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Cougar Dating: A love trend

There was a dating trend called Cougar dating. Cougar is the term given to an older woman who dates younger men. I was curious about why the symbol of the cougar was chosen, as it seems like an especially aggressive animal. But after googling the animal medicine (qualities and lessons) of the cougar, it said that cougars jump upon opportunity with no hesitation. Cougar wisdom can inform your ability to accept and direct your life with grace and speed. So (according to this symbol) perhaps older women know more about who they are, what they want, how to get it and aren’t afraid to take action when it comes to love?

Women have probably dated younger men for a long time but this cougar phenomenon became central focus when female celebrities started dating and marrying younger men. Some examples include Demi Moore, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Ivana Trump, Rachel Hunter and Mariah Carey. Suddenly it was out in the open and hot!

Now this cougar dating phenomenon is about to become even more popular with an upcoming new television series called ‘Cougar Town,‘ starring Courtney Cox coming out in September. It’s about a single woman in her 40’s that dates younger men after a divorce. There is also the television show out now called, ‘The Cougar’ where an older woman dates younger men and ultimately selects her match. And I just heard that there is a Miss Cougar America and new International Cougar Cruise coming soon. Carnival Cruise Lines is offering its first-ever International Cougar Cruise, which takes place December 4-7, aboard Carnival’s Fun Ship Elation, departing from San Diego and visiting Ensenada, Mexico. Rates are priced from $125 (per person, double-occupancy) plus port charges and government fees. Miss Cougar America (who will be selected at the National Single Cougars Convention, Friday, August 28 at Dinah’s Garden Hotel, in Palo Alto CA) will be the guest of honor. The younger men there will decide who wins the contest!

In addition, all kinds of cougar dating sites and events have cropped up. Some of these include: www.cougarfling.com, www.dateacougar.com, www.urbancougar.com, www.cougardate.com  and www.cougarspeeddate.com.

So, what might men like about dating older women? Some men report that they are more interesting, mature, grounded, directed and secure. I haven’t done a full survey so if any men want to add to this list, please post your comments and feelings about this below.

As for the women, what are the pros and cons of dating younger men? For the pros: younger men are cute, fun and may not have as much relationship baggage. As for the cons: sometimes it is said that women are more mature then men their own age, so younger men may be even more behind, maturity-wise! They may also have a longer time line for embracing commitment, family and children (if this is what the woman is looking for).

My take on this is that it is important to date the individual, instead of subscribing to societal rules. While most men in their twenties (for example) might not want marriage and children etc. there are some who do. It only takes one person to be your soul mate. We have all met the occasional 20 something year old who is more mature than a 40 something year old man. So, why not give someone a few dates and see? For me it is always positive when the limiting beliefs and dating stigmas are lifted so that two people can really get to know each other based upon authentic present experience and can decide the pros and cons of that particular relationship based on what feels true for them.
My Best in Love,

Paulette

Related Links:

http://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/carnival-creates-first-ever-international-cougar-cruise-17023
http://www.tvland.com/prime/shows/cougar/season1/
http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/cougartown/
http://www.askmen.com/dating/vanessa_100/102_love_secrets.html
http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/Health/story?id=731599
http://www.cougarspeeddate.com/faq.php
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/cougar-speed-dating/1269211236


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Is Dating a Numbers Game?

And is that a good thing?

I just read a Daily News article suggesting that online daters have ‘cognitive overload’ from having too many choices and therefore they are making worse choices. Before we come to any overall conclusions (about online dating yeah or nay) let’s weigh both sides of the matter. Here are a few considerations:

5 plusses of online dating are:

-There is a large pool of singles
-you can search on your own schedule, in your pajamas—convenience
-you can learn certain facts about your dates before deciding to meet
-You can often generate multiple dates with less effort
-You can write and learn about them for awhile before meeting

                 5 challenges of online dating are:

-it can be like shopping and it gets overwhelming
-it may feel cold and unromantic
-people may not be who they say they are
-it can feel like a lot of work to search and manage responses
-if the above study is right, a large sample of singles can lead to poor choices.

Considerations & Tips concerning online dating:

So, generally having options is a good thing. It helps you see ‘the forest from the trees,’ it helps you practice dating, learn what you like and don’t like in the opposite sex and it keeps you busy so you do not jump into a relationship with someone you just met too quickly (without really knowing that person over time). So, if we imagine that this study is correct and that the down side of having too many options is that it leads to you making worst choices, what should you do?
You can develop an approach to managing your time, energy, search criteria and interviewing style. Here are a few tips:

-Limit and structure your time: take 20 minutes a few times a week to search or respond to emails from online dates. This way you are taking consistent action but it won’t overwhelm the rest of your life.

-Use moderation: Have enough but not too many dates. Try to actively date no more than 3 dates at a time. It can be good to designate one weekend date night and two nights a week. You still need time for yourself, friends and family.

-Weed out dates by sticking to your deal breakers. These are those things that you would NOT be happy with in a relationship. Examples could include: a date who smokes, a date who doesn’t want children, a religious date of a different religion etc. To figure out your own deal breakers read my book.

-Have a method of screening dates so you do not just go on chemistry or feelings alone. In my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out,’ (part 3: Conscious Dating) I help you be clear about the essential qualities you need in a mate. I also provide a series of dating checklists so that you can observe who your date is in the world (in a number of categories) instead of just basing your judgments on how he is when he’s romancing you. Also, my book helps you make sure that you have reasonable expectations. It will help you be clear about what you do need in a mate while helping you to make sure your list is not over the top.

-Give things time to unfold before you choose a boyfriend: I often suggest that you date someone for a few months before coming exclusive. Keep things in ‘courtship mode’ and become friends first. Get to know who that person is over time and do not just jump in and close down other options out of comfort or because you really want a relationship. It needs to be worth it to close down your other options, so you need to base that choice on whether this date is a good fit for you. I think one of the reasons that people choose badly in online dating is they are just so tired of dating that they choose a boyfriend too quickly and then try to make it work. Pace yourself and remember that things take time and you do need to know someone in ‘real time’ not just online.

My opinion is that online dating is a resource that gives you more options. It is up to you to use it to your advantage so it does not overwhelm your life and so you can still make well thought through choices.
Please post your comments below about the findings of this study and let me know what you think. Thanks.

My Best in Love,
Paulette

Related Links:

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2009/07/17/2009-07-17_too_much_of_a_good_thing_study_finds_online_daters_choose_wrong_people_due_to_co.html

http://www.amazon.com/Dating-Inside-Out-Attraction-Matters/dp/1582701946/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233428205&sr=8-1


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Do you vibrate the past or present on your dates?

My husband and I rent a lot of Netflix movies these days and a friend of mine recommended that I see ‘The Goodbye Girl’ starring Marsha Mason. We were discussing how past rejection can affect singles going forward in dating. The film was about a woman who had been left multiple times by men to whom she’d given her heart. In the film our heroine appeared talented, smart and attractive and she just couldn’t understand why this was ‘her fate’ when it came to men and love. This pattern made her draw several limiting conclusions; conclusions that limited her future love life:

Men will constantly leave her

She was unlucky in love

She could not trust what her romantic partner told her

She would always be alone

Do you remember times when your past painful experiences have stopped you from taking risks in the present?

This film was interesting because we saw our heroines love pattern from the perspective of others in her life. Her perspective date/new love partner was a nice honest guy who truly cared for her. At one point he blew up at her and said that he was tired of paying for all the things that these lousy guys did to her! From the start his intentions were good but she would not trust him or let him in. She kept playing out the past stories of betrayal in her head and she immediately saw this new man as the next love villain, despite his consistently positive actions towards her.

Our heroine’s daughter (who in the film is only 12 years old) signals to her mom that this guy is different. When the mom says that he is ‘not her type’ the daughter says that maybe that is a good thing. Here we consider that maybe our heroine is not merely a victim of ‘men in general’ but that she is perhaps picking men based upon an unconscious ‘type’ and that the ‘type’ of man she normally chooses will treat her badly and will subsequently leave her. This is an important realization because it is something that our heroine can control if she is able to choose a different ‘type’ of man this time. If she looked at the behavior of her past partners versus the treatment by her current love interest, she would see that there is a noticeable difference. Her current love interest is always there when she needs him, he is caring towards her and her daughter when they are upset and he is always honest with her.

My book, ‘Dating From the Inside Out’ has a section on unconscious dating that will help you identify your ‘love type’ and learn about the ways that it sabotages you. It will also help you get clear on the type of mate you’d like to choose instead and how to recognize him.

Anyway, it takes our heroine awhile to see her love type but she begins to come around and despite past fears she takes a risk in the present and begins to have a different kind of relationship. She is very happy and they begin to enjoy the present and even plan for their future a bit by decorating their apartment etc. Then he gets a job offer that will require him to be away for four months and she freaks out. Her past wounds are infected and she immediately thinks, ‘This is it! Now he is going to leave me!’ She regresses back into her old story rather than believing him when he says that it is just a job and he’ll be back.

I don’t want to give away the end of the movie. I am just using the plot here to elucidate a common pattern that happens while dating. It is almost like people are unconsciously dating their exes instead of getting to know someone new in the present. If this is something you do, in order to protect yourself, hopefully this article will help you consider the negative consequences of living in the past. Maybe if you see this movie, you will remember that in any moment you can take a risk to vibrate something new about love and to write a new romantic story. This includes changing what you feel about love and sometimes who you are picking as a mate. Try to give everyone a chance and base your conclusions on their actions in the present. This will afford you the best chance at success.

There was one last thing in the film that I thought was interesting, because it smacked of our heroine taking some responsibility. When she thinks that her new love interest is going to leave her permanently for this job, instead of cursing and falling to pieces like she usually does, she tells him that she wishes him well and for the first time she knows she will be okay and says that she is in a better place than ever before. Of course she is upset that they are parting but she implies that she will be okay and will take care of herself. This reminds me of a poem that I’d like to share, for those Goodbye Girls (or guys) who are so afraid of being rejected or left in love, again. It is written by an anonymous poet:

Comes The Dawn

After awhile you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love doesn’t mean security

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises

 

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child

And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight

After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns

If you get too much

 

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth

And you learn and learn

With every goodbye you learn

***

To me this message does not mean that you should become super independent and miss out on intimacy. It doesn’t mean that you stop trusting others.   It means that goodbyes do happen in life and nothing is a guarantee. So once you can accept this as a possible part of love, you can move on without paralyzing fear and know that you will create a great life for yourself no matter what. And who knows-maybe it will last forever and you will share it with that same someone? You can only do your part and keep open your resilient heart.

 My Best in Love,

Paulette


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Money can’t buy you love but will it grant you real security?

I read a Tango article about a new book called, ‘Smart Girl’s Marry Money’ by Elizabeth Ford and Daniella Drake. Of course the title itself is provocative. I have not read the book but I did read the interview by the authors and it made me consider some of the issues and the premise discussed, particularly in light of the recent recession. Here are my thoughts about the following issues:

1.       IS FINANCIAL SECURITY MORE LASTING THAN LOVE?

One thing that was brought up was that in the past, women married for money, status and security (not love) and there was less divorce. A change in zeitgeist occurred and now we believe that marriage is a promise that we will make each other happy and we will remain in love for a lifetime. The authors’ argument might be that money is more stable than feelings. There is usually some truth in everything, so I can understand the wish to commit your life to something stable and lasting, like a dollar bill. The idea that money will be there for you long after your husband would (emotionally) is a sad notion. A slightly more melancholy thought is that nothing in life is completely stable and lasts forever (I think Tolstoy said it first!) So we can only commit to do our part with things and then let the chips fall as they may (with finances, the universe, our partner etc). No book can reliably promise you a happy ending. Your spouse could become a gambler or lose his money in many ways and then what would you have? The idea of love is that it forebears all situations, ideally and is therefore stronger then outside forces.

2.       THERE ARE ALWAYS HARD THINGS TO DEAL WITH IN MARRIAGE: IT’S WHICH ONES YOU CHOOSE:

Sure, it’s hard to have financial difficulties in marriage when you have children and responsibilities. This can cause arguments and stress and may require you to make sacrifices and grow stronger in areas of budgeting, saving and producing income. It is work. However, isn’t there also a price or cost for living in a loveless marriage? I have heard reports of loneliness, emptiness and wives feeling that they sold themselves out. This is a hard way to live. If you start out your marriage not loving the other person (and make a deal with yourself that is okay) then you need to be at peace with the lack of love down the road. Whereas money is something that can ostensibly shift through education and life experience, it may be harder to create love in a marriage 10 years later (when that was not the original expectation).

3.       THE REAL SECURITY IS ALWAYS IN US:

Part of the reason that marriages fail is that we do not trust our own choice of mate and we break the commitment that we made. The usual vows include loving our mate, being loyal to them, caring for them while sick etc. When we feel less in love, when they hurt us or we feel neglected, we want out. We imagine that we’ll be happier alone. We think we made the wrong choice of mate.  We doubt ourselves and them and just want to escape. At those times, both people can remember their vows and try to redouble their efforts. Similarly, if you marry for money instead and the family fortune suddenly becomes lost, wouldn’t that provoke a divorce?  Just look at all those relationships with ibankers that suddenly went bust when there was a round of recession layoffs. In the end we can’t control what our partners’ do we can only do our best to honor the commitment we made and to trust the values that led us to do it.

4.       WHATS GOOD FOR THE GANDER ALSO WORKS FOR THE GOOSE:

One of the author’s Elizabeth Ford, said in her interview, ‘…but the fact is in our culture women as they age are devalued, and that’s a crying shame.’ While this is true, isn’t it equally a shame to devalue men just because they are not rich? I can see how knowingly marrying a man who is a gambler or is very irresponsible with money might not be a great move, but does marrying a man who makes a basic living and is a wonderful person stupid? I’d probably have to read the book to see how these authors would answer this question but so far, I don’t agree.

I think ideally every person would be able to care for themselves and would come together in love, to share a life, for richer or poorer and all that. There will be obstacles-whether it be financial, health, emotional, sexual etc and hopefully both partners will work together to form lasting stability and security over time.

5.       BEING REALISTIC AND CONSCIOUS IS IMPORTANT:

One thing I do agree with is that ‘falling in love’ is not always a lasting feeling so it is hard to start a marriage based upon the notion that you will always feel that happy. You may at times hate your partner or want to take a break. You may doubt your choice and feel lonely and sad for periods of time. This may even be more ‘the norm’ in a life time marriage then you’d think (based upon television etc).   I once heard that an analyst and marital therapist was asked if she ever thought about divorce in her own marriage and she said, ‘Divorce no, but murder, many times, yes.’ So maybe in the olden days arranged marriages worked because they were more like a job and transient things like passion and feelings were not factored in. Expectations were kept low and so was intimacy. This does not mean that love is not important in marriage. Love actually includes things like anger, disappointment, exploring your mutual shadow parts, arguing, struggling etc. This premise probably would not make for a bestselling book but I think it’s true.

My dating books, ‘Dating From the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date’ are based upon the notion of marrying for real love but it also helps the reader to date consciously. This means that instead of marrying just based upon passion and chemistry, it helps the reader define her true essentials for a mate, search out and consider possible red flags and points of conflict and to discern with both heart and head if that partnership would work before committing to it.

For some, a lot of money is an essential and to acknowledge this would guide them to choose a rich mate. For others attention, love and mutual mission and ideals are more important than their bank roll. The important point is to know yourself well so that you can define your own vision of security and intelligent mate selection.

The aforementioned dating book appears to be selling very well, so I would invite those of you who agree with their premise to add your comments as well. Given the recession, money in relationships is more on the radar than before so singles are evaluating how important it is for them in mate selection and why.

My Best in Love,

Paulette

Related Links:

http://www.yourtango.com/200921645/why-its-better-marry-money

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Girls-Marry-Money-Dream/product-reviews/0762435178/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#REY8XUH8VSW7C


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

The power of projection in our relationships:

…for better or worse

Yesterday I saw a video called ‘The Moses Code’ and in it, certain concepts were expounded upon by familiar spiritual and inspirational teachers. Two of the teachers were Neale Donald Walsch and Debbie Ford, who sadly just passed away. I‘ve always liked their writings so I’m going to focus today on a few of their ideas from the film and explore how they affect our romantic relationships.

In the film Neale Donald Walsch makes a statement like, ‘Most people think that we should magnetize something to us but really we magnetize things through us.’ His phrase (approximated here) really resonated.  I realized this concept was largely what my book, ‘Dating From the Inside Out’ was about. Many dating coaches talk about outside things that we can do to ‘attract the One.’ This includes changing our behavior, appearance, learning cues about the opposite sex and how to please them etc. Few dating books that I know of (besides mine) guide the reader within to explore their Higher Self and integrate their unconscious stuff so that they can experience greater wholeness/oneness and then magnetize a soul mate through this inner journey. This process causes them to fall in love with themselves and their lives before attracting their best mate.

Neale also shares his personal experience with a phrase that is oft repeated in the film, ‘I am that, I am.’ This phrase is Moses’ code and with it he creates miracles. Neale Donald Walsch explains how one of his teachers told him to go throughout the day and say, ‘I am that, I am’ to everything that he saw. This applied to the grass, homeless person, whino, bus driver etc. It sounded like a very powerful exercise. The idea is that if ‘God is everything,’ so are we.

Debbie Ford discusses how she used to hide and try to change her negative traits until she realized that there is a gift in each one of them. Over time she learned to embrace her negative traits as part of her wholeness. She reminds us that we all have a sick part, a murderous impulse etc. so instead of projecting it onto others and judging them, we should learn to understand and embrace these aspects of ourselves.

This powerful concept of ‘being everything’ could be very useful in our romantic relationships because they are ripe with projections. In therapy we hear one partner say, ‘He is so emotionally unavailable and just wants to do his own thing’ while he says of her, ‘She wants to be so close! Why can’t she just leave me alone!’ Each partner judges the other instead of learning from their opposite. If each one looked for the ‘sense’ in the Other and said to themselves, ‘I am that, I am,’ what might transpire?

The woman might notice how she has not nurtured her need for private time, to develop herself and her own life path. The man might notice his buried need for intimacy and his desire for greater Oneness.

There are endless examples of this in couples. Here is another. A wife is responsible, ambitious and organized. Her husband is creative, mellow and spontaneous. These differences were the initial attraction. She loved how he made her feel present and mellow and he admired her efficiency and leadership. Of course years later, these were the very things they resented. He felt she should stop being controlling and serious and should loosen up (like him). She felt he should grow up and stop being a child (and be more like her)!   Each pointed the finger in blame. But what if she could access her need to let go and be fun and spontaneous like her husband and he could understand that it would benefit him to integrate his responsible, organized, goal-setting side? Their further Oneness would take their relationship to a higher state of awareness and acceptance, of their union and themselves.

So, for this week, when someone (especially your mate or date) irritates you, remind yourself, ‘I am that, I am’ and notice what you can learn from it. Please notice your observations and how it affects your relationship with yourself and your partner.

Also, I’d recommend getting the video The Moses Code to hear more about this concept.

My Best in Love,

Paulette

Related Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Moses-Code-Debbie-Ford/dp/B0013MXIDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1242567252&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Dating-Inside-Out-Attraction-Matters/dp/1582701946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242567310&sr=8-1

 


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

5 Clues of Disinterest & Ways to Say No at Singles Spots

Tonight I was told a story about a beautiful single woman in her 30’s who went to a bar with some friends and was hounded by a man in his late 50’s. She agreed to dance with him once and then politely told him that she just wanted to spend time with her friends. She complained that it was annoying and uncomfortable because he would not get the hint and he kept hanging around insisting that he buy her another drink or that she dance with him.  She kept politely declining but he mentioned to her friend that she had been mean to him. She wished that he would have been a little more attuned to her signs of disinterest and she also wanted some polite tips on how to say no in the future. Her experience inspired this article.

So here are 5 Clues that a Woman is Just Not that Into You:

1.       She declines a drink or says that she does not want to dance

2.       She says she prefers to hang out with her friends

3.       She looks around and does not make eye contact

4.       She plays with her blackberry and seems to prefer it to you

5.       She would rather pay for her own drinks then get a few for free

I appreciate a man who goes after what he wants but it is important to know the fine line between moxy and harassment in dating.

And for all you women who have a hard time saying the word no, here are 5 ways to do so. Say:

1.       Thank you for the offer but I prefer not to dance or get a drink right now”

2.       “It was nice to meet you but I’d like to go circulate now”

3.       “I enjoyed meeting you but would like to be by myself for awhile. Have a great evening”

4.       “I am going to go to the ladies room but I’ll say goodbye to you before I leave.’

5.       “Listen, you are very nice but I am not interested in anything romantic right now.”

If you try these semi-polite discouragements and he still won’t get the point, you may need to be even more direct and say, ‘Look, you are probably a great guy but I’m not interested.’ Or ‘Please stop following me around!’ Obviously this depends on the level of his insistence and disregard for your boundaries.

It is important to be polite but women should not feel bad for saying no when they’re not interested in someone. In the short-term it might be disappointing to him but it saves him from springing for drinks and finding out the bad news down the road.

On the other hand, if you are the type that says no to everyone then you can read my other article which talks about giving people who ‘may not be your exact type’ a few chances and how this can sometimes be helpful.

Everyone has these uncomfortable moments when going to singles spots so you need to practice handling them by saying no, recognizing when others are disinterested and hopefully doing so in the kindest manner possible.

My Best in Love,

Paulette


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

10 Ways to Romance Ready Your Home

These days we are busy but it’s fun to make your place romantic and once you do, you will feel like you are at a spa when you’re alone and you’ll be ready for a romantic evening at any time with little effort.

Here are 10 things you can invest in to get you started:

1.        ELECTRIC FIREPLACE (big ticket item): If you have always wanted a fireplace but live in a rental in Manhattan, all is not lost. You can purchase an electric fireplace that you just plug into an outlet and you can take it with you when you move; no clean up or logs needed. You can buy a used or inexpensive one on ebay but I found a new fancy one for around $600 as an example. I know that sounds expensive but it is something you’ll have to keep and enjoy in your home. You can place it in your living room for guests or in your bedroom. Here is the link for one example: Electric Heat Fireplace

2.       MUSIC: Romantic music is great to create a mood. You can download itunes or just create a mixed tape of your favorite love songs. Do this work ahead of time so all you have to do is pop the tape in and you can slow dance with your mate to your favorite songs.

3.       TAKE-OUT MENUS: Obviously the most romantic thing (for you domestics) is to cook but that means that you will need to shop and cook each time you decide to be romantic. If you have kids and a lot going on, this can be unappealing. So my suggestion is to keep a folder of inexpensive good take-out places that you can call at a moment’s notice and have them deliver it right to your door. This makes it easy and fun for you both. You can still dress it up with a table cloth, china and candles.

4.       CANDLES: Speaking of candles, you can head to the dollar store and buy a bunch of those little glass votive holders and tea light candles for under $15. Stock up so you have them whenever you want them. Nothing adds romance like candle light!

5.       WINE: Trader Joe’s now has good wine for $3.99 a bottle. You can go get a case one day and just store it for special romantic occasions.   It won’t ever go bad and your investment will last you a long time. Invest in two pretty wine glasses from crate and barrel or pottery barn.

6.       MASSAGE OIL:  You can pick up some good smelling massage oil for under $15 or some body lotion that you love. Then you and your partner can exchange foot rubs or massages from home so you will both be in a relaxed, loving mood.

8.       BUBBLE BATH: You can buy Mr. Bubble for under $5 in any drugstore or you can invest in a fancy brand that includes aromatherapy. Even if you don’t have a fancy Jacuzzi, you and your partner can take a bubble bath together and it will be a great, relaxing, romantic escape at any time.

9.       BREAKFAST TRAY: Another luxurious easy thing is to serve your mate breakfast in bed. Even if it is just orange juice, a croissant and the paper, the gesture will be appreciated. So get a breakfast tray so you can surprise your mate this way (or they can surprise you easily!) Here’s an example of one on ebay : Bed & Breakfast tray

10.   ROMANTIC AROMA: Spas often have incense and they immediately relax you. You can create this kind of ambience at home with little effort. You can stock up on your favorite incense, buy flowers or get an aromatherapy diffuser that will continue to spread the scent you love through your house.

So go on a shopping expedition to make your house romance ready or you can let your fingers do the walking and get most of these things online.

Remember, with a little proactive effort you can have romance at home with little ongoing investment. During this recession you will save on fine dining and mini breaks and will make your house a haven.

My Best in Love,

Paulette

 


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

The Virtual Dating Assistant:

Yesterday I read an article in The Frisky called, ‘Dating Don’ts: Would You Outsource your Love Life to a Virtual Assistant?’ (link below) So, I decided to answer the question. I tend to believe that there are two sides to most situations so today I will weigh the pros and cons of having a virtual dating assistant.

But first we should generally discuss what that even is. When going through my life coaching certification program years ago, I learned that many coaches recommend having a virtual assistant. The reason for this is not to cultivate laziness. The idea is to streamline your life so that you are doing the things that you do the best and about which you are most passionate. Enter the virtual assistant, who will take on everything else. Coaches often recommend that you farm out your laundry, cleaning and even get your groceries sent to you so that you can develop a life focused on what matters most.

Okay, so having said this, how would this philosophy apply to one’s dating life? In the example of ‘Virtual Dating Assistants’ below, this company takes a lot of the dating busy work away from you. They say that for a $200 start up fee, an additional $480 a month, plus membership fees to the online dating sites, they will:

-do a phone interview with you

-select online photos

-craft your online profile

-identify online candidates

-arrange dates with candidates

-make date reservations

-give you a ‘Pre-date Executive Briefing’ with a snapshot of all previous interaction and key information)

-have YOU meet your date

They then guarantee you two dates a month and they say that they will spend 40 hours a month on this and that you can have up to 4 online dating accounts.

So, you still need to show up on the dates. Sorry, there is no Steve Martin in Roxanne here.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this proposition:

PROS:

-it could be very relaxing and would save you time

-it would buffer you from the sting of online rejections

-you would delegate the online dating legwork you hate so that you can do the stuff you love instead

-you would not avoid the work of dating because your assistant is keeping it rolling and is paid to make it a priority

-if you are a bad writer, your assistant could do a better profile for you and have a better initial correspondence

CONS:

-If someone else is doing the writing, you are not really being yourself

-It’s very expensive. Think what else you could do for $428 per month!

-They can guarantee you 2 dates a month but this doesn’t mean anything will result in an ongoing relationship

-It could be seen as dishonest by your dates if they find out and this might affect ongoing trust

-You have a lack of control about how you are represented because the whole thing is largely delegated.

-Also, once you do meet up with the person you may be unaware of some nuance of your initial communications and this would be awkward at best.

-It may be less expensive than some matchmakers but they do not really know you or the dating pool

While I am the first person to say that you have to work for the things you want in life, this level of professionalism was a bit of a surprise to me. In my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ I do sometimes describe dating as a second job but even though love does take work, I am still a sucker for the personal element. Otherwise, who is that person getting to know?

I don’t mind online dating (even though it is a step removed) but I am not a huge fan of all this dating texting and IMing. Ideally I still like more old fashioned type courtship. Having said this, if there was a single person who was wealthy and super busy at work, perhaps a virtual dating assistant is not the worst idea if it will get him or her into motion and have them get consistently onto the playing field. Either way, long term love is not something that you can farm out. If it was, rich people would have far less divorces.

But now you have your information about this new dating phenonenon so you can decide what is right for you. Feel free to add any relevant experiences or comments below.

My Best in Love,

Paulette

Relevant Links
http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-dating-donts-would-you-outsource-your-love-life-to-a-virtual-assistant/
http://www.virtualdatingassistants.com/


***************

* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Simple steps to a great relationship

The other morning I spied a book on my shelf called ‘Simple Steps: 10 weeks to Getting Control of Your Life’ by Lelas, McClintock and Zingarella. The premise of the book is that instead of focusing on the many global changes that we all want to make, we can break each goal down into simple steps and before we know it, we’ll reach our goal! The authors recommend doing 4 steps a week for ten weeks. My girlfriend bought this book a few years ago and asked me and two other friends to read it. Then we met once a month for dinner to discuss our progress. The goals in the book were clustered around health, weight, home and spirit.

So today when I saw it on my shelf I thought, ‘What simple steps could one take to meet the goal of having a fantastic relationship?’

As a psychologist I do goal setting with my clients all the time. Today I wanted to challenge my readers to try it. So I am suggesting four relationship areas that you can improve by applying this structure. If you have other relationship areas that you’d like to work on, you can use those. The areas of relationship that I’ve identified and defined are below:

  1. ROMANCE: Increase the celebration of love in your relationship.
  2. AFFECTION: Increase gestures of physical and verbal affection for each other.
  3. APPRECIATION: Increase communication about what you love in your mate.
  4. INTIMACY: Increase closeness with honesty, authenticity and sharing.

In order to improve these four aspects of your relationship, you’ll need to break each one down into baby steps. The idea is to do 4 of these baby steps a week (for ten weeks) and to maintain each weekly gain. So once you take on a baby step, you’re going to maintain it for the lifecycle of your relationship. So rather than thinking about this global and lasting change, it’s easier to think about doing something small like kissing your mate goodbye each day for a week. Experts say that things done regularly can become a habit after 30 days!

So, here’s an example. If I had a goal of being healthy, my health step #1 might be flossing daily. Then during week number two, my health step #2 might be to drink 8 glasses of water a day. So, by week two I’d be drinking water AND flossing daily, and so on. It is a cumulative process of developing good habits that lead to the achievement of larger lifetime goals.

So in today’s blog, we’ll take on 4 baby steps (one for each goal area above) to improve your romantic relationship this week. My challenge is:

  1. ROMANCE GOAL/BABY STEP #1: Light candles at dinner daily or wear a pretty nightgown each day.
  1. AFFECTION GOAL/BABY STEP #2: Give your partner a kiss before he leaves or hug him daily.
  1. APPRECIATION/BABY STEP #3: Say one nice thing to your mate daily.
  1. INTIMACY/BABY STEP #4: Share something that you have not shared with your mate at least once this week.

What affect might these tiny changes have on your current relationship and how much effort would it take? Will the benefits outweigh the cost? Also, notice that all the above steps I created are free and will only take minutes of your time. You are investing in a lifetime relationship.

In today’s fast paced society, partners are stressed out and overwhelmed. They are so busy addressing their mutual responsibilities that they have little time to focus on the needs of their relationship. Like a plant, you need to water your relationship and nurture its’ potential.

This is a quick way to have the relationship you want.

Notice the outcome after a few weeks. Do you feel like a better partner? Has your relationship improved a bit? How did your mate respond?

My Best in Love,

Paulette


***************

* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Is He Just Incapable of Having a Good Relationship,

or Is He Just Not That Into You?

Here is a readers question:

Paulette,

I have a rather lengthy dating issue.  Can try and make it short…

Met a man on match.com a yr. ago.  Relationship started out way to fast…Lasted 4 months.  Was a long-distance relationship.
We recently ran a marathon together near where he lives.  I am an avid runner…he is not so this was really special for him…to complete it. He did not invite me to dinner after the run.   He apologized and said he was “so busy”. (Emailed and said “raincheck”) ugh.  He goes to grad school, works full-time, has children but only one that is 18 and comes to lives with him when out of college.  He has always been SO busy. I just don’t get it.  Then recently he went overseas for his job.  He sent a text from the plane saying that he “wishes I were able to fly with him this trip”.

There were several more texts between us while he was away.
Then sort of died down upon his return home.  He lives alone and I do not think there is anyone else…really.
He is one of these guys who is so busy and tries to do too much.
He says he won’t be able to finish the semester at school because of his work schedule.
He is going back next week and then again in May.(no invitation from him for me to fly with him).
He said in a text that he “did not think he was ready (or the best fit) for me”.   But then the text from the plane and other texts as well.

I am having to try REALLY hard to stay away from texting him or emailing him.    He cannot get “together until May”……but no plans for us to even do that.

I think I really need to get him out of my thoughts.
He even asked me to do a race with him in October!!!  (so far away)

I just don’t get it.
Wondering what you think?

I would like to add that I texted him (which is what started a series of texting and emails) “Do you still fee chemistry with me”?    (crazy, I know)
He texted back, “Yes.  But I don’t think I am ready (or the best fit) for you.    I have considered options with you foreclosed to me since last summer…….etc. etc. Still miss you…….”
This was before the text from the plane.
He writes in a way that I don’t understand (some of the words.. i.e. foreclosed)
I will add that when I was with him at the race he is very attentive, etc.  There is no doubt in my mind this man cares a great deal for me.
I think we are both a bit confused but am surprised that it has gone on this long.

I meant to say that after the text I sent about asking if he had chemistry still he also said, “Why do you ask?  One last chance for me to come to my sense before you accept a better offer”.
I replied, “Very perceptive”.

Sincerely,

CONFUSED

————————————————————————————————————-

Dear Confused,

I have never met this man so I can only discuss the possible points to consider in this type of scenario.  You will need to decide which points resonate with you regarding your relationship with him.

There are 3 major aspects that we will examine in this situation.  The first two possibilities have to do with your prospective guy and the other one has to do with you.

1. Let me start by addressing the obvious pitfalls I hear with him:

-He is far away (which is overcomable but not ideal)

-He is telling you he is not ready

-You broke up and he is not coming back clearly saying that he has had a change of heart and why

-He is telling you that you can do better

-He is not trying to see you consistently (ie for dinner or otherwise)

-He gives you mixed messages (he answers your questions with questions) and does not seem clear himself

As much as I do not support the blanket presuppositions in that book, it is possible that he is ‘just not that into you.’  None of this means that you are not fabulous.  It may just mean that he does not feel you are the best match and he is being somewhat passive aggressive about it and leaving you hanging a bit.  

2. It could also NOT BE that he is not into you but instead indicate that his issues wont allow him to be an effective partner.  Some possibilities could include:

-He is incapable of a committed relationship

-He hides in his work to avoid being hurt in love

-He has low self esteem

-He does not know what he wants

-He is very afraid to take risks

-He is depressed or a narcissist

I am giving this range of examples to make the point that EVEN IF HE WAS CRAZY ABOUT YOU IT DOESNT MEAN THE RELATIONSHIP WOULD GO SMOOTHLY.  He may have issues that prevent him from being a great partner and from doing his work of the relationship.  This is so important because often think that if we were cuter, better or more convincing that things would work out swell. All you can do is your part (in a healthy relationship): Be clear, honest, in high self-esteem, loving and communicative and hope that he will do the same.

3.  THEN LOOK AT YOUR PART IN ALL THIS. (MOST IMPORTANT!)

I do understand how frustrating it can be for anyone to see that their date has great potential but he won’t work on himself to fulfill it. So, feel compassion with your self around that missed opportunity. After that ask your self, ‘What am I really getting from this and what is the cost?’ Are you hoping to be his healer or savior? Do you have a pattern of picking projects to save, train or improve? If so, read the Philanthropist defensive dating style in my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out.’ This is important because if this is your love pattern than you will just pick another guy who looks the same but who underneath is ‘not ready’ unavailable or who needs help somehow.

We’ve established that he is unclear but are you? My professor used to say, ‘If one person in the room is anxious, the other one better not be.’Along those lines, he can only remain wishy-washywith one foot in the relationship, if you let him. So if this is your pattern I’d like for you to take some time and write in your journal until you are clear what you want and deserve in a relationship. Here are examples (from free associating to what might be missing in your current scenario) and what you could create instead:

-A (physically and emotionally) available man

-A clear partner

-A committed partner

-Someone capable of intimacy

-Someone who is very into me

-A partner whose actions and words are consistent

-A partner who does his part of the work of the relationship

- A partner who creates consistent time for me and our relationship

The idea is to commit yourself to this list and use it as a guidepost while you date. If you find that you cannot hold yourself accountable because your ‘savior’ pattern is too powerful, then you may want to do some counseling to understand more about why you create this dynamic in love and get expert help in how to shift it. You can read my book to get more context about how your dating psychology often affects the partners you choose, without you realizing it.

If you are REALLY into him, part of you is probably thinking, ‘But Paulette, aren’t there any exceptions?’ I am not psychic nor do I know him so it’s possible that in time he could come around and he could be going through something. In the few cases where unavailable/unready men have come around, it’s often a clue that their actions are really good but their words say things like ‘don’t count on me.’ Etc. In this case neither his recent words nor actions are consistently strong.

So at the very least, you should keep dating, commit to what you most want (with him or someone else) and do not expend more energy on this relationship then he is willing to do. At best, I hope you will find a relationship where someone is as capable of loving and helping you as you are of loving him.

My Best in Love,

 Paulette


***************

* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here