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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

How to Date Like The Bachelorette

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I've said it before, and I will proudly say it again - I LOVE to watch both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. A show about gorgeous people going on amazing dates and falling in love (and of course the drama)...what's not to love?! This season in particular had me quite enthralled. I've been thinking about venturing back into the dating world, and well, I can't help but reflect on all of my past heartbreaks.

Upon late nights chatting with girlfriends over glasses of wine or texting with my best friend, I find myself saying things like, "I'm just going to pretend I'm The Bachelorette and date and a bunch of guys." I've never really been the type to date around, and maybe that is part of the problem. There is something to be said for the premise of dating multiple suitors at one time. I find myself telling my best friends other things like, "I'm tired of falling for one man at a time and waiting for that man to actually make a move or worse, wishing he loved me back." I want to be the one taking my pick rather than waiting on one man to pick me. So for once in my life, I'm contemplating pretending to be The Bachelorette instead of just one of many girls on The Bachelor. I know the show is ridiculous, but bare with me while I contemplate the lessons to be learned. 

1. Don't Put All of Your Eggs Into One Basket

I touched on this above, and I think I'm really onto something. Think about it, as an adult with a job in the real world (or a work-from-home job), and possibly children from a previous marriage; how often do you meet someone new with whom you feel a real connection and attraction? I don't know about you, but for me that happens maybe once a year at best. And how often is that person both compatible with you and interested back? If you're truly looking for love, why not see what's out there instead of leaving it all up to chance?

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2. You Have to Be Logical About Compatibility

On The Bachelorette, a great deal of importance is placed on whether or not a couple can actually join their lives together, because in the end, that is the goal. It has to be an achievable goal. Personalities have to be compatible, but so do lifestyles and life goals. I struggle with this more than anything, because I tend to follow my feelings and my intuition more than logistics. Plus I like a challenge, so when something is hard, I tend to buckle down and think how can we get this thing done, because we ARE going to get it done! The things we work hard for tend to be the most rewarding, but that just isn't always the case with relationships. The sad truth is men don't often fight for relationships the way they do in the movies. When things get bad, it's easy for a man to feel like a failure, and it tends to be all downhill from there. It's sadly ironic, but the kind of guy you really want the most - the good guy - he is the kind of man who cannot be happy in a relationship in which he cannot be his best self for you. So my #1 dating advice to you ladies is to beware the man who is unsettled when it comes to his career. No matter how good of a guy he may be, he is not the type of man who is ready to settle down.

3. Know Exactly What You Want and What You Have to Offer in Return

Cast members talk about these things all the time - what they're looking for in a partner and what they themselves have to offer. The quicker you can get your deal-breakers out into the open, the better. Again, it's all about falling for someone who is actually right for you and someone who is ready for a grown-up relationship. Nothing is more heart breaking and confusing than falling for someone who doesn't love you back or simply doesn't want a relationship with you. It's the stuff romantic movies are made of only without the happy ending.

4. Always Be Yourself

Now, I've never really liked the idea of liking someone simply for who they are to the degree that no one should have to change in a relationship. You're melding two lives together for a lifetime; people inevitably change and you have to compromise in a loving relationship. However, when it comes to your quirks, your daily habits, and the little things that make you uniquely you (in Kaitlyn's case, it was her crazy old man laugh and her irrational fear of birds); trust me when I say that you need someone who not only tolerates those silly things but someone who actually likes and appreciates those things.

A photo posted by Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) on
Repost from @rawbeautytalks

5. Make Out All You Want, But Save the Good Stuff for the Fantasy Suite

Okay, so this season things got a little crazy before fantasy-suite time, but I'm not going to give my opinion on that only to say that Kaitlyn has been treated so terribly on social media for going faster than the ladies usually do on the show (keyword being "ladies", because the men always sleep with the women towards the end, and they NEVER get treated poorly for it.) My motto is always "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Though I would caution not to get too physical before commitment. People say that it's important to know if you're compatible sexually, and yes it's very important. Let's face it, you can tell from kissing whether or not you're sexually attracted to someone. And I've found that what makes two people sexually compatible on a more lasting level is a strong emotional connection that is built on trust and unconditional love; it takes some time to build that trust. If you get too physical too fast, you can create the illusion of that closeness, and you fail to continue to really get to know that person. Next thing you know, you "feel" like you're in love, only it's with someone who is totally wrong for you.

6. Beware the Red Flags

Sometimes red flags are easy to see, like the drunk guy this season who slapped Kaitlyn's butt at the first cocktail party (he went home before the first rose ceremony). Another big red flag this season was one of the men who often talked about how hard it is for him to open up. I was happy when Kaitlyn sent him packing, because a man who opens up about how hard it is for him to open up, well, that is not the same thing as actually opening up. I make this mistake often; I meet a guy who claims to have trouble opening up, though with me he seems to gush. It must mean something special, right? NOOO! It never does. All it means is that once the romance wears off and you start your lives together, the man who talks and talks about not being able to open up; can you guess what he's going to do? He is going to NOT open up!

7. Stick Him in a Limo and Say Adios!

Again, this isn't about just having feelings or just being compatible or just being attracted; it's about having all of the above if you are truly looking for a life partner. So if someone doesn't fit the bill, toss him in that limo and say goodbye. If he does fit the bill but isn't really ready for a relationship, yet you are, toss him! Don't lie to yourself and pretend you can be friends if you're secretly hoping he will change his mind. That is an excellent way to waste years of your life on the wrong person! It's easy to think oh but we're so good together, but if you're not compatible, or he doesn't actually want to be with you, then guess what? You are NOT good together. It may take some time to feel closure, but you have to constantly push back those feelings and move forward anyway.

8. Never Ignore the Advice of Others

We see this often on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette; one guy or girl who isn't there for the right reason starts to show his or her true colors, and all of the others tattle. It becomes quite obvious to the bachelorette that it can't be a lie if all of the other guys are saying the same thing. Deep down in her gut, she knows that they're right, except this season in which Nick's motives are still under a lot of scrutiny. During the hometowns visits, family and friends also get to weigh in with their opinions and intuition.

One of the times I fell for someone who wasn't right for me, I had not one but two very close family friends warn me. Did I listen? No. Because I already had feelings invested. I should've listen on more than one occasion. The people closest to us have the advantage of knowing if someone is truly a good match without feelings factoring in. I really hope I'm smart enough to take their advice next time!

9. Be Brave  & Put It ALL Out on the Line

Something else we see a lot on The Bachelorette; people put their feelings out on the line in hopes that they won't get sent home. In real life, it's not always that easy, because the other person isn't always brave enough to ask the tough questions. But in both romantic relationships and friendships, insecurities can cause fear and doubt. That fear and doubt causes people to pull away when perhaps they should be getting closer. You can help fight those insecurities by reassuring the people you care about.

Another thing that goes on during The Bachelor that would actually help a relationship is gauging your partner's feelings. They do it all the time on the show, because they have to when they're so pressed for time. But in the real world, we could certainly benefit from talking about our feelings more, especially in the early phases of dating. It's hard when you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings or if you're scared you'll move too quickly and push them away. But the only way to know if you're on the same page or not is to ask. You may not like the answer, but at least that way you aren't wasting your time on someone who doesn't actually care about you.

10. In the End, You Have to Follow Your Heart

When it comes down to it, it's still a leap of faith. It's all any of us can do, whether you pray about it or trust your intuition, it boils down to matters of the heart. Assuming everything is perfect, and you're compatible, know that challenges and changes will still arise over time. It's important to face those challenges with the right person - someone you can communicate with, some you trust, and someone who truly has your best interests at heart. If you find that person, trust me, you'll know it; you should fight for it. But again, it's not the movies (or The Bachelorette). I can't guarantee a happy ending. If you're really brave, you start the process all over again until one finally sticks.

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  1. A little inspiration for all of the single folks out there considering online dating.

    1. Ha ha! I'm hoping the comments about it being a joke are for real.

  2. Admittedly, I avoid reality shows like the plague!

  3. You are a sucker for the show, just like me. I can't help it, I love - Love.

  4. Great post, really enjoyed reading it!

    Laiyin ||

  5. Great dating tips, doll!
    Happy Thursday!

    Le Stylo Rouge


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