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Category Archives: Dating/Blind Dating

The “Cozy Up” Dinner Date Plan

The Simplest Dinner Menu That Will Still Blow Your Date Away

BY PAULA FORBES

Hello, lovers. Now that you’ve mastered the basic rules for date-night cooking, it’s time to put those skills to use on the ultimate romantic menu: steak for two. You should not be daunted by steak. Steakhouses have fancy dining rooms and fancy wine lists and fancy menu prices, but cooking meat for your beloved is about as primal as you can get. If it got the early humans laid, who’s to say it won’t work for you?

Once you’ve successfully cooked your hunk of meat, all you have to do is put something nice next to it and you’ve got a meal. Want to keep things light? Make a salad. Want to go all out? Mash the hell out of some potatoes. It’s all pretty simple. So break out the sharp knives and take the batteries out of the smoke alarm: It’s time to get your steak on.

First things first: You need some meat. Unless you know one of you likes it burnt and one of you likes it bloody, get a big steak to split. It’s more romantic that way, and more fun. Something in the 18-ounce range if it has a bone; 14 ounces if not. Don’t sweat the cut too much: Rib eyes are probably your best bet, but anything that’s about an inch thick and nicely marbled with fat will do the trick. Go to a good butcher, since they will have more options for you to choose from. (This is not the time to get the cling-wrapped stuff in a styrofoam container.) Spring for an aged steak if you like—it’ll have a super beefy, almost blue cheese-y funk to it—but if not, buy the best you can afford and move on.

Once you get it home, put that hunk of meat in the refrigerator until about an hour before you’re going to cook it—you want it to come up to room temperature.

Add Some Sides
You will need a potato, most likely. Mashed potatoes will do the trick if you’re into them, or if you want something ultra-easy, go for baked potatoes. (Gussy them up with crumbled bacon and sour cream and chopped herbs when they’re done.) If you trust your cooking skills, go ahead and make a classic (read: fancy) potato like Potatoes Anna or a gratin.

You also need a vegetable. Ideally something green. If you’re feeling spunky, swing by the farmers’ market and check out what’s in season. Right now, you might try snap peas or asparagus, quickly cooked in well-salted boiling water for a minute and then tossed with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. Or make a simple salad: Buy the most beautiful lettuce you can find and toss it with a bit of oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper before serving. Boom, done.

Get Some Wine
Red wine. The specific red wine is your call, but it has to be red, and again the best you can afford. This is date night: You’re looking to impress. If you have no idea what you’re doing, go to a good wine shop and ask for help. Put a bit of a chill on the wine, but don’t get it totally cold: Put it in the refrigerator about 20 minutes before your date shows up. Serve it in wine glasses if at all possible, but short glass tumblers will do in a pinch.

Get a Pan Really, Really, Really Hot
Ideally, you should use a cast-iron pan. If you don’t have one, use the most heavy-duty pan you own that will fit the big steak. While the pan is heating up, season the steak with salt and pepper generously on both sides. When the pan is really ridiculously hot—almost smoking—open the closest window to the stove and add a swish of vegetable oil to the pan. Add the steak. It will smoke and spit like crazy. (Aren’t you glad you opened a window?) This is, perhaps, the one drawback to making steak for date night, but it is also dramatic and exciting, so maybe it depends on what kind of person your date is.

Sear, Baby, Sear
Leave the steak to cook on one side for a few minutes, then flip. You’re looking for that good brown sear to form on both sides, and once you’ve got that, you only want to cook it to just how you like it. There are all kinds of ways to test how done a steak is, but in general, find the part of the steak that is farthest from the edge or a bone and poke it with your finger. You want it to be tougher than it was when it was raw, but still have a good amount of give. If you have a meat thermometer, 130°F will get you a medium-rare steak, while 150 will get you a more well-done but still rosy steak.

Dinner Is Served
Your steak will need some time to rest when it’s finished. Set it on a plate with a piece of butter on top, and finish your sides. (Also, pour some wine for your date who just got smoked out by the steak situation. Make a little joke about it. It’s fine.) Once it’s rested, slice it into thin strips. If you really want to get fancy, dot it with a sauce like chimichurri or Béarnaise. But honestly? The steak, a glass of wine, and your smile should do the trick. Now go get ’em.

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For The Love Of Coffee – This Is How We Met….

For The Love Of Coffee – This Is How We Met….

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14 Adorable Stories of Starbucks Baristas Who Fell in Love at Work

They love each other a latte

by DANIELLE TULLO

Do you know what will melt your heart faster than a Frappuccino on a hot day? Adorable stories of Starbucks baristas falling in love with their customers and fellow baristas. Cosmopolitan.com collaborated with Barista Life, a social network of baristas, to compile a list of romantic meet-cutes and coffee fairy tales.

See below for a long list of Starbucks lovers who love each other a latte (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

1. “He was a customer at my very first store and I knew that I was going to be with him the minute I saw him. And, one of the baristas from my store always insisted that we would date. Circumstances never seemed to work out, but then we started dating. We were both in a place where we needed a friend. That friendship bloomed into romance, and now, six years later, we’re engaged. I’m so happy to have met my soul mate and Starbucks is definitely the reason for him entering my life.” —Joseph

2. “I met my girlfriend at Starbucks. She’s deaf. She came in every day and ordered the same drink. A year ago, I decided to learn how to sign my name and ‘I think you’re cute.’ We’ve been together ever since.” —Alice

3. “My fiancé and I met at a coffee shop I work at two years ago. He was a regular and everyone knew him. I always knew his drink but nothing else about him, except that he came in every day after work with two of his friends who looked like they were lumberjacks covered in motor oil. We never talked much until one evening when I was closing and it was exceptionally slow. We chatted and found out we had a lot of the same friends and much in common. We even were in the same classes when we were younger and had most likely met before. Our parents knew each other and my mom had taught his sister swimming lessons. But we didn’t remember each other at all! We became quick friends and a few months later started dating. Now we are three months away from our wedding, all thanks to coffee!” —Holly

4. “I was a barista at Starbucks and a cute boy came in everyday ordering a black coffee, smiling and flirting with me. After a year, he finally left a sweet note on my car and asked me out. A year later, we were married. Now, eight years and three children later, we still frequent the same Starbucks and reminisce about the place where Mommy and Daddy met.” —Alysha

5. “I was explaining to a regular how I knew everyone who came in, but usually by their drink and not necessarily by their name. A red bearded guy was next in line and said, ‘My name is Brandon, by the way. You probably only know me as dirty chai guy.’ From then on, we would talk every time he came in, mostly about Star Trek, until I asked him to a show one night. Turns out he had messaged me to ask me to hang out on Facebook the year before, but I didn’t know his name then and had deleted it thinking it was a different (and awful) Brandon. We were meant to be. Two years strong!” —Anna

6. “He and I worked at the airport. He did two other jobs, I was the barista. Every weekend, he’d come in to print his reports and I’d just clean pretending not to notice he was there, but I was constantly looking and admiring. One night, he walked me to my car and told me he’d been wanting to do something. He kissed me and I was in love. We started officially dating on my birthday almost a year ago.” —@CC_Catastrophe

7. “I was on bar when I saw the cutest guy I’d ever laid eyes on across the counter. He had a black coffee and this amazing vibe about him. I didn’t catch his name or talk to him that day, but a few weeks later, I had a terrible closer and all I wanted to do was go get a drink. I then got a random invite from someone I didn’t know to get a drink at a local bar. I said, ‘Eh, what the hell.’ I knew the bouncer working that night so I figured I would be safe. I showed up and the guy who invited me out said, ‘Hey, I don’t think you’ll be interested in me, but I think you’ll like my best friend.’ He brought his friend forward and it was the guy I had seen across the bar. We now are getting married in October. Thanks, Starbucks.” —Kritten

8. “I met my fiancée when I was working as a barista and he started coming in regularly. He’d stay and read for hours and come back again and again for more drinks and pastries, lingering at the counter to chat. Eventually, we became friends on Facebook and then started dating. He confessed later he didn’t even like coffee; he just thought I was pretty and wanted an excuse to talk. We’ve been together for more than three years and are expecting our first baby in a few weeks.” —Becca

9. “At my small-town store, a guy I didn’t know, only knew of, came into the store to ask me out face-to-face, but after he bought a drink, he chickened out. Then, he came through the drive-through, ordered a breakfast sandwich, and asked me for my number so he could take me out. I wrote it on a receipt paper, and the rest is history! ” —@Smontyxoxoo

10. “I met my boyfriend Joshua at the Starbucks I worked at. He was a regular so I saw him four to five times every week. About a year before I asked him out, I told a few barista friends that I thought he was cute. They started telling me when he was coming in so I could hop on bar and talk to him, and we’d laugh over stories of how I would totally marry him someday. I thought it was all a fun fantasy that would never come true. I mean, why would a practicing lawyer ask out a college girl that gets his coffee? But my friends finally convinced me I should try to make something happen for giggles. To quote a coworker, ‘His drink costs $3.20 — we can afford to lose him as a customer. Put your number on his cup!’ So I did. Except he didn’t see it. Of course, I didn’t learn this until after we started dating, so I was embarrassed. I gave up for a while, thinking his non-response was a rejection. About five months later, I learned I was moving to a different store. I began to think about asking him out all the time. Why not? I’d be gone soon. But it felt awkward to ask him while I was working. No one orders a pickup line with their morning cup of joe. But on my last weekend, my roommate asked me to study with her at my store on my day off. I said yes. She picked a table right by the check out counter and who comes in? Josh. He stopped to talk to us for a bit and when he walked away, my roommate yelled at me that it was now or never and pushed me in his direction. I’m not really sure what happened after that, I was so nervous, but I do know that he said yes and I have now been with him for eight wonderful months. I have never been happier, and we’ll always have Starbucks to thank.” —Laura

11. “I was at my first store, working 40 hours a week, and they were opening a new restaurant in the plaza my store was in. The cutest guy in the world who worked at that restaurant would come in all the time. I used to harass him: “Where’s my French fries?” I went there for lunch one day and he handed me a huge brown bag. I opened it and it was filled to the top with fries. He finally asked for my number one day while I was on register and I was so flustered I wrote it on his pink La Boulange bag he had just got his cookie in. We went on our first date and it was immediate love. We just got married in August and are expecting a baby together in August.” —Chelsea

12. “The love of my life and I et six years ago, shortly after we both started working at Starbucks at different stores. He had a crush on me right away, but it wasn’t until he transferred to my store a few years later that we became really close friends and I began to see him as more than just my favorite barista (I was his shift supervisor). Sparks flew three years ago and we were married this past July.” —Marjori

13. “My husband and I just got married two weeks ago. He was a customer of mine for about a year. I was a barista at a store near his work and he would come in every morning. Eventually, my coworkers pointed out that we would be great together and the idea stuck with me. I wanted a date with him. So if I took my break during the time he was coming in, I would sit out in the cafe in hopes of talking to him. My whole store was trying to get us on a date but neither of us was sure if the other was interested. Eventually, I had to transfer stores, so I left a note for him. “Have a good week. Enjoy your drink on me,” which a fellow barista gave him. After he read it, she told him to leave his number. I texted him later that night. Two days later, we went on our first date, a year later, we were engaged, and about four months after that, we got married! He always thanks me for buying him that cup of coffee.” —Katy

14. “Dale was a regular at the location I was working at and was very quiet and timid. I wasn’t really interested, but as we baristas do, I memorized his name and order and made conversation when he would come in. We ended up having mutual friends and spending a lot of time together. I would take all of my breaks outside with him and hang out. We ended up having mutual friends and spending a lot of time together outside of work. He told me he was interested in me, and I initially shot him down. We started to text a lot and my affection for him just grew. After work a group of us, including Dale, went to hang out and after a couple of drinks he kissed me. We’ve been pretty inseparable ever since. We live together and have a dog, and will be getting married in a month!” —Jennifer

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Will it happen? Will …

Will it happen? Will …

“we met in a coffee shop”

Devil in the Details

Every few days I go to this coffee shop by my house to study and, nearly every time, I see the man who will undoubtedly become the love of my lifestyle. He just doesn’t know it yet.

When I first saw him, our eyes met only briefly. He quickly returned his gaze back to his book (he’s shy, obviously) while mine proceeded to sink into a long, enamored stare in his direction — pretty much continuously until he left.

In the weeks that followed, I really got to know him and I realized that we’d be perfect for each other. For example, he always drinks black coffee, which shows how he isn’t a weak-ass loser and that he takes things [without BS]— all of the frills of lattes and macchiatos do not appeal to him.

He is also incredibly kind and selfless. One time, when he was getting up to bus his own dishes (what a stand-up guy), he also grabbed the ones that were so carelessly left on the table next to his. It was such a beautiful act of charity that really showed how much he cares and how conscious he is of others’ feelings. That’s a guy that won’t break my heart.

But what really gets me about him is his intelligence. He’s always either buried deep in his books or taking long pensive stares out the window. I mean, he seldom even notices my constant (creepy?) glances towards him. Then again, he could just be playing hard to get. He’s so funny like that.

Once we’re together for real, we’ll sit at the same table. We’ll date for a while, until he finally confesses his undying love for me in a nervous whisper before the backdrop of a cool autumn sunset. We’ll both graduate with honors, spend years travelling the world together, and then settle down in a small house on a hillside with our three German Shepherds (two girls, one boy). We’ll have mutually agreed upon the hypocrisy of marriage, so we’ll instead choose to share in a beautiful, non-legally binding, but still very deep and loving, relationship for the rest of our days. A classic love story.

The only problem, then, was actually talking to the guy. I mean, I was so certain that we were destined to be together, but just knowing that added all this pressure to our first real meeting. This was set to be the quintessential “How did you meet?” story that we would tell to everyone else for the rest of our lives. It had to be perfect.

There was also that very small, but very real, shadow of a doubt that this first meeting could go poorly. I’ve never been so good at first impressions, and even though he’d already made a great one, I could end up jeopardizing our entire relationship if he didn’t immediately swoon during that first conversation. Did I really want to risk our whole future together like that?

And, honestly it’s not my fault, this whole fated destiny that hasn’t actually been realized (yet). I blame the clichéd Nicholas Sparks novels, I blame the stupid Disney movies with the princesses who always find their prince, I blame the unfailing dreams of all the hopeless romantics in the world that have somehow, without my realizing, slithered their way into my subconscious.

So then I was left to marinate in my nerves, knowing full well that Cupid had only done one half of his bidding, that I was going to have to make up for his sloppy work, and that the future could only collide with reality if I let it.

But I guess that’s the thing about expectation: It only creates opportunity for future disappointment. If I were a smarter, more rational person, I wouldn’t have thought about it so deeply, wouldn’t have dreamed up this whole stalker-esque relationship for us. Instead, I would’ve simply kept my expectations low, assumed possible rejection and worked up the guts to actually speak to him out loud — outside of my overactive mind — inferring nothing about our possible (inevitable) destiny.

But it’s already happened, the damage is done, and now I will only ever be able to compare a potential real life relationship with coffee guy to the one in my head. So, rather than let reality tarnish the flawless illusion of our fantasy relationship, I will simply let them coexist within their parallel universes.

Coffee shop guy and I will have an everlasting relationship in my imagination, in a place that will forever be referred to as the future. And, let me tell you, it’ll be great.

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“Here is how one man blasted a woman right-out-of his life”

“Here is how one man blasted a woman right-out-of his life”
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HER: (Sniffling)

HIM: Tell me… What do you think is wrong? (He Pauses)

Story……

Found out about another woman.

“I started seeing a guy after meeting him at a charity event. Two weeks in, he calls me and says that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship because he’s going to be moving back to his parents in Dubai in a few months time. I asked him if he maybe wanted to try it out and see how the distance worked out for us. If it was too much, we could still be friends. He agreed.

“A few weeks after moving back to Dubai (we had been dating for eight months at this point), he and I are on Skype. He says, ‘I haven’t been entirely truthful. I told you the last girl I dated was five years ago but that’s not true. There was someone after that as well.’ This got my thinking really hard and all I asked after that was if she’s still in the picture. And if so, in what capacity. He said (I kid you not), ‘She’s still my girlfriend.’ I was the ‘other woman’ and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW.

“Here’s where it gets good. I reached out to his girlfriend via Facebook, sent her my number, and asked her to give me a call. She called me later that night and I told her everything, along with apologising for not having heeded the red flags. She was understanding of that fact that we were both blindsided. He later told me that my telling her everything had ‘ruined the sanctity’ of their relationship.

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A Korean Blind Date

My First abroad

My First Korean Blind DateAbout Kylie GenterKylie Genter is an English teacher in South Korea.

Just as I was about to start class, I got a text from my Korean tutor. “When do you meet a guy? Friday or Saturday?”

My first thought was Friday? Saturday? I meet guys all the time. I decided to answer with, “What are you talking about?”

“A Korean guy. Don’t you want a boyfriend?” Turns out my teacher was setting me up on a blind date.

A couple of lessons before, I was talking to my teacher about how poor my Korean speaking skills were. I told her, “I should just get a Korean boyfriend, and then I can practice all the time.”

Instantly, my teacher’s eyes lit up as she said, “Yes! I can do that for you! Finally! What kind of man do you want? I can take care of everything for you! Just tell me!”

Blind dates are very popular in Korea. They’re usually set up by a person’s friend, coworker, or even parents.
“I… no, don’t worry… uh..” I was spluttering words at this point.

“Don’t worry! I’ll get you a blind date. Just leave it to me.”

After this exchange, I had hoped she’d forget about it after teaching other foreigners seven days a week. This was not the case and the next week, she made plans for my first blind date.

Blind dates are very popular in Korea. They’re usually set up by a person’s friend, coworker, or even parents. I’ve had plenty of people offer to set me up on blind dates: my tutor, my coworkers, my Korean friends, my foreigner friends, and a random Korean woman I met on the subway in Seoul.

Everyone wants to set me up on blind dates because everyone wants me to have a boyfriend. I can’t even tell you the number of times Korean people have asked me if I have a boyfriend, and when I’ve said no, have shot me a horrified, “But why?” with varying degrees of shock and sympathy.

“I don’t know why,” I usually answer.

Then the conversation can go a few ways:

Option 1
Korean person: “But you’re so pretty.”
Me: “Oh, I know.”

Option 2
Korean person (grabs male Korean friend): “He’s single; you should talk to him.”
Me: “Uh… okay?”

Option 3
Korean person: “I know lots of nice boys. I’ll get you a date.”
Me: “Uh…. (quickly changes subject).”

However, sometimes I do wish I had someone. I’ve never had a boyfriend before so maybe I should give it a shot.
It’s not so much that I’m afraid of men, it’s more that I’ve been single for a really long time. I don’t want to bother getting emotionally invested in someone because that takes a lot of time and energy. In simple terms, I’m selfish, but at this point in my life, that’s okay. However, sometimes I do wish I had someone. I’ve never had a boyfriend before so maybe I should give it a shot.

With that thought in mind, I told my tutor I’d go on the date the next week. Then I bombarded her with questions and worries. What if he hated me? What if he was creepy? What if this was some horrible prank? What if I fell in love with him at first sight, and he thought I was terrible and then I died alone like I always feared? Like any sane person, she told me to calm down.

I talked to a couple of my friends about the whole situation and they all soothed my mind. First I talked to my friend Lish, who is American, and she told me about some blind date horror stories from home.

Then I talked to one of my Korean friends at a language exchange. “Don’t worry,” he said. “It’ll be fine. Blind dates can be great. I met my wife on a blind date.”

“Really?” I said, leaning almost all the way across the table to hear his answer.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Wow. Phew— Okay I can do this.”

The day of the date came and I was instructed to meet this mystery Korean blind date man in front of the movie theater downtown.

“He’ll be looking for a foreigner. I don’t have a picture.” My tutor said.

I shot her a sarcastic, “Great…”

I’d say the most important thing I gained from the experience was the confidence to go on another blind date here.
As I was about to leave my office to meet him, I started panicking.

“I’m freaking out,” I said between short shallow breaths as I sought comfort from my friend, Lish. “Oh god, I can’t feel my hands.”

“You have nothing to lose! Remember, it’s just meeting a new friend! That’s all it is.”

As always, all of my worrying was for nothing. The guy was really nice, although there was a pretty big language barrier. Did we make a connection? Not really, but it was a pleasant experience overall. I’d say the most important thing I gained from the experience was the confidence to go on another blind date here. Who knows, maybe one will work out?

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Some Men Are Simply “French Out-Of-Their Minds”!

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Originally posted on:
AmericaOnCoffee

Okay, I was at a prominent French bar where lots of French gals are known to social. The bar is located inside the La Fleur Francaise restaurant that specializes in French cooking but also include many American dishes on their menu.

La Fleur Francaise is known, not only for its fine cuisine, but for having unique bands that played classic and popular French music. ‘Parlez-Moi d’Amour‘ /Tell Me About Love, was the song being played by the band GiGi.

Me,, I decided to take breather after work. Six o’clock p.m. until 7 p.m., my downtime. This was my “happy hour”. So, I sat casually sipping from a tall glass of Sauvignon blanc. , a nightcap for a mad-hatter. It had been a rough work day. But, I was beginning to feel more relaxed after leaving my blazer in the car.

Was he… ‘Some Guy’ in a flirtatious mood or not? Surely “F-R-E-N-C-H” was protruding from my very being!

Yes, there he was standing near me giving an occasional wink and smile. he was coming on to me. I sat lady like with my leg crossed. I assumed my sitting was not provocative. But he certainly was swayed by my unspokeness and ‘air’ of being a French introvert. Some call it being haughty or arrogant; but, most think of it as pure French feminist etiquette…”Stuck Up”.

Whoah… !! He was quite handsome. But, seemingly, he had ideas about “F-R-E-N-C-H” women and seduction, all-in-his-head. I decided to make a play of it. You know, slick-girl style, impromptu … (this was going through my head).

He introduced himself as Wendell Drake and ask my name. Hesitantly, showing slowness with English, I responded that my name was Salonya Jodon.

“May I sit beside you, Salonya?” he asked in a brokenness of French. Again I hesitated but said Oui Oui.

Pointing to the menu he offered to buy us some hors d’oeuvres. Although I refused, he. placed an order for himself. Wendell asked if he could buy me another glass of wine, but, courteously I said no. After all, I was still slowly sipping Sauvignon blanc that I first ordered.

Any young, single female would have fallen for Wendell right then and there. First of all, not only was he good looking, but solvent. At least that was the portrait he painted of himself. He shared that he was an industrial contractor, a swim- team. member and… Wendell lived in a penthouse. (Hmm, I was thinking… why was he out on a prowl?)

When sharing my person with Wendell, I told him that I was a struggling artist who worked for an advertising agency, but had just lost my job. And, I told him that I was from Paris France and all of my family were deceased. I was all alone (None of which was true)

Wendell pitied me. Nontheless, we continued on sharing our likes and dislikes.

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Wendell suggested that we go to the movies. I agreed. We were both intrigued by ‘Spy’ movies.

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Wendell shared with me his love for biking. I showed ‘just a little’ enthusiasm to go on a bike ride with him.

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Basically, I shared with Wendell my love to just sit at the park and watch children play. I was a pretty laid-back. person.

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I also shared my love for picnics. He shared his love for picnics too and hinted on many hiking areas in nearby canyons. Wendell felt we had so much in common we should talk more.

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Obviously our conversation was getting ‘BIG’. That’s when he whispered in my ear for me to
go over to his place. He said he had a Jacuzzi.

In French a Jacuzzi was as close to ‘une baignoire’ bath as an ocean is to the vast blue sea.

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On that accord, I became really annoyed And did a 360° degree on him. What a transformation. Just as I thought, the guy was a sleeze. So I ordered myself some French fries-to go. I stood up, gave Wendell a repulsive stare, stuffed a handfull of French fries into my mouth, and I left.

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I am so thankful that I studied French in high school and college. He thought I was the real thing.

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You Have Fallen Apart From a Bad Romantic Breakup, Right?

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Recovering from a Breakup: Proven Ways to Heal (From Science)

by Karen Young

Even if your heart tries to pull its broken self together to tell you it’s for the best, and your head – foggy and sad – tells you the pain will pass, the agony of a breakup can be relentless. When you’re recovering from a breakup, it’s important not to hurry things along – it’s your time to reset, recharge and draw wisdom from the experience – but what if your healing could be strong and complete … and quicker? Science may have just found the way.

New research has found that broken-hearted ones who reflected more on their relationships over a nine week period had a stronger overall recovery from their breakup.

An important part of the healing is a process called ‘self-concept reorganisation’, which involves rebuilding and strengthening the sense of who you are, independent of
Relationships have a profound impact on the beliefs we have about ourselves, whether we realise it or not. During the course of a relationship, it’s very normal to ‘intertwine’ with a partner. Goals and directions change, as well as wants and needs for now and the future.

This isn’t because you lose yourself, though certainly that can happen, but because intimacy involves opening up to another person – opening up to their love, wants, needs, feelings, opinions, love, goals, dreams. When that happens, you can’t help but be influenced and eventually move in the same direction. Sometimes that involves adjusting your own sails. It’s all a healthy part of being with someone fully, and part of the unpredictable magic of relationships.

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A breakup means the undoing of this merging, which is painful to go through. However strong and independent a person may be, the fracturing of a relationship can also mean the fracturing of the self-concept. One of the most painful parts of a breakup is that it up-ends things as you’ve come to know them. The familiar is gone, plans are changed and the future all of a sudden has too many blank spaces where happy things used to be.

Part of the healing is re-establishing who you are without your partner. Anything that can repair and re-strengthen the self-concept, will accelerate healing.

So, to get you back to strong, based on science …

Talk. Go on. Go for it.
There are a couple of ways that talking about a breakup might help to facilitate healing. The first is that talking about the relationship will help to bring a different perspective to things. It’s not called a ‘breakup’ because it’s working well. Being in love or being in like-a-lot can blur things, hide things and dress things up, sometimes at the cost of clarity. There will be a level of insight that will throw itself at your feet when you talk about the relationship from a more distant perspective.

Find your story.
Talking helps to construct a story of the relationship that gives meaning to the experience – including the experience of the relationship, the breakup, and perhaps most importantly for healing, the recovery.

Let me explain …

If you tell the story of your breakup as one of rejection and a lost happy ever after, recovery will be slow, kind of like ‘walking through quicksand’ type of slow. It’s really easy to get stuck in this narrative when the thoughts are locked in your head and want to be with you at 2am. On the other hand, talking to people in your tribe will help you find a way to understand your story from a position of strength. This might involve finding the lessons, the learning and reframing the experience as, say, an ending, rather than a rejection.

An emotional release – journalling.
Having an emotional release is an important part of healing. Journalling is one way to do this as it allows you to capture and give definition to the thoughts and feelings that are swirling around inside. Journalling doesn’t have to be done every day to have an effect. Even a few times a week will help the healing.

Write – as though you’re talking to a stranger.
Writing repeatedly about the process of the breakup as though speaking with a stranger about it, is another way to move towards healing. As well as being an emotional release, it also encourages a fresh perspective and new insights.

Reclaim yourself – what’s been neglected?
Reclaiming a strong self-concept – establishing who you are outside of the relationship – is critical and will be enormously supportive of a recovery. Think about the parts of yourself that might have been pushed aside during the relationship. When you’ve found these, find ways to build them and nurture them.

And expand them.
Find new ways to expand your self concept. When you feel ready, (or maybe a little before then) take up new interests, establish new goals or re-establish your direction. Given that your need to connect has been messed with, anything that will give you the opportunity to connect with others who will also see you as your own, unique person will really help the healing process.

A breakup is an ending, not a rejection. It might not feel like that initially, but it’s an important thing to remember. When your heart has been broken, it can take a while to find your way back to whole but you will get there. Healing from a broken heart is as much a physical process as it is an emotional one. It’s very similar to recovering from an addiction, which is why it feels so hard and so damn painful.

Above all else, remember that there were things about you that were beautiful, strong, vibrant and extraordinary before the relationship. Nothing has changed.

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