Relationships: The Search For Ms. Right (cont.)

Moderator Let's turn that around for a second... what should men be looking for in a woman?

Peter Bartula Again depends on you - everyone is different and has different needs in a woman some want to be coddled, some want looks, some want stability and security.  I tell people to look at what is important to you and determine what qualities that you are looking for in a woman. Look for someone who has them, but realize that when it happens, she may have all or just some of those qualities - but at least start by figuring out your ideal woman and search from there.

Moderator Does a first date have to be awkward?

Peter Bartula Not at all, I had a first date who I laughed a bacon bit out my nose during dinner because I was laughing so hard - and it made us both laugh harder. Remember it is just as awkward for her, so if you show that you are trying to relax and let her get to know you, she will do the same.

smersh_WebMD For what it's worth, I found an excellent list of pickup lines at www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~montymex/pickup/cheesy.html

Moderator That's lovely, smersh...
... thanks for sharing.

  So, Peter, what are some good first date activity ideas?

Peter Bartula I like the winery trip (if you live in a state that it is possible) because if she does drink alcohol, it will cut the tension in a non-threatening environment - it's not like you are taking her to Rocco's Meat Bar and Toaster Repair Shop, but if you don't live in such a state, be creative. You'll have plenty of opportunity to be about as exciting as an Insurance seminar after 6 months of dating.

Remember women like when men pay attention to details, but don't come off as you are ready for the altar on date 1. Coming off as desperate is not a plus. It's a balance, but finding out what she likes on the night that you meet is a good choice for date one - it shows that you actually listen to what she says - big plus.

Moderator Let's say she passes the test, so to speak, and you decide to go ahead and do the next date. Have you upped the ante? Do you have to outdo yourself from the first date?

Peter Bartula Not necessarily, I call date number 2 the amorphous blob date. Do a week night at her place in front of the tube or renting a movie. Can you still have fun just on each other's company? Are you bored to tears if you actually have to talk to her? This can set-up date 3 - which for the hip millennium male is usually the "Sex Date".

Moderator That actually transitions nicely into smersh's question...

smersh_WebMD  When do you think the right time to make your move is?

Peter Bartula There is no set time. Some women wait until the planets align, some may pound the posturepedic on the first date. But the third shows that you are interested in getting to know her a bit before sex, so that she doesn't think that is all you want out of her. This is important to establish that you are looking for a relationship and not just the horizontal boogie.

Moderator Do you think that the nature of dating has changed significantly as we enter the twenty-first century?

Peter Bartula Absolutely, the aspects of abstinence due to religion and societal values has diminished considerably. It used to take a lot longer to onsummate the relationship, well, except for the 60's when women were just giving it away, but it is still important to show that you respect her as a person and not try and force the issue when you are ready. Let her set the pace of the sexual side of the relationship - that will help you a lot in that department later on.

Moderator Ahh... what a magical time that must've been... the 60's, that is.  Do women ever pick up men now?

Peter Bartula Absolutely, especially if they have had one too many "Lemon Drops" or equally as intoxicating beverages. The stigma of the man as the aggressor is diminishing, but I'd guess that about 85 percent is still the man leading the way.

smersh_WebMD whenever I mention the bar scene to my coworkers, they just grumble.... what's the key to making that work for you?

Peter Bartula Confidence and persistence!

I went to bars for years and I perfected approaches, and ways to make it work. The most important thing is to see who wants to be picked up, and who would rather run you through with a pick-axe than talk to you. A smile, looking around at the crowd, these are "vacancy" signs for her "pick me up hotel", make sure that her appearance level is up to snuff before you approach - remember that you will be spending a lifetime potentially with her - can you wake up with that every day.

 As much as most people don't admit it, appearance is still important in today's society.  You may not require Ms. America, but if she has liquid oozing from every pore, you probably won't be attracted to her.

Moderator Do you think that monogamy is still par for the course?

Peter Bartula I read a depressing figure that 80 percent of all men who make $75K or more cheat at some point. With the additional time apart in today's society, temptation is more prevalent. You just have to not allow it to get to you. One key - never let yourself be alone in a risqu? situation with someone that you are attracted to. The best way to not do it, is to not be in a position to do it!

Moderator So, what then, is the key to making a relationship work?

Peter Bartula What I call C&C - and I don't mean the cheesy 80's band that did "Everybody dance, now".

Communication and compromise - every day, every hour.

If you have a problem with things that she's doing, don't wait until the faucet is exploding with water, catch it when it is just a drip.  In a non-aggressive way state the issue, why resolving it will make your relationship better, and what both of you will do to meet that resolution (chances are that she will air some problems with you that she's been suppressing when you come out with some for her.)

Put the compromise in place, and if either party doesn't stick to it, discuss it again in that same non-threatening way, and resolve to not do it. Constant communication and compromise are essential - not just waiting till you are pissed and start yelling and screaming at each other.