5 Worst Ways To Break Up With Someone

The act of breaking up with someone should never be taken lightly. Ending a relationship is never a pleasant experience, but it can be simply devastating for some and can have potential long-term consequences for your partner and their future relationships. Although for some, it can be a blessing in disguise and a potentially life-changing experience for the better. In this post, Find Keep Love looks at five of the worst ways to break up with someone and discusses the most humane way in which to be the bearer of bad news in the best possible light.

1. Break-ups using social media

Social media is great for keeping in touch with family and friends, sharing photos and videos, sharing important (and even meaningless) moments, and debating current issues. One thing it is not good for is breaking up with someone. You should never break up via a Facebook message or a Twitter Direct Message, but even worse is doing it publicly via a wall post or status update (or a Tweet, if using Twitter).

2. Break-ups via email or text message

There is a common theme forming – don’t use text to break up with someone. Even a voice mail is a big no-no. The only possible exception here is a heartfelt and thoughtful handwritten break-up letter. But definitely not a post-it note, like in this episode of Sex and the City:

3. Break-ups via a middle man

When breaking up with someone, never find someone else to do your dirty work for you. Children can get away with this, but not adults. There is, in fact, a “Separation Agency” in Germany who you can pay for them to break-up with your partner. Be a responsible, mature adult and deal with your problem personally and directly.

4. Break-ups on important days

As mentioned earlier, a break-up can have potentially devastating effects on your partner, so if you are really committed to ending your relationship, consider their feelings and never break up with them on an important day. This includes birthdays, Valentine’s Day (whether you “believe” in it or not), right before or during exam periods, after they’ve had a significant loss (career-wise or a loved one), or while on vacation.

5. Break-ups in public

As part of most break-ups, there are tears, possibly shouting, and sometimes things are broken/destroyed/thrown. I’ve seen several public break-ups and it never looks good. You can make your partner feel horribly embarrassed by the situation – public humiliation is never nice – and there is a good possibility of causing a scene. So, if possible, have your break-up discussion in a private place with just the two of you.

Sitting down with someone face-to-face (even Skype or FaceTime works) and explaining your feelings is the best and most humane way of breaking up with someone. By being honest with your partner and getting out your feelings, you not only leave them less confused (and possibly less heartbroken), but you may find that talking about an issue that has been plaguing you and working on a resolution may in fact rescue the relationship. The best relationships are formed around mutual trust, honesty and love.

Do you have a bad break-up story as either the bearer or receiver of bad news? Share it with us in the comments below!

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How To Flirt – Flirting Via Texting & Messages

This post addresses how to flirt with someone via texting and messages and to perfect your writing style to win the interest of the object of your affection. In today’s busy world, texting and short messaging is the most common form of communication. Therefore, knowing how to text appropriately, including flirting with others, has become ever more important.

Use appropriate language

There’s nothing worse than someone attempting to use language outside of their age bracket. I’ve seen parents, for example, try to text their children with modern-speak (think LOL, LMAO, and so on) and just look inappropriate and lame. There is a whole group of people out there who think LOL stands for ‘Lots Of Love’. Not only is what you say in your text important, but the language you use tells the recipient a lot about you. Don’t come on too strong or use overly sexual language, which along with sending explicit sexual photos, is a big complaint from many women (see our post on 10 Things Men Want Women To Know & Women Want Men To Know. Your photos can be forwarded onto others at the click of a button, and can embarrass you in front of your friends, family and colleagues. Sexting scandals have ruined relationships, families, careers and reputations.

Check your spelling and grammar

Along with the style of language used in your message, make sure you check your spelling and grammar. Sending messages that are incomprehensible or inarticulate with sloppy grammar or incorrectly spelled words makes you look like a fool and makes the recipient feel like you don’t care about them enough to put in effort for them. Your writing doesn’t need to be perfect prose, but at least give your text a once-over before sending it. Watch out for the auto-correct function on your phone, too – you may end up saying the wrong thing and end up on a website like Autocorrect Fail. And finally, before you press send, always check your text is going to the right person! These quick checks can avoid a potentially embarrassing situation – imagine a flirty message going to a family member by accident.

Choose an appropriate time to text

There are many good times to send a text, but there are also a few times when you should NOT text someone. One such time is inappropriately late at night or early in the morning. Many phones have silent or ‘do not disturb’ functions on them, but be aware of your recipient’s schedule, and when might be appropriate to text them. Another time not to text someone is when you are incredibly drunk – drunken text messages usually end in embarrassment or hilarity (see Texts From Last Night for some examples) – but not very often do they result in a positive impact on your love life. A couple of drinks can give you the courage to message your crush, but any more than a few and you should keep your phone in your pocket. Try not to message someone – particularly someone you like – when in a highly emotional state (angry, sad, annoyed) as you may say something you regret and turn them off seeing you. No-one likes supporting emotional baggage in the early stages of a relationship. Finally, for safety’s sake, don’t text and drive. Texting requires a decent amount of concentration, using both your eyes and hands, which will distract you from driving and put you, your passengers and other road users at risk. Use a hands free kit with a text-to-speech facility or use an app for your phone like Siri, Skyvi (Siri for Android), SMS Reader, and so on. Although, there are studies that show this is still distracting and risky behaviour.

Be casual, be cool, be creative

You should never go too overboard or come on too strong in a text message, so try to be as natural as possible. So many people over-think what they’re going to say that the text or message feels forced and unnatural. Some of the rules of flirting via texting or messaging are not so different to those in real life, and the best flirts come across as easy going and natural. Subtlety and balance are crucial, but also try to be creative. It is a much greater skill to be creative and come across as interesting when using only words as your medium, and they’ll be impressed if you can pull this off. Make them laugh, make a clever or interesting observation, or just be original in the best way that you can be (don’t try to be someone that you’re not). Don’t try too hard, though, and don’t try to be too funny or seem too eager or enthusiastic – it can be a major turn-off.

How to begin your conversation

One of the best ways to start a text conversation is to ask a question. It can keep a conversation going and you can learn more about the other person. Keep the questions simple and open-ended, which gives them more opportunity to answer, but don’t be too open-ended or philosophical in a way that might puzzle them. Ask them their opinion on a new movie, restaurant, band or news item (news that isn’t too controversial). Be thoughtful, too – if you know they were doing something important (a sports competition, a test or exam, or a job interview), ask them about it and show that you care. If they’ve been sick, ask if they’re feeling better. You could also write about an observation or something else that made you think of them. It may have been a place you visited or something you ate or a conversation you had – it informs them that you were thinking of them without being too direct.

Taking flirting to the next level

A little naughtiness or teasing can be a great way to take the flirting to the next level, but it requires subtlety, indirectness and MUCH CARE. As mentioned above, sexting can turn off many women, particularly sending in-your-face sexually explicit photos. Learn to read the nature of their replies to gauge whether or not a particular topic or level of conversation is appropriate at that point of time. Something like ‘TMI’ (= Too Much Information) as a response is good indication you’ve already said enough. Tease your crush lightly and be a little playful, but not too much. Sometimes an overly sensitive recipient, mixed with a lack of forethought, can end up with them being offended – see 7 Deadly Relationship Sins – What Not To Do In Love – Part 2. Keep it light, make it clear that you’re joking, and show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. You could think about a silly nickname for them and use it when you contact them. Don’t forget to complement your crush either – find a subtle way to let them know they looked cute or nice, or that you like their new haircut or outfit.

Do I call or do I text?

Some people really don’t enjoy the cumbersome effort of typing out a message and prefer the relative simplicity of talking on the phone. On the other hand, some people find texting more preferable and hate talking on the phone. With texting, they can answer in their own time and can text more easily in certain situations, like when with others, when on public transport, when in a class or lecture, and so on. Try to gauge your interest’s preference early on and communicate with them in the way they prefer.

Treat texting for what it is – a casual form of communication

Remember texting and messaging for what they are – a casual, short form of communication – and don’t expect to build a meaningful, deep connection. It might be a great way for a little flirting, to learn a little more about each other or to make plans, but you can’t beat the connection that can be made in person. There’s less chance of a miscommunication via texts and messages, too, because you can read their body language and judge the tone of their voice.

With these tips at hand, it’s your turn now to try some of them out yourself. Good luck! And stay tuned for the next post on How To Flirt – Flirting In Person.

Online Dating – Tips & Advice To Stay Safe Online

The internet offers so many different and exciting opportunities to explore, share information, and meet new people. In Part 1: Find Love. Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love., internet/online dating was introduced as one of the common places to look for love, which was then extended in Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love. Find Keep Love also covered the potential of Facebook as a dating tool in Online Dating – Could A Facebook Dating App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?

But using the internet can put you at risk of illegal activities or abuse, including bullying, fraud, cyber crime or something more serious. Unlike seeing someone face to face, people aren’t always what they first seem in the digital world. In this post, Find Keep Love looks at how to stay safe online, so that you can utilise the huge potential of the internet to enjoy meeting new friends and date safely.

  • Protect your privacy on social networking sites. Almost everyone nowadays is connected via one or more social network, such as Facebook, Google+, Sina Weibo [Chinese], LinkedIn, Bebo and so on. Check your social media privacy settings and the information you are allowing into the public domain and to your connections. The abundant personal information available on such sites is a predator’s dream come true. Set up privacy restrictions to give only trusted people access to personal information and activities. Do not give strangers access to your social networking sites, but if you must connect with strangers for some reason (some games encourage you to build a large social network), make sure you restrict their access.
  • Understand the settings for your GPS and geolocation services on your electronic devices, as well as your social media networks. Consider turning off the GPS on your mobile phones and cameras, unless you want people to know where you are. You may be inadvertently be posting your location when you post photos, status updates, and so on. To keep your location private, avoid sending or posting images from GPS-enabled devices.
  • Don’t give out private personal information online. Unless you are 100% sure of the person you are giving it to, of course. Use discretion when deciding what information to reveal about yourself, but never, ever disclose private information such as bank details, your passport number, account passwords, and so on.
  • Keep your login information and passwords private and secure. Your passwords are the most common way to prove your identity when using websites, email accounts and even your computer itself (via User Accounts). Avoid public or shared computers where login information can be saved or cached, and avoid automatic login features and do not save passwords to avoid entering a password. The use of strong (varied and difficult) passwords is essential to protect your security and identity. The best security in the world is useless if a malicious person has a legitimate user name and password. Here are some tips for choosing the best passwords:

Password Dos:

  • Choose a password with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and keyboard symbols such as @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +. For example, SP1D3Rm@n – a variation of Spiderman, with letters and numbers, upper and lower case. But be aware that some of these punctuation marks may be difficult to enter on foreign keyboards.
  • Choose a password containing at least eight characters. Longer passwords are harder for criminals to guess or break.

Password Don’ts:

Don’t use the following as passwords:

  • Your username, actual name or business name.
  • Family members’ or pets’ names.
  • Your birthday or the birthdays of family members.
  • Favourite sports team or other words easy to work out with a little background knowledge of your likes and dislikes.
  • The word ‘password’ (you’d be surprised how many people use this as their deafult password!).
  • Numerical sequences.
  • A commonplace dictionary word, which could be cracked by common hacking programs.
  • Protect your computer from viruses, malware and spyware. Use software, such as free software like Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast, AVG or McAfee’s free virus removal tools.
  • Make sure you’re using a reputable online dating service, chat site or phone app. There are many, many dodgy internet sites, and a number of these are dating sites wanting to exploit those seriously looking for love. For our recommended websites and phone apps, check out our post on Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love. Make sure you read the dating site or app’s terms of service and privacy policy. This can be difficult at times, because many privacy policies seem to be written in the most confusing language possible. Here are some things you should look for:
  • A dating site should provide online security – HTTPS
  • It should delete all your personal data after you close the account.
  • It should be upfront about how it shares your personal information with other members.
  • It should be upfront about who else gets to see your data.
  • It should indicate whether the dating site shares your e-mail address with third parties.
  • Does it give you a chance to opt out?
  • Does it provide the name of a real human being to contact if you have questions?
  • Use an email address without your full name or use a pseudonym or nickname. If you use a work or personal email account, your full name may appear on any email you send. With your full name and location, someone may find your address and even phone number via people search websites like 192.com. To get around this, we suggest you get a free email account (for example, from Yahoo Mail, Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Outlook.com) and avoid using your last name. You may even want to use a different first name – try making up a fun nickname like “StaticKitten”. This nickname doesn’t need to be your screen name.
  • Take your time and don’t rush into things. Do not feel compelled or pressured to do anything you are not completely comfortable with. The online world allows for anonymity, which can work for you and against you. Start with a few emails back and forth or use online chat (some dating websites offer this as part of their package), then a few phone calls, before meeting in person. A highly recommended alternative to the phone is Skype, which offers free video calls over the internet and cheap calls to phones. There are also a number of smartphone apps, like Line, WhatsApp*, ooVoo, Viber and Tango that offer various combinations of free messaging and audio/video calling.
    *WhatsApp is now a paid service.
  • Be aware that webcams and Skype calls may be recorded. Be extremely wary about removing clothes or doing other private things in front of your webcam, which could be used against you, even if you feel comfortable with and think you know the other party. It is really easy these days to record both video and audio using a number of different software packages. Some chat websites, for example, cache live images to show on your profile. Webcam blackmail is becoming more commonplace, where fraudsters record your webcam then use the recording to extort money. Emails, messages, screen captures and so on can be forwarded to others at the click of a button, so be careful what you do and say.
  • When you do meet your new date (especially the first time), do it with a friend and in a public place. If you can’t arrange a friend to be there physically with you (or nearby), at least tell a friend or family member and check in with them at some stage during the date.
  • Never leave or go home with them. Be wary if they suggest going somewhere more private (unless the date is going well and heading in that direction). If you begin to feel uncomfortable (in a more serious way, not those normal dating jitters) or unsafe, leave the situation as soon as possible.
  • Report any attacks or threats to the police immediately.

Are you as safe as you should be online? Have you ever had a bad experience with someone or something online?

With these tips – and following the dos and don’ts in our post on Part 1: Find Love. First Date Dos and Don’ts – you’ll ensure your date is both safe and enjoyable.

A special thanks goes to Alastair at CitizenArc for providing a number of useful tips for this article. CitizenArc is a West London-based computer support service offering technical support and professional training for individuals and businesses, specialising in Apple Mac and iOS.

For more information on staying safe online, check out Google’s post on How you can stay safe and secure online.

Online Dating – Could A Facebook Dating App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?

Facebook-Dating-Apps

Something I’ve been wondering lately is why Facebook doesn’t get involved in online dating? One of the biggest problems with online dating is knowing whether or not a site is reputable (after all, you’d be giving them your personal information, including perhaps your credit card details), but another problem is working out how many of the users they claim to have are actually active (and REAL). Having a large and active user base is the holy grail for most dating sites.

There are a number of sites who exaggerate their numbers, but there are even worse sites who create fake profiles to seem more popular than they are (then disappoint their customers when they don’t get many replies!). This is more common with adult sites, and it’s even harder to tell on those kinds of sites, as people try to be as anonymous as possible, creating further doubt.

I’m sure someone else has already thought of this idea long before me (I know there are some apps already not sanctioned by Facebook themselves though), but with a database of users as large as Facebook’s why don’t Facebook themselves try their own dating service? Users could opt in to the service, which could be in the form of an app, and like other apps, users can choose their own privacy settings depending on whether or not they want their friends (and the general public) to know that they’re looking (you might get unwanted date invites from your friends and colleagues!). You could create a dating profile using the details from the user’s Facebook profile with the click of a few buttons… and if anyone’s used online dating before, you’ll know that writing an online profile is really tedious, and selling yourself in this respect is an art form in itself (there is a business in writing online dating profiles!).

Your Facebook page would already have quite a lot about your likes/dislikes, your interests, and maybe even more (like your religion if you have one, your political views, and so on). It would only take someone to write a smart matching algorithm to match potential mates using the wealth of information available on Facebook. Facebook users could opt in or out of the service at the click of a button. With reportedly over one billion active users, it could potentially be the biggest and most useful dating app/site in the world. Food for thought perhaps?

Imagine personalised recommendations, for a potential partner or even just a friendship, that partnered you with relevant people. For example: Matt, you and Belinda both enjoy mountain biking and hiking, watching action movies, travelling around Asia, eating at Italian restaurants, and are looking for a long-term relationship with a view to marriage. Much better than “Hey, you have 10 friends in common! How about it?”, I think.

Some existing Facebook dating apps include ZooskSpeedDate and Online People, but there’s much room for improvement (none of these are actually very good). For traditional online dating websites and smartphone apps, check out our post on Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love.

What do you think? Do you think a dating site spun off from Facebook profiles – like Facebook Dating – is a good idea?

Part 1: Find Love. Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love.

So you’ve taken the first step to finding love and learnt to love yourself (Step 1. Love Yourself), and you’ve got a good understanding of who you are and what you want from a relationship/partner (Step 2. Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner). Now you want to find love and a special person, but where do you start looking? In this post, we’ll go through a few of the common places to start looking for love, and look at some of the pros and cons of each.

Internet/Online Dating

You’ve probably all heard of internet/online dating, and many of you may have tried it at least once or twice in some form or another. With so many different websites out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are worthwhile, which are reputable, and which ones have predominately real profiles (a good handful of sites use fake profiles to seem more popular and full of “like-minded people like YOU”!). A discussion on online dating could fill several blog posts, so I’ll keep this brief for now, but there will be other posts on the ins and outs of this form of dating throughout the year. There is still some stigma attached to internet dating sites – often that if you are on an online dating site that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re ‘spoiled goods’. But almost everyone is connected to the internet now and it is fairly easy to use modern technology to your advantage to help you find love – there are a multitude of smartphone apps now, too. For the best online dating websites, including specialised/alternate ones and smartphone/mobile dating apps, check out Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love. Also, with reportedly over one billion active users, Could A Facebook App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?

Bars/Nightclubs

For those in their late teens and 20s, it is quite easy to meet potential partners at a bar or nightclub, and for this kind of age group, it isn’t socially awkward to be at such a place. Personally, although I met many prospective partners at bars and clubs, I never seemed to meet exactly the right girl for me. Alcohol can be a great social lubricant for meeting new people and is in plentiful abundance in such establishments. The good news for everyone is that it is a fallacy that you need to be young or a heavy drinker or a lover of house music – particularly in bigger cities like London and Tokyo, there are themed bars and clubs for all different tastes and ages… it isn’t just for the young’uns. There are jazz bars, cocktail lounges, salsa bars, cabaret – the list goes on and on.

Friends/Family

How many times have your friends or family offered, with their best intentions, to set you up with someone they know who is “just perfect for you”, yet it turns out to be far from the truth. This experience can range from awkward to just plain horrible. Sure, there are some success stories out there, but more often than not, the family- or friend-arranged date doesn’t work amazingly well. A lot of things need to line up in your favour for it to work. Does your family member or friend really know you and your wants/needs, as well as those of your prospective partner? Too many times they judge you on what they think you want, not what you actually want. It’s hard enough sometimes for us to know what we really want ourselves, let alone someone else making this judgement for us! Arranged relationships – or even arranged marriages – can be convenient, but I don’t think it’s a sure-fire way of finding love.

Hobby/Social Clubs

For those who are uncomfortable with online dating or going to bars or nightclubs for whatever reason, and don’t trust their family or friends to find a suitable partner, find an activity that you love – one that also involves others – and join a hobby/social club. This could be a gym class, a dance class, a training course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, or a group/organisation that has similar values/beliefs/ideas to you. Here you may meet someone as passionate about you about a particular hobby or interest. On the other hand, this may also be an opportunity to try something completely different and do a new activity you may never have considered before. There are, of course, pros and cons to dating someone similar or different to you (see Dating Someone Similar Or Different – Opposites Attract?). Again the internet has made it simpler to meet new and likeminded people – try searching Facebook groups or pages or try the website Meetup. Meet new people, make new friends, and see what happens. You can find love in the strangest of places, at the most random times!

These are just some of the many examples of places you might find love or at least start looking for it. But keep one eye open at all times, love might turn up in the strangest of places – in a supermarket aisle, on the bus or train, at work or university. You might come across the love of your life taking out your garbage even. Love is all around us, and potential partners everywhere!

If you have a partner, where did you meet them? Was it a conventional way or unconventional? If you’re single, where have you been looking and how successful have you been?