First date

Dating: Top ten things to have on a first date.

Come on now boys and girls; it’s time to get thinking. You have that great big first date booked, and now the time has come to get ready, pick your cutest outfit, get your “swag” on, and primp and preen for the big event. Of course, many boys and girls will spend so much time on getting ready for the big date, that they often forget the essentials, especially when it comes to safety and security. Thankfully, we have given you a little helping hand and compiled a list of 10 things that you simply cannot do without on a first date.

1. You shouldn’t leave the house without chap stick, regardless of whether you are male or female, so you certainly shouldn’t go on a date without one. You don’t know whether or not you are going to end the date with a good kiss, or even something more, so by ensuring that you have chap stick on your person in some place, you can be sure that your lips are kissably soft at all times.

2. A charger for your phone, or at the very least, a spare battery. This is more so for security rather than anything else – you never know if you are going to need someone to get you out of a bad date. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, what happens if the date goes so well that you end up staying the night? You are going to need to tell someone where you are, and you may even need to call yourself a taxi in the morning – be prepare ladies and gentleman.

3. Mints/gum – this goes hand in hand with the chap stick idea, and is also a must have for anyone that smokes. No one wants to kiss an ashtray, nor do they want to kiss someone that has just eaten a whole load of garlic. Be sensible and make sure you have something kind of minty in your pocket, and again, if the date goes well, the gum or mints will save you from that nasty morning after breath that we all suffer with.

4. Condoms – this goes without saying, really, and to be on the safe side, you should probably pack more than one. Of course, a whole strangle of condoms probably isn’t appropriate, but a pack of three should do the trick: two for the night, and perhaps one in the morning.

5. Painkillers – if you have been drinking and you stay the night, you are probably going to have some sort of head pain in the morning. Also, you don’t want to potentially destroy a great date by having a headache and not being able to do anything about it. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

6. Deodorant – again, what happens if you stay the night? Also, dates are nerve-wracking events and the last thing that you are going to want, (especially the boys) is to smell as if you haven’t had a shower in a few months. You can buy travel sized sticks of sprays these days; use them!

7. Remember your pennies! This is very much for the girls as well. Just because HE is taking you out on the date, doesn’t mean that HE is going to pay. At least have the funds available to pay your own way, even if you have no intentions of doing so.

8. Medication – Just because you have a “not on the first date rule” doesn’t mean that you are not going to do it anyway. Just remember any medication that you would normally take on a daily basis; contraceptives, etc.

9. A spare pair of underwear. You never know where you are going to end up, and the last thing that you are going to want is to have to walk home without any undies, or even worse, the same underwear that you worse last night! Be prepared and pack some spares!

10. Lastly, but certainly not least, always, always, always remember to have safety money somewhere. We have already discussed the idea of paying your own way for the bill, but it makes perfect sense to ensure that you have some safety money stashed somewhere where you are not going to spend it, just in case you have to get an emergency cab home, or call home from a phone box. The money should be stashed somewhere on your person, rather than in your bag just in case you lose it.
So there you have it, the top ten list of things that you should always have with you on a first date! It is always better to be safe rather than sorry, after all!
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New

Fashion store chain Esprit pins hopes on new CEO.
Fashion retailer Esprit, which recently said it had “lost its soul” as it lost customers to rivals such as H&M and Zara, has hired a former Zara manager to turn its fortunes around.
Jose Manuel Martinez, a 42-year-old Spaniard and former manager of Inditex, the world’s leading fashion retailer which owns the Zara brand, is to take over as Esprit’s new chief executive replacing Ronald van der Vis who quit in June.
The announcement sent Esprit shares, which are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, soaring by as much as 28 percent.
But analysts warned investors against pinning their hopes too high.
“The appointment is positive, but it’s still only a first step,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Anne Ling.
And her colleagues at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch predicted that Martinez has a “long and bumpy road” ahead of him.
Esprit is, indeed, not doing well.
Last year, its operating profit shrank to just 70 million euros ($86 million) from close to 400 million euros a year earlier, owing to the cost of a 1.7-billion-euro restructuring programme which will weigh on profits again this year and next year.
At the same time, rivals Zara and H&M are continuing to grow.
On its website, Esprit boasts it is “an international youthful lifestyle brand offering smart, affordable luxury and bringing newness and style to life.”
It operates more than 800 directly managed retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide.
But outgoing CEO Ronald Van der Vis complained that the group has “gradually lost its soul in recent years.”
In its drive to expand internationally, the “brand’s heritage has been neglected and customers were no longer the centre of attention,” he said.
Esprit is indeed a long way from its beginnings in 1968 when its founders, hippies Douglas and Susie Tompkins — who also set up the North Face brand — sold their clothes from a VW camper van in California.
But the Tompkins left long ago. And Esprit has been listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 1993, with its dual headquarters in Ratingen near Duesseldorf in Germany and in Hong Kong.
Sales have been in decline since mid-2008, with its fashion collections failing to capture customers’ imagination.
The departure of its main designer, the Korean-American Melody Harris-Jensbach, in January 2008 has not helped.
Ronald Van der Vis tried to pull the group around by launching a worldwide restructuring last year, including the closure of more than 170 unprofitable stores, notably in North America, Spain, Sweden and Denmark.
At the same time, Esprit is focussing its energies on its main European markets where it plans to open 185 new stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Benelux countries by 2015.It is looking to rejuvenate its image with new concept stores.
Another part of its offensive will be China, its second national market after Germany, where the number of sales outlets will be increased to 1,900 by 2015 from around 1,000 at present.Finally, Martinez is hoping to recapture some of Esprit’s “soul” with the return of designer Melody Harris-Jensbach.

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Market

Advertorials market dating sites — Ten ways.

When there is huge competition (how many dating sites are there?), it is vitally important to make every dollar you spend on advertising and promotion count. Somehow you have to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. You have to use methods that the competition has not yet embraced. Advertorials can do this. Here’s how:

1. Save money: a penny saved is a penny earned. Through advertorials, your company pays a flat rate, and does not have to be concerned about paying for every electronic impression, which is a highly unpredictable practice. The more popular the site you advertise on, the higher your costs will be, without necessarily producing the desired click through rate.

2. Niche marketing: advertorials, especially in the form of a business column, will be read by those who are interested in online dating with a specific group of potential partners. They will learn through your articles about your particular niche. This may be anything: the over 50s, Latvian speakers, tattoo freaks or the religiously affiliated.

3. The domino effect: The soft-sell advertising and related content of advertorials contains information which often appeals to people on the fringes of your target market. If those people happen to be bloggers, you may end up with a good deal of free advertising when these bloggers redistribute your message. And their readers may pick up the article. Next thing you know, you are on Facebook and the world and his wife knows about you.

4. Tracking: with online banners, there is seldom a permanent trail of your investment. On the other hand; advertorials usually provide businesses with a paper trail of value-added content. The best part is that this can be searched by interested buyers or new clients.

5. Awareness: You want front of mind awareness. Advertorials can help you to increase awareness about your particular niche in the online dating world. Your goal should be to have all potential online daters think of you first when they are considering a date.

6. Value for money: There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that advertorials give the best results for your advertising dollar. While the results may not be immediately obvious, over time advertorials do bring in customers.

7. Better than banners: A business column or other form of advertorial will bring more users to your online dating website than online banners, which have a very low return on investment.

8. Depth: Far more than an internet banner or a print display ad, advertorials allow an online dating site to present an in depth look at the services they offer with human interest stories and genuine testimonials

9. Case histories: there are many heart-warming stories of couples meeting, and then marrying, through an online dating site. Sometimes it is complete strangers, sometimes the boy next door, and sometimes long-lost love. Who would not think, “If it worked for them, why not for me?”

10. The edge: do something that the competition is not doing.

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