Romance, Guy Style

Couple-Relaxing

Romance, Guy Style

We all know what women find romantic. But what about when it comes to men?  How you do sweep a guy off his feet? Flowers, candle lit dinners and moonlit buggy rides aren’t it. It can be difficult to guess what gifts or gestures he’ll appreciate. But not to worry, here are some ideas. Here’s romance, guy style. First, when you do something nice for your guy, don’t expect something automatically in return. It kills the mood. You don’t want him to show up with a bouquet of your favorite flowers and just after you swoon say, “Hey, what are you going to do for me?” Instead, make sure a gesture or a gift is just that, an expression of your affection. Of course he’ll be overjoyed and won’t be able to wait to shower you with gifts and appreciation. But let it come naturally. Don’t force it or expect it.

For gesture ideas, why not cook him his favorite meal or bake his favorite dessert? Not so handy in the kitchen? Take him out to his favorite restaurant. If he’s a sports guy, take him to a sports bar where they have the best burgers for the game. For guys, it isn’t about a one size fits all thing like flowers or candy. It’s really about tailoring what his hobbies or interests are to your gift or gesture. Get to know your guy and what he likes and ideas will come up.

Tickets to the game or the concert, a nice watch, a weekend away, a ski trip, a party on the beach, a surprise camping trip to a national park he’s been itching to make it to, a massage, all of these will show him how much you care. Guys often plan dates, outings and so on, though certainly not always. But why not turn the tails on him and plan something that will knock his socks off? If you want to do something little, why not leave a little love note for him, or even a steamy one? Leave them in his briefcase, knapsack, jacket pocket, in a book he’s reading, his luggage or his satchel. Some guys don’t like it when things are too sappy. Others are the sensitive type. Know which type your guy is and write your notes accordingly. Why not write something funny or witty?

Sometimes just lazing around together can be romantic. Sitting by the pool with drinks, easing into a hot tub or coffee and a long brunch in a great café will do the trick. Don’t forget that for guys the physical aspect is an important part of romance. Surprising him in lingerie is always a great way to wow him. And it will make you two closer, too. Isn’t that what it’s all about? For more advice read, 31 Days to a Happy Husband: What a Man Needs Most from His Wife by Arlene Pellicane.

Small, Simple ways to improve your Marriage

bed

Small, Simple ways to improve your Marriage

It isn’t easy staying married, as today’s divorce rate can attest. But it isn’t always big problems that break up a married couple. Often it’s a buildup of little things that turn into a tidal wave of problems which ultimately wash away the couple’s married future. Fight back against the tide of tiny destroyers. Here are some small, simple ways to improve your marriage right now and move forward from this instant on. Follow these and the road ahead will be much smoother.

If you want to stay close, when you are wrong, apologize. Don’t insist you are right for pride’s sake. Your pride will get between you and your spouse. When you are in an argument, don’t only view it from your perspective. Try and see things from their point of view. Use your imagination. How would you feel? What would your reaction be? Putting yourself in their shoes will calm your anger, give you a little sympathy and help to organize the negotiation phase, conjuring up a plan on how to satisfy both of you without harming either. Laugh when you two are together. It is far more important to enjoy each other’s company. It will make your bond strong and resilient.

Pencil sex in if you two are so busy and don’t have time for a long, drawn out romantic encounter. A marriage without physical intimacy gets dull and fades. But being intimate together, even if it’s just a quickie a couple of times a week, will make you closer, release tension and help keep the spark alive. It’s important to make sure that you attack life as a team. That’s why a weekly meeting is important. Instead of killing the relationship with nagging and arguments, schedule a time each week to tackle important issues and solve them. Make a running list throughout the week on what is to be covered. Solve your problems at that time and spend some other alone time during the week enjoying each other’s company. Talk about the little things in life, good and bad. Talk about everything. Keep the lines of communication open and free.

Make sure you schedule some time for your own hobbies, friends, interests, and so on. Don’t yell. It doesn’t solve anything. It only makes matters worse. If you want to yell excuse yourself and go yell in another room, in a pillow or in your car while it’s parked. Then when you calm down schedule a time to revisit the issue, discussing how it makes you feel and possible solutions. Show gratitude. Thank the other person for what they do. And expect gratitude in return too. For some fun relationship advice read, Advice for a Happy Marriage: From Miss Dietz’s Third-Grade Class by Debi Dietz Crawford and Friends.

Advice for Dating Over 50

Seniors-Dating

Advice for Dating Over 50

If you are over 50 dating can be a whole different world. Most people are independent at this age, perhaps with adult-age children who are hopefully out of the house by now. These are the divorced empty nesters. They don’t take any guff and know exactly what they are looking for. Today, it’s much easier than in the past because of the internet. But even then sometimes there’s no one that strikes our fancy. A lot of singles in this age group don’t want to be alone but don’t want to feel as though they are settling either. It isn’t easy but a lot of people get in their own way, too. Here is some advice for those dating over 50. First, consider the law of attraction. What you focus on in your life is what you bring into your world. If you are focused on the idea that there are no good men or women left then that is the situation you will dwell in. But if you are secure and happy, entering into each situation in an open-minded and lighthearted way then perhaps the right person will find you. That’s because this newfound positivity will sooner or later attract those who are also secure, open and happy, the exact type most of us would like to date.

Consider how you feel about dating. It often fills 50-somethings with anxiety. Sometimes we just have an unlucky streak. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to put dating aside and later on try again. When you come back to it in a week or two with fresh eyes, take a look at your meeting and selection process. Consider reworking your dating profile. What does it say about you? Who does it attract? Perhaps freshen it up with a new photo, an anecdote or insight and then ask a friend their opinion on it. A lot of people at this stage are afraid. They’ve lost out in one or more serious relationships. They may be bitter or carrying baggage. Perhaps they feel as though they’ve been through the meat grinder and don’t want to do it again. This idea that there is no one of high enough quality is a projection we use to protect ourselves from certain fears about love, while also protecting our status. Here, it isn’t us that have the problem but the available dating pool. Sooner or later those that say these things start to sound like a broken record. It becomes a battle worn, thin piece of armor other minds can easily pierce. Instead, jettison excuses. Deal with whatever interworking makes you feel negative or reticent. Talk it out with someone and work toward a new perspective on your life and your love life, one that’s positive and edifying.

Dating at this age is not easy. We often run in the same circles. Start to break out. Explore new hobbies or old ones you put aside in the days of yesteryear when the demands of kids and career got in the way. Read articles and books about dating at this age. Attend singles events. Try a different website or app for meeting someone new. Pursue interests that are social through Eventbrite, Meetup, a local civic organization or a charity close to your heart. Network with friends and others to see if they know someone who is single that would be a good match. Those who are friends will have other friends who you might have things in common with. Another thing, don’t so easily cast others aside. Some people make their wants and desires in a mate so extensive that they price themselves out of the market. Everyone is imperfect. But judgment has to be set aside for an exploration of who exactly the other person is. A first date is like an initial interview. Often it tells you little of the person before you. Give it until the third date before you say no for sure. Some of the happiest couples weren’t so hot for each other when they first met. It takes time for anxiety to wane, understanding to grow and love to blossom. For more advice for those of the female persuasion pick up a copy of, The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50: 7 Steps To Attracting Quality Men by Lisa Copeland.

Should you Have Deal Breakers when Dating?

deal breaker

Should you Have Deal Breakers when Dating?

A deal-breaker is a quality that makes a person unfit to date. These can be traits one does not have, such as employment. Or it could be something a person does have that drives you crazy. Smoking, sloppiness, and having political views opposed to your own are just some examples. Lots of people, especially women, have dating deal breakers. Many people no matter the gender who have been through a divorce often rework their whole vetting process. But some people make their list of wants and needs too stringent. Others use it as a roadblock instead of a checkpoint. This gives the dater the ability to reject anyone while claiming that the fault lies with the poor quality of mates available rather than with one’s self. Those with commitment or intimacy issues often rely on this tactic. Others have a specific picture of the person they want or have in mind, and don’t open themselves up to the actualities and possibilities that exist before them. So at issue is whether or not these deal breakers cause someone to reject a mate without giving them a proper chance. Certainly one shouldn’t be dating everyone but those who have potential. You just have to make sure your vetting process doesn’t accidentally filter out someone who could make you very happy, and whom you could make happy in return.

One problem with deal breakers is that those who carry them hold them as gospel. There may be someone for instance with an opposite political viewpoint who is kind, considerate, attractive, passionate and has a great sense of humor. This is where the decision-making process gets difficult. If you focus too much on this one particular aspect of the person you may lose sight of all their other positive qualities. Of course if your political outlook is such an integral part of your life that it cannot be separated out then perhaps dating someone from the other side of the spectrum isn’t the best of ideas. But for most people this isn’t the case. What’s more, a person’s focus on this issue who doesn’t hold politics as central to their life would find that having this aspect as one of their deal breakers would be getting in their own way, obstructing love for a reason that seems inconsequential. If you have someone that you adore but hate their politics don’t talk politics with them and focus on their other qualities. But putting one quality ahead of others, specifically a quality that seems superficial, may filter out those who have real potential, and therefore obstruct one’s own chance at happiness and love. More important qualities like integrity, wit, charm, and chemistry among others may be eclipsed by less integral aspects. So should we even have deal breakers when dating?

A deal breaker is pivotal only when it focuses on core aspects of a potential mate’s personality that will cause harm to you or the relationship. If a person isn’t considerate, isn’t honest or trustworthy for instance, these qualities can make or break a relationship. Of course there is some gray area here. For instance, if you have severe asthma and the person you are trying to date refuses to give up smoking then a relationship cannot form. But what is at issue is not the smoking per se but their unwillingness to give up a harmful aspect of themselves for a loftier goal, keeping you around. If someone drinks moderately and you don’t like alcohol, if they are responsible then perhaps you can overlook it. But if they enjoy drinking and you are a recovering alcoholic, this person is not right for you. It’s all relative and for each person it’s different. It’s best to have a sketch of what you are looking for. Most romantic comedies start out with two unlikely characters that are good people who end up falling in love, despite their differences. This really happens in life from time to time. You don’t want to stand in the way of your own romcom coming to life. Make sure your deal breakers are things that are significant qualities that can harm you or the relationship. Don’t reject someone outright for superficial quirks. Instead be on the lookout for deep, integral positive and negative qualities that can help or harm a relationship. With the right vetting process in place you should have far more positive dating experiences. For more on the updated guidelines of love pick up a copy of, Not Your Mother’s Rules: The New Secrets for Dating (The Rules) by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.

Can a Set of Questions Make you Fall in Love?

Ilustracion con una pareja de jovenes

Can a Set of Questions Make you Fall in Love?

In a recent piece in the New York Times Style section, professor Mandy Len Catron talked about how she used a set of questions from a lab experiment to see if it could make two people, namely her and a male acquaintance fall in love. This social experiment was based off the work of psychologist Dr. Arthur Aaron. He had two strangers ask each other these questions. Afterward, the participants were to gaze into each other’s eyes for four long minutes. There is a set of 36 questions. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the entire set. At the end of the now famous 1997 experiment, the couple threw a wedding six months later and everyone at the lab was invited. You can find the questions here: nytimes.com. They are separated into three sections. The first section includes questions like “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” Some others, “Would you like to be famous? In what way?”, “When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?”, and “Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.”

But they begin slowly probing after that, uncovering deep inner desires, parental relationships and even how affectionate and loving a person is, as well as the role love plays in their life.  Aaron was a professor at Stony Brook University. Catron is a British Columbia writing professor. You can tell this was someone she had an interest in. After going to a bar together her male companion posited this question, “I suspect, given a few commonalities, you could fall in love with anyone. If so, how do you choose someone?” She explained Aaron’s experiment and that psychologists have been trying to get two people to fall in love for some time. He prodded and they decided to try. Of course, Catron’s experiment took place in a tavern, not a lab. She and her acquaintance spent two hours answering the questions on her iPhone together. Then they stared into one another’s eyes for four minutes over a bridge in a romantic setting and presto, they were in love. Of course, it does sound like this couple was interested in one another from the beginning. Catron calls what she experienced “accelerated intimacy.” She explains how when we are young over summer camp, we get used to talking all night and becoming close to someone quickly. But as we grow older, we are more wary and perhaps take longer to get to know someone.

Catron says the most uncomfortable parts were the questions that made her reveal more about herself. But to create interpersonal closeness the barriers have to be broken down, though the questions do this in a slow, subtle kind of way. In a sense, these interrogatives are designed to include another person in our sense of self, and vice-versa. When we ask what the person likes about us, or we tell what we like about them, what is said establishes a link, an air of mutual appreciation and understanding. Catron says staring into each other’s eyes silently for four minutes was both exhilarating and terrifying. It wasn’t just seeing another, but having another see the real you that made such an impact, she says. One of the problems with love that she points out is that we start to look at it as a given. But really it’s an action. The study brings that part of it to the forefront. You can find Aaron’s study here: psp.sagepub.com. For more on the scientific aspect of love read, Decoding Love: Why It Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince, and Other Revelations from the Science of Attraction by Andrew Trees.