Shape Up Your Love Life in 2015: The Top 3 New Year's Resolutions for Daters

 

Party hat on and glass of bubbly in hand, you watched the ball drop and rang in the New Year.  But without that special someone to smooch at midnight, something remains amiss as you greet 2015.  Hoping for a different scenario next year?  Follow the "3 R's"—three dating resolutions that will shape up your love life in the New Year!

Bigstock-Midnight-Kiss-1068841Reflect:  As the calendar turns, pause and take the opportunity to reflect on your 2014 love life.  Too many daters move from relationship to relationship without being sufficiently introspective throughout the process.  Yes, reflection takes some time.  Yes, sometimes we unearth unfavorable aspects about ourselves.  But unless we identify maladaptive dating patterns, we're prone to repeating them.  Tangible Tip:  Select one facet of your love life that must change and stick with it.  Sarah reflected on 2014 and learned, "I realized I date men longer than I should—meaning, I go on five or six dates with a guy, recognize the connection isn't there, but I keep seeing him thinking maybe the sparks will develop.  But they never do.  I end up prolonging the inevitable break-up which makes it harder for both of us in the end."

Reconsider:  Some of us need to reconsider who we go out with in 2015.  We all have an image of our ideal partner but too many daters rule out anyone who doesn't fit their rigid criteria.  Take it from those who've been there, sometimes The One shows up in a slightly different package than we'd expected.  Tangible Tip:  Make a list of the qualities you want in your future spouse.  Dream big and have fun with it!  Highlight the "must have" characteristics—those traits on which you will not bend.  Consider any others to be negotiable.  As Janie explained, "I always said I wouldn't date a guy with kids because I watched my friends deal with too much drama with their boyfriends' children.  So when I found out Eddie had kids I figured our first date would be our last.  But he had every other quality I'd ever hoped for—he's trustworthy, loving, successful, and treats me like a princess—so I married him!  Ultimately, I realized which qualities were imperative and that having kids didn't need to be a deal-breaker.  As a bonus, I learned I like my role as a stepmother."

Reach Out:  If you want your love life to change in 2015, you have to make some changes.  Remember the definition of insanity?  It's doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  For those in the dating scene, this means reaching out in a new direction.  Push yourself a bit—nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  Tangible Tip:  Interview friends whose relationships you respect.  How did they meet The One?  Commit to stepping out of your comfort zone by trying one of the methods that worked for them.  Bob had never considered joining a dating service until he befriended Don and Kelsey.  "They have what I want.  I've never known a couple so perfect for each other and so in love.  I found out they met through It's Just Lunch.  So, I've decided to give it a go."

Ring in the New Year by resolving to follow the "3 R's"—reflect on your patterns, reconsider your criteria, and reach out in a different direction.  Shape up your dating style and see who comes your way in 2015!


Men: Gift Advice for the Woman You're Dating

93952913It’s the last weekend before Christmas, which means men across the nation will be descending upon shopping malls desperately seeking the perfect present for their beloved…and, of course, hating every minute of it.

The whole experience is only that much more stressful when you’ve only been dating a few months or even just a few weeks. Is she expecting a present? And if she is, what should you get her?

We polled women so we could arm you with the answers you need!

If you’ve been dating less than a month…

You might be able to get away with getting her nothing. Seriously! Forty-five percent of women in our survey said they don’t expect a gift if you’ve been dating less than a month.

But, come on now…do you just want to be the kind of guy who does just enough to get by? If you’re both in town for the holidays, consider making reservations for a nice meal or maybe taking in some holiday lights at your nearest local attraction.

If you’ve been dating 1-3 months…

Your wallet will be glad to hear that no women in our survey expected you to spend over $100 on their gift if you’ve only been dating a few months. In fact, nearly 40 percent said they’d be happy with a nice dinner. Don’t think she’s that type? Consider something like this iPad case that looks a lot more expensive than it really is:

If you’ve been dating 3-6 months…

Over half of the women surveyed expected you to spend $51-100 on a gift if you’ve been dating for 3-6 months. It’s tough to go wrong with jewelry, and you can actually snag some nice jewelry made by a designer she’ll recognize in this price range, like these Kate Spade earrings:

Pick the rose gold for something a little different she probably doesn’t already have.

If she’s not a jewelry kind of gal, maybe she loves toting her camera around on all of your adventures together? Check out this wifi-enabled memory card that backs up all her photos automatically and allows for easy social sharing:

Check out our other gift ideas on our Holidating Gift Guide on Pinterest (you don’t need an account to view it):

Follow It's Just Lunch's board Holidating Gift Guide by It's Just Lunch on Pinterest.

The (nearly) foolproof gift

We saved the best for last. There is, in fact, one nearly foolproof gift: time with you.

No, showing up at her house on Christmas Eve and suggesting you watch a movie probably isn’t going to cut it, but you might not need jewelry or cashmere to win her affections.

Nearly 60 percent of women said they’d rather have a shared experience, such as a concert or other event, than a tangible gift. If you’ve been dating for less than three months, a whopping 84 percent of women would be happy with a nice dinner or tickets to a future event together.

If you’re not exclusive yet, and you’re still keeping your options open, look for something happening in the next few weeks. If you’re really into her though and want to show her you plan on sticking around for awhile, take a risk and buy tickets for a concert in March or plan a weekend getaway for a long weekend in January or February.

Women are by nature planners; men are not. You’ll be surprised how appreciative she’ll be when you take a little initiative and plan something in advance with her in mind. Plus, you’ll get to spend the next few weeks or months looking forward to it together!

The fool’s gift 179002977a

If you’ve been dating more than six months and marriage has come up at all, avoid jewelry that comes in a small square box. When she opens it to find diamond studs instead of a diamond engagement ring, you probably won’t get the reaction you were planning. Don’t risk it. If you want to buy her jewelry at this stage, try a nice necklace or a bracelet that comes in a box way too big for a ring. Just trust us on this one.


Pinterest Contest: All I want for Christmas is...

CONTEST CLOSED

What kind of Christmas present do you buy someone when you've only been dating a few months? What if it's been six months or 12 months? 

It's that time of the year when we all agonize over what to buy for the people in our lives. Perhaps one of the hardest gifts to choose is the one meant for the person you're dating. You don't know how much to spend. You worry the gift says too much - or too little. It's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, except it's you and the three items you've been carrying around a crowded department store all evening.

Here at It's Just Lunch, we spend all year introducing singles to their match. We want to be here beyond the first hellos and the first dates and guide couples through their first holiday together.

But...we need your help! We want to hear what YOU want to find under the tree Christmas morning from that certain someone. Introducing our very first Pinterest contest....

Its Just Lunch Holiday Gift Guide

 


Tips for Finding Love before the Holidays

78819813When the calendar turns to November, you start thinking about the impending holidays. When you’re single, that means envisioning the holidays alone. Family dinner with your siblings and their significant others. Your company Christmas party. New Year’s Eve.

‘Tis the season alright…the season for receiving constant reminders that you’re single.

The good news: there’s still time. Here’s where we think you should be spending some time over the next few weeks to up your chances of snagging a date before the holidays.

Give back

No matter where you live, there are bound to be charitable organizations nearby who would welcome a new volunteer with open arms. In addition to daily, weekly or monthly events and activities where they need manpower, many charities also host networking and fundraising events that bring all of their volunteers together. Get out and do some good and maybe you’ll meet a like-minded philanthropist along the way.

Root for the home team

It’s a great time of year to meet someone at a sporting event! From college and pro football to hockey, basketball and more, attending a game can be a great way to meet someone. Go early with a friend and have a drink at a nearby bar where other fans are bound to be socializing before the game. Find excuses to strike up a conversation while you’re waiting in line for that hot dog, and give that good-looking single behind you a high five after the next touchdown. Some teams even sponsor singles nights with specially-designated sections for singles to mix and mingle, so check the schedule.

Do what you enjoy

If you haven’t heard of Meetup.com, it’s a great way to find other people who share your interests. Maybe you like to kayak or wouldn’t mind dusting off that expensive camera you bought last year for your trip to Costa Rica and then shoved in the back of a closet. You can search by your interest or by distance from your zip code to find groups meeting nearby where you can indulge in your favorite hobby or hone new skills, and maybe even meet someone along the way. At least you’ll know you already have one thing in common.

Learn something new

Take a class - any kind of class. From cooking to salsa dancing to yoga, classes are a great way to meet new people. Dancing classes in particular are great for singles because you’ll be matched with a partner of the opposite sex. You can usually find plenty of classes to choose from through your local gym, church, community college or even in the newspaper. You can also check Groupon and LivingSocial to discover new classes, save a buck or two, and up the odds other newbies will be attending the class. Even if you walk away without a date, at least you’ll have broadened your horizons with a new skill.  

Find a park with some bark

Dog parks are a great way to meet new people, because you’ve got your furry wingman with you. You’ve already got your love of canine companions in common, and inevitably they do something funny you can use as an icebreaker. Don’t have a dog? Check in with a local shelter – it’s becoming increasingly popular to “rent” shelter dogs out for the day to those who can’t commit to Fido full time but who’d love to have a furry friend for the day.

Grab a good book

Stop downloading books on your Kindle and start hanging out in the aisles of your local bookstore. Unlike a bar, that sexy single you spot isn’t likely to be in deep conversation with friends you have to interrupt. Starting a conversation is as easy as asking for a book recommendation. Not to mention that if they’re hanging out in the same section, you probably already have something in common.

Get your nose out of your phone

Put down the phone. How many eligible singles do you pass by every day in the grocery store, drugstore, or coffee shop who you don’t even notice because you’re checking your email? Be aware of your surroundings. Ask for help, ask for recommendations, chit chat in the checkout line. You never know who you might meet where you least expect it.

Let someone else do the hard work

Don’t have time to spend strolling through the park or learning to do the cha-cha? Let the experts at It’s Just Lunch do the work for you. A matchmaking service for busy professionals, the matchmakers at It’s Just Lunch take the time to learn what you’re looking for and help you find it. You never know when that low pressure lunch date is going to turn into someone you’d love to take home for the holidays.

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.


Meeting The One While Working From Home: 3 Important Dating Strategies (Plus Bonus Tips!)

The ease, convenience, and flexibility of working from home make it an attractive option for many employees.  But there are drawbacks, too—especially if you're single and looking for love.  At home you don't bump into an attractive new hire at the water cooler.  There's no mixing and mingling at office parties and no getting fixed up with coworkers' friends and siblings.  What should you do if your apartment doubles as your 9-5 locale?  Read on to learn 3 important strategies!

Bigstock-Woman-In-Home-Office-With-Comp-4137512
Get Out of The House.
This one's a no-brainer.  To find The One you have to meet The One and unless you fall madly in love with your mail carrier, you'll need to step out of your home office to interact with dating prospects.  Naturally your work shouldn't suffer so head to a coffee house or café with wi-fi and set up shop.  Bonus Tip:  Establish a routine by frequenting the same places at the same time.  This will allow fellow bachelors and bachelorettes to check you out and know where they'll be able to run into you again.    

Schedule "Looking For Love" Time Each Week.  We'd all prefer a movie-like "meet cute," but in the real world, finding love usually takes a great deal of time, energy, and strategy.  Since you work from home you skip the commute and therefore have a bit more space in your schedule.  Why not direct some of that time toward your dating endeavors?  Bonus Tip:  Take advantage of technology!  Use your smart phone's Reminders app and schedule specific "Looking for Love" efforts in your calendar e.g. Tuesday, 10:00 – 10:15 am: Search The Web for this month's singles' events.  By doing so, you'll keep your love life a priority and directly tackle the challenges of meeting people sans fellow employees.

Creative Networking.  Clocking in at home presents unique networking challenges for generating both business and personal contacts.  The good news is you're not alone; you just need to find others in your same situation.   Consider joining a Meetup group for those who work from home or are self-employed.  This will enable you to accomplish two important tasks—fostering business relationships while putting you in a social context that could lead to love.  Bonus Tip:  Working from home grants you the luxury of closing deals in your pajamas.  But remember, pjs aren't yet considered business casual, so be sure to step out in your best when connecting face to face!

Working from home needn't hamper your social life if you remain proactive and intentional.  Practice the pointers above to stay focused on your personal goals.  You'll see you can still find love despite a cubicle-free work environment!