Saturday, August 31, 2013

How Not to Act on the First Date ( The Women's Version)

This is the women's version of how to not act. There's a men's version because men and women value and dislike different types of behavior

On a recent visit to an ice cream parlor, I overheard two middle-aged women talking. The one with unnaturally bright hair and wearing a denim mini-skirt bragged she had online men lined up to date her. My sweetie muttered something about her using her picture from twenty years ago.  He then told me I was the only online date he recognized based on my profile picture. It helps that I actually look like my photo.

If you are online dating, make sure your photo is current. You only want to date men who want to go out with you now, not the you when you were twenty years younger. He’ll be mad that you tricked him. You’ll be mad and call him a jerk because he wanted to go out with a much younger looking woman. It isn’t a pretty scenario. What else can you do to screw up a first date? There’s plenty.

You could have the same arrogant attitude as the woman at the ice cream parlor. Women should think they are worthy of being treated well. Then there are women who have the mistaken impression that they are the queen and what a great honor it is for the lowly peasant date to be in her presence. No man wants to feel that he is unimportant.

Then there is the eager to please date. She is like a rambunctious puppy anxious to make her date like her by being agreeable. Often saying she likes things she doesn’t, laughing too loud and long at his jokes and forcing a smile in place at all times. Like the needy puppy she exemplifies, her behavior grows old as the date goes on. The needy date often texts the man several times after the date reminding him how much she loved the date.  She’s too scary over the top for most men

The melancholy date can be initially attractive because the man feels as if he’s the one who can turn her frown upside down. He isn’t. Instead, she revels in tales of lost loves, dead pets or the futility of life itself. The woman may actually suffer from depression, but more likely, she enjoys playing the part of a tragic heroine. By the end of date with terminally sad girl, the man might feel the need to check into Happy Hour somewhere.

The bored date makes no pretense she’s bored. Some women might think this is playing hard to get. She might send and read texts throughout the date. She doesn’t contribute to the conversation. Her eyes wander around the room as if there is some place else she’d rather be. She looks at her watch signaling her eagerness to leave. 

The aimless date is the one who believes a relationship will complete her. She doesn’t like her job. Her friends are idiots. Her dog ran away. Still, she believes the right guy will make everything wonderful. No man wants that type of responsibility.

The ex-date could consist of talking about how wonderful the ex is. It could also be talking about the various people she dated. In the end, the woman spends her time talking about other men when she should be concentrating on her date. The man fears he’s being compared to other men and may be found wanting. No matter if he comes out ahead in the comparison, it’s still an uncomfortable date.

 These all sound like sucky dates, but men all agree the worst date is the angry date. She may not be angry with the man because they just met. Instead, some co-worker did something that made her see red. Meat eaters keep eating animal flesh, which is morally wrong. Her ex is getting married to a nice woman. You get the picture. She has  anger energy and bounces it all off her date. Angry woman are as frightening to most men as crying women.

Decide if you could be any of these dates. If a man has gone out with a previous angry date and you show a flare of outrage, he immediately flashes back to the horrible date. You can laugh off your outburst by referring to it as being passionate. Men do not mind passion, but anger they can’t abide. Ironic, when the emotions are so similar.

First dates are hard. Often we act in ways we don’t normally. This is problematic since you might act like a ditz and he asks you out for a second date. Did he ask you out or your ditz persona? The best you can do is explain that you’re nervous. It might relieve the date who may also be nervous. Studies reveal that at the most we decide if we’re attracted to somehow within ten seconds. Often though, we are attracted to the wrong people for superficial reasons. Dating allows us to get to know one another better.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Vanishing Second Date

In Your Tango’s advice column, a woman asked why she wasn’t scoring the second date. The last three 1st dates she went on went well. The men took her number, discussed the second date, but never followed through. 

A scene from the move, He’s Just Not That into You, came to mind. The movie is about women chasing men. The adorable fresh-faced protagonist has terrible problems keeping men. She meets them. They chat her up, maybe even go out on a date, but then disappear. Most of the men hint they will take her out again. She sounds out the cute bartender for his advice. He explains if a man wants to call you, he will. If he’s lost your number, he will make an extraordinary effort to find it.  He will get it somehow. If a guy doesn’t call you, it is because he doesn’t want to.

Why does the man even hint he’ll go out with you again if that wasn’t his intention? It makes things easier, way easier. The date ends in an upbeat note. Think how you'd feel if the guy you thought you were really connecting with gives you a hug and then tells you that it didn’t work for him. Not too great. You’d probably spend the rest of the night replaying the date, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Some women will even have a dramatic public meltdown. It may have happened to your date once.  That explains his reluctance to have it happen again. He also may think he’s not hurting your feelings. It may be on the cowardly sign, but he isn’t around when you realize he’s not that into you.

Then there’s a different possibility. He may have mistakenly thought you didn’t like him. Men are fraught with first date insecurities too. What could signal disinterest?

*Not keeping eye contact. Your eyes may have wandered the room, which he interpreted as bored or looking for a different date.

*Not laughing at his jokes. Keep in mind; male humor and female humor are vastly different. What he thought was a joke, may not have been funny at all.

*Not contributing to the conversation. Shyness looks like disinterest.

*Taking a phone call or text during the date. Reading your texts is almost as bad. Unless you work for the fire department or the emergency heart transplant team, you can be off duty for sixty minutes. Picking up the phone tells the man that he’s not important. However, a call from the babysitter is an acceptable one to take.

*Not commenting on how nice he looks. Men are often insecure about their looks too.

*Not mentioning you had a great time, or that you liked him. This will lead him to believe the date bombed and so did he.

*Not smiling. Women smile much more than men do. Men are aware of this and expect a smiling date, even if you’re not a smiler. A not smiling date indicates a pained date.

Still, he may force himself past his misgivings and ask you out again. As he drives home, all his doubts come into play and he convinces himself that you agreed to the second date to be nice. How can you turn these dynamics around?

Start the date out in a no-lose atmosphere. Smile; tell him how glad you are to meet him. Tell him that the two of you will have a great date. Then proceed to be the date you want him to be: attentive, charming and in the moment. Not surprisingly, your date will mirror your actions. There should be no doubts about the second date.

Of course, it could be  he doesn’t want to see you. I am not a computer hacker, but I can locate numbers I misplaced. He can too. Keep in mind, thousands of women passed on the loser hotline number because they didn’t want to hurt the man’s feelings face to face. Sometimes, the not calling is a gentler version of this. Let it go. The worst thing you could do is call, send an angry text or email about what a loser he is. It might make you feel good for a few seconds, but that’s it.

Dating is about discovering people we would match up with and no one matches with everyone.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Perfect Woman

The number one thing men say they want in a woman is a good mother.
 That's why they picked Penny as their perfect woman, yeah right.

Do you know what makes a perfect woman? It depends on what survey you read. According to a UK dating site, British men want a woman with blue eyes first, then long blond hair who occasionally wears glasses. I guess that allows her to whip them off when she wants to be sexy. Not too aggressive though because the men still want to be the bread earner and in charge.

Sixty Minutes and Vanity Fair conducted a poll asking similar questions, but gave a series of answers the respondents could pick to use.  Here are the results.
  1.     .   A good woman is hard to find, according to 57% of the respondents.
  2.    The overwhelming majority wanted a bold and experienced woman over sweet and demure.
  3.     Apparently, men were okay with a woman doctor, but they had issues with females peeking under the hood of their vehicle.
  4.     The most important quality for a woman to have was being a good mother. Isn’t it amazing we never catch men checking out a woman’s good mothering ability or their potential good mothering ability when at the beach? I have never seen this on a dating profile, either.
  5.     When given a list of television characters, the majority picked Penny from The Big Bang Theory, who also met the standards of the UK dating site. While blond, blue eyed, cheerful and a low wage earner and a tad promiscuous, there’s never any mention of her mothering skills. She resorts to drinking when confronted with normal problems, which results in having sex with men she wish she hadn't. I am still baffled about when the good mothering ability enters the picture.
  6.      Apparently, you could be the perfect woman, but if you suggest the wrong movie then you’re history. The wrong movie is Fatal Attraction. It would be odd if a woman suggested watching such an old movie. Makes you wonder why it would bother a man so much. The second movie turnoff would be Twilight. Not surprised by that one since it would indicate you are dating a teenager or a woman who likes to act as if she were a teen.
  7.      There seems to be a list of what perfect women cannot do. The overwhelming pick was smoking, followed closely by plastic surgery. Do men realize that most of these women they drool over have had work done? I think they are more afraid of footing the bill. Often results do not turn out as planned. Overeating and owning cats are turnoffs too.
  8.      If a man found the mythical perfect woman, 20% would chuck their faith in a heartbeat. Another 17% would abandon their friends. An amazing 15% would give up their career while an astounding 12% would shave 10 years off their life. This is all in theory. Besides, a perfect woman wouldn’t ask her sweetie to do any of these things.

The questions were a bit odd, which explains the answers. What would a perfect woman be like?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Perfect Man Survey

What makes up the perfect man? Every woman has her own opinion.  According to the site survey, it’s all about money. The gentleman must make close to 100, 000 annually, drive a Mercedes and live in house priced in the 500,000 range. There is nothing said about his personality, looks or integrity.
Vanity Fair and Sixty Minutes teamed together and created a similar test for American women and here are the results.

  1. Sixty-nine percent of the women polled believe that a mother is responsible for making her son into a chivalrous gentleman. If you married a jerk, then technically it is his mother’s fault, according to the survey.
  2. When a man has a midlife crisis, women overwhelming blame him as opposed to biology or the cute intern at the office. 
  3. If they could marry a television character, women picked Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy.
  4. Temper is one thing that irritates women about their chosen mate. This ought to make him angry. It’s not too surprising since American men are only allowed to show two emotions: Anger and Happiness.
  5. What do most women believe a young man in his prime should be doing? It’s not chugging down beers or completing passes in the football game. The majority felt men should take the opportunity to be well educated.
  6. You meet a super great guy, but he has this one flaw that might cause you to pass on him. The number one complaint is drunkenness and drinking to become drunk. The second complaint is temper. No one wants an angry drunk. Acting scared or ill was another turn off. Horny came in dead last, which means there is still hope for some of the men.
  7. When asked when a man could judge if he’d been successful with his life the polled women split in a two-way tie that included age forty or when the man died.
  8. You’ve heard the statement, “Chivalry is dead.” Over 63% of the women disagreed with it. They still encounter men who behave like gentlemen, thanks to their mothers.
  9. Believe it or not, women still fall for cheesy pick-up lines with the number line being: Do you have a map? I just got lost in your eyes.
  10. In the war of the sexes, women have always been their worst enemy. This is brought home by the final question that asked, “Who got Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden of Eden?” Women chose Eve. Of course, the answers were limited to Eve, Adam and Don’t know. There was no space for Free Will, Snake, or Predestination.

What have I discovered from this random poll? Women dislike angry drunks.  They’ll fall for a good looking doctor or an actor who plays one.  An attractive man with a decent pickup line can still get dates. Women in England value money over looks. They value cars, jobs and homes more too. Women tend to blame women for problems such as original sin and the lack of gentlemen in the world. When it comes to infidelity, they blame the man.

I am surprised that women didn’t claim that a man who could make her laugh could snare her heart. They must have asked that question in a different poll. What qualities do you think make up a perfect man?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Setting the Bar High

First, I want to qualify this blog by saying I think it is good to set the bar high, but sometimes the dating bar is ridiculously high and you end up with nothing.

One employer I knew asked for a master’s degree, ten years of experience, and fluency in two languages when advertising for a simple clerical job. What they actually wanted, the personnel director explained, was a gutsy person with a bachelor degree, who could understand Spanish and had two years of experience. A few months later, he confessed they hired a woman who had a high school education, no experience, and was a friend of a fellow employee. Their ad had scared off viable candidates. Their bar intimidated good candidates.

How do we sit the bar too high in dating? A recent article stating that women preferred dating younger men got me reading. It wasn’t nearly as provocative as its title. It stated that 25% of women with online profiles would consider a man up to five years younger. Not that big of a deal, especially since it’s hard to find someone exactly your age. These same women would consider a man five years older too. This isn’t setting the bar too high.

The same article went on to say 42% of the men would not even consider a woman their age and would only accept younger candidates. This is setting the bar too high and making the pool of women smaller.

Often people are under the mistaken impression there are oodles of perfect singles waiting for them. Truth is you’ve probably dated the majority of people in your area that are available to date. Online dating allows you to enlarge the distance of your dating pool. You probably didn’t consider a man forty miles away. It brings in new arrivals too. What it doesn’t do is turn you into something you’re not.

What this means is you’ll still be attractive to the same type of people with caveats. If middle-aged men with white-collar jobs around your age are your usual type, then they will probably continue to wink or message you. Just because you decided you’d like to go out with a much younger man with a yen for adventure, body surfing and sky diving, doesn’t mean they are lining up to date you. In fact, some interesting people will pass over your profile because of the must haves. Perhaps you stated you wouldn’t consider anyone under six feet tall. Even men six feet tall pass over your profile because your insistence on this is superficial and hints at being inflexible in most areas of your life.

As for the 42% of the online dating men who will only go out with younger women, good luck with that. This is a common high bar for men. I was approached by men who were ten years older than me. Nope, not interested and I wondered why the dating company gave them my profile. What these men have done is create an increasingly small dating pool for themselves.

I did say I had caveats about setting the bar. Unfortunately, we tend to favor the same types we’ve dated before because it is a familiar dynamic even it was a dysfunctional one. Women who chose abusive loser boyfriends attract them like a magnet. Men who have had a series of demanding, manipulative girlfriends will have a long line of similar women. These types are looking for you because everyone else has rejected them when they got a clue about their ways.

How do you set the bar against these offenders?  You don’t do it in the profile. Stating you won’t be the victim of liars, cheaters or game-players tells the predatory daters you are vulnerable and fair game. To them you are the gazelle with the wounded leg that the herd abandons.

Know your tell-tale signs; complaints against life in general, treating service people shabbily, talking about exes constantly, men forgetting wallets, listing expectations for you are just a few. Review previous relationships that went south to decide what went wrong. Remember the people you want to avoid can be charming and attractive; they had to develop some skills to get people to accept them, if only for a short time.

As for setting the bar high, a few of you need to set it higher. It is reflective of how you consider yourself and what you think is out there. Many men and women go out with a series of people who are bad fits and bemoan their luck. Just going out with anyone and expecting to meet the one is a recipe for disaster. Consider ten characteristics you’d like, but be willing to settle for five. Work six or seven into your profile, but not ten.

Remember the people who were advertising for a candidate with a master’s degree? Their overkill approach landed them with someone very unsuitable because that is all who applied. When I see a woman’s profile stating she is looking for a professional man, 48 or younger, has traveled widely, owns a plane, at least six foot with dark hair and blue eyes, a ballroom dancer, a proficient piano player, and being able to converse in Russian and French, I see a woman doomed to spending nights at home alone.

The same for the men who want some young leggy playmate to cater to them. It is a nice dream, so the best they can do is turn over and go back to sleep.