Friday, July 6, 2012

Improving Her Dating Skills

The Bravo network has a new reality show called Miss Advised in which three so-called dating experts show us how not to date. My initial reaction here.

Of the three thirty-something women, two bear special handicaps. Julia Allison suffers from so much exposure and so many dating and relationship traumas that her self-confidence is on life support. Emily Morse is a self-styled sexpert, thus, not the kind of women a man would want to bring home to Mom.

In England a reporter named Sarah Bridge, who does not seem to be suffering from the same handicaps, has just written a book about bettering her dating skills. It is unabashedly entitled: First Catch Your Husband: Adventures On The Dating Front Line.

To promote her book she has offered a synopsis in the form of a long article in the London Daily Mail.

In Bridge’s analysis, successful thirty-something women have developed habits and routines that are perfectly suited to singlehood. Independent and autonomous, they make their own decisions,conduct their lives as they see fit and do not answer to anyone.

For a single person, these are good habits. When you are unattacked they will serve you well.

Unfortunately, a woman who is looking for a man will find these same habits to be an obstacle.

Some women try to remedy the situation by going to the other extreme. Seeing that their independent streak is turning off men they start trying too hard to please men, even to the point of allowing themselves to be pushed around and disrespected.

Extreme independence announces that there is no room for anyone else. Extreme dependence announces a feeling of worthlessness, as though she deserves to be mistreated. 

How, then, can a woman who has been brought up to be independent and autonomous overcome her bad habits without falling into the trap of extreme dependence? How can she, in other words, find a middle ground between independent and dependent.

Normally, a woman who has earned her independence will defend it fiercely. She will refuse to compromise her habits, her rituals or her routines. An alien life form, i.e., a man, will seem to be undermining her equanimity. The closer he gets, the more she connects, the more she will feel threatened.

Even if she has not undergone any dating traumas, she will, under normal circumstances have a difficult time engaging a relationship, to say nothing of a marriage.

When such a woman meets a man the impulse to defend her singlehood will overpower her wish to connect.

As Bridge sees it, independent women defend themselves by being critical, overbearing, and, to use her word, “snippy.”

She begins with the story of Anna and Chris. Seated next to each other at a dinner party they had plenty of time to get to know each other.

Here is what happened:

By the time the main course arrived, Anna had told Chris exactly what he was doing wrong in his career, made jokes about his dress sense and criticised his choice of car. Chris barely got a word in edgeways.

For her part, Anna thought she was being helpful and amusing, and couldn’t understand why Chris never called her.

Incapable of seeing how she might have looked to another person Anna persisted in behaving badly because she thought that she was helpful and entertaining. She was unaware that she had completely monopolized the conversation.

When Bridge noticed that she too was having similar dating experiences, she asked a male friend what she was doing wrong.

He replied that she was being snippy:

‘Yes, snippy,’ he said. ‘Abrupt. Critical. If someone says or does something wrong, then you’re onto it straight away. Men will ignore a lot of things if they fancy someone — a weird dress sense, or taking hours getting ready to go out — but they hate being put down or made to feel small. You can be funny, but sometimes it’s way too close for comfort.’

She may or may not have overdosed on critical thinking, but she was acting as though she had.

All the while, she had been thinking that she was being witty. If so, her wit seemed to be directed at the men she was dating.

She was not connecting with them but was asserting her superiority at their expense. She was playing out a scenario that she could report to her girlfriends, thus providing them with endless entertainment. It’s called solidarity with the sisterhood.

Seeing that the sisterhood finds it uproarious women who share these anecdotes cannot understand why the men in question never call them again. Often they console themselves by saying that these men are easily intimidated by strong women.

Beyond showing off their ability to provide an endless stream of criticism, these women insist on being in complete control. They must be in charge.

X Factor judge Kelly Rowland explains that she chooses the restaurant, opens the door for herself and pays the bill. Of course, she is asserting her independence, but she is also acting as though he is not there and is not a man.

Evidently, the man is will be thinking to himself: why does she need me for? If he has been rendered superfluous, a piece of furniture, then he is not likely to stay around very long.

Bridge says that her generation learned these bad habits from their mothers. One must add that their mothers were simply mouthing the feminist party line.

In her words:

Our generation was told by our mothers that we didn’t have to be reliant on a man, and shouldn’t be afraid of making ourselves heard to get ahead in our careers.

How did Bridge overcome her bad habit? She repressed every impulse to criticize, complain, and take charge, to be witty, snippy, and otherwise unpleasant.

Using willpower she forced herself to stop saying whatever came to mind. She avoided getting into arguments over small things. She ignored irritating ideas and habits. And she tried always to remain calm and poised.

Do you remember when women were advised to be poised? Probably not.

At first, when Bridge started speaking more softly and slowly, with a lower voice, she found that her friends had difficulty adapting. Accustomed to the old Sarah they needed time to accept the new Sarah.

The point is worth emphasizing. When you start developing a new habit, your friends and family will have difficulty adjusting to the new you. They are geared up to the old you. They might not believe that the new you is real. Inadvertently or not they will push back against a new better you.

To persist in the face of such resistance is a necessary part of the effort to replace bad habits with good ones.

To her great credit Sarah Bridge has shown that it can be done, successfully.


Dennis said...

I am amazed at how simple life really is for those who think positively. We are born dependent on our parents and others. We gradually reach a stage where we gain independence. As we grow and learn to love and be loved we reach the stage of interdependence. As we mature we may find ourselves independent again and if we live long enough we will again be dependent. It is called the "circle of life."
The most important stage of life is interdependence. It is where one learns to give and receive, to share life's challenges, and hardships. It makes both you and your partner stronger people.
Interdependence seems to not be in the vocabulary of the feminist. They are dysfunctional and have stunted their own growth as human beings.
Simply put if one wants respect one has to be willing to give it. It one wants, courtesy, politeness, et al then one has to be capable of giving those same things. These parts of life are not hard, but seem to be lost on feminists. One wonders why they are surprised when they get the treatment they have meted out to others.
The "hill" we climb during our life is to a peak called "Interdependence." Everything from there is down hill.
n.n, Feminists and those who are dysfunctional are a function of evolution. They are self limiting beings. Put another way it is how God removes those who serve no other purpose than themselves. Even wonder why there is "A Great Awakening" every so often?

Anonymous said...

This article might be in your wheel house.

Sam L. said...

I had to check this on IMDB, having never heard of it. They clearly put the dys in dysfunctional.

Asno Mudo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
african girl said...

What a nice topic!
I do agree with you. The most important stage in life is independence. It really feels good to have freedom for everything.

As we grow old life changes rapidly. When we are young we are very dependent to our parents but when we became in the stage of adolescence or should I say adulthood we learn to be independent. That's the cycle of life. There's nothing in this world that is forever. Each of us will die, so before that we have to live our lives to the fullest. Life is too short for doing unnecessary things.

asian dating said...

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