May 27, 2009

Can you have too much attraction... and still be friends?

Meet Penn Badgley.... ummmmm. He's very hot. Blake is a lucky girl ;)

And where was i? Oh yes, so lately i've been wondering if it could ever work. The whole 'lets just be friends' thing. I can see it happening very firmly when at least one of the couple is not attracted to the other. Usually its the girl. We have this ability to switch off our 'desires' by way of a positive feedback mechanism. The less we get the less we want (and the opposite is true too) Makes it easy to become celibate, should you ever want to do that (and i have for a whole year, and it was not that hard actually).

But what if the two of you are still really, really attracted to each other, I mean clothes ripping, hair pulling, omg i can't stand the sexual tension kinda attraction? Hmmm ok imagine the scene. You're cool friends, you get on really well, you used to have a thing but now its over, you still hang out and still actually like hanging out. There are moments when it feels right... his hand on your waist, the lingering kiss on the cheek, the drunken flirting when you're together that gets everyone confused, even the both of you. What is with that? 

I remember seeing my long term ex for a catch up drink one night and the it amazed me, that after 6 months of not seeing or talking to each other, the attraction we had was still red hot. The connection was always amazing with him, and maybe thats why it hurt so much for me to learn to let it go. How did i deal with it? Well i cut him out of my life. Being that attracted to someone i didn't want to be with was frustrating and it ruined any type of friendship we were trying to cultivate. Friends don't kiss... end of.

I think its harder once you have known someone intimately. Especially for a girl. Our desires grow with comfort and familiarity. If we have been there before, it feels so right the next time that its hard to restrain yourself. Your body innately responds to his without your consent. You remember how it felt when he kissed you last, when he touched you... 

Compare that to a guy you've never let anywhere near your bed - you have nothing to draw on to fuel the fire. Its like starting from scratch in my experience. Even if you are majorly attracted, the 'devil you know' is always more of an allure. 

And in both cases... too much attraction is exactly what it is, although in my book its harder to go back to friendship once you have been a little more. 

So where do you draw the line? Well i'm loathe to remove anyone from my life who i actually like, no matter how much i hate the fact they make my knees weak at the slightest touch. And i think an unplanned drunken kiss between two ex-lovers is nothing to be shy about. I love kissing but not with just anyone, and who better to kiss than someone who does it well and knows my body as well as i do? And after that, i'm resolute enough to say no and mean it. 

And friendship? Well i used to be able to say yes, you can still be friends. In all those cases though, i found the guy became less attractive to me once we ended things (because i ended things). Except for my long-term ex, who turned me 180 degrees when i realised no you can't remain friends, because you had never been friends in the first place... and if there is still attraction, there is still something.

So in all honest truth? I'm not sure. The only thing i can say is if you can, kill the attraction you have for them. Which is easier said than done:

1) Spend less time with them. Out of sight, out of mind. Remove temptation if just for short while until your body forgets. Although i'm not sure if your body ever forgets. Just when i think its ok to test the water, i'm back to square one. On some level your body must become sensitised to the chemicals of the other person and all it takes is one moment alone and you're lost.

2) Imagine that they are gay/straight or just not available? I have this thing in my head where i place a guy into a 'friend-zone' box. It works better when they are not around though to mess things up. 

3) Find a distraction. This is the only cure i know that works. Go out and start dating. I find as soon as i'm all smitten with another guy, i've lost attraction for the 'friend'. 

And as for the answer to my question. I'll let you know...

More naked men pls....

One thing i'm a little tired of is reading men's blogs on dating and having to look at their pictures of naked women all the time. I can appreciate a girl with a nice ass.... i really can. But i can appreciate the male form so much better ;)

So i'm going to be posting my all time favourites for a while in my articles. Just to even things out:

Meet Justin Hartley. Also known as 'Oliver' or the 'The Green Arrow' in Smallville. And yes i only watch that show for three things, Tom Welling without a shirt on, Justin Hartley without a shirt on & the sci-fi fantasy storylines (i'm a geek what can i say. i love that stuff).

Sexy ripped abs & jeans? washing a cute dog? This is my dream guy...

May 25, 2009

An award i forgot about...

Thank you to The Novelista Barista for giving me an award. If u have a spare moment or two check out her blog. Its eye & word candy heaven ;)

Here are my award winners:
Sauce on the Side

Tudor City Girl

The goals of this award:
1)As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2)To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
3)Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4)Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
5)Answer the award's question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

Deep down I'm a creative @ heart even though i'm also a geek and logic and numbers rule my brain. I love blogging as i get to express my ideas, musings & theories somewhere, and even if no one reads them, at least i've written them down in digital... which lasts forever in my book.

6)Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
7)Don't forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Be the leading lady... not the supporting actress

One of my favorite films of all time is 'The Holiday'. Yes i have a weakness for guys that look like Jude Law with the personality of his character in the film ;) But i also love the scene where Authur tells Iris to get her act together:

Arthur Abbott: Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained things to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.

This speaks volumes to me. 

Not only do i have to be the leading lady in my own life but to any guy that comes along and wants my heart. Why? Well when someone tells you they are in love with someone else and ask you to play support, its an instant passion killer. I was once in love with a guy who still had a girlfriend. We worked together, and unavoidably we spent a lot of time together. I never noticed him when i first started working at the company but one day, a few months after my break up with the ex, i found i couldn't stop thinking about him.

All the girls fancied him. But i could never see it until i became single. Suddenly i wanted him. A waste of time? Yes probably... he was taken. And she was a lucky girl. I told him that when we kissed goodbye after one night where i let my heart rule my head. I was ashamed to say that i didn't feel any regret. He was the hottest and nicest most interesting guy i'd every worked with and the attraction was undeniable. He messed with my heart and my life for months afterwards. It got to the point where i left my job. Yes, never mix business with pleasure.... its not pretty. 

And so now i'm loath to play second fiddle. Even if that girl is not in his life anymore. His hang-ups just don't do it for me. I learned the hard way when i realised my boyfriend at the time was not over his ex when we started dating. I don't think he loved me any less, but when he brought her up time and time again, unable to let go... it pushed me away. I'm selfish. I don't like to share.

I know everyone has emotional baggage. And i have lost some loves in my life. Men i've shed tears over. But i would never compare any guy to one in the past. If i did i would not be moving on. I would be living in the world of 'what was and used to be'. And since i don't cling on to any past 'loves' i hardly tolerate a guy that does the same. Its one of my boundaries. I'm unforgiving of any guy that can't do what i can do. He has to be stronger not weaker. 

I'm also aware of how it can ruin the potential of anything with someone else, having not being able to let go of my own demons when it came down to it. But in the end i dealt with it. And once you can see light at the end of the tunnel... the getting over him/her is really not all that difficult. In fact, people do it everyday:

1) Realise what you remember is not exactly how things were. Time distorts memories. If they were truly that amazing and it was meant to be. You would be with them now. There are reasons why you never made it as a couple or reasons why you aren't moving forward. Remember what wasn't working? Why didn't flow? Don't forget love should be easy. Its not supposed to be hard work. If its negative now... whats it going to be like 20 yrs from now? Don't kid yourself that they were the only love of your life.

2) Don't consume yourself in a relationship, any relationship from the past or in something like a re-bound. Getting rid of emotional baggage takes time. Its not a race. Spend time out of the dating scene. Focus on you and your life, career, family etc. Be selfish. Do what makes you happy. Take a break from contacting your ex. Out of sight, out of mind.

3) Be open to new experiences like travelling or changing your life. It has an amazing way of opening you up sub-consciously to meeting someone new. Don't look for your ex in another person. You'll only repeat the same dramas all over and what you didn't like about your ex will come back to haunt you. Again theres a reason why you split. Accept it and move on.

"Movie Moment Kisses"... the 'spark' between two lovers, or just an acquired skill??

According to an article in Scientific American kissing conveys important information about the status and future of a relationship. The chemical & neurone messages triggered through the simple act of 'touching lips' releases an overload of emotional feelings, including sexual excitement, closeness, motivation & euphoria. 

Now on some level i think i already knew this ;) 

Kissing for me is the ultimate test. If he passes... there's not a lot i can do. I'm emotionally and physically hooked. Even if my mind says no, i just can't resist. Kissing for me in a relationship is like breathing. I will not date a guy if our kisses are far from fireworks. I just can't see how we would connect physically. Kissing is part of sex. So for the rest of it to be good... the warm up has to get my toes curling at least. It tells me if i'm attracted enough to a guy to be able to enjoy sleeping with him. And without that there is no relationship, just very good friendship.

The article supports my own theory that kisses between certain individuals are unique and while you might rate a kiss with one guy as a 10, a kiss with someone else would not release the same electric cocktail of hormones for her that give you that "movie moment rush". And it works both ways. They guy doing the kissing would feel the 'spark' with you more than her. Think of of your basic 'lock & key' analogy... you need to find the right key to fit your lock to unleash your emotions.

But can you learn to be the key that fits all? 

Well i've always been told i'm a good kisser. I tend to go slow and mirror his moves. But if he is a bad kisser i find my jaw aches from trying to slow him down or get his tongue out of my mouth.... So me being a good kisser on my own does not equal a movie moment kiss. It doesn't matter what skills i have or how good i am... he has to at least be equal in skill in that department. 

But even if he does know what he is doing... there are times i've gotten bored and started thinking of my shopping list for tomorrow. There was just no spark.

So what was missing?

Some of best, sparks included, have been in that moment when time stops, the world melts away, and nothing exists but the smell of his skin, the taste of his lips, and the feeling of a kiss that takes your breath away. I can't process any thoughts at a time like that. I'm not even aware of who i am. So If you have time to think of your technique then its not a "movie moment kiss". And if you've never had a kiss like that... then you so don't know what you're missing.

Scientifically we seek someone who is genetically compatible with us. Pheromones play a big part in animals sensing this genetic compatibility, hence the reason why certain 'pheromones' can appeal more to us than others. Findings have suggested that we sense pheromones with our nose. So its not just the kiss itself releasing chemicals, but also the smell of skin. And when we kiss, its pretty hard not to get close enough to become intoxicated with each other's unique chemical make-up, though only if it matches ours. Then we literally become addicted to each other. Nature's way of ensuring survival of the species.

Interestingly the article mentions that for females, oxytocin (the love drug) does not automatically increase as a result of kissing as it does for male. This suggests that girls need more than just a kiss to feel an emotional connection or get sexually excited. This is probably the reason why more than just a kiss for me is so important, and why i look for that connection or spark. It seems women use kissing to assess the level of emotional commitment as well, while men mainly use it to assess only the level of sexual intimacy. In a biological sense... a kiss for me tells me if a guy is likely to stick around, while a guy will use it to tell if you're willing to sleep with him. Good to know!

In a nutshell? For both sexes we need the right mix of pheromones to start off with. And for us girls, the mood and the escalation to the kiss is just as important as how you kiss. So if you're a straight guy you'd need to have more going for you than actual technique or you might just be giving the 'kiss of death' to your relationship every time you lean in to lock lips with your girl...

May 19, 2009

Its a turn-off when... "you are way too serious"

Most girls are emotionally in-tune. We want a guy who is in touch with his sensitive side. A guy who can talk about his feelings.

I've been there. And its frustrating when he avoids the issue, would rather enjoy the moment with you than open up and try to relate. Its hard work - there is something pressing that you just want to hash out. You want to talk through the options. You want to find out what he's thinking. You need to hear how he sees the situation. 

And we're used to our girlfriends who talk non-stop about themselves and the issues they are going through. So why can't we bond with a guy that way? Sure he may have poured his heart out before you dated... but now? He's a closed book that you just can't read. Never mind find out how it ends. 

But you know what really annoys me. When a guy is too serious. 

I had the grace to find a guy who's emotions were all over the place. And he wanted to talk about how he felt.. all the time. It got to a point when we couldn't just relax and laugh and eat dinner without him making an issue of how he felt when i passed him the salt. wft! Come on! I felt like the guy. I wanted him to just lighten up. Why was it so stressful all the time. Why did he have to turn everything in to drama... and everything into about him and how he felt? The world didn't revolve around him but when i was with him it felt that way. It was draining & boring. I spent less and less time with him. I did the guy thing and avoided his calls, kept my distance. It was just easier than admitting he was pushing me away. I was afraid he'd take it badly. And i was right. In the end he did. 

So whats my point in all this? Well it was strange for me to be in the role of a guy but it taught me some valuable lessons. No one likes being around too much drama all the time. Its hard work and its draining. Hence the reason why a cool guy will deflect your serious talk with banter and humour. And you may feel like he's avoiding the issue. Maybe he is. But there is a time and a place and there is a way to talk to a guy that doesn't make it seem like a chore.

So yes i can't stand ppl who take themselves to seriously. I love a guy who makes me laugh. A guy who can laugh at himself. A guy who doesn't read too much into what i say or what i do. A guy who is there when i need him to be. To show me what he can do for me instead of all that talk. After all... actions speak louder than words. 

And today i'm in one of those moods where everything keeps making me laugh. Yes i've got the giggles. I even got the grumpy guy behind the desk in reception to smile at me. 

Life is great like that... one smile and you get everything you wish for :)

May 18, 2009

Tell me one thing about yourself that not many people know?

This is my fave question when i'm with a guy i want to get to know better. 

"Tell me one thing about yourself that not many people know." 

You should hear the answers i get! One guy told me he liked dinosaurs. Another said if he told me I wouldn't like him anymore? but most of the time they just say.... "i don't think there is anything." boring. and men wonder why us girls stick to "oh so what is it you do?"

Anyway if a guy asked me. Here are a few i could choose from off the top of my head:

1) I always wear matching lingerie. Yes i do. Why? Well its sexy and i know that if i did ever have that "i want you right now big boy" moment. i'm prepared!

2) There is a blank canvas in my sitting room and i like it. I look at it every morning and remind myself "thats my life". No not blank.... but full of potential

3) I steal chocolate biscuits from my housemate Andrea's cupboard when he's not looking. Yes me. I'm guilty. But its better than buying a full packet all to yourself.

4) I sleep on one side of the bed and never move. The duvet is perfect when i wake up. I must sleep like a corpse?

5) I can do the Rubik's cube in 2min34 seconds

6) I write a very private blog that only a few read - no not this one ;)

7) I actually like tequila!

8) I practice strip-tease and erotic dancing most nights when i get undressed alone in my room just for fun. Never a dull moment...

9) I have a brown and double stripe white belt in karate - yeah don't mess with me...

10) I've played one of those super geeky D&D games with magic & levels etc once... and i kinda liked it

11) I once crashed into the back of a friend's car because i was looking in the mirror at my new haircut. but i lied at the time.

12) Sometimes i text and say i'm 2 minutes away when i'm actually just leaving my house.

And now to you tell me at least one thing about you that not many people know ;) I'm curious to see if that question is harder to answer than i thought....

May 15, 2009

When a guy doesn't call... after meeting you in a club/bar

Don't take it personally if he doesn't.

A guy can only really be attracted to you when he gets to know you on a emotional and intellectual level, and spends time with you developing fun-shared memories.

Physical attraction on its own is short-lived and doesn't work too well when you are out of sight. Why? because men have bad visual memories, a short attention span and can only focus on one thing at any one time... usually what is in front of them. That's why guys do porn and girls do erotic novels. We are good with our imaginations ;)

Common reasons for a guy not calling:

1) He didn't get to know you enough.... the real you! in like the 5 or 10 mins chat you had when u met in some dark, loud club
2) He's forgotten what you look like (drunk etc) so physical attraction won't keep him in interested anymore
3) He has a gf at home or some other girl has him hooked and getting your number was mainly an ego boost (all guys want to know they can pull hot girls)
4) He lost it or you missed a digit... (it happens!)

Also remember if we come from a place of abundance, there's always another 3/4 to take his place ;)

May 14, 2009

Is casual just a waste of time?

Sometimes a girl wakes up and realises that the situation is not going anywhere. She knew it at the start. She had fun. but deep down, it was never going to make her happy.

A guy i met recently who is so chilled and career focused right now that a relationship is off the cards, asked me last night "whats wrong with a girl and guy just being friends".

Me: friends who sleep together?
J: yeah. Why not? Wats wrong with that?
Me: I think if a girl is ok with it. She knows the score and is happy that it won't go anywhere then yeah why not. But most girls believe that it will. And the difference between men and women then comes into play. Basically girls can't distance themselves emotionally for too long. Any longer than 6 months and I think she'll get hurt.
J: I see. And she can't just take it for what it is and enjoy it?
Me: Not if she's a girl you would want to spend time with and have respect for. Being with a guy for just sex is a high price to pay if she has standards and her needs are not being met at all. I think short term she can handle it, any longer and she is hoping for more and too weak to cut it loose. Maybe a guy would abuse that trust and give her false hope but if she's wanting to be with him I hope for her sake he's not that type of guy.

For any girl considering this situation and wanting the end result to be a relationship I will say one thing, it’s a lost cause. Only go into the 'friends with benefits' situation if you are strong enough to:

- walk away when it's over
- don't see it as long term
- it suits you now because you don't want that level of commitment yourself

In the past I've only ever been in this type of situation twice.

First time was a joke - I was young and stupid and thought we he liked me enough to want more. It lasted three months before I got my act together and ditched the time-waster.

The second time - I knew that he didn't want anything serious and I stressed I was unable to handle anything casual. In the end I knew what I was doing and went into the situation with my eyes open. No expectations. This time was better. I able to handle it more and because it was lifestyle choice (needing space and freedom myself) it was the best fun I've had in years ;)

So I'm not saying a girl should not try it once in a while. But she has to be in the right place of mind. She must not 'want' anything more with this guy. Once she starts feeling that she does… it's time to get out if he doesn't want the same, before its too late.

Rules of the game:

1) Protect yourself first. This isn't a relationship so you owe him nothing. Put your needs first not his. Although for a girl this is the hardest thing to do. We love to 'care' for our men but save all that nurturing love for a guy that deserves it. This player will only respect you less.

2) Set your boundaries and make it clear what you want from this. Don't let him flake on you or f*ck you about. You are not his sex toy. If he doesn't treat you with enough respect as he would a friend… call him out on his bad behaviour or get rid ladies.

3) Don't play make believe and see things progressing beyond what you have now. He isn't. He's a guy and what isn't broken doesn't need fixing. Just enjoy your time with him while you have it.

4) Don't make more demands or try to play mind games. You have allowed this situation to develop. He is comfortable with what you have accepted and set down in step 2. You can't change the rules halfway through.

5) Don't just leave the emotions at home, actually let them go. The key to being happy is how you precieve things. You can't be the victim if you chose to play this game. You will only lose. Understand that this is the fun before you have to settle. Can't do this when your old and grey ;)

6) Get out early. On a high note or after a period of not seeing him for a while when you are stronger. Don't keep it going until someone else comes along or until he gets bored of you. This way you will feel in control and happy with your choice.

7) Try not to repeat the situation with a new guy (or same guy) straight after. If you're wanting out then i guess its because you want more. Don't be a fool and go back because its easy or into a similar set up. Stick to what your guns otherwise yes… you'll have just wasted your time.

May 10, 2009

Tomorrow will take care of itself...

Here is a story i read recently by my favorite author 'Paulo Coelho':

I am invited to go to Guncan-Gima, the site of a Zen Buddhist temple. When I get there, I am surprised to see that the extraordinarily beautiful building, which is situated in the middle of a vast forest, is right next to a huge piece of waste ground.

I ask what the waste ground is for and the man in charge explains:

‘That is where we will build the next temple. Every twenty years, we destroy the temple you see before you now and rebuild it again on the site next to it. This means that the monks who have trained as carpenters, stonemasons and architects are always using their practical skills and passing them on to their apprentices. It also shows them that nothing in this life is eternal and that even temples are in need of constant improvement.’

I love that in just a few words he can explain something undeniably profound. Nothing lasts forever and accepting this is the only way to live your life in ultimate freedom. I'm talking of taking risks - starting that new job, travelling to a new country, asking that hot guy out etc... if you are afraid then the only prison holding you back is of your own making. 

And the key to freedom? Accepting that nothing in life is eternal. All we can do is enjoy today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

May 9, 2009

Why she is always miserable and he doesn't seem to care....

I'm fresh off the phone from explaining the difference between how men and women react to stress in relationships and the bad behaviours they prefer when they care about the situation. 

I say 'prefer' because sometime the roles reverse.... but most of the time, a girl gets visibly upset (crying, moaning, angry etc), and the guy gets distant (silence, coldness, defensive etc). These tools we use to get our way, to get attention or to just deal with our feelings can happen almost sub-consciously. And before we know it we have alienated the one we love so quickly and effectively that its no wonder all my friends say they 'don't understand the opposite sex'.

Now i'm a girl and since i noticed my 'bad behaviour' i've been more aware of how it affects the men in my life. 

Here's a breakdown of a typical female 'needy' reaction:

What - Emotion overload... crying, thinking 'poor me' and 'he doesn't care', getting depressed, sulking, nagging, slagging him off to her friends, moaning or getting mean and angry

Why - To get attention or 'caring' reaction to feed her ego. To see if the guy really cares.

When - In a stressful situation she can't control. To force the issue and confront it head on so the neediness is satisfied by drama

Outcome - Arguments & ultimatums

How to deal with it - A guy shouldn't pander to her sulks or crying with a hug or approval seeking behaviour. It will just reward her tantrums. Instead acknowledge she is upset, and tell her you understand why she reacting that way. Tell you care but you're not willing to talk about it until later (agree a time in neutral territory) when you are both calmer

Now i understand this behaviour as it used to be mine. I know how it feels to want answers, to wish the guy would open up and just talk to me about the way he feels. Its like a steam engine... once it starts to build up momentum its hard to extract yourself from the crime scene with dignity. You have to kill the emotion dead at the first stirrings of 'doubt' and 'self-pity'. I find it very hard to do, mainly because my emotions lay just beneath the surface. I feel first and think later.

Now when a guy gets stressed he can have a completely different 'bad behaviour'. One that us girls don't understand. Because we don't react like that when we care about the situation, so why do men? This is the downfall of communication in a relationship. The women thinking the man doesn't care because he reacts differently. The fact is men don't react the same way... they react in a polar opposite. It doesn't mean they aren't affected by the issue or care less. It just means that they do care but they don't know how to handle their feelings in a mature way yet. 

Here is a breakdown of a typical male 'needy' reaction:

What - Emotional shutdown... silent treatment, abrasive or flippant remarks, sulking, getting busy with work/x-box, seeking time alone, not listening and getting defensive. 

Why - To get attention, feed his ego, or put off having to deal with it right now and hoping it will go away.

When - In stressful situation he can't control. When he needs time to think and make the right choice. When he doesn't know what to think. 

Outcome - Cold fronts & Miscommunication.

How to deal with it - A girl shouldn't start to doubt that he cares or ask him 'whats wrong'. The first will lead to a build up of negative emotion which can erupt sooner or later. The latter will draw attention to the fact that you are sensitive to there being 'a problem', and he may deny it and you'll look and feel stupid for over-reacting. Best advice. Leave him be. Ignore it and then later when he is back to normal ask him in a calm, curious manner, if anything was on his mind lately. If he denies it then point out that you noticed his rudeness/coldness or lack of attention and how it made you feel and kinda upset you, but nothing you couldn't handle. Next time though maybe he could clarify what is going on inside his mind so you don't jump to conclusions?

So how to deal with stress so you don't fall into the behaviours above? Well honesty is a good start, and willingness to communicate, and it has to come from a place of reason and understanding of the other. You wouldn't fly off the handle or get cold and aloof with a colleague at work would you? And in a way a relationship is like a business. You both have needs and they need to be met and compromise negotiated. So in a stressful situation i like to try a method that works in any situation. I've stolen it from material on emotional intelligence (EI), a course i attended last year for work actually!

1) Be aware of how your behaviour affects others and the way they feel.

2) What do you feel and are you expressing it in an intelligent way to convey that feeling?

3) Stop thinking of what you want and what you need and instead focus on the needs and wants of the other person. Put yourself in their position.

4) Try to understand why they are reacting/behaving a certain way and communicate that you are trying.

5) Realise they will behave differently from you so don't compare to what you know and can make sense of. They are not you.

6) Now ask them to understand where you are coming from and convey your feelings.

7) Do not let your emotions overwhelm or control you. A reasonable response to any situation will always get the other person's respect. 

May 7, 2009

Inside the mind of a guy... "she just wants a boyfriend"

A few of my friends are in the first flush of dating a guy they really like. They tell me they have a great time together and he seems is really into her, but something he said recently was a little off…. like "I know you just want a boyfriend…" or "I'm no good for you…" or even "Lets just take things slow".

And as you can imagine my friends asked me why. It wasn't like they wanted to speed things up? And surely she can make her own choice about whether a guy is good enough for her? And most girls, who have an ounce of intelligence, do not want just any guy to be their boyfriend. They are selective. They are dating to assess if the guy is a loser or not and if they want him to hang around.

Speaking from experience. I can't even consider having a guy to be my boyfriend unless
1) I care about him
2) I like & respect the guy

I can't develop the emotional attachment enough to care or know if I like who he is a person if I don't get to spend time with him and 'just' date for a period first.

Unfortunately there are a lot of girls out there who do "just want a boyfriend". They are looking for the security of someone to look after them. They need men in their life and usually they are never without a guy in tow. The qualities they look for are power, status & money. And maybe looks if she can afford to be picky. I call these women 'table hawks'… because they are the girls that gravitate towards tables in nightclubs. They collect free drinks from men like badges of honour. And they use sex as barter to get what they want. Its these girls that give men the impression that any girl worth having comes with a unforgiving price tag…
So in the mind of guy… all women want boyfriends. And we only want him for the things he can provide, like his job prospects (because we may not have any of our own?), his status in his social circle or his looks (because we want him for show and to make us look good?) and his money (because we all want a guy to pay?).

It suddenly makes you realise why a guy goes to so much effort to develop these things. He thinks that is all he is to us. A meal ticket to a better life. And hence the reason why he'd rather 'not' be your boyfriend and just be friends who sleep together instead. Being a 'boyfriend' comes with responsibility and well as the commitment. And you must so be worth it if he's going to give you all of that… and he won't know if you are after just 2-3 dates.

Now us girls. We are creatures who 'feel' first. We just want to have a deep connection with a guy. We want to fall in love. We want a guy who gets us, who understands us, respects & appreciates us. A guy who makes us feel sexy and safe. Someone we can care for yet doesn't need us. A guy who makes us laugh. A guy with a good heart who will treat us right. Yes… we want the fairytale and we think we find it… often.

Imagine this. You're a girl. You just met a guy and the way he makes you feel is amazing. There's this connection you have, he understands you, he seems really into you, he's charming, funny, sweet... and you suddenly think 'I feel like I've known him all my life'. You start to imagine a life together. He seems perfect. And so you ask him 'where is this going' or you act like 'he is the One'.

Now this is dangerous! What you are feeling is not 'love'. It is a chemical reaction (oxytocin etc) to how he makes you feel when you are around him. Sure you like him as a person but you can't really know a him after a few dates. It takes time to develop a 'real' connection & understanding. Now I call this 'emotional attachment'. And most girls (or guys) can slip into one very easily if they are in touch with their emotions. Most men on the other hand do not develop this as much in the beginning and come from a place of physical attraction, logic and reason rather than 'feelings' when they are dating. Usually this logic/reason is thinking that the only reason you want him to be your boyfriend (because seriously you can't know him that well yet) is because of what he can provide. See the miscommunication here?

So my advice? Well girls I can only tell you what I've researched and what I've tried, tested and what worked:

1) Think like a guy. Ignore your emotional feelings for him. They are not true. Instead assess his qualities as he is assessing yours. Is he worth all the trouble of committing and the added responsibility? Is he a guy you can respect and like? What do you like about him? What drives you crazy? Why should you date him? Does he want to fit within your boundaries? Take your time. Have fun. Its not a race.

2) Communicate & feel hesitancy. Let him know you still aren't sure if he meets the mark. Tell him what you value in a guy and what your boundaries are from day one. Let him rise to meet the challenge of making you his. I say 'feel' as well because you can't fake something you don't feel. Change the way you think, go back to step one.

3) Compliment him & show affection. When I ask my friends if they tell their guy what they like about him… they say they don't. This is a shock to me. I mean the poor guy. No wonder he's confused and wonders why you are with him. Now I'm not saying lie. You have to be honest. But there's nothing needy with telling a guy what makes your world spin, especially if he's the one that does it. It actually sub-communicates a powerful message that you know what you like and you're not afraid to express it. I always tell a guy how he makes me feel. That I find him sexy or that I love the way he cares about his friends and his generosity. If he has a skill, focus on it and tell him you think he's amazing at it. Tell him you love the way his hair curls at the back. Tell him his kisses drive you crazy. Tell him you love his addiction to buying potted plants…. Basically open up and tell him all the things you would normally write in your diary or dissect with your girlfriends on the phone. And touch him like you can't keep your hands off him. Massage his shoulders while he sits on the computer. Grab him in for an unexpected kiss. Show him how he makes you feel. Trust me the guy will lap it up and feel there is another reason you keep him around…. And its not anything to do with his bank account or the letters after his name.

Now I'm not saying this is a way to ensure you will get a boyfriend! This post is not about that…. this is about reminding girls out that not every guy you date would make a good boyfriend, even if he seems to good to be true. Know your boundaries (e.g. exclusivity, commitment, quality time) and stick to them, because only then will you be happy with your choices. You don't even have to use the label 'boyfriend' if he is already agreeing to your boundaries unless of course you want to. For me the boundaries are there to stop me getting hurt by a guy I choose to spend time with... not to ensnare a husband.

And a note to the boys out there… I apologize if you don't think this way. You are amazing and very emotionally mature if you understand why women behave the way they do. We wish more men could be like you ;)

May 4, 2009

How do you define your success?

One of the things i used to love to do is gallop my horse on the beach. Unlike riding in the countryside it is without limitations. For a few seconds you have absolutely no control. You are free to go as fast as your ride can take you. The speed is breath-taking. The feeling is exhilarating. The moment is yours...

Recently i've been looking back at how i used to define my success, and how i was going to achieve it:

When i was a child and growing up i wanted to be a vet. To make my parents proud and have a career doing something loved. I was going to do well at school. Pass all my exams. Excel at study and use my brain to its fullest potential. I wanted to be different. I wanted to prove that i was more.

At college it was my social status on campus. To be the girl that every guy wanted and every girl wanted to be. I wanted to be popular, fashionable, and have it all... a regular modern-day princess. I was going to make friends and be outrageous. Dress to impress and party hard. I wanted to be different. I wanted to prove i had always been more.

In my longest relationship I wanted to be a wife & a mother. Living together was not enough. I wanted to look after the person i loved so much that he would depend on me. I wanted to be his partner, his lover, his best friend all in one. I wanted his devotion and adoration. I wanted to care for him like no one ever did and make him happy. I cooked, cleaned and anticipated his needs. I was there when he lost everything, and stood by him when he got it all back. I wanted us to be different than the rest. I wanted to prove i could keep him.

When my career took off and i began to have faith in myself, i wanted to be rich and highly skilled in anything and everything. I wanted to make a name for myself and feel the security the high value life could bring. I began collecting talents to give myself depth. I started reading & researching everything i could find on whatever had taken my fancy that month. I took a lot on. I created business projects that would work. I planned my path to making millions. I set goals and met them with satisfaction. I knew i would be different. I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

And now? whats this got to do with horse-riding on a beach? Well now my success is not defined by what i know, who i am, who loves me or what i have.... 

i realise i've grown-up a lot in the last year of getting to know myself and i no longer feel the pressure to do any of the things i wanted in the past. In fact there is no hurry. I am exactly where i should be in my life right now. No further a head or behind. I am content to just be. And those things that i felt i wanted or needed so badly. I can have them in a blink of an eye. I can have them all. In fact i already have them. But the key is to know that and live your life like it doesn't matter. I remember i am different. And proof is not needed.

My success is now defined by the answers to the questions i ask myself everyday:

"Do you live wisely? Do you make good choices. Do you love first and foremost? And do you seek to help others to know success too?"

Riding on the beach is a good example of the best way to answer. It's the intense moments we make that will enable us to say "yes... i do". My rule is this. If it makes you happy then go for it. Sort out the logistics later, or not at all ;)

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