The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

 

Stammer Time

I can’t talk to really pretty girls. If I’m talking to a girl I’m not that interested in or a dude, I’m golden. But if I’m attracted to a girl, my thoughts get totally scrambled. After a party, I walked this sweet, gorgeous girl to her car. She said some funny or cute thing about me, and I meant to say something witty back. Instead, I just said, “Huh.” Somehow, it was all I had at that moment. It felt too awkward to keep standing there, so I just mumbled goodbye and walked to my car. Pathetic, huh?

— Kicking Myself

It’s good to keep a woman guessing — but not as to whether you want her to go out with you or give you the Heimlich maneuver.

A Dutch study confirmed what you and most of us already know — that talking to a hot woman can turn a man’s brain into a pudding cup. The researchers — a team led by Dr. Johan C. Karremans — did the study after one of them was chatting up a “very attractive girl” he’d just met, intent on impressing her, but when she asked him where he lived, he suddenly couldn’t remember his street address.

University of Chicago researcher Dr. Sian Beilock, author of Choke — a book about overcoming performance anxiety in sports, business, and the arts — explains that we have different types of memory. The type crapping out on you every time your head says “Well, hello, beautiful!” is “working memory,” the cognitive horsepower that allows you to hold relevant information in mind (and protect that information from disappearing) while you’re trying to do something else. Stressing about what a woman might think of you and overthinking things you normally do without much thought, like tossing around witty banter, depletes working memory resources that would otherwise be available — maybe to the point where you find yourself glancing around the bar for help recalling the simplest facts about yourself: “My name? Uh … Bud. Bud Light.”  

You stop the pretty ladies from pulling the fire alarm in your head and evacuating your every thought the same way you, haw-haw, get to Carnegie Hall — practice. Beilock lays out numerous examples that suggest that the more you practice under pressure the less likely you’ll be to choke when the stress is on. For example, golfers who had their putting practice sessions videotaped and judged by coaches did much better in competition than those who practiced without scrutiny. You, likewise, would probably be helped by going out and practicing hitting on hot women with your friends watching in the wings or — better yet, to raise the stakes — with them watching and placing bets with you on how you’ll do. To avoid self-conscious overthink, shift your focus from fretting about what a woman thinks of you to having a good time saying things you find interesting and fun. With practice, words should stop deserting you and you should have fewer grammatical accidents, making you far less likely to compliment a beautiful woman on how smashing she looks with, “Drop dead, gorgeous.”

 

Speed mating

This guy and I ended up having sex on the first date. I asked him whether he’d done this before and still had a relationship, and he said yes, but it didn’t last. He said that for our next date, we should do something not involving sex and said we should meet for coffee on Friday. He texted to say the sex was great, and I told him I hope he doesn’t feel different about me, and he said he doesn’t. But, now he’s texting me much less, and Friday came and went with no mention of getting together.

— Huge Mistake?

There are two surefire ways to see that a guy sticks around after sex on the first date: handcuffing him to the headboard or developing magical powers to control men and small appliances with your hair. Otherwise, you should assume that sex on the first date will be sex on the last date. This isn’t to say it necessarily will be. But no matter how good a man’s intentions, he can’t reprogram male psychology, which evolved to push him to seek sex without commitment with as many women as he can. (All the better to leave lots of offspring to pass on his genes.) What keeps a man coming back aren’t good intentions; it takes an emotional connection that overwhelms his urge to be on to the next. So, whenever it’s possible you’ll want a particular guy in your life for more than an afternoon, see that you take things slowly enough for an emotional bond to develop. In other words, if you wind up on your back on the first date, he’d better be standing over you asking, “Oh, my gosh … you OK?”

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

 

The math to true love

You need to tell men to never be the first to say those “three little words.” A woman will tell you she’s ready to hear them by telling you first. It seems the dating gurus agree: When a man says “I love you” first, he throws the attraction physics all off because he lowers his value in the woman’s subconscious.

— Concerned Guy

When you’re looking into a woman’s eyes and there’s that awkward moment of silence, there are plenty of things you can say besides “I love you” — like, “I was going to say something, but now I’m not” or “Have I told you I’ve started drinking the blood of freshly killed unicorns?”

It is wise to avoid spewing mush all over a woman on, say, the third date. The premature “I love you” tends to translate as “I really don’t know you, beyond how you like your steak, but I love any woman who doesn’t block my calls or spot me coming down the sidewalk and duck into a real estate office and beg them to hide her.” Of course, what really lowers a man’s “value in the woman’s subconscious” is being someone who needs a “dating guru” to help him be calculating; he can’t just be. Women value men who don’t seem to be living by others’ dictates — men who are spontaneous and fun and don’t have a faraway look in their eyes because they’re trying to recall something they heard on some dating webinar.

Now, a lot of men have childhoods that don’t exactly lead them to walk the planet feeling like they own the place. So, it’s understandable if you began your dating life as a wimpy, approval-seeking suckup, but if you continue along those lines, you’re a lazy, wimpy, approval-seeking suckup. Having value in a woman’s eyes takes having value in your own, which takes doing the work to develop self-respect instead of just fencing off that huge sinkhole in your self so no squirrels or neighborhood dogs fall in.

 
Once you have self-respect, it’ll seem ridiculous to pull out some dating calculus book to figure out what to say to a woman and when. The right words will just flow at the right time out of genuine feeling that’s developed between you. Sure, there’s always that chance that some woman who seemed into you will have an attack of the commitment heebies or decide that she doesn’t feel the same way. If you’re more of a man’s man than a worm’s worm, this won’t be a statement on your worth. It’s just a sign that you need to look for a woman who wants you as much as you want her. If you’re secure, chances are you’ll eventually find a partner who won’t want to leave you — and not just because you always open the door for her when she gets that look in her eye that says, “I can’t wait one more moment to pee on the neighbors’ rosebushes.”

 

Overthinking of you

My fiancé and I split up three months ago. Our relationship was serious and lovely, but we just weren’t feeling it anymore. We are friendly and communicate frequently but avoid awkward topics — like dating other people. We’re in the same industry, and I would hate for someone to snap a picture of me and a date and put it on Facebook for him to stumble on. Wouldn’t it be better if he learned I’m seeing somebody else from me, and vice versa?

— Tiptoeing Forward
 

Can’t you just let him get his information about you the old-fashioned way, by sneaking over with a tall ladder and peering through your blinds? Dating other people after ending an engagement is an awkward topic — which seems the perfect reason to continue to avoid discussing it with your now ex-fiancé. But say somebody does snap a picture of you and a date and toss it up on Facebook. Unless your ex has only 12 Facebook friends or he’s monitoring Facebook like a bald eagle hovering over a prairie rat, he might miss the photo. And even if he does see it, assuming it doesn’t involve tongue, who’s to say whether it’s you and your next candidate for fiancé or you and some guy who dropped by your office? Although you two “weren’t feeling it anymore” and it’s natural that you’d both be looking to feel it with other people, once you’ve loved somebody, you probably can’t help but feel a little pang at the thought of them blithely falling into the arms of somebody else. So, maybe consider ambiguity a gift — one that lets you believe the deadening silence between you is the sound of him in his garage building a drone camera to spy on your every move.

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).

Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

 

Ex-rated movie  

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year. We were best friends and talked about everything — what our kids would be like, projects we’d do together, magical worlds, and even other people we found attractive. Then, on his computer, I accidentally clicked on what I thought was just some porn video, but I recognized his blanket and realized it was he and his ex-girlfriend having sex (when they were dating). I had a very hard time seeing him with someone else and have become very sensitive and jealous, and this has set our relationship on edge. We don’t talk as we used to. So many areas have become off-limits (even just whom he had lunch with) because he’s so afraid that anything he says will upset or hurt me. I want to communicate as we used to when I was his “cool girlfriend.”

— Shut Out

Katharine Hepburn could have made a sex tape without anyone ever knowing, because after the 8 mm film got transferred to video, her image would have been hard to discern from that of Ernest Borgnine, Sasquatch or Yogi Bear.

Thanks to technological advances, whenever some dermatologist in Idaho clicks up Kim Kardashian’s sex tape, her agent probably gets a call telling him she’s got some 2 mm birthmark that needs looking at. As distressing as it is that you could probably pick your boyfriend’s ex out of a lineup — one from the waist down — it’s not like you found footage of him clubbing squirrels. You just got unfortunate visual confirmation of what you already knew: He had a girlfriend before you. They did more than spoon.

 
Jealousy is a good thing when it rears its little green head to warn of an actual threat to the relationship: “Eeek! He’s having sex with another woman …” But jealousy needs a slap in the mouth from reason when there is no real threat: “… and it happened a year before we’d even met.” To help yourself think rationally, don’t be nebulously hysterical (“I’m afraaaaid!”). Verbalize exactly what you’re actually afraid of — probably that he’d leave you, maybe for his ex. Next, consider what would happen if he actually did. The world would not end. Your head would not fall off, roll under the bed, and become a cat toy. You’d probably sob into your pillow for a few months, but you’d eventually get over him and get on with your life.

To get back the relationship you had, start acting as if you’d never lost it — meaning, when your boyfriend asks you the time, you just tell him; you don’t shriek that all you can see is that clock on the nightstand in his sex video. There’s a good deal of research, laid out by psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman in “The As If Principle,” that suggests that changing how you behave is actually the fastest, most effective way to change how you feel. Let your boyfriend know that you know your fears aren’t rational, that you’re going to stop acting like they are, and that he, in turn, needs to stop treating you like a bomb that could be triggered by “pass the salt.” Before long, you should be his cool girlfriend again — faster, probably, if that blanket from the video finds its way to some homeless man. Ideally, he should be one who isn’t in your neighborhood, lest your response to “Spare change?” be “You whore!”

Jest not that into you

Women always say they like a man with a good sense of humor. What exactly does that mean? I think I’m funny. Do I have to bust right out with a bunch of hilarity on the first date?

— A Guy

If a woman agrees to go out with you, it isn’t so she can finally find out why the chicken crossed the road. She either wants a free dinner or wants to figure out whether you’re worth seeing again. You’re unlikely to score a second date by pelting her with jokes and one-liners, which suggests you prepared for the evening by memorizing the joke book on the back of the toilet. What impresses a woman are shows of wit — spontaneous expressions of humor in response to something she says or something around you. Wit reflects intelligence while communicating your worldview — telling her who you are far more interestingly than droning on about your major and your dream to someday get your boss to assign you a better parking space. That said, don’t get so caught up in making her laugh that you forget that connecting with her is the point. Make her feel like a one-woman audience for your “act” and she’ll figure out for herself why the chicken crossed the road. (Because it would rather be hit by a car than listen to another one of your jokes.)

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).

Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

 

Madame Ovary

My wife needs a medical test that will involve her being naked in unflattering positions in front of another person, possibly male. I know she won’t enjoy this and it certainly isn’t sexual, but I want her to request a female gynecologist. She says she’s embarrassed to do that, refuses to be controlled by me, and says having a male doctor doesn’t bother her. Well, it bothers me terribly. I’m fairly young and not religious, but I was taught that a couple’s bedroom — what happens there, their nude bodies, etc. — is for them alone. I’m not insecure, and I know she isn’t leaving me, but I strongly feel that her being seen naked by a male practitioner violates the sanctity and intimacy of our marriage, and I can’t help but feel like it’s cheating.

— Distressed

It’s pretty hard to confuse an exam room with a singles bar — unless the singles bars you’ve experienced have men leaning over and asking women, “So … when was your last period?” and “Do you leak urine?”

Cheating involves having a romance with a person other than your partner, not having him give you a Pap smear. Also, male doctors generally have a female nurse present while examining a female patient (so they won’t be accused of any funny business). There will be that rare Dr. Pervo, but according to doctors I spoke to, by week two of their residency, bodies might as well be giant steaks. So, for a male doctor, your wife’s “special area” is anything but special; it’s the seventh vagina he’s seen before lunch.

Stamping your feet and denying the obvious — that there’s a vast difference between medical touch and sexual touch — helps you manipulate your wife with this ridiculous notion that she “violates the sanctity” of your marriage by getting a male doctor in rotation. So, according to you, what’s special about your marriage is just that since you tied the knot, no other man has been assigned to see your wife naked (in a setting more in keeping with performing an autopsy than staging a seduction). Take your “logic” a step further and your wife is two-timing you by even speaking to people who aren’t you, and never mind that she isn’t exactly revealing her deepest hopes, dreams and fears to some man in line behind her at the mall.

People in loving relationships will often accommodate their partner’s ridiculous requests simply to make them happy. Your wife might’ve been more willing to do that if only you’d appealed to her sympathy instead of demanding that she do all the changing while you lift nary a brain cell to consider whether your position might be unreasonable. (Refusing to even consider another person’s point of view generally causes them to cling even more firmly to it.) Of course, if only you’d look at this through reason-colored glasses, you’d probably acknowledge the reality: If somebody does come between you and your wife, it’s unlikely to happen while she’s upset, afraid and grossed out during a medical test. And give doctors a little credit. If you’re a doctor, a woman will take her pants off for you because you drive a sports car. There’s really no need to come up with some ploy about scraping her cervix for cancerous cells.

Bed, Bath, and Beyond Disappointing

For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend of two months gave me a gift basket of smelly lotions and shaped soaps. Not my kind of thing, but even more not my thing because I recognized it as a regift of something somebody gave his mom. When I met his parents, this basket was in his mom’s bathroom. He’s seemed sweet so far, but maybe this gift says he’s just using me.

— Overscented

Ideally, if you’re surprised on Valentine’s Day, it isn’t because your boyfriend’s given you that gift that says he cares enough to look under his mom’s bathroom sink and see what’s still in the package. (Good thing she’d already cracked into that gallon jug of toilet bowl cleaner.) There are several possible explanations for his gift: A. He doesn’t care. B. He doesn’t have a clue. C. He does care, but Valentine’s Day popped up early in the relationship, and he went back and forth on how much lovey-dovey to express — until he ended up at the last-minute gift counter in his mom’s bathroom. Give him the gift of time. Paying attention to how he treats you over the next few months will tell you whether he’s caring and maybe clueless or whether all he cared about was placating you with whatever gifting roadkill he came upon. You can’t train a guy to adore you. A woman can work with caring and clueless — although when her birthday rolls around, she may find herself doing it from behind the wheel of his mom’s almost-new car.

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

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