Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Can you read men as well as you think?

Having a good read on your man is so important when it comes to dating short-term or long-term. Understanding him well can completely change the dynamics of your relationship and even shape how compatible you two can be. Try this short quiz to see if you’re a newbie or a pro at reading men -- and find out what you need to brush up on in the results at the end!

Q 1. Your man who is normally quite calm and collected loses his cool at a gathering. You:
a) Feel uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed. You brush it off like nothing, but are confused and think ‘what’s gotten into him?’
b) Make the conscious effort to change the subject immediately to crush the awkward vibe. You’ll ask him about this later.
c) Turn the attention on you by making a smart comment or joke.

Q 2. It’s Superbowl Sunday and your man chooses to skip out on your Sunday ritual lunch date to hit the pub with friends. Because of your busy schedules, Sundays are the only real one-on-one time you’ve had for a while now. He seems to feel torn, but doesn’t change the fact that he’s ditching you for pre-game beers. You:
a) Are totally upset at him. He’s clearly not taking the relationship as seriously as you are.
b) Ask if you can tag along. After all, that’s the only way you’ll both get what you want, right?
c) Tell him ‘no worries’ and to go enjoy, even if you’re a tiny bit disappointed. Maybe you’ll even tag along if you feel like it.

Q 3. You see your boyfriend get a bit too friendly with a friend of yours at a party. He’s more attentive and smiley than usual. Your natural reaction is to think:
a) He finds her attractive and would totally go for her if he was single. He did mention he had a thing for green eyes.
b) He is being really nice because she is being really nice.
c) There’s nothing to it. You noticed his slight change in behavior but so what? He is with you.

Q 4. Your beau tells you to keep Saturday free for a surprise date at an unknown restaurant. What do you wear?
a) You have no idea and ask him what you should wear. Or to at least give you a general idea.
b) A little black dress that isn’t too casual or formal, but could work both ways.
c) The outfit you know will be perfect for this occasion. He’s finally taking you to the resto you’ve been hinting at!

Q 5. You and your boyfriend of one year have been on rocky terms for two months now. Once again you argue over the phone for an hour and the conversation ends badly. You finally ask if he wants to break up and for the first time he says: he thinks it’d be a good idea to take some time apart to think things through. To you, this means:
a) He is upset and is saying this out of spite, though he doesn’t want to break up. After all, he could have straight up told you it’s over.
b) He is tired of arguing and needs time to cool off, but will come back around. He might still care, but is too fed up at this point to make a bigger effort. Best to take a break.
c) What he really means to say is he’s already over it and indifferent to what happens at this point. He should know whether or not he wants to be with you – an in-between is basically a no.


Mostly A’s: Na├»ve Nancy
You’re new to the dating game and it’s never been a game to you – you see things at face value which causes you to sometimes misread what your man really means. When conflicts arise, best to try putting yourself in your man’s shoes rather than trying to read him.

Mostly B’s: Sensible Susie
You don’t like to jump to assumptions and ignore your emotional instincts when it comes to reading a man. You’ve experienced enough to understand how a guy may feel in certain situations, but are still more on the passive side when it comes to resolving conflict because you are not 100% sure what could really be going on. To get a better idea of things, try observing more attentively at how your beau tends to react to different scenarios.

Mostly C’s: Maneater Marcy
You naturally understand men’s behaviors and intentions. This understanding comes intuitively to you and because of this, you may not put in the effort to be attentive. Be quick not to jump to conclusions and don’t forget the importance of two-way communication. No matter how well you think you know, there’s no harm in double-checking to give your man the final word.


Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Ways Video Will Enhance Our Love Lives





We may have entered the “digital age” ages ago, but it’s just recently that we’ve entered the age of Video. Compared to last year, Internet users are posting 75% more videos on Facebook. YouTube is at its ultimate prime, and most social apps now enable video – simply because it’s become such a popular method of engaging with others online.With every innovative shift in technology, the lifestyles of love-seekers shift a little, too.

When online dating first became a thing, people became connected quicker and easier. When mobile apps became prevalent, long-distance relationships became more feasible. Naturally, this new video age we’ve entered will also affect the way we find, meet and carry out romance.


1. Profiles and bios become more reliable
Video profiles are replacing photos, and users are able to take others at face value. Gone are the days of pixelated photos or photoshopped stills that make you doubt.


2. Messaging becomes more exciting
Opening a message is much more exciting when it’s in the form of a video clip, versus mere text and emojis. Voice notes are already a popular way of exchanging messages. Video is the next step.


3. Chatting is not only real-time, but realistic
Video makes chatting evermore real, safe and fun. Real, because you are visualizing and hearing in real-time. Safe, because the person on the other side is genuine. And fun, because you can actually feel that connection and chemistry online as you gaze into each other’s eyes!


4. Meeting doesn’t have to be in a coffee shop or bar
Video enables a virtual meeting place and replaces the initial awkward date. Hop on a video meet and you can quickly establish if it’s worth taking to the next step.


5. Prolonged usage boosts self-confidence
Rather than hiding behind the screen, putting yourself in front of the camera and seeing and accepting your self-image will make you feel amazing. We don’t observe ourselves enough to appreciate the beauty we possess; video lets you get comfortable in your own skin and can enhance your overall level of confidence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When to Love with your Mind vs. Heart




Our minds and hearts have distinct voices of their own when pursuing love. Instant chemistry, comfort, empathy, romance -- these “feely” qualities, I’ll classify as “heart.” The checklist things we may look for in a partner, like physical appearance, career, track record or specific personality traits -- I’ll label as “mind.”

When you meet the right person, the heart and mind seem to be more or less in agreement. You’re not too internally conflicted, so things feel ‘right.’ But that’s not to say there won’t be circumstances that throw things out of sync, and sometimes you choose to make the best of situations by making a conscious effort.

There are two ‘commands’ you’ll find applicable to every move you make in a relationship: loving with your mind vs. loving with your heart. In a perfect world, the two would be simultaneous always. But like in the scenarios listed below, you’ll have to favour one over the other for best results:


Love with your heart:

1. On the third date
Chances are you’ve already turned your hawk-mode on to full blast for the first and second dates (and s/he passed). The second date will be the best date if you just forget any skepticism and mindlessly enjoy each other’s company.

2. At social gatherings as a couple
Things can get weird when couples get together with other couples or prying singles or distant relatives. Dynamics change, especially if you’re not too deep into the relationship. In situations like these, switch off the thoughts. Just enjoy lightheartedly rather than calculating the awkwardness of the situation.

3. When making love
This can be hard especially if you’re not completely comfortable with each other yet, but this is the time you should let your heart lead. Just leave your brain at the door alongside stresses, insecurities and judgments.


Love with your mind:

1. When you have lingering feelings for someone else
As we grow older, our pasts get messier and hearts tugged in different directions. But the upside of this is that the mind adapts to become stronger. Whether it be an ex, a colleague, a childhood friend, a new friend in your life, you may unknowingly have caught feelings. This is when you should strictly focus your thoughts on what matters. Leave feelings on the back burner.

2. After an argument (if thinking of longevity)
Somewhere post-honeymoon stage and before complete peace, things become difficult and exhausting and we couples fight. Of course during a fight, it’s hard to love with either your mind or heart. But after cooling down, think of the reasons what has brought you this far with this person and what you may envision for the future. This is a time where it’s okay to detach yourself from feelings to think objectively, and you’ll feel much better about your decision to forgive and return to the way things were after thinking it through carefully.

3. When making love past the honeymoon phase
This contradicts a point in the previous section, but only because the context will eventually change. When things are fresh and heated, your heart will drive you. But when those fired-up feelings are no longer there, you’ll need to improve the situation by putting in some thought. If you’re at this stage, love with your mind to think it out: how can things spice up? Let your conscious choices control the quality of time being spent.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

5 Point App Review

1. Quick and intuitive start

Starting my Zepeel account was simple, quick and hassle-free. Once I downloaded the app, I signed up with my email address, date of birth and current location. That was it! And I was logged into the world of simple and innovative mobile video dating.

Once I was in, the app’s registration wizard walked me through step by step on how to set up my profile. The three steps included setting up a profile photo, a profile video and some profile information like ethnicity, height, weight and what I’m seeking. I had a very good first impression of the app because of its smooth process and simple and beautiful design.

After the three steps of the registration wizard, I felt prepared to start searching, but wanted to take my profile to the next level with the app’s Video Wizard. I wanted to make sure my profile was as appealing and marketable as possible and the app definitely let me do this with a simple step-by-step walk through to uploading more videos. I couldn’t believe how easy this uploading process was – I either selected an existing video from my camera roll or recorded one from my mobile device right then and there. 

Overall, I was impressed at how quickly I was able to get started and “put myself on the market”; it took me less than two minutes to sign up. Most of my videos were less than 20 seconds long, so it was really quick to record. 

2. Designed to optimize success

 

T
he app has a lot of cool and useful features that I haven’t seen before. One of them is the Video Storyboard with an evaluation score, indicating the “completeness” of your video profile. This percentage score keeps your profile in check. To ensure your profile is as accurate a representation of your real self, it encourages you to upload not just a profile video, but also others in different categories that it sets up for you.

Along with my profile video, I also uploaded four more fun videos displaying my personal sense of fashion, daily status, favorite pastime activity and a YouTube video of my interest. After this, my profile was definitely a better representation of myself. Each one of these set categories let me express myself and if I had left one or another blank, my profile would be missing a big part of me that I’d want to share.

This is a really creative concept, I found; it felt like the app wanted to help me excel in my search for a mate. After uploading the 5 short videos, my profile was 100% complete because I had uploaded at least one video for each category.

This evaluation system made it easy for me to optimize my potential. It’s a pretty fair scoring system as well – if your profile score is at zero, it would mean that you have absolutely no videos set up, which would really lower your chances in getting people interested.

3. You’ll get what you ask for

The app is designed to really help you find the perfect match. I know this because the app lets you fill out personal information and search preferences for match-up purposes. Ethnicity, profession, education, religion and height are all attributes that may matter when looking to find a compatible match. The app filters your search according to what you put in. For example, the app asks for your intention on the app (friendship, dating, relationship or marriage) so it can match you up with others with the same intention. It matches you up with members with similar lifestyles.

If ever you want to be low-key, you can go into your Privacy Settings and simply tap to go offline, hide proximity or hide your identity from the app. If you ever need detailed information on how to use each feature or each section of the app, you can go into the Help section. Everything is displayed in bite-sized chunks of information, easy to read and understand. Simplicity is really the theme here!

The app seems genuine about feedback. There’s a designated Feedback tab on the side menu that lets you submit suggestions for improvement in the app! These suggestions go public onto a feed and people can vote and comment on these suggestions. I haven’t thought of any suggestions yet, but it’s nice to know that it’s always an option. It’s cool to see a community of members coming together to vote on a suggestion.

4. Safe and realistic messaging and chat features

A really cool messaging feature on this app that helps me keep organized is the ‘action’ options. The app compiles multiple messages from the same member into a thread and labels which ones you already viewed. Then when you tap the ‘action’ button on the top right corner, there are five ‘actions’ you can take, like labeling messages as ‘considering’ or ‘not interested’ (‘not interested’ gives you the option of deleting the messages or keeping them anyway). You also have options to ‘delete thread,’ ‘block,’ or ‘report’ to keep your inbox clean and free of unwanted messages. Maintaining my inbox is super easy with these actions. It’s customized, safe and always under control. 

The content of the messages are exciting, because members can send videos along with text. I sometimes record a video on the spot to share what I’m up to, or save a video on my mobile device to send to someone at a later time. It’s always exciting to check your inbox and see realistic messages from someone. 

When I want to chat in real-time, I use the ‘video chat’ feature with other members who are online. This is like Skype, but exclusive for Zepeel members. This is fun because when I’m online, I often get incoming video chat requests. I always check the members’ profiles first before accepting the chat request, by tapping on their profile photo thumbnails. If it’s a go, I click the checkmark. Otherwise, I click the ‘X’ or ‘block.’ 

5. Have a say in who and what you want to show


It’s really easy to narrow down my options on Zepeel. At the bottom of a member’s profile and storyboard, there are four options, and one of them is a star-shaped button that lets you add the member to your ‘preferred’ list. That way, when I tap the ‘preferred’ tab on the side menu or main banner header, only those I’ve ‘preferred’ will show up on that news feed. It’s a convenient way to filter only those I want to keep tabs on!

Other options on the bottom of someone’s profile include ‘request’ (request a video message), ‘compose’ (sending them a video message) and ‘access’ (giving specific members permission to view my private videos). The access feature is really cool. 

Any style, status, activity or interest video I upload onto my storyboard, I have the option to make it ‘private’ – because sometimes, I’m not going to want everyone looking at them. For these specific videos’ I tap the ‘lock’ icon on the bottom right of the video to make them accessible to ‘special eyes only.’ I can choose to lock or unlock these videos any time I want, but for the time they are on ‘private’ mode, only those granted my permission can see them.

The ability to customize who can see what on my profile makes me feel safe and free to upload whatever I want. Also my personal ‘preferred’ list only shows me those I actually want to see. Overall, I can be selective about who I want to connect with.

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Make Every Love Feel Like the First


This New Year will mark a clean slate of dating opportunities for countless hopeful singles out there. Like resolutions, our desires to find new love fill us with optimism.

The idea of a new love heals us from the past and encourages us to start anew, in hopes for something more incredible than ever before. The very idea of novelty is exciting, refreshing and pure.

But does new love always feel genuinely fresh? Or can it sometimes feel stale, as both parties have such a past? As we meet more and more lovers, words and feelings can get rather redundant without even realizing. So here are a few reminders to keep you from ever going stale with a new lover.

1. Highlight the unique attributes you’ve never dated before
You may have dated x number of women/men, but you definitely will not come across two people who are exactly identical. Sure, a new lover may have traits that remind you of your ex, but try to focus on the different rather than the familiar. Voice it out loud, mention how you’ve never seen this or felt that before. Be attentive to the new elements in your relationship and it’ll feel like first love all over again.

2. Try new things
This one is a given, but always a good reminder. Be explorative, go to a new city, try a new activity. If you have a go-to date spot that feels safe or popular, don’t go there. Like you did with your first love, make every event a new chance to discover and explore.

3. Use new nicknames
The typical pet names like “babe” or “honey” can be dangerous, especially if you’ve had a longer relationship in the past. If you’re used to “babe” rolling off your tongue, chances are it’s a habit carried over from the past. Catch yourself and think of something more original – it’ll feel much more intimate and personalized.

4. Start new traditions
Some couple-y traditions are hard to alter – like if you would always call your ex at a certain time, or have dinners on Sundays, or spend every Halloween together. Of course, you will practice some of the same routines you practiced with your ex. But don’t let the traditions be exactly just that. What you can do is think of ways to break your old habits by creating new ones.

5. Love with all your heart
Go that extra mile. It’s easy to get discouraged or skeptical or even embarrassed when you yourself have a past and you’re dating someone new with his/her respective past. Don’t let things that no longer matter get in the way of something with vast potential. Love like you have never been hurt before, push yourself to be evermore giving, understanding and in love – and it will not feel stale even after years.