We chatted with the ladies of Bravo’s new dating docu-series, “Miss Advised” (on Mondays at 10 p.m.), to discuss a common singleton’s conundrum: Why?!?!? <br>
Julia Allison, ELLE.com’s “Guinea Pig of Love” blogger; host of the Sex with Emily podcast series, Emily Morse; and professional matchmaker, Amy Laurent, gave their top reasons why relationships go wrong, why first dates aren’t successful, and why women are still single. Next
“Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reels.”
“This is especially important in the era of Facebook where you see all these photographs of beautiful couples and you wonder why things aren’t as easy for you,” said Allison. “The idea that no one has to work on [their relationship] and that everyone else is perfect and everything you’re doing is failing is really insidious. Even the happiest couples experience conflict, boredom, disillusionment, that’s just part of life.” Next
Give a first date the benefit of a doubt.
“A lot of women and men have litmus tests on first dates and usually two things happen: one, they aren’t super honest and two, they misinterpret. I went on a date and I asked about faith, meaning being faithful in a relationship, and he answered the question as if I had asked about religion,” explained Allison. “You want to be honest with someone but you want to couch your statements. Don’t make blanket statements, such as: I hate X, or I never would Y, I’d rather die than Z. Since they’re just meeting you, it’s likely that they’re taking you at your word.”
What you see is not always what you get.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they go into a date and they expect a finished model but: A. that’s not possible and B. you don’t want that anyway because the person you’re going to be in a year is different than the person you are now so you want someone who is able to grow with you,” said Allison. “To expect a finished model off the bat is not only unrealistic, it’s unfair. What you really want is to find someone who is amenable to growing with you.” Next
And speaking of texting... don’t.
“Never text the guy first, not even to say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ It’s something easy you can do. Just don’t initiate a text or a call ever,” said Laurent. “If you take that one rule alone and see how that changes when you meet someone new. You’ll immediately start realizing that it has an effect.”
“Also, don’t get caught in the texting trap ... don’t become one of those girls who has hour long conversations via text with the guy because then he’s never going to pick up the phone and ask you on a date. You’ll become the text girl. It’s a very convenient to text but during the first few weeks you need to set up guidelines and parameters for courting. It’s different than getting to know a friend – things can easily go awry in dating.”
Don’t make excuses for him.
“Women too often ignore or excuse the fact that he likes you but he’s not liking you enough,” said Laurent. “Women go into denial: ‘He’s really busy, so I can’t freak out that it’s been a week since I’ve seen him and he hasn’t really asked me out again.’ But that’s a clear message because any guy, even if he’s the most dubious guy on earth, he’s going to call you. By week three, you should be able to see what patterns are happening. If it’s not improving over time and he’s not planning ahead and dinners are turning into a quick drink at the local bar, you need to re-evaluate and weed out who is going to be a waste of time.” Next
Don’t be aggressive. Don’t B-E-Aggressive. <Br>
The biggest mistake that women can make is to lose all sense of reason and overanalyze what’s happening,” said Laurent. “Every woman is different but some will always fall flat on their face and sabotage a potentially good thing because they panic and start becoming aggressive. They’re the ones to text the guy and suggest going out on a date. They lose their whole sense of self esteem and they know this but they just panic.”
Make a list. Don’t check it twice.
“Develop your list of non-negotiable” traits for a mate, advised Morse. “I’m not saying that you need to have a 72-point checklist like Julia but I’m looking at the big things: he’s passionate about something, he loves his family, he’s good to his mother. Women stay in bad relationships for too long because they ignore the early warning signs. Look at the type of guy you’re dating and the pattern you’re following and say, I’m only going to date certain guys that meet this [non-negotiable] criteria and if I don’t feel good after that first date, I am not going to go out with them again.” Next
Don’t have sex too soon.
“It can be harmful for some women if you decide have sex too soon or when sex rules the relationship from the beginning,” explained Morse. “You know how they say the brain of someone falling in love looks just like someone going insane? That’s because the chemicals in the brain are firing oxytocin and dopamine and we become attached to the feelings that we think are love but are really lust. Hold back as long as you can.”
“When they say love is blind I think that means that we tend to overlook undesirable traits when we’re sleeping with someone and it can blind you from seeing the real person they are because your brain so caught up in the sex.” Next
Leave the desperation for the housewives.
“A lot of women suffer from having that feeling of desperation and that time is running out or you’re too old,” said Morse. “No women can make a decision from this point of reasoning. Get out of that mindset by telling yourself that you’re on the right track by not operating from fear but from your strengths. Being desperate is unattractive and I think both men and women can all smell that from miles away.”
Assumptions make ... you know.
“I don’t think women should have all their eggs in one basket – literally,” said Morse. “If you haven’t had the exclusivity conversation, you should still date. The talk should come up naturally but I think the person who needs to bring it up the most will. And it’s better sooner than later so you don’t waste your time if you’re thinking he’s just seeing you and it’s not true.” Next
Need more answers? <Br>
Emily Morse will be joining Boston.com for an exclusive live chat on Wednesday, July 18 at 2 p.m. to answer your relationship and dating questions—from the bedroom, the bar, and beyond. Back to the beginning
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