How to make scary “Work You” into desirable “Date you”?

Dating can sometimes feel like a job. We get it. But the way to take it easy (for less stress and less feeling like you’re forcing yourself to date) and make it fun is to make sure you’re showing up as the authentic “date you” rather than the more masculine, get-it-done “work you!”

“Work you” can be overstressed, tired, aggressive and cranky. She wants answers and she wants them now.

“Work you” can also be a woman who’s impatient, intolerant and rigid. Let’s be clear: This is not the way you want to show up for a date.

We’re not saying you have to turn into a damsel in distress or play the “dumb” card, but we do want you to be the best version of you: a successful woman who’s also rested, intelligent and a go-getter!

Either way, it’s important to be able to transition from “work you” to “date you” for your after-work meet and greets!

Dating with Dignity has some pointers for how to do this effortlessly:

1. Bring a bag with a sexy, fresh outfit.

If you get dressed and ready for your happy hour date at 8 a.m., chances are even if you get a chance to freshen up, you aren’t going to feel shiny and new.

Instead, bring a change of clothes and your “Dating with Dignity Sexy Alpha Fem Goody Bag.”

Your goody bag can include perfume, a pair of sexy power panties, power pumps, a hot new eyeliner that perhaps isn’t your basic black and a signature accessory that’s a great conversation piece.

Doing this quick change before you go out will help you get excited and into your feminine mojo, thus increasing your attraction factor dramatically.

“Rushing into a date without taking a
minute will ensure ‘work you’ shows up.”
2. Schedule an early workout the day of your post-work date.

An early morning yoga sesh is a wonderful way to start your day!

Not only will you pump yourself full of endorphins, but the two- to five-minute meditation at the end of your workout can help put you into a positive, hopeful state.

In addition, a healthy dose of early morning self-care will help you feel good about your curves (not to mention it ensures you take a shower before your date)!

Whether it’s yoga or a 20-minute walk around your block, moving your body in some way before your date will help bring good feminine energy to your evening.

3. Take a breath BEFORE you meet for drinks.

Rushing straight into a date and checking your email one last time while you’re waiting for him to arrive (or pick you up) without taking a minute to relax will definitely ensure “work you” shows up to meet your date.

Create a specific, intentional transition from work to romance. Shut down your computer, turn off your phone and take quiet time to connect to your feminine self.

Whether you meditate, take time to create the mental list of what you’re grateful for in your life as a single woman or just take three deep, diaphragmatic breaths, slowing down can help you transition seamlessly into making a good first impression.

Remember, having a career doesn’t mean you need to bring it on your date like a third wheel.

Leave that “work you” at work, connect to your sexy alpha female and remember dating with dignity can be fun!

So what do you think? How do you go from “work you” to “date you”? Do any of these tactics work for you?

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Getting through Divorce or Separation with Dignity and Integrity – 10 Pointers

1. Regardless of how it looks you’re not the only one suffering here.
The most painful aspect for most of the people that come to me to get over their heartbreak after divorce is that often they suspect their Ex doesn’t care at all. Either that or it looks like they’re about to get away with breaking up the family with no implications. This is very rarely true it’s just some people hide their feelings behind a wall you have no hope of seeing over.

2. You really must take responsibility for how heartbroken you feel and deal with it.
Your Ex is very unlikely to be even remotely interested in your emotional welfare regardless of what they’re saying. When it comes to getting through a divorce, defensive lines are often being drawn to allow for the separation. You’re probably going to need to develop a support structure that doesn’t involve your Ex thinking about life after divorce. In ‘How to Get Over a Breakup’ I talk about how to develop a breakup buddy and why you need one. Let’s face it, you probably feel like a bomb has just gone off in your life.

3. Do not try to turn your kids against the other parent.
Not only do you risk really messing them up but you could turn them against you. If not now then at some point in their future they will be able to think for themselves. They could be very unhappy if you’ve cost them 10 years with someone they now really like. 50% of their genetic make up comes from the person you may currently be enraged with. Do not make your kids your breakup buddies, it’s plain wrong and has been referred to as emotional incest.

4. Do not attempt to have friends pick sides
This kind of behavior comes from your feelings of heartbreak and the desperation and fear that occur. It’s natural and normal but you have a responsibility to figure out how to manage yourself. This could well be the the most painful thing that’s ever happened to you. If you don’t handle that pain well, you may well mess up the rest of your life too. You might want to take a look at how the grief letter is structured in ‘How to Get Over a Breakup’.

5. Trust that you will be able to manage on your own.
You might not remember this but you were once pretty capable all on your own. This is not going to kill you, you will figure things out and you will be OK. Especially if you start getting the support you need right now and don’t just wait for D-day.

6.Try to avoid getting litigious unless you really need to.
There are plenty of services designed to enable you to mediate your divorce. Even divorce lawyers hate it when couple’s start using the courts to fight personal battles. It gets ugly very fast. Again, there are better ways of dealing with your heartbreak. That said, there will be times when an Ex will behave in ways that are clearly abusive and for that you will need to go to court. Sorry.

7. Don’t start hiding money or assets.
There appear to be two sorts of men, at least within those I coach. The first behave in a way that is decent and above board aiming to keep their ex and kids well provided for. The second group start panicking about getting taken for all they’re worth and start behaving in ways that are less than their best. If this kind of thing starts to happen then it’s time to call in the lawyers as they know how to find the truth.

8. Start preparing right now.
You know how it takes 9 months for a baby to be born? That’s natures way of giving the parents time to prepare. Saying goodbye takes time to prepare too so don’t worry if it feels too daunting right now. In most cases it appears to take at least six months and often a year to separate out. You may well be living in the same house together for months as you work out what to do.

9. Make absolutely certain you’re making the right choice.
Getting a divorce is probably the most expensive thing you will ever do. On EVERY level! It really is worth investing solid energy in trying to figure out whether the marriage is definitely dead or you just feel like it should be. Through our ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ program people have experienced some amazing recoveries. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to make absolutely sure, I’m often picking up the pieces of regret for people and it’s not pretty.

10. Don’t do anything rash!
Trying to fit all this into a top ten is a long way from easy. This one is a bit of a catch all but hopefully it will cover whatever rash act you had in mind. Your emotions may be running extremely hot right now and you do not want to be basing your thinking on them. Take the time to get the support you need and potentially you could come out of this whole mess much quicker than you think.

If you feel like you’re ready to be in a relationship, join for FREE!

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How to Write a Dating Profile that gets You the Attention You Deserve

The Sad Truth About Men

Point number one is that men and women online date in an entirely different fashion. We may not actually be from different planets but we do have our differences. This is especially true when it comes to placing a profile on an internet dating site. You may be shocked to hear that men aren’t at all interested in what you write up in your profile. Not for a little while anyway. Firstly they look at your photo. And if they like that, then they look at your other photos to make sure the first one is actually realistic. This piece of dating advice may be a little painful but you need to remember that your man to be is, at heart, a hunter. At this point he’s still tracking game and only if you pass this test will he start to dig a little deeper.

This is where it gets interesting, he’s not going to read your profile, he’s going to scan it and look for words he finds interesting or, dare I say it, arouse his interest. I’m going to share something with you that I’ve observed because I’m on the inside when it comes to people getting results on dating sites. This may be painful for you to hear but it’s probably going to be less than shocking.


How to Capture a Man’s Attention

The women who put profiles together that get deluged with replies work in words like: flirting, amorous, playful, snogging, experimental, massage, riding, sunshine, intimate, great kissers. Now none of these are overly graphic, they don’t even begin to promise adult fun on your first date or anything like that, but they will get you a lot of attention. These are words that could be referred to as ‘trigger’ words. You can put them into any sentence and men are going to spot them and potentially drift off into a fantasy about you. This is a good thing. Capturing a man’s attention really isn’t all that difficult.

Recently I came across a couple of brilliant examples that were none too subtle but gracefully executed. One woman talked about herself being ‘colourful, fruity and a little bit naughty just like her favourite cocktail’. Another woman admitted to a love of rabbits and given the look of one of her photos it’s almost certain that she’s not talking about Bugs Bunny.

It’s no different from real life. You know you have friends who don’t appear to be anything special and yet they continually seem to be bathed in male attention for no reason that you can distinguish. It’s not because they are easy or anything like that, they’re just good at coming across as more fun than most other women.
Be Playful, Flirtatious and Give Men a Chance

This is where you get to make a personal choice, it’s entirely up to you. I’ve fought with clients over this piece of dating advice when they were getting miserable about the lack of response to their intelligently witty profile. What can I say, most men really are as shallow as you fear and it’s not just me. The good news is that there’s often more to men than meets the eye once you managed to capture his attention and get to know him.

All we’re talking about here is getting a man to make a buying decision which I talk more about in the tips below. You’re just making sure you get his full attention so you can then make a decision about whether you’re interested in going any further with him.

What amazes me is the level of resistance to being a little or, in some cases, a lot more flirty. Every woman I’ve ever spoken to loves kissing, can be amorous and in the right circumstances considers herself to be experimental and playful. Why not make it a selling point?

There are two major objections I hear to this idea:

I don’t want to sound like a slut. – Me neither, I don’t blame you. Just be careful about the words you use. There’s a world of difference between the word amorous and slutty. What do you think?
I want quality not quantity. Yes, I agree that getting 20 amorously interested messages next time you log into your account could be a little daunting but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Just get good at tossing out the rubbish. You don’t want to be eliminating options this early on.
So what if you decided to slip on your red heels, or whatever it is that allows you to vamp up a bit, as you wrote your profile? How would that change the way you portray yourself? Attraction is a subconscious process and a lot more primal than you may be comfortable with. Knowing this piece of dating advice, what could you do differently?


Dating Tips on Writing Profiles

Look at the cover of a men’s magazine to see what words trigger their buying response. If you really want to be clever, pick the ones you’d actually read, then you know you’re using the right words for your kind of a guy!
I used to run a program called Finding Miss Right for which we had next to no interest because that’s not where men are at. Most men start out looking for women who are fun to spend time with and may actually put out at some point. They then start to build a relationship. As Barbara DeAngelis says ‘men are looking for sex and women are looking for love’.
Remember that you’re still in charge with regard to the timing of any fooling around – you’re not making any promises, just engaging allusions. One of my number one pieces of dating advice is that sex on a first date is generally the kiss of death for a relationship. There are exceptions, but not many!


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The four signs of emotionally unavailable man

Are you frustrated by your “broken picker?” Learn how to navigate the tricky space between picky and selective using these four tips!

If you are sick of attracting men who are emotionally unavailable, it’s not because you have a “broken picker!” More likely, you are not listening to what he says (many women have selective hearing and interpret everything he says based on what they want), not listening to your gut, or jumping into a relationship so fast it makes it hard to get out when you know it’s the right thing to do.

Never fear, once you begin to recognize Dating With Dignity’s “Four Signs of the Emotionally Unavailable Man” and how to effortlessly spot him, you will never again have to wonder what it means when he disappears, flakes, is hot and cold, or is words and actions are just plain confusing.

Clue #1: He directly says it to YOU. Yes, men typically mean what they say and say what they mean. He may simply tell you he’s not looking for a relationship.

Drop the selective hearing, ladies, and start listening to the men you date immediately! He might tell you that you’re “amazing,” but he just can’t commit to anything right now.

One of the biggest fears of this type of man is becoming lost in a relationship and losing his freedom. Often times these people really do want to connect with someone but are too afraid to start anything because they know they really aren’t ready. And believe us: you can’t be “so amazing” that he flips his switch and becomes your perfect mate. It rarely to never happens.

Clue #2: He is in a relationship… with someone else.

He probably shares LOTS of information about his relationships, which might give you the impression that he’s sharing with you, and therefore you’re being emotionally intimate. But someone who is in a relationship with SOMEONE ELSE cannot possibly be as open with you as you deserve.

While this advice seems obvious, I can’t tell you how many women we see in our community who have been sold a pile of big doo doo when it comes to men being “sort of single.” Bottom line, ladies: these excuses DO NOT count:

  • We haven’t had sex in years.
  • We’re moving into separate places any day now. It’s financially difficult, but we’re working on it.
  • And, btw, I am miserable.
  • Once the kids are (insert any milestone here), we’re going to split.
  • We haven’t had sex in years. (Yes, it’s here twice because for some reason this one is a big seller.)
  • My wife is emotionally unstable. Soon…soon. She’s in therapy.
  • I don’t feel like this with her, and you’re amazing. I’m confused, but the truth is I love you. Can you be patient?
  • Get the picture?

Clue #3: He loves the chase; but once you respond positively, he stops calling.

Emotionally unavailable men have a push-pull strategy. They tend to pursue you hard toward the beginning. But once you let them know they’ve won you over, they pull away and often disappear for a week or two. If he has a consistent pattern of disappearing, this is a serious red flag.

It’s even more concerning when he can’t articulate what’s happening for him during these periods. If he uses the words “busy” regarding why he seems to vanish, run immediately in the other direction.

Clue #4: His words don’t match his actions.

When a man is full of mixed messages, it’s not a good sign. He may surprise you with a weekend getaway and then cancel on you several times in a row the next week.He also hates planning ahead, and talking about the future terrifies him.

Having the belief that you don’t deserve a whole, healthy, and satisfying relationship can be a reflection of low self esteem, and it’s at these points in your life that you’re more likely to settle for an emotionally unavailable man. There is no reason to settle.

So watch for these four signs of emotionally unavailable men, and make yourself available for someone who is emotionally available. You deserve the best!

If you feel like you’re ready to be in a relationship, join for FREE!

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Older Women Dating Younger Men: Doomed from the Start or Happily Ever After in Cougarville?

If you’re an older woman getting back in the dating game, it can be daunting to decide if someone is the right age for you. And more often than not, the question is, “Is he too young for me?”

If you’re an older woman dating a younger man, is it doomed from the start or will you be happily ever after?

There are a few things at play here. It’s very possible that an older woman dating a younger man can have a lasting relationship and live happily ever after in Cougarville! If you’re in your forties and feel like you have a young soul and body, it might be easy as pie for you to attract a guy in his mid- or late twenties (or thirties!), and to that we say “Good for you!” We at Dating with Dignity aren’t “age-ists!” However, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you may want to proceed with caution. (And not for the reasons you may think).

Here’s why:

An older woman does pose an alluring challenge for a younger man. Not only is she at her most confident, but this woman has got it together. She supports herself and is very in touch with her needs. Some younger men feel like they can learn from her and that she has enough life experience for both of them. Older women tend to exude a more “together” vibe, seeming to be more in tune with her needs (physical or otherwise), which makes her very attractive to younger men.

The problem, however, can be that an older woman is simply a challenge for the younger man. And since it’s likely he’s in a different stage of his life (just beginning to establish his career, getting to know himself, and possibly not yet ready to make a long-term commitment) and you’re beyond that point, it can be a dealbreaker for a potential relationship.

Ultimately, in this scenario, being younger impacts his values. And since we believe a match made in heaven is based on common values, you may be setting yourself up to be in a mismatch from the get-go.

However, as long as you’re both open and honest with each other and have discussed your needs, wants, expectations and values…then go for it. This is EXTREMELY important and will make or break where your relationship is headed.

Some other potential issues that can arise if an older woman is dating a younger man:

There’s a chance you’ll experience some insecurities or anxiety about whether a younger guy will stray, but that can only happen if you haven’t mastered your own self-confidence that a guy is with you for the right reason. If you’re confident that he loves you for a host of reasons beyond your looks and the ego boost he gets from “landing” you as his woman, then it’s imperative you trust him and the relationship you’re building (which is true in any relationship, regardless of age).

Another challenge is that most women want to be in a relationship with an “Alpha Male.” If, however, as an older woman you have a more difficult time letting him take the alpha role, you may ultimately end up feeling like you’re the one who’s “in charge.” It’s imperative that you stay in your feminine, even if you’re more financially stable, have more life experience than him, and are dying to tell him what you would do if you were in his shoes.

In order for the relationship to thrive, you must find places in the relationship where you can be in your feminine. Ask him for help around the house, put him in charge of travel, let him cook you a special meal, and be comfortable in sharing your vulnerabilities with him. If you’re able to navigate gender roles and live in your SEXY Alpha FEMinine, the relationship can work for the long term.

Doom Indicators

If you’re a woman who feels stigmatized by the relationship, it’s likely headed in the wrong direction. December-May is always going to be looked at in a different light than May-December; so unless you can ignore others’ opinions about your relationship with a younger man, you’ll be out of luck.

If you’re a woman who has insecurity about aging (Okay, who doesn’t?) and it’s affecting your relationship because you’re constantly asking your man to validate your youth, it will be hard to pull off.

If you’re in a different stage of love than your guy and you haven’t communicated about it, you’ll need to do that.It’s important he be on the same page as you in terms of making a long-term commitment, having a family, and career goals.


Some studies have shown that if a wife is five or more years younger than her husband, they’re much more likely to avoid divorce. However, other studies have shown that divorce rates have absolutely nothing to do with age differences between men and women. This could be that often times older women dating younger men have already been married and decide to skip tying the knot again, so ask yourself what you’re looking for. If it’s a long-term relationship, just be open and honest with any man (younger OR older) and you can definitely find yourself happily ever after in Cougarville.

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The reasons why you are still single…

You’re happy with the direction your career is going, and that’s great! You’re in good shape, excellent health, and have a wonderful circle of friends: awesome! Do you still find yourself wondering why you haven’t caught the train that will bring true love into your life?

Chances are you’re among those strong, successful women who are being tripped up by a few limiting beliefs that are keeping them single. We suspect, then, that you might be one of of us in the Dating with Dignity community who’s guilty of “doing your life” and then waiting — or even hoping — for someone to waltz into your life. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Love will just happen“ or “This will work itself out”? Or, “If I just keep putting myself out there, then Mr. Right will bump into me at Starbucks”?

As much as that is a nice thought, you’re probably going to be rudely awakened when you wait, and wait, and wait, AND wait. After all, if 2013 was going to be your year and NOTHING has changed since December 2012, then perhaps it’s time to take a second look at your “wait and see” approach.

But thinking that if you just keep on doing your version of Groundhog Day mixed in with a few girls’ nights out and catching up on work during the weekends to feel better going into the next week without examining what’s not working and building new skills in the relationship department? No, that makes it likely that you won’t get closer to your goal of a serious long-term relationship anytime soon.

So how can you get rid of this #1 thought that keeps smart, successful women “chronically single” and start making moves to improve your love life?

1. Give yourself a loving and RAW reality check. Think about how your beliefs have served you in your recent past. Has love “just happened?” (We’re guessing no.) Has your relationship status changed to reflect new love in your life, or has the box marked “single” been checked for awhile? Remind yourself that if something hasn’t worked in the past, it probably won’t work in the future.

2. Join a dating site or a group where you can expand your social circle. The simple act of creating a profile online, even if you don’t end up actively pursuing online dating, puts the energy into the universe that you are AVAILABLE. (check out: Love for the Second Time)

Not ready to get online? Find a club or class that meets regularly and start to notice if your dating “cab light” is even on. Who are you attracting? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Is it hard to motivate yourself to go each week, or are you excited about putting action into your intention to find love? Do you judge yourself? Are you judging and evaluating others?

Whatever comes up for you — negative or positive — the good news is that you’ve arrived at a starting point. Merely isolating or staying stuck in a social rut doesn’t allow you to truly see what’s working and what’s not. And if you do meet someone fabulous, then we can confidently say that it just took a little action to get your love life into gear. If not, then you now have some deeper work to do that can, once resolved, open up your heart to dating in a brand new way.

3. Work on your negotiables and non-negotiables to figure out if you need to adjust anything to attract the right person into your life. Are you too picky? Are you afraid that you have to settle and have given up on having expectations? Or do you meet someone and jump into seeing him as who you want him to be rather than recognizing that you may not know the “real” deal until three months into the relationship? We suggest you sign up with one of our dating coaches if you need that little extra nudge.

4. Do self-analysis on the parts of your life that you need to improve. Start with yourself. If it’s dieting that you need to work on, talk to a nutritionist or sign up for a new fitness class; get friends to join you! The bottom line is that we know that in order to attract an amazing man and become perpetually irresistible, you have to release the patterns, beliefs, thoughts and actions that keep you stuck in a romantic rut.

Next, it’s time to fall in love with you and design a robust life you absolutely love (single or not); only then can you start to date with dignity. Following this secret formula will ensure you get out of “waiting for love to find me” mode and into action!

5. Get a partner to join you. If you have another single friend, it will be easier to get yourself out there. Go to the speed dating event you’ve seen flyers for. If you need to tell yourself it’s for “research purposes” or even to make new friends, go ahead!

Making sure you rid yourself of the women in your life who are consistently Debbie Downers is an important part of dating with dignity. Sometimes even your best of friends can unconsciously sabotage your efforts to change it up because they’re afraid you will change without them. Hold yourselves accountable to make sure that another month, quarter and year doesn’t accidentally slip by.

Just Get. Yourself. Out. There. Stop waiting for love to just show up. Make it come to you.

If you are ready to be in a relationship, join for FREE!

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Should you sleep with him on the first date?

Even if the chemistry you are feeling on a first date is out of this world, it’s probably best to hold off on sleeping with someone (no matter how awesome he may be).

Although some relationships do last, whether or not you sleep with someone on the first date, Dating with Dignity has a few smart reasons not to do it.

1. A test.

Waiting to sleep with someone is kind of a loose “test” to see if you have the values your date is looking for.

If you have any interest beyond simply sleeping with someone, waiting until you get to know them a wee bit better is certainly going to work in your favor.

Men actually like a challenge. The pursuit to sleep with a girl is directly linked to their idea of romantic potential!

Plus, if your date disappears after you don’t sleep together, you probably weren’t looking for the same thing anyway.

Waiting creates anticipation, and the good guys will hang around.

Remember you don’t ever “owe” him anything, no matter how much dough he spent on dinner!

“If you get intimate slowly over time, you really
get to know each other in an authentic way.”

2. Emotional and physical feelings.

You allow your emotional feelings to catch up with your physical feelings.

So you’re on the first date and it’s the BEST first date you’ve been on. Sparks are flying and you are thinking you may just go home with him. He’s so hot!

But wait and remember this: You don’t even know where he lives. You also don’t know what his brother’s name is or when the last time he had a girlfriend was.

You might know if he has a roommate because he just told you five seconds ago, but you basically only have skeletal knowledge of this guy’s life.

And you should know a whole lot more before you hop into bed with someone you want to get to know long term.

Good things come to those who wait! High levels of physical chemistry are awesome, but so are high levels of liking each other and getting to know each other.

Get to form some thoughts about his college major and a real opinion about what he thinks of global warming before you get to know his naked self. And let him do the same!

So often we fall for the potential of someone based on a physical connection rather than collecting data about who he really is so we can making a calm, conscious choice.

3. You now get to set the pace of the relationship.

If you sleep with a guy on the first date, you’ve probably lost the ability to control the speed at which your relationship progresses.

In the event you do sleep with him, he may think it’s likely you do this with every guy you go on a first date with – in which case, the pace could lead to the finish line right away.

The result? Game over and he may never call you again.

If you slow it down and get intimate slowly over time, you really get to know each other in an authentic way.

Plus, once you hit the sheets, the days of lingering over coffee and dessert, walks on the beach and talking until three in the morning will most likely end.

Instead, you will be doing the deed day and night. And, if he is really “The One,” why end the delicious experience of making out like teenagers that typically ends once you have sex?

Most important, if he is interested, although he will probably still be trying to get in your pants (we are all animals after all,) he will probably also be trying to get into your heart.

What ways do you keep a date exciting without having sex on the first date?

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What men want in a relationship

What DO men want in a relationship? It’s an age-old question. If you’ve already read “Dating with Dignity’s Guide to What Men Really Want: Three Myths and Three Truths to Stop Wondering Today!”, you’re headed in the right direction. The problem is, women think the obvious answer to this important question is, well, sex and dinner. While those are two lovely components of a relationship, however, mature, emotionally available men want other things in a relationship as well.

What follows are the Dating with Dignity “Hit Parade” of the Top Three Things Grown Up Men Want in a Healthy Relationship:

1. Respect. Period. Men want to be your hero. (Which, in the 21st century, can be challenging to a woman who doesn’t really “need” a hero.) That said, it’s important for you to find opportunities to show respect to the man you care about. Whether it’s through a juicy compliment or a handwritten Post-it note that says, “Babe, loved the way you handled that customer service rep yesterday.” Kind and Direct = Super Hot!

Showing respect to your man and what he does for you makes him feel like he’s doing something right. Even though it’s 2012, a man wants to feel like he’s providing for you in a masculine way. When you vocalize your respect for him, he’ll feel like he’s in a relationship that is worth his time.

Another “stealth” action you can take to give him that respect is to let him lead. Let him plan a special date, and don’t always be the one suggesting activities. When he does suggest an activity say “Yes!” without giving your “better” alternative.

And finally, a man wants to be in a relationship where he doesn’t feel like he’s in a pressure cooker. Letting him lead and allowing him to go through his process of discovering you’re “the one” in his own way (assuming your relationship is progressing consistently over time) ensures that he’s truly relationship ready and committed.

2. Encouragement and Appreciation. Along with respect, men really appreciate your appreciation! With your support, your man can be a better person for both himself and you.

So when he’s working on a big project for work or training for a 10k, don’t forget to give him some specific, sincere words of encouragement. Before an important meeting, leave him a note with an inside joke or just a simple “I love you.” Tell him you appreciate the special date he planned when he chooses a fab new restaurant, takes time to make the reservation, chooses THE romantic corner table, and then asks if you are “good.” Let him know that changing your lightbulbs totally rocked your world, or that you love how he brings you tea at night, even when you don’t ask. When you’re supportive of your man, it helps him remember why he wants to share his life with someone in the first place.

3. Companionship. As much as a man wants the freedom to watch the game with his friends or go out for a beer with the guys, he also wants to be in a relationship with someone who he can go to the grocery store with and who might even watch the game with him once in awhile. (Knowing what a touchdown is would be a bonus.)

What’s more, one of the top things men say they’re looking for in a woman in their online dating profile is “a sense of humor.” The ability not to take everything seriously (or personally) and laugh about the anchor’s toupee while watching the nightly news (or The Newsroom!) will make a man feel like he made the right choice.

Being able to do fun activities together will make your relationship healthy. So remember that while you chose each other, you have to keep your choices lively! Take a staycation and watch the first two seasons of Breaking Bad, have a BBQ for two, or try that new restaurant with the pork belly tacos everyone is talking about. And don’t forget to be in the moment, allowing yourself to have a good time and stay out of analysis paralysis.

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