Alyssa J Freitas

February 23, 2017

Casual Dating Etiquette

I was recently having a conversation with a friend (who will remain unnamed) about the etiquette for casual dating. It made me realize that although I've ventured into some more relationship related posts, I've only done two (breakup etiquette and Valentine's Day etiquette) that pertain to etiquette. To give you a bit more context, here's an (nearly) exact transcription of the conversation that inspired this post.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Dating can be tricky, Casual dating can be especially tricky! Here is the etiquette to keep in mind as you date so that you (and the other party) can have the best experience possible

Friend: Ok, so here's the situation: I went on one date with this guy and we're seeing each other this weekend. 
Me: Oh, that's great!
Friend: Yes, but here's the trouble. I'm going out this Thursday night and I'm wondering if it is ok to maybe dance and flirt with and see what happens with another guy?
Me: Hmm that's a tough one. I can't believe I haven't written a post about that yet. I should blog about it! 
Now that you understand the situation, here is the etiquette you need to know when casually dating.

Be very, VERY clear

One of the worst parts about dating is ambiguity. What did that text mean? Why did he post that photo with that girl on Instagram (I'll clear that one up for you...he's probably looking to, if not already, dating her)? The best way to maintain a standard of etiquette and to be conscious of the other person is to make your intention and expectations clear. If you want to date casually and be able to see other people, tell him. If you've been going out for a while and just want to see him, tell him. That way you will not have any confusion around where you stand.

Be reciprocal

If you wouldn't want it done to you, don't do it to someone else. For my friend, she was happy to keep it casual and would not mind if she saw him out with another girl. And since they were just starting to see each other it's safe to say that he understood it was casual too. By thinking about how you would feel if the situation were reversed you can get a pretty good indicator of if what you're doing is ok. 

Be a refined woman

This is actually one of my most popular posts of all time. When I shared how to be a refined woman I centered it around this Emily Post quote:
"The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of the four S's: Sincerity, Simplicity, Sympathy, and Serenity"
While this post is about life in general, these adjectives are applicable to your dating life.

Sincerity- If you want to go out, say it. If you don't want to go out, for the love of all things good in the world, say it.

Simplicity- Don't read into things. Don't worry about what every word means. K.I.S.S keep it simple, stupid ;)

Sympathy- When you're turning someone down, do so gently. If something minor goes wrong on a date, don't hold it against them. You get the idea.

Serenity- Along with simplicity, this is a great reminder to keep the stress away and to be at peace with what you are encountering. This is not to say that you need to accept anything and everything (I am certainly not an advocate of that!), but this is a tool to refrain from overanalyzing and to enjoy the dating process without undue pressure put on either party.

So there you have it, my top casual dating etiquette tips! Let me know what you're casual dating experience has taught you. Have I missed anything?


-AJF
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February 21, 2017

Advice From The Man On The Plane

If you read my Life Lately post you know all about my travel debacle in Florida and how I ended up stranded in Disney (poor me, right?). Before this went down though, I had a pleasant flight to Florida from Trenton and on the plane I met a man.

The flight wasn't full so there was a seat between me and the other passenger in my row. When the middle aged, bald man sat down he introduced himself (Ben) and shook my hand. We exchanged some pleasantries and then he offered to turn on my reading light so I could enjoy my book. About an hour later I woke up to find that I had fallen asleep nearly instantaneously and Ben was kind enough to turn off my light while I dozed.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! You never know what you're going to learn from someone or who you are going to meet. Check out what I learned from a man I sat next to on a plane and how you can apply this advice to your own life
We began talking again and I soon got this man's life story. From his family, to his career, to the places he's lived and worked, I learned it all. And through our conversation I found three key takeaways of advice from Ben, who I just happened to sit near on the plane.

Don't Say "No problem"

This is something I never really thought about before, but Ben made a point to me that "no problem" has a negative connotation. You never want to hear "no" and no one likes a "problem." He suggested saying something like "my pleasure" and "you're welcome." Word choice is so important (check out this post about how to improve your speech) and this is a new phrase that is on my radar to eliminate.

Say hello whenever you're on an elevator 

This applies to when you're on a plane, in line, etc. The point is that you never know what saying hello will lead to. In the best case scenario you can have a great conversation and find a person that you can provide value for (or that they can do so for you), and the worst case scenario is that you get little response and continue on your way. It's a way to remember that taking advantage of all of your opportunities, no matter how simple, is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Always ask the question

Whether you are afraid of rejection or think that your request is silly, from the sage wisdom of Ben you should always ask the question (whatever it may be!). He described how you can get much more out of life than you ever expected when you are not afraid to ask for it. Being ok with getting "no" as an answer is key and you may be surprised by the response you get.

What I also confirmed from this experience is that talking to people and being friendly can lead to great results. People LOVE to share their life lessons if only you are willing to ask, and you get to benefit from them! Listen more than you speak and you will end up with a happy conversation companion and a lot more information than you started with :)

Have you ever learned from a stranger? In this sort of situation are you inclined to talk to another?


-AJF 
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February 16, 2017

Life Lately

Wow. So much has happened since the start of this year. I have seriously been all over the place and the first month and a half of 2017 has offered so much more than I initially anticipated. I thought it would be fun to do another "Life Lately" post to recap what I've been up to!

New Year's Eve

Let's start out with ringing in the new year! I went down to Atlantic City with Joe to this big party called "NYE on the Pier." It is this HUGE celebration with all different themed bars and a giant nightclub. We went with a group of friends and took buses to get there from his hometown in South Jersey. It was seriously such a fun night, but my feet were dead by the end and Joe may or may not have carried me back to the bus.

Joe's Christmas/Birthday Gift

Since Joe's birthday is so close to Christmas I decided to do a big gift for him to cover both. As you know, I am a big advocate of having experiences over things so I decided to take him to see his first broadway show. And it wasn't just any show, mind you, but the phenomenal Wicked! We had a great dinner at the Hourglass Tavern beforehand (can't recommend this place enough!) and had a fantastic time at the show. 

California Coast Trip

By now I am sure you have seen my many posts about the California coast road trip Ally and I took. It was my first time traveling with a friend and I learned a lot, had many laughs, and am so glad I got to see the West coast for the first time. 

My Birthday Celebration

Then it was my turn to have my 22nd birthday (check out my post about what I've learned in my 22 years on this earth)! Joe surprised me by taking me to D.C. and I had a fantastic time checking out the museums and monuments. Give me a museum with presidents and I can be occupied for hours on end. It was a perfect gift and an awesome experience. 

I also celebrated with my girlfriends by having a birthday dinner. Right before, my friend Calea took me to get a mani/pedi for my first time! I can see why people go all of the time; it was so wonderful and relaxing, plus my nails looked better than I could ever do myself.  

The Met

My brother and I went to the Metropolitan Opera to see a production of Carmen. It was my first time at the opera, and while it was a lovely show, I can't say I'll be rushing back right away haha I discovered I am more of a broadway girl (I think it must have something to do with the language). Addison loved it though, and I was glad to be back in the city.

Florida

This is an unexpected one. I was scheduled to go to Orlando, Florida with the sales training company I work for. This was my second time going to the sales meeting of a major company and it amazing how much work goes into these events. I am so grateful that I get to work with and learn from an incredible team, and it doesn't hurt to get to go to Florida in the winter either haha.

I was meant to fly in on a Tuesday afternoon and leave the following evening. Everything went smoothly for my departure out of Trenton and I ended up with the most fabulous room upgrade at the Boardwalk Disney property, but things went awry after that. 

When we finished the training on Wednesday afternoon I discovered that my flight had been canceled for that evening because of an anticipated snow storm. I booked another flight for Thursday evening and decided that as long as I was here I might as well go to Disney! That night I went to Magic Kingdom and the following day I explored Epcot. 
When I got to the airport on Thursday night, I boarded the plane but soon realized that something was wrong because we were taking just a little too long to depart. Sure enough the flight was canceled and they didn't have another one for us until the next morning. I didn't want to miss my class on Friday morning so I ran to another airline to try and get a flight out that night. By the time I made it back to New Jersey (to Newark instead of Trenton) it was 2am. My father (who is the best) was able to pick me up and I slept for three hours before getting on a train back to my school. I was on time for my 9:30am class, so it was a success!

Rock Climbing


Ally and I made a senior year bucket list and have been absolutely awful at actually doing it. Now that we only have a few months of senior year left we're going to have to kick it into high gear! We went rock climbing at the Rockville Climbing Center in Hamilton, NJ on college night ($16 for everything!) and it was awesome. It was challenging, but not impossible and we definitely want to go back, but we need to check some other things off the list first haha
  
So there you have it! Life has been all over the place lately and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

What have you been up to? I'd love to hear about your adventures :)

-AJF
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February 14, 2017

Best Relationship Advice

Happy Valentine's Day! I've always been a fan of Valentine's Day, whether single or in a relationship. In fact, I love to wear red or pink or purple for the whole week of Valentine's Day and I've been doing that for the past three years. Today I wanted to share with you a roundup of some of my favorite relationship posts.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here is a roundup of my best relationships posts from the blog to enjoy this Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Etiquette 

This is a classic with all of the tips you need no matter what your relationship status. 

Dating Advice From My Father

It's always good to listen to the words of wisdom of your elders and this post puts dating in a great perspective.

3 Ways To Strengthen Your Friendships

Because Valentine's Day doesn't just have to be about romance.

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

This went viral in 2015 and I still love it. These questions are a great date night idea and I love to use a book called The Book of Questions (which was the best 25 cent purchase I've ever made at a yard sale) to get to know your date better. 

Dating Etiquette, Flirting Etiquette, and Social Media and Relationships Vlogs

I LOVE this series I did with my friend Patrick. Plus check out his YouTube channel where he has more relationship advice.

The Right Guy Is Worth Waiting For

I really enjoy Whitney's blog and this post resonated with me when she posted it (and still does). It's all about valuing yourself and realizing that settling for a relationship is never the right choice. Read this when you need a dose of perspective. 

There are a lot of articles out there (I'm looking at you Elite Daily) about relationships, but not all of them are sound. Today, remember to love and appreciate all of the relationships you have (with yourself, with your friends, with your family, with your boyfriend/girlfriend) and enjoy this day of celebration!

What is your favorite relationship advice?

-AJF
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February 9, 2017

4 Ways To Make Great Decisions


Since this is the final semester of my senior year (let's not even think about that though because it's far too depressing) I am taking my capstone course. The topic of my capstone is decision making and we are focusing on how both good and bad decisions are made. Since starting this class I am even more in tune with how I handle decisions and evaluate how I go about reaching a conclusion. Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways we can sabotage ourselves without realizing it.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Decisions can be tough, but they don't have to be! Here's the deal, you can consider many sides of the issue, and talk through them with others
Recently my mother advised me that "In life there are many decisions to be made, and some you will regret. There will be nights where you will be wishing you didn't wear the shoes that look great, but you should wear them anyway." While I appreciate the intent behind this statement (do what you've got to do), this is not a surefire way to make good decisions. That's why today I want to share with you methods to help you make better choices and achieve great results.

The information here is mostly derived from the book we are using in my course, lead by Professor Leventry, called Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath.

01. Consider more than what meets the eye

When you are first are faced with a decision it can be very easy to think of it in terms of either/or. I will either join this club or I won't. I will either go on a date with him or not. By looking at it in this way, however, you don't allow yourself to see the breadth of options that you may actually have. Perhaps you can join the club and only be involved with a certain committee. Or maybe instead of going on a date with the guy you can make it a group hangout to get to know each other better in a less pressured situation. The key is to look at any and all options and to be creative.

02. Avoid seeking information that just confirms what you want to believe

If you haven't heard of confirmation bias before, get ready to be hyperaware of it (which is really great because it will help you avoid the trap it lays). Confirmation bias is when you only look at and pay attention to the information that serves your purpose. From seeking out opinions you know will align with yours, to finding reasons to make a certain decision, it can be detrimental to engage in confirmation bias. Instead, look for evidence that contradicts what you believe and see if it is valid. If your decision holds true, then you can proceed, and if not it is time to consider some more options.

03. Don't let short term emotion have a long term effect

This can be so, so, so very difficult. Making decisions based on emotion, whether you realize it or not, is not an effective way to manage your choices. The biggest way to combat this is something I've blogged about before: perspective. I won't go into the details of shifting your mindset, but suffice to say it is better to take a step back and look at the whole picture before deciding on a course of action. 

04. Be sure of yourself (but not too sure)

Something I've found is that often when I get an idea I will quickly become committed to it and run with it, rather than consider and prepare for the fact that I may be wrong. This idea of being ready and willing to admit you are wrong (my father is one of the best proponents of this) will serve you well not just when it comes to decisions, but also with your interpersonal relations. Basically, avoid marrying an idea and closing yourself off to other viable (and potentially more advantageous) instead of considering other options.

So there you have it! The four best ways to change your mindset and prepare your brain for optimal decision making.

What do you do when you have to make a decision? Are there certain methods you engage in? 

-AJF
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