Thursday, 25 October 2012

Proposing marriage - Make your proposal memorable

So you’re thinking of proposing to her…Just the fact that you’ve come this far says a lot about your relationship. You have decided to spend the rest of your life with this one special woman (we’re taking the sexist approach here and assuming it’s a guy’s prerogative to propose!) You might not be the romantic kind but most men like to take a little extra trouble when it comes to proposing to the woman of his dreams. It's almost like that first interview or a really important exam – you want to give it your best. After all, this is a story that might do the rounds for years to come and when she’s recounting it to your offspring or even their offspring, you do want to come out smelling roses!
TIP: Martin Flyer has some really affordable engagement rings if you're planning to pop the question.
Before you start thinking of how you’re actually going to propose and consider some innovative ways of doing it, here are some fundamentals for the novice suitor.
In the unlikely event that you’ve never discussed it before, do at least find out if she’s amenable to the idea of marriage. Since you’ve got this far it's more than likely you know each other well enough, but do try and cover all key issues.
Even the most modern of women like some old-fashioned things. And one of them is asking her father's permission. There’s something very quaint about it and women love the notion that you took the trouble and plucked up the courage to do this.
And from the old fashioned to the traditional. Grace, now married for five years, still resents the fact that her husband Jeremy didn’t go down on bended knee to propose. According to her, "I feel cheated of a special romantic moment." Don’t let it happen to you!
It is often difficult for a man to pick a simple gift for a woman, unless you happen to be particularly good at it. And jewelry is even more mind-boggling. The ring has to be perfect. It’s best not to take chances with this one. So unless you’re absolutely sure of her taste, trick her into revealing it to you. Get a friend of her's to take her on a fantasy shopping expedition of ‘Which-ring-would-I-choose?’ If your lady is fastidious as far as her jewelry is concerned it's best to have all bases covered when it comes to the ring.
Do make it as private, personal and innovative as possible. You may want to shout it from the rooftops but leave that for later. When you do propose, it's probably best to pick a quiet place and choose an appropriate moment. But you know your woman best. If you think she’s one of those who will get a kick from the added attention and drama that a public proposal brings in its wake, do pull out all the stops.
Don’t make the mistake of proposing when you’re still in the initial stages of your relationship. There are some men who are commitment-phobic while there are others who are dying to settle down. If you’re in the latter category, don’t rush into proposing…you may scare her away.
Don’t feel rejected if she says she needs time to think. You may feel slightly dejected that after all your effort and the element of surprise, she didn’t just go with the flow and accept! In fact, this may be an aspect of her personality you never knew – that she likes to take time and weigh her decisions! Be happy you’ve learnt one more side to the woman you’re going to marry, and take heart! If you’ve been right about her, she’ll surely say yes!

1. Proposal Tips
Go all out and plan everything. From what you will wear, to where you will propose, what you will say and all the accompaniments. Do it with panache and flair.
You might wear what you wore on your first date and remind her of it (provided, of course, it still fits) or an outfit you know she adores on you. And while you’re at it, wear your heart on your sleeve! Women just adore men who are transparent about their emotions.
A few proposal/venue suggestions…
2. The site of your first date
There’s nothing more romantic than the place you had your first rendezvous. It brings back so many memories that can only add to another special moment you are going to create in your relationship…asking her to be with you forever!
3. On a holiday
A romantic break for just the two of you is the perfect opportunity to propose. It offers you the isolation and privacy you need to pluck up the guts to propose.
4. At a picnic for two
Kidnap her from her place of work and whisk her off to a secluded spot. Amid the chirping of the birds and serene atmosphere, ask her to be your's.
5. At the top of a ferris wheel
This is a cheap but novel option, especially if your woman has a little girl in her that loves amusement parks and the like.
6. At a romantic dinner for two
This is a tried and true option. It may not be the most innovative approach but you can’t go wrong with this one. Wine and dine her and if you want to really be clich├ęd, place the ring in the champagne glass but do be alert if she’s not the sip and savor kind. You might end up with an emergency on your hands!
7. With a lavish fireworks display
If she’s the kind who loves to be the cynosure of all eyes make it really spectacular. Let the sparks fly and watch her reaction as you get it done, the way they show it in the movies.
8. The Proposal
"It's only words and words are all I have to take your heart away." So goes a popular song. You may not have a big budget, and can’t afford the luxury of a lavish surprise proposal or a huge solitaire, but if you’ve got a way with words, your proposal is a done deal. Be eloquent or simply speak straight from your heart and she’ll be YOUR'S.
You may want to tell her how very much she means to you, how your life will be meaningless without her in it, the joy she fills you with, how every moment spent with her is special and how you would like to build a lifetime on such moments. This is one occasion when you’ve got to let your heart rule your head!

Dealing with a woman who's a tease

Women love to use their sexuality. It is one of their most powerful weapons to reduce normal, intelligent men to slobbering, salivating idiots. Sometimes it is a woman’s way of exacting payment for whatever grouse they have against the male species in general.
At other times, women may not even have any such devious motives. They simply enjoy flaunting their sexuality and reveling in the effect they have on men. It is a way of reinforcing their attractiveness to themselves.
But there is a certain kind of woman who uses her sexuality for the express purpose of toying with a man. She titillates and has him at her mercy, and just when he thinks he’s got her where he wants her, she withdraws. And leaves him panting for more. This is the tease.
To a lot of women, flirting is a harmless game that a man enjoys as much as they do. What is it that separates a tease from other women who are just flirting casually?
For one, a tease will be more brazen and use sexual overtures, coming on pretty strong. Her whole appearance will scream that she’s there for the taking and will lure a man to approach her. If not, she has enough ammunition to do it herself.
She will dangle the promise of sexual favors, which she knows is bait enough for any red-blooded male, and sufficient to turn him into putty in her hands. She uses her charming wiles to draw him closer and make him think he will get lucky before the night is through. She also has an uncanny knack of sensing the kind of man who will be most susceptible to her charms.
He will buy her drinks and dinner; cater to her every whim, but he will still find himself left out in the cold. And therein lies the catch. Once she has got whatever she is after, attention, money, a freeloading adventure, she will drop him like the proverbial hot potato. Leaving him wonderin what just happened.
Her whole agenda focuses on making empty promises that she definitely does not intend to keep. She builds up the expectations and has him making plans, which of course never come to fruition.
And often, nobody else will do. She has built up the man's hopes to such a level that he has to have her; anybody else is second best. And in his desperation, he is willing to do anything, at the risk of sacrificing his male pride and ego. And being skilled in the game, she knows it and is stringing him along for all she is worth, while secretly laughing at him. What is it that makes a woman a tease?
Is it a form of exacting vengeance because someone has hurt her in the past and she is afraid to trust again? For her teasing is safe, she knows it will never amount to anything on her side. She likes to unleash the passion in a man, while keeping a tight rein on her own emotions. She may be in some way appeasing her darker side, just enjoying the thrill of playing a dangerous game. Or she may just want things easy, content to let some poor sucker pick up the tab, and she will get away with giving nothing in return. And of course, sometimes, there are no deeper motives; just the simple fun that is to be had in leading a man on and making him squirm with discomfort when he has to come away unfulfilled.
But teasing can be a very deadly game, especially if taken too far. There are men who cannot be dangled too long, and when push comes to shove, they will make it clear they are not going away empty-handed. Things can get ugly, especially if he cannot tolerate being made a fool of and can resort to using force to get what he sees as his due.
To avoid landing yourself in this soup that is more trouble than it is worth, become an expert in identifying a tease and stay away. You have to hone your skills, and sometimes this comes from the sheer experience of having been toyed with before and come away a loser.
Or if you are up for it and have yourself developed considerable skill in this sport, take her on. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If you find yourself already in her radar and she’s set her sights on you, besides turning tail and running, you could try beating her at her own game. But make sure you’re absolutely capable of taking her on; else you might be biting off more than you can chew.
Never give her the pleasure of seeing she’s getting to you. Do not ever show her the effect she’s having on you, either physical or emotional. Flirt with her in return.
Or if you’re really an expert, and you know what you’re doing, let her think she’s having the desired results, and then do an about-face and leave her hanging.
And if at all you happen to have missed all the obvious signs or she’s perfected the art of being subtle (which is all the more dangerous) and you’ve been an easy target thus far, it’s not too late to open your eyes and realize you’re being taken for a ride. You should know you’re too far gone, if your friends tell you she’s trying similar tricks on them, and you refuse to believe it. Give them a fair chance and let them prove it to you. And when it’s confirmed, run as hard and as fast as you can - in the opposite direction.
But if she’s already milked you dry and you think it's payback time, you could take her for a fancy dinner. And on the pretext of visiting the cloakroom, you could discreetly get out…of the restaurant...and her life…leaving her to pick up the tab.

How to Have an Active and Exciting Sex Life after the Arrival of Children

For every couple, to a greater or lesser extent, sex life undergoes a change after the arrival of children. Bodily changes, childcare and multi-tasking leave parents with little time and less energy to engage in lovemaking with the result their sex lives often end up monotonous at best or non-existent at worst. However it is possible to reclaim your amorous selves and bring back the spark in  your marriage. So here are few tips on having an exciting sex life even with kids.
For you and your partner to have a great sex life even as parents, it is necessary that you make it one of the priorities in your relationship. This means acknowledging that it is important to you as a couple and that you both are willing to invest time and energy into it. You may already be burdened with caring for the little ones, never-ending housework and an unhappy boss at the workplace and thus unwilling to put in any more effort anywhere. But remember, a happy sex life leads to a happy relationship which in turn makes you great parents and fulfilled individuals.
Learn to be more flexible
Plans are one of the first casualties of parenthood. As soon as you have tucked in the kids and are ready to snuggle up to your partner, you might hear your two year-old ask for a glass of water or wake up crying because of a bad dream. Rather learn to make plans as you go; for instance when your baby is napping during the day, get together with your partner for a brief romp between the sheets instead of worrying about the dishes piled in the sink. Or when your seven-year old is away at her piano lessons, invite your partner for a lovemaking session instead of rushing out to get the groceries. Also be open to different ways of making love like having a quickie every now and then instead of waiting endlessly for prolonged amorous encounter which you enjoyed when there were no kids.
Take the help of friends and family
Whenever possible, rope in family members and close friends to act as babysitters while you and your partner sneak away for some “us-time”.  Consider leaving toddlers and older kids overnight with grandparents – the latter are sure to have a great time pampering their grandkids while you both can look forward to a long romantic night.
Be open to love
Don’t assume that you have to be “in the mood” to be able to initiate or enjoy sex. Time was when you only had to exchange significant looks with your partner to get physically aroused or at least in an exciting frame of mind. But now with deadlines at work and dinner to prepare, your mind or your body may not always be so receptive to subtle signals. Instead be open to intimacy with your partner whenever the opportunity arises and let your physical arousal be part of the process. That way if sexual climax is prevented by any external exigencies, neither of you need feel frustrated or let down.
Teach kids to respect your privacy
As soon as your kids are old enough to understand that parents are different from their own selves, try to tell them about Mum and Dad needing some “cuddle” time too. Children are great ones for giving and receiving love and thus are likely to understand that parents need love from each other too. Once you are able to teach them that parents are a couple and need their privacy, not only they are less likely to interrupt you and your partner but can be easier to deal with if they do. For instance when your pre-schooler wants to play with Mum, you can ask him to watch Spiderman on his own with the promise to take him out for an ice-cream later.
Help each other
Exhaustion is one of the biggest causes of lack of sexual harmony among couples and more often than not it is the parent who bears the lion’s share of parenting duties who is too worn out to initiate or enjoy sex by the end of the day. No matter what age the kids are, they come with their own responsibilities. Babies and toddlers need to be fed, clothed, bathed and cleaned while school-going ones need to be dropped at school, picked up from soccer practice or have their homework supervised. How you and your partner share these responsibilities and who does how much are best decided by you both but you do need to be clear on who will do what and why. Or else there is bound to be too much burden on one person and the consequent building up of resentment, neither of which are particularly favorable for a happy sex life.
Be open to experimentation
The secret to having an exciting sex life as parents lies in modifying your lovemaking techniques according to the emotional and physical demands of that particular parenting phase. As parents of toddlers, time is at a premium so sharpen your skills required for a quickie. When kids are out for longer periods at school or a friend’s house, then rediscover languorous episodes of love-making which you indulged in as newlyweds.
Change your perspective
Women especially are victims of unrealistic body images which highlight only the skinny look as sexy. If you have been avoiding sex on account of changes in your body, learn to accept them as perfectly natural part of being a mother. If you are a man, make your partner feel desirable precisely because of a fuller, more rounded body. Once you begin to discard artificial notions of what is sexy and attractive, you will find your own body and that of your partner more desirable and consequently sex more enjoyable.