May 31, 2009

How to Instantly Improve Your Image & Attraction Level With Women

Self-improvement is an ongoing process; when looking for ways to attract members of the opposite sex, many things can be done to instantly improve your chances. This post will be part of a 3 part post for the guys on how to improve your overall attraction level with women. The first part will be external. Obviously, it is not the most important, but it is what women notice first. Say what you want, but when it comes to dating, you must first be able to catch the eye of the other person before you can woo them with your incredible charm and personality.

A few ways you can instantly improve your external appearance are to:

1) Stand tall. You instantly convey confidence and improve your appearance just by changing your posture. Not slouching and standing tall instantly makes anyone look better, male or female. Slouching gives the appearance of laziness and/or low-self confidence, so just by standing with better posture, the opposite happens.

2) Improve your style. Many women appreciate a man with a sense of style. I'm not saying you need to turn in to a full blown metrosexual in order to attract a woman; just updating your wardrobe with a few key trends will do. Many straight men feel that being concerned or caught up with their appearance is very "gay" or makes them seem "feminine." On the contrary - if you hope to be able to attract women, showing that you have taste and a sense of style greatly improves your chances; the key to not looking like you "bat for the other team" is knowing how to create balance, and not overdoing it on trends by incorporating just one or two of them into your outfit.

Being a guy, you have a great fashion advantage because you can easily go shopping about two times a year and still be on-trend with most current fashions (since men's fashions rarely change, whereas women's fashion changes almost monthly). You could start by adding in a few current pieces, such as a blazer over your regular weekend "going out" attire of a button-front shirt and jeans. It instantly gives your look polish and a modern update, without trying too hard. The "hoodie under blazer" look is also a current style that is trendy, and yet still masculine-looking. Since it is now summertime though, you may not want to layer on too many clothes when going out.

A great way to instantly update your wardrobe is to add some color. Look for seasonal colors that are currently on-trend; for summer '09, look for yellow, cobalt blue, light pink, mint green, or orange shirts to give your wardrobe an instant update (for an even trendier look, a blazer jacket in one of the above colors, such as orange or blue, would make a great style statement). Another currently popular trend is striped, button-front shirts with a design or print on the left or right front side of the shirt, as well as on the back. Other current trends for men include:

- vests worn over a solid colored, button-front shirt with jeans
- sneakers worn with suits (this has been a trend for awhile, but is still popular)
- men's suits in an iridescent fabric, to be worn on dressier occasions (just make sure the fabrics are in muted colors such as black, navy, or gray; you want to look trendy, not make women doubt your sexuality)
- skinny ties, or ties in bright colors or prints, such as paisley

For more great style tips, visit http://men.style.com/.

3) Smile. Smiling sends the message that you are friendly and/or in a good mood. It also shows you're probably having a good time, and makes you appear non-threatening and approachable, all pluses when trying to meet new women.

4) Eliminate nervous gestures. Nervous "ticks" such as shaking your leg, drumming your fingers, tapping your feet, fidgety hand gestures, etc. send the message that you are nervous. When first approaching a woman, it is especially important to appear confident, even if inside you feel like your stomach is doing somersaults. The more at ease you appear to be, the better.

5) Work out. You didn't think I'd leave this one out, did you? Sure, working out doesn't bring about instant change, but it does give you an instant boost in your energy level, which manifests in the way you feel, and consequently, your behavior and confidence level (as well as helping with the sex drive). For a guy who is of average looks, who is about a 5 or 6 on the looks scale, taking care of your body can easily push that number up one or two digits on a scale of 1-10. I have known many a guy who either I or my girlfriends had lamented, "He has a great face, but he's too skinny...if he just worked out, he could look so hot!" You don't have to turn in to a gym rat either in order to attract a woman; just making a conscious effort to work out a few times a week and to change your diet to cut out junk food and to eat regular meals can make a dramatic change.

In my next post, I'll discuss how to make instant changes to your way of thinking and behaving that will help create lasting change and help to attract women and improve your dating chances in the long run!

Related posts:

- How to Instantly Improve Your Image & Attraction Level With Women Part II
- How to Instantly Improve Your Image & Attraction Level With Women Part III

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May 27, 2009

A Female's Guide to Dealing With Small Dick Syndrome Part II

In my previous two posts, I discussed how to tell if the guy you are dating has Small Dick Syndrome, and also, for the girls who were dating someone who had SDS, how to handle him if you were finally fed up with his BS. Today, for the single ladies, I will discuss how you can handle guys with Small Dick Syndrome, and that is to simply weed them out. During my single years, if I had only realized this sooner, so much time wasted on these types would have been saved, making room for only guys who were truly worthy.

The tips below will help you in weeding out these types of guys:

1) As mentioned in my previous post, let the guy be the pursuer. When a man really wants to be with a woman, he will work to be with her. He will try everything in his playbook to win her over, and if he thinks he has even an iota of chance with her, he will pursue it for all its worth until he's sure that she wants nothing to do with him.

[Side Note: Ladies, if you don't believe me, think back on all the guys who pursued you in the past whom you had no interest in, whether it be the guy friend whom you saw like a brother, your brother's annoying friend from high school, a guy you met at the bar whom you gave your number to in a drunken haze, or the guy who sits two cubicles down at work and can't seem to take a hint. These guys, no matter how many times you shot them down, seemed to keep coming back for more, until they either eventually grew tired and finally stopped, or you changed your number or said you'd turned gay.

Now, if these guys can pursue you so relentlessly, why shouldn't someone you're dating (or want to date) pursue you with a similar passion? Please don't say it's because guys who do this are "desperate." Desperate guys go after everyone with a similar tenacity; determined guys go after only the girls they want with such a passion.]

2) When wanting to let a guy know you're interested without going overboard, use friendly flirtation. You've probably been wondering, "Well, how's a guy supposed to know I'm interested in him if I'm supposed to let him do all the pursuing?" You can flirt with a guy, but that's where you should draw the line in expressing your interest; if you are interested, flirt with him to let him know, but after that, let him make the move. He should be the one to ask you out on the first date; he should be the one to move in for the first kiss, and so on.

I know this can be infuriatingly frustrating for some females to do (myself included at one point), to wait around and let a guy they're interested in make all of the moves, so there is a way around this, for the few shy guys who may need encouragement and who truly aren't pulling a Small Dick move and playing power games. The key to this is to walk a fine line between being friendly and flirty when interacting with these guys. With the ones who are genuinely shy, there is an exception to the rule in that you can "nudge" them towards asking you out.

Example: Say you've just met someone you're interested in, but he seems genuinely shy. You could casually mention hanging out some time, but it should preferably be related to the conversation you just had. For example, let's say he's new to town and doesn't know his way around. Mention that you could give a few pointers on good spots around town some time, and then proceed to exchange numbers. Make sure you give him your number if you take his. Or, you meet a guy at a bookstore who is taking a class you'll be taking next semester. Tell him you may need tips on the class or some other general questions you know he'll be helpful for, and then ask for his number. Again, exchange numbers, don't just take his. After this, it is his turn to make the move and the first call. If he is interested, he will call. (You've opened the door, it's now his job to walk through.)

In either of these (or any other) scenarios, do flirt with the guy, but don't be too aggressive. Border on being friendly or flirtatious, but do so to where a guy can't easily tell if you're interested, or just being friendly. This will set the stage, and if he's interested in you, he'll eventually make a move, just to clear the air to see where your interest level truly lies.

3) Never settle. Now, I'm not saying you need to set unrealistic expectations and have a mile-long list of requirements for the perfect guy. What I'm saying is, do not settle for someone who treats you in a manner that's less than you deserve. No matter how crazy you are about a guy, no matter how handsome, smart, witty, charming, funny, great in bed, or whatever a guy is, none of it matters if he treats you like sh-t. Know that you deserve only the best, and do not settle for a guy who only gives you BS.

4) Make him work for it. Don't make it too easy for him. Now, I'm not saying you should be difficult, high maintenance, or a pain-in-the-neck, but what I'm saying is that you should allow him to try to "win you over." Let him chase you. Overall, men usually treasure a woman more when he's had to put effort in to trying to win her over, or to "get" her. Even if you are instantly smitten with him from the beginning, don't let it show. Allow him to chase you, let him plan the first few dates, be chivalrous, go out of his way to see you, be romantic, etc. After the first few weeks, you can ease up on this when you two start getting serious, but in the meantime, when he is pursuing you, let him to try to win you over. If a man feels he's had to work to try to be with a woman, he'll almost always value her more than if she made it very easy for him.

Following the above steps will help tremendously in weeding out SDS-afflicted guys from your playing field...you will also suddenly notice that there are a lot more eligible guys around than you'd realized before. It's funny what happens when you stop wasting time on all the Mr. Wrong's...a lot more possible Mr. Right's (or even Mr. Right Now's!) will suddenly appear ;) Good luck, and have fun!

Related posts:

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

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May 25, 2009

A Female's Guide to Dealing With Small Dick Syndrome Part I

In my previous post, I discussed how to tell if your guy (or a guy you are interested in) has Small Dick Syndrome. Today, I'll discuss the steps you'll need to take in order to let him know that his SDS-afflicted ways are no longer acceptable.

Once you've decided that you will no longer tolerate his mind-game playing, affection-withholding, selfish, flip-flopping, 30% effort-in-the-relationship bullsh-t, here are the steps you will need to take to let him know that if he doesn't man up, he could lose you for good.

Disclaimer: There are no guarantees that following the next few steps will cause your man to change, so only do them if you are sure that if he doesn't change, you will dump his ass regardless. This is for those who are tired of putting up with a guy who puts in no effort, expects everything in return, and doesn't understand the first thing about how to treat a woman.

1) If he makes a promise, hold him to it. If he doesn't keep it, let him know there will be consequences. Don't shrug off any broken promises. Call him out on his BS. If he does it again, don't let him get away with it. Withhold affection (hugs, kisses, flirtation, any kind of physical affection, including sex) until he understands that if he can't keep his promises and doesn't understand how to work at a relationship, he won't get to enjoy the "fruits" of it either.

2) If open communication doesn't work, give him a taste of his own medicine. A mistake many girls will sometimes make is when they feel that they're unable to get their guy to listen to them, they will nag and nag, and keep saying the same thing over and over to try to get him to listen. Then, depending on the problem, if he still has not listened and tried to rectify the problem, she will either be sad and complain to friends, or just give in to her guy's way of doing things and suffer in silence.

I'm referring specifically, of course, to girls who are dating guys with SDS. The kinds of problems I'm referring to also are not your typical, mundane problems (such as taking out the trash or hogging the remote), but problems such as lack of communication, lack of intimacy, trust issues, a couple not spending enough time together, and other such problems that could affect a relationship's foundation. If you're dating a guy and there are problems such as those in the relationship, and yet any vocalization is met with indifference or silence and continued inaction on his part, or a "I-couldn't-care-less" attitude, it is time to teach him a lesson. I usually do not advocate mind games, but, honestly speaking, to a person who communicates using mind games and only understands such, sometimes, giving them a taste of their own medicine is the only way to get through.

Something that must be understood is that a man will usually only take a woman for granted when he either: a) feels that he has many options available to him and doesn't care about monogamy, or b) feels that he is the center of her world, and that she either would never go out and find someone else, or doesn't have the option to. When he feels completely secure that he has her in the palm of his hands, that is when he is most likely going to be an ass.

Many guys with Small Dick Syndrome have deluded themselves in to thinking that that's how their current situation may be with the girl they're with. Because of the amount of ego-boosting that's needed in order to make them feel secure enough to be in a relationship in the first place, they often mistakenly assume that that means that they also have the other person "whipped." This is where the rug needs to be pulled out from under their feet. So, where to start?

Tip #1: If you have lost touch with friends, reactivate your social life. A mistake that many females make once in a relationship is to lose touch with old friends because she has become so consumed in her relationship. Go out, socialize, start doing things again that made you happy before. Let him know you have a life besides him.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to get back in touch with old guy friends, either. Another thing that many girls (and guys) may do when in a relationship is to slowly cut off contact with friends of the opposite sex, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Getting (or staying more) in touch with friends of the opposite sex is an acute reminder to him that if he screws up, there is more than likely a guy waiting out there who would be more than happy to take his place (even if your guy friend has zero romantic interest in you, he won't necessarily need to know that!). Yes, I know this sounds like a manipulative move, but like I said, this is where you're using his own tricks on him, fighting fire with fire...I never said it had to be by the book ;)

3) Stop chasing him. One of the only ways that a guy with Small Dick Syndrome ends up being in a relationship is because he sat back and let the girl be the pursuer. And, as much as I once believed that in this day and age, if a female worked hard enough to pursue anything she wanted, it would eventually be hers, sadly enough, this does not apply to men and relationships.

[Side Note: Now, I know this may sound like backwards, unfeminist thinking, but, all the ladies out there who have read He's Just Not That Into You, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, will know what I am talking about. In order for a male/female relationship to work, the guy HAS to be the pursuer, no matter what some modern dating rhetoric may say. As the authors of the book point out, men have traditionally been the pursuer in relationships since the beginning of time, and, just because women - and our roles in society - have changed significantly in the past hundred years, this does not mean that men have. They point out (and with many great examples) that if a man really wants to be with a woman, he will pursue her wholeheartedly, and nothing will be able to stop him. The ones who have excuses for why they can't - such as bad romantic histories, childhood issues, trust or intimacy problems, and/or insecurity issues (insert SDS-afflicted guys here) - could be classified as being unavailable (just as much as a man who is in a relationship or is married would be), and should be written off as such. The gist of the book is that basically, women should stop making excuses for men, and realize that if a man truly wants to be with you, he will make sure to let you know it, and will stop at nothing to try and make it happen.]

When I say stop chasing him, it simply means, stop putting more in to the relationship than he is. For instance, if you are the one who usually calls more and is always planning/setting up all of your dates, stop putting in more, and only put in as much as he does. (If once you do this, you stop hearing from him altogether, then it is very apparent the one-sidedness of your relationship, and the sooner he's out, the better!)

Once you start using the tips above, you should start to notice a change in your man. If he is worthy of your time and attention, he should start to step up and to put more effort in to the relationship once he realizes that he could lose you if he doesn't. If he is too deeply afflicted with Small Dick Syndrome, or basically does not have it in him to try to change for the better and improve your relationship, he may withdraw and/or continue with the mind games and avoidance strategy, at which point you will have to decide if it is worth your time to stick around or not.

In my next post for the single ladies, I'll discuss how to weed out SDS-afflicted guys from your dating pool to make way for just the eligible, dateworthy guys who understand how to treat a woman!

Related posts:

- Small Dick Syndrome
- How to To Tell if Your Guy Has Small Dick Syndrome
- 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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May 22, 2009

How to Tell if Your Guy Has Small Dick Syndrome

In an earlier post, I introduced to you the behavioral/personality disorder that I like to call Small Dick Syndrome (SDS). As mentioned earlier, SDS is a mental state; it does not describe a man's actual physical endowment. A guy could be the most well-hung person around, and still have Small Dick Syndrome.

So, for the ladies out there, how would you know if the guy you're dating - or the guy you want to date - has SDS? If these rules seem to be ripped from the pages of his dating guidebook, watch out!

1) He may not be a player, but will use mind games frequently to try to get you (or any girl he may like) to pursue him, instead of trying to pursue anyone himself. His motto: If she likes me enough, she'll make it happen!

2) Loves to try and project the image of a deep, misunderstood, complicated soul.

3) The idea of asking you out on a real, one on one date? Unheard of! Group dates are the only way to go! (Who cares about intimacy or getting to know one another on a deeper level?)

4) Confessing his feelings for you? Ridiculous! In his opinion, you should already know how he feels! What's the point in saying it??

5) If he does show his feelings, rather than being direct, these are some of his methods of choice: posting "anonymous" messages to you on his blog, webpage, or AIM; emailing you songs with lyrics that describe how he "really" feels; showering you with compliments one moment, acting ice-cold the next (wouldn't want you to get a swelled head!); or, letting it be known through the grapevine that he finds you attractive, but acting nonchalant or indifferent when near you.

6) Is deeply insecure, but masks that insecurity with a facade of stubbornness and pride.

7) Will often use female attention as a means of validating his self-worth.

8) Doesn't mind letting a great thing slip by (namely, you), because he would rather lose his left testicle than risk possible rejection.

9) If is in a relationship, will only put in as much effort as the other person, much of the time less.

10) Will almost never admit when he is wrong in a relationship.

11) Your sentiments towards him are probably something along the lines of, "With him, it is never enough."

12) Even if is in a relationship, will often keep in touch with past flames/almost-flames to entertain the idea that he has someone "waiting in the wings," and also if he feels he is not getting enough attention from his current beau.

13) If you have managed to move on and break free of his BS, he will somehow manage to "magically" appear in your life again the moment he finds out that you're seeing someone new. However, it isn't to say or do anything significant, but rather, to pull the same Small Penis moves again and try to validate himself, to see if you still have feelings for him.

If the majority of these traits or habits describe your guy, he most likely has Small Dick Syndrome. If so, does that mean he's a lost cause? Thankfully, no. The bad news, though, is that the majority of the time, a guy with SDS (or any other emotional/behavioral affliction) needs to sort out his emotional and insecurity issues on his own once he has come to terms with them, and there's nothing anyone else can do to make him face them. The best that a girl who is dating someone with SDS can do, once she's decided she is finally fed up with his BS, is to decide that she won't put up with it anymore, and to put her foot down and let it be known that she expects more from him if he wants to continue being with her.

The good news is, if you are in a relationship with a guy with SDS, once you have decided to put your foot down, there is a very good possibility that this will cause him to man up once and for all, once he realizes there is a very real possibility that he'll lose you if he doesn't. In my next post, I will discuss the steps you will need to take in order to do that, and, for the single ladies, how to weed out the SDS-afflicted guys from your playing field to make way for only legitimate, "real" guys who understand how to treat a woman ;)

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May 19, 2009

Q & A - Did I Cheat?

Q. Dear Alannah,

I have been "seeing" this guy for awhile, and we do everything a couple does, but, we haven't officially become a couple yet. This is because he isn't sure if he wants to be in a commited relationship. Well, we haven't seen each other in over a week, and he hasn't been calling or trying to contact me, either. I am starting to feel as if he doesn't want to continue this "relationship" we have anymore.

So, I met up with this a friend who I hadn't seen in awhile a few days ago, and we were hanging out. We were both pretty drunk, and ended up hooking up. Would this be considered cheating on the guy I've been "seeing"? I don't even know where we stand right now on our non-relationship, so I don't know if I should even tell him, or if I should just forget about it. The thing with my friend just happened once.

Sincerely,

On the Fence

A. Dear Fence-Sitter,

What happened between you and your friend wouldn't be considered cheating since the guy you'd been seeing had not established yet your exclusivity, and, from what you said, he was the one who was not sure if he wanted to commit yet. However, if he does happen to contact you again and the two of you continue "rendevous-ing" or whatever you want to call it, you definitely need to be upfront with him about it.

What you did was not wrong technically (because for all you know, his unwillingness to commit could have been because he wanted to see other people as well), but, you still need to be honest with him about what happened. He might even confess that he's been seeing other people as well, in which case this would be a chance for the two of you to come clean and decide on where you stand. If, however, he doesn't take this news well (which is very possible), be prepared for the possibility that he will end your "relationship". From the sound of it, though, this guy seems to have checked out already.

My advice is, with anyone who you may date in the future, after the second or third week in, you need to bring up the topic of whether or not they're seeing anyone else, and to also be upfront with them if you are. That way, you can avoid any misunderstandings or unwelcome surprises.

Alannah

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May 18, 2009

New Site Home

I've renamed the site! Same content and advice, different name and address. A friend suggested this name, after the 80's song "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. Since it was a catchy name, and love can often form triangles (or circles or squares), I decided to go with it! (My contact info has also changed; if you need to reach me, check out my new contact info listed on the right.)














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May 17, 2009

Online Dating - Creating a Great Profile

In my last entry, I discussed the advantages of online dating, and how to make the most of the experience. Today, I'll discuss how to create a great profile that attracts the greatest number of winks, hits and messages possible! (Hint: It takes more than just a great profile picture.) When using dating sites, the only way that other users can initially get a glimpse in to who you are is by assessing your profile. It is basically a "virtual first impression," so you want to make it the best one possible. Some general tips to remember when creating a great profile are:

1) Be yourself
2) Show confidence
3) Be as unique as possible
4) Stay away from negative or self-pitying references

Here is a step-by-step of how to create a profile that is both eye-catching and presents the best possible impression of you.

1) Profile picture. Be honest; a nice profile picture is the first thing that most people (especially men), will notice. However, it takes more than a just a great picture to tempt someone into clicking that button to send a wink or an email. Nonetheless, you should still know how to select a great photo of yourself that will attract the greatest number of viewers.

Choose a photo that clearly shows your face, preferably smiling or having a good time. Try to choose one that clearly represents you; do not be deceptive when representing yourself, because not only does this show a lack of confidence, but doing so will only set you up for disappointment later on once you've gotten to the "meet-up" stage with potential dates.

Pictures of you having a good time with friends or doing active or adventurous things that you love, such as mountain climbing or jet-skiing, are also a great way to attract viewers. Nothing makes a person more instantly interesting to strangers than someone who knows how to enjoy themselves, or seems to be the life of the party. An adventurous streak also conveys a similar message-it shows you know how to have fun, and sends the message that spending time with you is probably enjoyable or thrilling, and what could be more instantly attractive than that?

2) Tag line or introduction. A funny, offbeat, or interesting tag line goes a long way in attracting viewers to your page, and sometimes can be just as important as your profile picture. If you have a difficult time coming up with something clever, even something silly or goofy is better than no tag line or the generic, "Hi." Some examples below:

(for the guys)

- "Not afraid of chick flicks."
- "Corny, not crazy."
- "Only weakness: girls who can salsa, and can teach me a thing or two in Guitar Hero."

(for the girls)

- "Has a flair for the hot and spicy."
- "Loves chocolate, dogs, and sweet and funny guitar-playing computer whizzes."
- "Smouldering eyes, nights on the town, dessert for two, and movie nights in - great romances are made of these."

If you still have trouble thinking of a good tag line, you could even use a quote from your favorite movie or TV show. "That's what she said!" I've seen many unlikely people bond over anecdotes and discussion of "The Office."

3) About Me section. Keep it simple, yet descriptive. No need to go into minute detail of your background and life story, but giving a general idea of your childhood/upbringing, such as, "Born and raised in Austin, TX, and now living life as a true Yankee, I will always be a Southern girl at heart," or mentioning key experiences that have shaped who you are as a person, such as, "Traveling abroad in the Army has exposed me to the great many cultural flavors in the world," would be a great start. You should also mention things that are important in your life, such as your family and friends. A love of animals or a dedication to community work, for example, could also be mentioned. Career or personal goals you wish to accomplish should also be included. Examples: "Aspiring writer who hopes to one day publish his own sci-fi book, searching for someone to share his dreams and exchange witty barbs with," or "Community/social service worker in L.A., looking for a guy who doesn't fit the 'West Hollywood' mold, and can maybe accompany me one day when I go skydiving in the Rockies."

Overall, the key things to remember to include are:

a) Background info on yourself, such as your childhood and/or current lifestyle.
b) Some key personality traits, such as being ambitious, a dreamer, spontaneous, detailed and thorough, or being very active.
c) Goals or aspirations.
d) People/things that are important - or a major part of - your life (having children or parents who are very actively a part of your life, for example, or ever-present and well-beloved pets.)

A very important thing to remember is to stay away from negativity or self-pity when writing the "About Me" section, or anywhere in your profile, for that matter. For example, a profile that states, "Have been burned by women in the past, and I find that very few of them are trustworthy or worth my time," does not scream a great time, or even a great catch, for that matter! (Sorry to say, but no one wants bitter, damaged goods!) If you have been in bad relationships before, a better way of reflecting this (if you do at all) would be to say, "Have loved and lost, and I can say it's made me grow much more as a person." Overall though, it's better to stay away from the deep, heavy ex-boyfriend/girlfriend talk when writing your profile - that stuff should be saved for later when a relationship is long-term or serious.

Note: The "stay away from negativity" tip is specifically meant for when writing in reference to people, or "hot-button" topics such as religion, moral/political topics, etc.; it's not meant for describing likes and dislikes, where being opinionated works in your favor. Descriptives such as, "I love Christmas, but can't stand the cold," or "Love the Californian weather, could do without the quakes and landslides," incorporate honesty and humor into your profile.

As mentioned earlier, remember to maintain a positive, confident tone throughout your profile. There's no need to brag or embellish, but mentioning major accomplishments, such as launching your own part-time business, for example, shows you are proud of your accomplishments, and confident in yourself and your abilities.

3) Activities or hobbies section. This is where you can describe what a typical weekend or day off with you would be like. Be honest and realistic. Descriptions such as, "My perfect weekend is hiking the trails near Lake Austin by day, and dancing the night away in downtown by night," or, "A perfect lazy Sunday for me is relaxing at Barnes and Noble with a good book and a cup of joe, followed by a gathering with friends to just shoot the breeze or discuss the latest shortfalls in Washington," would be good. If there are activities you've always wanted to try but haven't had a chance to, they could also be listed, such as scuba-diving in the Great Reef, catching a U2 concert, or taking a cross-country roadtrip. Your favorite kinds of music can also be listed here; "Love the 80's, hip-hop, and even some country, but can't stand heavy metal," is a good example.

4) Who you are looking for. This section is where many online daters with otherwise great profiles may strike out. It's good to know what you want, but including a hefty or unrealistic list of the things you are looking for in a mate may scare off even the most confident of men/women. For example, writing, "Looking for a Kelly Hu look-alike, with a size 0 body who can fill out a top, who knows her way around the kitchen, wakes up looking hot with zero effort, with a doctorate in Sex Ed and believes in open relationships," or "Looking for Mr. Right, who is over 6'2", with chiseled features, a 6 figure salary, loves spending on me, has style to rival George Clooney's, can take me on annual trips to Europe and has charm to spare," basically has ten red flags and "Do not date," written all over it. Something such as, "Looking for an adventurous animal lover who loves foreign cuisine, has a poetic soul, nice eyes, and an athletic streak," however, is more descriptive and realistic, and also gives the reader a glimpse into who you are. Another example, for the guys, could be, "Looking for a woman who can keep me on my toes, with a smile that will melt my heart, has big dreams, is open-minded, and can look sexy and feminine even in jeans and a t-shirt."

List your must-haves when searching for a partner (for instance, if you prefer them to share your religious faith or love of children), but leave "wiggle" room for things that are compromisable, such as looks preferences (height, body type, etc.). Your list of the kind of person you prefer to date will most likely change over time, so better not to limit your options!

It's also best to be upfront in this section with the kind of relationship you are looking for (for instance, long-term, casual dating, friendship, etc.). You won't be hurting any feelings, but will instead help narrow the pool of "applicants" who will try to contact you.

Each dating site has different profile formats and sections listed, but these are the major sections found on almost every online dating site. Have fun, and good luck in your virtual search for love (or whatever else you may be searching for!). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Related post:

Online Dating - Yay or Nay?

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May 12, 2009

Online Dating - Yay or Nay?

Ever since the internet became ingrained in our daily lives sometime over a decade ago, it's hard to imagine life without it. We do our shopping there, get our news, learn new things, communicate with others, get our entertainment, work, play, socialize and so many other things through the internet. And yet, even as it has become an increasingly important aspect of our daily lives, there are still many people who are still uncomfortable with, or have qualms with, the idea of "internet dating".

I'm referring more specifically to many in the Asian community. As absurd as it may seem, many of the same people who have profiles on multiple social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Twitter, and such, wince at the idea of "resorting" to internet dating to meet someone new. Why? The answer is simple: fear of social stigma. Many young Asians, no matter how outwardly modern, still have conversative values when it comes to dating; the idea of having to go online to meet someone dateworthy, to them, seems "desperate".

To me, nothing could be more foolish or backwards. Rather than meeting someone at a bar or at a club (which most people usually equate to a booty call), online dating - if taken with the proper precautionary steps to weed out crazies and pervs - is much more effective, allows you to meet a larger number of people without the restraints of geography or even time zones, and lets you filter out those who don't meet your dating criteria without ever even needing to initiate contact. Sure, the cons remain: people can be misleading, post fake pictures, present an image of who they are that is false or untrue, could be crazies or weirdos, and so on, and so on. But, besides the fake pictures, couldn't the rest also be said of someone who you just met at a club? Someone who you've just met in a "real life" situation can be just as psycho or nuts as anyone who you meet online; the key to weeding out the bad ones is to take what you see with a grain of salt, and to take things slow. Again, this would also apply to anyone else you've met for the first time face-to-face.

If you still don't believe me, go ahead and sign up for a dating website, just to take a look. You don't even need to make contact with anyone, just take a look around to see who/what interests you. Chances are, you'll see something you'll like; most people who have never signed up for a dating website have probably at least looked around once or twice before anyway, just to see what's out there.

Once you're ready, there are a few tips you can use that will maxmize your success with online dating sites. They are:

1) Keep your options open.
2) Have realistic expectations.
3) Email, phone, then face-to-face.

1) Keep your options open. When it comes to dating online, keeping your options open is a cardinal rule when first beginning. You should get to know the greatest amount of people, and then narrow down the playing field only after you have gotten to the "in person" dating stage. A BIG mistake that some inexperienced guys (and some females) make when using dating sites is fixating on 1 or 2 people who they'll continually try to contact; this is a major no-no. Some (the men especially) may send incessant emails, winks, messages, attemps to chat, etc., until they end up finding themselves blocked. There is nothing less attractive than coming off as desperate, and no greater a time-waster than to fixate on someone you (most likely) have never met before, and who is, virtually, not giving you the time of day.

To the guys: If you send a wink or message and don't receive a response, after the 3rd try (max), let it go...any more attempts and a woman will most likely block you.

To the gals: After one wink or message, if he doesn't respond back, let it go. If he is interested, he will respond after one try, trust me on this; there won't be a need to be persistent.

How come the rules are different for men and women, you ask? Because, as much of a double-standard as it is, it is still more "ok" for a man to be more persistent in the pursuit of a woman, but for a woman to "openly chase" a man is seen as desperate...I hate such old-fashioned, dated sounding rules and restrictions too, but I didn't make them, I just understand them. The topic of "The Chase" will definitely be thoroughly explored in a future post.

2) Have realistic expectations. If you go to online dating websites expecting to find a tall, rich, handsome, smart, funny, witty, charming, well-traveled, philanthropic entrepeneur with 3 vacation homes and a private jet, expect to stay single for awhile! However, if you're looking to meet someone funny, has nice eyes and a great smile, shares your interests and hobbies, and has similar goals and similar values, then this is definitely do-able.

3) The ideal order for meeting someone online should be: emailing, phone calls, then face-to-face. This is where you weed out the psychos; that tall, handsome Harvard graduate who does volunteer work on the weekends could very easily be a creepy, pot-bellied porn addict with great improvisation and writing skills who is hoping to get laid, but you would never know from just one email! The safest way to date online, especially for females, is to prolong face-to-face meetings for as long as possible. You should first email with the person, then have at least two or three phone conversations, and then finally, a meet-up in a very public place. Just to be extra safe, you could always bring along a friend and make it a group event.

In my next post, I'll discuss how to make a great online profile that will attract the most hits/winks possible...and, contrary to what you may think, it takes more than just a great picture to attract more hits (although of course, that never hurts!).

Related post:

Online Dating - Creating a Great Profile

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May 6, 2009

Q & A - The Unavailable One

Q. Dear Alannah,

I have a dilemna, and I need your advice. I've recently started developing feelings for this guy who I am friends with, who also happens to have a girlfriend. I had noticed him for some time now, but didn't have feelings for him before until getting to know him recently. The more that I know about him, the more that I like him. I feel so comfortable around him, more than I have with other people who I've liked in the past. We talk late into the night, way past midnight, and things were going well, until I found out that he had a girlfriend. I feel bad because I still like him, and, he even flirted with me in front his girlfriend before, so I don't know what to make of the situation! Please help!

Sincerely,

Fixated on a Friend

A. Dear Fixated,

Sorry to tell you, but with situations such as this, the best thing to do is to just back off from the guy...I have seen many situations like this before, as well as experienced them a few times myself, and let me tell you, as the outside person, it never ends well for you. My thinking on it is, if you like someone and they are already in a relationship with someone else, if the relationship does not end on its own - as in, there is outside interference either from you or from somebody else - there will always be unfinished business there. What happens oftentimes from what I've seen is, if the outside person does manage to take the person they want away from their boyfriend or girlfriend somehow, that person will often end up going back and forth between their ex and the new person, and it'll end up being a tug of war, with the ex usually winning in the end because of the history there. So not only do you end up losing the person as a potential romantic interest, you will most likely end up losing them as a friend as well.

With your situation, it sounds like the guy may be attracted to you, and he may even be bored or be having problems in his relationship, henceforth the reason for him calling you late at night and flirting with you in front of his girlfriend. Do trust me on this, though; if he likes you enough, he will either let you know, or break up with his girlfriend to pursue you. Your best course of action is to go out there, talk with other guys, and let it be known to him that you are actively doing so, but don't put all your hopes into getting a reaction out of him. If he likes you and wants to be with you, he'll get off his butt and take action, either by confessing his feelings for you first to see how you respond, or by breaking things off with his girlfriend and asking you out. If he truly likes you, seeing you possibly move on with someone else will make him take action now before he loses his chance. If he doesn't do anything, then he is either too scared, or he just sees you as a friend, and the flirtatiousness was either a fluke or an attempt to make his girlfriend jealous, in which case he would be a douchebag and wouldn't be worth your time anyway.

The bottom line is, you shouldn't in any way actively try to do anything to take him away from his girlfriend. The most you should do is actively try to meet new guys who you could actually see yourself dating, and be upfront with him about it, but just treat him as he is, which is a friend. It would also probably be best to ease off from your friendship with him if you do find out for sure that he just wants to be friends and nothing more, as it would make it easier for you to move on and date new people.

Anyways, best of luck!

Alannah

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May 5, 2009

Cheap Dates

In this economy, it's hard to ignore the fact that limited funds can severely dampen your social life. Almost every social event or outing requires money, and while you could easily just stay in and play video games (or watch pre-recorded shows on television) instead of going out, doing that isn't going to improve your social life, or help you meet any potential dates for the future if you're single.

If you have just met someone and just started dating, who says you need to spend a lot of money in order to have a great time on a date? For the guys, here is a list of great date ideas to take a new (or current) girl on that will both wow her, and won't set you back financially!

1) Take her to an independent movie, then end the date with a mini wine, cheese, and fruit tasting at the park at night. The wine, cheese and fruit tasting can be so easy to throw together and cheap, and will impress her because it's romantic and thoughtful. You can get a bottle of wine at Wal-Mart for around $5-10 (no need to go with super-fancy or expensive wine, these taste good enough, and unless she's a wine buff, she probably won't notice the difference), and the fruit and cheese can also be bought there for within the same price range, for a total of under $15. My boyfriend did this on our second date, this scored MAJOR brownie points =).

2) If you are both outdoorsy, active people, depending on where you live, take her for surfing lessons, go hiking or go snorkeling. Participating in an active sport gives the benefit of getting in a great workout, boosting your endorphins, and it can create an instant bond if you are both trying out a new activity together for the first time.

3) Depending on where you live, an ice skating date (outdoor or indoor) is a traditional and romantic date. If it's around wintertime, going to see Christmas lights afterwards sets an intimate and fun setting.

4) Go explore a part of downtown you have never been to. This one is best done in safe areas of your downtown where the fear of getting mugged won't overpower your ability to have fun! I've lived in the Dallas, TX area most of my life, and there are still areas I haven't had the chance to explore. Exploring downtown together with a date, finding great little shops or restaurants that you've never been to or dive bars you wouldn't normally frequent, is a very romantic and fun way to spend the evening. It's also a great way to get to know one another.

5) If you are a great cook, invite her over for a homecooked meal. With many women being less "domestic" these days, many love a man who can cook! You can follow up dinner by watching a movie in. However, I wouldn't recommend this idea for someone you have just started seeing...it should be saved for at least the third date in, if not further; otherwise, she'll just think you're trying to get in her pants, whether or not this is true!

6) For a fun group date, have friends over for a game night. Make it a potluck affair, and have every one bring their favorite game/board game. Make it interesting by tossing in one or two "dirty" board games (ex. Dirty Minds). You can have fun bonding with your date, and will feel less pressure to entertain since you're having fun in a group environment. This is a great date idea if you are introducing her for the first time to your friends, and want to do it in a casual way. You shouldn't do this until at least the 4th or 5th date, however. The first 3 or 4 dates should be solo ones, to establish with her that you are looking to date her, not befriend her.

There are many great ways to have fun and impress a girl on a date without blowing your budget. Anything that fosters an intimate setting, or a sense of exploration and adventure, can help create a feeling of bonding between you two and make for a great time, as well as help bring more dates in the future! ;)

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