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When I was in my early twenties, if a guy acted aloof, called back only sometimes and showed minimal interest, I would get hooked. You could say I was addicted to the bad boy/ unavailable boy/ player. I was drawn to what psychotherapist, Ken Page terms as “attractions of deprivation” – when we are drawn to people who embody the worst emotional characteristics of our parents. Basically, the theory explains that we are attracted to people who can wound us the same way we were wounded in our childhood, as our psyche tries to recreate the past void and save us by changing its ending.
“The child in us believes that if the original perpetrators — or their current replacements — finally change their minds, apologize, or make up for that terrible rupture of trust, we can escape from our prison of unworthiness. Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which hurt us the most as children.” - Psychology Today
So games used to work on me because 1) I had unresolved daddy issues and 2) At the tender age of 20, I was trying to figure out who I was and to top it off, I was ridden with insecurity and a low sense of self-worth.
But somewhere in between the passing of a decade, something changed.
I learned to love myself. I became independent, confident, and started to value my self-worth. I went through hardships and heartbreaks and picked myself back up which built my strength and courage. Instead of relying on beauty as my source of empowerment, I focused on basing my empowerment on my intelligence, successes, values, contributions to the world and how I helped others. In a sense, I finally grew up. I went from being a girl to becoming a woman. And as a woman, you are attracted to very different things than you are as a girl.
A girl is attracted to boys. A woman is attracted to men. Now, this has nothing to do with the actual age of a person. I’m referring to maturity, life vision and stage of life. In fact, some people regardless of their age, will never really grow up.
If you are a girl (lack independence, are ruled by insecurity, lack self-respect, throw tantrums, have princess syndrome, don’t have strong values or boundaries and can’t hold yourself on your own) then expect that you will attract only boys. However, if you are a woman (independent, ambitious, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a man. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers.
Now, a lot of these differences require taking the time to know someone to figure out if the apple of your eye is indeed a man, or a mere boy. However, one of the quickest filters that you can notice from the beginning is this:
11. A boy plays games. A man doesn’t.
*To clarify, when I’m referring to “games” I mean mind games.
Photo credit: Jaclyn Auletta
Here’s how to do it….guys, stop sucking at conversation. There’s a reason why your discussions always bleed dry. There’s a reason why you suck at talking to girls.
Learn this and apply this.
The excerpt below comes from a book published in 1875: A Gentleman’s Guide to Etiquette by Cecil B. Hartley. Hartley’s rules may be over 100 years old, but they’re just as true today as they ever were. There are some real gems here.
1. Even if convinced that your opponent is utterly wrong, yield gracefully, decline further discussion, or dexterously turn the conversation, but do not obstinately defend your own opinion until you become angry…Many there are who, giving their opinion, not as an opinion but as a law, will defend their position by such phrases, as: “Well, if I were president, or governor, I would,” — and while by the warmth of their argument they prove that they are utterly unable to govern their own temper, they will endeavor to persuade you that they are perfectly competent to take charge of the government of the nation.
2. Retain, if you will, a fixed political opinion, yet do not parade it upon all occasions, and, above all, do not endeavor to force others to agree with you. Listen calmly to their ideas upon the same subjects, and if you cannot agree, differ politely, and while your opponent may set you down as a bad politician, let him be obliged to admit that you are a gentleman.
3. Never interrupt anyone who is speaking; it is quite rude to officiously supply a name or date about which another hesitates, unless you are asked to do so. Another gross breach of etiquette is to anticipate the point of a story which another person is reciting, or to take it from his lips to finish it in your own language. Some persons plead as an excuse for this breach of etiquette, that the reciter was spoiling a good story by a bad manner, but this does not mend the matter. It is surely rude to give a man to understand that you do not consider him capable of finishing an anecdote that he has commenced.
4. It is ill-bred to put on an air of weariness during a long speech from another person, and quite as rude to look at a watch, read a letter, flirt the leaves of a book, or in any other action show that you are tired of the speaker or his subject.
5. In a general conversation, never speak when another person is speaking, and never try by raising your own voice to drown that of another. Never assume an air of haughtiness, or speak in a dictatorial manner; let your conversation be always amiable and frank, free from every affectation.
6. Never, unless you are requested to do so, speak of your own business or profession in society; to confine your conversation entirely to the subject or pursuit which is your own specialty is low-bred and vulgar. Make the subject for conversation suit the company in which you are placed. Joyous, light conversation will be at times as much out of place as a sermon would be at a dancing party. Let your conversation be grave or gay as suits the time or place.
7. In a dispute, if you cannot reconcile the parties, withdraw from them. You will surely make one enemy, perhaps two, by taking either side, in an argument when the speakers have lost their temper.
8. Never, during a general conversation, endeavor to concentrate the attention wholly upon yourself. It is quite as rude to enter into conversation with one of a group, and endeavor to draw him out of the circle of general conversation to talk with you alone.
9. A man of real intelligence and cultivated mind is generally modest. He may feel when in everyday society, that in intellectual acquirements he is above those around him; but he will not seek to make his companions feel their inferiority, nor try to display this advantage over them. He will discuss with frank simplicity the topics started by others, and endeavor to avoid starting such as they will not feel inclined to discuss. All that he says will be marked by politeness and deference to the feelings and opinions of others.
10. It is as great an accomplishment to listen with an air of interest and attention, as it is to speak well. To be a good listener is as indispensable as to be a good talker, and it is in the character of listener that you can most readily detect the man who is accustomed to good society.
11. Never listen to the conversation of two persons who have thus withdrawn from a group. If they are so near you that you cannot avoid hearing them, you may, with perfect propriety, change your seat.
12. Make your own share in conversation as modest and brief as is consistent with the subject under consideration, and avoid long speeches and tedious stories. If, however, another, particularly an old man, tells a long story, or one that is not new to you, listen respectfully until he has finished, before you speak again.
13. Speak of yourself but little. Your friends will find out your virtues without forcing you to tell them, and you may feel confident that it is equally unnecessary to expose your faults yourself.
14. If you submit to flattery, you must also submit to the imputation of folly and self-conceit.
15. In speaking of your friends, do not compare them, one with another. Speak of the merits of each one, but do not try to heighten the virtues of one by contrasting them with the vices of another.
16. Avoid, in conversation all subjects which can injure the absent. A gentleman will never calumniate or listen to calumny.
17. The wittiest man becomes tedious and ill-bred when he endeavors to engross entirely the attention of the company in which he should take a more modest part.
18. Avoid set phrases, and use quotations but rarely. They sometimes make a very piquant addition to conversation, but when they become a constant habit, they are exceedingly tedious, and in bad taste.
19. Avoid pedantry; it is a mark, not of intelligence, but stupidity.
20. Speak your own language correctly; at the same time do not be too great a stickler for formal correctness of phrases.
21. Never notice it if others make mistakes in language. To notice by word or look such errors in those around you is excessively ill-bred.
22. If you are a professional or scientific man, avoid the use of technical terms. They are in bad taste, because many will not understand them. If, however, you unconsciously use such a term or phrase, do not then commit the still greater error of explaining its meaning. No one will thank you for thus implying their ignorance.
23. In conversing with a foreigner who speaks imperfect English, listen with strict attention, yet do not supply a word, or phrase, if he hesitates. Above all, do not by a word or gesture show impatience if he makes pauses or blunders. If you understand his language, say so when you first speak to him; this is not making a display of your own knowledge, but is a kindness, as a foreigner will be pleased to hear and speak his own language when in a strange country.
24. Be careful in society never to play the part of buffoon, for you will soon become known as the “funny” man of the party, and no character is so perilous to your dignity as a gentleman. You lay yourself open to both censure and bad ridicule, and you may feel sure that, for every person who laughs with you, two are laughing at you, and for one who admires you, two will watch your antics with secret contempt.
25. Avoid boasting. To speak of your money, connections, or the luxuries at your command is in very bad taste. It is quite as ill-bred to boast of your intimacy with distinguished people. If their names occur naturally in the course of conversation, it is very well; but to be constantly quoting, “my friend, Gov. C ,” or, “my intimate friend, the president,” is pompous and in bad taste.
26. While refusing the part of jester yourself, do not, by stiff manners, or cold, contemptuous looks, endeavor to check the innocent mirth of others. It is in excessively bad taste to drag in a grave subject of conversation when pleasant, bantering talk is going on around you. Join in pleasantly and forget your graver thoughts for the time, and you will win more popularity than if you chill the merry circle or turn their innocent gayety to grave discussions.
27. When thrown into the society of literary people, do not question them about their works. To speak in terms of admiration of any work to the author is in bad taste; but you may give pleasure, if, by a quotation from their writings, or a happy reference to them, you prove that you have read and appreciated them.
28. It is extremely rude and pedantic, when engaged in general conversation, to make quotations in a foreign language.
29. To use phrases which admit of a double meaning, is ungentlemanly.
30. If you find you are becoming angry in a conversation, either turn to another subject or keep silence. You may utter, in the heat of passion, words which you would never use in a calmer moment, and which you would bitterly repent when they were once said.
31. “Never talk of ropes to a man whose father was hanged” is a vulgar but popular proverb. Avoid carefully subjects which may be construed into personalities, and keep a strict reserve upon family matters. Avoid, if you can, seeing the skeleton in your friend’s closet, but if it is paraded for your special benefit, regard it as a sacred confidence, and never betray your knowledge to a third party.
32. If you have traveled, although you will endeavor to improve your mind in such travel, do not be constantly speaking of your journeyings. Nothing is more tiresome than a man who commences every phrase with, “When I was in Paris,” or, “In Italy I saw…”
33. When asking questions about persons who are not known to you, in a drawing-room, avoid using adjectives; or you may enquire of a mother, “Who is that awkward, ugly girl?” and be answered, “Sir, that is my daughter.”
34. Avoid gossip; in a woman it is detestable, but in a man it is utterly despicable.
35. Do not officiously offer assistance or advice in general society. Nobody will thank you for it.
36. Avoid flattery. A delicate compliment is permissible in conversation, but flattery is broad, coarse, and to sensible people, disgusting. If you flatter your superiors, they will distrust you, thinking you have some selfish end; if you flatter ladies, they will despise you, thinking you have no other conversation.
37. A lady of sense will feel more complimented if you converse with her upon instructive, high subjects, than if you address to her only the language of compliment. In the latter case she will conclude that you consider her incapable of discussing higher subjects, and you cannot expect her to be pleased at being considered merely a silly, vain person, who must be flattered into good humor.
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So you finally muster the courage, and asked the girl or guy that you have been crushing on out on a date, and they said “yes”. Just remember that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. So the following is a list of things that you should not do on a first date.
One of the best articles I’ve read in a very very long time.
6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person
Strength, conviction, and purpose are things that every man must enjoy.
There is no person that can’t respect me. However, I don’t expect to be respected by every person that walks the earth and I have no desire to be a perfect anything. I simply wish to make the visions in my mind a reality. Many men wish only this but the path to being the man that he wants to be isn’t without challenges!
Boys, understand this: life isn’t made to give you anything! It isn’t, it’s made to test your resolve at every turn to keep your feet rooted in the ‘semper paratus’ (always ready) that keeps your path more direct and sure to whatever ends you may have. People aren’t to be feared or even really something to concern yourself over in such away that you let worry or fear grip you; instead of fearing a person, understand and empathize with them so as to build a connection and draw their strength - after all, they are feared people for some reason, why not learn from them? Understand that you will need people in your life to get you to where you want to be. You should embrace people that scare you so that you don’t overlook the things that can lead you towards your dream, towards shaping the world in ways that instill courage within you, and challenge you to take greater steps towards your ambitions. To achieve these things with great love and success, you need the right mindset. One that recognizes life isn’t a place that is bad, instead, know that life is not a place without battles. You should prepare yourself to meet challenges with vigourous ferocity.
When I want something, I go after it and never accept a back handed attack to limit my results. In doing this, I have discovered the true nature of people who became successful by a sound heart and those who made a mountain upon cowardly passions. When I attack the defensive, they cry…’Why are you attacking me?’ as they run away to avoid the issue. They talk about being tough or busy or the problem not being a real priority; but when you meet them head on, they run and hide behind anything they can to protect themselves. On the other hand, there are some people, that you meet them eye to eye, they hold their ground. I can respect that… What I can’t respect, and what women don’t respect are cowards. You will never see a good woman beside a man who runs when challenged for cover.
Women want the exception to the rule. The man who loves defiantly, lives to be the highest standard of physical, mental, and unselfish strength. Those are the men who women truly love and desire. The ones that make women satisfied in more universal ways. Men who are prepared and willing to fight on behalf of their values in anyway because they believe in themselves. These are the men with just reasons who really impact women in positive ways.
Be this man, and be the exception.
Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.
The Point: Men know what they want and that is scary.
What I was used to was boys.
Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival. Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don’t have regular work hours.
But men aren’t afraid of commitment. I’m not talking about commitment to romantic relationships. I’m talking about commitment to things—houses, jobs, neighbourhoods. Paying a mortgage. When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that’s not it. It’s a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome.
So I’m into men now, even though they can be frightening. I want a schedule-keeping, waking-up-early, wallet-carrying, picture-hanging man.
I’m giving you this bit of wisdom: A fun thing to try is dating men. It’ll be like freshly ground peanut butter, times a million.
So you’ve gone on a few first dates. Sometimes, you get a second one, but for the most part, you don’t get a call or you’re gently rejected when you ask for a second date. In your eyes, things go well on the first date and you’re anticipating your second date…but it doesn’t happen.
If you find yourself looking for a second date but you’re being ignored until they disappear, it’s probably you. In fact, it is you. Actually, to blame anyone else but yourself is just lame. Why? Because to look to anyone/anything else isn’t taking accountability. And if you don’t take accountability, who will?
Here are some thoughts….both from experience, observations and failed dates (sorry girls, the bad is mine).
YOU WERE CHEAP
Though it is nice that you believe in equality for women, the truth is that most, if not all, women expect you to PAY ON THE FIRST DATE. And if you’re going to bitch and whine about how expensive the restaurant was then perhaps you should choose a more reasonably priced place.
The point is that women view CHEAP MEN in a very negative fashion because it not only says that you don’t like to spend money - it also indicates that you may be cheap in other departments of your life.
You pay on the first date, even if she offers, say no, and pay the entire bill. And if you don’t want to spend too much money, then perhaps your first date should take place at a cafe. If she still insists on paying (it’s a test by the way - so you better not fail) try this: you pay for the bill itself, but tell her to give tip. Personally, I think this is a fair compromise. It shows that you’re not cheap, but at the same time, it shows you’re a little more liberated than to insist on paying for the entire bill. Remember, even though she insists that you pay for the first date, you can still show that you’re enough of an evolved male to understand equality and chivalry.
YOU GOT TOO DRUNK (SH*TFACED, SHMAMMERED, WASTED)
Really?! Do I really have to tell you this? The answer is yes. This is the mother of all f*ck ups. What the hell were you thinking getting wasted and getting overly stupid? Even on a tenth date, it wouldn’t be acceptable!
A guy who cannot handle his liquor is a man that no woman (or anyone) wants to be around. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who can maintain a great demeanor when they drink. In fact, some people function better under the influence…this is directed to those who can’t.
Drink slowly, eat your food, and enjoy a good conversation. And if you just drink out of habit and not because it’s alcohol, then order a bottle of water to go with.
I’m not saying that you have to stay dry all night, in fact, alcohol is a good idea. After all, alcohol is ‘courage in a bottle’ for you and likely for her. It’s great for loosening up and dropping defenses. However, if you drink to the point where you’re clearly acting the fool, being obnoxious, not walking properly, etc etc, then you’ve gone too far. Keep an eye on her body language - suddenly crossing her arms, not making eye contact, shoulders turned away from you, legs crossed and pointed away from you. These are all signs of defensive body language. If she’s exhibiting any of these, you’re doing it wrong. And….if you think you need alcohol to function better - well, then dating is clearly not your biggest problem.
YOU TRIED TO GET HER DRUNK (SH*TFACED, SHMAMMERED, WASTED)
Not only is this a major turn off, it might come off as cowardly. Not only will you make her nervous if you keep insisting that she drink more, you will likely never see her again because she’ll think of you as the creepy guy who thinks she’ll be a sure thing if she’s wasted.
Remember the defensive body language I described previously? Keep an eye out for it when you offer drinks. If she gets the remote impression that you have an ulterior motive to getting her drunk - you’re done. Remember, this is the first date. You should hardly know each other…and if your intention is to pursue a relationship with this person, getting them wasted on the first date can either be really good (makes for great stories?) or really bad.
Offer politely, don’t take ‘no’ personally, and most importantly, REMEMBER THE PREVIOUS GUIDELINE - that guideline goes both ways. If she gets wasted to the point where she can’t walk, it’s your responsibility. Just like she doesn’t want to be burdened by your lack of control, you probably don’t want to be burdened by hers. Be the evolved male, know where the limit is, get there and cruise from there.
YOU WERE TOO INTERESTED
She’ll likely smile when you tell her head is proportional to her body. She’ll appreciate that you think she’s beautiful. But if you say it more than once and she’ll be turned off.
Girls like to complimented, who doesn’t? But it’s a complete turn off to be overwhelmed with empty compliments - it’s downright cheesy for a guy to over-compliment a girl. Moderate your compliments, let her know what you appreciate but remember that she doesn’t need know everything you appreciate. Be so bold as to tell her why you felt the need to let her know - it shows character and thought rather than just superficiality.
For example, you could compliment her on how her earrings match her other accessories. She’ll blush and be flattered that you notice. Then you could go one step further and tell her that you noticed because her earrings happen to be your favourite colour…and that pink has a significant meaning to you. And that you like pink flowers because… (you know what I mean). If it’s interesting enough, she’ll carry the conversation by asking why pink is your favourite colour or why you have a thing for pink flowers. And if she’s asking questions, she’s showing interest!
Make any mention of the future, marriage or children, and she’ll be running faster than a fat kid after an ice cream truck. Remember:
a) this is the first date
b) that kind of crazy conversation is for the crazily desperate who are reaching deep
Keep the conversation light and interesting, and don’t dwell into anything that remotely resembles a commitment beyond a second date. If you do talk about the future, don’t be too heavy. Use humour to buffer and to get a reaction to see where she’s at in the conversation. If she doesn’t respond positively, it’s time to change topics.
Conversely, if she starts getting into marriage, what to name your kids, how to pay for the house, etc, it’s a red flag - proceed with caution if you’re ready for that. She might be testing you - she might be crazy. If you show your discomfort, she’ll know. Keep your cool, change the topic, and create a distraction (order drinks/food).
YOU GOT TOO SEXUAL TOO FAST
So she wore a low-cut top with ridiculously tight fitting jeans. Maybe she went with the short skirt that leaves little to the imagination. Either way, it’s your right to glance, but not stare. Remember, you are the evolved male - you are beyond deeper than simple superficiality. You’re smarter than to fall for simple tricks like that. No one will fault you for letting her know what you appreciate, but don’t overdo it.
What’s the alternative to staring at her chest? Eye-contact. You’ll score big points if you keep non-creepy eye-contact. It lets her know that you’re paying attention and you have interest in what she’s saying. How do you avoid the creepy eye contact - break eye contact once in a while of course! When she asks you a question, take a second to come up with a clever answer. Before you give your opinion, take a second to give it a thought. It’s that simple. It’s rude to stare, but it’s also rude to not pay attention.
If she starts the sex talk first, go for it. But don’t go overboard. Just because she makes a joke about doing the deed in the washroom doesn’t mean she’s giving you the greenlight! It’s likely that she’s testing and teasing you. She wants you to take the bait and get into the topic. You, being the evolved male, will comply of course. After all, sex is an awesome topic. You’ll use words to play and tease. Give her enough of what she wants (your attention) but show enough control so that she asks more of it - if she’s trying harder to get your attention, she’s yours.
Remember that just because she feels comfortable talking about sex doesn’t mean you’re gonna score tonight. She’s not greenlighting anything - she just feels comfortable talking about it. Keep it at that and use it to your advantage. Build the anticipation for the next date (assuming you get another one). Sex talk is like cologne - use enough and you’ll get the attention and the attraction, use too much and the girls will run.
So there you have it - some ideas and some guidelines to hopefully get you a second date.
It’s okay to be motivated by sex. There are lots of good things about sex. Endorphins are released. Stress levels goes down. You burn calories. The positives are endless. It’s also pretty much against your will.
Males have a natural tendency to mate with as many females as possible so as to ‘plant their seed’ and have many offspring. Now, am I condoning this behavior? Certainly not. Just Google image search ‘fail’ and you’ll find many examples of people who shouldn’t procreate. The point is that males, through no fault of their own and through centuries of evolution, are trained to mate with as many females as possible so as to ensure that the progeny continues to carry forward healthy genes.
On the other hand, females are to seek out that one good guy, the breadwinner, the guy that’ll take care of her offspring. The guy who’ll protect his family at all costs. The guy who is supportive, loving, and caring for his counter-part and his offspring.
She needs one guy to take care of her and her offspring. He needs many girls to satisfy his biological urges.
Does that seem fair?
There are few things that are more motivating than sex. Of course there are other things that motivate us to do what we do…but sex is probably the most interesting one. It’s also the one we spend the most time adhering to. Seriously - think about it.
Are you done? Still not convinced? How many hours have you spent at the gym? How many times do you consider denying yourself the pleasures of ‘unhealthy’ foods? How many hours have you spent in front of the mirror? How much money have you spent on skin care products? How about make up? How about hair care products?
The answer to all of the previous is probably ‘countless.’ But that’s okay! No need to feel guilty or ashamed. No one will hold it against you for wanting to better yourself so that you can attract a partner. In fact, I think we should encourage it. In an age where we encourage people to be who they want to be, do what they want to do, say what they want to say - why not encourage them to do who they want to do?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs illustrates the things that drive human motivation. Each one of us is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. We must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the bottommost, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself.
Where does sex fall into all this? Yep, right there at the basic level (bottom) with the other physiological stuff we need to survive.