First Date Ideas

Preparing Your Kids When You Reenter the Dating Scene

There are many things that may have changed since you last dated, and one of those things that might be different is that you now have children. Whether putting yourself out there again excites or terrifies you, you’re probably wondering how to handle the situation with your kids.

Depending on the age of your children and your custody situation, there’s no one-size-fits-all way navigate things, but here are some tips from the matchmakers at www.itsjustlunch.com Single parentto keep in mind as you reenter the dating waters.

Talk with them about it first

If your kids are old enough to have a conversation with you, consider sitting them down to explain that you’re going to start dating again. Tell them about your need to develop friendships with new people, but assure them that you’re not looking for someone to replace their other parent.

Most importantly, listen to what they say. Try to really hear their concerns or hesitations and do your best to address them.  

Take things slow

You might get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, but remember that your children might not be able to move at the same pace as you emotionally. Even if they haven’t met the person you’re dating yet, be careful about how much you share with your children and what you share. No matter how agreeable they are, or how much you view your child as a friend, most children will be easily spooked by something new coming into their life so fast.

Take introductions seriously

You don’t need to introduce your children to everyone you date. Consider what might happen if your children do develop an attachment to this new person and then you break up and they suddenly have to adapt to even more change in their lives.

Wait until you’re sure you’re serious about someone and that you see the potential for moving in together or marriage happening down the road. Talk to your children in advance about how the first meeting will go and set some expectations.

And once again, listen to your children. How are they feeling? Nervous? Angry? Even if there’s nothing much you can do to assuage their fears, being willing to take the time to truly listen and empathize with your children can go a long way.

Don’t get defensive

If the worst happens and your children dislike your new partner, don’t leap immediately into a defensive mode. Ask them questions about what specifically they don’t like. Try to get down to the root of the problem. Are they nervous about this person moving in? Were they hopeful you were going to reconnect with your ex?

Lead with listening. Your children want to know they’re most important. They want to know that your relationship with them will never change.

Make your children feel heard and have reasonable expectations about the time it might take for them to feel comfortable with the situation. Don’t let them stop you from pursuing a new relationship and someone who makes you feel hopeful and happy again, but be patient and remember your children might need to be on a different timetable from you.


6 Easy Steps to Having First Date Confidence

ThinkstockPhotos-487174973It's a date! Whether you mustered up the courage to suggest a get-together with the cutie on your bus route or it was specially arranged by one of our matchmakers at It's Just Lunch, you are probably experiencing a bit of the first date jitters. You know, that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. Those feelings can be exacerbated for those of us who have been out of the dating scene for a bit, wrapped in our careers or in another relationship. 

The best thing about those feelings -- they're totally normal. We all want to look good and put our best foot forward. It's normal to be nervous about whether or not you kiss on the first date, who pays (hint: if it's through IJL, the check is split) or what to wear. Our minds are programmed to get us worked up by triggering anxiety over "what if" scenarios. It has helped us survive centuries.

But dating has changed, and the key to surviving first dates isn't about living through the night (at least not for the majority of us). It comes down to confidence.

Don't believe me?

Have you ever known men or women who aren't necessarily "10s" on the attraction scale, but they never lack for friends or dates? What makes them so attractive, you may wonder? Confidence. These people are glowing with bright, friendly, fun attitudes and they have a genuine interest in others. They're happy with who they are and know what they have to offer. Think of confidence as a positive energy that pulls others to you.

Self-confidence produces amazing results. Here's why:

  • It's sexy
  • It allows you to relax and live in the moment (not worrying about what may happen or things that were said)
  • It means you take rejection lightly, not personally
  • It means you're content with yourself, your looks and life, which adds to your attraction

So, how can you up your confidence for your next big date? Well, us matchmakers at It's Just Lunch Vancouver have a few ideas:

Ease Into the Evening
Many of us are going full steam ahead before rushing out the door for our lunch or dinner dates. Whoa! If you are in a hurry or rushing about, you will bring that same anxiety to the Italian restaurant with you. Slow down. Give yourself about 30 minutes to decompress from the day and shift your focus to what lies ahead. A little bit of separation will gear you up for the date and present you in a better light.

Put a Positive Spin on the Self Talk
Take a few moments before a first date to give yourself a bit of a pep talk. A new study from the University of Illinois, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology says a little bit of self talk may be the best thing to boost your dating success.  According to an article on Fast Company.com, "previous studies have found self-talk can boost willpower and help you psych yourself up when you need to calm nerves" before a first date.

The study also found that the pronoun we use to talk to ourselves matters. Using the pronoun "you" when talking to yourself can help elevate your confidence and give you that "can-do" attitude.

Dating is About Enjoying Life
Approach dating as if you are looking to meet a new friend or widen your circle of contacts. By looking beyond the end goal of finding a lifemate, you will experience the joy along the way. Think of it as an experiment or trying on clothes. Not every pair of jeans is a great fit -- but when you find one that is, it lasts a lifetime. Open yourself to the idea that you are just browsing and that it doesn't have to work out. Remember it is just a date. Stay in the moment and enjoy what it offers you.

Accentuate the Positive
It's easy to spot our flaws (yet another survival technique that may be out of date). It is within our nature to notice what is lacking or missing. But not on a date. Share your strengths and unique qualities. Build yourself up rather than working on tearing yourself down. First impressions are everything. Keep the date in a positive light.

Your Date is Human Too
Remember that the person on the other end is a person too. They have emotions just like you and are most likely just as nervous. Relax in this acknowledgment. Treat the other person as you would want to be treated and, most likely, you'll have a successful evening. Even if you don't work out as lovers, perhaps you will meet a new friend. Each person we meet brings to us a new point of view, a new perspective to see the world. Even if you never meet this person again, there is something he can teach you. Try looking at your date from this perspective and you find it much easier to relax and be confident for the experience.

Smile
A genuine smile goes a long way. It's friendly, warm, open, and inviting, Try not to focus so much on the end result of the date and just be happy to be having the experience. Greet your date with a smile, smile throughout the date, and say goodbye with a smile.

Good luck!

This post originally appeared on It's Just Lunch Vancouver's blog


Do Sports and Dating Mix?

186918094No doubt, men and women across the country will sit down next weekend to watch the Super Bowl together. For many, it might be the only time of year they enjoy a sporting event together. For others, however, sports are an important part of their life, and they want a partner who can enjoy sporting events with them.

It’s Just Lunch, a matchmaking service for busy professionals, conducted a survey of over 1,400 people to determine the role sports plays in relationships. The results of the survey suggest that the younger you are, the more important it is that you have sports in common. Here are some of the most interesting results from the survey:

Nearly one in every five people in the survey said sports have negatively impacted a relationship in the past. That number rose to one in every three people when looking at the 18-24 age group and dropped down to one in ten with those aged 55-64. Women were more likely to say the issue was the amount of time and money spent on sports, while men were more likely to admit that a bad mood after a “crappy game” caused the fight.

Good news for sports teams: 45 percent of both men and women say they’d like to go to a sporting event for their first date. Somewhat surprisingly, women were more enthusiastic about it than men. Only 23 percent of women said they’d rather not go to a sporting event on a first date, compared to over 30 percent of men.

The younger someone is, the more likely they found it important their partner be interested in sports. Twenty-five percent of 25- to 34-year olds indicated their partner must like sports and be willing to go to and watch games, whereas only 10 percent of 55- to 64-year olds felt the same way. Overall, 59 percent of men and 43 percent of women wanted a partner who would watch a game or go to a game every once in awhile.

Younger people are also more likely to spend an entire Saturday or Sunday in front of the television watching college or NFL football five months out of the year. Forty-one percent of 25- to 34-year olds said they’d rejoice if they learned their partner spent their weekends this way, because that’s how they like to spend their weekends. That number plummeted to 16 percent in the 45-54 age group.

More good news for sports teams: 84 percent of people said they’d be willing to use vacation time to travel to a sporting event with their significant other. Fifty-three percent of both men and women said they’d be ok if it was just once for a big event, and 31 percent responded with the more enthusiastic: “When do we leave? I’ll pack my bags!”

Super Bowl parties could be a good place to meet a date. Forty-five percent of both men and women said a Super Bowl party would be a good place to meet a date. Only 21 percent of men and 14 percent of women responded that Super Bowl parties were a bad place to meet a date, the rest said it depended on who was throwing the party.

Have sports ever been an issue in your relationship? Check out our tips for making it through football season together, which can easily be applied to any sport!

IJL_Eblast_SportsSurvey

Source:   It’s Just Lunch 2015 survey of 1400+ singles

Is it important to you that your potential partner like sports or be open to learning more? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


Spooktacular Halloween Date Ideas

Halloween

Dating during Halloween season has never been so wickedly. It's the perfect time of year for dating when you can literally try on a new identity and take some scary chances at love you normally would be too afraid to take. The best part about dating during Halloween is the adrenaline-fueled chemistry that breeds attraction. If you weren't sure about a potential someone, a Halloween-inspired date night is definitely in order to reveal how you really feel about a person after you've been spooked into each other's arms all night. Here are some spooktacular Halloween date ideas you may want to consider this week in the spirit of Halloween.

1. Hit up a costume party together. While wearing matching costumes isn't a must, it's always fun when you have a partner in crime who is willing to dress to the occassion with you. 

2. Go haunted house hopping. There is bound to be more than a few haunted houses happening in your neighborhood. Make a night of it and try to see how many haunted houses you can visit in one evening. 

3. Dine in the dark with Opaque. With locations in LA, New York, San Diego, Dallas and San Francisco, couples can enjoy a nice dinner in pitch blackness like Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel tried to in the film "When in Rome". Make sure you save this idea for at least a second date, as it would be a great way to further test physical chemistry without any visuals. 

4. Watch a horror movie marathon. For a more laid back or intimate evening, take advantage of any number of channels featuring horror movies every night of the week for the entire month. You can also rent each of your favorite horror films and watch them back to back cuddling up on the couch. The best way to do a horror movie marathon however would be a local outdoor drive-in or a cemetery if those options are available in your area. 

We've got quite a few other Halloween date ideas, but the more we go on, the more we're starting to realize that perhaps dating someone new on all Hallow's Eve might be a little scary. Maybe these kinds of dates should be reserverd for after at least the third date. What do you think?

Have you ever met someone special at a Halloween party?


Dating for Busy Professional Singles

Great-desk-for-lunch

A new dating survey from It's Just Lunch revealed that 41% of respondents always make time for dates--even if it means eating lunch at a nice desk or right outside of your office building. Only 2% of the busy professional singles who responded said they canceled on dates due to work-related activities. Are you one of them? If not, where's the most unconventional place you've ever had a first date? Follow It's Just Lunch on Facebook to share your most memorable first date story.