Monday, June 28, 2010

Got A Crush On Someone? Try This

Got a crush on someone? Feel the urge to do something nice for them?

Just for funzies, try this experiment intead.

Instead of doing something for them, ask the person you like to do something for you.

Let me know what you learn in the comment section below.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Non-Judgment Day



Nobody likes to be judged.

Not you, not me, not the people we date.

Unfortunately, almost all of us are better at recognizing judgmental attitudes in other people than we are in ourselves. When somebody labels us, we call it “being judgmental.” When we label others, we call it “being right.”

Don’t be fooled.

I can’t show you how to make other people less judgmental. But I can tell you a couple ways that helped me become less quick to judge.

Here are a couple general tips:

1 - Listen. There are often gaps between what people want to say, what they actually say, and what we hear. Don’t let yourself fall into the chasm. When people are talking, pay attention to what they’re saying instead of using the time to mentally formulate what YOU’RE going to say next.

2 - Don’t worry about other people’s judgment. If people want to judge you or others that’s their own business. If you hold it against them or condemn them for it, that’s just as judgmental. Just like in War Games, the only way to win is not to play.

3 - Treat people based on who they are. Be with the person who is in front of you, not the person you want or think they should be.

4 - Make expressing yourself honestly a priority over ‘being right‘. We aren’t just judgemental about other people. Often we are judgmental towards ourselves. We ‘re afraid to express anything but “the right thing to say.” There’s nothing wrong with being liked or being right. But when you depend on it for your self-esteem, you’re asking for trouble.

And a couple specific tips:

5 -Whether you’re talking about yourself or other people, eliminate “should” from your vocabulary. No more “you should ask her out” or “You should listen more.” Even more importantly, no more “I should be a better person.” Should implies comparison to some ideal. We aren’t interested in ideals. We’re interested in real people.

6 - Beware sentences starting with the word “You,” and especially “you are.” Instead of saying “You are a good person” or “Trent is a judgmental dirt bag,” talk about how YOU feel about it ie: “I like how well you treat me” or “I could do without Trent telling me how I should live my life.”

PRACTICE:

Decide to make today a non-judgement day. Be aware through out the day of the way you might judge other people and yourself. Are you surprised at what you realize?

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: Women’s (and their orgasms) Are Neat

One of the things about working this blog is every once and a while I realize how completely full of shit I am.

For example, right now I’m working on a post about ‘not getting hung up on the differences between men and women.’ Which would be great except that it makes me a massive hypocrite because there is nothing I find more fascinating than the way women’s minds, hearts, and bodies work.

Men…not so much.

Let’s face it. Women are neat. Sometimes when a woman is revealing to me one of the mysteries of her femininity it is hard for me not to smile and go “That is so effin’ COOL.”

Exhibit A: the Female Orgasm.

I’m fascinated by the female sexual response. The male orgasm is a like a dog--it‘s frisky when young, slows with age, but will usually come when you call it. Women’s orgasms are like cats. Some are affectionate, some are aloof, but they come and go on their own schedule.

(I should qualify that last paragraph. I’ve never slept with a guy so I’ve always assumed we’re pretty much the same. I’ve also heard it on good authority that we’re more different than I gave us credit for, but the truth is, I don‘t really give a shit about the sexuality of any guy that isn‘t Mrs. Brodribb‘s handsome son. But if you have comments feel free to share them)

Women are all so darn different. Some women are multi-orgasmic. Some women have one big orgasm that goes on and on and on. Others can only come in certain positions, places, or with mechanical assistance. There as at least one woman out there who gets nosebleeds when she comes.

Each woman‘s sexuality is uniquely her own--some women behave in a way that reflects her personality; others display a surprising contrast to what they are like outside the bedroom. Each woman is a new continent waiting to be explored, mapped out, and yes, sometimes conquered.

Not to mention that having a woman come in your arms is just satisfying, like making a jump shot or unlocking the secret characters in a video game.

So yeah. When it comes to gender equality I don’t really practice what I preach. And since I made it a goal not to write something I don’t believe in or am not trying to bring into my own life, I guess I have an article to revise.

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Don't Stop Trusting

We often think of trust as something we give to other people.

It isn’t.

You don’t put it in an envelope, seal it, put a stamp on it, and have it delivered. People can’t break into your house and steal trust. Nor can they borrow a box, lose it, and leave you one box of trust poorer.

Trust is not something that can be taken from you against your will. How much you have in your life depends entirely on you.

If you’ve been betrayed in a relationship, it is natural to have problems trusting, giving rise to suspicion, jealousy, or the determination to do unto others before you are done unto yourself. But jealousy, suspicion, and the like have a tendency to push away trustworthiness, leading to more bad relationships. More bad relationships leads to less trust. Less trust brings up more suspicion, hostility, and jealousy. More suspicion, hostility, and jealousy leads to even less effective relationships…and the downward spiral continues.

It is counter-intuitive, but lack of trust puts you more at risk of betrayal. You might think you are playing it smart. You might think you are ‘refusing to be played.’ But when you cut yourself off from your ability to trust, you are most in danger of the very things you are trying to avoid.

Because all trust is based in trusting yourself.

When we say:

I trust you to be honest.

What we mean is:

I trust myself to know who I can believe.

Trusting does not mean blindly believing. We can trust people to be unreliable. We can trust ourselves to know when someone does not have our best interests at heart.

Trust is having faith in your own judgment.

When you turn away from trusting or offer only conditional trust, you are teaching yourself that you cannot rely on your own intuition. Losing faith in yourself will lead to a lot of bad decisions. You will push trustworthy people away. You will leave yourself open to manipulation. And you won’t find your relationships a lot of fun.

Practice having faith in yourself. If you’ve made mistakes or been unlucky, this can be a scary thing, so start small, if you that‘s what you need.

But build that ability to trust. There is no safer shelter from betrayal.

-May All Beings Be Sexy.

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Reminder

There is heavy stuff in some of these posts.

This is just a reminder that you don’t have to do everything perfectly.

No one is going to grade you on whether or not you use your thumbs wrong. There’s no penalty for working too hard on your relationship.

If you’re having trouble with your Practice, take it easy on yourself. These are tools to help you. They aren’t supposed to be one more thing to beat yourself up over.

Dating, romance, and relationships are fun. We do it because it brings us joy.

Enjoy the ride.

PRACTICE

Take the day off and do something that makes you laugh…with or without a partner.

You deserve it.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Love And Relationships Are Not The Same

This is as good a time as any to tell you about The One I Thought Was The One.

I remember the first second I saw her, turned away from me, just a bare shoulder blade in a light blue top. I hadn’t even seen her face yet, but I remember some internal voice telling me, “Yes. This one.”

By our second date, talking about the gender politics of waitressing while getting drunk at an ethnic restaraunt, I was thinking, this is a woman I could fall in love with.

And by our third date, I WAS in love.

We lasted just over six months.

When she left, she took with her everything I thought I needed in a relationship.

Yet I still loved her.

And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.

There was no point to me still being in love with her. The relationship was over. She wasn’t giving me anything I needed or receiving anything I wanted to give. Nor did I need anything from her.

And still I loved her.

Some people would call it romantic. Others unhealthy. Personally, I was mostly annoyed. I felt foolish, embarrassed, and on occasion more than a little angry at myself. How could I still be in love with this person?

Eventually the anger went away. The love continued.

In its own way, it still does, although it’s a different kind of love than it used to be.

Here's the point:

Up until The One I Thought Was The One, I never thought much about love. Relationships were about getting needs met. If I got what I wanted, it was good. If she was getting what she wanted from me also, it was better. If we were meeting each other’s needs, then love grew out of that. And if we stopped meeting each other’s needs, then we wished one another the best and went our separate ways.

But she was the first woman I loved independently of the health of our relationship. Which made me realize something.

The ability to give and receive love and having a functioning relationship are two different things. Having a relationship will not necessarily give you love. Loving someone will not fix an unworkable relationship.

None of this matters much if both the love and the relationship are there. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Nor does it matter if both love AND the relationship are floundering. If that’s the case, you’ve got other things to worry about.

However if you have one but not the other, that‘s where confusion sets in.

Some examples:

“We’ve been together twelve years. I must love him.”

“If you really loved me, you would WANT to move in with me.”

“What‘s wrong with me that I‘m in love with someone who treats me so badly?”


If you are in a bad relationship, but still love the other person, nothing is wrong with you. You may need to let the other person go, but there is no rule that says you need to stop loving or caring about them. It is possible to love someone and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

By the same token, if everything is fine in your relationship, but you feel something is missing, there is nothing wrong with you. You may have to look at yourself and make some decisions, but you don’t need to feel guilty for whatever emotions are or are not there.

Loving someone is not medicine for a relationship that isn't working.

Working on the relationship will do nothing for an inability or unwillingness to love.

Being able to love or be loved is a different art than relationship management. Both are important, both are learnable, and ideally, they grow hand-in-hand, but they are still different skill-sets to be applied to different types of problems. Try not to confuse one for the other.

PRACTICE

Take some time to consider your attitude towards love and relationships. Think about what is important to you in a successful relationship. What makes it work? How do you know when you love someone? What has to happen for you to feel loved?

Read over your answers.

What do you notice?

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reader Questions

C. asks re Friends Without Benefits:

"I was wondering: what would you say to the 'likee' [being liked by someone when you don't return that attraction] in this situation? If someone is the object of someone else's obvious but unannounced affection? If they didn't want to lose the friend, but didn't want them to get the wrong idea, either?"

The likee is often in a tricky spot because there is only so much they can do, especially if the liker hasn't actually said anything but is just hinting around.

It can raise a lot of feelings for the Likee: annoyance, awkwardness, often even guilt--am I taking advantage of this person's feelings?

It sucks because you feel like you're having to be responsible for someone else's feelings and second-guess how you express yourself in front of them for fear of leading them on.

Is it better to ignore it? Call it out? Abandon the friendship? Am I taking advantage of this person? Am I supposed to not flirt with people I'm attracted to around him/her so as not to hurt my friend's feelings? Should I not be friendly to this person? Am I leading them on?

There is a great post on what it feels like to be the like-ee here.

I think the two most important things for the Likee to remember is.

1 - You are not responsible for another person's feelings
2 - You ARE responsible for doing what you need to take care of yourself.

If you are okay with the friendship tinged with awkwardness then fine. If you are NOT okay with it, then you have some decisions to make.

But don't do anything for THEM. Do what works for you and trust the other person to take care of themselves.

It's not always easy. In fact, it might NEVER be easy. But I don't see any other way.

M. (I'm really going to have to come up with better pseudonyms) Asks:

"I guess i have a dating question and I need a guys opinion. I did just read all of your post and I think I know the answer kind of. I know that if he Like Likes me he will call and I haven't given him the chance, but with today's hook up culture and living in NYC and being burned any advice is good advice.

I'll give you the brief back story of this current romantic entanglement. I meet a guy last Friday night when I went out with friends. He is a friend of a friend and we talked all night. We exchanged numbers and I did end up going back to his place. We just kissed and went to bed, though. The next day we woke up and went to see Sherk before he left for the long weekend. Then I guess I jumped the gun and texted him Monday and called him Tuesday to invite him to trivia with friends Wednesday. He came to trivia and bought me a drink and we sat and talked but there was a group there. Two of the girls are my best-friends who were there last Friday. He is going away for the weekend and I will see him next week at trivia, but I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to be just his friend. I'm just afraid of scaring him off. I don't trust myself (I'm going to try and start those exercises you suggest).

Should I just come out and say I think you know I like you and I was just wondering what is going on here? I think I answered my own question, but would love to hear your thoughts."


Hmm. It's normal to find this situation confusing because it isn't an easy one to figure out. There are actually a few possibilities as to what could be going on in his head and we could drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out which one it is.

The good news is, we don't have to figure it out. That's his problem, not ours.

Since you know you will probably see him on Tuesday, how would you feel about taking a Wait and See What Happens strategy for the weekend? If he calls you over the weekend, that's a good sign.

If he DOESN'T call, maybe on Tuesday you could mention to him something like, "I really enjoy talking to you and I'd love it if you called me later this week." It gives him something specific he can do to show you he likes you.

I'm not sure about "I think you know I like you and I was just wondering what is going on here?" That question feels confrontational to me. Asking that will tell you more about how a guy feels about being confronted than his feelings for you. Some guys get awkward. Some guys get defensive. Some guys lie. Some guys respond calmly and honestly. Which is handy to know, but might not be the right foot to start a discussion on.

Let me know how things go.

What do you think, readers?

-May All Beings Be Called Back

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Don't Work On The Relationship

I'm beginning to wonder about a lot of relationship advice.

Specifically, I'm wondering about the piece of advice about "relationships are a lot of work" or "If you want a good relationship, you have to work at it."

I'm beginning to think that advice is misguided. Here are a few reasons why:

I've seen couples where the care and feeding of the relationship seems to have taken over everything. They're so busy running around adjusting nozzles and flipping switches and shoveling coal into the furnace that they don't seem to have time for to enjoy each other's company.

It is also easy to use talking about the relationship, analyzing your feelings and those of the other person,or strategizing about how to improve things as a way to distract yourself from EXPERIENCING the relationship. It's a way of turning your attention away from what's actually going on.

As a dating geek, I am particularly vulnerable to this kind of relationship-blindness. I remember dating one woman (actually two women--I've combined two seperate relationships for this example) where both of us were very good at saying the right things, and setting the right direction, and being "smart" about things. I loved this woman a lot, and I believed she was The One

However, regardless of what I said, regardless of what I thought, regardless of what I felt, the facts were this: In the short amount of time we had been together we had broken up and gotten back together a number of times with shorter and shorter periods between break-ups each time.

The reason this was happening was because we both WANTED the relationship to work. So we were pouring energy into the relationship without paying attention to what was actually going on.

Another problem with 'working on the relationship' is it implies that there is some Ideal Perfect Relationship out there, and anything that falls short of that is failure which needs to be "worked on," "fixed"...or even scrapped altogether.

These are not good approaches.

Do not work on your relationships.

Work instead on yourself.

Does the relationship need better communcation? Work on being a better communicator.

Are you uncertain whether the relationship is meeting your needs? Take some time to think about what your needs are and how you would know you they were being met.

Are you unsure about what your partner wants? Start putting some thought what you would have to do to find that out.

Do these things, and relationships will take care of themselves. I'm not saying they will always work. But it will become apparent whether or not they are workable.

Do not work on your relationships.

Even if you could, too many things are beyond your control. Trying to get things to work out a certain way is a stressful, pressure-filled, and uncertain. Even when it is effective, you are sliding into the Getting Mindset which is ultimately poisonous to your long-term best interests.

Work instead on yourself. Encourage your partner to do the same.

What would it be like if instead of trying to live up to some imagined or socially approved ideal, each of you resolves to try and be the best person you can be--not for the other person, but for yourself--and then see what happens?

You might be pleasantly surprised.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Diary Of A Gateway Boyfriend: Donations

I’ve started taking donations on the website. The link is over there on the right.

So people know where their money is going, at this point, it will be to pay for advertising on other sites--ie online dating sites like POF and OKCupid, and possibly Facebook as well as long distance charges for phone support (see below). If there’s money left over, I will start looking at other opportunities to grow and expand the website...or possibly a cute pair of shoes.

I also have vague plans about setting up a group locally and doing a speaking tour sometime in the future so I actually get to meet with people face to face instead of trying to do everything over a computer screen. The internet is wonderful, but for me there’s no substitute for flesh and blood connection.

But one step at a time and that first step is advertising.

For those of you who wish to donate, they will be gratefully accepted. Anybody donating 20$ or more will get a copy of my ebook Dating for Shy Guys. Anyone donating over 80$ will get the ebook, plus I’ll give you an hour of telephone support on your dating life. Make sure when you make the donation you give PayPal the email address you want me to send the ebook to (or contact you to set up phone time)

Addendum: Money isn't the only type of donation I accept. I'm also thrilled to receive dating/relationship/sex books/videos or even something as simple as links to other sites I might want to check out and find interesting.

I also love Rice Krispie Squares.

The type of donation isn't as important as that's it's given and received freely. Which might not make sense unless you've read this post.

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Can't Give What You Don't Have

You can’t give what you don’t have.

If you aren‘t a trusting person, you can believe someone, but you can’t trust them.

If you don‘t know how to love, you can become attached to other people, but you can’t completely love them.

The good news is, things like love, trust, and compassion are not like water in a reservoir. You aren’t going to run out of honesty. You don’t have to worry about weathering an empathy shortage.

Instead these qualities are more like a flower that grows the more attention you give to it, or a muscle that becomes stronger and more powerful as you exercise it.

All of us want love, respect, and honest in our relationships. But many of us seem to expect those things to come from our partner. If they show us love, honesty, and respect then and only then will we return it.

This is natural, a mild expression of the “Prove-How-Much-You-Love-Me-First” gene that so many of us seem to carry.

Unfortunately, it also doesn’t work. I’ll talk about why in an upcoming post called Conditional Relationships.

You need to develop the qualities you want in your relationships. If you don't have them in yourself, there is no way anyone can give them to you. The right partner can inspire or influence you, but you won't assume them by osmosis. You have to do the work yourself.

Believe it or not, this is good news.

Because it means you can start bringing those things into your life regardless of your romantic circumstances. It doesn't matter if you have the right partner. It doesn't matter if you have any partner at all.

How do we do it? You ask.

Simple.

We Practice.

Start with the one below.

PRACTICE

Pick something you want more of in your life. Love, trust, respect…whatever you want.

Then build your reservoir of that quality by looking for opportunities to give it freely.

Start small and silly if you need. “Traffic light, I trust you to turn green.” “Gravity, I love you for reminding me why it’s a bad idea to try and open the car door with my hands full.” Then start applying it to the people and relationships in your life, regardless of their connection to you.

You don't need to force anything you aren't ready for. Small and genuine is better than going for the gusto when you don't actually feel it. The most important thing is that you are not waiting for other people or outside circumstances to give you permission to show this quality. You are giving it because it is something you want to actively nurture.

Let me know how things go :)

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.