Posts By Cody Pierce

100 Questions to Get to Know Someone

There’s nothing quite as exciting as dating someone new. From the thrilling firsts—like romantic trips away and using cute nicknames—to the everyday moments like cuddling on the couch and goodnight texts, the feel-good vibes are typically out in full force during the initial stages of any situationship. But if you ever plan to get past the honeymoon stage, you need to take some time to get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level. While sure, exploring each other sexually is great, exploring each other emotionally is equally important. And asking questions to get to know someone is a great way to build that bond and create what could become a lasting connection.

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The key here is to ask questions that reveal the tiny little things that make your partner them. You don’t need to have another convo about the forecast or whatever you watched on TV last night. Instead, hit on topics that dig a lil deeper, promote stimulating discussions, and help you understand each other a bit better.

Quick disclaimer: You do have to enter into serious, personal territory to really connect, but not all the questions have to unpack past trauma and lead to tears. They should, however, all be engaging and require more than a “yes” or “no” response. The goal is simple: Get them talking.

If you’re feeling stumped, we’ve consulted with dating and relationship experts on the best questions to ask when you really want to get to know someone. Not only do these work for romantic relationships, but they’re great to talk about with your friends, parents, strangers on a plane—you name it! Whatever the situation, here are the top 100 Qs to ask so you’ll never have to talk about the weather again!

1. What’s one question you wish more people asked you?

This simple Q tells you what they enjoy talking about, what may be their passion, and as a bonus, “this gives the individual a very open-ended approach to share things that may be hard to prompt,” says licensed psychologist Carly Claney, PhD.

2. What makes you feel accomplished?

We all measure accomplishments differently, and you typically value the things that make you feel accomplished. So whether it’s receiving praise at work, protesting for a good cause, or reaching a fitness milestone, this is a good indication of what makes them feel fulfilled and successful.

3. Did you have a childhood best friend growing up?

Asking about someone’s early years can feel like a lot, so instead, ask about a (likely) positive source of comfort from their younger days. Childhood BFFs can majorly shape us as people, so this might cue you into why they went into their specific line of work or why they love watching movies on Saturday mornings. Besides, it’s always sweet to see someone get that far-off, nostalgic look in their eyes when talking about a friend.

4. What’s your strangest talent?

      It’s usually easier (not to mention more fun) for people to talk about their talents when it’s a little less, “I’m really good at public speaking,” and a little more, “I can balance stuff on my head.” Not only will you likely get a show (I mean come on—you’re a good balancer? Show me now!), but throwing this Q into the mix after a few heavier questions will keep things balanced.

      5. Do you have any spiritual beliefs?

      Some people might connect over religion right off the bat, but others might have spiritual beliefs that aren’t as out in the open. Sure, this can give you insight into whether you’ll be expected at midnight mass should you end up together, but it can also shine some light onto the guiding force behind many of their actions and morals.

      6. Do you believe in life after death?

      This might be an obvious answer based on the above question’s answer, but plenty of people have beliefs outside of religion. This can be extremely insightful and personal, so make sure to actively listen to their answer and don’t try to talk them out of their beliefs. If you want a fun follow-up, ask them what their version of heaven would look like. It’s puppies, loved ones, and lots of pizza rolls behind those pearly gates for me!

      7. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

      Some people love public singing and others would rather sit on the sidelines, so sure, you’ll get that answer v quickly. But either way, try to phrase this as a “you haaaaaave to sing” kind of thing. What song do they know every word to, and why is that song such a big deal to them? If things are going well, you can absolutely request a performance then and there for a playful vibe change. Just be ready to mic up as well for a spontaneous rendition of “Toxic.”

      8. What’s the last dream you remember?

      …Or what’s the last dream they remember that they’re comfortable sharing? Dreams can get weird, y’all, but oftentimes they cue you into what your subconscious is trying to work through. Make a non-judgment rule so you can discuss your dreams freely without fighting over the fact that one of you had a sex dream about Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura.

      9. What’s the *best* dream you remember?

          The definition of a “good dream” really varies depending on the person, their mood, and their values, so while this question seems a little silly, it’s actually pretty deep. Whether their favorite dream was when they got to spend time with their grandmother who had passed away years before or got to live in a house made of cheese, you’ll get some good intel.

          10. Do you have a life motto?

          If someone has a mantra, that’s one of the greatest indicators of how they *want* to live their life, so pay attention to what they say and see how it aligns with your own goals. Are they a “live fast, die young” or a “slow and steady wins the race” type? There’s a biiiiig difference in how those two people will likely want to spend their future.

          11. What’s your favorite snack food?

          This is one of the questions that separate the health nuts from the junk queens. Clashing over diet and food preferences can make picking a place to eat or stocking the fridge a major headache down the line (but don’t worry—it’s not a make-or-break. Relationships are all about compromise after all). On the flip side, however, you may learn about a yummy new treat or discover you both have a weakness for Cool Ranch Doritos.

          12. Cats or dogs?

          Cat and dog people can coexist, but for many of us, a future without a furry friend isn’t a future at all. That’s why learning where your S.O. stands on the matter is pretty major. P.S. This question can likely lead to stories of past pets, so get the tissues out and be prepared to feel your heart melt.

          13. Did you have pets growing up?

          If you didn’t get the details about their history with pets in the above question, ask away! Sure, you’ll get more insight about their stance on wet noses and litter boxes, but more importantly, asking someone about pets growing up is an easy way to segue into chatting about their childhood.

          14. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

          Learning whether your partner feels energized around people or when solo chilling is major since neither of you wants to be depleted when making plans. Also! It’s important to remember being extroverted isn’t the same thing as being outgoing, so your partner might be chatty, but they might still think of themselves as introverted because they need plenty of alone time to recharge.

          15. What’s the next big purchase you want to make?

          Finances are one of the biggest things couples fight about, so having a similar viewpoint surrounding how to spend (and save) money is vital to most relationships. If your partner has been saving up for a new laptop to replace their 7-year-old model: Great! If they want to buy a new gadget because they’re already bored of the one they got a few weeks ago? Not necessarily as great.

          16. What’s the best dish you can cook?

              This is more telling than asking someone if they *can*, and it’ll give you insight as to how good of a chef they really are. Let’s face it: Mastering cereal is different from mastering Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon. Regardless of their culinary prowess, cooking is an act of passion and a way to express love for many people, so if they ever offer to whip something up for you, there’s likely more meaning to the meal than just sustenance.

              17. What’s your dream car?

              First, this will let you know whether or not you’re dealing with someone who loves the Fast and Furious franchise *shudders*. But even more importantly, it shows you how they place value on themselves and the world around them. Do they want a flashy sports car for confidence? Are they aching to go electric for the environment? Or do they just want something that’ll get them from point A to point B?

              18. Do you want to stay in your current work role for a while?

              Asking someone about their work is sticky because hi, it’s work. So instead of something abstract like if they like their job, asking if they plan to stay in their role for a while is easier to answer. Plus, if you’re looking for a partner who’s at a consistent place in their life, this will give you insight as to whether a major life change is on the horizon, career-wise.

              19. What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?

              From the happenings at Area 51 to the moon landing, everyone’s got a conspiracy they can’t wait to talk about. Sure, this might give you an idea about whether or not you’ll be watching unexplained mystery documentaries for the rest of your life, but more importantly, it’s a purely fun question that keeps things from feeling too interview-y.

              20. Describe yourself in three words.

              The ~tell me about yourself~ question is basically a conversation ender, but by limiting your personal descriptions to just three words, you don’t have to feel like you’re giving an elevator pitch. And if they’re really struggling to come up with something, ask them to describe their “today self” in three words instead.

              21. What’s the best way to wake up in the morning?

              Whether they’re a 5 a.m.-er who runs or a 9 a.m.-er who snoozes 10 times, morning routines are sacred for many. Now’s the time to figure out if your ideal mornings align or clash. And if they don’t have a special way to start the day, maybe you can help them come up with one? *wiggles eyebrows suggestively*

              22. Oh, no! There’s a spider in the house. What’s the move?

              There’s a lot to be said about how someone interacts with small challenges and fears. Does the hero cape come on or does the fear take over? Also, if you find yourself in the company of someone who saves the spider and releases it outside (aww!), hang onto them tight since they clearly aren’t afraid of doing the right thing, even if it’s a tad uncomfy.

              23. How do you feel about reality TV?

              Reality TV can be kinda polarizing, and while some people love it (hi, it’s me), others aren’t as about it, so find out if your viewing preferences align. Also: This question can result in either a lively discussion about the merits of the genre or hours spent comparing your favorite Bachelor contestants, either of which is bound to be a fascinating convo.

              24. What was the best trip you’ve ever been on?

              There are a whole lotta ways you can vacation, so see if their idea of a chill break is the same as yours. Ideally, you’ll both find similar types of trips alluring, but even if not, pay attention to what it is they really liked about their best vacay ever. Was it the destination? The company? The food? This will reveal what they value in their time off.

              25. Do you play board games?

              Nope, not a super deep question, but definitely a favorite to ask. Board games are an epic—and screen-free!—way to connect, so finding someone who shares your affinity for ~Free Parking~ is pretty special. If they’re not a board gamer, maybe you can teach them a thing or two, and if they are into games, you can discuss the unlikely merits of having a sheep port in Settlers of Catan.

              26. Where are you most likely to be at a party?

              There’s nothing worst than going to a party and turning to find the person you arrived with is MIA. You don’t have to have the same social setting mentality, but knowing how each other functions and flourishes at parties is supes helpful. You’ll learn how they feel about social situations and for future reference, you’ll know that if you can’t find them, they’re likely playing flip cup or petting the host’s dog in the off-the-limits bedroom.

              27. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

                  Pet peeves can honestly wear down even the most level-headed person, so you might as well learn about each other’s simple frustrations as early as possible. From the toilet paper hanging wrong to hearing someone bite the fork when they chew, discovering those peeves—and then trying to avoid them for each other—is a simple way to show you care.

                  28. If you could have dinner with one person (living or dead) who would it be?

                  This is such a fun question because it almost always leads to insightful conversations. Some people choose to dine with a deceased relative or historical figure, while others pick inspirational creators or famous celebrities. Be sure to ask them *why* they selected their chosen dinner guest to better understand what they admire in others.

                  29. What was the worst phase in your life?

                  Maybe it was the time they got bangs, or perhaps it was the three years when they moved five different times. We all have ups and downs, but learning about your partner’s (or potential partner’s) “worst phase” can help you prepare for future obstacles and understand how different situations might trigger or affect them.

                  30. What would you do if you won the lottery?

                  From paying off student loans to setting their parents up with a house or simply blowing it all on trips and (v expensive) treats, there’s a whole lot you could do with a giant sum of money. While you shouldn’t take their answer *too* seriously (this is hypothetical, after all), this will likely shine a lil light on their values and nature of giving.

                  31. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

                  This is a fun one because the person might base their animal on aesthetics, size, personality—anything here goes. Yes, it’s a silly Q, but it actually shows what the person sees as their defining features, whether inwardly or outwardly.

                  32. What animal would you *want* to be?

                  You know what animal they would be, but now find out what they’d like to be. Dreaming of being super strong or fast like a cheetah might indicate they want to propel themselves to greatness, while choosing an animal that’s more mild-mannered like a bird might indicate they just want to coast and enjoy the view.

                  33. Would you prefer to go camping or chill at a resort?

                  There are two types of people: those who love to camp and those who don’t. While everyone should probably sleep in a tent at least once for like, life experience, beyond that it’s a total preference thing. And being with someone who wants to sleep outside every weekend when you’d prefer to be posted up at a bougie hotel pool is good to know so you can plan your future vacation days accordingly.

                  34. Did you have a favorite toy growing up?

                  Even the toughest of folks likely had a cuddly lil bear growing up, and exchanging stories of your favorite toy is a sweet way to relax the vibe. If they’re struggling to pick a favorite stuffed animal or doll, ask instead about the best gift they ever received as a kid.

                  35. What do most people overestimate or underestimate about you?

                  You know what they say about assumptions, right? This question shows how your (potential) partner would like to be perceived and how they feel the world’s view of themselves aligns with their own.

                  36. Have you ever lost someone close to you?

                  It’s a hard conversation to have, but losing a friend or loved one can really shape someone as a person. Practice active listening and be mindful if they’re not ready to go into detail. When they do open up about their loss, make an effort to remember the details and be cognizant of dates/reminders that could spur on memories or feelings of loss.

                  37. What’s a moment you’d love to be a fly on the wall for?

                  Here’s how to figure out what types of moments totally wow your date. Some people might lean toward historically significant events, whereas others might like to see something from their family’s lineage, or watch an especially important moment in their life back. Be sure to ask follow-up questions to really understand what draws them to that scene.

                  38. How did your family connect growing up?

                  Since childhood traditions can easily blend into adulthood, how their family bonded growing up could be a major way they like to form bonds now. For some people, that might mean playing Monopoly. For others, maybe it’s eating dinner together every night, or watching TV together in the evenings. If that connection style still feels good, you now have a secret weapon for creating close feelings with ’em.

                  39. What scrambles your brain every time you think about it?

                  If it’s anything other than black holes, they’re probably lying (I mean—come on! What is happening there?!). No, tbh, chatting about those things that just turn your mind into scrambled eggs is actually a lot of fun. You get to learn a little more about what things they ponder over and how their brain works, and you get to take turns attempting to unravel each other’s greatest mysteries.

                  40. Are you a better talker or listener?

                  Sure, the question itself is interesting, but it’s how they answer it that really shows the answer. Do they launch into an eloquent and thought-provoking response or do they turn it back on you and listen closely? It’s like an inception question.

                  41. What’s your “and then it got worse” story?

                  Whether it was a travel trip from hell or a group project that cost them a passing grade, everyone’s got a story where things just keep going wrong. As they share, pay attention to their body language—are they tense? Laughing? This could indicate how they’d handle future situations where things go awry.

                      42. What are you most determined to accomplish?

                      This question is like a double question, because sure, you’ll learn about their largest and most current goal, but you’ll also get an idea of where their priorities lie. If they’re striving for that big promotion, work is major right now, but if they want to run a marathon or buy a house, health and stability might be what they’re working toward.

                      43. What’s your favorite season and why?

                      Are you going to be hosting BBQs in the summer or Halloween parties in the fall? No, it’s not super deep, but this is a date, not a therapy session. Throw some fun ones in the mix to keep things balanced.

                      44. What do you hoard?

                      Maybe it’s memories, maybe it’s cat mugs. Their answer to this q can tell you what holds true value to them. Also! If they’re a legit hoarder, it’s probably a good idea to know that sooner rather than later so you can address it. Just saying.

                      45. What year was your favorite birthday?

                      Was it the year their friends threw them a huge surprise party, or the year they spent alone, drinking beer and reading a book? Sure, this can help you come up with ideas down the line, but more importantly, it gives you an idea of what makes them feel special.

                      46. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

                      If you’re the kind of person who wants to spend your weekends relaxing with some wine instead of waking up early to go hiking, it’s a good idea to see if your future partner’s on the same page.

                      47. What’s your favorite part of the workday?

                      Granted, plenty of people aren’t the biggest fans of clocking into their jobs, but are you with an optimist or a pessimist? Regardless of how much your job sucks, there’s probably something good about it—even if it’s just the iced coffee that makes you 15 minutes late every morning or the check that pays for your shoe obsession. This can clue you in to whether you not you’d be listening to work complaints every day for the rest of your life if you end up together.

                      48. Have you ever been to a family reunion?

                      Not only will this give you deets about their extended family (and if you’ll be expected to go to their grandma’s house every 4th of July), but it can also be how you learn if they have a secret castle in England or is the heir to the Toaster Strudel fortune.

                      49. Where would you be happiest to live?

                      First of all, it sucks to start getting serious about someone only for them to move across the country because they always wanted to live in Colorado. Potential LDRs aside, someone’s dream location will probably give you a good idea of what sort of environment makes them happiest.

                      50. Have you ever read a book that changed your life?

                      Especially if you’re a reader, this is a super powerful question. Books tend to be extremely personal, and knowing what genres they like and what stories moved them can give you a deep insight into who they are. Plus, you might just get some awesome book recs that you two can chat about on your next date.

                      51. What age do you feel like?

                      As someone who feels like a perpetual 12-year-old, this is always an interesting one to ask. Are they an old soul, or young at heart? This can also give you an idea of where they are in their life because if they feel older or younger than their age, it might give you an idea of what they’re looking for in a relationship.

                      52. When was the last time you felt excited? And what was it for or because of?

                          Licensed marriage and family therapist Billie Tyler suggests following up with questions like “What do you think excites you about that?” and “How do you know you are truly enjoying something?” to dive even deeper.

                          53. What’s the funniest thing your inner child wants?

                          Maybe it’s to eat dessert before dinner or twirl around outside while singing at the top of their lungs. Whatever it is, it’s the perfect excuse to do something unique on your date and learn a little more about their playful side.

                          54. If you ended up in jail, what would your friends and family think you did?

                              This answer could go one of two ways: It could be funny—like, I’d personally be arrested for robbing a CVS of all of their Reese’s peanut butter cups. But it could also be more serious and bring up events that may have happened in the past.

                              Just remember: “You want to get into the person’s values, personality, beliefs, and pivotal moments that made them who they are today,” says relationship expert Sophie Mona Pagès, founder of LVRSNFRNDS.

                              55. What’s your go-to French fry dip?

                              No, it’s not going to solely determine whether you have a future together, but a shared love of ranch could be the start of a beautiful relationship. Also, whether they’re a health nut or feel impassioned about waffle fries over curly fries, this is your chance to learn more about their food habits and drunchie preferences.

                              56. Have you ever become intensely invested in the fate of a TV show character?

                              This is more fun to ask than “what’s your favorite show” because it’s a little more nuanced and gives insight into the types of characters that capture your date’s attention. Follow up with questions about why they were interested in the character and how they felt about where their story went (if you’re cool with spoilers, that is).

                              57. If your life were a movie, what scene would you watch over and over again?

                                  One time a date hit me with this question, and I’ve loved it ever since. It may take the person some time to come up with an answer on the spot, but it’s worth the wait.

                                  58. Thoughts on scary movies?

                                      Apparently, if both of you are into scary movies, this is highly compatible, says marriage and family therapist Kati Marquez Meyers. Oh, and “people who enjoy scary movies tend to enjoy other adrenaline-inducing activities and also tend to identify themselves as risk-takers.”

                                      59. What movie always makes you sad? What movie makes you happy?

                                      Are they a Titanic type of person or a Lincoln type? Might as well know now if you’re going to be faced with a lifetime of falling asleep in theaters or arguing over who gets the remote.

                                      60. What embarrassing moment has stuck with you over the years?

                                      We all have moments that make us want to crawl in a hole and die, but being with someone who can laugh at past missteps is an extremely attractive quality, and shows they might be good at letting things go. Just be prepared to dish your embarrassing moments if you bring this up in convo!

                                      61. On a scale of 1-10, how well do you seize the day?

                                      Adding a scale makes answering more abstract questions a little easier since chances are their response changes depending on the day, situation, and mood. Listen to their response and the “why” after it as well. Are they working hard to build a foundation for the future, or do they care more about experiencing the now and aren’t as focused on what’s down the line? This can cue you into their goals and how they might align with yours.

                                      62. What would be your last meal?

                                      This is more fun to ask than “what’s your favorite food,” and you’ll probably get a better idea of the specific dishes they like. Plus, if this is a love connection, you now have the perfect menu for their birthday or special occasion.

                                      63. What do you like about yourself today?

                                      Some days we feel more confident than others, but it’s always important to take time to remember why you’re awesome. This will also give you some idea of what they value in others, whether it’s that their hair looks good or they spent all morning meal prepping for the week.

                                      64. What is an area of your life where you feel like something is missing?

                                          Meyers adds: “This question inspires self-reflection and invites discussion into your partner’s deeper innate wants, desires, and areas where they might be feeling inadequate.”

                                          65. Does social media make you feel better or worse about yourself?

                                          Are you looking for a partner who will share their life with your followers or someone who’s a little more private? How do you feel about being with someone who spends a lot of time scrolling? Chatting about your opinions and expectations surrounding social media can help determine whether you’ll be compatible down the line. If one of you is always taking selfies and the other doesn’t know how to hashtag, you might find yourselves butting heads.

                                          66. What’s the best decision you’ve made in your life?

                                              We all have a story to tell, and this question specifically gives a glimpse of a person’s past and how they tackle challenges in their life.

                                              67. What’s the best decision you’ve made today?

                                              Do they love that they took a walk? Wore the green shirt? Ordered the pasta instead of a salad? This will give you a glimpse at what they value in the everyday. Pro tip: You might want to follow up that this isn’t a trick question so they don’t think they have to answer going on the date with you.

                                              68. Would you consider yourself healed from the past?

                                              This includes whether they’re healed from their past breakup, childhood trauma, a recent conflict at work, etc. “You don’t want to enter a relationship with someone who will project issues of the past onto you that are unrelated to you,” says counselor Sarah E. Williams. “Asking this question can help you determine if they are whole and fully ready to love.”

                                              69. Which traits of your parents do you hope to never gain?

                                              This will give you some insight into their relationship with their family, and it’s a more subtle way of asking about what they value as well. Do they hope to be more present? Better at providing? Do they think their parents are perfect (which could also cause problems down the line)? Pay close attention not only to what they say but how they say it.

                                              70. Which traits of your parents do you hope to adopt?

                                              On the flip side, you want to know whether or not they see the good in people, and what sort of traits they value in others. Do they idolize their parents’ cooking skills? Ability to fix anything? Work ethic? No matter what their relationship is like, there’s a good chance there’s something they admire about their folks.

                                              71. What are your long-term goals?

                                              This is the super subtle (but actually genius!) way of asking someone what type of relationship they’re looking for. Like, hi, are they envisioning a life full of kids and family vacays, or do they talk of traveling solo with no mention of a long-term romantic partner? While they don’t need to be like, “I WANT TO GET MARRIED NOW,” at least a general future plan that could involve an SO is nice to know before you get in too deep.

                                              72. What are some of your biggest fears?

                                              This can be as simple as spiders and snakes, or as deep as commitment, loneliness, and/or abandonment. “This question allows individuals to understand their partner’s vulnerabilities and sharing fears will strengthen the foundation of the relationship,” says psychiatrist Leela R. Magavi, MD. “It will also help gain insight into someone’s past and what helped to shape them.”

                                              73. What are some of your biggest irrational fears?

                                              Now that you got heavy, let’s get a little light. Irrational fears can actually be very telling about past experiences, or you just might have a chuckle over the fact that you’re both deathly afraid of peeing with the shower curtain closed.

                                              74. What music really affects your mood?

                                              Maybe they get amped up with show tunes or can’t stand classical music. While a shared taste of music isn’t exactly a deal-breaker or sealer, it will not only give an idea of their likes and dislikes, but it can shine a light on how different stimuli affect their moods.

                                              75. Who do you look up to the most?

                                              In whatever way you want to interpret it, there’s a big difference between looking up to your grandpa versus someone like LeBron James. Whoever they look up to, this question will help “conceptualize the partner’s core values and personality type,” says Dr. Magavi.

                                              76. What’s your love language?

                                              Truly, the MVP of all questions. “This helps individuals identify their partner’s mode of giving and receiving love, which may improve communication and strengthen the relationship,” says Dr. Magavi. So take the quiz yourself to find out which of the five love languages is your strongest: words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, giving and receiving gifts, or acts of service.

                                              77. Where do you see yourself in five years?

                                              “This question is great because it gives you an idea of that person’s goals and life vision. You can determine if they’re compatible with yours,” says Jonathan Bennett, a relationship expert.

                                              78. What do you love most in your life right now?

                                              This question unpacks not only what the other person values, but also lets you glance into your potential compatibility, says Veronica Grant, a love and life coach. There’s no right or wrong answer, but depending on your personality (like you’re a go-getter and they’re happy just coasting through life), this question will take you straight to any potential personality clashes. You can either weed them out, or start a fun convo about what the two of your visions together would look like, says Grant.

                                              79. Which TV or movie character do you identify with and why?

                                              “I love this question because it breaks the ice and helps paint a picture without anyone getting caught up in their own ego. We are taught to identify ourselves by our jobs, hobbies, and our education (boring!), and this question totally lightens things up a lot,” explains Nancy Ruth Deen, a relationship coach.

                                              80. What was your last wish, like on your birthday or the last time you threw a coin into a fountain?

                                              Their answer will let you know what they think is unfulfilled in their life and what they hope for, says Diane Strachowski, PhD, a licensed psychologist and expert on attachment theory. Did they wish for love? Money? A promotion?

                                              81. What happened in your last relationship that led you two to break up?

                                              “If they blame the other person and don’t take responsibility for their own part of it, watch out,” warns Margaret Paul, a relationship expert. Nothing says red flag like someone with nothing but “crazy” exes. Smh.

                                              82. What is your relationship like with your family?

                                              Not everyone is super close with their family, but depending on how they view their relationship with them, this can tell you a lot. “Sometimes, what’s going on in the family can have a big effect on the relationship,” says Paul.

                                              83. Who did you turn to as a child when you were scared, lonely, or hurt?

                                              If they say “no one” and dealt with stressful situations alone, this is a good indicator that this is how they’ll handle current and future stressors now. On the other hand, if they went to their parents all the time for everything, they might need a lot of validation from a partner, explains Strachowski.

                                              84. What are you most proud of and why?

                                              This question lets you see what they value and how they spend their free time, explains Strachowski. Are they most proud of how their city soccer team went 10-0 last year, or do their eyes light up when they talk about the coffee table they built for their apartment?

                                              85. How do you deal with finances? Do you spend too much or too little?

                                              Sure, combining finances is a step for WAY down the line, but still, it’s worth asking as finances can be a huge issue in relationships, according to Paul. It can also be a good indicator of how they deal with life, in general. Are spontaneous weekend trips to Paris going to be a thing? Or are you guys gonna cook dinner at home more often than not?

                                              86. What do you need during periods of stress? Do you call someone to vent? Do you spend time alone to think it through?

                                              How they answer will let you know what they expect from close ones during rough times, whether it be closeness and a shoulder to cry on, or space, explains Strachowski. If you wind up dating and you find that they withdraw from you when they’re lonely, remind yourself of this so you don’t take it personally.

                                              87. Who is your biggest influence and why?

                                              This question can give you insight into a person’s core values, according to Bennett. If they name their single mother for raising them, they value responsibility and family. If they rattle off someone like Woody Allen, you can run.

                                              88. What are your favorite addictions?

                                              By addictions, we mean anything from chocolate, to working out, to Netflix. “Everyone has some addictions,” says Paul. The question is, are they going to be honest?

                                              89. Are you a neat person or a messy person? Are you an on-time person or a late person?

                                              Someone’s baseline definition of “messy” can be super insightful. Are they gonna be pissed if you spread all your makeup out on the counter for a night out, or will you be annoyed if the laundry piles up on a chair for a week? “It’s much easier if you are both neat or both messy, or both on time or late,” Paul adds.

                                              90. Use five words to describe your mother/father, giving examples to support each.

                                              Depending on how they answer, you can gain a lot of info on what they did or didn’t get from their parents and what they admire or look for in a person of the opposite or same sex, says Strachowski.

                                              91. Do you believe in karma?

                                              “This is a good question to get to know someone because it shows whether they believe there are consequences to their actions,” says Laurie Berzack, MSW, a relationship expert and dating coach. If a coworker screws them over at work, are they going to stay up for days stewing about how to get revenge, or are they more the type to forgive and forget?

                                              92. What was the scariest moment of your life, and how did you handle it?

                                              This one is interesting because it can open the door to either emotional history or just life stories in general. Was it when they got laid off from their dream job or was it when they got lost while hiking with friends? How they answer reveals their ability to overcome conflict and challenges, says Berzack.

                                              93. Where is your happy place?

                                              Another open-ended cutie that can segue into good follow-up questions, depending on how they answer. If it’s a physical place like the gym, or that one great hiking spot on their favorite trail, you can talk about those interests. If it’s a more abstract answer like “any time I finish a book that’s so good I immediately flip to the first page and start again,” that’s a good convo starter, too. “This question allows you to learn what the other person truly enjoys in life,” says Bennett. You can also use it to plan for future dates, gift ideas, etc.

                                              94. What makes you cry and why?

                                              “Knowing someone’s soft side is important to know what triggers them. If they don’t cry, they may not be sensitive,” says Strachowski. Again, if you’re sobbing on a movie date in the future and look over to see nothin’ but stoicism on their face, they’re not a heartless robot—they just have a higher cry threshold than you.

                                              95. When was the last time you got really angry, and why?

                                              This can be an unobtrusive way to find out the extent to which your date is trying to control the world around him or her, says Berzack. Plus, it opens the door for some lighthearted hate-bonding, whether it be over little or big things. Was the last time they got fired up because someone cut them off in traffic? Or, when they saw a bunch of people during rush hour refuse to give up their seat to an elderly person?

                                              96. What is your best quality?

                                              “It’s always interesting to see what a person thinks is their best quality. By asking this question, you get insight into how the person views themselves and what they think is an important aspect of who they are,” explains sex therapist Christopher Ryan Jones.

                                              97. Which song or artist are you too embarrassed to say you absolutely love right now?

                                              Not only does this give you a chance to potentially geek out over which Taylor Swift album is best (the only correct answer is “Folklore,” obviously), but it also shows playfulness and vulnerability, especially if you’ve just met, says Deen.

                                              98. Are you friends with any of your exes?

                                              This question lets you know two important things in one, explains Jones. It gives you insight into their past relationships and how they ended (does everything seem to go up in a huge wreck or do things end amicably?), and if they are friends, you’ll know now and won’t be surprised if/when they get a text from an ex they’re still close with.

                                              99. Ask them to complete this sentence: “I most enjoy having someone to do ______ with.”

                                              Sometimes, a person’s intentions can be clearly discussed by simply asking them. Strachowski recommends listening closely to see if what they’re seeking aligns with what you can give someone right now. Are they looking for a romantic partner, a best friend, or just a casual movie buddy?

                                              100. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing with your life right now?

                                              This is a fun one that can tell you a lot about a person and their passions without them feeling too self-conscious about it, explains Deen. Do they want to be directing movies? Working with animals? Traveling the world? Depending on their answer, you’ve also got great banter to go off of afterward.

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                        30+ TOP Things To Do in Vancouver & Nearby

                        I lived in Vancouver, a world-class, culturally vibrant city, for close to 10 years and enjoyed a wide variety of the sights, attractions, and things most visitors want to see and do. Most people don’t spend a week in a city these days, but if you even have three days, you can cover off a huge selection of my picks of top things to do in Vancouver. A week will give you enough time to include a variety of activities in Whistler as well. 

                        Vancouver is truly a wonderful city to visit but access between the north shore and downtown, especially if you’re driving, can be a royal pain. Avoid rush hour at all costs as it can easily take an hour to drive from West Vancouver to downtown Vancouver. Lion’s Gate Bridge gets backed up, but the First Narrows Bridge is no picnic either. I would recommend splitting your time between the downtown core including Stanley Park, the north shore from Deep Cove to West Vancouver, and the outlying areas like Bowen Island and Squamish and Whistler if you have time.

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                        Best time of year to visit Vancouver

                        I think most visitors will want to avoid the rainy season – which lasts from November well into April. However, Vancouver does get some high-pressure systems in winter moving in for extended periods of time, so you can get weeks of sunny weather. Unfortunately, it’s not the norm. There was one stand-out February for me that had three plus weeks of sunshine. With flowers blooming, that period was pure magic. You’ll need Lady Luck on your side or the ability to do a last-minute trip.

                        Most of you will want to visit from May until October. A common saying in Vancouver is that summer doesn’t start until mid-July – and that usually holds true if you’re coming for warm or hot weather. It’s also the busiest time in the city. I personally love the spring for the flowers and early fall for the decrease in crowds.

                        Granville Island Market is a mouth-watering place to visit in Vancouver

                        Stanley Park

                        Stanley Park is the quintessential experience to enjoy in Vancouver, no matter what the season or your age. Here’s a selection of ways to do just that.

                        • Spend a good part of a day in Stanley Park. The best way to experience is on foot or by bike. You don’t have to be a regular cyclist to enjoy the bike ride around Stanley Park. It’s easy, flat and can be done over a 1 -2 hours, depending on how many stops and detours you make. (Rent a bike at one of four stores clustered around Denman Street.) I would recommend trying to bike at a less busy time of day so you can take your eyes off the path and enjoy the view! Walking will take you two to three hours if you do the entire seawall.
                        • Short on time? Drive around Stanley Park, pulling off at viewpoints to take in the best sights like Prospect Point and Second and Third Beaches. Second Beach is home to a heated outdoor pool, that is perfect for sunny days.
                        • Visit the Vancouver Aquarium. There are no longer any whales at the aquarium but there are many more marine animals on display as well as an Amazon exhibit. Animals are shown in ‘natural’ habitats and won’t be doing any tricks or acrobatics to music, and the general presentation is of education and interest – not entertainment.
                        • If you’re feeling lazy or romantic, there are narrated horse-drawn carriage rides around the park that provide general information about both Stanley Park and Vancouver.
                        Walking around Stanley Park
                        Walking and biking around Stanley Park

                        Top things to do in Vancouver along SW Marine Drive

                        If you are coming in from the Vancouver Airport, either drive or ask your taxi or Uber driver to take a detour along SW Marine Drive and continue out along Spanish Banks. It’s only seven minutes from the airport.

                        • If you visit the Spanish Banks area at low tide, you can walk out on the sand flats for a mile. 
                        • Some of Vancouver’s best beaches are along here including Locarno Beach which is perfect for an outdoor BBQ on a warm evening.
                        • Enjoy the view of Vancouver from SW Marine Drive. It’s truly spectacular with the ocean and mountain backdrop. 
                        • Near Point Grey, stop at the Museum of Anthropology. Here you can see totem poles and unique British Columbia First Nations art.
                        • Kitsilano has a fantastic salt water outdoor pool – three times the size of an Olympic pool – with fabulous views of the mountains as a backdrop for those that just want to suntan and relax.
                        Sightseeing in Vancouver with a view of downtown Vancouver from the Spanish Banks
                        View of downtown Vancouver from the Spanish Banks
                        The Museum of Anthropology is housed in a beautiful building
                        The Museum of Anthropology is housed in a beautiful building

                        Top things to do in Vancouver downtown 

                        For many the skyscrapers of downtown are quite an eye-opener, especially the revolving restaurant. For indoor days there’s plenty of shopping both at indoor malls and on Robson Street, in Gastown, or even Chinatown with its myriad shops to poke around in. You could also try one of these activities.

                        • The HR MacMillan Space Center has indoor shows, laser and light shows and telescope viewings. Try to visit on a clear night.
                        • Take a dinner cruise while enjoying the downtown skyline.
                        • Enjoy a scenic float plane tour. It’s not too expensive when you consider how many people you can tuck in and what can be seen in a very short space of time.
                        Checking out the Aquabus from Granville Island
                        Checking out the Aquabus from Granville Island
                        Float plane trips are easy to arrange in Vancouver
                        Float plane trips are easy to arrange in Vancouver
                        Nitobe Gardens in spring
                        Nitobe Gardens in spring

                        One of a kind seasonal things to do in Vancouver

                        • In the summer there is outdoor ethnic dancing at the Ceperley Park picnic area. While this may sound a bit odd, it can be a lot of fun and was a huge hit with one of my friends out of town visitors.
                        • Every August the Squamish Nation Pow-Wow is held at the foot of Capilano Road. It’s quite a sight to see and the Europeans in particular love to see it! There is food, stalls selling native goods, and of course the dance competitions. It’s worth the time for a unique afternoon.
                        • Catch the Festival of Light every summer with fireworks starting at 10 PM at English Bay. You don’t have to be in English Bay to enjoy the dazzling show. There would also be some excellent areas to see them from Stanley Park. The fireworks occur three nights over a week.

                        Top things to do in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

                        • Starting at Deep Cove you can take a hike to the lookout at Quarry Rock, about 30 minutes along the Baden Powell Trail. It’s not for those afraid of heights.
                        • Browse some small shops and eateries in Deep Cove. When I dragonboated out of Deep Cove on Saturday mornings, we would often end up at Honey Doughnuts & Goodies, eating back all the calories we’d just burnt off.
                        • Rent a kayak or SUP in Deep Cove and explore the lovely inlet of Indian Arm or just the cove area itself. You can also take a kayaking tour – even in winter and on full moon nights.
                        • Most summer evenings you can watch dragonboat teams practicing. Come out and cheer them on.
                        Beautiful kayaking out of Deep Cove
                        Sightseeing in Vancouver can include a beautiful kayaking trip out of Deep Cove

                        Grouse Mountain 

                        • If you can afford the tram ride up Grouse Mountain (about $61/adult in 2022) you can probably afford to eat at the Observatory Restaurant at the peak, and in that case the trip up is included with your meal! If you are a fitness freak climb the 3000-foot mountain on the Grouse Grind Trail, but only if you are prepared and healthy enough to do it! If neither of those methods attract you then there is a helicopter ride from Coal Harbour that will take you up to the peak and back to the harbour later in the day.
                        The Grouse grind is a massive stair stepper in the forest
                        The Grouse Grind is a massive stair stepper in the forest

                        West Vancouver

                        • If you want a view at no physical or monetary cost (save for gas) then drive-up Cypress Mountain and pull off at the first lookout. You get a great aerial view of the lower mainland and on a really clear day you can see Mount Baker in Washington.
                        • Head to Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay and enjoy a sea safari. Look for seabirds, seals, and even whales.
                        • Wander the maze of trails among giant trees in Lighthouse Park, enjoying views at the water’s edge of Howe Sound. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic dinner in summer and watch the sun go down.
                        Seals seen on the Sewall's Sea Safari
                        Seals seen on the Sewall’s Sea Safari
                        On the Circle Tour you get views of Lion’s Gate Bridge
                        Sightseeing in Vancouver via Sewall’s Sea Safari 
                        My niece is dwarfed by a tree in Lighthouse Park
                        My niece is dwarfed by a tree in Lighthouse Park

                        Bowen Island

                        • Take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, enjoying lovely views of Howe Sound on the way over to Bowen Island as a foot passenger.  On the island poke around the shops in Snug Cove and have lunch on the deck at Doc Morgans Pub. You could even try a few hours of sea kayaking, right off the ferry dock. If you’re slightly more energetic you can take the loop trail around Killarney Lake or even hike Mt Gardner for the 360-degree view at the top. The island has a little bus service that can get you around.
                        Watching the ferry come in from one of the parks on Bowen Island
                        Watching the ferry come in from one of the parks on Bowen Island

                        Squamish Area

                        • Shannon Falls, rising 335 metres above the Sea to Sky Highway at Squamish, is only a 15 to 20-minute walk from the car park to the lookout.
                        Views from the top of the Chief in Squamish
                        Stupendous views from the top of the Chief in Squamish
                        View to Anvil Island from Porteau Cove
                        View to Anvil Island from Porteau Cove

                        Drive the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler

                        • Drive the Sea to Sky Highway – stopping at some of the iconic sights along the way. The lookout on a clear day over the Tantalus Range is particularly compelling.
                        • Brandywine Falls just south of Whistler is an enjoyable 5-minute walk from the car – and worth seeing just for their 70-metre height!
                        Me on the Whistler zipline
                        Me on the Whistler zipline
                        An airy walk on the Skybridge in Whistler
                        An airy walk on the Skybridge in Whistler

                        Where to stay in Vancouver

                        You’ll probably want to stay in downtown Vancouver or North Vancouver so you can walk about – and perhaps forgo a car altogether. From North Vancouver, it’s easy to hop on teh sea bus to downtown Vancouver. Here are some ideas of where to stay.

                        I have stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – and loved the downtown location, ambiance and the room we had.

                        The Paradox Hotel Vancouver is rated as superb. 

                        The Pan Pacific Vancouver located on the waterfront is a luxurious option. 

                        In North Vancouver, I recommend either the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier with its killer sunset views or The Seaside Hotel located in the Shipyards.

                        Further reading on things to do in the greater Vancouver area

                        Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

                        30 + TOP things to do in Vancouver & Nearby


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                        The 5 best weekend getaways in Europe for 2022

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                        Europe is a gorgeous put for anybody looking for a fast getaway. Specifically with vacation limits lifted and the planet obtaining back to regular, Europe can be the suitable spot for anybody to blow off some steam and invest time absent from all things insane. So if you are craving 1 or more weekend getaways in Europe, continue to keep reading! 

                        But, if you are missing for a time, balancing your operate and other commitments, never be demotivated because the two days on the weekend are much more than adequate to take pleasure in time off. Most persons who work full-time believe they can only travel in the course of their holidays, but in fact, you can do a good deal on a weekend getaway in Europe and conserve your holiday getaway days for a more substantial experience, like Thailand or Indonesia

                        One more option is to include a working day or two to your town split in Europe, let’s say Friday and Monday. Then you can do, see, practical experience and rest way more. It doesn’t matter if you only have two days or a extended weekend, these top 5 European getaways will make you come to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and all set for a new 7 days,

                        Here’s a look at the best 5 weekend getaways in Europe, we’ve carried out and advocate. 

                        Pro-suggestion: Be positive to verify on your passport’s validity right before you get started planning because you don’t want to make options only to discover an expiring passport. If the passport is expiring soon, Travel Visa Pro can get your passport renewed in time for the journey, and you can make contact with them here

                        The 5 ideal weekend getaways in Europe

                        London is the fantastic spot for 1 or additional weekend getaways in Europe.

                        1- London – United Kingdom 

                        It goes with out indicating – London is always the #1 place for a brief European getaway and is an simple 1st spot in the best 5 listing. You will never ever run out of alternatives in London – so several sites to visit with the finest views, wonderful restaurants, and properties the greatest bars in Europe. 

                        Be inspired to approach your London town crack, examine our guides:

                        Paris is an excellent destination for a city break in Europe.
                        Paris is constantly a good thought!

                        2 – Paris – France

                        Another metropolis that goes along with London is Paris, and it is 1 of the best weekend outings in Europe you can get if you like the town and the musing. 

                        All through summer time, Paris can sense even a lot more magical. Apart from the standard sightings – the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Arc De Triomphe, you find handful of of the world’s most effective culinary ordeals.  

                        Listed here are some recommendations to program your Europe town split in Paris:

                        Budapest deserves more than 2 days, but if only have a weekend don't worry. It's also a cheap city breaks in Europe.
                        We really like Budapest! For us, it is 1 of the major European city breaks.

                        3 – Budapest – Hungary 

                        Budapest can acquire you on a cultural tour if you have a somewhat higher spend. There is so considerably to do in Budapest, and believe in us – you will not uncover plenty of time on the weekend to do all of it, but you can make it to all the important kinds. 

                        Famed for its lifestyle and the attractive properties, you’ll come across quite a few desire-like destinations for the gram’. The metropolis by itself is enchanted, and a picnic in Metropolis Park or a cycling tour all-around the town will not expense you too a great deal. 

                        The metropolis also hosts some of the very best 5-star lodging. Nonetheless, if you are on a price range, there are a lot of resorts at affordable prices a couple miles away from the metropolis. 

                        Stick to these tips to approach your Budapest city split:

                        If you are searching for ideas for city breaks in Europe, you come to the right guide. Florence is one of our suggestions for a Cultural weekend getaway in Europe.
                        Florence breathes artwork and lifestyle.

                        4 – Florence – Italy

                        The city of Florence is magically – so magical that you are going to want to hold coming back each and every weekend. Florence is the property for most of the Renaissance masterpieces, and you can commit time in several museums across the city. 

                        Beyond the monuments, it is also residence to a lively society accommodating opera, classical music, and some of the most exquisite wines. Florence also has lively nightlife for you for your Saturday night time.

                        Program your European weekend getaway with these Florence travel suggestions:

                        Barcelona is one of the op European city breaks you can have. Especially during spring and summer.
                        Barcelona is perfect for travelers who love the outdoors, lifestyle, food stuff and enjoyable!

                        5 – Barcelona – Spain 

                        There’s no other city pretty like Barcelona – the excellent sights and the enjoyable restaurants make it 1 place you require to vacation to. Barcelona is built in different ways – it is one particular of the places in which the seashore and the mountains arrive with each other in peace. 

                        When you indulge in the city’s natural beauty, you have a choice – the scenic mountains or the serene seashores. Whichever selection you make, you will not be upset. 

                        Study these guides and program a great weekend in Barcelona:

                        Did you like these thoughts for weekend breaks in Europe? In which are you setting up to go? Share your ideas and if you need further info, drop us a information.

                        Adore these European weekend getaways tips? Pin it for later!

                        Here is a list of the best weekend getaways ideas for those who love Europe. We have everything covered from culture, food, architecture, nature, and fun, and you’re going to love these Europe city breaks. We share our favorite destinations for a weekend trip in Europe and practical tips to explore each of the incredible places.

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                        30 Tips for How to Give a Good Hand Job, According to Sex Experts

                        Once upon a time, the classic hand job was merely one of the first bases toward penetrative sex. That was back when penetration was basically the definition of intimacy and we, for some reason, spoke in baseball metaphors. But the days of handies being considered a stepping stone (or plate, if you will) instead of the main event are officially over, and learning how to give a hand job—like a good hand job—isn’t nearly as meet-me-under-the-bleachers-after-study-hall as you might think.

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                        Now granted, if you view hand jobs as juvenile, then that’s exactly what they’ll be, explains sexologist Malika O’Neill, founder and CEO of The Pleasure Collective. But that’s why you’ve gotta change your perspective, she says. And according to sex therapist, coach, and founder of Modern Intimacy, Kate Balestrieri, PsyD, manual stimulation (which is the more formal definition of a handy), is an important part of erotic play for all ages.

                        “Using your hands allows you to stimulate your partner’s penis with movements and sensations that penetration cannot replicate,” Dr. Balestrieri says. “They are totally different experiences.” Plus focusing solely on your partner’s pleasure every once in a while is an A+ way to connect and pamper.

                        But before you just grumble and half-heartedly grab your partner’s genitals, certified sexologist Sara Tang says it’s important to reframe your mindset. If you literally view the act as a “job,” that’s what it’s going to feel like. “Take a playful approach, instead of a goal-oriented or task-focused one,” she explains. While you NEVER have to give anyone manual sex—and you can always stop if you want—if you do decide to engage in some manual partner play, put some heart in it.

                        Ultimately, incorporating handies into your sexual routine can be exciting and pleasurable for both partners. So, if you’re game, here are 30 of the best, expert-recommended hand job tips out there. Grab a bottle of lube and get ready to go a lil old school.

                        1. Make eye contact.

                        It doesn’t matter what type of sex you’re having—eye contact is like an all-encompassing sexual secret weapon. “Checking in with your partner through eye contact tells them you are connected with them [and] their pleasure,” explains Dr. Balestrieri. “[That] you’re attuned, invested.” We don’t mean have a staring competition with your playmate, but long, lingering glances and a few smoldering looks will go a long way during a HJ. Plus it’s très hot to look in the eye of the person you’re pleasuring (and vice versa). Try it!

                        2. Try an arousal serum.

                        While the importance of lube can’t be overstated (pls see #12), one of the most fun—and multitasking—ways to elevate a hand job is with a stimulating oil or lube. Dr. Balestrieri highly suggests Trojan’s Arouses + Intensifies lube because it not only gives a pleasurable warming/tingling sensation (that reviewers say results in extremely “intense orgasms”), but it’s also condom safe! You need to use lube anyway, so you might as well use some that’ll result in firework-style climaxes, ya feel?

                        3. Massage their thighs.

                        Before just grabbing onto the shaft and going at it, Dr. Balestrieri suggests starting instead by massaging your partner’s inner thighs. This area is extremely sensitive, she explains, and by rubbing the thighs, you can “build a heightened anticipation for pleasure.” Try casuallyyyy sweeping over the penis until you hit the belly button, then start again at the inner thighs, working in broad circles. If your partner seems super receptive to the thigh touch, Dr. Balestrieri says to rub the area *while* stimulating the penis to add some extra sensation.

                        4. Or give them an all-over rubdown.

                            If you have the time or simply want to make things even more erotic, Tang suggests viewing the hand job as more of a sensual massage experience by giving your partner a full rubdown. Grab some oil or lube and start by massaging your partner’s back, butt, and feet. This helps warm up and prepare the entire body, Tang explains. “As you glide over their skin, begin focusing more and more attention on the penis.”

                            5. Get turned on.

                            Yup, feeling sexually excited yourself will actually make your handies even better, says ASTROGLIDE resident sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD. “The more aroused you are, the more naturally everything will flow,” she explains. “Your enthusiasm will be palatable, so make sure the pleasure is just as much your own as your partner’s.”

                            6. Watch them masturbate.

                            Your partner probably knows some of their favorite ways to be touched, and an easy way to mimic that is by literally just watching them masturbate, says international sex educator and creator of the Sex Hacker Pro Course Kenneth Play. If you’re both comfortable with it, a lil show and tell can go a long way.

                            7. And pay attention to their technique.

                            As your partner’s going at it, Taylor Sparks, an erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven, suggests making a mental note of the types of strokes they use and areas they focus on.

                            “Do they stay more to the top around the head of the penis or full stroke top to bottom, or somewhere in the middle with shorter strokes? [Your partner] is your best teacher on how they love their penis stroked,” she explains. You don’t have to do the exact same thing, but you’ll def want to play off of what you see they already like.

                            8. Bring on the applied pressure.

                            During penetrative sex, the walls of the vagina or anus kind of hug the penis, giving it a nice tight feeling, explains O’Neill. When giving a handy, keep this in mind and try to mimic that feeling by wrapping your hands around their penis and gradually increasing the pressure.

                            9. Mimic what you like.

                            If you have a penis, chances are you already have a good idea of what feels good. If you’re a vagina owner, you can still apply some of the same techniques to your partner that you use on yourself. O’Neill suggests using the same amount of pressure and speed you’d use to rub your clitoris to rub your partner’s shaft.

                            10. Get vocal.

                            The real secret to a great handy is to figure out exactly what your partner wants. Sex educator Jennifer Rahner says simply asking what they like is one of the most efficient ways to become a pro. Whether your partner prefers lots of lube or just a little (uncircumcised people sometimes enjoy stimulation without lube, says Rahner) or if they like a light touch or firm touch, the best way to figure it out is to ask. O’Neill suggests asking something like “Does that feel good?” or “Would you like it tight?” to get the ball rolling.

                            11. Make it a lil less stale.

                            So, hand jobs can sometimes seem like a checklist item, but that’s the exact wrong way to go into giving one. Sparks suggests giving a hand job with the purpose of destressing and pleasing your partner. “There’s no reason why blow jobs should get all the glory when hand jobs can be just as pleasurable,” says O’Neill.

                            12. Also hi, hello, please use lube.

                            “The number one hand job tip is lube, lube, lube,” says Sofiya Alexandra, co-founder and co-host of the Private Parts Unknown podcast. Too much friction is a hand job’s main nemesis, she explains, so it’s a good idea to always have lube on hand, and don’t be afraid to apply it so you can skip any awkward dryness.

                            13. Get their balls involved.

                            Try some light ball massage if your partner is into it. The amount of pressure will depend on each person, but don’t shy away from touching their balls, as it can be super pleasurable for them—and make you feel like a sexual rockstar. Playing with your partner’s balls during a hand job is a common tip both O’Neill and Dr. Balestrieri give others to improve their handies.

                            14. Compliment them.

                            Everyone likes a compliment, so be sure to let your partner know how much you admire them. “Tell your lover if their penis looks good, tastes great, feels amazing in your hands or mouth,” suggests Tang. “Some people have a lot of insecurities around their genitals, and it helps to relax and reassure them to know that you are enjoying the experience and not judging them for their size or shape.”

                            15. Use both hands.

                            If you’ve exhausted the one-hander, try getting all fancy with two hands. Sex and relationship expert Emily Morse, host of the Sex With Emily podcast, says to try the two-handed twist: Stack both hands on their shaft, one on top of the other. Then, twist your hands slowly in opposite directions, taking time to vary the pressure so you’re also gently stroking and squeezing.

                            16. Get a rhythm going.

                            O’Neill suggests using an up and down stroking motion up the shaft of your partner’s penis, and then twisting your hands ¼ either way. Once you can tell your partner is about to climax, focus the pressure more toward the head of their penis. O’Neill also recommends using long “milking strokes” once your partner reaches climax.

                            17. Treat it like an entree, not an appetizer.

                            It might be called a “job,” but no one wants it to feel like one, no matter if they’re the giver or the receiver, explains Dr. Balestrieri. “Try to take a position of wanting to please your partner, and channel the enthusiasm you hope they’d put forth when it’s your turn to receive,” she says. Just like you don’t like it when someone goes down on you for 15 seconds and pops up like, “you good?” people don’t generally like it when you give their dicks three rapid tugs and then move on to something else.

                            You can always, always, change your mind about what you do and don’t want to do during sex, but if you’re down to HJ, make it a fulfilling moment in your sex sesh and not just a checklist item.

                            18. Use ~natural~ lube…

                            Aka your spit. It won’t be as long-lasting or slick as the stuff you get at a store, but in a pinch, it’s an economical (and sexy) way to cut down on friction. And there’s no bigger hand job fail than friction. And yup, you can literally just spit on it. It’s somehow v sexy, so just go with it.

                            19. Make it a combo BJ/HJ.

                            The best blow jobs are those that incorporate the hands, and the same goes for the mouth during hand jobs. It helps you accomplish the previous point about natty lube, and it also gives your hands and all their tired muscles (from, you know, holding a phone all day) a rest.

                            20. Make it a (consensual!!) surprise.

                            A huge benefit of a hand job is that it can be done sneakily. We’re not exactly condoning or encouraging doing handies in public places, but if you wanted to get a HJ going while you’re sitting side-by-side on the couch watching a movie, that would be good and acceptable.

                            21. It’s all mental.

                            Jacqui Oliver, a psycho-sexual relationship consultant, says to get your partner started by having them imagine the hot and heavy stuff that’s about to go down. Don’t be afraid to talk dirty! Getting into the right mindset can turn second base from a pit stop to the actual destination.

                            22. Hold it steady.

                            Oliver says to make a “V” shape with your thumb and pointer finger to support the base of the penis and add slight downward pressure. This holds the penis in place as it becomes erect so it doesn’t “bounce” around too much.

                            23. Stretch it out.

                            Apply some lube in your other hand, and slowly stretch out the length of the penis with your other hand (your thumb should be pointing down towards the balls). Once your lubed hand nears the top of the penis, you can bring your support hand up and repeat the same slow stretch. Repeat until you’re both impressed by your hand dexterity.

                            24. Use your fingers.

                            Sure, it’s called a hand job, but using your finger pads to create a delicate touch can be super stimulating and unexpected. Antonia Hall, a psychologist and relationship expert, suggests using the pads of your fingers and lubrication to glide up and down your partner’s shaft.

                            25. Keep an eye out for their sweet spots.

                            Hall explains the frenulum (under the tip of the penis), the perineum (area just beneath the balls), and the base of the penis are three sensitive spots to pay extra attention to. You’ll want to make sure you stimulate these areas somehow.

                            26. Read their signals.

                            Just because you’ve asked them what they like, it doesn’t mean you can zone out and just phone it in until they climax. You’ll also want to pay close attention to their body language during stimulation. “Listen to your partner’s body—their breath, their noises, the way they move,” says Rahner. “These can all show signs that you’re on the right track.”

                            27. Free up a hand.

                            30 Tips for How to Give a Good Hand Job, According to Sex Experts

                            First, you’ll need a really good silicone lube because duh = more movement, more lube. We’re big fans of Lelo’s lube as it feels hella luxe and the bottle is basically a work of art. Once you’re lubed enough, try seamlessly bringing your hand from the base of the shaft up and over the head, squeezing gently on the head, and then working your way back down. Morse also suggests using your other hand for stimulating yourself (and putting on a bit of a show).

                            28. Focus on the head.

                            Go ahead and reapply your lube here, because you want things very lubed up when you’re stimulating the head of the penis. Morse says to use one hand to stroke from the base to the head, and then using your other hand, gently squeeze and play with the head of the penis.

                            29. Make yourself comfortable.

                            No good partner wants you to get a weird cramp in your wrist, and you’ll enjoy yourself way more as the giver too if you know that you don’t have to stay glued in one position until completion. Sure, they might be soaking it all up, but you’re the star of the show here.

                            Morse suggests playing around with your own positioning as you pleasure your partner so they can see all of you at different angles. “You can have them lie down while you sit up and pleasure them, or you can have them stand up while you sit beneath them,” she says. “There are an infinite amount of positions to try, and don’t forget the art of the tease!”

                            30. Let them finish on you if it sounds hot to you.

                            Tang says one of the hottest ways to cap off a hand job is to offer a part of your body (e.g. breasts, tummy, neck, face, or even feet) for them to cum on—if it sounds hot to you too, ofc. “And don’t race for the tissues or jump straight into the shower,” she adds. “Tell them how much they turned you on. Take their penis in your hands and give it a gentle caress. Give them a deep, lingering kiss.”

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                          Horseshoe Canyon Hike Near Drumheller, AB

                          The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta can be done as an easy day trip from Calgary though the Drumheller area is full of interesting things to do and worthy of an overnight trip. The canyon is a stunning, one-of-a-kind hiking destination year-round, but it’s best explored when its not too hot or too cold. 

                          Horseshoe Canyon is a large u-shaped canyon and quite an unexpected sight when you’re driving on the prairies. One minute the landscape is either pancake-flat or full of gently rolling hills and then in the blink of an eye you’re in front of this canyon enjoying a MOMENT. The canyon boasts layers of rocks dating back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the land, about 70 million years ago. 

                          Two French Canadian explorers, Louis, and France de la Verendyre, called this landscape “mauvaise terre” or bad earth because of its unsuitability for agriculture. The badlands name has stuck. And while the immediate area may be a bad place to farm, it is a fascinating place for visitors to explore.

                          Within Horseshoe Canyon, you’ll encounter three unique eco-systems including the badlands, prairie and wooded coulee slopes. Within each eco-system are different plants and animals. You might be surprised at how alive the badlands really are.

                          Geologists or anyone interested in rocks will enjoy the Horseshoe Canyon hike. The layers of rock reveal both environmental and climatic events. Rock units very in colour from purple to tan to grey and even black indicating coal seams. The layers are composed of mudstone, sandstone, carbonaceous shales, and the afore mentioned coal.

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                          The Horseshoe Canyon hike has many different looks depending on what season you hike

                          Trailhead location

                          The Horseshoe Canyon trailhead is located 17.3 km west of downtown Drumheller. Simply take Highway 9 west until you see the signed turnoff to Horseshoe Canyon via Township Road 284. The parking lot is on your right.


                          Parking and services at Horseshoe Canyon

                          In summer 2021 a pay parking pilot project was implemented by Kneehill County. Fees of $2 per day were collected to be used towards the conservation on the canyon. I don’t know what is in store for 2022, but I’m betting that the parking fee was a success. Have a toonie ready just in case.

                          At the parking area there are picnic tables, and some as you can see in the photo are even covered. You’ll also find some toilets. Across the street at the campground, you may be able to purchase snacks and drinks. 

                          Although pets are permitted in the canyon on a leash, I would avoid taking them on the Horseshoe Canyon hike in summer. It’s just too bloody hot.

                          There are picnic tables - including some with shade near the overlooks
                          There are picnic tables – including some with shade near the overlooks
                          Lots of signage in the parking lot
                          Lots of signage in the parking lot

                          Horseshoe Canyon Hike details

                          Distance: The official trail into Horseshoe Canyon is just 0.8 km long one way. But there is lots of exploring to do from the end of it. In fact, you could spend the better part of a day exploring the two arms of the canyon. Each arm is approximately 5 kilometres long.

                          Level of difficulty: Easy hiking on the official trail. Watch your footing when you are off trail. There are short, steep sections, drop-offs and lots of uneven terrain.

                          Elevation gain: Varies depending on where you hike. Count on about 30 – 40 metres of elevation loss and gain getting into and out of the canyon.

                          Surface: Gravel, dirt, and rock. Can be very slippery when wet.

                          Time needed: 30 minutes to a full day

                          Animals you might see: Coyotes, mule deer, white-tailed deer and rabbits

                          Look for these birds: Mountain bluebirds, prairie falcons and golden eagles

                          Looking out into Horseshoe Canyon from one of the viewing platforms
                          Looking out into Horseshoe Canyon from one of the viewing platforms

                          Entry into Horseshoe Canyon

                          There is a well-marked entrance to the right of the parking lot – if you’re facing the canyon, indicating the main route down to the start of the Horseshoe Canyon hike. Descend on sweeping stairs past a lookout to reach the level ground. I find the gravel section, to the right of the stairs is tough going on the descent – as it’s on ankle turning type of gravel but it’s fine to hike up on the return. There is a rope banister that you can grab for support.

                          Canyon country just steps ahead
                          Canyon country just steps ahead
                          Entrance into Horseshoe Canyon via stairs and gravel
                          Entrance into Horseshoe Canyon via stairs and gravel

                          Route description of the Horseshoe Canyon Trail

                          Before you even begin the Horseshoe Canyon hike, check out the views from a couple of the observation decks. They provide an excellent overview of the dramatic badlands landscape you’ll experience. 

                          Descend to the canyon floor via a set of wide stairs to end up on a gravel path. Follow it through an open area until it ends. From there, you can head off in any direction you choose. Use common sense in this unforgiving environment, paying close attention to landmarks on any canyon trails you take. It’s very easy to get turned around in the canyon. Note the warning sign.

                          As you’ll see, there is a warren of trails throughout Horseshoe Canyon to explore. I usually head left at the end of the gravel path and wander out for a kilometre or two. Although the trail is easy to follow, all it takes is one side trip up a small canyon and you might wonder if you’re turned around.

                          Hike out as far as it feels comfortable and simple retrace your steps to return.

                          There is an option at the western side of the canyon to leave the canyon on a well-defined trail that climbs steeply to the rim to end by the picnic tables. It used to be the main entrance and exit point before the stairs were built. You can see the trail, eight photos down. It’s a popular area too, so you’re likely to see a lot of people using it.

                          Looking down at people walking the short maintained trail in Horseshoe Canyon
                          Looking down at people walking the short maintained trail in Horseshoe Canyon
                          Heed the warning sign
                          Heed the warning sign near the end of the gravel trail
                          Fabulous texture and designs in the eroded rock
                          Fabulous texture and designs in the eroded rock
                          Even though the parking lot may be full of cars, note how few people really explore off the main trail!
                          Even though the parking lot may be full of cars, note that there are no people to be seen once you’re off the main trail
                          Sign marking the boundary of the land purchased by the Nature Conservancy
                          Sign marking the boundary of the land purchased by the Nature Conservancy
                          Walking on lands owned by the Nature Conservancy
                          Walking on lands owned by the Nature Conservancy
                          There are a few hardy plants that manage to thrive in Horseshoe Canyon
                          There are a few hardy plants that manage to thrive in Horseshoe Canyon
                          There is another route to the top of the canyon that is easy to access
                          There is another route to the top of the canyon that is easy to access

                          God to know for your Horseshoe Canyon hike

                          • Download a hiking app or two before you head out IF you’re planning to spend the day in Horseshoe Canyon. You must be able to use it without a cell signal.
                          • In summer, the canyon gets oppressively hot. Take more water (3+ litres) than you think you need.
                          • A sun hat with a wide brim and sun screen are a necessity. 
                          • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing in the sun. The canyon is no place for black.
                          • Take good hiking shoes rather than an open toed sandal. There are some cacti around.
                          • Don’t forget the snacks and some energy bars.
                          • Leave no trace and pack out whatever you pack in.
                          • Stick to the trails to prevent further erosion.
                          • If you happen to find a fossil – consider yourself very lucky, but leave it in place, take a photo of it and notify Kneehill County.

                          Best time to hike

                          The best time to do the Horseshoe Canyon hike is in the spring, summer, and fall. In winter the trail is open, and the area would be very beautiful with a dusting of snow. But the footing could be treacherous, especially if you move off the designated trail.

                          My preferred time to do this hike is in the fall. I love the colours that appear – and the temperatures are ideal for a hike. If you plan to hike in summer, plan to go first thing in the morning or late in the day. The canyon is an unforgiving environment on a hot day. Temperature’s soar – and if you haven’t brought enough water, you could become dehydrated very quickly.

                          Where to stay near Horseshoe Canyon

                          Horseshoe Canyon is a short drive away from Drumheller so a stay in town is your best bet. The Canalta Jurassic rated very good is a solid choice.

                          The Heartwood Inn – with its wonderful dinosaurs on the property is a good choice.

                          The Enchanted River Cottage is rated superb.

                          You'll find dinosaurs in the garden
                          You’ll find dinosaurs in the garden at the Heartwood Inn & Spa

                          Camping and cabins near the Horseshoe Canyon hike

                          Just across the road from Horseshoe Canyon is Horseshoe Canyon Campground. It’s expanding for summer 2022 and will be offering more full-service RV sites, more cabins and premium tent sites. I stayed in a cabin – and while basic (no running water or toilet but both are nearby), it’s ideal for those of you who want to visit the canyon at sunrise or sunset.

                          The cabins are directly across the road from Horseshoe Canyon
                          The cabins are directly across the road from Horseshoe Canyon

                          Horsethief Canyon

                          There is another canyon to explore in the Drumheller area called Horsethief Canyon. It’s not nearly as developed for hiking. Look for it as you head north on the North Dinosaur Trail (Highway 838). It’s just a 10-minute drive from the Royal Tyrrell Museum – and there is some signage indicating its presence.

                          The beautiful Horsethief Canyon
                          The beautiful Horsethief Canyon

                          Further reading on things to do in this part of Alberta

                          Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

                          The Horseshoe Canyon hike near Drumheller, Alberta


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