Category Archives: dating


Why It’s Hard to Flirt with Someone you Like

We all want to be seen. In fact, a huge part of our partner search involves finding the person who we think ‘sees’ our true selves. So why do we make this so hard? Why do we construct huge amounts of time and energy, constructing a version of ourselves, that we think is better than our true selves? We don’t just do this in our love lives – we wear masks in all areas of our lives – assuming we need them. How many times have you been on a date, trying to mold yourself into a version of what you think the person in front of you might like? The answer to the one of my most frequently asked questions, ‘Why is it harder to flirt with people whom I like?’ also stems from this; you need to be something other than you’re not in order to impress the other person.

I also have masks. One I have been wearing for awhile is of ‘expert’. You should see my reaction when someone dares to question my credibility as an anthropologist or flirting expert. Last week I was at a dinner party. The girlfriend of my husband’s friend started telling me that my research into cultural flirting was wrong. My response? Let’s just say that it wasn’t my best moment…

The reason it riles me when someone interferes with my version of my perfect self is the same reason you also wear masks and create constructs that hide your true self. We have been taught that we must be perfect because who we authentically are isn’t good enough.

So, I just wanted to share something with you. When I spot that I am playing a game where I can never win (like me trying to lose 10lbs. Why? What’s the point of this game other than to make me feel bad? Does it even mean anything?) I just stop playing the game. This is why I am stopping the ‘I am perfect’ game. In fact, I think the word perfect needs to be redefined. From now on it’s, ‘I am authentic’.  I need to be me. You need to be you. And, that’s it! Therefore, on your partner searches, no one needs to change anything. Everyone can just just be who they are. Then, when we meet people who aren’t the right partners for us, we can think ‘not a good fit for me, but perfect for someone else’.  No one is bad, good, or needs to change. Authentic is the new perfect. You heard it here first.


Why your Partner Criteria is All Wrong

You are on a first date: how do you know if the person sitting across from you is going to be your next Mr. or Ms. Right? If you are the woman I met on Saturday night, you will make him skip. She tells me, ‘This shows that he is up for a laugh’. She then added,  ‘Oh, don’t worry. I always go first to show them how’. Another woman said that if he doesn’t share his food, it’s an immediate no-go. Both of these women have good points. Who wouldn’t want a partner who was up for a laugh and shares their food? But then I think of my wonderful husband, who would, flat out refuse to do the ‘skip’ test, (although he has a wonderful sense of humour) and certainly doesn’t share his food with me (much to my annoyance). I would have missed out on a wonderful partner, if I had based our potential future relationship on these two criteria.

But these aren’t the only situations where people are using the wrong criteria to assess potential partners. One client told me that because she was assertive and confident, that the man would have to be the one to approach her otherwise, she believed, she would railroad right over him. I understand why this woman would need someone equally confident but, once again, the criteria she was using, was completely ineffective. My husband is self-assured, and certainly an equal partner for me, but would have never come up to me without knowing me or someone whom I was with. Her criteria means she is attracting the wrong guys and missing out on the right ones. There are far too many case of women making up their own yard sticks, without any merit, and using them to assess potential partners. They’re doing themselves more harm than good.

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woman walking grafitti

Don’t like Your Results? Try Something Different

Still doing the same ol’ things, but expecting different results? Let me tell you about Julia.

Julia has a date. With a cute boy. Whom she likes a lot. Do you want one of those? Then do what Julia did. Or, rather, do what Julia did differently then what she would have normally done.

Julia was invited to a birthday party of a new acquaintance. Since she didn’t know anyone there, she invited Dianne to come as back-up. Unfortunately, Dianne came down with a cold, so Julia did something she had never done before…she went by herself.

Julia found a nice group of women to talk to and, normally, she would have happily stayed put all evening. But, she decided to do something else that she hadn’t ever done before; she went over and introduced herself to three guys who looked like they were having fun. As it happens, she really hit it off when one of them. She then made sure that she was sitting next to him when they all sat down for dinner, another thing she wouldn’t have normally done. Unfortunately, they lost track of each other after dinner, and she didn’t get to say good-bye. However, the signals were strong, and she had nothing to lose, so she did something else that she had never done before; she emailed the host, asking her for the guy’s details. And, she contacted him. After a couple flirty exchanges, they are meeting up next week.

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One Question and Then Decide

What is the first thing that happens after deciding that you ‘like’ someone? Whether it’s someone whom you already know or someone you’ve just spotted, after adding the like label, does everything just become easy? With a relaxed confidence, do you stride over and immediately introduce yourself? My guess is no. What I found with my clients is that once they identify that they like someone, the next feeling is pressure…

Let’s say that, somehow, despite the added pressure, you do manage to go over and say hi. Do you find that the person’s inside is as gorgeous as their outside? Do you still ‘like’ the person, once you’ve actually had a conversation? On the other hand, has it ever happened that you didn’t initially find someone attractive, and had even written them off, but after speaking to them, your interest rose?

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