Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where to look for love BEFORE Valentine’s Day

Many single people wait until February before they start looking for a date. And, of course, because they’re in such a desperate, crabby, why-doesn’t-anyone-love-me mood, they are unsuccessful in getting a date and instead binge on a bag full of chocolate. Not that Lady Chatterley has ever been one of these people.

So, how are you going to avoid this predicament? Start looking early!

Places to find love
Forget bars! If you want to find someone intelligent, classy, and who might share the same interests as you, try these alternative places.

Book clubs: Looking for nerd love? All you have to do is an internet search for “book clubs” in your local area. Barnes and Nobles has groups. For those in Portland, the book mecca of Powell’s Books has three different locations in the Portland area and their calendar is packed with authors, events and book groups. And if you are a guy and really want to go someplace filled with women, check out the Cheeky Pages romance book group. (Though they also have mystery, science fiction and other genres.)

Romance Writers of America: There are over 30 local chapters. The Portland chapter, Rose City Romance Writers has a membership of over 100 people, mostly women. Those are pretty good odds for the guys. At least for guys who enjoy supporting romance writing.

Dancing: Women love men who can dance and what better place to go than someplace that teaches dance? And for the men, there are almost always more women at places that teach dance or host open dance so you are in high demand.
For a complete list of dance events going on in Portland go to Portland Dancing.

Meet Up: This group is a way to connect and meet other people with similar interests. For example, on the Meet Up website, there are categories such as arts and entertainment, sports and recreation, heath and support as well as many others. In Portland, there are tarot card groups, ASL practice groups, outdoors groups and others. To find people with similar interests in your city, check it out.

Outdoors Clubs: If you enjoy the outdoors, organizations such as the Trails Club of Oregon, or Mazamas a Portland hiking, rock climbing, skiing club might be right for you. There also is the Willamette Sailing Club, and Bergreunde Mountain Friends, an outdoor, sports and social club.

Singles Clubs: Events and Adventures is a singles club for people in Oregon and SW Washington.

LoveTribe: A different way to connect with people: There is an organization called LoveTribe, all about bringing people together and helping them connect in nontraditional ways to create a feeling of community with parties like snuggle parties and game nights. Their events are edgy, not a dating service, and certainly not right for all people, but something different to try. LoveTribe started in Portland and has branched out to many other cities.

Online dating: Let say you don’t read books, can’t dance, don’t like the outdoors, and have no hobbies, so none of those social clubs seem right to you. When you have tried everything else, or you don’t have any time (or money) to attend a social club, there is always the internet. Craigslist is free and always has local personal ads. I know two different middle school teachers who met their husbands through online personal ads, one with Eharmony and the other with And neither woman is afraid to tell people that’s how she met her husband. Craigslist and Okcupid are free. As a result, there is also a higher rate of unemployed people without cars and cell phones. On the plus side, Okcupid is said to cater to a younger, nerdier crowd. Plenty of Fish and Christian Singles are other dating sites. And there are many more out there.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

One in three high school students have been in an abusive relationship

According to the ACADV (Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence), one out of three high school students have been in, or will be in, an abusive relationship. This number seems so high it is difficult to believe. Yet the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports statistics that are just as shocking: In Oregon, one in ten women experience intimate partner violence. The highest rate of intimate partner violence occurs in women between the ages of 21-24.

Possible reasons ACADV suggests so many young women are involved in abusive relationships might be because women see other examples of violence and abuse in relationships and think it is normal, consider their boyfriend’s jealousy and anger is romantic, they internalize their problems and blame themselves, feel they have to solve their problems themselves, and are afraid to ask for help. Overall, teenagers are inexperienced in relationships, are confused about what romance means, and succumb to peer pressure more than an adult might. Because youths desire independence from their parents, and are less likely to confide in them and ask for help, many parents aren’t aware of the situations their children may be in.

Dating Bill of Rights

I have a right to: 
Ask for a date

Refuse a date

Suggest activities

Refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them

Have my own feelings and be able to express them

Say, "I think my friend is wrong and his actions are inappropriate"

Tell someone not to interrupt me

Have my limits and values respected

Tell my partner when I need affection

Refuse affection

Be heard

Refuse to lend money

Refuse sex any time, for any reason

Have friends and space aside from my partner

I have the responsibility to:
Determine my limits and values
Respect the limits of others
Communicate clearly and honestly
Not violate the limits of others
Ask for help when I need it
Be considerate
Check my actions and decisions to determine whether they are good or bad for me
Set high goals for myself

Provided by the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Family Resources, Inc.