Tag Archives: dating

A Year of Hope – Part 3

(Continued from Part 2.)

For an entire week I neglected my motorcycle. The spark plugs are hard to get to, much like those incognito feelings that haunt us and make us feel lost. It’s because of these plugs my bike wouldn’t start.

I waited to see what James would do. How was his ignition working? Would his motor turn to put his words into motion?

We are ridiculously flawed. It doesn’t matter how together we look on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Our delectable second date at Blue Ribbon Brooklyn was followed by dinner the next night in the same neighborhood at a popular Italian place called Al di La.

Before we went in, James left me at Al di La’s wine bar while he jogged down the street to give an extra $10 to our waiter from the night before. Talk about extra mile.

He returned from his stalwart act.

“Was he there?” I asked.

“He was. He was surprised.”

Naturally. At this point something happened to my heart like a scab had been picked from it, loosening the skin underneath.

Our seating arrangement was unlike the first two dates where we sat adjacent to one another. By this time, however, it didn’t matter how we sat. We were so comfortable with each other that a little food stuck mid-bite was no embarrassment.

He reached his hand midway across the table where mine came to meet his.

“When can you fly out? Are you ready?” he asked.

“Friday, possibly Thursday. My bag is already packed.”

It wasn’t.

Our dinner ended on glasses of tawny port and discourse on the Republican primary.

We drove home.

“Sushi tomorrow?” He wanted to see me as much as possible before leaving town.

I wanted to trust James with all my heart. But I couldn’t. There were still old heart wounds with scabs still on them. Every invitation brought up in me a fear that he would not follow through.

But the next day he surprised me again showing up in the middle of the day while I worked from home. I had become sick with a cold. He didn’t seem to care, except that he didn’t kiss me that day. Then in the evening, he came over again and picked up take out from a nearby sushi restaurant. Four visits in three days.

He was a knight. Or he was over-infatuated.

 

The following weekend I got my bike running. Those damned spark plugs. To get to them, the fuel lines and gauge get disconnected, the seat and tank removed, and plugs unscrewed. Sure enough, the middle two spark plugs were fouled with wet, black oil. The valve seals were leaking oil into the middle two cylinders.

Troubleshooting an engine that doesn’t start requires a step-by-step analysis. Is the battery charged? Is there fuel in the tank? Does the starter turn? Are there sparks? The Saturday before, my bike reached the fourth question. The answer was no. This was unlike the new relationship on the horizon.

Every day we didn’t see each other, we texted, emailed, or called each other.

I wondered during his travels if he drank a lot. What kind of people he met. If women tried to pick him up. If he tried to pick up women. They were questions that arise with new relationships that are only answered by time, situations, and trust.

One week after our second date, he calls. “What do you think of Mendocino?”

“Sounds great.” I had never been there.

“Will you check out what’s going on there?”

Two hours researching built excitement about ocean cave kayaking, horseback riding on a 10-mile deserted beach, wine tastings, and Mendocino’s crab and wine event. Airbnb advertised the Elk Inn, a perfect oceanside B&B and spa not found on Expedia. I forgot about all the work I had to do that week.

Expectations are what you have when someone else convinces you to plan time out of your busy life.

The next morning he calls. “Are you ready? When can you fly out?”

“Friday. Maybe Thursday. I have to find a dog sitter.”

“How about if we go someplace warmer?”

What if this all fell through? What if I packed my bag, sent the dog to the sitter, and had no ticket?

Tuesday I pull my carry-on down from its storage place and speak to a potential dog sitter. In the evening, still no ticket.

Wednesday we meet the new sitter. Arrangements are set. James texts, “Can you leave Thursday?”

“Yes.” I had moved my schedule around. Wait, Thursday is tomorrow.

With all the effort to plan a trip with a guy I just met, the last thing I would allow is to be left with a packed bag and nowhere to go.

Before riding a motorcycle, I did other dangerous activities like skydiving and skiing double diamond trails. In spite of plenty of invitations, I hadn’t skied in over 20 years. So, I made it my plan B. It was too cold to ride a motorcycle, and the valve seals were leaking.

When you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to have emergency phone numbers and a tool kit at all times. Motorcycle riders are infamously known as organ donors, and their bikes are infamously known to crash or break down. Perhaps this was experience enough to be prepared at all costs.

Wednesday evening arrives. Still no ticket.

Thursday morning the phone rings. It’s him.

 

Bag packed, I looked back into my apartment and bid farewell to the dirty dishes and piles of paperwork.

On Friday, I arrived at my destination, took care of business, and settled down to watch smiling faces as they laughed with the delight of their day off.

The chairlift carried me into a snow-blurred sky.

I thought about James’ phone call. I had answered. He hung up.

A Year of Hope – Part 2

(Continued from Part 1.)

Mr. Flawless opened the passenger door of his seasoned German convertible coupe. It impressed me that he drove this little vehicle instead of some gas guzzling monster of conspicuous luxury. He dressed casually, again in cashmere but this time no collared shirt. Remembering our first date’s wardrobe mismatch, I had dressed up and donned a silver mink stole my mother bought at a yard sale and a black silk John Varvatos dress from a secondhand shop. He liked it.

We headed toward the middle of Brooklyn reaching a neighborhood densely populated with occupied storefronts, more than half of which were gated shut for the weekend. Neither of us knew where to go.

While I looked for restaurants on Yelp with a rating of at least 4 stars, he checked Zagat’s guide and came across an establishment saying, “Oh, this one has a 27.” I put my phone away. Even with 4 stars, places reviewed on Yelp can still be hit or miss depending on who you want to please. Settling on this dimly lit enclave in the middle of Park Slope, we parked and headed inside.

Blue Ribbon looked like a Saturday night. Fitting for a New Year’s Day evening. In spite of the crowd, James secured a table in a cozy corner with a long view of the rest of the dining room. One thing is certain. We both enjoy the energy of a crowded room.

 

The day before, my motorcycle wouldn’t start. Missing the beautiful unusually warm weekend before, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to take a winter ride. Subways on the weekend are to be avoided. Taxi cabs on New Year’s Eve few. Instead my motorless bicycle got me around town. Perhaps the bicycle was a better ride after all, since riding a motorcycle requires 100% attention on the road.

On a bicycle, it’s okay for your mind to wander while riding on paths with no cars. It’s a great way to reflect, think about life, maybe even grow a little wiser.

I thought about James and his confession. According to some psychologists, about two out of 5 men have a tendency to get emotional about romance. Two out of 5 women are less emotional. I’m one of those two. Was I insensitive to ignore “I thought about you all day”? I stopped my bike and texted back. “I thought about you too.” A day later isn’t too late. Or is it?

The rest of my ride that night consisted of thinking about the guy at the New Year’s Eve dinner who asked me out, wondering why my motorcycle wouldn’t start, avoiding stumbling drunks, and feeling happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I can do the quirky silly things I like whenever I want.

Coming across an abandoned and stripped bicycle frame on the sidewalk, I wondered if James would have fun re-purposing forgotten objects with me. This thought made me feel lonely. I tried not to hope too much.


“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

-Proverbs 13:12, English Standard Version

At the table, James and I talked and laughed through three courses of dishes paired with a full-bodied Super Tuscan. We had Malpec oysters and Cherrystone clams, roasted endive salad, and lamb shank with sautéed white beans. The wine worked well with all three plates.

Doubts I had about the potential of our relationship melted with every smile and touch. Though not completely.

We got so comfortable in our corner that our legs intertwined under the table.

We spent the rest of the evening at my place, impassioned.

Completely at ease with our spent bodies, we slumped back on the couch. “I want to go someplace warm next weekend. Will you come?” He was leaving for the west coast later that week he said for business. He would be gone for two weeks.

I looked at him wondering how long his infatuation would last. “Sure.” The thought of going someplace warm while New York temperatures dropped below freezing was enough of a lure to not care what happened to our potential.

This wasn’t the first time he mentioned taking me away. During the first date, he alluded to it telling me about his racked up frequent flier miles and “if things work out…”

Whether or not things work out, I try not to hope. Besides, I don’t know what expectations are.

To Be Continued.

A Year of Hope

My last boyfriend and I split up during the holidays of 2010. This past holiday season – and I’m not the only one who felt this – didn’t feel like the holidays at all. I bought 3 gifts for my 3 best girlfriends. No boyfriend, no gifts for family, not even for my dog.

I rode my bicycle after a party in the freezing air on Christmas early morning across the Brooklyn Bridge. There were a handful of pedestrians on the bridge at 3 a.m. and no other bicycles. No tourists! I stopped and took pictures of I-don’t-even-remember, but I do remember feeling happy. I’m single, 40, and happy.

A week later, similar circumstance. New Year’s early morning, just before 3. Several more walkers – or should I say, stumblers – and no other bicycles. One thing was different. I had met someone.

Actually, we met the Friday before Christmas at a party in the home of a warmly hospitable host. Only two degrees of separation. He and I talked about exploring areas of the city, namely Brooklyn, my home. I wasn’t even interested in him during that conversation. But he wanted me to show him Brooklyn, so I decided I would introduce him to my friends’ restaurant. How could I not bring them new business?

I forgot about him by the next day, Christmas Eve.

A few days later, he texted. Darn it, what was his name? Mike? He lol’ed and corrected me in jest. All I could remember was his perfectly formed hair, flawless skin, and clean manicure. Totally not my type. Not for a girl with grease under her fingernails, a six-month old haircut, and unkempt cuticles, not to mention skin blemishes. Still, business for my friends.

When our “date” was about to begin, I hadn’t changed my clothes from work. In fact, I got off my bicycle after a 5-mile commute, and greeted him with a “Hey”. My makeup had not been touched up. My hair was windblown. My clothes were damp with sweat. He looked like he just stepped out of a limo at a Newport, RI mansion. What did he see in me?

First, a drink at a local hangout. Superfine is run by the coolest women who keep the 20th century alive with weekend DJs, bluegrass bands, and occasional burlesque extravaganzas. The food is locally-sourced, except for the California citrus and Hatch, New Mexico green chilies. I ordered a margarita. Better to bear with this man wearing cashmere and an oxford shirt. Certainly is not the guitar slinger nor the geek I usually date.

The drink was followed by dinner at my friends’ place, AlMar, at the bar. Surprisingly, he was okay with sitting at the bar. Personally, it’s a preference when the only seating options are across from each other. Why, when the food is to be savored and enjoyed, should one be distracted by a dining partner’s presence when familiarity and comfort is at a minimum? How self-conscious can a person get with a new date at dinner? No wonder so many people prefer just drinks for a first date. But this wasn’t a date with a prospect in my eyes. Dinner was devoured.

The third place we went to, Jack the Horse Tavern, in my opinion has the best traditionally-mixed cocktails in Brooklyn. By this point, after he disdainfully refused my inquisitive financial contribution, it was with pleasure to bring him here. Not because he was paying, but because showing him great places was the least I could do to as a courtesy.

Fortunately, on this last Thursday of 2011, he surprised me once again.

Granted, by this time we each had had a cocktail and a half bottle of wine. In spite of the reduced judgment ability, his conversation locked my attention to the point where words flowed from my mouth without the need to edit. I can’t remember the last time I sat with someone with this conversation ease. We talked about our post-9-11 experiences, our families’ highlights (or dysfunctions), travel destinations, and things our fanciful drinks reminded us of. The more we talked, the easier it became to see our similarities and reconcile our differences.

He walked me home. I didn’t need to be drunk to kiss him.

The next day he sent a text. “Last night exceeded my expectations.” Expectations? What are those? I tried not to think about a possible future with this atypical date. It’s pretty easy to do that when you can think of all the reasons why it would not work out.

Early New Year’s morning I rode my bike with hope. The memory of this man would not go away. If anything, he gave me a glimpse into a different life. Fifteen hours later, I answered the phone to, “When should I pick you up?”

To Be Continued.

Is Your Magic Criteria List Killing Your Online Dating Pool?

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.

 

Texas Hold ‘Em Pick Up Strategies

Getting a good hand might take luck, but it takes skill to play a good game.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

What Not to Do on a First Date

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.

Don’t over-think.

Here are a two things that can happen as a result of over-thinking that can ruin a perfectly good potential relationship:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 topic of this post was inspired by Rachel Greenwald’s Have Him At Hello. Not bad, this book.

My Online Profile

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.)

But tonight…

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.

Heal yourself.

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.

Nurture yourself.

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”?

Good luck.

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.

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?

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.