Saturday, April 19, 2014

Men's Relationship Test Primer

Men have at one time or another wondered if women ask questions to test them. The simple answer is yes. How can a man know how to answer questions appropriately to either begin or strengthen a relationship? Well, the first option is to have several failures and eventually get a clue. The second option is to learn what the questions really mean.

Often logical men think the truth would be the best answer. That depends on the question and the reception the wrong answer will bring. Imagine you’re out on a first date with a woman who you think has long term potential and she asks the dreaded question after your bouncy waitress leaves. Or maybe she queries you after some hot woman saunters by your table.

Q: Do you think she’s attractive?
The inappropriate answer would be yes, even if it’s true.

Declaring the woman is ugly won’t help either. It’s an obvious lie. A simple shrug and something about her being okay or different, but not your type, works best. Then follow it up with something about why your date is your type.

In truth, she wanted the reassurance and tested you to see if you had a roving eye. Unprepared men shoot themselves in the foot with their answers.

Another question masquerades as not what it appears to be.

Q: What are you thinking about?
Most women don’t want to know if you think your jeans are too tight, or that you’re thinking about some centerfold model. Truthfully, they can even accept that the man is thinking about nothing. What they want is your attention. A man can turn the question around and ask what’s on her mind instead.

The ultimate question is when the light of your life shows up and announces with a big smile, “Notice anything different?”

Trust me. There is something different. It could be a new hairstyle, outfit, or even something as small as a new nail color. It probably won’t be obvious to the male eye. Your best reaction is to tell her she looks great.  If this is accompanied by a hug and kiss, she might overlook the fact she was showcasing the bleach spot on her shirt left over from your turn at laundry. Remember these questions are an invitation for positive attention.

The most feared question is, "Do I look fat in this (insert whatever she’s wearing)?”The woman is inviting you to look at her body. She knows exactly how she looks, but she’s giving you a chance to comment. The perfect answer is something along the lines that she looks great in whatever she wears. Keep in mind, the average woman believes being overweight is undesirable. The man who concurs she does look fat may end up eating alone.

Often men ask questions and women give cryptic answers. A birthday, Christmas, or another special event is coming up and a well-meaning man asks for gift suggestions, but gets a shrug and a comment about not bothering. The man might be jubilant since he’s off the hook as far as shopping.

Your failure to buy a gift or the right gift could end a budding relationship. Women expect men to know what they like and make a dedicated effort to pick out a suitable gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a thoughtful gift earns big points and demonstrates why you’re a keeper.

A man thinks he’s stuck his foot in his mouth because his date is acting peculiar.  When he asks if anything is wrong, she replies, “No, nothing.”

It could be nothing. Your best bet is to not make a big deal out of it. If it is a big deal, the woman will eventually tell you.

Why do women test men? Women generally value relationships more than men do. They obtain value, stability, and happiness from the pairing.  With this is mind, they don’t want to waste time on a man without potential. Women also initiate 70% of breakups and divorces when they believe they’ve made a mistake. With this in mind, men can use all the help they can get.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Tinder Experiment

A recent article about on The Huffington Post had me re-evaluating the state of dating in the US. For those who haven’t heard, Tinder is a dating app. It features a photo or photos with a 500-character description, which is the equivalent of three plus tweets. The person viewing your picture places an X on it if she doesn’t like the profile or a heart if she does. Instant notification happens when someone you hearted has hearted you.

The article, written by dating coach David Wygant, explains he developed a profile to try the app out. He considered himself a decent looking man and appealing to the opposite sex. Wygant hearted several local women. Some older than him and others he deemed as attractive as him. There were those he believed would check him out in a public setting and even younger women who preferred older men. He got exactly zero hearts back. After heart-ing dozens of women, Wygant received no likes on his own photo. What was the deal?

He wasn’t looking at models or actresses, but ordinary women. However, each woman rebuffed him.  The earnest male has just entered the world of women.  No matter how smart or funny women are, the hip to waist ratio ends up as the measuring stick.

The ironic thing about this article was that women might be applying the same extreme standard of attractiveness  that they’ve complained about men using.  Here’s a handsome man who knows how to write a good description because he’s a dating coach, but he gets nada. It also gives him a feel for what his clients are experiencing too.

Then there’s the possibility that he was too good-looking or too smooth in his description. There are plenty of posers with attractive photos whose only goal is to separate a woman from her money. The woman in question could have dismissed him as not real.

Meeting someone you’ve never met and know nothing about takes courage or stupidity; it depends on whom you talk to. Women as a whole want to know more about the man than the tiny Tinder profile allows. The meeting is for the exchange of information, but it looks like very few people ever make it to the actual meet.

Then again, the dating coach isn’t exactly anonymous. Maybe a few women googled the picture and wondered if they’d be part of the next article or lesson. Inadvertently, they actually were.

Wygant could have checked the article on Global Grind  about why women swipe your photo to the left to figure out if he was guilty of any the dating app stumbles.

He finally ends the article with a comment about Tinder being something for people in their twenties. Maybe it is. Still, it cuts out much of the initial flirtation, the meeting of the eyes, the shy smiles, casual hellos that mean something more. This is all lost in a fast food approach to dating. A woman might pass on a man whose smile isn’t wide enough or his eyebrows need grooming. 

Your Tango gave three women’s POV in another blog. Two weren’t that interested since they had heard men used the app only for sex. The third woman discussed going on about a dozen dates that never developed into anything.

Going back to our dating coach, you have to wonder if the women he hearted just felt they were a booty call.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dating Weirdness

First, I should specify what some people regard as weird, other people think is okay.

1.       The Sneak Date - An associate or co-worker invites you out to a movie, concert, or event, claiming they invited a slew of other people. No one else shows.  

2.       The Embellisher - This person pads out their profile to impress or deceive. Is claiming to have one child, when in truth there’s five, as bad as listing your occupation as international spy on your profile? People would usually think the second was a humorous tactic.

3.       The skinny photo - Most people do wish they looked the way they did in high school. Posting an old photo won’t make it happen. You’ll just end up with someone who is close-minded enough not to go out with heavy people and isn’t afraid to say so. Post realistic photos.

4.       The Drive-by date - This is a guy or girl who only wants to meet at a coffee shop and specifies you wear a particular clothing item such as a red shirt. This allows the difficult dater to drive by and eyeball you before deciding if they will even do you the courtesy of stopping.

5.       The Email King & Queens - These people seem like great people and write great stuff.  The only problem is you never ever meet them. They could have crippling shyness or a spouse.

6.       The Persnickety Single (the female version) - This woman only will go out with men at least four inches taller and makes more money than she does. Instead of being a rarity, she is more of a staple in the online dating world.

7.       The Persnickety Male - He believes he deserves a supermodel despite the fact he’s no model himself.

8.       The Male Whore - He often treats dates like prostitutes.

9.       The Pitiful Date - This can be a man or woman who has endless tales of a horrible childhood, abusive relationships, and crazy bosses. He or she might even throw in a chronic disease and suicidal thoughts for good measure. Run fast.

10.   The Cheapskate - This is usually the man since he’s stuck paying for the first date. Even cheap men realize they have to shell out money for a date. If you don’t mind dining during happy hour to get free appetizers, sneaking in your own movie drinks, lying about your age to get discounts, then you met your perfect match.

11.   The Hallelujah Dater - It never takes too long to discover that your date is a walk down Salvation Highway when you thought you were going for pizza.

12.   Meal Dater - Some women have more interest in a free meal or event than their date.

13.   Unrealistic Expectations - When you reach middle age 40+, you look your age, but some people are horrified when their dates do too. Go look in a mirror sometime, especially in the morning.

14.   The Bait and Switch - A man who posts photos in his profile of him standing beside a corporate jet, expensive car, or yacht giving the impression he’s the owner. Sure, he’ll attract the gold diggers who’ll drop him as soon as they discover he isn’t the actual owner.

15.   Group Photos - Men readily admit that they look at photos before reading the profiles. Profile photos composed of numerous group photos is shooting yourself in the foot. First, it is hard to pick out the profile owner. It also implies that the person can’t stand to be alone, which may be off putting to more introverted males.

16.   Male Group Shots - The woman wants to imagine herself beside you. It is hard to do when your arm is wrapped around a buddy, an ex-girlfriend, or a Vegas showgirl. There’s a chance she thinks your friend is the guy she’s dating and is disappointed when you show.

17.   The Party Animal - Most people are anxious to make a good impression on a first date. The person who drinks too much on the first date is a party animal or more simply put, a drunk. The ultimate lure of wanting to look good in front of a desirable stranger wasn't enough to curtail the drinking. Get a clue.

18.   The Kissy Face Photos - No one looks good doing this. It is rather like those photos that make the dog’s nose look huge using a fish-eye lens.  A recent survey found men on online dating sites have complained about the kissy face photos because it distorts the female face and makes it ugly, not sexy.

19.   Social Media Snooping - Some people feel the need to tell everything they do via social media. It is an investigative tool. Don’t feel the need to give out your social media handles immediately. The downside is if things don’t work out you’ll have to disconnect or ban your defunct Romeo from contacting you.

20.   Cell Phone Monitoring - This is when your date or significant other is constantly viewing your calls or texts with or without your permission. This shows a lack of trust.

There are probably hundreds of others. Remember to not prejudge your dates, but to expect the best. Treat them how you’d like to be treated. People don’t automatically find someone they click with. Dating takes work. Having said all this, make your safety a priority. This applies to both men and women.