Drew Barrymore & I Agree

I normally don’t give a fig what celebrities have to say about dating — not only do they not live in the real world, but they are generally poor examples of what good relationships are. But when I read what Drew Barrymore reportedly said , I jumped for glee:

DREW BARRYMORE hates surfing the Internet for love – because it has taken all the romance out of dating.

The Charlie’s Angels star – who recently split up with the face of computer brand MAC Justin Long – confesses that even text messaging freaks her out – insisting she prefers the old fashioned ways of finding a man.

She says, “When I first started dating, it was like the Pony Express. We had to be frickin’ patient. And now everything is instantaneous. It’s too much! Where is old-fashioned romance and a little bit of mystery?”

I believe this is precisely why so many celebrity marriages & relationships fail — they are used to & demand instant gratification. Relationships may involve instant attraction, but the gratification comes over time. This is something which most celebrities seem to fear — perhaps because they fear time and it’s “ravages” rather than revere it.

While we regular folk may not be able to demand — or, more accurately, have our demands so regularly met — we seem to fall for the fallacy of instant gratification. Perhaps it’s because so many of us wish to emulate celebrities, too often for the wrong reasons. But in any case, many wish for instant gratification.

For example, Michelle at Dating Dames (where I discovered the Drew Barrymore news) defends her own quest for relationship instant gratification:

She had me until she complained about instantaneous. I’m not patient. …I’m all for mystery and old-fashioned romance, but I want it quick, baby. Like this, yes thank you for holding the door for me, now I’ll race you to the car. Lets go!

But relationships are the opposite of such a concept. I can’t help from making a reference to Drew’s movie, The Wedding Singer, and the song Grow Old With You:

If Your Husband Is Cheating; Get Your Fat Ass To The Gym

Offensive because it’s putting the blame on ‘you’ for his crap, but still…

There’s something to this.

If you’re overweight, you may not have ‘let yourself go’ in the way that means you are so satisfied with your relationship that you take it for granted — but you might be depressed and unhappy (whichever came first, the depression or the weight is rather like the chicken & the egg) which will means you likely aren’t being the best partner.

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for your relationship — there can’t be a happy two of you when one of you is miserable.

Not that this excuses his horrible behavior (or yours, should the situation be reversed); a commitment is a commitment. To forgive him or not is a separate issue, but in any case, together or apart, you must begin taking care of yourself. That includes your weight, your depression, and your unhappiness.

Image via Jailbird at Etsy.

Men & Their Delicate Dangles

If you follow me on Twitter (and you should; I’m told I’m a hoot), then you “heard” me mention that I had a fabulous email regarding my post on New Year’s resolutions and that I was excited to post about it. The email was from my bud, Slip of a Girl — and even cooler than her email was the fact that she’s posted the whole story and then some at her blog.

Now, aside from the fact that I do so enjoy being the center of attention, Slip makes some good points about how you need to not only be honest with yourself about your pet peeves but know which ones are important enough to be deal breakers for you — and that you can’t expect others to read your mind and know them, you have to communicate them. If only to spare yourself from suffering.

But I’ll be honest here and say that the best part of her post was when she goes off about one her largest pet peeves — which we share — that of men who make ‘ick’ faces about menstruation:

You men (and any women who loathe themselves & their bodies thus) need to accept the realities of a normal, healthy female body.

We women have to accept such things about men — even if we don’t completely understand them.

For example, we have to accept the fact that you guys will wake up with morning wood 99% of the time. We can’t blame you for it. We don’t have to do anything about it; but we do have to accept that your hormones cycle daily and so you have heavy loads of testosterone just waiting to be released along with your seed.

We have to accept that your delicate dangle, that thing there between your legs (which I can only imagine is something like a small, narrow, third breast just hanging there), will suddenly jump up and point like a fool whenever aroused — and beg to be used — like some independent tool with impulse issues.

And you pee from it!

We don’t understand it, sometimes it embarrasses us, and quite frankly it seems weird. But we mature. Even if we remain ignorant to “knowing”, we accept it and stop acting as if (& thinking that) you are freaks or gross or dirty.

I Want To Change Your New Year’s Resolutions

So you’ve got this to-do list of things you’d like to change about yourself — but hold on there, miss! Before you start the scheming to match your dreaming, the first thing you need to do is know yourself. It sounds so simple that it seems ambiguous to some, but really this is where you start.

First, are these things realistic? Can you change these things?

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Second, if you can change these things (and can set realistic goals for doing so), do you really want to change all those things on your list? If there’s just one thing written there, is that something you really want to change? Or are you making these changes for someone else…

Maybe you wrote it down, but your hand was directed by that head of yours which is filled with all those insidious messages you’ve received from critical family members, lovers (or those you wanted to be) who rejected you, so-called women’s magazines & other media which makes money off your insecurities — all these voices saying that you’re just not good enough.

Even if you’re convinced that your New Year’s Resolutions are in fact your own, take a good hard look at them any way. Do it because you’re patronizing me; I don’t care, as long as you take five minutes (eternally long if you set a timer) and reconsider the things-you-want-to-change-this-year.

Now I’m going to ask you to do one more thing. I’m going to ask you to put one thing at the top of the list. And that thing is to demand that people accept & respect you.

See, you’ve got these things (or maybe just one thing) that you want to change about yourself — and it may very well be that you should change to improve your life — but far too often I see women who are willing to change themselves but unwilling to demand that people accept them for who and what they are. This acquiescence bothers me. Bad things happen when you acquiesce so much in relationships.

So, get out another piece of paper, title it “Demand That People Accept Me”, and make a list of things that should not be changed about yourself.

They can be little or big things; vital ‘this is me’ things or ‘pet peeve’ things that really get under your skin. In fact, that should be one of the things you write down: No one has the right to tell me how important things are to me, or how I feel.

Sometimes it helps if you write it as a list intended to be read by a specific (though however imaginary) person. Like a written agreement. In the spirit of getting you started, here are some of my things:

* When you met me I smoked, I wore this dress size, I had a cat, this family, these friends, I swore, drank, and I required an hour a day to be left alone; none of these things should be expected to change — or are to be discussed as changes I ought to make.

* My work, no matter the pay, is as important as yours; and how I spend my days (weekly pottery class, shooting pool, my favorite TV shows) are as important as your softball league, TV habits and whatnot. It’s not an automatic ‘given’ that my plans should change to accommodate yours.

* While you may name your privates, you can neither make me address it by ‘name’ nor name mine.

* If I say something hurts, it hurts. So stop tickling me or whatever it is and just say you’re sorry.

* I’m a normal, healthy, menstruating woman; you are not allowed to make ‘ick’ faces, wince, cringe, or otherwise react stupidly to this biological fact. Similarly, you are not allowed to act embarrassed when tampons appear in the shopping cart, on the conveyor belt at WalMart, or in your bathroom (unused in the medicine cabinet, or neatly wrapped in toilet paper in the trash).

* On a related note, I get very randy before my period — sometimes during. Obviously it’s up to you to decide if you want to have sex at this (or any other) time; but do not make that fact which looks like you’ve just vomited in your mouth at my suggestion.

* The toilet seat is to be turned down after use. Period.

* No means no, means no, means no. No, I don’t want to see that movie; no, I don’t want order the clams; no, I don’t want to go on another date; no, I don’t want you to come in for a drink; no, I don’t want you to touch me. Yes, you may have come in last time; yes, you may have gotten laid before; but this time the answer is “No.”

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I do not want to change,
courage to demand that others to do the same,
and wisdom to rid myself of those who do not.

New Year, New You?

Ah, the New Year is about to dawn… The time of year when so many people look at themselves and, upon not liking what they see, come up with ridiculous and unreasonable plans they call New Year’s Resolutions.

Loathing the past and fearfully hoping bartering for their futures, New Year’s Resolutions remind me of the Kübler-Ross “Bargaining” stage of grief: “Listen, New Year, if I promise to lose 40 pounds and stop smoking, you agree to give me a promotion (with a salary large enough to afford designer handbags and that clingy little black cocktail dress I’ve been dreaming of) and the man of my dreams.”

Only, the New Year, like the god the grief-stricken barter with, doesn’t reply with an affirmation — at least not the magic wand variety. And that’s what most are really asking for. *Poof* You’re 40 lbs slimmer, 50K richer, and smoke-free in your designer couture with Mr. Right on your arm.

Oh sure, you could get all those things — even simultaneously. But you’ll have to work for each and every one of them. And then work some more to keep them.

No one is going to hand them to you, let alone at the magical hour when the Gregorian calendar adds a digit.

However, if you, like millions of others, want to have your make-over vows coincide with this paper-flipping fresh start, tune in tomorrow because I’ll be outlining my general tips for really making changes.

Ted’s Invited To A Threesome… How Will He RSVP?

A conversation with Ted, an old college friend of mine, over wine this past holiday weekend:

Ted: So she asks me if I’d be interested in a threesome.

Me: And you?

Ted: Well, when I thought it was us and a girl, sure — but a guy?

Me: Homophobe.

Ted: No, I’m not; I don’t care what two guys do as long as I’m not one of them.

Me: The fact that you’d do with a girl but not a guy is the very definition of homophobia.

Ted: No. I just don’t get it — why would she want that?

Me: Why would you do it with two girls?

Ted: Duh. It’s a classic male fantasy.

Me: So there’s your answer.

Ted: Seriously, does it mean she’s unhappy with our sex life — with me?

Me: Is that why you fantasize about two chicks?

Ted: No!

Me: Well, then why do you assume her answer is any different?

Ted: ‘Cuz girls don’t fantasize like that.  …Do they?

Me: I can’t speak for all women, but why not? Why can’t women have that fantasy?

Ted: Well, if she’s wanting two… I can’t provide that. So she must be disappointed. At some level. Right?

Me: Just like you’re disappointed with only two breasts and just one hoo-ha.

Ted: I’m not disappointed with ‘normal’ – just open to more. I’m an open person.

Me: Uh. Yeah. That’s what you are. Homophobe.

Ted: Stop that.

Me: You stop it.

Ted: From the sound of things, I’d have little to do with the guy… It’s pretty much all about her.  And that’s my point — if she’s so interested in having another guy, where does that leave things between us?

Me: Did you try asking her?

Ted: Sortta.

Me: Sortta?

Ted: I asked her how long she’s been thinking about it…

Me: Well, that’s not quite the same thing as asking her ‘why.’

Ted: I figured I’d find out if the idea predates our dating.

Me: And?

Ted: And it’s recent.  Which proves something’s wrong. Or missing… Disappointing her somehow…

Me: I can’t speak for Missy. Or your sex skills.

Ted: I thought she was happy.

Me: She likely is. Why else would she trust you to come to you with a fantasy?

Ted: A fantasy to make up for some inadequacy on my part.

Me: Oh. My. Gawd. You seriously think that she wants a threesome with you two and some other dude because you’re sexually inadequate — but you believe you’re normal for wanting her and another chick “just cuz”.  That’s sad, man. Very sad.

Ted: That’s not what I said; you’re mixing things all up.

Me: Am I really now.  OK, so you boil it down to a sentence or two.

Ted: Men wanting two women is normal; women wanting two men isn’t. You chicks are all monogamous & shit.

Me: So now you think something’s wrong with her…

Ted: Well, maybe not “wrong” but she’s looking for something more than I can give.

Me: No. She’s asked you to give her the fantasy; you can give her want she wants.  You just won’t deliver it.

Ted remains silent.

Me: Would she give you your fantasy — if you asked for it?

Ted: She said she’d give the two-girl scenario a go, as a trade for her threesome idea. She said we could do mine first if it made me more comfortable.

Me: Well, there you have it.

Ted: Have what?

Me: The fact that you’re a putz.  Sounds like she’s offering something pretty special — for the both of you — and you’re busy looking the gift horse in the mouth.  I mean if either of you were opposed to threesomes period, then end of conversation; but she’s willing to give you what you want if you give her what she wants.  Why are you sitting here talking to me when you could be screening partners?

Ted: Because if I’m so sexually disappointing to her, why would I let another guy see that?

Me: Or disappoint the other girl.

Ted: Well, that’s not likely!

Me: So which is it: Are you sexually disappointing or aren’t you?

Ted: I’m fine — I’m damn fine!

Me: Well, then why are we talking about all of this.

Ted: You’re no help at all.

Me: The kind of help you need, Ted, you are refusing.  All you really want me to say is what you want to hear — that of course she’s disappointed, that she’s a bitch and that you should end it with her.  That way you can avoid having to deal with your feelings of inadequacy, your intimacy issues — which clearly extend beyond Missy, by the way, and continue to be a selfish bastard with a sex fantasy of two women. A fantasy, which, by the way, will live on only in your head because you’re too afraid to actually do anything about it.  Unless you pay for such services anyway–

Ted: Hey!  I don’t need to pay for sex!

Me: You’ve got that partly right.  You probably wouldn’t pay for sex — but you’d need to if you’re ever to get your fantasy, because, Ted, you are one screwed-up man.

Ted: You really think that’s what I’m doing here?

Me: It’s a classic scapegoat move; one you’ve used before.

Ted: So she could just really have a fantasy…

Me: That’s what I’ve been saying. But you really should ask her.

Ted: Yeah, maybe I’ll do that.

A pause while we both sip our wine.

Ted (laughing and with a twinkle in his eye): So would you, ah, join us? Missy & I, that is?

Me: Ah, no. Thanks, but I make it a point never to screw guys as messed up as you.

The Grass Is Always Greener When There’s No Snow

A friend of mine, Marta, was complaining that it was more difficult to “meet people” during the holidays — and by “meet people” she specifically stated that she meant, “to have the possibility of a relationship, not drunken groping at an office party or with some friend of your sister’s from college who is also the only single person at her holiday party.”

Marta has a point — but it’s likely not the one she was thinking of.

I agree drunken groping is like the relationship fruitcake of the holiday season; people take it because it’s what they get. (My advice is don’t take it — and certainly don’t re-gift it either!) But Marta, like most single people, wanted her point to be her complaint: that the the holidays are for those who are already in pairs ready to board Noah’s ark.

Not only do I detest whining, I have to say that’s bullshit.

When you are single, lonely and not-lovin’ it, the world seems full of couples. It doesn’t matter what season it is. Here’s a reminder of a lovely spring (or perhaps summer) afternoon at the park:

Couples, couples everywhere.

Not only have you whiny pessimistic folks forgotten that, but you even complain about those bickering &/or unhappy couples — like those on the bench. “At least they have someone to argue with,” you mope. But honestly, now, is that what you want?

So stop looking at (imagining) greener pastures on the other side of the fence; stop looking at the glass as half empty — or even half full. And start planting your own seeds for lush greenery, fill your glass all the way up, if that’s what you want. Create the world you want — it’s much more inviting to others than complaining.

Photo by alev.adil.

Pulling Relationship Weight

Leigh Peele, a published author and expert on weight loss, has an intriguing article at the Examiner on the courtship of obesity:

The process of mate selection for human beings is different from culture to culture and has evolved with the ages. Long ago the majority choose a mate purely on the ground of livelihood. If your mate could feed you or have children that was good enough. That isn’t to say there wasn’t always a rebel or two that caused a uproar in the normal flow of things. However, the majority of the time people chose mostly out of safety, and at best for love.

Flash forward to a time of internet dating, mail order brides, maxim magazine, and Flavor of Love. I think you will find that things are a little different. Self independence and prosperity is possible for both sexes. The ability to have children isn’t dependent on a penis and a vagina. Lastly, food is everywhere in advanced societies so the need to find a mate based solely on those past needs are getting cut more and more everyday. If those aren’t leading the ranks of why we pick a mate, what is?

I’ve written, elsewhere, on the subject of the biology of appearance in attraction, and while Peele clearly has a belief system (if not an agenda), she raises some good points:

How you look, the health you convey, and the body you have is now a extreme contributing factor. Studies and survey’s around the world are showing time and time again that the weight and appearance of a person plays a very large role in if they are found to be dating material or not. The question is, why?

If you say because “fat people are ugly” you would be wrong. Studies show that it isn’t the physical attraction to the person that is the issue, it is the underlying factors instead. For example, one study shows that on average medical costs are 36% higher for obese adults than their non-obese partners. Other studies also show that those who are largely overweight make a smaller percentage of pay vs those who have a healthier BMI. Obesity is also highly prevalent in low educated households, and the children of obese parents have a higher likely hood to drop out of high school.

When we combine all that above this means that through one scan of the eyes the average person when on approach for dating material can see someone who is obese as unhealthy, uneducated, and not financially secure. Obviously this is not true in all cases, but now if you find yourself in this position, not only do you have to worry about your own insecurities of being physically under par to yourself, you have to worry about your whole level of worth being judged from education to finance. Because of this overwhelming pressure, studies show that the mate you choose is going to be constantly less than your instinctual set standards because you feel that this is the best you can do. The cycle then starts of the problems in the relationship.

Peele then goes on to describe what she believes occurs in relationships where one person is ‘thin’ and the other ‘obese’:

Constantly those who are overweight will put “being fat” on the high list of problems in a relationship before they will put “living in self doubt.” Mixed couples fight more about cheating, have more short term separations, and will settle more in abusive relationships on average than couples who share in the same activities and physical physique. It is a lot more likely that one of you is nice and the other is a jerk.

…It isn’t about BMI, that is just a side effect. That is merely the scapegoat for the problem. The problem is self worth and self esteem. Usually those who were married pre-obesity have less problems than those who go into the courtship already overweight. With marriage there is a level of knowing what can be there again if desire or a deep understanding of the person in when they felt their best. Since the person saw the “real” you at a point, even if you are insecure now, there is still enough of you there in them that you are able to maintain a high level of happiness and trust.

I’ll admit, I’ve never quite looked at weight issues from this perspective. I’ve been ‘fat’ and I’ve been ‘thin,’ and while I’ve certainly noticed the times when my fat self was unattractive — not for the physical reasons but the insecurities & bad attitudes — I’ve never quite put things together as neatly as Peele has.

Not that being thinner delivers a magical life, but there is something I can attest to as far as attitude & acceptance. Speaking in generalities, if & when I happily accept ‘me’, I have better partners and better relationships; but when I am miserable, I make dumber decisions & accept far less than I really deserve.  Not to mention, I’m just a bitch (or killjoy) to be around.

There’s also been a difference between my relationships (with myself and with others), depending upon how I ‘took the weight off’.

The times I forced myself to diet — like an aggressive prison warden — I may have lost weight, but I felt the punitive actions, the self-loathing, and not only was miserable in the process and with others, but the weight came back quickly. However, once I rid myself of my emotional baggage, I naturally seemed to slim-down — as if that baggage was literally the saddlebags on my hips and thighs.

So while I’m not sure I agree that relationships between the skinny dating the fat are doomed to inequity, I do see (and often talk about) the great difficulties in relationships between those who are happily accepting of themselves and those who are riddled with insecurities and self-loathing. If your weight is an indication of the latter, the issues are certainly worth exploring for yourself.

Shut-Up Cosmo: Date Rape Is Not The Victim’s Fault

In the latest issue of Bitch magazine (Fall ’08, Issue #41), a scathing article by Jennifer McDaniel, “Don’t Take Advice From Cosmopolitan, Part 877″, blasts Cosmo’s recent (June 2088) article — and related sidebars — on date rape.

The article, featured on the cover with the line “5 Signs a Guy Is Capable of Rape”, is called “How a Date Rapist Works”; the related sidebar pieces are “Reading a Rapist’s Body Language” and “Personality Traits That Make You Vulnerable”.

On the surface you might think this helpful advice — but only if you believe the imperative premise that women are the ones responsible for men’s behavior. As McDaniel writes:

The article, like its gray-rape predecessor, ends up being both insulting to women and victim-blaming to boot. If a rapist could be identified with such easy-to-spot criteria, what woman wouldn’t readily discern a potential assailant and haul ass out of that bar? Rape victims are traumatized enough without being made to feel that their rapists were giving off clear signals that they were too stupid or oblivious to read.

(For the record, the “grey rape” article referred to was published in Cosmo back in September, 2007; you can find that pile of steaming crap here.)

It’s dreck like this that has had me avoiding Cosmopolitan magazine for a long time now. I hope you’ll avoid it too because the only help you’ll find in those slick pages are how to perpetuate the abdication of male accountability.

Does anyone really need that?

While I want women to be safe (and I hope Cosmo does too), it’s absurd, irresponsible, and down-right hurtful to put the blame for male violence on female victims.

As McDaniel said, “It’s not so surprising that Cosmo still seems to think so little of men that it refuses to hold them accountable for their behavior, but couldn’t they try to expect more from women?”

Instead, grab a copy of Bitch — better yet, subscribe. Because Bitch does expect more from both men and women.

13 Dating & Relationship Tips De-Myth-tified


Thirteen Things About Dating & Relationships

1 Meeting people is hard. Come on people, unless you are a hermit and not on the internet, you meet people every single day. So stop whining that meeting people is hard when the fact is you’re not making the effort. In fact, if you can’t make the effort to meet people you’re just not ready to be in a relationship; keeping a relationship alive and working takes more effort than finding Mr. or Ms. Right.

2 There’s such a thing as “dating fatigue”. Bah. You’re not tired of dating; you’re just tired in general or too lazy to smile, practice good hygiene, make any effort at all. True, you should not date when you are a sleepy-slacker-dating-putz; but don’t blame it on ‘them’. It really is you, darling.

3 Never make yourself “too” available. The game of playing hard-to-get only entices other game players & puts off sincere people. While it’s true you shouldn’t stalk (it’s illegal) or pant like a puppy at the object of your affection’s heels, the fact is that you should make the time to meet & get to know interesting people — if you are a fascinating woman, interested in many things with activities & plans to prove it, your schedule will make arranging dates difficult enough as it is.

4 Compromising means giving up what you like. Compromising is like trading; you both give and take. As a general rule you should never ever give up what you like to do, be it attending book club, dancing with the girls — or in bed. How can he or she be The One, add to your happiness, when you are giving up something which is vital to your happiness and who you are?

5 Work out in advance where you are likely to meet people. This is like stalking — only you have no clue who you will be stalking. What I believe (and hope!) people who advise this really mean is that you should follow your interests and passions by attending events related to them — where you will naturally meet people with similar interests. For example, you like art history? Attend local university galleries, lectures and book store events. Immersed in what you are interested in, you’re more likely to meet people — friends (who know other people), potential dates, and, sure a few. (Talking with people will help you separate the posers from those really interested.) This is called living your life, finding your bliss, and meeting new people along the way. Even if you’re dating online you need something to put in the profile, right?

6 It’s more difficult for shy people to find dates. It may be a bit more true for the shy males (more on that later), but really, after the first hour or so, even the most fascinating, scintillating bar-fly will find that her groupies have dispersed, the men not ‘in like Flynn’ off circulating. (And the wise woman who receives all that attention from the start also knows she has to chase off a few of those with the biggest swagger in order to view those at the fringe or sitting elsewhere.) You don’t need to be a loud-attention-seeking-missile of an extrovert to get attention.

7 Date in your own league. The experts will say to choose only those ‘targets’ that you have a good chance of dating and couch it with kindness saying, “Don’t aim low; but do aim realistically.” Jeebuz that bugs the crap outta me. Who the hell’s to say what dating league you belong to? Are we to be superficial ninnies who decide that “money” makes for a “better” “dating league” than kindness? Do “big boobs” put you closer to that league? Forget all this crap and just do what you want to do — literally. Like yachts? Get one and go yachting. Ditto horses, fancy cars, art, rare historical manuscripts, etc. Don’t worry if you can’t afford it; there are clubs, groups, lessons, lectures, and other events where you can learn without owning. And should you prefer bowling, darts, beer or whatever it is that you feel is more ‘lowbrow’ and join the leagues, groups, bars etc. which offer those things; rich folks & those with big boobs like those things too. Let your interests dictate your activities — and who you meet; not some silly “dating league” hierarchy.

8 Get a new look, new clothes. While such things can be a pick-me-up for a foul or depressed mood, the truth is a new look can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Maybe you’re not used to those itchy bangs, eating with red lipstick on… Maybe the shorter skirt length makes you nervous perching on that bar stool, the top which requires a new bra makes you fidget with the straps… Maybe you’ll discover on your date that you’re allergic to whatever it is those new earrings are made of. Ick! Wear only the clothes you are comfortable — and attractive — in. I wouldn’t suggest wearing those old sweat pants you lounge on the sofa in, but wear what makes you feel confident. If and when you update your look, give yourself plenty of time to get used to it before going out in it.

9 Join a gym; begin a health & diet regime to look your best. You should be doing this stuff for you — not dating. Your health matters period. But if you’re not interested in being fit (or being that fit), don’t pose. No one wants to date the super-fit-hot-bod only to find that after months of dating she’s “let herself go.” (See #4 too.)

These last four have to do with politeness v. stupidity. Sure, you want to be polite, considerate, but not to the point of stupidity. Of course, you also don’t want to look like a needy neurotic either.

10 Should you ask your date if they had a good time? No. That’s a sign of a needy neurotic. Wait for him or her to call, ask you out again — or not. There’s your answer. You can & should offer your own, “I had a great time!” — but only if it’s sincere and you are not looking for a response back. (And even if they respond with a “me too” remember, they may just have been being polite; so wait for that call before you believe it.)

11 Should you try to please your date? Well, you certainly shouldn’t be rude! But don’t be a people-pleasing-puppy at their feet either. You don’t have to agree with all their opinions, do what they want on every date. Dates are to help you both determine if you’re a good match. Pretending to be interested in something you’re not, or posing as someone you are not helps no one. (See #4)

12 Should you talk about your baggage? Your ex? Your children? There’s a fine line here between informing someone of the realities of the situation and being an annoying boring record with the needle stuck. As a general rule, talk of any baggage should only be limited to relative conversation (i.e. you are asked) or a need-to-know basis. The latter category consists of things such as you are an alcoholic and you’ve been asked to go to a bar or winery. It also includes things like that you have a psycho ex who follows you about or had friends monitor you — and you’re sure it’s happening right now. (Better to tell your date than to spend it in private angry conversation with some dude by the door, or have to dash without explanation.) When it comes to kids many moms want to shield the children from their dating — which is a good idea until you have a serious relationship. But the people you are dating have a right to know and, yes, the right to refuse dating you because you have children. (Save everyone the long nights crying into the phone &/or pillows and state it up front.) Just remember: Baggage may be something you take with you everywhere; but it doesn’t need to be opened & the contents spilled out everywhere.

13 Should you answer your phone, check messages on your PDA/Blackberry/etc? It’s always a good idea to shut such devices off. Dealing with others on a date, be it flirting with the bartender or talking with your sister, is bad form. If you need to check for messages (boss, babysitter, etc.), do it during a short trip to the restroom — and keep it quick!

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The Truth About Sexy Red Lips & Dating

I wasn’t going to answer this question right away, but seeing as 1) it’s holiday time where dressing more glamorous is de rigueur (or at least more possible), 2) that Twolia’s own Josi has written a great tutorial on how to apply those perfect red lips, and 3) three of my friends and I were just debating this very topic, it seems now is the time…

Do men really like women who wear makeup — big hair and sexy red lips — or is this something we do for other women? Men often say, “I prefer you with less makeup and more natural looking”… Yet who are they looking at in magazines, movies and yes, at clubs? And the related question, when women are so gussied-up (no matter who it is for), are men put-off on the action aka kissing or touching you?

There are many kinds of men, so this is going to be pretty generic advice; but…

For the most part, men are just as much part of this culture as we are and as such, they see and are as moved by beauty as we women are — in fact, they may be even more manipulated by it and our female use of it. Sure, some women eschew such glamor and so we can reasonably expect some men to do so too; but as a general rule, men find the woman with sexy red lips beckoning to their libidos.

We may buy the products, but they buy the end result.

Does such gloss and glamor keep his attentions at bay? As a general rule, I say, “Nay.”

They may not want to wear the red smudges in public, but in private… When men are attracted, aroused, they really aren’t concerned by such things as lipstick smeared on their faces or hair that deflates as it rubs on the pillows.

We women are though.

We women often hold men at arm’s length, telling them not to muss the ‘do or smear the face. In that sense, what man wouldn’t say he prefers his woman au naturel? So ask yourself if you haven’t trained your partner as Pavlov did his pooch — only you make your mate drool but then don’t give him the treat he seeks.

There are, of course, other times when a man may state his preference for your more natural look.

If he said it in response to your disclaimers of, “Oh, but I’m such a mess!” when he called to say he’s in the neighborhood or otherwise has suggested a sudden visit (or just impulsively stopped by), it’s simply the proper thing for him to say.

If he said it just before, during, or after sex, well then, “more natural looking” is about as reliable as those three other little words said at the time (I love you).

But there are times when a man says he “prefers you without makeup” or “more natural looking” (and I’m assuming here that you are not applying it like a clown!) when he may just be full of crap.

The best way to know that such statements are bullshit is if he first approached you when you were your glamor-doll self or if you typically are a makeup-wearing woman (at least whenever he could see you) — because, baby doll, if he was attracted enough to your glamor-doll self to ask hit on you or ask you out, then he likes that look.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lying either.

It may mean that he’s attracted to painted ladies, but fears others are too and doesn’t want you being attractive to others.  That’s why I said his claims were bullshit.

It’s not only a contradiction, but it’s a sign of insecurity.  Especially if he’s derogatory about you being “made up.”  And men so insecure as to manipulate you to meet their needs are worse than a waste of time — they can be dangerous. (Such manipulation is just steps away from controlling and abusive behavior.)

It doesn’t matter if he is insecure about himself, fearful because he’s ‘been burned before’ by a cheating (or ‘promiscuous’) partner, or just has this view of women as in control with their attractiveness and is upset by it; if he’s so insecure that he feels your application of red lipstick is akin to Roxanne putting on the red light he’s too insecure in himself to be partner material. And don’t kid yourself, ladies; he’s not even good casual dating material because he’s going to see your casual attitude and read that as proof of his fears. Just walk away.

Unless…

Unless he’s willing to talk about his issues, his insecurities. If he can learn to deal with your likes as well as his own dislikes, if he can learn to separate you the person from your lipstick, the lipstick from his definition of a slut, and himself from the cuckold of his fears, then there’s a chance.