Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Blues

Valentine’s Day is not usually a happy holiday for most. If you’re single, widowed, or even unhappy in your marriage or relationship, you feel it more on this day than almost any other, possibly with the exception of New Year’s Eve. The retail industry relentlessly bombards you with ads for jewelry, flowers, and spa days before Christmas day is even over. The stores aren’t much better putting out their V-day cards with funny and often mushy contents, red stuffed animals that often dance and sing, and miniature heart shaped boxes of cheap chocolates as they withdraw the Christmas items. 

Why does February 14 matter so much? A child exchanging valentines at the class party could measure his or her popularity or the lack of it through how many valentines he or she received. That’s why the Charlie Brown V-Day special with Charlie shaking his box in an effort to locate one card is especially poignant. Teachers send home instructions that students must bring valentines for everyone. That doesn’t mean everyone gets a valentine. Even if the mother painstakingly addressed twenty-eight cards using the provided list, the child could pull out one or two due to dislike. As a teacher, I’ve seen it happen more than once and usually had extra valentines on hand for such occasions. 

The media via advertising created the message  that no valentine equals no love. This message is so prevalent in the United States that I make sure to send my friends and family V-day cards. One in five people surveyed complained of feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day. Those were the honest ones, there may have been more.  Relationship issues cause 75% of suicides or at least that’s the note theme.

Men often break up before the 14th because they’re unsure how to treat the day. Many women expect expensive jewelry and a deeper commitment it represents. A friend of mine confided that she went out on a first date on Valentine’s Day. That must have been tough for the both of them with the couples crowding every restaurant and date venue.

Not all of them are happy, stars in their eyes, couple, either.  Apparently, 64% of men do not make advance plans. That means the super romantic date the woman expected may end up at Steak and Shake. Not that it’s a bad place. They’re even offering free milkshakes on the 14th. However, most men are aware whatever they do won’t be right.

On a recent local radio show, the caller called about Valentine’s Day. She commented her former boyfriend brought her roses, chocolates, took her out to nice places and even opened the car door for her, but she still dumped him. Men almost begrudgingly buy valentine gifts. No wonder they fall prey to last minute thinking and advertising. Their rush into the drugstore on the way home is the equivalent of streaking across the frozen tundra, unpleasant at best.

It isn’t surprising that forty percent of the population has negative feelings about the day. If you’re alone on the day, and you will be at some time in your life, then you could  feel like a loser. Someone who has to hide out as if a pariah. If your significant doesn’t pop for a desired item or an expensive item, often couples break up.  It’s amazing what ridiculous item the diamond industry will promote each year.  This year, it’s your initial picked out in diamonds.  People will buy them in hordes.

Another survey asked women what they really wanted. None wanted an initial necklace. Most wanted household chores done without begging. Others wanted the significant other to plan a date. Not one wanted a red stuffed animal that played music, rose-shaped bath soaps that gummed up the tub, or even roses.

In the end, being extra nice one day isn’t as good as being a decent human all year along. I suspect that is what most people want. As for my sweetie and I, we stay in and enjoy a special dinner on V-day not wanting to deal with the crowds and inflated prices. We do get each other a gift that shows how well we know one another, nothing red or decorated with hearts.

Do you think there’s no one out there for you. My book, Dating after Forty-eight is .99 and available on Nook, Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and PDF on Smashwords. It’s also available in paperback too.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Height Standard

When it comes to men, taller is usually preferred. Notice I didn’t say better. In fact, in western society, it is almost unthinkable for the woman to be taller or almost as tall as her partner. Even petite women prefer a tall mate. Movie stars such as Tom Cruise, who barely tops 5’9”, look taller because of camera angles. Remember the upside down kiss in the Spiderman movie. It was staged so it wouldn’t be obvious the two leads were almost the same height.

Apparently, the cutoff for acceptable height is 5’10” for men. Not too surprising since the average height for women is 5’5”, although women are beginning to push that number upward. Most women want a man they can wear their heels with. The ideal of being out in public with a shorter man is, at best, awkward. This concept is woven into our current and past society. Leaders are often picked on their size as opposed to their ability. It’s no wonder the expression that a man stand head and shoulders above his competition is a good one.

How prevalent is this idea? While we are moving into larger size models in women’s wear, you never see any short models in men’s clothing. In fact, they don’t even make clothes for shorter men. You have your big and tall sizes, but no short and compact equivalent. Even when a man is short, other people try to conspire to make him taller. People arranging blind dates never mention a man’s height, unless he’s tall. Shoe manufacturers sell heeled boots and lifts. At a photography studio, I even witnessed the photographer having a height-challenged man stand on wooden block to appear taller than his wife.

How does this translate to dating? Not very well for the male candidate under 5’10”. According to a Duke University Study, men 5’9” had to make over 40,000 to make up for the single inch, which would mean a 5’5” man would have to make 200,000, which is a major jump. This could explain why you see wealthy short men with model-worthy wives.

The same study went on to point out American men preferred their dates to be slightly underweight. This isn’t too surprising since we have endless Photo Shopped images, where even the models that posed for the ads weren’t even that thin.

The article went on to say hot people only want to date hot people, not exactly a news flash. Not so attractive people end up dating people of equal unattractiveness. What they do is prioritize what is important to them and it isn’t a six-pack abs or a twenty-inch waist.

This is a bit depressing if you’re in the dating market. It’s best to go back to the traditional measures of a good mate, which is actions. While dating, a man or woman is at their peak of courtship behavior, which means it will probably get much worse. With that in mind, don’t bet on your 6’ date to suddenly develop manners if you continue to date. Don’t even consider that you can change another person into the mold of your preferred date. It’s not happening.

A friend of mine whined horribly about how her current tall boyfriend treats her like unpaid servant and ATM, which he does.  Several people, including men, told her to drop him. She didn’t because he is so tall and good-looking. If you insist on 6’ men, realize there are only 14% in the United States, and many of them are married.

If you’re a man who needs an underweight woman, your best bet will probably be the local high school or possibly an ultra-marathoners’ club. Still, I believe, if you’re a decent individual who refuses to categorize the other gender, you should find someone to love, and better yet, someone to love you.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Flirting Theory

Does flirting get you better service, jobs, or even a better cut of beef? This discussion came up recently at work. Most believed they received benefits due to their flirting. It also comes down to what you define as flirting. I was raised to be civil, helpful and pleasant. If someone asks for the time or help in finding a particular item in the grocery, I would never consider my assistance as flirting, although some people would.

Flirting can consist of making jokes, direct compliments, teasing that prolongs a conversation beyond its natural limits. Most sales people will flatter the customer pretending an interest they don’t feel.  My sales training focused on how to friend the person creating an affability to make a sale. The service person, server, or car salesperson really isn’t interested in you. Depending on their policy, they could get in trouble for not smiling or wishing you a pleasant day.

Several co-workers insisted they received better service by flirting. Most of the time they got the same service everyone else did. A perusal of a magazine meant for restaurant owners and employees listed the issues servers had with customers. Number one was flirting. Most of the time the young server was creeped out by men or women old enough to be his or her parents flirting them up. Especially icky was when customers leered, made comments about the server’s appearance, or even mentioned coming back again. It sounds a great deal like stalking.

Why do people bother to flirt, especially in the presence of their spouse or significant other? First, they have a captive audience with employees who can’t say anything negative at the risk of losing a sale or possibly their job.  The would-be Lotharios set out to prove to the significant other that they are still hot. While the server ducks back into the kitchen to get their order, the flirter might even go on about how intrigued the waitress was. When in truth, she’s relating the hackneyed lines to the amusement of her fellow workers.

Secondly, it is a no-risk situation. The flirter doesn’t have to worry about rejection because, as the buyer, he or she holds all the power. The intention was never to pick up someone, but just to build up some self-esteem. Doing this in front of a significant other guarantees the safety aspect. It also means that the person serving the obnoxious flirter may have a few choice descriptions uttered only after the tip is rendered, and only to fellow servers.

Occasionally, there are people who deliberately flirt to irritate their spouse, provoke jealously, or even start an argument. It makes you wonder what benefits they hope to get.

As for the salesperson who is the victim of this unwanted attention, it is a form of harassment. If a person were genuinely interested in the employee, and the server felt likewise, then it would be an entirely different story. The flirting would serve its natural purpose as opposed to trying to cop a free appetizer.

Often, employees will play the flirting game. An example is giving the offender free pie as if it were a special gift between the two of them even though the restaurant had a free pie policy. This results in the flirter tipping more in the belief he received something special.

Back in the day, when I was waitress, a single, older man was usually a guarantee of a big tip if played appropriately. It kind of makes you wonder who is playing whom?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Has Romance Died Due to Technology?

BBC historian Lucy Worsley recently rocked boats when she declared romance was dead thanks to dating apps. More and more people are using smart phones to hook up. A possible swipe to the right depends on superficial looks and a clever tagline. Actually, neither have to be authentic to get a first date. No worries about the second date because that isn’t happening. Most likely bored singles are looking for diversion in their busy lives, not relationships, and definitely not romance.

Romance is complex and often takes time. An initial interested glance encountered at the coffee shop or at work results in follow-up events. These incidents can be as simple as a hello or a smile. Eventually, an invitation is offered after weighing the pro and cons of doing so. If the date goes well, there is a second one, and the gradual road to getting to know one another. A few of us are old enough to remember the excitement of a growing flirtation, the specialness of a date request, even the importance of the first kiss.

With applications such as Tinder, people are little more than interchangeable units. There is no specialness when there seems to be an unending supply of people to pick from. In the end, some people showcase better than others, which only proves they’ve mastered smoke and mirror manipulation. It doesn’t really matter if the person isn’t single, a jet pilot, or former Olympian since he or she has no plans to stay around long enough for it to matter.

This type of throwaway dating is destined to cause bitterness. It is no wonder that other apps have shown up to allow people to rate their dates. The forthcoming Peeple app allows people to report on dates, sexual performance, bosses, and restaurant servers. Someone in a funk could lambast an ex, his or her boss, and the barista at the local coffee shop. While it is supposed to improve service in the service area, it will eventually bully or humiliate people.

So why is romance dying a swift death? It could be that people always assume what is new is better. Fast food wowed people with convenience but worsened the health of the consumers. Smart phones are not only contributing to the lack of memory skills but are taking people out of the moment. A recent photo at a popular movie premiere illustrated that fact with everyone either staring at their phones or attempting to take pictures for future viewing. Only one lone woman seemed content to be in the now.

Is romance dead? Sadly, it may be for twenty-something adults who had cell phones before they could even drive. Dating is about getting to know someone. You date until you realize you wouldn’t work as a couple. Most people can do this by crawling through each other’s social media.

Traditionalists will still meet for drinks, make plans for dates, and answer the phone when called. Others will only read tweets replying when they feel like it. For some people, romance didn’t die because it never even existed.  
Want a copy of the first Dating After Forty-Eight book for .99 or win $40 Amazon GC? Click here to find out more

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looking for the Mythical Better Catch

I'm back. I took a break to put together my first Dating After Forty-eight book. It's available on Kindle for .99 right now. The price will go up in October.

There’s always someone better right around the corner. Right? Online dating companies would love us to think so. Remember their business is not to help you find that long-term relationship, but to keep you dating. A person who lays down hundreds, even thousands of dollars, is a much better deal than a person who joins briefly and settles down with one of his dates. There’s a lot going on to make us dissatisfied with whomever we are with. A commercial culture continually pushes us to want more. Consider if you decided, where you lived was good enough. You were content with your car. The clothes would last until they fell apart. Realtors, car lots, and several stores would go out of business if everyone shared the same mindset. Instead, we balance ourselves on the delicate edge of not wanting what we have because it might not be enough or the right stuff.

The Tinder culture assures us that dating one person is the loser way. There’s always someone hotter out there. All you have to do is look.  Is that someone hotter the right person for you? Does the mythical better person want to go out with you?  Are you going to dump someone you enjoy being with for intangible what ifs?

Ask yourself these questions about whomever you’re currently dating.

Does he or she make you happy?
Can you be yourself with him or her?
Are you your best self when with your current flame?
Is he or she supportive of your dreams? Better yet, have you shared your goals?
Have you introduced this person to your friends or co-workers? (This is a sign of pride and that you don’t want to hide your relationship.)
Can you see this person in your future?
Do you have shared interests?
 Do you have similar goals for the future?
Is he or she easy to be around?

If you answered yes to five or more than, you have most positives than most people in relationships. You’re willing to give that up for someone who probably doesn’t exist.

Think again before you abandon a cool fellow. A recent book, Date-onomics by Jon Birger, details how professional women are easily outstripping their male counterparts. Most people want to date someone in their economic and educational background, but fewer men are graduating from college. Although, on the other hand, if you can see yourself dating a non-college educated guy they’re out there too. Would they be okay dating a woman with more education and possible earning ability?

There are areas where professional women are much more common than men, such as New York City. Author Jon Birger points out when the demand outstrips the supply, men can be very selective. This results in more friends with benefits situation with the men demonstrating little desire to settle down. Why should they when they have endless opportunities to date? Because the well-groomed, articulate male is at a premium, especially in some locales, he insists on the best. You may think you’re the best because that’s what your previous guy told you so. It doesn’t mean other men will share the same opinion.

Considering all this, should you give up on your current relationship? Well, here are some other questions to ask yourself.

Are you forced to act a certain way when around this person? (In other words, you can’t be yourself.)
Do you experience ridicule or harassment in the relationship?
Does your partner cheat on you?
Does being with this person stress you out?
Do you continually give 120%, while your partner occasionally contributes 10%?
Do you hide your relationship from others?
Is this relationship financially draining you?
Are you deeply unhappy with this person?
Do you have nothing in common?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, then you might re-evaluate your situation. Perhaps you could discuss some matters. Remember it is often better to be alone than be with someone who destroys your self-worth.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Internet Dating Advice: The Good, The Bad & The Stupid

Playboy Playmate Ciara Price Posing Next to a Victory Motorcycle
( This is the fantasy)

Ever click on Internet dating advice featured in the side column of whatever article you’re reading? If so, you’ve run the gamut of generic advice of dressing well because you might meet The One at the dry cleaners or while you were pumping gas.  I even read one column where the woman suggested giving out a Let’s Have Coffee card to any interested man you might meet while waiting for your espresso or shopping for groceries. She did explain you should get a prepaid cell phone with a number that is no way associated with your actual name or identity. This all sounded like too much work. It also smacked of a bad reality news story. How do you know the man you’re chatting up in the fast food line isn’t a douchebag or a serial killer?

Good question. It’s hard meeting people despite the census insisting that there are more single people than individuals involved in relationships. With this information, people think it should be easy to meet potential companions. When they don’t, they turn to the Internet, which mostly gives dubious advice.

A good example is a recent slide show that mentioned what men preferred. It included women faking an accent, preferably upper crust British. If she can’t handle this, the woman should go with a French accent.  How long is the woman supposed to pretend? One woman commenter summed it up by stating the guy should date a British chick.

The article went on to say fear turns men on. A woman who wants to make her man hot should scare him. I’m sure men threatened with a gun or machete by their current girlfriend don’t find it very attractive. The advice seems idiotic to most people, but not to those who are truly desperate.

One of my favorite ones was a woman who wants to up her desirability by riding a motorcycle. Apparently being perched on a bike would make her desirable. Seriously, this would involve a significant expenditure and would also endanger your safety. This rationale has sold thousands of motorcycles to men who believed they would be irresistible to women astride a crotch rocket. It also explains the upswing of sports cars sold to both men and women over forty.

If a man or a woman prefers someone who rides a motorcycle as opposed to anyone else, then it is more a fetish. The same people who will only date individuals of a certain height, race, or occupation, are objectifying their date. In other words, they don’t have that much invested in the relationship and can interchange people easily.

Odd things can attract people, but they don’t always keep people together. Do you want someone who you can’t be yourself around? Can you keep up a fa├žade for the rest of your life? Probably not. Be careful taking advice that forces you to be someone you’re not.

Other columns will encourage a man to rent an expensive sports car to impress his date. This ranks up there with the accent. How long will this last? Many men practically spend themselves into the poorhouse by providing escort to expensive events and trips they can't afford. In the end, they only have a woman who will leave them once the spending stops.

Is all Internet advice bad? No.  Sometimes, it is based on who is giving the advice. Is the advice giver somewhat like you? A young, male blogger can’t give workable advice to middle-aged women. He hasn’t been there and is unaware of the issues these women face. Most men will read information from male bloggers and vice versa. Keep in mind; people write from their own viewpoint.

One slideshow about what men love featured thirty different men talking about what they liked about their significant other. It included a woman baby talking, one who loved video games, another one enjoyed his girl friend’s lisp, and still another liked the fact his wife could beat him in arm wrestling. As you can see, the traits were particular to each woman.

This list is both meaningless and meaningful. Something one man likes doesn’t transfer automatically to all men. All those lists that tell you to wear stiletto heels and talk dirty might scare off men who are long-term relationship material. Men who are faking a bad boy persona aren’t getting what they want either. They get dropped by women who want real bad boys and ignored by women who would have been good matches.

How do I know this? I tried faking a British accent. Couldn’t do it. It required too much thought and practice on my part. It didn’t really attract anyone. In the end, my sweetie enjoys my own accent, no matter how country hick I might sound.

As for my darling, he tried following Internet advice. Didn’t work. He even went for the sports car, but it did not result in women throwing themselves at him. As for me, I know so little about car models I couldn’t even identify it.

If it makes sense and doesn’t compromise who you are; go for it. Simple instructions such as smile more, get out more, try out things you’ve always wanted to do without waiting for a significant other to appear is all good advice. Decide what will work for you, but always be yourself.

When you try to form yourself into someone you’re not, all you end up with is someone who is not attracted to you, but to the image you created. No one wants that.

The Reality for Most Non-bike Riders

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Investment Dating

Those of you who are in the dating market do not think of it as an investment unless you consider the payout being a devoted companion by your side. Some see dating very much as an investment. Most of us see it as an expense, a large one. There’s the financial outlay of an online dating account, keeping up appearances, which can include salon visits, gym membership, and a new wardrobe. Then there’s the actual date itself, which you may or may not pay for, but you do spend gas or transport money to arrive.

One column, not mine, brought up mercenary daters. I thought I’d highlight a few and throw in a few of my own.

1.       The Job Related Date - This person is willing to date you because you are the gatekeeper to a job he or she wants. In the old days, starlets earned their movie roles on the casting couch. They may still, but it’s less obvious.

2.       Dinner Date - This is a very hard one to pin down since most people go out to dinner. You can go out to dinner and not want to see the person again. How do you differentiate? If your ability to provide food is your primary attraction, then your date will be specific about what types of food he or she wants. Often, they’re expensive restaurants. At times, you’ll feel as if you’re on a fine dining tour of the city. Other tells are never meeting friends or family, and not extending the date past the dining portion. In other words, if you never get past the front door you’re a meal buddy.

3.       The Hanger On - No worries about this one unless you’re famous. This person cleverly inserts herself into a celebrity’s life. Ever wonder why so many famous married men end up with the nanny? Rather odd, considering there are thousands of women out there. In most cases, this was the nanny’s original intention. There are other ways to work your way into a celebrity household, as a stylist or a personal assistant. These jobs don’t require a degree. All they consist of is a few references, motivation, and lots of moxie.

4.       The Groupie – This is like the previous person but has a much shorter shelf life. These glammed up people stay after the concert hoping to meet the star as opposed to stampeding for the exits like everyone else. Sometimes they do, but their shining moment seldom lasts more than a night.

5.       Social Climbers - These people know the social register and choose their dates accordingly. It has always been easier for women to date up. A beautiful girl could always marry up the social ladder, but recently this hasn’t been the case since like tends to marry like. This is a tricky one too because if someone is from a different economic background, it doesn’t mean he or she is dating you for yours. In fact, yours might even be a sticking point. A telling move is when they want to attend all the high profile gatherings and name-drop it into casual conversation with others when they do.

6.       The Classic Gold Digger – This is a bombshell or the hunky man candy who doesn’t have anything in common with their affluent, older date. They’re in it for the money only. Keep in mind; their date is in it for appearances and is willing to pay the price. When I made my obnoxious rich man dating profile, I was shocked by the number of gorgeous young women who contacted me. Instead of wanting to make a love connection, they only wanted a sugar daddy one. It’s equal opportunity time with younger men crooning about how much they love older, wealthy women. (They never mention the wealthy part to their date’s face.)

7.       The Possession Date – They want the use of something you have. It could be a plane, a yacht, even a motorcycle. It doesn’t mean he or she wants this item independent of you but likes the concept of using it. To some degree, it is a fetish. A man with a yacht is hot; same man without a yacht is boring.

8.       Trophy Wife – This is a bit of a stereotype by now. Often people assume trophy status when they see mismatched couples. The truth is men marry more for looks while women marry more for personality and earning capability. You really should know if you’re in a trophy type of relationship.

9.       Travel Bunny – A person who has the ability to travel anywhere with you at any time. Translation: doesn’t have an actual job or does not intend to keep one. This free spirit can go wherever the plane takes him or her as long as someone else foots the bill. Travel is his or her aphrodisiac. Of course, this relates to glamorous international travel, not visiting industrial sites stateside.

10.   Sports Fan - This person is another form of a groupie but confines herself to athletes. The athletes exert a type of magnetic pull. Although an injured athlete garners no interest unless it looks like he might play again.

There are a dozen dating sites out there for women to meet wealthy older men. With names such as Gold Digger, Sugar Daddy, Millionaire, they aren’t exactly subtle. Participants should be well aware that love isn’t what they’re trolling for. For those who aren’t on these sites and feel like you’re being used, listen to your instincts and your friends.

If you think you are being used, then you probably are. The majority of people bend over backward to develop stories about how wonderful their date is no matter how untrue it is. Dating is work at times. It isn’t a continual party as many of your married friends think it is. In the end, we want a date to work out. However, if you’re being used, eventually you’ll be used up.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Online Dating Illusion

Ironically, I read two different blogs in one week about how online dating creates the myth of excess and turns online daters into people who can never be satisfied. How you might wonder? Most dating sites work very hard to give you the feeling that dozens, maybe even hundreds of people are out there, ready to date you. This is so much better than dating your best friend’s second cousin whose wife divorced him to pursue a mime career.

Online dating offers us a smorgasbord of dating hopefuls, which is quite different from dating decent, but uncharismatic individuals. It is certainly better than reconsidering former relationships. 

Depending on the website, some will let you specify the height, body type, eye, and hair color, along with religion and income. Instead of finding someone within your socio-economic bracket, it becomes more of a Weird Science project where you create your ideal person.

This illusion causes many participants to drop perfectly acceptable individuals under the belief there is someone better out there. Why waste time on a decent, ordinary person. Surely Captain America or Wonder Woman is right around the corners. Dating website advertising features attractive couples gazing at each other in a besotted manner. Any member who isn’t in such a relationship assumes it is right around the corner.

The result is a failure to create and maintain a long-term relationship. The seemingly endless choices make people anxious to experience all the flavors of the dating world.  Okay, what’s wrong with this attitude? Does anyone out there understand advertising? Ads present things as people want them to be, not as they are. This would explain middle school boys dousing themselves in Axe cologne hoping to attract the female of their choice. Instead, the girls gasp for breath as they hurry past the cologne-soaked Romeos.

A few things you should remember about online dating.

·         Advertising shows only happy outcomes. You’ll meet some people who are jerks. A few won’t even show. Others you’ll wish didn’t show.

·         Not every profile you get is an active member.

·         Most likes, winks, or pokes do not result in a date.

·         The person you’re chatting with is flirting with several other people too.

·         Due to technology, people often disappear without a word.

·         25-38% of people online are married. It depends on the site.

·         People lie online. The neural surgeon with his own plane may actually be a security guard.

Why mention these things? For one reason only. If you meet a person online that you like and are compatible with, cherish him or her. You are the commercial! Unfortunately, statistics shows that dating can be a bit like gambling. The small dating jackpot isn’t enough. Many feel like they can do a better. In the end, they may wish they stopped when they were ahead.

I consider myself very blessed to meet my own sweetie. I didn’t have the desire to keep dating to see if there was anyone better out there. After dating for about three years, I knew there wasn’t. A few people will never accept that Mr. Perfect isn’t right around the corner.

We are all imperfect individuals. Why we feel as if we merit perfection boggles my mind. Having said all of this, don’t keep dating someone who doesn’t click with you. Just be careful you don’t toss away someone wonderful in an effort to date all the dates available to you, acting similar to a dieter in a candy store. The dieter gets indigestion, which passes faster than regret.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Attractiveness Spectrum

Whom we view as attractive changes for various reasons. When I was in junior high, the guys were obsessed with the girls who developed the most. With advertising featuring cleavage-baring models, it is easy for women to think cup size is all that matters to a male.  Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, pointed out in her book, What Every Woman Should Know about Men, is that developing boys are insecure about their sexual identity and tend toward the obviously developed female because she makes him feel more masculine. Grown men who feel confident in who they are don’t date by cup size, boys do. Age doesn’t always make the boy either.

Life journeys change opinions too. A popular song described an unemployed bad boy as the singer’s next mistake. Women with children and careers are so over unemployed or underemployed men. They have enough going on in their life, than to deal with one more child. A career, financial stability, and willingness to go to more family-centric events ups a man’s attractiveness quota.

Single fathers place intelligence on the top of the list of characteristics they want for a future wife and stepmother. Face it; they already have one child to raise. Instead of a high maintenance diva or a brainless bimbo, the single dad needs someone who can think for herself and be a good role model. He also wants someone whose friends are kid-friendly. In other words, he doesn’t want scantily-dressed females with a fouler mouth than most sailors hanging out around his children. Such a woman might have been fun in college, but tastes change.

What we need colors how attractive we find someone.  Men with money are natural babe magnets. The obvious reason is they represent the life women are accustomed to or the life they believe they deserve. Although, many people think money is an end-all, it isn’t. Many rich people are immensely unhappy because they obsess on their money and what they perceive as people trying to take it from them. Often they have no clue how to have fun.

Being fun is a precious commodity. Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri, was inconsolable after his death. When asked what was so special about her husband, she replied that he made life fun. This was obvious from his shows. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone fun as opposed to someone who took himself and life too seriously? Never mind the conspiracy theorists or the embittered folks who are sure they’re being shafted, somber Steve can be a buzz kill too.

 Along with being intelligent and fun, adaptability is very attractive, especially if you have a first responder-type job or children.  Everyone knows at least one person that everything has to be a certain way and if it isn’t he or she melts down. This is not a person who will understand work emergencies. An unexpected crisis at work is a deliberate smack in the face. A sick child or child-related event is a devious plan perpetrated by the child.

If you believe all the hundred of media images, then you’d believe that only perfect people can find love. Only size two women and men with six-pack abs are deserving of a relationship. Not true. While the buffed guy might be the go-to character in rom-coms, he isn’t in real life. A great deal of gym time, diet, and personal adoration go into creating the eye-popping body. Most women prefer men with love handles as opposed to their ripped brethren. The simple reason is the ordinary man spends more time with them. The body-obsessed males often make dates feel insecure about their own bodies.

Surely men prefer thin women to those not so thin? Right? It depends on what you consider thin. A UK woman, Yvette Castor, developed two different dating profiles using photos from when she was a size ten and a size eighteen using the same personal information. Even though Yvette is a beautiful, curvy woman, she chose to use photos that gave her a double chin in the eighteen profile. She discovered the thinner profile received more interest. No surprise there, but what did surprise her was how much interest her large profile received. Even more surprising were the types of men that clicked on the larger Yvette. For the most part, they were well spoken, ordinary men with jobs, rather like those who clicked on the thin Yvette. Here’s the link to read the full article.

Often the feature that makes people appealing is confidence. Yvette freely admits that as a bigger woman she is more confident than when she was younger. People who are okay with themselves are naturally more striking. At a racetrack, I witnessed this phenomenon when the top jockeys finished for the day and waded into the crowd of people. Several women attempted to engage the men’s attention. A couple of taller women snagged the jockeys as they moved into the restaurant area. Of course, the women could have already been their wives or girlfriends.

The commercial world makes millions keeping us insecure about our looks, our car, even our job.  In the end, an intelligent person, who can adapt easily to situations and occasionally laugh about it, and accepts him or herself is much more attractive than a super model. Probably one of the most overlooked but desired characteristics is how interested the same person is in you.

It’s not an impossible list. Sure, you’ll meet men who want a single digit size woman. There will still be females who list six foot or taller men only need to apply. That’s their issue, not yours. These poor deluded individuals expect a soulmate to come in a specific package, which means they’ll have plenty of alone time to reconsider.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Keeper Checklist

There are more single adults in the United States than married adults. It should be simple to find the special someone with so many choices. Right? If you’re reading this blog, it might mean you’re finding the search difficult. It’s not just you. Probably one of the nicest women I know has similar problems. She’s even written a blog about her most recent dating experiences.

Another friend always has a new romantic development whenever I visit. Usually, she’s thinking aloud if she should continue to see the guy she’s currently seeing. I’m quick to point out if she’s wondering then she already knows the answer. How do you really know if a man is worth keeping? Here’s my perfect 21 ways.

(For my male readers, I think this list can work for women too. Reverse the pronouns and you're good.)

1.       He doesn’t borrow money from you even if he pays it back. Boys can’t manage their finances. Adult men can.
2.       He pays attention to you all the time. You never wonder if he’s listening to you. He’s able to get you the perfect gift because he notices what you like.
3.       He not only can carry on a conversation, but also can raise thought-provoking points.
4.       He reads something other than the TV Guide.
5.       Good surprises include him cooking dinner, watching your pet when you’re gone, or love notes hidden in unexpected places.
6.       He’d rather be beside you than anywhere else.
7.        He doesn’t make plans without consulting you since you’ll be a part of them.
8.       Even if you’re wearing sweats and no makeup, he still thinks you’re beautiful.
9.       He doesn’t have the need to flirt with the server, the hostess, or any other women.
10.   Not too surprising, he has no need to lie because he’s not a cheater.
11.   He not only asks about your day, but also is supportive in your ventures.
12.   He gets along with your friends and family. This is a dedicated effort because a few of them are very nosy and abrupt. Another couple are just weird, but they’re your family.
13.   There is a feeling of comfort and safety with him. No ‘I wanna be a racecar driver driving’ that has your heart racing along with the speedometer imaging certain death. He never threatens your stability physically or emotionally.
14.   He has a sense of humor, can laugh at himself, and is able to make you laugh.
15.   He’s not into game playing and never makes you cry.
16.   He’ll eat the broken cookie, leaving the whole one for you. It’s the same thing you did for previous boyfriends who never even noticed. He’s all about the little thoughtful things.
17.   He has wonderful manners. (Disclaimer: Opening the car door is followed by a request for rent money because he’s short this month doesn’t count. This is textbook example of being played.)
18.   You truly like him and being around him. It seems somehow easier to love people than like them. Consider how many past relationships, you loved the guy, but in the end didn’t like being around him. There is some truth about being friends first. It’s also the reason you are never really friends after you break up because you never were to begin with.
19.   He has no issue saying he loves you, but you already knew that.
20.    You can trust him. He never makes promises he can’t keep.
21.   He makes you feel like a woman, as opposed to his mother, or one of the guys.

You noticed I didn’t mention being 6’ tall or thick, luxurious hair. Often six-pack abs don’t come with excellent conversation. My sister believes that movie-star handsome men don’t have to be faithful because there’s always another woman waiting. 

 Is your fellow not a keeper? Then stop wasting time your time trying to transform him into what he’s not.

My second friend who kept dating good looking ‘boys’ finally met an excellent man. Ironically, people kept trying to match them up for the last year. She kept refusing the fix-ups because she thought he wasn’t her type. Her surprise came when she discovered what she thought was her type wasn’t what she really needed.

Normally, I’d say with a checklist that it’s not possible to have all these traits, but this time it is possible. The list is the traits of a stable man who has his act together. It is also the sign of a man in love. You may not see all these characteristics immediately because the relationship has to progress before you notice them.

If you already have a man who exemplifies these, then you are blessed. Don’t make the mistake so many do thinking there’s someone even better around the corner. They take off chasing an attractive shadow only to find it gone along with the man they left behind.