OK: Found an XML parser.
OK: Support for GZIP encoding.
OK: Support for character munging.

Warning: Cache unable to open file for writing: ./magpie/cache//7ea0b1a8c535bffe1b90eac52132ca3e in /var/www/sites/www.ivfdf.org/wiki/nonwiki/feed2js/magpie/rss_cache.inc on line 185

Example Output

Channel: Loveawake.com blog

RSS URL:

Parsed Results (var_dump'ed)

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      ["title"]=>
      string(55) "The 9 Best Ways to Store a Guy’s Number in Your Phone"
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      string(91) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/12/the-9-best-ways-to-store-a-guys-number-in-your-phone/"
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He asks for your number. You give it to him, and immediately he calls it in front of you. That’s cute, and lucky for you it’s super easy. Too easy. So easy that you figure you can save the number later, seeing as you’re already enjoying the real deal in front of you. It just […]

The post The 9 Best Ways to Store a Guy’s Number in Your Phone appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(3611) "

He asks for your number. You give it to him, and immediately he calls it in front of you. That’s cute, and lucky for you it’s super easy. Too easy. So easy that you figure you can save the number later, seeing as you’re already enjoying the real deal in front of you. It just sucks the next day when you can’t remember if he said Dave or Dan or which unsaved number in your phone is his, your doctor’s, or that Caribbean Cruise telemarketer. Here’s some simple ways to make sure you don’t get your wires crossed on your wireless device, illustrated with some very real examples from my own Android device.

BY LOCATION

You met on the L Train on your way to a bar. He’s now “Chris L Train” in your phone, and going by location has the bonus of association. You can at least enter your memory palace and see if he was just as good-looking as you remember. Sure you never got his last name — you had five stops to make this happen! — but hey now you have warm and fuzzies every time you go to that bar or ride that train or sit in that McDonald’s at least.

BY ACTIVITY

What was going on when you met? Did he fall out of a Jeep? Making that into a neat acronym, “FOOJ,” in your contacts will keep that memory alive and will crack you up for days.

BY ASSUMPTION

He looked like a Tommy, and he was eating pancakes. Tommy Pancakes.

BY CONVERSATION TOPICS

Maybe you were talking about puns. That’s how you end up with “Godfrey Puns.” Just be succinct because he was initially “Godfrey Going to California in Two Weeks, DJ?” in my contacts, and while informative, my screen annoyingly cut it off to a suggestive “Godfrey Going to..” like a cliffhanger. What? What’s Godfrey going to do?

BY NICKNAME

“The Cellist.” Because boy did he strum you like an instrument.

BY DATING PROFILE

So you might’ve met the guy on an online dating website (or yes, maybe Tinder), and you moved from emails to texting (a step closer in intimacy). You don’t know his last name because of online stranger danger, but you need an identifier for organizational purposes. The rules of the Universe mean someone will stumble on that contact and someone will want to know who Daniel Tinder is and whether or not he’s a Bond villain.

BY DESCRIPTION

This is super helpful if he has a specific look like five arms or a chinstrap beard. You only have one “Chinstrap” in your contacts at least. As a side note: never trust a chinstrap. Ever.

BY ASSOCIATION

You have that mutual acquaintance, which results in “Cute Guy with Adam” cheekily saved in your contacts. First, which Adam? Adam is a popular name. Second, exactly how cute was he? Thirdly, you need a strategy for getting his real name as soon as you meet for your first date that is not asking him. Put it in your phone as soon as he goes to the bathroom.

BY RATING

Does he have an exclamation point added anywhere to his name? Whatever he said made an impression, and damn, he better call real soon.

The post The 9 Best Ways to Store a Guy’s Number in Your Phone appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(588) "

He asks for your number. You give it to him, and immediately he calls it in front of you. That’s cute, and lucky for you it’s super easy. Too easy. So easy that you figure you can save the number later, seeing as you’re already enjoying the real deal in front of you. It just […]

The post The 9 Best Ways to Store a Guy’s Number in Your Phone appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(3611) "

He asks for your number. You give it to him, and immediately he calls it in front of you. That’s cute, and lucky for you it’s super easy. Too easy. So easy that you figure you can save the number later, seeing as you’re already enjoying the real deal in front of you. It just sucks the next day when you can’t remember if he said Dave or Dan or which unsaved number in your phone is his, your doctor’s, or that Caribbean Cruise telemarketer. Here’s some simple ways to make sure you don’t get your wires crossed on your wireless device, illustrated with some very real examples from my own Android device.

BY LOCATION

You met on the L Train on your way to a bar. He’s now “Chris L Train” in your phone, and going by location has the bonus of association. You can at least enter your memory palace and see if he was just as good-looking as you remember. Sure you never got his last name — you had five stops to make this happen! — but hey now you have warm and fuzzies every time you go to that bar or ride that train or sit in that McDonald’s at least.

BY ACTIVITY

What was going on when you met? Did he fall out of a Jeep? Making that into a neat acronym, “FOOJ,” in your contacts will keep that memory alive and will crack you up for days.

BY ASSUMPTION

He looked like a Tommy, and he was eating pancakes. Tommy Pancakes.

BY CONVERSATION TOPICS

Maybe you were talking about puns. That’s how you end up with “Godfrey Puns.” Just be succinct because he was initially “Godfrey Going to California in Two Weeks, DJ?” in my contacts, and while informative, my screen annoyingly cut it off to a suggestive “Godfrey Going to..” like a cliffhanger. What? What’s Godfrey going to do?

BY NICKNAME

“The Cellist.” Because boy did he strum you like an instrument.

BY DATING PROFILE

So you might’ve met the guy on an online dating website (or yes, maybe Tinder), and you moved from emails to texting (a step closer in intimacy). You don’t know his last name because of online stranger danger, but you need an identifier for organizational purposes. The rules of the Universe mean someone will stumble on that contact and someone will want to know who Daniel Tinder is and whether or not he’s a Bond villain.

BY DESCRIPTION

This is super helpful if he has a specific look like five arms or a chinstrap beard. You only have one “Chinstrap” in your contacts at least. As a side note: never trust a chinstrap. Ever.

BY ASSOCIATION

You have that mutual acquaintance, which results in “Cute Guy with Adam” cheekily saved in your contacts. First, which Adam? Adam is a popular name. Second, exactly how cute was he? Thirdly, you need a strategy for getting his real name as soon as you meet for your first date that is not asking him. Put it in your phone as soon as he goes to the bathroom.

BY RATING

Does he have an exclamation point added anywhere to his name? Whatever he said made an impression, and damn, he better call real soon.

The post The 9 Best Ways to Store a Guy’s Number in Your Phone appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581531586) } [1]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(58) "Please Stop Saying You Like Museums on Your Dating Profile" ["link"]=> string(97) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/11/please-stop-saying-you-like-museums-on-your-dating-profile/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Tue, 11 Feb 2020 07:56:40 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(10) "Andrew Tch" } ["category"]=> string(56) "Dating Advicedating profilesMuseumsonline datingprofiles" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4233" ["description"]=> string(661) "

Please stop talking about how much you love museums — especially on your online dating profile. Museums have become this millennium’s long walks on the beach. Listing “museums” in your interests is lazy at best and disingenuous at worst, a cheap metonym for intelligence and sophistication. Saying you do or don’t like museums makes no […]

The post Please Stop Saying You Like Museums on Your Dating Profile appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(3110) "

Please stop talking about how much you love museums — especially on your online dating profile. Museums have become this millennium’s long walks on the beach. Listing “museums” in your interests is lazy at best and disingenuous at worst, a cheap metonym for intelligence and sophistication.

Saying you do or don’t like museums makes no sense. That’s like saying you do or don’t like “music” as if Wagner’s The Ring Cycle and “Wrecking Ball” are the exact same thing. A museum is, definitively, a building filled with stuff that somebody picked out for you to look at, be the subject art, elevators, history, or medical abnormalities. There are Stuff Buildings you’ll love, whether by virtue of your interest in its particular brand of stuff or perhaps the skill with which that stuff was selected. There are others that will hold no appeal for you. In fact, some museums are, empirically, awful. This is absolutely fine. You are not on a field trip and forced to look at dusty antique clocks for no good reason. You are an adult, with preferences and tastes particular to yourself. Somewhere out there, there is a Stuff Building (many Stuff Buildings, in fact) you’ll enjoy visiting. Even if you’ve made it your life’s mission to keep your brain blissfully fact-free, there’s a museum for you, too.

Realistically, all the standing, walking, staring, and thinking we do in the course of a typical museum experience is exhausting. And visiting the same one too often would get boring pretty fast. Unless you are a) employed at a museum, b) in graduate school, c) an artist, d) an eccentric elderly socialite, e) mentally ill or f) some combination of the above, you are lying about — or at least willfully misrepresenting — how often you visit them. Our busy schedules of watching TV shows, DVR-ing TV shows we’ll never get around to watching, and eating artificial cheese-based snack foods are much too full as it is.

By all means, go to museums, as many as you like. I genuinely hope (and expect) you’ll have a wonderful time. But think twice before you add your “love” for them to your dating profile. If you’re really, legitimately moved by a particular artist, historical era, or subset of medical abnormalities, why not write about that instead? Specifics are what is going to make you interesting, and saying you’re into “museums” — well, you might as well just say, “I like stuff.”

The post Please Stop Saying You Like Museums on Your Dating Profile appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(661) "

Please stop talking about how much you love museums — especially on your online dating profile. Museums have become this millennium’s long walks on the beach. Listing “museums” in your interests is lazy at best and disingenuous at worst, a cheap metonym for intelligence and sophistication. Saying you do or don’t like museums makes no […]

The post Please Stop Saying You Like Museums on Your Dating Profile appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(3110) "

Please stop talking about how much you love museums — especially on your online dating profile. Museums have become this millennium’s long walks on the beach. Listing “museums” in your interests is lazy at best and disingenuous at worst, a cheap metonym for intelligence and sophistication.

Saying you do or don’t like museums makes no sense. That’s like saying you do or don’t like “music” as if Wagner’s The Ring Cycle and “Wrecking Ball” are the exact same thing. A museum is, definitively, a building filled with stuff that somebody picked out for you to look at, be the subject art, elevators, history, or medical abnormalities. There are Stuff Buildings you’ll love, whether by virtue of your interest in its particular brand of stuff or perhaps the skill with which that stuff was selected. There are others that will hold no appeal for you. In fact, some museums are, empirically, awful. This is absolutely fine. You are not on a field trip and forced to look at dusty antique clocks for no good reason. You are an adult, with preferences and tastes particular to yourself. Somewhere out there, there is a Stuff Building (many Stuff Buildings, in fact) you’ll enjoy visiting. Even if you’ve made it your life’s mission to keep your brain blissfully fact-free, there’s a museum for you, too.

Realistically, all the standing, walking, staring, and thinking we do in the course of a typical museum experience is exhausting. And visiting the same one too often would get boring pretty fast. Unless you are a) employed at a museum, b) in graduate school, c) an artist, d) an eccentric elderly socialite, e) mentally ill or f) some combination of the above, you are lying about — or at least willfully misrepresenting — how often you visit them. Our busy schedules of watching TV shows, DVR-ing TV shows we’ll never get around to watching, and eating artificial cheese-based snack foods are much too full as it is.

By all means, go to museums, as many as you like. I genuinely hope (and expect) you’ll have a wonderful time. But think twice before you add your “love” for them to your dating profile. If you’re really, legitimately moved by a particular artist, historical era, or subset of medical abnormalities, why not write about that instead? Specifics are what is going to make you interesting, and saying you’re into “museums” — well, you might as well just say, “I like stuff.”

The post Please Stop Saying You Like Museums on Your Dating Profile appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581407800) } [2]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(17) "Cool Girl Dilemma" ["link"]=> string(56) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/cool-girl-dilemma/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:39:33 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(15) "Stella Painfree" } ["category"]=> string(47) "Personal Growthattitudehow to be coolperception" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4230" ["description"]=> string(542) "

“Men actually think this girl exists … You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of girl exists and might kiss them.” Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Leaving the actual nuts and bolts of the story […]

The post Cool Girl Dilemma appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(5585) "

“Men actually think this girl exists … You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of girl exists and might kiss them.”

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Leaving the actual nuts and bolts of the story out of it, Gone Girl got me thinking about the main character’s sneering assassination of the ever popular, idolized cool girl. The media are obsessed with cool girl and represent her in many ways. From New Girl‘s airy, optimistic, glasses-rocking Jess, to Gone Girl‘s Amy, to The Duff‘s Bianca and company: Hollywood can’t resist throwing images of this awesome, kick ass, unapologetic chick at us.

But does she even exist?

I’d like to think so. I’ve been dubbed a cool girl, either by other girls or by well-meaning guys. I always took it as a compliment. Everyone wants to be cool, right? Bender from The Breakfast Club cool. That effortless, balls-out cool. The cool you admire and are drawn to. Everyone wants to be that, and everyone wants to be around that. Lately, cool girl has become Manic Pixie Dream Girl, thanks to film critic Nathan Rabin, who claimed they are hip, cool, and smart, yet unbelievably goofy and attainable.

Rabin doesn’t mean this as a compliment. He is criticizing the current cool girl and saying women like her can’t exist because, essentially, no one can be all of those things. He’s missing the point a bit. Of course that extreme version of cool girl doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean individual women aren’t cool in a plethora of ways.

Throughout the centuries, men have always crafted the ‘ideal woman’ of the time. The demure, saintly, absolutely virginal waif from the 1500-1600s (shout out to Billy Shakespeare for breaking that! You go, Glen Coco!) to the multi-lingual, witty, dancing, singing, harp-playing Elizabeth Bennet from the 1700-1800s. In the 1900s, the ‘ideal woman’ seemed to change with each passing decade: from the Edwardian Downton Abbey-lady, to the Roaring Twenties’ flapper, to the Susie Homemaker of the mid-20th century. An intro level Women’s History class will teach you that the patriarchy has created these women, expected women to fit these narrow molds, and put only those who do on a pedestal.

Today, this isn’t the case. Women have more rights and freedoms than we’ve ever had. Although hardly perfect, it is indeed the best time to be a woman…comparatively.

So, because I’m fine going to a ball game that means I’m trying to be the cool girl? I thought I just enjoyed sports. Since I enjoy discussing philosophy – a field historically dominated by intelligent and arrogant men – that means I must be trying to hook a man? Well, that’s funny because I’m happily ring-less.

Men are always going to try to take ownership of an ideal woman. Today’s cool girl is Jennifer Lawrence/Emma Stone/Anna Kendrick, so guys are going to idealize women like them. “Wow, she seems so…cool! The kind of girl who’s totally go to a Steelers game with me, eat a crap-ton of food, and still be totally hot and sexy.” That’s the collective misconception men have of women. They’re always going to have it. Even the coolest of girls have flaws, just like everyone else. At least we, as women, have taken ownership of whatever the Ideal Woman is.

I’m a cool girl and I’m not apologizing for it. I’m not perfect; I like some sports (not football), and I like a good hamburger. We can watch Wes Anderson or Francis Ford Coppola movies together, gents, but I’m not going to agree with everything you say. And that’s fine. As long as I’m doing these things for me, then I’m a happy cool girl. If I start doing something in a desperate, predatory manhunt, then we have a problem.

That’s what I think, at least. We’re all cool girls, even if some of us can’t change a flat tire (sorry, Dad, I still can’t figure it out). Whatever makes you different, not whatever makes you what society deems cool, is awesome. Embrace that, and let society try to figure you out. If you’re a cool girl because you want to be, then go for it, even if others call you fickle. Just don’t let a temporary alignment with today’s Ideal Woman define you. Be the you that you like, not the one you think he will like. Eventually, the one you’re going to be with is going to like you for you, not for the person society thinks you should be.

The post Cool Girl Dilemma appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(542) "

“Men actually think this girl exists … You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of girl exists and might kiss them.” Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Leaving the actual nuts and bolts of the story […]

The post Cool Girl Dilemma appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(5585) "

“Men actually think this girl exists … You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of girl exists and might kiss them.”

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Leaving the actual nuts and bolts of the story out of it, Gone Girl got me thinking about the main character’s sneering assassination of the ever popular, idolized cool girl. The media are obsessed with cool girl and represent her in many ways. From New Girl‘s airy, optimistic, glasses-rocking Jess, to Gone Girl‘s Amy, to The Duff‘s Bianca and company: Hollywood can’t resist throwing images of this awesome, kick ass, unapologetic chick at us.

But does she even exist?

I’d like to think so. I’ve been dubbed a cool girl, either by other girls or by well-meaning guys. I always took it as a compliment. Everyone wants to be cool, right? Bender from The Breakfast Club cool. That effortless, balls-out cool. The cool you admire and are drawn to. Everyone wants to be that, and everyone wants to be around that. Lately, cool girl has become Manic Pixie Dream Girl, thanks to film critic Nathan Rabin, who claimed they are hip, cool, and smart, yet unbelievably goofy and attainable.

Rabin doesn’t mean this as a compliment. He is criticizing the current cool girl and saying women like her can’t exist because, essentially, no one can be all of those things. He’s missing the point a bit. Of course that extreme version of cool girl doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean individual women aren’t cool in a plethora of ways.

Throughout the centuries, men have always crafted the ‘ideal woman’ of the time. The demure, saintly, absolutely virginal waif from the 1500-1600s (shout out to Billy Shakespeare for breaking that! You go, Glen Coco!) to the multi-lingual, witty, dancing, singing, harp-playing Elizabeth Bennet from the 1700-1800s. In the 1900s, the ‘ideal woman’ seemed to change with each passing decade: from the Edwardian Downton Abbey-lady, to the Roaring Twenties’ flapper, to the Susie Homemaker of the mid-20th century. An intro level Women’s History class will teach you that the patriarchy has created these women, expected women to fit these narrow molds, and put only those who do on a pedestal.

Today, this isn’t the case. Women have more rights and freedoms than we’ve ever had. Although hardly perfect, it is indeed the best time to be a woman…comparatively.

So, because I’m fine going to a ball game that means I’m trying to be the cool girl? I thought I just enjoyed sports. Since I enjoy discussing philosophy – a field historically dominated by intelligent and arrogant men – that means I must be trying to hook a man? Well, that’s funny because I’m happily ring-less.

Men are always going to try to take ownership of an ideal woman. Today’s cool girl is Jennifer Lawrence/Emma Stone/Anna Kendrick, so guys are going to idealize women like them. “Wow, she seems so…cool! The kind of girl who’s totally go to a Steelers game with me, eat a crap-ton of food, and still be totally hot and sexy.” That’s the collective misconception men have of women. They’re always going to have it. Even the coolest of girls have flaws, just like everyone else. At least we, as women, have taken ownership of whatever the Ideal Woman is.

I’m a cool girl and I’m not apologizing for it. I’m not perfect; I like some sports (not football), and I like a good hamburger. We can watch Wes Anderson or Francis Ford Coppola movies together, gents, but I’m not going to agree with everything you say. And that’s fine. As long as I’m doing these things for me, then I’m a happy cool girl. If I start doing something in a desperate, predatory manhunt, then we have a problem.

That’s what I think, at least. We’re all cool girls, even if some of us can’t change a flat tire (sorry, Dad, I still can’t figure it out). Whatever makes you different, not whatever makes you what society deems cool, is awesome. Embrace that, and let society try to figure you out. If you’re a cool girl because you want to be, then go for it, even if others call you fickle. Just don’t let a temporary alignment with today’s Ideal Woman define you. Be the you that you like, not the one you think he will like. Eventually, the one you’re going to be with is going to like you for you, not for the person society thinks you should be.

The post Cool Girl Dilemma appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581359973) } [3]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(50) "7 Steps To a Perfect Post Hook-Up ‘Ghost Exit’" ["link"]=> string(83) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/7-steps-to-a-perfect-post-hook-up-ghost-exit/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:26:51 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(13) "J. T. Ellison" } ["category"]=> string(27) "Dating Advicedatinghook ups" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4227" ["description"]=> string(595) "

When I was young and naive, I thought that it was rude and disrespectful to leave a guy’s house before they woke up. I figured that it went against the hook-up etiquette rules, if those even exist. Unless the relationship was something I was trying to pursue (which it almost always was not), then I […]

The post 7 Steps To a Perfect Post Hook-Up ‘Ghost Exit’ appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(5903) "

When I was young and naive, I thought that it was rude and disrespectful to leave a guy’s house before they woke up. I figured that it went against the hook-up etiquette rules, if those even exist. Unless the relationship was something I was trying to pursue (which it almost always was not), then I dreaded waking up and finding out how dull or strange the guy was when he was sober and groggy. In my defense, I’m not much fun in the morning either, but still, I just hooked-up with you, show me some of that personality that I apparently enjoyed at the party last night.

This would lead to awkward mornings where I would attempt to make conversation while texting everybody in a 20-mile radius asking to be picked up. Once I found my saving grace for that morning I would hustle around the room to make sure I had everything I came with, would give a quarter-hearted goodbye, and sprint out the door the moment my phone dinged to alert me that my ride was waiting outside.

One day when discussing this dilemma with a friend of mine, she shot me a look and said a sentence that would change my hook-up life forever.

“Why don’t you just sneak out before they wake up?” 

Why had I never thought of that? I almost always spend a few hours awake lying in bed while guys sleep, anyway, so that could be my new exit strategy.

Some call it the Irish exit, others call it the “Wake Up & GTFO Method,” but I like to call it the ghost exit: where you disappear from a hook-up without leaving behind any traces, only a memory: like a boss-ass bitch of a ghost. If you want to perfectly execute the ghost exit, you must be mindful far before you wake up in the morning. It is an entire process. Lucky for you all, I have perfected it and would like to impart my wisdom onto you.

Perfecting the Art of the Ghost Exit

Step 1: The Pile of Clothes

If the clothes start coming off when you and this lucky guy start getting things going, then 1.) good for you, but 2.) you have to be mindful of where you are tossing your garments! The best way to ensure that you do so is to make a pile at the foot of the bed. Be sure that everything and anything that comes off in the process of your hook-up ends up in the pile. The pile of clothes is your friend. You don’t want to be scrambling around the room looking for your thong. Or even worse: having to dive into the covers to find them while you are trying to ghost exit. It is called a ghost exit for a reason: you leave nothing tangible behind. No bras, no earrings, no nothing.

Step 2: The Cell Phone Grab

After your satisfying (hopefully) hook-up, pretend like you are checking what time it is and grab your phone. You’ll want to have it at your disposal so that you can set an alarm to wake-up. The key is to have the alarm on vibrate, hence the vitality of having your phone in your hand instead of on a nightstand. This is also beneficial in case your conquest of the night falls asleep before you do and you want to check your Instagram feed.

Step 3: The Sleeping Arrangement

Do whatever you have to do to make sure that you are on the side of the bed that makes getting up and out as easy as possible. Pretend that you get really bad vertigo if you sleep too close to a wall, or get up to stretch and then ask Mr. Man to scoot over so that you get the ideal sleeping spot.

Step 4: The De-Spooning

Spooning, while completely adorable and fun, provides yet another roadblock in your attempt at a perfect Ghost exit. However, it is not impossible to get out of. The key is to get out of your cuddle session a few hours before you even plan on leaving. That way, if your movement wakes up your guy, he will still have ample time to fall asleep, and you will not be constricted by his arms.

Step 5: The Roll-Out

Inspired by the one and only Ludacris, this is the time for you to literally roll out of the bed. I became an expert at this motion when I was a babysitter. The girl I babysat would insist that I lay in bed with her until she fell asleep, but I became so stealthy that I could lightly, slowly and silently roll out of the bed without her knowledge.

Step 6: The Tip-Toe

Every movement you make in that bedroom should be done so in a tip-toe manner. Treat this stage like that super creepy childhood board game, “Don’t Wake Daddy.” Except instead of avoiding to wake up a plastic father-figure, avoid waking up a guy who may or may not have asked you to call him ‘Daddy‘ in bed. Get dressed, tip-toe to the door, slowly crack it open and close it (with your hand still down on the handle so that it doesn’t even make a clicking noise when you close it behind you).

Step 7: The “Don’t Look Back”

You did it! You are out of the room! Now is the time to be speedy and not worry about stealth. Run as if there is a donut on a string in front of you and a man with an axe behind you. You can stop running when you are either in the car of your shack shuttle or when you are completely out of sight from his place (because, windows).

It sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through, but isn’t that what makes the hook-up culture such a chaotic and fun time?

The post 7 Steps To a Perfect Post Hook-Up ‘Ghost Exit’ appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(595) "

When I was young and naive, I thought that it was rude and disrespectful to leave a guy’s house before they woke up. I figured that it went against the hook-up etiquette rules, if those even exist. Unless the relationship was something I was trying to pursue (which it almost always was not), then I […]

The post 7 Steps To a Perfect Post Hook-Up ‘Ghost Exit’ appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(5903) "

When I was young and naive, I thought that it was rude and disrespectful to leave a guy’s house before they woke up. I figured that it went against the hook-up etiquette rules, if those even exist. Unless the relationship was something I was trying to pursue (which it almost always was not), then I dreaded waking up and finding out how dull or strange the guy was when he was sober and groggy. In my defense, I’m not much fun in the morning either, but still, I just hooked-up with you, show me some of that personality that I apparently enjoyed at the party last night.

This would lead to awkward mornings where I would attempt to make conversation while texting everybody in a 20-mile radius asking to be picked up. Once I found my saving grace for that morning I would hustle around the room to make sure I had everything I came with, would give a quarter-hearted goodbye, and sprint out the door the moment my phone dinged to alert me that my ride was waiting outside.

One day when discussing this dilemma with a friend of mine, she shot me a look and said a sentence that would change my hook-up life forever.

“Why don’t you just sneak out before they wake up?” 

Why had I never thought of that? I almost always spend a few hours awake lying in bed while guys sleep, anyway, so that could be my new exit strategy.

Some call it the Irish exit, others call it the “Wake Up & GTFO Method,” but I like to call it the ghost exit: where you disappear from a hook-up without leaving behind any traces, only a memory: like a boss-ass bitch of a ghost. If you want to perfectly execute the ghost exit, you must be mindful far before you wake up in the morning. It is an entire process. Lucky for you all, I have perfected it and would like to impart my wisdom onto you.

Perfecting the Art of the Ghost Exit

Step 1: The Pile of Clothes

If the clothes start coming off when you and this lucky guy start getting things going, then 1.) good for you, but 2.) you have to be mindful of where you are tossing your garments! The best way to ensure that you do so is to make a pile at the foot of the bed. Be sure that everything and anything that comes off in the process of your hook-up ends up in the pile. The pile of clothes is your friend. You don’t want to be scrambling around the room looking for your thong. Or even worse: having to dive into the covers to find them while you are trying to ghost exit. It is called a ghost exit for a reason: you leave nothing tangible behind. No bras, no earrings, no nothing.

Step 2: The Cell Phone Grab

After your satisfying (hopefully) hook-up, pretend like you are checking what time it is and grab your phone. You’ll want to have it at your disposal so that you can set an alarm to wake-up. The key is to have the alarm on vibrate, hence the vitality of having your phone in your hand instead of on a nightstand. This is also beneficial in case your conquest of the night falls asleep before you do and you want to check your Instagram feed.

Step 3: The Sleeping Arrangement

Do whatever you have to do to make sure that you are on the side of the bed that makes getting up and out as easy as possible. Pretend that you get really bad vertigo if you sleep too close to a wall, or get up to stretch and then ask Mr. Man to scoot over so that you get the ideal sleeping spot.

Step 4: The De-Spooning

Spooning, while completely adorable and fun, provides yet another roadblock in your attempt at a perfect Ghost exit. However, it is not impossible to get out of. The key is to get out of your cuddle session a few hours before you even plan on leaving. That way, if your movement wakes up your guy, he will still have ample time to fall asleep, and you will not be constricted by his arms.

Step 5: The Roll-Out

Inspired by the one and only Ludacris, this is the time for you to literally roll out of the bed. I became an expert at this motion when I was a babysitter. The girl I babysat would insist that I lay in bed with her until she fell asleep, but I became so stealthy that I could lightly, slowly and silently roll out of the bed without her knowledge.

Step 6: The Tip-Toe

Every movement you make in that bedroom should be done so in a tip-toe manner. Treat this stage like that super creepy childhood board game, “Don’t Wake Daddy.” Except instead of avoiding to wake up a plastic father-figure, avoid waking up a guy who may or may not have asked you to call him ‘Daddy‘ in bed. Get dressed, tip-toe to the door, slowly crack it open and close it (with your hand still down on the handle so that it doesn’t even make a clicking noise when you close it behind you).

Step 7: The “Don’t Look Back”

You did it! You are out of the room! Now is the time to be speedy and not worry about stealth. Run as if there is a donut on a string in front of you and a man with an axe behind you. You can stop running when you are either in the car of your shack shuttle or when you are completely out of sight from his place (because, windows).

It sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through, but isn’t that what makes the hook-up culture such a chaotic and fun time?

The post 7 Steps To a Perfect Post Hook-Up ‘Ghost Exit’ appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581359211) } [4]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(23) "The Fine Art of Arguing" ["link"]=> string(62) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/the-fine-art-of-arguing/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:20:20 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(21) "Kimberly Dawn Neumann" } ["category"]=> string(42) "Relationship Advicearguingargumentattitude" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4224" ["description"]=> string(568) "

“I’m not going to get emotional because I’m a stone cold bitch” – Tina Fey Tina Fey is made of brilliance, amazingness, and hilarity, and anyone with access to basic cable knows that. Upon accepting her Mark Twain award, she said these words to massive applause and laughter. I watched her accept this award from […]

The post The Fine Art of Arguing appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(6492) "

“I’m not going to get emotional because I’m a stone cold bitch” – Tina Fey

Tina Fey is made of brilliance, amazingness, and hilarity, and anyone with access to basic cable knows that. Upon accepting her Mark Twain award, she said these words to massive applause and laughter. I watched her accept this award from my college dorm room and I stood up and gave her a long distance standing ovation accompanied by a “PREACH IT, SISTER!”

I won’t say that Tina Fey taught me how to argue with grace and stone cold badassedness because I was working on that skill long before she accepted her Mark Twain award; however, that phrase has stayed with me and is the one thing I tell people when they demand to know why I never get angry during arguments.

I don’t love arguing with people, but by now I’m quite good at it.

Screw Passive Aggressive

I went to a ridiculously private college and was introduced to some very spoiled boys and girls who considering whispering behind your back an effective argument/release of stress. Not having grown up that way, I politely disagreed with this passive aggressiveness. When I have issues with people, I like to talk about it with them, not everyone but them. Genuinely, I would much rather talk (not to be confused with shriek) about it. Apparently, this was an unexpected maneuver (Sun Tzu is rolling over in his grave for leaving this chapter out of his otherwise awesome manual – I mean, book). Yet, it has served me well.

Being passive aggressive is a cop out. Either say it, or don’t. Own your anger or shut up. Confront the person or zip it. It’s that easy.

Sometimes No One Person is Wrong

Just because you argue with people doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It also doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just means you disagree, and you have to work through it nicely. There are two sides to every story and sometimes the fault lies with both of you. Don’t be too shut off that you can’t hear their side-you want yours heard, don’t you? I don’t give advice unless it’s foolproof, and this really is. So here it is…

Never Lose Your Shiz

Never lose your shiz in an argument, ever. You’re probably losing your shiz right now as I tell you not to, but lend me your eyes for a second. No matter what the other person says, you have to remember that they’re saying it because they’re

  1. pissed off
  2. upset
  3. sad
  4. scared or
  5. all of the above

It is guaranteed that the other person is going to say something they will regret, and you don’t want to join them by adding your own insults. Stand up for yourself, of course, but don’t let things get ugly because you’ll feel worse.

At the end of the day, I end up fighting with people I don’t care much about. I discuss and debate with people I love, which is an entirely different breed of dispute. If the person is wildly shooting verbal barbs at me, they don’t know me very well. I can’t allow someone I don’t care about, and who doesn’t care about me, to hurt my feelings. Don’t let someone hurt you when they don’t matter. Don’t give them that power.

Say your piece, assert yourself, and then end the argument. You’ve said what you needed to say, they have, and that’s it. There’s nothing more that needs to be said. Don’t prolong the argument by reiterating what one of you have already said. You’ve said her boyfriend needs to do his own dishes, and she has said that he forgets. Unless you’re both calm enough to figure out how to remind the lazy idiot, that is the end of the argument. If you keep going, she’s going to admit that her boyfriend doesn’t like you and you’re going to admit that he’s a jerk. Then, it’s gone beyond arguing and into cruelty and that isn’t beneficial.

Manage Fall Out

If you find the other person does manage to hurt your feelings, don’t cry and scream and shout. You’ll look and feel ridiculous, and the other person will calm down in response to your hysteria. Say, as calmly as possible, that what the other person said was uncalled for and change the subject or even end the argument if you’re upset. This is the hardest part, but it’s also the most mature. You don’t have to be a stone cold bitch like myself and Lady Tina, you just have to learn to control your emotions so that they (and the other person) don’t get the better of you. By doing this, you have the upper hand in the argument.

I’ve seen too many arguments (both in life and in entertainment media…cough Amanda Bynes cough) where one person gets too emotional and ends up making a complete fool of themselves. I’ve been told I’m a kick ass arguer, which is usually followed by a muttered: “which I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of.” These are the things I do (and not do) when arguing with someone, and they’ve served me well. Hopefully, these tips will help you too.

Arguments happen all of the time. They are unavoidable no matter how sweet and Oprah-like you are. Someone is always going to disagree with you about something. It’s best to know how to handle arguments when they come up instead of floundering, getting upset, and being intimidated. You control your life, not a bunch of stupid arguments.

What was one time that you can say you’re really proud of how you handled an argument?

The post The Fine Art of Arguing appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(568) "

“I’m not going to get emotional because I’m a stone cold bitch” – Tina Fey Tina Fey is made of brilliance, amazingness, and hilarity, and anyone with access to basic cable knows that. Upon accepting her Mark Twain award, she said these words to massive applause and laughter. I watched her accept this award from […]

The post The Fine Art of Arguing appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(6492) "

“I’m not going to get emotional because I’m a stone cold bitch” – Tina Fey

Tina Fey is made of brilliance, amazingness, and hilarity, and anyone with access to basic cable knows that. Upon accepting her Mark Twain award, she said these words to massive applause and laughter. I watched her accept this award from my college dorm room and I stood up and gave her a long distance standing ovation accompanied by a “PREACH IT, SISTER!”

I won’t say that Tina Fey taught me how to argue with grace and stone cold badassedness because I was working on that skill long before she accepted her Mark Twain award; however, that phrase has stayed with me and is the one thing I tell people when they demand to know why I never get angry during arguments.

I don’t love arguing with people, but by now I’m quite good at it.

Screw Passive Aggressive

I went to a ridiculously private college and was introduced to some very spoiled boys and girls who considering whispering behind your back an effective argument/release of stress. Not having grown up that way, I politely disagreed with this passive aggressiveness. When I have issues with people, I like to talk about it with them, not everyone but them. Genuinely, I would much rather talk (not to be confused with shriek) about it. Apparently, this was an unexpected maneuver (Sun Tzu is rolling over in his grave for leaving this chapter out of his otherwise awesome manual – I mean, book). Yet, it has served me well.

Being passive aggressive is a cop out. Either say it, or don’t. Own your anger or shut up. Confront the person or zip it. It’s that easy.

Sometimes No One Person is Wrong

Just because you argue with people doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It also doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just means you disagree, and you have to work through it nicely. There are two sides to every story and sometimes the fault lies with both of you. Don’t be too shut off that you can’t hear their side-you want yours heard, don’t you? I don’t give advice unless it’s foolproof, and this really is. So here it is…

Never Lose Your Shiz

Never lose your shiz in an argument, ever. You’re probably losing your shiz right now as I tell you not to, but lend me your eyes for a second. No matter what the other person says, you have to remember that they’re saying it because they’re

  1. pissed off
  2. upset
  3. sad
  4. scared or
  5. all of the above

It is guaranteed that the other person is going to say something they will regret, and you don’t want to join them by adding your own insults. Stand up for yourself, of course, but don’t let things get ugly because you’ll feel worse.

At the end of the day, I end up fighting with people I don’t care much about. I discuss and debate with people I love, which is an entirely different breed of dispute. If the person is wildly shooting verbal barbs at me, they don’t know me very well. I can’t allow someone I don’t care about, and who doesn’t care about me, to hurt my feelings. Don’t let someone hurt you when they don’t matter. Don’t give them that power.

Say your piece, assert yourself, and then end the argument. You’ve said what you needed to say, they have, and that’s it. There’s nothing more that needs to be said. Don’t prolong the argument by reiterating what one of you have already said. You’ve said her boyfriend needs to do his own dishes, and she has said that he forgets. Unless you’re both calm enough to figure out how to remind the lazy idiot, that is the end of the argument. If you keep going, she’s going to admit that her boyfriend doesn’t like you and you’re going to admit that he’s a jerk. Then, it’s gone beyond arguing and into cruelty and that isn’t beneficial.

Manage Fall Out

If you find the other person does manage to hurt your feelings, don’t cry and scream and shout. You’ll look and feel ridiculous, and the other person will calm down in response to your hysteria. Say, as calmly as possible, that what the other person said was uncalled for and change the subject or even end the argument if you’re upset. This is the hardest part, but it’s also the most mature. You don’t have to be a stone cold bitch like myself and Lady Tina, you just have to learn to control your emotions so that they (and the other person) don’t get the better of you. By doing this, you have the upper hand in the argument.

I’ve seen too many arguments (both in life and in entertainment media…cough Amanda Bynes cough) where one person gets too emotional and ends up making a complete fool of themselves. I’ve been told I’m a kick ass arguer, which is usually followed by a muttered: “which I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of.” These are the things I do (and not do) when arguing with someone, and they’ve served me well. Hopefully, these tips will help you too.

Arguments happen all of the time. They are unavoidable no matter how sweet and Oprah-like you are. Someone is always going to disagree with you about something. It’s best to know how to handle arguments when they come up instead of floundering, getting upset, and being intimidated. You control your life, not a bunch of stupid arguments.

What was one time that you can say you’re really proud of how you handled an argument?

The post The Fine Art of Arguing appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581358820) } [5]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(38) "Online Dating: Are You Doing It Wrong?" ["link"]=> string(75) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/online-dating-are-you-doing-it-wrong/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:11:59 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(9) "Alex Wise" } ["category"]=> string(68) "Dating Advicedatingdating tipsLOVE AND SEXonline datingrelationships" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4221" ["description"]=> string(571) "

Thousands of dating prospects are waiting online for you. In our age of technology the odds of finding love online has never been greater and true love can be found online! This year alone the New York Times says 1 in 10 Americans are registered with an online dating service. But if you have been […]

The post Online Dating: Are You Doing It Wrong? appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(7561) "

Thousands of dating prospects are waiting online for you. In our age of technology the odds of finding love online has never been greater and true love can be found online! This year alone the New York Times says 1 in 10 Americans are registered with an online dating service. But if you have been using online dating and never gone on a successful date you could be making these common online dating mistakes that you’re not aware of. For those of us who are still looking for love are we approaching online dating all wrong?

The Mistakes You Are Making Online

You Post Pictures from Your iPhone or Webcam

When scrolling through men’s profiles, their headline picture is the first thing you notice. You make a judgement on their face, their smile and their body all in mere fraction of a second. It’s hard to change your level of attraction to this person once you’ve judged them.

This also applies to your photos with men. If you intend to find love you need to take your dating profile pictures seriously. They represent your first impression to men who are browsing online. If men have to squint to decipher how you look or you post a small blurred image you will be passed over. Men will just assume you aren’t good looking and won’t contact you.

It’s time to discard those phone and webcam pictures. Instead get a friend or hire a photographer to take pictures of you. They will be able to capture the most flattering angles of you which will increase your attractiveness to men leading to more messages.

Post high quality recent photos of yourself. The ideal photos to post include a headshot, a full body, and one where you are dressed up. This gives men a picture of who you are and the dynamics of your personality.

You Expected Him to Tell the Truth

You met in person and his descriptions were misleading. You were duped! He said he was 5’10” but in reality he was at 5’6”. His pictures weren’t recent. He looked fit and athletic in his pictures but sitting across from you he’s on the heavier side.

All of a sudden the excitement you anticipated meeting him just wanes. You were deceived and now you’re disappointed. Online dating sucks! What else did he lie about?

Before you judge do a check-in! Haven’t you fibbed on your dating profile before? Didn’t you post your most attractive pictures that were a few years old? And even lowered your age by a few years to initially attract men?

When it comes to online dating we all want to be given a chance. We want the opportunity to meet in person and not be judged only by our online profile. We justify to ourselves why we fib on our profiles. Wouldn’t it make sense that he does the same? He lies online because he sees himself as an insecure person but not untrustworthy.

Lying happens on everyone’s profile. It’s not right but it is what happens on online dating. Just don’t be surprised or upset when it happens.

Your Profile Looks Like Everyone Else’s

A generic profile description can describe anyone. What can someone write to you about if there is nothing that makes you stand out from the others? It makes it difficult for someone to write a personalized message to you because you didn’t write anything unique about yourself.

Generic profiles generate generic uninteresting messages from men.

When you post your profile be specific and descriptive. People want to contact profiles that show this is a real person and that means including details of who you are and your interests. You want to give men an interesting story of yourself, about who you are and what you are like.

Throw away the grocery list of statements. Be passionate about your interests, say why they are exciting to you don’t just list them. Giving men a peek into your authentic self through details will elicit more interesting messages and spark excitement from you.

You Meet for a Coffee Date to Save Time

There are so many men to choose from when you’re online dating! Your mailbox is full of messages from men who are eager to meet you.

To save time and energy you go on coffee dates or meet them for happy hour to screen through them quicker. You test the waters this way because you’ll probably know whether you want to see him again within the first 5 minutes of meeting him. Why spend more time?

This is equivalent to speed dating because you are concerned with the number of men you meet not with the QUALITY of men you meet. When you play the numbers game in dating you are not properly screening men. You bypass the getting to know you step before you meet in person. You eagerly meet in person before figuring out if he is worthy of your time. This leads to crappy first dates.

The way to enjoy online dating is being selective with who you go out with. Get to know them over the course of thoughtful messages and phone conversations. You are picking out the quality men to go out with and not every and any guy who asks you out. This screening process takes time and thought. But you benefit because you get to go out with one great guy on a Friday night versus a handful of quick crappy coffee dates during the week. Dating becomes more enjoyable and you stick with online dating longer because love doesn’t happen overnight.

You Expect Love in 30 Days or Less

Remember that you joined online dating because you are not meeting enough men in real life. If finding love was quick and easy then everyone would be in love. Online dating sites and matchmakers would be out of business because love was easy. But in reality prince charming is not going to magically appear at your doorstep even when you’re ready for love. Nor are you going to meet him before your monthly gym membership renews.

Finding the right person is frustrating and can feel hopeless at times. It takes work but remember why you want find love. When you want to find love that lasts a lifetime giving up is not an option. You don’t want to be online dating forever but it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll meet the one in less than 30 days. Dating is a long-term game until you find the one you want to be with forever.

Applying just one of these tips will make you more successful at online dating. Here’s to a happier dating life!

The post Online Dating: Are You Doing It Wrong? appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(571) "

Thousands of dating prospects are waiting online for you. In our age of technology the odds of finding love online has never been greater and true love can be found online! This year alone the New York Times says 1 in 10 Americans are registered with an online dating service. But if you have been […]

The post Online Dating: Are You Doing It Wrong? appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(7561) "

Thousands of dating prospects are waiting online for you. In our age of technology the odds of finding love online has never been greater and true love can be found online! This year alone the New York Times says 1 in 10 Americans are registered with an online dating service. But if you have been using online dating and never gone on a successful date you could be making these common online dating mistakes that you’re not aware of. For those of us who are still looking for love are we approaching online dating all wrong?

The Mistakes You Are Making Online

You Post Pictures from Your iPhone or Webcam

When scrolling through men’s profiles, their headline picture is the first thing you notice. You make a judgement on their face, their smile and their body all in mere fraction of a second. It’s hard to change your level of attraction to this person once you’ve judged them.

This also applies to your photos with men. If you intend to find love you need to take your dating profile pictures seriously. They represent your first impression to men who are browsing online. If men have to squint to decipher how you look or you post a small blurred image you will be passed over. Men will just assume you aren’t good looking and won’t contact you.

It’s time to discard those phone and webcam pictures. Instead get a friend or hire a photographer to take pictures of you. They will be able to capture the most flattering angles of you which will increase your attractiveness to men leading to more messages.

Post high quality recent photos of yourself. The ideal photos to post include a headshot, a full body, and one where you are dressed up. This gives men a picture of who you are and the dynamics of your personality.

You Expected Him to Tell the Truth

You met in person and his descriptions were misleading. You were duped! He said he was 5’10” but in reality he was at 5’6”. His pictures weren’t recent. He looked fit and athletic in his pictures but sitting across from you he’s on the heavier side.

All of a sudden the excitement you anticipated meeting him just wanes. You were deceived and now you’re disappointed. Online dating sucks! What else did he lie about?

Before you judge do a check-in! Haven’t you fibbed on your dating profile before? Didn’t you post your most attractive pictures that were a few years old? And even lowered your age by a few years to initially attract men?

When it comes to online dating we all want to be given a chance. We want the opportunity to meet in person and not be judged only by our online profile. We justify to ourselves why we fib on our profiles. Wouldn’t it make sense that he does the same? He lies online because he sees himself as an insecure person but not untrustworthy.

Lying happens on everyone’s profile. It’s not right but it is what happens on online dating. Just don’t be surprised or upset when it happens.

Your Profile Looks Like Everyone Else’s

A generic profile description can describe anyone. What can someone write to you about if there is nothing that makes you stand out from the others? It makes it difficult for someone to write a personalized message to you because you didn’t write anything unique about yourself.

Generic profiles generate generic uninteresting messages from men.

When you post your profile be specific and descriptive. People want to contact profiles that show this is a real person and that means including details of who you are and your interests. You want to give men an interesting story of yourself, about who you are and what you are like.

Throw away the grocery list of statements. Be passionate about your interests, say why they are exciting to you don’t just list them. Giving men a peek into your authentic self through details will elicit more interesting messages and spark excitement from you.

You Meet for a Coffee Date to Save Time

There are so many men to choose from when you’re online dating! Your mailbox is full of messages from men who are eager to meet you.

To save time and energy you go on coffee dates or meet them for happy hour to screen through them quicker. You test the waters this way because you’ll probably know whether you want to see him again within the first 5 minutes of meeting him. Why spend more time?

This is equivalent to speed dating because you are concerned with the number of men you meet not with the QUALITY of men you meet. When you play the numbers game in dating you are not properly screening men. You bypass the getting to know you step before you meet in person. You eagerly meet in person before figuring out if he is worthy of your time. This leads to crappy first dates.

The way to enjoy online dating is being selective with who you go out with. Get to know them over the course of thoughtful messages and phone conversations. You are picking out the quality men to go out with and not every and any guy who asks you out. This screening process takes time and thought. But you benefit because you get to go out with one great guy on a Friday night versus a handful of quick crappy coffee dates during the week. Dating becomes more enjoyable and you stick with online dating longer because love doesn’t happen overnight.

You Expect Love in 30 Days or Less

Remember that you joined online dating because you are not meeting enough men in real life. If finding love was quick and easy then everyone would be in love. Online dating sites and matchmakers would be out of business because love was easy. But in reality prince charming is not going to magically appear at your doorstep even when you’re ready for love. Nor are you going to meet him before your monthly gym membership renews.

Finding the right person is frustrating and can feel hopeless at times. It takes work but remember why you want find love. When you want to find love that lasts a lifetime giving up is not an option. You don’t want to be online dating forever but it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll meet the one in less than 30 days. Dating is a long-term game until you find the one you want to be with forever.

Applying just one of these tips will make you more successful at online dating. Here’s to a happier dating life!

The post Online Dating: Are You Doing It Wrong? appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581358319) } [6]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(24) "Busting Single Mom Myths" ["link"]=> string(63) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/busting-single-mom-myths/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:52:23 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(13) "J. T. Ellison" } ["category"]=> string(53) "Parentingparentingsingle momsingle parentstrong women" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4217" ["description"]=> string(574) "

Lately, every magazine I’ve read is chock-full of articles and stories on why being single rocks and how to embrace your single self. It’s socially acceptable for a woman to live her own life and NOT be focused on finding a relationship or a husband. Nobody bats an eyelash if I, a seemingly normal girl creeping towards […]

The post Busting Single Mom Myths appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

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Lately, every magazine I’ve read is chock-full of articles and stories on why being single rocks and how to embrace your single self. It’s socially acceptable for a woman to live her own life and NOT be focused on finding a relationship or a husband. Nobody bats an eyelash if I, a seemingly normal girl creeping towards my late twenties, say I’m single. It’s the word that comes after “single” that gets all the tongues wagging: “mother.” That’s right. My name is Cassi, and I am a single mother. But you know what? I am one Badass Momma, and I am here to bust through some of the single mom myths that are associated with being an independent chick raising a kid.

Single Mom Myth #1: I’m a slut who got in “trouble”.

When a gal says she’s a single mom, nobody’s first thought is, “oh, that’s awesome…I bet she’s a badass momma.” No, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that she must be easy or loose, because only sluts get pregnant out of wedlock. Either that, or she must be trying to trap a man because she’s crazy and can’t keep one around any other way. Being of sound mind myself and obviously not married, I can tell you firsthand that this is total bullshit. Accidents can happen to anyone; condoms break, birth control fails, or sometimes you just aren’t as careful as you should be. None of those things mean a woman is a slut or that she was trying to tie some poor schmuck down with parenthood.

And what about all those single moms who chose to have their little ones on purpose, without a relationship or a ring, for their own personal reasons? Having a baby is ridiculously hard, pregnancy is grueling, labor is excruciating, and raising a child is frustrating, expensive, and a lifelong commitment never to be taken lightly. Yeah, those ladies deserve some serious applause for choosing to embark on that journey solo!

Single Mom Myth #2: We are hungry for child support checks.

Single moms are always chasing that support check. I hear this one all the time. In fact, that’s always the first question I’m asked when someone finds out I’m a single mother: “Have you gone after child support yet?” I’m never asked if my child’s father is paying child support or supporting the baby or helping with the baby- it’s always whether or not I’m “going after him” for support. As if a single mom can’t provide for her own family! I’m not some money-hungry fiend chasing a payday. Every last one of the single moms I know is gainfully employed and doing their part (and more) to give their kids the best lives possible, and many of them are continuing their educations in order to advance in their career fields. Badass mommas don’t always have a lot of free time or get a lot of sleep but they definitely aren’t afraid of hard work, and they don’t see their children’s fathers as cash cows.

Single Mom Myth #3: We can’t stand our child’s father anymore.

There are some of us that call our kids’ dads friends (or, at the very least, we don’t imagine strangling them with our bare hands every time we have to talk to them). That’s right, no Baby Daddy drama here! Single mothers, while being self-sufficient enough to run a household and raise children on their own, know that having a father in their lives can be a big plus for kids. We have enough class to put aside our differences and have a respectful co-parenting relationship with the big lugs that helped us make these totally amazing, tiny people. Romance doesn’t always last but having a kid together is forever, so why not make it as painless an experience as possible? Plus it can be pretty awesome to know that we can have some time to yourself and your baby will be with someone who loves and cherishes him or her as much as we do!

Single Mom Myth #4: If we give priority to our needs we’re selfish bitches.

It can be hard for a single mom to actually get time to herself. Even if her child’s father has shared custody or there’s a doting grandma who’s more than willing to take the grandbabies for a few hours, the on-her-own mom still gets crap for having interests outside raising her family. The chick that takes Crossfit classes a couple of times a week is vain and self-involved; the one that goes dancing with her friends is a party girl who’s shirking her responsibilities to get drunk. I call bullshit!

Any mother knows that to be able to give her best to her babies, she has to take care of herself both physically and mentally. That means a bubble bath behind a locked door every now and again. We don’t stop living when we have kids, whether we are single or attached. I know this one badass single mom who’s finally going after her dream of becoming a writer! We still have the same hopes, goals, and interests we had before we had our bambinos. Our priorities may be different and our kids are always number one on our lists, but we still like to have fun and be passionate about the things we love.

The conclusion?

Becoming a mother on your own isn’t the life-ending tragedy that people seem to want to make it out to be. Even though our culture in this country is supposed to be a more progressive and open-minded one, there is still a whole lot of Judge-y McJudge-ing that happens when somebody dares to do something outside the traditional scope of things. It wasn’t really that long ago that girls who ended up “in a fix” were sent away to have their babies in secret so there wouldn’t be a permanent black mark on their reputations.

There is nothing shameful about creating a life no matter the circumstances under which it was done. Remember, just because a woman doesn’t have a partner doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an endless supply of love, affection and wisdom to give to her children. I want all of the responsible, hard-working single mothers out there to know that they are fabulous, and to own their single-parent status in the face of whatever life has to throw at them. It’s a tough job and you gals are rocking it! You are badass mommas, and you have every reason to be proud of that.

The post Busting Single Mom Myths appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(574) "

Lately, every magazine I’ve read is chock-full of articles and stories on why being single rocks and how to embrace your single self. It’s socially acceptable for a woman to live her own life and NOT be focused on finding a relationship or a husband. Nobody bats an eyelash if I, a seemingly normal girl creeping towards […]

The post Busting Single Mom Myths appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(7108) "

Lately, every magazine I’ve read is chock-full of articles and stories on why being single rocks and how to embrace your single self. It’s socially acceptable for a woman to live her own life and NOT be focused on finding a relationship or a husband. Nobody bats an eyelash if I, a seemingly normal girl creeping towards my late twenties, say I’m single. It’s the word that comes after “single” that gets all the tongues wagging: “mother.” That’s right. My name is Cassi, and I am a single mother. But you know what? I am one Badass Momma, and I am here to bust through some of the single mom myths that are associated with being an independent chick raising a kid.

Single Mom Myth #1: I’m a slut who got in “trouble”.

When a gal says she’s a single mom, nobody’s first thought is, “oh, that’s awesome…I bet she’s a badass momma.” No, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that she must be easy or loose, because only sluts get pregnant out of wedlock. Either that, or she must be trying to trap a man because she’s crazy and can’t keep one around any other way. Being of sound mind myself and obviously not married, I can tell you firsthand that this is total bullshit. Accidents can happen to anyone; condoms break, birth control fails, or sometimes you just aren’t as careful as you should be. None of those things mean a woman is a slut or that she was trying to tie some poor schmuck down with parenthood.

And what about all those single moms who chose to have their little ones on purpose, without a relationship or a ring, for their own personal reasons? Having a baby is ridiculously hard, pregnancy is grueling, labor is excruciating, and raising a child is frustrating, expensive, and a lifelong commitment never to be taken lightly. Yeah, those ladies deserve some serious applause for choosing to embark on that journey solo!

Single Mom Myth #2: We are hungry for child support checks.

Single moms are always chasing that support check. I hear this one all the time. In fact, that’s always the first question I’m asked when someone finds out I’m a single mother: “Have you gone after child support yet?” I’m never asked if my child’s father is paying child support or supporting the baby or helping with the baby- it’s always whether or not I’m “going after him” for support. As if a single mom can’t provide for her own family! I’m not some money-hungry fiend chasing a payday. Every last one of the single moms I know is gainfully employed and doing their part (and more) to give their kids the best lives possible, and many of them are continuing their educations in order to advance in their career fields. Badass mommas don’t always have a lot of free time or get a lot of sleep but they definitely aren’t afraid of hard work, and they don’t see their children’s fathers as cash cows.

Single Mom Myth #3: We can’t stand our child’s father anymore.

There are some of us that call our kids’ dads friends (or, at the very least, we don’t imagine strangling them with our bare hands every time we have to talk to them). That’s right, no Baby Daddy drama here! Single mothers, while being self-sufficient enough to run a household and raise children on their own, know that having a father in their lives can be a big plus for kids. We have enough class to put aside our differences and have a respectful co-parenting relationship with the big lugs that helped us make these totally amazing, tiny people. Romance doesn’t always last but having a kid together is forever, so why not make it as painless an experience as possible? Plus it can be pretty awesome to know that we can have some time to yourself and your baby will be with someone who loves and cherishes him or her as much as we do!

Single Mom Myth #4: If we give priority to our needs we’re selfish bitches.

It can be hard for a single mom to actually get time to herself. Even if her child’s father has shared custody or there’s a doting grandma who’s more than willing to take the grandbabies for a few hours, the on-her-own mom still gets crap for having interests outside raising her family. The chick that takes Crossfit classes a couple of times a week is vain and self-involved; the one that goes dancing with her friends is a party girl who’s shirking her responsibilities to get drunk. I call bullshit!

Any mother knows that to be able to give her best to her babies, she has to take care of herself both physically and mentally. That means a bubble bath behind a locked door every now and again. We don’t stop living when we have kids, whether we are single or attached. I know this one badass single mom who’s finally going after her dream of becoming a writer! We still have the same hopes, goals, and interests we had before we had our bambinos. Our priorities may be different and our kids are always number one on our lists, but we still like to have fun and be passionate about the things we love.

The conclusion?

Becoming a mother on your own isn’t the life-ending tragedy that people seem to want to make it out to be. Even though our culture in this country is supposed to be a more progressive and open-minded one, there is still a whole lot of Judge-y McJudge-ing that happens when somebody dares to do something outside the traditional scope of things. It wasn’t really that long ago that girls who ended up “in a fix” were sent away to have their babies in secret so there wouldn’t be a permanent black mark on their reputations.

There is nothing shameful about creating a life no matter the circumstances under which it was done. Remember, just because a woman doesn’t have a partner doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an endless supply of love, affection and wisdom to give to her children. I want all of the responsible, hard-working single mothers out there to know that they are fabulous, and to own their single-parent status in the face of whatever life has to throw at them. It’s a tough job and you gals are rocking it! You are badass mommas, and you have every reason to be proud of that.

The post Busting Single Mom Myths appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581357143) } [7]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(39) "4 Badass Ways to Be Bold and Successful" ["link"]=> string(78) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/4-badass-ways-to-be-bold-and-successful/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:16:08 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(21) "Kimberly Dawn Neumann" } ["category"]=> string(51) "Personal GrowthCAREERENTREPRENEURSHIPPRODUCTIVErich" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4214" ["description"]=> string(558) "

Some girls are just, um, how can I say this nicely…timid. These little sweethearts smile a lot and every man on the planet seems to want to help them. Not trying to be bitchy (okay, yes I am), but every girl over the age of 10 knows that “can you help me” seems to make the […]

The post 4 Badass Ways to Be Bold and Successful appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(5648) "

Some girls are just, um, how can I say this nicely…timid. These little sweethearts smile a lot and every man on the planet seems to want to help them. Not trying to be bitchy (okay, yes I am), but every girl over the age of 10 knows that “can you help me” seems to make the male species melt into knight in shining armor mode. I guess some girls grow up with the pattern of always needing to be rescued.

This article is for the rest of us.

I’m by no means an expert on the male brain but I am an expert on kicking ass and make no apologies for admitting it. I’m an X Games medalist in skier half pipe, former professional extreme sports athlete (where I got paid to chuck myself off cliffs, slide rails at ski town festivals to blaring hip hop music and do things like jump over flaming hay-bales on a pair of skis). True story. I did that for twelve years and had 22 broken bones to show for it. That was until, reluctantly at the age of 34. I realized that there were crazier girls than me coming out of the start gate who chewed leather for breakfast and were frothing at the mouth ready to push me off the podium… literally (anyone watched a skier cross event?). Now? I run a successful business that needs me to put my elbows out almost every day as I manage staff, say no, say yes, ask for opportunities that freak the crap out of me, and work my way to the top. Here’s how I shifted from extreme athlete to badass entrepreneur.

Redefining my crazy.

Despite the emergency doctors all knowing me by name and the insurance policies possibly having me red flagged as a liability, I’m a pretty ordinary girl when you meet me. I have that boring mousey blonde hair and now, at forty (with the maturity of a teenager) I have grown out of my body piercings. I’m also making appointments to get my tattoos removed and I no longer rock up to client meetings wearing clothes out of a snowboard movie. But during those quiet moments with myself, I still ironically define myself as badass, impulsive and courageous– as that girl that built a death-defying reputation as being one crazy cat.

My Top 4 Tips for Taming the Beast (without Losing Yourself)

1. Doing One Thing per Day That Scares You Is Relative

You might appear fearless with your adrenaline choices (you’re that girl that skydives and goes into the woods alone) but perhaps you’re shy socially. Today’s scary thing could be putting up your hand in class with the answer, and not caring if you get it wrong. I mean kudos for you for putting your hand up, right? Right. Being scared has to start with being ‘uncomfortable’ – not petrified. Push your comfort zone just a little bit more everyday.

2. Crazy Only Looks Crazy to People Who Don’t ‘Get It’

I never actually felt crazy when I did what everyone else said was nuts. I knew that I could do everything that I did. Why? Because I spent days, months, years practicing and perfecting my skills; so the ‘crazy’ thing was actually a calculated risk. And calculated risks are fun! 

3. Be a Productive Badass

The real badasses wind up in jail. So if you’re still roaming around society being what you think is ‘badass’, you might in fact just be the world’s most annoying prankster and petty-criminal-who-hasn’t-been-caught-yet. How about turning that attitude into something productive: write a blog post exposing the truth on something controversial, file a small-claims law suit against someone ripped you off, protest against a cause you believe strongly about. Live smart so you get respect wherever you go; like reading the waivers you sign, and knowing your legal rights so you don’t get taken advantage of. Learn to use wit to call people out, not a teenage pissy attitude. Figure out how to be the motherfuckin’ boss in that job you hate.

4. Dress like a Boss

When I dressed like a gansta I made minimum wage. It’s pretty funny looking back, actually. Thank God my twenties are done with. Gangsta, gothic, rapper, hip hop, alternative, artsy looking chicks work at McDonalds unless they’re in the 1% of the planet who hit the jackpot like Lady Gaga. Sorry-not-sorry to break it to you, but you will probably never be in that 1%. Burn that crap and get a makeover. Now that’s one thing to do today that scares you!

You gain respect from anyone who comes into contact with you. Not to mention you feel like a kick ass chick because of your daring habits and from the past that may have been holding you back-but it’s not anymore. The bottom line is, you’re probably always going to be this bold, this awesome, this whatever-you-are. And that’s not just cool, it’s freaking brilliant. Because bold is about the way you try new things, speak to people, voice your opinion, share your dreams, and follow your heart.

The post 4 Badass Ways to Be Bold and Successful appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(558) "

Some girls are just, um, how can I say this nicely…timid. These little sweethearts smile a lot and every man on the planet seems to want to help them. Not trying to be bitchy (okay, yes I am), but every girl over the age of 10 knows that “can you help me” seems to make the […]

The post 4 Badass Ways to Be Bold and Successful appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(5648) "

Some girls are just, um, how can I say this nicely…timid. These little sweethearts smile a lot and every man on the planet seems to want to help them. Not trying to be bitchy (okay, yes I am), but every girl over the age of 10 knows that “can you help me” seems to make the male species melt into knight in shining armor mode. I guess some girls grow up with the pattern of always needing to be rescued.

This article is for the rest of us.

I’m by no means an expert on the male brain but I am an expert on kicking ass and make no apologies for admitting it. I’m an X Games medalist in skier half pipe, former professional extreme sports athlete (where I got paid to chuck myself off cliffs, slide rails at ski town festivals to blaring hip hop music and do things like jump over flaming hay-bales on a pair of skis). True story. I did that for twelve years and had 22 broken bones to show for it. That was until, reluctantly at the age of 34. I realized that there were crazier girls than me coming out of the start gate who chewed leather for breakfast and were frothing at the mouth ready to push me off the podium… literally (anyone watched a skier cross event?). Now? I run a successful business that needs me to put my elbows out almost every day as I manage staff, say no, say yes, ask for opportunities that freak the crap out of me, and work my way to the top. Here’s how I shifted from extreme athlete to badass entrepreneur.

Redefining my crazy.

Despite the emergency doctors all knowing me by name and the insurance policies possibly having me red flagged as a liability, I’m a pretty ordinary girl when you meet me. I have that boring mousey blonde hair and now, at forty (with the maturity of a teenager) I have grown out of my body piercings. I’m also making appointments to get my tattoos removed and I no longer rock up to client meetings wearing clothes out of a snowboard movie. But during those quiet moments with myself, I still ironically define myself as badass, impulsive and courageous– as that girl that built a death-defying reputation as being one crazy cat.

My Top 4 Tips for Taming the Beast (without Losing Yourself)

1. Doing One Thing per Day That Scares You Is Relative

You might appear fearless with your adrenaline choices (you’re that girl that skydives and goes into the woods alone) but perhaps you’re shy socially. Today’s scary thing could be putting up your hand in class with the answer, and not caring if you get it wrong. I mean kudos for you for putting your hand up, right? Right. Being scared has to start with being ‘uncomfortable’ – not petrified. Push your comfort zone just a little bit more everyday.

2. Crazy Only Looks Crazy to People Who Don’t ‘Get It’

I never actually felt crazy when I did what everyone else said was nuts. I knew that I could do everything that I did. Why? Because I spent days, months, years practicing and perfecting my skills; so the ‘crazy’ thing was actually a calculated risk. And calculated risks are fun! 

3. Be a Productive Badass

The real badasses wind up in jail. So if you’re still roaming around society being what you think is ‘badass’, you might in fact just be the world’s most annoying prankster and petty-criminal-who-hasn’t-been-caught-yet. How about turning that attitude into something productive: write a blog post exposing the truth on something controversial, file a small-claims law suit against someone ripped you off, protest against a cause you believe strongly about. Live smart so you get respect wherever you go; like reading the waivers you sign, and knowing your legal rights so you don’t get taken advantage of. Learn to use wit to call people out, not a teenage pissy attitude. Figure out how to be the motherfuckin’ boss in that job you hate.

4. Dress like a Boss

When I dressed like a gansta I made minimum wage. It’s pretty funny looking back, actually. Thank God my twenties are done with. Gangsta, gothic, rapper, hip hop, alternative, artsy looking chicks work at McDonalds unless they’re in the 1% of the planet who hit the jackpot like Lady Gaga. Sorry-not-sorry to break it to you, but you will probably never be in that 1%. Burn that crap and get a makeover. Now that’s one thing to do today that scares you!

You gain respect from anyone who comes into contact with you. Not to mention you feel like a kick ass chick because of your daring habits and from the past that may have been holding you back-but it’s not anymore. The bottom line is, you’re probably always going to be this bold, this awesome, this whatever-you-are. And that’s not just cool, it’s freaking brilliant. Because bold is about the way you try new things, speak to people, voice your opinion, share your dreams, and follow your heart.

The post 4 Badass Ways to Be Bold and Successful appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["date_timestamp"]=> int(1581354968) } [8]=> array(11) { ["title"]=> string(32) "Release Your Inner Control Freak" ["link"]=> string(71) "https://blog.loveawake.com/2020/02/10/release-your-inner-control-freak/" ["pubdate"]=> string(31) "Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:05:34 +0000" ["dc"]=> array(1) { ["creator"]=> string(13) "J. T. Ellison" } ["category"]=> string(51) "Personal Growthlifeself developmentself improvement" ["guid"]=> string(34) "https://blog.loveawake.com/?p=4211" ["description"]=> string(569) "

On this particular morning I find myself sitting in a dark cavernous dive bar in Honolulu at 10 am. I get my best writing done here, for some reason; something about the obnoxiously jubilant communion spurred by the NFL, bellies full of brunch, and copious amounts of booze put me right back at home, even […]

The post Release Your Inner Control Freak appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["content"]=> array(1) { ["encoded"]=> string(7009) "

On this particular morning I find myself sitting in a dark cavernous dive bar in Honolulu at 10 am. I get my best writing done here, for some reason; something about the obnoxiously jubilant communion spurred by the NFL, bellies full of brunch, and copious amounts of booze put me right back at home, even though I haven’t been back to Nebraska in almost two years and even when I was there I wanted desperately to escape. I guess there’s something about nostalgia that has a way of putting things into perspective.

What I’m seeking for in the the depths of this pub and my soul today is an understanding of why we place so much significance on life purpose? Is this beneficial for us ultimately, especially for those of us who feel like we don’t know what the hell we’re here to do?

It seems we add unnecessary stress, decrease our quality of living, and ultimately limit ourselves in this relentless pursuit of mapping out our existence. In my explorations I’ve found several things helpful in releasing my inner control freak and surrendering my life to inspiration instead of planning and adhering to this idea of purpose.

How to Release Your Inner Control Freak

Be Still for a Minute

Have you experienced times when you just know something’s going to happen, and then it does? Or you think of someone and then run into them moments later? You can brush these incidents off as coincidence or you can choose to know that you have access to an internal MPS (Miraculous Positioning System), and it’s far more effective than any monkey minding you could possible do.

Recently I arrived in Hawaii with the intention of being here for a couple weeks to do some “important shit” then fly off to do some other “important shit” when due to some circumstances that seemed out of my control I instead find myself in a standstill. In retrospect,I realize I had the knowing that I needed to just stop moving and BE for a minute, but I was too busy planning things to listen.

This navigational system is best heard in the ‘now’ moment. Our minds have a tendency to hang out in the past or the future, so quieting your mind can aid you in accessing your MPS. Meditation can help you achieve inner stillness. Just 15 minutes a day can train your brain to chill out, which over time will seep into the moving parts of your day.

Give Yourself a Damn Break

I used to think I was going to change the world and have this massive platform from which I would share all the messages of wisdoms and knowledges I was gaining about creating life in accordance to the longings of ones heart… I left the American Dream of a life I had built nearly a decade ago with this calling in my own heart, after all. However, the more significance I put on this notion the more it seemed to escape my grasp.

What’s really interesting is that the significance of defining and creating this external purpose actually places so much pressure on us, that we cut off our flow. Kind of like writer’s block… if you’re a creative person you’ll understand this (which I believe we all are. Life is art, after all) When you’re desperately wanting something, such as inspiration, you’re actually being the energy of not having it. You don’t like not having, so you resist not having it. What you resist will always persist, kind of like quicksand.

What you resist, persists ~Carl Jung

When you’re under no pressure at all, you have ideas bursting forth from your noggin. Ask yourself, “What can I do to tell a different story around the significance of this all, and give myself a damn break already?”

Ask Yourself: What Would the Emotional Payoff Be for Having a Purpose

Approximately 99.9% (I made that up, but it seems accurate) of the time we think having a purpose in life would help us to feel worthy and important, which would in turn bring us happiness. I would know. I spent a majority of my life running, moving, physically flip flopping from this to that, in an apparent search for meaning and what I’ve come to know is that I already have everything I’m looking for.

As long as you look for happiness in your external world, happiness will elude you. Know that you have access to this feeling NOW, and you can choose it by virtue of your focus. Whatever you focus on you will get more of. Gratitude is an amazing way to find fulfillment right now with what you have and where you are. Fill yourself up with appreciation and the happiness you exude will lead you straight to more things that make you happy, which is where you will find your most valuable contribution to the world, quite by “accident”.

Suddenly, in this dark bar it’s becoming exceedingly clear that maybe the most beneficial thing we can do for the world is to follow our bliss.

Joseph Campbell said, “follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls” What a smart dude.

Just Show Up

What if you could just give yourself permission to follow your inner bliss promptings and release the outcome… then celebrate yourself for simply showing up for joy? Maybe this idea of a life purpose is total bullshit; the belief of it actually locking us in fortresses of judging ourselves for not having it all figured out. What would your life look like if you followed your bliss?

For me, this would look like taking a deeeeep breath, submitting my body to the waves, drinking sunshine and stupidly strong coffee, allowing a man to really love me for the first time in years, making myself totally vulnerable, sharing my wounds and my struggles in an authentic way, and gathering up the pieces of my story as they flow through my fingers and onto this screen… this feels definitely feels good… maybe this is my only purpose.

I wonder… would we be willing to release all the importance wrapped up in this idea of a purpose and instead just live our lives moment to moment? Can we make a promise to ourselves to let pure inspiration and joy be our guide? Would we possibly let ourselves off the hook and just show up the most fully wherever we are, and surrender the outcome to the universe?

I’m in… are you?

The post Release Your Inner Control Freak appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" } ["summary"]=> string(569) "

On this particular morning I find myself sitting in a dark cavernous dive bar in Honolulu at 10 am. I get my best writing done here, for some reason; something about the obnoxiously jubilant communion spurred by the NFL, bellies full of brunch, and copious amounts of booze put me right back at home, even […]

The post Release Your Inner Control Freak appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(7009) "

On this particular morning I find myself sitting in a dark cavernous dive bar in Honolulu at 10 am. I get my best writing done here, for some reason; something about the obnoxiously jubilant communion spurred by the NFL, bellies full of brunch, and copious amounts of booze put me right back at home, even though I haven’t been back to Nebraska in almost two years and even when I was there I wanted desperately to escape. I guess there’s something about nostalgia that has a way of putting things into perspective.

What I’m seeking for in the the depths of this pub and my soul today is an understanding of why we place so much significance on life purpose? Is this beneficial for us ultimately, especially for those of us who feel like we don’t know what the hell we’re here to do?

It seems we add unnecessary stress, decrease our quality of living, and ultimately limit ourselves in this relentless pursuit of mapping out our existence. In my explorations I’ve found several things helpful in releasing my inner control freak and surrendering my life to inspiration instead of planning and adhering to this idea of purpose.

How to Release Your Inner Control Freak

Be Still for a Minute

Have you experienced times when you just know something’s going to happen, and then it does? Or you think of someone and then run into them moments later? You can brush these incidents off as coincidence or you can choose to know that you have access to an internal MPS (Miraculous Positioning System), and it’s far more effective than any monkey minding you could possible do.

Recently I arrived in Hawaii with the intention of being here for a couple weeks to do some “important shit” then fly off to do some other “important shit” when due to some circumstances that seemed out of my control I instead find myself in a standstill. In retrospect,I realize I had the knowing that I needed to just stop moving and BE for a minute, but I was too busy planning things to listen.

This navigational system is best heard in the ‘now’ moment. Our minds have a tendency to hang out in the past or the future, so quieting your mind can aid you in accessing your MPS. Meditation can help you achieve inner stillness. Just 15 minutes a day can train your brain to chill out, which over time will seep into the moving parts of your day.

Give Yourself a Damn Break

I used to think I was going to change the world and have this massive platform from which I would share all the messages of wisdoms and knowledges I was gaining about creating life in accordance to the longings of ones heart… I left the American Dream of a life I had built nearly a decade ago with this calling in my own heart, after all. However, the more significance I put on this notion the more it seemed to escape my grasp.

What’s really interesting is that the significance of defining and creating this external purpose actually places so much pressure on us, that we cut off our flow. Kind of like writer’s block… if you’re a creative person you’ll understand this (which I believe we all are. Life is art, after all) When you’re desperately wanting something, such as inspiration, you’re actually being the energy of not having it. You don’t like not having, so you resist not having it. What you resist will always persist, kind of like quicksand.

What you resist, persists ~Carl Jung

When you’re under no pressure at all, you have ideas bursting forth from your noggin. Ask yourself, “What can I do to tell a different story around the significance of this all, and give myself a damn break already?”

Ask Yourself: What Would the Emotional Payoff Be for Having a Purpose

Approximately 99.9% (I made that up, but it seems accurate) of the time we think having a purpose in life would help us to feel worthy and important, which would in turn bring us happiness. I would know. I spent a majority of my life running, moving, physically flip flopping from this to that, in an apparent search for meaning and what I’ve come to know is that I already have everything I’m looking for.

As long as you look for happiness in your external world, happiness will elude you. Know that you have access to this feeling NOW, and you can choose it by virtue of your focus. Whatever you focus on you will get more of. Gratitude is an amazing way to find fulfillment right now with what you have and where you are. Fill yourself up with appreciation and the happiness you exude will lead you straight to more things that make you happy, which is where you will find your most valuable contribution to the world, quite by “accident”.

Suddenly, in this dark bar it’s becoming exceedingly clear that maybe the most beneficial thing we can do for the world is to follow our bliss.

Joseph Campbell said, “follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls” What a smart dude.

Just Show Up

What if you could just give yourself permission to follow your inner bliss promptings and release the outcome… then celebrate yourself for simply showing up for joy? Maybe this idea of a life purpose is total bullshit; the belief of it actually locking us in fortresses of judging ourselves for not having it all figured out. What would your life look like if you followed your bliss?

For me, this would look like taking a deeeeep breath, submitting my body to the waves, drinking sunshine and stupidly strong coffee, allowing a man to really love me for the first time in years, making myself totally vulnerable, sharing my wounds and my struggles in an authentic way, and gathering up the pieces of my story as they flow through my fingers and onto this screen… this feels definitely feels good… maybe this is my only purpose.

I wonder… would we be willing to release all the importance wrapped up in this idea of a purpose and instead just live our lives moment to moment? Can we make a promise to ourselves to let pure inspiration and joy be our guide? Would we possibly let ourselves off the hook and just show up the most fully wherever we are, and surrender the outcome to the universe?

I’m in… are you?

The post Release Your Inner Control Freak appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

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My romantic high school dream was to meet a guy on a train or a bus who would see me and smile the kind of smile that makes an alienated, angsty teenager feel known. Public transportation was deeply unsexy, and yet I felt it had the potential to take me somewhere new, literally and metaphorically. Although I […]

The post 6 Hard-Earned Marriage Lessons I Wish I Knew Before My Vows appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

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My romantic high school dream was to meet a guy on a train or a bus who would see me and smile the kind of smile that makes an alienated, angsty teenager feel known. Public transportation was deeply unsexy, and yet I felt it had the potential to take me somewhere new, literally and metaphorically. Although I rode the Metro day after day, my eyes wide with looking, that special stranger never materialized. Then, my first semester of college, when I was 18 and waiting for a commuter train to take me into Philly, I noticed a boy with shaggy hair, colorful clothes, and a camera around his neck like a medal. 

His name was Ben. When he and I arrived in the city, we walked in tandem for a while and then separated: I to see a movie, he to meet a friend for a concert. Seven years later, when we were both 25, we stood side by side under a wedding canopy. 

Before the ceremony, I knew little about being married. None of my friends had gotten hitched yet, and looking to my friends’ parents, or my own, was sort of like asking Microsoft how to be a start-up. (And of course some of those parents had launched the equivalent of failed start-ups themselves.) I am now 32, which means that Ben and I have been married for about half of the total time we have been together. Here is what I have learned during Part 2 that would have been helpful to know in Part 1.

ENGAGEMENT IS THE HARDEST PART.

Ben and I moved to New York together after college and faced down several trials common enough to newcomers — cruel bosses, unstable apartment-mates, a homicidal cat — before landing in a tiny Brooklyn studio. At some point, a thought crept in there with us and there was no room to avoid it: I wanted to get engaged. Not married; I wasn’t ready to be married. Marriage was for adults, people who could support themselves, pay their own taxes, buy a house. I wanted engagement, a public acknowledgement that this was it, we had found what we wanted. It would be, I figured, one less thing to worry about.

Little did I know. Getting engaged doesn’t diminish problems; it multiplies them. You’ve decided to spend your lives together? Fantastic! Now you have to plan a wedding, the Webster’s Dictionary definition of which is “an excuse for otherwise mature, responsible people to go bonkers in the name of love.” One relatively tenuous family connection will ask if you wouldn’t mind inviting his brother and his brother’s wife. Your mother will say, “I know you’re both vegetarian, but the guests will expect red meat.” Whole afternoons will leak away while you pore over color combinations and china patterns, only to have decisions reversed and the whole process begun again the next day.

Being engaged means pleasing a huge and conflicting array of people, ranging from those you care deeply about to those whose names you cannot keep straight. Being married means pleasing two people: you and your spouse. By comparison, it’s a piece of cake, and not the kind that’s $15-a-slice

All the same, engagement is a good test. It is a reminder to communicate, to own and voice your needs, to figure out your values and stick to them while letting the small stuff slide, to take each other’s side over your families (unless one of you is being especially unreasonable), to fight smart, and to have lots of sex, because that is one of the best ways to remember why you are choosing to be together in the first place.  

MARRIAGE DOESN’T CHANGE YOU.

You are not an adult simply because you have said, “I do.” If you are over 18 and have $55, you can get a dude in an Elvis suit to pronounce you a husband/wife. But if you hate doing dishes before you enter the Little White Chapel, post-honeymoon you will continue to want to leave them tilting precariously in the sink. Unless you have “saved yourself” for your wedding night, you probably will not feel different the next morning. If you have, you might feel elated, and stunned, and a little sore. Even then, though, you haven’t become an adult, only someone with a pile of thank you notes to write and some books, like Guide to Getting It On, to read. 

Pre-marriage, Ben and I were pretty independent people. We had some of the same friends, interests, and ideas about how best to spend leisure time, but also lots of different, even conflicting, ones. Post-marriage, we still do. Single Ben thought cable TV was a waste of money, an opinion Single Ester considered sacrilege. Post-marriage, we don’t subscribe; but I have full control of the Netflix account and when I have rented something he will like, I alert him and we watch it together. Compromise! We remain the same people, and we figure out ways to be ourselves together.

ON THE OTHER HAND, MARRIAGE DOES CHANGE YOU.

That said, because it is in your best interest to be your best self once you get married, to be the person that your spouse wants to go through ups and downs over decades with, you might find yourself making more of an effort. I am more of a Chaos Muppet, while Ben is an Order Muppet. But Married Ester started filing paper instead of leaving it in piles, cutting down on clutter, and trying to contribute to the kind of more organized household that would make Married Ben happy. Married Ben, meanwhile, eased up, caring less about unfiled paper, clutter, and so on. 

Things I didn’t consider worth doing for myself — you don’t want to know Single Ester’s record for going without doing laundry — began to seem easy enough when I thought about the guy with whom I was sharing 350 square feet. Both of us have developed new modes that, over time, have become habits. Married Ester is still kind of a Chaos Muppet on the inside but much less of one, and Married Ben has both chilled out and inspired me to be more organized.   

FIGURE OUT BEFOREHAND HOW YOU TWO FEEL ABOUT FOOD.

Is food fuel? Emotional? Political? Everyone knows that sex and money can poison a marriage, but the experts don’t talk enough about how vital your relationship to food as a couple is, too. Think of how many meals you will have together over the years. Not fancy anniversary meals, either, but everyday eating. 

Single Ben liked to cook in bulk and eat leftovers over the course of the week while Single Ester found anything involving a stove or pots to be stressful, preferring to make sandwiches, eat yogurt, and snack. Over time, Married Ester has gotten better at cooking. The secret, it turns out? Follow the recipe. 

CELEBRATE EVERYTHING.

Marathon runners will tell you that it is helpful to visualize the finish line, but the thought of it alone is not enough to carry you through 26.2 grueling miles. Along the way, you have to pick out milestones — that tree, the top of that hill — and focus on making it there. 

I have an image in my head of what Ben will be like as a adorable retiree in a cardigan, puttering around a backyard vegetable patch. That is the goal that I am running toward, our finish line. But along the way, he and I celebrate everything we can: our original anniversary in February as well as our wedding anniversary in August, our birthdays, holidays real and imaginary. The point isn’t to buy things for each other so much as to take time out of normal life to remember to feel grateful, and to do something frivolous and exciting.

IF IT FEELS LIKE WORK, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Our culture obsessively directs us toward marriage as a marker of achievement and leaves us there, like, “See ya! Try not to get divorced.” Single Ester was scared of marriage; she thought white picket fence domesticity would be suffocating, and she didn’t want to feel trapped. Married Ester discovered there is no “right” way to be married. Again, the only two people who have to be pleased are the people in the couple. There’s tremendous freedom there.

As a married couple, Ben and I have taken risks — traveled abroad, ridden horses through mountains, shot guns, hiked glaciers — I would have been too scared to try alone. Marriage isn’t, I’ve learned, the end of youth and adventure and excitement; it’s the continuation and channeling of all three, a way to put faith in another person that rewards you with more faith in yourself. And nowadays, when I ride a train, the pressure is off: I can smile at strangers if I want, or I can look out the window and think of everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I have yet to go. 

The post 6 Hard-Earned Marriage Lessons I Wish I Knew Before My Vows appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

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My romantic high school dream was to meet a guy on a train or a bus who would see me and smile the kind of smile that makes an alienated, angsty teenager feel known. Public transportation was deeply unsexy, and yet I felt it had the potential to take me somewhere new, literally and metaphorically. Although I […]

The post 6 Hard-Earned Marriage Lessons I Wish I Knew Before My Vows appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

" ["atom_content"]=> string(10188) "

My romantic high school dream was to meet a guy on a train or a bus who would see me and smile the kind of smile that makes an alienated, angsty teenager feel known. Public transportation was deeply unsexy, and yet I felt it had the potential to take me somewhere new, literally and metaphorically. Although I rode the Metro day after day, my eyes wide with looking, that special stranger never materialized. Then, my first semester of college, when I was 18 and waiting for a commuter train to take me into Philly, I noticed a boy with shaggy hair, colorful clothes, and a camera around his neck like a medal. 

His name was Ben. When he and I arrived in the city, we walked in tandem for a while and then separated: I to see a movie, he to meet a friend for a concert. Seven years later, when we were both 25, we stood side by side under a wedding canopy. 

Before the ceremony, I knew little about being married. None of my friends had gotten hitched yet, and looking to my friends’ parents, or my own, was sort of like asking Microsoft how to be a start-up. (And of course some of those parents had launched the equivalent of failed start-ups themselves.) I am now 32, which means that Ben and I have been married for about half of the total time we have been together. Here is what I have learned during Part 2 that would have been helpful to know in Part 1.

ENGAGEMENT IS THE HARDEST PART.

Ben and I moved to New York together after college and faced down several trials common enough to newcomers — cruel bosses, unstable apartment-mates, a homicidal cat — before landing in a tiny Brooklyn studio. At some point, a thought crept in there with us and there was no room to avoid it: I wanted to get engaged. Not married; I wasn’t ready to be married. Marriage was for adults, people who could support themselves, pay their own taxes, buy a house. I wanted engagement, a public acknowledgement that this was it, we had found what we wanted. It would be, I figured, one less thing to worry about.

Little did I know. Getting engaged doesn’t diminish problems; it multiplies them. You’ve decided to spend your lives together? Fantastic! Now you have to plan a wedding, the Webster’s Dictionary definition of which is “an excuse for otherwise mature, responsible people to go bonkers in the name of love.” One relatively tenuous family connection will ask if you wouldn’t mind inviting his brother and his brother’s wife. Your mother will say, “I know you’re both vegetarian, but the guests will expect red meat.” Whole afternoons will leak away while you pore over color combinations and china patterns, only to have decisions reversed and the whole process begun again the next day.

Being engaged means pleasing a huge and conflicting array of people, ranging from those you care deeply about to those whose names you cannot keep straight. Being married means pleasing two people: you and your spouse. By comparison, it’s a piece of cake, and not the kind that’s $15-a-slice

All the same, engagement is a good test. It is a reminder to communicate, to own and voice your needs, to figure out your values and stick to them while letting the small stuff slide, to take each other’s side over your families (unless one of you is being especially unreasonable), to fight smart, and to have lots of sex, because that is one of the best ways to remember why you are choosing to be together in the first place.  

MARRIAGE DOESN’T CHANGE YOU.

You are not an adult simply because you have said, “I do.” If you are over 18 and have $55, you can get a dude in an Elvis suit to pronounce you a husband/wife. But if you hate doing dishes before you enter the Little White Chapel, post-honeymoon you will continue to want to leave them tilting precariously in the sink. Unless you have “saved yourself” for your wedding night, you probably will not feel different the next morning. If you have, you might feel elated, and stunned, and a little sore. Even then, though, you haven’t become an adult, only someone with a pile of thank you notes to write and some books, like Guide to Getting It On, to read. 

Pre-marriage, Ben and I were pretty independent people. We had some of the same friends, interests, and ideas about how best to spend leisure time, but also lots of different, even conflicting, ones. Post-marriage, we still do. Single Ben thought cable TV was a waste of money, an opinion Single Ester considered sacrilege. Post-marriage, we don’t subscribe; but I have full control of the Netflix account and when I have rented something he will like, I alert him and we watch it together. Compromise! We remain the same people, and we figure out ways to be ourselves together.

ON THE OTHER HAND, MARRIAGE DOES CHANGE YOU.

That said, because it is in your best interest to be your best self once you get married, to be the person that your spouse wants to go through ups and downs over decades with, you might find yourself making more of an effort. I am more of a Chaos Muppet, while Ben is an Order Muppet. But Married Ester started filing paper instead of leaving it in piles, cutting down on clutter, and trying to contribute to the kind of more organized household that would make Married Ben happy. Married Ben, meanwhile, eased up, caring less about unfiled paper, clutter, and so on. 

Things I didn’t consider worth doing for myself — you don’t want to know Single Ester’s record for going without doing laundry — began to seem easy enough when I thought about the guy with whom I was sharing 350 square feet. Both of us have developed new modes that, over time, have become habits. Married Ester is still kind of a Chaos Muppet on the inside but much less of one, and Married Ben has both chilled out and inspired me to be more organized.   

FIGURE OUT BEFOREHAND HOW YOU TWO FEEL ABOUT FOOD.

Is food fuel? Emotional? Political? Everyone knows that sex and money can poison a marriage, but the experts don’t talk enough about how vital your relationship to food as a couple is, too. Think of how many meals you will have together over the years. Not fancy anniversary meals, either, but everyday eating. 

Single Ben liked to cook in bulk and eat leftovers over the course of the week while Single Ester found anything involving a stove or pots to be stressful, preferring to make sandwiches, eat yogurt, and snack. Over time, Married Ester has gotten better at cooking. The secret, it turns out? Follow the recipe. 

CELEBRATE EVERYTHING.

Marathon runners will tell you that it is helpful to visualize the finish line, but the thought of it alone is not enough to carry you through 26.2 grueling miles. Along the way, you have to pick out milestones — that tree, the top of that hill — and focus on making it there. 

I have an image in my head of what Ben will be like as a adorable retiree in a cardigan, puttering around a backyard vegetable patch. That is the goal that I am running toward, our finish line. But along the way, he and I celebrate everything we can: our original anniversary in February as well as our wedding anniversary in August, our birthdays, holidays real and imaginary. The point isn’t to buy things for each other so much as to take time out of normal life to remember to feel grateful, and to do something frivolous and exciting.

IF IT FEELS LIKE WORK, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Our culture obsessively directs us toward marriage as a marker of achievement and leaves us there, like, “See ya! Try not to get divorced.” Single Ester was scared of marriage; she thought white picket fence domesticity would be suffocating, and she didn’t want to feel trapped. Married Ester discovered there is no “right” way to be married. Again, the only two people who have to be pleased are the people in the couple. There’s tremendous freedom there.

As a married couple, Ben and I have taken risks — traveled abroad, ridden horses through mountains, shot guns, hiked glaciers — I would have been too scared to try alone. Marriage isn’t, I’ve learned, the end of youth and adventure and excitement; it’s the continuation and channeling of all three, a way to put faith in another person that rewards you with more faith in yourself. And nowadays, when I ride a train, the pressure is off: I can smile at strangers if I want, or I can look out the window and think of everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I have yet to go. 

The post 6 Hard-Earned Marriage Lessons I Wish I Knew Before My Vows appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

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