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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dating vs Hanging Out

One singles site I belong to has frequently discussed the topic of Dating vs Hanging out, and of course, there are some very divergent views on the matter. What is interesting to me is that in the Ensign, a talk from a General Authority on that very matter was published. It is my understanding that if it comes from a General Authority we are to give it some weight.

Then, in the LDS section of About.Com, I found this list of dating ideas. Now, to me, most of them seem to be 'hanging out' type things. Personally, once I am involved with someone, I enjoy some hanging out stuff, and I think the point of the talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks was not to discourage it at that point in a relationship, but to make it very clear that it is not an acceptable means of dating in those early stages. It promotes, in those stages, laziness and a sense of familiarity which would not be appropriate. It also increases the risk for crossing boundaries as it is commonly done 'home alone'.

So, what are YOUR definitions of 'hanging out' and a 'date' and where do YOU draw the line between the two?

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FHE Ideas for the Family, Dates, Groups, Etc

Photo by Chance Agrella
As the self-titled Queen of Shortcut FHE Planning, I have found some great resources for quickly planning fun and interesting FHE lessons. I have shared a few of them below for your use. These are great for using with your own family, on dates, in groups, or whatever. Happy Planning!

Various Family Home Evening (FHE) Resources
Wanna do the Standing for Something FHE Lessons (based upon the book by Pres. Hinckley)? They are kid-friendly, all planned out, and can be found HERE

How about lessons based on the Family Proclamation? Click HERE for those.

or a set of 30 Fast and Easy FHE lessons may be found HERE

President Hinckley's 6 BE's FHE lessons HERE

A year of Primary Manual FHE lessons HERE

A year of SIMPLE Family Nights

Be Prepared FHE Lessons HERE

a huge list of teen oriented FHE lessons can be found HERE

A list of adult oriented FHE lessons can be found HERE

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Roles and Responsibilities

Photo by Lynn Davis

One of the sites I gig search on also has a blog about freelance writing. The latest post was about freelance writers not being understood or taken seriously. While it has been encouraging to see I am not alone in this struggle, something really disheartening happened, too.

Married woman after married woman is not getting support from her husband. They are getting grief about dinner not being on the table and the house not being spotless: but the men are NOT pitching in, they are NOT doing anything once THEIR job is done, and they tell their wives they can't quit their writing jobs because the income is needed.

These women are hurt, frustrated, and feel like they are being treated unfairly. I have to say I agree with them, and this very issue of roles and responsibilities is one I hit a wall about in dating time and time again.

Many men don't get 'what I do' all day and think 'cos I am home all day (WORKING, AHEM) that there is no reason why I could ever possibly get behind on anything around the house, or not have time to make 3-5 course meals daily.

Guess what? With all that is involved in running my own writing and consulting business, plus doing the actual work itself, including meeting deadlines and dealing with editors and rewrites; I put in more time working than most people. Just because my location is my home office, it doesn't mean I am not working, or can just drop everything to do other stuff: I mean seriously. . .can others do that from their office? Just stop in the middle of work and say, "well, time to put a pot roast in the oven, pick up the dry cleaning, and have some playtime with my kid. See ya later!" ? I think not. So why is it so hard to see that the same thing applies here?

Yes, if I do it right, when I can take a break, I can put something in the crockpot or play online for a few minutes. However, for the most part, I get so 'in the groove' when I am writing and have so much stuff I have to accomplish each day, that I cannot be distracted and I block out everything else. .. including the need to eat, dress for the day, etc.

Regardless of the location, work is work and sometimes I honestly don't think I will ever find a man who will 'get that' and be supportive of this if I need to work when we marry.

This brings up another disheartening issue I run into: the men who, having been burned, now believe they no longer need to be the provider for the family. They are seeking a 'legal-sex roomie' to split the bills with. They have no desire to make sure they can adequately provide for the family unit, and expect the woman to work a full-time job. Most of them also expect her to still do all those 'wife and mother' things as well like take care of the kids, cook, clean, run errands, etc.

That is so contrary to what we know to be true in the Gospel and so wrong on so many levels. . .and yet it is commonplace in the world of aged 30+ singles. This brings me to one more reason why I am thinking more and more that an eternal union created in this life on Earth just ain't in the cards for me.

That's ok. It isn't what I planned for my life, by any means. .. and it does create an ache in my heart over the potential that is lost. I have so much love and support and . . .well, I have so much to give. . .so much that I want and need to give that the reality of my life here being alone is a bit discouraging.

But, more than anything I know I am loved and that somehow someway it will all be made right. . so onward I trudge, hoping that I can show grace under fire, and return home to the loving arms of our Father in Heaven with honor.

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Men in Kilts: YEAH BABY!

I saw this video on yahoo today, and I must say, I LIKE IT! *They have removed the video that link went to. If it is available elsewhere I will fix that link. In the meanwhile, enjoy THIS substitute video.

Maybe it is some primal thing from my Greek ancestry about men showing some serious leg-age, but I dig men in kilts! I love seeing a man's legs, and I think kilts are just plain sexy. . .with a little bit of 'tease' tossed in.

Face it, the curiosity hits us all as to what is under the kilt (which is kinda sexy in and of itself). . .and they are long enough that LDS men can wear the appropriate undergarments and still show their schmokin' hot legs!

The benefits to the men wearing them are the non-restrictive feeling, the 'air-conditioning', the attention it generates, and the chance to be uniquely expressive as to who they are as an individual.

Ok, the best one is how many women are gonna go ga-ga over it! LOL

This is a really funny "MEN IN KILTS" type commercial. It is for alcohol, and I have to state here that I am NOT endorsing this product, alcohol, or the consumption of alcohol. I am, however, totally endorsing the concepts of men being men, and of men wearing kilts. *GRIN*Video courtesy of Youtube user Natterfly.

Just bear in mind if you are wearing a kilt, you can't really act out what they did in that video or this might be you.

Buy kilts online in the US: sportkilt

Buy kilts online from Scotland: KiltStore

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How Dating is Like Quidditch

I was watching our Harry Potter DVDs while I was catching up on paperwork, and it struck me how the game of Quidditch is a lot like the dating 'game'.

In Quidditch you have different playing positions and different balls. Each position seeks after a different ball and has a different goal in mind. So it is with each of us and dating. There are several different things sought in dating. . .and several different goals which may be accomplished.

First, we have the Beaters and the Bludgers. The Bludgers are like the slime of the dating world. They are the players, users, liars, con artists, octopuses, etc. These are the ones who are only interested in getting whatever they can at whatever cost. They attack their prey and intentionally hurt them. The Beaters would be those daters who continually seem to deal with and attract this type of person.

Secondly, we have the Chasers and the Quaffle. The Quaffle is like the fun date. This is the person who isn't looking for a commitment and just dates to have fun. The Chasers then would be those who seek that type of person, for they, too, only are dating to have fun.

Lastly, we have the Seeker and the Golden Snitch. Catch the Golden Snitch and the game is over. So it is with the dating game. The Golden Snitch would be a person whom is a great match for us. They are ready, willing, and able to commit and have their ducks in a row. Those who are Seekers are the people who are also ready, willing, and able to commit. . .have their own ducks in a row, and are dating with purpose: to marry and have a healthy, happy, eternal union.

So, what of the Keeper, you Potter fans may be asking. Well, in this scenario, the Keeper would be the Holy Ghost: protecting us from those who would try to 'score' against us and trying to help us keep our 'hoops' safe (or virtue in tact).

So, when it comes to dating, which position do YOU play?

Personally, I am a Seeker. . .well, I guess that means I am a Golden Snitch, too. LOL

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A Deer in the Headlights: or the Freeze and Flee Way

Photo by Chance Agrella
As a general rule, in relationships I don't get 'angry', I get 'hurt'. When I get deeply or severely hurt, I have this automated response which likens me to a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming 18-wheeler: I freeze up and shut down. Then, at the last minute: I run.

How this works is if I am in a room with someone and it happens, everything inside of me shuts down. I literally can't think straight and can't talk. I am immediately on 'autopilot' and the only thing I know to do is to leave. It is a primal instinct and one I am still working on gaining some control over.

In the meantime, I have learned from a counselor that it is actually a common behavior. That surprised me. I took a poll of single friends and guess what? Most of them do the same thing! That blew my mind.

The interesting thing about it is how the other person responds to it. In general, when a women displays this behavior it reads to a man that she is angry and giving him the silent treatment. He knows from experience that when that is the case, he is most certainly 'gonna get it' later.

So, when a woman has the freeze and flee issue, while she may not be giving the man the silent treatment, and may not be angry, and has no intention of laying into him later. . .the man assumes this is the case and responds accordingly.

He will pull away so he won't get attacked.

This hurts the woman further.

This cycle can be handled if the couple can discuss what is going on in a non-emotional way when they are both in a good mood. If the man can understand it is an automated response in the woman generated by hurt. . .and is willing to do what she needs him to do in order to help her get past it, things can change. In the meanwhile, the woman needs to find out how to gain control over that response and needs to make the appropriate changes. . .being patient with the man who is working with her on it.

If the couple communicates openly and regularly and both work on it, it can go from being a major issue to a minor inconvenience.

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Celestial Dating

As my dating experiences have grown, and as I have been observing more and more relationships around me that work. . .and don't, I have been refining the process by which I choose who to date and who to continue to invest time in.

Sometimes, it feels to the tender part of me, to be a heartless, cutthroat process. But, the intellectual side of me realizes it is a very necessary process if I truly want a celestial union/a relationship that is for eternity.

No one is perfect, but there are basic traits and qualities which are pre-requisites for attaining Celestial status. . .and having a truly eternal union. These are the things for which I screen. Many can be discerned before even going on a first date, but some generally aren't revealed until at least one date has occurred.

One of the most important factors for me to discern is the person's "staying power". This means I look at their track record for trying to make things work out and their commitment to making things work out. Are they quick to 'next' people? Are they quick to jump to conclusions and judge? Do they try to understand me and fix things in themselves which clash in our relationship. . .or do they expect me to cater to them? Do they seek to talk, listen, and openly communicate or do they cut and run at the first difficulty? Do they understand that working things out and making changes to benefit a relationship are all part of a healthy lasting relationship, or are they seeking some cardboard cutout who meets all their demands and fits their every wish on their list?

Another factor I find important to look at is their forgiveness quotient. Are they forgiving or do they hold grudges? Do they blame others for things or do they take responsibility for their own contributions: and then do something about it? How do they talk about and relate to their former spouse/date/girlfriend? How do they handle it when their kids make mistakes? Are they a doormat who just quietly puts up with stuff then explodes or lashes out later? Do they continually seek win/win situations or are they out for what will benefit them: not caring if anyone else benefits. . .or even worse, not being happy unless they are the only one who benefits?What do they do when they don't get their way or someone won't do what they want them to? Whining, manipulation, pouting, tantrums, threats, etc are deal-breakers to me.

Another thing I look for is how they treat others. Do they leave good tips? Do they run 'the help' ragged? Are they grateful and appreciative of what others do for them or do they act like it is expected that others serve them? Do they say 'Thank you', 'Please' and 'I'm Sorry', or do those words seem to be unknown to them? Do they actively show concern for me, my boundaries, my rights, my feelings, my overall welfare, and my safety?

I recently discovered there is a pattern amongst couples who have happy unions. . .which also was present in both relationships in my life where I was truly in love. In every case, once they began dating each other, the interest was mutually strong and clearly shown. Both treated each other with affection, concern, and made time for one another: from the start. Both gave one another a lot of time and attention, and never gave each other a reason to doubt, feel insecure, or to be suspicious.

So, if I go out with someone and their interest seems to then be only lukewarm or to decline at all, I walk. Lukewarm interest is not a hallmark of a lasting relationship, and frankly, isn't worth my time to pursue. Interestingly, I read this same 'advice' in a dating column a few days ago. . . a few days after I had my 'a-ha' moment. I deserve to be with and want to be with someone who is crazy about me: someone who recognizes and appreciates my worth. Nothing less will do. That is how it should be, and is what I have found to be present in every relationship that works. Why waste time trying to prove myself or convince someone I am worth their time? Chuh! My time is far too precious for that.

And what, you may ask, is the difference between that and being quick to 'next' someone? The difference, my friend, is that when one is quick to 'next' someone it is usually over something like not having all the facts and due to jumping to conclusions. It is usually motivated by selfishness: not practicality. For instance, I know some who will 'next' someone the first time they don't follow through exactly as specified. People are human and life happens. There can be many legitimate reasons why someone would be unable to keep any particular commitment. To not find out the facts first, or to make assumptions based upon what one thinks they see is not a Celestial behavior pattern. Recognizing that someone is 'just not that into you' and moving on to someone who is, shows clear thinking based in reality and reason. . . which is a Celestial behavior pattern. That is the difference.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Hang 'Em High

Photo by Chance Agrella
Over the years, I have learned a few thing about dating and relationships, and one of the most important has been to trust my instincts.

For a long time, if I suspected I was being lied to/played, I would confront the man. Now, I HATE confrontations but I am a very direct person and I see no reason to play games or not get answers when there are inconsistencies.

However, in direct mode, the 'discussion' would frequently turn heated, with me being accused of not giving them the benefit of the doubt; of me 'projecting' onto them what men before them did; etc.

What I learned from this is that liars and cheaters will say and do anything to place the blame elsewhere rather than fess up and take responsibility. So, all that has been accomplished is an argument was started, I was left feeling badly and attacked, and at times I had a nagging doubt that maybe they were right, but never got to find out if I was right about my suspicions.

I changed my strategy, and the new one works quite well. No confrontation required. . .and no doubts about what the truth is.

The new strategy is called GIVE EM ROPE. This means when they tell you things that you doubt, just accept it for the moment. Ride it out and observe. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Don't tune out your suspicions, but keep them in check for the time being.

At this point, they have two options. They can make a hammock with the rope, or they can make a noose. In other words, they can show they have been honest with you by their words and deeds (making a hammock) or they can show you they have been lying to you/playing you (making a noose).

Time will bear out the truth either way. This way, you are not the doubter that drives them away (why should YOU take the blame for their lies?) and they will slink off into the sunset like the slimy snake they are once they are shown for who and what they are.

If it turns out you were mistrustful for no good reason, it is a good sign to you that you need to get some counseling so you can get past whatever issues you have.

Either way, it is a win/win situation.

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Cheaters: Sick but Fascinating

While I was perusing Youtube, I saw some clips from the show Cheaters. Sickly fascinated, I had to laugh at some of the stupidity spewed from the mouths of those busted in the act. Let's face it: even when there is hardcore proof, cheaters will lie and deny 'til they are blue in the face about what they did and why.

Some classic lines out of the mouths of the cheaters:

"I didn't mean to, baby"

"I love YOU. . . I want to be with YOU"

"I was just being a good neighbor, baby"

As he was running pantless away from a van where he was caught in the act with another woman yells "I am not here" (he told his girlfriend earlier that he was going to be helping his mother that evening)

"I'm old school g and I'm gonna do this while I am with you" (when asked by his wife why he was cheating on her. Then he told the host) "I know how to please her and what she won't do the next one will"

"You're never home" (said to the man who is working to support her and their young daughter: she did NOT have to work. . .he made it so she could be home with their daughter)

"After two years he doesn't make me happy anymore" (said by above woman to Cheaters host. When he asked her why she didn't just tell him. . .why she cheated instead her reply:)
"Well, I would have if he had come to me and asked"

(Tells the girlfriend of SIX months whom he has been sleeping with that his wife is dead, then when confronted tells his very much alive wife) "Forgive me honey. . .I had a moment of weakness"

So what is the point of my post? Well, it wasn't to make fun of cheaters. . .it was to point out a few things.

If you think something isn't right with the person you are involved with, chances are you are right. Check it out sooner rather than later.

If someone's behavior changes suddenly and/or dramatically it is FOR A REASON. Don't brush it off. Something is up. It may not be cheating; but in the dating/married world, it usually is.

If you find out they cheated, don't believe for one second what comes out of their mouth next. They have already lied to you in order to cheat on you. Why would they be honest or fair with you now when they are found out? Trust me, they won't be.

If they 'hide' things from you like alternative ways to contact them, where they live, where they work, their family, etc. . .chances are they are hiding something bigger: like a relationship with at least one other person.

If someone is GENUINELY and truly in love with you, they will make it very clear in word AND deed that they are. They will share themselves and their life with you. They will make time for you. If they are doing less than that, chances are they are not as in love with you as they want you to believe.

An Australian service called 'Spousebusters' follows suspecting cheating spouses. When asked how often the people they follow are actually cheating, the answer was 95%. It was added that by the time they get involved it is usually just to confirm what is already known.

My personal experience with cheating in dating is that once upon a time I was in a relationship with a man who gave me reasons to be suspicious of his fidelity. When I finally decided to check it out rather than continuing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I found out my instincts were correct. He was cheating. . .and how! His family confronted me at a family party with what he was doing. . .told me to dump him and that I was too good for him. (They were careful to add that they didn't want me to dump them, just him! Laughing) Talk about timing! I had already gathered evidence and was going to dump him that very evening! In their defense, they confronted him first and told him to straighten up. When he did not, they felt they had no choice but to intervene in order to prevent further pain/hurt to me. It was not the first time he cheated and they couldn't bear to stand by and say nothing while he did it to me.

He always told people, including me, his friends, his co-workers, his neighbors, his family, and his kids how good I was to him. They always agreed with him. He had no complaints about how I treated him, how well I met his needs, how much he felt loved by me, etc. Even when confronted, he had no complaints and did not even attempt to blame me for his despicable behavior. So, why did he cheat? His words were that he decided he just wasn't ready to commit to one woman, but he didn't want to lose me.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cliff Diving

Photo by Leland Davis
A woman was on a journey to bliss. Along the way she would come to crossroads, and when she did a Guide would appear. He would give her information which would allow her to make an informed decision as to which way to go next.

Sometimes she listened closely to his advice. Sometimes she did not. Sometimes she stood at the crossroads for a long time before moving forward along one path or the other. Other times she would impulsively race down whichever path struck her fancy at the time.

Regardless, the Guide was always there to help her if she wanted it.

One bright summer's day, she reached yet another crossroads. She could see that one road led to more of the same scenery she had become accustomed to. The other path only went about 10 feet before ending at a cliff's edge.

"Surely," she thought, "this choice is easy. Stay on the path I am on!" When she began to take a step forward, the Guide appeared. She smiled and thought he would tell her she was, of course, doing the right thing.

The guide told her she needed to take the other path. He told her it was the best path for her to take to reach her destination.

She pointed out it ended at a cliff's edge. There was nowhere to go but off the edge. The Guide smiled and told her she needed to dive off the edge of the cliff.

She cautiously approached the edge of the cliff and looked down. All she could see was fog. There was no way to know how long the drop was. . .or what was waiting at the bottom. There might be a deep pool of water. . .or jagged rocks. She couldn't even tell if it was a straight shot or if there were ledges and rocks sticking out which would injure anyone diving downward.

She queried the Guide. How safe would she be if she dove off? His face became somber. "You will be hurt on the way down. There are rocks and ledges along the way which will toss you too and fro. . .and leave you a bit battered and bruised. But if you take this leap, you will be better off for it. You will be ok when you hit the bottom, and closer to your destination than you would be otherwise. This is the best path for you. The other path will only bring you pain and sorrow. I promise you that it will be worth it, and you will be ok if you take the leap."

She carefully considered the guide's words. He had never lied to her or led her astray. Still, that cliff-diving thing was really scary. And he told her she would get hurt on the way. He told her it would not be a pleasant trip downward. But he also had assured her it would be worth it, and she would be ok.

Quivering with fear, the woman closed her eyes and took the leap. As she fell downward, she felt someone taking her hand. She opened her eyes and saw her Guide. . .he looked in her eyes and smiled.

"I have always been by your side. You just never noticed me until you had a problem you needed help with. First it was only at crossroads. Now, as you take this leap of faith, you again need me . . .to comfort you, to ease your fears, and to tend to your wounds. This is why I could promise you that you would be ok on your dive. I was going to be with you every moment of the way."

When we are required in life to take leaps of faith. . .do we remember that He is always on those leaps with us, or do we mistakenly think we will be alone on the way to the bottom?

~Dani who is the woman in this story.

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The Lesson of the Tree

Photo by Leland Davis
I watched a tree today, bending with the wind. I noticed how when the gusts came along, some of the branches lifted Heavenwards. . their leaves turned upward shimmering with light, as they lightly swayed with the wind.

Other branches seemed to desperately bend towards the earth. . their leaves not showing light. . .and quaking violently as they tried to fight the wind.

We are like the branches of that tree. When the winds of trials come, do we turn our leaves (faces, thoughts, minds, and hearts) Heavenward. . .and as a result sway lightly WITH the wind?

Or do we turn towards the world, rejecting the light and trying in vain to hold to all things worldly and our own strength. . . only to be violently shaken in our trials?

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

It Takes Two

Photo by Chance Agrella
There is a saying about how 'it takes two', which is frequently used in the context of how a divorce is the fault of both marital partners.

I think something which gets overlooked is that while it does indeed take BOTH to MAKE a relationship work; one person can 'check out' and effectively end the relationship right then and there. If one person quits or leaves there is not one thing the other person can do to change it. Only the one who has quit or left can make the difference. They have to choose to try again and contribute.

Occasionally there will be times when one person is struggling and the other partner has to carry the load for a bit. That is a very natural part of a relationship. . .as long as it doesn't last too long. It is a very different thing from the total 'check out' scenario I referred to above.

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The Shared Blame Game

Photo by Chance Agrella
The Shared Blame Game is a new-age psycho babble method for alleviating the guilty of taking full responsibility and accountability for their behavior by putting the blame for their choices on the heads of their victims.

The following is a real-life example.

A married woman who desperately wanted children finally gets pregnant and carries the child to term. Her joy is full, her hormones are fluctuating as is common with all new mothers, and her precious little newborn baby requires a great deal of time and attention: as all newborn babies do.

Meanwhile, dad decides he isn't getting enough of mom's time and attention. At this point he has a decision to make: what will he do about it?

Does he talk to her about his feelings?
Does he understand the situation and help out with the baby so mom is freed up to spend more time with him?
Does he help out in caring for the baby he helped to create, thus getting more time with mom and freeing her up for more time for herself and with him alone?
Does he seek counseling alone or with her to help them get through this?

Nope. Instead he had an affair. Then he tells his wife it was her fault because she didn't give him enough attention and was too wrapped up in the newborn baby.

Mom then agrees with him, and forever more takes the blame for the decision he made to cheat on her.

Am I the only one who sees something seriously wrong with this picture?

Let's put this in another context. Since sexual sins are second only to the sin of murder, let's use an example of murder.

A woman walks home in the broad daylight. 20 feet from her home, a serial killer pulls her into the bushes and murders her.

According to shared blame, it was her fault he murdered her because if she had not walked to her own home that particular day at that particular time, he would not have murdered her.

This shared blame tactic is one of many sneaky and insidious tactics in the adversary's arsenal to lead us astray, and undermine all that is true and correct. It makes a mockery of the sacred gifts of agency and of the atonement.

Agency was given to us as a divine right and responsibility to use wisely. When we misuse it, we have the Atonement to alleviate the burden of our sins from us. It is not the duty of any mortal to take the burden of our sins upon themselves. That is blasphemous at the very least to presume such a thing is appropriate or correct.

We cannot ever MAKE someone do something. People always have a choice. Even with a gun to their heads, people STILL have choice. There are always options; and it is up to US and ONLY US to make the right ones.

Blaming those we have hurt, betrayed, and sinned against for our choices of agency is wrong on so many levels. . .and sinful.

Taking the blame upon ourselves for the choices of others is enabling further bad behavior from them; co-dependent behavior; sinful; and blasphemous.

The only exception to this would be best recognized by the Savior and Heavenly Father. . .and that would be those rare occasions when someone is completely incapable of making a sound decision due to mental health issues, dementia, abuse/brainwashing, age, etc.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Women are Stupid

Photo by Chance Agrella
I admit it. I am not perfect. There are times when I seriously would like to smack someone upside the head. This is one of those times.

I have run into a two-part phenomenon. The first is the women who complain that men don't respect them and don't treat them well. They can't understand why men continually leave them.
The second is the men who don't act like gentlemen on dates, or yell (yes I have been literally yelled at) orders at women to 'stay where you are' and 'don't touch that door' because the women they have previously dated did not let them act like gentlemen or berated them for displaying chivalrous behavior.

This is why I say women are stupid. If ya teach men its wrong to show courtesy towards women, guess what? They are not going to treat you with courtesy. If you berate them for being considerate towards you, not only are you teaching them to not respect you, but you are not allowing them to be who they innately are: and they are not going to stick around.

Your 'feminist' and 'independent' thinking and attitude is screwed up and ruining many a good man. Plus, you are ticking off women like myself who have to retrain these men as to how to treat a lady right. I am beyond tired of cleaning up YOUR mess.

You may like complaining about men and making them feel badly for being kind to women. Fine. But keep it out of my dating pool, sister!

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Thursday, August 9, 2007


Photo by Chance Agrella
The Shift in Values
It seems to me that in these last days there has been a tremendous shift away from 'traditional' family values. While I am grateful for those changes which are more family-oriented and are closer to Gospel teachings; I am seeing more and more that the changes actually are destructive to the home and family. . .and by means of 'worldly wisdom' seducing people further and further away from what we know to be true and correct.

There seems to be a 'disposable' or 'easily replaceable' attitude when it comes to member of the opposite gender in relationship situations. How many of us are so very quick to 'next' someone over the slightest infraction/misunderstanding?

This attitude does not lend itself well to the ideal of making a lasting and loving eternal relationship. Heck, it prevents one from ever even starting!

The Green Green Grass of. . .someone else's yard!
Then there is the candy store mentality of sampling as many 'sweets' as possible because, 'Hey, someone better is surely out there'. With that attitude, that 'someone better' probably will find 'someone better' than you.

It seems to no longer be about finding a good person with whom there are shared values, goals, etc. . .with whom there is mutual attraction. Now it is about 'perfection' in them while failing to strive for it in ourselves. Trust me when I say this. ..this candy store/greener grass/someone better will come along attitude is NOT in accordance with the Gospel or in becoming 'perfected'.

Commitment Phobia
More and more seem to be unwilling or emotionally unable to commit on any level to anyone romantically. Some are lured into believing they are in a committed relationship while the other person is out looking for that greener grass still.

Many cite past experiences for their lack of willingness to commit. They are, in fact, punishing all who come along for the mistakes of the previous one(s). .. or even their own lack of good sound judgment.


Most disheartening to me of all is the attitude that has swept over singles that in marriage everything has to be split 50/50 down the middle. Pre-nups, separate finances, separate last names, separate vacations, separate bedrooms, 'his' 'hers' 'yours' 'mine', and shared expenses are the norm now rather than the exception.

How can that build or lead to an eternal union? My understanding of an eternal union/family is one that is a whole unit. .. not two roomies splitting the bills, legally engaging in sexually relations, and raising their children as if they are two separate families.

What is the point of being sealed with that attitude?

I keep hearing from men that they are not looking to see if THEY can support the woman, but if the woman is making enough to split the bills if they married.

Call me old-fashioned and a gospel purist, but I like it better when the man is looking to see if he can support the woman and the children: when he is actively engaged in being in a position to support a family. . even more so if the man has child support obligations and meets them in full and on time each month. . .without complaint.

And, for the record, I have no problem whatsoever contributing financially to the pot if need be. . .but I won't be a legal-sex roomie who splits the bills. Period. I want an eternal union: not some financial/sexual 'arrangement'.

Dating Frustrates Me
The above cited reasons are the biggest reasons that dating frustrates me. I try to understand and live gospel principles; and while I am so far from perfect the Hubble Telescope can't even see it from where I am, I am trying to create a celestial family and home. .. and when I am in a serious relationship I try to create a celestial relationship, as well. This has apparently become a 'flaw' in me as far as dates/potential mates are concerned.

I live and expect monogamy, honesty, commitment, and a true joining of hearts,homes, and families.

I am outdated and an oddity, apparently.

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The Lost 'Boys'

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
A friend has recently disclosed that amongst many members of an *LDS dating site of which we are both members, last year there was a chlamydia breakout. . .due in large part to one man. His answer when confronted about it? That antibiotics clear it up.

She also disclosed that from that same site, there was a man claiming to be active LDS with a recommend pursuing her. . .all the while hitting on a classmate of hers (including sending the classmate nudie pics) on a site specifically for soliciting sex. She set up a 'fake' profile with no info on there after being told many men from the LDS site were actually there. . .soliciting sex. . .and lo and behold: she saw them!

Is this what the world has come to? This type of total misrepresentation?

I have several guy pals who have told me that basically 'men will say anything to get in a woman's pants'. . .and whether it is for sex or other physical/sexual activity, it applies to LDS men as well.

At first I was shocked and argued with them.

Between a good chunk of the dating experiences I have had, plus the above revelations. . .I am sadly starting to believe they are telling the truth.

I know we are in the last days and that the adversary is working hard on us all. Perhaps the sex drive is the Achilles heel for most men. . .it is certainly a weakness/sin of tremendous consequence (second only to murder).

This stuff just truly shocks, saddens, and disturbs me.

Is there any hope for our men?
Is there any hope for us ladies to ever find a man who has not been lured away from us and the path of righteousness?

I wonder.

*The site is NOT run nor endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is independently owned and operated by a non-LDS corporation. It is an 'LDS' site only by merit of being targeted towards members of the LDS Church.

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So, you've seen some of the men I have been attracting, and I am sure you are asking yourself what kind of person I am to attract such men. Well, even if you aren't, here is some insight into the warped brain of moi.


Hi Sexy!

Thanks for stopping by. Please, have seat. May I offer you something to eat or drink? No? OK but if you change your mind, please let me know. (smile)

Well, I know you're here to find out a little about me, so I'm ready whenever you are. Ask away, Handsome.

Q-How did you get the nickname "Dani, The Sexy-Voiced Greek Goddess of Men's Facial Hair"?

A-(laugh) Oh THAT! Well, it started with the fact I am Greek. . .1/8th to be exact. I used to play in the chatroom here and a friend in there began addressing me as "The Greek Goddess" because of my heritage. Soon, my love of facial hair on men came to be known and so that got added to the title. Then, after getting repeatedly told I have a sexy voice, it was suggested. . .(laugh) OK, STRONGLY suggested that the sexy voice thing be added to the title. So there you have it: the birth of "Dani, the Sexy-Voiced Greek Goddess of Men's Facial Hair".

Q-I understand there is something about your height and boots you usually tell people?

A-I am 5'10" til my boots come off! (laugh). I am 5'6" without them, but since I always wear them and got 'complaints' from dates about my actual on-the-date height being significantly taller than my listed height of 5'6" I decided to change it in my profile to my boot height, and add the qualifier that it is with my boots on. (smile)

Q-I noticed that you don't display your 'ideal match' criteria on a certain dating site. Why not, and what is it?

A- Well, that is because I don't really have an 'ideal match' criteria. . .at least not one that is compatible with the criteria they list here. (smile) The things that are most important to me are who a man is, as in his character; how he treats me and others; and what we have in common as in how close to equally-yoked and on the same path we are.

Q-What would you say are your best qualities?

A- (pause) I guess the things I hear the most from others is that I am genuine, kind, selfless, loving, intelligent, fun, witty, creative, great partner material, a fantastic mother. . .(laugh) the list goes on. It's really nice to get so many truly generous and flattering comments from others. It's wonderful to know that is the way I am perceived by others: that that is how I present myself. It's how I try to be and how I feel. . .so to know it matches up is really great.

Q-What are you looking for?

A-I am looking for a meaningful long-term relationship which will eventually become an eternal union. This means I am not a 'casual dater' nor do I rush into anything with anyone. I do practice 'singular focus' dating, which is dating one person at a time so I can get a truly accurate picture of them and of how we are together; but that is by no means a commitment or a relationship. It's just the way in which I can honestly and accurately make the decision about whether there is something there with that person to pursue.

Q-What are the traits you seek in a date or mate?

A-I look for chivalry, honesty, integrity, fidelity, consistency, an affectionate nature, spiritual maturity, intelligence, a hearty and kind sense of humor, a love and devotion to his children . . .which will come second to his wife when married, responsibility, compassion, being quick to forgive. ..a lot of different things. I guess that sounds like an impossible list. . .and I don't expect any man to be 'perfect', or have all of those traits. . .I don't even have some list I check off. I just go with the flow and see if the overall package of who the man is enhances who I am or drags me down. I look to see if I buoy him up or drag him down. I look at if we are more when we are together. .. or less. It's really the whole picture I look at.. .not some list of 'have to haves'. (smile) My track record shows I am not looking for 'Mr Perfect'. ..but 'Mr Hey We Are So Awesome Together'. (smile)

Q-You almost sound too good to be true. Surely you have some fatal flaw. What is it?

A-Do I have to pick just one? (Laugh). Well, I am so far from perfect even the Hubble Telescope can't see it. (Smile). I am just surrounded by some really amazing people who see past my flaws and love me in spite of myself. I guess one of the most common 'deal breakers' about me is that I have my own set of brass cajones. I don't take a lot of guff, and I don't intimidate easily. I can be pretty fearless and assertive when the situation calls for it. I am not confrontational by any means, but I will absolutely stand up for what I believe is right, true, and correct. . .regardless of who it is to. That can be a bit off-putting to a lot of men. I am an alpha female who can be appropriately submissive and passive with an alpha male who treats me like a partner rather than a conquest or inferior being. I get told I am intimidating by a lot of men. They say it is because of my cajones and because they perceive me as being 'together', 'confident' and 'intelligent'. I thought those were all good things, but apparently not (Laugh).

Q-In that vein, what do you find most frustrating about dating or men?

A-(Pause) I take most of it in stride, and I accept people are going to interact with me in a way different from how they may interact with others. The thing I run into most is what I consider an attitude problem. I think a lot of people in general, having been burned, now have their priorities screwed up and out of a deep desire to self-preserve do screwy things that sabotage themselves and their relationships. . .or their chances for a healthy happy relationship. I am certainly not perfect, but being aware of this, I work really hard not to be guilty of it myself. Now, I just need to find someone else who does that: tries to keep things in perspective, on track, and in the right priority. No games. No lies. No holding back. Just pure unadulterated interest and pursuit. . .mutually and with as little fear as can be mustered. . and with lots of open honest communication.

Q-So, what do you feel is the right priority?

A- Heavenly Father first. Then making ourselves a great partner. Then seeking out someone compatible who has the qualities and character it takes to make a lasting loving relationship. We have to BE a great partner before we can expect anyone to be a great partner to us. We need to learn to be selfless and committed to making it work. Then find someone else who is the same way. When you are selfless you may not 'require' or 'expect' the other person to put you first, but the natural and eternal laws of having a healthy happy relationship demand that you be equally-yoked. . .which means they have to put you first as well or it just won't work.

Q-What would be the best way for a man to court you?

A-First, his interest needs to be strong and genuine. If I am just one of several/many he is 'interested' in. . if I am not #1 by FAR in his interest list. . .or the only one he is truly interested in, it just isn't worth my time. That is just common sense. He would be better off focusing on the one who really does have his eye, than to play games with me. Second, he needs to make it really clear to me consistently in word and deed that his interest is strong and genuine. Games, evasiveness, vagueness, not keeping me in the loop: those things all say 'NOT INTERESTED' in very loud and clear terms and will elicit from me a 'buh-bye'. I try to be very mindful and respectful of a man's feelings, time, and resources. I expect the same in return. . .and frankly, won't settle for less. (Smile)

Q-So, a man needs to pursue you with vigor or not at all?

A-(Laugh). Ok. I guess that is a really good way of putting it. (Smile) He should know, though, that if I am interested back, he won't have to pursue too vigorously too long. . . .I am really good at tripping and falling into the arms of the great man nearest me. . .(Laugh)

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First: THE HIT LIST (2007)

Photo by Chance Agrella
The following, dear reader, is a sampling of the kinds of men I have been attracting this year, in no particular order. Maybe you will recognize some of them. If any of them are you: take notes, then straighten up and fly right, Bucko!

Please note that I started off this year engaged. The engagement ended in January. That was the reason for my initial lack of selectiveness in who I dated early on this year.

Mr I Love You
This man had a dozen different definitions for that phrase and used every one of them on me to try to convince me he had feelings for me. Too bad all the definitions meant the same thing: he was just trying to string me along while he played. Found out later he was saying those 'I love you's (which he claimed was soooo hard for him to say. . .and that he only said to me) to pretty much every woman he dated. And believe it or not, that was the LEAST of the troubles with this man!

Mr PoutyPants
This man is a perfect example of the man who never matured. Pouty, sulky, and prone to tantrums when he doesn't get his way, it is pretty evident why he has yet to marry.

Mr Flake
This man is a classic. Vague, indecisive, evasive, non-committal, ever-elusive: this man kept insisting in word he was totally into me. . .while he actions clearly said otherwise. An excuse for every occasion, he could explain away every incidence of his non-interest and some almost sounded plausible. But, over time, the excuses wear thin when the pattern continues or worsens.

Mr Mama's Boy
The umbilical cord was never cut between this man and his mama. What mama says goes including how to rear his children, what job to work, what his wife will do, where he will live, etc. No woman has a chance with this man til mama kicks the bucket.

Mr Tightwad
This man is the epitome of a cheapskate. First Date: BURGER KING! I kid you not. Why BK? So he wouldn't have to leave a tip. . .which when he does 'have' to leave one will never be more than $2 no matter how much the meal cost or how great the service. Those were his words. Again, I kid you not! Oh, and when I got the large drink instead of the small, he informed me with an angry glare that I could have gotten the small drink and a lot of refills.

Mr Big Spender
This man spent the majority of the time bragging about his possessions, income, assets. . .to me and to everyone else within earshot. Then complained when the check came for the meal. It should be noted that he ordered the most expensive meal on the menu, plus all the 'extra's (for extra cost) they had. He was tight on the tip, too, after running that poor waitress to death.

Mr Obsessive/Needy
This man was almost scary. He 'needed' my constant time and attention and was immediately swearing off other women and 'devoting' himself to me 'no matter what'. We had never met in person.

Mr Horndog
Several of these appeared. Basically only think about and want to talk about matters of intimacy. Totally focused on being physical and my physical appearance/attributes. NO THANKS!

Mr Playboy
Arrogant, cocky, and a total player; this man thinks so much of himself there is no room for anyone else to admire him. His way or no way seemed to be his motto.

Mr Second Time Around
Several of these showed up: men who I previously dated, and then they came back around. There was a reason why we stopped dating, and in every case it still applied.

Mr Hit and Run
Several of these came and went. This is the guy who comes on strong about interest and then goes 'poof' into the night for no apparent reason. But, we know the reason, don't we, ladies? They were doing the heavy hitting to other ladies at the same time and found one they liked better to play with.

Mr Confused
The name says it all. He says he is confused and doesn't know what he wants. BELIEVE HIM. He is NOT lying. He is also NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. Seriously. Just walk away. Don't look back. Don't even try that psycho 'fix him' crap. Keep on walkin, girlfriend. ..keep on walking!

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