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Entries in Dating (12)


Dating & Mating: 7 Warning Signs You Need Couples Counseling!

Our relationships are important to us. They're the corner stones of our support system- at least they should be. That's until our relationships become the main source of our stress and problems. You obviously care about this person and situation, otherwise you wouldn't be reading! Fight for yourself and your relationship-- you're worth it. Regardless of the outcome, couples counseling can be beneficial. Every relationship isn't guaranteed or supposed to last, but I'm an advocate of at least exploring and trying to solve the problems that stop us of from having the fulfilling and loving relationship every person desires and deserves. Here are classic signs that it may be time to pull in a professional:


  1. Poor communication and secrets: You two can't seem to talk calmly, with mutual respect, and without feeling apprehensive, mistrustful, judged, criticized, yelled at, name called, or irritated. If you're unable to tell your partner important thoughts and/or withhold information and actions, this type of secretive behavior only erodes trust and hurts relationships.
  2. Constant fighting: Multiple fights during a week is excessive. Even one fight per week isn't necessarily healthy. Experts say you need 7 positive interactions per one negative interaction to still maintain loving conditions for communication and ideal emotional health. If you're fighting constantly, it certainty doesn't help your relationship feel safe or pleasant.
  3. Apathy and shutting down: Does it seem like one or both of you is disengaged and would rather escape through work, tv, music, alcohol, friends, or isolation rather than talking and engaging with your significant other? These shutting down and stonewalling behaviors can create further gaps in your love life.
  4. Decreased sex and withholding affection: Sometimes modern life can be so busy one may think "Who has time for sex? Not me or anyone I can think of". That's a very false assumption and possible scapegoat for underlying problems. Healthy couples desire to and engage in regular amounts of sex. (whatever amount is common and normal for your relationship prior to problems). Worse than lack of sex is withholding affection. Loving gestures and words add to intimacy, which is equally, if not more essential than actual sex. Both men and women need affection from their partners to feel loved and desired.
  5. Avoiding going home and phone conversations: The feeling of wanting to go to happy hour, shopping time, golf time, boys night, etc instead of heading home or calling your significant other is a red light. When a relationship is healthy, one should seek out the comfort of a spouse or partner, not avoid it.
  6. Dragging family and friends into problems: The need to pull in a third person as mediator or an ally is an absolute attempt to stabilize your relationship. However, our friends and family are often ill-equipped and biased to help us effectively. Not to mention it burns out your other support systems and can cause resentment as well as mistrust in your relationship with your love.
  7. Flirting and Fantasizing about single life: Our eyes never stop working, we can see attractive people and admire them in passing; However, regular fantasizing and flirting is not harmless and is an indicator of a lack of fulfillment in your relationship. These behaviors unchecked can lead to unconscious and eventually purposeful boundary crossing.


Do you think you have one or multiple signs of needing counseling? Reach out to a qualified professional for a consultation.  Not all couples are suitable for dating coaching or counseling. In cases where domestic violence, abuse, addiction or other severe mental health conditions are present, it may be better to address individual and safety concerns first.



Dating & Mating: How to dress for a concert 

Happy Friday fashionistas! Glad to be back after a nice Thanksgiving break. I've digested the turkey. I've shopped on Cyber Monday because Black Thursday/Friday is for suckas and even finally reconciled myself to having to come back to work. So what do I have for my pretty princesses today? Glad you asked... 

This post is inspired by a recent conversation I had with my best friend, who's single and dating up a storm. A new boothang just hit her up with an offer she couldn't refuse --  tix to the Jay-Z concert! Score! She was stoked, and likes the cutie who asked her well enough, but whatever should she wear? 

A question for the ages. Dressing for a concert is actually harder than you would think. Definitely two minds are better than one on this issue. She came to the right place! And so did you. Today we're going to discuss what to wear on a concert date.

You want to be gathered. Stylish. Appropriate and comfortable (nothing like overdressing or underdressing for a concert- horrors!). But since it's a date and not just a regular concert, there's an additional goal besides comfort and style. There is also the goal to be hot, alluring, sexy, and to show yourself in the best light possible. 

When making your choice, consider: 

1) Time of Day.   Obviously night concerts are more flashy and daytime ones are more casual. 

2) Venue.  Is the concert inside or outside? At the theater downtown, or the open-air arena? Is it a huge stadium concert, or an acoustic, intimate bar? Also, consider the terrain because shoe choice is MAJOR. Is it on a grassy knoll? A stadium with huge ramps and stairs? Don't the limping chick with the dirty feet carrying her hooker stilettos (we've seen her! She's real!) 

3) Genre of Music. Yes, consider the type of music. Let it inspire your fashion sense. There aren't any hard and fast rules really, but... wearing black studded motorcycle boots to the Chamber Musicale? A tuxedo to Bonnaroo? See what I mean? Let the music be your guide. 

And now for some fashion inspiration... 

Evening Hip-Hop or Rock Concert 


Jay-Z Concert




  • Build upon simple base elements and layer accessories. As you can see, any combination of the great elements above will build a great outfit with lots of zing. 
  • Don't be afraid to use props: hats, glasses, gloves, suspenders, wallet chains, arm cuffs... outlandish under other circumstances but perfect for a great concert. 
  • Shoes should definitely be for comfort and lots of walking. No one will pay much attention anyways. Heels will bring a lifetime of regrets. This I promise thee! 
  • Add edge without going overboard. Camoulflage and metallic trends play up nicely. 
  • Don't be afraid to embellish both eyes and lips. Looks amazing in the low concert lights. 
  • Red lips are every woman's secret weapon. Werkkkk! 

Evening Jazz or Acoustic Concert Small Venue with Seating


Nora Jones Concert




  • You have a good chance of a candlelight situation here. Don't miss out - try smokey, dramatic eyes, and elements to catch the light and sparkle. 
  • If you play up the eyes, leave the lips slick and nude-colored. His eyes will be drawn there, again and again. Muah! 
  • Heels are back in as possibilities. Just step carefully - pun intended!


Now these aren't the only types of concerts, certainly. For any concerts more formal than the ones covered here, follow the same fashion guidelines as a cocktail party.  If you'd like to review what to wear to a daytime informal concert or festivals, visit our post here

Well what do you think? Did I miss anything? Have you ever been on a fun concert date? What did you wear? Share with us on facebook or in the comments below. If we like, we'll share! 



Dating & Mating: How to dress for a Thanksgiving date

Happy Friday fashionistas! Fall is in the air, the grocery stores are ripe with plenty, and Turkey Day is right around the corner. It's a great time for life... and love. Speaking of you and your boo, are you planning to spend Thanksgiving together? His family, yours, or both? If you're spending even a few minutes of the holiday with your honey and his family or friends, you've got yourself a Thanksgiving Date situation! 

A little awkward dinner conversation is part of the fun! You look great though. Seriously.

Thanksgiving can be a challenge not only for those trying to manufacture cooking skills (!), but also for those of us headed to a family not their own to spend the holiday. I mean, we know what to expect from Aunt Earlene and Uncle Skeeter at our Thanksgiving, but what's waiting over there at his family's house? Let's face it: Thanksgiving is a holiday often used to introduce or familiarize a significant other to not only immediate family, but also extended family and friends in a "celebratory" atmosphere, but those undercurrents can run deep, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. Gathered ladies that you are, you've poise and sophistication on lock. Gathered ladies that we are, we've got fashion on lock. Let's combine forces and tackle how to dress for your Thanksgiving date. 

Ground Rules

1. Don't go in blind. Investigate! 

In as much as you can, leave nothing to the imagination. Ask your sweetie what the gathered will be like! Time of day, activities, traditions, number of guests, number of kids, indoor or outdor... these can all be helpful hints to ensure that you're dressed not only to impress, but also appropriately. You don't want to show up to a football Thanksgiving gathered dressed in a Chanel suit! You also don't want to wear expensive fragile silk when the ladies always help in the kitchen. The more you know... the easier it is to avoid faux pas. Ask away! 

Thanksgiving Sportsfan


2. Dress Cleverly! 

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to dress cleverly. Clever = smart. Not too provocative, fashion forward, or complicated. What we mean by this is using some techniques like layering, accessorizing, hair, and makeup, you can cleverly play up a more simple outfit. I've been to many types of Thanksgiving gatherings, and one thing I've learned is that complicated outfits don't pay. I've definitely been grateful when I was able to peel off a layer, or take off jewelry or shoes and get more casual, however. (For instance, when playing with kids, needing to sit on the floor, or deciding to go out for a walk.) Leaving an extra pair of casual flats on the car is not a bad idea either, considering what type of celebration you're going to or the length of time you plan on staying. I've even heard of families that change clothes to go outside and play sports or games. 


Thanksgiving - Casual



3. Always bring something! 

This is not exactly a piece of advice about what to wear, but what you bring is part of that overall impression we were talking about. Wine, flowers, cheese, candy, and dessert are easy go-tos. If you're a barefoot contessa type, call ahead and ask about what you can make for the celebration. Leaving folks in a dead swoon over your sweet potato praline surprise will make the best impression ever! Hint: bonus points for recipe sharing! Another fine contribution is a game or activity for others to try. If you're good with kids and enjoy spending time with them, bring something for them to enjoy. All of these things are big winners and show a generous spirit, which will be appreciated. 

Thanksgiving - Formal

Now you have all you need to shock and awe everyone at Thanksgiving with your poise and fabulousness! Did we get it right? Comment below or facebook us your experiences, and if we like, we'll share! 


What to Wear When You Have "Nothing to Wear"

Happy Monday Fashionistas! We've all been there: room full of clothes, closet packed with options, impending deadline to be dressed, overwhlemed and saying "I have Nothing to Wear!"

"Where is my collarless White Fred Segal Shirt?!" (Clueless)This happens to be best of us. Even The Gathered Lady Bree gets lost in a sea of options and personal frustrations. I've outlined a few problem scenarios and handy go to outfit ideas to take the frustration out of these moments. Here are some suggestions:

To Do: 

  • Keep wardrobe basics clean and buy multiples if necessary (I have 3 basic white and gray T's and several black shirts with different collars).
  • Use shoes to create trend power and give your outfit a style lift
  • Accessories are everything. Using them makes people think your outfit took lots of effort.
  • Don't skimp on hair and make-up finishing touches. A ponytail can be sophisticated if groomed properly. Mascara, a wisp of blush, and lip gloss makes a world of different versus a plain dry looking face. A bold lipstick can create the illusion of dramtic timely make-up.


  • Resort to walking around in sportswear/gym clothes all day
  • Haphazardly throw on wrinkled and dirty clothing
  • Wear oversized mounds of clothing to cover and avoid your body. It's beautiful in all it's shapes and sizes and there is always something you can accentuate

 Basics to Buy & Keep: 

  • A pair of dark denim jeans that fit properly
  • A white, gray, and black basic T-shirt
  • A nice blouse in a print and solid color
  • A pair of black pants that fit properly
  • A colorful pair of shoes, purse, clutch, and necklace/earrings/cocktail ring for accents
  • A little black dress
  • A blazer 

Here are 4 scenarios that I hear women struggle with the most. 

Problem #1 I am lazy/sick/too tired to put in effort. This outfit is ideal for casual shopping, errands, possibly running into someone at Target.

What to wear when you have Nothing to Wear 1




Problem #2: "I feel fat/bloated and none of my clothes fit!" This outfit is ideal for a casual date, movies, lunch or dinner with friends.

What to wear when you have Nothing to Wear 2



Problem #3: "I have NOTHING-- No time--- & Must look Nice for this event!" This outfit is ideal for a date, nice dinner, mixer, cocktails, business casual dinner or event. The tights can be exchanged for black jeans or pants. The power of this look is in your grooming, make-up, shoe, hand-bag, and accessories game. Looking "expensive" is a powerful default to fall to. Show off your face, hair, eyes, and accents and keep the clothes very simple.

What to wear when you have "Nothing to Wear" 3



Problem #4: I've got no creative juices left. Only the little black dress remains! The little black dress can be worn to work, play, or casual activities. It's all about the accessories & shoe game!

What to Wear When You Have "Nothing to Wear" 4



Boom! Now you've got options and all of the outfits can be assembled quickly, without specialized undergarments, and are comfy. Did I do a good job? Let us know in the comments below. If you rock one of these versions share it with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at The Gathered Lady. 


Dating & Mating: A Gathered Man's Guide to Dressing on a First Date 

Happy Monday! Today I am hoping that life imitates art because I have had several recent experiences of men showing up to first dates either looking or behaving in an ungathered fashion. Despite their visual offenses, these men had no malicious intent. But nonetheless, they were poorly dressed for the first date. If you're a loyal reader, you know I wrote a post for women on the same subject matter: How to dress on a First Date. Now, the messages men are sending on first dates are totally different than women, but we'll get into all of that in a bit...

Trust us when we say that 'all the single ladies' would prefer if single men use this guide for dressing on a first date. If there's one thing the staff at The Gathered Lady know, it's fashion and what gathered women like. And to our lovely fashionistas reading this, feel free to forward and share the link to every man you know! 

Our top voted look by our readers: Business Professional's Event/Mixer/Happy Hour 

She's wearing any of these!


If you're a professional single in your late 20's, 30's or 40's you may likely have dates after work. This look still holds sex appeal, and can shift from office to happy hour/mixer with the addition of a crisp blazer and your debonair cologne. These dates are mid-range price point for professionals who can afford a round or two of cocktails and/or appetizers or dinner for a cost at or above $80.


Here are some general rules to follow:

1. Don't dress like a slob: That statement seems so obvious, but it's the number one complaint women have. Slobsville doesn't only mean dressing like the local homeless guy. It's also when your look has an apparent lack of effort. It's found in the details.  Women report the following issues as slobville territory:

  • wearing hats/baseball/basketball hats (without explicitly attending a sports event)
  • tennis shoes (without playing a sport/attending a sporting event/active activity)
  • sleeveless shirts and wife-beaters
  • graphic T's with offensive and silly slogans
  • baggy pants
  • poor hygiene
  • gym clothes
  • flip flops

2. Don't dress too trendy: As a man you want to dress so that you don't lose points. When gathered women dress for a date, we already know you are sexually interested in us and we aim to make you more attracted to us while balancing your level of respect. Women work on a deduction system when judging men -- we start off with a certain value/attraction and then from there deduct value/attraction based on things we observe. We remain interested if you dress appropriately and our attraction is increased by your positive behaviors on the date. However, if you fail to dress well, the chemistry begins to rapidly die even before you display any behaviors. We're talking major setback here, guys. Your best bet is to avoid setting off any triggers for disinterest. Many fads can set off a woman's alarms.

  • extra tight skinny jeans- gaydar alarm goes off
  • very baggy pants- ghetto alarm
  • army camouflage- crazy or trashy alarm
  • muscle shirts- jerk/douche/meathead alarm
  • sports jerseys- loser/frat boy alarm
  • too much jewelry- cheesy/player alarm

 3. Don't forget the essentials:

You can score bonus points and stay in her good graces if you wear the following items provided they are occasion-appropriate for your particular date:

  • A watch- Women love watches. It shows that you probably have to be on time for something. And possibly have a job in which you try to be responsible and timely for.
  • Casual and dress shoes: It doesn't bode well when grown men only own tennis shoes.
  • A casual jacket or blazer: It adds sophistication to almost any outfit and is better than your college sweatshirt.
  • Money: Cash is sexy. Don't ever go on a date without your plastic and at least $50 in cash. Yes, $50. It's 2013 and this site is for gathered women. So that price point is reasonable for a good time with a sophisticated top-quality woman.
  • Cologne: Women adore men who smell good. You can earn MAJOR sex appeal points here.
  • A CLEAN car & car keys: I don't care if you borrowed a set of keys for the evening. It looks better than bus tokens. And if we are riding in your car- stop at the car wash and invest 50 cents in a quick carpet vacuum.

Now that the basic rules are covered. Bring your 'A game' with your gentlemanly behavior, see The Gathered Man's Guide to a First Date and choose your outfit.

Date Option 1: Lunch date, Movie date, Casual Date (Pool, Bowling, Miniature Golf)

She's wearing this! This look is perfect for men dating in their early 20's. These dates are generally cost conscious with price points less than $60. You can opt for dark denim jeans, a button down shirt with short sleeves and casual scent for easy going fun.




Date Option 2: Live music concert, Art walk or Show

She's wearing this!If you picked this type of date, you've already got a strong "Cool" factor going. Be sure to take that edge and rock a little bit of masculine man jewelry like a necklace or a skull and bones money clip. This look balances casual comfort with effort and style just like her edgy and sexy outfit. This date, much like the clothes offer a range in terms of price point ($60-$150).



Date option 3: Park Picnic, Flea Market, Beach, Outdoor Activity

She's wearing this!Here is your opportunity to have a carefree and casual date while still showing your excellent taste and sophistication. A picnic, the beach, or flea market is the ideal time to wear shorts and use that axe or old spice you have lying around. This date's price point is very low (less than $40) and your clothes can reflect the simplicity of the date without setting off the cheapskate alarm (one of the most deadly warning signs to a gathered woman). If you have a messenger bag, this is a great time to pull it out and fill it with picnic snacks, a blanket, or your flea market finds.


Date Option 4: Cocktail event, Fancy Dinner date, Theatre

She's wearing this!5000+ bonus points for you if this your first date. You are certainly taking a very gathered woman out and you're aiming to impress her. This outfit will achieve that. You'll look quite daper with cufflinks and a boss ring. And don't forget the hair pomade to show your superior grooming skills. This date is for a man with comfortable means at a price point of at least $100 and upwards.


 Now that you've got your handy list of options and price ranges, the rest is up to you. Don't forget the gathered man behavior which is the most essential part of the date. Compliment your date, be chivalrous, respectful, and your charming self! Now go get 'em tiger! And ladies- share, share, share this article!

Do you have a first date that doesn't fit into these categories? Need help? Write us at and we'll help you figure out great styling for a first date. Do you have pictures of your first date outfit that rocks? Email or tag us on facebook, twitter, or instagram @Thegatheredlady and if we like it, we'll share it!