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What Dating Is Like for Men: Part 2 of 8 (Women Please read this)

Click to see Part 1 of this article

Regal or a Royal Pain? (FemiType #1: The Princess)

If you’re going to be a successful dater (which means you have fun and meet good men), an essential tool is the ability to empathize with the men you meet. Empathy is not feeling sorry for someone. It’s being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand their experience.

I believe that the only way women can truly do that with men is to hear their stories firsthand. In my years of coaching I have gathered thoughts, feelings and stories from men in their early 30s up to their 70s, and clear patterns have emerged.

Among those patterns is this: There are certain types of single women who grownup men looking for relationships hope NOT to meet.

In a previous article CLICK HERE TO VIEW I outlined the six types of women who are a challenge for men to date. They are The Princess, The 18 Year Old, The Scaredy Cat, The Wow-Me, The Bitter Gal and the Sex Pot.

Based on the number and intensity of comments this article received, I think I hit a nerve! Believe me, I am SO not judging. There are parts of these types in all of us. During my many years of dating, I leaned toward the Scardey Cat with a whopping dose of 18 year old. (And those gals still appear from time to time after years of marriage!)

I know of what I speak, and I also know that this is hard to shake. But I’m going to try to help you do just that.

Before you get all “what about all the types of men who are this and that?!”, please note: You will not find one instance of me saying that only women should work on themselves or that they should put up with jerky guys. Nowhere. But my job is to help women over 40 date successfully. So I speak to you; I help you understand and talk to men.

That does not mean men aren’t in need of tune-ups. It just means that I leave helping the men to other experts. Now we can move on. I’m going to shine a light on each of these “FemiTypes.”

Today’s spotlight

Today’s spotlight is on The Princess.  Maybe she grew up as a princess, or maybe her “I deserve it” attitude comes from being burned too many times and she uses it as a shield or a test. Either way, she needs to see what a man will give her before she gives anything in return. And maybe she never gives at all.

Men are initially attracted to her because she appears confident and well-put together. (Men love confident women!) But Miss Princess can soon turn out to be demanding, high maintenance and, in the extreme, a variation of a gold digger.

NORM’S STORY

Here’s what “Norm” has to say about his experience dating a Princess:

“I was going out with a woman recently who I was very attracted to, but she stood on principle and did not want to call me. I called every time and it bothered me. And at the end of each date all I got was a quick, emotionless “thank you.” But she still accepted more dates, so I thought maybe she needed time to feel comfortable with me.

For our third date I asked her where she would like to go, and she told me it was my job “since I was the man.” So I asked her to go to a restaurant in her neighborhood for dinner. When I did I got complete silence. Apparently she didn’t approve.

That date was our last date. I don’t know what she wanted, but there was no way I was going to please that woman. And I saw no sign of her trying to please me…so I ran for the hills.”

Norm was turned off by her insistence on seemingly playing by “The Rules.” He just wanted to be able to please her and to have some indication that she returned his interest.

Instead, her inflexibility and lack of reciprocity left him feeling like a failure and like it was a one-way transaction. Guessing what would make her happy frustrated him, and he felt unappreciated. A grownup man looking for a relationship is not going to tolerate this. He won’t last long with a Princess.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking….I do encourage you to let the man make the first move. But I also encourage you to let him know you’re interested and let him know what he can do to make you happy. Once the ball gets rolling you absolutely should reciprocate with phone calls and date planning.

WHAT A GROWNUP DATER DOES

Instead of holding on to the rules, the kind, grownup dater would take Norm’s cues, give him a call when he asked, and let him know what she’d like to do on the date. And when they had a great date, she’d let him know it made her happy and she appreciated whatever effort he made.

Grownup men are usually not chasers. They want to know how to make you happy and to be rewarded when they do. And when you like a guy, this should be quite simple to do, right?

So if you have a touch of The Princess, please, take off your crown, loosen up your rules, and don’t let great guys like Norm pass you by.

In my next post we’ll talk about why some nice guys never call again!

Dating online? Regardless of your age, the most important thing you need to know…

Whether you are 25 or 95 Having great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

A recommended Workshop by Bobbi

I know that Bobbi is the real deal, and so she is one of the Dating Coaches that  I love and  recommend.

For the record Bobbi really does care about her clients, which is why I have no worries about telling you about what she does!

So If you’re living in California (Or just a plane flight away) she’s  teaching her breakthrough workshop Mastering the art of magnetizing men on Memorial Day Weekend 2013 – May 25-26, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. Click here to learn more and reserve your seat.

 

 

12 Reasons Why Women Prefer Bad Boys

My friend Jane (We’ll call her Jane) was totally smitten with her new boyfriend John .

They met at a wine tasting party, he possessed all the qualities that she had dreamed of in her knight in shining armor—except for him being a Partier! John loves to visit dive bars with the guys.

Cindy didn’t mind him hanging out with his guy friends. However more than occasionally John gets slammed drunk and behaves like an ass (behaving badly to Jane when he’s drunk)…while all Jane’s friends know he’s a train wreck and not good for her…she can’t seem to break off this toxic relationship.

And Jane’s not the only one for sure!

Meet my friend Lucia

Lucia is an internationally known dating/relationship expert and TV personality. She hosts “The Art of Love” on L.A. Talk Radio, is the author of “Lucia’s Lessons of Love”, a keynote speaker and syndicated columnist.

She has been on over 100 national and international radio and TV Shows as an expert, including “Dr. Phil”, “The CBS Early Show”, “60 Minutes Australia”, “The Tyra Banks Show”, “E! Entertainment”, “The KTLA Morning Show”, “Fox 5 News”, “Playboy Radio” and “Cosmo Radio”.
(To find out more about Lucia Click here)

 

Elegant and Authentic

I like Lucia because she’s both elegant and authentic! She’s both sensitive and not afraid to “tell it as it is!”

So here’s Lucia’s expert Advice on why women prefer Bad boys-And don’t forget to read all the way to the end to get her comment on the ideal man!

Why Women Prefer Bad Boys

Women say they want a nice guy, yet usually end up dating bad boys.  Here’s why:

Not real:  Nice guys are too nice.  No one can always be that nice unless they’re a saint. They are busy being nice instead of being real and women instinctually don’t trust that.  Bad boys “keep it real”.  Nice guys don’t want to upset the apple cart.

Respect:  No one respects a doormat.  Nice guys don’t set boundaries or make any real demands.  A bad boy doesn’t let a woman walk all over him or control him.  Women can’t respect a man they can control.  No respect = No attraction.

Predictable:   Most people lead boring, predictable lives, so they’re attracted to people who are exciting and unpredictable.   Bad boys are always a challenge. Nice guys are never a challenge.  Predictable = No excitement = No challenge = I prefer a bad boy.

Mother Nature:  Women are designed to nurture.  However, instead of doing this with children, they often end up doing it with bad boys.  They think their love will save them.  Nice guys rarely need to be saved.

Fixer-Upper:  Nice guys don’t usually need to be fixed.   Bad boys usually do, so they become a project.  Women think if they can “create” the perfect man, he will never leave them.  Also, if they’re busy fixing someone else, they don’t have to look at what needs to be fixed in their own lives.

Sperm wars:  Women are designed to procreate with the strongest possible genes.  Bad boys are sending an unconscious message that they have great genes, so they’re not afraid of losing the woman by misbehaving.  Nice guys are sending a message that they don’t think their genes are good enough, so they won’t misbehave.

Fear of intimacy:  If a woman is afraid of intimacy, she subconsciously knows she can avoid it with a bad boy, since she can never get close enough to him to have to go there.  A nice guy will eventually want a commitment, and that’s scary.

 Low self-esteem:   We don’t feel comfortable with people who treat us better than we treat ourselves.  If you don’t think much of yourself, the bad boy is simply reinforcing your negative belief.  A nice guy is treating you in a way you’re unfamiliar with.

Sex:  Women feel a nice guy won’t be good in bed.  They like to be manhandled sometimes and think a nice guy won’t be able to take control and get the job done.  A bad boy comes across as being able to get the job done, even though that may not always be the case.

 Hot:  Have you ever seen a bad boy who wasn’t hot?  I’m sure there are a few, but they wouldn’t be able to get away with half the stuff they did if they didn’t look so good.  Meanwhile, when a woman describes someone as a nice guy, she means, “He’s not hot”.

Charm:   Nice guys don’t always know what to say, and are sometimes at a loss for words.  Bad boys can be very charming and know exactly what women want to hear. However, they eventually switch over to being selfish.  By the time they reveal their true colors, the woman has fallen for them and has a hard time letting go.

Protection:  Historically, men have protected women – physically and otherwise.  Bad boys give the illusion of being able to protect women, while with nice guys, women aren’t so sure.

Life is about balance.

Most men fall into either the bad boy or the nice guy category.   The ideal man is neither, but walks that fine line between the two.  Until men learn how to do this, more often than not, women will choose the bad boy, until they realize that his bad qualities outweigh his good ones.

 

Online Dating? Without a good profile photo no-one’s going to reply.

Having great online dating photos is the MOST important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and see how

 

Why 90% of men don’t get any responses on dating sites

Most men who sign up to dating sites wind up flushing the money they were charged for membership right down the toilet. That sounds harsh, but life is sometimes harsh. Our “high level” contacts in the online dating industry have spent, perhaps, millions of dollars over the years trying to get to the bottom of the issue. It turns out to be fairly simple and boils down to just two fundamental failures on the part of men. (Incidentally, this advice is not only for men, but we’ll cover the dynamics behind the cause of online dating failures for women in a separate post.)

Both reasons for the failure have a deeper “root” cause we should talk about first. It will come as no surprise when I mention it because it is the root cause of oh-so-many things that don’t work out well for us. The root cause for failure to get attention online is simply not taking this online dating business seriously and making a half-assed attempt at it. Notice that I did not say that the root cause was that the men who don’t have success online were somewhere on the left of “3” on the physical beauty side of the universal beauty scale. It has nothing to do with that because there are as many “2’s” out there looking for “2’s” as there are “10’s” looking for “10’s”.

So the root cause is approaching the challenge of dating online like a flake. In the online dating world, being a flake manifests itself in two major ways:

1) Creating a too brief, or crappy, or silly, or just poorly written profile ( or worse, not writing a profile at all), and;

2) Not having a good photo (or almost-all-the-time-worse, having a crappy, silly, or poorly done photo)

Fail with either of them, and no matter what screen name you choose, women who view your profile (either on searches or in response to your first email) will append the prefix (or suffix, depending where it fits best grammatically…) “FLAKE” to your name and move on.  This is not hypothetical. That is precisely what they will do — each and every one of them each and every time.

And because you won’t want to blame yourself for the failure, you’ll blame the site, you’ll blame the women you wrote to, you’ll blame your brother for talking you into joining the site to begin with; you’ll blame  anyone else but yourself for taking a flake’s, half-assed approach to an effort that takes some thought, money and work to work and to not come off like flake. Does that sound harsh? Did I say life was harsh sometimes? Has anyone else told you this stuff before? No? They just let you stumble along with no results? Now that’s harsh!

To fix the first manifestation, spend some time really working on your written profile. If you don’t know how to write a good and compelling profile, hire someone to help you write it. There are many dating coaches and profile writers out there just waiting for your call or email.

To fix the second issue, ahem, schedule a photo shoot with a LookBetterOnline photographer. It’s the absolute easiest way to get great online dating photos and is best money you’ll ever spend. That sounds like an exaggeration, I know, but those thousands of people who have, and who’ve then had great success finding a date, or perhaps something more serious, might just agree with me.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Women dating a younger man, can it Work?

In the western world, women of today are able to live a lifestyle that just a few generations ago was unthinkable, they can make more choices how to live their lives and its OK if they are dating a younger man.

34% of women date younger.

In 2003 a study by AARP revealed that 34 percent of women over the age of 40 were dating a younger man, and 35 percent preferred it to dating older guys!

Cougars and cubs.

Many women have learned to laugh at the term “Cougar.(A woman who pursues younger men is a “cougar” and a man in a relationship with an older woman is called a “cub”).

Compatible life goals.

Often the biggest challenge for a relationship to survive dating a younger man is the difference in long-term goals. When people are the same age, initial sexual attraction eventually gives way to shared life goals.
For couples with big age differences when the initial rush of sexual excitement wanes, the difference in life goals often becomes painfully apparent. For example finances can be an issue if one partner wants to plan for retirement and the younger partner just wants to “live for today”, or imagine a man who doesn’t have his own children living with a women who’s children are grown up. (He could want children someday, and this could be a problem if his partner is too old to have children.)

On a lighter and more positive note younger men can love an older woman’s sexual confidence.

There are many lucky couples who experience successful partnerships despite differences in age but for others the age gap affects the relationship in a negative way as the years pass,  due to different life goals.

The happiest couple ever.

Here’s my opinion, When we fall in love, the age of the person isn’t important, our realization of the challenges we face often comes later, but at this point it’s too late you’re in love and that’s all that matters.
For some people it a big age difference doesn’t matter, for others it’s a disaster. If you are dating a younger man, then really take the time to talk about your life goals…and I hope you’ll be the happiest couple ever!

Dating online? Regardless of your age, the most important thing you need to know…

Whether you are 25 or 95 Having great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

 

What is a “Soul-Mate”? Take this test to know if he’s “The one”

Many people believe in Soul-mates!

Many theories exist as to what exactly is a soul-mate.  Here’s a couple, firstly the concept that your soul-mate is someone that you have encountered in many different life times and have loved many times! This is supposedly why the first time you meet him in this lifetime you feel as if you have known him forever.

Another view

Soul-mates are created when the creator (I’ll call him God but imagine him (or her) in whatever form you wish), takes a soul and splits it in two; When these two halves meet they complete each other, some people call this the “twin flame” idea, and believe that just one person is the other half of your very soul.

Our beliefs deeply impact the way we view the idea of a soul-mate and so the concept of a soul-mate is not fixed.

People’s definitions of a soul-mate online

My search for the definition of a soul-mate took me online, and here’s what I found:

“You not only know it…you feel it, I know I am married to my soul-mate and I also feel it”

“When after 3yrs or more he still puts a smile on your face when he walks in the room, you find yourself putting on makeup just to look good for him, and most importantly there’s no one else you would rather spend the rest of your life with”

“Your soul mate isn’t some person wandering around out there that you don’t know. Your soul mate is what someone becomes when you build and share a life together”

“Because he bends over backwards to make sure me and my kids are comfortable”

“When he brings me that piece of the moon that he promised”.

“When he bears 50 – 70% of the qualities you are looking for”.

Very Different views.

Obviously people have very, very different views on exactly what a soul-mate means to them!

An updated definition.

After a little thought on the above ideas I wanted to find a common thread, something that everyone would agree on as a good definition of the word Soul-mate (I know it’s not perfect so please if you feel you can come up with a more accurate statement, leave me a comment at the end of this article-I’d love to hear what you think!)
So here it is:

“A soul-mate is the loving partner you share your life with and feel blessed to be in a relationship with”.

I’ve two objectives to writing this article ~ firstly to define what a Soul-mate is and secondly to give you a simple test on how to spot one!

Finding your Soul-mate.

Whether you’re married or dating if you don’t think the heavens have blessed your relationship (or at least that they are a gift from life), then they are NOT the one! Finding your soul-mate is not just looking for the perfect partner, it’s also the process of just not accepting a relationship that doesn’t feel right!

Here’s a test to help you know if he’s the One.

So does your man make the grade? There’s a big difference between a great guy and the guy! Or are you settling for a relationship that’s just OK?
Take this test to find out if he’s the one!  (Simply answer YES or NO to the following 10 questions)

1. Do you have a real connection?
A connection that tells you that this may be the most remarkable person you’ve met in your life, and one that you really want to spend time with!

2. Does he listen?
Before any man opens his heart to you, he has to open his ears first, if he’s in love with you he’ll be happy to listen to not only your dreams and goals but also your concerns and fears.

3. Is Love mutual?
The woman doesn’t have to be Juliet and the man doesn’t have to be Romeo, but the woman needs to see her soul-mate as her Romeo and the man needs to see his soul-mate as his Juliet.
If you think he’s your soul-mate and that he just doesn’t realize it yet, chances are you’re in denial and he’s not the one!

4. Do you have to Change who you are?
A person who you have to change for isn’t the person for you period! (Do I need to say more~ you should feel good about who you are and if he doesn’t support you and encourage you encourage you to do the activities you love and be your best, he’s definitely not the one!
5. Do you try too hard to make things work?
I’m not saying that relationships don’t from time to time need a little work, but if you always feel like you’re trying to make it work, then it’s probably not worth fixing, life should be fun not an uphill fight.

6. Do you bring out the best in each other?
You don’t have to have the same qualities to complement each other, sometimes people have different ideas and personalities yet their talents blend together perfectly, Are the strengths and abilities you admire most about him the ones you want to develop? DO you bring out the best in each other?

7. Can you imagine a future together?
I know this question is simple, but can you imagine growing old with him? And do your values match? If you want kids and this is a non-negotiable value and he doesn’t then can you see a future? Is he expecting you to convert to Christianity or Judaism when you won’t?

Score the following

Question1:  Yes 1, No 0. Question2:  Yes 1, No 0. Question3:  Yes 1, No 0. Question4:  No 1, Yes 0
Question5:  No 1, Yes 0. Question6:  Yes 1, No 0. Question7:  Yes 1, N0 0

1-5 Points. He’s NOT your Soul-mate, move on and keep looking.
6 Points.     If he’s a bad listener then lovingly tell him straight, if not move on.
7 Points.     He might just be the one for you!

 

The ultimate soul-mate question!

If the ship sinks and there’s only one life-jacket, would he give it to you? Would he take a bullet for you? If he’s your true soul-mate then you’re his first priority!

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Ten tips for setting (and keeping) life changing resolutions

It’s time for that annual ritual of making (and breaking) our New Year’s resolutions. There is something about the idea of being able to start over that motivates us to pause (at least briefly) and reflect on our lives as they are, as well as how we would like them to be. Yet how many times have you thought back to last year’s goals and found that many or most of them were abandoned or just forgotten after a few weeks or months into the year?

Many of us have difficulty following through on our resolutions due to factors such as choosing unrealistic goals, not making them challenging enough and/or lacking the necessary motivation to stick with them.

The following tips should help put you on the right course and assist you in staying committed to your most important goals for 2003.

  1. Start with a life vision
    If you don’t know what you want your future to look like, how can you decide what areas of your life need to be worked on? Spend some quiet time TODAY reflecting on (and writing down) what is good, bad or incomplete. Then try to “see” your life if all of these areas were addressed and had become satisfactory to you.
  2. Get organized
    Clear away clutter. Go through paperwork, files, old bills and receipts, closets, drawers and storage containers. Decide what you need and will use and either throw out or give away all the rest. Put aside some time each week for this purpose. After you have cleaned out you can think about your existing systems for management and storage and see if these need reworking or just some fine-tuning. Keep ONE calendar to record all appointments, events, etc. Write down everything- don’t rely on memory.
  3. Expand your horizons and make a commitment to learning something new.
    Challenging yourself will infuse you with greater energy and sense of purpose. It will help build your self-esteem to realize you really are capable of more than you had previously believed. This new learning can also give you additional resources to assist you in your career, personal or love life.
  4. Set challenging but realistic resolutions
    Choose goals that stretch your ability muscles, yet are realistic and therefore less vulnerable to failure. Don’t respond to that negative inner voice that says; “oh, I’m not capable of that”. Instead, focus on what you truly desire for your life and relationships and let this be your guide.
  5. Write down your resolutions
    Write them down and stick them on your bathroom mirror, your fridge, your car dashboard, your desk or wherever you know will be a good place for you to see them. You can also show them to a good friend, family member, your coach or anyone who could provide support and encouragement.
  6. Create action steps for each resolution; write them down, and keep an accounting of your progress for each.
    A resolution without planned action is doomed to failure. Break each goal down into small action steps or objectives. Putting a date for completion will help ensure you follow through. Come up with an accountability system that will work for you. Make sure you check off each accomplishment as you go and be flexible and willing to make adjustments in your action steps in order to achieve your desired end results.
  7. Take care of yourself; eat well. Exercise regularly and learn to control and eliminate unhealthy stress.
    I know this is an obvious one, so why is it often ignored or overlooked when we are attempting to make important life changes? How many times have you said, “I don’t have the time” to eat right, exercise, sleep adequately, etc? Not caring for yourself will guarantee failure. So, why not make this your first and most important resolution for 2003?
  8. Work to eliminate bad habits
    Including this as a New Year’s resolution would put you on the road to good follow-through. Bad habits will sabotage your efforts and use up your limited resources of time, energy and focus. For each bad habit you decide to eliminate, have a good habit in mind to replace it with.
  9. Set appropriate and healthy limits in all areas of your life
    Knowing your limits and enforcing them with yourself and others is a prerequisite to a healthy life and relationship. Learn to say “no” and “enough” and be firm in your resolve that this is a good thing to do. Otherwise, you will also be undermining your resolution to take care of yourself.
  10. Work to be the kind of person you want to be with
    Bringing out the best qualities in yourself will help to ensure that you attract people of good quality into your life. You wouldn’t want to compromise on the standards you have set for a potential mate. Therefore, it’s important to understand that this also holds true for other people in search of relationships.

Now begin this year with the resolve to be the person you know you have the potential to be. You’ll be pleased with the wonderful changes that await you!

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Are you (or are you with) a commitment-phobe?

We hear it all the time. “He just won’t make a commitment.” “She just wants some space right now.” “I’m not sure if I’m ready for a serious relationship.”

What does having a fear of commitment really mean? Actually, it means basically what it says. For SOME reason you, or someone you are involved with, isn’t ready to take this relationship (or any relationship) to the next step.

So how do we know if we or our (hoped for) partner are truly afraid of commitment? How do we know that it’s not something else? Is there any real difference between these two anyway?

Do these excuses sound familiar? “I’m just under a lot of stress right now.” “It’s not you, it’s me.” “I can’t focus on a relationship right now because of my overloaded schedule.”

Very often, we want to accept these reasons because we fear the real truth. Other times, we are just very confused by our feelings and the often mixed messages from the other person.

So, how do we evaluate our ability to make a long-term commitment? How do we know if he/she is really ready or willing?

There are only two real issues here to examine.

The first issue involves looking at a true fear of commitment itself. If this is the problem it’s important for the person with this fear to ask themselves a few key questions.

  • Are you concerned about the idea of forever?
  • Do you fear you could make a mistake in who you choose?
  • Do you fear a loss of your freedom/autonomy?
  • Are you afraid of a bad marriage–like your parents for instance
  • Do you fear you would be a bad mate?

If you answered yes to any of these, it would be a good idea to begin working to understand where these feelings come from. Once you understand them better, you can choose to address them. Perhaps you need more time or emotional growth before you consider making a long-term commitment. Greater self-knowledge will help you to overcome this block to building a lasting and satisfying relationship.

The second issue is the inability to make a commitment to a PARTICULAR relationship. This may not be the right one. Perhaps there is a sense of this but it is written off to being a “commitment-phobe” in general.

Focus on the true level of involvement with each other. Is there a genuine connection? Or is there a vague feeling of something missing? Evaluate the quality of your intimate relating. This does not mean how often (or even how good) the sex is. This is about how open, sharing and real you are in your interactions with each other.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • It seems like we are only killing time?
  • He/she doesn’t seem to want what I want.
  • We seem to be off and on in our level of contact/affection.
  • I/they are still not over a past relationship.
  • I/they just don’t seem to know what I/they want.

Remember to focus on the involvement or lack thereof between you. If either person is disengaged in any way, it’s time to address the real issue of; “Is this the right relationship for us?”

Exploring your ability to make a lasting commitment should be a first step in your plan for building a healthy and lasting relationship.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

What went wrong? When relationships go from hot to cold

Everything was great. We had been dating for 6 months. We shared the same interests, felt very at ease together, had (often) discussed future plans and had even spent some of the holidays together. Our relationship seemed right on track and just right in general. Then, without warning, he said he “needs some time to think and figure things out.” He stopped calling and rarely returned my calls. When he did, I was often met with silence on the other end of the line. When I asked “what happened”, I just got a verbal run around of excuses about how busy he is and/or how much stress he is under right now. What happened? What did I do? I don’t know what to think.

Does the above scenario sound at all familiar? If so, you can relate to being confused and stunned over the sudden change in a boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s behavior. Now think about this – What if your relationship wasn’t what you thought it was? What if unspoken issues had existed all along? What if there were signs you chose to ignore or just didn’t see? Are any of these possible? Probably.

This sudden change in a couple’s relationship is reported quite a bit by individuals who have just broken up with a significant other. Unfortunately, it leaves the person who has been “dumped” with feelings of low self-esteem, regret, inadequacy and anger. There is often no real closure, as the couple is never able (willing) to talk through what went wrong or was never right with their relationship.

So, how can you know what the problem was and hope to avoid a repeat of this hurtful experience? You can do this by examining your failed relationship and gaining insight and understanding about what just wasn’t right between you. In order to assist you with this; I am providing a basic framework of the relationship stages a couple must pass through TOGETHER in order to get to a place of shared intimacy and commitment. If either person’s feelings change before, during or after one of these stages; it is not necessarily the “fault” of the other individual. It is simply a statement about the individuals’ rightness (or not) for each other. It is also a reflection of each individual’s relationship readiness and ability to handle long-term, committed intimacy.

How an individual handles their changing feelings and resultant behavior toward the other is a subject for another article. Relationships have stages. We have all read articles and books by authors who have come up with their own unique number or names for these. I will try to take a very basic approach to this and keep it simple and as universal as possible.

Attraction

This is the first stage. It is physical, intellectual and emotional – on a very surface level. Girl sees boy and vice versa. They flirt, talk and get a very basic sense of the other. They are usually responding to a physical pull. He/she is cute, funny, charming, interesting to talk to, etc. Without attraction, first dates wouldn’t happen. It can therefore be assumed that the other person finds us attractive if we have gotten to a first date.

In a way, this is the easy one. We are unknowns to each other. Things progress from this point or they do not. Hurt feelings are minimal. We usually chalk up rejection to; “I’m not his type”. There is no need to analyze or wonder what went wrong.

If both people feel a strong enough level of attraction continues to exist after a few dates, they usually move along to stage two. However, if one finds the other has unattractive characteristics or behaviors, this can lead to an abrupt change in the relationship. Remember, these behaviors or characteristics would be ones that would manifest in the very early stage of dating. Some examples: frequently late, never offers to pay, dresses or grooms sloppily, rude to waitress, etc.

Romantic Relating

In this second stage, couples begin to test out the idea of themselves as a unit. Dating is no longer brand new. It is more comfortable and predictable. Sharing romantic dinners and exciting special interests are typical dates during this new and fun time in a growing relationship. During this stage, flowers are given for no special reason and loving cards are slipped back and forth with words like “thinking of you”. It’s a happy carefree time, when lovers tend to idealize, romanticize and overlook that which can be right in front of them. The relationship seems effortless and spontaneous. Affection is shared openly and frequently. One’s partner seems perfect. There is rarely conflict during this period. The partners often share the unrealistic belief that their relationship is so special and unique that it will always stay this way.

This stage can last from three or four months up to more than a year. It is actually the shortest stage that any long-term relationship goes through. It is also the one we wish we could hold on to forever and long for when it is gone. This is the stage that love poems speak about. It is also believed (falsely) by many that this is what long-term committed love will always be like. Many relationships begin to stumble at the end of this period. For that is when reality begins to set in. As partners begin to experience some disagreement, conflict and/or shared challenges- the relationship shifts as do the dynamics between the partners.

Though many relationships move past this stage, a number do not. Why? There are many reasons. These can include:

  • lack of readiness for the challenges of the next stage
  • issues with commitment and fidelity
  • immature beliefs about what relationships should be
  • being stuck on an idealized, romanticized notion of love

If one of the partners is not ready for a less than perfect and more demanding stage of love, they will exhibit this in their behavior, language and overall level of openness and availability towards the other. This is when the couple begins to think more seriously of a future with each other. The focus tends to be; how well do we get along, do we share similar interests and do I want to date this person exclusively?

Growth Through Negotiation

This is a very challenging and growing time in all relationship building. Reality comes into play as the couple settles into the comfort and predictability of their togetherness. Little issues can become blown-up into large conflicts. The individuals begin to compete for their share of control and their place in this growing union. Differences can become highlighted instead of minimized. This is often the period when couples experience their first fight. Hurt feelings can occur as that once loving and completely accepting other person airs a criticism or voices annoyance or concern. Often, the individuals believe it is the other person who needs to change.

This is where the need for (or lack of) communication, problem-solving and negotiating skills becomes apparent. For without an adequate measure of these, disagreements can break down into screaming matches where insults and recriminations are fired like missiles. If the individuals can listen, be supportive of each other’s feelings, compromise and not lay blame, they have a good chance of working through this stage and achieving a true intimacy. This does not mean they will share all the same beliefs and opinions or that they will necessarily even like the other’s view. However, having and showing respect is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship.

Not only will relationships fail without these relationship-building strengths, they can also abruptly end if one of the partners decides that they don’t feel the same way about this person in their less than idealized state. The reality may not be to their liking or just something they are not ready for in general. Either way, they will pull back, present differently or disappear without warning. How they handle their changing feelings is further information about their level of relationship readiness and maturity in general.

Intimacy

Intimacy is the reward that is gained when a couple has successfully worked through the difficult last stage of negotiation. It is almost like a new coming together with much greater self (and other) awareness. This new information can work to solidify the union or give one of both individuals enough new information about the other to require a reassessment of their desire to remain together. Each person looks at the other in their (naked) state and asks; “Is this the person I want to be with?” Here their individual differences are highlighted. The early romantic haze has cleared. What they have to offer to each other and to a future life together comes into play.

This is a time when couples often begin to contemplate each other’s attributes in a more practical way. They look at the other’s strengths and weaknesses. They evaluate each other’s potential as a future spouse, parent, provider, caregiver, partner, etc.

Relationships can be tested more during this time. Infidelity is one dysfunctional way that some individuals do this. Often, this leads to the end of the relationship.

When differences can be seen, aired and accepted, the couple has a good chance of moving on together from this place. Essentially, they have decided they want to be with the other, warts and all. When the behavior of one or both partners change, it is generally because they have made a conscious or unconscious decision regarding the wrongness of the other for them or for the type of relationship they seek.

Commitment

This is the final stage of relationship building. Once individuals have reached this place, they are ready to cement their bond. While much growth and work will lay ahead in a future life together, they are ready to begin this life soon.

New challenges arise during each stage, and will happen here as well. However, if the couple has successfully worked through the previous stages, they should have many of the tools they need. The external problems and pressures that come with life will test their resolve and commitment over the years. They may need to reassess, re-negotiate and renew their feelings and commitment. Fortunately, they will be in possession of the basic tools required. If they choose well to begin with, they should be successful.

As you evaluate your failed relationship, note the stage you were in when the change occurred. Chances are that the necessary level of readiness and maturity was not present in one or both of you. Perhaps one of you decided that this is not the kind of partner or relationship I am seeking. This new information and insight should help you to choose a future partner who is better suited to you and desirous of the same kind of relationship that you are.

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