Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Ways to Tell He's Not Into You

In her new book Toxic Men, body language expert, Lillian Glass, PhD, reveals the ten moves guys subconsciously send when they're just plain not interested. Never waste another minute on that dude who's actually into your roommate!

Let's face it, guys send a lot of mixed signals. But instead of getting frustrated trying to decode what he's saying, texting, or IM-ing (ugh!), just focus on what his body's telling you. These 10 signals will let you know when a guy's just not feeling it...
1. He leans his body away from you, whether he's sitting or standing.
2. He fidgets by rocking back and forth, shaking his foot, or tapping his finger.
3. He backs away when you attempt to move closer to him.
4. He crosses his arms over his torso with his hands on opposite shoulders.
5. His feet point in the opposite direction that yours do.
6. He keeps his palms down when he speaks to you and gestures towards himself, not you.
7. His muscles seem tense or stiff, not relaxed.
8. He keeps breaking eye contact with you to look at someone or something else.
9. He doesn't look at you straight on — instead, it's from the side.
10. If he smiles at all, it's tight-lipped.
*Yeah, we know, it's a bummer when he's not interested in someone as fabulous as you. What's his problem, right? But look at it this way — better to figure it out sooner, before you waste an entire night talking to him, wondering if he's going to ask for your number. Instead, use these cues, and if it's not going to happen with him, spend your time and attention on another worthy guy. Click here for the signs he IS into you...
Excerpted from Toxic Men, Copyright © 2010 by Lillian Glass. This article was taken from

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ten Rules To Dating Everyone Should Know

As we get older, the rules change. We go from "Never talk to strangers!" to "Always talk to strangers. This is a top 10 list of the rules to dating. Now, these rules are only more of a comprehensive breakdown of the first steps of dating, but if you apply them, you will put yourself into many more positions to get actual real life dating field work. 
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Approach
There are so many people out there who are so scared to say “Hi” to someone that they miss a million opportunities a day. If you don't say something to the guy or girl you see, you may never ever meet that person again. If you just say “Hi” and get to talking, you never know, you just might swap phone numbers and they could be the man or woman who was actually meant for you. The average person only meets 6 people in their entire life that they actually develop relationships with. If you go out for one week and say “Hi” to someone new once a day, you're going to almost double that figure.
Go out there, have the confidence, start approaching.
2. Meeting Someone Doesn't Mean You're Dating.
Going out and being friends with someone doesn't mean it will be a relationship. It is a great thing to just get used to talking to people. Go out there add people to your life.
3. Increase Your Opposite Sex Social Life.
We have an easy time relating to our own sex. After you leave high school, college, it becomes more difficult to meet people of the opposite sex. Sometimes the work place isn't really a good idea. Invite people on the street out if you meet them. “Hey, there's a wine tasting party I’m going to, you should tag along…”
4. Don't Over Invest Initially.
Don't go too far out of your way to show them how good you are, or to help them with their life.  Set some ground work. Set an even level field. You can be taken advantage of in this situation if you aren’t careful.
5. Touching Is Incredibly Important.
If you haven't touched the other person once, the first kiss will be awkward. You want to avoid bad touches. prolonged creepy touches. Occasional touches, to emphasize a point, a brush on the arm when telling a joke. Create comfort. 
6. Get Someone To Talk About Their Actual Life.
Surface conversation is stuff we talk about all the time. Our day, our work, our job, our pets. this is the same rubbish conversations we have with everybody. Try to get deep down talk about ambitions in life. How they feel about what’s coming along in life. Get them to open up and talk about themselves on a deeper level with you. The more comfortable they are in doing this, the more likely they will become attracted to you. We all know those people who "They can sit down with anyone and after 10 minutes know someones life story." These are the people to imitate. Find them, learn from them. 
7. Handle The Logistics.
Have things organized. Know where you're going before you go out. You don't want to stand in the rain for tickets for an hour. Remember to have condoms next to the bed if the situation would possible present it self.
8. Low Pressure Dates.
Don't make it seem like its the intro to a big relationship. (think of your own experiences) Keep it light and fun and flirty. Maybe have a coffee, quick ice cream and then pop off. It's always better to leave them wanting more than have them bored and looking for the door. An activity is always something better than sitting in a theater for 2 hours not talking. Anything fun, short and quick. Don't give the idea you're looking for a full on relationship on the first date. This creates discomfort, and makes you seem like you're working to hard. 
9. Don't Create Awkward Situations.
It can be really easy to misinterpret a situation and bring things to an awkward situation. Relax, take things easy. If it gets a bit odd, you can say “I like you but not in that way”. Beat them to the punch. Keep the upper hand. If things don't work out, you can always be friends. Who knows you may end up dating one of their friends. You don't always have to go with the first person you meet.
10. Don't Worry About Any One Individual Person. (MOST IMPORTANT)
Your ideal person IS out there. If things aren't going well with someone early on, they're obviously not the right one. The population of the world is about 6.7 billion. We're lucky enough to be able to treat life like a video game. If you fail, you just hit the button and start again. Opportunities are endless. So get out there, try new things and have fun with it. 
 Best of luck,
 Mark Lee
For more dating and relationship advice from Mark, please visit 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Signs That You Must Move On

Looking back, Tomi Tuel is appalled at how she behaved with the guy she calls Yacht Man. “I was 33 and coming out of a divorce with two small children,” says Tuel, who is the author of 101 Things I Learned After My Divorce. “This guy was wealthy and good-looking, and he was interested in me — at first. But soon, it seemed like I was calling him a lot more than he was calling me. I would leave silly notes on his door telling him to meet me at the clock tower at 8 p.m. — stuff like that — and he’d never show. I’d go to places where I knew he hung out, hoping to run into him. I figured that if he really wasn’t into me, he would be up front and honest about it.” 

Yeah, like that would ever happen. We all have a hard time telling someone we’re not interested. Guys, especially, tend to avoid the direct approach, which means that, unfortunately, you have to be on red-flag alert. 

You make excuses for him
Of course, the real issue is not that you don’t see the signs — it’s that you don’t want to see the signs and consequently make all kinds of excuses for the guy’s behavior. For example, if he hasn’t called in days, you try to convince yourself there’s a good reason: “Well, maybe he lost my number. Or his phone is broken. Or he lost his cell phone and that’s where my number is. Or maybe he’s really busy at work, or he’s been in an accident, or he has laryngitis, or…”

You dismiss bad behavior
Barbara Davilman knows all about this kind of self-foolery. Davilman, who is coeditor of What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories, became an expert at rationalizing her ex’s bad behavior. “When I was 27, I stayed with a guy for five years even though he would see me only twice a week — specifically, on Wednesday and Sunday nights,” she says. “Plus, he didn’t have his own phone, so I had to wait for him to call me when he could.”

According to Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, women often have a very hard time ending relationships, even if deep down they know they’re unhealthy. “They fear change, they fear being single or they think they won’t find anyone better,” says Tessina. “So instead, a woman will remind herself of a guy’s good qualities and block out the bad.”

You believe a passionate encounter always equals love
You might think that it’s just a matter of winning the guy over — and that once that’s done, he’ll be more attentive. This is what Lisa Mann, 45, was banking on with a man she dated when she was 38. “There were warning signs from the beginning, but I figured the transformative power of love — my love — was great,” she says. “We had a lot of passionate encounters, which I assumed would tone down into a mellow sort of relationship as our bond grew — but in fact, he started wanting to see me less and less, and when we did see each other, it was mostly a physical thing.”

And that partially answers the question of why a guy who’s not that into you would stick around at all. “It’s a no-commitment way for a guy to get your attention,” Tessina says.

It’s hard to face the truth and get back out there, but if you stop settling for wishy-washy men and hold your ground, you will find the right relationship eventually. (Davilman and Tuel are both married now; Mann is currently single, but enlightened.)

How to know when he’s for real
Since it bears repeating, let’s review a few of the traits that will tell you unequivocally that a guy is into you:

  • His actions match his words. He doesn’t just say he loves you or wants to be with you because he thinks that’s what you want to hear; it’s obvious by the way he behaves.
  • He introduces you to his friends and family within a reasonable amount of time. This indicates that he’s increasingly serious about making you part of his life.
  • His behavior is consistent. He isn’t into you one week and then distant the next. His affection for you is something you can rely on.
  • He tries to please you. Because he’s genuinely interested in you as well as your thoughts and feelings, he acts on that. He knows you love the color yellow, for example, so he shows up with a bouquet of yellow flowers.
  • You don’t feel like you’re doing all the work, and you never find yourself making excuses for him. As psychologist Geraldine Merola Barton puts it, “The truth is, we always find time for the things we value. If he’s into you, he’ll call, period… no matter what.”
This article was taken from The author of this article, Christina Frank, is a freelance writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Redbook and Parenting, among other publications.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Is Persistence a Turn-On — and Is That a Bad Thing?

As I prepare to write the book I'm working on — about what literature can teach you about love (due out in January 2012, from Free Press!) — I've been rereading Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth, because I'm thinking of discussing it in my own volume. Roth's novel isn't everyone's cup of tea. It's full of characters of questionable morality and unquestionably flawed integrity and descriptions of sex that are often hilarious — but sometimes a little too vivid, too crass, and occasionally quite disgusting. And yet ... the novel is probably on my short list of favorites, not least because of the way Roth manages to, um, arouse my sympathy and empathy for his main character, a 64-year-old suicidal adulterer and asshole. (Roth is also just masterful when it comes to subtly underscoring his themes and creating psychologically complex and captivating characters.)

Let me quit with the literary critique, however, and get to my point.
At a certain moment in the novel, the aforementioned adulterer and asshole thinks, "The core of seduction is persistence.... Eighty percent of women will yield under tremendous pressure if the pressure is persistent."
I thought this throwaway line was somewhat true, and sort of sinisterly funny — given that the main character can be so diabolical. I somewhat innocently posted the quote on my Facebook page, with the note: "I'm curious about people's reactions to this."
When a ton of people started responding, and fast, I decided to take the comment down so I could post about it.
It seems that most women do think persistent pressure is attractive, and they will indeed yield to it. As one reader put it, "I'm not saying that everyone should be a stalker, but sincere persistence is flattering and usually catches my attention eventually." Similarly, my writer friend Diana Spechler said: "Persistence is hot, unless it's creepy. There's a fine line."
I usually don't yield to persistence myself. Instead, I make a quick judgment within one or two dates. (If I feel a spark, I will usually go forward. If I don't, and a man asks me on another date, I will send a polite but cogent thanks-but-no-thanks note. Although I've wondered in the past if deciding so quickly whether or not I'm into someone is necessarily a great idea, I feel like everything I've heard lately seems to indicate there's nothing wrong with it.)
I also have to admit that the one time in recent memory when I "gave in" to a persistent dude, I regretted it. Of course, I felt a huge spark with him from the start — and of course he'd been saying from the get-go that because he was much younger than I am, and because he was going to be leaving town in a year, after finishing grad school, he wasn't looking for a serious relationship. So I don't think it's accurate or fair to say he "manipulated" me, as some of my friends seem to think he did. We went on plenty of dates and I never declined an invitation from him — so it's not like he pursued me in the face of blatant rejection.
And I think what I'd like to discuss here is not men who simply take the lead or play the role of aggressor, as this grad student did, but rather men who pursue in the face of clear declines or rejections.
I have to wonder if men who pursue in a situation like that aren't psychologically screwed up — suffering from low self-esteem, and hoping to "win over" high-caliber women in an effort to boost their egos or have some kind of external affirmation of their worth. Their insecurity often seems to have a touch of masochism in it, so that they chase women mainly for the challenge of winning them over, only to ditch them as soon as they reach a certain (often sexual) goal, like the man who texted my friend's friend to say he didn't want to see her again after screwing her on Date No. 7. I have to wonder if these men don't actually see themselves as powerless in the world in a way that helps to subconsciously justify their behavior.
I think some of these masochists are also functional sociopaths, more than simply insecure dudes who hide it well.
But a male friend of mine argues that it works both ways — that it's only women with low self-esteem who give in to those men. "Women who are insecure take the pursuit of a persistent man as a reflection of their worth. And I find it sad that pressure from certain charismatic men — ones who don't come off as desperate or cloying — works so much of the time."
Whatever the case may be, I don't think anyone is to blame for having low self-esteem — but I think those men who manipulate other human beings in order to feed or assuage their insecurities are pretty reprehensible. (Ignorance of their own foibles is no excuse.)
Now, you might argue that the women are just as much to blame as the men in these persistence-yield equations, and that because women should be responsible for their actions and decisions, the men don't deserve all the blame.
But I think anyone who is trying to influence a person's actions is far more guilty — and bears far more responsibility — than the object of an attempt at seduction, the same way that the mastermind of a crime is more culpable than his accomplices.
What's more, I think plenty of overly persistent men prey on women's insecurities with full awareness of them. They know that certain women will be flattered by their attentions (and who among us has perfect self-confidence?), so they continue to allow the women to believe they are treating them in some special way ... until they get what they want. When they say sayonara. Sometimes via text.
Anyway, I'm curious to hear what you think about all this. Persistent men in the audience: Think I'm being unfair? Make your case! And women: Do you think there are ways to distinguish a "good pursuit" from a bad one?
This article was written by Maura Kelley can be found at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Uncertainty and Romantic Attraction

It is almost taken for granted in social psychology that attraction entails an element of reciprocity: In a "much-ado-about-nothing" way, learning that someone is attracted to us, makes us feel more attracted to them. Coming to know that a person likes us, increases our liking for them. And finding somebody to be interested in us, makes them more interesting to us also.

But this simplistic rule doesn't always hold that strictly. For example there is the familiar issue of "playing hard-to-get", which academic and anecdotal evidence suggests increases people's attractiveness to others. More subtle still: studies from the early 70s suppose that men in particular express preference for women who are selectively hard-to-get; meaning that rather than just falling for women who signal being "universally unavailable", men tend to go for women who express attraction to them, while signaling disinterest to other men.

By investigating the effect of uncertainty on romantic attraction, Erin Whitchurch and Timothy Wilson from Virginia University, together with Dan Gilbert from Harvard University, offer an attempt to explain an additional exception to the reciprocity principle:

As a prefix to their study, the researchers told 47 female undergraduate participants that
"several male students from two collaborating universities had viewed the Facebook profiles of approximately 15 to 20 female college student, including the participant's, and had rated the degree to which they thought they would get along with each women if they got to know her better".
Each participant was then randomly assigned to a treatment in which they would rate Facebook profiles for 4 men, under the following experimental conditions: 

In condition 1) female participants were told that they were viewing pictures of males who had rated the participant's own Facebook profile and had liked it the most. In condition 2) female participants were told that they would be viewing pictures of males who had rated the participant's own Facebook profile as average. And in condition 3) participants were instructed that

"For reasons of experimental control neither you nor the experimenter knows the condition you have been randomly assigned to. The profiles you wil see might be the participants who saw your profile and liked you the most. Or, the profiles you see might be the participants who saw your profile and gave you an average rating".
; meaning that one third of participants were provided with uncertain information on whether they were being liked only modestly or above average.

In each condition, the female participants were then asked to rate the four Facebook profiles for a number of "liking"-measures (such as how much do you like this person? How interested would you be in meeting this person? Etc.).

The graph below, summarizes the mean attraction to the men for the three different conditions.

As can be seen from the graph, the study confirms the reciprocity principle in the sense that participants gave more favorable liking ratings, when they believed that they were rating men who had previously expressed strong liking for the participants themselves.

In addition, however, the most favorable ratings appeared in the uncertain condition, indicating that

"women were more attracted to men when there was only a 50% chance that the men liked them the best than when there was a 100% chance that the men liked them the best."
Keeping in mind, that rating a Facebook profile is not identical to forming an impression through actual interaction, yet also admitting to the popularity of online portals to meet new people, the studies authors conclude that
"Clearly, the determinants of interpersonal attraction are complex, and there is no simple formula people can use to get someone to like them. When people first meet, however, it may be that popular dating advice is correct: Keeping people in the dark about how much we like them will increase how much they think about us and will pique their interest."
The study, which will appear in the upcoming edition of Psychological Science, also investigates the role of mood and the mediating effect of increased consideration (thinking about the uncertain prospect) in causing this effect.

Main Citation:
Whitchurch, E. ; Wilson, T. ; Gilbert, D. (2010). ''He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not . . . '' : Uncertainty Can Increase Romantic Attraction Psychological Science : 10.1177/0956797610393745

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Focus on Forgiveness

The New Year is a perfect time to wipe the slate clean. It's a time for starting over and creating new fresh relationships. We can do this by learning to truly and completely forgive.
Wouldn't it feel really good at the end of 2011 to look back and say "I really did make that relationship amazing. I really did do everything I could to enhance that one connection with that one person" - the person that you want to forgive.

An effective way to do this is ho`oponopono, the Hawaiian approach to forgiveness I researched for my Ph.D. in psychology. Let's start by talking about the two biggest obstacles to wanting to forgive in the first place.

The first obstacle is the idea that forgiveness means you are somehow going to become best friends with that person who wronged you. That's just not the case.
In ancient times in Hawaii, forgiving others was not considered optional. Huna, the ancient Hawaiian system of energy, healing and consciousness, teaches that we must forgive whether or not we plan to continue a relationship with the person who wronged us.

By forgiving, you can make the decision, "do I want to continue a relationship or do I want to move on?" Even if you choose not to continue the relationship, by forgiving you free yourself and the other person from carrying around hurt feelings. By forgiving first, you are wiping the slate clean. Then if you say goodbye, you can say it from your heart, from a positive standpoint.

The second big obstacle to wanting to forgive is the question of why to forgive in the first place. The answer is quite simple and is ingrained in Huna tradition: we must forgive others as much for ourselves as for the people we need to forgive.

When you hold onto a grudge, a feeling of wanting to get revenge or even to avoid the other person, you only hurt one person - yourself. On the other hand, by choosing to forgive you actually enhance your health and relationships.

In my research, I read many other studies on this topic and all of them came to a clear conclusion: Unforgiveness, whether it is manifested by resentment, thoughts of revenge or avoidance, increases stress levels. That affects your body. It is bad for the heart, bad for the immune system. So for your own sake, be ready to forgive.

In Huna, the concept of making things right is called pono. Ho`oponopono, the process of forgiveness that I use and teach, literally means to make something doubly pono. This recognizes that forgiveness is a two-way process.

How does one start that process? Let's begin by resolving for the New Year to stop using the words "I'm sorry." Saying "I'm sorry" is a statement of feeling that requires nothing from the other person. In the ancient Hawaiian language there was no such phrase.
Instead, say: "please forgive me. I forgive you, too." Try that on for a second - in your mind say, please forgive me, I forgive you, too. See how that creates a connection, a movement, an energy? By saying "I forgive you, please forgive me, too," it takes the ball and puts it in the other person's court, then they in turn give it back to you.

Forgiveness is process; it is not something you are going for one time and you're done. A woman in one of my trainings once said: "I have done this ho`oponopono. Now I feel all forgiven. Will I ever have to do it again?" That is like saying "I just ate a salad, I'm really feeling like I have eaten some healthy food. Will I ever have to eat healthy food again?"

The answer is you need to continuously eat healthy. You need to maintain your focus - to continuously focus on who and what you are, why you are here and what you are doing right now.
So take forgiveness as a process and realize that in every interaction you can say please forgive me, I forgive you - even when it may seem there is nothing to forgive. Because you never know when you have crossed that boundary for another person.

Try practicing this way of forgiving in 2011. You may be surprised at how it helps you wipe the slate clean and allows you to become right with yourself, and right with others around you.

Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of Kona University and its training and seminar division The Empowerment Partnership, where he serves as a master trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a practical behavioral technology for helping people achieve their desired results in life. His new book, The Foundation of Huna: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times, details forgiveness and meditation techniques used in Hawaii for hundreds of years. He carries on the lineage of one of the last practicing kahuna of mental health and wellbeing. To reach Dr. James, please e-mail him at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 signs your Date isn’t The One

Despite what you’ve been taught in school, that small voice in the back of your mind isn’t necessarily your conscience — it may be the last fully functioning piece of your brain, desperately trying to tell you that the guy or gal you’ve been seeing isn’t even close to being your soul mate. As unwelcome as this conclusion is, isn’t it better to come to it by yourself rather than being lectured about it by an expert? No? Well, in that case, read on for a list of signs that it’s time to get back into the trenches and continue that trudge toward true love. 

1. Your date is devoted to another. “On a regular basis, he spoke to his mother more than he did to me,” says Bethany from Minneapolis. “He talked to her every day, and then he would compare me to her. She has him on such a short leash that he hasn’t ever made a major decision without her!” 

2. Your spending habits don’t match. “If she shops to make herself feel good, and he feels better when money is saved for the future, look out: irritation, frustration, and arguments can result,” says Rita Benasutti, Ph.D., a therapist in Boca Raton, FL. In other words: Get out now, while your credit-card balance is still manageable.

3. Your politics are too different. Although there are some famous liberal/conservative couples out there, “If you have opposite ideologies, it’s usually a deal-breaker,” says John Seeley, author of Get Unstuck! The Simple Guide to Restart Your Life. So, “if you find yourself saying things like ‘I can’t believe you voted for him’ or ‘I can’t even kiss someone who likes that person,’” it’s time to move on.

4. Your sweetie just doesn’t get your jokes. Take it from me: If that obscure Monty Python reference provokes polite but uncomprehending giggles on a first date, it’ll be met with frosty silence six months down the road. The same formula applies if she thinks Garrison Keillor is hilarious, but you’re more like Homer Simpson banging on the TV set and shouting, “Be more funny!”

5. Your love interest isn’t ready. “I met someone over a year ago, and we really hit it off,” says Michele from Atlanta. “He would call me from work daily, saying that he missed me and couldn’t wait to see me again. But the closer we got, the more he started to pull back. Finally, I threw in the towel, realizing that even though we were compatible in many ways, he was not emotionally ready for a relationship.”

6. Your honey wants kids and you don’t (or vice versa). “Often, a person is so happy to find The One that he or she assumes love, marriage and having children go together, but for the other person, being a twosome and being in love is enough,” says Dr. Benasutti. “It’s a good idea to have a serious heart-to-heart talk with your potential mate to understand his or her perspective.”

7. Your tastes are too different. “The number-one reason for failed relationships is what I call ‘refinement incompatibility,’” says Zannah Hackett, author of The Ancient Wisdom of Matchmaking. “Some of us are content to go camping, while others can’t survive outside a Ritz-Carlton hotel room. Some things are negotiable, but refinement incompatibility is not one of them, no matter how magnetically attracted you are to each other.”

8. Your lifestyles clash. If you’re a corporate executive pulling in six figures a year, you’ve probably figured out by now whether you can tolerate a guy or gal who earns an order of magnitude less in terms of salary. No harm, no foul: ending things now is better than leading someone along (or unexpectedly sticking your date with the tab at that expensive restaurant).

9. Your first connection fizzles. “When we first met, the chemistry wasn’t there,” says Lauren from New York, speaking of a relationship she had high hopes for... at first. “Sometimes that attraction develops as you get to know a person and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s very different from instantly having that sizzle of chemistry when your date glances at you for the very first time.”

10. Your relationship has you on edge. “I believe that The One strengthens you, lifts you up and does not produce anxiety,” says Kathryn Alice, author of Love Will Find You. “When something isn’t right, your intuition keeps trying to let you know by putting nagging doubts in your mind as well as continual anxiety. This is a gut thing, and your gut is rarely wrong.”

This article was written by Bob Strauss and taken from He is a freelance writer and children’s book author who lives in New York City. He’s also written the Dinosaur guide on, the online information network owned by the New York Times.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Relationship Rules: Text Messaging

At first, we scoffed at this “short message service,” famously known as SMS. This new fad of text messaging was too impersonal, too informal, too slow, and not long after, too popular to ignore any longer. What was once a quick way to pass on short messages (remember our old, boxy Nokia phones with selectable options like “Lunch later?” or “Be home after work”?) has now become a forum for the infinite: Formal communication with our bosses, daring late-night messaging with that girl we met at spin class or even a quick hello to grandma, who also somehow has learned what “predictive text” is.

Especially concerning has been the role of SMS within the wide, wide walls of dating. Sure, we can make plans with our buddies or even avoid meetings with our coworkers, but when text messaging begins to dictate the finicky boundaries of love and lust, certain rules apply. A new sort of dialogue is beginning to emerge, so get it right before a text to her phone becomes a slap in the face.

The First Date
She completes your sentences and you open up about your fear of flying. Things begin to spark, and your first night together is a success. If you were lucky enough to pass the first relationship test -- the dreaded first date -- then congratulations. Now, don’t mess it up.

After parting ways from your first date, we once advised to give some time before calling her back and to be patient in making your second move. With the advent of text messaging this protocol has blurred, but don’t be fooled.

The best usage of the post-first-date text is its perceived innocence. Acceptable messages would be: “Hey, I had a great night with you. I can’t wait to do it again,” or, “Just heard someone laugh exactly like that woman we sat next to the other night, except this time she was 60 and had a German accent.” Little tidbits are reminders that you haven’t lost sight of the time you spent together, but avoid formalities that should be settled in person.

Under no circumstances should a man plan his second date with a woman through text. Things like, “Hey, can I pick you up at eight o'clock on Tuesday for a follow-up?” can be detrimental to an early couple’s dynamic. Leave second date plans, or any follow-up plans for that matter, for the traditional phone conversations we all know and love though increasingly try to avoid.

The Follow-Up Date(s)
You've made it this far, so now it's time to focus. The worst downfalls in text communication come with people that you know well enough to speak with but not well enough to pick up the phone and chat with. This dangerous median between comfort and the unknown seems to be the best opportunity for text messaging -- to get that message across without seeming too intrusive. However, even when you’re in the first stages of dating, certain rules still apply.

True-Feeling Texting: Maybe you had one too many at happy hour or just want to get your point across, but we all have a tendency to grab our phones and start thumbing at our keyboard when we want her to know exactly how we feel -- maybe we’re head over heels in love and never felt like this before, or maybe you can’t deal with the way she talks about her ex boyfriends.

No matter the quarrel, never reduce yourself to typing out the darkest of your relationship fears in a text message. Save this for face-to-face time and you’ll thank yourself for the effort since you’ll either smooth the problem over correctly or discover the unfixable flaw. If you want to tell her how much you like being with her or -- gasp -- that it might even be love, leave the written sonnets to Shakespeare and chat over dinner instead. Extremes of happiness or apprehension should be treated the same with regards to communication, so be cautious before you create more problems.

Rocky-Road Texting:
She left for Vegas with her girlfriends, but you found out her ex will be there too. Accuse her of deceiving you or be a cool new boyfriend? Problems like this are all too common in new love bonds. No matter the answer, don’t let your plan of attack be guided by your SMS inbox.

These are the sorts of fights that become too intricate to battle within the 140-character limit that diminishes genuine feelings, no matter how right or wrong you are. Even if she provokes something, just send her a simple message back. “Don’t worry, we’ll talk later” will suffice until you dig into the problem’s root face to face.

The Breakup and Beyond
Perhaps what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas, and your girlfriend’s two-day fling with an Argentinean fire breather from Circus Circus didn’t fly with you when she got back. Times are hard and this flame must be put out. Be classy about your approach.

Any breakup initiated by any text is classless. No e-mail, Facebook message or Twitter reply can adequately end ties with any woman under any circumstances. Text messages fall under the same category -- it may have been the worst relationship fathomable, but to break up with a woman through fickle means reflects poorly upon you and any future relationship you plan to have.

After you’ve mustered the courage to “just be friends,” don’t let the easy accessibility of text messaging ease you back into the relationship or even a casual fling. The familiarity of an ex is always alluring in the post-breakup state, especially when we haven’t completely moved on, but beware -- post-breakup romps initiated with a “what r u doin?” sent at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night often breed clinginess, inconvenience and awkward damage control soon after. If there is one lesson learned it’s that the convenience of a text message in the present can lead to more complications in the future.

Do the Write Thing
The message is clear: Texting is the new wave of communication whether we like it or not. We used to drunk dial and now we drunk message. We used to conference call and now we mass text. The booty call has been replaced by the booty text(s), and we are more apt to trash-talk during fantasy football with our typing fingers rather than our big mouths. Showing off our literacy has never been so popular, but don’t flush your love life down the toilet by showing that you’re uneducated within the realm of texting.

This article was taken from

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breakup lies: Honest, Darling, I'm Moving to Mars

Listen, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just really focused on my career right now. And I’m moving to another country that doesn’t have phones, so we can’t talk to each other any more.
Most breakups involve lies, but few, if any, are as shocking as the whopper an Irish man caught in a sex scandal reportedly used to end a relationship.
Kirk McCambley was 19 when he began an affair with Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland’s First Minister. Chafing under the woman’s constant attention, Mr. McCambley decided to break it off with Mrs. Robinson (yes, that’s her real name). And how did this young gent end things? He told her he had testicular cancer and could no longer have sex with her, the Irish Independent reported.
The realm of moral failure can sometimes be murky, making judgment difficult, but feigning cancer to get out of a relationship is about as good an example of a bad lie as it gets.
More often than not, however, the messiness of a breakup – its emotional pitch and the heightened sensitivities on all sides – can make it hard to distinguish between the lies that are okay to tell and lies that are offside.
So where should the line be drawn?
“A white lie that is okay to tell is one where what you are really doing is trying to preserve the other person’s feelings. A whopper is where you’re just trying to not even deal with this at all. You’re trying to save yourself,” says Lynn Harris, co-founder of the relationship advice website
And especially after long relationships, the soon-to-be-ex deserves better, experts say.
“The deeper you are in a relationship, the more explaining you have to do when you want to break up with someone,” says Kimberly Moffit, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and relationship counsellor. White lies are acceptable for partnerships that are only a few months old, she says. “However, if you’ve been dating somebody for six months or a year or two years, you’re going to have to tell the truth.”
That’s easier said than done, Ms. Moffit acknowledges.
“Addressing the real issue actually takes time and effort. We might want to be with someone else or maybe we already are with somebody else, or we don’t think that that person’s the one or we think we can do better than them. But all of these reasons are bound to bring up a lengthy conversation and fighting,” she says. “When we come up with an excuse or a lie, we get out of having to deal with the actual issue.”
But besides being selfish, whoppers often backfire, Ms. Harris says. “You don’t really spare anybody. You come off looking like a loser. Give your ex a little credit and give them a little something to work with.
“It’s best to be as honest as you can when you’re breaking up with somebody,” Ms. Moffit says. Knowing the reason why a relationship ended saves people the agonizing burden of figuring out what went wrong. “Telling the truth will help the person get over you faster.”
Kim Hughes, the dating and relationship expert for the online dating website, says it’s best to rely on instinct when calling things off.
“Trust your gut, depending on the situation. If it feels like it’s the right thing to do to make a clean break to say, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ or ‘I’m just too focused on my career,’ then do that, and if that doesn’t feel like the right thing to do, then do whatever does.”
Of course, telling someone the real reasons for breaking up doesn’t mean having to tell them the whole truth, Ms. Harris says. There is a way to be honest without being harsh, thereby minimizing hurt feelings.
Be specific, but make whatever explanation you’re offering as gentle as possible, she advises. Even a little truth allows people to leave the relationship with their dignity intact. Just be aware of the difference between the truth and the brutal truth.
“Give them something concrete, but don’t drop a load of bricks on their head.”


All breakup lies carry their own hidden messages. Kimberly Moffit, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and relationship counsellor, decodes some of the most popular deceits.


It’s the gold standard of breakup clich├ęs. We all know it’s a lie. But what does it actually mean? Put simply, the person wants out fast. “When we place the blame on ourselves,” Ms. Moffit says, “the outcome of breaking up is non-negotiable: the breakup-ee can argue all they want, but at the end of the day, we can stand our ground.”


Arguably the most insulting of breakup lies. Someone who truly likes you will make time to be with you, regardless of how focused they might be on other areas of their lives. “They’re really saying ‘I’d rather focus on my school or my career or my friends,’” Ms. Moffit says.


A classic strategy to protect the other person’s self-esteem. Really, it’s a veiled way of saying the person isn’t enough of a challenge. “Usually what that means is it they’re too available for them. They want someone that they can chase more,” Ms. Moffit says.
This article was written by Dave Mcginn and was taken from