Thursday, July 29, 2010

Preventing & Surviving a Bad Date

Bad dates can include a variety of circumstances from boredom, opposite personalities, rudeness, or embarrassing situations. It could be a really bad setup or a dangerous scenario that you ignored. Your intuition should always be your number one guide when putting yourself out there into the dating market.

Things to be aware of on a first date:

• Are they attentive & do they make eye contact?
• Did they make an effort with their appearance?
• Is the conversation shared equally?
• Are they respectful?
• Do they make you feel special?
• Were they on time for the date?
• Did they reschedule the date more than once?
• Do they bring up sex right away?
• Do they take you to your car or your front door after the date ends?
• Are you opposites?
• Is sarcasm their only form of humor?

What do you do if you are uncomfortable and want to leave? Many people are too nice to say anything controversial. It is always a good idea to have a “set time limit” on the first few dates so they are aware that you have to be somewhere else. Let them know as soon as you meet up with them. Set a time for a friend to call. Have a code word for whether the date is a success or not. Do not go to their house or let them pick you up until you have established a trust & rapport with them.

Prevent disaster dates by pre-screening. Don’t take your friend’s or family’s word for it that he/she is perfect for you. Ask the questions that are important to you. Requesting a photo is not unreasonable or shallow. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has different taste. Use the technology at your fingertips. Google them!

Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City says that first dates are like job interviews with cocktails. How true is that statement? When applying for a job, you are paying attention to what a potential employer is saying and what they could offer you. The same attention should be given when out in a dating scenario.

If someone only talks about themselves on the first date, what did they learn about you? They really don’t need to see you again they just need a reflection of themselves in the mirror. Nervousness is one thing but arrogance is another. Caring about another person is the first rule of dating. If it is all about them in the beginning, chances are, it will always be.

Many people do not know how to express themselves. If the date is bad they just let it go as an experience. You could make a difference in their life by telling them what bothered you and maybe they will learn from it. Everyone deserves to be happy and some people really do not know how they come across. You may have been put in their path to teach them something. Life lessons are not always about us.

When planning a date, always have an alternative option in case your original plan gets altered due to the weather, kids, or work problems. It shows you are spontaneous and have some organizational skills and respect for their time. You are compromising to keep from having to cancel.

The first few dates should not include alcohol. You need to keep a clear head when meeting someone for the first time just as you would in that job interview. If you must have a few cocktails, do not email, text or call them after drinking. Always treat others the way you would appreciate being treated. As old a cliché as this is, it should always be practiced. Susan McCord

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dating Advice : Mixed Signals!

Mixed signals, is a dating topic that many people question. It seems that men and women cannot get past the fist 3 or 4 dates due to the mixed signals they are receiving. What is going on & why has that not changed over the years?

Insecurities and past hurts are what keep people from having normalcy in their relationships. Everyone gets their rule book out and if their date doesn’t pass the test early on, they are deleted from their blackberry. The effort is not put forth anymore to really get to know someone and accept some of their imperfections.

Some women play games with communication. They make a man guess what they are thinking or what is bothering them, and then punish their partner with the silent treatment. Men can also be bad at communication by ignoring the woman’s cold shoulder. “She will get over it if I just let her be for awhile.” This is not the answer and will usually escalate the problem!

In the beginning, when getting to know your date, friendship should be the priority before sex & intimacy rule your heart. Being sexually compatible is important and many people do not want to waste their time if the chemistry isn’t there between the sheets. Intimacy changes everything for a woman, and new expectations come into play.

Playing games every other week to try to fight for leadership & control is very dangerous. Some relationships seem to have one partner that wants continual control. This usually ends up being the demise of the partnership when the other half gets tired of the obvious game.

Mixed Signals can also come in the form of pushing the relationship too fast & then a month later they are sending signals that they are not as interested anymore. This is a very common scenario especially if sex was introduced too quickly. There is an old expression that when someone comes in too fast to the relationship, they usually go out, just as fast!

Being aware of the type of person you are attracting is the key to long lasting love. By choosing people who are commitment phobic could be because you are not ready yourself. Another mistake some people make is by needing their friend’s approval. It is best to make your own assumptions first by listening to your intuition. Some of your friends could be jealous of your new flame and say things to sabotage it.

Dating later in life can be difficult as you may less tolerant. If your space feels threatened it may make you pull back, especially if both parties are fresh out of a broken relationship. There is a reason why you hurt after a break-up & you are supposed to take time to heal and reflect on what transpired. How can you possibly be whole? You just take your emotional baggage into the next relationship even if you don’t think you do. Galloping on the next horse is not always a good ride; it’s just a different one.

Ask your date what they are looking for. Don’t be afraid to find out early, it may be the opposite of where you see yourself and you can discuss that with them. Diplomacy should be used and a leave the checklist at home. Body language gives away many answers if you are paying attention, which is what dating is all about.

Listen clearly to what they say. If they say they don’t want to be in a committed relationship and that is important to you, move on. They have told you honestly. If they are playing a game or hard to get, you really don’t want to waste time trying to figure that out. Relationships don’t have to be that difficult. People make it harder because they try to change each other rather than listen to who their date really is.

Don’t get caught up in this cat and mouse game. Learn early on whether it is worth pursuing. Learn to listen to what they are saying and not only what you want to hear. The more often you get on the treadmill of dating people, who send mixed signals, the more you will lose your trust for a future mate. It is wise to take some time away from dating if there is a pattern developing because it could be you and not them that is causing the demise of your happiness with someone special.

Susan McCord @

Behavior breeds behavior

Life is so much easier if you react to negativity with opposition. It throws a curve ball that the other person isn’t expecting. It defuses the escalation of an angry reaction if handled properly. If you sound patronizing, it will heighten their aggression even more. Be careful by being aware of your body language and initial reaction in the beginning.

When dealing with an angry customer or client in many job environments, most of us instantly get our backs up. Having a finger pointed in your face, automatically brings a defensive response. It makes people feel disrespected and belittled. Letting people rant and have their say, is what most people really want. They need validity that their point is being heard. By reacting as negative as they are, just adds fuel to the fire. Feeling their pain for a moment will alleviate further anger, and hearing them out is usually a calming behavior modifier.

Behavior patterns are quite interesting in all realms of life. A child emulates their parents or siblings. Spouses who have been married for a long time start to act and sound alike. Animals respond to negative & positive feedback whether it due to an affectionate tummy rub or a scolding. (Most people yawn when someone near them does & the same thing happens when someone smiles at them.) It is contagious or a mirrored behavior.

Behavior can also be used as a manipulative tool. If you know someone’s personality and what buttons to push for your benefit, you are using their behavioral actions. This is how con artists pounce on their prey, by reading their behavioral patterns. Cult leaders have learned the way to manipulate through behavioral brainwashing. Their followers look at it as mentoring.

When entering into a stressful group situation, whether it is a family scenario or work related issue, the leader needs to be calm and rational to bring the same behavior out of the other people in the room. Pats on the back are positive rewards. Think about a playground in your neighborhood or your childhood. The bully always has a group of disciples. They are too young to know the right way to use their own judgment. They want to be accepted no matter what, and are looking for direction in any form. These kids lack self esteem and need guidance to remove them from future negativity.

Learning how to read people quickly will help you put in less time with negative friendships or relationships. In the dating world many men say they don’t know what a woman wants. By learning to read her body language and behaviors, they will understand who she really is.

Try not to talk negative and believe your positive actions will rectify a situation. Use your skills to massage the best out of people. It is contagious when sincerity is put forth. People hunger for positive re-enforcement; they don’t want to be negative. One person can make a difference, why can’t it be you?

Susan McCord