Friday, October 23, 2015

The Flirting Theory

Does flirting get you better service, jobs, or even a better cut of beef? This discussion came up recently at work. Most believed they received benefits due to their flirting. It also comes down to what you define as flirting. I was raised to be civil, helpful and pleasant. If someone asks for the time or help in finding a particular item in the grocery, I would never consider my assistance as flirting, although some people would.

Flirting can consist of making jokes, direct compliments, teasing that prolongs a conversation beyond its natural limits. Most sales people will flatter the customer pretending an interest they don’t feel.  My sales training focused on how to friend the person creating an affability to make a sale. The service person, server, or car salesperson really isn’t interested in you. Depending on their policy, they could get in trouble for not smiling or wishing you a pleasant day.

Several co-workers insisted they received better service by flirting. Most of the time they got the same service everyone else did. A perusal of a magazine meant for restaurant owners and employees listed the issues servers had with customers. Number one was flirting. Most of the time the young server was creeped out by men or women old enough to be his or her parents flirting them up. Especially icky was when customers leered, made comments about the server’s appearance, or even mentioned coming back again. It sounds a great deal like stalking.

Why do people bother to flirt, especially in the presence of their spouse or significant other? First, they have a captive audience with employees who can’t say anything negative at the risk of losing a sale or possibly their job.  The would-be Lotharios set out to prove to the significant other that they are still hot. While the server ducks back into the kitchen to get their order, the flirter might even go on about how intrigued the waitress was. When in truth, she’s relating the hackneyed lines to the amusement of her fellow workers.

Secondly, it is a no-risk situation. The flirter doesn’t have to worry about rejection because, as the buyer, he or she holds all the power. The intention was never to pick up someone, but just to build up some self-esteem. Doing this in front of a significant other guarantees the safety aspect. It also means that the person serving the obnoxious flirter may have a few choice descriptions uttered only after the tip is rendered, and only to fellow servers.

Occasionally, there are people who deliberately flirt to irritate their spouse, provoke jealously, or even start an argument. It makes you wonder what benefits they hope to get.

As for the salesperson who is the victim of this unwanted attention, it is a form of harassment. If a person were genuinely interested in the employee, and the server felt likewise, then it would be an entirely different story. The flirting would serve its natural purpose as opposed to trying to cop a free appetizer.

Often, employees will play the flirting game. An example is giving the offender free pie as if it were a special gift between the two of them even though the restaurant had a free pie policy. This results in the flirter tipping more in the belief he received something special.

Back in the day, when I was waitress, a single, older man was usually a guarantee of a big tip if played appropriately. It kind of makes you wonder who is playing whom?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Has Romance Died Due to Technology?

BBC historian Lucy Worsley recently rocked boats when she declared romance was dead thanks to dating apps. More and more people are using smart phones to hook up. A possible swipe to the right depends on superficial looks and a clever tagline. Actually, neither have to be authentic to get a first date. No worries about the second date because that isn’t happening. Most likely bored singles are looking for diversion in their busy lives, not relationships, and definitely not romance.

Romance is complex and often takes time. An initial interested glance encountered at the coffee shop or at work results in follow-up events. These incidents can be as simple as a hello or a smile. Eventually, an invitation is offered after weighing the pro and cons of doing so. If the date goes well, there is a second one, and the gradual road to getting to know one another. A few of us are old enough to remember the excitement of a growing flirtation, the specialness of a date request, even the importance of the first kiss.

With applications such as Tinder, people are little more than interchangeable units. There is no specialness when there seems to be an unending supply of people to pick from. In the end, some people showcase better than others, which only proves they’ve mastered smoke and mirror manipulation. It doesn’t really matter if the person isn’t single, a jet pilot, or former Olympian since he or she has no plans to stay around long enough for it to matter.

This type of throwaway dating is destined to cause bitterness. It is no wonder that other apps have shown up to allow people to rate their dates. The forthcoming Peeple app allows people to report on dates, sexual performance, bosses, and restaurant servers. Someone in a funk could lambast an ex, his or her boss, and the barista at the local coffee shop. While it is supposed to improve service in the service area, it will eventually bully or humiliate people.

So why is romance dying a swift death? It could be that people always assume what is new is better. Fast food wowed people with convenience but worsened the health of the consumers. Smart phones are not only contributing to the lack of memory skills but are taking people out of the moment. A recent photo at a popular movie premiere illustrated that fact with everyone either staring at their phones or attempting to take pictures for future viewing. Only one lone woman seemed content to be in the now.

Is romance dead? Sadly, it may be for twenty-something adults who had cell phones before they could even drive. Dating is about getting to know someone. You date until you realize you wouldn’t work as a couple. Most people can do this by crawling through each other’s social media.

Traditionalists will still meet for drinks, make plans for dates, and answer the phone when called. Others will only read tweets replying when they feel like it. For some people, romance didn’t die because it never even existed.  
Want a copy of the first Dating After Forty-Eight book for .99 or win $40 Amazon GC? Click here to find out more

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looking for the Mythical Better Catch

I'm back. I took a break to put together my first Dating After Forty-eight book. It's available on Kindle for .99 right now. The price will go up in October.

There’s always someone better right around the corner. Right? Online dating companies would love us to think so. Remember their business is not to help you find that long-term relationship, but to keep you dating. A person who lays down hundreds, even thousands of dollars, is a much better deal than a person who joins briefly and settles down with one of his dates. There’s a lot going on to make us dissatisfied with whomever we are with. A commercial culture continually pushes us to want more. Consider if you decided, where you lived was good enough. You were content with your car. The clothes would last until they fell apart. Realtors, car lots, and several stores would go out of business if everyone shared the same mindset. Instead, we balance ourselves on the delicate edge of not wanting what we have because it might not be enough or the right stuff.

The Tinder culture assures us that dating one person is the loser way. There’s always someone hotter out there. All you have to do is look.  Is that someone hotter the right person for you? Does the mythical better person want to go out with you?  Are you going to dump someone you enjoy being with for intangible what ifs?

Ask yourself these questions about whomever you’re currently dating.

Does he or she make you happy?
Can you be yourself with him or her?
Are you your best self when with your current flame?
Is he or she supportive of your dreams? Better yet, have you shared your goals?
Have you introduced this person to your friends or co-workers? (This is a sign of pride and that you don’t want to hide your relationship.)
Can you see this person in your future?
Do you have shared interests?
 Do you have similar goals for the future?
Is he or she easy to be around?

If you answered yes to five or more than, you have most positives than most people in relationships. You’re willing to give that up for someone who probably doesn’t exist.

Think again before you abandon a cool fellow. A recent book, Date-onomics by Jon Birger, details how professional women are easily outstripping their male counterparts. Most people want to date someone in their economic and educational background, but fewer men are graduating from college. Although, on the other hand, if you can see yourself dating a non-college educated guy they’re out there too. Would they be okay dating a woman with more education and possible earning ability?

There are areas where professional women are much more common than men, such as New York City. Author Jon Birger points out when the demand outstrips the supply, men can be very selective. This results in more friends with benefits situation with the men demonstrating little desire to settle down. Why should they when they have endless opportunities to date? Because the well-groomed, articulate male is at a premium, especially in some locales, he insists on the best. You may think you’re the best because that’s what your previous guy told you so. It doesn’t mean other men will share the same opinion.

Considering all this, should you give up on your current relationship? Well, here are some other questions to ask yourself.

Are you forced to act a certain way when around this person? (In other words, you can’t be yourself.)
Do you experience ridicule or harassment in the relationship?
Does your partner cheat on you?
Does being with this person stress you out?
Do you continually give 120%, while your partner occasionally contributes 10%?
Do you hide your relationship from others?
Is this relationship financially draining you?
Are you deeply unhappy with this person?
Do you have nothing in common?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, then you might re-evaluate your situation. Perhaps you could discuss some matters. Remember it is often better to be alone than be with someone who destroys your self-worth.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Internet Dating Advice: The Good, The Bad & The Stupid

Playboy Playmate Ciara Price Posing Next to a Victory Motorcycle
( This is the fantasy)

Ever click on Internet dating advice featured in the side column of whatever article you’re reading? If so, you’ve run the gamut of generic advice of dressing well because you might meet The One at the dry cleaners or while you were pumping gas.  I even read one column where the woman suggested giving out a Let’s Have Coffee card to any interested man you might meet while waiting for your espresso or shopping for groceries. She did explain you should get a prepaid cell phone with a number that is no way associated with your actual name or identity. This all sounded like too much work. It also smacked of a bad reality news story. How do you know the man you’re chatting up in the fast food line isn’t a douchebag or a serial killer?

Good question. It’s hard meeting people despite the census insisting that there are more single people than individuals involved in relationships. With this information, people think it should be easy to meet potential companions. When they don’t, they turn to the Internet, which mostly gives dubious advice.

A good example is a recent slide show that mentioned what men preferred. It included women faking an accent, preferably upper crust British. If she can’t handle this, the woman should go with a French accent.  How long is the woman supposed to pretend? One woman commenter summed it up by stating the guy should date a British chick.

The article went on to say fear turns men on. A woman who wants to make her man hot should scare him. I’m sure men threatened with a gun or machete by their current girlfriend don’t find it very attractive. The advice seems idiotic to most people, but not to those who are truly desperate.

One of my favorite ones was a woman who wants to up her desirability by riding a motorcycle. Apparently being perched on a bike would make her desirable. Seriously, this would involve a significant expenditure and would also endanger your safety. This rationale has sold thousands of motorcycles to men who believed they would be irresistible to women astride a crotch rocket. It also explains the upswing of sports cars sold to both men and women over forty.

If a man or a woman prefers someone who rides a motorcycle as opposed to anyone else, then it is more a fetish. The same people who will only date individuals of a certain height, race, or occupation, are objectifying their date. In other words, they don’t have that much invested in the relationship and can interchange people easily.

Odd things can attract people, but they don’t always keep people together. Do you want someone who you can’t be yourself around? Can you keep up a fa├žade for the rest of your life? Probably not. Be careful taking advice that forces you to be someone you’re not.

Other columns will encourage a man to rent an expensive sports car to impress his date. This ranks up there with the accent. How long will this last? Many men practically spend themselves into the poorhouse by providing escort to expensive events and trips they can't afford. In the end, they only have a woman who will leave them once the spending stops.

Is all Internet advice bad? No.  Sometimes, it is based on who is giving the advice. Is the advice giver somewhat like you? A young, male blogger can’t give workable advice to middle-aged women. He hasn’t been there and is unaware of the issues these women face. Most men will read information from male bloggers and vice versa. Keep in mind; people write from their own viewpoint.

One slideshow about what men love featured thirty different men talking about what they liked about their significant other. It included a woman baby talking, one who loved video games, another one enjoyed his girl friend’s lisp, and still another liked the fact his wife could beat him in arm wrestling. As you can see, the traits were particular to each woman.

This list is both meaningless and meaningful. Something one man likes doesn’t transfer automatically to all men. All those lists that tell you to wear stiletto heels and talk dirty might scare off men who are long-term relationship material. Men who are faking a bad boy persona aren’t getting what they want either. They get dropped by women who want real bad boys and ignored by women who would have been good matches.

How do I know this? I tried faking a British accent. Couldn’t do it. It required too much thought and practice on my part. It didn’t really attract anyone. In the end, my sweetie enjoys my own accent, no matter how country hick I might sound.

As for my darling, he tried following Internet advice. Didn’t work. He even went for the sports car, but it did not result in women throwing themselves at him. As for me, I know so little about car models I couldn’t even identify it.

If it makes sense and doesn’t compromise who you are; go for it. Simple instructions such as smile more, get out more, try out things you’ve always wanted to do without waiting for a significant other to appear is all good advice. Decide what will work for you, but always be yourself.

When you try to form yourself into someone you’re not, all you end up with is someone who is not attracted to you, but to the image you created. No one wants that.

The Reality for Most Non-bike Riders

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Investment Dating

Those of you who are in the dating market do not think of it as an investment unless you consider the payout being a devoted companion by your side. Some see dating very much as an investment. Most of us see it as an expense, a large one. There’s the financial outlay of an online dating account, keeping up appearances, which can include salon visits, gym membership, and a new wardrobe. Then there’s the actual date itself, which you may or may not pay for, but you do spend gas or transport money to arrive.

One column, not mine, brought up mercenary daters. I thought I’d highlight a few and throw in a few of my own.

1.       The Job Related Date - This person is willing to date you because you are the gatekeeper to a job he or she wants. In the old days, starlets earned their movie roles on the casting couch. They may still, but it’s less obvious.

2.       Dinner Date - This is a very hard one to pin down since most people go out to dinner. You can go out to dinner and not want to see the person again. How do you differentiate? If your ability to provide food is your primary attraction, then your date will be specific about what types of food he or she wants. Often, they’re expensive restaurants. At times, you’ll feel as if you’re on a fine dining tour of the city. Other tells are never meeting friends or family, and not extending the date past the dining portion. In other words, if you never get past the front door you’re a meal buddy.

3.       The Hanger On - No worries about this one unless you’re famous. This person cleverly inserts herself into a celebrity’s life. Ever wonder why so many famous married men end up with the nanny? Rather odd, considering there are thousands of women out there. In most cases, this was the nanny’s original intention. There are other ways to work your way into a celebrity household, as a stylist or a personal assistant. These jobs don’t require a degree. All they consist of is a few references, motivation, and lots of moxie.

4.       The Groupie – This is like the previous person but has a much shorter shelf life. These glammed up people stay after the concert hoping to meet the star as opposed to stampeding for the exits like everyone else. Sometimes they do, but their shining moment seldom lasts more than a night.

5.       Social Climbers - These people know the social register and choose their dates accordingly. It has always been easier for women to date up. A beautiful girl could always marry up the social ladder, but recently this hasn’t been the case since like tends to marry like. This is a tricky one too because if someone is from a different economic background, it doesn’t mean he or she is dating you for yours. In fact, yours might even be a sticking point. A telling move is when they want to attend all the high profile gatherings and name-drop it into casual conversation with others when they do.

6.       The Classic Gold Digger – This is a bombshell or the hunky man candy who doesn’t have anything in common with their affluent, older date. They’re in it for the money only. Keep in mind; their date is in it for appearances and is willing to pay the price. When I made my obnoxious rich man dating profile, I was shocked by the number of gorgeous young women who contacted me. Instead of wanting to make a love connection, they only wanted a sugar daddy one. It’s equal opportunity time with younger men crooning about how much they love older, wealthy women. (They never mention the wealthy part to their date’s face.)

7.       The Possession Date – They want the use of something you have. It could be a plane, a yacht, even a motorcycle. It doesn’t mean he or she wants this item independent of you but likes the concept of using it. To some degree, it is a fetish. A man with a yacht is hot; same man without a yacht is boring.

8.       Trophy Wife – This is a bit of a stereotype by now. Often people assume trophy status when they see mismatched couples. The truth is men marry more for looks while women marry more for personality and earning capability. You really should know if you’re in a trophy type of relationship.

9.       Travel Bunny – A person who has the ability to travel anywhere with you at any time. Translation: doesn’t have an actual job or does not intend to keep one. This free spirit can go wherever the plane takes him or her as long as someone else foots the bill. Travel is his or her aphrodisiac. Of course, this relates to glamorous international travel, not visiting industrial sites stateside.

10.   Sports Fan - This person is another form of a groupie but confines herself to athletes. The athletes exert a type of magnetic pull. Although an injured athlete garners no interest unless it looks like he might play again.

There are a dozen dating sites out there for women to meet wealthy older men. With names such as Gold Digger, Sugar Daddy, Millionaire, they aren’t exactly subtle. Participants should be well aware that love isn’t what they’re trolling for. For those who aren’t on these sites and feel like you’re being used, listen to your instincts and your friends.

If you think you are being used, then you probably are. The majority of people bend over backward to develop stories about how wonderful their date is no matter how untrue it is. Dating is work at times. It isn’t a continual party as many of your married friends think it is. In the end, we want a date to work out. However, if you’re being used, eventually you’ll be used up.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Online Dating Illusion

Ironically, I read two different blogs in one week about how online dating creates the myth of excess and turns online daters into people who can never be satisfied. How you might wonder? Most dating sites work very hard to give you the feeling that dozens, maybe even hundreds of people are out there, ready to date you. This is so much better than dating your best friend’s second cousin whose wife divorced him to pursue a mime career.

Online dating offers us a smorgasbord of dating hopefuls, which is quite different from dating decent, but uncharismatic individuals. It is certainly better than reconsidering former relationships. 

Depending on the website, some will let you specify the height, body type, eye, and hair color, along with religion and income. Instead of finding someone within your socio-economic bracket, it becomes more of a Weird Science project where you create your ideal person.

This illusion causes many participants to drop perfectly acceptable individuals under the belief there is someone better out there. Why waste time on a decent, ordinary person. Surely Captain America or Wonder Woman is right around the corners. Dating website advertising features attractive couples gazing at each other in a besotted manner. Any member who isn’t in such a relationship assumes it is right around the corner.

The result is a failure to create and maintain a long-term relationship. The seemingly endless choices make people anxious to experience all the flavors of the dating world.  Okay, what’s wrong with this attitude? Does anyone out there understand advertising? Ads present things as people want them to be, not as they are. This would explain middle school boys dousing themselves in Axe cologne hoping to attract the female of their choice. Instead, the girls gasp for breath as they hurry past the cologne-soaked Romeos.

A few things you should remember about online dating.

·         Advertising shows only happy outcomes. You’ll meet some people who are jerks. A few won’t even show. Others you’ll wish didn’t show.

·         Not every profile you get is an active member.

·         Most likes, winks, or pokes do not result in a date.

·         The person you’re chatting with is flirting with several other people too.

·         Due to technology, people often disappear without a word.

·         25-38% of people online are married. It depends on the site.

·         People lie online. The neural surgeon with his own plane may actually be a security guard.

Why mention these things? For one reason only. If you meet a person online that you like and are compatible with, cherish him or her. You are the commercial! Unfortunately, statistics shows that dating can be a bit like gambling. The small dating jackpot isn’t enough. Many feel like they can do a better. In the end, they may wish they stopped when they were ahead.

I consider myself very blessed to meet my own sweetie. I didn’t have the desire to keep dating to see if there was anyone better out there. After dating for about three years, I knew there wasn’t. A few people will never accept that Mr. Perfect isn’t right around the corner.

We are all imperfect individuals. Why we feel as if we merit perfection boggles my mind. Having said all of this, don’t keep dating someone who doesn’t click with you. Just be careful you don’t toss away someone wonderful in an effort to date all the dates available to you, acting similar to a dieter in a candy store. The dieter gets indigestion, which passes faster than regret.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Attractiveness Spectrum

Whom we view as attractive changes for various reasons. When I was in junior high, the guys were obsessed with the girls who developed the most. With advertising featuring cleavage-baring models, it is easy for women to think cup size is all that matters to a male.  Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, pointed out in her book, What Every Woman Should Know about Men, is that developing boys are insecure about their sexual identity and tend toward the obviously developed female because she makes him feel more masculine. Grown men who feel confident in who they are don’t date by cup size, boys do. Age doesn’t always make the boy either.

Life journeys change opinions too. A popular song described an unemployed bad boy as the singer’s next mistake. Women with children and careers are so over unemployed or underemployed men. They have enough going on in their life, than to deal with one more child. A career, financial stability, and willingness to go to more family-centric events ups a man’s attractiveness quota.

Single fathers place intelligence on the top of the list of characteristics they want for a future wife and stepmother. Face it; they already have one child to raise. Instead of a high maintenance diva or a brainless bimbo, the single dad needs someone who can think for herself and be a good role model. He also wants someone whose friends are kid-friendly. In other words, he doesn’t want scantily-dressed females with a fouler mouth than most sailors hanging out around his children. Such a woman might have been fun in college, but tastes change.

What we need colors how attractive we find someone.  Men with money are natural babe magnets. The obvious reason is they represent the life women are accustomed to or the life they believe they deserve. Although, many people think money is an end-all, it isn’t. Many rich people are immensely unhappy because they obsess on their money and what they perceive as people trying to take it from them. Often they have no clue how to have fun.

Being fun is a precious commodity. Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri, was inconsolable after his death. When asked what was so special about her husband, she replied that he made life fun. This was obvious from his shows. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone fun as opposed to someone who took himself and life too seriously? Never mind the conspiracy theorists or the embittered folks who are sure they’re being shafted, somber Steve can be a buzz kill too.

 Along with being intelligent and fun, adaptability is very attractive, especially if you have a first responder-type job or children.  Everyone knows at least one person that everything has to be a certain way and if it isn’t he or she melts down. This is not a person who will understand work emergencies. An unexpected crisis at work is a deliberate smack in the face. A sick child or child-related event is a devious plan perpetrated by the child.

If you believe all the hundred of media images, then you’d believe that only perfect people can find love. Only size two women and men with six-pack abs are deserving of a relationship. Not true. While the buffed guy might be the go-to character in rom-coms, he isn’t in real life. A great deal of gym time, diet, and personal adoration go into creating the eye-popping body. Most women prefer men with love handles as opposed to their ripped brethren. The simple reason is the ordinary man spends more time with them. The body-obsessed males often make dates feel insecure about their own bodies.

Surely men prefer thin women to those not so thin? Right? It depends on what you consider thin. A UK woman, Yvette Castor, developed two different dating profiles using photos from when she was a size ten and a size eighteen using the same personal information. Even though Yvette is a beautiful, curvy woman, she chose to use photos that gave her a double chin in the eighteen profile. She discovered the thinner profile received more interest. No surprise there, but what did surprise her was how much interest her large profile received. Even more surprising were the types of men that clicked on the larger Yvette. For the most part, they were well spoken, ordinary men with jobs, rather like those who clicked on the thin Yvette. Here’s the link to read the full article.

Often the feature that makes people appealing is confidence. Yvette freely admits that as a bigger woman she is more confident than when she was younger. People who are okay with themselves are naturally more striking. At a racetrack, I witnessed this phenomenon when the top jockeys finished for the day and waded into the crowd of people. Several women attempted to engage the men’s attention. A couple of taller women snagged the jockeys as they moved into the restaurant area. Of course, the women could have already been their wives or girlfriends.

The commercial world makes millions keeping us insecure about our looks, our car, even our job.  In the end, an intelligent person, who can adapt easily to situations and occasionally laugh about it, and accepts him or herself is much more attractive than a super model. Probably one of the most overlooked but desired characteristics is how interested the same person is in you.

It’s not an impossible list. Sure, you’ll meet men who want a single digit size woman. There will still be females who list six foot or taller men only need to apply. That’s their issue, not yours. These poor deluded individuals expect a soulmate to come in a specific package, which means they’ll have plenty of alone time to reconsider.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Keeper Checklist

There are more single adults in the United States than married adults. It should be simple to find the special someone with so many choices. Right? If you’re reading this blog, it might mean you’re finding the search difficult. It’s not just you. Probably one of the nicest women I know has similar problems. She’s even written a blog about her most recent dating experiences.

Another friend always has a new romantic development whenever I visit. Usually, she’s thinking aloud if she should continue to see the guy she’s currently seeing. I’m quick to point out if she’s wondering then she already knows the answer. How do you really know if a man is worth keeping? Here’s my perfect 21 ways.

(For my male readers, I think this list can work for women too. Reverse the pronouns and you're good.)

1.       He doesn’t borrow money from you even if he pays it back. Boys can’t manage their finances. Adult men can.
2.       He pays attention to you all the time. You never wonder if he’s listening to you. He’s able to get you the perfect gift because he notices what you like.
3.       He not only can carry on a conversation, but also can raise thought-provoking points.
4.       He reads something other than the TV Guide.
5.       Good surprises include him cooking dinner, watching your pet when you’re gone, or love notes hidden in unexpected places.
6.       He’d rather be beside you than anywhere else.
7.        He doesn’t make plans without consulting you since you’ll be a part of them.
8.       Even if you’re wearing sweats and no makeup, he still thinks you’re beautiful.
9.       He doesn’t have the need to flirt with the server, the hostess, or any other women.
10.   Not too surprising, he has no need to lie because he’s not a cheater.
11.   He not only asks about your day, but also is supportive in your ventures.
12.   He gets along with your friends and family. This is a dedicated effort because a few of them are very nosy and abrupt. Another couple are just weird, but they’re your family.
13.   There is a feeling of comfort and safety with him. No ‘I wanna be a racecar driver driving’ that has your heart racing along with the speedometer imaging certain death. He never threatens your stability physically or emotionally.
14.   He has a sense of humor, can laugh at himself, and is able to make you laugh.
15.   He’s not into game playing and never makes you cry.
16.   He’ll eat the broken cookie, leaving the whole one for you. It’s the same thing you did for previous boyfriends who never even noticed. He’s all about the little thoughtful things.
17.   He has wonderful manners. (Disclaimer: Opening the car door is followed by a request for rent money because he’s short this month doesn’t count. This is textbook example of being played.)
18.   You truly like him and being around him. It seems somehow easier to love people than like them. Consider how many past relationships, you loved the guy, but in the end didn’t like being around him. There is some truth about being friends first. It’s also the reason you are never really friends after you break up because you never were to begin with.
19.   He has no issue saying he loves you, but you already knew that.
20.    You can trust him. He never makes promises he can’t keep.
21.   He makes you feel like a woman, as opposed to his mother, or one of the guys.

You noticed I didn’t mention being 6’ tall or thick, luxurious hair. Often six-pack abs don’t come with excellent conversation. My sister believes that movie-star handsome men don’t have to be faithful because there’s always another woman waiting. 

 Is your fellow not a keeper? Then stop wasting time your time trying to transform him into what he’s not.

My second friend who kept dating good looking ‘boys’ finally met an excellent man. Ironically, people kept trying to match them up for the last year. She kept refusing the fix-ups because she thought he wasn’t her type. Her surprise came when she discovered what she thought was her type wasn’t what she really needed.

Normally, I’d say with a checklist that it’s not possible to have all these traits, but this time it is possible. The list is the traits of a stable man who has his act together. It is also the sign of a man in love. You may not see all these characteristics immediately because the relationship has to progress before you notice them.

If you already have a man who exemplifies these, then you are blessed. Don’t make the mistake so many do thinking there’s someone even better around the corner. They take off chasing an attractive shadow only to find it gone along with the man they left behind.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beware of the Whiner Date

The other evening my Sweetie took me out to an upscale restaurant to celebrate my birthday. The hosts were all dressed in formal black as were the waiters. White tablecloths bedecked the table while votive lanterns gave out dim circles of illumination. The clientele spoke in hushed voices, well aware of the expected behavior in such an environment. There was one exception though, the woman in the booth next to us.

  Apparently, she was on a date with an older gentleman. A very patient man who listened to her complaints about the weather, the restaurant, and almost everything else. The man managed to keep an upbeat attitude, trying to be solicitous of the woman’s wants.

We shared the same waiter and were pleased with the service and the food. It was the best seafood and steak we’ve ever eaten. Not so, for the woman next to us. She told the waiter the food was inedible and she could cook better. I can imagine her date shrinking into his seat. Even though we ate in the same restaurant, had the same or at least similar food, we had two vastly different experiences because of the attitude of our dining companions.

Would the beleaguered man go out with the cranky woman again? Many would consider that he wouldn’t, but I wonder since they were an older couple probably in their late sixties. Unfortunately, many senior citizens excel in the art of complaining. It might be hard for the congenial fellow to find a less whiny person, but if he did, he’d certainly be appreciative of her.

This brings me to the topic of this blog, The Whiner Date, which comes in many forms. This date can take the form of the ridiculer, who questions your every decision with a raised eyebrow or even a joking comment about it. The unsubtle message is you’re not okay the way you are.

While some people may chuckle about people donning rose-colored glasses, a few people sport negative glasses. Nothing pleases them from traffic, other diners, the wait, preparation of a drink, and the list goes on. It is emotionally draining to be around such a person.

Whininess is irritating. The date undergoes emotional equivalent of nails on the chalkboard when his or her companion whines. A whiny date undermines the companion with complaints. All the date knows is that it is an uncomfortable experience.

An episode on Dr. Phil profiled an attractive professional woman who couldn’t develop a relationship. The show spied on her after arranging a date with an attractive professional man. Snippets of the clips showed her date trying hard to be engaging, but she had a downer comment for everything. It’s surprising her date didn’t bail.

Dating is nerve-wracking enough with many daters second-guessing their every move. A companion who criticizes everything only ratchets up the tension, which contributes to an unpleasant experience. Most people can’t put into words what was wrong with a whiny date besides not feeling it.

Remember when on a date, it’s not a gripe session. Traffic could be bad or your food might arrive cold, but there’s no reason to comment on it. By complaining, the inference is your date could change it. Somehow, the date bares the responsibility for your unhappiness, which is not a good place to be.

When the date ends, what might have seemed like a great date to the whiner is an eventual close for the person who paid for everything the date found fault with, which means it wasn’t a good investment. I think back to the man dealing with the whiny woman seated next to us. My Sweetie and I enjoyed a leisurely dinner with dessert and coffee, but the couple still sat at their booth as we left. It takes a great deal longer when you have to whine about everything.

My grandmother always reminded me not every thought that passed through my head needed to fall out of my mouth. Too bad the woman next to us didn’t have a similar granny.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The World of Ghosting

Have you ever heard of ghosting in reference to dating? I hadn’t until now, which is ironic considering I’ve been ghosted and maybe guilty of it myself at least once. What is ghosting? It’s simply vanishing into thin air with no explanation. It’s easy to do in this world of digital communication.

Phone dating apps along with online dating allows daters to keep a certain distance. Even though the idea is to bring people closer, it creates cyber walls to hide behind. The first instance of this is your matches on an app or an online service. Let’s face it, no one responds to all their matches, especially if you receive dozens. I’m not even sure the same people are matched, which makes you wonder. A woman could receive a match, which is far from her stated requirements. He could live across the country or be the wrong religion. Naturally, the person deletes the match. There could be someone wondering what why Cindy in Louisville didn’t like him. Sending a note that she’s not interested is more work than she wants to do. Besides, it seems more hurtful to say you’re not interested than to do nothing at all. By doing nothing, the person can assume your account is inactive. All is all it isn’t that bad.

The second level of ghosting happens after you establish contact. The people involved both liked what they saw on an app or a dating profile. They text back and forth, maybe even call, then one person cuts contact. No reason, no preamble, they stop calling. The other party waits, gets up courage, and sends a random text. Nothing. It is the cyber equivalent of being stood up. It is a common practice that most people don’t need spelled out. If the snubbed party continues to text, he may find himself blocked. Often if communication had moved to social media, the abandoned party can watch the various dating exploits of a potential beau. Not sure, if it’s more hurtful to be defriended than to be so unimportant that the ghoster is unaware you’re on his social media feed.

The third level happens after a date or two. We date to discover if we like people. However, many people don’t even want to take the time to do that. They insist on coffee dates that last mere minutes. A few even do covert drive-bys or walk-bys to decide if they even like the way a person looks before introducing themselves. It shouldn’t be too surprising that people go incommunicado after a date or dates. Somewhere along the line, they decided it wasn’t working rather than actually explain this in person on in a note; they vanish similar to an apparition.  While this is easy, it is incredibly inconsiderate. The ghosted individual could become frantic thinking an accident occurred.  Eventual sightings of the ghost leads to the realization of instead of being in intensive care, the former date is a member of the callous jerk club.

Ghosting can go to amazing heights too. A friend of mine had a long-term relationship with what I would term a needy man. One day he disappeared off the grid, she wasn’t even sure he was in the same country.  After weeks of no contact, she saw on social media he’d changed his status and was dating again.

The most famous example of this odd phenomenon is Olivia Newton John’s former boyfriend Patrick McDermott staging his own death. Thousands of dollars and countless tears went into the search for the man, who resurfaced years later in Mexico. He didn’t do breakups well. He proved ghosting can be done without using social media.

Blogger Taylor Davies in her dating manifesto declares she’s desensitized to the behavior since it happens so much.  Current dating is more of a game of hide and seek. Our reliance on technology is part of the issue along with distance. We meet people we never would have met if we dated only in our general neighborhood, school, or place of employment. Running into former dates isn’t an issue.

Ghosting says a great about the person who does it.  Once you’ve started communicating, a simple explanation is appropriate before disappearing. If the person continues to contact you, then it is okay to cut contact. If you dated and the other person thinks you’re in a relationship, then you definitely need to say something even if it is a text. Often people walk away from first dates with no plans to see each other. Should you make this clear? That’s a quandary.

I’ve heard of some people being very specific why they’d never date someone. That’s going overboard. If the person inquires, yes you should be clear as opposed to ignoring the message. By not being clear, the person builds up a pseudo relationship with a ghost.  It is as if the missing person is lost at sea, but could return at any moment. The ghoster might discover on social media he’s in a relationship with the woman he hasn’t talk to in weeks.

There’s always an exception to the rule. The person who doesn’t quite get that you no longer want to see him or her no matter what you do.  It reminds me of the Adele song where the left woman still shows up on the married guy’s doorstep demanding to know why he never thinks of her. Ghosting
would definitely makes sense in that case. Moving to a new zip code, changing your name, and dyeing your hair would work too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Grand Gesture

Ironically, I get many of my dating terms from television shows, although the idea may be universal. The Grand Gesture stems from doing something unusual or showy to demonstrate how much you like someone. Despite the term, which I borrowed from The Middle, it doesn’t have to be huge.

 A co-worker, friend, or associate you’ve been crushing on for a while mentions a love of Girl Scout cookies. Ah-ha! You might think to buy her or him a box, but that might be too much, especially if the feeling isn’t reciprocated. Instead, buy a box and offer some to the object of your affection. Most likely, he or she will take the cookies and then will develop a pleasant association with you. The association will be at a deep level of the subconscious where you represent something good. This opens the door for bigger steps such as a coffee date.

The cookie ploy might not work. What if he or she refuses the cookies? Right now, it could because of Lent or a diet. It could also be part of the Dobler/Dahlmer theory best explained by Ted from How I Met Your Mother. John Cussack made the character Lloyd Dobler legendary by holding up his boom box outside his ex-girlfriend’s house as it blasted their song. For those who never saw Say Anything, it regained him the affections of his ex. This scene earned its place among cinematic grand gestures. Right up there with Rhett scooping Scarlett up in his arms and carrying her up the staircase.
Several men have probably parked themselves outside of a former girlfriends’ house blasting Foreigner or REO SpeedWagon songs. Half of these lovelorn individuals had the police called on them or the family dog chased them away. The other ones reunited with their love, if only briefly. 

The difference lay in how the serenaded felt about it. She could have wanted to get back together. The gesture could have even charmed her long enough to forget why they broke up to begin with.

Those who didn’t fare as well had the Dahlmer effect named after serial killer, Jeffrey Dahlmer. Any grand gesture big or small icked the individual out because there was no interest of ever being involved. Everyone remembers someone from their past trying to flirt, maybe giving them an unwanted gift. The initial reaction could have been surprise that somehow this undesirable individual thought he or she stood a chance. They were undesirable simply because the feeling wasn’t returned. 
If they continued the behavior, then it became weird and stalker-ish.

Of course, it would have to be at a noticeable level. This noticing factor can be difficult, though. Beautiful women expect men to do things for them. After all, they do. Men open doors for them, volunteer to carry packages, compliment them, even buy them drinks. Most men would think these are gestures, but to some women it’s what men do. They also stop and change flat tires when a hot chick is stuck on the side of the road. They roam the hardware store to find that doo-hickey needed for the ceiling fan to work. It may be super hard to get the office beauty to realize you’re gesturing at all.

However, a person who is already interested in you is aware of everything you do. Even to the point of giving it connotations it may not have. If your grand gesture isn’t remarked on, there’s a good chance it wasn’t welcomed. You’ll want to cool it then to avoid becoming the creepy guy or gal.

Men often buy advice online from men who bill themselves as pickup masters only to find themselves slapped or a drink thrown in their face. The easy answer would be the girl wasn’t into the guy. How could she be when she’d never met the guy before? The more likely answer is those techniques seldom work. Even if the female did have some interest, using those tired scams would kill it.

Often we’ll hear someone wax fondly about what her beloved did to gain attention. We might think the gesture was cheesy, silly, or contrived. Not too surprising since we are not interested in their beloved. Whatever the action, it will make the person a Lloyd Dobler in their eyes. Lloyd’s actions were fitting for a teenage in love. I suspect it wouldn’t work as well for a fifty-ish man.

Once you suspect your grand gesture has icked out your intended, stop immediately. One more word of advice, never ever put your grand gesture on social media. Besides thousands of people witnessing a fail, it will never ever go away. Rather like the guy proposing on the kiss cam only to be rejected. He’s probably rethought that action a few hundred times by now.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Signs of a Potential Abuser

Think Abusers Wear Highly Identifiable Masks?

The incidents of dating violence and violence against online daters has risen measurably. It's important to know what to look for to avoid being a victim.

An abusive manipulator comes on initially as all charm, compliments, and gifts. Most women will regard this grooming behavior as proof he isn’t controlling or abusive. In fact, he’ll consistently tell the woman everything he does is out of love. This is also the favorite line of the abusive woman. She may even go so far as to tell the man he’s the one with the issue or needs counseling. Of course, if you’re involved with an abusive woman, she’s not nearly as generous with the gifts as the man is. If at any time you wonder if your date or mate is an abusive, then you already know the truth. If your friends mention it, it must be bad because most manipulators try to look good in public. It helps bolster their lie about how well they treat you. Avoid this type at all costs.

If three or more apply, then you’re in danger of abuse or already in an abusive relationship.

·         He or she wants an immediate relationship after meeting once.
·         Irrational jealousy
·         Controlling. Needs to know where you go, who you met, how much money you spent, wants to see the receipts.
·         Unrealistic expectations. This refers to you meeting his or her every need in the relationship while looking fabulous.
·         The abuser sees him/her/self as the victim. He or she never takes responsibility for personal actions.
·         Hypersensitive, which results in taking everything personal
·         Critical of you.
·         Use religion or culture to control ex: Women must be submissive to their husbands.
·         Tells you what to wear, even buys you clothes with the expectation you’ll wear them.
·         Subtly criticizes your friends & family. Invents events or illness to try to prevent you from seeing them.
·         Resents any hobbies or outside activities you might have. Finds ways to curtail them.
·         The two of you never do anything you want to do. Your favorite restaurants, activities, etc. fall by the wayside. You might even make plans to do something you want, but it is cancelled due to illness, work, or some other convenient excuse.
·         Mood swings that appear to have no perceivable trigger. With this person, you’ll constantly be walking on eggshells.
·         He or she is cruel to animals. Doesn’t understand the concept of pets. If a pet is around, they could be keeping a dog for hunting purposes or a cat for mice control.
·         He or she makes violent threats such as threatening to punch someone who cut him off in traffic.
·         Guilt trips when you decide to do something you want to do.
·         Humiliating or embarrassing you on purpose.
·         The two of you go out with his/her friends, then excludes or ignores you.
·         Refuses to talk to you, nor answer your calls or texts, to punish you
·         Withholds affection. This can run from refusing to hold your hand to being locked out of the bedroom.
·         Uses the I love you, but…. statements that tack on a criticism or a desired behavior.
·         Makes everything your fault
·         Threatens suicide if you leave.
·         Constantly calling or texting when you’re apart. This isn’t love, it’s checking up on you.
·         Flirts with other people in front of you. Laughs it off if you call him or her on it.
·         Cheats.
·         Uses sarcasm, eye rolling, and belittling terms
·         Knows your insecurities and makes mean jokes about them.
·         Uses control statements. Example: If you don’t go with me to Hooters, then I won’t go to the Spring Fashion Preview. He never makes it to the fashion preview.
·         Uses money to control behavior.  In the beginning, it can be not having money to do activities you want to do to finally controlling both your finances to prevent your needed departure.
·         The abusive partner may also threaten your pet or child to insure desired behavior.
·         Plays mind games. Insist events never happened making the victimized partner question his or her sanity.
·         Intimidates with guns, knives, or other weapons. This can be as subtle as showing or loading the gun.
·         The person forces sexual acts you don’t want.
·         Slaps, grabs, punches, pinches, and then blows it off by calling it teasing.
·         Destroys your property or forces you to dispose of a beloved item.
·         He wants you to have sex with him all the time. When you’re not there, you must send sexy pictures or provocative texts. This is more about ownership and control as opposed to passion. Reasonable people know you have a life outside of them.
·         Disappears for days without any explanation or a weak excuse such as: I had stuff to work on.

In the end, it is all about control, not love.  If you feel like you’re doing things you don’t want to do, Stop. Don’t give your controlling mate a chance to reform because he won’t. Many a person has been sucked in by the I’ll change story, followed by two weeks of good behavior. Make an extraction plan. If you’re not living together, it’s easier to get out.
1.      Change your phone number, email, etc.
2.      Defriend him or her on social media, but go silent for about a month. This person is canny enough to friend your friends to cyber stalk you.
3.      Be unavailable. This might involve not being at home, or not answering your door.
4.      Make a list of the abusive behaviors and incidents to remind you why you left when you feel lonely.
5.      Do something you’ve wanted to do, but denied yourself.

If you’re living with someone, it will be harder because they’ll be hyper aware of everything you do, but it’s do-able. If you work, call domestic abuse hotline from work or a public place.  Get together your license, social security card, and other personal identification for a quick exit.

If you’re ambivalent about leaving an abusive partner, look at these stats.  Men suffer abuse too. One out of seven men are in an abusive relationship. The figure jumps to two out five when the man is involved in a homosexual relationship. Abuse isn’t just a female or hetero thing.

I’ve been in abusive relationships and have been alone too. Alone is so much better. It allows you to gain the wisdom and distance to recognize a good, functional relationship.