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Take Responsibility

This is a way cool rule for life as well as for dating. Nothing makes people angrier that the “who me?” routine. All of us make mistakes – sometimes because we are thoughtless, sometimes because we are clueless, often out of ignorance. But when it’s clear we blow it, even though every instinct is saying play dump, we need to accept responsibility: If you’re late, ‘fessing up – “I’m late, I’m sorry, and I didn’t leave enough time” (or “I got caught up and lost track of the time” or even “you’ve kept me waiting; I thought I’d try payback”) – is still much better than playing dumb.

Besides, playing dumb is an expensive defense: Think back a few years to when you got caught with chocolate on your face, and your mom said, “Who ate the icecream?” and you said, “I don’t know.” Remember her response? “It was bad enough you ate the ice cream, but I’m going to punish you twice for lying.” Ouch. Not taking responsibility when you know ya done it is the mom-and-chocolate-ice-cream scenario all over again.

On the other hand, if you are genuinely baffled or completely innocent (yeah, right), saying, “I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m sure it’s my fault cause – it always is.” is a particularly odious way of not taking responsibility by seeming to take it. ‘Face up if you’re sure: think about it if you’re not: and if you’re genuinely baffled, say “I feel really dumb, but I truly don’t know. Are you will to help me out here?” There really can be honest differences, and if you’re known as somebody who takes responsibility, folks cut you a lot more slack than if you’re a slacker

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June 30, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Specific

Often when we talk  about the opposite sex, we either go all gooey and soft focus or we become harsh and judgmental. Neither stance is particularly helpful. Look carefully at the details. Being specific is one of the best ways not only to problem solve but to be realistic as well.

Abstraction almost always get us in trouble. Saying “This relationship isn’t working for me” makes everybody unhappy and anxious. Saying “It makes me nervous when you’re more than five minutes late while I’m waiting on a street corner for you because I once saw a pedestrian hit by a car” is much less threatening and much more helpful in terms of offering a problem and solution.In this approach, you could agree to wait inside, your partner could promise to be early from now on, or you could get some therapy about the pedestrian trauma. My point is that specificity gives everybody a place to start with a minimum of blaming or value judgement.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Dating, News, Relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Realistic

We live in a society in which an artificial need is created to sell everything from toothpaste to cars to hot dogs. The need that advertisers create is the need to smell great and look great and be perfect. In short, it’s the need to be loved, and they convince us, that, by buying this product – Voila – we will find true love.

My favorite example of this nonsense is a commercial in which a woman with perfect teeth, perfect hair, and wearing a beautiful white dress is being approached by a handsome stud in a tuxedo. Filmy curtains blow in the background, a beautiful chandelier throws off flattering light, and violin music fills the air. As he strides confidently across the room toward her, he loses his balance, bumping into a table, knocking over the wine goblet, and pulling of the tablecloth, as he – and everything else on the table – goes flying. The ad is for a carpet stain remover. The creators of this commercial took our most profound fantasies and turned them on their head. Unfortunately, when it comes to dating, we often don’t have a slick Madison Avenue suse with a sense of humor to remind us  of the treachery of the  romantic ideal: It’s not real and it’s not life and it’s not us.

If you’re looking for the prefect date a mate or state, you’re in trouble for two reasons: First, perfection is unlikely, if not impossible. Second if a perfect person did exist, they would most likely be looking for a perfect person, too. Yikes! Heaven knows, I’m not perfect and neither are you.

So ask yourself about your expectations: Are you being reasonable? Are you asking too much of yourself, too much of your date, or too much of the situation? Best friends are really helpful in the reality check department, so when in doubt, it’s okey to say, “Am I being realistic here, or have I over dosed on romance pills?”

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Tips to happy Dating

When you think of dating happily, you may think of spending time with an interesting and neat person, doing lots of fun and exciting things together, and connecting intimately. Yet those are only a few of the things that go into it. In this part are ten more things that, although they may not pop immediately to mind, are also keys to having rewording and fun dating experiences, they are:

  • Be Realistic
  • Be Specific
  • Take responsibility
  • Be active
  • Don’t Settle
  • Re-evaluate often
  • Write stuff down
  • Be creative
  • Be aware
  • Analyze fear

Continue Reading…………

June 25, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Way #10 – You’re willing to Risk Being Yourself

Being yourself is really the big enchilada. Everything else on the How-You-Know-You’re-in-Love list hints at being yourself, but when you truly love someone, you want them to know who you are and love you for all that you are, not just for who you pretend to be. When you’re in a truly loving relationship, you can be honest and direct and take chances.

The tricky part of being in love is that it can encourage you to be yourself but ups the ante that you might make someone whom you really want to stay changes their mind and leave if you show the real you. You want your beloved to be happy now and foreever, and the only way to do that is to be who you really are. It’s almost impossible to sustain an illusion over time, and because you are now truly in love, you wouldn’t want to hurt your beloved by living a lie. But you also need to be a bit careful of what you confess. Remember that between honesty and duplicity is silence. If you are old enough to be in love, you’re old enough to be in love, you are old enough to understand the occasional use of silence.

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Way #9 – The Idea of doing nothing together sounds terrific

In the early stages of dating, there is a hunger to discover who the other person is, but this time also feels scary because they may not be what you thought or – even worse – you may not be what they’re looking for. Even though the stakes aren’t very high at the beginning, we feel that they are, so we play at dating, and one of the easiest ways to play is to do something at all times – either publicly or privately. The dating ritual is about finding places to go and things to do. Once a couple is sexual, the think to do is sexual, and everything else seems just a holding action until the couple can hit the streets. Then when the initial flurry of sexual activity is over, there is a tendency to want to show each other off because you’re feeling connected and proud and flushed (this can occur before sex and even when a couple is sexual….although hopefully not at exactly that moment) which means a lot of time spent around other people.

When the idea of doing nothing together is the coolest thing either of you can come up with, you’re very likely in love, because you’ve gone through the other stages of terror, sex, and showing off. Now, the relationship is just about the two of you, not to the exclusion of everyone or anything else. In fact, your “normal” life has expanded to include each other, but the idea of simply being together is the most wonderful thing either of you can figure out to do – even out of bed.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Way #8 – You’re willing to save if you’re a spendthrift and spend if you’re chintzy

The point of this section isn’t really about money at all, but a willingness to examine fundamental beliefs as a direct result of valuting another person and his or her perspective and opinion (Yeah, the same phenomenon can happen with friends, but because friends generally tolerate and celebrate differences, there’s less motive or incentive for change.)

Any good relationship changes us. If being around your beloved makes you examine or change some fundamental part of yourself, it may not be love in and of itself, but it does indicate respect, a willingness to learn from another, and a relationship in which you feel safe enough to try something foreign and scary.

I’m not talking flattery or hypocrisy here; I’m talking about having the courage and strength and energy to ecamine and experiment with a fundamental belief system, be it religion, politics, gun control, abortion, chinese food, travel, having children, gardening, money, or any other position you used to consider inviolate. (Money? you say. Yep. It’s hard to think of any commodity that is more basic than money. If you think money is just green stuff that just sits there, you are wrong; it’s power and lifestyle and control and options and freedom and interaction and a whole lot more.)

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Way #7 – You are willing to go somewhere you hate

I think of this as the ballet/boxing phenomenon. The willingness to go someplace you actually hate with someone you actually love – and not be a pain in the neck about it – is one of the hallmakes of love.

When you first start to date, you are tempted to do whatever it takes to get the date off the ground because you’re blinded by the possibilities. During the next phase of dating, you stand up for yourself and don’t do the activity you hate. This is a necessary evolution because if there is to be true love. it has to be based on who you are, not who you think your begining-to-be-significant other will like. But once you actually get to love, your need to constantly assert yourself is softened by your beloved’s influence and the sense that you can give because your love will reciprocate your generosity.

You don’t need to keep track on a day-to-day basis to make sure everything is 50-50. (I went to her ballet:now she has to come to the three stooges Fifty-Hour Marathon – how tiresome would that get?) But the sense that there is fairness and equality and appreciation and respect means that your reluctance to do something you’re not crazy about gets overwhelmed by your desire to dosomething with the person you love. In other words, the person becomes more important than the event.

Yep, looks like love to me.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Way #6 – You’re full of Energy

I’m not talking about the kind of energy you feel in the early stages of dating, when you are sure your date is “it” and you’re sure you can float on air. I’m talking about the kind of energy that comes when you know you’ve just hit a home run or your recipe for turnip soup is actually edible or those jeans that were a struggle actually fit or when someone smiles at you on the street on a sunny day and you feel connected to the universe. This is the energy you feel when you accomplish something, and in many ways, allowing yourself to be in love (not fall in love) is a terrific accomplishment. You’ve trusted yourself and another person, and you’re taking the time and care and risks to build and maintain an intimate relationship.

When an intimate relationship works – and has been working for a while – it can truly light up your life. It may not be forest fire, fireworks explosive, dramatic stuff – which is really fun, but really short lived – but it is the long turm, this is going to last and I want to nurture it kind of glow. It may be less dramatic, but it can burn forever.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

way #5-You hum love songs under your breath

Your sense of well-being and happiness is so deep so easy and so comfortable that even when you’re not thinking about your beloved, your sense of fulfillment permeates your being. You actually concentrate better, work more efficiently, are more resilient, but your unconscious is aware that something very cool is happening, and those love songs just go directly from your unconscious mind to your lips without ever having to disturb your intellect. This love stuff is working for you on all cylinders.

When you do realize you’re humming a love song, you smile, think of the words for a moment, remember to mention it to your beloved, and then get right back to work. Freud was right: All we need is work and love. Good on ya.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Relationships | , , , , , | Leave a comment