Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Relationship: How Unrealistic Expectations Are Destroying Dating And Marriage

Online Dating Questions and Answers:
 (or in this case, a response to a comment):

"I find other women being too good for anyone and way too concerned with individuality and appearing to be more like a prize than an equal partner."
- Mike, 32

It might help if you remember that this generation of women dating right now were raised on Disney Princess stories and all imagine they're deserving the fairy tale life that they grew up thinking could be/should be reality. No previous generation if women had that level of expectations engrained into them. Each one believing they are "special and uniquely valuable just the way they are".

The goal might have been to help girls grow up with self-esteem and avoid abusive relationships, but I think it's created unrealistic expectations about "not settling" regardless of how much or little the women have to offer. 

So what IS realistic? Let's make a list.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Most Common Dating Dealbreakers (And How To Overcome Them!)

Some of the choices you're making, could be keeping you out of the dating pool. Maybe you don't realize it's a problem. Or maybe you're just in denial.

So here is your wake up call. Get out of De Nial and get back into the hot tub of potential love!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why You Should Meet People You Don't Want to Date

There are times when you will find yourself with an opportunity to meet or spend time with someone you don't think you'll have a ton in common with or are even terribly attracted to. As long as they don't seem crazy or dangerous, you might want to meet up with them anyway.

It's possible the meet will turn out great. It's also possible the experience will turn into a crazy horror story for later. But even if it fizzles, you'll get more practice at meeting new people.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

In Relationships Guys Need All A's and Girls Need All C's

Now before you get upset and think that guys are getting an unfair advantage grade-wise in relationships, stop and check it out. We're talking alliteration, no need for arbitration so read on and then give your adjudication. (There, now you've got three new $10 words to throw around. You're welcome.)

Guys Need


It's a competitive world out there with everyone vying for the same jobs, romantic partners and career opportunities. Add that to the daily stresses and personal histories that bring down a man's sense of worth, he needs to feel he's a person of value who's making a difference. And that translates into validation for his doing the right things while still being mortal. Inside every man is a desire to be a super hero who saves the day.

Whether they have a glamorous job or not, tend to shy away from the lime-light or not, or are just one of the average good citizens, men want to know that others (especially their romantic partner) think highly of them. More than outright "love", many men say they want to feel respected and admired. If he has the esteem of his love interest, a man typically feels cared about and fulfilled.


I've been asking men to tell me their order of The Five Love Languages since I heard about it in 2007. The number of men I've talked to about this is now in the high hundreds. I would easily say that 98% of the straight men I spoke with placed Physical Touch as their #1 or #2 need. And it makes sense. In most areas of their life the only two times men touch people are either as a sign of trust (and help) or as an act of distrust (usually in the form of some kind of violence), this is seldom the same kind of casual touching that women often experience.

But men want to be touched beyond their sexual needs; they're just usually wanting it from a special someone and in their own specific way. In this I mean in ways that support whatever masculine view they have of themselves and how that translates into letting them feel cared about. There is definitely no one way about this and no correct way. The best way to find out what kind of affection a man needs, is to ask. 


Even with a healthy sense of self-esteem every guy's feeling of worth lags sometimes. While they may not want to admit to some of their faults and failings, guys know they're not perfect and that they screw up sometimes. Often guys hold back emotionally, physically and financially when they don't feel they're admired, touched enough (in their head this means not desired enough) and not accepted with their imperfections.

 When men feel they are accepted for who they are, they are more receptive to giving to others what they want from them- be that attention, emotional support or assistance. Generosity often flows when their opinions are validated, their humor is appreciated and their unique qualities are recognized and valued.

Women Need


Despite huge strides in the past few decades to narrow the gap between male/ females education and income levels, many women still feel like it's a man's world. Women have proven themselves worthy adversaries in every scientific, intellectual and academic field that they entered and now they're breaking records with entrepreneurship, company leadership and financial savvy. But this is still not the norm. And many women struggle to feel they get the advice, opportunities and backing they would get if they were a guy. By having a man who admires her strengths and helps her overcome her weaknesses, a woman is far more likely to achieve her goals and have a strong desire to return the favor for her sweetheart.

In order for a woman to feel loved, she needs to feel nurtured. And that means her man standing in her corner and offering the support, attention and enthusiasm he would show his favorite sport player. He needs to help her have the confidence to tackle whatever comes her way and deal with it with every bit of ingenuity and competency they both know she is capable of. If behind every successful man is a supportive woman, behind every successful woman should be a supportive man.


Between juggling a career, furthering their education and creating (and then raising) a family, a woman wears many hats. Throw in a mix of monthly hormone fluctuation and all the pressure women have to cram themselves into cookie cutter body types and personality norms, women need their man to understand that while sometimes they want snappy solutions, they often just want to feel heard and understood. Since the connection between both sides of a woman's brain is stronger than in men's, the two sides talk to each other more. This often means that women need to vocalize more in their daily lives as well. A patient, good listening man is a prize indeed.

Women usually find that their jobs are perceived differently by men who tend to be more analytical and utilitarian. But men need to realize that all of this juggling is very exhausting to women and both physically and emotionally draining. Of the women I've spoken to about The Five Love Languages, I would say 75% of straight women put Acts of Service and/or Words of Affirmation in their top 2 needs. A man who validates a woman's daily actions of selflessness and offers help to lighten her load will find her more likely to remain loving, loyal and affectionate to him.


Women and men don't always interpret closeness the same way. Never-the-less it can be agreed that a sense of trust, a feeling of emotional intimacy and a desire for the other's physical presence are some of the primary things that keep couples longing for each other. Women don't just want to be cuddled. Physical attention is only interpreted as romantic and fulfilling when it's accompanied by the sense that their partner really understands them, relates to them and values them.When they feel that their efforts are appreciated and their partner really wants to know the woman, she opens herself up to him and looks for ways to show how much that means to her.

Unity is the key. Open communication, good listening, validating of feelings and offering compassion are the ways to keep the spark alive and her at his side through thick and thin. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cut The Ego To Succeed

Wondering why you're not making progress in your life?

Chances are good you're getting in your own way. Whether we're talking about business, personal life or relationships you need to remember to be willing to work on yourself. Be fluid and changeable. Anything that doesn't evolve dies. Evolving means learning, growing and expanding.

As soon as you think you've got it all figured out, you stop the learning process. Once the learning stops, everything else comes crashing to a halt. And then you die. Seriously.

So how do you go about preventing that. First of all, get ride of that pesky ego that makes you overconfident.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dating: 10 Things That Will Get You Catfished

There's a guy, we'll call Steve. Steve is single, has a decent job, and over all is a good person. He's been chatting online with a cute blonde girl we'll call Denise. Her profile has a picture of her wearing a sexy prom dress. And while the written part is pretty bare, she does say she's into sports, fishing and casual sex. Steve and Denise exchanged a few emails on the dating site and agree to meet. She emails him her appartment address with plans to chat over a beer one night and "see where it goes".

Steve shows up around 10 p.m. excited and nervous at her front door. The door opens and an interracial man who could pass for a fullback football player answers the door. At first Steve thinks he's a room mate, a visiting friend, maybe even a boyfriend. But no, it turns out Denise is really Dennis. And Dennis is wanting to "experiment" with other dudes.

So where did Steve go wrong? How did he end up getting tricked into a date with a man, who wasn't even the right nationality? The evidence was all there if only Steve had know what to look for and taken the proper procautionary steps.

1. Empty profiles are a huge red flag. "Denise's" profile was a dead give away that "she" was not all she seemed. She only had one undated photo and didn't put much effort or info in her profile. The person should talk a little about themselves. If they don't feel comfortable sharing even their most basic information, chances are really good they're a fake. People who have something to hide keep their profiles as bare as possible so they don't have to remember a bunch of lies and can make up their story on the fly taylored to whoever contacts them.

2. Photographic evidence is a must. Anytime there is only one picture you are running the risk of it being "borrowed". Could be from a friend's page, an old yearbook, some random website or an Express clothing catalogue. Pictures should have at least a year and it should look legit. Group shots where you aren't sure which person in the picture the profile belongs to or worse, no pictures at all- should be an automatic dispualification. Also, pictures are often "outdated", aka...really, really old. Or manipulative. Pictures taken from a high vantage point, only from the neck up or seriously cropped, should warn you off. If they offer to email you or text you photos... tell them to take a hike. These people are notoriously already married, are criminals or have shady intentions.

If they have multiple pictures, compare them to each other. Which ever picure shows them looking the fattest, baldest, oldest etc... assume it's the most recent. You're not dating the hotter, younger version of what they used to be in their glory days, you're getting the present date version which may not be exactly what you bargained for.

3. Ask for verification. Especialy with a poorly drafted profile, Steve didn't confirm Denise was who she said she was. Aside from Googling someone, most people have some form of social media that confirms they exist. And in the form they're claiming. They don't have to necessarily "add you", but they should have a site or two you can look at that will confirm the picture and name on their dating profile is a living person. Take advantage of that.

4. Do a voice check. Even if the person is able to provide you with a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and a Youtube video of them doing the funky chicken dance at their cousin's wedding, make sure you have at least one 5 minute long phone conversation. This gives you a chance to test out their gender, possible age range, something of their personality and whether you'll have anything to say to each other. If you're leery of giving out your phone number to a stranger, get a Google number. That will afford you some privacy but still enable you to have that very valuable phone call.

5. Agree that it's a "meet", not a "date". Dates can be stressful, ripe with anticipation and expectation. They're also specific for hope and intent for some kind of future, even if it's just one sucessful night stand. Calling this a "meet" downgrades it to just saying hello in person. No pressure, no expectations and no comittments. It will take the pressure off and make it easier for you both to be yourselves and interaction naturally.

6. Agree to meet in public places only. I can't tell you how many problems and dangerous situations I've heard from online daters that would have been avoided if only the people had agreed to meet in a public location during business hours where other people (potential witnesses) are around. If you're not trying to spend money before you know if you like each other (meet for food or movies etc.), plenty of stores work as a great place to get some face time in the flesh. Book stores, special interest (sports, hobbies, etc.) shops, department stores, inside a mall... anywhere you can safely leave without causing a scene if the person is faking their idenity. I once met up with someone from online in the lumber section of Home Depot.

You have absolutely no protection or safety net if you meet at a home, hotel or secluded location. If you hit it off walking arounding talking in the running shoe store, you can always leave afterwards to go...wherever.

7. Keep your personal stuff safe. Cars, homes, purses, wallets, phones, keys. These are not just things we need to function in our daily lives, they're valuable sources of private information we don't want just anyone having access to. Meet someone inside a store, not in your car in the parking lot. I've heard of at least three incidents now where someone met in a parkinglot and their catfish was so bold as to get into their car, uninvited. If a person knows where you live or what your car and license plate are, they will be extremely difficult to get rid of should they turn out to be a physcopathic stalker. Stories abound of people being robbed, car jacked, etc. because they didn't properly check someone out before letting them into their private world too soon.  

Keep your personal items close by and when possible, keep them on your person.

8. Never make promises before you meet. The 2000's are the Brave New World of online hook ups. And while there are pros and cons of that, you must always, always put safety first. You can agree that you find each other attractive online and may be interested in getting to know them better, but you're opening yourself for a world of hurt, disapointment and danger if you agree to have a weekend fling or let someone move in rent free in exchange for regular sex, before you even know if they are who they say they are. Online chemistry, even phone chemistry doesn't always translate into in-person chemistry. And after all, if you're looking to have a real human interaction with them (maybe even a relationship) how you get along in person is the most important thing.

This is especially important of one or both of you are planning to travel to meet. Have a backup plan (somewhere to stay or a way to get home) in the event that your potential dream date turns into a nightmare.

9. Call them out for being a phony. Too many people are afraid to hurt someone's feelings if they meet and it turns out they fudged facts like 10 years from their age and 50 pounds from their gut on their profile. It's been my experience that the only people who meet and then imediately ask if their profile pictures look like them in person... do not in fact look like their profile pictures. At the very least, politely tell the person you're disapointed they're not who they said they were and that their lying prevented you from wanting to get to know them better. Honesty is the best policy. There are no online dating police. If people don't keep each other in line by stating the obvious, they're just going to turn around a catfish the next person without remorse. Do your part to keep people honest.

And finally...


Friday, February 27, 2015

Dating: When Attraction Becomes Dangerous

As a single female on the dating scene I've had my share of getting crude messages suggesting all sorts of debauchery and making some pretty strange offers. Most of the message senders are trying to be tantalizing. Most of them give up when they realize that I'm not interested. Then there are a few that don't seem to know when to stop. 

Sometimes when someone wants your attention badly enough, the best thing you can do is give them attention. I'm not suggesting though, that you give them the kind of attention they want. In this case, the best option might be giving some public notice about an online dating site user who has absolutely stepped across the line of minor annoyance to full blown creep.

This fun note was waiting for me at OkCupid last night. (click picture to enlarge)

At first, I didn't know who sent the chilling message.

"Rape" is not a word you should use with someone you've never met. Rape is not a joke or something you laugh off. It's a terrible act; one of selfishness, treachery and blatant intention to cause lasting physical, emotional and psychological harm.

Whether this comes from the late night musings of a sexual frustrated man or someone who would actually commit the crime if the opportunity permitted, it does not matter. The "lol" at the end of the message does nothing to lessen the clear message that this guy wants physical contact with me whether I want it or not.

I wouldn't have even been sure who sent this message (I did have my suspicious based upon the screen name though) since the user deleted their profile and there is no picture.

But this guy is just so arrogant that he actually contacted me a few hours later, on a different dating site using the exact same screen name. When I signed onto Plenty of Fish (POF) what a surprise I had to see the very same screen name with another message.

This time the messages was a lot less threatening, but still suggested physical intentions. I have no idea why he keeps bringing up his ancestry, but I suppose that and his stats on his profile will make him a lot easier to identify should this creep ever force himself on a woman.

His persistence in trying to get me to come to his house, drink alcohol and have sex with him was the topic of my last blog post. Apparently, my refusal to meet him or respond to his messages has done nothing to squash his intentions to harass me on not one, but now two dating sites.

Despite my public inquiry to readers of how I should react to this guy, I tried to choose the ethically high road and did nothing at all. I am starting to think that was a mistake.

Maybe it's time ALL female online dating site users got a better look at the guy who likes his sex partners either drunk or unwilling.

On paper he looks like a decent guy: Well dressed, nice home, good job, educated... But based upon the messages he sends women, especially the ones he doesn't expect to be traced back to, he's not a good person.We have certainly seen enough celebrities, sport icons, music legends and political leaders- people of high status, good breeding and having a lot to lose, make tremendously bad decisions and reveal themselves to be something akin to pond scum.

There are some who would suggest that this kind of thing is what makes online dating so very dangerous and unwise. But I would remind everyone, whether this guy has a dating profile or not, he is still out in the real world, meeting people in coffee shops, at work and in the grocery store.

Online dating sites might give him a greater reach to interact with women who might meet him not realizing he could have bad intentions, but not having a dating profile won't prevent everyone from meeting him at all.

And this is why common sense and going with your gut instincts are so very important with online dating as well as every life venture. It also helps to inform yourself about what to look out for and how to protect yourself.

Had I not gone with my first impression of this guy based upon years of studying people, and met him the first time he suggested it, this article about rape and online creeps might have had a very message.

Regardless of whether this guy intended his comment to be a "joke" or an inducement to get my attention, hopefully he'll learn to be more humble, less forceful and stop bothering women who don't want his attention.