7 Date Ideas For The Most Festive Time of Year

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The holiday season isn’t just the most wonderful time of the year. It can be the most romantic— jingling bells, twinkling lights, crooning carols… The holly, jolly atmosphere makes it easier to create a romantic connection. Sure, grabbing drinks is fine, but let’s think outside the gift box. Here are seven ideas to make your dates merry, not scary, during the holidays.

See The Lights

Forget sleigh rides. Take your date on a sight-seeing drive to enjoy the best—and mock the worst—holiday light shows in your area. You can even dress in your PJs and bring a thermos of hot chocolate. The most dazzling displays will fill you with cheer. And it’s a blast giggling at the most garish offerings—you know, the front yard packed with nine massive inflatable reindeer. Ho, ho, NO!

Netflix & Cuddle

Agree to a double feature: You watch your date’s all-time favorite holiday movie, and they watch yours in return. Things get lively when you learn what the other person considers a “Christmas” flick. Some might suggest the holiday classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Other’s might choose “Die Hard,” which, yes, takes place on Christmas Eve, but is decidedly not a holiday film. Hey, opposites attract!

Shop Around

If you become a couple, you’ll have to go shopping sooner or later, so turn a stressful chore into a fun date. Do your holiday shopping together, and end by bringing your bags of goodies to a favorite bar and celebrating your work with a pair of hot toddies.

Make Cookies

Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies? Often the best dates center around an activity you do together, and cookie-baking fosters teamwork and creativity while letting you devour the frosting-covered fruits of your labor.

Go Ice-Skating

Don’t worry if you’re no Michelle Kwan. Hit the ice. Being vulnerable enough to fall on your tush a time or two is very attractive and shows your adventurous side. Other outdoorsy date options include sledding, making a snowman, or having a good old-fashioned snowball fight. 

Visit A Holiday Market

Just Google “Christmas market” and you’ll likely find a nearby option or two where you can shop for artisan items, and grab some cider, hot chocolate, and baked goods. 

Go Caroling

Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like caroling, which dates back to 15th Century Europe. Not only does your audience smile ear-to-ear, but you get to show your date what a great set of pipes you have. They might just fall in fa-la-la-la-love with you right there.

Connell Barrett is a dating coach for men and the founder of DatingTransformation.com. Follow him on Instagram at @datingtransformation.

A Singles Guide to Survive & Thrive During The Holidays

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Holiday Lights Cuddle

’Tis the season…to get stressed about dating. Should you bring someone to the holiday party? When’s the right time to meet the parents? Will you be kissing your date or your dog on New Year’s Eve? Never fear. The League’s resident dating coaches Connell Barrett and Cherlyn Chong have you covered. 

First Things First: What To Wear

Red has long been associated with power, passion, and desire. So gents, sexy up a date by wearing a red shirt or a red tie. It’s been proven that women perceive men who wear red as more attractive and enticing. The color has also been the top choice of women who want to turn heads…and hearts. And don’t go for a conservative dark red either, go all out and make it HOT. It’s the holidays, make it count!

On the other hand, gold is a great color that alludes charm, elegance, and confidence. Gents, use it to accent your outfit in the form of a watch, cufflinks, or a simple metal bracelet. Ladies, wear a shimmering gold top or dress to add a level of sophistication and your date will feel like he’s the luckiest man in the room.

Going Plus-One At Your Holiday Office Party

Feel free to bring a date to your office party—it’s a chance to further strengthen the connection you created on the first date or two. Humans are social animals, naturally drawn to those who are well-liked by others. When they see your boss and officemates treating you well, they’ll be impressed. Social proof is a big turn-on. Just make sure the party is a plus-one situation. Oh, and go easy on the sherry eggnog. Getting buzzed is fine,  but fellows, draping mistletoe from your belt-buckle, not so much.

Will Your New Love Interest Last Through the New Year?

This could be for anyone—but ladies, listen in! One main issue people have is how to tell if the new person you’re dating is the more serious type or has been simply swept away by cuffing season. Here’s my rule: If they have asked you to a holiday work party or a family gathering, where you’ll be introduced to the people in their life—AND they have asked you out on a separate, cozier date—you’ve got a good thing going. And if they’ve already asked you out for New Year’s Eve, that’s a sure sign that you’re going to be dating well into 2020.

Meeting The Family

If you’re dating casually, don’t meet the family just yet. This goes for both women and men. If you haven’t discussed relationship goals yet—don’t know if the person you’re dating is The One or is just wanting to have fun—it’s best to not meet the family this year. You don’t want to be asked probing questions from their mom or feel any pressure to take this any further than you’re ready for. It’s OK to take it slow, even during the holidays. Just make sure that the other person is aware of it too.

If you and your love interest are getting more serious during this season, you may be meeting a new partner’s parents for the first time. To make a good first impression, follow the old saw: To be interesting, be interested. Be sure to get some advanced intel about Mom & Dad, and ask them about their recent trip to Tulum or their love of skiing. Let them open up about their passions—it makes for way better conversation than small talk. For double bonus points, tell your date’s folks something specific that you love about their kid. Parents love knowing that their baby is with someone who appreciates them.

Clarify Your Dating Outcome

You’re the goal-oriented type—an achiever. (Of course you are! You’re in The League.) Odds are, you set clear outcomes for your career, your finances and your fitness, yet your romantic goals are fuzzier (“I’ll meet someone when the time is right…”). So write down an exciting, measurable outcome you want for your love life, and choose a target date. The further away your date of completion, the bolder your vision can be. Examples: “By Christmas, I will have had at least one date with someone I really connect with,” “I want to attend a New Year’s Eve party with a person I see as a potential partner—and be kissing them when the ball drops,” or “On Valentine’s Day, I’d like to have a romantic dinner with someone I’m dating exclusively.”

Reread your dating outcome daily to keep your eyes on the prize. A clear, compelling goal will fuel you to take the actions that will make your vision a reality. If you don’t achieve your goal by the target date, don’t sweat it. Simply reassess what worked and what didn’t and choose a new dating outcome or a new target date. 

Ringing In A New Year

For the Gentlemen: “Approach” New Year’s the Right Way. In the Dating App Age, approaching has become a lost art. If you’re still single on the cusp of 2020, know that New Year’s Eve is the best night of the year to go out and meet people the old-fashioned way—by walking up and talking (What a concept!). It’s the night when most everyone is in a festive, approachable mood, and a simple “Happy New Year” works as well as any pickup line. So snag an invite to a well-populated party and mingle. And if you’re never sure when to go for that first kiss…on New Year’s Eve, a built-in window opens at midnight. (10, 9, 8, 7…)

For the Ladies: No New Year’s Eve date by Christmas? Plan a Ladies’ Night Out! New Year’s Eve is a big thing and you don’t want to be holding out till the 30th for the chance of a date. Get a bunch of your single girlfriends together and take back the night! If you do get asked out, simply plan the date around the evening out. Your friends were there first, don’t ditch them just because you have romantic plans with someone you just met. Men respect a woman who knows her priorities, after all. 😉 Also, your date will know that he has to up his game—you do have a life and you’re living it regardless of him!

Cherlyn Chong is a breakup recovery and dating coach for high-achieving professional women who want to get over their exes and find love again. Find out more at StepsToHappyness.com or @stepstohappyness on Instagram. Connell Barrett is a dating coach for men and the founder of DatingTransformation.com. Follow him on Instagram at @datingtransformation.

Sharing the Love: The 15 Best Dating Feeds on Instagram

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Few, if any, people in the history of dating has ever said, “Dating is easy.”

The reality is that for most people, it is probably one of the most difficult and complicated aspects of their lives. The good news is that no matter what you are going through in your dating life, someone else has probably already experienced it. And, thanks to social media, that person is likely sharing that experience with the world, along with some lessons learned and free advice.

Take a minute to check out these Instagram feeds for some inspiration, dating advice or just plain positive vibes to make you feel good about your own dating life.

@createthelove

Looking for words of inspiration to help you through your journey of self-discovery and dating? “Human connection specialist” and relationship expert Mark Groves uses his @createthelove Instagram feed to dish out encouragement on how to love yourself and others. His posts focus on straight-forward relationship and self-love advice that helps you form positive connections while being your best self.  

@notengaged

At @notengaged, Mary McCarthy reminds readers that it is absolutely OK to be single. The focal point of her posts is her left hand minus an engagement ring. The feed shows single people that they can still live a great, adventurous life without being attached to someone else. The photos are fun, quirky, and empowering, making you feel a little bit better about doing things on your own.

@juliespira

Everyone could use a little expert dating advice from time to time, and Julie Spira’s Instagram feed, @juliespira, is a treasure trove of realistic, sound dating advice. Julie is a dating expert and digital matchmaker who has more than 20 years of experience helping singles find love. Her dating advice might be just the dose of medicine you’re looking for.

@datingnotes

If you are just looking to get some good feels while browsing Instagram, @datingnotes is the stop for you. It’s whimsical, flirty, fun, and somewhat inspirational for romantics who like to dream of the possibilities when dating. You aren’t going to get answers to any burning dating questions, but you will laugh and smile when scrolling through these posts (because some of them are hilarious yet so true).

@the_babe_report

Sometimes, the best things in life are free. Thanks to @the_babe_report, one of those things is dating advice. The feed is full of just that — dating advice geared to millennials and Generation X singles. Founder Erica Gordon uses the Instagram feed to deliver thoughts and insights on love and dating with a touch of humor.

@gentlemenhood

How does a true gentleman act? Pierre Alex Jeanty uses the Instagram feed @gentlemenhood to answer this question while “inspiring better men and giving hope to women.” Through his life-experience-based posts, he gives advice to both men and women on how to be their best in love, dating, and relationships. A little humorous, a little charming, and very insightful, this feed is the perfect antidote to a rough patch in dating.

@jaycadet

Love isn’t always Champagne, roses, and smiles. A lot of younger people in the dating world are still figuring themselves out while also trying to navigate dating and relationships, which can be especially difficult. Relationship coach Jay Cadet targets millennial couples with his relationship advice on @jaycadet. But you don’t have to be in a relationship to benefit from his advice. Singles can enjoy the feed, soak up the advice, and save it for later.

@thewaywemet

Everyone loves a good meet-cute story. They are inspiring and give many people hope that all is not lost simply because they haven’t met “the one” after giving so much effort to putting themselves out there. The stories on @thewaywemet showcase just how random and unexpected meeting others can be. The stories bring cheers and tears to anyone who reads them.

@drugs0flove

There’s no one way to define or express love, which is the core idea of @drugs0flove, an Instagram feed dedicated to the expression of love. While this one isn’t filled with dating or relationship advice, it does feature some fun, tender, risque, and sweet photos and quotes about love of all kinds. It may inspire some of your own dating or relationship goals, and it will definitely leave you feeling good about the possibilities ahead.

@al_abt_love

Whether you are in love, broken, or somewhere in between, @al_abt_love has quotes you can relate to when looking for inspiration in your love life. There’s no expert advice on this feed. Just a ton of quotes that touch on every aspect of dating and relationships to help you feel a little less alone with your thoughts (it’s comforting to know someone else is having them, too).

@courtship.marriage_advice

Do you have dating advice to offer? Or do you like reading the drama of others’ dating lives? @courtship.marriage_advice gives you the opportunity to do both. On this feed, real-life dating scenarios are shared so that followers can offer advice. If asking complete strangers for dating advice isn’t your cup of tea, simply reading about others’ struggles can help you feel a little better about your own.

@textingprince

There is an Instagram account dedicated to helping men attract women through the art of texting, which is actually a necessary skill for anyone in the dating world. @textingprince offers tips and advice, mixed in with some funny quotes and memes, to help singles who are struggling through the “getting to know you phase” of dating using text messages.

@Millennial_Love

Lifestyle writers Olivia Petter and Rachel Hosie host a weekly podcast geared toward millennials on love, dating, and relationships. The Instagram feed, @Millennial_Love, reflects the topics discussed on the podcast and is loaded with sage advice and hilarious memes to keep you entertained and enlightened.

@therealsinglelife

Real life isn’t usually as glamorous as shown in pictures on social media. The truth is often much scarier than any picture can capture, which is why there are hilarious memes and sassy quotes that are rooted in reality to get the truth out. That’s the focus of @therealsinglelife. Followers post their “true” stories and funny memes about being single for others to enjoy. And you will definitely relish the hilarity behind these truths.

@yoursingleshow

If you can find the humor in frustrating situations, it can make you feel a lot better. That’s what hosts Laura Lane and Angela Spera seek to accomplish with their podcast, This Is Why You’re Single, and Instagram feed @yoursingleshow. They tell stories about misadventures and offer dating advice in a way that is comedic and insightful. You will absolutely relate to some of these stories.

Just because dating is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. It can be a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, but that’s what makes it interesting. And reading other people’s thoughts, ideas, advice, and funny stories can help you learn to enjoy the ride. That’s what is so great about these Instagram feeds — they help you realize you aren’t alone in the dating world.

Images by: Trendsetter Images/©123RF.com, Antonio Guillem/©123RF.com, Aleksandr Davydov/©123RF.com

London First Date Spots: 12 Cocktail Bars to Get Cozy In

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It’s easy to end up at your local joint when you’re keen for an after-work pint. But if you’re on a first date and want to make a good impression, a refined-yet-cozy cocktail bar might be the way to go.

Fortunately, London is flush with cocktail bars that bear a certain understated opulence. No other city in the world can offer fancy libations in such well-worn, intimate settings.

When you need a date option that sets the right mood, these 10 cocktail bars are excellent choices.

The Racketeer, King’s Cross

“Local classic cocktail bar, booze emporium, and bottleshop…” What more could you want out of a get-to-know-you first date spot? The Racketeer regularly hosts bar events to keep things interesting, and patrons can swing by for free whisky and mezcal tastings. As for the interior, The Racketeer is a perfect mix of rustic, bentwood furniture and the kind of leather sofas you would expect to find in your grandfather’s study (rare brandies and 18-year-old whiskies included). Patterned indigo wallpaper, bright Art Deco bulbs, and a secret walled garden round out the unique decor.

The Cocktail Trading Co., Brick Lane

The Cocktail Trading Co. blends modern mixology with a touch of vintage charm. Bar staff take their jobs seriously here, and they are often nominated for national competitions. Think perfectly frothed egg whites and tart rhubarb tequila drinks set to the backdrop of live classical music on the piano. The bar can get crowded, so don’t book during peak hours if you prefer extra elbow room.

London first date

The Gibson, Old Street

Everything you need to impress a first date is on tap at The Gibson. For starters, each cocktail on the menu comes with its own set of accoutrements and tasting notes. You can sip on some of the most inventive drinks in the City here, with ingredients like pine fir smoke, black sesame paste, pickled romanesco, and mangosteen. Turn up to The Gibson on the right night, and you just might have live synth pop or jazz piano to set the mood.

69 Colebrooke Rowe, Islington

A speakeasy distinguishable only by a vintage lantern hanging in the alley, this hidden gem is tucked far away from the crowds. 69 Colebrooke Rowe (or “The Bar With No Name”) serves up nostalgic cocktails in a cozy one-room setting. Drinks feature creative ingredients like cocoa butter vodka, tomato yolk, and celery seed liqueur. The interior has an old film-noir feel, with an early-20th Century mahogany bar and black-and-white flooring. In addition to regular classic-film screenings, jazz pianists and other performers play regularly.

Found, Shoreditch

Located below the Saturday night staple, Casita, Found is a bar that’s filled with nooks, crannies, and surprises. The cocktails never cease to amaze, and the space is spread out over four rooms, making it one of the coziest bars on this list. There’s nothing particularly fancy about Found, but it is a reliable and easy-going establishment in a neighborhood that doesn’t always foster intimacy and coziness on a night out. Instead of worrying about whether the drinks are good or the heater is too hot, you can focus on getting to know your date’s deepest desires.

The Library Bar, Hyde Park Corner

Bibliophiles and academics love Library Bar London. It’s what a book-lover’s dreams are made of: velvet-clad armchairs, large-scale oil paintings, and perfectly-paired bar snacks. This bar is also famous for having excellent service. This helps to set the right tone on a first date, along with the gilded wood decor, the live piano, and the vintage whiskies. Smart dress highly recommended.

Disrepute, Soho

Disrepute is an underground bar perfect for a luxurious, indulgent date. This basement haunt is decorated with rich velvet, dark wood, vintage rugs, and flickering lights that add a castle-like atmosphere to the evening. Each drink also comes with a special story (which can also make the extensive cocktail menu difficult to get through). This members-only spot is usually reserved for those with a special invitation; non-members can reserve a space by emailing in advance. So save this one for when you want to make an unforgettable first impression.

The Mulwray, Chinatown

Step inside the ordinary pub atmosphere of The Blue Posts, and you might not expect to find a great cocktail bar. But this unexpected surprise is exactly what makes The Mulwray so great. Head upstairs to The Mulwray, and you’ll find a bar that’s small, intimate, and tasteful. The drinks menu features classics like a perfectly made Old Fashioned as well as innovative drinks like the Mexican Fizz, made from sherbet and tequila.

London first date

Bar Termini, Soho

Bar Termini is known for its Negroni, and there are gentle nods to Italian culture and dining throughout the space. It’s la dolce vita without ever going over-the-top with the aesthetic. Bar staff, clad in white uniforms, take a straightforward approach to classic cocktails, and nostalgic family mementos line the walls. Something about this place feels like stepping back in time.

The Connaught, Mayfair

If you have strong opinions about how a martini should be made, you will love this elegant bar. A night out at The Connaught is a great excuse to don heels or a bow tie. After you grab a drink from the trolley, be sure to soak in the Irish art along the walls. These touches help The Connaught stand out, even in a neighborhood like Mayfair.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar, Bloomsbury

The Bloomsbury Club Bar is one of the best places in London to experience 1920s-style nightlife. The bar is inside the Bloomsbury Hotel and draws from a rich hedonistic history, from the long-forgotten cocktail recipes to live jazz. Plus, there are two main seating areas for settling in and getting to know your date. Whether you choose the interior, adorned with artwork and books, or the heated brick-lined patio, this place is certain to woo.

Heads + Tails Bar, West Hampstead

Heads + Tails Bar offers a high-contrast experience. Upstairs, spritzes, bubbles, and gin cocktails are served atop a marble-clad bar with gilded touches. Downstairs, you’ll find leather armchairs, mood lighting, and strong whisky pours. Heads + Tails also has two gorgeous gardens, one on each level, to keep things fresh and inviting.

Images by: Riaz Gorbaz, Lily Banse, Peregrine Communications

Love and Work: What Your Career Really Means for Your Relationships

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We’re all drawn to different careers. Being a nurse might fulfill someone’s need to help others while being a CEO can feed another’s urge to lead.

When we’re looking for a partner, careers play a big role in our compatibility. But it isn’t just the job that matters. A person’s professional choices say a lot about their priorities, commitments, and long-term goals.

Connections and Commitment Still Override Career

Even if you have a clear idea of what kind of job you’d like your future mate to have, it might not matter in the end. Many people’s mate preferences don’t actually match up with their behavior, according to a book by Jenna Birch.

Her book, “The Love Gap,” seeks to understand these inconsistencies. She points out that many men say they want to date successful women. In reality, though, these high-achieving women can make those same men feel more insecure about their own accomplishments.

“These men may feel they have little to add to a woman’s already-pretty-fabulous life,” she says.

It’s no one’s job to manage the fragile egos of others. If your own success intimidates someone, then you should move on. At the same time, everyone must be aware that while professional success is important in both reflecting and shaping someone’s personality, it isn’t the sole factor.

A potential partner’s career success doesn’t determine their romantic astuteness, anyway. Therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue points out that business values and healthy relational values aren’t the same. In fact, business usually requires no emotion and is instead about being rational and productive.

“Personal relationships are the opposite: [Business skills] are going to do nothing for you! Just being is your only goal, and you often can’t schedule for it. The person who built an empire must unlearn much of what made them so successful if they want their relationship to work.”

Moreover, someone who does seem to have career and commitment alignment may not check boxes in other critical areas. Elite Daily’s Desiree Johnson points out a common situation many young professionals face: dating someone who can’t balance their demanding career and their relationship. That can wreak havoc on both partners’ lives.

Successful, career-driven people might struggle with time management and organization. While they might look good on paper, their disorganization might make them a bad communicator. If your partner isn’t making time for you, it won’t matter what job they have or want.

career

Time Management and Commitment

Communicating career demands up front can help you find a healthy balance for spending time together. PR executive Megan Maguire Steele explains how she and her husband are both extremely busy in their separate careers. While their careers are different, they both value their individual work equally.

“It would be difficult to be with someone who wasn’t as equally and deeply invested in their own creative endeavors because he would not understand the long hours and crazy schedules.”

Steele illustrates a key point: Drive and commitment to your career affect your relationship more than the career itself. When you both have similar levels of commitment outside of the relationship, you can find a common ground for spending time together.

Moreover, it might be a warning sign if you find someone who’s way more committed or way less committed to their career than you are. Social psychologist Neal J. Roese points out that meaningful relationships tend to suffer when people are pursuing intense careers. Over time, Roese says, people tend to regret letting their meaningful relationships suffer in pursuit of career goals.

Choosing a busy career over meaningful relationships can make a person struggle with acute stress responses and illness. If you see your partner losing out on friendships due to their career, it might be a sign that they don’t have time for you either (which they will probably regret only when it’s too late).

The most important aspect of maintaining a relationship with a career-minded person is patience. Take time to communicate your needs and listen to your partner’s needs.

What Our Careers Say About Us

Our career paths are correlated with our personalities, and so clearly they’re intertwined with our compatibility with significant others. Let’s examine the relationship among personality, career, and compatibility.

As a starting point, researchers Rebecca J. Kimongo Kemboi, Nyaga Kindiki, and Benard Misigo have found “there is a significant relationship between personality types and career choices.”

In other words, a person’s career — not job — can serve as a fairly accurate reflection of their personality. University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts has found that someone’s choice of career path similarly helps shape their personality, and so it goes both ways.

Roberts’ study looked at young workers who had either pursued vocational training or gone to college after high school. Six years after those two group’s paths diverged, clear personality differences were emerging. Those in the academia track were more interested in engaging with scientific, business or entrepreneurial activities. Those who didn’t attend college were more interested in continuing pursuits in fields that didn’t require higher education.

It seems intuitive, but Roberts’ conclusion is profound: How a person spends time in their career can alter their goals and their outlook on life.

career

How The Career-Personality Relationship Affects Our Compatibility With Others

As our personalities are both reflected and shaped by our careers, the kinds of people we connect with becomes clearer.

That’s not to say we should (or do) stick with like-minded people who share the same career goals. Human compatibility is far more nuanced than that.

In fact, two people with wildly different careers can complement one another in surprising ways. “A painter who is mostly reflective and introvert may jell well with somebody who is more open and allows him to express himself,” writer Divya Sharma notes.

Having a partner in a different field can also change your perspective on things. It can open up your mind to seeing the world in a new way.

That said, when you are looking for a relationship with someone else, there are practical matters to account for, and careers become a useful lens for exploring those practicalities.

Financial and Lifestyle Goals

On a practical level, careers help determine financial goals. Do you value flexibility rather than long-term wealth? Are you more concerned with financial security over creative fulfillment?

“Career is a proxy for lifestyle, and it’s important to get aligned on what kind of lifestyle you want to have together,” explains Alexandra Dickinson, a startup founder and current strategy leader at the student loan management site SoFi.

Talking about your career should go hand-in-hand with conversations about emotional and personal desires. Getting what you really want from a partner requires you to voice those needs, Katarina Nilsson at HerMoney explains. Whether it’s intimacy or career goals, your partner isn’t going to know what you want unless you tell them. The more you ask, engage, and share, the more you will receive.

Kathy Caprino, career coach and founder of Ellia Communications, agrees. She says that many people neglect the impact that a potential partner might have on their career. “By the time adults choose long-term partners, they’ve developed attitudes and opinions about work, family and their preferred lifestyles,” she writes. “Yet couples tend not to discuss weighty topics, like their careers, before settling down.”

A willingness to work at the relationship can be more important than having the same career or being wildly in love. Further, the ability to connect over shared passions — career or otherwise — can keep busy couples together.

 

Images by: Bruce Mars, Git Stephen Gitau, Skitterphoto

15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter

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Tired of dating advice rife with misogynistic viewpoints and outdated stereotypes? Turn to Twitter!

From authors and journalists to comedians and advocates, these 15 feminists are having the fresh, intelligent conversations the world needs right now.

Nichi Hodgson

Data nerds and history buffs will enjoy following Nichi Hodgson, a journalist and equal-rights activist based in the UK. She is also the author of “The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder,” which tackles thought-provoking dating questions on everything from coming out in the Victorian era to ‘80s video dating.

Hodgson’s historical and cultural knowledge of dating means she’s regularly tapped for interviews on modern love. Her feed is filled with articles and insights on feminist dating, transgender rights, intimacy protocols, and how to get the most out of dating apps.

Jaclyn Friedman

Author, essayist, podcaster, speaker, feminist… Jaclyn Friedman does a bit of everything. She has written three books and also co-wrote “Yes Means Yes” with Jessica Valenti, another feminist writer on this list.

Her most recent book dives deep into the sexism of American society and politics. “Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw us All” takes a serious look at systemic inequality and politics in the United States. Her podcast, “Unscrewed,” aims to end abusive relationships by using sexual liberation to empower the abused.

Cassandra Corrado

Cassandra Corrado is an independent feminist sex educator based in North Carolina. She describes her work as “trauma-informed, pleasure-inclusive sex education for teens and adults.”

Corrado hosts sex-education workshops for communities and universities, and she’s known for bringing a fun, culturally sensitive approach to a taboo topic. Talking about intimacy with people of all ages makes Corrado an expert on what it means to be a feminist in today’s dating world.

Gigi Engle

Feminist writer and educator Gigi Engle is an expert at navigating difficult conversations. The sex coach is no stranger to discussing intimacy on the internet. Her lighthearted, humorous approach tackles uncomfortable topics in a way that’s refreshingly real and genuinely helpful.

Engle’s writing has appeared in Marie Claire, Healthline, NBC, Women’s Health, Huffpost, and a number of other publications. She has also been a columnist for Elite Daily, where she answered direct reader questions on all things relationships and intimacy.

Dr. Caroline Heldman

If you’re looking for a go-to expert on feminism and politics, give Dr. Caroline Heldman a follow. She’s been interviewed on national media outlets like CNN and is a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

She helped author the book “Sex & Gender in the 2016 Presidential Election,” which tackles the Clinton/Trump election through the lens of gender, society, and culture. Heldman is also the executive director of Miss Representation, an award-winning film aimed at dismantling gender stereotypes.

Feminists

Jessica Valenti

Author and journalist Jessica Valenti isn’t exactly a dating-advice columnist, but her feminist viewpoints hit the mark.

Why? Because Valenti writes about critical political issues facing women and female-identifying individuals today. Her feed is more or less a commentary on feminist justice that answers pressing questions for women today: Which men in power are being convicted of crimes against women? What outdated laws are preventing equality between married men and women?

Plus, she’s the author of multiple books on feminism, female identity, and relationships. She co-wrote the book “Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape,” which is particularly on point.

Alix Fox

This multi-talented woman is a colorful and humorous addition to any Twitter feed. Alix Fox is a writer and presenter whose work spans a diverse range of subject matter. She’s also a sex educator and was a consultant on the popular Netflix show Sex Education. On her Twitter feed, she shares advice on intimacy that’s mentally and physically healthy for all people.

Dr. Allie Carter

Dr. Allie Carter is a positive and refreshing voice in the world of intimacy and sex positivity on Twitter.

Much of her effort is aimed at having empowering conversations about STIs. She’s an activist for Life & Love With HIV, which builds community around sex and relationships for women and couples with HIV. Carter’s goal is to end the stigma around HIV and to promote positive conversations around the commonly misunderstood topic.

At the same time, she talks about consent, contraception, and mental health as they relate to relationships. If you’ve ever wondered about STIs as a single person while dating, Dr. Allie can answer all of your questions.

Amanda Chatel

Sex and relationships writer Amanda Chatel has been featured in publications like Glamour, Bustle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Chatel’s feed contains all of the intriguing political commentary you’d expect from an intelligent feminist writer. This makes it a great place to stay updated on current events in feminism and equal rights.

Chatel is also known for being fiercely sex-positive. Her online presence and articles are excellent resources for those seeking information about feminist intimacy and relationships. She’s a go-to resource for sex talk that feels empowering, not shameful.

Myisha Battle

Myisha Battle is a sex dating coach, a writer, and a podcast host. Her podcast, Down for Whatever, is aimed at helping people to cultivate positive and fulfilling sex lives. Each episode features interviews with real people, drawing advice from their real-world intimacy experiences.

By featuring a variety of backgrounds, representations, and identities in her podcast, Battle is breaking through stigmas and giving voice to underserved groups.

What’s more, Battle, has a background in public health and emphasizes personal wellness in all of her talks and advice.

Feminists

Jen Richards

Jen Richards is an actor and screenwriter who co-wrote, produced, and starred in “Her Story”, an internet drama about trans women. Richards is a fierce trans-rights activist who also has a background in music management and film production.

Her content isn’t directly aimed at dating and relationships. Still, her views on gender equality and representation are essential reading for anyone who wants to learn about societal gender roles today.

The content she writes and performs can also inform viewers on important topics like drug use in a relationship and consent. Plus, Richards’ witty, real tone makes learning about trans rights more accessible to all.

Lane Moore

Comedian, musician, and writer Lane Moore is multi-talented to say the least. Formerly the Sex and Relationships editor for Cosmopolitan, she now shares her love advice in the hilarious show Tinder Live. That show features Moore using the dating app live on stage in front of an audience. Rather than shaming her matches or feigning interest, she puts a positive spin on internet dating.

She also authored the best-selling book “How to be Alone: If You Want to, and Even if You Don’t,” a treatise on being comfortable with yourself.

Hayley Quinn

Dating coach Hayley Quinn helps empower women by turning the tides on age-old dating advice. Her TED talk, “Searching For Love To Escape Ourselves,” has more than one million views.

Quinn provides modern feminist advice for both men and women on how to find love that promotes both equality and happiness. Some of her most relevant articles discuss topics like how to write your online dating profile bio and how to make your dating app profile pics rock.

If you don’t feel like reading, her Twitter feed is filled with helpful video snippets in which Hayley discusses dating in the digital age.

Suzannah Weiss

If you’re a female-identifying person who struggles to navigate the dating scene, Suzannah Weiss can help. The writer and editor has extensive knowledge of topics like culture, female health, gender roles, and toxic masculinity.

It’s no surprise that Weiss shares cutting-edge feminist insights that can make readers feel less frustrated in their search for an ideal match. Weiss also discusses things like body image and social justice. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Paste.

Marina Del Russo

Marina Del Russo is a writer who specializes in sex and wellness topics. Her articles are filled with fresh and approachable dating advice for modern singles.

In one article, “I Want Everyone to Stop Reading This Terrible Piece of Dating Advice,” she explains a scenario that’s all too familiar to online daters today. Before she met up with a match, she received a text explaining his intentions (or lack thereof). He wrote that while he was excited to meet her, he wasn’t sure what he was looking for. Readers who are serious about finding someone special know just how frustrating these messages are. As Del Russo writes, the sender is wanting to “keep a foot in each scenario…it isn’t defining your expectations — it’s relinquishing your responsibility over my feelings.” This is just one example of her sage advice about dating in the modern age.

Whether you’re a feminist or simply interested in exploring new viewpoints, these fiercely powerful and deeply impassioned women are guaranteed to inspire and you and to kick your dating game up a notch.

Images by: Eunice Lituañas, Omar Lopez, Clarke Sanders

Explore the Los Angeles Art Scene With These 10 First Date Ideas

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If you’re an LA hipster, actor, Silicon Beacher, or person who likes warm weather and hiking, you’re probably looking for artsy date ideas in the City of Angels. Well, you’re in luck.

Los Angeles has endless options for exploring your artistic side and getting inspired. From guided street-art tours to movies under the stars, this list of date ideas will make you furious that you can only choose one.

Rooftop Cinema Club, Downtown and Hollywood

Dinner and a movie might be overdone. But watching an indie film under the stars? In the city of stars? That’s an entirely different story. LA residents can indulge in Rooftop Cinema Club, a multi-city movie event that boasts iconic movies, comfortable chairs, and wireless headphones for all.

There are two locations: DTLA and NeueHouse Hollywood. While the popup cinema shuts down for the winter, it’ll be back for screenings in early spring 2019. Is there anything more romantic than cuddling under the stars with your date?  Perhaps only cuddling under the stars with your date, sharing popcorn, and watching vintage romance cinema.

Barnsdall Art Park, Thai Town

If art and parks are your thing, Barnsdall Art Park is sure to please. Designed to provide a thriving international arts community, this gorgeous green is home to a number of institutions, including Hollyhock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

If you’re feeling particularly artistic, join a class at the Barnsdall Art Center. Taught by university instructors, these college-level art courses range from pottery to tie-dyeing to printmaking.

Los Angeles art

Art and Seeking’s Arts District Street Art Tour, Downtown

In search of beauty? Look no further than downtown’s art murals. Though you might pass these amazing images from time to time, a closer look is well worth your time. Art and Seeking offers interactive, informative guides. Its owner, Lizy Dastin, is a teacher and art historian with  a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her goal with Art and Seeking is to introduce people to new forms of art in new environments, thereby changing their perspectives. Artists, culture nerds, and history buffs will all enjoy these tours.

Paint & Sip Studio LA, La Brea

If you’re a fan of drinking while multitasking, you’ll love Paint & Sip LA, where you’ll recreate a masterpiece of your choice while sipping craft beers and cocktails.

If you lack artistic ability, fear not. Paint & Sip Studio LA isn’t just for aspiring Van Goghs (who, by the way, didn’t become an artist until he was 27). Paint and Sip events are catered to people of all abilities, and there’s more emphasis on having fun than anything else. This eclectic studio provides step-by-step instructions for each painting, so you can enjoy yourself without having to think too hard about impressing your date.

The Moroccan Lounge, Downtown

This venue hosts indie and underground bands in a location that’s tough to top. As one of the oldest bars in Downtown LA, this space has a rich history. It has been home to numerous live music haunts throughout the years, including Osso DTLA, One Eyed Gypsy, and an old cop bar.

The theater holds up to 250 people and boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Plus, the brick-walled architecture, vintage tapestries, and colorful lighting designs provide enough conversation for a good talk in a cozy booth into the wee hours.

And it doesn’t stop there: The Moroccan Lounge also serves eclectic small food plates inspired by Moroccan-mediterranean culture.

The Last Bookstore, Downtown

Paperback and vinyl aficionados will be in heaven at The Last Bookstore. As the largest old and used bookstore in LA, and one of the largest remaining bookstores in the world, The Last Bookstore buys, sells, and trades all of its items. Its sheer magnitude provides plenty of material to sort through.

This is a great conversation-starter for a first date. Laugh over a few comics, flip through a few rare collections, and maybe even pick up a record to listen to back at your place if the evening goes well.

Los Angeles art

Getty Museum, Brentwood and Malibu

The J. Paul Getty Museum is a favorite of many LA-based artists. The museum has two locations: The Getty Center in Brentwood, and the Villa in Malibu. Both feature a variety of exhibitions and events, and the buildings themselves are architectural marvels. Artist talks, film screenings, and guided tours are just a few ways you can join the action at Getty.

Hauser & Wirth, Downtown

This gallery opened its doors in an old flour mill in March 2016. But Hauser & Wirth is more than just an art gallery. It’s also a vibrant communal space designed to unite the community with art, architecture, and events.

You and your date can attend a painting or photography exhibition as well as dance and performance art events. There are also film screenings, maker workshops, and artist-led conversations to inspire you.

Night Gallery, Downtown

Night Gallery mesmerizes everyone who enters. Enjoy this fine art gallery as a great starting point to a dinner date, as the contemporary and abstract paintings will surely whet your appetite for thoughtful conversation. It also gives space for you and your date to engage with something out in the world, without having to fill every moment with small talk.

Two Bit Circus, Downtown

Arena? Arcade? Escape room? Take your pick at Two Bit Circus — an epic playroom for grown ups.

There are multiple attractions to choose from. Their Story Rooms are a unique take on escape rooms, combining elements of mystery and thematic plays. Club01 is an interactive stage-show infused with cutting-edge technology while the Cabanas mixes VR with video games for an adrenaline-fueled, futuristic experience.

Afterward, head to the eatery where you’ll find a sophisticated take on classic carnival fare — think vegan skewers, fried cauliflower, and hot dogs topped with bacon, avocado and tomatillo.

While Los Angeles is at times accused of not measuring up culturally, there’s a lot there if you’re willing to seek it out. We hope we’ve done some of the work for you and that you’re armed and ready to wow a first date with a night of art and culture.

Images by: Una Laurencic, Bruce Mars, Clem Onojeghuo

A Guide to Talking About Career Ambitions and Financial Success When Dating

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While your job is a major part of who you are, it doesn’t define your whole being. Potential matches aren’t looking for a workaholic — they’re looking for someone who can balance a strong career with a meaningful social life, family time, and special interests. Here’s how to write a dating profile that divulges just the right amount of information about your career and personal life.

Talking About Your Career in a Dating Profile

Shared passions are a core aspect of successful relationships. So when your career is an important part of life, your dating profile should reflect this.

“If you’re a math nerd, flaunt it,” says psychotherapist and Fordham University professor Zachary Alti. “If you have a burning passion for your career, let it shine.” Being upfront about your career can help you attract career-minded matches who share your passion for success.

Plus, talking about your career creates an easy conversation-starter for someone in a similar field, MyDomaine’s Hadley Mendelsohn writes. “Stating your job right off the bat prevents your partner from having to ask later on. This, in turn, may prevent any awkward conversations, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings down the line.”

Keep the Career Info in Your Profile Short and Sweet

Including your career information is important, but so is keeping the description straightforward and succinct. After all, you want your date to have to work to learn more about you, suggests AskMen writer Adam Hurly. The detailed gems of information about your life have to be earned. This leaves more room for surprise and discussion when you finally meet your match in real life. It also shows that you’re a layered person who has reservations and humility — while being wildly successful.

On that note, remember to avoid gossip, ranting, or other negativity when talking about your work. Keep things light and focused on interests, urges Amy Webb, author of Data: A Love Story.

Positive words like “fun,” “adventure,” “easy-going” and “friends” can also be tied into career explanations and questions from matches. Setting a positive tone regarding your career will make it easier and more enjoyable to discuss work when you meet a match in person.

Even a quick mention of a high-powered career can boost your results. Katie Sola from Forbes reports findings on users of The League: “High-powered women were hearted 6.5 percent more often than the general female population, and were 30 percent more likely to send the first message.”

She also says that male CEOs and founders on the app were hearted 4.5 percent more than the male average. Moral of the story? Include your high-powered title, but don’t go overboard with a job description.

career

Talking About Income on a First Date

Talking about your salary on a first date might seem taboo, but when you’re looking for a match who meets your professional and career goals,it could be a strategic move.

Blogger Emma Johnson explains that sharing your income has a number of benefits. For one, it clarifies that you’re actually looking for a partner — and that you’re not looking for a sugar daddy or sugar mama.

Being passionate about your career means you’ll likely want someone with whom you can discuss personal and career goals. If you opt to talk financials, don’t stop at just income. A person’s income is merely what they make, not what they spend. Financial advisor Richard Kahler, reminds his readers that someone earning a mid-six-figure salary might not be financially stable.

Discussing Other Aspects of Your Life

OK, so you’re a rocket scientist — but what else do you do with your spare time? Swap out that lengthy description of your dissertation and show off your killer personality. Using a one-liner or a quick story about yourself can illustrate your personality in a more specific, concise way that grabs attention, says Lisa Hoehn, who writes dating profiles for a living. Pairing these descriptions with action shots is a surefire way to attract someone who lives life as boldly as you do.

Let’s say you decide to delete those extra details on your startup’s seed round. To keep your profile detailed and interesting, you’ll need other information to take its place. Dating and relationship expert Alexis Sclamberg suggests being authentic, detailed, and personable in your photos and texts.

“It’s a great way to not only show off your personality, but it gives good insight into what your life IRL is like as well—which is important when you’re finding a partner via your phone.”

Being upfront about who you are will weed out the people who aren’t on your level. This will make dating in general much more engaging.

career

Bottom Line: Showcase What You’re Looking For

Streamlining your career details also creates space for you to describe what on earth you’re even doing on this app. Looking for a LTR? Need a brewery buddy? State exactly what you’re looking for so you can ward off the people who aren’t aligned with that goal. This advice goes for both profile text and photos.

“If you’re looking for a husband who’s ready to settle down and start a family, skip the shot of you dancing on the table drunk at your best friend’s party,” says marriage and family therapist Dr. Jenn Mann. “Of course wives dance on tables too, but you’re trying to build a visual narrative that’s easily decodable.”

Online daters who get the most matches use about 70 percent of their profile to talk about themselves, says author and behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards. The other 30 percent?… For best results, it’s used to explain what the person is seeking. Adhering to this 70-30 rule when writing your profile description can give you a good measuring stick for sharing who you are while not coming across as caught up in yourself.

What we do for work is fundamental to who we are, and it’s also just part of the picture. It’s important to include your career in your online dating profile — just don’t let it steal the show. Ideally, you’ll strike a balance that puts both your career and who are are outside of work in good light. Let your light shine — at just the right brightness, and in just the right places.

How to Choose a Dating App: Reviews and Real-Life Stories

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No-shows, catfishing, ghosting… we’ve all heard our share of online dating horror stories. At the same time, we progressively hear of more and more long-term partners who met on dating apps.

So which app is right for you? These reviews and user stories will give you a feel for how Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and The League connect people.

Tinder

Tinder created the standard gestures many dating apps have adopted: Swipe right to like, left to pass.  As explained by tech writer Mark Jansen, you can swipe “up if you want to use one of your precious “super likes” to show them you really really like them.” Each use is armed with only a few Super Likes per day.

The biggest downside of Tinder? Only that it has been blamed for the fall of romance and the rise of hookup culture. As Nancy Jo Sales wrote in 2015 for Vanity Fair: “The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded.”

This had led people to think of Tinder as more of a game and a competition to see how many matches and hookups can be achieved. They didn’t see it as a place to find meaningful relationships.

Many still don’t, and it often gets classified as the “hookup app.” As Vice’s Emily Guendelsberger reports, one user named Shelby detailed her negative experience with a guy: “He started talking about how he makes so much money a year, high six figures. I just thought, ‘Dude, you’re rocking basketball shorts.’ But he kept going on and on about it, talking about his friend who’s a chef that opened up his own restaurant and only makes $100,000 a year.” Cut to a first date at a dollar taco shack, where Shelby was on a mission to escape the man as quickly as possible. He attempted his slickest moves to persuade her to come to his apartment, but she slid away, telling him to never call again.

Tinder isn’t exclusively full of guys like this, though. There are plenty of happy couples who met on the app. Take the story of 35-year old Carrie, who met her current love on Tinder. As Carrie explains to Cosmopolitan writer Lane Moore, she knew that it was real after a few messages: “Our conversation felt so natural and like we’d already been friends for years. He gave me his number within a day and then we started texting. About a week later, we met in person and we’ve been together ever since.”

dating app

Bumble

Unlike other apps, guys aren’t able to make the first move on Bumble.

Bumble “wants to enable women to be as confident in the dating sphere as they are in their professional lives,” says Grazia writer Edwina Langley. “Ensuring women make the first move, Bumble believes, starts the future relationship off on a more even keel.”

Bumble also includes profile information like career and education, so users have a basic understanding of potential matches’ backgrounds. LGBT+ women can use the dating app to find other women for romance, and Bumble’s BFF feature helps users find friendships.

One drawback to Bumble is that it doesn’t have a wide range of genders and sexualities represented, says Business Insider’s Avery Hartmans. “For those who identify with a different label, or prefer not to identify their gender at all, Bumble doesn’t provide that option yet.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that Bumble isn’t for women looking for an ego boost. Bumble asks women to put themselves out there — and that sometimes means being rejected. “If your self-esteem can’t take the potential (and likely) hit of not getting responses after putting yourself out there, this app’s not for you,” Abigail Yonker at The Everygirl writes.

On a positive note, a woman named Mary tells writer Alexia Dellner how Bumble reconnected her cousin with an old flame. The two had always had been interested in one another, but the timing was never right. When they found each other on Bumble, they knew it was the right time to see whether sparks would fly. They’ve been dating ever since.

Of course Bumble provides negative experiences as well. Communications consultant Julie Buckner wrote a Los Angeles Times article about her Bumble experience. When a man she met on Bumble agreed to fly to LA to meet her, she was elated. But then the man kept pushing their date back later and later, stringing her along hour by hour, until finally she realized it was never going to happen. Being stood up is horrible wherever you are, but being stood up after traveling hours through LA traffic is the stuff dating horror stories are made of.

Coffee Meets Bagel

One of the best features of Coffee Meets Bagel is that it helps eliminate mindless swiping. It does this by limiting the number of profiles you see each day, which in turn makes matches more thoughtful. This means that you can only swipe right (or, in this case, “like”) on a limited number of people in a single sitting.

“The service gives male users 21 curated matches every day that they can either like or pass on,” says entertainment writer Anna Burleson. “The women, in turn, get to see which men have liked them and decide whether to like them back. If they do, the matched pair can then chat for free.”

The app works by using “beans” as currency for gaining points and accessing special features.

Burleson explains how logging in and completing certain tasks, like rating user photos, can earn you more beans.

Coffee Meets Bagel recently rolled out a feature that allows users to comment on other people’s profiles before they’ve matched. “The hope is that by sending messages specific to that person’s profile like ‘I also traveled to Japan last year,’ users will have a better idea if a match will be worth their time,” VentureBeat reporter Anna Hensel writes.

This differs from most other dating apps, where a mutual like must be initiated in order for contact to occur. Some people enjoy the ability to contact a potential match before the feeling is declared mutual, while others find it leads to connections with people who are slightly, um, overbearing.

One user, Rebecca, a nonprofit grant writer, tells reporter Allison Fox about how she joined Coffee Meets Bagel because she was tired of trying to meet people in bars. When Rebecca met a man named Sohan for the first time, she liked that he had planned the date and was ready for unexpected events. He continued to show interest in her and plan ahead, unlike the other guys she was dating at the time.

“Here’s this guy who knows he likes me, knows he wants to spend time with me and he plans accordingly,” Rebecca says. “That was the first thing that made me think this guy is serious and cares about me.” When he proposed at a restaurant, she knew for certain the answer was yes.

A less successful experience on Coffee Meets Bagel comes from a user named Mark, who told his story to writer Alicia Chiang. Mark and his match were like two peas in a pod when chatting online. But when they met in person, they felt like strangers with nothing to say. The awkward silences led them to believe the match had been a mistake, and they didn’t talk again after that night.

dating app

The League

Like most dating apps, The League uses data from social media to auto-populate your profile. But unlike other apps, The League is more concerned with details about your accolades and accomplishments.

“Most apps gather personal information and photos from Facebook when they sign up,” Theo Miller writes in Forbes. “The League is integrated with LinkedIn because [LinkedIn’s] educational and professional information is more accurate.”

Another benefit of LinkedIn integration  is a feature that blocks a user from seeing current coworkers (as well as Facebook friends!) on the app. This creates a much-appreciated separation between dating and work, as well as dating and social networks.

Career-minded individuals will have fewer bad matches to sort through when using The League, and the varying tiers of membership offer varying numbers of matches per day. With matches based on your preferences, you’ll only see people who meet your tastes to a T. If you’re in one of the 59 cities where The League operates, sign up for the waiting list. It can take some time to get approved, as applications are reviewed manually, unless you receive an invitation from a current user.

New Yorkers Tricia and Greg didn’t have to go far when they found love on The League. “We work essentially across the street from each other and would never have met had it not been for the League,” Tricia says. “We chatted for about two weeks on the app prior to meeting on December 2nd for our first date. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

MyDomaine editor Gabrielle Savoie didn’t have as much luck on The League. She explains that while nothing negative happened, she’s still waiting to find her prince charming. “Each guy was certainly normal and well put-together and could hold a conversation — but no sparks have really flown yet.”

Dating is a tricky endeavor — to be successful, you might need time, patience, a certain availability to love, and a willingness to fail before you succeed. You also need the right dating app for you, and sometimes… a little bit of luck.

Inspire Your Dating: 14 Relationship Coaches You Should Follow on Twitter

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Despite what conventional wisdom might say, Twitter can be more than just entertainment — it can serve as your new dating coach. In addition to catching up on the Kardashians or checking in on your sport fantasy team, why not pepper your Twitter feed with smart, modern advice from these 14 inspiring relationship coaches?

Susan Winter

Professional love and life mentor Susan Winter shares straightforward advice on dating and romance today. While her advice is catered toward the sophisticated adult, she understands the nuances of navigating relationships in the digital age.

Winter is a prolific writer, with bylines on The Huffington Post, Refinery29, Redbook, and more. You can also check out Winter’s personal blog and YouTube channel.

Charli Penn

The senior lifestyle and relationships editor at Essence, Charli Penn is no stranger to doling out love advice. Having first became popular for her dating advice website Man Wife & Dog, she has since moved on to podcasting.

As co-host of the Yes, Girl! Podcast, Penn discusses all things love and sex with celebrities like Michael B. Jordan and Jennifer Hudson. Also, her podcast archives have some excellent first-hand accounts of how A-list stars approach marriage, relationships, and dating as busy, successful people.

Calvin Roberson

Married At First Sight Fans will recognize its host, Calvin Roberson, a love expert with 25 years of relationship counseling under his belt. His Twitter feed is filled with realistic advice on navigating relationship conflicts and finding lasting love.

Another great thing about Roberson is that he shares personal one-on-one videos about his own experiences in marriage, making him even more personable and trustworthy.

Dr. Laura Berman

Love, sex, and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman focuses on the mind-body connection required for lasting love. She shows how basic attraction can help successful, confident people find their perfect match in a world of basic dating profiles.

Aside from being filled with inspirational advice on self-love, Berman’s Twitter feed points followers to her various interviews, articles and books. Her writing spans a broad range of topics, from relationship goal-setting to the nuances of texting in romance.

Dr. Rachel De Alto

Dr. Rachel De Alto has also been featured as an expert on Married at First Sight, where she joins other relationship coaches and psychologists in creating perfect matches from pools of total strangers. Her expertise is in compatibility, and she’ll show you how to find someone who compliments your best traits.

Since Dr. De Alto is also a TV personality and host, she can be seen discussing love in a live setting across a wide range of media outlets. Her popularity hasn’t gone to her head, though, and Dr. De Alto still shares real-life experiences with relationships, self-love, depression, and more.

relationship coaches

Dr. Megan Stubbs

Dr. Megan Stubbs is a writer, relationship expert, and sexologist. Her extensive knowledge of intimacy gives her an informed perspective of the nuances of dating and desire. Although talking about sexuality is sometimes considered taboo, Stubbs is on a mission to break down these barriers by discussing intimate topics in an insightful, helpful, and professional way.

Stubbs has written articles on everything from sex toy myths, condom etiquette, the impact of yoga on sex drives, to how to approach PDA as an adult. If you have difficult questions about intimacy, you just might get them answered by tuning into Stubb’s advice.

Evan Marc Katz

Why would a man dump the woman of his dreams? Does religion affect the way you date? What should you say to a person on the phone if you don’t want to go on a date? These are the types of thought-provoking questions that dating coach Evan Marc Katz tackles. With grace, charm, and years of experience as a relationship coach, Katz guides people through some of the most pressing challenges of dating.

Annabelle Knight

Author, love guru, life coach, sex and dating expert. These are just a few of Annabelle Knight’s many titles. This multi-talented psychosexual therapist with her own sex toy line is your go-to wingwoman for straightforward and transparent tips on sex, love, and dating.

Annabelle’s writing and advice weaves through the worlds of pop culture, social norms and gendered expectations. A regular host on TV shows and podcasts, her knowledge on sex is bar-none. Check out her Sex [and Other Stuff] podcast to hear these insights for yourself. If you need an extra dose of Knight’s work, she’s also a novelist with three books on the market.

Dr. Terri Orbuch

As a relationship expert and author, Dr. Terri Orbuch has helpful advice on finding love. Nicknamed the Love Doctor because of her background in science, Dr. Orbuch uses science to help people better understand their own romantic compatibility with others.

Wondering if the person you’re dating is right for you? Have questions about dating as a single parent? The Love Doctor answers all of these questions and more on her Twitter feed.

relationship coaches

Matthew Hussey

Matthew Hussey is a Cosmopolitan dating columnist and host of the Love, Life podcast. From how to flirt and to how to move on to how to respond to sexting, Hussey provides all the answers. He’s also the author of the best-selling book Get The Guy, which offers expert advice on how to find and keep the ideal man. His texting advice can work for people of all genders and sexual preferences as he tackles challenges for digital communication in his ABC Online show, What to Text Him Back.

Dawn Maslar

Have you ever wondered about the neuroscience behind attraction and romance? Dawn Maslar has built a career around this very topic, with fascinating TEDx talks like “How Your Brain Falls in Love” and “The Science of Attraction.”

Her insightful book, “Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind,” will help you understand why you’re attracted to certain people, how your past influences your future relationships, and what it really means to kindle chemistry with another.

Erin Tillman

Erin Tillman helps people find love and empowers them along their romantic journey. Her radio show, The Dating Advice Girl, is still going strong. Not shying away from some of the biggest social issues faced today, Tillman addresses head-on subjects like the #metoo movement and how consent can lead to more meaningful intimacy.

Devyn Simone

As co-host of TLC’s Love at First Swipe, Devyn Simone helps women put their best selves forward by supporting them to physically and mentally transform themselves. Primarily interested in helping people find matches through online dating, she uses research and personal experience to help people identify their self-limiting dating behaviors so they can find their ideal match.

Simone’s blog features helpful topics like what people get wrong in their online dating profiles, what to never do on a first date, and how to turn flirting into a relationship.

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is the author of six books on sex, including “Sex Made Easy” and “The Coregasm Workout.” Researching, studying, and discussing all things sex, her conversations dig deeper than ordinary sex talk, weaving topics like pleasure, public health, sex education, fertility, and love.

She’s also the founder and host of Bloomington Sex Salon, a monthly, community-based speaker series designed to facilitate healthy conversations about sex. Each expert-led salon explores a different aspect of sex research, education, or advocacy.

Consider incorporating these experts into your daily reading. Whether you’re enjoying the dating experience or demoralized by a stretch of lackluster first dates, these coaches’ insights might just provide some welcomed inspiration to keep you moving forward — if, of course, that is what you so desire.