Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category
While you’re on a second date, your conversation should start getting deeper and deeper (as well as on your third and fourth dates). This is not just superficial conversation; you should be asking questions and discussing more in-depth topics. To find out if you enjoy the same topics, you can mention them and see what reaction you get: A blank stare? An eye-roll? A passionate debate?
If you like world events, mention the Iran Deal, Greek’s economic collapse, or ISIS. If you enjoy science, then mention global warning or stem cells. If you love entertainment, then bring up the recent Emmy nominations, Amy Schumer, and anything else trending. If you’re passionate about politics, then broach the topic of Donald Trump and then the dozen other Republican candidates. If current events get you going, then bring up the topic of racism and if police are using unnecessary force. And of course, there’s sports… but that’s an easy one.
You may find that you cannot see yourself with someone who doesn’t read the newspaper, or someone who only gets their updates from TMZ, or someone who’s politics differ too much to understand, or whose schedule revolves around SportsCenter. Differences are good, but you need to have respect at the core in order to have a healthy debate. If you do decide to enter into a debate during a date — which is fine — be respectful and don’t hurl personal insults or allow it to upset you. If that happens, then you likely have your answer about the fate of the date. Remember that looks fade, but the ability to have enticing conversation can last forever.
My birthday was last week. This is exciting only because it means I got to identify the most random Facebook wall-writer of the day. That’s a funny thing about birthdays in this era: it’s the one day a year you hear from people you barely know — your preschool bestie, someone you met once eight years ago on vacation, your old roommate’s cousin, a great aunt who is new to Facebook and now invites you to play Candy Crush every day, and sometimes even strangers. This year, someone I don’t know even enthusiastically wished me happy birthday on my wall! Conversely, I have friends I see regularly who don’t really acknowledge birthdays — it’s just not a big deal. In some friendships, we’ve established an unspoken rule that we don’t exchange birthday gifts or really acknowledge the day. And that’s fine with me — no one gets mad — that’s just how it is.
My point is that there’s a lot of variability in how people acknowledge and celebrate birthdays. So how are you supposed to know if and how to acknowledge the special day of a brand new significant other? If you just started to date someone new, do you even mention your birthday? What if you don’t know if you’re exclusive yet — does it matter? What if you get him a birthday gift, but he doesn’t want to go out with you on his actual birthday? Is a surprise party out of the question? To avoid all these issues, you should probably plan to break up with this person right before either of your birthdays is approaching. You can get back together afterwards.
Kidding aside, this can be a tricky occurrence. So I’d recommend being honest and taking cues from the other person. If you’re a cake, ice cream, and presents-kind-of-person, say so! Assuming you’ve been out more than a couple times together, it can’t hurt to mention that your birthday is coming up and express your expectations. Unless your expectations involve extravagant gifts or selfish demands. Then it could hurt.
However, if you like this new person, and you want her to be part of your birthday, invite them along to whatever you have planned. If you’d rather spend your birthday solo, curled up with a book, that’s cool too! Just tell your new significant other, so he or she doesn’t try to plan a surprise party. And if you’re expecting a big deal, don’t say it doesn’t matter how you spend your birthday, because you’ll only wind up disappointed. And don’t be offended if your new beau or lady excludes you from birthday plans — it could be that there were no plans at all, or they might want to do something really low-key with close family.
Oh, and a final note: if you do have a date on your birthday, please wear something other than your birthday suit!
I’m turning 28 this year and have never been in a serious relationship… in fact, I don’t have any dating experience at all. I’ve always had my nose in books to be honest, and didn’t really have high self-esteem growing up. Now I feel like I’ve come into my own. After being in school for the past 25 years and collecting some really impressive degrees — and now gaining some pretty substantial success in life — I am ready to put myself out there. The problem is, I don’t know how to present the fact that I’m the real-life version of “Never Been Kissed.” Help!
Dear “Never Been Kissed,”
Congratulations on all your successes, and especially on gaining self esteem! That’s awesome! You do not need to talk about your lack of experience in your JDate profile, nor do you need to discuss it with dating prospects. You can simply state that you haven’t been in a serious relationship because you haven’t found anyone worthy while you were busy working hard to achieve your dreams.
Meanwhile, I suggest you accept every date invitation you receive in order to get some practice. Once you get more serious with a specific suitor then you can perhaps let him know more about your lack of experience. Any man that really likes you won’t care… and if he does, then good riddance!
It’s natural; in fact, it seems to be in our DNA as Jews to overanalyze everything. It’s not one of our better stereotypes, and when you add dating into the equation, it can create problems. It’s a twofold issue:
- You’re reading too much into everything your date says (and does and more), and likely blowing things out of proportion.
- Meanwhile you aren’t tuned in or present because you’re spending too much time analyzing everything.
It’s understandable to be cautious, or to have a hard time trusting immediately. However, it’s unnecessary to doubt everything your date tells you. Relax and enjoy yourself. If you continue to date someone for a while, then many questions will likely organically be answered over time. You can also simply ask for answers to any questions you may have when the time presents itself.
Last week Bravo! TV’s The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger announced that she and her boyfriend of three years had split up. Patti got ahead of critics who would doubt her abilities as a matchmaker when she herself can’t seem to find a forever mate. And her statement is spot on:
“I’m a human and I own my issues… But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m incredibly good at my job. I excel at setting people up and helping them fall in love. Look, how many Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches have scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl? Coaching people into winning the big game is a different skillset than winning the big game yourself. I’m really good at being a love coach. In fact, I’d say I’m one of the best. But, at playing the love game myself? I’ve got some work to do and I’m chipping away at it. I know I’ll win my game soon, but until then, I’m going to keep being the best coach I can be.”
It reminds of the phrase “those who can’t do, teach,” and that’s exactly what Patti is doing. She can see the issues other people have and helps them to work on them while finding partners who would complement them — all the while she admits that she herself is a work in progress, setting a great example that none of us should ever stop trying to better ourselves.
I myself have admitted that my divorce, as well as most of my past relationships, made me better at dispensing dating advice. Does that mean I know everything about relationships? Absolutely not. Does that mean my relationship with my fiance is perfect? No. But, admitting that is what makes me — and Patti — good at what we do.
I am a 65-year-old widower and recently had instant chemistry with a woman. Within days we felt like our relationship was a comfortable old shoe. The relationship grew quickly — she told me to slow down — I didn’t. After a few weeks and a few warnings, she terminated the relationship by email. She refuses to talk or give it another try. How can I woo her back?
I suggest contacting her the same way she broke off the relationship — via email. But first, make sure you truly comprehend what happened to bring an end to the relationship and take ownership of it. It seems from your letter like you understand that she asked you to slow down a number of times and that you didn’t listen, but don’t make excuses to her as to why you didn’t listen.
This letter needs to be about all the amazing things you like about her and how she makes you feel and how you hope to make her feel. Don’t make it all about you; if you want her back then it has to be about her — you already made it about you when you ignored her warnings and kept moving quickly when she wanted to slow down. You need to show her that you now understand where she’s coming from and offer to date her rather than jump back into a serious relationship. She may not want to though and you will have to accept that, but it’s worth a try!
Welcome back! Last week, I posted a quiz to (unscientifically) determine what type of conversational style you have while on dates. Today it’s time to grade the quiz. We’re using the honor system here – no cheating!
To score the quiz, count the number of As, Bs, Cs, and Ds you chose.
- If you chose mostly As…
You are an “interviewer.” You are generally interested in getting the facts upfront and quickly. The who, what, where, and when of your date’s past and future of utmost importance to you, and you’re not afraid to ask the tough questions to get the answers you need. You don’t have time to waste on a date who’s not up to snuff, so if you don’t like what you see, you call in a new candidate. My advice to the interviewers out there: slow down! You don’t have to decide whether a first date will become your spouse. You just need to decide if you are having a good time in the present moment.
- If you chose mostly Bs…
You are the “silent type.” Your approach is passive, and you are more comfortable listening than talking. Your confidence may be on the lower end of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good impression on a date – remember to smile and practice thinking of some conversation topics to bring up before your date.
- If you scored mostly Cs…
You are a “chatterbox.” Always interested in hearing your own voice, you like to talk about anything and everything. You’re always telling long-winded stories and yakking about yourself and other people. Keep in mind that when you are on a date, you should spend about half the time talking and half the time listening, so chatterboxes of the world, adjust your conversations accordingly.
- If you scored mostly Ds…
You are the “situational type.” You tend to live in the moment and adapt to the present situation, making observations about things you see, hear, and taste. You might reference jokes or observations from earlier in the night or tease your date in a playful way. Situationals are fun and put others at ease, but remember that it’s okay to dig a little deeper after the first couple dates.
Accurate? Totally off base? Are you the same type on dates as with friends and family? Keep in mind that nerves tend to alter our natural conversation pattern. For example, I’m usually a pretty good listener, but when I’m nervous, I get chatty! Other people shut down when they are feeling anxious and get quiet. My point is to recognize how your speech comes across to the person sitting next to you so that you can maximize the success of connecting with him or her. Happy chatting!
“You can be right, or you can be happy.”
A wise friend told me this phrase recently and it resonated deeply. So many of us are taught to be headstrong, stubborn, with a need so deep to win an argument that we would ruin a relationship in order to be proven right.
It’s not worth it.
It never is. If you know you’re right, just drop it and move on. Apologize and move on. Let go and move on. Who is benefitting from you being right? Only your ego. But everything and everyone else will suffer. Is that worth feeling superior or validated?
This is a lesson I’ve learned much later in life than I would have liked, and I have learned it the hard way… I’m gifting it to you now with the hopes that it will change your relationships — romantic or otherwise — for the better.
Once you’ve met on JDate (or any other way) and decide to make plans there will be a certain amount of communication that will be necessary. The trick is to know when to stop that communication.
I recommend just a 10 minute phone call to plan a first date followed by another 10 minute phone call the night before the date to confirm the plans. Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much time on the phone getting to know each other anymore than you actually do already, prior to your first date. Spending hours talking on the phone is exhilarating and exciting but it creates an expectation of someone you haven’t yet met. You’re putting unneeded pressure on yourselves.
You already know so much about each other when you’ve met on JDate — and then you exchange a few emails, and finally you trade phone numbers with the intent on making plans to meet. If you then spend time on the phone getting to know each other even further, you’re in effect turning the first date into a third date due to how much you already know about the other… except you’ve never met.
And what happens if you don’t end up liking each other? Now you’ve not only spent your time on the phone, but you’ve confided things to someone who you may not care to ever see again. You opened up to someone you now don’t even want a second date with. Instead, spend just a few minutes asking how their day/week is going, making plans, and exchanging pleasantries. Tell them how much you are looking forward to the date and how you can’t wait to get to know them better. And then get off the phone. Let the excitement gather along with the suspense of wondering whether or not you will hit it off once you meet face-to-face.
Slow it down. Enjoy the process. And don’t text.