Category: Intimacy

Dating: Easy Tips to Find the Right Partner for You

Getting Science, Common Sense and a Sense of Adventure Working for You

In my earlier posts, “Why are Men Frustrated with Dating?” and “Why are Women Frustrated with Dating?” we explored the opinions and frustrations of both men and women when it comes to finding the right person for dating, partnerships and perhaps more.

Take the Innovative Approach

As Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, I counsel singles in individual therapy sessions, that are looking for new and innovative ideas on how to meet the right partner. What I tell them is that they’re on the right track by asking these questions – being innovative is the key word. When you’ve been dating one way for a while and it’s not working, it’s time to start thinking about doing things a little differently. Think outside of the box.

Play to Your Strong Points

If you’ve ever watched The Millionaire Matchmaker, Patty Stanger, in action then you know the kind of poignant questions she asks: “What is it you’re looking for in a mate,” “What is the age range you’re looking to date,” “What type of activities or hobbies do you have that you’d like to share with that someone special?” mostly questions that get to the heart of a person – who they are, what they like, what they’re into and what they’re looking for.

I’m not saying that you should bombard someone with questions like Patty on the first date, but I am stressing that asking the important questions gets you the answers you’re looking for. Yes, you’re on a fact finding mission – the mission is to find out if the person you’re dating has potential. Do you have the same likes, the same hobbies, the same goals.

Be Open to Changing What Hasn’t Worked

Another thing that Patty Stanger stresses is getting to know each other before sex. Actually, Patty suggests no sex before monogamy. This, of course, is a personal choice, but if you find yourself sharing the sheets with people you don’t know very well and then finding your relationships often end in disappointment later (when you learn that sex was about all you had in common) – maybe it’s time to think of a new approach. Why not try something different?

I can identify with Patty – we’re both Los Angeles women, and we both want you to find the right relationship for you. I’m not saying that I’m a matchmaker like Patty, but I am really good at helping you identify your relationship goals and I can suggest ways that you can meet and even exceed those goals. I can also help you gain a new perspective on the whole dating scene.

Love is out there waiting for you, and I can help you figure out how to find it. Make an appointment with me; come to my Los Angeles therapy office and let me help find a little relationship bliss.

Why are Men Frustrated With Dating?

Why Most Men Look at Dating as a No-Win Situation

In my post, “Why are Women Frustrated with Dating?” we discussed the way women often like the “bad boy” over the “safe guy.”  This speaks directly to why men are frustrated with dating, and it’s basically because they feel that finding the balance between being the biologically-attractive sexy guy and the socially-coveted safe guy puts them in a no-win situation.

In my therapy practice in Los Angeles I have worked with countless men who tell me that they find dating a frustrating experience. Not unlike their female counterparts, they feel stuck between a rock and a hard place (no pun intended) – the rock being what society and culture tell them to be:  the chivalrous and thoughtful guy – the safe guy, and the hard place being what women instinctively want in a man:  the go-getter, the assertive one – the bad boy.

Good Guy vs. Bad Boy

In my Los Angeles psychotherapy practice I’m often told that dating can feel like a no-win situation.  Men are often put into these two categories – the “bad boy” or the “good guy” with no wiggle room in between.  And often it’s unclear what a woman is looking for in the beginning, but after a few dates things become clearer.

The assertive one (aka the “bad body”) is a total turn-on for some women in the biological sense, but later on they often get labeled as “jerks” when they can’t make a commitment.   Who wants to make a commitment when you’re considered a jerk?

The “safe guy” or the “good guy” who is a more giving and gracious is often seen as weak and easily taken advantage of.   Men I counsel have told me that being the “good guy” to them, means being respectful, polite and engaging, but they often get treated as if those less-assertive qualities are weaknesses.  In many cases they find themselves under-valued in the dating realm and sometimes they are left behind for more exciting and “greener pastures” (aka the exciting “bad boy”).

For men and women both, dating can often be a confusing struggle.  I often tell both the men and women singles that I counsel in my Los Angeles therapy office to find that middle road between and to be open to more than one or two dates to really see what the other person is about.

It is possible to find joy in dating.  And if you’re someone who is frustrated with dating, don’t give up yet.  Let me show you how to bust those labels and stereotypes wide open and find that fulfilling dating experience. Visit my Los Angeles or Encino therapy office for individual therapy sessions. We can get to the source of the problem together.

Why Are Women Frustrated with Dating?

Why Are Women Frustrated with Dating?

Are Dating Choices Narrowing for Women or is it Just a Sign of Changing Times?

Dating Men with Class

When it comes to dating and the modern woman, there seems to be two major classes of men for them to choose from: The men they’re biologically attracted to and the men who they are culturally attracted to. It all seems so simple, right? So why are women frustrated with dating?

Many women in the dating world say that they are often put in a position where they have to choose between “the bad boy” and “the safe guy.” Is there a happy medium?

While the “bad boy” may stir passion, he often lacks what’s needed for a committed relationship; and while the “safe guy” provides the stability and maturity needed in a lasting relationship he may not always stir the passion that a riskier, bad-boy encounter might. The part that’s got women so frustrated when it comes to dating is when they want the excitement and passion while also wanting the confidence of being in a good dating relationship.

Changing Times

A lot has changed since the days when our grandmothers or even mothers met Mr. Right, got married, had kids and live “happily” ever after.
In a strange turn of events, roles have in some ways changed. By embracing the sexual revolution of the 1960s the mindset of the hunter-gatherer has changed. As women became more independent and equal as a result, the unfortunate price was losing the hunter.

In my Los Angeles therapy practice I often hear women comment on the fact that they’re having trouble meeting emotionally-available men who are also commitment-minded. Women often are attracted to the physically exciting “bad boy” and then try turning him into the “safe guy.” That’s what women find so frustrating with dating.
While women may be fully independent and capable of having a full life on their own, they want the passion and the excitement too. Inevitably they find it in the bad boy. Then they express the desire for it to naturally turn into a relationship, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. But while women may be torn between their biological and their cultural beliefs, is that all that’s going on?

What’s a Woman to Do?

In both my private and couples therapy sessions, I really try to get people to own what they want and to admit it, without feeling shame or feeling like they’re setting the bar too high. If you want to know why women are often frustrated with dating, it’s because they often play down who they are, what they’ve accomplished and even what they’re really looking for in a dating partnership. I say, “Own it.”

This goes back to that whole sexual equality thing. Women who want a relationship sometimes feel that if they show they’re too self-sufficient that it won’t elicit the kind of romantic, knight- in-shining-armor side from their dating partner. I say the more honest we are about who we are and what we’re looking for, the less we’ll be left crying in our coffee when a dating relationship doesn’t work out. If we’re honest and it doesn’t work then we’ll know that it didn’t work because you weren’t incompatible instead of being left saying, “If only I did this (or that) …,” because you can’t just go back and undo what’s already been put out there.

If you’re having trouble relating to the dating scene or you’re just frustrated with dating altogether, I can help you. In this ever-changing world we live in, the rules of dating and the venues upon which we find a date can often be confusing. I can show you how to do it so you get what you’re really looking for in a dating relationship minus the frustration. Let me help you. Visit my Los Angeles or Encino Therapy office for a private, individual session. Learn more about my private sessions here.

It’s easy to see how the eyes and our expressions play an important part in how we communicate, but what about those other body parts? What is your body language communicating to your partner?

What is Your Body Language Communicating to Your Partner?

What you are saying without saying it

The Eyes Have It

When it comes to flirting, tempting or teasing your partner, you know that one long, deep look into their eyes can say more than words ever could – “Come here you sexy love muffin.”

The same can be said for the penetrating stare you give your partner when they say something really embarrassing about you in front of a group of friends. – “You’re really in deep doo-doo, mister.  Wait until later when we’re alone.”

It’s easy to see how the eyes and our expressions play an important part in how we communicate, but what about those other body parts?  What is your body language communicating to your partner?

Hello and Goodbye

In my Los Angeles couples therapy sessions I often ask couples how they communicate.

  • How do say goodbye to each other in the morning?
  • How do you greet each other at the end of the day?
  • How do you say goodnight?

The body language we use with our partners can say a lot, so I have an interest in how couples say hello and goodbye.  So, for instance:

If a wife is clutching her hubby’s jacket lapel and laying a big, sexy kiss on him, she’s probably saying that she really doesn’t want him to leave (at least he could be a little late for work); if she is standing with her hands on her hips as her husband is leaving the house in the morning, she could be expressing that she can’t wait for her husband to leave so she can have some alone time; and if she’s holding a rolling pin in her hand, there’s probably something we could be working on in couple’s therapy.

People who have attended my Los Angeles couples therapy sessions have told me that they see how passionate I am about getting couples communicating openly again.  It makes me happy to help couples get back on track, and we start that process in the very first session.

Please, Have a Seat

For instance, if you and your partner were attending one of my Los Angeles couples therapy sessions, I might first observe where and how you sit in relation to one another.  Are you clutching the chair like you’re riding in a rocket ship or are you relaxed?  Are you facing your partner or away from them?  How does one of you react when the other one is speaking – are you looking at them or at the floor – or taking selfies (actually, that’s never really happened in any couples therapy session I’ve ever been a part of, but you get my meaning).

In addition to asking questions and listening to answers, as we delve into your couples therapy I’ll often observe how a person’s body reacts as they speak of a tense or tender moment.   I’ll also observe their partner’s reaction to what they’re saying.  If they’re gritting their teeth or tapping their feet, it tells me that that they’re not too happy.

What your body language is communicating to your partner is very telling to them, but it’s also very telling to me, especially at first when some people might feel cautious about opening up.

In my Los Angeles couples therapy, I’ve experience great success in bringing couples closer together and if you live in the Los Angeles area and you feel that you and your partner could benefit from couples therapy, let’s talk.  As I often say, this is my passion and nothing would make me happier than to see you and your partner live a happy life with lots of good body language.

Want To Feel In Love Again?

Start by touching your partner

The simplest act can profoundly change how you feel. Intimacy between couples can wither with time, because we get lost in everyday chores and don’t make time for one another. Look in to each other’s eyes and don’t wait until you feel like doing it. The feelings will follow. Many coupoles often feel, that the intimacy and that initially feeling of being in love, decreases after being together for a while. How can we regain those butterflies in our stomach?

Feelings often follow actions, is part of a growing body of evidence across a range of important human experiences. My Facebook post on the research by Amy Cuddy, offers the thesis that basically two minutes of standing in a more powerful position can alter our brain. Most people tend to think that our personality, attitude or emotions are the driving force behind our addressing issues in a particular way, however, Dr. Cuddy’s offers up a thesis that first we act then we feel.

Arthur Aron did similar research, testing out the idea on feelings of love. He asked couples of men and women to sit down with one another and take turns answering a series of ever more revealing questions (e.g., when did you last cry with someone? and share an embarrassing moment in your life.) Then he instructed them to gaze silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Amazingly, when they described their experience, many reported feeling “deeply attracted”. So powerful were the effects that one couple fell in love and married. So acting in love led to feeling in love. Building intimacy between couples involves closeness and vulnerability.

Our actions profoundly influence feelings of love and attraction across the life span. Engaging in new activities together, like physically challenging sports, sharing important emotional experiences, such as embarrassing, joyful, or sad childhood memories, taking opportunities to touch one another all seem to inspire loving passionate feelings and bring couples closer to one another.

Many of these actions mimic our behavior when we are falling in love. So, the same way a power pose can build our confidence, intentionally engaging in loving, passionate behaviors appears to spark romantic excitement. New and exciting experiences cause the brain to release dopamine which rewards our brain. All that dopamine makes us want to come back for more and we end up craving our partners.

Intimacy and Forgiveness

Rewrite your story and maintain you relationships

Most of you have more in common with a Hollywood screen writer than you think.  You have an internal script that is a driving force behind your interaction with others. It is your script for how others should act and react in all areas of life.  You believe your script is the best script, the right script.  It needs no rewrites or editing.  This may work in Hollywood, which I doubt, but it definitely does not work in an intimate relationship. The script makes you unnecessarily demanding and insensitive to the flaws of the people you have chosen to love. Your script leaves you little room for others mistakes and has a poor understanding of forgiveness. What makes an intimate relationship so important and special is that you’re willing to endure their bad qualities too.

Becoming aware of your script and the need for many rewrites, may open the door for your partner’s flaws. It may even allow you to forgive the fact that they had childhoods, which wounded them.

It’s guaranteed that you will be hurt by the people you care about.  It is important to recognize what your deal-breaker is. If it’s not a deal-breaker and you want to maintain the relationship, then you have to use skills that repair, fix, and maintain the relationship.

There is one essential tool for this repair to take place and that is forgiveness.  One way to ward off your script and allow forgiveness even when you are hurt is not let yourself off too easy.  If you wand your loved one, want to work on forgiveness in a group setting, join my Los Angeles couples group therapy. You learn from one another. Research shows that overlooking your mistakes can sometimes reduce your empathy for others and your motivation to make amends.