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Beyond the Swipe: AI’s Expanding Role in Dating

AI & Dating: Is it really worth the hype? In a reality reminiscent of a Black Mirror episode, AI clones are going on simulated dates to gauge compatibility. While this notion seems fit for a dystopian future, this is actually a reality and AI’s impact on dating is even more profound, helping us have conversations […]

ai dating

AI & Dating: Is it really worth the hype?

In a reality reminiscent of a Black Mirror episode, AI clones are going on simulated dates to gauge compatibility. While this notion seems fit for a dystopian future, this is actually a reality and AI’s impact on dating is even more profound, helping us have conversations and pick matches. It’s time to peel back the layers of hype and explore what AI truly brings to the dating table.

Understanding AI in the Dating Scene

The use of AI spans a wide range of options from enhancing user interactions (innocuous) to improving matching algorithms (beneficial) to AI companions (dangerous). Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Enhanced Profiles: AI tools analyze user’s photos and highlight ones that are likely to garner interest. Some platforms are also using AI to flag potentially deceptive profiles in an attempt to mitigate ‘catfishing’ and fraud.
  2. AI-Driven Conversations: Some dating apps incorporate chatbots that help break the ice or keep a conversation going. These bots use natural language processing to generate responses that are contextually appropriate, albeit generic.
  3. AI Matchmakers: These systems use machine learning algorithms to analyze user data—interests, behaviors, and preferences—to suggest potential matches. The premise is that AI can discern patterns and compatibilities hidden to the human eye.
  4. Virtual Companions: Farther on the fringe are AI companions, programmed to provide emotional engagement and conversation. While intriguing, these are more about simulating companionship than fostering genuine human connections.

Is AI Worth the Hype?

Despite these advancements, AI’s effectiveness in dating is questionable. The core of dating—human connection, chemistry, and emotional understanding—is nuanced and deeply personal. AI, at least with its current capabilities, largely operates on quantifiable data and pattern recognition, which can only skim the surface of human emotions and subtleties. It can suggest a match based on similar interests or demographic data, but it cannot comprehend emotional compatibility or the chemistry that sparks between people in real-life interactions.

AI-driven suggestions often push towards standardization, where unique personal traits might be overshadowed by data-driven averages. This can discourage users from exploring relationships that could be fulfilling outside algorithmic predictions.

Lastly, the extensive data required to fine-tune AI for better predictions raises significant privacy issues. Users may be uncomfortable with the level of personal information processed by these platforms.

In all, despite technological advancements, AI is not close to mimicking the complexities of human relationships. The essence of dating goes beyond algorithms and predictions. It involves understanding, growth, and the instinctive human ability to connect on an emotional level. Real connections are born from mutual vulnerability and emotional compatibility—areas where AI still has significant ground to cover.

Want a break from AI? Explore real connections on FFWD.

Cracking the Code: 5 Tips to Get More Second Dates out of your First Dates

Because second dates are the real litmus test to see where things go… So, you’ve survived the nerve-wracking ordeal of a first date and lived to tell the tale. But let’s be real—first dates are like trial runs for a job interview, except instead of impressing a potential employer, you’re trying not to spill spaghetti […]

second dates

Because second dates are the real litmus test to see where things go…

So, you’ve survived the nerve-wracking ordeal of a first date and lived to tell the tale. But let’s be real—first dates are like trial runs for a job interview, except instead of impressing a potential employer, you’re trying not to spill spaghetti sauce on your shirt. The real challenge? Securing that elusive second date. Fear not, we’re here to give you some insight on how to increase your chances of scoring more second dates.

Dating can feel like a revolving door, of meeting people and dead ends. Getting on first dates is a great first step, but there’s a lot more power in moving things beyond the first date. Some people do get stuck on first date after first date, whether that’s because they just aren’t finding people they mesh with, or because they aren’t giving themselves enough time to make an informed decision before calling it quits. Getting seconds dates isn’t just about upgrading from coffee to cocktails; it’s about diving deeper, exploring common interests, and seeing if there’s potential for something more than just a fleeting encounter. In short, they’re the gateway to more substantial connections, and opportunities to better assess if you want to keep seeing each other.

If you’re on a treadmill of first dates, here are some therapist informed tips to get off — and on to more second dates.

  1. Be Yourself, Unapologetically: Let’s face it—pretending to be someone you’re not is about as appealing as a soggy sandwich. Embrace your quirks, flaws, and unique personality traits. If you tiptoe through a date trying to conceal surface level parts of yourself, you’re never going to be able to be fully present. Be unapologetically you, and watch as the right people are drawn to you like moths to a flame.
  2. Listen and Engage: Here’s a wild concept — actually listen to what your date has to say. We know, groundbreaking stuff. Engage in meaningful conversations by asking thoughtful questions, sharing your own stories, and refraining from checking your Instagram feed every five minutes. Show genuine interest in your date’s life, and resist the urge to zone out and plan your grocery list in your head. If you’re that bored, they probably aren’t your person — but out of consideration, you should come into the date with an open mind, and avoid being dismissive.
  3. Choose the Right Setting: There are great venues for getting to know someone, and not-so-great venues for getting to know someone. We usually opt for a coffee or drinks for a first date, because it’s a great way to get to talking without worrying about what you’ll eat or if you’ll share or spilling on yourself. But, if you crave something more fun and out of the box, choose a date location that sparks excitement and sets the stage for memorable moments. Putting efforts into dates is an indirect way of putting effort in a potential connection..
  4. Mind Your Manners: The term “etiquette” is outdated, but it does matter on a date. People who are perceived as kind, and also polite, are more likely to advance to second dates. No one likes people who are rude to waiters, or worse, rude to their date — and least of all, chew with their mouth open. A first date is a trial run in spending one on one time with someone else, so avoid inflicting discomfort.
  5. Follow Up Like a Champ: So, you survived the date without any major disasters—congrats! Now it’s time to seal the deal with a killer follow-up. Send a text or call your date to express your gratitude for the awesome time you had and your interest in seeing them again. Keep it light, playful, and genuine.

Remember, dating is supposed to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously. Embrace the ups and downs, learn from each experience, and above all, stay true to yourself. Who knows? With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of charm, you might just find yourself on the road to a great connection. Looking for someone to spark magic with? Download FFWD.

Is “Happy Valentine’s Day” a Risky Text?

How to navigate Valentine’s Day in a new relationship, or situationship. Valentine’s Day, the holiday that’s either a romantic fairy tale or a commercialized nightmare, depending on your relationship status. But what if you find yourself in the murky waters of a new relationship, or worse yet, a situationship? It doesn’t have to be a […]

Valentine's Day

How to navigate Valentine’s Day in a new relationship, or situationship.

Valentine’s Day, the holiday that’s either a romantic fairy tale or a commercialized nightmare, depending on your relationship status. But what if you find yourself in the murky waters of a new relationship, or worse yet, a situationship? It doesn’t have to be a big deal, so long as you don’t make it one. Take a deep breath, and buckle up, for FFWD’s guide on how to navigate Valentine’s Day with someone you just started seeing, or someone you’re not seeing that seriously.

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room: expectations. In a new relationship or situationship, the pressure to make Valentine’s Day memorable can feel like a ton of bricks crashing down on your fragile romance. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. Throw those Hallmark-inspired expectations out the window and embrace the chaos.

Now, onto the logistics. Gift-giving can be a minefield in a new relationship, or in a relationship where you’re not sure where you stand. You don’t want to come on too strong with a grand romantic gesture, but you also don’t want to underwhelm with a last-minute drugstore card. So, what’s the solution? Keep it light, keep it fun, and for the love of all things holy, avoid heart-shaped anything. Opt for something quirky or personal that shows you’ve been paying attention without overdoing it. Bonus points if it’s something you can enjoy together, like tickets to a weird local event or a DIY craft kit.

Next up, the contentious date night. Whether you’re going out or staying in, if you’re seeing your boo, the key is to keep it low-key and low-pressure. Skip the fancy prix fixe dinner and opt for something more casual and spontaneous. Maybe it’s a picnic in the park (weather permitting) or a Netflix binge with all the snacks your hearts desire. The goal here is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company without the stress of meeting unrealistic romantic expectations.

But what if you’re not quite sure where you stand in your new relationship? Ah yes, the infamous situationship. In this case, communication is key. Have an honest conversation about your expectations for Valentine’s Day. Are you both on the same page about keeping it casual? Great, then enjoy a carefree day of whatever floats your collective boats. Are you hoping for something a bit more romantic? Express that too, but be prepared for whatever response comes your way. Remember, a situationship is all about navigating the gray areas, so embrace the uncertainty and go with the flow.

Lastly, let’s talk about the big picture. Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the year, and it’s important not to get too caught up in the hype. Instead of focusing on grand gestures or Instagram-worthy moments, focus on building a solid foundation for your relationship. While it’s more romantic, it is still another date. Whether it’s been two weeks or two months, take the time to really get to know each other and enjoy the journey.

So there you have it, my irreverent guide to navigating Valentine’s Day in a new relationship or situationship. Remember, it’s all about keeping it light, keeping it fun, and above all, keeping it real. Now go forth and celebrate in whatever way brings you joy, whether it’s with heart-shaped chocolates or a marathon gaming session. After all, love (and situationships) are what you make of them.

And if all else fails, there’s always February 15th candy sales to look forward to!

P.S. If you’re looking for someone to celebrate with, download ffwd. <3

Lights, Camera, New Video Profile: 6 Tips for Crafting a Standout FFWD Scene

Creating a dating profile, especially a video profile, can be overwhelming — especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are our tips. Welcome, FFWD community! Whether you’re a seasoned member of platform or a newcomer exploring the vast world of FFWD, it’s time to take your Scene to the next level. In a sea […]

video profile

Creating a dating profile, especially a video profile, can be overwhelming — especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are our tips.

Welcome, FFWD community! Whether you’re a seasoned member of platform or a newcomer exploring the vast world of FFWD, it’s time to take your Scene to the next level. In a sea of dating apps and dating profiles, making yours stand out is the key to sparking connections. FFWD does some of the work for you in a scene, but here are some tips to help you go the extra mile. Discover how to make your FFWD Scene pop with these top tips for creating a standout video profile.

Before You Record:

Dress to Impress: Before hitting that record button, take a moment to ensure you’re date-ready for your Scene. A nice shirt, a genuine smile, and a positive attitude can go a long way in charming potential matches. Remember, first impressions matter, even in the world of online dating.

Location, Location: Choose your recording location wisely. Whether it’s a cozy corner at home or your favorite outdoor spot, make sure the lighting is good, and there’s minimal background noise. A clutter-free and visually appealing background will enhance the overall quality of your video profile and make you the focal point.

Angles Matter: Avoid unflattering angles and skewed perspectives by positioning your phone at eye level or slightly above. Recording with your phone in your lap may not give the best impression. Think of it as a virtual date across a table – a more natural and appealing view is sure to capture the attention of your potential matches.

While Recording:

Let Yourself Shine: Make your FFWD Scene truly yours by answering questions that resonate with you the most. With a plethora of prompts to choose from, select the ones that allow your personality to shine. Authenticity is key, so be yourself and let your unique qualities stand out.

Depth Over Brevity: When answering prompts, go for depth over brevity. Providing thoughtful and thorough responses, rather than short one-word answers, gives potential matches more insight into the real you. Share anecdotes, express your passions, and let your personality shine through the screen.

Press Stop When Finished Recording: Once you’ve shared your thoughts and insights, remember to hit ‘stop recording’ to avoid those awkward end moments. A clean and polished finish adds a professional touch to your video profile, showcasing your attention to detail.

Remember:

As you embark on the journey of perfecting your FFWD Scene, remember that the goal is not just to capture attention but to foster genuine connections. The nuances of your personality, the warmth of your smile, and the authenticity in your responses all contribute to a more profound and meaningful impression.

Creating a standout video profile is an ongoing process. Embrace the opportunity to record and re-record, allowing your FFWD Scene to evolve alongside you. Let inspiration strike, and don’t shy away from updating your answers to reflect where you’re at!

As FFWD introduces new questions, consider them as invitations to showcase different facets of your personality. Stay curious, be open to exploration, and use these prompts as a canvas to paint a richer picture of who you are. Your video profile is a dynamic representation of your genuine self, and by keeping it fresh, you invite potential matches to join you on the exciting adventure of getting to know each other.

In a world where first impressions are often digital, your FFWD Scene becomes a virtual doorway to your world. So, take a moment to revel in the creativity, authenticity, and effort you’ve invested in crafting a profile that stands out. Sleigh your FFWD Scene with confidence, let your personality radiate, and may your profiles continue to sparkle with the promise of meaningful connections in every swipe. Here’s to a dating journey filled with authenticity, excitement, and the joy of discovering and being discovered.

Download FFWD, and refer a friend for good karma <3

Revamp Your Love Life: Dating Resolutions for a Fulfilling 2024

Dating Resolutions may be cliché, but these tokens of advice from dating experts are helpful in changing up your dating game any time. As we bid farewell to the old and embrace the new, it’s the perfect moment to set some dating resolutions that will transform your love life in 2024. Whether you’re single and […]

dating resolution

Dating Resolutions may be cliché, but these tokens of advice from dating experts are helpful in changing up your dating game any time.

As we bid farewell to the old and embrace the new, it’s the perfect moment to set some dating resolutions that will transform your love life in 2024. Whether you’re single and ready to mingle or in a committed relationship looking to add some spark, these resolutions are designed to bring positive changes. Join us on a journey of self-discovery, meaningful connections, and a renewed approach to dating.

Body:

  1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: In the realm of dating, familiarity can breed stagnation. Break free from routine and try new activities or explore different dating platforms. Whether it’s attending social events, joining clubs, or testing out fresh dating apps, embracing the unknown can lead to unexpected connections and exciting adventures.
  2. Prioritize Self-Love: A crucial resolution is to prioritize self-love. When you value and care for yourself, you radiate confidence and become a magnet for positive and healthy relationships. Take time for self-care rituals, focus on personal growth, and surround yourself with positivity. A strong foundation of self-love sets the stage for fulfilling connections with others.
  3. Communication is Key: Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. Resolve to express your feelings openly and listen actively to your date. Honest and transparent communication builds trust and understanding, fostering a deeper connection with your potential partner.
  4. Quality Over Quantity: Instead of pursuing an endless stream of dates, shift your focus to quality connections. Invest time in getting to know someone on a deeper level before deciding if they’re the right match for you. Meaningful relationships thrive on genuine connections, so aim for depth rather than quantity.
  5. Learn from Past Experiences: Reflect on past relationships to gain valuable insights. Identify patterns, recognize what worked, and understand what didn’t. Use these lessons as stepping stones for personal growth, making more informed choices in your romantic endeavors.

Tips to Keep Your Resolutions:

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Crafting resolutions that align with your values and are achievable will keep you on track throughout the year. Realistic goals are more likely to be maintained, leading to sustainable changes in your dating life.
  2. Create a Support System: Share your dating resolutions with friends or family who can offer encouragement and keep you accountable. Having a support system adds a layer of motivation and makes the journey more enjoyable.
  3. Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge and celebrate small victories along the way. Whether it’s a successful date or a personal breakthrough, recognizing progress boosts motivation and reinforces positive habits.
  4. Stay Positive: Approach dating with a positive mindset. Even in challenging situations, focus on the lessons learned and the potential for growth. Positivity attracts positive energy, creating a conducive environment for meaningful connections.
  5. Be Patient: Finding the right person takes time. Be patient with yourself and the process. Enjoy the journey and the opportunities it brings to learn more about yourself and others.

Embarking on a journey of dating resolutions is an exciting way to usher in the new year. Whether you’re seeking a new flame or nurturing an existing one, these resolutions and tips will pave the way for a fulfilling and love-filled 2024. Embrace change, celebrate progress, and get ready for a year of transformative connections. Pro Tip: You can find it all on FFWD. Download, and refer a friend for good karma. Cheers to the adventure that lies ahead!

Understanding Ghosting: The Ultimate Guide to Navigating the Silent Exit in Modern Dating

When It’s Okay, Why It Happens, and Coping Strategies

Ghosting in dating

Imagine this: you’re all geared up for what looks like a promising connection. You’ve been messaging someone who sparked your interest, fantasizing about cozy coffee dates and leisurely strolls in the park. But then, as if by some cruel magic trick, they disappear. Welcome to the perplexing world of ghosting in modern dating – a phenomenon more confounding than a Houdini act, minus the applause.

In today’s digital dating realm, a staggering 80% of online daters have felt the chill of being ghosted. It’s become almost a rite of passage: 70% get ghosted before even meeting face-to-face, 25%  after a few casual meet-ups, and 10% after a couple of months into what seemed like a promising relationship.

But what’s really behind this vanishing act? Is it ever justifiable? Understanding the dynamics behind ghosting could be the antidote to coping with its sting.

When Ghosting Isn’t the Worst Idea Ever

Ghosting, while usually a big no-no, sometimes tiptoes into a murky zone where it’s somewhat understandable: 

  • Safety First: Trust your gut. If you feel threatened or unsafe, ghosting transforms from a social faux pas into a necessary act of self-preservation. In such scenarios, being ‘Casper the Safety-First Ghost’ is not just acceptable, but advisable.
  • Early Game Ghosting: During the initial chit-chat phase online, if the spark just isn’t there, ghosting becomes an unspoken yet mutual exit strategy. Think of it as the digital equivalent of politely excusing yourself from a lukewarm conversation without the awkwardness of a formal goodbye. 
  • Mutual Meh: Sometimes, after a first meet-up, both parties share a tacit understanding that the chemistry just isn’t there. This mutual disinterest often leads to a ghosting that feels more like a silent nod of agreement to move on, each with a quiet wish of good luck to the other.

Inexcusable Ghosting: Peeling Back the Layers

Beyond the more normalized ghosting circumstances, the reasons behind ghosting are multifaceted and often complex:

  • Confrontation, No Thanks: Let’s face it – some people are just terrible at confrontations. The mere thought brings a wave of anxiety, making ghosting seem like a less daunting path. 
  • Digital Distance: The virtual barrier of online dating can sometimes reduce the perceived emotional stakes, making it easier to ghost someone you’ve only interacted with through a screen. A richer, more authentic connection method (ahem, video profiles), can foster deeper emotional connections, potentially reducing the likelihood of ghosting
  • Choice Overload: With an overwhelming array of options in the online dating world, ghosting can inadvertently become a method for managing too many proverbial balls in the air. 
  • Covert Narcissism. This one’s particularly troubling, often emerging in deeper relationship stages. Beware of the narcissist’s playbook: they’re often the ones who lovebomb (shower with affection at the outset) and then ghost, using this tactic to maintain control and incite a chase – a glaring red flag of emotional manipulation.

Coping with Ghosting: Strategies for Moving Forward:

The impact of ghosting goes deep, often leading to self-doubt and emotional turmoil. Understanding the reasons and having strategies can help mitigate the damage: 

  • It’s Not You, It’s Them: Remember, ghosting is more about the ghoster’s hang-ups than your worth or deficiences. Think back to the various ghoster archetypes – the confrontation-shy, the decision-paralyzed, and the emotional manipulators.
  • Self-Care Squad: The cumulative effect of even casual ghosting can wear you down, so prioritizing your emotional health is key. Never underestimate the power of leaning on friends, indulging in self-care, or seeking professional support. Healing begins with acknowledging your feelings and taking steps to care for your emotional wellbeing. 
  • Advocate for Honesty: Fostering a culture of genuine, open communication in the digital dating sphere can play a pivotal role in reducing ghosting. Embracing vulnerability and honesty from the get-go can cultivate deeper, more sincere connections and diminish the ghosting phenomenon.

In the ghastly world of ghosting, understanding the why and how can equip us to handle these sudden disappearances with resilience and less self-reproach. Championing a culture of honesty and forthright communication, even in a digital age, can potentially transform ghosting into the dating misstep it should be. At FFWD, that’s our guiding light, and we invite you to join us in turning this vision into reality.

The Bird Test: TikTok’s Viral Relationship Compatibility Test and Why It’s the Ultimate First Date Tool

Ah, TikTok, the app that has introduced us to viral dating trends beyond dance challenges. Forget about the ‘Renegade’ and ‘Savage Love’ for a moment; the platform is also a treasure trove for first date advice. Enter the ‘Bird Test,’ a delightful yet insightful trend for evaluating relationship compatibility that has both the internet talking […]

Bird Test

Ah, TikTok, the app that has introduced us to viral dating trends beyond dance challenges. Forget about the ‘Renegade’ and ‘Savage Love’ for a moment; the platform is also a treasure trove for first date advice. Enter the ‘Bird Test,’ a delightful yet insightful trend for evaluating relationship compatibility that has both the internet talking and experts nodding their approval.

What is the Bird Test, Anyway?

The “Bird Test” gained traction after a TikToker Lyss Lyss shared a video that has now been viewed over 287K times. The premise is simple: If you point out something as seemingly mundane as a bird in a tree and your friend or partner shows genuine interest, it’s a good indicator that your relationship has the potential to last.

Lyss Lyss used a real-life example, recalling how she and a friend spent 10 minutes watching a woodpecker and Googling facts about it. It was a trivial moment, yet one that signified the strength and attentiveness in their relationship.

Is the Bird Test just another passing dating trend, or is it solid first date advice? The question was so burning that we had to consult the experts at the Gottman Institute and the results are fascinating.

Expert Opinion: Why the Bird Test is Not Just a Fad

While the “Bird Test” is creating quite a buzz, the concept behind it isn’t new. It resonates with the Gottman Institute’s theory of “bids for connection.” These bids can be verbal or non-verbal, significant or trivial, but they are essentially attempts to connect with someone else. According to relationship experts at the institute, how we respond to these bids can predict the health of a relationship.

In a study that followed couples for six years, the Gottman Institute found that the “masters” of relationships (couples who are together and still happily) turned towards each other’s bids 86% of the time. On the other hand, the “disasters” (couples who aren’t together or are unhappy) did so only 33% of the time. The point? Paying attention to the small things isn’t small at all—it forms the very foundation of a strong relationship.

The Bird Test Really Works: Real People, Real Stories

The reaction online has been overwhelmingly positive, with users sharing their own “Bird Test” experiences that span decades. “30 years ago my girl pointed out a raven. We watched her for half an hour and were absorbed with each other,” commented one TikTok user. Others shared that even after 20 years of marriage, these seemingly trivial moments keep their relationships strong.

But it isn’t always so rosy. Some users admitted their partners or family members didn’t pass the test, leading them to question the future of those relationships. After all, consistent neglect of these bids for connection can create a rift over time.

Why the Bird Test is the Ultimate First Date Tool

The genius of the Bird Test lies in its applicability to crucial first dates, serving as a unique tool for relationship compatibility. In a setting where both parties are often anxious yet keen to connect, the Bird Test offers a unique lens through which to gauge compatibility and mutual interest.

Not only does your date’s reaction serve as a natural gauge for compatibility—showing if they value your thoughts and observations—but it also serves as a real-time ‘litmus test’ for active listening and mutual interest. This is crucial for forming meaningful connections. By drawing your date into a spontaneous moment, you’re not just engaging in small talk; you’re fostering a shared sense of discovery and interest.

How it Works

  1. Observe and Share: Spot a bird or something else worth commenting on and share it with your date.
  2. Assess the Response: Pay attention to how your date reacts. Do they seem interested? Do they ask a follow-up question or contribute a related story?
  3. Engage: If the response is positive, use it as a springboard for more meaningful conversations and deeper connection.

The Versatility of the Bird Test

The beauty of the Bird Test is its incredible versatility. You can deploy it anytime, anywhere:

  • During a lull in the conversation
  • While sharing a meal or a drink
  • During a shared activity or outing

This adaptability means that you can use it as an icebreaker or as a way to reinvigorate a date that may be losing steam.

In a dating world that often prioritizes superficial swipes and snap judgments, the Bird Test offers a refreshing, authentic way to evaluate potential partners. So, the next time you’re on a first date and a bird happens to fly by, seize the opportunity. Not only could it make for an interesting conversation, but it might also offer a small but telling window into your romantic future.

P.S. You can try it with a cutie you found on FFWD <3

Beyond the Blaze: 5 Essential Self Care Tips for When the World Feels Like a Dumpster Fire

Navigate the chaos of today’s world with our top self care strategies.

Self Care Tips

Self care is key to mental health and wellness, especially in a chaotic world

Remember when “dumpster fire” was a term reserved for that burnt pizza slice left in the oven too long? Maybe even your best friend’s questionable fashion choice for the club? Ah, memories of a simpler time. Now, the global situation seems to have taken that phrase quite literally.

But let’s be honest: flipping through the channels or aimlessly scrolling through social media feels a lot like being stuck in a never-ending dramatic movie trailer. Each headline feels heavier than the last. And just like a real dumpster fire, the more attention and oxygen we give it, the bigger it seems to get.

So, what’s a modern-day global citizen to do? Should we adopt the posture of the ‘This is Fine’ dog meme, sipping coffee amidst the flames? Maybe. But more than that, it’s high time to focus on some quality self-care. Because let’s face it, your mental health deserves some TLC.

Let’s break down some self-care tips to help you find solace during those times when the world feels overwhelming.

1. Log Off and Unplug

Before you panic, no, we’re not saying you need to delete all your dating app matches (although, you might want to reconsider the one who thinks the earth is flat). We’re suggesting a brief respite from the endless waves of news and social media notifications. Set specific times for updates. Maybe even indulge in a digital detox weekend. Your brain will thank you for those periods of peace. Think of it as giving your mind a spa day.

2. Get Moving, but Make It Fun

So, global chaos is not the ideal backdrop for your fitness journey. We get it. But did you know that shaking your booty has the power of a small therapeutic bomb? Get creative. Dance in your PJs, walk backward in the park (safely), or challenge your neighbor to a socially distant hula hoop contest. Endorphins are waiting to be your best friend, and they’re more loyal than any golden retriever.

3. Art it Out

Now, this isn’t about creating a masterpiece worthy of a museum showcase. (Although, if you do, props to you!) It’s about catharsis. Scribble your frustrations, paint blobs, or compose a song with made-up words. Your emotional well-being doesn’t necessarily understand the language of art, but it sure feels its impact. Your soul doesn’t care if your painted tree looks more like a flamboyant broccoli; it cherishes the freedom of expression.

4. Connect in Real Life (IRL):

Sounds contradictory from a digital dating platform, right? But trust us on this. Humans are wired for connection. Texting is great, but hearing a friend’s laughter or seeing your grandma’s smile on a video call? That’s golden. Old-fashioned letters have a charm, too. Scribble some words, doodle on the margins, and send it off. It’s an analog hug in a digital world.

5. Treat Your Mind Like Your BFF:

Imagine your mind is that one friend who always brings snacks and listens to your rants. Now, treat it accordingly. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even counseling are like those long, heartfelt conversations over hot chocolate. They soothe, reset, and rejuvenate. Prioritizing mental health isn’t a fad; it’s self-respect.

So here are some final words of wisdom. In these trying times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But, remember, even amidst the grand dumpster fire, there are pockets of cool, calm oasis — wherein you can retreat and heal your mental health with self care. You just need to know where to look—and sometimes that’s within yourself.

Stay safe, stay sane, and remember to breathe amidst the embers.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or in crisis, help is available.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US): 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Remember, reaching out for support is a sign of strength. You are not alone, and help is just a phone call away. dial 988.

Do Pickup Lines Work? A Comprehensive Look at the Art of the Icebreaker

When it comes to the world of dating and romance, pickup lines have been both celebrated and vilified. Here’s our take.

pickup lines

Some swear by their charm, while others dismiss them as cheesy and ineffective. So, do pickup lines really work? The answer is a bit more nuanced than a simple yes or no. On dating apps, they can be a great way to get a conversation off the ground and spark meaningful connection, but only when they land well. This week, our team did a deep dive into the art of pickup lines, exploring what makes them effective, when to use them, and rounding up some of our recent favorites. Here’s what we think:

If you’re gonna use a pickup line, it has to be good.

Yes, pickup lines can work, but they have to be good. A well-crafted pickup line can grab someone’s attention and initiate a conversation. The key is to choose lines that are clever, humorous, or intriguing. Avoid overused, clichéd lines that are likely to elicit eye rolls rather than smiles and giggles.

A Transition to Meaningful Conversation is required:

While pickup lines can pique interest, they should ideally serve as a conversation starter. After delivering your witty line, don’t forget to follow it up with a more conversational question or comment. This transition from a playful line to a genuine conversation is where the real connection can be established.

Originality is Key:

Women, in particular, are often on the receiving end of pickup lines, and they’ve heard it all. To stand out, your pickup lines should be both pithy and unique, and tailored to your audience. Avoid recycling tired old phrases and instead aim for something fresh and unexpected, but not in a bad way.

Embrace the Ridiculous:

While originality is crucial, don’t be afraid to inject a bit of humor and absurdity into your intros. A well-timed, light-hearted line can be endearing and show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Just be sure that your humor is playful rather than offensive.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of pickup lines, let’s get creative with some examples you can (but probably shouldn’t) borrow for your next encounter:

1. “Are you a magician? Every time I look at your scene, everyone else disappears.”

2. “Do you have a Band-Aid? Because I just scraped my knee falling for your smile.”

3. “Is your name Google? Because you have everything I’ve been searching for.”

If you’re looking for more bad examples here’s a comprehensive list.

In our opinion, the effectiveness of pickup lines depends on various factors, including their quality, context, and delivery. Remember to be original, transition smoothly into a conversation, and, most importantly, be respectful of the other person’s response. With the right approach and a touch of creativity, pickup lines can be a fun and charming way to break the ice and potentially spark a meaningful connection. So go ahead, try out some of these lines, and see where the conversation takes you. If you’re looking for someone to try them on, download FFWD. We’re all about bad lines, as long as they lead to great connections. Happy dating!

8 Great First Date Ideas for NYC Fall

Coming up with great first date ideas in NYC can be tough, especially if you’re trying to avoid “getting drinks” for the 100th time. We’ve got you covered.

First Date Ideas

With an abundance of choices, but also a need to impress, it can be hard to choose a great first date spot — especially sight unseen. In this blog post, we’ll cover ten first date ideas in NYC that cater to diverse tastes and personalities, helping you make a great impression while keeping things fresh and exciting. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or cozy indoor experiences, we’ve got you covered.

Low-Key First Date Ideas

Coffee or Tea Tasting

Coffee or tea tasting can be a fantastic first date idea, especially if you both enjoy a warm beverage. Pick a cozy cafe that offers a variety of coffee or tea options. This setting provides a relaxed atmosphere conducive to conversation and allows you to explore your taste preferences together. Whether you’re sipping on lattes or sampling exotic teas, it’s a low-pressure way to get to know each other while indulging in delightful flavors.

Art Gallery Stroll

For art enthusiasts or those seeking a touch of culture, an art gallery stroll can be an excellent choice. Many cities have galleries that feature both local and international artists, making it an opportunity to appreciate creativity and spark meaningful conversations. As you admire paintings and sculptures, you can discuss your interpretations and opinions, fostering a deeper connection.

Activity-Based First Date Ideas

Nature Walk or Hike

If you both share an appreciation for the great outdoors, consider embarking on a nature walk or hike. Choose a scenic trail or park where you can explore together while enjoying fresh air and beautiful surroundings. Being in nature often reduces stress and promotes relaxation, creating an ideal environment for meaningful conversation and getting to know each other better. If getting out of the city overwhelms you, try a long walk around Central Park, Prospect Park, or Riverside Park.

Cooking Class:

A cooking class offers a hands-on and interactive experience that’s perfect for a first date. Select a class that focuses on a cuisine you both love or are curious about. Learning to prepare a meal together not only strengthens your bond but also provides plenty of opportunities for laughter and teamwork. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal you’ve made together.

Board Game Night:

For a more casual and playful first date, consider having a board game night. Find a local board game cafe or bring your favorite board games to a park or a cozy corner in a cafe. Board games encourage friendly competition and can reveal a lot about each other’s personalities and problem-solving skills. It’s a great way to bond and have a blast.

Farmers’ Market Adventure:

Exploring a farmers’ market together can be a unique and enjoyable first date idea. Wander through the stalls, sample local foods, and discover handmade crafts. This environment provides a relaxed atmosphere where you can chat freely while connecting over shared interests in food and community. If you’re not passionate about food, try a flea market. Here’s a roundup of farmers and flea markets (because no, Union Square is not the only good one).

Mini Golf:

Mini golf is a lighthearted and fun activity that allows you to be competitive while keeping things relaxed. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, it’s an excellent opportunity for laughter and playful banter. Mini golf courses are often designed with quirky themes, adding an extra element of enjoyment to your date. You can go inhere

Explore a Bookstore:

For book lovers, a trip to a bookstore can be a charming first date. Roam the aisles, recommend favorite books, and exchange literary insights. Bookstores often have cozy reading nooks or cafes, making it easy to spend hours chatting and getting to know each other while surrounded by the world of literature.

At FFWD, we’re on a mission to eliminate bad first dates. Selecting the right first date activity and spot can set the tone for a successful connection. We suggest you pick a first date that considers your shared interests — but above all else that leaves room for good conversation, laughs, and meaningful connection. Whether you opt for a cozy coffee date, an outdoor adventure, or a cultural outing, the key is to create an environment where you can relax, enjoy each other’s company, and have meaningful conversations. For more first date ideas, join our mailing list. And you can download FFWD of you’re still looking for that special someone to go on a date with :).