How Much Does A Father-Figure Figure?

How Much Does A Father Figure Figure?

There is this belief that a father figure, or lack thereof, plays a huge role in who we become. Who we grow up to be.

Our beliefs, our strengths and weaknesses – all affected by this “figure.”

Yesterday would have been my grandfathers 80th birthday.

My father was gone before I was old enough to even remember him – though I do carry around what is believed to be the last picture we took together.

I never knew him growing up. Never met him, never interacted with him.

The only things I know of him are from the stories my family, and friends of my family have told me…which, to be honest – aren’t the best.

But my grandfather – he was there. He was a constant in my life. He was my role model.

Sure, he had his faults – but don’t we all?

I always felt as though my grandfather and I shared a special connection.

Though complete opposites in certain ways; he more quiet and subdued, me – outgoing and rambunctious- we connected.

I was drawn to him and the relationship we had. It was magnetic.

A few years ago, when I got word of his hospitalization – I rushed to be by his side.

I knew that we would not have a lot of time left, and I wanted to be sure he knew the appreciation I had for him and everything he had done for me.

I sat by his bedside, he unable to talk, me unable to stop talking.

Even in that state – nothing had changed. He sat there, looking at me, listening as I went on and on about how much I loved him, and respected him, and how much I despised hospitals and their terrible food.

He attempted to force a smile, I could see it in his eyes. He was trying. He could hear me, and understand everything I was saying – but he couldn’t say anything himself.

So he listened, and as I rubbed the soft stuffed animal along his cheek – asking if he could feel the softness, for the first time in my life – I saw the strongest man I knew cry.

I saw tears roll down his cheeks.

How Much Does A Father Figure Figure?

The strongest man I had ever known was scared; and this broke me.

After he passed I spent a lot of time lost.

Literally.

I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going.

I faked it, faked my happiness as to not let anyone else worry about me.

That was one trait I picked up from him – hiding my emotions, fighting my battles all on my own.

It took years for me to hit my breaking point, but I did. I hit my bottom and realized that something, if not many things, had to change.

So I took a step back and started doing some major thinking.

How much does a father-figure, figure?

Really?

I looked back on my relationships up until that point and realized I was constantly searching for approval. I was looking for acceptance – any way I could find it.

I was chasing and staying with, men who were just no good. And when a good guy did come around – I self-sabotaged because deep down I believed I didn’t deserve it.

I didn’t deserve that happiness.

Was this because my father had left when I was so young?

Was this my way of replacing that love and attention I had missed out on?

Was it me thinking that if he left, everyone else is just going to leave too?

If he didn’t love me enough to stay, why would any other man?

It was then that I realized that no matter how much love and attention I received from others – the most important thing was that I finally love and accept myself.

I needed to realize that his leaving was not my fault.

Cliché – I know.

It took awhile, but I worked through a lot of issues – most of which will forever be ongoing, but at least there has been a start. I started to acknowledge my lack of self esteem, and realize – wait a second, I’m pretty damn awesome.

I deserve to be loved, I deserve to be happy.

And just like that, once you truly start to believe that – good things do come your way.

You accept the love you think you deserve.

And if you think you deserve the best – then, honey – that’s what you’ll get.

In The Spotlight | My Interview With Life In A Pile

My Interview With Life In A Pile

Candice, Founder of LifeinaPile recently reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for her site.

As a dating and relationship blogger, she wanted my opinions on a variety of topics ranging from how soon is too soon to have sex to what are some key factors to unhealthy relationships.

As usual, I was more than happy to share my opinions!

Check out the interview below!

Life in a Pile: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led to you becoming a relationship blogger.

I’m a 30-something gal, living in Toronto. Earlier this year I found myself single for the first time in my entire adult life. I had been blogging about my life and all the adventures I got up to – but this was new. So I started sharing some first date horror stories, and my passion for all things life and love just took over. I love, love and sharing my tips and tricks for finding a healthy balance in life and love.

LP: Do you believe dating has become obsolete? Why or why not?

Much like everything else in life, dating is what you make it. There is a popular quote, “You accept the love you think you deserve,” which is true. If you want to be courted and wooed and get those butterflies in your tummy – you will…with the right person of course. Dating, and courting – is a necessary stage in relationships. You get to know each other, see if your personalities continue to work well together.

LP: What are three things found in an unhealthy relationship?

A lack of mutual respect is a big red flag. If the person you are with doesn’t respect you, your time together, etc. – that’s an indication it may be time to move on. Another sign that your relationship may not last is that you are actually looking for different things. If you are thinking more long-term, and your partner can’t even plan a month ahead – you should sit down and have a discussion about where you both see things going. Finally – I would say a lack of trust. Often times we carry our issues (baggage, if you will) over from past relationships. It can be tough to separate the two. For example if you were cheated on in your past relationship – you find it difficult to trust this new one. However – you have to be willing to let go of the past and have faith in your future. If this person hasn’t given you a reason to not trust them – you can’t bring yourself to actually trust them – this will cause nothing but problems. If this is the case – chances are you’re just not ready to jump into another relationship and you need to take some time for yourself to work on things.

LP: What do you believe are the necessary steps two people should take before entering a relationship together?

Before entering a relationship, you should make sure that you are both on the same page, that you both see things going the same way. You should make sure you’re ready, emotionally – to be in another relationship. Communication is key in relationships – and life really – so sit down and be honest about what it is you want from each other.

LP: Do you believe “Netflix and Chill” has had a negative impact on the dating scene? If so, how?

Tinder, and apps like it – have made it very easy to get caught up in the “hooking up” culture – which is totally fine, if that’s what you are looking for. However, if you want more – it’s out there too. You have to have realistic expectations when using these dating apps. While some relationships have formed from them – there are still quite a few people who use them solely for hooking up. Be honest and upfront about what you are looking for when using them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with quiet nights in, snuggled up with your cutie and watching movies – at the beginning stages of a relationship, you should be courting and getting to know each other…not just between the sheets! LOL

LP: Do you think it hurts or helps to hold out on sex in the beginning stages? Why?

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this subject. There are people who still follow the 3-date rule, others who wait even longer – and even some people who don’t care at all when they first have sex. It goes back to what I mentioned earlier. If you are up front and honest with each other about what it is you are looking for – when you decide to have sex shouldn’t matter. Sex is a natural thing, sometimes two people will have that chemistry – that connection – and will act on it. You have to do what feels right to you, so long as you’re safe and happy – that’s all that matters.

LP: When is the right time to have the “what are we?” talk?

This is a tricky question. I’ve discussed this on my Twitter page many times. I’ve had people tell me that after one date, they knew they wanted to be with this person exclusively. I say to just go with your gut. If the idea of them going out on a date with someone else makes you feel uneasy – be honest. If you’re honest from the get-go, the need to play these “dating games” goes out the window. There is no (official) dating rules handbook in life. My best advice to everyone is to be honest, be true, be yourself…if that other person is into you, and digs what you’re putting out there – it’ll work…and if not – keep swiping!

Jennifer helps us realize that we control our love lives. No matter how many dating apps or Netflix subscriptions you come across, it is up to you to find someone on the same page.

Be sure to check out all her other interviews on LifeInAPile.com.

This Is How You Attract People Based On Your Zodiac Sign

This Is How You Attract People Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Aries

(March 21st to April 19th)

We are drawn to Aries people because they always seem so confident in what they are doing. While they may have inner doubt, they present an aspirational I-know-what-I’m-doing vibe to those around them. Unlike most other signs, they embrace change, adventure, and the unknown. They make amazing partners whether romantic, platonic, or professional because they will take you out of your rut and into something much more exciting.

Taurus

(April 20th to May 21st)

We are drawn to Taurus people because they don’t take shit from anyone. While some of us may prefer to avoid conflict or assume people mistreating us is ‘not a big deal’ a Taurus will make a scene and demand the respect they (and their friends) deserve. They are extremely warm-hearted to those who have earned a place in their heart and inspire all of use to fiercely protect our loved ones.

Gemini

(May 22nd to June 21st)

We are drawn to Geminis because they are not afraid of their idiosyncrasies. They contradict themselves all the time, and they are stronger for it. They aren’t afraid to admit when they are wrong because they are changing their mind all the time. This results in open-minded individuals who can talk about any subject on the planet, because they’ve been interested in it at one time or another. They make the very best dinner party guests.

Cancer

(June 22nd to July 22nd)

We are drawn to Cancers because they are supremely loving and sensitive individuals. No one will love you with the intensity that a Cancer will love you. They are romantics who produce amazing literature and art — or even just a beautifully designed home. They are picky about experiences and aesthetics, so when you are with one each event will be carefully curated, even a night home watching Netflix on the couch.

Leo

(July 23rd to August 22nd)

We are drawn to Leos because they are creative performers. They are always hysterical, always the favorite friend of the group, always the person who entertains you and creates the best memories. They are the opposite of dull and punctuate your relationship with belly laughs.

Virgo

(August 23rd to September 22nd)

We are drawn to Virgos because they make us better people. They show us that ‘adulting’ isn’t actually that hard. Life is better without the drama of procrastination or keeping your bank account unbalanced. They are the friends and romantic partners our parents wish we would have, the ones that leave our lives in better shape than they found it in.

Libra

(September 23rd to October 22nd)

We are drawn to Libras because they are the ultimate listening ear. They are our dream shoulder to cry on because they can objectively evaluate any situation and give amazing advice. They are the person who helps you write the email to smooth out a friendship or a wrinkle in a work relationship. They are the perfect partner for making a plan to make any situation better.

Scorpio

(October 23rd to November 22nd)

We are drawn to Scorpios because they are intense in the most intoxicating way. They turn monotasking into an art form. If you can capture one, you will know what it’s like to be the focus of someone’s complete attention — and be able to watch them as they just kill their personal and professional ambitions with this same drive.

Sagittarius

(November 23rd to December 21st)

We are drawn to Sagittarius because they let us embrace our inner basic bitch with no judgement. Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin with no makeup on, that’s when you the prettiest… We can all let go and indulge in our base desires with our Sag friends. They will go to opening day of 50 Shades of Grey with you and share a large popcorn with extra butter. They are a vacation in human form.

Capricorn

(December 22nd to January 20th)

We are drawn to Capricorns because no one can gossip like a Capricorn can gossip. If you are in the mood to shit talk someone, you will never find a better outlet or a sharper-tongued conversation partner. They are judgmental and unforgiving, and sometimes this is exactly what you need.

Aquarius

(January 21st to February 18th)

We are drawn to Aquarians because they have magnetic personalities. They are fundamentally open people who are up for new experiences and ways of thinking. They are original and interesting and will consistently introduce you to new things you end up adopting as part of your own interests.

Pisces

(February 19th to March 20th)

We are drawn to Pisces people because they are the quiet sidekick we all are desperate for. They make us feel like stars and secure in their dependable, loyal love. They are sensitive, loving people who care deeply about their relationships without ever being showy or dramatic about it. We should all be so lucky to count them as our loved one.

Tell me…whatever your sign is – does the above ring true?

Tweet me @JennAndTheCity and let me know!

And – for the record – I’m a Scorpio.

🙂

Original Post

Is The Next Best Thing Really Only A Swipe Away?

Is The Next Best Thing Really Only A Swipe Away?

In this day and age where we have quick and easy access to dates on Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, OK Cupid, POF and oh so many more…it’s pretty darn easy to get distracted.

It’s easy to brush off a potential mate with the mentality that you can just go home after your date and start swiping all over again.

Or – just pick up and continue the conversation you were having with someone else right before. Stop lying, we’ve all been there and done that.

But are we really giving each other a fair shot? Are we really putting in a genuine effort?

There are so many of us singles out there, claiming that we want to be in a relationship – that we want to find The One.

But, I have to wonder, have we gotten so overwhelmed with options that we no longer give each other a fair shot in this game we call dating?

While having a wide variety of choice is usually ideal, (hello – buffets are amazing, am I right?) too many choices in dating can lead to a lack of activity and effort.

You can lose track of time while swiping left and right, match after match – with no activity. I’m guilty of this myself.

With over 400 matches on Tinder, (yes – ridiculous, I know) – I can honestly say that maybe 25% of them have initiated contact.

The others sit there, quiet, some like the moments I share on Tinder…others – nothing.

Have we become so lazy when it comes to dating that we can no longer even make the effort to send a message, or worse – even respond to one that’s been sent to us?

With a plethora of choices, people are scared to commit to just one, so we don’t. We keep our options open, chat with multiple people at once – maybe even date more than one person at a time.

We are left with the thought that if Person A doesn’t work out, we have Person B and Person C to fall back on – instead of putting in the full effort with Person A.

Are we being too picky or choosy? I don’t think so – I think that there is just too much choice.

So much so that we are constantly left second guessing ourselves and the choices we do eventually make.

We start second guessing our choices because we have set these unrealistic high expectations for our potential mates.

Expectations often lead to disappointment.

With so many choices to choose from – we set these ridiculous standards in the hopes of finding someone literally perfect.

Spoiler Alert – no one is perfect.

Relationships take work; relationships take compromise.

So maybe, just maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and maybe we should take the time to care for our own lawn and watch it grow into something healthy.

WATCH | Pucker Up – How Couples Kiss Around The World

How Couples Kiss Around The World

The producers admit that this clip of how couples kiss around the world doesn’t capture all the passion and intensity that couples can share.

So, they’ve decided to put out a call in search of “couples and loved ones who want to show the world how they kiss.”

In the YouTube video above by The Cut, we get a closer look at the ways couples kiss in 11 countries around the world.

And, as expected, the kisses vary from sweet to sultry and everything in between.

Watch the above clip for tip on how to film and submit your kisses.

4 Rules For Nailing The Perfect Dating Profile Picture

4 Rules For Nailing The Perfect Profile Picture

Online dating can be, how should I put this…exhausting.

Between the abundance of sites and apps – it can be very overwhelming.

But before you can even think about being overwhelmed by the sites and apps, you need to create a profile.

I came across this article the other day and I think it’s full of helpful hints for those looking to set up their online dating profile.

Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid and author of Dataclysm: Who We Are shares 4 tips for mastering the perfect profile picture in the world of online dating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Make sure your primary photo is ONLY of you

Multiple people creates confusion. Confusion creates rejection. Time is limited for that first impression, and asking the viewer to sort out a photo is asking too much.
Think about this: if the other person you’re with is MORE attractive than you, the viewer will want to be messaging them instead. If the other person is LESS attractive than you, the viewer will be worried that that’s who the profile’s for. Unless you’re there with your identical twin, stand alone in your primary profile picture.

2. You don’t always have to smile

Especially for guys, OkCupid has found that smiling photos actually underperform “straight-faced” ones. Don’t look menacing. Staring down the camera like it owes you money — yes, guys do this surprisingly often — is the worst thing you can do.

3. Selfies are fine, just don’t take them in the bathroom

Toilet paper, shampoo, and a dirty shower curtain probably aren’t setting the mood of seduction and intrigue you’re looking for.

4. Include at least one picture of you doing something interesting

If you like rock-climbing, show yourself in harness. The same goes for traveling — if that’s your interest, show yourself on your favorite beach. If you play music, show yourself rocking out.
Give the viewer an easy conversation-starter (“Hey! I’ve been to Tulum, too!”) and to communicate, very concisely, something that’s important to you. The quicker the viewer gets an accurate sense of who you are, the better off you both will be.

You can check out the original post HERE.

The Feeling of Butterflies And The Zsa Zsa Zsu – Why I Refuse To Settle For Anything Less

The Feeling of Butterflies And Zsa Zsa Zsu - Why I Refuse To Settle For Anything Less

There is a popular Sex and the City episode (but really, aren’t they all popular and great?!) where Carrie talks about the “zsa zsa zsu.”

She meets Berger (whom I despise – but whatever) and she has the zsa zsa zsu instantly.

Overwhelmed with that giddy feeling, she can’t even remember what he looks like and is unable to describe him to her friends other than how he made her feel.

The zsa zsa zsu.

It’s that happy, anxious feeling when something, or someone, new comes into your life and it’s mixed with the feeling of the unknown.

The excitement and butterflies you get in the pit of your stomach.

That butterflies-in-your-stomach thing that happens when you not only love the person, but you gotta have them.

Isn’t that what gets you through the years?

Even if it fades, at least you have the memory of the zsa zsa zsu…

It is no secret that I am, through and through – a hopeless romantic.

I love love.

When I fall, I fall hard and it’s almost as if it happens instantly.

I have no control over it, it’s all encompassing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

In the Sex and the City episode, the characters attend a wedding, an unexpected wedding on account of them not believing the couple were actually in love, and going to go through with it.

There is mention of being in a relationship solely for the comfort.

The security in knowing you have someone waiting at home at the end of the day.

That’s not enough for me.

I need that love, that passion.

As read on Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram bio, “I crave a love so deep the ocean would be jealous.”

I crave that uncontrollable smile that takes over your face when you receive an unexpected call or message from that certain someone.

The restless feeling of counting down until you’ll see each other again, and being elated when that time finally comes.

I long for those nights where the conversations only have to stop because of the need for sleep, and if even then.

Where you want to know everything about the other person, from their favourite colour to their hopes and dreams for the future.

When you’re amazed, by every little thing that they do (shout-out to Lonestar) and you’re literally drunk in love (shout-out to Queen Bey).

So while others may be settling for comfort – I refuse to settle for anything less than the zsa zsa zsu.

When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses and shouldn’t throw stones.

Because you can never really know.

Some people are settling down.

Some people are settling.

And some people refuse to settle for anything less…than butterflies.

Seal The Deal: Tips To Secure A Second Date

Secure A Second Date

So it’s happened again, has it?

You’ve gone out on a date and the night went off without a hitch.

You laughed, you chatted, you shared a great bottle of wine.

You thought you both had a great time.

But now it’s been four days and you’re left wondering “What the…?” because you haven’t heard back from them.

No second date on the horizon.

Again.

Well…what happened this time?

Seriously – they key to obtaining a second date is showing them you are interested in them.

This really isn’t all that hard to do either!

To help, here are some of my tips for sealing the deal and securing a second date.

1. Put your phone down.

Nothing says “I’m not interested in you or anything you have to say,” like constantly checking your phone.

And this is coming from someone who is literally addicted to her phone.

I always put my phone away when out on a date. So, if you see me off of Twitter for a prolonged period of time – chances are I’m on a date.

…or hungover.

Twitter will be there later…spend this time getting to know your date.

If there is something you absolutely must check, be it a score of a sporting game (#GoSports) or whatever it is – excuse yourself to use the washroom and check it QUICKLY while away from the table.

Don’t be the guy that sends pics or videos from the washroom though. Remember that dating horror story?

*shudders*

2. Don’t be a douche. 

Personally, as a former server – I am always well aware of how my date treats our server.

If you’re rude or demeaning – it’s not a cute look, boo.

That shows you’re arrogant and think way too highly of yourself. #ByeFelipe 

On the other hand – it’s wise to not be overly flirtatious with others when out on a date.

Save the flirting for your date.

3. Be inquisitive…but not intrusive.

Duh! It’s a first date! Ask questions!

Sure – you may have chatted a bit before through the likes of Tinder/POF/Coffee Meets Bagel/WhatsApp/Texts/Twitter/whatever else you’re using to find dates…but connecting in real life is completely different.

Engage in conversation and be genuine.

Ask questions, but don’t be too intrusive and stalker-esque.

4. Throw the rule book out the window.

Forget the “three-day rule.” Just forget it.

It’s so easy to communicate with one another nowadays.

If you had a good time – let the other person know.

Make solid plans to do it again – set a date.

Don’t leave it up in the air and think you’re “playing it cool” – you’re not.

You’re giving off the impression that you actually aren’t interested in seeing the other person again.

You can “keep it cool” by saying, “Hey, I had a great time on Wednesday night. Are you free on Saturday? I’d love to see you again!”

Or better yet – put the ball in their court by asking them to message you when they get home after your date.

Shows you’re interested in continuing getting to know them – and you’re genuinely concerned that they’ll make it home safely.

5. Put down the sauce, sweetheart.

It’s simple. Don’t get drunk.

This is pretty straight forward.

However, you’d be surprised how many people mess it up though.

And no…I’m not going to name names. I know they’re reading this and they’ll take the hint.

Don’t get drunk – it’s not cute, ok?

All of this being said – you also have to gauge the situation and read your date.

Does it seem as though they are actually interested in a second date as well?

If so – make your move!

What are some of your sure-fire ways to secure date number two?

Top 5 Toronto Bars To Bring A Date

Top 5 Toronto Bars To Bring A Date

Ok, so you’ve been chatting with a cutie on Tinder/POF/Coffee Meets Bagel for a little while now, and you want to take it to the next level and meet for a cocktail.

Or maybe you’ve been dating someone for a little while and are looking for a new bar to hit up.

Where are you going to go?

Whether you’re a Toronto native, or new to the city – there are so many bar choices for date night!

Don’t fret, my pets! I’m here to help!

Below, I’m sharing my list of Top 5 Toronto bars to bring a date.

Hair of the Dog

hair of the dog toronto

Hair of the Dog is located in The Village, easily accessible from the subway line – and they have two awesome patios. What more could you ask for?

Well, how about delicious Delirium on tap? You’re welcome.

They also do a killer brunch, just saying.

Photo Source

Bar Volo

bar volo toronto

With 60+ bottles of bourbon and rye, 30 rotating regional beers on tap, 75+ carefully selected beer bottle selection, and 2 rotating Ontario/VQA wines on tap – even the pickiest of drinkers will find something they love at Bar Volo.

Bar Volo is located south of Yonge and Bloor, near Yonge and Wellesley – but note that the bar itself can get pretty busy, especially on Monday nights where they have a $5 pint special.

Grab a table, cuddle up close, and chat over craft beer and charcuterie.

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Snakes & Lagers

snakes and lagers toronto

Located in the heart of Little Italy, Snakes & Lagers has 19 craft beers on tap and a curated list of board games.

It’s the perfect combination!

Whether it’s a first date, or fourth date – nothing helps ease nervousness and tension like laughter, right?

Playing Guess Who or Battleship will not only have you laughing with your date – but will also leave you feeling nostalgic.

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Rush Lane

rush lane toronto

If you’re looking for a bar that takes pride in their cocktails, and serves up something by the name of Sex Panther – look no further than Rush Lane.

Rush Lane is on Queen St. W bar was built, and is run by bartenders who know their stuff.

Plus, on Wednesday nights you can play Super Nintendo! #Winning

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The One Eighty

the one eighty toronto

Formerly known as Panorama, The One Eighty is located in the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor and offers what may possibly be the best views of Toronto.

51 floors high above the city, The One Eighty has both a north facing, and south facing patio to offer the best of both worlds.

Pro tip – grab a seat on the north facing patio and catch the sunset over a bottle of wine – then see if you can head to the south to admire the twinkling Toronto skyline.

Très romantic, très beautful.

Photo Source

If you’re looking for a different idea for your date, I recently shared my Top 5 First Date Ideas.