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Hooking up vs lasting love – It’s your choice

“hooking up”

“friends with benefits”

“booty call”

These terms have become all too familiar in today’s dating world. Are they words that you can relate to? Have you lived them in some way? If so, how have you felt about the experience(s) both during and after? Chances are that you have mixed feelings at best. Depending on your age and sex, you may give a somewhat different response to this question. Whatever your answer, a close look at this “dating experience” that impacts so many singles in so many ways may be useful to you as you think about what your long-term relationship goals are and what you REALLY want from a relationship.

So what exactly do these terms mean?

“Hooking up” is getting together for sex. There is generally no formal “date” involved.

“Friends with benefits” usually refers to two people who are “friends” who also have sex together. Again, there’s a distinction between what they share and “dating.”

“Booty call” usually describes the act of a man (woman) calling up another person to come over for sex. The sex doesn’t follow dinner, a movie or other “quality” time together, getting to really know each other. It’s physical.

Do you define this activity (even loosely) as dating? Has this become a new intimacy for some or many of you? If so, it’s important to look at how/if it meets your needs and if it aligns with your basic values and relationship wants and goals.

Begin by asking yourself some core questions, such as:

  • Am I comfortable with intimacy?
  • Am I comfortable with a purely physical relationship?
  • Am I able to be physically involved with someone while remaining emotionally detached?
  • How do I feel about myself when I engage in this behavior?
  • Am I doing this to please someone or win his or her affection?
  • Is monogamy and marriage my goal?

If your answers reflect discordance between how you feel and what you do, it would be helpful to understand the reasons behind your behavior. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • “It’s convenient”
  • “It’s easy”
  • “It’s safe”
  • “It requires no commitment on my part”

In addition to these explanations, some singles express a belief that “everyone does it” or “it’s expected.” Therefore, they often report engaging in it, but not feeling really ok or satisfied afterwards. Others use it as a substitute for real intimacy, referencing their difficulties in meeting and dating in general.

Then there are the people who have sex hoping it will lead to love. This too is a desire for intimacy that can lead to sadness and disappointment and the possibility of contacting a dangerous and life-altering infection. It reminds me of the line in a song, “if I can love you good enough on the outside to make you feel it on the inside, then maybe you will stay…”

Once you have determined what you really want from a relationship you can begin to make clear, thought out choices that will open the path that points in the direction you wish to go. Until you do so, you face the possibility of more disappointing and short-lived encounters that leave you feeling more alone and less hopeful about the possibility for lasting happy love.

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!

How to flirt online: 3 success keys and 10 email enticers

Are you ready to jump into the online dating game? With 50 million active subscribers to dating services in the U.S., you just can’t overlook this opportunity if you are single.

Once you enter this wide web of daters, what can you write in emails to entice your top picks to share coffee talk with you? What are the secrets to flirting online?

When jumping online, use these 3 Online Flirting Success Keys and 10 Email Enticers that can help you get to first dates faster.

These advice tips are based on hundreds of interviews with active internet daters for my book, SMART Man Hunting -How to Get Out There, Get Dates, and Get Mr. Right (or Ms. Right).

3 Online Flirting Success Keys:

  1. Keep it Simple: Use light-hearted emails with an upbeat tone to attract dates online. A 40-something female painter shared, ” Make your responses simple and use easy questions in your emails to flirt.” There is no need for long emails either. A 42-year-old Accountant told me, “I can tell if I am interested in 3-4 sentences.”
  2. Humor is your Ally: A 35-year-old male film editor from Baltimore told me, “It depends on the person. You need to be able to read the person to tell what kind of humor you can get away with. Humor is definitely sexy and so is confidence because girls pick that up.”
  3. Hand out Compliments: One of the best ways to flirt online is to extend a sincere compliment. One 28-year-old Financial Analyst told me, “I always try to say something subtle, but sincere.” You might say to someone who plays the guitar, “I think it is awesome that you play guitar.” She added, “Be sincere and don’t throw out phony baloney.”

10 Email Enticers

Try these 10 Email Enticers that can help you ignite sparks online in your emails. Your goal should be to get a first date fast. Keep it light and inviting:

  1. Where did you get that fantastic smile?
  2. What is your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
  3. What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday with a date for fun?
  4. What would you do if we got stuck in a snow storm in the mountains?
  5. If you were going to take me out for a romantic evening, what would we do?
  6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  7. What is your favorite romantic comedy movie? Why?
  8. How long have you been sailing? (ask about something in their profile).
  9. Wow, is that your cute golden retriever? (compliment something in their photograph).
  10. When are we going to meet to find out whether we would ever want to kiss each other? (Depending on the person, you can sound cute using this one)

Have some fun using humor and keep it simple when using these email enticers to flirt online. You will have better luck using levity and sincere compliments.

If your gut is not good, move on after a few email exchanges. You don’t want to spend too much time online because you really can’t gauge the chemistry until the first date. After three email exchanges, if a guy is not talking about a first date, just say Next!

For more internet dating advice, you can read about how to find the quality in the flood of emails, protect your privacy with safety tips and learn from he said/she said success stories in SMART Man Hunting.

Happy Hunting!

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!

The friend Crush – Is this love or friendship?

He’s your good friend. She’s your best confidant. You have known each other for a few years and have shared meals, movies, hobbies and vacations. You have confided to each other about your latest love interest and turned to one another for support when the relationship(s) failed. You can’t imagine life without your good friend.

But for a while….

You’ve felt jealous of his dates. You’ve been overprotective of her since she has been seeing the jerk. You’ve been having very strong feelings of attraction and a desire for something more than friendship. Could it be that your feelings for him/her have grown into something more? If so, your relationship may have developed into a “friend crush.”

You don’t know what to do. You know you want to continue spending time together- more time. But it’s getting hard. You fantasize about having more with this person and are beginning to feel like a jealous would-be partner. Do you pretend everything is the same? Do you start distancing yourself- hoping your feelings will go back to the way they were? Do you actually TALK directly and honestly with your friend about how you feel?

What will happen to the relationship if you make the WRONG choice?

Just as all people are unique, so are the characteristics of their relationships with others. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this increasingly common dilemma. So, let’s take a look at your options. You can:

  • ignore your feelings, keep your boundaries in check and pretend everything is status quo.
    In order to choose this option, you must be able to deny your feelings so well that even you don’t know what they are. You will also have to continue being comfortable on the sidelines while someone else has the relationship with this person that you desire. You will most likely be asked what you think of this or that person and be expected to be happy and supportive of your friend when they meet the right someone for them. In return for all this, you will still have your friend.
  • begin to spend less time with your friend (crush) while seeking out new friendships to pursue and strengthen.
    This option will most likely cause confusion and hurt on the part of your friend who will wonder what happened. They may be understanding and accepting of your need to spread your wings and support you in doing what you need to do. Either way, you will see less of them and your relationship can weaken and perhaps disappear altogether as they move on with new people. If you can distance yourself for a while and no longer feel the romantic butterflies, you can always give them a call and may be able to pick up somewhere near where you left off.
  • continue the relationship with your own hidden agendas – a desire for romantic intimacy and the hope that the person will realize that they feel the same way.
    If they become involved with someone else in the meantime, you can work to sabotage their new relationship or you can leave them wondering where all your anger and hurt feelings are coming from. You can spend a lot of time and energy handling it this way, without anything to show for your efforts but the loss of a good friend.
  • have an open and honest discussion with your friend regarding your new feelings for them.
    This is the choice that seems to be the hardest for folks to make. Often what I hear from people in this position is that they fear “ruining the friendship” if they discuss their feelings honestly. While this is a very understandable concern, it isn’t well thought out. It is emotional, not rational. Look again at the other options. Every one will bring about a change in your current friendship.

Why?

Once your feelings have changed, so does the relationship. Ignoring them, hiding them or distancing yourself will lessen your closeness and the positive dynamics that flow between good friends. You can’t go back. You need to decide how you want to move forward or if this is an option for you. It is also possible in choosing this option that you will learn that they have similar feelings for you that they were afraid to reveal. Therefore choosing this option could result in romance and a love relationship based on true friendship.

Intimacy exists in all close relationships. It is the ability to be completely open and vulnerable to another without fear of harm or rejection. So, by definition, we cannot be intimate with another while hiding or denying our true feelings and needs to them.

The choice will always be yours. Choosing wisely is about really knowing the options, the consequences they bring and what will be best for you and your friend.

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!