Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Avoid the “Better as a Memory” Phenomenon

Ok, so like a couple of months ago, I was totally addicted to Kenny Chesny’s new song, Better as a Memory (Than as Your Man). I could sing along to it, 5 times in a row!

Having kicked the habit of bad love when I met my husband, I was shocked at how deeply this song still resonated with me!

Basically, it’s a classic song about falling for the emotionally unavailable man. Something I know a thing or two about.

The refrain highlights the hard truth that the idealized, rosy-colored memories left over from these relationships are usually better than the reality of actually being with him.

And the acknowledgment that falling for such a guy always has an ugly ending.

Kudos to the songwriter. At least the guy in the song knows himself well enough that he’s warning the poor woman!

Don’t you wish more people would come with a warning tag: Danger, falling in love with me could be hazardous for your health!

Maybe emblazoned on a bright red Lance Armstrong-like plastic bracelet?

Or at the very least, why can’t they just come out and say it: Look let’s just have fun for awhile because I’m just not good at anything more.

Actually a guy once did say that to me. What did I do? Blithely ignored the warning, then became shocked when, after a few romps in the hay, he was ready to move on. So silly, me.

But how many times have YOU fallen for that guy or girl?

Only realizing later how that quaint distance, that mysterious air, that strong streak of independence really meant you’d be banging your head up against a brick wall trying to get your needs met…

You saw the warning signs, (or maybe you didn’t!) but you went ahead and fell in love anyway. Reality be damned!

Believe me, you don’t want to play that fool again. Once is already way more than enough.

So how to avoid having another relationship with the next Memory Man/Woman?

DateSmart Tip: It’s simple.
Keep only one question in mind while dating: How do I feel around this person?

Your answer to this question is like a compass directing you to the future of the relationship.

As soon as negative emotions arise- consider them gigantic red flags. Stop. Pay Attention. Do not ignore. Do not rationalize and make excuses. And if the bad feelings continue, then it’s time to walk away.

Why does everyone want to make dating so complicated?!

When it all really boils down to one easy thing: Do I feel good around this person?!

Ok, time to fess up. How many of YOUR ex’s are “Better as a Memory?”

I’ll admit it. For me, it’s at least half. Is that so bad??

Share your number or percentage.

BTW, stay tuned. Next post we’ll talk about how you could have ever fallen in love with that brick wall to begin with. So you won’t make that mistake again!

Haven’t heard the song yet? Check it out with lyrics on YouTube.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Monogamy Gene!? You Can do Better than That!

Wouldn't you love to know if the guy you're dating is a commitment-phobe? Or whether he is apt to cheat on you after you've devoted 10 years to raising his kids?

Well, men don't run around with a giant C (for Cheater) on their foreheads. Don't you wish they did!?

But scientists in Sweden have discovered the next best thing: A monogamy gene.

Men with certain variations of this gene have a harder time bonding with their women, leaving them likely to stray or create chaos at home.

A genetic test isn't available quite yet.

But if it were:

Would you want your man to take the test?

If you are a man, would you want to take the test to find out if you have the errant gene?

What difference would it make if you did know?

If you've got a bad gene, is that a good excuse???? "But Honey, my genes made me do it!"

BTW- Paul Newman probably had the good version of the gene (see previous post)! Shaquille O’Neal, not so much.

DateSmart Tip: Until we do have a genetic test, remember that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

To check your dating partner's cheating quotient be sure to ask three questions, early on in the getting-to-know-you stage:

1. Have you ever cheated in a relationship? How many times?

A serial cheater is highly likely to cheat again. Don't make the mistake of thinking, "I can change them. They'll be faithful to me!"

2. When do you think cheating is acceptable in a relationship?

In my dissertation research, I found that lenient attitudes toward infidelity predicted who would cheat in a dating relationship. Bottom Line: If you think it's excusable, you are more likely to do it.

3. Did either of your parents ever cheat?

We learn how to love at home. If you saw this going on with your parents, you're either apt to NEVER cheat, or think you can get away with it.

Want to read the full article about the Monogamy Gene from NewScientist.com: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14641-monogamy-gene-found-in-people.html

Share your thoughts.

"I have steak at home, why go out for hamburgers?"

Guess which Hollywood icon made this statement about being faithful to his wife for 50+ years?

It was Paul Newman, who, sadly, died over the weekend.

While many may argue that he should be honored for his many memorable film credits, I posit that his crowning achievement is remaining happily married for over 50 years, in Hollywood no less!

Certainly, it would have been easy for this handsome and popular actor to cheat on his wife, Joanne Woodward, over the years.

But he didn't! (At least, he denies it.)


My guess? He picked the right woman to begin with!

A woman whom he still saw as heads and shoulders above the rest, a lifetime later.

Now, that's the kind of love we all deserve!

How can you tell whether the person you are dating is a Grade A, juicy, Filet Mignon and not just some 70% fat, grocery-store hamburger?

Please share your thoughts now!