life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The unlikely seducers

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In the movie “Wild life”, Jeanette, the lead female character, finds herself in an affair with a much older man than her husband. Her lover isn’t handsome, but he’s rich, and full of promises. The film doesn’t show who made the first move, but it’s understood that he was the one to pursue Jeanette.

It takes two to tango. Jeanette could refuse his advances. But she’s seduced by him. But why does she choose him? In an interview, Carey Mulligan explains Jeanette is angry.  She’s angry because her family has moved 8 times, as her husband can’t find a good job. She’s angry because all of sudden, her husband decides to leave for a dangerous job. She feels her world is collapsing.

In theory,  a seducer should be a handsome man. But it’s not always the case. The word “handsome” doesn’t pop into my mind when I see one of my ex-coworkers, who tried to seduce every female journalist in my newsroom. He didn’t score with everyone, but he managed to seduce two of my female coworkers. The guy has a long list of contacts, who could introduce him to the greatest exhibitions, cocktail parties, concerts… in my country. He’s also very charming with women in general. He can’t help giving compliments to a woman during a simple conversation.

Another one in my newsroom just preys on the young one who are just recruited in my company. Usually, the young recruit doesn’t know anyone in the company yet, and is relieved to have someone to talk to at the coffee machine or at the cafeteria. At least, at the very beginning.

Michel Houellebecq, in “Particules élementaires”, writes men who used to be bullier when they were younger have easier than other men to seduce beautiful women, as they have understood how to seduce them. He doesn’t say if those women felt weak, but in his book, the bullier ends up with a beautiful but fragile orphan woman.

Of course, it helps if the man is handsome. But there are handsome men who are not at ease with women in general. And not that charming. In my newsroom, one of our photographers is a very handsome man. But he’s shy and doesn’t hit on the female workers.  As women don’t like when it’s too easy,  they are numerous in my company who offer him to have a lunch with them.  Sometimes, he just likes to eat on his own, reading his magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Do players ever change?

I had slept with many women during a certain point. All I wanted is to have a different woman in my bed every day, but it changed” said one of my acquaintances, recently, when I asked him why some men can’t be satisfied by one woman. “Since I had my lawsuit against that woman who claimed I have harassed her sexually, I haven’t been able to sleep with women again. I don’t trust women at all” he added. (That woman seems to be the one who makes him pay for all the women he didn’t respect…).

Yet, I can’t help thinking his fear will disappear over time. But my acquaintance isn’t young anymore, because he’s not far for his sixty birthday now. Some men are not hindered by their age to continue to seduce as many as women anymore. Even if their body  don’t respond well to their desire anymore. As age makes men have difficulty to have an erection…

But what is a player? A player is a guy who only wants to have sex with you. That’s the common player. They try everything to sleep with a woman. When they get what they want, they disappear from your life.

Some of them don’t disappear completely from your life. I had an ex who was a player. He asked me if we could remain friends. When I accepted to have a drink with him after our breakup, he tried everything to have me back as a sex friend. But only as a sex friend, aka someone who will accept to have sex with him whenever he wanted.

While other men can be clumsy with women, the player knows how to get to his goal. He can be patient if you don’t sleep with him on the first night. One of my friends told me  one of her ex’s even waited for two months to have sex with her, only to disappear after their night with each other. He just told her he didn’t see any future with her, and then disappeared.

But my friend suspected him to be a player, because he was very secret with his phone while he was with her, and wasn’t that available to her during the weekends. “I’m sure he saw other women as well as we were together. He had always something else to do” she said.

Her fears turned out right, because her ex was involved with two other women while he was with her. She only discovered that after months.

There are signs he’s a player. If he isn’t interested in you and doesn’t make time to introduce you to his world, his hopes, his fears, his friends,… he may just be interested into sex with you and that’s it.

What to do then? Well, if you want to, sleep with him as early as possible. After all, it’s the best way to get rid of him quickly. Don’t try to make him wait for you. It’s the best way to hope for a hopeless relationship with someone who’s not interested into committing to you.

Usually, the player is terrible in bed. All he wants is to enjoy his pleasure. He doesn’t care about yours.  Some of them have their pride, though, and want to leave a good impression so you can tell to your friend they are a good lover. Yeah, they’re delusional.

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The lack of touching

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Time Magazine recently interviewed a 100-years old sex therapist who regrets our busy life, because we lose desire easily for our significant other.  She also regrets we don’t touch and caress our significant other because we are too busy with our smartphone, even if we communicate through it.

I tend to leave my smartphone on mute or even off whenever I’m with a date or a lover. And I will be shocked if he pulls out his smartphone in front of me to answer a call or a message, especially if I talk to him. But I’ve noticed around me it’s not necessarily the case. I’ve been invited to many dinners where most people just stared at their smartphone and don’t talk to each other. I’ve seen couples who communicate through Facebook even if they are in the same place, very close to each other.

Even if you leave sweet messages to your significant other, it’s not really the same than touching him/her, stroking, caressing him/her and kissing him/her.

This is a bad example, but recently, one of my young coworkers was shocked by the behavior of one of coworkers who is married to a fellow coworker. Because she touched him in the back while he was talking to someone else. It is advised to avoid any public display of affection at the office, so I understand why my coworker was a bit shocked. In large company, it is even forbid to work with our significant other. In my previous company, couples were split in different locations to avoid any conflict of interest.

But I asked my coworker if she were shocked to see couples touching (gently) each other outside the office, and she said nobody does that around her. As if we have  forgotten about that.

I guess it depends on people. And how we were raised when we were children. My parents still hold each other hand in public. To hold your significant other’s hand is the most accepted public display of affection. Yet, some couples don’t hold each other hand. Even some of my exes didn’t want to hold my hand in public. But it’s not a proof of any commitment. Some guys just hold your hand because it’s their first step to get closer to you.

As for touching your arm or your back, It’s not a big deal for men or any sign of commitment. Many of my (older) coworkers touch the arm of the women they want to say hello to. One of them is a notorious womanizer  (sometimes, some of his exes come into our office and make a scandal).

Touching the face is another story. It’s difficult to do that with someone you just met. And it’s not a common public display of affection. Many people do that in private. And even in private, some people avoid this.

So far,  at the many dinners where I was invited, I’ve seen none of those public displays of affection. At least at the beginning of the evening. After few drinks, some people lose their ways. But sometimes, alcohol makes people aggressive toward each other and can’t help fighting with each other.

It’s easy to put distance with our significant other. And generally, it simply starts with the physical distance.

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Should I stay or should I go?

People often ask themselves if they should stay with their significant other or leave” said the philosopher Alain de Botton in a recent interview. “There is one rule: if we can say, after a thorough thought, that our pain comes from our partner, we should leave the relationship. But if we think  we could feel the same insatisfaction with someone else, we may choose to stay in the relationship. There is a difference between to go through  a difficult experience of life with someone and make that difficult experience because of this person” he said.

Alain de Botton also said the cult of romantic love in our western civilization has a disastrous effect on our emotional life because it prevents us to blossom by presenting us unrealistic images of ourselves.

That cult makes us hope for unrealistic goals as: to meet someone beautiful from the inside and the outside, who will seduce us immediately and exclusively, to have satisfying sexual relationships throughout our life, to be never attracted by someone else, to understand each other intuitively, to build a family without losing emotional and sexual intensity for each other, said the philosopher. Because those goals are unreachable, the feeling of failure is really high, he added.

So, do we expect too much from our significant other? Or from the person we just met?

It’s true that if we expect to be seduced immediately by someone beautiful from the inside and the outside, we can get ahead of a lot of disappointments. Because in this category, you can find narcissistic perverts, players or just people who are not really interested in relationships.

But we need to be attracted to our future significant to start something. This attraction can take time.  Like those who are friends for years before starting a relationship with each other. Or between coworkers who gradually fall in love for each other after spending a lot of time with each other. Or between neighbors. It’s far from the immediate attraction we can feel with someone we meet on dating sites and app like Tinder.

Love is accepting the other’s differences, says Alain de Botton. We don’t necessarily have to share a lot of common points with our significant other, as long as we accept him/her as he/she is.

The philosopher also mentioned that a couple is like a small enterprise, because of the multiple chores we have to share, and the budget we have to keep together. Those are a source of conflicts for every couple.

So, yes, it’s a difficult decision to make when we want to leave a relationship, especially a long term relationship. And it’s a difficult decision when we hesitate to stay in the relationship too.

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The bill (going dutch on a date)

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In the world of dating, equality between sexes doesn’t really apply. Every woman I know expects the guy to pay the bill at the restaurant on the first date, and even on the next dates. It’s the part of the courtship. And even if we are in the 21st century, men are still expected to lead the courtship.

Many women told me if a guy lets them pay or offer them to go dutch, they think their date doesn’t want any commitment or are just stingy. One of them even told me she thinks the guy hates women in general, but can’t really be alone. In that case, why doesn’t the guy turn to prostitutes?

 “If they don’t pay, it just means they are not interested” one of them said.

In fact, it depends. One of my friends hates dates for that reason. “I hate going to the restaurant and think about sharing or paying the bill at the end with my significant other.   It’s a nightmare. Fortunately, I met him through friends during a BBQ, and he invited me at his place where he cooked a meal for me for the first time, and the next, and the next,… He doesn’t like to go to a restaurant that much, because he worked in many restaurants, and it reminds him of bad times” says one of my friends, who do agree to share the bill with me when we go out dinner together 😉

Another friend of mine told me he pays alternatively the bill with his significant other at the restaurant since their second date. “But I was a gentleman on the first date, I did pay the bill” he said.

My friend isn’t offended by the idea of having the bill paid by his significant other from time to time.

As for going dutch, some of my friends don’t agree because a date isn’t like going out with your friends.

Some guys think women are high maintenance or are stricken by the princess syndrome if they expect to have the bill paid every time at the restaurant. But all men don’t think that way.

I guess it can be a good indicator of your values if you don’t agree on who pays the bill at the restaurant during your dates. If you throw a temper tantrum because of the bill, it’s not a good sign. But at least, there’s an immediate reaction.

The worst, I think, it’s when one of two pays the bill, and the other holds grudge without saying anything. Like if the woman pays the bill, and the man thanks her for the dinner and the time they spent together, and then goes MIA for days.

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Tinder vs IRL

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Why do we need Tinder to meet other people?” asked recently my date. I was thinking about this question this morning as one of my coworkers told me her cousin met his future wife in the street. They were having a coffee in a cafe separately and he dared to ask her phone number. She accepted. My coworker was surprised about his move because “nobody ever does this anymore“, as she said. Everyone is on Tinder 😉

Is Tinder different than meeting someone in the street, asking him/her for his/her phone number, and beginning texting each other until getting  a real date? Yes, if you consider the situation where you meet in real life the object of your affection before going into a real courtship.

With Tinder, you don’t really know how your match looks like before meeting each other for a drink. You only have a picture, but also some indications like common (Facebook) friends and likes on Facebook. Some people also put their instagram account. You can see if they are into cars, sport, cats, food, just by looking at their instagram shots. You get some hints. But for the love at first sight, well, it’s not really it. But at least, you know that you match is looking for something, a hookup, or a relationship.  While asking for a phone number in the street is risky because you don’t know if the person is available. And you have a higher chance to be rejected.

With Tinder, that risk is lower, because if you just swipe many profile to the right, you may get a chance to have a match. You basically have more options on the table.

After the match, you still have to get a connection with your match. There’s not much difference than approaching directly an attractive stranger. If you’re boring, online or not, your match will simply try to get away. The nervousness is the same, online, or in real life.

Couples (or hookups) do form out of Tinder, as out of an direct approach IRL. The key is to make the first step.

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There’s a limit to online dating

Why do some people find their match on online dating, and some don’t? One of my friends told me that after a bad breakup  years ago, she registered to a online dating site and got plenty of dates, but none of it turned into a relationship. “I’ve found real friends through dating sites, but I didn’t fall in love at all with all of them. I had a blast with several of my dates but it never materialized into something else” she said.

I didn’t ask her if she made a list of what she wanted from her encounters on internet. Another one of my friends did made a long list of what she wanted in her future man. She didn’t put her photo on her dating site, and searched thoroughly every profile she found attractive. Her dating site had a possibility to search based on certain criteria, unlike Tinder, where you just swipe to the left or right the picture you find attractive or not.

My friend did find her match on internet. She got married this year after three years of relationship with him.

Her experience reminded me of this TED presentation, called “how I hacked online dating”. The author also made a thorough list of what she wanted from the man of her dream. And she found him after a heavy screening.

The economist and Nobel Prize Alvin Roth mentioned a good algorithm for online dating which would allocate men to women in such way it’s impossible to change the allocation without lowering the satisfaction of someone. The algorithm would work at its best if everyone is honest about his/her preferences without having the possibility to change these.

Yet, why some people are not satisfied with online dating?

Part of the answer is because people are not honest with that medium. Part of it is because we can be hindered by our past love experience. Part of it is because we’re not enough picky when it comes to choosing among that large pool of single people.

Some say there’s no part of seduction with online dating, especially with Tinder. “It must be particular to be in front of a man who already knows you desire him” said the actress Virginie Efira in a recent interview.

It’s not necessarily the case. Because the picture you see online may be different from what you have in front of you during the date. And looks aren’t everything. Personally, if I find the man very attractive but stupid and with zero conversation, I’m not sure I would show him I desire him. The same will apply if he’s mean with me.

Besides, because you never know in advance if your date would succeed, it’s worth spending time knowing your potential partner a little before meeting him/her. Two back and forth are not enough. I’ve learned my lesson from past failed experience. I hate wasting time with a guy who doesn’t interest me and who isn’t interested in me.

That also applies for Tinder.

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