Tag Archives: dating advice

FOR SINGLES: Tinder: Material Used for Lighting A Fire

urlWant to meet a heterosexual human who is nearby, has some potentially fluke hot photos, and will promise to be full of tension and misunderstandings? Then Tinder is for you. Tinder is the hot new dating app for the twenty-something generation that is promoted as the “straight Grindr.” In case you don’t know, Grindr is the gay man’s app that uses GPS to essentially find someone close by to grind your Levi’s on. The idea of a “straight” app that does the same thing is certainly exciting, except for one thing: women use it too. Now if women thought and behaved like gay men, this app would be a giant hit. But instead of kindling relationships, Tinder is mostly starting bonfires that crash and burn.

Don’t get me wrong. While there are plenty of women out there who are looking for the odd hook-up, most don’t need GPS and an app to find a willing man. They simply need to dress provocatively and show up anywhere. If only women understood that there is very little power in seduction as the only requirement for most young men is that you run on estrogen and have a heartbeat.

But the frustration comes from the fact that most of the women on Tinder treat the app like a dating site and most of the men treat the app like a porn site. Yes, there are exceptions to this. Anecdotal stories have mysteriously cropped up on the web from people who know people who found love on Tinder. But those stories have degrees of separation that smell like urban legends. Bottom Line: Tinder is an app guaranteed to reduce speed dating to a microcosm of the gender wars: women want love and men want sex. Of course, men want love too. But most will take sex if it’s offered. And Tinder is one abundant buffet of offerings.

FOR COUPLES: How Every Day Texts Hit the Slippery Slope Toward Frisky

young-man-texting-on-couchPornography is easily accessible with new technology, and can be a helpful aid to keep the spice in long term monogamy. But porn does have its downside if used incorrectly. For some men, pornography has become a paired stimulus with their sexuality. One study showed on average, single guys consume pornography on their computers or iPhones 40 minutes, three times a week. The statistics for guys in committed relationships and pornography showed they view on average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes. Here’s the problem. That same device that feeds them an endless stream of novel erotic images is also used for business and platonic friendship. For some this can be a little confusing.

WATCH THIS DISCUSSION ON CNN HERE:

So how pornography is affecting our everyday text messages and e-mail communication? Men are using their phones and computers as a source of arousal, but they also use them to communicate for courtship. They are used to having a stream of new images, or exciting lovers. So what happens when they meet someone they want to date or their wife? What do they say? “Hey, can you send me a naked picture?” Or they want a frisky sext. This technology has become an extension of their sexuality. And for some men, it’s hard to separate the two types of digital data — business and porn.

In dating relationships, sexts may seem harmless, but now we are seeing sexting scandals and people that blur the boundaries of what should be platonic text relationships. Think of it this way, about 20 years ago the way to contact a couple was to call their house phone. The husband might answer and then pass the phone to his wife, who maintained their social calendar. Now, couples have individual Facebook pages, their own iPhones where private text messages. They are able to have individual relationships with a lot of different people and it starts to beg the question, are we a unified front? I have to tell you, when I see a Facebook page for a married couple, with their wedding picture and they are both answering questions I love it! That’s how it used to be. How do you think technology is affecting our dating, mating and relating?

FOR SINGLES: Don Jon: Rom Coms Verses Porn

Women’s love of romantic comedies and men’s love of porn have a lot in common. Both forms of modern media skew our expectations about relationships. That is the subject of the new romantic comedy “Don Jon” written, directed, and starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and co-starring Scarlett Johansson. Tune into The Katie Couric Show on Thursday on ABC network to see my discussion with renowned sexuality counselor, Dr. Ian Kerner.

While Dr. Kerner deals with issues like erectile dysfunction relating to addiction to pornography, he also says moderate use of porn can have a vital place in long term monogamy.

No matter, like fast food, cheap, available, junk food sexual eye candy is not going away. Fully one third of all content on the interimagenet is pornography and a 2009 study from the University of Montreal showed that single men, on average, are consuming about forty minutes, three times a week. Men in committed relationships, on average, consume about twenty minutes, twice a week. As an interesting side note, the researcher wanted to study the effects of porn on men and to do so, he needed a control group of men who had not consumed pornography — but he could not find one man who hadn’t used porn. And all this porn use is changing the way some men think a relationship should look and feel.

Women, on the other hand, are being fed a constant stream of unrealistic relationship expectations in the form of romantic comedies. The plots of movies like When Harry Met Sally, No Strings Attached, Friends with Benefits, etc, send the message that the key to a perfect relationship is to find love and get him to commit. In fact the key to a great relationship is to become a good partner yourself. But most romantic comedies end at the beginning of the relationship, and we never get to see the challenging emotional work. The same goes for pornography. Women as sex objects with no emotional integrity simply isn’t realistic. Don Jon is a fascinating movie because it addresses this issue head on. Kudos to Joesph Gordon Levitt on having his finger on the pulse of modern relationships.

FOR SINGLES: How to Spot a Cheater

cheater-quiz-mainIf only the cheaters and bad boys came with a warning label, so they’d be easy to spot before you laid your heart on the line. Some people who are prone to sexual infidelity do have an M.O., and here are some helpful tips to spot them.

First, look at their intentions when you first meet them. Research has shown that people who tend to be unfaithful are often emotionally avoidant. They dance around the tender topics like feelings most likely won’t open up about their family. One way an emotionally avoidant person operates is to extract sex and move on or they will carry on multiple relationships where they don’t have to get close to any one person.

While you’re out, be aware of your date’s social behavior. Studies have shown that a healthy sense of guilt can keep people monogamous. Faithfulness comes out of a sense of not wanting to betray their lover or hurt someone’s feelings. So if your date isn’t showing a lot of empathy or compassion to the people around, maybe even by being rude to a waiter, not tipping well or littering on the street chances are they don’t carry a lot of guilt. Instead, try to seek someone with strong moral values. They don’t have to attend church regularly, but if they were raised with any kind of religion they will know the Golden Rule. Remember that one? “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.” It means somewhere deep in their soul exists early life moral programming that can be helpful.

Here’s some research you might find fascinating, the higher a male’s IQ and education levels are, the less likely he is to cheat. Think about it, if we drive by a fast food restaurant and don’t stop it’s because we have made an intellectual decision not to put the fat and sugar in our body. The same goes for a man passing up a sexual opportunity. He is making an intellectual decision not to cheat, because he knows there will be consequences. A strong brain with good intellectual functioning can help him avoid his body’s temptations.

Here’s another fact that surprised me. Most would expect the alpha male, manly man, to be the one who wants to spread his seed, however, men with sexual anxiety issues are the ones to be wary of. These are the men who aren’t 100 percent confident in their sexual performance. These guys might think it’s their choice of partner, so they are more likely to see if it works better with someone else.

Final tip, pay attention to that paycheck! We are at a time when many women, particularly in the age range of 22-32, are making more money than their male peers. Research is showing that if a man makes significantly less money than his wife he is more likely to be unfaithful. Men love to self-identify by being the provider and when they can’t do so their self-esteem takes a hit. Sexual prowess becomes a way to help raise their self-esteem. On the other hand, if a man makes significantly more money than his wife he is more likely to have an affair because he might feel a form of entitlement. Couples do better in terms of fidelity, when they make around the same amount.

FOR WOMEN: Why We Love Bad Boys

112408requiredWe all know what a bad boy is. He’s the kind of guy who comes in, uses amazing short term strategies, the guy who makes us feel so beautiful, so cool. Bad boys may be rich, they may be tall, they may be gorgeous, they may be have an exciting career, that we are interested in. And then they disappear for a while. Days. Weeks. And then they come back again. And everything is back on. They come and they go. They dance around conversations about commitment and clearly are not the kind of guys who are going to settle down and have a long-term relationship. (Although plenty of women hold the fantasy!)

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Now here’s why so many of us are addicted to bad boys.  First of all, some women have an anxious attachment disorder. One third of American women suffered some kind of child abuse in their early years, and that abuse often came at the hands of someone they loved. They only know bad behavior and inconsistency. They are hoping somehow to make daddy love them this time, so they are more attracted to the guy who is less care giving.

Secondly, some women are insecure and they confuse a bad boy’s emotional unavailability with self-confidence. He’s aloof, he’s cool,. And they think, “I’m going to be the one to change him. I’m going to be the one to make the bad boy love me, because then I will be able to love myself.” But actually if you stop and learn to love yourself first, you’ll realize how bad boys are definitely the one thing you don’t need.

Finally, plenty of well-meaning women become ensnared by a bad boy through a learning theory called the “Random Interval Reward System.” Remember Pavlov and his dog, all the ways to shape human behavior through rewards? There is none better than the random interval reward system. It’s what Las Vegas is based on, and bad boys do it so well. It means the reward varies in size and the interval it’s administered varies in length as well. Just like a Vegas slot machine. So a bad boy shows up, he calls us, he takes us to a great date and every thing is amazing! It (he) pays off in a big way and then he kinda disappears. But we do still get drips and drabs of rewards. He calls every once and a while, he texts a bunch of times, maybe he does a drive by date with us and stops for a drink somewhere, while you’re waiting for the next big exciting date or the hot sex again. That’s how the bad boy gets you glued to him without you even knowing! And, by the way, he doesn’t even know he’s playing a game either, but the fact that he gives his attention in a random way, at different intervals, makes you addicted.

So it’s really important for you to become aware, if you are a bad boy chaser, whether it has to do with your attachment style, self-esteem or whether you’re just addicted to his random rewards.