The other day I was surfing the internet to learn more about what men and women want in their relationships. I wasn’t surprised when I found myself reading about why women want to change their men, but when I tried to find out more about why men want to change their women I hit a brick wall. Now this was a surprise. Is it because guys just don’t talk about that stuff, or do they even care? Are women really control freaks? According to “What Men Want in a Relationship”, written by Rinatta Peris, “men want what women want — a whole partner. One powerful way to attract a great partner and build a vibrant relationship is to create a full, rewarding life for your own fulfillment.” I then realized I had the perfect topic for my next article, “What Do Men and Women Want”. Basically, how to find a real-life partner rather than an idealistic version of one, thus avoid wanting to change them.
Since most online dating sites provide areas for you to tell a little about yourself; as well as, offer tools such as personality tests, they seem to be the logical choice for finding your ideal mate. They are the perfect resource to find what you want if used correctly. The best way to begin is to self-search before jumping into a relationship.
- Make a list of how you like to spend your time including activities you enjoy doing alone. This helps to attract someone who likes doing similar things. As an added benefit, it will help you both avoid planning dates that are stressful and boring. You will have fun while learning more about each other.
- Read “Writing Your Dating Profile with a Smile”, by yours truly. Learn online dating tips from Yvonne Rice, a former Dating Agency Director and expert in the research of all aspects of the single lifestyle. She is a huge supporter of online dating and has researched 4,500+ online singles and over 6,000 online dating sites globally.
- Say cheese! Take your profile picture and make sure it shows who you really are. Of course you don’t want to include a picture of you in your scrubs, or the ever popular picture of you in a mirror shirtless pointing in the direction of the beach to show off those knock-out biceps. It’s important to look your personal best and although it’s fine to get advice from a family member or friend, make sure you’re comfortable with how you look. Confidence is something that makes us feel good about ourselves and is very attractive.
- Before taking the personality or compatibility test on the dating site, try taking the “Jung Typology Test”. It’s a short personality test that will help you learn about yourself without the distraction of trying to attract someone else. For example, after taking the test myself, I found out how important humor is in my life. I would make sure that was something I would include on my dating profile. Additionally, you will learn what career path is recommended for you and for some added fun; you’ll learn what celebrities and other famous people are just like you!
Since whatever you do early on sets the tone for the rest of the relationship, be honest with yourself now and look for the best mate to fit into your real life rather than trying to develop someone in the hopes that they’ll fit into your vision of an ideal mate later.
Here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
John and Mary were in their late seventies when they met. Both were widowed after enjoying long and happy marriages. Although Mary lived in an active retirement community in Florida and participated in many of the activities there, she still felt lonely. So she decided to pack her bags and move up to Connecticut to live with her son. She wasn’t looking for a relationship at this stage in her life, however blissfully one found her.
“Excuse me, let me open that soda can for you so you don’t ruin your pretty nails” were the first words he said to her. John, recently widowed, was trying to strike up a conversation with Mary. She was so beautiful and he saw this as the perfect opportunity to introduce himself. Maybe she would invite him to sit with her, he thought. The two were on a bus headed for the Hard Rock Casino, an activity they both enjoyed organized through their retirement community, when they first met. Mary said thank you and politely asked John to sit with her. They soon realized they had a lot in common and sparks began to fly.
I remember the day when my friend told me this story and about how she found out they were intimate. She stopped over her dad’s condo early one morning and when she did not find his car in his own driveway, she decided to drive over to his girlfriend’s condo. When she saw her dad’s car was there she was shocked. It was hard for her to imagine her father as a sexual being, but then what kid can? So you know what I’m thinking…great topic for my next article.
“A lot of people are shocked. They don’t want to think of grandmom or grandpop having any kind of intimacy,” says Terri Ginsberg, DO, fellowship director of geriatrics for the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at UMDNJ-SOM.
“People think intimacy is just for the young. But actually, sex is still an important aspect of the quality of your life even as you age. It’s something you can continue to enjoy, and may even enjoy more now that there is more time for foreplay and being intimate with a partner.”
Continuing my research into dating in the golden years I was immediately intrigued by the Weisman center in Florida. They not only hold a weekly speed dating event, but they also offer sex education for seniors. At first I thought – what? Are there that many seniors still sexually active? Shouldn’t they already know about sex anyway? I had a lot of questions. What I learned was, in part due to living longer and Viagra, many seniors today are remaining sexually active well into their 80’s and even 90’s. Alright, now this was my turn to be shocked.
Furthermore according to Dianne Matthew, director of clinical services at the Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service, there was a huge increase in STDs in the senior population. Dianne says: “These people got married at a very young age and most likely only had one or maybe two sexual partners. They came from an era where they weren’t taught about condoms or any sort of protection against STDs. Just because you can’t get pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to practice safe sex — at any age.” As a result she was asked to teach a class called “Sexy Over Sixty.”
Indeed the times are changing and, like the program in Florida, I think we’ll see more centers launching new public education programs on safe sex for seniors. In the meantime, for those actively dating, make sure to discuss your love life with your doctor so they can give you advice. Get routinely tested and stay active. You’ll be glad you did.
For those seniors not into the bar scene, there are online social groups and numerous senior dating sites. Additionally there are retirement communities, church groups and well meaning relatives and friends, so no senior needs to feel lonely.
By the way, if you’re wondering what ever happened with John and Mary, it’s been four years since Mary unpacked her bags and she and John are very happy enjoying their vacation lifestyle and each other.
Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
Since we are coming up on the Fourth of July, this article was going to be about sparks, fireworks and how to keep them alive in a relationship. Instead, the more into my research I got, the more Independence became my focus. You will find many articles on how to keep the flame lit in a relationship, but there aren’t enough written about the importance of Independence in a truly strong bond.
Independence is an attribute many people strive for and one that is important to keep in mind within a relationship. It’s something we teach our children at a young age and hope they maintain throughout their lives. In a relationship, independence can be both positive and negative depending on how you balance it with inter-dependence. A healthy combination of the two is necessary in love.
“If you’re “too” independent in relationships, there’s little or no connection–no matter what kind of relationship it is. There may be great love but the other person can feel like something is missing in the relationship and that he/she is being held at arm’s length.
If you’re “too” dependent, the other person can feel smothered and search for every opportunity to have some freedom.” Say Susie and Otto Collins in an article posted on their Love and Relationship Advice Blog.
In this article titled, “Relationship Advice for Dealing with the Independence/Dependence Issue“, Susie and Otto share their ideas on how to balance and honor the need for independence while keeping the connection strong.
So as you watch the sparks fly this Fourth of July, remember, it’s ok to lose yourself in each others’ gaze, as long as you don’t lose yourself in each other. Like anything else awareness and balance are key here. You can maintain a strong relationship while balancing a healthy level of independence as long as you’re aware of it.
Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day!
Do you listen to your partner every time you communicate? Has boredom become a concern in your relationship? Are you wondering how to be a happy couple through the years? I think everyone asks themselves these questions at some point during their relationship. Since I always like to be prepared, I decided to research how to make love last and share with you what I found.
First of all, as a writer, I believe that communication is the seed to growing a strong, healthy relationship and the tool you need to cultivate it. Often times we take communicating with each other for granted. I bet if you asked yourself how you can be a better communicator, and were honest, you would probably say by being a better listener. For one thing, by truly listening to your partner you will discover new things about them so that you’ll have something interesting to talk about. Listening is a powerful skill and one that can help you succeed in your professional life as well as your personal one. Many of us seem to focus on being heard and not the other way around, for this reason listening is going to require practice.
Additionally, developing your individual interests can help deter the boredom that sometimes creeps into a relationship. Although having mutual interests are important, couples need time apart to pursue things that make them happy. Too much togetherness can harm a relationship. One of Hollywood’s most romantic relationships that withstood the test of time was Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Admittedly when asked why their marriage lasted so long, Paul Newman is quoted on the IMDB website as saying “we are very, very different people and yet somehow we feed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.”
Unfortunately some couples are threatened by their partner’s independence. Therefore I suggest the following advice from an article, written by Kimberly Dawn Neumann for Chemistry.com and Match.com, titled “Happy Couples: What’s Their Secret?”
Nurture your separate selves
Going off to your book club when your sweetie’s out golfing isn’t a sign you two are drifting apart. On the contrary, developing individual interests allows for a richer life as a couple. By taking little “couple breaks,” you gain a greater appreciation of the gifts your partner brings to your life and you have more to offer as well. “It’s very sexy to be independent sometimes,” says Magdoff. “You feel better about yourself and you’re less demanding of your partner when you’re together.” After all, taking some personal responsibility for your own well-being relieves the other person of the pressure to “provide” happiness—so go ahead and nurture some solo adventures. That’ll also keep each of you stocked with plenty of adventures to chat about, which also builds your bond.
Eventually we realize that relationships are always a work in progress. We start out by creating a bond and then we need to continue to strengthen that bond to make it last. So how does a couple work together towards strengthening an already amazing relationship? I recommend the following 5 tips from an article titled “5 Habits of Successful Couples” How to love and cherish each other through the years by: Dr. Pepper Schwartz written for AARP.org.
- They keep up with the changes.
- They know how to fight fairly.
- They find new ways to play.
- They accept the challenges of aging.
- They stay physically connected.
Finally, I’m a firm believer in focusing on the positive. So rather than learning what not to do to maintain a successful relationship, check out the article links below and learn what to do to keep yours happy. Better yet, have your partner read them to you and just listen.
Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
“What’s Their Secret” chemistry.com
“5 Habits of Successful Couples” AARP.org
With this in mind, let me share a REAL true love story about some friends of mine. These two sweethearts met in High School. They never dated anyone else and married each other after she graduated and he returned from the Air Force. People told them that they didn’t think they would make it together. Family members said “You can’t live on love”. Although there were bumps along the way, they are still together 29 years later and still in love.
Out of curiosity I asked her what was her most memorable Valentine’s Day. She then began to tell me a story about a Valentine’s Day 10 years ago when her husband made a CD for her with only one song on it, “You’re Still the One”. There was a single red rose and a short note asking her to put it in the CD player. Nostalgia took over as she remembered that as being one of the most romantic Valentine’s Days ever. It was amazing how something so simple meant that much to her.
So this year, instead of gifts, she is planning on making his favorite dinner, lighting the candles, and again enjoying “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain playing in the background. Indeed love lives on.
My friend said to me “It’s not how much money you spend on your partner that’s important, it’s how much time you spend letting them know how important they are to you”.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and Here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
Since most profiles are boring, and many people complain about attracting the wrong person, I decided it’s the perfect time to put together a reference guide to help get you started on writing your new profile. Then, with a little help from our experts, you’ll learn how to attract that special someone. But before you get started I would like to direct you to 3 articles that will help you gain the perspective needed to help you organize your thoughts.
The first article is called “Write Your Dating Profile with a Smile”. Back in March of 2009 I had the pleasure of interviewing Yvonne Rice. Yvonne is an author; as well as, a consultant to various global law enforcement and government agencies for online safety and Internet scams that are directed at the singles dating, chat room and social networking industries. Amongst other things, I asked Yvonne what are five things that a reader can do right after reading this article to improve their online dating profile?
- Be honest in what you write about yourself – think of how you would feel if someone lied to you. Keep all personal information including anything about your family, children (if you have them) financial situation or anything else that you wouldn’t tell a stranger you met on the street to yourself– remember everyone online is a stranger until you physically meet them.
- Have a photo of yourself and make sure it is no older than 6 months old – no matter what you think you look like. There is someone out there looking for you – so, how are they supposed to find you if you are hidden? Profiles with photos displayed have 15 times more hits than one’s that don’t. So, go for it! You are looking to find “The One.”
- Make sure the photo of you is against a blank wall and it only has you in it – you don’t want to attract someone who thinks you might be a good target to rip-off. Or lose someone because they think they may come second best to “Fluffy” or the fish you caught.
- Avoid listing all the things you WON”T tolerate – it’s really off-putting. It can come across as you being a control freak, demanding, high-maintenance, loony, just to mention as few – which I’m sure in real life you are not.
- Write or re-write your profile with a smile on your face, think of the possibilities that lay in front of you by being on the site and what your life will look like to you when you find that person for you– you will be amazed at the difference it makes.
Next, I would like to direct you to an article titled “Enhance Your Dating Experience” In April of 2009 I interviewed Bob Nicoll. Bob has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Counseling and over thirty years experience studying word choice and articulation. Bob authored Remember the Ice and Other Paradigm Shifts , which is “a comprehensive program that teaches you to enhance your communication skills with family members, friends, co-workers—anyone who is important to you. It helps you stay focused on your task and accomplish more goals because you are conveying your message, and articulating your thoughts in a clear, precise manner. You eliminate confusion and gain confidence in your message and ultimately attract more of what you want.” I thought this is perfect for someone writing an online dating profile because the objective is to effectively attract the person you want. Bob met his wife on an online dating site and in this article he shares with us the body of his successful profile.
“Seeking a romantic partner for many moonlit walks, cerebral conversation and more…..”
“Hi, romantic gentleman seeking a companion for a long term relationship. Love spending a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast on the spur of the moment, or taking in a sporting event, or going for a moonlit walk, or an evening snuggled up on the couch and watching a romantic movie…. or dressing up for a wonderful night of dinner and dancing… I know there is a very special lady out there who would like to be cherished and appreciated… Maybe we are playing touch football and end up in each other’s arms…. with that, “you know…. special eye gaze…. the one that leads to an innocent kiss….” or we take a drive to the beach and jump off the sand dunes…. or enjoy the excitement of Vegas….or take in a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway… or enjoy each other’s company in a provocative cerebral conversation…or share our joy of knowing Christ and the wonders of His Grace… My education is in Psychology with a Masters in Counseling. I have an extensive sales background and have owned an ice cream restaurant…. would love to share a banana split with you…. (Can tie the cherry stem in a knot, with no hands…..) I love life and seek to enjoy it with a companion who enjoys a wide range of stuff. Have done fire walks with Tony Robbins and sky dived… love to travel (only need Oregon, Washington and Alaska to finish the 50 states). Would you like to help me finish??? Need to return to Stonehenge and London and Limerick, Ireland…. Can be serious and funny back to back…. am devoted to my partners needs… and love to send flowers just because… you are who you are. Let’s connect and see what we can create in the magical moment category. Am looking to make each day a special memory. Come play with me.
My ideal match loves life and is open to spur of the moment travels, engaging cerebral conversations, dressing up for a romantic candlelight dinner, slow dancing… or making snow angels…. I really am seeking someone who would like to be appreciated for who she is. I desire a partner for special moments and memories to be made. Come play with me, and let’s explore life’s challenges together. When the two of us put our heads together, we can create whatever we want. Maybe it is a joint entrepreneurial endeavor… or finding that great bargain at a flea market. Spiritually we can explore the great wonders of His wonderful world. Will you join me for some everlasting magical moments?”
I don’t know about you, but this profile would have had me at hello.
Finally while researching this topic, I stumbled upon an article written for Cupid’s Pulse titled “Is Your Dating Profile a Movie Trailer or a Cereal Box”, and was immediately intrigued. This article has a clever way of conveying the message that your profile is probably boring and in desperate need of a make-over. The author lists 3 steps for success that I would like to share with you.
Steps for Success:
- Read your current dating profile and mark the boring cereal box phrases. Make notes on how you can beef them up by being more specific.
- Find little snippets of your life that show off your character. Write about those.
- Don’t be afraid to show yourself off. Self-confidence is sexy and will draw in exactly the kind of people that are good matches for you.
In addition I would add the following dating profile steps for success:
- Always remember safety first and never give up information that could be used to steal your identity. Never list your home address or names of family members.
- Write your dating profile with a smile.
- Remove the negative words. Not, Don’t, Can’t, Won’t, Wouldn’t, Couldn’t, Shouldn’t.
Now, put a smile on your face, start writing that profile using empowering word choice and make it a movie trailer. Start your online dating journey today and make sure to share your “tips for a successful online dating profile” by commenting in the section below.
Here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
With 2010 coming to a close and the excitement of 2011 festivities in the air, now is the perfect time to reflect on our relationships. Since we spend more time together during the holidays, why not take this time to really get to know each other.
Of course we all want our partners to love us the way we want to be loved, but how often do we take into consideration how they want to be loved? Isn’t it more fulfilling to be in a relationship with someone who is happy and fulfilled too, and how do you know if the person you just started dating is a possible soul mate early on in the relationship? In researching this topic I came across two articles that will not only help you narrow down your search for Mr. or Mrs. Right, but also find that deeper connection – your perfect soul mate.
The first article titled “Holiday time is couple time”, written by Amanda Ngudle for iol Lifestyle, shares an exercise to help you select your soul mate prospects. According to Stan Bopape, if you want to get serious about your partner, you should try looking at them occasionally with your head and not your heart. I recommend reading this one before allowing your relationship to get too serious. It describes the fundamentals needed to help build a successful relationship.
The second article titled “Finding a Soul Mate”, found on Oprah.com not only describes what a soul mate is, but also offers this detailed soul mate checklist to help you find “The One”:
- Do I find this person attractive, am I drawn to them?
- Is this a good person with a good heart?
- Do I respect this person?
- Does this person love children?
- Does this person have the capacity to put others before him or herself? Can he or she empathize with another person’s plight?
- Is this person charitable? Not just in pocket, but in person? Do they give of themselves to others?
- Is this person nonjudgmental?
- Does this person live for something other than the material and the transitory?
- Is this person humble and not arrogant?
- When he or she hurts you, are they forthcoming with an apology?
So whether you’re looking for a date to share that magical midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve, a partner to have fun and spend time with, or the extraordinary love of a soul mate, make sure to check out these articles to help you improve the quality of your relationships.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year,
By Jessica Walker
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday is coming to a close and online shoppers are looking forward to Cyber Monday for those online holiday deals. While you are looking for that gift for your special someone, criminals are getting ready too; however, with a little preparation you can make online shopping a safe and enjoyable experience.
According to an article written by Tacoma Perry, “Criminals are opportunists. It’s a great time of the year, they know people will be shopping online,” said Ben Halpert, a certified information systems security professional.
Halpert says before you do any clicking, start with a secure foundation. That means updating your operating system and anti-virus software.
“Those nagging little pop-up boxes that say click here to install,” explained Halpert. “Make sure you click to install, make sure they’re up to date.”
To continue reading Halpert’s recommendations for a safer online holiday experience please visit Fox News Atlanta.
It’s always worth the additional time spent doing your homework before making impulse purchases online. Research may not only help protect you from identity theft, but you may also find a better deal.
Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City!
About Jessica Walker~”Safer in the City” columnist I was very excited when asked to write a column for saferdates.com. I’ve been influenced by safety and self-defense pretty much my whole life. While other girls were making macaroni necklaces in Girl Scouts, I was sparring with boys, breaking boards and doing knuckle push-ups on cement in Tae Kwon Do class. Read my column titled Safer in the City.
I’d like to share a message that I received from one of our Facebook fans – with their permission of course – along with my response as I feel the information could be of help to other readers. This individuals name has been changed to Zack so he can remain anonymous but the rest is untainted. Enjoy! – Jessica Walker
I believe the information you provide through your Facebook page and blogs is so invaluable…everyone should read what you share and take it to heart. Unfortunately, I have lost a couple of women friends over the years. What tends to happen is they literally hook up with the worst guys imaginable…drugs, excessive drinking, cheating, history of emotional and physical violence, etc. In every situation, the guys cheat and are abusive…100% of the time. Some of these guys have been arrested (or had some involvement with the law.) Others get away with their indiscretions because they aren’t quite criminal. And they always rip on the “nice guys” like me, who must come across as pushovers.
I guess we can’t really get into why this happens…it’s almost epidemic in our society. I just wonder if removing myself from the friendships with these women is overreacting. I have tried everything from sit-down talks to support groups, but without success. Eventually it comes around to “why is Zack no fun” and “I just need to loosen up”. Then, of course, the true natures of the guys they are with show up, and it’s “Zack, you were right.” But the cycle starts over with the next guys. I really have given up on some people because it’s to the point where my reputation seems to be at stake (after all, if a friend is dating a guy who she and her 10 BFFs think is an absolute dream, and I’m noticing all the red flags, then I’m the one perceived as “the jerk” in a 10-on-1 situation.) Frankly, at my age, I’m done with all of the drama that should have been left behind in high school, but there are serious consequences involved, and I don’t understand why women don’t stick up for each other more often.
So this situation is two-fold: I want to help friends (if possible), but I believe in protecting my own well-being, too. What do you think my obligations as a friend, if any, are? How far can I go in protecting myself if people start asking why me and so-and-so are not friends anymore? Should I even care? I trust your opinions (and so you know, I never just run with an opinion anyone gives me…I use it to help form my own conclusions.) Thanks ~ Zack
Thank you so much for opening up to me about your life. I have known a few women like you described and yes it is a very sad situation to watch. I believe there are two kinds of people in life Zack, rescuers and supporters. Both you and your friends are rescuers. Your friends, wanting to rescue these “bad” guys and you, wanting to rescue your friends from these guys. You already know that rescuing can be very draining both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What I want you to start practicing is moving into the supporter role.
You must realize that you don’t have to abandon these friends but you also don’t have to carry their problems around. My advice is stop trying to control the situation. You need to be a better steward of your time. Start to develop new relationships that are safe and supportive to you. Slowly back away from the unhealthy ones. This will not occur overnight and it will take practice. When you are faced with a conversation that begins to wrap around one of your friends and their boyfriends start to ask them what they are doing to better the situation. If they keep going around in circles and repeating their complaints ask them politely to postpone the conversation until they figure out what they want to do about it and then change the conversation to a more positive topic. I want you to start to learn that you can only help those that truly want to be helped. They must choose by their own free will. In practice you will learn when someone makes that switch and only at that time can you truly be of service to them.
The good news is that you already know this deep down inside. To be honest with you Zack, after reading your message several times I actually smiled because you already answered your own questions while writing them. Sometimes it takes putting pen to paper to realize the answers are already there, within you. I think you just needed to hear it from someone else besides yourself. Believe me I can totally relate to that. I encourage you to reread your message as I am confident you will see that you are much stronger and wiser than you think. Learn to trust yourself. This strength and wisdom is the reason why those guys put you down. They are intimidated by it and it scares them.
When rereading your message you will notice you have already started this transition just by reaching out to the universe for answers. I am very happy to hear you say that you want to help but also want to protect yourself. That is very, very important proving you are on the right track. Keep going! In time healthy more fulfilling relationships will come to you once you start to seek them out.
Thank you for taking the time to read my message and for your reply. Ironically, since the day I wrote it, I have made so many of the observations within myself that you mention. I have gone on a completely different path in my life, and it has opened up numerous positive relationships. There are just some situations in life that cannot be remedied, and I’ve chosen not to force the issue in those situations. I will leave the path clear for those who want to join me in going down it, but I will not go backwards (no more Zack The Rescuer…I should know better by now not to be that way!) I can only hope that anyone who is in a bad situation finds a way out with positive support.
Again, thank you for your time. Keep up the great work!