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

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

Posted On: November 17, 2014 0 Comments

Dating in the Left Brain: the Science of Online Dating

Posted On: November 4, 2014 0 Comments

What makes online dating more beneficial to those with a scientific mind?It’s no mystery that online dating isn’t for everyone but could it be that cyber dating is better suited for the scientifically minded?  Study results scream a resounding “yes”.  Yes, when it comes to dating and the Internet, the lefties have it!  But what is it about courting in cyberspace that has the scientists and mathematicians by the heart?

For the last decade or so now, there have been medical experiments and scientific studies to examine “the love hormone” oxytocin and its effects on the human brain.  These studies have demonstrated that love is a science just as much as the creation of a baby or the inner workings of the cardiopulmonary system.  Firing electric pulses in various centers of the brain to affect emotion, and equipping its host with that euphoric butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling akin to couples in love, oxytocin has been a proven link between love and science.  As it follows, online dating culture works in conjunction with this science by catering to the numbers side of the dating game.

Dating site user numbers have reached all-time highs in recent years and today several millions of couples attribute their happy marriages to domains such as or  These websites are capable of bolstering proven success rates due to their use of algorithms to determine significant matches (and eventually one perfect match) for each user.  The algorithms use a series of numerical and alphabetical data to detect similarities in profile information and ultimately allow the site’s users to examine their match’s page and see all the facts in one place at one time.  This immediate disclosure of important information allows for the prompt acceptance or denial of a potential match and encourages future personal interaction for the most lucrative pairings.

For the business-minded or techno-scientific love seeker, the online dating world is much more efficient than traditional dating methods.  This is not to say that in-person methods of dating are out of the question for such a personality but rather that the algorithms of cyber selection permit a more in-depth and timely ability to get to know a potential partner before even officially meeting them face-to-face.

online dating matecheck relationships trustOkCupid co-founder, Christian Rudder, recently released his book entitled Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking).  This book – now on the New York Times bestseller’s list – is an account of human nature based on the graphs, charts, and statistics compiled by online dating, social networking, and search engine site algorithms.  And while this book is not entirely centered on Internet attraction, it provides good insight into the way science can be used to determine the intentions, sexual orientation, thoughts, or the possible life mate of a particular person.

By these standards, online dating is a growing leader in the Internet world and sites such as, OkCupid, and eHarmony have revolutionized the way we approach relationships.  From charts and numbers to statistics and results, the Internet has become a breeding ground for Social Science 2.0.  Algorithms are successfully predicting the compatibility of couples-to-be and this higher success rate is attracting more people than ever; many of them guided by science-driven, evidence-based logic

If you’re still unconvinced, just look at the facts.

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


Posted On: November 4, 2014 0 Comments

The Little Norwegian Who Could: How One Little Girl Changed My Outlook On Dating

Posted On: October 23, 2014 0 Comments

Thea, a 12 year-old Norwegian girl wrote a blog detailing her experiences leading up to her marriage with a man 25 years older than her.  The blog was created to show the reality that some young girls face, one were they never get to experience relationships or romance on their own terms as they become child brides in underdeveloped countries.

I recently read an article chronicling the diary-style blog posts of a 12-year-old Norwegian girl named Thea. These posts followed her in the days leading up to her pending wedding to a man 25 years her senior. In the beginning of her blog, she seemed overjoyed to be getting married but as the time passed and her wedding to 37-year-old Geir inched closer, her spirit regarding what should be the happiest day of her life began to change. Her posts became darker as she gained clarity about exactly what this marriage would mean.

This story, both shocking and sad to the common North American, sparked thought within me as to how lucky many of us are to live in an area of the world where we not only get to choose our partners, but a world where the scope of our choices has been significantly broadened. With online dating, Skype, social media, and traditional forms of dating, we now have so many options to find love. Being so accustomed to these privileges, Thea’s story sickened me. As it turns out, the young girl’s blog was a publicity stunt to raise awareness for the 39, 000 girls forced into unsafe marriages worldwide each day. A comforting end to her story, no doubt, but despite the false nature of Thea’s case, many young girls aren’t as fortunate to avoid marriage or even fortunate enough to generate a media circus of helpful interference such as the #stopthewedding campaign as developed by Plan Norway.

In North American culture, we are used to those unlucky in love complaining about their bad dating experiences, their chronic lack of significant other, and the fact that dating is one of the most difficult things they have ever come across – of this I have been occasionally guilty myself. But while reading a story such as Thea’s, we are forced to look at our own lives from a different perspective.

We should all be rejoicing in the fact that we have the right to select our own partners. Sure, it’s rarely a simple route to true love but regardless of the many paths we may choose during our search for love, they are all exactly that: paths that we have chosen.

In helping us chose correctly, technology has proven a creative alternative in the dating world and with the online dating as an option, we are now opening lines of communication that had been inaccessible in the past. Not only can we filter through online profiles looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, but we also have the capability to be reassured of their credibility with website programs such as; a verification process which settles the minds of millions who click another’s online profile for the first time.

online dating relationshipsBut Thea, a product of the media, was not given the privileges of the everyday Norwegian girl. Not only had she not been able to grow up and date at her own volition, but she – as a member of first world society – would never have been arranged to marry at 12 years old. Thea stands as a representation of real life child brides in underprivileged countries such as Bangladesh and Niger – countries where weddings often arrive sooner than a girl’s 18th birthday. Plan Norway gave Thea the ability to convey thoughts and feelings to the world at large and, though the situation was a ruse, the sentiments are very real. Several thousand girls are forced into marriage each day and don’t have access to the Internet to tell their stories – a truly disheartening statistic.

While it is not my intention to cause society guilt or to imply that the occasional dating frustration is not warranted, I urge all those in first world countries to consider Thea’s story. The difficult choices that we face in choosing a life partner are nothing when compared to the trials of the young girls Thea represents. Our ability to choose is a right; a right that many others our age and younger do not have.

So while you are searching for someone with whom to share your life, bear in mind that through all the profiles, dates, and break-ups, you are lucky to live in a part of the world where these foibles are a recognized part of everyday society. Embrace it and perhaps you will one-day use your privileges to help those in less fortunate situations than your own.

** To learn more about the Plan organization and the Global Child Marriage Report, visit:

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

Posted On: October 23, 2014 0 Comments