Dec 31, 2009

Q & A - My Girlfriend Acts Too Needy

Q. Dear Alannah,

I've been going out with this girl for about a year and a half now, and I love her very much...she makes me happy and is a great girl. However, within the past several months, she's become very clingy (or "needy"), and I don't know what to do about it. When we first started dating, she was very independent, had her own social life, went out, saw her friends often, and basically was a social butterfly. Lately, though, she pretty much only hangs out with me or stays home after work, doesn't talk to her friends much anymore, and on the weekends when my friends call me to go hang out, if I tell her I'm thinking about joining them for a boy's night out, she says she's fine with it, but then pouts and acts sad, so I almost always end up staying in.

I definitely see long-term potential with us, but if this continues, it will definitely be a problem. I love the time we spend together alone, but sometimes, I just want my own space, or just to be able to chill with friends again. I want for her to have her own social life as well like before, but I don't want to hurt her feelings by being blunt about it. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Feeling Claustrophobic

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Dec 29, 2009

Q & A - Bad Boy Crush

Q. Dear Alannah,

I'm 15 years old, and I like this guy who's wrong for me...he smokes weed, and he's pretty much your typical bad boy. I found his Myspace profile online, and it said he's 17 years old. I'm not sure, but at school, he is in 9th grade, and I'm in 10th, a grade ahead of him...since my parents are Asian and don't like for me to befriend those who they don't consider "smart", I can't see us together in the future, but I really want to be with him right now, because I know that high school romances don't last long anyway, so I might as well give it a shot, right? I don't know why I like him, I just do. I think he has a girlfriend, too, but I see him flirting with another girl who already has a boyfriend, so I don't know how serious it is. I don't know what I should do.

This may sound cheesy, but I like him because he's sooo hot! I love his eyes, and I think that's what drew me to him. I have never crushed on anyone like this before. I don't know what I should do about my crush for him. I get nervous when I'm around him. We've talked before, but he's always the person who says something first.

I am a pretty funny person, and I'm only serious usually when it comes to grades, morals and gossiping (yeah, lame, I know). But yeah...I pretty much have no clue what to talk about when I'm around him. I know he is into football, but I don't want to be the girl who gets along with guys cause of similar interests. I know a lot of his friends, no joke. Sometimes I go say hi and hug his friends just to be near him. I like seeing his face in the morning, it makes me happy.

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Dec 26, 2009

Food for Thought: The Mating Dance

If you've been a reader of my site for awhile now, you may have noticed that much of the advice I give for men and women are very much the same.  Sure, on the surface, it may seem different...for the guys, make a woman laugh, entertain her, be chivalrous, sweep her off her feet...for the gals, turn him on with strategic dressing, flirt, be coquettish, let him chase you...but, underneath it all, some of the most important elements remain the same for both sexes, and those elements are confidence, knowing what you want, and (in the beginning) making yourself scarce enough to leave the other person wanting more.  In other words, making yourself available enough just to let the other person get to know you, get a "taste" of being with you, but, not so available as to become undesirable, or to appear "desperate".

For instance, in my previous post about why women love bad boys, I mentioned to the guys not to plan to see a woman too often in the beginning of a courtship, that twice a week max is good enough until you two are officially an item.  For the gals, in my post on how to meet the right man by dating like a man, I mentioned that clingy behavior in the beginning of a courtship isn't appealing, and that seeing more than one person in the beginning is okay (as long as you're open about it) until you decide to become exclusive with one person. 

These tips, though different on the surface, have the same desired effect, and that is to make yourself scarce enough to show desirability...the majority of people aren't as attracted to someone who is too available in the beginning as they are to someone whom they have a chance to miss and think about, so both sexes have their own moves that contribute to the cat-and-mouse game that is dating, a back-and-forth dance you could call "the Mating Dance".

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Dec 22, 2009

Quick Confidence Boosters for Women

Everyone has those days sometimes where you're feelin' a little blah, things don't go as planned, and/or you could use a little mood or confidence booster, a nice pick-me-up to get you back in gear again. Sometimes, it can be as easy as putting on your favorite shirt or sexy pumps...read on for quick ways for the gals to boost your mood and confidence when you're feelin' a lil down and out!

1) Wear a bright color. Bright colors attract attention and take confidence to wear. Depending on the color, they can also boost your mood in positive ways. Hot pink, yellow, cobalt blue, and bright green are great choices.

2) Get dolled up. Nothing gives a quick shot of confidence like looking sexy, so go ahead and doll yourself up, even if you're just out running errands. You never know who you might run into ;)

3) Allow yourself to reminisce/be nolstagic. Remember that summer fling you had a couple of summers ago who made you feel so sexy? Or that great summer vacay you had with friends a few years back that was so much fun? Allowing yourself to reminisce about good times can boost your mood, as long as it's occasional and you're not constantly living in the past. In fact, research has shown that naturally nolstalgic people have high self-esteem and are less prone to depression. So allow yourself to remember good times when you're feeling down - it'll help cheer you up, and give you a boost of confidence to relive cherished memories with people who've made an impact on your life.

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Dec 19, 2009

Q & A - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Q. Dear Alannah,

After being raised in the states, I had to move back to Korea to go to school there, which I totally hated since I'm Americanized, was considered an outcast by my own people. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, started getting back into doing drugs, but at this time, it wasn't just ecstasy, I started doing meth to lose weight. I've never been a size 0 like most Asian girls are. Weight issues are big there and I was considered fat, even though I was a size 4.

Both mentally and physically torn, I was lost. That's when Kevin found me on an online social networking site. We hit it off so fast. We talked about anything and everything. I've never met anyone online but, I wanted to meet him. He was strong, independent and intelligent. I fell for him head over heels. Our feelings were supposedly mutual. I hated what I was doing then. I wanted to get out of Korea. When I found out he's a tattoo artist, I decided to learn from him. That plan went smoothly until my parents took my passport and green card so I couldn't leave the country.

I told him what was going on, then I found out that he had a girl, whom my friend in St. Louis knew of. From then, I stopped talking to him, started hanging out with a worse crowd, the Navy guys. I ended up marrying a guy who wanted to be with me to get the hell out of my parent's control. That was the worst mistake I've ever made. I'm still with him after 6 years, with a 2 year old child. He was stationed in Korea for little bit, then in Illinois (where I had my baby and found my career). He was told he is going to San Diego on a ship, which he found out will be gone for 6-9 months. I told him I wanted to stay in Chicago and work. He agreed at first, but told me later we'd have to move with him. So we did. It's obviously difficult to live with one paycheck unless you're a millionaire here, especially with a military salary. We started getting ourselves in debt in San Diego. I told him I wanted to go back to Chicago to work, but the answer was of course no. His solution to all this was to send my baby and I to his parents.

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Dec 16, 2009

Q & A - No Matter of Color

Q. Dear Alannah,

I was wondering if you could help me out on a rather, I guess, bizarre issue? So, I'm a half African-American, half Caucasian, British college student, and I've dated/spent time with a lot of different guys (well excluding African-American guys for whatever reason). It has been my experience that I really enjoy spending time with Asian guys, and my Asian male friends are really great. I find them to be less obnoxious, more fun, and more reserved than my white male friends, and others generally. I am pretty inexperienced sexually (sorry if that's TMI) and it's often a big deal when engaging in a relationship with a male friend that I tell them I'm a virgin, but my Asian guy friends aren't as focused on sex as my non-Asian friends.

My point is, I think I'd like to date an Asian guy, I'm just not sure if it's totally taboo (at least for Asian males) to date a black/mixed girl, whatever you want to call it? I do have one guy in mind...his name is James, and I've known him since my freshman year in college. He's a year younger than me. So far, we've only hooked up, but we like spending time together.

Sorry this is incoherent, but any thoughts you could throw out would be great!

Thanks,

Vicky

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Dec 15, 2009

Gift Ideas for Guys

Gift-giving for us females has never really been particularly difficult...whether it's a sixth sense or intuition (or just plain 'ole detective work), we usually have an easier time than our male counterparts deciding on what to give our loved ones around this time of year. However, if you're needing a little assistance this year in choosing a gift for your man, or are just looking for some fresh ideas, below are some gift ideas - some tangible, some not - that will definitely make him love the holiday season, and you even more for knowing just what he wants!

1) An "All About Him" day/weekend. Assuming you have an awesome boyfriend, he probably usually is the gentleman and lets you choose the activities the majority of the time, eat at your favorite restaurant when eating out, does thoughtful things to show that he cares, pays for most meals, etc. For Christmas weekend, turn the tables and make it all about him, and plan it out so that he can't protest. Whether he loves sports or playing video games, plan a weekend of all his favorites, even if they're hobbies you usually don't enjoy - he'll appreciate the effort and love you even more.

For instance, is he a Halo addict? Have a weekend "holed in" playing the video game with him (or just watching), cook his favorite meals, and maybe get a subscription to his favorite "gamer" magazine (or the latest video game he's been eyeing for awhile) - just lots of thoughtful actions that show you care. Or, if he's a sports fan, take him to watch his favorite team play, and/or get an upgrade on his television cable plan that allows him to watch all of his favorite teams play at once; these are the little things that distinguish a good Christmas present from a great one.

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Dec 14, 2009

Gift Ideas for Women

So you're counting down the days to Christmas, and scrambling around like a madman trying to think of the perfect gift for your girlfriend. Well, worry not, fellas; below are a few gift ideas - some practical, some not - that your girlfriend will love and will definitely appreciate!

1) Start a vacation fund. Put in $100-$200 to start out, and each week or month, you and your girlfriend will each contribute to the fund. This is a great idea if your girlfriend has always wanted to go on a trip to a certain locale, but hasn't had the chance to yet, such as on a trip to Europe or Hawaii. Set an approximate date for when you want to go by, and have a set amount each week/month that you will each contribute.

2) Clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses and such are also good, but make sure you know what she likes before buying. A simple way to ensure that your girlfriend loves your gift is to tell her to make a wish list on a few of her favorite sites online, then you choose from the lists and get her present from there. Sure, it does mean she'll have an idea of what you'll end up getting her, but at least you'll know she'll end up loving it, and it won't end up in her closet or back at the store as store credit ;)

3) Recreate a favorite childhood memory of hers. Ice-skating on the lake, ceremonial Christmas tree lightings, going to see Christmas light decorations on houses - if any of these were things your girlfriend loved as a child, planning a weekend that includes them and adding on some thoughtful touches (such as a prepacked picnic when heading to see lights or go to the lake), would be a sweet and thoughtful idea for Christmas.

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Dec 10, 2009

Style Files: December '09 Men

Winter is officially in full swing, and holiday parties and New Year's celebrations are around the corner. Stock your wardrobe with some essentials that will carry you through the holiday season and on into the New Year in style!

1) Suits. The dressier types of suits come out to play during the holiday season, and at the forefront are the tuxedo and iridescent suiting trends. Choose from tuxedos or iridescent suits for a Christmas or New Year's Eve party, and pair with a contrasting button-front shirt for a stylish look.

a) Tuxedo jackets/suits. One of the hottest and "freshest" trends this season in men's suiting, tuxedo jackets and suits are the perfect choice for all the holiday parties you'll be attending this time of year. Whether it's an office party, a friend's formal dinner, or an all-night rager downtown, tuxedo suiting infuses elegance and class into your outfit with minimal effort on your part.



Tuxedo suit on the runway at Dries Van Noten.



Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2009/2010

b) Iridescent suits. A hot trend in menswear this year, iridescent suits are a wonderful choice for the New Years Eve shindigs you'll be attending, and will definitely get you noticed in a sea of black and white. Pair a jacket with a pair of dark-rinse jeans and a white-button front for a casual yet stylish look, or wear a full suit for more formal events - either way, you can't go wrong!



Gianfranco Ferre Fall/Winter 2009/2010

2) Outerwear. Outerwear trends for men this year have been more abundant than ever, with coats, jackets, trenches and more that transition seamlessly from work to play. For holiday parties, go with a long coat for more formal looks, and a peacoat for casual ones. Leather jackets work well in either!

a) Leather jackets. Ever since James Dean immortalized the leather jacket in his movie "Rebel Without a Cause" over 50 years ago, the leather jacket has symbolized "tough" and "rebellious", or "bad boy". You don't have to be a rogue troublemaker in order to rock this look, though - whether choosing a cropped moto jacket or Matrix-length trench, wearing leather definitely adds to the tough and mysterious appeal of a guy, something no female can resist!





Gianfranco Ferre Fall/Winter 2009/2010



Armani Exchange Vintage Leather Coat, on sale $390 (original $495) at Armani Exchange

b) Peacoats. Part of the military trend that has been so popular this year, peacoats are sporty and casual, yet functional and fashionable as well. Wear it to work for an office appropriate look, or pair with your favorite weekend wear for a night out.



Gap Wool Peacoat, $128 at Gap

c) Trench coats. Always functional and eternally a classic, trench coats look great worn anytime, anywhere. At work or play, with suit or jeans, trench coats always fit right in. Choose a leather trench for a slicker, more updated look, or stick with a twill trench for a more classic, year-round look.



Salvatore Ferragamo Fall'09

3) Color. Colors in menswear for Winter '10 continue the trend of bold colors, with reds, greens, blues, grays and golds still popular for the season. When choosing a shirt or accessory (such as a tie or scarf) in a bright color, for the best effect, contrast the rest of your outfit by going muted with neutral colors (such as a neutral-colored suit or pants in black or gray, for instance) so that the color can pop. Or, if you're feeling bold, work a monotone look with different shades of the same color (for instance, a dark blue suit with a lighter blue button-front and complementing tie); same color dressing takes confidence, but can be very flattering and stylish.



Old Navy Men's Poplin Shirt, on sale $20 (regular $24.50) at Old Navy



DKNY Dress Shirt, on sale $44.99 (regular $52.50) at Macy's



Geoffrey Beene Dress Shirt, on sale $32.99 (regular $49.50) at Macy's

4) Cardigans. Something traditionally more popular in womenswear, cardigans have found their way into men's fashion this year, with a more masculine incarnation. Cardigans for men are boxier, longer, and worn in much the same fashion that a vest is - as a layering piece over button-front shirts - for a look that's perfect for work or casual weekends.



Theory Double Cardigan, $295 at Neiman Marcus

5) Accessories Accessorize your weekend outfit with one or two accessories that will make it stand out - whether a functional scarf for warmth or a bold tie for a party, accessories are the small touches that go a long way.



Banana Republic Wool Beanie, $29.50 at Banana Republic



Banana Republic Wool Striped-Edge Scarf, $49.50 at Banana Republic



Movado 'Musuem' Watch, $495 at Nordstrom



Express Narrow Silk Tie, $39.50 at Express

Source:

- fashionising.com

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Dec 8, 2009

Style Files: December '09 Women

As temperatures dip to freezing, everyone is bundling up. Just because you're piling on the layers, though, doesn't mean you can't look sexy - the holidays are right around the corner, and this season, there are more different styles than ever to keep you looking hot through the holidays and into the new year! Below, the latest warm weather fashions for winter, as well as sexy party frocks to have you hitting the holiday parties and ringin' in the new year in style!

1) Dresses. Holidays are all about the parties...social gatherings, office parties, family get-togethers, and of course, New Year's Eve shindigs. Look your best in one of the season's hottest dresses; the plethora of different styles this season include frocks that are sequined, sparkled, studded, sheer and more - plenty of sexy styles that'll turn heads and have 'em doing double-takes ;)



Rebecca Taylor Metallic Party Dress, on sale $245 (regular $350) at shopbop.com

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Dec 5, 2009

Guidelines for Gift-Giving For Your Significant Other

The holidays are right around the corner, which only means one thing - time for that all-too-fun task of holiday shopping! (Insert sarcastic tone here.)  For those of you who haven't started searching for a gift for your significant other yet, below are a few guidelines to keep in mind before you start, to help you find that perfect gift that he/she will love.

1) At the beginning of the relationship, start the bar out relatively lower on the price of gifts, and then "work" your way up. I'm not saying that you need to shop at the "Dollar General" or what-not, but if you aren't ballin' outta control (and in this economy, who really is??), start with something reasonable and not over-the-top expensive, and as the relationship progresses, "work" your way up to pricier items (if that's what you can afford and feel you want to give your significant other).

For instance, guys, you might think it's sweet and generous to give your girl a super-expensive designer purse your first Christmas together, but any gal friend would tell you that if that's not something you could normally afford, you are shooting yourself in the foot by doing that. Next year, she will most likely expect something equal (whether consciously or unconsciously), if not better, so anything less would be seen as a "downgrade".  She might not tell you, but trust me, she'll notice; you want to "build" your way up to more expensive, pricier gifts, not start out with them from the offset.

2) For people who are romantic, thoughtful gifts work best.  If your boyfriend or girlfriend is the romantic type, "sentimental" presents will probably mean more to them than say, a shirt or a watch.  Make a scrapbook of your relationship together so far, think of a well-planned weekend of activities they love, get tickets to their favorite musical artist who's coming to town, or any other gift that has significance to an important moment in your relationship. 

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Dec 3, 2009

Q & A - Abrupt Break-Up

Q. Dear Alannah,

Just last night, this guy that I was dating for about 3 months decided that we should just remain friends. I don't know if that would be considered a break-up or not, but it did to me, and it really hit me hard. During our talk last night, he brought up some good points as to why we should be just friends. There is a big difference in our age. I'm 20 years old and he had just turned 39. I know that's a really big difference, and I had never considered in my life going out with a guy that much older than me. But the more I was with him, the more our age difference meant nothing to me, and I didn't think it would mean anything to him either. I didn't think our age difference would interfere with what we had.

Yesterday was his birthday as well, and I thought that we were just going to enjoy ourselves and spend some good quality time with each other; I was really looking forward to it. And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere he starts talking about how sometimes he feels bad for me; that I'm dating somebody who's 19 years older than I am. I understood what he meant, but I really was not prepared to end our relationship right at that moment.

Over the past three months, we had been through so much; he even introduced me to his family. I hadn't introduce him to my family, but I had planned it in the future. I really thought we were doing fine and that we were in a stable relationship that would last for quite a while, and his decision was just so unexpected. I never thought that he would bring it up this soon. Also, because of the fact that I'm only 20 years old, he says that I have so many years ahead of me. I'm guessing that he doesn't want me to get caught up with a guy his age. He also said that he thought that he was wasting my time, but I told him that he wasn't, because I really enjoyed my time with him.

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Dec 2, 2009

Best Date Spots: Denver

With the cold season rapidly settling in, many are already planning the perfect cold-weather getaway. Denver, the Mile-High City, is the perfect destination to relax and enjoy the wintry weather with your date as temperatures drop outside...besides the multitude of ski resorts nearby and restaurants in the city, Denver also has many other creative date options to enjoy and heat up the night with your date!

1) John Holly's Asian Bistro - Can't decide between Japanese, Chinese, or Thai? For all you Asian cuisine lovers, you're in luck - John Holly's Asian Bistro combines the best of all these cultural cuisines, with delicious, well-presented dishes served in an ambiant setting that's sleek and romantic, and knowledgeable waitstaff providing friendly service. The restaurant is one of the finest Asian cuisine restaurants in Denver, with a full sushi menu and Thai and Chinese favorites such as Pad Thai Noodles and Peking Duck, as well as fusion dishes such as Seared Scallops with Guacamole. With excellent food and a sexy, romantic atmosphere, this little bistro is the perfect first date restaurant.

2) Duo - For a casual date in a trendy and inviting atmosphere, go to Duo. The restaurant has a slight "industrial" feel with its exposed brick walls and decorative wood frames hanging from the ceiling, yet has a warm and inviting feel that'll make you feel right at home. On the menu are all-American favorites such as Sirloin and Short Ribs, as well as House-Smoked Trout and Venison Loin. Duo also serves a full brunch menu, so come for an early lunch date or for dinner.




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