Monday, March 17, 2008

Taking the Lead

Who calls? Who pays? Who does the asking out?

Do you ask yourself any or all of these questions?

Do you find yourself getting into a debate with your friends about it?

Do your single friends feel one way, and your married friends another?

I broach this subject because it recently came up over lunch with a single woman I befriended through a networking group I belong to. I didn't expect to discuss personal matters. We were schmoozing about our various business endeavors, who we know, etc..and as the lunch neared toward the close, she asked if she could seize the moment while I put on my "love coaching cap." I'm always happy to offer advice, if I can be helpful, and I was curious to hear what she wanted to share.

We engaged in a discussion about male vs. female roles in the dating/socializing process.

We recalled years ago the book The Rules, which cleared stated dos and don'ts in the social arena....taking a strong stand that men should be the pursuer...and that you shouldn't be readily available.

I agree with the book on some levels, but not all. I'm not a fan of game-playing. But, the bottom line is that you want to be respected. I do agree that less is more. And, you want to leave him wanting more.

You also want to know that he is as interested in you as you are in him. And, to a certain extent, like it or not, I personally believe that it's more beneficial in the long run for the guy to take the lead. Meaning...that he should ask you out.

I don't have a problem with a woman initiating a conversation with a guy. Some men are shy and would welcome this. But, I'm not a big fan of the woman being the one to suggest that phone numbers or business cards be exchanged. Even if he agrees it's a good idea, why didn't he propose it? Is he just going along with it to avoid an awkward moment? You want to know...don't you?

And...yes...he should be the one to make the first call, or email exchange. Let's see if he would take the initiative. How interested in you is he?

In a perfect world, you want to be pursued.

And, what happens on the date? If you are working and earning a nice income and consider yourself an independent sort, you may want to pay for the date or even split the check. You might think this is the way to go, to show that you don't need his money or expect to be treated.

I do not support this approach. The last thing you want to do on a date is haggle over the check. If you feel the need to reciprocate, then pay on a future date. Cook dinner for him. Take him out for dessert afterwards, etc. There are other ways to show that you don't take for granted that he is treating.

A great way to kill a romantic mood is to do battle over the well meaning as your gesture is intended.

It may seem old-fashioned, but when it comes to dating, at least at the onset of a potential relationship, let the guy show his colors. You'll appreciate it down the road.

I welcome your thoughts on this. You may or may not agree, so do tell.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Mensch and His Mom

In the past week, I engaged in two discussions relative to the character of a mensch....a decent, responsible person. The question arose, why does it matter if someone is a mensch, and how can you tell if they truly fit the bill? This was in regard to dating. The subject came up because I was explaining to a potential love coaching client how I work, and I mentioned the fact that we would discuss past relationships in an effort to examine dating choices, to see if there are any self-defeating patterns/red flags that emerge.

One of the things I feel strongly about is the notion of a mensch.

If you want to attract someone good into your life, then you first need to begin with yourself. Are you a mensch to yourself? Do you practice self care? Do you take time for your own needs? I realize this is easier said than done in today's hectic world, but you have to feel good about yourself (or at least as good as possible), so you can put positive vibes out there.

Are you a mensch to others? Do you do good in the world? Do you support any non-profit causes, either monetarily or through volunteer work? Do you help others when possible? Are you kind? Do you ever pay a compliment to someone?

And, a really telling point, when it comes to dating, is.....if you're a woman seeking a man, how does he treat his mother?

This is something very important to look at.

I'm not in any way suggesting he should be tied to his mom's apron strings. But, how would you, or he, define their relationship? Do they have one? Are they close? How often do they speak on the phone or see each other? Who initiates? Is the relationship based on money? Is one always looking for it from the other?

Does he go out of his way for her? Does he truly value having her in his life?

A friend of mine was discussing a single male friend of hers and how he always complains about his parents. He actually made the comment to her that his life would be simpler if they weren't around. She quickly responded that he would regret it if they were no longer in this world. Despite him having a "challenging" relationship with his folk, life does feel different if you have suffered a parental loss.

Why does it matter how a guy feels about his mom? Because, typically, if he is good to her, he will be good to you. He would have grown up with a respect for women and for the role women play in this world. He will want to be a supportive husband and be there for you to the best of his ability. He will have been raised with that ethic. He may even put you before himself, and who wouldn't appreciate that?! take the time to examine a man's relationship with his mom. Look closely. Think about it. And, keep in mind, that if you want a romance or marriage with this person, that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.