Peace and Healing

A Perspective of Traditional and Non-Traditional Methods of Healing



Dating

What are some Dating Tips ?

“HAPPINESS IS REAL WHEN SHARED”

-CHRIS MCCANDLESS

We date who we are attracted to. Before the computer, sight, our first sensory stimulus would alert us to an individual to whom we were visually attracted. After initial attraction, we move to see if there are other areas of compatibility.

Dating can be an exciting and wonderful experience. It is usually a cakewalk, if you will, compared to marriage. Marriage clearly has its ups and downs, and we will address marriage as a separate topic.

The need and want to have someone by your side, someone with whom to walk down the path of life, share experiences, share sunrises and sunsets, someone who whom we are compatible, sharing similar desires and interests. At times this is influenced by hormones, at times by the beauty that we see in another. Nevertheless, companionship is something everyone should experience, which will hopefully lead into a long lasting relationship. Unfortunately many relationships do end in heartache, which we will also address as another topic.

Dating Tips for Teens

Dating tips are exactly that. They are suggestions that can be used, and understandably, are not 100% guaranteed. Teenagers are often guided by hormones as well as peer pressure, media, and the very real desire to have a partner, someone with whom to go to dances and movies, someone just to hang with.

Listed below are a few dating tips for teens. Truly, this is an exhaustive topic. Please feel free to e-mail us with any dating tips you do not find below, that you feel should be included in our list.

  1. Do not believe everything you hear about dating. There are hundreds of teen magazines that are being gobbled up by teenagers, including topics ranging from fashion to dating tips. Please remember that these magazines are out to make money. Read them with caution.
  2. T.V. movies and sitcoms are exactly that, T.V. movies and sitcoms. The dating and relationships you see depicted are grossly unrealistic for the most part. New T.V. series like O.C. (Orange County) and Skin are obviously created to gain the attention of an audience who prefers to fantasize and dream about what a dating scene might be like, however unrealistic.
  3. Hopefully you have a good relationship with one or both of your parents, it would be ideal to ask your parents dating questions you might have, either privately with the same sex parent, or with both parents present. REMEMBER, they were once teenagers, however difficult it is to believe, but they were. And they have gone through the dating process.
  4. If you do not have a good relationship with your parents, or if you feel embarrassed and cannot ask them questions, there are a variety of resources at your disposal including another adult that you trust, a counselor, healthcare provider, perhaps your minister or pastor, if you happen to have a good relationship with these individuals. A school counselor could be helpful in these areas, depending on your relationship with them.
  5. REMEMBER, A PEER YOUR SAME AGE, IS EXACTLY THAT—A PEER/FRIEND. FRIENDS CANNOT BE OBJECTIVE. THEY ARE YOUR FRIENDS, and for the most part, unable to be objective.
  6. Be aware of what Peace & Healing calls red flags in people’s personalities. A red flag is a warning sign, something that you may have a visceral reaction to, an uneasiness in your stomach, something that just may be incongruent with the person’s personality. Some examples include:
    1. Does the person always have to have some type of alcoholic drink when they go out? Is alcohol always associated with a party type atmosphere?
    2. Is the person excessively complimentary, going to great lengths to compliment you, perhaps moving farther with physical touching and petting?
    3. Does the person constantly talk about themselves, brag about themselves, rarely asking questions about you and your likes or wants?
    4. Does the individual set up situations that are always enjoyable for them, but not you?

Why do we choose a certain partner? There are times we choose someone who is dysfunctional. Dysfunctional how? Not affectionate, they may have a tumultuous past, do they have alcoholic parents? Was there or is there violence in the home? Are one of the parents emotionally abusive? All of these WILL affect the relationship you are in. Once you find this out, you need to make a decision. Do you actually love this person? If so, DO NOT BECOME A DOORMAT. Remember, you cannot fix, or change the person, they need to be motivated, and be introspective enough to see their short comings. Are you in it to fix a person with a broken wing? Take care of yourself, think highly of yourself. When you do, the chance of you meeting someone who is pathological is less likely. So many times I see teens hanging with the wrong crowd. They get direct feedback on how smart they are, on how much they help others. It is a self esteem builder but can cause turmoil with peer pressure around drugs, and illegal behavior. Hanging with others who can bring us down, does nothing to help us in the long term.

These are only a few red flags. Many times we do not want to recognize them because we are so enamored with the person, or what other people may perceive as, “Gee, this couple looks fantastic together, you are so lucky,” when inside you know you may not want to, or should not be in the relationship. It takes an enormous amount of strength and personal integrity to bail out of a relationship that you know may not be healthy for you.

Introduce your date to your parents. Is this old fashioned? I don’t even know what old fashioned means anymore. Forget the terms old fashioned, it’s not cool, it’s not the thing to do. Do it out of respect. Do it because there is a loving relationship between you and your parents, and it will increase the trust between your parents and you. If the relationship between you and your parents is strained, then there needs to be some type of improvement made in that relationship, and that needs to be worked on.

Sexually transmitted diseases are very real and rampant. Above and beyond AIDS, herpes simplex virus and condyloma have no cure. Once you contract them, you are infected for the rest of your life, plus it does increase the risk of certain types of cancer. There are many, many aspects of intimacy that can be explored in a loving relationship besides having intercourse.

A relationship can be extremely rewarding. Just remember that with each relationship, you will make many mistakes, but you will also learn from these mistakes, which is excellent for strengthening and improving future relationships. Expect your heart to be crushed a few times, and expect your heart to be warmed as you are cared for. Enjoy!

What are some Dating Tips for Men?

Ok men, hang onto your hats. I am going to make a very harsh and unscientific statement. Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let me proceed.

Over the past 20 years as both an individual and marital therapist, I have come up with some rough, unscientific statistics. Approximately 80% of the men out there can be classified as “jerks.” They have hurt about 60% of the women out there, making them hyper-vigilant and distrustful in relationships. Now we are trying to hook up the remaining 20%, the good guys, with 40% of the women who have been unaffected by bad relationships. This is very tough scenario.

What creates so many jerks? The role modeling that many men have had from their fathers has been absolutely terrible. Men have very skewed perceptions of what it is to be a man. Subsequently, they have very skewed perceptions of how to treat women. An excellent book that I often refer to is Fire in the Belly; On Becoming a Man by Sam Keen, regarding the impact of fathers, both present and absent.

Listed below are a few dating tips:

  1. Don’t focus so much on treating a woman like a woman, or questioning how a woman should be treated; rather, treat her as a human being, as you would like to be treated.
  2. Women have passions and interests that may different (but may not be) than those men have. Understand what those are.
  3. To some degree, men would love their women to be involved in their interests and passions, at the same time wanting their independence. Try to understand that women will have their own passions and interests and these may be different than yours. Accept them. Do some research into them. You might find that you are interested in some of the same areas they are. It could be gardening for example.
  4. Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at your self esteem issues. Are you insecure ? do you have to be an expert in everything? Do not try to present that.
  5. Two heads are better than one. Many women can offer excellent advice in many areas. If you put your heads together and work together as a team, you may find your relationship dramatically improves.
  6. Understand that physiologically there are differences. This is not a myth; there are hormonal changes. This is very real, and definitely affects emotions. Be respectful of that.
  7. The woman you are dating was, and still is, someone’s daughter. If you have a daughter, think about that. That should help you in terms of your respect and treatment.
  8. Be aware of what Peace & Healing calls red flags in people’s personalities. A red flag is a warning sign, something that you may have a visceral reaction to. Has this woman been hurt in the past? Is she hyper-vigilant? Is she calling you daily, after the 4th or 5th date? Is she very concerned about where you are, not necessarily concerned about your well-being, but concerned that you are going to be cheating on her? Is she overwhelming, a blanket in other words?
  9. Is she willing to be intimate rather quickly? Wanting to do anything to keep the relationship alive? Does she feels if she does this, you will then stay with her?

10.  Be careful and observe for enabling. It is extremely unhealthy for both parties. There is a difference between being enabling and being helpful and a partner in a relationship.

11.  Is she materialistic? It’s one thing having nice things and nice items, but do you have to have the nice items for show, in order to create an image? This is much different than wanting nice, high quality items.

12.  Women who have had a very good and loving relationship with their fathers are usually an excellent mate in relationships.

We will touch on other topics in our section on marriage. Be careful. Enjoy your dating relationships.

What are some Dating Tips for Women?

Ok women, hang onto your hats. I am going to make a very harsh and unscientific statement. Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let me proceed.

Over the past 20 years as both an individual and marital therapist, I have come up with some rough, unscientific statistics. Approximately 80% of the men out there can be classified as “jerks.” They have hurt about 60% of the women out there, making them hyper-vigilant and distrustful in relationships. Now we are trying to hook up the remaining 20%, the good guys, with 40% of the women unaffected by bad relationships. This is very tough scenario, and you are up against more difficult percentages than the men. Subsequently, it is important to be cautious, but at the same time it is possible to find a very good partner out there.

Listed below are a few dating tips:

  1. Alcohol abuse & alcohol addiction: Please be aware of the increased percentages of drinking. Does your date always have to have a drink of some sort when he is out on a date? Does he tell you that he basically only has 1-2 drinks to be social when he is out, without telling you he goes out every night and has 1-2 drinks. Remember that alcoholics ALWAYS minimize the amount of alcohol they drink. They also state that it never affects their job. By the time alcoholism affects an individual’s job, it is late, late, late stage alcoholism. The job is the last thing to be affected.
  2. Be aware of inflated self-esteem that is evidenced by talking about themselves, not asking about your past.
  3. Presentation, where they are knowledgeable in many, many areas, can be a red flag.
  4. Many women are concerned about physical abuse and aggression. When you are out on a date, glance at their knuckles and hands. Are they scarred? Do they have a white collar job, yet they have scarred knuckles? That is a telltale sign of some aggression in the past. Perhaps they have punched walls or windows, or perhaps they have been in many fights. They might not want to disclose that. It is something to look for.
  5. Ask about their relationships with their father and mother. Ask how often they see their parents, and when was the last time they saw them. Are they close to their family? These are very appropriate questions, and should not be interpreted as grossly intrusive. These are obviously not questions that would be asked on a first or second date, but very appropriate for the third, fourth or fifth dates.
  6. Can the gentleman take care of himself? Has he been coddled as a child growing up? This is something you may not find out in the early dating stage, but definitely is something that could rear its ugly head down the road. If you want to have children, you don’t need an extra child in your husband, if he is not able to do some of the simple things in life like laundry, cleaning, etc.
  7. Good work ethic vs. no work ethic, vs. Type A personality, working 7-days a week.
  8. Something that you want to assess is whether or not the gentleman you are dating voices and demonstrates genuine interest in you, but is never available. Or is he always available, and his job is not that relevant. Again, look for gray, not black and white. Gray is healthy, black and white issues are not.