Category Archives: Dating theories

Romantic movies dangerous?

Are romantic movies putting in jeopardy our realistic expectations of relationships? Do they make us crave things we can’t possibly attain in real life? So claim social scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, England.

The skeptical part of me sees their point – most romantic comedies depict scenarios that are quite far-fetched. When was the last time you heard about a millionaire falling for a hooker (Hugh Heffner and his half-dozen barely-legal girlfriends not withstanding – yes, I know they’re not technically hookers.) And in every-day life “you’ve got mail” does not usually produce a Meg Ryan or a Tom Hanks type – it produces someone who worships fruit flies or themselves! Then again, none of my relationships ended due to him drowning to an Anya song (at least as far as I know).

On the other hand, the girly romantic part of me truly believes that there are soul mates (I just have yet to meet him), that flowers on random occasions is perfectly normal (because it was in at least two of my relationships) and that it’s possible to be with someone who treats you as though you’re god’s gift to the world (been there too!) Obviously, none of those relationships have worked out, but they made me certain that you CAN have it all (and hopefully in the same package when it IS your soul mate you’re with).

And what about the other real-life relationship parts where life throws you lemons and you have to jointly make grape juice? I admit, I haven’t met many couples who have the type of a relationship I am looking for, but I’ve met a few. I see how they balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, support each other in triumphs and defeats and laugh with rather than at each other. That’s what I want (I can live without the roses.)

So with all my might, as I click my hills together and wish upon a star, I know that my soul mate is out there and no romantic movie critic will convince me that wanting what I want is unattainable! At least that’s my belief – I’d appreciate it if you left my pink bubble intact! 😉

And what do you think? Do romantic movies raise unrealistic expectations about relationships? What about other types of media? In what way do you think the entertainment industry influences our desires, expectations and ultimately, relationships?

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You are HOW you eat?

Have you ever evaluated your date’s eating habits to determine how s/he might be as a lover? Just read a cool article suggesting there might be a connection. Although my own “sensuality correlation theory” has more to do with dance partnering than eating (I promise to share it with you soon) this eating thing makes perfect sense. People who eat with pleasure and delight, share and deliberately take their time to enjoy the food possess the qualities of sensuality and generosity that could very well translate to other areas. I suppose conversely not as much should be expected of people who don’t take time to savor their food or, worst of all, don’t like to share! Yeah, I can totally see it!

Consider the people you’ve dated and their relationship with food – any light bulb moments? I know I had a few. Remember Mo, my beastly Egyptian Gaston? I didn’t tell about you the food portion of the date as I greatly respect your time and attention span (who would have thought that one little date could produce so much material and food for thought – no pun intended!)

Prior to meeting later in the day Mo told me on the phone that he was “stuffed” as he spent most of the day at a holiday cookout. He felt terrible about it because he said he tries to be health-conscious. I figured we’d just have drinks and maybe an appetizer – after all, we didn’t meet until after 9pm. However, after much deliberation over the menu, Mo ordered a HUGE taco salad (the kind that comes in a big deep-fried shell with bits of nutritious iceberg lettuce overwhelmed by cheese, guacamole, sour cream, chicken and olives). To be fair, Mo generously offered me his olives (which I politely declined) before devouring the so-called-salad. At one point he confided in me that the reason he is eating so light (ahem) is because of all the food he had consumed earlier. With irony – he clearly missed – I asked what he’d order normally, to which he replied totally seriously “Oh, something a little heartier like steak”. Aha. Once again, with that level of self awareness (clearly consistent with his other behavior patterns), I am glad it didn’t get past hug one!

I’ve also thought about the eating habits of the last few boyfriends and have to say, the food correlation theory seems to be pretty accurate. Paired with other behavioral patterns you can quickly detect – ability to listen and ask good questions, solid hugging and even hand-shaking skills, connection on the dance floor (look gentlemen, you don’t have to be Mikhael Barishnikov, just hold the girl close and sway to the rhythm!)… you can tell a lot about a person in the first few dates (or hours) if you just pay attention.

So what correlations have you discovered / tested in your dating experience? I am curious to hear about your theories (certainly you’ve been hearing more than enough about mine 😉

Dear John (no pun intended)

I just went on a date with John. Whereas I might normally try to protect his identity with a made up name, it would be with something like “John” anyway. No offense to anyone named John because it really is a great name, but with so many of them around… Although if he sounds like your match, I’d be thrilled to introduce you. He is still very single and at least one of my friends loves it when I – what SHE calls – recycle my former dates. I am into being a good friend AND environmentally friendly!

Anyway, John is one of those super nice, CUTE, considerate, thoughtful, well-traveled, educated, generous, smart guys that you WISH you were into but you’re just not. At least I was not. He was obviously nervous and asked quite obvious questions (and not even that many of those). I just want an inquisitive man who asks soul searching questions and tries to unravel the mystery of who I am. YES, on the first date! At least I need to see a glimmer of hope that he has the “unraveling” potential! I could tell he was kinda into me because he frequently exclamed “Wow, you’re really interesting!” or “Amazing how much we have in common!”. I can see how “on paper” we’d SEEM perfectly compatible, I knew there wouldn’t be a date 2.

I believe in being perfectly clear with people, particularly when I have no intention of dating them. Why keep them in suspense or worse yet, wait until they send you a glowing email enumerating everything you had in common and how wonderful they think you are. I mean the last part is not so bad, but SO awkward and unnecessary. I try to do all I can to help them save face and maintain a sense of dignity as I “let them down gently”. In fact, I must confess, I feel this incredible responsiblity – umm, potentially bordering on unhealthy – to protect their self esteem / ego. To this end, my “I am not interested, but you’re fabulous” email to John (let’s call it “form letter A”) read:

“Dear John (no pun intended)

It was great meeting you last night. You’re one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I’ve ever met. Thank you so much for dinner! I definitely sensed more of a friend vibe so should you ever want a museum buddy, just let me know – I’d love to be friends. Have a great week!”

I was perfectly satisfied with my Form Letter A. I had clearly stated my intentions, I was nice AND I gave him an “out” ! I certainly was not expecting the reply:

“I am confused. Did you get the friend vibe from ME? Because I am definitely interested…” It went on downhill from there. Sigh! I don’t get it! Dude, I throw you a rope – grab on and play along! Why set yourself up for further awkwardness or a blunt(er) rejection? Embarrassing and oh SO uncomfortable for both of us!

I was so confused, I had to run this by my friends. Almost unanimously women agreed that I was nice, clear and he SHOULD have let it go (apparently, most women have a version of Form Letter A and sometimes get the same response I did.) I was shocked that several male friends told me I was too subtle and left a “door open” in my email. HA?

I don’t know. What do you think? Was I unclear / too subtle? Did I leave an “open door”? What does your “form letter A” say and have you had better luck with it? What would you like to hear / read post date 1 if someone’s not interested? Would LOVE to hear your feedback and experiences!