Friday, September 30, 2011

You're wrong!

Real Simple has a great collection of 18 common phrases to avoid in conversation. This post's headline -- "you're wrong!" -- is among the things you shouldn't say while fighting with your significant other.

Guilty as charged. Haha.

In all seriousness, I think I'm pretty tactful in my conversations. We all have moments of weakness, but I generally try to consider people's feelings and think before I speak.

I'm amazed by how so many people just blindly blurt things out. Don't do that. And if you do, know that your lack of tact will have consequences.

One more thing: You're wrong!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Must eat meat?

Here's an interesting story about a U.K. dating website that got busted for marketing itself toward vegetarians, but building a community that included lots of meat-eaters. Scandal!

Nonetheless, the concept made me wonder if there's any value in using dietary preferences as a way to make an initial romantic connection.

That question surrounds many of the newest niche dating sites. Does a shared passion for vegan cuisine or British accents equal a successful long-term relationship? Nope.

Is it a good starting point for a deeper connection? Sure.

Let me know if you'd sign up for a niche dating site.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Anniversary etiquette 101

In this Glamour blog post, a reader asks if she should get her boyfriend a present for their six-month anniversary. The couple plans on going out to dinner to mark the date and the reader wonders if she needs to do anything beyond that.

I clicked on the article largely because I've been in a relationship for nearly five years and I've never celebrated an anniversary. Not like I'm bitter or anything. Hahaha.

In all seriousness, anniversaries are funny things.

Some people go totally overboard, celebrating seemingly trivial milestones like one-month anniversaries. Other people ignore anniversaries entirely, even when they're married.

There isn't a right or wrong approach to anniversaries. The most important thing is to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, celebration-wise. Otherwise, things might get really awkward.

Do you agree?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Patti Stanger: Love or hate?

"Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger is in some serious hot water over a recent set of comments that managed to offend gays, Jews and smart women.

UPDATE: Stanger has apologized for some of her comments. Learn more here.

What did she say? Read this article for a recap, which includes Stanger's claim that smart women must "dumb it down a little" before getting married.

I've never been a huge "Millionaire Matchmaker" fan. I'm still a little bitter about Stanger's apparent hatred of curly hair.

Nonetheless, she certainly has a following. Some people maintain she's not brutal, just brutally honest.

What do you think?

Monday power anthem

Wow...sorry for the recent lack of posts. I was busy with this. And this.

Anyway, three cheers for another week. Today's power anthem always pumps me up for a workout, especially when kickboxing is involved.

Seize the day and kick some butt!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avoid politics while dating?

Here's a study suggesting people are more likely to reveal their weight than their political views in online dating profiles. An excerpt:

"At some point in the dating process, we somehow filter out people who do not share our political preferences," said study researcher Casey A. Klofstad of the University of Miami. "Our best guess is that in the short run, most people want to cast as wide a net as possible when dating. However, in the long run, shared political preferences become a critical foundation of lasting relationships, despite the fact that many Americans are not even interested in politics."

Pretty interesting, huh?

It's intimidating to discuss politics at the early stages of a relationship. Naturally, there's the chance your partner will have an opposing viewpoint. But I think people also worry about having to back up their stance and appearing uneducated.

Also, revealing your political views in an online profile is an entirely different matter. Generally, people's political beliefs are more complex than the simple categories you choose online. It's often easier to opt for no answer than an adjective that only partially describes your stance.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Unmarried and Single Americans Week

Sara has a great column about Unmarried and Single Americans Week, which is taking place NOW. Here's an excerpt from the wisdom she shares:

Before you break out into your best Bridget Jones rendition of "All By Myself," consider this: According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, singles make up 43.6 percent of U.S. citizens older than 18 -- that's 99.6 million people.

About 27 percent of those people live alone. That’s an increase of 10 percent since 1970. Single people may not be the majority yet, but they definitely aren’t alone.

Single ladies holla!!!

I have a boyfriend, but I frequently check the "single" box in situations where single is defined as anything but married. I don't mind the label at all.

It's important to retain aspects of the single life even when you're in a serious relationship. No, I'm not talking about hitting the bars alone and hooking up with a bunch of random people.

Instead, there's value in knowing how to eat at a restaurant alone...solving mechanical problems on your own...amusing yourself in empty home. I think you're often more confident in the relationship world if you've had a period of extended singledom.

What's your favorite thing about the single life?

Monday power anthem

There's nothing like a little a cappella on a Monday, right? I went this route to honor the premiere of a new season of "The Sing-Off," which premieres 8 p.m. tonight on NBC.

While choosing a song, I perused previous performances but I couldn't get my mind off my favorite a cappella group ever: Cimorelli.

I'm slightly partial to this group of sisters because they hail from my hometown. But I swear they're the next big thing. Apparently they couldn't go on "The Sing-Off" because they already have a contract.

I love you, Cimorelli!!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cheating. Explained.

The Huffington Post directs us to study results suggesting that "while men are more likely to interrogate their partners about the sexual nature of an affair, a woman will often ask her partner whether he is in love with the other woman."

Do the results surprise you?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Share your thoughts on the study results, as well as any other general reflections on infidelity, in the comments section.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fear itself

I believe in aromatherapy. I have a database of inspirational quotes. I tout the psychological benefits of exercise, and I practice what I preach.

Yet somehow, I end up spending a good chunk of my time afraid.

Part of this is necessary. I take a decent amount of (healthy) risks, because you can't savor a fear and adrenaline cocktail from the comfort of your couch.

Still, I don't welcome fear with open arms. It surfaces in a variety of forms. Sometimes I fear I won't hit certain life milestones. (Thanks, Facebook!) Sometimes I fear I'll regret the quality of my relationships, or lack thereof.

And sometimes -- like right now -- I fear things as mundane as a kickball game.

Naturally, my first instinct in this situation is to remind myself that concentrating on fear is a losing proposition -- it will consume your thoughts to the point where your dreaded outcome materializes.

That approach doesn't always work. Maybe it's too rational. So I've turned to Courage -- as in, the name of a tube of bareMinerals lip gloss in my purse right now. Laugh, but I use it very selectively and so far it has a perfect fear-conquering track record.

We all have a version of Courage lip gloss -- something that temporarily blinds us to what we consider a really complicated world. Sometimes, however, fear disappears when we realize it really isn't that complicated after all.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from Roger Ebert's new memoir:

I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.

To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances.

Lakebottom Bootcamp, part 2

I heard this song on my way to bootcamp AND on my way home. Coincidence? I think not.

In the name of entertaining my faithful readers, I followed through on a promise to attend Lakebottom Bootcamp this morning.

Short recap: I had fun!

And now, for the longer version. I arrived right at 7:30 a.m. and learned we were doing a PT test today -- a setup slightly different than the usual workouts, from what I understand. Basically we had to do sit-ups, push-ups and a half-mile run.

There wasn't really a quota, just an expectation to try your hardest.

It was a good format for my first time, since not everybody did their sit-ups and push-ups at once. You stood in line and stretched while waiting for your turn. When that moment arrived, the instructors timed you (2 minutes) and counted your push-ups, then sit-ups.

We all did the half-mile run together. The morning session had about 12-15 people, and I've heard the night sessions can attract up to 100. This morning had all women, spanning a variety of ages and backgrounds. Everybody was really nice, especially the two trainers.

I'll go back again, probably within the next few days, to see what it's like on a non-testing day. And yes, Lakebottom Bootcamp is still FREE. Check it out.

Lakebottom Bootcamp is held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Morning session is 7:30-8:30 a.m. and evening session is 6:30-7:30 p.m. Meet at the track at Lakebottom Park.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lakebottom Bootcamp

I'm going to start attending Lakebottom Bootcamp, a free exercise program offered on weekdays at -- you guessed it -- Lakebottom Park.

It's held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Morning session is 7:30-8:30 a.m. and evening session is 6:30-7:30 p.m.

My plan is to attend tomorrow morning (Thursday), but don't hate me if I'm too tired after obsessing over tonight's "Big Brother" finale.

It sounds like a pretty cool program. I'm only concerned about a likely emphasis on sit-ups. I had a bad experience in sixth grade involving sit-ups, PE class and a public meltdown. Let's leave it at that.

Anyway, I'll post a review after my first session. And yeah, did I mention it's FREE?!?

I know this post doesn't overtly pertain to nightlife and/or dating, but we all want to feel good about ourselves on the local meet market scene, right?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Will you marry me?

YourTango directs us to poll results suggesting one in 10 women have proposed to a guy.

Empowering? Maybe not. Here's an excerpt from the writer's post:

Having to propose yourself seems almost like saying, "Sure, honey, I'm willing to take on ALL the work—including asking you to be my husband." Screw that! The least a guy can do is make up his own mind to get married, plan the proposal, and get on one knee!

Do you agree?

I hate our culture's rigid gender expectations regarding marriage. It's frustrating that women can do so many things personally and professionally...but marriage remains the one arena where you basically have to sit back and abide by a man's time frame.

I'm even more frustrated that most women can't just say, "Whatever. I'm going to defy tradition and propose myself!"

Because honestly, a proposal that relies on the woman popping the question is viewed differently than the traditional scenario. It's often viewed as evidence of desperation, regardless of whether that's really true.

So what happens next? Do you think we'll get to a point where a woman can propose without worrying about social stigma? Are we already at that point?

Interracial relationships

In these Gallup poll results, 86 percent of U.S. adults said they have no problem with interracial marriage.

Jezebel notes, "Apparently this is supposed to be reason for celebration, but it's still disturbing that more than 1 in 10 people are against two people loving each other because of the color of their skin."

As someone who frequently peruses the racist rants in the online comments that accompany Ledger-Enquirer stories, I'm fully aware of these attitudes.

I know the race dynamic in the South is uniquely complex, but even while living in other parts of the country I encountered people leery of interracial relationships.

Even if things are improving, it's still sad that you sometimes need a certain level of courage just to walk publicly with the person you love.

What do you think? Does your community accept interracial relationships?

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's cooking?

These survey results suggest nearly a third of Americans don't know how to cook.


I bought more groceries than usual over the weekend, since I'm making a renewed effort to eat more meals at home.

My domestic abilities strike a healthy balance between "cooking" and "not cooking." Yes, I have about a dozen dinner entrees in my repertoire. No, not everything in those entrees is made from scratch. Yes, I'll occasionally rely on canned sauces and pre-cut vegetables.

Does that still count as cooking? You decide.

Many daters swoon at the promise of a home-cooked meal from their significant other. Yet they rarely specify their definition of "cooking" in this scenario.

So weigh in: If your date made you a "home-cooked meal" that relied largely on canned ingredients, would you be disappointed? Or is this a scenario where the thought counts more than the final result?

(If you're a novice chef, consult the Ledger-Enquirer's food blog for advice!)

Monday power anthem

I danced to this tune in hopes of making my weekend last longer. It didn't really work.

Still, this is one of my favorite party anthems. It's bittersweet, however, because Natasja Saad -- the woman featured in the song -- died in a 2007 car accident. RIP.

So seize the day and make time for a few brief dance parties in her honor.

Friday, September 9, 2011

College football and romance

This week's nightlife column is about what happens when you meet your perfect match...but he or she roots for your least favorite college football team.

Fortunately, I’m one half of a relationship that doesn’t include die-hard football loyalties. For football parties, I have the freedom to tell my boyfriend to wear colors that match whatever dress I’m wearing -- no questions asked.

What’s my advice for couples facing the uphill battle of conflicting football ties?

If you can’t embrace your partner’s point of view, at least accept it. Some kind of passion -- even if it rivals your own -- is better than a life that relies on lukewarm views.

On that note, the Columbus Contemporaries host a Contemporaries Kickoff party tonight (Sept. 9) at the Columbus Museum. Open to guests 21 and older, it starts at 7 p.m. Learn more here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Going on a movie date? Prepare for some serious indecision -- well, at least if you're going to Carmike Cinemas' Ritz 13.

The movie theater has five new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, newfangled soda fountains that boast more than 100 different beverage brands.

Watch the fun video I made with Cameraman on Wednesday.

Your approach to the beverage selection process might have some parallels to dating.

If you choose classic Coke after perusing all the options, you're probably a traditional dater who relies on time-tested standbys like roses, chocolate and dinner dates.

Mix your Coke with, say, Powerade and you're traditional with a slight streak of unpredictability.

And if you go for something really wacky -- maybe a mix of Fanta, Minute Made Lemonade and Barq's -- you thrive on an unconventional approach to relationships.

Wow, I crafted that analysis pretty quickly. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is this your dream man?

This video strikes a perfect balance between fun and creepy. Just watch. You won't be disappointed.

(via Jezebel)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dream double date?

Glamour has an interesting blog post that asks readers which celebrity couple(s) they'd like to join on a double date.

It's an interesting question, especially since finding real-life couples suitable for a double date adventure can be challenging.

Throw the celebrity factor into the mix and you have an entirely new set of concerns.

Even though I often write about celebrities, I'm not too interested in the prospect of hanging out with famous people. I worry they'll be really mean in person and shatter my expectations.

Initially, I didn't want to join this celebrity double date discussion, but then the answer hit me.

Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed.

I'm totally obsessed with this couple, which includes an "American Idol" finalist and a "Twilight" star. I've already interviewed Paul McDonald, so I know he'd be nice on the date. I have no concerns about Nikki, either.

So, um, let's make this happen.

Which celebrity couple would you join on a double date?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer lovin'

Amid Labor Day's arrival, you've probably listened to some daters lament the end of a summer romance.

Sad day.

To curb the heartache accompanying the season's end, TresSugar offers tips "to keep summer lovin' hot for as long as possible."

I said many tearful end-of-summer goodbyes in my younger days, but I'm reluctant to use the phrase "summer fling" in adulthood. It just seems like a primarily teenage phenomenon.

And no offense, Georgia, but your extreme heat makes summers pretty unromantic.

Despite my love of sundresses and hot pants, I rarely feel sexy during a Georgia summer. That is, unless your definition of sexy includes frizzy hair and some nasty body odor.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Divorce rings

It seems like the trend of turning your breakups into party occasions isn't going away soon.

The newest development? Divorce rings.

Jezebel details the phenomenon, which includes a giant diamond ring shaped like a broken heart.

I'm divided on the trend. On one hand, I fully support anything that prevents my friends from moping around for two months post-breakup.

But on the other hand, does wearing a ring resembling heartbreak really mean you've moved on? Maybe breakup parties, divorce cakes and heartbreak jewelry only heighten an obsession with a relationship that's dead and gone.


Too old for frat parties?

This week's nightlife column is about the common urge to hang out at your alma mater after graduating from college.

I’ve had many boring weekends since leaving college, but keg parties and dorm rooms were always much more than a car drive away.

But even without geography on my side, I’d like to think common sense alone would keep me away from the college party scene.

Many of us have memories of "that person." You know, the one who graduated with honors, secured a job quickly -- but still somehow ended up hanging out in the dorms nearly every weekend.

You publicly praised his or her presence -- while privately wondering if social life in the real world is really worse than college.

I suppose there are exceptions.

You have more freedom when you return for an athletic event or homecoming celebration. You know, events specifically designed to let alums mingle with a crowd naive enough to attach value to box wine.

That’s probably the best setup for victims of college nostalgia.

Because from what I’ve heard, trips back to the dorms are often accompanied by a harsh realization.

You’re too old for this stuff.