Don’t Just Go With It

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While in the car with the kids and Dancer’s youngest we were listening to the radio. It was set to a channel with today’s top music.

The lyrics of one song struck me. It basically was about relationships, advising to “Just go with it,” and “To see where it goes.”

This is popular relationship advice aimed at young women today, but for the most part it’s really bad advice.  Just like hookup culture, casual sex, and no strings attached are bad advice.

Women who get involved in undefined or poorly defined sexual relationships hoping they will “maybe” go somewhere or turn into something are setting themselves up for repeated and needless pain.

It opened the door to a teachable moment about valuing oneself. About a really good talk about how girls they knew or saw taking this route were not having success but rather multiple failures.

I encouraged the girls to take the path less travelled. While other girls are dating young and getting all wrapped up in boys, they could instead invest all that energy in themselves, in learning life skills, in preparing themselves for their future forever guy and for a happy, stable life.

Multiple rejections, heartbreaks, and bad experiences do the opposite. One only needs to look around in real life to see many examples of that. Painting it as “normal” teenage rights of passage has lead to a lot of destruction. As has the common, “just go with it” advice.

I hope a seed was planted. I wish someone had told me these things at their age.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

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Find Someone Who Likes YOU

I would wish this was obvious, but based on my outside observations of several friends navigating the dating market, it apparently isn’t — finding someone who likes YOU should be a baseline.

Instead they are with guys who roll their eyes, make comments behind their backs, and are so obviously not into THEM it’s not funny.

Sure these guys like the easy and available sex, stretching things out for months or even years, but sadly it’s clear they really don’t like or value the PERSON they are having that sex with. So much so they show up at the last minute possible and split as soon as they can. More than not.

Granted, no story is one sided. Perhaps these gals aren’t demonstrating value outside the bedroom. Maybe they are putting all their eggs in one basket. Maybe there is no there-there otherwise?

Now, if you want to be more than a booty call or hook up, of course step one is be likable. Don’t be bs drama. Don’t play all sorts of tiring games. Add value to the overall. Add more than. Be a gal worth committing to.

And then, after making sure you are all you can be, find someone who likes YOU. Not someone who likes having easy sex with you. But someone who actually likes YOU.

Don’t kid yourself either. If they are leaving as soon as they can, every single time, something is wrong. Even if they toss crumbs to keep you on the line, don’t fool yourself.

Its hard to face the truth, but the truth can also set you free. Free to spend that time with someone who likes YOU.

That’s the good stuff. Low drama and low angst relationships may not be the fodder of romance novels or rom cons but in real life that’s the equation I see working for the couples that really work.

Let those who have ears hear.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

That’s So 2017

Dancer is trying to sell her broken car via social media. Yesterday she got this inquiry:

X: Hi, I am interested in your car.

D: Great! It’s not running but if you are handy, it needs x,y, and z. I am asking $400.

X: OK. But I need you to know I am transgender. Are you OK with that? What’s your phone number?

D: Sure, no worries. $400 and it’s yours. When would you like to come look at it?

X: I know my profile name is Brian but now I go by Rachel. Is that OK? What’s your phone number?

D: OK Rachel, when would you like to come see the car? It’s yours for $400 cash.

X: I am not sure. What’s your number?

D: Ok, think it over! Let me know if you decide when you want to see it.

(D wanted to say, but didn’t, that Rachel may want to update the profile name from Brian to the preferred name to eliminate such need to [over] explain.)

Bottom line, are you interested in buying a car, or just looking for… Not sure what that would even be?!?!??? Dancer was for sure NOT giving out her phone number to explore it further.

It was such a 2017 moment. Peak outrage culture? (We can only hope!)

The Problem With #MeToo

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The #metoo movement that was aimed at apparently empowering women is ironically doing just the opposite. Now I am not talking about cases where the #metoo refers to actual rape or sexual assault here. I am not denying such things occur, and they are not OK.

But when #metoo starts going into the realm of, “a guy looked at me that I didn’t want to look at me,” well that’s just stupid. That’s not aggression. That’s not micro aggression. That’s just stupid.

Or even if a man approaches and asks one out, and the gal isn’t interested? That’s not aggression. That’s not micro aggression. That’s just not a match. Whatever happened to saying, “Thanks but I am not interested,” and moving on?

Why after 40-plus years of empowerment and independence are women increasingly seeming to become even less able to handle the world they live in than ever?

Reducing #metoo to every incident where a guy one isn’t interested in looking at one or approaching one becomes elevated to the same level as true sexual assault or rape is absurd.

Maybe women could try being less triggered. Maybe women could take ownership of their own emotional regulation rather than expect the whole world to tiptoe around them?

Isn’t that what being strong, independent, and empowered means? Able to handle life?

Either women need to be under the constant protection, lock, and guard of an outside controlling force or they don’t. The actions and hysteria of some women of late seems to imply some may be incapable of managing.

Is that really the direction we want things to go? I know I sure don’t.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

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Day Game

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Today I experienced an example of day game. Day game is a technique of catching a gals attention during the day, when they are going about their daily round. Supposedly day game sneaks in under a gal’s “pick up radar” and some find it more approachable and effective than going to bars or clubs.

I was in a nearby urban area, on a rather “trendy” street because I was looking for something specific. I stopped in the store, had a great experience w the very helpful and friendly sales gal, and then walked out the door w my purchase.

I was just strolling along, probably smiling and lost in thought, not paying much attention when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a very good looking and well dressed  man strolling with a friend staring at me with a very intimate look. I could only describe it as the way you would look at someone you love deeply.

Flustered, I blushed, smiled, and kept walking.

Because I was in the city I had exchanged my usual muck boots and flannel for a mid-calf scoop neck (but not low) black t-shirt material dress with 3/4 sleeves and a floaty, feminine floral open jacket on top with black ballet flats. I had my makeup on, hair fixed, and even a necklace, bracelet, and earrings. Pretty dressed up for me but hey it’s “town” so I try to spiff up.

Maybe I reminded him of his sister or something, maybe he likes gals in dresses, who knows, as there were no words exchanged. I could be way off. So I can’t say for sure it was day game or what but if so I have a feeling it works pretty well for him.

I suppose at that point a gal could drop her keys, or ask for the time or directions or something. I am not really sure how that works and while I appreciated the glance I didn’t want to encourage anything more.

I know there’s this perception that guys who do well with women are jerks, and some are, but a lot of Romeo types actually adore women and it is that “fall in love with every girl who walks by” that works in their favor.

Now whether such a man is a good bet long term is questionable. But they do start off as fun and flattering and light.

I know in my case I don’t notice a guy until I notice him noticing me. Just like I would not have noticed this guy today otherwise.

It’s just a field study example.  And I just took it as the flattery it was, and thought about how great my guy is, and how glad I am to be off the market. I was never very good at games anyway.

What do you think of day game? Have some examples of your own? Please share in the comments!

 

Handling a Break Up

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With my roommate suddenly single, I have recently been giving break up advice. So I thought as long as I am sharing it, may as well share it here too.

Much of this I learned when my own relationship ended with little warning, leaving me single with two kids and no explanation or willingness to work things out from the other side. I was devastated, to say the least. It was horrible.

Somehow I found a website (https://lovesagame.com) about breakup recovery that was a Godsend during that dark time. I highly recommend every article on it!

This infographic from there sums breakup recovery strategy much better than I can:

breakuphealingprocessinfographic

Another thing the site suggested was to not focus on what the OTHER person is doing/thinking/feeling, and to focus on your OWN recovery.

Let’s face it, break ups suck. But they can also serve as a huge growth experience and an opportunity to craft the life you want. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

What do you think?  Do you have any break up coping tips? Advice for the recently single? Please share in the comments!

 

What Predicts Relationship Success?

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Wish you could look into a crystal ball and see if your relationship was destined to succeed or fail? Researchers think they have found the answer that separates relationship masters from relationship disasters. From here:

…Gottman can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples … will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later. Much of it comes down to the spirit couples bring to the relationship. Do they bring kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and hostility?

“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.

“It’s not just scanning environment,” chimed in Julie Gottman. “It’s scanning the partner for what the partner is doing right or scanning him for what he’s doing wrong and criticizing versus respecting him and expressing appreciation.

Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there.

In real life I would say I have seen this to be the case. Those I know in troubled, angsty relationships are always on the lookout for their partner to do them wrong or fall short, while the couples who seem most content are those who have a positive view.

The good news is both approaches are a choice, a mindset. If you aren’t already, start giving your partner the benefit of the doubt and look for the good in them rather than the bad, assume the best instead of the worst. Not only will they likely start feeling a lot better about the relationship (and you!), chances are you’ll start feeling so as well.

It’s easy to find fault, to focus on the negative. In fact, the human mind seems geared to see what’s missing more prominantly than what’s not. And while it likely serves us well in some ways, it can also create much unhappiness because let’s face it — there will always be something going wrong, even when 99.9% is going right! And really, how often in life is even 51% or more going wrong? In mine the answer has been rarely, or actually never, even if I have not always acted (or felt) like it. Even on the very worst days (not that I am daring the universe here…)

What do you think? Have you seen this master or disaster approach to relationships in real life? Is seeing the glass half full the secret to a long and happy relationship? Please share in the comments.

 

Dark Triad Game

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A commenter suggested I check out season two episode 4 of The Crown on Netflix.

Well I just watched it and while there are many red pill moments, I believe he was referring to a really great example of dark triad game run on Princess Margaret, then the world’s most eligible woman.

The whole episode is good but it cuts to the chase around 37 minutes in, when the single princess shows up at a photographer’s studio, a man she met at a party who intrigued her with his bad boy vibe.

I’d highly recommend you watch it for yourself but his understanding of what makes Princess Margaret’s neurons flip is spot on. You can practically see her flinching from the tingles.

And it worked like a charm, because she ends up marrying him, having his kids, and bringing him into wealth and connections that help launch his already successful photography career over the top.

One could also argue how rather than be a moth to a flame Margaret would have been better off running for her life as the relationship soon turned into (surprise!) a disaster.

The two later have various affairs, get involved in drugs and heavy drinking, make each other miserable, and become the first royals to divorce since the days of Henry VIII.

Not surprisingly, the couple was celebrated as “progressive” and “real” and “bucking tradition” and “bringing the monarchy into the modern age.”

Despite the spin I do have to wonder, were the tingles worth it? For her? For their two kids? (who I wonder about, who was raising them while their parents were so busy being 60s/70s icons?)

The Dark Triad man is captivating indeed, thrilling and edgy. But there are two sides to him and what goes up must come down. Beware playing with fire, it burns.  The good times are usually far, far briefer than the bad.

What do you think? Please share in the comments. (And if you have Netflix, watch the clip!)

Facebook Follies

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Several couples I know in real life with a lot of strife in their relationships would do well to step away from Facebook and other forms of social media.

Why? Because in their cases rather than it being a place to truly check in on the latest from family and friends it has instead become a place to monitor the every friend, follow, and like of their beloved.

I know it may sound silly, but I truly have seen and heard spats over the most innocuous things.

I keep wondering why these people don’t simply COMMUNICATE with each other, rather than try to read the tea leaves of likes, posts, check ins and such. I mean I suppose one could like Sherlock Homes catch their partner red handed in some lie (why were you checking in at the club at 1 am when you said you were going home?) but why? I mean if you even have to have ask that type of question, isn’t that your answer?

I am sure most of these behaviors come from a place of insecurity, but to me they just come across as nails in the coffin — bad experiences rather than positive ones, accusations that will lead to less disclosure, not more.

If you find yourself Facebook stalking — stop! Stop and ask yourself why, what you are trying to find out, and if the skepticism is healthy self-protection or a warning sign of major troubles ahead.

Let those with ears hear.

Young Love

Recently I bumped into a casual friend I hadn’t seen for a few years. We last saw each other at a fundraising auction for a local cause where I met her sophomore in college daughter and her daughter’s beau for the first time. (Her first boyfriend.)

At the time I remember thinking, “I bet they will get married,” and sure enough they are this June.

Her mom is exceptionally cute, always dressed stylishly, with her hair and nails done. She’s very fit and looks much younger than her years. The mom is incredibly sweet too, very devoted to her family.

Dad is a regular guy, not flashy, not someone one would look twice at. I am sure he’d be classified as a beta, and yet his wife loves him and fawns over him, has a gleam in her eye as he speaks. They look at each other with love. He’s a good provider and they seem to have a happy, stable marriage of many years.

The daughter’s fiancé reminded me a lot of her dad, and I predict the daughter will have a similar happy, stable, and non-drama marriage. Not because she’s lucky (while she is to have such good parents and a good example) but because she’ll make the small daily good choices that make it so.

It really isn’t rocket science, and yet it is so rare. It makes me happy when I do see people making wise choices and living happily as a result.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.