Alarm bells – what not to do on a first date

Excellent advice from a female blogger about what not to do on a first date. Men, pay attention. If you do any of these things you may trigger alarm bells in her head.

alarmbellMy comments:

About the bill. I think the point here is that if you invite someone out, you pay. Certainly if you’re already in a relationship it’s reasonable to split the bill. When we were dating, the woman who is now my wife insisted on it. But if it’s a first date, and you’ve invited her, you pay.

Talking about sex on a first date – no (unless this is just a hookup for sex – but then that isn’t a date – it’s just a hookup). Or about your ex? No further comment from me required I think.

Bad table manners? I heard of one man who asked his date if she wanted a particular piece of food then took it off her plate without waiting for the answer. Needless to say that did not go down well.

Talking too much about yourself? You are the international man of mystery. Answer any questions she may ask, but only what she’s asked. Further detail is not required unless she asks for it. Keep turning the conversation back to her, and listen to the answers. She’ll think you’re wonderful if you can do it.

Stop getting rejected on-line

Eight tips about how to stop getting rejected on-line from female blogger YoureJustADumbAss.

It’s good advice. But if you’re dating on-line you need to know how to get women to respond to your profile in the first place.

Here are some ideas to get you started. What makes you click on a profile? You are skimming tens or even hundreds of profiles. Many don’t get a second glance from you. Why not? Because of a dodgy picture, and then because of a boring profile. What if the profile is fun and a little flirtatious? Aren’t you more likely to want to respond?

Ok, there’s no point in pretending you are something you are not, because you’ll get rejected later on. But I have noticed that different pictures of the same woman can make her appear very appealing or very off-putting. A flash photograph taken in a mirror is not going to do it, because flash flattens your features and makes you look pale and ill, even if you don’t also have red-eye. A picture taken on a phone at arm’s length is unlikely to do you justice either. Lighting is important, to show off your rugged handsomeness to maximum advantage. Pose is important too – this is not a mug shot for a police lineup. Make eye-contact with the camera. More in my book, Dating – the missing manual.

Next, pay attention to what you write. The aim of your profile is not to tell women everything about you. The aim is to create attraction, to make her want to know more. Tell enough to attract the kind of woman you want to attract, but most of all make it light, make it amusing. Most of all, never appear desperate.

For more tips that from personal experience I know work, treat yourself to my remarkably inexpensive book.

Ovid’s plan of action

Mars and Venus

“You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are to love.”

Ovid, in his two-thousand-year-old dating guide ‘The Art of Love,’ lays out his plan  in three stages: (1) find your woman, (2) “bend her to your will,” (3) do what you need to do to make your love endure.

We shall talk about all these stages in due course, but in passing I’d like to say that we often neglect the third. Once you’ve made a conquest, don’t slack off. You need to keep the flame alive. Don’t start being a typical bloke and fart and belch in her company (sorry, but it needed to be said). Don’t neglect oral hygiene if you still want deep kisses and more. Don’t stop the behaviours that she found attractive and exciting in the beginning. Especially when married, tend the fire.

Back to the matter in hand.

Ovid goes on, “Now that you are still fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’s not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own eyes to discover the girl that suits you.”

I definitely don’t agree that you should go up to a woman and straightaway say, ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’ll run a mile unless already desperately in love with you, and that you cannot count on. You have to work on attraction – a process explained in my own book. One important principle of attraction is, let her come to you. Paradoxical. For now let’s just say, never appear desperate. But Ovid is right that your soulmate is not going simply to turn up and ring your doorbell.

Ovid goes on, “The hunter knows where to spread his nets… .” This should be part of your strategy. You need to think about where the woman of your dreams is likely to hang out. If you’re a wild party animal, don’t look for her in the library. And if you hate parties and prefer intelligent conversation, don’t torment yourself by going somewhere where the music is so loud you end up deaf. Your soulmate won’t be there anyway. However you do have to go out looking. And wherever you go, you need to keep practicing the arts of attraction until your babe magnetism is fully charged and under your control.

If you have not known sex, how can you drop it?

Clodion nude girlMaybe there are some who can find spiritual enlightenment in a monastery. But most of us live in a world which makes continual demands on us and in which our desires pop up wherever we look. How best to work with them?

Remember Tales from the Riverbank on TV a long time ago? I don’t mean the one with Ratty and Hammy the Hamster. I mean the Chinese stories. The stories were always interrupted at various points by Chinese proverbs, like, ‘Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for one day he will become a dragon! Even so, one just man can become an army!’ Great stuff.

(Through a combination of past life memory retrieval and Google I now realise it was called The Water Margin. Apparently it was based on a classic Chinese novel.)

Anyway, in one episode the Chinese proverb was, ‘It is said that Heaven is the absence of all desires. Even so, here was one man prepared to risk all to see his sweetheart!’

Wonderful!

You see the problem here? How can you deserve a sweetheart if you are not prepared to risk all to see her? But how can you risk anything if you have no desires?

Don’t try to resolve the paradox too quickly. I believe it is true that Heaven is the absence of all desires. At the same time, I believe it is necessary to follow one’s desires where they lead (tempered by common sense, inner discipline and consideration for others, of course). If you resolve the paradox too quickly you will miss the point.

Anyway, of this, enough. Here is the link I wanted to share with you. It is Osho’s view. You don’t have to like (or dislike) Osho to consider what he has to say.

http://o-meditation.com/2012/07/09/go-beyond-through-experiencing-osho/

What makes you think you need to go to Russia?

“You who seek out the object of a lasting love, learn the places which the fair ones most haunt,” writes the poet Ovid in his 2,000-year-old poem, The Art of Love.

I have given a few tips about where to find your soulmate before.

If spam emails are anything to go by, there must be a fair number of men out there who fall for Russian woman who are very romantic and are looking for an honest man in the West for love and marriage. Now there is of course nothing at all wrong with Russian women. But if you can’t attract a woman in your own home town, why do you imagine you’ll have more luck with a woman from hundreds or thousands of miles away?

If the relationship is based on money (which it may be) then is that what you really want? Wouldn’t you rather learn the arts of attraction and find a woman much nearer home and who wants you because of what you really are? (Ok, you really like Russian women. There are probably thousands in London. You still don’t need to find the air fare.)

Ovid says, “You won’t have to put to sea or undertake any distant journeys … Rome alone will give you a choice of such lovely women, and so many of them, that you will be forced to confess that she gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show. As numerous as the ears of corn on Gargarus, grapes in Methymna, fish in the ocean, birds in the thickets, stars in the heavens, so numerous are the beautiful girls you’ll find in Rome. Venus has made her seat of empire the city of her beloved Aeneas.”

And for the benefit of us in England, note that our own Henry Purcell made a song called ‘Fairest Isle’ from John Dryden’s words, in which the poet explains that Venus has made her dwelling here, too.

Here are the words:
Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav’rite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love.

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev’ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev’ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown’d for love.

Ovid’s banned book

To catch the woman who will be our heart’s desire we need a plan.

But first, at the beginning of any new activity it is necessary to call upon the appropriate god. Be patient – I’ll explain.

Let us not be put off by our modern ideas. Some of us will be atheists, and yet others subscribe to one of the religions that recognise only one God. I’ll address the latter first.

If you’re a Roman Catholic you’ll understand the idea of praying to the appropriate saint, so you need only think of the matter in this way. If you’re a follower of a more austere faith then you can think of it as praying that your actions will accord with God’s will. And if you are an unbeliever, simply consider that your intention at the outset will determine your success or otherwise, and that an unclear intention cannot result in a clear result. We all have gods – the petty gods that are our obsessions and the larger gods that inspire our nobler aims – it’s just that atheists don’t call them by that name.

(By the way, if your god is a devil then I can assure you that the results will turn out unpleasant in due course. Perhaps I’ll expand on this another time. This is one of those obvious things that nevertheless people don’t get.)

The point is to know what it is we want clearly enough that we can state it, so that we can be sure that it is good, and so that we shall not be deviated from our aim or settle for less.

So, who is the god that Ovid invokes at the beginning of his book, ‘The Art of Love‘?

It is not Apollo. This should be for us a warning: there is a mischievous twinkle in Ovid’s eye. He is writing poetry, yet he tells us his inspiration is not from Apollo or one of the Muses, the goddesses of all the arts. For a poem that has lasted two thousand years this is an odd claim. Personally, I think the Muses smiled on him anyway. And perhaps his failure to give the Muses their due was why he was banished to Tomis (now Constanta) on the Black Sea coast – “a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire,” according to Wikipedia.

No, Ovid claims not to be inspired by the Muses, nor to have had the arts of love sung by birds into his ear.

“Experience is my guide,” he says.

As you know, I say the same, although I also acknowledge some fate or invisible power that brought to me the woman of my dreams – but of this perhaps another time. But for grace to occur, work is necessary.

Ovid does ask a goddess to smile on his undertaking – Venus, goddess of love, mother of wild boy Cupid. Ovid also says he will “sing of love where danger is not; I sing permitted pilferings; free of all offence my verses are.” Unfortunately the Emperor Augustus did take offence, and the ‘Art of Love’ was banned and Ovid banished.

So, take care. For this undertaking you have dedicated yourself to Venus, not Apollo. As for “permitted pilferings” – hmm. And you know that Cupid is notorious for shooting arrows of love without regard for age, social propriety or your convenience.

Nevertheless, I commend this study to you, for the same reason Ovid gives right at the beginning. As he says, “I, too, will bring Love to heel, even though his arrows pierce my breast and he brandish over my head his flaming torch. The keener his arrows, the fiercer his fires, the more they stir me to avenge my wounds.”

If you would conquer, know your enemy.

Next: Ovid’s plan of action.