Relationships // January 27, 2014

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com.

It sounds like this:

It’s cold out, take a sweater.

Don’t leave that here. Put it back where it belongs.

That’s too expensive, you can’t spend that.

Oh no, you can’t do that!

Ladies: your guy is not a fresh-faced five-year-old.

Men don’t need to be trained and scolded like puppies.

For the love of your love life: resist the urge to whip out motherly advice. Our misplaced maternal tonality is more than emasculating. It’s a cease and desist order on those steamy nights you long for.

Sexy seductress? Forget it. When you’re busy demanding and reprimanding your man, you’ll remind him more of his third grade teacher. Or worse…his mother.

We know you’ve got his best interests at heart. You don’t mean to boss him around, but it just comes out that way, right?

It’s lovely that you want your honey to be A-OK but this is a prime opportunity to distinguish between the nurturing feminine qualities we recognize as the best in our own Mothers, and “mothering.”

And yup. You’ve guessed it- ya gotta quit mothering.

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Our femininity exists at a cellular level. We’re born with a galaxy of intoxicating qualities; facets of femininity that nurture, seduce and support the men in our lives.

We heal. We comfort. We empathize, sympathize, and we certainly know how to pay a compliment.

Your guy craves these maternal qualities. You make him feel cared for. You patch him up for his next battle. Your laser focused attention restores and renews him while your unwavering faith gives him strength. Your tenderness & encouragement is elation, lifts his mood and is nothing less than suh-weet.

Maternal affection is natural. Mothering is cruel. When you mother your man, your game is manipulation + control. Your advice, beliefs, and affection are no longer sweet gifts. They’re more like blunt hammers straight to his aching temples.

Try this power-duo of natural nurturing techniques instead:

1. Invite him.

Inviting is open, free-flowing and easy. Instead of: “Here’s some cold medicine. Take it.” Try: “You don’t feel well? Is there anything I can do to help?”

2. Demonstrate & Reinforce by Thanking.

Men are innately generous. They really do want us to have what we need, but they certainly aren’t mind readers. Kindly explain how you enjoy things done (Ahem… this includes in the bedroom. Meow!) When he gets it right, remember to thank him. Giving begets giving. Give patience, detailed information, and respect. He’ll give it right back.

Published in Relationships

Dating // March 11, 2013

Scrap your Mr. Perfect list.

What if I told you that when you annihilate the borders of restriction you allow in a tide of eligible men?

Would you be willing to release and let go of what you think will make you happy in a man?

Yes?  Cool.  Stay with me a minute.

Courage is key here.

Up until now, your checklist has been a self-erected barricade to love and probably held you back from getting precisely what you want – and more. Is it possible that your list has become a convenient excuse allowing you to dodge the challenge and closeness of a real relationship?

Often it can seem easier to remain single and independent, than to expose ourselves to the vulnerability and intimacy that is inherent in love’s blind faith.

So with fear at our backs – what do we do?  Seconds after meeting someone, we compare him to our Mr. Perfect list and judge him as not “the one.” Sound familiar?

(I’ve been guilty of it too, ladies.)

Who is Mr. Perfect anyway?

He is an idealized vision you have of the man you should be with for the rest of your life. He’s an illusion – a fictional character you’ve created based on limited, crumbling, and faded information from your past. It will be impossible to find the right man for you now – in the present – while your check list is based on an old, less brilliant version of you.

Take notice of where you are anchored.

Is it in the past, in fiction, or in reality?

Get to the pulse of your consciousness.

Let’s use me as an example.  I am 35 this October, and about 7 years ago, I sat down and wrote out my perfect man checklist.  I sealed it in an envelope and put it in a wish box under my bed.

My Mr. Perfect looked like this:  6'2", sandy blonde/brown hair, and boyish, all-American good looks. Think Matt Damon, but taller. He would be a power executive at a major firm who had VIP meetings on his cell phone, while drinking a wheatgrass juice on the way to the gym.  He had to live in the city, and have an impeccable sense of style.

Four years later, I still hadn’t found him. Why? Because I constructed this list based on old thought patterns, reactions, and judgements. I was unable to see that anyone else existed.

And I was lonely.

I needed to create a new normal for myself – pronto.

I set out on a mission to penetrate the present. I ripped up my perfect man checklist, and immersed myself in discovering what was true for me now. I began investigating the way I dated.  I let go of the stale ideas of what I thought would make me happy in a man. I was petitioning the universe to bring me something completely new and fresh.

Today, I’m in love with an amazing man who brings me complete elation.  He is 5'11", with dark and thick black hair, sexy ethnic eyes, hates wheatgrass, and has an obsession with coffee. He is passionate about his career, which is prosperous, but he’s certainly not wheeling and dealing major real-estate ventures. He owns his home out toward the desert, and to my lovely surprise, I enjoy listening to the rustle of the trees at night rather than honking horns.

See the contrast?

My ideas of the ideal man were so pale and so restricted compared to his shine.

Are you short-changing yourself?

Is it possible that your vision of the perfect man is way too narrow?

Why confine yourself to some fantasy idea of who you think you should be with?

Love is art, and art is risky.

Take a risk.

Torch self-limiting dating concepts.

Love is waiting for you on the other side.

And she is pure and she is encouraging.

Published in Love + Dating
Monday, 31 December 2012 05:20

Opinion | 30 Things Men Should Know By 30

Best of 2012 // December 31, 2012

You may have seen Huffington Post's list of "30 Things A Woman Should Know by 30" getting a lot of buzz on the internet. Or maybe it was the Thought Catalog version... Either way. Men have shared what they think we need to know ASAP. Now it's our turn....


1.     How to do simple fixes on your car and around the house (i.e. change a tire, fix a faucet). Playing the handyman is extremely sexy, and saves money over the years.

2.     Your Own Strength.

3.     That you should have a nice dopp kit and decent luggage--sports bags don't count.

4.     When you unbutton your shirt past the second button you look like a douche.

5.     Being the loudest person doesn't make you right.

6.     Guys get mani/pedis too.

7.     All the money in your bank account won't help you if you're morally bankrupt.

8.     If she marries you for your money she won't stay with you when it's gone.

9.     When, where and how to make a dinner (or lunch, or brunch…) reservation.

10.   You can care about someone without controlling them.

11.   There are other movie genres besides action.

12.   “Bros before hos” doesn't work if you want to get married.

13.   How to keep your room as clean as your car.

14.   How to love your mom without being a momma's boy.

15.   That emotional intelligence is just as important as cognitive intelligence. 

16.   On what occasions to give a woman flowers.

17.   Not to underestimate the power of a tailored suit.

18.   You can be a good dad even though you didn't have one or didn’t get along with yours.

19.    Start planning for the future.  If you haven't invested in a retirement plan, do it yesterday. “The future” will be here before you know it.

20.   It's OK to cry.

21.   Always be working towards something. Continuing to set goals keeps you from falling into a rut, and will help you better yourself, too.

22.   It's OK to not have it all figured out.  As long as you keep trying new things, what's right for you will present itself.

23.   These things about women.

24.   Sometimes you don't always have to wait until the cards line up right. Sometimes you have to step out on a leap of faith.

25.   How to cook at least one meal really well.

26.   How to prove a point without being condescending.

27.   The importance of having a mentor--and how to be one.

28.   That making a living is not the same as making a life.

29.   The point in a relationship when “your plans” become “our plans.”

30.   How to tie a tie. 

So, what do you think? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments section below! 



Published in Lifestyle
Friday, 27 July 2012 22:34

Dating | Guys Get Romantic

July 30, 2012

Is romance dead? Is chivalry a thing of the past? Most women these days seem to agree that these ideas are fading fast! It may be 2012, the age of the modern female, but most of us still appreciate a sweet gesture from time to time. We asked a few members of the opposite sex to reveal the most romantic thing they’d ever done for a woman… and restore our hope in humanity. Here’s what they said:

"It was freezing, so I threw a pair of sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt in the dryer and gave her toasty warm clothes when she came over. It’s the small things." - Joe, 29

"My girlfriend at the time (now wife) and I had just moved into our first apartment. It was Christmas Eve and she had to work. We had been so busy that we didn't even have a chance to get decorations for the new place. She was practically in tears on her way out the door. She said she was so stressed and it didn't even feel like Christmas. I felt so bad I decided to go all out. So I called my best friend and we hit every store still open, then hurried home to make the new house the brightest on the block. A new tree, some crazy lawn ornaments and a few thousand Christmas lights later, the stage was set. We finished just before she pulled up to the house. The look on her face was priceless. I guess you could say I saved Christmas." - Nate, 28

"Might not be the most romantic, but one time I asked to borrow a girl's car (a co-worker I had a great crush on) so I could put a giant teddy bear and roses in it. This way, when she punched out of work and got in her car, she knew someone (ME!!) really cared about her." - Chris, 29

“Scheduled a trip, picked her up from her work, and whisked her away for the weekend.” - Damon, 31

“So I'm sitting on a flight back from North Dakota. I happen, with my undeserved luck, to be sitting by the cutest girl. Of course, no matter how my charming reputation speaks for itself, I get really nervous around beautiful girls I meet for the first time. So I play it cool, throw glances at her every once in a while because I find her so attractive, and pretend to read my book. I happen to have a notebook on my lap also that I was writing song lyrics in. About forty minutes into the flight, I built up the nerve to carry out my brilliant plan. I turn to a blank page in my notebook and write, "Where are you headed?" and set the opened notebook on her lap. She stares at it for a couple seconds, her face expressionless, and writes, "Same place you're headed." We divulge in this endless banter, most of it just smart ass remarks and witty comebacks, until we reach California. She never looked at me once until we were inside the terminal. She smiled at me, I smiled back. Then we parted ways. I still have those pages somewhere.” - Andrew, 26

“After a second date I hugged the girl goodbye. The date had gone so well and it seemed like we didn’t know how to end it, but we ended up hugging. After she went inside I drove away and then turned around and drove back. I texted her to come outside. When she came back outside I walked up to her and kissed her, ending the date the proper way.” - Nathan, 27

"Most impressive thing I've done for a girl was gift her with a portrait of herself.... Showcased a piece of my soul. Girls like art, especially when it's of them.  Word to Titanic" - Rod, 27


Have you ever done something romantic or received a romantic gesture? Comment below and share your story!


Published in Dating

May 07, 2012

You may have seen Huffington Post's list of "30 Things A Woman Should Know by 30" getting a lot of buzz on the internet. Or maybe it was the Thought Catalog version... Either way. Men have shared what they think we need to know ASAP. Now it's our turn....


1.     How to do simple fixes on your car and around the house (i.e. change a tire, fix a faucet). Playing the handyman is extremely sexy, and saves money over the years.

2.     Your Own Strength.

3.     That you should have a nice dopp kit and decent luggage--sports bags don't count.

4.     When you unbutton your shirt past the second button you look like a douche.

5.     Being the loudest person doesn't make you right.

6.     Guys get mani/pedis too.

7.     All the money in your bank account won't help you if you're morally bankrupt.

8.     If she marries you for your money she won't stay with you when it's gone.

9.     When, where and how to make a dinner (or lunch, or brunch…) reservation.

10.   You can care about someone without controlling them.

11.   There are other movie genres besides action.

12.   “Bros before hos” doesn't work if you want to get married.

13.   How to keep your room as clean as your car.

14.   How to love your mom without being a momma's boy.

15.   That emotional intelligence is just as important as cognitive intelligence. 

16.   On what occasions to give a woman flowers.

17.   Not to underestimate the power of a tailored suit.

18.   You can be a good dad even though you didn't have one or didn’t get along with yours.

19.    Start planning for the future.  If you haven't invested in a retirement plan, do it yesterday. “The future” will be here before you know it.

20.   It's OK to cry.

21.   Always be working towards something. Continuing to set goals keeps you from falling into a rut, and will help you better yourself, too.

22.   It's OK to not have it all figured out.  As long as you keep trying new things, what's right for you will present itself.

23.   These things about women.

24.   Sometimes you don't always have to wait until the cards line up right. Sometimes you have to step out on a leap of faith.

25.   How to cook at least one meal really well.

26.   How to prove a point without being condescending.

27.   The importance of having a mentor--and how to be one.

28.   That making a living is not the same as making a life.

29.   The point in a relationship when “your plans” become “our plans.”

30.   How to tie a tie. 

So, what do you think? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments section below! 



Published in Lifestyle
Monday, 07 May 2012 07:00

Dating | 5 Signs It's Time To Move On

May 7, 2012

So you have a man… But should you stay in a relationship that’s making you miserable on all days that end in the letter “Y”? Alright, I don’t know you, Made Woman, but I do know that the dilemma of staying or leaving is frustrating. I love Keyshia Cole’s jam “Let it Go” just as much as the next tortured woman, but it still didn’t give me the answers I needed, or the guts to make a decision. Honestly, only you know when you are done with a man, and until you are ready no one can tell you ANYTHING. But, I do have some suggestions to help guide you in the right direction.


It’s time to leave when…..


1.  He is unwilling to talk about the future. If you are in an unhappy relationship and feel like you are constantly playing the board game “Clue” to determine your future, you have a problem. Your guy doesn’t have to flat out tell you to leave him, but he can show you he doesn’t care whether you stay or go. Pay attention to what he says and does. If  he is disrespecting you, making no plans for your future together, and doesn’t seem to be interested in whether or not you are in his life next month: MAKE NO MISTAKE. HE DOES NOT CARE AND IS SHOWING YOU THE DOOR. Walk through it and blow him a kiss on the way out.

2. You have lost yourself, and some of your dignity along the way. Ahh yes, we’ve all been there haven’t we? You know, when you start doing things that are out of character, like blowing up his phone 50 times or so trying to find him, reading sex magazines that will tell you 60 ways to please your man so he’ll want you again. You stop doing things that you used to think were fun and drop your plans with your friends to hang out with him. For the love of all guilty pleasures in this world: STOP. Reclaim yourself and get the toxins out of your mind and spirit. Attract a man who makes you feel like the great Made Woman you are, not a dependent, sad leech.

3. It’s not fun. No seriously... you’re not having fun. Remember how in the beginning you used to have fun with your guy? Now all you do is fight. You feel like you’re getting played, don’t you? As if you are not as special as you once were. If you feel this way, you are probably right. Relationships all have their fair share of problems, but you should never lose the fun you have with your partner. Life is too short to be miserable, and let’s face it: with the right hair, make up and outfit, you can be having fun with your girlfriends and dating other men that will adore you.

4. He’s holding you back. It’s always hard to choose between your passions and your love. But if your man is holding you back from pursuing your dreams, it may be time to leave him be. You can’t fund your side projects because you have to pay his bills. You can’t make it to meetings on time because you have to drop him off at work too. I’m all for standing by your man, but there is a line, damn it.

5. He refuses to grow up.  He loves you... but he loves Halo more. Or even worse, he loves his mother and house he grew up in so much, you’re spending the night with him in his twin bed. He wouldn’t dream of getting a place with you. And you can’t take him to any networking events at your job because he’s sure to tell a joke he heard on Tosh.0 and get you fired.  If this is the case, it may be time to leave your BOYfriend behind and get a MAN who can actually support you and add insight to your life.

I know this is difficult. Your heart is probably aching. But, listen up Made Woman, you already have the answers. Pay attention to you, and put you first. You’ll get to look back on the moment you decided to get rid of him with a smile: that will be the moment you grew into the woman you want to be.

Published in Relationships
Monday, 12 March 2012 08:00

Dating | Ask A Guy Anything

March 12, 2012 

Men. We may never understand the way they think. With their sneaker obsessions, secret double lives as online gamers, and–of course—their football gods, they are basically a different species. But what if you had the chance to look into the mind of a man? Some of the things they think about women might surprise you. We asked a bunch of guys the questions you always wanted to know the answers to and here is what they had to say:


What is one part of a woman's beauty routine that you think is ridiculous, weird or dumb?

“The amount of time and money spent on hair maintenance.” – Andy, 26

“Fake eyelashes” – Dan, 29

"Putting foundation on. It clogs pores and changes the color of her skin. I think more natural is better, blush is enough I think.” -Jason, 27

"Dumb that they get their nails done, I never notice" - Joe, 29

"I spend way too much time gyming, tanning, plucking and shaving areas besides my face to judge without being a hypocrite. I do, however, think it’s ridiculous when we're late getting somewhere because she couldn't finish doing it on time. Plan accordingly please." - Nate, 28

"I think painting your nails is silly. I have never seen a woman in a hot black dress and all done up and gone, 'damn, she would be so pretty if she had her nails done.' Just that they don’t look jacked up but even then, it is like number 12,233,453 on our list of 12,233,455 to check about a girl." – Alex

“Saying ‘I look like crap.’ while getting ready” – Will, 22


What is one shady thing you have done to get a girl in bed?

“Told her I was gay.” – Andy, 29

"Hard to say ‘cause I don’t think I did anything shady to sleep with them, but sleeping with or dating multiple girls at the same time is pretty shady, and I've done that." Joe, 29

"I don't think I've ever done anything that I consider shady just to sleep with a girl. That's just not my thing." Nate, 28

"I can't say I remember a particular time I was shady, but there were some times where I would see more than one girl I was interested in/talking /texting to… out at the same place. I would just flirt and hang out and kind of play their jealousy against each other. Ultimately resulting in me being with both at different times. Is that bad?" Chris, 29

"I overheard a girl that was having problems with her man or ex or whatever and what she was hating on him about. Then later when she was more drunk I talked about how I was great about those things (though not in so few of words)." – Josh, 28


Would it bother you if your significant other made more money than you? If so, why?

“Absolutely not, I'd like to be a stay at home dad.” -Andy, 26

“No. What I love the most may not pay the most in the world and what she loves may pay more. It doesn't matter to me.” – Nolon, 26

"Not necessarily, buuuut women in America are extremely vain and superficial....good chance they will dump my ass and work their way up the ladder. Cynical? Yes... True? Absolutely." -Chris, 29

“No, it would motivate me to make more money”- Damon, 31

"Not at all. I grew up in a two income household that both contributed to. I know I will be doing well, and if my wife makes more that's just a better life for my kids and my wife and I. Powerful couple." – Ryan


Hmm, interesting. Was any of this surprising to you? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

Published in Dating

December 19, 2011

The Christmas season is upon us, and that means shopping for the special man—or men—in your life. I’m not just talking about who you are dating. When you are making your list of who’s been nice enough to come out of pocket for, there might be a few men on the list that you wouldn’t expect. Take a look.



Your Boss
Hopefully you have a great relationship with your boss. If he has taken time out throughout the year to help with your professional development, it might be a good idea to show him some love around the holidays.  Try this collection of books from Malcolm Gladwell, author of Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. I’ve read Blink so I know that Gladwell’s writing style and point of view gets people talking. Buying the Malcolm Gladwell: Collected set ($50)for your boss will be an opportunity to discuss some of the topics he covers. Plus the new packaging and illustrations from Brian Rea make this set look classy.



Your Gay Best Friend
Save some room on your list for this one: your gay best friend. Every girl needs one. And this is what he needs for Christmas. These are InCase Terra Bags are great for a friend that is always on the go. I’m loving the soft, casual exterior and the bright red interior. These bags are great for carrying everything from laptops to gym clothes. Made from all natural materials and ranging from $50 to $100, you can find the perfect gift for someone special. And it’s so much better than a manbag.


Your Brother
So your brother has everything: iPod, iPad, iPhone...he’d have an iCar too if they made that (Ohhh! They should make that!). Instead of adding to his cult like following of all things Apple, try adding to the functionality  and fun of his iPad with this iCADE. You just download the games from the app store, slide your iPad in through the top and then use the joystick and buttons to play some Atari games. At $80, it is a low cost way to spread some joy to your gamer/geek/techy brother.


Your Father
Get your pop something a little techy and a little retro this year. Crosley has proven that these two can coincide with this analog to digital Keepsake USB Turntable. Not only do these look great but they serve a really cool purpose. You can use them to play your vinyl records or to convert them into cds. Or use the USB ports to upload the record quality sound right to your computer.  This awesome gadget would make any music lover happy and the $150 price tag should be music to your ears.


Your Male Friend/Roommate/Co-worker
What to get the guy who is in your friendzone? How about this SuperHeadz Clap Camera? It works as a memory card reader and a really tiny camera. And it’s so cute! You can even record mini movies with the camera. It has a USB connector so that you can upload your photos and movies directly to your computer. At $50, this gift says, “I’m glad we’re homies”.

I left off suggestions for what to get your boo for Christmas because there are 14,500,000 other articles out there on the web about that. But this year be sure to make the other men in your life feel special. Happy shopping!

Published in Lifestyle
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:16

Things Men Should Know...

November 8, 2011

Men and women sometimes speak different languages. So we’ve put together a list of things we think men should know. Might as well print this out…

  • If your idea of a romantic first date is at your local Red Lobster, we're judging you for it.  No, we don't need a fancy 5 star $200 dollar meal.  At all.  But put a LITTLE creativity and effort into your restaurant of choice.  Yelp is your friend, young grasshopper.
  • If you are lucky enough to get us into bed, please be advised that any mishaps you make are going to be reported to any female friend (and possibly some male friends) who will listen.  In detail.  Complete with sad faces and grimaces. 
  • Women love great listeners, indeed it's true.  But if you literally say nothing, we're going to be tempted to check for a pulse.  That strong silent type thing doesn’t work for everyone. Say something, for the love of Pete.
  • At the same time, you should not be talking over us.  If you're cutting us off to tell your own stories and gossip like a schoolgirl, you’ve just become our girlfriend.  Congratulations.
  • If you refuse to go downtown, you sure as hell better not expect us to.  Pleasing your woman should be just as important as pleasing yourself... don't be selfish!
  • Yes, we're emotional creatures.  No, you're not going to understand everything that bothers us.  Whether you get it or not, 99% of the time if you tell your woman you understand she's upset and give her a hug, try to console her a bit, she's going to calm down and shut the hell up.  And we know that's your ultimate goal.  Show a little sympathy and you're going to cut a good amount of your time spent trying to understand tears and temper tantrums
  • One word: Manscaping. Look into it.
  • You have no idea whatsoever how excited a girl will be to get the most random bullshit little gift out of nowhere.  It can be a flower you picked as you walked up to the house – just showing that she crosses your mind every once in a while is going to make her putty in your arms (Read: You WILL get laid that night). So buy some freakin flowers or candy bar every once in awhile, just because. 
  • Understand that we're ninja super spy zombie crazy Google Facebook Twitter Tumblr stalkers.  If you've got some foul shit lurking on the internet, we are going to find it.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it's gonna happen.  If you're up to something and leaving any sort of trail on the internet, we have ways you never even dreamed possible of checking up on you (lookin at you, manwhores).
  • In an argument or fight when we say “It’s fine”…it's sooo not fine.
  • Relaxing with a drink and occasionally having a few drinks while partying is ok, but when we’re having to carry your ass out of a bar and apologize for your actions the next day, you’re going to become the idiot we’re stuck taking care of.  We’re going to resent you, and eventually we’re going to smarten up and leave you.  Don’t be a sloppy mess.  It’s gross.
  • If you’ve been in a relationship for a while and things start getting routine, take it upon yourself to shake things up now and then.  This is NOT only the woman’s job.  Make a plan that involves just the two of you to show her you’re still in love and appreciative and want to be around her.  Surprise her with a weekend getaway to the next town over.  Get a hotel room at a place in your own city.  Anything!  She’ll be floored and that much more likely to do that thing you like… you know, that thing?
  • Even the most cynical, jaded, love-scorned, bitter (etc.) woman you’ve ever met is hoping for someone to prove her wrong.  She’s been hurt and is trying to protect herself from more disappointment.  Don’t write her off… just be prepared to have to work harder at her defenses.  Hey, if she’s worth it, she’s worth it.
  • We put a lot of time, money and effort into looking good for you.  Never underestimate the power of a sincere compliment.
  • If you’re trying your face off and your woman is treating you like dirt, there are tons of others out there tripping over themselves to find a good man like you.  Don’t waste your time on trash.  You deserve love and admiration just as much as we do – don’t settle for less.


What are some other things you think men need to know?  Or made men, what do you wish WE knew?  Add to our list!

Published in Love + Dating