Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Halo Effect

Illustration by Lynn Bonnette

Have you heard of The Halo Effect? If you remember any of those Renaissance paintings where all the saints had golden halos around their heads to indicate their importance, it allowed everyone to know who the important people were. It gave them divine characteristics. Well, The Halo Effect is a little like that. The difference is people blessed with a halo by those around them are not usually deserving of it.

The Halo Effect is when skills, attributes, and potential are attributed to people due to their unusual good looks. We all know attractive people are treated different, which is the basis of The Halo Effect. Here’s a quick example in everyday life. As a teacher, I had a student who could easily be a male model. He was beautiful to look at and in excellent shape, but an emotional weakling in almost every way. All the teachers and coach refused to see it. Someone as handsome as he was had to be intelligent. Nope. Someone with such height and physique had to be great at football player. No again. Any guy with such dark romantic looks would be an amazing boyfriend. A huge no! Despite what everyone witnessed, people continued giving him extra chances that an average student would never get because the adults couldn’t conceive that the student could be lazy, ignorant, limited, and selfish. His appearance indicated he possessed characteristics he didn’t have.

This happens all the time in the dating world. We continue to have high hopes for people who have done nothing to deserve our optimistic thinking. We believe if someone looks like a lead from a rom com, then he should behave in a similar manner. At times like this, it is beneficial to make a pro and con list. Too often, our emotions play havoc with logic when dealing with The Halo Effect. The teachers who‘d been endlessly disappointed by the handsome student kept giving him extra chances because of their own conditioning. Unfortunately, they demonstrated to the average or less than average attractive students that the world is not a fair place.

The Halo Effect can and will guarantee an unhappy relationship. What you think someone should be like does not create a great relationship. Instead, it leads to a series of letdowns. It’s not too surprising that often when we get to know a person our perception of him or her changes. Often a handsome, apathetic beau loses his attractiveness with time. A considerate, average looking guy grows more handsome with each romantic gesture.

Often the shorter man or plainer woman is much more interesting and fun. One reason is they learned to be more entertaining because they realize they can’t rely on looks. The Halo Effect won’t work for them. Considering this, you might want to decide if you are choosing your date with what he could be as opposed to what he is.

Most people understand The Halo Effect and use Photo Shop to benefit from it. People are upset when they meet the owner of the enhanced profile because they believe they no longer have the desired traits that the viewer gave them. Of course, they may never have had them no matter what!

The best way to handle this is to accept that wonderful people come in all sorts of packages. Spend less time looking for the perfect package and more time getting to know people behind the package. Try to keep in mind; no one really wears a halo.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Your Home's First Date

You’ve finally met someone who might be worth keeping. Everything is going well until you visit his home or he visits yours. Suddenly, the relationship takes a turn the other way. Return texts are few and the dates dry up too. What happened?

Your humble abode did not pass the relationship test. Your home has to put on its best face too for the initial meeting. Think how you’d feel if your date showed up in smelly gym clothes. A casual invite occurs after cleaning.

Home Turnoffs

1.       Sloppy. There’s a difference between a jacket on the couch and dishes everywhere and an unmade bed.

2.       Unsettled look. When there is no sign you’re staying. Lack of curtains, wall art, even real glasses as opposed to those souvenir restaurant cups.

3.       Signs of previous visitors of the opposite sex. This could be anything from hairpins, shoes, clothes, toiletries. It doesn’t matter if it belongs to your sibling. She won’t ask, she’ll assume.

4.       Smell. This is hard for people because they are used to the way their place smells. You may have to ask a friend to scent test your place. Anything from bacon, pets, stale smoke, or the locker room stench has to go. A thorough cleaning with a lemon or pine scented product will help, but room deodorizers and candles are good too.

5.       Location. This may not be something you can help. Because let’s face it, you aren’t going to move.  This is more of a female issue because if she feels unsafe, then she’ll not want to stay over.

6.       Pets. Do you have too many? Is your canine vicious? Is your date allergic to cat dander?

7.       Children. Did you mention you had any? Is your child or children in your date’s face?

8.       Roommates. Often your roommate can be a deal breaker. Perhaps your roommate likes embarrassing you or decides to make a play for your date.

9.       Smoking. Your date might be aware you smoke, but it’s an entirely different experience to step in an area steeped in stale cigarette smoke, not a pleasant one.

Home Upgrades

1.       Wall art. You can in mix some photos of you doing fun stuff.

2.       Plants. Go with fake if you can’t do real. Not too many or it starts to feel like a jungle. Green is relaxing.

3.       Wastebaskets in the bathroom. Women appreciate this touch.

4.       Soap by the sink. Full roll of toilet paper on the spindle, preferably not the cheap brand.

5.       An actual sofa as opposed to chairs, which allows the two of you to snuggle while watching a movie.

6.       Clean, coordinated sheets and fluffy pillows.

7.       Boxes of tissues scattered throughout the living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

8.       Actual dishes. You can pick up glass dishes anywhere from Target to the Dollar Store. No reason not to have a couple along with real flatware. Plastic dishes, glasses, and especially forks signals you’re not a grownup.

9.       Clean matching towels in the bathroom. (You only have to have one set in the beginning.)

10.   Food in the fridge. Something besides beer, condiments, and takeout containers. It’s nice to be able to offer your guest a snack or drink.

11.   Lamps. The good thing about lamps as opposed to overhead lighting. It’s more flattering to your skin tone and the use of appropriate dim lightning sets the scene.

 The home visit is a positive step forward, but it can also be a research time for your date. He or she may be doing a little investigation work. Is there any sign of hobbies or interests? Could be checking for signs of a significant other still in the picture. (This is where the answering machine can be a killer, although most people have voice mail.) Could be you bragged about a telescope or a huge movie collection. It helps if you actually own an item you bragged about; otherwise, everything else you mentioned will appear to be a lie.

The home visit doesn’t always seal the deal either. Don’t invite someone over too soon. It would be a shame to go to so much work and end up dumped. Unfortunately, many people instead of working on the premise on what is good about the person work on what is wrong.

It’s possible, your potential sweetie could decide after spending time in your home that the two of you could never work because you have atrocious taste in art or have carpeting as opposed to hard wood floors. Don’t sweat it, because if all it takes is a crystal bell collection or ceramic dragons to scare him off, then he was looking for a deal breaker. Someone who likes who you are won’t mind floor coverings and will find your collections unique because they are part of who you are. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Important 1st Date Red Flags

Recent new events including dates who robbed their date or the rise of dating abuse tends to make the single person wary of dating, but there are some subtle red flags that should give warning. Keeping an eye out and a clear head will help you avoid bemoaning your fate later. Most of these signs can apply to both men and women. Here’s what to look for:

1.    Too good to be true dates.  The ones who are supposedly rich, handsome, and amazingly successful. This a setup to ask for money often before you even meet because once you met you’d realized the truth. One elderly man who signed onto the dating site Seeking Arrangements went out with seventeen years old twins who later robbed him and went on a spending spree with his credit cards after tying him up.

2.     The jokester. This man heckles you about your job, pets, and clothes, whatever. He may think he’s funny, but he is verbally abusing you. He’ll only get worse.

3.     The crazy ex he or she once had. Okay, many people have crazy exes. The fact he wants to talk about her on the first date, talks about she drove him to do stuff, had it coming, or the need for revenge is your neon exit sign.

4.     Being mean to help staff (the waiter, valet, ticket person, etc.) Consider first date behavior should be super nice. If he can’t be civil for the length of a date, then you’re in trouble. It also means he regards those people as less than himself.

5.       Angry driver who displays road rage.

6.  If you ever feel afraid or uneasy, then it is definitely time to leave. It can be a remark, inappropriate touching, bad driving, and the list goes on.

7.   A casual comment about a celebrity recently embroiled in a domestic abuse case being mistreated as opposed to condemning the abuse. The real question is why he mentioned it anyhow.

8.       Too serious, too fast. This person confesses he’s falling for you before the evening is up. Smart, date-worthy people don’t fall that fast, but abusive people do. They’ve learned they have to corner the date, possibly sleep with her, to create a bond.

9.       The date who takes over. You know the one who orders for you without asking.  It’s okay if he asks first & you agree. He starts listing books for you to read and movies for you to see. Even has the nerve to make clothing suggestions. Run away. He only wants to make someone into a clone of his perfect woman.

10.   Cell phone never leaves his hand. He’s on the phone, texting, reading a text, etc. Get the message: you’re not important.

11.   Porno dialogue. You’re interested in his job, siblings, or if he’s a cat or dog person and he’s asking you if you’ll do something he saw in a porn video.

12.   The I just got done with yard work look. It happens. Guy or even woman shows up for a date, unkempt, frazzled, even sporting body odor. C’mon, anyone knows better than this. If your date didn’t make an effort to primp on the first date, then it will never happen.

13.   Irrational jealously.  He or she thinks you’re checking out the wait staff. Resents you being  involved previously. This person will monitor your every move and invent drama where there is none. Scary.

14.   You make your date mad while on the date. Who knows what you did. It might have been checking out the waiter (that you really didn’t.) Now, you’re on the defensive and find yourself apologizing or worse, trying to make it up. Makes you wonder if you're out with an adult.

15. Trash talks your friends. Why would anyone put down people he or she never met? The only reason is to separate you from your friends.

16.   The split personality thing. He’s all charming, but after you come back from the bathroom. He’s surly. Could be a personality disorder, or maybe he was that way all along and the charming part was an act.

Truthfully, it sounds like a list of reasons not to go on the second date, which it is. You can’t meet the person you’ll click with if you spend all your time going out with people you don’t click with. Most of the red flags hint at later abuse. No one needs that. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

20 Dating Tidbits Worth Knowing

A recent article by Your Tango summarized the 20 things you learn about dating in your twenties. Curiosity had me flipping through the slide show to determine if I knew these things. Surprisingly, some of them I found out rather recently. Why is that?

People over forty usually got married in their early twenties and often to their high school sweetie. They had very few relationships or dating experiences to serve as a knowledge base. That’s why the dating world is difficult for the mature adult. Single is not something they know. There’s all kinds of rules and expected behaviors. It would be useful to review them.

1.       People in bars are looking for sex, not relationships, and certainly not marriage. (I always suspected this despite all the movies and sitcoms that have the heroine meeting her happily ever after in a drinking establishment, usually the bartender.)

2.       Games don’t work. It doesn’t mean people don’t play them. Some may remember a book called The Rules. This slender book gave info on how to catch Mr. Right. Ironically, it did work sometimes. This, of course, confuses the issue. Games, like lies, eventually get you in a mess of trouble.

3.       You deserve someone who makes you happy. Someone who wants to and does thoughtful things for you. It took me forever to learn this one. My attempts to earn thoughtful behavior failed. Happiness only came after I picked a different type of man.

4.       If there’s no chemistry right away, don’t waste your time.  Whoa! Wait a minute, I disagree. Many a woman has been on fire for a bad boy only to be disgusted by his shallowness days later. On the other hand, people grow up together and fall in love years later. Sure, a person can rationalize why he or she should like someone, which isn’t chemistry, but pure, unadulterated desperation.

5.       Drunk sex sucks. Regret isn’t so great either.

6.       Being someone you’re not is an unending game. Realize that if a person doesn’t think you’re awesome as your authentic self then you don’t need him or her in your life. (Late lesson for me.)  You do have to present the real you immediately.

7.       Save time for you. Too often people become a couple and shelf their friends and interests. Bad deal because eventually resentment sets in over the behavior, even if the partner never requested it.

8.       Invest in the past, cancel the future. People who expect their dates to act like previous dates will have issues with ever getting to the second date. It involves being vulnerable. You can’t compare all men to your abusive ex. On the other hand, if your date is bad-tempered now it will only get worse with time.

9.       Expensive gifts don’t mean squat. As teens, we wanted gifts as a badge of desirability. One man could buy a Mercedes w/o blinking an eye, but it doesn’t equate love or even indicate exclusivity.

10.   Social Media is a relationship killer. Don’t air your grievance aired online. When you do, sides occur, and it grows into a feud.

11.   Oversharing confuses the issue. This happens when you decide to trot out every argument between you and your sweetie to a jury of your peers. Yes, they’ll take your side, making you wonder why you even put up with the jerk.

12.   Respect yourself. People take their cue from you as far as how to treat you.

13.   Dinner & a movie won’t cut it for every date. Eventually one or both of you will decide the relationship is boring and break it off. What you were doing was what was boring. Mix it up, challenge yourself to try new things. Throw in a street festival, dancing, pottery class or two.

14.   Date nights are a must. Now that you’re a couple you have to schedule in us time.

15.   Breakups suck. What’s worse is living with an abusive, apathetic jerk.

16.   Lower Your Expectations. If you’re on the lookout for Prince Charming, he hasn’t been on the radar since the 17th century. He never was since he’s fictional.

17.   Being single is better than being yoked w/a weirdo, player, or an okay for right now guy. Singleness looks better and better sometimes.

18.   Sex isn’t good if you can’t ask for what you want.  Don’t wait a year or two before bringing it up.

19.   Be the bold one. Shy guys might love to go out with you, but they need help. My sweetie was convinced I wasn’t interested because I didn’t give him the signal. I still don’t know what the signal was.

20.   The guy who won’t commit, won’t. Quit wasting time on grooming someone to get them ready to commit. That’s why previously married men are better than never married men in date ability. Their track record demonstrates they will commit. Sometimes, they just won’t connect with you. Accept it and move on.

I’ll be honest and say I didn’t learn at least four of these until the last couple of years. Now days, people stay single longer and date more, which gives them more experiences and reflective periods. They often make their initial commitments at a much later age. It’s not too surprising couples who married young break up as they grow into different people. There is also the phenomenon of grandma and grandpa parting ways because people live longer. In the end, millions of single people are clueless when it comes to dating.

Here’s a few they missed.

Don’t date people for potential or the possibility you can change or train them. Bad deal, people don’t change. 

Rude or bad behavior is exactly that. Don’t make excuses such as a hard day, tired, or drunk. Everyone is capable of trotting out good behavior; failure to do so shows you’re not valued.

Look beyond the exterior. People try to pigeonhole by appearances alone without getting to know a person. People often miss their soul mate because he or she was not in the current popular package.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dating Grades

Ever felt like your date graded you?  A new app may result in you getting a passing grade to get a date. This new app is called The Grade. Women or men can run a dating profile through it. It uses algorithms to determine a grade.

It grades on:
·         Popularity- how many people have liked the profile or responded to it. (Sounds like high school all over again.)
·   The Message-it measures grammar, construction, and appropriateness. The vulgar candidate strikes out big time. The person willing to employ spell check or Edit Minion should do well.
·         If you earn an F, you’re gone.
·         A C grade will net you some helpful hints, rather like a wingman.

This App isn’t out yet. Would it be fair?  Most people should be able to read a profile and decide if the message is good or not. Same with popularity, it isn’t hard to figure a handsome, articulate man would be popular. The hints might be helpful.

The upside is it can scroll through profiles to pick out the best candidates. This would be helpful, especially since many people are relying on personal assistants in the online hunt for a date.  Is this all part of the hunt for the perfect person? Often people have more things they don’t want in a date than traits they do want. Are you finding reasons not to go out with someone? Often they’re legitimate and even instinctual. Are you even dating because you think you’re supposed to? It’s something to consider. Is The Grade a good app or another opportunity to shirk the responsibility of vetting your own dates?

If The Grade passed or even gave a sociopath high marks would it be liable? Con men or women always know what to say and how to say it. Would an app guard you against this? If someone appears to be too good to be true, then common sense tells you  he or she isn't honest or real. Would an app know this this or reward the profile with an A? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Holiday Dating Expectations

Who hasn’t seen one of those sappy holiday movies where the woman rents a man to go home with her for the holidays? Sometimes it is a friend, straight or gay, who plays the part. The message is it’s not okay to be single during the holidays, but it is okay to lie about being in a relationship. Some people reason parents bring it on themselves since they act like being single is a disease, a terminal one.

Males you're currently dating become busy or hard to reach. What’s up with this? Holidays are the measuring stick of dating. The diamond ads show up this time of year declaring only an expensive gift shows love. Television shows feature people going home for the holidays. Singles return home for the holidays because of tradition and guilt including the prediction that it will be some relative’s last holiday. In the end, it’s a fancy meal free. It sounds like the right thing to do. What could go wrong, besides the burgeoning relationship missing in action?

There’s the possibility of a sibling accusing you of being too picky and difficult as the reason you’re not married. Rather than argue, try smiling and agreeing. This takes the poison out of the barb. You should be particular. Explain, if you must, that you’re not living a miserable life surrounded by cats. (This rebuttal won’t serve if you have two or more cats in your home.)

One relative, usually elderly, whose social boundaries are non-existent, will voice the opinion that you don’t even like the opposite sex. If true, this might be the perfect time to come out.  If not true, it might serve to say nothing and let them wonder.

Too often people use marriage as a physical manifestation of relationship success. It isn’t. Plenty of men and women are in dysfunctional marriages.  One reason they stay in these miserable unions is this outdated perception.

Keep in mind; marriage’s original purpose was to keep a family unit together insuring the health of the offspring. Men being visual creatures often wandered off after impregnating a woman. Some religions recognized this tendency and made sure to include the possibility of several wives. Love, happiness, and the simple joy of doing things together usually never entered the picture.

A woman who married well, which translated to money, power, and good connections, was a success. A man who married settled down.  Arranged marriages were to make the best deal for the family, not just the individuals getting married. Marriage also provided an income for the wife who did not work outside the home.

These reasons aren’t pertinent today, but your family still acts as if they are. You have a couple of options. Change the subject. Bring a friend, not necessarily a faux date, but someone to take the spotlight off you. Don’t go, but do something you want to do instead. The last idea is controversial, but plenty of singles host their own celebration to avoid questioning worthy of the Spanish Inquisition.

As for the guy who vanished on you, don’t be too hard on him. He knows an invitation to a family dinner is usually one-step away from a proposal or that’s how your family might view it. Holidays bring romantic expectations with them too, usually of rings in small boxes positioned under a twinkling tree. It isn’t that he doesn’t care for you, but is unsure where the relationship is going. Spending the holidays together can be a big deal. We all have a variety of holiday obligations from work parties to children activities. It’s okay to take a holiday vacation from one another if you’re dating.

Honesty helps too. Relationships unravel during the holiday seasons because of unrealistic expectations. Been there, done that. Don’t expect your holidays to resemble any Christmas-themed movies. Dates do not show up in a horse-drawn sleigh for a romantic ride through the fresh fallen snow.

Be realistic. Don’t do what you don’t want to do because of obligation. Tell yourself before a family visit, your opinion is the only one that matters. Some of you are fortunate to have families who do not pry into you love life and offer unsolicited advice. Lucky you.

As for the person you only dated a few times, do not expect a holiday blowout. A small gift or card is the best route to go.  A whimsical gift is the safer route. My sweetie and I spent our first Christmas apart due to family obligations, but we did call one another.

Don’t wait around for the big date invite to do something over the holidays. You can be the instigator. Have single friends, invite them over for a night of movies, games, and finger foods. Too many people sit around waiting for life to happen to them. Decide what you want the holidays to include and take action; nothing that relies on anyone else to make it happen. Happy Holidays.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Dating Dollar

Romantic Fondue Meal

Dating is expensive if you don’t believe me. Ask someone who invested in finding The One. You can usually recognize the newly divorced because they sport trendy clothes, a new haircut, and possibly a tan courtesy of a tanning salon. The list goes on as far as physical enhancements both men and women can make to their appearance. None of this is free.

You can gussy yourself up all you want and nothing may come of it, except an outflow of cash. How do you get the most value out of your dating dollar?

·         A fancy car won’t do it. Women seldom date a man for his car despite what the car salesman tells you. A clean ride in good repair should do the trick. If it doesn’t, then she’s not interested in you.

·         Know your online dating services. Scandal-ridden smaller firms are guilty of faking profiles to fool potential clients.

·         In this case, you often get what you pay for. Free dating sites appeal to people wanting to hook up or those already in a relationship testing the waters.

·         It isn’t feasible to hang out every weekend at your local watering hole either. Are you seriously hoping to spend money on expensive cocktails and snacks in hope, Mr. or Miss. Right will sashay by. Even if they did, you couldn’t hear them over the live music.

·         It is good to avoid the meat market and pursue an interest such as hiking, bicycling, or even volunteering at the animal shelter. Suddenly, every encounter isn’t a big deal and it is a more organic way of meeting people.

·         Take a part-time job that appeals to you. This helps create a nest egg and give you more opportunity to encounter people. Consider the clientele before applying. Working in women’s fashion will not introduce you to many single men.

·         As a man, you have to spend money to prove you’re serious.  Most women don’t take a man seriously, if he doesn’t pay for the first date. It doesn’t have to be an expensive date either. The reasoning behind this indicates interest. Some men complain they aren't that interested; it shows.

·         After about three dates, a woman should offer to defray costs by fixing a meal or offering to buy refreshments at the movie. You could alternate paying for dates too.

·         Don’t be taken in by online ads that offer to give you dating secrets. Often the advice is common sense and sometimes it is downright stupid. The only thing it is good for is separating people from their money.

·         The best bet for your dating dollar is restraint. If you want to try online dating, then go with one reputable site. Sign up for a limited time between 3-6 months. Every site will hint it will take a least a year. It won’t take a year to find out the company isn’t flush with folks you want to meet.

·         Don’t buy a new wardrobe. Two or three outfits will work for a while, and then you can gradually add to it.

·         Don’t overwhelm your newfound sweetie with gifts. Not only is this expensive, but it will come off as needy. How will you feel when he or she takes off? You’ll feel a great deal worse if you spend a bundle on celebrating a month of dating.

·         Don’t get in the habit of paying your date’s bills or letting him move in until he gets on his feet. This doesn’t create a balanced relationship. Instead, it stirs up resentment on both sides. In the end, you have an adult who can’t take care of him or herself and the person who enables it.

·         Everyone wants to impress their date, but don’t pull out all the stops on date one, two, three, or four. One gentleman ordered a limo for his first date. They arrived at an exclusive restaurant. His actions charmed his date, but she expected similar behavior all the time. When she didn’t get it, she called him cheap.

·         Dating works out better if it is low stress. It is hard to be stress free, when you realized your date’s selection of  an overpriced bottle of wine means the heating bill payment will be late.

·         If you’re on a date, choose meals, movies, activities with consideration. It shows good manners and you’ll be glad you did, especially if your date specifies separate bills.

The dating dollar should have a budget just like all the other fixed expenses in your life. It will keep you from blowing everything in an attempt to capture love. It will also make dating less all consuming and more fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When Your Dating Profile Doesn’t Produce Results

The seventh season of The Big Bang Theory has Raj and Stuart creating dating profiles. Here’s a clip that highlights some of their issues. In real life, the actor who plays Raj is married to Miss India.

In the beginning, Raj struggles to take a decent photo of Stuart.  Your photos create a mental image of who you are. Whoever is looking at that photo will decide if you work enough to read your profile.

Smiling people are more attractive. It also makes you look younger, less solemn.  Taylor Marsh has an interesting twist on this in her online column. A person has to have joy in his or her life before making a profile. Hate your life or your job? It will come through in your photos and your profile. Going out on a date even with a nice person won’t solve anything. Make sure you have something good going on before composing that profile.

On a recent episode of Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey was on promoting his latest movie and dating site, Delightful. In case, you’re wondering Delightful is different in the aspect that people Skype each other before meeting in person avoiding the bad first date. Dr. Phil and Steve Harvey took the challenge of helping an attractive professional who could never get a second date.  They matched her with a handsome, articulate man. Later, they watched the film footage. The woman introduced herself, explained what she was a second grade teacher, and then launched into a ninety-minute litany of doom and gloom. She even managed to hit on her father’s house possibly catching on fire.

Being pretty didn’t outweigh the negative Nancy effect. Let’s face it; no one likes to be around a negative person. Stuart and Raj are both negative about their ability to attract women. Taylor Marsh points out that we’re often negative in our profiles without being aware of it. Little words give you away.

Don’t use hate, dislike, unemployed, illness, death, depressed, snob, and phobia. These words draw a picture of a whiny individual on his or her last legs, not a good dating prospect. Your profile should be upbeat, fun, and about you. Think of it as a commercial for you. Car commercials never point out a car will break down sometimes. They do. It’s a known, but mentioning it wouldn’t be good policy. Same with you, instead of mentioning you get blue in the winter, say you love summer and hanging out at the beach.

Online dating profile is a tricky thing. There are escort services and those in search of a meal ticket with very explicit profiles. Most women know this and don’t want to be confused with these individuals. Makes sense, but they boomerang the other way. Ms. Marsh points out that a woman should lead with her sensual side. Some people think that means putting up a cleavage revealing shot.

That would attract all the wrong types. Contrary to what you see on television, men aren’t looking for women with perfect bodies. They want someone who feels good about her body and is active. This doesn’t mean you’re an ultra-marathoner either. No matter what your age group, no one wants a rocking chair assignation.

Photos in form fitting clothing, even leggings, would work with no obvious display of skin. Full-length photos are necessary.  Some women shy away because they’re afraid a man won’t date them if they carry weight around their hips. Current photos winnow out this type. Do something active and preferably you love.  If you’ve never ridden a horse, sitting on one won’t work. Not only might you look terrified, but could attract someone who enjoys daily trail rides.

Make sure your profile includes activities that two people can do together. Sure, as a single, you sought out activities a loner could do, but it might be hard to interest a man in an evening filled with scrapbooking or playing with your adorable niece, or your cat, Mittens. These items shouldn’t be on your profile.

Finally, consider why you’d reject someone’s profile. Here’s my top five (in no particular order.)
1.       Mentions recent breakup or divorce. ( Not ready to date)
2.       Declares he’ll only date women of a certain size.
3.       Too far away.
4.       Displays bigotry.
5.       Too obsessive about one thing. (Ex: Running is my life. I couldn’t get through a day without running.)

In the end, you want to be confident, happy, and interesting. Keep in mind; you don’t want to date everyone. It’s okay if people pass you over. They weren’t your type.

If you’re on a niche dating site, the ones for people of a certain race, religion, or profession. They will not have as many people as the big sites do. While online dating introduced me to my forever love, there are scam artists out there. If it sounds like a con, then it is.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Can You Be The Perfect Woman?

Is This The Perfect Woman?

Buzzfeed made up an episode about the contradictory information men give on what makes up a perfect woman.  Here’s the video, which sounds a great deal like the Internet sites that promise to make you irresistible to men for 39.99.

A cute girl featured in the video is going to take the advice of average men.
1.       Men love women who look natural. Who hasn’t heard this one? Of course, they describe women made up as more attractive. No wonder the girl puts on more lipstick.

2.       She’s told to be flirty. Apparently, there’s a line between appropriate flirty and too much.

3.       Women are supposed to hang with the guys, act like guy friends, but not have guy friends.
(I don’t understand it either.)

4.       Men like women with a healthy appetite, but then they’re grossed out if you eat too much. Who defines what is too much? Some women aren’t even eating on dates, afraid they might cross that secret line.

5.       Be funny, but don’t act funny. (This assumes men and women find the same things funny. The girl doing impressions could be several women I know.)

6.       Laugh at his jokes, no matter how lame or dysfunctional. (Of course, this means you’ll have to do this as long as the two of you are connected. Scary.)

7.       Seem smart (Notice they didn’t say be smart.) Never act smarter than the guy. (Seriously, well this is a man’s version of a perfect woman.)

8.       She’s told to relax and be herself at the start of the video. By the end of the video, you realize there’s nothing real about her.

For all her jumping through hoops, she’s still rejected by an average guy. Has this ever happened to you? You did everything you thought would make someone happy and he still left you. Women who’ve undergone plastic surgery for demanding husbands are left more often than women who do nothing.

Over half of the United States adult population is single. With that in mind, probably someone’ll see you as perfect just the way you are.    

Can't wait to see their video about the perfect man.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Breaking Up is Harder for the Nice Girl

Even though, I've used the scenario of a woman breaking up with a man. It can also be a man breaking up with a woman or a woman breaking up with another woman too. Using he or she all the time in a sentence gets awkward.

Have you come to the realization that man you only been out with a few times, isn’t the one for you. There’s also the possibility he hasn’t asked you out, but could. More likely, you’ve been dating for a while and you’re not becoming the couple you’d envisioned. Instead of doing things you both enjoy, it’s an all him relationship. You do what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. A visit to Dr. Phil will not cure you because he has no reason to change. Unfortunately, many men believe women are similar, which means the threats of you leaving, won’t change his behavior.

What if, you’re a non-confrontational person and can’t even get to the point of breaking up. It’s not that you don’t want too. You’re afraid of hurting his feelings or in my case; the man simply wouldn’t accept it. Here’s some tips for women who are much too nice to tell the guy to hit the road.

1. State your intentions and then leave. There’s no rebuttal. He doesn't get to plead, negotiate, or explain his side. Walk.

2. Be honest. The nice girl, which is what you are if you’re reading this, may have built up her date/man by saying she enjoyed being with him, what fun they had together, etc. He doesn’t know you have nothing in common and his jokes are lame.

3. Act bored. This probably won’t be hard to do if you already decided you don’t suit. No man wants to hang out with someone who finds him boring. This puts breaking up on him. Warning: he may decide to stick with a bored woman rather than being alone.

4. It’s all about your friends. Suddenly, you have no time for him because you have to go out with the girls, every night or at least whenever he wants to go out.

5. The boyfriend lie works best with guys you’ve only dated once or not at all. Men you’re already dating will accept that your ex is back in contact with you. After all, they’re dating you, why wouldn’t an ex want to see you. Keep in mind; this lie could be outed.

6. Hide from him on social media. Block him from seeing your messages or even if you’re online. He’ll get the message.

7. Avoid common places you used to go. If he knows your schedule, he’ll be waiting for you there.

8. Don’t take his calls, texts, or email. Any contact is encouragement.

9. Be seen with another man, even it is your cousin or your best friend’s brother.

In the end, you wonder why a man would want to go out with someone who wasn’t into him. Seriously, how long did you date after you realize it wasn’t working? People keep dating when it’s not working because they don’t see anyone better or they don’t want to be alone. Dating can be work and they’re not in the mood to start the cycle again. It could be the man is just as anxious to break up with you. With this in mind, honesty can be you best policy, but stay away from lame lines like, “We can still be friends.”