Apr 25, 2009

For the Ladies: How to Be a Great First Date

As most people know, first dates can be a nerve-wracking experience...no matter how much dating experience you have, going on a date for the first time with someone you really like or are very interested in can fill you with either a great sense of anticipation or great dread, or a combination of the two. The first date is a make-or-break for a potential relationship...it could be seen as a trial run, so it's best to go in armed and completely prepared, so you can knock him off his feet and keep him coming back for more. ;)

Before we begin, you should know 4 of the top things that men notice when they first meet a woman:

1) Her looks (this one is no surprise!)
2) Approachability
3) Personality (friendliness or demeanor)
4) High maintenance or not?

With women who men consider to be very attractive, they go into the courtship or relationship expecting the woman to be very high maintenance, and - all other things considered - see the price of putting up with a high maintenance girlfriend something that must be paid in order to be with a hot girl.

The woman who will blow a man out of the water, however, is the one who he finds both attractive and knows how to keep it real. I'm not saying you should change yourself to please or attract a man, but knowing how to present a good impression on a first date can help ensure that there are more dates in the future with a man you are very in to.

1) Looks. On the factors listed, looks are obviously high on the list when a man and woman first start dating. What many women don't realize, however, is that men are not as harsh of critics when it comes to looks as women are with ourselves, and with each other. As I've heard a man say once, "If I look at her and I'm turned on, then I find her attractive." Men do not, for the most part, sit there and say, "She would look so hot if she had smaller thighs," or "She would look so pretty if she got a nose job," or "If her eyes were further apart, her face would look so much better." No. Women say those things, about ourselves and others, and it gives us a skewed perception of what men look for when noticing a woman.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: obviously, there are some women who were born more beautiful than others, but truly, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Angelina Jolie, who I think is one of the most beautiful women out there, is not universally considered hot by all men. I know at least 3 or 4 men who have truthfully said they thought she looked alright, with one of them even giving a very strange reason for thinking so, "When I look at her, I see her father Jon Voight, so that turns me off." (????) What is beautiful to one person may be average to another, so it is best to realize that each person has their own unique beauty, and to accentuate the qualities you have and to flaunt it with confidence.

Tip #1: If a man has already asked you out, he obviously finds you attractive; the goal here then is turn him on even more during your date and shift his desire into overdrive. On the first date, comfort should be key when choosing the right outfit, because you want to be able to enjoy yourself, but also choose an outfit that both flatters your body and shows off one of your best physical assets. For instance, pick an outfit that either shows off a nice pair of legs, or something low-cut that reveals nice cleavage, but not one that does both.

If you have great legs, for example, you could wear a pair of trendy short shorts, a cute top, and heels (what I wore on my first date with my boyfriend), but you would avoid going with a low-cut top since you're already showing off your gams. Giving away too much gives off a desperate vibe, not a sexy one; you want to show off a little, but still leave something to the imagination. When checking out a woman, men notice either skin being shown, or tight clothes that shows off her curves; keep that in mind when deciding on your perfect date outfit.

Tip #2: With make-up, keep it light and simple, yet sultry...wearing heavy make-up will only make you worry all night if your mascara is running, foundation is caking, eyeshadow needs to be fixed, etc. Some coverage on your face in the form of concealer for blemishes and light powder for overall coverage, bronzer on the cheeks for a sexy flush, one or two shades of eyeshadow for emphasis around the eyes, some waterproof mascara and some lipcolor should be good enough (if you wear eyeliner, go with liquid eyeliner since it tends to run less).

Tip #3: For hair, go with a style that allows movement and has high shine. Depending on the look you are going for, finishing off with a spray that adds shine - or a styling pomade that creates texture and shine - helps create hair that is both touchable and sexy. A no-fuss style that is both sexy and easy to do is to straighten your hair with a flat-iron, part it in a deep side part so that your bangs (or hairs framing your face) dramatically sweeps across your face, and finish it off with a pomade for texture and to tame fly-aways.

2) Personality or demeanor. During your date, keep an open mind. Just as women have tests for men while on a date (to see how considerate he is, whether or not he is a cheapskate, whether or not he is BS-ing when telling you about certain aspects of his life, etc.), men also have such similar tests. One of them is to see how open-minded a woman is about trying new things. It may seem simple enough, but a woman's willingness to try new things she isn't accustomed to can be a great indicator to a man if she is open-minded and/or adventurous, or close-minded and snobby towards things she isn't familiar with. Be open to trying new things that you don't know much about; you never know, you may even end up discovering something great you never knew you liked.

For instance, if your date surprises you by taking you to a Polynesian restaurant and, being as it's your first time, everything on the menu sounds strange or unappealing to you, just being willing to try something new can go a long way, and shows you can be open-minded and flexible, whether or not you actually end up liking the food. While we're on the subject of food, most men love a woman who isn't afraid to show she has an appetite while on a date. I'm not saying to go and "pig out" and order everything on the menu even though you know you won't be able to finish it; I'm saying even if you are on a diet, just for this first date, don't be afraid to order whatever you like, and enjoy your meal fully. It shows that you are comfortable with yourself, and confident enough to be able to enjoy food (and life) every now and then without worrying about how it will affect your diet, looks, and such.

3) Conversation

Tip #1: Don't be afraid to express your opinions. From my experience, men love it when a woman isn't afraid to express her own opinions, even if it isn't in agreement with theirs. Now, I'm not saying you necessarily need to launch into controversial topics just to stir the pot (such as abortion, capital punishment, stem cell research, etc., but who would want to discuss such topics on a first date, anyway???), but being unafraid to have an intellectual debate with a man, more than 90% of the time, will get his motor running, in more ways than one. ;) (The other 10% would consist of chauvinists who are afraid of a woman having a mind of her own, or insecure men who are afraid of anyone disagreeing with their viewpoint, in which case, you would be doing yourself a favor anyhow to weed out such types from your dating pool.)

Tip #2: Try to stay away from negative, gossipy conversation. Sure, everyone has days where a coworker might be pissing you off, a friend is doing something that irks you, a family member may be driving you crazy, etc., but ranting about such topics on a first date does not create a great first impression. You should be there to have fun, enjoy each other's company, and learn more about the other person, and talking about such topics on the first date will only give him the impression that there is only more of such talk to look foward to in the future.

If you are having a bad day before going out on a date and really need to vent, call up a girlfriend before going on your date to vent and get it out of your system, or go get in a good work out, or any other venue for destressing that you usually take. Pampering yourself by getting in a mani and pedi may also help to boost your mood. Whatever you decide to do, destressing before a date not only helps to boost your mood, but it'll also help you to relax, so that you can have more fun on your date and enjoy yourself, as well as your date!

Tip #3: Don't brag about material things or being high maintenance. There are a few females (and a few males) out there who misconstrue the possession of expensive, material things and being high maintenance as being classy...nothing could be further from the truth. Case in point: celebrities such as Paris Hilton. Enough said.

Most straight men will not care what kind of purse you are carrying, or what brand jeans you are wearing, but rather, how good your ass looks in them, and, how long it takes to get you out of them (the answer: hopefully awhile! ;)). They won't care how much it costs, or if they are the latest designer brand...as long as your overall look is classy and sexy, most men are actually usually more impressed to know when it actually doesn't cost much for you to look as good as you do (fares better for them if you two get together in the long run and they might possibly be doing the funding!).

Also, on a first date, there's no need to let a guy know if it took two and a half hours for you to get ready for the date. (He will find out on his own later anyway if you guys get together!) To a man, a woman bragging about such things only gives off the vibe that she is high maintenance, even when the truth is she may just be a procrastinator (like myself!). Realistically, we females know that looking good doesn't come easy (just regular grooming for us takes twice the time it takes for them to get ready in the morning), but men like to imagine that a woman can just roll out of bed, look gorgeous, and be ready to go! No need to burst his bubble early on!

I hope these tips will be useful to you on your first date...just remember to enjoy yourself, and that the first date is just the beginning of more possible great things to come. Now get out there, and knock him off his feet! ;)

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Apr 23, 2009

The Friend Zone (Part II)

Today, I will continue my discussion of how to remove yourself from the friend zone when pursuing a woman. In my last entry, I discussed the first steps in removing yourself from the zone; today, I'll reveal how to get her to see you in a more romantic light. But first, you'll need to know 3 of the top qualities women look for when seeking a potential mate. They are:

1) Physical attractivness
2) The ability to make her laugh
3) A charming personality, and/or one compatible with hers

Since not every guy is blessed with Brad Pitt's looks or Colin Farrell's roguish charm, most will probably be glad to know that the ability to make a girl laugh, and a compatible personality, will often make up for (and sometimes supercede!) looks and/or glossy charm. Of course, you'll need the right combination of confidence and knowledge on how to create that initial "spark" - that's what this site is for ;)

Most guys have probably heard at one time or another a female talking about chemistry..."My ex and I broke up because there wasn't any chemistry...I felt like he was a friend." "I went on a date last night, but there was no chemistry." "He was hot, but I didn't feel that spark." Most guys, when hearing such comments, usually wonder what the hell these women are talking about - if the person's hot and you want to bang, that's chemistry, right? Wrong. With women, it's not always so cut and dry...that might apply to some women out there, but for most, chemistry is mental. This is why you'll often see a superhot girl with a so-so guy...most assume he must be either loaded or well-endowed, but the truth is, he just might be very entertaining, or have a great personality...yeah, shocking, right?

So, onto the juicy part...how do you use this information to your advantage? The steps you'll need to take to get your friend you like (FYL) to see you in a more dateworthy light are:

1) Create attraction on her part through the use of humor. There are two types of humor that attracts a woman to a man. They are:

a) Sexual humor
b) Teasing humor

Sexual humor is more advanced and takes more confidence, but gets the point across, and will probably get you laid faster. Teasing humor is more coy, will leave her wondering, and in the long run can leave a longer lasting impression. Teasing humor is the grown-up version of throwing sand at the girl you liked in grade school; it's not hard to do, but there's a fine line between teasing her and getting her "worked up," and just plain offending her and pissing her off. You MUST know what topics are fair game when and if you decide to use this on a girl.

Here are a few examples:

When using sexual humor, depending on your comfort level, it might be better to start when talking to her one on one in a casual conversation, to minimize any discomfort you could have in a room full of people. You can toss in a few sexual innuendos here and there, then gauge her reaction. If she seems pleasantly surprised, you can continue with this. If not, switch to teasing humor.

Teasing humor entails using your friend at the butt of a few jokes, but doing it in a way where you do NOT embarass or humiliate her, only ragging on her about something silly that she does not feel insecure about. Example: A fashionable FYL walks in wearing wide-legged jeans; you could say something along the lines of, "What's up with those pants, Melissa?? You trying to bring back the MC Hammer pants??" Or, something a little more brazen; with a fair-skinned FYL, something such as, "Whoa Sarah, you need to move away from that wall; I almost didn't see you, you practically blended in!" Such jokes need to be delivered with a joking or playful smile, as they're meant to be seen as light-hearted and fun.

Continue using these types of humor with her in your next several interactions; the dynamic of your interactions with her should slowly start to change, and you should be able to tell when to move onto the next stage. Stay away from anything obscene or juvenile when using either type of humor, though; you want to end with a bang, not a slap across the face!

2) Sweep her off her feet. A secret you should know is that every straight woman, no matter what she says, secretly LOVES the idea of being swept off her feet; the ones who say no to this are straight-up lying! Even the most bitter, anti-romance, "practical" woman has a soft spot that can be reached. For instance, if any of you guys ever watched Sex and the City (and I know there are many, so don't lie!), Miranda was the most grounded person on the show, and arguably the most bitter about love. She was bluntly honest, scoffed at the idea of romance, seemed almost anti-men at times, and was the first to bring her girlfriends "back to reality" should they be foolish enough as to be swept away by a new man in their life. She ended up, however, being swept off her feet by the most romantic and sensitive guy on the show, who was kind, thoughtful, and made her stop and smell the roses.

The key here is to know how to do it WITHOUT going overboard. Impress her with your thoughtfulness and show her you've been listening, but don't smother her (for clarification, check out my "Bad Boys" post) or drown her with sappy cliqued moves (no singing outside a window with a boombox necessary). Not every woman is swept away by flowers, candy, moonlit strolls, and such. "Sweeping a woman off her feet" is a fancy way of saying knowing what a woman wants, and delivering it, with style. For one woman, this may be the storybook romance moves mentioned above; for another, it may be tickets to an alternative music festival, getting her backstage passes to meet the bands, and taking her to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant of her favorite type of ethnic cuisine.

It's up to you to decide what works for your FYL. As her friend, you have a wonderful advantage because you've probably been keeping tabs on all her likes and dislikes, interests, the type of men she dates, etc. over the years, so planning a great date won't be difficult at all. Deciding on whether to go on a solo or group date with your FYL will probably be the biggest issue. That one is up to you; it all depends on your comfort level. Just remember, don't go overboard when doing the "sweeping"; what matters isn't the quantity of gestures or moves, but the thoughtfulness and detail you put into it. Let me know if you need further clarification.

When asking your FYL out, you can be slightly sneaky here...just make it seem like a regular friendly date like you are accustomed to with her, and you don't necessarily need to give all the details on all plans. In fact, the less you tell, the better; the surprise element helps add impact. A general idea of your plans for the day/night is fine, allowing her to know how she should dress, how long the plans will be for, etc. Just say you've thought of something fun to do!

These tips listed here are a general overview, and there's no surefire guarantee that your FYL will bite just because you've put out the bait, but if there is any chance of hooking up with that friend you've had the hots for forever, this is the way to go. There is more to elaborate on, but the specifics depend on the kind of girl you are hoping to reel in. If you have questions, just drop a line...best of luck! ;)

Related post:

The Friend Zone

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Apr 16, 2009

The Friend Zone

As most guys probably know, one of the worst things that can happen for them when pursuing a woman is to fall into the dreaded "friend zone." I'm talking about "actual" friend zone here, like, call you up at 12 am after a bad date, bitch about her boyfriend, wax on about that cute guy at work, complain about how there are no decent guys available when you are standing right in front of her, kind of friend zone. The kind of friend that she can talk to like one of the girls, kind of friend. It's a cruel irony in life that usually one of the best guys for a woman is the last guy she would probably want to date.

Straight guys USUALLY only stay close friends with a woman for one of three reasons:

1) He has the hots for her and hopes that one day, she will wake up and realize that he is the one.
2) She has many hot girl friends, and can potentially hook him up with one of them.
3) He genuinely sees her as a friend and enjoys her company as JUST a friend and nothing more (in this scenario, he likely feels no physical attraction, and sees her as just one of the guys).

So, how do you get out of the friend zone, you ask? It will take some patience and self control, but it is possible. Today I'll discuss first and foremost, how to get yourself out of the friend zone with a friend you like (FYL), and will explain later how to get her to see you in a "dateworthy" light. Be forewarned, though, that by using the methods here, you will be risking the friendship you have with the FYL, and, if things don't go as planned, the friendship as you know it may be gone forever. In most cases, though, a guy will only become that invested in a girl when he has the intent of pursuing her anyway, and once he knows there is no chance, will back off from the friendship simply because it is too hard being around her...so really, what is there to lose?

The 2 first steps in removing yourself from the friend zone are:

1) Start making yourself less available. This one will be difficult, if anything because it has become a sheer habit for you to be there for the FYL with any emergency, no matter how minor. There is something to be distinguished here - conversations or contact from your friend regarding issues other than dating are fine, as long as you are not so readily available at the drop of a hat...treat her as you would any other guy friend or girl friend whom you have no romantic interest in. Be a good friend, but don't go overboard. Don't be so easily available when she needs someone to talk with about her current dating problems, discuss her current woes over a new guy, and what not. Most guys think this is the perfect opportunity for them to zero in and "steal" a girl away from the guy she is currently seeing, by bashing the other guy and telling her how he is a bad catch, and that it will never work out. Sometimes, it does work, but, more often than not, you are only hurting yourself by cementing your status as one of her "male girlfriends."

Some might say this is a cruel thing to do, to "withhold" friendship from a friend, but really, the only person you should be most readily available to is your actual girlfriend, not to every friend, and she is just a friend, not your girl. This will start to establish in her mind - albeit subconsciously - that you have your own priorities and life, and may not always be around for her.

2) Don't be afraid to show interest in other females in her presence. This second tip here is to be used with caution...it should ONLY be used if you have made VERY clear your feelings for her. If she is aware that you are interested, but has given you the typical lines, such as, "I don't want to ruin the friendship," "I just got out of a relationship, now isn't really the time," or some other kind of dodgy answer that did not shoot down all possibility entirely, then you should proceed with this second one. It may sound like game playing or juvenile tactics to show interest in, or flirt with, other females in front of a FYL, but it actually establishes in her mind - in the case that she already knows your feelings towards her - that you are not just hung up on her, and have other options available to you.

An even more interesting point here is that the more attractive the girl is who is flirting with or showing interest in you, the more likely this will have an impact on her. This is obvious because it ups your attractiveness quotient in HER eyes, no matter how significant or insignificant it may be. It's immature, I know, but it is true that women will oftentimes judge a man by the quality of the women he attracts/dates...the better the "quality" of the women, the better his status will be in their eyes.

In my next post, I'll discuss how to take the friendship to the next level. Because you and your FYL already have a rapport with each other, there's no need to start from scratch when getting to know one another, a plus side of being in the friend zone ;)

Related post:

The Friend Zone (Part II)

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Apr 8, 2009

Why Women Love Bad Boys

An age-old question that many nice guys have pondered since the beginning of time is, "Why do women always go for the a--holes?" A complaint I've heard time and time again from my guy friends is, "Women say they want a nice guy, but always go for the ones who treat them like shit. What's wrong with them??"

The reason that women tend to gravitate towards bad boys isn't because we're masochists who love pain or are just plain crazy (most of us, anyway!); it's because we like the excitement that they provide, the mystery...we want what is slightly out of our reach. We don't want you to be available at our every beck and call - that's no fun. We want to know the guy we're dating is a stud who other women want as well, no matter what your physical attributes are. We don't want to feel that we've figured you out already within the first week of meeting you...that, my friend, is why the bad boy is so intriguing to women...why women will go after him, date him, put up with him, and ultimately, get our hearts broken by him, or end up getting bored with/fed up with him...it's trying to figure out what's beneath that aloof, "mysterious" exterior. It's the prospect of maybe "changing" him, or getting him to change, just for us. The reality is, beneath the exterior of these bad boys, there is (more than 90% of the time) nothing more than just more surface, and/or zero personality or any real depth or substance, and as soon as a woman figures this out, if she hasn't already been bulldozered by him in the process, she will bolt for the nearest exit. Rarely will a woman be crazy enough to knowingly stick around and marry one (unless her name is Britney Spears).

So, enough with why women love bad boys...how is this relevant to all the nice guys out there? Well, there's a lot of tips that nice guys could take from a bad boy's playbook and use to their advantage, without turning into outright jerks themselves. There's a lot to elaborate on here, but I'll start with an overview of a few general tips.

Disclaimer: This is not an advocation of turning you few nice guys left out there into a--holes...that is definitely not the intention. It's rather to give you a glimpse into understanding the female mind and how it works, and use that knowledge to your advantage.

1) Be gutsy when pursuing a woman, but do not be a doormat. Being nice definitely does not mean that you need to let a female walk all over you. This is the #1 rule when pursuing a woman, and few of your female friends will probably want to tell you this...mainly because most would rarely admit to themselves is what they want. If you think about it though, this makes perfect sense, because if the shoe was on the other foot, most men wouldn't want to date a woman who's a doormat, either, right? You guys want someone who keeps you on your toes, or at least has enough of a b-llshit meter to call you out on it when you're out of line.

2) At the beginning of the courtship, slower is better. Give her something to look forward to...let it be clear to her that you are interested in her, but there's no need to go into clingy-stalker type mode and call/text several times a day after just one date. Make plans once or twice a week for the first several weeks max, or until it's been established that you two are exclusive.

3) Hold back on large gifts or expensive items until you two are mutually exclusive. Now, this is a tricky area...this does not include paying for dinner, flowers, or tickets to shows/events on dates...depending on your outlook and how independent or traditional your date is, generally, it is preferred and more chivalrous for the male to cover for those things on the first few dates. (As unfair or as much of a double-standard as that may be, women usually like for the man to at least try to pay, and, depending on her viewpoint, will either let you, pay herself, or go dutch.) The gifts/expensive items I'm referring to is, jewelry, shoes, clothes, purses, electronics (cell phones, cameras, etc.), whatever...small token gifts such as cards, candy, stuffed animals, and such are fine, but the rule of thumb is, anything that has actual resale value should definitely be avoided, until it is established that she is your girlfriend.

Why do this, you ask? Have you ever seen bad boys shower their women with gifts at the beginning of a relationship? Billionnaire playboys aside, most bad boys won't do that...either they don't have the funds, or they just have too much pride. (Their cocky reasoning: She's lucky to be with me.) Besides, you want her to like you for you, not for what you can buy her. This is a great way to weed out golddiggers, obviously. Once the two of you are exclusive, of course, gift-giving is perfectly fine (and, as most of you know, will come to be expected.)

4) Keep some of the mystery. Don't tell her your life story on the first date, your entire romantic history by the second, and the names of your future children by the third. Tell her about yourself, but keep enough back to leave her wondering, wanting to know more. This does not mean to be deceptive, of course, or to leave out major details (such as having kids, for instance); it just means knowing how to balance and keep the mystery alive at the beginning, to hold her interest.

There's a lot more I can go into, but I'll leave you with these tips for now. Any questions or comments would be appreciated :)

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Small Dick Syndrome

As a young, single Asian female growing up in America - until my first real relationship at the age of 24 - I had come to observe a type of neurotic personality disorder among many of the Asian males that I or many of my friends had dated. This didn't apply to all of them, but enough to definitely classify these guys in a specific category. Now, I'll probably receive a lot of flack for saying this, but I felt it needed to be addressed. This "personality disorder" I'm referring to is what I have come to refer to as "Small Dick Syndrome." Now, before you start getting angry or sending hate mail, please read first the explanation, or "definition", of Small Dick Syndrome (SDS). SDS does not really refer to the length or size of a guy's package, but rather, his attitude. A guy who is afflicted with this syndrome is more aptly called so because of his behavior or treatment of women, not because of his size. He may be (excuse the crass language) the most well-hung guy around, and still have SDS. The defining characteristics of this syndrome are usually:

1) Plays mind games. This can be said of many a single male, but with guys afflicted with SDS, they are virtually incapable of being straightforward with their feelings, especially towards a female they have a romantic interest in.

2) Waits for the girl to make the first move or pursue him; would rather die than risk rejection by the object of his desire. (This could also be called No-Balls Syndrome.)

3) May have good intentions, but due to major insecurity issues, can often self-sabotage relationships or courtships in order to protect their fragile egos.

4) Many who do manage to find themselves in relationships tend to gravitate towards super-clingy partners, or ones who are sweet-tongued and can bolster their egos with constant compliments and/or ego-stroking. (Relationships of such nature usually either do not last for long, or have an unhealthy nature due to obvious dependency issues.)

As you can see, Small Dick Syndrome is a mindset, not physical affliction...and sadly enough, many (otherwise) very dateworthy young Asian males seem to be suffering from this affliction. They are incapable of putting in 100% into relationships, always afraid of getting hurt. Is it fixable? Of course, but I will get into that later. There is much more to elaborate on about SDS, but I will save it for future entries...just wanted to get the word out there on this very common problem. Until then, ciao! ;)

Related posts:

- How to To Tell if Your Guy Has Small Dick Syndrome
- A Female's Guide to Dealing With Small Dick Syndrome Part I
- A Female's Guide to Dealing With Small Dick Syndrome Part II
- Small Dick Syndrome - What Causes It?
- Small Dick Syndrome - Overcoming It

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Apr 1, 2009

First Entry

So, this is the first entry in what I hope will be an ongoing endeavor...I haven't written a true blog entry in what seems like ages, and I thought now would be the perfect time to start blogging again, this time with a specific subject in mind...dating. True, I haven't been dating since last summer (am in a relationship with a wonderful, loving guy, have been since last summer), but 24 years of being single before my first real relationship sure had taught me a thing or two about dating, not to mention countless hours listening to guy and gal friends wax on (and on!) about various relationship problems that they've encountered in their own lives. Hopefully, at least one or two of you out there will find this blog useful :)

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