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December 2013

Best New Year's Eve Activities For Singles

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Whether you decide to spend New Year’s Eve alone or in the company of new and/or longtime friends, there are plenty of ways to ring in the new year with style and class.

Crash a local NYE party.

If you’re the type that would rather be around people than at be at home alone, then Meetup.com is your best source for finding New Year’s Eve parties. Many professional singles use it for networking, but it can also be used to make new friends with similar hobbies or interests too. Some Meetup groups are catered specifically to singles if you want a shot at scoring your first kiss of the year with a total cutie. You can also check your favorite local restaurants as many of them will have a special dinner menu for New Year’s Eve and even some live entertainment for your enjoyment. Grab your favorite wing man (or woman) and crash a local party because it’s the only time of year when it’s totally acceptable.

Host your own NYE party.

Show off your social charms and cooking skills to any potential suitors by hosting your own New Year’s Eve bash. Cook up your favorite dish, invite everyone you know and ask them to bring their favorite dish or delicious single friend who could potentially be your New Year’s smooch. Many singles prefer house parties anyway so this is an excellent opportunity to draw in singles who would otherwise be sitting at home alone. Playing host can definitely have its perks and work to your advantage, especially if you’re single. If you bump into a cutie at the grocery store or coffee shop and discover they don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve, invite him or her too!

Plan a New Year’s Eve date.

Did you know that New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular date nights out of the entire year? Make your date extra fun by revisiting your youth and behaving like children. This doesn’t mean throwing a temper tantrum when things don’t go your way, but it does mean dating like you were in high school. Recreate your own teenage romance by visiting an arcade, shooting pool or hitting up the local bowling alley. To make your New Year’s Eve date unique and memorable, plan an evening of firsts the both of you can enjoy. And if you want to create an intimate chemistry that will outlive the night, plan a progressive evening that starts at one location and ends in another--appetizers at one place, dinner at another, dessert at the next and night cap at the last place.

Draw yourself a bath.

Spending New Year’s Eve at home? The best way to ring in the new year is by pampering yourself with a personal spa treatment. Pour yourself a glass of champagne, turn on your favorite tunes and relax in warm bubbles as you basque in the feeling of luxury time to yourself. Shave your legs (or your face, for all the gents) and get yourself dolled up for a dance party in your living room Jerry Maguire-style. Then take a new selfie with you looking and feeling good to use as your new online dating profile photo.

 

Do absolutely nothing.

Who says you have to do anything at all? It’s your life and you can do whatever you want, if that’s what you want of course. Don’t feel pressured to go out just because that’s what everyone else is doing. If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you do it too? We didn’t think so. For some singles, New Year’s Eve is just another work day, so maybe all you want to do is nothing by the time you get off work. Or maybe what you really want to do is start on that new hobby you’ve been dying to make time for lately. You can do nothing or be productive. The choice is yours to make.

Happy New Year’s to all!


Singles and Technology

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So it’s Friday night and you’re enjoying a moment of me-time—sitting in front of the TV watching re-runs of Sex and the City, your hands deep in a bag of pita chips, and crumbs tumbling from your T-shirt. A (perhaps) very rare moment of I-don’t-have-to-answer-to-anything-or-anyone. In a pause between episodes, you log onto Facebook, and images of partying friends clinking champagne glasses flash before you. Suddenly, you’re not feeling so fine about your alone time. Why weren’t you invited to this festive night?

It’s the paradox of social media—the more time we connect to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, the more alone we feel, as illusions of other people’s happiness only underscore our state of solitude and feelings of disconnectedness. Though physical isolation can be a good idea for self-reflection and other introspective activities, it’s not always accompanied by the empty feelings of loneliness. Though oft-times it is, and studies have shown that it’s a strong predictor of  alcoholism, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, among other detrimental conditions. “Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat,” says Jonathan Safron Foer in a New York Times article. ” 'We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible,” reflects Stephen Marche in the Atlantic.

We as singles especially need to keep our loneliness in check. When we’re sensing the need for interaction, it’s too easy to log on and hide behind our computers, smart phones or tablets for an immediate but perhaps brief and dissatisfying exchange. So step outside the digital box, and do as we do at It’s Just Lunch. It’s no secret:  No wall posting, “like,”  or retweet can substitute a genuine encounter.


The Money Talk

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Finances aren’t a priority when you first start dating someone new, but as the relationship progresses and you both pass over the initial hurdles with ease as a team, you’re eventually going to have to face the financial discussion at some point in time, sooner rather than later. When you’re serious about the relationship and your partner shares the same feelings, there’s no reason why the both of you shouldn’t be able to share your viewpoints on your personal approach to spending and saving money, especially considering that finances has often played a leading role in divorces. When you’re single, your decisions regarding finances don’t really affect anyone but you, but when you’re in a relationship, it’s always a good idea to get your partner involved in a way that benefits both of you.

The way you control your finances affects every tiny bit of your everyday routine. It impacts what you eat for lunch, what type of apartment you live in, what kind of clothes you buy and the mode of transport you use. You need to include your significant other in these decisions as the money is going to affect you both.

The truth is that partners love to talk to each other for hours on end as they get to know more about each other, but rarely does the topic of money and how to spend or save it ever cross their minds as something worthy of a discussion. Even if it does, most people are afraid to bring it up as they don’t want to scare away their new partner away by raising the topic too soon, causing possible complications for the relationship.

If the two of you feel really comfortable around each other and spend enough time together to feel like a real couple, it’s time for you to address the money issue. It’s not about being unreasonable or disapproving of the partner’s approach towards money; the goal of the money talk is to align your finances so that you can rest assured knowing that the two of you won’t have to face a monetary issue because of irresponsible expenditures and useless shopping. You also don’t want to have have to put your sweetheart on a leash for this or cause your partner to feel guilty about or even envious of your money habits.

Money is a concern that is associated with both of you and you two should be able to draw out a budget that works the best for the couple. The purpose for having a discussion about finances and saving money is to secure your future together, if there is one. When you plan on having the money talk with your partner, frame it in a positive manner so they won’t take it offensively. Negative terminology can trigger an argument so it’s best to talk about it in a casual or light-hearted manner to draw your partner’s attention to the subject.

The idea isn’t to impose your views on your partner. Each of you is an independent professional single with the right to make their own decisions. The money talk is mainly to help you two get to a better, mutual place of understanding that will  help you keep your expenses in line so you can both afford to do things you would love to do as a couple without worrying about one person contributing more or less than the other. By coming to a mutual approach to money management as a couple, you can save a lot for your future without compromising your respective lifestyles.


Does Employment Status Make a Difference In Dating?

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Recently, It's Just Lunch was featured on Opposing Views for a survey it did concerning how professional singles feel about dating someone who has a job versus someone who is unemployed or "in between" jobs as most professionals might prefer. It's tough admitting when you're single and unemployed to prospective romantic interests, but it's even tougher when you're a man.

For some singles, their identity is greatly associated  with their employment status, men in particular. In fact, in his book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man", even Steve Harvey admits that men define themselves by three things: who he is (his job title),  what he does (how he earns that job title) and how much he makes (the rewards for the fruits of his labor). In turn, he also writes that if a man truly loves a woman, he will do three things for her: provide, protect and profess his love for his woman. But the only way a man will be willing to profess his love to a woman, according to Steve Harvey's logic anyway, is if he is getting at least three things from his woman: support, loyalty and of course, sex. 

But there is a flipside to this logic. How do women define themselves if not by some of the standards men hold themselves accountable? The reason for posing this question is because of a recent "Scrubs Study" (as Cosmopolitan magazine is now referring to it as) by It's Just Lunch indicating that although women are not okay dating a man without a job, men are more than okay dating an unemployed woman. While this may be good news to unemployed single women, it's almost at the detriment of their own self-esteem. This begs the question as to how women define themselves.

In an age of feminism, women too are defining themselves by the same set of standards as men... who they are, what they do and how much they make... because single women today are living in a world where they need to be able to provide and protect themselves, even profess their love to themselves because unemployment for anyone, man or woman, can definitely put a dent in one's self-esteem. 

Although the results of the so-called "Scrubs Study" by It's Just Lunch revealed that employment status only makes a difference for woman and not so much for men (on account of the fact that being able to provide for a woman makes a man feel more like a man), it would not be too far-fetched at all to say that employment status may in fact make a difference for men as well. The reason for this is because men want to be with a woman who is confident and secure with who she is and where she is at in life, and that may not always be the case when a woman is single and unemployed. 

To jump in on discussions with other professional singles, follow It's Just Lunch on Facebook.