Monthly Archives: June 2017

  • The New Rules of Dating: How Dating Apps are Changing the Game

    Romance

    Dating has changed over the years -- from the formal courtship rules of the 19th century to the going steady rules of the 1950s to the lax laws of the free love movement to the sitcom mores of the 1990s.

    But technology has revolutionized dating in the 21st century by shaking up the dating pool, changing how we interact and what we expect from those we court as romantic partners. Gone are the days of dating the boy or girl next door -- now we swipe right and determine what mile radius is actually realistic to set on our dating apps.

    From op-eds in countless newspapers and magazines to the “Modern Love” column in the New York Times to books like Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, the world has taken notice of the extreme shifts in dating habits. Traditional modes of dating are rapidly being surpassed by the likes of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Match.com, and other online dating apps -- instead of looking for love in our friends or the people around us at the bar, we look for it on our phones.

    Romance

    How People Meet and the Dating Pool

    Dating apps have completely revolutionized how we meet people and the size of the dating pool. In the past, we were relegated to our neighbors, the people we attended school or worked with, and those we might meet through our friends. Sociologists found that the majority of individuals ended up marrying someone who lived within 5-10 miles of them.

    Nowadays, we can cast a much wider net with the assistance of dating apps. While most people tend to still look for people in their immediate vicinity, you can launch a search on dating apps that covers the entire world if you’re so inclined. Of course, there will always be those who “meet cute” or are high school sweethearts or find each other via some other in-person channel, but dating apps make it possible to evaluate hundreds of possible matches on a daily basis.

    For the most part, this is a good thing. It means we’re that much more likely to find that perfect match. However, dating apps have also made us more selective and more indecisive. When there are seemingly endless options of who to date, it’s hard not to feel anxiety over your choice. You can start to worry about whether you have the “best” person or if there is someone better out there. Carol Lieberman says in her book Bad Boys that dating has gone from “a romantic serendipitous meeting to a virtual shopping spree.”

    This can be exhausting for users, scrolling through profiles hoping to find that one special someone and sort out all of the bad matches. What’s more? It can run the risk of making us too choosy in our quest for perfection.

    No one should settle, but as Aziz Ansari explains in his book, “If you are in a big city or on an online-­dating site, you are now comparing your potential partners not just to other potential partners but rather to an idealized person to whom no one could ­measure up.” Essentially, dating apps have given us more choice, but also possibly too much choice.

    Romance

    The Rules of Dating

    With the world of dating apps comes a whole new set of “dating rules.” It should be stated that one major question is the issue of expectations. Tinder and other dating apps have propelled the rise of “hook-up” culture with many individuals using dating apps to find a casual partner for the night, rather than a committed partner. Dating apps both gamify and sexualize the process of dating, according to The Guardian. With dating apps, we can seek out a sexual encounter, rather than a more traditional dating set-up.

    However, recent research from Tinder and sociologists does suggest that couples are now just as likely to find a committed partner and successful relationship on an app as they are in person, so this trend is fading somewhat. Just be clear and upfront about what you’re looking for on a dating app, so that neither you nor your potential partner is getting more or less than they bargained for.

    If you are looking for love on a dating app, there are still some ground rules. Naturally, we advise you to be yourself and treat your date with respect and thoughtfulness as you would like to be treated. However, there are trends that are emerging from usage.

    The dating “rules” of avoiding seeming too eager or interested off the bat, waiting a prescribed amount of time before calling/asking for a second date, etc. have transferred to the online world. Now, rather than waiting a day or two to call someone, it’s become a rule of the recommended amount of time you should wait before responding to someone on a dating app (or texting them after your first date). Amounts of time vary depending on who you ask, but everyone suggests that people avoid looking too eager or available off the bat, allowing at least an hour to pass between response times.

    This can be more difficult in the world of dating apps, as you often feel like responding as soon as you get a message and the notification pings a shot of dopamine to your brain. Studies find that we receive high amounts of validation and increased feelings of self-worth from the surge of dopamine that accompanies message notifications we receive on dating apps. We all want to try our best to play it cool, particularly when there are so many options out there and being too eager can make you appear desperate. Ultimately, though, the only real rule is to be yourself and be kind.

    Romance

    Is Romance Dead?

    Many, including those Ansari interviewed for his book, bemoan the loss of romance with the rise of dating apps. There are those who hate the very idea of online dating because it removes the random romance of a happenstance meeting that provides the perfect narrative response to “how did you two meet?”. And then of course, many complain that the buffet of choices available on the app make people less considerate -- we are more likely to simply ignore potential partners if things don’t go well, and if we know there’s so many more options available, we might not work as hard to woo or court them.

    So, have dating apps killed romance? Sometimes it can certainly feel that way. But actually, there’s no reason to completely abandon romantic gestures just because you met through a dating app. Bring your date flowers or scan through their list of interests on their online profile and choose a dating activity tailored to one of them. If things go well, end your date with a little stargazing. Injecting romance into life isn’t all that difficult. We just have to remember to make the effort -- something we all will appreciate even more in a world where technology has revolutionized the way we date.

    Romance

    Though dating apps have changed the game (and made dating more of a “game” than ever before), ultimately, we are all still looking for the same thing -- that special someone, a companion with whom we can share our lives. Keep that in mind (and at heart) as you proceed into the landscape of 21st century dating.

  • Tricks to Keeping Your Bouquet of Roses Fresher, Longer

    BOUQUET OF ROSES-01

    So you’ve received or cut a beautiful bouquet of roses -- you can’t wait to display them in your home, but you’re already a little bit sad thinking about how quickly they might wilt. You wish there was a way to make their beauty last a little longer. What if we told you there is?

    Whether you’re getting a bouquet of roses from a florist or the grocery store or cutting flowers from your backyard, here are some tips for keeping your roses fresher longer.

    Cutting Your Rose Bush

    BOUQUET OF ROSES-02

    If you’re cutting your own flowers from the yard, there are a couple of tips and tricks to ensure your bouquet will have its maximum shelf life. You’ll want to be sure to water the rose bush the night before you intend to cut them -- flowers that are freshly watered will live longer than those that are thirsty.

    Cleanliness is crucial to prevent potentially flower-killing bacteria so use Lysol or Clorox on your pruning shears before cutting to ensure that you are cutting your roses with the cleanest possible tools. Lastly, cool temperatures are crucial for floral longevity, so be sure to cut your flowers in the morning, preferably between the hours of 6 and 10 am. The hotter the weather, the earlier you should cut. When you cut, be sure to cut the stem at a sharp angle, as this will maximize water absorption in a vase.

    Buying Roses from a Florist

    BOUQUET OF ROSES-03

    If you are buying your roses, there are several things you can do at the florist to ensure your bouquet will last longer. Ask the florist which flowers in the shop are freshest/just arrived -- they will certainly last longer than something that’s been on the shelf for a few days.

    Additionally, just as with cutting roses, you’ll want to opt for cooler temperatures, so select roses that are in a refrigeration unit over those that are sitting out at room temperature. If you’re able to handle your roses before purchasing a bouquet, there are a few things to look out for to ensure freshness--squeeze the stem at the base where the flower meets the stem and if it’s squishy/loose, the flowers are not fresh. You want to look for roses with a firm link between stem and flower head. Secondly, be on the lookout for bruised or brown petals -- this is a surefire sign of freshness and how quickly a flower will droop or die. If you can, it’s advisable to transport the roses home in water. Put a bucket with a few inches of water in the bottom in your car and place them in it immediately; if roses go without water, even for only ten minutes, they will lose freshness more rapidly.

    Preparing Your Bouquet of Roses For Display

    bouqet of roses

    Now that you’ve cut or bought the roses in your bouquet, it’s time to prepare them for display. You will want to use pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut the stems, not scissors. Scissors tend to squeeze the stems, which can mean that they take in less water and die more quickly. Be sure the cutting implement is clean and free of bacteria that might precipitate your roses’ death. When you’re cutting the stems, cut them underwater to prevent air getting into the bottom of the stems. As with fruit, the second you cut a flower and air makes contact, it causes the deterioration process to begin.

    Be sure to cut the stems at a 45 degree angle, which allows more water to get in. You will also want to remove all thorns (for safety) and leaves from the stems. A rose stem acts like a straw and if you leave the leaves, they will take the majority of the water, leaving the petals to dehydrate. Furthermore, if the leaves are underwater, they often rot, causing your bouquet to accumulate bacteria and die more quickly.

    Cleanliness is also key with your water and your vase. Make sure the vase you are placing the bouquet in is pristine -- wash (and dry) with hot, soapy water and clean with a bottle brush to be sure it’s rid of bacteria from previous use. You’ll want to change out the water and re-cut the stems every day to increase longevity. If you don’t, bacteria will accumulate and stems will become less effective at absorbing water.

    Lastly, when preparing your water for the vase, consider a few options. Use clean, cool water in the vase. There are many suggestions out there that aspirin, a penny, bleach, etc. will increase the life of your flowers, but tests suggest this is erroneous. Clear, clean water that you change every other day is the best way to ensure your flowers last over a week. If you’re so inclined, flower food or a ¼ teaspoon of vinegar can also help preserve the life of your flowers, just don’t overdo it. And be mindful that flower food often causes the flowers not to bloom all the way. Another option is to fill your vase with 7-Up instead of fresh water and change the soda every day--the sugars and carbonation have been proven to extend the life of a bouquet.

    Keep Your Roses Lasting Over Time

    bouqet of roses

    Lastly, you’ll want to take care when displaying your flowers. The cool rule is also pertinent here. Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight or particularly warm rooms -- displaying them in a shady, cool spot will ensure they last longer. If you really want to maximize their life, you can even store them in the refrigerator overnight or when you’re not at home and bring them back out when you want to enjoy them.

    If you notice them starting to wilt, it’s time to refresh the water and cut the stems again. Note, the shorter the stem, the longer the life of the rose (the water doesn’t have to travel so far), so even cutting the roses down to float in a bowl of water can be a way to keep the bouquet looking fresh and beautiful long after you cut or receive them.

    Whether you’re cutting your own bouquet of roses from your beautiful garden or buying an arrangement from a florist or the grocery store, you want your bouquet to last a week of more. Follow all of the tips above and you’ll have a stunning floral display in your home for 7 days plus!

2 Item(s)

Flowers to get you out of the doghouse

Dried Flower Wreaths

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