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I Don’t Like the Way You Look Anymore

In Attraction on September 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

written by Swag

A friend of mine battled with a weight problem, as a child, for a very long time. She was overweight for most of high school and was never comfortable with her self-image. Fed up with the idea of food being the vice-grip of death on her life, she took up the challenge of changing her diet and her lifestyle. I never met the old, overweight, version of her. I know the new, healthy, confident version.

Two mice; the mouse on the left has more fat s...

Uhhhh....I don't think this is going to work anymore

The other day, she came to me wondering whether she was being a bit shallow for no longer being attracted to an ex-boyfriend because he had gained a few pounds. This wasn’t the only reason that kept them apart and he had gained the weight after they broke up, but it was definitely a contributing factor.

Is she justified for no longer being attracted to him? Shouldn’t she be a bit more long-term oriented in her assessment of beauty? Everybody gets old and nobody stays graceful forever, right?

Since health and wellness is now important to her, I told her she could go one of three routes if she decides to re-engage her relationship with him:

1) She could try to get him to work out, hopefully sparking some motivation to get healthy and stay healthy.
2) She could return to him with a hidden resentment about his overweight status because either he wasn’t motivated to change or she never attempted to help him become motivated.
3) She could accept him for who he is, whether he was motivated to change or not.

Halle Berry

Image by bigdmia via Flickr

In the same token, I have another close friend who despises short hair. He’ll never like the Halle Berry get-up and isn’t really a fan of natural hair either. His girlfriend obviously has different plans because she is about to do both. She wants to grow her hair out natural and is planning on chopping off her mane (which is permed straight) in order to get the process started. He’s a bit livid and the fact that he can’t really explain why he doesn’t like those two particular hairstyles doesn’t help matters at all. He’s been planning on breaking their relationship off since she isn’t keen on his viewpoint and won’t back down.

Is he justified? Does he seem shallow to place so much emphasis on something that can grow back?

It’s not like she came home with a new hairdo without telling him. I can’t help but wonder what he is giving up because of a hairstyle. They aren’t married but what does he think commitment means? What makes her worth the effort? The time? The emotion? Is she just a pretty face to look at. There has to be something more significant than a hairstyle that brings and keeps two people together.

At least my female friend is aware of the possibility that she is being shallow. I know a few people, of both genders, experiencing the exact same dilemma. A person’s physical appearance is usually the first marker of attraction, so there isn’t anything wrong paying attention to it. But after you start a relationship, maybe you should ask more in-depth questions like:

Does this person love me for who I am?
Am I accepting of them for their flaws?
Will this person be a good parent?
Is this person able to communicate effectively?
Am I able to communicate effectively?
Am I able to appreciate who this person is without judging them?
What do I intend to gain from this relationship?
If weight is a deal breaker but I’m still willing to give it a chance, have I communicated my threshold?
Does this person know what I can not live without?
Does this person know what I can not tolerate?

I know I can be a bit judgmental at times, so when I was dating, I tried my hardest to communicate my intentions and expectations before the relationship moved into deeper stages. If I wasn’t planning on investing any emotions, I didn’t want the other person making the mistake of doing so. In fact, the reason why my girlfriend and I fit so well is because we were friends for a year before we entered our relationship. We had plenty of time to discuss every topic under the sun. We knew where the other person stood on pretty much everything. Few surprises, if any, existed. She knew I didn’t want to be with someone who wasn’t willing to invest in their own physical health. She also knew I could care less about her hairstyles because there was so much more to her than that.

Everybody has preferences. Nobody is going to like the way everything looks on every person. It’s ok to be concerned about physical appearance. At the very least, communicate your preferences to your partner in the beginning of your relationship. If that doesn’t work, make sure to take a step back before making any rash decisions. On the scale of love what’s more important, the person that stands before you or the dead skin cells on their head?

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Leading People On

In Attraction, Hate on September 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

 written by Sway

But what? Wait...do you REALLY love him?/stylescientist.blogspot.com

Let’s keep it real ladies and gentlemen, it is cool to know when someone likes you. Finding out that someone thinks about you or wants you makes you feel good inside and can instantly boost your ego. But what you do when you discover someone has taken more interest in you than you have in them is important. You can do one of two options:

1) be an adult about the situation and express to the person how you really feel.

2) choose to lead them on with actions that don’t match your feelings.

Some may look at these two options as lose-lose situations.  Depending on the depth of their feelings for you, doing numero uno can cause unwanted drama and tension between you two. And doing the second option only digs you into a deep hole of deceit that you will have to find a way out of later.

So which one seems like the lesser of two evils…..Hhmmmm?

Clearly the answer is number 1. If you are in this sort of situation first ask yourself why you are leading this person on? Based on my experiences, there were only two reasons why I’ve done this in the past.

The first reason was I was bored with my dating life. There have been several occasions where I wasn’t really thrilled with my rotation of Time Fillers so I felt the need to add guys to the roster that really didn’t serve me any purpose but paying me attention.

The second and more likely reason, was because I was hurt. Hurt people hurt people, and most times I was hurting because I was still getting over a past relationship/break up. I’ve realized that the more hurt I was, the more likely I was to lead someone new in my life on, to fill the void and my broken heart.

At the end of the day, it all came down to me wanting attention. I wasn’t happy with my current dating situation and spending time with someone who was interested in me, made me feel better about it. But in actuality, once I realized someone felt more for me than I did them, there honestly wasn’t any good reason to keep them around because they would always expect more from the situation than I was willing to give. The mere act of us hanging out , came across as a sign that I liked them when it wasn’t the case. This was reason enough to consider letting them know the deal.  And when I actually did it, it was refreshing.

The cons: Yes, it was hard for me to have the conversation with the guy because it was difficult for me to figure out a way to let him know how I felt without coming across inconsiderate or mean. And yes, his feelings did get hurt. 

Here are the pros: I avoided hurting his feelings more, by having the conversation as soon as I realized how he felt. The conversation would have been ten times harder had I let it go on for too long. And eventually I would have had to find excuses for why I wouldn’t want to hang with him because it would have gotten to a point where I would be going through the motions. And probably the most beneficial pro would be that now that he knew where I stood, we could stop wasting time and use the time we were spending with each other to spend it with people who liked us just as much as we liked them.

So whenever you find yourself in this situation, just step up to the plate and tell them you only see them as a friend. If you’ve tried telling them how you feel based off actions alone and they still don’t get the hint, remember that this can be one of those situations where words speak louder than actions. In turn, you will really be saving yourself from a lot of unnecessary drama in the future. And if you feel bad about it,  just think of it as you doing a favor for both you and the other person. 🙂 

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Approaching Women

In Attraction on August 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

 written by Swag

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing the salient points of approaching women. He said that he wouldn’t mind getting a second look confirmation after the initial eye contact. This is where you notice someone looking at you (or so it seems) and they take a second look, thereby confirming their interest and attraction (I repeat – or so it seems).  I wonder how often ladies worry about receiving this confirmation, because I know some men will take a second, third and fourth look just because. It may have nothing to do with him providing a confirmation and have everything to do with the fact that he enjoys what he sees.    

Guys, on the other hand, receive very little outright evidence of mutual attraction. It’s all subtle, which leaves a great deal of room for misinterpretation. Sometimes it’s disheartening to be wrong about someone elses attraction to you, so instead of dealing with the repercussions, you change your approach entirely. After a certain age, I felt I had to migrate from the shotgun approach to the sniper approach. Instead of blasting away at everything in front of me, I began to make better selections. With a shotgun you fire at everything within a certain radius. It requires no technique and very little preparation. The basic premise is that you are bound to hit something.    

The sniper approach requires much more of a marksman’s mindset. Snipers are so adept at judging their environment that they can adjust to miniscule changes in wind speed by changing the arc of their bullet. The basic premise is that preparation and poise will increase your accuracy. My friend obviously has sniper tendencies because he would rather survey the environment and gather more data (e.g. a second look) before he takes any unnecessary action.      

Unfortunately, in the social arena, nothing is ever quite that scientific, so below are a few pointers I propose for any man looking to put away the shotgun pellets, stop chasing every skirt tail and pursue higher quality women.  Let’s face it, if you are a standard, trigger-happy, shotgun wielding, cookie monster then this article may not hit home for you.    

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Cookie Monster

Image by nickstone333 via Flickr

1) I would venture to say that very few women actually want to seem easy. By not giving you a second look she is avoiding that impression altogether. You can only hope that she’s employing an impression management technique and wants you to think the best of her. Otherwise, she may be employing a cookie management technique and already thinks the worst of you.      

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Sundial with the motto

Image via Wikipedia

 
2) People like confident people and women are no exception. Confident men don’t need a confirmation to act on what they want. Carpe Diem!! Just don’t over do it. There is a large gap between confident and overbearing. Confidence portrays security. When a man is perceived as cocky, it results in the opposite impression and tells people that he is insecure. Anybody with that much to prove is obviously compensating for something.    

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3) Just because she isn’t giving you overt eye contact doesn’t mean she has stopped communicating. What she does after that first fleeting glimpse is always more important than the glimpse itself. (If you are cut from the sniper cloth, you may already know this). It may have been an honest coincidence, so don’t overplay it if the proper context clues aren’t there. Check out her body language. Does she seem open and approachable or closed and reserved? Is she actively avoiding your gaze? Is she playing with her hair? Did she get up and move away with a scowl?   

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4) There is a very high probability that she noticed you before you noticed her. This may already be the second look and you have no idea. What now? That second look could be your ticket into the fair. So, while everyone likes to be noticed, unfortunately we guys don’t have the luxury of waiting for someone to come chat us up. Chalk it up to traditional gender roles or maybe biological programming. Either way, men are kinda expected to do the initiating.     

From my experience the best way to approach a woman is to do so without any expectations. Meeting people should be more organic than that. You can’t force a weed to grow into a rose or vice versa. I mean to say you can’t expect the same quality of interaction every time you meet someone. Just put down the weapons and enjoy meeting people. The less presuppositions you make, the less stressed you’ll be, the more fun you’ll have, the better you’ll get at it, the more people you’ll meet, and inevitably the easier it will be to meet a worthwhile woman. If you don’t approach women with any ill-gotten expectations then you’ll never be disappointed by the results, right?       

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The Cookie Jar

In Attraction, Intimacy, Relationships on July 30, 2010 at 10:46 am

It’s probably obvious that I won’t be talking about real cookies today. What can I say? I love a good metaphor. This post is directed at any man who actually wants to find love (and keep it).

I know I may shock the ladies out there with this one but men ‘fall in love’ about as often as women do. We get infatuated and caught up. We crush hard and go to sleep with you on our minds. Oh yes, guys can fall in love. The real difference, I would say, is how easily men can fall out of love.

So let me describe a scenario to the fellas. Say you have found the sweetest girl on earth. She has a great smile and an infectious laugh. Everything she does is either a turn on or an inspiration. She’s confident and classy, poised and pretty. She’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever known. You love everything about her and want to take it to the next level. You have only known her for a month or so but you can tell she likes you because she giggles and blushes when you compliment her. In fact, she seems to like you a lot and tonight will be the first time either of you has ever been over the other person’s house. You bring her over to yours, of course, so there isn’t any chance of her kicking you out. More control of the environment and situation means more control over the outcome right? Cool.

The night progresses and goes from light and airy to hot and heavy. The passion is heating up and you decide to change locales and take her to the bedroom…..

Keep your hands out of that cookie jar boy!! The men who are honest enough to speak the truth will agree when I say that if you follow through on this, then there is a good chance that you will stop chasing.

Seriously. We are brainwashed indoctrinated by society to want and need the romantic chase. Both women and men love and adhere to it. We have this picture that love is like a high-speed chase, where women are meant to be pursued with a vigilance only seen in movies. But in reality, we as men see many women driving way too fast, running from pain and heartache. Like cops we can’t allow those women to go unabated. “Not on my stretch of the road,” we think. “I’m the law around here.” And so the chase ensues. We chase and it’s fun. She runs by playing hard to get while trying to keep her emotions in check. But we know its only a matter of time before something breaks down and we get what we want. THE COOKIES.

YES, I said it ladies. Some guys are only looking to snack on your goodies.

But I’m not talking to the guys who believe cookies are the goal. I am talking to the guys that haven’t quite figured out why the fun stops after the chase.

I am speaking from experience when I say this. If you really like someone, then the time you wait before opening the cookie jar is worth its wait in GOLD. Sexual Intimacy changes everything. You don’t think about each other the same way and many times when you attain it too early fellas, your compassionate side tends to disappear.

This may not be of any surprise but when you take a cookie out the jar, you now own the jar. It’s yours for safekeeping. The problem is, we never take care of our own things as well as we would someone elses. We just kind of leave the cookie jar around, unattended. We think since it is already ours we don’t have to put much work into to keeping it. “Who’s gonna steal my cookie jar. My name is on it.”  (Or maybe we are dumb enough to think we ate all the cookies – “There is nothing left, you can have it”).

In order to truly understand the worth of your lady (beyond her cookie jar) you have to delay the gratification. It’s an exercise in valuing your partner. Humans are treasures and if you plan on trying to love someone properly, then you had better get a full appraisal before purchasing of their heart or their jar. If you can’t afford the payments, you may be getting a visit from the repo man real soon.

 Swag 

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Friends of the Opposite Sex – pt.1

In Attraction, Relationships on July 26, 2010 at 12:53 am

The fact is that people need other people and they always will. It’s a result of humans taking nine months to be born, two years to learn basic communication, and five years to have real control over their motor skills. We grow up needing other people to teach, feed, and support us. It can be debated whether we need anyone for emotional support but the point that we don’t need anybody else, ever is a hard sell.

In the same token, I think people have friends in order to fill needs that no one person can fill. Living up to your potential is achieved through growth. Meeting, befriending, and empathizing with new people is a route to that end.

I have been discussing the idea of friendships with others. More exclusively though, I have been talking about having friends of the opposite sex while being in a relationship. Is this ok? Is it a recipe for failure? Below are some of the issues that pertain to opposite sex (or the sex you are attracted to) friendships while being in a relationship.

How long have you known the individual?
Did you know your friend before your current relationship? If so, then you are probably still friends for a reason. Whether they are a confidant or casual friend, your friend plays some role in your life. As long as you maintain healthy boundaries then you should continue the friendship. If your current partner has a problem with this situation then this may have more to do with his or her insecurities than your wrongdoing.

How well do you know each other?
The longer you have known someone, the more likely it is that you two are fairly close. Your partner may not like the idea of someone else being privy to as much knowledge about you as he or she is. Remember, while there is a such thing as feeding your partner’s insecurities (bad thing) there is also the need to value your his or her beliefs (good thing).
Making sure your partner is comfortable with the situation is a step towards valuing them as….well….as your partner. If you are really good friends with someone before entering into a relationship, make sure to communicate this as a nonissue. When healthy friends become close enough, they are essentially family and no one would or should tell you that you can no longer talk to your family in order to be with them. 

Is any level of attraction involved?
Attraction is a natural part of life. When having friends, attraction is very possible but not necessarily a game changer. You must be weary of the ‘grass is greener’ effect. Being mature in a relationship means knowing what to do when you experience this newfound attraction. It can seem very exciting and worthwhile but don’t let this cloud your judgment. It must also be noted that if your friend is attracted to you as well, they always have less invested in your current relationship than you do and may not have your best interests in mind.

Are you using your attraction as an excuse?
There are times when we are with someone for so long that it’s more of a hassle to break up with them than it is to stay together. At this point in a relationship that people are prone to justifying their actions. Attraction then becomes an escape or excuse to escape. Take an honest look at your relationship. Are you satisfied and happy with your investment and the corresponding rewards? Are you doing what it takes to keep the relationship aflame? If not, then attraction may very well become an excuse to leave. In fact, you have a higher risk of becoming attracted to someone else period, let alone a friend.

Our complex nature as human beings requires us to have a variety of relationships. We grow through our experiences with others and it would be unfair to only rely on one person for consistent stimulation and inspiration. Having strong, healthy relationships outside of your intimate relationship requires setting strong, healthy boundaries. So be aware of your personal motivations and communicate to your partner the value of your friendships. This transparency will show your partner that you value his or her opinions and feelings.

Swag

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Getting Some When Your Friend Is Done

In Attraction, Relationships on July 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

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Impressive Attire – Shoes

In Attraction, Relationships on July 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

You can tell a lot about a man just by looking at his shoes. Like a car, the make, model, and overall cleanliness of your shoe game can make or break a first impression. Shoes are just as important as a hand shake.

If you are fresh out of college, then this article is for you. If you are moving up the corporate ladder, then this article is for you. If you are a budding entrepreneur, looking to woo investors, then this article is for you. And ladies, if you are looking for a birthday present for your boyfriend or just simply trying to step his game up, then this article is also for you.

Below is a first impression guide to footwear, broken down by shoe type:

Sneakers – (necessary colors: blacked out & crisp white)

Fresh Kicks

KickOnFire.com

– Appropriate Wear: Anytime after work, on the weekends, and always before 10pm (We don’t want to mess these up at the club).
– Impression: I can be casual and stylish without taking myself too seriously.

Busted Kicks

Oh4PetesSake.com

– Appropriate Wear: On the basketball court, at the gym, or a quick trip to the corner store
– Impression: I’m busy and I don’t care; I’m bout to put some work in and I needn’t be bothered.

Dress Shoes – (necessary colors: black, burgundy, & tan)

Fresh Classics


Appropriate Wear: Basically anywhere that requires business casual or business formal (this includes wearing slacks)

Impression: I am about my business and my business comes easy to me.

Busted Classics

– Appropriate Wear: Never!! Please retire these bad boys. You are only doing yourself a disservice. It’s almost as bad as showing up in a suit with a pair of All Star Converse on your feet (AKA chucks).
– Impression: I probably only have one pair of dress shoes and they rarely come out the closet. My business never actually occurs in a business setting.

None of this is to say you are what you wear. A good personality can easily overcome a bad first impression, but sometimes a first impression is the only one you will ever get the chance make.

Take a look at the guide below to further your impression management skills and up your shoe game in the process.

AskMen.com – 5 Dress Shoe Styles
Creative Recreation Kicks

Swag

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Keep your eyes above water

In Attraction, Hate, Relationships on July 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

image

I’m standing alone at the back of an elevator one day. I have plenty of room because this bad boy is fairly large, fitting about 15 people comfortably. As I begin to travel downstairs, the elevator stops a few floors below me and an older gentleman steps in wearing a pair of slacks, a blue button up and loafers. The doors close and we start to moving towards the bottom floor again. After another couple of floors pass, we stop again. This time, however, on boards a fairly attractive young lady. She is sporting a black skirt and suit jacket with matching heels.

The older gentleman steps backwards, making room for our new guest and we continue to make our way downstairs. As we travel, I peep the man peeping the girl. Since the elevator is so big, I can watch him, watch her, without him knowing. We are all facing the front of the elevator so his back is to me and her back is to both of us. Taking advantage of the situation, he glides his eyes down her backside and rests them on her legs (the only visible skin).

1-one thousand…2-one thousand…3-one thousand…ding. We all get of the elevator and walk our separate ways.

Honestly, I felt violated for her. I’m a guy so I understand why he checked her out (She did have killer calves). But damn, there is something shameful about a grown man not having any tact in the way that he goes about checking out an attractive woman. As an adult, you have to be more cognizant of your surroundings. Someone should not be able to know that you are undressing a woman with your eyes if they see you looking at her.

Fellas, if you want to know when your eyes have overstayed their welcome, here is a simple formula.

If she is standing still, then count to 2. If you get to 2, then you have ALREADY looked for too long. If she is walking, then count her footsteps. If she takes 2-3 full steps (depending upon her speed), you have ALREADY stared for too long and you need to bring your eyes back above water.

Don’t me wrong though. It’s summer time in New York, and this place is like none other. The city blossoms in the spring and everybody’s attire gets a little brighter. Ladies start showing a little more skin. There isn’t anything wrong with enjoying a woman’s beauty especially if she has it proudly on display. We all know how enticing it is to see a woman walk as if she knows she’s beautiful.

What isn’t ok, is when you have either broken your neck to catch a view or dry humped a passing woman with your eyeballs.

Have a little dignity and respect fellas.

Swag

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Don’t Holler at Your Girl

In Attraction, Hate on July 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm
 
 

 This post is catered to the young females who will be going away to college this fall… 

“Ay ma!  Ayyy MA!….Aaaaayyyy MAAAAAA!…come here..”  A “distinguished young gentleman”  hollered at me from a black truck as I was walking by. What did I do? Kept it MOVING!

Some girls may consider it flattering when someone hollers at them. Well guess what? If a guy is shouting out to you, and telling (not asking) you to come over to his truck as he is sitting at a red light, that is NOT my idea of flattery.

*We won’t even discuss my personal favorite “holleration” of someone looking me straight in the eye and calling me out by the wrong color I’m wearing.. ie: They say “Ay girl in the red”  –but I’m wearing pink*

Let’s imagine that for every 15 girls these guys try to holler at, there are 2 to 3 girls that actually stop to listen to their advances. Damn those 2 to 3 girls, because they are the ones that keep the cycle perpetuating. These guys see that they are getting some sort of attention and even if the odds are against them, they probably figure that some attention is better than nothing.

Ladies know your self worth. Do yourself and other females a favor by not entertaining these guys. I do not care if he has a Beemer 6 Series,  a fresh line up, and looks like Idris Elba’s twin.  Seriously ask yourself, is this the way you deserve to be approached? If this guy thinks it’s acceptable to give you this kind of first impression, who knows how he would treat a relationship?

I remember going away to college and getting hollered at more in one day than I did over a few years at home (I really don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’d like to think of myself as a PYT;-) ).It was so overwhelming at times mainly because I didn’t know how to respond. If I said “hi” and kept it moving, it seemed to create a false sense of hope that a conversation would follow when I knew it wouldn’t. Then the guys would usually get upset just because they thought the “hi” was an invitation to keep coming at me.

If I didn’t say anything at all, that still caused a bit of an issue. Usually guys would yell something smart to at me  and end the sentence with a profanity.

This is where electronics come handy.

Just put your headphones on and listen to music.

Or have your phone out and act like you are on a call…

AND PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR PHONE IS ON SILENT SO THAT IF A CALL COMES IN, NO ONE WILL HEAR IT, OR ELSE THAT WILL DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF “ACTING” LIKE YOU ARE ON A CALL….

This all takes preparation so make sure you have everything out before you walk down the street if you feel the holleration coming your way. You can usually spot it ahead of time if you see a group of guys staring your way you before you approach their area. 

Hope this helped a little…

What’s the worst way someone has hollered at you? And how did you handle the situation?

 Sway

Big ‘Ol Hair

In Attraction on July 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

Ok, So I think I am doing this backwards. Love is choice in my opinion, but the only way you are going to choose to love someone is to get to know them. You aren’t going to make the effort to get to know someone if you aren’t initially attracted to them.

No one meets someone on the street and just says: “I love that person.” You have to get to know them first right? My posts today will be about attraction. Personally I am attracted to big curly hair. If I am on the subway and a catch sight of some bouncy locks, I’ll probably double take.

It is what it is. What about you? What’s the first thing you look for? What are you initially attracted to?

 Swag

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