Thursday, November 4, 2010
By Susan Daly
Wednesday Nov 3 2010
The battle of the sexes has claimed a new casualty. Actor Stephen Fry was drawn into the fray over a magazine interview in which he was quoted as saying that women only had sex to ensure they kept hold of their relationship.
Fry has since claimed he was misquoted and that the "humorous" tone of the article was missed. His remarks, accurate or not, were all the tinder needed to reignite the debate about what women and men want -- and who wants it more.
There seems little doubt that women are traditionally thought to be less interested in sex than men.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Economists claim that family planning through contraception is the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions. Every $7 spent on improving access to contraception would reduce carbon emissions by more than a ton, which is a great return. Conversely, you need to spend $30 on green technologies to see the same reduction.
If people who want access to services like the birth control pill got it, unintended births would be reduced by 72 percent, and thus future carbon emissions would be reduced. Fewer people, less carbon and a happier planet.
The London School of Economics isn't the first to point out that reducing the number of children you have is a powerful way to cut back your total environmental impact. Earlier this year, an environmental adviser for the UK controversially called on the government to provide better access to contraception and abortion as a crucial piece of its anti-global-warming policy.
Do you think getting contraception to people who want and need it should be the focus of climate change policy? Or should we be looking at bigger and smarter ways to help save the planet?
Negative body image is an instant mood killer for women and it doesn’t matter how slim, curvy or tone you are; it’s what’s going on inside your head that counts. “When a women of any size or shape doesn’t feel comfortable with her body for whatever reason, it will affect her sex life – possibly making her self-conscious and causing her difficulty in getting aroused and enjoying the experience,” says Vivienne Lewis, psychologist and body image expert.
Body insecurity isn’t just a problem for those on the larger end of the scale. “Women who have always been judged as too thin probably don’t feel ‘normal’ or feel that guys would desire them,” says Dr Janet Hall of sex-therapy.com.au. She also says that petite women can lack sexual confidence if they have small breasts. “I weigh 50kg and have absolutely no boobs. I live in padded bras. When I first met my ex, I wore a push-up bra to bed and it kept riding up. I felt ridiculous; I kept trying to pull it down without him noticing. When he tried to take it off, I rushed the sex to distract him,” says Maria 26*. Then this from Lara, 25*: “I’ve put on weight since I moved in with my boyfriend. I cook more, exercise less and go out to restaurants with him. I feel fat all the time and my sex drive has disappeared. We once had sex every couple of days, now it’s once a fortnight. He tries so hard to get me in the mood, but I just cant enjoy it when I know I look this way.”
Its an all too familiar story, says Lewis: “ If a woman doesn’t feel confident with her body, she won't feel confident being naked, because in this situation you need to relax in order to experience pleasure.” But this perceived lack of sexual attractiveness is rarely seen by the eyes of the beholder. “Body consciousness is a perception of how your body appears to you,” explains Lewis. “Realise that your partner is far less critical of your body than you are. Try to focus on the experience and your partner, rather than yourself – it’ll help you relax and enjoy pleasure much more.”
According to new research, men with a higher Body Mass Index are more capable of satisfying their sexual partners.
The study, which was carried out at Turkey's Erciyes University, found that heavier men lasted an average of 7.3 minutes in bed, while it was all over for the thinner guys before two minutes was up.
Science bods now say that larger men last longer because they have higher levels of female hormones in their body, which interfere with their male sex chemicals and slow them down.
Yes, really! The research, carried out by sociologist Anthony Paik with the help of 642 Chicago-siders, found that waiting a long time to get sexually involved with a guy did not necessarily guarantee long-lasting happiness.
Paik said: "We didn't see much evidence that relationships were lower quality because they started off as hook-ups. The study suggests that rewarding relationship are possible for those who delay sex. But it's also possible for true love to emerge if things start off with a more 'Sex and the City' approach, when people spot each other across the room, become sexually involved and then build a relationship."
Paik also revealed that a lot of the couples who were happy in their relationships had got involved after being acquaintances first or becoming "friends with benefits".
So what are you waiting for, girls? Grab a male mate and fall in love!
There are some situations in which you should never consider reconciliation. For example, was there abuse involved? Or is there a serious addiction that hasn’t been addressed? These are very difficult if not dangerous issues that must be addressed outside of a relationship… not while you’re in the throes of one. If you had the strength to extricate yourself from a relationship that was potentially deleterious to your own well-being, why would you willingly put yourself back there again?
If infidelity was to blame for the breakup, you will have to decide if this is something you can realistically get past. “If your guy cheated and you take him back, are you both prepared to make peace with the White Elephant in the room and live with it? At least for a while, counted in years?” says Joel Block, Ph.D., author of The Magic of Lasting Love. “It is something that must be done with eyes wide open, taking the long view and being honest with yourself regarding what you are up for handling.”
On the other hand, if by looking back you realize that you broke up because both of you ran up against some issue or problem which you just couldn’t get past at the time — like fear of deeper commitment, some transitional life crisis, or even a fight that you both left unfinished — then it might be worth trying again if, with the benefit of some time, you have had growth or insights about those problems. “All couples have disagreements, even fights, and that is not necessarily a sign of a bad relationship,” says Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area and author of Secrets You Keep From Yourself. “What matters is how you get past disagreements. If you and your ex have a pattern of being able to work through things, that bodes well for the future. If not, better to move on.”
2. What was my part in this breakup? Why would I want him back?
Yes, maybe he screwed up. Big time. But remember, there are two parties in a relationship. Before you even think about reconciliation, you need to consider what you contributed to the breakup as well and how you view it now. “If you are blaming your ex — even though he may have acted badly — but not looking to see if you had any part in this, a reconciliation isn’t as likely to be successful,” says Neuharth. “Own your part.”
This doesn’t mean assigning self-blame for the relationship’s demise, but it does mean being honest with yourself about what you want as well. Perhaps the relationship came to an end precisely because you realized that you two were not compatible on some level or that there were characteristics you couldn’t live with. “You deserve a great relationship, and part of having a great relationship is picking the right partner,” says Neuharth. “Make sure there are far more green lights than red flags, especially on important issues like shared communication styles, honesty, key values and chemistry.”
3. Am I missing him, or just being in a relationship?
Sometimes you undoubtedly feel lost while missing an ex… but is it really the guy you miss, or is it the feeling of being part of a couple instead? It’s often hard to shift your mindset between your perceived identities. Going from coupledom back to singlehood can make a gal feel even more alone in the big, bad world of dating. But if you are mostly missing the relationship — having a partner, having someone to go to movies with on weekends, having someone to talk with, sleep with, play with — remember that this connection can be established with just about anyone. “It may take time and you may feel lonely, but online dating sites are full of people looking to connect!” says Neuharth. “You can have a new relationship that supplies all those things, and you can do it with someone who is a better match for you than your ex, particularly if there were problems between the two of you that are not negotiable.”
Also keep in mind that maintaining your newly single status opens up the possibility of finding Mr. Right, whereas jumping back into a relationship with Mr. Wrong will only preclude you from finding a more suitable someone sooner. “If your reasons for considering getting back together are about abject loneliness and desperation, then you would be much better off getting a puppy,” says Block.
4. What questions do I want to ask him when we speak?
Probably the most important thing you need to find out from an ex trying to win you back is, “Why now?” What is it that has prompted him to come back and seek your forgiveness at this juncture? If he was the dumper, you will want to make sure you really understand why he did it and why he wants you back. “If he left you because he got scared and is coming back because he loves you, that is one thing…then you can talk about why he got scared, and what he will do to make sure he can push through his fears in the future,” says Neuharth.
Other things to consider: Why does he want to reconcile? What has he learned from this breakup? What is different this time? Why should you take him back? Is he just lonely and hasn’t found a better replacement, or is it really you that he’s missing? “If he left because he got bored, met someone else or stopped being into you, those things will almost surely recur,” says Neuharth. “Tell him no deal in that case — and that you are moving on to find a great relationship of your own because he had his chance.”
5. What has changed now that will make things work out when they didn’t before?
To assess this question, you must carefully think about your prior relationship and what precipitated the breakup. (If nothing was wrong, you wouldn’t have ended things, right?)
Did you have clashing desires, needs or temperaments? Did you get bored? Did you bring out the best and the worst in each other, or make each other feel anxious? Did one or both of you actively dislike some of each other’s recurrent behaviors? Had you discussed this previously and tried to correct it? If you did and it didn’t change, why do you think it will be different now?
“I’ve seen more than a few couples who say, well, we broke up before, but when we got back together, we went right back to the way things were,” says Neuharth. “You broke up for a reason, and if it was a good reason, the last thing you want is a return to the old status quo.” In other words, if you don’t address the issues you had when you were together and see how they might have changed or how you can work on them, your shot at success the second time around will be minimal.
This brings up the long-term view as well. “When making any important decision, it is essential to visualize the future — not just now,” says Block. “How will it be living with a recovering addict after the rehab experience wears off and you start hiding your wallet?” In other words, while evidence of change might be in front of you at this moment, take time to think how you’ll feel down the line if this does turn into something serious. You need to make decisions for your future life, not just what feels good and comfy right now.
6. What steps would I want to see taken if we were to try again?
Slow and steady wins this race! There is no such thing as taking a reconciliation too slowly. “Failed reconciliations are generally either those that rush, or those in which one person just cannot get past the mistrust or hurt from the earlier breakup,” says Neuharth. “You want to see steady progress. There may be setbacks or bumps in the road, but you want to be sure you’re going in the right direction this time.”
While the temptation may be high, try not to jump straight back into a pysical relationship, either. Intimacy can lead to better communication, or it can serve as a blindfold for recognizing the problems that were there already (which will not go away just because you’re passionately attracted to each other). It’s important for you to discuss how and when you will reestablish this step in your relationship.
If you’re both open to it, some counseling might be a wise idea. It’s also important not to go from barely seeing each other to spending every waking minute together again. Approach it like you’re getting to know each other anew… only this time with the added benefit of already knowing your partner’s strengths and foibles.
Be open to making a plan together. If you’re truly going to be a duo, then you need to work at reconciliation like a chemistry project… with both partners working toward the same goal.
And always, always listen to that little voice within. Because the decision to take him back or not lies within you, and intuition is frequently the determinant factor.
Finally, realize that if you open your arms again, he’ll be lucky to get you back.
1. Cleanse your aura
Give your joint living space the once-over. When it's sparkling clean, burn some Jasmine oil to make the environment even more love-friendly.
2. Spruce the sex life
Do you find yourself having an (unsatisfying) fidgety fumble come bedtime? Try having spontaneous sex, like when you walk in from work or wake up late on a Sunday morning.
3. Clean routine
Break habits to avoid monotony within your relationship... a gap in your regular routine could give your union the shake-up it needs.
4. Tidy time
Take time out for the two of you to just 'be'. There's nothing more relaxing than lounging entwined on the sofa and hearing and feeling each other breathe.
If you never communicate, small problems will soon become split-worthy issues. Sit down and talk through what you love about your relationship and what you'd like to change.
There's nothing more sensual than soaking in a bubble bath for two or lathering each other up in a steamy shower.
7. Throw out workouts
He plays footie with the boys... you go spinnning with the girls. Why not take a brisk walk along the beach together instead? Hand-in-hand, of course.
8. Memory mop
Are you holding on to that past relationship? Get rid of reminders of the ex so you can move on with your current partner.
9. Scrap them
Do you find yourself clinging to each other? It's great to spend time apart, so book in a weekly dinner with your mum or take up a new hobby.
10. Romantic rinse
A picnic in the park or candelight dinner might sound like a cliche, but it's sure to inject a little romance into your relationship.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pop a wet spoon in the freezer while you’re getting ready, recommends top makeup artist Carmindy, and gently press it to your neck when it’s nice and cool to reduce swelling. Then take a soft toothbrush, and slowly swipe from the inside to the outside of the bruise to get blood flowing again. See other wacky beauty tips that work.
Follow by gently dabbing on a creamy, thick concealer (our fave is Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, $45), a dash of translucent powder, and a scarf or turtleneck to cover the damage. Check out these tricks to look amazing on lousy days.
Like all recipes whether it is for a pound cake or lasagna there are basic ingredients. Many of us might elect to add our own twist making them more suitable to our palate. However there are some ingredients if removed simply don’t add up to the ideal dish.
You would be hard pressed to make a great pound cake without flour or lasagna without pasta. Those are among the basic ingredients required to make those dishes.
It’s not enough to know the ingredients of a recipe. It’s just as important to know the syntax or (order of things). When you mix ingredients in a different order you get a slightly different result. If you leave one ingredient out or add a different one you also get something else. There is always more than one way to make an entrée. Both KFC and Popeye’s serve fried chicken with completely different recipes. Naturally they both start off with chicken and flour but the spices used vary tremendously.
I believe the foundation of any happy marriage or relationship for that matter is built upon the following 6 building blocks/ingredients. These blocks could also be thought of as chain links with each coming into existence and getting stronger because of the previous one.
1. HONESTY leads to TRUST
2. TRUST leads to LOYALTY
3. LOYALTY leads to LOVE & DEVOTION
4. LOVE & DEVOTION leads to INTIMACY
5. INTIMACY leads to EMOTIONAL SECURITY
6. EMOTIONAL SECURITY leads to REAL HAPPINESS
REAL HAPPINESS is what makes life worth living!!!
Every relationship I have been in which failed I can point to at least one or more of these ingredients that were missing. Honesty is the most important building block of them all.
No relationship can last for long without a large measure of honesty. A relationship without honesty is equivalent to building a house on sand or without a foundation. It's not going to last. The truth will eventually come out or the liar becomes bored with making a fool out of their mate and decides to move on. Everyone is quick to say communication is the key to a happy relationship. It should be said "honest communication" is a key to a happy relationship.
The next link in the relationship chain is trust. You can’t build trust without honesty being firmly established. Trust is based upon your mate demonstrating honesty and integrity. Trust is very similar to respect in that it should be earned overtime. It’s not something to be given away lightly. I’ve heard several people say, “I’ll trust anyone until they prove me wrong.”
This way of thinking is a dream come true for any conman!
“Through thick and through thin, come hell or high water, I’ve got your back!” Simply hearing those words from a loved one can lift your spirits no matter what obstacles in life you may be facing. Knowing you have some place to land should you fall is a safety net you can’t put a price on. Loyalty evokes other words such as commitment, faithful, and trustworthy.
The exchange of wedding vows is nothing more than promising to be loyal (in sickness and good health, until death do you part…etc) in front of witnesses.
There is no loyalty without honesty and trust.
LOVE & DEVOTION
Honesty, Trust, and Loyalty are definitely the foundation of your relationship. It is now time to take the must courageous step of all, completely open your heart offering your mate all the love and devotion they can handle. Putting your heart and soul into anything is always scary and this is especially true when it comes to relationships. No matter how much you prepare there is always a risk of failure, disappointment, and heartbreak. The previous links in the chain are in a particular syntax as to minimize the heartache risk. Putting the cart before the horse can lead to learning a painful lesson.
Intimacy means different things to different people but essentially its feeling emotionally connected. It’s about sharing your life with someone including your fears, hopes, and dreams in ways you don’t share with most people you know. Intimacy is also about being physically connected. Although sex and its frequency are extremely important in this regard it is also very important to be physically connected outside of the bedroom throughout the day. There is no need to be stingy with hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling or taking showers together from time to time in order to stay physically and emotionally connected.
When one thinks of the word security it means your needs are being met regardless of circumstances. It’s very similar to having auto insurance, homeowner insurance, and health insurance in the event something dire occurs. You are fully aware assistance is available to help you recover. An emotionally secure person has a support system as well as a positive outlook on life. They are able to make adjustments and keep rolling when they are thrown off track. In order to obtain emotional security it’s important to maintain a well balanced life. This would entail having family, friends, and co-workers you can lean on for support during rough times. Your spouse, mate, or partner in life should be an integral part of your support team. This is the person lying next to you each night and waking up with you each morning. They have made a commitment to walk with you side by side through life’s ups and downs. There is no person closer physically or as emotionally connected to you as your mate.
Being in an emotionally secure relationship means you feel “safe” to open up about anything without being judged or criticized for how you may be feeling. It’s impossible to have emotional security in a relationship without having the previous chain links covered earlier in this chapter. (Honesty, Trust, Loyalty, Love & Devotion and Intimacy)
Well that’s my basic recipe for relationship happiness. Feel free to spice it up and add whatever suits your taste.
I didn’t get the memo, but apparently a number of peeps throughout the country did. Gotopless.org is “a U.S. organization, claiming that women have the same constitutional right to be bare-chested in public places as men.” On this celebratory day, the activists called for men to cover up their chests in the name of equal rights, while women either wore red tape with an “X” across their nipples, latex nipple covers over their actual nipples (they have those?), or they just straight up let it all hang out. Protesters carried signs reading such things as "Men and Women have nipples. Why should Women hide theirs?" and "Equal Topless Rights for All or None." Yeah.
In all but a few select locations across the nation, it is illegal for women to show their nipples. A number of cases recognizing a women’s right to go topless have proved successful. In one such case in 1998, a Maine woman who chose to mow her lawn shirtless was threatened by a neighbor with legal action. But, because Maine supports the boobs, the town voters rejected the law to criminalize female breasts. Not only did they reject it, the locals showed their support by purchasing thousands of "Topfree Lawnmower's Association" t-shirts. (Still trying to find out where I can purchase one of those.)
So, we ask, is this criminalizing of female breasts warranted or should women, like men, be able to go shirtless?
"The way to deal is to limit the amount of contact and the depth of contact for a period of time," she says. "So, you go slow and keep your interests in other areas of your life active, say only calling a couple times of week (instead of every day), not emailing constantly, only going together for a date once during the week and once during the weekend (rather than the whole weekend…)."
She says giving into your love obsession and pursuing the man can cause him to withdraw. If you instead create space, it'll act like a magnet to draw him back. "So, you also hold back on so much showy displays of verbal and physical affection as well, or talk of feelings. Allow him to come to you. Allow him to instigate contact, affection," she says. "This will give him enough breathing room and if it’s meant to be, he’ll move towards you. If he doesn’t--he’s not the one."
Okay, so what if it's the opposite? He is smitten by you and you're getting turned off by his intensity? Dr. Jenn says it's important you set boundaries right away. "Feel free to ask for the space you need, without blaming him or putting him down or slamming the door and running away. Help him understand that’s just a part of who you are," she says. "Give it some time to see if your feelings end up growing to match his, but with time and space."
And if the unequal feelings stick around for a long time--no matter if you're the one who loves more or less? Dr. Jenn suggests you re-evaluate the relationship.
"These kinds of relationships are uncomfortable and painful for both parties- for the person who is always pursuing, feeling hurt trying to get needs met- and for the person who is always withdrawing, feeling smothered and guilty that he/she can’t give the other person what they want," she points out. "Ultimately that kind of relationship takes too much work and causes too much pain. Why not go find someone with whom it is easy and feels good most of the time!"
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We've already armed you with a checklist of traits that might indicate that your boyfriend is a loser or majorly annoying, but what about that oh-so-common creature, The Egomaniac? Here are 30 signs you might be dating the ultimate narcissist in disguise.
- He can't take an innocent joke at his expense.
- He works in advertising, has an M.D., or is the lead singer and/or most good-looking member of a band.
- He tells you about the assorted girls who hit on him. Or worse, the ones who looked at him and thus OBVIOUSLY wanted to hit on him.
- He gives you a verbal resume on a first date. Even if it sounds impressive, run.
- He begins 75 percent of sentences with I.
- He gets irritable when you IM while he's busy at work, but doesn't think twice about bugging your ass all day long when things are "slow" for him.
- He tells you about the extreme minutiae of his day as if it’s fascinating.
- He complains about how uncomfortable he is because it’s hot/cold/crowded, when clearly everyone in the situation is uncomfortable.
- He's an advocate of unprotected sex because his penis is "too big" for condoms and/or he knows how to pull out with 100 percent accuracy.
- He likes to talk about how successful he intends to be in the future, insisting that money won't be an issue despite the fact that he has four roommates and no career to speak of.
- He has a verbal tick which requires him to preface everything with "I feel like ..."
- He zones out when you're talking to him because he can't be bothered to focus on anything outside himself for more than 30 seconds at a time.
- He couches every apology for wrongdoing in a subtle justification or excuse for his behavior. Ex: "I'm sorry I walked out on you in the middle of that movie the other night. I was really frustrated and upset. I just couldn't sit through it."
- He fixates on how he's perceived by your friends and family, whether they like him, what they say about him, what they think of him.
- He obsesses over decisions related to his appearance, like how many centimeters to take off at his next haircut.
- He makes someone else record his voicemail message, so it seems he's more important than he is.
- He's obsessed with making his XBox avatar look exactly like him.
- He updates his Facebook status more than once a day.
- He refers to everyone as "lil' b---- ."
- He refers to himself in the third person.
- He really doesn't think waiting for a table at a restaurant is something someone like him should have to do.
- He really wants to be famous. For something. He's just not sure what. But something.
- He brags about how much money he makes, or even worse, will make someday if he stays on his career track.
- He's determined to please you in bed, but mainly because he doesn't want to ruin his record of "always making a girl come."
- If you make suggestions about how he could be better in bed, he twists around the problem to be your fault — you're too uptight, not relaxed enough; you must not like sex; you must have intimacy issues, etc.
- He is concerned about how your funky outfit/makeup/etc. will reflect on him in front of his more conservative friends or parents.
- He fishes for info on how much money your ex boyfriends made.
- He talks about himself in superlatives, like "I'm the smartest guy you'll ever date" or "My boss says I'm the best employee he's ever had in his whole life."
- He asks you, point blank, if he's the best you've ever slept with.
- He's too busy to help you move but still wants you to come watch his poetry slam.
1.) Try an early dinner and make your date a dessert date. A light dessert (as opposed to something large and sinfully rich) is a fun way to share something sensuous.
2.) Or, make love before dinner. Instead of using the intimacy of a meal to bring you together, why not work up an appetite with a delicious intimate encounter?
3.) If you drink alcohol on your date, keep it moderate. Alcohol can be a sexual asset if one of you is nervous or shy, but drinking can also inhibit sexual function by sedating your nervous system.
4.) Be careful about your after-dinner coffee. If you need caffeine to jump start lovemaking, don’t drink so much that you won’t be able to sleep afterward.
5.) The room you make love in should be cozy and warm. If your feet are chilled, it may take more genital stimulation to warm them up.
Here are 7 different types of breakups ranked by shortest recovery time to longest recovery time:
7. The Mutual Breakup
This is as peaceful a breakup as you can have, like when the entire family agrees it's time to pull the plug on grandpa's respirator: he is freed of his misery, and the family feels a sense of relief. I've never had a mutual breakup. I can't catch that lightning in a bottle. But it can't be that tough to recover from a mutual breakup and get back out in the dating scene again.
6. The Circumstantial Breakup
A cousin of the mutual breakup, the circumstantial breakup occurs when the environment around you won't permit the relationship to continue: my parents hate you, you're in Cali and I'm in NY (or even, you're one town over), I need to be single for a while, etc. Recovery time is shortened because the other person offers an excuse that takes the focus off your weaknesses or unattractive qualities that could have caused a breakup.
5. The Ultimatum Breakup
The most common ultimatum leading to a breakup is: "ask me to marry you within the next year of I'm out of here." Other conflicts could cause ultimatums as well: change your religion, get rid of that stupid old car, etc. Ultimatum breakups can be tough to get over because it's annoying that a little compromise could have prevented it. But once it's over, that pressure from the stalemate you reached in the relationship is gone, so it's quite a relief.
4. The Something Someone Said Breakup
My friend broke up with his girlfriend he was dating for years, and he mentioned a conversation that occurred shortly before they broke up. They were discussing wedding rings, and she asked how much he'd spend. He simply hasn't studied the "market" so he threw a number out there: "I don't know, $5,000." She scoffed and said: "You should spend no less than $20,000."
He told me after she said that, he couldn't think of her the same way anymore. In fact, it put a figurative "X" over her image in his eyes. They eventually broke up, and this conversation was the springboard. This type of breakup is painful because you wish you could take something you said or did back.
3. The I've Been Cheating
Whether you find out from them or some other way, it's the ultimate betrayal when they are cheating on you. You can get over it because you dismiss this person as a cheating jerk, but you still feel stupid and you might spend several months envisioning the cheating or trying to regain faith in the opposite gender.
2. The First Love Breakup
The First Love breakup is one of the toughest to overcome. Some say you never get over it. This breakup teaches us that the world is a bigger place than we thought. There are more people to meet, there are bills to pay, there are places to go. Things just can't stay the same as they once were.
Mine hit me when I got to college and my girlfirend stayed behind in high school. Eventually, we had to move on. The first love breakup is hurts so much because you've never experienced this feeling of loss and disappointment before. And, it's part of growing up and growing up is usually a painful process.
1. The Blind Side
My friend recently blind sided his ex. After she cried for an hour, he decided he had put in enough time and he left. This is traumatic because it comes out of nowhere. The blind sider may have been thinking about it for months, and they conceal their intentions, then drop the bomb while everything seems to be going well. In fact, the couple may have spent time together the night before, but the blind sider did so out of obligation.
Blind Sides chip away at your ability to trust. If someone can break up with you when things seem to be going so well, you'll have a tough time avoiding paranoia and trusting your new partners.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
No.1 - Manage her expectations
Making her come to you is the easy part; keeping her is the real challenge. When you meet your dream woman, be honest with yourself and her: Do not portray yourself in a different light. Call it like it is and you will avoid headaches and misery down the road. Most importantly, she will see that you are being genuine, sincere and honest, and she will, therefore, want you by her side forever.
No.2 - Do not prejudge her
This is key, even before you get to the dating stage. Men (and women) are bad in one way: We meet a young woman we like and we attribute her with the qualities and traits of our dream woman. Then we wonder why we cannot do squat at work as we daydream of her.
Then when push comes to shove, we realize that she is a fraction of our image of her and that she is, in fact, nothing like what we believed her to be. This said, you should have absolutely no expectations of her character and she will not disappoint; she may even want you to get to know her better, at which point you can send us a thank-you note.
No.3 - Give her space
You may like her and want her to like you, but unless you give her space and do not crowd her, she will never be interested. You know the expression about absence making the heart grow fonder? Well, it's true. So let her wonder where you are, whom you're with and where you're going, and she will hope to cross paths with you more often than you think.
No.4 - Make her the center of your universe
OK, before the Men's Liberation movement gets upset, allow us to simply add this: Make your woman think that all you like her for is the BLT (no, we do not mean bacon, lettuce and tomatoes), and she will not care to keep you around for long. But please her mind by showing an interest (a genuine one) in her family, friends, work, interests, hobbies, and dreams, and she will fall for you. Make sure you let her answer you instead of shooting off a session of 20 questions.
No.5 - Smile
It's very important to smile and present yourself in a positive manner. More importantly, make her laugh, make her friends crack up and, if you can, make her parents smile. That way, you'll be laughing to the altar (well, more like crying). Ask 9 out of 10 women, and they will tell you the importance of a sense of humor, so leave the tortured look at home and crack a smile.
No.6 - Be the best you can be
No, do not join the army, even though women like men in uniform. Rather, make sure you smell good, have fresh breath, are well-groomed, and look your best. Yes, some women do not care about looks, especially when your bank account swells to the seven-digits. However, the same way that men demand their women be good-looking, women demand and deserve the same. You have been warned.
No.7 - Play hard to get
This one is an extension of the "do not make the first move" advice. The difference is simple: Even if she knows you are interested, do not throw yourself at her disposal. If she knows that you would walk over water and swallow fire to be with her, then she will rain on your parade and pitch a lit match on your dreams, so let her know that you have places to go and people to see.
No.8 - Do not make the first move
So, show some interest -- this is the bait after all -- but keep your cards to your chest instead of slamming your two-of-a-kind on the table. Who knows? You may end up with a full house if you're patient.
No.9 - Keep her guessing
Women like mystery. Now, I'm not implying that you should lie to them, nor am I saying that you should play games, but you should leave something hidden. Put your life story in a press release and send it to her, and we guarantee that you will be flying solo for a while.
Feed her a bit, but keep her curiosity growing and her interest in you will do the same. If a woman thinks she has you figured out, she will get bored; however, if she wishes to determine what else lies between your two extremes (this last word of wisdom comes from a special young woman, so take her word for it), she will look forward to seeing you again and again.
No.10 - Do not be too friendly
So many men ask why their female friends choose to remain only friends. Well, if you discuss topics that friends discuss, then she will classify you as a friend. Yes, relationships should blossom into full-fledged partnerships, but this is not so at the beginning. And if this isn't enough, she will tell you sordid stories about all of the other men she likes and is pursuing. Act chummy and that is what you become -- a chum.
No.10 - Jewelry
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but other valuable gems and metals come pretty damn close for the wallet-conscious romantic. Sleek rings and bracelets with precious stones will surely please your lady and complement the sparkle in her eye (can we get an "aw"?). There are great selections out there, some even offering unisex designs so that you can get matching pieces. Go the extra mile: Present it to her in a jewelry box.
No.9 - Lingerie
Sexy intimate wear is always a good choice that never gets old. It's a perfect way to add some spice to your sex life, as lingerie is clearly meant to be taken off. Make sure you find her size in a style you know she'll love.Go the extra mile: Have it delivered to her house, with a note instructing that she wear it on your Valentine's date.
No.8 - Weekend getaway
While bed and breakfasts will remain a female favorite (it's just some stranger's house to us guys), a carefully chosen one can prove to be an enjoyable getaway for the two of you. Out in the country away from the bustle of the city, but not lacking in comfort, it's one of the best ways to spend some intimate time together. Go the extra mile: Visit a spa where you can both get the full-body treatment on the way to the B&B.
No.7 - Body care basket
Women never seem to have enough beauty products, so feed her vanity a little and get her a set of every lotion, toner, soap, and bath salt she can use. You'll thank us later when her skin is all soft and sweet for you.Go the extra mile: Include her favorite perfume in the basket and give her a rubdown with the body cream.
No.6 - Purse
Another fashion accessory that's very popular with the female persuasion, most women can always use another purse to match their shoes, belt, coat, etc. Go the extra mile: Initialize the purse and/or stuff it with little gifts like a wallet, or a scarf with a pair of gloves.
No.5 - Sex toys
Make it a great night for the two of you by hitting the local sex shop. Sex toy manufacturers are getting more creative each year, and there's no end to the variety of bedroom accessories you can find, from board games and body paint to flavored massage oils.Go the extra mile: Get something you can enjoy together -- again and again.
No.4 - A special date
There's no going wrong here. Take your woman out on a romantic date. It can be lunch, brunch or dinner, depending on what day Valentine's falls on. Or you can recreate your first date and relive the thrill of the honeymoon phase. Spare no expense here. Go the extra mile: Send her an invitation via snail mail and tell her to wear the dress you bought her for the occasion.
No.3 - Flowers
These are classics that work like magic if you put a little extra effort into the deed (read: don't get her a single rose wrapped in gift paper). Talk to your florist about an intricate arrangement: each flower signifies something else, like romance, loyalty or purity, so pick the ones that match your woman most. Go the extra mile: Give her the flowers in a vase.
No.2 - Chocolate
Show her how much you care by giving her the closest thing to sex (at least that's what women claim). If you came here in search of the perfect gift, she likely deserves it. Go the extra mile: Get a custom selection of her favorite flavors and fillings, and feed them to her while you share champagne and strawberries.
No.1 - Picture & frame
Here's a good way to immortalize your love: give her a portrait of the happy couple in a high-quality cube frame. You can blow up that great set of pictures of the two of you or hire a professional photographer to do the job. Go the extra mile: Make one for yourself also, so that you both have the same pictures and frame.
Friday, January 1, 2010
After all, they’d been dating for seven years.
Comeau says she and her brother drank their weight at a local bar, and by the time they got home, he seemed morose. In an effort to distract him, she put on a funny movie and fell asleep on the loveseat.
By the end of Christmas day, with the whole family gathered, he’d failed to make his deadline.
But all ended well: Within a year, his ex announced her engagement to someone else. Her brother too eventually got married—to a woman he proposed to after four months.
Comeau’s story, however, illustrates a larger point: For anyone in a long-term relationship, the holidays aren’t just fun and games—they’re a make-or-break month or two.
Call it the holy trinity—you have all your friends and family in one place, time off from work to actually reflect on your life, and that ever-present holiday spirit, urging you to surround yourself with your nearest and dearest. Suddenly any ugly are-we-or-aren’t-we, should-we-or-shouldn’t-we relationship ambiguity looms larger than the balloons in the Thanksgiving Day parade.
Some couples crack under the pressure and call it quits. But at least an equal number, surrounded by loved ones and sleighfuls of good tidings, decide to make it official.
In fact, depending on whom you talk to, December vies with February for the month of the year when the most diamond rings bedazzle new hands.
According to a spokesperson from Bing.com, the new Microsoft-powered search engine saw searches for terms like “diamond” and “engagement ring” spike by nearly 340 percent during late October and early November.
“Thanksgiving to New Year’s is our best time for business,” says Lita Asscher, president of Royal Asscher North America, the company that created the popular Asscher-cut diamond. “Percentage-wise, the last three months account for 50 percent of engagement rings we sell each year.”
“It’s hard for men to know exactly when to propose, and many want to do it around family,” concurs Yehouda Saketkhou, chief designer for Yael Designs, a jewelry house in San Francisco. “Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are the busiest occasions for sales.”
Many women too are aware that it’s a prime season for more than mistletoe: "Women are romantics by nature. When they’re in a relationship that’s going well, most are hoping for that ‘unexpected’ ring to appear in their stocking or in front of a fire,” says Svetlana Novikova, a matchmaker in New York City.
Some who don't get one are let down, she says. Others decide that the relationship isn't going anywhere and call it quits—while promising themselves they’ll find true love in the New Year.
That’s just what happened to Stacy Shwed, 35, a psychologist on Long Island.
As other woman after other woman comes forward, spilling the gory details of her time with Tiger, it seems more and more likely that a telltale text message may be what, in the end, did the big cad in.
Unfortunately, if that’s the case, Elin Nordegren won’t be the first—or the last—spouse to discover her significant other’s dalliances the new-fangled way.
“An intercepted text is the 2010 version of lipstick on the collar,” says Jonathan Alpert, a New York City psychologist, who’s recently seen a spike in clients wrestling with the aftermath of technologically fueled affairs. And the behavior is rampant on both coasts: “More frequently than ever, this is the way people are finding out that their partners are cheating—whether it’s cheating with sex involved or an emotional affair,” says Yvonne Thomas, PhD, an L.A. psychologist.
In fact, e-mail and texting—and now “sexting”—have leveled the playing field, making straying easier in the first place, whether you’re a professional athlete or the average American.
There are even websites, like ashleymadison.com, designed to make a “more efficient” way for married couples to stray, says founder Noel Biderman, who built the site in 2001 after reading a statistic indicating that 35 percent of users on dating websites were actually married and looking.
In fact, most of today’s indiscretions start virtually—a volley of desire lobbed back and forth at the speed of light, gaining intensity as it goes.
Yesteryear’s trysts—bosses and secretaries, long nights at the office—now seem almost quaint, more like a Mad Men plotline.
Perhaps the only thing that hasn’t changed is that when an unsuspecting partner clicks to find an e-mail that rocks her or him to the core, the pain isn’t mitigated by the digital age.
“It felt like an out-of-body experience,” says Wendy Silver*, 33, who discovered a slew of graphic text messages between her live-in boyfriend of three years and several different women an hour before her younger sister’s engagement party.
She wasn’t even snooping. He was out golfing for the day, and when she called, his jean pocket rang—he’d left the phone behind. Because he was hosting the after-party, she wanted to be sure he hadn’t missed any messages.
“I’d never checked his phone before in my life,” she says. “I just trusted him.” After all, they’d grown up together. She’d known him since she was 14. At the time, they had been talking engagement.
Silver didn’t waste any time. When he got back home, she confronted him and told him to leave the party. He burst into tears and apologized.
“I didn’t think you would ever find out,” he said.
“A part of me wishes I hadn’t,” she admits.
Dee Sanderson, 34, author of How to Marry a Loser Without Even Trying, was a little more tech-savvy: A computer programmer by trade, she decided to bug her husband’s computer based on a bad feeling she had.
“It was a period in my marriage where it felt like something was wrong. We weren’t connecting,” she says. “I couldn’t seem to get him interested in doing anything together.”
She felt stupid installing the trace. “It will probably be nothing, and then I’ll feel bad about not trusting him,” she said. Instead she was shocked by her virtual haul.
“Lo and behold, he had three or four different e-mail accounts he’d opened, and he was trying to solicit women,” she says. “One asked him outright, ‘Are you in a relationship?’ And he said, ‘Oh, it’s nothing serious.’ That was what hurt the worst. He basically said that our marriage didn’t mean anything.”
She kicked him out—then relented, for a time.
“I started thinking, Well, he swears he never did anything….”
Indeed, high-tech infidelity creates a new gray area: If your significant other describes exactly what he’d like to do to someone else in gory detail, but he’s never actually laid a hand on her, is it cheating?
“When you’re going outside the boundaries of what you’re supposed to share, emotionally and physically, only with your partner, cheating is cheating is cheating,” says Thomas. “And it’s not just women who are the casualties.”
Interesting findings indeed, even though some fall clearly in “tell me something I don’t know” territory. First, eight isn’t a shocking number. (For the record, nine is the average number of sexual partners for an American woman today. If it’s news you want, look to New Zealand, where it’s 20.) I venture to guess that there are a couple of guys each of us might like to erase from memory. And does it really come as a big surprise that we’re more likely to let our hair down and go wild after a few drinks?
But before you could say “last call,” the findings had been reported far and wide. Many news organizations cited the survey as an academic study, though there was no academic expert involved, and ran screaming headlines based on the following statement, made by a FemFresh brand manager:
“These results are a clear indication that British women today are severely lacking in confidence. The fact that alcohol plays an integral role in their love lives shows that women are looking for a boost in self-esteem when it comes to their bedroom antics.”
While the company calls the “survey” shocking, it’s this leap that floored us. Exactly how do you get from questions like “When sleeping with someone for the first time, would it be safe to say you always have a drink or two inside you?” to the fact that women have no sense of self-worth? That’s when ELLE decided to peer a bit deeper into truths and trends about women, booze, and our behavior in the bedroom.
First, in America as in Britain, it does seem that we’re drinking like fish. “We started from an assumption that, you know, women are binge drinkers,” said a spokesperson for FemFresh. In that assumption, they may be right on target. Sharon Wilsnack, PhD, a professor in the department of clinical neuroscience at the University of North Dakota, spent 20 years tracking the drinking habits of U.S. women. Sex and the City plotlines to the contrary, “when we looked, we didn’t find huge differences [in how much women were drinking],” she says, “but what we did find were huge increases in intoxication. I think it’s possible that young women particularly are drinking more intentionally—you know, to get drunk.”
It’s certainly happening with the college set: There, what Wilsnack would call binge drinking—i.e., the consumption of four or more drinks in a row by women, or five by men—now has cute monikers like “pregaming” or “frontloading.” Some bright, young co-eds have even found a new way to recycle their Poland Spring water bottles.
“My friends will fill up a water bottle with vodka—one bottle is a little less than half a fifth—and take it with them when they go out. It’ll be gone by the end of the night,” says Julie Saunders, 21, a senior at Central Michigan University.
At Columbia College in Chicago, hot chocolate or coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur is the carry-along cocktail of choice during long, cold winters. But usually, says Emily Cotty, 21, “we pregame at home, then drink at the bar.”
For twenty- and thirtysomethings, happy hour is “practically Pavlovian,” says Tia Patel, 35, a marketing manager in New York. “Alcohol is a social elixir, yes, and increasingly part of the social construct—it’s like signaling your brain that when you have a fruity cocktail in hand, it’s time to have some fun.”
“Binge drinking is so common that it’s almost like there’s nothing wrong with it. They don’t realize that that’s not life,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD and author of Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.
With our workaday lives awash in alcohol, it only follows that it’s practically baked into dating: In the FemFresh survey, 45 percent of respondents claim that alcohol allows them to relax, unwind, and lose all inhibitions with a new date.
“I always drink on dates,” says Patel. “In fact, I dated a guy I had been set up with who didn’t drink, and it was impossible for us to break through those initial first-date jitters. We didn’t last past date five.”
Of course, it depends on the type of get-together: “I always have a drink if the date’s at night,” says Diane Edwards, 31, an advertising account executive in Manhattan. “Just not necessarily at brunch or picnics.”
And there’s good reason that as far back as the advent of absinthe, alcohol has been a go-to social lubricant.
“Alcohol inhibits our GABA–a neurotransmitter in the brain which is like a damper,” says Lombardo. “It lifts off that heavy blanket, and it tends to affect the frontal part of our brain, concerned with reason and rational judgments.”
Once you remove the heavy blanket, it’s certainly easier to jump between the sheets.
The interesting thing is that while a buzz may make hooking up easier, college-age women we spoke to seem to behave more conservatively on bona fide dates. This flies in the face of FemFresh’s findings: Instead of drinking liquid courage because she’s worried about what a guy will think of her once they’re in the sack, she won’t drink at dinner for fear he might not deem her worthy of date two.
“It’s kind of a turn-off to drink too much on a first date. You want to make a good first impression,” says Saunders. Cotty agrees: “I drink with my girlfriends but not always on a date. Ordering the drink affects his perception of you.”
What this could point to, whether the clothes are off or on, is what Lombardo refers to as “disordered thinking”—or a constant vigilance about how someone perceives you.
“It might be: He thinks I’m fat. How do I look? How do I sound? Every detail and being in tune with that,” she says.