Create a Lasting Bond With Unique Date Ideas

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According to the State of Dating Report in America presented by and, 69 percent of singles are at least partially confused about whether or not they’re actually on a date when out with someone they like. Needless to say, it’s probably not a very romantic date if you don’t even know you’re on one. But married couples aren’t off the hook with date night either. A study from the National Marriage Project found “couple time” can lead to a higher quality relationship across levels of communication, sexual satisfaction and commitment.

You probably don’t need anyone to convince you that couple time is important to your relationship’s health as well as your own satisfaction and confidence. Give your next date night a boost and skip dinner and a movie for something more unique.

Go on a Moonlit Canoe Ride

Head out for a romantic moonlight canoe ride for a peaceful glide across the water. Take time to soak in your surroundings, and make a romantic game of who can be the quietest the longest while maintaining eye contact. Bring along your smartphone or iPad to capture some video of the moment with a memorable confessional. Ask each other to share something that will blow the other’s mind, whether it’s an embarrassing moment or first impressions of the other.

Volunteer to Walk Dogs

You don’t need a lot of money or a big idea to turn a date into a unique experience. Volunteer at a local animal shelter to walk dogs in need of some companionship and exercise. The dogs will keep your date lively and the two of you on your toes. Stop by a dog park and get into the fun with a rousing game of fetch or chase. You’ll end up letting your guard down and seeing a playful side of each other that gets lost in the day-to-day.

Browse a Bookstore

A tucked away bookstore full of rare finds, classics and quirky gifts is the perfect spot for a romantic date. Choose an evening when an author is speaking or there’s a book launch and wine hour. Sip wine and browse the store independently while giving each other a challenge. Pick out books you think would be perfect for the other and explain what inspired the choice. End the evening with a new book for your date to unwrap and take home.

Learn to Make Cocktails

Skip drinks sitting at the bar and make your own instead. Grab a cocktail-making book and turn on some jazz, or sign up for a high-energy mixology class. Learn how to mix up tasty drinks and surprise each other with your fun concoctions. Come up with your own signature date night drink to commemorate your time together. Every time you say cheers, you’ll be celebrating your relationship.

Plant a Tree

Set aside the afternoon and evening to plant a tree together and bond over nature. Take a trip to the local nursery to pick out a tree and all the necessary supplies. Or look for local volunteer opportunities to help plant trees in a park in need. Work together to carefully prep and plant your tree and watch the bonding experience unfold. Plan a future date night of walking past your tree and enjoy an evening picnic underneath it.

Do you have ideas or a unique date experience that you’d like to share?

Tell me about them @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook or G+. I’m also on Pinterest, so pin pics to my board!

Staying Warm during Cuffing Season

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Autumn is here, and you can’t deny it. Most of your favorite shows have started in the last couple of weeks:

Walking Dead


Orange is the New Black

It is also the time of apple picking and pumpkin patches, and all those nasty-flavored pumpkin and apple beverages (really, Starbucks – pumpkin spiced latte)! Its sweater weather, and mix that with leggings or jeggings and those new boots that mamma bought and voila, all the dogs come barking to the yard!

sweater weather, no bra, sweatshirt season meme, S.C Rhyne

But cuffing season is more than just the weather getting cold, its about shacking up with someone through the winter.

sweater weather, boyfriend material, ryan reynolds, S.C Rhyne, The Reporter and The Girl

So what is cuffing season? It a phenomenon that’s been anecdotally coined, since there hasn’t been any academic study on it. defines it as, “cuffing season is a portion of the year when men shed their summer bachelor skin and start to feel lonely as the weather turns colder.” A little sexist, as I would like to think that some women do get lonely and seek out partners “to cuff” for the season as well.

But nonetheless, as the last memory of summer disappears, and the skies turn cloudy and darker, hours earlier than before; single people may get lonely, as there aren’t many outdoor events to socialize at, and watching three hours of television after work, at home alone- may be lonely.

When winter really hits, and its just too crappy or cold to venture outside, humans, like most mammals, prefer to stay at home with a hot mug of cocoa and snuggled up next to someone (until April).

Finally, the last catalyst for this height in mating, is the upcoming holidays, literally one right after another. I’m sure we’ve all been through a Thanksgiving or Holiday dinner reunited with extended family members, and that one person asks you who are you dating? When are you finally going to bring someone home? Or my personal favorite, “So-n-so just had a baby, wouldn’t you like to have one?”

Right, I’ll just get to work on that. It was on my Friday to-do list, must have overlooked it when I was crossing off, “buy stamps”,  “asking out the mailman” and “wrapping his package.”

So, Thanksgiving through Valentine’s are the major coupled holidays, and less important would be Easter, but generally as the weather warms up, people emerge from their caves, and basketball starts again, thus the desire to be single again springs.

So how can you avoid becoming a victim of cuffing season?

Recognize the behavior, exes or the guy that you talked to over the summer, is all of sudden blowing up your phone and “showing up” places where you normally are.  Apparently, we have not seen the worst of it, it gets most aggressive the last week of October through November.

Play it cool and watch the behavior carefully.

Also, cuffing season isn’t for everyone, if you can’t throw the ball — step to the sideline, please.

There is always the potential for love. Not many people will “consciously” start relationships for cuffing season, but there are primal instincts that drive this behavior. However, it is just as likely as any other relationship to fail.

Some top examples of cuffing:

September is the busiest month for weddings.

Everyone is announcing their engagements on Facebook.

Everyone is announcing their pregnancy on Facebook.

Ex-boy(girl)friend texting you out of the blue asking, “how stuff is.”

You are receiving random invitations to BBQ’s or other functions from a suitor.

So, have you been a victim of cuffing season? Or are you a seasonal player? I’d like to know your experiences.

Tell me @ReporterandGirl or Facebook or G+

Living Better, Single

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The important word here is, “living”. We sometimes forget that despite the obstacles and hardships we face, life still goes on.  We cannot get stuck.

I have been “stuck” these last two weeks, but slowly my feet are trudging through the thick mud so I can live. I heard back from one school, and the professor will not take on my research proposal, so I won’t apply. I still have to hear from one more…so time will tell.

I started getting momentum towards the end of the week when I scouted out another school and emailed a couple of professors. One replied on Friday asking for my draft proposal, so I’m back on the ball! As long as I keep applying…I’ll keep moving in the right direction.

As I try to get other pieces moving in the right direction, this weekend, I thought about what it means to be single. I spent both Friday and Saturday night at home and the days were unremarkable, as there weren’t any events by me, and no one to hang out with. Not a bad thing, as I had a pretty wild one last weekend that resulted in getting an extra hole…somewhere.

Per discussion with a friend, I asked why some people are constantly in relationships,and how they manage to sometimes go from one to another with seemingly short periods of singleness.

“I like being in relationships and having someone to connect with”.

“I like being with someone and not alone”:

“I get lonely and its great having someone to talk or be with”.

“I hate being single”.

By the way, all of these statements were said by men. Surprise right? Despite the stony macho wall that most guys put up, these guys were “relationship oriented”. You’ll also notice that the statements are about connecting on an emotional level and not just about sex. And I also have some old male friends that recently (as of Sunday) put a ring on their relationships.

All these reasons (except for the last one), are great things to have in a relationship: connection, companionship, and communication. Those guys are lucky to find that in every relationship they dived into, however I wonder what happened to the last “C” (commitment), if they move from one to another seamlessly.

It also makes me ponder why I don’t feel like I need these, as strongly as my friends do.

I was born alone, and statistics show that I will also die alone, and young too. Unless you’re a twin or otherwise, we are all born alone, and very few couples actually die together (unless something horrible happened). So I always enjoyed my own company, even when I’m out, I’m still usually in my head.

Chey B, calls this “single by design“. Before anyone is in a relationship, you are single first.The way you define yourself now, is how your partner will see you when you pair up. How you take care of YOU – inside and out, will show when you are partnered up and may determined how successful you are in a relationship.

In other words, if you are lonely or do not enjoy your own company, chances are that other people will not enjoy your company too. If you do not enjoy hanging out with you, then why would someone else enjoy being with you?

I also feel the need to put a disclaimer here: There is a difference between lonely and being alone. Many people can be alone (physically) but not feel lonely (emotional). If someone is feeling lonely, this is internal and not something a “relationship” will solve.

Being single is the opportunity to design yourself and grow to your fullest potential. Of course, when you’re ready you can share the fruits of your labor with someone worthy.


Again, you worked hard on growth and development, you will want to share it with someone that will appreciate it. Many of the statements listed above reveal persons who may not be fully developed and ready for a relationship. Hence, they may make bad partners, and we have all had bad partners. So make sure you pair up with the right person at the right time. You don’t want to jump in only to be tossed back out by being single by default.

So tell me 3  traits in each of the following categories:

  •  3 things that you are good at, or that make you awesome
  • 3 things that you want to accomplish or do
  • 3 things that you want to improve or get better at

Three things that make me awesome:

I can leg press up to 360 pounds, I’m very organized, and I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

Three things that I want do:

Go back to school! Travel to Africa and the Middle East, learn another language and target shooting.

Three things I need to improve:

The languages I had already learned (I’m forgetting Italian, Mandarin, and French since I don’t use those often), stop biting my nails, be better at communication, especially my feelings.

So let me know on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or post it on my board!

Turned Down

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Well, I just lost my mind.

Its very difficult for a girl to ask a guy out. We’re either “too bold” and may intimidate a man, or we need to be “more forward” and tell a guy we’re interested.

For the last two weeks, these have been the conflicting advice that I’ve been given from friends and associates. For a guy its simple, if you’re interested — ask her out. For us, its some weird balance between being silently bold and forward, but yet never approaching and sitting at the seat waiting for someone else to initiate.

Well, I have struck out and been turned down. After what happened last year, my primal urges have returned with a vengeance…despite taking up extra hobbies like: applying for school, working multiple jobs, and upping my gym routine, I had trouble quieting this instinct.

Its time to hunt. And then feed.

Now, while I never go praying-mantis on a guy, I am this close to clubbing one over the head and dragging down a dark alley.

Long story – short, I walked away with someone’s email address.

staring at computer, gawking at computer, waiting for an email., S.C Rhyne


Everyone tells me this is a good thing. I guess numbers these days are just too much to remember, especially when they are not in order.

I don’t know when or if I will start a cyber-journey with this dude, but here are some tips to asking a guy out based on my experience.


Really, don’t straight out and ask him, “Let’s go back to your place,” or “What’s your number?” or any variation of this question. If you want to initiate contact, great! But do it with friendly conversation on some mutual topic, like the sports game that is playing at the bar.  You two should fall into such great conversation that he will be dying to ask when he can see you again…hopefully. If not, then there was nothing there. Even the shyest guy will find a way to contact you again.

Stay Classy!

Ladies, how many times have you turned down a guy? I bet you did at least twice this weekend! Whether he was obviously asking you out, or was sending subtle glances and smiles your way while on the train. Well, you better be able to handle rejection like a classy lady in public and pour it all out like a bitch with a blog in private. If a guy says no, or is rude and ignores you — move on. Move on to another seat, another drink, or even a different bar if you have to. Now, if its someone you know or that’s in your circle (co-worker or colleague..etc) definitely keep things cordial so it doesn’t affect your day-to-day life.

Now if he said, “Yes” but fucked you over, then tear him down.

No one can please you….like YOU!

So, did you spend half the night going from bar to bar, only to come home alone? Well I found a solution to that. Get a pet! Having a dog or cat can make great companionship and bring a different level of affection and loyalty.

As well as a  Jack Rabbit will help fulfill your carnal needs.

So what tips do you have for asking out a guy? And guys, do you like being approached, and if so, how?

Let me know at @ReporterandGirl or find me on Facebook, G+, and Pinterest.

Small Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship

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If you want a relationship that lasts, you need to find ways to make each other happy that are unique to you as a couple. There are hundreds of little things you can do — and the little things often have the biggest impact. Whether it’s leaving love notes for your partner to find or simply making sure to say “I love you” before you leave for work, show your partner how much you care. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following ideas:

Cook for Your Partner

Pick at least two nights every month to cook for your partner. Don’t tell the other person what you’re making, but devote the time and energy to ensure it is a special evening. Although scheduling a date night to go out is a good idea, sometimes staying home together and enjoying good food can feel more intimate and romantic.

Compete With Each Other

One of the best ways to strengthen your relationship is to challenge each other. Although you can play games like Monopoly and chess to have some friendly competition, make up little competitions that are unique to you as a couple. For example, see who can find the best low-priced gift for the other person every month or race to see who can be the first to get home from work on a Friday. Debate with each other or see who can run longer at the gym. Whatever it is, make sure it means something to you. As a reward, the winner can pick the dessert, receive a massage or choose a different small treat.

Try New Activities

Make a habit of trying all sorts of new activities with one another. Set a date for once every three months that can act as a seasonal holiday for you to try something new. For example, go to a cooking class or salsa lesson together. The key is to find activities that neither one of you have done so you can learn together. You can foster a lot of intimacy and a deeper connection when you help each other learn, grow and get through uncomfortable situations.

Create Code Words

Relationships are about connection and the bond only the two of you have. Extend this connection to language by making up a few code words that only your partner understands. This way, when you’re at a cocktail party or picnic with friends, you can continue to communicate privately even when everyone else can hear what you’re saying. Pick a secret word that means “I love you” and another that signifies “I’m bored.” Or, best of all, chose one that means “Let’s get out of here and have some fun.”

Take the Next Step

If your relationship feels like it’s in a rut or you want to take the next step, discuss moving in together. Deciding to be responsible and accountable to one another is a great way to show your love for one another. Beyond choosing what furniture you want to move into your new place, talk about your habits, cleanliness preferences and finances. Know how you want to handle your money as a couple and how you can be safe when paying bills online. And even though some of the logistics aren’t sexy or exciting, being able to make decisions together is good for your relationship.

Who Am I?

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Dear readers,

I want to introduce this anonymous submission from a friend of mine. He broke up with his girlfriend of two years, a couple months ago. And on my suggestion, wrote a piece today about his feelings. Please show him your support!

@ReporterandGirl or Facebook or G+.

What kind of fucked up, dark, twisted question is that? What does that even mean? I’m asking, seriously. What defines someone? Our actions? Thoughts? Beliefs? What I do when no one is around? Or better yet, what I do when everyone is around?

When you break up with someone, there’s this pressure to reinvent yourself. To find out who you are. But to me, having to deal with a breakup feels a lot like dealing with a loss of a loved one. But the loss of a loved is not the same. Your loved one is out there loving someone else and there’s nothing you can do about it. And you get to hear about the loved one often, and you want to ask but you hold back because you’re told it’s unhealthy to ask.

Losing someone brings out the worst in me.

sad guy, S.C RhyneI can’t sleep.

I can’t eat.

I can’t think.

Drinking helps.

It blurs out the shit feelings that have been following me like a 12 o’clock shadow. A 12 o’clock shadow is seen by no one except me. I’m standing on it. Very close to me, not very visible. Just enough to surround my feet and remind me that no matter where I go, it will follow.

Bad choice after bad choice after bad choice. Who gives a shit and why? Keep them coming, I’m in this for the long haul.

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed.

At least I got a night of sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. It’s the only way I can fall asleep without tossing and turning. It’s the only way I sleep without waking up every hour reminded of all the good times we shared together.

Women come and go too.

One woman

Two women

Six women

I wake up alone in my bed.

“I’m not like that” some weird fuck tells me. “I’m not?” I ask myself. Maybe that’s exactly who I am. Maybe it’s not. Maybe that question is simply too complex for me to answer. It’s an unfair question to begin with, because it assumes we can fully understand ourselves. Society keeps pressuring us to find ourselves. We need to know ourselves before we are able to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

Fuck.sad guy, lonely guy, break up, S.C Rhyne

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed. At least the hangover distracts me from the emptiness I feel in my chest. It’s like an anxiety ball that keeps moving just enough to remind me it’s there.



Never leaves.

It lives there, at the mouth of my stomach, and plays around the bottom of my rib cage.

“Focus on the pain.” “Embrace it”. “Experience it”. Fuck, just writing about it makes my hand shake. As I’m writing this, my hand is shaking. Right now- I’m feeling it. Just the thought of it drives me crazy.

Deep breaths.

In. Out.

In. Out.

I tried meditating yesterday. Fucking impossible. The recording kept telling me to relax and take deep breaths. It kept telling me to relax and release the tension in my body. Just let it go. I couldn’t do it. I simply could not let go. I slept three hours last night.

Again, one drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed. It’s the only way I get a full night’s sleep.

Everyone keeps telling me it will be OK. It will, I know it will. But it’s not right now and that reassurance doesn’t make the anxiety ball go away. I think about all the good times and my heart dies a little.

I’ve given up on me. When I lower my standards, things come easy to me. But comfort is not happiness and it’s definitely not the marker of success. I’m settling for less. Again and again. It’s just easier to cope this way. I want to settle for less and convince myself this is who I am. But I know I’ll never be happy this way.


It’s not because I know who I am, but because I know who I’m not. And maybe that’s the key to answering the question.

I have so much anger bottled up in my chest it makes me crazy. I miss her so much it hurts. I miss her companionship, I miss my safety net. I miss having someone to call at any time just to shoot the shit. Just to check in. To learn about what’s going on in her life and actually care about it more than what’s going on in mine.

Keep digging into me. I’ll get up and heal. At some point. A couple of years back I learned a valuable lesson in the army. We can give so much more than we think. We can push our bodies that much more. The secret is willing to let your body go. Caring more about giving it your all, than being able to get up again.

One more push up.

One more kilometer.

One more drink.

guy sit ups, guy working out, men exercising, fat guy exercising, S.C. RhyneThis mindset is a double edged sword. I can always push my liver. I can always push my brain into oblivion. How can I know my limits when I’m used to pushing the boundaries of my body. Another shot, another drink, another and another. Push, push, push and then I wake up in my bed.

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed.

And here I am, without being found. Just me- trying to figure it all out. And maybe this is the beauty in life. We don’t need to figure ourselves out. Just go out there and experience emotion. Love, laugh, be sad, get embarrassed. Appreciate all this because after all, I’d rather feel than not. Even if those feelings are negative, at least I know I’m alive.


7 Cheap Dates for Newlyweds

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If your date night budget has shrunk after marriage, don’t fret — there are plenty of ways to get some quality time with your honey, even on a tight budget. Here are a few low-cost or free date ideas for newlyweds:

Rent Bikes and Ride Around The City

Many cities offer bikeshare programs that give locals and out-of-towners access to bicycles as a way to “green up” transportation. Take advantage of the low-cost rental and take a ride around the city. You can go in the morning to get some fresh air or take a romantic ride at sunset.

Bike share programs like Seattle’s Pronto or Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare offer city dwellers access to shared bikes for just $85 annually. Other programs like Phoenix, Arizona’s Grid Bikes cost just $79 per year, or you could opt to pay an hourly fee for a one-time ride. Check out what your city offers online.

Go to a Sports Game

We’re not talking about seeing a professional sports game, instead, go see a minor league team, or even a high school team play ball. At the game, buy a bag of popcorn or a hotdog and test your luck by purchasing a raffle ticket–you might leave with a big prize. Admission is generally cheap, if not free, which makes this date idea a winner.

Turn Your Backyard Into a Playground

You don’t have to leave your house to have a good time, just transform your backyard into a poolside playground and lounge the day away. Inflate a few floating pool lounges and toss them into the pool, mix up some margaritas and slather on the sunscreen and you’re all set to enjoy this low-cost date.

Go Thrift Shopping

Visit the local flea market or thrift shop to find vintage furnishings and decorations for your new home together. Make a date out of it and work together to haggle with the vendors. Couples can take this time to learn about your spouse’s design preferences and style. And by purchasing something that could use a little refurbishing, like a chair that needs to be reupholstered, for example, the two of you could get your hands dirty and work together to bring it back to life.

Take a Hike

Adventurous couples looking to test their limits and explore new places can take a hike together. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, choose a trail with beautiful views and take the time on the trail to talk. The peaceful setting provides a wonderful opportunity to not only get in touch with nature but your partner as well.

Support Your Favorite Cause and Volunteer Together

If helping others is second nature to both you and your partner, give back to your community by volunteering together. Use a website like to find a cause and opportunities nearby. From working with animals to lending your skills to a non-profit, Volunteer Match offers hundreds of unique volunteer opportunities that can help to strengthen the community and your bond with your partner.

See a Movie In the Park

Many neighborhoods host a movie night in the local park during the summer months. Bring a blanket and some traditional movie munchies like Junior Mints or M&Ms and cozy up to your hubby. This date is free and it’s a great way to meet your neighbors if you’re new to the community.

Do you have any ideas for a great but yet inexpensive way to spend time together? Tell me about it on Facebook, twitter, or Google!