Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Dating by Avoiding Human Interaction

I read quite a few dating coaches via twitter, through various blogs or online advice columns and I find myself going through a strange cycle of love and hate.  They have a few really interesting points and concepts, and then they write some cliché that nearly loses me.  For example, don’t call before 3 days.  Or if the guy you are seeing only texts you, you must sit down and tell him that behaviour is not acceptable, and prohibits intimacy. A man who is in love will not so much as think of looking at another woman, he will only have eyes for you.  Or, a real man will tell you he loves you every day, and a real woman will show it.  Cute, simple and sweet little tidbits of information that have a funny way of making you feel horrible if you don’t follow through with what these experts say the ground rules are.  If I sleep with a man on the first date, I have now given him the wrong impression and he will never call me again.  He got what these dating experts say he wanted and now he’s done.  Does advice like that really seem fair to either party?  All it does is plant horrible seeds, and false expectations in each person’s mind.  And it takes away our freedom to make connections, or allow us to enjoy where an individual experience leads us.

Obviously, I do not agree with a lot of advice columns out there, Dan Savage being one of the big exceptions.  And my disagreement leads me to ponder the bigger questions.  Why are we so keen to find quick, formulaic, and often arbitrary advice to interact with someone we are interested in?  Why do we feel we need an experts advice to form a bond, make a connection and even just have an introduction with our fellow man?  Why this desire for the middle man?  Even in the work environment, if you are having troubles finding a job, the advice is to go to a head hunter, a hired professional who will be able to sell your skills to the appropriate employer.  Why is our resume and cover letter no longer enough?  Instead we need to be verified and backed up by someone else.  We seek advice and validation, rather than risk falling on our faces, or making any mistakes in approach.  And of course online dating has become a very effective middle man.  A way to peruse hundreds of pictures and profiles in order to find out some tidbit of information that catches your eye. 

When I was in my early 20’s I would go to the bars to meet new people.  People were there to interact, make new friends, have one night stands, and just find that one person who was missing in their lives for the moment or perhaps forever.  You were allowed to walk up to a good looking stranger, offer to buy them a drink for the chance to get to know them better.  This is now very seldom the case.  Bars are filled with tables and chairs, you go in big groups and you do not approach the lady standing next to you at the bar. I have had so many people as of late share this same experience or lack there of.  Going out is no longer to meet new people, it is to socialize with those you already know.  Why have we become so fearful to interact with our fellow man and potentially make new connections?  It seems that no one wants to be single, and yet are missing all the opportunities to go out and do something about it.  As a culture we are trained to be fearful of mistakes, falling on our faces or having an embarrassing encounter.

My advice is to stay in your shells, and whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with that pretty thing walking down the street.  Do not offer to buy a guy a coffee, or ask someone in the checkout line if they want to go for a drink.  Do not try and make connections with a stranger, or take a chance going out on a date with someone completely outside of your normal attraction.  Do not join a sports team full of people you have never met and then go for a beer with them after the game.   Why?  Because it will allow me to stand out.  It will keep my game sharp, and make it so much easier for me to have all the fun I want.  It will continue to give me the upper hand, and make my confidence level stand out and give me the advantage.  So thank you for not taking the time to make a new friend, I am out here making new connections every day, and I love it!  

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Judge Not, Open Relationships

Today, I had a guy online tell me that being in an open relationship just means that he doesn’t want me (referring to my boyfriend of course).  It is not the first time I have heard that, nor will it be the last.  I have written a piece wondering why people hate an open relationship.  Now though, I would like to share a few things that I have run into after becoming public with being open.  The comment above arose after I attempted to tell a guy that he was not my type, which prompted his ego to flare up.  He called me a few names, one of them being stuck up, and thinking I was too good for a man, which is why I was single.  Once I shared with him, that I was in an open relationship, very happy, and in a position to look for something quite specific, hence why I tried letting him down nicely, he pulled out the gem I opened with.

I know that each and every relationship will have their own unique challenges.  For example, I read a story today where a catholic woman is being hounded by family and friends for only having one child after being married for a number of years.  The faith she is a part of places a strong value on procreation, and unfortunately for her she has had a number of miscarriages and may only be able to have the one child.  That is a tough relationship for her to choose to be in, both with her family, and with her God.  She chose this path, and it is not always easy, but I am sure she feels it is right for her.  Anytime you do not follow the norm, whether by choice or by situation, there will be criticisms.  Change frightens a lot of people, non conformity is an outlier, something to be questioned and usually with judgement first.

I have been asked a few times what is in open relationships for me.  Many people can see the benefit for my male partner, yet seem to think I would not also enjoy choice, variety, and threesomes. Also I have been told that when I have kids I will no longer want to live this lifestyle.  That my priorities will shift away from my happiness towards selfless love of my offspring.  I can tell you from experience, that if you are not raised by happy parents, there is no chance of happy children.  And of course, the most common comment I get is, that people just do not understand the appeal in general of having a long term relationship that is not monogamous.  Why even bother having a partner, if you are just going to go out and screw around.  That it is just not real love, and is not an adult relationship. 

Through out my years of blogging, I have touched on all these questions and critiques.  I always try to explain with love, and clear language free of too much emotion my line of thinking.  I want to err on the side of rational, versus just a dear diary experience.  I do not think monogamy is better or worse, simply that for me, an open relationship makes sense.   How difficult is it in monogamy to live up to being the ideal standard of your partner.  To be someone’s everything?  Honestly, how difficult is this relationship norm?  It is a lifestyle I lived for well over 8 years.  I came out of it exhausted, but also never questioned it for a second.  It is easy to attack and judge someone, and it is much more challenging to open a dialogue, especially when it challenges your ideas or core values.  So don’t be that guy who tells you that the relationship that makes you happy is clearly wrong, and that you are unloved. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Key to Sex, Dating, and Relationships

With more and more frequency, I have been asked for dating advice.  I love giving dating, relationship and sex advice.  It is a passion I have had for years, and writing this blog allows me the freedom to say what I feel needs to be said and explore many conflicts I have found in the societies we live in.  There is a commonality to all advice that I give.  If you are not happy with yourself, you cannot be happy with someone else.   It is so basic and simple in concept, and yet really difficult to get through to many people.  The standard, you need to be in a good place to date seems to fall on deaf ears, or perhaps is too much of a challenge for many out there, I know I have struggled with a bit in recent months.

I am going to share with you a few items that I hope will help you as much as they have helped me.  The first thing is to write down all the things you like about yourself, followed by all the things you love about yourself.  Take 15 minutes and fill a page with every positive you know to be true, or even things that you are so proud you have improved about yourself.  After you have done this, take a highlighter and place emphasis on every item on that list that makes you unique, and stand out.  Take a few minutes to really acknowledge that you have strengths and feel some pride when doing this.  These highlighted items are things you should be sharing with those around you.  These are the stories you should be telling, and the passions you should be chasing.  These things that make you an individual, and what’s more are what make you interesting, which goes hand in hand with confidence.  The resulting list will be the fundamentals that allow you to exist with yourself.  And the only way to live with anyone else, is to first live with yourself.  To love yourself, and take pride in the things that set you apart.

I have a reading list on this blog, that I update regularly.  It is a compilation of the material that has added something important to how I view the world around me, specifically in how people interact with each other.  Reading and writing are my way of constantly improving myself, and playing to my strengths.  It is my uniqueness, passion and what fuels me day in and day out.  I found myself through my writing.  For some it is sports, others arts, design, music, public speaking, teaching, animals, comedy, and the list could go on for eternity.  I love helping through the mysteries of the dating world, relationships and even sex, and of course I love exploring all these things for myself.  But I had to find out what made me the best I am for myself.  No person could tell me, or teach me what really keeps me up at night.  Once you find yourself, everything else can truly follow.  There is no way around it.  No shortcuts and no exceptions.  You must love yourself, before anything can follow.  Once accomplished, feel free to write to me with any and all questions as I love hearing from you.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Confidence in Imperfection

In a recent post, I wrote one of my more vulnerable pieces, which led me to read a book called “Models: Attract Women Through Honesty”, by Mark Manson.  As an unforeseen coincidence when reading this book, I burst into tears while reading about confidence.  This book was recommended to me with the intention that it would help my blog, and the subtle hint was that it may help me as well.  A passage in it hit home, and hit really hard, whereby a couple is trying a quick fix to save their relationship with a romantic vacation.  This was a failure and they broke up when they returned home because the problem was not romance, it was that one of the partners was without confidence.  I can honestly say, I have never just started sobbing like this when reading a non –fiction book before.  I was linked to this couple instantly, and I am sure many of my readers can relate as well.  You know something is missing, and desperately want to find that quick fix, that romantic glue to make everything go back to the way it was in the honeymoon phase.  And yet, what had changed was the confidence level of one of the people in the relationship.  The relationship was not the thing that needed fixing, it was much more personal, and much harder to see at first glance.

It was absolutely liberating for me to start posting my blog with pictures.  I feel amazing and proud for doing so.  I am trying really hard to not think about the wasted time that has been spent lost in what can only be a spiral of identity loss.  The thing I need to focus on, is not that I have never had confidence.  More that when I have it, I feel amazing, strong and proud as I do in the pictures I am starting to share.

Today though was a reminder that self confidence must come from within and must be real, not faked. I was reminded of this after an uncomfortable conversation with a family member.  I will not go into any detail, other than to say I was hung up on for the simple reason that I am perceived to be who I was, and not who I am striving to be.  I find it baffling that certain members of my family would prefer that I wallow in self pity.  That I should be terrified and insecure about things not yet falling into place and be scared of uncertainty.  Yet every book I read, and every conversation I have with confident amazing people tells me otherwise.  I will not dwell on what is missing from the equation.  Rather I am focusing on bettering myself, making the most of where I am at right now and will not spend a moment entertaining those who want to hear a sob story.

I cried when I read how devastating losing ones confidence can be to a relationship and more to ones self identity.  Those tears lasted mere moments, and I dragged my ass out of bed and did something productive.  I have no time to self pity.  My actions must speak louder than any words, or posts that I write.  Confidence is not fleeting, it is identity and the thing that draws people to you.  That power that attracts, and allows things to move forward with success, despite all hiccups or imperfections.