Modern birth control changed bonding relationships profoundly.  Universal internet connections to practically everyone in the world has been another game changer.  For many of us our beliefs and expectations about relationships has lagged behind the reality of modern relationships.

familyBefore Birth Control (BBC)
In the times before modern birth control intimate relationships between men and women normally produced babies. Mothers nursed infants and cared for the kids and the nest.  Men worked outside the home. Couples exhausted the remainder of their youth and all their middle age raising their families.  Mostly, couples bonded for life. Religions and laws supported this lifestyle.  Couples committed to the relationship once and then made it work as best they could “til death do you part.” Divorce was rarely an acceptable choice. It wasn’t a perfect arrangement, but it lasted centuries.

After Birth Control (ABC)6155_O'Connor_Sandra Day O'Connor being sworn in as US Supreme Court Justice, 1981_with credit_Collection of the Supreme Court_crop2
Birth control affects women more profoundly than men. For men, birth control has allowed the control of taking on the responsibilities of being a provider for a family under the old family model.  For women, it meant they could have relationships and at the same time  be a provider.  Women are no longer expected to be limited to the role of “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

Fluidity of Relationships
Divorce – Since women started entering the career world divorce rates have skyrocketed.  In the BBC way of thinking this has been a shocking reality, but in the ABC world it’s not really so negative. While there are substantial negatives to divorce, particularly with children, divorce is more manageable when both spouses can work and support themselves, as is often the case today. Divorce also allows escape from bad marriages.  The old stigma of divorce is melting away.

Unmarried or late marriages – Statistics show a great increase in men and women who are choosing to remain unmarried or postpone marriage. With birth control they can have careers and relationships without the challenges of raising kids.

Child Care – Career women who wanted children but didn’t want to abandon their careers created a need for child care to take care of their precious little ones during working hours.  Some husbands split or assume all the responsibility for work time child care. Though sometimes reluctantly,  many husbands today are sharing other domestic chores more equally with their wives.

Internet Dating and App Dating
The ease of finding a compatible mate is remarkable when compared to the profoundly limited choices of just a decade or two ago. It’s fast, easy and cheap.

Uncommitted? Relationships
Are humans naturally monogamous?

Is a lifetime commitment the goal of bonded relationships?

When is divorce the right answer for a marriage?

Are religious ideas of marriage keeping up with changing science and cultures?

How do overpopulation and lower mortality rates relate to making families?

Are expectations of having a home like Beaver, or even Bart, becoming obsolete?

If you can answer these questions with intelligence and sensitivity, you need to have a voice that is heard.  For many people the answers to these questions have changes radically over the past few decades.  Our observation is that marriage age people today generally have very different thoughts about marriage than their parents.

 

 

People are window shopping on your dating site. Some may pause for a moment to glance and then move on. Some will take a little more time to look at your display in the window to consider whether they want to enter your shop.  Make your display get attention and interest from the type of shoppers who might buy what you are offering.
eyeglass-window-womenretroCapture Attention
Online daters are out shopping for dates.  They are looking in the various shop windows to see what appeals.  Why should they focus on your display?

Dating sites tend to arrange potential dates with thumbnail pictures and simple bios. If your likely dates won’t click your pic, you are doomed.  Make that image draw shoppers to the window. Be eye-catching!

Inspire Interest
It is essential that you have a basic understanding of what interests your shopper.  Yes, your shopper is interested in finding a person like you, but why would your shopper want you?  What needs of that person can you satisfy?  If your profile gives your shopper the idea that you will satisfy those needs, then you have inspired interest.  (Hint – the greatest need to be satisfied is companionship.)

No Price Tags
Window displays don’t show prices.  Prices scare people away.  fabioOne of the biggest mistakes we see with online profiles is showing the price.  Do you wonder how you might be showing your price?  You display it when your profile creates high expectations of what you require from your potential mate.  Profiles do it explicitly and implicitly.  Do you really require your mate to be tall, lean, athletic, rich, and possess a graduate degree or are you just in fantasy land? Your shoppers aren’t perfect and, most importantly, they are not likely to be altogether confident in themselves.  Remember, your display is there to appeal to the shoppers needs, not to over-state your needs (real or not) that may scare off buyers.

window shoppingIt’s Not Facebook
Window displays work best with simple and powerful images. You don’t need to put the whole store in the window.  You want to create a positive feeling about you that inspires a further look. Yes, your store has a diversity of items, but you have to get the shopper in the door before the real shopping begins.

Most people feel insecure about creating a profile for the world to see. We sure did. One way many of us compensate for that insecurity is to try to create a profile that makes us look good.  Well, that is OK as long as it also serves our purpose of communicating our abilities to satisfy the needs of the desirable shoppers.  That is often not the case.  Too much about where we have been and what we’ve done may turn off some shoppers. Don’t let your profile seem like bragging about yourself.  With your profile you should be exposing yourself in a manner that makes you desirable to the people you want.  No more, no less.

Your online profile is like a tapestry of who you are.  Weave it with skill and care, and it will attract attention, desire, and collectors.

swift-silvertails-passing“SWIFT SILVERTAILS PASSING” by Ulrika Leander

So maybe your first attempt won’t quite be a masterpiece like Ulrika produces, but you can weave an image of yourself that is cohesive, coherent, and very appealing.

Design it
Your dating profile is an image of you that you have decided to present to the world.  Isn’t that worth composing well?  We are regularly amazed when incredibly fine people present profiles that make them look like clods of dirt. Maybe consider your first attempt at drafting your profile to be a “rough sketch.”   Re-read what you did and start to better develop the idea of who you are and how you can best be presented. Maybe crumple up a few drafts and file them in the recycling.  We’re willing to bet big money that Ulrika didn’t just sit down and start weaving with the vague idea that a flock of birds would look pretty cool flying through a forest of trees.

Weave it
It’s work. Creative work? Yes. Rewarding work? Yes. But nonetheless, work.  Invest the necessary time and energy into what may ultimately be one of the most important things that you do in your whole life. What if you were offered the deal of having a great mate for the rest of your life in exchange for a dozen or so hours of work creating your profile tapestry?  If you’re too busy watching TV to take that deal, it’s probably best that you just keep on watching Cheers reruns.

Get help if you need it. Would you fix the brakes on your car yourself without knowing how?

Profile bonus
Unlike woven tapestries, you can rewrite your profile to improve it at any time.  If it ain’t working, fix it.  You can and will learn what works and what doesn’t. Apply that knowledge.

Be a masterpiece!

You only have one chance to make a first impression!

We encourage you to take the time and make the effort to deliver the first impression that works best for you.

Put your best foot forward = to act or appear your best; to try to make a good impression

To Act and Appear Your Best Online
The first goal of your online profile and pictures is to catch the attention of dates who are good matches for you.  After you catch their attention, your online presence needs to create sufficient interest in you to make dating likely.

Rule # 1 – Appeal to universal desires
Unless you are one of those rare people looking for something “peculiar” in a relationship (shades of whatever), count on the fact that most people are looking for the same normal things in a relationship.  Not many daters are looking to avoid people who are “nice” and “interesting” and “happy” and “healthy” and “honest” and….

Rule # 2 – Avoid unnecessary turn-offs
Sometimes trivial things detract from your image. Skip displaying information that is irrelevant to you. For example, including your astrological sign may give someone the impression that you are an astrology true believer.  That may be an unnecessary turn-off to some people.  over-accessorizedThere is a tendency to believe that the more you put in your profile, the more likely you will attract a date.  Not true.  Show what is important to you.

Rule # 3 – Keep the “your” in your best
If you are creating an attractive image that is not you, that is not likely to benefit you in the long run.  On the other hand, get past the generic descriptors when describing yourself.  Maybe sit down with a friend and “brainstorm” what makes you special.  Sometimes others see us more clearly than we do.

Rule # 4 – Don’t try to hide the obvious
Research has proven that being open about your obvious characteristics you may believe are  “negatives” works much better than trying to hide them.  For example, if you think you are too short to be attractive, it’s better to show you are comfortable with your height than to initially appear to be hiding your height.  People are attracted to confidence.  Don’t make your insecurities (we all have them) the focus of their attention.  If your profile seems to say “Yes, I’m 5′ X”. I’m good with it.”  you defuse the issue.  More often than not, what you think is your big “negative” is not nearly as big a deal to potential dates.

Pay attention to your sources of advice!

“No enemy is worse than bad advice.”   Sophocles

keep-calm-and-follow-the-moneyWhat is their Motive?
If your source of advice is a commercial enterprise, how do they make their money?  Ask yourself “Is this advice being given because they want my dating to succeed?”

Click Bait
Many web sites make their money through the advertising on the site.  Every time someone clicks onto their site they make a little money from their advertisers.  If a site claims something like “The TOP 5 SECRETS to finding EVERLASTING LOVE” and their web pages are plastered with ads, can you guess what they are up to?   Do they care about you or your click?  If the claim is too good to be true, well….

Books
Granted, people generally write books to make money.  They also spend a lot of time writing, and, if the book comes from a big publisher, there has likely been some intelligent editing. We’ve read quite a few books on dating. Some are relatively worthless. Some offer real help. Some we disagree with entirely.  The good thing about buying from bookstores is that you can thumb through the book to see if you like what is being said.  Amazon has reviews that may be helpful, but we’ve purchased some well-reviewed books that were ludicrously bad.  Hey, at least we got a laugh.

Dating Websites
There are some excellent dating websites out there. We are really glad we were able to attract each other through match.com.  While we see no reason to believe the dating websites don’t want to help make matches, they make more money the longer you pay to have their service.  Hmmm, there seems to be a conflict.helping

Who Cares?
We believe there are many good people in this world who care about the well-being of others. Keep your eyes open wide (and your hand on your wallet) and look for the caring people who want to help you.

Find your Own Way using Directions
Recognize that you can figure out this dating challenge.  Also, recognize that it’s smart to find help.  You can drive from NYC to LA without a map, but it’s not such a bad idea to use one.  On the other hand, a map won’t get you there, you still must get behind the wheel (and pay for the gas).


The title is a famous marketing statement made popular in the 1930’s. It’s based on a simple progression that takes place in the human mind:

DESIRE    ATTRACTION    SATISFACTION

Desire for Steak
Steaks sell because of a powerful recurring desire, hunger.  That’s not the only desire though.  There is something about grilled meat that really turns on most people (no offense intended to our vegetarian and vegan friends).  Maybe it’s the memory of the satisfaction of eating a hot, juicy, and tender steak.

Sell the Sizzlesizzle
Sizzle is stimulating. It creates an eagerness for the steak. We all know that instant appetite we feel when we smell baking bread or grilling meat.  It’s a primal instinct of desire. We can choose whether or not to pursue the desired thing, but we don’t choose the attraction.  The attraction works at a subconscious level.  We may need to be in the right mood to be susceptible to the attraction, but it works on us whether we want it to or not.

Deliver the Steak
Unless you don’t care about the customer, you have to deliver what the sizzle promised. You have to meet expectations or there will be disappointment.  Satisfaction will bring them back for more.

Dating Desires
To understand your sizzle you must first understand the desires that you may choose to satisfy. OK, everybody’s mind jumps to the desire for sex.  While that is often a powerful desire and should not be overlooked when considering your sizzle, it is not necessarily the most powerful desire your potential date may have.  It is surely not the only desire.  The desire for companionship is strong.  What about the desire for appreciation?  Happiness.  Romance. Giving. Touch. Safety. The list for what people want from the person they hang with goes on and on.

Dating Sizzle
Like a steak’s sizzle, your dating sizzle comes from the highly attractive attributes of what satisfies the desires.  Eating satisfies hunger.  The sights, sounds, and, smells of a steak cooking are the attractions.  The desire for steak is relatively simple compared to dating desires.  You will have to work harder at being creative to discover your dating sizzle.  The desire for sex is often believed to be one of the simpler desires and therefore one of the easier ones to produce sizzle. Sizzles for the companionship desire are more challenging. Those sizzles are even more challenging if you try to create sizzle with written words; for example, “long walks on the beach” or “cuddling together on the sofa” or “attending the opera together.”  candlelit

Pictures can sizzle way more than written words (unless you are Shakespeare). Humans can be powerfully stimulated by images. This is why advertising uses images.  There is a big difference between writing “I love candlelit dinners for two” and this image. Your dating profile pictures are very important to creating your sizzle.

What you do on a date has great potential to sizzle. Your packaging can sizzle. Dressing attractively, being nicely groomed, and wearing a nice fragrance (even though every carnivore loves the smell of bacon, we don’t recommend it) can stimulate a multitude of desires. A kind word can be powerful, not to mention a smile or laugh.  You may not be able to give your date a lifetime of love on your first date, but you can give them the expectation that you might be the source of such love.  Did we mention the excellent sizzle of eye contact held just a little longer than normal?

Dating Satisfaction
Only create the high expectations that you want to live up to.  It may be tempting to offer what you won’t deliver, but it’s obviously a doomed enterprise. Know what you will be delivering before you sell the sizzle.  The good thing is that most people want what most other people can satisfy. If someone desires companionship, it’s not too hard to find someone else who wants the same thing. If your date desires appreciation, is it so hard to say “mmmmm, this is good” when you eat your date’s cooking?  Deliver the goods your sizzle sold and you have the makings of a great relationship.  Sizzle gets them in the door, but satisfaction keeps them coming back for more.

Sell the sizzle – deliver the steak!

We all hear people say that they deserve this and they deserve that. Sometimes we want to ask them “Why?”  The idea of entitlement has a negative ring to it, but aren’t we all at least entitled to some good things, like being treated with respect.

What are we entitled to?
In America we are entitled to quite a lot that we often take for granted. The Constitution guaranties us rights that people would have considered to be ridiculously unattainable just a few hundred years ago.  Jefferson, with his fine writing talents, summed up our entitlements as the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”   Thank you TJ for expressing so well what all humans should be able to expect in life.

“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.”  Aristotle

worthy-notOf what are we worthy?
We also deserve what we have earned.  Sometimes what you deserve to get back for what you have given out is straightforward, a quid pro quo, or give-and-take. You do your work, you get paid.  Sometimes there is a less direct connection between what you have done and the reward. For example, you work hard and you might get a promotion.

Do you deserve happiness?
As Jefferson wrote, we all have the right to pursue happiness, but we think it is best to believe that you don’t deserve happiness unless you have done something to earn it.  We’ve all done good things in our lives that would seem to balance with deserving happiness, but who knows if that good was good enough?  If you really want to feel deserving of some seriously nice happiness, why not ensure that the balance of give and take is in your favor.  Give and give and give some more. You can then sincerely feel deserving of receiving happiness. (And you’ll make a lot of friends, too!)

GiveGet-CropSelectiveColor

It’s true, you are a liar.  Don’t try to tell me that you didn’t tell your grandmother that you really loved the teal sweater she gave you for your 12th birthday.

Yes, you are a teller of “white lies.”  We all are.  Sometimes deceit is excused by the greater good it serves. Sometimes white lies are strong.  For example, publicly denouncing your family to save all of their lives. Sometimes white lies are so light they are barely recognizable. You say “It’s OK” when it’s really not because you know it’s not worth fighting about.

It’s also common knowledge that there are quite a few white lies in dating profiles.  Quite a few black lies too.

800px-Auto_Racing_Black_White.svgHow to determine if your lie is white or black
The test is simple, but it’s correct application is sometimes difficult.

A deceit is excused (white lie) if the good it serves is greater than the bad of lying.
Lies, standing alone, are always black.
Generally, societies and religions have straightforward beliefs about lying.  Lying is wrong. There is a clear recognition that people live better together when communication is truthful. It’s hard to imagine a functional society that encourages lying.

It’s the good intentions that whiten a lie.
The big test of “good intentions” is to determine who will be receiving the good.  It can’t be the person lying. Lies that have the sole purpose of benefiting the liar stay black.

When is an untruth in a dating profile a white lie?
Some black lies in online dating profiles are really obvious.  It’s pretty clear with the broke guy who claims to be a millionaire and posts pictures of his younger, handsome cousin who kinda looks like he did ten years ago.

What about lying about your age?  Just 2 years, 41 to 39?  Figuring the good intentions of that misstatement is not easy.  If some people cut off their matches at 40 for no particularly important reason, and the two of you could be a match made in heaven, that untruth seems to be leaning toward white.

What about saying you’re single when you are still married – but expect your divorce to be final next week? What if you say you are 2 inches taller than reality?  What if you claim to be slender when you are carrying a few extra pounds – but you have already committed to an exercise program?

If these small lies are unimportant to your potential dates, are you merely working with the system for the benefit of both of you?

Finding someone who would really not care about the untruth, but would love to be with you, seems to be the common “good intention” that whitewashes small lies in your online dating profile.

pants

 

Can it be a white lie to give the only right answer to the question “Do these pants make me look fat?”

Imagine you are on a stage and before you is an audience of 1000s of people, and all those people are potential dates. Imagine you have the power to pick as many of those dates as you want, and your available dates can be narrowed by the criteria you choose.
stage
What criteria would you choose?
What if you start to get excited about finding your perfect soul mate and you come up with an image in your mind of that perfection. You describe that wonderful person exactly with your criteria and wait for the spotlights to illuminate your dream dates. And wait. And wait. And…..

OK, you accept that you have narrowed the field out of existence with the expectation that your dates be billionaires. Millionaires are acceptable, right? So you modify that criterion (isn’t the singular of criteria cool) and the spotlights illuminate three dates. This is exciting now!

You contact the first dream date and arrange a meeting. You two have a fun first date culminating in your dream asking if you can just be friends because your dream date is just not ready for anything more serious. You are a little deflated, but there are still two others.

Your second dream date never responds to your contact attempts. Maybe you don’t fit that person’s expectations. Maybe your dream date had a family crisis. Maybe your dream date found someone else. Maybe….. Oh well, fate must have it that the third dream date is the “one.”

Your third dream date goes out with you, you have a great time, and it continues with a second and third date. But something is feeling not quite right. Why does this person have such a hard time scheduling dates? That’s when you notice the faint tan line on your date’s ring finger.  Anger!   Depression.   Ouch!

Don’t narrow your field too much
The good part of your experience is that you have learned a good lesson about problem with criteria that are too specific.  You get to go back to that audience of 1000s and loosen up the criteria.  You realize it takes more than criteria to make dreams come true. You get to go on a bunch of dates. You get to date without the burden of extreme expectations. You have a much better chance of succeeding.

We suggest you look for dozens or even hundreds of potential dates who could be right for you if you want to find the “one.”

We highly recommend honesty in relationships.  Honesty works.   Dishonesty doesn’t.  Yet, that doesn’t mean you need to tell everything about yourself in your profile or on your first date.

Disclosure is a gradual process
If you are dating online, you don’t want to say too much about yourself that might let potential matches find a reason (often irrational) not to contact you.  You want to focus on the enticing bits and leave the rest off.

The same is true for first dates.  Volunteer only what you think is appropriate.  What if your date asks a direct question about a subject that you deem too personal for that stage of your relationship?  You can artfully suggest that the subject is better opened when you know each other better.  Use a little of the “Wouldn’t you like to know” treatment.  Leave ’em wanting more.

Information-Overload1But don’t be invisible
Of course, you don’t want to play so hard-to-get that you will never be gotten. A profile that says nothing and a first date where you remain a blank canvas probably won’t entice anyone.
Be intriguing!
Hoping this isn’t inappropriate, but imagine the old time burlesque “artist” (who may not have actually exposed much of anything) getting the crowd all worked up by just removing her gloves.  The excitement was in the anticipation from the slow reveal.