Late Summer NYC Date Ideas: 5 Ways for Beating the Heat and Heating up Romance!

Uncover the world of possibilities in the city that never sleeps

NYC Skyline

The end of summer in the Big Apple: it’s like Mother Nature can’t decide whether to give us one last sizzling summer fling or unleash an out-of-nowhere downpour. The struggle is real, and when you’re out on the dating scene – between the makeup meltdowns that leave us looking like a Picasso painting and sweat patches the size of Central Park – it’s like dodging metaphorical raindrops. But hey, this is NEW YORK CITY. It’s not just a city that never sleeps, it also has a ton of tricks up its sleeve to help us have a great time and not let weather get in the way. So here are five sizzling-cool NYC date ideas to crank up the heat on your romance while keeping your cool vibes.

1. Explore low-key gems on the Lower East Side.

Ready to dazzle your date? Start by unlocking the secrets of the LES. Looking to impress? Parcelle is your golden ticket, renowned as the “cool kids’ wine spot” by none other than Vogue. Get ready to raise a glass (or two) of natural wine that’ll have you sipping in style. But that’s just the beginning. Keep the momentum rolling without breaking a sweat. There are all sorts of spots very closeby. After the sun goes down, you can sit outside at Reception Bar, Le Dive, or Casetta, grab a bite at Kiki’s, or catch a film at the Metrograph.

2. Make Museum Magic for a Friday Night Date.

Looking for a Friday night date idea that captivates your date’s artistic and cultural side? Museum Fridays are your jam. While it’s no classified information that The Whitney welcomes you for free from 7pm to 10pm, we’re taking you beyond the obvious. The Morgan Library in midtown, however, is a lesser-known (and bite-sized) gem. The perfect size museum for a date, the Morgan Library offers a variety of historical and art exhibits, and can be conquered in an hour so you can scurry off to drinks. Its discounted hours are 5pm-7pm on Fridays.

3. Indulge in a Bookworm’s Paradise.

Let your literary desires run wild at Book Club, nestled in the heart of the East Village. Beyond the charming façade lies a haven for bookworms where pages of potential love stories await. Snag a coveted garden spot if you can, and let the discussions flow as freely as the drinks. It’s a match made in bookish heaven – and if you’re feeling peckish, they’ve got you covered. Trust us, there’s nothing cooler than bonding over a shared love for the written word.

4. Savor Indoor Market Delights.

When you want to feel like a date night filled with culinary adventures, turn your attention to the city’s plethora of international food-markets. You’ll feel transported to their European equivalents but with the bonus of air-conditioning. Take the plunge at TimeOut Market in Dumbo, soak in the flavors at Mercado Little Spain in Hudson Yards, savor the diverse delights at Market 57 Food Hall, or embark on an Italian escapade at the original Eataly. Pro tip: dive into a delicious challenge by having you and your date picking three delectable dishes each. Your taste buds will thank you.

5. Ditch the Latte and Go for the Gelato.

Enough with the coffee dates and take advantage of the last few weeks of the official ice cream season. Treat yourself and your date to ice cream at your favorite spot. Dive into dairy-free indulgence at Van Leeuwen  or explore the tantalizing treats at Caffe Panna, Caleta, or iconic spots like Morgensterns, Emack & Bolios, and Sugar Hill. Not an ice cream enthusiast? Fear not – Matha’s Bakeshop in Williamsburg awaits to serve up a different kind of sweetness late into the night.

So there you have it – a whirlwind of August adventures that won’t leave you dripping, but certainly drenched in the thrill of romance and NYC adventures.

3 Lessons on Self-Discovery and Relationships We Learned from the Barbie Movie!

Unveiling the Barbie-tastic Secrets to Finding Love and Embracing Your Inner You-nicorn

barbie Square

Welcome to the year of The Barbie Movie, where everything is pink, sparkly, and utterly fabulous (thank you, Greta Gerwig)! As we see the world through the pink kaleidoscope of Barbie’s world, we can’t help but notice how it appeals to different audiences in various ways.

For the younger fans, it’s a magical spectacle filled with dazzling glitz and glamor that leaves their eyes twinkling like the brightest stars. For the adult audience, Barbie’s story touches deeper chords, addressing the struggles and triumphs of women and celebrating the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters. Yet, beyond these obvious lessons, we’ve also uncovered a few gems that offer invaluable wisdom for our dating escapades. Here are our top three lessons on relationships and self-discovery.

Lesson 1: Embrace Your Uniqueness

While individuality might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of the “classic” Barbie, in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie world, it takes center stage. The movie celebrates the importance of identity in various ways, from their unique styles to their pursuit of different interests and journeys of self-discovery. Just like many of us, in the movie, no two Barbies are the same, and that’s the magic!

So when it comes to dating, toss aside any notions of being a clone. Be the radiant you-nicorn you were born to be! Dare to be authentic: show off your quirks, flaunt your passions, and embrace your personal expression. Remember, you’re “Kenough” as you are.

Lesson 2: Embrace the Journey: Discovering Beauty in Transformative Experiences

In Barbie’s picture-perfect world, life seems like a dream filled with glitz and glamour. However, beneath the dazzling facade, she discovers a longing for something deeper and more meaningful. Despite the challenges of being a woman, she embraces the journey that’s more dynamic than just one color, even if it’s bright pink and happy. 

Barbie reminds us that the beauty of life lies in the transformative experiences – even ones that produce tears – and we should step into vulnerable challenges with open hearts, recognizing that each experience, whether joyous or challenging, has the potential to deeply impact and empower us in profound ways.

Just like Barbie, we can dare to step out of our comfort zones and embrace vulnerability, recognizing that the journey of dating can be one of enriching self-discovery and growth. Instead of fixating solely on the end result or superficial connections, let’s approach dating as an adventure of self-discovery. Venture beyond the shiny surface of first impressions and fleeting encounters. So treat each experience as a valuable lesson, embrace the ups and downs, and let each step enrich your understanding of love and yourself. After all, just like Barbie’s world, the magic lies not only in the destination but in the enchanting journey itself!

Lesson 3: Embrace Vulnerability

In Barbie’s enchanting world, we witness a powerful lesson about the beauty of vulnerability. Beyond her picture-perfect facade, Barbie’s refreshingly honest and open about her insecurities and uncertainties. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery, seeking something deeper beyond the glitz and glamor. This teaches us that the power of authenticity can lead to more genuine connections and stronger relationships, both with ourselves and those around us.

In the realm of dating, it’s easy to put on a facade, projecting an image of flawless perfection to impress potential partners. However, just like Barbie’s willingness to share her vulnerabilities, allowing ourselves to be authentic and open about our feelings and uncertainties can create a stronger bond.

And no, embracing vulnerability doesn’t mean exposing every detail of your life on the first date. Instead, it’s about sharing your thoughts, fears, and dreams with genuine sincerity. When you open up to someone and allow them to see the real you, it fosters a deeper level of connection and understanding.

So, in this Barbie-tastic symphony of love and self-discovery, the lessons are simple yet profound. Embrace your uniqueness, challenge the status quo, and unlock the power of vulnerability. Be the empowered Barbie of your dating journey – fearless, genuine, and authentic.

Video Killed the Photo Star: 7 Reasons Why FFWD’s In-App Video Profiles Are the Only Way to Date

It’s time to upgrade your dating life with FFWD’s fun & easy video profiles

Woman on phone

If you’re one of 42 million Americans who use dating apps to find a partner, you’re likely familiar with the joys of online dating. And by “joys” we mean the odious feelings of frustration and disillusionment that results from the tedious cycle of swiping, matching, and unmatching. 

First there is the endless loop of matches that go nowhere. And even if you finally meet up with someone after weeks of texting – not to mention the time-consuming date prep rituals – it’s a giant heap of disappointment when their online profile doesn’t match the real-life person in front of you.

Beyond the physical disparities, charisma and personality that shines through online often falls flat in person, and those elusive “human intangibles” like vibe and character can’t be captured in a few carefully curated photos or cleverly crafted messages. As a result, we end up picking the wrong people based on superficial qualities or missing out on potentially great matches whose true essence cannot be gauged from an online profile alone. 

But there’s hope on the horizon for our woes with online dating: video profiles. They offer a game-changing solution to these longstanding problems and could revolutionize the world of relationship apps.

But let’s be clear, not all video is created equally. 

FFWD’s in-app video profiles are designed to bridge the gap between the digital and the real worlds to help you find genuine connections faster than ever before. 

Here are just a few reasons why FFWD’s video profiles are a must-have to elevate your dating experience:

1. What You See is What You Get.

With traditional photo-based profiles, the real life person frequently bears little (kittenfishing) or no (catfishing) resemblance to their online profile. It’s like ordering a pepperoni pizza and getting a plain cheese or, worse, a salad. But with FFWD’s in-app video profiles, you get to see the genuine, unfiltered look at the real-life person behind each profile right away. That’s because videos are recorded within the app, with no option to upload any external videos, edit them, or apply filters. So what you see is what you’ll get on your first date. Imagine meeting someone in person and actually feeling confident that they are exactly as they appear on their profile. It makes that first date much more pleasant for both sides, without any surprises or disappointments.

2. Capture More Than Just a Moment in Time. 

When it comes to finding genuine connections and truly seeing someone, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video can tell you a rich story. With FFWD’s video profiles, you can experience someone’s magnetic energy and effortless charm, and all those real-life quirks. For example, maybe you’ll notice how their eyes light up when they talk about their favorite hobby, or how they absentmindedly play with their hair when they’re nervous. All of these elements combine to create a more complete picture of who the person really is, which can be impossible to glean from a few carefully selected photos.

3. Personality on Full Display. 

With video profiles, you don’t have to rely on texts alone to gauge someone’s persona. Instead, you get to see them in action and experience their idiosyncrasies, humor, and energy in a way that photos or texts just can’t capture. Imagine watching someone tell a joke and seeing the cute way they laugh or the twinkle in their eye. It’s like getting a sneak peek of your first date, and it can help you determine if there’s chemistry and attraction beyond the surface level. That way, your first date has more of a second-date vibe!

4. Embrace Your Authentic Self and Be Liked for Who You Are. 

With FFWD’s video profiles, you get to put your authentic foot forward and then feel confident that when someone swipes right on you, they’re attracted to the real you, not just your photos or their imagined version of you. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, whether you have a quirky sense of humor or a unique hobby, you can find someone who appreciates you for exactly who you are. Just be your genuine self and you’re sure to find someone who digs you just the way you are.

5. Discover Hidden Gems. 

Consider how many amazing people have you passed up on dating apps because their photos just didn’t do them justice. With video profiles, you can discover hidden gems whose charisma, personality, and vibe are only apparent in real life. Maybe you’ll be surprised to find that someone who doesn’t look like your “type” on paper has a laugh that makes your heart skip a beat. You might just find your perfect match with someone you least expected.

6. Reduce the Likelihood of Ghosting. 

Studies have shown that people are less likely to ghost someone when they feel a stronger connection to them. With traditional online dating, it’s easy to get caught up in swiping through photos and one dimensional profiles without really getting to know the person behind the screen. It’s hard to get attached to aviators, which makes it easier to abandon a “match”. Video profiles allow users to see the person behind the profile picture, creating a more authentic and honest first impression. This leads to faster connections within the app and a more successful first date, reducing the chances of subsequent ghosting. Additionally, video profiles help to weed out potential mismatches and duds, resulting in fewer disappointing dates and, therefore, less ghosting.

7. Save Time and Fast-Forward to a Real World Spark.

In today’s fast-paced world, time is our most valuable commodity. Imagine how frustrating it is to spend weeks talking to someone online and hours of prepping for a first date, only to find out they’re not a good match in person. With video profiles, you can avoid that disappointment and fast-forward to someone who’s truly worth your time and energy.

So what are you waiting for? Upgrade your dating life with FFWD’s in-app video profiles. Find genuine connections faster than ever before. Download now.

A Guide to a Post-Breakup Glow-Up: 4 Tips to Help You Heal and Thrive after Heartbreak

How to transform your post-breakup experience into a positive and empowering journey

Woman smiling

Ah, the dreaded “B” word: Breakup. As we all know, the only thing more prevalent in this world than new restaurants in New York City are shattered hopes and broken dreams of romance. We’ve all been there, drowning in our tears, eating tubs of ice cream, and listening to Taylor Swift’s greatest hits on repeat. But let us tell you something – there’s a way to turn that heartbreak into a “glow up” and channel your inner “big ovary energy” to attract love. So grab a drink (alcoholic or not) and let’s get to it.

First things first, let’s talk about what a “glow up” actually is. It’s not just a makeover or a new hairstyle, although those things certainly can help. A glow up is a transformation from the inside out – it’s about becoming the best version of yourself, both physically and mentally. And what better time to start that transformation than after a breakup?

Now, we know it’s easy to wallow in self-pity and binge-watch the Notebook for the fifth time, but trust us, that’s not going to help you move on. So here are our four pieces of advice for turning that heartbreak into a glow up:

  1. Cut ties (at least for a little while) with the Ex. 

This might be the hardest advice to follow, but it’s also the most important. You need time and space to heal, and that means cutting off all contact with your ex for a while. We’re not saying you HAVE to delete their number or block them on social media (although that can certainly help), but you do need to give yourself some distance. And that includes not cyber-stalking them or obsessing over their every move. Trust us, you’ll feel so much better once you let go.

  1. Focus on yourself. 

This is the fun part – it’s time to channel all that energy you used to spend on your ex into yourself. Start that workout routine you’ve been putting off, take that cooking class you’ve always wanted to try, or splurge on that new outfit you’ve been eyeing, or maybe take a spontaneous last minute trip. This is your time to shine, so don’t hold back. And to reiterate, a glow up isn’t just about physical appearance – it’s also about improving your mental health. So take up meditation, try therapy, or just spend some quality time with yourself and your “positivity tribe” (more on that below).

  1. Surround yourself with your “positivity tribe”. 

What is a “positivity tribe” you may ask? Well it’s those friends, family and everyone in between, that makes you feel good about yourself and uplifts you. You know the saying, “you are the company you keep”? Well, it’s true. So make sure you’re spending time with people who uplift and support you. This might mean reconnecting with old friends or joining a new social group. And don’t be afraid to cut out toxic people who bring you down. Remember the mantra: positive vibes only! You deserve it.

  1. Stay open to love. 

This might seem counterintuitive, but hear us out. Just because one relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean you’re destined to be single forever. In fact, now that you’ve taken the time to focus on yourself and become the best version of yourself, you’re even more ready to find a healthy, loving relationship.  So don’t close yourself off to the possibility of a new romance. Embrace your “big ovary energy” and put yourself out there. Check out that new restaurant and try out your flirting skills. Wink at the cute neighbor of yours. Hey, maybe try that new dating app that everyone’s been talking about. You never know what might happen.

And remember, healing takes time, so be patient and kind to yourself. But with a little self-care and a lot of confidence, you’ll be glowing in no time. And maybe even finding that lasting connection sooner than you thought!

Who Pays on the First Date? A Modern Conundrum When Dating the Opposite Sex.

The Battle of the Bill. Navigating the dating minefield.

Money on tray

In the era of modern feminism and calls for gender equality, the question of who pays on a first date has become a sticky and confusing matter. 

Traditionally, at least for an opposite-sex couple, the norms of courtship have mandated that the man pay for the first date … in the name of chivalry and generosity.  

But in the age of independent women and progressive attitudes, things are not so cut and dried.  Some women prefer to split the bill, while others insist on covering the whole thing.

So what’s an upstanding gentleman (or gal) to do? Here is one perspective that we humbly offer for you to consider. Find a balance between modern ideas of equality and good old-fashioned notions.  

Perhaps, to diffuse some anxiety around who gets the check, as a default, the person “inviting” should pay.  For better or worse, in an opposite-sex relationship, that tends to be the guy. (New York magazine recently hilariously declared “if you penetrate, you pay” in #12 of their Etiquette Rules).

In reality, when it comes down to it, both parties might reach for their wallets at the end of a date, though the woman may be merely making a polite gesture in the familiar first-date-check dance. But as long as the guy’s offer seems firm and genuine, most gals will accept his act of generosity and see it as a positive sign that the date went well.

But what if she determinedly says “I’ve got this” or offers to contribute? Do you battle for the check or let her pay? Gentlemen, may we suggest that you first triple check that this is not still part of her gesture by assuring her you will cover it and thanking her for the offer. Just please don’t say, “Are you sure?” This puts undue pressure on her to agree to halfsies or pay even if she was just just being polite by offering.  Don’t do it.  

If she continues to insist though, then please respect her wishes. Perhaps you either split the bill or let her pay. If you’re keen to see her again, you can always try to get it next time!

In the end, it’s not about who pays, but about spending quality time with someone you’re interested in getting to know.  

So put down your wallet, relax, and let the conversation (and your personality) flow – who knows where it will take you?

The #1 Key Tip for Success in Dating: Putting In The Right Kind of Effort

A sprinkle of effort can create a heap of magic.

Girl Holding a Festive Cake

Hey there, all you lovely daters. Gather ‘round because we’re about to reveal a major tip for success in dating. So buckle up, grab a snack, and let’s get started 

First things first, let’s talk about the most important ingredient in a successful dating life – EFFORT. Yeah, we know, it sounds like common sense, but hear us out. Dating is like baking a cake; if you miss some essential ingredients, it’s not going to turn out the way you want it to.

And just like sugar is essential to cake, effort is crucial to make the dating come out right; without it, your dating life is going to be bland and tasteless, and no one wants that. And we’re not talking about the effort of just swiping right and left mindlessly or simply showing up to dates. We’re talking about putting in the right kind of effort.

We’ve heard people complain about daters being slow to respond to communication, showing up late to a date, looking sloppy, being inattentive to the conversation, not being present by checking their phone, and a whole lot more.  But it all boils down to one thing: a lack of effort. Come on, people, try a little harder!

Let’s go back to our cake example. Imagine you have all the ingredients you need to bake a delicious cake, but you realize your flour is expired. You don’t feel like going out to buy fresh flour, so you use the stale stash you have. You’re putting in the effort, but it’s not going to turn out the way you want it to. The same thing goes for dating; if you’re not putting in the effort to make yourself look great or engage in the conversation, it’s not going to turn out the way you want it to.

And, no, the right kind of effort in dating doesn’t involve mere endless swiping or even making grand gestures. It means finding the right person by putting in the time to know them, making plans, being responsive, showing up on time, looking your best, choosing a safe and convenient meeting place, and keeping the momentum going. Be complimentary, communicate consistently, be present, and show your vulnerable side.

And if the effort is not reciprocated, move on. The right person will put in the effort, too. Think of it as a way to gauge someone’s character. If they can’t put in a little effort to build a relationship, they’re not the right partner for you.

So, put on your aprons, people, and get ready to bake some sweet, sweet love! And remember, just like baking a cake, it won’t be perfect every time, but with the right effort, you’ll eventually end up with a dating life that’s as satisfying as a freshly baked cake.

Now go out there, and show the world what you’ve got!

PSA: stay away from a selfish lover – they’ll also be a selfish relationship partner.

Trust us, if they’re not attentive to your needs during sex, they wont be a better partner outside the bedroom.

GIrl looking at herself in the mirror

A selfish lover – ugh! If you’re one of the unfortunate people who’ve been with one, you know where we’re coming from. But if you’re lucky enough not to have encountered an egotistical paramour, let us paint the picture.

You’re getting intimate for the first time with a hottie you’ve been dating for [insert some “appropriate” amount of time] and you’re super stoked to finally test out your chemistry in the bedroom. Though first-time sex can be awkward and vulnerable, you’re still bringing your A-game. Most importantly, you’re trying to ensure that your partner is satisfied. But alas, despite the fact that you’ve been attentive and made an effort to please them, they don’t seem to care about your pleasure. They don’t check in, they don’t ask, they don’t seem to care or notice. What.The.Wha?! 

Perhaps you can chalk this up to a first-time blunder. But maybe there is a bigger lesson to gleam from this frustrating experience. Do their selfish actions in the bedroom give you insight into what kind of a partner they would be in a relationship, whether casual or serious one? 

In short, YES – a selfish lover is a giant, flaming, burning red flag.

Before we dive in, let us first clarify what is not a red flag. We do not mean that the person sucks just because your first few times are not mind blowing or you don’t climax. Initial physical encounters are generally full of gaffes, jitters and nerves. So it’s understandable if you’re out-of-sync at the outset. We all have our unique likes, dislikes and idiosyncrasies in bed – some like foreplay, others can’t stand it; some like a fast and furious experience and others want it slow and steady. Add insecurities on top of this and it’s surprising that your first time is not an utter disaster. The good news is that sex does get better with time, practice and communication

Also, we do not mean to cast aspersions on the less experienced lovers. Figuring out how to be “good” at sex is a process and if you catch someone at the beginning of their journey, be patient and understanding. Teaching, or even learning together, could be great fun.  

The red flag we would like to call your attention to is the straight up selfish lover. You know, the one who cares only about their needs and doesn’t bother checking in about what makes you “tick” or how to make you feel satisfied. The one that thinks that they’re so attractive that merely being with them should give you pleasure, and they don’t need to otherwise make an effort to try to satisfy you. The one who loves to receive caresses (ya know) but won’t reciprocate. The one who will reach the end goal and not care if you did – like, doesn’t even ask. You get the gist – it’s all about them and you feel like a supporting player.

While this behavior may be an initial faux pas – that is, it’s not characteristic of their normal behavior during sex – beware if their inattentiveness is a pattern that occurs repeatedly. If, for example, the second time around they still only care about their own gratification —- that’s a P-R-O-B-L-E-M. And if you do eventually provide pleasure cues and how-to-satisfy-you instructions and they completely disregard them —- that’s E-G-R-E-G-I-O-U-S! 

Well it’s just sex, some say. They can still be a wonderful partner otherwise, they say. WRONG!

Selfish sex behavior, beyond causing sexual frustration and insecurity, is an indicator of what type of partner the person will be outside the bedroom. 

Sex is a shared experience and both parties should be aware and mindful of each other’s needs and wants. Your partner’s failure to be attentive and care during sex can lead you to feel disconnected, neglected, and insecure. And if they do that in context of the most vulnerable and intimate instances, they’re likely to make you feel the same way in the rest of the relationship. This is the type of partner who will make his own plans without taking you into account; the kind that may apologize when they’ve hurt you but then continues to engage in behavior that causes you pain; the kind that will run out for an errand in the morning while you’re sleeping and comes back without a cup of coffee for you. You know the type.

In the end, with this kind of partner, you’ll feel unfulfilled in all aspects of your relationship. 

So here is our advice: don’t make the mistake of investing your time in a selfish lover. They’ll be just as disappointing with their clothes on.     

Let’s talk about sex, baby: 3 Tips For Discussing Intimacy with a New partner

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…

Couple Kissing

When it comes to discussing intimacy with a new partner, Salt-N-Pepa’s sex-positive anthem “Let’s Talk About Sex” from the 90s serves as a reminder that conversations around this topic can be uncomfortable yet essential. Addressing subjects such as safe sex, positive and negative aspects of intimacy, and the discomfort that often accompanies the conversation, the song contributed to making discussions about sex less taboo. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of talking about sex with your romantic prospects and offer tips for initiating these conversations.

The Significance of Sexual Compatibility

While online dating profiles commonly feature categories like relationship goals and desire for children, sexual preferences and needs are often too complex to categorize neatly. Nevertheless, the significance of sex in a romantic relationship – whether in a situationship, a partnership, or a marriage – cannot be overlooked. Beyond the physical aspect, sexual intimacy fosters a unique emotional connection with a partner. Thus, sexual compatibility encompassing preferences, desires, and styles becomes pivotal in a fulfilling relationship. Conversely, sexual incompatibility can raise a pink flag.

Initiating the Conversation

So you should definitely be talking about sex with your romantic prospects and you should be doing it early on. We don’t mean to imply that you should list out your kinks and fantasies over a second-date coffee. But just like with other aspects of dating, you should share your basic likes, dislikes and expectations so that you can determine whether you’re on the same page. Even if you don’t discuss it before your first intimate encounter, you should find the right opportunity to articulate (whether non-verbally or expressly) what would make you feel good, especially if you aren’t feeling satisfied. It’s all in how you say it. (By the way, if they don’t listen, it’s a good litmus test for how they’ll be in the relationship).

For example, if you’re looking for a serious relationship and they’re just looking to casually date, you’ll likely end things. But what if you both want to be in a relationship (check ✔) yet when it comes to sex they don’t like foreplay while you get most of your – ahem – “satisfaction” from the buildup (editorial note: that example is from personal experience)? Unless they’re open to fulfilling your desires, you’ll be in a pretty unfulfilling relationship. And even if that’s fine for a little while, the frustration will eventually boil over. 

While talking about sex is hard – it can feel even more vulnerable than the act itself – communication about sex is often a gateway to good communication elsewhere in a relationship. Difficult topics are difficult topics and we need to learn to tackle them with our partner. 

To make the sex discussion less awkward, establish trust and intimacy first with easier conversations, say about consent or contraception. Then move on to more meatier topics. Ultimately, creating a dialogue about basic sexual needs and expectations opens the door to sharing deeper and more intimate desires and fantasies. And being open and transparent about these things should only help strengthen your relationship.

So have the conversation about sex, baby! You’ll thank us.

What to Expect From Dating in the Metaverse?

Spoiler: It’s not the real deal

Couple in metaverse

In his own, um, charming way, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been touting the “Metaverse” as the new way we’re all going to be interacting with the internet and each other. You can hang out with friends in VR, relax in VR, vacation in VR, and even work in VR! 

The end goal is that you’ll be able to do anything in the Metaverse that you could do in real life and more — and, for better or worse, that likely means dating, too.

Probably for the gamers, dating in the Metaverse seems like a logical and exciting development, but for the rest of us, could, and should, Meta-dating be a substitute for real-life romantic connections? 

First, let’s explore one of the main supposed selling points of Meta-dating: safety. Some people suggest that the Metaverse will remove the risks associated with in-person dates. At FFWD, we’re all about safety – heck, we build our entire product around it – but it seems counterintuitive that you can eliminate risk by creating an additional facade behind which your date can hide their true persona. On the contrary, this seems to offer more opportunities for catfishing, if not worse (accounts of sexual offenses in meta space seems to suggest that dangerous behavior may be undertaken with more impunity where you have the technological facade to barricade you against real-world consequences). 

We think safety can only be assured when you show the real-life person off the bat, so that your real-life intuition can be invoked. And unless you plan to stay in the Meta-world in perpetuity (no judgment, gamers), you’re better off knowing sooner rather than later who’s the person behind the online persona.

Another “benefit” of Meta-dating is convenience. Sure, putting on a headset is way more efficient than getting ready for a real date but is that really a good thing? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that going out into the real world should not be taken for granted. Also, if you can’t be bothered to spend a little time getting ready and dressed for a real-world date (or half-dressed for a Zoom date), then you’re probably not that interested in the person or dating overall. There, we said it. 

Next, let’s consider the actual experience of VR dating. 

Now, we’ve seen how dating changed during the pandemic, and with a lot of people going on Zoom dates, a Metaverse date might not seem that weird. Still, there’s some version of realism and intimacy with Zoom dating. You’re still face-to-face, in a sense. You still get a glimpse of the real life person, bits of their vibes and their real-life quirks. 

In the Metaverse, though, you make an avatar. A cartoonish avatar. Of course, people have been making online avatars for decades in online games like RuneScape, Club Penguin, Second Life, but it makes us wonder, can you still experience the same vibes and body language quirks we identify in the real-world, or even Zoom, dates?

We think the answer lies in the pudding. And we’re not talking about the heavily-rendered ads Meta has been running on TV, but actual recordings of the Metaverse in its current form.

Here, take a look:

The Wall Street Journalist in the video describes the avatars as “trippy little LEGO-looking people.” Bottom line, as of now, the Metaverse is jank. 

Even if, in time, Meta perfects the tools of its Metaverse to make you look more realistic, we still make the argument that the Metaverse can’t create the same feeling of intimacy that’s inherent with in-person dating.

It doesn’t replicate the experience itself: the pre-date jitters, the quick check of your hair in your phone’s camera, the first glimpse of someone walking toward you, the smell of their hair, the warmth of their hand on your arm. 

These things can’t be replicated virtually, not until we live in a Ready Player One world — and we’re not sure that’s what we want (ever). There’s too much value and beauty in the real world to replace it with a virtual one entirely, and even those nervous feelings we experience when we’re dating add value. 

Looking into someone’s eyes is a luxury reserved for the real world. 

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Extra! Extra! Here Are the 2 Dating Trends That You Should Follow to Slay Your Dating Life.

Real Talk: Nobody’s out here to play games.

Couple sitting together

To say the least, the past two years have been weird. We went from our routine in-person interactions to a sudo-metaverse existence in a matter of days. Since then, we’ve been caught in a strange limbo. 

Yet it wasn’t entirely all a dumpster fire. Spending a lot of time alone has given us an opportunity to gain some important perspectives. We were forced to re-evaluate our priorities and wants — and it turns out that most of us want something new. New types of jobs, new experiences (including in the bedroom, thanks for the intel, Cosmo), and, for those of us who are single, a new relationship. 

But in a post-apocalypse dating world, we aren’t looking for casual, superficial paramours. We’re dating with the intention of finding a meaningful partner.

In other words, the games are done and authenticity and meaningful bonds are on the rise. Daters know what they want — and what they don’t — and they’re branching out of their comfort zones to find it.

So if you’re like us and are ready to ride the post-vaccination relationship boom, here’s a look at two dating trends that we think can help guide your journey.   


No, we didn’t just pick this one for the name — it really is the most significant dating trend expected in 2022. So what is it? 

“Fast-forwarding” (also referred to as “hardballing“) means looking ahead and considering whether a potential partner fits into the life you see yourself living in the future. 

This lets us avoid wasting time on bad dates and incompatible partners. That means prioritizing emotional availability and focusing less on appearance. And it does seem obvious — looks can easily change, but a supportive partner will be a stable companion for the ages. 

Fast-forwarding also normalizes the uncomfortable conversations about what we want, and being far more upfront with our partners about it, sooner. Further, that means being forthcoming as our wants and needs change. Nobody’s expected to be the same person year after year. Life changes us, situations change us, people change us, and our needs change, too. 

We always encourage people to be honest about their needs and communicate them with their partners, and the trend of fast-forwarding shows that people are starting to do this from the very beginning. 


Oystering is another breakout trend going into the new year, but what does it mean?

Well, it’s pretty simple: “oystering” means remaining consciously single — or maybe a better way to put it is “being single, consciously.” No more dating for the sake of dating! Instead, you pursue someone only when you’re ready and you feel a real, emotional connection with them.

Our advice? If you’re just getting out of a relationship, take time to realign yourself, release emotional baggage weighing you, and figure out what you want and need. And when you’re ready to get back out there, do it with intention!

Looking Ahead 

Though trends come and go, “fast-forwarding” and “oystering” will likely have staying power in light of what the harrowing last two years have taught us: life’s too short to waste on something that’s purely superficial. 

So seek out real connections and genuine relationships that challenge you in the right ways. Partners should open our eyes to new possibilities and experiences.