When to Take a Dating Break

Posted On: November 28, 2014 0 Comments

Does dating ever start to feel like a chore? Here are some tips to help identify when a break from dating is needed, and help figure out how to enjoy dating again!When last I was single I went out on a lot of dates. In about a six week period I went out on 25+ dates. At first it was fun and then it got a little monotonous. Thankfully when I was just about ready to take a break, I met the man I am now married to. But for those of you that don’t find your match right away, it’s important to know when to take a dating break.

When you first get out there and date it’s all new and exciting. You get to decide what wear, you get to check out new hotspots and meet new people. Dating give you the opportunity to meet someone new, share a little bit about your lives and see if there’s a spark. But if you date for a long time or date a lot of people in a short amount of time, it starts to feel a little like a dating treadmill. You feel like you’re repeating yourself, dates start to run together and it definitely loses some of its shine. If dating is no longer fun and feels like a chore, it’s a good time to step back for a bit and assess your progress.

Here are some signs that you should step away from dating:


  • You’re filled with dread when you get an email from a potential date or view on your profile

    Dating should be fun. If checking your email or logging into your profile is making you anxious, you’re not going to be bringing your best to dates. Pay attention to your gut reaction to dating and heed it. Don’t push yourself into dating to get it crossed off your list or because you’re afraid to be alone. Do it because you enjoy the experience.

  • Your dates all run together

    If you date a lot, it can become really hard to keep everybody straight. Especially if they don’t stand out. It’s important to note that if you’re dating a lot of people and none of them stand out ,odds are your dating the wrong ones. It’s great to be open to dating different types of people, maybe even those you don’t even consider to be your type. Experience is good and it helps you fine-tune what you’re looking for. But at some point you need to step back and determine what is  and isn’t working with your dating goals and find out why the right the stand-out candidates are making an appearance.

  • You’re more interested in where you’re going then who you’re going with

    If the most exciting part about dating has become where you get to go, you’re missing the point. The location of your date should merely be the backdrop to a great exchange with someone. The goal is not a meal, drink or awesome latte, it’s to actually connect with someone.

If you experience any of these things, you’ve definitely hit a dating wall and it’s time to take a little breather. This isn’t to say you’re not going to get back into dating at some point,  but it’s a good time to recharge your batteries and revisit your dating goals.

Here some things to do while you’re taking a dating break:


  • Have some quality “Me” time

    online dating trust matecheckThe very first thing you should do when you step off the dating treadmill is to be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t met Mr. or Mrs. Right yet. Pat yourself on the back for getting out there and being open to meeting new people. That is no small feat. Next, get back into doing things that nurture your very being and are totally focused on you. This will build up your confidence and energy reserves.

  • Review your dating roster

    During your time off, really think about the dates you went on. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Did you see patterns in the types of people you dated? What was missing? What would you like more of?  There are a whole lot of things to consider about the dates you went on, so get out a notebook and jot down what you’ve learned about yourself and dating. Doing this helps you understand the value in dating even with those people weren’t a match. None of it is a waste of time and all of it can help you fine tune what you’re looking for.

  • Think about what your next steps are going to be

    Once you’ve reviewed your dating past, you need to gear up and think about what you want next. Did you see any gaps or places where you can improve your dating strategies? If so there are tons of books to read, videos to watch and ideas to consider to help you with that. You’ll find that if you give some real thought to dating instead of approaching it blindly, you’re going to have a much more successful dating future.

Dating is a great way to learn more about yourself and what you want. But it’s easy to get trapped in the cycle of dating and have it go nowhere. Don’t let yourself get so burned out that you lose hope. It’s simple, dating should be enjoyable. When it’s not, stop and gather the energy and tools that will make it fun and ultimately successful.

CijaBlack1Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com

Posted On: November 28, 2014 0 Comments

What You Allow in Your Life Will Continue

Posted On: November 27, 2014 0 Comments

Stopping those negative relationships from happening requires taking charge and changing your dating habits.  Here is some advice to help guide you through some difficult self-evaluation!You know all those bad relationships you’ve had, the ones that have fallen short in just about every way?  Maybe they started with a bang but ended with a crash. Or maybe they were with people that promised the world and then simply didn’t deliver in the end.  The question is, when you look back at your past does it seem like you’ve been having the same relationship and problems just with different people?

Those negative relationship patterns that keep happening in your life are something you have control over.  If you don’t take charge, what you allow in your life will continue.

Hello darkness my old friend

If you’re continually in bad dead-end relationships, it’s because on some level you’re allowing it. In some way you’re saying it’s OK for those circumstances and those people to be in your life. I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself,  “Why would I want something bad in my life?” It isn’t that you consciously allow those things in, but on some level you think you don’t deserve better.  You think that you aren’t worthy of having certain standards and boundaries when it comes to dating (and most likely other areas of your life) and so you accept and invite those situations and people in to confirm that destructive belief.

No, actually it isn’t all “their” fault

We may want to think that the problem with our relationships is something outside of us. We want to blame the other person, or blame timing or unsupportive friends and family or something (anything) outside of ourselves. But if you’ve been having the same types of relationship problems over and over again, you have to consider the common denominator. That would be You. Every relationship you’ve ever been in has required decisions made by you to get you there.

While we don’t have control over other people’s behavior, we do have control over how we respond to others and what circumstances we allow ourselves to be in.  While you may be dating an insensitive jerk or self absolved diva, it’s entirely within your control to leave that situation and determine that it’s no longer acceptable in your life. Conversely, if you allow people to treat you with disrespect and remain in that relationship, why would they have any motivation to change? By your very presence you are giving them every indication that it’s OK.

How we treat ourselves is how the world treats us

We teach people how to treat us through our actions, our words and ultimately how we treat ourselves. If we don’t present ourselves in the world with the message that we require respect and consideration, we aren’t going to get that reflected back to us. Unfortunately there are people attracted to those with a bad self image and negative sense of self and prey on it.  They are more than willing to have relationships with you and treat you with as little consideration as you’ve broadcasted you’re open to.

Online , dating, online dating, relationashipsIn life we will keep getting the same lesson until we learn it and graduate

Consider the people you’ve been involved with and how those relationships have gone. Where they respectful? Did they value your opinions? Did they respect your time?  Were they there for you when you needed them or were they only there when they needed you?  Consider your relationships and the lessons you have learned and take the time to decide if it’s working for you.  Are you having the kind of relationships that propel you forward or are you stuck spinning your wheels, caught up in drama and unfulfilling partnerships?

It’s up to you to recognize the patterns in your life and do something about them.  No one else can do that for you.

CijaBlack1Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com

Posted On: November 27, 2014 0 Comments

How to Have the Best Date Ever

Posted On: November 18, 2014 0 Comments

Use these helpful tips to make your date one of the best ever!Some people talk about  dates like they are a job interview. If your dates feel like work, you’re doing it wrong. While it can be a bit nerve-racking to prepare for and go out on a date, it doesn’t have to be such a trauma filled anxiety producing experience. Here are some tips on how to have the best date ever.

I sure hope they like me

First and foremost keep in mind that they are just as nervous as you are. While you’re sitting at home getting ready for your date wondering if they’ll like you, odds are they’re wondering if you’ll like them. It’s a universal truth that humans want to be liked and accepted, no matter how much bravado they have. Deep down inside, we’re all that little kid on the first day of school hoping we will be liked and invited to join the group. So don’t go into the date worrying if they will like you, just work on being you.

What do I say?

One of the most awkward things about dates is figuring out what to say. It’s good to come prepared with some topic ideas. I don’t mean bring note cards and a PowerPoint presentation, but do give thought to what you might like to talk about. If you met online review their profile before the date and see if it sparks some conversation ideas. It always works in your favor when you show that you actually read their profile and have interest in what they wrote. But remember, that asking them about themselves isn’t the same as giving them the third degree, it is about inviting the conversation to flow.

If you can’t think of any questions to ask them about themselves, consider some open ended conversation starters. For instance:  Do they like to travel? What kind of movies do they like do they like? Have they been to any interesting shows, concerts or festivals lately? The topics are endless. The point is to ask questions and then leave room for their answers. No matter what topics you choose, the point is to find ways keep the conversation flowing.  That means talking AND listening.

The silence is deafening

There is nothing worse than long silences on a date. But those silences can also help you determine if you have similar communication styles. I find that if I have to drag a conversation out of someone, it’s a pretty good indication that we won’t work. But, when conversation flows it might be a clue that there could be something there. Generally, when the conversation has forward momentum, it’s because the two people communicate in similar ways and have similar communication cues.  Both good things if you are hoping to have a relationship with them.

If you’re really worried about how to keep the conversation moving there are numerous websites and books about conversation starters and icebreakers. I don’t necessarily recommend pulling one of those books out on the date, but it might be something that’s helpful to read beforehand .Then again pulling out a book on ice breakers might just help break the ice.

Leave your expectations at the door

Online , dating, online dating, relationashipsWhile it’s hard not to have some preconceived notions about someone that you’re going on a date with, try to keep it to a minimum. If you have expectations about how your date should behave or what they should say, be aware that your new date may not come equipped with the same expectations that you do. Their interpretation, rules and expectations for dating are sure to differ a little or a lot from yours.  Not everyone has the same guidebook as you do for love, so don’t be surprised if all your expectations aren’t met. Also, make sure that they aren’t preventing you from enjoying a date because you’re hung up the unspoken expectations of your own personal dating etiquette.


Go into a date with a relaxed attitude. Being anxious and on high alert is no fun for anyone. Remember that you’re there to have fun and get to know a new person.  Don’t put a bunch of pressure on yourself or the your date for perfection, fireworks and a path to happily ever after. If you really need a goal for the date, aim to have an enjoyable experience getting to know someone new.


Don’t forget to smile.  This is a date not a root canal.

If you show up to a date prepared to have fun, ready for lively conversation and remember they have the same hope to be liked, you’ll have no problem. Dates don’t have to feel like job interview. Every date holds the potential to become a relationship, start a great new friendship or is simply an opportunity to spend time with someone new. Come with an open mind and leave with another valuable experience under your belt to get you that much closer to love…and don’t forget to smile.

CijaBlack1Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com

Posted On: November 18, 2014 0 Comments

Love in Wartime: How Has Technology Influenced Long-Distance Relationships

Posted On: November 17, 2014 0 Comments

Couples both together and apart, in peace and in war continue to make their relationships flourish, thanks to modern technology and the will to keep romance aliveWith everything that Canada has been through in the last few weeks with the murderous attacks on Canadian military men Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo followed immediately by Remembrance Day this past Tuesday, many Canadians were forced to take a harsh look at their own lives and reflect upon those things which mean the most to them in this world.

Among my own reflections was my grandfather who served as a Bren Gun Carrier in France, England, and Holland during WWII as well as my grandmother (his then girlfriend) who held a civilian job at Bell telephone while volunteering on the home front as a nurse with St. John Ambulance.  While thinking back to the many sacrifices made during wartime, one sacrifice that became evident to me was that of personal relationships.  For four years my grandparents were separated by the Atlantic Ocean and a barrage of gunfire.  Driven apart by the necessity to protect the country they loved, my grandparents – as well as many other couples – found a way to keep their passion intact throughout the most terrifying destruction of their era; a thought which struck me as incredibly overwhelming in today’s day and age.

Has anything changed?  Do undying acts of love still exist in our time?  Has technology helped or hindered long-distance romance?

My father recently went through and read all the letters between my grandparents from 1942-1946 and it occurred to me that I would likely never have a series of letters like these.  And while I am very much hoping to never pay witness to war in the way my grandparents had, I am saddened by the overwhelming lack of paper mail in current times.  My nostalgic desire for the customs of the past quite possibly stems from my own inability to make a long distance relationship work, but for whatever the reason and for all the wonder of a keepsake box of letters, we have the privilege of technological advance.

All in all it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that technology has helped in keeping romances alive. With Skype, mobile phones, and social media sites such as Facebook, couples have more opportunities to stay connected.  And though a screen simulated image of your loved one can never replace the warm touch of their hand on your face or the feel of their lips on your own, the technological ability to have the familiar facial features of your darling in front of you while halfway around the world is an incredible heartwarming feat; a feat not formerly rendered by the snail-mail letters of yore.

dating, online dating, matecheckCouples continue to be separated by war today – and this comes as no surprise to anyone.  While the circumstances of warfare have changed, the instruments and devices of war have improved to wreak more havoc, and it seems homegrown terror is at an all time high, the good news remains that there is still love in the world.  Couples both together and apart, in peace and in war continue to make their relationships flourish.  Technology has a huge hand in the promotion of healthy long-distance relationships but it also has a hand in pushing bad news into the lives of the public.

Because of the rapid pace of today’s society, we are constantly on top of he newest trends information, and news but unfortunately this means that bad news – which they say “travels fast” – has found a way of traveling even faster.  Due to the speed at which bad news now spreads and our constant connection to our phones and the Internet, we tend to miss out on the heartwarming and endearing human-interest pieces and focus on the hard-hitting news stories.  While this may be good for our concept of world news and current events, we tend to miss out on the happiness around us.  As people die, babies are being born just as as war strikes, people are falling in love.  The world may not exist in absolute and perfect harmony but it does exist in balance.  It is up to each of us as individuals to seek out the good with the bad and adopt this balance in our everyday lives.

Dana Simpson - author for WinkWisely.comDana Simpson is a writer, musician, and university graduate.  Not surprisingly, literature and music are her greatest passions in life alongside travel, human rights and art as a means to social change. Follow Dana on Twitter (@danasimpson) and read more of her work at danasimpson.pressfolios.com.

Posted On: November 17, 2014 0 Comments