Myths that Keep Us from Love

BAD-DATE

Myths that Keep Us from Love

There’s lots of dating advice out there that while the speaker’s intent is sincere, the message is actually an obstacle rather than a way forward. There are myths that keep us from love rather than helping us find it. The first myth is playing it cool. Conventional wisdom goes that you shouldn’t let on how interested you are in a person, or else they may find you desperate or needy. This isn’t true at all.

Our belief in playing hard to get shouldn’t be absolute. You can use it if the person you are after is emotionally unavailable. Otherwise, be nice and open. Who doesn’t want those qualities in a relationship? If they reciprocate then this might be the person you are looking for. But they should at least respect these qualities. If playing it cool works for you that’s great. But if you aren’t really that type, or haven’t tried it, you’ll flub it. So be yourself. Feel it out and act accordingly. Make sure you draw boundaries. Don’t get taken advantage of. But if someone is frightened off by openness than they weren’t ready for a relationship to begin with. And if that’s what you’re looking for, thank your lucky stars and move on.

We are often told that all we need is a little self-confidence. Confidence is great if mixed with some modesty. But projecting cool and confident can make you look like a superficial snob, or an egotistical jerk. Its better if you let your date know about your shyness, anxiety, or other issues. You don’t have to lay them all out before them. But just be who you are. Own yourself, including your faults. If you have come to terms with your shortcomings, why not show your date this? Anyone who is worthwhile will recognize it and see it as a great asset. If you’re nervous on a date just be honest and say that you’re nervous. You’re date will probably think it’s cute. If they’re worth your time they’ll try to get you to relax. Even admitting it will help you to relax. And then if they’re helping you, all of a sudden you two are jiving, and isn’t that what a date’s all about? Be as cool, witty and charming as you normally are. You can amp it up a little bit. But don’t portray a false confidence. It almost always falls flat.

Lastly, the numbers game is a myth that should be debunked. Many people believe that with the power of the internet, they can go on a ton of dates and will, out of the mass of people they’ve encountered, unearth the one they’ve been looking for. The exact opposite is true. You will feel a kind of dating fatigue after so many dates. People will start to look the same. You will feel numb, give your date less of a chance and be less willing to connect. It will actually get in the way. Strive for quality over quantity. Only respond or date people you have things in common with. The more in common the better the date. With these myths debunked, consider your love life simplified. For more dating advice read, Is This The One?-Insightful Dates for Finding the Love of Your Life by Stephen Arterburn.

How to Write a Great First Message

online-dating

How to Write a Great First Message

Online dating seems to be the way a lot of people get together nowadays. Make a profile, upload some pictures and off you go. It’s a great tool and for some a fun way to spend a couple of hours searching and considering. But when there’s one profile you keep returning to, or someone who you just can’t wait to know more about, it comes time to message them. Some of us just freeze up. What do you say? There are others who aren’t intimidated but keep sending out messages and never get a response. So what’s the best approach? What can you do to make that first message great?  The first step is to actually write something. Don’t abbreviate or use internet lingo, use proper English. Double check your grammar and spelling. Daters on these sites want someone savvy and sophisticated, not a Neanderthal typing with hairy knuckles. Next, watch the physical compliments, especially guys contacting gals. Most women like to be told in person that they are beautiful or gorgeous, but online they want to know that you took the time to read their profile, and found something in there that attracted you. They want someone who is interested in who they are, not just their looks.

Just like everywhere else, there’s competition online. Beyond that, you don’t want to seem a flat, uninteresting dullard. Why not use a greeting that shows who you are? If you are both Star Trek fans, type them a Vulcan salutation. If you both like country music, hit them with a “Howdy.” Even if you just go for a “Hey there” it’s better than just a hello. A line from a movie you both like might work. Strike a casual tone however. Too formal and you might come off as a stick in the mud. Now include what you liked about the person’s profile, and what attracted you to them. What do you both have in common? Spend some time reading their profile and thinking about what would appeal to him or her. Do they like the same books, movies or music as you? Are they a fan of the same sports team? Are they vegan? Do they practice yoga? Do they have six dogs, seven birds and a tank full of man eating piranha just like you? The more things you have in common, the more things you have to talk about and hopefully, the better a match you will make. Use your commonalities to get the conversation rolling. Don’t be afraid to challenge them a little. Ask a question.  Posit a theory or give them some insight that most people fail to notice. Bring up something they might not know like a certain band they might like, a book that would blow their mind or a great little restaurant tucked away in a corner of their neighborhood. The more interesting, the more they’ll want to message you back.

Talk about yourself, but don’t brag. Be humble. Arrogance is a turnoff. You don’t have to write an enormous amount. A paragraph or two will suffice. Be yourself. Don’t be weird unless the person you are messaging has already shown an affinity for your type of weirdness. Can you be relaxed and funny? Go for it. Not sure how it will come off? Then just be upbeat. If you still aren’t getting responses check your selection process. If your search filter includes the words “Ivy League” while you barely finished high school, you might want to rethink that. Make sure the person you are messaging would find it reasonable to date you and vice versa. If you are only going on classic chiseled features, the perfect body, a prestigious career and high salary when you spend your days shouting “You want fries with that?” you may be setting yourself up for a fall. Lastly, be sure to be nice. Sometimes we try to elicit a certain response with something witty and acerbic but come off as mean or bitter. Keep things positive and G-rated, at least at first. For more tips on making your online dating a success read, Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating by Laurie Davis.

First Date Questions to Be Prepared for

FIRST-DATE

First Date Questions to Be Prepared for

Are you going on a first date soon? The first date, as with a first impression, sets the tone for how you two will interact with each other. And this is the first crucial step to see if there is a mutual interest. They can be so scary and exciting, the butterflies, not knowing what to wear, how you should act and if you will feel the magic are all questions on your mind. Speaking of questions, it’s important to be prepared for what your date is most likely to ask you and how to respond. A first date is kind of like a job interview for love. You are seeing if they are the right fit for you and visa-versa. Of course you should be truthful in all of your answers. But you should be prepared for what they might ask you. You don’t want to be dumbfounded, fumble or be taken aback. Here are a few first date questions to be prepared for.

First, be prepared to talk about your career. If you aren’t working or you are in college, talk about what you’re passionate about. And let your interest shine through. People are attracted to others who share similar goals, passions and interests in life. And if you can let them see you radiate with what your passionate about it may deepen their interest in you, and spark a return of that same energy when they talk about what they’re interested in.

Whatever is asked, don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep everything light and positive. No one wants to hear a lot of complaining on a first date. Not that you have to steer clear of all negative subjects. But don’t dwell on them, and put a positive spin on it at the end. Be ready to talk about your achievement s, background and goals in life. Ask your date about theirs as well. People who are deeply spiritual or religious will ask about your own beliefs or faith. Try to find out as much as you can about their beliefs and faith beforehand and prepare your answers to be truthful. But make sure you are always respectful and interested in what someone else believes. That doesn’t mean you have to believe what they do. A good sign of a relationship’s ability to take root is the ability for a couple to agree to disagree on such matters as politics and religion, if you plan to stray past your own group or groups.

Be prepared to talk about any hobbies you may have. The person is looking for compatibility. These are great for conversations. See what’s in common. Can you see yourself watching movies on the couch with this person? Taking salsa dancing classes or going sky diving together? Prepare yourself for questions about kids, or wanting them. Some people will ask about past relationships. This is usually held to a subsequent date. However, if they feel comfortable or it comes up they may ask. If you or they are divorced it could be more likely to come up. Make sure to put a positive spin on it and don’t bad mouth your ex. Remember to relax and be yourself. Have fun on your first date. For more advice read, The First Date Survival Guide: What to Wear, Where to Go, How to Act by Ryan Magin.

Don’t Marry for Love

wedding

Don’t Marry for Love

We mostly consider those who marry for other reasons besides love sick, depraved, morally bankrupt or in some sort of unenviable position that elicits our sympathy. The truth is people marry for all kinds of reasons, not always for love. Some are trying to escape a rotten home life. Others are afraid of being single. There are those escaping poor financial prospects. And those seeking power and position, the original reason why most people tied the knot historically, procreation notwithstanding. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century that we have the idea of romantic love we have today. And the 1970’s change in divorce laws and focus on the pursuit of personal happiness that made everyone crazy to marry for love. But perhaps our standards for what love and romance are are too high? Are our expectations getting in the way of true marital bliss? People who marry for companionship may marry for a better reason than love. And oftentimes their relationship and their marriage remain stronger because of the lack of elevated expectations.

Of course love is an important human emotion. No one is saying not to marry for love. But there has to be other things to consider. Is this person kind and considerate? Do they really care about you? Do they have any destructive behaviors that will hurt you, themselves or tear down the marriage? Be realistic when choosing a mate. If you are running off for love but everyone in your life is telling you it is a mistake, do some soul searching. Look into your heart of hearts. Is there some reason why things won’t work out? Remember that love changes. People grow and change over time. Marriage is supposed to be forever. But you really don’t know what storms your marriage will weather. As quickly as it comes over you, love may leave. It could be one reason why they have drive-through wedding chapels in Las Vegas. Love is a great motivator. But common interests, common values, a great sense of humor, excellent communication, trust, and respect are all qualities to consider in a mate as well. If you are marrying someone forever they should definitely possess all of these qualities for the relationship to survive and thrive. For more advice read, 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

How to be More Loving

loving

How to be More Loving

Sometimes when we are in a relationship, we don’t let on how we really feel. And we definitely don’t let the other person know how into them we really are. That would be love suicide right? It can also sabotage the relationship. The truth is the secret to a sustained love is intimacy. How are we supposed to get intimidate with someone when we can’t open up to them? Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it’s actually a strength. Does that mean you should outline all of your shortcomings and all the embarrassing moments in your life on date number one? Of course not. Let it unfold naturally. What it does mean however is that, when the time is right, you should open up and show your lover how you love, and how you wish to be loved. If they are the right kind of lover and respond in kind then you’ve got a great relationship on your hands. Remember you can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. So find the best way for you to express your love. You’ll increase your chances of getting what you really want. You want to set the tone. Shed that inner critic and instead grow into a loving, open person. And through this display you may actually get a loving open person in return.

Talk about exactly how you feel with yourself. Practice and see how the words feel. How are they to take it? Don’t overanalyze or feel mortified if you say those three little words and get nothing but crickets. That’s how you feel and that’s alright. Just tell them that then change the subject. But at least you were honest and passionate and said how you felt. It may warm them up to you. They may just need some time. Or they may warm right up to you. Granted, don’t do it on the first date. But if things have been going spectacularly and it slips out on the sixth or seventh date, it’s no big deal. Don’t get caught up in a this-for-that mentality. If you feel it just say it and don’t worry about the next part. Be kind and loving but don’t attach strings. Be generous with your love toward your partner. Take part in shared interests to build your bond together. Whether it be a foot massage or letting them handle the remote once in a while, take part in acts that they will find loving. Make sure you are with the right person. Take your time and wait until you feel comfortable. But if you are with the right partner and it’s the right time. Open yourself up. Love more and show them how to love more. It will open up a whole new world for you. You’ll be so loved and feel so alive. For more advice read, Love is a Verb: 30 Days to Improving your Relationship Communication by Simeon Lindstrom.