Mars and venus five stages of dating

I liked that feeling, but I don't think I could live my life like that. Richard could go on for hours and hours comparing women. The bottom line was that he was expecting one woman to have it all. The more he experienced women, the more good qualities he wanted in his soul mate. Richard was always comparing because he was looking for perfection.

He wanted all he could get. He didn't give himself the chance to open his heart with just one woman. After being attracted to one woman, instead of staying with her during the uncer- tainty stage, he would feel uncertain and begin comparing and looking elsewhere. He always had a back door, someone he could be with if this one didn't work out. Before he could open up to a woman and risk being rejected, he would have another one lined up. As a result, he never had the chance to be exclusive with one woman for more than six months. In all his special relationships, he would skip the ex- clusivity stage and move to stage four intimacy and then back to stage two uncertainty.

While feeling uncertain he would then notice other women and pursue them. By moving back and forth between stages and between partners, he was never able to find the knowledge in his heart that a woman was either right or wrong for him. Why Richard Couldn't Commit Certainly there were childhood experiences in Richard's past that aggravated this tendency, but his inability to commit had roots in his failure to move through all of the first four stages. It had never been explained to him why it was so important to be exclusive as a preparation to recognizing the right person.

He thought he should first recognize and be intimate with the right person and then be exclusive, rather than be exclusive stage three and then intimate stage four. Still, he looks back at many of the women he has loved and feels that four or five would have been perfect if only they were a little different. He still wonders, "Maybe she was the right one; maybe she was the best I could get.

He isn't clear about whether any of these wo- men was right or wrong. Unless he finally gives himself a chance to find out by being exclusive with just one, he will never find out. Unless he learns that shooting in a certain direction is defin- itely wrong, he will never be able to self-correct and shoot in another direction to hit the target.

In his mind, he is still thinking that four or five different directions might be the way to go. By ending relationships in an incomplete manner, he has unknowingly sabotaged his ability to find a soul mate. One of these women might already be his soul mate, and he doesn't even know it. His only hope is to stop comparing and looking for perfec- tion. He should find a woman to whom he is attracted, who clearly has some potential, and pursue her through the first four stages. Then he will finally gain the ability to "just know.

From there, he will find some completion to make sure his next relationship is closer to the mark. He just can't make up his mind. He feels, "So many wonderful women, how can you decide? He will date a woman for a few weeks or months. As they really get to know each other and experience some real intim- acy, his doubt comes up and he gets involved with one of his other girlfriends, since he has not yet committed himself to exclusivity. Just as Jason is making a mistake to be seeing so many wo- men, the women who date Jason are making a big mistake as well. They are willing to have sex with him and they are not in any way being assured by him that he is exclusive.

These women make the common mistake of pursuing a man more than he is pursuing them. Jason will talk to one partner about the problems in his life, which include his difficulties in his relationships with other women. This kind of intimate discussion is completely inap- propriate and it ends up making the man more ambivalent. A woman should not behave with a man as if she is exclusive or intimate if he is still working through issues with other women. And she should not mistakenly believe that if she listens sympathetically to him, he will become convinced she is the one for him.

When a woman makes the mistake of dating a man and be- having as if she is in an exclusive, intimate relationship, when in truth the man is seeing other women, then it will be very difficult for the man to ever become clear and recognize her as his soul mate. Even the wrong person becomes the right person to help us self-correct and move on. Through making sure that you relate appropriately to the stage of the relationship you are in, your chances of eventually finding the right person for you go up dramatically.

The time you spend in any relationship is not a loss if you learn from it and complete it in a positive way. Each time you follow your heart and then plainly recognize that someone is not right for you, then you are definitely one step closer to finding the right person for you. Some people worry that this is a problem, when really it is a sign of greater wisdom in young couples. They are waiting to get married. They are wanting to first get a sense of who they are, what they can do, what they want to do, and where they are going before decid- ing to make a marriage commitment.

It is wise to first know yourself before trying to share yourself in a marriage. When people get married before feeling autonomous, they run the risk of being too dependent on each other for love. They do not get the opportunity to experience sufficient inde- pendence to discover how they can be fulfilled without having a partner to depend on. Instead of taking a few more years to fully release their dependence on their parents and become dependent on themselves, they shift from their parents to a partner for love and support. By rushing into an intimate rela- tionship, they can miss the opportunity to discover the inner confidence, self-assuredness, and autonomy necessary to make a marriage work.

Just as living separately from our parents is an important part of growing up, living separately from the opposite sex is equally important. Finding fulfillment through living alone or sharing a dwelling with friends of the same sex provides a strong foundation for eventually being able to share a life with someone of the opposite sex.

When we are not fulfilled through our work and friendships, then we are attracted to someone who can fill us up rather than someone we can share with. Instead of coming together to overflow, we come together primarily to fill up. With this un- derstanding it becomes clear that being fulfilled as a single person is the basis of finding the right person and being suc- cessful in marriage. If a couple are in doubt, then — particularly if they are in their twenties — they should go slowly.

The sad truth is that many married couples are soul mates but they do not know it. The process of dating and preparing to get married was in some way missed, and as a result they never really find their soul connection. This is not to say that once married they cannot find it, but it is much easier to find by thoroughly going through the five stages of dating. Ultimately, taking the time to really get to know someone is the secret of success. Moving through the five stages ensures that you get an opportunity to fully know someone and experience the best of that person before getting married.

Certainly it is possible to be lucky and just get married right away to someone without going through all the stages, but for most people, to know they are with the right person and to ensure that after they get married the passion will be sustained, it is extremely useful to move through each of the five stages before getting married. If you have perfected all the dating skills presented in this book, it does not mean that you can take any relationship through the five stages of dating and get married and live happily ever after.

But by applying these insights you will gain the ability to recognize and find the right person for you and assist that person in recognizing you. Although feelings of attraction are automatic, in order to sustain attraction in a personal relationship we must also be skillful in presenting ourselves in ways that are not just appealing to the other sex but supportive as well.

It is not enough to say, "Here I am; take me as I am. The blending together of male and female must be done in gradual stages. In stage one, quite often it is the anticipation that we can get what we need or want from a relationship with a potential partner that tends to sustain attraction.

Without a clear message that we can get what we need, the attraction will disappear. It can be so easy to misinterpret our date's actions and reactions and be turned off simply because we think and feel so differ- ently. Without an understanding of the cus- toms and manners on Venus, a man can put his best foot for- ward and unknowingly turn a date off.

Most men just don't understand the way women feel and what they are looking for. When a man is interested in a woman, quite automatically he treats her the way he would want to be treated. In many cases, that is not what a woman will appreciate. While trying to impress her he inadvertently turns her off. To various de- grees, most men are simply clueless when it comes to under- standing women. Without an understanding of the customs and manners on Venus, a man can put his best foot forward and unknowingly turn a date off.

For example, instead of taking the time to listen and get to know his date, a man talks about himself or his theories about life. He thinks this will impress her, and because she keeps asking questions, he thinks this is what she wants. When she does get a chance to talk, he mistakenly assumes she is asking for his advice and begins offering solutions to her problems or answers to her questions. Without even knowing why or how, he begins to turn her off. Larry brought Phoebe to a restaurant for their first official date. I happened to be sitting next to them at another table.

I observed that throughout the whole dinner Larry did all the talking. He spoke like a professor to his class. It was a sad sight. When Phoebe would occasionally say something, instead of drawing her more into the conversation, Larry very quickly started expounding again.

It was easy to tell that he really liked what he was saying, but it was also easy to see that Phoebe was being polite but felt bored and left out. What could have been a delightful evening was a disappoint- ment for both. They never connected because Larry did all the talking. If Larry had understood Venusians, he would have asked Phoebe more questions to draw her out. If Phoebe had under- stood Martians, she would have just interrupted and talked more instead of continuing to politely listen and ask questions. A man doesn't instinctively understand manners on Venus.

In some ways he is like a bull in a china shop, oblivious of the effect he is having. He doesn't realize that a woman will feel most supported and impressed when he listens with interest rather than talking about himself or giving advice. This small insight can make a world of difference. A man wonders if he should ask a woman for her number or not. He wonders how to get it.

He wonders if she is attracted to him.

When Is He Going To Propose?

He doesn't realize his power to win her over and become attractive to her. He doesn't realize how he starts becoming more attractive to her by: Women have said in my seminars that even if they are not at first attracted to a man, his interest makes him more attractive. If he takes the risk of asking for her number or asking her out, she is in- clined to say yes just because he took the risk. It makes her feel special and she feels flattered. When a man can do all of the above without being dependent on getting anything else other than the pleasure of getting to know her, this makes him even more attractive.

A woman can sense if a man's ability to feel good about himself is dependent on her responses to his advances. If she has to care too much about his needs, if she has to be overly sensitive not to hurt his feelings, then he becomes less attractive. When she is free not to worry about him, but simply enjoy the fact that he cares about her, then she becomes more attracted to him. Most men don't realize the incredible power they have to sweep a woman off her feet. The understanding of how we are different gives a man that power. A woman often mistakenly assumes that if a man is the right man for her, he will know what she wants and will automatically consider her needs and do the things she does to show that he cares.

When he doesn't fulfill this unrealistic expectation, then she becomes unneces- sarily frustrated and discouraged. For example, a woman will make the mistake of demonstrat- ing her interest by asking a man a lot of questions. As he talks she continues to listen patiently. She assumes that if she listens with great interest, he will be more interested in her. This is true on Venus, but not true on Mars. The more a man talks, the more interested he becomes in what he is talking about. For a man to become more interested in a woman, she needs to do more of the talking and authentically share herself in a positive manner.

And how a woman talks can make a world of difference. On Venus, when two friends get together they enjoy the opportun- ity to share freely the mishaps, frustrations, disappointments, and complaints of the week. A woman's willingness to "share all" is actually a compliment to the other woman.

It is a sign of trust, goodwill, and friendship. On Venus, friends enjoy the opportunity to share freely the mishaps, frustrations, disappointments, and complaints of the week. While this gesture on Venus may be "putting your best foot forward," on Mars it is not. A man can easily get the wrong impression. When a woman dwells on negative feelings or problems in her life, instead of valuing her willingness to share openly, a man mistakenly assumes that she is STAGE ONE: Just as a woman is attracted to a man who shows interest in her, a man is attracted to a woman who clearly can be pleased.

When she appears to be difficult to please, he may easily become turned off. A man is attracted to a woman who clearly can be pleased. To create the ideal opportunity to experience the best a man has to offer and for a man to experience her best, a woman needs to be careful to share the positive side of her life and avoid dwelling on negative experiences. Conversation should be light, not heavy, focused on current events in the world and in their lives, but discussed in a positive manner.

This does not imply in any way that she should be fake. Authenticity is what makes anyone most attractive. Everyone has a positive and negative side, everyone has ups and downs, and everyone has a needy side and an autonomous side. Put- ting her best foot forward means sharing her most positive side, her up side, and her autonomous side. Later on she can share the other part. It is just a matter of timing. To make the best impression and to get to know someone most effectively, it is important that we first get a chance to know the positive side. In the first three stages of dating — at- traction, uncertainty, and exclusivity — it is best to focus on putting forth our best self.

After getting to know our best sides, then in stage four, intimacy, we are ready to deal with the less positive sides of who we are. After getting to know our best sides, we are ready to deal with the less positive sides of who we are. Then, when we experience the challenges that come up in any relationship, we are much more capable of being accepting and understanding. Too much intimacy, too quickly, can cause women to become needy and men to pull away.

Just as men have a tendency to rush into physical intimacy, women make the mistake of rushing into complete emotional intimacy. To put her best foot forward, a woman makes the mistake of treating a man the way she would want to be treated. She eagerly re- sponds to his attentiveness by being overly interested in him. She responds to his consideration by being overly considerate of him; when he is of assistance to her she immediately wants to return the favor instead of just smiling and saying thank you.

A woman doesn't instinctively understand that after being receptive to a man's advances and appreciating his efforts, she doesn't owe him anything.

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She has already given him what he most wants. She has given him the opportunity to know her, please her, and connect with her. A woman needs to re- member that she is the special one. It is the man's pleasure to have the opportunity to be with her. When she does not hold this attitude, it makes it difficult for a man's attraction to grow.

After being receptive to a man's advances and appreciating his efforts, a woman doesn't owe a man anything. The anticipation of more is very important to keep him interested. If he feels completely satisfied, then there is no distance for him to continue traveling to pursue her. Distance not only makes the heart grow fonder but gives a man the opportunity to pursue. Without movement and the opportunity for more, a man can easily lose the interest necessary to move through all five stages of dating. When a woman feels attracted to a man, her feelings are very different.

She gets excited because she anticipates that he could make her happy, and that in turn makes her feel really good. It brings the best out in her and makes her want to give to him. A woman becomes excited because she anticipates receiving what she needs and then freely giving in return. A man be- comes excited because he feels he can be successful in winning her over. When she is happy, he takes credit. Her fulfillment makes him most happy.

His success in fulfilling her makes her most happy. This tendency shows up most clearly when a man takes a wo- man on a special date. When he picks her up, she is beautifully dressed and looks great. He takes notice and tells her so. After she is com- fortably seated, he closes the door. She smiles and thanks him. Then he walks around to his side of the car to get in. What does she do? Does she reach across to unlock his door or let him unlock his door as well? When a woman doesn't understand the dynamics of creating attraction and giving a man the distance he needs to pursue her, her tendency is to reach across the car, even if it is very uncomfortable to do, and open his door.

Although this seems like the fair and loving thing to do, it is not. It is over-giving, it compromises her position, and it prevents the excitement of anticipation and romance from building in a man and in her as well. When a woman is too eager to please, a man doesn't experience the distance he needs to pursue her. Some women argue that it would be selfish not to reach over to his side of the car and return the gesture.

Quite often these are the single women in the audience and not the married ones. Now, certainly, if there is an unlock button on her side of the car, it could be okay to find it and push it, but to twist her body and reach way over, particularly when she is all dressed up, is neither graceful nor receptive.

The whole point of the dating ritual is for the man to do little things to show his interest and caring and for the woman to receive him and take some time to discover how interested she is. If she is going to reach over and unlock the door, then why would he have bothered to escort her to the car door in the first place? He is trying to be a gentleman and do something nice. She should let him be successful and gracefully receive and benefit from his gift.

Instead, if she just happily waits, appreciating his attentiveness to her, there is a greater opportunity for the attraction to grow. When a woman reaches across to unlock a man's door, it defeats the whole purpose of the date and confuses their roles. A man is often so used to women reaching across and mak- ing things comfortable and easy for him that when a woman doesn't reach over, he may be a little surprised and grumble inside.

Humph, I unlocked her door. Why didn't she unlock mine? He may even be momentarily distant and aloof. Then he will realize.

Full text of "Mars And Venus On A Date John Gray"

Oh, she didn't reach across because it is awkward and uncomfortable. Even more important, when he looks over and sees that she is gracious, happy, and fulfilled, he takes credit. Now he starts to feel a little proud: Yes, I opened the car door, I am taking her on a date, and she is pleased. As his positive feelings come up, the grumbles go away and his attraction and respect for her go up.

A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy. It fulfills him to make her happy. Her happiness is his happiness. This, however, is not the way women are.

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  • Book Summaries: Mars and Venus on a Date - John Gray.
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A woman is not primarily fulfilled by making a man happy. A woman needs to feel she is getting what she needs in a relationship. When she is getting her needs met, then and only then is his happiness hers. When men feel good about themselves, they are most motiv- ated to please a woman. The more a man's life is in order, the more he hungers for a woman to share it with. Although he may feel very autonomous and independent, he begins to feel empty.

He is missing something. That something is satisfied through fulfilling a woman or making her happy. A woman need never feel obligated to please a man. By giving him the opportunity to please her more, she allows a man to be most fulfilled. This concept is hard for women to understand, because when a woman feels autonomous and independent, instead of feeling a need to care for someone, she feels the need for someone to care for her. When she feels empty and hungers for a relation- ship, she has already spent most of herself giving to others. Romance for her is the opportunity to relax and let someone else take charge of her needs.

When she feels empty, she feels a need to receive. If she was feeling empty and continued to give, then it would make her very unhappy if she didn't get something in return. A simple smile and a thank you from the man she was giving to would not be enough. When a man feels empty, and can succeed in fulfilling a woman's needs, a simple smile and a thank you from her are plenty for him. This is the man of my dreams; he is the one for me; he is perfect for me. It is as though she falls under a spell. In this state she responds to him as if she were already getting everything she could ever want.

She is lovingly responsive and receptive to whatever he does. The excitement certainly brings out the best in her and makes her very attractive, but it can also prevent him from continuing to feel a strong attraction for her. When a woman falls in love, she may feel as if she is already getting everything she could ever want. She feels so satisfied by his presence that she begins to think. He is so wonderful. What can I do to be worthy of him? How can I earn this love? What should I do for him?

How can I make sure he likes me? How can I be most attractive to him? These kinds of thoughts then lead to action. As she proceeds to pursue him, he becomes less interested in her. A wise woman approaches the situation differently. Even if she does fall in love, she is careful to remember that even though it feels as if she were in an exclusive relationship with her ideal partner, she is not. Even if he has the potential to be the man of her dreams, he is not yet.

She needs to remember that they are in stage one. He is not even exclusive with her stage three , nor does she really know him stage four , and they definitely are not engaged to be married stage five.

It is vitally important for a woman to remember what stage their relationship is in and respond appropriately to that stage. Having a clear awareness of the stages of dating helps us to keep this balanced perspective. Uncertainty When someone is more special to us than others, we automatically move into stage two, uncertainty. When we begin to feel that we would really like to get to know someone and have an exclusive relationship, it is quite natural suddenly to shift and not feel so sure.

For some that shift is like an earth- quake and for others it is a mild tremor. Sometimes the size of the shift or the suddenness with which it occurs is a signal that this person has good potential. We could actually be dating our soul mate, but in stage two of dating we may not know it. Whether the person is wrong or right, in stage two the experience is uncertainty. Unfortu- nately, many singles do not recognize this as a necessary stage and mistakenly assume that if they are not certain, this must not be the right person for them.

They think that if they have found the right person, the gates of heaven should open and bells should ring. When a man moves into stage two, he can easily make the mistake of thinking. If I am not sure, then I should keep looking around and testing. He doesn't realize how this tendency can prevent him from ever finding the confidence that he is with the right person. Looking around and dating many women may be fine for stage one, but in stage two this tendency is counterproductive. This is the time for a man to temporarily stop dating others and to start focusing his attention on his special partner.

Stage one is a time to meet and get to know a variety of people; stage two is the time to focus on one. This is the time to make a de- cision to give the relationship a chance. For a man, other women may begin to seem more appealing. Men tend to have a visual picture of their perfect mate, but very rarely is that picture ever correct. It is a fantasy picture of a man's ideal partner. Not until he begins to experience real bonding with a woman in a way that makes him feel successful will the power of that pic- ture weaken and be replaced by a real person. As long as a man has not experienced the reality of making a woman happy, he will compare her with a fantasy picture.

He may begin to question his feelings: The spell is broken when his heart opens and he feels a special connection with his partner. This process takes time, even if he is with the right person. As long as a man has not experienced the reality of making a woman happy, he will hold a fantasy picture. In stage two, even if the grass on the other side of the fence begins to look greener, the man's new objective is to look and dig a little deeper on his side of the fence, to stop looking at the grass and dig for the gold.

He may or may not find it, but he will never find it if he doesn't start digging. To dig deeper he needs to ask himself these questions: When, over time, a man discovers an affirmative answer to each of these questions, then he is ready to move on to an ex- clusive relationship. In reality he may have the ability, but because he misinterprets the way she thinks and feels he reaches a faulty conclusion. Oh, I love swimming pools. Wow, this woman has expensive tastes; I don't know if I could keep her happy.

Fie mistakenly assumes that because the thought of a mansion and a swimming pool makes her happy, he will have to provide it all for her to be happy. At this point, he starts to think that she may be the wrong person for him to pursue. In stage two, it is very important for the man to do little things for the woman so he can repeatedly test and experience the idea that he has the power to make her happy.

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A man bonds with a woman through being successful in providing for her happiness, comfort, and fulfillment. His doubts are dispelled not primarily by what she does for him, but by how she responds to what he does for her. A man's doubts are dispelled not primarily by what a woman does for him, but by how she responds to what he does for her. Traditionally, this is why men have been the ones who provide on a date. The man gets the woman's number, the man calls her up, the man asks her out, the man comes up with a plan, the man picks her up, the man opens and shuts the car door, the man drives and navigates, the man buys the tickets, the man escorts the woman to her seat, the man takes respons- ibility for her comfort and happiness, the man pays the check.

The man gives and the woman graciously receives. She also gets to taste how it feels to receive his support. In this way, he bonds with her and she bonds with him. In the next stage, exclusivity, after they have bonded, she can begin sharing the expenses and doing little things for him as well, but on a romantic date he should be the main provider.

Without an understanding of these stages, a man sometimes gets stuck in uncertainty. Instead of testing to see if he can make a woman happy and win her over, he begins to question whether she can give him what he wants. When a man focuses on what he wants, he is sure to miss the perfect woman for him. When he focuses on the question, "Am I the right man for her? While a man tends to question whether he wants to pursue a relationship, a woman tends to question where the relationship is going. Quite often, she senses the man pulling away. To find reassurance, she makes one of two common mistakes.

Either she starts asking questions about the relationship, or she may try to win him over. Both of these approaches can push him away or prevent him from feeling confident that he is the right guy for her. In the uncertainty stage, when a woman doesn't understand a man, she may easily begin to panic. During the attraction stage he was coming on so strong, and now he is not. If she doesn't understand the stage of uncertainty, a host of feelings may arise. These are some common reactions. Unfortunately, all of these questions lure her in the wrong direction; she begins to pursue him.

When a man stops pursu- ing, a woman's task is to resist the enormous urge to find out what has happened or to do something about it. For a woman, the stage of uncertainty should be a time to reflect on what she is getting from the man, not on what she could get. This is a time for the woman to stay open to his fu- ture advances, but more important, it is a time to fill up her life with the support of friends.

This is a time to test whether he is really the right person for an exclusive relationship. When a man stops pursuing, a woman's task is to resist the enormous urge to find out what has happened or to do something about it. It is in this stage that the old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" applies.

If he pulls away, she should gracefully allow him take his distance. A woman needs to re- member that men are like rubber bands. If you don't run after them, they will spring back. After he springs back a few times, he will have the certainty that she is the one with whom he would like to pursue a steady or exclus- ive relationship. By giving the man the space to pull away and then once again become more interested, a woman also gets to know if this man is the one with whom she would like to have an ex- clusive relationship.

If she can fill up her life with the support of friends and family and she still misses him, it is a good sign. A man who doesn't take this time to pull back can smother a woman by his insistent pursuit of her with promises of love. When a woman says no to his advances, he must be careful to pursue gently and respectfully. Persistence is good, but it must be done in a nondemanding manner.

Trying to make her feel guilty for not spending more time with him can be a real turnoff. As a result, she can build a wall of resistance that prevents her from discovering that she may want to have an exclusive, steady relationship with him. This is why, traditionally, women don't call men. The wise woman waits for him to pursue her. Yet there is a time for a woman to call. It is foolish to wait passively. A wise woman can create the opportunity for a man to pursue her. In- stead she can casually let him know that all is well.

My 5 Stages of Dating

She can call just to say hi, to thank him for something, or to ask a question that he has some expertise about. It is just a short, friendly sounding call, so he clearly gets the message that she is not harboring any resentment because he didn't call. The worst thing she can do is to call him and interrogate him about his feelings about her and the relationship. The worst thing a woman can do is to call a man and interrogate him about his feelings about her and the relationship. Sometimes when a man is in stage two he temporarily forgets about a woman.

Two days, two weeks, or even two months can pass by in a flash, and then suddenly he remembers how much he likes a woman. He thinks about calling but anticipates that he will be scolded or rejected for taking so long to call. So he decides to not call and moves on. This then frees him to consider pursu- ing her again. Just as time slows down for women in uncertainty, time can speed up for a man. When a woman does not understand men, it is easy to con- clude that a man is a real jerk if he doesn't call her.

This is not really the case at all. There are many reasons a man doesn't call. With a more complete understanding of the way men think and feel, a woman can assess a man's instinctive behavior and not take it so personally. In Chapters 15 and 16 we will explore in much greater detail why men don't call and how a woman can call a man without turning him off. She has received so much that she feels obligated to return the favor. She hopes that by responding in a sexual manner and fulfilling his desires, she will regain his interest. By giving more of herself than she is ready to give, however, she can actually sabotage a relationship.

More is not always better. A woman can best move through the stage of uncertainty if she can enjoy a man's advances without feeling obligated. If she has not been used to feeling pursued and romanced, then she may feel even more obligated. When people are starving and they don't have any money to buy food, then quite natur- ally they might feel, "I will give you anything for this food. A woman needs to understand that by receiving and respond- ing in a warm and friendly way to a man's romantic gestures she is already giving back to him.

This basic understanding is crucial, and women today are missing it. Quite often a woman feels that she is not giving enough in return, and then she feels obligated to give more. When she senses that the man wants more, instead of just being flattered by his desires, she sabotages the dating ritual by feeling the pressure of obligation and giving in to being more physically intimate than is appropriate to their relation- ship.

Instead of letting him continue to please her, she shifts to trying to please him. Inevitably her position is compromised and he loses interest. How Sharon Felt Obligated Sharon described it this way: He listened to everything I said. He was such a gentleman. I loved everything he said. He was interesting and funny. We had such a good time. Then, after an evening of passion, everything stopped. She thought they were soul mates destined to get married, but Kevin was just in stage one, attrac- tion. He was still dating other women as well. Sharon said, "It hurts so much.

I'd rather not try again. I don't need a man that much. His intense attentiveness had meant to her that he must have been her soul mate. The truth is that they had only known each other for a few days. Although she thought they were going to be exclusive, they hadn't even gone through the uncertainty stage. She said, "Sure he said he loved me. But there's nothing wrong with that. He just didn't love me enough to stay.

The real reason I feel hurt is that we had sex and then he rejected me. If we hadn't gone all the way sexually and we had just kissed and touched, than his rejection would not hurt so much. If we had just dated for a few weeks and then he didn't want to pursue a relationship it would have been fine. After all, he was giving her what she wanted; it seemed only fair for her to return the favor.

But was he really giving her everything she wanted? Sharon wanted to get married. Was he giving her that? She said, "I want to get married. When a man gives me all of what I want then I will give him all of what he wants. Until my wedding night, I am remembering that I am not yet mar- ried. She could just be more discerning in how far to go sexually. Sharon learned that physical intimacy doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can slowly increase over time. Physical intimacy doesn't have to be all or nothing. By reaching this conclusion, Sharon was able to complete her relationship with Kevin.

She didn't feel like a victim but instead was grateful for the insight. She now clearly saw how she had set herself up to feel hurt. She forgave Kevin and wished him well. This lifted her spirits and she went back to dating with a new approach. Instead of giving up dating men, she gave up feeling obligated. She had a good time flirting a lot and dating until the right guy came along.

When they became exclusive, she practiced having sex without going all the way. Eventually they got married, but this time she waited until she was ready to be fully physically intimate. Quite often a woman denies her feelings of need for a man because she doesn't want to feel obligated. But by clearly realizing that she is under no obligation, she can begin to freely flirt with men and enjoy receiving what men can offer. She can feel her needs without feeling obligated. The more receptive and responsive she becomes, the more attractive she will be to the kind of man who will want to marry her.

By clearly realizing that she is under no obligation, a woman can begin to freely flirt with men and enjoy receiving what men can offer. When a woman has a tendency to feel obligated in response to a man's advances, it prevents her from being receptive. Younger women, particularly, feel a pressure not to let a man pay on a date so that they don't feel obligated to have sex. This is the woman's way of saying that he should not get his hopes up.

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She senses his desires and wants him not to get the wrong idea. The problem with this approach is that he will get the idea that she is not receptive at all and lose interest. Just because a woman enjoys a man's gifts does not in any way obligate her to give more than a smile or a thank you. Women commonly confuse a man's hope that he will "get lucky" with the expectation that she should be physically in- timate with him.

Most men do not expect a woman to be physically intimate; they just hope to get lucky. Well, I paid for dinner, so she should have sex with me. Still, sometimes a woman will refuse to let a man pay for dinner because she doesn't want him to get the wrong idea.

This is insulting not only to him but to herself as well. If she feels that a man is trying to buy her sexual favors, then why go out with him at all? While most men only hope to get lucky, there are some who expect it. They have had sex with women who are just looking for a good time, and so they expect this from all women. They expect it because they see it on TV, in the movies, and in magazines, and they assume that all women are just as fast as men. Nothing could be further from the truth. By clearly understanding the wisdom of going slowly and moving through the five stages of dating, both men and woman will enjoy the dating process more and eventually find true love.

When a man is used to fast women and then he meets a woman who wants to go slowly, it is normal for him to grumble a bit. If, however, there is more than just physical chemistry between them, he will respect her wishes and go slowly. Instead of refusing to be receptive to all his advances, a wo- man should just politely and firmly say no to the sexual part if she is not yet ready. If he can respect her, then he is worthy of her.

If he cannot and stays annoyed, then he is just not ready to be in a serious relationship and she does herself and him a favor by rejecting him. If a woman is not ready she can still be polite and firmly say no to a man's sexual advances. When a man wants to be more physically intimate and a woman doesn't know how to say no because she doesn't want to hurt his feelings, she needs to remember that she is not ob- ligated in any way. All he really needs is to feel successful in fulfilling her and to hope that one day it might happen. She can simply say, "I like this, but I am not ready for more.

This is as far as I go for now. Men need physical intimacy in order to open up and feel their love and desire, and to feel committed. Just as women are stimulated by a man's romantic interest and good conversation, men are stimulated by a woman's sexual responsiveness.

To be stimulated, however, they don't have to go all the way. This is a very important insight, because to avoid intercourse, many woman will not be physically affec- tionate or sexual at all. For a woman to feel comfortable being physically intimate, she needs to share a clear picture of how far she wants to go, and she must get a clear message from the man that he will respect what she wants.

It can be very uncomfortable or difficult for a woman to say no to a man when she is in the heat of arousal. When she is kissing him and he wants to go further, she doesn't always want to be saying no. To facilitate clear conversation with a man about sex, baseball can provide some helpful examples. Getting on First Base There are basically four degrees of sexual or physical intim- acy. As in the game of baseball, each degree can be likened to getting onto another base. Getting on first base has to do with kissing and affection. At first, people casually or unintention- ally touch.

They may spend many minutes gazing into each other's eyes while sharing a meal together. Then he holds her hand, puts his arm around her, or gives her a kiss. Gradually their kissing becomes more lengthy and passionate. As they get to know each other, he feels very comfortable putting his arm around her and holding hands in private and in public. In private they may spend hours cuddled up together or passionately kissing and pressing their bodies together.

Although there is a lot of passion, they purposefully restrict the stimulation to lots of kissing, cuddling, embracing, and rolling around and alternately lying on each other. In this stage they begin to stimulate their more erogenous zones. There are basically three zones of exploration. The first zone is from the neck and shoulders up, plus arms, hands, and feet. The second is from the waist up and the third is from the waist down. Second base includes exploration in zones one and two.

Slowly they will begin to explore and touch each other. At first this exploration is done with clothes on, then with less clothing on, and then with nothing on. Getting on Third Base Third base is the full stimulation of the genitals without in- tercourse. It includes touching, caressing, and stimulating each other in all three zones. Although the man does not penetrate the woman through intercourse, they give each other pleasure through mutual stimulation. They both eventually enjoy the orgasmic bliss of two souls uniting in love.

The woman commonly makes the mistake of rushing to third base to satisfy the man because she can feel his longing and desire. This is a mistake. Ideally, before she gives him an or- gasm, she needs to first be open and receptive to having her own orgasm. When she also feels her longing to have an or- gasm and she experiences one, then by giving him an orgasm she is not giving too much or going too far.

In this sense, by listening to her own body she can know how far to go. Sliding into Home Base The fourth base or home base is intercourse. With a clear understanding of the four bases, a woman can definitely and accurately communicate to a man how far she is willing to go. This clarity allows her to move from feeling uncertain to getting more involved with a man. How far the woman goes should always be her choice. To make this choice she needs to be sure that her willingness is not coming from a place of obligation or sympathy for the man's need, or from a rebelliousness to authority.

She needs to listen within herself to determine when she is ready. A clearer understanding of the five stages of dating will help both her and him to understand why waiting is so important. She chose to stay a virgin until her wedding night, when she was twenty-eight years old. At a certain point while dating, as she started to feel the pres- sures building to be more physically intimate, she would simply say, "Look, I just want you to know I am a virgin and I plan to stay that way till I get married.

I like kissing and touching, but that is all. Andrea had a different approach. After a kiss became very steamy, she would say clearly, "I don't want to go any further. I am not ready. I need more time. Cathy would just say very quickly, in a friendly tone, "No, I don't want to do that.

I just want to kiss. Being vague doesn't work. Maybe we should wait. Just as a man needs to be respectful of a woman's boundaries, a woman also needs to consider the messages she is giving. When a man is touching a woman, moving his hand away to say no is generally misinterpreted as "Not yet; I am not ready.

If he doesn't respect that first no, then she needs to immediately get up and leave. She can be polite and also be clear about setting that boundary. She could just get up and say, "I really like you, but I am not ready for this. She waits to meet Mr. She decides to refuse dates and not flirt until she feels right away that a man is right for her. Mary shared these feelings: Mary didn't feel comfortable saying no or yes to a man's advances, so she decided that she was going to wait to get involved.

She said, "I just can't keep getting involved with the wrong men. From now on I am not going to date a man unless I know he is right for me. Mary could wait her whole life and stay single. Knowing that a partner is right happens only in stage four, the intimacy stage; it is totally unrealistic to make that a prerequisite. In stage two, it is perfectly normal to question whether a partner is right for you. At a certain point in the uncertainty stage, if you have been careful not to pursue other relationships, both the man and woman will be ready to move on to having an exclusive rela- tionship.

Either you become more interested in getting to know each other or you don't. Even though you may not be sure, if a part of you wants to pursue the relationship and if you want to prepare yourself to know for sure, then it is time to move on to stage three and have an exclusive relationship. Exclusivity W hen we are able to feel that our dating partner has the potential to be a mate, or if we just feel that we want to get to know the person better and give the relationship a chance, we are ready to move into stage three, exclusivity.

In this stage, we make a commitment to focus on having a primary romantic relationship and avoid nurturing any romantic relationships on the side. In stage three, we build a foundation that allows us to open our hearts and truly love someone. Before this stage, we are just reacting to the anticipation of getting what we need and testing to see if we want to get involved. Now we actually have a chance to give freely and fully and experience getting what we need in return.

Having a primary romantic relationship and avoiding any romantic relationships on the side will build the foundation for truly loving someone. Most dating couples in this stage unknowingly sabotage this opportunity to experience the best of their partners and themselves. A woman's questions tend to revolve around one issue: How do I secure a loving, lasting relationship?

Women want to make sure they can get what they need in a relationship. Men, on the other hand, have different questions. Their questions focus on making sure they are successful in their relationships but also reveal a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of women. How do I know what a woman wants? Why are women so indirect about things? Although men's and women's questions reflect different orientations toward dating, they do have two things in common: Men and women want their relationships to be loving, and they definitely don't understand each other.

We feel powerless at times to get what we want in our relationships. It might seem hopeless, but it is not. Once men and women learn how they approach dating and relationships differently, then we have the necessary information and insight to begin finding the answers to our questions.

Without a deeper understanding of our differences, it is inevitable that we will continue to misinterpret our dating partners and create unnecessary problems. How We Unknowingly Sabotage Relationships When we misinterpret each other, it can cause us to sabotage our relationships unknowingly. A woman may mistakenly conclude her date is "just another man incapable of making a commitment" and give up.

A man may think his date is another woman whose needs may smother him and take away his freedom. As a result, he loses interest. No matter how sincere you are, if your partner is misinterpreting your innocent and automatic reactions and responses, your attempts to create a relationship may be unsuccessful. It is not enough merely to be authentic in sharing yourself; to succeed in dating you need to consider how you will be interpreted as well. For this reason there are times when we cannot just "be ourselves.

Making sense of the opposite sex frees us to make decisions and choices conducive to getting what we want, but in a way that works. To do this, it is essential that we have a deeper understanding of the different worlds we come from. While I have explored many of these differences in my previous book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, there are many issues specifically relevant to being single that were not covered.

A deeper understanding of single men and women can be immensely helpful in navigating through the five different stages of dating: With this new insight, it will be easier to interpret each other's behavior correctly and act accordingly. Attraction In stage one of dating, we experience our initial attraction to a potential partner.

The challenge in this first stage is to make sure you get the opportunity to express that attraction and get to know a potential partner. With a clear understanding of how men and women approach dating differently, you will be able to put your best foot forward. Uncertainty In stage two, we experience a shift from feeling attraction to feeling uncertain that our partner is right for us. The challenge in this stage is to recognize this uncertainty as normal and not be swayed by it.

To become uncertain doesn't mean that someone is not right for you. When you are dating someone who seems really special to you, it is quite normal suddenly to wonder whether you wish to continue dating that person. Without an understanding of this stage, it is too easy for a man to drift from one partner to another and for a woman to make the mistake of pursuing a man more than he is pursuing her.

Exclusivity In stage three we feel a desire to date a person exclusively. We want the opportunity to give and receive love in a special relationship without competition.