Chat and Flirt

Modern dating advice for the internet.

Monday

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October 2014

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Are You Having an Emotional Affair? Take this Quiz

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A soul mate relationship is based on trust, commitment, and a strong desire to be together. Still, despite this powerful bond, it’s also true that your hearts will be stretched in countless ways. The danger, especially during challenging times, is that you may be vulnerable to having an emotional affair. This can damage trust and stop you from surrendering to the growth needed for your relationship.

What is an emotional affair? In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender, I describe it as when you turn to a friend or co-worker for emotional (not physical) intimacy. The seduction is that this person gives you what you feel your mate doesn’t: support, ego boosts, empathy, playfulness, an undercurrent of flirting or attraction. Initially, this can seem innocent but you may begin to share more with this “safe” person than with your mate. I understand how it can be easier to talk to someone sympathetic who’s more peripheral. You’re not wrestling with the same hot-button emotions such as anger or disappointment that can arise with a soul mate. Your dark sides aren’t engaged, which is what causes most impasses among couples.

However, if you keep sharing with your special friend and not your spouse, your primary relationship will suffer. You’ll become distant, less present, and therefore less able to resolve conflicts. Your partner will sense something is wrong. Basically, these affairs are a form of cheating, and like any infidelity can lead to deception and betrayal. In fact, research reports that about half of these “innocent” liaisons eventually turn into full blown sexual affairs. With a true platonic soul friend, there’s no deception, hidden sexual agenda, nor is anyone diverting your emotional energy from your primary relationship.

How do you know you’re having an emotional affair?

Watch for these signs:

You withdraw from your spouse but confide in your friend.

It’s difficult to talk to your spouse about conflicts.

You feel lonely and that your spouse doesn’t appreciate you.

You’re frequently online with your friend, texting, or even sexting.

You believe your friend understands you better than your spouse.

You keep your friendship a secret from your spouse or lie about how often you interact.

When you’re confronted with the emotional affair, you deny it.

If five to seven signs are present, it strongly suggests you’re having an emotional affair. Three to four signs indicate that you’re either primed to have one or you already are. One to two signs suggest the possibility of an emotional affair. Zero yeses indicate that you are not involved with one.

It takes honesty to admit you’re having an emotional affair. The first step is to recognize what’s happening. Then you have the choice to either continue the affair or decide to focus on your partner. The truth is, you can’t do both. If you choose your partner, you must surrender to doing what it takes to heal the relationship. First, this means cutting off the emotional affair. In a respectful, clear way you must tell the other person, “I can’t cyber-chat, text, meet up with you, or talk on the phone anymore. It’s not possible for us to be ‘just friends.’”

Then, openly talk to your partner about what’s causing the distance. Is it his or her long hours at work? A lingering hurt? Lack of affection? Many therapists recommend confessing your emotional affair. In most cases I agree, but how and whether you decide to do this depends on what will be most caring and helpful to your partner. At the very least, I suggest that patients lovingly communicate, “I’ve been sharing my feelings more with a friend than I have with you. This doesn’t feel right. I want us to be closer.” Or you can acknowledge that you’ve crossed a line and how far you’ve crossed it. Use your intuition as a guide for how much you want to share. But be prepared for your partner’s hurt and angry feelings. Listen without getting defensive. Then, together or with a therapist, begin to address where you’ve grown apart or shut down. Despite great pain, soul mates have what it takes to withstand difficulty until things are resolved. It may take time, awareness, and love, but with bonds as strong as these, I know it’s possible.

 

Surrender book coverJudith Orloff MD is author of the national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based.

Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and New York Times bestselling author who synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. An Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, she passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Forbes, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. To learn more about the power of surrender and Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule visit www.drjudithorloff.com.

 

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Monday

20

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Unlocking Dating Myths: ‘Love Only Happens When You’re Not Looking.’

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Two days ago on Facebook, I saw this post: “Not looking anymore. If it’s meant to be, love will happen.” It was littered with likes.

Folks, there is a word for people over age 25 or so who wait for love to happen to them, and that word is “single.”

Yet people keep believing love will find a way—no assistance needed. Why?

When we are very young, we really don’t have to look for companions. We just naturally find them wherever we are. Sociologists claim that as long as people are thrown together often over time in circumstances that let them interact, they’ll make friends easily.

So a lot of people do find a mate when they aren’t looking—as long as the environment where they aren’t looking is someplace rife with the available, like high school or college.

Second, weird stuff happens, and when it does, it’s normal for people to pay attention to the weird stuff and discount the scientific norm. Our brains are wired for story, not statistics–especially vivid stories and stories of those close to us. This might’ve helped our ancestors avoid harm; they didn’t have stats, but they did have the benefit of others’ experience to guide them towards safety. So if you have a friend who accidentally jostled into Mr. Right on her subway commute, it’s tempting to think you don’t have to look, either.

But she’s an exception!

Sometimes, people don’t understand that science gives probabilities, not certainties, and it’s good at predicting what happens to large groups of people, rather than individuals. For instance, let’s say you heard that smoking kills six out of 10 smokers. That is objectively true. But let’s also say you have an uncle who smoked all his life and died of old age at 100; does his survival make science wrong? No. It makes your uncle an exception. Exceptional things do happen—in the case of smoking, four out of 10 times, smoking does not cause cancer. Also, science doesn’t tell us which four out of the 10 will be the survivors.

Yet if I were buying a car, and the salesperson said, “That’s a nice ride, but I should mention that this vehicle causes death by explosion in six of 10 buyers,” then I’d buy something else.

Science gives odds of an event happening; it doesn’t tell us exactly when and to whom it will occur. It doesn’t say: “Do what the science says, and you, Tanya, will find love next Tuesday.” It says: “This is what happens to most people most of the time, so if you want to max out your odds, here’s how.”

If you want certainties, you have to pay someone with a crystal ball! If you want advice based on compelling tales…well, there’s always your friends’ experiences. Or mine. Stories are wonderful—but they’re not data. If you want the best odds, based in fact, you consult science.

Upshot? If you’re a college student, or in some other environment rich in single people, then you are already looking, without having to look. Stumbling on a great mate really could happen to you.

But if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t in that kind of environment. And even if you are, using strategy to look won’t hurt your chances of finding love; it will help.

Script to confront this harmful myth: “I increase my odds of finding a worthy partner by actively searching, not passively waiting.”

LoveFactually-Final-CoverHang in there: Using the strategies that help most people most of the time is very doable. Let’s find out what they are, and how you can apply them, starting today.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, releasing on January 7, 2015; this entry is a partial excerpt. She also contributes at Psychology Today and teaches psychology at Austin-area universities. Get a free chapter of Love Factually!

 

 

 

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Monday

20

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Do iPhone Users Have More Sex?

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A new study by German researchers shows that men who are looking for more casual sex are more willing to spend money for the new iPhone 6 rather than purchase a cheaper Android phone.

According to website Science of Relationships, Christine Hennighausen and Frank Schwab of the University of Wuerzburg asked 350 men and women how likely they would be to buy an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy Ace. (The Samsung device sells for about 20% of the price of an iPhone.)

The experiment showed that men’s desire to purchase an iPhone depended not only on whether he was in a committed relationship, but whether he was looking for a long-term relationship or just casual one-night stands. As it turns out, men in committed relationships were no more or less likely to purchase an iPhone as compared to an Android. But single men who were looking for long-term relationsh ...

Sunday

19

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Tinder Spammers Still Going Strong Despite Security Improvements

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Dating app Tinder has had to deal with a lot of security issues, despite the app’s verification system using Facebook Connect.  In theory, because of Facebook’s security measures, only “real people” can join Tinder, so users can sign up with some reassurance the profiles they'll encounter will be real. But lately, this has not been the case.

Spammers and scammers have been able to lure users away from Tinder and onto their sites, typically, with spam bots - fake accounts pretending to be real people that flirt with users in order to redirect them to adult sites - and take their money. In the past, Tinder users could block profiles, but they couldn’t report spam.

According to website Tech Crunch, things have changed. Users can now not only block accounts but also report spam. Tinder also made a technical update to address the issue, and the update was effective at cutting down on the in-app spam. Unfortunately, the spam bots just found another avenue - SMS. Ph ...

Friday

17

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Your Biggest First Date Worries…Solved

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Virtually everyone gets nervous before dates. Especially if you’re shy or tend to be anxious, those nerves can translate into full blown dating anxiety, which can be paralyzing. The days and hours leading up to a date can be worry-filled, and you may even avoid dating altogether if it’s too intense. But your worries about dating don’t have to keep you from meeting people and having good dates.

Based on cognitive-behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, I’ve listed some of the most common dating worries, and how to start approaching these worries in a new way:

“I will be embarrassed.” You worry that you might spill or drop something (I personally have a penchant for dropping forks when I’m nervous), have an awkward silence, or encounter an embarrassing situation (like running into an ex or tripping). The first thing to recognize is that these snafus can happen and it’s not going to make or break your date. You can also try using acceptance to deal with embarrassment. Acceptance is the idea that you can’t change what is already there; you acknowledge that you’ll have many experiences as you go through dating — some fun, others anxiety provoking, and yet others embarrassing. And you can’t control or prevent your emotions from happening. Instead, you can change your reaction to it when it occurs. Rather than push them away (or want to hide!), you can simply accept that it’s okay to have occurred. Embarrassment might happen, but it’s just one brief moment in time, and you’ll move past it.

“I can’t deal with all of the uncertainty.” A new date brings with it uncertainty. Will you like one another? Will you hug or kiss goodbye? Who will pay the bill? When will you know if the date is over? Should you tell her you want to see her again? For me, when I was single and dating, I had major anxiety about paying the bill. I knew most guys would offer to pay, but I didn’t want to offend them by not offering to split the check. My now-husband made it clear to me that our first date was his treat. This is an example of how you can eliminate some uncertainties to make your date go more smoothly. Another example is that if you like the person, don’t be afraid to say you had a good time. That being said, it is virtually impossible to remove all uncertainty. Here’s where learning to observe your thoughts and need for certainty—and not have to act on them—can be so helpful. You can learn to have more flexibility and embrace the unknown. Uncertainty doesn’t always have to be scary; the unknown can facilitate excitement, fun, and romance.

“My Anxiety Will Show.” If you’re prone to having physical symptoms when you get nervous, you might worry that your symptoms (like sweating, blushing, or shaking voice) will show. This worry can be distracting and take you away from engaging with your date. While your instinct might be to monitor yourself to see if the symptom is getting worse (Am I blushing? Does she notice I’m blushing?), the fact is that monitoring your symptoms closely tends to make them worse. Rather than focus on what you don’t want to happen, try to shift the focus to what you do want to bring to the date. Try to focus your attention outward rather than inward. This might include focusing on listening to your date, asking questions, sharing a story about yourself, or simply smiling and allowing yourself to have fun.

“I will be judged.” You might worry that your date won’t like how you look, or will be critical of what you say. First, recognize that if someone is judgmental, mean, or harsh towards you, it actually reflects the kind of person they are; it doesn’t reflect you or your qualities. Another way to bolster yourself from fear of judgment is self-compassion. Self-compassion is treating yourself kindly, with understanding, care, and forgiveness. Having self-compassion lets you care less about judgment from a date because it helps you to truly accept and like who you are. When you like yourself, you’re confident in what you have to offer. Judgments from others matter less.

“I will be rejected.” Another worry is that you’ll be rejected somehow; your date might not show up, he or she might not reciprocate your feelings, or they might not want to go out with you again. To help reduce the worry about rejection, remind yourself that not all dates will work out. Rejection is part of dating, and it happens to everyone. It can hurt, but usually the sting wears off fairly quickly. You can help reduce the sting of possible rejection by not building up the date too much; don’t build it up or make your whole week revolve around one date. Next, remember that dating is a 50/50 situation; both of you are responsible for contributing positively to the date (it’s not all on your shoulders to make it go well!). Similarly, part of dating is both of you deciding if you might be a good fit or want to see each other again. If the answer is no, it doesn’t mean it’s because either of you are judging one another to be grievously lacking; it might just not be a good match.

“I won’t be good enough.” You might worry that you’ll be boring or not have enough to say to contribute to the date. You might worry that you won’t be attractive enough or witty enough. People who worry that they’re not good enough often have a self-critical, harsh inner voice. To counter this, start by tracking your thoughts for a day. Label your thoughts as “judgment”, “critical” or “harsh” when you notice these kinds of thoughts. Then, make an effort to give yourself approval. It’s natural to seek validation from others, but the only way you can be truly free of needing approval from others is to be enough for yourself. Learn to embrace the unique qualities about yourself that your friends and family love; these are the things a future partner will love about you, too. And lastly, the next thing to do is practice dating; the more you expose yourself to dates, the more you get to practice your dating skills like flirting, listening, sharing, and having good conversations. It helps develop the confidence you need to be successful in dating.

For more on overcoming dating worries, read my dating guide: Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating Guide for the Shy and Socially Anxious.

SingleShyLookingforLoveMECH.inddAbout the Author:

Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and author. Her work has been featured in Redbook, Men’s Health Magazine, Shape.com, and Scientific American MIND, and she is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post. She is the author of Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating Guide for the Shy and Socially Anxious and When Depression Hurts Your Relationship. Follow her on Twitter @DrShannonK.

 

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Friday

17

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Looking for What to do on Your Next Date? There’s an App for That!

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Tired of going to the same old clubs, bars and restaurants on the weekend? Are you looking for someplace new to meet people, or even to take a date?

Website AppPicker has come out with a list of the top nightlife apps, so you don’t have to do so much work researching and asking your friends where to go. Now, depending on what you like to do and when you have some free time, your app can be your new BFF.

Following are some suggestions from AppPicker about what you need to download next to improve your social life:

Speed Tapping – Party Night is an unfortunate name for an app, but it has some pretty cool functionality. Search for parties or events in specific locations and on specific dates. First, it provides real-time data from 9PM to 3AM of the hottest spots in town, giving you a “live feed” option if you want to move from place to place depending on what’s happening. It also makes reservations, gets you on guest lists and books ti ...

Thursday

16

October 2014

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COMMENTS

Rob and Kristen Bell: How to Create the Zimzum of Love

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So, you’re dating. You’re meeting people, you’re getting to know them, you’re wondering whether one of these people you’re meeting is The One you could commit to. You’re doing this because you want to share your life with someone, you want someone to witness to your life while you are witness to theirs, you want a partner, someone you can go the distance with.

That’s what we all want, isn’t it?

We’ve recently written a book on marriage called The Zimzum of Love, and as we finished the book we realized that a lot of the concepts we explain in the book about how to have a thriving marriage can be applied to dating — because when you’re dating, you’re building a foundation for the kind of relationship you’re going to have in the long term. As you build this foundation, there are questions you can be asking yourself—and each other—that will help you see not only whether or not this person is someone you can go the distance with, but what you can both do to make your relationship even better.

Before we get to the first of these questions, then, we’ll give you a bit of background on what a zimzum is and how it transforms our understanding of what marriage is, let alone dating.

To begin with, your life is mostly about you. Your interests, your work, your friends, your family, your hobbies, etc. You have a center of gravity, a life that you’re living. But then you meet someone, and that person has their own life with their own center of gravity. As you get to know them and your lives become more and more intertwined, you find yourself more and more involved in their life. (Maybe you’re experiencing this right now with someone you’re dating.) As you fall in love, you find yourself becoming more and more invested in their well-being, often finding yourself making sacrifices for them. As you create space in your life for that person, they’re doing the same for you. This creates space between you—vibrant, humming, pulsing space that is electric with love. The word for this creation of space is zimzum. You zimzum for another, while they’re zimzuming for you.

Relationships—dating and marriage—are about becoming more and more aware of how this space works, learning what you can do to increase the flow of energy and love between you.

The first question you can ask while you’re dating, then, is: How’s the space between us?

Are the energy and love flowing? Is anything blocking the flow of love? (We’ll cover this question in detail in the next post, so stay tuned … ) Are we too far apart? Do we not have enough space such that we’re losing our sense of individuality?

Do you see how just this one question—How’s the space between us?—can lead to so many more questions? (Which is itself a question! Ha ha.)

Now here’s why this question is so important and why it’s crucial to begin asking it while you’re still dating: You’re learning when you ask this question whether or not this person in your life is someone you can have these kinds of discussions with.

Being married is like being in an endless conversation in which you never stop talking and you never stop figuring out your life together. So when you’re dating, as you talk about how the space between you is, you’re learning what you both want, what you both think is healthy and normal, what you’re looking for in a partner—you’re laying the foundation for a lifelong conversation that will help your relationship flourish and thrive.

Kristen and I were friends for four years before we ever got together. So when we started dating, we knew a lot about each other. There weren’t any secrets—we could talk about anything. But often, you meet someone and start dating and you have no history. You’re learning so much about them on the fly, from how they handle conflict to what they want in life. All of it, everything about both of you, affects the space between you.

Zimzum of Love hc

You zimzum, they zimzum, the two of you creating space for the other to thrive, space that is electric with love and energy and possibility. And just asking the question, “How’s the space between us?”, can begin the most important conversation you can possibly have about your life together.

Rob and Kristen Bell are the authors of THE ZIMZUM OF LOVE: A New Way of Understanding Marriage (HarperOne, October 28, 2014). Order The Zimzum of Love today! 

Learn more about books by Rob Bell. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

 

 

 

 

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Thursday

16

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

Steve Harvey Launches Delightful.com To Help Women 'Become More Dateable'

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After teaching women to Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey is gearing up for a new crusade to “help women become more dateable.”

Anyone else cringing, or is that just me?

It’s not that the man hasn’t had plenty of successful ideas. He’s made it as a comic, a talk show presenter, a game show host, and the author of two relationship advice books, so he must be doing something right. But if that mission statement doesn’t immediately raise a red flag, you’re not reading it correctly.

Here’s the deal: Harvey has launched a dating website, Delightful.com, as a joint venture with IAC (the company that owns Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder, and a slew of niche dating services). In addition to being t ...

Wednesday

15

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

Would You Let the App Healthvana Share Your STD Status So You Don't Have To?

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Today in “Yes, there’s even an app for that”: Healthvana, a new service helping to halt the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

These days we do everything online - from paying our bills to booking appointments to meeting the loves of our lives. And it’s great. There are clear benefits to living in a faster, more connected world. But where do you draw the line on going digital? Would you store your STD status online?

Healthvana is banking on the answer being “yes.” The service launched earlier this summer in partnership with the AIDS Health Foundation to offer people easy acc ...

Tuesday

14

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

5 Ways to Spot the Wrong Guy (Even If He Looks Like the Right One!)

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Some of us are seeking Mr. Right when we should be searching for our life partner. There are many clichés such as, “He wasn’t right for you” or “You’ll find the right one,” as if we are looking for the right pair of shoes to offset an outfit.

We have to remind ourselves, we are not looking for an accessory but an individual who is interested in developing a partnership. Our powers of discernment are compromised when we seek someone who looks like the man in our daydreams or wears a suit like our father. Our mind tells us that he is the “right one,” so how do we know if he’s really the wrong one?

These five guidelines can help us develop our powers of discernment and make informed decisions about our choices. It is not fool-proof, but using these guidelines will help in eliminating the guys that are definitely to be avoided if we are seeking a life partner.

1. Develop Your Intuition: We are all comfortable following our hearts, but this can lead us into trouble. We have mental pictures about how our man should look and act. If we meet a man who reflects our mental pictures, then we automatically think they are “right” for us. If we have an uncomfortable feeling in our gut about someone who looks and acts perfect, then we need to pay attention. Our intuition is speaking to us about this individual and we need to honor it.

2. Pay Attention to His Behavior: As women, we love to hear men compliment our looks and achievements, but if his behavior is inconsistent then we need to reconsider our choice. If he says all the right things — yet cancels several dates at the last minute because he has something else to do, we need to move on. We also need to not make excuses for his behavior.

3. Avoids Uncomfortable Conversations: If he avoids conversations about our concerns in a relationship, such as money, commitment, or sex, then we need to check in with our intuition.

4. Self-Centered: This is an easy way to spot Mr. Wrong. If we are at a gathering and we meet a man who looks perfect, but is talking about himself – then cuts us off when we try to interject a comment – he may not be someone with whom we want to get involved. Maybe we go on one date to confirm this!

5. Mama’s Boy (or the Immature Guy): This is the most difficult to spot because we often find it charming if a man is devoted to his mother. “If he is that considerate to his mother, then that’s how he’ll treat me,” we think. In some cases, that is not how he will treat us. His mother will come first and her approval is of primary importance, especially the approval of the woman in his life. And, in the end, we will also try to please her.

Have you experienced any of the above red flags?

Catutti front cover 2014Carmela Cattuti is a writer, visual artist, and teacher. She is the author of Between the Cracks, a novel based on her great aunt’s journey from Sicily to the U.S. Carmela is a graduate of Boston College’s masters program in literature. Join her Facebook community and visit her on her Twitter and Pinterest for event updates and articles. Visit www.betweenthecracksnovel.blogspot.com for your free chapter.

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