Beyoncé makes a fashion statement in Tom Ford

Want a romantic getaway but still need to take the kids? What do you do when he’s not in the mood? Sexpert Jennifer Berman answers your questions.

Smiling family enjoying in the pool.

Q: My husband and I would like our family beach trip to double as a romantic escape. Got any tips for sneaking sexiness into a family vacation?

A: Floaties, zinc oxide, and hours at the kiddie pool don’t scream romance. But trust me—with the right planning, it can happen. Pick a destination that will help you keep the kids happy, fed, and busy. In most cases, this means opting for an inclusive resort rather than booking a beach house of your own, unless you plan to bring along a sitter. I tell women to look for resorts that provide child care (and ideally, suites, so you and he have a bedroom door to close). The more activities offered for the children, the more free time you two will have to steal away for a little one-on-one. Take advantage of the outdoor activities the resort offers for adults, too. Work up a sweat together; it’s an excellent aphrodisiac. (See Three Easy Ways to Get in the Mood—Fast!) Or book a couple’s massage in the spa. Definitely hire a sitter once or twice, so you can treat yourselves to a romantic dinner and take a leisurely evening stroll on the beach. Nothing beats coming back to a clean room with the kids asleep and both of you intoxicated by the smell of the sea.

Rad Romance: Party Shoes & Purses Just Meant For Each Other

You had your own friends before you met your man. So did he. How about now? Have those friendships stayed intact or are they dwindling? Have these other friendships died out completely? Romantic relationships tend to take center stage, but how much is too much?

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Boys will be boys, and you’re not a boy

No matter how long you’ve been together, you’re still going to need a break from the opposite sex. He needs this, too (some men more than others). Make sure he gets time with the dudes — encourage him to take it, if necessary — and do the same for yourself. Schedule your girls’ and guys’ nights for the same evening or weekend day to optimize your time. You’ll both return to the relationship refreshed, and your friends won’t feel discarded.

Don’t make everything a date

Invite your single and coupled up friends with you to the movies, drinks or dinner. Make the effort to keep your activities as open as possible. You’ll still have time to be exclusive if you’re prioritizing a one-on-one date night each week. If you’re in a place where you feel like you don’t have time to see other friends, this is a great remedy.

Make the time

If you’re super busy and really want to see a particular friend, schedule the time. People in relationships often have the bad habit of just “hanging out” with their significant other because it takes less effort. Don’t let laziness make your other friends feel forgotten. Even if you invite them to visit while you shop for groceries or go for a jog after work, it’s a step in the right direction.

 

It takes a village

You two lovebirds can’t solve all your problems in a vacuum. Surround yourself with a good community. As fun and exclusive as it can feel to take lots of nights in with just the two of you, this isn’t sustainable. When you have a bad fight, miscommunications or just need a break from each other, community is essential. And not just for the hard times. Community strengthens the two of you as you learn from others around you. And the world still very much needs both of you, even after you’ve found each other.

5 Crazy dating apps that will come handy

Did you see the short film Sight, made by a team of visual arts students, that examined what dating would be like if it were an eyeball-implanted app? (If not, check it out here!) The apps below don’t go that far, exactly, but we might be closer than we think to a future in which dating resembles Minority Report more closely than When Harry Met Sally. Not to freak you out or anything.

Bad Date Rescue App by eHarmony

If you’ve already sensed that you might be going on a bad date, you might have had the foresight to ask a friend to call you in the middle of dinner and provide a previously agreed upon excuse to get you out of there, pronto. (Remember that Sex and the City episode when Charlotte had Carrie call her to tell her “something bad happened?”) If you didn’t, well, you’re on your own, lady.

Should you use it?: Hey, why not? Suddenly receiving an emergency phone call in the middle of a bad date sounds fake already, so getting it from a robot won’t be that much of a stretch.

Price: Free

Friendthem

So you’ve met someone amazing at a party, but they left before you could exchange info. Aw, we hate it when that happens. With the Friendthem app, however, you can check out the Facebook users around you and find that person, without having to search for them. Boom — friend request sent. Catch is, they have to be using the app too.

Should you use it?: Only if you’re fairly sure that the person receiving the phantom friend request won’t be freaked out. Hint: Some people might be, but if they’ve downloaded this app, they’ll probably just be psyched someone else is using it.

Price: Free

MusicBunk

What type of music a person listens to can tell you a lot about what your relationship might be like. Case in point: If you decide to date a rabid Phish fan, prepare yourself for what could be a lifetime of road trips, tours, jam sessions and patchouli. It’s good to know what you’re getting into from the outset, which is where MusicBunk comes in: Invite your crush to be your “bunkmate” via the app, and after he or she accepts, you can browse, comment on and listen to 30-second clips of all of the music that has been synced to their smartphone. The app makes it easy to see which songs you have in common and what their playlists are titled. (Pro tip: If he has a list called “Girls Are Psychos,” back away slowly.)

Should you use it?: Definitely! As long as you’re prepared to be roundly mocked for your extensive collection of the Britney Spears canon circa 1999.

Price: Free

MoonIt

You’re digging a certain guy, but is a relationship in the stars? Find out with MoonIt, which delivers horoscope-based “relationship compatibility results” for two people. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a message like this: “You’re 98% Compatible, We Hear Wedding Bells! You may have just been out to play, but it looks like you’ve stumbled upon your soul mate…”

For MoonIt to work, the object of your affection has to use the app too, so if you’re trying to flirt with a dude in real life, you can jokingly suggest that he download it so you can see if the stars think he should buy you another drink or if you should part ways. MoonIt is essentially a location-based dating app, so you can also meet guys in your vicinity who love horoscopes as much as you do. (If that is, in fact, the kind of person you’re hunting for.)

Should you use it?: Make it clear to a guy you meet in real life that you’re just doing it for fun, and if he’s game for downloading the app (it’s free!) and checking out your compatibility, it could be an amusing conversation-starter. If he refuses to play ball, you’ll either know he’s not interested or that he’s a stick in the mud. In that case, next!

Price: Free

iPickupLines

None of these lines is going to win anyone a roll in the hay (at least we hope not), but despite the spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and general cheesiness, iPickupLines is decent for a good laugh — or for getting a few ideas when you start a conversation with a guy you’re interested in. Think: “So what’s the cheesiest pickup line you’ve ever heard? I think my favorite is ‘I was blinded by your beauty, so I’m gonna need your name and number for insurance reasons.'”

And there are loads more where that came from, ladies. (We confess, we actually kind of like this one: “Apart from being sexy, what do you do for a living?”)

Should you use it?: Don’t employ it earnestly, but it’s fun to page through with your friends for a laugh.

Price: Free