Love Connection

I went to lunch with a client of mine recently.  I was there to persuade him to take a chance on a girl that I knew was interested in him.  I’m pretty good at persuading and instigating…(especially in a game of truth or dare- I even have a marriage match that started with a good ol’ round of dare!) – but my client was not budging.  I was perplexed.  Currently his dating options are very limited.  He doesn’t have much experience in the dating arena (or any actually) – so I felt this girl was a great step (one date…no biggie!) in the right direction even though he wasn’t super attracted to her.  I never ask anyone to ‘settle’ – however in the kindest of ways I try to help them be realistic and understand the law of equality.  Sometimes that’s a little sketchy and I try to be sensitive to that – I’m not out to lower anyone’s esteem.

In talking more with him I saw that he was going through a stage many young single adults go through.  The stage of not really caring about our dating life at all.  I have seen many friends decide they are “over it,” “tired of being so good,” or just “ready to date outside the church” feeling it would be so much easier.  You know what? – I agree.  Lots of times I’m over it, I’m a little exhausted by the seemingly lack of desire for a girl that’s trying really hard to be good, and dating outside the church would definitely prove to be more fruitful, fun, and esteem building!  But just because I’ve thought it, doesn’t mean I dwell or act on it.  I regroup, pull myself together, and remind myself how great it feels to be in a mutually loving relationship headed towards the Temple.  My positive memories of great past relationships are a huge factor in my belief that I will have ‘it’ again someday and the wait will be well worth it.  It’s easy for me to have faith in that.

It wasn’t so easy for my client to share my belief, vision, and confidence in a better future.  As I tried to help him re-frame and reinstall hope in his dating pursuits he looked at me and said, “Tristen do you think that it’s a possibility to never connect with someone in the way you’re talking about?”  Without hesitation I told him, “No- we are here to form and build lasting eternal relationships.  It’s a central focus of God’s plan.”  He replied solemnly with, “Well, I think I’m the exception to that rule.  I’ve never connected with anyone.  Not my family, not a girl, not a friend.”

My heart ached.  Yet…at the same time I was so relieved to have figured out why my persuading skills seemed to be lacking.  This was an easy fix!  I saw the problem!  No wonder he had no desire to take a girl out…let alone one that wasn’t super hot.  He’s never experienced the joy that comes because of loving relationships!  He’s never been attached to someone, sacrificed for someone, or lived for the happiness of someone else –  so why would he care?!  Geez- I wouldn’t either.  But the best part is…all these things can be taught!  You can learn how to get to know people.  You can teach yourself how to sacrifice, be vulnerable, and put effort into the lives and happiness of others.  We are here to build meaningful relationships, and we will be helped and guided to do so if that is our desire!

Now the men reading this might think I’m off.  I know they want to say that if the girl was hot enough he could be motivated.  But I hate to break it to you…you’re wrong.  You are especially wrong when we’re talking about a member of the church that has a testimony and a foundation of some deep rooted principles.  Why do you think so many LDS single guys date and date and date all the hot girls but will never really commit to them?  Because if the hot girl has no depth or they can’t connect past her good looks at 2 in the morning – they realize deep down they don’t want to be stuck with that for eternity.  He’ll just keep having fun with her but no real desire to have true commitment.  I believe this is just one of the many reasons we have strayed from a culture of real romance and courting to a culture of hooking-up.  People have to connect on a deeper and more mature level to build a lasting loving relationship.  If you connect with someone, the motivation to do all that’s required to build that relationship can follow.

So from that point of realization with my client, we  stopped our focus on dating and started our focus on how to build meaningful relationships – with family, with friends, and eventually with some women.  I have full faith that as he begins to experience life connecting with people he will go from a ‘clear’ to a ‘Claritin clear’ kind of life.  He will begin to see the world with a whole new vision.  This guy hasn’t even started living. – but now I can hardly wait to see what the future holds for him!

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Face to Face

Patti-

It’s almost 1 in the morning and I can’t seem to get myself to sleep.  My hopes of working with you are causing me great bouts of insomnia.  I apologize that it’s taken a week or so to get my resume sent to you.  I felt it important to include a ‘testimonial’ or two from previous matches made (and did my best to get a picture…I just always think a picture helps).  I’ve questioned repeatedly the items to include in my resume that might spark an interest for you.  But the bottom line is this Patti; I’m best in person. I look pretty good on paper, I look even better through the eyes of a happy couple I’ve set up, but the really really good stuff comes when I finally have the chance to introduce myself to you face to face!

With great anticipation,

Tristen Ure

     This is the quick note I sent off to Patti Stanger when she asked me for my resume last year.  I came across it this morning while going through some things.  Thankfully I did get my ‘face to face’ time with Ms. Patti and was able to show her why I could be an asset to her Matchmaking business.  Now things from there definitely didn’t go as planned (working with her and learning from her in regards to Matchmaking no longer became an interest of mine) …but if I’d never gotten that face to face interaction with her I’m sure she’d have forgotten me over night.   Consequently I wouldn’t have the opportunities I am currently working with.
     So how important is actually meeting someone?  Crazy amounts of important!  That means first dates are invaluable.  You gotta meet them, talk to them in person, and show them your most prized side!  Most of us can make ourselves look pretty good on paper, all of us can make ourselves look even better on Instagram (filters have some gnarly flaw hiding abilities!) or Facebook…but the bottom line is this – you gotta believe you are so much better in person- and then be willing to go meet someone and prove it!
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Analyzing = Anxiety

I think the majority of us have a little bit of over-analyzing within us.  Perhaps some more than others.  I have a friend that is currently jumping into the Mormon dating scene and is slightly nervous about it.  He likes a girl, then he obsesses about her, then he analyzes it till there’s nothing left of it, and finally- he’s over the girl cause it’s just easier that way.  This sort of attempt at dating has got to be exhausting and anxiety provoking…perhaps even debilitating.

But I sooo understand.  Frankly it’s easier for me to just not allow things to even start if I find myself thinking about someone too much.  I’m real real good at just cutting it off.  Well for obvious reasons that’s a horrible habit and if I ever wanna get married…it’s gotta change.  (Just like my website…I’m a work in progress;) So how do you allow a mini-crush to even evolve into a date and a potential future?  You get busy!

The moment you find yourself with a new crush -pick up a new hobby, enroll in a class, make a new friend, fill up your time!  To allow things to evolve you have got to stop thinking about your crush all the time.  But… simply telling yourself to stop thinking about them isn’t going to work.  Try this little exercise:

Don’t think about a yellow school bus

What’d you think about?  A yellow school bus right?  (Sheldon Martin taught this little trick in his class at Education Week last summer.)  So the trick is – you can’t tell yourself to stop thinking about something and have it work.  But you can switch the thought.  You have to replace that thought with other things.  Your focus has to be on something else.  Hence the need to bring LOTS and LOTS of other things into your life when you get a new crush!

If you can learn to control and redirect your thoughts you will lessen your anxiety.  You will stop being a self-sabotager and ending things before they start just to relieve you of the pressure you’ve put on a simple little mini-crush!  Seriously…we are a bunch of crazies trying to get ourselves married!!!  It will also help you avoid creating a fairy-tale (and it’s not just the girls that do this…plenty of boys dream up a fantasy long ahead of reality!) and thinking it’s something that it’s not.  Let’s get back to reality singles and start seeing things for what they really are.

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Boys Adrift (part 2)

Now the other parallel to LDS dating I found in learning about Kenntnis vs. Wissenschaft, was our need to act and not just be acted upon.  Sure it’s great to read everything we can get our hands on in regards to dating, marriage, and relationships.  However if we are not applying our understanding of what we’re learning with some real life experience (Kenntnis), our dating development will be impaired.

“Kids [and I might add LDS YSA] need to experience the real world.  Only in the past decade have developmental psychologists come to recognize that a curriculum that emphasizes Wissenschaft at the expense of Kenntnis may produce a syndrome analogues to the neglected child.”

Wow…I might be really confusing you!  But – it is soo clicking in my head!  There are things that we can do (the application of what we’ve learned) that can help us in our progression and preparation towards marriage.  And those things are incredibly important for us to actually do…whatever they might be.  Elder Bednar touched on this principle in this short clip.

I loved the example of what that women did to better prepare herself for marriage.  She showed how a ‘hands on’ marriage prep. experience doesn’t have to only come in the form of dating more.  A unique approach!  I like it!

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Boys Adrift (part 1)

Again with the books…still obsessed.  Go Dr. Sax!  Primarily these books focus on the issues that young boys and girls face.  However, I am amazed at how the concerns you and I face as adults, are merely the offspring of unresolved issues we developed in our youth.  It makes me think that if we were to address these concerns a little earlier in life things would be so much easier.  Throughout the entire books, Dr. Sax mentioned problems that are closely related to the problems I hear weekly from matchmaking clients.

Let me try to highlight one.  Kenntnis vs. Wissenschaft (German words…no idea how to pronounce them).  Dr. Sax talks a lot about these words in “Boys Adrift.”

“…knowledge about a person or a place that you’ve actually experienced is Kenntnis,..;knowledge learned from books is Wissenschaft…”

Dr. Sax is a big believer of gender differences and gender specified learning.  (Makes total sense to me…I actually think the concept is brilliant and wish I’d known more about gender differences in this regard while I was teaching Kindergarten!)  He brings up this concept in the boys book because research shows that

“for boys in particular, emphasizing Wissenchaft [learning just from reading about something in a book] while ignoring Kenntnis [learning by more real world experience, hands on…] may seriously impair development – not cognitive development but the development of a lively and passionate curiosity,” resulting in a sort of “cultural autism.”

(Tell me you don’t think that half the people you have to choose from in your dating pool suffer from this??!!)  And without boys having that passionate curiosity they lose motivation.  Do you have any idea how many times I hear women classifying the majority of adult single men as lazy?  I hear it daily.  Maybe a man’s lack of drive can be adjusted with some real hand’s on experience?  (No…not in that way you perverts!)  It seems they may need to physically see and experience for themselves all that a women has to offer.  Just because his mom saw her potential and hidden beauty does not mean it’s going to increase his motivation to pursue her.  In a way maybe girls could help the situation out by sort of  ‘proving’ themselves to a guy.  (Girls don’t go getting all feminist on me…that’s a privilege we get to show ’em what we got! – and it seems to me it’s a part of our role.)  Girls have to give them something to want through real life experiences!  So that means it’s time to be out and about ladies, putting our best foot forward, helping increase a man’s motivation to ask us out!

Ok – that was one strong correlation that screamed out at me in this book.  I realize I may have confused you…my bad.  But I got more…

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Boys vs. Girls: Our gender blind society

Dr. Sax

I can’t put these books down.  I’ve finished the one about girls and am flying through the one all about boys.  Now I’ve got to order Dr. Sax’s book “Why Gender Matters,” cause I know I’ll be obsessed.  In these books Dr. Sax discusses the different factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated and underachieving boys, and the new crisis for girls.  Separate issues for separate genders!  Now there is soo much I find fascinating in his studies, but the overall differences between men and women have primarily intrigued me.  I’m sure you can only imagine why???…Because the same underlying issues have shown themselves in the lives of adult men and women trying to get married!

Let’s start from the beginning.  Do gender differences derive primarily from genetically programmed differences between girls and boys – or are they learned primarily from social cues?  The Family Proc. clears that debate right up for us.

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

So, my opinion is that for the most part we are pre-wired to act like our given genders.  (Dr. Sax reviews some incredible studies that support this point of view!)  OK- so I’m going to skip all the other great stuff he mentions and go right to something I think you and I both can learn from, and about, the opposite sex.  Gender differences in regards to self-esteem.  How are we motivated?

Men like competition. (I’m speaking in generalities…sure you might be the exception the the rule…whatever…great.)

“Some boys need the challenge and the risk of competition to care about the results.”  They need “…A more competitive format to get motivated.”

“…it captures the essence of the research on self-esteem.  For many boys, failure is a spur to work harder.  The competitive format gives these boys a structured enviornment in which they can easily determine whether or not they’re making real progress.  A noncompetitive format in which “everybody’s a winner” is a sure way to disengage this boy from the whole process.”

Women like encouragement. (Again…the generalities…but actually I think this is all of us…but whatever.)

“For girls and for many women, if you believe you’re smart, you’ll actually be smarter – you’ll learn better and do better.. – than if you think you’re dumb”

“Girls aren’t smarter but it is found that they will try harder.  Girls need encouragement.  Otherwise girls are likely to decide they’re not good enough…they give up…”

Heading in that same direction…consider basically the same question asked in two different ways to a male and then to a female.  Men’s focus is on the action, women’s focus is on the feeling.

Boys: “What would you do if…”

Girls: “How would you feel if…”

Guaranteed the answers would be more satisfying from a person of the opposite sex if you remembered this little guideline.  Dr. Sax has all sorts of statistics and evidence that supports the mentioned struggles of our rising generation.  It is fascinating how from such a young age these factors are affecting us.  But what’s even more amazing to me is that the root of these factors continue to be the root of our issues today.  At least with the clients I work on matching up!

 

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Bad BFF

I sit alone in church.  A few years ago, my Bishop told me to and I’ve been doing it ever since.  He told me there were many young men in the ward that were hesitant in approaching girls, let alone asking them out…because the girls were always swarmed by their girlfriends.  It makes sense right?  How much more approachable is someone that’s alone verses someone that is in the middle of ongoing conversation with their closest pals?

Now, I’m the first one to despise going to social events alone.  I HATE doing that.  I prefer to go with at least one person even if I don’t talk to them the whole night…I just like it better.  But I have a friend that told me recently she’s made it a goal to show up to things alone – and she has – and she’s got more guys talking to her.  Props to her.

I have another friend that recently came back from a singles event with one major complaint.  He said girls have got to stop being so occupied with other girls!  “Two guys aren’t the ones duking it our for the attention of a girl, they’re usually fighting for a girls attention from another girl!”

Honestly ladies…what are we doing being a part of that kind of self-sabotage?  You want more guys to talk to you, get your number, ask you out?  Then it’s time to start being approachable.  Pick wisely in your choice of girlfriends that accompany you to social single events.  A true BFF that genuinely has your best interest at heart will catch a clue when the boy you’re interested in comes to talk to you.  She’ll figure out a way to politely exit from the conversation and allow you to shine!  Or better yet, she’ll ditch out once that initial eye contact/flirtation has been made with your new crush and leave you stranded.  Stranded and alone paves way for an easy opportunity for the new crush to head your way and start a conversation with you!  

And just as a side note…if your bff is a total attention grabber or social sabotager on your behalf –  maybe you’d be wise to pick a new one for single events?

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40 yr. old virgin…obviously!

He had dark hair, he was hot, and he was checkin’ me out!  Sounds fun right?  Yeah, well it was for the first 5 times I caught him looking at me.  Then I just started thinking he was some kind of mute that was too scared to talk to a girl and it got weird!  I found it even more peculiar when I learned his age…he was 40 years old!  Had this man gotten by his entire life by girls approaching him?  (He was that kind of good looking…so it definitely could be the case.) Did he have no desire to leave the single world behind?  Why was he at a singles event if he wasn’t even going to approach the girl he was continually checking out?  Bizarre if you ask me.

Now typically my view point is that if a boy has enough of an interest in a girl, he will eventually do something about it…and if he doesn’t – catch a clue – he’s not interested.  Well, at first I assumed that was the case in this scenario.  But seriously there wasn’t a time when we weren’t in the same room that I didn’t catch him looking at me.  Once I caught on, I tried to help him out.  I had a smile on my face, I wasn’t surrounded by swarms of girls, I was for sure approachable.  Yet…he just kept staring… from a distance.

I thought I might shed some light on what goes through a woman’s mind in this kind of scenario.

  1. We see him catch our eye, we’re intrigued.  (Intrigued that this attractive man has chosen us to focus his attention on.  We assume he has confidence and is going to pursue what he’s interested in…and that makes things exciting, flirtatious, and fun!)
  2. It happens again, we get a little twitter-patted with anticipation wondering if he’ll approach us.
  3. We get a third eye lock and respond with a smile so he feels encouraged to come our way.
  4. He doesn’t come our way and we question ourselves, wondering if he really was checking us out??
  5. We catch him looking again, confirming that he does in fact have some interest in us.
  6. Then we just start thinking he must be a total wuss.  The confidence we accredited towards him is lost, and we are no longer intrigued or interested.
  7. Then we just start wondering about all the things that must be wrong with him and are actually relieved he never approached us in the first place.

So maybe 1-7 are strong generalizations..but do you see my point?  Girls like it when boys see what they want and go after it.  When the boys do nothing about their apparent wants…we loose interest and attraction.  We like confidence in a man.  We like a man that knows what he wants and is making moves to get it.  Even if we personally aren’t interested in him…we’re impressed with his confidence and will set him up with our best friend and they’ll get married and all feelings regarding him will stay happy and positive!

This poor guy’s going to be a 60 yr. old virgin before he knows it.  What a shame.

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The Power of a Geisha

“Memoirs of a Geisha” was one of the best books I had ever read.  That was until I learned it was fiction and written by a man!  I felt duped, betrayed, lied to.  While reading, I couldn’t put my book down.  In fact I was on a family vacation and kept getting in trouble for reading instead of participating in family activities.  But I was learning some of life’s most valuable lessons – I was learning how to tap into the powers of womanhood.

I re-read the part where, the main character Chiyo is training to become a Geisha- over and over again. Her final task was to make any man pointed out by her instructor to stop in his tracks with one glance.  She succeeded in making a boy fall off his bicycle!  Innocently thinking this memoir was written by the real life Geisha herself, I was amazed at her learned ability to flirt.  Oh how I envisioned the esteem I would gain in the eyes of the opposite sex if I could just harness and focus my natural ways of being a woman.  My mama did always tell me women had a certain ‘power’ over a man…now I had a real life example to follow.

I practiced and practiced and practiced my enticing stare at any man that crossed my path.  Then I was told a man had made the whole story up.  Oh the deceit… the let down!  Years later when the movie came out it was hard for me to even go see it because it brought back such an irritated taste in my mouth.

Since then I have learned that flirting is indeed something that can be learned.  Maybe staring at strangers like a creepy stalker isn’t quite the way to do it, but there are ways.

You want to become a great flirt?  Start with a positive attitude and put the other person first.  Watch and observe any great flirt you know…you’ll see what I’m talking about.  The great art of flirting doesn’t need the results of making a man fall off his bike (although one day I’m going to succeed in that…even if I have to give the bike rider a little shove)– it just needs to help us intrigue someone into wanting to know a little more about us.

(Get Your Flirt On: Have a positive attitude and put the other person first)

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Know-It-All

I always wanted to know everything about something.  Last week I heard that I had accomplished that very goal!  A friend told me I was a “know-it-all” about dating.  The best part was she didn’t tell me to my face…so you know she was super genuine in saying it!  I laughed when I heard this because I can only imagine how many people share her strong opinion towards me.  Bygones.

The thing is…there actually are a lot of very educated people out there that in my opinion certainly do ‘know-it-all’ in regards to relationships.  I love those people!  I love to read what they have to share.  My mind is quite focused on helping people create new family relationships, so naturally most that I come across somehow resonates with me in that sense.  I see parallels all over the place in regards to dating, marriage, and family.  I enjoy reading the words of the prophets, church leaders, and family educators and then forming personal opinions of my own.  I also love to observe everyday individuals, couples, and families and see what I can learn from their lives.

Some day’s I’m better than others at remembering that when people ask for your advice they usually don’t want it- they just want someone to listen and empathize with them.  If you’ve caught me on a day when that lesson is far forgotten and it seems my tact has been lost….my apologies.  I don’t mean anything by it, I’m just not very good at sugar coating, and I’m trying to figure it all out just like you.

We have a new challenge for us in dating these days.  No longer are we ok with just having someone that wants to marry us.  Now we want so much more from our relationships.  We want someone that fulfills us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  With all these greater expectations I feel like we’ve got to become more educated on how to get what it is that we ardently desire and live for.  Without a better understanding of how to get what it is we want I think we are mistakenly concluding that most of our matches are not right for us…when in reality lots are probably perfect for us!

So…therefore I would like to become a prodigy of the relationship know-it-all’s – because we need to update our dating skills.  One day I’d like to go back to school and become a real deal certified know-it-all in this field…but till then my personal opinions are what you’re going to get.  Take what you like and leave the rest! xoxo

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