Friday, January 27, 2012

Dating in Utah: What a Girl Wants! and other random ramblings from my head

Over the course of this blog I've given a variety of opinions on various issues about dating but today I go where very few men dare to go. Today I try to delve into the greatest of human mysteries, the female mind. K maybe I'm exaggerating a bit but according to every romantic comedy ever written every problem that has ever happened in any relationship is caused by a fundamental difference in the way that men and women think that can only be overcome by an epic kiss at the end of the movie. However when I took a communication and gender class in college the first point that was made in the book for the class was that there is less than a 1% biological difference in the way that women and men think so I decided to set my self out on a quest to find out what women actually want out of a relationship. I do believe that there are some key differences in the way that women and men communicate that need to be addressed, however as hopefully everyone will see men and women essentially want the same thing when it comes to relationships but I'll let you be the judge. So here are the results of my completely scientific text message survey that I obviously spent lots of time analyzing numerically...
1. What are the top three qualities that you look for in a guy?
There were some very definite patterns in this question. Women want dedicated, motivated, hard-working men. According to evolutionary psychologists, this is because women need security when they are making commitments to men because let's be frank women have a lot more invested when it comes to long-term relationships, they need to know that their children and themselves will be taken care of securely. Dedication shows that men are willing to make an investment not only in themselves but in others as well. Women also want honest, loyal men, also for the LDS guys out there, they want worthy strong priesthood holders(surprise right?). I felt like this is pretty self-explanatory, I personally feel like the best way for anyone to show that they care about a person is by being honest with them because it eliminates a lot of the insecurities that come with human interaction. There is not a more solid ground for building great communication than honesty. Women also want someone they can laugh with/have fun with. Don't be a douche or a stick in the mud, if you aren't someone that people can picture as their best friend it's going to be hard for them to commit to a relationship. Finally physical attraction is important, but if you can be yourself people will be more attracted to you, confidence is the single most attractive trait anyone one can have.
2. After you've gone on a few dates with a guy, how do you know if you're interested in a more serious relationship with a guy?
I realized when I wrote this question that it was a bit vague but I figured that if guys could understand how girls approach relationships, it could help get rid of a lot of the awkwardness and miscommunication that come in the early stages of budding relationships. The truth of the matter is that women will want to spend time with you if they want something to happen. They have to have fun with you. They want to feel appreciated. They need to feel like that you are willing to make a commitment. Possibly most importantly, women need to feel comfortable and have to feel that "connection" or in other words they have to feel like that they can get close emotionally with a guy. So to the guys reading this out there do your best to make girls feel comfortable and your odds of developing a more serious relationship will go up tremendously.
3. What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to dating?
Going into this I kinda had an idea what to expect, but I was shocked with how unified girls were on this one. Guys be warned... If you don't have a plan on your dates, you've probably committed the cardinal sin of dating... Women want you to have a plan because if you don't it's shows that you don't care enough about the time they are decent enough to share with you. It also shows that you're lazy and unmotivated which is probably the worst possible combination you can be. Girls also don't want you to talk too much or talk just about yourself, ask questions! Dates are for getting to know each other so if you're doing all the talking or not asking questions it's going create issues. Women want to feel like they are important to you, they don't want to be the last priority on your list! Back to the whole security thing from before. It's all about making sure people feel secure and comfortable around you... So instead of putting out the least amount of effort possible, go out of your way to show how important your girl is to you, never pass up an opportunity to make her feel special. Put forth the effort and eventually some girl will realize how awesome you are and that you're worth the risk. Obviously it works both ladies, if you truly appreciate the man that you want eventually guys are going to realize that your quite the catch, just be confident in who you are and love yourself and the rest will follow!
Next week I want to answer your questions so hit me up!
if you want to text me or send me a message on facebook or Google+
Heck if you want to hit me up with a tweet @bchristlieb21 or #ihaveadatingquestion
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Now that I've been as obnoxious as possible, hope you enjoyed my blog this week Now here's a clip from The Science of Sex Appeal that I mentioned earlier, it's one of my favorite documentaries so I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dating in Utah: The Pursuit of Happiness

So up to this point, I've blogged my opinions about all sorts of stuff, trying to help people find success in dating. Today I'm going to take a different approach, I've never really talked about what I want out of a relationship. So if this post is considered vain or inflating, that's not my intentions consider this more of an ad out of the personals or an about me on an online dating profile. I'm realize that my views on dating differ from a lot of other guys, I've never really viewed dating as a competition or a trophy show. That sort of approach to dating really has never made sense to me, you know like the whole "make out and move on" approach, sure you get your kicks but to quote Kanye "in the end, it's still so lonely..." I don't know what my problem is but I have a hard time dating someone that I don't feel like I could have a real emotional connection with. Call me crazy but I  don't have a specific criterion on what I would consider a perfect woman either. I figure if I had a list it would probably get in the way when I actually found "the one". I mean sure it would be nice if the girl of my dreams was a brunette with a gorgeous smile, but if she's blonde or a redhead it wouldn't stop me from giving it a go. I guess the only specific criteria I personally have is that whoever I end up with make me happy and that I can make them just as happy to be with me. I guess some of my biggest regrets are the times that I tried fit a square peg into a round hole, either for my own satisfaction or because I felt like I would be letting the girl down if I didn't give it a shot knowing that although they were great people, I really didn't feel like I could be truly happy with them. Call me crazy but isn't that what we all want out of relationships? Yet I'm left to wonder how many times I gave up what could have been a real lasting relationship trying to pursue something that in the long run I knew deep down wouldn't work out. I wonder how many times I stared happiness in the face and glanced away. This probably sounds really simplistic but when it comes down to it, how many problems in relationships would be solved if just truly wanted to be with the person we were with  and they wanted to be with us just as much. Would their be trust issues? Sure everyone would still have their quarrels and disagreements but if we truly wanted the best for both parties, we would do everything we could to resolve the issues and move forward. Call me idealistic, but I'm not convinced that I need a huge house on the coast or a couple of fancy cars to be happy, I just want someone to hold close me and who wants to be seen by my side. I guess the reason that I decided to write this blog today is because I believe that most people feel this way, both men and women, so let's be honest with each other. Let's get over our little games and be frank with people, it'll help to get rid of the awkwardness in our lives with the people we care about. If you're not happy where you are, try something else, if you are happy but that happiness isn't reciprocated, have the courage to realize that you can't be truly happy with someone who isn't truly happy to be with you. I hope this doesn't sound preachy or remedial; I really just feel like if we could keep things in perspective, we'd all have a bit more success in dating and in life down the road. So may your pursuit of happiness bring you what you seek no matter what it may entail.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dating in Utah: All the Single Ladies?

Recently I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this guy that she was trying to date. She started explaining to me that she knew that he was into her, and that she was interested in him but he was afraid of trying to take her on a second date because of the implications that come with multiple dates(I guess finding someone attractive is questionable on some sort of moral level I haven't gotten to yet) but she didn't know how to make him feel comfortable with his attraction toward her. We continued to talk and I put in my two cents but this conversation got me thinking about what might be the most common dating conversation when singles ward's have open discussions, you know the one, it usually comes from the 30 year old girl with 2 weeks left before her 31st birthday, realizing that this might be her last chance to go on a date with anyone under the age of 40, she pipes up, "Do you think it's ok for girls to ask guys on dates if they're interested?" From there pandemonium ensues, the guy who's been asked on one too many dates by girls over a Facebook message vehemently opposes, whereas the shy guy who has never asked a girl out on a date in his life raises his hand to voice his approval. From there the relief society president tries to make a spiritual application to their discussion while the elder's quorum president is arm wrestling for no apparent reason, the bishop's wife tries to give her best input on how it's the priesthood responsibility of the elders to go on dates whether they find their date attractive or not but by now none of the elders are listening anymore because an arm-wrestling tournament has broken out and Bishop and the ward mission leader are next on the card. Ok this might be a slight exaggeration, but anyone who has sat through a combined priesthood/relief society meeting on dating knows that it's not that far off... However I feel like in the world we live in, it's a completely relevant question. So can a girl ask a guy on a date in a ultra-conservative dating culture and hope for any success? I personally have been on a lot of fun and productive dates where I was asked out by a girl(Gasp!) but if you're asking out a guy and want something more than just a date to come out of it, then let me give you a bit of advice.
1. Make the guy feel important and needed
For a lot guys out there, they might feel like their surrendering their man card by going out on a date that you asked them on because they've been taught that they should be the ones doing the asking their whole lives(ultra-conservative dating culture remember) so make him feel like he's still doing the manly thing by going on a date with you. If he offers to pay(which any guy worth dating would) let him, let him open doors for you and even pull out you seat for you at dinner. I know this all seems a bit traditional, but when you give guys the opportunity to be gentleman, they'll usually step up to the occasion and might just begin to man up...
2. Don't pull the desperate card.
I'm pretty sure this works both ways but as far as I'm concerned there might be nothing less attractive than someone who is completely needy and desperate. I'm ok with someone being attracted to me and I'm more than willing to give everyone a fair shot but if a girl asks me on a first date when we're going to get married and what the name of our third daughter is going to be, I hate to break it to her, I'm not going to ask her on a second date. I'm all about dating and committed relationships but if you lay out all your chips on the first hand chances are that you won't be in the game very long. I'm not saying that avoid talking about relationships but your chances of ending up in a relationship increase exponentially if the girl has enough self-respect and class to be ok with herself  regardless of how this first date goes.
3. Be bold, but not over-bearing...
Admittedly, this section is probably a combo of the two sections above but I don't think that it makes it any less important. If you're interested in a guy, feel free to show it, you don't have to ask for an engagement ring on the first date, but feel free to flirt with him. Contrary to popular opinion, guys do want attention, it's just a different type of attention, they want to feel like they can trust you, secure, and needed. If you go out of your way to give a sincere compliment or two during a date, chances are that your soon to be Prince Charming will actually become that Prince Charming you seek because he'll feel comfortable around you and will be able to open up because they know they can trust you. You see the key to building any sort of relationship is building a foundation of trust and openness so build that foundation first and then start asking about the ring after.

Well I hope that I did enough to shake up a few antiquated views on dating, but if you like the old-fashioned approach to dating I totally respect that, but as an single member of the church with a chin beard(Gasp! How can he live with himself?) I feel like people should worry a little less about what's protocol and start worrying a little bit more about the people they're trying to date. Always be proactive! Even if you don't feel like asking the guy you like on a date, let him know that you're interested in trying things out at least because then the ball is in his court and you can live without regrets because even if things don't work out, you can say that you did everything you could so you can have closure, or even better you can develop a real, lasting, worthwhile relationship!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dating in Utah: 99 Ways to Screw Up a Date and Still Come Away Happy

I realized that a long time ago that God has a serious sense of humor. I'm also pretty sure that if He watches our lives like we watch cable or Netflix, my dating life would be on his favorites list. Not because I'm so romantic or anything like that, it's probably more the opposite. I think he'd just watch waiting for me to screw it up somehow.  I don't know how I manage to make a fool of myself so easily. I guess no matter how many times you drive up the wrong canyon, or your fork breaks in your mouth while your eating a burrito, or drop half of your sandwich into your soup at dinner it doesn't get old(obviously these are all bizarrely specific hypothetical examples that aren't based on actual real-life experiences at all). Oddly enough, I'm grateful for all of my awkward date experiences because there comes a point where after you've embarrassed yourself so much it doesn't even matter anymore, it actually becomes more like a game than anything, you know like what awkward adventure is going to try to ruin my night tonight? If there's anything that I've learned from innate ability to screw things up it's that if you can laugh at yourself, you'll be happy no matter what life decides to gift wrap all nice and neat for you. And as much as I would like my life to be like Casablanca or The Notebook, I realize that I have a lot more in common with Steve Carell than I do with Humphrey Bogart. The truth is that even "a bull in a china shop" can be romantic when the occasion calls for it, but most of the time I'm just my wonderfully awkward self, prepared for whatever situation approaches me in front of a girl with a beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile and even better personality. In fact, when, on the rare occasion I catch that gorgeous girl slip up from her perpetual state of perfection and embarrass herself, I don't think there is anything that makes her more attractive than a girl who's secure enough to laugh at herself. There is some so reassuring about someone who is ok with not being perfect all the time because let's face it, dating is awkward, love is awkward, life is awkward. So what's the point in stressing about it? Remember those hypothetical situations I mentioned earlier, funny thing is that I went on at least one more date with each of the girls who sat through my awkwardness (well except the most recent, but she hasn't defriended me on Facebook yet, fingers crossed) because contrary to popular opinion, you don't need go on a perfect date to be happy, in fact, most people are pretty understanding when you give them a chance to be. So no matter how many times the big man upstairs tries to throw a curveball to your plans (I believe 5 was the count on my most recent date) as long as you can try to look on the bright side of things and laugh about it, chances are you'll come back feeling like you've had one of the best nights of your life.

If laughing at yourself doesn't prove to be effective try this strategy on for size