What do the lonely do…on Valentine’s Day?

“What do the lonely do…” are lyrics taken from a Christmas song by the Emotions. The same can be said about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is that time of year when single people regularly gag at the sight of loving couples. Or, maybe that was just me. But, I’ve been redeemed, reformed, renewed…you get it; I’m no longer an insensitive asshole.  I’ve learned that I, too, can enjoy Valentine’s Day without feeling guilty of being a sap sucker. So, instead of doing nothing at all while the rest of the world is enjoying the day in bliss, I’m going to “find me” and be at peace. So, ladies, I hope these ideas spark action in your life or just pass them on to your single girlfriends .

  • Organize a Girls Night Out

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Obviously, this would make sense organizing an event with your single girlfriends. Coordinate a slumber party (a throwback to your younger years) at a swanky hotel, play games and top off the night by attending a social event or club. Whatever you do, make it a night to remember. No one should be home alone on this day. Who knows, it could be the night you find your special someone.

  • Love yourself, dammit.

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That’s right. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bump and grind. Go to an adult novelty shop with your friends or by yourself. Purchase sexy lingerie or add to your secret stash (you know the one). Just because you’re by yourself,  doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun.

  • Visit a senior citizen residency center.

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Maybe your Valentine won’t be in your age group, but there are plenty of Valentines of the seasoned kind. Some residents who rarely see visitors would surely appreciate the company or would love a heartfelt meaningful card. As a result of your kind act, you might find a friend. Older individuals are generally full of wisdom, history and wit.

  • Pamper thyself.

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Do you! Indulge in a day at the spa. Get your nails and hair DID. Top that off with a killer outfit and feel good about your status. You’re amazing. What man can resist a new coif, cute toes and a beautiful woman.

  • Shop the sale rack.       

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Forget the candy aisle in your pharmacy retail store on Valentine’s Day. Let the lovers have their day. But, oh you wait. February 15th will have ALL the deals and discounts on candy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you’re in for a treat. I have gone straight bat shit crazy the day after Valentine’s Day and bought enough candy to hibernate until Halloween.

  • Watch a movie.

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I’m not a movie buff, but I enjoy the occasional action film. And, what better way to feel good about your single self than to watch Kill Bill, Volume 1 and 2. Or, just binge watch the latest and greatest on Netflix. If you’re a hopeless romantic, then check out the Hallmark channel. Hallmark has filmed just about every relationship scenario known to man and they seemingly have the power to pull every emotion out of you in 90 minutes or less.  Add popcorn and you’re ready for a good night.

  • Order take out.

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Everybody else is lying on Facebook. Why can’t you? Order take out and post the pics on your social media page. Enjoy a gourmet meal made by the hands of your favorite, local restaurant chef.

  • Go to a bar.

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What do you think other singles are doing? They’re getting their DRANK on and enjoying the company of other singles. You don’t have to take the person home, but you can attempt fate and hopefully engage in great conversation with a perfect stranger. Get the digits or leave ’em just how you met…alone in a bar.

Just because Valentine’s Day is widely known as a day for lovers, it’s also remembered as a day when seven male members of an Irish gang were gruesomely murdered back in the 1920s. Who recalls that bit of information from high school social studies class? Anyway, what I’m saying is that Valentine’s Day is what you make it. Make it a day filled with love and appreciation for ya damn self. #ibedamned

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Ten ways single women can successfully navigate 2017

If anyone has ever told you that New Year’s Day was just another day, don’t believe them. The new year is symbolic of a renewal; like refurbishing an old cell phone. Same phone, new look and functions more proficiently. It’s out with the old and in with the new.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t quite ready. Before I knew it, reality had hit and the Times Square ball was about to drop. But, you still have time to get your ducks in your row. As a single, professional woman, life doesn’t stop. But, take a moment for yourself. Here are 10 ways to easily and successfully navigate the new year:

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  • Write the vision and make it plain.

Create a vision board or a vision journal. Envision your life the way you desire it. One way to fulfill your vision board/journal is to grab a few magazines and cut out phrases or photos that encompass the life and lifestyle you want and paste the images to a poster. It should be strategically placed in an area of your home and serve as a constant motivation.

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  • Sever bad relationships/friendships.

One of the best ways to be a success is to remove people that offer negative influence in your life. Just like old jeans, you can grow out of relationships that no longer offer room for growth. Surround yourself with other successful people. As they say, birds of a feather flock together. That motto remains true.

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  • Create a memory jar.

This is a relatively new idea that surfaced on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. It’s a great way to chronicle your accomplishments throughout the year. Anytime you attain a goal or create a special memory, write it down, put it in a bottle and by December 31st or January 1st, collect all the messages and revisit all your highs from the year.

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  • Commit to an exercise regimen.

Typically, the first resolution most people make is to lose weight in the new year. It’s relatively easy to say, but it’s even harder to commit to the routine. With technology like exercise videos, weight loss and music apps, one could stay on track without missing a beat.

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  • Make amends with someone.

I didn’t make the first move on this one, but I was relieved, impressed and grateful when a friend approached me to make amends because our friendship had gone sour. We expressed our feelings and apologized for our individual roles in nixing the friendship and managed to rekindle it. We didn’t skip a beat and picked up where we’d left off in our relationship.

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  • Give up a bad habit.

Whether it be smoking or gambling, make a conscious effort to quit that bad habit, whatever it may be. There are multiple ways to quit; do your research. Some may involve therapy, hypnosis, medical treatment, practice or go cold turkey.

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  • Network/join a women’s group.

Life isn’t all work and no play. It’s about working to improve your community or to improve self. By joining a group, you can network, make new friends and bond with a host of like-minded associates.

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  • Enjoy quiet time or plunge into an adventure.

Take a vacation and unplug. Or, indulge in a staycation (stay home). The object is to disconnect from your everyday life and allow your body and brain to relax and de-stress.

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  • Save, save, save.

It’s not as painful as you think. Save a little bit here and there or save big. Open a savings account,  join a Christmas club or invest your money. Put aside your extra change or invest your tax refund and forego purchasing unnecessary items.

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  • Lose the number to your ex.

If you haven’t guessed it, number 10 is my favorite. It’s the one thing that’s been constant year to year and hasn’t failed me yet. Want to make a serious mark this year? Then, follow your heart, mind and these 10 easy steps. Each item offers its share of challenges, but #ibedamned it’s worth the effort in order to achieve a successful 2017.

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Don’t kill my vibe: 8 ways to spice up your love life

Warning: This is not a relationship advice column. It’s more like a suggestion or offering of good words. Ok, I confess. You can call it a getting-to-know-you-better-so-we-can-become-a-happier-couple advice blog. Fair?

Even if you’re not committed to one person, take heed to the following; it can be a fun way to liven up any relationship, even if you’re waiting on Mr. or Mrs. Right.


Unlike the obvious reasons for breakups, divorce or separations like financial challenges and infidelity, there’s one issue we tend to overlook; boredom. Boredom can suck all the fun out of your love life and can result in a dull lover. You may think throwing in the towel on your lackluster relationship is easier, but indulge your partner in excitement to keep the spice alive. Resuscitate your love life and try the following:

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Be silly.

Find someone that laughs at your corny jokes or someone who reciprocates a corny joke or two. It can be something that only the two of you understand. Or, come up with your own handshake. Celebrities like Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have one. And in my opinion, it’s pretty silly. But, that’s the point; it’s their thing and they love each other. That’s all that matters. If you can’t be silly with the one you love, then with whom can you be the most vulnerable.

paddle_boarding_in_bora_boraSet goals.

Dream about a future together. In the event, you’re with someone for the long haul, start putting those dreams into action. Whether it’s about planning a wedding or a vacation, talk about it. Save up for the things you want and desire. Prepare yourself. Be the change you want to see. And, if that person cares enough for you, they’ll make changes necessary for a life with you.

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Role play.

Don’t be shy. If you’ve ever desired to be an actor, here’s your chance. If you’re still not comfortable, revert to Step # 1; be silly. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween. They can be for any day of the week. And, it doesn’t have to be in person. Try phoning your lover in phone play. Break the ice. Better yet, invite a cup of ice into your bedroom. It’s just another way to introduce excitement into your bedroom, living room, kitchen…you get the point.

baby_dance_scary_funny_baby_danceTurn on the music

And, dance! “Music soothes the savage beast.” Quite the cliche, but it’s true. Music can enhance the playful or sensual side in both you and your partner. Music can fine tune any relationship. You don’t even have to go out to a club to listen to music. You can enjoy it from the comforts of your home.

extreme_christmas_quiz_with_phil_lester_collabmas_day_13Pop quiz.

Take one of those online quizzes. You’ll be amazed at the amount of information you can learn from someone you thought you already knew. There are a ton of questions you can ask each other, especially questions pertaining to your childhood. What was your favorite cartoon? If you could possess a super power, what would it be? Why?

bungee-jumpPlan a super date.

Don’t just do dinner and a movie. Do something totally unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. Need some help? Take a road trip to nowhere. Pack your bags and enough food and snacks to keep your bellies full while you take on the open highway. It’ll be a perfect time to talk, reminisce, act like teenagers again and enjoy each other’s company. How about tap into your youthful side and visit a zoo or horse ranch? Or, walk on the wild side and go to a zip line park or take on parasailing. Nothing says excitement like being suspended 800 feet in the air; that’s one way to break out a relationship stalemate.

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Get into your birthday suit. 

No no no. Get your mind out the gutter. Well, actually just peek a little bit. Take a skinny dip into the pool. Getting naked is definitely not boring, if you’re doing it right. But, getting naked in water with your boo thang is like a scene out of an HBO skin flick; tawdry and self respecting. What an oxymoron!

letterWrite a love note.

Leave a note in his wallet or in her purse or in a lunch kit. Everyone likes an encouraging word to get them through the day. Write something you would want to hear or remind them why you chose them as your SO.

So, there’s hope for you after all…#ibedamned

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#SmallTownProblems, #BigDatingIssues

When you live in a small community, dating can be somewhat of a daunting bid; like buying shoes at the one shoe store in town and later wearing them in public only to find out that everyone else bought the same pair.  But, if you’re lucky enough to find a cute one-of-a-kind designer brand, consider yourself the belle of the ball.

Small towns may also lack in optional dating scenes. However, you don’t have to go out of town or spend a lot of money to have a good time. Sometimes, the best locale is off-the-beaten path and unspoiled. First dates may be awkward but they can also be fun, if both parties are interested in trying new things. And, it doesn’t always have to be dinner and a movie. Be adventurous and remain open-minded.

Check out the list below for ideas that can offer multiple opportunities to help you “break in your new shoes” but not break the bank:

 

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Love and Basketball
  • If you’re the competitive type, try a night game of basketball. A game displaying physical strength and agility could show a number of positive attributes and even some negatives, like his metabolism level; how soon does he get winded or if he has a propensity for good sportsmanship. Trash talking’s not so bad either. It’s a display of his competitive yet playful side.

 

 

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    50 First Dates

    Enjoy a nice stroll at a park near a lake or just go fishing together. It might seem cliché, but parks and waterways are typically serene spaces. It also forces both of you to engage in conversation; talk about your pleasant childhood memories, hobbies, interests and personal goals. Fishing can also show if a man is sensitive to the outdoors; a likely turn-off if you’re a rough and rugged kinda gal. And, sunsets! They’re a perfect end to any date; whether good or bad. It could either be a set up to a sweet smooch or a sweet goodbye.

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  • Attend an outdoor concert or festival. Music speaks to the soul. Really, it does! Listening to music together can answer three things: 1) Does he have rhythm? 2) Do you have similar musical tastes? and 3) How well does he function around crowds? These are three important clues that may dictate the possibility of subsequent dates.

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  • Go to a gun range. What woman doesn’t want to feel protected? And, what man doesn’t love a woman who can stand her ground in the face of danger? Some outdoor shooting ranges are free to the public. Just make an appointment, bring your own gun and ammunition.

 

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Naked and Afraid
  • Try a nature trail. This ain’t your regular bag of nuts and berries. It’s likely a testament to your potential future relationship. On this date, make it a point to get a little intimate…on a platonic level. Here’s how: spray and rub mosquito repellent on each other, bring a light lunch, take pictures of the scenery and of each other. While in nature, let nature do what it does best; allow it to take its natural course.

 

theatre play

  • Watch thespians on stage. AKA, attend a play at a small theatre. There’s likely a fee attached but it’s nominal. And, often times, the money stays in-house to fund additional stage plays or renovations. Small theatre houses offer a quaint, quiet atmosphere and during intermission you can discuss the acts and actors as if you were play critics.

 

Karaoke

  • Karaoke. Sing like Whitney, Mariah or Prince. Yeah right! But, if you’re gifted and can belt out tunes like the greats, then go for it. You’d likely hit a couple of high notes with your date. But, if you’re not musically inclined, it’s still ok to sing your favorite songs by your favorite artists because it’s just for fun. Get in touch with your silly side. FYI: sing within your range. You’re not auditioning for American Idol, it’s just a first date.

 

  • Go fly a kite, literally! Go to a wide open space like a nearby beach and fly a kite. It’s not an activity just for children, it’s for the kid at heart. At the end of your flight, pull out the blanket and have a picnic. It’s even more memorable if your date owns a pickup truck. Jump in the back and enjoy the sunset.

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    wikipedia
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Facebook: J.Laitnen
  • Dinner and a movie, why not? It’s not just any type of dinner. It’s Iron Chef meets Love Connection. If you’re pretty comfortable with the person, invite him or her over to your home and create a challenge that’s sure to get more than just your burners hot. Top it off with a movie. If you’re not a really good cook, that’s ok. I suggest a horror or suspenseful movie. That way, the scariest thing about the date would be the movie and not your cooking.

 

 

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Night at the Museum
  • Go to a museum. You don’t have to be a hipster to enjoy fine art or exhibits. Art is all about interpretation. You might just learn something new.

 

 

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  • Invite mutual friends over for a game night. Group settings are great ways to learn about each other as well as the caliber of friends he’s acquired. After all, birds of a feather flock together. Game nights are increasingly becoming the new adult craze in large cities. Why not make it an event in your own home or neutral site. And, if you don’t hit it off, maybe you help a fellow friend find the man of her dreams.

Who knew that living in a small town could offer such a plethora of date activities for FREE. Keep in mind that you will probably become hungry during the date, so make sure to be financially ready to fork over a few dollars for a meal, if you’re going dutch. Compiling the list was pretty easy. Now, it’s up to you to find the right companion.

#ibedamned

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His Love Gives Me the Blues, Funk and all that Jazz

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It’s complicated. On our off days, it’s an open relationship. Sometimes, it’s a civil union. Tomorrow, we’ll probably be in a domestic partnership. But, today, we’re married.

I met him a long time ago. We’ve gone through a rough patch the past few years. He changed along the way. But, so did I. Even when we were on the brink of separation, I knew that I only had eyes for him. I never thought I could love him the way that I do. I dig him. I love his style, his mind, his passion, the way he loves me and even the way we fight. After all, only he understands me.

398334811_c8d9dd19f6_mWhen I’m moody, vile and contemptuous, he calms me. When I’m playful and pretty, he compliments me. And, when I’m seductive and sexy, he moves me. I admit that I flaunt it for the world to see. Public places, private spaces. This man is an animal. And, I don’t care who sees…or hears. He taught me to be free and embrace my wild side.

Grandmother said, “when you find something that good, you better hold on to it.” Mom wasn’t quite convinced, in the beginning. She thought he was reckless, loud and obnoxious. I admit that he wasn’t the best role model. What can I say? Good girls like bad boys; the ones with hard, cold cash money. His past may not have been as squeaky clean as mine. But, that was the attraction. He welcomed me into his salacious world of sex, drugs, crime and money. We partied with friends until the wee hours. I was privy to his lifestyle and he was all the more eager to share it with me.

We grew apart for a moment when I entered college. I’d simply become an adult. I still liked to party. Every now and then, he’d drop by, spend the night, help me study, put me to sleep. I changed but my attraction to him remained. He could woo any woman.

After a while, he changed too. It was almost right before my eyes. He started to take an interest in some of the things that I liked; activism, empowerment, and community awareness. I’d like to say it was a matter of common sense or maybe, we already had these things in common, after all. He knew that if he was going to stay with me, he’d have to evolve. We no longer ran in the same circles as we did years ago. No matter how much he altered his appearance or his environment, he would always be that street dude with grimy intensity and a gritty edge. He could provoke thought. He could move the masses with a mere rhythm and beat.

Hip hop, you’re the love of my life.

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#ibedamned

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Young, Unmarried, Childless (YUC)

For me, meeting Prince Charming wasn’t going to happen on the World Wide Web.

8245593810_db9c7e3f6b_zI often hear my mother, in my head, “When can I expect grandbabies? I’m getting old, you know?” Somehow the sound of her voice resonates when I find myself walking pass a beautiful couple cooing at Baby #3, while their Child #1 and Child #2 neatly-coiffed, brown-eyed, perfectly dressed children follow in tow.

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