Thursday, December 26, 2013

How Men Manipulate Women

Truthfully men don’t play as many games as women do as far as manipulation, but the ones they do use work.

1.                      They point out the woman’s flaws - The remarks can be subtle, such as comments about clothes being too tight or hair being messy.
2.                      They make remarks about other women’s attributes - This has a three-fold purpose including jealousy, meanness, and hoping to motivate you to look more like the woman in question.
3.                      The man will blow hot and cold similar to a hormonal teen - This is deliberate manipulation on his part. You suggest a movie or restaurant you’d like to go to. At first, he appears cool with the idea, but then he begins to point out reasons why it wouldn’t be a good deal. The cool part is the real him. His behavior is to make you decide not to go to the desired place. The choice is yours, but it really isn’t. Most women will cave to make their guy happy.
4.                      He stops courting you - Here you thought everything was going fine and he has disappeared off the radar. Truth is he’s re-evaluating the relationship. He might think things are going too fast.  A needy woman will call, text, and message at this time, confirming the man’s original doubts.
5.                      He’ll claim he doesn’t get enough personal time in the relationship - It is usually the excuse men go to when they feel smothered in a relationship. It is rather a nebulous thing that’s hard to pin down if your man gets enough time. If you feel like you’re in a non-relationship, then he’s getting more than enough time.
6.                      He refuses to tell you where he’s been.
7.                      He pretends to care about a woman to get laid. (Bet this one was a shocker.)
8.                      Spontaneity or the just thinking of you excuse - This is what they call it when they show up at two in the morning for a booty call. This is also when they call an hour before an event. What this really translates to is someone else cancelled on them.
9.                      The Substitute - This is where you think you’re in a relationship, but the guy is waiting for the real thing to come along. You’re not it. How do you know you’re a substitute? He never posts on social media he’s in a relationship. He’s never introduced you to his friends or family.
10.                  The break-up game - This includes breaking up around the time things occur he doesn’t want to deal with, from holidays to weddings. While most couples will break up once, if you’ve encountered several break-ups, then it’s time to get a clue.

I imagine there are more games, but these are the most common. You can refuse to play along with his games. If you want to go somewhere and he doesn’t, go alone or call up a friend. This immediately takes the burden off of him to accompany you. Some women might complain that it allows the man to escape from social obligations. Maybe, but wouldn’t you rather have a good time as opposed to listen to him carp?

People don’t always have to like the same things. It’s okay to disagree and do things on your own too. It’s when you find yourself doing everything on your own or enjoying it more when your guy isn’t around that you might want to re-evaluate the relationship.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Why Christmas Gift Giving Scares Men

The wrong gift can spell disaster

If you’re a man, you might start getting nervous because of the holiday decorations on light poles, Christmas trees in stores, and gift commercials on television. If you are married, in a relationship, or just dating, your significant will expect a gift or probably gifts. You have a higher than 50% chance of screwing this up. Men break up before the holidays just to avoid this torture.  Don't despair, I am here to help. Why is the gift so important?

Answers may vary according to women.
What Your Gift Means
1. It shows how important the woman is in your life.
If you made the mistake of popping into a store on Christmas Eve and grabbing some prepackaged gift set, she will realize she isn’t important at all.
2. It demonstrates where the relationship is going.
Often women in relationships expect a ring at Christmas.
3. Your gift shows how well you know your beloved.
Yes, you are supposed to magically know what she wants. Failure to know shows you never loved her. Those in long-term relationships will get hints.

With all this said, you might fall prey to a commercial that tells you a woman wants diamonds. You go out and drop a bundle only to be told that diamonds represent death and oppression of those who mine them. Here are gifts not to give. This list came from a bunch of angry women.

What Not To Buy
1.       Any item used for cleaning. No vacuums, no carpet cleaners, and definitely no mops or buckets.
2.       Cookware (exception: a chef or gourmet cook may actually want the $200 blender or mixer, but can’t rationalize paying that much.)
3.       Something the man wants or will use. That reciprocating saw might come in handy when you’re building a new bedroom.
4.       Workout videos, weight sets, gym membership, which all imply a need to get in shape.
5.       Sexy Santa lingerie
6.       Electric razors
7.       Christmas-themed clothing. Even if she pretends to like it, she can only wear it once a year.
8.       Animal slippers
9.       Shaping jeans. It’s okay if the woman buys these herself.
10.   Plastic surgery. Imagine the conversation at work after the holidays. What did your sweetie get you?
11.   Fake designer handbags. It’s okay if she buys it herself.
12.   Leggings-one size does not fit all. Those clothing tags lie.
13.   Shaping underwear-nothing says unhappy holidays like Spanx under the tree.
14.   Anything linked with 50 Shades of Grey is never a desired gift.
So what does your sweetie want?  Most women will take pity on their husbands or boyfriends and tell them out right what they want. Others give hints. Pay attention, she might be dropping hints even now. If unsure, ask.  Always save the receipt. What one woman likes, another won’t. Don’t assume if your last girlfriend wanted Obsession perfume that she will too. Don’t compound the problem by mentioning that your former sweetie loved it.

Holiday Gift Ideas
1.       A night out on the town, especially to a restaurant or a movie she has talked up. Yes, you can wrap this in a box. Print out the reservations and put it in a decorative box.
2.       A spa certificate to a place she likes. However, this isn’t the time to try out a spa called Oriental Delite.
3.       Sentimental gifts-has she been wanting a string of pearls just like grandma’s?
4.       Coffee—was a suggestion in a magazine. I don’t drink coffee so it would bomb with me.
5.       The newest book by her favorite author. Check to see if she has it first. If you could get it signed that would be even better.
6.       Vacation- who couldn’t use one in the dead of winter? Remember this is her gift.  A golf resort may not be her dream trip.

Ask. If she tells you she doesn’t need anything, make outrageous suggestions about what you might buy instead.

Remember to tell her how much you love her. That’s what the gifts are supposed to say. Often, it's very sweet to make her something too. One of my most treasured gifts is a poem my husband wrote for me. Good luck.

This gift will not help your relationship
Ignore the commercials.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Men: Are You Scaring Off Your Dates?

Look Familiar?

Getting the first date isn’t that hard, especially if you’re online. Besides, you’ve probably already heard about the women who only go out on first dates to score meals. You might hook up with one of these. She’s very particular about what restaurants she wants to go to and it's not going to be cheap. She eats all her food, or boxes up her meal to go. Sometimes she spends more time communicating with her phone than you. If she doesn’t want to see you again, that’s no real loss.

What if you met a woman, you picked the restaurant, and it seemed liked you clicked, but no second date materialized. What now?

It could be her, not you. She could be trying out a number of men and someone suited her better than you did. She may have gone back to her ex or husband. There could have been something about you that reminded her of her ex. Then again, it might have been you.

Things that Kill the Possibility of Getting a Second Date
1.       Compliment Overkill- women like compliments, but too many sound insincere. They are well aware that they aren’t wonderful at everything. Three compliments is a good number, one at the start, middle, and end usually works.

2.       Bursting their Personal Bubble-this is a guy who breaks the two feet space boundary immediately. Take a cue from your date.  Some people are more standoffish than others are. It isn't necessarily a good idea to kiss or hug your date on introduction. They probably won’t tell you it makes them uncomfortable, but it could nix a future pairing.

3.       Being Mr. Somber certainly brings down a date.  You may not be a naturally jovial guy, but find a few light hearted topics.

4.       Keep your quirky interests hidden on the first couple of dates. Women are trying to decide if they want to see you again. Your desire to visit old graveyards stirs up memories of old horror movies.

5.       Don’t show off. Some men make the mistake of thinking a date is a job interview and promote themselves endlessly. Unfortunately, this makes you seem like a boring bag of hot air. It’s her job to ask you questions about you.

6.       Bad manners- I realize everyone was brought up differently, but keep a few no-no’s in mind. Don’t eat off her plate. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Tame the burping and farting. Be nice to service people. Don't text during your date either.

7.        Cheapskate-I do realize people are what they are, but excessive cheapness is a turnoff. First dates are not the place for coupon use or expecting to go Dutch.

8.       Don’t bring up sex on the first date-while you might expect sex to be part of your relationship, all she hears is it’s the only thing that matters to you.

9.       Being too needy-this is keeping up a barrage of calls and texts after one date.

Often you’ll never know why a woman refuses a second date. You’ve checked the list and found you aren’t guilty of any of the suspect behaviors. Let it go, not everyone belongs together. It's as simple as that.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Define Cheating

Most women emphatically exclaim they won’t tolerate cheating, but then go on to engage in behaviors that look like cheating to others. Women will rationalize cheating if they want to do it. I am sure men do this too, but I‘ve never heard their excuses. Some women think it is perfectly okay to dine with a male friend while their husband or boyfriend is out of town. Others consider it not cheating as long as they stop short of intercourse. Really?

The Cheating Ladder
1.       Would your partner consider it cheating? Are you dressing up for the new guy in the office who always comments on your legs? Are you lunching with an old lover? Think how would you feel if your man did the same thing.

2.       Have you suddenly become secretive? Have you changed the password on your Facebook or  phone, so that you’re the only one who can log in? What’s up with that?

3.       Are you fantasying about the next step? You’ve glammed up for the new guy at work and you're sending each other flirty texts. What’s next?

4.       Do you wait to share tidbits of information with your ‘new’ friend because only he will understand it? Do you long to be together when you’re not?

5.       How would you feel if your sweetheart did the same thing? It’s not unusual for people to find an attached person attractive. It’s how they react to that attraction is what matters.

6.       What’s behind all this secretive behavior and flirty texts? Why bother? Unless you think you can keep both guys.

Both men and women rationalize cheating behavior by saying things aren’t as hot at home as they used to be. Of course, they aren’t when you’re taking all your best moves and flirting elsewhere. Flirt with the person who actually cares about you.

Think you can juggle the guy at work and the one at home?  Sooner or later, you’ll be the one who’s all alone.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Let's Hear it for the Nerd

There are several types of guys you can date and possibly marry, from the Bad boy to the Momma’s boy. There’s the Older man who is like a father to you as he showers you with gifts. There’s Sporty guy who is always up for a marathon or bike race. There’s Slacker guy you can barely get off the couch. There’s Know It All guy, the less said about him the better. Then there’s Nerdy guy. Women are finally realizing what a gem he can be. This usually comes after divorcing Bad boy or Sporty guy.

1.       Sincerity is who the nerd is. He means what he says. His lack of smoothness means he really likes you as opposed to pulling out an old line he’s used on dozens of girls.
2.      He’s intelligent and a hard worker. In other words, he can hold down a good job. This is especially important to women who not only had to tolerate their ex’s job shifts, but supporting the ex through their own jobs.
3.       You are a VIP to him. Nerds actually have manners. Something any men seemed to have lost somewhere. He’ll plan the date, have conversation topics prepared, and will work hard to make sure you’re having a good time.
4.       He’s not stuck in a rut and is open to suggestions. This means you can go to the Thai restaurant you've heard so much about or spend the evening at the casino.
5.       He’s a gentleman. The nerd would prefer a relationship over a one-night stand. This is who they are. It doesn’t mean you won’t run across one who took one of those pickup artist classes, but he’s easy to set back on the gentleman path.
6.       He’s Tech-savvy. It is so much nicer having your own IT guy to go to when you delete an important document. Unlike the guy on the other end of the phone when you call for tech assistance, this man has a driving need to help you. He wants to make you happy.
7.       He’s funny. Not in the funny to make fun of way. Most nerds are unable to take themselves seriously, which results in the ability to laugh at themselves, and life, in general. He may have a quirky sense of humor that spots the absurd everywhere.
8.       He keeps good company. No worries when he’s hanging with the boys. You won’t have to scour up bail money to free your nerdy love.
9.       They are excellent gift givers. They see it as a project and nerds are great at projects.
10.   You can be yourself. Remember those exhausting men where you had to be what they needed you to be? Sometimes it was a hostess, other times arm candy, often an administrative system, the list goes on and on. As for the nerd, he’s happy to let you just be you. J That’s a rare man indeed.
Never overlook the nervous geeky guy. He’s anxious because he wants to make a good impression. He may make a verbal stumble now and then because he hasn’t dated a hundred women.  Your opinion matters to him. He wants to make you happy. Did you have that with your last bad boy or couch potato boyfriend? That’s what I thought.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Carrot Dating

Brandon Wade is in the news again with Carrot Dating. The concept is a simple one. The man dangles an item of worth in front of a woman to get her to go out with him. Depending on the woman, it could be as small as a tank of gas or as large as an exotic vacation for one date.  An actual relationship could bankrupt most men. The general backlash against this dating app is that it sounds like prostitution. Only most hookers don’t charge as much.

This isn’t Wade’s first attempt in dating for money.  He developed a sugar daddy site that paired up older, generous men with sweet young things that wanted to spend daddy’s money. He also made up the site What’s Your Price where men bid on dates with women as if at an auction. Then he had a travel site where generous men purchased travel companions. They used the word linked as opposed to purchased.

One irate woman’s response to Wade’s dating app was that it was just for loser guys who have to purchase women and gold digger females. One man pointed out that it wasn’t that different from traditional dating where the man pays for everything, from the transportation, dinner, and entertainment with an average date running between $60 and $75. If the date expects you to wine and dine her and fill up her car, then things are even pricier.

Keep in mind, carrot dating guarantees nothing. The woman may dislike the man, not render him the affectionate end to the night he thought he was entitled, and probably never see him again unless she needs another tank of gas.  How is this different from holding tickets to a black tie gala, sold out Broadway show, or even prime seats at the Superbowl? There isn’t too much difference.  Thousands of women have gone out once with a man they wouldn’t look at normally to attend a premier event.

In fantasyland, the woman realizes the man is kind of cool and they keep seeing each other. In reality, she tells her girlfriends about all the celebrities she saw when she isn’t ridiculing her date.

One of the problems with carrot dating is that it demeans even those who don’t even participate in it. Women are generalized as unfeeling gold diggers who will jump into anyone’s luxury auto if offered a big enough incentive.  Men are told they don’t matter as a person, only their wallet matters.

Peggy Drexler, Huffington Post Author, added, “By casting men as the chasers and women as the chased, the values and actions encouraged by Carrot Dating promote sexism, violence against women and other gender imbalances that men and women have worked for years to counter.”

Carrot dating has been going on without Brandon Wade’s help.  I can remember expensive social events like the prom when even an unpopular guy could get a date. Most girls didn’t want to miss their own prom and would often go out with whoever asked them.

Single men complain of being used to pick up restaurant tabs for dates who had no interest in them from the get go and used them for a free meal. Texting during the date, trying not to converse, or even boxing up dinner and leaving early are all sure signs of a meal ticket usage.

Dates are a gamble. Everyone hopes to meet someone who will like and maybe love him or her. Does buying your date carrots secure more leverage? Not really, no more than a woman buying an expensive purse or shoes for the date makes the man into a romantic heartthrob. In the end, the woman still has the shoes and purse.

It all depends on what you want. If you want a date with a woman who probably can’t even stand you, but could use the trinket, trip or tank of gas you dangle, then go for it. All you have to lose is your self-esteem and a whole bunch of money.

As for the women, let me warn you that men who resort to such schemes are no winners. You’ll figure this out on your first date. When you try to brush them off, they won’t take it kindly. They’ll consider you owe them or maybe that they own you. They won’t go away easy either. Think twice before you take that particular carrot.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Does a Career Trump Romance?

In America, women constantly battle to have it all. This usually involves a high-powered career, husband, perfect home, two children, a dog, hobbies, and rock hard abs. Don’t forget girls night out and girl vacations too.  What if you couldn’t have it all? What would you give up?

Start thinking because that is exactly what young Japanese business professionals are doing. They are deciding what their priorities are. In a documentary, I watched on happiness, one young Japanese widow explained that her husband died from overwork. The seemingly healthy man’s heart just stopped. The widow felt like he had worked too much. It isn’t unusual for employees to arrive home between nine and midnight from their long commutes from the city.

A recent article in The Guardian announced that young Japanese have stopped having sex. It is more than that too. A third of the population never expects to marry, and have children. With this in mind, they have no reason to date or have sex.

The young women are well aware that marriage often results in a loss of a career. Japanese employers have no trouble firing married or pregnant women. Once a woman has a child, she has to stay home and care for it since the child will seldom see the other parent.
The men often feel that not only do they not have the time for a marriage or a family, but they do not have enough time to devote to dating and developing a relationship. One man explained that was not being fair to the woman.

According to Huffington Post article, 61% of the single people in Japan are not in a relationship. A third of the 61% have never dated and have no plans to do so in the future. It is not surprising when 36% of the males and 59% of the females have no interest in sex or are even averse to it. People definitely aren’t looking for chemistry.

The men chose not to have a relationship because they felt it was too much work. They felt they had to give up too much to woo a woman. Part of the blame for people not hooking up is virtual girlfriends, courtesy of technology.

The Japanese government is worried about the declining population, unsure how to get people interested in relationships again. They aren’t sure why people lost interest.
In some ways, the young Japanese, which refers to anyone under 40, are practical in their theories. Children cost a lot of money to raise. One man summed it up by explaining he barely made enough to take care of himself.  Women are worried about losing the careers they worked so hard to obtain and in turn eschew dating.

What are your priorities? Do you expect or want to live without a romantic relationship? What if someone told you it was more practical or told you how much money you’d save?

In a thought-provoking exercise I was given ten elements of a having-it-all life. With each turn, I would have to give away something. I ditched community involvement fast, dropped hobbies, friends, even religion and health, but I refused to give up on love and family. Maybe my priorities are much different than the average young single Japanese. Who’s to say which ones are more right? 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Important is Honesty in Dating?

This seems like a no-brainer, but is honesty really that important? It’s amusing when I hear people talk about how honest and real people are on social media. They can absolutely trust someone who texts as opposed to actually calling them. I don’t try to dissuade these people because I realize they’ll believe what they want to believe.

There comes a time when this willingness to suspend all disbelief can get you in trouble. A story from China recently demonstrates this very well. An older man who was bored in his marriage posted a photo of a younger friend, made up a name and a profile, including a wife who had recently passed away, and got online. He soon found himself chatting with attractive young women who were sympathetic to the new widower.

On the other side of the computer screen was a married woman who wanted to get some action on the side so she posted a fake photo and profile. After sending intimate emails back and forth, they agreed to meet in a hotel. The woman leaves her house in a rush leaving her last email open. Her husband, who has come home from a business trip early, discovers it, and goes to the same hotel. He finds his wife meeting his own father for a hookup. It is hard to know who was more shocked of the three. The son reacted by assaulting both of them.

How can a person avoid situations like these? The simple solution is not to date while married, which they both did. Let’s take it a little farther. Don’t put up profile photos of other people and claim they’re yours. When your date does arrive, he or she will feel tricked. This is never a good way to start a date.

 I’ve had people say they couldn’t put up photos because of security reasons, or that they’re in the service or the military. That’s another way of saying married.

It is easy to see that the two got themselves in trouble by using fake profiles, names, and photos. I’ve had issues, as has my sweetie, with stalking by people you didn’t want to date. This happens because we share too much information via our online profile or on the initial date. This makes me wonder how much should we share.

Keep in mind, I am talking about sharing, not lying. Most profiles may have a cute tagline to get someone interested, although most people will use their middle name or nickname. They never ever should use their last name. When meeting people, you do not have to reveal your last name, where you work, or where you live.  There is a good chance the date won’t work out. You might need go out three times before you decide it is a no-go.

With this in mind, do you want a recent 1st date waiting in your work parking lot to question you why you won’t go out with him? Probably not. By not blabbing your life story on the first date, you appear more polished and interesting.

We are the keeper of our own secrets. By this, I mean you aren’t obligated to reveal all on the first date, and I would advise against it. Dating is about getting to know someone. You may give out all you know leaving no reason for a second date. Your sudden eruption of information may earn you a label of being pitiful and needy.

On the other hand, if you insist on being all cloak and dagger, then you just might find yourself meeting your old boyfriend, the one you hoped never to see still breathing, for a date. Dating is a calculated risk. Sure, your ex might know you’re dating. It is better than the alternative of remaining at home, dateless, pining for the ex.

 As for the other people’s online profiles, read them with a discerning eye. If it sounds too good or too romantic to be true, then it probably is.  If the profile sounds ordinary, you might have a real deal.

People lie in person, just not online. How do you know if you are being played? Look for inconsistencies. This usually takes more than one conversation or date to spot. Ask about what you have questions about.

 I asked one man if he owned the plane he stood in front of in his profile photo and he confessed he didn’t. I asked another question; had he spontaneously kissed an unknown woman in an airport as stated on his profile? He hadn’t. They both admitted they were trying to look more interesting via their profiles.

In the end, they came off as dishonest. I am sure I wasn’t the only woman to ask. In dating, you don’t have to reveal all, but make sure what you to do tell is actually about you, not the you that you are aspiring to be.  Yes, I had that happen once, but ironically, I had read the same book he decided to base his life on.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Compromise Line

An Austin man has made the news as far away as England with his self-made website defining what type of girl he would like. Maybe he heard about Dr. Chen’s matchmaking efforts.  The self-styled rocker offers a list even longer than the good doctor’s including a refusal to date women with kids or plans to have kids, wears glasses, smokes, or doesn’t dress conservatively. I read his requirements and initially thought he was picky. Judge for yourself, here’s the link.

I disliked the part where he lumped all women engaged in online dating as unacceptable.  His view was if they were something special, they could meet men the regular way. I am assuming the normal way must be designing your own website and offering to drop a thousand or two for someone who will scare you up a date for money.

It is easy to make fun of this man who late one night came up with an idea to advertise for a companion. Still, isn’t that what everyone does, from the woman who dons a minuscule black dress to go clubbing to the engineer who carefully words his online profile? I think the real problem here is compromise.

Recently, I had a fortuneteller tell me I would always be disappointed in men since I had an idealized view of romance. She must have told all her female clients this and they readily agreed. It may be true for most, not for me though since I have a practical view, which involves some compromise. Many women want a bad boy to wow her, while a stable boyfriend sees her through her daily struggles. It is similar to a man looking for the Madonna and a whore in one woman.

Our hopeful Romeo in Austin didn’t have any worse attitude than many. His mistake was writing it down and publishing it online. Anyone who has ever completed a dating profile knows there is a section you can check for race, age, religion, and body type. Many men and women manage to work in specifics about height, hair, and eye color too.

The personality traits we try to discover through premade questions require a month of emails to decide if someone is datable. What is the big difference between the guy in Austin and every other man out there dating?

There’s a feeling that he isn’t willing to compromise on anything. He wants what he wants, rather like a five year old. What he really wants is a clone of his old girlfriend who dumped him after eleven years of always being there.

I believe everyone has an idealized image of the perfect date/mate. Most don’t bear any resemblance to people living or dead. When you actually get down to dating, you have to decide what you can’t tolerate. What is the deal breaker or is there one to begin with?

Going back to our friend in Austin, he decided he didn’t want a smoker after dating one for eleven years. Of course, the initial response is why did he date one for eleven years? She must have had other traits that outweighed the smoking.

This is compromise. You decide if the good outweighs the non-existent. Notice I didn’t say bad. A guy who shows up with flowers once a month can never outweigh being a raging alcoholic. Still, a thoughtful man who opens your car door trumps any six-foot man who rushed to the car to get in first as if calling shotgun.

Relationships often end because people do not understand the need to compromise. Often people want desperately to be a couple, yet want all aspects of their life to remain the same.  There is no compromise involved. To create good relationships and even find a date, there needs to be some concept of compromise.

Women tend to date with the future in mind while men date in the present. What this means is women will look at a man and decide if there is a future with him. Men will look at a woman as all right for now. The problem with both of these outlooks is it is still about one individual as opposed to the two involved.

In arranged marriages, often the family will advertise for a mate. Half the page is devoted to the traits they want, the other part is what the potential spouse will bring. Most hopeful daters forget this part. What are you bringing to the table?

I noticed the Sleepless in Austin website went on endlessly with I want messages. He also told you dozens of things he liked and didn’t like. It was all about him. A woman could piece together that he’d be opinionated, demanding, willing to date endlessly with no commitment.

He wasn’t able to see he was not the same person who dated his original girlfriend those fifteen years ago. The search for the ideal woman is going into its fourth year. He shouldn’t expect the same type of girl because he’s changed. Some of those changes may have sent his original girlfriend on her way.

He needs to compromise his standards somewhat. While I admire a healthy self-confidence, often it isn’t merited. The compromise line is a tricky one to walk. You give too much, then, you’re resentful. If your partner feels you don’t give enough, then often he or she will use this as an excuse to leave. It is a shifting measure too. Sometimes your partner gives more. Other times you do. There can be no real relationship without compromise.

A lesson Sleepless in Austin might do well to learn, but others who are hoping to make a love connection would benefit from it too.

Monday, October 21, 2013

How Often do People Find True Love?

Face it; most of us have an old flame in our past. Many women and men wonder if they are settling with their current partner, while rehashing memories of a previous love. Many of us don rose-colored glasses when recalling a previous romantic partner. Ironically, women are guiltier of this than men.

Facebook survives on forty-ish women trying to find old high school boyfriends. About a half of social media users stalk exes online. One ambitious writer put out the call for women to send her stories of high school or college sweethearts who tried to reconnect. Surprisingly, the tales were rather sad.

It wasn’t because the men didn’t want to associate with their former girlfriends. In their early years, the women thought their honeys had so much potential. A reunion twenty or thirty years later demonstrated the former Romeos never realized their potential or never had it.  The old flames disappointed eight out of ten women immediately. Two managed to rekindle an affair, but one of them sputtered out. What gives?

Most people might imply the people were never in love, which could be true. We don’t want to think we were in love and it didn’t work out. Often we’ll say we were attracted, had a crush, and were in lust, anything but love. There is a theory that you can only be in love once in your life. This is why unattached women keep mining their romantic history, trying to find lost love.

This dominant theory has led to a great deal of unhappiness. People who lose a beloved romantic partner believe they can never love again.  One dating ‘expert’ declared people in their forties could not expect to find love again because they’d already loved. The best they could hope for was to find someone they could tolerate.

There is hope for all of you who have loved and lost. You can love again and the Siemens Festival Nights survey backs it up. We already know from the Wired magazine article that people are living longer and dating more with the end result being it takes an average of thirteen relationships to find that special someone.

Most people fall deeply in love twice.  Women tend to fall in love more than men. It usually takes a person about ten weeks to decide if he or she is in love, according to eHarmony. Average people are still very cautious around one another, even after they feel pangs of love. It takes most couples about 2.8 years to marry after realizing they are in love.

People are always looking for true love.  As many as 46% stated in the survey they’d leave their current partner if they fell in love with someone else. Men are more loyal to their current partner than women are, via survey results. Unfortunately, what we call love is often a chemical response of pheromones. Many a man and woman, who darted after a hard body, left behind a loving partner thinking they found “the one.” The loving partner wasn’t up for taking their former partner back either.

Most people believe they’ve been in love at least twice. They also see in retrospect that many relationships they thought were love, weren’t. One in seven people currently believe they are not in love with their current partner. Out of that unhappy population, 73% now realize they allowed real love to slip through their fingers. The big question is, how did that happen?

We all know things don’t always go well every day. In fact, many have bailed out of a love relationship at the smallest crack. Maybe a job forces one partner to move and the other doesn’t want to go. The woman might own a cat and the man is allergic. Even though most of us still hold to the theory that we might only love once, we still give up on love fast, to become one of those tragic movie characters who lets love slip through his or her fingers.

Are you in this situation right now? The good news is the 2012 survey suggested we fall in love four times in our lives. Those are better odds. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

First Date Mistakes

Dating Mistakes Guys Make
Most of us have several horror stories to tell about first dates. We may have even more stories of mediocre dates that didn’t rate a follow up 2nd date.
Here are some first date mistakes to avoid.
1.      Location of your date. Never plan a first date at your house. Booty call is written all over this. This also sets you up for the non-date. If he can come to your house, eat your food, and watch television, why bother with the expense of taking you out?
2.      Timing does matter. Setting your date late in the evening sends the wrong message too. As the evening gets longer, you get more relaxed. More often you’re tired and not on your best.
3.      Appearance matters. Be clean, attractive, and alluring. Don’t look like an escort. A man doesn’t want to be embarrassed to be seen with you. A woman should retain some mystery. Men, please do not wear your tennis shoes, ball cap, t-shirt or old jeans.
4.      No interview questions please. Some people come with a list of questions to ask.  Dates are nerve-wracking enough without being asked about your five-year plan or the ability to produce offspring.
5.      No attitude please. Remember you agreed to this date so act like it. Some women and men feel it is okay to act bored on the date. It is never okay. Be pleasant and smile. If you don’t want a second date, still wish your date the best when it’s over.
6.      No marriage plans on the first date. Sounds crazy, but some people are busy mentally naming their future children on the first date.
7.      No sex talk. Remember you want more than a one-night stand.
8.      Act confident, even if you don’t feel it. Most people want to talk about their insecurities on the first date just to get them out of the way. Never do this. As the relationship grows, you will reveal your short-comings naturally..
9.      No sex on the first date, unless you don’t want a second date. A man appreciates a woman he has to woo. She takes on more value the longer he dates her.
10.  No company. Some dating sites encourage inviting your friends along on a date for safety reasons. This will only make your date feel awkward.  If you are afraid to be with your date in a public place, this is someone you don’t need to be dating. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Flirting 101

Not sure how to attract a date or develop a relationship? Here are a few things to try. First, hygiene is important. The aroma of sweat or scruffiness doesn’t work for initial flirting. Have your A-game on even when running weekend errands. You never know when you’ll have a chance to flirt.
Flirting Do’s
1.       Make Eye Contact. Make sure whoever you have your eye on sees your eye contact.
2.       Smile. Patti Stranger, The Millionaire Matchmaker, states if you smile at ten potential dates, at least two will ask you out.
3.       Say Hello. This signals your interest. The ball is now in the other person’s court.
4.       Have realistic expectations. Women who hope to find The One come off as needy. A woman or man who just wants to meet someone new is much more relaxed.
5.       Don’t overthink things. This means don’t overanalyze every word and action.
6.       Tease, but don’t mock.
7.       Don’t judge. Most people run through possibilities as if they were running a 50 meter dash. Make an effort to find out more about a person before rashly discarding them for the next hopeful. The good ones usually are nervous because they aren’t players.
8.       Lean in when talking or listening. This signals that what the other is saying is important.
9.       Bump elbows. This manages to signal you’d like to get to know the other person better without too much familiarity.
10.   Flirt via technology. Be aware that without a face to go with a text message, the recipient doesn’t know if you’re teasing, sarcastic or dead serious. Most assume you’re serious. A remark you thought was clever ends up sounding boastful or insincere.
11.   Dance. Get out on the floor and dance with your friends, that way people see you. Ask a stranger to dance.
12.   Laugh. Happy people are attractive.
13.   Flip your hair. This works for women, not for men.
14.   Face the person. Give the person your undivided attention.
15.   Lightly brush an arm. This is a safe zone to signal your interest.
16.   Pay attention to the other person’s eyes. Looking over your shoulder signals she’d rather be elsewhere. Eyes drifting to your mouth may indicate that kissing is in your near future.
17.   Compliment. Be sincere though. A compliment about a virtue the other doesn’t possess is an immediate fail.
18.   Show your neck. Don’t be a giraffe, but not a turtle either.
19.   Listen. Most people don’t, instead they think about what witty thing they’ll say next.  Ask question about what your date is saying.
20.   Mimic body language. This comes from Psychology 101. We like people who are like us. Even when we are unaware of the mimicking, we still react to it positively. This is what job applicants are told to do to ace the interviews.
21.   Whisper. It brings the person closer. It also creates a feeling of intimacy.
22.   Touch hands. It signals a desire to be closer.
23.   Be on parade. Remember the movies were the woman or man keeps walking past a table? Do the same thing.  Not to the point of being absurd though, people might mistake you for the server.
24.   Play footsie. Be careful on this one, though. Some folks are icked out about feet.
25.   Bump knees. You can make this look accidental.
26.   Be Playful. Playful is up there with happy.
27.   Apply lipstick. This makes a man think of kissing.
28.   Caress his back. This has a calming effect has well as creating intimacy.
29.   Hug. Almost everyone can get away with a hug as a greeting
30.   Wink. Stars of bygone eras used the wink to signal interest. It will work for you too.
31.   Raise your eyebrows. This is a subtle interest signaling method.
32.   Cut your eyes to him if you’re seated nearby. If you’re already together, it serves no purpose.
33.   Look back at him as you pass by.
34.   Play peek-a-boo with a menu or book.
35.   Men, ask female friends or co-workers to smile adoringly at you. Oddly, women are attracted to men other women like.
36.   Men, make the conversation all about her. Use her name in conversation.
37.   Women, allow the man to change your mind about something. While men enjoy women who agree with them, a woman they can convince to change her mind pleases them more.
38.   Angle your body toward his when speaking. If interested, he’ll angle back or stand and block other men’s view of you.

Most people do these things without even thinking about it. If you’re out of practice, you might have to make an effort to find your optimum flirting technique. Remember, not all flirting suggestions may suit your style. One flirting guide advised women to pout. I wouldn’t add that to this list. It works well if you’re under ten. Over ten, you just look high maintenance.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Is Your Flirting Style?

Flirting takes different forms. Often we wish flirting into existence. Polite people who smile and wish people a cheery “good morning” are mistaken as flirters when someone fixates on them. The general greeting suddenly becomes the marker of a deep, unspoken longing. It takes me back to junior high, where a casual shoulder bump during a crowded passing period often had a girl writing the guy’s name on her shoes, folders, and hands, convinced of his affection.
 In the movie, 500 Days of Summer, the hero demonstrated his feelings with subtle gestures, but Summer wasn’t getting it. He’d found out what her favorite music was and played it whenever she walked by his cubicle. The hoped for result was she’d stop and comment that they both liked the same music and their relationship would start from there.
It didn’t happen. Part of the reason is we have different flirting styles. You might want to take a test to find out what your flirting style is by taking the Flirting Styles Inventory quiz. According to the inventory, a person may have five different styles including sincere, polite, physical, playful, and traditional.
Ironically, you may flirt wildly, but if your crush has a different style, he may be clueless. Many men may have a physical flirting style and touch a date casually after their introduction. Even though the touches are non-sexual in nature, women often interpret such actions as being sexually aggressive and coming too soon in the relationship. There are times, however, when your date is simply being sexually aggressive.
Can people with separate flirting styles be compatible? Yes, but they have to understand the other person’s style and give back some flirting in the preferred style. A man could feel he’s being extremely attentive, but his date regards him as cold because he’s not a playful flirter like her. On the other hand, the man regards his date’s flirting as childish. We often respond to people’s flirting that is the most similar to ours. Two playful flirters engage in mutually satisfying banter.
On the flipside, just because someone’s flirting style appeals to you does not make them the one. It simply gives you a chance to get to know the person a bit better. Maybe after a month or so, you both come to the realization that it isn’t going to work. That’s okay too.
On-line dating prolongs this realization. In today’s cautious dating climate, it takes almost a month for people to meet face to face. All those clever texts or emails that initially drew you in are absent at the first meeting.
Don’t be too hard on your date. First meetings are nerve wracking. The texts and emails didn’t happen spontaneously. Yes, help may have taken the shape of a friend or suggested texts on the Internet. Stress makes you stumble over simple things. There are few things more stressful than a first date.
Flirting is a bit like window shopping. The person pretends not to be that interested, but instead tries to sum you up in two or three sentences, before he or she moves onto the next possibility. This puts pressure on a person to grab attention before the person vanishes. Some men do it by being too enthusiastic, lying, revealing too much and being needy. Women do the same things, but with cleavage.
The simple secret is acting as if the connection doesn’t matter. As unfair as it is, people like what isn’t easily available. This is the reason women tend to fall for the bad boy who flirts with her friend. When he finally turns attention to her, she feels like the victor.
Flirting can be as simple as eye contact. What makes it flirting is the receiver. If a man, a woman doesn’t view as a dating prospect,  stares  at her, then it’s creepy. Another man she views as her type, makes eye contact for the same length of time, is flirting.

 Next blog will detail the many ways we flirt.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Avoiding Online Dating Abuse

A recent deluge of articles spotlighted British women suffering abuse from their online dates. Is this only a UK thing?
First, it isn’t just a United Kingdom thing. It also isn’t a woman thing either. Plenty of guys have been harassed, even threatened by their dates. The aggressive woman will use the threat of spreading rumors, stalking, or even resort to physical abuse, relying on the man not to retaliate. A man might never confess to being harassed by his date, afraid how it makes him look.
Why is this happening in the first place? There is a relaxation of societal boundaries of good behavior. Add to that a sense of entitlement. The abusive date wants what he wants.  He has resorted to online dating since he has exhausted his supply of local women.
Most people believe dating sites do a criminal background check on their clients. The only check they do is on the client’s credit card. A person can call and makeup a name and history. That’s why so many married men pass themselves off as single. eHarmony does offer to verify your name, age, marital status and occupation.  The company will confirm the man’s identity as a forty-two year old medic with the fire department. What isn’t confirmed is his tendency to call ten times a day to track his date’s movement after only one encounter.
The only way to know if a man or woman has been abusive is if previous dates report to the company. Of course, this relies heavily on what you consider abusive. One woman feels victimized after a date when the man does not make a second date. A man who failed to make the follow-up date finds his driveway blocked by the angry woman who threatens to ruin his bid for a second term in office. Abusive or scary dates have to be reported to the agency. Most people don’t do this. They consider it experience and move on. Some are afraid of angering the abusive date into retaliation mode.
The agency can do several different things. If you are on a free dating site, they’ll most likely do nothing.  Most will block the reported individual from contacting you. Others such as eHarmony will ban the reported individual from the service, then notify anyone he had been in contact with that he is no longer in the service and to beware.
Two things can result from this ban. He can join different services. He can join the same service with a different email address. The verification service is something the member pays for to relax potential dates. A banned person will not use this service.
On the flip side, a vengeful date can notify the company that the man who chose not to take her out again was stalker-ish and abusive. The man gets his membership cancelled and notes sent out to all his possible dates to break off contact with him.  Yes, this could happen. More likely, the company doesn’t allow the two individuals to see each other’s’ profiles.   They send a note to the member who filed the complaint that the matter is resolved. 
Why should one’s person opinion carry more weight than any other person? By banning a member, they not only lose that person’s money, but anyone who listened to his complaints about the dating site. With all this in mind, how do you protect yourself from a possible abusive date?
1.       Be careful with your profile. Do not state your employer, or even your real name. Most people go with a nickname or a middle name.  (I demonstrated to my sweetie that by only knowing his name, I easily found his home address, age, relatives, neighbors’ contact information, even a handy map to the house. For a few dollars, I could bring up his credit record and criminal background check and the value of his home.)
2.       Note any red flags in the profile. You do not have to respond to anyone you don’t feel okay about.
3.       Have a date-only email for feeling out potential dates.
4.       Never  friend  a possible date on Facebook before the first five dates stage. (This allows your date access to the intimate details of your life. The better to stalk you later.)
5.        Meet in public places.
6.       Drive separately for the first three dates. Most people can contain their inner demons for the first three dates, although you might see glimpses.
7.       Do not ignore warning signs.
8.       Be stingy with information at the get to know you stage. Don’t say where you work or even where you live. (A date gave out her address information on the first date, only to discover she didn’t want to see him again. That didn’t stop him from waiting at her house every day.)
9.       Don’t expect a company to do the investigative work for you.  Men met through Christian Mingle attacked several female members. The women assumed wrongly that men belonging to the group would be above reproach.
10.   Have a person to check in with when you go out with new dates.
11.   Leave when you feel unsafe. Don’t worry about an explanation because there won’t be any future dates.
12.   Do not discount friends’ impressions either. If your friend thinks your date is creepy, ask why.
13.   In the end, any man or woman worth having will understand your natural caution.
14.   You can meet wonderful people online, but weeding out the undesirables is your job. Remember the most charming dates are usually the ones you’ll be hiding from in three to five dates. They’ve had plenty of practice being smooth to lull women or men into a false sense of security before they take off the mask.
15.   Trust your instinct. Sometimes logic fails.
Before complaining that everyone online is a stalker, keep in mind any of these safety tips would work well for non-online dates too.  Allow the relationship to develop naturally.  Pay attention to who your date is as opposed to who you want him to be.