Saturday, June 30, 2012

Visual Allure

Everyone knows men are visual creatures and they tend to respond to certain lures, not unlike their animal counterparts. Dr. Joyce Brothers, noted psychologist, writes in her classic text, WHAT EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MEN, about the appeal of the early developing girl. You remember her from school, the gal all the boys slobbered over. Her appeal was obvious you might think, but it was more than a C or D cup. She demonstrated the difference between male and female. Even the dorkiest guy felt more he-man in her presence.

There are certain things that attract the male eyes besides a breast the size of a Tomahawk missile. Long hair is one item because it signifies sexiness. Remember the business woman or librarian with her hair pulled back?  When she’s ready to flirt, she lets her hair down. Men like long hair even when it is pulled out the back of a ball cap in a ponytail. Even men with long hair like long hair so maybe it’s hard wired into them.

Men also enjoy women who dress like women as opposed to dressing like a two-bit hooker. If you ever seen What Not to Wear, you can ask yourself if Clinton or Stacey would approve of your outfit. Go for classy in a skirt with medium heels as opposed to skanky by trying to squeeze into some teen fashions. Teen girls look trashy in these outfits too, but they don’t know any better yet.

One man in his forties confessed he was perplexed by his dates trying to dress like their teenage daughters. He felt relieved when he met a woman dressed classy as opposed to trashy. Remember your date doesn’t want to be ashamed if the guys from work or church see the two of you together.

Also do not be afraid of color. Many women dress all in neutrals as if  they hope to blend into the woodwork. Look around at women from other cultures, especially Indian and Hispanic women. They enjoy dressing as women as demonstrated by their hair, makeup, jewelry, and clothes. When they go out, they doll up. They also garner admiring male glances too.

Dr. P. Dobransky in his article, The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love, emphasizes that men go for women who dress in soft feminine clothes. Clothes really do matter. So what is the deal with most American women of a certain age, especially the married ones? You have to wonder if they have morphed into their husbands with their super short haircuts, no makeup, and boxy clothes.  Have you ever noticed their husbands still look like  men, as opposed to looking like  women?

Many women would say it is about being comfortable, and they already landed their man, so why bother? Do you realize when you look less like a woman he feels less affectionate and protective toward you?

Let’s fast forward through a typical relationship. Woman dolls herself up for a guy; he’s proud to be seen with her, takes her out all the time. They marry, maybe have a couple of kids, they both put on weight. He starts going to the gym. She’s starts wearing his shirts because they are roomier. Long hair goes because it is too much trouble. Eventually comfort is her prime concern when buying clothes. They go out less and less. He seldom surprises her with small gifts. Their love life is lackluster, and she wonders if he’s cheating. He is no longer the alpha male when his wife has evolved into something androgynous.

The man in question isn’t cheating yet, but he’s watching women who look like females. It reminds me of two comments, one I overheard in a Victoria Secret store. A trio of elderly ladies were shopping together when two heckled the third for buying lingerie. Her response was that she wanted to be the woman in lingerie her husband was ogling. Another comment came from a new grandmother. She gleefully exclaimed that since she reached nana status so no one cared how she looked. Her husband promptly answered, “Grandfathers do.”

We know looking like a classy female gets your guy to respond, but did you know other people respond to you better? You appear to be someone who has it under control. You even feel better about yourself. Men hold doors open for you, and sales clerks actually wait on you. When you feel better about yourself, then you push yourself to do things normally you’d consider out of your reach.

As for your guy, he may start taking you out again to show you off. When you feel better about how you look, you feel better about those around you. Suddenly you’re not fixated on how bad you look, because you’ve dealt with that. Have some pride about your appearance. It is never too late.

I lived in a small town where the outfit for most of the wives was cut-off shorts, and their kids cast-off sport t-shirts worn with athletic shoes, and a no-nonsense super short haircut. Whenever there was an event, one woman would always show up in feminine apparel with kitten heels and jewelry. Despite being at least 60, she always garnered several admiring male glances. Her husband strutted besides her as proud as any peacock. Because she worked hard to look like a woman, she made him feel more like a man.

This woman is a rarity, though. My beloved and I recently went to dinner at a very swanky place. One employee dressed all in black stood by our table to merely brush off any crumbs from the tablecloth that might fall from our lips. I could spend two weeks grocery money on what our dinner cost, and yet the women wore baggy pants and Bermuda shorts with athletic shoes. You’d think they just wandered in, but this is no tourist town, and you had to have reservations.  I was one of the two women in the entire restaurant who wore a dress.

It is actually hard to buy dresses any more, unless I go to Georgia to see my sister. The Southern women still know how to turn a man’s head. Now that you know about the importance of visual appeal, will it change how you dress?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Are you guilty of manipulating your dates or are you being manipulated? Most people state they hate the games people play in relationships, but aren’t able to explain what the games are, per se.  In the end, the games are simple manipulation. We usually only recognize them in hindsight. Many occur without the other person even knowing.

Scaring off the competition--this game can occur when a couple isn’t even dating. Cryptic message left on Facebook or Twitter indicating a relationship or a recent wonderful night (that never occurred.) Telling friends or co-workers that you are in a relationship, even changing online status to reflect this non-relationship. Heaven forbid you actually went out once which will give more credence to this story.

Leaving stuff behind—isn’t it amazing how some women will bring a moving van to their ex’s house and clean him out, not only taking all her stuff, but his too? Then there is the other type of woman who seems to have buried personal items all over the ex’s home just for the current squeeze to discover. What’s a woman to think when she finds lacy underwear underneath the bed? She’s not feeling confident about her new man and that could have been the ex’s plan entirely. Other exes keep coming back to get stuff they forgot, like the guy.

Implausible Excuses--you know when you hear them they don’t sound right, but guys usually cave because they are afraid to point out the implausibility. A good example of this is a woman who followed a prospective man to a new state because she wanted to work there too, and she just needed to leave her stuff at his apartment until she got settled. A man would have a better chance of dislodging King Kong from his household.

Crying and Fit-throwing--any of you who ever have children know they can turn off the tears in a hurry when it doesn’t get them what they want. Police often will not give tickets to crying women. Women know hysterics and tears will get them what they want by default. By giving in to this behavior you only guarantee more in the future.

IF You Love Me excuse—this old trick is pulled from the child bag of tricks. If you love me argument can be used as an excuse for a sports car, an expensive vacation with the girls, or even a threesome with a handsome co-worker. It is never about love, but getting your own way.

Poor, Pitiful Me—this line of manipulation is brilliant in some ways because the perpetrator presents him or herself as a victim constantly buffeted by the winds of fate. If you refuse his or her request, then you are just hurting them too.  Refuse them, you be amazed how ugly and vindictive a ‘victim’ can be.

I’ll Leave You excuse--if you don’t do what this current love requests then he or she threatens to hit the door. Let them walk. They are no prize if they are using this line.

All My Friends Wives/ Girlfriends--Are you really falling for this? You used it on your own parents when you were a teen. You knew it was a lie then. Besides, who wants to be like everyone else?

Do You Want People to Think You’re Cheap—this is always a good one to guarantee you’re paying too much for everything. I’ll let in you on a secret. The people you try to impress with expensive things really don’t care, ever. Don’t fall into this trap or you’ll find yourself bankrupt pronto.

I’ll Pay You Back, I promise—oh please, do you really believe this? Loans should not be part of a relationship. Loaned money will turn it bad fast. If you can afford the money then gift it. If the person keeps returning for additional gifts, you might have to buy yourself a clue then.

Emotional Blackmail--this happens when you revealed something incriminating, and the person threatens to use it unless you do something for them. Makes you wonder if your beloved is working for the mob. Call their bluff. If they do spill all, deny it. They just depleted any power they had over you.

You Can’t do Better Than Me--finding your love life lackluster? Tired of the constant fights, but always have the phrase, “you can’t do any better than me” thrown up in your face? Anyone who does this, I can guarantee that you can do much, much better, and they know it too, thus the phrase is to keep you from looking.

Overly jealous and suspicious—does your sweetheart scan your text messages, emails, and eavesdrop on your phone calls? Two possibilities include that his previous girlfriend was a cheater or he’s a cheater. Deal with this behavior immediately because it will drive a wedge between the two of you.

Bed Games (and not the fun kind)--this is where the woman kicks the guy out of his own bed because of some perceived wrong. Grown up people don’t behave in this manner, children do. Maybe you need to date an adult for a change.

PMS-petty mood swings which can be blamed on hormones. Did you know men actually have cycles? Most men don’t or they would blame bad behavior on monthly cycles too. Would you accept this behavior from your co-worker? No, of course not, so why accept it from anyone else.

The Female Excuse—please this is so degrading. Some women when caught doing a job poorly, lying, or even taking two parking spaces simply relate it to being a woman.

In the end, a good relationship is when we want the best for the other person. In doing so, we help the other person to be his or her better self.  Manipulation/game playing is always about just doing for you. Maybe at first getting what you want will make you happy, but it never lasts. It also can’t fall under the heading of love, unless you are talking about being in love with yourself to the degree that no one else matters.

So are you manipulator, or are you being played? It really is best to be neither.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Your Gaggle of Men


Everyone has heard it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently, it takes a gaggle of men to keep a single woman happy and content. If so, what chance does one man? I offer up two articles recently in the news. From CNN, Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor offers up that a single woman does much better with a gaggle of men. This is based on a recent book called The Gaggle by Jessica Massa.

What does she mean by a gaggle? Your typical hot single chick flirts with her male barista in the morning, lunches with her male co-workers, has at least three boyfriends she dates in rotation, and another one in training basically, she Skypes her ex-boyfriend weekly,  and then there’s her butcher who’s willing to do any type of special cut for her at the grocery. This sounds like a script for a movie, not someone’s life. If we did know someone like this we’d probably call her names because we’re jealous, and doubted her commitment to any of the men.

We’d be right because Ian Kerner, the counselor points out that she has to have this many men not to get drawn into a serious relationship. This keeps it fun. It is like being the Bachelorette, but it never ends. Does anybody believe the Bachelorette sleeps with three different guys in one week, then, decides she is in love with one? No way, a relationship takes times to develop in isolation basically. We aren’t who we really are when we are constantly in competition with a romantic rival. The man becomes Mr. Romance trying to outdo the other man. When a woman settles into a relationship or even marriage she is disappointed that the man isn’t the romantic superhero who had to compete with the gaggle.

The woman becomes restless, and turns to Ashley Madison, a popular hookup site for some action on the side. Ashley Madison is not for people who want to leave their current relationship, but more for people who want the romantic boyfriend and the husband too.  I am sure some people who sign up carry on multiple affairs. Since all the participants are aware that they are engaging in an affairs with married folks there shouldn’t be any of those “Fatal Attraction” deals where the woman tries to kill off her lover’s family; however, there are no guarantees.

Interestingly enough, the profile for the Ashley Madison female cheater was a woman in her thirties, married less than five years, with one child.  She is usually in the medical, or education field. Now keep in mind, this woman hasn’t been married all that long, but she is already considering stepping out. Another statistic that supports her behavior is that there is less divorce is an economic recession because people just can’t afford it. I’ve heard this from women who’d admitted that they’d divorce their husband, but he makes good money.  The solution is Ashley Madison to put excitement in a life that has become ORDINARY.

That’s right, women chafe at going to work every day, coming home to the same person, doing chores, and paying bills. While dating a gaggle of men, the woman never even cooks, forget grocery shopping, and she seldom cleans house. She counts herself lucky to get to work on time, and get her bills paid. She may have a few high earners in her gaggle that insist on picking up some of her bills to get the edge on their competition. A woman dating other men becomes more desirable than a woman dating one. It is the hunter instinct in the men. All the woman has to do is slip into sexy clothes, be wined and dined, accept compliments and gifts. It all sounds good.

She finds herself picking up her preschooler, going to the grocery, and finally arriving home to start dinner.  The life she thought she wanted with the stick people on the back of the mini-van doesn’t look so great anymore. Still, she wants it and her old dating life back too. Many marriage therapists suggest a weekly date night to keep marriages humming. What we really need is a mindset change?

 As a consumer nation, we tend to think we can always get something new or better. Not true. Maybe the thought of having a gaggle of men appeals to you. How many men enjoy being part of a gaggle? Not many, according to surveys, unless you’re a player and you had no intentions of ever having any type of relationship then it’s the gaggle for you. Remember our behavior changes with the relationship. Many people joke that once they settled into the relationship they can wear their favorite t-shirts and sweats. You should be able to be real in your relationship, not punished when you are real by your spouse cheating on you.

Most people declare they want someone who truly “gets” them. You’re never going to find that person as long as you’re scrolling through all your possible gaggle members. No time to lay down roots to make an authentic relationship. It reminds me a little of Multiplicity, where Michael Keaton figured out how to clone himself. He basically made himself into a gaggle of men. One romanced his wife, another did home repairs, another went to work, etc.  At first, he thought this was a great plan. He soon realized his clones were flat people since they only served one purpose.  Makes you wonder if you have a gaggle how authentic are any of those relationships?

Reminds me of advice I once heard, that you never want to marry a player because he is used to a great deal of adulation…and one woman won’t be enough. So if you got used to your gaggle, would you ever be content with one man? Good question, in Michael Keaton’s case, his wife wanted him to be one person with different facets. Do you want an authentic relationship or do you just want to be greedy?  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Swinging Bachelor Pad

Ever watched the Beverly Hillbillies on TVLAND? Jethro, the clueless country boy, always wants to have a swinging bachelor pad. He believes that includes a round bed and whole panel of buttons that dim lights, close curtains, and turn on music. That’s pretty much what the teenage boy thinks a bachelor pad is. The real question is what do grown women want to see in a man’s apartment?

My sweetie confided before I came over to his apartment for the first time that he remade it according to the advice featured on urban mogul life web site. In the article, it mentioned that a woman liked to check out your bathroom. Your bathroom should be clean, color coordinated with a masculine theme. You should also have high end grooming items, but not too many displayed. It should include a decorative basket with fluffy towels, hip reading material, and extra toilet paper.

Yes, women check out the bathroom. We do appreciate the easily accessible toilet paper and color coordination. What do we do in the bathroom besides the obvious? We check the bathroom for signs of another woman. Are there toiletries in the tub that clearly go with another woman? If a man has prescription drugs lined up on his counter, then they will be looked at. A woman might regard a man on several prescriptions has not a good bet. I did notice the grooming items, which impressed me in the fact that he took care of himself. We, women, like this because then he won’t tease us for our high end grooming products.

I checked out several other websites to see what makes an apartment appealing to a woman, at least from a man’s point of view. Not all of them agree, but they did agree on cleanliness.  Women do not always expect a man’s abode to be perfect, but they do expect some level of orderliness. Even if you aren’t the neatest person in the world, a woman expects some effort made before she arrives. I’ve been invited to homes where there are dirty dishes, shoes piled by the door, baskets of unfolded laundry strewn around. First of all, it told me the man didn’t care enough to even try to impress me. I reciprocated by not caring enough to date him again. So cleanliness does matter, despite your date saying it doesn’t matter.

It also allows her the chance to see your own individuality. This is murky, because the different sites are advising what to do to demonstrate your identity. Vanity Fair advises to put out intelligent books that you may have just stop reading and placed on the coffee table. If you have a camera, you should bop out to take several black and white photos, have them matted and framed, and artistically arranged on your wall before your date comes over. That’s a tall order.  A woman is looking for information about you. Instead of reading book titles, I read the names of the various videos my guy had. Trust me, there were no romantic comedies, and I was okay with that.

Urban Mogul advises the man to put up subtly sexual art. Really… that smacks of Jethro Bodine. Men aren’t known for being subtle when it comes to sex. I think you’d actually be better off with the black and white photographs. The provocative art suggests you are too much a player. Maybe the woman doesn’t want a player and heads for the hills if she thinks you’re one.

Urban Mogul also advises you to have something to do at your home such as board games and videos. Good idea. Once dinner is over there needs to be a way to prolong the date. Games often allow us to display our real personality as opposed to company behavior. I would give this advice two thumbs up since it would put both people at their ease.

Women are nosey. It has served us well in the past; so we will snoop in the kitchen. Bachelor fridges are known for their emptiness.  A normal one houses condiments, old takeout, and beer.  Vanity Fair encourages the man to stock it with champagne and eggs, an unlikely combination. Reasoning is all women like champagne, and this will impress them.  The women will see the eggs assume the man can cook, and expect breakfast if she stays over.

Urban Mogul instead promotes ice cream. Two types of gourmet ice cream, so the man has a decent chance of having something the woman might like. I think ice cream is a better bet unless you’re dating a diabetic or a lactose intolerant woman.  A man should already know this before inviting a woman over. Have lots of non-alcoholic drinks for her to choose from. Another good choice in my opinion because if a man only has alcoholic drinks then it is assumed he wants the woman drunk.

Make sure the woman has a comfortable place to sit like a big comfy couch with lots of throw pillows. This sounds like the guy has to start all over from ground zero. You want to avoid leather couches. Men think these are masculine, but women wear clothes that show a lot of leg and skin. Skin sticks to leather, pleather, and vinyl. It is no fun peeling skin off the furniture, especially while you are currently wearing it.

So overall, what do men really need to do to impress the girl? Clean like a maniac. Rid your apartment of anything left behind from an old girlfriend or ex-wife. Think twice about anything an old flame bought you. Another woman recognizes a female chosen bedspread, shower curtain, etc., and may not want to be anywhere near it. Food in the fridge is a good thing. Tissues and extra toilet paper are pluses. Have something that truly reflects you and your interests. It can be as simple as a photo of you and your fishing buddies, a model car, or a hobby magazine. If possible, relax.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Do you often fall for the first man who smiles at you? His most redeeming feature is that he shows interest in you, and that’s a big factor.  You look him over and decide he’s good enough. That he has potential. Maybe you can shape him up or form him into someone you can live with or at least have a relationship with. Whoa, you are making mistake number one that most single women make. Choosing a man who MIGHT have potential. Rather like throwing an unknown seed in the ground and hoping for corn.

Would you have your tooth pulled by a man who someday if he made all the right choices might become a dentist? Of course not, you are asking someone to do a job they have no training or inclination toward doing. Often the only reason a guy comes on strong is because he has nothing to lose. It isn’t because you’re his lifelong love. He has probably been shot down already by a few other women in the room.

It is similar to picking up a shaggy mutt at the dog pound, and declaring he has potential to be a purebred Championship Doberman. It is easy to see how ridiculous that is. You can’t change the dog’s genetic makeup or physical form. Plenty of women have attempted to remake men’s physical forms into something they found more pleasing. It may have been successful if that is what the man wanted, and only needed encouragement or guidance to make it happen. Usually it is unsuccessful.

How would you feel about your guy telling you to lose weight? I used to manage figure spa similar to CURVES.  Often men would come in and buy a membership for their girlfriend or wife. These same men would drive their lady to the place and sit in the car while she exercised. Because it was in a strip mall, it had a glass front so the men could make sure their women were exercising. Almost all the clients lost weight, except these clients. I bet they ate a gallon of ice cream every night while their controlling mates slept due to feeling that they weren’t good enough.

Lori Gottlieb, author of MARRY HIM: THE CASE FOR SETTLING FOR MR. GOOD ENOUGH, argues that too many women fantasize about Prince Charming coming to sweep them off their feet, probably in his fire engine red Ferrari. While they wait and twiddle their thumbs, they allow perfectly acceptable men to pass on by. This is true for people who want that perfect, unobtainable man who does not exist anywhere, but I am not talking about him. I am talking about settling for a guy who is all wrong on so many levels, but you think he has potential. You have to believe it or you would drop him like so many of your friends have already suggested.

What is wrong with dating a man with potential? That determines what you deem potential. Mark Twain, one of America’s most popular authors, when complimented on his writing deferred it by saying that many other associates had much more talent and potential than he, but they chose not to use it. The difference between them and Twain is that he actually worked and produced a product. People with potential often remain at that stage and progress no farther.

Newsflash ladies: men do not want to change. Our personalities are set by the time we’re two. If you meet a party animal and he’s forty-two, there is no hope he’ll want to join you in the silent reading program down at the library. He may do it once or twice to please you, but don’t get your hopes up. To be fair to the men, it isn’t as if they don’t want to please you, but you are asking them to change who they are to please you, and that’s wrong, and well--impossible.

Here’s the major danger of molding someone who has potential. You do not like who they are right now. Instead you fall for who they can be. When they never turn into this person then you’re disgusted. Think you’ve been fooled somehow. The man after being told in so many ways he doesn’t fit your bill may have already left before you became disgusted.

People are who they are. If he is a skirt chasing player, then he will remain a player no matter how much you love him. Keep in mind players know how to manipulate you with stories about their damaged childhood, or not being understood by women. He makes you think that you’re the only one who “gets” him until he drops you like a hot potato.

So what is the answer? People date to discover who each other is. Okay, once you figured out the guy is not who you though he was or who you wanted, stop seeing him. Don’t talk about his potential or scour your memory for something positive about him.  Don’t become one of those women who put up with his bad behavior because he might have a moment of goodness.

Do things that interest you because it is easier to fall for someone with similar interests. We talk about chemistry all the time, but it takes more than chemistry to make a relationship work. Think back to the inappropriate men you may have found yourself attracted to; you had chemistry. You thought he had potential. He didn’t, or not the kind you wanted.

If you are looking for a thoughtful, kind fellow, make sure you are likewise. Opposites attract while those with similar interests and outlooks bond. Remember to look for who a man is, not who you think you can make him into.
Even though it seems like heresy on a dating blog; it is fine to be on your own instead of settling for men with “potential.” As a veteran of dating and marrying men with potential that potential never pans out.  Any of you ever try to remake a man ?