Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm a NaNoWriMo Winner

It has nothing whatsoever to do with dating, but I'm so excited to tell you that I'm a winning participant in National Novel Writing Month. I started the first draft of a novel on November 1st. I finished it just a day and seven hours short of the deadline.

For several years, I've considered taking part in NaNoWriMo, but I put it off due to professional and personal reasons. But I did it this year!

I think I may have to open that bottle of Champagne that's been lingering in the fridge.

Attract Better Dates

If you want to meet someone special, you have to get out of the house. But you can go out every single night of the week and come home empty-- if your beliefs aren't in line with what you want to attract.

What qualities do you want in a significant other? Do you even know? More important, do you believe you’re worthy of attracting a person who has them? If you believe you are, you'll likely end up with a partner who thrills you. But, if you believe, deep down, that people who go out with you are doing you a favor, you'll draw people who are only too glad to prove you right.

The Law of Attraction states, “Like attracts like.” If you continually end up in disappointing romances, your beliefs are clearly not doing you any favors. The good news is that you can change them. When you change your beliefs, you change your destiny.

How do you get The Law of Attraction to do your bidding? Affirmation is a highly effective method. Instead of telling yourself, for instance, “Monogamous relationships don’t last,” write an affirmation like this:

“I am happily enjoying a lasting, passionate, monogamous relationship.”

The key is to write the affirmation in present tense. It’s not, “I will enjoy a….” Write, “I am enjoying,” instead. Make it positive. Don’t affirm, “I no longer date control freaks.” Summon The Law to your aid by announcing, “I am happily dating a gorgeous person who loves me, trusts me, and supports my dreams.”

The more you use your affirmation, the sooner it will seep into your subconscious. Once your subconscious mind accepts a belief, it’ll act on it.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself attracting better, more suitable lovers. Soon enough, you will find yourself in a satisfying romance without the usual attendant drama. After it’s under way, continue using your affirmation. Use The Law of Attraction to avoid the pitfalls that can sabotage a relationship.

In the meantime, know what you want and affirm that you have it. Then get out of the house.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beauty in Imperfection

Last week, I got a letter from a woman who walks with a limp and feared it would deter her efforts to find love. Here's the link to my response.

Interestingly, Jeff Mac from Manslations fielded a letter from another woman who considers herself imperfect. She wanted his opinion on whether she'd ever be able attract and keep a man.

It's great to get a guy's perspective on these things, and I think you'll enjoy his response (the guy's smart, but he's funny, too). To read it, click here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stuck in a Bad Marriage, Stuck in a Bad Affair

Hello Terry,

I bought your book online, strangely finding myself in a real mess (there are two stories here -- two different relationships entwined together).

I have been married for 10 years and am recently separated from my husband - my relationship with him has been rocky over the years. He has always been unsure of his feelings for me - always wishy washy - he had a few extramarital relationships, and it made me feel lousy, my self esteem was low, and I began to resent him.

In the last year, after his second relationship (about a year and a half ago) , and after being very hurt, I found myself wanting a relationship on the side: Someone who would just keep me occupied, was probably unhappy like me, and someone who would shower me with attention and help me to just focus on something other than my bad relationship at home. In other words, I was looking for someone to fill the void.

Two months ago, my husband still in his state of being unhappy with me and confused, found himself attracted to another woman. Someone he says he feels connected with -- then again it seems to be happening a lot -- three women in the past eight years! I asked him to leave the house. I just didn't want to deal with it any longer.

He moved out -- still unsure of what he wants. He does not want to get on with the divorce. He just wants to wait and see and what happens. I believe I must have felt disconnected with him over the past year too, since I started seeing this guy at work, but I felt he pushed me into it. I don't know anymore.

The other story:

I met this guy at work. Much older, we were attracted to each other. He is married (I know, I know. I can hear you sigh). We have been seeing each other for a year now (during my state of unhappiness).

He says he can't leave his wife. He tried leaving her years ago for someone else, but his wife won't accept it, and he stayed with her, living with the unhappiness of being physically disconnected to her.

Since my husband left home, I feel more lonely and have felt the need to stop my relationship with this guy, as I know it is not going anywhere (of course, sometimes I kid myself that some miracle could bring us together!).

I have initiated leaving him, and he says that he does not want to obstruct me finding happiness, and that I should move on, but I find it hard to let him go. I find myself calling him as I miss him terrribly. I have even toyed wiith the idea of speaking to his wife. I know it's bad. I know I am horrible. I so desperately want to get out of these emotions and turmoil.

-Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Hello, Stuck-

First off, you must cut yourself some slack. You've been in a painful marriage for 10 years and endured your husband's numerous infidelities. You say he's never been sure of his feelings for you, and it just doesn't seem fair to be stuck in a marriage with someone who is supposed to love you but makes you feel insecure, bad about yourself, and resentful.

So you had an affair with a married man. Yes, I did sigh when I read that, but when people are in pain, sometimes they do counterproductive things. You know you made a mistake by getting involved with this guy, and you know you should let him go.

Which is easier said than done.

Because, if you do move on, you'll be right back in the hole where you're receiving no love or affection from anybody, which isn't an attractive prospect. As things stand now, you know the relationship with the married guy is going nowhere, but at least you're getting a little affection.

However hard it may seem right now, I do advise you to move on. The fact that your husband is not living with you gives you a real opportunity to spend time with someone who does love you (ahem, I'm talking about you) and decide what you want out of a relationship, what will make you happy, and exactly what you want out of life.

Make a commitment to never call the married man again. Eventually, you will feel better about your prospects. Even better, you'll feel better about yourself. If you can, get a job somewhere else. Pining for the guy at the office every day will only make you miserable. Why prolong the agony?

Whatever you do, don't speak to the guy's wife. You've been cheated on, so put yourself in her place. You probably wouldn't appreciate getting a call from one of the women your husband's seen over the years. And you know, deep down, doing such a thing will not result in a happy ending for anybody.


Your husband has not made you happy, and it's possible he never will. I do think it's pretty cheeky of him to "be unsure of what he wants" and to avoid a divorce after he's left home to be with another woman. You might want to consult a lawyer or a licensed therapist to help you explore your options.

At the end of all this, understand that nobody, least of all you, deserves a wishy-washy, cheating husband. You made a mistake by getting involved with a married man. Wash your face and forgive yourself.

I'll say it again: Please decide what you want in a future relationship. Be specific. Determine what you want to feel, for example. You feel insecure, unloved, sad, and a million other negative emotions right now, so I'll assume you want to feel secure, loved, joyful and a million positive emotions from now on.

Write this down:

"I'm so happy and grateful I'm in a secure, joyful relationship with a man I love who loves me back and never lets me forget it."

That's what you're going for, right?

What would that feel like? Look like? Sound like? Taste like?

For example, what would it be like to come home to such a person? Go to dinner with him? Have him surprise you by meeting you for lunch in the office?

Keep the past in the past, and get past the present by focusing on the future as if it were the present.

Does this make sense? I hope so. I wish you all the happiness in the world.


Monday, November 26, 2007

The Scariest Man in America?

Drew Peterson has been married too many times and is suspected of murdering his third and fourth wives. This morning's Today featured an interview with another woman who nearly married the former cop 26 years ago. She explains what prompted her to break off the relationship here.

According to a previous report, the latest wife, Stacy, initially found the suspect attractive because he bought her a car and other expensive gifts. I don't know whether or not Drew Peterson is responsible for his wife's disappearance, but it's been my experience that men who shell out for big-ticket items early in a relationship are not good bets.

Also not good bets:

- Guys who attempt to cut off a woman from her friends and family

- Guys who threaten other males who make the mistake of talking to "their" woman.

These men may seem charming and protective at first, but they often turn out to be needy, insecure, and scarily controlling. If you end up with one, it's possible he won't kill you, but he will definitely make you miserable.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Still Single for the Holidays? Lucky You!

During my single years, I disliked the holiday season. It required me to suffer relatives demanding to know when the hell I'd finally meet someone and get married.
If you're in a similar position, the following article may help. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Oh, no! Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year’s Eve are coming, and you’re still not dating anybody.

The specter of enduring gatherings with relatives who harass you because you’ve failed to hook up trounces your hopes for peace and goodwill. You’ll be explaining your sorry self from the first sip of eggnog to your last bite of mincemeat pie.

Afterwards, you’ll tuck into bed feeling like a colossal loser, remembering how Cousin Patty flashed her newly installed engagement ring (roughly the size of an aircraft carrier) all through dinner. And then, as you console yourself that this was just one night out of your life, that surely you can rise above the pitying looks and comments, it dawns on you that you’ll be subjected to them again on New Year’s Eve!

You find yourself with two choices: (A) Attend a party teeming with self-satisfied couples, hoping to God that some gorgeous single specimen of the opposite sex will infiltrate and rescue you from your glass of warm champagne. (B) Accept Mom and Dad’s offer to watch the ball drop on their new big-screen TV and endure entreaties to ‘hurry up and get married already’ between appearances by B-list celebrities.

So, what will you do?

The temptation to call it quits this year, stay home, and slump through re-runs of Sex and the City with a bottle of wine is staggering. Don’t do it. This holiday season can be your best yet if you approach it with the right mindset. Here are five tips to help facilitate a new perspective:

Know the truth: Those self-satisfied married people aren’t so satisfied. Hey, most of them are downright miserable. Don’t believe me? Look around. Go into any family restaurant on a Friday evening, and check out all the couples that don’t make eye contact. Observe the husbands and wives who speak to the children but not to each other. Go to the mall on a Sunday afternoon and watch the Christmas shoppers. A far cry from what you see in the diamond ads, eh? Be happy that you are not stuck in a dull marriage! Decide that if and when you marry, you’ll do it for the right reasons, not because you hit a certain age, your parents were nagging you, you want children, or you want to make your friends feel bad because you bought or received a bigger diamond than they did.

Come up with a snappy answer. When some moron eyes you over the Christmas turkey and asks, “Aren’t you ever going to get married?” Just respond, “Why do you ask?” If the inquisitor persists, smile enigmatically and say, “I’m too young to get married.” Say this even if you’re fifty. If your mother starts piling on the guilt about giving her grandchildren, tell her you hate kids. Suggest that she sponsor an unfortunate child for twenty dollars a month through a worthy charitable organization. Never allow yourself to be drawn into conversations about what it is you do to repel the opposite sex.

Walk into every party like a winner. Sit down at every dinner table as if you’re the guest of honor. Be quietly confident. Smile. Walk tall. Sit up straight. Feel good about yourself. Adorn yourself in clothes that flatter you (women, the poncho may be the rage, but if it makes you look like a sack of onions, put it down; men, avoid wearing baseball caps at all costs). Do not walk into a party hoping that someone will notice you. Walk into a party expecting to be noticed.

Be proactive. Instead of waiting around for invitations, host a party of your very own. Give the event a sheen by preparing a trendy drink. Make an investment and pour it into appropriate glasses. For an elegant effect, start the night by playing Mozart or jazz renditions of holiday classics. Keep the party lively later on by spinning Moby or the latest U2. Be the star you are and dress up. (If you want something more casual, Super Bowl parties are a blast, even for those of us who don’t understand football.) Invite singles and couples from work, church, wherever. The more the merrier, so tell guests to bring a friend. Be sure to ask a married couple or two to prevent the vibe of a singles’ mixer, but avoid inviting couples that stand around talking about their children all night.

Understand that being single is a good thing. Look, you’re not tied down to anybody. Your life is full of possibilities. Every day is an adventure. You can travel as you like, buy clothes as you like, date as you like. Married people can’t. Decide not to give up your freedom until someone truly worthy comes along. This is powerful. When you sit around waiting for the right person to show up, nobody will. But once you decide to enjoy your life, often somebody wonderful and worthy will appear—and sooner than you expect.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Attraction Tips for the Physically Imperfect (Which Would Be All of Us)

Hello Terry,

I adore you! I have forwarded so many of your emails to some of my friends that they finally gave up and subscribed.

When I read your last email, I reaffirmed myself. Your quote from Rita Rudner was priceless but it reminded me of what I KNOW to be true. Men do have particular scents that appeal to them. In my past, when I would go out, I would wear men's fragrances. Some are more female friendly than others, but they would attract.

My present obstacle is I have a handicap, I walk with a limp. I am now realizing that I have spent far too many years making myself invisible. I am a really great person, but unfortunately I have far too many "brothers" for my taste now. Do you have any suggestions on overcoming myself and believing I can have a relationship?

Keep up the excellent work you do!

-Ready for Mr. Wonderful

Dear Ready:

Thank you so much for writing and for your very kind words.

It's really, really easy to believe that you're undesirable when you're short, or you feel fat, or your eyes cross when you take off your glasses, or you walk with a limp.

However, it's just not true. The fact is, many guys are less interested in so-called physical perfection than in having a passionate relationship with a woman who "gets" them.

The hard part is not convincing men that you're that woman. The hard part is convincing you you're that woman.

Self-confidence, healthy self-love, and self-respect are absolutely critical to attracting and keeping a good man. Beauty, a 27-inch waist, and perfectly functioning legs are not.

Once you develop the qualities you need, you will radiate them. Men will notice.

Here's how:

Use an affirmation. Please do not discount the effectiveness of affirmations. They work. Here's one I've found to be particularly effective:

"I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

Say it out loud when you're in the shower, cooking dinner, exercising, whatever. Say it at least 25 times a day. It may sound scary and weird, but if you're like most people you probably spend a lot of time putting yourself down. Why is that okay?

You Can Heal Your Life author, Louise Hay, recommends you go one further and look yourself in the mirror and say:

"I love and accept you exactly as you are."

(That should bring up some interesting stuff.)

In addition to using affirmations, use visualization to picture yourself in a fun, satisfying, happy, serious relationship. Bring in all your senses. For example, what would it feel like? Bring those emotions up and make them real. This may sound like hocus-pocus, but it works. Do it twice a day, preferably before you put your feet on the floor in the morning and before you drop off to sleep at night.

It takes discipline, but it pays off.

Then remind yourself what you have to offer a man. Write a list of your best qualities and stick it on your mirror.

In the meantime, be your own gorgeous boyfriend. Ask yourself: How would I like to be treated by the man of my dreams? Then treat yourself that way. Do the things you'd do with him. Go the places you'd go together.

After a while, men will pick up on your specialness, and they will act on it.

With regard to your "brothers," if you ever feel taken for granted, make yourself less available. Start saying, "I'm sorry, but I've already made plans." Make new friends (check previous posts here for tips), or just spend beautiful, quality time with yourself doing the things you love to do, reading the books you love to read, seeing the movies you want to see, and eating the food you love to eat.

Treat yourself as a treasure that's yet to be discovered, and you will be discovered.


Avoid Groveling If You Want to Attract Healthy Men

How do I love Radar magazine? Let me count the ways.

The current print issue contains not only an eye-opening account of plastic surgery gone wild in Hollywood, but also a list of the expressions geishas use to attract English-speaking men.

Here they are:

1. Will you forgive me?
2. It's my fault.
3. Soooo sooorry!
4. I want to stay with you tonight.
5. I just want to be with you.
6. I want to know more about you.
7. Am I someone special to you?
8. Don't ever let me go.
9. You're not going yet, are you?
10. Missing you already.
11. I'm not a slut.

Radar came across this bit of intelligence in the September issue of Pinky, a magazine for Japanese women.

While some of these expressions might be appropriate in an established relationship (like, if you accidentally burned the guy's house down), it's been my experience that saying some of the others will only manage to attract English-speaking men of the most insecure, controlling, and undesirable variety.

Check out Radar's online edition here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

She's Getting the Attention She Deserves

Last month, I received a letter from a reader of my free newsletter who was stuck on a man who didn't give her the love she deserved (click here to read it).

Here's her happy update:

Hi, Terry:

Just keep reading the newsletters and things are definitely getting better. I don't call guys, yet I've never had so many men interested.

Recently a good male friend has started asking me out on "dates." Last night we went to the cinema. He says I'm a strange woman in that I have really improved with age (ahem, I'm barely 40), and he really thinks I'm amazing lately. So some of your tips I'm trying are noticeable to someone who knew me for over 20 years.

This man has now asked me to his Christmas Dinner Dance. I also have various other men asking me out for dinner, texting and emailing. My "friend" says he's beginning to be a bit uncomfortable with all the male attention I'm getting. (So I'm definitely moving out of the friend category, although he never minded before in our long platonic friendship).

I don't know if I want to date this guy seriously, yet. But dating other guys is making it easier to see what I'm looking for in a man. Multiple dating also stops you calling or texting one guy and looking needy.

The crux of this is: that my Platonic Friend who has played the field and been emotionally unavailable to many beautiful women who couldn't really catch him, well he is now really noticing me as a woman and trying to catch me. Your advice and tips have a lot to do with this.

Also, another very nice divorced guy was asking me out, when I discovered he played golf EVERY Saturday (and then some). I asked some questions and found out it was not just because he was single, but had always and would always, I blew him out. (No wonder he's divorced). Working 40 hours leaves little enough leisure time to work at a relationship, if someone is missing inflexibly every single Saturday, they are more than likely not going to give 100%, or make you a priority. With "hitting a few balls" two or three times a week, weekends away with the boys, and Sunday competitions, an EXTREME or obsessed golfer is just too selfish and will not give himself enough for a happy relationship.

It is just such a time consuming sport, and here in Ireland a lot of time is spent in the 19th hole afterwards. Why bother with a man married to his golf? I tried being a golf widow and it is no fun. Now I have some non negotiables regarding the men I date and life is getting better :))

It's a work in progress, Terry.

Thanks again.

No Longer Dating An Indifferent Man

Hi, No Longer-

Your news thrills me to no end. Thanks for the nice words, but you really have nobody to thank but yourself! You're the one who's making the difference.

I love the way you put things. The "19th hole?" You crack me up.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finding Love When You're the Life of the Party

Hi, T-

I saw your comments about Paul McCartney and his new girlfriend and it's funny - I thought exactly the same thing on the age appropriate thing! There is still a major double standard on these things.

By the way, I don't often get to read the emails you send me since I am always on the road and travelling, and it's hard to find the time to read emails sometimes. But when I do I find it interesting, although much of it doesn't seem to apply to me it seems more geared to people who are shy. That is not really an issue I have. My issue is more that I am extremely outgoing, and I think because I am usually the social organizer for my group of friends, people don't think of me as a serious option to date. They think I am self-sufficient and not really looking! Plus, when I meet someone that I am in the least bit interested in, I tend to treat them worse and ignore them more than I would a casual acquaintance.....

Anyway, just thought I would share that with you.


P.S. Some of it turns me off a bit too when you have a topic like can you "make" a man fall in love with you. Although mostly you seem level headed. I am not a fan of any manipulative behaviour - but maybe that explains why I am still single because I don't play games!

Hello, M-

Thanks for writing and for your nice words.

About my post on making a man fall in love with you, you're very busy so you probably didn't read the whole thing, but I agree with you: It's manipulative and bound to backfire. I do believe you can "make" a man fall in love with you, but I don't recommend it.

I'm definitely not a fan of manipulative behavior.

I do, however, detail a technique for attracting the right man in that post. If you have time, please read it and see what you think.

You mention that you're the social organizer of your group. I wonder if you hang out with the same people all the time, or if you join different groups. If the group you're hanging around with tends to be static (no new people moving in), then by all means, expand your circle. Join new groups and make new friends.

If you're interested in meeting someone special, there's nothing wrong with saying so. Do it casually. Some people make the mistake of saying they're "dying to meet somebody" or they "need a man," but somehow I don't think someone who describes herself as you do would do that.

You might say to your friends, "You know, I'm at a point in my life where I wouldn't mind meeting someone." Keep it light.

You raised a red flag, however:

You mentioned that you tend to treat a guy you do like worse than you would a casual acquaintance. Think carefully about this.

Why do you do it?
Are you afraid of something?
Of what?

Write down your answers. Really look at them. Ask yourself what's the worst that could happen if the guy did or did not return your interest.

Can you deal with it? Why or why not?

Then ask yourself what's the best that could happen.

Can you deal with it? Why or why not?

If you face the things that hold you back, you can overcome them. You can start treating men you're interested in appropriately, which includes smiling, making eye contact, and making yourself available but not too available.

I'm licensed only to drive, but the fact that you treat people you like with indifference suggests that you may be, despite your outgoing appearance, afraid to get close to somebody.

I may be dead wrong, but think about it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How to Meet People

Shortly after I moved to Connecticut, I read an article in the New York Times that claimed that New Englanders in general and Connecticut residents in particular did not welcome newcomers.

The article ran a rash of quotes by transplants who'd repeatedly been shunned. It made enough of a splash that my children's doctor, also a former New Yorker, mentioned it and said that he'd had similar experiences.

It has not been my experience.

After moving here, another former New Yorker invited me to join a wellness group that met at a friend's house. My first instinct was to say no. I had little interest in sitting around discussing the virtues of high colonics with a pack of bored housewives.

But I went. What I found was a fun, wine-drinking, engaging, intelligent group of women who later introduced me to other people like them. This led to invitations to amazing parties, nights out, connections, you name it.

I also joined Toastmasters. If you've been with me a while, you know I recommend this group to the shy folk (it helps build confidence!), but it's just great for anybody who wants to meet ambitious people with an interest in helping each other succeed. You're not going to meet a lot of losers at Toastmasters.

If you're stuck in a rut and meeting the same people day after day, shake it up. Take a chance. You know what? Maybe every single person you meet will already be married, but they may very well know somebody who isn't.

Widen your social circle, Make new friends of both sexes. One of these days, you will meet somebody special.

Five years ago, I didn't have a social life in Connecticut. Tonight I am having a party for 20 people. They all live in Connecticut, the state where supposedly it's impossible to make friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Widow Finds New Love

Amy Holman Edelman lost her husband without warning to an aneurysm.

After a while, at her daughter's prodding, Amy embarked on the dating scene again, determined to find love and marry again. She tried speed dating and JDate. Then she acted upon her audacious idea to email 30 friends -- and offer an all-expense paid trip to the respondent who supplied her with Mr. Right.

How'd it work out for Amy? Check out the clip here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How Soon is Too Soon?

If you watch as much TV as I do, you probably see a lot of people hopping in and out of bed with each other. On Desperate Housewives, Gabrielle slept with her teen gardener during her marriage to Carlos; now she's sleeping with Carlos during her marriage to Victor (well, actually, it seems Gab and Carlos killed poor Victor last night).

On Sex and the City, everybody had sex with everybody (in fact, Carrie bounced a mattress with very guy who plays Victor on DH). On Friends, Rachel and Joey spent so much time scoring it's a wonder they held down jobs. And "reality television" absolutely thrives on all sorts of sexual activity.

All this bonking leaves the average viewer wondering just what is normal sexual behavior. What's weird? What's good? What's prudish?

Whatever you do, don't tune into Entourage for guidance.

Many women (and men, I'm told) are nervous enough on a first date or at the start of a relationship, and they don't want to come across pushy, freaky, or monastic. The best thing you can do here is follow your own instincts. Worry less about what people are doing on television and more on what feels right to you.

That means, if you're comfortable going for it, be smart about it.

Here's why:

During a recent visit to my doctor's office, a pharmaceutical rep dragged in a shopping cart filled to the tippy-top with samples for Valtrex, the Herpes drug you may have seen on TV.

When I got into see my doctor, I asked her, "How many people have Herpes that salespeople drop off samples in such enormous quantities?"

"You wouldn't believe it," my doctor said. "About one out of five people are walking around with the virus and don't even know it."

One out of five!

So, please proceed with caution, lest you end up toting home your very own Valtrex starter kit. And if you do indeed decide to proceed, do not--I repeat--do not send the man flowers the next morning.

However, if you believe that sex is meant for marriage, then by all means, be true to yourself. There are plenty of men out there that feel that way, too. Chances are, they don't watch a lot of TV.

One thing I hate is a double standard, so if you're going to "hold out" in the sex department, do it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to, not because of some misguided idea that a guy will value you more. (You don't want a guy who will value you more for not having sex with him. Trust me.)

And, please, please, please don't ever give a guy the "gift" of a first time with you for his birthday or Christmas or Arbor Day. You'll only set up a weird dynamic for the relationship. (I know a woman who did this and later married the guy she presented with the gift of her body; it is not a happy scene.)

For a a good perspective on this subject, check out Jeff Mac's Manslations. Jeff offered advice to a woman who wanted to know how soon she could sleep with a guy without him thinking her a woman of "easy virtue."

My take on it: If she's a woman of easy virtue, doesn't that make the guy she's with a man of easy virtue?

Why is certain behavior okay for him but wrong for her? Is this a recipe for future happiness?

Think about it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Paul McCartney Dating Again

Paul McCartney's reported relationship with a 47-year-old NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority board member has become big news.

I say, big deal. I wish the guy every happiness, but I wasn't all that interested in his love life until Today covered it this morning.

Producers brought in Janice Min, Editrix of US magazine, to comment as if she were a close personal friend of the supposed couple. She and Natalie Morales made several observations, and then one of them said about Ms. Shevell, "And she's age appropriate."

Which struck me.

Because Demi Moore took heat and still takes heat for dating -- and then marrying -- a man 15 years her junior. Paul McCartney reportedly dates a woman 18 years his junior, and it's "age appropriate."

Give me a break.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Can You Make a Man Fall in Love With You?

I found an email in my inbox from a reader of my newsletter who demanded to know.

Here's my take:

Yes, I suppose you can make a man fall in love with you. In the 80s, a book by Tracy Cabot (entitled How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You) suggested -- if I remember correctly -- that you determine whether your target is auditory, visual, or tactile.

Then she recommended the application of several NLP techniques, including something called 'mirroring' to make a guy feel in sync with you, which would cause him to fall in love.

According to the reviews on Amazon, her technique works. I tried it halfheartedly when I read the book all those years ago, but I felt like a fraud.

Later, during my relationship with Mister-I-Love-You-But-I'm-Not-in-Love-With-You, a co-worker told me she was an expert on making a man fall in love.

Do tell, I begged her.

Her technique involved finding out everything she could about a man's likes and dislikes. If he liked the Yankees, she learned the stats and bios of every player on the team. If he hated The Sex Pistols, she would burn Johnny Rotten in effigy.

This struck me as manipulative and a lot of work. This woman had the energy, though. She'd been married three times.

In the end, I decided I didn't ever want to "make" someone love me: If I worked to make a guy fall in love with me, eventually I'd have to work to keep him in love with me (or, more accurately, that fake-o me I'd painstakingly manufactured).

Longtime readers of this blog and my newsletter know that I wholeheartedly endorse using the Law of Attraction to draw the right man into one's life. (Hey, I used it myself, and it worked.)

For those who are new here or want a refresher, here's what you do:

1) Know what you don't want in a man (a cheater, a bragger, a liar, a bleeding bore, a financial idiot, a know-it-all, a control freak. If you're stuck, think back to the things you disliked about an ex).

2) Turn those negative qualities around. Make them positive. For example, if you don't want a liar, you want an honest man.

3) Write an affirmation: "I am happily involved with (or married to) a loyal, loving, reliable, successful, fun man." (That's an example; feel free to make up your own affirmation with the qualities that will make you happy.)

4) Rewrite, recite, think said affirmation many times throughout the day, making sure to feel the emotions you'd feel if indeed you were with such a man (this may seem tricky at first but keep it up; it works).

5) Get the heck out of the house. Join Toastmasters, hang around coffee shops on open-mic nights, go to bookstores, attend lectures in natural food stores, grab a friend and hit Monday Night Football at a neighborhood bar.

If you know what you want in a man, you're likely to recognize him when he appears. If you widen your social circle, it's very likely he will appear.

Why settle for "making" a man fall in love (which amounts to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole) when you could attract one who will make you happy for the rest of your life?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dating Tips For the Shy Woman

Dating can be an absolute nightmare for shy people. You want to meet the right person, but you’re too scared to do anything about it.

Introductions—sticking out one’s hand and looking another person in the eye—can be terrifying. The brain locks up as you scramble to think of something relevant to say. You fall apart as soon as you’re asked what you do for a living. You stammer. The heat rises in your face and under your arms. You’re suddenly incapable of forming a grammatical sentence. You think to yourself, “Why would anyone care about me? I’m really not that interesting!”

Fear not. Many shy people have succeeded in meeting new people and forming lasting, happy relationships. With a little practice, you can too. Here are some tips for taming your social terror.

1. Prepare a pitch. The question, “So, Sally, what do you do for a living?” is bound to come up, so have a ready answer. No need to brag about capturing the company Tidy Break room Award; just state clearly what you do for a living and don’t apologize for it!

2. Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves (okay, except for people like you), so ask questions. Come up with a list before you leave the house, i.e., How did you get into that line of work? Where did you go to school? Have you seen the new Brad Pitt movie? And so on.

3. When you fumble, turn the subject to the other person. Whenever you find yourself longing to throw a blanket over your head and crawl off, try saying something like “And what about you?”

4. Listen to what the other person is saying! This is important. Instead of fretting about what you’ll say next, still the wheels of your mind and listen. If a man tells you about his weekend on the golf course, and you know absolutely nothing about golf, just ask him what he likes about it, how he got into it, etc.

5. Smile. People respond well to people who smile. No need to grin like an idiot, but a disarming smile will get ‘em every time. Smiling conveys friendliness and approachability. Show teeth whenever possible. Avoid looking like a figure at a wax museum by practicing in a mirror before you leave the house.

6. Breathe. Whenever you feel your heart racing, breathe deeply and slowly. If you really start to feel uncomfortable (your face has become so hot you could use it for a wok), excuse yourself and go to the restroom.

7. Compliment the other person. Sincerity is key, so find something you like and mention it. You may be freaked out by the idea of complimenting a man on his soulful eyes, so mention his watch, suit, tie, or even his shoes. No need to go overboard: “Nice shoes,” will do it.

8. Stay on top of current events. You don’t necessarily want to bring up your stand on Clinton v. Edwards during a first meeting, but be able to discuss less controversial issues intelligently.

9. Remember the weather! Some people have the “gift of gab,” the ability to make strangers feel like they’ve known them forever. They are fearless about talking about the weather, gas prices, whatever. Shy people worry that talking about mundane things will make them appear stupid. But seemingly dull subjects like the weather affect everybody. People relate to them.

10. Hold your head up. It’s the simplest, most effective way to look confident. Good posture, coupled with that fabulous smile of yours, gives you a “winner’s vibe.” You’re guaranteed to be a hit!

Be warned: These tips will not help you if you don’t leave the house. It’s just too easy to watch a Sex and the City rerun for the umpteenth time instead of meeting people, but I promise you that Prince Charming is never going to climb through your bedroom window.

Talking to strangers can be uncomfortable, but with practice it will surely get easier. If you have a bad night, congratulate yourself for making the effort. When you have a good night, understand that you earned it. Know that countless wonderful nights are on their way to you.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Real Reasons People Have Sex

The current print edition of Radar magazine excerpts a list of 237 reasons people gave for having sex from the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Here are some of my favorites:

I wanted to have more sex than my friends

I wanted to "gain control" of the person

I wanted to be nice

It seemed like good exercise

I wanted to get a raise

I felt sorry for the person

I wanted to reaffirm my sexual orientation

Someone dared me

It became a habit

I wanted to keep warm

It would get me gifts

I wanted to change the topic of conversation

I wanted to end the relationship

I was tired of being a virgin.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Blew It? How to Recover a Guy's Interest

Oh, no! The guy you're crazy about finally gave you a little attention, and you swooped on him like a parakeet fighting for the last cracker in the cage. Now you're horrified, humiliated, and praying that you never see him again.

Hold on.

Believe it or not, there's hope. It is indeed possible to save face and even kindle the man's interest by doing one simple thing the next time you run into him: Be cool. In other words, smile, wave, and keep moving.

Make this your mantra. Smile, wave, and keep moving.

Put yourself in his place: You're out one night, and an otherwise attractive guy showers you with undivided attention, tries to impress you by bragging about his job, and so on. You're flattered but turned off. The guy's obviously a jerk, but you flounce home feeling good about yourself. You've got the goods, and men are noticing.

But the next time you run into the guy, he plays it cool. Instead of rushing over and gushing all over you, he merely smiles, waves, and keeps moving. It's not exactly a blow off, but it does throw you. Did you have him all wrong? Maybe you'd only imagined his interest. How much had you to drink, exactly? Did you do something to turn him off?

His sudden lack of passion intrigues you. You find yourself wondering about him. You ask around about him. You decide that his job did seem pretty interesting. He really wasn't bad looking. It suddenly occurs to you that you could definitely do a lot worse.

Do you see how this works?

While it's never a good idea to deliberately come on too strong to a guy (ideally, you should be friendly and confident), most of us have done it. Play it cool the next time you see him, and you may recapture his attention. At the very least, you'll recover your dignity.

Smile, wave, and keep moving.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dating Mr. Famous

Hooking up with a paparazzi target isn't all that glamorous, at least according to the author of this fascinating article. Her sister dated a TV and movie star.

I'm dying to know who he is. She says he's in his early 30s and freaked out about it. He presented at the Tony Awards. He hosted SNL.

Any ideas?

During my tenure at Marvel Comics, my office mate's friend met the star of a Farrelly Brothers movie in a bar and hit the sheets with him. My office mate, a guy, spent about about an hour on the phone with her getting the blow-by-blow account.

Then he gave it to me. That's as close as I've ever gotten to dating a famous person.