Friday, December 18, 2009

Picking Your SuperMate

No one said this whole mating thing would be easy. But, part of the fun in the process is selection and the steps you take to finding a potential mate. Hence, the need to date -- and the journey to finding that perfect fit.

Sometimes, it works, and with it comes the desire to commit to someone for the rest of your life. But many times, people break up. Along the way, that "thing" that worked out in the relationship suddenly changes and it gets harder to keep something alive that once came so easily.

I started thinking about these things while I was out with colleagues last night. Two of them had just come out of long-term relationships, dealing with things rather well. And, while the specific circumstances for each situation vary, the shared point here (and across the board) is simple: in break-ups, what brings you together may be a great foundation... But it's the qualities of a person that makes the difference between a Right Now... And a Long-Termer...

Of course, there's no predicting these things in advance. But, the great thing here is that the opportunity to date and learn about each person. And, realizing what works -- and doesn't work for you. Personally, when I think of the qualities I want a man to have, I start with what I know hooks me in: Looks, Career, Style, Humor, Physical Chemistry... But then, there are other things that factor into my thinking. (Not that the qualities above don't count -- because they DO!) However, after having some strong male figures that I looked up to, and knowing who I am, some of these qualities just plain ol' make sense:

1. Honesty: If we can't just talk to each other, and filtering of any conversations is required, then there's no way we're gonna make it through. Period.

2. Patience: Need I say more? Someone that can't hang with the tough times isn't long term material for me.

3. Expressive: See, now this is a little different that romantic. If a person can let you know how they're feeling about you, then how can you really move to any level?

4. People-Committed: He should have other people in his life he highly regards -- family, set of best friends, adoptive parents, a child... And his actions should show it the same way he uses words to express it.

5. Strength: This one is multilayered. It's more of a man that is decisive in what he feels, and believes in things deep enough to assert himself -- without being domineering.

Whatever your qualities, the bottom line is simple: your "SuperMate" may come in any package. You just need to get past what reels you in and assess what they have that'll make you stay.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

YOUR OPINION: What Men/Women Should Know

So I've been kicking around the idea of putting together a list of things you should know when dating someone. That is, What Men Wish Women Knew and What Women Wish Men Knew (stage of the relationship is irrelevant). Think about it. Are there things you wish your mate knew? Like: How to behave on a first date? How long he should wait before bringing up sex? When you think it's OK for her to meet your boys? Why you need a boys' night? Why talking about the ex on a first date is a turn off?

To really get to the heart of it (and what matters to you), I want you to tell me what you think. What things do you wish the opposite sex just knew without you needing to spell it out?

I'll be gathering opinions until December 28, so feel free to use the link under the "Email the Relationship Diva" section to the right to email me your thoughts. (Email is preferred!) They'll get posted right before the New Year -- and hopefully serve as great insight for dating in 2010!

Note: I'll try to use as many as I can.

The RD

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

15 Signs You’re Not In A Real Relationship

I came across this great read today and wanted to share it. Simple and to the point:
15 Signs You’re Not In A Real Relationship The Frisky

Thanks, The Frisky!

Five Tips to Surviving Those Holiday Desires

What is it about the holiday that just brings up the overwhelming desire for companionship? Maybe it's the snow... Maybe it's the cold... Or maybe, it's just the season of togetherness and the desire to embrace others. Whatever it is, it can easily cause relapse into old habits or mates that are not good for you -- and one that should be controlled as much as possible so as not to do anything you'll regret.

So, in the experiences I've gathered along the way, I've put together some of my favorite tips on how to deal if you're single and trying to behave a little.

And if you don't see one you would recommend, then send that along, too! Would love to post them.

The AD

5 Tips to Surviving Those Holiday Desires
(In no particular order)

1. Invest in a cuddly soft product: One of the best ways to avoid the desire to need a "cuddle buddy" is to grab a cozy Snuggie or a body pillow -- something that you can curl up with on the couch or in bed. You can also consider a pet, although the other items require a little less maintenance.

2. Avoid romance novels, movies, whatever: There tends to be a LOT of these on TV, and I know it's hard to watch, but the love stories contribute to the desire to cuddle. Try action or family fun... Anything that can slow the need for a little sexual craving.

3. Stay Active: Keeping busy and in motion helps a great deal to keep your mind off of the need for a bed buddy. Shop, go to the gym, walk, clean, pick up a hobby... Remember the expression about idle hands...

4. Groups of Friends are GOOD: Being in the company of others goes a long way to fight the urges -- it's like a built-in support group! Consider having dinners or game nights with others so your calendar is full... And you're not sitting at home looking through the phone book for others to hang out with.

5. Delete, Delete, Delete: The numbers of old flames in your phone book can be such the bad thing, which my pal Laurie can tell you -- or even me. (I mean, check out the "Flings" and "Hook Up" tags for goodness sake!) So, remove them and fight the urge to give them a call after hours... Now that's self-control.

Of course... If you want to get into your own mischief, then this won't apply. :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chemical Reactions & Drunken Calls

Most times, shutting the door on an old relationship can be hard. And, dealing with the post break-up emotions are just as tough. I know that each time I got over a relationship I had to go through the phases and when my first love, Charles, and I broke up, I had no idea how I would recover. So, I decided to act out -- going out a LOT, meeting boys, flirting up a storm, dating like crazy... I did anything I could to push him out of my life.

So when I was talking to my friend Laurie this week, I more than got where she was coming from. Shortly after having the "DTR talk" with her guy, he called it quits. And now that it's over, she's just now learning to heal.

And it was when we talked this week that she told me about being out on the town and meeting a guy that she seemed to instantly get along with. The drinks were flowing, and may have been a little caught up with the "liquid courage" in her system, but she was having a good time, and ran with it.

Anyway, he kissed her, and thus begins a make out session that could have easily turned into more. However, the guy puts the breaks on it and tells her he's started dating another girl he likes and doesn't want to mess it up. (**Insert splash of cold water here**)

Frustrated and confused, she turned to her phone and reached out to the guy that once made her feel good inside -- Mr. DTR & Run, as I'll call him.

At this point, reeling from the sudden bomb dropped by Mr. Not-Upfront-Guy, this is all too common as a next step. I mean, how many times have we rushed to reach out to an ex when someone seems to blow us off? There's a comfort we get out of leaning on the familiar... Even if it isn't the best thing for us, which it isn't most times (I mean, hello -- "break-up sex"? Who thought that was a good idea?!)

Logically, I'm of the school of thought that once a break up happens, you need to do everything you can to sever ties -- even if that means deleting numbers from your phone book. The stickiness of a break-up is hard to let go of without having a constant reminder in your all-too-accessible cell phone. How can you NOT be tempted to dial or send a seemingly innocuous text? Or even worse -- do that when you're drunk? (C'mon now. Don't tell me YOU haven't entertained the idea!)

As for Laurie... Well, slowly, her ex-guy is calling less... Which may sting but be necessary. I mean, as far as I can tell, no one is immune to the break up process. However, regardless of how you deal, all you can hope is that after the booze wears off and your dialing finger cramps up, that urge leaves your system, kind of like detoxing -- before venturing into the dating world again.

Digital Creepin'

Although I hate to give in to all the Tiger Woods chatter, and especially how text messages gave away his indiscretions, I found this recent story on Good Morning America about texts as the new "lipstick on the collar" quite interesting. According to the article, Tiger sent many of his mistresses racy text messages, and he's not the only one. The story outlines other high profile individuals that got caught -- all with digital trails of less than 160 characters.

This story actually struck a cord with me because it's such an easy thing to do -- text your way to infidelity. In this day and age, I feel like I text conversations more than I have them on the phone. Heck, I've even had dates made by text. Less than ideal but in this day on the go, it happens all too often and easily. Who's to say it hasn't happened to me?

But I digress...

The break-up with my first love, Charles, left me very tenderhearted. While we were on a hiatus, he slept with his ex, getting her pregnant. And so, I cut him off. At first. We then had a limbo thing going while he tried to figure out what he would do. And then she moved in with him, the baby was born and BOOM -- we were done. So I thought.

About a year from our hiatus/break-up, I got a text message from him late at night wondering where I was. I'd been on his mind and he decided to check up on me. And that's when the thread of texting began. How he missed me, how he wanted to see me and still thought about us and the times we'd been together...

Truth? I wrote back -- but kept it very G-rated and asked TONS of questions because I didn't feel right. Granted, I missed him like CRAZY. But a man having a child with another woman while he's with me (even if in limbo) is pretty much a deal breaker.

Anyway, she found his texts a couple of weeks later. And he called me at work, rather frantic to give me a heads up. That conversation was a little sticky:

Charles: Hey, so here's the deal -- she knows.
Me: What do you mean "She knows?" About what?
Charles: She found the messages from a few weeks ago.
(I'm silent at this point)
Me: Are you for real?
Charles: Yeah. You think I would make this up?
Me: So what do you want me to do about it?
Charles: I just called tell you... She and I got into a fight. She was mad. And she may be calling you.
Me: Let her. I have no problem discussing it with her.
Charles: What does that mean?
Me: It means I did nothing. It'll be up to her what to do with you. Hope you get through this but gotta go.

While I never heard from her, I knew at that point that I was lucky to not be with him. Even though nothing happened between us and he was silly for keeping the messages on his phone (Theory: Maybe he wanted to get caught.), he did his own form of cheating by getting secretly suggestive with me while being with another woman. Even if there was no direct sexual violation involved.

It just goes to show that any type of creepin' leaves a footprint -- even a digital one. Just depends on how good you are at covering it up. And many times, it eventually unfolds. I mean, look at Tiger.

But of course, we know how that turns out. So maybe it's a good idea not to play around if you're gonna play sloppy.