Happy Birthday!

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

My birthday was last week.  This is exciting only because it means I got to identify the most random Facebook wall-writer of the day. That’s a funny thing about birthdays in this era: it’s the one day a year you hear from people you barely know — your preschool bestie, someone you met once eight years ago on vacation, your old roommate’s cousin, a great aunt who is new to Facebook and now invites you to play Candy Crush every day, and sometimes even strangers. This year, someone I don’t know even enthusiastically wished me happy birthday on my wall! Conversely, I have friends I see regularly who don’t really acknowledge birthdays — it’s just not a big deal.  In some friendships, we’ve established an unspoken rule that we don’t exchange birthday gifts or really acknowledge the day. And that’s fine with me — no one gets mad — that’s just how it is.

My point is that there’s a lot of variability in how people acknowledge and celebrate birthdays. So how are you supposed to know if and how to acknowledge the special day of a brand new significant other? If you just started to date someone new, do you even mention your birthday? What if you don’t know if you’re exclusive yet — does it matter? What if you get him a birthday gift, but he doesn’t want to go out with you on his actual birthday? Is a surprise party out of the question? To avoid all these issues, you should probably plan to break up with this person right before either of your birthdays is approaching. You can get back together afterwards.

Kidding aside, this can be a tricky occurrence. So I’d recommend being honest and taking cues from the other person. If you’re a cake, ice cream, and presents-kind-of-person, say so! Assuming you’ve been out more than a couple times together, it can’t hurt to mention that your birthday is coming up and express your expectations.  Unless your expectations involve extravagant gifts or selfish demands. Then it could hurt.

However, if you like this new person, and you want her to be part of your birthday, invite them along to whatever you have planned.  If you’d rather spend your birthday solo, curled up with a book, that’s cool too!  Just tell your new significant other, so he or she doesn’t try to plan a surprise party.  And if you’re expecting a big deal, don’t say it doesn’t matter how you spend your birthday, because you’ll only wind up disappointed.  And don’t be offended if your new beau or lady excludes you from birthday plans — it could be that there were no plans at all, or they might want to do something really low-key with close family.

Oh, and a final note: if you do have a date on your birthday, please wear something other than your birthday suit!

Wiener Break

by JeremySpoke under Single Life

As my self-imposed Subway® diet completed its third month of being a thing, I decided to spend my birthday dinner at a hot dog place that serves no sandwich in sub form. I figured since I’ve lost about sixty pounds, I could afford to gain 20-40 lbs over the course of one night.

The operation was successful. I started dinner with a coke that wasn’t at all diet. I drank an entire can before my meal even came. Unbelievable. When the meal came, it was even bigger and hot-doggier than I had ever imagined. On top of that, literally, was chili, Fritos®, and onions. You may, as I did, initially think that the chili would cause the dog to be impossible to eat without silverware. You would be completely wrong. It was perfect. The bun was large enough to handle a dog overflowing with flavor and ingredients.

In attendance, aside from myself, were my parents, grandparents, and a couple of close friends. Two of the three friends there were female. Both of them are extremely attractive, which made my entire family wistful. Maybe it’s wishful. I think it’s wishful. Either way, they were both of those things. I know my parents were wondering why I wasn’t dating either of them, and it made me think of how horribly awkward it would be if I asked either of them out. This is especially true for the one who’s in a relationship. But really, I can’t ask either of them out because not only would they say, “no,” but also they’re my only friends in Houston, and I need them.

Subway starts again tomorrow.

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You Can Never Be Too Careful

by RollingStone9862 under Relationships

I think that a really good way to meet people is through friends. Certainly this is a very common practice in college due to the close proximity in which people live, and the exceedingly social nature of their surroundings. But I think that once we enter the “real world” this dynamic can become slightly more complicated. If you have read any of my previous blogs you are probably aware that I have a tendency to over-analyze dating situations more than the average person; I don’t necessarily believe that this is always a bad thing, and I would much rather be safe than put a friendship in jeopardy.

Last Saturday night I attended a birthday party for one of my best friends, and during the course of the evening I made it my mission to mingle and get to know some of her friends whom I hadn’t met or spent much time with before. Over the course of the evening I chatted with, and had nice conversations with, most people at the party, and as the night wore on I found myself actively looking to make sure there was no one left I hadn’t at least introduced myself to.

After the crowd had mostly thinned out I decided to approach my friend whose birthday it was to make sure that she was having a good time and, after stating that she was, said she wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers whom she didn’t think I had met. After my friend gave us a brief introduction she quickly left us to talk and, from the moment our conversation began, it was obvious we had a connection. After talking for about half an hour I realized that it was getting late and that I should probably start to wrap things up and ask for her number, but unfortunately I began (in typical fashion) to over-analyze the situation.

My main apprehension in asking for her number was that since we had a very close mutual friend I thought that I should check with her first, out of respect, before asking another one of her close friends out. Even though my decision to handle things this way made the end of our conversation a little awkward, since it was obvious that she was confused why I wasn’t asking for her number, I was resolved to handle things in this manner and take the safe approach.

The next day I talked to my friend and explained the situation, and my thinking, to her. In turn she was appreciative of how I handled the situation, and even though she said it would have been completely fine had I asked for her friend’s number, she thanked me for respecting her position in the situation. Ultimately, everything worked out for the best since my friend was happy with how I handled things, and she was excited to give me her friend’s number. But, you just never know. In the end I know that I made the situation more complicated than it needed to be. But when it comes to matters involving close friends I don’t think you can ever be too careful.

Gift Giving

by GemsFromJen under Relationships


I have a question about a birthday gift for my boyfriend. We just met last week and he invited me to his birthday next week. I don’t know what to buy. We’ve only gone out two times and I don’t know him that well.
Thank you

Dear Birthday Gift,

I understand how awkward this can feel. You barely know this man and now you are supposed to find him an appropriate gift. Since you have only had two dates with this man my first suggestion would be a gift certificate to a local bookstore, movie theater, or coffeehouse. If you believe that you know his tastes well enough to buy him a specific gift, then I would go ahead and chose something using these guidelines:

What does this man enjoy? What are his hobbies? What type of food does he like? Does he drink wine? Does he like sports? These are some of the questions you might ask yourself and hopefully this will help to trigger some birthday gift ideas. If you know his favorite food/foods, and they include baked goods I would consider baking him something. If he enjoys sports, perhaps a subscription to a sports magazine. If he likes drinking wine a bottle of his favorite vino might be nice.

The point here is that you want to make the gift something personal, but not over the top. Let him now you are paying attention to who he is and what he has shared about himself.

I hope you have a great time at the birthday party!


Gems from Jen

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