The Bar Scene: Why it’s worth your time, or not

Guys,

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:

  1. Enjoy the scene.
  2. Loosen your inhibitions.
  3. 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.

Men’s Shoes (that Women Like)

Guys, want to be a chick magnet? Check your feet, because women love shoes – even on men.

Johnston & Murphys are great at the office. However, they’re not ideal when you decide to hit the town Friday night especially when you have no time to change. Guys, always keep a pair of girl magnets by your desk or in your car. Believe me; nothing turns on women like a great pair of shoes.

Unless you possess abs of steel like The Situation, you would not want to get caught wearing solid electric blue Jordans. Cowboy boots? Not unless you’re on a ranch, you’re Steve McQueen, or you’re a 50 year old veteran in advertising. Want to attract a prison buddy? Put on those Keds (not including the Royal Plus line; they’re alright) … Okay, you can wear Keds on your yacht.

Pick your style

A pair of shoes can say a lot about its wearer: practical, athletic, classy, trendy, professional, or on the extreme, you could care less. Guys, unless you plan on going home alone, you better make sure your feet are prepared.

Here’s a list of styles that command attention:

  • Rocker cool. A pair of classic Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, aka “Chucks,” can be customized to suit your style. Unless you’re a linebacker … Well, you could wear them if you’re a linebacker with a mohawk. Kidding. Besides, they will most likely never go out of style. You can order them in a plethora of colors and are customizable making Converse sneakers suitable to match any outfit. Just don’t get colors that are too bright. If you want to fully achieve the rock-n-roll vibe, wear them with a suit.
  • Understated conscientiousness. Timberlands aren’t entirely blue collar anymore. Their Earthkeepers® Chelsea boots say, “I’m easygoing and have great taste.” Although they don’t come with steel toes, they do have breathable mesh liner and soles. You can show the ladies you are eco-friendly as well when you sport these as they are made from recycled materials.
  • Chill. There are some logos in general that can be a turn off. Puma’s logo on the other hand has a clean design with its memorable strokes. The Puma Suedes’ has a classic texture where the Ducati line screams fashionable without pushing the boundaries as too European. Of course there’s their Black Label line. Nice. Beefier than Converse, they’re the shoes you’d wear around the house, out taking care of business, or hanging at the local watering hole.

Puma Black Label

Puma Black Label sneaker.

  • H-h-h-hot. John Varvatos’s footwear is pretty sweet not just in looks but also in quality. They’re pricey, but you get what you pay for. They will outlast everything else in your closet. Another plus side? It can be the topic of conversation as women will ask about your stylish shoes. Which model you ask? Any of them. If you order them online and they are not a perfect fit, don’t fret it! They have an easy return policy. Do you not have liquidity for Varvatos? You can always buy Chucks by John Varvatos.
  • Western sensation. Wooing women with western sense can get wild while wearing Wolverines. (Say that ten times fast.) From the 1000 Mile collection, Wolverine’s Addison boots take wingtips to the plateau of cool. These six-inch boots would be the ideal match for a vintage cafe racer motorcycle. I first spotted these at Smith and Butlerin Brooklyn while strolling out and about. Inspired by original designs, from over 125 years ago, they are assembled with the highest quality leather by the classic Goodyear welt construction in the USA.

Wolverine Addison boots at Smith and Butler, Brooklyn, NY.

  • Sensibly sleek. For you college guys out there who are on a tight budget, Steve Madden has a nice selection of footwear. The best deal? They have made-in-China prices. Fun fact: Steve Madden is actually not a designer; he started out as a salesman. His designers are hired hands, some of whom are women. Buff oxfords have the ability to improve any man’s appearance, whether that’ll be at a job interview or in a bar standing next to a babe. Captrye loafers are even convenient for slip-ons.
  • Real winner. Every fashion-forward person should be familiar with the name, Ted Baker. If the ladies ever come around in asking you what brand your shoes are, and you reply, “Ted Baker,” you will get a nod of approval … or a questioning look. Well, isn’t that an easy qualifier? For designer shoes, they are not terribly hazardous towards your wallet. For less than $200, you can be stylish while money-savvy wearing the Ashcrof leather desert boots. Made in India, Ted Baker’s shoes are comfortably chic. In the end, isn’t that the most important?

Ted Baker socks and Ashcrof brown suede desert boots

Ted Baker Ashcrof desert boot.

If you’re still not convinced at this point that the shoes you wear matter, conduct your own survey and ask around. I had approached 3 hot women in a bar and asked for their opinions. I received, “icks-nay” on classic Timberlands and eye-popping color footwear; overall, this list got their approval.

How Much Is Too Much?

 

I met Sheila a couple of weeks ago, and I have to admit, I am rather taken by her. She’s funny, fun to be around, smart, and attractive. What’s more, she’s new to town, ready and willing to try new things and go to places she’s not been before.

At this point, I can’t tell whether she sees me as just a friendly tour guide, or something more. I’m pretty cool about things, and either way, I’m happy, but I really want to know at some point. I figure pretty soon I might make some subtle advances and see if they’re returned, and that’s where the debate comes in. . .

My best female, friend, Brenda advises against this. Her philosophy seems to be to play the aloof card. In fact, with Sheila’s out of town on business and her birthday mere days away, I thought it might be nice to call and sing happy birthday on her answering machine. Is it a little goofy? Yes, but that’s me; that’s who I am. She seems to like me so far . . . right?

Brenda’s response, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO, you can’t do that!!! You’ll immediately place yourself in the friend category . . . Bad idea!!!”

“Well maybe I should just call, then?”, dejected by the strong admonition.

“No don’t call her, “ she nodded, convinced that this, too, was a bad idea.

“What? Am I just supposed to ignore her birthday?”, I replied, shocked at the advice I was hearing.  Brenda didn’t really have an answer for that . . .

I mean, I like this woman. Are we in 4th grade again? What am I supposed to do? Pull her hair? Call her names? I thought we were past all of this stuff as adults, and while I understand that panting like a loyal dog is not a way to win her heart, ignoring her doesn’t seem like a good thing either.

I’m a “do what I say I’m gonna do” kind of guy. If I tell you I will call. I will call. I don’t wait until the last second. If I want to take you out, I won’t wait past Wednesday to set something up. I just don’t see any point in pretending like I don’t care, if I do.

I realize, this philosophy can be taken too far, and may make some women uncomfortable. I know where that point is. I’m not gushing over her. I make eye contact, and get good eye contact in return. I keep plans light, and flexible, but I’m consistently available when I say I will be. If she wants to make plans, and I’m busy, I offer up another time or an alternate plan that works better with my schedule.

At the end of the day however, my heart is on my sleeve, and I believe I’m being told, that’s not a good thing. I think need to get some more clarity on where the line is.

Which brings me to my dilemma, ladies – especially the single ladies: How much aloof, is too much aloof? Do you ever get to a point where you cut him off because he’s too aloof? On the other hand, how much is too much? What are the rules, or are there any rules?

Your input is valuable . . .

 

Incidentally, I texted Sheila on her birthday . . . at the risk of losing my anonymity, it read like this . . .

“May your day be filled with fun.

May your belly be filled with laughs.

And may your mouth be filled with cake.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

I hope you’re doing something fun!!!”

 

Was it too much?

Confidence and Charisma: Is it enough to win the woman of your dreams?

If only the woman you want to meet would give you a few minutes to get to know you. Then she would see that you’re worth her time. Confidence should be enough, right? Short answer: Hell, no. You might be a real confident ass. A lot of good that will do.

Then there’s charisma. You know that magnetic force that seems to inspire motivation (or envy) in the hearts of its beholders? Together with confidence, charisma can make an ass into a really annoying confident ass, or someone like Jim Jones.

But you’re not a confident ass (I hope), nor are you Jim Jones. You’re really just a decent guy who wants to find the woman of his dreams. For you, having confidence and charisma (C&C) is certainly a starting point. But where do you want to go with it?

Obviously, if you simply want to get laid, you can lure any woman naïve enough to fall for you using C&C. America might not be the economic land of opportunity it once was, but for sexual opportunity, it’s still mecca.

Though, the one-night stand is becoming passé as the world’s political climate forces people to think about what really matters. (Okay, not all people think this way. Though, followers eventually do what they do…[follow].) People see the value of long-term companionship and seek different ways to navigate the seas of singles. Women who are holding off for the right men are giving quintessential pickup artists the challenge of their careers.

In terms of the proverbial onion, confidence and charisma can certainly help buff your outer layer. It definitely doesn’t hurt to have it. But women really care about what’s beneath the shiny surface. So, if winning the woman of your dreams means having a relationship with her, C&C is certainly not enough.

Since what you guys want is different for each of you, I’ll break it down into two levels depending on how deep you want to go: the outer layer or into the inner layers.

The Outer Layer: Charm

Charisma is one of those character traits that is natural to only some, yet can be acquired by others with risky effort and practice. With it comes energy and boldness—and like a stream of electrons through a copper coil—produces magnetism and charm. Note that not all charismatic people are charming. Some people have great charisma yet are turn-offs. But with effective charisma, charm charms.

Jordan Harbinger, co-founder of The Art of Charm, can’t overstate charm’s importance:

“Charm is key when meeting anyone, because people, especially women, are programmed to look for the most social person—the leader—in any situation. Those of us that are charming have the charisma to rally people around us, even if we have virtually nothing in common with them. It’s this capacity to connect that gives those of us with charm the edge in attracting women.”

In addition to charisma, charm requires confidence and strong body position in order to lead women astray as they hope the experience will be as magical as the charm. (If you need help with the rest of the night, I recommend the advice and books of Lou Paget. Besides, she just rocks as a person.)

So, how do you get charm to work for you? You could be cocky and funny a la David DeAngelo, or use NLP (neuro-linguistic programing) like Mystery. There are countless resources available on charm and seduction techniques for that seedy, self-serving, and short-term desire to exercise your loins. These kinds of techniques can certainly help you get laid. Will she be the woman is of your dreams? Probably not. But that depends on your dreams.

The Inner Layers: Character

Now, if you really want to reach out for the woman of your dreams, think about why she’s in your dreams. Some reasons: 1. You’ve actually met her but you don’t know her well enough to realize she’s the one. (As far as looks go, sometimes it just takes a new haircut and makeup, maybe some exercise, for her to become a bombshell.) 2. You don’t show women what they want to see—depth of character—keeping them from wanting to get to know you better.

Though generally women are charmed by a man’s ability to make an indelible impression, smart women (the ones you really want) also look for clues that reveal that depth of character. “What you see is what you get” is the dumbest statement a guy can make to a smart, eligible bachelorette. “Wow, are you that shallow?” she might think.

Granted, confidence and charisma is great for presentation. But, honestly, it’s not imperative for a man to have it. Women really want to know what’s beneath the surface. This is accomplished without C&C inside situations such as study sessions during college or working together on the job. If you’re not fortunate of being “stuck” getting to know your potential partner, C&C could certainly help increase your chance to show your inner layers.

So, how do you show depth of character? First, you have to have it. If you’re the kind of guy that says one thing and does another, then integrity is lacking. This isn’t difficult to attain, nor does it hurt to attain it (except pride). It’s a matter of deciding to start being a man of your word and doing it. Integrity, related to honesty, is one of those character traits that can lead to a plethora of other positive character traits—like confidence, amiability, ambition, cooperation, etc.—that give you depth of character. It’s the trait that leads men to become powerful in business and sports. But if you want your dating life to be powerful, you must also have integrity for it, assuming that is what your dream woman also possesses.

Character is charming

By now I hope you can see why women like men who are confident. (A lot of women actually are turned off by charisma.) Naturally, the stronger your positive character traits are, the more likely you will attract women to you. In fact, Harbinger advocates a more self-actualized take on charm, one that stems from knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses. His coaching services focus on exactly that, adding meaningful value to his pickup techniques.

Can you have charm without charisma? Absolutely. Just because you’re not a magnet doesn’t mean you can’t have charm. Charm will shine through character.

So, you can take the fast track to charm and risk falling into a pattern of short and unfulfilling relationships or you can allow women to see past your outer layer and really get the woman who will no longer be in your dreams.

Have a dating or relationship question? Ask Wing Girl Kim.

Email: ask@winggirladvice.com

What is Love? Part 4 – How To Love Women

How to Love Women

This post is specifically for the guys. (Hey, I write for a men’s magazine.)

No matter where you are in your relationship with a woman, here are 4 things you can to do to make her feel éros.

  1. Listen to her
  2. Use touch
  3. Be gentle
  4. Speak with your body

Listen to her.

“I knew that,” you might think. But do you know how to listen to women? First, you have to turn off all your electronics, yes this includes the TV.

It’s pretty widely known that women – even the most logical thinking ones – need to talk about their feelings. Not always, but usually when their feelings get in the way of rationality.

Some women are really upfront about their feelings.

No matter how worked up she might be, do whatever it takes not to react. Because I guarantee that once a woman realizes that you are listening, she will calm down. A quiet response is always better than a loud reaction in these situations.

Some women are used to people reacting to them. They might say something like, “Why aren’t you reacting?” Your response could be, “Because I’m trying to understand exactly what you are trying to say.” Some women are über logical (like myself) and reason out loud trying to figure out their feelings. A logical type tends not to get hyper emotional, but she still needs you to listen.

This is how to listen:

  • Don’t assume to know what she’s saying. Emotions are not easy to express with words. All those chemicals reacting in her brain need help with translation, and that’s where taking time to really understand will help.
  • Use active listening skills.
    • Try to understand. If you need clarification, a good way to start asking for it is with, “Do you feel like…?” Restating in your own words is also helpful.
    • Pay attention to body language. The body says a lot more than words. Use your body language to show you’re listening by leaning closer or facing her.
    • Give feedback, but not advice. Show you understand with eye contact, nodding, and “mm-hmms”. Good feedback reinforces what she says. Let her get the words out even if she sounds irrational. Then, if you must suggest something, ask if you can share it so she doesn’t get immediately defensive.
  • Don’t make it about you. Even if a woman starts blaming you, she might be using you as a scapegoat for the real problem. And if it really is your fault, remember that nobody is perfect and eat some humble pie.

On a deeper level, what makes a good listener is agápe. (See Part 1.) Listening is an action, and it’s louder than words.

Use touch.

First, remember touch is not always related to sex. Second, you can’t just touch a woman without having her trust (unless you want slapped or a lawsuit.) Building that trust for some women takes time and energy. But be an excellent listener and you can build that trust quicker.

Once you have a woman’s trust, her body will be more receptive and that is good for both of you.

Don’t underestimate foreplay. Good foreplay turns women on. There are great books on the topic: the Kama Sutra, books by Lou Paget (my favorite), and another classic: The Joy of Sex. And by all means, flirt. Touch not only with your hands but with your leg under the dinner table or with your lips. Kissing is way of touching.

Be gentle.

To be a real emotional support, use gentleness. You know women don’t want Mr. Fix It showing up when facing delicate issues. Put away the hard hat and be gentle.

Being gentle also applies to your touch. If you think foreplay doesn’t do anything, you probably aren’t gentle enough. Pay attention to her body language, if or when it tells you your touch is too hard. How do you hold an egg? [Your answer here.] Exactly.

Gentleness isn’t called for in every situation. Sometimes women need you to be dominant. Though you can still be gentle while dominant.

Speak with your body.

Did your mom ever hug you? How did it make you feel? Hug your woman. Hold her.

Your face also says and means a lot. If you look intently at her while thinking about how much you care, the care will show. Remember, if you are not thinking about how much you care for her that will also show.

When women feel love…

You know what happens when you and your girl love each other. You build intimacy. Then éros will take hold, and it will all be over for you.

Take an active listening assessment.

Another good article on active listening is at MindTools.com.

What is Love? Part 3 – Where to find it

Where the Heck Is Love?

So, where the heck do you find love? Well, the word “love” was spread out across the field during the Super Bowl halftime show this year. Was it there? Maybe it was at the party you went to. Maybe not.

Of the three ingredients of éros – attraction, readiness, and compatibility – the third is the most difficult to find.

How do you figure out how compatible someone is with you? Live together? Yikes! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Prior knowledge is useful. You know what I mean if the one you want is someone you already know. She might even be someone else’s girlfriend. (Hey, if she’s not married, she’s a prospect. All you have to do is wait for the right moment. Anyway…)

Too often guys make the mistake of getting into a relationship with someone they don’t know at all, as in those cases when meeting a girl at the bar who spends the night, and the next night, and the next. Worse is getting comfortable with that person, getting married, having a kid, and realizing you don’t really like each other. Hey, it happens.

Raise the probability

Having “relationships” with women – not just sex – makes finding compatibility easier. Take the woman virtually everyone has experience with: Mom. Some guys find wives or girlfriends just like their mothers.

Most people, especially guys, probably don’t think about their parents as measuring sticks for finding love. Though that might be helpful, it’s probably a better idea to go by psychological types. (No, that’s not the same as “psycho”.)

It’s far beyond the scope of this article to explain what psychological types are. Besides, I explain it to some degree in the second half of my book, AlphaDog, Get The Bitch You Want (tongue in cheek). So let’s keep this as simple as possible.

Say for example you love football. I mean, you LOVE it. You can describe in detail how the Packers scored the first touchdown and dominated the Superbowl with 11 point leads. (Sorry, Steelers fans.) How do you find a partner in life who can appreciate your love for football? Tough question. But one thing you would want to look out for, if you’re the type of person to recall games in detail, is a certain quality in someone who appreciates details. For example, maybe her eyes light up as she listen to you explain the plays.

Since getting to know every single woman out there is impossible, there are obvious things you can do to raise the probability that a woman you meet is compatible with you, e.g., appreciates your passions.

  1. Be in the right place at the right time
  2. Get friends to help
  3. Use a matchmaker

Be in the right place at the right time.

A lot of couples in love got to know each other at school, working together, or among their circle of friends. It’s no mystery that you can meet the right person at the workplace, or through people you already know.

You can also be smarter about meeting new people.

Carl Jung, the “father” of clinical psychoanalysis, came up with two fundamental ways the human brain works: the way we take in information and the way we make decisions. Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother-daughter team, expanded on Jung’s theories and developed the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), a tool used to figure out what kind of job we should get and how we get along with each other. Alexander Avila has taken the MBTI to a more intimate level explaining how different types hypothetically interact during romance. He offers suggestions in his book, LoveTypes, on where you’re more likely to find your personality match.

Get friends to help.

Countless times, random guys have asked me if I have any single friends. This is great and all, but you think I’d hook up my friends with some guy I don’t know? Ask people you like – who know and like you – if they have single friends they can introduce you to.

Well, some friends might be poor judges, but getting friends to help exponentially raises the probability of finding someone. Works great especially when friends have that sixth sense (or a good working knowledge of personality type theory).

Use a matchmaker

If you’re out of luck on the friends-with-sixth-sense front, you could always hire a matchmaker. Matchmaking has been around for centuries. Hey, it must work.

(And, of course, there’s the Internet.)

It’s Out There

Love might have only been written on the Cowboys Stadium field. But it’s out there. Be smart about where you look.

What is Love? Part 2

What exactly is love?

“Why can’t we just sniff each other like dogs and mate?”

“Why do women make this love thing so complicated?”

For one, the hunt wouldn’t be as interesting if it was too easy, truly. Being human takes work. To deal with the complex matrix that makes the human brain and find lasting love, we can take the word of any religion that tells us exactly what to do. Not.

You could figure it out by trial and error. How exhausting.

Really, you want to be smart about this whole love thing, right? Throughout history, romantic love has played major roles. Antony and Cleopatra, John and Abigail Adams, Bonnie and Clyde, Lucy and Desi, John and Yoko, and some of our parents. Repeat: some.

Making éros happen for the long haul takes 3 things:

  1. attraction
  2. readiness
  3. compatibility

Attraction

This is easy. All you need is a pair eyes. (If you don’t have eyes, sorry.) If every woman in the world took care of herself inside and out, the streets would be an ocean of eye candy. Since not every woman takes care of herself, the number of attractive women is limited. Still, there are plenty of women to light up your love rod. (Of course there’s the not-so-hot woman with personality who you might find is pretty “alright” after getting to know her. But that’s not the point right now.)

You want that attraction to last, of course. Looks don’t last forever, so it also takes associating those initial sparks with the intimacy that develops as a result of bonding. More on that later.

Readiness

Now, if you scoffed at the title of this article, you’re might not be ready to embrace this thing called love. Though you’ve probably been through enough trial and error to realize that it must exist. As tragic as true love ending in death, being ready means being willing to risk impending loss just to enjoy reknowned relationship bliss for even a brief moment on Earth.

Sometimes it takes life changes to realize readiness, such as the birth of a child, or witnessing the least commitment-minded person you know falling in love. Sometimes it takes pressure from family or friends. Sometimes we just grow up. A few are ready long before the rest of us because that’s how they were born.

Being ready for love takes having EQ. That is, emotional intelligence. If you didn’t know, EQ is like IQ, but it regards how one handles his or her emotions. A person with high EQ has the ability to empathize with others and handles heated situations with calm, for example. Not everyone who commits to a relationship has high EQ. But for true love to happen, it’s definitely helpful. True love could happen without high EQ, though that would be an emotional rollercoaster.

Readiness without drama certainly requires at least some emotional intelligence. Even better if it grows. EQ growth happens when working through emotions or painful memories and becoming resolved about them. It might take therapy, serious talks with someone you trust, or plenty of man-cave time.

Compatibility

If readiness isn’t challenging enough, there’s compatibility.

The problem with compatibility is that it’s easy to be deceived into thinking you get along with a woman just because you shared one amazing night or week together. More often than not, real compatibility lacks. It takes life experience, use of logic, or friends showing us how blind we are to see when compatibility is missing.

Sometimes similarities mask incompatibility. Just because you moved to the same neighborhood, worked in the same industry, and like the same music doesn’t make you and the girl you like compatible. The test of compatibility happens among day-to-day redundancies, such as dealing with how bills are paid, or how the house is kept.

Of course, you can’t know if you and a woman are compatible in daily life without becoming roommates. If that situation is out of the question, having friends who know you really well can help. You know, friends with that sixth sense.

Compatibility is unfortunately the one thing that couples absolutely need for true love but far too often miss. How can we be more astute in having compatibility in a relationship? That will be the topic in the next article in this series on love.

What Is Love? Part I

In the next few weeks, I will focus on that seemingly ever-elusive topic: love. Personally, I like the idea of lasting love and have devoted the last 3 years of my life to explain in plain English how to have it. Hence, the series:

What Is Love?

Part 1 – Love: Where did we go wrong?

Somewhere in the midst of caveman clubbing, hair-dragging, and procreation, romantic love developed. And in spite of the ancient writings of King Solomon and the Kama Sutra, our culture is largely ignorant on how to have lasting love with a significant other. Could this be due to what American culture is: apple pie, cowboy boots, Hollywood, and suburbia? Tsk, Americans aren’t that shallow.

Western history nonetheless has caused people of breeding generations to question love.

Exponential population growth definitely doesn’t help with the answer. Only 100 years ago, the world’s population was less than 2 billion. This year it will reach 7 billion. Maybe the trouble of finding true love today is simply a matter of decreasing odds. If that’s the case, some of us are smart, raising that probability by meeting our soul mates in college, in the neighborhood, or through a friend. Fewer are plain lucky. Most of us are sadly left to sift through the masses, or worse, online dating profiles.

“These days we question why couples stay together more than why they split.”

Are people staying together out of convenience, for comfort or companionship? It seems less likely that a couple is together for love. In that rare relationship in which the old man says of his elderly wife how beautiful she is, we’ve got to ask how to achieve that true love. Does it really exist?

In Greek there are 4 different words for love: éros, philia, storge, and agápe. Eros is the love we all know in the world of romance to mean intimate, or passionate love. Philia refers to friendship among family and friends. Storge is affection such as felt by parents for their children. And agape is unconditional love coming from compassion and understanding. These are rough translations, because in Greek, all four of these words are used to describe truly romantic marriage.

In English, love has been reduced to a buzzword. We say “I love you” even without romance. Even natives of other languages say “I love you” in English more than in their first language. This is ridiculous.

So, how can real love be reestablished?

Let’s think about reasons why we love. Let’s take man’s best friend for example. You give your new dog food, a toy, a place to lie down, maybe take her for a walk or play with her. That dog says thanks by showering you with kisses, guarding you when strangers approach, and panting with excitement when you come home. Reciprocity abounds as a bond develops. In a short amount of time, you grow to love that dog as she becomes part of your family. Pretty easy. If only loving women worked the same way.

The confusion with love these days begins with a word that isn’t love at all. Lust, or epithumeo in Greek, has passion and can be confused easily with éros. You see a pretty girl and the way she looks does something to your hunter instinct as it sniffs out the viability of this prey. A few things in common gives you ammunition for the kill. She falls. Devouring her makes happiness and oxytocin, but it doesn’t last. Next day, the carcass rots. Not love.

Then there’s the opposite problem – the “friend”.

Of course you love (philia) your friend. She’s easy enough on the eyes and you respect her companionship. In fact, you might as well be joined at the hip because she is you in female form. But she doesn’t turn on that hunter instinct. Too bad.

As finding someone to love in all 4 Greek forms is increasingly difficult, it’s important to remember that the benefits of ensuring success may outweigh the struggle, especially when we walk away from failure with experiential lessons. In the words of Alanis Morissette, you live, you learn. Besides, we’ve all gone wrong about love at times in our lives, except maybe for the fortunate few.

In the days when fertility and sexuality was celebrated on February 15 (later to become the 14th), courtship and romance was not very common. More often, marriages were arranged for financial, social, or political reasons. Today, we have every reason to be grateful for our liberties. Nobody wants to be miserable. Everyone wants love.

This series on the topic will explore different factors of love in romantic relationships – how to find it, how to use it, and exactly what it is. Let’s figure out how to make the most of it.

How To Be a Great Kisser

I’ve kissed a lot of people. Lost count 20 years ago. No one has ever told me that I’m bad at it. Hence, following are some tips.

Your mouth is erogenous, a source point for sexual stimulation. To turn kissing into great foreplay, remember 3 things:

1. Slightly-parted soft lips

Your lips should start out completely relaxed. A kissy face (or duck lips) is not relaxed. Your lips have a sphincteral muscle, the orbicularis oris, used when puckering up. A pucker is fine when you’re giving a platonic peck or a gratuitous kiss on the cheek. But we’re talking about making out.

If you want to stimulate your lover’s pituitary gland, don’t pucker until your lips are touching his/hers.

Ever wonder how couples lock lips? This occurs when two people respond to each other’s touch through their lips. When they are comfortable with each other, their body language mirrors one another subconsciously. Watch two people in conversation and you’ll often see their body positions reflecting each other. Locked lips also mirror touch and puckering.

Try this: Brush his/her lips with yours while they’re completely relaxed. Relax your neck muscles so that you’re like a bobble head. Okay, the imagery isn’t romantic, but that’s the gist of the movement. Believe me, as long as your head doesn’t bobble as if hitting a bump in the road, your partner won’t be thinking bobble head unless of course he or she reads this article, too.

2. Relaxed tongue

Once you’re lips have locked, which can be a half-second quick, you can open your mouth more and use your tongue. Like your lips, your tongue should also start out relaxed. Your tongue should be able to reflect and respond to hers. Of course, you want her to also be responding to and reflecting you as well.

Don’t start using your tongue until after your lips have locked.

It’s so unromantic seeing a guy’s mouth when it looks like a bat coming in for a kill. Kissers want to feel your tongue, not see it.

Don’t poke his/her mouth with your tongue unless you’re playing. And don’t continually kiss with your entire tongue inside the other person’s mouth. That might be fun for a little bit, but kissing like that the whole time? Don’t rape his/her mouth.

Instead, use your tongue to feel the other person’s. If you don’t know what to do with it, move your tongue around his/hers as if you’re writing the first five letters of the alphabet. But make sure you’re not writing with the tip of your tongue. That will feel like poking. Go around your partner’s tongue is if his/her tongue is the center of each letter.

3. Reciprocation

The whole activity is about action and reaction. From pressing your lips against your partner’s to tongue play, you want to non-verbally create a connection.

Touch, respond, and reciprocate to connect. If your partner’s tongue is mushy, make yours mushy. If your tongue is so hard it can push buttons, the other person might retract. If he/she pulls back, you’re probably not being sensitive to touch and feel. Guys, think about how your want your balls touched rather than your staff. Girls, think of your breasts.

Don’t chomp like a stork. Enough said.

The whole point of reciprocating while kissing is giving back what you get. Of course, if you’re the initiator, hopefully your partner will do the same. But once it gets going, it should be constant receiving and giving.

In the middle of it all, sense his/her reaction and intensity. Then change it up. Get more intense, play with your tongue tip, or clean his/her teeth. Get creative and have fun.

Examples

When we were younger, we watched movies and TV shows to try to figure out how to kiss. Unfortunately, there really aren’t many good examples of great kissing. But there are some.

One example of a great kisser, if not of acting ability, is Keanu Reeves. Because of his kissing skill, you’ll see a lot of close-ups of him locking lips with his leading ladies. Unfortunately, not all of the actresses he kisses reciprocate well. Movies showing Reeve’s libido-inspired moves include The Matrix, Point Break, and A Walk In The Clouds.

Ingrid Bergman kissing Cary Grant in Notorious is also good to watch. The hotel room scene where she tries to seduce him with kisses is a great example of what to do with your lips when getting into a make-out session.

Hopefully, you won’t need to scour through movies to learn to kiss well. Mostly, remember to keep your mouth relaxed. If you feel like you’re tightening up, think of what it’s like to eat ice cream and suck away.

When a Matchmaker is a Good Idea

There’s nothing like Valentine’s Day to remind us of how alone we single people are. But after experiencing failed relationships, better to be alone than bear with more heartbreak, right? The eternal optimist such as myself might prefer the risk anyway.

Rather than delve quickly and deeply into a new relationship, I’ve decided to take things slow. Well, not really. What I mean is, I’m not dating for the sake of dating anymore.

At the age of 39 with a growing business, I don’t have much time to date. My book is selling and people are responding positively to my “pick-up” methods. I mean, people like what I’m teaching. They’re not really pickup strategies. They’re really ways to discern personality attributes when meeting strangers, acquaintances, and potential dates. Do I use them in seeking a partner? Of course! But I still want help, because I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. (And I really don’t ask for much…I don’t think.)

After two marriage proposals, a few engagements, and other relationships I don’t regret, I’ve finally decided it’s time to settle down. I’ve heard that finding a spouse within a year can be done with plenty of proactivity. Unfortunately, I’m lacking the time needed to utilize these tested spouse-finding strategies. So, I decided to inquire matchmakers.

A lot of matchmakers have teams of people looking for the characteristics their clients are looking for. It’s like exponentially increasing the odds of finding the one. My requirements are pretty simple: a natural leader with a spiritual side. The question I had to ask is who would understand what I’m looking for. Finding the right matchmaker to work with can be challenging.

In the process of researching the various backgrounds and practices of matchmakers, I found that a lot of them offer a lot of socializing opportunities in addition to counseling, date coaching, and introductions. But one matchmaker in particular stood out – Janis Spindel.

Unlike Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker – who works with a range of characters and sometimes uses her clients for entertainment value – Janis focuses seriously on finding men their soul mates. Her clients are men who are ready to get married and who she’s comfortable working with. On top of that, Janis is married to her husband of about 30 years and has two grown daughters – one of whom, Carly, has her own dating agenda.

Choosing to work with clients Janis likes earns my respect, because that means she wants her work to be quality. How can you not respect that? Besides, why would anyone want to work with someone whose lifestyle and character is different from his or her own? Wouldn’t you trust someone within your own circle of friends more than someone in an unknown network? I certainly wouldn’t want a matchmaker to set me up if she or he didn’t get me.

Since I couldn’t hire Janis myself (since she only works with men as her clients, not to mention being beyond my means), I decided to share our conversation with the world.

Click on the image to watch the video of our talk and see for yourself what a real matchmaker does.

Click to watch the interview with Janis Spindel

Short on time? Click here for 2 minutes of highlights.

Valentine’s Day. I actually don’t feel sad at all. Besides, it’s $10 burger and beer night at the Water Street Bar and Grill in Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll get a chance meeting with my soul mate…probably not. Hey, you never know.

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