Dating Tips For Singles In San Diego

Dating Tips For Singles In San Diego.  Dating isn’t as easy as it appears.  Interacting with people can be quite nerve-racking.  It can be uncomfortable and devastating to even begin a conversation.  If you didn’t have anyone role model or teach you how to interact with someone you’re interested in how would you know what to do?
As a Marriage Counselor and Relationship Expert, I give my clients an objective, as well as subjective perspective on what actually works in the dating arena.  I have lessons for you to learn where you acquire the tools needed to make you a more socially acceptable and confident individual ready to take on whatever it is you have your eye on.
Dating Tips

Here are some first date “Do’s and Don’ts”

  1. Calm Your Nerves: If you’re anxious find something that calms your nerves like working out before the date. Not only will you feel more relaxed, you’ll look better too.
  2. Dress to Impress: First impressions matter.  Spend time on grooming, smelling good and dressing well.  But be comfortable.
  3. Coffee or Wine: Have the first date be a shorter date.  If for some reason the date goes bad, you are only committed for a short period of time.  If things go well, you can always stay longer.
  4. Show up on time (or a few minutes early): Never keep your date waiting. Tardiness sets the tone for the rest of the date and can set you up for failure.   If for some reason you will be late, call and let them know you are on your way. This will show you are responsible, considerate of their time, and making the effort to arrive as soon as possible.
  5. Be a Gentleman: Even though we’re in the “women are equal” time period, it is still good to exercise male chivalry by opening the door, pulling out the chair, and/or paying for the date.
  6. Put your cell phone away: Checking text messages or (god forbid) answering a call while you are on a first date indicates that you have something better you’d like to be doing. Turn your phone to silent and put it out of sight. If you really need to check your messages, do it in the restroom.
  7. Pay a compliment: When it comes to compliments, simple is better. “That’s a nice outfit you’re wearing”, or ”You have a beautiful smile”, can win you some points.  Be careful not to take it too far. Statements like, “Wow, you are really hot!” can send the wrong message and even feel somewhat aggressive.
  8. Ask Questions:  Find common interests by asking questions open-ended questions. This is the time to simply see if you two would be a good fit for another date.
  9. Share About You:  Don’t just keep the conversation focused on your date.  Share your interests, hobbies, or travel journeys.
  10. Joke: Break the ice by joking and sharing funny stories.  A sense of humor is always attractive.
  11. Eye Contact: Looking a person in the eyes is important. But don’t get into a staring contest or get too intense.  That can make things awkward.
  12. Enjoy the Night: Don’t over think the date! Have fun.  You deserve to have a great time.  Don’t expect to find your soulmate or get discouraged if you don’t feel an instant connection. If the date is not a total disaster, there is potential for a second one.  A decent first date can lead to a great second date.
  13. Be honest: If you don’t feel a connection, politely let them know. “I’ve had a great time talking to you tonight, but I don’t think we’re a good romantic match.” Often times, if you’re not feeling it, neither are they. However, if you get the sense that he/she is into you and you have no intention of seeing her/him again, it is better to let them know. This way you don’t have to spend two weeks dodging their phone calls. Be sure to be polite!

And now for the “Don’ts”.  

Dating Tips

  1. Don’t ask her out via Text or Email: Man-up by picking up the phone. This shows courage and genuine interest. It makes her feel like you are looking for more than just a “good time”.
  2. Don’t Pre-Drink: This is not the way to calm anxiety before a date.  People don’t usually like meeting for the first time and finding out that he/she had to have a drink to muster up the nerve.
  3. NEVER expect a woman to get in your Car: Suggest that you meet her for the date in a place that you both agree on. Don’t offer to pick her up. You know that you are safe, but she doesn’t. If you two decide to move the date to another location, ask her how she’d like to get there.  Let her lead in her comfort level and make her feel safe.
  4. Televisions around are NO-NOs! Watching television or having too much distraction is where the date can become a disaster quickly. Avoid going to a place with televisions on your first date. It will be too tempting to watch TV or get distracted and will send a message that you aren’t interested.
  5. Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry:  Don’t unload your entire life all at once.  Don’t share TOO much about you ex, your childhood wounds, or your recent breakup.  Share just enough to engage in conversation.
  6. Avoid too much Booze: Make it a 2 drink MAXIMUM! You must present yourself at your best. Too much alcohol can be a turn-off on a first date.
  7. Don’t try to impress:  People can sense when you are not being genuine.  Be yourself.  She/he agreed to go out with you because she/he found something about you interesting. If things are going to work out it will be because she/he appreciates who you really are.
  8. Don’t be Afraid of the Silences: On every first date, there may be what seems like awkward silences. If the conversation wanes for a moment or two, don’t get nervous. Give each other a moment to regroup and see if she/he comes up with something to talk about. No worries if they are quiet. That doesn’t mean they are not interested in you. She/he may just be shy. Take control of the conversation with some questions (Where are you from? Do you have siblings? How did you get started in your career?) Or share a story about your favorite restaurant in town.  Take the opportunities to let them know you are interested in learning more about them.
  9. Avoid topics that may make her/him uncomfortable: A guy can go from “normal” to “creepy” in no time at all if he starts talking about the wrong thing like sex, how much money you earn, or the fact that you are “really trustworthy and she shouldn’t be worried about being alone with you”.  Always remember that you don’t know this person or what their personal experiences have been. You want to steer clear of becoming creepy-guy/gal because that will ensure no second date.
  10. Don’t Expect A Kiss: You are on your first date and sometimes they don’t include kissing. If it happens naturally between you then go with it. However, a woman may need a few dates before she is ready to kiss you.  Don’t get discouraged. Offer a hug at the end of the date. If you are interested in seeing her again, let her know. Waiting for the second or third date for your first kiss can be romantic.
Dating Tips
If you’ve been eyeing that gal or guy at the coffee shop, gym, jogging path, dog walk, or whatever venue you frequent and just can’t get up the courage to talk because you don’t know what to say or do….call me at (858) 735-1139  and we can get started on learning how to break the ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s A Healthy Relationship Anyway

What’s A Healthy Relationship Anyway. For a relationship to be healthy, both people must be willing and able to both say no and hear no. Without that negation, without that occasional rejection, boundaries break down and one person’s problems and values come to dominate the other’s.  Conflict is not only normal, then, it’s absolutely necessary for the maintenance of a healthy relationship.  If two people who are close are not able to hash out their differences openly and vocally, then the relationship is based on manipulation and misrepresentation, and it will slowly disintegrate.

Trust is the most important ingredient in any relationship.  Without it the relationship means nothing.  A person could tell you that she loves you and would do everything for you, but if you don’t trust her, you get no benefit from that love as you don’t feel loved until you trust that the love being expressed toward you comes without any special conditions attached to it.

Healthy relationships experience conflict.  Without it, there can be no trust.  Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits.  Healthy love is base on two people acknowledging and addressing their own problems with each other’s support.  Unhealthy love is based on two people trying to escape their problems through their emotions for each other, using each other as an escape.

The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship is 1) how well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility and 2) the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner.

Healthy and loving relationships have clear boundaries between the two people and their values, and there will be an open avenue of giving and receiving rejection when necessary. Unhealthy or toxic relationships will have a poor sense of responsibility on both sides, and there will be an inability to give and/or receive rejection.

Boundaries mean the delineation between two people’s responsibilities for their own problems.  In healthy relationships, people with strong boundaries take responsibility for their own values and problems.  People in unhealthy relationships with poor or no boundaries will regularly avoid responsibility for their own problems and/or take responsibility for their partner’s problems.

Examples of Poor Boundaries:

  1. You can’t go out with your friends without me.  I’m the jealous type so that would upset me.
  2. I’d love to take that job in Los Angeles, but my mother would never forgive me for moving so far away.
  3. I can date you, but let’s not tell our parents just yet.  They don’t know you’re from out of town
  4. I have to ask my husband if I can go to that workshop with you.

In each example, the person is either taking responsibility for the problem/emotion that are not theirs or demanding someone else take responsibility for their problem/emotion. When you have unclear areas of responsibility for your emotions or actions – areas where it is unclear who is responsible for what, you never develop strong values for yourself.  Your only value becomes making your partner happy or your partner making you happy.  Either way is self-defeating.  

The mark of an unhealthy relationship is two people who try to solve each other’s problems in order to feel good about themselves.  A healthy relationship is when two people solve their own problems in order to feel good about each other.  Setting proper boundaries help and support your partner because you choose to not because you feel obligated to.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you need help developing a more healthy relationship.

Start Concentrating On Yourself

Start Concentrating On Yourself.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist I see individuals with many different types of problems.  I recently saw a young woman who came in because she had a panic attack last week and has been experiencing anxiety for the past few months.  As she was sharing the events that lead to the panic attack I assessed the problem stemming from her family of origin.  Her parents want $3,000 from her so they can pay their property taxes.  They want to purchase a brand new luxury car and thought she should supplement their expenses.   She’s 27 years old and is employed in a job she enjoys. Does that mean she should give them the money? It’s a different situation if her parents needed the money due to an emergency.

young woman concentrating on herself

Then there’s “Tom” a high functioning 32 year-old attorney who has been married for 1 year and still has not informed his parents.  He is hesitant to share his good news because his mother has already disapproved of his wife during an introduction visit.  Despite his wife’s understanding she feels hurt and not important.

Then there’s “Me” up until a few years ago continuing to enable inappropriate behavior from some of my own extended family members.  Saying “yes” when I want to say “no.” Created a lot of frustration and resentment. In taking better care of myself I started listening to my intuition, mustered up the courage to follow it by feeling emotions that included the uncomfortable ones.Which gave me the insight I needed to backup my want. Putting in some boundaries to get the groundedness I needed to actually make an informed decision of whether it was a yes or a no.

We all exercise behavior where we’d rather not spare the feelings of those who really need to face reality and feel the discomfort that comes from that reality.  Often times we are so concerned about “caretaking” their feelings, we neglect taking care of our own (codependent).  This can create anxiety, depression, resentment, frustration, anger, etc., affecting our own mental health

Well, I say, “do you want to continue to do that?”  If the answer is “No,” or “I don’t know how to stop” then perhaps it’s time to acquire the skills and “come back” lines needed to protect yourself from not being able to take care of “You.”  In Marriage/Couples Counseling I help my clients understand that they need to teach people how to behave around them.  If they learn “green light” behavior then they can have access to you.  If they continue to exercise  “red light” or bad/inappropriate behavior they have limited access to you.  It’s your choice not theirs.

For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139 and go to my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information about my services.