The approach

Approaching someone of interest can be daunting. What if he/she rejects me? What if they’re taken? These questions will never be revealed unless you build up the confidence to approach.

The approach is extremely important, your attitude and your persona are just some of the factors that determine whether someone will engage in conversation with you, and want to get know you further.

No two women are the same, and what we look for in an approach could differ. However, I believe we could agree collectively that respect and politeness is a common denominator in what we are looking for.

Personally, mannerisms is a must for me, I need to gather from the start that you are respectful. If you Address me with words such as ’oi, yo or a whistle’, I wouldn’t even give you the time of day, as I’ve already formed my opinion on you. At this stage, my name is not known to you, but there are other ways to address me, ’excuse me miss’ ’hi, can I have a few minutes of your time’. This is just examples of course lol.

Moreover, what appeals to me? In all honesty, if you look good, you have my attention, not to sound shallow. However, what follows plays a more significant role. Confidence is so attractive! Don’t overdo it, there’s a thin line between confident and arrogant. Be yourself, don’t put on a façade, we see through this.

A sense of humour? This is a must, you need to be able to make me laugh. Approaching someone can be awkward, so light-hearted banter makes both people involved more relaxed.

Additionally, I believe you should approach someone without expectations.

The person you are approaching may not be interested, maybe in a relationship or simply just doesn’t want to be approached. If you don’t get the response you want, just accept the rejection gracefully, there is plenty more fish in the sea, no one is obliged to want to get to know you further.

To assist me with this post further, I was able to get two women to share their perspective on ’being approached’.

Desiree Simone

I understand that I am a complicated magical creature. I go to bars alone, just to try a new scotch. I’d rather shop online than to ever try on a dress at a store. I can swear like a sailor but talk to your 90-year-old grandmother about the beautiful melodies of Glenn Miller.

And for this reason, I find it interesting that men have such a difficult time approaching me. Maybe I give off a highly confident, unapproachable vibe. Or maybe my RBF is so good that the men who do approach me, go straight to the “Sex Tactic”. You know what I mean. “Love that dress. It’ll look better on my floor!” No seriously, I had that happen.

Whether your approach is subtle or direct, there is a true art to approaching the opposite sex in order to strike up a conversation or even ask them out on a date. Here are some of my personal faves and a few No No’s when it comes to being approached by a guy.

Eye Contact, but no “Stalker Eyes”- When I see a guy lock eyes with me, or even if, on a date, I see that he is really looking at my eyes, it instantly puts me at ease. I want you to look at me and be engaging. But don’t look at me like you’re secretly undressing me in your mind. (Don’t worry though, we know you are!)

Be Funny vs Sexy- Being sexy with your approach is like eating dinner and starting with the dessert. Instead of going straight to the bedroom talk, why not try making me laugh. There are tons of studies that show that women appreciate a guy who can make her laugh. And why do you think that is? At the end of the day, if you can laugh together, you have a good chance of building something of value, rather than that bar hookup that ends with me deleting your number.

Compliment, Compliment, Compliment- There’s a great Chris Rock comedy special where he talks about what men need versus what women need. And he’s right in that one of the biggest things that women need is compliments. What this means is, we want you to acknowledge us and more than just “Oh, I like your eyes.” Don’t get me wrong, we love that. But if we talk about work and I mention how I was the youngest manager promoted to my current position, you might say something like “Wow. So you really work hard, and it’s paid off!” What that tells me is that you are listening to me, really listening, and you hold value to my work ethic. This, in turn, makes me feel that you are complimenting me as a person, and not just as a chick who you might want to see naked!

So go out there and take charge. Oh, and ladies, the approve can apply to you too. We often make a few mistakes with our approaches, but I think the biggest one we make is thinking that we CAN’T approach guys. So if I could give the best advice for women, just do it already! Buy that coffee for the hot guy who rides his bike to the coffee shop. Ask the guy at the gym what his arm routine is. Finally, talk to the cute tech support guy at work. The approach may be a fail, but an even bigger fail is sitting alone wishing you could have done something!

Kally

When it comes to being approached with romantic intent, I think I prefer to be approached by that person in the same way that they’d approach anyone else. I don’t really like being flirted with by someone I’ve just met, so if they just keep it friendly and try to get to know me a little at first, then I’ll feel more comfortable! 

For instance, let’s say I’m at a party – I find it really off-putting when a guy just comes up to me and instantly starts trying out chat-up lines and such. I much prefer it when they start off with a casual conversation, and then if we vibe well, then the flirty conversation will naturally follow.

I don’t like being approached in the street. On the occasion that it does happen, it tends to be from older men which makes me incredibly uncomfortable. If being approached in public, I don’t think I’d mind if it was from a ‘familiar stranger’ e.g. a regular at the bus stop who you acknowledge every now and then.

When being approached in general, I tend to seek authenticity. I can sense when someone is putting on a front with me and it makes me have an aversion towards that person. Also, I don’t really like small talk so if I can end up in a deep conversation with someone pretty soon after meeting them, it’s a sure sign that we’d get on well.

I believe a smile is pretty inviting. It instantly sets the mood for the rest of the approach. It means that the person has made a good impression already without even having to say anything at all! 

An example of a time I was put off by an approach – It was about 10 pm and I was waiting for the tube to get back home (when I still lived in London). I think I was about 17 at the time because I was doing NCS. There weren’t many people on the platform but a man (probably in his 40s) approached me and his first words were something like, “You look nice. Where are you going?” I lied and said I was going to a different station. But he definitely would’ve known I was going in the same direction, as we were both waiting for the tube on the same side. 

He asked if he could have my number and I said no, he then asked if I had a boyfriend. He was being persistent in his questions and wasn’t taking no for an answer. As soon as the tube came a couple minutes later, I quickly legged it up the platform so I’d be in a different carriage to him. I then ran home once I got off at my stop. 

As you can imagine, being a woman, it wasn’t a comfortable position to be in at all, and I was worried for my safety. I definitely think that men need to avoid approaching women when they are on their own, especially at night. We already feel vulnerable as it is, so even if the person is harmless, we’ve experienced enough difficulties with men and heard enough stories to know how things could end.

As a woman myself, this post focused mainly on men approaching women.

However, I am very aware that the old-fashioned ideal that sees men as the initiators is no longer the case.

Many women fear being seen as ”desperate” or ”too full on” if they approach a man. Hopefully, my next post will visit this viewpoint and help us to see what a few men think about being approached.

Thanks so much for reading this post, I would love to know your views on this topic. Comment below 🙂

Thank you also to Desiree and Kally for contributing to this post 🙂

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Do labels matter in relationships?

Yes! That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. As with all my post, I like to look at both perspectives. In this case, the reasons why labels are important but also why some deem it as not so important.

A label in this particular circumstance, is simply what you define your relationship status as. Typically when you initially meet someone and are getting to know them, you are likely to refer to it as dating. As things progress it may now become an official relationship, which is when labels such as girlfriend/boyfriend come in.

The first things that come to mind when an individual says “I hate labels” is one of two things. Commitment-phobia or he/she doesn’t want to be monogamous.

However, upon thinking about it in more depth, I understand the whole belief that it adds pressure to the relationship. All of a sudden a new bout of responsibility comes into the picture.

Although I agree to a certain degree, I also believe it’s part of the journey to finding the one. Naturally, as we progress in everyday life, whether it be our personal life’s or career, new responsibilities come in.

I am going to use an odd example: it’s like getting a promotion at work. You start off in a particular role, let’s say admin(that’s your title.)
Over time you may be promoted, to a supervisor which is now your new title.

A new role comes with new responsibility. It’s a positive in my opinion, it shows transition and progress just as with a relationship.
Some view labels as insignificant, a title that just adds unnecessary pressure.

However, others believe it signifies and makes clear what stage of the relationship you are at, which I totally agree with.
The cycle is this: Dating➡️boyfriend/girlfriend➡️fiancé➡️husband/wife.

Each of these stages/labels show your relationship is getting more serious and reaching new heights.
Labels don’t add pressure to the relationship, individuals associating unrealistic expectations to it does.

Many of us have seen or heard the quote “expectations lead to disappointment”.
Entering any relationship with this mindset is already setting yourself up for something negative. As your relationship transitions, new expectations come in, that’s life. Instead of viewing it as pressure, see it as growth.

Moreover, another question that comes up in relation to labels is ‘does a label stop cheating’?
Let’s be honest, if an individual is going to cheat, they will cheat, with or without the label.

However, a label makes it easier to hold an individual accountable for their actions. If you are with someone but haven’t made your relationship official, an easy cop-out would be ‘but we ain’t technically together’; which in all honesty is a fact.

This situation can be avoided by open and honest conversations from the start. This conversation will consist of both of you highlighting your boundaries. You will also make your expectations known, for instance agreeing not to sleep with anyone but each other.

This now becomes the unwritten rule, regardless if it’s not official. In this circumstance, if the person was to go ahead and sleep with someone else, you have a decision to make! Do you stay there, because it’s not really official? Or do you walk away, because, quite frankly you can’t trust this individuals words or actions? I know what I would do!!

I decided to write this post as I see often individuals settling for label-less relationships. Although some don’t see it as a big deal, I personally do. As I stated throughout this post, I believe it shows stages and growth.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe relationships need to be rushed. The dating stage should assist in you deciding whether you see a future with one and other. Once this is established, I see no reason why a title can’t be given to your relationship.

It’s also important to remember that some individuals will you give you a title solely based on the fact that they know its what you want. They may also believe that there are perks that come with this title. Don’t be so eager for the title that you misjudge the intentions of an individual.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know your views on this. Are labels important? Comment below 😊

How long is too long to wait between engagement and marriage?

Let’s face it, a lot of females in particular picture their wedding day from a very young age. We sometimes put scrap books together or even find ourselves screen shotting images of ideas that can be in the future incorporated into our big day when it finally comes around. So when that engagement finally comes, just how long will it be till you actually get to walk down the aisle?

Society has formed its idea of the average length of an engagement, which is 14.5 months as the 2015 Real wedding study suggest. Although reports such as this and other social influences should not have any significance on engaged couples it definitely does. Societies image of what a wedding should look like and the cost of it also plays a part in how long a couple is engaged as they spend years trying to save and even end up in debt trying to afford a wedding that is way above their means.

Whilst many women are okay with the idea of a long engagement others aren’t, a large majority want to set a date from the jump and begin with the planning process. However this varies from person to person as a prolonged engagement could be due to various reasons such as:

Finances

One of the factors that could lead to a prolonged engagement is the financial element. One could argue that if you and your partner want a short engagement you should be in a financial position to get married almost immediately. Weddings are not usually cheap, well depending on how big the wedding is. There is also the cost of the honey moon to think about and living arrangements. Should a couple wait till their finances are in tact before they get engaged?

I am sure a fair amount of people would answer no, as they believe that an individuals finances shouldn’t be a barrier that stops them from proposing. If someone feels they are ready to show their commitment by buying the engagement ring in the first instance it is not a problem. The actual funds for the wedding itself does not need to be available in order for a proposal to take place. If everyone waited till they had the full cost of the wedding before asking for someone’s hand it would never happen.

Age

Age is definitely a contributing factor to how long an individual may want to be engaged. A younger couple for instance  may want to get engaged to show commitment to one and other but might not be necessarily ready to get married as they feel they still have a lot to achieve both education wise and financially. Whereas a more mature individual may not want to be engaged for as long as they feel they dont want to waste time and basically want to get it over and done with. An older person may also not see finances as a barrier as they are more likely to go for a smaller wedding in comparison to that of a younger person might. (This is what I have noticed from watching older people around me, not all!)

Child bearing years 

A woman’s biological clock does not tick forever lets be honest, so an older woman for example who wants to be married before having children due to religion or preference may want a shorter engagement so she can begin extending her family.

The engagement ring could have been a shut up ring

Although there are genuine reasons why an engagement may be prolonged, many have formed the concept of the shut up ring, which in short is an engagement ring that is solely given with the intentions of shutting an individual up.If you have reached a stage in your relationship where you are ready for the next stage of commitment but your partner may not be, and you find yourself constantly nagging, you may think you have hit the jackpot when you get the engagement ring, but have you? or is it a shut up ring. Which will ultimately result in you walking down the aisle a very long time down the line. Lets hope not.

My personal opinion

Personally im one of those females that have a wedding album saved in my phone with possible dress ideas and colour schemes the lot, so I am halfway with the planning already and I am not even engaged, crazy right? Not really because I know im not alone with this. The marriage itself is so exciting but the engagement is also a major part which I want to enjoy and celebrate, so I dont want it to be over too quickly. On the other hand I dont want an engagement that last so long people forget it even happened.

As a preference I would want to be engaged for a year to 2 years maximum. Although this is how I envisioned it, if my engagement lasted longer than this time it wouldn’t be the end of the world, saying that anything over three years is a no no. The engagement will probably be used for planning the big day itself in regards to booking a venue which sometimes requires advance booking. However more importantly the engagement period will be used to save.

To be honest to save for a wedding is likely to take longer than 2 years as getting married is more than just the day itself, life after marriage also has to be part of the plans. A good idea is to have savings before an engagement even happens, an account where you simply put money away for the future. This means when the engagement does come you wont be starting from 0. 

It’s really difficult to conclude what too long to  be engaged is, as everyone’s decision on how long to wait differs and is influenced by different elements. Society does often give the time frame of which they think the wedding should follow after the proposal. However, in reality its down to the two individuals getting married. Is society paying for your wedding? No.You and your partner are im guessing so you make the rules.

I would love to know your views on this topic. How long would you ideally be engaged for, before walking down the aisle?

 

Is it possible to stay friends with an ex

In relationship debates a common question is can exes be friends, this is a topic that people have different opinions on. 


When couples break up, one person most commonly the dumper tends to drop the common phrase ” I hope we can be friends though”. What I want to understand is, do these individuals just say this to ease the blow or do they genuinely have intentions of forming a friendship with their ex partner.

Although some couples part on amicable terms and make a mutual choice to break up, others usually end with one person making the decision to call it quits. This often results in the person that was dumped still have feelings for their ex. In this particular circumstance, a friendship would not do any good.

My opinion on this topic is, if you happen to bump into an ex whilst out and about it is perfectly normal to be friendly, for example saying hello. Whereas a friendship that consist of talking on the phone and face timing is not necessary.

I believe that the terms in which a couple breaks up determines how things are left. For instance if a relationship ends due to someone cheating, it may be hard for them to remain civil, let alone salvaging a friendship. Of course in time you may forgive that person, however I believe that attempting to be friends would just open up old wounds. 

There was a quote that was circulating around Instagram and Twitter in regards to relationships a little while back and I instantly thought about this whilst writing this blog post.

“We can still be friends’ is like saying ‘The dog died, but we can still keep it.”

This has always made me laugh, it’s quite an abstract comparison but what I am able to get from this quote is, if the relationship is over and dead why still keep that other person around. Their is a reason it ended.

On the other hand a factor that could result is exes remaining friends, is if they have a child/children together. They will have to have some sort of relationship or at least attempt to be civil for the kids sake, regardless of the circumstances of their break up.
Furthermore when deciding to be friends with an ex, one must also take into consideration wether a current partner is comfortable with this. Moreover, how will your exes partner feel about the friendship. Although you may have a friendship you perceive as innocent, a partner may not be so convinced. They may be uncomfortable with you maintaining a friendship with someone you once shared both an emotional and physical relationship with.

Can you be friends with your ex on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook? That is tricky. One side is, its only social media whats the big deal with seeing what an ex is up to via images and videos. 

On the other hand, why would you want to see what your ex is doing and potentially their new partner. However if your over it, do you really care who they moved on to? Or does part of you want to see if they downgraded lol. This does not mean you are not over the person, some people do it out of curiosity, whilst others are plain nosey.

To conclude, I believe that some individuals suggest a friendship merely to ease their conscience. Whereas others genuinely want to remain friends. Many believe maturity plays a role with exes wanting to stay friends. I personally disagree, as I believe some peoples wether mature or not would rather simply leave the past in the past.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know what your opinion on this is.

Can exes be friends?