Breaking Up

(Online Dating News Blog) Dr. James Houran, who publishes the weekly Office Hours with Dr. Jim column has answered a reader question from someone who keeps breaking up and getting back together with their partner.  Here is an excerpt of Dr. Jim’s advice:

“…If break-ups happen because a couple can’t successfully resolve expectations and reach mutually accepted understandings, then on and off cycles are a huge red flag. If break-ups happen because one or both individuals in a relationship fly off the handle at the first sign of conflict or disagreement, then on and off cycles again are a wake up call. On the other hand, a couple could also experience on and off cycles due to intimacy issues that can be resolved with some openness and truthfulness…”

Click here to read the entire article.

And here are some more advice articles on breaking up:

Breaking Up and Resentment
Dealing with a Break Up and Relationship Closure
Dealing with Break Up Pain
How do I Break Up for Good?

St. Dwynwen and Saint Dwynwen’s Day

(Online Dating Industry Journal) Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge (Dating Triumphs and Tragedies) has published a fascinating column about the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers – St. Dwynwen. Every January 25 is Saint Dwynwen Day. From the column:

She was a 5th century Welsh Princess who was set to wed the prince Maelon.  But Dwynwen no longer wanted to be with him—some say it is because she was promised to another man, others that it is because she wanted to follow a religious life, and one story says that is was because Maelon became too forceful with her.”

The column goes on to describe how she fled to the woods and prayed for freedom from Maelon. In a “dream” she was given a drink that saved her from Maelon’s advances and affections. But when Maelon was given the same drink, he became frozen. She then prayed for three things.

From the column:

1) that Maelon be unfrozen, 2) that she should never marry, and 3) that God should answer the requests she makes on behalf of lovers, so that they can either find love and happiness, or be cured of heartache and unanswered love.  Her wishes were granted...”

To read the entire article, click here.

New Dating Articles by Jennifer Brown Banks

(Online Dating News Blog) Several new articles by Online Dating Magazine columnist Jennifer Brown Banks have been uploaded. The articles tackle various issues of love, self improvement, and dating. Here are links to a few of our favorite recent Jennifers GEMS dating articles:

How to be Black Book Worthy
How to Broaden Your Social Horizons
20 Tips for Better Health
Does Pride Prevent Progress?

Five Tips to Becoming a Better Listener

One of the biggest challenges facing couples is the way in which they communicate. Simply put, that’s because men and women communicate differently. It’s not until you learn to bridge the communication gap that you’ll get beyond that barrier and create a stronger bond with your partner.

Essential to bridging the gap in communication is learning to become a better listener. The following five listening tips will help you in this quest:

1) Think about the words that your partner is speaking.
A lot of times it’s easy for a person’s mind to wander when someone else is talking. Many times, instead of listening, a person is thinking about what they are going to say next! It’s essential to get beyond this by actually thinking about the words your partner is saying.

2) Repeat words back in the form of a response.
One of the best training techniques for becoming a better listener is to repeat phrases back. For example, if your partner says, “I had a very rough day at work, the phone was ringing non-stop” then you can respond, “I’m sorry your day was so rough.” Your partner knows you were listening because in your response, you repeated something he/she had said.

3) Eliminate distractions.
Hopefully you own a TIVO for this tip! If your partner starts to talk with you, learn to eliminate any distractions so that you can better listen. For example, if you are watching TV, pause it (thus the TIVO) until your partner is done and you have responded accordingly. You want to provide your undivided attention to your partner so that you can properly think about the words he/she is saying and repeat them back in the form of a response.

4) Look the person in the eyes.
When listening to someone, look them in the eyes. This helps you focus while letting them know you are listening.

5) Ask questions.
A person feels they are important when you ask followup questions based on what they’ve been talking about. For example, if your partner says, “a group of us workers went to that new Italian restaurant for lunch,” then a good followup questions is, “so how was the food there?” Asking followup up questions makes you a better listener (since you have to listen to ask the question) and makes your partner more impressed with you since you have more of an interest in what he/she is saying. (this article Copyright 2007 by Joe Tracy)

Dating Manners – How to Act on a First Date

So, you’ve hit it off with someone you met on an online dating service and it’s time for that first face-to-face date. Before the first date, it’s a good idea to make sure payment issues are dealt with up front. The general rule of thumb is that the person inviting the other on the date pays for it. Make this clear in your invitation. “I would love to meet you. Can I treat you to dinner at…?”

Now the time for the first date has arrived. Be sure you’ve reviewed the following dating manners to know the appropriate way to act on a first date:

10 Essential Dating Manners for a First Date:

1. Arrive at the location of your date on time. There is a saying that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. How true that is.

2. Dress nice (unless your date location requires otherwise). Take time to look your best. The better you look, the better you’ll feel and the more confident you will be. If you’re a female, don’t dress provocative.

3. Turn your cell phone off. Most people these days have a cell phone and it is very rude to take a call while on a date. Minor exceptions include if you use your cell phone for emergency purposes (to receive emergency calls from home or work). Don’t disrespect your date with a ringing cell phone.

4. If you are a man and you meet your date outside of the date location (i.e. restaurant), open the door for her. Show her that you know how to be a gentleman and how to treat a lady. If you are seated in doors waiting for her and she walks in, stand up to properly greet her. Also, there’s nothing wrong with a friendly hug to start the date.

5. Be confident. From the moment the two of you meet, being confident is essential to making a strong impression throughout the date. This means that you know what you’re going to talk about, ask a lot of questions, don’t slouch, and express confident body language.

6. Use table manners. When eating a restaurant, remember not to order something potentially messy (i.e. Spaghetti) and don’t put your elbows on the table. Eat slowly and properly… this means closing your mouth when you eat and never talking with food in your mouth. When you don’t think about table manners, you can display potentially bad habits that will instantly turn your date off and become a “deal breaker” to any potential future dates.

7. Avoid heated topics. There are several topics that are taboo on a first date, including politics, religion (unless you met on a religious service), and sex topics. Avoid these throughout the entire date.

8. Be positive. In general, people are more strongly attracted to someone who is positive than someone who is negative. Avoid making negative comments about yourself on your date – including innocent ones like, “I’m trying to lose weight because I think I’m too fat”. When you make negative comments about yourself, those negative vibes influence your date’s perception of you.

9. Learn to listen. It’s important to engage your date in interesting conversations. Spend more time (particularly if you’re a guy) asking your date questions and listening carefully to his/her response. Be sure to ask “followup questions” that lets him/her know you were listening and are interested in the topic. For example, if your date says, “one of my favorite things to do is to skydive” then you should respond, “really? When’s the last time you went?”

10. Learn to read and express body language. Body language is important on a date because it shows whether the date is going well or not. For example, if your date is sitting with his/her arms crossed, it could be a sign of boredom. Yet if your date is engaged in conversation with you and innocently touches you on the hand or arm while making a point, then it shows an attraction. You can read more about first date body language here.

If the date went well, it is perfectly OK to arrange a second date at that time. Otherwise, you’ll end up playing the “dating game” where one waits several days for the other to call. It’s not a fun game and is heavily overrated. At the end of a first date, there should be expressions of feeling about the date – “I really enjoyed your company tonight,” etc.. When you come into agreement about how much you enjoyed the date, then it’s easy to move on to planning the next date and moving forward in your new-found relationship. (article Copyright 2007, Joe Tracy)

The Dating Habits of Men

Dr. James Houran, who writes the Office Hours with Dr. Jim column at Online Dating Magazine, has written a three part series on “The Dating Habits of Men”. The series was written for women to better understand men and some of their quirky dating habits. In the three part series, Dr. Houran answers quite a few questions like:

Following up with a text instead of a phone call—what’s that say about a guy?

What’s with making off-handed remarks about doing things together—like “Oh, we’ll have to see that movie sometime!”–and then not following up?

Why do some guys go on and on about their job or how important they are?

Here are the links to the each of the Dating Habits of Men articles:

Dating Habits of Men (Part 1)

Dating Habits of Men (Part 2)

Dating Habits of Men (Part 3)

New Dating Humor Jokes and Videos

Online Dating Magazine has added several new funny dating videos and dating jokes to its Dating Humor section. Here are some direct links:

Joke: Car for Sale

Video: Typical Day at Match.com

Video: Online Dating Ad

Video: How to Get Over Him

Video: Internet Dating Tips #4

Enjoy!