We race to fall in love in our minds yet we are afraid to execute

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By Mark A. Leon

It is a big night on King Street. Dressed to the nines and the bar is packed.? Then it happens!? Their eyes meet from across the room. At first, a glance, then an extended stare and finally, for a brief moment, you are the only two in the entire room. It is that exact moment when you imagine an entire life together scripted in your mind and acted out in just a few seconds. It is the living dream of unconditional love and the fantasy of the dream life that keeps us energized in the pursuit of true love.

How can you not feel euphoria when you two strangers come together and find what they are both pursuing. The hard part of reality. Reality throws the curve balls that unfortunately eliminate even the great ones.

We spend most of the evening talking ourselves out of the risk. The more we drink, the more encouragement we get from our friends, the harder it seems to get. So strange this phenomenon. With divorce rates always higher than any of us want to see, it makes you wonder, what if some of these moments of unspoken bliss came to fruition.

So many questions run through our minds during these bar/club/coffee shop hours…

1. Should the guy approach the guy or can a girl make the first move?
2. What if his/her friends don’t like me? Then I don’t have a chance no matter what.
3. What line do I use? Or should I be myself? Or is being myself a line?
4. What if he/she rejects me?
5. What if the great speech in my head doesn’t come out right and I sound like a bumbling idiot?
6. What if we have nothing in common? Should I lie?
7. What if he/she is not looking to get picked up and they are just hear to spend time with friends?
8. What if he/she likes one of my friends better?

After all those questions race through your mind, is there any reason to even try?

Of course there is!!!

Life’s greatest rewards comes from the greatest risk.

You can second guess life all your want, but in the end we will continue to breathe one day at a time until our bodies decide not to. Life will move one minute at a time and we will continue to make decisions at work and home that affect every aspect of our lives. So why is the prospect of saying hello to a complete stranger so frightening? I don’t know either. Make it a homework assignment the next time you go out, to say hello to a stranger and engage in conversation. But if you see someone that makes you hair stand on end and gives you feelings you cannot control, you had better make that move otherwise you are going to live a night in regret if not longer.

Maybe if a few of us start taking this advice, more soul mates will truly find their partner.

12 Charleston, SC Dates for Around $12.00

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By Mark A. Leon

Is it possible to really go on a date for about $12.00 and expect your significant other to want to keeping coming back for more.? Absolutely, and we promise no mention of Netflix, Krispy Creme or Sonic on this list.? Unless, that is what you want.? We will not stop you.

Here we go Charleston, ways to impress your date without burning a hole in your wallet.

12 Dates for About $12.00

  • Paolos Gelato and Marion Square – Go to 41 John Street and get a large Gelato waffle cone to share and then walk one block to Marion Square and enjoy a quiet stroll, or layout on a spring day and share each lick together.? Depending on the size you order, you should fall right into the budget.
  • Saffron Bakery – Tea and Cheesecake – Head to 333 East Bay for a homemade slice of cheesecake, Tiramisu or key lime pie with two hot cups of bottomless tea to share with your loved one.? You may go slightly over the $10.00 with tip, but the indulgence is worth it.
  • Burgers and Hampton Park – On Mondays, Rutledge Cab Company offers $5.00 Burgers and on Tuesdays from 7 – 10, Moe’s Crosstown offers half-price burgers.? Head to Hampton Park, play a little soccer, shoot some hoops or fire a little Frisbee to work up an appetite and then eats a great burger together.

  • Disc Golf at Park Circle – FREE!!! Play 18 holes of fun or competitive disc golf then go to Park Circle and enjoy a few cocktails at Dig or The Mill or Accent or any number of great eateries and bars.
  • The Halsey Institute of Art and Mace Brown National History Museum – An amazing contemporary art gallery and even more amazing national history museum with a prehistoric bear and dinosaurs for FREE!!!? Both of these amazing attractions blocks from each other on Calhoun Street and totally free.? So, take your ten bucks and go to the Starbucks located in-between or the Chick-fil-a afterward for a bite or beverage.
  • Walk or Jog the Cooper River Bridge – I know, there is no cost to walk or jog the Cooper River Bridge, but after you complete the five-mile walk or jog, wrap around the bend and head to Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park for ice cream or a milkshake at the gift/convenience store located at the start of the pier.? If you desire a latte or iced mocha, stop in at Metto first just a half a mile from the Mount Pleasant side bridge entrance.? If you prefer to start on the downtown side, hop in for a beverage of Mercentile and Mash.
  • Dog Park and Disc Golf – James Island County Park – At the minimal cost of $2.00 per person (unless you have an annual county parks pass), you can enjoy a day at the park and oh what a park it is.? From a children’s playground to a large picnic area to rock climbing, James Island County Park is an outdoor haven.? You can even bring the camper and camp out on the grounds.? Why not bring the pups and make a day of human and canine date fun.? Play disc golf and then let the dogs roam free afterward.? All this for $4.00.
  • Happy Hour and Live Outdoor Music at the Charleston Pour House – Every night on the back patio stage, there is great live music.? This is an open dog-friendly setting and there is no charge for the starter music on the patio.? Take that $10.00, get a few PBR tallboys and make a night of music and dancing under the warm sun.
  • MUSC Urban Farm – Gardening classes and demonstrations – What better place to learn gardening than from the experts at MUSC.? With a rich urban farm of sunflowers, basil, rosemary, lemons, okra and more, this is a beautiful and educational way of spending a day together.? Cost is FREE!! – Afterward, you can share a salad together from Five Loaves or a cocktail at Halo.? Both within walking distance.
  • Farmers Market – Whether it is the Folly Beach Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, John’s Island, Summerville, Goose Creek or Marion Square on Saturday, James Island Sunday Brunch Market on Sunday, Farmer’s markets are a great way to support local businesses, hear live music and relax in the beautiful backdrop of the Lowcountry.
  • Reuben and Oreo Truffles at Blackbird Market – At 1808 Bohicket Road on John’s Island is a wonderful market and restaurant.? Everything from beet chips to She-crab soup to Lobster Ravioli.? Their tenderloin, scallops, and shrimp are so fresh it is breathtaking.? There is a full menu and benches outside to sit (Don’t worry about summertime.? They have water fans up above).? If you get a fresh Reuben Sandwich with two large Oreo Truffles ($1.00 each) you will have a complete meal.? Don’t forget fresh juice or beer.? This will run you about $11.95, but if you get beer about $18 plus.

Honorable Mention:

Charleston Water Taxi – What better way to see the USS Yorktown, majestic church steeples, Cooper River Bridge and historic Charleston than from a water taxi in the Charleston Harbor.? This made honorable mention because an all-day pass is $12.00 a person.? For a date, this is over budget, but it is an amazing deal and a photographers dream.? You are also likely to see dolphins frolic right beside you.

What to Say to Make a Charlestonian Mad

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By Mark A. Leon

You really want to know what to say to put Charlestonian’s in a mood; make us mad; crank our gears; light the flare of fury?? You get the point.? Not much makes us upset or fuels our loins, but here are a few things folks can say to locals to get them going.

Things You Can Say to a Charlestonian to Make Them Mad

  • Tell us we are not a top Southern foodie town – We take our food seriously.? We take our chefs even more seriously.? In Charleston, a chef can be treated as well as an A-List actor in Hollywood.? Food is a cultural apex in Charleston and if you step foot onto our soil and tell us we are just “ok” in the culinary arts, we will most likely send you out of town, but not before we give you a mouthful (words, that is).
  • Tell us that guns should be illegal – You want to strike up a heated debate on any Charleston street corner, mention the need for gun control or the elimination of guns.? SEWE (Southeast Wildlife Expo) is one of the biggest events in Charleston for a reason.? There are few locals without at least one firearm to go with their fishing and golf gear.? Many have multiple.? Careful what you say if you are a big anti-gun lobbyist.
  • Tell us we love having Northerners move to Charleston.? It adds to the diversity – Have you seen a “Go Back to Ohio” bumper sticker.? I would be surprised if you haven’t.? Since the economic slide in late 2008, northerners have migrated in droves to sunny Charleston.? They have looked for new opportunities and a new beginning.? The economy has recovered, but not the pace of the migration.? Many want to put the plug on this for good.
  • Traffic isn’t that bad compared to other big cities – That is a pretty stupid comparison.? New York, Chicago, Los Angeles are massive urban sectors with 20 to 40 times our population.? Charleston is a coastal peninsula that was not built to handle the roadway traffic with its current infrastructure.? Don’t bring up traffic if you don’t want to experience some road rage.
  • Tell us that housing is really cheap here – A one bedroom in downtown Charleston will run you about $1100 – $1300 with an average of $100 a month for electric (we need our air-conditioning) and $120 for cable and internet.? Don’t forget you have to pay an annual tax for your vehicle as well.? So $1500 a month for a one bedroom is cheap.? Check other parts of the country.? We are peaking up quickly as one of the higher costs of living.
  • Tell us we have ample parking for a mid sized city – In 2009, a parking ticket was $10.00.? Now it is $45.00.? The Battery used to be 2 hour free non-residential parking and free after 6 PM until 8 AM the next day and free on weekends.? Now it is 1 hour from 8 AM to 8 PM (including weekends).? The number of meters in relation to the activities (SC Aquarium, College of Charleston, TCF Bank Arena, Theater District, Restaurants, Market, Art Galleries, etc.) is not proportionate.? Also, the rates in parking garages have increased comparatively to the cost of living adjustments .
  • Tell us the dating scene is easy – If you ask around, you are going to hear crazy ratios of male to female with females having anywhere from a 4:1 to 7:1 ratio.? The truth is that Charleston is 52.5% female and 47.5% male.? Yes, females have an advantage, but that isn’t the core issue.? With so many transplants and growth of businesses like Boeing, BenefitFocus Volvo and Blackbaud, online dating has increased in popularity.? Add the factor of our drinking and social culture and nailing down a commitment is one of the hardest things to do here in Charleston.
  • Ask us if flooding is an issue in Charleston – Some of us may just laugh at you, while others may show off their insurance claims.? Many of us have more than one flood damage claim that we can lay stake to.? Either way, we don’t like to talk about the flooding.? It is almost impossible to avoid.
  • Tell us Hyman’s has the best seafood – Billy Joel ate there.? Their coupons are everywhere from the Visitor’s Center to every cruise ship that docks.? They are situated right off the market.? Still, great marketing, but not the best in town.? Not even close.? They are a fine restaurant, but they are as known in these parts as George Sink and Jeff Cook.
  • Ask us our thoughts on the Confederate Flag – Do I really need to explain this one.? Just look at any given local news broadcast since June of 2015.
  • Ask us to openly talk about racism and race related issues – We keep relatively quiet about any discussions about race and we seem to be alright with that.? We are not saying there is or is not an issue, but we reserve those conversations for friends and family, outside of the public eye.

There you have it.? What you can say to a local Charleston resident to get them mad.? Please don’t.

Why do we accept the love we think we deserve? – Relationship Column

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By Mark A. Leon

Do you want to be loved or do you want others around you to find happiness at your expense?
Do you want to settle or define of a life of happiness?

These are loaded questions filled with many options.

The pursuit of love is a passionate ride filled with bumps, obstacles and for some devastation. Too take another life and grant it permission to your heart, the most fragile thing in all existence is one so many of us are hesitant to do. You never want to willingly put yourself in a bad place and if you isolate yourself from emotional vulnerability, you won’t get hurt.

But if you do not live these moments, embrace the beauty in front of your eyes and realize that life is not about infinite happiness, but about individual moments that collectively make us infinite, then you are missing out.

What is it about our inalienable unconscious decision to settle that makes us so damn cliche in our pursuit of unhappiness and boredom that sets in and manifests itself into a slow journey to death?

Do we wake up one day and decide we no longer want to try?
Do we look in the mirror and realize this is the best we will ever be?
Do we accept that time is our deep rooted enemy and no matter how hard we try, they will win?
Do we just say, screw it. You like me, so why not.

love1

We all deserve better
We all earned better

We are all kings and queens. That doesn’t stop when you turn six and start seeing the harsh realities of life. That little boy and girl on top of the snow hill with the whole world in front of them needs to be you, always.

Ask yourself this: What moments defined you?

  • Was it a song?
  • Was it an event?
  • Was it a movie?
  • Was it a kiss?
  • Was it a tragedy?
  • Was it a success?
  • Was it the first time you felt scared?
  • Was it a quiet moment alone in reflection?
  • Was it when you looked in her eyes?
  • Was it the first touch?
  • Was it a line in a book?

Think very hard and don’t just remember the moment; remember the feelings you had and the thoughts running through your head. ?You know what those thoughts were.

They were dreams, ambitions, ideas. ?All things that make us great. ?You wanted to run through the fields screaming in joy. ? You know this. ?You can feeling it all rushing back now.

love2

Find that again.

  • Find the first record that made you cry and cry all over again
  • Find the first boy or girl that helped you discover love and thank them
  • Remember your greatest accomplishment and then make a list of five more better than that and achieve them
  • Make a better tomorrow for yourself
  • Find love; true love; great love; infinite love

That is when you will stop accepting the love you think you deserve and starting loving the way you are meant to.

Why You Should Date a Southern Girl

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By Mark A. Leon

Once upon a time, there was a soft spoken Southern girl from the cotton fields of Andrews, South Carolina.? This was a town where horses roam free, haystacks reached to the sky, rocking chairs still ache and an old Texaco sign remind you of the way it used to be.? This girl symbolized something special.? With her slow romanticized dialogue and warm inviting eyes, it was hard to not melt in her presence.

As I look back on the time I spent with her, I remember a few special moments:

It was Friday morning and we were just a boy and girl holding hands on swinging bench tied between two trees in the front yard.? As we let the sun set into the sky, coffee in hand, we looked in each others eyes as the world stopped for just one moment in time.

As we continued to smile, erasing the thought of life’s responsibilities, we started pondering how we could bring a sparkle to her kids when they got home from school.? We soon began to gather all the pine cones we could find and spelled their name out under the tree.? When they got home, they were so excited, they wanted to spell our names out next to theirs.? This led to an afternoon of nature’s crafts, trampoline and family fun.

That day has never left my memory.

I now recall a cool November night at Morgan Creek when we engulfed ourselves with oysters and chili as local tunes played in the distance.? The night would not have been complete without s’mores by the fire overlooking the creek.? That girl knew her way around a fire and never looked more beautiful.? Though hundreds, surrounded us, the night was about her and I.

The moment that I knew.? The moment when I realized that dating a Southern girl is much bigger than yourself was at a 12-person outdoor brunch at Boone’s on King Street.? She was the only Southern girl and we she spoke, the table erupted in admiration.? She was like a novelty that you wanted to hug and never let go.? All I could do was smile.

I never forget this love.? With her fiery independence, sensual passion and innocent charm, she was an angel who released so much love.? That is the feeling you get when you fall for a Southern girl.

To some, Southern girls have a stigma that they want to be showered with gifts and luxuries; that they need a big home and expensive jewelry; that they need constant attention.? That is so far from the truth.? A true Southern girl is generous, caring, warm and believes that simple living with someone that gives completely of themselves is all the happiness you need in life.

My Southern girl was named Priscilla.? She may not have dressed the part of a Southern Belle, wore a bonnet and carried a baby blue umbrella.? She may not have waited for me to lay a blanket over a puddle, but there was never a day that went by that I didn’t feel like the luckiest man on Earth.

Take the grit and beauty of Daisy Duke, the maternal instincts of Lorelai Gilmore and the romantic edge of Anastasia Steele and you come close to a Southern girl.? A little rock, a lot of country and a complete woman.

That is the way a Southern girl makes you feel.? She makes the breeze a little cooler, the simple things feel more important and the value of love felt a little deeper.For those fortunate enough to find a love from the Southern land, hold on tight, but not too tight.? Treat her right and she will love you until the end of time.

Best Places to Meet Quality Men and Women in Charleston

By Mark A. Leon

My years of successful and unsuccessful dating has embedded a sense of wisdom that has taught me a number of things including how places, patterns of behavior, ideals, morals, personal convictions and personal interests can all be identified by choices in places resided.? I am fortunate to have a wonderful, caring, compassionate and beautiful woman in my life, but there are still some even in this holiday season that are looking for someone special to create and share memories with.

To begin, we can eliminate Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, prison, rehabilitation centers (maybe not entirely), mud wrestling tournaments and race tracks as possible options for meeting your next partner.

Understanding the culture of an establishment will help you make an educated assessment on the type of person who chooses to be there. The choices in nutrition, entertainment or exercise are lifestyle choices so that needs to be a critical element in your decision to seek out a potential mate.

This list is not compiled through a statistical study and thus there is no formal ranking system outlined below.

Now it is time to put the app down for a while and communicate the old fashioned way, through genuine human interaction.? Still the best way to find love.

Best Places to Meet Quality Women and Men in the Lowcountry

Lowe’s / Home Depot (Home Improvement Centers)

We have evolved into a society who has made tremendous strides in gender equality. The strength of an independent woman who can create, fix and enhance their residence is a very attractive quality that should never be overlooked. If you visit your local Home Depot or Lowe’s you will find amazing women who are looking to do home improvement, building, painting, construction or aesthetic enhancements to the home. If you are a strong willed man that values a woman who can go toe to toe with you; one that knows her way around a power tool; and one that can live a vivacious life of independence and success, this may want to be a regular scheduled stop in your pursuit of the perfect mate. Of course, if she is alone or with other female friends, you need to keep an eye out for the big indicator: the ring. We don’t want to encourage the notion of breaking up marriages. We are a family friendly blog.? Women, this strategy holds strongly for you.? Men, by nature, love to build, fix and even break things, so we can fix them again.? Home improvement centers are a bit of a male adult playground.? Feel free to frolic.

Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s / Earth Fare (Organic / Health Based Grocers)

These three grocers and smaller independent markets have built a culture around being environmentally sensitive, organic and health conscious, and promoting mental/physical fitness. You are not going to find many lazy, lethargic or sloppy women or men here. On a given day, you will observe matching running outfits, business professionals or earthly/flowery sundresses. If you want to impress, don’t go in and just buy beer and chips unless it is a good craft micro brew and organic veggie chips. These establishments breed individuals that care about the environment and wellness. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you chose to take on this challenge, bring your own re-usable bags and water bottle, dress neatly, and don’t be afraid to show a little of inner and outer beauty.

Dog Parks

Dog lovers are creatures of habit. They love their dogs as if they are children and treat them with the same caring nature. A dog lover can make an excellent mate but make no mistake, you will most likely be number two in their world. The key to being successful at a dog park is to modify the behavior of your target. When you see that special potential someone, schedule your dog park time the same as them and feel each other out for a few days (of course it should be obvious that you have a dog as well). Each day, give your pup a pep talk about flirting with your targets dog. If the dogs work out, you are in like Flynn. If that does not work and the dogs become rival enemies, this will present a whole new set of challenges and often one you cannot overcome. Make sure when you first start talking to each other (humans), be very complimentary about their dog, ask its name, how old, and mention how good the two of them look together. When you tell a mother or father how adorable she is with her child, it is like melting butter on a warm slice of toast. This approach will take patience. It may be a week or two before the idea of an off site puppy date is brought up or better yet a puppy date at his or her place over dinner. If you get that approved, bring some good wine because you have a really good chance with this one.

Beaches

I hesitated to put beaches on this list. Beaches offer a sand to sand endless pool of possibility.? From Folly to IOP, beaches are about sun, fun, flirting and a even a little drinking perhaps. In hindsight, all of this invites more an opportunity for a short term fling than a long term relationship, but if you are a little vain and believe in looks above and beyond everything else, then you may meet that perfect mate. Here is where the hesitation comes into play: focus. Obviously, the women and men will be wearing the bear minimum of clothing and men tend to focus their attention on certain regions. When the chance occurs to strike up a conversation (say after you mistakenly throw the football by a group of girls or lose a flip flop near the boys), the likelihood is that you will not be focused on her eyes or his face. You need to train yourself prior to a beach day if you have any chance of success.

Coffee Shops (Independent preferred)

I am not by any means disrespecting Panera, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. In fact, I met one of the most amazing women I have ever known in my life at a Caribou Coffee in the mid west. This is targeted for those with a lifestyle around arts, creativity, music and personal/spiritual enlightenment. For all the poets, musicians, painters and true “artists”, the independent coffee shop could be your haven for love. Be specific and do your research. Each establishment has a life of its own and a culture it breeds. Find out what type of music they play, the backgrounds of the owners, the art on the walls and chose wisely. Choosing the right coffee shop is almost as important as the right home.

Book Stores

Intellectuals are stable, intelligent, philosophical, insightful and frisky. When you think about librarians, book sellers, teachers or professors, you think proper. My experience has shown and certainly not true for all is that all that pent up proper behavior has to be released somehow. Believe me, in very adventurous and experimental ways. If you want an intelligent wild cat or a nerdy hispster with a hidden wild boy side, this might be a good place to start your search. If you do, don’t pick a cliche book to read; be original and make it an extension of yourself.

Gym / Fitness Center

If physical fitness is your game, this is an easy choice, but know how to read the signs. Typically working out is either a couple or individual activity. If a girl is by herself know what to look for. If she is wearing a hat, leave her alone. She is driven and has a goal in mind. You interrupting her is not in the plan. Again, look for the ring. That is vital as well. If you spot a girl you would like to know better, follow her routine for a few minutes (cardio, weights, stretching..) and try to find a good place to slip in a casual meeting. In this day of IPods, it can be harder than you think. Adjacent treadmills or bikes is a great starting point. It is an extended activity and gives plenty of time to see if eye contact is made. Remember, girls at the gym want a confident man that is not afraid to step up to bat.? For you type A physically fit women or ones focused on a goal, you have a room of testosterone; work it to your advance and take ownership of the situation.

Independent Breweries

Charleston is becoming a haven for individually owned and operated breweries.? These facilities offer unique craft brewing experiences in a casual and trendy way.? These settings offer an intimate and casual environment for people that appreciate quality beer, good conversation and local support.? Often, these establishments are less crowded than bars and offer bar seating, community tables and outdoor areas.? This is the perfect place to avoid the crazy bar scene and hang out with hip and cool people that think like you and enjoy a good local cold brew.? Sounds like a good place to meet someone compatible to you.

Yes, bars and clubs are so yesterday and online dating isn’t going away, but do you want an analysis tool to find you love?? Tinder…hmmmmm need I say more.

To all the men and women looking for that true connection, good luck. Even with all the tips in the world, we are a tricky bunch, but there are a good number of humans that are genuinely amazing creatures with beauty, intelligence and warmth. If you are lucky enough to find the one that warms your soul and has you yearning for more each and every day, you need to hold on, embrace and cherish it for the rest of your life.

What the Charleston Lady Was Doing While Her Other Half Watched the Epic Finale of the 2016 World Series

By, Minta Pavliscsak
  • Enjoying the crisp fall evening on the patio while sipping a glass of wine and sneaking a few pieces of the kid’s Halloween candy.
  • Hanging out with her man because she is after all a true Southern Bell, and supporting his interests is just part of what we do. {…even if there may be texts exchanged with the bestie about how cute that one player’s butt looks in his uniform.}
  • Sleeping – hopefully not interrupting any important plays with the occasional, adorable snore.
  • Finally catching up on her DVR shows on the smaller T.V.
  • Using her man’s credit card to buy those shoes she has been eyeing for quite some time now. -How that matching belt made its way into the shopping bag is a mystery to her!-
  • Constantly refilling the chip bowl and mixed nuts while making countless pigs in blankets, all while keeping the coffee table her honey and his friends are huddled around clear of empty beer cans and bottle caps.
  • Taking advantage of an empty house to sit around in her favorite baggy, ripped sweats and bleached stained hoodie for once…crazy hair and all.
  • Getting hit on at Mac’s Place -unbeknownst to her significant other- by some guy rooting for the opposing team, despite the fact that her and her man have been sharing a plate of nachos since the second inning and he keeps drinking her beer because he refuses to take his eyes off of the screen.
  • Pretending to show interest in the game but instead, plotting her moment when she gets to use the line that starts with, “Honey remember that time when I sat up with you after midnight watching the World Series?”
  • Cheering right along by her love’s side because she has always been a Cubs fan.

 

World Series 2016 Video

How do I know if he is interested in “Me” or just “My Body”? – Dating 101

By Mark A. Leon

I have a number of female friends and some questions often come up with common repetition. Regardless of age or maturity level, many women still cannot seem to read the signs of men to determine if they are looking for a quick fix or a possible long term relationship.

It is important to know that for the most part, we are not the complicated gender. We are quite simple in our behavior and feelings toward dating, relationships and commitment. Reading our patterns of behavior will give you a clear indication of our intentions. We hear the unscientific study that indicates that a man or woman knows within five to ten minutes if they want to sleep with, have a relationship or an easy exit on a date. It is very true. As we grow and mature, we become more set in our personalities and interests. If the compatibility is not there, we are left with one option, “Is she attractive enough to want to sleep with”.

So here it is, us males meet you at a bar, restaurant or coffee shop and follow this chain of thinking:

  • If she is very attractive, we want to get to know her.
    If she is average looking, we lean toward possible one night stand unless our personalities are so
    amazingly similar.
    If she is not attractive, we try to come up with a plan or polite way to end the date.
    Subset to the attractive girl – If we feel she is out of our league, we may lie and try to give
    the impression we have a great deal in common to get that one shot at amazing sex with a really
    hot girl knowing it will never amount to anything further.
  • Having the mindset of a one-night stand is not exclusive to males. Females, for various reasons, do
    choose to go out and pursue that option. If that mutual fit is found, it is a win win situation.
    The parties should try, if possible to be up front and honest about the intentions. Both males and
    females do run the risk of falling for their date. If this arrangement will be successful, it is key
    to bring honesty into the picture right away.
  • I know it is impossible to avoid the mind games, but having the courage to try and break them down slowly could help decipher the date quickly and make for a more comfortable evening.
  • Our interest level is a direct correlation to our attention level. If we are making strong eye
    contact, saying your name and responding to what you are saying, that is a very positive sign.
    If we have our mobile on the table, respond to texts or have wandering eyes, not a good sign.
  • The equality of the meals and drinks is also a clear indication. If we have a possible interest,
    we will order at an equal level to you. If you order a grilled salmon and he orders a dinner salad,
    he is trying to rush through things and thus not interested. If you order salmon and he adds prime
    rib, then he wants to take his time and get to know you.
  • If there is a call or text after 45 minutes or an hour and he ignores it, great sign. Yes, men still
    use the fake call from their friends to get out of a bad date.

So what else do I look for to know if he is interested or not.

If he jumps into discussions about ex-girlfriends and beats those stories to death, typically he falls into the category of a player who cannot separate the difference between an emotional and a sexual relationship. Also, that could be an indication of an ego-maniac who is self-absorbed in himself.

If you met through an online dating service, there is a strong likelihood, he is juggling multiple dates. The online community broadens your reach and allows for a much larger pool of potential mates. Many men will try and schedule a few dates and narrow down the pool. If you go on a first date and never hear back or get excuses for scheduling a second date, it is a safe bet that you didn’t make the second round.

Look at some of the common patterns of behavior including eye contact, equal distribution of conversation, use of your name, questions showing a clear indication of getting to know you better and hand gestures. If your date is listening, maybe holding your hand over the table, asking questions about you and focusing on you and not the room, all signs of a positive first date. On the other hand, if he is focused on everything else in the room including everyone that walks in (in the event there is better eye candy after he has already scoped the room for the present occupants), looks down at his phone for texts or sports scores (better yet even if the phone is on the table – not a good sign), seems more interested in talking about himself than you and is rushing through the ordering process then these are all possible red flags.

  • Ask him his expectations. If he is slow to response or provides a vague response such as “depends on the attraction”, “taking it one date at a time”, “not sure what I want yet in my life”, “just got over a bad relationship and not sure I am ready yet”, or “let’s just see where this goes”, then you can expect that he either isn’t interested or not looking for anything long term.
  • Suggest ordering up a little, but not in excess and see how he reacts. I am not saying order the most expensive thing on the menu because that may create the impression you are a “gold digger”, but suggest a nice appetizer that will see his financial limits and lengthen the date. If he is immediately in favor of the idea, good indication for the evening.
  • Look at restroom habits. During a dining experience, one would expect to go to the restroom once. Maybe two or three times if they are a germ phobic. If he is using the restroom several times during the drinks or dining experience, he either has a huge bladder issue (which he will most likely tell you about) or is making other plans, taking to friends or seeing who is winning the football game (all options that show a lack of interest toward you).
  • Let us not overlook the obvious: What is he wearing? If he is dressed like Charlie Harper in shorts and a bowling shirt…run. If a man shows cleanliness in attire and hygiene, then he at least sees this as a date with potential and is open to the possibility of more.
  • Is he sharing in the conversation? If he is letting you do all the talking, he could be boring or lacks interest or on the other hand, if he is asking a lot of questions about you and then agreeing that he has the same interests or background, he may be lying to get you in bed with a false sense of compatibility.

There we have it. Dating 101 from the male perspective. This is clearly not the end all of dating tips but a fundamental start to help you through that next date.

Whether you are going on your first date ever, recently divorced or widowed or ended a long-term relationship, remember whether you are male or female we are in the same boat. We are trying to break down the emotional walls and understand the thought process that is going on at the other end of the table or next to you at the bar. Be honest, be open and most of all, don’t become something you are not.

Dating, when you are at your most relaxed state is so much fun. The idea of getting to know someone from the ground up and all the new and exciting possibilities is a wonderful thing. The one thing that often screws that up is ourselves and the mind games we play.

We cannot eliminate that element of dating, but if you know what to look for, it will make the evening go so much better.

Unless you go on a row boat for a first date..? That is a lesson for another time..

Happy Dating.