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alt.romance "FAQ" (part 2 of 3) [posted monthly]

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Archive-name: romance-faq/part2
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Last-modified: 2006-12-31
Version: 62

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge

Subject: #8# What do women want? From: Karen Ronan <ronan@mendel.berkeley.edu> @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-- subject: Re: Women are all the same... >Why do women have time for everything and everyone else but me? Are you interesting to talk to? Are you clean, well-groomed? Do you have a sense of humor? Do you listen to people? Do you project some self-confidence? Do you have ideas for places to go with a woman? Do you have any flair for conversation? Do you have decent social skills? Are you fairly intelligent, well read, passionate about something? Do you show any emotions? Just a few things that I look for in potential mates. Good luck, Karen From: fsquared@eff.org (Fawn Fitter) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-- subject: Re: What do you want to know about a potential SO? mmcohen@cats.ucsc.edu (Michael M Cohen) writes: >A question for all you romantics: When you are talking with >a potential SO, what are the questions you want answered >before deciding that you want to enter a relationship? Before I get involved with him, or before we take the step that leads from casual dating to serious one-on-one exploration of whether we could have a future together? If the former, the list is pretty short: - is he single? - does he smoke, use drugs, or drink to excess? - is he HIV-negative? - does he have children from a previous relationship? - is he politically progressive? - is he attractive -- not handsome, necessarily, but not butt-ugly (a technical term, mind you!) either? - does he treat women with the same respect he gives to men? - how's his sense of humor? If the latter, tack on these things, too: - do we have any recreational interests in common? - is he good in bed? - is he curious about and interested in my work? - do we aspire to the same kind of lifestyle? - is he a "city person," or does he prefer the suburban or rural life? - how does he feel about his family? - how does he feel about my family? - is he interested in and open to personal change? - what are his spiritual/religious beliefs, and do they conflict with mine? - can he fight fair, or does he have a temper? - are we friends as well as lovers? - is he responsible? - how good is he at expressing his feelings? and so on, and so on. I always wonder how I managed to survive in the years before I started choosing my relationships with as much attention as I give to choosing a new car... From: weaver@weitek.COM (Michael Gordon Weaver) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`- @}- subject: Re: What do women find attractive in men? >Subject line says it all. I'm perpetually perplexed about this. Sorry if it's >FAQ. As a man, I cannot speak for women. But I would like to comment. I think that a better question is 'what can I do to be more attractive to women'. (If you really want to be able to predict who will be considered more attractive by some group of women, then you can stop reading now). If you want to be more attractive to women, I think the first thing you have to realize is that you only make small changes in yourself. You can't make yourself taller, shorter or change your basic personality. Don't waste time worrying about things you can't change. Another important point is that people pay more attention to attitude and personality than to appearance. You should try to be well groomed and keep in shape, of course. But if you are going to make a good impression, you are going to have to do it by projecting your personality, not by looking good. You want women to be interested in you, not impressed. You might get some attention by doing something impressive, but usually this attention is short-lived. The most effective way to get someone interested in you is to show an interest in them. If you adopt an attitude that is accepting and open, and show that you are interested in the other person (by asking questions, and paying attention to her answers), you will seem very interesting. Avoid speaking negatively. When someone hears you say negative things, they unconsciously fear that you will speak of them negatively. Try to get her to speak about herself. People have a great need to express themselves, and everyone needs someone to listen to them. Paying attention to someone and being a good listener will help make the other person interested in you, but if that is all you do, you will be taken for granted. To keep this from happening, you need to demonstrate some independence. Show that you have a life of your own. While you should keep the focus on her, when she talks about something in her life, you can briefly mention something in your life that is similar. If you do a variety of things in your life, it should be easy to appear independent. On the other hand, if you act like you are never too busy to drop everything to see her, and that as far as you are concerned there are no other women in the world, you will be seen as dependent. Dependency is unattractive. Peace, Michael. From: dobbs@ast.saic.com (Lynn Bruce Dobbs) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-- subject: Re: What do women find attractive in men? [...] My female best buddy told me that she didn't like to answer this question because her view of attractiveness varied with every man she knows. She and I agree that attractiveness is not a receipe to follow. Besides the basics of hygene and curtesy (and not always those) little can be said that translates to "ultimate truth" for any given woman about any given man. I maintain that the same holds true for men. Lynn 'a guess based on personal experience and a very close friend who hasn't lied to be yet :-)' From: ez040933@hamlet.ucdavis.edu (Melissa Hynes) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- subject: Re: The Six C's of Getting a Date (for men) Boy oh boy, do you have a twisted sense of what women want! The "perfect" guy you outlined sounds like a perfect horror. : : CASH: One of the first things you need, Cash is handy if you want to go anywhere, but most wealthy guys are a lot more arrogant, domineering, and all-around stuck up jerks than your average guy. : : CAR: The fancier, the better. It shows A guy with a fancy car at this age means that either A. his folks bought it for him, which means he's used to having everything handed to him, or B. He has absolutely no maturity in the way he spends his money. I had an ex who had a VERY nice car, he focused all his time and energy and money on it and got kicked out of his apartment for spending the rent money on a new paint job. : : CAREER: Will impress the woman, and also Ah yes,all women everywhere wants a type A overachiever who spends all his time in his career and never saying a word to us except to hand us cash. Pretty fuckin shallow. Sounds exactly like my dad as a matter of fact. : : CASTLE: If you don't own a house, or have According to whom?? If a guy OWNS A HOUSE at this stage in life, it falls into the same guidelines as the car...no normal guy should have that much money yet unless he's a bank robber. : : COMBAT: You must show the woman that you : : are willing and able to be the kind : : of manipulative and controlling : : male that is able to fight and Oh no. No no no no NO NO! "Manipulative and controlling" guys are the most psychologically screwed up people there are! Ever see "Sleeping With the Enemy"?! If a guy started trying to control my life and play with my mind, I'd run away as fast as I possibly could!! : : COCK: It doesn't hurt to have a BIG one! Or You're dead wrong on this one. IT DOES HURT!!! Trust me, I experienced it once and never again!!! Not all women are built like Mason jars. IT DOES HURT LIKE HELL!!! And sir, if you have all of these qualities accomplished, I wish you the best of luck in your philosophy, and pray to the gods that I never meet you.
Subject: #9# Dating From: PAISLEY@auvm.american.edu @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- subject: Dating skills for women [...] Again, I'm not working from any kind of list, but here's my input from a guy's point of view--these are the things I would like to expect from a date: 1. Appreciate your date. Remember that he asked you out because he likes you, and wants to get to know you better. And you probably think roughly the same of him or you wouldn't have agreed to go out with him. Keep this in mind. 2. Since one of the reasons he asked you out was to get to know you better, LET HIM. The most frustrating date I ever had was when, after the date, I didn't know any more about the girl or how she felt about me. On a date, let some of yourself out. You don't have to tell him your life story, but some insight into who you are would really be nice. 3. Remember his feelings. Hopefully, he has given some thought to make the date something you will enjoy, but if he hasn't, don't let that ruin things automatically. First of all, he may just be uncreative. Or, you might just find out that it wasn't as bad as you originally thought. 4. Be understanding. Chances are, he is just as nervous as you are, and so he may say or do some really stupid things. Try to be patient, unless he REALLY screws up. 5. All the ideas about making your date feel special still apply. Look at him when you talk, listen to what he says, make him feel like he really matters to you. 6. Remember your manners. Again, this sounds really silly, but little things like saying thank-you for dinner mean a lot. Well, it's not so much that they mean a lot, but THEIR OMISSION means a hell of a lot, and in a bad way. There is not much worse that to take all the time, money and effort to take someone out and not even get a thank-you out of it. It's so little and it can mean so much. Well, that's all I can think of right now, just try to remember these, along with basic common sense, and above all else, ENJOY YOURSELF!!!! From: userisra@mts.ucs.ualberta.ca (Mark Israel) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- @}-,-`--- subject: Dating skills for women 1. Be on time. Unpunctuality is a fault with *no* redeeming features. (However, if your date is late, don't let it spoil the evening -- remain pleasant!) 2. Wear something that makes you feel pretty -- an outfit that's proved itself, with comfortable shoes. 3. Tell yourself you're not nervous, just excited. 4. Read a newspaper or watch a news program that day so you'll have something to talk about and sound as if you know what's happening in the world. 5. If you can begin with the exchange of warm relaxed smiles, you have a lot going for you. 6. Be open -- to him, his plans, and the shape the evening takes. 7. Use every opportunity to be observant, sensitive, perceptive, and appreciative of what your date does or may have done. 8. If something embarrassing happens, "confess" so that you can both laugh over it. 9. If you're having a good time, let him know it. 10. Call him because you've just heard something that he'd love to know about, a joke on a favourite subject, or a piece of news relating to one of his heroes. He will feel that you two are really on the same beam, and it will encourage him to think of you when *he* has news he wants to share with someone. 11. Be busy. Projects of your own make for much more interesting discussion than last night's TV program. 12. Caring about each other more than petty victories is the essence of positive loving. Equality is not measured by a single act. From: jed189@ecs.soton.ac.uk (JE Dixon) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- @}-,-`--- subject: Dating skills for men 1) Don't lie. Never lie. NEVER. Its OK for one night. You lie thru your teeth to be interesting. Great ! You get the second date. Now you have to be consistent with all the lies you told on your first date. Tricky. Five dates later you have to revise for two days before each date. 2) Don't pretend to be someone you're not. Your date might like this other person. She'll call this other person, she'll come to see this other person, she might even sleep with this other person. But when she says F*** YOU, she'll be saying it to you not the other person. 3) Never surprise your date with a movie, meal etc on the first date. Not until you've got some vague idea of her likes and dislikes. Putting a poor unsuspecting girl thru 'Meatslayer And The Wartoids From The Planet SoftPorn' is not a good idea. 4) A sense of humour (refined if possible) is your best ally. Women like someone that makes them laugh. 5) Clean nails. VITAL. 6) Don't lie to anyone else about the date and what happened. It always goes horribly wrong. ADVANCED TIPS: 7) Never take your pants off before your socks. 8) Roll over, go to sleep. WRONG. Cuddle, kiss, roll over, go to sleep. RIGHT. Practice makes slightly better, but never perfect. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince(ss). Good Luck! From: mars@eddie.mit.edu (Anita Hsiung) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- @}-,-`--- subject: First dates >Do other people have a great deal of trouble with first dates, or is >it just me? I seem to have problems getting some sort of spark going >over dinner, even though the conversation is usually pretty good. I usually have fantastic first dates. (After that, they become normal.) First of all, by definition, first dates are when you are excited, interested in getting to know the other person, your hormones are working overtime, your adrenalin is pumping. It's almost, but not quite, like opening night of your show, but that's another matter. Anyway, first dates, I "test" my date on body language (I love reading on that stuff and trying things out on people), you know, how you "divide" the table up, is the other person as nervous as you are, what kind of impression are you giving, all in good fun, of course! There's always lots to talk about, after all, you don't really know anything about the other person. What do they do? Personal hobbies? Do they sing in their car? Anything's fair game! >What do you think is a good first date activity? Maybe at dinner >there's too much pressure on intelligent conversation, and there >should be more of an emphasis on distraction? Dinner is great! There is nothing like face-to-face to gauge a potential SO. After all, you may be spending a lot of time talking to this person, and you want to know how you react to each other. You already know how people react at movies or fairs or other impersonal stuff like that. But, pressure. I hate it, but I thrive on it! >While I'm at it, how do people tend to meet their dates? Well, when you're out of school, it's work, clients (make sure he/she isn't in charge of your contract!), things you do after work (theatre, volunteer work), NetNews, old high school chums' parties. -- Anita -- From: mars@eddie.mit.edu (Anita Hsiung) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- @}-,-`--- subject: First dates angelok@misg.csd.harris.com (Angelo the Postmaster ) writes: > As far as body language goes... are you looking for an "OUCH" > or a "AHH" when you pinch him? *smile* Actually, to tell the truth, SHOULDERS. Y'know, when you're walking along and you're not at the hand-holding stage, you kind of bump shoulders and see how he reacts. Or if you're sitting down together at a comedy club or a movie, again, you touch shoulders. There's a whole world of language with them body parts! You can do a touch-n-go with the shoulder, a longer caress, a friendly contact when he's explaining a joke that went over your head, almost snuggling into his shoulder when you lean over to ask him a question... -- Anita -- From: chrisc@pro-nbs.acme.fred.org (Chris Carstens) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`- subject: First Date Ideas (summary of replies to a survey) [...] This is 1992. What is a fun thing to do on a first date? Is it still dinner and a movie, or are there other things that work well? [...] In the fitness spirit...anything outdoors is good. Taking a walk, or cycling. You can get to know someone without having to focus 100% on them. Sometimes the complete focus is uncomfortable. -- Teresa Okay, here's a few: Bowling. Asked her outta the blue. Little did I know she was a SERIOUS bowler, and really beat me bad. I work with her, so asking her wasn't a problem. Patching up my male ego afterwards was, however.. :) Horseback Riding. Happens I asked her out for a movie. She has horses, wanted to go riding instead. I hadn't ridden in years, so we took it easy. Then, my horse acted up, and threw me...being injury prone, I should have expected it! The sympathy was nice, though I could have done without the pain..:)..we are still going out regularly, riding in addition to more "Traditional" dates, like movies. I guess a "memorable date" like this one tends to help cement a relationship...it has been several months now. Dancing in Strange Places. I was eating dinner alone a few years back, it was late and I was the only person in my end of the restaurant. My waitress was very nice, very pretty, very funny. Since I was her only customer, we talked a lot through the course of the evening. The everplaying tape they use in restaurants had another song come on, and I asked her to dance. She blushed prettily, we danced for a short time. I hung around until she got off work (I ate more that night than I have in my life, just so I didn't have to leave) and we went driving around. Dated her for over a year. Redneck! The Official Lumberjack and Woodgatherer of the RFA My vote goes for lighting up the barbeque, doing up a rack of ribs and sitting on the porch playing guitar after the sun sets. But that's just me - I'm looking for the woman who wants to do the same! - Pat Well, I'm a college student and Ice Skating seems to be a pretty big option, next to dinner and a movie. Erich I find miniature golf tobe a great first date, and evening at the symphony & dinner to be good, an afternoon at Kennywood or the conservancy also works well. John What are fun things to do on a first date? Well, it seems to me that the key ingredients are 1) Something enjoyable (fun as you say) for both people, and 2) Something where both people will have the largest possible chance to talk and get to know each other. Exactly what is best depends, I think, on the circumstances * How the people met, and * What their interests are I also think the word 'date' has to be thought about very carefully. Does it refer to *any* occasion where two people decide to do something together, or does it have the stronger connotation of a get-together in circumstances of 'courting' or 'actively looking for an so' (for one or both people). Some specific points in answer to your question: 1) Dinner and a movie still works well, but it works a lot better if you know the other person beforehand (i.e. s/he is a casual acquaintance, co-worker, person you met in a group activity etc.). If you are on a blind or near-blind first date, I have found dinner alone to be best -- you can sit and talk and then perhaps decide what to do on the second date. One big risk with movies is compatibility of interests. I will go to just about anything that gets a reasonable critical review, but I have too-often found that women I have dated have had a much narrower tolerance. A first date movie where there is a lot of violence or sexual explicitness can make things uneasy. 2) Looking back the only things I have done on *first* dates were * Simply dropping by to have some tea (I think this counts as a date - we stayed and chatted for hours) * Meeting at a cafe & nothing more (once) * Dinner only (several times) * Dinner & movie & talking afterwards in the car or at her place (several times) * Dinner followed by a play (several times) * Going skiiing, followed by a mid-afternoon lunch (once) * Going to a formal *do* (once) * Going to help out at a soup kitchen! (once) 3) Some of the funnest dates (non-first) I have been on were: * Going to an exhibition, then going out to eat, then going to my place to watch some TV, then doing more talking. The key here was that we were able to communicate all the time (discussing the exhibit, second-guessing what was happening on TV). At a movie you can enjoy yourself, but you can enjoy yourself just as well alone. * Driving to an area of natural beauty, stopping off along the way to check out the goings on in several small towns. Stopping at a cafe on the way back and exploring some backroads. I think that activities like these could have been used as first dates too). - Tim -- my first date with my wife: we went to hear a couple of reggae bands. we both enjoyed it. i knew the next day that I was going to marry her. that was five years ago next month, so it may not apply to 92. also, we were late 20s. can't get any better than that! -- clint 1. Race cars at Malibu Grand Prix. 2. Shooting range. 3. Video arcade. 4. Cooking dinner together. 5. Going to a "coffee house". Then there is the "California version". 1. Tatoos. 2. Piercings. 3. Activist rally. Tee hee. Only kidding! rf a racquetball game!!! people (specially women) these days are a little apprehensive about dinner and movie on a first date. doing something in the gym, one can be himself/herself and not have to pretend to be someone else. i've met a lot of women this way. if the game is fun, i usually invite her to a soda afterwards or if i really like her i squeeze fresh oranges for her. bip One of the first things my current SO and did after having a lunch or two is go to a boat show during a Sunday afternoon. It was really fun and there was no preassure. We spent almost the whole day together at the boat show and walking downtown. barry I always like the walk by a lake or river approach. Simple, romantic, non-threatining. the movie/dinner idea still works but here (York, PA) dinner is 10-15 (for fast food) 25+ for real food and a movie runs 5.50 each plus the popcorn ($4), and soda ($3) hope this helps.. Jamie You might think I am a little young to offer advice(21) but I have some ideas. I thinking dinner is part of a good first date but what happens after that is up to the people. I have gone dancing which is my absolute favorite because it gives you a chance to get to know the person. I have also gone to a musical, minature golfing, go carting, walks, going somewhere and cuddling and, of course seeing a movie. I hope I have given you some good responses. mike Picnics, on a beach or in a park ( preferably near the water ), are always fun. Skiing is also an idea. Dan "Fish" McMillen My wife and I went out to eat after church for our first date. Later that day we went to a Christian rock concert (Greg X. Volz) with mutual friends. We had a REALLY enjoyable time. It was very relaxed, with no pressure what so ever. We both think that the first few dates are more enjoyable and relaxed when you are with mutual friends. Andy & Deb A picnic is still one of the best first (or subsequent) dates. You look at each other and talk in a very non-threatening en- vironment, there's lots to observe, no distractions unless you want them to be distracting, no pressure on either for decisions or actions they're not ready for or don't want at all with the other person. Even ants can't ruin a good picnic. BDW I met my boyfriend through the personals. I placed an "ad" on alt.personals in the newsgroups and he responded. About 250 guys responded to that one ad. Steve, my boyfriend, and I talked constantly on the computer..than he flew down to see me. He lives in Illinois and I live in North Carolina. Since then, we have seen each other as much as possible, he has applied to transfer schools to be with me, and we are always on the computer with each other as much as possible. Also the phone when we can afford it. If he gets accepted to attend school with me, we have tentively made plans to get married this summer. Lisa That's one thing that really bothers me. These days, date seems to be a four-letter word (meaning foul). There are too many hopes IMHO pinned on going out with someone. A first date is just a meeting...expectations of happily ever after don't belong. Teresa
Subject: #A# Sensitivity training From: jad@atux01.att.com (Jessica Danielson) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,- This article was built from responses from members of alt.romance in response to my request for "sensitivity training." I have tried to organize the responses and have also attempted to summarize. [...] WHAT IS SENSITIVITY? Respondents' outlook on what sensitivity is varied considerably. Some believed that sensitivity is in fact a sort of native talent. I think it has a lot to do with personality traits that you are born with. Some of my friends really do care for people, but have a hard time "reading" them. Others believed that sensitivity is something which is not so much developed, as allowed to exist. It's called "empathy", and it's a trait that isn't so much developed as allowed to exist. Many things in our modern world tend to cause us to believe that we shouldn't empathize. WHAT CAUSES INSENSITIVITY? What is responsible for sensitivity problems? Respondents felt that problems might be associated with self-absorbtion. Well, I have this problem; it comes from being so wound up with my own problems that I don't "have time" for others. Don't know if this is your sticking point, but, if it is, it shows in the tension you project. Semi- silly idea: ask a friend to unobtrusively follow you around with a camcorder and take candid shots of you in public. This would probably be very difficult to implement (too much "camera awareness"), but you could really see how you present yourself to others. I've already found that I've acted inconsistent in cases where I told myself I wanted to pay attention to someone I could care less about, and it showed. *sigh* A lack of self-honesty was also blamed. Playing games with oneself will surely cause problems in dealing with others. BE PREPARED! Keeping an open mind prepares you to be sensitive to others. ... I find that keeping a VERY open mind helps. You have to always be on your toes, trying to relate to what the person is saying, even though you may not have experienced what they have. SENSITIVITY AS A SKILL Most respondents believed that sensitivity to others could be developed. Some people DO have this ability, but most just fake it. It comes with experience... People learn from their experiences, and make judgements based upon these. If certain behaviour results in favourable responses, we tend to repeat it. Given unfavourable responses, we tend not to repeat it (at least, not very often). So any sense of "prediction" is mainly the application of past experience. LISTENING One frequently discussed "technique" was listening. The trick (for me, at least) was to listen more carefully to people. I used to be caught up in a little world of my own, and when I'd hear a key word that related to something that was in my little world, then I'd jump in the conversation. Suggestions for effective listening techniques were made. My best advise is that listening is an interactive activity. As you learn how to communicate immediacy, the rest begins to come more and more easily. For example, as you are listening to someone, try to understand not just what they are saying, but why they are saying it. Then, as you start to guess, ask questions which indicate an interest not just in the what, but the why. You will probably be wrong most of the time, but by asking, you don't have to guess. The other person can tell you if you understand or not. It takes some practice, but it is well worth it! HOW TO LISTEN Look directly at the other person. Don't look away at other things, no matter how distracting. Nod in agreement occasionally -- if nothing else, this will keep the other person talking -- better still to do it at the right places. Completely refrain from trying to insert a comment of your own. (I have trouble with this, and tend to trample conversations, because if I don't say it I'll forget what I want to say in trying to listen to the rest of the conversation). Lean towards the other person just a little (too much can look confrontational). These things will convince the other person that you're listening. As long as you stay focused on him/her and don't try to butt in, you'll be able to listen and really hear what they're saying. "'Tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." Waiting till the other person finishes is polite and it gives you time to compose an answer, rather than blurt out something. Listen -- listen very carefully, look into their eyes, don't let outside things interrupt your concentration on what they are saying. If you don't understand exactly what they said ask questions and get them to go over things. Summarise what they have told you. Don't always offer advice -- it's not always wanted -- often a sympathetic ear is just enough. The important thing is to show the other person that you are willing to drop all outside distractions and to focus on their needs for a while -- to show you care for them and they will like wise return the favour when needed. Another suggestion was to literally take notes, whenever practicable. This was also recommended as it tends to build up the mental note-taking habit. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION Acquiring an understanding of non-verbal communication was recommended. People say so much, their gestures, looks, and body language in general. Even the way they build sentences is different when they are happy or sad. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes you have to know them for a while. That's one part of it. The other is using this information. Touch was suggested as a way of "testing the waters." There's a good way to know if someone is ready for your friendship. Find an excuse and touch their hand. You can lie and you can keep your face calm, but few people can stand a touch from someone they don't like. Looking at the way people are acting gives an indication of their feelings, too. I've also found that watching people helps. If I have known someone for a long period of time and watch how they behave, then eventually if they start doing things that are "out of character", I'm better at picking that up. DEVELOPING TRUST AND ENCOURAGING OPENNESS Getting the other person to feel comfortable with you is a critical need. This is your responsibility! Most people are more open than one may think, if they feel comfortable with it, so you have to give them that feeling. Trust is the key to openness. The major word is trust. Once you've won someone's trust and respect they open to you. But a trust is easy to loose too. And if you loose someone's trust you can never get it back. Asking questions was heavily recommended for getting people to open up, even when on uncertain ground. When you know SOMETHING is wrong, but have no idea what, bluff. Ask leading questions, like you know something already, but {be subtle}. Ask people about themselves. If someone finds out that you are actually interested in THEM, it is amazing how they will respond. You can ask questions about their family, about their work/school, or about everyday things, i.e., "Did anything exciting happen today/this week?' (and follow up -- the standard response is "no"- I usually say "C'mon, surely SOMETHING interesting happened.") It was pointed out that it is critical to listen BEFORE asking questions, and to consider the impact of the question on the person asked. At first, don't ask and just listen. Never ask if you at their place wouldn't like the question. Be open yourself. Let people know how YOU feel. Basically if you want to show people that you're sensitive to have to open yourself up to them as well. Remember, NEVER assume anything. Sure, you can guess, but remember that you are only guessing. The main point, though, is to tell the other person how YOU feel... 'You seem to be nervous... Are you?' 'You still seem to be upset, and that bothers me....' 'You know, I love it when you smile at me that way....' 'I really appreciate it when you do things like this....' 'That was really fun! I'd like to do that again!' The 'mind-readers' just voice their concerns and thoughts, that's all. Try it. With some practice, you'll become quite adept at it.... Advise on encouraging trust included sharing your own "secrets". As for getting people to opening up - share activities with them, get to know them better, most importantly, share your feelings too. Real concern helps too, as does a willingness to help out. Best advice I know of is to honestly care about other people. Then you can pick up their "vibes" almost naturally (since you care, you pay attention to what they like and dislike, and become aware of these things). Be friendly, honest, and open, and you will develop the friendships you want. Be consistent, so that people can see you can be trusted, and they will begin to open up. Above all, be there when your friends need you. USING YOUR OWN FEELINGS Understanding the causes of unconfortable feelings in yourself is helpful in understanding others, even if it means confronting unpleasant realities about yourself. That's exactly the way how it works. If you get that [uncomfortable] feeling, try to find out what initiates it. Of course, it means thinking more about people. It helps a lot to talk with a really close friend about it. When you get that feeling while talking to him/her. Most people I have met who have this capability (if you like to describe it that way), think it is based on rational understanding your own feelings. The results are not always nice, because nobody is perfect. I mean, nobody likes to think about his bad properties, but doing so is the consequence. Once you started it, you can't run away. SOME OTHER VALUABLE THINGS TO REMEMBER Be open, yourself, and remember that 1) Everybody is entitled to their feelings, no matter how illogical they are; 2) There is no such thing as 'blame'... Everybody involved is equally at fault; 3) Don't attack, but express -- Not 'You did this/that,' but 'I feel this/that'; 4) Don't leave a problem unresolved -- it will just get worse with time; 5) Nobody's perfect -- not even you.... [...]
Subject: #B# Backrubs and massages If you want to know more about backrubs and massages read the alt.backrubs FAQ! <http://www.ii.uib.no/~kjartan/backrubfaq/> In alt.backrubs you can also find addresses of people who might want to exchange massages with you. Here are a few introductions: From: barrett@whatever.cs.jhu.edu (Dan Barrett) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`- @}- Torsten Wesley Adair <torsten@cwis.unomaha.edu> wrote: > 0) The most important backrub rule in my opinion: never break contact. Once you start touching the person, do not stop until the backrub is over. Even if you must rest or switch positions, keep a hand touching his/her back. >1) Keep your fingernails short, and not sharp. 1.5) Scratching (lightly or hard, depending on your victim) after a backrub can be wonderful. Follow this with extremely light touching (a backrub where you are hardly touching the person at all, except with fingertips). Careful not to tickle too much -- add more pressure if you're tickling. Finish up with very light "real" backrubbing. >2) Before you start, ask the receipient to tell you if anything you do makes > her or him uncomfortable. >3) Rub firmly, but not hard. >4) Use all parts of your hand. Sometimes use your fingertips, your palms, > even your knuckles. 4.5) Play piano scales all over his/her back. Some people really like this. >5) If you use a substance, use skin lotion, and use it sparingly. Scented > oils are acceptible (but be cautious of allergies). 5.5) Johnson's Baby Oil is great. >6) Backs are nice, but don't limit yourself. 6.5) DO limit yourself if you don't know the person very well. Unwanted touching will ruin both of your evenings. 7) If you don't know the person very well, offer a backrub ONLY if you really mean "backrub." If you say "backrub" when you really are just trying to get the person into bed, then (in my opinion at least) you are a slime. 8) Have fun! Dan From: dontask@camelot.bradley.edu (Keith Nugent) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`--- @}-,-`--- Giving an Effective Massage (Made Easy) Three Basic Rules: 1.) Enjoy yourself 2.) Stay Comfortable 3.) Keep the Massee Comfortable (Massage from friend to friend, not intended to be sexual.) Start with conversation. Without even touching the person, talk to them. Get attuned to how they're feeling etc at the time of the massage. Find out how their day,week,month has been (Depending on how often you talk to them. =) Ask them if there are any areas that are painful or sensitive that they'd like avoided or paid special attention to. Remember that if they're not comfortable with you, they won't be comfortable with the massage they're receiving from you. Ask them if they would be uncomfortable with taking their clothes off. Let them know that you won't see them completely nude, but the purpose of the removal of clothing is so that lotions or oils can be used and so that the friction between cloth and skin won't cause discomfort for either the masseur/masseuse or massee. If they're uncomfortable with taking off their clothes, let them know that it's okay to leave them on. Again, they have to be comfortable in order to enjoy the massage. If they do wear clothes, don't use lotins or oils, but instead decide (Depending on the type of clothing) if you're going to cause the friction between your skin and the cloth or the massee's skin and cloth. If the clothing is very loose, you're best to keep the cloth with your hand. If the clothing is tight, it's best to keep it with the skin of the massee. Assuming that not everyone has a massage table available, the floor is the next best thing (In some cases, it's better, IMO). Lay out an exercise mat or similar pad if you have it. If not, a blanket or comforter will work fine. Make sure that the surface that the person is lying on won't hurt their skin. (Don't use a rough feeling blanket... The smoother, the better.) Make sure that there's room enough for the person to stretch out on and spread their arms and legs out a little on without falling off the edge. Tell the person that after you leave the room, you want them to take off their clothing and lie on their stomach on the matt, covering their butt with a towel. Have another towel handy to cover the breasts of a female massee when she turns over. When they're lying on the floor properly covered, they should call you back into the room to begin the massage. You should have a natural oil or lotion ready. If possible, have a warm water bath that you keep the bottle in (A bowl of warm water works good). You'll want to use an organic oil or lotion rather than an animal fat-based oil or a mineral oil. These can harm some people's skins. Vegetable oils and lotions work best. Personally, I use a Keoki Papaya Aloe Lanolin lotion. You can usually find a good natural lotion or oil at GNC or any health store. Start by rubbing the lotion between both hands to warm it up if it isn't already warm. Gently spread it across the upper back and shoulders, getting the massee used to your touch. IMPORTANT: Once you have touched the person, never lose touch til you're done. You want to create a bonded feeling between you and your friend through touch and if you break contact, that feeling is ruined. Keep talking to the person while you spread the lotion across the upper back and shoulders. Spread the lotion in a circular motion of each hand for a few rotations, gradually moving your hands to the shoulders, cupping the hands over the tops of the shoulders, pulling down on the muscles between the neck and shoulder joints with your four fingers and pushing up with the thumbs on the same muscles, pushing up along the back of the neck muscles. Use circular motions with the thumbs along this area while gently pulling these muscles with the fingers. Move the hands down the shoulders, pulling on the muscles with fingers and pushing with the thumbs. IMPORTANT: Don't push on the spine! Keep the hands on either side of the spine, working down along the muscles. Work your way back up the back with both hands cupped to the sides of the back, thumbs along either side of the spine. Pull out from the spine with the thumbs, working back to the top of the back. Return to the shoulders, again cupping the hands over the shoulders and pulling with your four fingers and pushing with the thumbs. Starting at the top of the back pull down along either side of the spine with the four fingers, pushing down with some force, being careful not to hurt the massee. Work back up the back and use both hands on each shoulder, switching from side to side. Repeat the above as nescessary. When you get bored working on the back [kidding] move gently down the sides to the legs. Rub gently down to the ankles. Cup both hands over one ankle, moving your body around to one side of the feet. Holding both hands over the ankle, knead the legs by pulling up on one side of the leg with the thumb of one hand while pulling back with the fingers of the other hand, keeping both hands next to each other. Move back and forth like this with both hands up and down the calf of the leg. Rotate the hands ninety degrees so that both thumbs are in the middle of the knee and the fingers are cuppping over to the sides of the thigh. Pull away from the center of the leg with the thumbs, using the fingers as leverage (but not pressing too hard so as to hurt the person). Work up and down the thigh pulling out from the center with both hands. When you reach the top of the thigh, pull down the center of the leg til you reach the bottom of the thigh and start working back up. Work back down to the ankle and swithch legs. Repeat on the other leg. Work back up the thigh to the back, cupping the hands over both thighs with the thumbs off center to the outside of the leg, pressing with the fingers. As you move your hands up, your thumbs will rub along the buttocks and the fingers along the sides. You will be cupping each hand on the side of the lower back of the massee. Work up the back repeating what you worked on before. Move down the arms, gently rubbing lengthwise. Work back to the back and rub the neck. Rub the fingers up into the scalp, moving back and forth with all your fingers as if scratching, but without the nails of your hands. Show the person the other towel and move your body around, placing yourself above their head. Have them turn over, keeping your hands on their head. Move down their arms, rub the fronts of the legs in a similar way as to the backs of the legs, and rub the feet, if you have the knowledge. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of explanation to properly describe a foot massage, but as long as you're careful, you can't hurt the person, so experiment. In order to maintain contact, you'll have to apply the oil or lotion with one hand, but have to warm it before you apply it. To do this, use one hand to pick up the bottle and squeeze some oil or lotion into the nape of the opposite hand, then rub the hand that held the bottle ove the nape to warm the oil, gently working the oil onto the skin. Just remember that you're free to experiment with these different techniques and don't have to follow this description exactly. If you're interested in a more detailed account, write to me or call your local AMTA chapter for a list of schools in your area. Keep in Touch! Keith From: " (M.A.STONE)" <stonema@aston.ac.uk> @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-- A short addition to the massage manual:-face massage. This can be very relaxing and, as long as it is done carefully, fun for the masseur too. Make the victim/patient lie on their back with their eyes closed. Using plain unscented carrier oil (very important) sit/kneel behind their head. Start on the front of the neck and use the tips of the first two fingers only. You have to sort of draw lines on their face and neck, very lightly. Massage up the neck and out towards the ears; from the chin, along the jawbone to the ears again. Then up the cheeks to the temples and along the cheekbones under the eyes to the temples. Then from between the eyes above the nose in an arch along the forehead to the temples again. Cover all the area on the forehead by drawing arches from between the eyes to the temples. Massage the temples lightly with small circular movements, in both directions. Then, using one finger only, dot along underneath the eye from the nose to the temple, and above the eye in the eyesocket the same way. It is very important to make sure that the patient is completly relaxed, and that you are 'in tune' with them. [...] Margaret
Subject: #C# Fireplace scenes and the RFA In November 1991 jcm@acsu.buffalo.edu (Joe McCorquodale) asked people on alt.romance to post their most romantic ideas for an evening in front of a warm fire and jokingly signed his article with "President of the Romantic Fire Association" (RFA). Many people replied with fireplace stories and became "Secretaries", "Vice-President" and many many other roles within the RFA thus founded. If you want to become a member of the RFA, go to alt.romance.chat and post your application (romantic fire story)! Here are just two of these stories: From: afdenis@lims01.lerc.nasa.gov (Stephen Dennison) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,- You couldn't keep me out of this thread with a fire hose ! :-) Well, let's see. Start off with some fine wine or hot chocolate, depending on the taste of you and your SO. Also, the setting *outside* should consist of suitably cold and snowy conditions and be visable through some nearby window, just to add that "ain't it great to be in here rather than out *there*" ambience. Music is a must. The entire Dan Fogelberg catalog comes to mind, or, better yet, I'd drag out the old acoustic guitar and sing love songs to her personally. This may not be an option for all of you, thus the Fogelberg option is suggested. After the music, we'd cuddle up, backs against some suitable cushion, on a (simulated) polar bear skin rug and take turns reading to each other from books of favorite poetry or, better yet, from the works of Gibran. That should blend smoothly into a verbal sharing of our dreams of the future, which would eventually trail off into her and I sharing the mesmerizing sound of the crackling fire, eyes locked together in a timeless gaze, listening intently to the sounds of our hearts beating as one. A brief embrace and, then, it's time for the swapping of massages. Again, at the option of the reader, either warm scented oil or perfumed powder is used as the friction inhibitor, and no less than an hour is spent soothing and stimulating every muscle and each square inch of skin. This must, of course, be accompanied by playful licks and nibbles and the occasional whispered endearment, the low, sweet vibration of the soft voice coupled with the sensation of the warm breath in the ear driving the other to the very edge of torturous delight. When, finally, the skin of both people has been massaged to the brink of tingling numbness, and the fire's warmth has been absorbed by each to the point of saturation, you take each other's hands and, once again, share a deep, soul stirring visual embrace, followed by a real and passionate one. You draw back, to drink in the beauty of your SO bathed in the soft, sensual light of the dancing flames and your love becomes a real and tangible pain in you, driving you almost to tears. You express that love in a minimal verbal statement, and then you seal it with a deep and passionate kiss. The fires inside build to match the roaring flames that light your way, and in wild abandon ... Uhh... excuse me ... I gotta get out of the office for a minute ... :-) ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHJHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! (Primal Scream) [...] Stephen "How do those Campfire Girls *stand* it? " Dennison From: ames@biostat.washington.edu (Diane Ames) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}- It's a cold, stormy night and my love is working late. So I take advantage of the extra time. A little extra care fixing my hair, doing my makeup. I pick out "something more comfortable" to wear, both for myself and for him. I put *my* something comfortable on, and lay his out on the couch, checking on the fire as I do so. I collect every pillow, large or small, from every room, and create an island in front of the fire. Massage oil is at hand, wine is opened and breathing, resting on ice. Soft jazz plays on the stereo. And so, I wait. Somehow, in between claps of thunder and driving rain, I hear him pull up. He runs in the door, shaking rain from his jacket, and nearly bowls me over as I stand in the hall. I see exhaustion in his eyes, but as he looks at me, a small, inquisitive smile lights up his face. He starts to say something, but I gently put my fingers to his lips, and lead him to the couch, and the warmth of the fire. I slowly undress him, kissing the raindrops from his face, warming his chilled flesh with gentle caresses. The music plays softly, occasionally drown out by the thunder, or a particularly emphatic slash of rain across the window. The fire blazes, and so does my heart, and the rest of the world is forgotten, as we enter our own, private pillow oasis. Again, he tries to speak, and this time I silence him with a kiss. This followed by featherlight kisses to his eyelids, and he understands. His eyes remain closed and he begins to relax. The fire roars on, warming us through and through, as I shower his body with kisses, feeling the tension and stress of the day bleeding from him. His breathing deepens as he nears sleep, and a gentle, oiled massage takes him the rest of the way. And now I can study his beautiful face, all aglow in the firelight. I can bask in the warmth of the fire, and the warmth of our love. Time enough when he awakes, refreshed, to put the fire to shame with the fire of our passion. I sip some wine and smile, content just to watch him sleep. Content to wait. Yes, forever should be time enough.
Subject: #D# Breaking up From: lisad@dynamo.ecn.purdue.edu (Lisa Dominique) @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- subject: Staying friends after breaking up [...] One of the biggest factors in breaking up and still staying friends, is that you _both_ need to be sincere and honest about the breakup with each other, and you _both_ want to sincerely stay friends. If one wants friendship, and the other is still bitter, problems will evolve, and that's a certainty. If, by chance, this happens, the person who wanted to stay friends can at least know within themselves that they made a sincere effort. I think, or this is something I have learned, that it is very important, after breaking up with someone, to let yourself "grieve" the loss for a reasonable amount of time, get the feelings out instead of holding it inside you, which can cause major problems. Try to focus on finding peace and serenity within yourself by coming to terms with the reality of your situation.... How do you _really_ feel in your heart?? If you want to try to be friends with your ex-SO, then make your efforts, and if you continue to get emotionally and/or verbally rejected, then at least you tried. You have to live with yourself forever, ya know.... **wink** Be True To Yourself.... **smile** Hope this helped you some.... Lis Secretary to the President of the Romantic Fire Association p.s. Heaven is a *hug* and a *smile* **hugs** :-)
Subject: #E# Literature * Intimate connections David D. Burns. New York : New American Library, 1985. * Letting go : a 12-week personal action program to overcome a broken heart Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot Warner Books ed. New York : Warner Books, 1979. * You just don't understand : women and men in conversation Deborah Tannen. 1st Ballantine Books ed. New York : Ballantine, 1991, c1990. * How to make love to a woman Michael Morgenstern Ballantine Books, New York, 1983 * 1001 Ways to be Romantic Gregory J.P. Godek Casablanca Press, Inc, 1993 (partly available at <http://www.godek.com/1001.html>) Some documents available on the net: * alt.romance "FAQ" ASCII version: <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt.romance/FAQ-part1> <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt.romance/FAQ-part2> <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt.romance/FAQ-part3> HTML version (slightly outdated, from June 2004): <http://people.freenet.de/hek/alt.romance/faq.html> LaTeX version (outdated, converted by Nicol C. So in February 1994): <http://people.freenet.de/hek/alt.romance/faq.latex.gz> * alt.romance.chat FAQ <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt.romance.chat/ARC-faq> * Nice Guy's Manual of Romance (a compilation of articles from alt.romance) <http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jerrico/romance.html> * soc.couples.wedding FAQ <http://www.wam.umd.edu/~sek/wedding/faq/scwfaq.html> <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/soc.couples.wedding/soc.couples.wedding_Frequently_Asked_Questions_(FAQ)> * alt.sex FAQ <http://www.halcyon.com/elf/altsex/> @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- End of part 2 @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`-- @}-,-`- ______________________________________________________________________________ | Probably I won't be able to read e-mail after 2006-12-31 Henning Klaskala | because Germany plans to ban the poor from the internet | with an absurd broadcasting fee for "internet PCs". This E-Mail: | fee would raise my costs for internet access by >1000%. alt.romance.FAQ | I'll rather go into internet exile, trash my old PC and @online.de | hope that the fee will be declared unconstitutional soon.

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