eHarmony Advice http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice Dating Advice and Relationship Advice Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:22:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Feel Good About Dating http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/how-to-feel-good-about-dating/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/how-to-feel-good-about-dating/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:22:23 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30321 Let’s pause for a moment, and think about how you would describe your experience of dating. What’s the emotion that the word “dating” brings up for you? What experiences, past or present do you think about? Each person brings a different perspective to dating. Yours is based on what you’ve been through, what you’re feeling […]

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Let’s pause for a moment, and think about how you would describe your experience of dating. What’s the emotion that the word “dating” brings up for you? What experiences, past or present do you think about?

Each person brings a different perspective to dating. Yours is based on what you’ve been through, what you’re feeling about your dating situation currently, and what your hopes are for your future. What I have noticed, however, is that sometimes when we get too entrenched in what we already know or feel about dating, it can do a disservice to our dating future.

When clients come to me and are either stuck in a dating rut, not meeting the right type of people, or are out of the dating game completely, here are some things we work on. Perhaps it will be helpful for you, too.

Knowing you are worthy, lovable, and special. Past experiences can be hurtful. Maybe people along the way have made you feel unworthy or unlovable. Perhaps you’ve never felt the type of love you long to have. Maybe you’ve told yourself that there is something wrong with you, or that you’re flawed. You are not flawed. Every piece of who you are is worth loving and being loved. Please know that.

Take care of yourself. Physically and emotionally, taking care of yourself is so important in dating. It signifies to you and your dating partners that you see yourself as someone of worth and of value. If you’ve been neglecting yourself in any way, make an effort to reach out to someone who can help — a friend, family member, therapist – and make an effort to replenish the areas in need.

Feeling confident in what you have to offer. Along with knowing that you deserve love, another key component is knowing that you have a lot to offer someone else. The kind of caring partner you will be, the fun and energy you bring, or the intelligence and insight you possess. When you are ready and willing to share all of the good things you have to offer, dating feels good again.

The attitude you bring in. When someone is anxious about dating, fears being hurt, or doesn’t think anyone will live up to their standards, it can bring with it a sense of being closed off, unavailable, or uninterested. When you can push yourself — despite some fears or apprehension — to be open, positive, and willing to engage with your date, that will shine through to your dating partner. It comes through in interactions you have with others, and spills over into how you feel about yourself. It’s a positive cycle that helps you open you up to believing in love and trust and good relationships.

Balance partner criteria with openness. This one is tricky. On one hand, it’s a really good idea to have a general idea what you want in terms of a partner: values, life path, traits and characteristics, the type of relationship you want to have. What happens, though, is that so often we don’t know with whom those particular ideas will flourish with. We may think that “the One” will look or be a certain way; our mind predicts or conjures up what exactly it is we think is best. And yet, we can’t really predict who we’ll meet or what will work out. That’s the mystery and the excitement of it. So instead of having too closely defined images of “the One”, approach dating looking to share positive experiences with the other person. When the right fit is there, it’s likely they’ll fit your criteria for an ideal partner, but will surprise you as well.

Reframing this period in your life. Each period of your life is unique. You’ll never have this particular time in your life again; life is ever shifting and ever changing. By embracing the here and now, it helps you come to love and accept what you already have in your life. It’s a natural human quality that we’re always thinking about what’s next and what will be. The next job, the next girlfriend or boyfriend, and so on. But by savoring the idea of being single and dating, by being content and enjoying it, you will find yourself at peace with the here-and-now.

Allowing yourself to feel what you feel. And then be willing to try again. Being lonely and not having anyone to go out with can feed hopelessness. Having to break it off with someone new who doesn’t feel quite right can be really hard. Being heartbroken when someone you really liked turns out to be very different than what you thought can be crushing. All of these feelings are normal, and it’s okay to feel discouraged or hurt in dating. And yet, we can’t let those negative experiences define our future dating prospects. Give yourself a clean slate as you move forward. Life and dating have ups and downs, that much we know. Though we can’t predict how the future will go, make room for the possibilities of all good things in your love life that will be there, too.

Feeling good about dating is about bringing a level of self-awareness; an awareness of what you have to offer, of your own worth, of what you must do to take care of yourself, and of who you are SingleShyLookingforLoveMECH.inddright now. Add to that a willingness to share the best parts of yourself — those inner qualities of warmth, or caring, spontaneity or sharp wit — and dating feels fresh, fun, and exciting again.

About the Author:

Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and author. Her work has been featured in Redbook, Men’s Health Magazine, Shape.com, and Scientific American MIND, and she is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post. She is the author of Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating Guide for the Shy and Socially Anxious and When Depression Hurts Your Relationship. Follow her on Twitter @DrShannonK. 

 

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How to Defend Against Five Emotional Vampires http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/how-to-defend-against-five-emotional-vampires/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/how-to-defend-against-five-emotional-vampires/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:24:31 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30315 Emotional vampires wear many different disguises–from workplace bullies to needy relatives to poor-me complainers. Intentionally or not, these people can make us feel depressed, overwhelmed, defensive, wiped out, and angry. Without effective self-defense strategies to keep them at bay, victims of emotional vampires sometimes develop unhealthy behaviors and symptoms, such as overeating, isolating, mood swings, […]

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Emotional vampires wear many different disguises–from workplace bullies to needy relatives to poor-me complainers. Intentionally or not, these people can make us feel depressed, overwhelmed, defensive, wiped out, and angry.

Without effective self-defense strategies to keep them at bay, victims of emotional vampires sometimes develop unhealthy behaviors and symptoms, such as overeating, isolating, mood swings, or feeling fatigued. They also get drawn into unhealthy relationships.

Here are five common types of emotional vampires we often encounter, adapted from the book The Ecstasy of Surrender, along with some “silver bullet” tips for fending them off.

Type #1: The Passive-Aggressive Person. This type of vampire expresses anger with a smile or exaggerated concern–but always maintains their cool. They are experts at sugar-coating hostility.

Self-Defense Tips: Let go of self-doubt and trust your gut reactions. Tell yourself that you deserve to be treated more lovingly. Address their behavior. In a calm, firm tone you might say, “I would greatly appreciate it if you can be on time when we go out to dinner.” If nothing changes, keep setting limits with this person and scale back on the time you spend with them.

Type #2: The Narcissist. For this vampire, everything is about them. They are ego-centric, self-important, and starved for admiration and attention. They may be charming and intelligent–until their guru status is threatened.

Self-defense Tips: Enjoy their good qualities, but have realistic expectations. Their motto is “me-first,” so getting angry or stating your needs won’t have any effect on them. Beware of this type, because narcissists lack empathy and are incapable of unconditional love. You may be able to get their cooperation, however, by appealing to their self-interest and showing them how your request will benefit them.

Type #3: The Anger Addict. This vampire deals with conflict by accusing, attacking, humiliating, or criticizing. Some anger addicts withhold things, or resort to using the silent treatment to punish you.

Self-defense Tips: Don’t let their anger wear down your self-esteem. Pause when agitated. Take a few slow breaths to relax, and do not respond until you are in a centered place. Try to stay neutral and balanced, and disarm the person by agreeing with them or acknowledging their position. Then state your case. It’s also useful to empathize with anger addicts. Ask yourself what pain or inadequacy makes them so angry.

Type #4: The Guilt Tripper. These types are world-class blamers, martyrs, and drama queens. They know how to make you feel bad about something by pressing your insecurity buttons.

Self-defense Tips: Let go of the notion that you have to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you feel really guilty, find a private place and let yourself cry. You can also reply with a positive statement such as, “I can see your point of view. But when you say ___, my feelings are hurt. I’d be grateful if you didn’t keep repeating it.”

Type #5: The Gossip. These busybodies delight in talking about others behind their backs, putting them down, and spreading catty rumors. When they do this, everyone around them feels slimed.

Self-defense Tips: Don’t worry about what this person thinks about you, and don’t take gossip personally. Rise to a higher place and ignore it. However, you may be able to get them to stop by saying, “Your comments are hurtful. How would you like it if others talked about you like that? Please stop saying these things about me.” If you’re in a group, change the subject. Also, never share information with a gossip.

 

Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine and USA Today.

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15 Reasons to Date a Golfer http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-golfer/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-golfer/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:35:27 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30310 If you are a golfer yourself, you already know many of the qualities—physical, mental, emotional—that lead to greatness on the course. If you don’t golf, you may have formed impressions from TV and movies: it’s a boring game, duffers ride around in carts, angry people throw clubs into the lake, the men wear plaid pants […]

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If you are a golfer yourself, you already know many of the qualities—physical, mental, emotional—that lead to greatness on the course. If you don’t golf, you may have formed impressions from TV and movies: it’s a boring game, duffers ride around in carts, angry people throw clubs into the lake, the men wear plaid pants and funny hats.

Save the stereotypes for the weekend hackers. The truth is, golfers who take the game seriously have numerous characteristics that would translate well into dating relationships. Consider these:

1. Golfers know that handicaps are a part of life and people shouldn’t be judged because of them.

2. They know that consistency leads to greatness. That’s certainly true with romantic relationships.

3. Golfers know how to deal with frustration … and lots of it.

4. Their mindset is to compete against themselves to improve. You want someone who is going to support you in all things, and not compete with you.

5. Golf requires significant focus and concentration. These qualities lead to success in other areas of life.

6. Golfers strive for emotional balance—a combination of energy and equanimity. Who wouldn’t want that quality in a dating partner?

7. They know how to make conversation. Only a small portion of a three to four hour game is spent whacking the ball, so there’s lots of time for small talk.

8. Golf emphasizes mental toughness. As legend Bobby Jones said, “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course—the distance between your ears.”

9. Golfers know that small things (two-foot putts) matter as much as big things (long drives off the tee). Skilled lovers know the same thing.

10. They know there will be good days and bad days.

11. Golfers understand they must forget mistakes and move on if they’re going to succeed. That’s a good principle for relationships as well.

12. Golf reinforces punctuality. Players take tee time seriously. In fact, tournament competitors are usually disqualified if they are late.

13. You’ll be introduced to a colorful new dialect. You will learn words like “waggle” and “wormburner,” and you’ll discover that “overclubbing” doesn’t mean spending too much time at dance venues.

14. Committed golfers are in it the long haul, since instant success is rare. You definitely want a partner like that.

15. If you take up golf too, you’ll be spending countless hours together in pristine park-like settings. Not a bad way to nurture romance.

Why else would one want to date a golfer?

 

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Why Does Love Last for Some, and Not Others? http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/why-does-love-last-for-some-and-not-others/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/why-does-love-last-for-some-and-not-others/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:57:44 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=25357 Unless you are dating just for fun — for companionship, laughs, excitement — then chances are you’ve asked yourself the question at the top of this page. If you desire an enduring, stable, fulfilling relationship, you want to know exactly what fortifies love year after year. That’s a critical question, because as we look at […]

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Unless you are dating just for fun — for companionship, laughs, excitement — then chances are you’ve asked yourself the question at the top of this page. If you desire an enduring, stable, fulfilling relationship, you want to know exactly what fortifies love year after year.

That’s a critical question, because as we look at the society we live in, we see clear evidence that very often love DOESN’T last. If you’ve been deeply hurt by a marriage that ended badly — your own, your parents’, your friends’ — you want to do everything you can to create conditions for lasting love in your next relationship. The good news is that you can take much of the guesswork and wishful thinking out of the lasting-love equation.

For the past three decades, Dr. John Gottman has studied romantic relationships (especially marriages) up close and personal at his “Love Lab” in Seattle. After examining thousands of relationships, both stable and unstable, he has identified several key components that make love last. One ingredient stands out above all the rest, the very glue that holds together every long-term, loving relationship. It is — drum roll, please — trust.1

In fact, you’ve probably heard about the importance of trust, and maybe you too would rank it at or near the top of your own most-essential list. But the question remains: How exactly do you evaluate a person’s trustworthiness? How can you accurately assess if someone can truly be trusted? Thankfully, Dr. Gottman provides five specific criteria:

Honesty. Do not trust someone who lies to you. Too often we come up with excuses for the other person. It was a misunderstanding. She had her reasons. It wasn’t that bad. It was only one time. Take a clear-eyed look: Has this potential lover ever deceived you? Have you witnessed him or her lying to others? Do you find yourself questioning the veracity of what he or she says and then talking yourself out of your doubts? If so, move on.

Transparency. A partner’s life should be an open book, without secrets. Make sure this new person invites you to meet friends, family, colleagues, and also confides in you about major stresses, ambitions, goals. When you ask, “Where have you been?” he or she should answer without hesitation.

Accountability. Is there proof that this potential partner keeps promises? Are you able to check the details of any significant transactions with others, financial or otherwise? Do not trust someone who remains vague or unreachable about these issues. It’s best to be suspicious of people who say “Just trust me” in response to a specific question. Trustworthy people don’t feel the need to tell you what to think.

Ethical Actions. Does this person display just and fair conduct with consistency? Does he or she express and demonstrate values in tune with your own? If you’re not comfortable with someone’s morals, do not continue the relationship.

Proof of Alliance. Any potential mate should demonstrate being on your side and having your back — even in small ways. You want evidence that he or she does not operate out of sheer self-interest nor form coalitions against you. You want proof that he or she takes your interests to heart. It is a wonderful sign if someone demonstrates selflessness toward you.

If you subject people you meet to this clear-eyed assessment, you will gain confidence in your ability to size up others and determine if a potential partner has the trustworthiness to make love last.

1. John Gottman and Nan Silver, “What Makes Love Last?” (Simon & Schuster, 2012).

eH+Ashsuit09102014-15About Ashley and eH+:

eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Ashley can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

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True or False: ‘Before You Can Be Happy with Someone Else, You Have to Be Happy by Yourself.’ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/true-or-false-before-you-can-be-happy-with-someone-else-you-have-to-be-happy-by-yourself/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/true-or-false-before-you-can-be-happy-with-someone-else-you-have-to-be-happy-by-yourself/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:45:38 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30293 Have you ever been told you haven’t found love because you need it too much? That you have to be happy by yourself first? Or have you said these things to yourself? These myths sound so plausible. It’s actually true that we can’t love others more than we love ourselves, and we need to love […]

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Have you ever been told you haven’t found love because you need it too much? That you have to be happy by yourself first? Or have you said these things to yourself?

These myths sound so plausible. It’s actually true that we can’t love others more than we love ourselves, and we need to love ourselves so we can absorb someone else’s love for us.

But the belief that you have to be happy alone to be happy with someone else is not the same idea. You can love yourself and still need people—including one life partner. In fact, it is human to do so.

As a species, we developed in context with other human beings. People did not evolve in isolation. There may have been some folks in ancient times who plunked their babies down on the ground, then wandered off, but it’s likely those kids didn’t become our ancestors. They became lunch!

The very dependence of human babies may be the reason two adults need one another so much. Our children are born so undeveloped, they take years to reach self-sufficiency. Many scientists say the sexual bond between parents needs to last not only long enough to create life—but to sustain it. No wonder reliance on friends, family, and community is not enough to create lasting happiness for most people most of the time; we’re wired up to find intimacy in partnership.

Today, the world is populated by people who need people.

I remember when my daughter, then six, came running in the door, breathless to tell me what she’d learned in school that day: “Mom, did you realize people *need* love? They don’t just want it. They *need* it. Like air!”

Yes. Being alone isn’t good for us. For most, singlehood is actually a noteworthy danger to mental health and life itself. Men who stay single or divorce, for instance, have about six times greater odds of death from all causes compared to married men. Even if you consider other factors, like money and gender and whether folks were married before, singletons have many struggles that marriage appears to ease.

Yesterday, I was out walking when a neighbor, a man in his late 90s, drove up. He held out a shaking hand to grasp mine as he told me his beloved wife had died the day before. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I know she’s the love of your life,” I said. He nodded, big tears rolling down his face: “We were very much in love. I miss her so.”

Other people’s opinion and treatment of us never stops mattering. Connection never becomes irrelevant. A need for intimacy is a genuine need, and when people meet that need, it improves our lives. It is not only against scientific finding, but flat-out weird to think that we ever stop needing others, including needing one special person.  

Indeed, you get closer to truth when you reverse the “happy alone” myth: In order to be happy with yourself, it helps to connect with another. Instead of shaming others who admit to wanting love, we should support them in their search.

Script to confront this harmful myth:

“I am a person, and people are wired to need other people. It’s perfectly natural and even healthy to want one special love in my life. I deserve to give and receive love~with pride, not shame.”

LoveFactually-Final-CoverAs one Wise Reader put it, “I always knew in my heart that my true happiness required not being alone. I always knew I wanted and needed to love and be loved. My problem was how to find it.”

He had it right. You can learn to find love. First, though, give yourself permission, sans shame.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, coming in January, 2015.  She also contributes at Psychology Today and teaches psychology at Austin-area universities.  Get a free chapter of Love Factually!

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15 Ways to Make an Ordinary Day Extraordinary http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-make-an-ordinary-day-extraordinary/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-make-an-ordinary-day-extraordinary/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:00:42 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30283 Most of us look forward to big events — birthdays, job promotions, a party — to consider a day very special. That makes sense. But the danger in waiting for momentous events is that we might miss the simple joys and delights of ordinary days. Here’s a reminder that each day can be extraordinary if […]

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Most of us look forward to big events — birthdays, job promotions, a party — to consider a day very special. That makes sense. But the danger in waiting for momentous events is that we might miss the simple joys and delights of ordinary days.

Here’s a reminder that each day can be extraordinary if we will be intentional and make a little effort. Try these:

1. Stop and look around. There’s something you’ve been passing by each day without really noticing—the statue on the street corner or the mural on the side of that old building. Today’s the day to notice.

2. Do something childlike. Finger paint, climb on a jungle gym, make s’mores, read your favorite children’s book—let your inner kid loose for a while.

3. Meditate, or at least pause to think. In our fast-paced world, we need to be deliberate about stopping to ponder and process.

4. Make someone’s day. Give a surprise gift to a child you know. Buy a sandwich for a homeless person. Pay a big compliment to someone.

5. Take a gratitude break. Setting aside ten minutes to count your blessings is sure to give you a boost.

6. Call your best friend and set up time together. The anticipation of being with your close friends will lift your spirits.

7. Forgive someone. You’ll lighten your emotional load if you let go of hurts you’ve been holding on to.

8. Look yourself over—with admiration. Most people are hard on themselves when it comes to appearance. Go on, admire your best qualities.

9. Contact a friend or family member you’ve been out of touch with. Call with an out-of-the-blue “I’m thinking of you.”

10. Express your creativity. Take a break from work to draw a picture, watercolor, or blog!

11. Say hello to someone you’ve passed many times but never spoken to. Who knows—it could be a friendship in the making.

12. Write a thank you note to someone not expecting one. That’s a gift to both of you.

13. Dream about your next adventure. Check out travel magazines or websites and begin planning your getaway.

14. Break out of a rut. Get your coffee from a new place, try a new form of exercise, watch a movie different from your usual genre.

15. Take a risk and ask out that person you’ve been working up the courage to call. Go for it. It’ll make your day.

How else could you make an ordinary day extraordinary?

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3 Ways to Impress Anyone http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/3-ways-to-impress-anyone/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/3-ways-to-impress-anyone/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:17:09 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30267 What makes someone influential? One of the most common responses we hear is charisma—being able to connect, charm, and win over others with one’s personality. The thing is, charisma is not something you’re born with. It’s something you learn. If you want to be the person everyone wants more of, the following lessons will help […]

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What makes someone influential? One of the most common responses we hear is charisma—being able to connect, charm, and win over others with one’s personality. The thing is, charisma is not something you’re born with. It’s something you learn. If you want to be the person everyone wants more of, the following lessons will help you impress anyone:

Lesson 1: Hope

Optimists outperform pessimists in political elections, sales, and social connections, because hope tends to attract other people and is, quite simply, attractive. It’s not that they don’t have dark days. Charismatic people just don’t advertise them. Instead, they emulate hope by:

• Speaking optimistically about the future

• Sharing believable steps to attain that future

• Expressing confidence in the ability of others to take those steps

Lesson 2: Passion

When you’re passionate, people are drawn to you. It’s hard to fake passion. Whether they’re passionate about saving the planet, rising to the top of an organization, the latest fashion, freshwater fishing, or fine art, charismatic people talk about subjects they care about. Even if you’re not interested in the thing they are passionate about, you’re drawn to that person because they exude passion. Charismatic people express their passion by:

• Articulating a strong, informed point of view

• Speaking with energy and vigor

• Demonstrating single-mindedness and focus in what they want to achieve

Lesson 3: Connection

It’s apparent that you’ve made a strong connection with someone when you gesture or move, and they do, too. Charismatic people connect in this way deliberately. If you want to see charisma in action, pay attention to the most charismatic person in the room and you’ll see that they are matching the behavior of those around them. It’s a fantastic feeling when it happens naturally. Usually, however, it doesn’t happen without a nudge. And you can give it a nudge by matching the other person in some of the following ways:

• Speak at the same volume, pace, tempo, and rhythm

• Reflect or mirror similar body language, like crossing your legs

• Share similar beliefs and values

• Make statements or offer views that the other person is sure to agree with

Charisma is a great tool of influence. The most charismatic people have been taught or have trained themselves in the seemingly find art of being charming. If you want to learn to influence others, it’s important that you practice and become aware of these tactics. Practice, practice, practice. Charisma can be learned.

Give Your Mind a Workout: Introduce Yourself With Impact

A moment many people dread is when they’re asked to introduce themselves, particularly in front of others. But it is a great opportunity to demonstrate your charisma.

1. Assess how you currently introduce yourself to new people. What is your approach? Are you as impactful as you’d like to be? How do people react to your introduction? Do they ask questions to learn more about you, or nod and change the subject?

2. Write a couple of practice introductions on a piece of paper, and on each, include one or more of the tactics above.

3. Plan the way you will introduce yourself. How will you find congruence with another person? How will you sound? What will your body language look like?

4. Try it out. Test your new introductions the next time you are at a networking function or a party. Which introduction worked best, and how will you remember to keep using it?

 

mindgym

About the Authors:

Sebastian Bailey, Ph.D., is cofounder and president of Mind Gym, Inc. More than 50 percent of the companies in the S&P 100 have adopted Mind Gym, Inc.’s programs, which run in forty countries around the world. Bailey lives in New York City.

Octavius Black is cofounder and CEO of Mind Gym, Inc. He has contributed to and been featured in The Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, and The Financial Times. He lives in London.

 

Excerpted from the book Mind Gym: Achieve More by Thinking Differently, by Sebastian Bailey and Octavius Black.

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5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Dating http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-dating/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-dating/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:45:21 +0000 http:///dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-dating/ No one enjoys being lied to, which is why singles rank “honesty” as one of the most important traits they look for in a partner.

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No one enjoys being lied to, which is why people on eHarmony rank “honesty” as one of the most important traits they look for in a partner. But when it comes to telling ourselves the truth, we don’t always hold to the same standard. Sometimes we fudge a little. Sometimes, in fact, we tell ourselves blatant lies.

Far from innocent and harmless, these self-deceptions can keep us from finding great relationships. Here are five of the most common lies we tell ourselves about dating:

1. “Love is for everyone except me.” Even if you don’t actually say these words to yourself, they may form the basis of a nameless, nagging fear. Either way, the feeling of being destined to forever stand on the outside of love looking in is common. Instead of telling yourself this lie, stop blurring the line between fact and fear. The lack of a significant other in your life currently may be a fact, but projecting that reality dismally into the future is all about fear. It can also become a self-fulfilling prediction, keeping you from exploring new relationships.

2. “I don’t really deserve more.” This lie can prevent you from taking the risk of exploring a new relationship or keep you stuck in a lousy one. Those who believe this lie may find themselves putting up with disrespect or even abuse. It’s counterintuitive to expect someone to love you well when you don’t expect it yourself. If you believe this about yourself, consider talking with a professional counselor about the events or relationships in your life that led you to embrace this falsehood in the first place.

3. “I know this relationship isn’t great, but it’s better than being alone.” People convince themselves there’s no downside to staying with the wrong person until the right one comes along, but the risks are actually huge. There’s the risk of becoming so comfortable with the wrong person that you stay in a mediocre dating relationship, which could lead to a mediocre marriage. There’s also the risk that, being preoccupied with a mismatch, you’ll miss out on the right match.

4. “It has to look like ‘love at first sight.’” Many people don’t take the time to get to know themselves or identify the essential qualities they need in a partner. These people often come to a first date with selection criteria based on distortions, and they make important decisions based on the delusion of “immediate chemistry.” If sparks don’t fly right away, they might pass on a great individual without giving chemistry a chance to develop. Or they may pursue the relationship based on chemistry when other vital qualities are missing.

5. “If I ignore this red flag, it’ll go away or change.” Sure, and that grinding noise coming from your car will also disappear if you pretend it’s not there! Unfortunately not. If you have nagging concerns about someone you’re dating, ignoring them only delays the inevitable. Convincing yourself otherwise is a sure path to disappointment and even heartache. You might end up wasting months and even years with the wrong person, missing out on better prospects in the process.

Recognizing and rejecting lies is a critical step in wise dating. By telling yourself the truth, you’ll be equipped and empowered to find a loving relationship. I wish you all the best in your search.

EHPlus-05222014-MED-1 (2)About Ashley and eH+:

eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Ashley can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

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15 Ways to Get Up When Life Knocks You Down http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-get-up-when-life-knocks-you-down/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-get-up-when-life-knocks-you-down/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 22:58:42 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30249 Sometimes life feels like a boating excursion on a sunny afternoon—smooth sailing, peaceful, and enjoyable. Other times it can feel more like a boxing match, where you are pummeled and down for the count. Everyone has times when they endure setbacks, disappointments, and failures. Psychologists and spiritual leaders agree that resilience is what makes the difference between […]

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Sometimes life feels like a boating excursion on a sunny afternoon—smooth sailing, peaceful, and enjoyable. Other times it can feel more like a boxing match, where you are pummeled and down for the count.

Everyone has times when they endure setbacks, disappointments, and failures. Psychologists and spiritual leaders agree that resilience is what makes the difference between those who survive and thrive, and those who don’t.

Feeling beaten down by life? Here are some ideas to help you get up, brush yourself off, and move forward:

1. Realize you’re not alone. Since everyone encounters adversity of various kinds, many people can relate to your particular struggles. Reach out to loved ones in times of need.

2. Don’t generalize. When hit with bad news (job loss, a break-up, financial troubles), it can seem that EVERYTHING in your life has soured. Stay focused on the many good things happening for you. It is helpful to keep a daily gratitude journal to keep things positive.

3. Remember when… Review your history and gain courage from the times you have overcome hardships.

4. Get inspired by resilient people. You know people who have endured misfortune—learn from their indomitable spirit and wisdom.

5. Keep up your healthy routines. Your emotional reserves will be replenished through physical well-being (exercise, adequate sleep, proper nutrition).

6. Write it out. Expressing your thoughts and feelings in a journal will help to process them and gain clarity.

7. Tap into your spiritual resources. Find strength in soul-nurturing activities.

8. Get back to nature. Many people find comfort by spending time at the beach, park, lake, or mountains.

9. Practice self-compassion. Treat yourself very well, with plenty of kindness and grace.

10. Stay in the present. When going through a rough spot, taking things one day at a time can be very comforting. Just focus on making the present moment the best you can. The rest will all take care of itself.

11. Accept the vagaries of life. We wish the world we live in would be predictable and reliable. Not so. We will work through pain and problems more effectively by accepting that life is fickle.

12. Reframe your perspective. Realize that adversity often leads to growth opportunities and new pathways.

13. Skip the victim mentality. Yes, life is unfair, and it seems that the unfairness is not doled out equally among all people. But you’ll never be a victor if you view yourself as a victim.

14. Mine the situation for lessons. Use hard times to gain insights that will equip you to flourish in the future.

15. Find your inner fortitude. Often, overcoming hardships is a matter of applying grit and determination. You can do it!

What helps you get back up when life gets rough?

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Stop What You’re Doing! How to Change Behaviors That Hurt Your Romantic Relationships http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/stop-what-youre-doing-how-to-change-behaviors-that-hurt-your-romantic-relationships/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/stop-what-youre-doing-how-to-change-behaviors-that-hurt-your-romantic-relationships/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:25:09 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30236 We all strive for close, loving, lasting relationships – but for many people, fear gets in the way. Depending on what you’ve experienced in the past, you may fear that the person you love will leave, or cheat, or treat you badly. And these fears can cause you to react in ways that push your […]

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We all strive for close, loving, lasting relationships – but for many people, fear gets in the way. Depending on what you’ve experienced in the past, you may fear that the person you love will leave, or cheat, or treat you badly. And these fears can cause you to react in ways that push your partner away, rather than drawing him closer.

Do you feel like you have to be perfect or you will be rejected? Do you become clingy or demanding when you feel someone pulling away? Do you panic when you don’t receive an immediate response to a text, email, or voicemail? Do you try to avoid your fears by numbing out with food or a few cocktails?

When deeply rooted fears surface, you may be so overwhelmed with anxiety, panic, and sadness that you react quickly in an effort to avoid the pain, or prevent the loss of connection. This is a natural and hardwired reaction. Unfortunately, these attempts to avoid painful feelings and experiences likely make your situation worse in the long term, despite feeling somewhat successful in the short term.

The truth is that, while the pain will never go away, you can learn to avoid the suffering that comes with it. The key is becoming aware of how you’re reacting when you experience painful emotions and negative thoughts, and finding new ways to manage the pain using healthy behaviors that will distract you from engaging in unhelpful reactions to the triggering event.

So what qualifies as a distracting activity? Any healthy pursuit that will divert you from acting on the difficult emotions that you are experiencing.

Doing something else—instead of resorting to the destructive strategies you’ve turned to in the past—provides a window of time during which the intensity of the emotion is allowed to decrease. It will be easier to make helpful choices when your negative feelings are more manageable and you have some distance from them.

Distracting activities are not about trying to avoid or escape your emotions; they are about giving you some space so you can see more clearly. Here are some suggestions for activities that you can use to distract yourself from engaging in unhealthy and unhelpful coping behaviors when you are flooded with negative emotions.

Exercising: Any form of exercise is going to be helpful. Exercise releases endorphins—a natural pain reliever and antidepressant that elevates mood and contributes to your overall well-being— which decreases levels of cortisol (the hormone related to stress) and increases and maintains feelings of self-esteem. Additionally, exercise increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain and increases chemicals (dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine, and serotonin) that help with cognition. In other words, you’re not only distracting yourself from unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors, you’re engaging in a behavior that has positive psychological and physical benefits. Exercise options are as diverse as jumping rope, Pilates, rollerblading, weight lifting, hiking, running and biking.

Hobbies and Special Interests: If there is something you have always wanted to do, or do more of, identify that activity now. This could be drawing, knitting, photography, walking your dog, watching movies – the list is endless.

Volunteering: When your fears get triggered and you are flooded with negative emotions it becomes all about you and your experiences. In fact, the feeling of “it’s all about me” is part of the problem, which is why focusing on someone else is an especially effective distraction. There are few activities that are as rewarding and make you step outside of yourself as much as doing something for someone else. This might involve going to a soup kitchen and serving meals to homeless people, or it could be as simple as offering to walk your elderly neighbor’s dog.

To-Do Tasks: Another great way to distract yourself is to tackle some of the projects on your to-do list. Your list may include everyday housekeeping chores, organizational tasks, or personal projects.

Relaxation and Self-Care: You can also distract yourself by engaging in relaxing activities, such as getting a mani/pedi, listening to music, or taking a bath.

Now it’s time to create your personal distraction plan. Think about what kinds of events or interactions trigger your fears and anxieties. Use a 3×5 card, sticky note, or your smartphone and list some distracting activities for the situations you identified. Keep in mind that your favorite activity may not always be appropriate when you need it (e.g., although you may love running, you probably go for a run if you’re in the middle of your workday when you need a distracting activity), so include activities that are suitable for different situations and circumstances. Also list some distractions you can rely on no matter where you are or what the situation. Keep the card or sticky note in your wallet or on your smartphone.

Now you are armed with a distraction plan that will stop you from reverting to the unhelpful behaviors you have relied on in the past – and help you on your road to happier, healthier, lasting relationships!

LMDLMAbout the Author:

Michelle Skeen, PsyD is a therapist and the author of LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships (New Harbinger, 2014).

 

 

 

Adapted with permission of the publisher, New Harbinger Publications, Inc., from LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME:  Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships  by Michelle Skeen, PsyD.  Copyright (c) 2014 by Michelle Skeen. All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.

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15 Ways to Be a Great Friend http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-be-a-great-friend/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-be-a-great-friend/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:26:27 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30217 It’s said that the quality of our lives is largely determined by the quality of our friendships. Your traveling companions on the journey of life can pick you up when you fall, bring out your best, and propel you forward. The surest way to have great friendships is to be a great friend. The bonus […]

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It’s said that the quality of our lives is largely determined by the quality of our friendships. Your traveling companions on the journey of life can pick you up when you fall, bring out your best, and propel you forward.

The surest way to have great friendships is to be a great friend. The bonus is that the skills you develop will translate well to your love life. In that spirit, we offer the following simple yet powerful ways to be a wonderful friend:

1. Build trust. For all relationships—friends, lovers, coworkers—consistent demonstrations of trustworthiness form the bond that holds people together.

2. Be there. Show up, physically and emotionally, for all of your friend’s important events (and unimportant ones, too).

3. Practice positivity. Optimism beats pessimism hands’ down—and your friend will benefit from your upbeat attitude.

4. Initiate consistently. Don’t wait for the other person to text or call you—take the initiative yourself.

5. Cultivate transparency. Openness begets openness, so share from your heart and you’ll receive the same.

6. Affirm differences. Celebrate the other person’s unique beliefs and lifestyle, even when they happen to conflict with your own.

7. Learn the art of listening. Focus on your friend’s words with open ears and an open heart.

8. Give generously. Pick up the tab, send a gift for no reason, offer to help move. A generous spirit will come back to you in unexpected ways.

9. Make the time. Overcrowded schedules crowd out friendships—and very few items on your schedule are worth that.

10. Empathize. Let your friend know you understand and relate to what he/she shares with you.

11. Peel the onion. Make the effort to dig deep into the other person’s life to discover what lies below the surface.

12. Accept the ebb and flow. Friendships go through times of closeness and times of distance. Stay committed throughout.

13. Compliment often. Identify the areas of your friend’s awesomeness and mention them whenever possible.

14. Apologize when you blow it. A sincere apology is the quickest and surest way to smooth over rough patches.

15. Create new memories. Meeting at the same old coffee joint to catch up is fine, but friendships are deepened through shared adventure and discovery.

What others way can you be a great friend?

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15 Reasons to Date a Lefty http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-lefty/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-lefty/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:51:33 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30194 We all know by now that left-handed folks aren’t of the devil, right?! Here are 15 reasons to date an amazing lefty. 1. If your date’s a lefty and you’re right-handed, you can hold non-dominant hands while eating dinner — or filling out paperwork. 2. Maybe it’s because they’re living in a right-handed world, but lefties excel at […]

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We all know by now that left-handed folks aren’t of the devil, right?! Here are 15 reasons to date an amazing lefty.

1. If your date’s a lefty and you’re right-handed, you can hold non-dominant hands while eating dinner — or filling out paperwork.

2. Maybe it’s because they’re living in a right-handed world, but lefties excel at thinking outside the box. According to Slate, “There may be an outsize number of lefty geniuses because lefties are more likely to engage in divergent thinking.”

3. Yep, they’re super-smart. Bill Gates, Aristotle and Marie Curie: all left-handed. Despite representing only 11 percent of the American population, about 20 per cent of Mensa‘s members are southpaws. There are a disproportionate number of left-handed Nobel Prize winners, too.

4. Not that you care…but college-educated left-handed men bring home a little more of the bacon than their right-handed counterparts. (See Bill Gates, above.)

5. You’ll be dating someone fit for leadership. In fact, the only non-lefty in the White House since the Cold War has been George W. Bush. (Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc and Napoleon Bonaparte were all rumored to be left-handed, too.)

6. The “lefty advantage.” Lefties have advantages in sports. Opponents aren’t used to facing a lefty’s serve (tennis) or punch (boxing). About 25 percent of pro baseball players are left-handed, and southpaws can better adjust to seeing underwater. You’ll want your date on your team.

7. Your date won’t steal your scissors. He has his own. (But if he can use your scissors, it’s because he’s adapted some ambidextrous habits. Impressive, huh?)

8. They get stuff done. Lefties are proven multitaskers. In fact, lefties “tend to have a more even distribution of mental activity across the two hemispheres of the brain,” says Dr. Clyde Francks from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford. “This may make lefties better at organizing vast amounts of information and multitasking, since the two sides of their brain are accustomed to communicating more efficiently.”

9. When watching movies at home on the couch, you’ll each get your own armrest — and can still share the bowl of popcorn.

10. If your date ever ends up in a Zoolander-esque walk-off, he’ll be able to nail that left turn.

11. Lefties are visual and creative. Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Renoir were all left-handed. So is Paul McCartney. One study found that participants just needed to clench their left hands to boost creativity.

12. Lefties are also natural performers, which is likely why so many of our A-list favorites sign autographs with their left hands, including Angelina Jolie, Tina Fey, Bruce Willis, Emma Thompson, Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, Nicole Kidman, and Morgan Freeman.

13. He’ll get you home safely. Apparently lefties are better at learning to drive — at least in the U.K., where the gearshift is to the left of the driver. Famous left-handed drivers are pretty out-of-this-world: Buzz Aldrin and Chewbacca.

14. Fun fact: Your date can probably pick up a few groceries faster than you can. Studies have shown that shoppers line up at the checkout nearest to their dominant side. The left lane is usually emptiest.

15. And because we know you were wondering: Lefties are better off in the bedroom. According to a 2014 survey, left-handed people are 71 percent more satisfied in bed than right-handed people. Now you know.

Why else should one date a lefty?

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15 Reasons to Date a School Principal http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-school-principal/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-school-principal/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:15:01 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30183 Working up your nerve to visit the principal’s office? Here are 15 reasons to date a school principal: 1. To get over your fear of the principal’s office. 2. In fact, you’ll want to visit the principal’s office. 3. You’ll be dating someone in a position of power who commands a certain respect from students and colleagues alike. Can […]

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Working up your nerve to visit the principal’s office? Here are 15 reasons to date a school principal:

1. To get over your fear of the principal’s office.

2. In fact, you’ll want to visit the principal’s office.

3. You’ll be dating someone in a position of power who commands a certain respect from students and colleagues alike. Can you say turn-on!?

4. Enjoy watching the sunrise? You’re in luck. Principals are early risers. (P.S. Coffee is much appreciated.)

5. Principals work hard, and have to judiciously balance the needs of students and teachers, while dealing with the school board. To excel at the job, your date must stay cool under pressure.

6. Date night will be a much-anticipated break from a stressful week of dealing with unruly kids and school politics.

7. You’ll be dating someone who can be simultaneously strict, compassionate, and wise.

8. Your date “meets the parents” all the time. She’s a pro.

9. Summer holidays. Enough said.

10. You’ll be dating a respected member of the community.

11. Not all principals like kids, but the ones who love their jobs do. So if you have kids, your date will know how to talk to them with respect.

12. Principals have leadership skills and excel at team-building.

13. Worth noting if you’re in it for the long haul: Your date has a good pension and will retire well.

14. No graveyard shifts and weekends at the office. Sure, some times are busier than others, but at least evenings and weekends are technically free, right?

15. Principals are organized multitaskers. No lazy bones here!

Why else should one consider dating a school principal?

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15 Ways to Avoid Mr. or Ms. Wrong http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-avoid-mr-or-ms-wrong/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-avoid-mr-or-ms-wrong/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:39:29 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30163 Let’s be honest — no one ever sets out to spend a lifetime in a relationship with the wrong person. That’s an outcome we all are trying to avoid. And yet, if the number of failed relationships is any indication, that’s precisely where a sizable number of people end up anyway. The truth is, many men and women […]

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Let’s be honest — no one ever sets out to spend a lifetime in a relationship with the wrong person. That’s an outcome we all are trying to avoid. And yet, if the number of failed relationships is any indication, that’s precisely where a sizable number of people end up anyway.

The truth is, many men and women complicate matters by letting blind emotion do all the talking, when a little systematic reasoning would go a long way. In the heat of a new romance, it is difficult to think straight. Which is why it is helpful to make up your mind well in advance about how you will go about making such a momentous decision and know what criteria you will use in the process.

Here are some ways to sharpen your focus and take a clear-eyed look at whether a potential partner is the right one to accompany you into the future:

15 Ways to Avoid Mr. Wrong:

1. Check your romantic radar. First things first: make sure you’re not overeager to get into a relationship. Desperation leads to a multitude of mistakes.
2. Avoid the addict. The man who has an unaddressed addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography) will make the object of his compulsion the center of his life—not you.
3. Look out for the guy who loves himself more than you. Confidence is what you want; conceitedness is not.
4. Ditch the deceiver. Beware of the man who will “shade the truth” with you—little lies will lead to bigger ones.
5. Pass on the passive man. Sure, you want to find a nice, amiable guy. But you also want one who will stand up for himself … and you.
6. Watch out for Mr. Wonderful. The guy who seems too good to be true—suave, sophisticated, super-successful—just may be.
7. Forget about the flagrant flirt. What seems at first like harmless sociability can conceal heartbreak waiting to happen. Find a man who only has eyes for you.
8. See through the sarcasm. A man’s sense of humor reveals much about his inner self. A jeering joker who relies on crudeness, put-downs, or laughter at someone else’s expense is not kindhearted.
9. Look for the master of disguise. Some men are highly skilled at adopting a persuasive persona, presenting themselves as something they’re not. If you detect a whiff of duplicity, ask yourself why the guy feels the need to fool you.
10. Beware of the man who’s easily bored. If you’re with a guy who seems chronically restless and antsy—always ready to move on to the next promising prospect—do yourself a favor and let him get bored with someone else.
11. Forego the control freak. The fastidious, uptight guy who wants to micromanage your life is probably not someone who want to live with day in and day out.
12. Evict the eternal adolescent. Some guys can’t seem to grow out of their high school days. You deserve better than sophomoric behavior.
13. Detach yourself from the detached man. The person who is preoccupied, distracted, and emotionally unavailable is not going to attach to you in a meaningful way.
14. Move on from the mama’s boy. It’s admirable when a guy loves his mother–but not when extreme attachment interferes with your romantic relationship.
15. Trust your gut on a guy’s trustworthiness. If you have a hint of concern about your man’s truthfulness and dependability, listen closely to what your instincts are telling you.

15 Ways to Avoid Ms. Wrong:

1. Know yourself. Before you can see whether she is the right fit, it helps to confidently know the contours of your own personality.
2. Beware of the chemistry. Emotional fireworks are a good thing in a healthy relationship. But physical attraction shouldn’t be the only thing holding you together. If you suspect that it is, think twice.
3. Take your time. You’ll never get a thorough look at a prospective partner in just a few euphoric weeks or even months. Give things a chance to evolve, and you’ll see how you mesh through all of life’s various moods.
4. Solicit advice from people you trust. You may be rendered senseless by the red-hot excitement of a new romance—but your friends and family won’t be. Let them give you reality checks.
5. Ask hard questions. No one wants to be accused of “buzz kill” in a new relationship by bringing up issues that might be uncomfortable. Yet often that is the only way to learn important things about each other.
6. Learn her history. The best way to understand why a woman thinks or behaves as she does is to know what she’s been through on her way to you.
7. Look out for mismatched goals and values. Be brutally realistic about whether your respective lives and desires are pointing you in the same direction, or whether impossible compromises lie ahead.
8. Observe how she handles conflict. Fights happen—and how a person behaves when feeling angry or threatened provides valuable insight into her character.
9. Discuss the M word … money. Researchers long ago identified financial stress and incompatibility as the leading cause of marital strife. Head off trouble by mapping out your beliefs and goals up front.
10. Talk about kids. After the arrival of children is the wrong time to discover you have very different ideas about parenthood. Thoroughly discuss this critical issue well ahead of time.
11. Be honest about your motives for wanting a lasting relationship. Are you unable to imagine spending life with anyone else, or are you simply tired of being alone?
12. Make sure you understand her motives as well. What are her expectations? Does she expect things from the relationship you can’t deliver?
13. Get to know her friends. Her choice of friends is a window into her most unguarded values.
14. Observe her in stressful situations. Stress has a way of revealing a person’s true character and ability to handle tough circumstances.
15. Take seriously any sign that she is less than truthful. Even little, seemingly inconsequential lies can foreshadow big problems later on.

Looking back, what were the biggest signs that someone may have been wrong for you?

 

EHPlus-05222014-MED-5About Jeff and eH+:

eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Jeff can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

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35 Ways to Better Your Life Right Now http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/35-ways-to-better-your-life-right-now/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/35-ways-to-better-your-life-right-now/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:33:16 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30149 I recently experienced a health scare with a good ending. While I studied and practiced measures to improve my health, I also enjoyed more energy and vitality overall. As a result, I have now incorporated these health strategies into my regular habits, usually daily or at least consistently each week. These tips have improved the […]

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I recently experienced a health scare with a good ending. While I studied and practiced measures to improve my health, I also enjoyed more energy and vitality overall. As a result, I have now incorporated these health strategies into my regular habits, usually daily or at least consistently each week. These tips have improved the quality of my life, giving me a feeling of vibrancy. As a result of this increased enjoyment of my life, I decided to share these ideas with you.

Each body and health history is unique, as well as tolerances and sensitivities. Use common sense and your intuitive feelings to find out if a suggestion is right for you. You may also wish to do further research and consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner. At the minimum, you may get out of your rut and open your mind to alternatives that could enhance your life.

Here are 35 suggestions to improve your energy and your health:

1. Drink more water. Whatever your current level of water consumption, add to it! Water helps each organ of our bodies run more efficiently, boosts your immune system and helps flush toxins away.

2. Reduce or eliminate soda and alcohol. Neither are helping your body remain vibrant. Soda can weaken bones, create weight problems and has many other determents. Alcohol can impair your mental function and clarity and cause a plethora of serious health issues.

More at YourTango.com:How to Be Happy: Hint! It’s a Process

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Consider a foundation of a plant-based diet. Eating more vegetables and fruits can lower your risk of major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, to name a few!

4. Reduce meat consumption, especially beef, pork, and chicken. Sway toward loading your plate with more salads, soups and vegetarian choices. Eating less meat can make you smell better and reduce your blood pressure and risk of serious disease.

5. Consider reducing gluten. Try eating less bread and explore gluten free alternatives. You may see your belly slimming down and experience increased regularity.

6. Consume less dairy products. Experiment with products such as almond or rice milk. Dairy products may aggravate allergies, sinus problems and headaches.

7. Reduce sugar. Skip dessert or eat fresh fruit instead. Reduce your cavities and your weight with less sugar.

8. Sleep and rest more. Go to bed earlier or integrate naps into your day. Improve your memory, mood, immunity, and even enhance your sex life!

9. Walk. Take a 15 minute or more walk each day. Like sleeping, walking is a powerful health enhancer and can also put a zip into your sex life!

More at YourTango.com: 10 Uplifting Quotes to Make Your Day

10. Get more sunshine. Add 15 minutes of sunshine to your skin each day—you may combine with this with walking! Grab your natural vitamin D and keep strong bones.

11. Clean out the clutter. Get rid of anything that you no longer use, enjoy or absolutely love. You may feel more productive, mentally sharp and focused as you release the stagnant energy of clutter.

12. Consider scheduling colon hydro-therapy session, a colonoscopy, or colon cleanse. A clean colon helps your overall health. Release toxins, improve absorption of good nutrients, and reduce constipation, all of which boost your energy level!

13. Be less busy. Stop trying to do everything. Learn to pare down and say no. Connect with others more deeply, recharge, and enjoy the simple pleasures that surround you.

14. Read or listen to inspiring books. Daily inspirational reading or listening, especially first thing in the morning, sets a positive tone for the day. Reading also exercises your mind improving your knowledge, concentration, and memory.

15. Practice relaxing. Add meditation, mind-controlled relaxation or visualization techniques, deep breathing, yoga, and other relaxation tools. Relaxing helps us cope with the stresses of life on this planet and returns us to balance when we experience an upset.

16. Visit a health care practitioner. Schedule a massage, acupuncture session or other therapeutic practice to give back to your body and re-balance. We all need self-care mixed into our lives so we have enough in our energy tanks to give to others without getting depleted.

17. Exercise your body. Gradually add more exercise into your life. Elevate your mood, tone your body, and experience more self-confidence and well-being.

18. Exercise your mind. Focus on what you want in life with affirmations and goal setting. By focusing your mind, you gain clarity and opportunities often come your way, especially if you write and review your intentions regularly.

19. Practice gratitude. Write in a gratitude journal or reflect on gratitude daily. The ritual of gratitude reflection can improve your sense of well-being and contentment, especially if you take the time to write down what you are thankful for each day.

20. Reduce your exposure to the news. Most T.V., radio and newspaper news is negative, so avoid it. Since most media leads with bad news, you might find yourself missing all the kind acts that happen and feel gloom instead of hope.

21. Play happy or peaceful music. Add some singing and dancing with the music to get even more out of it. It is hard to feel sad while singing and dancing to uplifting tunes!

22. Forgive more quickly, deeply, and completely. Practice forgiveness each day. Forgiving helps your heart heal and opens the door to more love in your life.

23. Love. Use kind words. Say “I love you” more often. Look for ways to love others and yourself. Love may extend your life, or at least create more happiness as you live it!

24. Worry less. Worry is the misuse of your imagination. Worry often leads to illness, and what you worry about may never come to pass!

More at YourTango.com: 20 Tips to Increase Your Happiness Every Single Day

25. Slow down and be present now. Wherever you are, be there with your full attention. Enjoy fewer accidents and more meaningful relationships with people.

26. Smile. Smile at everyone you see. Look younger and attract other smiling, happy people to you!

27. Laugh. Find humor in your life and express it with a good, hearty laugh as often as possible. Release those feel-good brain chemicals and see your stress level lower!

28. Think positive. Focus on and visualize the best possible outcome. Looking for the sunny side of life and searching for the good in a challenging situation helps you cope and reduces unnecessary struggle.

29. Be enthusiastic. Practice enthusiasm, even with routine tasks. Life becomes more fun with enthusiasm, and you may attract more opportunities and success along the way!

30. Avoid criticizing and complaining. Look for the positive in events and people. Look for a solution, take positive action, and switch your mood for a more pleasant experience.

31. Appreciate beauty. Notice beautiful things around you. Nature and people are filled with beauty if you take time to look, which can provide you with immense pleasure.

32. Keep an open heart and mind. A change might be just what you need. Tolerance can facilitate peace in your heart and in the world.

33. Simplify your life. Focus on quality over quantity. Simplicity gives you more time to relax and enjoy what really matters in your life.

34. Respond instead of react. Be thoughtful and mindful. Mindfulness lessens regrets and increases respect and kindness.

35. Practice the ‘Golden Rule’. Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. What goes around comes around, so start a positive cycle and enjoy the lasting benefits living a life of compassion and caring.

Do not assume that loss of energy and vigor are an inevitable consequence of aging. Many mid-aged people and seniors are dynamic and energetic. Diminished energy and poor health can be insidious. Bad habits may have been slowly creating problems for years. Now is the time to take measures to correct patterns before more significant negative health consequences erupt.

Which of the above suggestions are you ready to add to your life?

More at YourTango.com:

This post will make you stop drinking soda – like instantly.

5 Clear Signs You’ve Found the One

 

This article was originally posted at YourTango.com: 35 Ways You Can Improve Your Life Instantly

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15 Ways to Know It’s Time to Break Up http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/15-ways-to-know-its-time-to-break-up/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/15-ways-to-know-its-time-to-break-up/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:01:32 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30139 The road to a fulfilling, enduring relationship is almost always littered with a few attempts that turned out to be unfulfilling and unenduring. That’s what dating is all about—finding out if two people have the qualities and compatibility to sustain a relationship over the long haul. Sometimes you know for sure when it’s time to […]

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The road to a fulfilling, enduring relationship is almost always littered with a few attempts that turned out to be unfulfilling and unenduring. That’s what dating is all about—finding out if two people have the qualities and compatibility to sustain a relationship over the long haul.

Sometimes you know for sure when it’s time to break up. But other times you’re not so sure. Should you hang in there and give it a chance? Or should you move on so you don’t squander precious time and energy? Here are 15 indicators that, yes, it’s time to move on and seek better prospects:

1. Questions keep popping up in your head. It’s natural and healthy to evaluate a relationship at critical steps, but don’t ignore those nagging concerns that are trying to tell you something.

2. You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling way too soon. If you don’t feel consistent sparks and fireworks while dating, it’s a sure sign the chemistry just isn’t there.

3. The people closest to you express concern. If several people sound the alarm about your relationship, it’s wise to at least take it seriously.

4. Mistrust has crept in. Trust is the glue that holds couples together. If you have legitimate reason to doubt your partner’s trustworthiness, you can be sure more trouble is coming.

5. You wonder about your partner’s emotional health. If your dating partner is very self-absorbed, paranoid, overly defensive, easily angered, or anything else that indicates an emotional health deficit, it’s best to move on.

6. You’ve realized the two of you have missions in life that don’t mesh. Sometimes two good people simply have goals and ambitions that don’t complement each other’s.

7. The two of you differ on important aspects of life. If you have significantly different perspectives on social issues, religion, politics, parenting, environmentalism, and use of finances, it’s best to find a partner whose convictions more closely align with your own.

8. Your partner is holding too tightly to the past. Take note if the other person talks often about his ex, relives the glory days of past achievements, or is held back by old friends. Thriving relationships live in the present and plan for the future.

9. Your communication is strained or superficial. If you and your partner struggle to have open, heartfelt communication, the relationship will surely suffer.

10. You can’t resolve conflicts. In solid relationships, two people learn to manage their conflicts thoroughly and efficiently so that harmony prevails most of the time. Relationships fall apart when conflicts don’t get resolved.

11. Your interests don’t interest each other. If you have five or six major interests, it’s a good idea to find someone who shares two or three of them. The more hobbies and activities you both enjoy, the stronger your relationship will be.

12. You don’t feel free to be yourself. No relationship is going to reach it’s potential unless both partners are authentic. You will feel stifled and suffocated if you cannot consistently express your true self.

13. The pet peeves have piled up. The way people live day in and day out (punctuality, grooming, personal habits) can be no problem or a big problem. If it’s the latter for you, don’t ignore the annoyances.

14. You don’t feel 100 percent supported. If you notice that the person you’re with shows little regard for your ambitions and consistently displays a me-first attitude, you’re probably in the presence of someone more selfish than selfless.

15. You notice wandering eyes. It’s natural to admire attractive people, but if you or your partner frequently “check out” others, it may be because you feel something significant is lacking in your current relationship.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you? What have been the biggest reasons for your break ups?

 

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15 Ways to Get Along with Nearly Anyone http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-get-along-with-nearly-anyone/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-ways-to-get-along-with-nearly-anyone/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:14:54 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30128 Much of success in life hinges upon the ability to relate well to others. In preschool, we were told to “Play nice … share … treat others as you want to be treated.” Those basic people skills apply to grown-ups just as much, whether dealing with neighbors, clients, coworkers, or roommates. And especially potential romantic […]

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Much of success in life hinges upon the ability to relate well to others. In preschool, we were told to “Play nice … share … treat others as you want to be treated.” Those basic people skills apply to grown-ups just as much, whether dealing with neighbors, clients, coworkers, or roommates. And especially potential romantic partners.

Sometimes you meet people and a connection happens naturally and effortlessly. Other times, relationships take work and patience. Consider these strategies, which will help you get along well with anyone you encounter:

1. Believe the best. If you approach any relationship believing the two of you will strike up a close friendship, chances are good that you will.

2. Be positive. Negativity is an instant turnoff. An air of pessimism is a thick fogbank that forms around you and warns others away. But an optimistic attitude will draw people to you like a beacon of light.

3. Help the other person feel good about him/herself. We will always love the person most who helps us feel best about ourselves. Likewise, we will be loved and appreciated by those we help to feel valued.

4. Ask questions that get the other person talking. Ask, “Who has been the most influential person in your life?” Or, “What’s the biggest dream for your future?”

5. Compliment. Every person on earth wants to hear something positive about themselves—their appearance, achievements, or acumen. Make sure your compliments are sincere and specific.

6. Be fully present. In our world of distractions, being engaged with complete attention is one of the greatest ways to show respect and appreciation.

7. Find common ground. Bonding happens when you discover a shared interest, be it golf, travel, or Humphrey Bogart movies.

8. Show sincere interest. Develop a real desire to know more about the person you’re with. Make it your mission to truly listen and understand.

9. Self-disclose. Openness begets openness. Emotional connection happens when two people reveal important information about themselves.

10. Encourage authenticity. Allow the person you’re with to be free to be who they are. Total openness, with no judgment.

11. Choose your battles. Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but most can be defused before they detonate. Ask yourself if a battle is really worth fighting, or worth letting go for the sake of harmony.

12. Avoid game-playing. In our age of slick advertising campaigns and political ploys, everyone has their antennae up for manipulation. You will build trust by shooting straight and being clear about your motivations.

13. Practice generosity. In any relationship, you will get back what you are willing to give. It is within your power to help the one you are with feel important and esteemed.

14. Learn the art of storytelling. Often the most powerful ways we connect with others is through our personal stories—childhood memories, the famous person you met, your most embarrassing moment. Keep the best stories fresh in your mind, and bring them out when the opportunity arises.

15. Find the hidden treasure. Everyone has an aspect of life that is their greatest source of joy—their children, the screenplay they’re writing, the mentoring program where they volunteer. Discover the person’s passion, and share in the enthusiasm.

 

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Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-issues/ten-signs-you-are-attracted-to-an-emotionally-unavailable-person/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-issues/ten-signs-you-are-attracted-to-an-emotionally-unavailable-person/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 20:17:57 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30111 A soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable, this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that […]

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A soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable, this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why?

The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you may mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy.

Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras  doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept.

Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

10 Signs of Unavailable People

1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
6. They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.

At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise; this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

To find true love, you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.”

 

Surrender book cover

Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine and USA Today.

 

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15 Reasons to Date a Painter http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-painter/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-painter/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:21:20 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30107 Working up the courage to ask that cute painter out for coffee? Just do it. Here are 15 reasons to date a painter: 1. Who wouldn’t want to be a muse? 2. Painters are self-disciplined, passionate, and motivated. 3. Your date might challenge the way you look at the world around you. 4. You’ll be exposed to a whole […]

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Working up the courage to ask that cute painter out for coffee? Just do it. Here are 15 reasons to date a painter:

1. Who wouldn’t want to be a muse?

2. Painters are self-disciplined, passionate, and motivated.

3. Your date might challenge the way you look at the world around you.

4. You’ll be exposed to a whole new world of galleries, art events, and exhibitions. Date nights will be fun and inspiring.

5. Your date’s friends are not boring. You’ll meet creative, interesting people.

6. Most painters are self-employed and have flexible hours. Spontaneous road trips are welcome.

7. Painters work hard for their money and don’t necessarily make a lot of it. They’re careful with cash and are driven by their passion, not a paycheck.

8. Your date probably has fantastic taste in a lot of areas. Her restaurant recommendations, wardrobe tips, wallpaper suggestions, and music picks will be worth paying close attention to.

9. Painters are open-minded and are willing to give new ideas and opinions a chance. Expect lively discussion and debate.

10. You’ll be inspired — and maybe challenged — to pursue what you’re passionate about, too.

11. Like to travel and see the world? You’re in luck. Painters enjoy seeing, doing, and trying new things.

12. Painters are interested in the world around them. Your date will likely show a genuine interest in getting to know what makes you tick.

13. Painters don’t settle. They care about improving their skills and constantly bettering their art.

14. Your date is creating something-out-of-nothing for a living. If that’s not brag-worthy, what is?

15. Painters can spend a lot of time on their own. They don’t need constant stimulation from people all day to be creative — but will appreciate date night at the end of a quiet day at the studio.

Why else should one date a painter?

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First Date Affection: How Much is Too Much? http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-tips/first-date-affection-how-much-is-too-much/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-tips/first-date-affection-how-much-is-too-much/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:23:24 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=27242 The proper limit of physical affection on a first date is an important thing to really think about. How much is too much? Is it possible to display too little? Let’s shed some light on the subject by answering the question as succinctly as possible: How much first-date affection is appropriate? Absolutely none. “Huh?” you […]

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The proper limit of physical affection on a first date is an important thing to really think about. How much is too much? Is it possible to display too little? Let’s shed some light on the subject by answering the question as succinctly as possible: How much first-date affection is appropriate? Absolutely none. “Huh?” you say. Let me explain.

We realize some may consider that approach to be hopelessly outdated. If TV shows and movies are any guide, fulfilling first-date sex is routine these days — a long way from the bygone standards of proper etiquette. But if you are serious about building a lasting relationship, on a solid footing of mutual respect, then the first move is clear: Go slow.

To understand the reasons why, it is necessary to see the differences between physical “touch” and “affection.” These words are by no means synonymous and convey very different messages between two people who have only just met each another.

Here are a few examples of incidental touching that can actually deepen a first-date experience and contribute to your goal of getting to know important things about each other:

• A man reaches for his date’s hand to help her from the car.
• His fingers brush her shoulders when he takes her coat in the restaurant.
• She lightly and briefly touches his forearm across the table to emphasize the point she’s making in conversation.
• Their elbows touch on the movie theater armrest between them.
• He places his hand on her back to steady her as she walks on high heels up a flight of steps.

Touch is inevitable, and even desirable, between people who have chosen to spend time together in close enough contact to explore their romantic compatibility. When it happens lightly and spontaneously, as described above, it can provide valuable evidence of healthy respect and a commitment to honor one another’s personal boundaries and dignity — while still acknowledging the possibility of mutual attraction and future closeness.

However, the type of contact we would term “affection” is the physical expression of inner feelings of intimacy — emotions that cannot genuinely exist between strangers. That’s because it requires a foundation of familiarity, compatibility, and vulnerability that always take time to develop. The first several dates are meant to lay that groundwork and allow ample time for those feelings to surface naturally — or not.

Without that, intimate physical contact that might be welcomed in a few weeks or month’s time can be uncomfortable or downright threatening on a first date. It certainly runs the risk of sending the wrong signal and destroying any chance of landing a second date.

Here are three possible causes of premature affection:

1. Sexual overeagerness. It does not take a genius to know the biggest question on a woman’s mind when out on a first date: Is he truly interested in me, or only in getting me in bed as quickly as possible? A man who can’t keep his hands to himself removes all doubt.

2. Hasty desperation. Excessive physical contact on a first date may signal a desire to rush through the “formalities” of getting to know each another and fast forward to the benefits of a settled relationship. Generally this is a symptom of dating fatigue and loneliness — an understandable state recognizable to anyone who has been single for some time. But these people mistakenly put the cart before the horse and hope that displaying outward affection will be the same as having the emotional intimacy to support it, without the usual work and waiting.

3. Possessiveness. One of the quickest ways to chase away a prospective partner is to smother them with premature expectations. Public affection creates the illusion of much greater intimacy and deeper involvement than ever exist on a first date — and can foreshadow potential problems around issues of personal space and autonomy later on.

Here’s the bottom line: Gentle touch on a first date indicates your care, interest, and respect in the other person. There is plenty of time for physical affection as you get to know one another on a deeper level.

EHPlus-05222014-MED-5About Jeff and eH+:

eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Jeff can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

 

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Do You Believe that Finding Love is Only for a Lucky Few? http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/do-you-believe-that-finding-love-is-only-for-a-lucky-few/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/do-you-believe-that-finding-love-is-only-for-a-lucky-few/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:09:18 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30087 Are your mating myths holding you back? Myth #1: “Finding and keeping love is only for the lucky and the few.” Please take a moment to answer two questions: 1. If you could have a marriage or love partnership that would be happy and last your lifetime, would you want it? 2. Do you think […]

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Are your mating myths holding you back?

Myth #1: “Finding and keeping love is only for the lucky and the few.”

Please take a moment to answer two questions:

1. If you could have a marriage or love partnership that would be happy and last your lifetime, would you want it?

2. Do you think you can have it?

Year after year, when I ask my students the first question, nearly every hand is raised. But when I ask them to keep their arms up if they believe they can have a happy lifelong marriage? Hands and faces fall. I got a note from a man named Jean, who said, “Two years ago, there was all this hoopla about a friend’s wedding—now they’re fighting. You see why I’m a cynic? Can two people be together forever, and be happy?”

There are many reasons this cynicism has taken hold, such as news stories, movies, novels, and music about love gone wrong, plus your personal experiences with your own or other people’s relationship implosions. Even the legal system plays a part; since 1970, the ease of divorce has ironically led to less happiness even for those who remain together as exposure to others’ divorces has made people forecast and fear their own. Jean has a point.

But the belief in probable divorce is bad for you because it creates ambivalence: uncertainty of whether marriage is worth it. And how likely are you to organize yourself to find and keep a life partner if you’re not even sure it would make you happy? Today, fewer people are marrying at all, as faith in the possibility of a good marriage has plummeted and a belief that happy marriage is blind luck has risen.

Replace myth with fact: The antidote to the Luck lie is simple: You need exposure to accurate information.

Replace those untrue thoughts with the following fact-based realities.

First: Marriage does make most people happy—happier than any other living arrangement.

It’s true that having a horrid marriage makes people very unhappy. In comparisons of various types of people, the miserably married are the most miserable of all.

But it’s equally true that having a lasting, good marriage is one of the few things that really do make people happy. A single, solid marriage makes people happier than wealth, fame, career, or many of the other things we spend our lives striving for. It also makes us far happier than cohabitation, permanent singlehood, divorce, or widowhood. And that’s true in every country where comparisons have been made. We could do worse than following E. M. Forster’s epigram, “Only connect!”

Second: Happy marriage is a common, renewable resource.

Are you worried the world will run out of gold, copper, or oil? Or chocolate, which, heaven forbid, I hear is in short supply? Good news! Love doesn’t work like that. It’s common. And highly renewable. Lots and lots of people do, in fact, have happy marriages. More than half of first marriages in the USA today last a lifetime, and about 2/3 of divorced folks remarry. Roughly 25% to 40% of them stay together for life too.

Meaning? Lifelong love is normal, not rare. The majority of the population forms a lifelong bond! And they’re usually happy.

Bonus! Happiness lost is frequently regained in the very same marriage. Those we have loved, we can usually fall back in love with. For instance, in one study, 86% of people who had stayed married through a period of unhappiness were happy again within five years.

Third: Happiness in marriage isn’t random—it’s learnable. 

Although many people feel that finding and keeping love is a gamble, something random that might, but probably won’t, fall onto them from some benevolent-yet-unpredictable Love God, that’s not so. The skills that create and sustain happy marriages are highly learnable.

Finding and keeping love is a series of positive actions. It is something I learned. It’s something my clients and students and blog readers have learned. And it’s something YOU can learn, too.

What’s common is love like Katrina’s for her husband:

“Recently we were apart for two weeks and he was picking me up at the airport. I suggested that there was no need to park and that I would walk out of the airport and meet him. About quarter way down the escalator I saw my husband standing, waiting for me. I realized seeing him made me grin from ear to ear. He makes me as happy today as he did when we met 10 years ago.”

Look around you. There are actually plenty of people who find and keep a wonderful mate. My husband and I share the kind of love Katrina feels for her spouse. A lot of folks do. Open your mind to it. Your heart will follow, charting a new, happier course.

About the Author:

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, coming in January, 2015.  She also contributes at Psychology Today and teaches psychology at Austin-area universities.  You can read more of her work at her blog LoveScience: http://www.lovesciencemedia.com

This article contains excerpts from Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do.

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15 Reasons to Date an Esthetician http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-an-esthetician/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-an-esthetician/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:34:59 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30081 An esthetician is more than just a pretty face. Here are 15 reasons to date one: 1. Estheticians have great skin. It’s part of the job. Your date doesn’t slack off in the self-care department and likely embraces a healthy lifestyle. 2. Because of #1, your date is going to age fantastically. 3. And if you stick around […]

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An esthetician is more than just a pretty face. Here are 15 reasons to date one:

1. Estheticians have great skin. It’s part of the job. Your date doesn’t slack off in the self-care department and likely embraces a healthy lifestyle.

2. Because of #1, your date is going to age fantastically.

3. And if you stick around long enough, so will you.

4. Estheticians have great people skills, informing clients about procedures and addressing their concerns. You’ll be dating a good communicator.

5. Your date sees potential in people, and helps them address their insecurities and feel better about themselves.

6. Estheticians are often self-employed, business-oriented and very motivated.

7. Your date is likely a good listener and trustworthy keeper of clients’ secrets.

8. Estheticians are in demand. He’ll always have a job if he wants one.

9. Estheticians are smart, focused, and have had extensive training. This is not an entry-level job.

10. Your date has a well-paying job with reasonable hours. Very relationship-friendly.

11. The cute lab coats. You’ll be dating a man/woman in uniform.

12. Estheticians’ jobs depend on their ability to be gentle with people’s faces. You’ll be in good hands.

13. Estheticians’ offices are generally calming environments. You won’t be dating someone who is constantly stressed out by a hectic workplace.

14. Your date spends all day pampering other people. It’s your turn to pamper her. She’ll really appreciate it.

15. Estheticians have high standards for their work and demand excellence of themselves. You’ll be challenged to be your best, too.

Why else should one date an esthetician?

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Dating While Unemployed: 5 Things to Remember http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/dating-while-unemployed-5-things-to-remember/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/dating-while-unemployed-5-things-to-remember/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:01:36 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30072 It happens. And it happens to good people. We get fired, laid off, or decide it’s time to move on to the next job. This can be good news or scary, but either way life goes on and you don’t want your love life to stop just because you’re in ‘job transition’. These five tips […]

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It happens. And it happens to good people. We get fired, laid off, or decide it’s time to move on to the next job. This can be good news or scary, but either way life goes on and you don’t want your love life to stop just because you’re in ‘job transition’.

These five tips can help you stay upbeat and fun to be with, even if you’re feeling the pressures about your work transition.

Remember that this is temporary. You will work again. Be realistic and know that while the job search takes time, it is essential that you bring fun into your life so that you can be a balanced and interesting person as you talk to others in your job search, as well as in interviews. A job search forces you to stay current on what’s happening in the world of your work, and in general.

Use this time as an opportunity to explore new ways of working. Fall in love with your work all over again by reconnecting with what you really want to do! Amping up your sense of passion and interest for your work makes everyone sexier! Learn new skills that energize you and make you even more marketable. Use your open time to explore business or trade magazines that expose you to new organizations and people. You never know where you’ll meet someone!

Enjoy your free time getting to know someone special before new work begins. You will be back at work soon, so enjoy the time you have right now to date, have lunch or breakfast with a special someone.  Just be sure to manage expectations that life won’t always be so spacious!

Remember ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Don’t want to spend a lot of money on dates while doing a job search? Do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do when you’ve got your regular income. Be creative and easy on the wallet by coming up with fun, out of the box excursions. Instead of dinner out, get food to go and head the beach or a park. Go to theater in the park, or for a drink and walk at the beach. Or attend a lecture that might even serve as a good networking function, too.

Be real. Everyone has been through a job search or transition. Being real about what this is like for you can be refreshing for another person to hear about, and endearing. This doesn’t mean you share your deepest fears about not working, or let your anger at your previous company or boss reign supreme. It means you can talk about what you hope for, what you aspire to do in your next job. And if you can keep your sense of humor you can even have fun sharing mock interview questions with your date. Great way to get to know someone else!

About the Author:

Daisy Swan has been a career coach for over 20 years, working with clients all over the world, and is the author of Making Work Work: Secrets from A Career Coach’s Office. Daisy also teaches meditation to help busy professionals manage the stress of modern life, and uncover and foster their creativity. For your free consultation, visit www.daisyswan.com.

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The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made on First Dates http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/the-10-biggest-mistakes-made-on-first-dates/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/the-10-biggest-mistakes-made-on-first-dates/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:43:27 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30059 You walk into the restaurant and glance around nervously, scouring faces until finally you spot your date. You excitedly join them for a meal or coffee and then talk hopefully about seeing each other again. You watch your phone for the next couple of days, but to no avail. You’re disappointed and can’t help but […]

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You walk into the restaurant and glance around nervously, scouring faces until finally you spot your date. You excitedly join them for a meal or coffee and then talk hopefully about seeing each other again. You watch your phone for the next couple of days, but to no avail. You’re disappointed and can’t help but wonder … what went wrong?

When a date goes awry, it’s easy to get caught up in disappointment and question what could have made it successful. Sometimes it’s just not in the stars for you and your date, but other times you may be unintentionally sabotaging any future chances.

Here are the top 10 mistakes I am seeing that keep my eH+ clients from getting a second date:

1) Interrogating the other person. It’s a date, not an interview. While it’s important to ask questions and appear interested, it’s also important not to go overboard. Make sure to talk about yourself after you have asked a few questions in a row.

2) Over-emphasizing serious topics. It’s good to get a little deeper and discuss relationship issues, just make sure to keep it light and have some fun — especially in the beginning.

3) Picking a loud or uncomfortable date spot. Be careful where you pick to meet up. It’s okay to hit up a fun, hip bar or restaurant, but consider meeting for a drink somewhere quiet at first.  When you meet for the first time, it is so important to be able to simply hear each other to avoid miscommunication. There’s nothing worse than playing the “What?” game on a first date.

4) Being rude. Always try to be polite – offer to hold doors and pull out chairs. Be respectful to the waiting staff. You never get a second chance at a first impression.

5) Don’t look at the TV during your date. Yes, this actually happens, plenty of bars and restaurants have giant, juicy flatscreens on, but don’t let your eyes wander — it shows disinterest even if you really are interested!

6) Being silent. Having topics or questions prepared can ease any awkward tension or fill any conversational lulls, keeping you from being a boring date.

7) Sharing your opinions as facts — and not opinions. If your date asks about your favorite type of music, instead of responding with “Rock is the best, everything else is bad,” respond with “Personally I enjoy rock but would love to hear your thoughts.” Be engaging!

8) Negative body language. Make eye contact, and don’t check out people of the opposite sex (this is a no-brainer). You’re here to get to know your date, and eyeing other people will make him or her question your interest.

9) Getting drunk! It’s cool to go out for a drink, not twelve. Your focus should be on getting to know your date, and that’s hard to do when you’ve had too much to drink.

10) Inviting friends. Don’t invite friends, or suggest a meeting with your friends for the first encounter. It’s all about judging chemistry and connection, and your date shouldn’t have to compete for your attention during your first meeting.

What are the biggest mistakes you have encountered on dates?

Ashley is the matchmaker for eHarmony’s new service, eH+. It gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. It’s eHarmony’s matching + premium professional matchmaking. Learn More.

 

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15 Reasons to Date a Dog Groomer http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-dog-groomer/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-dog-groomer/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:30:15 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30054 If you find yourself taking your dog to the groomer more often than you need to, maybe you need to finally work up the nerve to ask her out for dinner. Here are 15 reasons to date a dog groomer: 1. You’ll know your date is a dog person… 2. …and probably won’t hate your dog. Or […]

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If you find yourself taking your dog to the groomer more often than you need to, maybe you need to finally work up the nerve to ask her out for dinner.

Here are 15 reasons to date a dog groomer:

1. You’ll know your date is a dog person…

2. …and probably won’t hate your dog. Or be allergic to it.

3. Your date is no pushover. Those pups who don’t want baths still get bathed.

4. If you’re not picky about style, your date can probably cut your hair.

5. Dog groomers are patient, dealing with animals of all temperaments.

6. Your date will be happy to hang out with a human at the end of the day

7. Your date isn’t easily grossed out. He’s been peed on!

8. Dog groomers have nurturing instincts. (But wouldn’t mind a little pampering from you.)

9. Dog groomers have set hours. You won’t have to worry about canceling date nights due to overtime or unexpected late shifts.

10. Your date is multi-talented. She’s essentially a manicurist, hair stylist, dental hygienist and an esthetician.

11. Many dog groomers are driven entrepreneurs, launching their own businesses and finding their own clients. No laziness here.

12. Dog groomers are friendly, professional and customer-service oriented.

13. No two dogs are alike. Your date knows how to problem-solve and custom-tailor services to meet a dog’s needs. He’ll make you feel special, too.

14. Your date can probably lift — and maybe wrestle — a heavy dog. Muscles!

15. Dog groomers are very forgiving. Their furry clients frequently bark, nip and make a mess. Apologize (sincerely) with big puppy eyes, and you’ll be given a second chance, too.

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Is a ‘Man in Red’ More Attractive to Women? http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/expert-advice/is-a-man-in-red-more-attractive-to-women/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/expert-advice/is-a-man-in-red-more-attractive-to-women/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:57:32 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30037 In my previous post and in my book, Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence, I showed how the color red influences the way men perceive women. Men who saw a photo of a woman against a red background perceived her as more attractive and sexier. But what about women’s perception of men? Does red enhance the […]

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In my previous post and in my book, Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence, I showed how the color red influences the way men perceive women. Men who saw a photo of a woman against a red background perceived her as more attractive and sexier. But what about women’s perception of men? Does red enhance the desirability of men to women? This question is more complicated. Unlike women, sexy men are not necessarily portrayed wearing red shirts. The songs are all about “the lady in red” – there is no “man in red.”

Red is associated not only with sex but with dominance, especially in the animal world. Studies with various types of animals have shown that red in males signals dominance, which is preferred by females for mating. When kids go to the zoo and see the red rumps of some of the monkeys, they may laugh but the red butt is serious; males, especially alpha males (and not females) display red and it as a symbol of status.

Researchers from the United Kingdom found that the red color on the face, rump, and genitalia of male mandrills is a sign of dominance. When two males with a similar red color encountered each other, there were more fights and aggressive behavior. When one of the males exhibited a stronger red color, however, he was clearly more dominant, and the less dominant male avoided him.

Red signals dominance in other types of animals too. Even “artificial” red signals  dominance and influences the behavior of zebra finches, common birds in Australia. Researchers arbitrarily placed red or green bands on the legs of zebra finches and found that those with the red bands were more dominant. Animal studies have also shown that females prefer dominant red males. For example, the three-spined stickleback fish appears red during breeding season. Researchers found that the females preferred males with more intense red color.

So enough about animals…what about humans? In the Western culture, dominance is considered a stereotypically masculine characteristic, and many studies have shown that women like dominant men and men with higher status.

Elliot and Niesta, with their colleagues, asked this question: “If red is associated with dominance and status, and if women prefer men with higher status, is it possible that women will find a man wearing a red item more attractive?” They showed groups of women the same photo of a man, where the only difference was the color of the background. They conducted several experiments on the effect of red on women’s perception of men. The researchers presented female students with black and white photos of a man on a red, white, or gray background. They then asked the women to rate how attractive they perceived the man to be and how sexually attracted they were to him.

Women who saw the photo of the man on a red background perceived him as more attractive and as more sexually desirable than women who saw the same photo on a white or gray background.

Similar results were found when, instead of the background, the researchers manipulated shirt color. Women were asked to judge a man wearing a red shirt or a green shirt. And wouldn’t you know it? The man with the red shirt was perceived as more attractive and desirable.

The researchers went one step further to examine what it is in the color red that affects women’s judgments of men. They once again presented female students with a photo of a man. As in the previous studies, all participants saw the same photo, but half saw the man wearing a red shirt and the other half a gray shirt. This time, they were asked to evaluate the status of the man and his status potential, that is, whether he had a high potential to succeed in the future and to earn a lot. The findings are extraordinary. Women who saw the man with the red shirt believed he had a higher status and a higher potential for status and success. In other words, exactly the same man was perceived as higher in status just because he wore a red shirt.

These experiments clearly demonstrate that the color red has a strong influence on women’s perception of men’s attractiveness and plays an important part in the attraction between the sexes. It seems that red signals a higher status, and higher status in men makes them more attractive and sexually desirable.

Men can easily apply these findings by wearing something red in social interactions and business meetings. Wearing a red tie or a red shirt may convey just enough status on a date to lead to success!

About the Author:

Sensation_9781451699135Thalma Lobel’s book is titled Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence. Lobel is a professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University at the school of Psychological sciences and the director of the Adler Center for Research in Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology. Her research focuses on gender differences and gender roles and on embodied cognition. Her work has been published in prestigious journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Evolution and Human Behavior.

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Terry Crews: How to Be a Better Man in Love and Marriage http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/terry-crews-how-to-be-a-better-man-in-love-and-marriage/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/terry-crews-how-to-be-a-better-man-in-love-and-marriage/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:58:56 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=30015 Terry Crews is on a serious roll these days! He is starring in FOX’s hit comedy, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine;” has several films in the can including “The Expendables 3,” “Aztec Warrior” and “Reach Me;” and he is the new host of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.” Life wasn’t always this first-rate for the former NFL […]

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ManhoodTerry Crews is on a serious roll these days! He is starring in FOX’s hit comedy, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine;” has several films in the can including “The Expendables 3,” “Aztec Warrior” and “Reach Me;” and he is the new host of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.”

Life wasn’t always this first-rate for the former NFL star and Old Spice guy. Even as he achieved success, he tended to make mistakes that caused him career problems and difficulties in his marriage. But he was also sharp enough to understand that he was his own worst enemy, so Crews energetically tackled the work necessary to get his life on the right track.

Now, he shares those lessons, including the ups and downs of his 25-year marriage, what it takes to forge successful relationships, and what he learned that keeps the home fires burning, in written form. Crews has added the title of author to his resumé with the release of Manhood, now in bookstores everywhere from Ballentine.

“The reason I wrote the book was to show that people can change,” Crews tells eHarmony. “Everything is changeable. Everything you see doesn’t have to remain the same. When I realized that, that’s when I grabbed the wheel of my life and decided I was going to learn how to drive.”

In this interview, Crews surprisingly says that to find love, you have to be willing to go through heartbreak, taking sex out of a relationship can make it stronger, secrets can destroy it, and forgiveness is the key to success.

eH: What is the message of Manhood that men and women should get about making relationships work?

Terry Crews: The message that I feel is most important is knowing your demons, so to speak. A lot of times as adults, we tend to make a lot of excuses for our behavior. I was one of those guys. I like to tell people that are certain stages in your life: You are either a fool, a victim, or a king.

The fool stage is when you are really young and doing crazy things just to be doing them. A fool gets mad when people try to help him. I was definitely at that stage. What happens is being a fool, you mess up your life.

Then you move into the victim stage, where your life is messed up and you tend to blame everybody else. The problem with being a victim, is you never see you are a victim. You can always find, or point to someone else as the problem.

When you start to think like a king, is when you start to take responsibility for everything in your life — good and bad. For me, there were several instances. Usually, to think like a king, you have to fall from grace first. When I hit rock bottom in several areas, either financially or relationship-wise, when something wasn’t working, it made me look and say, “What’s happening here? Why am I not progressing?” Thinking like a king makes you take inventory of your whole life. In the book, I wanted people to get that in a relationship you have to always, always take inventory of what is not working.

eH: What is the biggest mistake people make in relationships?

TC: The biggest thing is it is impossible to control someone and love them at the same time. Impossible. I remember when I wouldn’t tell my wife certain things, even about myself, in order to control her. It was an attempt, by lack of information, to give her a picture and an image that wasn’t really true. That’s a big thing. That’s why I don’t think people should live together.

Intimacy is never safe. To be intimate with someone, you really expose yourself. You are at your most vulnerable. But without commitment, are you really intimate? A lot of time people put on airs, and make themselves look perfect, and make themselves look smarter, but the real deal is when someone knows all your thoughts, and knows everything that you’ve done wrong and knows all your problems, and they still love you, the relationship will go forever. Now, you’ve reached the point where the intimacy is real and it can grow from there.

eH: You read a lot of self-help books, do you think that helps understand feelings, or do you need to be of an accepting mindset before they can help you?

TC: You do. You have to. You can’t really hear things unless you are ready to hear them. It’s funny. There are things you hear all of your life that you swear are correct, until you are presented with your own thing.

The perfect example that I have is driving. Your whole life, you watch people drive, but once you get behind the wheel, you don’t know how to drive. It is one of those things where you assume you know, because you watch people do it every day of your life. But just because you’ve watched it done, does not mean you know how to do it. Until you get behind the wheel, you don’t have a clue.

That is what good self-help books are about. It’s like your eyes aren’t open until you are ready to get behind the wheel and take control of your life. A lot of people are letting other things drive their lives — and they think, they’re driving. They are letting all kinds of people determine what they do, where they go, the circle that they are in, so other people are actually driving their life. When you decide, “I need to take control of what I’m about,” all of a sudden, you’re behind the wheel. You’re, “Okay, where’s the turn signal? Where’s the gas pedal?” That is what a good self-help book will do.

eH: You talk about a sex reset, where you went 90 days without sex. What did you learn from that? Do you think others can benefit from doing something similar?

TC: Definitely. Definitely. Parents have always tended to be old-fashioned, saying, “Don’t have sex before marriage,” but no one tells you the reason why. Remember, I told you, “Intimacy is not safe. It is vulnerable.” When I went through the reset, what happened was I started to understand what I wanted, what I was about, and I had to see my wife as not a object, which is weird, because as men, we get motivated by what we see, and a woman instantly becomes an object to us if we let it. But once I took sex out of the equation, I saw her as a total, whole human being. And I loved her more.

It was a really strange revelation to me because as a man you say, “I just need sex. If you’re not giving me sex, we have a problem.” That is what society thinks. I would encourage women to never let a man see you in that way, because again, intimacy is not safe unless he is committed to you. The phrase “love is all we need,” is wrong. It’s wrong. Because you need more than love, you need commitment. Love without commitment is unfinished: It’s yin without yang, up without down. You can say, “I love you,” and you can love everybody, but unless you are committed to me, there is no way that can really become true love.

I had the commitment. I was married to my wife and what I was exploring more and more was that commitment. Sex was out of the equation. Now, I saw her much differently. Now, we talked. I have to say, as a man you wonder, “When is this conversation going to end in something?” That is what guys do. But once a man is able to see you as you really, really are without sex, then it makes the sex much more. It goes to a whole other level. I think every man has experienced that. That is part of the courtship period. I don’t believe that a woman should ever give a man sex on the first, second, third date. There has got to be a commitment. Because a man will tell you he loves you, and it’s true. He’s not lying, but the flip side is, he’s not committed to you. Until you’ve got that commitment, it’s never, never safe to do something like that.

eH: If intimacy makes you vulnerable, but you say that keeping secrets is one of the biggest problems in relationships, at what point in a relationship do you think it is necessary to reveal all?

TC: You have to take it slow. You have to take baby steps. Also, you want someone who wants you for you. The thing is, if you are a jerk, you probably have a problem anyway. Then you have to work on yourself. But if you’ve already done the work and you know that you’re a kind, giving, loving person, you should have no problem telling people your dreams, telling people your hopes, telling people what you want in life. I think that is really where it all starts and it goes from there. It is a growing process. I am actually more committed to my wife after 25 years than I was the first day we got married.

I really, really think when you are dating, it is important to be upfront and honest about who you are. The first date, no. But if you decide after several dates to start to explain who you are, every time you decide you want the relationship to get closer, you are going to have to reveal a lot more about yourself.

eH: What is your best advice for someone single and looking for love?

TC: My best advice is be the person you want. It is like business. You have to keep looking. What you look for, you want. If you want a red car, all of a sudden, you start seeing great red cars everywhere.

My wife did a great job when she was single of writing down a list of things that she wanted in a potential husband. She wrote a big list, so she knew what she wanted when she saw it. I have heard it said before that if you’re going nowhere, any road will do, but once you have a goal, you have to stay on one road. If you write down what you want out of your mate — male or female — what you are looking for, then it’s all good. If something comes your way that is a little bit different, you don’t have to rule it out. You can definitely say, ‘Hmm. This is a deviation from what I wrote before, but I am interested to go this way.” I think remain open, but also have a list of what you want.

eH: What is the hardest thing about love?

TC: The hardest thing about love is you are going to get your heart broken. There is no way around it. It is not safe. It is just a very, very hurtful thing because you’ve exposed what you are to someone else, and maybe you’ve invested, and it doesn’t work out. You can’t make anyone love you. You can’t tie a person in the basement and say, “You love me.” That’s control. The mistake that people make is they slip into control in order to not get their heart broken. You have to let it be. The real deal and the reality is that you don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to be with you. That is just the truth.

But love, your heart will get broken and that is just the way it is. You must keep trying, you must keep going. I like to say, it is almost like you are standing on a gold mine, but you have to keep digging. You dig and you dig and you dig and one day you will hit the jackpot. But you’ve got to know the gold is there. It takes faith. Faith to go for your dreams and to go for love. You might fail, but more likely than not, you will succeed.

eH: What has marriage taught you?

TC: Marriage has made me come out of myself. First of all, there are some people who are meant to be single and that is just true. But there was no way I was going to improve as a person as a single man. There was no way for me to gauge what was wrong with me. There was no one to tell me, “Hey, man. You are really messed up.” My wife has been a sounding board, a dose of reality in my life, who lets me know when I am off track. If you get on a plane from New York to L.A., and you are off by an inch, you may end up in Seattle. The thing is, my wife has always kept me on my course. She has always been, “Hey, honey. You didn’t speak to me correctly. You didn’t do this right. I didn’t feel valued when you did this.” But a man who is on his own and single, he doesn’t have anyone to tell him that he’s off. His mother might tell him. His friends might tell him, but when you’re married, it makes you a better person.

eH: Do you believe in one soulmate for each person or are there multiple matches out there?

TC: I do not believe in one soulmate. I have never believed in that. It is one of those things where you have choices. You can pick and choose. I don’t believe in the soulmate theory, but what I do believe is that once you’ve committed, that is when it all happens. That is when the souls connect. Not before. The behavior of commitment creates a soulmate. There are some of the most famous couples over the years who had huge, huge issues, but they just decided to stay. They decided to stay committed to each other. They look back and they say, “This is my soulmate,” because their souls do get united.

eH: What do you think one needs in a partner to make the relationship successful?

TC: Forgiveness. Everyone has to forgive nonstop. You have to choose not to be offended. There have been times when my wife will say something to me and I will think, “Whoa! What was that?” But if I react in a certain way, it could take it to a whole other stratosphere of pain. But if I choose not to be offended … sometimes I will look back and realize I was wrong. By choosing not to be offended, or by forgiving the other person, it just keeps everything moving right along. What happens is you get that grace, too, because you’re going to be wrong.

eH: You had a lot of advice in your book. You made a lot of the same mistakes over and over. What was your inspiration in writing it? Did you want to show people it was okay to keep trying?

TC: I wanted to show people, “Wow! It took me 40 years.” I got to another place. I am a different person now. But I also had to bust the bubble because people were like, “Terry Crews is so amazing.” My wife was over there with a big sigh, going, “No way.” I was like, “We’ve got to bust this bubble here, because nobody is like that.” Everybody is imperfect.

That’s another thing. You talk about dating, everybody brings their pain, they bring their issues, they bring all their stuff into it. The thing is, you’ve got to ask yourself, “Are you the person to deal with their baggage?” Because you will. No one is perfect and the whole idea of romance means non-reality. Once you get rid of the fantasy, it hits you really, really hard. The first couple of years of marriage are very, very intense because all the smoke and mirrors are gone and you see the person as they really are. Now you have to assess, “Whoa! What did I get into?”

Truer words were never spoken! Follow Terry on Twitter, Facebook and check out his amazing new book, Manhood.

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20 First Date Questions You Don’t Want to Ask — Ever http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-tips-women/20-first-date-questions-you-dont-want-to-ask-ever/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-tips-women/20-first-date-questions-you-dont-want-to-ask-ever/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:12:03 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=27955 As a matchmaker for eH+, I have pretty much heard it all when it comes to first dates — and the things some people actually say to one another! If you want to make sure your first encounter is a success, here are a few first date questions you should avoid asking if you want your crush to […]

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As a matchmaker for eH+, I have pretty much heard it all when it comes to first dates — and the things some people actually say to one another! If you want to make sure your first encounter is a success, here are a few first date questions you should avoid asking if you want your crush to ask you out a second time! And yes, most of the questions below were actually asked on dates.

Twenty first date questions you don’t want to ask — ever:

1. How much money do you make?

2. How do I look?

3. Who did you vote for in the last election?

4. How many kids do you want to have?

5. What kind of wedding do you want to have?

6. What went wrong between you and your ex?

7. Have you ever cheated on someone?

8. Have you ever been in love?

9. Where do you see this relationship going?

10. Why are you single?

11. Are you afraid of commitment?

12. What do your parents do?

13. Do you have any STDs?

14. What’s your greatest regret?

15. Do you think your parents will like me?

16. Are you on a diet?

17. Is that tan spray-on?

18. Have you ever had plastic surgery?

19. What’s your five-year plan?

20. Wanna come up for a drink?

Got any to add to the list? Please share if so!

More about eH+:

Ashley is a matchmaker for eHarmony’s new service, eH+. It gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. It’s eHarmony’s matching + premium professional matchmaking. Learn More Here.

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5 Reasons to ‘Date’ Yourself http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/5-reasons-to-date-yourself/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/5-reasons-to-date-yourself/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:54:36 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=29992 Imagine knowing yourself on a deeper, more gratifying, less judgmental level. Imagine being able to describe yourself to others while being empowered by your strengths and experiences and not cringing at the thought of your weaknesses and struggles. Imagine taking care of yourself, owning your needs and treating yourself with the love and nurturance you […]

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Imagine knowing yourself on a deeper, more gratifying, less judgmental level. Imagine being able to describe yourself to others while being empowered by your strengths and experiences and not cringing at the thought of your weaknesses and struggles. Imagine taking care of yourself, owning your needs and treating yourself with the love and nurturance you would give to a baby or child.

Dating provides the platform to get to know someone, giving you the opportunity to assess if your personalities, goals, and values are compatible. Dating allows you to learn about a potential partner’s likes, dislikes, background, passions, beliefs, and the like. This knowledge is key to forming a romantic bond, however, it raises an important question — how much is dating focused on getting to know someone else when you might feel that you really do not know yourself?

This question leads me to the fun yet frightening exploration process of dating yourself. This is a practice I recommend to my clients who are newly single, grieving a breakup or divorce, attracting unhealthy partners or who are struggling with being single or not connecting on their dates.

Dating yourself might include everything and anything from checking out a new restaurant, seeing a movie or live music, hiking, going to a spa, attending a book talk, running or taking a dance or cooking class solo. It might also include writing a gratitude note to yourself, journaling, treating yourself to a massage or cooking yourself a delicious dinner with the recipe you have been wanting to try. The point is to confidently embark on the journey of doing what you love and what brings you happiness without waiting for anyone (especially a partner) to do it with you or for you.

In order to get the most out of this experience, dating yourself should also include allotting some time to be alone and connect with yourself without planned activities. Solitude aids you in developing a healthy relationship with yourself and discovering who you are.

Although this idea might feel completely overwhelming at first, there are many healthy benefits to dating yourself. Here are five:

1. Dating yourself gets you out of your comfort zone and into healthy risk-taking mode, especially if you tend to stay away from going out of your home solo or resist doing activities without the company of someone else.

2. Dating yourself reinforces the idea that love and happiness start within, teaching you to look within for the support, encouragement and love that you naturally crave. This puts less pressure on potential partners to be responsible for your happiness and health.

3. Dating yourself increases your self-esteem and worthiness as you actively value and care for yourself. It shows you that you are deserving of great care and attention and helps you expect that (in a healthy way) from your future partner(s).

4. Dating yourself gives you the opportunity to get to know who you are in a deeper way, bringing you insight about what is really important to you. This knowledge is vital to partner selection, attraction and maintaining healthy relationships with others.

5. Dating yourself teaches you to enjoy alone time and how to be independent, furthering the health of your present and future relationships and tying into the healthy balance of separateness and togetherness in relationships. It allows you to be happy with and without a partner.

If you’re still not sold…think about it like this: The more fear or discomfort you have about dating yourself, the more valuable this process will be. If you find yourself anxious or worrying about judgment from others for doing activities alone, look inward, notice your thoughts and make room for them without attachment.

About the Author:

Rachel Dack is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Nationally Certified Counselor and relationship coach, specializing in psychotherapy for individuals and couples via her private practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Rachel’s areas of expertise include relationships, self-esteem, dating, mindfulness, anxiety, depression and stress management. Rachel is a co-author to Sexy Secrets to a Juicy Love Life, an International Bestseller, written to support single women in decreasing frustration about single-hood, leaving the past behind, cultivating self-love and forming and maintaining loving relationships. Rachel also serves as a Relationship Expert for http://www.datingadvice.com/ and other dating and relationship advice websites. Follow her on Twitter for more daily wisdom!

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6 Signs This is ‘Not’ The Guy for You http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/6-signs-this-is-not-the-guy-for-you/ http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/6-signs-this-is-not-the-guy-for-you/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:39:36 +0000 http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/?p=29975 The endless search for lasting love can be exhausting, frustrating, and depressing. In a world dominated by social media, serial dating, and a cheating rate of 60% of all married couples, we may questions why we search. We search because we want to be in love. We want to feel that connection and safety with […]

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The endless search for lasting love can be exhausting, frustrating, and depressing. In a world dominated by social media, serial dating, and a cheating rate of 60% of all married couples, we may questions why we search. We search because we want to be in love. We want to feel that connection and safety with another person. However, making smart decisions when it comes to love is a huge part of this picture. Here are some things to think about, ladies, as you get to know that new guy!

6 Signs this is NOT the “The Guy”

1. Mr. Unavailable: If you cannot easily get in touch with him when he lives in the same city, something is up. For a woman, it’s always a little nerve-wracking to reach out to a new guy. If you call him and he sounds annoyed or inconvenienced or only returns some of your calls/texts, maybe this isn’t the guy.

2. Mr. Invalidation: If they last time he complimented you was the day you met, then this is a guy who does not value you the way you deserve. Not that a man should be falling all over himself to compliment you, but he should be proud to be yours and under no uncertain terms let you know this as often as possible. Any healthy partnership is based on recognizing and making the other person feel good. This is natural to the feeling of love.

3. Mr. Only Good In the Moment: When you have confusion because you have an amazing time when you are together, but he hardly makes an effort to be together, he may not be having as much fun as you think. If thoughts of you seem to vanish from his mind when you are not around, and he has every excuse as to why he cannot see you, it is time to walk away, regardless of how good you feel it is when you do spend time together. A man who really wants a woman makes the effort to be with her.

4. Mr. I Want a Mama: If you notice he is always low on funds, food in his fridge and cannot keep his place clean, this man is looking for a mama. He will take from you, allow you to care for him and not value you all at the same time. This is a clear sign he cannot take care of himself. Get up and run.

5. My Way or The Highway: This guy is inflexible. Things must go his way for any type of relationship to be established. When you are straightforward with him about what you expect he may agree but when it comes down to it, if it isn’t his way it will be the highway, so start driving. Relationships require flexibility in an effort for both partners to get their needs met. All things cannot be based on one person’s idea of timing.

6. Mr. Quitter: If this man would let you walk away without any type of a fight then he was either never invested, or he knows deep down you are too good for him. Your first real fight will give you an idea if he is a quitter. If you find you have to fix everything when clearly he is in the wrong, you are setting a pattern of being with someone who has no desire to help fix or nurture the relationship. He would rather give up. This person doesn’t have much self-value, and certainly not enough of a work ethic to value anyone else.

All of these men may seem easy to spot, but any one or combination of these traits could happen in your relationships and you will be amazed and what kind mental trickery you will do to stay. You will first search every reason, that regardless of what it looks like, that you have enough evidence he does love you. This is happening because the relationship is still providing you with some amount of value, happiness and pleasure; you have an attachment to him and this is hard to let go of.

Little Life Message: If staying with a man comes from making excuses and justifying his substandard treatment, you are missing out on meeting someone who can love you, no excuses.

About the Author:

Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself, and a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. Receive free insights from Sherrie and get involved in her Facebook community with others looking to improve their relationships.

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