Category Archives: Communication

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Photos For an Online Dating Profile

When it comes to online dating, there is no denying that people are going to scroll through your photos and base their decision on whether or not you appear to be a good match simply just by looking at your photos. Some people won’t even take the time to read your content so that is why you should put some effort in choosing the best photos that not only highlight your best features but also convey what you are like in real life. It can be hard to determine which photos are best but here are some helpful tips to help you put your best face forward so to speak if you decide to pursue online dating.

Make Sure Your Photos are Current – I personally believe that people should only post photos of themselves from the past six months. When I used to have a dating profile, I made sure everything fell within the six month mark because the best representation of yourself is your current self. How often have you or have you met someone that said that they went on a date with someone who looked nothing like their photos or that their photos looked like they were taken as far as a decade ago? I understand most people tend to look their best in their younger years but it is always best to display images that are recent so that if you ever do end up meeting in person, you are still recognizable from the photos that you shared.

Feature a Mix of Face and Full Body Photos – Although it might go without saying, many people often fail to showcase photos of themselves that include both their face and their full body. I think it is important to show both to convey transparency and so that people have a better sense of how you look if you were to meet up in person. If you are not in as good shape as you used to be, it is still better to show what you look like now than before so that the other person does not feel that you falsely advertised what you look like.

Choose Photos that Convey Your Interests – It is a good idea to post photos with backgrounds to show your interests and passions in life. For example, if you love to ski, then think about posting some photos of yourself during your last ski trip. If you love music, it doesn’t hurt to post photos of yourself from a concert that you went to. Chances are, someone with the same interests will be more intrigued in getting to know you better just based upon some of your shared interests.

Avoid Overly Revealing Photos – It is common to see people post revealing photos which can give off the wrong impression along with sending the wrong message to anyone who is looking at them. It can convey that a person is attention seeking or just looking for a cheap hook up. Even if that’s not the case, unfortunately, that’s how it can be interpreted. To avoid sending mixed messages or giving off a negative first impression, it is much wiser to shy away from posting those types of photos in its entirety.

When in Doubt, Ask For a Second Opinion – If you are unsure if the photos that you are posting are good enough to post, it does not hurt to ask a friend or someone who you are close to for their honest feedback. A photo that you might find flattering, someone might point out that you can post an even better photo which is why it never hurts to ask for a second opinion.

Dating Advice for Men – Build Intimacy and Invest Emotionally at the Same Time

Last week, I wrote an article for women with some dating advice and decided to follow up this week with a dating advice blog for men. While certain advice applies to both genders, there is certain advice that is gender specific. I wrote previously about how women are motivated by relationships that lead to marriage; however, with men–it is safe to say that most men are motivated to connect with women on a physical level. There is nothing wrong with that but what creates a divide is when men rush that phase of the process and/or fail to focus on the emotional connection as well. Most women do not want to be objectified by men or feel as though that men are only looking to hook up with them. Many men make the mistake of coming on too strong physically whether that is with their actions or their words. This can easily turn off a woman in its entirety or she will just come to the conclusion that the guy is not a serious guy along with labeling him as a waste of her time and moving on to a better catch.

This leads to a very important question: How do men avoid this from happening and become the ultimate catch in the eyes of the woman of their interest? First and foremost, as I want to point out from the start, it is essential to actually BE A CATCH! From there, men can work on certain skills to improve their dating lives because as we all know–good looks, success, money, assets, etc. are never enough if a man does not know how to treat a woman. Men need to learn to also be patient with the process like women but for different reasons. They need to build intimacy slowly (in other words, do not rush the pace of their physical relationship) AND invest emotionally at the same time. It is possible to create genuine intimacy through physical touch such as holding hands, cuddling, kissing, hugging, etc. WITHOUT sex being involved. I truly believe that intimacy is the key to creating natural attraction and developing an attachment between two people which ultimately can lead to both a long term relationship and an incredibly satisfying physical one as well over time when it is supposed to. While I tell women not to rush into serious relationships, the same goes for men to stop rushing into a physical relationship with a woman without taking the proper time that is needed to actually get to know her and to bond with her by establishing a deep emotional connection first.

If you authentically like a woman and are pursuing her for the right reasons, it is important to SHOW her this by being consistent in your efforts when emotionally investing in her while building intimacy without pushing the envelope when it comes to having a physical relationship with her right away. This also creates trust and will make her feel more comfortable with you when she is ready to take the relationship to the next level. Even if she is open to exploring a physical relationship with you after a short time of knowing you, I still recommend denying her of sex to make it clear that you are not interested in her for a casual relationship and that you want to continue to better get to know each other first. In return, this will also earn more of her RESPECT towards you and most likely make her feel even more attracted to you (yes, it is amazing how reverse psychology often works as it does here). As always, remember to TRUST THE PROCESS because anything worth your while will take time so you might as well enjoy it while continuing to stay confident in your abilities to manifest your desires!

3 Subtle Ways to Convey Interest in Another Person

While there are many different approaches when it comes to building attraction and to signal to someone that you are interested in them, sometimes a subtle approach can be the best way to go about it. Everything is situational and there are many factors to consider such as how long you have known the person and where you met them. Of course there are certain scenarios where a subtle approach wouldn’t get you very far or it is a lost cause altogether to express interest because they could be taken or just never develop the same feelings in return. However, that is why it is a safe way to go about it and there is really nothing to lose.

Eye Contact – While most people naturally make eye contact when they speak to others, I think that it also is more likely to happen naturally when one is attracted to someone else which is why it is a good idea to lock eyes with someone that is of interest to you. Eventually the other person will tend to notice if it is a person whom you see on a regular basis. From there, it will become easier for someone to “make a move” so to speak because both people have already established a connection through their body language.

Initiate a Connection – Eye contact is helpful but won’t get you very far if you rely on strictly eye contact alone. In addition, it could come off as creepy to some people if one is making eye contact on a regular basis but then never saying a word. By initiating a connection, that could be done in different ways. I would say the easiest is to strike up a light conversation. It does not need to be anything too deep or meaningful from the start. It could be very casual. This will also help in determining if there is any type of spiritual connection based upon the conversations. Attraction is a funny thing where you might feel that way about someone from a physical standpoint but then as soon as you talk to the person, you recognize that there is absolutely nothing there to take the attraction any further.

Consistent Interactions – I truly believe that consistency can go a very long way when it comes to building attraction. It is important to be consistent because like anything in life, consistency is bound to lead to results and success over time. Even if the other person is not necessarily as interested or perhaps is not aware that there is any interest on your end, over time this person will probably pick up the cues and most likely start to develop feelings along the way in return as long as the interactions are positive and polite. So remember to be patient but also very consistent with your actions or in this case, your interactions with the other person.

Why Having the Same Boundaries and Values in a Relationship Are Important

While there are many factors involved as to why many relationships fall apart over time, I do believe that when two people are on the same page with their personal boundaries and possess the same value system, there is a much higher chance that the relationship will last for the long haul. In any relationship, it is essential to have those deep conversations with one another to ensure that both people think and feel the same about both the small things and more important aspects of a relationship. For example, how does the other person feel about cheating? How often does the person like to be in communication throughout the day? What is their preferred method of communication? While not every single answer has to be the same as yours, at the very least, it is good to know the answers to these questions. Aside from knowing this information to better understand one another, this will also help in determining how compatible you are with someone. If you recognize that there are a good amount of differences when it comes to your values and boundaries, that might be a good time to reassess the relationship and decide if it is the right one for you or not.

I think that this is often overlooked due to a lack of communication and open dialogue but issues do arise over time from these differences. It is okay to ask questions and to find out how your partner feels regarding things that are important to you. It is also healthy and appropriate to express what your personal boundaries and values are. If the other person is not on board with them, take that as a cue to move on. Remember that the right person would not only respect your boundaries but they would also have no problem honoring them.

Don’t Let Social Media Destroy Your Personal Relationships

It is hard to imagine a time when social media did not exist because most of us rely on social media as a way to establish new connections, maintain existing ones, and to keep up to date with what’s going on in other people’s lives. While social media has its benefits, it does create problems within people’s personal relationships that probably did not exist as commonly before. With that being said, it is important to proactively not let social media destroy your personal relationships. I emphasize “proactively” because it has to be a conscious effort on your end and along with the other person in order to ensure both a healthy and strong relationship.

In order to prevent social media from ruining your relationships, I recommend blocking and/or removing any of your exes from your social media just so they do not have instant access to your page and vice versa. If a relationship is truly over, then there really is no need to see what they are up to unless you managed to establish a strictly platonic relationship or the other person has made it clear that they moved on. If you decide to keep people from your past on your social media, I think it is wise to be fully transparent with your current partner so they are aware of this and to see how they feel about the situation. Your honesty will go a long way and you might find that the other person is okay with it since you mentioned it on your own. If it makes your significant other uncomfortable, then you can have an open conversation about it and decide what’s more important to you–keeping existing relationships via social media or deleting them altogether. This is also a good test to determine if the person you currently are with is a priority in your life or not. If you choose to keep communication open with a previous ex when knowing that your current partner is not okay with it, that might be a sign that the person you are with is not someone you see a long term future with or that you are not truly over your ex. If you did believe that there was a promising future with your current partner then you would have no problem closing the door on anyone that you dated previously.

Another suggestion I could recommend is to reduce your time on social media, take a break from it, or simply get rid of it altogether. Even if you do not have exes on your social media accounts, it is not a bad idea to get rid of it because for many people, it can be a distraction and get in the way of building relationships in-person as opposed to just talking to people behind a screen all the time. You probably will find that you will also get an opportunity to add more time into your day by getting rid of your social media which will prevent yourself from mindlessly scrolling at posts on a daily basis. While social media can be a good thing, remember that it is best to use it within moderation or very sparingly in order to promote healthier relationships.

The Best Response to Any Compliment

Sometimes when people are faced with a compliment, especially if it comes unexpectedly, they are unsure of how to reply accordingly. I find it is common to hear people react in two ways, both that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. One is to deflect the compliment and respond in a way that they are not really accepting the compliment. This could be due to the fact that the person is modest by nature or because they do not feel worthy of the compliment. The opposite way people could reply to a compliment is to agree with the person or to take it a step further and confidently boast that they know. While I do agree that it is good to accept a compliment, taking this as an opportunity to brag or show off is not really appropriate in my opinion. I also do not think rejecting a compliment is the right thing to do because although it is a modest response, it can make the other person feel awkward while also making the person who received the compliment appear to be insecure.

So what is the best way to respond to a compliment? Simply say, “thank you” graciously. That is all that is really necessary! It shows that you are appreciative but that it is not going to your head and that you are confident enough to accept it. While most people know to say thank you, it is not always the immediate response that one tends to give which is why it is important to train the brain to just say thank you and keep it moving. Oftentimes less is more and that most certainly applies here–after receiving a compliment.

The Polite Way of Telling Someone That You Are Not Interested

It is inevitable that you are going to be faced in situations within your life where someone conveys their interest in you and you are not interested. You might be in the dating world where you are looking to find a partner but along the way you come across people who like you and it simply is not mutual. It can also happen while you are taken and someone tries to make a move on you. While it can be awkward at times to tell someone that you do not have a romantic interest, it has to be done or else it can become an ongoing problem and just a straight up annoyance that could have been avoided from the get go. So what can you do about it?

No matter how you go about it, you need a proactive approach and to be firm with your message. The problem is, sometimes people deliver a message but it becomes a mixed message because it was not firm enough or it can be misinterpreted. I truly believe the BEST way to make the message clear is to spell it out verbally. To some extent, I understand this is avoided because people do not want to hurt people’s feelings but is it really worth guarding someone’s feelings and living a lie in the process? I just do not see the point in doing this which is why you need to just directly say something. If you are married or in a relationship, it is very easy to just tell someone this because you are telling the truth and it should be understood by the other person that if you are taken, that you are not available in which you really do not owe any further explanation. If you are single, you have a few more options in how you want to go about it. Personally, I do not see the harm in telling someone, “I only see you as a friend” or “I do not see a connection and wish the best for you.” These lines are both truthful and polite. You also gain the other person’s respect by delivering the truth and by saving their time.

People often think the solution is to ignore someone which might be effective on some level but oftentimes it is not because it is too passive aggressive and does not really provide any closure. As a result, it can cause the other person to chase you even more to gain any little bit of your attention which is the opposite response you would want. It can also leave the other person to feel emotionally unsettled because even if they got the hint that you are not interested, curiosity will most likely still linger in the back of their minds as to why you blew them off or stopped talking to them altogether. It is also for this reason why I do not think it is a good idea or that it is right to not say something because in most scenarios, it is beneficial to provide some form of closure with your words. If the person is a stranger or someone you had not interacted much with, I suppose it is okay to just keep it moving but if it is someone that you were dating or talking to for a short amount of time, then it is best to just verbally express how you feel in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. Remember that at the end of the day, you are ultimately doing the other person a favor by telling them you are not interested, even if that means some initial emotional discomfort on their end at first. They will eventually move on and find someone that is just as interested in them in return–and that’s a good thing!

Is It Okay to Date Multiple People at the Same Time?

When people are dating, it is possible to be in situations where you are dating more than one person at the same time. If you are not in a committed relationship, you have more dating opportunities along with more freedom in terms of your dating choices. Sometimes it is good to casually date different people to get a better sense of what you are looking for when you are ready to find a serious relationship or life partner; however, the majority of the time, I would not suggest dating multiple people at the same time.

For one, it is possible to form emotional attachments to more than one person if you are setting yourself up in a position to do so. If you only focused your time and energy into getting to know one person, then you do not run the risk of liking a few people at the same time. While that might not seem like a big deal, it can become problematic because you have to remember that these same people are also forming emotional attachments towards you and it is not fair to lead someone on if your intent is to spend time with more than one person. It is possible that they are doing the same thing as you are where they are dating a few people at once but unless you have that open conversation with someone, you never truly know for sure and one can always choose to conceal this information if they are a private and/or dishonest individual.

Aside from other people developing feelings for you, remember that it can go both ways where you can start to like more than one person. The issue with this is that when you are left with a few options, eventually you are going to have to make a choice and it is not sustainable to live your life dating multiple people simultaneously. It can create a high level of cognitive dissonance and internal conflicts because it does not feel right inside to develop feelings for more than one person at a time. From a moral standpoint, you might recognize that this is wrong and that this lifestyle cannot carry on forever. It is important to do the right thing by being open and honest with everyone who you are involved with. This will sometimes give you better clarity as to whether or not these relationships are temporary or have the potential to lead to something more serious in the future.

At the end of the day, it is your personal choice if you decide to date multiple people at the same time; however, always keep in mind how your actions can affect others including yourself. In order to prevent potential problems down the road, it is important to be transparent and make sure that people are aware of the situation and are accepting of it before moving forward. This is the best way to prevent misleading someone or hurting another person’s feelings. It is necessary that people are on the same page at all times which is why proceeding with honesty and caution is always the right approach within any dating scenario.

How to Establish Healthy Communication From the Start – The Best Question to Ask Prior to Any Potential Relationship

When I think about dating and relationships, I do believe that there is potential between any two people given that they both share a mutual interest for each other. However, there are many dating scenarios in which the attraction just stays at the attraction level but never progresses further due to inconsistent communication or lack of it from one or both people. This is what I call a missed opportunity and also an unfortunate situation simply due to the fact that two people did not establish a healthy communication pattern or it fails to be initiated at all. This usually happens for a few reasons. One or both people might be unsure of how the other person feels about them so instead of pursuing it any further, they just sit back and expect the other person to contact them not realizing that the other person is doing the same thing! So the outcome is that you have two people who are equally attracted to each other but nothing happens because neither want to really make a first move or have to overextend themselves at the risk of getting hurt. Another reason a person might not reach out as often is due to a busy schedule or maybe having a fear that they might annoy the other person if they message too much. Whatever the reason is, these all hinder two people from exploring love and developing a genuine connection.

Communication should not be up in the air and left uncertain if you like someone because it sends a mixed message. This is why I also don’t believe “playing hard to get” is effective because if you have two people doing the same thing as I mentioned, then both people never end up getting together. While yes, this tactic can build lingering attraction up to some point but what is the point of attraction if the end goal doesn’t lead two people in seeing where that attraction leads? That is like bringing a beautiful meal out to you at a restaurant but you are not allowed to eat it. You can stare at it but you do not get the pleasure of tasting it. My point is, mutual attraction that is left at a standstill or remains stagnant will eventually lead one or both people to move on because it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

So how can this be prevented? Once you actually are in contact with someone that you like and want to continue to get to know, I think the best question to ask this person is, “How often would you like me to contact you?” What I love about this is that it is direct AF and conveys that you are leading the relationship and want to be in touch but also am mindful of what the other person feels most comfortable with. If the other person responds in a way that suggests they do not want to be in contact with you much at all, this is a good thing because then you know not to invest as much of your time and you might consider walking away altogether. Time is our most valuable spiritual asset so if someone hints any disinterest, that is your cue to keep it moving. If the person expresses that they want to be in contact more frequently, then you know the person is interested in you and you now have a sense of how often you should be in touch with them without overstepping their boundaries and taking up too much of their time. I think it is a win/win set up and one that leaves a good first impression. It is appealing when someone is proactive and steps it up rather than playing a guessing game because most guessing games often lead to a game over.

My Thoughts on Ultimatums – Why They Should Be Avoided

Many people use ultimatums within their relationships in hopes to change a behavior or to get what they want from the other person. My immediate thought is, if you have to give an ultimatum–then you are not with the right person. Why? If you were with the right person, both people would be on the same page in which there would be no need to give an ultimatum. For example, if you have to say to someone, “I will only date you if….(fill in the blank) then it shows that you are not accepting the person for who they are and you are potentially forcing someone to change against their will. Meaning that even if the person complies and gives in to the ultimatum, it often times is not their personal choice and can cause resentment over time. Rather than trying to force upon a change within the relationship with an ultimatum, it is much healthier to communicate with your partner what your needs, expectations, and boundaries are from the start. If you find that your significant other is falling short of what you ultimately are looking for in a life partner, even after you have spelled it out and have had open discussions about it–rather than giving an ultimatum, you are actually just better off breaking it off because chances are, the person’s behavior was not going to change anyhow and as I mentioned before, it is clear that both people were not in sync enough with one another. Too often I see people trying to change their partners with various tactics including ultimatums and they simply fail because it just reveals the incompatibility between two people and that they do not belong together.

Let’s look at the flip side of the coin for just a moment. What if you are the recipient of an ultimatum? Hypothetically, what if your partner is imposing an ultimatum on you? Now what? Again, the bottom line is that you have two people with a totally different outlook on the relationship and chances are, the relationship is not built to last. I also consider ultimatums to be a control tactic and a red flag immediately goes up if I were to be in a situation where someone has to give me one. Personally, I have a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to my relationships so if a person is going to give me an ultimatum, my response is, “We are better off breaking up because I’m not going to do something that I am not comfortable with.” Again, I do not want anyone putting demands on me that go against my value system and the core of who I am. If someone cannot accept me for me then I know that I am in a much better position terminating the relationship on the spot and being alone as opposed to continuing a relationship that easily can turn into a very toxic and controlling one. It is a lose/lose situation either way because ultimatums tend to cause separation, tension, and future problems. If one person complies, they are setting themselves up for an unhealthy relationship by giving their partner the power to continue to control them. If the recipient decides to end the relationship, then the other person is at a loss of their partner when they might have been able to find a healthy solution or communicate in a way that would have prevented a permanent break up.

This leads me to my final point that ultimatums should be avoided altogether as there are much better ways to promote healthy change through providing positive support to one another, making a commitment to express self openly and honestly at all times, and offering fair compromises to create unison. If you find that you are in a relationship where your partner is placing unreasonable demands on you or that you are with someone who is not capable of making the changes needed on their own terms to ensure a lasting future, then do not forget that you always have the option to walk away, never look back, and start over–and there is nothing wrong with that.