Married at First Sight — The Finale

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships

I first mentioned the show Married at First Sight back in July when it premiered on the fyi, network. After 5 weeks the couples had to decide to stay together or divorce. Then this past week they caught up with the three couples five months later (six months after the met) to see where they were, how they were doing, and what they thought after watching the show air.

Of the three couples, two decided to stay together and are still together to this day. The third had a difficult time getting along from the start and chose to divorce. They were the oldest couple, they were the only couple to consummate their marriage before their wedding night, and they were the only couple not to get a new residence, choosing instead to move into the wife’s existing apartment. None of these were necessarily the reasons they split up, of course, but it is worth mentioning the differences between them and the other couples.

There were a few items that stood out to me about the only couple who failed in this social experiment: as the oldest couple they were each more independent and set in their ways than the other couples; although they had great physical chemistry, they acted on it before establishing any trust or even a friendship; they had a difficult time communicating and each became very defensive when being criticized; and finally, they wanted vastly different types of relationships: he desired more stereotypical gender roles — while she did not. This is a fundamental difference of opinion — a clear incompatibility — and a topic that needs to be discussed on one of the first few dates.

Old-Fashioned is the New Fad

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

Dating the old-fashioned way is the way to date these days.

Chivalry is being resurrected. What does that mean? It means that men (or the more aggressive half of a same-sex relationship) are preferring to make the phone calls, plan the dates, pick the woman up at her home, pull out her chair, order on her behalf, pay the bill, and take the initiative for another date before leaning in for the first kiss. It’s not that they prefer women who don’t do these things, but most of the single men I’ve spoken with just want to be “The Man,” regardless of who they are dating.

The great thing about “dating the old-fashioned way” is that women can allow men to take these leads without giving up a sense of their independence. A woman can allow a man to “take care of her” simply because it feels good… not because she needs it. These are not gender stereotypes to be looked down upon negatively; each person will have ample opportunity to play whichever role in the relationship they feel natural settling into when that time comes, but until then, if a man wants to wine you and dine you — as many men seem to want to step into the role of doing — then let him.

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The Bachelor’s Dating Dichotomy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

So I’m watching the finale of “The Bachelor” and it got me thinking about stereotypes in dating, specifically the dichotomy of aggressive women (i.e. Chantal) versus the damsel in distress (i.e. Emily). In the last episode, the final two women meet Bachelor Brad’s family and his relatives then tell him their honest opinion about which woman they think is right for him. First up was Chantal and Brad’s family seemed to really like her and they commented on her outgoing, friendly nature. They thought she would be great for Brad and that they would have a lot of fun together and that she wouldn’t put up with his antics. Then they met sweet Emily and heard her sob story (seriously, I sob every time I hear it) and watched her very ladylike, shy demeanor. Suddenly they were head over heels in love with her and wanted Brad to pick her.

Brad also appeared to have fun with Chantal but he was enraptured by Emily. With Chantal, he was her equal and she repeatedly pointed out to him that she would never let him “get away” with anything. Meantime, Brad got to be the hero for Emily and her daughter, he got to feel wanted and needed. As much as men say they want a strong, independent woman, when it comes right down to it, those traits are equated as masculine and what straight man wants a masculine woman?

The longer a woman is single, the more aggressive she becomes in her career and in her dating life and therefore the more independent she becomes as well. A 30-year-old woman knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go out and get it. My husband calls me “aggressive” constantly and I hate it, but it’s true. I was single until I was 28 and was in the very competitive world of broadcast journalism. My aggressiveness in the work arena without a doubt spilled into my dating world. But in my marriage that aggressiveness isn’t necessary. Women have been told over and over again that we are just as capable and therefore have a hard time giving up that power. I majored in Women’s Studies, so I have an even harder time admitting that I can’t do something and might possibly need a man’s help.

The more I try to think this out, the more I feel like I’m going in circles, because I vividly recall numerous circumstances where I gave a date the opportunity to open a door, put on my coat, pull out my chair, order for me, pay the bill, call me, ask me out, etc. and was rebuffed. Are men becoming too used to today’s women’s ways? Or did women become this way because men got lazy about chivalry? It seems counter-productive to tell single women to not “act aggressive” because the opposite of that is “weak” and weak women get walked all over by men. No one wants to be vulnerable. Why can’t a woman be ladylike and strong at the same time? Why are men threatened by a woman who doesn’t need him?

Again, I can debate both sides of this topic for hours. What it really comes down to is being yourself – a mixture of that successful woman at work and that vulnerable woman in love – so when a man comes along who complements your personality you aren’t hiding behind a wall of steel scared of getting hurt.