life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

Desire (wonderful tonight)

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Love and desire are two different things, according to the psychotherapist Esther Perel.

“If there is a verb, for me, that comes with love, it’s “to have.” And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is “to want.” In love, we want to have, we want to know the beloved. We want to minimize the distance. We want to contract that gap. We want to neutralize the tensions. We want closeness. But in desire, we tend to not really want to go back to the places we’ve already gone. Forgone conclusion does not keep our interest. In desire, we want an Other, somebody on the other side that we can go visit, that we can go spend some time with,that we can go see what goes on in their red-light district. You know? In desire, we want a bridge to cross. Or in other words, I sometimes say, fire needs air. Desire needs space. And when it’s said like that, it’s often quite abstract” she said in a Ted speech. 

So, if you love someone, you can lose desire, because you need distance to desire someone, while you want to be close to the one you love.

Esther Perel said some couples don’t need to touch each other to feel desire. Instead, after their last meeting, they try to keep the desire alive. Sexting, for example, is a good way to keep the desire alive when we’re not together. Sexting means sending a suggestive message, or picture to our partner, or just a message saying how you long for your partner and you can’t wait to see him/her. It doesn’t mean sending a picture of your desk or a message about bitcoins or something in the news.

Some people also send items to their partner that remind him/her about the last meeting they had. It’s a promise for something hot in the next meeting.

But some people also desire their partner when they evolve in their professional or friendly circle. “Watching her talking to other men in a cocktail party just turns me on” says one of my friends. “I just enjoy watching him from afar” another one said.

It’s easy to lose desire unfortunately. Some people lose desire because their energy is eaten by stress, illness, or mental problems. And if just one partner is teasing the other, desire can also quickly fade away, as the teaser will get fed up of not having reciprocal desire.

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life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

You’re not my everything (and it’s ok)

In his book “The all-or-nothing marriage”, the professor of social psychology Eli Finkle explains the people who have the higher-quality life are those who have a diversified social portfolios, aka people they go to for different sort of emotions. They don’t expect their partner to be their everything. They just accept their partner as they are.

Many expert say we have it wrong with the romantic idea to find someone who will be our everything.

Eli Finale says everyone follows the Maslow pyramid to find happiness.

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We can’t expect to count on just one person to reach these needs. “How do you make somebody feel safe, and loved, and beautiful without making him or her feel complacent? How do you make somebody feel energetic, and hungry, and eager to work hard without making them feel like you disapprove of the person they currently are?” asks Eli Finkle. “You can do it within a given marriage, but they should be aware that that is what they’re asking the partner to do. They should be aware that in some sense, the pursuit of those goals are incompatible and they need to be developing a way of connecting together that can make it possible” he adds. “There’s no reason why it has to be the same person who plays both of those roles. I would just urge everybody, think about what you’re looking for from this one relationship and decide, are these expectations realistic in light of who I am, who my partner is, what the dynamics that we have together are? If so, how are we going to achieve all of these things together? Or alternatively, how can we relinquish some of these roles that we play in each others’ lives, and outsource them to, say, another member of your social network“.

Do we risk to feel distant from our partner if we diversify our social relationships? After all, we are jealous animals. But we’re mainly jealous when our partner starts to cheat on us.  Trust is also really important in every relationship.

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celibacy, life, love, relationships, wedding, women

Marrying late (against all odds)

Is it possible to get married for the first time at a late age? Yes. In 2012, an 88-year-old home resident got married for the first time to a fellow resident she met just six months earlier. One of my coworkers got married at 51 after living as a bachelor since he started working. His union was fragile at the beginning, because he wasn’t faithful to his new wife. He had an affair with a journalist from our newsroom. They tried to hide their affair but once a fellow journalist and I bumped into them while they were shopping hand in hand together. But he ended his affair, and his lover has developed a true hate for every of her coworkers since then. My coworker has stuck to his wife. He’s about to retire now, but wants to wait for her to retire so they can be together.

One of my mother’s friend got married at the first time at 61, to a widow she met at a ballroom dance class. She used to work abroad as a nurse, changing country regularly. But her sister got breast cancer and she decided to come back to our country to be close to her. Eventually, her sister recovered. She decided to stay.

It’s never too late to get married. But it’s against the odds. Past a certain age, the likelihood of staying single forever is increasing dramatically.  One of my friends is convinced that men above 35 are reluctant to commit. That’s why she advised me and her other single friends to look for younger men. I’m not convinced a 30-year-old guy is more likely to commit than a 45-year-old man.  Maybe younger men are more easily convinced to get married than their older counterpart. With age, we tend to be less flexible and vulnerable, and to be more satisfied to be single.

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life, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Changes (the first move)

Now that the #metoo movement has gained traction, some people fear the relationship between men and women will never be the same. The line is however very clear between flirting and harassment/ sexual molestation. There is no problem when someone tell you how beautiful you are. It becomes a problem if that person asks you for a sexual favor or a kiss just after these words. But if it’s just an introduction for a casual conversation, it’s not a problem. Unfortunately, the person who tells you this may  not be very handsome. But if you don’t feel at ease with that, it’s always ok to be honest, or to shy away.

Men don’t deal very well with rejection. But it’s difficult for women as well. When I was younger, I had a crush on a guy who was my classmate. I dared to ask him to have a drink with me once, but he turned me down. I didn’t attempt to ask him again for a drink. Last year, he found me on Facebook, and asked me if it was possible to have  a drink with him. But I turned him down. As an answer, he unfriended me on Facebook. He could have been insulting with me, but he didn’t.

Some men, faced by rejection, insult the woman who turned down them. At my fitness club, two women recently discussed how insulting the men are because they don’t answer their questions while they are training. A woman who says no is not a slut.

Some say after the #metoo movement, women will make the first move more often, while men will avoid to say anything. With dating app like Bumble, and even Tinder, women can make the first move. Some men don’t mind.

The key, I guess, is to feel at ease. Nothing can be good if you feel on the defensive all of the time. But always listen to your feelings.

 

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dating site, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Matchmakers

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Recently, I read an article about the secret talent of Ivanka Trump and her husband. They said they’re good at matchmaking, behind seven successful marriages. This mean she knows some key details about the people she set up, like for instance their hobbies, tastes,… I don’t see how she could set up people together without those details. It would be as if she wrote down each of the names of the single people she knows on a piece of paper, and then threw these papers in a bag and picked out two names  randomly.

Friends are better matchmakers than strangers. Because they know what their friends like and can pick someone with similar interests to set them up. It can happen, though, that the set up doesn’t work. Simply because the people don’t find each other attractive, or because their personality doesn’t match. You can have in common with people hobbies like going to museums, concert, painting,… But that doesn’t mean you could match.

Take for instance Tinder. This dating app collects all the likes you make on Facebook, as use this data to put it on your profile. When you look for a potential partner on this dating app, you can see the likes you have in common with the people you see on your smartphone.  I went to two dates with men who had at least 8 likes in common with me, and I was disappointed both time, because one of them had a problem with alcohol, while the other just simply didn’t call me or message me after the date anymore. I even saw once on Tinder a man who had 12 likes in common with me, but he didn’t swipe me right.

There’s another dating app called Once, that doesn’t work like Tinder. Instead of scrolling multiple pictures, you only get one profile per day. It’s up to you to start a conversation or not. Once uses human matchmakers who compare the profile of the users and decide to match the profiles they select. Those matchmakers try to have at least 50% of good results, which mean they try to have the people they select starting a conversation. Yet, it’s not perfect, because I had a lot of bad surprises with this app. And so far, I haven’t met anyone who met through Once.

Dating site like Match.com, Okcupid, also try to help you find the right partner, through the power of their algorithm, based on the list of our preferences. Yet, the rate of disappointing dates  is really high there too.

These dating app and online dating are made to make you come back, according to Tim Harford. 

So, what is the secret of Ivanka Trump?

 

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Married at first sight

Imagine if you get married to a guy you haven’t met and  who has 89% of compatibility with you according to the test you took on Okcupid or Elite Dating? That’s the pitch of a new TV show in my country, called Married at first sight. People choose to get married to a total stranger who has a high score of compatibility with them after taking a test.

For those who have tested OkCupid or Elite Dating, or any dating site where you have to fill a test to know your compatibility with a potential partner, it may rise eyebrows. Because it’s not because you have a high score of compatibility with someone that you may fall in love with him/her.

One explication is because you don’t really find a right answer to the questions asked in the test. Or if you hacked Okcupid like Chris McKinlay. People also lie on internet.

Another reason could be because you don’t find attractive in real life your compatible date.  It can happen. I’ve been disappointed a lot by my first encounters with the men I met through online dating. To be fair, once, I even turned back on my heels when I saw one of my date seating in the cafe where we agreed to meet.

It can also happen you feel no sparks when you meet your date for the first time. Women do use their smell cue to choose their partner. The guy in front of them can be handsome, but if they can’t smell him, they won’t go on a second date with him. One of my friends also told me she just felt cold with every guy she met online during their first date.

Besides, even if you do start a relationship with someone you met online and who has a high score of compatibility with you, it’s not guaranteed to last and to end up with wedding bells. There are many hurdles in a relationship.

So marrying someone you just met is not a really good idea.

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celibacy, life, love, relationships

How do we become friends with benefits?

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A friend with benefits (FWB) is a friend of yours who ends up involved in sexual encounters with you, without much more commitment. A friend of mine used to have a FWB when she broke up with her ex after cancelling their engagement. She told me she needed to have a physical proximity with another man to help her cope with the pain of the breakup. One of her friends, who didn’t want any commitment, offered her to be a FWB. She told me they made an arrangement together, to remain friends even if the “relationship” turned sour, and to spend one night together at least per month. My friend was conscious she could want more from her FWB so she dated other men during the time she remained FWB with her friend. Eventually, one of her ex’s came back into her life and asked her to move with him. That’s how her relationship with her friends with benefits ended. Unfortunately, she didn’t remain friend with him.

Some people, though, start to be friends with benefits with people they just met, but it’s difficult to create a new arrangement with someone you barely know, because of the complicated nature of what you’re trying to create.

It’s easier to set the sexual connection with someone new, but friendship is more difficult, because a friend is someone you trust and who trusts you. That relationship develops over time, through shared history, experiences, thanks to compatibility or mutual interests.

One of my friends told me she met a guy in a club who asked her to be FWB. She didn’t know him before. “All he wanted was to fuck me” she said. “I don’t think he bothered to be friend with me. Besides, how can I trust someone like that?” she added. So she turned down the guy.

To put a label like FWB on any relationship put pressure on people, with a high probability of failure.

FWB between friends is even difficult, because one of the partner can have deeper feelings for the other. Some people accept to be FWB in the hope to have a commitment relationship but are too coward to tell the truth to their friend because they fear it would scare them off.

In that case, FWB can be deserving you, and make you feel belittle.

So, yes, FWB is a complicated arrangement between people.

 

 

 

 

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