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How to Enjoy Being Single While you Prepare for Mr. Right

My next book is for all the single women out there who are having a hard time enjoying being single. You might be single mom dating or a woman fresh out of college, if so, my new book Riding Solo can help you.

Inside you’ll find issues addressed that you have emailed me about. Issues like rumination and the lack of single quality men. I’m going to talk about what is going on in your mind and how to change some of the beliefs that are causing you to hate being single.

Build Yourself and He Will Come will be a constant theme that I will be hammering home!

Men are attracted to happy, confident women not women who rely on their confidence based on a man. It’s like putting the cart before the horse – don’t do it!

You may find yourself now wanting to pursue a relationship, but you have these types of thoughts banging around in your head:

  • All of the good guys are already taken
  • Men my age date much younger women
  • I’m too out of practice to make a good girlfriend or wife
  • I’m too independent to be in a relationship

While these may seem like valid thoughts, they are railroading your desire to be in a relationship. These inner thoughts are sabotaging your efforts. They all qualify as negative self-talk and they all hinder what you think is your goal of having a great relationship.

Not only that, these thoughts are ideas you’ve conjured up in your mind. They are not true but, you’ve come to believe they’re true. These are called self-limiting beliefs. You will be learning how to get rid of those very soon!

Everyone tells you to enjoy being single – embrace it. Grow. Don’t you hate hearing that!

How to Enjoy Being Single

Remember that trip to Greece you wanted to take? How about those violin lessons you never finished? As we speak, people are lying on their death beds wishing they lived their lives differently. They’re regretting chances they didn’t take.

In order to accomplish these things, you might want to consider suspending the endless pursuit of just any man and take a break! Make this the season of you. The year of you. There are plenty of new opportunities in the future to become one with another person, but that time is not now.

You have work to do.

You are capable of more than you realize. You just got sidetracked along the way by life. Maybe it was your lack of financial stability that delayed your dreams or maybe you didn’t want to date when your children were young. It doesn’t matter.

For now, you are single and you have no excuses. Still, your default thought process says you must get into a relationship or you’re a failure. That thought process isn’t getting you anywhere! I know because I was single for most of my life and it was the best thing that happened to me!

Change is in the air…

Look for Riding Solo in early 2019!

The post Riding Solo – Embrace Being Single! appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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How Many Dates Before Sex?

First Date Sex? My thoughts are evolving on this subject as I listen to my readers and hear what is actually happening on Saturday nights.

My initial advice has always been to only have sex after a man has proven his worth through a series of tests that you put him through – without his knowledge of course.

Right now, I want to ‘tweak’ my advice to fit what I am hearing more and more – people want instant gratification and they don’t want to wait for it.

In other words, they want sex now!

I get it.

Younger people are having sex on the first or second date. Older women might have gone years in a sexless marriage and want their sexual desires satisfied now – not when the two of you decide to be exclusive.

Time after time, I get the email saying, Gregg I f****d up – I slept with him too soon now what?

Having sex on the first or second date can lead to some awkward moments. You know, like getting up in the morning, hungover, and wanting to get the heck out of there. And then wandering if he will treat you with respect for having sex so soon.

So what if you could change your mindset? What if you could go into the date thinking,

Hey, what happens will happen. If I feel comfortable enough and want to have sex with this guy, I’m going to go for it and have no regrets. I’m not going to let myself get attached. I am going to treat this like I just got what I wanted!

That’s a bold, new way of treating the age-old question of – how many dates before sex should I have?

It’s how you react to him after you have sex that matters

This is where it gets good! Now you can use all my best tactics to lure him in.


You treat him like you are the ‘player guy.’ Get out of bed and go home without cuddling. If he is at your apartment, kick him the heck out!

Yes, you heard me right.

Grab his number and don’t call him. When he texts, and he will I bet, get back to him on your own sweet time. Then, when he plans a date, postpone it, and then set it up at your convenience.

Basically, do the opposite of what you want to do – assuming you like him.

What? Why? You’ve been drinking Gregg!

No. this is brilliant actually. You lost some of your power by sleeping with him so soon and this is how you gain it back. You show him that you were the one who got what you wanted.

This puts his precious ego in a tail spin because he just got introduced to your two, little, friends:

Challenge and Mystery!

This was taken away after having sex – now he knows that he must work hard to get you back in the sack. And even harder if he wants to be your girlfriend. He is quickly learning that he didn’t win anything that night – there is no follow-up to the evening reminding him how awesome he was.

Nope. Just the sound of crickets. Chirp. Chirp.

Put an expiration date on him like milk in the frig

First Date Sex? Go for it if you have the confidence!

You did great! You have lured him in, and you are dating on a regular basis because you are gauging his interest in you and reciprocating the same amount (or less) interest towards him.

And it’s working.

Now, set the time when he needs to step up his game and become exclusive with you. This maybe two months or four months – you set the rule. At that time, you challenge him to crap or get off the pot or you will need to move on.

This ultimatum works because you are coming from a position of power that you earned through your earlier moves. You are never whining and begging for him to marry you. Nope. It’s not necessary.

Wrapping Up | How Many Dates Before Sex?

If you have the confidence to pull first date sex off then forget the old rules and do it. Decide what is best for you. Care less how he will feel towards you. Have fallback guys in case this guy reveals himself as a total player.

Keep your emotions in check by realizing it was you who got what you wanted and not just him.

The key here is to prove, afterward having sex, that your time is valuable, and he is not – at least not yet anyway.

Now, you can go back to the old rules and do your screening while you set a time limit on his butt!

For more great tips on having first date sex go here!

You’re my motivation!

The post Just How Many Dates Before Sex Should a Woman Have? appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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Can a Man and a Woman be Friends without an Undercurrent of Romance?

It’s the age-old question, should my boyfriend have female friends? If you’re old enough, perhaps you think Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan settled this in their blockbuster rom com of 1989, When Harry Met Sally.

So who got it right?

The real question at play is this: can a man and a woman be friends without an undercurrent of romance?

Crystal’s character says no – always an undercurrent of romance. Ryan’s character says men and women can be friends without romance. Let’s find out who’s right…

As with anything else, the answer to this question depends on who you ask in a scientific study. While the movies have pursued this more than social science has, still, we have a little bit of data we can examine to find an answer for you.

I often say that I make no apologies for my gender and this is no exception. As it turns out, according to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, men firmly believe that any woman they know is attracted to them.

The study, which included 88 pairs of male-female friends (only) subjects, shows that the men studied felt the level of attraction their female friends had was much greater than it truly was. Additionally, the men in the study showed a higher level of sexual attraction to their female friends than the females felt toward the men.

Does he like these women or are they just friends?

The women in the study less frequently indicated that they were sexually attracted to their male friends – a real disappointment to the men if they knew, I’m sure!

Should My Boyfriend Have Female Friends?

To answer the question fully, however, we need to add another element to the mix. Your own confidence – and perhaps his. Confidence plays a big role in jealousy and if you’re asking this question, it’s probably because of jealousy.

People who are jealous generally lack confidence. Science tells us that jealousy is related to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Moodiness, anxiety and emotional instability
  • Feeling inadequate in the relationship – you’re not good enough for this guy
  • Codependent relationships – one or both of you rely on the other too much for emotional support – your mood hinges on his, if he’s away from you too much you melt down, etc.
  • A tendency toward the feeling that your relationship partner will leave you or won’t love you enough

So, this brings us back to the original question: should my boyfriend have female friends? The answer is a little more complicated than yes or no.

Science tells us that if your boyfriend has female friends, he might overestimate how much his female friend is attracted to him. This could be an ego boost for him, indicating he may be lacking some confidence of his own. He has some need to see how many women he can find who will like him.

On the other hand, not all men feel this way. After all, nothing is 100%. Your guy could genuinely feel no attraction to his female friend. He may really just want to be friends with her.

The study explored reasons the men gave for wanting female friends. They go something like this, they want:

  • A female perspective on the mind of their girlfriend – an interpreter of sorts – someone who speaks female
  • Someone to seek out when they need advice
  • Someone who can provide them with emotional support
  • Someone with whom they can easily discuss their emotions
  • Someone with whom they have shared experiences
  • The possibility of romance

There were other reasons, but these are the highest ranking. With older men, having someone to pal around with was also high ranking as was having someone to have fun with.

Some of the men’s reasons for wanting a gal pal aren’t so bad. They want to understand you better and they want someone other than their girlfriend or wife to go to for emotional support.

That one is big because men don’t navigate their emotions like women do. The fact that men want someone with whom they can be free emotionally isn’t a surprise. Men aren’t usually raised to show emotions so it’s new territory.

A guy in a new relationship might not want to jeopardize his standing with you by showing you his emotions. He might not yet be sure that you’ll respond in a way which will make him feel understood and not judged.

As time passes, if you show him you’ll accept his show of emotion without trying to fix it or judge him, he will share these things with you.

So here’s the ultimate (non) answer to your question: it depends on you and your guy.

Do men ever just want to be friends with a woman?

If you are both very confident individuals, he may have very innocent reasons for wanting a female friend. They may have been friends since they were both in diapers. They may have suffered a tragedy together or experienced something huge together. Their history might make them uniquely bonded, but not romantically.

Also, if you recall the data I cited earlier, the odds of the female friend feeling the same sexual attraction to your guy as he feels toward her is somewhat low. She’s much less likely to think of him as a potential boyfriend.

If, however, one or both of you are lacking confidence, this isn’t going to work. Your jealousy will make you distrust him. His lack of confidence means he likes the feeling of more than one woman being attracted to him.

A female friend for a man can be very comforting and can give him the decoding he needs from time to time. If you respond to something he says or does in a way which confuses him, he has a gal pal to go to for interpretation.

Chances are, he is clueless as to what he did or said but a female friend can bop him on the head and say, “You bozo, she wanted you to tell her those shoes were great. She didn’t want to hear, ‘uhhh I guess they’re okay’.”

He can do a mental head-slap and come back to you, apologetic and in a better position to understand what he did to tick you off and why. He’ll even know how to fix it.

You have to know and understand your level of confidence and that of your boyfriend. Here’s a hint – if your confidence is low, his is likely also low. Quality, confident men don’t go for women with low confidence and self-esteem.

Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life

Build an impenetrable wall around your relationship by learning how to keep a man for life by putting pennies in the jar. When you know how to accomplish this, he will never leave you!

You have new shopping choices! You can now support me as an author by purchasing your Kindle, ePub or PDF version right here on my website! Simply click “Buy it Here”.

With over 250K books sold, Gregg Michaelsen dominates the dating advice world by offering easy-to-follow, game-changing advice. Just read the reviews above!

The post Should My Boyfriend Have Female Friends? appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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8 Tips to Stop Being Insecure

Am I pushing him away with my insecurities? You met your ultimate Mr. Right. All of a sudden, he’s all you can think about. Day in and day out, your mind is on your new guy and how great he is. You spend way too much time wondering if he feels the same way about you.

This translates into multiple texts, emails and phone calls a day. You are fixated on him but what happens? He pulls back! This is crazy! He showed all sorts of signs that he felt something for you. Why is he now retreating?

Upon his retreat, you text more. You try harder to keep him by cooking his favorite meals and inviting him for dinner, buying his favorite beer or suggesting you hang out at his favorite place. He might show up occasionally, but you can feel his detachment.

So you try harder.

The next thing you know, he rarely answers your texts and you don’t see him. He’s gone rogue in a big way.

You’re left wondering what happened. Did he find another woman? Did you do something to push him away? What’s going on?

Okay so here’s what’s going on. You began to fixate on him. First because you liked him so much.

Yeah, he noticed.

Then, you began to fixate on him more and more. It’s like one of those balance scales – the more you fixated on him, the more he retreated until – POOF – he was gone.

Let’s dig a little deeper and see if we can uncover what happened.

Pushing Him Away With My Insecurities | Your mind got the better of you

I’ve got a better plan!

Our minds are masters at playing tricks on us. Your conscious mind is operating on past history. In the past, when a man has begun to get distant, he eventually leaves. That’s what your mind knows.

When you meet a new guy and things are all hot and heavy, your mind says, “Hey, this is looking good so I’ll proceed as before.”

You’re feeling those squishy feelings of love early on – probably too early. You’re totally hot for this guy and every minute spent with him, either by text, phone or Skype, is like gold.

Unfortunately, your history is that guys leave – or else why would you be dating a new guy? Okay so your mind says, “Eventually, this guy will leave too”.

You begin to obsess

Now, you begin to obsess. You don’t want this guy to leave! You want him to stay! He’s awesome!! What can you do to get him to stay with you?

You’re thinking about this all of the time. You text him all the time with stuff he doesn’t want to read like “Hey what’cha doin?” or “What’s up?”.

When he doesn’t reply, your mind kicks in again with something like, “He’s gonna leave. They all leave” and your obsession gets a little more intense.

He pulls away

The problem you can’t see because you’re right in the middle of it is that the more obsessing you do, the less he responds to you. Still, he will root for you for a while. He’ll give you hope and say things like “No, everything is fine, I’m just super busy at work” when you ask about his absence.

Things aren’t fine. He isn’t super busy. He’s probably dating someone else or at least thinking about it.


He doesn’t want to be your hobby. He doesn’t want you doting on him. He doesn’t want to answer 30 texts from you a day, especially “What’s up?” texts.

It’s a vicious circle

So he’s pulling back. You’re ramping up your texts. You’re furiously trying to pull him back in but the truth is that all of your efforts to win him back are actually proving to him why he needs to get out.

At some point, sooner than later, you get the email/text/phone call that says, “I need some space” or “I think we should see other people”. That sort of thing.

And here we are. Back at the beginning. You’re frustrated, angry, disappointed and upset because you don’t know what happened.

Pushing Him Away With My Insecurities | It’s a confidence thing

A confident woman doesn’t spend one iota of time worrying about whether or not a guy is into her. Nope. No siree. A confident woman knows that any guy she dates is a guy she has carefully chosen to be part of her life. HE is lucky to be dating her!

When your insecurities get the better of you, it’s because your dating confidence is too low. You don’t believe a guy could ever want to be with you for an extended period of time and when one does show interest, it’s almost too hard to believe.

You double down your efforts to keep him but those efforts are transparent and he can immediately see your lack of confidence. He might not identify it in that way and most guys won’t tell you that’s why they’re breaking up with you but he knows.

What can you do to change?

Let’s do this!

While this relationship is probably lost, there is time to work on yourself before meeting another guy.

1) Take a small dating break

While you fix things, it’s best not to enter the dating world. You’re in a good place to work things through and having a new guy in your life won’t provide you with the personal clarity you need to do this the right way.

The dating break should last as long as it takes for you to believe that you deserve a good guy, that you’re the chooser, not grateful to be chosen and that you are one heck of a great catch for some lucky guy! Until then, do the work.

2) Change your inner game

The first thing you need to do is work on your inner game or your inner voice. All of those breakups from the past have left you in a bad place. Your mind processes the same inputs and spews out the responses it has stored from history.

When you build your confidence, you reprogram some of those responses. “I’m not good enough for him” or “He’s going to leave eventually” become “Any guy would be lucky to have me” and “If he’s lucky, I’ll keep him around for a while”.

In my book, Comfortable in Your Own Shoes, I help you move through improving your inner game and other steps you need to become a confident woman.

3) Work on your confidence

Changing your inner game is part of what you need to do to boost your confidence but you also need to do some other things like face some fears and set some boundaries.

Facing fears takes bravery and this builds confidence. If you fear spiders, at least look at some through the glass at the zoo. If you fear heights, go stand at the railing of the upper level at the mall. Do whatever it takes to knock those fears out of the park!

Setting boundaries is crucial to confidence because it helps you take a stand and stops you from being a doormat. If someone tries to cross a boundary like no sex on the first date, he’s gone. If you have a boundary that your date will pick you up on time and he continually blows it by showing up 30 minutes late, start driving yourself to dates and if he’s 30 minutes late, he finds an empty table.

Right now, you’re shaking your head – no no no I would never leave a date! Yes, you would if you had boundaries! Boundaries cause people to respect you. He will either be on time the next time or he will exit the relationship. Good riddance.

4) End the “it’s always me” thought pattern

I’m sorry to tell you this but his world doesn’t revolve around you.

No, I’m not calling you an egomaniac. What I’m saying is that your low confidence has you thinking that everything he does, positive or negative, is about you. He doesn’t want to come over and watch a rom-com with you? It’s because he doesn’t like you.

He doesn’t want to meet your parents on a Wednesday night? It’s because he isn’t serious about you.

Those are the false truths your mind has conjured up. Try to see the facts of a situation. He wasn’t in the mood for a rom-com. Or, he wanted to hang with his friends. Maybe, he was exhausted after a long work day and didn’t want to meet your parents when he wasn’t feeling 100%.

5) Unload old relationship baggage

Check your baggage at the door!

Men can sniff out a bitter woman from 100 paces. If you have old relationship baggage, you might come off as bitter. This isn’t productive if you want to begin a new relationship and have any chance at success.

If you find yourself saying stuff like “Men really suck” or “All men are liars”, you probably need a time out to unload that past hurt.

Carrying past hurt and anger is only causing pain to one person – you. You’re allowing someone to live rent-free in your head, to sabotage your thoughts and hold you hostage. You may need to seek professional help if the baggage is particularly heavy.

6) Alter your communication skills

Effective communication is key in any relationship. When you’re communicating with a potential or current boyfriend, it’s a big deal to get it right.

The problem with communication is that we usually come at something from our own side. When I was a boy, I needed new hockey skates. I demanded that my mother buy me some. This got me nowhere. Had I come at her from her point of view, I would have had new skates.

What I should have said was, “Hey Mom, if I help you around the house this weekend with some chores, could I get new hockey skates?” Now, I’m recognizing that she’s a busy woman and I’m offering to help her so she will help me.

You might not need new skates but you still need to keep this lesson in mind. It really deserves its own book (which I happen to have written already). In The Power to Communicate, you can read more about my skates and other stories from my life that focus on improving your communication.

7) Check your paranoia at the door

It’s important to allow your partner to earn your trust and vice versa. In order to do that, you need to avoid paranoid behaviors which can cause that trust to deteriorate.

If you don’t trust him but there is no basis for your distrust (he hasn’t cheated, etc.), it’s probably you who has the issue. Trust issues are common so don’t feel like you’re different. The important thing is to be real with what you believe, trust him until he proves to you he can’t be trusted and keep your eyes wide open so you don’t trust someone you shouldn’t.

Snooping through his phone or email is not trustful. Sneaking around town, looking to see if he’s where he said he would be is not trustful. If you find he’s cheating on you or lying to you, dump him. He doesn’t deserve you. Otherwise, trust him and grow that trust into a beautiful relationship.

8) Become an independent woman

This one is HUGE. Co-dependent relationships NEVER work. Let me say that again. Co-dependent relationships never work. I recently spoke to a 17-year old girl whose parents have been divorced for several years. While her mother has her act together, her dad is another story.

She stated to me that when her dad and his new wife (who is 12 years younger) are apart from one another for more than 24 hours, they come undone. She asked me why. I told her that they were co-dependent. She said, “Yeah, I don’t want to be like that!”

I affirmed her belief and told her how she could stay an independent young lady. Her mother is a great example, which I pointed out to her. I told her to be strong, to be financially stable and to be sure of herself. She also told me she doesn’t want to date and is really just enjoying her life as it is right now. This tells me she’s on the right track.

Am I Pushing Him Away With My Insecurities? Concluding thoughts

If you are insecure, you will chase men off. The only men you won’t chase off are insecure men. This leads you down the path to a co-dependent relationship. In order to be one-half of a successful relationship, build your confidence, believe you’re worthy of a quality man and have self-esteem. You need to be independent, strong, financially stable and heavy baggage-free.

This is all possible! I know you can do it! Now, get going!!

The post Am I Pushing Him Away With My Insecurities? 8 Tips to Stop appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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How to Bring Back Sexual Tension with Your Guy

Sexual tension does not have to fade in a relationship. I’ve been studying the connection between love and sex. I see couples who love each other but have no desire to have sex anymore and it confuses me.

Being a street guy, I know challenge and mystery play a huge part in sexual desire. Take it away and, sexual desire might suffer.


Intimacy and sexual desire work in opposition to one another. It’s like a cruel joke. The closer we get and the more we know about one another, the faster mystery and challenge begin to die. Boredom sets in.

And yet isn’t the goal to get closer and gain intimacy with the person you love?

Balance Intimacy with Independence

Yes, but there should be a balance.

When two people start dating, their lives are separate – independent from one another. You naturally begin to wonder about him and your future together.

What does he do?

What’s his favorite ice cream?

How will he make love to me?

Will we get married and have kids?

These are the mysteries of the relationship. Mystery creates sexual tension and excitement. You crave being together more.

Intimacy comes from the great weekend hikes or the stay at the B&B where everything went wrong (but you still had a great time). It comes from date nights where you touch base and heading off to a winery for an impromptu weekend getaway.

Intimacy is great, but it breeds a type of boredom that can crush sexual desire. It’s full of activities you do together.

The very closeness that you work toward takes away the independence that breeds sexual desire.

How to Build Sexual Tension with a Man

Take John and Sally. They have been married for five years and the sex has fallen way off. Sally gave up her friends and hobbies to be with John. These were initially some of the mysteries about Sally that John loved.

He pushed her to start spending time with her friends and pursuing her hobbies again. Their intimacy was overwhelming for him and he craved the mystery that had disappeared.

Not understanding his motivations, Sally took this as rejection. She wanted to love John her way without thinking about or understanding any of his needs.

John needed space from Sally to bring back the desire that was originally created when they each lived their own independent parts of their lives.

It was an invitation, not a rebuff.

John didn’t fully understand the why either, but he knew it was better when they both had their independent and separate areas of their lives.

Separation creates a sense of insecurity that allows desire to flourish!

Let him wonder what you are up to

It’s good for a man to wonder in a healthy way what you are up to. It’s okay for him to see you leave dressed up to go out and hang out with your friends.

He will spend the evening wondering what you’re doing and anxiously awaiting your return!

This is a good way to create that sexual tension in a relationship.

When you seek to become one in your relationship, you kill sexual desire. It cannot exist when there is no independence for both partners.

It’s the separation – the mystery which keeps sexual desire for one another alive!

Use separation to change things up.

This doesn’t mean you’re suddenly gone every night. Maybe it’s once a week or every couple of weeks.

If you communicate with one another, you can find out if one or the other is feeling suffocated.

Suffocation occurs when independence has died and sexual desire is about to die along with it. When independence is used properly, intimacy and desire can co-exist.

Every individual should maintain a separate part of themselves, whether in or out of a relationship.

It’s not about keeping secrets or hiding your past. It’s about keeping part of yourself to yourself. This might be things you’re working on or fantasizing about.

Love wants to know all – desire needs mystery. When you strike the balance between the two, you have a healthy, happy relationship.

Keep the Sexual Tension Alive!

A great man isn’t hard to find or hard to keep if you know how to do it! In my first dating advice book, Who Holds The Cards Now, I help women diffuse potentially negative situations with techniques that work! Inside this book is what I call Kryptonite. Kryptonite consists of five powerful techniques you can begin using as soon as you read about them. This book contains tools to help you:

  • See an immediate, noticeable change in his behavior
  • Build his attraction for you – again
  • Get him to make more plans with you, less with his friends
  • Solve your relationship issues without whining, complaining or getting emotional

The post Lack of Sexual Tension in Your Relationship? Restore your Independence! appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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The 5 Relationship Stages

Whether you recognize it or not, a man and a woman go through stages of a relationship as it progresses. At some point, during each of these stages, there is a decision to ditch the relationship or move on.

Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced both.

The problem many couples face is trying to make the go or no-go decision too soon or without enough information to properly make that choice.

Today, let’s examine together these stages and how you know when it’s time to dump him or keep moving forward.

Stages of a Relationship 1: You Meet & You’re Attracted to One Another

Of course, before you can have a relationship, you need to meet each other. This first stage is tricky because some attraction can build before you actually see one another, giving you a false sense of security in the relationship.

Then, what sometimes happens is you meet and the whole thing falls flat. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you shared too much about one another before you met. You now have nothing to talk about.

The second reason is that there isn’t any attraction for one or both of you. Don’t let this kill the relationship.

Think back to how nervous you were before you arrived. You were probably experiencing sweaty palms, racing heart – the whole bit.

He is just as nervous as you!

So was he. I’m not sure why women sometimes believe men aren’t as nervous as they are approaching a first date. My point is that neither of you is truly yourself right now.

He is a nervous, scared and apprehensive version of himself, wondering, like you, if you’ll like him. It’s worth giving him another chance or two, if he asks.

For the sake of moving forward, let’s say you are attracted to one another. GREAT! There may even be some immediate sexual chemistry between you. While this is good, don’t act on it, if you want to reach Stage 2.

Attraction at this point is mostly outward – you’re attracted to his looks, his body type, his interests and his personality.

Stage 2 of a Relationship: Infatuation

Things clicked. You’re attracted to one another and chemistry is building. It’s such a great feeling but what’s happening behind the scenes during this stage?

First off, your brain begins releasing some pretty powerful chemicals. You’ve probably heard of them: dopamine, norepinephrine, Phenylethylamine and oxytocin. Not only does your brain release these chemicals, but it also builds an addiction to them.

These chemicals are responsible for the feeling you have of wanting to be together all of the time, the desire to have sex and a need to stay together to mate. Okay, so that’s primal but it’s still part of what’s happening.

Again, I caution you not to have sex too soon.

You’re both trying to get the other to like you. You want to impress him with your cooking or maybe you want to impress him with your skiing skills or your ability to sweet talk the meanest cat out of a tree. Whatever you feel your strengths are, you want him to see them too.

Something else that occurs during this stage is called suspension of negative judgement. Brain studies have shown that when we’re in love, a part of our brain responsible for negative judgment of people shows slowed activity. In other words, it backs off.

The suspension of negative judgment helps us see the faults of partners, and significantly reduces our ability to get angry about them.

There is enough good in the relationship, through shared positive experiences and laughter to outweigh the negative feelings.

For you, this is where you begin wondering, “Is he right for me?” and “Where is this headed?” Be careful asking these questions here. When this stage ends, it doesn’t mean the relationship is over. It means you’re moving on to the next stage. That’s a good thing!

While there are some couples (15-30%) who experience this same level of infatuation decades into their relationship, for most couples this stage lasts anywhere from six months to two years.

Stages of a Relationship 3: Bonding as a Couple

You might be wondering why you weren’t already a couple. This is where men and women differ. All this time, you’ve been thinking you two were a couple.

You’re probably having sex, he says and does all the right things. You’ve met important people in his life and him in yours. In your mind, you’re a couple. In his mind, he’s having fun getting to know you but you’re not a couple yet.

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You know you’re ready for this stage when you’ve talked, at least a little, about your future together (how many kids, etc.), even if it wasn’t a totally serious conversation. You’ve talked about values and you know you align on important things like religion, interests and hobbies.

This is the stage where you love begins to grow deeper. It feels different from the infatuation stage but you’re still totally into each other and talk all the time, even if it’s via text.

You feel safe in your relationship during this bonding phase. You’re past the wild and crazy sex but that doesn’t mean sex stinks – it’s more satisfying.

During this stage, you feel safe enough to slowly remove your early dating face and put on your real face. He may have never put his feet up on the coffee table before but now, he’s doing it. You might not have ever shown him how cranky you can get when you find crumbs in the sofa cushions but now you’re letting him know it’s annoying the crap out of you.

These behaviors aren’t meant to irritate one another, they’re signals that you feel safe enough with one another to let your hair down a bit. You’re becoming the true versions of yourselves.

It is important not to rush this stage of your relationship. Women especially want to have the “where are we headed” talk but if you push it, you’ll lose.

While I do encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings with your guy, it’s important that you don’t push him into that conversation.

Stage three can easily become the beginning of the end as it leads to stage 4.

Stages of a Relationship 4: Eyes Wide Open

Now that you’ve started to see the real man you’ve been with, and he sees you, you can become disillusioned with the relationship.

You might feel like he lied to you – he didn’t show you his true self. Well, he didn’t, but you didn’t show your true self either and don’t try to tell me you did. We just don’t.

You’ve begun to wonder where the man you fell in love with has gone. He hasn’t gone anywhere and he wasn’t being fake. He’s just become his natural self.

Your normal reaction, during this stage, might be to withdraw or you might feel him withdrawing.

Allow me to remind you that you’ve always seen his flaws, it’s just that your brain didn’t allow you to care. Now, you care. So you have to ask yourself whether you fell in love with the man or the expectation of who you wanted him to be.

Certainly, it’s possible that you did get a dud. Losers and users can play along for quite some time if they really want to, but eventually, their true colors begin to shine. If that’s the case, rather than stay for the sake of not losing another guy, cut your losses and regroup.

If, on the other hand, your guy isn’t a dud, he’s just being his true self, you can try to power through. If the relationship truly means something to both of you, you should work on accepting one another, in spite of those flaws.

This stage can feel like you’re going through hell, but as the song says, if you’re going through hell, keep on going, don’t slow down…

You could be married at this stage. Do you really want to give up so easily? Is this relationship worth saving?

If your thought is that it’s too hard to save it, I still say try to. Powering through can be very rewarding.

Most of your friends’ relationships have ended in this stage but you’ve got the strength and confidence to see the good in this man and work through it.

When your relationship survives this crisis, or another, you will come out on the other side, much stronger together.

In order to do so, recall his good traits. What can you appreciate about him? What does he do for or with you that is just amazing?

It can’t be all bad, even though that seems to be the focus right now. Re-center yourselves on the good qualities about one another which drew you together.

This can be a time where the wounds of your past flare up. Instead of hiding them, share them with your partner. If he has wounds to share (and who doesn’t!?!), patiently listen, without judgment.

We all come into relationships with baggage. Your larger bags might be getting unpacked now. Just unpack them slowly and allow him to do the same. Provide a safe, loving space for one another.

Getting through this stage gets you to the next!

Stages of a Relationship 5: Real, Lasting Love

Think of this as the calm following the storm. You’ve made it through some challenging times but, unlike many couples, you powered through. Now, you see each other for who you really are and you can truly love the person you’re with.

If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time to talk about how you’ll handle difficulties in the future. Chances are, during the previous stage, you created some steps to take when there is conflict.

This stage of a relationship can take years to evolve. You can spend a long time in the prior two stages, depending on how much baggage you’re toting and how long it takes to unpack it.

You might even survive a couple of temporary breakups or crises where you’re not sure if the relationship will make it, but in the end, you did the hard work and this is the reward. It’s worth fighting for!

As you each unpack your past, you learn to become partners in battling the demons, instead of judge and jury. Your love enables you to see the hurt and pain in your partner and gives you the patience to be just what he needs, when he needs it and no more.

You love him for who he is, warts and all and he loves you, warts and all as well.

By this time in your relationship, you’ve built a lot of intimacy through the battle scars you’ve reopened and the experiences you’ve shared. You have built a list of places that mean something to the two of you, movies, songs and maybe even books that hold a special place in your relationship.

You have a history together, full of ups and downs for sure, but mostly full of patience, tolerance and love.

So Now What?

So you’re in the lasting love phase of your relationship. How do you stay here? That’s easy! Keep exploring life and trying new things, both separately and together.

You share experiences together, challenge one another and support each other’s goals and dreams. You keep things fresh, keep to a weekly date night calendar, no matter how many years you’ve been together, and you continue to both hold one another close and give the required space when needed.

You’ve learned what makes him tick. You know, by his body language, when he’s upset and when he’s excited to share something with you. Read the cues, keep challenging him, and yourself, and watch love continue to blossom!

Is it really that easy?

Yes, it is.

The post Stages of a Relationship by the Numbers appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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In the beginning of a relationship, you’re not usually lacking for things to talk about. You don’t need a list of things to talk about with your boyfriend, but as time passes, it seems like you’ve learned all there is to know about one another. Periods of silence can be difficult.

Learning about one another builds intimacy between you. Especially early on, it makes you feel like you’re clicking – you feel chemistry – when you ask questions and find common ground.

You’re a Patriots fan too? I love that you’re into pro football!

Of course, as time goes by and you and your guy get to know each other, you might feel like you’ve run out of things to learn. You might even feel as if your relationship is losing momentum because you can’t have those great “Oh my gosh ME TOO” kinds of conversations any more.

Guess what? You can still have those conversations! I’m here today to bring you a list of things you can talk about with your boyfriend. Some things on this list are for a couple who just met – others are for couples who have known each other for a longtime.

Have fun with these suggestions!

I’ve organized them for you into categories.

Before we get to the list, I want to provide you with a few of cautions. First of all, this isn’t a list you print and run through over dinner. This is a list of suggestions for when you’re together and it seems like a good time to dig a little deeper.

Secondly, some of these questions will bring up areas of his past that can make you jealous. DON’T DO THIS! He did indeed have a life before you met, he had other girlfriends and maybe he was even married. That is his past. You also have a past but now, you’re together. If you ask a question about his past, accept his response without jealousy, envy or anger, please!

Lastly, if you ask him these questions, be prepared to answer them yourself!

Fun Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend
  1. What names have been ruined for you because you knew someone you didn’t like who had that name?
  2. What boggles your mind whenever you think about it?
  3. What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten and regretted?
  4. Toilet paper – over or under?
  5. If someone challenged you to a dance competition, what song would guarantee your victory?
  6. What’s your favorite lame joke?
  7. If you had no financial restrictions, what would be one thing you would want to try?
  8. What’s the chore you put off the longest?
  9. If I waved a magic wand and gave you the ability to fly, where would you go first?
  10. If you were an action figure, what would your superpower be and what special tools would be on your belt?
  11. Where do you wish you could create a shortcut?
  12. If someone offered you whatever car you wanted, what car would you get?
  13. Of all the products out there, which one do you think needs to be made better?
  14. What event from your past do you wish you could see in video?
  15. If you were crazy rich, what types of crazy or obnoxious things would you do?
  16. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy?
  17. If your diet could only contain five things, what would yours be?
  18. Where is the number one place you want to visit?
  19. If you found a genie and a lamp, what three wishes would you make?
  20. Cats or dogs or both?
Personal Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend
  1. What’s it like to be you?
  2. Tell me one brutally honest truth about yourself.
  3. When do you feel the most like your true self?
  4. If you wrote your story, what would this chapter be called?
  5. What makes you more emotional than you’re comfortable with?
  6. If I wanted the fast-track to making you angry, what would it be?
  7. Tell me what’s on your bucket list.
  8. What do you do that makes you the happiest?
  9. What do you want people to remember you for when you’re gone?
  10. What would your life be like if you lived up to your full potential?
  11. What is the one thing in life that just fascinates the heck out of you?
  12. Who makes you the most uncomfortable when they’re around?
  13. Give me one word that describes you the best.
  14. What do you want to get out of life?
  15. When you catch yourself procrastinating, what do you do to get past it?
  16. Share with me one secret from your past that most people don’t know.
  17. If you had one week to live, what would you do with that time?
  18. If you could spend one day with someone, living or dead, who would you choose?
  19. Do you love or hate animals? Which animal would you want as a pet?
  20. How do you react when you don’t get what you want?
Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend From His Past
  1. What is the most difficult or painful text you’ve ever sent someone?
  2. What’s the worst thing you’ve done and hidden from your parents?
  3. Tell me about a really awkward moment you had in high school.
  4. If you could have a re-do on one decision from your life, what decision would that be and how would you change?
  5. Tell me about a time when you just threw caution to the wind and went for it, regardless of the consequences.
  6. If you had a recording about your whole life, which hour would you want to go back and watch?
  7. What is the most memorable phone call of your life?
  8. Tell me about something in your life that changed you for the better.
  9. Tell me about something in your life that changed you for the worse.
  10. Have you ever purposefully cut someone out of your life? Why?
  11. What is your most beautiful memory so far?
  12. How different are you from five years ago?
  13. Tell me about the riskiest thing you’ve ever done.
  14. What is the most memorable vacation you’ve ever taken?
  15. What is the story about you that people just love to share?
  16. What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid?
  17. Who did you idolize when you were a kid?
  18. What is the most humiliating moment from your life?
  19. When have you felt the most proud of yourself?
  20. Who was your favorite band growing up?
Relationship Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend
  1. What is the best way you can think of to spend a day with a loved one?
  2. What would you say is the best and worst thing about having you as a boyfriend?
  3. How do you view the role of a wife?
  4. Tell me one thing a woman can do to become more attractive (excluding change her appearance).
  5. What did you learn about relationships from your parents?
  6. Tell me about the couple you know who has the healthiest relationship.
  7. Are you willing to go to couples therapy if things derail in a serious relationship?
  8. What do you like and dislike most about being in a long-term relationship?
  9. Excluding cheating, what is an absolute relationship-ending incident for you?
  10. Where have your ideas of the ideal relationship come from?
  11. What have you learned from past relationships?
  12. How do you think couples should manage sharing the household chores?
  13. What things do you think cause most couples to grow apart and split up?
  14. How would your exes describe you today if asked?
  15. How would you react if you found out I accidentally got pregnant?
  16. Are you willing to change diapers? Allllll diapers?
  17. City or country boy?
  18. What’s your favorite female body part?
  19. What is the craziest thing you’ve done during sex?
  20. If we argue and you’re truly in the wrong, will you be able to admit it?
Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend About YOUR Relationship
  1. At what point did you realize you were in love with me?
  2. What was it about me that first attracted you to me?
  3. The first time you saw me, what did you think?
  4. Of all of our dates so far, what’s your favorite?
  5. How can I make you feel loved in our relationship?
  6. What do I do that drives you crazy, but still makes you smile inside?
  7. What is one sexual fantasy you would like to live out?
  8. What three things do you see between us that make us such a great couple?
  9. Is there something in our sex life that I don’t do but you wish I would?
  10. Is there anything I can change to make me a more perfect partner for you?
Things to Ask Your Boyfriend About His Worldview
  1. Who in your life holds onto a belief or theory that has been proven to be wrong? What is that belief and how do they rationalize holding on to it?
  2. How do you view money?
  3. Is there ever a time to act first and ask for forgiveness later?
  4. Who do you find impossible to take seriously?
  5. What do you wish someone had taught you so you didn’t have to learn it the hard way?
  6. If you could dictate one mandatory class for all school-age kids, what would it be?
  7. What do you think has been considered normal by society, but it shouldn’t be?
  8. Who do you wish you could be more like?
  9. What is your favorite period of history?
  10. What do you wish you could stop doing?
Beware of The Answers

Some of these questions will be very revealing and might contain answers that are red flags. For example, if everything bad that has happened in his life is someone else’s fault, he has a problem accepting responsibility.

If he thinks treating people disrespectfully is funny, he’s probably pretty childish and lacks confidence.

If your guy reveals something particularly disturbing about his past, you might want to consider your next move. Your values should be in alignment.

In summary, these 100 suggestions are meant to get you thinking about some more topics to explore with your significant other – have fun with them!

To Date a Man, You MUST Understand a Man. It just makes sense, right? I’ve made it easy for you to buy – all you need to do is click here or click the cover to the right. In just a couple of hours, you can begin to change your relationships with men! Now THAT’s exciting!

The post 100 Things to Talk About With Your Boyfriend appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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Guys pull away for a whole bunch of reasons but if you can understand the main reasons, you can eliminate many of them. I work with men so I see the reasons they pull away on a daily basis. I am a guy and I have done a few of them myself!

Now, in full disclosure, I am not always proud of my gender but it helps you to know how we think.

Why Men Pull Away after Getting Close – Our Mouths get Ahead of Our True Feelings

You’ve heard it before I’m sure – he tells you how he has never met a woman like you and he wants to take you away with him to Italy. Then he says he can’t wait for you to meet his family and friends – his Mom is going to love you! Blah, blah, blah.

Men’s mouth’s get ahead of their feelings

You believe him and you expect him to follow through, as you should.

I have been guilty of this a few times. I was excited – I really was, but my mouth was saying crap that I didn’t mean – at least not yet. Then, I had to backtrack, which meant running for the hills and never returning – at least in one instance.

Eventually, reality sets in and the guy realizes  he shouldn’t have mentioned the Italy trip so soon. The process of following through (booking the flights in my example) creates anxiety in him. He thinks, “What if we hate each other after nine days?”

Then, he goes down the check list of questions:

Will She Take Away All My Friends and Fun?

Our friends are our current means of fun and to spend more and more time with you means less and less time with them. This could be a good thing but we don’t know the answer yet so we pull back. We tend to cling to what is normal and safe.

Will She Take My Money?

Women who don’t understand men do not understand just how important money is to us. We are providers and to provide we need to be successful and we measure that through our work, status and how much money we earn.

This keeps our guard up for gold – diggers. Yes, they are out there.

Am I OK with Never Being Able to Sleep with Another Woman?

I know, sad. But many single men weigh this in their decision and pull back. Being single represents freedom to unattached men – they can date who they want to and live a fun, albeit shallow, life style.

Falling in Love Means He will be Vulnerable

Oh the fear of rejection!

Being vulnerable introduces the possibility of being rejected. Rejection is one of our greatest fears, especially when it comes to women. This is one of the major reasons why men pull away after getting close.

Why Men Pull Away after Getting Close – What to Do When This Happens

The funny thing? He wants you to take him away from his friends – at least some of them. He wants to spend money on you and he wants to just sleep with one woman.

Slow us down. Don’t push for that Italy trip. Make your social life your main priority and not him. Later, after he has proven himself, you can change your habits, but now is too early in the relationship.

Encourage him to be with his friends. Offer to pay for things so he quickly realizes that you are not interested in his money. Do this and when the love making starts he will only want to be with you and no one else. He will fall for you!

Then, fulfill both of your fantasies during sex and all will be good!

Watch as I hammer this point home with Helen Fisher.

To Date a Man, You MUST Understand a Man. It just makes sense, right? I’ve made it easy for you to buy – all you need to do is click here or click the cover to the right. In just a couple of hours, you can begin to change your relationships with men! Now THAT’s exciting!

Do you have a question for Gregg? Visit top dating coach, Gregg Michaelsen, and ask one question for just $25! That’s right, you can get an answer to the pesky situation you are in without full-price coaching! It’s quick, it’s private, and can help get your relationship back on its feet in no time. Gregg will personally answer your questions within 24 hours (sometimes sooner) and will provide one follow up question for clarification.

The post Why Men Pull Away After Getting Close appeared first on Who Holds the Cards Now.

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