Category Archives: Meeting Up

First Date Advice: How to Click in 4 Minutes

By Jackie Potts

Good news for singles: You only need four minutes to hit it off with someone new, and we’ve got some first date advice to help tip the scales in your favor.

Think dating chemistry is all about money and appearance? It really has nothing to do with your car or designer labels, according to a new Stanford University dating study. It’s all about showing compassion, enthusiasm and using the following conversation skills.

By analyzing nearly 1,000 dates, geeky guys Dan McFarland and Dan Jurafsky found that how words were delivered, when and for how long determined the strongest connections. And four minutes is all it takes to spark “a meaningful relationship,” they said.

During these mini-dates, women were definitely the deciders in whether or not the conversations would continue, but both genders can do several things to ensure a second date.

  • Show approval. Use phrases like “That’s awesome” or “Good for you.”
  • Be empathetic. If a date shares a hardship tale, respond with, “That must be tough on you,” or something supportive. Women like guys who seem to understand their problems.
  • Share a short personal or funny story. Spilled BBQ sauce on your shirt? Rode an elevator once with Lil Wayne? Talk about it. But avoid complaining or “Can you believe my ex?” anecdotes.
  • Watch out for the “I” monster. If every other word out of your mouth is “I,” you’re losing your date.
  • Show vocal enthusiasm. Laughing and making your voice louder or softer to mirror the other person’s help create an emotional connection.
  • Don’t grill the other person. What’d you do today? Where do you work out? Hey, where are you going? People lose interest when asked question after question.

Interestingly, both guys and girls reported stronger connections when the conversation focused on her. Take it from Beyonce: Who run the world? Girls.

Jackie Potts is a blogger at MarketSmiths.com. 

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Filed under Chat Tips, Date Etiquette, Dating Tips, Meeting Up

Your Summer Music Festival 2013 Party Guide

By Jackie Potts

The scent of cocoa butter and sizzling bratwurst, girls in bikini tops and furry animal hats. How easy is it to hook up at a summer music festival? Easy as tripping hipsters at a Postal Service show.

Just sidle up to that hottie in the crowd and mutter, I love this band.

Whether you’re into Beyonce, the Band Perry, Tegan and Sara or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, there’s a 2013 summer music festival coming to a green space near you.

Here are a few around the country to get you in the mood (in chronological order) …

Electric Daisy Carnival (May 17-18 in Flushing, NY; May 24-26 in Chicago, IL; & June 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV) Various electronic artists including Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Bassjackers, Calvin Harris, Empire of the Sun, Kaskade, Eric Prydz, La Roux, Zeds Dead. (Check cities for lineups.) http://electricdaisycarnival.com/NewYork/

Great GoogaMooga (May 17-19 at Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, NY)  De La Soul, Matt & Kim, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings plus food and drink from Umami Burger and more than 100 vendors. http://brooklyn.googamooga.com/

2013 CMA Music Festival (June 6-9 in Nashville, TN) Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band. http://www.cmaworld.com/cma-music-festival/2013/home

Bonnaroo (June 13-16 in Manchester, TN) Bjork, Billy Idol, Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Tame Impala, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Wu-Tang Clan. http://www.bonnaroo.com/

Lollapalooza (Aug. 1-2 in Chicago, IL) Steve Aoki, Azealia Banks, Baauer, The Cure, Ellie Goulding, Icona Pop, The Killers, Lana Del Rey, the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, The Postal Service, Tegan and Sara, Thievery Corporation, Vampire Weekend. http://www.lollapalooza.com/

(JAY-Z’s) Made in America (Aug. 31-Sept. 1 in Philadelphia, PA) 2 Chainz, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, DeadMau5, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Queens of the Stone Age, Wiz Khalifa. http://www.madeinamericafest.com/

Electric Zoo (Aug. 30–Sept. 1 at Randall’s Island Park, NY) AVICII, Above & Beyond, Knife Party, TIESTO, Bassnectar, Armin Van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Krewella and more. http://www.madeevent.com/ElectricZoo/venue.php

Jackie Potts is a blogger at Marketsmiths.com.

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Alternative Pick-Up Spots

by Sabrina Cohen

Bars have always been the typical go-to spot for mixing and mingling. But there are so many other places to meet people. Whether you need a temporary break from the scene or just want to diversify, here are a few suggestions worth checking out.

Farmers markets are in season and loaded with wholesome, chill people. Conversation starters abound with interesting culinary delights at every turn. The colorful sights and flavorful fresh eats are enough to stimulate the senses, inspire bold smiles, and attract some eye candy.

Grab a dog and walk, because nothing attracts more promising attention than an adorable pooch. It’s a great excuse to approach someone and strike up light-hearted conversation without the pressure. Forget your wingman/woman and head to the park or for a stroll around the hood with your canine companion. Don’t have a dog of your own? Offer to walk a friend’s!

Intramural sports are great for exercising your athleticism, enjoying camaraderie among peers, reliving old high-school glories, and engaging in healthy, testosterone-fueled competition. Most are also great opportunities for socializing—both during and after the game. Find a co-ed team and unleash your inner athlete.

Networking events are really “flirtation-fests” in disguise. Dress in your professional best and start schmoozing! Getting someone’s number will never be easier than simply asking for a business card. Some events involve cocktails for further encouragement. Just remember to keep it classy. And when you get home, connect on LinkedIn to review the goods and engage the relationship further.

Where do you have the most luck picking up dates? We want to know!

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for MarketSmiths.com.

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Best Food Trucks in LA

by Ella

Now that Coachella has launched the festival season and summer is rolling in, we know we’re going to be hitting up food trucks more and more. Whether they’re parked beach-side or in the midst of the urban sprawl, these gourmet vehicles will deliver the perfect addition to your next date.

For pre-dinner snacks: Ta Bom! Try Ta Bom!, LA’s first and only Brazilian food truck, for a bit of pre-dinner experimentation. Pick up a pastel (Brazilian empanada) for an appetizer, or try Coxinhas, croquettes filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese. Go for the spicy version to show you’re up for a some heat.

For dinner itself: Don Chow Tacos Unfortunately Jason Segel won’t be serving these tacos to you with his adorable face (à la Five Year Engagement), but Don Chow’s special Chinese Mexican fusion food will quickly make you forget that fact. In addition to traditional Mexican tacos, you can order Kung Pao Chicken or Soy Ginger Tofu tacos. Check their Twitter to get their latest locations.

For dessert: Coolhaus You’ll never know what weird flavors Coolhaus is serving, which makes them the ideal date truck. Seduce your intro over Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone ice cream sandwiched between Potato Chip & Butterscotch cookies, or reminisce over your best camping trips with some artisan marshmallows. The Coolhaus crew are wanted all over town, so check their calendar to make sure you know where to find them, and to ensure they’re not parked for a private event.

For an energizing juice: Kreation Truck They’ve got plants growing out of the side of their truck, so you know their ingredients must be fairly fresh. In fact, all Kreation’s juices are organic, and they specialize in cleansing, nourishing concoctions. Whether you fancy a freshly squeezed watermelon juice or a cold pressed nut mylk, Kreation will hand it to you with a smile. It might also start a multitude of conversations: to start, ask your intro how they feel about health trends, or if they have a favorite fruit.

For morning-after brunch: The Buttermilk Truck We dare you to look at The Buttermilk Truck’s menu without drooling. Push away your hangover, put on some sunglasses, and make your way to the truck for ridiculously delicious items like Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Pancakes (served with butter and syrup?!?!) and Hawaiian Bread Cinnamon French Toast Sticks. Indulge your sweet tooth and roll back into bed afterwards; it’s the perfect start to a lazy Sunday.

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Spring Fever Series: Beer Gardens Part 1

by Sabrina Cohen

There’s nothing like basking in the spring sun at a wooden picnic table among a sea of friendly faces, while sipping an ice-cold, perfectly brewed beer. Yes, I love beer gardens. Best. Creation. Ever. Perhaps it’s because they recall a combination of fond memories from both college and day camp. Sigh. In keeping with that spirit, here are just a few of NYC’s best beer gardens.

Respect your elders. The Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria dates back to 1919, making it the oldest beer garden in NYC. It’s long been a local hot spot—enough so, that many Manhattanites actually venture on the train for a visit. The Czech-inspired establishment sports over 800 seats, with plenty of room to spare for wandering the traditional gravel grounds. Live music and festivals are popular, as is the fine selection of brews on tap.

The Standard Biergarten is anything but. Located at the Standard Hotel, in the uber trendy meatpacking district, this place puts a chic spin on the old tradition. It sits beneath a stretch of the newly rebuilt High Line Park overpass, where red stone pavers and exposed brick add casual charm, and the high-gloss wooden tables are candlelit at night for a bit of suggestive romance.

Local West beautified their gritty surroundings by creating an urban beer garden oasis amidst the skyscrapers of Penn Plaza. This 6,000 square foot space boasts 16 international beers and a sufficient menu of eats. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after work. When you’re sufficiently buzzed, the Penn Station is mere steps away.

Are you a fan of beer gardens? Tell us your thought below!

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for MarketSmiths.com.

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Would You Date Someone You Met on a Plane?

by Jackie Potts

Think that blonde checking her designer luggage is cute? Want to strike up a chat with that Tom Brady lookalike you saw at the airline gate?

Virgin Airlines founder and international man of mystery Richard Branson wants to hook you up. He recently announced his “Get Lucky on Virgin America” feature, which enables airline passengers to send cocktails or snacks to newfound crushes in mid-flight.

Virgin says passengers can locate their dream seat-mates on a digital seat map and swipe a credit card to order him or her a drink through the airline’s red in-flight entertainment system. You can then follow up with a text message using the seat-to-seat chat function.

Genius? Or a little too Austin Powers groovy, baby?

The idea is certainly inspired. Virgin America planes already feel like airborne nightclubs. They’re bathed in dim purple lighting and volumes of popular music are available to spin from the seatback touch screens. Throw in a cocktail or two, and your inhibitions just melt away.

The problem is the venue. On a plane, there’s nowhere to escape if you get shot down, Scott Evil-style. Being the rejector or the rejectee becomes a lot less fun when you’re facing a 3-hour runway delay because of sequester cuts.  And what about marrieds looking for a little fun on the side with unsuspecting singles? Suddenly, Snakes on a Plane takes on a whole new meaning.

Our solution? Try your luck on the ground at airports. With Meetmoi, you can use your mobile device to scan the concourses and find cuties with like-minded music and sports interests. There are restaurants, coffee shops and bars at which to meet and, if it doesn’t work out? Oops, there’s the boarding announcement for your flight.

What’s your take? Would you rather meet on-board or on the ground?

Jackie Potts is a blogger at MarketSmiths.com. 

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How to Get Along with Men: 5 Things to Say to a Guy (and Avoid Saying)

by Jackie Potts

Earlier this month, we revealed the top 5 Things to Say to Women, according to a poll in The Daily Mail. Now, we’re presenting the flip side for women: 5 things to say to a guy you like that he actually wants to hear.

Sometimes we make the mistake of trying to talk to men like they’re our girlfriends. We might inadvertently share news about “that cute new guy” at work, or push a crush to share feelings he’s not yet ready to reveal.

The thing is: Guys aren’t our girlfriends. They’re not always psyched to hear about your new manicure or probe why they’re clashing with the boss. Sometimes they just want to chill with some wings and beer.

These lines were contributed by real men folk, and we hope they’ll work whether you’re just trying to approach that hottie at Starbucks or want to nudge things along with a guy you’ve just started seeing.

  1.  “Hi, I have a Playstation.”
  2. “I just want you to be yourself.” (This can mean understanding when he wants to spend a Friday night working on a personal project or even watching the new Ultimate Fighting match.)
  3. “I’m behind you 100%. Whatever you want to do.” (Ladies, you don’t always have to be in control.)
  4. “Which action movie do you want to see this weekend?” (Let him pick the movie. It probably won’t be so bad LOL.)
  5. “Why don’t you go out with your friends (and see that movie) tonight — you deserve it.” (If it really is that bad.)

Our man-pals also suggested women avoid saying these things to guys:

“Wow, that guy’s hot” (about someone else). “Why are you so quiet? Is something wrong?”

And men say they really hate it when women make them dance in public. Guess they’re not all Magic Mike wannabes.

Jackie Potts is a blogger at Marketsmiths.com.

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