Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Flag On The Play

This week I was asked:

“Dr. Donna, I met this guy on line and started dating him. It was our fifth date and over a steak dinner, that he had just prepared, he told me he was diagnosed by his therapist as a narcissist. The weird part was that he was smiling as he said it. Do you think he was kidding or is he a narcissist? And isn’t a narcissist a bad thing?”

I had to chuckle, “Well, it’s not a good thing. No one would be proud of being a narcissist except for a narcissist. He’s telling you the truth.” Her awkward smile turned to a look of true disappointment.

I continued, “The dating game does not have to be as difficult as some people believe it to be. You just need to be able to identify the flaws of a prospective date when searching on-line.  Read into their profile and identify the “flags on the play.” You can gather a lot of information about someone just by how they advertise themselves. This will happen within the first two quarters of the game – Quarter one: the on-line chatting; Quarter two: the first phone conversation.”

When looking at a profile first look at their handles (code names they’ve given themselves that accompany their pictures). A code name like “fight on” would tend to tell you that this will be a battle. The handle “Lovmeplease” does not indicate politeness, but rather desperation. Asking how they picked their code names will give light to their personality and to their hobbies. If their code name is random letters and numbers this indicates that it will take a while for them to share anything of importance with you and this could serve as their first “flag on the play.”

Now let’s look at their pictures. If there is no picture, “flag on the play” for sure. That’s indicative of a person who wants to date but will not put themselves out there to do so. Just a waste of time. Also a good chance they are married. 

Pictures of smiling perpetual dates don’t necessarily mean they are happy people. Remember, someone is often taking their picture and telling them to smile. And if it’s a selfie and they’re not smiling it tells you something right there, they are not happy. If they’re wearing sunglasses, they are hiding something. You may say they are trying to act cool.  “Flag on the play”…if they need to act cool, then they are not.

If they are half naked in the picture, you can be sure that they will come on to you strong. It’s a sure sign that they are looking for a sexual hook up way before you may want one. Now if that’s what you’re looking for, go for it. But make no mistake your first date will have you reaching for that condom so make sure you have one.

Now for those profiles that have pictures of them fully clothed, no sunglasses and big smiles…So far so good! If the profile starts out with, “I’m a nice guy”…that’s a “flag on the play.” If someone has to tell you that they are nice, then you can be sure they are not. Nice people don’t need to mention that. As a matter of fact they don’t even think of it. They know they are nice and they assume everyone else is as well.

If they say they’re an entrepreneur, it’s another “flag on the play.” Most often they are unemployed.  That is such a vague term and it could mean anything from turning in coke bottles for the deposits to investing other people’s money into projects they wouldn’t invest their own money in. Most often they are looking for a job.

Then there’s the question that I read on a lot of guys profiles, “Are you out there?” Flag on the play,” there’s millions of women out there, why are you asking such a silly question?  A woman’s response should be… “Yeah I’m out here, are you worthy? There’s got to be a better advertisement hook.

Some people just have a picture and no profile. Well either they are not serious about dating or they think they are so good looking that you don’t need to read about them, “Flag on the play,” not much to explain here except it’s like advertising that there will be a football game and when you get to the stadium no one comes out of the tunnel. Don’t waste your time.

Okay, so the pictures look inviting and the written profile doesn’t call for any flags, so now you move to the exchange of contact information which is usually a cell phone number.  It doesn’t’ matter who makes the first move here as long as it’s reciprocated. And we move to the second quarter of the game.

In the first 20 minutes of a phone call you can find out everything you need to know about someone, it’s actually when they are the most truthful. “Flag on the play” at this point are any comments that make you feel just the slightest bit uncomfortable. So listen for those early flags and if none present themselves you can go into the third quarter…the meet up.

Stay tuned for “flag on the play” as we go into the third and fourth quarter of the dating game in our next blog.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Goal Setting vs. Intention

So, I was thinking of a topic to blog about and asked my daughter-in-law Michelle, mother of my two year old grandson Colin, for an idea. Before I could even get to my computer she responded.

“Actually I do have a topic,” she said, “How to set goals and intentions. Like a step by step process.”

“Grasshopper”, I responded, “you always ask me this question. What is it that you don’t understand…specifically?”

“Goal setting, there is a process to it. Most people only write in general terms. Think about what you want, write it down, blah, blah, blah. That’s not good enough. How do you write it? Present tense? How should you actually state it? And intentions are different than goals. What are intentions? How should you write them? Every article I read is very general. There is no ‘how to’ step guide.”

“Well Grasshopper, there are many ‘How To’ step guides. But it’s not about that. First it’s about knowing the difference between intentions and goals. Next It’s about patience, understanding and focus. So, let’s begin.”

There is a subtle distinction between goal setting and intention and it is that distinction that makes a huge difference in the outcome and in the experience.

When you set a goal, you think realistically. You analyze your current situation and then you plan out each step that you believe you need to take to reach that goal. Setting goals is based on reasoning and creating a plan. It’s a cognitive process of analyzing, planning and reasoning. We stand in control of the plan and all the steps on how to get there. The problem with goal setting is that life usually gets in the way. You get distracted and many times you just can’t seem to stay on schedule. You become frustrated and disappointed. You begin to lose hope and you wind up getting in your own way of success. You then start to negotiate another plan, setting new goals but the same thing begins to happen and your vision for a better future becomes dismal because of the negative thoughts that by this point have taken over your goal setting thoughts. Sound familiar?

There is another way. It’s called living by intention. Setting an intention is a similar process like setting a goal, but the difference is that you don’t plan out the steps along the way. You just intend (visualize) the outcome and surrender the process to the universe because in this scenario the “how” of getting there is none of your business. The only requirement that intention has is that it comes from your heart. It has to be something you really want. It does not come from the reasonable you. It comes from the creative part of you which has no restrictions and knows no boundaries.  I’m sure you’ve experienced the battle that takes place inside all of us between the heart and the mind. Many times what the heart wishes for the mind can destroy with many reasons. 

Setting an intention begins with a thought of what you want to happen. You push all the reasons of why it won’t or can’t happen out of your mind. It’s imagining every day how you will feel when that intention manifests itself. It’s like pretending that something you’ve always wanted is actually happening. You are intending with your heart the outcome of certain situations. Exciting situations that would inspire you to move your life in different directions that cause you to smile. 

You can try it with little things first. You have a phone call to make that could go badly. Intend that the phone call go well. You do that by visualizing the phone call ending exactly as you want it to end. Along with that visual, feel how it will be after you hang up and you have achieved exactly what you had hoped you would. You are not thinking about what you’re going to say and what the other person is going to say, you are just imagining the end result.

That’s how you intend Grasshopper. Now go intend that Colin is already potty trained, lol.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Online Dating Is A Lot Like Pre-Season Football

            Online dating is a lot like Pre-Season Football because it’s all about which rookie is going to make the team. Your team. 

You have your top draft choices going into the first round. The ones that look the best, show intelligence and know all the plays. They are the most promising and boy do they smell good.

            Then there are the later draft pics. They aren’t as sought after as the top choices but they can hold their own and are worth taking a look at especially when the first round pics prove to be disappointing.

            Of course you have your free agents. They’ve been let go from another team and they have the ability to sign with anyone who will take them.  But the question always is…why were they let go? It couldn’t be because they’re the best, something went wrong, yet we still give them the once over.

            Some may ask, what about the walk-ons? Well, that’s only in college football, but I will say from experience, you will get calls from the young ones. It’s like trying not to look at a train wreck, you just can’t help yourself. But after a few bouts with them, you toss them back, it’s catch and release…they really need to grow a little more.

            Pre-season football is about the team finding its identity, similar to the type of relationship one is looking for as the meet ups begin. Will it be a hard hitting team, translating to an emotionally, quick witted sparring relationship? Or will the team be methodical in its approach on the field, translation – slow and careful, one step at a time relationship. It can also be an “all or nothing team”-- hot and passionate relationship or we’re out.  One never knows as we give each and every rookie their time on the field.

            Now, for the locker room. Will it be respectful and dignified, or is it anything goes with no boundaries. Whatever the off-the-field looks like, and in relationships it’s what happens behind closed doors, it sets the tone for what happens on the field as each game brings us closer to the Super Bowl – a serious relationship.

            So we go out, put our best foot forward and we look for the serious players, the ones with heart for the game, and the one who can go the distance Then we sign them, and watch how the season progresses. We may have the winning combination, or we may not. But for all those who just can’t seem to put that winning team together…there will always be another season with new rookies and the hope that next season we will finally get it right.

            So, what do you do till that winning player is in your sight? You stay focused on your goal, be passionate with your encounters, and trust that the best is yet to come. 

Game on!!