First dates are always awkward, it’s just a given. Nothing makes us cringe like having a minor tiff with our date about how we should pay the bill. Should you split it? Do I look like a cheapskate if I let him pay? Does this place even accept cash?
It’s a dilemma many of us have faced but one restaurant is here to save the day.
A restaurant in Edinburgh has created a ‘split bill’ policy for first dates and it is the most genius idea.
So, how does it work?
According toThe Independent, all you need to do is tell Blackwood’s Bar and Grill that you’d like to opt for the ‘split bill’ option when you’re making your reservation. It’s as simple as that.
When you’re finished with your meal, the waiter will then bring two separate bills to your table.
Dating can be a right mare at times but this policy makes it that little bit easier.
And if you're still dreading that first date then fear not.
We can’t help but feel like a nervous wreck on a first date, but a study analyzed the first date habits of men and you’ll be surprised by the results.
Of those who were surveyed, two-thirds of men are actually thinking about commitment on a first date.
Yep, and what's more, 27 percent of guys have already made their minds up about kids before they even go on a date with you.
Between this and Blackwood’s Bar and Grill’s ‘split bill’ policy we aren’t feeling so bad about getting back in the dating game after all.
Battling for covers and space, getting a kick or elbow to the side or waking up to something poking you in the back isn’t what we dreamed of sharing a bed with bae.
Although it does have its special moments when you’re cuddled up and you can hear the rain pelting the window, or he hands you a coffee as you wake up – nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.
Which begs the question; how does your sleep impact your relationship with your other half?
We are know how irritable we get when we don’t get enough of it and according to science, the lack of Zzz’s aren’t good for your love life either.
Cue the mad arguments, hypersensitivity and short-tempers.
In fact, sleep neurologist, sleep expert and author Christopher Winter explained how your brain changes when you don’t get enough shut-eye.
"Your brain’s ability to do things gets whittled down to: find food, urinate, get through the day,” he says.
So basically, you revert back to being a caveman – your brain switching into survival mode, which means you can forget sexy time, cuddling and anything else that requires more effort than a trip to the loo.
This means when it comes to bae and messing up – you won’t be quick to forgive and you can say things you mightn’t mean in the heat of your fatigue.
And sleep patterns are one thing psychotherapist, Heather Holly looks for when couples come to her.
“One of the first things I assess for as part of couples counselling are lifestyle factors. This includes the amount of sleep each person experiences on a nightly basis.”
“In many cases, we find a lack of sleep to be a contributing factor to relationship problems. More often than not, couples are oblivious to this issue” she added.
We all know that our sleep (and now relationships) often contend with our phone addictions and demanding lifestyles, which means we don’t usually get our eight hours of sleep.
But there are signs you need to watch out for, which indicate you’re suffering from sleep deprivation.
If you’re arguing more with your loved one, feeling resentful, or your enthusiasm and rapport are declining – it’s time to evaluate your sleep routine.
You could be damaging your relationship beyond repair – with the fun, wonderful aspects of your duo turning into what feels like a chore.
If you aren’t getting roughly eight hours of sleep – your body and mind won’t be functioning the way they're supposed to and you could find yourself single.
Your room is really important for a good night’s sleep, so make sure your mattress, the lighting and temperature are right – and throw your phone out of the room altogether – if you need an alarm, buy a clock.
If you can’t pinpoint the cause of your lack of shut-eye, talk to your doctor as there can be medical conditions which will disturb your sleep.
No one wants to be a grumpy b*tch or a caveman, so make sure you get a good night sleep, your body and bae will thank you for it.
Her lyrics are brave and daring, exposing the toxic side of love that no one wants to talk about. And her new album is seriously amazing! Combining her previous singles with new releases, it will take you on an emotional journey of pain, love, mistrust and finally, letting go.
It is so refreshing to hear about real relationships in the singer’s songs, and this is really important to Emily. She writes everything from personal experience so people can connect with her on an intimate level.
“It starts off as my own thoughts,” she explained. “I have to allow myself to get uncomfortable.
“The more honest I am in my writing, the more possible it is for people to connect with it. Because if you say something vulnerable, it’s something that other people have felt too.
“I try to have each song pinpoint a moment or a specific feeling and explore that.”
Dubbing her album “a diary”, the singer explained a huge part of song-writing is about becoming vulnerable. “It shows me at my most exposed and shows things that I’m more resistant to talk about in real life.”
And a lot of her songs are about how helpful and scary becoming this vulnerable can be, especially in relationships.
“I don’t know if everyone needs to share it as much as a songwriter does,” she said. “But in order to fall in love at all, you have to open yourself to the possibility of getting hurt. It’s scary but it’s a part of it. If you always have a wall up, you’ll never fully feel what it’s like to open yourself up to another person.”
Her music is all about taking these risks and reminiscing in the moment because that’s what love is all about. However, she also vocalises the fears that hold us back from fully opening ourselves up to another person.
One thing Emily, like most of us, does is get caught up in her own headspace, overthinking things way too much.
“I’m definitely an overthinker. Part of the reason I wrote [Paranoid] is because it’s so possible to get a small thought in your head and indulge in it, letting it spiral out of control. It turns into a whole story you’ve made up. Working through that and getting through being paranoid, jealous, suspicious, and not-trusting is crucial in order to get anywhere.
“I’ve a lot of friends who are in relationships where they don’t fully trust the other person and it’s endlessly painful. I was experiencing some of that too and working through that was a big level up.”
This could be caused by the massive influence social media has on modern-day relationships. Technology has transformed relationships from what they were in previous decades.
“My grandparents met when they were like 16 or 17 and that was it,” Emily explained. “There was never a question about anything. I think now there’s so many options that even if something’s good, people wonder ‘what else is there because I can easily meet someone on an app right now’.
“And culturally, music from when my grandparents were kids is so different from music now. It was all pretty much sweet love songs and now there’s hardly any just straight-up love songs. I definitely think that culture and social media are impacting that, and it’s really hard to navigate.”
In the movies, the girl meets the guy and they end up happily ever after. There’s no guidebook to navigating relationships in the technological age. What do we do if he’s liking another girl’s Insta pictures or snapchatting an ex? And is it wrong to innocently flirt with other guys online?
If we ever feel lonely, our phones are always in reach to give us the attention we seek, whether it’s Tinder or a new Insta compliment. And sometimes this compensation can keep us in a toxic relationship in the real world. We get what we need online, so we don’t notice as much when our partner isn’t giving it to us.
Staying in an unhealthy relationship “stems from insecurity and just not thinking that we deserve anything better”, Emily said. She’s seen this in a lot of her friends’ and her own relationships.
“They put up with the bullshit because this person loves them. And that’s something I think about a lot in songwriting, like New Rules. Music has the power to influence things like that. If you can convince people that they deserve better that, as scary as it is to be single for a second, it’s better than constantly dealing with someone who’s taking advantage of you.
“Ugh! That’s such a common thing and it’s sad because it’s really frustrating to try and convince somebody of that when you see it so clearly and they don’t.”
We’ve all been where Emily has – seeing a friend with someone that’s making them unhappy, but they refuse to admit it to themselves. They are too close to the issue to see it. So, where do they get this concept from?
At some point, when girls are growing up they learn that men can get away with ill behaviour if they are in love. They start making excuses for the guy that their dating. “It was just one time” or “He didn’t mean it, he was just drunk (or angry)”.
“Film, tv, and music” are part of the reason, Emily answered. “What I’ve been noticing just from being in writing rooms this past year after #metoo and everything went down is that the tone is actually changing for the first time.
“People won’t suggest certain lyrics that they would have suggested a year ago. We underestimate how powerful lyrics are that are on the radio or how movies are. If you watch a movie now from the 90s, it’s pretty shocking what the girls are putting up with. They would never make a movie like that now.
“So, I do think media is a reflection of culture, one informs the other back and forth. It’s everywhere and it’s finally changing. It may take some time, but I do think it will have an impact.”
Women have began standing up themselves against the big guys like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. And it’s exciting to be a part of this generation, as the tide begins to shift towards equality.
However, when it comes to modern relationships there is still this circling fear of ‘putting a label on it’.
“Having a bunch of friends who are now in open relationships or people getting married really young, it’s kind of all over the place right now,” Emily agreed. “What I’ve learned in making this album and in my own personal life over the last year is that there is no right answer or right way to do it.
“Trust your gut. Maybe you will fuck it up. That’s the point of Hurt by You, maybe it will all go to shit but you still do it, you still have to experience it. As painful as heartbreak can be, it’s unavoidable and it’s part of life – to know that and let yourself be vulnerable is probably one of the best ways to experience being a human being."
Emily’s album "Quiet Your Mind" explores all the feels we get in relationships – before, after, and during. It doesn’t hold back but strips us down to our most vulnerable selves.
It comes out today so make sure to check it out on Spotify.
You've either dumped someone or been dumped – either way, you're probably knee deep in chocolate cake.
When you're finished wearing the same Dorito stained pjs for three days and all your friends are sick of hearing about him; it's time to turn your attention to who takes what.
Particularly if you were living together, this will be a MAJOR emotional stress; from ownership of the dog to the Netflix account, they need to be claimed.
The fantastic people atPorch surveyed over 1,000 people who are either living with their partners currently, or who have lived with them at one point, about how they would approach dividing their possessions.
For the gals, the top item they wanted to keep the most was all about the bling: one in three said once the engagement ring was on the finger, it was theirs forever.
Whereas, the lads wanted the sole owner of the computer and TV above everything else…that included the dog and the apartment. (Enjoy your electronics without a place to put them…)
To split or to share can be a royal pain in the face, even if you're not bitter about the break-up.
Unsurprisingly, over 66 percent of the people surveyed said they'd divide their shared bank account.
Where as, when it came to sharing – favourite restaurants was top dog. However, you may want to text ahead to see if you're ex is rocking up there with their new beau before awkwardly bumping into them at your fav spot.
When it comes to streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify: the majority of people were happy to share them after the split.
However, 32.6 percent of men and 30 percent of women want full ownership over the accounts – no binge watching for you.
When it came to keeping the gaff, almost half kept it a straightforward: The person who owned a particular item before the relationship (or purchased it during) got to keep it in the end.
Of course, that train of thought might not hold up for every item you’re trying to decide on.
More than one in three said they would discuss who gets what, and almost 17 percent used some other method (including a potential mediator).
To move out, or not to move out that is the burning question.
However, over two-thirds of people said they'd let their partner keep the digs in case of an apartment, whereas 34 percent planned to keep the house after separating.
Interestingly, in most cases, people believed the man should hit the road and leave the house to their female counterpart.
In fact, almost half of men said they would move out rather than ask their ex to do it.
Horrifyingly, seven percent of men and almost six percent of women said they would live together as roommates instead. (BIG.FAT.NOPE.)
With this move, he has officially elevated himself from ghosting to being a zombie.
For all you knew, he could have been dead, but here he is, risen and walking among us.
Attempting to resurrect a dead correspondence, especially after ghosting someone, is rarely going to go down well.
This is especially true if the zombie doesn't even acknowledge the passage of time that has occurred between the most recent message and the last one, and take some responsibility for it.
Whether it's a straight up text message or the more subtle mind f*** of an Instagram like or comment, being a victim of the zombie really isn't nice, and can leave you wondering, "what does it all mean?"
The best thing to remember in these cases is that ghosting is seriously unkind treatment, no one deserves to be ignored by someone they care about.
It's your choice whether or not you give the zombie another chance, but don't be surprised if they venture back into Casper territory and disappear again.
We all remember how it felt when we met our partners, the passion was euphoric. Hearts and pulses racing, the nerves when they would walk into a room, and the butterflies in our stomachs kept us on a constant high.
In the beginning, you were inseparable, you couldn’t get enough of each other. But endless bickering has replaced late nights, endless texts, lustful glances, dinners and movies.
So, when all that subsides, does it mean the relationship is dead, or is there something deeper going on?
Most individuals enter into a relationship with some form of baggage, personal needs, hopes, and desires meaning that couples won’t always be on the same page, and arguments will flare up.
So, if you find yourselves constantly arguing,counselling may help to restore some equilibrium.
Here is what to do when you want to revive your relationship:
1. Speak to a professional
A qualified counsellor is trained to teach you how to communicate effectively, which can only help, right? Many people feel safer sharing their feelings with their partner in the presence of a mediator, as it gives the opportunity to talk honestly and openly.
Often, we are so consumed by what is bothering us, we forget to listen, or hear the other person.
2. Talking and listening
Counselling will help, but try to listen, talk, and stay calm with your other half. Good communication is so important in a relationship, and will help to keep it strong, even when things get tough.
3. Have some fun together
Being cooped up in the house all the time is no fun at all. Yes, Netflix is brilliant, but you can’t spend your life in front of the TV. If you’re stuck in the house a lot, and are constantly at each other’s throats, chances are you’re both suffering from cabin fever.
The daily grind can be stressful, so why not get out of the house? Go on a date, and remember what it was like when you first fell in love.
Feel the stress melt away, rekindle the romance, and sparks will fly!
Yes, The Beatles might have had a global hit with All You Need Is Love, but they were a bit off the mark if they were referring to a long-term relationship with those lyrics.
Love is an amazing, exciting feeling, and over time it becomes a deeper and more committed emotion, but it’s most definitely not all that’s needed to sustain a healthy relationship. Yes, it’s incredible to find someone who feels the same for you as you do for them, but that’s not always enough.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship where the two of you had a perfect connection, but just couldn’t make things work – you spent more time arguing and making up than just being content, or you had totally different viewpoints on EVERYTHING – you’ll know what I mean.
Love is a powerful feeling, but at the end of it all, some types of love just aren’t built to last. For a relationship to be healthy and beneficial to both parties, love is definitely required – but with the addition of other, less exotic things like compromise, sacrifice and understanding. If the two of you can’t make things work out in the long term, being head over heels for one another just isn’t going to cut it.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, there’s always that nagging fear that by letting this love go, you’ll ruin your chance forever. What if this is your only go at it? Well, if we all lived our lives like that we’d never make any steps in the right direction. Sometimes it’s better to take a chance and know that whatever the outcome, you’ve made the right choice.
Growing up with films like The Notebook or even Beauty and the Beast, we’d be forgiven for thinking that love could end any problem, no matter how big or small. No money? Sher, you have love! A prince who’s been turned into an ugly monster? Not to worry, love will solve that too. Sadly though, outside of films and books, life isn’t quite so simple.
If the person you love is the one you want to build a life with, it’s important for both of you to know that you can trust one another, that you can rely on one another, and that you have one another’s best interests at heart. Love should be the motivator behind all of those things but no relationship can be whole unless every element is there.
Perhaps what we need is a new definition of love. Yes, at the beginning it might be that topsy-turvy, butterflies in the stomach feeling, but as time goes on and your relationship grows, love could be better described as “a commitment to the wellbeing of the other person.”
Have a think about the relationship you’re in – or the one you imagine being in. Is it passionate and carefree? Or is it secure and strong? Or maybe it’s all of those things? Whatever type of love the two of you share, it’s important to focus on the bigger picture too.
It’s easy to hate someone when they’ve wronged your friend, treated her badly or are just an out-and-out jackass. But it’s a lot harder to deal with negative feelings towards someone when you know deep down they probably don’t deserve it, but God, sometimes you just can’t help it!
Here’s the thing though ladies, whether you like it or not, if your friend's boyfriend has done nothing but treat her well, then it’s your duty to make an effort with him. Yes he may not be your perfect partner, but you’re not dating him, you just have to see the good in him!
Here are five quick tips for navigating this awkward situation.
Be honest with yourself
Do you truly dislike the new beau or are you unsettled by the change in dynamic? With every new relationship comes a slight shift in friend groups. Girlie Saturday nights, which were spent vegging in front of The X Factor, are now missing a key player who’s having a romantic dinner with her new man That can sting a little.
Is the boyfriend really the cause of your beef, or are you just missing your friend a little?
Make an effort
You love your friend and she loves him, so there’s bound to be SOME way that you and him can click. Remind yourself of the various things your friend finds so appealing about him and use them to get to know him better. He’ll appreciate the your intentions.
He brought her out to a new bar recently and she hasn’t stopped raving about it, why not ask him about it?
Do not badmouth him
No matter how you feel about the new man in her life, do not, under any circumstances, badmouth him for the sake of it. Put yourself in her position and imagine how you’d feel if you were head over heels and your friend was constantly snide. It would seriously hurt, right?
If your friend’s boyfriend’s genuinely doesn’t deserve your sarky comments, then zip the lip, ladies. PRONTO.
Include him in your plans
Do you dislike him or do you actually not know him? If you’ve been keeping him at a distance then chances are your initial feelings aren’t going to change much because you’re not letting them. If you include him in your group plans, then you’ll slowly begin to make memories with him which could lead to a friendship or, if all else fails, gives you both something to chat about.
Next time your group is planning a wholesome day out , let him know and encourage him to come along! It may mean more to him and your friend than you think.
Remember, your friendship comes first!
If none of the above work and you recognise he’s a good guy, but you just can’t deal, don’t beat yourself up.
Focus on your friendship and allow your friend to chat openly and easily about her relationship. Make sure she knows you appreciate how good he is to her and you'll be an ear if she ever needs it, but that doesn’t mean you and him have to bosom buddies. No big deal!
Sure, there are times when our other halves could be a little bit more sensitive and attentive, but chances are they think the same about us sometimes. No one's perfect. We all have the tendency to be a little selfish or self-involved at some points in our lives and yes, that sometimes bleeds into our relationships. We get that.
But other times it goes further than that. In which case you need to decide if you should to talk to him about it or if you need to cut your losses and find someone who knows how important it is to laugh at your George Clooney impression.
If you think your boyfriend is emotionally checking out of your relationship, then some of these examples may be a little familiar.
When is enough enough?
1) When he’s more interested in playing Plants vs Zombies on his phone than listening to how your day went.
Are you serious right now?
2) When he checks out other girls in front of you all the time and DOESN’T EVEN HIDE IT!
We looked too, but we hid it!
3) When you mention date-nights and he sighs.
Oh, will playing Plants vs Zombies prove difficult while cutting your steak?
4) When he jokingly suggests booty-calls could replace aforementioned date nights.
My, you sure know how to make a gal feel special.
5) When he starts complimenting your friends A BIT TOO MUCH.
Eh, reign it in there, partner.
6) When he goes to the bar for a drink and forgets you’re even there.
Gasp. Ghandi’s flip flop anyone?
7) When his friends suddenly know you have your period.
Oh thanks for that, good to know we have a little privacy.
8) When his friends seem more interested in your hilarious anecdotes than he is.
At the beginning of a new relationship with someone special, it seems like the most logical thing in the world to spend time with them 24/7. The two of you click, you love being around each other, you feel lost without them, you need to tell them everything and you need to tell them NOW. We’re all guilty of losing ourselves to the honeymoon period.
As time goes on though, it’s important to realise that there is a difference between your own identity and your relationship’s identity. We all know one person who finds it hard to exist independently of their relationship. It could be that friend of yours who has completely disappeared from your social circle since she fell in love, or that work colleague who speaks of nothing else but her boyfriend, or it could even be you.
A relationship can be an all-consuming thing, and of course it requires a huge level of commitment. But losing yourself completely means that you may start to neglect your own needs and aspirations. That in turn can lead to resentment, stress and even feeling like you are trapped.
In order to avoid things getting to that point, it’s important to be mindful of maintaining a sense of yourself, no matter how serious or long-term your relationship is. All those things that attracted you to each other at the outset – personality, dreams, funny quirks, sense of humour – those things are individual to each of you and they are what formed the foundation of your bond. Don’t let them fall by the wayside!
First and foremost – ensure you spend enough time apart. Sometimes even an evening spent separately with friends is enough to give you some perspective and to make you feel that you are your own person. It also gives you two the chance to miss each other a little.
It doesn’t have to be a girls’ night out on the town – why not book yourself in for that yoga class that you were reluctant to try as your partner had no interest? Or pop over to a friend’s house to watch GBBO rather than forcing your other half to sit through it, if his interest in Victoria sponges in negligible. Make time for yourself. Do it for your relationship, but also do it for you.
Another important factor in maintaining independence is to have a healthy level of communication. Becoming aware of each other’s needs and aspirations makes it far easier to build a strong relationship that has staying power. If you are feeling overwhelmed or in need of space – let your partner know.
When you love someone, it can seem like a bizarre idea sometimes to focus on yourself and to put yourself first. But remember that your relationship is the sum of two parts – and you are one of them.