Dating // December 30, 2013

In many ways, I'm quite the typical guy.  I like football, fast cars, and I love a good home-cooked meal. I quote Coming to America whenever I get the chance.  And I love to turn things into a competition, just for the fun of it.  Like I said - typical.

But because of my unique journey, I'm also very different.  Growing up in Oakland makes you develop a little faster.  As a young entrepreneur, swimming in an ocean full of sharks will teach you some cold, hard lessons about business.  Searching for meaning in a world full of chaos tests your resolve.  And getting your heart broken time and time again will challenge what you really believe about love.

Because of culture, media, and our experiences, we can fall into the trap of believing in myths instead of seeking the truth.  If the truth has the power to set you free, myths can keep you stuck in patterns of dysfunction.  This is especially true when applied to relationships between men and women.  While men could stand to learn a thing or two about women, that’s not what I’m here to talk about right now.  I’m here to help squash some of the long-standing beefs women have with men in the dating scene, and it starts with killing some of these myths that keep us at odds. I know it’s hard out there, but I hope these insights help you navigate your relationships with the men you meet.


Myth #1: All Males Are “Men.”

A Made Man operates under a different code than other men.  He’s a leader that lives his life according to clear principles and values.  Men like this stand out and you notice one when you meet him, not because he’s flashy, but because he commands your respect.  And a Made Woman won’t be satisfied in a relationship if she’s not with this type of man.

Myth #2: If He’s Single, Either He’s Gay, Crazy, Or He’s Lying.

If I had a dollar for every time a woman asked me why I was single, I’d be waking up in that new Bugatti that Ace Hood raps about.  I often talk to women who are puzzled by the single man that isn’t actively looking for a wife.  They assume there’s something wrong with him or that he’s afraid of commitment. To me Phonte from the rap group Little Brother said it best: “A woman’s life is love. A man’s love is life.”  For a Made Man, to find a good woman is one of the best gifts he could receive.  But the ultimate pursuit and prize lies in that man finding his purpose and passion, establishing himself in his work, and leaving his mark on the world. The great Steve Jobs talked about “making a dent in the universe.” All Made Men have this inherent desire to make an impact.  It’s how we’re programmed.  We don’t view women as less important than our passions.  They are to be our companions and partners as we go on our journey towards meaning and significance.

Myth #3: There’s No Such Thing As A “Guy Friend,” And If He Says He Wants To Be Your Friend, He’s Lying.

This is a tricky one because there are a few ways guys can act when it comes to friendship with women. Many women can remember a time where they thought they had built a solid friendship with a guy who just genuinely seemed interested in being their friend.  But in the end, it turned out that he was trying to figure out how to use his charm to get past her defenses and make his move.  This cunning scheme has broken the trust of women around the world, and it has ruined it for men that value platonic female friendships.  Some men are mature enough to enjoy the company and energy of a woman, and some men aren’t.  It’s too bad that the wolves in sheep’s clothing ruin it for the good guys that just want female companionship.

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But there are, in fact, some men that want to establish a solid friendship with a woman before taking it to the next level.  These men need to get know the real woman before they consider them as a potential suitable life partner.  They need to see the woman as she really is, and without the veneer that’s often put up during courtship. There is nothing conniving about this.  In fact, with the divorce rate what it is, it's probably smart for him to do his homework in this way. Women need to be able to identify this man, and appreciate the fact that he cares about his future and his family enough to choose his mate wisely. The difference between this guy and the wolf in sheep’s clothing is that instead of just saying he wants to be friends he proves it over time by showing he cares about you.

Myth #4: Men Are Intimidated By Strong Women.

Men can be just as insecure as some women are, and strong women can scare them.  But a Made Man is never intimidated by a strong woman.  He’s excited about her.  Because he’s secure in his identity, he isn’t threatened.  Instead, he’s excited to see her grow and thrive.  If you find yourself scaring off all the men you encounter, you could possibly be around a bunch of fragile boys in men’s clothing.  Steer clear of them for now.  But a word of caution: don’t confuse the word “strong” as a license for you to be disrespectful or insensitive.  It can be easy slip into cynicism, but don’t give in to it.  You might miss a Made Man when he appears.

Myth #5: Age Equals Maturity.

Just because a guy is older doesn’t mean he has his life together.  I know some 40 year-old guys who look for a  girlfriend that will take on the role of  their mother.  And I know some 20 year-olds that are ready to be the head of their household. From an emotional and psychological standpoint, some guys never leave the nest. They expect their woman to be compliant and always able to fix whatever mess he gets himself into.  Every man wants a woman who will be his biggest supporter and cheerleader.  But any guy who would rather have an enabler more than a co-pilot is not a Made Man.  A Made Man knows that every power couple is made up of two strong individuals.  He’s not looking for his mom.  He’s looking for his match.

These are just a few of the myths that women believe about men, and we’ll explore a few more in the next column.  But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think these are myths?  Or are these realities that men will never be able to escape from?


Next Issue:  10 Myths Women Believe about Men (Part 2)


Published in Dating

Dating // November 18, 2013

For many, surviving the holidays involves the daunting task of giving a gift to everybody on the friends and family list. And because of the stress of holiday shopping, many of us give uninspired and underwhelming gifts. Within a few weeks, this gift usually finds itself on the shelves of the nearby Goodwill store or making an appearance at next year’s white elephant gift exchange.

But this year can be different. The key to choosing the perfect present is simple: give him something that enhances his life.  It’s not the expensive gift that always wins (though that can communicate how much you appreciate him).  Its all about choosing the right gift for the right guy.

Here are some of this year’s top picks to make his holidays a little happier.

Braven 850 Speaker System

Does he like music?  The Braven 850 is an excellent alternative to the Beats Pill.  Its 20 hours of battery life make it uber portable, you can stream music wirelessly, you can make calls with it, and even charge your other devices.  It may be the smartest portable speaker system in stores this year.

PlayStation 4

When he needs a little down time, the PS4 delivers the slickest entertainment experience.  Not only are the graphics stunning, but the new PS4 has the ability to learn his preferences and recommend content including new games, TV shows and movies.

Randy Watson Tee

This tee is sure to bring a smile to anyone who remembers the greatest singer to ever come out of Jackson Heights.  And he’ll love wearing it and being the talk of the dinner party.


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Pokket Mixer

Ever been to a house party that was in desperate need of better music?  This nifty contraption allows you to connect and mix between two devices (a phone, mp3 player, or tablet), making you the rescue DJ.

Improv Classes

Want to give him the gift of creativity?  A series of improv classes are the perfect gift for the guy that appreciates the arts or wants to increase his fast-thinking skills.

Find a theater company near you.

 

Cooking Class

For the seasoned gentleman who knows how to get around the kitchen (or wants to learn), a couples cooking class is a great way to learn a new dish and spend some quality time.  Get instruction from a top chef like Hipcooks, learn a new recipe, and then enjoy eating your new creation together.



Game Tickets

Is he a sports fan?  You can find deals on seats for his favorite teams on an online secondary-ticket marketplace.  Be savvy when scouring the available tickets and get him courtside - (or close to it).

StubHub is a great place to find tickets.

A Good Book

To many Made Men, a great book is priceless.  Help him “sharpen the tools in the shed” with a classic book like Robert Greene’s Mastery, or a new title like Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath.


Premium Mens Grooming Package

Many men know the value of a good haircut, but many men have never experienced premium men’s grooming.  Treat him to a premium haircut, shave, and nail care.  They’ll love the soothing pampering that’s usually only reserved for A-listers, and others will notice their enhanced look.  They may never look at a regular barber the same again.

Find a master barber near your like Julian Payne of the Original Mobile Barber Shop


Personal Styling Consultation


If his appearance is important in his line of work, give him the gift of an updated image.  Buy him a day with a stylist like Melynda Choothesa of Couture Zen in LA to reinvent his closet or create a new wardrobe.  And don't worry about how expensive a personal stylist might be; you don't have to be Akon, Aisha Tyler or Chad Coleman to look like an A-lister.  In the end, he’ll appreciate a newly refined personal brand - just in time for the new year.


PhotoShoot

Could your Made Man use a little boost for his personal brand?  New headshots or studio photography is the perfect tool to help any young entrepreneur make a good first impression.

Look for a professional photographer near you.  If you’re in LA, Kimberly Yatsko Photography is a great place to start.

Weekend Staycation or Getaway

For the guy who’s too focused to play video games or go to a basketball game, a simple weekend getaway is the perfect escape.  He’ll appreciate being acknowledged for his hard work and being treated like a king for the weekend.  Get him a gift certificate to a nice hotel just outside of town so he can recharge and refocus on his goals for the new year.

Published in Dating
Thursday, 31 October 2013 16:11

MW University | 10 Tips For Dating In College

MW University // November 4, 2013 

A few days ago while I was having lunch with close friends (also recent grads), we talked about the dating experiences we had in college. The four of us had high’s and low’s in the college dating world. And, we agree that every dating story ended with a well-noted lesson, and possibly allowed us to have better relationships after graduation. Our stories include epic episodes of passion, love and lust, as well as tragic failures. We encountered Prince Charming, who ended up being a mere frog, and frogs, who grew to be kings. It is all very confusing. Some of the lows felt traumatic because we thought that our situations were unique. Yet when I have these conversations, all of my friends share similar stories. Looking back, there are a few things that I wish someone would’ve told us in regards to relationship commitments in college.


First of all, college is a time to learn about ourselves, our passions, our talents, our limits and our resiliency. In order to learn our limits, we have to experience triumph after adversity. In regards to dating, having bad dating experiences makes the good ones a thousand times better. A lucky few find their spouses in college, but the majority of us move through a few dating experiences before sticking to one. Just as internships teach us more about our passions and talents, dating teaches us about our likes, needs and love.

Below is a list of ten tips I wish someone would have whispered in my ear.

1. Listen to your heart, and be honest with yourself.

There are multiple times in college that requires you to stop, take a breath, and check in with yourself. Getting through college alone is a task, but it is even harder if you are unhappy. And, if you are unhappy, you have to adjust your surroundings or change your priorities.

2. It’s okay to have a change of heart.

Some times things don’t always happen the way we would like them. In the beginning of my freshman year, I started dating a football player, who was being bombarded by the thrills of being a campus star. I was falling for him, and his distractions left me doubtful of a future. So, despite our attraction and friendship, I moved on. At the time, I felt awful about it, but now I see that it was for the best.

3. Realizing what you DON’T want is valuable.

When things don’t go well, it can be a blessing. My close friend said to me the other day, “A set back is just a set up for a come back.” Defining your dislikes is essential to creating a situation that brings joy. Some times a person is great, but may not be compatible for you. That’s ok, because you will be better able to sense when someone is compatible once you move on.

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4. Commitment requires an investment of time and energy.

All commitments require your time. With classes, exams, projects and papers, you will be lucky to have time to yourself or with your friends. Before you dedicate yourself, take some time to think about if the relationship fits with your short and long term goals.

5. Finding a mentor can make life a little easier.

It is always a good idea to befriend someone slightly older than you that can give you advice based on their past experience. This could be senior female in a healthy relationship that you admire, or your sister that recently graduated from college and landed the perfect job. These women can help you balance your classes with your relationships, or may give you advice when a relationship isn’t working.  

6. The most compatible partner is usually found through networking.

When you are focused on your academic and career goals, you will most likely find yourself with likeminded people. This can be a good environment to date. BUT, as a woman, be cautious of partners within your industry. You don’t want a bad reputation to precede you.

When considering dating on campus, evaluate the relationships the person you’re considering has with other students, women, professors, etc. It is in your benefit to know that this person is respected on campus.

7. Dressing for the occasion is a must.

If you are on date, you must know that the person sitting on the other side of the table already finds you attractive. When styling your outfits, aim for something that complements your shape, rather than displays your body. The goal is to feel confident, so you can present the best version of yourself.

8. Avoid burning bridges.

When things aren’t going well with your significant other, it is always more beneficial for you to maintain a decent relationship with that person once it’s over. You don’t have to be friends, but you should be able to say hello in the hallway. You’re ability to overcome the adversities of the relationship mark your truth strength and your inner beauty. Plus, you will run into that person again—believe me.

9. There is no competition.

Believe in yourself. When we spend time worrying about others, we instantly invite negativity into our relationships. There is a reason that guy decided he wanted to date you. Stay secure within yourself and your worth. Trust your heart.

10. There are always opportunities for growth.

All experiences in life are meant to teach us new things about ourselves. But, in college, new experiences happen every day, and sometimes it can be draining to have so many things happen at once. But, it is comforting to know that many of our perceived “unique” dating experiences are common. Whether you fall in or out of love, there is always an opportunity to become a better person.

The best thing you can do is to acknowledge that you are a human being in a period of immense growth. Always follow your heart, and don’t get too bummed when things don’t turn out well. Unlike college, you don’t get a grade at the end of a relationship. It’s all a learning experience. Happy dating!



Published in Dating

Dating // October 7, 2013

Whoever coined the quote, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” was wrong.  For many men, the way into his heart is through big hits, touchdowns and highlights.  Women may hate how obsessed guys are about football.  And they may hate that they have to work even harder during football season to pull guys away from the sports bar TV screen; but that’s the wrong approach. The savvy women that find love during football season are the ones who have figured out how to use guys’ love for football to their advantage.  

So here are a few strategies for turning happy hour into a love connection. Master them and you’ll have guys inviting you out every Monday night.
Know the Teams that are Playing

So, you’ve decided to go to hang out with the guys while they watch the game. That’s a great first step! But not knowing which teams are playing is a sure way to get ignored for the rest of the night. Show him that you’re a genuine girl by displaying a genuine interest in what’s going on in the football world. Check game day listings on ESPN, FOX Sports or any other sports outlet.
Know the Rules and Understand the Situations

While many guys don’t expect you to know the difference between defensive holding and pass interference, they will expect you to know that there are no “home runs” in football.  So re-read this article on understanding the basics of football before you embarrass yourself by cheering Adrian Peterson for pitching a slam dunk.

Wear His/Your Favorite Team’s Jersey

If you have a favorite team, a great way to make an impression on him would be to wear a football jersey during the big game. It shows where your allegiance lies, but it also shows off your fun sense of style.  Feel free to channel your inner fashion designer and create your own look. Tie or cut your shirt in the right places to make your look feminine, while still honoring the gridiron. You’ll get compliments that will make all of the other girls jealous.

Give High Fives

When your (or his) favorite team scores, join the celebration by giving the guys a couple of high fives.  It may seem trivial, but it shows that you’re a team player and that you share excitement in something he’s excited about. No need to do too much, but if he’s doing a touchdown celebration dance in the middle of the bar, give him a high five to show him that you’re right there with him.

Feed the Beast

You may feel a little out of your league by being in a loud bar full of guys.  But a good way to win over the crowd is by chipping in for a pitcher of beer or a basket of wings. This simple gesture shows that you’re selfless, generous, and down to earth.

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Know a Few Stats

You don’t have to know who had the most rushing yards in last year’s Super Bowl, but knowing that the team you’re watching is in first place in the division will earn you some cool points.  Knowing a few relevant stats shows that you’re good with numbers...and possibly money and credit…

And if you really want to wow the guys...

Talk Fantasy Football

For the advanced-level ladies who understand football enough to be a part of their office’s fantasy football league, letting the bar know that you’re, “10 points away from winning your matchup this week,” will show that you’re really smart and you know your stuff.  This is a surefire way to become the coolest girl in the room.

Be There From Kickoff to the Final Whistle

A guy wants nothing more than a girl that will support him and stick it out ‘til the end.  One way to show your commitment is to stay for the whole game. You may think hanging out at a loud restaurant for three hours is a big waste of time -- and you might be right. But coming late and leaving early communicates that you honestly didn’t want to be there.  Show him that you’re into the game (and into him) for the long haul.

Give Him a Hug after a Loss

In the event that his team comes out on the losing end of the game and he’s taking it hard, console him with a big hug.  A loss is a great opportunity to show him that you’re nurturing and can take care of his broken heart. That’s the type of woman he wants to bring home to mom.

In short, football may seem like a bunch of dumb guys running around bashing their heads together, but the game is very close to our hearts.  As a kid, every guy had dreams of being a great player.  Today, we might not have those same dreams anymore, but we’re still looking for our #1 fan.  With the tips mentioned earlier, show him that you want to be on his team.  If you do a good job, you might walk away with a win and a man.

Published in Dating
Monday, 23 September 2013 02:21

Dating | Get Closer With the Closer App

Dating // September 23, 2013

Are you a bit like Cher from Clueless… always looking to make the perfect match? Or are you like Tai aka Brittany Murphy who was open to getting matched up by her best friend?

If you answered yes to either of the above, you’re in luck!  Two young entrepreneurs -- aided by the advances in technology (thank you, iPhone!) -- have come in to save the day with a new app called Closer which is “totally bangin!” (sorry, had to bring the Clueless references full circle). Closer lets you play both the matchmaker and the matchmakee all in one place. It’s a mobile tool that makes getting people connected simple.

Here’s how: the application works by connecting with your Facebook account and loading in all your friends. You simply click the friend that you want to match up and the person you’d want to match them with and it sends them the introduction. And if you are looking to meet new people, you can handpick specific friends on Facebook whom you trust and request them to set you up with people they suggest. You just slide to the right or slide to the left to either “get matched” or “start matching.” It’s easy to use and has a very sleek, cool vibe to boot!

Adding on to the basics, there are a few cool extra features like the “You are Close!” feature that allows users to receive push notifications when matches are close by them and the “Matchmaking Feed” that allows users to see when the friends they set up interact on Facebook (become friends, get tagged in a picture together, change their relationship status, etc.)


So, who spearheaded this awesome idea? Ladies of course! The concept came from two friends, both serial female entrepreneurs in their twenties. Pretty awesome, right? Eugenia Kuyda and Taisia Antonova went to school together in Moscow, but lost touch for many years, until they randomly ran into each other at a bar, reconnected and then came up with this idea for an app.

The co-creators say that Closer is their way of fostering authentic human connection -- because at the end of the day, our friends really know us better than any computer algorithm can. Who better to match us than the people who know us best?

Taisia and Eugenia look forward to expanding this project and opening this up as a way for people to not only meet new dates, but also meet new quality friends and business connections. “The tool is there to create matches and this could support various types and forms of relationships throughout life,” Taisia says.

If you’re digging their mission and want to check out Closer, it is FREE on the iTunes App Store. It’s not yet available on Android or on the Web, but that is in the works as well, according to inside sources.

They are looking for feedback on their app as it continues to grow and improve, so if you can, add some comments below and tell them what you think! Cheers to amazing matches in our lives!

Published in Dating
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:36

Love + Dating | Making Time for Your Boo

Love + Dating // August 26, 2013

I spend most of my days volunteering in the greater Atlanta community and running a local non-profit program, while my fiancé is a busy graduate student earnestly working toward his PhD. My days as filled with youth outreach, giving presentations, Bible Study, and sometimes girl’s night. Add family obligations and daily chores into the mix and planning date night goes from candlelit dinners to “do you want to meet me at the grocery store?” Learning to set realistic expectations, plan ahead, be flexible and enjoy the simple moments of daily life can help you make the most of your time with your beloved.

  • Prioritize: Work together with your significant other to determine priorities for both of you. You might have to reschedule yoga class, or skip happy hour with your office mates to make time for each other. Similarly, there might be times when you have to forgo a lazy afternoon of cuddling in front of the TV in order to meet work deadlines. The point is that you work together on a weekly basis to schedule time with each other while respecting the practical demands of daily life.
  • Communicate:  Communication is the best way to make the most of your time with your boo, especially if you both have busy schedules. Discuss your schedules and call ahead if you have to cancel plans. Also, make time to focus on one another and talk about the day’s events, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes before bed each evening.  These heart-to-hearts are even better in person, so find time to talk face-to-face whenever possible.
  • Plan Date Nights:  Since face time is so important to healthy communication, planning a regular date night is a great way to ensure that you spend some quality one on one time with your significant other. Date night does not have to involve the expense of dinner and a movie. With help from resources like The Nest and a little imagination you can also plan some great dates at home and on a budget. 
  • Stay Present: Ambitious people can get lost in the workflow and forget to come up for air. Yes, things may be hectic but don’t check out on your relationship completely. It takes two to make it work. If you’ve been buried at work for long stretches, take a night off to get some quality time with your partner. You probably need the rest anyway.

Whether you are dating, engaged or happily married, busy couples have to work to keep their romantic relationships healthy. Finding time to be with one another is hard  and it doesn’t get any easier as you progress. The extra effort will go a long way towards making sure your relationship is just as successful as your career.

Published in Relationships

Dating // August 12, 2013

Most women take a lot into consideration when choosing a mate. Do they have a job? Are they motivated? Ambitious? Do they work out? Do they like dogs? And if you consider yourself a spiritual woman -- meaning you live your life with self-love, compassion, and an understanding of a power greater than yourself -- I believe it is imperative that you unite with a partner who also has a spiritual mindset. By doing so you will create more alignment and harmony in your life, allowing the master plan to unfold as easily as it was designed to.

Just think about it. We can often throw a wrench in things when it comes to love. We are doing all this great work on ourselves -- meditating, praying, reading spiritual books, whatever the formula may be -- but it quickly goes out the door when we start to chase after love with the wrong person. If your potential partner’s values aren’t as deeply rooted as your own, it can throw you off track. They definitely won’t be able to aid your spiritual growth. Now imagine a relationship where your spiritual goals are aligned. Where you both can help each other grow in your beliefs, whatever those may be. As a spiritual advisor and life coach, I want you to be happily united with your spiritual mate. So here are my tips to help you manifest your ideal spiritual partner:

Do Your Own Work: Whether you go to therapy or meet with a life coach or pastor, work through your issues and let go of the past. Get to a place where you truly feel a sense of acceptance with yourself and an understanding of the greatness created within you.

Clarify Your Beliefs: Figure out what you believe. Your perfect spiritual partner cannot align with you if your don’t know what your core beliefs are.

Create a Daily Spiritual Practice: 15 minutes a day is all you need to quiet your mind, reinforce your self-worth and connect with the power greater than yourself. This can be God, Universe, Source, Nature, Love or anything that resonates with you. Take this time to remind yourself of your greatness, your purpose and that you are not alone. You can do this through prayer, mediation, gardening, hiking, journal writing or anything that quiets and centers your mind.

Know What You Want, But Be Flexible: Create a clear picture in your mind with the specific qualities of your ideal partner. Spend time daily thinking about them and telling the universe your are open to give and receive love. Remember to be open and flexible, because love doesn’t always come in the package you expect it to.

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Be Present and Stay in the Moment: This current moment is all that is real. Stay conscious and engage in it. Don’t wallow in past hurts or try to control the future. When you get to the future it will be now! Your perfect spiritual partner can be standing right in front of you, but because you are avoiding eye contact with your head down or glued to your cell phone, you may miss the connection.

Talk the Talk: While there is no need to be a religious fanatic, don’t shy away from conversations about your beliefs. You may be surprised who will connect with you because of what you believe.

Invite and Engage: Once you have set up a rapport with a potential mate, invite them to take part in your spiritual practice. Maybe it’s church or yoga or group meditation. If they say no, don’t force the issue. If they say yes, it may become another great way you can spend time together.

No relationship is perfect. But the basis of every good relationship is compatibility. Shouldn’t you be compatible on the things that are most important to you? Start with your beliefs and the rest will follow.

Published in Dating

Dating // July 29, 2013

Dear Made Woman,

I have had a crush on a friend of mine for a few years now and I can't take it anymore. We hang out a lot but I've been relegated to the friend zone and I want to get out! He's always been the perfect gentleman to me and has never made a move. As our friendship grows, I realize more and more what a great guy he is and I don't want another woman to snatch him up. At the same time, I'm terrified of being rejected and making our relationship awkward. Can you help me out?

Sincerely,

Secretly in love


Dear Secretly In Love,

I have good news for you!  Either way this works out, you’re going to be fine—you just need to go for it and get some resolution so you know where you stand! There are three possible scenarios that might be happening right now in my opinion, so let’s narrow in on it and take the appropriate action.

One, he might be like the tarantula. What do I mean by this? While we are all scared sh**less of tarantulas, think how much they must be frightened of humongous humans. The truth is that they are way more scared of us than we are of them by comparison. With this guy, it could be the same way—that he’s been just as frightened to make a move and disturb the friendship as you’ve been (if not more). In this case, if you test the waters, tell him how you feel and if he feels the same way, he will be hugely relieved, and undoubtedly a non-platonic relationship will form.

Two, he might be like the nerdy video game programmer (just stereotyping here -- I’m engaged to an amazing one). There are men out there who are the type of guys who just don’t read social cues as well as they read Java code. You know this particular guy better than I do. Is he one of those guys who,when you’re out with him at a bar, is completely oblivious to the girl across the room shooting him adoring glares and batting her eyelashes?

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If he’s a cutie who just doesn’t process the signs and signals people (including you) send him, you’ll have to take a more direct approach to see where he stands. And while it may be intimidating to ask him out for drinks just the two of you, this is the only way to find out where you stand with this type of gentleman. Best case scenario is that he’s game for your invitation and you go on a date; but also good is scenario B where, if you ask him and he’s not game for more, it’s okay because you’ll still be good friends. Why? Because if you really are good friends and he is a great person (otherwise why would you be friends with him/like him in the first place?), he will still care about you and still be friends with you the same way he was before you asked him out. He will understand your feelings and it won’t be awkward long-term. He’ll just take it as a compliment and move on without any prolonged weirdness.

Three, he might be like the frog and not the prince. Going back to our early scenario about observing him in a social setting, if you’ve seen him “work a room,” interact well with the ladies and perceive flirtations easily, and you’ve tried this approach of subtly (or not so subtly) flirting with him already to suggest your feelings, in this case signs point to the fact that he may be “just not that into you” (like that rom-com movie we girls all love so much). And that’s okay because there are millions of people in the world and sometimes you just can’t explain why something is or isn’t there. You’ll have clarity and be able to move on knowing where you stand. The worst thing is never doing anything about it and never knowing because it will always be a “what if.” Just know that even if he is a great guy, he’s just a frog out of a lot of frogs that will come up in your life, but that things truly do work out for a reason. When the right person comes along, you’ll know when it’s your prince.

Hope this helps, and keep us all posted on what happens!

All the best,

Courteney

Made Woman Magazine

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Published in Dating

Dating // July 15, 2013

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com

So what is it about the woman that always gets the guy?  You know who I’m talking about.

Every guy you know thinks she’s cool/smart/funny.  Men get giddy around her.  Conversations stall when she walks into a room.
What does she know that the rest of us don’t?

Girl, it’s not about what she has – so much as what she doesn’t have.  It’s pretty likely that men are attracted to her not only because of the things that she does, but because of the things that she doesn’t do.

And I can guarantee you that our Girl Wonder does not exhibit any of these three traits:

Neediness:


Ahh. The mother of all un-sexiness.

Sometimes (and this has probably happened to the best of us) we might feel a bit incomplete without a man or believe a relationship will solve our problems.  The man in your life will smell this desperation a mile away. And desperation?  It’s not a good look on anyone.

When you’re carrying around the (totally false) idea that you need a man to be complete, you’re giving away your power.

Pause right there.

Think about it – when you place your contentment + happiness in the hands of another individual, you’re at their mercy.  Are you willing to gamble your well-being on his actions or in-actions?

Besides, consider all the unnecessary pressure it puts on him! The pressure to live-up to your expectations of the perfect mate will be exhausting + a sure-fire way to incite disinterest.

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Want to reclaim your power?  Brilliant.  Start by putting the kabosh on these actions:

1. Needing his approval of how you look
2. Incessant emailing, texting and phone calling.  (not to mention obsessive checking of your own email or vmail–mmmhmm….we’ve all done it…)
3. Insisting you know where he is, was + will be 24-7
4. Too many whiny “I miss you’s” in that little girl voice

Insecurity:

The number 2 way to send your man running for the hills.

It sounds like this:

“Do you still love me as much as before?”
“Do you think I look fat in this?”
“Am I pretty enough for you?”

Insecurity is rooted in another false idea – the idea that you are somehow not adequate. You’re only human and self-doubt is a very real emotion that we all feel from time to time. Totally normal.

However, staying stuck and investing in the idea that you are “less than” is a slippery slope. The key to being desirable is to allow yourself to have the feelings of insecurity but not indulge in them! (Easier said than done.  I know.  But practice makes perfect- so give ‘er a shot.)

Simply notice when those feeling come up and reflect…. "Hmph.  There is that thought again. Interesting”…and then redirect your attention to what you’re doing at the moment.  Imagine sitting by a babbling brook and noticing how the leaves glide across the surface of the water past you.  Think of your insecure thoughts as those leaves.

You always have a choice.
You can either invest in your insecurity or your sexy.
You decide.

Overly critical of others. Especially of other women:

Let’s get straight to the point, shall we?  It is flat-out ugly when you
are outwardly critical, especially of other women.   Imagine this:  A beautiful woman walks into the room + your perfectly pleasant conversation with your sweetie quickly spirals into a sarcastic, snarkfest of gnarly criticism.

Why is it that women find it so difficult to compliment another gorgeous, accomplished woman? (Especially, in the presence of their honey?)

Answer: Yup, you guessed it–False ideas.

Somewhere we believe that by tearing other women down our man will not notice their attractiveness.

Reality Check: He probably noticed her 10 seconds before you did so it’s a waste of time.  Not to mention that being critical paints you as jealous, insecure + really, kinda mean.  And who wants to be That Girl?

Take notice of your energy level after such a barrage…does it feel heavy or light + airy?  Eventually you will recognize that the ill-will is draining.  On you + your man.

Personally whenever I see a hot, sassy mama I say to myself “You go, girl.”  I’ve even been known to call my boyfriends attention to her killer shoes, stylish dress or confident ways.  This way we both get to enjoy her shine + it fosters open dialogue between us. (Never a bad thing)

I will often stop a woman and tell her she looks great in her dress, or that her hair looks awesome and ask where she gets it cut.  The appreciation + gratitude bestowed on me are rewarding and she walks away feeling just a little more shiny than before.  Win-Win.

Let’s talk about how to amp up your sexy instead!

1. Take stock of how often you check your text/email out of a sense of desperation. This is your one and only life – slide back into the driver’s seat and reevaluate a better use of your energy.  What is an action you can take right now that will focus your attention on your overall well-being + happiness? Yoga at lunch?  Manicure with a girlfriend after work? Perhaps making that long put off phone call to your local graduate school or headhunter.

2.  Feeling insecure cause you don’t fit in your skinny jeans from 11 years ago? Get-rid-of-them!
Honestly, how realistic is it that you’ll be that size again…have you considered that it’s cruel to keep them in your closet?  That you are dismissing your present-day deliciousness? I am not suggesting that you pack on the lbs and ignore your health.  I’m encouraging you to honor + dare I say…celebrate your womanly figure.

Toss the jeans.
Seriously.

3. When you see a stunning women, immediately catch INSECURITY + CRITICISM, and silently take notice of what you admire about her. Say “good for her.” And if you’re feeling real bold + saucy get her attention and give her the gift of a compliment.

The universe loves that stuff!  I bet a compliment is already on its way to you.

Published in Love + Dating
Saturday, 29 June 2013 01:11

Relationships | The 5 Love Languages

Dating // July 1, 2013

We’ve all heard the saying, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.".  Love, sex and romance are usually interpreted differently between the sexes and it affects every part of our relationships. Maybe you are good to your partner, but don’t feel appreciated. Maybe when you argue with your partner they always say, “I don’t feel like you really love me.” The problem is, we express love to our partner the way WE want to receive it, not the way they want it. One way to get on the same page is to start speaking our partner’s love language and showing them love the way they want to receive it, and encouraging them to do the same!

I have been with my man for 15 plus years now. Our relationship is not only surviving, but THRIVING, because we search for ways to communicate our feelings in ways that the other appreciates.  Recently, we read a great book, The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. As the title suggests, the book explains the five primary ways people communicate love to each other. It is a great tool to use in your relationship to identify the best ways to convey your emotions to your partner.  Here’s a breakdown of the Love Languages, see which one is yours and ask your partner which fits them:

The 5 LOVE LANGUAGES

Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation

Verbal compliments, encouraging words, kind words and humble words. Only positive words, no negatives.

Love Language #2: Quality Time

Time spent together giving undivided attention. This includes quality conversation and quality activities.

Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts

It is not about the cost of the gift; it is the intention behind the gift. Gifts can be purchased, made, or can be as simple as the gift of physical presence when your partner needs you.

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Love Language #4: Acts of Service

Doing something you know your partner wants you to do for them. This can include any daily task that requires thought, planning, time and energy.

Love Language #5: Physical Touch

This is any form of physical affection, including holding hands, massaging, kissing, hugging and sex.

My love language is “Quality Time” and my honey’s is “Receiving Gifts.” Who knew? Since gifts are not important to me, I never thought they were to him. Now, I make sure once a week to give him a small token of my love to fill him up!

Make use of this cheat sheet and have some fun figuring out which love language you both are. Or, if you are having trouble figuring out which category either of you falls into, take the test here and read the book by Gary Chapman. Then take your relationship to an even better place by giving and receiving love the way you both appreciate it!


Published in Love + Dating
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