Monday, October 31, 2011

Is There a Difference Between Courtship and Dating?

What is the difference between dating and courting? Let me say first of all: Don’t get hung up on terms. It is possible to use the word date but not necessarily have the same understanding as my definition. I am giving you my definition of dating. If you say you date but don’t do what I define dating as being, then I feel you are practicing courting, although you might still use the term dating. My definition of dating is that it is a modern game where intimacy is practiced before commitment. It often involves romantic talk, holding hands, kissing, "making out", and oftentimes sex. Commitment never proceeds intimacy. You've heard the saying, "women use sex to get love, men use love to get sex." dating allows for each possibility!

The word "date" comes from the word "mate." It doesn't sound good to tell someone you are "mating" with Mr. X. You prefer to use the word dating. It sounds so much better, but in reality, dating and mating are sometimes the same. I looked up the word date in my encyclopedia and it said, "see Sex and Teenage." In earlier 1800s, young adults were expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner, rather than for social reasons. In the U.S., in the 1820s, the phrase 'date' was most closely associated with prostitution. Most women may not know this, but prostitutes TODAY ask: "do you want a "date". However, by the Jazz Age of the 1920s, dating for fun was becoming a cultural expectation, and by the 1930s, it was assumed that any to be popular you would have lots of dates. This form of dating, though, was usually less sexual than today, since pre-marital sex was not considered the norm back then.

Courtship  has usually been held to be a more Christian or religious form of relational interaction. It is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or some form of agreement.Courtship generally takes the position that the two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no hand-holding, no kissing) until marriage. Many in a courtship relationship will not spend any time together unless family members or friend's, preferably parents, are present at all times. In addition, courting couples state up front that their intentions are to see if the other person is a suitable potential marriage partner. Courtship advocates claim that courtship allows for the two people to truly get to know each other in a more platonic setting without the pressures of physical intimacy or emotions clouding their view.

There are problems inherent with both styles. For daters, spending time alone with a member of the opposite sex whom we find attractive can present temptations that can be very hard to resist. If commitment before intimacy it the goal, then "dating" will present MANY opportunities for failure! Just as with the courting couple, the parents of young dating couples should be involved in the relationship, getting to know their child’s "friend" and being a source of wise and discerning advice and guidance for both of them.

Of course, the courtship style presents its own set of difficulties. While many courtship advocates see it as the only choice for finding a mate, others find it oppressive and really controlling. In addition, it can be hard to find the “real” person behind the public face presented in front of the entire family or friend's. No one is the same in a group setting as he or she is one-on-one. If a couple is never alone together, they never have that one-on-one opportunity to relate and get to know one another in emotional and hopefully spiritual intimacy. In addition, some courtship situations have led to borderline “arranged marriages” by the parents and have resulted in resentment in one or both of the young people. 

The main point to keep in mind between the two is remembering what it is you are looking for. If you are looking for marriage (or at least engagement) then a "systematic courtship ritual"  (SCR) will better position you to achieve your goals with possibly less hardship and turmoil later in the relationship.  Women will need to raise their level of expectations and self-respect and rid themselves of the "attitude of desperation" as they reach more mature years. Men can only do what women allow them to do and the lower the self-respect you have, the lower the respect of yourself you will get! 

If, on the other hand, you are just looking to mate, then "dating" allows you the intimacy without initial commitment you seek and will position you to achieve your goals with possibly some hardship and turmoil later.

Do you have something to add?

Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Roland works one-on-one – via phone and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at 800-974-3692 or to determine if coaching is right for you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

8 Signs You're With a Psycho!

Although we like to think of women as gentle and kind beings, there are some (not all) that do nothing but breed chaos, misunderstanding and insanity in relationships--especially when things don't go their way. Whether these behaviors originate from a chemical imbalance or from the environment in which they were raised, one thing is for sure--dating or marrying someone like this can negatively affect all areas of your life. Your goal, therefore,  should be to spot these women before things get out of control. Here are 8 signs that the woman you're with is a psycho. 

1. She's extremely jealous
This type of woman will go to any length to force unreasonable faithfulness on you because of her fear of losing you. Regardless of your constant assurances that you only care about her, she feels threatened when you discuss your previous relationships, gets angry and even has rages
 when you talk with female relatives, hates the idea of meeting your female friends and refers to all of them as skanks, hoe's or bitches! 

2. She's controlling
 your life
Do you have a hard time remembering the last time you had an opinion? Do you recall your last decision?
 Do you constantly find yourself on the defensive, having to explain all your actions and words? If so, it's because you're being completely controlled. This type of woman is often good at manipulating and intimidating men, making a guy feel he is the one responsible for making her angry or upset.

Controlling women like this believe they know what's best for their men and will begin selecting the clothes you wear, choosing what movies you'll watch and deciding what you should or shouldn't eat.
 They will tell you when you can go out, when you can invite the guys over to watch the game and will even call you 10-15 times per day to keep track on what you're doing, who you're with and where you're going next with each call. They must be right at all times and will use a great deal of coercion and intimidation to force you into agreeing with them, i.e. shaming you for your thoughts, actions, every time you voice an opinion and will never try to understand your views. 

3. She makes paranoid assumptions 
If another woman calls you on the phone, even if it’s your boss or a female relative, she loses it, and goes into the grand questioning. Even if your 2 or 3 minutes late getting home, she asks what took you so long, or says "You were suppose to be home 3 minutes ago?". She gets angry every time you come within 20 feet of another attractive woman and demands: "What are you looking at?" She also blows up at you anytime you mention an attractive female celebrity and she asks, "So would you do her? Huh? Would you do her, you bastard?" If your girlfriend is displaying any of these behaviors, you might be in bigger trouble than you think.

4. She threatens to hurt or kill herself 
When a woman is on to the fact that you aren’t happy and might be looking for a way out, she will take drastic measures that will keep you around such as making crazy statements in the middle of arguments, like,“If you leave, I’ll probably kill myself” and other threats of bodily harm. Even if she really wouldn’t kill herself and is just using these threats as a ploy to keep you around, it’s a serious issue that leaves only one real course of action if she refuses to get help: You have to break up.

5. She gets physical during arguments 
Women like this feel it’s perfectly fine to slap, push, throw objects, force or slam doors and even use weapons against their man when he says or does something they don't like. These women make unrealistic demands of men and feel like they can inflict any kind physical pain on their men without fear of repercussion due to the man's fear of criminal charges, losing his job, etc... 

6. She stalks you 
A psycho will do things like call repeatedly or call late at night, leave notes at your home or send unwanted text messages and e-mails. When you just want to hang with your friends or even just be alone, she shows up at the bar, at your work, at the gym and at the bookstore. Check your pockets -- she may even be having you tracked.

She's emotionally unstable With this type of woman, her emotions are like night and day and you can't tell the difference between her being happy, mad or sad--even by looking at her facial expressions. One day she's your best friend, the next she won't even speak to you. One minute she'll love you and the next she'll be picking fights or screaming at you for some imagined transgression on your part. One moment, she is full of laughter and vitality. The next second, she is weeping her eyes out and overcome by misery. Any little bit of change in the day can cause her to react (or overreact) with a tornado of unnecessary emotions.

Women like this have the emotional age of a young child and their emotions ricochet from wild, joyous passion to utmost sorrow.
 This type of psycho will often exhibit temper tantrums such as getting loud and rude when you’re having a disagreement in public and screaming at the top of her lungs and even approaching you as if she’s going to get physical. She will make you feel like you're walking on eggshells or can't communicate with her without suffering her wrath every single time. 

She needs constant attention She cannot spend a moment without speaking to you. She'll send you unwanted text messages and e-mails and will call and page you repeatedly, leaving you voice messages like "I know you're home, pick up the phone." You’re out on lunch with co-workers and she happens to bump into you and just when you're about to go out with your buddies to watch the big game, she'll suddenly develop a mysterious illness, fall to the ground in a pretend faint so that you have to stay home and take care of her. She will encourage you to not work as much and will even go as far as to encourage you to quit your job so you can spend more time with her. 

It's no secret that women need social interaction, feedback, and validation of their worth in a relationship; however, this type of woman has low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence and consequently feels insecure. It's this same insecurity that makes this type of woman want to constantly be around you so she can reassure herself that you are still there and haven't dumped her. This behavior is annoying and, in some relationships, can be exhausting
All of these signs show a lack of self control, which in time can be unsafe to her as well as you. Whatever the psychosis, a woman who behaves like this is not someone you need to stay with no matter how good she is when she’s happy or in the bedroom. 

If you're experiencing any of these relationship landmines, if therapy is out of the question, it's time to cut ties as soon as possible.

Do you have something to add?

Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Roland works one-on-one – via phone and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at 800-974-3692 or to determine if coaching is right for you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Signs She's Not That Into You!

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship situation where you're constantly calling the girl, taking her out and being devoted, sweet and kind to her only to get games, drama and inconsistency in return? While most women want to be with a man who treats them right and is ready for commitment, there are selfish and opportunistic women who intentionally take advantage of men and relationships. Here are 10 tips on how to tell if she's just using you or not that into you:

1. She doesn't keep dates with you
She repeatedly tells you how interested she is and how much she wants to see you; however, when dates are scheduled, she cancels at the last minute or something always seems to come up to prevent the two of you from meeting unless she needs something from you.There's a chance this woman doesn't enjoy your company at all and is in fact using you.

2. She crosses her arms

Did she assume the angry librarian stance? When a woman on a date places her hands in front of her body — especially if they are crossed — she is closing herself off from you! If you get this red flag, you don't stand a chance… and she wants you to know it. Men are not nearly as perceptive as women, so even if she's not consciously aware of it, a woman knows her body language needs to be very loud. Fellas, In this instance, that body language reads loud and clear.

3. She places her bag between you two

When I ask male friends about how a blind date went, step-by-step, and they say 'she put her bag on the table,' I always know that's a bad sign! If your date places her purse — a real and physical barrier — between you two, she's showing she wants to create distance.  Not a good sign.

4. She speaks faster than an auctioneer

So she seems to love talking to you? Look, before you break open the Chrystal, check the speed of her small talk. Romantic conversation does not occur at the same speed as business conversation! Conversation between two people who are attracted typically slows to about three-quarter speed and softens. In fact, most emotional conversation — with the exception of very hostile conversation — is at a slowed cadence. That said, she may be nervous early in your first date, and her nerves can cause her to spit her sentences out rapid-fire. But if by the end of the evening she's still going at a rapid rate, consider it a clue that she just wants to be friends at best. 

5. She offers you a chin-up smile
Though it's tempting to interpret any old smile as a sign of interest, all smiles are not created equal. Smiles can say a lot — "I'm polite," "I'm crazy about you," and, believe it or not, "I can't stand you." The secret to decoding what her smile really means? It's all in the chin placement. A woman who gives you a relaxed, chin-down "soft smile" is feeling you and wants you to dig her back and take control of the situation. A full-on toothpaste grin or stiff and polite smile — both of which generally involve the chin raised up — mean either "I like you as a friend" or "I wanna get out of here!" 

6. She strokes her neck
If your girl is telling you she agrees that you should get together again, that's a good sign, right? Maybe. Check her body language that's key to the real truth. If a woman is gently stroking her neck when telling you this, it may be a sign that she's interested, but it is also known to be a sign of lying. (To much CSI I guess)  To figure out which message she's sending, consider all the aforementioned "she's not into you" signals I've mentioned. If she's also giving you the raised-chin smile and speaking to you over a giant purse, you may want to move on to your next prospect. 

7. She doesn't return your phone calls

If the girl seldom returns your calls in a timely manner, always has a busy schedule and only calls when she wants something from you or needs a favor, it should be clear that she is using you and that you are not a priority.

8. She only hangs out with you as a last resort

A woman that desires you will create time in her busy schedule to be with you. But If she only makes plans with you at the last minute, as if nothing better came her way or when plans with her friends fizzle, you're pretty much an after thought and her last resort when she's bored. 

9. She's only interested in what you can give her
A normal couple alternates in buying each other dinner and gifts; however, there are many situations where women only see men as a source of movie tickets and food or, even worse--a rent check or a down payment for a car.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are you constantly buying things for her and receiving nothing in return? Do you always pay when you go out and find yourself spending more money on her than you counted on? Does she borrow money from you but never pays you back? Does she write you off whenever you're not spending money on her? If you answered yes to these, the lady in your life is a gold digger

10. Her future plans don't include you

If she only has short term plans about your relationship, gives no answer when you ask about what your relationship will be like three years from now and always avoids talking about meeting her friends or parents, she is more than likely using you to fill a temporary void in her life until someone better comes along.

Do you have something to add?

Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Roland works one-on-one – via phone and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at 800-974-3692 or to determine if coaching is right for you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is it Possible to Open Ourselves to Love Again?

This week I have been researching "how to open our hearts to love for my dream of finding a relationship." I know people that have been single for 20+ years. The thought of dating again and the possibility of falling in love with someone at this stage can be pretty scary.
After years of absence from emotional attachments in relationships the body has a way of shutting down. We all have walls of protection to push away love. We put up walls to avoid hurt, but the hurt we are avoiding isn’t outside ourselves, it’s inside. Instead of protecting us, the walls we’ve built actually push away love and bring us more hurt.
The question is how do we open up again? The only way to get there is to be open, vulnerable and communicate our needs.
The good news is there are behavior traits that can help us open up and be vulnerable to love.

We must -

  • Take risks to meet people by initiating contact with strangers
  • Be willing to be hurt, again and again
  • Be open to receiving help and support
  • Accept change when it comes our way
  • Be vulnerable like a young child
  • Let go of guilt or remorse over the past
  • Let go of hostility, bitterness and resentment toward others for past hurts
  • Accept our humanness, failures, mistakes and losses
  • Be open to the possibility of love
  • Be able to trust and have good communication skills
Having good communication skills is one of the top traits for being vulnerable and having a close, successful long-term relationship.
There are fundamental structures of our languages which can cause defensiveness in our relationships, even when we don’t mean to. We probably spend about 95% of our communication energy being defensive!

The 6 most common defensive reactions -

1. Surrender–Betray.
We give in but defend the person’s mistreatment of us, taking the blame ourselves. For example,“She’s under a lot of stress with that new client. I should have known better than to ask a question today.”
2. Surrender–Sabotage.
We cooperate outwardly but undermine the person in some way. Passive-aggressive behavior falls into this category. For example, we agree to help our neighbor get ready for a party, but then procrastinate actually doing it and arrive late to the event — or make up a last minute excuse as to why we can’t attend.
3. Withdrawal–Escape.
We avoid talking to someone by not answering the phone, not answering them, leaving the room or changing the subject.
4. Withdrawal–Entrap.
We refuse to give information as a way to trap the other person into doing something inappropriate or making a mistake. For example, we might not tell our spouse there’s something wrong with the car until it breaks down and then we accuse them of not caring about our welfare by allowing us to drive in a un-safe vehicle.
5. Counterattack–Justify.
We let someone know she is wrong to be upset with us, explaining our own behavior and making excuses. For example, “I would have gotten that done sooner, but I didn’t have the money and couldn’t afford to finish it.”
6. Counterattack–Blame.
We attack or judge the other to defend ourselves. We might say, “You’re always get way too upset for no reason,” or, “Why are you always in such a bad mood?”
Getting our communication skills in order is an important first step in opening ourselves to love.
Keeping a journal can help this process by identifying our thoughts and feelings. When someone has said or done something that bothers us, write it down in the journal. Question your reactions to what happened. Finish this process by writing down at least five things you are grateful for, and why.
Then write one thing you did to go out of your way to help another person that day. This is important because it helps you remember what is special about life. If you don’t have anything to write here because you haven’t helped anyone – then this is the place to examine if you are really ready to open yourself up to a loving relationship.
Keeping a journal can help fill your heart with joy for the things in your life that make a positive difference and help you let go of the petty things that get in the way of love.

Here are some other questions to ask yourself while writing in your journal -

  1. What feedback do you get from others in your life that indicate that you resist being placed in a vulnerable position?
  2. What are some of the reasons from your past that account for your avoiding being placed in a vulnerable position?
  3. Try writing a short autobiography, telling your life story from the perspective of another person, one who is closed off from others and is avoiding being vulnerable.
  4. Then write a second short autobiography, telling your life history, but this time from the perspective of you freely opening yourself, being vulnerable to grow.
  5. Compare your two stories and then answer the following questions:
  • Which person is more successful in life?
  • Which person is more appealing to you?
  • Which person is more appealing to others?
  • What are the benefits to being either 1) open to being vulnerable or 2) closed to being vulnerable?
  • Which story is more true of the current you?
  • Which story do you want to be more true to you?
  • What steps do you need to take to make the more successful story real for you?
  • What obstacles stand in your way of achieving the success story?
  • From whom do you need help in order to achieve your success story?
  • What changes in your life are necessary for the success story to become true for you?
Changing how we communicate as individuals and learning to be vulnerable can change our lives and ultimately lead toward more loving relationships.
Will you begin to journal this evening?
If you are taking this journey of opening yourself to love again – be sure to share your experiences and let me know how you are doing with it all.
Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Roland works one-on-one – via phone and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at 800-974-3692 or to determine if coaching is right for you.