What Does Your Body Language Say on a Date?

What Does Your Body Language Say on a Date?

I’ve never heard of this guy, Blake Eastman. He’s a 27-year-old guy in New York who is a body language expert and runs dating workshops. But just because I don’t know who he is doesn’t mean he’s not onto something.

Believe me, you don’t need a doctorate in order to help others.

You just need to be a keen observer of people and willing to speak an objective truth. The rest is just practice in pattern recognition. That’s what I’ve been doing here for nearly 10 years. That’s what it appears Eastman does as well. He gets people to look at themselves in the mirror – almost literally.

Eastman gets people to look at themselves in the mirror – almost literally.

Says Eastman, in response to a question about how daters can improve their skills. “Video,” he says. “You watch yourself on tape. Then you can change.” It might be a creepy move to set up a video camera on a first date, but Eastman will approximate the experience for you in his workshop by filming you talking to your classmates.”

I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but I find I can reach more people via the Internet than I can in a live seminar. Good for Eastman. As for his take on his success as a body language/dating expert, his take is rather refreshing. Says the Slate article:

“Eastman doesn’t give the impression that he aims to gather admirers but rather that he yearns to help people feel as comfortable as he’s learned to feel. “Communication is the most important part of relationships,” he says. “I want people to learn to communicate.”

Amen to that.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Sparkling Emerald

    Peter – Good point about cultural differences.  Things like eye contact, and personal space vary from culture to culture, and have different meanings.  Even someone within the same culture, could have extended family members from different cultures, so there body language might not be completely in sync with the larger culture.

  2. 32
    Ruby

    John #22
     
    “You couldn’t be more wrong. If a girl is attractive, that will make zero difference to a guy.”
     
    I’m repeating the story as I read it. It also said that this woman was attractive. The outcome was that, once this woman cleaned up her act, she had no problem getting second dates, and had plenty of men to choose from. I cannot claim to know what ALL men are looking for.

  3. 33
    John

    Sparkling Emerald @28

    John #27 – Since you say you usually only get “average” women, does “poor grammar” or “bragging” become a deal breaker also ? Do you expect perfection from women who are only average, but will accept more annoying behavior from hotties ?

    I never said I only get average womne. That was another poster. Not me. And by the way, we arent talking accepting poor behavior from hotties. Bad grammar isnt poor behavior. Bragging isnt poor behavior. WHile they are annoying, it isnt being rude or socially unacceptable.
    Got anything else? Because so far you are 0 for 2 in refuting the original comment. You use hyperbole to make your point and you quote the wrong person in trying to prove your point. For crying out loud we arent talking about anything major here. Just a second date. Thats all the original point was.

  4. 34
    Sparkling Emerald

    John-Sorry for confusing you with Dean – Your name was right above that comment, so it was an honest mistake. 

  5. 35
    Lia

    @ Dean & Peter
     
    Thanks for answering.

  6. 36
    Irina

    As several posters have already noted, increased conciousness of one’s body language can lead to awkward behavior on dates: exaggerated mirroring, rigid behaviour when trying to supress ‘natural’ fidgeting, obsessing about breathing etc…
    However, I believe it is also important to acknowledge that certain concious modifications to a person’s body language can increase the feeling of wellbeing and can make someone enjoy a date more, and hopefully transfer these positive feelings to their date.
    For example, when a person smiles (although maybe he/she does not feel like smiling) before, or during a date, this may tip your own mood towards a more positive feeling.
    Another, more personal example. I dance latin american competitions on a national level. One of the things I try to focus on, especially when walking upon the dance floor, is my poise. When I stand up straight, keep my chin up, shoulders back, sternum forward etc this makes me feel more confident, and the adjudicators are more likley to be under the impression that I am good at what I am doing. (Ofcourse, as a dancer, I always want my performance to be better, but that’s a different issue.)
    I believe that looking at your own body language critically would benefit everybody. Because often you do not come across the way you think, or are not concious of certain (easy to improve) issues. Another example (from dancing again) several months ago I was conciously working on several actions with my hands and wrists during the paso doble. I was honestly convinced that what I was doing was clear to the audinece and esthetically attractive. My partner told me that he had no idea what I was trying to do, it looked weird/ugly and we yelled at each other a bit, but when I saw what I was doing on video (long live the smartphones!!!) I had to admit he was right. So, with some feedback from my partner and from the camera, I could improve my dancing.
    Bottom line, although dating may not be as extreme as dancing, I believe that a concious evaluation of your own body language would benefit everyone. Whether you really need a coach to do that (or could practice this with friends, whom you can trust to be honest), is a different issue, and one I cannot answer for others.

  7. 37
    Girl in the Midwest

    @ Irina in # 37
     
    I agree with you. What you said reminds me of this:http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html. It’s a little long, but it’s a pretty inspirational talk. Of course she doesn’t directly mention dating in this talk, but one can take the general message of “fake it till you become it” and apply it to other things. If you act a certain way, after a while, it does become genuine and authentic and becomes an integral part of you.
     
    @ Dean and Peter and John
    My personal experience is in agreement with you guys. I think for each guy, there is a minimum threshold of attractiveness that the girl must have for her to be considered LTR material. This threshold is different for each guy, and many things modify it to different degrees for different guys. The minimum level of attractiveness is a necessary but insufficient criterion for a guy to commit to a LTR. She’ll also need to have a reasonably good personality, but I think guys are more flexible about that than about looks.

  8. 38
    Girl in the Midwest

    Also wanted to add: having a stellar personality has more of an effect if a girl’s physical attractiveness is in the middle of the bell curve. I think that in terms of women, developing a better personality is going to help a 6 or 7 more than if she’s a 1, because there’s more guys in the middle of the bell curve as well.

  9. 39
    Joe

    @ Irina #37:
     
    The reason you walk upon the floor with that demeanor is to project and connect with the audience and judges (since competitive ballroom is basically performance, like theater).  If your body language is closed, they don’t connect with you.
     
    I do imagine it’s similar in dating: the guy or girl who’s outgoing and open (talking and laughing and smiling) gets more attention than the one who’s quiet and retiring.  But just like in dancing, if the technique isn’t there, flashiness isn’t enough to win.

  10. 40
    David T

    @Lia 25
    Attractiveness ‘gets a foot in the door.’ For me that means I might approach them and talk to them a few times, but no matter how attractive, I won’t even ask them on one date if they manage to do something unappealing enough in those initial stages. Like say something extremely intolerant, or come off as angry or unhappy or selfish or cruel etc.  I also learn a lot from watching them interact with other people before I even approach them and sometimes screen ‘em out that way. An otherwise pretty woman can become downright unattractive to me.

     
    I have weeded out attractive (and less attractive) women this way, but it can take a date’s worth of interaction for the true horror of an attractive troll  to become apparent.  When that happens, I am polite and gracious and see the date through since I regard myself as a host when I ask someone out. (Within reason.  I won’t take abuse, but it is likely if they passed that first screening they aren’t completely awful people.) There will be no second date if they are rude, vastly different values, annoying or appear to have some significant relationship impairing  issues (like talking obsessively or even possessively about their most recent ex).  It does not matter how attractive they are or into me they seem, I am not going to waste my and her time after that.
     
    Initial physical attractiveness is like a movie trailer. I might buy a ticket and still walk out after the first ten minutes of a flashy movie if it looks bad. I can also go into a so-so movie or even one I  think I might not like much and end up likingit. Attractiveness in the end combines a lot of things and the physical is a small part.
     
    Different men think differently about this. John 22′s friends who might be quite pleased to ‘lay’ some of the  physically attractive but hurting or downright unpleasant women I have met.
     
    Lia, every man is different. If they keep asking a woman out they want to spend time with her, but she can’t know anything more than that. What their motive is might vary from friendship only to sex only to relationship prospect exploration and the only way to find out is to keep spending time together or ask.

    Gee whiz, ASK! I know Evan advises against this. If you ask these things in a reasonable way, and don’t make it the core of every interaction sucking all the fun out of being together, and he is still put off, do you want to be in a relationship anyway with someone who can’t communicate comfortably?

  11. 41
    Ruby

    David T #41
     
    “Gee whiz, ASK! I know Evan advises against this. If you ask these things in a reasonable way, and don’t make it the core of every interaction sucking all the fun out of being together, and he is still put off, do you want to be in a relationship anyway with someone who can’t communicate comfortably?”
     
    Thanks for mentioning this. I’d have to say that I’ve been much more negatively impacted by not asking questions, than I have been by speaking up. In fact, it bothers me that so much relationship advice says not to do this because you might scare a man off. It’s all about communication, and it just needs to be done in a non-confrontational way.

  12. 42
    Lia

    @ David T #41
     
    Thanks for jumping in.  
     
    “… but it can take a date’s worth of interaction for the true horror of an attractive troll to become apparent.” 
     
    LOL!!  
     
    “Initial physical attraction is like a movie trailer.”  
     
    That is a great line!!!  I am going to steal that one the next time I am discussing relationships with my friends… (I will give you credit.)
     
    “Gee whiz ASK!”  
     
    I have to admit I am not one to ask about a man’s intentions.  I don’t think that a guy would necessarily know what his intentions will be, just what they are in the moment.  I find that for me, personally, I like for people to reveal themselves and listen to my intuition.  (Okay, I haven’t always listened to my intuition.)  I have had the best times on dates when I have no worries about where things were going and I don’t have expectations beyond having a nice time. 
     
    I had a guy friend tell me once, “Look, listen and pay attention.”  I try to remember that.

  13. 43
    Sparkling Emerald

    David T #41
      Thanks for your response, I enjoy hearing the men’s perspectives and I appreciate you POV, because it shows that not all men are alike.
      I have been thinking about the ways I have attempted to micro-manage my dating in the past and then I started thinking about the first impressions I have made on past serious relationships.   Without going into excruciating detail, I can re-call that my first dates with both my ex-hubbies, and my first serious boyfriend were not stellar dates .  (I wasn’t a total troll, but let’s just say there was room for improvement)  But I guess THEY considered me “attractive enough” to overlook that.  (and there was no getting naked on the following date)  
      I have decided to relax more about my body language, the conversation, how I look etc. and just enjoy the date.  If the guy would dump me over something minorly annoying, then he really isn’t that into me.  If the guy finds me annoying, but decides on a second date for the sole purpose of “getting naked”, well that won’t happen, so it’s a moot point.  But if the guy IS REALLY INTO ME, the date can withstand some “technical errors” on my part, (and if I AM REALLY INTO HIM, I am not going to let a mis-spoken word,  a tad bit of shyness, or some awkward body language)  On the other hand, if one or both of us, isn’t into the other,  I could behave like I had a black belt in charm school, and a relationship would not develop.

  14. 44
    Sparkling Emerald

    Ruby #19 said    “I once read about a woman who didn’t understand why she wasn’t getting second dates. It turned out that even though she was well-educated, she sometimes used poor grammar, and had a tendency to brag about her accomplishments, as if she was trying to impress her date. She didn’t realize these things until she heard herself on tape. Not exactly body language, but it clued her in to behaviors she hadn’t been aware of. These things may seem obvious, but they may not be to the person doing them.”
    ____________________
    I am a bit skeptical of this story (no disrespect intended) , not because I think “You couldn’t be more wrong.” but I just think if she was “well educated” her “sometimes” use of “poor grammar” couldn’t possibly be a deal breaker to someone WHO WAS REALLY INTO HER, but it could be a handy excuse for someone who isn’t.  I wasn’t there, so I don’t know about her tendency to “brag”, but unless she proclaimed her self to be the most beautiful, brilliant woman to have ever lived, again, I can’t imagine it being a deal breaker for anyone, except someone who just wasn’t into her. Or someone who was so insecure in their own accomplishments that they couldn’t handle hearing about hers.  ( or she may have unwittingly screened out the narcissists, the ones who only want to talk about THEIR accomplishments)  I think it might just be a co-incindence that once she “cleaned up her act” she started getting second dates.  Hopefully, they weren’t with someone looking to get naked and nothing more.

  15. 45
    Sparkling Emerald

    David T 41  “Gee whiz, ASK! I know Evan advises against this. If you ask these things in a reasonable way, and don’t make it the core of every interaction sucking all the fun out of being together, and he is still put off, do you want to be in a relationship anyway with someone who can’t communicate comfortably?”
     
    David T, I enjoy your posts. However,  I agree with EMK on this, but it is not because EMK says so  (and almost every other dating coach says this), it is because I have come to this conclusion from my own experience.  In my much younger years (in a galaxy far-far away :) ) I used to initiate the big R talk if the guy didn’t do it first.  I have NEVER had a big R develop, where I was the one who initiated the talk.  From past bittersweet experience, I find that if I have to ask “Where is this relationship going ?”, then it isn’t going anywhere.  If I have to ask “Where do I stand ?”, then I have no standing.  If I have to ask “How do you feel about me ?”, well they aren’t feeling what I’m feeling.  After banging my head against that brick wall several times, I learned to just listen to what they DO tell me, and observe how they treat me.  Often times, they would initiate the big R talk, just to tell me something along the lines of “I’m not ready for a relationship at this point” blah, blah, blah. (translation: they aren’t into a relationship WITH ME)  Eventually I learned to walk away when I heard that talk.  And as I got better at walking away I could even do it with a smile and a “Thanks for letting me know. Since we’re not on the same page, I won’t waste any more of your or my time” 
      Anyone that I have ever been serious with, ALWAYS let me know their intentions FIRST.  I never even got to the point where I felt the question had to be asked, because they brought it up BEFORE I even thought to feel anxious about the relationship status. 
    I think the dating coach industry has that part right, ladies, let the men initiate. If they want you THEY WILL INITIATE, if they say “I’m not in place right now for a serious relationship” THEY MEAN IT.  I don’t necessarily think that this dooms the rest of the relationship communications wise, either, but initial communications about relationship statuses are best, when the male leads.  At least that has been my experience.
    David T – I hope you don’t mind me asking, and feel free to ignore my questions if you aren’t comfortable answering. Have you ever been in a serious LTR, where the girl initiated the relationship talk ?  If so, did you feel pressured, or were you glad that she brought it up ?  Why did she bring it up first, were you on the verge of bringing it up, and she just happened to beat you to it ?  Or were just letting her be the one to bring it up, because you prefer it that way ?  Really, I’m not trying to interrogate you, I am genuinely curious.  Thanks.

  16. 46
    justme

    Concerning Ruby’s story (19).
     
    I know a lot of people are skeptical but seriously what if she BRAGGED ALL NIGHT?  Haven’t you ever talked to someone who’s entire conversation revolves around them?  Their education, their jobs, their history.  I listen politely for about 10 minutes and then excuse myself.  Really?  Would a guy overlook this?

  17. 47
    Ruby

    Justme #47
     
    I’m not sure where the skepticism comes from. What I read was that the women went on and on about her possessions and accomplishments, trying to impress her dates. It actually made her sound very insecure, as if she had to impress a man or he’d leave. Isn’t EMK always telling successful women that men care more about how a woman makes them feel than he does about her accomplishments?
     
     

  18. 48
    David T

    @Sparkling46
     
    Frankly, I don’t remember even for sure HAVING that discussion in any of my 5ish LTRs, including my ill conceived marriage.  I suppose we probably did, but it was so second nature, I have no clue who brought what up when and what the content was.  It is never a “Big R talk” it is just something that comes up sometimes in the natural course of conversation, perhaps in little pieces.  Already by calling it that, I suspect it is a topic you never brought up from a place of ease, comfort and genuine curiosity.
     
    Until the last few years exclusivity was something I had always assumed in relationships once we began kissing and seriously making out and certainly once we were saying I love you to each other. Early in my last LTR she became very concerned and fearful that I was not being faithful to her and broke up, citing all kinds of things that concerned her. We reconciled after one of the longest weeks of my life. Once she stated her concerns I was able and happy (eager!) to make some changes to help her feel more secure.
     
    After that I developed a keen appreciation for clear communication In my last two dating relationships, none of which ever hit LTR status (2 months does not count for me) I brought it up several times, but it was always things like “I like you and am enjoying our time and want to see where this will go.” It was never a big deal discussion though, it just came up in the natural flow.  With one, I did specifically want to bring it up because I felt like she was becoming too invested and I did not want her to be hurt since I was less and less certain about if it was going to last. I also ended both of those relationships.
     
    Until I started reading this blog, I don’t believe I ever thought of exclusivity or declaring someone your girlfriend or boyfriend as something that needed to be directly stated; if you are saying “I love you” then of COURSE you are exclusive.  Now I see that a lot of women do like to hear it spelled so I try to make a point to explain what I am feeling and where I am coming from. (After one reconciliation, I found out we were reconciled because she related a story to me where she had referred to my car as “my boyfriend’s car” to someone.  I had no idea we were romantically back together until that moment!)
     
     
    I have never felt “pressured” by anyone.  I have no problem telling someone how I feel about them if they ask, though I will put some thought into how I say it for the sake of tact.
     
    So Emerald, I think it is something people should talk about without it being a Big R talk or a Big Deal. If it feels like a Big Deal, or becomes the only kind of interaction you have maybe the reasons behind that are why the other person decides to leave.  Now, I am not the typical guy, so your mileage will vary. . . .

    @sparkling44I think overthinking and micromanaging the impression we make on a date is a common mistake. It takes us out of the moment and makes it hard to be fully present as ourselves. Its an easy trap to fall into. (*) I know I over think too much in between dates and I have to be careful of that.
     
    (*)Hmm…no wonder men who are focused on getting their opponent naked, which is all about projecting a particular image to achieve a certain outcome, also have difficulty connecting emotionally. “Game” is the pinnacle of displaying a set of techniques rather than being yourself. The gamer can still be relaxed, but so is an expert surgeon doing his fifty-seventh liver transplant.

  19. 49
    Lia

    @ Sparkling Emerald # 46
     
    Yes, yes, yes!  While I do believe communication is vital in a relationship, I do not believe in being the one to bring up the where is this going/ how do you feel talk.  In my experience if men don’t bring it up it isn’t on their radar. 

  20. 50
    Karmic Equation

    @justme 47

    Men don’t think like women…While WOMEN would probably detest a man who bragged all night, no matter how good looking he was…She MIGHT put up with it if he were rich or have some other high “status” (local celebrity, for example). And she’d probably justify it as “He’s famous, OF COURSE he’s going to have a lot of things to be proud of.” — The equivalent justification for beauty for a man would be “OF COURSE she’s going to have a few issues, but she’s HOT!”

    So SUBSTITUTE the phrase “Rich or Famous Man” with “Beautiful woman” and you’ll be closer to comparing apples to apples.

  21. 51
    Joe

    Just asking a man about his intentions isn’t necessarily tantamount to THE TALK!  You can ask a man about his intentions on the first few dates–you don’t have THE TALK on the first few dates!

  22. 52
    Karmic Equation

    @Joe 52

    Usually, if a guy wants to go on 2nd and 3rd dates with me, I’m assuming he wants to bed me at some point. No need to talk about those intentions, lol.

    I’ve never had to have “The Talk” with any of LTR men in my life, they’ve all just led and escalated and I’ve just followed their lead. So, I’m just asking this out of curiosity, not to dig at you or anything…How would you suggest phrasing the “intentions” questions?

    Are you saying you haven’t ever been spooked by a woman asking you your intentions? How did she do it and what did you say? Curious minds want to know!

    Personally, I treat the initial stages of dating as a little bit of chess, a little bit of poker, and a little bit of war… So ASKING a question that clues a guy in to MY thoughts is giving up too much info to the enemy camp, so to speak (not that I regard men as enemies, btw) — like giving away a battle plan or waving a tell in his face. Doesn’t seem like a good strategy in the “battle of the sexes”, which is what I fondly call the process of dating.

  23. 53
    Sparkling Emerald

    David T #46 – Thanks for allowing me to interrogate you :)
    You said________________________________________________________
    Until the last few years exclusivity was something I had always assumed in relationships once we began kissing and seriously making out and certainly once we were saying I love you to each other. Early in my last LTR she became very concerned and fearful that I was not being faithful to her and broke up, citing all kinds of things that concerned her. We reconciled after one of the longest weeks of my life. Once she stated her concerns I was able and happy (eager!) to make some changes to help her feel more secure.
    ______________________________________________________________
    Well, not to sound like Sara Palin, but you are a maverick if you assume exclusivity once the heavy making out begins. And I commend you for it.   I came of age in the 70′s, near the beginning of the “sexual revolution”.  (I think that really means when sex became revolting :)  )  There probably was a period of time, when it was typical to assume coupledom once the heavy making out began, but somewhere in the late 60′s to eary 70′s that began to change.  I started out assuming that because I “made out” with someone we were a couple, but after getting burned by “I never promised you anything”, I had to stop assuming.  (It took me a loong time to get this)  I think at some point, random making out with No strings attached became the norm, eventually it escalated to random sex with no strings became the norm.  “I never promised you anything” became a convenient excuse.  Eventually sex with no strings attached was as available as tap water, and women began fooling themselves into thinking they were fine with no strings flings.  After being in a couple of “non-relationships” and feeling hurt because I assumed that we were exclusive because we had made out or whatever,  I FINALLY stopped assuming.  Men even became more upfront about their lack of promise.  Instead of just bedding women, and then pulling the old “I never promised you” line, they would start admitting right up front “I’m not promising you anything”.  (Sometimes they waited until they were half naked to admit it, but at least they came out and said it)  At one point, I observed more of these “No strings attached” relationships the real committed relationships.  (at least among my peers, not counting the older gen) Eventually after kicking myself in the butt for falling for a guy “Who didn’t promise me anything” or Specifically  promised me NOTHING, I wised up.  The LTR’s where the guy initiated “labeling” the relationship, usually wasn’t a big “talk”, but was something as simple as introducing me as “his girlfriend”.  Or before the intro could me made, someone would say, “So this must be your girlfriend I’ve heard so much about, she’s as pretty as you say she is !” or something like that. 
    This stupid little ditty was a staple of the sexual revolution
    “I do my thing, and you do your thing.  I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful”
    As well as the general attitude of living for today and not “worrying” about tommorow.  Thinking or planning for a future was dismissed as worrying, people who didn’t drop their pants and the drop of a hat were considered uptight. (not saying this was 100% of the people felt this way, but it was a common attitude, whereas a generation before, people who thought that way were the odd ones)
     
    You also said “Until I started reading this blog, I don’t believe I ever thought of exclusivity or declaring someone your girlfriend or boyfriend as something that needed to be directly stated;” 
    I can understand how you felt that way, since you seem to assume exclusivity, once the physical relationship gets to a certain point (yay for you ! ) but many men do NOT.  Getting a woman NAKED is the end goal, even if she is deemed unworthy of a relationship.  And you don’t have to take this Blog’s word for it.  Just google “Unlabeled relationship” or “Non relationship” , you will see this is something women struggle with. I get newsletters from male websites selling coaching advice for men who want NSA sex.  One of the e-mails I rec’d began with
    “First, let’s define success:

    A “successful” date ends in sex.

    Life’s too short, so let’s not beat around the bush.

    We’ve found that sleeping with a woman as early as possible usually gives you the most power to create a relationship of your choice – whether that’s a traditional relationship, an open relationship, friends-with-benefits or something more exotic.

    Also – it’s easier than you think.

    If you follow our blueprint for successful dates, you’ll get the girl and she’ll be telling her friends the next day that “it just happened” with a smile on her face.
    ________
    Not only is this hook up culture prevalent, apparently men are paying thousands of dollars to learn how to make the most of it. Men are being schooled in how to create a “non-relationship” with an “insignifigant other”
     
    Right or Wrong, this is why a woman would be wise to wait until there has been some declaration of coupledom before becoming to intimate.    (of course, the guy could be lying to get into your pants, but short of a lie detector test, what else can we do ?)
     
     
     
     

  24. 54
    marymary

    Sparkling
    In the UK, exclusivity is assumed from the first date.  In fact, “exlusivity” isn’t even a word we use in that way. It’s not automatically assumed you are in a relationship, but it’s assumed you’re not dating anyone else. We don’t even call it a date, we manage to get together somehow but being formally asked out isn’t that common.  There’s a lot of hanging around in groups (that’s how I met my boyfriend) or going to the pub in groups (not like going to a bar, usually more relaxed).
    Of course, I’m sure people DO have more than one person on the go but it’s frowned about, and referred to as “two-timing”.
    I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just how it is and I expect it’s different with online dating.
    People still hook up and have casual sex but either a)it’s obvious to everyone else but them that it’s casual or b) they know it’s casual and are either happy with it or unhappy with it and hoping for an “upgrade”.  I guess that’s the same over the pond though. Or everywhere.

  25. 55
    Tom10

    Marymary
    “In the UK, exclusivity is assumed from the first date.”
     
    Um…no it’s not.
     
    Although I’m not British I’m there regularly and have many friends who live there. 
     
    It’s as Sparkling Emerald said: until ‘the situation’ has been officially declared either party is free to do whatever they want. This is a worldwide ‘rule’. It would be extremely naïve of a woman anywhere to assume exclusivity from the first date.
     
    “I’m sure people DO have more than one person on the go but it’s frowned about, and referred to as “two-timing”
     
    Well no, two-timing only applies if you are an official couple. And who cares what people frown about.
     
    Sparkling Emerald
    You have it in one. For many men “getting a woman NAKED is the end goal, even if she is deemed unworthy of a relationship.”
    And
     
    “this is why a woman would be wise it wait until there has been some declaration of coupledom before becoming to intimate”
     
    Bingo! This is what Evan has been advocating all the time. This is what women need to keep reminding themselves – until he’s your boyfriend he’s not real. Men will step up quickly if they are actually genuinely interested. Otherwise they will leave you hanging for as long as it suits them. You will need skill to negotiate the ‘subtle dance of indicating interest but protecting yourself’ (ref Fusee)  – because men with options will disappear quickly if they feel you are playing games about when to have sex.

  26. 56
    Fusee

    Joe @52: “Just asking a man about his intentions isn’t necessarily tantamount to THE TALK!  You can ask a man about his intentions on the first few dates–you don’t have THE TALK on the first few dates!”
     
    Karmic Equation @53: “So, I’m just asking this out of curiosity, not to dig at you or anything…How would you suggest phrasing the “intentions” questions?”
    “Personally, I treat the initial stages of dating as a little bit of chess, a little bit of poker, and a little bit of war…”
     
    I agree with Joe, but I would actually suggest not even asking about his intention, but simply state your dating goals and the fact that “you do not really know what his are at this point since you’re just starting to get to know one another”. Of course, it only makes sense to say that BEFORE anything physical happens. That’s the “Check!” of Karmic Equation‘s chess game analogy. Then you simply wait for the next move : )
     
    My guy processed the “statement” for the last few hours of date #3, and at the end of the day, before walking me to my door and without me having brought up anything else on the topic (and definitely thinking that “disappearing” was the most likely future move and being totally fine with that), he sat me down on a public bench and explained to me that “he had been looking for a fling, but as he had also always wanted to find someone to share his life with, he could also imagine going on the serious track in a few weeks down the line since he liked me so much and already felt such strong connexion”.
     
    If you market yourself as “easy”, you get “easy”, which is awesome if you indeed like “easy”. If you market yourself as “future wife”, you may not get what you want, but at least you do not get what you do NOT want. It does not work for everyone, but it sure worked well for me. It made guys who wanted a fling out of me disappear fast to leave me available for my guy who would have taken a fling if I had gone with his flow but who upgraded his options when he realized that 1. I was a rare find, 2. I was serious about my goals and would not hesitate giving a warm goodbye hug for anything less.
     

  27. 57
    Sparkling Emerald

    Fusee #57  You said ” If you market yourself as “future wife”, you may not get what you want, but at least you do not get what you do NOT want.”
    Did you state that marriage was your dating goal ?  Or did you say something else, like long term relationship, etc ?  Another female dating coach (one who apparently gives word for word scripts for dating) recommends saying something like, “I’m not looking for a boyfriend, I’m looking for a husband, until I find him I can’t be exclusive”  then she recommends dating several men until one proposes.  Although I would like to know “where a relationship is going” before I get physical with anyone, her approach seems too extreme.  I think saying that on a first date would scare even a potential husband off.    Also, that approach seems to me, to be coming from a place of being “in love with love” or in love with the idea of marriage, and someone who will just marry any willing guy, regardless of her feeling for him.
    Also, since I’ve already been married twice, am past child bearing age, I am looking for a  LTR, definitely don’t want a fling, friends with benefits, one night stands or anything like that, but it wouldn’t necessarily HAVE to be marriage, although I haven’t dismissed that possibility altogether.

  28. 58
    Fusee

    @Sparkling Emerald #58:“Did you state that marriage was your dating goal ?  Or did you say something else, like long term relationship, etc ?”
     
    I went from using vague vocabulary to more specific language to the M word in six months. On date #3, as he was initiating physical contact, I simply said that while I found him attractive and awesome I was concerned that he was looking for a fling (everything indicated such intention), as I do not do flings but rather have more serious long-term goals. I validated the desire for flings of course, no judgement, but made clear that I was not going down that road and expressed my concern for a lack of compatibility at that level. I basically gave him a royal opportunity to disappear : ) As I worte @57 he did not (while another guy did previously). On date #12 or so, as at that point we really liked each other and had discovered all our common values and great compatibility, my vocabulary became more specific as I needed him to step up if our relationship had to progress physically (he was starting to be a little impatient, and me too). I said that I was interested in exploring the potential for building a relationship that would be like a great team going through life together. At 6 months, I explained that “long-term” means marriage to me (and gave my reasons for why I was interested in the legal aspect of the commitment), and followed by asking if this is something he was interested in (independently of me, just in general, and then when he said yes, I asked him if he saw some potential with me at that point). Obviously it always was a two-sided conversation, but I’m only writing what I actually said.
     
    My opinion is that there is no need to use big words too soon. An intention can be expressed early on with easy-going language, and progressively clarified later on. However if the guy got “scared” by the M word, then we’d obviously not be compatible. I am not interested in guy who get “scared” or “threatened” by a very natural life goal, by a simple expression of a personal purpose, and by curiosity-based questions. Come on, this is dating! And there is a huge difference between dating with a purpose and demanding that a specific prospect give me what I want. If he did not get that difference, I’d suspect we’d have worse communication (ego?) issues down the line, so I’d happily pass and keep myself single for the next one.
     
    But again, I am (was : ) a very happy and secure single woman, so I am (was) fine with the idea of walking away, or seeing a “scared” guy disappear. It got a bit harder to remain so open to any outcome as the relationship progressed, especially when doubts and commitment fears arose, but that determination acted as a great encouragement to trigger and then resolve issues, and continue to progress on the path to the ultimate commitment.

  29. 59
    Peter

    There’s no exclusivity in Russia! Russian marriage became rather weak during the Soviet period because of deliberate abolition of marriage by feminist socialists and many 10′s of millions of men killed by revolution, civil war, famine, political purges and war.  It’s taken for granted that both parties are two timing until marriage.  After motherhood, it is just the man who is expected to two time.  Male body language is always sexually aggressive.

  30. 60
    Sparkling Emerald

    Fusee #59 – Thanks for your response, it is giving me some ideas for how I might handle future situations.  (I just recently got out of a very long marriage, and I feel like I am a newcomer to dating all over again)  I LOL’d that you used the phrase “The M word”. :) I also use that phrase.
    With my 2nd hubby, I never even had time to get anxious about “where the relationship” was going, he was upfront about his intentions very early on.  I only had a very brief period of wondering where I stood, and I think that was more due to my own insecurities than anything he did. I know it all blew up in my face 23 years later, but I really want my next relationship to have that magical beginning of a man sweeping me off my feet, wooing ME, HIM being the one chasing me and hoping I will love him, be his girlfriend etc.  I ended up with a horrible marriage, that left me emotionally stranded mid life, but at least I do have wonderful memories of a whirl wind courtship, a starry eyed newly wed experience, and about 10-12 happy years, and most importantly, my son. (However, next time, I won’t marry so quickly, if I marry at all)
    It will be interesting to see how my love life unfolds this time around.  Thanks again for your feed back !

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