This Quiz will Help You Create a Custom Wedding Cocktail

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Hello Lovely,

Wedding Season is upon us. Everyone is still talking about the Royal Wedding (I didn't even bother to watch) and I'm sure a lot of relationships are feeling the pressure to walk down the aisle in style now! One of the ways you can do that is by creating your own custom cocktail for your big day. I've been to a lot of events where they created custom cocktails for the event and that really made it feel special. But making your own signature drink can be a lot of pressure. What should it taste like? Whose taste buds should you go with? Should you include top shelf drinks?

Brilliant Earth has a super-simple solution. The ethically-sourced engagement ring company just launched its very own Wedding Cocktail Generator to help you and your betrothed create a drink specially tailored to your relationship. The quiz results even provide a mocktail version of the recipe for nondrinkers.

So now, instead of worrying whether “met while bar-hopping downtown” tastes more like vodka or gin, you can get back to the important decisions, like whether to spend your money on an end-of-the-night soft pretzel drunchies bar or a bridal-themed bouncy castle. (I personally want the bouncing castle - holding my bouquet, ladies!)

What To Do When You Miss Your Ex

Hello Lovely,

Summer is coming and with that a lot of flings, break ups and regret. If you're like me, you're heading into summer single. But don't be bitter about it. And for the love of God, put down the phone, do not call them! It's over! I know it's not easy to just walk away from a relationship especially if it last several years and there were talks of marriage. You're going to miss them, you will. It may not be now, but there will come a time when you ask yourself, "What if?" You can't allow yourself to stay in the pits about it. Here are 5 tips to help you get through those moments when you miss your ex.  

Disable Your Social Media Accounts

You could delete your social media accounts, but this is a bit extreme. Instead, it’s better to unfriend them and unfollow them on all social media accounts. When you miss your ex, it’s really tempting to pop onto Facebook and see how they're doing. But this just makes everything so much worse. You see that he’s doing just fine without you, and it makes you feel bad. (Or maybe you see that you were right to leave because nothing has changed and they're still the same jack wad you got tired of dealing with). Either way, it’s a much better idea to spend some time away from social media for a while. Give yourself some breathing space. I'm sure you're tired of answering people's questions about why your status changed from "In a Relationship" to "Single".

Get Outside

Staying in bed all day waiting for her to reply to your “I miss you” text might sound like a great idea right now. After all, you can’t even summon the motivation needed to get out of bed, let alone leave your house. But this is unhealthy and will only make you feel a lot worse. And while I understand that you want to be left alone right now, you’re reading this article for a reason. And I think it’s a fab idea that you head outdoors.

Getting out and about among people will help you to forget about him or her for a while. Your mind will be excited by new experiences, sensations, smells, sights and so on. You could take a walk, travel to a new city or just hang out with friends in a coffee shop.

Soaking up fresh air and exposing yourself to the sunshine will remind you that there is life beyond the boy/girl. They were good, but they weren’t everything.

Channel Demi Lovato's "Sorry Not Sorry"

I LOOOOOOOOVE this song! And it's not just the ultimate break up song. Every time I hear this, I just want to sing it to everyone who ever doubted me, put me down or tried to hurt me. It's a reminder that at the end of the day, you've got to always be your best self and prove the haters wrong. You don't need to be sorry for being awesome or for having high standards. Make them sorry for not seeing and appreciating that beauty within you.

Work on Your Revenge Body

This is probably the hardest one on the list. You probably gained a lot of that comfortable "relationship weight" (similar to the freshman 15), because you thought you'd never have to look for another lover again. And comfort food is so real right now, because no one heals you better than a pint of your favourite ice cream (or a pan of macaroni, not judging). But if you focus too much on eating your feelings, you're taking away from the outside beauty that can lead to finding the one. Sure "the one" should love you regardless, but let's be real, we all have our limits and preferences when it comes to love. So whether it's cutting back, going back to school, hitting the gym or meditating, do what you need to do to create a better version of yourself.

Don’t Think About “What If …”

We’ve all been there. We’ve all dwelt on ‘what if’s …’ and imagined what life would be like if only we’d have done this or that differently. But the ‘what if …’ game is the cruelest game of all, and we always lose. We like to create these stories and imagine false illusions and fantasies of a better life. We like to roll the dice for a second time in our heads and smile at better results. But reality is not like that and never will be. Had you the chance to go back in time and do everything again, you would make the same decisions. Nothing would change. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason you did the things you did is because it felt right at the time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Forget about the past and live in the present. It is what it is.

You had a great time with your ex and you miss them. And maybe you’re thinking about what could have been had things not ended.

But things ended for a reason. So why not take some time to analyse what went wrong in your relationship? In this way, you can learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them in your next relationship.

Stay happy!

Why Millennials are Swearing off Dating

Hello Lovely,

Have you ever hung out with a guy or gal and everything seems to be going swell until they say, "I'm not looking for a relationship right now." That line has easily been decoded to mean, "I don't want a relationship I just want to mess around." I've met some interesting people since ending my last relationship and learned a lot about the current dating scene. I even met a guy who had the opportunity to get back together with his ex-girlfriend but chose not to because he wanted to sleep around some more. Dating as a millennial can make people as replaceable as the latest iPhone. So why aren't millennials dating or getting serious about who they date?

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1. We realised the Disney fairy tale is a lie

Our parents fed us a huge lie and we fell for it; until now. With the spike in divorce rates there's been a new level of awareness for what you don't have to tolerate in a relationship. We believed in happily ever afters because of Disney, however, Disney is based on morbid fiction, but got sprinkled with magic pixie dust to make us see the beauty in the world. The problem is, no one is that charming in real life. Most of us are actually the villain. It's hard to hold onto that fairy tale when all around you are single parent homes and moms and dads who hate each other.

2. The rules of dating have changed drastically. 

Remember when you had to send a note to your crush looking like this? 

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Then there was the awkward movie date and a whole bunch of rules and bases you had to pass before that person even became your significant other. We took dating more seriously back then. We planned weddings in primary school and swore to be together forever.

Now you don't really need to know anything significant about the person before jumping into bed with them. Dating can now literally be defined by Netflix and Chill. No one holds the door open any more, goes to restaurants or even calls. Courting has become a series of texts and dick pics. Have you noticed guys don't even try to dance with girls in the club any more? While there's been a lot more emphasis on being relaxed and letting things happen organically, it can be a little confusing to navigate. Does putting out early push him away or keep his interest? And no matter how many guides they write on this stuff, there's really no one-size-fits-all. Dating is about trial and error making it way too complicated for people who have "more important" things to do.

3. We're too career driven

Thanks to baby boomers, it's a lot harder for us to be taken seriously in the workforce. We were constantly told as kids to stop focusing on boys/girls and get an education. My mom always taught me that two people shouldn't be "unequally yoked" and I need to be so successful that no man can ever say, "If it weren't for me you wouldn't ______________". So that's been my approach to dating ever since. I pushed myself to get a Master's Degree and now I'm focused on fixing up my resume. I've even begun looking for new supplemental courses to take to increase my market value. Why? Because life isn't cheap. Housing is expensive and the average cost of living is ridiculous. It's worse when we're trying to travel so that we can "see the world" like everyone is telling us to. So we have to be educated, well travelled, and fiscally responsible before we can even begin to think about settling down. With this kind of focus, it makes it really hard to pick a mate.

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4. Seriously, these are our choices? 

The microwave generation has done a lot of amazing things, the least of which is the invention of reality TV and social media. When you're able to see what everyone is thinking with a single swipe, it makes it easier to eliminate people from your dating pool. Typically, our generation has two types of people: the career driven person who understands that it takes hard work and dedication to sustain a family, and the instant gratification person who sees nothing wrong with earning a living from their living room. The career driven person is usually too busy to date and can sometimes seem out of touch, while the socially driven person seems too lackadaisical and not serious about life.

The recent culture shift has also put a huge strain on traditional values. Do we honour a traditional relationship or is it okay to "go Dutch"? Women have been forced to step up and provide for themselves at the expense of being labelled, bitches, control freaks and insubordinate. Yet our men get away with being dead beat dads, unemployed and still living at home with their mom. But don't forget, men are supposed to be the "head of the household". So it's back to that "unequally yoked" theory.

5. "Don't catch feelings, catch flights"

I've heard this cliche more times than I can count! Somehow, it's become the cool thing to just not show any kind of emotion. God forbid you see someone you like and actually pursue them. Even if it was just a random hookup, it's assumed you "caught feelings" just because you text them the next day. No, it's called being a decent human being. There's a post-modern trend to simply forgo labels and live in the moment. One of my best friends actually chastised me for calling myself a "hopeless romantic". I was angry about that because I never said it was a bad thing. I have no problem being a hopeless romantic and someday I know I'll find someone who's a hopeless romantic like me.

I met a guy who said he doesn't kiss. What are you afraid of? She'll suddenly think you're totally in love with her and want to get married just because you romanced her a little before getting her into bed? People, it's okay to show emotions and and it's okay to form attachments (as long as that's what both parties want). We weren't meant to do life alone so stop acting like you don't need anybody.

These are only 5 reasons why Millennials don't "date" any more. If you have your own reason share it in the comment section below. I'd love to hear from you!

Many people have found love and even got married using free dating websites, so keep at it! 

We Love Dates is a dating website that caters to many different niches. We Love Dates is free and gives people the opportunity to find likeminded people in their age range and location.

If you're an adult looking for an adult dating website, try this one: http://www.nostringsdating.net/uk

Looking for lesbian dating? Try this one: http://www.dateLesbianSingles.co.uk

Over 50 and looking to date? Try this one: http://www.older-dating.co.uk

And if you're looking for gay dating try this one: http://www.dategaysingles.co.uk/

How to Know When to Move On

How to Know When to Move On

Whatever the situation, we’ve all been faced with this decision...Maybe you’ve just fought with your significant other about the same shit for the thousandth time and you’re genuinely concerned that you may end up on a real-life Orange is the New Black. Whatever the situation, a decision needs to be made and it’s probably to move on, but how? Your metaphorical suitcase may already be packed. But where are you going? What’s your plan? Maybe you’re still deciding. Well then, this, is for you.

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Currently: Dating

Hello Lovely,

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a little over two years I made the decision to end my relationship. It wasn't so much the distance as the differences I could no longer overlook. After a very heated argument that we've had more times than I can count, it's like a light switch went off in my head. I just couldn't do it anymore. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him. I loved him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We weren't working. And we weren't going to work either. In that moment, I knew for sure that had we gotten married, I would've divorced him. So I did what I had to do.

I was fine with my choice. I know I made the right decision. All I had to do was move on. So I did. And I'm proud to say that next month, I'll be making my final presentation for my master's degree. I can't believe this moment has finally come! It took a lot of sacrifice but I did it!

 While this is a personal blog, I am very cautious of what I write and share. But whenever I experience something I feel is worth sharing, I want to share that wisdom with others. I've compiled them into mini chapters, so to speak, all based on my personal experience with dating. So this is what 2 years of a long distance relationship coming to an end, culminated with 3 months of dating availability has taught me about dating and myself:

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1.     Picky is not necessarily a bad thing.

Any time a guy asks me what I look for in a partner, I always lead with, “I’m picky.” I’m not ashamed of this. My pickiness is not unrealistic; and by leading with what I want it lets the “unqualified” know not to bother. Why waste time with someone who only wants to waste your time? Letting someone know you have standards that are non-negotiable creates an opportunity for respect and allows you to weed out the undesirables. Only weak people are intimidated by standards.

2.     Forgiveness is important

OMG! Who am I for even saying this? I am the master of holding grudges! I recently started dating someone who acted unforgivably. We stopped talking and it actually hurt me. But last week he reached out to me to apologise. I’ll be honest, I was ready to forgive him so I felt relief after we talked it out and now we’re friends again. That’s because I had to accept the advice two of my best friends gave me:

3.     Nobody is perfect; including yourself

People are going to mess up; it’s a part of life. There are no perfect boyfriends, just real ones. It’s still up to you to decide how much imperfection you’re willing to deal with, but remember that you yourself are also a work in progress and there are going to be things your partner doesn’t like about you.

4.     Always date your best friend

But none of that would matter if you date your best friend. That was my biggest regret in my last relationship. We got into a relationship after only two weeks of knowing each other. Take the time to really get to know the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life (or the next three months) with. Loving your best friend is much easier than loving someone you’re still getting to know. You won’t know everything about your partner, but it’s much more fun when this person has unconditional respect for you before romantic relationships become a topic.

5.     Listen to the warning signs

I can’t stress this enough. There were so many red flags in my last relationship; as early as one month in. even when I met him, I didn’t feel the butterflies I thought I would but chose to ignore that. There will be warning signs in any kind of relationship, some are minor but you know when it’s a biggie. Listen to your heart. If something feels off, it probably is. Address these issues head on so that everyone is clear moving forward.

6.     Pick your battles

Not everything is worth fighting for. Sometimes you just know that something will end in an argument or worse a fight. The warning signs are there and in that moment you have a choice. Fully commit to this sinking ship or walk away? If you’ve already made it clear where you stand on something minor, no need to keep nagging your partner if they don’t get it right. For example: your partner getting stuck in traffic and being late to a date, vs. your partner always ignoring your requests to do something that makes you happy.

7.     Be intentional

Someone can’t give you what you want if you’re not clear about what you want. Be upfront, honest and intentional. Go for what you want and don’t be apologetic. As long as you’re true to yourself, no matter the outcome, rest in knowing you made your needs and wants clear with no crazy mixed signals.

8.     Games are for kids

This ties in with the above note. No one likes the guy at the bar who takes your number then takes a week to call. And worse, he doesn’t call back for another 3 weeks and the only reason he did call was because you initiated a drop call to get his attention. While I already counted three strikes against him from the initial meeting (my friends though I was too harsh) it turns out I was right about him so it didn’t hurt me. No one has time for games so I simply didn’t make time for him.

9.     The ring didn't mean a thing

Last year when I went to St. Croix to meet his mother, I told him bluntly that I could spend over $600 on airfare to meet his mother and still leave him if I continued to be unhappy. When we did eventually break up, he threw in my face that I was throwing away two years of blah blah blah. While this may have been my longest relationship ever, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, dissatisfaction in one area will lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of your life. You don’t have to stay if your needs aren’t being met intentionally. There’s only so much anyone can put up with.

10.  Change is good but don't change too much.

Everyone changes in some way during a relationship. Your partner can encourage you to be the best you possible but remember no matter what changes you make in life, don’t lose who you truly are. Don’t change so much to make someone happy that you can’t remember what makes you happy.

There are days when it really hits me that my long-distance relationship is over and for a few seconds, I get an empty feeling. I’ve never been a fan of the dating process because there are so many jerks out there. But with friends that are more like family, I feel more confident in getting back on the dating scene.

I hope my experiences help with whatever decision you’re facing or need to face. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it in the comment section below.

XoX

What You Need to Know Before Dating These Two Personality Types

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ve probably dated these two types of people: The Independent and The People Pleaser. The People Pleaser tends to have a hard time saying no to others, doesn’t want to let anyone down (otherwise they are wrecked with guilt), they are afraid of making people feel bad, prioritise other people’s needs over their own and may lose track of time from working on other people’s agendas. Whereas the Independent Person can be someone who does not rely on others for assistance, someone who prefers to do tasks alone, someone who does not follow current trends in fashion or thinking and does not care what others think about them. As a hopeless romantic, there are pros and cons for dating both of these types of people.

The allure to dating the People Pleaser is knowing that they would do whatever it takes to make you happy, while the independent is a strong decisive person who can take charge and handle the difficult situations for you. But for every pro, there’s always a con. The people pleaser is just that, a “PEOPLE” pleaser. Their concern isn’t just in making YOU happy, it’s in making EVERYONE happy. This means there will be times when they take someone else’s side over yours or prioritise saving the world over watching Netflix with you. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as it may just seem like there is no space for you. You may also feel lied to at times because the People Pleaser says what you want to hear, not what they mean. Even worse, sometimes you’re the “bad guy” because they feel taken advantage of. Eventually the solid foundation of trust slowly erodes away and resentment replaces it on both sides. You begin to lose faith in your partner and in your connection, maybe even wondering who this person is. But there is hope!

Make sure you're inviting your partner's truth by being open, curious, and non-judgmental — even if you disagree or don't like what they're saying. Strong reactions from you, by being dismissive, falling apart in tears or becoming angry, keeps them telling you anything you want to hear just to avoid the drama. You may need to pull the truth from them. Do what I call "rolling out the red carpet" to invite their truth — all while making sure your response remains tolerant and accepting.

Alternatively, the independent is sometimes so independent that they only pursue things that matter to them and completely disregard any attempts you make to contribute to the relationship and their life, because they’re so used to doing everything for themselves. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as well as it may often seem like there is no space for you. However, there are some redeeming or at least reassuring qualities. For example, yes the independent likes to be alone, but “I need to spend time alone” does not mean, “I need to spend time away from you”. They just need to turn off for a bit and recharge so that they can go back to being awesome for you. So it’s really not you. Relax.

The important thing to remember is that just like any other personality type, these personalities are on a spectrum, which means the degree of difficulty for cohesion with this person can range anywhere from mild and tolerable to severe and incompatible. What this means is, it is up to you to decide how much of these various behaviours you can tolerate and desire. Let’s face it, they both have desirable characteristics but like any other personality type can become annoying over time; because at the end of the day, you cannot change anyone but yourself. The best way to decide goes back to our pros and cons; as long as the pros outweigh the cons, it’s worth the pursuit. Remember — only when both partners show up and share the truth of who they really are can your connection deepen in a way that keeps the relationship hot, healthy, and happily ever after.

What's the most valuable piece of dating advice you've ever gotten? Share your best and worst advice in the comment section below!

 

The LDR Diaries Vol. 1

Hello Lovely,

I’m usually really private about my relationship but after some careful consideration I’ve decided to open up more about it, in hopes that someone reading this, who may be considering entering a long distance relationship or is currently struggling with one, can get something inspiring out of it. Long distance relationships (LDR) are never easy, yet Masai and I have been making it for almost 2 years (only 4 months shy). This is significant for me because before him, I’ve never be in a relationship for even a year, so to make it this far really says something: HE HAS GOT TO BE CRAZY FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME!

Our first official photo together as a couple

Our first official photo together as a couple

Within our first year of dating, we spent all of 27 days physically together. Could you imagine spending only 27 out of 365 days with your significant other? I’m sure by now you’re wondering how the hell we made it this far.

Somehow we still managed to spend major holidays together. For his 30th birthday, I organised a real life version of The Amazing Race, in which we ran all around my island trying to beat my friends. Of course we won!

Poor fools didn't know they were about to lose!

Poor fools didn't know they were about to lose!

I'll never forget our first Christmas spent together and the two times we spent Easter together. (I met his brother at Christmas and I got really ill our first Easter, which meant we had to cancel our fishing trip but the second Easter was much better as we got to go to church together and he finally saw me dance for himself). 

Trust me when I say it has not been easy. There were days when I asked God if I listened correctly when I chose him because so many days felt like a mistake. Even recently, now that we’re physically together for three weeks this summer, we fought my first night in town in Walmart. I know what you’re thinking: How tacky is it to argue in Walmart? What did you even argue about: Are you getting enough savings; should we go with Aquafina or Dasani? Looking back on a lot of our fights, I can see how petty it was but the good thing is, we always learned something new about each other.

We’re not rushing this thing between us. We’ve both been in whirlwind romances before and had our hearts ripped out, shredded and force fed back to us while we watched that love rendezvous with someone else right in front of us. Not saying we’re jaded now, just smarter, and more cautious to do things right this go around. We’ve got a whole summer of (affordable) adventures planned out and can’t wait to enjoy this time together. This will be the most amount of time we’ve ever spent together consecutively. I can’t wait to update you on it next month.

Takeaways From This Month’s LDR Diaries:

·        Don’t walk away from a fight unless you’ve learned the reason you had the fight in the first place and have a solution for preventing it in the future

o   But be realistic: You will still fight, because you can’t change anyone but yourself. It just helps to have that mental note of how to avoid triggering the situation that ticks off your partner.

·        Just because you can’t BE with your partner, doesn’t mean you can’t still DO things with your partner.

o   Online chat programmes like Skype, WhatsApp and Rabbit are great ways to stay connected and share intimate moments of life. If life is too busy, WhatsApp is a great way to quickly shoot your partner a message, voice note, image video or even call FOR FREE! Skype is great for face to face chats and if you miss going to the movies together, Rabbit is a great website that lets you stream movies and other online videos in a private room just for the two of you.

o   If you and your beau are competitive, Pogo is another great site to check out to play games together in real time, like Monopoly and Scrabble.

·        Know your love style and be realistic about it

o   So many times he has told me that I’m a hopeless romantic, expecting things from him that’s just not his style. So if you’re trying online dating like we did, always establish this up front and make adjustments however you can, to save yourself some disappointment in the future.

The 10 Things I Love About My LDR

Being in a long distance relationship is fun! (Most of the time) Even though the miles separate you and your loved one, there’s so much to enjoy about being apart from each other. The fact that the person you love is hundreds or thousands of miles away doesn’t mean that distance has to be something horrible or difficult.

It’s so easy to focus on the negative aspects of a relationship like this, but what are the positives!? Believe it or not, there are lots of perks to being in an LDR and tons of reasons to love the distance between you. There’s the date nights, the gifts and packages and the love you both share from hundreds of miles away to think about!

Not convinced? Maybe my handy info-graphic below will change your mind. It’s got 10 beautiful reasons that I love my long distance relationship (even when it’s really hard!)

What do you love about YOUR long distance relationship?