Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If Women Ran the Dating World

A new dating app called Siren is all about not letting men view the posted photos. Instead, women control access to the profile pics. Too many women complain that men they don’t want to know fixate on them based on their photos. On the other hand, an unflattering photo causes a man to ignore the woman.

The game plan is to get men to know the woman through text interaction. If, and when the woman wants to, she can reveal her photo. They might even meet without the woman ever showing her photo. Men can react to a talking point. A woman can choose a man whose answer she liked best. This is supposed to be more authentic. Some men will be better at this, especially literate men, and those who spend a lot of time in their heads. This doesn’t translate to being a great date though. It is similar to people who can ace job interviews, but never actually do any work once they’re hired.

The premise is men base their reactions on photos, and not the actual person. This is true to a certain extent. When I asked dates what we had in common, I often drew blank stares. They’d never read my profile. Men do look for types that appeal to them. They aren’t necessarily looking for a beauty queen. Many are looking for non-supermodels types, well aware of their own ordinariness. Women assume men want drool-worthy women, but they really want someone in their own league who won’t leave them.

Would women go for men that didn’t reveal their photos? I did. I conversed with two gentlemen who didn’t want to show off their photos immediately. Most people assume if a person doesn’t reveal his or her photo they must be an ogre. Not true. Out of the two men who wouldn’t post their photos, one was an average guy, but the other was model worthy. Ironically, their cloak and dagger attitude scared me away from both of them. My immediate reaction was, why not show a photo? Unless they were already in a relationship.

Dating websites advise both men and women not to post photos with other people. The potential date wants to imagine how he or she would look by your side. It’s hard to imagine this, when the place is already taken. Harder to imagine it when there is no photo.

Women work to make a style statement. Everything from their hairstyle to their shoes tells people if they’re practical and down to Earth or trendy or in between. Not too surprising, a trendy guy would be attracted to a trendy girl. The photos establish some connectivity. If a man started a conversation with a woman he hadn’t seen and it went well, the belief is when they meet all will be well because their minds united first.

Ever watched the television show Catfish? The basis of the show is people meeting on social media and falling in love with an image.  Often, they have no photo, a much younger photo, or a photo of someone else. Even though some of these people communicated every day, depended heavily on their Internet friend for support and direction, and often continued the relationship for years, actually meeting for the first time destroyed the relationship.

The usual culprit is the person didn’t match the image in their head. This same issue occurs often in social media. Some people are good at manipulating their image via text or cleverly worded answers to a prompt. When you meet in person, it’s as if someone else showed up.

Siren users will have these same problems. There’s a good chance that they’ll weed out some of the creepers. Then you have to wonder how many men will be willing to put their profile out, complete with photos to be ogled and discussed, while the women reserve the option not do likewise. Will the women meet a better caliber of man? They could end up with fearless narcissists who are incapable of believing that every woman doesn’t want them. Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are You Invisible in the Dating World?

Why is this woman ignoring the man? Could be she doesn't really see him
or has already classified him as not important. He doesn't stand out in her mind.
She's heard it all before. He could benefit from being authentic as opposed to stale one-liners.

An article by William Mize started me thinking about why people don’t meet appropriate potential dates. It’s because we’ve made ourselves invisible in several different ways. It doesn’t mean that we’re not a catch; it just means people never look at us or spend enough time around us to notice.

William Mize theorizes in his article that men over forty are invisible. Think of teens and college age males often wearing odd outfits, talking loud, posting endless selfies online, and constantly active. Plenty don’t do these things, but they don’t attract attention either.

 Consider your wardrobe. Does it attract the eye? Many women would be shocked to discover how much more noticeable they’d be by wearing something feminine or with some color.  My own sweetie lived in a world of beige, khaki, navy, and black. Not bad colors, but they caused him to fade into the woodwork.  After I gave his wardrobe a color boost, people started noticing him, especially women.

Be different somehow. What is different about you? A radio show on online dating discussed that online profiles tend to run together since people say the same thing. Almost everyone talked about loving life, long walks, and laughter. One DJ pointed out that everyone likes those things so it’s a given. If you are an astronomy buff or remodel period houses, mention it. Sure, not everyone will find that fascinating, but the right person will. Update your online profile monthly. It will give you more opportunity to meet different people.

Be realistic. Many RomCom movies feature a woman chasing after a man out of her league, while a perfectly acceptable man stays unnoticed by her side. In the movie, she eventually realizes what a treasure she has in the man next to her, not so in real life though. Mr. Mize pointed out if you’re a forty something man with kids, then your best bet is a forty-something woman with kids, not her twenty-year-old daughter.

Some women complain that they never meet any nice men. First, they don’t go places where nice men hang out. Instead, they frequent clubs or bars with reputations as meat markets. People looking for a one-night stand frequent these places with absolutely no intention of settling down or even revealing their last name.  Nice people go to their children’s sporting events, have hobbies, are gym members, and sometimes, church members. They get out of their house and go to the library, street fairs, farmers’ markets, and events.  Single people are everywhere, except your house. Staying at home will not put you into contact with a potential date.

Most people want companionship. It’s not very much fun to eat alone in a restaurant or attend a movie solo. The fear of rejection is what keeps many people from trying.  True, you might talk to someone on the elevator and it goes no further. Consider it practice. Go places, do things, smile at people, and make casual conversation.

Negative self-talk keeps us from being bold. Remember your younger self, or channel the smooth operators you envy. They aren’t any better than you are. Most of the time they have a lot less to offer, but what they do have is persistence and a strong ego.  Dating or just finding a date is a numbers game. Unfortunately, too many people accept lackluster relationships because they found one person willingly to date them.  Expect more, realistic more, not super model more.

Are you blending into a beige landscape? Do you avoid making eye contact or talking to strangers? Do you dodge events or avoid going out because you have no one to go out with? When you do go out do you layer on the makeup and squeeze into revealing clothes? This can be as off-putting as not being out there. The person hoping for a relationship sees the façade and assumes you’re not his type. This applies to the men too. Of course, their version might include too tight pants, toupees, and jewelry worthy of a rap video. The most important thing you can do is be yourself. The second most important things is take yourself out, talk to people, smile. Go outside your comfort zone. It is a scary place, but that is where your potential dates reside.

What he's doing right includes being out where he can be seen and smiling.
If one of the women looks back, she'll see his interest. She might keep walking,
or find another reason to pass by his table.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Love Hurts!

Ever wonder why intelligent people go back with exes who treated them shabbily? Could be that they’re lonely or time away from the ex makes him or her seem less horrible. Maybe they’re a rotten judge of character. Actually, it is more than that, according to an article in A New Mode.

1.       Often we think the man or woman is irreplaceable. Reminds me of Beyoncé singing Irreplaceable, which is about a woman who knows her boyfriend is cheating on her. He throws back that she’ll never find anyone like him.  Forget your ex, there’s plenty of people just like him or her. Ironically, we always think we won’t meet someone else as good. Sounds like some brain washing might have occurred during the relationship.

2.       You sold out. You did things you never thought you would do. You compromised your standards to please a difficult ex. It is hard to deal with a breakup, but most of the pain comes from how much of you that went with your ex. Pieces of yourself that you willingly invested in a dubious relationship can’t be retrieved. Many men and women think by getting back together they can salvage a relationship or at least their credit rating. Nope. It is an opportunity for more of the same.

3.       It’s infatuation. Infatuation doesn’t allow you to see a person as he or she is, but rather as you wish they were. Infatuation blinds you to reasons why a relationship was never long term, even though your friends may have mentioned this a time or two. You somehow miss the flaws and behaviors that cause a union between the two of you to be a no-go.

4.       You miss how you feel with him or her. It’s the feeling, not the person. A wife of a bigamous husband confided she missed talking with her husband at night about what went on during the day. She missed that closeness, not necessarily the two-timing rat. Most people miss having a significant other to go out to dinner with, movies, and events.

5.       He or she was your whole life. You hear people make these type of statements, but it is often true. Many a woman or man lost contact with friends or family by putting their energy and time into a relationship. Hobbies and activities that used to part of your life fall by the wayside.  Often the left partner has given up almost every aspect of their old life to be little more than an unpaid assistant and bed warmer.  It’s hard to get back to a life when you threw almost all of it away.

In summary, you see the pain is real and lingers. Getting back together with your ex won’t fix it. A temporary reunion might happen, but your willingness to have your ex back means you’ll only be hurt worse when he or she leaves again. Some couples engage in relationships where they break up and get back together numerous times. That’s not a relationship; that’s hooking up.

Breakups hurt. Even though your friends have plenty of advice, from getting back into the dating pool to a spa day, the truth is it takes a while to recover. Many people, instead of doing the work they need to recover, rush into another marginal relationship.

Breakups, divorces, even the death of a spouse is not something you get over in a couple of weeks. Here are some things you can do to speed up the process.

·         Cut all contact with the ex if possible. Don’t be friends on social media. Don’t ask friends about him.
·         Don’t talk about your ex…even if it is a bitter rant. Two weeks is your time limit before your friends get bored of the breakup summary.
·         Develop your life. Do things you want to do. Don’t wait to be part of a couple.
·         Forgive yourself. We’re all guilty of doing things we wish we hadn’t while chasing love.
·         Remember to love yourself, which is probably the most important thing to do.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

He's not into You Checklist

Are you wasting time on a man who just isn’t interested? Flashback to high school: A boy spoke to you in class or the hallway and an entire scenario evolved where he was crushing on you. Of course, if this was someone you didn’t secretly like, your perception would have been very different.

Now, you’re an adult and you don’t play those mind games with yourself, or do you? Maybe you’ve been out on a date or just ‘hung out’ with a guy that you liked. I hope that you haven’t changed your status on social media already. Maybe you’ve confided to your best friend about the wonder of your new man. Your friend has the nerve to question your man’s intentions.
Instead of calling her jealous or mean, go over this checklist first.  

He’s not into You Checklist
1.       He doesn’t ask questions about you or your life. People date to find out about other people. They’re trying to see if the person would make a good companion or spouse. If he’s not asking questions, then he’s not interested in seeing you on a permanent basis.

2.       He disappears off your radar screen. You don’t hear from him for days, then he texts you with a sweet note about seeing each other. He brushes his missing in action behavior away as work or being too busy, but he thought of you though. Seriously, do you ignore someone you care about for days at a time?

3.       Many times a first date is almost like a PR opportunity where the man explains all the things that are great about him. All the reasons you might want to date him. A man who’s not into you guards his information. He doesn’t want you to know  where he works, lives, or friends. An overly needy woman might track him down.

4.       He waits too long to make the next date. Most men try to set up the second date on the first date. They will at least hint at it. A man who doesn’t call immediately isn’t interested. Men are well aware that a desirable single woman isn’t on the market long and make a diligent effort to secure a follow-up date if interested.

5.       It’s almost impossible to tell if he’s interested in you. Remember, men are a competitive species. They are the hunter. His goal, if interested, is to secure your affections and keep other men away. He wants people to know the two of you are attached. If you keep wondering if he’s interested in you, then you answered your own question.