Love in the age of living for ever: could your marriage last 80 years?14 days ago
Getting married used to mean a promise of 40 years, if you were lucky increased life expectancy means it could be much longer. Will your relationship go the distance?
My boyfriend looks terrible for his age. His skin feels as fragile and wrinkled as used clingfilm; age spots pepper his face and arms. What hair he still has is faded to grey, and the laughter we have shared over the years has etched itself in the lines around his eyes. Mind you, I dont look too hot, either. We have both been transformed by a makeup artist who, with latex and face paint, has fast-forwarded us from partners of four years into husband and wife of 60 years. It is a very odd experience; I feel a flash of nostalgia for 30-year-old me, and immediately feel the urge to wear a bikini. Its like an injection of Nora Ephron: Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and dont take it off until youre 34.
These pictures are the result of an experiment. I wanted to explore a question that pricks the minds of many couples at our life stage. We are both 30; a year and a half ago we bought a flat together; we have started to think about marriage. Perhaps the phrase started to think is disingenuous; the truth is, Shaun grew so bored with my talking about it that he banned me from mentioning it until after Euro 2016.
And so we find ourselves on the brink of a lifelong commitment, poised to make the same promise made by our parents, our grandparents and our great-grandparents, stretching back as far as our family trees will go, into countries I have never visited, from Yemen to Poland. But if and when we make that same promise, it will mean something very different. Because when our ancestors swore to love each other unto death, that meant 40 years together, if they were lucky. For us, thanks to improvements in healthcare and life expectancy (currently 79 for men and 83 for women in England and Wales, and set to rise), it could be more like 60 years. This is a radical shift, and one that forces us to question our assumptions about commitment and love. What does the age of longevity mean not just for individual marriages, but for the institution of marriage itself? What does it mean to say, Till death do us part in 2016?
As our life expectancy has improved (more than one-third of babies born today could live to 100), so have our expectations: we want a marriage to be great, not just good enough, all the way to the end. Dr Helen Fisher has been researching this issue for 40 years, and recently published an updated edition of her book Anatomy Of Love: A Natural History Of Mating, Marriage And Why We Stray. The focus of modern marriage is not stability, its love, she says. A century ago, a woman wouldnt have ended a marriage that was satisfactory, but a recent survey showed that one-third of people would leave a satisfactory marriage if they werent in love with their partner. Today, we want it all, and well walk away if we dont have it.
And so to the rise of the grey divorce. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show divorce is falling in all age groups in the UK except for the over-50s, among whom it has risen by nearly 11% in a decade. Nearly 60,400 people in this demographic divorced in England and Wales in 2013, while the overall number of divorces fell to a 40-year low. The same trend has also been observed in the US, where in 2014 those aged 50 and over were twice as likely to go through a divorce than in 1990; the increase was even higher for those over 64.
I have always assumed that the grey part of marriage was the best bit. I watch with loving envy as my parents enter their fifth decade together, finally allowed to relax and enjoy themselves after all the child-rearing and careering and work-life balancing. But, for many, decades of marriage can simply bring boredom that feeling of, Is this all there is? Of meh.
Roger Jenkins, 68, ended his 33-year marriage at the age of 65. For me, as for a lot of people, crunch time in a relationship comes when you retire, he says. Suddenly the person you saw for a couple of hours each night, mostly spent in front of the telly, you are now seeing 24/7. And all the problems, which you saw for only a few hours a week, you now see 24/7, too. My wife had a great social life, and when I finally retired and wanted a holiday, she said, No, I have my own life. I dont want to go around with you all the time.
After trying marriage counselling and discussing the situation with his children, both in their 30s, Roger filed for divorce. It was not an easy decision he had to overcome the stigma he had absorbed as a boy: People of my generation grew up at a time when divorce was virtually unknown and viewed as terribly sinful. That burrows into your psyche at a fairly early age. But a lot of people my age are fit and reasonably affluent, because theyve had the benefit of a property boom, and its now easier to get divorced than it used to be so why should I spend the rest of my life in misery?
Relate counsellor Barbara Bloomfield agrees: Women and men are feeling so much younger than they did in previous generations, and they fervently believe they have 30 more years after retirement. Some think, why stick with the same old same old if you might be able to find someone better?
Older couples have always had to deal with an onslaught of potentially stressful factors: boredom, yes, but also hormonal changes that can lead to mismatched sex drives, children leaving home, retirement. Bloomfield explains: There are quite a few mothers and fathers who cant get used to being a couple after children have left home and they have stopped working, when theyre under each others feet all day. Either the marriage crumbles or they find a new way to be together. But people are refusing to accept these changes as inevitable even at 80, because five, 10 years is too long if you are unhappy.
Divorce lawyer Kerry Russell says she has seen many couples like Roger and his ex-wife. The main trend I have seen is couples divorcing due to the realisation that there is more in life. They sometimes describe their marriage as tedious, and many feel trapped in a routine. They often care very much for their spouse, but the differences between them seem more apparent. They see divorce as a way to gain some independence and live life to the full.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
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If youre breathing a sigh of relief that its Monday and you can get a break from your relationship, youre not alone
As a culture we are highly attuned to what is beautiful and moving about love; we know its high points and celebrate its ecstasies in films and songs. By comparison, work is the dull, tedious bit the thing we have to do to pay the bills. And yet whats striking is how often work, despite its lack of glamour, in fact turns out to be the easier, more enjoyable and ultimately more humane part of life. There are a number of reasons for this.
1 You have to be professional
Read more: www.theguardian.com
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This month sees a spike in couples filing for divorce, many of them vowing to stay friends. But is it really possible or worth the pain?
A few weeks ago, a man came to stay at my house and he and I made so much noise at 1am that we feared we might wake the children. The next morning at breakfast, we had to explain ourselves and apologise.
The man was my ex-husband, and he was telling me an anecdote in the early hours that had us both in fits of laughter. We separated in January 2009, and divorced a year later. He has since remarried, and lives in another city, but often comes to visit our three teenage sons. We have spent several Christmases, Easters and birthdays together.
If liking and being nice to your former partner is the essence of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martins conscious uncoupling, it could be said that my ex-husband and I are living that dream. In the three years since they announced their much-ridiculed approach to family life and relations post-marriage, the idea of the friendly divorce has become increasingly mainstream. As Helena Bonham Carter said of Tim Burton, her former husband of 13 years, I think well have something very precious still. Actor Kate Beckinsale is so friendly with her ex Michael Sheen (the father of their daughter) that shes often seen hanging out with him and his girlfriend, Sarah Silverman.
And then theres the rise of the divorce selfie, taken outside the courtroom, showing smug ex-marrieds beaming away together in the spirit of a bright future ahead of them (with a caption such as We smile not because its over but because it happened). January traditionally sees a spike in calls to family lawyers from couples wishing to uncouple. The first question for many is: can you really have a happy split?
Divorce coach Carol Sullivan thinks so. She runs Divorce Negotiator, which operates throughout England and Wales. Unlike solicitors who represent the separate parties, Sullivan assists both husband and wife and, to stop the escalation, maintains transparency between them. She claims to save a typical couple 80% of the cost of going to a solicitor, and 50% of their time. So far, she has helped more than 1,000 couples, many of whom apologise to each other and go out for drinks despite their decree nisi.
People are doing divorce differently that is, better, Sullivan says. They are more aware that the only winners are the lawyers, and bitterness and vengeance dont get anybody anywhere.
Of course, most people would say theyd like to divorce well, at least in theory, usually for the sake of any children involved. But, in practice, anger and hurt usually muddy the waters.
I am insufferably smug about what my ex-husband and I have managed to pull off, but I wont pretend it was instant. The parting of the ways was painful beyond anything I had ever experienced, but we managed to sort out our financial affairs and living arrangements ourselves. A lawyer friend kindly did the essential paperwork for both of us. We never went to court, and our whole divorce cost 90. Eight years have since passed, and time has done its cliched but excellent bit in terms of healing. Rancour has been and gone, leaving all the things we liked about each other in the first place: enjoyment of each others company, great communication, affection and respect. Plus all the things we have together accumulated over the years, namely three great boys, an important shared history and the recognition that prolonged bitterness eats away at people and benefits nobody.
Its difficult, but this approach is becoming more common. I have a friend whose husband went off with another woman. After her shock and anger subsided, she had him to stay with his new girlfriend several times, and even took coffee up to them in the morning. (Talk about forgiveness.) It was nice for the kids to see I was accepting of her with him, she tells me. I liked him. I liked her. She says she didnt indulge in any power play, at least not consciously.
The prevailing view is that good relations benefit the children, if you have them. Phyllis Maguire-Harrington, 33, is a carer and nursery manager. She sees many families who arent amicable, which has only compounded her belief that friendly divorce is vital even when she found out, three years into their marriage, that her husband had been unfaithful.
It hurt massively, she says now, but our daughter is my world. Even though I ended the marriage there and then, and never once wavered, I always spoke to him and let him see her. My daughter deserves both parents.
There was no court case. The same lawyer represented them both. It was all their own terms; he just did the paperwork. Her ex-husband has exactly the same parental rights as she does.
The couple, both from Wokingham, met at a bowling alley in their early 20s. Kieran Harrington, 35, remembers that she started dancing and I thought, wow! He found her generous, with a lot of time for others. Phyllis says she is very energetic, while Kieran was very chilled and happy to go along with anything she threw at him. They married in 2008 and separated in 2011, when their daughter was a year old.
To be brutally honest, I cheated on her, Kieran says. Its one of those things I cant explain. It was nothing she ever did or didnt do. When she found out, she went ballistic. Id never seen her like that. I deserved it. I tried to get her back, but eventually knew it was hopeless.
It was complicated, Phyllis says, because in September 2007 he had a brain haemorrhage and that altered him. Kieran says that, although he doesnt remember being tempted before the brain haemorrhage, it is nonetheless too easy an excuse. Either way, he says, the two flings with colleagues were a huge mistake. Initially, he says, there was some nastiness from Phyllis, but then it went away.
For a long time I wanted him to be my Kieran, Phyllis says, but he had changed. After the brain haemorrhage, I became more like a carer. I knew he was no longer fully in control of himself, and a psychologist told us he was never going to change. I had a baby and couldnt live like that any more, the suspicious wife.
The divorce came through in December 2014 and Kieran, a prison custody officer, now lives with his father and sister. He and Phyllis still see each other most days, and go on holiday together. They took Erin, now five, to Disneyland Paris for new year and glamping in Cornwall. Neither has another partner.
I did for a while, Phyllis says, and he and Kieran accepted each other, but he wanted to get married and I didnt. I think Kieran put me off for life, she laughs.
These days, Kieran confides in Phyllis about dates and she gives him advice. He admits hed like to get back together with her, but knows thats never going to happen; he also knows that it could all have been very different had Phyllis not been so forgiving. I could have lost a lot more, he says. As it is, the friendship we have having a laugh, watching movies together, sharing a bottle of wine when the little one is asleep is the best I can hope for, given Id still like to be married to her. Ill be a little bit jealous when shes with someone else, but I messed up, so I havent a leg to stand on. Im grateful Ive got this much and know we will be friends for life.
Phyllis agrees: Were very close. We couldnt not be, after all weve been through. But the divorce was the right decision. Would I get back with him? Never. Hes not the man I fell in love with.
Specialist family lawyer Peter Martin has been practising at London firm OGR Stock Denton for 40 years, and has worked with thousands of couples. In his experience, roughly 25-30% of couples are able to be friends afterwards, and its not always to protect the children. In some ways, it is easier for couples without children to stay friends, Martin says. Once the finances are sorted out, they are able to get on with their lives. They can become friends again, because they no longer have any pressures on them.
On the other hand, Martin says, couples without children have less reason to stay in touch. Those with children have to continue to communicate, and they are more likely, because of that, to rebuild a friendship. A forced friendship, because of having children, often develops in time into the real thing. Its the sort of thing I see a lot Im thinking of the first dance of a divorced couple as parents at their childs wedding.
Barry Rutter, 69, an actor, is founder and artistic director of Northern Broadsides, a touring company. He credits his ex-wife, Carol, 65, a professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick, with their excellent relationship after nearly 20 years of marriage and 20 years of divorce. She credits him with not forcing her and their girls out of their home. You can be vengeful and angry and selfish and do all that stuff, Carol says. All those ugly emotions you can keep up for years, but thats just destructive.
The couple met while Barry was on tour in America in 1976. She, with her Californian chutzpah, came backstage to congratulate me, he says.
He had the tight curls of a Raphael angel and a boxers nose, she says. He was bolshie, challenging: a Yorkshireman. Everything around him was different and new.
She moved to England a year later, and they soon married. Their shared passion meant they always had things to talk about. Briony was born in 1982; their son, Harry, two years later, but he died from cot death aged just 98 days. Barrys support in the aftermath made Carol feel an overwhelming sense that our marriage could survive; how amazing it was that he could love me that much.
When he set up his own company, Barry was working so hard, Carol says, I think he started kind of shifting. Rowan, their younger daughter, was four. Carol had a full-time job at the university and Barry came home wanting shiny faces. There was a gap. It was, Barry says, a build-up of events, which I took to be a diminution between us. And my own restlessness. The cliche: the grass is always greener. The official divorce says adultery, but it is never as simple as that. I didnt fall in love, but I was distracted.
Barry says it was raw. I remember we met in the garden shed and she asked what I wanted, and I said all of my freedom to roam, and yet the home and family. It was a stupid, macho, dumb attitude to have. It was my folly. You make choices, and choices can bite.
How did I come back from that? Carol says. I went to see a divorce person who said dont fight, its not worth it; work it out between you. I was able to keep the man separate from the actor and, little by little, the birth of our three children, the death of our son, those things you shared, count. They represent the real core values of you two as people, as against the accidents of making bad decisions.
Barry says it was entirely Carols leading that set them on the footing they are on today. Its got to be about the future: I remember her saying that. I myself didnt have it in me to come up with anything like that. Its a testament to her. Id hope she is my best friend. Shes kept the name [Rutter]. Ive always been rather pleased about that.
These days, their daughters are both married, and they still see each other at least once a month and speak often. Carol goes to watch her ex-husband perform. She says he is perhaps better at expressing his emotions on stage, but he always made her laugh off it, and always will.
Tara Saglio has been a couples and individual psychotherapist for two decades. She believes that most divorced couples have to experience a period of proper separation before they can actively be friends again. As a generalisation, I think it takes five years for people to settle post-divorce, she says. It helps if both parties have reached a point where they can feel equally content, instead of one being miserable and the other blissfully loved-up with a new partner or even of one being blissfully alone and the other in a less than ideal rebound relationship. The chance of friendship depends on the emotional maturity of both parties. In my experience, Saglio adds, it is usually the couples for whom the passion has dwindled or gone, and who dont feel so betrayed or rejected, who can be friends. Sexual rejection or broken trust can skewer things.
Facebook, Instagram and so on can make it harder for couples to move on. Of course, social media always presents a happy if not idealised picture of everyones lives, Saglio says. It is hard to separate fully while having ones nose rubbed in the exs new life. On the upside, technology can be a force for good, depending on how it is used. It makes continued contact quicker and easier. A text or email is more emotionally distant than a face-to-face or phone conversation. A bit of a barrier can be a good thing.
Resolution is an organisation of family law professionals that promotes nonconfrontational divorce settlements. Nigel Shepherd, its national chair, says that avoiding unnecessary argument demands a shift of perspective: By nonconfrontational, we mean focusing on what is required for the future, as opposed to getting stuck in what happened in the past. A Resolution survey found that 90% of cases settle without a judge.
Current divorce law doesnt exactly help people to remain friendly: unless former couples are prepared to wait for two years once they have separated, they have no option but to cite adultery, unreasonable behaviour or (admittedly rarely) desertion on the paperwork. Resolution believes that a couple should be allowed to divorce simply if they think the marriage has broken down, a so-called no-fault divorce, and are lobbying for change. The current process, which pushes the majority into blame, often against their will, can really put the spanner in the works, Shepherd says.
Businesswoman Sarah Bevan never lost sight of the fact that she wanted to retain her friendship with her husband, Tim, despite her deep sadness when their marriage came to an end. We were originally friends, and I wanted very strongly to maintain that for the greater good of our family, she says. We always had a lot of fun and we managed to retain that.
Sarah, who is now single and in her 40s, lives in south London, and is setting up her own company. Tim, 50, the MD of a packaging and design company, lives in Hove. The pair met at work in London and married in 1994. They have three teenage children. The friendship was overriding in the relationship, Tim says. Any other issues were put to one side. Thats what carried us. But then I started to do better in my career, which made me more confident and, when other possibilities presented themselves, I was weak enough to succumb.
It was 2004. He admitted he was having an affair (not his first); they finally parted in 2005 and divorced in 2011. Tim says he walked away with two pictures, a stereo and a pink tea towel.
There were no lawyers, and nothing on paper; money was divided according to their own agreement. The divorce cost 560. Rather than argue in court, he wanted Sarah and the children to have a home and security. He credits their friendship today to his ex-wifes openness and strength, and thinks they have both pulled off something pretty extraordinary. According to Tim, both realise they are not going to be jumping into bed with each other again, but hopes theyll be best friends for life.
Shes currently offering me advice on cholesterol, he laughs. Shes still got my back! It helped that neither of them slagged each other off to the children. The family has a group chat online most days and he visits them every Tuesday for a curry evening.
There were phases of extreme anger and massive hurt, Sarah says, but even though hes certainly a difficult character, I love him and we hug and say we love each other. He remains an important part of her life, all the more so because her parents died recently in tragic circumstances. As Tim says, that focused everyone on whats important.
Despite everything weve put each other through, Tim says, weve come out of it. We will be sitting in our deckchairs in 30 years time with our mint tea, looking at the children, and thinking, Weve done good.
How to divorce well
1. Slow down. Reactive decisions are usually bad ones; if you are feeling hurt, or have just discovered your partner with someone else, dont take any legal action until the red mist has gone.
2. Try to be rational. Going through a separation is highly emotional, but try to put that to one side and sit down with a neutral party with the aim of making sensible decisions. Remember that you loved the other person once.
3. Decide on your priorities. More often than not one of the biggest goals is to move on with your life with your dignity intact. The more amicable the divorce, the quicker it will be over, leaving you to get on with the next chapter of your life. It is also a lot cheaper.
4. Go to a good family lawyer. Find a family specialist committed to working out solutions as amicably as possible and in a way that will preserve your relationship with your spouse.
5. Expect a big change in your lifestyle. Your life is going to change dramatically; being shocked by this can often lead to resentment and breed conflict. Your partners life will be changing, too, and they will have the same problems adjusting as you are. Yes, really.
6. Dont do it the celebrity way. You dont have to fight dirty to get the best result in fact, judges will frown upon it when making their settlement.
7. Dont listen to your friends. Turn to them for emotional support but remember that every marriage is different and every divorce is different. Just because friends think it is a good idea, doesnt mean it is.
8. Be the bigger person. Even if your nearly ex is trying to play dirty, dont rise to the bait. It is easier said than done, but I often hear from people who, years later, regret that they allowed themselves to be brought down to that level.
9. Think about divorce before you get married. What will your situation be if things dont work out? Consider how your partner is likely to behave in those circumstances as well. Think about a prenuptial agreement realism does not have to be anti-romantic.
10. If you have children, be nice for their sake. It is only in the most exceptional circumstances that it is not in the childrens interests for their parents to remain friendly.
Peter Martin, family lawyer, OGR Stock Denton
Read more: www.theguardian.com
How to actually talk to a woman wearing headphones | Martha Mills2 months, 9 days ago
Martha Mills: How to talk to a woman wearing headphones, without seeming like a terrifying harasser
An article has surfaced from the quagmire of bilge the hell is The Internet and it has caused , not without reason, a small tornado of outrage. Written as dating advice for The Modern Man( a misnomer if ever there were one ), it promises a solution to the hot n horny down-on-their-luck young bucks of the world who face the tedious obstacle of a woman wearing headphones, because how dare she. And no, it isnt a parody.
You can read it in its full entitled glory, or stick with me as I dissect each grubby, jaw-dropping hallucination of psychopathic awfulness. Its going to be quite a ride.
These days, many females walk around playing with a smartphone or tablet device and are often wearing headphones and listening to music at the same time.
Yet, that doesnt mean you cant talk to them.
Of course , not all women are open to being approached because not all women are single and looking.
However, if a woman wearing headphones is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend( or even a new devotee ), she will almost always be happy to take off her headphones to give you an opportunity to create a spark with her.
The author, one Dan Bacon, could have saved us all a lot of bother here by answering his How to with Dont. Sadly he seems to have missed some basic behavioural science here; you assure, the very reason I and many other women wear headphones isnt as a trivial obstacle to some throbbing hormone mountain , nor as a challenge for those blessed with an abundance of ego. Its a defense. A defence against the aural onslaught of modern lifeand especially the leering advances of said pulsating hormone mountains. In short, we wear them because we dont want to be talked to. Its basic physics actually – we fill our ear pits to stop you from get in.
But back to Dan 😛 TAGEND
What to Do to Get Her Attention
1. Stand in front of her( with 1 to 1.5 meters between you ).
2. Have a relaxed, easy-going smile.
3. Is she hasnt already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she cant ignore it.
4. When she looks at you, smile and point to her headphones and say, Take off your headphones for a minute and pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands.
If she doesnt understand( most women will ), simply gesture that you want to talk to her by briefly pointing backward and forward from you to her and say, I want to talk to you for a minute.
In most cases, you wont have to go to that extreme, but some daughters are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and exhilaration about what is happening.
5. Then, do what we call Acknowledging the Awkwardness by rapidly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment( insure the conversation example below ), to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isnt the most common of experiences for either party.
This helps set her at ease and know that you are a cool guy who she can relax and open up to.
I dont know if these five steps are a common thing, but I have personally experienced this several times. At step 1 I know what you are doing and Im dismissing you, hoping the ground will open up and take one of us to the depths of somewhere Hellish, which would be more pleasant than such a situation is developing to be. By step 3 Im not feeling aroused and Im not feeling flattered as Dan later tells his readers I will be – Im feeling harassed. Straight up, dictionary definition harassed.
By step 4 Ive learnt that you cant understand a basic body language brush-off and are therefore a direct threat to my personal safety. My brain is in oppose or flight, checking for escape roads, its trying to figure out just how aggressively youre going to react to any further action I take to extract myself from a situation altogether not of my own making and it is praying they use a flattering photo of me on the news , not that one when my front-facing camera went off accidentally that time.
According to step 5, the fact you have bullied me into one of the most awkward and scary moments of my life builds you a cool guy. Mr Bacon clearly has difficulty spelling. It begins with a t, Dan.
Heres Dans interpretation of how the conversation goes once a human has use his infallible five-point Jedi mind trick to bludgeon a woman from her blissful state of aural security:
You :[ Smile in a friendly, confident manner] Hey I know its not normal for people to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was strolling along and saw you and thought wow, shes a cutie, I have to say hi. Im Dan, whats your name? Woman :[ Usually flattered by the compliment and impressed by your confidence to approach her like that] Jessica. You :[ Add in some humor] Coolnice to meet you Jessica. I dont normally talk to daughters with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me. Woman :[ Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction ]. You :[ Let her know that you have something to do/ somewhere to go, so she understands that youre not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes] Anyway, so Im just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. Im on my route to a store up the street. Hows your day going so far?
In his scenario, Jessica has just been waiting her whole life to be blessed with the attention of a complete stranger who misstep hunched shoulders, darting eyes and rictus for giggling and smiling.
Heres how it plays out in real life. Trust me, Ive been it, insured it and spoken to the survivors:
Him : I see you dont want to be talked to but I find you physically attractive and Im constructing that your problem.
Her : Please leave me alone.
Him : F *** YOU, YOU STUCK UP B ****, I DIDNT FANCY YOU ANYWAY.
With advice like this out there, its hardly any surprise, is it? These lonely men so desperately in search of conquests have been given permission, blessed with the entitlement to go forth and pluck their bounty employing but five humble steps. So imagine their horror and indignation when that which has been promised doesnt want to be plucked and tells them to sling their greasy hook.
Next Dan listings the five mistakes men attain when approaching a woman who is wearing headphones. Sadly not one of them is to sod right off.
Points 1, 4 and 5 are fairly inoffensive, generic dating guff( be confident, be engaging, be flirty ), but oh boy, just try and get your noggin round points 2 and 3.
2. Allowing her to dismis him
Headphones are a great barrier between a person and the rest of the world.
That being said, if a guy wants to get a womans attention he needs to show confidence by being determined to get her to stop listening to the music and chat to him to him.
If a guy has a weak vibe or presence about him, a woman usually wont give in to his request for her to remove the headphones.
Women love to test guys to see how confident they truly are and a favorite test of women is to ignore a guys attempts to converse with her and find what he will do next. Will he walk away in shame, or will he remain calm and continue talking to her in a confident, easy-going manner?
This is her style of gauging his interest in her and also a way of determining whether he is mentally and emotionally strong enough for a girl like her.
If a guy devotes up at the first sign of resistance, most women will be to turn by his mental and emotional weakness as a man.
3. Allowing her to take control of the interaction
No matter how confident or challenging a woman might behave, she still dreams of fulfilling a guy who is more confident than her. A woman doesnt want to be forced to control an interaction with a guy( i.e. call the shots, boss him around ), but she will if she has to.
Controlling an interaction with a woman is not about bossing her around, being arrogant or being too assertive. Instead, you simply need to assume the role of the man and let her be the woman. In other terms, build her feel girly around you because you think, behave and feel( your vibe) so masculine.
The advice here is basically No doesnt mean no, it entails keep going until you get what you want – the screaming will stop eventually. Because apparently thats what women want – and forms the basis for a million rape defence lawsuits. Trust me, when we tell you to go away we arent testing your measure as a human, were testing how quickly your legs can carry you in an offward direction.
Put Dans advice into any other scenario for the true jaw-drop factor: Shopkeepers may lock their doors at night, but if you want a pint of milk, only hammer on the door until they open up. Theyll be flattered.
I appreciate the world of mating is hard but please, for the love of humanity, learn this: because we are want, doesnt mean you can have. Women are not commodities to be hunted and won, and if you have no luck find someone to bump pink bits with, thats your problem , not our flaw for not adhering to the playbook regulations. Its a playbook we never signed up for and its only a game if both teams actually know theyre playing.
Nowhere in his advice does Dan tell his disappointed man-babies how to handle rejection with grace, because the advice is simply not to accept it. This attitude is why I and countless other women have been been chased down the street, followed home, physically constrained, spat at, verbally abused and generally made to feel like garbage, merely for trying to exist.
So when, I hear the whiny pissbabies ask, when am I allowed to approach hot single women? Simple.
If a woman has her headphones in, the answer is never – and before you bleat on about ooh, what if theres a fire ?, shell reek it, even through all your bulls ** t. If youre in a bar or party, her flirtatious smile may be the come-on youre go looking for, but be prepared to accept that you read it wrong, politely wish her a good evening and toddle back up out of her life without 20 minutes of awkward pawing, insisting she let you buy her a rohypnoltini. But how about this; take up a hobby, ask your friends if they know of someone looking to date or( brace yourself for a whopper of a revelation) if youre looking for a horde of single, eligible girls all looking for friendship-maybe-more in one convenient place, try a dating site.
Anyway, coming soon from Dan Bacon, How To Talk To A Woman Through A Fog Of Pepper Spray. Probably.
Martha Mills is on Twitter as @mittendamour
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Blind date:’ I thought he was joking when he said he’s a Cliff Richard fan’2 months, 14 days ago
Did energy consultant Martin, 36, and copywriter Almaz, 28, hit it off?
Martin on Almaz
What were you hoping for?
Sparkling company, laughter and a relaxed evening.
Elegant, with a natural brightness and upbeat aura.
What did you talk about?
Music, dinner parties and cooking (Almaz likes to host big parties, while I prefer little gatherings), the role of the royal family, the cut-throat London dating scene.
Any awkward moments?
Not for me. Hopefully Almaz felt comfortable, too.
Good table manners?
Best thing about Almaz?
A lovely voice.
Would you introduce her to your friends?
Certainly. She is articulate, bright and funny.
Describe her in three words
Bright, elegant, engaging.
What do you think she made of you?
Id like to think she found me likable, talkative and entertaining. Im sure she noticed Im not so on trend.
Did you go on somewhere?
Part of our journey home.
And did you kiss?
Friendly continental kisses of greeting and parting only.
If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Nothing: I had a very nice evening, though I dont think either of us felt a chemistry.
Marks out of 10?
Would you meet again?
I dont think wed plan anything, but if I saw Almaz out and about, Id definitely go over and say hello.
Almaz on Martin
What were you hoping for?
Butterflies and sexual tension.
Not my usual type.
What did you talk about?
Crossrail and salsa dancing (him), geopolitics and music festivals (me).
Any awkward moments?
I thought he was joking when he said hes a Cliff Richard fan.
Good table manners?
He let me eat more than my fair share, which was delightful.
Best thing about Martin?
No questionable views.
Would you introduce him to your friends?
I think theyd eat him alive.
Describe him in three words
Mild-mannered, good-natured, conventional.
What do you think he made of you?
Not what he was expecting.
Did you go on somewhere?
It was a Sunday night, so no.
And did you kiss?
A goodbye peck on the cheek.
If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Id have discreetly given the waiter my number, because we shared some intense looks.
Marks out of 10?
Would you meet again?
Martin and Almaz ate at Goode & Wright, London W11.
Fancy a blind date? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If youre looking to meet someone like-minded, visit soulmates.theguardian.com
Read more: www.theguardian.com