The biggest dating mistake women make

Wendy, author of the ultimate women’s dating guide The Boyfriend Test, readily admits that she sounds like an old mom from the ’50s by proclaiming the biggest dating mistake women make is sleeping with someone too soon.

But, nevertheless, she stands by it. Wendy says that women all too often have sex before there is a worthy amount of trust, and that is usually their tragic relationship flaw.

“I don’t mean trust that you’re going to get married, or that you’ll live together, or that this relationship will last forever,” she said. “But you should have some trust in your biology and in the fact that you have some type of emotional connection with this person.”

Wendy says we often fantasize about who a guy is and then find out the hard way that we’ve created a person who doesn’t match the guy standing in front of us. Rather than idealize him, Wendy says we need to let the guy reveal himself to us.

“There is only one rule about when you should sleep with somebody: when trust happens,” she says. “It takes some time for people’s personalities to unfold and for the connection you make to become trustful, but there’s no timeline for exactly when that will happen.”

Before you jump in the sack, ask yourself:

  • Should you really be sleeping with this man?
  • Are you ready? Why or why not?
  • Is he ready?
  • Have you thought about all the things that go into a sexual relationship?

“Consider what makes you feel safe, healthy and emotionally stable. Make rules for yourself and then stick to those rules,” Wendy advises. “The most damaging thing you can do to yourself as a woman is false advertising. Figure out who you are and be proud of it. I promise you that no matter what your sexual personal rule is, there’s a match out there for you.”

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How to know if he’s marriage material

Dr. Wendy Walsh, a dating expert and psychologist, drew from personal dating disasters to create a relationship rule book called “The Boyfriend Test.”

Her aim was to help women understand men and better stick to their guns when it came to dating. She found that dating happens in phases, and at any point during the first three months, women should be hyper-sensitive to where the relationship is headed. Here’s how they find out:

Step 1: The Girlfriend Test

The first step to having any healthy relationship is to take a look at yourself. You have to understand your own issues and desires before you can subject someone else to them. In order to have some kind of intimate connection, you can’t fantasize about how things could be. We have to learn to be really clear about what we want, what is achievable, and to be able to communicate that in a kind way. After passing the Girlfriend Test, you can move into dating.

Step 2: The Telephone Test

When you’re out there in the world meeting people – sometimes online, sometimes in person, you’re eventually going to get asked for your number. At that point, if he interests you, you have an opportunity to do some telephone screening.

There are things to look for during a phone conversation that can help you decide if someone is worth promoting to a first date. Is he calling at an appropriate time of day considering he doesn’t really have any idea about your schedule? Does he seem hyper focused or touchy about any subjects – his ex, his mom, his work, money? Is he telling you all about himself or is he showing interest in you too?

The little tidbits that people leave in conversations can tell you a lot about who they are and whether you should accept a date with them.

Step 3: The First Date Test

Wendy said women should expect a guy to be a gentleman and use old-fashioned manners on the first date. But it’s also important to recognize the difference between good manners and a controlling personality.

“Put your ears up and listen for the social cues,” she said. “Manners are designed to help people feel more comfortable around you, but if someone makes you feel controlled or put down, end it after the first date.”

Step 4: The 5-Date Consistency Test

After five dates, we’re looking to see if this is building into a relationship, if he’s boyfriend material. It’s enough time to gauge his consistency and to see if his early actions were based on character or based on the thrill of the hunt.

Does he play phone tag? How does he use e-mail? Is he still making and consistently keeping plans? Has he followed up on the little promises he’s made? Has he displayed any anger yet?

If it’s not working after five dates, women think that means they should try harder. No! Pay attention. Men don’t speak with words. They speak with actions. Five dates into it he’s telling you if he’s worth keeping around.

Step 5: The 90-Day Consistency Test

At three months in, you should be somewhat associated with his life. Do his acquaintances – his concierge, his mechanic, the people that are a part of his practical daily life – know you by name? Where does he keep your toothbrush? If it’s stuffed in a drawer somewhere, you know he has other people over in between.

Does he always reserve Saturday nights for you? Has he begun to reveal any of his addictions? “Let’s face it, we’re all addicted to something, and it’s gonna come out within 90 days,” Wendy said. “What you have to do is figure out if you can live with it.”

The #1 Question

Of all the questions on The Boyfriend Test, the most revealing one is, according to Wendy, how is his relationships with his mother.

“If he’s really angry with Mom, I promise you, it’s only a matter of time before he replaces Mom with you in his head,” she said. “If he’s a little too close to Mom, sorry, girls, he’s already got a wife. You’ll only ever be the mistress.”

The Boyfriend Test is ultimately about boundaries for women. Wendy said many women have so few boundaries in dating that they spend their time selling themselves rather than realizing that they’re the one taking applications.

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Should you be having sex?

Warning: women have fallen prey to male myths about sexuality.

“Men believe that there are a few groups of prostitutes, sex workers, and randy women who are servicing most of the baby boomers and gen-Xers, and then there are these other women who are virtuous and saving themselves for them,” said Wendy, whose 10 years in the trenches of dating and follow up research for her book The Boyfriend Test gave her a special insight into male mentality.

Since there’s no way very tired sex workers and loose girls from high school can take care of all those men, the sex double standard only exists in the male mind of fantasy.

“Women have to stop trying to be everything to everyone just because men believe them to be a certain way,” Wendy said. “We have to stop basing our sexual needs on what men think or want and instead decide what we want for ourselves.”

Here’s a quick test from Wendy to see if you should be having sex.

1. Are you experienced enough to have sex?

“Some studies show that those who have sex later in life for the first time have a higher rate of sexual dysfunction, as do those who have sex too early,” said Wendy. “What you’re looking for is peer to peer sex that begins somewhere in the late teens to early 20s that is followed up with consistent sex with a lover.”

You can also gain sexual experience by learning with yourself. Discover what you like and skills that work for you, and then you’ve got some sexual experience to share.

2. Are your sexual boundaries consistent?

“The universe offers a 24-hour radio man to man network, so you better stick to one ad campaign,” Wendy said. “Whoever you are, whether you want to be the bad girl or you want to be the virgin or you want to be something in between, you better own it, believe it, and behave that way. You’ll find a man who is your match.”

3. Do you know how to make sexual requests?

Sex is a really delicate subject, and it’s best not discussed during the sexual act.

“It’s something that should be talked about in the vegetable aisle,” Wendy said. “It’s something that should be talked about in the car when his eyes are fixed on the road. In the kindest, gentlest way, if there’s something that you want, he wants to hear about it.”

4. Do you understand male physiology?

While Wendy was in grad school, she had an assignment where she was supposed to examine a human penis–one attached to a live body — name all 16 parts.

“I didn’t even know there were 16 parts!” she said. “I didn’t even know what they did! But I do now, and I can tell you the frenulum is your friend.

5. Do you practice safer sex?

“There’s no such thing as safe sex, but there is such a thing as safe-er sex,” Wendy said . “If you use precaution, if you use barriers, if you’re very, very cautious about who your partner is, you can make sex a little bit safer.”

6. Do you practice emotionally safe sex?

There’s so much talk about plumbing when it comes to sexuality, but very little is said about the heart.

“Did you know that when women have an orgasm, their body releases oxytocin, which is the female bonding hormone?” Wendy said. “We’re wondering why we have separation anxiety and why he doesn’t call back after sex. Why doesn’t he feel the same way? He can’t feel that way; he doesn’t have the same hormonal reaction to sex that we do.”

For more of Wendy’s dating wisdom, take a look at her website, with lots more insight on how to find yourself a healthy, thriving, long-term relationship.

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The secret to lasting monogamy

After years in the dating trenches and endless research to earn a Ph.D. in psychology, Wendy has pinpointed the one thing every relationship needs to stand the tests of time.

Patience.

“Look and listen, ladies. If a man wants your eggs, he should expect to have to work for them,” Wendy says. “Trust your intuition, and if someone feels like a whirlwind, they’ll probably blow through as quickly as they came in.”

1. Patience is a virtue.

“Our personality and our unconscious processes sneak through in all kinds of little behaviors. If you’ve got your relationship radar on, you can tell whether someone will be a good partner by simply looking for patience,” Wendy says. “Patience comes into play at the very beginning of a relationship, and it’s the very thing that will keep it going until the very end.”

2. Delay gratification.

“The most important thing for healthy, happy, long-term monogamy,” Wendy declares, “is the ability to delay gratification.”

Being able to delay gratification is important because in any long-term relationship there will be times – many, many times – when you won’t get what you want when you want it.

For instance, say you’re nine months pregnant with his child and he’s got to wait for some nookie. Maybe you’re busy working and you’re late for dinner and he’s got to wait for dinner.

“These situations will come up, and he’s either got to figure out a way to get his needs taken care of within the safe boundaries of the relationship or know how to delay gratification,” Wendy says.

3. Watch for signs from the get-go.

“You can look for signs of right-nowness the very first time you meet a guy,” Wendy says.

Pay attention to his manners. Is he impulsive? How does he act on the first date? Does he open doors? Does he let you go first? First impressions aren’t everything, but they do mean something, she cautions.

Now take Wendy’s advice and get out there and start dating! You’ll never meet anyone sitting in that bath tub full of bubbles and rose petals (though it does feel quite nice). Take these tips and get going on finding the relationship of your dreams.

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Dating secrets every women must know

Wendy wanted to know what men wanted. She wanted to understand why they stuck with some women and ran away from others. After interviewing 100 men for her book The Girlfriend Test, she had an epiphany.

Men can’t pinpoint what they want any better than women can, but whatever rules they have, they stick to them no matter what.

Unlike men, women tend to bend, budge and contort themselves to be liked and desired. It may work for a little while, but it’s not a sustainable way to be. Mainly because it’s fake.

“Whatever a man’s rule is, he’s really committed to it, and he owns it, and he’s looking for a woman to fit in with that,” said Wendy. “We should be more like men in that regard. Women need to stick to their guns.”

The most damaging thing we do as women is false advertising, Wendy says. Instead, we just need to be who we are and be proud of it. Be promiscuous or be selective or be asexual, but be what you are and don’t try to be anything else.

Of course, be safe, be healthy – physically and emotionally healthy – but make rules for yourself and stick to them.

“You have to look at some your issues and stop fantasizing about how things could be,” said Wendy. “You have to learn to be really clear about what you want and what is achievable, and to be able to communicate that in a kind way. Once you do that, you’re ready to start dating.”

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

A Good Dose of Wendy
Visit Dr. Wendy’s official web site for more insight on how to find yourself in a healthy, thriving, long-term relationship.

Interplanetary Conflict
Source of advice and counsel from the author of the iconic “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.”

Making it Work
Follow the path to healthier relationships in your life.

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Nothing’s better than a weekend getaway with your mate… to the Smart Marriages Annual Conference.

Cohabitation Nation
Read “Happily Un-Married,” a self-proclaimed fitness guide for people who live together—or are just thinking about it.