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Back in the Game: the Ultimate Romance Revival Guide

We know all too well that getting back into the dating game after an extensive single spell is tricky, if not terrifying. The beginning of a new relationship can be an invigorating and equally traumatising time, with all emotions at their absolute height and even the most composed and sensible of ladies a moment away from psychological breakdown at any given moment. But we’re here to help you lovebirds out with a quick and cheeky guide to getting the romance going again now that you’ve met your next Mr. Might Be Right. And don’t worry ladies – it is, as they say, just like riding a bike.

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Dressing to Impress

Preparing for that first date with the new guy can be a daunting time, especially considering the emotional conflict of presenting your very best self vs. your inner feminist’s misgivings on the matter. But the wonderful thing about a first date is the justification it offers for a little healthy self-indulgence, so you have our permission to be as anxious and unstable as you like, and to burn as much money on the date night wardrobe shortlist as you so desire – just so long as you appear composed and effortlessly stunning when the clock strikes date. This isn’t about being something you’re not, this is about directing his attentions to your best bits so he can see exactly what you are and like it.

Dating can be a daunting experience, especially when you’ve been out of the game for a while. I think the hardest part of dating for women is what on earth do you wear? Whatever the date may be, whether it’s a dinner date at an impressive restaurant or simply a romantic stroll around the city, I think it is most important to make an effort in your appearance. After all, your appearance is the first thing your lucky date is going to base his first impressions on! This is a perfect opportunity to go shopping. Go out and treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, or a new dress because nothing is going to make you feel sexier. Confidence is key, which is nothing a new pair of shoes can’t sort out for you! Spend the day pampering yourself and wait until the last minute to slip on that new little something you’ve treated yourself to, not forgetting a touch of that red lipstick you have that’s been hiding at the bottom of your make up bag.

Niomi, www.ladysmart.co.uk

Body Language

Romance is, for all intents and purposes, a chemical reaction – albeit it a spectacularly unpredictable one. And here’s where the chemistry comes on. Don’t get us wrong – what you’re saying is hugely important. The first date is an ideal opportunity to test the waters and let him know some of your interests, hidden talents and even secrets, if he earns the right to know them. But the thing all ladies must remember during this fireworks phase is that the real communication is happening on an unspoken level.

Don’t feel as though you need to resist those nervous mannerisms, like an anxious giggle or an awkward hair pull – if he’s perceptive enough to notice them, this will be a huge ego boost for him. Look at this as an opportunity to let him know that he makes you nervous without having to actually say it. Communicating without words is the first step towards a deep and meaningful connection.

And we simply cannot place enough of an emphasis on eye contact – so much is said with the eyes, often entire soundless conversations. The eyes are often described as the ‘windows to the soul’ and this totally holds up. Whether you want him to come a little closer, closer still or are simply wishing he wouldn’t leave, just look right at him and you’ll say precisely what you mean to say, without saying anything at all.

The Food of Love

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There are few better excuses to get up close and personal to your better half than by rustling up an impressive spread that requires the act of sharing. When considering this inclusive and unselfish act in the world of food, it’s difficult to avoid that well-loved format of eating the hot-blooded Spanish do so well - tapas. Furnish your dining area with small plates of tantalising titbits and beautiful bites, and pass round the plates to share the love and bounty.

I would include some garbanzos con chorizo (chickpeas with chorizo), a tortilla with a perfectly gooey middle, fat and juicy gambas a la plancha (grilled prawns), pimientos de Padrón (fried Padrón peppers) to busy the fingers, champiñones rellenos (stuffed mushrooms), succulent calamares a la plancha (grilled squid), espárragos con almendras tostadas (asparagus with toasted almonds), and a few no-cook tapas dishes including: roasted artichokes, fresh anchovies, mild noceralla olives, ripe tomatoes, sliced Manchego, and jamón ibérico de bellota.

It can sound like a daunting menu, but to get this right and wallow in the admiration it deserves, it’s all about getting ahead and timing. You can find the recipes for each of these palate party poppers on my blog, along with the order in which to cook them all.

Leyla, www.thecutlerychronicles.com

Calling It a Night

Now that your wonderful night is coming to an end, there's no longer any need to be mysterious. If this might be the guy, or at least stands some remote chance of being the guy, make sure you get that goodnight kiss, one way or another.

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Now go get him.

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