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10 Low-tech Valentine Hacks

10 Low-tech Valentine Hacks

Message to the Ladies: This is a post written for the men in your life. Casually leave this page open and put your laptop in the fridge, he’ll see it. Alternatively, post it to facebook with something like “Hahaha, Can You Imagine!??!”. Curiosity will do the rest for you.

Message to the Men: Hey guys, did you find this article in your fridge? It’s a trap, your lady doesn’t think you’re being romantic enough. I’m here to help with some romantic hacks.

Technology’s really convenient when you need directions to your friend’s party or your therapist. However when you’re trying to spend some one-on-one facetime with that special someone, tech gets in the way.

It’s not in our DNA to fall-in-love with screennames or avatars. We’re programmed to recognize the real tangible moments in day-to-day life. Today I present some refreshingly LOW-TECH valentines day hacks for guys to wow the women in their lives.

WARNING! This list contains much saturated AWESOME. If you do everything on the list she WILL expect a proposal at the end of the night. Choose what you do carefully.

1. Setting the Mood

This is a huge one guys! In order for the other nine hacks to work, you need to set the tone for the day before she even wakes up. The most effective way is through breakfast in bed. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • If it came from McDonalds it’s not considered “food”. Cook it yourself, guy.
  • Avoid bacon. It’s called “nature’s candy” for a reason, the delicious smell will wake her and ruin your surprise.
  • It’s not breakfast without orange juice, haven’t you seen a commercial?
  • Your best bet is homemade GIGANTIC waffles. She’ll know you care because they’re such a pain in the butt to make.

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    Wake up an hour early to chug your coffee and start cooking. When the meal’s done, tiptoe to the bedroom and gently wake her up. When she squints at you and smiles, be all “Surprise honey, I made you waffles!”.

    Make sure to give her a moment to get up and use the toilet before you shove the food in her face. Congrats, you set the mood for the perfect valentines day!

    2. Four-Minute Card

    A long, long time ago before there were ecards, people used to actually give each other pieces of paper. They called these pieces of paper “cards” and it was meant as a display of affection. It may seem like a kindergarden arts-and-crafts project, but a homemade card shows you actually care about her. Here’s some sage advice from a god among men:

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    A  transcript for those who forgot their headphones: “Take one sheet (of printer paper), fold it in half, draw a heart on it, sign your name, write I love you”.

    BOOM BABY! How’s that for some $0.05 insta-romance? It’d only take you four minutes of your time and you have no reason not to.

    Bonus tip: Glue a ‘piece of nature’ to your homemade card for extra points.

    3. Poetry

    A poem is like a text, but longer and with no Emojis. You don’t have to be French to grasp the basics of speaking romantically.The great thing about poetry is there are no rules, which makes it surprisingly simple to write! You don’t even have to rhyme, just describe her and swap out some words with a thesaurus.

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      Bonus Tip: Throw your poem in the card you made in hack #2 for maximum romantic synergy.

      4. Heat things up

      Turn off those new-fangled electric lights and go back to your caveman roots! The soft flicker of old fashioned fire is very alluring. She’ll agree that nothing is more romantic than cuddling in-front of a fireplace, or having a meaningful conversation by candlelight.

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        With fire, it can be easy to go overboard, make sure you’re keeping things practical. There’s no need to navigate the house with a big medieval torch.

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        Bonus tip: Avoid mixing scented candles. Pine+peach+peanutbutter is the smell of deer vomit, not romance.

        5. Play a Board Game

        You’ve been reliant on technology for so long, that you’ve completely forgotten how to act when it’s all taken away from you. Long before Facebook ruled your social life, board games acted as a crazy kind of analogue software.

        Thanks to the hipsters and geeks of the world, board games are having a comeback. You’ll want to be careful about which game you’re selecting, however. A 12-hour game of monopoly isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Here’s a hilarious game that was designed by couples, for couples:

        Bonus tip: The funnier the game, the better. Laughing releases oxytocin, the “love” chemical. SCIENCE!!

        6. Actually Dress Nice

        I wasn’t looking forward to having this talk with you, but it’s time.

        You’re a complete mess! Nobody taught guys how to properly dress-up without the use of youtube as a guide. On the rare occasion us guys do pull it together, it’s usually for the one profile pic and then it’s back to pajamas for the rest of the week. That’s just not going to fly this valentines day.

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          Dress in something form fitting. Regardless of your bodytype, you always look better with clothes that properly fit.If you’re a chubby guy and self-conscious about it, use layers for camouflage.

          Bonus Tip: If you’re reading this on the Valentine’s morning there’s still hope. Take your best clothes, apply a lint-roller, iron, and bottle of Fabreeze. Act confident and tell us how it turns out!

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          7. Romance On the Cheap

          Since you’re doing the homemade card throwback anyways, here’s another way a younger version of yourself was trying to get lucky with the ladies.

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            A single red rose is a romantic (and inexpensive) gift that will show her, you’re not just devilishly handsome, but also pretty thoughtful and junk, too.

            Bonus Tip: Serve the rose with the breakfast in step one. You’ll want to have a mop ready, because she’s going to melt.

            8. Nostalgia Like WOAH

            This is the one that will get you in trouble, if you don’t plan on popping the question.

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              Take her back to where you had your first date (or where you first met, if you can remember). Prepare some stories from the time you spent here. Look in the mirror beforehand and try to rehearse a single tear-drop rolling down your cheek. Let her know you remember the place like it was yesterday.

              Bonus tip: Don’t attempt the cry if you can’t master the single tear. A hint of sentimentality from an otherwise put-together guy is one thing. Snotface crying is much less attractive.

              9. Dinner

              If you can swing a home-cooked meal, you should eat dinner in the previously mentioned candlelight. If you feel like you’ll burn your house down, maybe a restaurant is a better idea.

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                From the moment you step foot inside the restaurant, cell phones are to be turned off. I didn’t say to set them to “silent”, you’ll actually be turning them OFF. No instagramming your food, no checking texts, no social media. You’ll be looking at each other’s faces and talking to each other using words that come from your mouths.

                Bonus tip: Be interesting. You have time to prepare for this, and now’s your time to impress her with things not directly related to video games.

                10. Romantic Coupons

                This takes the concept of the card an entire leap forward. You probably plan on doing little things here and there for her anyways right?

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                  So why not cash-in on those things by giving her coupons for them. Throw her a few footrub coupons, a few for doing the dishes, and a few a bit more exotic.

                  Bonus tip: You lose points for calling it a groupon.

                  Remember, valentines day takes place on a Saturday this year. Consider extending the technological hiatus throughout Sunday and see how you feel.Who knows, you might not want to go back!

                  Featured photo credit: Romantic Heart from Love Seeds via farm7.staticflickr.com

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                  Dennis Duty

                  Marketing, Content Creation, SEO

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                  Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                  7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                  7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                  Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                  For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                  Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                  1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                  A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                  It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                  It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                  How it helps you:

                  If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                  Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                  2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                  Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                  Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                  How it helps you:

                  Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                  Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                  If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                  Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                  3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                  Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                  Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                  How it helps you:

                  This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                  For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                  Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                  A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                  4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                  To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                  A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                  How it helps you:

                  One word: hierarchy.

                  All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                  In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                  If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                  5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                  Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                  Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                  How it helps you:

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                  Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                  If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                  This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                  6. What do you like about working here?

                  This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                  Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                  How it helps you:

                  You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                  Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                  Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                  7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                  What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                  As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                  How it helps you:

                  What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                  First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                  Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                  Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                  Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                  Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                  Making Your Interview Work for You

                  Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                  Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                  More Resources About Job Interviews

                  Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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