11 Ways Dating is Like Football

IJL - 10 Ways Dating is Like FootballAs we gear up for the Super Bowl this weekend, we've been thinking about all the ways in which dating is like football. When we put pen to paper, we realized they're even more similar than we initially thought . . .

Remember your uniform

When an NFL team takes the field, their uniforms are clean and pressed and tucked in. When you go out on a date, you want to look your best. Give some thought to what you’re wearing, and dress appropriately for the venue. 

Everyone can’t be the quarterback 

In high school it was the quarterback and the head cheerleader who ruled the universe. There will always be people around you who are clearly the quarterback, and sometimes you’ll find yourself wishing you had that person’s life. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Avoid exaggerating about your role at work or your financial situation. It will come back to bite you down the road.  

Unsportsmanlike conduct

Just like certain behaviors aren’t tolerated in football, there are some slip-ups that will get you in trouble on a date. Maybe you’re rude to the server or have road rage. If your date catches you at your worst, they could see it as a red flag. No one wants you to turn on them like that in the future.

Excessive celebration 

Act obnoxious, and you will draw a penalty. Maybe  you’re a super fan that draws comparisons to Jimmy Fallon’s character in Fever Pitch. Or perhaps you’re  someone who tends to imbibe a little too much and annoy everyone around you. Whatever the case may be, showing too much of your personality too early can turn some people off. But maybe that’s for the best anyway – you want someone who likes you for you, right?

Don’t get called for holding

Try to get a little too handsy on the first date, and you may find yourself in trouble fast. Pay attention to the clues your date is giving you. Are they touching you on the arm while you’re talking? Small gestures like that mean they may be ready for more contact, but if it’s a first date and you’re not getting those signals, it may be too early for a first kiss or other physical contact.

Embrace the pregame meal 

You don’t want to order the biggest, most expensive thing on the menu or eat so much your date wonders if you have a hollow leg. Have a little snack before you go out to dinner on those early dates. It’ll keep you from getting crabby when the food doesn’t arrive for an hour, and you won’t embarrass yourself by overeating.

Stay focused 

Neither Peyton Manning nor Cam Newton will be on their phones texting and checking their email during the big game. You shouldn’t be either. Leave your phone in your pocket, purse or car.

You won’t go undefeated 

Few teams make it through the season undefeated. In fact, both teams in this year’s Super Bowl have a loss. You probably won’t go undefeated either – there will be dates and significant others who don’t work out along the way. You have to just suit up and get back in the game.

Enjoy the game 

The best players do enjoy playing. Dating shouldn’t feel like an obligation or a chore. Go out there and have some fun.

Always wear a helmet 

If you find yourself heading for the goal line in a physical sense, you should always wear protection. Enough said.

Put a ring on

Last, but not least, the ultimate achievement in both dating and football is celebrated with some similar hardware: a ring!  

 

Ready to get in the game? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


So, Your New Year's Resolution is to Meet Someone Special… Now What?

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New year! New goals! New love? If you've resolved to rev up the romance in 2016, consider the suggestions below. You'll increase your chances of meeting someone special—maybe even The One!

  1. Take More Risks: You've heard the adage, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results." People say it all the time because—well, it's true! Although we can't 100% control when or how we'll find love, one thing's for sure, we won't ever meet The One if we refuse to get out of our comfort zone and take a few risks.
    Resolution: Resolve to push yourself at least a little bit in 2016—no risk, no reward! 

  2. Make a Plan and Execute It: Your best intention to take more risks won't do any good unless you actually follow through. The trick is to figure out what you need to make that happen. Take an honest look at yourself and determine how to ensure you'll stick to your guns. Will it help to enlist a friend to keep you accountable? Or do you work best with visual reminders? Try writing out your dating resolutions and posting them in a prominent spot to keep yourself focused.
    Resolution: Resolve to construct concrete steps to find love in the same way you'd strategize to reach any other goal. Make it a priority and put in the effort! Another quote to consider: "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." –Abraham Lincoln

  3. Play to Your Strengths: Let's be honest—dating can feel pretty awkward at times. Make the whole process a little more comfortable and a little less stressful by playing to your strengths. If you're more reserved but you're a great writer, hop online and email your way to a first date. If face-to-face interactions allow you to shine, hire a dating service and let them do the work—all you'll have to do is show up and be your charming self! If you're most comfortable in active settings, join a singles' group that keeps busy with cooking classes, ski trips, or art lessons.
    Resolution: Resolve to be more introspective this year. You have to know your strengths to be able to play to them!

Follow the suggestions above to take charge of your love life in 2016!   Who knows—by this time next year, you and your significant other may be working on resolutions for 2017 together!


4 "Single Shaming" Comments You May Hear When Going Home for the Holidays—And How To Handle Them!

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Looking forward to heading home for the holidays but dreading the commentary surrounding your love life? Below find a quick guide to help you adeptly field any "single shaming" that may come your way.

Your Mom: "Are you seeing anyone special?"
You know she's going to ask about your love life so if you have nothing new to report, make a preemptive move by calling or emailing before you go home. Express something along the lines of, "Mom, I love you and I'm looking forward to seeing you this Christmas. I know you're concerned about my love life and you're hoping I meet someone soon. I want the exact same thing but since I'm not dating anyone right now, I'd like to ask that we talk about other stuff. When we focus on what I don't have in my life, it brings me down and I want to stay positive and upbeat during the holidays. Plus I have a lot of great things going on, so let's talk about those!"

Your Newly Engaged Cousin: "I always thought we'd be getting married at the same time!"
If your cousin is cool, she obviously won't single shame but if she flaunts her 3 carat bling and brags incessantly about the surprise proposal in Tuscany, it'll be annoying—there's no getting around it. No matter how much she exasperates you, take the high road. Even if she comes out swinging with, "Wow, I can't believe you're still single! I always thought we'd be getting married around the same time," let it roll off your back. Bite your tongue—even though she started it you'll look like the overly sensitive, bitter singleton if you retaliate. If she leads with a snarky comment, just smile and repeat how happy you are for her. Turn the subject back to her wedding planning. Brides can never resist that bait!

Your Older Sister (Married with 2 Children): "What was wrong with Kevin? He was such a great guy!"
Yes, your sister always hoped you'd have kids around the same time and raise your children together. And sure, that might have been fun, but her not-so-subtle insinuations that you're too picky—and if you weren't you'd both be mommies right now—doesn't change anything and proves hurtful to you. If she goes down this road, just remind her that you're not 100% in control of when love crosses your path. Explain to her that it's hard when she brings up this topic because it makes you feel like you're disappointing her. Then distract her with a question about the increase of peanut allergies or the free-range parenting movement.

Your Ex: "I can't believe you haven't found anyone yet!"
If you're likely to run into you ex at a party, be prepared—especially if he/she is currently attached (but still bitter about your breakup) and in the mood to "single shame." Again, take the high road. If he/she makes some comment about how things could have been different for you two, resist the urge to fire back with, "Yeah, right—except you CHEATED on me and then expected me to forgive and forget!" Leave the past in the past and return any single shaming with a smile and a breezy, "Well, we all have different timing when it comes to love. And I'm really happy for you." Hold your head up high and turn toward the bar. You may need a sip (or shot)  of egg nog after that run-in!

Don't let any scrooge-like comments turn your Christmas blue! Keep in mind the suggestions above to nimbly side step single shaming and maintain your holiday cheer!


How to Survive Your First Thanksgiving With Your Significant Other’s Family

IJL - Thanksgiving postYou’re excited – it’s your first holiday with your significant other. No more explaining to Aunt Edna why you still haven’t met someone yet.

But just after you celebrate your successful pairing, you realize it also means meeting the family. The only thing worse fielding Aunt Edna’s questions about your nonexistent dating life is watching her grill your new significant other about their job, their family and how they got their teeth so white.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to get you through the holiday with your relationship still intact.

Come bearing gifts

If you’re the one who will be the guest at Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you bring a gift for the hostess. And if you’re not the guest, don’t tell your significant other not to bring a gift. Not even if you think your mother doesn’t need, or won’t expect, anything. It’s a nice gesture, and it makes a nice first impression.

Wine is an obvious choice, but run it by your significant other to ensure you don’t embarrass yourself by bringing wine to a parent who is a recovering alcoholic or perhaps doesn’t drink for religious or other reasons. A great option sure to be a conversation starter? Something from your hometown, like locally-harvested honey or jam from locally-grown raspberries.

Dress to impress

You don’t have to pull out your tuxedo or an evening gown, but leave the graphic tee at home. Everything you’ve heard about first impressions are true, and you really don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression.

Guys, a clean shave or a fresh trim of any facial hair is a must. And nice shoes go a long way, even if your significant other said you should wear jeans.

Ladies, keep your makeup on the lighter, more conservative side and avoid any overpowering jewelry. Short skirts and cleavage-bearing shirts are better saved for date night.

Get the low down

If you’re the one taking your significant other home for the holiday, prep them. Warn them about the possibility of getting trapped with your dad telling long stories if they mention golf. Advise them not to mention your sister’s new baby in front of your sister who just had a miscarriage.  

And don’t be embarrassed. We all have that family member. They’d rather be prepared than caught unaware.

Offer to pitch in

One of the best ways to ingratiate yourself with any host is to offer to help. Whether it’s carrying food out to the table, washing dishes after the meal or offering to take out the trash, simply making the offer will make a positive impression.

Dole out the compliments

You have a lovely home.

The food was amazing.

These are just a couple of suggestions for compliments any host will be happy to receive. Ladies, his mother will love to hear you think her sweater is a great color on her. And guys, her dad will appreciate you noticing his impressive collection of autographed baseballs.

Be judicious with your compliments – no one likes a brown-noser. The most genuine compliments come from observing the environment around you and noting what you appreciate.

But always – always – compliment the chef.

Protect one another

Last, but not least, protect each other. Don’t leave your significant other alone too long in unfamiliar territory. Be aware of when they look uncomfortable and bail them out. Include them in conversations, and give them backstory where necessary to keep them from feeling left out.

If you want this to be the first of many holidays together, it’s imperative you make your date feel comfortable. Rarely is it going to be effortless where they immediately fit in with your family and can carry conversation on their own. There will be some bumps along the way.

It’s how you deal with those bumps that determines whether or not you have a future beyond the holiday season.  

Single for Thanksgiving but want to find a date before Christmas rolls around? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


The Playing Field May Be Level After All

IJL - couple having coffeeWe’ve all seen the movies where Hollywood gives us hope that we can date someone out of our league – “Hitch,” “Knocked Up,” “Beauty & The Beast,” and the list goes on. But is it possible to “date up” in real life? 

According to science, the answer is yes! 

A recent study published by Psychological Science gives hopeless romantics a glimmer of faith that it can be done – by becoming friends with the desired person first as attraction can grow over time. 

The study surveyed 167 couples – 67 dating and 100 married for various lengths of time – about how long they knew each other before beginning to date and whether or not they had been friends before dating. Researchers also independently rated each individuals’ physical attractiveness. 

Results showed that people who started dating within a month of meeting were more similar on the attractiveness scale, whereas couples who knew each other, or were just friends for more than a month before dating, were less equal on the attractiveness scale. In other words, people do become couples despite not having an instant physical attraction. 

"If you happen to be shooting for someone ‘out of your league’ (in terms of attractiveness, at least), you may be more likely to succeed if you get to know the person for a while rather than going for it immediately," said the study’s lead author Lucy L. Hunt of University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.   

The study also detailed more about the influence attractiveness has on relationship satisfaction. Even though couples who started dating soon after meeting were more likely to match based on attractiveness, it didn’t effect long term happiness, and neither did being friends first. 

Let’s say you show up for your first date and the sparks aren’t immediately flying. Your first instinct might be to shut down mentally and emotionally and down your drink as quickly as possible so you can get out of there. 

Slow down and give it a little time. The study noted, “As individuals become acquainted over time, romantic impressions become increasingly unique and less consensual.” 

And what are some of the best ways to get acquainted? Things such as making someone laugh, the ability to have a great conversation and having common interests can help perceptions of people change over time. 

Are you ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.