Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Honesty vs. Deception.

Everyone complains about liars, but no one admits they lie.  Most people lie, at least a little bit.  The problem is that there is no clear line between truth, big lies or small lies.  It is a spectrum, with some lies being a lot worse than others. Hence the expression "white lie".

At one end of the spectrum is the person that thinks makeup is a lie because it makes you look better than you really look.  Thank god, I have never met anyone that rigidly honest.  I doubt I would like them.  On the other end of the spectrum is a guy (or gal)  that claims to be single because their spouse is not physically in the same room.   I have met people like this and I know I don't like them.

In between you have people that think it is OK to leave out information that you did not ask.  It starts at "You never asked if I had actually owned the car, or rented it for the weekend." and ends at "You never asked if I had a sexually transmitted disease."  Other people lie about their weight, height, age, job, etc.   There are white lies about liking your significant other's new clothing or hair style.  There are the gray-er lies about liking the same food, music,  movies, sports, past times, etc as a new date does.  We've all seen the movie/TV joke where someone says they have skill in a sport/hobby/game and then ends up having to prove it.

To make matters worse, people often lie to themselves about the things they lie to others.   If you ask a woman how much she weighs, unless she weighed herself that morning, most likely she will think back to the last 5 times she weighed herself and pick the lowest number, not the most recent.  Similarly, guys tend to remember their maximum height - with shoes on, in the morning, at age 20 (shoes can easily add a centimeter, you lose some height during the day -and regain it at night,  and in worst case scenarios you can lose a centimeter of height in a decade).   

There is a whole spectrum of honesty to deception.

I am pretty honest.   If anything, I tell a bit too much about myself too early in the relationship.   But I am not perfect, I lie.  I don't correct my father when he says the Battle of the Bulge happened in WWI (it was WWII).  I pretend to believe in Santa Claus when little kids are around.   I do my best to look taller, richer, and in general more attractive to women.  If I were a woman, I would use make-up.  In my opinion all of these things are perfectly acceptable, normal behavior. 

Then there is the "my lie is not as bad as yours" crowd.  Men think that lying about height is not as bad as lying about your age.  We talk about rare cases when men go to jail because a 17 year old girl claimed she was 18, and the guy was 22.   Women think that lying about their age is not as bad, because they look young.   Then they talk about how if they give their real age they get hit on by men much older than them.

Here are a list of unacceptable (to me) lies.  People should never lie or even imply a falsehood about:
  1. Sexually transmitted diseases
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Being in a relationship/marriage
  4. Age if you are under 18. 
Those lies are beyond the pale.  

In general, you should also not lie about:
  1. Debt
  2. Employment
  3. Children
  4. Past relationships
  5. Legal issues
No one likes it when people lie about the following, but it is so common that a little wiggle room is not a big deal:
  1. Weight (5-10 lbs wiggle room)
  2. Age (1-2 years wiggle room)  - as long as you don't claim to be 18+ when you are younger
  3. Height (1-3 centimeters = 1 inch wiggle room)
People tend to forgive lies about liking clothing, food, games, etc.    While they are still lies, no reasonable person will dump you if you lied about liking/not liking Lady Gaga. 

Another issue is that people usually over-estimate how good they are at detecting lies.   No one thinks they can be fooled, but somehow liars always seem to prosper.    It is very hard to tell how honest someone is. Liars lie about how honest they are - to themselves as well as to others.  Worse, sex is one of those things that inspire most lies.

My big problem is that honest daters are competing with liars   The liars are pretty convincing - they have lots of experience.  So the 'lie hearers' tend to discount things a bit.  He says 6', they expect 5'11.   She says 35, they expect 37.

Lets say you tell the truth and admit that the doctor measured you yesterday at 4 PM, in your bare feet and you are 5'5 and a 1/2".    There will be women that reject you but who will still date a 5'5" that said he was 5'7".  No, she can't tell because guess what, he used lifts or wore cowboy boots (both of which can add 2 inches to a guy's height).   He gets to keep the girl.  Similarly, the women that says her weight is 140, when she is really 160, can show up in a full corset and pull it off.    She gets to keep the guy.  Yes, eventually they have to show the truth, but by then they have emotional hooks into their 'victim'.

This effectively punishes those of us that are actually honest.   When people (both women and men) say they hate liars, they usually mean they hate BAD liars.  They generally dislike truth tellers more than effective liars. When a women complains about men lying about their height, she almost always rejects short men before she rejects a liar.  It's why men lie about their height online.  Most woman that will reject us for lying about our height would have never given us a chance if we told the truth.  

More importantly, unattractive people hope that attractive people would date us if they got to know us.   At heart it is an inherent belief in romance - that beauty will fall for the beast.  Only the truly cynical never hoped for the fairy-tale ending. 
My favourite are the women that say "I need someone tall enough to wear high heels with?"  Did someone pass a law that says you can't wear high heels if you date a short man?  No.  Would she refuse to walk down the street next to a short male friend?  No.   She is admitting she is so shallow that she won't even date someone that LOOKS like they are shorter than her, even if they are actually taller than her.  These same women give lie to the claim that "there are plenty of women willing to date short men."  No, there are not.

Similarly, there are not plenty of men willing to date overweight women, nor are there plenty of men willing to date older women.   Strangely, we do seem to be better at hiding our shallowness than women.  In my age group, there are guys that say "I want a woman under 35 in order to have children."  It's a much better excuse than the high heels crap.  If they really want children (I want children and used to use this excuse), at least it presents them as an honourable family man, rather than someone bending to peer-pressure.   But science can now get a 68 year old woman pregnant.   If a woman wants children, age is not an insurmountable obstacle.   In truth, the 40+ men that require a wife 35- are being just as shallow as the women requiring a tall man.  Note, preferring is not shallow, but requiring is. Also, as a reminder, it's OK to be shallow - as long as you admit that is what you are doing.

Here is a simple test.  Think of something that people tend to lie about.  Now assume that they lied the REVERSE way, in order to deceive you.   That is, the tall guy claimed to be short, the 30 year old woman claimed to 35, or the faithful spouse claimed they cheated on you.  How would you react?  Now you can really tell if you care more about the lie or the thing being lied about.  If you would not care, about the reverse lie, then you don't really care about being lied to.

In general, for the things I don't want a date to lie to me about, I don't care which way they lies.   If she claims to be broke when she is rich, I would be just as upset as the other way around.  If she claimed to have cheated on me as a 'test' to see if I loved her, I would dump her (fidelity is very important to me - but honesty beats fidelity).   If she claimed to be average weight when she was anorexic, I would not date her.

I don't think that is the case for most people - I value honesty more than most.  As such, I expect more honesty from myself and demand it from others.

That said, age has tempered my honesty.  For years I proudly listed my height (at least the height I thought I was - which was measured shoes on, at 20, in the morning).   Now, I prefer to leave my height blank on dating websites.   I even own a pair of cowboy boots.  They add about two inches to my height and  I usually wear the boots on the first date.

Am I a liar?   Perhaps I am, just a little bit - but not more than a woman wearing a corset.

P.S.  If you are dating me, please wear high heels even if you are taller than me.  Particularly if I take you dancing.  I guarantee you will have more fun dancing tango with me than with most tall men.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy Issues

When a women engages in sexual activities that others object to, she is very likely to be labeled as having "daddy issues".  It is a very common slang applied to everyone from loose women to prostitutes.  The idea comes from Freud, a doctor who, while still praised for introducing science to what was the art of psychology, has had almost all of his theories thoroughly discredited. 

I am firmly against the idea of "Daddy Issues".   I feel the entire concept is insulting to women.   Women make up their own mind, they are not slaves to their childhood.  They are responsible for their own choices when it comes to sex, not a bad up-bringing.

There is no reliable scientific evidence showing that an absent or bad father creates a sexual daughter.   More importantly, most young ladies (and grown women) are closer to their mother and are far more likely to discuss sex or seek advice from their mother than their father.  Yes, fathers are important - to both sons and daughters.  Yes, a good father can make a difference.  He can help keep her off drugs, out of crime, and raise her self-esteem.   But a daughter (or son) with daddy issues is no more likely to be more sexual than someone else.  If anything, someone with low self-esteem is likely to be shy and retiring, not overtly sexual.   Moreover, poor self-esteem is NOT the reason why women turn to sex.   Strippers usually have a very highly developed self esteem.  They are if anything, arrogant (or so I have heard, my experience here is rather limited).  Some use their money to support a kid, others to support an education, and others to support a high end lifestyle.

Sex is usually fairly easy for women, particularly thin women.  Think about how many men would sell sex to women for money if they knew they could make money doing it.   I know male  doctors that would quit their job and turn "Pro".   Not to mention certain politicians I know that would do it in a second.

The question is not why some women sell sex but why so many don't.  Most women are respectable (thank you, from those of us looking for a wife, not just a good time). The money and attention can be remarkably high for a tiny amount of effort.   The reasons not to are rather limited:  1. age limits on effectiveness, 2. the effect on serious relationship, 3.  bad reputation.

This means that women that are (at least by societies standards) overly sexual do so not because of 'daddy issues' but instead because:

  1. They have a "Live in the Moment" philosophy
  2. They enjoy being single and don't want a relationship
  3. They don't care what others think of them.
This matches what I know of strippers, kids on "Girls Gone Wild", and other such people.    These are not what Freud or common wisdom considers "Daddy Issues".   They do not have low self-esteem, they simply are not planing on being a respectable, traditional mother.  At least not 'now'.

To my mind, we need to stop using pop psychology to label and ignore sexuality.  There is no such thing as "Daddy Issues".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why I still dance

There are a lot of good reasons to dance.  Dance is good exercise, social and beautiful. But I have been dancing tango for well over a decade, and those are not the reasons why I keep coming back for more.

When you are single, every once in a while you become discouraged.   You worry you will never meet the right women/man.  That you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, young enough, or whatever other insecurity that lives in your soul.     Worse, sometimes you will see beautiful people that you know would never date you - even if they wanted to dance with you. Sometimes that alone is enough to discourage you.  Luckily that doesn't happen all the time.  This post is about a much nicer experience on the dance floor.

There are three ways I generally lead a tango.  I can dance for the audience, making every step look elegant, but sometimes feeling awkward.  I can dance for myself and my partner - perhaps being less visually striking, but feeling fantastic.  Or I can dance for romance.  This is not an attempt to win romance, but instead to feel it.  Note, it helps that I am a pretty good dancer, but this worked even when I was a novice.  On my very first tango lesson, Paul Pellicoro inspired a tiny version of this feeling, which got me hooked on tango. He did it without even touching me - using just the sight of his feet, the meaning of his words and the sound of tango in the background.

When I dance for romance, for the length of that song, there is a woman that loves me.  She loves me as much as any woman has ever loved a man.  Her every step, every movement she does to please me, knowing that my every step, every movement I do to please her.   We are not just the focus of each others attention, but the entirety of it.   Our every thought is of each other, our hearts beat as one, we feel each others breath, and we support each other.

For the length of that song, I know I am worthy of any woman.  While the music plays, I know I can win someone's love, I just have to find her.   Even after the song has ended, I know that if I can feel that way once, I can feel it again - and be worthy of her when I find her.

And that is why I dance.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cracked.com article

Cracked.com is one of my favorite web sites.  Some of the stuff they do is hilarious.  In particular, I love their lists.  http://www.cracked.com/article_19230_the-5-least-romantic-keys-to-happy-relationship.html  is a great example.

The best part is, the lists tend to be true.   If you want the funny stuff, click above, here I am going to go over their list items and talk about them as serious relationship advice.

5.  Spend some time apart.  In our culture (i.e. TV, movies, etc.) couples spend all their time together and you see spouses doing something their wife/husband wants even though they hate it.   Don't DO that.  You don't have to do everything together, if you don't enjoy something, don't do it.  While it works fine for the short term, over the long term you begin to resent the other person for making you do crap you hate.

4.  It's not a bad idea to Sleep in separate beds.   You can still have sex together, you don't have to sleep together.   Not everyone can sleep together.  If one of you is restless/cover hog, or simply has a different sleep schedule, trying to sleep together may make you cranky all day.  Not worth it, just to conform to a cultural stereotype.

3. Here, the Cracked said to marry an ugly/stupid man.  I am going to disagree a bit here - and expand it.  I think the studies they were looking at were biased.  They think men want the same thing from a woman as women want from a men, instead of equivalent things, so they failed to look at the things women want.

 I read the study as showing that 'perfect' spouses are not worth it - they are more likely to cheat, among other things.  So you need to select the issues you want to have.   If you try to get someone that on paper looks 100 times better than you (i.e. perfect), that means that either a) they have massive hidden flaws, or b) they are just using you till someone that is better comes along.

3. Cracked said "lie to yourself about how good your spouse is".   Again, I interpret this differently. Instead I think it means that you find someone that has qualities YOU personally value more than the rest of the world (or don't dislike as badly as the rest of the world).  If you are a guy that doesn't mind a couple of extra pounds, I assure you it will be a lot easier to find a woman with a couple of extra pounds than it will be to date someone without those pounds.  Similarly, if you are a girl that doesn't care about height either way, don't even bother looking at tall men, you will get much better quality looking at the many short men that get discarded.

1.  Schedule Sex.  Here I agree entirely.  Things I don't put on my schedule don't get done.  Spontaneous is nice, but only if it is on TOP of the schedule.   Too many times do I notice people getting upset that something isn't 'perfect', which prevents them from having something at all.   Would you not eat at all because the meal you got was wrong?  If it isn't perfect, you can try again TOMORROW.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Upgrading your Standards

As I have said before, I see nothing wrong with being shallow.  But people don't  always understand the consequences of their own choices.

Part of the problem is the idea of "The One" - a soul mate that is better for you than everyone else.

Lets assume that such a person does exist.  And lets say you are both American, for example.  Lets have you restrict your dating pool to a large metropolitan area - 30 million.  Asssuming you are not bisexual, that leaves 15 million people of the right gender.  Lets assume you have tight age range of only about 8 years or so  - 1/10th the average lifespan, so that brings it to 1.5 million people.

Most of them are obviously unsuitable, so lets have you reject out of hand 100 people and also go on a date with one person each and every day.  Assuming you can instantly recognize them and fall in love, without a single wasted day,  so it takes about 50 years to check them all.  You started at 21, that means you have about 8 years to spend with your "One".

OK, let's upgrade it a bit.   Assuming everyone is using an interned based dating system, use computers to screen reduce that 1.5 million base to about 200,000, by rejecting everyone that tells the truth about something you can't stand.   But it takes a lot more time to screen out people online than in person, as it is easier to lie on line.  Lets say you reject 40 people every day by reading their resumes, and date two people a day (one lier, one honest). That lets you examine 16,000 potential people a year.   It will still take you about 12 and a half years to reject everyone.  On average it will take 7 years of doing this to meet someone.  Keep in mind you are personally going on 14 first dates every week.  Lots of hard work.

If you are not willing to do this, then don't count on finding the one.

Worse, when you find them, they will have been happily married to their child hood sweetheart for them for 10 years.  This sweetheart is a lot like you, but annoys perhaps they simply aren't quite as tall as you, or don't have as large breasts.     But "The One" is not such a shallow ass that he/she would divorce their sweetheart and marry you because of your slight superiority.

Good marriages are not created by some insane attempt to find "The One'.  Nor are they the result of settling.
Instead of looking for the one in 30 million people within reasonable distance that is the absolute best, you need to look for the one in 30,000 that is a great catch.   They still won't be easy to find, but recognize that certain qualities are option able, not mandatory.

Good marriages are the result of people accepting minor flaws. These are things intelligent people realize are not perfect, but not worth kicking someone out of bed.  Keep your standards high by using deep standards instead of shallow ones.  Then refuse to settle.   The standard at heart should be based on two things: A)  Could they maintain an committed relationship and B) Could you maintain a committed relationship with t hem.  Anything else is garbage that just gets in the way.

One question to ask yourself is if my date was a prince of England / Supermodel, would I accept all the flaws they have?  If the answer is yes, then the flaws are shallow, things not worth considering at all.

Good marriages happen when four things occur:

1.  You are ready for a long term committed relationship.
2.  You find someone else that is ALSO ready for a long term committed relationship.
3.  You have a substantial amount of things in common but no deal-breakers.
4.  You both are attracted to each other.

That is why you need to figure out not just what the the deal breakers are but also what things you like/want but don't insist on.

One more thing.  Using the internet, it is easy to find people who are both attracted to each other (Lots of websites can do this for you - such as OKCupid.)  Similarly,assuming people tell the truth then it is easy to find someone you have substantial things in common with and avoiding deal breakers.  The problem is lies. Note, often the problem is people lying to themselves about what they want as much as it lying about what they are.  The classic lie for men is you are not picky but just want someone nice - when they really want someone attractive.  The classic lie for women is they are not picky but just want someone nice - when they really want someone tall .

The lies are also a sign of someone that is not ready for a long term committed relationship.

So the truly difficult part of all this is looking for a committed person.  That is the major advantage of expensive dating services, as well as for

Thursday, June 2, 2011

To kiss on the first date

This is something that guys often think about.  Obviously, if the date goes bad, don't try for a kiss.    Should they go for a kiss on the first date if the date is going well.

 Women don't think about this, they already have their mind made up.  The problem is some of them made up their mind for Yes, while others say No.  Worse, they often judge you based on if you try for it or not - those that want a kiss are disappointed if you don't try to do it, while those that don't want a kiss are offended if you do.

In general, with this kind of decision, I recommend stop trying to figure out what women want and figure out what YOU want.   You are going to turn off some women anyway, so it might as well be women that disagree with you, rather than women that agree with you.

But I will add two more points.  Unfortunately they are slightly contradictory.

  1. Better to be decisive than to waffle
  2. It is a good idea to go slowly, giving her the opportunity to signal you that she doesn't want to kiss.

Now it is possible to be decisively slow.  The trick is to start slow and at the slightest negative sign immediately stop.  Do not restart.

Part of this is simply learning to read the non-verbal communication signs that women expect men to know but absolutely refuse to teach them.

Most of my posts work hard to be balanced, and right now you may think I am not being balanced.

Men also have non-verbal communication signs that we expect women to know and absolutely refuse to teach.  Mainly because most of our non-verbal signs tend to be passive aggressive - such as"Distracted response" =  "I don't want to do this right now, can't you seem I'm doing something that is time sensitive."  Or the ever popular "noncommittal/uninvolved slight agreement" = "I absolutely do not want to argue or even talk about this right now, but actually I disagree with you strongly."

Communication is key.   Both men and women need to do it better