Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Avoid screwing up (and Date Clothing)

The priorities of an early date (even the attempt to pick up the date) is first to avoid screwing up, and only second to impress them.   People lie - particularly when dating - so attempts to impress get discounted but screw ups get counted double.  It takes about three impressive acts to counter one mistake.  Worse, certain screw-ups are unrecoverable.   It is better to leave a bad phone message than to call back repeatedly to try and fix it.   Don't be that guy.

So, when it comes to clothing, don't try to be cool.and wear something funky.   Go more conservative than you usually are - dress up.   Treat it like a casual interview.   You can always loosen up and show off on later dates.  

Men need to wear good shoes.  Women like shoes.   I don't know why, but they do.  Not just on them, but on you as well.  So no sneakers, unless the date involves athletic activity.  You can get away with jeans, if they are in good shape, but not a t shirt.   A sports jacket works wonders with jeans, particularly if you have a business shirt on underneath.  Or you can go for nice pants and a polo shirt.  You don't have to copy Barney Stinson and wear a suit to bed, but a full suit does work, particularly if you are dating a professional woman.

Women - straight men don't care about your shoes. Oh, a few men may admire what high heels do for the rear view, but frankly, we don't look at your feet at all.  Our eyes tend to focus on things significantly higher.  I can't really give specific advice about women's clothing, it's a lot more variable.  But basically look at what I told the guys, and dress to fit in with them.  I told the men to dress for a casual interview, but I advise you to dress for an interview but a little sexier, less professional.   No man ever complained that his date was too sexy, but keep in mind your plans for how the night will end.  You don't want to give an impression you don't intend to live up to.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to treat your mate.

There are several games people (as mentioned earlier).  One that some play: "withholding sex".   In fact, the 'no sex before the x date' rule that some women use is simply the first move in the game of withholding.  One thing women need to know is that in general, 80% of men can be categorized into two types:

  1.  The player.  If you try to withhold sex or delay sex with the player, he goes out and finds someone else
  2. The lonely guy.   The lonely guy has gone months, or even YEARS without sex.   

Withholding sex just encourages the player to cheat on you and needlessly tortures the lonely guy.  It does not control either of them.   Yes, there are a few men that get enough sex to keep them begging, but has not learned to go without.  But he knows you are doing it and resents it.  It's kind of like cursing them out in public.  Yeah, you might win, but is it worth it? 

Men have similar games we play with women, among them is the classic pick-up artist move to 'half insult' the women.   Then there are the lies we say to cover up things we want to do but you don't want us to do.  No, we don't agree with you that they are bad, we just don't feel like arguing with you about them.  This includes things like watching sports when you want us to do other things, going to strip clubs, hanging out with the guys, drinking, watching porn, etc.  So instead of arguing, we lie.

None of these techniques are helpful.  They don't work, they just make things worse.

If you want to have a relationship, you have to base it on making each other feel GOOD, not bad.  If you ignore a problem, it gets worse.  Trying punish them will not work.

Any time you spend hurting your mate is time you spend hurting yourself.   If you truly want to hurt them, DUMP them.   It will do more damage to them and less you.   If you don't want to dump them, then don't hurt them.

Now, some of you are thinking, what if my date does something that is not quite bad enough to dump him?  Chances are you are fooling your self.  If your date is hitting you, cheating on you, using  you for money, etc. or in any way truly hurting you, then dump them.   They are not worth it.   The next level down is stuff that is very annoying, but not intentionally done to hurt you - such as forgetting your birthday, etc.  There again you have to decide if you can live with a guy that does those kind of things.  If you can't then no amount of punishment will fix it.  Beneath that level are mere annoyances, which you definitely should not dump someone over.  Instead you should try rewarding them for doing things right.

Immediate rewards work a lot better than any punishment - studies have proven this.  If you try to next relationship will benefit, but you are just screwing yourself to help them. 

Look for ways to reward your loved one , not to hurt them.  

Similarly, lying about what you are doing just makes the problem worse.  You need to tell the truth and hold your ground.   No "yes dear" when you mean "hell no but I will lie about it.".  If your activity really is beyond the pale for your mate, you need a new mate.  Otherwise, your relationship will flounder along, getting worse.   Your spouse should not expect you to obey them mindlessly, and you should never ever abandon the moral high ground by falsely 'admitting' that you think your activity is wrong or bad.  Doing this prevents the short term argument, but preserves the problem for the long term. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mountains vs Mole hills.

Some men get discouraged because they feel that women are gold diggers.  Similarly, some women get discouraged because they feel that men are immature.   As I have said earlier, people are people.  If you think most of the opposite gender are not worthy of you then the problem is you, not them.  Raise your standards for personality, lower your standards for shallow qualities and you will see a huge improvement in the quality of your dates.

But these particular issues are more than just being shallow, they come from another place. 

First, certain men ARE immature and certain women ARE gold diggers.   The main problem however is that that our culture sets us up for these flaws and we have become hypersensitive to them.

Take gold digging.  A woman that marries a man for money is a gold digger.  A woman that refuses to ever date men that make less than her is a gold digger.  But just because you conform to our cultural expectation and mostly date men that make more money than you does not make you a gold digger.   Wanting a man to pay for your first date is not being a gold digger.  Wanting a man that has a similar life style is not being a gold digger.   At the very worst these things may make you a bit cheap, but even that is unlikely.   These are common desires, not gross sins.

Take immaturity.  A man may be unable to act maturely.   If he refuses to earn his own money, fails to support his child from an earlier marriage, or only uses women for sex, then he is immature.  But simply being unemployed, playing video games, reading comics, etc. does not make a guy immature.    Most likely the guy just enjoy things that other people don't. Reading comics does not make you immature, nor does liking Dungeons and Dragons, gambling, any more than riding a bike does.  The mere fact that kids do it more than adults is not an insult.  At the very worst these things may make you a bit lazy, but even that is unlikely.   These are common desires, not gross sins.

Second, these are things that men and women are extra sensitive about .  What amusements you enjoy or liking older men does not have anything at all to be immature or being a gold digger.  Our culture puts extra importance on these issues as they help to define gender roles. Women still are taught by our culture to look for a powerful, serious, authoritative mate, while men are taught to be one.  As such, we in effect put a microscope to men and women, looking for gold digging and for immaturity.  When we find the smallest imperfection (at least in the eye of the beholder), some of exaggerate it to ridiculous heights.  I have seen men that work 70 hours weeks be called immature because they read comics on the weekend.  I have seen women that date unemployed men be called a gold digger for wanting him to pay for take out. 

Merely conforming to our cultural stereotypes does not make a woman a gold digger, anymore than being a powerful, serious, authoritative man makes the guy a chauvinistic slave driver.    Similarly, women that go against this stereotype -support themselves and look for a less assertive man (perhaps even supporting him) are not 'doormats', anymore than it means a guy that is not powerful, serious and authoritative is immature.   Yes, gold diggers and doormats, slave drivers, and immature men exist.  But not everywhere.

People need to stop judging other dates so harshly on rather small factors.  Tiny imperfections need to be verified before you give up on the date.  More importantly, you should also recognize that your own needs differ from everyone else.  You may want a man that is not just 'mature', but EXTRA ambitious and serious.  Or you may want a woman that makes MORE than you.   Those are OK things to want, but don't blame your dates.  You need to be tell the truth about what you want, at least to yourself - in part because these things you want have hidden costs.  If you want a very ambitious and serious man, don't expect him home at 6 PM.  If you want a woman that makes a lot of money, don't be surprised if she wants you to help out with the housework - perhaps even doing more than your fair share.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My worst rejection

Well, I told my best rejection, so I thought I would tell my worst one as well.   Keep in mind that this happened about ten years ago, just after I had started taking tango.  At the time I was still under the delusion, fostered by movies and TV, that a 'pick up line' was essential.  In fact, it is not even helpful.

I was at this bar, having a drink. (This was before I became serious about my health.)    In a corner, there were two attractive girls - a blond and a brunette - and a guy dancing.  The blond was very pretty so I went over and started dancing.  While dancing, I tried to think of a good line or two, while at the same time trying to dance well.  While I had some tango lessons, they don't translate all that well to regular dancing and I had to also think about the dancing.  (Try Salsa if you want some crossover moves.)

Of course, I took too long.   Eventually I realized that I was coming off a bit creepy.   I was just about to give up, when the brunette came over and with a smile on her face and a lilt in her voice asked "Are you a dirty boy?"

Being, well, a guy, I thought she was a kinky domme and that I was about to get lucky.  Now, I am not into submissive kink, but I knew some people that were.  I was lonely (hence at the bar).  When an opportunity presented itself, I thought, why not? While I was more interested in the blond, the brunette was not bad looking.   So I hesitated for a second - half intentionally to seem submissive, half out of nervousness - and said "um, yes".

In case you have not yet figured it out, she was NOT kinky.  When she said dirty boy, you meant 'dirty old man, that isn't old'.   She started yelling at me for being a pervert, cursing me out, threatening to have her boyfriend beat me up (luckily, he was not in the bar).   I left that bar pretty quickly, almost in tears.  I was depressed for weeks after.

I can laugh at it now, but that night taught me some hard lessons.   You have a choice - you can learn from my mistakes or make them yourself.  Trust me, you don't want to do what I did. So take my advice.

For men:
  1. Like I have said before, don't try to come up with a line.  Women are more afraid of being stalked by shmucks then they are interested in talking to charming men.  Partly because some of the shmucks are pretty darn charming - particularly when their victims are a bit tipsy.
  2. Unless you look good enough to be in the movies, porn situations are NOT real.  The pizza delivery girl never accepts sex as payment, the UPS girl never wants your package, etc. etc. etc.  When people interrupt you having sex, they do not try to join in.  Assume every woman is flirting for fun, not coming on to you.  
  3. Don't alter your personality to meet women.   Even if it works, the relationship will be doomed.  Assuming she really was a domme, there is no way I could have pretended to be submissive for more than one night.
For women:

If you say something in a sexy voice, men will think you want them.  It doesn't matter how insulting you think it is.   If you are at all attractive, we will say and do stupid things because we thought you wanted it.   If you don't want us, but are referencing sex in any way, please make sure that your tone is hostile, so even a tipsy guy can sense it.  NO SMILING.   Please don't play with our lust, it hurts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The first call/email.

OK, so you played it cool, didn't come on too strong, didn't use a lame line, and managed to get the email/phone number.  Note, phone numbers are better, but an email can still work.

If you are a woman, you can still use this post.  No man I know has ever rejected a woman because she called him instead of waiting for him to call her.   Guys are easy - and not just when it comes to sex.  Yes, he might reject you, but only if you never had a chance with him in the first place.  More importantly, your odds of success are much  better than most men's chances.  You may get rejected half the time, but many men are lucky if they only get rejected 9 out of 10 times.  If we can take a 90% rejection rate, you can take a 50%.

Now what?  When do you call, what do you say?

First, do NOT call within 24 hours of getting her info.   Remember, women are more concerned with being stalked by guys they don't like than about being seduced by a funny guy that calls within minutes of meeting them.   More important, women want a guy that is in demand and too busy to call right away.   Unless she is getting on an airplane in two days, one day is too soon to call.  Six days is usually too late (unless you have called before and missed her).  By then she has forgotten you.  You don't want to have to remind her who you are.   If you lose her phone number (yes ladies, it happens), you can still try after six days, but better before.

Three to four days is generally ideal, but two or five are fine as well.  Women, I would generally use the same rule, but honestly, a guy will take your phone call after 5 minutes or 5 weeks and still be happy. Men are easy.

Second, you need a plan.   Remember everything you can about her - write it down if you need to, sometimes the act of writing triggers a memory.  You absolutely need her name - correct pronunciation is key.  Hopefully you have gotten some idea of the things she enjoys when you got her phone.

Third, get your calender out and pick a date you would like to go out with her.   Leave the calendar open, so you can change the date if she is busy.  Pick a date at least 2 days after today, but try for less than 7 days.  If you call on Friday, don't expect a date for Sunday, or the Sunday after that.

Fourth, pick an activity you think she might enjoy (see step 2).   It's a lot easier to ask her to do something specific then to try and figure out what and where after she has said yes.   If nothing else comes to mind, food is a good choice - so have a restaurant in mind.   Ideally it is close to where she lives (see step 2 again).  Failing that, something central and/or unusual is a good idea.   If you have a car, plan on offering to pick her up, but accept a 'lets meet at the place'.

Fifth, think about exactly what you want to say if you get her answering machine. Caller ID has ruined the old practice of not leaving a message.

Sixth, make the call or send an email.  Ask for her by name, perhaps with a subtle reminder (Hi, it's Tom from Salsa class.) of who you are.  If you get an answering machine go right to the date offer.   Give the date,time, location, and activity and ask if she is interested in going on a date with you.   Give her your phone number and say goodbye.  Same goes for an email. Be direct and to the point if you are not talking to her.

If you get her on the phone, then be a bit more social.  Ask about her day, how is everything.  If you feel like it, you can bring up one of the conversation topics you thought of before you called.  Then ask her out. Again, give date/time/location/activity and ask if she wants to go with you.

Seventh, if she can't make that day/doesn't like the activity/food, ask what she would work for her.

Eight, if she says yes, finish off the details such as where you will meet.  If you have never met in person (online, blind date, etc.), talk about clothing you will wear to make finding each other easier.    If she says no, take it gracefully and say goodbye.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who pays for the date?

The traditional system of a guy paying for (at least) the first date is unfair and discriminatory.  It presumes the guy makes more money than the woman, smacks of gold-digging and is designed to benefit less respectable women the most, particularly at the cost of the nicer, less attractive men.   Male 'players', find the cost of the first date is just a cheap way for him to pay for sex.   Most people go on few first dates, quickly moving to a relationship, so the 'first date tax' is relatively low for men and 'first date bonus' is relatively low for nice women.  But if the guy is less attractive/socially awkward, then he goes on lots of first dates, paying a huge tax just to get companionship.

But I prefer to pay for the first date anyway.  Despite the fact that I think it is unfair.  Life is unfair, deal with it.

First, I want to attract the right woman.  From my personal experience, women I am attracted to generally want the guy to pay for the first date.  If they make a good salary, they will go out of their way to split most other date expenses, but not the first one.  Not all women feel this way, but I have found that the ones I like are more likely to think 'going dutch' is cheap rather than chauvinistic. 

Second,  I am assertive.  I don't like taking a back seat in a relationship and by paying for the first date it sends a signal to my date about my personality.  This is sort of the other side of the coin of the first point.   Communication is very important, and this is a great way to communicate part of my personality.

Third, women pay a lot more money than most men do getting ready for a date.  It takes a lot of effort for women to look good.  They pay more and work harder for hair, clothing, make-up, etc.   Of course, some women need less help than others, and it is unfair that the less attractive women have to spend more money.  See point about life being unfair again.

One more thing - I personally dislike it when women pretend to offer to pay.  More about this elsewhere.  Communication is important and trickery is not a good idea, particularly for such a minor thing.

So what if you are not me? Paying the bill is not for everyone.  If you already have a strong opinion, go with it, no need to read more.  But if you are not sure, or are considering changing your mind, think about these points.

For men:

First, I refer you once again to Life being unfair.  Deal with it.   Accept the fact that paying the bill will punish nicer, less attractive men a lot more than others.   There are more important things to fix in the world.

Second in my experience, few women will be offended if you pay the bill, and if they will only be slightly offended.  More importantly, if they are at all persistent about paying, you can offer to let them pay the tip.   It is rather easy to ameliorate the problem.

Third, there will be quite a few women that will think you are cheap for not paying for the first date.  Yeah, they don't think it through - logically if person (A) is cheap for wanting to split the bill, what does that make person (B) that insists (A) pays the entire bill?  Logic doesn't matter here.  These women will be very offended, not slightly, and it will be practically impossible to fix the problem.  Your goal is to get another date, not to be arrogant.

All in all, the upside of paying is a lot more than the downside.  If you don't have a strong opinion, pay for the first date, trust me.

For women:

If you think it is inappropriate for men to pay, either grab the check before the guy or make it clear before the check comes.  It is not appropriate to use the check as a 'test'.  Why not?  Because men pay for many different reasons, not just the one you thought of.  Some men that agree with you will be playing it safe and pay the check because they don't want to take a chance.  Other men will be doing it to demonstrate their assertiveness.  Others were simply taught a tradition, and stick with it.   You can't make decisions about a guy based on if he offered to pay the check.  We do it for many different reasons.

Communication is important for all relationships, and it starts when you TELL the guy what you want.  Don't expect him to read your mind, or magically pick the right answer, at least not on the first date. 

If you want the guy to pay, then don't offer to pay.   Don't start a relationship by trying to trick your date, particularly over something so minor.  It's not a white lie, it's a black one.   If a guy takes you up on your offer, he isn't being cheap, he is politely agreeing with you.  In fact you should be doing the opposite - signal to the guy during the date that you like traditional men so he knows to offer to pay.  It is more important to find out if the guy pays attention then if he would pay without prompting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My best rejection

I am, if nothing else, a master of rejection.  I eat it for breakfast.  I get rejected so many times, I can write a book.  To find Ms. Right, you need to learn to take it.  Some of them still hurt, but most I laugh off.  This particular rejection made me feel better about myself, not worse.

To get rejected this way, I had to earn it.  It was a woman I knew and danced with often.  I knew she had recently broken up with her boyfriend and that she had been going on dates but her last date had 'no chemistry'.

So, after dancing with her for a while, I told her that I really enjoyed dancing with her and I understood if she wanted to keep our relations just a dance relationship, but I would love to go on a date with her.

Now for the rejection.  She was very flattered and made it clear.  Almost flabbergasted.  She has a nice laugh (One of the reasons I wanted to date her is I like the way she laughs when I crack a joke or when she is slight embarrassed), and said "Wow, Thank you.  I am so flattered.  That makes me feel so good."  She threw in a lovely embarrassed titter, then added "I'd rather stay a dancing relationship.  Is it OK if we do one more song?"   I said yes and we did.

So that's the story of my best rejection.  I came away feeling better than when I started.  She made me feel that she truly was complimented by my interest, even if she did not want to date me.

Note how I elicited that response.  No lame line, I made it clear that dating her was not an obsession, just something I thought would be fun, and I took "no" for an answer.   I played it suave and came away happy instead of like a dog that got his heart stomped.

If every woman rejected men the way she did, there would be a lot less unhappy single men in the world.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lists of standards.

Here is a list of non-shallow standards.  Look them over and consider what is important to you.  "vs." means you have to pick from one side, you can't have both.  Things grouped  with either a slash or an  "and" tend to go together.

  1. Ethics/Trustworthiness/Honesty
  2. Respect
  3. Communication skills
  4. Family
  5. Marriage
  6. Future children and Child rearing ideology
  7. (Assertive and Arrogant)  vs. (Accommodating and Wimpy)
  8. Gentleman and chauvinistic vs. liberated 
  9. Treat people (s)he is not dating
  10. Sexual compatibility
  11. Abusive
  12. legal issues
  13. Geography
  14. Allergies
  15. Sense of Humor
  16. Sense of Silly
  17. On Time
  18. Ambition
  19. Intelligence
  20. Whiny and Complainer
  21. Oscar vs Felix.
First, not everyone is going to value all of these things.   There is nothing wrong with not wanting children, or not caring about a sense of humor.   Second, some of these are categories rather than yes/no questions.

A couple of points I need to clarify.  The difference between ethics, trustworthiness and honesty.  Ethics is about what they think is right, trustworthy is about whether they will keep their word, honesty is about what they will admit.

When I say family, I am referring to their pre-existing family.  That refers to both any children they may have and other relatives.  If you have a sick father that you take care of, that is important.

Assertive/Accommodating.  I like to think of these as opposites. Ask yourself if you would rather have an assertive arrogant person or an accommodating wimpy person.  While not all assertive people are arrogant, the connection is common enough that you need to consider it. (Same for accommodating and wimpy.)

Similarly, being a gentleman has some advantages and disadvantages. 

How your date treats people they are not dating is very important.   People are on their best behaviour on dating, particular the first ones.  If you want to know how someone is going to treat you five years after they know you, see how they treat waiters (or other servants), their friends, and even previous relationships.

Sexual compatibility.  This is not just "gay/straight", but also things like "Do I like to have sex in the dark, one a month while she likes to do it tied up, after being flogged, in a public park, twice a week, in a tub of jello".    It is a good idea to figure this out BEFORE you try to have sex, not after.

Legal Issues includes everything from bankruptcy rulings to being in prison (now or previously).

Geography - long distance relationships are not easy.  Will you move?  Will they?  When?

Allergies - pets are wonderful, but they may limit your options.

Sense of Silly is similar to a sense of humour, but it is more like being in touch with your inner child.  Do you want someone that is willing to get into a pie fight with you, or someone that will complain about the childishness.

On time may not be important to  you.   I have cancelled a date once, and been 25 minutes late for a date (I called).  On the other hand I have had countless (well over 30) people cancel on me and waited upto 1 1/2 hours for a date (she did call and say she would be late).   Make up your mind how much crap you are willing to put up with.

Ambition is a tough one - so many people use it as code for "rich".   If you truly want an ambitious date, then you would rather go out with someone that is broke because their 4th start up failed (just like the first 3), as opposed to someone that inherited 5 million dollars and is living on the interest.   Be honest, you are only hurting yourself if you lie here.

Oscar/Felix refers to "The Odd Couple".  Would you rather someone that is laid back and messy or rather someone that is obsessively cleaning all the time.

The shallow standards men use for women tend to be (in order of most used/most important):
  1. Age
  2. Weight/thin
  3. Breasts
  4. Face
  5. Hair
  6. Money/job (at least for some modern men)
Note, the first two are the big ones for men.   Most men will say someone that is young and thin = 7, even if everything else is really bad.  If a guy is willing to date older, heavier women, he can have his pick of some wonderful women.

    The shallow standards women tend to use for men are:
    1. Height
    2. Power
    3. Money
    4. Muscles/Weight
    5. Hair
    6. Clothing
    For women, height is the big one.  Most women want a guy over 6', and will date an unemployed, broke, fat, bald man with bad taste in clothing.  If a woman is willing to date short men, she gets her pick of great men.
      Note their are more shallow standards out there, but not that much more.    This causes some problems as most people are looking for pretty much the same stuff.   While it is easy to see who is tall/has large breasts, they are in demand.  This is characteristic of shallow standards.   To be a shallow standard, they have to be easily detectable, and most are relatively hard to change (clothing and hair are the exceptions).

      It should also be noted that enough money can buy weight, breasts, face, hair, clothing and muscles.  Money can't buy height, power, money, or age (but everyone started out as the same age).  Keep in mind that most women under 29 can make herself a 10, with no more than a year of work and about $10 grand, while men generally need at least 5 years, $100 grand, and even then they may be too short to attract most women.

      Finally, a reminder that I have nothing against being shallow, but there are costs to being shallow.  The more shallow standards you use, (particularly the lower number ones, the more you restrict your dating pool.  Eventually you end up with no one worth dating.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Sex on the #??? Date

      When a straight woman goes out looking for sex that night, she picks out the most attractive man around and makes her intention clear.  If she is going to do this, she wants the best possible experience.

      When a straight man goes out looking for sex that night (assuming he is not willing to pay), he picks the LEAST attractive woman he could bear.  If he himself is attractive, his 'least' is going to be a lot better than most, but he will still go for the least.   He knows it is going to take a lot effort and there is no guarantee, so he wants to maximize his chances.

      This leads to a situation where (I exaggerate here a lot) where the men more often than not come away from the one night stand trying to avoid any further attachments with the women.  The women come away thinking how great it would be if she could have him forever.

      But I am not here to talk about one nights stands, I am here to talk about relationships.  Unfortunately, that same problem with one night stands also applies.

      In general, people decide whether they would like to have sex with someone within minutes of meeting them.  Deciding  on a relationship is much more difficult. Why it takes at LEAST an hour.  Now, that relationship might last for 5 dates or for 50 years.  But the relationship decision is made pretty much on the first date.

      But sometimes one party wants sex and the other wants a relationship.   This has led to a myth that "Sex ruins relationships".

      Nope.   People like sex.  The only way sex ruins a relationship is if you get caught cheating.

      What happens is quite simple.  Two people meet.  One decides they want a relations and proceeds to ignore all the signs that the other person just wants to get laid.  Then, after a few dates, they have sex, and one of them leaves.  Boom, the dumped person thinks that sex ruined the relationship.

      No.  They never had a relationship, or even a chance of a relationship.  If they did not have sex the relationship would have ended anyway.   The only reason the 'dumper' went out with the 'dumpee' in the first place was to have sex.  More often than not, the dumper thinks the dumpee was not in the same league.

      So, what date should you have sex on?   Honestly, it doesn't really matter.   Do it whenever you both want to do it.   There are only two possibilities - 1. the relationship doesn't really exist and you might as well go out with a bang, or 2. the relationship is about to become stronger and move on to another level.

      Either way, you come out ahead - as long as you are doing something you WANT to do, even if the other person leaves you.

      P.S.  Note that this only works if you both actually want to have sex.  If one of you is using sex to try and keep a relationship, you will definitely fail.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      The list(s) of what you want

      One thing that I find helpful is to make a list of what you want in a date.  This forces you to think about what you want, keeps you focused on it, and gives you something to throw away when you meet the right person.   

      I go a step further, I categorize my list into four subcategories.

      1. Shallow Must Haves
      2. Shallow Bonus points
      3. Deep Must Haves
      4. Deep Bonus points.

      An example for a guy could be as follows (numbers correspond to above list):

      1. Female, 22-50 age, in at least as good shape as I am, employed or in school,
      2.  Age 32-38 (I want kids), nice hair, nice skin, thin, doing well financially, does not own a cat (I am allergic)
      3. Smart enough to understand me, lives within 100 miles of me, has a sense of adventure, Not addicted to alcohol, Does not use any illegal drug (possible exception for marijuana), Likes to talk
      4. As smart as me or smarter, lives or works in Manhattan. loves to try new things, has a sense of silly.  Does not use marijuana, does drink alcohol, likes to talk about politics and/or science

      An example for a gal could be (numbers correspond to first list):

      1. Male, age 30-50, at least as tall as I am, employed, not incredibly overweight
      2. Age 40-50, Taller than I am by at least 2 inches, good hair, good skin, dresses well, makes more money than I do, has a high status job (police, politics, Vice President +, Doctor, Lawyer)
      3. funny, lives near me, does not do drugs, gentleman, wants to get married
      4. Smart, exercises, same politics as me, wants kids

      This categorization is actually pretty important.  Note that some of the Bonus Points are just improvements on the Must Haves.

      One thing you can use the list is to help you rethink your priorities.   If you don't like the kind of date you are getting, then you can look at the list and decided to make changes in yourself.  If you are not sexually attracted to the dates you are getting, put more things on the Shallow Bonus Points section - or move them from bonus to Must Have.  If your dates are hot, but kind of schmucks/not fun, then downgrade stuff in the Shallow Must Haves to Bonus points and put more stuff in the Deep Must Haves.

      Part of the deal here is to be painfully honest.  The list is to help you make changes in yourself, not to brag to other people.  If in doubt, be harsh on yourself

      P.S.  Remember my second sentence.  The list is to help you find Mr/Ms Right.  Never use it as an excuse to dump someone.  If you like someone that does not seem to fit on the list, then the list is wrong, not the date.  So throw out the old list and make a new one based on the guy/gal you actually like.

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      No, everyone else is not having more fun than you.

      This is a very common belief and I am here to tell you it is false.

      In general, media, particularly television tends to show attractive people having fun.  Watching unhappy people is boring.   The average American is fatter, poorer, and less socially active than the people we watch on TV or the movies.  This gives us a false impression that everyone else is having far more fun than you are.  Take a show like the Big Bang. It is a show about nerds.  It started out fairly realistic with four male nerds without girlfriends and one of them lusting after the pretty girl next door.  If they were shorter and fatter, it would have been a fairly realistic portrayal.  As of Feb 24, 2011, three of them could be said to have girlfriends and one of them is choosing between two girls.  Not exactly realistic.

      I am here to tell you that you are NOT alone being alone.  Think about this list:

      • Workaholics
      • People in failing/failed marriages
      • Socially unskilled people too scared to ask others out
      • People that that think they are too unattractive and just stay home
      • Soldiers out in the field, never having the chance to meet potential dates.

      We outnumber the happy people shown on TV.  There are tons of people over 30 that think they have wasted their youth.   Most people don't date a new hottie/millionaire each week.

      People thinks that everyone else is out having far more fun than they are.   This is not true.

      But don't take this as a sign to give up.  If you think you aren't having as much fun, then go out and GET SOME.  Fun, that is.   Do things.  Take classes or find social activities.  Here are some ideas.

      • Join a sports team or sign up for a ski club.
      • Take dancing, painting, sculpting or some other kind of art lessons
      • Go take some cooking lessons.
      • Learn a new language
      • Learn to ride horseback
      • Take a martial arts class
      • Learn how to shoot a bow & arrow or rifle.
      • Try karaoke
      • Learn Chess or Go (computers can't beat humans at Go, but they can beat us at Chess).
      • Got to a Knitting or soldering classes
      Just go out and look for classes and activities.  Check local collages, social centers, classified ads.  Most classes that sound even slightly interesting end up being fun.

      There are a ton of fun activities out there.   Just because you don't end up naked with a hottie or a muscle man, doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life.  Besides, with a little bit of luck, you can meet someone you like doing something you enjoy.

      Also, if you want to try something that is 'counter' sexual traditions, do it anyway.  Men, feel free to take a knitting class.  Woman, take a firearms class.   It's a good way to meet someone of the opposite gender and they will think MORE of you for taking it, not less.  I might not  brag about it to your friends, but go do it.

      Thursday, March 3, 2011


      I recently read a very sad story on Gizmodo (The Story of the Lonely Whale).

      Human voices have a range of 80 - 1100 Hz.  Whales have much deeper voices, the better to carry long distances.  Most baleen whales in particular speak in the 12 - 25Hz range.

      But there is one lonely baleen whale, that the story called Alice.  Alice has an unusually high voice for a whale,  she speaks at 51.75 Hz.   So none of the other whales can hear her (or perhaps they hear her but don't understand).  Being effectively mute is far worse for a whale - they don't have books, texting, etc.   Her tale is very sad.  She lives her life alone.

      Communication is key to relations - for humans as well as whales.  You would think humans would have it a lot easier.  We have so many ways to communicate.

      Communication is important not because you need to be 'communication compatible', but because it maintains the relationship.  It is one of the easier things to fix and the better communicator has the responsibility to do the fixing.   There are many hard issues that can and will break up a relationship - money, kids (or the lack of kids), infidelity, among them.  But if your relationship breaks up because of poor communication, then shame on you both.

      This is particularly important for people that don't get into a lot of relationships.  Whether you go on few dates, or go on many first dates but not a lot of 5th dates, the problem is the same.  You don't have a lot of experience and communication gets better with practice.

      Most relationships have communication problems.  As you may have noticed, I have a running theme of blaming both men and women equally for things, and this is no exception.   For every man that stereotypically refuses to talk, there is a woman mad at her man for not reading her mind.

      But guess what, this blog post is not blaming the poor communicator.  Yes, some guy won't talk about their feelings and yes some women expect men to read minds.  Instead this post is blaming the person with good communication skills.  Communication is a skill, not a talent.  If you don't know how to ski, you get yourself a ski instructor, you don't try to teach yourself.

      If your significant other has poor communication skills, then it is up to you to fix the problem.  If you have better communication skills then you need to use them and/or teach your mate those skills.  You can't just blame them and leave.   I once dated a beautiful young woman from Haiti and broke up with her because she lacked communication skills.  At the time I blamed her.   Years later I realized that I should have worked harder to fix the issue instead of just giving up.  It was my fault for not trying harder.   I had the skills I should have taught her.

      What if neither of you have good communication skills?  Take some classes or get some therapy.  Therapy is almost all about communication.  Most of it consists of learning to talk about things you don't want to talk about.

      Communication is a skill, not a talent.  That means you can improve your communication skills, as opposed to being stuck with what you got.    The better you get at communication, the easier your successful relationships will be. Now, that may mean you end your bad relationships earlier, but frankly that is probably for the best anyway.

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      Where to meet dates

      There are five main ways to meet potential dates.  Here they are in order of newness.

      1. Family/Friend recommendations
      2. Professional Matchmakers
      3. Bars/party/raves/etc.
      4. Classes
      5. Online dating services.
      Family/friends have limited access to potential dates, but know you well. 

      Professional Matchmakers are expensive, but, assuming they are reasonably competent, are also probably the most effective.   They save you a lot of effort rejecting people that are inappropriate.  Here, you get what you pay for  - so I suggest you 'man up' and pay for the most expensive version you can get.  Note, I would not use a service that does not charge women as much as the man.  While I favor the guy paying for the first date, I see a lot of problems with giving women a break on the price.  One of the main advantages of paying so much is that only a better quality date will be able to afford their services.  

      Bars have the huge advantage of alcohol, but also the disadvantage of excess alcohol.  They are moderately expensive, but tend to give you a large selection of people.  The key is to find a bar/club/rave that is known to be a 'meat market'.  If you go to a 'meat market' you expect to be hit on - so most of the people there will looking.   "Meat Market" is not an insult, it is a giant banner calling the faithful.

      Classes can be a great place to meet people.  I am not just talking high school/universities, but adult education ones as well.  It is not that hard to find some that are focused on singles. Check your local college as well as the internet. Meet Market Adventures is one that I like (http://www.meetmarketadventures.com/index.php) , because they focus on singles and are reasonably priced.   They are international (USA and Canada only, so far) and offer travel events.

      Online dating services come in many variations.   Like professional matchmakers, you often get what you pay for.  In general, I do not recommend the free ones (Plenty of Fish/OK Cupid/etc.)   The problem is people sing up as a lark and don't commit.  That is also a problem with eharmony's 'free weekends'.   I am a serious dater and am looking for serious people.   There are both generic dating sites and specialized ones.  Usually, the greater number of active, serious people wins, so I would not go to a specialized one, unless that specialization is a mandatory quality.   Jdate is not just for jews, and in Manhattan is has a large number of people.  But if you are gay, I would probably use a dating service that specializes in gays.  I hear that the more sexual ones (Adult friend finder for example), tend to have large number of straight men and few straight women, so that defeats the purpose.

      Keep one thing in mind - attractive people will generally 'win' no matter which method you use.  That is, if you do badly at bars, don't expect to be a winner at online services.  A good professional matchmaker is about the only way to change this - in part by steering the less attractive people towards people that care more about inner beauty.