THE 21ST CENTURY GUIDE TO DATING


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Hi all, hope you are well and having a lovely week. I’m back with another post, this time teaming up with UK Blog Awards finalist – Debrae to discuss why dating sometimes goes wrong. Debrae would offer reasons as to why women may mess up during the dating process, whilst I would serve as the voice for men.

Debrae Says

Ladies, have you been left wondering why you haven’t had any success with dating as of late?  Below, I will expand on a few reasons why this could be. You may want to jot down these pointers…

  •  Expecting too much, too soon

As women, let’s be honest. We are usually driven by emotion and at times we can let our feelings get the best of us. A man can simply glance in our direction and we’re already planning the perfect wedding. When dating a potential partner, it is important to acknowledge the keyword; potential. Some women are stressed at the fact that homeboy hasn’t introduced her to friends and family after the second date. I would advise you to remember that you are in the beginning stages of what could turn into something serious. As difficult as it may be, try not to get carried away, it is perfectly normal if he hasn’t asked you to be his girlfriend after a few dates. Some people believe in love at first sight and may know exactly who it is they wish to be with instantly whilst it may take others longer to come to this decision. Enjoy dating for what it is initially; a process.

  •  Dating for the wrong reasons 

I don’t know about you guys but when I go on a date and I am not attracted to the man in any way, it shows. My lack of enthusiasm and interest will definitely communicate that message to him. Some women go on dates for free food or simply date out of boredom/loneliness. When a woman is desperate for a boyfriend, believe it or not, men can sense this which will turn him off or worse, he will use this to his advantage and try his luck as he knows you will tolerate anything just to bag a title. Pretty soon, the guy will pick up on the fact that he has become your personal chauffeur/ bank and may put an end to things. No one likes being used.

  •  Giving too much, too soon

This generation encourages women to do the most for men that are not their husbands, talk less of being in an official relationship. Nothing has been cemented between the both of you but here you are playing Polly the housewife, paying for his phone bill, cooking for him on demand and of course giving him that good good. All this without any commitment. Why would he feel the need to put a title on anything when everything is coming his way, with no hassle and no questions. For now.

Regardless of how new age society paints it, giving too much to a guy too soon, leaves no room for the thrill of a chase. It gives them nothing to work for.

  •  Not making expectations clear from the start

When two people start dating, it is important that both parties are clear on what they expect. This is because one person may be looking for a serious relationship after dating for a while, at the same time, the other person may simply be out for a bit of ‘fun’. By stating what they expect from the beginning, feelings are less likely to get hurt and both parties can make informed decisions on whether or not they would like to continue seeing each other.

  •  Having unrealistic benchmarks

With the rising impact of social media, it is becoming increasingly common for couples and people in general to compare their lives to what they see online. When dating, individuals try to imitate what they see on Instagram or are left disappointed as their expectations do not live up to what is seen across online platforms. It is important to appreciate the efforts your potential partner puts in. So don’t feel offended if your date doesn’t book you a table at the Shard accompanied by a quartet playing a beautiful melody with 500 roses beneath your feet. After all, you are just getting to know each other.

Josh says

Fellas, here are some of the things I feel are getting in our way of successfully dating and progressing our date into the relationship phase…

  • Inconsistency in our words and actions

As men, expressing how we feel is not particularly our strongest point. Nevertheless, there should be consistency and correlation between our words and action, so the woman is assured of our feelings and where things stand between both of you. Don’t tell her you’re on it, then go ghost on her for few days without reason, and pop back up when you feel like it, trying to continue things like you never left. As much as you don’t want to come across too eager, you also don’t want to keep her second guessing how serious you are about her.

  • Lack of confidence

It is common knowledge that confidence is an attractive feature; so it is important that as a man, you carry yourself in a way that says you are comfortable in your own skin. An act of confidence is when a man takes control of the dating situation; expressing yourself and letting your true character show forth.

  • Bringing sex in prematurely

I feel women know the deal when it comes to men and sex. However, this does not mean they are alright with making them feel like a grab and smash job. They still want to feel wanted and cared for, that you are actually interested in them beyond their ‘box’. So asking for nudes after a few WhatsApp messages, or talking about ‘when you coming to mine’ before even taking her out for a date can be a turn-off and lead to your number being blocked

  • Inability to listen and pay attention

Getting to know the other person and progress a dating situation would require consistent communication. The ability to listen and pay attention is integral to this. We men, tend to develop short attention spans when women go into topics that are not pertaining to our interest – Makeup, choosing between a nude and red shoe to go with a black dress, amongst other things. Although these (to us) are trivial issues, they hold high importance to women, and listening not only helps us to better understand her personality but also shows that we care and are interested in who she is.

  • Trying too hard to impress

It’s in a man’s nature to try to impress a woman who he’s attracted to. That said, some guys go overboard and create perceptions that are not true. Trying too hard to impress a woman can be off-putting; whether that is embellishing your financial status or trying to be something you’re not because you think that’s what she wants. It is always better to be yourself and find someone who wants you for you.

  • Our Ego

We all have egos but as men, sometimes we can get bogged down with feeding our egos to the extent that we lose the essence of dating. Guys who don’t have their ego under control expect everything to work in their favour and according to their plans. When it doesn’t, all peace and harmony is lost. This hinders the other person from freely expressing themselves and also makes you look like a control freak, which is rarely deemed attractive.

From us to you…

Josh – I must say from a man’s perspective I completely agree with Debrae’s points, particularly the point of ‘giving too much too soon’. As men, our ego will not allow us to settle for a woman that we consider ‘easy’. We take pride in putting in work and earning not what we are given freely but what we work for. So if you’re dating and he’s not putting in work to win your heart, chances are you’re probably ‘easy’ or he’s just not interested.

Debrae – From the points made by Josh, it’s refreshing to see that there are men out there that ‘get it‘. I definitely agree with the point of ‘bringing in sex prematurely‘ in addition to ‘trying too hard to impress‘.  No matter how good-looking a man is, it’s an immediate turn-off when they start making sexual references so early. As for the famous phrase ‘so, when are you coming to mine?’,  Josh didn’t lie. It’s an instant block 🙂

More importantly, I admire when a guy can be himself, not feeling the need to show off or draw attention to his accolades excessively. A quiet confidence is always good.

Finally, dating can be a great experience. Enjoy the process!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts or questions below

 

 

 

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WHY DO WE STAY IN BAD RELATIONSHIPS UNTIL WE ARE BROKEN?


 

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Last week, #HurtBae was trending on Twitter. It was an emotional short video about this guy confessing to his girlfriend that he had been cheating on her. I was sad to see this poor girl crying her eyes out to a man who had blatantly disrespected her –  through his lack of remorse he shows that he does not care about her and would like to call time on their relationship. I can’t imagine the pain she’d had to go through but it was evident that their relationship had been toxic for a while and although she was emotionally broken, she clearly still loves the guy.

I empathize with her situation, as I have been in a toxic relationship and know how difficult things can be. I was once in relationship where I was not appreciated and my feelings were not regarded. At the peak of things, I could not completely be myself, treading carefully as though walking on eggshells. I gave her all of me, she was in control of my mood and dictated the tone of the relationship. It was emotionally tiring to say the least. The question to ask is why do we stay and endure toxic situations/ relationships until we are broken and emotionally drained? Why don’t we just walk away?Read More »

DO MEN REALLY CARE ABOUT VALENTINE’S DAY?


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Valentine’s Day is only few days away and conventionally we men are expected to deliver something special to express our affections for our ladies. Recently I have come across numerous blog posts centered on how men can be more romantic and make their women feel special.

The other day at work, a group of us were talking and the question of what everyone was doing for Valentine’s Day came up. The general consensus was it was an overrated experience but for the sake of our respective partners, it is worth putting something together to show that we care. One colleague even said he was only going to order in some take away and watch a movie with his wife.

I don’t think the issue is us not knowing what to do or how to express ourselves, I feel it’s more of a question of whether we care enough about the day.

Surely the occasion should be about the woman and not the day?

Read More »

IF YOUR PARTNER CHEATED ON YOU, WOULD YOU STAY?


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Cheating is one of the most common reasons for relationship breakups. It goes without saying that being cheated on hurts especially when you love and have invested so much in your partner.

I was once cheated on, and writing this blog reminded me of how much it messed with my emotions. Although my ego would not let me admit it at the time but I felt so insecure within myself; I questioned the way I looked, my personality and confidence. It even affected my perception of love and relationships.

So should being cheated on spell the end for a relationship or should you try to work things out?Read More »

Why good women still get treated badly…


 

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Too many times, women wonder why it is that even when a man has a seemingly good woman; one that’s beautiful, intelligent, ambitious, and treats him like a king, he still under appreciates and disrespect her.

Why?

I’m going to let you in on a man’s thought process here. From my observation it is usually one or both of 2 reasons:Read More »

Finding Your Right Partner


Recently, a single female friend was telling me why she has given up on dating. It turns out for whatsoever reason she keeps picking the wrong guys; they all look promising at first, but after some time things fall apart. Now she’s done with having her hopes dashed so she’s no longer interested in dating unless it is the right person.

The conversation played on my mind for some time and I asked myself, how can we tell if a total stranger would be Mr/ Mrs Right? Truth is that you don’t, well not at first anyways.

Looking at my relationship journey as well as that of some married couples I know, I figured there are stages you can go through and at each stage it should become clearer if who you’re dealing with is Mr/ Mrs Right or Wrong

So that these stages are easy to digest, I’ll liken it to the process of filling in a job vacancy.

Stage 1: Selection for interview

This initial stage is where various potentials are assessed; some relevant, others not so much. You should already know what you are looking for; what you can compromise on and your absolute nots.

This stage sets the tone for the rest of the process so it’s important to make some good judgements. Attraction is certainly a selecting tool here, but unless you’re a psychic there no way of telling someone will be right for you simply based on outlook. So don’t be too quick to move to the next level because the hottie you’ve been eyeing eventually approaches you.

Try to gain some substance beyond outlook, see how he/she approaches a conversation, observant and listen carefully to what they have to say then assess accordingly.

Another selecting tool is referrals – introduction by a mutual friend, most married couples I know were introduced by a mutual friend.

 Stage 2: The Interview

This is the ‘Getting to know/ seeing each other’ stage, and it’s ideally a combination of telephone (speaking, not texting) and face-to-face (dates, not booty call). This stage is about gaining as much insight about your selection as possible to see if they fit what you are looking for. Your job here is to ask lots of questions, listen intently and be observant.

The key things I feel should be taken out of this stage are:

  • What are they looking for – Does this match what you want or would you have to settle? Are they in a right mental and emotional state to give you what you are looking for?
  • What value can they add value to you – What are their life and relationship goals? What are their beliefs? What are they passionate about? Can their character inspire yours?
  • How trustworthy and reliable are they – Observe the consistency or inconsistencies in their behavioural patterns, how do they respond to your questions? Are they open and honest in their approach?
  • What is the chemistry like – What are your conversations like; can you spend hours talking to them or you get bored in 10 minutes? Do you feel connected or are you just going through the motion? In what ways are you compatible and do you share similar interests. Do they make time to spend and talk to you?
  • Their history – What was their past relationship like? Why did they break up?

I’ll say take your time on this stage, until you have are confident that your selection is competent enough to meet your standards. That said it should not take forever, if they are not completely satisfied or you have major doubts, do not settle and certainly don’t go offering benefits because your ‘feelings’ tells you ‘You Only Live Once’. You can give them more time or cut your losses and consider other selections to interview.

Stage 3: Job Offer

This is the stage you both mutually agree to be in an exclusive relationship. However it’s still early days so don’t get carried away just yet. It is possible some snakes may have slipped through the cracks in the interview stage. This is why you should put in the ‘Probation Period’.

The Probation Period is about observing their competence and character to know how they’ll actually perform in their new role and how it correlates with what they showed at the interview stage.

This is not the time to drop all your guards and begin giving full benefits; maintain your standards, set your boundaries and stick to them, this will earn you respect and increase your worth in their eyes. You may have to do some coaching to bring them up to speed with how you operate, and this will bring up differences and some disagreements but it is all part of the process. Even through the disagreements, the fundamentals should still be present – good communication, trustworthiness, openness, chemistry, life and relationship goal.

When you feel it’s time, evaluate their performance and proceed accordingly. Ideally both of you should both be operating beyond just attractions and start seeing each other more as close friends.

The mistake I’ve seen and heard many people make with this process is getting caught up in their feelings, and as a result give away too much too soon. When this happens, they lose leverage and end up chasing a worth that’s rightfully theirs to salvage the situation. It’s best to take your time at each stage and let them prove they are actually interested in you.

I would not say this process is foolproof, but I do feel it certainly stack the odds in your favour in knowing whether someone is right or wrong for you.

 

A Better You, A Better Relationship…


 

The quality of any relationship is determined by the quality of the people in it. So it’s not good enough to just desire a good relationship, you have to firstly increase your quality as a person then take time to choose someone who compliments you. The following are my 4 essentials to work on and improve prior to getting in a relationship

Learn to love yourself

The search for love or to be loved has caused many emotional traumas; causing them to compromise their principles, self-respect and self-esteem in hope that they receive love in return. Unfortunately this is not always the case; I’ve come to realise that the love we receive from others is the love we’ve allowed to be acceptable over a period of time. The turning point is to empower yourself by taking the time to love you, so you become the prize as oppose to the possession that’s picked and dropped at will.

The beauty about loving yourself is that you do not have to accept the value and standards others place on you; you get to define your own values, your own standards and terms. Defining your own values and standards will cause people who only want you on their own terms to walk away from you. They will take away their ‘love’ and attention which can sometimes cause you to feel lonely and think about comprising yourself. This is why some keep going back to the same no-good exes, and settling for mediocre relationships.  The way out is to start loving you more, because the more you love yourself, the lower your tolerance for other people’s B.S.

Furthermore, it is difficult to love someone else if you have not mastered the art of loving yourself. The good book talks about loving your neighbour as yourself; in other words, the maximum capacity at which you love yourself is how much you can love another. Love is for givers; is it possible to give another something you do not have?

The art of self-love starts with:

  • Spending time to understand and embracing who you are including your flaws
  • speaking positively about yourself
  • Spending time with people who highlights your strength and help you better your weaknesses
  • Doing things that make you happy

Master being single:

To be single is to be emotionally and mentally whole, unattached and available; many relationships have started off on the wrong foot because one or both partners are still attached to something or someone from their past. These relationships are likely to have issues of insecurity and lack of trust and could be in trouble if the underlying problem is unresolved.

Before getting into a relationship, do a self-check on your emotional status. Are you still hoping for a future with your past, still emotionally tied to a situation or ex or are you still hurting over a previous breakup(s)? If your answer to this sort of questions is yes, then you are not ready to commit to another person as you will only be bringing baggage from your past that will ruin a new relationship.

To become single, I would suggest the following steps:

  • Consciously decide to FORGIVE whoever’s hurt you and forgive yourself (that part is often missed out
  • LET GO; leave past emotions or feelings in the past.
  • Create an environment for you to heal (delete pictures, block insta/FB/Snapchat profiles) and let TIME do its work because healing takes time.

You should also check the emotional status of your would be man/woman. Do not assume because he/she gives you their attention and time; phone calls, going out for drinks and dinner means they are emotionally available to be in a relationship with you. Ask questions about their exes, past relationships, causes of breakups, their present emotional state and what they invest most of their time in; it might seem awkward asking but it might also save a lot of heartache in the future.

Master investing in yourself:

People will place value on you based on your past, dressing, skin colour, body shape etc. However it is on you to define and make clear your self-worth and values, but how do you know your self-worth if you haven’t spent time investing in you? People who have not invested in themselves and do not know their worth have no choice but to accept the values placed on them, which would make them open to manipulation.

Investing in yourself is building up the quality of your inner-person and letting your outlook compliment what’s within. In this age, the focus is mainly on being attractive; so it’s about makeup, fit bodies, bum lifts, tight and revealing clothes etc, and using social media as a means for validation. Being attractive can win you lots of attention however it’s the quality of your inner-person that determines whether you’re a keeper or someone’s idea of fun.

You can increase your self-worth by

  • Watch, read or listen to motivational/ inspiring materials that will help build your character
  • Keep company with people who have values you desire
  • Be ambitious; set goals for yourself and your career

Master the art of communication:

Communication is the fuel that drives every relationship, if you want to know how well a relationship is doing, study how the partners communicate. 3 key areas to pay close attention to have a fruitful relationship;

  • Openness: If you are serious about getting into and maintaining a committed relationship, you need to be an open book your partner can read; you should be able to share anything and everything with your partner, from financial status to password to phones, emails and social media accounts. You should be comfortable to talk about your feelings at any given time; it might cause you to feel vulnerable but you will be rewarded with trust, security and subsequently a good flow of chemistry in your relationship.
  • Listening: When someone makes themselves vulnerable by being open, there nothing more discouraging than not feeling heard! Listening is being attentive to the words and feelings of who’s speaking; it’s saying to them, you can trust me with your feelings and it’s ok to be you with me. Something I personally dislike is when sharing my feelings and the listening starts going off talking about themselves. Listening is a selfless act; it’s about taking off your own shoes to understand what walking in another person’s shoes feel like. Effective listening encourages people to be comfortable and trust you, forming the basis for them to be open with you.
  • Response: If you have not listened effectively, your response or lack of it is highly likely to frustrate the person who’s spoken to you and can cause them to close up. Have you ever spoken to someone and after hearing their response, you become reluctant to share your feelings with them again? Such is the power of response. Be sensitive; let your response both in body language and words reflect the feelings of who’s spoken to you. It shows you’ve paid attention and understood their feelings, in return they feel more valued and will continue to open up to you.

These points are not so you become self-obsessed and get selfish in your relationship. They are essentials that will make you an asset within your relationships and increase the quality of your relationships.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave your comments below.

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