Tag Archives: love life

FOR SINGLES: Four Things To Say on a First Date

black-couple-on-a-dateIt’s hard enough to find a date, but let’s face it, first dates themselves can be tough. With two relative strangers attempting to play the person they wish they were, first dates can be artificial too. While some people believe the game is won by stringing a person along with a set of fantasy projections, only to reveal the truth after they’re too attached to bolt, I’m a pragmatist. I believe that stone cold honesty is the way to win someone’s heart. Communication skills can begin on the first date. But being honest doesn’t mean hurting yourself by spewing your tender entrails without any boundaries. It means knowing what to say and how to say it. Here are three phrases that should definitely be brought to the table on a first date.


1. The thing I’m most proud of is….

Strutting your stuff in an honest display of self-pride is a great way to market yourself to a prospective date. Clearly your date has already sized up the physical package, so it’s up to you to show your interior worth. Feeling proud of an accomplishment that is dear to your heart is a great way to begin to show your value system. Of course, it’s not a good idea to sound like a bragger or to compete with your date. But healthy self-pride is sexy. It’s all in the delivery.


2. Tell me about yourself….

This may sound like an awkward “job interview” style question, but I’m always amazed when I hear that two people spent an entire evening together and talked about movies, restaurants, gyms, celebrities, fashion and food — and never talked about themselves. The topic that everyone knows best is themselves and it can really take the nervous edge off an evening to become a curious journalist and ask plenty of questions about your date.


3. My relationship goal is…

The biggest problem with today’s dating market is that you have players and non-players in the same pool who have very different expectations about what a love life should look like.  Every year millions of dollars are plunked down on dating tables where two people are looking for two different things. These days, you can’t assume that she’s looking for a boyfriend just because she accepted a date. And you can’t assume he wants to someday get married just because all his brothers are married. I’m a big believer in showing your hand. This saves on misunderstandings, hurt feelings, broken hearts, and plenty of wasted money as one date become ten and only then does she reveal that she has no intention of ever getting married or having kids.


4. Someday, I hope to get to know you well enough to answer that question fully. That’s a perfectly honest, complimentary response to any prickly question that crops up in conversation. A first date is too early to become totally vulnerable with a stranger, but this sentence suggests that you a) like the person, b) have boundaries and c) are willing to disclose sensitive information in the future.

FOR COUPLES: Kissing More Important Than Sex

kissYou have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (or princess) and now science shows us why. All primates practice some form of kissing but only humans kiss with such passion and frequency. So researchers at Oxford University set out to find out why kissing is such an important human behavior, which proved to be strong relationship advice.

They discovered that kissing is more important to women than men and that people who prefer short-term relationships prefer kissing before sex, though not necessarily during or after sex.

Since women tend to be more selective when choosing someone to mate with, because the burden of reproduction and breastfeeding is on them, the research suggests that kissing is also a way for women to discern fitness of a partner. Kissing is like a biological litmus test with a new partner where the woman can unconsciously pick up tastes, smells, and caring behaviors through kissing to help them choose a guy who might be biologically and psychologically a good partner.

Finally, the research, published in both Archives of Sexual Behavior and Human Nature, also made a positive correlation between frequency of kissing and relationship quality. Interestingly, the same link could not be made with frequency of sex. In my opinion, kissing can go a long way to maintain daily bonds in long term relationships. Frequent sex, on the other hand, can sometimes indicate relationship insecurity in that some couples may have sex to compensate for emotional intimacy or have make up sex after frequent conflicts.

How often do you and your partner kiss?

FOR SINGLES: How Lovers Change Their Voices

contact-1You might notice that when you are in love and in an intimate relationship with someone your voice changes subtly. But did you know that others are able to detect this too? In a new study from Susan Hughes, Ph.D. of Albright College, twenty-four people were asked to telephone a lover and then a platonic same-sex friend and simply ask benign questions about how their day was going.

Then eighty strangers were asked to listen to short clips of the one-sided phone conversations, sometimes as brief as two seconds. Not surprisingly, people newly in love were detected with reliable accuracy. As it turns out, the lovers tended to mimic each other, that is, the men’s voices became higher and the women’s voices got a bit lower. The researchers suspect that mirroring each other conveys the idea of “I am one with you.”

But the other thing the study participants were able to identify was nervousness, lack of confidence, and vulnerability, true markers of early love when relationship stability has not been established yet. It’s the fear of rejection that tends to come out in lover’s voices.

When two people are falling in love, the emotional stakes are high. The fear of rejection as two people become vulnerable with each other is enormous. Adjusting vocal pitch is one way that lovers bond.

The researchers suggest that practical implications of the research might be as a cheater detector. In other words, your partner may ensure that a certain associate is “only a friend” but if your gut tells you something different, it may be because you overheard the subtle change in vocal tone.

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: Three Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship Today!

When couples enter couples counseling, they often wonder if the therapist will “take sides,” by taking up the cause of one partner over the other. If the truth be told, each partner hopes the therapist will take their own side. But family therapists are taught to consider neither partner as the client. Their patient is the relationship itself. With that said, here are three remedies often prescribed to an ailing relationship.hot_coffee_happy_marriage_270

1. Schedule a daily “we” bubble. All couples report fighting over in laws, money, sex, parenting, and domestic responsibilities, but the couples who are able to work through that stuff best are those who act and think as one mind. To create an environment for that one mind to grow, couples need a “we” bubble, a daily cocoon, to simply be together in routine and ritual. Your cocoon, may be a morning coffee together, an after-dinner stroll, or a bed-time cuddle. The key to building strength in a relationship is to bond every day.

2. Problem solve with the relationship in mind. Make decisions based on what’s good for the relationship rather than what’s good for one. Just as a therapist looks at the relationship as the patient, couples can be transformed by the mental mindset of solving problems through the lens of what’s best for both instead of one. Sometimes, it can be as simple as training your mind to refocus and with every conflict, asking yourself what’s really important here, and understanding that compromise can sometimes get you more in the long run.

3. Join his or her cheer team. If a relationship is an exchange of care, there is probably no better kind of care than to be in your partner’s corner while he or she faces the stress of life. Think of yourself as the captain of your partner’s cheer squad. You might be surprised at how your entire relationship can be transformed by the addition of a few compliments, words of encouragement, and reminders of how loved they are.