Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Year’s Resolution for 2011

It’s that time of year again ... time for the standard New Year’s resolutions which often last just as long as it takes to make them. “This year I resolve to lose ten pounds, get to the gym regularly, read more, drink less, quit smoking, save more, get more organized ...” And so it goes.

If you’re single looking to meet someone special and you happen to be struggling to think of a good new year’s resolution for 2011 or even if you just want to switch things up so you don’t break the same ones as in years past, I would be very happy to suggest a resolution that above all other resolutions should be enforced, that above all others should be remembered in March when the gym clothes still have their tags on them and your kitchen drawers are full of coupons that expired in January 2005. In fact, if you make just one resolution for 2011 let it be this one:

Hire a matchmaker.

No, just kidding (though I wouldn’t argue against it as long as it’s me).

Ok, ok. I would strongly urge you to adopt this resolution:

Throw out “your type.”

That’s right. Throw it out. Toss it out along with all of the prerequisites you have for “the One” other than that your type is someone who is a quality person, e.g. intelligent, interesting and kind (and, of course, someone you find physically attractive).

Make this your resolution (and stick to it) and you may just find yourself in December 2011 spending New Year’s with the person of your dreams - although he or she may very well look very different than the person you specifically “envisioned” in your daydreams. Maybe she will have different coloring than you normally go for (i.e. your future Mrs. Right is in fact a tiny redhead even though you’ve always had a soft spot for tall blonds), maybe your future Mr. Right will be in a different field or industry than you’re accustomed to (i.e. he’s a super talented artist as opposed to a suit and tie kind of guy), maybe he or she will be more religious than you are (i.e. he or she actually goes to church or temple), or maybe he or she lives in Brooklyn or New Jersey (God forbid a Manhattanite travel!).

As I say to my clients all the time, you just never know who you might connect with.

Indeed, as you might imagine, as a professional matchmaker, people are constantly telling me about their “type.” They are looking to meet someone who is “just so” and they are not even remotely interested in meeting someone who does not fall into the narrow parameters they have set.

If you’re reading this thinking “guilty as charged” ask yourself how that “type” has worked out for you so far? Looking back to when I first started my business, I was very deferential to the blueprints I was handed by clients looking to find “the One.” But I quickly came to see that people can say or think that they are looking for something/someone very specific and but often completely hit it off with people who are either nothing like their “type” or have at least some major differences from what they had prescribed for themselves.

If we are all honest with ourselves, at some point in our lives we have been guilty of ruling out someone because he or she did not fall into what we thought was our “type”. But what is a “type” but a trap? A cage ... a dungeon ... a destructive limitation (anyone got any other analogies?) An obstacle that keeps people from meeting someone who could make them incredibly happy ... Don’t believe me? Ask your happily married friends if their spouses were exactly what they pre-envisioned for themselves and see what percentage answer with a resounding yes (hint: it will be low). Without a doubt, once you get rid of your "type" you will soon regret how picky (and unenlightened!) you were all that time and will wish you had tossed it sooner.

So, you’re considering taking on the resolution as your own, but you’re wondering what does this resolution entail exactly? In essence, just giving people a chance. For example, when your friend, colleague, family member, etc. informs you that they would love to introduce you to someone but he or she doesn’t fit the mold (but still sounds like a worthwhile person) you go ... with an open mind and a positive attitude. Or when you meet someone out on the town who is attractive, interesting and seemingly a kind person but on the surface is different than the people you are used to dating, you make plans to grab coffee or drinks and take some time to see what he or she is really about and whether this person might actually be someone who is good for you.

In my opinion, that’s a lot more more fun than swearing off Twinkies and endlessly climbing a Stairmaster ... and if it works out, that’s a resolution you won’t have to make again next year!

1 If you’re thinking “well, I went out with this Bohemian chick once who didn’t watch tv and didn’t shave because I was trying to get away from high maintenance women for a while ... and that didn’t work out so well,” you’re missing my point. Indeed, if you veer from your type once and it doesn’t work it, it does not mean that by default your “type” is the type of person you always pursue. It simply means that you went out with someone and that person wasn’t right for you (just like with the other failed relationships with people who have been your “type”). Period.

Sunday at Noon: Matchmaking. Events. Dating Coaching & Image Consulting. Assistance With Online Profile Revision. What are you waiting for? Make it happen!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Phenomenon of the Manhattan Man-Boy

Recently, I had a female client come to me who is truly gorgeous, stylish, smart and serious about meeting the “One.” She is a woman - poised, mature and elegant – and, as she explained, she is looking to meet A MAN. Someone who is, among other things, mature, sexy, confident, unfailingly responsible, an adult also looking to meet an adult.

Looking for a MAN ... in NYC ... the land of Peter Pan. Sorry, guys, but you know where this is going …

Beautiful, intelligent, quality women are constantly asking me where the real men are in Manhattan (to clarify, real single men). Not frat boys, not commitment-phobes, not men who have dated for twenty years but still don’t know the first thing about how to interact with a woman (God, the stories I have heard about dates with seemingly normal guys!). Are they in Manhattan? Or are all they all in the suburbs divorced with kids?
Guys, you must know that most stunning, elegant and successful women are looking to date men, not boys. So, when a guy in an effort to date a woman:

1) shows up on a date already buzzed from partying with his friends; or
2) talks about how hung over he is ... from last week; or
3) invites her out on a first or second date with all his buddies; or
4) uses offensive locker room language with a female he just met

he advertises upfront that while he may use the Men's bathroom, this person is far from the MAN she is seeking.

Now please don't get me wrong, guys, I'm not saying you need to be a boring stodge. The guy whose predominate character is that of a MAN let's say 80% of the time but every so often likes to watch an adolescent flick, enjoys going crazy over his fantasy football picks or looks forward to occasionally hanging out with his posse and having a few too many drinks is NOT who I am addressing here. I know a good number of quality men in NYC who enjoy the foregoing and who are indeed MEN and are very good catches (many are my clients). No, what I am talking about here is the man-child. Whose breakdown is the inverse - 20:80 in favor of the child.

So, my new client’s comments got me thinking about why, here in this fantastic city of ours, a 40 year old man is often the equivalent of a 25 year old everywhere else in the country. What about living in Manhattan stunts many men’s emotional growth? What are the qualities that even make a male “a man” - is it gauged by his technical years on this planet or a level of being that is evolved, emotionally mature and stable?

According to the Jewish faith, a boy becomes a man at 13 – hence the bar mitzvah. But if anyone were to look at a scrawny, pimply, seventh grader awkwardly trying to ask his crush on a date, it’s pretty evident that the being before you is most definitely male but clearly not yet a man. You might think by 21 when a “guy” has certain adult rights – he can finally drive, vote, carry a gun and legally purchase alcohol – he might be a “man.” However, a visit to any college frat house on a Saturday night will assure you that the being with the x chromosome shotgunning a beer in his underwear is closer in his maturity level to his high school brethren than a man bringing home the bacon.

Similarly, according to conventional wisdom, you might expect that when a guy gets out of college, dons a suit and starts being trusted with a certain level of responsibility that you will see a noticeable development in the trajectory of manhood. Yet, in NYC, you have many males who have met some objective criteria of manhood – 30th birthday, 40th birthday, etc., making partner at their law firm or managing director at their bank – and yet you can catch them on any (and every) given weekend getting wasted, possibly doing the worm on the bar floor, playing beer pong, hooking up with random girls, incapable of having a committed relationship, acting completely inappropriately on dates and going home to a rental apartment with no pictures on the wall and crappy furniture (to avoid any confusion, a man-boy can own his apartment and still be a man-boy - the failure to purchase anything is simply a possible indication that this person does not want the responsibility or commitment that comes with owning anything. It also may be a smart financial decision to rent. The totality of his lifestyle and actions is what we are talking about here).

These guys outwardly look like “men” – they might have some wrinkles, possibly some grey hairs on their head and elsewhere (... I am talking about their chests, please!) – but inside their maturity level is virtually on par with the 22 year old doing keg stands on fraternity row. In fact, they watch and laugh at the same juvenile movies as the 13 year old who laughs at fart humor, play the same video games as the 15 year old whose mom still does his laundry and go to the same nightspots and try to pick up the same women as the 23 year old who the year prior was calling these guys “sir” on their interviews.

What’s behind this stunt in many NYC men’s emotional maturity? Why, might you ask, are some 42 year olds in NY often living the same life as a 22 year old? Elsewhere in the country, nay the world, a guy in his 30s or 40s would have some responsibility for something – a house, a kid, a dog … a fish. Something or someone they have to look after other than themselves. I'm not saying you have to have a bunch of kids and a white picket fence to be a MAN. But for these Manhattan man-boys their own satisfaction has been their sole focus since birth and adding to their stunted development is the fact that their lives are almost exactly the same as they were in 1995 (except they have potentially upgraded their neighborhood, they can indulge in more expensive toys and can treat themselves to better vacations). Otherwise, NOTHING IN THEIR LIVES HAS CHANGED, including their maturity level.

What’s behind this phenomenon? I am sure a little bit of research in some psychology journals would come up with a whole host of answers on how we are evolving. Clearly, the landscape has changed since two thousand years ago when boys “became men” at 13 (it made sense then – people lived until 40 and so a midlife crisis came at 25). The world is also a very different place even since the 60s or 70s when our fathers became men in their 20s, getting married and having a complete family by 30. We live longer, we postpone responsibility longer and we have a sense of entitlement that none of the previous generations have had. We now have drugs like Viagra and Botox (yes, even the men) to postpone age/aging even more. It’s interesting to contemplate … if we are pushing the age of men’s maturity back every decade, in 50 or 100 years will a guy have to hit 70 before he's too old to be doing keg stands?

While some women may go on a few dates with the man-boy, many quality women will write him off quickly once they see signs that he is offering the role of a playmate not partner. Without a doubt, that guy that demonstrates on a date (1) that he takes care of himself (e.g. instead of talking about how he was out until 4am the night before, he talks about how he loves to cook and tries to buy organic), (2) that he can add value to another person's life (e.g. instead of talking about the fact that he couldn't commit to his "psycho" ex-girlfriend of 5 years, he talks about how he frequently helps his mother with projects around his parents' house - I mean, what woman doesn't find a guy who can build/fix things sexy?!) and (3) that he knows how to be a gentleman (e.g. instead of saying goodbye at the restaurant door, puts his date into a cab or walks her to the subway showing concern for her safety) is the guy who is going to attract the gorgeous, sexy and smart woman who has got her stuff together.

And a guy who's a MAN in every good sense of the word but can still show a boyish playfulness and charm when appropriate - now that's the guy to be. If you know one, please feel free to send him my way - I know a few hundred women who would love to meet him!

Sunday at Noon: Matchmaking. Events. Dating Coaching & Image Consulting. Assistance With Online Profile Revision. What are you waiting for? Make it happen!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stop ... Put Down Those Manolos!

As some of you may know, I recently took on a wonderful new associate. She is beautiful, bright, hardworking, professional, elegant and … fresh out of college. As I talk with her, I can’t help but look at her as a beautiful blank slate fifteen years my junior with her whole future ahead of her. Recently, we got onto the topic of finances and I shared with her advice – a warning, really - I truly wish someone had imparted to me when I was her age. As I think it is wisdom all fashion-loving, stylish, NYC PYTs could benefit from, I share it here:

Ladies, if you are spending your whole paycheck on stylish clothes, expensive shoes and trendy restaurants, you may just be spending your way out of a future relationship.

Ok, ok, I know – there are likely at least a few angry readers exclaiming what about the men? Many of them have financial issues too!! I know the same advice I am offering could easily be directed at the guys – possible blog title: Put Down That 52” Flat Screen! - but I am focusing on the women for today’s blog because research shows that:

  • While U.S. consumers in their 20s and 30s as a whole suffer from debt that can have a far-reaching impact on their lives, young women appear to be under the greatest pressure. Experts note that females between the ages of 18 and 34 may be experiencing the heaviest debt load, with credit cards often a contributing factor.[1]

  • Statistics show that men and women handle money differently. While there are exceptions to every rule, men generally are better prepared for retirement, are more willing to put money into savings, pay off credit card balances in full and are more educated about investing.[2]

  • …[s]ingle women 25-34 seek credit help in greater numbers than single men in the same demographic group. A further look at the records shows that one of the reasons for the disparity is the amount women spend on clothing and personal care items.[3]

I actually just watched a story last week on one of the morning shows about a woman whose fiancĂ©e broke up with her when he learned about her massive credit card debt. Now I know some of you are thinking, well they obviously didn’t have a marriage-worthy relationship in the first place and that is probably true (apparently his issue was that she had grossly understated her debt while they were dating and when he learned the real number as they prepared for the wedding he felt he had been lied to and could not trust her) but there is a bigger point here. If you are spending away and racking up credit card debt like there’s no tomorrow (at the potential expense of paying off student loans), you may find yourself in ten years down the road with a financial albatross tied around your neck. And it could very well become a real problem in your love life.

Indeed, I’m not sure if my polished Cavalli-clad female readers are aware of just how unsexy significant credit card debt is to most men – it’s like being a closet smoker. And it scares them. Upon hearing about financial mismanagement, most guys immediately wonder:

“Is she going to be spending all of the money I make?”

“Can I provide the lifestyle for her that she is providing for herself?”

“Does she exercise good judgment or is she buying a pair of Jimmy Choos over investing in her 401K?”

“Is all of
my hard earned money going to go to paying off her debt?”

“Is she going to ruin my credit?”

Now, trust me, I know how easy it is for a girl to get caught up in spending in this city – the minute you walk out the door you are surrounded with beautiful, tantalizing items that would all look so fantastic on you. NY is a tricky place - it’s not like the rest of the country where you have to go out of your way to go shopping (I lived in Atlanta for a few years where, if you wanted to buy something, you had to get in your car and proactively drive to the mall) … in NY, shopping comes to you. Virtually every city street is lined with enticing boutiques so that you can’t even go to work – or the bank to make a deposit - without temptation staring you in the face. How is one supposed to resist - it’s entrapment, really (anyone want to start a class action against the city?!).

And of course, there is the pressure to look great when everyone around you is wearing the latest fashion trend and looking like a model straight out of Lucky Magazine. But the point here is to STOP and THINK before you SPEND. Discipline and responsibility are not just words – but major lifelong assets. You don’t want to be dependant on your guy, you don’t want to be embarrassed by your financial situation and you don’t want to be in a position where money is causing an awkward dynamic between the two of you (such as a creditor/debtor feeling).
[4] It is far better for you and your relationship to come in financially savvy, self sufficient and operating from a position of strength and pride.

Ok, that’s my public service announcement for the day – please stay tuned for the next blog as I take on the phenomenon of the Manhattan Man-Boy (but for a few extra grey hairs on his head and more expensive toys, nothing else has changed in his life since 1998…).

[4] Research shows that as both genders age they tend to save more and that after 50 the women catch up with the men. But the reasons for the disparity in the 20s and 30s is interesting. Unfortunately, it is still the case that boys are often are raised to be savers whereas not as many mothers or fathers focus on giving their daughters financial advice. Also, there is no question women have more pressure when they are younger to look good and spend their money on nice clothes, hair and makeup, etc. I would also speculate that the belief/hope that some younger women have that they are eventually going to meet their knight in shining armor who is going to take care of all of their financial issues probably also affects some women’s spending decisions and attitude towards their debt. My friend’s cousin actually started a company called Learnvest ( focused on helping women learn how to take control of their finances. Now that’s a Fan Page to like on Facebook!

Monday, September 20, 2010

One Step Closer to Divinity

Recently, I was speaking with a friend who had broken up with his girlfriend and was clearly distressed about it. As we sat over dinner, he explained how, early on in their relationship, he had screwed up by failing to attend an event that was apparently very important to his ex. I listened as he told me how there had been a pretty bad snow storm that night, the party was out on Long Island and he didn't want to get stuck out there, and he really didn't think it was a big deal if he didn't go. He was wrong. Over the next few months, the skipped party was raised multiple times by his ex as a source of anger and hurt (his failure to brave the elements being interpreted as not caring about her). When they broke up over the summer, this incident was raised again and it was clear that no amount of apologies on his part could ever erase the cloud that this perceived slight placed over their relationship.

As I listened to this story, my immediate response was in defense of my friend ... concluding that he was better off without her, judging that she clearly had a problem and that he deserved better. I mean, why was this girl still harping on this fight months later? Why couldn't she get over it and just move on? However, as I considered the story for a moment I realized that I too have been guilty of the same thing (yes, even matchmakers are not perfect). In a recent argument with my boyfriend, my normally sweet and wonderful guy said a few things that were less than loving. We had supposedly kissed and made up but unbeknownst to him, each time I replayed it my head I was left newly angry. He had moved on, but I was remembering the exchange word for word.

In a moment of objectivity, I then considered the various times I have said things I wish I could take back and done things that have offended others even when that was not my intention - and when I asked for forgiveness, my desire was not to just be appeased with empty words but to be forgiven entirely. Certainly, if I have asked this of others, I should be able to give it return.

Yes, people make mistakes. We err.* Indeed, we will all be the transgressor and the transgressed at some point in a relationship. It is as certain as death and taxes. The critical question is what happens next? If someone you are dating does something insensitive, says something rude, or acts in a way that is disrespectful, of course you have a right to take offense. You have a right to voice your feelings (which is always a better alternative than not saying anything and letting animosity fester), to ask for an apology and for an assurance that the hurtful conduct will not happen again. If someone cannot offer a sincere apology (we all know a terse "I'm sorry, what do you want to do, draw blood?" response is probably not going to cut it) or guarantee that he or she won't do that again, then you need to think about whether you can - or should - let it go or whether you need to end things.

On the other hand, if someone has wronged you but is truly remorseful (I know if my friend could do it over he would be at that party even if it meant snowshoeing it there), it's important for your relationship that you can find it in your heart to forgive. Because if a relationship is going to survive - and thrive - a short memory when it comes to misdeeds is an asset. And the ability to forgive is essential. If you claim to forgive someone but still continue to punish that person long after the fact by reminding him or her of whatever nonsense took place months prior, you are writing your relationship's own death sentence. Let it go or end it, but don't carry it into the future. If you can't let it go, maybe you need to ask yourself why - are you looking for an excuse to end things with that person (perhaps my friend's ex was) or are you someone who is simply incapable of forgiving?

For members of the Jewish faith, the past ten days represented a period of self-examination and repentance. As the tradition goes, in this time period if someone asks for forgiveness the aggrieved party must feel incumbent to extend forgiveness with a full heart. Even though the high holidays have just passed (and even if you aren't Jewish), these principles can be applied
all year long - and we all just may find our New Year is indeed happier and healthier.

* "Ah ne'er so dire a Thirst of Glory boast,
Nor in the Critick let the Man be lost!
Good-Nature and Good-Sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive divine."

Ready to get proactive about your love life. Make it happen.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Partnership Track

Recently I spoke with a girl – in other parts of the country they’d exclusively use the term woman – who is 36 and who told me that she had just hooked up with a 26 year old guy while out east in the Hamptons. She explained to me that she didn’t look 36, though, and that people often mistook her to be in her late 20s. I saw her pictures (she was interested in potentially becoming a client but was still very unsure about whether she needed anyone’s assistance with finding someone and she was very independent and “could be very happy alone”) - and I might give her early 30s. But the fact is that she is 36.

Now some people might say “you go girl” to this modern Ms. Robinson but the question is, where is she going? No doubt that the boy toy is great for a night of "fun" but ultimately it becomes crystal clear that eye candy is not particularly nutritious and you’d probably be better served changing your diet. (Ok, ok, I know it’s very hard to resist the young gun with the washboard abs and boyish smile who pursues you with an urgency that is often lacking with the older guys - an urgency which invariably falls off after a week of texting…).

Indeed, for all her talk about being happily single and having fun, I know this girl/woman will find herself in two or three more summers in the Hamptons sipping drinks at a parking lot on the side of the road thinking “for some reason, this seemed more fun a few years ago...” And then she will be 38 or 39. Not a great place to be for a single woman looking to get married in this very competitive, youth driven city.

What amazes me - or truthfully troubles me - about women in their mid to late 30s/early 40s in New York is that a good number of them are so unaware of the fact that no matter how young they think they look, or how much money they make, or what exclusive events or parties they go to, or how many people they know, or how many guys “hit on” them (but don’t stick around for more), their age is their age – and it is working against them each birthday.

While many NYC women might like to make the analogy that they are like a fine wine, I hate to break it to you, Ladies, most men who are looking to eventually get married and have a family are NOT looking at you that way. It is the unfortunate reality with men that younger is typically better. Why? There is no pressure to get married and have kids immediately with girls in their late 20s/early 30s. Also, naturally, there is less reason to worry that there are going to be fertility problems (yes, anyone who’s informed on this subject knows that men have them too but somehow they always get overlooked). And simply put, men are hardwired from thousands of years of evolution to believe that younger (i.e. more fertile) is simply better. The same way taller is typically more desirable to women when it comes to men – that’s just the way it is.

A guy friend of mine - who is in fact an exceptionally good guy - put it quite well recently. He told me about a date he went on with a woman who demonstrated such a sense of entitlement that he was forced to admit: “If I wanted to deal with this kind of attitude, I might as well date a 28 year old, not some 38 year old spoiled princess. Does she realize at this age, she needs to lose the attitude?” He is now dating a 27 year old (and he is 44).

Just hold on a minute Sunday at Noon Blog, what precisely are you saying?” some readers may be thinking. What does this mean? Women have no value after 35? Women shouldn’t love themselves at any age? Women should settle for losers because they are 38?

I am sure this blog is going to cause ire among a certain group of readers, but let’s get rid of all that nonsense. For starters, I am 37 so, clearly, I do not think that 35+ women have lost their value. But being that I know what the lay of the land is so to speak, I am just going to say it – Ladies, it’s time to wake up. You are not 25 anymore – and you don’t want to be 25 – there was too much drama and insecurity back then and you put up with way too much bs from the wrong guys. So what am I saying? That it’s time to consider acting your age and acting in a way that will get you what you presumably want – a wonderful partner who is your equal and who will love you and appreciate you and want to build a future with you.

Let me elaborate. As many of my readers know, I am an attorney by training and practiced law for ten years before starting my business helping people take control of their love lives. There is a familiar saying in the legal world: if you want people to see you as “partner material,” you need to act like a partner. You need to dress like a partner, think like a partner and act like you are already a partner. The same goes for dating.

If you are looking to meet someone with the potential to be your future husband, you need to be acting like a potential future wife. That means not hooking up with 26 year old boy toys who are not offering you anything other than possibly good sex and an ego boost. That means not getting drunk with your girlfriends anymore until 2 in the morning or drinking too much on your first dates and going home and hooking up. That means accepting a good man despite his “flaws” because he is accepting you despite your age and your “flaws” (whatever they may be). I often hear women who are 35+ rejecting men because they are losing their hair, are not tall enough, have a few extra pounds, etc. I want to say to these women (and sometimes have) do you have cellulite? Do you think men looove wrinkles? I tend to think not. Do you have a perfect ass? A body like a 22 year old? They are accepting you for your imperfections, why can’t you do the same?

So, Ladies, here is a friendly suggestion (please know that while the blog may be blunt, the commentary is conveyed with the most sincere intention to help): why not take a moment to reassess your priorities, start acting your age and start considering the men you are meeting as a potential partner ... you might just find you get treated the same way in return.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! Ready to meet that special someone - make it happen! Personalized introductions, dating coaching, image consulting and assistance with online profile creation/revisions.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gender Bender

I recently looked up the term metrosexual and the definitions I came across described a man who has a high disposable income, lives or works in the city, is overly concerned with his appearance (e.g. vain, loves to shop, gets manicures, laser hair removal, etc.) and who displays attributes stereotypically associated with women or homosexual men (that is, NOT stereotypical male qualities). Indeed, modern day life in NYC has definitely blurred gender lines to such an extent that I know certain self-proclaimed Casanovas who are so in touch with their feminine side and/or exhibit such a sense of style that every woman (and non-metrosexual guy) I know is convinced that they are gay. I often wonder if they realize that is the looming question every time they walk away from hitting on a girl.

But, there is the flip side of the coin that no one talks about – the Alpha Female who is as equally unappealing to the men, Ladies, as the uber-metrosexual male is to you. Certainly, we all know her though none of my male clients want to meet her. She is more often than not successful, self-reliant, loud-spoken, opinionated and domineering. She may even be hot with a killer body, wearing a mini-skirt and a garter belt underneath but ultimately she is still exuding a masculine energy and a harshness that is just not attractive. And while no guys are wondering if she is gay when she walks away, they are happy to let her leave. Then they turn their attention to the foreign cutie in the corner or the girl at the bar with the soft Southern accent and enjoy being in the presence of a graceful and sexy woman.

Yes, Ladies, another “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” blog: I hear far too many men complain that New York women simply do not know how to be feminine. And this is really such a shame because femininity is appealing, femininity is sexy and exuding femininity can often be much more powerful than bulldozing your dates, co-workers, etc. with masculine energy.

Unfortunately, this city breeds a certain type of Alpha Female who thinks that power is found in speaking in harsh, loud, strident tones (yes, there is a New York way of speaking a la Bethenny Frankel that simultaneously indicates that the speaker will cut you down to size and castrate you and then tell all of her friends about it). This way of speaking may or may not get results in the office, but in regard to dating scientific studies show that it is not effective as men consistently rate women as more attractive when they speak in a pleasant tone of voice. So, Ladies, why not give it a try - speak in a softer voice and see if you don't notice a little more chivalrous treatment.

Indeed, these same Alpha Females can often be observed virtually marching down the street, office hallway, etc. when they could benefit immensely from walking with a bit of finesse and grace. Just the other week I was talking with a guy friend who commented that he is always drawn to European women because they “just know how to move better than New York women.” Something to think about, Ladies.

Equally unappealing, these Alpha Females are often know-it-alls on their dates ... they know everything about sports, everything about finance, everything about EVERYTHING and there isn’t possibly anything these guys can teach them because, well, they know everything. After a date like that, imagine what a breath of fresh air it is for a guy when he meets a woman who shows curiosity and appreciation for the things he wants to share with her (as I have had to explain to some of my female clients, men like to teach – let them!).
[1] Unlike their Latin sisters who typically go out of their way to make a man feel like a man and who know when to let him take charge of a situation (e.g. to protect those around him – a very natural male instinct), many New York women make sure the guy knows that they intend to wear the pants in the relationship and the pants will be Prada. While the metrosexual male may want to get into those Prada pants, that’s about it.

Now please know that I am not saying that women should be penalized for being smart, successful and having opinions. To the contrary, the men with whom I speak are very attracted to women who can counter a fun loving jibe with a witty retort or who can beat them in a game of tennis or golf. Let’s be crystal clear – the quality guys I know are definitely not looking for a doormat. What I am saying, however, is that it’s no surprise that a guy will often forgo this "metrosexual equivalent" female emitting masculine, harsh energy and who thinks it's funny and cool that she doesn’t know how to cook to instead choose spending time with a woman who is sweet, supportive, appreciative, graceful, feminine and can occasionally prepare a dish or two.

The unfortunate reality is that sometimes it’s necessary for women here to adopt a tough exterior to survive in the dog eat dog world of corporate New York. However, Ladies, if you learn how to skillfully flip the switch and leave your Alpha Female in the office you will likely see a whole new response from the men around you. As I stated in my First Date Tool Box Lecture, men don’t want to date a man (at least the straight ones don’t) – where’s Jean Nate when you need it?!

[1] An additional piece of advice: men love women who know how to let the man lead on the dance floor. By following, it doesn’t mean you are subservient, it just means that you recognize that you can’t have two people leading and dance well together!

[2] For those readers who aren’t children of the 70s, Jean Nate was a famous ad campaign where the protagonist entered the ad swishing her hair and singing how she could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget she was a woman – ah, the memories!