Friday, December 30, 2011

Notice to Followers


I love you all, but I moved to the Examiner. You can follow me there under the Indianapolis Singles section.

I am condensing my 50 most read blogs into a book for Amazon called DATING AFTER FORTYEIGHT. I'll keep you posted on that, once it is out I'll close the blog.

Thanks again for your support.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lessons Learned From a Year of Smart Dating


In the book, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, our emotional outbursts are the result something other than what we say they are. An example of this is a blow-up over forgotten dry cleaning. It isn’t about dry cleaning because you can leave your dry cleaning at the cleaners for a month and not be too upset. It is more about not having an article when you need it. It is also about not being prepared. If it is about someone else not picking up your dry cleaning then it could be about they don’t value you or your requests. Things are definitely not what they seem on the surface.

When I started writing my blog about dating, I thought it had a two-fold purpose. The first was to share the dating experience with other women over forty who might be hesitant to date or just needed feedback to see if their experiences were unusual. It was also shameful self-promotion as a writer to get my name out there, but something strange happened. Something I didn’t plan. I found underlying reasons for my blog. They were you might ask?

Discovering the real me was probably the biggest outcome of the entire blog. By writing and examining my past dating behavior in print, I suddenly saw the old me in all my tattered wrong beliefs and foolish behaviors. My past dating life scrolled by like a bad reality television show and I was the character who always did the stupid thing while all the viewers knew it was the stupid thing. Painfully, I forced myself to watch each episode. Managed to dig up mediocre dates I had forgotten to rehash them online. Why torture myself like this? I definitely wanted to do better.

I wanted a good long-term relationship where people actually enjoyed being with each other. Since it hadn’t happen yet, I knew I had to change to create what I wanted. Through books, videos, television shows, online dating services and even a dating coach I did change. Although, I changed like a cruise liner turns, very slowly. It was easy to fall back into the stupid dating behavior because I was familiar with it. Just like I was familiar with being the over compensating girlfriend who did absolutely everything leaving no dragons for the guy to slay. I not only slayed the dragons, but turned them into cute boots and handbags too. Ironically, I was miffed because the man did so little on my behalf. LOL

My first step on discovery was doing less. My second step was expecting the guy to do more. My third step was believing that I deserve the guy doing more and that may have been the hardest. My old smelly coat of poor self-esteem needed to be shed, but even though it never served me well it was all I knew. Eventually, I threw it to the ground allowing me to grow into the person I was always harboring inside. The me who always wanted to come out and play, but was too shy.

Now I do laugh loud and occasionally break out into song in public. Instead of worrying about people staring at me, I smile when they do. It is truly amazing to be simply me, not a weak copy of whoever I think people want me to be. It is freeing and energizing. I believe it is this freedom and energy that brought me my soulmate.

Yes, I set out on a mission and accomplished it as you can tell by the various blogs. Which brings me to the last thing the blog has done for me; it has confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that I got it right this time. You see even in the very beginning of my dating and blogging, my sweetie existed, at first only as a name on a profile. As I wrote about past dates and dating behavior, I learned from my mistakes.

I would take the knowledge I gained and put it up beside my new-found cutie. Even though he was aware he was being scrutinized he didn’t always know why or how. If I blogged about a man having no ambition, I would gently probe to see if he had any. He has just the right amount and plenty of time left over for US. Of course, since he read my blog he had an amazing insider info that most men would love to have. When I was put out about something he did, it showed up in the blog. Talk about not holding things in, I raised it to a new level. On the other hand, this was as upfront as I have ever been in any relationship and it has made a profound difference.

With each blog, I learned to appreciate my sweetheart more. He was busy reading the blogs trying to get hints about his competition and at times perhaps growing jealous. That was never my intention. I may have wanted him to appreciate me, which he does. Yes, I did compare men, but he always came out the winner. Through blogging about my experiences, I learned my sweetheart may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other.

Even if I started this blog with the intention of writing for writing’s sake and I did not believe I would find my soul mate. I am glad I found more than I intended, much more. I discovered myself, many wonderful readers, and of course, my soul mate. It has been a year well spent. Now it is onto my next adventure, marriage, moving, and a new career.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CLUELESS


Are men clueless or is it women who are clueless when it is come to the delicate science of romance and attraction? Well, I guess that would depend on whom you talk to as a reference. My sweetie and I just finished watching 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, a romantic comedy told from a male perspective. Tom, the main character, recalls his growing affection and eventual love for Summer, a new girl at work.

He does odd things, such as making cryptic comments to ordinary questions she asks, to playing her favorite band on his laptop computer. As you can guess, Summer be bops through her days unaware that Tom is crushing on her. My sweetie saw this and wondered why Summer didn’t have a clue. Where was the clue I wondered aloud. We only see what we are looking for.

If we’re looking for something then we rewrite the whole script to suit our theory. John Guttman, a renowned relationships expert, can gauge a marriage by the first met story. A happy couple tells a charming story filled with tenderness. The unhappy couple will tell a tale of bitterness with the wife practically snarling how she should have killed him when she met him. Both stories probably didn’t happen exactly as told, but were edited due to how the teller feels about their partner.

Tom in the story wants to fall helplessly in love with the one while Summer is in the big city to have fun. Ladies, I think you know what is going to happen here. Reminds me of a Black Friday story where two people standing in line at Target for a couple of hours fell in love. Really? The woman or man who falls in love that fast, falls in love with an idealized version of love, not the person. That’s what Tom did.

I pointed out to my sweetie that Summer could be mean, moody, and selfish. He definitely agreed on the moody part because he believes women indulge in moodiness to justify bad behavior. We the viewers see these moments, but Tom, the desperate to be in love man, only sees loving glances and smiles. Any of you see yourself here?

Think of relationships you have translated into something more. You couldn’t understand why the man left you or maybe never asked you out because the two of you had something. That something may have been only in your mind. Tom asks his younger sister for advice. She advises him to ask Summer where he stands. The only problem with that he explains is what if she doesn’t seem me as her boyfriend. What do we do if what we believe does not measure up to reality. Then we have to give up the relationship, even if it only existed in our mind.

Too often people want different types of relationships. Tom wanted to be wildly in love while Summer was content to have someone to hang out with. You can't have a successful pairing when two people involved want two different relationships. This is probably more common than most people realize. Tom's date who patiently listened to Tom gush about Summer explained that the terms of the relationship were laid out, he was the one who wanted more. Too often, we don't understand the terms of the relationship and when we finally do, we realize we were the partner who wanted more or an entirely different relationship.

We become angry for wasting so much time. Our alternative is we can accept the first person who pays a little attention to us, who could also turn out to be mentally unbalanced. As my sister likes to remind me, the crazy ones have no fear of rejection that’s why they approach you immediately. Even if they are rejected, they refuse to accept it and become stalkers. With this in mind, we have to try; we have to be out there with our clueless counterparts instead of accepting whoever shows up at our door.

It is difficult to do the right thing. Our own insecurities hamper relationships. Tom asked Summer about her previous boyfriends and she tries to not tell him, but he insists. He imagines each boyfriend, as more attractive, sexy, and important than he is. How often have you’ve been guilty of this? It is a don’t go there zone.

On the other hand, Tom engages in the same behavior once Summer dumps him. I laughed when Tom begins to explain to a date the great love he had for Summer. Tom was clueless why this might be inappropriate. Guys can’t ever win if they talk about an old girl when out with a new girl. If they trash the ex, then they sound bitter and difficult not the type a person a woman would want to see again. If the man talks politely about his ex, emphasizing how she’s a great person then he comes across as being flighty because he didn’t hold onto such a wonderful female. You never win when you talk about your ex. All the time spent talking about an old love is time taken away from a potential love.

Summer and Tom meet again at a mutual friend’s wedding. They sit together, dance together and she invites him to her engagement party. She forgets to mention it is her engagement party. At the party, he questioned why she asked him to dance. Her response was she wanted to dance. He saw the dance as an opportunity to get back together. Once engaged, she harbored no romantic feelings for Tom so a dance really was just a dance.

Our inability to read minds causes us to be clueless around the opposite sex. Sometimes we bring in friends, co-workers, even little sisters to give us their opinion of the situation. This only works if we can give a factual recounting as opposed to what we want to happen. Those men who zero in on a girl at a party only to be blown off, then move on to another, maybe they’re smarter than I originally thought. My first impression is that they didn’t really care about the women. They were just looking for someone who was into then, anyone.

It probably works better than longing for someone for months, building up fantasies about him, making walk-bys, leaving longing looks he misses, only to find out he has a girlfriend in another state. Makes you wonder who is the more clueless the ones who hit on everything that moves or the ones who build entire fantasy lives around people they are too shy to approach.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do You Know BJE?



Warning: This is blog contains graphic sexual references that may make some women wince and make others want to throw something breakable.

If you’re dating, you should know BJE. What is it? I found out yesterday while having a pedicure and flipping through GLAMOUR magazine in an article entitled WHAT MEN REALLY WANT. Okay ladies, it is short for blow job expectation. Apparently, there are guys out there who expect a blow job in return for dinner. Really? That’s one dinner I’d skip.

According to men interviewed in the age category 19-34, they expected a blow job to be part of the normal dating process. One woman interviewed talked about a man she met on Match.com. He seemed pleasant up to the third date when he not only expected, but demanded a bj. When the woman refused, he never saw her again. The woman explained to the man that he wasn’t her boyfriend so she wouldn’t do that.

The article went on to include information from both psychologists and medical experts. The men rationalized that the women should go south because it doesn’t mean as much as intercourse and it is something she can do even if she isn’t interested in having sex with him. Excuse me, aren’t there women on street corners willing to do this for a twenty? Eyuk, what a selfish man, run far, far away ladies if you meet a guy that has a BJE for you.

Most men may have an expectation of having sex/bj on the third date, but in truth don’t want it. They don’t want it if they want a relationship with you. If they do push for it, then consider that fair warning that they aren’t sticking around either way. Many men have these expectations because they devour a steady diet of online porn, which the bj being one of the mains stays. Before you think your guy wouldn’t watch porn, be advised plenty of church-going men do. Even have addictions too.

By this time, I would like to believe that women do not fall for some of the same tired lines that men have been using for years. Men will tell women that oral sex is so much safer than intercourse. It isn’t. You will get the same infections and diseases. You can even get HPV by doing oral. Not surprising, hookers refuse to do this without a condom. Thinks about this, this prize of a man you’re dating wants to treat you worse than a hooker. Don’t even go there.

If medical facts don’t scare you. Think of the psychological aspect, women who are willing to meet the BJE, cheapen the act itself. It is no longer saved for someone they love and have a deep relationship with, it is right up there with texting. Someday, we all hope to find that special someone. Is he going to feel that special if you’ve met everyone’s BJE? Will you feel good if he has a BJE and various women have met it?

I told my significant other about the article and he looked shocked. He had never heard of the BJE. I like to think a woman who is sure of herself would be able to tell a guy what he could do with his BJE and it certainly wasn’t what he was hoping to do. My guy turned to me and asked me if my previous dates had a BJE. None that I knew about, maybe that was because I dated men older than 34 or maybe it was because they were engineers. Another reason could be I was dating men who were interested in serious relationships, hopefully resulting in marriage, and didn’t want to screw anything up by acting like a horny college guy.

In the article’s closing, the author basically urged the women to stand up for themselves. Same thing your mother always told you that you do not have to do anything you don’t want to do. Anything you do does not guarantee a relationship or that he will stick around. With that in mind, why do something you are unsure about. If you’re wondering, men leave women all the time who meet their BJE. In fact, statistics show they almost never stay past that initial BJE, or if they do it is only a few dates more. If you can call them dates since now, he has established he’s there for sex only.

Since I never heard of this before yesterday and my sweetie hadn’t either, just maybe your average forty-something bachelor hasn’t either, but I doubt it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dress to Impress


Why clothes matter. I’ve addressed the topic before that men like to go out with women who look like women. A flirty skirt, slight heels, even a ruffled blouse makes a woman look more feminine and in turn makes a man feel masculine. Some women complain that they are no size four and wouldn’t look good in a dress.

If you want an outfit that will be a bit more forgiving of wide hips, a dress will do it better than slacks. A dress has movement and drapery that causes the eyes to travel to the legs. Anyone can pull off a dress and you don’t have to have stick thin legs either. Of course, you have to look for a flattering cut. Don’t be a slave to the latest fashion. At a recent wedding I attended, women of all sizes were squeezed into tube dresses appearing to be a variety of walking, multi-colored sausages. I prefer full skirted dresses that make my waist appear smaller. Heels help too, if you can tolerate them. Stilettos make your legs and rear look wonderful. It also adds a sexy sway to your walk.

The biggest excuse women don’t want to dress up for a guy is that they aren’t supermodels. There are only twelve supermodels in the world and I think eight of them are married. Their other reason is that it is too much work. The reason a guy looks twice at a woman is because she looks like a woman as opposed to one of the guys. I see women who appear to have turned in their Woman Card. Their mannish attire combined with a super short haircut and no makeup makes me wonder if they are a man with breasts, or if they’re butch. Many women believe they can't be attractive.  So why try? How sad.

There is always the fear of what if I fix myself up and Prince Charming doesn’t come and sweep me off my feet. Legitimate question, but if you do these things for you, you’ll feel better about yourself. People will treat you better. As unfair as it may seem people treat well groomed people better. They automatically assume they’re more capable, better mannered, and smarter. The pulled together folks are considered more approachable and are often at the receiving end of conversational ploys. People who smile combined with being appropriately dressed draw people to them. So you gussy yourself, and the end result is you feel better about yourself, suddenly you are doing things you always wanted to do, but lacked the confidence to do before. How is this a bad thing?

As for looking like a Hollywood star or model, nice, normal men don’t want that. Most bypass extremely good looking women because they’ve been burned by that type before. All they want is an average gal who shows interest in them and will want to look like a girl for them. That’s it. Really. It took me fifty years to finally realize this.

When I was in a boutique that featured a lavish display of queen sized lingerie, I asked if the owner sold much plus size merchandise. She told me she could barely keep it in stock. This surprised me at first, but then I considered what woman doesn’t want to look hot for her man. In turn, the man is excited that he’s important enough for her to don the ensemble. On the whole, men just want to feel special. One way to do that is dressing to impress him.

Keep it classy. My rule of thumb is how would you feel if he did the same for you. Remember the suspender thong swimsuit Sasha Baron Cohen wore in Borat? Pretty disgusting, I definitely would not want my guy to be seen in that. All the same, women do check out men’s rears. My guy was shocked when I mentioned this. What could be so special about a butt? Lots, but men have it easy because they aren’t usually blessed with their mothers’ wide hips. I doubt we toss a guy over for having a flat rear or even a plump one. What we are really noticing is he is essentially a man. It is also the only chance we get to gawk without him noticing.:) The one thing that might put a female off is the grandpa jeans.

This is the male equivalent to the Mom jeans. These types of jeans are roomy enough to hide a hammer, a screw driver and a power sander in the side pocket without any noticeable bulges. It certainly doesn’t invite feminine eyes to linger. The worse thing about Grandpa jeans is that they not only age the wearer, but age the wearer’s companion. You never heard of Grandma jeans because what woman wants to be seen in them.

Most men are clueless about what looks good on them. They dress not to attract attention in neutral, non-descript clothing. Just like the women who are afraid to look feminine, they don’t want to engage attention. Ironically, after dressing to fade into the background, they wonder why no one notices them. It is a shame. Since many of these men in khakis and forgettable shirts are well worth knowing.

A man may pull together two or three good date outfits with the help of a woman or metrosexual friend. Normally we don’t expect men to have any fashion sense. If they do we consider them too arrogant or sexually ambiguous. Suddenly, a man is tossed into the dating world where he is competing against other men who may be better dressers for the same elusive females. Oh, there are plenty of women out there, but he doesn’t see it that way. Suddenly clothes do matter when they never mattered before.

Keep in mind, a really nice man can always be helped out by a woman. Most want to be told what they look good in because they aren’t sure. Yes, they also might benefit from the help of a good stylist too. Ironically, the player who is all pulled together who might initially attract your gaze does not need your help or you for that matter. This is a case where you absolutely shouldn’t judge a man by his Dockers, or in spite of them.

Depending on our personalities, we like different clothes on our men. One woman might actually like that horrid Borat swimsuit while another would just like to see a man in Fireman suspenders. As for men, most still fall for a women in a dress every time…not a sausage dress either. I want my clothes to hide my imperfections not emphasize them. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't Let This Happen to You!



Esther Ortiz-Rodeghero, a grieving widow, was advised by her therapist to go online to find friends to help deal with her overwhelming lost over the unexpected death of her husband. She signed up for SeniorPeopleMeet and met a poetic Army General Wayne Jackson. Wayne had posted a photo of an attractive man in army fatigues. Esther hooked by the promise of a new love was sending emails like crazy, which followed by her sending money. Strangely, a general pulls down major money, but somehow Wayne needed her help. He even sent her pictures of his bank statements, which were very healthy, but he couldn’t access them from abroad. The bank statements are very easy to change, rather like photo shopping.

The story ends with our grieving widow wiring all she had to the General. She ended up losing all her savings, her retirement, even her home. If that wasn’t enough she even lost her job. How could one woman be so foolish? Easy, most of us have been this foolish to a lesser degree. She was a woman in a deep grief cycle who needed comfort and motivation to go on. I hooked up with a pretty bad dude after my divorce, but at least he didn’t hit me up for money.

How could have Esther saved herself? Well, if she knew something about the military she would have seen through his scam. Many Nigerians and some Russians are bilking English-speaking men and women out of millions by joining websites such as Match, 101date.com, MyYearbook.com, OKCupid, Friends Reunited Dating, SeniorPeopleMeet, and and many more.Sites like eHarmony that verify identity and drop members who have been reported by other members are not easy pickings for the con artist. The scammers post actual pictures of US Service men that they got from trolling the Internet.

I googled my own son, who is married, and found him in uniform. He’s a tall, good looking, broad shouldered blond in fatigues. His photo could easily be used too. Sometimes the scammers include several photos and they are not the same person! Probably thinking all soldiers look alike. Are you being scammed right now?

The military hates this scam and is doing its best to stop it. Here are a few sites that post photos the scammers use. Remember these are photos of real people, not the scammer. These real people are probably great guys and are most likely married or have a girlfriend. Check it out at: http://militarygear.com/asp/2010/07/28/the-wall-of-shame/ and http://militarygear.com/asp/2010/12/20/new-online-military-scammers/. The photos are used over and over to lure various women in at the same time. How do you know you’re being scammed?

First of all, the ranks are all wrong. They might show you a photo of a man with master sergeant stripes and call him a Colonel Major. You can check out ranks on the above site. Esther fell for a man who was way too young to be a general. She wouldn’t know this unless she was familiar with the Army.

The military has several ways you can communicate with your sweetie including APO and FPO addresses. All servicemen have a military email that ends in .mil. Any other email is merely a smokescreen. The scammers like the online dating sites because they provide an email for them.

The con men often know little about the United States and will pick out a military base and then pick a home hundreds of miles away. United States is huge and most non-Americans don’t have a feel for that. If you are wondering about the distance, go on mapquest.com and find out how far it really is. With the price of gas, most soldiers would not drive more than thirty miles to work.

Another tip-off is the immediate deployment, out of the blue. You were communicating for a few weeks and suddenly he has to go to Iraq. My son knew a year before he went to Iraq. Two years before Afghanistan, it is very seldom sudden.

They must get the woman interested by usually being a widower with a small child or teenager depending on the age of the woman they are corresponding with. These guys are good and know what heartstrings to pull with women.

Another tip-off is their English is oddly formal. I get scams from Nigeria all the time and they start out with My Dearest, My Beloved, My Precious One. Have you received any of these? We’re Americans. We do not speak like this, especially American military men.

The final show of hand is when they ask for money. The military man is taken care of when abroad, all his medical needs, transportation, food and housing is covered by the government. No need for them to be flown home on their own dime. A civilian cannot open accounts for them or set up retirement accounts for them. One popular scam has the girlfriend sending money to start a retirement account for him. She knows it is only a matter of weeks before he gets back to the US to spend his retirement with his newly found love. If he is in the Army he started that account when he joined. All requests for money are wire transfers that can be picked up via the Internet or your local Western Union. Never wire money. If he asks for money then he is not the real deal.

Does he call you at home? My son while stationed in Iraq had no trouble calling home although he didn’t always call at convenient times. Most avoid calling because their accent might alert you something is wrong. Some men in the US might be working a scam and feel confident that their accent would pass. Remember here in the US we have plenty of regional accents—you do have to know them. A man claiming to be from Boston should not sound like someone from East Texas.

The Army is doing its part to try to stop the scammers from using the face of the American fighting man. The rest is up to you. If your uniformed sweetheart suddenly disappears when you won’t send him money, then he never was your sweetheart. It is a good thing he vanished.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do You Need A Matchmaker?




I remember when I was much younger there was a computer-dating organization called Matchmaker. It was modeled on the old traveling matchmaker who went house to house gathering information to pair up likely couples for a fee. Her job was to take in all the wants and desires of her prospective clients. While she visited over a cup of tea, she also took in dynamics such as personalities and pecking order within the family. The matchmaker knew a strong elder daughter would not suit an equally domineering man, but a younger son would appreciate her assertiveness and willingness to jump in and get things done. The real question is can we find appropriate matches on our own?

It would seem with fifty percent of first marriages and sixty-seven percent of the second marriages ending in divorce, the answer is no. An average American cannot successfully pick a spouse. Consider people you know who stay in horrible marriages just to stay married. I definitely wouldn’t call that a successful pairing. So what gives? Why such a high failure rate? Why do people consistently pick inappropriate partners?

You can put the blame on love according to popular columnist Vicki Larson in her latest article, MARRY FOR LOVE, DIVORCE WHEN LOVE'S GONE. Marrying for love is a new concept and western in origin. People fell in love throughout time, but usually didn’t marry because other factors intervened. A woman married to strengthen family ties with an important and sometimes wealthy family. She could marry to improve her social standing. She often married a man who would provide for her and her offspring too. There was no aspiring rock star for great grandma. Maybe the couple was from warring families, different religions, or even other countries, which prevented their union.

Romeo and Juliet is an example of a relationship based entirely on physical attraction, which is often what we refer to love as—that certain spark.They fell in love in a night, spouted poetry at one another, snuck around, got busy and married in less than two weeks. A marriage meant both their families would shun them. The family meant even more then than it does now. By abandoning the family, Romeo would have no real way to make his way in the world. He would have to start over as a stable hand. Juliet would have to abandon her life of luxury and would blame her husband for it. Maybe Shakespeare knew how things would have turned out so killed off the two while they were still in passionately in love.

Going back to the article, Larson explains most people opt for divorce when they no longer feel in love. What would happen if we divorced our children when they disappointed us? Love changes form as we go along, then, one partner decides that the magic is no longer there. A relationship based on love shatters when it is no longer exciting or hard times show up.

If you think of your first boyfriend, then you remember the fervency of young love. Maybe he had a crooked smile, curly hair, or beautiful blue eyes, but in the end that wild, all-encompassing love that caused you to doodle his name all over your folders, tennis shoes, and hands did end. Of course, your argument might be that you were young and you had nothing in common. That lack of commonality forced you two apart and cooled that initial ardor. It could have been he liked different music than you did. So how is this different from older relationships?

Not much. Maybe we accept different music, but still want to embrace love as the cure all. The old matchmaker knew love wasn’t the cure all and looked for commonalities in a couple that would weld them together in the more difficult times. That didn’t mean she chose people who were exactly alike, but rather complimented each other. People who are reasonably kind and thoughtful of others would make good mates. That hot bod who makes your pheromones jump would not make a good, loyal mate. The seasoned matchmaker wouldn’t waste her time on him knowing how short the relationship would be. It would be bad for her business reputation.

Still, we go running after men and women who are bad for us and in the end will treat us bad. We even call it love. Love makes marriage do-able, even though we may have misgivings. We hope love will magically transform a somewhat doubtful candidate into a loving mate. It doesn’t happen. People often become less of the lover and more of themselves within the marriage frame. Suddenly, the man you drooled over and absolutely had to have becomes irritating. It all falls apart if all you had was love.

My argument is how can you be in love when there is nothing else? Love is an action as opposed to a feeling. Lust is a feeling that fades quickly. People fall in love with love. They fall for the movie version with dramatic romantic gestures and soulful looks. They convince themselves that whomever they meet is the one. Many times this is based on age and availability. Who isn’t afraid of growing old alone?

We are bad at picking mates. Those few happy marriages you know usually succeeded due to plain serendipity. A few happened because they knew each other all their lives. Her people knew his people. This makes a big difference because you get to spot the possibilities of what your beloved may grow into by observing his family…always a good thing to know.

Often the matchmaker’s pool is limited. Sometimes she can’t find what you want so you may have to settle for what you can tolerate. A contemporary equivalent is Millionaire Matchmaker. Did you ever think a millionaire needed a matchmaker? She coaches the people how to act on a date. By acting the wrong way, their actual best match is lost. Makes you wonder how the rest of manage without a dating coach?

It brings me full circle back to my grandmother who laid down the law to her potential second husband and told him her rules for marriage. They were not in love when they married, nor did they expect to be, but they did want companionship. In the end, they were the most loving couple I ever met. By honoring each other and sharing daily tasks, they fell in love. They confirmed that love by rubbing noses whenever they met in the hallway and saying, “Love you, love you.”

I, of course, want a marriage just like my grandparents. Maybe I don’t need a matchmaker just a set of guidelines.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why This Time Will Be Different



I am in the best and final relationship of my life. I know it, but it is hard to explain to friends, especially family who tends to doubt. Why wouldn’t they since they watched me struggle through two bad marriages and a half dozen indifferent relationships. What makes this one different, special, and enduring.

The first thing that comes to mind is that we are always positive with each other. We both have plenty people in our lives who gladly serve as a critical friend, which makes it good to have one consistent positive person to go to every time. It is easy to be upbeat about each other because we really do see the good in each other. We look for it, but it is also glaringly apparent because we look at each other with the eyes of love. We want to find what is magnificent about the other…quite a change from previous relationships where it always seemed all my perceived faults were held up for ridicule. Notice I did say perceived, however it doesn’t mean I’m perfect, far from it.

The second amazing element of our relationship is that we accept each other as we are, as we were, and as we will be in the future. How great is that? It’s the best thing I’ve ever come across. Remember the perceived faults that I had and were always held up for ridicule those came about because I did not match up to the model my partner had of what I should be as girlfriend or wife. Instead, I was slightly left of center freak that talked for her pets and talked to her plants. As a non-model wife, I made up words to songs and wore boots, especially cowboy, from October to March. This time these traits make me unique and endearing. Instead of trying to mold me into something else through shame and ridicule, I am appreciated for who I am. This leaves me free to pursue other interests since I’m not wasting time re-inventing myself. I also don’t waste time wondering if I can trust him.

Trust makes me rest easy at night, go to work without doubts, and send off my beloved without a qualm on business trips. Before I couldn’t trust, and sometimes I did trust, but it was undeserved. Men, or at least the ones I’ve been involved with up to now, had huge egos that need constant praise and stroking. They often seek out this stroking from other women. I also know that women will occasionally hit on a guy they know is taken just to test their skills. Why should my man be any different? Why should I trust him? It is almost as if he is entirely different species, the totally committed male. He makes no bones that he is committed and I am the best thing in his life. I worked with dozens of men who never mention their wives in any form. It is as if they don’t occupy much space in their lives. My guy is the opposite since his co-workers felt like they knew me before they met me.

People don’t say it, but I know they think that if I wait long enough the specialness of the relationship will wear off. It will if I let it wear off. My grandparents modeled how to keep it alive. They treated each other as a gift. Each day they greeted each other as if they’d been apart for years. Too often, we women catch a guy and he becomes ordinary. We become ordinary since we no longer greet him at the door or even shower for him when we know he’s on his way home. When you make the decision to treat him as a prize he will continue to act like a prize, it is as simple as that. Many women treat their man like a pair of dirty sweatpants. He’s there in the corner somewhere, nothing to get too excited about. In turn, the man gives the same disrespect right back. It’s a circle of indifference that I’m not drawing.

When women fall in love, they tend to think about their sweetheart all the time. Sounds normal so far, but the real difference comes in the way they think of their sweetheart. Females can and will idealize a man if he serves a purpose in their lives such as providing them with the lifestyle they want or playing the part of the groom in an oversized wedding. But do they really see him? Better yet, do they want what is best for him or they do they just want what they want? A good relationship is when both parties want what is best for the other. I have that. I will do things for my honey that he wouldn’t do for himself. On the other hand, he always has my best interests at heart, both professionally and personally. Is there anything else that could make for a more perfect union?

Romance. Movies, books, songs, and poetry are devoted to it. Often men offer romance to hook the woman, but soon shelf it in order to watch ESPN more. Not my man, he is the romance king. He remembers all our specials days WITHOUT any prompting. He is quick to open a door or pull out a chair. He practices manners that most men have forgotten or never knew. The man can and does dance. He is my romantic hero.

If you managed to survive my gushing about how wonderful he is, you must wonder why didn’t another woman snap him up. Stupidity is my best guess. He thinks it is because he isn’t that tall and he didn’t fulfill most women’s image of what their man should look like. As for those ignorant women, I am grateful for their short-sightedness because I have the best man in the world. Thank you, thank you very much.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Ring Dilemma




Recently, I stumbled across an article where two pastors, of all people, were talking about the merit of wearing a wedding ring. The first pastor was all for it stating it showed a commitment he and his spouse made to each other. He was blessed his wife chose him. The other pastor was against it stating it was a showy gesture for other people. Both he and his wife chose not to wear rings because they knew in their hearts they were committed to each other.

Okay, so they know they’re committed to each other, but is it a secret? Does he not want anyone else to know? Sure, he might say his family knows, his neighbors, and friends, but what about the guy in the gym? The other day I was working out in my gym when an unfamiliar man came and started chatting with me. He seemed fairly persistent and began to work out where ever I went in the huge gym. Finally, I went over to the treadmill my significant other was on and began to discuss the man shadowing me. He watched the other man with slitted eyes grumbling about the need for a ring to chase off other guys. Would a ring do it? He assured me it would work on most men.

Despite the stories, you see in scandal rags, most men or women won’t chase after a person with a ring on his or her finger. They do not want to waste time on a guy or girl who won’t result in a relationship or at least a date. Why make the effort? What do you get when you steal a guy from his wife? You get a guy who cheats on his wife…no matter who that wife is. Same with the women, a woman who leaves her man for a flirty new guy is a woman who leaves and doesn’t look back.

The more hip people are having their fingers tattooed with a ring as opposed to getting a real ring. It is definitely cheaper. Do you propose in a tattoo parlor? There are downsides to this including when the relationship goes bad you still have the tattooed ring on your finger. Do you spend all your time telling everyone you’re not married despite the ring tattoo? How many people actually believe you? It is very hard to spot the tattoo ring in a dimly lit bar. The upside is it is impossible to take off. It can be hidden with a large ornate ring, a Band-Aid, or even makeup. It is not a sure way to keep a cheater straight.

The double ring ceremony is relatively new. Women started wearing wedding rings in the 16th century. While the double rings ceremony did not start until the 20th century. It did not really become a standard until the thirties. Women wore wedding rings, but men didn’t. Women were regarded as the prize and husbands wanted other men to know their wives were off limits. Men worried about being cuckolded by other men. They definitely did not want to raise someone else’s child…thus the ring. Men did what they wanted, even cheated on their wives. Although it wasn’t viewed as that. It was common to have a wife and a girlfriend, especially among men who could afford both.

Women were probably the ones who insisted on their husbands wearing rings as a sign of their love and fidelity. Of course, it is relatively easy to take off a wedding ring. Many men insist they need to remove their rings for work, which may or may not be the case. The real question is if they put it back on? One wife went downtown for lunch with colleagues and bumped into her husband sans wedding ring. He passed it off that none of the guys wore their wedding rings out. If you’re wondering her husband is an accountant. I mentioned this to my guy and he told me the only reason a man doesn’t wear a ring is because he wants other women to think he isn’t married.

Maybe it makes people feel flirty and unattached walking around with a bare ring finger, even though they have no plans of hooking up with the waitress or the waiter. A married person can’t be single for the day. It is the equivalent of being a little bit pregnant. On the other hand, the person they’re chatting up is unaware that they are married. It really isn’t fair to the other person who is just serving to pump up their vanity.

The ring is incredibly symbolic of a relationship. What newly engaged woman hasn’t managed to use every movie-worthy gesture to show off her ring. She’s bubbling over with pride and joy that’s she engaged to the most wonderful man in the world. Of course, there is the flipside of ring wearing. Those who have been through a divorce know the marriage is officially over when one partner takes off his or her ring. It is the more than the beginning of the end. It is a total denial that the marriage ever was. The woman declares with this one gesture that she was never a euphoric engaged gal or a giddy newlywed, but rather a bitter, discontented spouse with one tiny action.

So in the end, is it better to wear a ring? Yes, and yes, again, because there are tons of single folks out there just looking for someone like you, or me, or my especially adorable guy. We don’t want to waste time on fending off advances. Nor do we want people to screw up their courage to chase after ring less married people thinking they’re single. It really is hard enough being single and getting up the nerve to approach an attractive man, chat him up, maybe even meet him by “accident” a few more times before you find out he’s married. A ring would have saved time and public humiliation.

As for the ring, it doesn’t have to be a diamond, but more of a symbol by the wearer that he or she honors their loved one so much that they will be loyal to them forever. That’s the real reason I am for ring wearing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is Remarriage even AN Option?



Those of you who are divorced and read this blog, do you ever think about re-marrying? I know you may pretend not to because things worked out so poorly the first time. You certainly don’t want to go through all that again. Vicki Larson in her current article “Why Divorced Men Are Quicker to Marry Again,” states that not only do divorced men remarry more, but they often remarry sooner while divorced women hold off or may not ever remarry. Why do men remarry so fast, especially considering in the US the second remarriage has a 67% chance of ending in divorce?

The most obvious reason is because they can. The man is usually not the custodial parent if children are involved. I dated a custodial parent once and his whining, demanding child turned out to be courtship dynamite always disrupting dates with unscheduled school events, mother refusing to take him for her weekend, or sudden irrational requests. I understand more how men feel about dating single mothers. Men usually jump back into the dating arena because of ego to prove they are still desirable. No time is spent licking their wounds and questioning their actions that resulted in the last relationship termination.

Second marriages fail for two major reasons. First, you have no clue who you are marrying and their wants and needs. Second, you really don’t know what you want and need from the man and the relationship. In the end, you divorce a stranger because you don’t meet each other’s needs.

Often during dating, we assume an alternate personality. You know the one where you try to mirror whatever your sweetie likes. If your new man is a fan of southern cooking, you’re Tivo-ing the cooking channel in hopes of discovering the secret of baked cheesy grits. In the end, this falls by the wayside because you neither liked cooking nor were good at it. The guy sees this as a sign you don’t care and maybe that you misled him. This is a little thing compared to marrying someone with a prescription drug or pornography habit. Sure, the habit is no good for them but it is ruining your life too, forget ever having a relationship.

How does this happen you wonder? Surely, you reason you could spot an abuser, domestic or drug. People conceal monumental issues from each other. My old pastor remarked that during premarital counseling that he found matrimony-bound couples never even discussed basics like having kids, managing money, and where they were going to live. If you can overlook major things like these in a rush to get hitched, annoying habits, addictions, and bizarre relatives are a blip on the radar screen. A blip you really should have noticed for your own personal well-being

How can you avoid marrying a stranger? Don’t marry on the rebound or in a hurry. I always found the one-year courtship a good bet, but take it a step farther. Meet his family, co-workers, and friends because they will be anxious to reveal facets of his personality that he keeps hidden from you. Have him meet your friends and relatives too because they’ll often pick up on things you won’t because you’re so in love. When I was involved in a whirlwind courtship with my first husband, a good friend told me she didn’t like him and informed me that he’d be a hard man to live with because he had to dominate the little woman. She was right, but unfortunately, I didn’t listen. If almost everyone doesn’t like your sweetie, then there is a definite problem.

Be yourself, shuck the dating personality, and get real. Wear sweatpants and ask him to help you with a particular dirty job like cleaning out a flooded basement. Seeing how people act in a difficult situation is a very important thing to know since life is full of difficult situations. The big decision in dating is often what movie to see. Do something the two of you have never done before as a challenge. This allows you to see how he deals with things he’s not good at…this is quite the challenge for men. Does he embrace the challenge and go about it good-naturedly or does he drag his feet and invent excuses why he can’t do it.

This may seem like a trial by fire thing to do, but wouldn’t you want to find out before you’re married. You think you know who you’re marrying, that’s great. Now do you know what you want out of a marriage and a marriage partner? This is so important. Often people looked at marriage simplistically. The men want a pretty female while the women might want a high wage earner. Of course, the man discovers his arm candy is a mean shrew while the woman finds out her high income husband is a womanizer.

I know neither person would conveniently state their faults, but we have eyes, brains, and ears to observe. First, know what is important to you in a partner. Sometimes you can review your failed relationships to discover what to avoid. I dislike not being appreciated. I spent fourteen years in a marriage where my ex paid more attention to the dog and the television set. With that in mind, I enter the relationship game with a strong need to be valued. Maybe your ex-spouse was critical of everything you ever did, then you may need support and approval in your future partner.

You may think this all sounds like a no brainer, but people marry every day not knowing the person and not knowing what they want from a relationship. Second marriages are often rebound marriages to show the ex they can get someone else. Other times it is a desperate attempt not be alone. In Proverbs, a man is warned that it is better to live on a rooftop alone than be in a house with an argumentative woman. Dyan Cannon asked why such a beautiful, energetic woman would live alone, she commented she really enjoyed the company of men, but would not marry one just not to be alone. She added that she was at a point in her life where she was okay living alone. I guess the question you should ask before remarrying is: are you okay living alone?

If you’re not, you might rethink the marriage because you are marrying for the wrong reasons.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Scares Men The Most...


A woman with a child scares off the average man. A woman with more than one child sends him running. Women tend to mumble about the man being a jerk when he avoids dating a mother with young children. Let’s look at things from his side for a moment.

When I was expecting, I read several books about what to expect when I was expecting. I knew all about water weight, midnight cravings, and false labor pain, but nothing about how the marital relationship would change.

The various books emphasized it would change, not for the better for the man. Instead of being the lover and the hero, he’s shoved to the side while the baby receives all the attention. Everyone fusses over the mother and the baby. Of course, most of you are saying the baby needs the attention. Newsflash: the man needs attention too. Suddenly, everything is about the child from sleeping patterns to social activities. The mother finds herself cuddling and kissing the baby so much that she actually fulfills her need for physical touch that she has little need to caress her husband. When he wants affection, she’s tired.

The man becomes the breadwinner and the shared caregiver to the child. He gets to squire the child around to various functions with little praise from the child or mother. When the parents finally divorce because there is no connection and affection between the two of them, the mother is angry, while often the father is relieved. Maybe this time he thinks, I’ll find someone who has time for me; someone who will appreciate me for who I really am as opposed to some unpaid servant to the child or children. He also harbors tremendous guilt over leaving his children EVEN if the mother pushed him out.

What the divorced father sees when he meets a woman with children is the scenario he just left. He is well aware of what is like to have three children in three different activities and only one car to get them there. As Americans, we seldom tell our children no and allow them to drive the marriage by default. Most people do not have marriages, they entered into a relationship, then have children and become slaves to those children, fulfilling their every want and creating ones they never even had.

I witness this when I go to my spin class and watch parents mill around for their pre-school karate students. Karate class meets three times a week and is quite pricey. The parents instead of doing something useful like working out instead wait two hours leaning against a wall. They probably don’t have money left for a gym membership after paying for karate. They give up any leisure time waiting and almost all their discretionary funds to the child. This is what the man sees when a woman mentions she has a child. Keep in mind, the man has children he is already supporting and occasionally driving around.

If a man is honest, he’ll also realize it will be a long time before they are a couple, if ever. A mother’s first responsibility is to her children, especially very young children. Teenagers can manage on their own enough to let mom date or enter into a relationship. A few will throw a nasty fit worthy of any Lifetime movie character that mom might reconsider dating for a while. With mothers, everything is about the children. A romantic weekend getaway suffers cancelation due to junior having the sniffles or his Little League team making it to regionals. If a woman doesn’t cancel then she criticized by other women for being a bad mother.

Men will enter into relationships with mothers because there are very few single women without kids. It may not be what he wants, but the woman seems eager at first, welcoming, even affectionate. Of course, while she may see an attractive, amusing man, she also sees help. What single mom doesn’t need a hand? It would be great to have someone to lean on and pick up the kids from daycare. An extra income would help too. These things tend to color how a woman reacts to the man, but it isn’t love, and it definitely isn’t a relationship. You can call it a relationship, even marriage, but it is only a name, not a fact.

What usually happens is the man enters the relationship with doubt, but figures it’s the best he is going to do. He soon finds himself driving the mini-van and spending more time with the kids than the mother. Mom is so relieved to have help that she’s anxious to do all the things she couldn’t do with kids and takes advantage of the newest member of the family. She’ll even indulge in nights out with the girls because it has been so long, she explains to her bewildered man who thought a relationship meant they spent time together.

The man falls into the child cycle where everything revolves around the child or children. His sporty car doesn’t allow two car seats into the backseat, so it is sacrificed. His golf day or poker night interferes with the children’s activities. The romantic getaways for two, morph into theme parks visits with sunburned, whining children. This is not the life, he expected. Often, he’ll probably imagine that he could have stayed married to the mother of his children and had the same life. In fact, the staying married might start to look good, at least he would be raising his own children, not someone else’s.

To pile even more abuse on the beleaguered man the children will tell him how great the absentee father is. If the woman has a cruel streak, which some often do, she might mention that her ex-husband or ex-boyfriends were good at everything from fixing cars, cooking, to being amazing in the bedroom. She probably thinks throwing out these remarks will inspire the man to greater efforts. In the end, he realizes he doesn’t matter in the relationship.

A man may find himself shelved after the kids grow up. He was a good deal when the kids were small, but not the type of guy the mother wanted with the kids grown. In other words, he was a good daddy, but not a lover. He may have felt the relationship go south soon after he said, “I do,” but he stayed because he felt an obligation to her children. He served his purpose and now she’s done with him. He feels just the same as before his initial divorce.

I can understand why a man would avoid the women with children. Their affection is merely a lure to bring them into the family and it fades away under the challenges of childcare. Suddenly he goes from a hero to a doofus who doesn’t remember to buy milk and diapers on the way home. The obvious solution to all of this is to date an older woman whose children are grown. This woman is who she is going to be and will not change once the children leave since they already have. Instead of a three-ring circus with half a T-ball team and a mini-van, romantic getaways are possibilities. Adult conversations are another perk. It’s all out there on the table. No secret desire to have more children is waiting in the wings.

Next time you bash a man for not wanting to date a woman with children, think about his point of view for a change.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kisses: What They Really Mean




My first date with my significant other ended with a brief hug, more the sort you get in church from a fellow member. I went home and wondered if he really liked me. After all, he didn’t kiss me. Most guys will offer to walk you to a car in hopes of earning a kiss. A kiss at the end of the date seals the deal literally. Sometimes it sours the deal too depending on the kiss. Which brings me to a point what does a kiss mean?

A kiss can mean a variety of things depending on the person who is doing the kissing. Take the kiss on the cheek, it often is a simple greeting by a relative or friend. At the end of the first date, it can mean numerous things from I’m not that into you to I’m really into you. How do you know? Consider the personality of your date. Is he reserved, very religious, shy? Then he might be very interested in you. Of course, if all you’re getting are kisses on the cheek on follow-up dates, you may questions his affection.

Sometimes it is more than the kiss that matters it is what accompanies the kiss. I often see couples kiss in the airport that turn their heads away as soon as their lips touch. This brief brush tells everyone that they feel obligated to kiss as opposed to wanting to kiss the person. A person who wants to kiss you, will take his time, make eye contact, embrace you, before the brief touch of the lips. This tells the intended that she is important and will be missed. The kiss on the fly is more of an obligation like writing a thank you note.

The other night my honey and I went out to dinner with another couple. During the course of the meal, my sweetie picked up my hand and kissed it. My friend confessed later to me she was so jealous. A kiss on the hand implies love, adoration, and trust. Ironically, it is so much more intimate than a kiss on the lips. It gives outsiders a peek into how special a relationship is.

Another very telling kiss is the kiss on the collarbone. First, a man must know a woman pretty well to get this close to get away with this type of kiss. It signals erotic intention. It also shows how smart the man is since women tend to melt into a puddle of lust at this particular kiss.

I used to think a kiss on the forehead or hair was just for children until I read COSMO, which related the psychology of body language of celebs and their hookups. According to their on-staff psych, a forehead or hair kiss shows a protectiveness and adoration. The man is basically saying, “I ‘ve got your back.” What I shied away from as the sister kiss is so much more than I ever thought.

Think about it, most men see kissing as a way to get women in bed. Kisses that don’t push you toward the bedroom, but are a celebration of the specialness of you mean so much more. In fact, their very existence means when you make it to the bedroom things will be so much better, than if you just engaged in deep throated kissing.

According to relationship expert, Mabel Iam, popular radio and television psychologist, a kiss accompanied with an intense look of endearment signals love even if the kiss is on the cheek. This is what I consider a movie kiss. Both people look at each other adoringly before kissing. In the movie, it tells the audience that they are going to kiss and get ready for it. In real life, the couple communicates their love for each other via eye contact, then they kiss. It allows anyone watching to know how special they are to each other.

Pubic affection—we’ve all witnessed it and been a bit grossed out by couples who tend to act like they’re auditioning for a R-rated movie. A discreet kiss is always in good taste especially if it is done as a natural gesture as opposed to impress the people watchers. Often women tend to wonder about their man if he won’t kiss her in public. What’s the deal? Is he trying to look like he’s not attached? Maybe, especially if he refuses to hold her hand.

Should couples check their kisses in front of relatives and children? It all depends what image you want to give out. If you are trying to reinforce the image that couples can’t stand to be around each other, go ahead, withhold your casual kisses and hand touches. If you want the children to believe that love isn’t just for the under twenty set, go ahead kiss, hold hands, even dance together. It is sure to freak them out and impress them on some tiny level.

As for kisses, they have their own language. Don’t give them out without any thought. Make them count.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Lure of Ex-Boyfriends


Men are contrary…there is nothing that appeals to them more than a woman taken, especially if that woman used to be theirs at one time. How many of you swore when you broke up with your guy that he would see that you were the best thing out there. He’d regret leaving the best thing that ever happened to him. Maybe you even kept tabs on him to make sure whomever he was dating was so much worse than you. Then out of the blue, he calls, texts or emails you. Maybe he bumps into you at your favorite retail store. None of this is an accident by any means.

There is a chance he suddenly realized you were the best thing in his life. Not hardly, but what really happened is his last girl dumped his butt and he’s out trolling. In his attempt to find a female to soothe his male ego he goes back to all the women he dated. It is an easier fix than totally starting new. He’s assured that they liked him once. The man knows you, knows what you like, or how he hurt you. Never fear, he’ll reach into his bag of tricks and offer you things he never gave you in the relationship. You wanted emotional closeness, he’ll confess he did too and now he’s ready. Of course, what happens when you reveal you already have a honey?

The mention of a current honey may discourage some, but not all. For many the lure of competition only eggs them on to compete for a woman they did not want before. This is where the old boyfriend shines surprisingly, by bringing up revised old times. In his version, you did not call him every name in the book and cursed the day he was born. His best bet is to tell you he’s realized you are the woman for him. He then pulls out everything he wants to do for you. Not surprising, all his promises are things you wanted him to do, but never delivered on the first time around.

As women, we want to believe. We want to believe that he’s changed, that we are the best thing in his life, and that he will deliver on all the promises. Chekov in Star Trek, used to quote an “alleged” Russian proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” You’re too smart to fall for this. If you’re weak, taken in by his professionally whitened smile and well-rehearsed lines, pull in a girlfriend. She spent over two weeks propping you up after the break up. She is so not willing to do it again.

What about your current honey? The guy who delivers on his promises and stands by your side, what about him? Some of you might quibble that he’s okay, but you’ve become fascinated by the one that got away. Ladies, he’s a cobra and will bite you in the end. Part of your current allure is that you’re taken.

Why would your ex treat you better now? By even entertaining the thought of seeing him you’ve just proved you have no standards by crawling back to him. You’ve shown him that you don’t have much backbone and little intelligence. You also just gave him permission to treat you worse than he did before. Is that what you want?

But wait, you might insist, I am only talking to him. I have no plans to see him or drop my current guy. That’s what your lips say, often even the act of contacting him to tell him you’re taken is viewed as an invitation. Your ex-boyfriend does not want to be your friend. All those people who say they are friends with their exes, I wonder what their true intentions are. Often, a man likes to keep his options open and have the ability to hook up with an old girlfriend now and then. He keeps this path open by contacting her occasionally via text, or a “like” on her status on Facebook, even bumping into her at her favorite store. You wonder how many times he showed up there to make that happen. I’m not sure what a woman’s intentions are since I’ve never had any luck with being friends with an ex. Get real here, you break up under bad circumstances. Every contact you have will remind you of those old wounds, why torture yourself?

Why are you bothering to even give your ex the time of day? Often we reinvent memories, maybe things weren’t as bad as they seemed. Maybe you misread him or some other nonsense. You make up some lame story that you’d ridicule your friends if they came up with it. About this time, someone needs to dope slap you and say, “What are you thinking?” Did you not notice the man by your side who adores you. Unlike your ex, is here for you. Why do women, and men, go chasing after bad news exes?

They believe in the fantasy their ex spins for them. Some women claim they want closure. I always considered a breakup a very definite closure. Some women are just greedy and cruel. They are greedy because they can’t seem to resist any man, even when they know it will end badly. Maybe that should be stupid instead of greedy. They are cruel to their current honey who they throw away in a hurry for a chance to chase a dream they’ll never catch because it does not exist. Ironically, they are also cruel to themselves because they will find themselves back in the same emotional hole that they managed to crawl out of with great assistance from their girlfriend before. This time their girlfriends probably won’t be so accommodating.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WHAT NOT TO SAY TO YOUR MAN



We all know what we don’t want to have our guys to say to us. We don’t want to hear about how hot some actress is. Maybe he goes on and on about what a great cook his mom is, he offers this tidbit during dinner. If you’re real lucky, he might ask when you’re getting ready after you spent an hour and half doing just that. Better yet, he might suggest how you would benefit from getting in shape. These are all no brainers—as far as what to not say to a woman, even though some men still do. Then, here’s the question, what do men not want to hear.

First, no references to your ex, especially when they involve telling about something your ex could do and he can’t. Avoid mentioning your ex altogether if possible. It might save you some embarrassing moments when you accidentally call your new man by your old man’s name, which shouldn’t be too surprising when your ex’s name is always in your mouth.

If glorifying the abilities of your ex, who might have been a great mechanic or a good money manager was bad; bringing dear old dad in the picture is equally loathsome. Every woman loves her father and thinks he’s a great guy. No man wants to be compared to a woman’s father. There is no way he can win. If he reacts to not being just like dad, then he’s insulted her father. It is a comparison where he’ll come up lacking. Who needs that? Generations change too. Maybe your father could fix a lawnmower, but your sweetie can design a website…there’s no real parallel. Don’t try to make one.

Comparing your man with your ex or your father is really just another way to call him a doofus. No man wants to ridiculed by the woman who is supposed to love him more than life itself. Attacking a man’s intelligence is bad enough, but beware of attacking his physical side too. Any comments about a receding hairline is the equivalent to pointing out your jiggling thighs. Yes, we’re both aware that they are there, no need to draw attention to either one.

If all these remarks aren’t bad enough in themselves, airing them in public is the epitome of bad female behavior. I’ve heard women joke about their men’s lack of social graces, intelligence and bedroom skills in large groups while the man was present. It doesn’t mean you should do it when the man isn’t present either. It is a horrible show of disrespect. How would you feel if he did the same to you?

Some women even complain about the gifts their sweeties buy them. They sometimes engage in verbal one-upmanship on stupid gifts their men bought. I recently read an article where the woman was so upset with her husband because he bought them matching bikes for Christmas so they could ride together. Her upset was that he listened to her comment that it would be nice to ride bikes together as opposed to upholding her status as a dedicated runner and buying a gift to reflect that. She eventually just gave her bike away. Men struggle to buy gifts and often their reward is a hostile reaction to the gift. That’s right you have to be nice about the gift, consider the sentiment as opposed to the actual gift. If you want any gifts in the future you may need to check your initial revulsion at the Ronco Chopomatic.

Men are a lot like women in the fact that they have feelings. They often feel insecure even if they appear confident. They are just as vain about their appearance as women. And they want to be loved for who they are as opposed to what they can do.

Probably one of the worse things to tell a man is that he isn’t enough. He is who he is…that’s really not negotiable. Often, men are told they aren’t fit enough, smart enough, rich enough before the woman walks out the door. Good riddance you think the man would say, but instead he obsesses on what he isn’t thinking the woman must be right and that’s why he’s alone. He doesn’t think it has anything to do with him being despondent and retreating to his home.

Back on the playground, we used to chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We also used to sing about sipping cider resulting in forty-nine kids. I’ve gotten a little smarter since then and I hope my words reflect that, especially when I am talking to or about my man. How about you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Asking for the Commitment



Most women want their suitors to pop the question since it literally seals the deal in salesman’s term. There are a few things to consider before asking for the commitment. The deal you are considering might not be the deal he is offering. You need to determine your motivations too.

We women tend to want to nail a man down fast. Some of us can remember the Andy Griffith show where both Andy and Barney dated their girlfriends for over eleven years. Sounds like a man’s dream, no responsibility for a family and some female affection when he wants it, preferably on the weekends. The only problem with this is the woman and her dreams.

By date two, she may be guilty of imagining them as a pair. Some women do this at the end of date one, even others somehow do this without the guy even asking them out. We are a society that values a couple over a single person. Ask any newly divorced person how much of a nosedive her social life took when she became half of a pair. Of course, everyone imagines the single again person would be a spouse-stealing threat if invited to a party. The sad, very lonely person stays home and considers her chances of being part of a couple. SO much so, that a plan is devised that may include diet, hair color change, or even Lasik surgery. The goal is to be united once more…with someone.

Ladies, and my few male readers, did you notice the goal was to be part of a couple. That was the end goal. Many people afraid of dying alone will set up being married as their ultimate goal. How soon they forget being married to the wrong person was often a form of purgatory, and sometimes hell on Earth. In their lemming-ish rush to matrimony, some women will go so far as to quiz men on first dates if they want to get married. If the man answers “no,” then they need to move on to a more likely prospect. Really?

If a man answers “yes” to such an outlandish question the woman needs to run like crazy. This shows a lack of thought and an impulsiveness that doesn’t bode well for a long term relationship. It also shows man as desperate and needy as the woman ready to marry anyone who shows similar interest . That never works out. Consider it this way, if you walked through a room of people asking who would like to go out and get Chinese with you. You’d find an interested party and you’d head out to the restaurant for dinner. You both get what you want…Chinese food, but over dinner you discover that you just don’t mesh. You may even find out you detest the person. The good news it was only Chinese food and you never have to see that person again. Not so, when either you agreed to marry someone you don’t know, or convince an acquaintance to marry you.

I know my sweetie, you’ll whine, we’re together all the time. Marriage changes everything. Both men and women will be on the good behavior or whatever behavior you want until the ring is on your finger. Face it, you do it too. Dating behavior is different than relationship behavior, and often married behavior is even more unique than what happened leading up to the event. The longer you date the more you get to know the person, but I’m only talking about a year before asking for the commitment. I heard of one couple who dated for twenty-seven years before marrying. Can’t say what their motivation was, but one partner definitely didn’t want to get married.

Most of you can tell tales of friends who lived with someone for a number of years and then was dumped for another woman who the guy immediately married. Many people enter into relationships with the thought you’re good enough for now. They don’t say these words aloud, but when they meet “the one” they leave so quick there are tread marks in the driveway.

What is the difference between the live-in girlfriend and the chick he married. One thing only, the last female asked for a commitment. She probably said in so many words she wasn’t changing her entire life unless she had some guarantees. Marriage is no guarantee anymore, except maybe in divorce court. What the woman is asking for is how serious is the man about her? We sometimes mistakenly believe that a wedding ring will make a man stay with one woman. Personal choice, his, makes the man stay. Fear of losing the best thing in his life renders him monogamous.

We can usually get a man to do the deed on bended knee, but if he isn’t mentally there it will not go well. What do you really get? A man forced into a life-changing relationship by manipulation. This sets the man up for being continually manipulated in the marriage. The wife will use her manipulations skills to get her way, but will resent her malleable husband. The man doesn’t win, ever in this scenario.

Before you ask for the commitment, consider what you are really asking for. Are you tired of being a single and you just want to be a pair? Maybe you hope to nail down a good prospect with a wedding ring. So far in the relationship, he hasn’t demonstrated enough devotion and you hope marriage will do the trick. None of these are good reasons. EVEN being madly in love isn’t enough. Consider how many times do you want to endure a contentious marriage or suffer through a bitter divorce. Instead of asking him for a commitment, ask yourself if this is the person you want to wake up to the rest of your life? Is he the man you want to make love to the rest of your life? Are you committed to making his wishes paramount to yours? Will you work to make his dreams come true?

If you answered no to any of the questions, you’re not ready. Committed relationships are not about what you want, but about making the other person your focus. In a balanced relationship, your spouse will do the same for you. Really, it does work. There are a great deal of unbalanced relationships out there, probably because a person asked for a commitment from a man who was not only not ready, but was a bad match to boot. Being a pair is not the end all to happiness, often it is the beginning of misery. Think, wait, think some more, and it will happen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stupid, Selfish People Murder Relationships



I know the title is a little harsh, but allow me to explain. Think about your last failed relationship, why did it not work? Did you feel your man never saw the real you, listened to you, or appreciated you? Maybe he cheated on you? Perhaps he was a spendaholic that had the family on the edge of bankruptcy or even in it? Maybe his head was able to spin 360,like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist, when a vaguely attractive woman walked by.It all boils down to one thing, being stupid, and well, maybe selfish too.

I don’t mean being stupid as far as not being able to do advanced algebra—hey, that’s me. Some men, not all, like to walk around and pretend to know nothing about women so they can continue to act in their same, self-absorbed ways. There are two things wrong with this scenario. As a culture, we know what women want. They want to be listened to, courted with romantic gestures, treated like they are the most special thing in a man’s life. We dispense this message in a variety of ways, books, poems, songs, movies, even commercials. Then there are your more outspoken women, which may number in a man’s life from sisters, co-workers, girlfriends, even spouses who willing say what they want in so many words, but the men still don’t get it. What gives? If I could definitively pin this down, I would be a rich woman. Let’s look at the guy’s side too.

As women, we say we want men who will treat us well, take care of us, love us, and always be there for us. We want a combination of a lover, father, and friend when you get down to it. Many women score this right out of the gate when they pick a responsible man in college. This is the man who will insure their combined offspring will make it to college, but they aren’t satisfied because they want a flashier model. Someone who’ll rev the engine of his Harley as a signal for her to jump on for a wild ride. The decent men battle all the time being put aside for bad boys. These same women try to get their responsible men to take them back after their walk on the wild side, but most are too smart. What causes this incredibly stupid behavior?

Even though we knew we shouldn’t have done it my sweetie and I shared details of our relationships gone bad. My details of being taken for granted by my ex or taking care of an overgrown boy paled to his tales of being left by various women for a local bad boy who appeared on the scene. How could any thinking woman leave this darling man mystifies me. Notice the emphasis on thinking. He’s very attentive, attractive, and supportive in all ways. What gives?

He explained that in hindsight he met women who only wanted what they wanted and they never participated in activities he might like to do. They didn’t even watch television shows he wanted to watch. He suffered through both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The list continued including only going to restaurants the women liked. The theme here is he was only allowed to do whatever the women wanted to do because he didn’t even enter into the equation in their minds. I know most of you are thinking he went along with this? True. I’ve been there and done that too. In the end, since his feelings and needs never mattered it was fairly easy for the women to walk away. What do you call it when all you do is take advantage of someone, then leave with someone new? I wouldn’t call it love.

This happens all the time in the United States. I mention the United States because we do have the highest rate of divorce than all the other countries. We are more than double Canada our nearest neighbor, and probably the most like us. We are the way we are because we as a society are self-absorbed individuals. We want what we want when we want it and take it if at all possible. This explains why people walk out of relationships all the time when a hot bod walks by. They don’t think, but respond to an impulse.

Throughout our lives we may have twinges of attraction for different people for various reasons. Maybe it’s your doctor, or your helpful butcher, or even your son’s college roommate. We don’t act on them if we’re smart because we’ve weighed the consequences as soon as we’ve felt the tug of attraction. Of course there is a big difference between casually meeting people in everyday life and actively looking for people. The man or woman who admits to their mate that they fallen for someone at work, didn’t actually fall. They worked to get there by setting up encounters, buying new clothes, even going out for private lunches so they could talk. Sounds different than their eyes meeting across a conference table and they knew they were destined to be together. Ironically, the old mate may have financially sponsored this budding relationship.

People just don’t approach you UNLESS you give out signals that you are approachable. When someone gives you an interested look, you look away to signal your disinterest. People who FALL into relationships while already in one do not look away. Instead, they stand still, smile, even approach the other interested person. They want what they want, which at the time might be one more person.

We’ve established the basic American is selfish. He or she hears via the media to grab all the gusto they can get from life, to indulge themselves, and that it is about them. It’s all about their wants. This type of thinking greatly appeals to people, but never addresses long-term consequences, which also explains the obesity epidemic in our country. The man or woman who treats their mate shabbily eventually leaving them for a newer, flashier model is not a long-term thinker.

Men going through mid-life crisis will often hook up with a twenty-something female who might admire his bank account, his car, or even his nicely weathered features. What the man fails to realize is that his newest possession is counting the days until she can dump his mature carcass. Women on the other hand often abandon good men for a chance to be a skank for a week or two with a known bad boy. This type of behavior gives all women a bad name.

So in retrospect, why are stupid people destroying relationships? It is because they are self-absorbed and short sighted. It is almost like they are in a relationship with themselves and this other person is only in a supportive role. They are short sighted in the fact that they leave the only person who will probably put up with their dysfunctional form of a relationship. I think these people should have warning labels stamped on their foreheads.

Please don’t give me any crap about a bad childhood that caused them to be the way they are. I saw a cartoon once that joked, “Who hasn’t had a dysfunctional childhood?” They all shared the basic talent of behaving well until they got their target hooked. Isn’t it amazing they forgot this same basic behavior once they settled into the relationship? As adults who want adult relationships, we need to act like thinking adults as opposed to spoiled brats. Maybe then, we can bring the divorce rate down. Ironically, the highest rate of divorce is in Florida, where the elderly divorce each other in droves convinced that their fantasy man or women is right around the corner… in the nearest retirement village. Some people never grow up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Are the Odds?



Ever wonder what are the chances of meeting that one perfect person? I decided to go to www.ask.com to see if they had the odds. They had a few. Not at all the answers were satisfactory. One was 0% considering all the billions of people living in the world. Another one felt you had a chance at 1 in 6,692,030,277. Another source pointed out that you would only meet them once so you had to work the moment, so be ready to jump on it. Still another person commented that you may have many possible soul mates, but obviously one may be a better fit than the other six. The last answer I thought was the most realistic. As you age your chances of meeting your soul mate diminishes as the pool gets smaller due to marriage, death or general cynicism.

How do you meet your soul mate would probably be the next step if you believed he or she is out there. Take risks. Simple as that. Do things you’ve always wanted to do, but maybe were holding back because you didn’t have anyone to do them with. If nothing else you’ll have the experience, but it should also lessen the anxiety about looking. No one feels comfortable with a desperate Donna.

The other day I was reminiscing with my soul mate about all the things we did wrong in our dating relationship. And we did plenty. Both of us thought we were showing the other that we very interested, but neither of us received that message which made us doubtful about developing a relationship. If I were quick to react as many women are, I would not be in the most wonderful relationship of my life. It paid off being slow for a change.

We want what we want when we want it. Let’s face it by this stage in our lives we feel like we should be with our forever love. We’re willing to give fate a jumpstart by kicking things into gear abruptly. My sweetie had women who would quiz him on the first date about having children or getting married. They knew their clock was ticking and they didn’t want to waste time going out with men a half dozen times to find out it wouldn’t work. In turn, they probably scared off every man they ever met; men who if treated properly may have fallen for them. Ladies, men do not want to be told what to do, especially on the first date.

Waiting while being active is your preferred course of action while you’re in the soul mate search mode. What does that mean you’re thinking? Have a life, have fun, be available. First, know what you want. Be specific and realistic, if you’re not you’ll find yourself in relationships with men who are not good fits, but really wanted to be in a relationship. I made a list of qualities I wanted and I didn’t hold back. My original list is over 30 items long, which I felt was excessive so I didn’t reveal them all in the blog. My sweetie also made up a list, but he kept his down to ten items. Did we find what we were looking for in each other? Absolutely, but we didn’t find it all at first. We had to get to know each other to discover some of the characteristics.

One of the things he wanted was a woman actively living her life. She wasn’t looking for a man to sweep in and take care of her. Someone who put everything on hold until some man made her dreams come true. He had that before and wasn’t going there again. I think I on the other hand had the man that tried to control my life and told me what all my dreams were going to be.

A soul mate should be able to take care of himself. Ladies, I’ve warned you before about the helpless man who needs you to help him make it through the day. At first this makes you feel important, but after a while you realize you have an overgrown child who is never going to mature. Who needs that? Some men are like that, they enjoy being guided around by a dominant female who calls all the shots. Do you truly want this?

Be very open to new types of people. Most of us fear getting old and living alone. My sweetie who is a runner told me he used to run along a well-traveled path and see old men walking it, looking desperately sad and lonely. His greatest fear was that he would turn into one of those lonely, old men. My fear, as I revealed before, was becoming an eccentric cat woman, without the cats. When you feel like you’ve exhausted the normal routes, be open to someone different.

Often we are very narrow in our accepted form of our soul mate. He must look a certain way to be right for me. I used to not date bald guys. I felt bald guys were more like tough guys and I didn’t want that. Snap judgment and I was wrong. A good friend met her husband online, but initially thought there was no way the two of them could become one. He was so different from her and her ideal of what her mate should be. Luckily, she glimpsed his soul and managed to get past her initial objections to his form to fall for his content.

We are a visual society because of this we judge people on their looks. Make sure you aren’t missing out on someone wonderful because you’re only seeing their form. We women are too often judged on our form and we resent it. Statistics reveal that though men pursue gorgeous women, they only want them for one-night stands. The women they choose to marry are more on the average line. Keep this in mind when you are looking for your soul mate. There is someone out there who is looking for you too.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Dirt on Men


The Dirt On Men
Real questions with real men answers

Okay ladies, I have some burning questions that some of you want to know the answers. I have bona fide male answers from intelligent men. Maybe your man won’t always match up, but the answers shocked me.

1. Does a man know when a woman is interested in him?

Sometimes, but usually not, men aren’t great ones to pick up on nuances like a woman. If a man isn’t the confident bad boy who thinks every woman is after him, he may mistake your eye contact, cheery hellos for just being friendly nothing more. Sometimes you just have to be more upfront, ask him out for coffee. Even then, he still might not get it especially if he’s an engineer.

2. Do men go out with women for the sole purpose of having sex?

Some do and you should recognize them immediately. Despite all the movies, most men will not jump in bed with a woman because they have fears too. Yes, men worry about their bodies and performance. Most men realize if they sleep with a woman, she does think it automatically means a relationship. Remember men can and do have sex with women they do not like and never want to see again. They do it for one simple reason; the woman is offering.

3. Do men only date women they can see themselves having sex or a relationship with?

Men are not your gay best friend. They do not want to hang with you. A man will date a woman a couple of times to get a feel for her. If there is a third date it is more of a deciding date that he does want to pursue a relationship with you. That’s why men get mad if you stop seeing them after the third date. They feel like they picked you, but you didn’t pick them.

4. How important are looks to a guy?

This is a tricky question. Men don’t want model-thin girls. In general, men want to feel like they’re the guy and he’s out with a girl. Dress like a female, a classy one. Wear a dress, fix your hair, put on makeup-this attracts the male eye. Don’t dress like a skank. If you dress like a ho, you will be treated like a ho. Men who are looking for relationship material, want a woman who looks nice not like someone who has turnstile on her bedroom door.

5. Does a man want someone at the same education level or job level as himself?

This doesn’t matter as much to a guy as it does to a woman. Part of the reason is because a man takes care of himself. He isn’t expecting to find a woman with a good job to take care of him. Honestly, you can only endure a dim bulb for so long. Smart men should avoid women who barely managed to snag a GED.

6. How does a man feel about a woman who already has children?

This depends on the man. Some men who never had children prefer a woman with children to give them the fatherhood experience. It depends on how active your ex is in your life and what is the level of conflict. No man wants to deal with an ex the kids are constantly throwing up in his face. Most men, especially older ones, would prefer no children. Their reasoning is that they raised their children, and they definitely do not want to raise another man’s children.

7. How do men feel about sex in the relationship? When do they expect it?

Men expect sex in a relationship. Do not push sex as a way to get a man to commit it will backfire. Sex needs to wait until you know the other person well. How long this takes differs, but it isn’t the third date. Yes, men will leave after having sex with you and not because you were bad at it. That is the way some men are—they’re players. If you waited to get to know them, you’d know this. Men respect women they have to wait for because they are the prize. Think of it like food. You can go to McDonalds and get something quick anytime of the day or you can go to a fine restaurant. With the restaurant, you make reservations, you plan ahead, you anticipate going, you dress up, you savor the food, you linger, then you remember the experience later. Do you want to be McDonalds or a fine restaurant?

Men really don’t carry what you look like naked. I know women don’t believe this. Women worry that a man might focus on her big rear, all the man cares about is that she’s bringing her big rear to him. Bring enthusiasm with you into the bedroom and that’s all the man notices. A man wants a woman who is excited to be with him. Nothing kills a man’s ardor like the martyr babe who is doing it just because he wants it.

8. What does a man want in a long time partner?

Someone who supports him and is not critical of him. A woman who thinks he really is the greatest guy in the world. A man can find people to tell him how he screwed up everywhere. He even tells himself that. What he needs in a relationship is that one person who has his back. Men want an equal partner. There is a great deal to be said for the two wage earner family. Women who are looking for a rich guy to support them while they hang out with their country club friends will find the pickings slim.