacy boundaries early in a relationship (preferably before you jump in the sack) in order to avoid hurt feelings, awkward situations... Read More
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The Best Places to Meet Your Next Date

On TV and in the movies, couples usually meet in some spontaneously romantic way. They run into one other by accident, lock eyes, and the scene cuts to the bedroom...or the altar.

Those of us who have been in the dating scene long enough know that such magical meetings are not the stuff of reality. Like every other achievement in our lives, meeting the right man usually takes dedication, hard work, and creativity.

Even for those of us who don't plan to take that long walk down the aisle anytime soon, aiming for a fun, fulfilling romance with a compatible partner is still important. Any woman will tell you that relationships in which the two parties share common values are more fun, more rewarding, and even more sexually satisfying.

So how and where do you meet your next great romance? Think common ground and personal connection.


In recent years, many women have grown tired of the usual spots and strategies for meeting guys. While many a fine relationship has begun at a club or bar, the consensus of late is that these establishments are better places to cut loose with your girlfriends than to meet the man of your dreams.

Whether you're interested in casual dating or looking to make a more lasting connection, there are plenty of options for you.

Women sometimes try to find a guy by attending adult education classes at the local community college or recreation center. Unfortunately, many of these classes are usually full of other women, with only a few men to be found. This is mainly because most women are interested in classes geared to female tastes.

Home Improvement Class

There are some exceptions, of course, but in general if a man is at a wine-tasting or pottery class, he's there to impress his significant other. Luckily, there are some classes men show up for in droves when nobody is forcing them to: DIY home improvement classes.


Most of the larger home improvement stores offer these learning opportunities to the public. By attending a home improvement class, you can learn how to take home repair into your own hands and maybe even meet the perfect assistant.

Get Active

Joining a sports team or a group that enjoys athletic activities is a great way to meet new people, including a possible love connection. Whether you're into bowling, hiking, bicycling, skating, or even mountain climbing, there are usually tons of groups (even in cities) that exist to bring people together through fun and healthy activities.

Joining a group that engages in physical activities together is a great way to stay fit, have fun doing something you enjoy, and meet people who share your goals and interests. Plus, all that sweaty activity is a great way to get your endorphins going!

Sports Bars

While the usual bar/club scene is difficult for making love connections, the sports bar scene is a different story. Sports bars offer a more down-to-earth, casual atmosphere and the guy-to-girl ratio is definitely in your favor. It's also a great option if you're more into watching sports than playing them.


At a sports bar you're on his turf which may help a shy or quiet guy to be comfortable enough to open up. Plus, all the male energy may be an exciting, energizing force for you. Kick back, order a cold beer and make sure to pay at least some attention to the game.

If you're looking for compatibility and a real connection, try looking for a date at locations where you're sure to meet someone with common interests.

Volunteering

Volunteering gives people a sense of satisfaction as well as a feeling of openness toward others. Combine this with the strong passion many volunteers have for their cause of choice and you'll have an excellent environment for romance to blossom.

Whatever the volunteer work entails, there is usually a need for people to co-operate and work closely together either physically or mentally. In that setting, you can gain a lot of knowledge about those you work with, especially any guys you may have on your radar. Is he compassionate? Does he work well with others? If he earns high grades on the "good guy" report card, you may want to make your move.


Spiritual Connections

Adults of all ages are renewing their interest in spirituality, whether by returning to the faith of their childhood, or by venturing out on their own chosen path to the divine. This increased focus on the spiritual element has led to more people seeking romantic connections in the places where their grandparents may have met: houses of worship.

This choice is best for those who are looking for a relationship with long-term possibilities. If the idea of flirting during evening prayers creeps you out, don't worry. Many houses of worship offer thriving singles groups and mixers to provide a more appropriate setting for the faithful to find love.

Events for Singles

Speed dating events and other singles-focused activities are a great choice for a woman who enjoys a more structured atmosphere for meeting a partner. When the question of whether someone is looking is already answered, there's room for direct conversations to determine compatibility. While the atmosphere is light-hearted, the attendees are definitely oriented toward meeting someone special.

When searching for your perfect match, don't discount traditional ways of meeting a guy. It's perfectly fine to meet someone through friends and family. Fix-ups (think of them as referrals) from people you love and trust can actually work. Or try the new classic: the Internet. Just remember to use reputable sites and follow basic online safety rules.


You can land a date for Saturday night, or even for many Saturdays after that. It may take some time, or it might be that eye-sparkling fairytale moment, after all. You never know until you try.

Sometimes you have to be your own fairy godmother, so get out there and work your magic.


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Best Aphrodisiacs to Spice Up Your Sex Life

If you're planning a romantic evening with your guy and you're wondering what you should serve, perhaps you should consider including a few passion-boosting ingredients on the menu. Not a fan of shellfish? Oysters aren't the only food reputed for their aphrodisiac qualities.

You don't need to go halfway around the world or break the law-for instance, by experimenting with ingesting tiger bones-to find the best aphrodisiacs to give your sex life a jolt. You can get a cart-full of carnality right at your local supermarket. Chances are some of the items you have in your home right now have been thought of as aphrodisiacs at some point in history.

The idea that certain foods and herbs have the ability to ignite or enhance sexual arousal has appeared in just about every culture. It's also an idea with a long history. Aphrodisiacs show up in the writings of ancient peoples from Greece to Rome to Babylon.

In modern times, we may dismiss aphrodisiacs as superstition or snake oil, but the connection between sex and certain foods persists. There may even be some science to aphrodisiacs after all. These days, Western medicine is discovering the validity of many ancient health theories.

This relatively recent focus on alternative and holistic medicine has allowed some alleged aphrodisiacs to be studied under the microscope of modern science, sometimes with surprising results.


While some of the traditional aphrodisiacs actually do contain vitamins, minerals, or naturally-occurring chemicals that can benefit the reproductive system, there's still little proof that they can create sexual desire in any given situation. Still, it's exciting to know that some everyday foods can indeed have at least some effect on your sexual functioning.

Researching aphrodisiacs can be a fun and informative diversion that just may end up helping your love life after all.

At first glance, the dishes that have been considered aphrodisiacs may seem to have been chosen based on their shape and texture. Foods like oysters and asparagus were thought to resemble and therefore symbolize the female and male genitalia, respectively.

Bananas fall into this category because of their phallic shape, and there are some studies that suggest bananas really can get a man's motor running thanks to an enzyme called bromelain. The jury's still out on whether bananas really work, but at around 49 cents a pound, it sure can't hurt to give them a try.

Now we'll go from the "why not?" cheap thrill to some aphrodisiacs you'll want to use only on your hottest seduction target. They may cost a bit more, but there's research to support their effectiveness.


Caviar, while a bank-breaker and an acquired taste, does contain high amounts of zinc which stimulates the production of testosterone. Although it's usually thought of as a male hormone, testosterone exists in females as well and contributes to the sexual functioning of both sexes.

Fine dark chocolate is pretty much the best-known aphrodisiac worldwide. It contains a naturally occurring stimulant as well as properties that produce feelings of satisfaction.

And don't forget the champagne! Like other alcoholic beverages, champagne relaxes you and lowers inhibitions. It's said that champagne affects women more strongly than it does men, creating a pleasant feeling of warmth and a sexy high. Don't overdo it though. While alcohol in moderation can help ease you into an evening of love, drunkenness is a mood killer that can interfere with sexual performance and pleasure.

If nothing else, the knowledge that you spent the time and money to arrange a meal of these delectable treats might be enough to turn your lover on.

Most spices that gained fame as love potions are those with strong flavor. Ancient cultures made a correlation between the warm sensations and flushed faces caused by a spicy dish and the similar experiences of sexual excitement. Spices said to have aphrodisiac qualities include:


  • Horseradish
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

While it's unclear whether the small amount of spice used in one meal can produce any real aphrodisiac effect, many spices do contain beneficial natural components and using them regularly as part of a nutritious diet can improve your overall health, including your sex life.

There are plenty of aromatherapy theories regarding sexual desire as well. The scents of vanilla, orange, cinnamon, and chocolate are high on the list of olfactory aphrodisiacs. Many commercial perfumes and colognes feature these scents. Musk, a strongly scented animal oil, is also a traditional aphrodisiac put to use in bottled perfumes.

Many of our most desire-producing scents are those that have their basis in childhood or in our early romantic experiences. A woman can be affected by a whiff of her first love's cologne decades after the relationship ends.

Of course, the strongest aphrodisiac scent is one we can't even consciously detect. Pheromones are chemicals produced by the human body that play a role in attraction and mate selection. We smell, or rather sense, these chemicals with a special part of our olfactory system. This is why the natural body scent of someone we love can be so intoxicating.


One place that all aphrodisiacs can work is in the mind of the user. It's the old placebo effect, best summed up as "if you believe it will work-it will." There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of this great truth, particularly when it comes to aphrodisiacs. The most sensitive sex organ is the mind. If oysters, chocolate, or a spicy curry is served on a night of anticipated romance, it can very well help a couple to associate those flavors with arousal.

In a similar way, things like power, success, and self-confidence can be amazing aphrodisiacs that work from within. Getting a promotion, a lovely compliment, or other well-deserved accolades can make you feel like a sex goddess. No love potion required.


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Are You Having An Emotional Affair? Find Out

When most of us think about an affair, we picture a secret rendezvous and physical betrayal. However, it is possible to have an affair without ever meeting someone or even being intimate with him or her.

This is known as the emotional affair, and it can be just as devastating to a relationship as a sexual affair. Because an emotional affair often can happen from afar and without any physical contact, the transgressor may feel that he or she has done nothing wrong. That denial can keep the offender from feeling guilt and passing the relationship off as a friendship.

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Statistics show that women have higher numbers of emotional affairs, while men seem to rank higher in instances of sexual infidelity. So how do you know if you're having an emotional affair?

Let's start by defining what this type of relationship issue is. An emotional affair can start innocently enough and morph into something more serious. When a person in a committed relationship begins to invest their emotional energy outside of their partnership into another person, including moral support and companionship, he or she can be said to be involved in an emotional affair.


What are signs that you are having an emotional affair?

If you have a feeling that what you are doing is wrong or are unsure if a new friendship is inappropriate, there are some tell-tale signs of an emotional affair that can confirm your behavior.

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  • Most or all of the meetings and conversations you have with the other person are kept a secret from your partner, friends and family.
  • You say and do things you would never do in front of your spouse or significant other.
  • You share emotions, ideas and thoughts with the other person that you don't with your partner.
  • You are increasingly preoccupied and find yourself "daydreaming" about the other person.
  • Interest in sexual or emotional intimacy with your spouse has dwindled or become non-existent.
  • You feel like your new friend understands you better than your partner.

  • You think crush-like thoughts and about your possible future with this person.
  • Increasing sexual tension is present and you often touch this person in "harmless" ways, such as a pat on the back or touch on the arm.

If you identify with these signs, you can still change your behavior before anything more serious occurs. If you think you are in the clear, beware that an extended emotional affair can escalate easily into a physical one.

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Warning Signs that Your Emotional Affair is on the Brink of Turning into Something More Serious

  • When you feel vulnerable or something exciting happens, you turn to your new friend instead of your partner.
  • Your level of intimacy increases and platonic discussions begin to turn sexual.
  • You send or receive sexy photos of each other.
  • You purposely put yourself in situations where you and the other person are alone.
  • Feelings of disappointment, anger and distance towards your spouse begin to become overwhelming.
  • You look forward to spending more time with the other person than your spouse and even your children.
  • You make plans for the future with this person.

If you identify with these signs, you could be on your way to a full-blown affair -- complete with emotional and sexual betrayal. It's important that you recognize what you are doing, and if nothing physical has happened yet, you may be able to turn your trouble around. If you feel that you want to (and can) save your relationship, you need to come clean with yourself and accept your transgressions. It will take work, but it is not impossible.


How to Stop an Emotional Affair in its Tracks

  • Quit cold turkey - setting boundaries for continued contact can be a slippery slope. It's best to cut it off completely.{relatedarticles}
  • Remove temptation -- change your phone number, get a new e-mail address and start new social media accounts. If you work together, ask to be transferred. Avoid locations where you may run into each other. Throw away photos, love letters or physical reminders to avoid a relapse.
  • Come clean - even if nothing happened physically, you need to clear your conscience and start a new trend of honesty and openness in your relationship. Be ready for the fallout of this decision and even be prepared to work with a counselor or other relationship advisor.

Once you remove yourself from an emotional affair, you can begin to pick up the pieces of your relationship. There is no doubt that your spouse or partner will feel extremely hurt and deceived, and it may take some time for him or her to come around to working on the relationship.


Once you have both agreed on moving forward, there are steps you can take together to begin the healing process:

  • participate in counseling individually and as a couple;
  • make new rules and set new boundaries about your relationship going forward;{relatedarticles}
  • realize that your relationship might never go back to "normal" and that trust is not rebuilt overnight;
  • spend time doing special activities together as a couple to help revive the spark; and
  • be honest with yourself - is the relationship truly over? Do you have the willpower to make sure it doesn't happen again?

It's perfectly normal to feel guilt and shame after participating in an emotional affair, but remember that you are only human. Beating yourself up forever can hinder your ability to repair your relationship and lead a happy life. Unfortunately, even with the best counseling and communication, your spouse or partner may choose to end the relationship if he or she cannot recover from the anger and pain of the emotional affair. If this occurs, it is important not to complicate matters by begging the partner to stay or beginning to stalk or follow him or her. Work with a counselor or trusted advisor on the next steps of your life. This incident doesn't have to be a life sente


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