The Date Mix https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix Dating and Relationship Advice for Today's Daters Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5 Dating a Widower: 10 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Relationship https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/dating-a-widower/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15690 How to respect the loss they've experienced while also respecting your own needs.

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When you’re dating someone who’s lost a spouse or partner, you’re entering an area of dating that not many people have experience of. You may worry that this person is always going to be talking about their spouse or that he or she will never give you the type of relationship you want. While those concerns are expected, they’re often not the case. Some people grieve over their lost partners, others may not have had the marriage they wanted. More often than not, it’s complicated. But your relationship with them doesn’t have to be.

Here are 10 tips for dating a widower you should know when starting your relationship:

1. Don’t get offended.
It may take a while for you to have a relationship that’s as strong as their deceased partner, or you may never be put on the same pedestal. “When someone loses a spouse, they usually idolize the lost partner on some level, so don’t be threatened if they refer to them in adoring ways,” explains licensed psychologist, Dr. Wyatt Fisher.

2. Don’t ask for too much information about their spouse.
Being a good listener is key in any relationship, but when you’re dating a widower don’t dig for information they don’t want to share. “It takes time to get to know someone and understand them,” explains Stef Safran, a relationship expert and dating coach. “Asking a lot of personal questions is no shortcut.”

3. Take it slow.
Each person is different and it will take time to learn if the person you’re with is ready to be in a relationship again, so try to mirror the pace they’re taking. “It wouldn’t be any different than dealing with someone who’s divorced. It sometimes can take time to see if someone is ready for the relationship that you are,” says Safran.

4. Honor the memory.
Regardless of how often they bring up the deceased, it’s important to respect them. “When they bring up memories of their deceased spouse, be sure to honor them with respectful language, such as ‘sounds like they were a great person’ or ‘I’m so sorry for what you’re going through,” says Fisher.

5. Watch out for warning signs.
If your significant other is comparing you to their deceased spouse constantly or if there’s incessant talk about the death, it could be that they’re stuck in grief and it could get pathological. Get out if this sounds like your relationship, explains international dating coach, Cynthia Spillman. “He or she may not be emotionally available right now, but keep the door open if you want to.”

6. You may not be included.
Be prepared for potential animosity. Spillman says this can come from his former in-laws as well as any children and even friends. “If they have children, don’t try and be their mother [or father]. The best you can hope to be to them is a good friend.”

7. Take honest stock of your expectations.
It’s unpredictable and your date may be cycling in and out of the stages of grief, explains relationship expert, Linda F. Williams. “They may do more talking about their spouse than you might be in the mood to hear. But you’ll do the relationship a disservice if you expect them to compartmentalize that part of their lives. Focus on the friendship first. From there you might be more patient as they move through the process of grief.”

8. Watch out for the rebound.
“Sometimes when someone loses a spouse they try to find someone to fill the void. Be careful that person isn’t you. Be cautious dating anyone who has lost their spouse within the last 6-12 months,” says Fisher.

9. Don’t try to fill a void left by the loss.
Nobody can. That’s too much pressure for anybody, and you shouldn’t take it on yourself. “If it appears that he or she is seeking someone to fill a hole their spouse has left, have an honest conversation about the matter. Then, based on that information, you might decide to permanently, or temporarily, end the relationship.” says Williams.

10. Do realize that widowers can make wonderful partners.
“Sometimes there isn’t the bitterness that divorce can entail and sometimes there is a chance for their significant other to express that they want them to find love again,” says Safran.

Losing someone is always hard, but losing a spouse is a profound experience that effects much more than your single status. With the loss of a loved one, a whole life can change. When dating someone who’s a widower, respect the loss they’ve experienced and the changes they may have went through or may still be going through. But also respect yourself. It may be that you have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person ahead of you, or it may be that your time with this person is another chance to grow.

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The 10 Biggest Dating Trends of 2017 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/online-dating-advice/biggest-dating-trends-of-2017/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:05:20 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15745 A round up of some of the most surprising data stories of the year.

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A lot of things changed in the dating world over the course of 2017. Chris Pratt and Anna Faris broke up, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged, Tinder banned tiger selfies, 1 in 6 newlyweds were married to someone of a different ethnicity, and (last but not least… well, maybe not least) draking became a thing. There’s been a lot changes, both big and small, and it got us to thinking…

With the year coming to a close, we thought now would be a good time to look back at some of the things we learned about dating in 2017. To help us out, we used data from the popular dating site and app Zoosk‘s over 40 million members, to get a good idea of what dating in 2017 was like and how it changed from previous years.

Here are 2017’s biggest dating trends:

1. Nice guys finish first.
Men who have words like thoughtful, listener, polite, giving, community, give back, or friendly in their profile get up to 66% more messages than the average. And if a man calls himself a knight in shining armor, he could get up to 67% more messages.

2. It’s time to cool it with the filters.
You may have thought narrowing down your pool of people to non-smoking, college-educated athletes would help you find what you’re looking for faster, but a study found that people who used filters while online dating sent out more messages but got 11% fewer replies than those who turned them off.

3. More people are dating outside their age range.
While online dating, people were 9% more likely to like, message, or have a conversation with someone ten years older or younger than them than they were in 2016.

4. A higher education makes you more attractive.
People who have a bachelor’s or advanced degree are seen as more attractive while online dating. And they also get up to 17% more replies to their messages.

5. Food, especially guacamole, could land you a date.
Mentioning guacamole in your dating profile could get you up to 144% more inbound messages. And a lot of other foods helped you out too. Potatoes increased inbound messages by 101% and chocolate increased them by 100%.

6. There’s no longer a stigma against vegans or vegetarians.
Back in 2015, messages that mentioned being a vegetarian got 100% fewer replies than the average. But now that’s it’s 2017, saying you’re a vegetarian gets you 3% more replies. Being a vegan is a plus as well. People who mention vegan in their profile get 62% more incoming messages than the average.

7. Lunch dates are in.
Messages that mention lunch get 25% more responses than the average, while coffee, dinner, and drinks get up to 13% fewer messages.

8. The most talkative women on dating apps live in Ohio, while men are more spread out.
In 2017, Ohio women messaged more often than the women in any other U.S. state. (They were in three of the top five cities.)

The Top 5 Most Talkative Women By Location

  1. Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio
  2. Cincinnati-Middletown, Indiana
  3. Huntington-Ashland, Ohio
  4. Wheeling, Ohio
  5. Yuba City, California

And let’s not forget about the boys.

The Top 10 Most Talkative Men By Location

  1. Owensboro, Kentucky
  2. The Greater New York City Area
  3. The Greater LA Area
  4. Morristown, Tennessee
  5. Evansville, Kentucky

9. If you wait too long to respond to someone, you could end up dateless.
While online dating, it’s best to reply to someone’s message within the day or chances are the person will  move on. Messaging within the same day results in a 62% response rate, but after waiting two days the rate drops to 45%.

10. The most active day for dating apps was November 15. But the most active month was January.
There were 11% more singles actively online dating on November 15 than any other day of the year. And although November 15 was the most popular day, on the whole, January was the most active month, with 9% more people than the average.

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8 Dating Tips from Holiday Rom-Coms https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/dating-tips/8-dating-tips-holiday-romcoms/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:00:24 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15729 Hint: If a slow instrumental version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is playing the background, you’re about to have a love-epiphany.

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Some may consider holiday rom-coms just another sugar-coated indulgence of the season, but I’ve seen a lot of them, and when I think about what holiday classics like Love Actually, The Holiday, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Bridget Jones, and The Family Stone all have in common, it’s pretty clear that the way love works around the holidays is a little different than it is the rest of the year.

Here are some tips that will help you enjoy the holidays and land the love of your life by New Year’s…

1. Stop hating the hottie, because he’s probably the love of your life.
According to rom-coms, that devilishly handsome jerk that makes your life a living hell might actually have a heart of gold. You just have to wade through all of his childish bullcrap, drink a little too much wine, almost kiss him, have an existential crisis, and go through a personal tragedy to realize he’s the one by your side when no one else is.

2. Stop being distracted by the hottie, because the love of your life is probably your best friend.
This directly contradicts dating tip #1, but what can I say, love is complicated. If you fall for the hottie, there’s a real chance he’ll overlook you completely and repeatedly take you for granted, while your completely platonic male best friend that you never even considered romantically is gazing at you with doe-eyed admiration.

3. You’re going to have to endure at least one melancholy evening alone amidst glowy Christmas lights.
We can’t help it, something about Christmas lights makes for a very introspective environment, and that’s only magnified if you’re love-sick. If a slow instrumental version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is playing the background, you’re about to have a love-epiphany, so get your boots on and gear up for a sleigh bell fueled dash to the door of that hottie (or bestie, or whomever everyone but you has figured out is the love of your life already). Which brings me to the next lesson…

4. Step up the cardio and wear comfy shoes.
You’re going to have to out-run someone’s cab to the airport. I’m sorry, but it’s just a given.

5. Whatever career thing you’re preoccupied with doesn’t matter, what matters is love.
If your boss has been riding you, and you have to knock this one project out of the park to nail down That Big Promotion™, be prepared to give up everything you’ve been working for since the day you set foot out of college as soon as you realize what’s really important.

 6. If you’re so charming that you have to choose between two handsome and available men, open their Christmas gifts.
The guy that gives you a beautiful diamond necklace, although he means well, is just a rich a-hole in the end. You will have a fabulous, fairytale life full of galas and jets and a huge, gaping void somewhere in your heart-area. The guy that tracks down the rarest limited edition version of your favorite novel, complete with hand illustrations and a personal note from the author, now he’s the one. Sure, he’s rough around the edges, and you never even considered him in the beginning because he’s marginally less conventionally attractive than guy #1, but this love will endure.

7. Your quirky best friend WILL fall in love with your newfound love’s goofy assistant.
Don’t worry, this won’t happen until the end of the movie, so it won’t take away from your emotional journey. But if throughout the holiday season you’ve been shaking your head at your bestie’s bumbling awkwardness, then oh man, it is SO happening for her.

8. All of this is null and void if it doesn’t start snowing when you finally kiss the love of your life.
I don’t care if you live in Alabama, love conquers all, even longstanding conventional climate trends. If this Christmas miracle doesn’t happen, you’re not really in love.

But don’t worry, you can try again in a couple months with an, “I’ve given up on love, so don’t even bother” Valentine’s Day rom-com storyline. Spoiler alert, go for the clumsy neighbor who you can always call to fix your heater.

 

 

 

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5 Things to Ask Yourself This December if You’re 40 and Single https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/dating-in-your-40s/40-and-single-ask-yourself/ Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:00:40 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15659 Did you make an effort to date?

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When most people think of December, they think of holidays and the New Year around the corner. But it’s also a time to look back and remember both our successes and (hopefully not) our failures. Remembering can be a form of learning. For those of us who are in our 40s and single, reflecting upon our dating efforts from the past year is a way to learn from our mistakes and reinforce the positives.

To create a positive dating experience moving forward in the New Year, ask yourself these questions:

1. Did you make the effort to date?
Saying you want to meet someone and actually doing something about it are two different things. Think back over the past year and decide whether or not you put enough effort into meeting someone.

2. Were you too picky?
Did you not give certain people a chance because you thought they weren’t your type or they weren’t good enough for you? If you answered yes, you may want to rethink your standards and maybe give a person a second date.

3. Were you overwhelmed with too many choices that perhaps you let a good one slip by?
Maybe it’s time to slow down and give yourself a chance to really get to know someone before moving on to the next date.

4. Have you let someone go because you thought a better catch was on the horizon?
We certainly don’t want to settle, as discussed in my book, “Single and Not Settling! A Journey of Surviving the Dating World”. However, who or what are you waiting for? If you find yourself saying goodbye to someone because of a vague hope for something more, you may not be giving that person (and yourself) a fair chance to see if it’s right.

5. Is your list of qualities you want in a partner realistic?
Remember, nobody is perfect; everyone is going to have some flaw or baggage, especially as we get older in life and date people in their 40s and 50s. It’s great to know what you want but you also shouldn’t let the idea you have in your mind block you from the amazing reality that’s right in front of you.

These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself as you reflect back and remember your dating experiences over the past year. There are so many factors that come into play while dating in your 40s. You don’t want to settle, yet you do want to be sensible about your dating goals. Take this December to remember the past year and create a realistic game plan for dating in 2018. Let this be the year that, next December, you can remember a positive and fulfilling way.

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7 Essential Tips for Dating After 40 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/dating-in-your-40s/dating-after-40-tips/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:00:30 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15633 A few things you need to know.

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Meeting someone is hard. Sometimes it seems like the older you are, the more difficult it gets. In your 40s, it’s less common to meet other people in bars or through friends. Many of your peers are married (or divorced), and dating just isn’t what it used to be. But fear not, dating is alive and well for people of all ages. Maybe you’re divorced, frustrated with looking, or happily single. No matter what you are, here are some helpful tips for anyone dating after 40.

1. A lot of dating happens online.
It’s increasingly rare to strike up a conversation at a bar or out in the world that leads to something more. Why? Because everyone is online. If you’re new to online dating, welcome. We know it can be a lot to take in at once, but it really is a fantastic (and easy) way to meet quality people who check your boxes. If you’ve been hesitant to join the online dating community, we highly suggest giving it a shot.

2. Not everyone you like online will like you back, or even message you back.
You don’t automatically click with everyone you meet in the real world, and the same goes in the online dating world. It’s exciting to find a profile you like and send a message to a potential match you’re interested in, but it’s also important to be realistic about the response rate. Sometimes, even if you’re certain you’d hit it off with somebody, you just might never hear back from them. There are so many reasons why messages go unreturned, but try not to take it personally. Trust us: It happens to everyone. Don’t look back; look ahead to the next match.

3. Take charge.
You’re in your 40s. You know who you are, what you like, and what you don’t like. You have lots of life experience and great things to offer. If you like someone, take charge and go for it! And if you feel like you’re too old to chase people or play games, then you don’t have to. You’re in charge of your love life, and we encourage you to own it to the fullest.

4. Try not to judge your dates too quickly.
When you know what you want and what you don’t want, it’s easy to assume people aren’t right for you and turn them down. But we’ll be honest: There are simply less eligible fish in the sea than there used to be. We’re not saying that you should settle, but if there’s someone who caught your eye but doesn’t check every single box on your list, consider giving them a chance. You’ll never know if you have chemistry until you give it a shot.

5. Make yourself stand out.
Thanks to online dating, men and women have a lot of options these days. And while it’s great that there are so many potential matches out there, it also means you have to sift through a lot of frogs to find your prince. One way you can help speed the process up is by making yourself stand out. Be unique! Be flirty! Daters so often complain that every single’s profile is filled with the same overused clichés. So dial up what makes you, you, and show the world just how awesome you are. It’ll make a big difference.

6. Don’t rush into things after a divorce or serious breakup.
After a marriage or a serious relationship ends, it can be tempting to jump into the arms of another right away. And while it’s ok to date—hey, it’s a nice distraction!— it’s also important to take some time with yourself. Reflect on why things ended and take ownership of what you can improve about yourself. That way, when you are ready for another relationship, you’ll be much more mentally and emotionally prepared.

7. Be yourself.
If you’re looking for something serious and want to settle down, you don’t have to pretend like you’re interested in casual hookups. If you’re going gray, you don’t have to use pictures on your online dating profile that are from 2004. If you like ice fishing, don’t say you like shopping and going to the movies like everyone else does. Just be yourself! You’ll be much happier, and attract the right kind of people.

Forget about the stigmas and stereotypes of dating after 40. Plenty of people are out there doing it, and they’re waiting to meet you. Be yourself and have fun out there!

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Is Your Relationship Moving Too Fast? Here’s How to Tell https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/dating-advice/relationship-moving-too-fast/ Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15641 You look like you’ve been together forever… according to social media.

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For a relationship to be healthy and long-lasting, it has to move at the right pace. There are no set rules that determine how fast a relationship should move because there are a lot factors like, age, background, and experiences that change what a healthy pace for you and the person you’re with is. There are, however, clear signs that a relationship is moving too fast.

If you’re experiencing any of these 8 signs you might want to slow things down.

1. You have a lot of each other’s personal items.
This is one of the most classic signs—one day you open up your medicine cabinet and find your new partner’s toothbrush, razors, deodorant, and female products staring you in the face. This can be a good thing if you’re ready for it, but if this makes you uncomfortable, it may be time to have the conversation about slowing things down.

2. You’re meeting parents and family right away.
This is a right of passage in a relationship that usually means the relationship is very serious. It’s an important (and sometimes stressful) step in a relationship so if you’re meeting someone’s parents after just a couple weeks, something is certainly off. What’s next? Buying a house together? Time to slow it down.

3. You know nothing. 
If you’re ready to ditch your friends, your life, and give this new person your whole world despite the fact that you still don’t even know where they’re from or what they specifically do for work… Phew, then it may be time to take a breath. Make sure you’re enjoying the early parts of a relationship and are getting to know the person you’re with, before you commit yourself too much. Take time to have conversations and learn about each other.

3. You look like you’ve been together forever… according to social media.
You met on Monday and by the end of the week, your Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are inundated with photos of the two of you. One of you may have already updated your social medial status as “in a relationship” and then you’re left with comments from your BFFs such as, “I didn’t even know you were seeing someone!”

4. You’re moving in together
This is another huge milestone in any relationship and it’s a decision that takes thought and conversation. But if you’re having more conversations about moving in together than you are about learning about each other’s likes and dislikes, things are moving way too fast.

5. You’re saying the ‘L’ word.
This is not a word that should get thrown around willy-nilly. Using the word “Love” in any context when talking about a relationship when it’s just started can set you up for heartbreak later on. (Especially because we often confuse infatuation and lust for love in the beginning of relationships.) Be cautious when saying “I love you” or “I’m in love with you”, unless you know you really mean it.

6. You’re talking about marriage and children.
You haven’t even gone on a real date yet and you’re texting each other about your ideal wedding and how many children you want to have and the best places to live for the best schools. Instead of worrying about wedding bells and rug rats, make sure you can go on a romantic date together, survive your first fight, or laugh at the same jokes. It’s fun to think about the future, but don’t forget to enjoy the moment you’re in either.

7. Everything revolves around sex
The lust kicked in on day one and now, three weeks later, you find that sex is all you ever do. You haven’t even been on a real date, yet you just find yourselves at each others’ places always getting intimate. Sex is something that should be given to a new partner slowly as you build trust and respect. You might think that the relationship is moving along at a good pace, but you’re really just FWB and not progressing at all.

8. Your friends, responsibilities, and hobbies don’t matter.
It’s normal that when relationships progress into marriage then to families, we don’t keep in touch with old friends as much, our responsibilities change, or we lose interest and time for some of our hobbies. But if you’re three weeks into a new relationship and you haven’t seen your friends or been to yoga, then your relationship is moving too fast to keep up with your life.

It’s great to get excited about a new relationship and dedicate yourself to it, but it’s not great to lose yourself in it. (Not completely anyway.) If you feel like your relationship is moving forward at a pace you’re not comfortable with, or if you find yourself wondering what happened to your old self and your old life, take the time to step back and slow things down. It may end up making your relationship stronger in the long-run, and it will definitely make you stronger.

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