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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Office Hours with Dr. Jim > How to Snag a Man

Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

 



Traits Women Should Have to Snag a Man with Maturity

I have trouble finding the right man. Do you have any advice on how I need to improve myself in order to get the right man?

You love (respect) yourself.
Yes, it's true and here's why. People find other people attractive who are grounded, know what they want and do not across as radically "needy."  Men experience overly neediness from women as "being smothered, cornered and always on a tight leash." Poor self-confidence and self-worth often makes it difficult to find a boyfriend who has strong self-confidence and self-worth. You can show comfort with yourself by dressing and acting your age and maturity level (not trying to come off younger or "hipper" than you are), talking about the other person and not just about your needs and having a life independent of a love interest and allowing your love interest to have an identity and space away from you.

You know how to compromise.
One of the most critical skills for a long-term relationship is "accommodation" because both partner's needs can and do change over time. Successful couples have the ability to consistently maximize or focus on the positives in the relationship and downplay the negatives. This ability allows them to put conflicts and disagreements in perspective. Accommodation also means placing the needs of your partner ahead of your own. That does not mean that these couples ignore problems and significant issues. Rather, they discuss their potential sources of disagreement and decide as a couple what is important to agree on and what is trivial. There's give and take among in the relationship among: (1) the partners’ values, personalities, and predispositions, (2) the couple’s adaptability to each other’s needs in the face of mutual conflict, and (3) changes over time in a partner’s preferences, goals, and dispositions. People can put up with a lot when they feel loved, but even the slightest “infraction” can be unacceptable when they don’t feel loved.

You’re over your ex.
This seems like a no-brainer, but many women (and even men) under-estimate the long pace it usually takes to get over someone. This is a predictable killer to a budding romance. No one wants to feel like a third wheel, and guys don't want to feel there's a unwinnable competition for their love interests. Guys can sense when a girl is still hung up on a past relationship; the signs can be both overt and subtle:

1. Your photo on your online dating profile shows you with your ex but the ex's face is blacked out.

2. You still have photos of your ex or the two of you together in your wallet or on your wall.

3. You're consistently making comparisons between your ex and current boyfriend ("My ex used to hold the door for me like that"), comparisons that your friends may very well participate in.

4. You're consistently retracing your old steps and haunts with your new boyfriend -- perhaps trying to relive particularly fond memories (e.g., taking him to the club, restaurant or bed/breakfast you and your ex would go).

5. You're spending time checking the status of your ex's Facebook or online dating profile.

6. You become irritated at the thought of your ex dating someone else.

You¹ve got something going for you.
Each partner should have qualities that help to bring spice and balance to the relationship. The couple must have both similarities and differences. Similarities certainly promote a sense of familiarity and bondedness. Similarities help couples explore and navigate issues on a common playing field. However, people don’t want partners too similar to themselves - because no one wants a partner that is a carbon copy of him/herself. Differences can add spice and novelty (enhancing chemistry), as well as add stability (enhancing balance in a relationship). With this in mind, guys like girls who have a strong sense of self, clear interests in life and a sense of control. In this way, guys don't feel like they are totally responsible for their love interest's happiness. Remember, mature guys don't want a woman who's helpless, hopeless and acts like a co-dependent.

You're “guy hot.
Guys' heads are easy to turn, so women tend to be more focused on being competitive with each other socially and in terms of fashion. Women are dressing for themselves and not for guys can be a big mistake. As harsh as it sounds, guys want a girl who is physically attractive. Remember, human beings -- and especially men -- are extremely visual creatures. Dressing to be girl hot instead of guy hot is like a shooting an arrow at the wrong target. If you want to hit the right spots, you must aim correctly. Dress to impress a man with emotional maturity. Many books and articles have discussed the fashion trends that men find particularly appealing. Play to his visual sense if you want his attention. The nice side benefit -- if you can't resist the temptation of evil pleasures -- is that more attention you get from men, the more jealous the women around you will be!


 

Dr. James Houran's "Office Hours with Dr. Jim" column is published every Monday.


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