Friday, February 29, 2008

Follow-Up: 10 Things A Woman Should Never Say To A Man

Ok. fair is fair. I posted the 10 Things A Guy Should Never Say To A Woman, so it's only right to post a follow-up. Freelance writer Craig Playstead put this list together, pointing out that although guys are guitly of saying things they shouldn't, it's time we ladies knew there are a few things that won't score us any points with the man in our life. For the most part, men an open book, but there are a few things women say that make guys cringe.

So, as a follow-up...

Here's a look at 10 things women say that drive men nuts.

1) "That looks cute."
For the most part, men hate cute. We don't want to hear about it, we don't want to see it, and we sure as hell don't want to be it. If we come down stairs after getting dressed and you tell us we look cute, there's a 100 percent chance we're changing. We're supposed to be your protector, your rock, and cute does not fit into that picture.

2) "We need to talk."
These four words shut off a man's brain faster than long division. When men hear you say that they immediately go into flight mode. And anything they can do to get out of this conversation—and better yet, your apartment—they will. There are plenty of other ways to approach a delicate conversation, and getting us in a place where we feel comfortable is a good start.

3) "It's just a game."
Actually, it's not just a game. Sports are a major part of our lives and the outcome has as much to do with our mood as just about anything else. Is it fair? No. Is it right? No. Is it immature? Maybe. But it's life. Sometimes we just care too much. We understand that it doesn't make sense, but you should be happy that we're that passionate about something. Telling us that "it's just a game" is like us telling you that Oprah's just a talk show host.

4) "Nothing's wrong."
Please don't tell us nothing's wrong. The look on your face could make the toughest guy on the planet weep like a third-grade girl and your arms are crossed so tight you might explode. We're not mind readers; tell us what's going on. And don't make us guess because—believe me—you won't like what we come up with.

5) "I sound like my mom."
The mere fact that you might turn into your mom someday scares the hell out of us. Don't say it, even in jest—it's not funny. We actually believe (and pray) that the saying "every woman ends up looking like their mother" is an old wives' tale. If we didn't, no one would ever get married.

6) "I just want to be friends."
No you don't. You just want us to stop calling you. This is a lot like pulling off a band-aid. Do it quick—don't prolong the agony. Most of us take "I just want to be friends" as "There's still a chance," so if there isn't just make it a clean break and move on. Everyone will be much better because of it.

7) "Size doesn't matter."
Don't lie to us. We know it does, and we're doing our best to make up for it in other ways. It's best just to not say anything at all.

8) "What are you wearing?"
We're wearing whatever's clean or whatever you tell us to. We don't plan out our wardrobe days in advance, but we do actually try and look presentable. It may not work a lot of the time, but we do give it a shot. Giving us direction is completely encouraged though, so go ahead and suggest … nicely.

9) "Do you think she's pretty?"
Of course we do, our standards are much lower than yours. But just because we check her out doesn't mean we think any less of you. We try to be as discreet as possible, but for the most part, we can't help it. It's in our DNA. When an attractive woman walks by, it's best to just pretend nothing happened.

10) "Which outfit do you like better?"
I'm going to be honest here—90 percent of the guys out there are not going to tell you which outfit they like better: They're going to try to pick the one you like better and not get into a holy war when the babysitter is due any minute. To us, you always look good. Getting a couple cocktails and spending as much time as we can without the kids is our ultimate goal for a rare night out.

By Craig Playstead
Original story:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10 Things You Should Never Say To A Woman

I didn't write this. But I am doing a public service to all men by sharing it! My good friend and boss Nick Anthony always asks: "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"

By following author Jessica Murphy's advice, you may not be right, but you're bound to be happier!

It's true: Some comments are better left unsaid.

But as a sophisticated man of the 21st century, you already know this. You know you're not supposed to comment on your girlfriend's weight, or tell her that her friends are hot. And you know she probably feels the same way you do about the phrase, "Can we still be friends?" Additionally, you've found that honesty, while valued in most situations, can sometimes offend. What you say to defuse tension in an argument often stokes the fire. We understand that the female psyche can be complicated, and we're here to demystify what may seem like strategically placed trapdoors.

Here are 10 things most women don't want to hear:

1) What did you do to your hair? Unless we've cut our own hair, and this is not common; someone else did something to our hair. It wasn't us. And most likely we've gone to a lot of trouble and expense for it. "I like your new haircut" is infinitely better, and shows you're paying attention. It's also far superior to the generic "You look different," which tells us you're as clueless as ever.

2) They both look the same to me. We understand you care a lot less than we do about the outfits or the registry dishware we're asking you to compare. But they can't possibly look exactly the same, can they? Give us something. Anything. Mentally roll the dice and pick one, so we don't worry about your vision'"or worse, that you don't care.

3) Relax. A kissing cousin to "Don't get so worked up," this generally creates the exact opposite effect you're shooting for. When you say "Relax," what we hear is that you think that we're being irrational over nothing, and this makes us do anything but relax.

4) I've got it all under control. Ha! Famous last words. Refrain from using them if you don't want us to take fiendish delight in your getting lost because you won't stop for directions (if we're late, there will be fiendish fuming), or because you're missing a piece to your flat-screen television because you said you didn't need to read the assembly instructions.

5) You're not one of those feminists, are you? Yikes. Chivalry may be nearly dead, but saying this will drive the last spear through its heart. Feminist or not, a woman is likely to be offended by the question. Just be yourself. Be kind, open the door, offer to pay, and go from there. We can choose to accept or share in your generosity.

6) When are you due? Take one second to imagine a woman turning to you and responding, "I'm not pregnant," or "I had the baby six months ago," and you'll understand why you should eradicate this question from your vocabulary. In one nanosecond, innocent'"even considerate'"curiosity can turn to deadly, if unintentional, offense. And there's just no way to recover from this one.

7) You're being emotional. In the heat of the moment this may be true. But unless you want your partner to become more emotional or get angry, you're better off keeping this observation and its off-limits follow-up question'""Is it that time of month?"'"to yourself.

8) You're acting just like your mother/my mother/my ex-girlfriend. All three are problematic. An ex should be mentioned sparingly, and never in comparison. Why would we want to remind you of a person you broke up with? And come to mention it, why are you thinking about her? You see the slippery slope. Conjuring an image of our mother or your mother can be equally grating. We want you to treat us as individuals and not as mere products of your (or our) upbringing.

9) You complete me. We've seen "Jerry Maguire" and most other romantic comedies far more often than you, and while we may (or may not) like cheesy movie lines, they usually fail in real life. We understand that the possibility of romance makes inexplicable things come out of a man's-and sometimes a woman's-mouth, but keep the compliments real and honest and sincere and say you love someone when you mean it.

10) Do you really think you should be eating that? Yes. She should be eating it. Even if she told you she's given it up.

Original article:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

True Love

It's Valentine's night, and I'm propped in my queen sized bed with my trusty laptop and loyal dogs lying comfortably around me. Last night at this time, I was in the same spot, dreading the day that stretched before me: Valentine's Day, a day for lovers, a day single people like me dreaded.

I didn't always feel this way about Valentine's Day. I used to love it. I used to be the recipient of romance in the form of flowers and chocolate and romantic gestures. For 19 consecutive Valentines days, my late husband made sure I had a dozen red roses. In fact, roses became his signature; but not just on Valentine's Day or special occasions. He'd bring flowers home often, for no reason at all.

The first time I received roses from him was after our first date. I was surprised to get them the next morning with a note that said how much he enjoyed the evening and how he hoped he could see me again. Surprised because although I thought we had a great time, he left so abruptly after our concert date I thought I read him wrong. Phil wasn't much of a drinker, and apparently his mix of wine at dinner followed by 2 beers at Blossom had him feeling a little queasy. At the end of the evening he walked me into my apartment and rushed away, leaving me thinking he didn't enjoy the night as much as I did. Turns out he threw up in the bushes once outside. I didn't hear that story from him until almost a year later.

Throughout our dating life and all through our marriage he brought me roses fairly regularly. I'd ask him why. What was the occasion? He said there didn't have to be an occasion. When the girls came along he'd get me a dozen, and give each of them a single rose. It became his trademark. I guess God rewarded his good husbandly behavior because one night he was on his way home with a dozen roses in the passenger seat and he got pulled over for speeding. When the officer asked him where he was going in such a hurry, Phil pointed to the flowers. The officer said his wife would kill him if he gave a ticket to a man rushing home to his wife with flowers so he let him go. Phil decided he should keep artificial flowers in the car all the time "just in case".

This morning my 16 year-old daughter came into my room to kiss me goodbye before she went to school and I to work. We both agreed we weren't too much into the Valentine's Day that lay ahead of us. As she hugged me goodbye she told me she loved me and said "Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love in I'm going to celebrate all the people I love...especially you!" I smiled and hugged her back. Her positive attidude was contagious.

At about 3:30 this afternoon, I walked into my office after a meeting and there were a dozen red roses on my desk, and a note that said "Dad told me to do it".

My Laura, so much like her Dad in so many ways, had surprised me with the roses she knew I had come to miss so much.

True love comes in many forms.

I am blessed with true love this Valentine's Day after all.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Online Dating Part 2

I received a number of emails and more than a few humorous stories in response to my Wacky World Of Online Dating blog from a couple weeks back. I heard mostly from men, who, I suspect, wanted to point out that it's not just men who give not-so-good first impressions. So, I thought I'd share a few of the stories.

Sam (I've changed the names to protect the innocent) told me he had more than his fair share of interesting first and last dates. After a few photo and email exchanges he really enjoyed meeting one woman over coffee. He really liked her. She was cute, funny, and thankfully honest enough to admit she was married. Unhappily, (obviously) but still, married. He said he was at least appreciative she told him that right away, rather than a few dates in.

Another woman he went out with got so drunk on the first date that she threw up in his car. Yet another took a phone call during dinner, and proceeded to engage in a 3 way conference call with her mom and her brother'¦who happened to be making the call from prison. He gave up on online dating.

Gary shared the story of a woman who he dated for over 8 months. He really cared about her and thought it was getting serious. He was sure it was exclusive, too, until the morning (after he stayed at her place) she took a call from, you guessed it, her other boyfriend. She admitted then she had been seeing him and another the whole time.

Mark told me a story of a woman he took to dinner. She ordered her second glass of wine before he made a dent in his first, and by the time he ordered his 2nd, he lost track of what glass she was on, but he was sure she was ahead of him 2 to 1 easily. After dinner she suggested they move to the bar and she ordered yet another glass of wine. Against his better judgment, he carried the drink he was nursing from the table to the bar and waited while she went to the bathroom. She never came back.

My own experiences have not been as dramatic as any of these. Although I've met a number of people that I didn't necessarily click with romantically, I've met some really nice guys, and remain friends with a few of them. I've really only had 2 bad experiences.

The first was a guy who made a great first impression. He was a nice looking, intelligent, executive-type guy that I thought had potential after our initial meeting. After an enjoyable dinner on what was our second meeting but first real date, he grabbed me as I was getting in the car. His attempt at a kiss was aggressive and akward... was the wrong moment, the wrong approach, the wrong everything. I got home to an email inviting me to go away with him for weekend for "more of what we just shared." Yuck. What we "shared" was awful. After sending him a polite note telling him I didn't think we were a fit, he continued to email and call for weeks. Kindof scary.

Another guy that was charming on date 1, so I went on date 2, when he told me he was still living with his ex-girlfriend. They had separate rooms, he explained, and both were dating others. He wanted to know if that would bother me.

By far, the biggest complaint I hear from men and women about online dating is that there is a fair amount of misrepresentation. Many people found they met someone who looked nothing like their posted photo. Others stretch the truth about their age, living situation, relationship or financial status.

There are success stories, though. I know someone who met a woman on eharmony and they've been dating almost a year. Another friend told me a success story that should be used on one of those TV commercials. His wife's sister was widowed, and through an online dating service, she met and married a wonderful man. He shared that the widowed mom had just married off her second daughter, and this man, now her husband, made a wonderful toast that honored the girls' father and his memory, and how he was there in spirit. That one success story gave me hope that there are still wonderful men (and women) out there and on or off line, if it's meant to happen, it'll happen.

Although there is no real way to insure you won't have a bad experience, and meet someone who has misrepresented themselves online, that is certainly also the case if you met someone at random, in person or, especially at a bar. One might argue online can be safer because there is some level of screening you can do before you meet.

Every year, tens of thousands of people get married as a result of meeting on an online dating service. If you choose to try online dating, below are some tips to stay safe and get the most from your online dating experience from

1. Arrange to meet him.
When meeting for the first time, never allow your date to pick you up from your home. In fact, your date shouldn't even know your home address yet!

2. Meet in public places.
For a first meeting, always meet in a public place where other people are in close proximity. You may also want to consider going out with a group of people, or a double date.

3. Go dutch by paying half of the bill.
It's always respectful for the man to offer to pay the bill. Unfortunately, some men ruin the gesture by expecting something in return. Therefore it may not be a bad idea for you to go dutch. Pay half the bill so that you won't feel under any obligation to "return" the favor.

4. Remember that alcohol affects your judgment.
The biggest threat to a person's judgment, when on a date, is alcohol. Not only does it affect your judgment, but alcohol also lessens your inhibitions. If you are drinking, keep your drink in sight at all times and don't get so drunk that you don't know what you are doing. Better yet, try to avoid alcohol on your first date.

5. Use your own mode of transportation.
Provide your own transportation to your public meeting place and make sure you have more than enough gas.

6. Don't assume that a man is safe.
It's important never to let your guard down when on a first date. Never assume a man is safe just because he claims to be religious or a gentleman.

7. Don't let him know where you live.
If you want to see him again, arrange a second date and then take it from there.

8. Avoid secluded areas.
Remember - stay in a public place for your first date and avoid secluded areas such as parks.

9. Listen to your gut.
If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. And if you haven't met him before, and you know at the beginning of the date that something doesn't feel right, then leave immediately.

10. Always let someone else know where you're going. Be sure someone knows where you are going and who you'll be with. You might even consider arranging a time to call and check in. Or you could arrange to meet up with friends later that night.

11. Give him your cell phone number.
It's safer to give out a cell phone number instead of your home phone number because someone armed with your home phone number can go online and easily find out what your home address is.

12. Always remain alert.
Even if you're having a blast and the chemistry is great, it's a good idea to remain alert the whole evening. Make sure you have a cell phone on you.

Dating safely is very important. In the initial stages of dating and online dating, you are still getting to know someone you know very little about. By creating a safe environment to know the person, you're creating a better situation for yourself.