Sunday, July 24, 2011

"We Need To Talk."

Those have to be the four most dreaded words no man ever wants to hear. It never bodes anything good. I’m betting J. Lo made have said those same words to Marc Anthony recently. What the guy hears when you say those four words is she’s going to tell me everything I’m doing wrong. It may be a long list and I don’t want to hear it. What do you do when you don’t want to hear things, you don’t listen. Most of you can see where this is going.

In comics, you have a woman yammering on about their relationship and the man with smoke over his head, not exactly good communication. So how do you communicate with a man? It isn’t rocket scientist, you communicate by saying what he needs and wants to hear. It needs to be authentic commenting on his rock hard abs, when he doesn’t have any is just cruel.

A blog featured on, entitled “How to Talk to Your Boyfriend” explains what men need to hear, but it could apply to husbands, and other males you know. The first one is compliment the man on his appearance. He may not be Tim Gunn, but he still tries. I will admit here to complimenting my boss on his various outfits and he loves it. As for your boyfriend, you might be the person picking out the outfits, still compliment him. As for how you make comments about improving his wardrobe, be gentle.

This is what we call in the parenting and education field as shaping. You compliment the outfits you do like. You might suggest different colors and items that might look better on him. Don’t go after his raggedy old team shirt because his reaction might surprise you. Dated a man who hated my terrycloth beach pants with a passion, I still have the pants, but not the man.

As 21st women, we often try to go it on our own. Ask your man for help. He wants to help it is in his DNA. It also makes him feel wanted and needed. I once read that a good relationship is supposedly when you don’t need to be together, but you want to be together. I understand this, but I want to be needed because it makes me feel important. So does your boyfriend, so leave a project until you can at least get his advice on it.

At work, we joked that our boss always compliments the women on their appearance, but never tells anyone that they are doing a good job. We want to hear what we’re doing right. Men are no different. Compliment what you love about him. Recognize how hard he works on his job. Tell him you’re proud of him. Value him.

Men love compliments. Is this a surprise to anyone? Most men feel part of their identity is in their cars, with that in mind compliment his car. Even if it recognizing how he keeps his twenty year old Honda still purring. As women, we don’t totally understand this. Think of it this way, to them a car is like shoes, but much more expensive.

Did you grow up in a house where mom did all the cooking? It could be because your mother wouldn’t dare let your father cook anything or she failed to compliment him when he did cook. Now all men aren’t natural chefs in the kitchen and they feel unsure, especially cooking for their girlfriend. Rewarding their efforts with praise is a guarantee of future meals you won’t have to prepare.

Isn’t it great when a guy plans out a date from when it is to where are you going? It might even be a mystery date where you know nothing until you get there, but all this takes work. Your guy could use your suggestions. He could go all year and never know there was a Renaissance Festival, ghost walk or even murder mystery dinner theatre, you’d like to attend. He really would appreciate the suggestions, but maintain some balance and allow him to contribute too.

The relationship is progressing nicely, but he has one annoying habit, probably more than one. First, decide how much it impacts the relationship before mentioning it in a conversational way. Then don’t harp on it. If you decide to target it, he may keep the habit and lose you. My grandmother used to be embarrassed that my grandfather was such a cheap tipper. Instead of harping on it, after they dined out, she always added a few more bucks to the tip. Everyone knew she did this, including my grandfather, it worked for them.

As your relationship changes, decides what works for you. I recently read an article in COSMO, that condemned calling your boyfriend names like sweetie, honey, or handsome. It stated you should call him by his name. I asked my SO what he thought of that advice and he told me whenever I call him by his name he always figures he’s in trouble. LOL

Just a few more things you should know, but may not. Do not compare your boyfriend to your father or previous boyfriends. Do you want to hear how his last girlfriend not only won Miss Bahama Bronze contest, but also could make killer ribs? Comparisons even if meant to be flattering, just brings another person into the relationship making it crowded.

Things aren’t going well in the bedroom. Surprisingly, the bedroom would be the wrong place to bring it up. Save that conversation when you’re both busy with your hands, so direct eye contact is not maintained and he’ll feel less threatened and judged. Don’t throw everything at him at once, either. Always find two things to compliment to balance out something you’d like him to change.

Finally, honestly evaluate your communication style. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of being labeled a whiner or a nag—the two most detested communication styles. No one likes a whiner. A whiner would complain about a beautiful, sunny day because it hurt her eyes. The nag picks one thing and harps on it into infinity. If you’re unsure if you’re a whiner or a nag, ask a sibling.

Your guy should not cringe the next time you talk, although you probably shouldn’t start with “we need to talk.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Pickup Artist

Movies have exemplified the pick-up artist as being the ultimate smooth guy. Who manages to draw women in with left handed compliments. What man doesn’t envy Mr. Suave and Debonair? Apparently many do, so much so, that they are watching shows and taking classes on how to be a hunter in the dating game.

VH1 had its own show called The Pick Up Artist. On the show, a sexually ambiguous man prances around in high heel boots and eyeliner and gives advice to other men. This show amuses me because I’m not even sure the star even likes women, let alone would be capable of picking one up. Carmen Electra often joked that Prince looked better in her lingerie than she did. Okay for Carmen Electra, but I prefer my men to be well…totally committed in their sexual orientation. VH1 knew a money-making topic even if their star is different than your traditional alpha male. The fact that the show only lasted two seasons to disappointing reviews suggested that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time believing that women would actually be attracted to Mystery, the high heel wearing instructor.

Many men have written books and developed web sites about picking up women. Underground Attraction website features several photos of scantily clad busty women with various come on lines to the hopeful male about learning how to seduce women. The site reminds me of all the various online dating websites teasers that show half dozen model-like individuals waiting to meet you. Most people are well aware that no one like that lives in their city…and yet they want to believe. They want to believe those models want to date them just like they want to believe they can pick them up too. All it really takes is money to buy the much needed information, but what is the information really?

On a Criminal Minds episode, they profiled a killer who used a pickup artist class to meet his victims. The instructor informed his students to be different from other men. It included wearing hats, glasses, colored contacts, even eye patches to stand out from the other men. Then the would be pick up artist / serial killer resorts to pitting two women against each other by paying attention to one then ignoring her for her friend. This is the stuff that is supposed to win women over? How drunk do they really have to be?

My own sweetheart paid good money for a pickup artist online course. He joined the thousands of other men who believed there was a secret formula for meeting and winning women. Every bit of advice he read didn’t work that well with me. He held back and acted like he wasn’t interested in me when we first met, but the great online guru advised him that showing too much interest would drive me away. What happened is that I felt he wasn’t interested in me, by playing it cool he chased me away. Luckily, since I was dating other guys I just let it ride and went out with other guys.

He was following the advice he read online. It was supposed to drive me wild with desire. Instead, I felt he didn’t like me, I pushed myself into dating additional men. Ironically, much later, he told me when he met me he knew I was the one. He even gave himself the mental speech not to screw up. His efforts included waiting to call me after our first date. It would look totally uncool according to his pickup artist online coach if he called too soon. I thought it made him look like he didn’t care. I was miffed and hurt a little. Usually, I heard from a guy immediately after the first date. One even told me it was protocol to follow up the first date with a phone call within 24 hours. The length of time a guy lingered signaled his disinterest. By this time I was sure I was old news. When he did call almost four days later, I was puzzled.

Here the man was following all his pickup artist advice and was pushing me away with both hands. What he didn’t realize that there were men who were willingly to confess to liking me a lot on a first date, press for a second date immediately, call me even after I got home from the first date to make sure I was okay and to re-establish contact. They were doing all the things the pick-up artist had warned would look needy and desperate. Personally, I found them sweet gestures.

Most of you are wondering why did I ever continue to see this guy who seemed to try to awkwardly follow some online advice king. I saw flashes of who he was when he wasn’t trying to follow some script. I also sensed he was putting up a fa├žade that wasn’t really him. The tiny flashes I saw intrigued me and I wanted to know more.

We laugh now about how confused I was initially about how he felt about me. He was uncertain if I liked him even on our fifth date. I did explain that women seldom make it to a fifth date with men they do not like. Luckily, my sweetie gave up on the pickup artist advice by date three. I am so glad he did I’m unsure how much more I would have willingly tolerated. After all how much does David DeAngelo, who never has met me, know about me? Nothing, I do not fit into one of online pickup guru’s tidy categories.

I pointed out to my sweetie that the pickup artists work in bars where women drink heavily and are willing to fall for any man. They’ve strapped their beer goggles on and view most men favorably, especially as the hour grows later. The pickup artists never give very good advice for meeting women at observatories, libraries, or even Renaissance fairs. The pickup artist is not out for a relationship, but a one-night stand. Maybe these odd behaviors will get him what he wants with someone drunk or stupid enough, or both.

As for me, I am just glad my sweetie smartened up and decided to be himself.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Ever had an issue with friends and family not believing that your current squeeze is the one, as in forever, happily ever after, most amazing man in the world? I do, at this particular moment. It isn’t as if they don’t like the man, but they smile and nod when I tell them he’s the one, my soul mate. Sure, I know what they are thinking, how long will this one last? Why shouldn’t they, since I’ve been divorced twice and had at least a half dozen relationships that ended, badly.

Trust me, I do badly better than most. Almost three years ago I broke up with a man, who still cyber stalks me. When I was much younger, the guy I broke up with broke into our house since I refused to take any phone calls from him. My friends and family have witnessed the end of the romance at its worst. How do they know this one will work out? What they really want is proof before they are too welcoming and accepting. Why put too much effort in getting to know a guy who might not last the year? My mother might not want to bake his favorite cookie when we visit if he’s a short timer.

What can I offer as proof that this relationship is the absolute real thing? Here are my five proofs. Number one is that he always wants what is best for me and if it is best for both of us that’s just gravy. He struggles with this because I want what is best for him and often we try to outdo each other in seeking the best for each other. Honestly, he wins this battle most of the time.

Number two, seems simple on the surface, but means a lot to me, is that he helps me with household chores from cutting grass to setting up for the upcoming neighborhood yard sale. Whenever we finish a meal, he immediately gets up and starts doing the dishes. I don’t ask him to do this, and sometimes he tells me to go write because he’s got it covered.

Number three is an odd one, but it is a relief for me, we don’t have to entertain each other. Maybe you can remember your early dates when it seemed liked everything took so much work because you tried to be entertaining all the time. We do have fun together just being ourselves, but other times I can write while he reads. What an absolute breakthrough in relationships. Until now, I worked myself to the bone by being either entertaining or making myself indispensible to a guy. The end result was the guy never appreciated my effort and just expected more. As for me, I just wanted him to go away so I could rest. What an incredible difference, this must be what good relationships are like. LOL

Number four is amazing, I mean really amazing, so amazing that it has never happened to me before. What is it you’re wondering? He accepts me just as I am. He does not make fun of me when I talk to my plants and withholds comments when I talk for the dogs. Everything I say has merit in his eyes. His attitude allows me to trust him absolutely. How many friends could you tell anything and they would just listen, not laugh, not judge, or give unsolicited advice? Not many, I bet, that’s why I am so excited.

Number five is he goes outside of his comfort zone for me. He does things with me he has never ever thought of doing or perhaps even wanted to do, but is glad to do because of me. Most recently, he worked hard to choreograph my solo bellydance. His musical ability helped me create transitions that I might not have been able to do on my own. He even volunteered to take up drumming for the group. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world of bellydance, it isn’t as glamorous as you might think. It means he gets to carry stuff, wait, stand around in hot rooms, under the sun, or even in the wings waiting for a three-minute dance performance. After the performance, he’ll compliment me wildly, never mentioning I missed a step, dropped my veil, or was off beat with the finger cymbals.

I offer these five as my proof along with the fact that he’s such a part of my life I can’t imagine life without him. We don’t always agree and know what issues we differ on, but it doesn’t diminish our love for one another. What one woman views as wildly romantic another might not.

Personally, I love the flowers and secret surprises, but a man who puts up with my small dog who sits behind him on the couch back and plays with his hair is a definite keeper. I didn’t say he liked the dog playing with his hair, he quietly places him on the floor without any emotional display. As for my friends and relatives, they are starting to notice how well he continues to treat me. He’s already went through the impressing stage, so there’s no real reason for his behavior unless he’s the one. And he is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Going Ugly

When I first read the headline that another journalist accused Vicki Larson of urging women to go ugly, I figured she told women not to wear makeup to the grocery store. Nope, her crusade emphasized the importance of passing over your male model types in her recent article, “Hot or Not? Why Women Shouldn't Pick Attractive Husbands.” The article was a response to famous men, known more for their bodies and sexuality than common sense and decency, who were in recent headlines.


In her article, she readily admits that most women go for the over confident male, sure of himself and his charm. Larson also adds that money and power inserted into the mix makes a physically average or below average man extraordinarily attractive to women. The men, often because of their prominence, can have any woman they want and they do. Women vie for their attention because they believe to get it is a real mark of recognition.


This same man will eventually get to all the women in the room. That is his way because he must have continual feminine adoration. A good example of this is John Edwards, while separated from his wife Elizabeth, obviously had his girlfriend on the side—at the same time he was still hitting on girls at college bar near his apartment. This is what your average pretty boy does. Since he was a youngster, females have fawned all over his beauty, commenting on it, giving him extra chances because he was so cute when the average male would be history.


Larson warns women who pursue high profile men that they may be hurt in the end. Look at Joe Ordinary. He isn’t ugly either as the original title might imply. Your average guy never grew up gorgeous; instead, he had bad haircuts, braces, and glasses. He may have even struggled with his weight and his self-esteem, but that allowed him to develop a personality and empathy. My sister’s theory is beautiful people never have to learn to play well with others because being beautiful was enough. While the rest of us are trying to be funny, original, or clever to attract the opposite sex, they just exist like a force of nature.


It is odd how we criticize men for pursuing beautiful, but often mercenary women while women turn around and do the same thing. What do you get when you attempt to trap the male equivalent of the supermodel? Out of the 2,000 plus comments to Larson’s article, the general theme was the same. Your over the top men do not really care about women they date. All their relationships occur at a superficial level where they live their life. While most of the women who commented swore off pretty boys, the men’s comments were more telling.


Men who tried to be decent, caring individuals were constantly steamrolled by the handsome set who took their girlfriends, and often their wives as they rolled by. Their cries of anguish were as loud as the women’s voices, but even more embittered, and they should be. Your average guy thought he was doing it all to provide a stable, loving relationship for his sweetheart. Maybe he watched chick flicks with her, took out the garbage and mowed the grass, pretended to act pleased about her new haircut even when he wasn’t, but all of this adds up to nothing when Mr. Hot Bod wanders onto the scene with an abundance of charisma and well defined biceps. The men felt like they gave all they had and yet dismissed for a man who gave nothing.


Larson advises the women to smarten up, learn from other women’s experience. There are plenty of public examples out there. It really gets down to supply and demand. An abundance of dates tends to make any date not that special. Imagine trying to outdo the last 400 dates, it can’t be done. The beautiful people tend to discard people like used tissues.


The flipside to chasing a gorgeous guy, which you know is a bad deal, is having a man chase you, thinking you’re a gorgeous, good deal. Men often base part of their personal value on how attractive their mate is in reference to themselves. A prettier girlfriend makes him feel good, which makes him treat her better.


According to Journal of Family Psychology, dating a less attractive man may lead to a happier relationship.

“It’s possible that a man who is less attractive than his partner feels so grateful to be with her that he works harder to maintain the relationship, amping up the amount of emotional support and kindness he provides,” says Benjamin R. Karney, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at UCLA. “Yet a man who is better looking than his partner knows he has lots of other options besides his mate, so he’s less committed to providing the emotional support long term relationships need to thrive.”


Personally, I think the behavior your uber handsome men engage in is ugly. There are even more compelling reasons to date average according to the journal.


“…you may find that your not-so-pretty man brings his A-game in the bedroom. ‘ What I’ve seen from my clinical practice is that women who are married to men less attractive than them often have happy sex lives most likely because their mate tries harder to please them sexually,’ says Bethany Marshall, Ph.D.”


Bruno Mars sings about his girlfriend not seeing how beautiful she is through his eyes. We all assume his girlfriend is drop dead gorgeous. Maybe, maybe not, but it is how he sees her. It’s the same with your man. If you love him and he’s good to you then he’s gorgeous. Other people may not see him the same way because they haven’t had the same experience.


As for ugly, it only relates to behavior.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chances Are

A few of you may remember Johnny Mathis crooning in his smooth as silk voice, the lyrics to Chances Are.

Guess you feel you'll always be
The one and only one for me
And, if you think you could,
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good.

These few lines promise us that we too can have our happy ending by finding our one and only, our prince, the man who completes us. Sounds good, but more and more of us in the United States are giving up on marriages, and even long term relationships. According to the latest census, there has been a 25% jump in people co-inhabiting. It certainly makes it easier when they decide to split. Although, I’ve heard dozens of stories from both men and women that when their beloved decided things were over they left without a word taking almost everything in the house, conveniently when the other was out of town or at work. Forget about who gets the couch but consider the emotional fallout. Those burned in divorce get hurt worse because the longer leaving comes with lawyers.

What is the answer? What are the chances that this time you’ll end up with someone who will treat you right? We’ve all been out with the wrong types of people. Often people marry the wrong types of people, which they later divorce or simply endure. What about those happy unions where two people enjoy being together, how did that happen? Often it is serendipitous. Actor Ricardo Montablan tells how he met his wife at a party and knew she was the one. He managed to convince her in two weeks to marry him. Almost fifty years later, whenever he talks about his beloved he practically glows.

Dr. Simon Clark, the founder of eharmony, made news recently because he advised couples not to get married. What? As a clinical psychologist, he pointed out being married to the wrong person is a painful experience, which ends in divorce causing more hurt, especially if there are children. He summed it up this way.

Of course, no one intends to be in an unhappy marriage. Bad marriages don’t just happen to bad people. They mostly happen to good people who are not good for each other… [But] when two people have a relationship which is predicated upon broad-based compatibility, there is every reason to be optimistic about their long term prospects. A marriage of this type has virtually no chance of becoming “obsolete.” If all of us together can focus on the challenge of getting the right persons married to each other, it just might change our society more than anything else we could do. Goodness knows, when marriage is right, little else matters nearly so much.

At first, it may seem like a bid for his matchmaking service, but it is more than that. We get married for the wrong reasons and chances are it won’t turn out well. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. We all want love since it is a basic human need. Often we confused simple attraction with love. Young couples are always falling “in love,” when they are really falling in lust with a shapely body, a gorgeous voice, or even a hot car. The wedding plans take longer than the actual marriage. People pick poorly according to Dr. Simon. They spend more time and effort picking out a wedding dress than the actual groom.

What you consider important at a young age is seldom an enduring quality. I am often amazed at the odd hook-ups young people will make, although the old are guilty too, based only on physical beauty. The smart females drop the gorgeous guys with their zero depth personalities, although the guys tend to hold on longer to their mercenary beauty queens. Ironically, they tend to go for the same bad qualities again and again, not learning their lesson the first time. They blame it on the person and not the fact their choices are the issue.

We’ve all heard of the honeymoon period. That time when newly married folks look into each other’s eyes with sappy grins. The honeymoon period last about six months, a little longer for some, and less for others. If a relationship developed only from a physical attraction, then it ends when you wake up and wonder what you are doing with this person. This was one of the principal reasons for long engagements of two years or more. It gave people a chance to get to know each other and step out if needed.

Contrary to the provocative title that The Huffington Post printed that the founder of eHarmony advised against marriage, Dr. Simon Clark is for the right type of union. Face it, plenty of us have been out with or even married a hot bod…and found later he wasn’t such a hot deal. People marry for sex, money, and companionship. Out of the three, companionship is the best reason. Will you still want to be with the other when they are no longer beautiful and sex isn’t an option? Would you want the other person no matter what his financial prospects were? Answers change depending on the situation. A companion is a friend who promises to be by your side no matter what.

So what are the chances you can have a one and only? Good, if you consider what you need as opposed to what you want. Remember that guy you had a major crush on in high school, you wouldn’t be caught dead with him now. Bodies change, but character stays, important to remember that when deciding on a partner for a long-term relationship. It also involves getting up every day and thinking of the other, doing what is best for him. In turn, he does what is in your best interest. Never fear in a balanced relationship, you can never outdo each other. You’ll treat each other better than you would treat yourself. To achieve this win-win scenario, you have to look past the former must have qualities such as thick hair and tight rear. It is well worth the work and you’ll be amazed who you find, perhaps you’re one and only.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dangers of Dating The Momma's Boy

Avoid any momma’s boy if you want any type of a prolonged romantic relationship. Men who jump to do their mother’s bidding earn the moniker Momma’s Boy. Just a phone call from dear old mom has them switching their date night or dropping the girl altogether to rush to transplant mommy’s geraniums which have become a bit root-bound. Mother has first claim no matter what and marriage doesn’t diminish her rights. Any woman who hooks up with this devoted son will have to settle for being second best.


Women do stumble into relationships with momma’s boys because they are such nice men. Who doesn’t respect a man who treats his mother well? It is certainly better than a man who treats his mother with contempt. The alarm bells may start to go off when Mom stands as an authority on everything from cooking to dating etiquette. You should run very fast if he wants Mom to take you shopping so she can give you some fashion tips--you may have just landed a starring role in a reality horror show.


There are endless television shows that employ at least one character with an overbearing mother. The Big Bang Theory is a good example. One of its uber smart characters lives with dear old mom who only wants the best for her son. One episode featured mom yelling out helpful advice from the other side of the bedroom door when her son snuck a girlfriend home. She even apologizes for her son’s lack of sexual stamina and asks the girl to give him another chance. We laugh because no one is like that--or are they? I dropped a man who adored me. He was good looking, polite and charming. People liked him, but I decided he and his mother were much too close when he told me his mother discussed her sex life with him on a regular basis.


Most women do not enjoy dating men who keep in regular contact with their exes. It is especially bad when he compares you to the ex. This gets old fast. It is nothing beside the mother test. Be prepared for the momma’s boy because his mother is the best. She is the gold standard for everything from cooking to spoiling her boy rotten. Why shouldn’t he favor his mother? She bought his adoration by exceptional indulgence, sometimes to the point of neglecting other siblings or spouse.


Can you think of an ex who seemed especially spoiled? He not only expects you to wait on him, but his mother too. If so, you may have encountered the classic edition of the momma’s boy. This edition believes that being male is the pinnacle of social evolution. Women are supposed to wait on this man because that is their purpose in life. A colleague explained to me that she had to clean her brother’s room every day because she was a female. Her brother did nothing because it was woman’s work. Her mother enforced this edict making her into an epitome of the perfect female in the son’s eyes. This type of man will not view women as being equal to men. Ironically, a woman shaped this belief.


Momma’s boys evolve in a variety of ways, rather like a science experiment gone wrong. Everyone is aware that it is wrong to favor one offspring over another. What happens when you do? You can end up with a momma’s boy or a daddy’s girl depending on the sex of the child and parent. One mother who had several girls, one son, and a husband she long gave up on loving decided to use the son as her tool. The man had insisted on more babies until the son was finally born. The mother, who was vengeful beyond belief, used the son to exact her revenge. She preferred the son over all her daughters. He was perfect in her eyes and did little to help around the household. In small family disputes, he always got his way. The mother bought him special treats the other children didn’t receive in order to bind him to herself as opposed to the father. The end result was he had little to do with his father, whom his mother despised. His sisters hated him, and he expected everything to be done his way.


In today’s world, we are creating more financial momma’s boys. I can remember being a teen and planning to move out. I had my first apartment at eighteen and no one I knew stayed at home past 21. The average age of the unmarried American male leaving home currently is 29, and many stay longer. Why not? Mother makes it easy with regular meals, laundry service, and few financial demands. This type of dependence stymies emotional growth. Even after the man physically leaves, his mother still holds the financial purse strings often paying rent or buying groceries for her son who can’t quite get it together. He has no reason to get it together as long as mother pays. What she is really paying for is a continued relationship based on obligation.


The Momma’s Boy syndrome is problematic. A woman who has carefully crafted her son into a drone to constantly serve her is a very needy and controlling woman. She will expect to control you too. At first, she may seem very nice, but you haven’t crossed her yet. You haven’t challenged her authority or made her son choose between the two of you. Newsflash: he will always choose her because she will always be there for him. Those other women merely pass through his life, never staying. Do you even have to wonder why?