Modern-day-dating

Throwback Thursday: How To Survive First Date Horror Stories

Dating can be among the best and worst experiences of your life.

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No matter what your age, and how you met your dating partner, horror first dates can be so cringe-worthy, you may want to assume a new identity and/or declare yourself single for the rest of your days.

On the flip side, you can learn a lot about what makes you tick and what you abhor when you’re a sassy singleton playing the dating game and looking for love. And, eventually, you will most likely go on the best, most magical date ever – when you meet your life partner – and all the hilarity and ugliness of horror first dates (and second and third) shall dissolve into nothing, but far distant memories.

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Me? I endured so many bad first dates prior to meeting my husband it’s a marvel I didn’t swear off men – and dating – altogether. In fact, I’ve had so many horror dating experiences I could write a book. Some were just hilarious, while others were disappointing and just plain upsetting. There was the guy who turned up inebriated to our first date and asked me if I was into threesomes. Abort!?

Then, there was the civil engineer who informed me on our first date he could “easily” do my job – newspaper journalism was a cinch, he’d said, because he was apparently adept at writing reports. Oh the sheer arrogance and disrespect?! Incidentally, that same guy then turned into a crazed stalker and sent me abusive texts for more than a week when I declined his offer of a second date!

Oh – and my personal favourites – which still make me laugh even today, despite them being many, many years ago: the exercise fanatic who oh-so-helpfully told me on our first date that I shouldn’t be eating carbs, and the idiotic guy who’d come to pick me up for dinner, who actually went so far as to do a runner from my house, while my back was turned, and I thought he was in the toilet.

Oh the vast and infinite horror and ridiculousness?! So, how do we cope when a first date turns into a nightmare? Is there a polite way to inform your date you’d rather swim through an ocean of sharks than ever see them again? Or did my guy do the right thing by bolting for the door, without so much as a word?

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Jodie Bache-McLean (pictured), director of both June Dally-Watkins (JDW) and Dallys Model Management – who’s a well-respected national and international etiquette expert – says it’s imperative we treat our dating partners with the utmost kindness and dignity. “Always treat people how we would like to be treated – this is paramount,” Jodie says.

“It is interesting when I hear stories that some ladies may resort to ignoring calls from a first dater, rather than say: ‘No thank you’, however when we hear a story about one of our girlfriends being ignored by the man, all hell breaks loose.

“As a mother of boys, I do have a rather large soft spot for the pain that we ladies can inflict on men when we say: ‘Thanks, but no thanks’. So I would always recommend people try to be as considerate and kind as possible when dating. No one deserves anything less.”

The etiquette expert also believes gentle honesty is best, if you aren’t interested – post horror-date – in pursuing a relationship with the person and/or are hoping to never, ever lay eyes on them again. “If after the first date, I realised that there was no chemistry at all from my perspective and it was the end of the night and the gentleman wanted to make plans for a second date, I would not commit to anything,” Jodie says.

“Instead, I would perhaps suggest we speak in the next few days to make a plan. I would then send an email the next day saying how I had had a lovely time, and he is a lovely person, but I am just not feeling a connection.

“Now, why would I do this? Because this is how I would prefer the ‘no thanks’ be delivered to me. It might sting a little, but in time (maybe 24hours or so) I would be grateful that he was truthful with me.

“And, remember this was a one-date situation, not a full-on relationship.”

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And relationship psychologists concur: kindness and gentle honesty are best, as is keeping things in perspective. You’ve only had one date with the person – you don’t owe them any more or any less.

But remember, it’s not helpful or kind to inflict emotional wounds on people for no good reason. What’s more, a little empathy goes a long way because people might not be at their best on the all-important and daunting first date.

Is there a genuine spark and you can forgive a little awkwardness? Or was the date so terrible and the person so unlikable, you’d rather stick in a pin in your own eye and/or move to a foreign country than ever see them again?

Go well and have faith, sister – I sincerely believe in the perennial power of true love. It awaits you…

What do you think? How do you survive first-date horror stories?

Images via bellagyrl.com, collegecandy.com, magazinediscountcenter.com

March 26, 2015

49 Dating Secrets Revealed

Australia’s Millionaire Matchmaker – aka Trudy Gilbert – has just released her new book 49 Secrets of an Elite MatchmakerSHESAID was lucky enough to peer through the pages and snag an interview. So we took the opportunity to ask her about the book, her dating knowledge and what’s next for this highly ambitious lady. We even unveil a few extra secrets, which The Bachelor fans will find exciting, so read on.

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49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker contains the type of advice Trudy offers her clients:

“Having helped so many people, it got me thinking: “What if I was able to help more people besides my clients?” Thus the idea for the book was born. 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker is a culmination of everything I’ve heard and learned over the last nine years from single men and women. I’ve learnt so much, from what I’ve seen work to what I’ve seen fail, and why some people find a match and others don’t.”

The clients Trudy is talking about are some of Australia’s top-earning professionals. They aren’t mainstream singles you’ll find on standard dating websites. All are looking for long-term relationships. Membership costs $4995, so Trudy’s clients are pretty serious about the business of finding a partner.

We asked Trudy if some of the book’s content would be more relevant to her clients, rather than mainstream singles:

“It wasn’t difficult to give a broad view of dating as these are common issues we all face… some issues are common and others are more specific.”

That explains why Trudy included a chapter on narcissism, which other dating advice books neglect:

“I included narcissism in the book as I wanted to save them from being attached to these personalities. It can be hard to detect these personality types until sometimes you are too far into the relationship.”

Trudy explains around 1 in 100 people has narcissistic traits and therefore the chances of bumping into a narcissist are reasonably high, particularly for high paid execs. Although she has no intention of entering into the mainstream dating market, the information she’s presented does translate well for the masses. Things like happiness, attractiveness, why people are still single, game playing, myths, settling, chemistry and so much more.

It’s not just a book for women either. Men get an idea of what women want as well. It seems Trudy has the dirt on both sexes! We wanted to use some of her knowledge to our advantage, so we asked what she believes are the main differences between single men and women:

“Men focus on what a woman looks like vs women who focus on personality. Men don’t need to know so much about a woman before they meet (whereas women do). Men focus on a fun bubbly personality and women look for a man who is reliable and trustworthy. Men tend to live in the moment, whereas women tend to jump ahead and analyse. Eg. Will he be my husband while on date number 2?”

Sounds pretty spot on. The book goes into these sorts of things in much more detail. There’s gender-specific chapters, singles specific chapters and general knowledge which anyone could benefit from. Many of Trudy’s clients are now off the market, but what they’ve shared is highly relevant for people looking to revitalize their relationships or understand their partner a little better.

Trudy clearly has something to offer couples as well as singles, so we asked if she’s thought about widening her focus:

“No, not yet. I am so busy with my current business. When daters become couples, my job is finished and I get an incredible amount of joy hearing they are happy.”

It seems Trudy is one of those inspirational ladies where anything is a possibility so, we had to ask what’s next:

“Currently working on another book, in talks with a production company for a new dating show, licensing opportunities for the business around Australia.”

Hmm, now here’s a lady who thinks BIG! Looks like The Bachelor fans may be in store for some home-grown competition! After reading the book and interviewing Trudy, one would assume her contestants would have a much better chance finding real love, than the recent Bachelor fiasco! That’s for sure.

For now though, 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker and Elite Introductions is Trudy’s primary focus. When we asked her if there was anything else she’d like to share about the book, upcoming events, promotions; anything which she would like to let readers know about, she finished off with:

“If you want to have a great date before Christmas, give us a call. My clients appreciate the high standards I hold when encouraging people to join the agency. Ladies, believe me, there are still some lovely, chivalrous eligible single bachelors in this town who want the same as you – a beautiful relationship”.
  
If you don’t meet the demographic and are looking for love, buy yourself a copy of 49 Secrets of an Elite Matchmaker instead. It’s well worth every cent!

November 10, 2014

Big Vs Aidan: Are You Dating The Wrong Type Of Man?

Did you, like me, ever want to slap Carrie in Sex and the City for choosing commitment-phobic, rich “suit” Mr. Big over artistic, soulful, hard-working and downright sexy carpenter Aidan? Look, if you’re Team Mr. Big, from the iconic American TV series, power to you sister. I get his appeal – he’s suave, broody, powerful, rich and attractive. But, let’s face it – dude had a pretty ugly heart and it took him AGES to commit.

By stark contrast, Aidan was the marrying kind – even if Carrie really didn’t truly love him (stupid Carrie!) – he was warm, loyal and would have offered her sensitivity, passion, and a stable home and children (pictured below), if indeed she decided she ever wanted the latter.

And while it’s been a decade since HBO’s beloved series went off the air, and word is still out on whether there will be a third Sex and the City movie, I still think the Mr. Big Vs Aidan argument is highly relevant to today’s dating woman.

For, as single women, we’re often conditioned into thinking who we should date – based on status or looks – rather than who would actually be good and right for us as life partners. Are you dating the wrong type of man? Case in point: growing up, I met many girls who “only dated white collar”.

Did this rigid and uncompromising dating rule ultimately work out for a lot of them? No.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes and by cutting yourself off from dating someone who doesn’t necessarily fit into the classic, perfect Mr. Big-type mould you could be denying yourself someone imperfectly perfect, who could well be the love of your life.

When I met my future husband, he was anything but the “IT guy” mould I’d been guilty myself of dating in the past. And it was imperfectly perfect from the start – this gorgeous, soulful professional musician had the emotional and spiritual depth I’d really been missing from my previous relationships. And there were no Mr. Big type cat-and-mouse games for a change – just emotional honesty and openness, ala Aidan.

Relationship counsellors advise women to think about the core values and attributes that you are looking for in a partner – such as honesty, kindness and a sense of humour. These are the most important factors to focus on. Other factors like a high income, job status and a man’s level of education are part of the equation, but much less important.

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After all, clearly a relationship is not going to work if you choose to be with someone because of their status and ignore the fact that the person is not a kind, thoughtful, decent human being. Focussing on status and income above all else might cause you to miss out on someone who would be perfect for you in terms of both personality and character.

What do you think? Are you Team Mr Big or Team Aidan?

Main image via howimetyourfatherblog.blogspot.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com

August 31, 2014

Sex And The Single Girl: Dating Red Cards

It’s a jungle out there! Modern-day dating can be a wonderful time of fun, self discovery and love/lust but also a baffling, upsetting and bloody strange experience. In the spirit of the World Cup 2014, here are some dating “red cards” which should equal automatic send-off. No ifs and buts, ladies, send the bastardo walking! There a lot of good men out there who are actually worthy of your precious time and attention – go find them, and stop knocking socks with Mr Wrong.

Disappearing act: If the man you’re dating suddenly goes AWOL, sorry to be the one to tell you sister: He’s more than likely done a runner. And lucky you really, because why the hell would you want him now anyway? If he can’t show you the simple courtesy of a phone call or text to let you know he’s just not that into you, feel sorry for the rude bastard, for his poor communication skills and cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing.

Opening the X-Files: This is an automatic red card in my book – if his ex is still very much on the scene, get out of there as fast as your heels will allow. How can your relationship flourish if he’s still living in the past? You are the future, girlfriend, and ain’t nobody got time for that disrespectful BS. Find a man whose emotional baggage is more akin to the size of a Chanel clutch than an entire Louis Vuitton luggage collection. Abort!

No marriage/kids: If the man you’re dating openly declares he has no desire to get married and/or kids, and this is something you want for your future, red card him, NOW. No one can predict the future but don’t waste your precious time with someone who doesn’t even want the same things as you. Lots of men do want marriage/kids – don’t try to force a man to the altar. If the dude you’re dating looks as though he may vomit when you raise the marriage/kids topic six months into a relationship – it’s time to kick him to the curb.

Doesn’t do exclusive: If the man you’re playing the blanket monster with wants to “see other people” on your time, and you want a relationship, red card him! To me, the phrase: “I think we should see other people” is a more dishonest/less direct way of him saying: “I don’t love you and/or respect you enough to be exclusive”. Abort, abort, abort! And say it with me, and to him: “I don’t like to share!” After all, you deserve a bloke who’s so into you, and you alone, that he wants nothing more than to come home to you every night. 

Emotional train wreck: Bullying, be it in the workplace, school yard or relationships is so not on. And it is especially not to be tolerated by the man in your bed. If the guy you’re dating starts to emotionally abuse/manipulate and/or dictate to you what clothes you can wear, foods you can eat and which friends you can hang out with, red card him so fast you give him a nose bleed! You are not his counsellor – let him sort out his mummy/daddy/self-esteem issues on his own time. Red card!

Author’s note: I dated a LOT of these Very Bad Men myself in my 20s/30s until I met my husband at 34. Don’t lose hope – hang in there sister – the right guy is trying hard to find you, too. 

By Nicole Carrington-Sima

 

June 21, 2014