How to Write a Great First Message


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.

Science Says What Kind of Men Women are Most Attracted to


Science Says What Kind of Men Women are Most Attracted to

Guys are traditionally the pursuers, and even though we live in an enlightened society most women still prefer it that way. But lots of guys wonder what kind of man women are attracted to, and how to bring the best qualities out in themselves. Women tend to vary greatly in tastes. Lucky for most poor dolts who have hardly a clue, science has stepped in to try and answer the dizzying, age-old question of what kind of guy women want. Here are some of the things science has uncovered. If you’re flying without your wingman, you may find yourself cruising over lonesomeville for quite some time. For one thing, women rate men more attractive in group photos rather than when by themselves, at least according to a study out of the University of San Diego. Therefore, it stands to reason you look better when someone’s there with you. Researchers say this is due to something called the “cheerleader effect.” People look more attractive with their faces together, since incongruities in any one person are sort of evened out by the whole group. Another thing, women like men who know how to work a room. If you are always with an entourage and you’re the life of the party, or at least she thinks you are, you look high status and someone fun to be around.

Are you a single dad? Be sure to take your baby out cruising. Just keep it during daytime hours. Not only will you get father of the year, you might score a few phone numbers. A study in France found that men who cooed, smiled at and talked to infants were 40% more likely to score a woman’s phone number than those who ignored a baby. Researchers say it shows a greater propensity for being a good dad, should the couple have offspring. Some guys shave every day. Others sport a righteous beard. But why not shave every ten days? According to Australian researchers, men who did so were seen as the most attractive. This layer of stubble is thought to project just the right level of masculinity. Here’s some simple advice. Get some nice wheels and you’ll turn heads. If you can’t afford it, borrow some. A British study found that the same dude in a Bentley Continental was found way more attractive than one in a Ford Fiesta, even with the same clothes and facial expressions. Status is the reason, and the projection of resources which he may be willing to share with a certain, special lady.

If you’re an animal lover, taking your dog for a walk may not just be a necessity, but a way to meet someone. A French study found that women were three times more likely to give up their digits to a man walking his dog versus one who approached alone. Dogs break the ice. They also project kindness, sensitivity and thoughtfulness, all qualities women find appealing. Got a little extra time? Why not volunteer? A Cornell study found that women who knew a man volunteered found him a better candidate for dating and a long-term relationship, due to the fact that he was more selfless and compassionate. If you really want to get a woman to fall for you, make her laugh. A University of New Mexico study found that those guys who could make a sharp witted quip and make a woman laugh were more likely to have short-term, uncommitted sex than their straight-laced counterparts. These quick bursts reveal creativity and intellect, two qualities women greatly desire.

Lastly, if you want to get more hits on your dating profile, include the words “creative,” “ambitious,” and “laugh.” Dating sight Zoosk did a survey and found profiles that had these words got 33% more messages. Include words like “read” or “book” or exercise words like jogging, lifting weights and the like also increased message frequency. Be sure to take it slow. Mention “drinks” or “dinner” too quickly and your response rate will plummet 35%. So this advice improves your hit rate. But what about quality control? Read, How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back by Henry Cloud, and you’ll have that covered too.

How to Find Him


How to Find Him

Are you tired of waiting around for prince charming? It makes a great story. But in reality, if you are just waiting for the right guy to find you, you will kiss a lot of frogs without finding any princes. Instead, it pays to be proactive with your love life, like so many other aspects of life, rather than just wait for whoever comes along. But how do you find him, the right guy? He may not be the one, if such a thing exists, but the one for you. Don’t just sit on your duff and wait for him to arrive. He may not. And when he does see you, he may not recognize your interest, or that you two could be the perfect item.

Here’s how to make things happen. The first step, develop a gaze that shows how attractive and mysterious you are. Don’t just make eye contact, give him a look that will make him whither in his shoes. He’ll either strike up the courage to approach you, get a wingman to accompany him for a little support, or he’ll walk away, in which case it’s time to move on to the next potential candidate. If you see a cute guy walking a dog, approach them. Play with and pet it. Show how much you like dogs and start a little conversation. It’s a great, easy icebreaker. If you are an animal lover you already have something in common. And owning a dog shows he’s affectionate, responsible, caring and loving; good relationship traits.

If there is a nice guy you’d like to get to know better, use a pickup line. If a man uses it, it’s trite, unimaginative and falls flat. If a woman uses it, it’s funny, cheeky and lets him know you are interested. If you are at a sports bar or venue and see a guy you are interested in, use the game as an icebreaker. Ask who’s winning. What team is he rooting for? Ask about the rules. These questions will make him feel masculine as he can enlighten you on the information he knows. It will get the conversation flowing. And you’ll be able to judge his interest in you quickly. If you are a fellow sports fan, it should be easy to get the small talk rolling.

Another great way to capture a man’s heart is to be the damsel in distress. Have a problem you want him to solve. This works well on someone you know or have had your eye on for some time. Ask him to fix something for you, be it the printer in the copy room, something at your desk, your car in the parking lot, or wherever or whatever needs fixing. If he isn’t handy ask for his advice on something. Then thank him for his help. Offer to help him with something. Better yet invite him to dinner or lunch, on you as a thank you. There are lots of subtle and fun ways to maneuver the right man into your life. For more advice read, Get the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love you Deserve! By Matthew Hussey.

Your Marriage isn’t Hopeless


Your Marriage isn’t Hopeless

Lots of marriages seem to peter out. The couple lets the spark die and can’t renew it. Infidelity creeps in because one or another’s needs aren’t being met, or because the couple can’t seem to get along anymore. Or there are those who simply run into a roadblock they can’t seem to overcome. Certain issues will always creep into a marriage and be hard to solve. Marriage actually seems to go through cycles, periods of bliss, followed by a rut or perhaps a contentious issue, then settled and blissful again. But when a married couple gets stuck in one of these periods and can’t seem to climb out of it, the relationship stagnates and both people drift apart. If you are in one of these situations, realize that your marriage isn’t hopeless.

If all of the important things are there, respect, trust and love, everything else can be fixed. You’ll have to invest a lot of time, patience and understanding to get through it. But if you can do that you can turn a marriage that has fallen flat into one that is vibrant and fulfilling. Follow these steps to renew your marriage. The first thing to do is to make a list of all the problems you are experiencing, the things you quarrel about. The marriage will be reborn once you have addressed these issues in a manner acceptable to both parties. Remember you are looking for the win-win, or at least a compromise you can both live with. If someone feels slighted it isn’t going to work.

When you try to force your partner to change they will resent it, become defensive and throw up walls instead of inviting you in. This will impede progress. Next, a very difficult step to get through, address the issues you are bringing to the marriage. What emotional baggage do you have and how does it express itself when you and your spouse interact over a certain contentious issue? How could you address the issue in a different way? For instance, if you are nagging, consider using humor to address the problem. Start a to-do list for chores instead of bringing the matter up time and again, being ignored and getting angry. Perhaps finding other ways to communicate will alleviate the problem such as text or email. Let your spouse know that you are changing your behavior and working on your issues to make the marriage better. They will likely respond by examining their own behavior and ways to make it more copasetic to the relationship.

Listen actively. Repeat back what you have heard your spouse say in your own words. Don’t invalidate their feelings, validate them. “Of course you would feel that way because (blank) happened.” Lots of fights occur through misunderstanding and the invalidation of the other’s feelings. Jettison all negative communication. Sarcasm, finger pointing, shaming, passive-aggression and more have no place in a marriage. They poison it until it is dead. The latest research has shown that marriages that last have five positive interactions for each negative one. Inject positive interactions into you marriage: a hug, holding hands, a kiss, seduction, a love note, a little gesture of appreciation, a “thank you” even if it was their chore anyway. Cherish one another and your relationship will blossom anew. For more advice read, Fighting For Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, and Susan L. Blumberg.

Asking out a Girl in Karate Class


Asking out a Girl in Karate Class

Do you take karate or some other marital arts class that’s co-ed? Is there a girl in that class that you have a crush on? It may feel awkward to try to hit on someone who can see you fall on the mat, have trouble mastering techniques, even a girl who is ahead of you or has a higher belt than you. But the truth is you can flirt with her, chat her up and even ask her out.  It doesn’t matter if she’s at a higher level than you. First, determine how long you’ve known this girl. What exactly is the situation? Do you know her outside of class or just in class? Have you known her long or have you just met her?

If you know her outside of class, find instances to chat with her. Talk about karate. Ask her questions like why is she interested in it? Has she been taking karate long and so on? Ask her the same questions if she is only in your class. If you have known her long, make sure you are not in the friend’s zone. Once a girl puts you in this place it can be very difficult, if not impossible to get out again. Show up early and warm up. See if she comes early too. If so, why not offer to warm up together? Make small talk. Ask her about herself. Stay late and work on you techniques or take some time to cool down. Ask her if she’d like to do the same.

There are lots of chances to get close to her. If you’ve noticed that she’s mastered a technique, tell her that you’ve been having some trouble with it and ask if she’d like to show you how to do it. Try to sidle up to her and be her partner when practicing techniques. Make little jokes while you practice together. Take karate seriously though. Stay focused. You don’t want her to think you are sacrificing karate, or only taking it to get close to her. Practicing karate together when you are just getting to know each other is great. You can break the ice more easily because you have some common ground to work with. You can also break the touch barrier more easily, in class during practice, and enter her personal space more easily, which if maneuvered correctly can be a great chance at flirting, or staving off the friend zone. If she’s a very serious student, flirt or joke with her lightly during class. If you go a little too hard she will be turned off by it. Instead, show that you have as much focus and drive as she does.

A little light flirting before or after class or when she is your partner is a great way to make your intentions known and feel her out for reciprocity. Keep it light and casual. If she’s behind you perhaps you can impress her with your superior karate skills. If she’s ahead of you however woo her in other ways. Show her your personality including how charming you are, your great sense of humor, that you don’t give up and other positive character traits. Show her that it doesn’t bother you that she’s great in karate. In fact, cheer her on. Make sure you don’t hang on too long. Ask her out, or for her number before you enter the friend’s zone. But feel her out for interest first. Don’t move forward if you haven’t a chance. Karate class will be awkward from then on otherwise. But if you have a chance, go for it. For more advice read, How to Connect With a Girl: Deepen the Interaction to Get Her Even More Interested by Jordan Amit.