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No one could be more unforgettably gorgeous and stylish than starlet Kate Hudson – so why do her boyfriends keep forgetting about her?  Most recently, Hudson endured the indignity of being turned away from a VIP area because boyfriend Matt Bellamy – lead singer of Muse – “forgot” to put her name on the guest list.

A man who really likes a woman will not forget about her – will not forget to call when he said he would, will not forget he had a date with her, will not forget to put her name on a list, will not forget it’s Valentine’s Day, will not forget her birthday, will not forget her number…he will not forget!  But the man who’s not that into you?  He’ll forget – a clear red flag, and one once waved should be your signal to forget about him.  Cross him off your list.  Let him go.  Don’t agonize. In a word: Next!

Unfortunately, the 31-year-old actress has seemed to make something of a second career in ignoring such signals, falling fast and hard for her men, which in turn makes them take her for granted and feel suffocated by her.  The result: a string of very brief and bumpy flings.  And the pattern seems to be spiralling out of control, leading to increased public embarrassment, and certainly private heartache.

After a six year marriage to Chris Robinson (singer for The Black Crowes), she began an on-again-off-again relationship with Owen Wilson (one of the break-ups preceded his suicide attempt).  She moved on to date comedian Dax Shepard for a few months.  A summer romance with Lance Armstrong ended sadly when he dumped her.  Despite claiming she wanted to be single for as long as possible in December of ’08, she rushed headlong and hot and heavy into a relationship with NY Yankee Alex Rodriguez, which he ended after six months.

So, now she’s dating Bellamy, and if past is prologue, that will last for another few weeks or couple of months and then he’ll “need his space.”  Hudson could save herself precious time – and emotional tranquility – by reading the writing on the wall, or better yet, reading The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.   She could start right now, either practicing on Bellamy, or the next man who will surely be around the corner, with the following.

  • Not acting like a groupie by flying around the globe to see his shows (she should let him come to her).
  • Not flying off to meet his kids after only one date, as she did with Lance Armstrong.
  • Not saying “I love you first” like she reportedly did with Lance Armstrong (kiss of death).
  • Not moving in with men, as she did after dating Chris Robinson for just four days.
  • Not inviting men you’re dating on a vacation – certainly not with your extended family – as she did with Dax Shepard, after dating only a couple weeks!

Fortunately, Kate’s got a full life, a wonderful son, a thriving career and a loving family – she should concentrate on being happy, busy, independent, and not so focused on the men in her life. Above all, she should stop chasing men – let them chase her until she catches them for good!

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There have been many surprises since I became a Rules Dating Coach. I’ve been pleasantly shocked by just how powerful these techniques are – enabling me to help many lovelorn clients prompt a proposal from the men in their lives in a matter of weeks! Also surprising has been the hostility of some male readers to the simple advice I give women who are simply looking for a way to date with more self-esteem, and avoid needless heartache. Given that sometime hostility, the absolute BIGGEST surprise of all has been the number of straight, hetero men seeking out my coaching advice on how better to meet and date the woman of their dreams!

When I first started getting these requests for relationship coaching from men, I carefully explained that a) I coach women (not men), and b) I coach women in a very specific Rules-approach to dating. Moreover, this approach is premised upon the differences between men and women, and I focus on the feminine side of the equation. I refer the men to my blog, where all of this is spelled out in black and white (or at least fuchsia and lavender). Well, despite all this dissuading (or because of it? After all, that would be The Rules!) when my first male coaching client insisted that I give him a chance, I capitulated and signed him up for a monthly unlimited package.

The result of this experiment was yet another pleasant surprise: Despite my initial misgivings, I was thrilled by how much progress I was able to make with my newbie male client. Among our achievements: totally overhauling his OLD (online dating profile), creating a simplified e-mail “template” he could personalize and send out to prospects, role-playing lighter conversation for initial phone contacts and DZs (date zeroes), etc.

The other surprise, is that while The Rules is aimed at women – and based on the innate differences between the genders – there are a few rules that can benefit both men and women. Here are three that I feel have the most crossover application:

Rule #1: While “being a creature unlike any other” is unlikely to resonate with most men, the basic message of looking one’s best is something they really do need to hear. Men are more likely than women to discount their own looks as a factor in attracting the opposite sex, and specifically are more likely to overlook problems with excess weight. The difference is that the men I’ve coached are actually more sensitive than women about receiving advice on how to improve their appearance. I pull no punches with my female clients, telling them to do whatever they can to be as attractive as possible – lose weight, get highlights, extensions, implants, teeth-whitening, you name it! My male clients have much more fragile egos!

Rule #19: Don’t Open Up Too Fast. While men are much less likely to commit this error, there is a breed of guys who are unusually in touch with their feelings, and willing on a first or second date to share emotional intimacies about previous relationships, the details of their upbringing, or even the kind of woman they are looking for. While some male candor can be particularly appealing to women, sharing too much too soon can be a turnoff, regardless of your gender. Moreover, I tell men if they are doing too much of the talking – perhaps out of nervousness – they’re not doing much listening, and again, this is as true for men as for women.

Rule #30: Next! And Other Rules for Dealing with Rejection.  I am perfectly comfortable with the generalization that on the whole women tend to be more sensitive in relationships than are men. I don’t remember if it was either Sherrie Schneider or Ellen Fein (the two co-authors of The Rules) who once observed to me that “men recover quickly.” And in general, I absolutely agree that men recover from rejection more quickly than do women. But at the same time, there is a sensitivity spectrum for both genders – and just as there are some women who have such thick skins that they have less need for The Rules, there are also some men who have such relatively thin skins that they could probably benefit from those aspects of The Rules that focus on cultivating resilience. Chief among these is the importance of not getting so thrown by rejection – whether it’s the minor rejection of a woman not responding to your e-mail or a major rejection of a girlfriend breaking up with you – that your feelings of resentment begin to poison your perspective on romance in general.

I’m not sure whether I’ll continue this adventure in coaching men, but I do know that I’ve learned from, as well as helped, my male clients — and that in turn helps me be a better coach for my Rules Girls clients.

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Plenty of women would prefer a phone call over a text from guys they’re dating – yet they don’t realize a very simple method exists to getting less texts and more calls:  Don’t text him back.

I know, I know, such a suggestion will strike many as foolish or even insane in our text-addicted society, yet it really all goes back to incentives and human behavior.  What we reward, we get more of.  When you respond to texts you wish were phone calls, guess what you’ll get?  More texts.  Less calls.

You’ll also get more time wasters, and less serious contenders in your dating pool.  Why?  Because not texting men back is the ULTIMATE means of separating those who are really into you from those who are kinda, sorta, maybe-if-it’s-easy interested in you, at least until something better comes along.

Think about it.  If a guy who’s REALLY smitten with you texts you and doesn’t get a text back, what will happen?  He will pick up the phone and call.  It’s the same with you.  Let’s say you texted a colleague to confirm a sales meeting you were supposed to attend.  If you didn’t hear back, you wouldn’t just shrug it off and forget about it.  If it was important to you to get to the meeting to make your pitch, you’d call until you nailed things down.  Conversely, let’s say the meeting wasn’t that important, or it conflicted with another, better lead – sure, then maybe you’d let it go.

Same thing with dating.  The guy who truly wants to see you, may text initially, but if he doesn’t hear back, he’ll call.  Many women fear that if they don’t text back, they’ll lose a guy.  And, YES, you will shake off those with lukewarm interest in you, which is a very productive and time-efficient thing to do: You’ve avoided wasting time on and possibly getting hurt by Mr. Maybe.

Too many women think not texting back invites dating mishaps and disasters – but it actually PREVENTS such.  Example: An ex-boyfriend of mine, kind of on-again-off-again, was trying to get things “on again” with me, and had set up a dinner date with me by e-mail.  The day of the date, he texted me to confirm.  I didn’t text back.  The date didn’t happen.  Disaster – or disaster avoided?  Definitely the latter!  His lack of interest was WHY our relationship was always so difficult — or to use the common euphemism, “complicated.”  But finally, with non-texting, I was able to put an end to the whole stupid time-wasting nonsense.  It’s really, REALLY, not that complicated.

On the other hand, if he’s strongly attracted to you, he’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, make excuses for you – as in “Oh, she’s not a texter” or “Maybe she didn’t get my text.”  Indeed, as I’ve seen time and time again in my practice as a dating coach, if a contender is already starting out with a high level of interest in you, not texting back will pique – not dilute – that interest.

This is why the authors of The Rules, Ellen & Sherrie Schneider, encourage women to avoid texting.  They rightly point out that if you’re texting back and forth, you’re way too available.  There’s no mystery, no distance for him to pursue, if all he has to do it punch a keypad for you to respond.

That said, I know that for many even extremely practiced and disciplined Rules Girls, the “no texting” rule can be one of the most challenging to follow.   I hear the complaint all the time: “But we live in a texting world.  Everyone texts.”

But the fact that everyone – every girl, to be precise – does text is, perhaps, the strongest case for why YOU should not.  After all, Rule #1 is all about “Being a Creature Unlike Any Other.”  If every other creature out there is texting – and sexting – on a constant basis, what a simple, elegant way for you to separate yourself from the competition.  Take it to the bank, girls: If he really likes you, he WILL call you.  No exceptions.

Still having trouble resisting the lure of texting? Sign up for a free 10-minute consult at maliburulesgirl.com.

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Register online at Malibu Rules Girl.

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On some level, Megan Fox knows she has a problem.  “I don’t want to have people get completely sick of me before I’ve ever even done something legitimate,” she recently conceded.  Yet this awareness isn’t enough to restrain her ongoing, seemingly compulsive need to divulge personal details – her previous relationship with a stripper, her bisexuality, her libido, drug usage, her “self-loathing” and other psychological issues:

“I am very vulnerable. But I can be aggressive, hurtful, domineering and selfish, too. I’m emotionally unpredictable and all over the place. I’m a control freak.”

While Megan Fox’s TMI has provoked a backlash – even a boycott, from some outlets – it sparked my attention, as such overly-intimate sharing is a self-defeating trap that too many women fall into.  Indeed, as a dating coach, I find that it’s one of the most common mistakes women make in early dating – acting overly chummy, trying to create emotional bonds by prematurely and inappropriately revealing personal information with complete strangers.  In Megan’s case – the strangers are interviewers and her public – but many other women make similar mistakes by opening up too fast and too soon with men they’ve only just met.

Fortunately, for Megan – and other women who are struggling with boundaries – there’s a fairly easy fix.  Zip it!  Don’t feel the need to respond to every question.  Don’t accept every request for an interview (or date).  Remember that silence and a smile is also an answer.  I believe that words are like currency.  When you flood the market with the currency of your conversation, you’ll ultimately devalue the meaning of what is expressed.

Sherrie Schneider & Ellen Fein address this in The Rules – specifically, Rule #19 (“Don’t Open Up Too Fast”) & #20 (“Be Honest but Mysterious”).  Though aimed at advising women on how to act on the first few dates with a new man, such advice – e.g. “Don’t plague him with your neuroses!!!” – certainly applies to handling nosy reporters, as well!

Whether she likes it or not, Megan Fox is cultivating a relationship with the public when she talks to reporters.  “There are many ways to kill a relationship,” say Schneider and Fein. “Getting heavy and examining everything is certainly one of them.  Conditioned by therapy and self-help books to tell all, women tend to overdo it on first dates, bringing up past relationships, their hurts and fears, their alcohol or drug problem – all in an attempt to bond with this new man.  This is deadly and boring.”

megan fox nightieMegan Fox’s disclosures about her insecurities and sexual proclivities may – or may not – be “deadly and boring,” but they certainly won’t help her cultivate a mystique of class that other celebrities like Angelina Jolie, have mastered.  How ironic, then, that Fox is often compared to Jolie.  Yet Jolie herself took a TMI public persona and transformed herself into a CUAO (creature unlike any other) through a combo of good works and a “no comment” default mode to personal prying. So let’s hope Fox takes a page from Jolie’s playbook, by saying less and doing more.

A more elusive approach might even have side benefits for Fox’s six-year on-again-off-again relationship with Brian Green. Too many women — not just celebrities — believe that cathartic conversations about the “relationship” will lend to a breakthrough while more often it prompts a break-up.  I recently counseled one of my clients struggling with a tumultuous two-year relationship to avoid all heavy conversation, shorten phone calls and stop returning calls. Five weeks after we began her “Reticence Campaign” her boyfriend finally found his voice and popped the question. Their wedding is planned for Thanksgiving.

Learn how you can turn a less loquacious approach to your advantage by attending my upcoming March 18th workshop in Malibu or sign up for a free introductory consultation.

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In last week’s blog, I focused on the five most common dating myths that mire women in romantic ruts. I was not prepared for the outpouring of women – literally from around the world – who contacted me, sheepishly admitting that they’d been falling for one or more of these self-delusions:

1)  He’s “intimidated” by you.
2)  Women love men who treat them like crap.
3)  It’s only what’s on the inside that counts.
4)  He’s teasing you because he likes you.
5)  It doesn’t matter what night he asks you out – only THAT he asks you out.

Inspired by all the women who are clearly ready to start a New Year by ditching self-sabotaging deceptions, I’ve decided to offer five more myths which could be trapping you in old, unhealthy relationship patterns.

6) The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Yes, I’m talking to you, lady with the spatula, baking Christmas cookies for the doctor you have a crush on – and you, foodie-girl, planning to prepare a gourmet holiday dinner for your boyfriend and his pals. The myth is believing that demonstrating your culinary skills will give him yet one MORE incentive to date or marry you, but in fact it may backfire. A man you’d like to date may savor every crumb of your amazing rugelach, but he’ll also know you like him, think you’re trying too hard, see you as less of a challenge, and thus unconsciously downgrade your dating market value. Men you’re already dating will again, certainly appreciate the five course meal you’ve slaved over, but he will probably also feel a little entrapped by such wannabe-wifey-behavior, and may even take you for granted.

7) He’s afraid of his feelings. Okay, this is right up there with myth #1, above, in its ubiquity. Every time I hear one of my new clients trying to explain away a guy’s emotional distance or ambivalence toward commitment in terms of “issues” he’s still working out from his childhood, his last marriage, etc. it sets off serious alarm bells. I’ve seen women play therapist for years with men who were supposedly “afraid to fall in love” only to have Mr. Fraidy-Cat dump them unceremoniously after suddenly finding his courage to love and, wow, get engaged to someone else in a matter of months, not years. The best case scenario is that he may indeed be in love with you, but you’re preventing him from discovering his true feelings on his own by crowding him with relationship talk and spending too much time with him.

8)  Going on trips together will bring you closer as a couple. Wrong. I’ve talked to so many women who went on these amazing week-long (or longer) trips with a man to Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc. – thinking that the new levels of emotional and physical intimacy they’ve reached will translate into a more secure relationship – only to have the guy call it quits within days of returning home. As Sherrie Schneider and Ellen Fein, authors of The Rules, observe: “Trips make men go backwards.” All of a sudden they think they’re locked into a marriage track, have doubts, and bolt. Better to have him go on the trip alone, think about you, wonder about you, miss you, and think, “Gee, this would be a good place for a honeymoon.”

9) Mind-blowing sex will make him want to marry you. I’m not talking here about the woman who’s enjoying joyful adventurous sex simply for her pleasure – but the gal who’s investing loads of energy into learning tantric techniques, taking him on trips to the sex-toys shop, priding herself on sexual acrobatics worthy of Zumanity, and putting on an exaggerated verbal performance of how great it all is, hoping to get him so hooked on her sexual charms that he’ll never want to leave. Then he does. You want a man to fall in love with your whole being – not just your body. Also you don’t want to be the one doing most of the work, either in bed, or in the relationship in general. Not only will trying too hard create imbalance in the relationship, it can also prevent you from relaxing and enjoying this aspect of your love.

10) Love conquers all. Like #3 above, this myth harbors a profound truth: the bond you share with your beloved will help you weather hardships, overcome obstacles and rise above petty differences. But despite its power, love is not a magic wand that can make serious problems, like drug/alcohol dependency, abusive tendencies, or womanizing disappear. Moreover, if you’re counting on “love” to change your man – for example, make him more ambitious, or more generous – you’re setting the stage for disappointment and frustration on both sides, because men never really change.

If you’ve been deluding yourself with one or more of the above myths take heart – you’re in good company! Paradoxically, I sometimes find that the smarter women are, the more likely they are to succumb to such delusions, maybe because they have a tendency to over-think relationships, or believe they can “make” things happen in love the same way they do in their careers. Fortunately, recognizing patterns of self-deception is a big step towards breaking them. Need more help? Take advantage of my free ten-minute mini-consult by visiting www.malilburulesgirl.com.

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The dating deception single women invariably confront range from the annoying (online photos that turn out to be a decade old), to the aggravating (“I’ll call you”), to the agonizing (“Oh, her? Just a friend”). But usually we don’t remain in the dark forever – one way or another, the truth will out. Far more insidious, however, are the lies we women tell ourselves.  These myths may feel comfy, but by insulating us from sometimes unpleasant realities, they undermine our ability to make rational decisions based on complete information, thus sabotaging our long-term romantic goals.

In my practice as a Rules dating coach, here are the most common dating myths women fall for:

1)  He’s intimidated by you. I hear this one all the time.  What’s even more mortifying is I used to fall for it myself. Women with lots going for them – attractive professionals with their act pulled together – will tell themselves that the reason the object of their affection isn’t responding to their flirtation is because he’s just overawed by their credentials, looks, or financial

standing.  Ladies, it just isn’t true.  Wish it was true – so much more palatable than “he’s just not that into you.”   And yes, there are plenty of mousy guys out there.  But even the mousiest specimen will discover his inner manly man when he sees a woman he wants to be with.  Let go of the fantasy relationships to open yourself up to a real one.

2) Women love men who treat them like crap. I recently came across a heinous example of this sort of misogynistic claptrap in a blog by a self-styled pick-up artist guru – Roissy in DC – claiming: “The men women want most” are “cads and ***holes.”  That may be true for a minority, but women with high self-esteem find adoring, persistent and respectful attention an incredible turn-on.  Such women instinctively avoid wasting time on men who cultivate “low expectations,” as Roissy recommends. That’s the benefit of The Rules mantra: “Love only those who love you.

“Because you love yourself, you are no longer interested in men who ignore you, cheat on you, hurt you …You have no desire to chase someone who hasn’t noticed you, sought you out, or dialed your number to ask you out.”

3)  It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Before you have a heart attack, let me emphasize that it IS what’s on the inside – your essence, your spirit, your intellect – that a man falls in love with, and that is all important when it comes to building a relationship and sustaining it over the long run, especially during hard times.  But unfortunately, this “truth” can become a myth, when we use it to dismiss the importance of looking our best when it comes to attracting men.  In addition to diet and exercise, this includes making an extra effort to look pulled together, feminine and sexy.  If you have a favorite feature, show it off!  Your long legs, dazzling décolletage, or silky tousled hair may be the lure that leads him to contemplate and fall in love with your amazing personality.

4)  He’s teasing you because he likes you.  We’ve been fed this line ever since we came home crying about Johnny’s spitballs in 3rd grade.  While it may have been true for young boys, still developing emotionally and sexually, a grown man who tries to put you off balance with verbal sparring on the first few dates doesn’t really care that much about you – or is playing games, which, in my book, amount to the same thing.  Again, the players’ guru, Roissy, explicitly encourages men to ask a date questions “designed to put her on the defensive,” such as “Are you a good kisser?” or “Are you rich?”  I’ve detailed your options for dealing with such questions elsewhere, but suffice it to say here that a man who really likes you will NOT risk offending you, and thus spoiling his chances of sleeping with you, by playing such games.

5) It doesn’t matter what night he wants to see you — Thursday, Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, whatever  – only THAT he wants to see you. You may want to believe it’s not important whether he asks you for Saturday or not – but he knows the importance, believe me.  Remember the Beach Boys’ lyric?  “None of the guys go steady, ‘cuz it wouldn’t be right to leave your best girl home on a Saturday night.”  On the other end of the spectrum, Roissy tells men to “train women to have low expectations for seeing you on prime [EXPLETIVE] hunting nights.”  If he’s not seeing you on Saturday, he’s seeing someone else – or looking for someone he WOULD want to see on Saturdays, and every other day, in perpetuity.

If you think you may be falling for one or more of these myths – but aren’t sure about whether it applies to your specific situation, then sign up for a free 10-minute consultation at www.maliburulesgirl.com.  Next week I’ll fill you in on the next five lies women tell themselves in dating, so you can break out of self-destructive delusions to realize your highest romantic goals.

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