Wednesday, 28 September 2011

5 Common First Date Fears That You Really Don't Need To Worry About

1. You’re not good looking enough

Look. I’m not going to lie to you and say that looks aren’t important. You already know that they are, because they’re important to you, right? But you have to remember that looks are very fluid. You rarely see yourself when you’re laughing, when you’re curious, when you’re talking about something you’re really passionate about.

More often than not, you see yourself in the mirror when you’re worried about how you look. Trust me. You look better than that.

2. You don’t know anything about anything

You’re convinced that all your date is going to want to talk about is contemporary art/the implications of Exxon’s recent deal with Russia/indie heist films of the 90s/which hot new startup has a real shot for success/fall fashion trends and you don’t know anything about that stuff.

Well. So what. It’s your date too, and if your date can’t be bothered to find out what you’re interested in, that’s not your fault. Don’t feel like you have to smile and nod all night -- you can just change the subject. Or if you really are interested in what they’re saying, listen and and then ask informed questions. The neuroscientist sitting across from you doesn’t expect you to know already know everything about neuroscience, and may enjoy talking about it to someone who doesn’t get it.

Related: Dating With Your Brain -- 5 Tips From a Neurophysiologist

3. You’re awkward

One of the top qualities cited by all genders and sexual orientations as important in a potential mate is confidence. So, fearing that you’ll be penalized for your tendency to stumble over your words and knock over salt shakers isn’t crazy.

Please remember, however, that confidence is not the same as flawlessness. It’s easy to be confident if you’re Mr./Mrs. Smooth, but confidence despite the fact that you’re not the ideal specimen? That’s impressive.

Take for example, say, the President of the United States. He routinely stammers and trips over his words, but still comes across as confident and commanding. The point is -- how you rock what you got is as important as what you got.

Related: 15 Tips For Easing First Date Jitters

4. You’re inexperienced

Maybe you ended a long relationship or a marriage and you haven’t been on a date since The Real World was worth watching. So what? The only mistake you can make is to apologize for your lack of experience.

Related: 5 Perfectly Good Reasons You Might Be Single

The best dates are the ones where you’re both able to forget the rules, anyway. So you’ve got an advantage if you don’t know them to begin with.

5. You’re going to get something stuck in your teeth/spill on your shirt/have bad breath/do something else that will traumatize you forever

First of all, it’s very easy to avoid most of these feared faux pas. Don’t order certain foods, have some breath mints on you, a little bottle of Wine-Away if that’s how you roll.

More importantly, if someone really holds something like spinach in your teeth against you, despite all of your other wonderful qualities, then forget them. A minor dating accident is actually a great litmus test for shallowness. If someone reacts badly to a little thing like that, consider yourself lucky that you found out early.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Do Bad Guys Always Get the Girl?

When Mr. Nice loses out to Mr. Naughty in the dating game

If we are to believe the movies, the ruthless tough guy always gets the girl. And didn't it seem that the bad boys at school always had the hottest babes? The best looking girls always seem to love the bad guys. Maybe because the best looking guys always became the bad guys? Everywhere we tend to see bad guys and nice girls. We see fools and meatheads with the girls of our fantasies. In the mall we see our flaxen haired goddesses with America's Most Wanted. Is it nature at work, is it us, what has gone awry?

Men are confused. We like to refer to stereotypes and work from them. Men are told that we need to be a hero and a tough guy. But then we are told we need to be in touch with our sensitive sides. Meanwhile the man down the street who treats his girlfriends like crap, never calls, is rude and disrespect appears to have a fan club developing. Life, my friends, can seem unfair. But let's look at what is going on with this scenario.

Interest. Bad guys are interesting, they do interesting things. They have strayed from the straight-and-narrow and have developed their own code of conduct. They do what they want. They go where they want. They answer to no one. They are, in other words, fascinating. Tow the line, do as you are told and inevitably you will be become dull. Mavericks are interesting, straight guys are not.

Bad guys are confident and self assured. They know what they're about and don't really care what others think. They are their own men and don't need others to prop them up. Bad guys don't have to be in shape, just look at James Galdofini from The Sopranos, who is immensely attractive despite his rotund appearance. Some can become almost caricaturesof themselves, but that doesn't make them any less attractive.

Plus bad guys are a challenge. We all love a challenge, and women may love a challenge even more than the boys. If something is a challenge, the end results must surely be worthwhile, right? The girls who go after bad guys want to find the pot of gold at the end of crazy rainbow. They will go to great lengths to solve their mysteries. And once they have them, once they've conquered the challenge, they don't want to let go. Plus it makes for an exciting rollercoaster ride because the bad guy could walk away at any moment. The greater the danger of loosing a bad guy, the greater the effort they'll put forth to keep them. And there may be a lesson there.

What do we have if we combine these facets? Power, strength of character, confidence, a maverick nature and an immensely interesting personality equals sexiness. That is exactly what the bad boy is, so it's no surprise that this type of guy often get the gal. It doesn't mean to say that we like them, and it doesn't mean it is fair or even a good thing, but raw attraction can be nature's way.

I am not in any way suggesting that we should all be Mr. Bad Guy. Not at all. What I am saying is that there are lessons to be learned here. What is attractive can be modified and added to our arsenal of dating weaponry. How you perceive yourself that matters the most. If you can increase your confidence levels, get your career on the right tracks, excel in what you do and be your own man within the confines of your working life, then you'll get that bad boy confidence. And that attitude will boost your attractiveness. You don't need to go around being bad, but you can be a bit more deliberate in your actions, a little less available and a little more enigmatic. This will boost your interest factor and again help in your attractiveness.

The modern dating game is highly complex and courting rituals can be a minefield. Go back to basics, analyze what is it that you think potential partners would like and think about how can you match of yourself to those qualities. Changing just a few small things could make the world of difference.

Thoughts On Possessive and Jealous Men

How to spot a boyfriend who's overcontrolling

The biggest problem in our dating world are jealous and possessive men. While they are desperate to find a woman they can love and adore, once they have found her possessive men most often do not believe they can keep hold of her due to a lack of self-confidence, self-respect and self-belief. They don't truly believe they deserve the girl so they try and subjugate her to rely on them and increase the woman's sense of dependency. It is all too common these days as more and more men feel uneasy about who they truly are and lack self-esteem.

The first hurdle a woman faces is in not being able to spot a jealous and possessive man in advance. He is charming and good-looking, he has the world at his feet so it appears and you have absolutely no reason to think he isn't prince charming. And maybe he is Mr. nice-guy at this stage. But if you know then what you later discover things would be much easier.

I first spotted possessive-man-syndrome whilst working for a few years in a regular job in an English city. At the end of day I would walk home to my apartment and was always impressed as to how many boyfriends sat patiently in their cars waiting to pick up their girlfriends and wives from work. I dare say in retrospect a few were genuine but it took me some months of seeing the same faces before I cottoned on to the fact that these guys were not there for the best of reasons. The cat was let out of the bag by a woman friend who said that she could never go for a drink after work because her boyfriend didn't like it and always insisted he picked her up from work at 5pm on the dot. If she needed to go anywhere she had to let him know in advance.

This shocking revelation may be will known to many women readers but for a guy I hadn't realized at that time quite how large the problem was. The key issue it appears is a man's low self-esteem. Usually the possessive and jealous guy believes his lady will be stolen away from him. He doesn't trust her or her words of love and ignores the fact that she stays with him. He feels she is plotting to escape at any turn, looking for a way out and doesn't really love him at all. Why? Simply because he feels he doesn't deserve her and deep down believes she could do far better than him.

This causes the possessive man a dilemma. If she would really like to run away then how can I make her stay. Easy, what I will do is make her dependent on me, make her need me and want me and have no need to be anywhere but with me. Even if I go out every night with my male buddies. The man doesn't love himself so he doesn't understand why she loves him either. But he needs to feel she does, so he needs to have demonstrations as to how far she will go for him. He will promote the positive attitude of staying at home together and group social activities will be extinguished. At home you are where he can see you.

As a relationship develops the possessive man will find ways of ensuring you are there for him. He will create fictitious scenarios where he needs your help and assistance which affect your social routine. Rather than meeting friends you will be assisting him. Of course at first this is all part of romantic relationship building. After all you want to spend as much time as possible with the man you love. Bit by bit he will divorce you for your everyday friends and activities, even spending time illustrating how your friends are not really your true friends. He is isolating you for his own needs.

Once he has done that he will also then criticize you and make you feel bad about yourself to ensure that you too have low self esteem. If you don't feel good about yourself then how will anyone else ever want you. He will tell you how lucky you are to have him and he will always love you for who you are. And eventually he will build up that degree of dependence (and fear) so much that you will truly believe that what he says is true. Your own identity becomes a thing of the past and your friends will make many worried comments to you that you will ignore or make excuses for.

At this stage you are now where he wants you, isolated and dominated. He feels better about himself because you depend on him, but he will never trust you, because he will always believe that there is a conspiracy that you will escape. That you don't really love him after all. He needs constant demonstration and proof that you do. Your friends and his will not know any of this though they may suspect. He will still be the great social guy in groups. Bit it can get to the point where you dread going out socially in case you get a hard time when you get home. This my friends, is not what your life is all about. This isn't why we date and have relationships. Yes we all want to feel desired, wanted and loved in our lover's eyes. But not like this.

A little jealousy, ironically can go along way. Women (and men) like being loved and wanted and a secure arm round the waist drawing you in can be great fun. Small amounts of jealousy (very small in a playful way) can be attractive and sexy. But its knowing when things have gone too far that matters. Many women have admitted to me that a man who has not a single jealous bone in his body cannot really love her. A man needs to show he cares by drawing her in occasionally. Both parties feel good from this. But it has to be kept under control.

There are many reasons why men are becoming more possessive in today's society and we all have our own theories. It is possible that with the rise of women in the workplace and in determining their own independence financially and socially, that men feel increasingly threatened. Their traditional role as husband and father, the dominant voice in the household, is increasingly archaic and has little place in current society. Instead they are desperately attempting to reposition themselves in a relationship and find out what their new role really is. But old habits die hard and men still try and cling on to the ways in which they were brought up. It will take time for men to learn that they are not always the primary focus in a relationship and must give as much attention to the needs of their partner, as they give to him. And to be honest I do not expect miracles overnight.

Men who don't feel good about their own domestic roles, their lack of masculinity, their frustrations with their own poor career, their lack of financial success, their dominant parental influences and their general lack of well-being can all assist in the progression of possessive tendencies. To own someone is not to have them. To be loved is an open invitation, not something to be captured and kept imprisoned.

A happy, confident, self-assured man doesn't have issues about possession and jealousy. No although many aspects of a relationship may be shared, he also treasures his girlfriend's independence and her assured separate set of values, as she does in him. Relationships are about sharing but also about retaining freedom of self expression and personal identity. Realtionships are also about innate trust.

There was an interesting article recently in a national newspaper about how dominant career women with great success and financial wealth often still had very dominant partners at home. Let us not confuse manliness and masculinity with possessiveness. Jealousy and possessiveness is about stripping away confidence, esteem and dignity. It is about subjugating and decrying the needs of the injured party for the wishes of the stronger force. That has no place in our modern world.

Jealous and possessive men are sad and pathetic creatures who are all too common today. As a woman you do not need ever to put up with them and neither do they really deserve you. The huge irony involved is that had the guy been relaxed and self-assured he would probably have never lost you in the first place, but his low self-esteem meant that he forced to happen what he most dreaded. You leaving him. If you are reading this and have yet to leave, then you will need your friends and family to assist as you are dealing with a person with serious psychological issues. He will try and keep you and will use any psychological measure he can to make you need him and come back. He will work on the weak spots he has already created in you.

But do try and take heart. Many women have been in the same situation and moved on. Even if it is very hard. As women become increasingly confident in their own lives, so some men fall away into lesser self-esteem. There are lots of really nice guys out there to date and love and the one you have is not the one who will make you happy, whatever he says. It can take a long time to heal some of the trauma you have been put through, but the fact is, it is your life and your world and if you want to do whatever you like to make yourself happy, that is 100% your prerogative to do so. We don't need jealous and possessive men in this world and the sooner they sort themselves out without your help, the better.

Danger Signals:

  • Dismay and suggestions as to how you should dress
  • Overly concerned about where you are going when socializing
  • Insistence on escorting you to mundane places
  • Interference with your social plans
  • Excessive phone calls to know your whereabouts
  • Overly intense nature to anything
  • Inability to communicate and discuss
  • Putting you down and anything that makes you feel inferior
  • Lack of outlook and poor self-esteem or lack of confidence
  • Dominant overtones in domestic arrangements
  • Aggressive temper and unreasonable attitude to minor details

Top Tips for Finding A Date

Find a date," your friends say. "Join us for dinner, and bring a date!" This alone is enough to cause many single people to immediately start to panic. The reality is that, if you're looking for dates, you probably just want to find someone special to spend time with, without regard for your pushy friends and their need for additional couples to complete their circle. It's important to think of looking for dates as part of life, part of your everyday routine. You never know -- one of these days it may well turn into something more than just a date.

Finding a date is never easy, but it can be relatively painless, depending on your attitude.

Maybe have a hard time meeting people. Maybe you have a hard time meeting people who are suitable for dating. Maybe you're a single parent with responsibilities at home, or someone who works from home. Perhaps you work strange hours and that's why you never meet anyone to date. Maybe you work with people much younger or older, or perhaps you really don't have finely honed social skills. It could be that you're shy, private, quiet in groups or just unwilling to make the first move.

Whatever the situation, you need to take action! The first thing to do is make sure you exude self confidence. You want to find a date you'll have a great time with, so it helps to make him or her feel special by looking good. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this:

  • Give yourself a makeover
  • Buy some new clothes and update your image
  • Get a new haircut or hairstyle
  • Get a full beauty treatment and makeover
  • Visit your dentist and get those teeth pearly white
  • Get a tan and freshen your skin
  • Try out the latest styles and fashions
  • Treat yourself to a rejuvenating vacation or break
  • Read some new magazines and go shopping
  • Join a health club and get into a new workout routine
  • Go on a diet and lose a few pounds, if needed
  • Take martial arts or self defense classes
  • Improve your attitude

The next thing you need to do to find a date is think long and hard about what you really want to achieve and what your expectations are. Get clear about what kind of person you're looking for, although don't be too specific. Keeping your aim as broad as you can will make finding a date easier. You also need to be realistic. Don't make it your goal to date a Hollywood movie star if it's not likely to happen. Keep your feet on the ground and take a long, hard look at your own life before walking into someone else's.

Once you've got that part down, here are a few ways to get started:

Dating Close to Home

Begin by looking in your own neighborhood. Is there anyone in your neighborhood or friend group who is single and awesome? Often, people stay single simply because they aren't being asked out by anyone, not because they themselves are lonely. It's time to do the asking. And yes, that includes the good-looking people in this world. There are lots of local clubs and activity centers where singles are likely to congregate. These are often the best place to introduce yourself to people of the opposite sex in your community. Try to choose something that involves both sexes.

Dating at Work

Some sources claim that 87% of couples first met through work or began dating at work. In general, dating at work or dating someone within your own office environment is generally not a good idea due to the possibilities for problems and the negative implications it can have on your career. Relationship tensions within an office can cause issues with other workers and antagonize work-related disputes.

However, the good news is, most organizations also work with other firms. If your office gets together to socialize with business partners or groups of people you don't work with directly, start going to these events. Try going with coworkers to happy hour or attending after-work social events, too, from bowling to trips to bars and comedy clubs. It's as much about making new friends as it is about finding a date.

If you really don't like your coworkers (or don't have any because, for example, you work from home), you'll need to look for other ways to extend your social circle.

Get Physical

That's right, join a gym. To find a date, you should look your best. After all, if you've set your sights high, doesn't your potential date deserve the best, too? Good, so get down to the local health club and look into a regular workout routine. If already do this, expand your horizons and make sure you're not going to a unisex gym. Try other sports and activities -- from yachting to running to baseball to anything else you haven't tried before. You will make fabulous new friends, as well as possibly finding a date, not to mention feeling and looking much better than if you just sat on the couch munching on potato chips.

Ask Your Friends

The most common complaint among people in their late '20s and '30s is that all their friends are married. If this is true for you, it's time to adapt. As awesome as they might be, your married friends probably will not help you find a date. They tell you they'll try, and they probably mean it, but like attracts like, and there's a good chance most of their friends are married, too. In general, you should not look to any friends to help you find a date, though, because your friends don't necessarily know what kind of person you're looking for. The best advice is to take control and find a date yourself.

This is why you need some single friends. Newsflash: Dating is easier if you hang out with other singles who are also playing the dating game. Even if your married friends are your best buddies in the whole wide world, you need support from other people who know what you're going through. Also, there is safety in large groups. This can also open up new places and venues for you to visit and look for potential dates. You will probably see your confidence level jump as well.

You can find new single friends everywhere: at work, in your neighborhood, at clubs, in your gym … You simply need to make some new friends, then join in. It's not nearly as hard as you think. One thing's for sure: Neither your fantastic new friends, nor your super hot new girlfriend or boyfriend is hiding out in your closet. If you sit at home, you will not find them -- you have to go out and put yourself out there in order to do it. In fact, get started right now. When was the last time you called up your old friends to catch up? Do it now.

Join a Club

Activities really do bring people together and help you make new friends. If you're involved in something like a craft, hobby or sport, then you've already taken the first step toward hanging out with (and possibly dating) like-minded individuals. You have something in common, and it's a great icebreaker. If you're not a member of any club, figure out what you're interested in and decide whether joining a group of some sort centered around this activity might introduce you to others. (Hint: It will!) Always remember: Statistically, there is a good chance that many people just like you are also looking for dates and are joining clubs like these for this very same reason.

Signing up for a Dating Agency

Dating agencies were once associated with embarrassing social stigmas, but not anymore. These days, it's extremely trendy to use an agency to find dates. Dating and finding a date is fun and enjoyable. After all, dating is really just about meeting new people and searching for a special connection. Dating agencies fall into two categories: traditional and Web-based. The first are those traditional dating agencies that help you find a date but charge hundreds of dollars to offer you the chance to meet a few people in their database they have matched you with. They then offer you the chance to meet, if both parties are interested. It's slow and long-winded, but it can work sometimes, although rarely are there guarantees of any kind. The main thing about such dating agencies is that they often specialize in a certain area -- maybe profession or financial, etc. Some may concentrate on the medical or legal profession; others may focus on, say, executives in a certain region.

Internet Dating Sites

The second kind of agency is the professional Internet dating and friendship sites accessible from your home computer. Most often, they are free to sign up for, so you can set up a profile and see who's in their database to find out if you're interested in that kind of people. The beauty of Internet dating is that it makes everyone on any given site instantly accessible, and you can search for people you match with in comfort of your own home without spending a dime. Sniff around, check out people's pics and profiles and take your time finding a date.

It's super important when you're looking for a date to choose a reputable Internet dating site that will provide you with not only personal ads but also a safe and secure environment, as well as advice and articles to help you get ahead. These sites let you communicate anonymously with your matches when you're ready to make contact via on-site email, chat rooms and private instant messaging. Some companies even include voicemail services so you can listen to your prospective date's voice before meeting them.

After paying a small fee, you can communicate with as many members as you like, safely and securely -- and, very soon, you may find that you have arranged not just one but many dates. It's up to you. No more standing in singles bars, being hit on by obnoxious strangers or brainstorming opening lines -- just convenient and relaxed dating, whenever you want!

If you're looking for dates, you should start immediately. It's not always easy to take a step like this if you've been out of the dating arena for years. Think through these tips on meeting dates and start taking initiative. Life is meant for living, but even more importantly, it's meant for sharing with someone special. Start focusing on finding a date, but more importantly, focus on feeling good about yourself and the rest will follow.

Dating Rules for Women

Guys: If you don't like this, look away now.

In another dating article on this site, you will find a general set of rules than men should follow when dating. In the same way, women have some general rules that they should contend with when entering the dating jungle. Now I know everyone is different, so don't take things too seriously here. There has been some controversy over some literature published in the USA that lays out in detail the rules a woman should follow to get her guy (or gal). Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider's 1995 bestseller "The Rules," explains how women should play hard if they want to get their guy. I can understand why some groups would be hostile about this, but the fact is that when we grow up, there are a predefined set of dating rules. What happens is that we forget most of them after the age of 21, and then realize we need to relearn them.

I wish there weren't any general rules, but courtship is a ritual. There are things that we make happen that excite, stimulate, create interest and confound. Dating is a long test of compatibility. Are we perfectly matched? If we just threw ourselves together, then the chances of long term happiness might be compromised. And yet previous generations managed to succeed on a far less complex courtship criteria list. Many arranged marriages work all too interestingly.

In every society there are a predefined set of social rules we follow, from the way and timing of eating to the way we behave in public. The issue here is that when women date, there are some things that can help them be more successful. If we accept that dating is a game, then there are rules to that game. There are winners and losers. If you know the rules in advance, it gives you a head start. If men know the rules by which you are playing, you may change the rules to suit the situation to keep the man guessing. Men love a challenge, so feel free to adapt rules and add them as you feel inclined.

You can separate rules out into two parts, dating and online dating. Both areas have distinct rules that a woman should follow for dating success.

General Dating Rules


    Always look great, whatever your income. Gorgeous hair and some lipstick with rags will still turn his head. You have the advantage. You are the woman. Look your best as you could meet a potential Mr. Right anywhere at any time.
  • Never reveal information you don't have to. An enigmatic woman drives men wild.
  • Keep dates brief, but your men interested. Less is always more.
  • Try and stay in shape and involve some fitness regime at a gym. However much you hate it, your Mr. Right loves your body as much as your mind.
  • Let your man pay. If he is interested, he is interested enough to ensure you eat well and get home safely in a cab.
  • Ensure you receive flowers. If he doesn't know what a florist is, dump him.
  • Never ever sleep with a guy until he has fallen for you. Sex early in your dating game plan will ruin everything.
  • Always keep a guy waiting and never turn up early. It is a lady's perogative.
  • Never be available when he wants you to be. Never be at the end of a phone when he calls and always let him leave a message or two first before replying.
  • If he is available Tuesday, you are available Thursday.
  • Weekend shopping trips with girlfriends are sacred and not available for dates.
  • Keep your man standing on quicksand by shifting landmarks and goalposts constantly.
  • Ensure you are a good kisser. Men will walk away if you cannot kiss. Practice on a mirror if you have to.
  • Never ever talk about previous boyfriends, particularly their prowess in the bedroom. Your ex-boyfriends are your business only.
  • Never assume anything about your date until you choose to know him better. You cannot always tell by looking.
  • If any man shows the slightest signs of possessiveness or insecurity, run like the wind. Life is too short for boys.
  • If his shoes or hygiene are a disgrace, dump him.
  • Never talk too much about your father and how your date measures up in comparison.
  • Never ever come across as too available or too desperate. He will run a mile. He is the one doing the chasing.
  • If the guy in the corner is gorgeous, go get him and create the need in him for you. Never wait for men to come to you because you may watch him leave with someone else.
  • You may well have all the bodily functions of a man, just try not to demonstrate them early on.
  • If you want a child, don't mention it on the first few dates.
  • Never ever criticize his mother unless you want to remain single.

Online Dating Rules

  • Always let them come to you, don't chase them via email.
  • Block anyone who annoys you instantly.
  • Post the best and most vampish photo you can find.
  • Don't reply to instant messages with clever opening lines.
  • Remain aloof and let yourself be chased.
  • Always reply to emails at least 3 days after receipt.
  • Never provide your real email or phone details.
  • Always date safely and protect yourself at every turn.
  • Make sure your login name is stunning and sexy, as well as enigmatic.
  • Do not login for hours on end. Short, rapid visits are best.
  • Do not assume the person you are talking to is destitute or sad.
  • Never ever reply to emails on weekends. Wait until a weekday.
  • Never state how good your sexual performance is in your profile.
  • If you don't want to date married men, spell it out in your profile.
  • A man who doesn't reply to your email within 3 days should be ignored.
  • Make sure your humor levels come across in text.
  • Do not chat to hundreds of men at once. The delay in replying is a dead giveaway and your Mr. Right will be off.
  • Don't even think about misrepresenting your size or description. They will find out.
  • Come across as cool and sophisticated for best results

Ladies, always remember that you are a sexy, desirable woman and the world is your oyster. Always let men do the chasing and always allow yourself to be the chooser. Always stay safe and never risk yourself for the sake of attending a date. Always use a safe dating Website.