Sunday, January 25, 2015

How Gender Myths Hurt Your Dating Potential

What gender myths do you believe? You’ve heard them. Men are strong and silent while women are chatty and social. Men are only interested in sex, while women want a good provider and father of future children. Men lie and women deceive. Bad boys score while decent men are left in the dust. What if everything you thought you knew was just a lie, a myth created by some forgettable person, but the power of the myth lives on, crippling people in search of a meaningful relationship.

Most of us have heard endless tales of how nurturing and wonderful women are, being natural mothers.  Several crime stories of mothers who not only abused and killed their own children, but also attacked other people’s children made us rethink the natural assumption that all women would be a good mother. Judges continue to award custodial rights to women who aren’t fit mothers. One reason is men aren’t considerate caregivers according to current beliefs, but plenty of men have taken the role of the stay at home parent, chaperoning playgroups and supporting home life.

Another myth is the bad boy always gets the girl. Sometimes, this is true if it mean he gets the girl for one night or on the short term. Often women even marry the bad boy, but soon abandon him when he proves an unworthy partner or parent. On the other hand, the stable man tends to attract a long-term relationship. Television and media lionized the player, but seriously, there is nothing worse than an aging player cruising a bar.

Myths, urban legends, or whatever you call them, have a purpose, but not information or truth. Often it is to support a viewpoint by whoever created them. A recent study indicated that men had no issue being committed or faithful, especially with a limited supply of women. The general purpose besides love was practicality. Why take a chance on a good thing by shopping around? It makes sense. If men were the hopeless players they're characterized as, then they wouldn’t be able to stay in a relationship.

Women initiate over seventy percent of divorces in the United States, but not always for cheating or abuse. Often the man’s only crime is being ordinary, not the romantic movie hero. Not quite what you see on television. Often people, who should never have married, do. Men are more willing to tolerate a mediocre marriage than women are. Not quite the image of the middle aged husband chasing after the young intern. It doesn’t mean that some don’t, but not enough to make it a fact.

Does this make you wonder what other myths you believe without any actual proof? Proof is relative. If you have a bad day, then a negative filter changed the everyday occurrences. The same day, looked through a positive lens, is totally different.

Are you judging people based on a combination of myths and stereotypes?  The man you never heard from didn’t call because he was commitment phobic as opposed to the mixed messages you may have sent. It’s easy to dismiss people according to accepted myths. Rejecting someone before they can reject you is an excellent way to prevent emotional hurt. It also keeps you single.

There are men who want a serious relationship. Another myth buster is high earning women who are the breadwinners in the family. It’s odd we can accept this one, but have an issue believing men can be loyal and committed to one woman. It’s amazing when you think about it because millions of men do just that, but you never hear about them. What’s up with that?  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Get Your Dating Mojo on for 2015

January 4th is the biggest online date join up ever. Online dating giants track this information and realize it is the Black Friday of online dating. No wonder they offer free weekends at the same time your relatives are prying into your love life or the lack of one. Unlike Black Friday, if you missed one day, all is not lost. All those thousands of people who signed up are still there at least for another month or more. Before you jump into the pool expecting endless winks and dates, you need some info.
1.       Choose your online dating service wisely. Many smaller firms have less to offer. Decide if a specialty dating site is for you. Do you have to date someone who is Jewish, a farmer, over 50, or an avid golfer? If not, you might go for the big guns such as Match and eHarmony. They’re better known and have many more people to peruse.

2.       You are the product. With this in mind, market yourself well. First, think of yourself as a prize, not some lonely loser who needs a date. With this in mind, pick a username that reflects positive qualities and will stay in someone’s mind. Often companies allow taglines. Make yours unique. “Looking for my last first date” was good the first time, but now it’s trite. Ask friends for help.

3.        Grammar matters with both males and females. I realize most of you aren’t hoping to attract a writer or an English teacher, but the use of texting terms or failure to employ full sentences immediately gets your profile trashed by around 60% of potential dates. The simple reason is you don’t care enough to take the time to do it right.

4.       Be specific. The generalized “I like people, animals and sunsets” might earn you a place in the Miss Teen USA pageant, but doesn’t go far with real adults. If you like astronomy, mention it, as opposed to just stars. If travel is your thing, mention where you been and where you might like to go.

5.       Then there are things you shouldn’t ever mention in a profile such as:
·         Your love for your pets. (Assumption: crazy cat lady)
·         Collections of anything from Smurfs to Star Wars figures. (This translates to lonely loser who spends all their spare time on Ebay.)
·          How your children or faith are first in your life. (Immediate thought is there is no place for a relationship.)
·         Recent weight loss. (Even though you’re proud of this, your date will think you’ll be no fun as far as dining out or you’ll balloon up to your former size.)
·         Recent divorce or break up. (Any mention of this in your profile or on the date lets people know you’re not ready to date.)

6.       Profile Photos. Every site you go to will tell you something different. Some will say yes to outdoor photos, others, no.
·         Do have a close up with you smiling
·         A full length shot
·         2-3 casual shots with a mix of full length and close ups
·         Be well groomed
The don’ts are much easier to list.
·         No mirror or obvious selfie shots
·         No shirtless photos
·         No shots with friends
·         No photos with a drink or cigarette (It looks like you can’t put either one down)
·         No cut down shots where you’ve snipped your former mate out of the photo
·         No out of focus or dimly lit images. (Looks like you have something to hide)

Realize people will be looking for a reason to message or not message you. Even too many photographs of non-related items such as the beach, the sunset, your car, or a bird could be all it takes. You are the product, not what you own, where you’ve been, or even your Jet Ski. The Jet Ski isn’t looking for a date.

7.       Have realistic expectations.
·         Not everyone you think is a good fit will think the same about you.
·         Just because you received a profile, doesn’t mean the other person received yours. Be proactive. Wink, send a note, do something. The worse that can happen is nothing.
·         Silence happens. Often you don’t get a reply to your wink, or someone doesn’t answer after initiating the response. Anything could be the cause, from the membership ran out, shyness set in at the possibility of meeting, or connection with another member worked out.
·         Don’t give up if you don’t meet someone significant immediately. I winked at my own sweetie and didn’t hear from him for a month. His membership had run out. Even when I met him, I didn’t know he was the one until about three months later.

8.       Stay safe. Everyone has heard horror stories of online dates gone bad. Truth is people your cousin fixed you up with can go horribly wrong too. Most of us have the common sense to intuit when something isn’t quite right.
·         Use a nickname
·         Give a general location, as opposed to neighborhood or town.
·         Develop an account just for receiving dating emails without your actual name in it.
·         Photos should not have identifying items in it such as home address or work logo.
·         Agree to drive separately to a public place for the first meeting.
·         Go with your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, you’re under no obligation to continue the date or communication.

Be positive. Expect good things. We usually find what we are looking for. Good luck to all of you in 2015.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

What Are Your 2015 Dating Resolutions?

The Huffington Post published a very insightful article about why women aren’t getting what they want from a dating relationship. There was much backlash from people who didn’t like it. Upset, it didn’t fit their parameters of dating relationships. You can read the article in its entirety here. The long story short is women engaging in attention-getting behavior to attract men, devaluing themselves in doing so. Anyone saying what yet?

·         Women are increasingly desperate in their actions from sexting, allowing a man to move in without the benefit of commitment, trying to act out various scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey, and sex on the first date. All in the belief this will magically translate into utter devotion on the man’s part.

·    Women aren’t acting as if they’re important. Instead, they are engaged in questionable behaviors, chasing down the elusive commitment. At times, it seems like a buyers’ market and women are willing to do anything to catch the buyer’s eye.

·         Moving in does not signal the desired commitment. For the man it is cheaper with  shared or no rent and guaranteed sex. When things don’t work out, he has no issue leaving because he has the belief there are plenty of women to cater to him. (Not sure how much validity there is behind this belief.)

·         Before thinking there are so many women out there ready to allow a guy to move in, make a sex tape, have his way paid, step back and consider if you want this kind of a man? Are you looking for a loser who will suck all the vitality and hope out of you before moving on? Are you constantly involved with people of this caliber? If so, you need to change your game plan.

·         Expect more. You’re worth it. Looking back on my own history, I went out with a series of users. Treated me bad, no matter how good I was to them. Nothing changed until I understood what was going on and I discovered the power of NO. Sometimes, it was, “No, I won’t go out with you,” to “No, I refuse to allow myself to be treated in that manner.”

·         Steve Harvey in his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man refers to the chirp-chirp girl, who jumps into a car when the man activates the key fob. Steve discovered when dating his wife she refused to get out of the car until he came around to open the door. She showed him she was worthy of respect. Most women vault out of car believing they aren’t worthy of respect.

·         Consider the last year. Do you regret the time and effort spent on non-viable relationships or just dating? Know when to cut bait. Often we continue seeing people that have no possibility of ever developing into anything, or into anything good. Dating just to be dating often jades you and gives off an air of desperation, and not confidence, of a sought after female. A confident, content woman can enjoy her own company, turn down inappropriate dates, and never ever stalks her ex on social media.

·         If you are looking for a long-term relationship, expect it to develop slowly. That’s how real life works, not a bit like a ninety-minute movie. Magazines, movies, even songs idealize love at first sight, falling in love in a week, chucking the world and going off together. These ideas are appealing because they are fiction, rather like being Superman. No female expects to turn into Superman, but she does expect to meet a man seeking marriage in a bar. Better chance at becoming Superman.

·         Take a long look at some of the extremes women are going to do to attract attention. When you see other females doing it, do you think over the top, sad, pathetic, or do you think I wish I was her? Let that be your guide when choosing behavior.

·         Your history can serve as a guide as what not to do. Different guys don’t mean a different result. Your behavior could be the issue.

·         Two perfectly okay people meet & it’s not all flowers and butterflies. Even if someone is perfectly acceptable, it’s no reason to force a relationship.

·         It’s better to be happy and alone than miserable in an abusive or apathetic relationship.

·         Refuse to be the covert girlfriend. No public dates or meeting friends, co-workers, or family means he doesn’t really consider that the two of you are dating. It usually means he’s already in a relationship.

·         Hold back. Instead of texting him all the time, tagging him in social media, buying him thoughtful small gifts, Don’t. It only makes you look needy. It also leaves you with no way to up your game. A man, hoping to wow his first date, ordered a limo which took her to a very exclusive restaurant, then the theater. He did get a second date, but his date expected the same treatment or better for the rest of their short dating relationship. His date felt cheated when he didn’t repeat the performance. The man decided he couldn’t maintain this particular relationship. If they started out with a dinner at a chain restaurant things might have worked out.

·         Throw away your preconceptions about who is your idea mate/date. Often we limit our dating pool by considering only people of a certain age, size, height, race, etc.

·         Work on being the type of person you’d like to date. Like really does attract like.

·         Finally, no ultimatums for yourself or anyone else. This is not a make it or break it year. It is a year of being your most authentic self, embracing the world as you find it, not as how you imagine it to be, living in the moment, and simply being real. You may find yourself falling in love…with yourself, life, experiences, and possibly a special someone. Made even more special because he wasn’t someone you’d ever consider looking at twice in 2014, but 2015 was the year your eyes opened.