Friday, August 31, 2012

Overlooked Men

Don’t you just hate it when someone stereotypes you? I used to be a pastor’s wife. Believe me I was pegged as being straitlaced and no fun. People acted peculiar around me afraid to take a drink or tell a racy joke. They didn’t allow themselves to act normal.  I never got to know them, and they certainly never knew me.

Often we overlook wonderful men because we put them in a stereotype box. It also happens to be a box we don’t find particularly appealing. It is probably one that doesn’t fit. Engineers for example are deemed to be boring, overly picky, and nerdy. You imagine some guy with coke bottle glasses and a pocket protector. Not many women care for that.

In my family alone, I have many engineers who all happen to be male. They are tall, good looking men who can tell a joke, and always open a door for a woman. They are intelligent, considerate men. They even dress well. They don’t seem like the caricature that is drawn of engineers. That’s why I wasn’t put off by the idea of marrying an engineer; which, turned out to be my smartest life choice yet.

Short guys are often overlooked. Having longer legs does not guarantee better manners or personality. The shorter guy is well aware he is at a disadvantage and works harder to be charming. If you can accept you may always be the same height or taller, then there is a world of guys waiting for you. The man has to be able to accept that his date will be taller than him. Recently while attending a concert at the racetrack, I watch the fit, handsome jockeys flirt with taller, but very interested females. These were men who knew romance would come in a taller package.

Shy guys don’t normally attract attention. They can be just as fine as chatty Romeo, but they hang back unsure of their reception. Truth is you may have to approach the shy guy. Do not assume he will be unreceptive. Sometimes it takes work to bring a shy guy out of his shell, but it is well worth it.  A shy guy will be much more romantic than you ever dreamed. He has had plenty of time to think of romantic scenarios while working up his courage to ask a female out. He will also be much more loyal. This is a rare quality in an atmosphere filled with online cheating sites.

Bad dressers are discounted because they are bad dressers. Not all men have a sense of style. Color blindness is a male trait. Men also do not find fashion that important. Those who do value fashion highly will not value you. Most men would love some assistance in the wardrobe department. Be gentle at first or he will think you are rejecting everything about him.

Men outside your racial group are sometimes considered taboo, but could be your next best thing. This is tricky, though. You might love the guy, but find his cultural norms too restrictive. You may not know this from the onset, but may have to rethink things as the relationship develops. Men born in the United States will usually have the same cultural background. If you embrace his old world style of thinking, then maybe you might go for being treated like precious crystal.

 Chubby guys get the friend treatment. He’s a great friend, but I can’t see myself going out with him. Wow, this is an unbelievable waste of resources in a country known for its obesity. Ironically, chubby women don’t want to be seen with chubby guys either. People tend to think they take on the characteristics of whoever they are dating. It doesn’t work like that. You can get to know a wonderful person, and, who knows you could get in shape together.

Ever have a much younger guy or older guy flirt with you. At first, you might have wondered about their eyesight. Their eyesight was fine, and so was their attitude.  They saw you and liked what they saw.  They didn’t see any age barriers. I have friends who have married men much older and younger than they were. At first, they had doubts, but overcame them as they fell in love with their future spouse.

There are plenty of men that are perfect for you, unfortunately if you don’t widen your horizons you’ll never meet them. There really is no reason for you to be alone, unless that’s what you want.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Love Is a Verb

Love Is a Verb is the name of a book seniors were required to read for their senior year religion class. I remember most hated the book because it pointed out that love wasn’t this warm, euphoric feeling that came on you suddenly, but rather a day to day decision to act in a loving manner.  It made love sound like work. A few actually understood the message, and were anxious to explain to me, a teacher, how love works.

I may have been amused at their precociousness in believing they alone discovered the secret to love, but maybe I shouldn’t. All too often, we as adults believe love is a feeling. Using the blessed gift of hindsight, we can review our previous relationships and decide why they weren’t right for us or why we weren’t truly in love, or fell out of love. What we fail to realize is one of the parties involved, or both, failed to exercise loving actions.

This was brought home to me in two fashions.  In a documentary, What The *Bleep*; Down the Rabbit Hole, various smart people came together to talk about everything from the origin of the universe to the components of love. One woman insisted that love was a feeling where one day you could love someone, but the next day, because of a rumor or something they said, you didn’t. If you can fall out of love in a heartbeat, you never had anything in the beginning.

Often loved ones leave us via death or their own two feet.  Those left behind continue the act of loving them. Friends become irritated because you still managed to talk about the good times the two of you had together.  Sympathy usually lasts about two weeks. Sometimes we are going through a type of withdrawal where we are learning not to love them, or associate various things with them.

Sometimes though, a loving, but annoyed friend, might help you review your shared past to discover the person you lavished your affection on did not act loving at all. It is easy to tell someone you love them, but it is harder to show them. You show people by respecting them, and all they stand for. Sure, they have a crazy family, but you don’t mention it. 

On the Date Report, one woman measured potential partners by the sickness barometer. If she said she was too sick to attend an event and the guy dropped his plans to come over and take care of her, he was a keeper. She was using his selflessness-to forgo something he wanted to do to take care of her--as a sign of love. That could be. Personally, I like to be left alone when I am sick.

My grandmother was part of an arranged marriage, but she made a decision to act in a loving manner toward her husband. That is what most women in arranged marriages do; the outcome being a pleasant union as opposed to an acrimonious one.

When people fall out of love, what really happens? It is the excuse used most often for divorces.  My old English prof told me that once women decide to return to college their marriage is doomed. His reasoning was the woman wanted to expand her mind and grow into the person she always wanted to be before marriage and children. The man wants her to stay as the same big-eyed girl-child who thought he hung the moon. People change all the time but stay married anyway. What is the difference? Loving actions.

There are many people involved in relationships or are married who are constantly scanning for someone better.  The act of looking for someone better suppresses any type of loving actions or investment in the relationship. Your guy or girl might look like a potential hookup. One of the things that keeps your mate from straying is knowing they could lose the security of love and your loving actions.

Being loving is contrary to the media message that it is all about you. What you want is paramount. Gary Smalley, re-known author of relationship books, states that you cannot outdo a loving spouse.  He will treat you better than you will treat yourself. On the flipside, it is very easy to outdo someone who just hangs with you until someone better comes along.

Each time I’ve been dumped I took a moment to analyze the relationship. After my initial upset about being the dumpee vanished, I realized the man did me a favor. He didn’t treat me well when he commented on other women’s attributes. He never took in account my interests when we only did what he wanted to do or watched shows he liked. When he rudely ignored me while he was with work friends, it pretty much illustrated how unimportant I was in his life. It reminded me love is an action, not an emotion. It also made me wonder why I stayed.

People love to talk about chemistry, but you can have chemistry with a serial killer and not live to talk about it. There have been bad boys you may have found attractive. You may even have interacted with a few. In the end, it was painfully obvious they weren’t that interested in you.

We all have felt a spark when we’ve met someone. Maybe his hair reminds you of your first love. Her walk is practically sex on a stick. Whatever it is, you pause to consider this person. This is not love, but a simple physical reaction. You might go out providing you’re both willing. In the end, if you find yourself being the thoughtful one, doing the entertaining, constantly working the relationship, then you need to rethink things. While love is an action, it shouldn’t be that hard because the other should be acting loving toward you. His thoughtfulness begets the same in you.

Every day you choose to act lovingly. To your child, your dog, even your co-worker. Why not your significant other?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meanness in Dating

There are several articles online, in newspapers, even in Reader’s Digest magazine, describing Americans’ incivility to one another. Have you ever tried to buy something at a store and had the salesclerk ignore you? Driving is a perfect time to see the Me-first attitude while drivers run red lights, tailgate, steal right-of-ways, and pass you with a one-finger salute because you were doing the speed limit. Stealing is another example of this selfish attitude whether it comes to merchandise, time, or even romantic partners.

Somewhere an attitude developed that there is no consideration for the other party’s feeling or needs. We all want what we want. I was amused at first to read one woman’s profile list of all the things a man must do to date her. Everything from what he could wear to how much money he had to spend on her, even to conversation topics. As long and outrageous as her list was, I heard one more that up the meanness in dating concept.  A man I knew had to stop in a specified location so his future date could see him before entering the restaurant. Her goal in doing this was not to date men she deemed unattractive.

Amazing he did such a thing, but he didn’t do it twice, nor did he go out with the woman again. Short story was he married someone who didn’t have to do a visual try-on of her dates. I imagine if the rude female didn’t like how he looked, she just wouldn’t show up.

 Dating experts advise you to date many people to find that one special one, but that’s easier said than done. Often people will make dates and not show up, call up later with vague excuses, or not call up at all. Other times they will show up woefully late signaling they’ve forgotten about the date. At least they could have called even if to cancel.

If you’re lucky and your date shows up, or you may even been dating this person for a while, he or she talks about other dates fondly. Hearing the guy, I am with talk lovingly about his ex-wife, comment on how cute the waitress is, or how he prefers blonds like the one in the corner is enough to make me sick. My first thought is to wonder why is he out with me if he feels this way. If a person continues to date a person who behaves in such a manner then he or she must prefer to be treated with total disrespect.

Some people expect to be treated rudely. When the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident made the news about Chris slapping Rihanna around enough to send her to the hospital, my female students’ response surprised me. The majority told me that Rihanna had it coming. Men abuse women that is what they do. She shouldn’t have made a big fuss about it. Chris on the other hand, should have hit her where it didn’t show since she’s a celebrity. They showed no outrage that the behavior wasn’t acceptable.

Popular songs reflect our attitudes too. If you listen to older songs, you’ll hear tales of heartbreak and the person suffering quietly over a breakup.  We now enjoy women who take revenge by killing Earl, or at least destroying a cheating boyfriend’s prized SUV. A flurry of videos has popped up on YouTube where women take revenge on their boyfriends for various misdeeds. One woman destroys her man’s elaborate Star Wars figurine collection because he may have gone to a strip club. The fact she put it on the Internet will it make it handy when he sues. Her hopes of getting the engagement ring she talked about on the video disappeared when she sawed the Darth Vader figure in half.

When did we forget how to act appropriately? Women and men often stalk exes showing up at their work, home or favorite haunts. They also send texts, Facebook messages, and threatening emails. As reprehensible as this behavior is the fact they expect their ex to take them back after behaving this way is downright disgusting.

How do you avoid the dating spiral of meanness?

1.       Look past the surface. Beautiful people know they do not have to play nice, develop manners or even a conscience. There’s a reason bad boys are called that

2.       First time, you feel you’ve been devalued. Say something. Set a precedent that you won’t tolerate rudeness. Leave if your date persists in this behavior. It will not get better with time.

3.       Avoid people who resemble your last bad relationship, or the one before it. We are attracted to the familiar, not necessarily the good.

4.       Fear of being alone allows people to tolerate physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Do things you’ve always wanted to do with friends or groups instead of a dating a mean person.

5.       Avoid anyone who attempts to exercise control over you from telling you what color to dye your hair to regulating when your children can visit.

6.       Some relationships can’t be changed. If you’re currently in an abusive relationship, you can’t change it with a simple suggestions or self-help books.

7.       Avoid dating anyone who may be mentally unstable (extreme mood swings, paranoia, jealousy, bizarre fetishes and obsessions, and strong preoccupation with violence and death.)

8.        Don’t move people you don’t know into your house (six dates does not constitute a relationship.)

9.       Listen to talk about your date, especially if it is all bad; there is a reason for this.

10.   Anytime you feel in danger, scammed, or uneasy, break off the relationship, you don’t owe the other person closure. (This is the term they use to prolong your time together, which allows them to get what they want from you.)

11.   Most importantly respect yourself and your instincts. Hindsight is amazing, but comes too late.

 People can remember feeling uncomfortable on their first date, or even on the day, they got married. They chose not to act on their feelings, which would have saved them heartache.

Finally, you should value niceness, manners, and civility. Do not be quick to throw that away for a man with sweet biceps and a smooth line. Not only will you be guilty of meanness in dating, but you’ll have the mixed joy of being disrespected as you spend the next twenty-four hours with a man who can’t even remember your name, so he just calls you, “babe.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fashion Trends Men Don't Like


Let’s face it we resemble lemmings when it comes to fashion. Magazines, television, and advertisements are always informing of us what is hip, and what isn’t. We women are told men like particular fashions and we are quick to embrace them in hopes of catching a particular man’s eye.  


Bad news if you already have them, but guys believe tattoos don’t belong on females. They rather see a long uninterrupted expanse of skin. Tattoos become irrelevant in a couple of years. They fade…who knew you had to do upkeep.  The tattooed lady falls into a stereotype that a man often doesn’t feel comfortable dating according to the Ask Jeeves survey. (The surprising fact about this survey is most of the respondents were under thirty-five.)

Tanning and Tan Lines/Huge Hoop Earrings

Tanning is like weight loss because often the person who is doing it isn’t always a good judge.   Anything that looks unnatural is unattractive. With the advent of tanning salons, most women go for no tan lines. Do you know men like tan lines? The reason behind this is tan lines indicate they are seeing skin no one else has seen. Orange spray-on tans and huge hoop earrings got two thumbs down in an informal survey conducted on the streets of New York.

Hair Bumps

Thanks goodness these are fading with Jersey Shores popularity. One man described the bump as looking like a growth on the head. Men do not like elaborate hairstyles that prohibit touching the hair, or heavily teased or hair sprayed hair that might endanger their fingers.

Platform Shoes/Gladiator Sandals/Ugg Boots   

 It is difficult to buy shoes that don’t look like drag queen foot fashion.  Maybe it’s the drag queen thing. In truth, height issues bother men the most. Men want to be taller than the woman it’s ingrained in them.  The male might start dating a woman who isn’t emulating Lady Gaga. The funny thing is he won’t be able to tell you why he’s prefers her to his platform wearing former squeeze.

According to a Shine survey, men also disliked gladiator sandals and Ugg boots. The sandal looks too much like something a male warrior would wear. The popular Ugg boot’s crime is that it offers no toe cleavage and stinks upon removal.

Visible Lingerie

 Men, and women, will look at a scantily dressed person because of the shock and titillation factor, but it doesn’t mean that is someone they want to be seen with. I was in the science fiction section in the bookstore when a pretty woman bent over revealing a thong. The section was crowded with young men who looked, then talked about how trashy she was.

Men do like lingerie, but they want it to be just for them. If you’re showing off your lace cups and thongs strings, then you appear to be a tramp. Men want to believe they are special. They can’t feel special if everyone in Barnes and Nobles knows you’re wearing a purple thong.

Low Rider Pants/Thong Jeans/Yoga Jeans

Can you remember a particular unflattering fashion? Low rider pants gets my vote, and obviously many men’s too. Even an average-sized woman becomes a muffin top in low riders. The barely there pants have to be cinched tight to avoid slipping off when you bent over, sit down, reach for something, laugh, or even sweat.

Believe it or not, there are extreme low riders held up by a thong. I think exotic dancers would take a pass on these, obviously men have according to The Frisky. Men also dislike yoga jeans, which do not give the tight, smooth fit of yoga pants or the curve enhancing lift of jeans.

Unnatural Hair Color

                I think we might want to define what unnatural is. I see plenty of do it yourself blondes who don’t look anything close to natural. I am amazed at how good Katie Perry looks with blue or pink hair, but most of the male population doesn’t share my sentiment. Natural color is preferred over crazy colors, striped hair, even checkerboard hair.  Red hair is the most preferred hair color now, a natural-looking red, as opposed to neon.

Anything Neon (and Pink)

                Anything neon is hot, but men don’t embrace it according to a survey by The Frisky. If you’re wondering they don’t like the color pink either. It probably reminds them of their grandmother.

Short Hair

                Men like long hair because it plays up the differences between the sexes. Women can flirt with long hair in a way you can’t with short hair. Take a peek at any of the skin magazines and almost all the women have long hair because they are emphasizing female attributes obviously.  While I admire the courage it took for some women to get super short haircuts that work for them, most men don’t feel the same way. Of course, most of the women with buzz cuts don’t care what men think or want…just another reason men dislike short hair.

                This is a short list, which could go on much longer. If you’re wondering on a particular fashion or trend, stay as close to natural as you can tolerate if you want to attract single males. Men prefer less makeup, natural hair color, the female form, and unblemished skin. When in doubt, use the Rihanna example: anything she sports, don’t. Men overwhelming voted her as the worst dressed celebrity.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Not Waiting

Maybe you imagine your old boyfriend waiting for you like the man on the bench. Hoping desperately you'll come back to him when your current fling ends. Think again.

Ever been dropped by a guy in a rude manner? Maybe he decided to date your sister or your best friend. Your ex-husband may have even traded you in for a younger, firmer model. The general message you received was that you weren’t good enough. Would you come running when he called? I hope not because you’d be more the fool. If he did it once, he’ll do it again. Okay, most women understand this, but why do they expect men to wait?

A woman could be dating a good man who treats her well when a bad boy roars up on a motorcycle or an old boyfriend pops by to chat. Suddenly the woman has mixed feelings because she wants the stability of her steady boyfriend, but the thrill of the chase.  It's odd she goes chasing the illusion that will never become real.  Weeks, maybe months later, she returns to the normal guy and wants to pick up where they left off. She's miffed that he doesn’t want to resume their relationship; she even feels victimized. Why didn’t the man wait?

1.      Dropping a guy suddenly and expecting him to take up with you shows an incredible disrespect. Your desertion screamed he was worthless to you.

2.       If you did this once, you’ll do it again in so many different ways.

3.     People  are not posessions. You lost any claim when you walked away.

4.       If he allows you to come back then he tolerates your cheating. In the days of 200+ STDs, a person can’t tolerate promiscuity in his partner.

5.       You’re not that special. There are plenty of women just like you or better.

6.  There are women more loyal than you. You may think he didn't know about your cheating before you left. He's figured it out.

              7.   Other women have their eye on your rejected man and he looks good to them.

              8.       Your man can and will find someone twice as attractive as you.

                9.    If he wanted to take you back; his friends and relatives will insist he doesn’t.

10.   There’s also a good chance you cleaned out his bank account and  house when you left. He can’t afford to wait for you.

11.   Your former boyfriend now has the ability to see you for what you really are, obviously not the woman for him.

12.   If the two of you were meant to be, then you wouldn’t have left in the first place.

13.   When you dropped him like a test tube of Ebola virus, he underwent a period of emotional and mental despair and questioning. He’d like to forgo any future episodes.

14.   If  you're woman who needs more than one man to fill her need for attention. Obviously, your former man doesn’t want to stand in line and wait his turn to get to you.

15.   The man isn’t a toy you put on the shelf and expect to be there when your current bad boy  gets tired of you.

16.   Your call, text, or even impromptu visit will not make him think of how he can’t live without you. Instead, it will underscore how shabbily you treated him.

17.   There is no rule he has to take you back. You’re a fool if you think there is. He’s a fool if he does take you back.

18.   This type of behavior is reminiscent of junior high. Your ex-boyfriend has decided to date grown-up women for a change.

19.   Ironically, if he takes you back you won’t respect him. The reason is that he allows himself to be so devalued.  If you treated him bad before, it will only be worse the second time around.

20.   Men you expect to wait for you are second stringers or backup boyfriends, not quite good enough for your complete devotion. The guy you left behind found out he could be a first stringer for someone else.

Women seem to love songs where Adele croons about showing up at her ex-lover’s house wondering why they can’t hang out for old times’ sake. She tries to chat him up; despite the fact, he’s married and moved on. She tells him she’ll find someone just like him and hopes he has a good life. Several things are wrong with this scenario. You don’t go looking up old boyfriends unless you hope to separate them from their current squeeze. You can call it whatever you want, but showing up on an old lover’s doorstep is stalker-like.

If a man participates in the same behavior, he’s labeled a stalker and slapped with a restraining order. Women on the other hand get to take consolation via popular songs that they can get drunk and call their old boyfriends, show up unannounced,  leave provocative texts and eventually get back together.

Think twice before dropping your current guy because he’s not going to wait for you. He shouldn’t wait for you. Remember that fellow who treated you like trash? All your girlfriends predicted horrible endings for him. When you dump your current guy, to chase after someone else, you become that guy. You do have a right to do whatever you want. Some women are always afraid of missing out. They want to grab all the men they possibly can, which they do. Just don’t expect your current man to wait around for you because he isn’t.

If he did, I’d almost suspect he wasn’t a prize at all.