Posts filed under ‘Couples’
By Aleks Oniszczak
Love doesn’t have to take a back seat in tough economic times. To the contrary, a little bit of creativity will put you back in the driver’s seat and you’ll have fun doing something different from the usual dinner and a movie!
Let’s start with dinner – what is it exactly that makes going out for dinner fun? There’s the novelty of going to a new restaurant or the familiarity and comfort of going to a favorite spot. There’s the anticipation of going out, getting ready, getting out of the house, experiencing the buzz and energy of people and conversations around you and, of course, walking back to the car and going home feeling like you’ve done something more with your time than sitting on the couch watching TV.
But most importantly, there’s the conversation with your special someone – getting to know them, sharing an experience and having fun. But this experience comes at a price! Sure it’s fun to eat sushi or check out that fancy new burger place, but it’ll cost you. If you’re on a budget, you’ll find yourself not going out very often if after paying for dinner, drinks, tax, tip, dessert etc. it eats your entire entertainment budget for the month, or even worse, puts you into debt! That my friend is no recipe for romance.
So what’s the answer? It’s simple – Coffee! Or Tea. Either will do. But, can it really take the place of dinner? Well, think about it – if you take the time to find a funky café with cozy seats and you’re with your honey, what’s not to like? You still have the planning as you do with a restaurant, you’re still going out – to a new part of town you haven’t explored before perhaps. You’re at a table together with lots of other people and couples around you, just like a restaurant. You can people watch, eavesdrop and gossip about the people and conversations around you just the same as you would if you were at one of those places where it ends with a large check on the table waiting for you to pay. You can talk, joke and stare into each other’s eyes just the same.
The only difference is that a couple of coffees are going to cost you around $5 even at “expensive” fancy cafes while even moderately priced restaurants are going to want you to part with more than that for the tip alone! Just don’t get tricked into getting a latte – you’re on a budget and the goal is to be able to go out with your honey as much as possible, not pay for the café owner’s trip to Europe. Coffee is the best deal, so stick with it. When times get better, go out for lobster – twice a day even. But until then, don’t be a shut-in, take your sweetie out and have fun!
Hope you found this post useful! Next time I post here, I’ll discuss how to derive all the fun of going out on a date to a first run 3D Imax movie – again, without breaking the bank.
About the author: Aleks Oniszczak has followed his own dating advice and has ended up happily married, living in San Francisco working as a QA Engineer at Zoosk. Being Canadian, he enjoys Poutine, skating and universal healthcare.
Photo via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.
By Beth Budwig
Moving in can be a great test of any relationship… sometimes the final test. But if you two are meant to be, you can make living together work! Here are two secrets for success in living together:
1. Treat your partner like a roommate… at least terms of respect and courtesy.
• Be courteous of their space – give them alone time, and be sure to take your own. Consider having your own room/desk/corner if possible.
• Clean up after yourself, at least in all common spaces.
• Don’t nag your partner any more than you would nag a roommate — try to compliment them when they clean up or decorate rather than complaining when they don’t.
2. But don’t just treat your partner like a roommate. This may seem like a contradiction, but it’s important to keep your romance alive.
• Don’t just stay at home all the time — have nights out together. Movies, nice dinners, or late-night walks all help to shake up your at-home routine.
• Bring home flowers, chocolates, beers, whatever tickles your partner’s fancy — at least once a month, for no reason other than affection.
• Make sure to keep the bedroom clean and attractively decorated, to encourage intimacy. Having your own special space together leads to more fun!
Remember, living together can be a big step to take, but it can also tell you a lot about your partner and your romantic future together. If you can sort out doing the dishes or having a pet, chances are you’ll be prepared for some bigger stuff later on. Just stay polite while keeping the fire alive!
Do you have any cohabitation advice? Share it with us in our comments section!
About the author: Beth Budwig is happily married to a man who cooks. When not eating, she builds web pages for Zoosk and goes hiking in the Oakland hills.
Photo via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.
by Elsa Hou
Last week Zoosk announced the winning couple of our big RomanceFTW competition, who took home the grand prize of $10,000 plus a free romantic getaway paid for by Zoosk. That got me thinking about both the rewards and the challenges of going on a romantic getaway with a significant other. Certainly, taking a vacation with your partner can be one of your fondest experiences. Browsing my friends’ couple profiles on Zoosk, I can’t help but notice that many romantic moments occur while on vacation. But it can also be a daunting task to embark on. In light of that, I thought I’d put together a few tips for couples on how to make a romantic trip together a success from start to finish.
1. Be realistic about the status of your relationship. Is your relationship really at the stage where planning a vacation together is a good idea? In the beginning of relationships, emotions are running high and you have never been happier, but this is not necessarily the best time to plan a big trip together. A lot can change in a month, and when it’s time to finally depart, you don’t want to be wishing you had never purchased those non-refundable plane tickets to Hawaii.
2. Set expectations for what you are looking for from this vacation. Do you want to stay in hostels or luxury hotel rooms? Do you want to relax on the beach or do you want to scuba dive? Discuss what types of activities you look forward to while on vacation and select a destination and activities that you will both be happy with.
3. Be prepared and plan in advance. Have a list of places and restaurants that you want to check out. Pack appropriately for the activities that you have planned. For places that tend to get booked in advance, make reservations. The better prepared you are, the fewer issues there will be to argue over.
4. With that in mind, relax! Remember that some of the most memorable moments are the ones that are out of your control. Be flexible and have fun. Make the most of your time together in an exciting new environment. Ultimately, enjoying each other’s company is what a romantic vacation is all about – so enjoy.
Do you have more tips for romantic travel? Share them in our comments section!
About the author: Elsa Hou works in the Zoosk Marketing Team. She is a native Californian and enjoys music, dining out, and traveling.
Photo via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.
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By Sejal Monterroso, Zoosk User Operations
I recently joined a fitness boot camp. And in the midst of addressing my love handles, I learned several fitness principles that helped me better handle love:
1. Be consistent
Whatever your workout of choice is – running, yoga, basketball – won’t work if you aren’t consistent. Same goes for a relationship. You have to work at it, give consistent effort, and be committed to its success. Relationships don’t just happen, just like muscles don’t just happen. But work at it every day, and you will see positive results.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
One of my favorite quotes is “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done.” To get that dream body, you can’t keep eating burritos and watching Jersey Shore marathons every day, no matter how much you may love those things. Also, the most effective part of weight training is those last few reps where you feel most uncomfortable and are pushing your muscles beyond their normal limits. In a relationship, if things you have done in the past have not worked for you, you need to change it up. If you are normally shy or do not like initiating conversations with new people, you have to step outside your comfort zone and develop those muscles. Go to places you don’t usually go, talk to people you ordinarily wouldn’t; over time, it will become easier and more natural to you.
3. Mix it up
In boot camp, we alternate between different exercises every 10 minutes, and our workouts vary by day. Not only does this help us develop different muscles, it keeps us engaged and interested so we want to stick with it. In real life, you can’t just go to the movies and local burger joint for every single date. Variety is the spice of life and it keeps relationships fresh. Experiencing something new with your significant other will allow you to continue learning new things about each other and helps to keep things fun and exciting so it is easy to stay in it for the long haul.
4. Find your balance
We talk a lot about balance in our boot camp and how developing better balance results in fewer injuries and greater stability. In relationships, having overall life balance is extremely important. Having individual activities, interests, and friendships helps to balance the time and energy you put into your relationship. You will find greater stability in your relationship if everything in your life is not dependent on your significant other. Putting all your happiness in another person’s hands is a set up for failure – and this lack of balance can certainly result in an “injury” of the heart.
5. Partner up
Especially for the more challenging exercises, our fitness trainer pairs us up and has us perform activities with a partner. Also, it is a fact that you have an increased probability of success in any activity if you embark on it with a partner. So much of life is enriched when you have someone by your side to share it with. In addition, you learn so much about yourself and how to be a better person when you are interacting with someone on a deep, intimate level. At first it may be difficult to open up or put yourself in a vulnerable position with someone. But the support, confidence, fun, and love that come with “partnering up” are priceless!
I leave you with the quote below – for fitness and for love!
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
About the writer: Sejal is originally from Chicago and enjoys wine tasting, sporting events, and al-fresco dining.
Photo via Flickr. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.
It’s been almost a month since Zoosk announced its Romance FTW competition to find America’s most romantic couple. Couples from around the country have been creating their couple profiles, posting their romantic moments and inviting their friends to like and comment on the milestones of their relationships. And, of course, the couple with the most friends, likes and comments – according to the Zoosk Leaderboard get to win a trip to one of America’s most romantic cities, as well as a whopping ten-thousand dollars!
As the competition heats up, we wanted to highlight the five couples in the lead right now – including one of the stars of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen on Fox – Kimmie Willis and her fiancé Robert from Memphis, who have been sharing dozens of romantic moments from their travels and Kimmie’s famous BBQing talents!
Not to be outdone, Irene and Jeff from Castro Valley, California are engaged and they’ve been turning up the cuteness with their romantic moments. Along with some vacation shots that are sure to inspire pangs of jealousy for those of us sat in an office instead of poolside!
Theresa and Steven who are married and live in Maine, have gone so far as to share a romantic moment of their six guinea pigs!
Sheila Lach and John Walker from Florida have been sharing their romance with each other – and with bloody marys – on their couple profile. We’re big fans of both!
And, finally, the top-5 couple countdown wouldn’t be complete without Tabitha and Anthony. Tabitha lets Anthony play Xbox whenever, however long he wants – which we’re pretty sure is as romantic as it gets!
Zoosk’s Romance FTW contest ends August 5th so every couple still has a chance to join in! Stop by the Romance FTW Contest Page and get started by creating and sharing your romantic journey for a chance to win!
It’s a common phenomenon that, once a couple settles into the joys of relationshipped life, hanging out with friends takes on a totally new dynamic. Whether you’re a guy or a gal, hanging out with your single friends as a couple becomes weird and oddly unsatisfying. And, in turn, your single friends end up feeling like the third wheel on your love bike when you, newly coupled, spend time with them. Suddenly, their most-colorful of dating stories seem weirdly inappropriate conversation topics and stories of your couple adventures don’t burn quite as brightly as when you tell them to your coupled friends.
In short, both singles and couples often find themselves spending time hanging out with their own kind than crossing the relationship-status divide. It seems, wherever you are in your romantic journey, most folks prefer either singles’ night or double date as their social situation of choice. But how can you easily find one? While it seems couples seem to gravitate toward other couples, it’s not always easy to find couple friends that you both get along with. And, just like dating, finding a couple that meshes well with the both of you can take some trial and error.
It’s worth starting the double date search by taking notice of the people in relationships that you already know. If you get along with someone who you know to be in a relationship, you’re already half-way down the road of finding a double date. It might be worth asking them if they and their partner might like to get a drink or join you at an event you’ve got plans to attend. Just like dating, committing to a full-on dinner might be a bit premature. Instead, take it slow and keep exploring the edges of your social circle and soon you’ll have plenty of couple friends to double-up on fun activities with you and your partner.
Alex Shapiro is the PR manager for Zoosk and has been on a number of fun double dates.
Have some extra fun double date suggestions? Share them on our comments section!
July 6, International Kissing Day. What does that mean? How do we celebrate “Kissing Day”? Are we supposed to lock lips with someone special this day? Do we study kissing technique? Is the purpose to increase the quantity of smooches? Do we try new styles of kisses? Or is it just a play from Hershey’s to coerce us to buy their chocolate morsels?
Don’t we all already know how to kiss already? We’ve been kissing since we were toddlers. Do we really need a day focusing on it?
To be blunt, the answer is “yes.” We need to set aside one day for the kiss because it’s such an accepted intimate act that carries so much weight in a relationship. It seems that once they’ve been in a relationship for a while, most couples’ kissing styles begin to mesh and they find their smooching groove somewhere in the middle. But, for couples newly dating, without much kissing experience or even for some “old timers”, a little guidance might be in order to guarantee this intimate act is seen as sensual, rather than as a fiasco.
It all starts with cleanliness. You don’t want to go sticking your tongue into someone’s damp cave of halitosis. So, if you know there might be a make-out session in your near future, brush your teeth beforehand. If that’s not possible, carry a travel size bottle of Scope, some mints or a stick of gum to freshen and not offend.
I remember in high school kissing a girl once after she’d eaten what seemed like a wheel of cheese. She wanted to make this kiss an event. Not a good thing. And, while we’re on the subject, fellas, if kissing is in on the horizon, shave so you don’t leave her with stubble rash.
The big question: open or closed? The simple answer: closed…duh. Once you have made lip-lock, there’s really no reason to open your eyes. Keep them closed and enjoy the ride. If you open them and your partner catches you, you run the risk of coming off kind of creepy. But, then again, you just caught them with their eyes open, too. Could be a match made in heaven.
Where do you put your hands while you’re kissing? It really depends on your position. Are you standing at a door? Sitting on a sofa? Lying on a bed? If you’re standing, wrapping your arms around your partner and rubbing their back is a safe way to go (think slow, sensual strokes). Another safe bet for most any position is even placing the hands the face (a hand cupping the jaw or lightly touching the cheek). Hands in your pockets? No!
Once the tongue comes into play with a kiss, you start to open the door to passion. A tongue can really heighten a kiss, but it can also douse the fires of excitement if used improperly. Remember, inch for inch, the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body. So, use that power for good, not evil. That means no shoving or forced entry. And, by all means, keep it in the mouth. No one needs you lapping their lips and chin like a Golden Retriever. Use your tongue to tease and seduce, and you’ll be fine.
Celebrate the kiss today, July 6th. Smooch good-bye on the cheek. Give a peck on the lips in the morning. Increase the passion a la the French. But, be sure that there’s meaning behind each lip-lock. Have fun.
Leon Scott Baxter is America’s Romance Guru and author of A Labor With Love and Out of the Doghouse and the new book, The Finance of Romance
Got some kissing advice you’d like to share? Share your lippiest tips in our comment section!
Kissing. It’s the ultimate expression of your affection for someone you like, love or lust after. And with the worldwide celebration of International Kissing Day on July 6th, Zoosk and The Kissing Expert are encouraging lovers and friends everywhere to take a little romantic journey for the day, and kiss with abandon – it’s the perfect 007 license for seizing the moment with someone you have a crush, crinkl
Now if making a soul connection with someone who gives you butterfly flutters is not enough, here are a few more reasons to indulge in this sweet ‘n sexy pleasure on this happy holiday:e or crunch on, or have long been in a deep relationship with.
- “A Kiss A Day Keeps the Doctor Away”: As one of The Kissing Expert’s mantras, kissing truly is a total body remedy. It keeps your heart healthy (it lowers blood pressure), your mind at ease (it drives the secretion of feel good chemicals like serotonin and oxcytocin), your skin rosy and lips plump (the dilating blood vessels give you that fresh “glow”), and improves the essence of youth (passionate “necking” tones the muscles in the jaw and neck line)…If that wasn’t compelling enough, a vigorous smooch session burns calories too (who knew?), which is infinitely more fun than a treadmill (and will keep you tip top frisky!)!
- Kissing makes your checking account go “ka-ching”: A German study showed that a man who was kissed by his wife before leaving for work was apt to make more money…The reason is simple – kissin
- Kissing is the tiny spark that can ignite the raging fuego: Nothing says “I want you” better than a soft, sensual brushing of lingering lips. And whether the relationship is in that fresh “I can’t get enough of you” phase, or totally “tried and true” (and maybe needs the occasional re-boot), getting “lip to lip” is the best sensual prelude for getting “skin to skin”.g breeds contentment, which in turn spurs confidence and self-esteem…This will not only motivate your lover professionally, but personally when it comes the happiness and well-being of your relationship. You can never kiss too much…
So on July 6th, The Kissing Expert is calling out to the amorous everywhere to commemorate this special day with Zoosk by turning to someone you know, or even don’t know, and kiss with exuberance. It could make our crazy world a better place!
Got some kissing advice you’d like to share? Share your lip-lock lessons in our comment section!