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How To Make You, Not Your Anxiety, Shine Through On A First Date

By Jennifer Dawson

The days leading up to a first date can make life feel both like a wondrous dream and a worrisome nightmare. From when plans are made to the night of meeting your match, a barrage of doubts and anxieties can build up and add unnecessary stress in your day to day life. About 1 in 14 people have anxiety at any given moment, so there’s no need to be critical with yourself, since being nervous is a normal experience. There are ways to approach a first date that doesn’t just prioritize making a good first impression. Being honest about your own behavior and knowing how to address and change yourself for the better is beneficial for dealing with the way we approach stress in general.

Out of everything optional, this one is least optional!
This wall is found in the center of Amsterdam!

Pre-Date De-stressing

Stress lurks around the corner for any major event, and a first date is no exception. Nervous anticipation can start to build from the very instant plans are made to go out, so finding ways to de-stress before your big night is important to make sure your cool and calm for your date. Sometimes normal stresses that come with daily life can topple onto your date related worries, making you feel more stressed then needed. Taking the time to take yourself out or indulge in some guilty pleasure activities, like eating comfort food or doing some therapy shopping, is a good way to deal with stress already typical to yourself. Organic herbs and aromatics could also be beneficial for moderating normal anxiety levels, keeping them under control.

Be Focused and Invested

While this may seem like a no brainer, anxiety can often cause us to disengage with whatever is causing distress, even if it’s something we look forward to or enjoy doing. It’s tempting to retreat into your phone rather than deal with your nerves. Not only does this get in the way of conversation with your date, but it can come across as rude and sends the signal that you’re not interested. Keep your phone away from sight and focus on making a good first impression. Maintaining active conversation is important not just for signalling interest, but also for getting to know your match as a person.

Lovely place to dinner

Gauging Interest

Gauging your date’s interest in you is a good way to control any irrational concerns you have about your performance on the date. First dates are partially stressful from how much effort is put into presentation; such a serious approach can make the experience almost like a job interview. It’s better to be transparent about your true nature and be honest in conversation. For women in particular, psychological studies have shown that men and women walk away from a date feeling connected when the woman was able to speak freely about herself during the outing. As for men, being able to maintain active conversation leaves women feeling satisfied with their dating experience. At its heart, calms and successful date lies in each person’s ability to maintain an open and honest conversation with each other.

Dating should be fun and romantic for those involved, not a trigger for anxiety. By being honest and rational in your dating experience, you’ll walk away full of joy and charm.

3 months ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

Meeting His Parents? Blogger Zaynah Picks 5 Modest Outfits

So you’ve matched with a guy on muzmatch, and after a while of getting to know each other and talking to your wali, you’ve both agreed it’s time for you to meet his family. This is a really exciting moment, but it can also be a nerve-wracking experience. A million questions might whizz through your head the night before like ‘will they like me?’ and ‘what will I wear?’

Having a bit of anxiety about what to wear is totally normal! After all, that first impression counts. But choosing an outfit doesn’t have to be a draining experience. Blogger Zaynah let us peep into her wardrobe for some inspiration on how to dress for one of the most important days on your journey to marriage. Here are 5 modest, comfortable, and stylish outfits to help you slay with grace.


Easy Breezy Tones

Check out Modanisa for dresses in blue tones like this.

The scenario: on the first-ever marriage meeting, your potential family-in-law have planned an intricate 3-course meal, On the inside, you’re shaking like a leaf in the winter wind. On the outside, you at least want to look like you’re calm and collected.

The look:  light, cool tones. Colours have an effect on our energy. Light colours such as pastel blues, cream and white will help you exude serenity.  If you don’t want to faff around with multiple pieces to your outfit, you may want to choose a dress for this occasion. Accessorise with a simple bag in a light or neutral colour and let the dress take centre stage


Casual but Never Careless

The scenario: your potential’s family have invited you out for a casual meal on the weekend. It’s a crisp autumnal day so you know a single layer won’t cut it. As much as you want to be casual, you don’t want to be underdressed either. Finding that fine line will be a challenge!

The look: layer knitted pieces in complementary neutral tones for an elegant but cosy look. Longline cardigans are an easy way to stay warm but keep your outfit loose and modest. If you’re a trainer girl, wear your trainers! Inject your own personal style into the look. Zaynah was finished went for classic a pair of white Nike airforces.


Day to Night

The scenario: you’re planning on meeting your potential’s family on a weeknight after work. You’re not sure what to wear since you’re not exactly planning on turning up to work in a shalwar kameez or a floor-sweeping abaya. Ideally, you want something suitable for both day and night.

The look: a smart co-ord. This tunic and trouser set with an asymmetric hem is a fashionable and modest choice for both work and meeting the parents. You can add an extra layer with a long coat or even an open abaya later in the day to make that transition from the office. Accessorise with a pair of pointy flats to match the asymmetric lines of the outfit.


Food Baby Friendly

The scenario: so you’re getting pretty comfortable with your potential’s family now and you’re starting to see them more like family. They’ve called you over for their big Sunday roast and you know there will be lots of carbs involved, with a possible food baby as a result! A silky dress isn’t going to cut it.

The look: picture the warmest, most stylish roll neck jumper dress you can find! Pair it up with a pleated midi skirt to give it a more playful and feminine upgrade.


The Semi-Finals

The scenario: to say things are getting pretty serious would be an understatement at this point. Your families have had a series of discussions over endless cups of tea and you’ve even witnessed your dad and potential father-in-law almost come to blows over nikah negotiations. Regardless, you’re playing it cool because you’re almost at the finish line. You need an outfit for that final meeting before the nikah.


The look: you can’t go wrong with an iconic open abaya. Pair it with heels if you’re about that life, or opt for some comfortable flats. Underneath you can wear anything loose and elegant like a slip dress or a smart two-piece.


So there you have it! 5 looks for 5 different occasions. Modesty doesn't mean having to compromise your personal style or personality. It doesn't mean having to orchestrate a complete overhaul on who you were when you were single. Remember to have tawakkul, give yourself plenty of time to get ready and b r e a t h e.

For more fabulous outfits and beautiful photos, check out Zaynah's Instagram.

13 days ago

Time To Leave The Single Market?

And that's a wrap! On our TfL tube ads that is, not Brexit. Unfortunately, we've got a looooong way to go with that one still.

Here's a few of our favourite mentions on social media about our ads that either made us chuckle or cry.

Remember to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to be the first to see these mentions!

The One That Gave Us All The Feels

The One Where Our Inspo Was Outed

The One Where The Joke Hit Too Hard

The One That Made Us Sad

The One With A Blast From The Past

The One With The Side Eye

The One With Bjorn, Our Digital Marketing Guru

(This one wins btw 😂)

14 days ago

The Food Bae Picks 10 Halal Restaurants to Dine With Loved Ones This Weekend

Looking for halal restaurants to dine with your potential spouse and family? Or maybe you simply want to catch up with loved ones with good food. The Food Bae has got you covered.

Meat & Co – West London

For years I scrolled past the pictures of succulent steaks from this place, so I grabbed the chance to dine here with some  colleagues.

Since it was all going on the company tab, I decided to go all out with a t-bone steak and hand-cut chips accompanied by chocolate fondant cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The glaze on the steak was unlike anything I have ever tasted before! The meat itself was cooked to a tender medium served with peppercorn sauce. In line with the spectacular standard of food, I expected nothing less from the service. You’re made to feel welcome from the moment you’re shown your table.The waiter carefully ensured that we understood the menu and checked on us every so often.

This would be suitable for special occasions with your spouse or if you really wanted to treat a loved one to something unique.

The Banc – North London

Years have gone by and I haven’t changed my order at the Banc: a Beef cheeseburger costing roughly £12-£14 plus an additional topping of caramelised onions.

The burger is by far the best beef burger I’ve ever had in my life. You can see the oozing sauce they used to flavour the burger when you take a look inside of its perfectly layered cross-section! And the caramelised onions offer just the right sweetness to bring it altogether

The service has always been 10/10 whenever I’ve been, and if on the rare occasion something isn’t up to scratch, they make sure they rectify it quickly.

The atmosphere of this place is lively as it does get really busy most evenings so it’s best to book ahead of time. Remember to note that the restaurant has a no tracksuit policy, so opt for something smarter. This is suitable option for date nights  and special occasions with your other half.

Cue point – West London

When I saw this pop up on my Instagram feed from other bloggers I had to try it ASAP! My platter featured a bit of everything. but the real star of the show was the brisket burger.

Platters here vary in cost, depending on what you want, but expect a bill of roughly £15-£30. Individual items on the menu are around £10 with sides ranging between £3-£6

The combination of slowly smoked meat with a subtly sweet jalapeño jam and bbq sauce is a beautiful combination that's hard to find elsewhere.

The owners wander around the restaurant offering the best care and will go out of their way to cater for bespoke needs. This place is suitable for dates with your other half, as well as a family outing.

Pabellon Venezuelan Food – Central London

I had never heard of a halal Venezuelan food in London before I went to this restaurant. I was curious about the cuisine, so I had to go and check it out.

I opted for the beef pabellon rice box with slow cooked brisket, costing between £8-£12. This meat is absolutely sensational. Juicy, flavoursome meat is combined with seasoned avocados, plantains and salsa, and then topped off with house sauce. One spoonful made me go WOW!

It's a homely vibe as it is owned  by a husband and wife who make guests feel like family.

This is a street food vendor, however, the market they’re in has plenty of seating so I would say it’s suitable for a lunch date or even casual get together with friends,

Mexicasa – East London

I was eager to try an authentic Mexican restaurant and steer away from the casual takeaway joints. So of course I went for steak tacos & a beef chimichanga. A squeeze of lime unlocked the flavour in the tacos and cleared my palette for the next round.. Everything inside was just tender, juicy and full of flavour.

The service here was impeccable and timely. The restaurant takes a no-frills approach to interior design, with casual seating and decor

This would suit for various occasions such as date nights & family events/parties & special occasions or even a casual get together with friends/family.

Cristina's Steak – East London

It was well documented that this place is known for their steaks and burgers, so I had to swing by

I ordered a customised brisket burger, but standard meals range from £15-30 per person. Occasionally, you may find a deal for under £10.

The brisket melted in my mouth as the chilli gave it a gentle kick. You can really taste the quality of the brisket owing to the careful smoking process.

The rustic decor make it ideal for date nights, special occasions & casual get togethers & it’s good value with decent portions as well.

Roti King – Central London

Malaysian food with halal duck and beef rendang is a triple threat. I got the roast duck dish with a side of rice which roughly came to around £7-£8 and the beef rendang around the same price which is an absolute bargain in Central London. The aromatic duck mixed with rice was a match made in heaven. The beef was just as soft; with a rich, creamy, texture and the right level of heat running throughout.

It was ridiculously busy which is a testament to how good the food is. It's normal to have to queue outside, but I was seated quickly regardless. The atmosphere here is buzzing as it gets packed & everyone is talking amongst one another.

This would be ideal for lunch with the significant other should you wish to try something different to steaks & burgers which is very common.

Gokyuzu – North London

I was told this place would challenge my views on Turkish food so I approached it with anticipation and took a few good friends.

The food was succulent and full of flavour. This place definitely transformed my views on Turkish cuisine as every mouthful was flavoursome and intricate. We got the jumbo platter which came up to roughly £62, but bear in mind there was 5 of us. This platter came with assorted meats and rice.

To avoid disappointment, it is best to book ahead as it gets very busy most nights. The atmosphere here it is relaxed with a slight buzz and very efficient service.

This place is ideal for dates with your spouse, family/friends gatherings whether it be a small or large gathering.

Masala Chai Nashta – East London

I was looking for a nice change from the typical English breakfast, so after I heard how much people were hyping this spot, I decided to give it a try.

I always end up with the desi breakfast which includes masala egg (a choice of scrambled or omelette style) batakani potatoes, lamb Keema, and parathas/rotis. The food was so good it was as though a relative lovingly prepared it.  The keema was delicious and had just the right amount of spice suitable for breakfast (or lunch). As you eat, you'll start to plan your subsequent return.

The atmosphere in here is relaxed as families with kids dine here regularly, he simplicity of the decor lets the food take centre stage.

The service during busy times can be a little on the slow side, but rest assured that everything is made fresh making it worth the wait.

It’s perfect for families or couples who want a hearty meal in a relaxed environment.


Keep up with The Food Bae on his social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Wordpress.

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DESSERT HEAVEN So I managed to go to @londondessertfestival on Saturday thanks to a fellow foodie @swansea_foodie who hooked up the ticket for me. Managed to try a couple places & took back salted caramel cake for mum from @luminarybakery which I didn’t get a pic of but also tried a raspberry tart from @thesunnyspoon which are vegan french patisserie so that makes it healthy & finally got a cheesecake from @pleesecakes it was like subway for dessert there, you literally build your cheesecake, I went for lotus biscoff bade, raspberry & white choc cream cheese (I think) white & milk choc chips & sauce on top & it was beautiful 😰 Hopefully you guys enjoy the pics, also check previous post with @smokeandbonesuk for the competition it’s still on until Friday 😊 #london #food #halal #dessert #cakes #cake #chocolate #fruit #patisserie #foodbae #foodporn #photooftheday #photography

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23 days ago