Was 2011 a tough year for romance? Or for other reasons? Loneliness can be our biggest enemy especially when accompanied by heart-wrenching conflicts. You know, the ones that get us begging to an unseen being, or asking, “WHY?” Whether the struggle is within relationships or fighting through life’s challenges, there is nothing like loneliness to force us to feel the pain.
Fortunately, we can also triumph over loneliness either by learning to be comfortable alone or by finding companionship.
Television producer, Tamara Duricka Johnson, triumphed by the latter method, which she shares in her new book, 31 Dates in 31 Days. The title explains. In the new year following her 31st birthday, Tamara (rhymes with camera) would have 31 dates, one date every day for 31 days.
Can you imagine having a date with a different person every day for a month? Most of us probably don’t have the energy to do it. But it became Tamara’s mission in her quest to answer, “Why am I still single?!” (Note that the question wasn’t, “Where is my future husband?”)
Make a resolution count
If you’re in the habit of making new years’ resolutions, you’ve likely failed to keep at least some of them.
Resolutions should resolve something, such as a problem. Maybe one of the reasons why so many people give up on diet or weight resolutions, is because diet and weight are not really problems unless they are causing life-threatening conditions, like heart disease or diabetes. Of course, there’s prevention, but unless there’s a real reason to change something, why change?
An effective resolution requires a willingness to change. Without that willingness, nothing will change. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to get comfortable, be lackadaisical, or not really care. Hence, unwillingness.
To make a resolution really count, do this:
- Quit complaining
- Desire change
- Write attainable goals
The aim is resolution. In other words, you must become resolved about whatever the issue is. In the case of loneliness, the aim could be to either become content with being alone, or find companionship.
Tamara wasn’t about learning to be alone, but she was willing to learn to be that way. She made a plan, designated dating rules, then put out the word about her “project”. At the very least she would learn something even if she didn’t find companionship.
So how do you make a resolution that actually resolves?
First of all, you have to want to become resolved, or want change. If you don’t really want to change anything, then don’t bother trying. But if you do really want change, the key is in your goals. And goals need aim.
Aim vs. goal
A soccer player doesn’t score a goal without aim. When he aims, the goal cage is the focus. Not having aim puts the ball in any direction. Making goals is nearly impossible without aim.
Tamara’s aim was to conquer loneliness. Her goal: go on 31 dates in 31 days.
It’s much easier to attain goals, when your aim is clear. And it’s much easier to reach goals when they are attainable. For example, a goal of losing 20 pounds can be exciting at first, but it can get taxing when you’re 18 pounds away. Make the aim 20 pounds and the goal losing 1 pound per week. (Then remember the weeks will be up and down.) Or make the aim having more energy.
The dating resolution
If you want to change your dating life for the better, make your aim clear, and set attainable goals.
The following table lists some examples of aims and goals.
Whatever your resolution, set fun goals. Your life should have quality, so don’t make yourself miserable.
For inspiration, read Tamara’s book available in bookstores or on Amazon. It’s funny and insightful, and gives an inside look at her joys, despairs, and triumphs. For more about Tamara’s project, visit 31datesin31days.com.
This video by Andrea Dorfman and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis, came out in 2010, but it seems to be making its rounds on the interweb. I thought it would be great to share it here during this holiday season.
Ten years after 9-11, this is difficult holiday season for many, including myself having lived one mile away from the World Trade Center, volunteering at a local hospital, then losing my job months later because of chronic bronchitis developed by breathing the black dust that came into my apartment even when the windows were closed.
In spite of the hardships, being alone is one thing I’ve learned to be content with and even cherish at times. It makes meeting people and building relationships beyond priceless. Maybe it’s because of life’s challenges that makes me appreciate being alone. It’s part of a growth process that occurs when we surrender to the tears that come from facing those challenges. It’s not easy to learn, but how amazing when it is learned.
Enjoying being alone is like a gift, and I would love to share it. But how do you share it? This video can’t be a better way.
Tanya has a book of poetry, At First, Lonely, available on Indigo.ca.
Thank you Andrea and Tanya. This is beautiful.
If you’ve had a hard time finding true love by scouting in a crowded, smoky bar, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you’re still single is because no one you’ve met is good enough.
You’re tired of the bar scene, and you’re ready to try your hand at online dating - with the theory that you’ll be able to find someone who IS good enough, and fulfills the long list of criteria you’re looking for.
There are some common criteria that men and women use when they start searching the pool of singles in any online dating site, such as:
- Attraction. How attractive is attractive enough for you? A “seven”? An “’eight”?
- Intelligence. No one wants an unintelligent date who struggles to carry a conversation.
- Success. You’re not looking for a married-to-his- or her- career CEO or anything, but you want someone who has something going on, who’s not a dog walker living in Mom’s basement.
You probably even have more specific criteria. Maybe you’re a woman who only wants a guy who is at least three inches taller than you or practices the same religion as you. Maybe she absolutely must live within a ten mile radius fit within a very specific age range. Or maybe he or she must be thinking of marriage at some point… Or, not at all.
Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing bad about having standards. But if you have one rule that says “I’m not interested in matches that aren’t X,” and keep compounding rule after rule after rule, you’re eliminating swarms of potentially interesting dates. Many of them are people you’d really get along with if you magically ran across them in that crowded bar without knowing whether or not they fit your magical list of ‘good-enough’ criteria.
Even if we just take the three criteria above that singles often use and sample 100 Match.com profiles, chances are the number of people you’ll come back with that will meet your criteria can be counted on one hand. Of that very limited pool, you then have to find one that you’ll actually click with in real life, and one who’ll like you just as much as you like that person! And some people wonder why it’s so hard to find love online…
Not only does the other person have to meet your criteria AND like you back, you also have to meet that person’s criteria, which are probably not all that different from yours. You think you’re a dateable person, right? You’re intelligent, above-average looking, and reasonably successful. You feel like you’ve got a lot to offer. Unfortunately, just because you’re great doesn’t mean amazing matches will magically find you, especially when you think that none of them are good enough.
Am I telling you to lower your standards? Absolutely not. But the bottom line is that you have to cast your net wide if you want to find enough dateable people. You also have to be willing to put yourself out there. Ladies, are you really going to exclude a handsome, interesting guy because he makes $47k a year instead of $50k? Would you exclude an interesting and good-looking guy that you met at a bar and really hit it off with just because he’s 5’9” instead of 5’10”? Of course not!
If you’re using a measuring stick that doesn’t go up or down, be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer searching for your one perfect match while the others are out there dating tons of attractive singles that aren’t perfect, but pretty damn close to it.
The whole point of online dating is to weed through the masses for some people who fulfill your ‘basic’ criteria, so that you can meet them in person and quickly discover whether or not the chemistry is there. That’s it.
Even with a small checklist, online dating can feel like a part-time job if you really want to meet a lot of hot singles in your area. If you’d like an extra hand, you can hire the company Virtual Dating Assistants, and their team can help you lock down some great dates in no time. If you prefer to do it all yourself but would like some killer tips that will give you an unfair advantage over the “competition,” you can check out their Top 10 Online Dating Tips here.
First dates can be pretty awful, no matter how great the connection is. You’re stressed about what to wear (casual or dressy?), you’re stressed about when to show up (early, on time, or fashionably late?), you’re stressed about who’s going to pay (do you go dutch?), you’re just plain stressed (how did you get talked into this again?!). As if that weren’t enough, there are a thousand and a half things that could go wrong before, during and after the date, and you’re overanalyzing brain has thought of all of them. There are a few ways you can guarantee that a first date will be ruined though, no overanalyzing involved.
1. You stay glued to your phone the whole time
There’s no better way to show you’re not interested then by continually checking your phone and sending texts updating your best friend on how everything is going. Not putting your phone on silent and answering calls during dinner is another good way to solidify that you care more about what’s going on with your friends then your date. Oh, wait – you were interested in your date?
2. You’re already planning your second date, and your drinks haven’t even arrived yet
Hello Mr. or Miss Way Too Forward. Coming off as way too interested too soon is a great way to end a date quickly. What says deal breaker more than someone who is overly clingy and desperate within the first hour of meeting them?
3. You spend the whole night bragging about yourself
If desperate and clingy weren’t enough, arrogant and self-absorbed should seal the deal as far as ruining a first date goes. So when in doubt, just talk yourself up incessantly.
4. You leave your wallet at home
Nothing says “don’t date me” like being unprepared. It doesn’t matter if you’re the guy or the girl, not having any money on you makes you look cheap or like you’re fishing for them to pay entirely, especially if you were supposed to go dutch, or one of you was going to pay for drinks and the other dinner.
5. You complain the entire time
The bread is stale. You’re water glass needs to be refilled. This food sucks. You’d rather be doing (insert whatever). Welcome to the date, Negative Nancy or Negative Norman. Everyone likes a little negativity – right?
It’s hard enough these days to find someone that you spark with, and highlighting your worst qualities just makes it that much harder. Then again, who likes first dates anyway? It’s not like they’re completely necessary to start a new relationship or anything…
Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for BestDatingSites.org. She is passionate about thought leadership writing, regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT gmail.com.
Getting a good hand might take luck, but it takes skill to play a good game.
Know what’s in your hand
There is no absolute formula for a good pickup. It’s probability. Like estimating the probability of a winning hand from your pocket cards, your chances for a good pickup can be determined from your target’s position relative to yours and the person’s body language.
If your target is right next to you and his or her body turns toward you, it’s like having a pair of aces. But that doesn’t mean you’ll win the hand. There might be an opponent on the dealer/target’s other side who’s already been dealt a straight. Sometimes you have to maneuver for a better position – e.g., consider the other player’s bet, call, wait for the dealer, then raise.
Sometimes maneuvering gives you a better perspective of your odds. You can bluff your opponent, wait for the river card, and win the hand.
You can’t judge a pokerface
An experienced poker player probably won’t hint what’s in his or her hand when the flop is dealt. But if you look at the player’s feet, according to Joe Navarro’s What Every Body is Saying, it’s easier to tell if he or she is nervous. Active feet are happy. Feet pointed toward the door speak nerves.
Similarly, your date might not reveal true feelings in his or her face. For example, if he or she looks away after you’ve made eye contact, he/she might be shy or simply unprepared. But if his/her feet are turned toward you, chances are there’s interest.
“If you ‘buy-in’ cheap, don’t expect a big ‘pay-out.’”
This one, applying to the guys more than women, comes from The Winner’s Guide to Dating (What I Learned about Love and Sex from Playing Texas Hold ‘em), a cool illustrated book of one-liners by New Yorker Randall Klitz. This particular tip refers to going on a date. Dinner at Mickey D’s probably won’t seduce a girl as much as Au-Trendy-Hot-Spot.
But if you’re a really good pickup artist, you don’t even have to plan a date to get laid. Sometimes, one drink at a bar is enough. Though, if you want beauty and brains, don’t go to dives unless you want to lower your probability for a win.
You know from first hand experience a lot of things you should and shouldn’t do the first time you go out with someone. Of course people do things that you have no control over that they probably need to pull the reins on. These include, but are not limited to, blatantly trying to determine if you’re “marriage material”, get close and cuddly too soon, trying to figure out how much money or debt you have, being self-centered, lying, and complaining.
But this isn’t about what others do. It’s about what you do. So, let’s get started.
Here are a two things that can happen as a result of over-thinking that can ruin a perfectly good potential relationship:
- Assuming that one thing your date says means what you think it means. You may want to clarify before you jump off the love boat.
- Dwelling on a small detail. Get over it. It’s one little thing amidst a complex being. If you keep doing this you may never get a second date.
Don’t be a coward
Here are some examples of things your date might talk about that you really shouldn’t be scared of:
- A health issue.
As long as your date doesn’t go into detail about his or her health problem without you asking about it, and he/she’s not near death, there’s really no reason other than lack of interest not to try a second date – unless you’re a spineless loser.
- What he or she wants out of a relationship.
So what if your date doesn’t want to waste time. Don’t make a big deal out of someone stating what he or she wants. Of course there is inappropriate behavior such as crying a lot or having a crazy look in the eyes. That, of course, might be reason to run. In either case, don’t freak out. Just gently let your date know that it’s too soon to discuss those kind of details. As long as a person is matter-of-fact about what he or she wants, talking about relationship hopes is not out of line.
- His or her shrink.
A lot of people see therapists. Why should it not a deal-breaker? Really good, deep, emotionally-bonded friendships are not easy to come by. Women and men need to be able to talk about their feelings. Generally therapists are simply people who are paid to listen to our emotional vomit. (Boy, does it feel good afterward.)
Everything in moderation, of course. If your date has a difficult time getting off a topic, like a previous relationship or a childhood story, that’s another issue altogether.
Sometimes people are simply too nervous to be themselves. If you never get nervous, you’re not human. Don’t forget that it’s very easy to put your foot in your mouth or do things you wouldn’t normally do especially when you like someone. Have some grace for cryin’ out loud!
What you can do on a first date
If something your date says bugs you, have the person elaborate. Even if the subject has changed, you can say something like, “I’m sorry, but you mentioned…What exactly did you mean by that?…” This is especially important if you tend to jump to conclusions.
And if you really want a companion and not a one-nighter, don’t try to have sex on the first date. Okay? And if things just get too steamy, well, I hope you both will agree with the outcome.
It’s also okay to call after the date and clarify what was said or to let the person know if you’re not interested. Then you politely say Thank you and Goodbye. Then change your number. Just kidding…mostly.
The most important tip anyone could ever give you in regard to meeting Ladies: This is seriously your foundation and you will need to stay focused. Females are mostly attracted by self confidence and in turn – they are completely turned off by the lack of it. Your facial expression will get you started or shut you down instantly. If your expression is one of sadness or blank, negative or anything besides what I’m about to share then you’ve lost before you even entered the room. Girls will smell the failure or success in a guy long before they are even approached. And, this is important to remember, you don’t have to be financially successful to beat out the guys who are. Money gives a guy an edge when used correctly but it’s the not the money that gets the babes unless it’s a hooker or gold digger. Don’t get me wrong about this – having some money is very important if a relationship is what you want because women/girls are looking for security when it comes to relationships.
Here is what you have to do – some homework. Practice what I’m about to share as much as possible until you get your best at this. Your facial expression needs to be self confident and a little happy. You don’t even have to be smiling but i do recommend a slight smile or a slightly happy face. Depending on your mood and type of day you are having – this may not be apparent unless you are consciously making it happen.
If you are not a very self confident person and most people are not then think of something you are good at – anything at all. If you’re real good at throwing horse shoes (or whatever else you can think of – anything) – use it to create that confident look on your face. Stand in front of a mirror and think about what ever it is that you are good at or something that you enjoy very much and practice that confident and slightly happy look. What I am explaining will help you at work too – it will help with most things you do that involve others – for example, if you hate your boss – you better start practicing this immediately or you might lose your job because your boss will see the hate in your eyes and in your body language. Your face projects how you feel about yourself and how you feel about yourself is how others are going to feel about you! When you think you have it mastered, practice it while looking into someone’s eyes and keep doing this until you can look into a girl’s eyes and maintain that look. Think about it -
Projecting confidence is crucial and it’s the single most important thing you can do.
So practice “the face” and before you walk through a door – have that face on before you enter the room.
There’s a fine line between a confident face and an arrogant face – so you don’t want to over do it either. Having said that – you are better off looking slightly arrogant than looking like a loser or a failure.
Now project confidence -
This is your single the biggest ticket to get in.
Remember, if you are not a confident person use the trick of thinking about something you are good at, it can be anything……..
FREE TIPS to meet girls
by Tom Gurda
Dating sites, except for Nerve.com, which is undergoing major changes, are not designed for edgy people. PerfectMatch, Match, eHarmony, and Chemistry are all about aspects of personality and character that only come out through romance. They don’t address the fundamentals of what it’s like to live together, except on a superficial level, such as how well a room is kept.
On one site, I got a lot of messages. I was proud of my profile. It was written in male-speak with no more than two lines per topic, titles, and concision. (I’m female.) And it painted a pretty accurate picture of myself down to my MBTI type. Met two guys from that site, both of whom are great guys. But I wasn’t attracted. (I like serious, logical guys who come across as arrogant but really aren’t.)
I accidentally texted the wrong person. Was trying to message my neighbor but the text went to a guy with the same name who was from this dating site. The guy got upset. Irrationally.
I knew from this guy’s profile that he used Evan Marc Katz’s method for online dating from the way his profile was written and the style of pictures. I also know this because of the timing this guy had in responding to my messages. It was textbook. But of course, I didn’t mention anything. It looks great and reads well, but I know this method. So, of course I was guarded.
Needless to say, I was totally turned off. Not only from this guy, but from online dating – again.
Anyway, I’ve been seeing someone I met at a birthday party, and things are going well, so checking out is no big loss. But as a writer and one having quite a few men hoping I will reciprocate interest, I decided to share exactly what was on my mind on my profile.
The following is what I wrote on it:
Not hanging out here much longer.
When you text someone, “Hope the [job] went well. Have a great week.” How should a person respond? Should she (he)? How would you respond? Well, someone who I never met face to face got upset because when that text arrived on my phone, the job was still going on. Didn’t know how to respond. By the time the job was over at 3:30 in the morning, do you think the first thing I wanted to do was respond? Nor did I remember to respond when I had to wake up to go to work in the morning.
Who hurt you?
In spite of whatever reason you can’t approach an attractive woman and start up a conversation, learn to do it. Just say, “Hi.” Because a virtual dating life is a joke.
Stop getting upset about trivial things and realize that people are guarded. There is too much hurt in the world, too much abuse. Men and women hurt each other because they are emotionally immature. And people are immature because they don’t heal themselves.
Figure out how to break the patterns of your own resentment. Love exists. But the more you blame others for your own misery, the less likely you will find it. You have to love yourself before you are capable of loving someone else.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Can you put your name in place of the “love”?
So, maybe I should have texted back “Thanks”. But the guy seemed off, like he had some insecurities that were sure to come out at unforeseen moments, so I was unsure about responding. Then I just forgot about him.
People mistakenly text the wrong person all the time. As one who had done so, albeit to someone with more issues than Occupy Wall Street, the reaction is undeserved.
Until someone comes up with a better online dating forum, I’m offline and getting outside. Or maybe the thing with the birthday party guy will work out.
By Eric J. Leech, author of Love, Lust, and Relationships
A bad boy (a.k.a. player) is a guy who plays women to get what he wants, which is usually sex. You can find these characters at bars, on dating websites, or carousing the deli department at your local grocery store. This term developed in reference to the “dating game”, in which guys have learned the key to winning, is creating an image that fits a woman’s ideal man. Women base their physical relationships from the strength of their union with a guy. The more connected she feels, the more nooky he receives, and thus the hardcore player was born. It is a fine line a bad boy walks. He has five rules to live by in order to hold a woman’s interest. However, within these 5 principles, you’ll soon discover the antidote to his charm.
He’s An Interrogation Master –
A player doesn’t waste time chatting about the weather. He has an agenda to keep, which includes finding your weaknesses and preying upon them. The average guy will take the long road to get to know you, but the player will jump right into your intimate territory. This may seem bold, but it can actually be quite a welcome change from the typical John Wayne conversation you may be used to (yup, nope, head nod, etc.,). The player does not really care about your past relationships, passion, or fashion. He interrogates you to get what he needs to create an image that will send him to the top of your most-wanted list. Once there, he can be sure you won’t be too quick to dethrone him, provided, he maintains your confidence.
He Can Do No Wrong –
Despite what has been written in trashy romance novels, the ideal man is not suave, in control, and can resist the appeal of real butter (Fabio). He is nervous and chatty. When a man arches his shoulders, crosses his legs, or chatters uncontrollably, he is trying to appear approachable and non-threatening. The player does not want to place himself among your level. He wants to be above it, in control, which is why he may seem impressively sure of himself. He wants you to think you can relinquish yourself into his care, believing he knows what you need. However, he doesn’t. Getting to know someone takes a lot of time and attention, neither of which a player has.
He’s a Mystery Man –
Players are fortunate women are attracted to mysterious men, because if they knew what he was really like, they’d not be too impressed. One of the reason’s mystery works, is it allows the opportunity to bestow any characteristic you’re looking for in a man. He may not talk much about past relationships, so you assume he is kind, compassionate, and faithful. Studies suggest women are drawn to men who give mixed signals. This is the player’s style, drawing women in with compliments and promises, then keeping her at bay with his non-action. Players live in secrecy, taking discrete phone calls, going on mystical business trips, and complaining about other women they refer to as stalkers.
He’s Hot… No Wait, He’s Cold –
This takes us to the players dating style, which is very hot and cold. The player will start things by wining and dining, complimenting, and gushing over you. However, once he has won you over, he will leave you waiting by the phone. This is because a player fears commitment and intimacy, more than he does loneliness and instability. He loves the chase, but becomes quickly bored by the conquered. You can’t change a player. Once you step onto his roller coaster, you will be in store for a series of exhilaration and let downs. Don’t be fooled by the thrill of the high, because a dating relationship must have trust and security to be truly worthy of any long-term commitment.
He Won’t Commit to Anything –
A player is hard to hold down to plans. He will lie about not being able to attend engagements with friends and family. He believes he can pull the wool over your eyes, but unlikely an entire group. His favorite excuses are, “My battery died,” “I didn’t know you called,” “I was stuck in heavy traffic,” and “I got stuck in my trunk after my battery died.” This last excuse is reserved for when the stuff really hits the fan. The player is always weighing his options before making a commitment. This means the majority of your time will be spent on last minute dates, better known as hooking up. Emergencies do come up. However, when relatives die, then miraculously come back to life during a discussion that same week, he’s not even trying anymore.
You drink. Your inhibitions fade away. You find the courage to talk to a pretty girl.
You can’t talk to a girl unless you’re drunk?! You are just about the lamest guy on the planet…Just kidding. Though it is kind of lame.
I have nothing against bars. In fact, I’m sitting in one right now, typing. It’s a great venue for ideas and, as an Extrovert, I get energized from the scene. But I don’t come here seeking romance. If I do find it, I consider it dandy and expect nothing more than a short-lived rendezvous.
Now, if you’re a pickup artist, the bar scene is easy play. However, the majority of you guys aren’t. So, let’s figure out why bars can be good, or why they’re bad.
Every now and then two people will meet at a bar and end up together for the long haul. But that rarely, if ever, is a healthy relationship. (If there are any couples out there who are soulmates in love who met at a bar, not online, send me an email!)
Why bars can be good
Of course, the notoriously common purpose of meeting women at the bar has to do with getting a cheap lay. Unfortunately, these days, thanks to Neil Strauss’ The Game, women are more savvy than before his exposé, so getting validation might be more difficult. Besides, validation by getting laid is just a pathetic cover up for not growing up.
There are other, better reasons to hang out at the bar:
- Enjoy the scene.
- Loosen your inhibitions.
- Get better at talking to strangers.
Even if you don’t drink, you will find that talking to women at bars is still easier because of their loosened inhibitions. Order yourself a sparkling water and speak up.
The other thing to think about are the different kinds of bars. Want a challenge? Hang out at a lesbian bar. That’s especially good practice for learning to respect women. Better yet, find a lesbian buddy. She likes women too, and she can help you with your approach.
Why bars can be bad
If you’re not interested in one-night stands, don’t look for a relationship at a bar. Is an explanation necessary? Alcohol lowers IQ. There.
Some people are narrow-minded enough to think that a bar is the only place to meet the opposite gender. This is sad. Really sad. Go to the park, a gym, a taco joint. Just go somewhere. Anywhere. Women are everywhere! Go shop for a gift for your mom and meet someone at the store. Ask her for her opinion. That’s Pickup 101: Women love to be asked for their opinion (for the most part). And if she asks you why you’re buying your mom a gift, you don’t need a reason other than she’s your mom. I mean, she did carry you in her womb for months, felt the pains of labor, and if she didn’t get her abdomen sliced open, forced your fat head through a narrow channel between her legs. Buy your mom a gift, dammit.
Most importantly, when you look at these strangely enticing and mysterious creatures with balloons on their chests, don’t think about yourself. Don’t think about how she makes you feel or that you don’t know what to say. Think about the possibility that she just might like to get some attention. Ask yourself what you want to know about her, but don’t dwell on the wonder. Speak up. That goes for the non-bar and the bar.