Tuesday, August 31, 2010

B.S. Dating Advice: “Just Be Yourself”



Okay, technically, “Be Yourself” is not B.S. advice.

In fact, it’s fabulous advice. Fantastic. Stupendous even. This simple, easy-to-remember two-word phrase is the best advice you could get and is the key to success not just in dating, but in life itself.

Well, except for the one tiny, niggling little detail that most people haven't the slightest clue what it means.

A lot of folks misinterpret “be yourself” to mean “Keep doing the same thing you’re doing.”

It doesn’t. You can make changes without changing yourself.

In fact, often being yourself means you HAVE to make changes. Because being yourself also means letting go of the things that keep you from being yourself--defensiveness, shyness, all those other -nesses that we all have adopted over the years.

Being yourself means presenting yourself honestly and genuinely without trying to impress people. It means deciding for yourself what kind of life you want and not worrying too much what other people think. It means stay true to yourself.



Great stuff. Bravo. Who could argue with any of this?

Nobody, that's who. But it does bring us to the second problem with "Be Yourself."

Being told to “Just be yourself” doesn’t tell you how to do any of those things we talked about.

Answering “how do I become more successful in love?” with “just be yourself” is like answering the question “how do I become a pilot?” with “Just fly a plane.”

A lot of us don’t know who we are. You can't be yourself until you know who 'yourself' is. Learning about ourselves is an ongoing process. Sometimes it takes effort; sometimes it happens without us even realizing it.

You can't flip a switch and become yourself. Becoming yourself is about growing, and that takes time and attention.

“Be Yourself” is fine advice. The real question is “how?”

What do you think? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section.

-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, August 26, 2010

[for women] Nothing Turns A Man On More Than The Way You Stroke His…

…Ego.

A lot of women know this. Yet so few do it.

“He puts a couple dishes in the dishwasher, and then looks at me like he wants some praise,” one woman told me.

“Did you give it to him?” I asked.

“Of course not,” she retorted. “He didn’t rinse them first.”

I responded with the events chronicled in this post, so no need to go over them again.

Reward effort, ladies, not results.

Who cares if they didn’t do it exactly right? It takes time for people to change. Especially when they are going against their nature. Even more especially when they aren’t doing it for themselves so much as to make life easier for the person they love. I would say 80% of your energy should go into appreciating the effort and 20% into making suggestions on how they can do an even better job next time.

You can also encourage him BEFORE he makes the effort by hinting at greater pleasures to come. “Oh, Gordon. It makes me so hot when you wear something nicer than sweats and your One-Tequila-Two-Tequila-Three-Tequila-FLOOR t-shirt to my office Christmas party, the whole time I can barely think about anything but how much I want to tear your clothes off and have my way with you on the conference room table.”

NOTE: You don’t need to use these exact words. Especially if you don’t work in an office. And/or your significant other is not named “Gordon.”

A lot of women are reluctant to do this. When we get the impression someone is only doing something to get something from us, part of us rebels. For others it feels manipulative. Still others are too busy listening to the voice in the head telling her “He should know better” or “Don’t give your power away” or “Only praise a guy when he’s earned it…and by earned it I mean done everything the exact way you like it without you having to tell him.”

These are normal thoughts to have. These women may even be right.

However, when it comes to relationships “being right” is often profoundly unhelpful.

Conditional praise leads to conditional relationships which are breeding grounds for unhappiness.

Besides, what are your alternatives? Nagging? The silent treatment? Criticism? Stewing in unspoken resentment? Grounding him?

How do you feel about yourself when you use these things to get your way? Is that the person you want to be? And if you’re with a guy who only responds to nagging and criticism, is that the kind of relationship you want?

Praise early. Praise often. Praise willingly and sincerely.

See him as a man you can be proud of…and watch him live up to your faith in him.

-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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don’t Wait For The Right Person




Here is something I used to believe:.

I need to find the right person before I can know love.”

How does that feel to you?

A lot of people buy into it. A few of those people even admit it.

I was part of a larger portion. I said I didn’t believe in the Right Person Theory. I paid lip service to the idea that there is no Perfect Partner out there.

But in my heart of hearts, I believed the right person would come along and all the problems I had in previous relationships wouldn't be problems anymore.

I need to find the right person before I can know love.”

I needed to rescue or be rescued. I needed the right person to come along and awaken my heart to its potential. And she would recognize I was perfect for her. We would fit together like puzzle pieces, no changes, compromises, or adaptations required.

I need to find the right person before I can know love.”

I don’t believe that anymore.

This is what I do believe:

I need to know love before I can meet the right person.

My history bears this out. With each woman I have met, I’ve learned to love a bit better. Not just that woman, or the next one, but other people in my life too. Because each woman is different, I also learn to appreciate and develop different parts of me.

Every love is different. But I'm grateful for all of them.

When I was younger, I had a narrow range of love. I could only love a certain type of person in a certain type of way and only if they did certain types of things. Trying to find love that way was like tying a thread to a bullet and hoping to fire it through the eye of a needle.

Now love is easier. Partly because I grew up a little. But also because I have learned to love more different things about different people. I have told people on occasion that I fall in love with every woman I meet, and I am only half-joking.

I've also learned different ways to express love. My love is stronger, more flexible, and flows easier with change.

I think developing your ability to love is a good thing. If you’re single, it widens your options. Being confident in your ability to love frees you up to look at the things you need for a workable relationship: compatibility, personal preference, and the various other tangibles and intangibles that make one person a better fir than another.

If you’re with someone, drawing love from other sources means less pressure for them to be your only source of emotional support. And knowing you can find love elsewhere tends to remove a lot of the fear behind many relationship problems.

Want to find the right person?

Work backwards. Start with loving everyone as best you can. That doesn’t mean put up with people who mistreat you. It doesn’t mean have sex with any- and everyone. It doesn‘t mean over-commit or extend yourself in too many directions.

It just means love as many people as you can as best as you can. It doesn't have to be romantic or sexual love. You can show love to friends, family, strangers, pets...even inanimate objects (I'm a big fan of my couch). You can love music or concepts (truth, freedom, etc.) The list goes on and on.

You aren‘t going to run out of love. Give it freely.

The right person will be there

-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.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Next Heart Way Meeting In Three Weeks

The Heart Way

The Heart Way is a support group for anyone looking to improve their love life. Whether you're single or attached, hooking up, breaking up, or ready to give up, The Heart Way is here to offer support as we work on becoming accountable for our own romantic happiness without guilt or blame.

There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted.

WHEN: 7PM, Tuesday, September 7 & Tuesday, October 5 WHERE: Woodcroft Library Program Room

Space is limited. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail.com to register.

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, August 12, 2010

Don't Blame Anybody



When you’ve been hurt or disappointed, it is natural to look for someone to blame.

Some of us turn blame inwards on ourselves. If only I was smarter or funnier or more romantic. If I only was less clingy or possessive or uncertain.

Others turn it outwards. Women are gold-diggers. Men are jerks. Men need to wake up and realize commitment and intimacy are more important than a quick sexual dalliance. Women need to stop being attracted to the wrong qualities in guys.

Some prefer one style to the other. Many of us do a little of both.

It is nobody’s fault.

Blaming yourself or others is a distraction. Finding fault is avoiding responsibility. By blaming others, I don't have to look at myself. If I blame myself, I have an excuse to beat myself when I could be taking steps forward.

Finding fault is not the same as holding people accountable.

Let blame go. You have better uses for your time and energy.

-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.

Monday, August 9, 2010

[editorial] BS Dating Advice: Don’t Talk About The Ex

I’ve seen this “tip” a number of times in a number of different dating books.

I don’t get it.

I’m not saying go out of your way to share your romantic history, but if you’re ex- is on your mind, it makes more sense to talk about that than to be scrambling for a topic you don’t care about one way or the other.

The reasoning behind the “Don’t Talk About The Ex” rule (often coupled with “brush off or be purposefully vague about any questions about your dating history“) is people don’t want to hear about our exes. We are warned we might come off as bitter or as “not over them.”

So what? It’s possible that you ARE bitter, resentful, and still in love with your ex.

And you know what? That is perfectly fine.

Bitter people get into relationships too. So do people who are in love with someone else. And while there are plenty of good reasons to let go of resentment, feeling resentful does not disqualify you from the dating pool.

Besides, if you are feeling these things, I think it’s only fair a potential partner knows about it, before he or she decides to get involved with you.

It’s not up to you to decide what you should and shouldn’t tell people. It's one thing if you don't want to share that information. But if you're holding back solely because you don't think the other person can handle it, you are making decisions for them, and that's a bad road to travel.

Never try to decide what is best for other people.

Who knows? Maybe the other person is fine hearing about these things. Maybe this is information they WANT to have before they decide how much to invest in you.

Maybe not.

But even if they don't want to hear it...

Well, this may be a personal thing, but I’ve always valued in a partner the ability to listen to things she doesn’t necessarily want to hear, particularly if that thing happens to be important to whoever is sharing it with her. It's a handy quality in a long term relationship, and one I'm making every effort to develop in myself. So discovering they have (or don’t have) that quality early is helpful for the future.

Being in a relationship--romantic or otherwise--where you feel you have to hold parts of yourself back can be excruciating. You should feel free to talk about about whatever is important to you. Feeling you have to withold things will likely come back to haunt you and your partner. Don't do it.

You have the right to talk about whatever you want. Others have the right to listen or walk away, to share their own stories or to nod, smile, and decide not to see you again.

Don’t make that decision for them.

-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, August 5, 2010

Use The Opposites to Overcome Your Fears

Do or Do Not Do. There Is No Try
-Yoda



There are elements of romantic life that take courage. Walking across the room to talk to an attractive stranger. Making that phone call. Initiating an awkward but necessary conversation on a touchy subject.

Most of us try to overcome that hesitancy with sheer willpower. We try to force ourselves to do it.

There are problems with this approach.

Firstly, it doesn’t always work. I have spent many an evening stressing myself trying to work up the courage to go talk to a woman only to leave frustrated without having done it.

The reason we have trouble is because a part of us is trying to prevent us from talking to the stranger or having the conversation. This part wants to protect us from potential harm.

Whether the harm is real or imagined is besides the point. That part is there, and it will not be ignored.

Trying to force past it makes it fight back harder. The resulting struggle paralyzes us...and the next thing we know, the moment has passed.

It’s also very stressful.

There is a second problem with trying to batter our way past our own resistance. Even when we are able to force ourselves to do it, we are often trying so hard to get past our own anxiety, we aren’t able to be flexible and adjust to changing conditions.

For example, we might be so focused on approaching our pretty stranger or making that phone call that when we do it, we find we’ve put so much energy on the approach or dialling, we discover we haven’t put any resources into what to say when we get there.

In short, we are trying too hard. And while trying too hard isn’t as bad as not trying at all, it’s not very effective.

Forutnately, there is another way.

Instead of fighting our natural resistance, we can use the Opposites to go with it and do what we want to do anyway.

It’s a simple, but strange sounding Practice.

When you feel that pressure , as soon as the resistance in your body comes up, you agree with it. And then do the thing anyway.

“I am not approaching that stranger” you tell yourself…and then make the approach anyway.

Having a hard time picking up the phone? Tell yourself “I don’t have to call her.” You’ll find yourself dialling before you know it.

You will also find yourself more relaxed as you are doing it.

I don’t know why this Practice works. But it DOES work.

Give it a try and see if it works for you.

- 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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heart Way Update and Twitter News

The first Heart Way meeting was last night. Thanks to all who came out.

It was kind of like being on a first date with a whole bunch of people instead of one. There are things I loved and things I wished I'd done differently.

The thing I was most happy with was the people who came. The group will live and die on people's ability to be genuine and to listen to others and the people who were there last night showed a lot of both. I was inspired by their willingness to put themselves out there.

Next meeting is September 7. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail.com for details or answers to your questions

In other news, I'm now on twitter. Follow me at http://twitter.com/gatewayboyfrnd

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Something Your Mama Told You Not To Do

I’d like you to try something for me.

For a week, make an effort to talk to strangers.

Take off the headphones. Pay attention to the people in line with you at the drugstore instead of mentally going over what you need to do for the rest of the day. Notice the world around you.

When it comes to building your social confidence, talking to strangers might be the single greatest gift you can give yourself.

You overcome shyness. You build your conversational skill and experience. You find your mind and your heart opening up and you learn to pay attention instead of walking through the world lost in your own head.

And sometimes, sometimes you meet some very interesting people in some very unexpected places.

Give it a try. Let us know how it goes for you.

PRACTICE

Stuck for an opening line to talk to strangers? Here are five I sometimes use.

"Hello...how are you."

"Hi there. My name is_____"

"Hi there. You looked interesting so I thought I'd come over and introduce myself."

"You know what I like about you?"

"Here's a question I have..."


Hint One: Pause and make eye contact after the first couple of words. You need to make sure you have their full attention before you barrel ahead.

Hint Two: Remember to speak at an appropriate volume and speed. They need to be able to hear and understand you.

Hint Three: Smile! Meeting strangers is fun!

-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.