The Enduring Message of South Pacific

It’s how we were raised, WWII American Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and U.S. Marine Lieutenant Joe Cable bemoan their newfound loves, so seemingly different from themselves.  I saw South Pacific on the Muny Opera stage last month for my first time ever, a production of stirring music and lively dance numbers, fraught with the intensity of raging war and uncertainties of new relationships, and an underlying message for us. We insist on a partner whose education and socioeconomic level, background, looks, and interests are almost identical to, or better than ours, cursorily rejecting potentially ideal matches.  Refusing to consider those whose professional profile and lifestyle don’t fit our exact preconceived mold, we limit our options to an often diminutive group, especially today, even with the expanse of the World Wide Web.  I am not referring to seeking someone outside of our religion:  homogeneity of religion and intelligence is statistically essential to predicting future marital success, and the lack of that homogeneous factor can create insurmountable barriers to forging a deep bond. I am referring to excluding someone from consideration because they do or do not wear jewelry or makeup, do not have the right hair color or length, or because of where they are from, what their interests are, which degree they have, or what they like to eat.  We pass up people who aren’t dressed in the manner we have in mind.  We pass up suitable partners, sometimes without even meeting them.   Most of these factors can be adjusted, anyway, and they are no guarantee of marital security and happiness.  Even initial attraction and strong chemistry, such as that of Nellie and Emile, and of Joe and Liat, can dissolve under the duress of daily life.  As Nellie and Joe (tragically) realize at the end of the timeless story, the sheltered way they have lived so far is not how they must necessarily continue to live.  AND WE DON’T...

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Are You Too Cheap to Have a Relationship?

I have heard far too often than I care to, “That guy is cheap.” I am not suggesting that you throw money away, nor buy more stuff, but it’s not in your favor to get a reputation of being cheap.  If you have made a date to meet a new woman for coffee, you MUST ask her what she would like to drink (or eat) and get it for her, even if you have already decided that you do not want to pursue a relationship!!!! Or she will tell her friends and relatives how cheap you are and you will get a bad reputation in this small town. If you decide that you do like her, ask her if she’d like to have dinner and you pay for it!!! If you want to get to know her, invite her somewhere classy for hopefully the next date:  A fine restaurant, good seats at the theatre or baseball game or concert. Men decide in a matter of seconds if they are attracted to a woman, but if can take a woman from seconds to hours to months to determine if she likes the man!  The more interesting, appropriate, and GENEROUS you are, the more likely the woman will decide that she wants to pursue a relationship with you. But if she smells “cheap”—and I don’t mean your aftershave—in your behavior or by what you say, you probably won’t get another chance and you won’t even know why. So gentlemen, set aside some money in your budget for dating and spend it very...

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No Big Deal? Or Big Ordeal

Are you making a big ordeal out of things that are really not a big deal? “I called and left her a message and she didn’t call me back!” “He hasn’t called me yet.  I’m not interested . . . “ “He didn’t ask me one question about myself.” “She didn’t ask me one question about myself.” I agree that these things demonstrate lack of social graces, but they are not indicative of a bad person, and not even of a bad match.  They are not even a predictor of future relationship success.  So many things in life are not a big deal but we turn them into a big ordeal. “But he didn’t walk me to my car!”  “He didn’t open the door for me.” “He didn’t offer to buy me a drink!” Of the people who do and say all the right things at the beginning of the relationship, about half end in divorce, adultery, or abuse.  If you were to get a divorce, would it be your fault, or would it be your partner’s fault?  Or would it just be a bad match?  Or would it be due to your spouse’s poor social skills? Try to move beyond the superficial and investigate to find out what a person is really like inside.  People who make the best impression are not necessarily the best llife-long partners.  Not saying or doing exactly the right thing is not a big deal.  A divorce is a big ordeal.  Look deeper and make a commitment to finding a good person~a really good deal!  Helping someone who is a little rough around the edges become a great person~the best...

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Don’t Talk About It

OyMG - Therapy

I already told you this,Time and time again, All the personal stuff you’re telling your date You should share only with your therapist or your friend. First, be sure to ask her some thoughtful questions~Convey what is good about you~I’m sure you can think of some thingsIf you ponder, you’ll come up with a few.Everyone has problemsActs that we regret from the pastNow is not the time to revealIf you intend to make this relationship last. The first meeting is to see if you like each other Putting your best foot forward. Looking for fun activities to do together A deep and lasting bond to forge Getting to know one another Is like playing a game of ping-pong. Discovering what makes each of you tick, Your goal is to make the relationship...

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For Men Only: Let’s NOT Talk About Sex, Baby!

Text Message

I don’t know who wrote that song, but it was probably a man.  How many times do I have to remind you guys?  Another woman lamented that she just met an attractive man but he started talking about sex.  That’s almost as big a turnoff to a woman as forcing yourself on her in any manner before she is ready.  It is also happening by phone, email, or text before people even meet.  The men are either talking about it or trying to do it.  His sex banter turned her off to ever getting to know him.  How unfortunate and unnecessary. If you meet a woman you like, court her for a while.  If you really like her, wine and dine her with no expectation of what you’re going to get in return.  Try to impress her with your REAL kindness (if you have it), your APPROPRIATE sense of humor (if you have it), and your neatness and cleanliness.  Ask her non-sexual questions about her life and interests.  Really listen to what she says.  Think of mutually dynamic activities you can experience together on the hopefully next date(s).  Allow her to get to know you and feel comfortable with you and discover what a fine person you really are. An essential major difference between men and women is that a man usually determines within a few seconds if he wants to pursue a relationship with a woman but it could take a woman from a few seconds to a few dates, a few weeks, or months, or longer.  And you need to be more certain than you think before you even broach the “S” subject. Women almost always worry about how awkward the end of the date will be.  Make sure this doesn’t happen to you!  Women are interested in a physical relationship, too, just not usually on the first date, or two, or more!  And maybe not with you! You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your dates (although it doesn’t hurt!) but you do need to spend a little.  You need to plan your dates well. With some creative effort, you can make an opportunity for yourself and slowly and carefully develop a mutually deep and satisfying...

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A First Date is an Interview – Not Therapy

Interview

Your date is not your therapist.  Period.  So why are you telling him or her your problems???  In therapy, you have to let it all hang out in order to get better.  But if you tell all to your date, you probably won’t have a second date. A first encounter is the time to put your best foot forward.  You have only a few seconds to make your best impression.  It’s a lot like a job interview. Each party is checking each other out.  And, much like a job interview, there may be a little tension while you both strive to determine whether you’ll be a good match and whether to strike up a relationship. In your personal and professional life, practice makes perfect. The more job interviews you go on, the more proficient you’ll become and the more suitable position you’ll likely find. You’ll learn to ask more relevant questions to discover if it’s a good fit for you.  Same goes for dating. Making a good relationship happen involves a set of skills such as adjusting your schedule to allow another person into your life, maintaining good eye contact, asking appropriate questions – and being a great listener.  Enlist anyone who can help you hone your skills. You’ll be glad you did. You must also improve or at least maintain a positive, upbeat attitude on each and every date.  Most people must go out with many prospects before meeting “the one.”  If you have a negative aura about you, you’ll repel even the right match.  Keep the date brief to help you maintain that upbeat attitude. After all, if you really don’t care for your prospect… it’s only an hour of torture.  Of course, I’m being  a little facetious here.  But meeting new people is supposed to be enjoyable, not a dreaded chore. Practice, practice. Smooth out your dating skills until they come naturally.  Conversation will flow more smoothly and you will be able to relax a little and enjoy getting to know your date.  If you and your date can put each other at ease and share a laugh or two, it makes the whole darned situation easier on everyone. Go on as many dates as you can and at some glorious moment, you and another person will click.  Both of you will resonate together.  It will make the entire drawn out process worthwhile. You’ll finally be in a situation that you love, with benefits.  It might even be cozy and comfortable, like a therapy session! So remember, if you hope to see positive results, exude your most positive self. And don’t be boring!  But that’s another column . . ....

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