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,
Rachel just turned 18 when she met Jason. She was fresh out of High School, finally an adult, and preparing to go away to College. Jason was 2 years older than her and worked full-time. He attended a local Community College part-time and was doing well balancing both school and work. He was the total opposite of her last boyfriend. In addition to being tall, dark and handsome, Jason was outgoing, decisive and confident…or so she thought.
Blinded by love, Rachel couldn’t see the reality of the situation. She didn’t think anything was wrong with Jason wanting her to be at his house by the time he came home from work every day, or his telling her what she could and couldn’t wear. She didn’t miss going out with her friends because he needed her and she didn’t want to disappoint him. Although a little creepy, she didn’t even have a problem turning her computer on at night so he can see she was at home sleeping.
Rachel was happy and very close with her family. They went on family vacations at least twice a year together. And even though her friends were always invited to the family parties, holidays were always spent with family. So when everyone began to notice she was becoming unhappy and withdrawn, to the point of hibernating in her room instead of joining them, they started to worry. Instead of seeing Jason as outgoing, decisive and confident, they all saw him as aggressive, controlling and obnoxious. When her family and friends tried to talk to her about it she withdrew from them even more. Rachel was becoming someone they didn’t recognize and although she professed to be happy, she wasn’t. Then the bombshell, Jason expressed reservations about her going to College even though she would only be about an hour away, he didn’t want her to go.
Unfortunately people like Rachel, in unhealthy relationships, suffer constant stress and anxiety, which can compromise their health, erode their self-esteem, make them feel helpless and alone, and undermine the way they function in school and at work. According to The Center For Relationship Abuse Awareness, “Relationship Abuse is defined as a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. An abusive relationship means more than being hit by the person who claims to love or care about you. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern to try to control her/him.”
If you feel the relationship you are in may be abusive, the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge it. Abusive relationships don’t start out that way. They usually start out on a high note, and gradually become abusive. By answering the questions below in the “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz courtesy of Linfield College, you may be able to recognize a potentially abusive situation before it gets worse. Talk to your family and friends. Usually they are the first to notice the problem anyway and, like in Rachel’s case, have already voiced their concerns. If you are a student and away at College you can also seek help by going to your University’s counseling center. Most importantly make sure to maintain outside relationships because it’s imperative that you’re not alone. Do not allow anyone to isolate you. We all need a good support system and no one has the right to take that away from you.
If you know of someone in an abusive relationship and you want to help them speak up. Tell them what you see going on because of their relationship and then listen with compassion. Don’t be judgmental or they will tune you right out. Discuss a safety plan if they ever feel they need it. Help them to disconnect and move away from the abuser. Talk to them about healthy intimate relationships. Pick up a few self-help books to read together. By knowing they are not alone, the victim is more likely to view their relationship more realistically and empower them to break away. Finally, suggest they seek professional help so they can learn to make safer choices in the future.
How healthy is Your Relationship?
1. Does this person accept that you have other friends?
(A. Yes B. No)
2. Does this person ask for your opinion about issues that affect you?
(A. Yes B. No)
3. Does this person have good relationships with his or her family and friends?
(A. Yes B. No)
4. Does this person talk AND listen to you?
(A. Yes B. No)
5. Would you consider this person a friend?
(A. Yes B. No)
6. Do you “act like yourself” when you are with this person?
(A. Yes B. No)
7. Does this person have other interests besides you?
(A. Yes B. No)
8. Does this person expect you to say where you have been when you’ve been apart?
(A. No B. Yes)
9. Does this person lose his or her temper easily?
(A. No B. Yes)
10. Does this person get angry or hurt and/or claim that you don’t pay attention to him or her?
(A. No B. Yes)
11. Have you ever seen this person throw, hit or break things when angry?
(A. No B. Yes)
12. Is this person jealous of the time you spend with your friends and relatives?
(A. No B. Yes)
13. Does this person seem to have control issues?
(A. No B. Yes)
Count and total each “A” and “B.” Use the key below to gauge how healthy your relationship is:
13-11 A’s = you seem to have a healthy relationship,
10-8 A’s = your relationship is showing moderate signs of abusiveness,
7-5 A’s = Please seek help, you are very likely in an abusive or potentially abusive relationship.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799- SAFE
In the news this month Match.com announced their new policy of screening applicants against the National Sex Offender Registry after a law suit was filed by Carole Markin. Ms. Markin claims she met a man on Match.com and after their second date, he followed her home where he attacked her.
Unfortunately, there will always be those people out there that go online in search of someone to connect with for the wrong reasons. In fact it was a disturbing story similar to this one that started our website. SaferDates.com was created after one of our founders heard a story of a woman whose experience with online dating ended tragically. This story touched us so much that we have made it our mission to dedicate every day to providing an atmosphere that empowers the online community to defend itself against the threat of criminals both on and offline. Everyone on our staff strongly believes that empowerment is driven by knowledge. We are proof of it personally as the majority of us have backgrounds in martial arts and self-defense.
For this reason it’s important to help not only our members, but everyone out there looking for love online by sharing as much information about personal safety as possible. Online dating is becoming more popular now and is expanding to all age groups. Many people either know someone who uses online dating, or someone who met their partner on a dating site. After all, where else can you conveniently meet someone you are attracted to and have similar interests, personalities and values?
The first and most important physical safety tip is awareness. Unlike social networks, many online dating sites have measures in place to protect your anonymity when communicating. You have control and do not have to share any of your personal information including your first name. Keeping your profile page simple and honest without over sharing is attractive and safer. Below are a few additional safety tips to put into practice:
- Before going out, gather information on your date and share that information with friends and family. Keeping any romance a secret could lead to serious complications later.
- Be vague. You’re not being deceptive if you tell someone you live in a big city instead of saying you live in a specific town.
- Make sure your first date is in a public place and agree to meet them versus having them pick you up at home.
- Have someone call and check up on you sometime during the evening. You can always use code words to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
- Finally, before you go out with someone, make sure to always run a background check. Although it is not a guarantee, it could certainly help avoid a dangerous situation.
The following excerpt is from a website appropriately named onguardonline.gov. Their article titled “Online Dating Scams” is definitely worth the read. It provides helpful tips for online financial safety, as well as, information on how to report online dating scams.
“Scammers look for targets of any age and in any location, who they can convince to send money in the name of love.
It can be tough to tell if your sweetie’s heart is in the right place. Here are some clues that it’s not:
- He wants to leave the dating site immediately and use your personal email or IM.
- She claims love in a heartbeat.
- He claims to be from the U.S., but is currently overseas.
- She plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event.
People have reported scammers who professed undying love and affection at warp speed; others who secured their trust through passionate and intimate conversation; and still others who took a more deliberate approach with months of patient wooing before asking for money. Some scammers even make wedding plans”.
In short, the fact that technology is changing the dynamics of dating means we need to work on the adaption to a new set of safety precautions.
For many seniors it can be hard to go out and meet people. Their social groups are smaller and the thought of going to a night club to hit on other singles just doesn’t sound like fun. They might feel awkward because they haven’t been out on a date in a long time and as a result, they choose to isolate themselves.
Fortunately, entering the dating scene just got a lot easier. One reason is that technology is becoming more fundamental in the lives of seniors today proving that technophobia is no longer a problem. For millions of seniors, a divorce or the loss of a partner at 50 drives them to find a new love, and after all there is no age limit on love. Finding romance or your soul mate is possible at any age.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher, a consultant with Match.com and Chemistry.com, had the following to say in an article written for thirdage.com: “I’ve always felt that online dating would be most popular among people who are 50 to 65. They know everyone in their family and social circles. Where are they going to meet people? They don’t have time to adopt new hobbies that are likely to introduce them to potential partners. And they are long past going to bars. In the old days we had different mechanisms, but those are gone.”
Consequently, many seniors are seeking companions online who share similar interests. They are learning that online dating really doesn’t take a lot of effort and can be done in the comfort and privacy of their own home. They have an advantage over the younger generation because they are more comfortable with who they are and, through their past relationships, they know what they’re looking for in a mate.
While online dating can be very rewarding, it’s important to be cautious. So before posting your profile, make sure to review the steps you can take to increase your online dating safety by reading “Online Dating Safety”, courtesy of ilookbothways.com. Then View Photos of Single Seniors in Your Area Free! Match.com
The holidays are time to be with the ones you love, have fun with friends, and catch up with those you haven’t seen in a while. So where does your date fit in? How do you continue your new romance, not allow it to get serious too soon, and manage that alone time with family?
Here are a few tips to help you celebrate the season with your date, enhance your romance, and manage to have an enjoyable stress-free holiday:
- Get into the mood by checking out the Christmas lights after helping each other with your holiday shopping.
- Plan an outdoor activity like skiing or ice skating.
- Help each other with your holiday decorations. After decorating your tree maybe you can snuggle up on the couch and watch a Christmas movie together. Who doesn’t enjoy National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase?
- Go to holiday parties together.
- Bringing your date to Christmas dinner should be something you do ONLY if you have been dating a while and are both comfortable with it.
Finally, what about the holiday gifts? By giving the gifts of time and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season with your family, your friends and your date.
Below is an excerpt from an article written by Ann Marsh for The Oprah Magazine which we highly recommend reading before your next date. There are many articles written about dating these days that portray rejection, or the end of a relationship, as a bad thing – not necessarily true. Dating is a learning experience for both people and in addition to learning more about yourself, sometimes you learn it’s better to just move on.
“To get started, I posted an ad on an online dating site. I asked a girlfriend to take a picture of me bathed in late afternoon sunlight and wore the most glamorous smile I could muster. I stated that I wanted a man who somehow manages to strike that tricky balance of being both dependable and spontaneous. Or who can happily tolerate both of these aspects in me.
I got a lot of responses right off the bat. Some were ludicrous, like the 50-something guy in a Hawaiian shirt who offered to fly me to Vegas for the weekend. I deleted far more than I answered. But Week One still found me on dates with 14 men at local coffee shops. In Week Two, I slowed down to seven. I shook hands with a Danish architect and an hour later zoomed across town to meet a swoony soap opera actor. The next day was tea with an airfreight handler, followed that evening by a walk with a real estate lawyer. I dated aerospace engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors, an oceanographer, film animators, a romantic man who lived impecuniously on a boat, and a self-proclaimed gazillionaire who resided atop a mountain.”
To continue reading the full article and to see who eventually won her heart check out on Oprah.com.
It’s easy this weekend with Chemistry’s Free Communication Weekend – this Weekend! November 19th – 21st! .
Here’s how it works:
1.Take the personality test.
2. Be introduced.
3. Flirt, discover and get to know your matches before you meet them.
4. Finally, don’t just go on a date – go on a great date!
Eliminate the awkward silences and time spent with someone who has issues or traits that are deal-breakers. By getting to know the person behind the profile, you’ll feel like you are meeting for the second time on the first date.
Want to increase your odds of finding “The One”? Now is the perfect time to do just that through eHarmony. From November 5th through November 14th you can connect with your matches for FREE. Try the first online dating service to use a scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles.
The advantages of online dating are:
- The vast number of people you can meet can’t be beat.
- The amount of time you can save by meeting people online is well worth the effort.
- Online dating allows you to express more of what makes you ‘you’ upfront, your likes and dislikes, religious beliefs, cultural background, ethnicity and personality traits, in your online dating profile.
- You can be more direct about the type of person you’re hoping to connect with and eliminate time spent with someone who has issues or traits that are deal-breakers.
- The monthly membership fee doesn’t come anywhere near what it would cost in travel, dinner and drinks for a traditional date, multiplied by the number of dates you would need to have before finding your soul mate.
In brief, by joining at least two Internet dating services in conjunction with any real life dating situation that may arise will increase your chances of finding the ‘right’ person and save time and money.
When you think of a Holiday Romance do you think of meeting someone in a tropical paradise with its warm gentle breezes, exotic plant life, and the opportunity to wear as little clothing as possible? That kind of vacation many times ends up being the one you read in that steamy novel you took with you on that trip. On these types of vacation holidays many people want to be left alone to read their books, bask in the sun, sleep in the afternoon and maybe schedule a massage with a Swedish masseuse named Sven ( got a little carried away there ). Anyway, why wait for the romance to just happen? Plan for it!
We all work too much so that limits the time we can just hang out and meet other singles. Planning an adventure holiday that offers a lot to see and do is the perfect way to unwind, discover new places, and meet someone. It’s less awkward and you can meet doing something you love. There is a bond that forms when you share an extreme experience and it’s accelerated when you’re on vacation.
Imagine fulfilling your deepest romantic fantasy with some of these dating adventures: Skiing in Colorado and then snuggling in front of a fire sipping a hot toddy. Try white water rafting in Costa Rica followed by dinner then dancing the night away. Go on a rain forest safari in Australia then learn how to play the Didgeridoo. Take a biking tour through Canada and bask in the spray of Niagara Falls. Plan your own roman holiday and take a cooking class in Italy.
The newest trend, Adventure Dating, is a fun way to meet singles and have a great time. Whether you join a singles Adventure Dating group or plan an unforgettable romantic adventure on your own, here are a few important tips to take with you.
- Stay in the present and don’t talk about home or work (leave the baggage at home).
- If you are going to another country – learn the language.
- Hang out with the locals and strike up plenty of conversations.
- Just be yourself.
- Be honest about your feelings.
- Be aware and use common sense when it comes to your personal safety: Don’t take rides from strangers, accept invitations to non-public places, including meeting someone at their house for dinner or drinks, and always let someone know where you are at all times. You can socialize safely and meet new people by just adhering to a few simple precautions.
To put it briefly, Adventure Dating is rejuvenating and there are no strings unless the universe collided and you want more than just an everlasting memory of your adventurous holiday romance. If that’s the case, make sure to get their information before leaving. Things also change when you are back in your surroundings and no longer in your romantic bubble, so buy those airline tickets soon and plan on visiting each other next.
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.
Special thanks to Top Martial Arts in Clearwater Florida.