When Your Date Should Meet Your Friends

Your friends are able to give you an unbiased opinion about your potential significant other since the romantic feelings aren’t skewing their perspective. Friends know you well and know you deserve to be treated well. And it’s always great to have validation of your judgment in life partners by your friends support of the relationship. But when is the right time to introduce a potential partner to your friend group?

Not too Soon

It was important to me when meeting someone to establish a bond between us and make sure we are strong in our feelings for each other before he would meet any friends or family. I didn’t want to constantly bring a parade of new guys around and have my friends start thinking it was just another flavor of the week that would burn out in no time. For me it was serious and the next step in our relationship before becoming official. Having the support of those close to me was important. Since you’re wondering if it’s too early for them to meet, I’ll assume you don’t bring just any girl around your circle of friends.

Not too Late

The upside in letting your friends meet the person you’ve been seeing early on is that they can help you steer clear before it’s too late and you become too attached. You might be blinded by infatuation but your friends could pull you out of a disastrous relationship before you’ve invested too much time and effort. Has she mentioned wanting to meet your friends soon? If so, waiting much longer could start to make her feel unsure about your feelings for her. She may wonder if you’re keeping her a secret or that she’s the only one with strong feelings in this relationship.

Mixed Signals  

As I mentioned, meeting friends and family means a lot to me because it shows me they want to bring me into their world and have me form bonds with those close to them. If you’re planning on keeping the relationship casual it might be confusing to both your partner and friends to have them hanging out together regularly. For me personally, it would have me believing things were heading in a more serious direction and moving onto a different page then they are. You also might want to think about the fact that one of your friends might be start to like her and continue to bring her around even after your casual thing is over.

New Experience

It’s a good experience to see your potential SO in a social setting to see if they act different than when just alone with you. You can see if they’re making the effort to get to know your friends, if they’re outgoing or a sloppy drunk. Your friends can also see the two of you interact together and see if you pair up well as a team. 

There are many benefits to having your friends and love interest meet. Before doing so you need to decide what kind of future you think this relationship has, think about if you want to intertwine the two parts of your life, and also talk to her about how she would feel about meeting your friends. Once you know the answer to these three questions you’ll know what to do!

First Date Ideas

A popular one is obviously drinks/ coffee since its less of a money and time commitment. I’m not a fan of them but for most it’s a good way to test out the waters without much risk. 

I came to a point where I was going on so many dates that I started hating meal dates. Again it’s super common, everyone’s gotta eat right? They bored me and there wasn’t much room to hide if you didn’t like your date. 

I prefer activities such as mini golf and bowling where awkward silences are acceptable and  since you can usually find moments to yourself. In my opinion bowling is better in a group setting so you might hold off on that until you’re ready to have your friends test out your potential significant other. 

The key is to find something both of you enjoy doing. Are you active, maybe a short hike would be fun and adventurous? Do you enjoy trying new beers, find a local brewery or winery and out a new spin on the just drinks date. If you’re more of a homebody the immediate idea might be going to see a movie but a more original idea would be going to a planetarium! They’ll do short films and lectures about the galaxy which is cool and star gazing is pretty romantic. You’ll be comfortable relaxing in the dark theater plus some even do lazer light concert shows which is another unique experience. These are shorter than regular movies so they aren’t as much of a time commitment and hopefully won’t cut into conversation time as much. 

The early dating stages are when you try your hardest to impress someone so find out things they like and run with it! I really like dogs and a twist to the usual meal date was being taken to a restaurant that was covered in dog pictures! It was unique, playful, and showed that he listened and wanted to impress me. My boyfriend really likes boats so our first couple of dates we would check out all the local docks, walking around to read all the boat names and pick out our favorites. You don’t have to impress a first date with how expensive something is, just how thoughtful you can be.

What if I can’t tell if he loves me or not?

For a crush:

There’s a lot of uncertainty for the two of you, so not knowing if he loves you or not is very stressful. Since he is your crush I imagine you’ve been paying a lot of attention to him. Does he make an effort to talk to you, ask you about your days and hobbies? Does he ask if you’ll be at that party this weekend or try to find ways to be around you? If the answer so far has been mostly No then maybe he’s not good at expressing his thoughts verbally and you need to see his actions instead. Does he find ways to be near you? Does he do little things that make your life easier? 

If the answer is still No then a lack of maturity could be the issue or sadly, he just might not be that into you (link older article). One last thing to keep in mind though is have you made it obvious to him that you like him? Could he read those questions and mostly answer Yes? Have you been honest and straightforward “I like you, I would like to date you, what do you think?”

I know it’s scary to put yourself out there like that but this not knowing will fill you with doubt and destroy your peace of mind from the inside out so even if it’s not the answer you’re hoping for, it’s better to know for sure than always wonder. 

For a relationship:

It’s very possible you might have a different love language than your significant other. That’s very common and nothing to fear. The way in which you show love and expect it to be shown back to you might be very different than the way your significant other naturally shows their love for you. For example, you might be vocal about your love, writing love letters, showering them with compliments, and always ending an exchange with ‘I love you’. Your significant other might be quiet or reserved and you may be hurt that they never compliment you or say I Love You first. This is where it’s important to 1. Figure out your love language and your SO’s love language and 2. Directly communicate to your SO that you need to be shown some love in your love language (to continue the example, you might ask them to write you a note of appreciate or love or to make the effort to compliment you more). 

It’s important you find out the love language of your SO other because this can help you notice the ways in which they ARE showing their love. For example, they might show love by spending quality time together. No matter how busy their schedule is, they make sure that they are home to spend every dinner with you. And sure, you are capable of walking the dog by yourself, but they walk with you every time for that extra one on one time. This extra effort may have been going by unnoticed to you. You may have even gotten annoyed when they asked you to check your social media apps after dinner but now you’re realized how much they cherish that time of undivided attention and connection. 

Aside from realizing all the ways you are being shown love, you can also make the effort to show them love in that same way as well. You’ll feel connected again when you start making this effort along with seeing them make the effort to speak your love language too.

Falling Out of Orbit Poetry Collection coming soon!

My fourth collection, Falling Out of Orbit, will come out next month!

I held a poll on Instagram to have your help deciding on the book cover. I ended up doing a little more redesigning after hearing some feedback.

An exact release date will be announced shortly along with the back cover so for now enjoy the front cover reveal! 

I decided to not do chapters since I didn’t want to crowd all the same theme poems into one space. So betrayal is spread out as are desire and tender love.

This collection really came together easily as I was sorting poems at the same time I was putting together my last book, Even the Leaves. I’ll have more info coming your way over the next few weeks so keep an eye out!

First Date Conversation Topics

You want to keep a first date light and although talking about tv show and movies may seem silly you can learn a lot about a person’s immaturity level and sense of humor by what they put on their screens. You can also find common ground by talking about shows, actors, and current events in entertainment. 

Family is usually a common topic as mentioned in the question, but friends are also important to talk about. You want to know the type of people your date surrounds themselves with. You can also learn the role they play in a friend group such as jokester, planner, or the one everyone goes to for advice; its good to see how other people view and value your date and you might appreciate them more by learning so. 

When you start talking about friends you also learn what your date does with their free time. Do they go to bars every weekend, trips to a nearby city or concert, or a laidback game night at a friend’s house? This helps you figure out if you like to do the same things and also gives you ideas for future dates if you do.

A common topic for early dates is talking about travels, they’re exciting and unique from day to day life. There seems to be a trend for millenials to be travel bugs so daters can usually find common ground there. 

Topics to stay away from:

Past Relationships. Don’t be the idiot who talks about his ex and all the things he hated about her or the rude girl who talks about all the other dates she had this month. You both know you’ve dated other people but they aren’t here so stop bringing them up!

Dating Pet Peeves. If you start ranting about things you hate about dating profiles you’re going to seem picky and negative. You can also potentially insult your date. Sure, you won’t want to date someone who annoys you but you should find out the reasoning of why something might be on their profile before ruling them out. 

Dark Past and Politics. It would of course be important for your significant other to learn about past experiences that have shaped you even if they aren’t happy memories but the first date is not the time to go into details. Controversial topics like politics and religion are also conversations that should be saved for a later date once you already feel comfortable with someone. Remember, light and fun is the name of the game in the beginning! 

Online Dating Dos and Don’ts

Times have definitely changed when it comes to dating and it’s time these dating rules get an update. No more waiting three days to call nor footing every bill to the male. We’re strong, independent women who no longer need a man…still we want him.

In a previous post, I briefly mentioned this guy who would talk about his other dates on our dates. That’s rule number 1, when using dating apps we all know you’re in different stages of talking and dating multiple people. You’re doing it, I’m doing it, he’s doing it, the trick is to not be the jerk who talks about it. You don’t impress me by telling me about the obsessive girl texting you during our date and I definitely don’t care about the girl you saw last night when I was busy. Instead, I’ll think you’re more interested in those girls or maybe just a guy who’s so starved for attention he needs it from multiple girls.

But with everyone going on multiple dates, you need to make an impression and establish a connection quicker. In the past you might keep the conversation light so you don’t rock the boat too early, but now we tend to dive into important topics within the first couple of dates. There are so many profiles and options with online dating, you need to know if this person is a good match for you ASAP so you don’t waste your time and miss out on a better fish.

Before the age of texting, suitors used to wait three days to call, I guess in order to not seem too desperate? Now you can text the same night the date ends or the next day, saying how you enjoyed yourself, thanking them for a fun evening, and hoping to see them again. It’s no longer seen as desperate, in fact if you wait longer than the next day they’re more likely to think you’re not interested and probably move on.

I wrote about when the right time for a first kiss is but with the way modern dating is going now, people are doing a lot more than just kissing on the first date. Some people are just looking for something casual and there are plenty of long-term couples that say they started out just hooking up so there’s really no rule now on how soon is too soon. As long as you’re both being honest about what you’re looking for, then go all the way on the first day and have fun!

The etiquette of a man always paying for dates started long ago when it made much more sense in society. Society has been changing though with more women in the workforce and the wage gap closing in. The bill doesn’t always have to fall on the man now, plenty of couples go dutchor figure out other ways to share equal weight of the finances.

Let me know of some more modern dating rules you follow in the comments!

6 Best Steps To Promote Your Book Online – Hayley Zelda

It’s not easy to promote your book online. It can be overwhelming, too! But no matter what kind of online book promotion you’re hoping to do, whether it’s Facebook ads or Instagram or Pinterest, the first step is to identify your goals and create a plan to achieve those goals. The best part is, you can get started right now, without any outside help, just by following the six steps below.

  1. Blogging

Blogging is the fastest, easiest and best way to learn about how to promote your book online. While still starting a new blog yourself on hosting sites like Tumblr, you can and should read as many other blogs by authors as you can, and see how they’re doing it. If you think of all blogging as writing, rather than just posting blog posts, you free yourself to write about a wide variety of topics, which will help you learn more about yourself and the process you’re using to tell your book’s story as the author.

Identify a number of specific blog concepts with which you’d like to engage, and then commit to posting to these at least two times per week. Think of these blogs as your day jobs, and of yourself as a full-time blogger. Make sure to keep your blog up-to-date, particularly if you are anxious about your next book. Even if you still mostly write books, reading blogs is a great alternative to watching TV for longer chunks of time.

  1. Social media

Even if you choose to ignore the kinds of online word of mouth promotions you can get by joining groups and groups of writers and doling out free copies of your book, social media is a necessary tool. It is very hard to find success in online word of mouth promotions without a solid social media presence. You want to immediately start socializing with friends and family and acquaintances when your book first comes out, so that you already have a base of people who will speak about you online as soon as you go live. But don’t focus all your efforts there. Moving forward, you’ll want to try to expand your reach with new followers whenever possible. Try tweeting regularly about interesting facts in your universe, or posting excerpts and samples for your readers on Wattpad. Sometimes, these promoted posts can get a huge amount of engagement because of their topical and timely nature, allowing you to build an audience beyond those who know you personally.

By the same token, do not fall into the temptation of building a social media presence by endorsing products you did not find useful. Many people make this mistake once they realize how many followers they can gain by saying nice things about products — they offer to do so, and then never use that product again. Even worse? That product might be inflating their reviews on Amazon. So if there’s a product that you’d like to promote related to your book, you need to decide if it’s actually something you’re going to use yourself, or if you’re just trying to pick up a few more followers.

  1. Top ten lists

You may not remember it, but there was a brief period where lists made a big comeback. What was once a sidebar in magazines was suddenly the most exciting thing you could potentially want to read. Buzzfeed and other sites began producing listicles, or top ten lists about everything under the sun. The popularity of these lists drew a lot of attention, but more importantly, it sparked the interest of advertisers and savvy tech folks. Those lists represented hits on a large share of a particular site’s traffic, and so the reader’s attention was valuable. Today, after a flurry of refinements, lists still remain a great way to get in front of many eyeballs at once, particularly on sites that have a strong target demographic that matches yours, like Wired For Youth. Lists can also play into the popularity of certain mobile apps, too. The list can be your book, in the middle of a list of a broader topic.

Start writing a listicle about your book to promote it, even in the early stages, so you can see the kind of action it generates. This will give you a gauge on how people might respond to a book purchase. To do that, research your target demographic first, just like you did when you wanted to know how to market a book. Once you think you’re targeting a listicle that those people would potentially like to stay updated on, try using it to promote your book. Take note of how many people click through to where you can buy the book. That’s the number you’ll want at the threshold, and you can open that promotion along with several other promotions at the same time. They may have similar demographics, simply because it’s hard to be as specific online. For example, your book might have readers who also like Kendall Jenner — all the followers and subscribers to her social media accounts could also find your book interesting. You just have to test to see if that’s the case, and if something similar comes up a lot, you’ve found your target market. This way, you can make the extremely scientific decisions that could mean good business for you.

  1. Offer special content

Social media can be your friend — but you need to be clear in your mission before you can be good at it. For example, if your goal is to use the content you post as an artful form of advertising, hanging pretty pictures on a bare blog is not going to cut it. If your goal is to build a relationship with your readers, neither will constant self-promotion. The key, above all else, is being intentional about how you use social media. It all starts with your plan. Decide what you want to accomplish and set a goal. Remember, it’s all about getting new readers, and possibly keeping them, so your first priority is to persistently and reliably deliver interesting content on your niche.

If your plan is organized, it becomes easy for you to see right away what you should be posting. For example, if you’re blogging, you can go ahead and tweet the direct link, so that readers can be reminded to check out your content. If you’re posting short stories on Commaful, engage with your following and make sure to update consistently. You could also post the link to your personal Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest account, so you can post new updates with ease. If you apply the universal stress reduction principle of making things easier and simpler, your social media posting will not be as challenging and intimidating, and it will be easier for you to be consistent in meeting your goals.

  1. Forums

Forums are, even today, a great place to find an audience for your book. And forums have made their way into the modern world in the shape of blogging and Tumblr and Goodreads’ forums. Unlike some specific sites, forums are community-oriented, which means the threads are often much longer and the tone of the conversation much more freewheeling. These are all great things. The majority of forum users visit sites like Reddit or Quora to learn about new things, so if you can create a great content piece for the site, it quickly picks up traffic and attention.

Reddit provides you with an especially prompt incentive to continue to create content. Their “karma” system pushes members to both create and vote on content that has already been produced in order to rank and grow, so that they can ascend to the higher ranks of the community, where they’ll have bigger direct influence and reach over time. On Reddit, you don’t just have to one-time-write a successful post and then leave. You will have to go back over and over consistently in order to keep your account active. Also, be prepared for some back-and-forth conversation with your fans — and be honest and transparent about the writing process when they ask you about it! Redditors can be very inquisitive and sometimes a bit challenging in the advice they offer. But if you can develop a relationship with them over time, you have a vast and responsive audience at your fingertips.

  1. Host an AMA on Reddit

The term “Ask Me Anything” has become social media clickbait shorthand. But behind the meme is the opportunity for an author to open up his or her book to the questions of an entire online community. No matter how successful your career has been, hosting an AMA will open you up to a whole new audience, while conferring authenticity and integrity. If you read through the questions on any one AMA, you can see how simple the questions are that fans ask and expect genuine, thoughtful responses. Just be sure not to treat a Reddit AMA like a press conference — give honest answers to the questions you’re asked. AMA threads often end up in the first few pages of Reddit, meaning you’ll still reach your intended audience after the buzz from the AMA dies down.

AMAs are also a great way to discover connections with other authors or with other people in your field. Potential connections are why you do social media in the first place, and there’s no reason not to capitalize on those connections when you have the opportunity — so don’t forget to follow up with other authors or people you’ve met on your AMA afterward, through Twitter, email, or Tumblr. You can cross-promote your new connections both through this medium, and practically — if you find another author in your genre you think might be a good fit for an event, suggest it to him, and see if they’ll dig up some kind of promo code for you.

Ultimately, it comes down to thinking critically about what your book is about, where the audience you want to attract with your book promotion will hang out, and what you want to do with whatever traffic or attention your book promotion brings in. Fortunately, there is no one right answer. What kind of promotion works for you depends on the type of book you’ve written, the method of promotion you’re doing, and even the phase that your book is in — pre publishing, publish and post, or seasoned. Give it a go and see what works for you!

Author Bio: Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.

March Throwback – Emotional Cheating

I think a lot of people have different definitions of cheating. Some draw the line at provocative dancing while others only think a full fledge affair constitutes cheating. Some people think different types of cheating are worse than others like if it only happened once or if it was only when drunk and under the influence. The offense seems to be worse when there’s more emotion involved. When it was with a clear mind and happened multiple times with the same person. So why is it that emotional cheating seems to get over looked sometimes?

There’s this delusional belief that if you never meet up in person then you never cheat. Or if it’s not nudes, if it’s not sexual in nature, then it’s not cheating. These things can start innocent enough, just someone in need of a support system. Maybe things are hard with your significant other right now and you just want someone to talk to.

The problem occurs when you stop communicating with your SO. Instead you’re telling all personal issues to this new confidante. You’re no longer only talking to them when you need advice, you’re talking to them when you’re happy, bored, and alone. There’s now a daily connection and although you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, there’s something stopping you from telling your SO about it.

Would it bother you if your SO didn’t tell you things anymore? Would it bother you if you didn’t know who your SO’s emotional support system was? A support system is a type of relationship if you have to keep it on the down low.

Q&A on Dating Apps

Q&A of all things people who have never been on a dating app might ask! Thanks so much to all those who participated and for reading!!!!

How long do you talk before meeting up?

Of course, all answers will vary here depending on the type of person you ask and the type of relationship they are seeking via these apps. I, personally, never liked to meet the same week that I started talking to someone so the sweet spot for me was around 10 days. This way I could find out what they did during the week (such as school or work) and also what type of weekender they were (from homebody to passed out at the bars). If conversation was flowing and we had similar interests then I would feel more confident that I wasn’t wasting my Saturday evening. Those seeking a more casual relationship would most likely meet up within a few days.

Do you prefer apps or websites?

I prefer websites because they’re easier to browse by offering different search options. On apps you can only swipe, it’s usually based on location (which like how often does the guy of your dreams live across the street from you? And if he does, why did you need an app to find him?), and app profiles usually have less information on them. I’m going to do a dating app review post eventually but my favorite has always been OKCupid.

Have you ever tried speed dating?

Surprisingly, I have not. It’s funny because people who usually don’t like dating apps will say how meeting by chance in real life is much better. If you’re single and looking to date then speed dating is actually a great idea because you’ll find a decent amount of people who are open to relationships all at the same place. Ironically, I’d imagine speed dating to possibly be more awkward/embarrassing than online dating. But hey, different things work for different people.

What is your go to excuse to run out on a date that’s not going well?

Does anyone actually know someone in real life who had a friend fake an emergency phone call to get out of a horrible date? I’ve only heard of such dramatics in the movies but I do know a true story of a guy who said he was going to the bathroom mid date and then JUST LEFT ! The last excuse I used was saying I had a phone interview and had to get back home for that. (Oh and if you want to hear of the craziest excuse a guy used to dump me then you can head over in this direction.)

How do you keep your sanity while online dating and not get overly excited when there’s a small connection?   

You definitely have to delete the apps and accounts from time to time to keep your sanity. It helps you decompress from all the dating nerves/stress, makes you feel in control of your happiness again, and lifts your spirits out of the hopeless dating pool slump. Also, make sure to have a clear idea of what type of relationship you’re looking for and don’t waste your time on profiles you know aren’t a good match for you.

A weird thing that has happened to me a couple of times is the first date going well and then the second date just being terrible. So I think expectations really make or break a date and it’s definitely tough to get excited for dates only for them to let you down. Most app users keep their excitement in check by talking to multiple people to avoid putting their eggs all in one basket. That’s not a fool proof plan though so other ideas are welcomed.