18 Science-Backed Ways Men Can Appear More Attractive To Women

  • Romantic attraction is complicated.
  • Lucky for us, scientists have generated insights over the years into what might make men attractive to women.
  • Men who look older, sport a light beard, or do volunteer work are generally considered more appealing.

Romantic attraction is a complicated thing that scientists still don’t completely understand.

But, through research and experimentation, they’ve come up with many ideas about what draws one person to another.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of the most compelling scientific insights about the traits and behaviors that make men more appealing to women.

None of the items on this list require you to get cosmetic surgery or do a major personality overhaul; we’re talking small tweaks, like acting nicer and swapping your deodorant.

Read on for simple ways to step up your dating game.

Look for the universal signals of flirtation.

wolf of wall street margot robbie

Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures

Rutgers University anthropologist and best-selling author Helen E. Fisher says that women around the world signal interest with a remarkably similar sequence of expressions.

It goes like this:

“First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift, jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms.

“This sequential flirting gesture is so distinctive that [German ethologist Irenaus] Eibl-Eibesfeldt was convinced it is innate, a human female courtship ploy that evolved eons ago to signal sexual interest.”

Look for someone “in your league.”

Master of None

Netflix

Men — and women — are attracted to people who are as attractive as they are.

In one study from 2011, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the behavior of 60 heterosexual male and 60 heterosexual female users on an online dating site.

While the majority of users were inclined to reach out to highly attractive people, they were most likely to get a response if that person was about as attractive as they were (as judged by independent raters).

“If you go for someone roughly [equal] to you in attractiveness, it avoids two things,” Nottingham Trent University psychologist Mark Sergeant, who was not involved with the study, told The Independent. “If they are much better-looking than you, you are worried about them going off and having affairs. If they are much less attractive, you are worried that you could do better.”

Many men are delusional of their own worth. Many aim too high but fail to realize they lack the ability to acquire a woman that is far out of their league.

Present yourself as high status.

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley

A 2010 study from the University of Wales Institute found that men pictured with a Silver Bentley Continental GT were perceived as way more attractive than those pictures with a Red Ford Fiesta ST.

And a 2014 study from Cardiff Metropolitan University found that men pictured in a luxury apartment were rated more attractive than those in a control group.

Interestingly, men don’t seem to be more attracted to women when they’re pictured in a high-status context.

Grow a light beard.

david beckham beard

Larry Marano / Getty

In a 2013 study from the University of New South Wales, researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, or full beard. Participants rated the men pictured on several traits, including attractiveness.

Women said the most attractive beard length was heavy stubble.

“Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.

“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive,” they add.

Build muscle (but not too much).

Steph Curry

Ezra Shaw/Getty

In a 2007 study from University of California, Los Angeles, 286 women looked at pictures of shirtless men and indicated which ones seemed like they would make the best long- and short-term partners.

Results showed that women were more likely to want short-term relationships with the guys who had big muscles.

The evolutionary signal that might be at work here?

Characteristics like muscularity are “cues of genes that increase offspring viability or reproductive success,” say authors David A. Frederick and Martie G. Haselton.

But Frederick and Haselton took away another telling finding: Less-muscular men were thought to be a better fit for long-term relationships. So if you want to catch a woman’s eye and hold her attention, you may be better off not going overboard.

Be kind.

ryan gosling omg

Rommel Demano / Getty

One of the best documented findings in psychology is the halo effect, a bias where you unconsciously take one aspect of somebody as a proxy for their overall character. It’s why we think beautiful people are good at their jobs, even when they aren’t necessarily.

As psychologist and writer Scott Barry Kaufman notes, the halo effect works in other ways, too.

In a 2014 Chinese study, more than 100 young people looked at images of men and women’s faces and rated them on attractiveness. Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait — like kindness or honesty — or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean.

Results showed that the people described with positive traits were rated more attractive.

“Even though beauty is an assessment of fitness value, there is no reason why assessment of fitness needs to be purely physical,” Kaufman writes, meaning that acting kind can make you appear more attractive.

Wear red.

will smith red

Mike Coppola / Getty

A 2010 cross-cultural study — with participants from China, England, Germany, and the US — found that women are most attracted to men wearing red.

In one experiment from the study, 55 female undergrads looked at a color photo of a man in either a red or green shirt, and then rated the man’s attractiveness.

Sure enough, the man was rated significantly more attractive when he was wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when researchers compared the red shirt to other color shirts as well.

Interestingly, participants generally weren’t aware that the man’s clothing color was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.

Make your partner laugh.

couple on date

Shutterstock

Multiple studies indicate that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh. Interestingly, men generally aren’t more attracted to women who can make them laugh.

In one 2006 study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers asked undergraduate students (who didn’t indicate their sexual orientation) to say how much they valued a partner’s ability to make them laugh and their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Results showed that women valued both their partner’s sense of humor and their own ability to make their partner laugh; men valued only their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Walk a dog.

Dog

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

In a 2014 experiment from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, 100 Israeli women read vignettes about men.

Some of the men were described as “cads”: They would cheat on their partner and get into fights. The other men were described as stereotypical “dads”: They would work hard at their job and take good care of their kids.

Whenever the story featured a cad who owned a dog, women rated that man as a more suitable long-term partner than a cad who didn’t own a dog. Cads with dogs were even rated slightly more attractive than dads with dogs.

The researchers concluded that owning a pet signals that you’re nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments. It can also help you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.

Play good music.

ed sheeran

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 women (whose average age was 28) to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.

The results showed that women preferred the more complex music, and said they would choose the composer of the more complex music as a long-term partner.

Practice mindfulness.

In 2015, Australian researchers studied undergrads participating in a speed-dating session, and found that mindful men tended to receive higher attractiveness ratings from women.

Before the session began, 91 students were asked to fill out a mindfulness questionnaire in which they indicated how much they agreed with statements like:

  • “I perceive my feelings and emotions without having to react to them.”
  • “I notice changes in my body, such as whether my breathing slows down or speeds up.”
  • “I’m good at finding the words to describe my feelings.”

After each interaction with an opposite-sex partner, students privately indicated how “sexy” they found their partner and how much they’d like to date that person.

Results showed that men were generally more drawn to physically attractive women. (Independent coders had rated the students’ attractiveness beforehand.) But women were generally more attracted to mindful men.

Play extreme sports (carefully).

Hiking up a snowy mountain skiing

Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

A 2014 study led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that women are attracted to men who take what the researchers call “hunter-gatherer risks.”

More than 230 undergrads filled out questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviors, as opposed to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.

Hunter-gatherer risks included mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading. “Modern” risks included plagiarizing an academic paper, casually handling chemicals in a lab, and not updating the virus-protection software on your computer.

Low- and no-risk behaviors included biking along paved paths and carefully handling chemicals in a chemistry-lab class.

Results showed that women said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer risks — the kinds that were similar to risks faced by ancestral humans. Women said they would be less attracted to men who engaged in modern risks, which might seem just plain dumb.

Wear a scented deodorant.

Simply knowing that you’re wearing a new fragrance can make you act more confident, and even make you seem more attractive to other people.

In a small 2009 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers gave one group of male undergraduates a spray with antimicrobial ingredients and fragrance oil, and provided another group with an unscented spray that didn’t contain antimicrobial ingredients. Over the next few days, the men who used the scented spray reported higher self-confidence and felt more attractive.

The strange part? When a group of women were shown silent videos of the men, they found those who were wearing scented spray more attractive, even though they obviously couldn’t smell them. The researchers determined that the men using the scented spray displayed more confident behavior, which in turn made them more attractive.

Chow down on garlic.

Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, U.S., March 29, 2019. Picture taken March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy 
Reuters

The smell of garlic on your breath is generally regarded as an instant romance killer. But a series of studies from researchers at Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic and the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom suggests a different story when it comes to body odor.

In one study, eight men ate a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eight ate bread and cheese without any garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to use any deodorants or fragrances.

The following day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 women sniffed the pads and rated the odor on pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. Results showed that the garlic group was rated more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.

Do volunteer work.

Diego Prada (C), Maria Luisa Pombo (L) and other volunteers of the Make The Difference (Haz La Diferencia) charity initiative prepare soup to be donated, at Maria Luisa's kitchen in Caracas, Venezuela March12, 2017. Picture taken March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Thomson Reuters

A 2013 study from UK researchers found that women find men more appealing when they do volunteer work.

About 30 women looked at a picture of a man with a brief description of his hobbies, which sometimes included volunteer work. The same procedure was repeated with about 30 men looking at a picture of a woman. Everyone rated how attractive they found the person pictured for a short- and long-term relationship.

Both genders rated the person pictured as more attractive for a long-term relationship when they were described as a volunteer — but the effect was stronger for women rating men.

Show off your scars.

Heidi Klum Seal Thumbnail

Getty

That scar on your chin from when you fell off a bike could help you attract a mate.

In a 2009 study, researchers at the University of Liverpool and the University of Stirling took photos of 24 male and 24 female undergrads. They digitally manipulated half of the images so the subjects appeared to have facial scars — for example, a line on the person’s forehead that looked like the result of an injury.

Then the researchers recruited another group of about 200 heterosexual male and female undergrads to rate all the people pictured based on attractiveness for both short- and long-term relationships.

Results showed that men with scars appeared slightly more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. Women, on the other hand, were perceived as equally attractive regardless of whether they had scarred faces.

Use open body language in your online dating photo.

flirting

Getty Images

A 2016 study — from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University — suggests that we’re more attracted to people who display expansive body language.

In one experiment included in the study, the researchers created profiles for three men and three women on a GPS-based dating app.

In one set of profiles, the men and women were pictured in contractive positions — for example, by crossing their arms or hunching their shoulders.

In the other set of profiles, the same men and women were pictured in expansive positions, like holding their arms upward in a “V” or reaching out to grab something.

Results showed that people in expansive postures were selected as potential dates more often than those in contractive postures. This effect was slightly larger for women selecting men.

Look proud.

Oscars

AP/Jordan Strauss

A 2011 University of British Columbia study revealed a curious finding: heterosexual men and women prefer different emotional expressions on potential mates.

In one experiment included in the study, researchers had nearly 900 North American adults look at photos of opposite-sex individuals online.

The researchers were specifically comparing people’s perceptions of expressions of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality (other people had already identified the emotion behind the expression in the photo). For women evaluating men, the most appealing expression was pride, and the least appealing was happiness.

Even weirder, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.

 

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7 Signs Your Relationship Won’t Last After The First 3 Months Of Dating

It’s so easy to get swept up in the rush of lovey-dovey feelings you get from dating someone new. But according to experts, it’s pretty important to stay grounded during the first three months of dating. Because as amazing as those new love feels are, those first 90 days can determine whether or not your new relationship is the real thing or has an expiration date.

“The three month-mark in a relationship is usually when you either take the relationship to the next level and become more serious, or you decide that love isn’t going to grow and you break ties,” dating coach, Anna Morgenstern, tells Bustle.

Although every relationship differs, three months is considered to be the average length of the first stage of a relationship. According to psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman, LCSW, you should be ideally making that transition from “casually dating” to “exclusive” around that time. But again, this varies depending on how much time you actually spend together and how much distance is between you two.

According to Coleman, many believe that “losing interest” is the reason behind why some couples can’t seem to make it past three months. But that’s not entirely the case. “It’s not so much losing interest in one another as it is making a decision that this relationship is not one they want to invest more in and deepen,” she says. “They simply don’t feel that the friendship, connection, attraction and interest are strong enough.”

So will your new relationship make it past those crucial first 90 days? According to experts, if your partner hasn’t done these things in that time frame, it may not.

1. Your Partner Can’t Be Consistent With Their Communication

A person who wants a serious relationship with you will be consistent with communication early on.

Shutterstock

At the beginning of a relationship, texting, calling, and messaging typically happen very often. There’s a lot of back and forth flirtation, and you pretty much expect it. But if your partner is no longer predictable or consistent with their communication, Emily Pfannenstiel, licensed professional counselor who specializes in therapy for women, tells Bustle, that’s not a great sign.

“As your relationship progresses, your communication should be too,” Pfannenstiel says. “They should be excited and wanting to talk to you! Playing coy is one thing, but if you feel like they go MIA on you every couple days, that’s not good.” According to her, it may take some time to get used to each other’s communication styles. For instance, one partner might not like texting all day, while the other does. But in the early stages, it’s especially important to check in and show some investment in the new relationship. If you’re unsure of your partner’s level of interest, Pfannenstiel suggests matching the level of communication they give you. If they’re barely communicating, you may need to have a discussion about it.

2. Your Partner Isn’t Their Genuine Self Around You

By the three-month mark, both you and your partner should feel totally comfortable being yourselves around each other. According to Samantha Daniels, dating expert and founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, it’s a time when you stop worrying about scaring your partner off with talks about the future or bringing up issues that need to be discussed.

“You should feel no boundaries when it comes to texting when you feel like it, introducing them to your family, and being mad if they hurt your feelings and saying so,” she says. “The three month mark is when the dating games should be stopping and you can both be your genuine, honest, real true selves.” For some people, it may take a little longer to open up and be truly comfortable. So you may have to be a little patient, depending on how your partner is. But it shouldn’t take any longer than six months for them to be themselves around you.

3. They Don’t Invite You To Hang Out With Their Friends

If someone sees a future with you, they will want you to meet their friends.

Ivanko80/Shutterstock

If your partner starts making more plans with friends and isn’t making the effort to include you, Morgenstern says, that’s an early sign your relationship may not last. When this happens, the tendency is to cling onto the relationship for fear of losing it. You may text them more or request to spend more time together. But as she says, “that is the absolutely worst thing to do.”

Instead, let them be. Maybe they need space to figure out their feelings in order to move forward. “Plan a trip with friends for the weekend and have an amazing time reconnecting with your inner circle. Coming from a place of self love and inner confidence will save your relationship,” Morgenstern says. “And if your partner does break it off, you’ll be setting yourself up to walk away from the relationship as a whole person, not a broken shell of yourself.”

4. Your Partner Doesn’t Find Small Ways To Keep Moving The Relationship Forward

In order to create a well-balanced and healthy dynamic early on, you shouldn’t be initiating everything as your relationship goes on. If your partner’s interest in the relationship isn’t strong enough to take it to the next level, they may take less of an initiative, be less affectionate, and show less physical closeness. In short, there’s going to be distance and you’re going to feel it.

“Couples should want to see each other, especially in the beginning,” Daniels says. “So if you feel that your partner is straying away or they’re coming up with invalid reasons to cancel plans, then this may be a sign they are losing interest.” If this is an issue, you should discuss this with your partner. You can even offer up a plan where you come up with something to do one weekend, and they come up with something to do the next. But if nothing changes and you’re still the only one moving the relationship forward, they may not be as invested as you are.

5. Your Partner Can’t Be A Shoulder To Lean On

If your partner can't be there for you when you're having a bad day, your relationship won't make it after three months.

Shutterstock

If your partner can’t listen to you and be your shoulder to lean on in those first three months, Daniels says your relationship may not make it long-term. You shouldn’t necessarily dump all your deepest and darkest fears on them right away. But if you’re going through something at work or with your family, they should be there to talk and listen to you.

“This kind of thing is what takes your relationship to the next level,” she says. “It establishes a level of trust and strength for both of you to feel comfort when seeking comfort.” If your partner can’t be that for you, that’s not a great sign. The same goes for them choosing to lean on you during tough times. If you’re not the first person they go to when they hear bad news, they need to vent, or they need someone to lean on, they may not see the relationship as something really serious.

6. They Don’t Make Solid Future Plans With You

A partner who sees a future with you will hint at it through the words they use. Even if they aren’t thinking marriage at this point, they may talk about a future trip that they want to take with you or plans for your birthday in a few months. It’s equally important to pay attention to the follow-through. It’s one thing to say that you should go away together for the weekend, and it’s another to actually book everything and hash out the logistics. If your relationship is one that is destined to get stronger, Coleman says you will make solid plans for the future together. For instance, you may not meet their family within those first three months, but you can make plans for it. But if your partner can’t even commit to making dinner plans for next week, that’s not the best sign.

7. They Don’t Make Your Relationship A Priority

If your partner isn't prioritizing the relationship early on, your relationship isn't going to last.

Shutterstock

“There is much more that goes into maintaining a long term partnership; it’s not just be all about lust and pheromones,” Susan McCord, dating coach and talk show host, tells Bustle. “Relationships take work and need to be nurtured.” As you go further along in your relationship, your partner should be putting a good amount of effort into the relationship. The “busy” excuse won’t cut it. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll make time. You will be a priority.

It’s tough to realize that the person you’re dating isn’t putting in enough effort to be in a committed relationship with you. But as Coleman says, “You can’t keep someone interested if they’re not.” Besides, why waste your time and effort trying to make a relationship happen if it’s not meant to?

On the other hand, it’s so easy to get hung up on timelines, especially when you first start dating. There’s no shame in wanting commitment and exclusivity once you’re realized your feelings. But just remember, every relationship is different. For some, life circumstances will only allow them to have two or three dates over the course of three months. For others, getting engaged after three months just feels right. If your relationship is making you feel anxious because you haven’t done this, this, and that, by your third month together, don’t panic just yet. If you and your partner can openly communicate about where things are at and where it’s going, you’re on the right track.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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If You’re Losing Hope About Finding Love, This Advice Is A Must-Read

As someone who spent the vast majority of her life single, I know how fun it can be. That being said, I also know firsthand what losing hope about finding love can feel like. Spoiler: It’s not great.

For those of you who haven’t been there, let me paint you a picture. You’ve been single for what feels like forever. The last person you met was really great and you even saw a future with them. The two of you continued to see each other for weeks, months, or maybe even years until you mustered up the courage to tell them how you felt. At that point, they offered up some excuse about why they’re not looking for anything serious. This wouldn’t be quite so tragic if this was the first time this ever happened. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. In fact, different versions of this same story have happened to you so often that you’ve resigned to the idea that maybe you were just destined to be single forever. And that thought can be catastrophically painful. I mean, what’s the next step after you’ve given up on love entirely?

Well, in a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies who have been there share their best advice for getting your groove back when you’re starting to lose faith in love.

Happy woman hiker doing selfie at the top of Reinebringen hike above Reine village in the Lofoten archipelago, travel to Norway

Shutterstock

Treat your body like the temple that it is.

Start working out, eating healthy, getting 8 hours of sleep most nights, bathing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day, start reading a book at least a little every day and join a club for something you’re interested in. Work on you, put your best foot forward. Stop looking for a man and just gobble up the best life has to offer. Men will find you. Don’t settle for the first one unless he fits. Find someone with aspirations, a good kind sense of humor, intelligence, a clear criminal background and a similar take on life as you.

/u/PhyliA_Dobe

(This advice holds true for relationships with people of all genders, as does every other piece of advice in this story!)

Try changing your perspective for what a partner should be.

My dad told me recently, “You don’t look for a soul mate, you look for a teammate”. It completely changed the way I looked at dating.

/u/Latias

Don’t put so much pressure on marriage.

Stop worrying about it. You don’t need to get married, just concentrate on you!

/u/WeeRower

Enjoy life.

Enjoy the f*ck out of your life. For all you know, you get one go on this planet and i for one would feel like i wasn’t doing that justice by being sad about not having a man.

Sure it sucks sometimes. But he’s more likely to come a long if you’re enjoying all that life has to offer. He’s more likely to be compatible with you too.

/u/LokisLocksmith

Outdoor portrait of beautiful happy mixed race biracial African American girl teenager female young woman smiling with perfect teeth wearing a blue hoodie

Shutterstock

Live in the now.

When I was going through that, I just put it in the back of my mind and did what I could to help myself be happy in the moment. I spent a lot of time with my closest friends and worked on developing those relationships.

/u/NinjaShira

Consider your alternative.

I mean I get down about it from time to time, but I do tell myself it’s better than being in a miserable relationship. That is a lot more stressful.

/u/innerjoy2

Become the best possible version of yourself.

Enjoy your own company. Make yourself the most interesting person you know and like doing things by yourself. Because you never know, even if you find a partner, if they will be around for the rest of your life so might as well make the only person you’re guaranteed to have (yourself) fun and awesome.

/u/Alexander_dgreat

Find a hobby.

Hobbies. Hobbies. Hobbies. Then finding social outlets for those hobbies. And everything else just happens on its own.

/u/anzuj

At the end of the day, all you can do is be grateful for the life you have and the people you are surrounded by. Make the most of what you’ve got.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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14 Memorable Fourth of July Date Ideas

Wondering how to spend your holiday this independence day? Here are 14 perfectly patriotic and fun Fourth of July date ideas to have a memorable time.

It’s that time of the year again.

For many of us, the Fourth of July is just another holiday to party hard, sleep in or lounge around at home.

But this time around, it’s time you do some something different with your loved one.

This independence day, indulge in a few activities that are fun and yet, patriotic!

14 Fourth of July date ideas

Do you remember the happy Independence Day celebrations you loved so much when you were a child?

What’s stopping you from doing that, now that you’re all grown up?

Instead of just waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky at night, go on out there and enjoy the day.

Here are 14 great ways to make your Independence Day date memorable, fun and oh-so-perfect!

#1 Raise a flag. This is something you can do first thing in the morning!

Plan ahead the earlier night and get together with all your friends or with your lover early in the day, and raise the national flag in front of your house. Sing the national anthem under the star spangled banner. Really, it’s not going to sound corny at all. In fact, it’ll help you realize just how important the day really is!

And finish the morning off by having breakfast out together in the yard, sharing stories or making plans for the rest of the day.

#2 Create a tradition. Do you have any Fourth of July traditions that you and your lover rigorously follow? If not, then this year is your best excuse to start a new tradition with your partner, whatever it may be, and make a promise to follow it every year. It’ll be a memorable and romantic way to enjoy the Independence Day every year.

And many years later, you can look back at this Fourth of July and fondly remember how the tradition started in the first place.

#3 Have lunch at a restaurant. But not just any restaurant. Pick a restaurant with a patriotic menu with little flags all around! It’ll be a lot of fun to try a few new themed dishes, and it’s a great way to show respect to this special day too.

#4 Watch patriotic movies together. If you just want to relax at home, and yet, want to experience the spirit of Independence Day, pick up a few DVDs where the theme of the movie is about fighting for independence *The Patriot is a good one*. And if you’re not into movies, just watch the live celebration shows on the TV.

#5 Cook with your lover. Bake a cake with your lover or make cupcakes. Everyone loves them, and baking the cakes and dressing them up in blues and reds can be a fun time. Or prepare a whole meal with a patriotic theme.

#6 Dress up and take photographs. Dress up in your blues, reds and white on this day. A happy relationship is built on memories, so make sure you dress up in your fancy attire and take a lot of pictures together *even if the photos are too personal to show off!* After all, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than by creating more memories that can last a lifetime!

#7 Visit historical museums. Plan a special outing with your partner on this day. Go to historical museums or places of historical importance if it’s a short drive away.

#8 Attend a celebration. Every city has several community activities and get-togethers to celebrate the Fourth of July. Your partner and you could go to a concert, a baseball game, or just spend the day at a picnic or by watching a parade. Go out there and have fun, after all, there’s so many things you can do in your own city.

#9 Watch a war reenactment. If you get the opportunity to watch a war reenactment around your place, don’t miss it. It’s worth watching, especially if there are a lot of people around in their celebratory best.

#10 Plan a road trip. Go on a road trip with your partner. But make sure you adorn your car by sticking a lot of little flags all around it. It’ll be a lot of fun, and even if you’re just driving around a few blocks and not down the freeway, you’re still spreading the good word.

#11 Have a barbeque. Invite all your friends over and spend the evening catching up with each other. As long as there’s an endless supply of  hot dogs and beer, everyone will have a fun time.

#12 Have a campfire. Rent a lakeside cabin or spend the evening on the beach. Light a bonfire and spend some quality time with each other, watching the stars and the fireworks brighten up the night sky.

#13 A night of fireworks. If you’ve got kids around or love lighting up the night sky, buy your own fireworks and sparklers. But if you just like watching the night sky light up, go to a fireworks show with your partner and cheer out loud!

#14 Spend time with family. There’s no better way to spend the Fourth of July than by spending quality time with the ones you love. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the Independence Day. Get together on this holiday with all your loved ones, and enjoy the day by planning the activities together or by taking off to an all day event.

Use these 14 Fourth of July date ideas and you’ll have a great time with your loved one. But remember to have fun responsibly, and most importantly, respect your flag and honor it.

 

 

 

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4th of July Date Ideas (That Won’t Break the Bank)

Here are a bunch of fun ways to ignite some sparks of your own.

1. Plan an outdoor picnic. We know, it may sound a little clichéd, but grab an American flag blanket at a cheapie store (c’mon, show your patriotism), a bottle of wine, and some American fare to share with your guy. You can bring along a Frisbee or Nerf ball to toss around after lunch. Outdoor eating can be much more relaxed and romantic (not to mention more affordable) than your typical dinner and drinks.

2. Hit up a rooftop bar with your guy. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails in the breezy summer weather, and you might even be able to spot a nearby fireworks show — minus the crowds and mobs of children.

3. Go on a romantic “getaway.” Almost every town has its appeal on the 4th, so head to your local tourist hot spot. Breaking your usual routine and taking advantage of what your town or city has to offer will make you feel like you’re on a mini vacation. Plus, experiencing new activities with your guy is exciting.

4. Bake a 4th of July cake. Don’t go all Betty Crocker on your guy, but baking a festive cake with him can be a flirty, fun way to get some one-on-one time. Top the cake with whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries. Hint: If you happen to buy too much whipped cream, you can always find, um, other uses for it.

5. Head to an outdoor concert. A lot of cities host 4th of July concert and firework shows (what’s not to like about two-for-one dates?). Check out your local paper to see what’s going on nearby. Don’t feel like springing for tickets? You can usually mingle your way close enough to the concert stage, but outside the seat parameter, to listen to the live music for free.

6. Host a BBQ. We all know guys like to barbecue, so let your man be manly as he grills up the hamburgers and ribs. A casual cookout can be a great way to break the ice and introduce him to your family or friends. Don’t forget the festive cocktails!

7. Do something historic. Google your town or city to find out what local American memorials or museums you can visit. You’ll both learn a bit about the past and get a renewed appreciation for your heritage.

8. Get wet. When we think of July we think beaches and bikinis. If you don’t live near a beach, find a friend with a pool or buy a day pass to a public pool. Upload summer tunes to your iPod and have your guy rub you down with sunscreen and cocoa butter. You two can even sport those corny American flag bathing suits if you feel so inclined.

9. Have a movie night. If you’re far away from the beach and fireworks, invite your guy over for a movie night, 4th of July style. Pick out a few festive flicks and cozy up in front of the TV. Some suggestions: Born on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and The Patriot.

10. Bond over a bonfire. You could always forgo the fireworks and curl up around a campfire with him. Bring along sparklers to get into the spirit.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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Guy Talk: The Real Reason Women Shouldn’t Make The First Move

Maybe you catch him standing at the other end of the bar, slyly checking you out. Maybe you met him before and flirted with him, but he never asked for your phone number. Or, maybe you’ve already hung out with him a few times, but a casual arm flung over your shoulders is about the extent of the physical contact he’s made so far.

So, you saunter over to him and say hi.

Or, the next time you see him, you say, “So, are you ever going to ask for my phone number?”

Or, as you’re sitting on the couch next to him, streaming yet another movie on Netflix, you turn to look him in the eyes, and you decide to just go for it and kiss him.

Like that daydreaming moron you’re stuck behind at the busy intersection, these are the guys who make you throw your arms up in the air and yell, “You’ve got the green light! Just go already!”

Yes, there are a lot of timid guys out there.

But now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Timid guys aren’t as numerous as you may think. In fact, that cute guy who flirts with you and acts interested, but never actually does anything about it, can turn out to be a totally different breed of guy. He’s not timid, or awkward, or nervous. He’s manipulating you.

This is the guy who’s not looking for anything serious (or, more specifically, not looking for anything serious with you), but wouldn’t be opposed to a casual fling. This may also be the guy who prides himself on being a “good guy.” And true to his self-professed nature, he doesn’t want to play you. That’s why he never comes right out and makes any overt moves on you.

On the other hand, if you initiate all the moves, he’s certainly not going to stop you. And whether consciously or subconsciously, that’s the trap he has set for you.

How do I know so much about this guy, you ask? Because I used to be him.

You see, if I let the girl make the first move, then I don’t have to be the douchebag who acts interested, gets the girl into bed, then dumps her immediately after.

If she makes the first move, then I’m the one being chased. And if I’m the one being chased, then I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up. And if I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up, then I have a perfectly valid reason to pull back at any time.

Let me repeat that last part: at any time.

Yes, some guys are douchebags to the core. They sleep on king-sized douchebag beds lined with satin douchebag sheets lathered with the essence of douchebag body spray. They’ll say whatever it takes to get you into bed, and they’ll feel no shame pulling the fade-out after they get what they want.

But, most guys aren’t assholes of such cartoonish proportions. I think most guys actually try to do “the right thing.” And on a conscious level, they know it’s not cool to feign interest in a girl just to get her naked, especially if it seems like she wants more than just a fling.

And that’s when the subconscious rationalizing begins:

“Well, I’d sleep with her. And I’m pretty sure she’s interested. But, I’d never want to date her….”

“Alright, be cool then. Just talk to her and be friendly….”

“Oh, look at that. She just kissed me. Hmm….”

“Alright, Conscience. Look, dude, she freaking just kissed me! You can’t possibly expect me to turn her away, right? As long as she kisses me first, then I can totally hook up with her, and you won’t lay all that guilt on me afterwards, right? Right?”

“You won’t? Game on!”

And once that rationalization train gets going, the excuses just keep on chugging along:

“I had fun with you, but I just don’t want anything serious right now.”

“I’m sorry, I should’ve been more clear what I was looking for before we hooked up.”

“I’m just not ready to commit to anyone at this point in my life.”

Any of these lines can be spoken by the guiltless douchebag as he’s in the process of dumping you. And you’ll hate him.

But, if you’re the one who made all the moves, if you’re the one who pursued him, do you see how the self-professed good guy can say these same exact lines and still come across as the innocent victim while he’s dumping you

In his arsenal, the self-professed good guy even has lines the supersized douchebag could never use. Like this one:

“I’m actually kind of old-fashioned and like to take things slow. Don’t get me wrong—last night was amazing. But, I was caught up in the moment, and I think we definitely moved too fast.”

See? It’s your fault you jumped into bed too soon, because you put the moves on him. And now, he gets to walk away with nary a scratch on his shiny armor.

I admit, I did all this subconscious rationalizing for years before I realized what I was actually doing. Once my conscience made that shady back room deal with my lust, my hypocrisy became all too easy to ignore.

Yup, all my life, I prided myself on being a decent guy. But, it turns out I was a douchebag all along. And unfortunately, I think every guy has some amount of douchiness in him (if, by “douchiness,” we mean the desire for easy sex).

Here’s the bottom line:

If I really like a girl, I’m going to make the first move.

So, go ahead. Make the first move on that cute, coy guy if you want. Just remember the Get Out Of Guilt Free card you may be handing him if you do.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tinder Is A Waste Of Time For Most People

Dating apps won’t help you much if your goal is to have more relationships. You would probably succeed just as well—or poorly—without it.

“For people who don’t pull off one-night stands without using Tinder, Tinder doesn’t offer much in the way of new opportunities,” says postdoctoral fellow Trond Viggo Grøntvedt in NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

He is the first author of a new article in Evolutionary Psychological Science that deals with the use of Tinder. If you’re failing outside Tinder, then you don’t have much to gain from using Tinder, either.

“For people who actually have sexual relations outside Tinder, Tinder use only provides a limited increase in the number of one-night stands,” Grøntvedt says.

Same people succeed both ways

“Most of the people who succeed on Tinder have casual sex and hook-ups otherwise, too,” says Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair at the Department of Psychology at NTNU.

The researchers have previously found that Tinder use did not lead to an increase in one-night stands.

“We have found little reason to claim that dating apps lead to more short-term sexual relationships than before,” says Associate Professor Mons Bendixen, also in NTNU’s Department of Psychology.

There is thus no reason for any moral outrage from anyone.

Swiping

Tinder is one of several match-making apps. It uses location services to find other users nearby and then tries to match users with each other.

Selecting someone is simple and effective: candidates pop up with a picture and some information on the screen. Swiping to the left means you’re not interested in a meet-up. Swiping to the right means you would like to meet the person. If two people swipe right on each other, the app can help them meet.

But sweeping and searching on Tinder has very limited effectiveness for the vast majority of users, who will probably succeed just as well by meeting live people instead.

Lots of hits needed

A lot of hits are needed on Tinder before any lead to a meeting. And even more hits are required before any kind of relationship can happen, whether we’re talking about a one-night stand or a meeting a partner with the aim of having a long-term committed relationship.

Men and women tend to use Tinder and other dating apps differently. Most women take more time to evaluate potential matches and are more often looking for a relationship, whereas most men are quicker in their assessments and swipe to the right far more often in the hope that a high enough number will result in at least one hit.

80 percent achieve nothing

About 20 percent of users had one-night stands after using Tinder. The vast majority of them had only experienced this once. Thus, eight of ten users never have sex after using the app.

“Tinder may offer new sexual opportunities, but these appear to be very limited,” says Kennair.

Only a tiny group of seven people, between two and three percent of the study participants, had one-night stands exclusively after meeting someone through Tinder. The rest achieved this by traditional dating methods as well.

Age and attitudes matter

Participants were asked to evaluate how physically attractive they found themselves to be. How physically attractive users are can predict the extent to which they succeed in having short-term sex when using Tinder.

“But this also applies when you’re not using dating apps. Some people get a lot, and a lot get none,” says Kennair.

“Both age and attitudes towards casual sex affect how often you actually achieve a one-night stand after using Tinder. But these are the same factors that play in elsewhere as well,” Grøntvedt says.

If you are more comfortable with casual sex, you’ll also have it more often.

“But there’s also a connection between a high interest in short-term sex encounters and less chance of meeting someone interested in a long-term relationship through the use of the dating app,” says Bendixen.

Not effective for long-term relationships either

Female Tinder users are, on average, more interested in finding long-term relationships than men are. This also applies to encounters without using dating apps.

But according to this and previous studies, Tinder is not a very effective way to meet a long-term partner, either.

Ernst Olav Botnen had the idea for this study. He is currently a clinical psychologist at Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital in Oslo.

“It’s interesting to see how the behavior we see in other arenas, like bars and nightclubs, is reflected in dating apps,” says Botnen.

Of the 269 study participants who were active or former Tinder users, 62 percent were women.

“Since the participants in our selection are university students in their early 20s, it will be interesting to see if our findings apply to other groups and age ranges in future research,” Botnen says.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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How You Can Tell If You’re Putting In Too Much Work In A Relationship

Relationships are hard work. You’ve no doubt heard people say this before. But the notion of “working hard” on love can be confusing. Exactly how challenging is it supposed to be? When can you tell if you’re actually putting too much effort into a relationship and not getting enough back?

Well, if this possibility is something you’re grappling with, begin first and foremost by checking in with yourself and your needs in the partnership. And as therapist Dea Dean, who has a private practice in Mississippi, tells Bustle, there are some more obvious signs you may be in an imbalanced dynamic where emotional work is involved. For one, if the invitations you extend to your partner for connection, partnership, or communication are denied or dismissed repeatedly, this indicates a problem, Dean says.

“If your partner says they are willing to meet a need (more quality time, healthier boundaries with friends or family, equal share in household responsibilities), yet their behavior consistently reveals unwillingness and a lack of follow-through,” Dean says, that’s not a good sign.

And as Lisa Myers, 32, tells Bustle, she has found herself in unbalanced relationships where she gives things up to focus on her partner’s needs. “My biggest thing has always been ‘dumbing down’ my success or how social I am because it makes my partner’s uncomfortable,” Myers says. “Literally every one of them.”

While every relationship has its ups and downs, and the internal dynamic between the two of you might shift, in general, it should be a give-and-take that works for both of you. Below, take a look at some signs that you might be doing too much when it comes to keeping your relationship working.

1. You Feel Drained When You Hang Out

It's normal to feel confused or stressed out when your relationship is taking an inordinate amount of energy.

Shutterstock

Every now and then, being around your partner — or anyone, for that matter — can be draining. But as life and relationship coach Diana Venckunaite tells Bustle, hanging out with your partner should be fun, fulfilling, and relaxing for the most part. It’s the kind of dynamic that should lift you, not deplete you.

“If you feel exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally every time your partner leaves, then you may be doing too much work to please your partner and going out of your way to make sure that everything is perfect,” Venckunaite says. Are you the one who makes the plans? Takes care of the food? Tries to maintain the peace? Ask yourself what you think your “responsibilities” are, and if they are truly balanced between you both.

2. You Feel Like Your Partner’s Therapist

“A relationship needs a strong foundation of being one another’s rock during tough and stressful times, where you trade who will be the support for who on and off,” Venckunaite says.

But if you find yourself being “the rock” over and over again, then you have to sit down and think if you’re getting enough from the relationship.

You both deserve to be mutually supported, and feel safe to ask for help and let your guard down. And remember, even as a source of love and strength, you aren’t responsible for each other’s emotional issues.

3. You Feel Irritated A Lot Of The Time

It can feel very frustrating to  be putting in more emotional work than your partner.

Shutterstock

You might start to get irritated with your partner once you begin recognizing there are some imbalances, Venckunaite says. Maybe it’s because you always end up being the designated driver, or you can predict in advance the way your partner is going to behave in a social situation.

“You’re not a babysitter,” Venckunaite says. And you shouldn’t have to feel irritation that foreshadows the same things happening every single time you go out.

4. You Feel Your Contributions Are Unmatched

Dean says that if you are giving on an emotional, financial, or physical level and it’s not being reciprocated in some balanced way, you can easily become critical and withdrawn.

Do you pay for everything and do all the house work? Are you always providing emotional support and doing all the planning? Even if you give different things, you want to make sure you are giving to each other in an equitable way.

“In order to avoid [imbalance] partners can frequently ‘check-in’ with one another and give non- judgmental feedback about how they can better help one another and find balance in negotiating responsibilities with finances, housework, emotional care and relational preferences,” Dean says.

5. If Your Partner Asks For Something Small, You Feel Resentful

Resentments can build easily when you feel unappreciated.

Shutterstock

Again, if you feel like you are putting a whole lot into the relationship without much in return, you might notice yourself feeling bad in general, but that might be doubled when your partner asks you for something. For example, if you feel like you’re constantly the one giving, having them ask for that glass of water at the end of the night might be the last darn straw.

“If this is happening to you, take some time to identify if your resentment is stemming from your own needs going unmet,” Dean says.

If you do indeed find that is what’s going on for you, it’s time to communicate with your partner.

“Once you’ve informed your partner of the imbalance in your dynamic and invited them to demonstrate care for your desires, evaluate whether they show willingness to match the level and frequency of care you’re longing for,” Dean says.

Ultimately, never doubt that you deserve a supportive relationship that makes you feel respected and seen. Even when it’s a lot of work — it should be work for both of you.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing publishes of Amazon June 20th!

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Here’s How To End Things With Someone You Weren’t “Officially” Dating

Here’s an interesting post by one of my female readers.

Several years back, I found myself grappling with a rather common conundrum. After casually dating the same guy for several months, I decided I wasn’t invested enough in the relationship to pursue it any further. But since we never decided it was exclusive, put a label on things, or defined the relationship in any way whatsoever, I had no clue what the protocol was. If you, too, are wondering how to end things with someone you weren’t “officially” dating, then know this: There’s no one-size-fits-all formula because how you approach it will depend on such factors as how long you’ve been dating, how serious things were getting, etc. However, experts say there are certain tried-and-true guidelines you should stick to when breaking off an undefined relationship.

According to Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of Dating.com, and Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, it makes sense why it might feel awk AF to call it quits on something that was never made official, especially if you generally avoid or put off confrontation.

“Everyone hates uncomfortable conversations,” says Trombetti. “And if you’re someone that hates to hurt anyone’s feelings or doesn’t like to disappoint, it never feels good.

That’s why it can be pretty tempting to dodge the conversation entirely. But as much as you may prefer to “Irish exit” your almost bae, experts agree the one thing you shouldn’t do is neglect to formally end things, no matter how casual your relationship was.

It's best to meet in person or call when ending things with a person you weren't official with.

Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

“You shouldn’t just let things fizzle out or ghost someone, because it makes the process of moving on a lot harder,” explains Sullivan. “It leaves a lot of questions unanswered and often people will begin to blame themselves for why things didn’t work out when it might have just been bad timing.”

Trombetti advises following the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you’ve ever had someone leave you hanging, you probably know it doesn’t feel so great. So, just as you would likely want the person you’re casually dating to be upfront with you, it’s advisable to provide your unofficial boo with the same level of honesty.

Of course, if the person you were dating has mistreated you or made you feel unsafe in any way, then you have absolutely no obligation to meet up with them in person or even call them on the phone. Your top priority should be to break it off in whatever way makes you feel comfortable and secure.

Otherwise, both experts concur that the best way to handle this situation is in person, or at the very least, with a phone call — particularly if you’ve spent a significant amount of time together. A text may suffice if you’ve only been on a few dates, but if you’ve been seeing each other for months, it’s best to call them up or make a plan to meet. A phone call allows the person you’ve been dating to hear your voice, which is a huge advantage over text because tone can play a major role in how they react to your decision. It also shows them that you care enough to engage in a two-way conversation and give them a chance to say what’s on their mind. On the other hand, if you decide to meet in person, you’ll want to be mindful of when and where you meet. In general, it’s best to choose a location where you can have a private conversation, which means a bar or a restaurant are probably a no-go. You can meet up at their apartment, or even offer to take a walk.

When I broke it off with my aforementioned not-quite-boyfriend, I asked him to meet me at a local park. I later found out that since this was an unusual place for us to link up, this tipped him off that something might be up, and he actually came prepared for the possibility that we might be ending things. I cut to the chase pretty quickly and simply told him, “I think you have a lot to offer, and I feel really lucky that you reminded me how I deserve to be treated by someone I’m dating. But I’m having trouble seeing a future here, and given that my life is about to get really hectic, I think it’s best if we go our separate ways.” To my relief, he took it super well — so well, in fact, that shortly after that, he supported my crowdfunding campaign for the album I was recording, and when we ran into each other a couple months later, we were able to exchange pleasantries with barely any awkwardness.

Breaking up with someone you aren't official with isn't easy, but it does offer closure.

Javier Díez/Stocksy

I can’t tell you exactly how to go about breaking up with someone you weren’t official with because only you know what feels right given your unique romantic circumstances. But I will say this: wherever, whenever or however you opt to end things, it’s worth having a plan for what you’ll say. If you decide ahead of time how exactly you’ll bring it up, you’re less likely to back out of breaking it off at the last minute. For example, Trombetti suggests saying something along the lines of, “I’m so glad I got to know you, but I just don’t feel like we’re right for each other” or, “I’ve had a lot of fun with you, but I just don’t see this continuing.” Starting with something positive may help to soften the blow, and following up with a super direct statement ensures that you don’t leave any room for confusion about the fact that the relationship is over.

“You should be prepared for the other person to be disappointed, and maybe even questioning why you made this decision,” Trombetti tells Elite Daily. “Don’t go off script and engage. You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty such as ‘I am just not that attracted to you’ or ‘I find you to be a bit of a jerk.’ If you weren’t official, you don’t owe them those explanations — and let’s face it, your reasons are usually never going to sit well with them. It’s best to be kind, brief, and honest.”

So, here’s a recap. It’s best to end things either over the phone or in-person, depending on what feels right for your specific situation. Always have a plan for exactly what you’re going to say, and consider starting on a positive note, but ending on a clear-cut statement that you don’t wish to continue the relationship. Never feel like you need to over-explain yourself or justify your decision. While it may not be easy to break it off with someone you were never official with, it’s ultimately good dating karma. Remember: Having an honest convo is the best way to get closure, which is something you both deserve, even if your relationship wasn’t ever fully defined.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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8 Things to Say at the End of a Date if You Have Zero Intention of “Grabbing Drinks!” Ever Again

When I went to grab drinks with Josh* at an Irish pub near my work, we had decent chemistry. It wasn’t “Omg, I found my soul mate” chemistry, but it was the kind that I sometimes gaslight myself into believing could potentially develop over time. (Note: Dudes do not do this.) In this specific case, it was because we had a mutual love of Kacey Musgraves and he could hold a conversation without awkward pauses…yes, the bar is really that low, people.

But after one drink, I was ready to call it a night. We parted ways, said our goodbyes, no kiss (although, he did plant one on my cheek, which I guess in hindsight reads, “Hi, not interested”) and then I turned and started walking the other way. But before I was completely turned around, he hesitated in one of those awkward, first-date fidgety moves and said with a smile, “We should do this again sometime.” I nodded and started walking away à la my own Sex and the City moment. In my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, I thought: Damn, Tay, you still got it.

A week later. though, when I texted Josh: “Hey, Josh, how are we this week?” I was left on read. Now, I normally have a great gut instinct (weird flex, sorry), but I wasn’t getting ghosting vibes from Josh. He said he wanted to see me again? We had good conversation? What about Kacey?! I mean, I genuinely thought it was one of those one in a million chances that Josh had actually lost his phone or was out of service range or didn’t get my text for some reason (I know, I know: Insert my clown face here). But when he still didn’t text me back, I realized I was being ghosted. The worst.

So, in honor of my personal experience with the phrase: “Hey, yeah, we should do this again sometime,” (both me doing it and receiving it with no intent of following up), I want to make the bold plea: Can we *please* stop ending dates with this empty promise if we don’t, like, actually mean it?

I understand that closing out a bad date can be super awkward. What do you say? How do you finagle your way out of a kiss? How do you end the date pleasantly without being mean? Sometimes, if you’re like me, it really is just easier to blab out “Oh, I’ll text you!” or “Let’s do this again!” because as humans, we don’t know WTF else to say. In order to prevent this—and giving someone false hope for date number two—here are 7 other things you can end a date with instead:

  1. “Let me know when you get home safely!” Not only does this show interest in the person’s well-being (or, in my case, that they didn’t get pushed onto the subway tracks by someone), it’s also a pretty friendly way to get them to text you when they get home. That way, when they do, you’ll have the confidence to tell them through a text you weren’t feeling things because it’s *so* much easier behind a screen.
  2. “Good luck in that ______ this week!” You’ve just been talking for the last hour, maybe two, about the other person, so they’ve probably mentioned what they’re doing the following week. Wish them luck on whatever you can recall—whether it’s a work presentation or calling to make their own doctor’s appointment.
  3. “Thanks for the drinks!” or dinner, or coffee, or whatever. If you picked up the tab, “Thanks for the company!” works too. This type of statement is clutch because it doesn’t elicit any response other than “You’re welcome!” But if you really can’t think of anything to thank them for because they were a grade A douche, how about “Thank you for paying for the buzz I now have and will use to drunkenly swipe on other dating appers as soon as I get into my Uber after I unmatch you”?
  4. “Do you know how to get home?” It doesn’t have to be condescending (or it totally can be if your date asked if you knew how many carbs were in the bread basket you ate), but it’d be perfectly okay to end the convo with directions, a hug, and then a good ol’ pat on the back.
  5. “Give your pup a kiss for me!” …because you will, very unfortunately, never meet their cute pup to do it yourself, considering you despise anyone who chews with their mouth open.
  6. “Here, take my leftovers!” Let’s hope that your date isn’t awaiting your text for round two, but if they are (because you’re just that much of a catch), at least they’ll have some leftover Bolognese to snack on that can temporarily make them happy.
  7. “Gentleman (or ladies), if you are without a rose tonight, it’s time to say your goodbyes.” Hug them, kiss them on the cheek, and then offer to walk them down to their subway station.
  8. “Honestly, you’re kind of a shit date.” Hey, I’m always one for full-frontal honesty. How else do they learn?

In my case, I didn’t really know what was in store for Josh’s and my future, which is why I was fully ready to leave our date not expecting anything in return. But when I’m told, “Oh, we should do this again sometime!” that sends me—and I’m assuming other people too—into a spiral of “Oh, okay, I guess they had a great time and are into me.” Had Josh not said anything to me at all, I probably would’ve been more okay with the slow-fade from our date. But when someone gives me an unsolicited promise, I’m inclined to expect them to keep it.

*Name has been changed.

 

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