What women find most attractive in men

What women find most attractive in men

Fulfillment Relationships

Most single peeps I talk with about dating and relationships seem to think that most people use physical attractiveness as their number one screening tool. Next is sense of humor.

But if you’re a guy, it turns out that women don’t actually use looks as their number one “must have”. What will really get a woman’s attention is how generous you are, according to a new study in Evolutionary Psychology.

Researchers from the University of Worcester in the UK showed more than 200 women pictures of the same two men—one more attractive, one less—in different scenarios. In total there were 12 scenarios, 8 of which displayed altruistic conditions and 4 of which were neutral.

The study confirmed that women found men who behaved altruistically more desirable then those who did not, regardless of how good looking they were. To put it another way, ladies opt for a less attractive fellow if he is generous over a hot-but-selfish guy.

The researchers also found – no surprise here – that the preference for altruistic men was also further influenced by their physical attractiveness…meaning that attractive men became significantly more so when they were altruistic.

“Possibly most interestingly, we found that if a women could choose only one of these traits for a long term partner, then it would be more likely that he was altruistic than physically attractive,” said study author Daniel Farrelly, Ph.D., senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester.

What’s all the hubbub?

Researchers posit that this is a biological motivation – altruistic men will be better partners and better fathers. In his article, Farrally explained: “One thing that is important in mate selection are signals that a long-term partner has the necessary psychological characteristics to indicate that he will be a good father, including kindness, generosity, and an altruistic nature.”

Interestingly, the opposite was actually true for short term relationships —women found generous guys specifically less attractive. Now this is a topic for another day.

To be sure, being generous has other benefits. Scientists at the Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research theorize that volunteering and being generous is good for one’s health and well-being because it means getting off the couch and out of the house, so it makes us stronger and more physically fit. More physically fit people tend to deal with stress better, which can help them live longer lives. Being generous and volunteering also create social connections. We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us to bond and care for others, and also helps us to handle stress better. Volunteering is a good way to meet others, make friends, and bond over common beliefs and goals. (And we all know by now how important it is to develop a good social network.) Lastly, being generous and volunteering just feels good. Volunteering can give us a deep sense of happiness, which is also associated with longer and healthier lives.

helpfulSo are you screwed if you don’t volunteer at a soup kitchen? Not really. You can show your charitable side with anything where there is clearly a cost involved whether in time or finances, Farrally said. You have a few options:

  • Financial philanthropy, like giving a dollar to a homeless person or adopting an endangered animal in the local zoo.
  • Giving your time, like volunteering or helping out in a local charity shop.
  • Enduring physical costs, like donating blood or bone marrow.
  • Any heroic act (not so much throwing yourself in front of a bus … more like rescuing a stranded kitten from up a tree).
  • Displaying compassion and kindness.

altruism soup kitchen

Your Epic Life:  What’s your WHY?

Your Epic Life:  What’s your WHY?

Dreams Fulfillment Goals Planning Solutions

In this post, we’re going to explore how to give yourself leverage in terms of achieving your dreams – meaning, finding a compelling and emotional reason why you want to do what you want to do. When I coach my clients, one of the first few questions I ask them, when they state what they want to achieve, is “What’s important to you about that? What do you care about here?” Knowing your why can often mean the difference between achieving the goal or not, since a compelling and powerful why usually springs from a very deep need and is often influenced by our values.

This kind of emotional leverage can come from one of two places. You can focus on the wonderful things you’ll experience if you complete your goal – i.e., happiness, personal freedom, finding love. Or you can focus on the awful things that might happen if you don’t – i.e., loneliness, a heart attack, or the death of a loved one. Positive or negative, discover what will make it an absolute must to accomplish your goal. One success guru I follow likens leverage with the father who couldn’t quit smoking until his 6 year old daughter walked into his home office one morning and said daddy, “I don’t want you to die before I’m 10.” He never smoked again. Now that’s emotional leverage.

Need to catch up? Please check out the following blog posts, in order:
Make Your New Year Epic
Create Better Habits
Think Big and Get Specific

Step 6

What massive reason can you find for making your goal and must? It could be fitting into your wedding dress or being sure you’re alive to teach your grandson math. It’s your call. Just be sure there is a need your emotional reason behind it.

List one why for each goal.

your why chart

Step 7

Creating baby steps

Thinking of a long term goal as a single item to accomplish can be massively overwhelming. Yet every goal has all kinds of 5 minutes or 1 hour task leading up to it.

In this step, we’re going to take each core goal and divided into 3 to 5 minor steps. This is called chunking down. Chunking is a way of breaking down larger goals into more realistically achievable steps. The process helps you to understand all the smaller tasks that are involved in achieving a bigger aim, and create a timeline to get them done. By creating a series of realistic mini goals along the way, you can also feel a constant and building sense of achievement, spurring you on to work even harder.

From there we will create 3 to 5 baby steps for each minor step. You may need more or fewer steps, depending on the size of your goal. Feel it out.

 

chunking down goals

So… how excited are you getting, now that you’ve come this far to clearly and definitively articulate what you want to achieve, why it’s important to you, and then to start breaking it all down into small steps? We are nearly done with this exercise … so stay tuned for Steps 8, 9 and 10.

whats-your-why

Your Epic Life: How to think big and get specific

Your Epic Life: How to think big and get specific

Dreams Fulfillment Goals Resolutions Solutions

Before we move on to Steps 4 and 5, let’s look back at the areas of attention you defined in Step 2 because you will need them here. Remember that it’s easier to focus on less than 8 areas. By being judicious, you’ll prevent burnout and a sense of overwhelm.

Now it’s time to start thinking big. I don’t mean you have to think massively, although that certainly makes this process a little bit more fun. The work we’re doing in Steps 4 and 5 primarily has to be meaningful to you.

It’s also not necessary to pick something for every single category or area of attention, yet I encourage you to do so. I want to make sure that you are creating joy in all the areas of your life that matter.

Always remember, however, that balance is key.

List one to three goals per area of attention.

Area 1:                                      Goals:

Area 2:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 3:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 4:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 5:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 6:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 7:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 8:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

 

Step 5 – Getting Specific

This is where we’re going to define what you really want for yourself. It’s not enough to say, I want to be healthier, or I want to find someone special, or I want to make more money. You need to create goals that are quantifiable and measurable. And you need to be in control of whether they happen – meaning they need to be attainable. You can’t control whether you find the love of your life yet you can control how often you get off your couch to participate in life and how often you practice better communication skills. You can’t control whether you actually lose 10 pounds yet you can control what you eat and how often you exercise, which is what really leads to losing the weight.

So take a moment now to define what you want exactly. If you want to write a book, for example, then how many words a day can you commit to?

List the quantifiable outcomes and the specifics of each goal below.

goals table

So that is it for today. You’ve built a great foundation to creating an epic new year. Come back in a few days for Steps Six and Seven through which you’re going to create compelling reasons why you want to achieve these goals and then you’re going to create baby steps toward achieving them. Meanwhile, have an amazing day!

anything-is-possible (2)

Can you be romantic without a romantic partner?

Can you be romantic without a romantic partner?

Fulfillment

romance – noun (rəˈmæns ; ˈrəʊmæns)

* a love affair, esp. an intense and happy but short-lived affair involving young people
* love, esp. romantic love – idealized for its purity or beauty
* a spirit of or inclination for adventure, excitement, or mystery

The other day, one of my clients and I were working together to help her identify her top 5 values. Values identification is one of the very first coaching exercises all of my clients go through because our values form the foundations of our lives; to live in “right relationship” with our selves, we must be congruent with them.

One of her top 5 values stopped me in my tracks.

Can you guess what it was?

Bingo! You’re right – it was ROMANCE.

Uh.. yeah, No. You don't need this to honor romance in your life.

Uh.. yeah, No. You don’t need this to honor romance in your life.

When I saw that, I had to challenge her a little bit on what this truly meant to her because when most people think of romance, they think of it in terms of having a romantic, sexual partner. While this is totally understandable, given our society’s tendency to lump sex with romance, it can lead into a trap … here’s why.

To live a life we are totally energized by and engaged with, we must learn to honor our top 5 values on a daily basis … and we need to find the independence within that allows us to honor them, regardless of outside circumstances. When we rely on a romantic partner to satisfy any of our top values, we jeopardize our own fulfillment because we are at the mercy of someone else.

We often don’t recognize that it’s our job to meet our own needs and honor our own values. This is what I mean when I talk about being The Chooser or the Architect of our lives. It’s the lack of taking responsibility that has lead us to become a society overly obsessed with finding that one perfect person and partnering up — so much so that we’ve forgotten how to love in other ways. You know, without a romantic partner.

Surprise! Romance is not actually synonymous with sexual feelings! (Although most people use it as a way to elicit those feelings.) Not only is the feeling of romance not dependent on romantic or sexual feelings, it doesn’t have to happen with a partner. (And geez, watch what you’re thinking!!)

Romance is about enjoying spending time with someone, enjoying their company. Romance is about emotional intimacy, caring and concern.

You can enjoy that fuzzy feeling in all sorts of ways. When we think of romance in a non-sexual way, and fall in love with our lives, we’re really allowing ourselves to experience a spirit of or inclination for adventure or excitement.

So if romance is important to you in your life, and you’re ready to create it in your life, read on for eight exciting, unique opportunities to experience ROMANCE in a new way.

  1. best friend dogYour dog, cat, horse, bird or other pet.

All creatures great and small have love and affection to give, and your pet is no exception. And besides, our pets’ love is unconditional, whereas some people can run either hot or cold while still others find it nearly impossible to give that sort of love. You know your favorite furball will love you even on your worst days.

  1. Your children.

Granted, it may be harder to fall in love with your children when they refuse to clean up after themselves, are giving you a hard time about curfew or what have you… yet wait a few years and the feeling may come back. If you don’t have children, perhaps there is a special child in your life, like a niece or a nephew or your best friend’s kids, that you can lavish with attention. (I know that’s what I do with my niece.)

  1. best friend girlsYour best friend.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to truly and deeply appreciate your dearest friend(s)? When was the last time you renewed your vows of deep friendship? I know that when I express my appreciation to my dearest friends, it lights up their day and in turn, it lights up mine.

  1. Your favorite author, actor, artist, or athlete.

No, this doesn’t mean you have permission to stalk them or harbor any delusions that they love you back. And no, it’s not all about worshipping celebrities. It’s about discovering what you enjoy about their work. Try to think on a local level, too – there are all kinds of local artists pretty much everywhere who would love to hear some honest-to-goodness praise of their work.

  1. Your favorite family member who makes you feel loved and special.

Small gestures mean a lot. I know that when my niece insists that I sit next to her at our family holiday dinners, I feel beams of love emanating from my heart. Maybe you can do something similar with a beloved family member that causes their heart to burst with joy.

  1. Your work and career.

Yes, some people really do fall in love with the work they do and the difference they make in their world. I know many who are crazy about their profession. Loving your career can be one of the most rewarding and fruitful things you do. Not wild about your career? It’s time we work together to make some changes in your life!

  1. romance red_natureNature.

When we engage with Nature, we open the door to our intelligence, notice the lessons to be learned, and see that everything has its own purpose, rhythm and balance. We learn from Nature about how to truly be who we are — that is, to be in full and open self-expression. Nature also gives us an easy and powerful way to work in the realm of soul ~ even a small amount of time in Nature can awaken the Sacred within. Engaging with Nature is about opening to the possibility that the entire universe is a resource for growth.

  1. Your life and life itself.

If you can fall in love with life — your life — then you’ll live each day with a full and open heart. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

How to develop self-empowerment

How to develop self-empowerment

Fulfillment Solutions Uncategorized

Self-empowerment for happier relationships

Empowered CoupleYou may not realize this but your relationships are a reflection of your true personality and character. They correspond to your inner attitudes, beliefs and feelings about yourself. Relationships don’t necessarily reflect the person you want to be or pretend to be – they reflect back to you the person you really are at this moment. The people you choose to spend time with are a reflection of the person you really are inside.

So to co-create happy, healthy partnerships as well as lead a kick-a$$ life, you will need to take steps to become empowered, which we’ve previously defined as the process of becoming powerful.

Here are some starting points to think about, gleaned from the work of Abraham Maslow, a famed American psychologist who specialized in self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially.”

Experience life fully and vividly. The process of empowerment begins when we start to become completely immersed in our experiences – living fully, vividly and selflessly.

Be honest in your choices. Life is a series of choices. If you’re truthful with yourself as you make your choices, then you’re on the way to being empowered.

Be aware of your uniqueness. Realize that you are unique and begin to learn how to express yourself and your feelempowered super manings truthfully, rather than reflect what you believe others want you to do or say.

Act with integrity. You always have a choice in whatever situation you face so act in a way that is honest and true to your nature. As you take responsibility for your own actions, you will move toward empowerment.

Be courageous. Learn to expand your horizons and let go of the familiar. Learn to not be deterred by fear and adversity. Learn to follow your heart and stand up for what is right. Learn to face adversity with dignity.

Focus on continual self-development. Self-empowerment is not an end-state, rather it is a process.

Let go of your ego defenses. Learning to let go of troublesome defense mechanisms that you may use to protect yourself is a necessary part of this process. For example, if you have a tendency to blame your partner for your frustrations or to become angry when things don’t go your way, learn to react in a constructive manner.

Develop trust. This can be a difficult and lengthy process but without it, empowerment and happiness is not possible.  To develop trust, aim to:

  • Be Open:  In the sharing of information, ideas and thoughts.  When appropriate also share emotions, feelings and reactions.
  • Share and Co-operate:  Share resources and knowledge with others to help them to achieve their goals.
  • Be Trustworthy:  When other people place their trust in you, do your best to provide positive outcomes.
  • Be Accepting:  Hold the values and views of others in high regard.
  • Be Supportive:  Support others when necessary while also recognizing their strengths.

Learn to understand your strengths and limits. Identifying these will enable you to build on your strengths. If you face problems that are truly beyond your capabilities, seek help.  Empowered people know their own limits and have no problems with asking for help or guidance.

Develop confidence. Confidence acts as one of the greatest motivators or most powerful limitations to anyone trying to change their behavior and become more empowered.  Most people only undertake tasks that they feel capable of doing and it takes great effort to overcome a lack of confidence.  Self-empowerment involves people constantly challenging their own beliefs and what they are capable of undertaking.

 

… I know all of this sounds simple at first glance yet the real magic exists in the HOW to get there, which is what my coaching programs give you. What’s more, as you move forward toward self-fulfillment via my coaching programs, you’ll learn how to self-manage and course correct when faced with challenges that threaten to derail you.

To learn more about how you can liberate yourself and become an Empowered Single, please email me to schedule a no-cost 45 minute breakthrough session.  (If you qualify).  Email me by clicking HERE.

On the Menu:  Good Conversation

On the Menu: Good Conversation

Community Dating Skills Fulfillment Requirements

“Finding oneself in a good conversation,” writes author Alain de Botton, “is rather like stumbling on a beautiful square in a foreign city at night—and then never knowing how to get back there in daytime.”

Empowered Singles Circles as today’s town square.

Despite living in a society that prizes sociability, most of us who are single struggle with the art of conversation. Despite the illusion that social media actually connects us and meets our need for being social, singles – singles such as yourself – struggle with isolation and loneliness. In the face of growing evidence that we’re leading less socially connected lives, I have a gift for you: an opportunity for you to chart your way back, in the full light of day, to that beautiful town square as pictured above, full of community and conversation via Empowered Singles Circles.

What’s interesting about these Empowered Singles Circles is that, before the rise of the internet, there were groups of people who met regularly to specifically discuss a variety of issues ranging from art to politics to current events. These groups and places were these events were held were called salons which originally started in 16th century Europe and were popular well into the early 20th century.

Kathy Bates portraying Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris. This film allows us a glimpse into Stein's famous salons held in 1920s Paris. Salons were opportunities for thinkers, philosophers, poets, writers, artists etc. to gather to share ideas and create community. Maybe you'll be part of this new generation of salon that I'm creating for Empowered Singles.

Kathy Bates portraying Gertrude Stein in the film Midnight in Paris. Stein held famous salons held in 1920s Paris for thinkers, philosophers, poets, writers, artists etc. to share ideas and create community.

(Perhaps you’ve heard of the legendary salons hosted in Paris by writer Gertrude Stein, with frequent guests including Picasso, Hemingway, James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald to name a few. Her salons were brilliant think-tanks and were instrumental in the shaping of that era’s cultural giants. If you check out Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris, you will see scenes involving these famous salons – in fact, Kathy Bates portrayed Gertrude Stein, as pictured to the left. One of my favorite scenes involved Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali – brilliant!)

Create a Support Network

While this idea of hosting circles or salons may seem nostalgic or antiquated, I foresee this experience making a big comeback – primarily because of our essential, undying human need for face-to-face contact and the kind of dialogue that can only come with physically interacting with another person. I have personally experienced the kind of nourishment that occurs when meeting and conversing regularly and over a long period of time with people who share similar values.

The purpose of these Empowered Singles Circles is to encourage you to let go of preconceived ideas, become open to the unexpected, to allow you to go deeply into an issue, to learn, to listen. The emphasis of these circles is on community, to create a sense of ‘groupness,’ so that you can achieve higher insight, wisdom and guidance, to open the heart and speak truth.

So take a moment to picture what your life would be like – how would your life be different and even more enjoyable – if you had a place you could regularly go, to discuss what’s your mind – things that maybe your coupled-up friends don’t understand – and learn?

I invite you to become part of this new movement.  Check out the next time we meet by clicking HERE.

 

How social are you?

How social are you?

Community Fulfillment Self Discovery

The most common lament I hear from today’s singles over the age of 40 is the difficulty they have meeting potential partners. When I hear that, it reconfirms for me how broken our approach to being single really is.

In my experience, the singles complaining about not meeting the right people are – among many things – too isolated in their everyday lives, and need to focus on building their community before finding a partner. In fact, it is this isolation – and the fear of being alone – that propels people into relationships that are just not right for them.

Through my Become Successfully Single programs, my clients focus on building their support networks because it’s not only a lost part of our lives, but also offers more benefits than one blog post can actually describe. Support networks and friendships are vital to our well-being on all levels. The problem is that most singles don’t even give this topic a second thought and as a result wind up leading very socially isolated lives.

Are you one of them? Take this assessment, developed by UCLA, consisting of 20 questions. After you read each statement, indicate how often the statement is descriptive of you, using the following scoring system:

1         to indicate you  never feel this way
2        to indicate you  rarely feel this way
3        to indicate you sometimes feel this way
4         to indicate you  often feel this way
______________________________________________

1. I am unhappy doing so many things alone
2. I have nobody to talk to
3. I cannot tolerate being so alone
4. I lack companionship
5. I feel as if nobody really understands me
6. I find myself waiting for people to call or write
7. There is no one I can turn to
8. I am no longer close to anyone
9. My interests and ideas are not shared by those around me
10. I feel left out
11. I feel completely alone
12. I am unable to reach out and communicate with those around me
13. My social relationships are superficial
14. I feel starved for company
15. No one really knows me well
16. I feel isolated from others
17. I am unhappy being so withdrawn
18. It is difficult for me to make friends
19. I feel shut out and excluded by others
20. People are around me but not with me

To determine your level of loneliness, compute your score by adding the ten numbers together.

Scoring System:
30-40: People attaining this score-range are operating comfortably and experience an average level of loneliness.
41-60: People within this range struggle a little with social interactions, experiencing frequent loneliness.
61-80: Scores falling within this range would indicate a person experiencing severe loneliness.

Fear not if you got a high score the first time doing this assessment. I want to reinforce that this quiz merely registers FEELINGS of loneliness … feelings are really predicated on PERCEPTIONS – what you perceive to be true. Your feelings are not FACTS – meaning, you might feel lonely but that doesn’t mean you ARE lonely. You may need to simply shift your perspective OR take some solid steps to form closer connections, which is what we’ll talk about next. You may also need to figure out if you’re being too needy, which can account for your feelings of loneliness.

In addition, you might want to take this test monthly to see whether your score remains static, or whether it dips or rises in response to life events. This won’t solve your loneliness, but it will provide more information about a state that can seem so hard to pin down.

Stay Tuned For More!
(And consider enrolling in my Become Successfully Single home study program!)

How to Live a Life You Love

How to Live a Life You Love

Dreams Fulfillment Success

… What I’m talking about isn’t just some feel-good mumbo jumbo

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. —Eleanor Roosevelt

The next topic in my Empowered Dating monthly teleseminar series will focus on Living a Life You Love, during which we’ll use one of my favorite coaching exercises, envisioning the future, to help you get clarity on your ideal life.

Create the highest life visionYou’ll find this topic to be deeply meaningful to you because you’ll learn why being clear about your life vision is really the key to your future happiness, why most people haven’t explored their life vision and the unfortunate consequences of that, how to identify the limiting beliefs that hold you back from uncovering your life vision, and why self-prioritization is your compass to leading a fulfilled life.

Most people who are single and Continue reading

Empowered Dating for Introverts

Empowered Dating for Introverts

Courage Dating Dating Skills Fulfillment Relationships Self Discovery

Do you feel awkward, even apprehensive, when approaching or being approached by other people? Do you desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with interaction? Dating can seem extraordinarily hard for those who are either shy or introverted – taking risks to put oneself out there can seem like a daunting task. Plus our society tends to disfavor either trait; often we express this bias by encouraging shy and/or introverted people to see themselves as ill.

The truth is, more people than not are both. In fact, shyness and introversion – or more accurately, the careful, sensitive temperament from which both often spring – are not just normal, they are valuable. The challenge is when we long to make a connection and are Continue reading

Let’s Bust the Valentine’s Day Blues

Attitudes Courage Dating Dreams Fulfillment Planning Self Discovery Self Esteem Solutions

Back in the day when I was a relationship train-wreck, before I started to get my sh*t together about my self-esteem and intimacy issues, I used to despise Valentine’s Day, and all its reminders about romance and being in love and all those ads where pretty gals were surprised and delighted to be presented beautiful diamond engagement rings by handsome dudes. I used to hang black crepe paper ribbons in my work cubicle, wear all black, and regard the day as a day of mourning. I used to range emotionally from seething to despair around this time of year. I know I am (was) not alone – I talk to many singles now who regard Valentine’s Day as an unwelcome reminder of their “alone-ness” and longing for a loving connection. Continue reading