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7 Old-Fashioned But Desirable Dating Ideas That Need Immediate Revival

7 Old-Fashioned But Desirable Dating Ideas That Need Immediate Revival

An urge to assist men in meeting their romantic needs is overwhelming me at the moment; this is an urge that makes me want to send out to all my gentlemen readers as many elegant dating ideas as possible, so that they can bring back a sense of excitement, glamour, passion, and amour to their relationship.

The reason you might be feeling perplexed and exhausted when continuously searching for new dating ideas to impress your lady is because it is more than likely that you’re looking in the wrong place.

By trying to create an abracadabra type of a date, you not only rob yourself of the pleasure of putting together the experience, but you also forget what dates are all about. Taking her out to an amazingly expensive restaurant and ordering the best champagne on offer will not surprise anybody, anymore.

It’s been done.

For us ladies, dates are about having your undivided attention, knowing that you put your heart, soul and imagination into the preparation. We want the feeling that the rest of the world stopped existing for you just for the few hours that we’re together.

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Either you have just asked out a girl that you’ve had your eyes on for centuries, but haven’t thought about planning your date yet, or you’re already making plans for Valentine’s Day. It’s even possible that you have been with your partner for a long time and you really want to show her your appreciation and admiration.

Whatever the situation, I have you covered. I’ve put together a real world list of dating ideas that have been tested over many centuries by many great men.

Strawberry Chocolate Deserts On Display

    1. A Romantic Picnic

    Serenity and tranquility. Minimum distractions. If you feel ambitious, cook or order take-out. Pack a couple of appetizers, biscuits or macaroons, and tea or coffee in a thermos with real cups- not paper. Make it your main goal to ensure that your date will feel comfortable. If it’s a sunny day, bring sunscreen and water. If fall or winter is in town, pack warm blankets, sweaters, and warm socks. Last but not least, invest time into getting some décor for the romantic setting: candles, a table cloth, decorative birds… use your imagination. Do you know her favorite color? If so, use it as a theme.

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      2. Mini Roundtrip Adventure

      Take her for a long night ride out of the city. Living in Vancouver, I can barely see the stars. But I always remember the night sky as it can be seen from the Russian village where my grandmother lives. There is something magnetic and mesmerising about allowing yourself to be devoured by the beauty of the sacred sky sprinkled with stars. It helps women to unleash their femininity. Before nature, in its vastness and beauty, we are forced to let our barriers down.

      Take her to a panoramic viewpoint. On your way there you can stop by a drive-in movie theater. Warm coffee with Baileys, city lights, music, and a slow dance – it could lead to kisses… and maybe more.

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        3. Staycation

        Women adore it when a man cooks. There is nothing more sexy and tasty. Without any hesitation, tell her that you will pick her up from work next Friday and will surprise her with your mastery of French cuisine. Download romantic saxophone music to set the mood. Hang “Love Harbour Restaurant” on the entrance door to tease her curiosity, light up candles to warm her heart, and arrange rose petals on the floor to take her breath away.

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          4. Winter Fairy Tale

          Winter activities are another way to create an amazing time together. Do you remember your childhood when you had so much fun sledding? Oh my God, there were so many screams, and there was laughter, and joy- how could I possibly forget? She will remember, also. Gift her the bouquet of these emotions by taking her back to the world of the marvelous and carefree time of her childhood. Sprawling on the snow might also be a great time to start kissing. Then stop by a café for some hot mulled wine to warm up.

          prazdnik-kamin-ogon-pechene

            5. Zoo in the Winter

            Take her to the zoo during winter time. During summer there is a huge crowd plus it’s packed with kids who scream their lungs out. During winter there is almost nobody around. Another game-winner is that some of the animals, such as polar bears and snow leopards, are actually more active during this time of the year. Watching them cavort in the snow can be really fun and exciting.

            White Swan On A British Lake

              6. A Walk in the Park

              Take her to the park. Walk around the pond and don’t forget to pack some bread or sunflower seeds to feed the local swans. If there are no swans, then doves and sparrows will be happy that you brought them a little snack. Treat your lady to some ice-cream. But don’t mix it all up! Seeds are for birds, ice-cream is for the girl.

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              Street performer With Puppet

                7. Live Theater

                When was the last time you went to the theater? And I’m not talking about the cinema that is often called theater now. I don’t know what happened to people going to see live theater in North America. Not long ago there was a lot of glamour involved in attending one of the local performances. Embrace it! Chances are that having a theater date will be a refreshing and exciting experience for both of you. Dress to impress, get tickets for a romantic comedy or a story about a couple falling in love, and be ready to be enchanted.

                Dates are about experience and emotions. Remember this the next time you’re planning a date; otherwise, you might end up giving it your all, not realizing that you’re actually running east looking for a sunset.

                Photo credits: Evgeny Bodrug, Strawberry Chocolate Deserts On Display, Street performer With Puppet , White Swan On A British LakeWhite Swan On A British Lake via stokpic.com, prazdnik-kamin-ogon-pechene via ru.123rf.com

                Featured photo credit: Evgeny Bodrug via mywed.ru

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                Karolina Tatarenkova

                Premier Registered Therapist & Celebrity Coach l Host of AskKarolina Show

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                Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

                Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

                When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

                Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

                What Makes People Poor Listeners?

                Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

                1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

                Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

                Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

                It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

                2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

                This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

                Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

                3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

                It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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                I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

                If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

                4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

                While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

                To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

                My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

                Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

                Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

                How To Be a Better Listener

                For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

                1. Pay Attention

                A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

                According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

                As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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                I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

                2. Use Positive Body Language

                You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

                A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

                People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

                But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

                According to Alan Gurney,[2]

                “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

                Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

                3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

                I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

                Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

                Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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                Be polite and wait your turn!

                4. Ask Questions

                Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

                5. Just Listen

                This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

                I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

                I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

                6. Remember and Follow Up

                Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

                For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

                According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

                It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

                7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

                If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

                Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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                Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

                Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

                NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

                1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
                2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

                8. Maintain Eye Contact

                When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

                Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

                By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

                Final Thoughts

                Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

                You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

                And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

                More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
                [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
                [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
                [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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