Monday, May 27, 2013

Why Names Matter.

Never underestimate the power of a name. Back a few years ago when I was dating I met men who often didn’t use their given name. They weren’t married or in the witness protection program, either. Instead, they were attempting to project an image with one word.  We usually decide on how we will interact with someone in less than ten seconds.  Depending on the person, you decide if they will be a friend, an enemy, a lover, or unimportant in your future.
Think about this the next time you go somewhere. Often you make eye contact with other people, but immediately look away because the people do not hold any significance for you.  Before we meet people, we often hear their name and form an impression.  Your co-worker or friend wants to fix you up with her cousin. How would you react if his name were Lawrence?
Immediately you might think the name sounds stuffy or old. You might picture a man with muttonchops sideburns smoking a pipe. Worse yet, he’d insist that you call him Larry. You end up saying that you will be out of town that weekend.
The same friend ever anxious to promote your love life, informs you that her husband’s brother  Hannibal is single. You murmur your apologies as you try to control your shudders. Unfortunately, movies have tainted names like Jason and Damien too.
Other names just have low energy. It is hard to get excited about someone named Eugene, Wilbur, Elmer or Harold.  It brings to mind an earnest young man trapped in the fifties.
Ambiguous gender names are sometimes confusing too.  It is hard to consider a fellow named  Sydney, Robyn or Cary as very hetero when they  share the same name as your girlfriends. 
Therefore, I am back to the men who pick a name for their dating profile to attract women. Different names attract different women. Alexander may want to be perceived as a more social animal and goes with Alex. Daniel opts for Dan, which he thinks sounds more rugged.
Women can carry off exotic names, while most men can’t. A  survey that polled sexy male names listed relative common names including David, Michael, Sean, Clint and Brandon.
Never underestimate the power of a name. It is very difficult to date men who have the same name as an ex. Men will bless you with the same negatives attributes as an ex with the same name. One three-time married man simply chose to call his wife honey to avoid calling her the wrong name, which would be the kiss of death.
Some women fall for names that sound more exotic like Enrique or Renardo or even Stephen. The man himself might not be that unusual, but often the belief that they will be is enough to get them the date.
Should you lie about your name to get a date? This can backfire on you. When do you confess to your real name? Plenty of people start with a middle name or a nickname for security purposes, but you might want to come clean by date three.
Dating often allows you the chance to change your name to a degree. If everyone calls you Jill, but you prefer Jillian, then introduce yourself as that.
Next time, you think names don’t matter. Remember all the men trying to find dates who transformed Carl into Adam or Norman into Edward. My husband’s name is Scott, which definitely influenced me when deciding if to date him. Scott is a strong, authoritative name, while retaining some playfulness.
Ironically, I had on the other hand shared the same name as his psychotic ex-wife, and he still married me. So maybe names don't matter as much as I thought. Still, he never ever calls me by the ex's name. No, it is always sweetheart or honey.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Warning Flags #2

Most of us understand that the too good to be true profiles of supermodels and billionaires posing by their corporate jet are a waste of our time. What are the not so obvious red flags? Maybe they would only be orange if they aren’t a brilliant red. Most single people feel an obligation to date someone. The great thing about online dating is these people want to date you. Okay, so far, but why waste your precious time on people who aren’t going to work out.
Why should you be wary of overly religious people who profess their beliefs in every sentence? Two reasons with the first being that they are trying to hook elusive good girls for bad purposes. They do not believe a fraction of what they are saying. Number two is they will expect you to embrace their beliefs with the same religious fervor as they do and will often chastise and punish you for your non-beliefs. Plenty of people have deep religious views, but they don’t try to force them on unsuspecting dates. If it is front and center on the profile, expect a conversion date. Multiple assault complaints have resulted in conjunction with a popular Christian dating site.
Second person to beware of is the list maker. Her or she spends their word count telling you what they don’t like or what they will accept. Trust me, you will not satisfy their list.
Third potential date to run from is the Eeyore date. If you can remember the sad donkey from Winnie the Poo, who was the ultimate pessimist, then you have a handle on this date. At first, you may feel sorry for him, which is never a reason to date a person.
The fourth is the rude guy or gal. He’ll make rude comments about previous dates, plan dates, then cancel or forget to show. You know the routine. Don’t makes excuses for him so you can go out later. You’ll just end up angry later too.
Social media allows the fifth person free rein by sharing too much on your wall, Twitter feed, and everywhere else. This person wants a relationship in the worse way and will often bombard you with information better left unsaid…forever. They also love to text and email you endlessly. It feels a lot like stalking.
The sixth person I sat in front of in first class once. I was so excited to be in first class, but the four-hour flight was a sound bite for the man behind me who constantly trotted out his accomplishments. His seatmate did not know him and was probably as tired of hearing about the racehorse he owned as I was. Some people may think the guy might be trying to interest the woman with his accomplishments, not really. He’s a walking ego who enjoys hearing how amazingly fantastic he is.
Seventh person makes all sorts of grammar and spelling errors in his or her profile. This is a concern for several reasons. The first one is your potential Romeo is not in this country or isn’t of legal age. The second reason is the person really doesn’t care about their profile. Maybe he or she wrote it when drunk. It only takes a minute to use spellcheck. Do you want to go out with someone who cares so little about making a good impression?
The eighth type makes constant sexual references. Most adults hope to make a successful love connection, develop a relationship, and eventually take it to step three. Your online lothario wants to skip steps one and two.
Remember these types aren’t in order. Sometimes the long and short of the profile response is telling. A long-winded monologue will tell you the guy talks a great deal. A few terse words indicated you’ll carry the conversation.
Consider the photos in several ways. If he cuts out a chick or ex-wife is a photo, then he’s too lazy to even make an appropriate photo. That will carry over in other places. If he or she is always clutching an alcoholic beverage, think drinks too much.  Pouting or somber expressions result in a moody, difficult person. If the background is old, then your date will be too.
These are small flags, which merit attention. You are never under any obligation to go out with someone you aren’t totally interested in. When on a date with someone you don’t know, remember safety first.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Did Bridget Jones Have It Easy?

Helen Fielding auctioned off an autographed copy of her popular 1996 novel Bridget Jones Diary. This wildly successful novel later became a movie where the romantically challenged Bridget tried to land a man.  Ms. Fielding expressed concern for women today because they have it so much rougher than optimistic Bridget. The culprit as she sees it is a combination of social media and online dating.
The average person would think these items would be beneficial to a woman in search of romance, but Ms. Fielding sees it differently. Before a man or woman was limited to whomever they met through work, the neighborhood or associated friends. Now thanks to the Internet and Photo Shop, a man believes he has a bounty of gorgeous, impossibly thin women to choose from.  Ever notice how those same women’s photos keep showing up on multiple dating sites. It is because they don’t exist. Often the non-members profiles are as high as 75% on some sites, which explains why you didn’t hear from the man you winked at.
Anyone who has ever watched the television show Catfish knows that people almost never look like their photos. They often aren’t the same person, and sometimes not even the same gender. Intelligent men have been the victim at least once in this game. Maybe baited by a sexy hottie who needs money to reach his side. Fool me twice, and he deserves to lose his money to foreign men running a con.
Most men unbelievably are not looking for the model thin girlfriend. They aren’t adverse to an attractive woman, but more importantly they want someone will think the world of them. The average guy has encountered the high maintenance beauty whose incredible demands make rock star divas look compliant.  According to a recent survey, men want intelligence in a mate.
 The second reason the social media burns the modern woman is oversharing. Anyone who has scrolled down someone’s Facebook page and see photos of their potential or recent date sloppy drunk or clutching an unknown girl might rethink possibly dating the man. True, but that type of information was bound to come out eventually. Some people choose to live their live in the public eye even announcing how they felt about their date with you on social media.
A woman can torture herself searching through a man’s social media feed to find some sign of herself or how he feels about her. A scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary has her trying to answer the phone only to miss the call. She assumes it was the guy she had her eye on and makes up outrageous excuses why he hasn’t called. With social media, a woman might see the guy who hasn’t called her has been checking in at several night spots with a variety of female friends. Social media might kill the often illusory emotion, hope, but this was only a matter of time deal. The woman would have found out how the man was eventually. Think of this as a fast forward.
Do women have it worse now? I guess that depends.  If you want to chase after a man who dates only model-worthy women, then you will find yourself with a man who is unsure of his masculinity. He needs over the top beauties to prop up his self-esteem. Thanks to the social media, you may discover your date is a jerk in two dates or less.
One comment I found interesting from a man was that by scrolling through a woman’s social media, he eliminated the need to date her. A man dates a woman to find out if she might be someone worth getting involved with. The man pointed out that by checking out a woman’s social media was the equivalent of three dates. In that regard, social media does infringe on the amount of dates you go on. Might want to make sure to streamline your profile if you listed your favorite books, music, movies, quotes, hobbies, people you hoped to meet if you could time travel, etc., in the end there are no questions left to ask a date.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Are We Programmed to Choose Mr. Wrong?

The other day I was talking with a woman who claimed she was envious of me because my husband and I were taking off to celebrate our first anniversary. She confided that she and her husband never do anything special to celebrate. She admitted she’d hoped the second marriage would be better than the first, but it wasn’t. My friend is an intelligent, likable, attractive woman why did she end up with a man who virtually ignores her. Over 70% of divorces are initiated by women who are anxious to escape a marriage or mate who didn't turn out to be what they originally thought.

On the same day, I read an article on Live Science that explained our hormones make us go for the sexy rule breaker when we are ovulating. At one time, the muscular male might have been able to run down a mastodon, but now he only hunts hot women.  A thinking woman knows a dependable engineer would be a much better father and husband than the rodeo bull rider. Yes, but what does intelligence have to do with sex appeal? Obviously, very little, since women even those who confess to wanting to get married have negligible interest in men when they aren’t ovulating. They may enjoy the idea of men, weddings, and the ivy-covered cottage, but not the actual male so much.

When women are ovulating, they want a he-man male with a deep voice and wide shoulders, and buckets of testerone. In the back of Popular Science, there is a pheromone-based cologne average guys can buy to attract women like a bad boy.  The Scent of a Man article stated that when women sniff t-shirts worn by men. The men with more he-man characteristics received many more thumbs up from the female participants. Why do women choose taller, muscular men with more defined male characteristics?

It is two-fold. In primitive times, the bigger, stronger man would pass on his dominant characteristics to the offspring and be a good provider. Keep in mind, in earlier times, the alpha male had several partners. Marriage didn’t stop most men from having a mistress, girlfriends, or the occasional fling.  Bad boys haven’t changed over the years; it is the wives or girlfriends’ protests that have become louder over the last fifty years.

Now women, even those non-ovulating females, go for the sexy tall man every time, well almost every time. Why is that?  Instinctual response may cause women to pick the most masculine sire for her children, but what happens when a woman isn’t ovulating. Why does she go for the same bad boy? Even to the point of dumping her dependable husband or boyfriend.

       Media myths and internal lies are the reason. Every romantic comedy and many romance novels feature bad boys who tantalize the heroine with their charisma. After several grand gestures, he realizes he’s in love, then makes the ultimate grand gesture devoting himself to the heroine. It wouldn’t be a sacrifice unless he had women chasing him. All the females in the audience sigh and press their hand over their heart hoping they can meet such a guy. Often women know they are being played, but will suspend knowledge so they can hold onto the bad boy. Of course, they are holding onto nothing since he is doing what he does best wowing other women.

Media informs us that the bad boys will be super romantic, whisking us off to exotic locales, wining and dining us, bringing us flowers and extravagant gifts. Some bad boys might because it is part of their shtick. Most won’t because they do not have to do anything, but be a bad boy to get the woman. They do not have to be thoughtful or dependable. Often they will stand women up, but the women are still eager to go out with them. The women believed they reached some sort of status among other bad boy-loving women.

Often women marry the bad boy they fell for in the wedding of her dreams. The romance was great, but the happily ever after isn’t happening. I am not saying that bad boys don’t want to marry many do, but they cannot change overnight, and usually don’t change at all.  All those bad boy characteristics that drew the women are also the predictors of him straying. The life the wife imagined never happens.

There comes a time when your bad boy ages out of the pheromone rodeo. In the animal world, there are almost no old alpha males because the younger males kill them. There are few things sadder than a middle-aged man trolling the bars using tired pick-up lines that used to work. You probably can lasso a bad boy then since his best days are long behind him. What do you get besides an embittered man who resents you since you now represent the best he can do.

Smarter women go for what is often mistakenly called the Beta male, but he’s not second best. Instead of being a strutting peacock, he uses imagination and thoughtfulness to meet his woman’s needs. Interestingly the higher a man’s intelligence and education, the less likely he is to cheat. Here’s a man who has figured out a one-night fling with a girl he met in bar isn’t worth tossing out a twenty-year marriage. Not so with the bad boy, another day, another woman, remember that next time you consider taking Too Handsome to be True home with you.