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#25 ne: 10-06-2009, 18:22:28
By Penny Isaacs

10 tips for an outdoor date

By the authors of the hot new dating guide “The Dish” (aka “how to get a man with 2 saucepans, a lip gloss, great shoes and a damp J-cloth… plus a sense of humour… and not making the mistakes they did…”)

Ahh, there’s something about al fresco eating. Whether it’s the two of you crammed onto the tiny balcony outside your flat or enjoying a picnic in the country, there is a magical ingredient to being outdoors which sets the spirit free.

We’ve all seen couples post-picnic, getting amorous and having a cuddle on the picnic blanket, or concealing themselves in the long grass, calculating that no-one can see them (yeah, right). Spring has sprung, the birds and the bees etc etc. But you won’t be feeling remotely relaxed if your tub of shop-bought artichokes has leaked oil all over your clothes, your hands are sticky and you’ve got no wet-wipes, or you picked a terrible picnic spot in the first place - and you’re actually sitting in the carpark with the rain beating down on the windscreen.

So, get the basics right, and the déjeuner a l’herbe atmosphere will follow.

1. Ideally, date a man in the forces.
Most important – know where you are going. Get a map, plan the route. Locate the picnic area. OR enlist your man to do it. We all know men love maps and they will feel manly being in charge of navigation and scouting the terrain. My husband (it’s Sarah talking here) is an ex-Armoured Scout from the Swedish Army and so even checks the land contours to see whether we’ll be looking downhill into a valley or uphill into a ravine. Handy, but how many Ray Mearses are there out there?

2. Football.
Rewind one second. Make sure your plans do not clash with a crucial football match. He won’t be joining you on your outdoor feast if there is a Premier League game on offer, especially with his favourite team. Nor in the mood for romantic outings if England is trying to qualify. Can we suggest that you get hold of a fixtures list? Ditto rugby.

3. Style.

Classy picnics must be classy. Think of the decadent Russian luncheon scene in Maxim Gorky’s ‘Summer Folk’ – dappled sunlight, blankets spread out à terre, wickerwork, bottles of chilled Champagne and wild strawberries. So, no lurid coloured paper plates or cheap plastic cups emblazoned with balloons and screaming ‘Party!’ at you. Nor service station plastic utensils.

4. Compensation.
Take some fabulous, 70% cocoa solids chocolate as a compensatory “mood booster” in case the weather’s terrible. Or cheap chocolate – really the effect is the same. Sometimes only chocolate will do, especially if things have gone wrong in the execution of your day in the country.

5. Petrol.
Obvious - but it has happened (too often, I believe, to Penny’s husband). Make sure you have enough petrol for the journey. All the chocolate in the world isn’t going to smooth this one over if you run out of petrol en route and one of you needs to walk to a petrol station (which, as Penny knows from bitter experience, can be VERY. VERY. FAR. AWAY.)

6. Have a Plan B
What if Saturday is miserable but you have made all the food? Sure, it’s meant to be an outdoors date but who would enjoy shivering in the drizzle? Switch the event to the great indoors! Serve the food at home and put “Summertime” on the iPod LOUD. If your date is game, lay out the picnic stuff on the living room floor and sit cross-legged (although men don’t seem to be as keen on this position as us girls, if there are chairs nearby…)

7. Plastic.
Chinaware is perfect for a wedding breakfast or similar special occasion outdoors but de trop in the dating context. Get stylish plastic plates. By all means transport food in Tupperware but eat off something that doesn’t bend when you put food on it. Proper cutlery too. And on the subject of glasses, there is no need to take grandma’s crystal. Quality plastic flutes will do. The only thing you shouldn’t drink from plastic is coffee because it tastes vile. Take some little china cups, well wrapped.

On one occasion my husband and I argued so long and hard (and loudly) about someone (me) having forgotten the corkscrew that a complete stranger shoved one into my hand, in a desperate bid to get rid of us. Inconsequential things like this which spark Richter Scale 8 arguments might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in fledgling relationships.

9. The b word.
Sandwiches are BORING and can sit very heavily on the stomach, inducing what I call an OMS (Old Man’s Sleep) in the afternoon. You do NOT want your date slumped into a bloated daze. Be more imaginative – think smoked salmon wrapped around asparagus, cold quiche, salamis, chunky potato salad, succulent cold roast chicken with lots of garlic, rosemary, honey and lemon, camembert with apricots etc etc. The exception to this is if you are hiking or doing something strenuous, in which case ‘doorstep’ sandwiches are the practical option.

10. Booze.
OMG we almost forgot! Rosé is a good choice, bearing in mind the range of foods on offer plus it has a summery feel. Chill well with freezer blocks in a cool bag. Cold lager can be great too, if you like it. A glass of something alcoholic is essential to relax you after all the palaver of planning and actually getting to the picnic spot. Cheers!

P.S. remember someone has to drive back. Better not forget the diet coke and water then.

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#26 ne: 16-06-2009, 09:05:03
Could mascara be a thing of te past?

If a new wonderdrug promised to thicken and lengthen your lashes so that you no longer needed mascara, would you be interested in trying it? Liz Frost takes a look at Latisse - a new treatment that lengthens and thickens lashes to Bambi-like effect.
There’s something about a generous set of long thick eyelashes that can make even the most bland faces pop, which is why many of us spend a good ten minutes in front of the mirror every morning, pulling funny faces and blinking into a gloop-filled brush.

And while some of us are more blessed than others in the lash department - walk into any chemist and you’ll find a vast array of mascaras that promise to lengthen, thicken, gloss, curl and primp our lashes to within an inch of their lives.
Now however, a new drug has been released which could have us binning our beloved mascara forever (well, almost)…
Latisse, the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for less-than-luxuriant lashes, was originally prescribed as a treatment for glaucoma, but users reported another desirable side effect - it made their lashes significantly thicker, longer and darker. 
Latisse is thought to affect the growth phase of the eyelash hair cycle in two ways: first, it increases the length of the lash; and second, it ups the number of hairs produced in this growth phase, leaving you with lashes Bambi would be proud of after about eight weeks.

You apply Latisse to the base of the eyelashes once a day (a bit like mascara then) and sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
The upsides to using Latisse are plentiful: no more gloopy caked together lashes, no more black stained pillow; no more tracks down the face after a weepy film. You can go to sleep at night with a luxuriant set of lashes and wake up in the morning with them still in place; you can go out for the evening safe in the knowledge your eyelashes will look as stunning as when you left the house (unlike with false ones which can end up looking like a face full of spiders after a few hours), the list goes on.
Sounds like a dream alternative doesn't it? But, unfortunately, some of the side effects sound pretty nasty too, including: darkening of the skin pigment around the eyes, red, itchy eyes, inflammation of skin - and permanent change in eye colour. It has even been reported that Latisse can cause hair to grow in any area it touches (I instantly picture myself with hairy cheeks and fingertips, Teenwolf-style).

At $120 (around £70) for a 30-day supply, Latisse is hardly cheap - and as far as I’m aware, the effects aren’t permanent. If you stop using the drug your eyelashes will eventually turn back to normal, a bit like Cinderella at midnight.

I have to admit, I’m curious to see how luxuriant my lashes could be with a little helping hand, but fear of having hairy knuckles prevents me from trying. So, I think for now, I’ll stick to my trusty magic mascara wand and just steer clear of weepy films.

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#27 ne: 02-07-2009, 17:37:54
Some reasons you might smell  :D

You know you’re slightly pungent after a hard Spinning class or garlicky dinner.
But it turns out that some less expected factors—like how quickly you get dressed in the morning, the amount of carbs you eat, or whether you snore—can also affect your BO, breath, gassiness, and more. Here’s how to fix it, fast.
You don’t towel off after showering
A speedy post-shower rubdown may end up causing a problem later on.
That’s because moisture can get trapped between folds of skin, like below your breasts, under your love handles, or even between your toes, says Marina Peredo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Smithtown, New York. “There’s no access to air there, and it’s easier for bacteria and fungi to multiply and mix with sweat, causing odor and irritation,” she says.
Fix it: Peredo recommends this trick to her patients: “After you dry off, set a blow-dryer to cool and wave it over your belly, groin, feet—anywhere that gets uncomfortably sweaty.” You can also sprinkle an absorbent powder with antifungal properties onto your skin or in your shoes. Try Zeabsorb-AF, available at drugstores.

You love chicken tikka
Foods with pungent ingredients, such as curry, garlic, and other spices, can not only cause bad breath, but also a bit of a body odor.
When digested, these foods produce several stinky sulfur-containing gases. Most of these byproducts are metabolized in the intestines and liver, but some, such as allyl methyl sulfide, are absorbed into the bloodstream and released through your lungs and pores, an effect that can last for a few hours or more, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
Fix it: You can temporarily mask bad breath with mouthwash or by chewing a bit of fresh parsley, mint, or fennel seeds, but you’ll have to wait until your body is done digesting before all the odor is completely gone. Sit down to a spicy meal in good company; it's tough to smell it on others if you all eat the same thing, says Richard Price, D.M.D., spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Avoid garlic-rich chow in the hours before an important meeting or date.

You brush—but only your teeth
Neglect your tongue, and your breath may not be as fresh as you’d like.
Your tongue is covered with thousands of small hair-like projections called papillae, which can trap and harbor tiny scraps of food. So even if you brush and floss regularly, small remains from your meals can hang behind, collecting bacteria and emitting hydrogen sulfide vapors—also known as bad breath.
Fix it: Mouthwashes may help, but the best way to remove bacteria, dead cells, and food debris from the crevices of your tongue is with an inexpensive tongue scraper. Brushing your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush works well too. Gently clean as far back as you can without gagging. Also, switch to a toothpaste that contains chlorine dioxide or tea tree oil, a powerful disinfectant with a pleasant, eucalyptus-like smell.

You’re under serious stress
When an urgent project drops on your desk, sweating is part of how your body naturally handles the pressure.
Our bodies are smart. The famous fight or flight response mechanism—yep, the same one that helped our ancestors outrun saber-toothed tigers—increases sweating so that we don’t overheat while we’re battling it out. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and hectic days at the office can produce those same sweaty palms and sticky underarms.
Fix it: Try sage tea. It contains the astringent tannin and several antiseptic compounds that may act to calm down the sympathetic nervous system, which is what triggers all those stress symptoms. Sage tea should reduce overall perspiration if sipped frequently in small quantities throughout the day. To make it, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of coarsely powdered dried sage leaves in hot water and leave covered for 10 minutes to ensure all the active ingredients have been released.

You snore like a banshee
Blame those nighttime noises for cover-your-mouth morning breath.
Sleeping with your mouth open dries out your oral cavity, enabling dead cells to accumulate and decompose on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. This is what causes morning breath.
Fix it: Skip the nightcap. Alcohol before bed can make snoring worse. Placing an adhesive snoring strip across the bridge of your nose can help by enhancing breathing. In the morning, in addition to brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing, gargle with a small cup of acidic lemon juice to kill odor-causing bacteria. Then eat plain unsweetened yogurt, which contains healthy lactobacillus bacteria, a probiotic that competes with and replaces the reeking bacteria in your mouth. The lemon-yogurt combo instantly neutralizes odor and lasts 12 to 24 hours, says Mark Moyad, M.D., M.P.H., director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

You only use deodorant
Make sure your white stick contains antiperspirant too.
Deodorants only temporarily mask your BO—they don’t prevent your body from releasing sweat, says Peredo. “Antiperspirants actually plug your sweat glands, which stops you from excreting sweat,” she says.
Fix it: You really need only an antiperspirant, but if you want that ocean breeze scent, at least * a product that has both deodorant and antiperspirant. If you’re a big-time sweater (especially in sticky summer months), apply it before you go to sleep. You perspire less at night, so more of the antiperspirant's aluminum-based active ingredient is pulled into sweat glands. The effect can last 24 hours or longer, even if you shower in the morning. If this doesn’t help, ask your doctor about prescription-strength antiperspirants, such as Drysol or Xerac, which contain aluminum chloride.

Your scalp is flaky
Dandruff isn’t the problem—it’s the hiatus from hair washing that makes your mane smell gamey.
“It’s a common misperception that dandruff occurs when your hair scalp is too dry,” says Peredo, a myth that makes people wash their hair less. This, combined with the fact that an irritated scalp may be more of a bacteria breeding ground, can make your tresses smell. “In fact, dandruff happens when your hair is too oily.”
Fix it: Washing your hair with shampoo regularly may help get the flakes in check. If not, try an OTC dandruff shampoo. Look for ones with zinc pyrithione, an antifungal/antibacterial agent that can de-germ your scalp (found in Head & Shoulders or Selsun Salon), or with coal tar, an ingredient that slows down your skin cell–shedding process (like Neutrogena T/Gel). If the dandruff still doesn’t go away after a few weeks, see your doctor or dermatologist. You may need a stronger prescription-strength product or steroid lotion.

You’re between periods
Who knew? A woman's monthly cycle can influence how much she sweats.
Body temperature rises half a degree midcycle when you’re ovulating, enough to prompt more sweat—and BO, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine and a Prevention advisor. Vaginal secretions increase then too.
Fix it: Try a stronger underarm antiperspirant/deodorant midcycle (about 14 days from the day your last menstrual period started) and wear cotton underwear, which allows moisture to evaporate. If you’re noticing a persistent, unusual vaginal odor, check with your doctor; it could be an infection that requires treatment.

You’re a gum addict
Sugar-free kinds are better for your teeth, but they can make your tummy rumbly, causing flatulence.
Our bodies don’t completely digest the low-cal sweeteners, such as sorbitol, found in sugar-free gum. When bacteria in the large intestine break them down, it can cause gas and even diarrhea.
Fix it: Soothe your sweet tooth with a cup of peppermint tea instead. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which appears to have a soothing effect on the muscles of your digestive tract, providing relief from gas and gas pain. Or drink a half-cup of cranberry juice a day. It contains phytochemicals that suppress the odor-causing bacteria in your gut.

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#28 ne: 06-08-2009, 18:10:17
Revealed: 10 secrets guys don’t want you to know.

What secrets lurk behind his cool facade? Is he hiding something for his benefit… or yours? Put your fears aside and get your pen and paper ready.
Today you’ll learn the ten biggest secrets guys don’t want you to know — at least not in the early stages of dating, not until they have a chance to sweep you off your feet. They don’t want you to know about their:

1. Hidden insecurities
Underneath that smooth, macho demeanor, he’s really nervous about dating. He even had his sister help him write his free profile. At least dating.uk.msn.com helps him come a little prepared to all these new meeting dates.

2. Physical prowess
Sure, we all want to come across in the best light — especially in the initial phase of physical attraction. But what he didn’t explain in his profile is that he… is going bald, has a bit of a beer belly, may be an inch or two shorter than he described, dyes the grey hair and uses wrinkle cream.

3. Bad habits
He picks his nose when no one is looking. He chews tobacco. He often gets sozzled at parties. His messy house would make Aggie cringe, especially if she had to use the bathroom. He’s a closet smoker — but he’s quitting! He gambled his dog away at the poker game with the boys. He farts in bed.

4. Relationships
He’s been divorced four times, but the first two didn’t count. He’s not quite divorced yet. He’s still hung up on his past love. He harbours extreme contempt for his ex. He’d really like to play the field for a while. Fortunately his quick search led him to you!

5. Money matters
He’s taking a class now to avoid future money management faux pas. His 401k is far from okay. He had a bad lawyer, and his child support payments just went up. While he makes over £50,000 a year, he can’t help spending £100,000 a year, and he’s become best buds with the IRS guy.

6. Career
This may be a tough topic if he’s in between jobs (highly likely in today’s economy) or a hairdresser who needs to meet you in person to let you know he’s straight. It could be a red flag if he’s used to be a manager at Enron or Arthur Anderson, a city engineer in waste management or an employee at his mother’s company (a.k.a. the kitchen sink).

7. Inabilities
He’s a klutz when it comes to home repairs. He will most likely step on your feet on the dance floor. He’s a dipstick when it comes to changing oil in the car. His last girlfriend beat him at pool and chess. He has trouble “raising the Titanic” at times.

8. Health challenges
He snores. He has chronic bad breath or body odour, but the doctor is working on it. Don’t laugh, but he has to sleep in an allergy tent some nights.

9. Free time avocations
He’s a closet sports nut who listens to the sports radio at night and spends all weekend watching sports on TV or going to play golf.

10. The smaller things that can be biggies
He hates cats. He drives an old banger (because he gave his car to his daughter, of course). He sleeps with a “special” blanket. His kitchen is colour-coded with a computer list, and the tinned goods all face front and centre. He lives with his mother.  :D :D

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#29 ne: 27-08-2009, 04:37:01
Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy
___________________ ___________
Smart boss + smart employee = profit
Smart boss + dumb employee = production
Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime
___________________ __________
A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.
A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn't need.
___________________ __________
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
___________________ __________
To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
___________________ ___________
Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.
___________________ ___________
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.
___________________ __________
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
___________________ __________
Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.
 :D ^o) :D

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#30 ne: 01-03-2010, 13:09:50
10 reasons breakfast is a MUST

Is it an old wives' tale, or is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Perhaps your mother always made you eat hot lumpy cereal in the morning, so as soon as you escaped her clutches, you developed the coffee and cigarette habit in college, and ever since then breakfast was a bagel... at lunchtime.

You’ve realised your adolescence ended (about 10 years ago!) and now it’s time for a change. You’ve stopped that smoking thing... it was smelly and made your teeth yellow anyway. But your trousers are too tight, you can’t climb a set of stairs without huffing and puffing and you feel much older than your years.

Back to breakfast... yes it’s true, breakfast can make or break a diet, because breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re one of those people who think skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight... think again. Here are the top reasons why you should definitely eat breakfast, every day:

1. Break the fast. Ever think of what "breakfast" means? Your body responds to not eating for hours and hours by slowing down its metabolic rate. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine humming, burning those calories you need to burn to lose weight.

2. Eat more, weigh less. Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip meals, you’re so hungry by lunchtime you eat the entire cow! Research carried out at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh has shown that eating breakfast cereal in the morning helps aid weight loss.

3. Are you interested in doing better at work and school? Don’t be a bed head... breakfast helps wake you up. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more alert and do better on tests than people who skip breakfast. Conversely, a hungry child can be apathetic, disinterested, and irritable when confronted with difficult tasks. Breakfast is the key." No doubt adults need breakfast as much as kids do.

4. Breakfast is your chance to eat the foods you may not eat the rest of the day. You can have whole-grain cereal and berries with non-fat milk - here is your fibre, folic acid and calcium in one easy-to-grab bowl. Low-carbers need to go very easy on grains, so opt for the highest-fibre brand you can find. However, why not indulge instead in the typical eggs and bacon breakfast most other eating plans frown upon?

5. Skipping breakfast makes you grouchy. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods (when I’m hungry - watch out!). Breakfast gets you started on the right track for the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, then you set the mood for lunch. You're more likely to choose something reasonable for lunch if you’ve paid some attention to your breakfast choices.

6. Cancel the Danish or sugared donut first thing in the morning - they cause a blood sugar dip a couple of hours later. You’ll be desperate for something to perk you up, and are more likely to grab another high-sugar refined carb, for a quick sugar rush.

7. Breakfast makes your machine run better. Get yourself on a schedule with a healthy breakfast, and you’re ready to take on the world.

8. If you're a parent, set a good example. By skipping breakfast, your kids will think it’s not important. Breakfast doesn't have to be a big affair, but don’t wimp out... make it a habit, and your kids will be way ahead of the game too.

9. Don’t eat dessert for breakfast. If you think a cereal bar with 30 grams of sugar is a breakfast item, then think again. Some cereal bars contain nearly as much sugar and fat as a regular chocolate bar.

10. One more word about labels... if it says, "Nutritious," it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Cereal manufacturers are experts in marketing, using words that send a message of health, but unless you read the labels, eat at your own risk. Kids’ cereals often have more sugar than sweets. Protect your kids from getting hooked on these cereals... they’ll get used to all the sugar, and will want only pre-sweetened cereals.

Whatever your diet you follow... breakfast is one meal you don’t want to miss.

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#31 ne: 13-05-2010, 16:32:08
53 secrets girls don't want guys to know

By Jane Hoskyn

Ask us what women are thinking, and we can trot out any number of things. “Don’t knock babbling, it’s a sign that we fancy you,” for example. Or: “Give us stubble burn once and we may never kiss you again.”

But those are the things that we wish men knew. The really telling thoughts are the ones that we don’t want men to know. Especially the men that we’re sleeping with – or wish we were sleeping with.

Deep in this innermost vault of secrecy lie our feelings about our exes, your exes, our bodies, your bodies... and our feelings at the end of a date or the start of a relationship. This is top-secret, high-octane stuff. In the wrong hands, it could be extremely dangerous. Read on if you think you’re hard enough.

1. When we get whistled at in the street, we feel uncomfortable and we’ll always tut and roll our eyes. But we’re awesomely flattered and we’d be gutted if it stopped.

2. We will never grow out of our fascination with pop stars. A guy can be completely ordinary-looking, but we will fancy him if he’s in a band.

3. We are more likely to fancy a guy if his ex-girlfriends are really pretty.

4. We can be put off a guy by finding out that his ex-girlfriends are a bit ugly.

5. When we look through your Facebook photos, we’re looking to see how pretty or ugly your ex-girlfriends are.

6. We look through your Facebook photos a lot, and we really hope that you haven’t downloaded anything that reveals who looks at them the most.

7. Here’s how to make us fall for you. One day, come on to us so strong that we’re a bit weirded out by it. Then totally fail to ring us. We’ll wonder what we did wrong, and we won’t be able to stop thinking about you.

8. The above strategy isn’t foolproof. We may just lose interest. It depends on how much we liked you in the first place.

9. We often don’t know how much we liked you in the first place. We may have to wait until you don’t phone us. If we’re disappointed, it proves that we fancy you. If we’re not, it proves that we don’t. It’s like when you toss a coin to help you make a decision.

10. Stop trying to understand how our minds work. Even we don’t understand how our minds work.

11. We constantly change our minds and reserve the right to do so.

12. We love getting a missed call from you. It makes us feel in control.

13. The pleasure of noticing a missed call doesn’t last long. We never know how soon to ring back, and it does our heads in.

14. We are constantly scared of putting you off by seeming too keen.

15. We are constantly scared of putting you off by not seeming keen enough.

16. We will never discuss this with you because we are constantly scared of putting you off by bringing “us” up in conversation.

17. “I’m scared of being hurt” means “I don’t fancy you as much as I thought I did.” You know it, we know it, and that is all that will be said on the matter.

18. We say “we’re not manipulative” because we’re really good at being manipulative.

19. We only manipulate your feelings because you manipulated our feelings first.

20. Snoring costs you sex.

21. Your feet disgust us.

22. We shave our toes.

23. We’ve got a rogue hair that needs regular plucking.

24. We went through a phase of shaving our moustache.

25. We leave our legs unshaven on a first date so that we won’t end up in bed with you.

26. We wear big knickers on a first date so that we won’t end up in bed with you.

27. We spend entire first dates fancying the pants off you and worrying that we’ll end up in bed with you, all unshaven legs and big knickers.

28. We don’t actually care that much about the loo seat.

29. We suspect that you like our bodies more when we’re carrying a few extra pounds, but we always feel better about ourselves when we lose weight. However we hate that our boobs look deflated, and we’re disgusted by the injustice of it.

30. We envy you for being able to eat more than us and not get fat. By “envy” we mean “occasionally hate.”

31. If a grown-up woman has light blonde hair, she’s bleaching it*. You can tell that a woman is a natural blonde from her mousey eyebrows. (* OK, or she’s Scandinavian.)

32. We trim our nose-hair.

33. Yes we’ve got nice eyes, blah blah. Boring. We are desperate for you to compliment our skin and our necks.

34. We are even more desperate for you to write poems about us.

35. When we’re at a party we clock the sexy girls far quicker than we clock the sexy guys.

36. We find female strippers sexier than male strippers. But that doesn’t mean we want to snog any of them.

37. However we do wish we were gay sometimes, if only to get oral sex from someone who really knows what they’re doing.

38. Size does matter, fellas.

39. What you do with it matters even more.

40. What you do with your tongue matters most of all.

41. We’re really scared that you’ll feel our back zits.

42. During breakouts we get up at 6am and cover our spots with concealer while you’re sleeping.

43. We don’t want you to stay for breakfast. We want you to leave immediately so that you don’t have time to register how dog-rough we look in the morning.

44. We want you to text us from your journey home to say how you can’t stop smiling.

45. If you don’t text or call within 24 hours we’ll feel so unhappy that no amount of chocolate and wine can cheer us up. Though we’ll give it a try.

46. We’d happily sleep with your best mate to make you jealous.

47. We’re scared of commitment too.

48. If you’re not very well endowed, your girlfriend won’t tell her friends. She’s as embarrassed about it as you are. However if you dump her, she’ll tell everyone.

49. We fake orgasms so that you’ll stop and let us go to sleep.

50. We aren’t always sure when we’re faking it. In orgasms, the line between fact and fiction can be very thin.

51. We love falling asleep in your arms, for the first few weeks of a relationship anyway. To be honest we’d sleep a lot better if you weren’t there.

52. We find your dark-coloured bedsheets a total turn-off.

53. We’re all little girls inside. You make us cry far more easily than you realise.

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#32 ne: 05-03-2012, 13:29:52
Building a Healthy Relationship from the Start

The Beginning Stages
While the early months of a relationship can feel effortless and exciting, successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners. Building healthy patterns early in your relationship can establish a solid foundation for the long run. When you are just starting a relationship, it is important to:

Build. Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Focus on all the considerate things your partner says and does. Happy couples make a point of noticing even small opportunities to say "thank you" to their partner, rather than focusing on mistakes their partner has made.
Explore. Explore each other's interests so that you have a long list of things to enjoy together. Try new things together to expand mutual interests.
Establish. Establish a pattern of apologizing if you make a mistake or hurt your partner's feelings. Saying "I'm sorry" may be hard in the moment, but it goes a long way towards healing a rift in a relationship. Your partner will trust you more if he or she knows that you will take responsibility for your words and actions.

As the Months Go By: Important Things to Recognize as Your Relationship Grows
Relationships Change. Changes in life outside your relationship will impact what you want and need from the relationship. Since change is inevitable, welcoming it as an opportunity to enhance the relationship is more fruitful than trying to keep it from happening.

Check in Periodically. Occasionally set aside time to check in with each other on changing expectations and goals. If a couple ignores difficult topics for too long, their relationship is likely to drift into rocky waters without their noticing.

What to Do When Conflict Arises
Disagreements in a relationship are not only normal but, if constructively resolved, actually strengthen the relationship. It is inevitable that there will be times of sadness, tension, or outright anger between you and your partner. The source of these problems may lie in unrealistic/unreasonable demands, unexplored expectations, or unresolved issues/behaviors in one partner or in the relationship. Resolving conflicts requires honesty, a willingness to consider your partner's perspective even if you don't fully understand it, and lots of communication.

Healthy communication is critical, especially when there are important decisions regarding sex, career, marriage, and family to be made. The following are some guidelines for successful communication and conflict resolution.

Understand Each Others' Family Patterns. Find out how conflicts were managed (or not managed) in your partner's family, and talk about how conflict was approached (or avoided) in your own family. It is not unusual for couples to discover that their families had different ways of expressing anger and resolving differences. If your family wasn't good at communicating or resolving conflict constructively, give yourself permission to try out some new ways of handling conflict.
Timing Counts. Contrary to previous notions, the best time to resolve a conflict may not be immediately. It is not unusual for one or both partners to need some time to cool off. This "time-out' period can help you avoid saying or doing hurtful things in the heat of the moment, and can help partners more clearly identify what changes are most important. Remember - if you are angry with your partner but don't know what you want yet, it will be nearly impossible for your partner to figure it out!
Establish an Atmosphere of Emotional Support. Emotional support involves accepting your partner's differences and not insisting that he or she meet your needs only in the precise way that you want them met. Find out how your partner shows his or her love for you, and don't set absolute criteria that require your partner to always behave differently before you're satisfied.
Agree to Disagree and Move On. Most couples will encounter some issues upon which they will never completely agree. Rather than continuing a cycle of repeated fights, agree to disagree and negotiate a compromise or find a way to work around the issue.
Distinguish between things you want versus things you need from your partner. For example, for safety reasons, you might need your partner to remember to * you up on time after dark. But calling you several times a day may really only be a "want."
Clarify Your Messages. A clear message involves a respectful but direct expression of your wants and needs. Take some time to identify what you really want before talking to your partner. Work on being able to describe your request in clear, observable terms. For example, you might say, "I would like you to hold my hand more often" rather than the vague, "I wish you were more affectionate."
Discuss One Thing at a Time. It can be tempting to list your concerns or grievances, but doing so will likely prolong an argument. Do your best to keep the focus on resolving one concern at a time.
Really Listen. Being a good listener requires the following: (a) don't interrupt, (b) focus on what your partner is saying rather than on formulating your own response, and (c) check out what you heard your partner say. You might start this process with: "I think you are saying..." Or "what I understood you to say was..." This step alone can prevent misunderstandings that might otherwise develop into a fight.
Restrain Yourself. Research has found that couples who "edit" themselves and do not say all the angry things they may be thinking are typically the happiest.
Adopt a "Win-Win" Position. A "win-win" stance means that your goal is for the relationship, rather than for either partner, to "win" in a conflict situation. Ask yourself: "Is what I am about to say (or do) going to increase or decrease the odds that we'll work this problem out?"

Healthy and Problematic Expectations in Relationships
Each of us enters into romantic relationships with ideas about what we want based on family relationships, what we've seen in the media, and our own past relationship experiences. Holding on to unrealistic expectations can cause a relationship to be unsatisfying and to eventually fail. The following will help you to distinguish between healthy and problematic relationship expectations:

Respect Changes. What you want from a relationship in the early months of dating may be quite different from what you want after you have been together for some time. Anticipate that both you and your partner will change over time. Feelings of love and passion change with time, as well. Respecting and valuing these changes is healthy. Love literally changes brain chemistry for the first months of a relationship. For both physiological and emotional reasons, an established relationship will have a more complex and often richer type of passion than a new relationship.
Accept Differences. It is difficult, but healthy, to accept that there are some things about our partners that will not change over time, no matter how much we want them to. Unfortunately, there is often an expectation that our partner will change only in the ways we want. We may also hold the unrealistic expectation that our partner will never change from the way he or she is now.
Express Wants and Needs. While it is easy to assume that your partner knows your wants and needs, this is often not the case and can be the source of much stress in relationships. A healthier approach is to directly express our needs and wishes to our partner.
Respect Your Partner's Rights. In healthy relationships, there is respect for each partner's right to have her/his own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions. It is unrealistic to expect or demand that that he or she have the same priorities, goals, and interests as you.
Be Prepared to "Fight Fair." Couples who view conflict as a threat to the relationship, and something to be avoided at all costs, often find that accumulated and unaddressed conflicts are the real threat. Healthy couples fight, but they "fight fair" - accepting responsibility for their part in a problem, admitting when they are wrong, and seeking compromise. Additional information about fair fighting can be found here.

Fighting Fair

Maintain the Relationship. Most of us know that keeping a vehicle moving in the desired direction requires not only regular refueling, but also ongoing maintenance and active corrections to the steering to compensate for changes in the road. A similar situation applies to continuing relationships. While we may work hard to get the relationship started, expecting to cruise without effort or active maintenance typically leads the relationship to stall or crash! Though gifts and getaways are important, it is often the small, nonmaterial things that partners routinely do for each other that keep the relationship satisfying.

Outside Pressures on the Relationship
Differences in Background. Even partners coming from very similar cultural, religious, or economic backgrounds can benefit from discussing their expectations of how a good boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse behaves. What seems obvious or normal to you may surprise your partner, and vice versa. If you are from different backgrounds, be aware that you may need to spend more time and energy to build your relationship. Take the time to learn about your partner's culture or religion, being careful to check out what parts of such information actually fit for your partner.

Time Together and Apart. How much time you spend together and apart is a common relationship concern. If you interpret your partner's time apart from you as, "he or she doesn't care for me as much as I care for him or her," you may be headed for trouble by jumping to conclusions. Check out with your partner what time alone means to him or her, and share your feelings about what you need from the relationship in terms of time together. Demanding what you want, regardless of your partner's needs, usually ends up driving your partner away, so work on reaching a compromise.

Your Partner's Family. For many students, families remain an important source of emotional, if not financial, support during their years at the university. Some people find dealing with their partner's family difficult or frustrating. It can help to take a step back and think about parental good intentions. Families may offer well-intentioned advice about your relationship or your partner. It's important that the two of you discuss and agree on how you want to respond to differing family values and support one another in the face of what can be very intense "suggestions" from family.

Friends. There are some people who seem to believe that "I have to give up all my friends unless my partner likes them as much as I do." Giving up friends is not healthy for you or the relationship, except in circumstances where your friends pressure you to participate in activities that are damaging to yourself and the relationship. At the same time, keep in mind that your partner may not enjoy your friends as much as you do. Negotiate which friends you and your partner spend time with together. You might ask: "Which of my friends do you enjoy seeing and which ones would you rather I see alone or at other times when I'm not with you?"

Eight Basic Steps to Maintaining a Good Relationship
Be aware of what you and your partner want for yourselves and what you want from the relationship.
Let one another know what your needs are.
Realize that your partner will not be able to meet all your needs. Some of these needs will have to be met outside of the relationship.
Be willing to negotiate and compromise on the things you want from one another.
Do not demand that a partner change to meet all your expectations. Work to accept the differences between your ideal mate and the real person you are dating.
Try to see things from the other's point of view. This doesn't mean that you must agree with one another all the time, but rather that both of you can understand and respect each other's differences, points of view, and separate needs.
Where critical differences do exist in your expectations, needs, or opinions, try to work honestly and sincerely to negotiate. Seek professional help early rather than waiting until the situation becomes critical.
Do your best to treat your partner in a way that says, "I love you and trust you, and I want to work this out."

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#33 ne: 07-06-2012, 17:23:36
10 signs you're too busy for your partner

Do you find that life is getting in the way of love. Here are the signs you’re too busy for your partner, and what you can do about it.
1. They’re asleep when you get back and still in bed when you leave in the morning
If your routines have fallen out of sync you’re losing precious pillow talk time. Join your partner in bed while they fall asleep, and in the morning bring them a cuppa so you can see each other before you leave.

2. You can’t remember the last time you cooked together

If you’re constantly eating meals on the trot, choose a day each week to take turns to cook for each other. Or, at the very least, show them you care by making a packed lunch for them to take to work.

3. You're still on episode three of The Wire box-set
Watching your favourite TV shows together is one of the joys of coupledom. If you're falling behind because you're too busy, organise a marathon weekend catch-up so you can bond over the highs and lows.

4. The bedroom becomes a sleep-only zone
If your lives are too hectic for intimacy your relationship may end up suffering. Spontaneity is great, but if you diarise a proper date night with no distractions it'll ensure you don't neglect an important part of your love life.

5. You still haven’t bought them a birthday present
If you play catch-up with birthdays, flag them up in your diary and plan ahead so you can't miss them. If you can't be there in person, some flowers and a heartfelt note will show you're thinking of them.

6. You get the intern to buy your partner's gifts
If you don't have time to scour the shops for the perfect present, at least make sure there's a personal touch to your gifts. A vintage copy of their favourite children's book will mean more than an expensive perfume.

7. You have to cancel your summer holiday
If your sacred beach time together has to be called off because of other commitments, make sure you rearrange another break as soon as possible. A weekend away should help ease the pain.

8. You exchange more words with their voicemail than with them
If you're not making proper contact, make an appointment to call them on Skype or FaceTime so you can see as well as hear them, or even surprise them at their workplace for a quick picnic lunch.

9. Your anniversary dinner gets postponed
If work, family or friends force you to put off important romantic occasions, your partner may feel low on your list of priorities. When you do manage to squeeze in the dinner, redouble your efforts to make it extra special.

10. They complain they don’t see you enough
If your partner’s feeling hard done by, take a day off to do an activity of their choice and, if your schedule’s still non-stop, try inviting them to things they wouldn’t come to usually, such as your circuit’s class or work drinks. It’ll give you more to talk about too.


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