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.

Stop Waiting around Wondering if he will Marry You

waiting

Stop Waiting around Wondering if he will Marry You

There are lots of women who want to get married but stay in relationships where it isn’t abundantly clear where things are headed. So they avoid the subject at all costs. They wonder whether or not he wants the relationship to progress. Lots of young women think that when the moment is right, true love barges in, sweeps you up and carries you off. Many women pine for that day, wishing and waiting, but never think that in real life, it doesn’t always work like that. An awkward conversation with your partner as to whether or not he wants the same kind of relationship is usually how it goes. Those who want marriage the most are often the most reluctant to address the issue, for fear of rejection. It may even cause the relationship to implode. But if one person wants one thing, and another person wants something else, the relationship cannot last. Hanging on to a relationship that is doomed isn’t doing anyone any favors. Here are some other considerations for those who find themselves in this position.

You may be so invested that leaving is not a palatable option. Lots of women become preoccupied with how much work they’ve already put into the relationship, and where they are in terms of their child bearing years, but if you aren’t carefully considering whether or not this person has long-term potential, or even wants what you want, you are missing the point entirely. Some people fall into a groove. They get comfortable. It is usually a slow creep. Suddenly the two are cohabitating and in a routine. Though the situation does not fulfill her deeply, the woman usually becomes averse to breaking out of it. If he moves out for instance, she’ll have to find a roommate, and bear the brunt of the cost herself, until she finds one.

These decisions are not made easily. But settling for something you don’t want will leave a void. That hollow will grow and ultimately tear the relationship apart. Either that or you will live unfulfilled, numb, a lovelorn sleepwalker. If it does fall to pieces, you’ll wonder why you spent so much time with him to begin with, and all of that time wasted when you should have been looking for someone that fulfills you, and wants the same things you do. Realize that people change their minds. But if you can’t talk about the future with someone, or they have promised you some movement in the past and failed to deliver, then this person is not for you. They don’t have the same goals as you. If you want the right future you may have to sacrifice the present to get to it. Though it hurts in the beginning it is satisfying in the end. For more advice read, The List: 7 Ways to Tell If He’s Going to Marry You – In 30 Days or Less! By Mary Corbett & Sheila Corbett Kihne.

Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

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Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

TIME magazine has a new Facebook app that, using an algorithm, tells women when it thinks they should get married. It comes to this conclusion using data culled from the women’s Facebook friend’s pages. News of the release of this app sent women in an uproar. Articles were written, lines upon lines of comments were found on forums all over the web asking women what they thought. The app has a few shortfalls. It doesn’t collect any data for people who are too lazy to change their Facebook status, or don’t update it because they believe that information is best kept private.

The true nature of this app is to play on the anxieties of single ladies, and to market products to them. The problem is that some women may also see TIME’s new marriage app as a blessing. It could be a wakeup call for some on how much time you really have. For having children, there is a biological window to produce happy, healthy offspring. This app could help wake a woman up to the fact that she better get a move-on with dating, or else the window might close.

Of course, most women who talk to their doctor about it know that a healthy child can be born well into the late thirties and, with procedures, beyond. The question is, should there be? Will the child get all the care, love, attention and energy from parents that they deserve when the parents might be a little too old to chase after them? Of course this varies from person to person, couple to couple and situation to situation. Extreme cases have hit the news. Biologists tell us that the late teens and early twenties are when women and men are most fertile. However, due to the extensive education needed to perform well in today’s economy, most experts take this into consideration and suggest around the early to mid-thirties as the optimal time to have children.

What gets women irritated is a whiff of being judged. It’s whether or not the app is saying that a woman made a wrong choice to stick with her career rather than have a family. Reasonably, this is a choice that every woman, and to a certain extent man, must make. Of course we don’t want to be reminded of the other path. But it’s there. We should think about it and come to terms with the choices we made. It’s the only way to find peace in our life. So don’t let this app get to you. Stand by your choice and love who you are. Come to terms with any regret or misplaced aggression, and you’ll live a fulfilling and happy life. If you are considering marriage read, 1001 Questions to Ask before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

Men Prefer More Feminine faces in Certain Places

beautiful-woman

Men Prefer More Feminine faces in Certain Places

If you, as other men do, prefer a more feminine face you probably grew up in a certain place, a healthier country according to a new study. Men who were raised in countries with lower infant mortality rates and longer lifespans are more attracted to women with finer features, as opposed to those raised in unhealthier conditions who prefer rougher features, so say researchers out of the University of Turku in Finland. Biologist Urszula Marcinkowska wanted to know if all men found the same things about women attractive or if culture played a role. The findings make researchers believe that evolution plays a role. They think that men living in harsher conditions select women that are more likely to bear offspring that will survive. Other studies have shown that women living in unhealthful conditions such as poverty and a high murder rate find more masculine men attractive. Marcinkowska and her team created an online survey that was translated into 16 different languages and taken by 1,972 male respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 in 28 different countries. There were 28 images of white women’s faces used, one with a more masculine looking face similar to one with finer features.

Men all over preferred a woman’s face that was seen as more feminine. That said, in countries that were less healthful men had less of a preference. The national health index which measures the overall well-being of people in every country correlated with the photo data. The findings appear in the online journal Biology Letters. Another reason for the findings according to the study’s author Marcinkowska is that “Women with more feminine features have, in the past, been found to be less socially dominant and less effective at competing for resources.” Over a period of millennia tougher women helped men survive and so were the better option in harsher conditions as mates. One reason Marcinkowska gave for this was that these men also had lower testosterone levels. Higher testosterone inhibits the immune system. In areas where disease is prevalent men often have lower testosterone levels, adding to their ability to have this preference for not as fine features. As Marcinkowska said, “Unfortunately we couldn’t measure participants’ testosterone levels in this study. However, I think this explanation is very plausible.” There is one conflicting study that finds certain pathogens actually increase male preference for fine features. But future studies will be able to see what is really going on and how the two interact.  To learn more about what men find attractive in a woman, read The 7 Irresistible Qualities Men Want in a Woman by Bruce Bryans.

Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Divorced

Warning-Signs

Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Divorced

Most people say “I do” thinking that this is the person they are going to spend the rest of their life with. But the truth is most of us are woefully unprepared for what marriage might throw at us. We aren’t taught about how to have healthy relationships in school. And most people don’t learn anywhere else but from trial and error. Our relationship toolbox is nearly empty when we enter into matrimony. Some couples find ways to navigate the unchartered waters of their marriage. Others get caught up on an issue and get stuck. Still others run into something that one or both parties simply can’t live with, and the marriage is sunk. Most people go to marriage counselors when they are at their wits end. They want to know how they can tell whether the marriage is over or if there is hope for renewal. The truth is that no one can answer that question for you. Only the two of you can answer it. It takes time, focus and asking the right questions before you decide to get divorced. The first question is do you really want to divorce or do you want the marriage to improve? It’s important to know one from the other. An unsatisfying relationship is one thing, but a dead one is another. Investing in a marriage counselor that you two both like and feel comfortable with is important. Perhaps even try two counselors before ending it.  But know when it is no longer able to be revived.

Make sure you have a licensed, practicing therapist who has had experience with your specific issues. Also, make sure you have a rapport with this person, and your spouse does too. You really need to trust your therapist for the therapy to work. If you really loved this person and you were devoted to them and vice versa then you have to ask whether you gave it your all to make the marriage work. Keep in mind that therapy is not like plumbing. A therapist can’t simply come in and repair it. Therapy is lots of hard work with uncomfortable steps that both parties have to be willing to take in order to reconcile and get the marriage back on track again. Both parties need to be able to commit fully and put forth the proper effort and care for this to succeed. Consider what the stress level is in your relationship. Do they ever drive you to the point of exhaustion, a blow out or even a breakdown? Certain stressors can cause a marriage to fail like unemployment, bankruptcy, infertility, miscarriage and more. These stressors can weigh a marriage down so much that it can end up killing it. Counseling is the best way to overcome these traumas. Have you examined how you engage negativity in the relationship? Take a look at your own baggage and what negative cycles you incite or exacerbate. Look to other problems such as standards that are too high, someone else getting in the way, and if you still love them before you decide whether or not to break it off.  For more advice, read The Four Factors: Should You Stay, Go or Improve Your Relationship? by Ron Gentile.