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.

Good Relationships Lead to Personal Growth

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Good Relationships Lead to Personal Growth

Positive relationships are good for our health. That’s no surprise. We’ve been hearing that for a long time. Happily married people live longer, are healthier and wealthier. In fact, a person’s relationship is the single most important factor in determining mortality. Two researchers, Brooke C. Feeney of Carnegie Mellon University and Nancy L. Collins of the University of California, have discovered some ways that good relationships can also lead to personal growth. The two most important factors are helping use to cope with adversity and helping us to pursue our goals, and other opportunities that cause growth. Good, healthy, strong relationships help those that inhabit them reach their objectives and pursue their dreams. The first person we usually turn to for comfort, and perhaps seek advice from would be our spouse, or significant other. Feeney and Collins liken this process to a home knocked over by a violent storm. The next house erected in its place should be far sturdier. If one person is having a problem establishing themselves for instance their partner may help them to feel more confident. This confidence will help them interact with others, their social networks will become more vibrant and more opportunities will arrive.

Our partner can help us to see what our strengths are. They can help us relieve stress and put things in perspective. Our partner can also help us learn new skills that can help you survive and even thrive at work, school or one’s life passion. Those who are supportive can become a “launching function.” They help their partner pursue their goals. They show them the positive aspects, help them to see opportunities, prepare them to face new challenges, and help them to celebrate victory or to cope with defeat. Feeney and Collins found eight specific ways in which a supportive relationship helps.  Our emotional state improves. Acceptance of one’s self increases and resilience expands. We are better able to perceive and interpret events. Our supportive partners help motivate us toward goals, help us to cope, adapt to new situations and improve our psychological and immune functioning. Positive relationships steer us away from unhealthy lifestyles that may sap our strength, hurt our bodies or minds, not to mention our reputation and mood. Lastly, supportive relationships help people to learn how to trust, feel close to someone and feel loved, positive vibes that carry over in other types of relationships.

So how can you make your relationship more supportive? The best way to do that is to become more supportive yourself. Learn how to listen carefully, be able to accept and understand your partner’s perspective, control your emotions and provide the type of support that will help your partner, and make them feel good. Use your resources. These can be tangible resources like money to say buy your lover a new outfit for an interview. Or they can be intangible ones like compassion, patience and understanding, providing emotional support. Being able to understand your lover’s needs and meet them will motivate them to do the same for you. At the same time, you will want to make sure that you will be able to make your own needs known. Clear communication is pivotal. Reciprocate to show you support them and appreciate the support they give. Then a virtuous cycle can commence, where you both constantly initiate and receive support. Don’t overtax your lover however. If they have many demands at this time, you could be a catalyst in them spreading themselves too thin. You need someone you can rely on. But a strong social network to draw from is important too. To build a supportive relationship, you must first know how to effectively communicate. This is in many cases the hardest skill for couples to develop. If you and your partner need to work on this, pick up a copy of the book, Communication in a Relationship: Top tips on how to improve your communication skills to build a long lasting, loving relationship by Lyn Hunt.

Reasons Men end Relationships

BREAKING-UP

Reasons Men end Relationships

There are the normal reasons men end relationships such as his girlfriend is too clingy, a high maintenance drama queen, a baby, a cheater, a gold digger, too freaky to bring home to mom, always complaining, gossipy, or have nothing in common with. But there are little reasons too, that are often off of a woman’s radar that a man will end a relationship. Have you ever fought with your family or spoken to them in a harsh manner in front of him? This can be a deal breaker for men. If that’s just the way you talk in your family and you are serious about this guy, sit him down and explain it to him. Not all families, ethnicities and customs are the same. It can often be hard to understand as an outsider. But if you are clearly disrespecting your parents in front of him and you have no excuse for it, think about what it makes him think about you.

When all the photos you have on your Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites are all about partying your man notices, and he wonders. Just as if you have some idea that a man parties too much or might have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. Make sure to have photos of varying kinds. And go on dates with your special guy to the coffee house, museum, art gallery, park or some other romantic and cerebral venue. Guys can feel vulnerable if you talk about your ex too much. It makes him think they are the rebound guy or that that relationship meant more to you than the one you are in with him. Instead, proceed carefully and let these stories unfold over time. Keep the lines of communication open and make him comfortable enough to ask you anything. And expect him to return the favor. For more advice read, Why You’re Still Single: The 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid with Men by James Taylor.

Ways to Put your Finances Together

finances

Ways to Put your Finances Together

In the old days men generally took care of the finances, though in a few households the women took the money and paid the bills. Today, as partners, we are expected to each contribute our thoughts and feelings on the matter. People have different backgrounds and outlooks on how they deal with money. Some people realize that you only live once and money is to be enjoyed. Others understand that saving for the future and being frugal is paramount to success. Both outlooks are true. But it all depends on the kind of lifestyle you lead.

If a free spirit marries a skin-flint you’d better hold onto your hats. The arguments these two will have will be explosive. But talking about finances and ways to put them together, how to manage them, compromising, coming up with innovative strategies, and remembering shared goals are all a part of becoming life partners. It can still be difficult to navigate the uncharted waters of shared finances. There are lots of traps along that journey. But instead of falling for them take a look at these ways of putting your finances together. See if you can suggest one or two to your partner, move through the roughness and on to smooth sailing straight up ahead.

There is the equality approach. This is where both partners keep separate accounts but put money in for savings and the bills into one checking account. Both parties contribute an equal amount. Realize that a joint account means both people can put money in and take money out. There should be an explicit understanding of what that money is for and trust in one’s partner that they will handle their access to that account responsibly. If you aren’t getting married but cohabitating consider getting a cohabitation agreement to cover what may happen if you two break up. Further, separate leases could cause less grief should someone want to leave whilst both of you are on the lease.

When there are unequal incomes involved, a way of alleviating this problem is to allow both parties to contribute a percentage of their income, or what they can afford. Of course, if one person is a hedge fund manager and the other a kindergarten teacher and they live in a penthouse apartment, there’s no way the teacher could afford the rent. But who would want to give up that apartment? Instead, the educator can contribute what they would pay were s/he in a regular apartment. This gives the teacher their own independence. S/he is not reliant on the significant other for support. But it is also a sign of respect, in contributing his or her fair share. For more advice read, Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples by Matt Bell.

Actions that Mean He’s in Love with you

man-in-love

Actions that Mean He’s in Love with you

Some guys hold their heart on their sleeve. They are direct and speak their mind. You can tell when they are in love. Everyone in their life tells you. And it’s written all over their face. Other guys are an enigma. You never know what he’s thinking or feeling. He’s private, the strong silent type; a good type to have in your life. But he’s a little hard to read. So if you’re feeling it, how can you tell if he is? His behavior will show you. There are certain actions that mean he’s in love with you.

Take a look out for these to see if he’s swooning.  First, if he’s said those three little words believe him. Some women hear those words and still question. Relax. Men don’t use those words willy-nilly. Next, what is the PDA situation? Some guys don’t like to show affection in public. But even if he isn’t, if he hugs, kisses, puts his arm around you or holds your hand he’s into you. This is a protective move. It shows other males that you and he are an item. And it shows he’s proud to be with you. Does he hold you up when you need a little ego boost? Does he do things to encourage you? If you are down, does he try to cheer you up? He more than likes you, he’s way into you.

Is your guy very respectful? Every relationship needs respect. But if he goes out of his way to be considerate he’s totally in love with you. If you feel like you’re treated like a queen or a princess, enjoy it. What happens when you two fight? Does he fight fair? Is he willing to compromise? If so, he’s totally into you. If he wants to do right by you, and is willing to bend even if he’s usually a little stubborn, he loves you. If he crosses a line, or thinks he has does he apologize? If you don’t care about someone, you don’t apologize to them. In fact, it takes a big character and a lot of caring to apologize.

How often are you on his mind? Certainly don’t ask him. But if he posts things he came across that you would like on your Facebook page, or emails them to you, if he texts you all the time to see what’s up, how you are, to say good morning or good night, or to find out about big events in your life like a promotion or an important exam, he’s totally into you. Does he talk about plans for the future? Does he say we should do this or that? If he’s planning a future with you in it, he’s wild for you. What about his lifestyle? Has his bachelorhood given way to couplehood? If so, he’s in love with you. For more advice read, How to Make Someone Fall In Love With You by M. Farouk Radwan, MSc.