Friday, July 22, 2011

Sex on the First Date, Taboo or To Do?

Although dating rules have changed tremendously over the years, most people have steadfast opinions about sex on the first date.  Regarding first date sexual activity, the common theme appears gender specific.  Women should be ashamed of their easy and immoral ways while men are expected to "seal the deal" and celebrate their conquest. 

Most of my female friends agree that sex on the first date is not a good idea.  Although many women have had this experience, the majority still disagree with it as a common practice.  Men, on the other hand, have much more varied views on the subject.  Half of them agree that women who "give it up" on the first date fall into the bad girl category and are not worthy of a commitment.  The other half don't judge women based on this and attribute sex on a first date to good chemistry or their male powers of persuasion.    

Clearly, there is a double standard that exists in acceptance of first date sex.  Men are split on the topic and women seem against it, although they frequently do it.  The divergence of opinion can be explained by gendered expectations of behavior and the reasons why people chose to have sex on the first date.

Women tend to have sex on the first date because they are:
  • Under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Seeking intimacy through sexual activity
  • Asserting their protest against traditional gender roles
  • Assuming it will make the guy like them
  • Insecure and looking for validation 

Men have tend to sex on the first date because they are:
  • Under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Eager to accept the offer of sex
  • Wanting a woman to develop an attachment to them (yes, this does happen)
  • Able to separate sex from emotions

So, should you have sex on the first date?  My answer depends.  I am not suggesting that men or women jump into bed with wanton disregard, but I do see three (and only three) reasons that make sex on the first date okay:
  • You want to have sex with this person
  • Your decision to have sex is based on what you want and nothing else
  • You can deal with the ALL of the consequences of this choice (i.e., possible pregnancy or STDs, not seeing this person ever again, a clingy emotional attachment, feelings of guilt and/or regret, etc.)  

If you can honestly answer yes to the above questions, go ahead and have fun (protected fun that is).  If not, you may want to wait until you can answer yes or you are in a committed relationship.

For more information, read some of my previous posts:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Self-esteem: Not Just A Woman's Problem

Researchers have found that both women and men have similar levels of self-esteem during adolescence and young adulthood.  

Instead of gender as a factor, differences in self-esteem are found when comparing people of different racial/ethnic categories.

The result of this research has many implications for parents, teachers, and clinicians who have historically attributed lower self-esteem to women and girls.  The lack of a gender separation in self-esteem can shed light on determinants of behavior for men and boys.  Also, more research can examine how racial and ethnic differences attribute to a young persons level of self-esteem.

To read the entire article, click HERE

Monday, July 18, 2011

Should Contemporary Women Play Hard To Get?

Throughout time women have been told to play hard to get.  Our mothers, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends insist that men should be the aggressor.  Even the men in our lives agree, sharing stories about their disapproval of aggressive women.  Playing hard to get has worked for generations, but does the same ring true today?    

Contemporary men report that they like when women are aggressive.  According to some men, women who make the first move appear to be confident and sexy, making them more approachable than other women.  An aggressive woman lessens the fear of rejection men have felt for centuries.  It makes their job in the dating game much easier.  

On the other hand, there are men who disagree and do not like it when women are aggressive.  These men feel that their job is to "hunt" and they get excited in the thrill of the chase.  Therefore, when they are approached by women, they feel emasculated and that their contribution to the ritual of dating has been taken away.

With conflicting information as to what men prefer, what should contemporary women do? Should they be aggressive and render men powerless OR should they wait for someone to approach them, thereby risking loneliness?

The answer is that genetics and culture do not lie.  Men are biologically wired and socially conditioned to value the "hunt".  They enjoy being the aggressor and are more than eager to test out their skills.  Women have been socialized to be the "damsel in distress", appearing available and worth the wait.  But contemporary women also have a need to assert their independence and work for what they want.

In my opinion, there is a middle ground here.  Although the game has changed and new rules may exist, the old method is still the better method.  The difference is that "playing hard to get" has taken on a new meaning.  Today's woman can be aggressive while still allowing a man be a man.    

Being aggressive means that you should make yourself more approachable.  Make the first move by getting his attention, pulling him to you, and allowing him to hunt.  Make him think he is the hunter and in control when in all actuality, YOU CHOSE HIM.  But instead of pursuing him, you are allowing yourself to be the target.

To assert your independence while playing hard to get, you should:

Establish and maintain eye contact
The trick here is maintaining the eye contact.  Once you catch his eye, smile and keep looking for about 5 seconds.  After that, look away for a second or two then catch his gaze again.  If he's still looking, chances are that may be interested.  Continue to smile (not too wide making you look insane) and show him that you are open to being approached.  The rest is history.

Initiate the conversation
Scary thought for some women but men appreciate a sign that they have a chance.  Here you do not want to be the aggressor and ask him out, but show him that you are open to being hunted.  Choose what to say depending on the situation.  If you are in a bar or other social setting, you can use a cheesy line to show you have a good sense of humor.  In a more relaxed atmosphere (i.e., mall, book store, friends' house, etc.) bring up something that is relevant to the situation.  Ask him what he is reading, directions to a store, or his relationship to the person whose home you are visiting.  Or use the simple, yet effective, "Hi.  I'm .... and you are?".

Drop something
Seriously.  I have seen this work a million times and not just in the movies.  When the object of your attention walks by or when you pass his way, drop an item.  No clothing ladies (please don't do that) but drop something unbreakable like a book, a pen, your lip gloss, or anything else you can find the bottom of your purse.  If he is a gentleman, he will pick it up.  Then work your magic with the two suggestions above.  If he does not pick it up, cut your losses and move on.

As you can probably guess by now, I am a fan of more old-fashioned rules of dating.  The way I see it, if it ain't broke....        


Sunday, July 17, 2011

10 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

What are the things needed to keep your relationship healthy?  

Most people would answer that question with the big four: Trust, fidelity, communication, and conflict resolution.  

While these are needed in order to have a successful relationship, there are many others that should be considered.  These, in conjunction with the big four, will increase your relationship satisfaction.

I recently stumbled across an article that sums up what most healthy relationships need.  I totally agree and could not have said it better myself.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Rules of "Friends With Benefits"

While I am eagerly awaiting the release of Justin Timberlake's (I LOVE him btw!) new movie "Friends With Benefits", I wonder whether or not men and women are capable of maintaining such relationships.  Romantic comedies try to convince us that friends with benefits (FWB) will eventually fall in love and live happily ever after.  Although they may go through some bumps along the way, they express their love and get it together in under 2 hours.     
Regrettably, most real life FWB situations don't turn out as well.  

So this got me thinking.  Can a FWB relationship be a good thing?  In my opinion, yes, but it depends.  There are many factors which will determine whether or not friends can have sex with each other yet keep their original friendship in tact.  I am not suggesting that friends should use each other for sexual gratification or that an arrangement such as this is for everyone.  The truth is, most friendships will not be able to withstand the complexities that are a direct result of having sex.  Emotional turmoil will keep most FWB from returning to their normal friendship.  Therefore, entering into a FWB relationship with your friend is probably not a good idea. 

But, for those who throw caution to the wind and have no-strings sex with their friends, a few things to consider:  
Rule #1: Establish some ground rules
Both parties should agree on their own FWB etiquette.  There needs to be a clear understanding of what is/isn't okay.  Do you spend the night together?  Are your encounters spontaneous or planned?  Are you sexually exclusive (if so, what is the point of being FWB)?  Do you tell other people?
These are better answered before sexual activity occurs.  Each party should know what is expected of them in order to decrease the potential for drama in the future.

Rule #2: Communication is key!     
I get that the point of a FWB situation is that you don't have to talk about relationship stuff.  But, in order for it to work, you DO have to talk about relationship stuff.  After the ground rules are set, continue to discuss the situation.  It is important to check in to see if it is "still working" for both parties and how to proceed if it is not.

Rule #3: Know when to say when
Remind yourself that this person is first and foremost your friend and the goal is to remain friends.  Therefore, you may have to put their needs ahead of yours.  Is he/she acting differently?  Do you have a feeling that they are wanting more/less from the situation?  If so, it may be time to end it.
Unfortunately, most FWB relationships only benefit one person.  The one who can remain emotionally unattached and doesn't equate sex with love.  Usually the male will have an easier transition in and out of the FWB situation.  



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Can You Love Someone Else Without Loving Yourself First?

I ran across an article in which the author argued that you do not have to love yourself in order to love someone else.  He states that for some, self-loathing has no bearing on the ability to love another.

Check out the article here.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Can Forgive, But I Won't Forget...

I heard this statement during a conversation with a family member after hearing a sermon on forgiveness.  My pastor spoke on its true meaning and stated that in order to be forgiven for our sins, we must forgive the sins of others.  The concept is simple enough, but the action proves to be one of the most difficult tasks faced in a relationship.

Disappointment and heartache encountered in relationships are often the direct result of another persons actions.  An unfaithful partner, a scheming friend, an absent parent, or a disrespectful child can test our patience and willingness to forgive.  When we are betrayed, the event lingers in our minds and can appear in random thoughts.  We may even dream about the incident and how we could, would, or should have reacted.  Our spirits are scarred.  On those occasions that we are able to forgive, the above mantra rings true..."I can forgive, but I won't forget."

Forgiveness is necessary when we are wronged and is the basis for maintaining authentic relationships.  To truly forgive, we must also forget.  In order for healing to occur, the event and any negative feelings about the offender should be free from our thoughts.  True forgiveness is not meant for the offender, but for the offended.  Therefore, forgetting is a key step in the pathway to forgiveness.

In order to forget, we must understand the true meaning of forgiveness.   

Forgiveness of others IS NOT:
  • An acceptance of the behavior
  • A license to be offended again
  • A sign of weakness

Forgiveness of others IS
  • An expression of self-love
  • A necessary step toward healing
  • The only way YOU will be forgiven in the future 

Try forgiving and forgetting those who offend(ed) you.  Most likely they have moved on and don't remember or care what they did.  Shouldn't you enjoy the same freedom?  


Monday, July 4, 2011

Reasons Why Women Are Unfaithful

According to a recent article, while there are many reasons women are unfaithful, they are more likely to stray when there is no passion left in their relationship. 

The article goes on to list 6 other things women report as the reasons why they had affairs.

For the record, I disagree with all of them.  Just like men, women are unfaithful for TWO reasons:

1.  They desire to be with someone else,  AND

2.  They have the opportunity to be with someone else.  Period.

Read the entire article HERE

Also, refer to some of my previous posts on infidelity:
Statistics on Infidelity
Is Your Marriage At-Risk for Infidelity?
Infidelity: To Tell Or Not To Tell?
Does Premarital Sex Increase Risk for Extramarital Sex?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Are You Dating A Mr. Right Now?

In a previous post, I discussed the phenomenon of women dating Mr. Right Now instead of waiting for Mr. Right.  But I realize that many women do not know the difference.  Although it is not an exact science and ALL of these may not apply, here is my take on the differences between the two men.

Mr. Right Now:

  • He does not want a relationship with you
  • Your friends and/or family question why you are with him
  • He mostly communicates with you through Facebook and text messages
  • You feel that you are with him out of necessity
  • He will not discuss the present or the future of your relationship
  • He would be Mr. Right if he would just change _____________ (fill in the blank)
  • You can not imagine being in a relationship with him
  • He can not tell you why he likes you or only refers to what you do for him
  • He has a couple of your relationship deal-breakers
  • You consistently question the validity of your relationship 
  • His mother/friends tell you that you are too good for him
  • He comments on how different you are from the women he usually dates
  • You do not feel good when you are with him
  • Things he says/does can change your mood or feelings about yourself
  • He does not respect your time and plans things last minute with you
  • You ask other people what they think about him 
  • You get an empty feeling when he is gone AND when he is there
  • Your behavior changes when you are with him
  • Your need to be loved outweighs your feelings toward him
Mr. Right:
  • You do not question his intentions toward you
  • You do not need others to approve of your relationship  
  • He can/will discuss a future with you
  • You are completely yourself around him
  • He does not go against your relationship deal-breakers
You can tell by the length of each list that the choice is pretty simple.  I am not suggesting that Mr. Right Now is a creep and Mr. Right is Prince Charming.  Sometimes situations, timing, and our level of self-awareness can make Mr. Right a Mr. Right Now or vice versa.  What I am suggesting is that a relationship with Mr. Right Now is a waste of your time.  He also keeps you from meeting Mr. Right or working on yourself so that you can meet Mr. Right.  

For those of you who would rather be with Mr. Right Now than be alone, I am sorry to have wasted your time.  For everyone else, I assure you that Mr. Right does exist and he is well worth the wait.      

Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now...Is It Worth The Wait?

In our current dating culture where hook-ups are widespread and customary, both young and seasoned daters alike enter into relationships which lack clear definitions, expectations, and rules. Despite being biologically and socially wired to seek commitment and exclusivity, many women often settle for the status quo.  They sustain relationships with men waiting to see if something casual will turn into something more serious.  It appears that the need for companionship often outweighs the desire for something real.

We see this scenario play out time and time again.  Take for instance the recent split between George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis.  

Woman meets man.  Man tells woman that he is not ready/able/willing/interested in marriage/monogamy/commitment.  Woman continues to see man in the hopes that he will change his mind or that she has the power to change him.  Eventually they break up and woman realizes that man was not Mr. Right but was Mr. Right Now. 

So why do women continue to settle for Mr. Right Now?  Is there a lesson to be learned here?

1.  Women are socialized that being alone = you're damaged goods.
Although we have made huge strides for gender equality, women are still consistently judged based on their dating status.  Unfortunately, this only increases with age.  Women in their 30s and 40s are often asked by family and friends of their current dating status and single women often feel pressure to justify why they are single.   This  can place undue pressure on a woman to get a guy just to say that she has one.

2.  Women feel that there is a lack of quality men out there.
This is especially true for professional women and those who are members of minority groups.  For some the mantra is "All the good ones are either taken or gay."  This ideal, which is false by the way, will increase the likelihood that a woman will continue her relationship with Mr. Right Now instead of venturing out to find Mr. Right.

3.  Women believe the lies that men tell them.
This one may get a few of you a bit angry, but here goes.  You CANNOT change a man.  No matter how many men have told you that you are the best woman they know, or your sexual ability makes them weak, or there is no other woman like you, etc.  While all of these may be true, it is highly unlikely that your actions or physical attributes will make a non-committal man want to commit.  His commitment to you is primarily based on his decision and not you.

In closing, I suggest that it is worth the wait.  I am not advocating for women to be alone, but to be more selective in who they choose to spend their time with.  The attention from Mr. Right Now may feel good in the moment, but it usually hurts a lot in the end.  And it is definitely a lot worse than waiting for Mr. Right.

Want to find out if you are you dating a Mr. Right Now?  Click here

Need additional information, read some of my previous posts:
Was that a Hook-up?
Finding Your Relationship Deal-Breakers
Men You Should NOT date
Top 5 Lies Women Tell Themselves

Summer Dating Tips for Ladies

After much anticipation, summer is here.  It's the time that some take much-needed vacations or have extra time to spend with kids who are out of school.  The weather is great and people venture outside to partake of barbecues, beaches, amusement parks, etc.  But this can also be a great time for single ladies to meet new dating prospects!  If you are up to adding a little spice to your summer dating, try these tips:

1.  Play a round of golf
Gather up a group of girlfriends and head to the golf course.  While most women are not too fond of this sport, the golf course can be a great place to meet men.  Also, it shows potential mates your willingness to participate in something they like.  If all else fails, you can always flirt with the cute golf pro or caddy!

2.  Go outside
Take advantage of the weather and spend more time outdoors.  Take a stroll around your neighborhood (or that of a friend), wash your car, or borrow a pet to walk from a friend.  The key is to be alert and friendly when a cute guy passes by.

3.  Jump in the game
When you see some guys shooting the basketball around or chasing pop flies, ask to join them (make sure there's no serious game going on).  Even if you have superior athletic ability, it is a good idea to ask them to teach you something.  Guys love to teach and will appreciate your effort.         

4.  Try a swim class  
If you do not know how to swim, it is a great time to learn.  If you do, it's  a great time to hone your skills or get more exercise.  Of course public pools will attract families and kids in the summer, but you can also find single guys getting a reprieve from the heat.  Besides, it gives you an opportunity to dust off and wear your cute swimsuits.      


5.  Take an all girls trip
One tried and true way to meet a guy is when you are hanging out with your girlfriends.  I know of countless women who met their mates while on vacation with friends.  You are more likely to be at ease and enjoy yourself, making you approachable and a magnet for guys. 

Last but not least comes a marvelous suggestion from someone I follow on Twitter
(find him here and here  He suggests that ladies should make it a goal to ask out 10 guys this summer.  Your chances are pretty good and you will probably get about 5 dates, because 1 in 2 guys are likely to say yes.

Keep me updated with your progress...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Seniors Find Love Online

Proving that it is never too late to find true love, 90-year-old Molly Holder recently wed a younger 82-year-old Ed Nisbett after meeting on the popular dating website. 

Although ready to meet her Prince Charming, Molly was cautious and played it safe.  She asked her 41-year-old grandson to chaperone her first date.  And the rest is history.

Read more about the two love birds here: Never Too Late   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are You Kidding Me? Mom allows 51-year-old actor to marry her 16-year-old daughter

Doug Hutchinson, 51-year-old star of "Lost" and "The Green Mile" recently wed 16-year-old Courtney Stodden.  Although Courtney was too young to legally marry Doug, she did so with her mother's parental consent.

Marriages with extreme age differences have existed throughout history.  Men in the Bible had young wives, kings and queens married at 12 and 13, and it was not uncommon for a landowner to chose the young girl next door as his bride.  Not to be outdone, celebrities have also married those much younger (i.e., Woody Allen, Jerry Lee Lewis, Larry King, etc.).  So this is not a new phenomenon.

As there is a long-standing history of such marriages, we still freak out when hearing stories like this.  In this case, you have to wonder what a 51-year-old and a 16-year-old have in common?  How did mom allow her daughter to marry a man 35 years her senior?  Is the daughter trying to become famous?

In each state, marriage consent laws specify at what age an individual may legally marry (hence why mom had to give consent since Courtney is not 18).  Assuming that these laws exist for a reason and that most young people don't have enough life experience to agree to marry, I wonder what criteria mom used to determine that her daughter was "ready".  Which is the bigger issue here, the age difference or the fact that mom agreed to this union?

For a list of U.S. age of marriage consent laws click here.

Read more about the newlyweds here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Would You Let Your Teen Have Sex In Your Home?

Some parents insist that it is "safer" for teens to have sex at home rather than in the "unsafe" environments of cars, hotels, etc.  These parents are more comfortable when their teen(s) explore sexuality in a controlled environment where they as parents can intervene. 
On the contrary, many teens (namely girls) report this freedom may damper their ability to say no to sex and may even damage their reputations when peers realize the permissive nature of their parents.    

This topic brings about many questions on how to govern this behavior.  Are parents going to supply teens with mood music, candles, and contraceptives?  Do you notify the parents of other teens visiting your home?  Are there rules to govern appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior (i.e., certain days/times, vetting partners, etc)?  Are parents aware of age of consent laws in their state? Would underage drinking and recreational drug use also be acceptable if done at home?

I can't imagine how a teen can be comfortable having sex with parents in the next room or how a parent can be comfortable with someone having sex with their teen in the next room.

Have we gone too far in our society with the acceptance and encouragement of teenagers having sex?

For more information, follow the link below:

                                                               Teen Sex in The Family Home