I cannot get enough of Married at First Sight. It’s my new guilty pleasure. It’s taken over as the number one relationship show on television for very good reasons. Because of it’s accelerated process, it showcases what can happen in marriage five or ten years down the line, only you don’t have to wait that long. You can see love growing and blossoming, or wilting and dying while the couples are still on their honeymoon. I’ve been watching since the Matchmaking episode and based on their interviews, and what has transpired thus far (up to the honeymoon), my predictions are that Jacklyn and Ryan R could last and continue to be married, but Ryan D and Jessica are doomed, and Sean and Davina could follow suit. Maybe not after the 6 weeks are up, but eventually. Here’s why:
Ryan D and Jessica
Although Ryan D proclaims he’s looking for lasting love much like his grandparents, he’s missing a key component to having a happy healthy partnership: He does not think about his wife’s feelings. He seems only interested in what he wants to do. Case in point. He knows Jessica is afraid of the water, and that she is hesitant about going jet skiing, but instead of helping her get comfortable and easing her into the experience, he guns it to warp-speed and throws both of them off the watercraft. When she tries again to conquer her fears because he wants to snorkel, he couldn’t seem to care less that she starts having a panic attack in the water. He doesn’t comfort her, take her hand, or reassure her that he’s going to keep her safe. He just paddles off on his own and lets her watch from the boat. Now, I do know that reality TV does quite a bit of editing so even if those two instances were made to look worse than what they really were, the fact that Ryan D shows affection like an 8 year-old-boy (“I like poking and teasing. That’s how I show affection”) makes it almost impossible to have a grown-up relationship with him. Women want to feel loved, and it’s hard to feel that way if flicking your big toe at her is the way you do it.
But the real kicker (sorry, to keep going but there is so much here) is that when Ryan hurts Jessica’s feelings by calling her piercings and tattoos trashy, he denies and justifies instead of simply saying, “I’m sorry.” Then he storms off and tells her the conversation is over. They always say you can tell how long a marriage will last by the way people argue. From the looks at it, Ryan is going to end this thing rather quickly if he doesn’t learn to accept responsibility for his mistakes. I feel like I should say something nice about him now since I’ve thrown him under the bus so much… He’s a good looking dude. And even if he’s tough to get along with, Jessica seems so loving and really wants to be married so I bet she hangs in there for as long as possible.
Sean and Davina
I want this couple to work out. I actually like them together. But the thing that may just get them in the end is that Davina seems to have what I call, A Better Than mentality. Meaning, she thinks she better, more deserving, and entitled to the best life has to offer – and her relationship is no exception. The low self-esteem she felt as a child has seemingly made her extremely self-focused in a negative way, but as she grew older, that self-focused viewpoint turned from negative to positive. Now she just thinks about herself far too much, and any little thing that threatens her self-esteem, she guards against. Sean has known her roughly five days and when he doesn’t react “appropriately” to her getting misty-eyed on the sleigh ride, she basically attacks him and warns, “Now you know that when I tear-up, it really means something.” Yikes. If Sean gets her the wrong type of birthday present, should he worry he’ll come home to a boiled bunny on the stove? (Of course not, but her comments are a bit dramatic, don’t you think?) Jessica getting upset with Ryan’s trashy comment or his disregard for her fear of jetski’s makes sense to me… but getting upset that the man you met 5 days ago didn’t know how to read your emotional reaction to happiness…I mean, are you looking for things to fight about?
If Davina can focus on gratitude instead of what Sean needs to improve on, they may do just fine. But if Sean realizes that it’s Davina’s world and he’s just a living in it, he may very well decide to move out.
Jacklyn and Ryan R
My favorite couple because I truly think they have a chance. The only thing that seems to be standing in their way right now is Jacklyn’s lack of physical attraction to Ryan. However, I think when a woman doesn’t know a man’s heart, character, humor, and personality, she will only be attracted to the top 5% of guys. Once she can factor in all the things that make a man great, he will undoubtedly get more attractive – unless the woman is 100% shallow. I don’t think Jackie is. Ryan is not an ugly guy, in fact, he is tall, dark, and handsome. She just has a certain picture in her head of what kind of man she thought she would end up with and he doesn’t look like Ryan. But that doesn’t mean a thing! I think they connect on many levels and have a good dynamic between them, so I really hope Jacklyn takes Ryan out of the friend zone before Ryan gets too annoyed that she’s put him there.
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It’s baffled women across the globe. We have racked our brains, asked our friends, and even consulted a professional. But no matter what we do, it seems we will never truly know why that cute single guy we met last week, who asked for our number, and seemed so interested, never called.
Yes, I have the answer. I’m not kidding. I actually feel a little silly that it took this long to figure it out. Especially being that the it’s something that I’ve always known but never made the connection. So without further adieu, here it is. The reason behind the “Can I get your number and never call you.”
To understand this phenomenon, I want you to imagine you are Christmas shopping for a nice little gift for yourself. Yes, you have been good this year and you are allowing yourself one present. So you go to Nordstrom and you see these cute shoes that will go perfectly with your New Years Eve dress. You try them on and they look even better on your feet! You walk around testing them out. You love them. You are happy you have finally found your Christmas present. You look over at the line and see that it is out of control. Ugh. The holiday season. You ask the saleswoman to hold on to the shoes so you can shop around a bit more and wait for the line to die down.
You leave the store and head straight to Starbucks to grab a drink. You head into a few other stores. Nothing too exciting. You keep going. Finally an hour passes and you find yourself at the opposite end of the mall. Your feet hurt from all the walking. Your caffeine has worn off and you sit down on one of the couches outside Urban Outfitters. The mall is going to close in thirty minutes. Should you walk all the way back to Nordstrom to get your shoes? It seems miles away now. Your car is right outside the door. You don’t want to walk all the way back to Nordstorm and then all the back to your car here. You could drive back to Nordstorm, but then you’d have to find parking all over again and it was such a pain in the ass this afternoon. Suddenly your phone rings and it’s your BFF. You tell her your shoe dilemma. She says, “Why don’t you just borrow my Manolo’s for New Years?” You think about it. Not a bad idea. You’d save money, not have to walk or drive back to Nordstrom, and you’d be wearing shoes that are new to you. “Okay,” you tell her. And with that, you’ve abandoned the shoes you promised to buy.
Just as you talked yourself out of buying those shoes, time and time again, men talk themselves out of calling women. They have the same dialogue going on in their heads — I could call her, but it is so much easier not to. If I call her, what would I say? What if she doesn’t call me back? Was she really that interested anyway? Plus my ex girlfriend called me last night and I could just call her instead. That would be easier. What seems like such a good idea at the time, often becomes less of a good idea the more you think about it.
You cannot and should not take it personally when a guy you just met doesn’t call or text you. Who knows what the reason is, but if you just recently met him, there is no possible way the reason is you. He doesn’t know you so how can he reject you? What tends to happen is just what I stated above. When a man is in the moment, and you are right in front of him, he is on a high. Adrenaline is pulsing through his veins and emotion is overriding all other factors. However, once the high dies down and he is away from the situation, logic sets in. He may start to second guess himself. He may start to talk himself out of things. He can get distracted with other priorities, and then what he had planned and promised to do gets pushed to the bottom of the list.
So don’t despair that the guy you met last night didn’t follow up on that phone call he promised. It has nothing to do with you this time around. Go buy yourself some shoes and you will soon feel better
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If you have a dating dilemma that you don’t know how to handle, this is the book for you. How do you turn a friend into something more? What do you do when you run into your ex? Can you get him to stop texting and ask you out on a date? All these questions and more are answered in this Q&A dating scenario book! Continue reading
A twenty-eight year old woman sat on my couch today wanting to discuss one thing and one thing only: How could she avoid being alone forever? Christy was newly single and fearing the worst for her future. Her two favorite aunts, both in their sixties, never married. Her mother, had only been briefly wed to her father, but divorced before Christy’s second birthday. She was surrounded by smart, beautiful and educated women who had never found true love, and it scared her to death to think she would follow in their footsteps.
This is probably the biggest fear most single women have these days. Ironically, it is the fear itself that ends up keeping them from finding themselves a good partner and having a healthy relationship. Living in a state of fear, no matter what it’s from or what form it takes (paranoia, anxiety, anger to name a few), radiates an extremely stressful and tense persona. When your daily thoughts are consumed with fear, ask yourself the question, how can a man fall in love with me in this condition?
Many men want to find love, settle down, and start a family. I would say most men prefer this path. But they want to find a partner who is happy, loving, and confident. And being fearful all the time does not allow you to be any of those things. Perhaps you are waiting for the relationship to come so that you will stop being fearful and start being happy, loving, and confident. However, this is not a chicken and egg scenario. The relationship cannot come first. Content from within does. Only then will you be in a place that is able to attract another person.
How do you stop the fear?
To quote my favorite author, Eckhart Tolle, “Psychological fear is divorced from any real danger. You are here and now but your mind is in the future. You can always cope with the present moment, Continue reading
My friend Megan called me last night completely confused. She recently met a guy online and was starting to really like him. “He’s cute, smart, and very witty,” Megan said to me. “The only problem is, I can’t tell if he likes me, or if he’s just looking for a hook-up.” Of course I was intrigued, and I asked her what made her think that he was trying to get into her pants verses her heart? She thought for a second and said, “The dates we go on seem to be going downhill. First date was a nice restaurant. Second date was drinks at a bar. Third date he just asked me to come over and hang out at his house. What do you think? Is it in my head, or is he just out for one thing?”
Good question. And with just that information, it would certainly seem so. But let’s not jump to conclusions here. Yes, there are some guys out there that are not interested in getting serious. They want to play the field, and have sex with anything they find aesthetically stimulating. However, there are also men out there that do want to find a good girl to hunker down with. So the question is, how do you know which guys are which? How can you spot out the guys who are just out to score and split?
1. He doesn’t try to impress you. Most guys want to make a good impression with someone they like. They try very hard to please a girl, especially in the beginning. But if he doesn’t seem to be making much of an effort there could be a good reason why. Vanessa was dating a guy that called her everyday. He seemed to want to get to know her since he was making such frequent contact. But when they were together he didn’t pay much attention to her. “He would have me come over and sit on the couch while he watched football. Or he’d invite me out with his friends but spent more time with them than with me. It became very obvious that the only time I got attention was when he wanted to make out.”
Don’t get confused if he is extra attentive over the phone, and not so much in person. It takes no time or effort to send a quick text. The real test is how he acts when he’s around you.
2. He doesn’t go the extra mile. It’s the little things that make all the difference. Does he open your car door, hang up your coat, or take you out for ice cream when you’ve had a tough day? For Rachel the answer was not so much. She was dating a guy that wouldn’t go an extra inch, forget about a mile. “He would always make me go meet him whenever we went out. He never picked me up at my house. I had to drive to see him or else we weren’t getting together.”
Be wary when you feel like you are doing all the work in the relationship. It’s a give and a take, yes, but in the beginning a guy will bend over backwards to win over a woman he cares for.
3. There is no mental connection. He wants to get to know you in the biblical sense, but how about just getting to know you period? Does he ask you about yourself? Your friends? Your career? A man that wants to settle down will ask you about yourself to see if you are the kind of woman he wants to be with. He’s fishing to see if there is a future. But if the relationship never gets into serious discussions it’s because he has no serious plans for it. My client, Brynn was dating a man that talked about himself incessantly. He was so self-absorbed that she eventually realized he would never love her more than he loved himself.
4. He is pressuring. Does he tell you that sex is really important to a relationship? Does he make you feel bad for holding out? Does he make it seem like he can only open up emotionally if you open up physically? If that is the case, run for the hills. This guy is just out to get some nookie. Don’t let him manipulate you. Sex is important to a relationship yes, but are you even in a relationship yet? Or have you only been dating for five weeks? Truth be told, a good guy will wait forever for the right girl. A selfish guy, however, will wait for no one.
If you really like the guy you are hooking up with, and want to find out how to get him to take you seriously, you must do one very important thing – stop hooking up with him. He won’t give you more if you don’t require more. There is a way to let him know that you like him, but aren’t going to keep casually hooking-up with him until you have decided where the relationship is going. It’s a tricky conversation to have but it’s all laid out in my new book, “Was It Something I Said? : the answers to all your dating dilemma’s.” Check out an excerpt from the book right here!
In this Question and Answer book you will find all the best advice for handling every romantic situation. We cover it all – from hooking up, texting back, and moving forward to a lasting commitment. If you have ever been stuck searching for the right words to say, this book will give you word-for-word instruction on how to tackle the most troubling scenarios. How do you bring up the “Relationship Talk”? How do you ask him if he’s seeing other girls? What do you say if you like him but don’t want to go all the way? You will never again be at a loss for words. Any question you may have is answered right here!
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I think at some point in life all women have asked themselves this question. If you’ve ever been dumped by a guy who claimed he wasn’t ready for a relationship and then practically moved in with the next girl that came along, it is hard not to question if something about you is flawed when your relationship doesn’t work out. You may not even be able to pinpoint what it is about you that seems inferior to other women, you just feel deep in your bones that somehow you are. If you watched this season of The Bachelor on ABC, you may remember that sweet, southern Kacie B. cried the very words, “Why am I not good enough?” after she was sent home rejected following her home-town date. From her point of view, if she were somehow “better” she would have been the one to get the final rose. But as we have seen play out repeatedly in season’s past, the “best” woman does not always win. In fact this season it would seem that the absolute “worst” woman triumphed over all. But Courtney, who landed the Bachelor and that final rose (but was temporarily dumped just weeks after the show aired) has involuntarily taught every woman in the world a very important lesson. And that is this – being “good enough” isn’t what makes a man love you. If that were true, Ben would have picked, Lindzi, who in many people’s opinion, was prettier, smarter, and orders of magnitude nicer. Or earlier cast-off, Emily, who in my opinion was not only more attractive than Courtney, but also a PHD student with a great sense of humor. There were so many women on the show that arguably seemed “better” than Courtney. Yet, Ben picked her. Why? Because something about Courtney resonated with Ben. His personality, his life experiences, and his own feelings about himself all play into why he chose her. Her being the “better” woman was not a factor at play. I’m hoping this is an ounce of comfort to any brokenhearted woman wondering why their man left them for someone else.
A client of mine fell deeply in love two years ago, only to have the man she thought she would marry leave her for someone else. They had had a bumpy relationship from the start but my client always thought that somehow they would work through their differences and end up together. When I first started coaching her she was already obsessed with her ex’s new relationship. Like many women, she stalked her former flame and his new girlfriend via the social network, hoping to find a a shred of understanding as to what this woman had that she, herself, did not. Unfortunately she not only failed to find the answer, she became even more perplexed when she realized the woman was less physically fit, less educated, and more needy (as evident from her many amorous wall posts on Facebook). Several times my client asked me what it meant to be abandoned by your lover for a person of less quality. Did it mean that despite all my clients’ wonderful attributes, that she was just somehow, unexplainably inferior?
Of course not.
What my client failed to consider was (again) her ex’s personality, life experience and his own feelings about himself. Even though he was a good-looking, confident man, he had come from a broken and dysfunctional family. His own mother was an extremely volatile woman who relentlessly picked on him while smothering him at the same time. She was hot and cold with her feelings. Growing up he never fully felt accepted by anyone. Then he met my client. A woman who loved him the way he always wanted to be loved. A good, kind, well-balanced person that would never attack him or his character. And for him, that felt…awkward. He was not comfortable with that kind of love yet. He was not capable of appropriately receiving it. He truly felt more at home with someone who was …”dramatic.” Someone that provided the “ups and downs” he was accustomed to growing up. His mother also Continue reading
You are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks on a beautiful night. Your phone vibrates. You have one new text message. You pick it up and see that it’s Sam, a guy you met three weeks ago and hooked up with because you were really wasted. He’s a nice guy, but ever since that night, he’s been pseudo-stalking you. You’ve been cordial, answering some of his texts and calls, mostly because you like the attention, but he’s just not the one for you. You tell your friends at the table, “It’s Sam the stalker again. He is out in DC and wants to know where I am.” There’s a round of snickers and laughs. Someone tells you to be nice to the poor guy and tell him where you are. You never know, he might have cute friends, she says. You take a sip of your margarita and say, “Let’s see how the night goes. If we don’t find any cute guys here, I will tell him to come by.”
Two hours and two rounds later, no one at the table has seen anyone cute. You are almost forced by one of your oversexed friends to call Sam and bring his entourage over. By now you have a good buzz going and figure, why not. He’ll buy you your next round and tell you how hot you are. So you text Sam and tell him where you are in Arlington. You laugh to yourself because you don’t even have to extend an invitation. You know very well that he’s going to say by some strange coincidence that he’s at the bar next door and will just swing by. Fifteen minutes later, Sam, his best friend, and his roommate stroll into bar. People are introduced, shots are ordered, and the night officially begins. Sam is all over you and the more you drink, the more you like it. By the end of the night, you and Sam are stumbling back to your place. You guys make out all over your apartment and for some reason it’s really great. Maybe it’s because you’ve been going through a dry spell, but whatever the reason, you are into it. You continue to make out with Sam and the more you kiss him, the more you like him. How could you have disregarded him before? Maybe he’s not as bad as you initially thought.
And then you wake up the next day completely sober and realize you had on major margarita glasses. Sam is lying in your bed, snoring like a sabertooth tiger, drooling on your favorite pillow. You are annoyed like crazy. How long is going to be here, you wonder? He finally wakes up, smiling like a cheshire cat, and pats the space next to him, indicating he wants you to lie back down. You’d rather shoot yourself than cuddle with Sam so you make up an excuse about having to run into work that morning. Disappointed, Sam reluctantly and slowly, gets out of your bed. You throw his pants at him and watch him stumble to get dressed, knocking over your alarm clock and family photo in the process. He apologizes and then asks if you have time to grab some breakfast. Ah, sorry no. You really don’t. Some other time maybe. Sam picks up on your unintentional invitation to do this again, and says, “Ok, when? Do you want to meet up later tonight?” At this point you just want him out of your apartment so you tell him to call you later and you will see about getting together. He finally leaves after you pretend to walk to your car. You get back to your apartment and collapse on the couch. You eventually drift off to sleep but not before labeling Sam’s number DO NOT ANSWER into your cell phone.
I know you can all related to this story. We have all had guys we just aren’t into, chase after us relentlessly. We’ve all caved and been nice to them, even hooked up with them once or twice. We’ve kept them on the back burner in cases of emergency and extreme boredom. But guess what? This story is not what you think. You’ve just entered the Twilight Zone. You were not out with your girlfriends having margaritas last night. You were in DC, hanging out with your best friend and her roommate, hoping to hear from the guy you met three weeks ago and had a hot hook up with. A hook up you have not been able to stop thinking about. That’s right, in this scenario, YOU are Sam. You were the one who texted him to find out where he was. You were elated when he told you he was at the Eventide rooftop in Arlington. You rushed over and played it off as if you at the bar next door. You met up with him and his friends, had some drinks and ended up back at his place, where at some point in the night you fell completely in love. You woke up in his bed filled with excitement. You are certain he likes you now. He wanted to go to breakfast, but a work emergency took priority. Totally understandable. You like him even more because he’s ambitious. He told you to call him later and you guys would meet up again that night.
Maybe you saw this switch-a-roo coming from a mile away. Maybe my Twilight Zone blog was totally predictable. I really don’t know. What I do know is this. There are lots of girls out there that string along men they aren’t interested in. They hook up with them when it’s convenient, call when they are lonely and use them when they want to. Those same women often Continue reading
I went out last week with a girlfriend who is notorious for complaining about men. She’s been dating a new one for a few weeks now and is still very hung up on the fact that his eyebrows are a bit too bushy. That night she said to me, “Jess, I just don’t know if I can have sex with those eyebrows!” Which sounds funny but is also kind of sad. This is the tenth guy she’s dated this year. Yes, I said tenth! And every single one of them has had some atypical attribute she didn’t like. This time it’s the eyebrows, but last time it was the guy’s phone voice. The time before that, it was his bald spot. And the time before that, it was his hairy back. Basically every time she went out with a guy, she always found a physical flaw that ultimately drove her away.
Now, I am one person that has always advocated the motto, “Don’t settle for less than what you want.” I think you should go after whatever and whoever tickles your fancy. But there is a point where you can abuse the phrase. There is a BIG difference in settling for someone who treats you like dirt, or someone that doesn’t share any of the interests you do, than there is settling for bushy eyebrows — because hello, that can be easily changed with some gentle coaxing at the appropriate moment. I’ve noticed a lot of women that are single because they supposedly want to be, all have one thing in common: they are picky to a fault. I’ll admit I was a picky one too, but at some point you have to ask yourself, are you being impossibly picky? Are you expecting too much? I have a client who is 47 years old, has never married, and is the engineer on the picky train. She finds fault with everyone. And you know what, she always will. That is where the phrase, “no one is perfect” comes from. No one is perfect, so if you are looking for the flawless man with the perfect job, family, clothes and eyebrows, you will never find him. Even if you recant with the typical, “I just want someone who is perfect for me!” phrase, I assure you it still won’t exist. Men are just human, and they all have flaws, quirks, and misshaped eyebrows (or something else weird you won’t like.) And in some respect you also have to look at yourself and say, I’m not perfect either, so how can I expect someone else to be. Are you without flaw? Maybe according to you you don’t, but to someone else you may have many.
Most of the time I’ve noticed that women want something in a man that they themselves do not possess. But who we are, is who we attract. So if you don’t eat right and work out, how can you expect to attract someone who is in good shape? If you are frivolous with your money or always in debt, how can you expect to land a guy who is financially responsible?
I’ve learned over the course of my dating career that there are two things to put a top your priority list. 1) look for men with good character. Ones that have the values and goals you want, and not to spend too much time picking at the little things like eyebrows. And 2) the best way to attract a hard-working, attractive, fun and genuine guy is to be all those things yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?
If you are tired of having the same bad luck when it comes to relationships, DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a one-on-one personal consulting session. Together we will figure out what you could be doing wrong, or what you can be doing better so you get the relationship you deserve.
Also check out my book, You Lost Him at Hello and learn the tricks of the trade — Filling your Funnel, Height of Impulse, Mirror Theory — so you can close the deal with any guy you want. Give yourself or a friend the best gift – good advice. New! As of September 27, 2011 – You can follow me on Twitter@iamJessMcCann and check out my new book, Was it Something I Said, hitting stores January 2013.
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It’s become the norm these days. You meet someone, you get their number, you go home and google them. You may find an inactive Linkedin account, a professional business photo, and their listing in the white pages, but none of those things will tell you as much about a guy than good old Facebook. If you can fully view a guy’s Facebook page, a world of juicy information awaits you…you just have to be able to decode it’s meaning.
Typically if you are the kind of woman that is looking for a relationship, then you want to avoid guys that are immature, shallow, egotistical, and/or selfish. They not only make bad boyfriends, the often never fully commit to a relationship. Remember, a man who is too in love with himself will have no room left in his heart for you. The four negative qualities I previously mentioned, all boil down to being self-absorbed. Here are the top five ways to figure out via Facebook if you are potentially getting involved with the wrong kind of guy.
1. He has many pictures of just himself. If you click on his profile pics and realize he has multiple photos of himself, it could mean he loves his face a little too much. If he’s at least doing something in the pictures (running a marathon, hiking a cool trail, or in front of a national landmark) that’s more understandable than seeing ten snapshots of him just posing again and again in his best ensemble. You want a guy that has a good heart and a well adjusted self-esteem. Too many “cool” photos of him, especially one’s where other people are purposely cropped out, could be a red flag. If you find quite a few shirtless shots, find yourself another guy.
2. He is constantly posting self-gratifying updates. Are most of his status updates to alert others on his wonderful and impressive life? Do most of his mobile updates include him at parties, hanging with celebs, or pics with a harem of women? If so, this could be a man who’s mind has not evolved past his teenage years. A good, well-adjusted guy will post about other things besides himself – sport, news, or family and friends. He won’t display an eagerness to impress, but rather an ability to connect!
3. He is always announcing his location, location, location. Could you track every minute of his life for the last five years? If a guy constantly posts his whereabouts, you have to ask yourself the question, why does he think everyone needs to know what he’s doing at all times? Although you may think you want a man with a jet-setting lifestyle, it’s more smoke and mirrors than actual substance. Besides if he’s always club hopping, restaurant going, charity balling and boys night-outing, when will he have time for a real relationship?
4. He is always boozing. If his page could drink, it would be plastered. Most, if not all of his pictures include big red cups or dark brown bottles. He may not go out very often but that’s only because he’s a one man party. A guy that drinks most nights of the week is definitely more interested in getting smashed than getting serious. While this tell-tale sign may not point to directly to self-love, you definitely don’t want to come second to Sam Adams.
5. He loves stuff. If you find his page to be more of a display of his toys (from his car or bike to his newest watch or shotgun) you may want to rethink investing your time into someone so materialistic. Although you may initially swoon over those pics of him on his Ducati, remember that what matters in the long run is a man’s character, not his play things. Too much “stuff” on his profile may indicate that his ego is tied into labels, brands, and ultimately what other people think.
For more answers to relationship questions, contact me, Jess McCann, for a personal consultation. Also be sure to check out her new book, Was It Something I Said? : The answers to all your dating dilemma’s, hitting stores January 2013.
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I had an interesting conversation this weekend with a friend of mine. We were coming home from a wedding shower, and as we were weaving through the city, we began to discuss the topic of, what else, relationships. More specifically, the bad ones. We began to chat about why people get into them, why they won’t get out of them, and how powerless we feel as friends watching the people we love slowly die inside because of them. There have been many times I’ve been confided in about a friends’ relationship, and it’s very difficult to hear how much of a selfish jerk a guy is one day, but such a sweetheart the very next. Recently I’ve refrained from giving my two cents about anything unless asked. It does no good to speak out if the person is not ready to listen. The writing is on the wall and me reading it to them just doesn’t seem to make any impact. Speaking of writing…
As this friend and I sat in traffic, she started telling me an interesting story about her cousin, Amy. Amy apparently fell in love and got married to a real asshole. She was twenty-four years old at the time. He was a charmer, and very good looking, but he had a moody and depressed side that he often took out on her. Whenever he was asked to do something out of his routine, he’d throw a tantrum and completely shut down. He’d retreat into their bedroom, locking the door and ignoring her for days at a time. He blew everything out of proportion and blamed Amy for being insensitive and selfish. Every fight was turned around on her. They of course had their good days, but they couldn’t go a stretch of two months without having a nuclear meltdown.
My friend tried to talk her cousin out of marrying this guy, but once she decided to take the plunge and do it anyway, my friend backed off completely and tried to be supportive. Throughout the years she listened to her cousin rant one minute, but rave the next. All the while keeping to herself, not saying a word, and trying to be optimistic. Finally after five years of marriage, her cousin told her, out of the blue one day at lunch, that she was filing for divorce.
What or who finally convinced her to get out? You may be surprised by the answer. Since she was twelve, Amy had kept a diary. For the last five years she had written in it less frequently than she used to, but tried to keep important thoughts and feelings documented throughout her life. One night after a huge fight with her husband she sat down on her bed to record her feelings. As she finished her final thoughts, she began flipping back through the previous pages. What she read hit her like a ton of bricks. The last one hundred and twenty pages were filled with nothing but sorrow. She read the same words over and over again. How he was mean, how he promised to be better, how she hoped he would be. But sitting on her bed reading this after five years, she finally realized nothing would ever change. He wouldn’t be better next time. He’d be the same as he always was before, and it took her listening to her self for 124 pages to finally get that.
A lot of women have told me that giving birth is an excruciatingly painful experience, and if they didn’t forget what it was like over time, they probably wouldn’t have any more than just one child. I think that we can apply this same theory to bad relationships. After your boyfriend or husband tells you he’s sorry and makes amends with you, you begin to forget how awful he treated you and how hurt you were. The memory of that pain dissipates and you are renewed with hope and possibility. Until the next time…
This story of my friend’s cousin has given me a great idea. Because most people turn a deaf ear to outside advice, what better idea is there than to keep a journal of your own relationship? That way instead of hearing your mom, best friend, or even your dating coach tell you how bad things are, you can now hear it straight from the horses mouth (yes, the horse is you.) We often don’t want to hear that we should leave someone we love, or that things will never change. We want to disregard advice that tells us there is no hope. But it’s different if you see and hear your own words over time and realize that you are in an unending cycle that keeps repeating itself. I now think keeping a diary is not only for nostalgia, but a powerful tool that can help you to make good decisions for yourself throughout your life.
If you are currently in a volatile or unstable relationship (meaning one day everything is great, but the next day the sky is falling) then it may be time to start your own journal. Start to write down your feelings and your thoughts about your significant other. Keep track of the good and bad times. Try to be specific because when you go back and read a year later, you will barely remember the experience. I think this can be a very valuable tool for us women and will prompt us and encourage us to take more action when action is necessary. You may not like hearing your friends tell you he’s not the one for you, but you may just heed a warning coming from yourself.
For more advice on relationships, check out my book You Lost Him at Hello, or Was It Something I Said? or sign up for a personal consulting session. Follow me on Twitter @iamjessmccann Continue reading