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December, 2011

THE VALUE OF NICHE INTERNET DATING SITES

In a great article that ran today in The Christian Post, author Elton Jones talks about the value of niche Internet dating sites.  He quotes me quite a bit, so please check it out!

Here’s the link:  Christian Dating Sites Growing in Popularity

Girl with laptopInternet dating is the best thing that has ever happened to dating, and niche sites make it even easier to zero in on someone who is right for you.  If you’re looking for a life partner, is is important to look for someone who shares the same foundational principals and ideals as you do.  Even if you feel that you do not relate to your religious or cultural upbringing today, things like religion and culture have an important and inescapable impact on shaping your worldview.  I can assure you that it will be much easier to navigate the unpredictable landscape of a lifelong romantic relationship with a partner who shares a similar upbringing and value system to yours.  iStock_000016861706Small

I was raised Jewish, but when I was younger, I refused to date Jewish men.  I felt that they weren’t a fit for me.  When I went online 10 years ago, I decided to date “closer to home” and see what would happen.  I joined Jdate.com and was surprised by how familiar and comfortable dating a Jewish man felt.  They were like family which was exactly what I had been looking for all my life.  I realized that by refusing to date Jewish men, I had been rejecting an important part of who I am at my core.  Even if I don’t got to temple and practice my religion in any way, it played a key role in shaping the way I see the world.

There were still certain qualities I didn’t want in a partner that I associated with being Jewish.  I wasn’t looking for someone terribly religious or who kept kosher, for example.  But I figured there had to be someone out there who was Jewish like me.  There iStock_000016114096Mediumwas!  Neither my husband nor I have set foot in a temple since we met.  We weren’t even married in one.  Still, we’re Jewish at our core.  We share a similar perspective on life that goes back generations upon generations.  We connect with our hearts and, even more importantly, we share a soul connection that cannot be put into words.

I understand that some religious and cultural backgrounds are oppressive and that there are very real reasons why some people choose to marry outside those bounds.  You have to choose what feels right for yourself but, very often, there are people within your own culture or religious background who feel the same way you do.  Try to seek them out.

I once had a client who was an Armenian punk rocker.  He didn’t think that there could possibly be someone out there who would get him.  The very first woman he went out with online, a woman he described to me as “the most beautiful woman he had ever seen,” turned out to be Armenian and she loved punk rock.  The last time I spoke to him, they were engaged to be married.

There are niche sites for everyone.  Here are just a few: ChristianMingle.com, JDate.com, WeWaited.com, DateMyPet.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, 420Dating.com, SeniorPeopleMeet.com, BabyBoomerPeopleMeet.com, VeggieConnection.com, GreenSingles.com, DemocraticSingles.com, SugarDaddie.com, IvyDate.com…  The list goes on and on and on…

A Los Angeles Dating Coach on Her High Horse

Hi!  Writing a book is hard. Really hard.  Really, really, really hard.  Okay.  You get the picture.

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Woman on a High Horse (Not Me)

That’s my excuse for not writing anything for my blog lately.  Right now, my entire creative juices are being zapped by the book.  I just flashed on some image of a super giant evil book attacking me like something from The Walking Dead and sucking out all my creative juices.  No!!!!!!! Stop!!!!!!!!!!  Not a good image at 6:29 am.

So onto the real reason why I am writing today, the reason I am on my high horse. (Actually, I didn’t even realize I had a high horse until just this morning, and now I am on it.)

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Ewwwwwwwww! Girls!

Getting to the point, can someone please explain to me when we started referring to grown women as girls?  I would love to understand who is responsible for this awful trend.  I thought we went through the Women’s Liberation Movement to get past this.  And now, suddenly, we have been set back something like 40 years.  I cringe when I am in a session and I a hear grown man in his thirties and forties saying, “I went out with the cutest girl last night.” Or, they say, “I’m communicating with a couple of really cute girls.”  Guys.  What are you, fifteen years old?  How would you like it if we started calling you boys?  (Actually, much to my chagrin, this is starting to happen, as well.)   No wonder we are having such a hard time finding mature partners and making our relationships last.  We’ve all reverted to high school.

Folks, there is nothing hot boys and girls, unless you’re thinking Lolita, and then you’re looking at anything from a year to life imprisonment, depending on the state.  (California seems to be the most lenient state with a one-year penalty.)

I have been reading “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Set, Delay Love and Lose at Both” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laura Sessions Stepp.   This riviting (and frightening) expose, explores how high school and college “girls” are hooking up for casual sex as a way to have power over and stay emotionally detached from men.

In the introduction, Stepp says, “The reader will notice that I use the words ‘girl’ and ‘girls’ in this book, along with ‘young woman’ and ‘young women.’  This is because female college students, and even some women in their twenties and thirties, call themselves girls.  This practice puzzles those of us who came of age during the women’s movement and demanded that we be called women as soon as we reached eighteen, just as boys became men at that age.  But it reflects, I think, the way young women, particularly those is middle- and upper-income families, have been protected, even coddled, to the point where they think of themselves not yet as adults. “

The words we choose are a reflection of our state-of-mind.   As a dating and relationship coach, I am deeply concerned that, if men and women are calling themselves and each other boys and girls, then they are seeing themselves as children, not even teenagers.  Girls and boys are just beginning to learn responsiblity.  They don’t know how to pay bills, balance bank accounts, or manage time let alone think about things like marriage or children.  You might think it’s all semantics, but it’s not.  All you have to do is look at the divorce rates and the number of single parent families to see how well we are dealing with commitment.

Some of my clients try to justify this trend by saying that it is cute or sweet to think of ourselves as boys and girls.  It’s not.  I dated boys for most of my life and even married one.  It took me 40 years grow up and find a grown man who is not afraid of commitment and responsibility.  If I ever referred to him as a boy, even jokingly, it would be the end of our relationship.  No joke.  Does he have a “boyish” side?  Absolutely.  But he takes pride in being a man.  Wen I am with him I love that I feel like a woman.  I feel safe and secure.  And when I know that my man is committed to being there for me and protecting me, then my little girl can safely come out to play.

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