Here it is: women are not angels. What does this mean? Maybe you’re like me, I use to think women required protecting. Required taking care of. Required the gentlest of touches lest I risk breaking her. I use to think all women were angels who only got upset when I did something wrong. Wow, how sexist was my opinion of women? I mean, was I looking to date real human beings or mermaids? A human being with life experience or a robot made to my liking? An impenetrable emotional core with an exceptionally vulnerable physical form? Geez, what was I thinking! Below I go through some thoughts: 1. STOP. WATCHING. KOREAN. DRAMA.  2. Protection. I’m not saying you shouldn’t protect her. Protect her as you would yourself, but she ought to learn to protect herself as well. Let her ask you for help when/if she needs you. We’re adults here, not mermaids fearful of pirate whalers o_O 3. Taking care of her. You definitely should take care of her, but she should take care of you as well. I’ve always heard the following: you shouldn’t ‘count’ who does what in a relationship. Um, hearing from people who have healthy long-term relationships their advice has been: you should definitely count and have a discussion to balance the relationship. Our cars alert us when our tires are low on pressure. The temperature of a car is constantly being gauged. Every day at work or in the office you’re gauging the situation. Every hour, the world is either in balance or out of balance. You’re not a pillow for her to rest on when she’s done battling the world or her car tires; you’re a human being deserving of love. You’re the cuddle-buddy and buddies of other kinds; not the teddy bear. As a Christian I’ve heard: love is patient, love is kind. How convenient, my love for her must be kind and patient but hers is what? As far as I know, that famous quote on love is directed at both men and women. Now, to be fair, if you’re going to have this discussion you have to be prepared for a discussion of how you might need to adjust and balance on your end. You may not like what you hear from her. So be calm and open-minded. Some things to consider:

a. Maybe she’s too busy right now in this season of her life to give you what you desire (e.g., listening to you, quality time, words of affection, doing the little things, etc.). That’s totally normal and you should be patient. But like all seasons: they end. When does this season end? Can you weather it? Do you have the right tools to weather the storm built up from not getting what you need? Give these thoughts honest feedback so you can be fair to yourself and to her. b. Maybe she simply never had to take care of someone else. It’s possible she’s dated men that catered to her until she got bored with them or they got bored with her. If she really likes you and you wholeheartedly like her, sit down and have a discussion. Before you do, write some things down as discussion reminders. This article by WebMD (page 3) is a good place to start: http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/7-relationship-problems-how-solve-them?page=3

4. She’s fragile. First question: are you a knight? You answer: yes or I could be. Second question: do you own a horse? Your answer: yes or I could someday. Third question: do you even know how to ride a horse. Your answer: yes or I saw a Groupon for horse riding lessons that I really wanted to take. Fourth question: when is the last time you rode a horse or are those instructors  from the Groupon knights themselves? Your answer: where is this going? Nowhere. That’s what it’s like to date a woman (and for women, it’s what it’s like to date a man) who is in a fragile state of their lives. Some things to consider:

a. Do you have an existing friendship with her? If so, then be there for her as a friend as she goes through this period in her life. Some people have done well to get together when one person is vulnerable or fragile (e.g., from some personal loss or failure). My thought is: what’s the rush? Romance shouldn’t be a crutch for her. Romance should be shared. b.  If you don’t have an existing friendship with her and you really like her, enough to want to give it a try, my thinking is: you’re either desperate or you’re infatuated with the thought that you might be that badass rescuer she’s never had and always wanted. You know, the one who slays the Octopus.

Additionally, as far as I know, Angels are NOT fragile. They fight demons. You can’t be fragile if you’re gonna fight demons. Think about it. 5. She’s only upset when I make her upset. Dude, as far as I know when Pandora opened her box both men and women were present in the world. From Christian perspective, she’s a sinner too. She may not (or she may) sin as you do, but she’s got sin. I’m not sure I want to get into a discussion of what happens when you meet a woman who is sinless…cause…well…wouldn’t it ‘take one to know one’ and if you’re not sinless then how could you know with certainty she is sinless? O_o I doubt I could recognize a sinless woman; I’m too cynical and sinful to know what she would look like. Back to the point: she’s not perfect. She is allowed to be upset, just like you are. You’re gonna do things that will upset her. She should be mature enough to not say things like: all men blah blah blah. She should be mature enough to recognize that you may not know that she’s upset by your actions or words and have the maturity to speak with you. Hopefully you’re mature enough at this stage to listen to her. Just like you shouldn’t say: all women PMS (seriously, don’t) or hold a grudge or think that letting it go means being patient and forgiving. Forgiveness comes AFTER you talk, find middle ground, and apologize oh and of course make up ;) Here is a good article to help you started on setting boundaries for yourself: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/6-steps-to-setting-boundaries-in-relationships_b_6142248.html 6. She has “great” friendships. I didn’t use to care but these days I care very much that a women has close girl friends. Before I truly open up to her, I want to know a few things about her friendships- things I could only know by making time and putting in effort to get to know her friends.

a. How much do their opinions affect her? Are they advisers or her commanders? b. Do they talk down or belittle others?  Or are they forgiving? c. How do they talk about men in their lives? Do they have healthy relationships with their fathers? Their brothers? Their boyfriends or husbands? This issue matters cause their fathers and/or brothers have been the most consistent male presences in their lives…it’s not unusual for their behaviors to affect her thinking. It’s human nature! d. Are they judgmental without giving thought to other perspectives? Good judges look at all angles and make a decision. Judging others is when one angle is used to judge an entire situation.

Conclusion: Look brotha, you’re not perfect. You’re likely some degree of egotistical, some degree of arrogance, some degree of immaturity. You are also likely some degree of wise, some degree of life experience, some degree of strong, some degree of emotional intelligence and emotional resilience, and some degree of attractiveness. The goal is to play with the thermostat to find the environment with which you are most comfortable. When you are comfortable, that’s when you are the most attractive as a whole human being, not just attractive in some way or unattractive because of one thing. Goodluck!

Alrite, I’m gonna keep it real. I hope you disagree with at least one thing I wrote below. Unless you and I are converging towards some kind of abstract emotional core.

Some people see online dating as an easy way to hook up. Some people see it as an admission that one needs help with dating. Some people think it’s for desperate people. Look, here’s what I’ve learned with 30 years of my life: to find love takes courage, boldness, and the determination to ignore anyone who tells you that love isn’t worth the trouble and the ups-and-downs. Online dating is simply an addition to humankind’s mating ritual. It’s one way among a growing number of ways to find love.

For my parents the definition of love was much more restricted. Love was more about convenience, and like all conveniences in life as life changes what was once covenient can become a burden. Love in itself was a dream. These days love is easier to find but healthy relationships are still difficult to nurture and maintain. When love is easy to find we risk diluting what we think of love. That’s the real challenge: to go from one opportunity to the next without losing enthusiasm.

When it comes to online dating there are some things to consider. Below I discuss some of those things.

Advantages:
1. Busy schedules.
If you’re a busy professional this is a great way to find potential matches based off of similar interests and location. Just make sure the interests you write reflect who you are now, not what you want to have someday.

2. Save time.
You get to see their interests and with apps like Coffee Meets Bagel you can text someone a few times before you meet up. This gives you a chance to get to know one another. I’ve had pretty insightful conversations by text. It’s possible. Find that sweet middle ground between interviewing her and fitting her within your needs. Get to know her means…ask about family,  ask about her weekends, ask about where she goes for dessert, ask about pets, ask about her favorite book, ask about her college days and what clubs she was part of. You can tell a lot (but not everything) about a person with that info.

3. Having time to think.
You don’t have to respond right away or risk looking like you’re ignoring her. Take your time to respond thoughtfully.  Chances are she’s got other guys she’s talking to as well…aka entertaining her while you take your foot out of your brain =D

Disadvantages:
1. Trust.
If you get matches everyday, doesn’t she get them as well? How do you know that once you start dating that she won’t keep herself on the application as a back up plan? I TOTALLY believe you should trust one another. I’m just saying you need to find your own answer to this inevitable question. For me, the truth I found for myself is that she gets matches everyday (or more) but she chose THIS particular day to make time for me…not any other guy.

2. Feeling vulnerable.
What if you have mutual friends? OMG what if people find out you use online dating? Won’t they think you’re looking for easy hookups? Ignore those people! People who are truly in love and happy will tell you let nothing stand in your way and let no leaf unturned in your pursuit of love. Here is a simple way I’ve discovered to silence Christians when they think I’m in it for easy intimacy: hey, have you ever had pre-marital intercourse or sexual contact? Yea, they’ll stop judging you real quick. For all non-Christian people just wish them goodluck in their marriage/relationship and realize that’s one less person you have to invite to your wedding. If they’re not close enough to you for you to have to invite them to your wedding, then their didn’t count anyway.

Just take it slow. Don’t feel like every match is a potential spouse. Don’t share too much, too quickly about yourself. Don’t share your attitudes about life and dating in your profile…let that person find out in person because words are easily misinterpreted. VERY EASILY.

3. She’s using you for dinner.
I’ve felt this a few times on dates I went on with online matches. She was interactive by text but totally silent in person. What the heck! She seemed interested in me by text asking lots of questions and then totally disengaged in person. Maybe she was just shy. Maybe she was uncomfortable. Maybe I did something or said something. Or maybe she’s like this girl: http://www.businessinsider.com/confessions-how-she-made-1200-a-month-using-matchcom-2011-11. I admit it’s possible she got shy, or maybe I’m just not that interesting, or maybe we already know everything interesting about one another by text.

Have fun. Be bold. Love takes courage and time to marinate. Go for it!

Here are some books that will help you better understand yourself and your world. Topics about shame, about handling pressure, about resiliency and personal growth. Go get em!

1. Performing under pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry

2. Don’t waste your life by John Piper

3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

4. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This post will only talk briefly about what NOT to wear. What you should wear is a very open-ended topic. What looks good on me, may or may not look good on you. However, there are some things that rarely look good on a first date. First impressions matter- not as much as who you really are- but even the best-of-men can come off as sleezy, disheveled, or just plain dull.

Below are just some suggestions. If you are a working professional, perhaps it would be good to seek a fashion consultant or a friend who has good taste (usually these friends are women or on occasion gay men).

1. Bright colors. Pink, red, orange, turquoise, anything shiny. Who you are should be the focus, not that shirt you’re wearing. Women notice these things and unfortunately when it’s not a good thing, she’ll tell all her friends and they will surely all respond with “eww” and then with LOL. Normally, I couldn’t care less if a woman made fun of me and I would tell you not to worry, but in this instance, let’s be a little more mindful. Some people say that wearing bright colors shows you are confident, not if that shirt makes you look like a douche, cause then you would be a confident douche. Let your confidence shine through your words, your attention to her (and not you), and your actions (e.g., open doors, pull out her seat for her to sit, etc.)

2. Work clothes. Enough said. Don’t even argue with me on this one. I once saw a guy go on a date in his scrubs (he is a physician). If you are too busy to spend 10 minutes to change clothes, you are too busy for a date. Women will prepare regardless of how busy they are. They even risk their lives to do so (i.e., driving and putting on make-up at the same time). Show her the same effort and appreciation. She won’t say it, but she’ll appreciate it. You can subtly let her know too by saying how you didn’t have much time to change but wanted to look somewhat appropriate for this date. Trust me. Brownie points +10.

3. Work shoes or grandfather shoes. Shoes are by far one of the most, if not THE most, important accessory for women. She’ll notice yours. Don’t wear scruff-up shoes, torn shoes (unless they were torn for a reason), or shoes you’d wear to walk your dog.

4. Jacket-less outfit. Try your best to put together outfits that work with some kind of jacket. If it’s summer time, a light jacket. If winter, a pea-coat (e.g., Kenneth Cole and Coach sell some very nice ones). You may not need it, but she will even if she may not be ‘that’ cold.

5. Striped shirts. This one is a shout-out to my friend WW. She abhors striped shirts. I disagree with her on many things, but on this issue, I am in complete agreement. Solid colors only.

6. Flashy belt buckles. Nice, you want a cookie?

7. Loose (or ultra tight) suit jackets, shirts, and pants. I will make a posting about how to choose suits. In the mean time, if you are a working professional, go to a tailored shop to get your suits and sports coats. They’ll cost more (e.g., $200-400 per jacket), but it’ll be WELL worth the cost. DO NOT GO TO Men’s Warehouse. Unfortunately, Men’s Warehouse does not really cater to Asian American males and our body types. Their items are large with large shoulder designs and long (almost draped) coats. Think Snoop Dogg. You’re not Snoop Dogg. If you need some recommendations, please contact me directly and I can direct you to some very good specialty shops in Los Angeles.

8. Hats.

Below is a checklist. Enjoy!

1. Check your outfit
i. Check your fly
ii. Check your collar- just make sure it’s the way you like it.

iii. Check your belt

iv. Check your shoes

2. Check your image.
i. Nose hair
ii. Teeth
iii. Fingernails
iv. Smell (e.g., cologne or deodorant, or both if they compliment one another)

3. Check yourself.
Why are you going on this date? To have fun? To get laid? To find your soulmate?

If you are reading my blog then your goal should always be to have fun and pursue happiness.

If you want to get laid on a first date, please leave my website. Nothing against sex, but I don’t share your mentality or life goals.

If you want to find your soulmate, you should use a matchmaking service. They usually do a pretty good job about finding someone who fits you.

4. Check time.
Make sure you show up early to get the scoop on the place. How long is the wait? How’s parking? Any activities there you could do after the date? What’s on the menu?

5. Check your insecurities.
We ALL have insecurities. If someone has it all, this person is likely to be very afraid of that inevitable end that all humanity shares. So relax.

Your insecurities do not make you who you are. It’s what you do. Maybe you’re not the tallest in the room. Maybe you’re not proud of your past or where you are in life now. Maybe you’re in want in something. We all have one insecurity that drives us to the other end of happiness. Be strong.

You are someone’s son. You are more than a job or a station in life. You are a professional athlete in your mind but a weekend warrior in truth. You are a musician. You like board games. You enjoy live music. You enjoy details. You enjoy art. You love animals. You once owned turtles. You once saw something awesome. You are a dreamer. You are realistic. You like rain. You like the sound of crashing waves. You like the smell of Fall over Summer. You like Halloween over Christmas because it’s more creative and less materialistic.

Know the ‘why’ to the above. If your answer is ‘just because’ then you need to dig deeper or create for yourself some deeper meaning.

Summary:
Have fun. Enjoy yourself. You’re alive because your hearts beats. If nothing else then provide her with the blessing of being close to a living soul. If you’ve ever felt loneliness then you would understand the value of just being around a living being. Ready. Set…

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