Keeping the romance alive

The initial spark of chemistry is a truly blissful sensation. Priorities change, falling asleep becomes lovely, and songs find new meaning. But as time passes, this romantic high tends to drift into a somewhat comfortable feeling of routine. How do couples, once so vibrant and full of passion, keep the  spark of romance alive? It’s not impossible. In fact, happy couples have been doing it quite successfully for quite some time.

Make Time for Each Other

It’s easy for all of us to get trapped in a vicious cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat, but when the love of our dreams enters the picture, a certain level of maintenance is necessary for this new relationship to thrive. Schedule a standing appointment once a week to do something dedicated to one another. It could be as simple as a before-bed phone call or taking turns reading to one another in the few minutes before sleep. Whatever you and your partner choose, make it a mutually enjoyable experience, and do it for each other. Build happy memories.

Celebrate Personal Successes Together

Whether your partner has earned a promotion, rediscovered a long forgotten passion, or simply cooked a successful meal, celebrate it together. Open a bottle of wine or rent a favourite movie. Share your excitement with one another and make a special time to recognise the importance of each others’ successes. Take the time to be happy.

Work Through Personal Problems Together

Alternately, if your partner has been laid off, had a flat tire, or simply is just having an “off” day, be there together. Sometimes reassurance and quiet time together is enough, and other times you may have to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever downfalls may occur – and they will – discuss the issue, hold hands, find a distraction; whatever you decide, decide to work through it together. Strength can be found in hard times.

Build Mutual Relationships

Being recognised as a couple, a unit, is a marvelous thing. Finding other couples and individuals with whom you both can find pleasant company can take time and energy, but is well worth the reward. Scout for new friends doing activities you love: a couples cooking class, the gym, a book club-the possibilities are only limited to your personal interests.

Stumped for how to break the ice? Why not a simple invite to a dinner party at your place? You just happen to have an opening for two and would love to enjoy their company. Simple, and done. Finding that special someone is difficult in itself, but resist the urge to kick up your feet and relax, thinking your work is done.

Making a relationship enduring and worthwhile takes effort, patience, and dedication, and often requires venturing out of your own personal needs and valuing those of another. However, don’t be dissuaded and view it as a tedious chore. With the right balance, a new relationship can grow into a beautiful love that is rewarding in more ways imaginable.

Gifts a woman should never give a man

While it is essential to put time, effort, and thought into gift giving, it is always important to double check that you did not purchase anything that your man may not enjoy to the fullest. Below is a list of gifts a woman should never give to a man.

Flowers are a lovely gift for women to receive and a kind gesture, but they should never be given to a man. For a woman, flowers have a sentimental value and provoke thought and warm feelings.

However, for a man, flowers are a serious jab to one’s masculinity. If you want to express your love for your man, choose to do so with a more practical gesture – find something that your man will use everyday like cologne or aftershave that will remind him that you were thinking of him. Scrapbooks piece together memories of wonderful times the two of you have spent together. They contain photographs, ticket stubs, quotations, pictures, stickers, etc of your most special times as a couple.

While it is great to collect all of these documents in one place, it is never appropriate to give your man a scrapbook of all of these memories. He’s not going to pick up a frilly scrapbook and flip through its decorated pages with the same warm feelings that you will. With that said, you can always opt for creating a collage or shadow box, choosing one theme to be most prominent.

If your man has a favorite sports team, you can put some effort into crafting a display of memorabilia along with ticket stubs and photographs, depicting moments that you may have shared together. In this way, you are putting together memories in the same way that you would a scrapbook, but you are presenting the collection so that it could proudly be hung on any wall of the manliest man cave.

Last, it is important that you never, ever give your man an unwarranted change in wardrobe. It may seem like a good idea at first to give your man some new clothing outside of his typical wardrobe, but generally this is a bad idea. Men usually establish a barrier between their working gear and their casual clothing, and if this is the case for your man, do not attempt to blur the two.

Sweaters, expensive denim, scarves, moccasins, etc all may look good on store models and in advertisements, but if you give your man an article of clothing that is outside of his comfort zone, chances are he’ll be uncomfortable wearing it. If your man is willing, offer to take him out on a shopping excursion to pick up some new items that may make him more stylish and up-to-date. This way, you can work together toward a compromise about acceptable fashion. Giving your man new kinds of clothing without considering his feelings will result in either a confused face or the look of extreme discomfort while wearing the garment you’ve given him.

While there are many appropriate gifts to give your man, these are just a few that can often go awry. Men often like useful gifts, so always think about practicality in addition to sentimentality when choosing the right gift for your man.

Gifts a man should never give a woman

It may surprise you to learn that on the list of gifts that a man should never give a woman, there are none! Given the right circumstances, even a sack of manure could delight an avid gardener in need of fertilizer.

It is not the physical, tangible gift that must be avoided as much as it is a gauche and tactless manner of presentation. Nearly any gift will be appreciated if the conditions are right and if you have the finesse to pull it off. That said, there are many gifts a man must think long and hard about before presenting them to his beloved:

Gifts that make her feel like a maid

Vacuum cleaners, dish towels, cleaning supplies, and small appliances are normally gifts to avoid. On the other hand, if she shows more affection toward her dog than she does toward you, giving her a pooper-scooper may establish you as a fellow with a droll sense of wit.

Gifts that make her feel like a strumpet

Avoid obvious sex toys in favour of gifts that subtly hint at romance. You want to let her know you find her sexy without making her feel used. Give gifts for her happiness, not yours.

Gifts that remind her of your mother

This can be a veritable minefield because such a gift could be most anything. If your mum is better at something than your sweetheart, avoid gifts related to that area. The trick is to make sure that your gift doesn’t make her feel like you expect her to live up to your mother’s standards.

Gifts that make you look clueless

Nothing screams that you’re clueless and oblivious to a woman’s penchants and tastes louder than a gift card. Even if you spend less than five minutes purchasing her gift, it ought to appear as if you had put a lot of thought into it. Other errors in this category include wrong colours, wrong sizes, and tickets to the tractor pull when her heart is set on the ballet, or vice versa.

Gifts that make her feel ugly

Only an extraordinary relationship can survive and thrive after a gift of membership to a weight-loss club. Avoid self-improvement books and gifts of exercise equipment unless she has hinted that she wants them. Giving acne cream is usually a no-no. A gift card for the pharmacy/chemist would be safer!

Gifts that make her see you as cheap

Thrifty is good. Cheap is not. Until you know a person well, it can be difficult to foresee which reaction an otherwise economical gift might elicit. Never buy gifts of inferior quality, no matter what the price. If she is special, the gift should be too.

Valentine’s Day – A lover’s delight

Men love being remembered on Valentine’s Day just as much as women do. Men are just less inclined to be vocal about it. And, they are usually busy trying to find the best gift for the love of their lives.

Women with finesse know that their men deserve something special on this day for lovers. Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men abound. Buy early. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you will want to have the best possible selection of gifts for the man in your life.

How To Choose A Valentine’s Day Gift For Men

Unlike women, men prefer less fuss and bother in terms of gifts. Take note of the personality type of the man who will receive a Valentine’s Day gift. It does make a big difference in gift ideas for men.

Also, you will want to make a determination on just how romantic the gift should be. Too flowery a gift might be a tad too much for your guy. Too plain and the Valentine’s Day gift sends the wrong message. So, make sure you have an idea of the intensity of the message your gift will send.

Gift Ideas For Men For Valentine’s Day

Men love the unexpected. A real treat for the special man is a gift of a day at a men’s spa where he can loll about in a sauna or whirlpool to relieve stress or have a wonderful, relaxing massage. Wrap this gift in something sexy like a Valentine’s red men’s speedo. You can be sure he will get the message and the massage as well.

Of course, there are other more extravagant gifts for the elegant man. Just be sure he is the jewellery type before investing in a man’s ring or tie tack in gold and encrusted with diamonds. The casual man may think you are a real Valentine’s Day sweetheart if you plan a trip to one of his favourite sports events with a group of friends. This is one gift that scores points.

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Two

Spending quality time alone with your man is often difficult to arrange. For Valentine’s Day, time together is especially important. This is particularly true of married couples with children who can never seem to get away for a few hours much less a whole day. Plan a special evening alone with the love of your life.

Choose a quiet place where you can gaze into each other’s eyes in candlelight, over a sumptuous nouvelle cuisine meal with a glass of finest champagne and a promise in your loving eyes of a Valentine’s Day date he will remember for a very long time.

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 14 – Valentine’s Day – is the day of dreams for every girl and a chance to play Mr Wonderful for many guys. For thousands of singles, Valentine’s Day is the chance to declare those feelings of love that they may have secretly harboured over the festive season.

For country singles, V-day offers a host of great romantic opportunities. The weather may still be cold and frosty, but that’s just an excuse to snuggle closer. For country lovers who want to indulge their passion, try picking a fun outdoor activity like clay pigeon shooting, riding or rambling.

After a day out, you could warm up with a pub meal and a few drinks in front of a roaring fire and retire for a nightcap. Other more expensive activities include a 4×4 day driving through mud and streams. Maybe the ultimate ‘I love you’ for singles for whom money is no object is buying your own small tract of woodland where you and your partner are king and queen of your own domain.

There, you can enjoy camping out in your own private love-nest and creating your own kingdom round a wooded glade. One guy I know had a favourite woodland walk with his lady love and cut a branch from a tree to whittle a wooden engagement ring that he slid on her finger one Valentine’s Day.

For the guys, the point is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day. Country lovers, horse riders, walkers and ramblers can find inspiration is all around and true romance is in the heart and soul, not in your wallet. If you have a date or partner, the worst thing a guy can do is mark the occasion with some filling station flowers and chocolates that are just a last-minute thought. It’s not a good way to impress a lady.

Valentine’s Day may seem weeks away, but start planning now because the best restaurants soon fill up and you don’t want to be left on the outside looking in with yet another chance to kick start that relationship passing by.

An equestrian romance

Riding through a stretch of tranquil countryside is an ideal way to get to know an intriguing fellow horse enthusiast. In fact, a pleasant day spent outdoors on horseback sets the perfect scene for a blooming equestrian romance. They arranged to meet in a pasture, near a local tack and saddlery shop, where other riders often congregated on Saturday mornings.

He quickly recognized the woman from her photo on the online dating website. With a wave she approached on a handsome appaloosa with an easy trot. Shaking her gloved hand, he laughed nervously and she commented on the weather. She asked about his dark chestnut thoroughbred and he explained how Victor had been a loyal friend for many, many years.

He smiled as she reached over and stroked the grey hairs on Victor’s cheek, prompting him to nuzzle her hand. Walking over the dewy grass toward the nearby woods he asked her about her first horse. The breeze sent autumn leaves sailing to the ground all around them as she began her story. In the woods, the wide trail gradually narrowed and he let her walk ahead. As the conversation continued, he noticed that a few honey blonde strands of her hair had escaped from beneath her riding helmet, curling over the back of her red gilet.

They both chuckled when Victor got a bit too close to the appaloosa’s (Anne’s) tail and she answered with a quick, rearward kick. Victor then prudently decided to give Anne her personal space. Later, as they crossed a creek both horses stepped gingerly as the cool water spilled over their hooves. During the past two hours she’d shared stories about her childhood on a horse farm. He found himself nodding when she confided her love of the sweet smell of hay that overwhelmed her every time she dropped a flake into a horse’s hay rack.

The trail circled around through the woods and the entrance way to the field suddenly reappeared. They simultaneously spotted an old stump in the field and began to race toward it. Victor performed valiantly, but the light-footed appaloosa finally took the contest. Victor received a gentle, conciliatory pat on his mane. The morning had given way to the afternoon. Leaning down to adjust a stirrup iron, he caught her watching him and she quickly looked away.

As the horses moved along she took a breath, closing her eyes, then exhaled. A smile came to his lips as he realized that he’d discovered someone who treasured the peaceful feeling of riding out in the open air as much as he did. They stopped at the pasture gate and exchanged an anxious smile.

Victor tossed his head in aggravation as his owner nervously fiddled with the reins. Eventually, he took a breath, but was cut short. “You know,” she piped up, “This beautiful place deserves another go ’round. Shall we say same time next Saturday?”

He hesitated, staring at her in surprise.

Finally, she received his reply, “Next Saturday sounds just perfect.”

The above post was submitted by a reader.

Love Horse’s beginnings

The Love Horse® dating site came into being in January 2005. It has been through many changes since in order to meet the expectations of its members and to keep up to date with innovations in the online dating industry. Love Horse® was the third of a series of niche dating sites that emerged from the Love Service stable.

The first two were Love Air and Love Sail, both of which continue to serve their respective niches to this day. In its first incarnation the Love Horse® site contained a basic dating site structure with a forum attached. It wasn’t long before word spread and the site soon attracted a membership of equestrian singles and country folk who shared a common interest in all kinds of outdoor activities and professions.

That same year, 2005, two members met on the site and began a lasting relationship. Despite living over 300 miles apart they soon met up and after a courtship lasting several months they were married. Martin and Louise’s story was picked up by a journalist writing an article for The Sunday Times about the burgeoning online dating industry and Love Horse® was given due prominence in his description of of the world of cyber matchmaking.

As time passed more and more people used the site and found it to be not only easy and fun to use but also that it produced the desired results i.e. it put them in touch with others who shared their love of the country way of life. Its popularity and reputation grew as people spread the word.

Find Love Online

That popularity came to the attention of other publications like Country Life and The Daily Telegraph to name but a few and Love Horse® was firmly established as one of the top UK dating sites for equestrian singles and country lovers. It continues to attract new members on a daily basis while former members often return to make use of the site again, confident in the knowledge that they will find new partners.

As with all successful dating sites eventually new sites emerge keen to cash in on the same market. This is to be expected and reflects the same pattern seen in other businesses. However, Love Horse® continues to break new ground and to forge ahead with innovations and new features that give excellent value for money to its members and which make the experience of being a full member of the site so much more enjoyable and successful.

Join Love Horse® – Sign up here

Why Join Love Horse?

Love Horse has been bringing together equestrian singles using online dating since 2005. The site was launched in the January of that year and soon became very popular with equestrians, countryside lovers, and farmers throughout the UK.

Those meeting online were soon meeting socially and dates were generated quickly and easily thanks to the sharing of common interests. Since those early years the site has had several upgrades in order to keep up with the changing trends in the online dating world.

We’ve listened to the feedback and broadened the membership to include not just those who love to ride or who enjoy the country life, but others who are attracted to it but perhaps haven’t yet joined in. It will always be the case the it’s those who share a love of horse who will empathise and appreciate the level of commitment required to get up early in all seasons and weathers, to muck out, to feed and tend to horses and other animals, but Love Horse has also become a site that attracts those who are interested and ready to explore this lifestyle even if they havenLove Horse has been bringing together equestrian singles using online dating since 2005. The site was launched in the January of that year and soon became very popular with equestrians, countryside lovers, and farmers throughout the UK.

Those meeting online were soon meeting socially and dates were generated quickly and easily thanks to the sharing of common interests. Since those early years the site has had several upgrades in order to keep up with the changing trends in the online dating world.

We’ve listened to the feedback and broadened the membership to include not just those who love to ride or who enjoy the country life, but others who are attracted to it but perhaps haven’t yet joined in. It will always be the case the it’s those who share a love of horse who will empathise and appreciate the level of commitment required to get up early in all seasons and weathers, to muck out, to feed and tend to horses and other animals, but Love Horse has also become a site that attracts those who are interested and ready to explore this lifestyle even if they haven’t yet put a foot into a stirrup let alone galloped across the open fields.

So Love Horse is a meeting place not just of equestrian singles, but also for those who might soon be taking riding lessons or who are perhaps at agricultural college and haven’t yet moved to live and work full time in the country. It includes those who enjoy a long country walk but who may not own a horse or a dog yet appreciate all the countryside has to offer. It’s a dating site for those who love the fresh air and all the sites and sounds of the countryside. It’s for those who seek a partner who share that love of the outdoors and who couldn’t be without it even if it’s confined to weekend outings due to weekday commitments.

Countryside Dating Sites

From the earliest days of this site we were amazed by the number of people looking for countryside dating sites. Some were not directly interested in horses although they respected by the animals and their owners and riders. Instead, their interests lay less well known areas of country life like falconery or gamekeeping. Welcoming these people to the site added more flavour to it and they were joined by others who earn a living in the countryside like farriers and vets.

This being as interconnected as they are it was soon obvious that the site couldn’t be limited to one group and exclude all others. So you see there’s no need to feel you are excluded if you don’t ride a horse or even work with horses. Love Horse is open to anyone who is interested in countryside dating and that includes everyone from the drivers who deliver the feed and supplies to the artist who paints rural landscapes.

Join Love Horse® – Sign up here

Giving without receiving

Giving without receiving is often said to be the best gift – and the top of my list is giving time. It’s easy to go out and buy something; it usually doesn’t take a lot of thought and falls in to straight categories:

  • For women – perfume, chocolates, jewellery and toiletries top the list
  • For men – aftershave, socks or ties, a bottle of wine or a gift token.

Of course, it’s nice to have a gift-wrapped pressie from the one you love, but personally, I’d rather go for a brisk walk with them on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve with a little touch of frost and clouds of steamy breath.  Then I’m lucky enough to live a few hundred yards from the beach.

Take a walk or ride ending up in a pub with a blazing fire

If you live inland, perhaps a walk with dogs or a ride along a favourite route or to a viewpoint where you can sit and talk for a while would be fun.

Ending up in an olde worlde pub with a blazing log fire would add to the romance. For many people, someone else taking the time and effort to make a space in their schedule for them says more than expensive presents – it’s a cool way of saying ‘I love you’ by showing that at an important time for everyone, you would rather be with your partner than anyone else.  That is truly gracious giving.

Seeing in the New Year with a bang

If you live in the country, what better way to enjoy the festive season than sharing your favourite places with your favourite person? New Year’s Eve is often spectacular where we live because we can see all the North Wales towns across the bay and watch the firework displays along a 20-mile stretch of coast.

For this you need to make sure your pets or horses are tucked up safely, but fireworks and sharing a bottle of bubbly at midnight to see in the New Year while the sky is lit up with the colours from the rockets reflected back by the sea is delightful.

Dating tricks and treats for Halloween

If you’re single and dating then Halloween is a great chance to have some wicked fun with your partner.  All Hallows Eve is when witches ride their brooms, ghosts and ghouls are howling and haunting and things go bump in the night – but it’s also a chance to vamp it up for a great night if you are in high spirits.

Here are a few dating tricks and treats for Halloween. So, if you are someone who’s not scared of their own shadow and wants to make Halloween a night of romance, take the chance to show your darker side. Here’s a few ideas of how to while the night away if you are out in the country and away from lots of others having Halloween celebrations:

  • Put a horror movie on the DVD or Most Haunted on TV, turn down the lights and strike a match for some candles and snuggle up together on the sofa in the flickering shadows.
  • If scares and thrills are not your scene, then try out some spoof horror flicks like The Young Frankenstein or Shaun of The Dead.
  • Mix up some love potion cocktails – these are spirits you want to see, white ones like Bacardi, gin and vodka that mix well with blood red grenadine. So does any aniseed drink like ouzo or pastis.
  • Don’t forget that old favourite – a Bloody Mary by mixing vodka, tomato juice, lemon and some Worcester Sauce or Tabasco to taste.
  • Have some harmful fun with love spells – try writing out the character traits you want from your lover – these should not be describing a particular person but the type of lover you are seeking.

Dab some perfume or aftershave on the paper and put the list in an envelope and hold the envelope in your left hand. Meanwhile, gather some flower petals, preferably red or pink, and drop them in the envelope with your right hand. Think loving thoughts while you perform the spell, close the envelope and seal with a kiss. Never open the envelope or the spell will break. Just remember you don’t always get what you wish for…

  • A midnight walk is not for the faint-hearted but you may have to cuddle together if you see some ghostly shadows in that moonlit country churchyard or hear eerie noises as the wind blows through the leaves in a dark and mysterious wood.
  • Don’t forget to play some ‘trick or treats’ on each other as well. No suggestions here – you can come up with these yourselves depending on how well you know each other.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t give your partner the fright of their life that makes the night a horror story they just want to forget