LAG BLOG ARCHIVE
7 Things to Bring While Vacationing With Your Man…
Vacationing with a man is one of the most important things a woman does in a relationship. If you’ve been dating a guy for at least a year and you haven’t taken so much as a scenic day trip together, I suggest you start researching last minute vacations on your favorite travel site immediately. This is critical! Going out of town with someone lets you see them outside of their comfort zone. You’ll get to see how your beau reacts to public situations (like losing luggage), accommodation debacles and raw socializing. These are all very important factors in evaluating deeper layers of compatibility. Certainly there will be ample amounts of sunset walks but it’s more so a way for you to see if you can simply enjoy yourself while on vacation with this person.
1. First things first, bring your own money. I don’t mean money for the trip; I mean enough money to secure you an earlier or later trip back home if necessary. If you don’t carry credit cards, make sure you have enough cash on hand to get you through spontaneous situations.
2. Bring every item of beautification necessary. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to buy anything once you get there. If you’re one of those gals that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, good for you (NOT). However, most of us need a few things before putting our best face forward, try to make every day a Kodak moment day. And, always bring a fresh manicure/pedicure.
3. Do some quick research on the weather. Most highly traveled areas have YouTube footage done by tourists and major venues that will give you an idea of what clothing to take. More importantly, it will give you an idea of what to do with your hair. Humidity poof balls are the worst (defer to my comment about Kodak moments).
4. Have a camera that’s convenient enough to carry with you to your destinations. Camera phones are awesome but they don’t always take the best pictures and you don’t want to miss a perfect sunset because you’re busy setting up the tripod. After all, what are great vacations without great pictures to remember them by?
5. Make sure you have a pair of shoes for every occasion like walking. You’ll pretty much know ahead of time what types of activities and events you’ll be doing. Bring one or two versatile pairs of shoes that can be dressed up or down and can go with most of your outfits. Please don’t bring a pair of shoes for each outfit. You won’t wear them all, I promise!!!
6. Pack clothing that you feel good in. Don’t take yourself consciousness on vacation with you. Bring versatile pieces that can easily transition from day to night or from pool to bar but most of all, BE HAPPY with how you look.
7. And finally, the most important item on the list: A fantastic attitude. Don’t be the girl that complains about every little detail of a trip that doesn’t go as planned. Have a fantastic time regardless of what is thrown your way.
Embrace the beauty of the adventure and be open to trying new things. Regardless of how many American Express mileage points you have, fantastic vacations with your honey can’t be bought. Fantastic vacations are the result of two people committed to the idea of enjoying themselves together. So, leave work at work, put your text conversations to bed and focus building great memories.SHARE
The Community Boyfriend
When you’re in a relationship with someone it’s commonly understood that the person you’ve been dating will have friends who have been in their life much longer than you have. Whether you’ve been dating six months or six years, there are people who have depended on your significant other for friendship and have established meaningful, platonic relationships with him throughout the years. Simply put, you will always be sharing your special someone with friends, family and possibly ex- girlfriends. These external relationships can be a healthy time-share that enables everyone to maintain a sense of individuality while you build a strong couple identity. For many women, a man with a healthy amount of friendships is a sign of a balanced life. That said, regardless of how much you admire your man’s generosity, nobody wants to date the community boyfriend.
Certain friendships can feel invasive and challenging, thus, upsetting the natural dynamic of your relationship. Usually these types of friendships are consistent and you can determine whether or not you find it disrespectful early on in the dating phase. On occasion there are situations that arise mid-relationship that can truly test your trust, leaving you to wonder how much of a priority your comfort level is to your significant other. For example, let’s say that you’ve been dating someone and out of the blue one of his friends (of the opposite sex) needs a place to stay while they get their living situation together. The first thing you should ask yourself is how normal this situation feels to you and whether or not you feel threatened by another woman in your personal space. Make no mistake; even though it’s not your place, where your man lives is still an extension of your personal space. Why? Because it’s still a space of where you probably share a lot of time and intimacy together.
Of course, you never want to seem as though you’d want someone to be homeless at the cost of your personal insecurities. If that’s the case then you probably have your own segment of soul searching to do. What really matters is the amount of thoughtfulness your boyfriend exhibits to this person’s situation compared to the situation that he is simultaneously putting you in. If you know the woman well and never had suspicions about her before, it’s probably safe to assume that your boyfriend doesn’t think you’ll mind. In that same spirit, you probably wouldn’t mind but why guess?
One thing that women know better than anything else in the entire universe is how to gauge another woman’s intentions. It seems like the first thing that develops in the womb is a woman’s intuition. The way she rubs his shoulder, the way she eats in front of him and the way she appears to be all too concerned with your happiness are only a few of the ways in which to gauge another woman’s intentions toward your beau. If she’s always strategically dressed in such a way that she can easily show enough skin to appear sexy but not too much so that you don’t raise an eyebrow, it’s probably worth raising an eyebrow. If she’s always calling your boyfriend about her relationship drama but you never see her with a man, it might be worth raising an eyebrow.
Women are subtle, crafty creatures who can justify anything (and I mean anything) in the name of love. We compare our situations to everyone else’s and we read between the lines at all times while pretending not to calculate. Sometimes, we even justify finding solace in the possibility of a relationship with men who are unavailable. This is why most women are so good at spotting other woman who are out for their man. All of these things aside, do we really need to see the pink elephant in the room to know that it exists? Wouldn’t you be able to smell an elephant if it were in the room before entering? Isn’t it safe to assume that you might see the signs of an elephant moving into your personal space?
The hardest thing about trusting someone is that you have to do it 100%. There’s no middle ground for trust. That small fraction of doubt opens up the possibility that perhaps you are blindly investing your time. This is why boundaries are so important to clarify early on. They help us define the where we might go too far in our relationship.SHARE
Friend OR Boyfriend?
Apply the Golden Rule…
Are you dating someone that isn’t exactly your boyfriend but definitely falls well outside of the “friend zone”? Is there a “special guy” in your life or someone that you’re “dealing with”? If so, is the special guy you’re dealing with your man or just your man-friend? So often in my dating life people constantly ask me to define my relationships. Am I dealing with the guy I met in DC? What ever happened with that hot guy who had all the tattoos? Newsflash: Not all relationships and above average friendships must turn into something. However, if you are trying to turn your friendship with a guy into something more, then you need to get clear on what’s what.
Everyone’s approach to this is different but daters around the world usually fall into one of two camps. Some women are what I like to call “first-date-direct.” That is, most of their cards are put on the table on the first date. These women make it clear that they will not be strung along for some indefinite time-share that may or may not materialize a relationship. While this behavior is often seen as intimidating, these ladies seldom face the question of friend or boyfriend.
Others are more flexible and prefer to simply “see where it goes.” This is probably the most common approach as most women perpetually wait for the other shoe to drop anyway. Of course, the ambiguity involved in this approach can be a bit un-nerving. If you’re not careful, you can easily fall into a vortex of back and forth conversations that still lead to the land of gray area.
Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, it’s not brain science. If you find yourself wanting more than friendship, look at the situation with both eyes and simply observe. Don’t over crowd your brain with possible explanations for someone’s behavior (or lack thereof). For example, if you’re dating someone who constantly reinforces the fact that you’re not in a relationship, take it as a sign that there’s a good chance your situation isn’t going to blossom into a relationship. When you’re single and dating, apply the golden rule and treat the people you deal with as they treat you. Do not go above and beyond in hopes that this person will reciprocate your actions. Do not arrange for special things if special things have never been arranged for you. Above all, do not make yourself widely available to someone who only makes themselves available on their terms. This is how people get hurt.
Los Angeles is filled with beautiful women who are always going to be younger, smarter or more successful than you. This isn’t your concern. As a matter of fact, this actually works in your favor because single men (and women) are typically looking for their best option. Men don’t want to settle for a simply great girl if there’s a younger, more attractive girl with whom they might have a chance. You’ll want to weed these men out of your dating circle as quickly as possible. If you don’t, they’ll only take up time that could be better spent on your better matches. Believe it or not, there are many frustrated, good men in the world who are looking for their most compatible match, as opposed to the hottest woman that will tolerate them.
I know this seems basic but applying the Golden Rule in dating has never disappointed me. This Friday, for example, I could choose to spend my time with the guy I hear from only just enough to make sure that I don’t erase his number from my iPhone. Or, I could spend my time with the guy who has read every blog I’ve ever written, asks me if I want to grab dinner and a movie every weekend, and makes an effort to get more involved in my life every time I see him. I’ll give you one guess where my Friday will be spent…SHARE
Falling In Love With Potential…
Sure, he’s a wonderful, sweet guy and full of ambition. But, could you love him if he never reached his potential? If the man you’re dating today never morphs into the man you’re hoping he’ll be tomorrow and you’re okay this, then you are truly in it for the long haul. Clearly, what a man tells you is what you want to believe, especially when everything is new. But, if you’re banking in HIS maturity, wealth or evolution to complete the portrait of success you’ve created in YOUR mind, you may want to re-evaluate.
Getting caught up in HIS plans for the future is easy but how caught up is HE in HIS plans for the future? If he works for UPS and tells you he’s going to be doctor, is he at least enrolled in medical school? If not, there are probably dozens of good reasons as to why he hasn’t executed. Of course, if a year rolls by and he’s still teetering, your take-away should be that his game plan is flimsy. Fast-forward another year, he’s still working for UPS and still isn’t any closer to reaching his goal. Case in point, your boy is probably a career UPS driver. And, there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a career UPS driver, except when YOU get caught up in the idea of dating a doctor.
Sharing in each other’s dreams is an awesome way to connect and see if your aspirations are compatible. Making critical life decisions based on what someone SAYS they want to do as opposed to what they are actually doing is just plain stupid (not too mention reckless).
The problem with expectations is that there’s bound to be some disappointments. Granted, the world is full of talented people but what separates the talented from the successful is the ability to commit to the end game. In general, women LOVE sticking it out in relationships. We gamble with our time and our life goals for the possibility of “relationshipping” with someone who has the potential for greatness. If we committed to falling in love with our own potential (instead of someone else’s), then we would only attract men who were already operating in their highest self because YOU would be operating in yours.SHARE
Men Are Hunters…
So here’s the thing. After negotiating with your friends, your nail lady, your cousin and your coworkers as to whether or not he’s interested, it all boils down to one fundamental truth: Men are hunters.
If a guy wants to see you, date you or be with you (hopefully all three), he’s going to make it happen. A man who wants to advance a relationship doesn’t create obstacles. More importantly, when a man creates obstacles you need to MOVE ONWARD. The signs are easy and quite obvious even if he’s not.
At the end of the day, men (like women) don’t want to deal with the guilt of hurting someone’s feelings when they’ve lost interest. Instead, they play the distance game in hopes that you’ll “get the hint.”
However, you don’t have to waste time wondering! I’ve created a short timeline to help my peeps escape the perils of dating limbo.
Week 1: You meet a guy. After day 1 he’s calling and texting you a few times a day to make sure he’s keeping himself active in your mind. This shows that he’s interested in you and wants you to know that he’s thinking about you (awww shucks).
Week 2: After a few conversations and many smiley faces and wink-wink text messages later, you decide to go on a date with this guy. The date goes well, you chat, feel out each other’s personality and move on to week 3.
Week 3: Your daily text messages and phone conversations have been reduced to a couple of weekly check-ins and the content has become less and less substantial. This is a general show of unimportance (not because you’re unimportant), he’s simply not motivated enough to put the effort in to “it” anymore and that’s perfectly ok, let the process of elimination begin!
Week 4: You’re reduced to accidentally on purpose texting this guy to let him know that you’re still alive (even though he didn’t ask) and silently stalking his Facebook check-ins. Please stop yourself here and call your bestest girlfriend who won’t judge your personal style of crazy while she talks you off the cliff.
Knowing when to “hold em” and when to “fold em” is key. Moving on to better candidates sooner than later only helps you achieve what you want sooner. Be a hunter too! If you’re not sure where something is going, ask. But, also know that if you have to ask…..just saying. Happy Dating!SHARE
The Wonderful World of Text Dating…
In the magical realm of Disney fairytales where princes rescue princesses and love prevails over evil stepsisters, I must’ve missed the part where Prince Charming sends his lady in waiting a text message saying, “slaying the dragon, SMH, BRB – xoxo.” I mean seriously, lol, ttyl, lmao, and rotfl are all suitable acronyms for a gal on the go, but is this an acceptable substitute for communication while dating?
A trend that seems to be emerging on the LA dating scene is a phenomenon known as “Text Dating.” Text Dating: The residual stepchild of phone conversation and online dating contributing to the further decay of traditional dating etiquette. Guys love it because it affords them the luxury of perpetual location anonymity, meaning a man can text you from anywhere in the continental United States and tell you ANYTHING. He can be on his way to a date and text you that he misses you. As a matter of fact, he can be sitting at a dinner table on an actual date and text you that he misses you. More importantly, text dating relieves men of COMMUNICATION, and we all know how much most men love to communicate (insert sarcasm here). In text dating, communication is butchered down to 1-3 lines of ambiguous text that could be interpreted in a plethora of different ways. For example: “no babe, when I said cool, I meant cool as in I wasn’t coming over last night, not cool as in I’m on my way.” Uh huh, sound familiar? I could literally start a whole chapter on these.
The central thesis (if you will) is that, during the phase of dating where definitive lines have yet to be drawn, text dating should NOT be taken seriously. I cannot tell you how many women ask to me to help them decode some guy’s text message (word problems were sooo ninth grade). My advice is always the same, “PICK UP THE PHONE”!
If 80% of your communication with a man is done via text, you might be fantasizing up the relationship (albeit probably not by accident). I’m sure there were dozens of cleverly engineered phrases that lead you to believe that there were genuine sparks of interest. Provocative cliffhanger phrases like, “I wanna see you soon,” “Just wanted to check in, ” and “I miss u.” While these phrases do strike a genuinely sweet cord (even when sent over text), they are lacking one key component, SPECIFICS. Remember Ladies! Men who are genuinely trying to see you and who genuinely “miss you” include DATES, TIMES, and LOCATIONS, even better would be a phone call (yeah, remember those???).
Whether your situation is committed, casual or complicated, if your beau fails to inject material forms of interest into the relationship with real words and in person, chances are, your romance is probably in your head. And, unless your guy is moonlighting as an action hero outside of his day job, if he’s MIA most of the week, “checking in” text messages are not a sign of endearment. People who are genuinely interested in building something with you typically like having conversations with you. People who are genuinely interested use the text feature to send you directions to the art gallery that they want to meet you at or to the restaurant that they wanna take you to. That’s how “it” works. So, separate yourself from the vortex of unnecessary confusion and take control of an already black and white situation, TTYL – xoxo.
What’s so Wrong With Settling Anyway?
When the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, they put a stake in the ground and said, “This is where we’ll settle.” Nobody questioned it. No one said, “let’s keep going until we hit the beach and the women are prettier and the weather is 75 degrees all year long. Everyone just followed suit and started their new life. True enough, there wasn’t as much else to do in those days but you get my point.
Today, the inevitable question that we (women) ask ourselves in any relationship is, “Am I settling” (for less)? Somewhere in our ambitious lives, we got the idea that the person we end up with has to be nothing short of a superhero with a nice car, a substantial amount of disposable income and great sex (of course). But if one of those things is missing, does that mean you’ve settled? And even if you did decide to settle, is that necessarily a bad thing? It seemed to work for the Pilgrims. Why can’t we settle and see what grows?
In our lifetime, we (women) will undoubtedly date a lot more men than our mothers did. Yet, in the same way our mothers did, we will be expected to settle down with one man and start a family. This is the scariest part of settlement, the part where we agree to stay in one place with one person for the rest of our lives. This is what we are really running from when we use the excuse, “I don’t want to settle.” What we’re actually saying is; I don’t want to reach my ultimate conclusion because that would mean I’d actually have to make up my mind (the cosmic crutch of most women).
So, you’re not dating a Superhero. Isn’t that always going to be the case? I mean, haven’t you dated the rich guy with no soul? Or, the soulful guy with no riches? Haven’t you already dated “great sex guy” who couldn’t carry on conversations outside of Sony PlayStation? Haven’t you dated “nice car guy” who only drove you to drink? I could go on (fancy vacation guy, ridiculous 40-something guy trying to be 20-something guy, …I digress).
I’m just saying, find a happy middle ground with a man and see where it goes. Instead of Mr. Big, how about Mr. Medium? Stop worrying about settling and focus on the awesome gift of companionship. Settling doesn’t mean the end of your life. It means taking a stand in your life and letting that marinate for a little bit. It means a new direction and a way to find out what you (and possibly the man in your life) are made of.