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5 Tips to Help Men Plan for Valentine’s Day

by Delaine Moore

Hey gentlemen – in case you haven’t set foot in a shopping mall lately, you should know it’s that time of year again: Valentine’s Day season is upon us.

“Oh Gawd,” you might moan.  “Again?  Already?”  Suddenly you find yourself feeling stressed:  what to buy, where to go, how to keep ideas fresh?

Thus, today I’m offering up five tips to help you satisfy your partner and make this Valentine’s Day a special one.   My goal is not to bamboozle you with incredible date and gift ideas so much as give you a better understanding of what romance means to women.  For at the core, it has less to do with candles and roses (though it’s lovely to touch on that) and more to do with open communication and your lady feeling taken care of and pleased.  Cover a few, if not all the bases I’m about to list, and you should have a blissfully happy woman in your arms that night.

  • Feed her anticipation. Whether you know this or not, your partner  is very aware that Valentine’s Day is approaching; in fact, she is anticipating it.  And true to female form, she will shop for you well in advance, and wonder how the two of you will celebrate (simultaneously fearing that you will forget it!).

Now, you may not ‘get’ her need to plan things well in advance (yes, you are Emergency Men, ready to rush to the store last minute).  You probably don’t understand how or why this anticipation is important to her either.  But here’s what you need to do:

Go grab a red marker, find her calendar, and circle February 14th in red.  I also want you to send her a text right now says, “(fill in) days till Valentine’s Day…”  What you’re doing is showing her that you’re thinking of her and your date night, which fuels her anticipation, which in turn helps create the feeling of romance.

How easy is that?  You’re in the good books already and next to nothing was required!

  • Help her clear her mind.  A worried and stressed out woman is an impossible woman to please on Valentine’s Day – or any other day –  even if you hand-deliver her the moon.  Thus, do whatever you can to help take a small load or two off her mind.   This often translates into insisting she takes time for herself in some way, whether it’s going out for coffee with girlfriends earlier in the week, you helping with a few chores on her to-do list (hire a maid if you don’t want to do it), or pouring her a bath and suggesting she go read a book.  These kinds of action set the stage earlier in the week for a relaxed and happy woman on Valentine’s Day.
  • Make plans for the Valentine’s Day so she doesn’t have to.  Guys, where you go and what you do on Valentine’s Day are less important than the fact that you took the time to organize it – and organize it well.  This means paying attention to a few small details: take the initiative to organize childcare (if required), make a reservation or buy the ingredients for a home cooked meal yourself, and be attentive and “in charge” of the course of events throughout: for example, be ready to offer up suggestions for a stroll in a select part of town afterwards, or to go have a drink at a specific lounge.  The LAST thing she wants is to hear you say, “Duh, I don’t know – what do YOU want to do?”
  • Help her feel beautiful.  When a woman feels good about how she looks, it feeds the romance factor and makes her more receptive to your efforts.   You can never go wrong with spa time and beauty treatments of any kind.  You’ll always be in the good books if you dish out for a new outfit for her, too.
  • Make the sex long, tender, and all about her.  You’ve probably heard the expression, “Men are like blowtorches, women are like ovens,” and when it comes to making love, it’s usually the case.  So this Valentine’s Day, in the spirit of love and romance, put pleasing her on the top of your agenda – make it slow, make it feathery soft, and at times, teasing and unpredictable, and you will have the happiest woman ever lying in your arms at the end of this day.

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

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The Lure of Tall, Dark & Handsome

by Delaine Moore

We’ve all heard of women being attracted to “tall, dark and handsome.” And I admit, my hand is waving in the air too – there’s just ‘something’ about that dark mystique…

But I’d always attributed my attraction in large part to social conditioning – movie stars, the heroes/scoundrels in romance novels, the models on the covers of men’s magazines…until now:

According to evolutionary biologist Sharon Moalem, author of How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do, there are biological-based factors contributing to women’s attraction to tall, dark and handsome. And one of the most important factors has everything to do with this thing called “folate”.

When it comes to folate – which is another word for “folic acid” – most of us think of women; for women need a certain amount of it in their bodies to have a healthy pregnancy – and many women alter their diets or take supplements to reach those levels.

But men need lots of folate in their diets, too. Not to carry babies, obviously, but to have healthy sperm: men make about 100 million new sperm every day.

What does this have to do with women’s attraction to darker skin tones? you ask. Ultraviolet rays, specially UVA rays, destroy folate. This means that the darker a man is, the more protection he has from UVA rays and the less folate that is destroyed. Add that all up and what does it mean to a single woman? This man may have healthier sperm!

Of course there are many other factors that play a role in our attraction to one another, including culture, upbringing, and sexual orientation. But the evolutionary perspective is one to think about, maybe even nod your head knowingly about, the next time you hear a woman swoon over tall, dark and handsome…

After all, the sway and proportion of women’s hips captures your eye for evolutionary reasons, too. (smile)

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

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And He Said: “I’m Not Into Monogamy”

by Delaine Moore

I recently went out on a first date with a charming, 50-something man of French (Quebecois) descent. And when our conversation moved into that of relationships (which it inevitably does with me) he suddenly caught me off guard by stating : “I believe in commitment…but not monogamy.”

His admission left me quite tongue-tied. I’ve never met someone who came right out and said so; or rather, I’ve never DATED someone who believed so. And the more he explained his position to me, the quieter and more pensive I became…

It’s not that I’ve never questioned monogamy before. In fact, in the aftermath of divorce I think it’s normal to question it all: love, fidelity, sexuality, hell – even the nature of humanity and the animal kingdom…

But having recently been duped by a cheating husband, as well as having witnessed other girlfriends cheat, I started thinking, “What if having sex with someone other than your partner isn’t just a ‘lifestyle’ choice? What if it’s ALSO not an issue of right or wrong? What if our culture has simply indoctrinated us with beliefs around love, commitment, attraction and sex that end up emotionally terrorizing us unnecessarily at some point, or all throughout, our lives?”

Sometimes I find that the further time moves me away from my former marriage, the more I question – and doubt – everything and anything. And just as I’ve learned to separate sex from love since I got divorced, I wonder, could I one day learn to separate love and commitment from jealousy? Could that be the NEXT stage in my maturation and evolution?

The truth is that not everyone who cheats is a monster. Nor are they all self-centered, valueless slime-buckets and sociopaths. So if the people who engage in affairs aren’t all evil, could it be that the issue of having sex outside a relationship/marriage isn’t all evil either?

The French man sitting across from me seemed very much a decent, honest man who wore his heart on his sleeve. And I admired him and liked him in many ways – for his intelligence, his charm, his handsomeness, his open-mindedness and ‘joie de vivre’…

But could I walk into a potential relationship with him, knowing it required I give consent to him sharing that ‘joie de vivre’ between the sheets with other women?

I couldn’t. I just don’t think I can, regardless as to hard I try to imagine it, no matter how open and mature I think I am. My social programming, the doctrine I’ve absorbed, runs too deep. It has roots, connectors, a life force of its own. Blame it on my past hurts, fear, close mindedness, insecurity – whatever you want…but I’d prefer to have shorter relationships that ARE monogamous, than a long one broken up by flings or affairs. Otherwise it seems one is giving up before a relationship even has a chance to get off the ground.

But as they say…never say never. Please do tell me what YOU think!

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

 

Do we Falsely Idealize Lifetime Relationships?

by Delaine Moore

Unexpected change is sweeping through the lives of some of my dearest girlfriends these days. It has arrived wearing the face of divorce or break-up. As a result, deep and complex conversations around the nature of love, secrecy, and commitment have ensued. And now, for the first time in my life, I find myself seriously wondering: are lifetime married couples – the ones I’ve always idealized for having found and sustained true love – REALLY happy? Or have I unknowingly been idealizing, hence torturing myself, by a true love concept that doesn’t, or very rarely, exist?

Let me ask you: which couple, in your life, do you idealize? For my friend Deborah, it’s always been her grandparents. Married some 38 years, Deborah put them on a pedestal for sharing the kind of love she’d always hoped for, yet to this day, remains elusive.

But recently, when she expressed her admiration to her grandma, the response she received shocked her. Apparently grandpa had run around on grandma during their marriage for decades – DECADES. She’d just resigned to thinking she couldn’t find ‘better’.

Single mom Maddie referred to her aunt and uncle’s relationship as her ongoing source of hope and inspiration. Married 32 years, some of Maddie’s fondest childhood memories were of listening to them laugh and joke around as she tried to go to sleep in the family cottage. “They always seemed so happy. Like laughter followed them wherever they went.”

Turns out not only was uncle cheating on aunty during their marriage, aunty had numerous lovers, too. “The truth was that they were hardcore partiers!” said Maddie. “And they were off doing their own thing with other partners while my other aunty raised my cousin!”

So what is the lesson to be learned from such examples? Is it that we should stick around no matter what’s happening in a marriage, cause one day it might turn around? Or should we face the fact that we’re oftentimes idealizing couples that probably would have got divorced if divorce wasn’t as difficult and socially unacceptable during their day?

I’d really like to know who YOUR example of the perfect couple is. Who are they? How long have they been married, has it been ten years or thirty? And I’d love to know if you’ve asked them if their True Love has been as perfect as it seems on the outside.

I bet lots of these couples will openly admit that they’ve experienced ‘tough times.’ They may well also say that that’s what marriage is about – ENDURING those tough times, cause in the end, you find your way back to each other.

But this begs the question, what is TOO long of a ‘tough time’? Cause being unhappily, if not miserably, married for ten years, even three years, seems too long in my books. So many people assert that people give up on marriages too easily today, ESPECIALLY those who have been married for decades. But sometimes there’s a fine line between taking the marriage sacrament too seriously and allowing a partner to treat us like shit because we lack the means/ courage/ financial resources/ support to get the heck out of it.

(sigh). I dunno. I’m not saying I don’t believe in true love here – believe me, I do and I see the many very happy couples around me. But I don’t think true love is defined by the years a couple spends together anymore; it can very ‘true’, yet still die out and end in divorce. I’ll also point out that most of the true, vibrant love I witness is on the faces of people who have been married under fifteen years.

And when I see older couples smiling who HAVE spent a lifetimes together, I can’t help but wonder what was the price-tag for that smile? And would I have paid it today…

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

Does Her “To-Do List” Make You Nuts?

by Delaine Moore

A Q & A with Delaine!

Question:

Hi Delaine,

I’ve been divorced a couple of times. A recent acquaintance told me if we were to get serious, she expected me to complete her “To-Do List” every evening after work. I am tired after work and just want to relax. Also, I’m 60 years old and don’t have as much energy as I did before. What should I do?

Answer:

Ah yes…the woman’s never-ending To-Do List. If it’s any consolation, it happens to be one the most common sources of contention between men and women regardless of age. I’m strongly suspecting that it was such an issue in your lady’s past relationship that she’s making it a dealmaker/breaker for her next one.

Is friction around this issue avoidable between men and women? Yes. But it requires that both genders understand, appreciate, and respect how each is neurologically wired and how they cope differently with stress.

Let me explain the above a bit more (this is tip of the iceberg stuff):

One thing about men that most women don’t know – or understand – is men’s need for ‘cave time’ after they’ve been at work all day. By the time a man gets home, his testosterone levels are very low. To replenish this hormone – which is his ‘feel-good’ chemical – he is neurologically programed to shut down the left side of his brain (the problem-solving side). A man’s ‘cave time’, which equates to him watching TV, playing video games, reading a book, sometimes even just for half an hour, is his body’s way of replenishing testosterone.

You say you’re lacking energy these days – and it may well be that at age 58, you need a bit more cave time. This makes sense because as men get older, testosterone levels decline. In fact, younger men’s testosterone levels are lower now than they’ve ever been – studies have shown that a 40-year-old man in Western culture has the same testosterone levels as a 70-year-old man in a primitive aboriginal culture.

Anyway, back to the after-work scene at home: You’ve decided to sit down, relax, and watch TV. And in through the door walks your lady. She’s been working all day too. Her feel-good hormone – oxytocin – is as depleted as your testosterone. But unlike you, she doesn’t have the luxury of a brain that is programmed to shut down and ‘have a rest’ when she’s tired and stressed; for a woman’s brain actually has BILLIONS more neuro-connectors between the left and right hemispheres. When she’s stressed and fatigued, blood flow actually INCREASES in her brain – she’s thinking, remembering, analyzing, planning, feeling, preparing to speak, and listening all at once and to the n’th degree!!! Today’s women are actually two times more stressed WHEN THEY COME HOME. It’s a huge health concern to women and causes severe friction in relationships. Cause while she’s prepping dinner and doing chores and checking off items on her to-do list – which is actually getting longer as her brain continues to super fire – and she glances over at you who is sitting there relaxing, doing nothing, idle on the couch, she gets angrier and angrier and thinks “Why the hell doesn’t he get up off his lazy ass?”

Meanwhile, he has assumed she’s doing all that ‘stuff’ cause she wants to, otherwise why would she do it? Her to-do ‘stuff’ is simply non-important, non-emergency, and he knows he needs to ‘rest’; so he does. Women, on the other hand, have severe difficulty listening to and answering their own needs first; their super fired brains don’t give them permission to simply relax and take care of ‘stuff’ later.

So how do you deal with a woman’s to-do list then, especially since it’s never-never-never-ending? It starts with both genders getting educated around their differences. Without such knowledge, men are at risk of being judged by women as lazy and child-like and women come across as demanding and impossible to please. My sense is that this is what happened in your lady’s former relationship and she, like so many other women today, has decided she’s not going to have ‘another child (man) to look after’. To protect herself she’s drawing strong lines in the dirt like “You must do 50% of my to-do list every night’, which in theory would work if both sexes ‘measured’ the checklist by the same yardstick – BUT THEY DON’T.

On that note I will recommend you and your lady read the book Why Mars and Venus Collide, by Dr. John Gray. Not only does he explain how differently men and women are wired, he provides strategies on how to effectively take action, resolve miscommunication (like the infamous to-do list) and meet the needs of your partner.

When it comes right down to it, men and women ARE perfectly designed to build and sustain happy and healthy relationships at work and in the home. But add stress, lack of knowledge and emotional baggage from past marriages to the mix and the result is a deal making/breaking demand like “You HAVE to do/be this or I’m done.”

I hope the information I’ve provided points you down a path a fulfillment and happiness in this blossoming relationship.

Sincerely,

Delaine

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

 

Dealing with the Feelings of Loss after Divorce/Break-Up

by Delaine Moore

In today’s day and age it’s not uncommon to find men over fifty going through a divorce or break-up.  And if you’re one of them, I can guarantee that some part of you feels sad, scared, angry, and/or depressed – even if you’re convinced you’ve got it under control

In the following video, I explain how men most commonly deal with their feelings of loss after divorce/break-up. Believe it or not, they do so in a manner quite opposite to women – for men are programmed to ‘solve problems’.  And though that strategy often brings them success at work, such is not the case with matters of the heart.
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Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com

 

 

The “Touchdown” Approach to Scoring Points with Women
Doesn’t Work

by Delaine Moore

So you took your lady out for a lovely evening. It included the works: her favorite restaurant, a film or performance she was dying to see, romance to the n’th degree, and maybe even a surprise gift of flowers or a piece of jewellery.

You could tell by the smile on her face and the look in her eyes just how pleased she was. And later, as you drifted off to sleep together, wrapped in each other’s arm, you couldn’t help but think to yourself, “Man, I really scored some points with her tonight! Talk about a touchdown! I won’t have to do this again for awhile…”

And therein lies the mistake in most men’s thinking.

It’s not that women want/need to be wined and dined and romanced every other night; we’re really not that high maintenance, I swear. The error lies in assuming that in ‘doing the works’ you scored so many points that ‘she should be good for awhile’ Such is not the case. Cause whether you executed a grandiose evening of romance, or did something thoughtful for her around the house, both equate to your earning ONE POINT. That’s right – ONE POINT. Not the hundred that you assumed.

Confused yet?

You see, women have different scoring systems than men. Cause women have different NEEDS than men. And our primary want/need is for you to make us feel good – to show us you care on an ONGOING basis. So though a wonderful evening out every month or so is great, the little things you do in between count just as much, if not more.

Let me use dating as an analogy. When you first started dating her, you went out of your way to do little things for her, right? Whether it was opening the car door for her, planning a dinner out, or helping her with something around the house, your goal was to ‘win’ her cause you wanted her and cared for her. And this process was fun for you – cause she appreciated all you did back then, didn’t she? You could see it on her face and it made you glow. Cause making her smile made you feel ‘successful’, a feeling ALL men want. Whether it’s at work or in love, men’s joy comes from knowing they are respected, appreciated and that they possess the ability to please their woman.

But time ticked along…and your dating one another evolved into a ‘relationship.’ Now that you’d accomplished that – you’d successfully won her – you thought you could relax on ‘winning her’ and focus on enjoying the relationship. After all, you’d already PROVEN to her that you love her, right? She should KNOW you’d do anything for her, right?

But you know what, guys? You know what she’s thinking on the flip side? “Where the hell did the man I fell in love with disappear to?!!”

Look – you can call it being needy, you can call it needing reassurance, and you can sit there scratching your head all afternoon over this one. But at the end of the day, in order for women to feel content in a relationship they need to know on an ongoing basis that you can and will please them. It’s ALL the things you do, say and notice about them that give you points. It’s a ‘slow and steady, steady and slow’ points allocation system that you may well have known nothing about. But the plain and simple truth is that it’s how we’re wired. And your touchdown approach won’t work with us.

Author: Delaine Moore

Founder: I am Divorced not Dead.com

www.iamdivorcednotdead.com


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