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Top 5 Mistakes Men Make in Dating — The Good Men Project

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Doctor NerdLove insists that before you can become good at dating, you have to start with the basics.

On Monday, we talked about how the key to learning any new skill is to deconstruct it. You want to break the skill – whether it’s playing guitar, learning a new language or even dating – into its core components.

It’s entirely too easy to get distracted by side issues; the would-be martial artist wants to skip straight past the basics to where he learns how to break boards and beat people up, the cooking newbie obsesses about the perfect knife or whether he needs a food processor or a sous-vide appliance while he still hasn’t mastered basic prep.

In dating, we are often distracted – focusing on the perfect approach and opening line or how to get a one-night stand, for example – when our time is better spent learning the central concepts. After all, you need to learn to crawl before you run.

One of the keys to deconstructing a skill is to find and focus on the areas that cause people to stumble and fail. After all, it doesn’t do any good to spend your time learning bad habits that you will only have to unlearn later on.

But sometimes those sticking points aren’t where you think they are.

Worth noting (since somebody will bring it up in the comments) is that the mistakes that hold you back aren’t about technique (leaning in when talking to people, too much physical contact) or planning (forgetting to check logistics). The biggest mistakes are the ones in your head. Before you even approach someone or sit down at your first date, these are the problems that make dating so much more difficult than it needs to be.

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5) Stop Overthinking Things

One of the perils of being a geek is that we live in our own heads. We’re clever and we know it… and this is often a problem. You see, when you’re clever and you know it, you’re more likely to actually make things more complicated then they truly are.

We tend to assume that things are always more than they seem whether it’s an SAT question – “That comparison of cow is to goat as BLANK is to BLANK can’t just be because they’re land mammals… maybe it’s because they’re both domesticated and give milk… what else gives milk that we domesticated? Camels? Sheep?”  – to dating.

We have a hard time assuming that perhaps the most obvious answer is the right answer because we grew up believing that the obvious answer was a trap of some kind.  Clearly it’s too obvious, therefore there has to be something we’re not seeing…

This is never more clear than when you see someone playing “Does she like me or not?” They start reading the tea leaves, examining a woman’s behavior as though it were the Zapruder film, looking for tiny clues that would give us insight into what she really means when she says she’s busy that weekend.

This causes many people no end of anxiety, especially those who are worried about being creepy by accident. They become so  caught up in trying to find even the most minute sign of discomfort that they end up being unable to relax and actually interact with her.

Same with knowing when and how to approach someone. The only real approach invitation one needs is a genuine smile, but many guys treat approaching a woman as though they were trying to make a carrier landing – look for hair flipping, the look-away-look back AND the head nod, now call the ball….

This can cause problems even on dates: what did it mean when she declined another drink? She paused a few seconds longer when she was talking about her hobbies… is she wishing she were somewhere else? With someone else? She keeps bringing up her ex – does she mean that she wishes were more like her ex? 

I’ve gotten letters from people who have asked women out on dates – dates that women said yes to – and want me to dissect everything she said or did because there has to be more to it than she thinks they’re fun and wants to go on a date with them.

As a general rule of thumb, people say what they mean. They’re not trying to hide their real feelings and you don’t have to be a master poker-player to find their tells. Unless they’re trying to usurp the throne of Westeros, people aren’t cloaking their true intentions in subterfuge and guile.

Yes, there are assholes out there. There can be times when social conditioning – especially on the part of women – means that they will try to be sparing of somebody’s feelings. But the vast majority of the time, the correct answer is the obvious answer.

 4) Stop Playing Games

This is one of my pet-peeves: people who think that the keys to dating are complicated mind-games and arbitrary rules. I split the blame between the pick-up industry (for men) and old-fashioned cultural bullshit like The Rules (for women) for perpetuating the idea that dating is more complicated than whether or not you like someone else and want to pursue a relationship with them.

The PUA industry, for example, gives the idea that women are hypergamous status-seekers who have pre-rejected men; men have to jump through hoops in order to prove that they are worth dating… and even then, women are always looking for reasons to trade in their current boyfriend for a newer, shinier model. Through social proof, compliance ladders, mind games, strategic negging1 to establish your status above hers, you can convince a woman that you’re not only the new shiny model but she should be seeking yourapproval.

Y’know.

Instead of treating her like a person and getting to know her.

Some schools within the industry take it to a darker, more psychotic place where men should be manipulative as possible, the better to keep her constantly insecure in the relationship and unsure of her standing; after all, if she’s never sure if she’s done something wrong, she’ll be that much more eager to please you. Keep her off-balance and you’ve got your own love slave.

Then there are other cultural ideas like the three days rule (popularized by Swingers): the idea that you shouldn’t call a girl for three days after you got her number for fear of appearing too eager.

The Rules plays its own counterpoint to the misogyny that’s all too present in PUA society; it deals in slut-shaming bullshit and old-fashioned ideals with rules like “Never call first and rarely return his calls”, “don’t see him more than once or twice a week” or “no sex before exclusivity”. After all, to be too accessible or to be willing to own your sexuality means that men won’t respect you, missy.

All of these games and arbitrary rules take getting to know someone and finding out whether you’d be interested in a relationship with them – whether sexual or romantic (or both!) – and turn it into a campaign of manipulativeness and dishonesty. It means that not only are you entering into this interaction in bad faith – after all, you’re not presenting your true self – but that you’re so insecure that you can’t allow yourself to be honest or vulnerable. Moreover, it implies that you see relationships as inherently antagonistic, where only the better games-player “wins”.

Small wonder you’re having dating problems if this is your attitude.

The best thing you can do when you’re interested in someone is to be your best, most authentic self, not what you think you need to be.

3) Take Responsibility

This is something I see far, far too often amongst men: the belief that they’re helpless victims in a cold universe; poor hapless players in a game where the deck is stacked against them. It’s not their fault; women are too bitchy or demanding or only date X guys 2 or some other reason why they should be absolved of responsibility for their lack of success. 

I get the appeal. I mean, shit, was one of those guys for an embarrassingly long time.

But it’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s a way of deflecting the truth and protecting yourself from the fact that you are the sum total of all of your choices in life, both good and bad. No matter how much you wish you could blame it on something, anything else.

It’s great when you can blame everything on someone else; women only like assholes, women are crazy, they can’t appreciate nice guys like you, it’s not your fault. But at the end of the day, the thing that every rejection, breakup and heartbreak has in common… is you.

This doesn’t mean that you’re just some loser or creep who deserves to be alone, but it does mean that you need to examine what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s a case of things you’re doing wrong – you’re coming across as too needy or being too sexual too quickly. Sometimes it’s a matter of the choices you make; you may be pursuing women that you’re not suited for or who aren’t suited for you. Sometimes it’s a matter of lifestyle or even a matter of your personality. At which point you have a choice: do you continue to just wail about the unfairness of life… or do you accept that you and you alone are responsible for your life and take control in order to make things better? 

Are you going just suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – to quote the Bard3 – take up arms against a sea of unending troubles and by opposing, end them?

Sure, sometimes shit happens that’s out of your control – you get laid off from your job, your girlfriend suddenly dumps you out of the blue because she’s decided to pursue her dream of living in Williamsburg and starting a throat-singing folk band, a meteor falls out of the sky and destroys your house.

That sucks. But you can either whine or you can do something about it.

If you don’t take responsibility for your life, you can’t control it. You can’t blame all of your failures on God, the Universe and everything and still take credit for your successes.

So you can accept responsibility for your failures in your dating life or you can never get better. Your choice.

2) Set Firm Boundaries

A lot of socially inexperienced guys, especially those who have low self-esteem, have a hard time setting boundaries. These are the people who let others walk all over them, who constantly put other people’s needs ahead of their own, who are always balls-deep in drama.

It can be hard to feel as though you deserve to be respected, to be willing to take a stand and say “No, this isnot my responsibility” when others try to shift it onto you. When you don’t feel as though you have anything to offer, or that you don’t have a right to refuse others, it’s difficult to draw a hard line and say “This far, no farther”.

Being overly obliging is actually an incredibly common way people try to get others to like them. In theory, it seems obvious: do nice things for people and they’ll appreciate you. In practice, it’s quite the opposite; when you don’t respect yourself enough to say “no”, then others won’t respect you. After all, you’re telling themthat you have nothing else to offer.

Not having strong boundaries leaves you vulnerable to manipulative assholes, passive-aggressive victims and emotionally abusive shitbags.

I should know. My weak boundaries left me stuck in an emotionally abusive and life-draining relationship for years. Being able to stand up for yourself and demand that people respect your limits and wishes speaks to confidence and, critically, will help ensure that you aren’t being pathetically needy in an attempt to get people to like you.

1) Stop Thinking It’s All About You.

Here’s what a lot of people don’t realize: you’re not the only one freaking out about dating. Everybody else is too.

A date isn’t a competition or an audition for a role, it’s a way of getting to know somebody. You’re not trying to prove something or meet some arbitrary and random standard to prove yourself worthy of a second date, of sex, of a relationship; you’re trying to form a connection with another person.

Every single date you’ve ever gone on, you’ve been sitting across (or next to) someone who is just as nervousand just as anxiety-ridden as you are. They’re sitting there wondering what you’re thinking, cringing inside as they made a joke they’re convinced just fell flat, worrying that they’ve got something between their teeth, wondering what that pause in your story meant, praying that their hair looks ok, that their dress doesn’t look as bad on them as they imagine it does and that you’re not going to think that they’re some crazy, creepy loser.

Just like you are.

You know why?

Because your date wants everything to go well just as badly as you do.

People don’t go on dates with folks they don’t like4, they go out with people they like and want to get to know.

If she said “yes” when you asked her out, you’re half-way there! You already know that she’s interested in you and wants to get to know you better. All you have to do is relax and let her know you are the cool, funny, charming person she’s been hoping to meet.

When you’re so caught up in your own anxieties and worries that you think that every date is a referendum on you as a person, it’s going to come out in your behavior, in your body language and in the way you speak. You need to be willing to realize that she’s right there with you. She’s cheering you on. She wants to like you and she wants you to like her, too.

Take a deep breath. Accept that you’re nervous and that’s ok. So’s she. Accept that things can get awkward.

Accept that she wants to be there.

Stop making the mistake that you’re the only one who’s freaking out inside.

You’re both hoping for the same thing.

 

 

Originally appeared at Paging Dr. NerdLove

 

Photo: Flickr/andronicusmax


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Need dating advice: life in single’s ville » The Zingularity



There’s a nice woman I casually dated a few times last year, we’ll call her Jill. The relationship didn’t go anywhere, not much spark, but she’s a very sweet intelligent and fun person and we’ve stayed friends. But another reason it didn’t go anywhere is she’s been hung up bad on another man for a couple of years, let’s call him Jack. This particular Jack is married, and he kept stringing Jill along telling her he couldn’t stand his wife and was going to get a divorce. Then he moved from Austin to Houston for work reasons, wife in tow. Jack finally did get a divorce, but he didn’t follow through on any plans with Jill, much to her heartbreak.

Jack’s is now dating another woman, but he still comes to Austin every few months and, when he does, sometimes he calls Jill. Often from a sixth street bar late at night. They crash together, Jill rekindles her hope this time, this night, all will be different and Jack will fall madly in love with her. Of course that never happens.

Some of Jill’s coworkers had a Memorial Day Weekend pool party and cookout this evening, she asked me if I would go with her as a friend so that she wouldn’t have to go alone. I was happy to do it. She texted me when to pick her up, where the party would be, etc., around noon this morning. I want to help her feel good so I dressed up nice and metro, new haircut, new pants because I’m now down to a svelte 30 inch waist! I text Jill I’m on my way right before 6 PM, arrive at her house, ring the doorbell and …. nothing. I called her cell but it rang twice and then went to voice mail.

I was worried I might have gotten my signals crossed, so after waiting fifteen minutes loitering at the doorstep like a thief casing a house, I went to the private home where the party was and told them I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to meet her there or not. They were totally cool, invited me in, I waited for a bit. But no Jill. I texted her several times and tried to call letting her know where I was, no responses. Eventually it felt awkward enough that I politely thanked them and left.

Finally, just before 9 PM, two and half hours after I was supposed to pick her up. I get a brief text saying Jack flew in unexpectedly and “he doesn’t feel like going to the party so we’re just gonna stay in.” That’s it. Now you guys and galls tell me, I understand Jill and I are friends, I understand matters of the heart take precedence, and she honestly and earnestly told me about the weird hold this guy has over her from the moment we first we went out.

But does that justify leaving me hanging like that? It was her idea to call me and ask me to go with her, not mine. Had she told me right up until this evening that her plans had changed, or even standing at the door when I went to pick her up, I would have been completely sympathetic. But she didn’t. I didn’t even rate a ten second text or phone call telling me not to show up. That’s dating life folks, doesn’t matter if you’re middle aged or in Middle School. People will use you, disregard you, keep you as a back up without telling you, and even often profess how special you are and what  a unique connection they have with you while they’re doing all that.

And lest anyone thing I’m singling out flaky women. When I go out with a new girl there are a lot of things I have to worry about, they might be scammers, suffering from borderline personality or extreme depression, almost all of them have psycho ex boyfriends stalking them, there may be a serious substance abuse issue, they might even be professional hustlers. But one of the things I don’t give a second though to is ending up tied in the basement being sodomized and strangled by a psycho serial killer. So don’t get the idea I think women are the sole problem here…

Nevertheless, this left me feeling pretty unimportant, worthless, like I wasn’t even a good enough friend to rate simple basic decency





Dear Men Who Write Relationship Advice to Women: Stop, now.

Dear Men Who Write Relationship Advice to Women: Stop, now.
Photo: StockImages

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By Sylvia Snowden

Dear men who write relationship advice to women:  Please. Stop. NOW. 

It’s not that I mind reading what you have to say.  In fact, many of your columns are quite entertaining; a few of them are even insightful.  However, your writing raises a couple of major issues far more important than my amusement, and because of those issues, you should, well, quit.

Firstly, you are not now, nor will you ever be a woman.  And I don’t care how close you are with your mother, how many sisters you have, how many girl cousins there are on your father’s side or how many chicks you grew up with. You have absolutely no idea what it means to be a woman; you can’t fathom what we go through.    

You'll never know what it is to be a woman, notes SBC Correspondent Sylvia Snowden. Photo: Ambro. Posed by professional models.

You’ll never know what it is to be a woman, notes SBC Correspondent Sylvia Snowden. Photo: Ambro. Posed by professional models.

You don’t know what it’s like to think that your value as a person depends on how desirable you are to men.  Your critical feedback of how women behave, talk, dress and, of course, look reinforces the idea that we aren’t desirable and therefore, lack value. 

And women that correlate how amazing they are to how many men want to be with them also have deep, long-term consequences.  Did you know that according to the DOVE Real beauty project, 6 out of 10 girls will stop doing some activity they love because they’re afraid it makes them look unattractive?  That’s right. 

They will hear critiques of their appearance and disposition in the hallways and on the playgrounds and then come home and hear you direct those same sorts of remarks towards their mothers, aunts and older sisters and then will decide they must change who they are. 

I work with ‘tween and teenage girls.  It is paramount to me that they feel empowered and that their sense of self-worth comes from their character and abilities; not from how attractive boys perceive them to be.  Unless and until you start to tell men to evaluate things like character when looking for a partner, you should really slow down with your critiques.  And that leads me to my next point.

Instead of giving relationship advice to women, you need to be advising men.  

I have never before seen grown men that don’t want to ask women out on dates, don’t open doors or pull out chairs while on dates and expect women to pick up the tab.  Help them. These men need you; I mean, really need you, to show them the way.  

Teach them the finesse and charm necessary to attract and keep an amazing woman because at this rate, we’ll all remain single!  It won’t just be a win for them, it will be a come up for you, too.  Think about it; pandering unproductive and unsolicited relationship advice to women may or may not get you a radio, TV spots and a book deal, but teaching the guy next door how to make a grade A, certified #baddie fall madly in love with him = $$$.

Thanks and please STOP.

Sincerely,

Sylvia

Sylvia Snowden

Sylvia Snowden



6 Mistakes Married Women Make That Lead To Divorce – YourTango

marriage: mistakes women make that lead to divorce
Don’t be a statistic! Divorce is avoidable with these tips.

After spending years working with couples and individuals who have been through a breakup or divorce, it seems that there are problems that keep coming up over and over again. Wouldn’t it be good to know where to really concentrate our efforts so we can give our marriages the best chance at survival?

Here are six marriage mistakes that can easily lead to divorce:

More from YourTango: Take Our ‘Dating In The Digital Age’ Survey & Enter To Win $100!

1. You talk to friends about the rotten thing you think your husband did to you. Research suggests that friends are often more upset when they think their bestie is being mistreated than when they’re experiencing the same mistreatment themselves. Besides, most of us don’t really understand how our conditioning and wiring as women differs from our husbands’ conditioning and wiring as men. That’s why conversations about men with female friends often lead to husband-bashing that helps nobody. The solution is to limit talking about your marital problems to just two people: For example, a trusted friend along with a coach or therapist. (See what a coach at The Relationship Place has to offer here.)

More from YourTango: Is It True For Me? 3 Relationship Myths

2. You think that talking about these problems with your husband is the answer. All too often, women think that talking to our husbands is the way to make them see how their behavior affects us. If the behavior doesn’t change when we first bring it up, we want to talk more, longer, or louder because we think maybe they didn’t get it the first time. One of the biggest pet peeves for men is that feeling of being nagged or badgered, especially if they don’t know what the problem really is. Also, the rules of polite, kind, nice conversation that women try to follow often come off as indirect, manipulative and mysterious to men. Women often conclude that their husbands don’t care because they haven’t changed after a particular conversation. The solution: learn communication skills designed specifically to talk with men and spend more time doing fun activities. Keep reading…

More advice about avoiding divorce from YourTango:



Lisa Copeland: 8 Dating Turnoffs Men Over 50 Should Stop Doing

Here’s a heads up for the post 50 single men out there… We ladies are so excited when you choose us as the “girl” you want to meet. Hours before our date with you, we are worrying whether you’ll like us. Our bedroom floor is littered with clothes as we look for just the perfect outfit to impress you. We do our best to look good, hoping the two of us click. Then the date happens and sometimes we’re bewildered by who we meet.

1. Gentlemen, please dress like you care about yourself. You don’t have to wear a suit to impress us but it would be nice if you didn’t wear your baggiest jeans and a stained shirt. You may be losing weight but there are a zillion discount stores out there that will gladly sell you a nice pair of jeans and a polo style shirt for less than $50. It’s worth the investment if you want to get a second date with us.

2. Women are really turned off and have no interest in kissing your bad teeth or skimming their lips over visible skin tags on your neck. Aging takes its toll on all of us physically, but don’t let that be an excuse for being sloppy. You may be the greatest guy on the planet with the most sensual lips but if your teeth are missing or your skin has developed tags, then I guarantee you’re getting passed over for an issue that can be easily fixed with a quick visit to your doctor or dentist.

3. Please choose a picture that looks like you for your online dating profile. A friend recently had a date with a man who was 100 pounds heavier than his online picture revealed. She got to the restaurant and was unable to identify her date. She resorted to calling him, figuring the guy who picked his phone up was her date. Show us who you really are. Doing a bait and switch with your pictures, hoping we’ll like you in person only makes us wonder what else you’re hiding.

4. Please don’t start our date by telling us gross stories like your dog has fleas, especially if we’ve hugged you. A client of mine actually had this happen. There’s no way we want to expose ourselves to situations that might be contagious. If anything, we’ll want to leave so we can go home and fumigate our clothes. Yuck!

5. If you ask us out for a first date, please pay. We’re happy to share the bill with you at a later date but whoever does the asking should be the one pulling their wallet out. Please don’t ask us out if you can’t even afford a cup of coffee. Get your financial situation straightened out before dating.

6. We know if you like us, you want to impress us with all you do and have. You drone on and on about all the great things in your life, even showing us pictures of your house, your car, your landscaping and your dog. We want to get to know you, but a one-way monologue is boring. We were taught as little girls to make you feel good so we listen. Most of us are not sure where to interject without appearing rude. It would be so helpful if you asked us questions too. Dialogue is much more fun!

7. Men, as you’ve aged you’ve become far more passionate in your political views. Many a woman has been forced to listen to you pontificate about the world and how you feel it should be run. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your views. Just don’t lecture us for an hour and then expect us to go out with you again. After 10 minutes, you’ve totally turned us off.

8. Lastly, please don’t stick your tongue down our throats at the end of a first date when you like us. A gentle kiss feels so much nicer. Women are far more into romantic love and a slow gentle kiss will make us want you more. The tongue thrust makes us think you’re at best overly aggressive and at worst a creep.

Okay, over 50′s men out there, this was tough on you. My next article will be the biggest things women do to turn you off. If fact, feel free to make suggestions for what I should include in the comments.

In the meantime, if you really want to impress a woman consider keeping these eight turnoffs out of your dating repertoire. You’ll have far better luck finding the woman of your dreams when you do.

Find out more about Lisa Copeland at www.FindAQualityMan.com.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

  • New Blood At The Party

    Sometimes it feels like the foundation of your social life is so strong that you no longer find the opportunity to meet new and exciting people. Throw a barbecue or party in which guests bring a friend that no one in the group knows. Alternatively, tag along with a friend the next time their office has a company picnic or function — this is a great way to meet somebody who you know is responsible enough to hold down a career and who you can ‘check out’ with an acquainted friend before you agree to a date.

  • Break The Gender Divide

    There’s no longer a stigma about a woman learning to golf or a man taking a Pilates class, though such activities are still gender lopsided enough one way or the other to open up the dating options for the minority sex. In time you’ll be able to go to a local public course and complete someone else’s foursome, or cap off an exercise class by going for coffee with some of your fellow students — both of which will give you the opportunity to meet a host of new people (most likely of the opposite sex). Just make sure you’re doing something you want to do — it would be a shame to begin a relationship under false pretenses.

  • Volunteer

    Organizations such as “Habitat For Humanity” allow you to come into contact with people of all ages and from all walks of life, all of whom have strong, respectable values. And it’s not just a great chance to meet a prospective date — volunteering attracts interesting, good-natured people who themselves are excited to meet new faces and make friends.

  • Join A Club

    Book clubs are great places to meet well-read, like-minded adults — you can usually find one by calling your local library. Similarly, wine clubs, outdoors clubs and gardening clubs are good options as well depending on your interests. Joining a club allows you to grow as an individual and sets up the opportunity for you to meet someone who shares a common interest.

  • Go Online

    Singles over 50 are flocking to the online dating world more than any other demographic. It would be a shame to let 20th century prejudices about online dating spoil the opportunities that could await you with a membership. The perception that dating sites attract eccentrics or shut-ins is a dying one, but if you need convincing, just see for yourself the array of adults turning to sites like “Match” and “eHarmony” to help them begin meaningful relationships with interesting people. Here are the top five most popular dating sites for Post50s.



Follow Lisa Copeland on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/Over50DateCoach



Women who have resisted the urge to cheat and how – She Knows


At some point in their lives, women are going to be faced with the opportunity to cheat on their spouse. We asked real women to share how they were able to overcome this powerful urge and stay faithful to the one they married.


Studies show that about 50 percent of married women will, at some point in time, cheat on their husbands. Women cheat for various reasons — most common being that they are bored with their routine of life. Week after week women grocery shop, take care of children, cook, clean and work. If someone sexy comes along and pays them a little extra attention, it doesn’t always take much swaying. We asked real women who have had the chance to cheat to share how they resisted the urge and stayed faithful. Here’s what they had to say:

Mary, married 10 years, shares…

“I have had opportunities to cheat on my husband of 10 years, repeatedly, with both men and women. Though coming very close on a couple of occasions, I resisted, citing the guilt for what I was about to do. I still cared for my husband, but was not in love with him anymore. I knew there was something lacking in my marriage; we fought a lot, did nothing together and were basically roommates. After years of this, I finally had the guts to confront him about it again (I had tried in the past, but it was met with a cold response and counseling was out of the question, according to him). He listened this time (mostly because my bags were packed), and we have been going to counseling once a week for the past few months. I am glad I never made the mistake of an affair, because I know that there would be a slim chance of our marriage coming back from that. Our marriage is still not perfect, and I am still debating if I am in love with him or not, but at least we are giving it one last try.”

Sheridan, single and refusing to date a married man, shares…

“I’m a single parent raising two kids on my own in a foreign country. That being said, I often travel to Paris, France for work related reasons. I don’t know if it is the croissants or the cheese in France, but French men in particular love to cheat — especially on their wives! Really — it is pathetic at times, but it is true. I have on many, many occasions said no to cheating… as a woman I have self-respect for myself.”

Kathy, married 32 years, shares…

“I work full-time out of the home and have had many chances to cheat on my husband. In the workplace, it’s easy to form relationships with men since quite frankly I see my male coworkers more often than my husband. Though the urge has been there, I’ve always been able to resist it because I know I would feel guilty for life. My husband and I are not perfect, but problems will never be solved by one of us cheating. I lesson the urge by not going to lunch or spending one-on-one time with male coworkers.”


Internationally-renowned relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Shapiro Barash speaks on marriage, infidelity and dishonesty. Here are her tips for avoiding infidelity:

  • Ask yourself what is missing in this relationship and then communicate with your partner about this.
  • Once you realize what is missing, make an earnest attempt to put this back into the equation.
  • Make sure that in your busy schedule you put aside time for the couple, including date night.
  • Work on yourself — are you really stretching in terms of your own needs, is your life in order and do you have an inner peace?
  • Do not allow upsets in other areas of your life to color the way you treat your partner.
  • Be conscious of how affairs begin and how much temptation exists out there.

Tell us

Have you ever been tempted to cheat? How and why did you resist the urge? Share in the comments below!

More on cheating

10 Signs he’s cheating on you
Why cheating is never a good idea
Sex frequency and the desire to cheat



On Cougar Relationships, A Toddler Who Hides Things

Dr. Fran Walfish Answers Your Questions

Q:  Dear Dr. Fran, I am a successful 47-year-old entertainment attorney.   A few months ago, I met and began dating a much younger 32-year-old guy. I am falling in love with him.  In your opinion is it possible for cougar relationships to work out? Why or why not?          -Brigette R.

A:  Dear Brigette, we live in America. The divorce rate in the U.S. is now 50 percent. It is closer to 63 percent in Los Angeles (home to Hollywood and entertainment). This means that at least half of traditional marriages with same-age partners or older man with younger woman will fail.

A parallel can be drawn in cougar relationships. Yes, I think it is absolutely possible for some cougar relationships to work. It takes two willing partners who have emotional maturity to give and take successfully in a relationship.

There are unique issues that may apply to cougar relationships. For instance, if the man wants children and his lady is above child-bearing years that could be a deal-breaker.

Some women are drawn to younger men to satisfy a high sexual drive; to feel desired and lusted after;  and as a resistance to aging. (Men are attracted to younger women as resistance to their mortality.)

These women want to remain young and be with a guy who can keep up with their energy and libido (sexual drive).

My best advice to older women who want to pursue a relationship with a much younger man is to first take a painful honest look within. Ask yourself why you want to be a with a younger man. Self-awareness is key.

Then, face the facts. Age is a factor in this equation. If the woman is more than five years older than her younger man he may want to be with her for her money, status, power, or unresolved issues with his own mother.

On the other hand, many women look fabulous throughout middle age. Today’s 40s and 50s are yesterdays 30s and 40s.

Be realistic. Go in with your eyes wide open. You can’t be let down with too deep a disappointment if you are realistic from the start.

Q:  Dear Dr. Fran, how do I stop my 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter from hiding things? Over the past year she’s taken an interest in various small objects, some more significant than others; and hides them throughout the house. Anything from kitchen utensils and tools to keys and most recently medication bottles. When asked where these things are, she says she doesn’t know.  My daughter is intelligent; so I’m sure she knows exactly what she’s doing and why.  However, I’m also sure she doesn’t fully understand the consequences.  Any tips on curbing this behavior to stop the sneakiness?             -Kristy B.

A:  Dear Kristy, playing hide and seek is age-appropriate and fun for your 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter. “Sneakiness” is not. You say “she knows exactly what she’s doing and why.” I assume you mean attention-seeking.

My first  important suggestion … Put all medication bottles, keys, and other dangerous and necessary items out of her reach. Safety is first.

Then, tell your little girl that when there are two people playing it has to be fun for both people. It’s not fun for Mommy when you hide Mommy’s things so it’s not a game. But, it is fun when we play hide & seek in our backyard (only in the enclosed section, so she doesn’t run out of the gated space).

Take her outside into your enclosed backyard and take turns hiding. Be sure when it’s your turn to not hide for long before popping out from behind the bushes and saying, “Here I am!”  I want her to learn a new shorter time span in which hiding is acceptable.

Also, create a mini-behavioral approach.  Do your best not to make a big deal when she next hides something. If she she gets a rise out of you it reinforces her negative behavior.  So smile positively and say, “Show Mommy how you can give back Mommy’s keys now so I can give you a sticker.”  If she drags her heels and doesn’t return your keys immediately then she gets no sticker.

If her sneaky behavior persists you may want to consult your pediatrician to refer you to a child development/behavior specialist.   This could be a sign of anger in your little girl. Good luck!

Dr. Fran Walfish–Beverly Hills psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent at www.DrFranWalfish.-com. Send questions to franwalfish-@gmail.com.

Related Stories:



Emma Johnson: Dating As a Single Mom Is the Same as Dating as a …

Sunday morning I had brunch with my brother Josh and sister-in-law Susan. They’re in their early 30s, don’t have kids, stay out late, and sleep in on weekends. In other words: They’re normal. Susan grilled me about my date from the night before while my little brother pretended he’d lost his hearing.

“We went for Ethiopian food in the Village and then he drove me home,” I said.

“Why didn’t you invite him up?” Susan asked.

“Are you crazy? The kids and the babysitter were there.”

“So what, he got to second base in the car and then you were home by midnight?”

“Basically, yes!”

“Oh my God. That is so funny. And that’s so early!”

I felt a little defensive about my single mommy lifestyle. Because, really, what can you do? But then I realized that dating as a single parent is kind of horrible and awesome in the same way that being a teenager is horrible and awesome. In fact, while necking in his four-door sedan (car seats in back) my single-dad love interest and I were laughing about all the ways that dating as a parent is the same as dating in high school: It can be tricky to find alone time, everyone’s finances are limited and you often have to answer to the scrutiny of parental figures. After all, had I ushered my date upstairs Saturday, I’d have had to face Karen, our beloved long-time babysitter who serves as a surrogate grandmother to my kids and me. What would she think?

My friend Sarah is a professional single mom whose ex lives out-of-state — drastically limiting her child-free hours, and forcing her to turn to babysitting from her mother in order to get laid. Tapping her inner teenager, Sarah always lies to her mom about her whereabouts when she goes out with men, lest she get “the third degree about whether he’d make a good father.”

“I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want to deal with the judgement,” Sarah told me. And so she obeys her mom’s rules-or else she pays the price. “I told one guy I went out with that we’d be skipping dinner and going straight to sex because I had to be home by 11:30,” she said. In my case, I was acutely aware that every minute spent making out in that car also came at a price — the cold, hard hourly rate paid to Karen.

The upside of all this finagling and sneaking and financing is that it collectively mounts the lusty, torturous tension lacking in readily available sex. Like, for example, in marriage. In other words, sex as a single mom can be unbelievably hot. Which was probably not the case when we were in high school.

But Sarah and I agreed that sex isn’t the only part of dating that makes us feel like we’re in 10th grade again. I nearly didn’t publish this post. I mean, what if my date reads it and feels betrayed or embarrassed and doesn’t call me again? I mean, OMG, I would totally DIE, cuz I like totally like him! But like, would it be my fault? I mean, he knows I blog about my life or whatever, so, like, whatever!?

This post originally appeared at WealthySingleMommy.com.


Follow Emma Johnson on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/WealthSingleMom



Margaret Paul, Ph.D.: Why Do I Keep Attracting Unavailable People?

I hear it over and over: “Are there any available men?” “Why are all the women I attract unavailable?”

Laura asked me the following:

I find that I attract men who are unavailable. I meet nice men who are fun to be around, but when it comes to becoming serious they always say, “I’m not ready right now.” What is it within me or that I need to seek out within myself to find out why I attract men who act like they want a relationship, but always say they are not ready? Could you give me insight on what I need to do to attract a loving mate and not unavailable men?

There are two issues that often contribute to this situation.

1. Often, when a person consistently attracts unavailable people, it is because there is some unconscious fear of rejection and/or fear of engulfment that may actually be causing you to be unavailable — even though you believe you are available.

Since people attract each other at their common level of woundedness or their common level of health, an unavailable person’s fear of commitment likely mirrors your fear of commitment. If you are a person who keeps meeting unavailable people, you might want to honestly look within to see if your fears of rejection or fears of engulfment (losing the other or losing yourself) may be causing you to be unavailable.

It’s easy to believe you are open and available, and that others are unavailable, but this is often not the case at all. If you are afraid of commitment, then it might unconsciously feel safe to you to be in a relationship with someone who you know is unavailable. Often, people who fear commitment — due to their fear of rejection/engulfment — are attracted to married people. Being in a relationship with an unavailable married person might actually feel safe to them!

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who didn’t want to commit, and then you broke up with him or her because of it, only to hear that he or she got married not long after your breakup? If so, it is easy to see that something else was going on there. What was going on may have to do with the second issue.

2. The second issue is that you may be abandoning yourself when you get into a relationship. If, when you really like someone, you make the other responsible for your feelings of lovability, security and worth, then the other’s fear of engulfment and resulting resistance might get triggered.

Self-abandonment is a key issue in creating relationship problems. If you are abandoning yourself by not taking responsibility for your own feelings of safety and self-worth, and you then make the other responsible for making you feel okay, he or she will likely experience you as needy — and this might scare them. Self-abandonment becomes a pull on the other person to make you okay, and many people get scared when they feel pulled on. Their fear of losing themselves and being controlled by your neediness might become a big issue. They might go into major resistance to being open with you.

Often, a person with a fear of rejection attracts a person with a fear of engulfment. If you have a fear of rejection — because of rejecting and abandoning yourself — then you may try to control in order to not be rejected when you are in a relationship. Your controlling behavior may trigger the other’s fear of engulfment — because he or she doesn’t know how to not abandon themselves when being pulled at and demanded of. Because they have never learned how to take responsibility for themselves and their own feelings, and they may feel responsible for your feelings, they do the only thing they know to feel safe — withdraw and resist.

If you really want a relationship and you keep attracting unavailable people, then you need to do your own inner work to heal your fear of rejection and/or your fear of engulfment.

The Inner Bonding process is a powerful process for healing these fears. I have worked with thousands of clients who met their partner and got married after doing their Inner Bonding work and healing their fears.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a relationship expert, best-selling author, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah. To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, “The Intimate Relationship Toolbox” – the first two weeks are free! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Connect with Margaret on Facebook: Inner Bonding, and Facebook: SelfQuest.

For more by Margaret Paul, Ph.D., click here.

For more on relationships, click here.


Follow Margaret Paul, Ph.D. on Twitter:

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The Sexy Feminist: At Least *I* Have a Boyfriend

No, no, no, no, no! Many of you, and especially Moxie, are missing the point. People arent trying to discredit you because you are a woman, or to try shame you. Its because you market yourself as an expert on something you have never done. You are 44 years old, have probably been dating (or trying to date) for a good 30 years or so, and in that entire time, you have never once been married, or to put it a different way, you have never achieved the ultimate end goal of a relationship. People find out about that and wonder why they should listen to you. I mean, you can go out, read a TON of books on how to fly a plane, but I dont think anybody would want that guy flying them to Europe unless he has actually flown a plane before, even if he is more knowledgeable on the subject than 90% of the pilots out there. Its the same thing. You do know a lot about dating, and myself and most of your readers respect your opinion. However, for whatever reason, the ultimate goal of dating eludes you, even after all this time. If your blog was only about sex or about dating around but not about relationships, I dont think youd be getting at much flack for this. You may be the queen of common sense and critical thinking, but in the end, it still hasnt gotten you a ring. This has nothing to do with you being a woman. If you had the same experiences and were doing all the things you are now, but were a man instead of a woman, I would still wonder the same question about you. Its not that anyone consider[s] a womans ideas and opinions invalid unless she has a man by her side to validate them, its that you come out and try to tell people how to do something you have never done. In your line of work, a man is more than validation; its proof that what you say actually works and that people should listen to you. Fotografia . Once again, people would be asking the same thing if you were a man. It has nothing to do with you talking about your relationship[s]. People expect reputable doctors to have an M.D., they expect lawyers to have passed the bar, and they expect relationship experts to be married or at least be in (or have been in) a relationship (either a lot and/or have been in one recently). Its just how it is like a credential.



Monthly Archives: May 2013

Top 5 Mistakes Men Make in Dating — The Good Men Project

Doctor NerdLove insists that before you can become good at dating, you have to start with the basics. On Monday, we talked about how the key to learning any new skill is to deconstruct it. You want to break the skill – whether it’s playing guitar, learning a new language or even dating – into its … Continue reading

Need dating advice: life in single’s ville » The Zingularity

There’s a nice woman I casually dated a few times last year, we’ll call her Jill. The relationship didn’t go anywhere, not much spark, but she’s a very sweet intelligent and fun person and we’ve stayed friends. But another reason it didn’t go anywhere is she’s been hung up bad on another … Continue reading

Dear Men Who Write Relationship Advice to Women: Stop, now.

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6 Mistakes Married Women Make That Lead To Divorce – YourTango

Don’t be a statistic! Divorce is avoidable with these tips. After spending years working with couples and individuals who have been through a breakup or divorce, it seems that there are problems that keep coming up over and over again. Wouldn’t it be good to know where to really concentrate our efforts so we can … Continue reading

Lisa Copeland: 8 Dating Turnoffs Men Over 50 Should Stop Doing

Here’s a heads up for the post 50 single men out there… We ladies are so excited when you choose us as the “girl” you want to meet. Hours before our date with you, we are worrying whether you’ll like us. Our bedroom floor is littered with clothes as we look for just the perfect … Continue reading

Women who have resisted the urge to cheat and how – She Knows

At some point in their lives, women are going to be faced with the opportunity to cheat on their spouse. We asked real women to share how they were able to overcome this powerful urge and stay faithful to the one they married. Studies … Continue reading

On Cougar Relationships, A Toddler Who Hides Things

Dr. Fran Walfish Answers Your Questions Q:  Dear Dr. Fran, I am a successful 47-year-old entertainment attorney.   A few months ago, I met and began dating a much younger 32-year-old guy. I am falling in love with him.  In your opinion is it possible for cougar relationships to work out? Why or why not? … Continue reading

Emma Johnson: Dating As a Single Mom Is the Same as Dating as a …

Sunday morning I had brunch with my brother Josh and sister-in-law Susan. They’re in their early 30s, don’t have kids, stay out late, and sleep in on weekends. In other words: They’re normal. Susan grilled me about my date from the night before while my little brother pretended he’d lost his hearing. “We went for … Continue reading

Margaret Paul, Ph.D.: Why Do I Keep Attracting Unavailable People?

I hear it over and over: “Are there any available men?” “Why are all the women I attract unavailable?” Laura asked me the following: I find that I attract men who are unavailable. I meet nice men who are fun to be around, but when it comes to becoming serious they always say, “I’m not … Continue reading

The Sexy Feminist: At Least *I* Have a Boyfriend

No, no, no, no, no! Many of you, and especially Moxie, are missing the point. People arent trying to discredit you because you are a woman, or to try shame you. Its because you market yourself as an expert on something you have never done. You are 44 years old, have probably been dating (or … Continue reading