Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Much Space Do You Need in a Good Relationship?

The amount of space you may or may not need in a relationship depends on you and also the kind of relationship it is.  We know that some people thrive better when they get a lot of space in their relationship whereas others do better when they are around their partner all the time.

It sometimes becomes a challenge to find that happy medium when it comes to the amount of space each partner needs.  It gets even more cumbersome when each person has a different philosophy about what "space" is and what being together should be like.  But this mental challenge can be conquered if you both can make compromises on the amount of space you each need.

Many people simply do not want to be alone very often.  These people seem happier when they spend the bulk of their time with their partner, friends or family.  These types feel too lonely when they are left alone and prefer to have companionship around as often as possible.  They don’t enjoy being home alone in a quiet house!

On the opposite end you have people who enjoy alone time as much as together time.  They need their space more often and some amount of alone time each day to feel happier.  These types of people feel like tension keeps building up if they don’t get their alone time.  They may feel they have to always be at their best when people are around so they can't relax and just be themselves.  This gets exhausting to them.

Between the two extremes are most people who enjoy time with their partners but need a little free time on their own, on occasion, to reset their brain and feel like they can get away from constantly being around others.  Most people need some amount of "me" time.

A relationship may be easier if you are both between the two extremes and you can compromise about when space is needed and when it is not.  Couples who fall in the same extreme category of needing a lot of alone time or needing more together time can also have a good relationship since they understand each other easier.

The hardest relationships are when partners fall into the opposite extremes and end up with constant tension from it.  If you or your partner needs more alone time than the other needs you will have to discuss how to set up boundaries. Each of you will need to understand what the other person wants and make compromises to accommodate each other.  You both deserve to feel your needs are being met in order to have a good relationship.

If your partner seems to need company constantly but you need some alone time, then you will feel smothered by them if they constantly are hanging around you. You may also feel they don’t trust what you are doing when they aren’t around.  The more smothered you feel the more tense your relationship will get.

If your partner wants alone time but you would rather hang around them constantly then you will feel neglected when they go off alone and look for some "me" time.  You will begin to wonder if they still love you or why they need to be alone.

Both situations will cause stress on a relationship.  But it can be overcome if you explain to each other your differences in needs.  Explain that it doesn't mean you don’t love the other person but merely that you need things they don't, to feel happier.  Be honest and open early in the relationship and willing to compromise.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/breakup-articles/how-much-space-do-you-need-in-a-good-relationship-1061321.html#ixzz16m143WWO 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Great "Relationship" Debate

I received a text message the other dear from a dear friend saying "Erin, is there a difference between Dating exclusively and being boyfriend and girlfriend?"

That question got my brain churning.

In my dating span I've heard many variations of this question -- does being exclusive mean you're in a relationship? Does exclusivity mean a commitment? When do you go from "just dating" to "in a relationship"?

To my dismay, all of the questions listed above have no real answer. I will, however, shine some light on my point of view and the point of view of others. First, let's define the word "Dating."

Of a couple, to be in the early stages of a relationship where they go out on dates to find out what each other is like, as a prelude to actually being a fully fledged couple.

I think we all agree that "Dating" is that uncertain stage where two people enjoy each other's company and try to figure out if there is potential for a relationship there. After a couple of dates, that's where the lines get blurry...When/How do you make the transition from "Dating" to "Exclusivity?"

The state of being in a relationship with someone where you are officially boyfriend and girlfriend, and there is no-one else involved. Usually attained after going on a couple of good dates with someone.

In my experience, I see many people refrain from becoming a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" out of a fear of being locked down, instead they prefer to be "exclusively dating." This concept confuses me, however, because by becoming exclusive with someone you are in a way locking yourself down from meeting others, only there is no label attached to it.

The question really is, when do two people know if they are Boyfriend and Girlfriend - is it assumed after months of exclusive dating? Is there a talk? Again, let's see the actual definition of what it means to be a "Boyfriend" and "Girlfriend."

A male whom a female begins a relationship with. He is not essential to making the female a better person, but more so a person she can depend on for emotional support, sexual comfort, or life lessons.

The female in a male-female romantic relationship. She provides love and emotional support for her boyfriend and is loved the same way in return. The girlfriend is also a friend, and thus is loved and respected on that level of relationship.

Though I've heard variations in the past, I think that most women will agree that if you are exclusively dating a man and having sex with him on a fairly consistent basis then you are assuming that you are in a form of a relationship. Again, there are many forms of relationships - new, budding, old, committed, serious, troubled - everyone has their own definition for what their's is.

1. any type of connection that brings two individuals together for a period of time
2. something other than a friends with benefits
3. more than a mutual understanding!!

Now that we've examined about every definition associated with a relationship that I can find on Urbandictionary.com I've come up with one conclusion.

People are going to do whatever they want to do.

Relationship. Dating. Fuck Buddy. Friends with Benefits. Friends. Boyfriend. Girlfriend.

There is so much gray area in dating that no one can predict what another person is thinking --- which is why every year millions of books are sold on this same topic. The only advice that I can give is use your gut - if something doesn't fee right, then it probably isn't - but make sure it's really your gut and not paranoia - those come from two different places.

To answer my friends question though, I personally believe that to be exclusive means that you're in a relationship and yes, boyfriend and girlfriend can be used. However, on the flipside, just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean it's long term - so buyer beware!


Have a Great Thanksgiving, Master Daters!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness: The Tale of the Christmas Corningware

What I love about Christmas, besides the screaming children and angry women who trample you to get a deal, is watching men shop for their wives/significant other's gifts.

I've been shopping roughly 3 days out of the past 5 for Christmas gifts and in every store I run into a man who's obviously shopping for gifts for his wife. How can I tell? Well it's the overwhelming look of fear and confusion that makes them stick out like a sore thumb.

Take Friday night for example. I'm shuffling through the isles of Linens and Things trying to find something practical, fun and affordable for my mother. Then I thought screw it, I'll just go to walmart and buy something cheap.

So there I am wandering the isles when I come across one of the saddest sights I've seen. This guy, I'd say about sixty something is holding two boxes of corningware and looks like he's about to cry. Honestly, it looks like he has to choose between losing his left ball or his right ball --- the choice was that difficult. So I walk next to him and crack a witty joke, asking if he needs any help. He looks at me as if I'm Batman who's just swooped in to save him from an angry group of gangbangers. He asks me which set he should get his wife --- he said she wanted serving bowls --- but whats the difference between one set of white bowls and the other?

I realized I was in over my head at the moment too. But I let my feminine logic work it out. "Well," I said, "Corningware is for cooking and Serving Bowls are for serving." He looked at me blankly. Kind of how I look at my dad when he explained why my car blew up. He replies with "But these are prettier" I nod and point to the pretty ones. No need to explain the ins and outs of Rachel Ray's new cooking line. He then smiles and thanks me for my help. But before he leaves I give him a helpful hint, and I seriously said this...

"It's a safe bet that if you buy corningwear --- you better follow it with something shiney...just to be safe."

I only say this because of an unfortante incident that occurred in my family over a oven mitt and can opener. Don't ask. Anyways, Mr. Confused Guy laughs and tells me he just bought her a new car. This is just something that she had asked him for on the side.

Sonnofabitch. A new friggin car!?

So there he goes, walking away with his corningware and a smile. And there I stand in the dish department, hoping that I get something shiny from my boyfriend this year --- but if not, I'll certainly take a car...

5 key questions to ask on a date

Early date chit-chat can become so formulaic that you walk away knowing little more about a person than a few résumé-ready bullet points: where he grew up, where she went to school, for whom he toils to get his biweekly paycheck. “We tend to ask more questions about a car or house than about the person we are going out with and potentially entrusting our hearts with,” says Eve Hogan, author of How to Love Your Marriage: Making Your Closest Relationship Work. That’s not to say your early get-togethers should be interrogation-quality, with the blinding light bulb, two-way mirror and good-cop/bad-cop act. The trick is to ask questions that aren’t too personal, but still reveal your date’s tastes and his or her values. What’s the difference? Well, if you like Joni Mitchell and your date digs Ice-T, you may assume you’re not a match (different tastes) — unless you can discern that you’re both compelled by politically minded lyrics (similar values). So next time you’ve got silence to fill, ask one of these playful and engaging questions. 

1. What’s your favorite scene from your favorite book or movie?
Talking about mass media and pop culture can clue you in to similar interests and worldviews. “Books, movies, and music all transmit powerful messages of hope or emotion,” says Hogan. “If you have radically different preferences, there may be some fundamental differences between the way the two of you look at the world.” But asking your date to name his or her favorite scene can help you distill what’s important to him or her beyond just genre.

2. What do you love about your job?
The standard, “What do you do?” is a closed question that doesn’t reveal much about a person other than a job title. But if you phrase the career question a bit differently, you can delve into your date’s likes and dislikes; reveal his or her strengths; see how he or she handles conflict; and find out how happy this person is with life overall. Think about the different impressions you’ll form if your date answers the question, “Knowing that I’m helping people fulfill their dream” versus “Deciding what to order for lunch!”

3. What’s your definition of a relationship?
Granted, it takes a bit of build-up to ask this question (usually, once you begin discussing your dating histories, you can slip this one in), but it’s worth asking. Does your date want to be wined and dined, or are you both looking for a 50/50 relationship? It’s too soon to know what this specific potential relationship will look like, but a question like this lets you share your expectations and fundamental beliefs. “I like to ask this question early on, because I’ve found that some women I’ve dated didn’t know what they wanted out of our relationship,” says Mario Webb of Ft. Walton Beach, FL. “They came into it just hoping things work out without telling me what they expect. Needless to say, things haven’t worked out.” And if your date’s answer is outside the range of what you consider acceptable, you’ve saved yourself future heartbreak by finding out before you fall for him or her.

4. If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
This tried-and-true icebreaker showcases your date’s hopes, dreams, and regrets — topics that often remain untouched by even serious romantic partners. The answers can range from a desire to travel to going back to school to learning how to play the violin. Two buttoned-up stockbrokers might discover they both share a secret longing to be athletes or a shared devotion to public service. Your date’s response will help clue you in to common goals and interests that go beyond what you do on a day-to-day basis.

5. Will you share an embarrassing moment with me?
This fun question is great to ask when a date has gotten a little tense or quiet, because it reveals both details of your date’s history and his or her character. Just know that you may have to share an awkward experience first in order to make your date feel comfortable. “One of the great things is that our humanity is a bonding thing,” says Hogan. “Our ability to laugh at ourselves is critical in a budding relationship.” So make it clear that you’re not looking for dirt on that plagiarism incident in 11th grade, but rather something goofy, like the time you drove a golf cart into the water, installed a chandelier upside-down and so forth.

By asking these questions and considering the answers, you’ll gain valuable insights onto your date — and know whether the two of you are likely to click on future get-togethers.

This article was taken from Match.com and was written by Ayren Jackson-Cannady.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating

July 7th, 2010 by Christian Rudder
Nerds. As we all know, the Internet is a great place to pretend to be someone you're not. For instance, here's me in Second Life having a great time:

Anyhow, in many online situations, self-misrepresentation is totally harmless. Like, who cares if your Halo 3 avatar is taller than you are in real life? Or if flickr thinks you're single when you're really married? But in online dating, where the whole goal is to eventually meet other people in person, creating a false impression is a whole different deal.
People do everything they can in their OkCupid profiles to make themselves seem awesome, and surely many of our users genuinely are. But it's very hard for the casual browser to tell truth from fiction. With our behind-the-scenes perspective, we're able to shed some light on some typical claims and the likely realities behind them.

Let's get started.

"I'm 6 feet tall."

REALITY: People are two inches shorter in real life.

This whole post was inspired by an amusing graph we stumbled across while trying to answer the question Do taller guys have more sex? The answer, to a degree, is yes, and I'll expand on that in a little bit. But in this case what was more interesting than the sex was the (supposed) tallness of the guys.

The male heights on OkCupid very nearly follow the expected normal distribution—except the whole thing is shifted to the right of where it should be. You can see it better when we overlay the implied best fit below (pardon the technical language):

Almost universally guys like to add a couple inches. You can also see a more subtle vanity at work: starting at roughly 5' 8", the top of the dotted curve tilts even further rightward. This means that guys as they get closer to six feetround up a bit more than usual, stretching for that coveted psychological benchmark.
When we looked into the data for women, we were surprised to see height exaggeration was just as widespread, though without the lurch towards a benchmark height:

On a somewhat humbling personal note, I just went back and looked at my own profile, and apparently I list myself at 5' 11". Really, I'm a touch under 5' 10". Hmmm.
. . .
As for whether it even makes sense for people to make such an obvious and easily disproved exaggeration, the jury is out. We've found that taller people, up to a point, have more sex:

But as far as messages go, shorter women actually seem to get more attention:

These are the average weekly unsolicited message totals by height; you can think of these as the number of times a person is "hit on" out of the blue each week on OkCupida 5' 4" woman gets 60 morecontacts each year than a six-footerThe genders are plotted on different scales because of the eternal fact that men almost always make the first move, so women get many more unsolicited messages.
It's plain from these two charts that women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message. The data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6' 0" woman to her 5' 4" counterpart: the taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners.

"I make $100,000 a year."

REALITY: People are 20% poorer than they say they are.

Apparently, an online dater's imagination is the best performing mutual fund of the last 10 years. Here's what people are saying on OkCupid, versus what their incomes should be:

Use the slider to watch as people exaggerate more as they get older. As you can see, people advertise disproportionately high salaries for themselves. Just to pick a symbolic amount, there are consistently 4× the number of people making $100K a year than there should be.
Note that in formulating the "expected" lines for each age we were very careful to adjust for OkCupid's particular demographics: we compared every individual against the average not just by age but by zip code. Here a breakdown by gender of the exaggeration rates:

A woman may earn 76 cents on the dollar for the same work as a man, but she can fabricate, like, 85 cents no problem.
. . .
We did a little investigating as to whether a person's stated income had any real effect on his or her online dating experience. Unsurprisingly, we found that it matters a lot, particularly for men. This is a by-age messaging distribution:

These bold colors contain a subtle message: if you're a young guy and don't make much money, cool. If you're 23 or older and don't make much money, go die in a fire. It's not hard to see where the incentive to exaggerate comes from.

"Here's a recent pic."

REALITY: The more attractive the picture, the more likely it is to be out-of-date.

The above picture, for example, was over two years old when it was uploaded. How do we know? Most modern cameras append text tags to the jpgs they take. These tags, called EXIF metadata, specify things like the exposure and f-stop settings, gps information if your camera has it, and, of course, the time and date the photo was taken. This is how programs like iPhoto know when (and sometimes where) you've taken your pictures.
Analyzing this stuff, we found that most of the pictures on OkCupid were of recent vintage; site-wide the median photo age at upload was just 92 days. However, hotter photos were much more likely to be outdated than normal ones. Here's a comparison (the age of a picture below is how old it was when it was uploaded to our site):

As you can see, over a third of the hottest photos on the site are a year old or more. And more than twice as many hot photos are over three years old (12%) as average-looking ones (5%), which makes sense because people are more inclined to cling to the pics that make them look their best
Another useful (if somewhat unorthodox) way to take in this graph is to follow the horizontal gridlines. If you trace out from "20%", for example, you can see that 1 in 5 average-looking photos is at least a year old, meanwhile, among the hot photos, nearly 1 in 5 is at least two years old.
It also turns out that older people also upload older photos:

The upshot here is, if you see a good-looking picture of a man over 30, that photo is very likely to be out-of-date. Not to get personal again, but my own OkCupid photo shows a Burberry-dressed 27 year-old, strumming away on his guitar. Meanwhile, I turn 35 in a couple months and am writing this post in the same shorts and tee-shirt I've been wearing for a week. Time waits for no man, unless that man doesn't update his personal information.

"I'm bisexual."

REALITY: 80% of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender.

OkCupid is a gay- and bi-friendly place and it's not our intention here to call into question anyone's sexual identity. But when we looked into messaging trends by sexuality, we were very surprised at what we found. People who describe themselves as bisexual overwhelmingly message either one sex or the other, not both as you might expect. Site-wide, here's how it breaks out:

This suggests that bisexuality is often either a hedge for gay people or a label adopted by straights to appear more sexually adventurous to their (straight) matches. You can actually see these trends in action in the chart below.
Again, this is just the data we've collected. We'd be very interested in our bisexual users' thoughts on this single-sex-messaging phenomenon, so if you'd like to weigh-in please use the comments section. Please note, everybody, that we don’t assume that bis should be “into both genders equally.” We only assume that they should be into both genders at all. The swaths of red and blue that you see in these sexuality charts represent people who message only one gender. The purple areas are people who sendany messages, in whatever proportion, to both men and women.

In this chart, throughout the teens and twenties, the male bisexual population is mostly observably gay men. By the mid-thirties, it seems, most of these men are more comfortable self-identifying as gay and have left the bi population. By the end of our chart, 3 of every 4 bi males on OkCupid are observably straight. Meanwhile, the proportion of men who message both women and other men holds fairly steady.
The proportions for women are more consistent over time:

12% of women under 35 on OkCupid (and the internet in general, I'd wager) self-identify as bi. However, as you can see above, only about 1 in 4 of those women is actually into both guys and girls at the same time. I know this will come as a big letdown to the straight male browsing population: three-fourths of your fantasies are, in fact, fantasies of a fantasy. Like bi men, most bi women are, for whatever reason, not observably bi. The primacy of America's most popular threesome, two dudes and an Xbox, is safe.
. . .
In gathering data for this last section on sexuality, we found so much interesting stuff that we're making it the topic of our next post. We'll look at the messaging, searching, and stalking (!) patterns of gay, bi, and straight people and see what else we can learn about the sexual continuum. Until then, no lie: thanks for reading.
OkCupid's data scientists, Max S

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Relationship Lessons From Prince William and Kate Middleton

This week, the news was announced that the future heir to the throne, Prince William, is to marry his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. In these austere times, a royal wedding might be just what the country needs, but the couple haven’t made the decision lightly. In fact, their conduct throughout their very high-profile relationship has been near impeccable -- including the timing of their engagement.

The royal family needs as much good PR as it can get after the high profile divorces of the 1990s, and the publicity management of William and Kate’s relationship show that the Windsors have learnt their lessons.

But what lessons can you learn from the future king’s relationship with Kate Middleton that you can apply to your own?

Take your time, don’t rush into anything

William and Kate first met whilst studying art history together in their first year at St. Andrew’s University, Fife in 2001. Although their relationship was strictly platonic initially (she was dating fellow student Rupert Finch at the time), the pair starting spending more and more time together, eventually flat-sharing before they allegedly started dating at Christmas 2003.

It was publicly confirmed that the couple were an item in 2005, but William didn’t want to get rushed into marriage, “I'm only 22 for God's sake. I am too young to marry at my age.” The prince was quoted as saying, “I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or maybe 30.'' Now, after five years together, the couple have finally made the promise to wed.

The relationship may have been strained over the years (the couple briefly split in 2007), but it has stood the test of time, proving that giving a relationship time and space to breathe will only help to strengthen the bond between a man and a woman. Let’s not forget that Prince Charles got engaged to Diana Spencer after less than a year of their being together. And we all know how that worked out.

Ignore outside influences

When Prince William and Kate Middleton took a brief relationship hiatus in 2007, following intrusion and pressure from the media, Prince Charles apparently chastised his son for not demonstrating sufficient commitment to Kate, pointing out that he had yet to propose marriage. Kate may have become frustrated at the lack of commitment from William, but the future king stuck to his guns.

William had sense enough to realise that it didn’t take an engagement ring on her finger to demonstrate his loyalty; instead of following his father’s advice, he made his feelings known by dedicating more and more of his private time to Kate.

The Queen is said to have expressed surprise that it took so long for the couple to get engaged, but the fact of the matter is that couples under 30 account for the highest divorce rates in the UK, a statistic that all young couples like William and Kate should take into account when considering matrimony. Lesson learnt? Don’t let anyone influence your decision, even if it is the Queen of England.

Don’t be defined by your relationship

When Prince Charles married Princess Diana nearly 30 years ago, she was a shy and retiring 20-year-old, 13 years Charles' junior. The full glare of the media attention would eventually eclipse her, leading to the breakdown of the relationship, and ultimately, one could argue, her death.

In contrast, Kate Middleton is William’s senior by five months, and fiercely independent. Academically gifted, sporty and ambitious, Kate has spent her life doing her own thing, and although she has actively sought her own privacy, she’s never been one to hide behind William.

Whilst William was away having his military training, Kate was busy forging her career as a fashion buyer for women’s retail store Jigsaw, refusing to rest on her laurels as the potential future Queen of England. Likewise, William has gone out into the world and had a glittering military career -- a brave decision for a future king, and further proof that for true personal happiness, you should seek your own independence and not rely on your partner to fulfil your life.

If it feels right, go for it

In the run up to the big royal wedding next year, expect to hear a lot about Kate Middleton not being from royal stock. Kate comes from a middle-class upbringing, with her mother famously being a former air stewardess for British Airways, but this is something that, quite rightly, has never seemed to have concerned William.

In the past, young princes have been pushed into dynastic alliances with foreign princesses for the good of the country, and even more recently, Prince Charles was urged to select his future wife from "blue-blooded" stock, but William is very much his own person. He’s a levelheaded, independent young man; the kind of figurehead that the royal family needs, one who understands that finding your soul mate shouldn’t be limited to just selecting from the upper echelons of high society.

Keeping an open mind when you meet women should always be encouraged, and even if others turn their noses up at your spouse, don’t let anyone influence how you feel about someone, because, as the song goes, love conquers everything.

Treat your partner right

As the future king of England, Prince William could easily have spent his youth sowing his wild oats, sampling a playboy lifestyle and generally acting like a pompous fool, but those possibilities couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Prince William has acted like a true gentleman throughout his relationship with Kate Middleton, giving her space to breathe, treating her to the occasional holiday and encouraging her to pursue her career, and she’s reciprocated. She was instrumental in encouraging the prince to pursue his studies during his first year at St. Andrews, after he started having doubts about further education.

William’s old-fashioned romance, coupled with his modern-day practical approach to relationships, makes him a role model for the modern man. In preparation for the popping the question, William approached Kate’s father to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage, then he approached Kate on bended knee and proposed with his mother’s engagement ring. Every man should take note: if you’re going to propose, do it properly.

This article was taken from Askmen.com and was written by Tom Butler. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Signs Your Date Can’t Commit

At first, everything was going great: your date was attentive, caring, and voiced multiple mentions of the “f” word — future. But just as you let your guard down and began allowing yourself to think, maybe this is it, something shifted. Suddenly, your sweetie is hedging about booking that trip for next spring, or even about whether you two should be seeing each other exclusively. What gives? The sad truth is, you’ve been duped by a closet commitment-phobe: someone whothinks he or she is raring for a relationship, but never seems to be able to cross the exclusivity finish line. Could you have avoided the pain of falling for a person incapable of truly loving you back? Yes. Allow us to share the signs that someone, despite visible attempts to appear emotionally available, is actually the owner of a heart that’s closed for business. 

Sign #1: Your date has a life — and isn’t letting you into it
Sure, she says she wishes she could spend Saturday with you rather than volunteering at the local animal shelter. Or he says he can’t wait for work to let up so you two can spend more quality time together. No problem, right? This person’s got a life, after all, and that’s not something you should take personally. But Tom, 32, now knows that there are limits to what you should put up with. “I knew Beth had a busy schedule when we met,” the Baltimore attorney insists. “She was a single mom of two girls, had a demanding job, did volunteer work and bowled once a week.” He thought the longer the two of them dated, the looser her schedule would become — “or, at least, that she’d include me in the bowling,” Tom says ruefully. However, nothing changed. Beth continued being “sorry” there wasn’t enough time for him in her life right up until the night she dumped him because — hello! — her life was too full to include a boyfriend. The moral of the story? If the relationship has become somewhat established and a partner still can’t make you a priority, that sends a clear message: you can stand at the doorway of this date’s life, but you can’t walk in. 

Sign #2: Your date’s falling for you too fast
It’s fun to feel someone new is really into you. Still, having a brand-new prospect gush about how wonderful you are before you’ve even ordered dessert on your first date is a little suspect. After all, the two of you are practically strangers. How can he or she know what makes you wonderful yet? More likely, this person’s ardor is being fueled by a love of the chase rather than by you in particular — and once you’re caught, you may see interest waning just as Jean, 24, did. “Tim took me on a romantic weekend to Martha’s Vineyard two weeks after we met,” recalls the Connecticut school teacher. “He kept talking about how he wanted to be with me forever. It sounded like heaven.”

You know the coda to this saga: as soon as Jean began reciprocating her beau’s ardor, his need for her cooled. “I should have listened to my gut,” Jean laments. “But I wanted to believe he was going all out for me because I was special, not just another conquest.” But the bottom line is, when it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Sign #3: Your date’s falling for you... but there’s a catch
When someone admits to having strong feelings for you, it’s understandable to feel like your insides have turned to mush. Only, in that state, your gut instincts might not pick up on what else your date might be saying when delivering this sweet declaration. Ron, 29, was a victim of this sort of selective listening. “Brenda and I felt a strong attraction right off the bat,” says the New Orleans-based publicist. “She’d say stuff like, ‘I didn’t expect to fall for someone so soon after my divorce.’” Understandably, Ron chose to focus on the first part of her statement (she’s falling for him) versus the latter (given the ink’s barely dry on her divorce papers, she’s probably not ready for a relationship yet). It took some time for the less savory part of the statement to actually sink in. “Even though she kept saying I was wonderful, the bottom line was, she just wasn’t in a psychological place to deal with a relationship,” Ron says. “And I’d have seen that if I hadn’t had blinders on.” In other words, Ron learned the hard way what we hope you will not: that we have to pay attention to the whole message our beloved is sending, not just the part we want to hear.

Sign #4: Your date’s story contains inconsistencies
There’s a reason why cops grill crime suspects over and over, and then compare and contrast what’s said one minute to the next. That’s because these tiny inconsistencies are signs of a cover-up — and this pertains to the lines your date uses on you as well. No, we’re not saying you should give your sweetie the third degree, but any conflicting messages should be duly noted. Debbi, a 27-year-old Boston-based interior designer, struggled for months with a date who was “the king of mixed signals,” she says. “He’d tell me he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to live with someone because he’s used to his own lifestyle. Then he’d follow that statement by asking if I could break my lease and move in with him!” What’s more, Keith was indecisive in other areas of his life, constantly changing his mind about the sofa he wanted to purchase; then once he sprang for it, he came down with buyer’s remorse and yearned for the couch he hadn’t chosen. The bottom line: changeability and indecisiveness doesn’t bode well for a stable romantic future. “Keith couldn’t even pick a spot for us to go on our first date,” Debbi admits. “How I wish I’d been wise enough to make it our last!”

Sign #5: Your date’s all talk and no walk
Closet commitment-phobes give great lip service to the idea that they want a relationship, and it can be easy to trust they’ll put their words into action. But the longer that takes to happen — or, worse, if it doesn’t happen at all — the only thing you should trust is your instinct to get out of there! Lisa, 32, knows this all too well now. “I dated a guy for three years,” she says. “Throughout the relationship, he indicated marriage and children were in our future. But each time I tried to nudge the relationship forward, he backpedaled.” Looking back, the Denver ski instructor realizes that her boyfriend never backed up his promises. For example, while continuing to insist one day he’d invite Lisa to move in, he never actually gave her a key to his condo. It’s easy to be seduced by pretty words, but unless there’s follow-through in the end, you’re left with nothing to hold onto but an empty promise.

So those are the warning signs of a commitment-phobe to watch for… consider yourself warned and well-armed to avoid the next one that crosses your path.

This article was taken from Match.com and was written by Sherry Amatenstein who is the author of Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. 

Erin Dunphy, The Master Dater, is currently the owner of Master Dater Speedating and Singles Events and the writer of a hit book and blog about dating. She works and resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scientific Study: Women May Not Be So Picky After All About Choosing A Mate

When women were assigned to the traditionally male role of approaching potential romantic partners, they were not any pickier than men in choosing that special someone to date, according to the speed dating study.
That finding, of course, is contrary to well established evolutionary explanations about mate selection. An abundance of such research suggests that women are influenced by higher reproductive costs (bearing and raising children) than men and thus are much choosier when it comes to love interests.
The new study is the latest research of two Northwestern psychologists whose well-reported work on speed dating offers unparalleled opportunities for studying romantic attraction in action.
Deviating from standard speed-dating experiments – and from the typical conventions at professional speed-dating events -- women in the study were required to go from man to man during their four-minute speed dates half the time, rather than always staying put. In most speed-dating events, the women stay in one place as the men circulate.
"The mere act of physically approaching a potential partner, versus being approached, seemed to increase desire for that partner," said Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and co-investigator of the study.
Regardless of gender, those who rotated experienced greater romantic desire for their partners, compared to those who sat throughout the event. The rotators, compared to the sitters, tended to have a greater interest in seeing their speed-dating partners again.
"Given that men generally are expected -- and sometimes required – to approach a potential love interest, the implications are intriguing," Finkel said.
"Let's face it, even today, there is a huge difference in terms of who is expected to walk across the bar to say 'hi,'" added Northwestern's Paul Eastwick, the study's other co-investigator.
Three hundred fifty undergraduates were recruited for the study's speed-dating events. In half of the events, the men rotated while the women sat. In the remaining events, the women rotated. Following each four-minute "date," the participants indicated their romantic desire in that partner and how self-confident they felt. Following the event, the students indicated on a Website whether they would or would not be interested in seeing each partner again.
When the men rotated, the results supported the long-held notion of men being less selective. When the women rotated, this robust sex difference disappeared.
The study draws upon embodiment research that suggests that physical actions alter perception. In one such study, for example, participants who were told to pull an unrelated object toward themselves while evaluating Chinese ideographs rated them as prettier than participants who pushed an unrelated object away from themselves while viewing the symbols.
"The embodiment research shows that our physical activity and psychological processes interface in ways that are outside our conscious awareness," Finkel said. "In conjunction with this previous embodiment research, our speed-dating results strongly suggest that the mere act of approaching a potential love interest can boost desire."
The researchers suggest that confidence also may have affected the results. Approaching a potential date increases confidence, which in turn makes the approacher less selective.
The study presents a clear example of how inconspicuous gender norms (having men rotate and women sit) can not only affect the outcome of a study, but also skew the chances of a speed dater walking away with a potential match.
"Our society is structured in gendered ways that can be subtle but very powerful," Eastwick concluded. The study has implications both for companies that capitalize on the business of dating and for researchers concerned with how social norms may affect research.
Story Source:
The above story was taken from ScienceDaily.com and reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Northwestern University, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:
  1. Arbitrary Social Norms Influence Sex Differences in Romantic SelectivityPsychological Science, (in press)
Erin Dunphy, The Master Dater, is currently the owner of Master Dater Speedating and Singles Events and the writer of a hit book and blog about dating. She works and resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Sorry, The Position Has Been Filled

It seems to me that nowadays dating is feeling more and more like a job hunt rather then finding someone you might want to be with. Like hunting for a job, you look for prospects on the internet (dating sites), classifieds (craigslist) and even go physically from place to place (see the bar scene).

So lets say now that you've found some prospects that you would like to pursue --- like a job, where you would now submit a resume or make a phonecall --- in dating you have to make the first move --- and you have to be smart about it. You don't want to look too desperate, but you don't want to look too cocky either. You dont want to be too forward, but you dont want to let the chance (or person) slip by.

So now let's say you've successfully made the first move and you've gotten a phone number and a smile saying "call me" --- ie: a call back about a job and a brief phone interview perhaps. Now what? That's right.

It's the first date/interview.

I dont know about you but I think it's safe to say that all first dates are essentially interviews. We know from the first five minutes of talking to someone if things are going to work out --- and the first time we see them there is definitely an impression made. The impression is ---YAY! or AHHHH!!! or BLAH, MAYBE....

So now you're on this first date or "interview" mind you and you're essentially trying to mentally convince this person to let you have a chance at this position --- possible role of boyfriend or girlfriend, perhaps?

You both go through a list of questions, grilling each other, until finally it's over and now you're left at the teetering next step...

Did I get the job?

Well, what I'm starting to see now is that you can make it past the first interview --- but there is a whole other chapter. You see in dating, like in an interview, you can be up against other applicants for the same job.

So will you beat out these other applicants who were in the same position as you only days ago? Only time will tell. Sadly, with this kind of interview the end result doesnt provide you with a 401K and benefits.

Erin Dunphy, The Master Dater, is currently the owner of Master Dater Speedating and Singles Events and the writer of a hit book and blog about dating. She works and resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.