Category Archives: Love

Why Giving Flowers Shouldn’t Just Be for Holidays and Apologies: a guest post by Dating Connections

Why Giving Flowers Shouldn’t Just Be for Holidays and Apologies

 

According to tradition, pop culture and classic literature, women should expect to get flowers only when they’ve been wronged by their men. For example, if a guy unintentionally flirts with someone, or when he’s caught browsing through BBW dating sites.

On the other hand, it’s also expected that a woman gets flowers as a gift for certain events, like Mother’s Day, Women’s Day, birthdays, anniversary and so on.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

But what if we told you that this shouldn’t be the only occasion upon which a lady should receive flowers? Namely, getting a single flower or a whole bouquet doesn’t have to be conditioned by someone’s wrongdoing or exclusive to certain dates. Here are a couple of reasons why we shouldn’t be limited to presenting flowers to women only when we want to apologize or congratulate them on something, so make sure you keep reading.

Respecting Traditions

Before someone misunderstands our point here, let’s first explain something in regards to giving the gift of flowers to apologize for a mistake or to celebrate an anniversary. We’re not saying that this shouldn’t be done – on the contrary, a single flower or a whole bouquet is one of the best gifts a woman can receive for such things.

Created by V.ivash – Freepik.com

For example, you just can’t go wrong if you give flowers to your girl for Valentine’s day, possibly in a combination with another cute or romantic thing. Furthermore, it’s tradition to present a woman with flowers for Mother’s and Women’s Days, as well, while there’s nothing wrong with bestowing a small bouquet for a marriage anniversary, either.

The Unexpected Flower

Now, let’s talk about why men shouldn’t only think of giving flowers to their ladies when they’ve made an error or when they want to celebrate a certain date.

Thierry Hardoin, Flickr

Some people will say that this should be done approximately two to four times a year, while others won’t be reluctant to bring flowers to their woman constantly. There’s really no rule to this. However, there’s no arguing that your girl will appreciate you giving her flowers “just because.”

Flowers, by definition, are a symbol of beauty, affection, love, caring, and attention. Perhaps not everyone has realized this, but no woman can help but melt when presented with anything from a single beautiful flower to a bouquet of roses.

Being spontaneous about giving flowers to a woman won’t only show that you’re all about giving her your attention, but also that you’re a gentleman before all things. You want to be the perfect guy for your lady, right? Then, make sure that you don’t need a special occasion in order to be compelled to give her flowers.

Created by Freepik

Types and Meanings

Since we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about what kind of flowers you should buy. Many men have a problem determining which type of flowers are suitable for which occasion, so here are a few examples as to which flower suits which situation.

Created by Freepik

For instance, both single roses and bouquets are among the most favorite choices around the world, and there’s no really wonder about it, especially given that a red rose usually stands for love and affection. Still, you should be aware that flower symbolism actually exists and that the color should play an important role when picking flowers, too. That’s right, different colors convey entirely different messages. For example, we suggest you forget all about getting a yellow rose as an anniversary gift, even if your girlfriend or a wife prefers the color because it signifies merely friendship and joy, and is therefore more suitable for your female best friend or a female coworker hosting a casual summer party.

Created by Freepik

On the other hand, if you want something that has a divine smell, looks really cute and can survive for quite a while in a vase, go for lilies. They vary in color and size as well, which means you’ll have a lot of options for your bouquet. Moreover, lilies are also capable of sending different messages to your lady, all depending on their color and subspecies.

Hannah Olinger, Unsplash

Finally, these exotic beauties will not only allow you to pay tribute to your lady’s beauty and coquetry (calla lily and day lily) but also to celebrate her pride and independent personality (tiger lily).

Alexandra Gorn, Unsplash

These are just a few examples but should be enough to give you a proper hint about the possibilities and wealth of the flower language. The language that should be spoken in every home throughout the entire year…

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone with the gift of flowers in mind, or if you want to consider the ‘just because’ theory. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Gifts, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas

How Will Facebook’s Dating Service Work: a guest post by Dating Connections

How Will Facebook’s Dating Service Work?

 

Facebook, the biggest and most popular social network in the world, is launching a brand new dating service. This new feature will definitely attract new users while making current members seeking dates happy. Mark Zuckerberg announced this new feature at the F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, and the idea was greeted with enthusiasm.

Beiins Nebs, Flickr

The Facebook owner is eager to compete with dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge but in a different way. Zuckerberg says that the Facebook dating app will aim to help its users explore scenes, such as senior dating niche for instance, and find real, long-term relationships. If you’re interested in this new feature, make sure to stick around and see how it will work.

Joining In Will Be Rather Easy

When Facebook first came out with this idea, a lot of users were worried that this new feature will complicate their overall Facebook experience. However, accessing your dating profile will be rather easy. All you’ll have to do is go to your profile page and click the heart-shaped icon in the top right corner of your screen.

Created by Freepik

This will automatically take you to your ‘dating home’, where you’ll be able to browse certain groups and look for other single users.

Dating Profile Will Be Separated From Your Original Account

Setting up a dating account won’t have anything to do with your existing Facebook profile. It will be completely hidden from your Facebook friends, so if you don’t want people to know that you’re using this feature, you will have nothing to worry about. Anything you do on your dating profile including photos, chats, and status updates, won’t appear on the news feed of your original account.

Farica Yang, Unsplash

Also, you’ll be able to choose which information you want to share with your potential dates.

How Will People Find Potential Matches?

First of all, your matches won’t necessarily be your Facebook friends. This new dating service will present its users with a number of events and groups that might interest them based on their likes and the information they entered in their profile. The matching algorithm will take your interests, passions, location, common interests, mutual friends, and similar dating preferences into account. You will be able to ‘unlock’ certain groups and events in your area which will make you visible to other event attendees and group members.

Jacob Postuma, Unsplash

Communication And Safety

Once you find someone you like, you will have the option to click/tap on the ‘interested’ icon which will be located in the bottom right corner of your screen. Also, the chat will be much different than the one on your Facebook profile.

A Woman Sitting on the Floor and Using Laptop

Users will only be able to send text messages and they will be limited to only one initial message. This will prevent scammers, perverts, and frauds from harassing other users with inappropriate content…such as nude photos, for example.

Created by Freepik

According to Mark Zuckerberg and developers, the safety of the users will be their number one priority.

When Will It Be Launched?

There is no specific date just yet, but Mark Zuckerberg is confident that the new feature will be launched by the end of this year. This gives you enough time to prepare and work on your online dating moves.

Created by Freepik

Great! What nice info for anyone willing to get into the new Facebook real dating experience…

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such a wonderful sneak peek! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

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Filed under apps, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Research, Romance, romantic ideas

“Aching Heart” – a poem

Aching Heart

Taillights easing farther away,

my eyelids shutter.

Patrick Tomasso, Unsplash

Even before you’ve left, I ache for you.

Missing you is pain.

In bed I yearn for your arms to hold me tight once more,

yet the room is dark and cold.

Ahmed Ashhaadh, Unsplash

All I have are memories,

the remnant of your kiss on my lips,

your scent surrounding me.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

Even though I know you’re driving home,

I worry for you, hoping you’ll get there safe,

just as I always have.

Joe Gardner, Unsplash

These miles separate us too often…

Digital messages pale to the real thing…just having you beside me is a blessing.

Still, I ache.

I keep myself busy each day, but there there’s that moment,

when a joke comes along, or a sight I want to share…

William Iven, Unsplash

but you’re not here.

It’s frightening to need someone this way.

Yet I know it’s love,

the true kind.

Created by Freepik

Yearning for the day we can finally be together without the world getting in the way…

it’s a long wait to say ‘I do’.

Brian Hartley, Unsplash

But I’ll keep going.

You are my strength,

my hope,

my heart,

Created by Freepik

the only one I want to touch me in a million ways.

You mean so much to me.

Created by Vectorpouch – Freepik.com

Before I say goodnight – knowing that maybe…just maybe I’ll see you in my dreams –

I will state one last thing you’ll never have to doubt.

I am…

always,

always yours.

Brooke Winters, Unsplash

© Marie Lavender, 2018.

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Filed under Blogging, Hope, Love, love poem, Marie Lavender, Message, poem, poems, Poetry, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Avery Bell from FINDER KEEPER OF MY HEART by Vina Arno

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Vina Arno, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Vina! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

 

3 Reasons to Love A Beta Romantic Hero

 

Romance books and movies are full of swaggering alpha heroes who are larger than life. They are easy to fall for and hard to ignore. And, guess what else? They’re too common. If you’re like me, you probably want the quiet, smart, and sweet beta romantic hero for a change.

Created by Luis_molinero – Freepik.com

Welcome to the club!

When I wrote my second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, I chose a beta hero named Avery Bell. He’s a loner, a sensitive soul. He’s also a brilliant, MIT-educated software engineer who’s working on a super drone. Unlike the typical alpha jock, he’s got the lean-but-strong build of a triathlete.

Hotlanta Voyeur, Visual Hunt

Let’s take a look at the top three qualities and reasons why the beta male is irresistible—in Finder Keeper of My Heart and in real life.

Top Three Traits

#1. He’s quiet and mysterious. The beta hero is swathed with layers upon layers of mystery. He’s the opposite of the temperamental alpha male. Avery Bell likes to go camping by himself in Hawaii and read Thoreau. As fate would have it, Emma Munroe gets lost in the jungle and he saves her. Emma gets to know him in the course of her Hawaiian vacation.

Created by Freepik

Here’s a passage describing his quiet demeanor:

As the conversation downstairs grew louder, the more attentive he became, like they were the only two people in the world. She loved his ability to focus, on top of his other fine qualities.

#2. Nice guys don’t finish last. Women who are crazy for bad boys haven’t met an honest-to-goodness nice guy who’s also a winner. In Finder Keeper, the beta hero is a young, high-tech whiz who’s working on a super drone designed to provide help during disasters. He’s also a triathlete training for his first Half Ironman race. If you read this novel, you’ll see that whoever said nice guys always finish last is simply wrong.

Created by Kues1 – Freepik.com

#3. He’s more realistic and closer to what most women want in real life. It’s okay to fantasize about the sexy, badass guy who breaks our hearts. But, in real life, most of us just want a guy who will give us a kiss before leaving the house, open the door for us, and cuddle with us on the couch during Movie Night.

Created by Freepik

The beta hero does all of these things and then some. Here’s how Emma describes him: “Avery was male in the best sense, without touting it or taking advantage of it—solid, reliable, efficient, intelligent, and too damn hot.”

If you’ve been reading about alpha heroes all along, get to know a beta hero, and share your thoughts with us!

Fascinating, Vina! And I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a total gentleman. In fact, most of the male characters I write about are really good guys. 😉
Anyway, this contemporary romance sounds awesome!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀
Here is the blurb for Finder Keeper of My Heart.

Emma Munroe, a Juilliard senior, snags a plum role on Broadway a few weeks before her twenty-first birthday. She travels to Hawaii with her best friends to celebrate. When she gets lost in a jungle during an impromptu hike, she happens upon a waterfall—and a naked hunk bathing underneath it.

When she finds out his name is Avery Bell, she’s dumbstruck. She believes she’s meant to love someone named Avery. It all goes back to a message in a bottle she found when she was nine, a letter written by a soldier called Avery to his sweetheart named Emma. He’d written it in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack during World War II. Since then, Emma has been searching (and saving her virginity) for her own Avery.

But Avery Bell is as mysterious as he is irresistible. Emma learns about his family secrets and bitterness. In the course of this vacation, an accident and a tragic death will shake both of them to the core. Her singular faith in him—her unwavering belief in love and destiny—proves to be his saving grace.

And Vina is giving us a peek at her novel!

Emma jogged for the next few minutes. Another brook, then a dry creek, before she faced a second switchback. Shit, she was lost! She slogged along, her legs now aching. Then a faint sound of water. Late July in Hawaii was hot and humid, but the temperature had turned cooler the closer she got to the source of the rumbling water.

It turned out to be a waterfall, partly blocked by overgrown grasses. She descended to the swimming hole and parted the tall weeds with both hands to get a full view.

Omigod! A naked man stood underneath the waterfall, his back to her.

Well, hellooo, hottie. She stood across from him, frozen and mesmerized by his beautiful body—tall build, broad shoulders, toned arms and legs. He braced himself against the water crashing on his face by gripping a boulder with each hand.

All of a sudden, he turned around, his eyes shut. Before she could hide, he stepped out of the cascading water. When he opened his eyes, his gaze shot straight to her. He cupped both hands over his groin.

“I’m sorry!” She swung around. “I’m lost. I need your help.”

He didn’t respond, and she didn’t dare look. Two, maybe three minutes passed.

“Hello? Are you still there?” she shouted without glancing.

“You can look now.” He stood several feet away, dressed in khaki cargo pants and a burgundy T-shirt marked MIT. He carried his hiking boots, socks, and a backpack.

“I’ve been lost forever.” She puffed out her cheeks and blew a gust of air. “You have no idea how happy I am to see you. I didn’t mean to intrude.”

He was probably a few years older than her. He didn’t appear embarrassed after getting caught buck naked, only annoyed.

“And your name is?” he snapped.

Okay, definitely pissed. “Emma Munroe—like Marilyn Monroe, but with a u.” She wanted to shake his hand, but didn’t get a chance since he perched on a big rock and proceeded to put on his socks and boots. When he rose, his dark eyes bored right through her.

He extended his hand. “I’m Avery Bell.”

“Avery?” She shook his hand, dumbstruck. Omigod! She had waited half of her life to meet someone named Avery—ever since she’d picked up a message in a bottle bearing that name.

He gave her a quizzical look.

She cleared her throat, composing herself. “Avery. I love that name.” My soul mate’s name is Avery. Could he be the one she’d been looking for?

He arched an eyebrow, like, really? He hauled his backpack over both shoulders. “How can I help you?”

“I need to get out of here.”

“How did you get here in the first place?”

“How did I get here?” she echoed like an idiot. Her self-confidence withered fast. She described the picnic on the beach and the hike up to the trail’s entrance. “I should have stayed put to wait for my friends, but my curiosity got the better of me. I chased the roosters and turkeys, plus I might have zoned out a little bit. I thought I was retracing my steps. I honestly don’t know how I got here.”

He nodded. “You’ve walked about four miles on the trail. Actually, you were probably not on the Muliwai Trail. You probably followed a fake trail. We’re a couple of miles away from Waimanu Valley.”

“You mean Waipio Valley?”

“I mean Waimanu Valley.”

She’d never heard of the place before. He walked up the weedy slope toward the trail.

She followed him. “Can you help me get out of here?”

He stopped, so she paused, too.

He turned his face to her. “I can take you to Waimanu Valley. I’m camping there.”

“Really?” Hope surged in her chest. He’s got to be the one.

Purchase Links:
Universal Reader link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

 

Yowza! I definitely want to know what happens next! ♥♥♥

How fun to learn about your new adult romance, Vina! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Pick up your copy of Finder Keeper of My Heart today! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers!

Thank you for stopping by with your informative guest post, Vina! Lovely to have you here! ♥
 
Guest Bio

Vina Arno is the pen name of Cindy Fazzi, a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. Finder Keeper of My Heart, published by Painted Hearts Publishing, is her second romance book. Her romance debut, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015.  Her first literary novel, My MacArthur, will be published by the Sand Hill Review Press in 2018.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.cindyfazzi.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Fazzi-779654065440439/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyFazzi

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Vina-Arno/e/B00R1RYE8E/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno

Google+:  https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Fazzi-779654065440439/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cindyfazzi/

Publisher:  http://www.paintedheartspublishing.com/vinaarno

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/31649

 

Thanks again, Vina, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Writers, Writing

How to Design A Camping Trip for the Summer That Will Please Your Romantic Partner: a guest post by Dating Connections

How to Design A Camping Trip for the Summer That Will Please Your Romantic Partner?

 

There are various ways to show your partner how much you care, and putting together a little camping trip for the summer to sweep her off her feet may be just the thing. You’ll have your work cut out for you if she likes the outdoors, but today we offer little tips and tricks if your partner is a city girl who can’t do without the electricity and a full bath. You may be infatuated by cougar dating, or she may be just fresh out of college.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

Whatever the case is, camping will give you a chance to show you’re capable of taking care of her, and below we offer advice on how you can excel when presented with the opportunity deep in the woods.

#1: Put Your Thinking Cap On

People who’ve never gone camping have no idea how much work it entails actually.

pxlpusher, Flickr

Setting up the tent, tying the tarp to protect it from the rain, organizing all the ‘kitchen’ stuff so that the food is accessible, making meals using nothing but a few raw ingredients and the fire that you have to keep going, and finding the time actually to enjoy the trip isn’t easy at all.

Kyle Glenn, Unsplash

What you’ll need to do to impress your partner is let your boy scout skills shine. Bring an extra umbrella because chances are it will rain at some point, don’t forget an extra flashlight when the batteries in hers die, bring an extra tent in case yours gets wet, and don’t forget a few additional layers of clothing even though it’s summertime.

#2: Feed Her And She’ll Love You Forever

If your camping trip lasts for more than a few days, just bringing food from home is not going to cut it. You’ll have to prepare meals, and ‘survive’ on what you have, which might not be your partner’s forte.

Lukas Budimaier, Unsplash

If you’re a good cook, there has never been a better time to show it. Use the campfire to cook meals, stop by the local market to get fresh fruit, bring plenty of fresh water, and don’t forget to throw away the scraps after you’re done.

Bring a small fridge or two to store the food, and make sure not only that she never goes hungry, but also that she eats tasty, fresh meals to have enough energy for all the activities that go with taking a camping trip.

Created by Freepik

#3: Compromise with a Pop-up Camper or RV

Even if in theory they love the outdoors, most women out there tend to get pretty girly and may we say difficult when it comes to actual camping. If you think your girl would spend the entire trip trying to stop the insects from climbing up her hammock, using a pop-up camper or RV could be a great way to compromise and slowly introduce her to nature.

dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

KounG, Pixabay

Not even all experienced camping fanatics have RVs or campers parked in their backyards, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t rent one for your trip as the first step in helping your girl embrace the simple life out in the woods.

#4: Outdoor Activities Make The Trip

Created by Prostooleh – Freepik.com

Camping is all about swimming in the lake, going hiking, riding your bikes all day long, playing badminton, and taking a nap in the shade. Bring a few good books for her to read after lunch, and plan out your activities so that your days are filled, but she’s not beat by 6 pm.

Get up in the morning and go for a quick jog, have breakfast and give your body some time to digest it.

Created by Nensuria – Freepik.com

Go for a swim or a bike ride, and come back to your site when it’s time to prepare another hearty meal.

Take a nap after lunch and go hiking afterward, and sit by the fire and tell scary or romantic stories at night. If there are friends who’ll be joining you on your trip it may not be the most romantic of getaways, but it will be filled with laughter, shared memories, and lots of stories retold in the years to come, plus you’ll both get to enjoy all the camping stuff that much more.

Drew Farwell, Unsplash

Nice! These are some great tips for anyone who wants to introduce their partner to the idea of camping. You definitely need to take a lot into account with this type of venture, but in the end it’s worth the experience…

Take it from me. I used to go on camping trips all the time with my family as a kid.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such wonderful advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week, and Happy Fourth of July tomorrow!

Created by Freepik

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent: a guest post by Dating Connections

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent

 

Dating nowadays is undoubtedly not a walk in the park, yet dating a single parent introduces a whole new level of hard. Now, we don’t want to imply that it isn’t a worthy and rewarding experience, because it is; it’s just that it requires far more attention, dedication, and empathy.

Namely, there are a quite a few things you should be aware of should you start dating a single parent. As you already assume, it’s entirely different compared to other sorts of dating, such as senior dating for example.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

 

So, what are in our opinion the top five things you should be concerned about when dating a single mom or dad, you ask? Just read the following paragraphs, and you’ll get the idea.

#1 Being A Single Parent is Overwhelming, So Good Date-Planning skills Are A Must.

Single parents usually, but not necessarily, assume the role of both parents. What you should do now is take a moment to picture how often an average individual takes for granted the help they get from the spouse. Or how easily he/she complains about not getting enough sleep or help around the house, often forgetting about the challenges imposed on single parents.

So, in the context of dating and translated to real life, this is how an average single parent usually thinks:

  • It’s the end of the day, and they are finally available for you, so they want to have a fulfilling and meaningful date that will recharge their batteries.

    Created by Freepik

  • They’re looking forward to it and might have a bit higher expectations because they know it can help them get energized appropriately for the following day, with all its challenges and small setbacks that might arise along the way.

We believe that this example perfectly illustrates the possible pattern of a single parent’s way of thinking while teaching us to be creative and caring when organizing dates at the same time.

#2 They Have to Plan Ahead.

Yes, they have to hire a babysitter and make plans far more in advance in order to enjoy their alone/date time. Childless people usually can’t grasp how it’s like because they haven’t walked in a single parent’s shoes.

Free Photos, Pixabay

On the other hand, you should be aware you’re not entitled to plan your partner’s schedule on their behalf whatsoever since it can cause issues, misunderstandings, and other additional problems.

No, no one is blaming you for wanting to head out for a romantic getaway with your partner, but you should understand that this isn’t always possible because their kid might have flu, or the babysitter might have canceled on short notice, just to mention a few possible reasons.

In this light, you’ll often need to be ready to come up with some viable alternatives that will be equally pleasant and will sometimes include your partner’s kid/s.

#3 Say Bye-bye to Spontaneity.

Hitting clubs until wee hours and struggling with massive hangovers is apparently not an option for your partner anymore, regardless of their age.

Created by Freepik

They have to be fully functional the next day since children – especially if younger – require constant commitment and attention.

So, if you can make it work for both sides where you get to enjoy the nightlife without hurting your relationship – great! If not, perhaps it would be a good time to reconsider both your personal desires and mutual goals to determine whether you’re on the same page.

#4 Your Relationship will be Different…

…And there’s no point denying it. Caring profoundly about your partner doesn’t mean buying expensive gifts and taking them out to fancy dinners; it understands accepting them both as a parent and person you’re dating.

It can be confusing at times, we know, and no one expects you to be a parent to their children because they obviously proved they could live their life independently before you entered the scene.

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Creating a genuine and unique bond with their kid, on the other hand, will reassure them that you’re a right partner for them.

Finally, kids can always tell if you’re a fake and won’t be afraid to express their opinion about it.

#5 They Will Sometimes Fail to Grasp Your Position.

Yes, they won’t do it on purpose, but you should always keep in mind that the person you’re dating will probably struggle to invest equally in their parental efforts, career, and house and that day only lasts 24 hours.

Sure, they might be getting occasional help from family or even an ex-spouse (if they separated on good terms, of course) but sometimes, it might just not be enough.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

Consequently, this can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety that might have a negative impact on your relationship. If this be the case, keep in mind that healthy and straightforward communication can be vital to solving this problem and is otherwise a basis of every stable relationship.

Are you dating a single parent at the moment? Have you done it in the past? We’d love to know all about it so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Created by Freepik

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone who has their eye on a single parent. You definitely need to take more into account with this type of relationship, because it’s not just the two of you in this…

Take it from me. I tried dating a single parent once.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, family, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by C.L. Donley

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author C.L. Donley, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

It took me my entire 35 years to realize that I was a romantic person.

It was the last thing anyone would ever accuse me of being. None of the telltale signs were there. I didn’t particularly enjoy romantic movies, never had any bouts of boy craziness or childhood crushes. Certain love songs made me cringe. I was never particularly girly, didn’t go to dances or prom, hadn’t really been on a proper date really. Certainly I wanted to be in love, like any woman. And when I met my husband it was likely all of these misnomers that caused me to accept much less than I deserved. Anniversaries went uncelebrated; Valentine’s was just another corporate holiday. Even birthdays could sometimes be considered vain, if too much money was spent.

Several years and three kids later, after enduring all this, not to mention infidelity and a host of other problems, I found myself wanting to escape. It’s cliché, I know, but which part? The situation itself or my reaction to it?

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

I knew I couldn’t very well get in the car and leave my family behind. If only there were a way to go somewhere without physically leaving. Instinctively, I reached for romance.

At first it was a concession, a guilty pleasure. Like everyone else, I knew all the stigmas attached to the genre. As an English major and writer, I had to get over my own pretenses and open my first romance novel. I chose a Harlequin, being familiar with the name. And it didn’t take long for me begin a steady diet of romance literature.

Within a week I was coming across some really compelling stories and I realized that like anything else, romance could be done well. One day I remember reading something and just feeling completely alive and happy. I realized that I actually was a romantic person. That romance wasn’t necessarily a certain order of outward gestures or traditions. It was the business of loving and being loved and the fruit of that, because all love bears fruit. I learned that it wasn’t romance I lacked, but sentimentality. It’s this lack of sentimentality that makes my voice unique among romance writers.

It didn’t dawn on me at first that I should write romance. I was a writer in denial, on the run. I never wrote for fun; the idea of writing as a job sounded like the worst torture. I pretty much only wrote for school, which was years ago, and after three small kids all under five, the idea of writing for me was pretty much laughable. Part of me was unsettled, because it was the most prominent talent I had. People that barely knew me would ask me if I was still writing, and I would have to break the news to them. In the back of my mind I felt all kinds of guilt that I wasn’t utilizing my gift.

In the thick of a separation from my husband, I was starting to think about the future, and what, inevitably I would have to do for money. I dusted off my résumé, started looking into childcare prices for my kids. In the midst of that I got a germ of an idea. Not unusual. I got story ideas all the time, all of which I ignored. But this one was a romance, and it gnawed at me all day. The thought of taking pencil to paper was nauseating, so I saved an audio note on my phone. And that was the moment the floodgates opened.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

The ideas wouldn’t stop. I wrote for twelve hours that day. I had 12,000 words by the end of the weekend. In three weeks I had the whole novel, the initial draft of what eventually became Amara’s Calling.

Romance saved my life. Not only did it connect me to my heart, but to my identity as a writer. It kept me from taking out my frustrations on my family, propped up a marriage that would’ve otherwise crumbled before its time, and was the hope that kept me buoyant after it was over. It showed me that love was not a matter of being attractive or deserving, but a necessary part of being alive, not to mention a necessary part of being a woman. It made me realize that nothing was wrong with me or my sexuality, that my marital issues were less about my personal failures but more about the fact that I was being starved. Without that realization I might still be blaming myself today.

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I suspect that all women have an infinite capacity to be loved, as in no amount of romance is enough. It sounds like it’s a bad thing, but it isn’t. Do we ever get to the point as humans that we’ve had enough food and we no longer need anymore? No, because it’s not the way the system works. I suspect love is like food in that it can have a variance in quantity and quality, and these variables can positively or negatively affect the health of the individual.

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Love should be daily, fresh and new in the same way. To me, romance is life itself. And now that I’m waking up every morning, excited to see what more I can create, I’ve never felt more loved than I do now.

Great! Love should improve us in various ways…and like you, I agree that reading and writing romance opens your mind and heart to its possibilities. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, C.L.! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

C.L. Donley is a future New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of multicultural and interracial romance. Armed with an B.A. in English and M.A. in Writing, she is a natural born writer and can’t wait to be done with this bio so she can get back to it. Her writing style is sophisticated yet simple, apologetically escapist and character driven. She likes to write lovable, redeemable and believable characters and place them in equally lovable, romantic and relatable settings and scenarios– removed from reality just enough so that reader can properly escape, and even revisit!
She loves hearing from readers and discussing her favorite parts of her own books, so feel free to indulge her. Check out her website, Facebook page, Twitter page and feel free to email her at cldonleyauthor@gmail.com.

Author Links

Website:  cldonley.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/AmarasCalling

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/C_L_Donley

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/C.L.-Donley/e/B078Z6TSS8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17605062.C_L_Donley

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cldonley/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/bonniebmccune/

 

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, C.L., for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for a historical romance blog tour feature when author Sofie Darling visits us on April 24th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

Unique Yet Perfect Date Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank: a guest post by Dating Connections

Unique Yet Perfect Date Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

 

You might not have even realized that BBW dating was made for you until you met your perfect plus-size lady who turned out to be everything you’d ever wanted and more.

Renepfister, Pixabay

That being said, with as much baggage as any of us have on our shoulders, dating someone new, trying to impress them and give them the world despite the constraints of everyday life isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, it’s the thought that counts even if the execution is not as splendid as you’d like. At the same time, there are still things you can do to show not only that your heart is in the right place, but also to go a step further and be creative (say, frugal) in your ways of showing how much you care. Today, we explore several unique date ideas that guarantee a good time, and ensure you don’t break the bank in the process.

#1. Seeing a Local Band

If you and your girl like the same kind of music, catching a live show by a local band instead of a world renowned performer is a very unique option to dating on a budget. She might like heavy metal, and even if that is not your first choice, if you can enjoy that kind of music, getting her two tickets to a local heavy metal gig that takes place at a small venue with cheap beer guarantees she’ll appreciate your effort to be creative as you try to get her to fall even more in love with you.

Created by Photoangel – Freepik.com

If the band happens to kill it, your chances will certainly increase!

#2. Taking a Bus Tour

It’s great when you can get two tickets to Mexico on short notice, and take your lady on a 7-day vacation to a 5-star resort, but when you can’t do that keep in mind there are lots of other ways to get out of town, and spend some time exploring new places.

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For instance, remember buses? Those large vehicles that transport people from one place to the next? Well, buses are pretty affordable and you can get two tickets for a daily tour of a sight that is a few hours away from your hometown. You’ll be doing something special for you both – taking a break from the everyday worries weighing you down, and spending quality time together doing something you don’t get to do that often.

#3. Cooking at Home + Going Out for Dessert

The word ‘date’ usually implies going out, but it doesn’t have to be so.

Created by Freepik

You can stay in and have a wonderful time provided you allocate a certain amount of time to each other only, like you would at a restaurant. What you can do is pretty simple – you can prepare a lovely meal for the two of you that you’ll share over a bottle of wine, and once finished you can go out for a walk and get ice cream! You can go out for dessert, as in go to a patisserie and order a waffle or some pancakes, and merge your at-home dinner with getting sweets downtown or wherever you and your honey like to go.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

You’ll save money and ‘go out’ on a date at the same time.

#4. A Stroll Through the Park

Leah Kelley, Pexels.com

Among the weather permitting options, there is always a stroll through the park especially if you and your date are into art, or say, photography. You can take wonderful photos together of the changing seasons, and create stunning posts that you’ll share with your community, or you can start your own personal collection of how things are changing around you as the two of you remain stronger than ever.

To top it all off, you can make sandwiches and lemonade at home, and have a picnic after the walk tires you out.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

#5. Midnight Bike Ride

Turning a date into a workout session is not only unique, but it’s super healthy, and breaking a sweat together usually means your date ends in the shower. But that aside, going to the gym is not as exciting as staying physically active as you spend quality time together. Enter a midnight bike ride.

Everton Vila, Unsplash

At night, there is virtually no traffic so you can bike through the downtown core, provided it’s not the weekend or you don’t live in a big city because if you do, there is just no escaping traffic. But that aside, you can bike through your neighborhood or go wherever you like, and if this idea is outside of your comfort zone, even better because you’ll feel the rush of adrenaline that will bring you closer to your partner.

Nice! These are some helpful tips for couples who are trying to save money these days. Which, I bet, falls on many of us! As for the last point, definitely wear brighter colors for bike-riding, just in case. Safety is everything…

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Bonnie McCune

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Bonnie McCune, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

Love at first sight. Many of us, at least the very young and very naïve, believe it happens. But whether love occurs with the speed of lightning or following long and complex efforts at a relationship, most agree romantic love exists.

JD Mason, Unsplash

Being humans, our fascination with romance, our expressions of love take many forms, most of them relatively harmless. We might shower gifts of jewelry on our beloved, share preferences in food and wine, proclaim our feelings on social media. We search for examples of love in films, music, art, and enjoy emotions vicariously.

Recently on opposite sides of the globe, however, authorities are intervening on physical demonstrations of attraction. First up, Vietnam, where the Publishing and Printing Department is cracking down on “clichéd, useless, obscene and offensive” works that are “poisoning” the youth. (This same claim has been used off and on in the U.S. and other regions during various censorship battles.) Furthermore, “government needs to regulate an activity related to culture and people’s way of thinking so that it can benefit people”.

If only. If only all of humanity could agree on a method to truly benefit people. Unfortunately, down through the ages, this activity always seems to include punishing, even destroying those who don’t concur with authorities, like Nazis and various religious fundamentalists.

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I’m afraid that romance, like hunger, seems to be a basic instinct, and fails to obey rules, laws, even parental decrees. Think of Romeo and Juliet. Heck, think of American teens who not infrequently sneak out windows to meet their crushes. Or the teachers and chaperones who rode herd on necking couples at dances years ago.

Romance often benefits from tangible symbols. Over the years, letter sweaters, going-steady class rings, engagement rings, matching tattoos or nose rings are examples. In Paris, star-struck lovers once attached thousands of locks on bridges and railings as symbols of their relationships.

Pedro Kümmel, Unsplash

Some say Asian tourists started the craze, others that a book and film were responsible. In any case, sections of fencing on bridges were crumbling under the weight, posing a safety risk as well as “degradation of property heritage”, not to mention problems associated with graffiti, pickpockets and street vendors. The city now removes them for auction as mementoes.

Other cities face the problem differently. They don’t remove locks. Instead, in Rome, city officials created official spots—steel posts with chains on the bridge—to eliminate damage to the infrastructure. We haven’t had much luck in the USA catching perpetrators who use graffiti to proclaim their desires. Painting over the results helps but has little effect on carvings.

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I’m not optimistic any activity can control the interest in and demonstration of romance. Humans are nothing if not creative. We’ve been dodging censors for millennia, and finding creative ways to express emotion even longer. However, the attempts at restraint are ever-changing and as entertaining as the many paths of love.

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Seems to me the true symbols of love consist of the length of a relationship and the content of it. I’ve never understood how patronizing or abusive actions can be labeled ‘romance’. Romance should be a positive quality. It should enhance the lives of the people involved. External trappings mean little to me.

My final evaluation, whether of a real-life romance or one in books, is…Does this romance bring out the best in the romantic partners? In Never Retreat, my newest novel, there’s no doubt both Raye and Des wind up as better, more caring humans.

That’s what romance means to me.

Nice! Love should improve us in various ways…and I agree that romance cannot be tamed, despite society’s attempts to control it. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Bonnie! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio
Coloradan Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in nonprofits, doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization, and managed Denver’s beautification program. Simultaneously, she’s been a freelance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards. Never Retreat is her third novel and her fifth book of fiction. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes one person can make a difference in this world.

Author Links

Website:  www.BonnieMcCune.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/authorBonnieMcCune

Twitter:  twitter.com/bonniemccune

Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/2DE5dW1

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6436876.Bonnie_McCune

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/117106546075845481531

https://plus.google.com/u/0/111883621680717398231

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/BonnieMcCune

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/bonniemccune/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/bonniebmccune/

Publisher:  http://www.imajinbooks.com/bonnie-mccune/

 

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, Bonnie, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our new exclusive author interview feature when author Suzanne Jefferies visits us on April 3rd! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

8 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner: a guest post by Dating Connections

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner

 

Good communication is the foundation of any stable relationship. In long-term relationships that are fulfilling and functioning on a day-to-day basis, we often forget to take a step back and treat them like living organisms that they are, ones that could not survive without constant, highly efficient communication. Whether you’re into long-term dating, cowboy dating, casual flings on trips abroad or you’ve settled down with your significant other a long time ago, we bet you’ll find our communication tips useful and adequate in any romantic situation.

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#1 – Learn A New Skill Together

Take a cooking or a photography class together, learn some Spanish or take a dance lesson. Wherever your interests lie, taking a new class and learning new things together can deepen the bond between you and your partner, and as a result strengthen communication.

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You’ll spend more time together, and have new topics to discuss as you master a new skill set.

#2 – Share The Small Stuff

Did a bus driver say something funny to you today? Did you see your spouse’s favorite car painted pink with a set of eyelashes? Share the small, insignificant things, and don’t shy away from small talk. Keeping things serious between you two all the time can get pretty tiring, whereas the stuff that doesn’t matter much can brighten the mood and loosen the tension.

Created by Asier_relampagoestudio – Freepik.com

#3 – Listen More Carefully

Listening to your partner attentively is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. If you want to show your partner you’re all ears when they’re speaking, encourage them to share their thoughts with you, and comment on them, but not by changing the subject to you. Ask questions, add something, and whatever you do, don’t interrupt them or say they’re too scattered, you can’t follow, or they talk about too much unnecessary detail and they’ll get to their point around this time tomorrow.

Created by Kues – Freepik.com

#4 – Talk About Yourself

In addition to small talk, take initiative and talk about your desires, fears and hopes. Don’t take the floor for too long, and do allow your partner to join the conversation or take over if they feel like it, but don’t forget to keep your partner informed about what is going on with you. Often the best way to do this is to go on a low-key date, such as a long walk through town sans any device that could turn your attention away from your partner.

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

#5 – Whisper Into Their Ear

Although this tactic could lead to anything but talking, whispering into your partner’s ear heightens intimacy, and resolves any trust issues that are between you.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

It shows you’re not afraid of healthy communication and baring your soul to reveal the most private thoughts and feelings. Whispering suggests secrecy, sharing information that is confidential and reserved only for those who are special..

#6 – Ask Questions And Mean It

Ask your partner questions during the time you spend together, and don’t assume you know the answers. A simple “how are you?” followed by a pause can start a conversation even when you go to bed in the evening after a hectic day at work.

Becca Tapert, Unsplash.

Ask it like you mean it, and listen to what your partner has to say. Ask about the things you know he/she finds important, like their hobbies, interests, or things that preoccupy their mind most of the time. Your partner will feel special, and you’ll see your communication reach new heights.

Nice! These are some stellar tips for improving communication with a significant other.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance