Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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.