I witnessed something amazing this weekend. I observed one of my concepts of attraction occur first hand. You see, I’m always observing my environment- however, I’m so use to just being me, which many times, I have to take a few moments at a later time to reflect. Thankfully, being a Spanish teacher who loves literature, the literary genius Cervantes, surprisingly hit the nail on the head when he used the proverb in Don Quixote (1615), al freír de los huevos lo verá (“you will see it when you fry the eggs”). This proverb stems from the 14th century proverb; the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I love proverbs! Now, you are probably thinking that I am making no sense at this moment, but bear with me. You’ll definitely need to settle down with a brandy for this one. It’s cold, so warm up, get comfy and have a Drink With Jess!
Are you drawn to someone who just stands against a wall while out at a club or bar? Do they create any sense of wanting or mystery in your mind? Probably not. Would you be creeped out or hesitant if someone out of the blue, came up and tried to “hit” on you, in a sneak attack type of way? Probably yes. You see, one of the core concepts of attraction is value. I’m not speaking about the value you have for yourself (which will be a separate topic), but in this particular post, I’m going to examine social value or what is sometimes called social proof.
So, I want to get back to my weekend tale. I had a lunch date at one of my favorite spots. I go there so often, I know the managers, bartenders, wait staff and tend to run into many patrons that enjoy a chat with me. The woman I was with noticed how I engaged with everyone. Shaking hands, giving hugs and for as much time as needed, interacting with everyone on an individual and personal level. The woman I was with watched this phenomenon with approval. I can’t help it. I am a social woman, and I love that about myself. In an instant she said, “It’s like you’re the mayor”. In retrospect, this isn’t the first time I have heard this. I actually hear this often. And this, my dear readers, is the essence of social proof.
You see, it’s not about being popular; it’s about the quality of the interaction. It about how you make others feel in the present moment when they are around you. It’s about how you show others how you feel about them. It’s about how other women who are witnessing this feel about the type of person that you are. Now if you are good at this, the women watching you like you have a target on your forehead will feel desire. They will want to get to know you, because they will be intrigued by why so many others are enjoying their time with you, and they’ll want to be a part of it. Of course this means that your interactions must be natural and positive. Women can also smell bullshit from a mile away, so don’t try to fake it.
I dated a woman over a year ago, and this is what started my observation of social value. I still remember our first date. We were at a wonderful restaurant in Philly and seated next to a couple. I smiled at them and said hello and continued my date conversation as usual. After she excused herself to the bathroom, I continued to chat and make friends with the couple next to us. By the time she returned, we were laughing and having a good time, and she was pulled into the conversation. The next day she had mentioned that the couple was so intrigued with me, it was amazing and that the first time we met, the one thing she noticed was how my friends and everyone in the room adored me and could tell that I genuinely adored everyone I interacted with. This, my friends, is social proof at its best.
Earlier I mentioned the proverb; the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not only is demonstrating the concept of social value successfully, but this applies to the women you want to attract as well. Their determination of wanting to be engulfed in you is partly in witnessing how you relate to others because they feel that’s how you will relate to them as well. If you are seen in a genuinely positive light by others, and others are seen in a positive light on your end, then they will feel that they will be seen as positive by you.
So get out there! Start socializing! Engage honestly and genuinely! And make sure to join me again for Drinks With Jess!
Here at Drinks With Jess, I often encounter several questions on the same topic. For this week’s blog, I am tackling the topic of “Trust”. This is such a common issue, in which seldom do people have concrete advice. Since we are all adults and have had many relationships in our past, we still seem to become worried when someone that we are interested in or are dating, has an ex. Hell, we all have them, many of them! So grab a drink and get comfy.
How do we trust someone if we feel they still “love” their ex, even if they say they don’t? How long will it take for me to trust them? I’ve been in this situation several times. I have dated some who have returned to their ex, even if it wasn’t a good relationship; even when they said from the beginning, it was “totally over”. Another common issue is someone just ending a relationship who quickly has feelings for a new partner without taking time off to get right with themselves. However, I’m here to tell you, trust is not about them- it’s about trusting yourself and knowing what qualities you want in a person so you can stand firm.
For example, I want a woman who can stand on her own 2 feet. I don’t want to date someone who jumps from one woman to the next because she is insecure and can’t handle being alone. This type of woman is not only draining, but will jump to you and from you in record speed. Even after your worst relationship, even when you made the decision to leave, you need to take the time to reset yourself and mourn the loss. Hell, I’ve gone as far as not leaving my house, work being the only exception, for months to become centered and ready to risk for love once again. So if a woman declares she wants to be with you when she is newly single, feel empowered to tell her to take some time to herself, and if she still wants you at a later date, you’d then entertain the idea. Trust yourself in knowing that you don’t want to be the “rebound” or used as an escape for someone who does not take responsibility for themselves and who isn’t comfortable taking time to love themselves. Trust yourself in knowing that you are fine without this person and can stand on your own 2 feet. Trust yourself in knowing that if later, they decide that they don’t want to date you after taking the time to actually mourn their old relationship, then that’s cool, and you’ll meet other women. Trust yourself in knowing that you deserve to date someone who wants you, not settle for one who needs you.
Many times, I feel as though a woman isn’t sure how or when she will trust another, but it’s really an issue of her not trusting her decision to date that person. “I like them, but I’m not sure if I should date them”. “I like them, but what if I get hurt”? Those are your doubts and fears talking. It’s not about the other person at all. This is about you, and not knowing how you will handle a future situation. Be secure in how wonderful and beautiful of a woman you are. Be secure in knowing that if you decide to go for it, and something goes amiss later on, you are strong and confident enough to say that you learned from the experience. Be secure in knowing that if it doesn’t work out, it is not a failure, it is simply bringing you closer to understanding what you want and making different choices later.
Now, I don’t judge what anyone else does, but I look at it this way. If I am attracted and desire a strong and independent woman who loves and respects herself, am I going to want to date a woman who would return to a past lover who didn’t treat her right or even did something like cheat? Hell no. Granted, we all have an ex or two that we would consider re-dating, but the more I think about it, there would have to be major changes, and people don’t necessarily change their behavior or how they treat others. With that being said, I quickly remember why I wouldn’t go back. To the ladies wondering whether or not they should date someone if they feel the other is still “in love” with an ex, don’t fear. Trust your gut when making the decision. Remember, as a woman, you base your decisions on how you feel- so if your gut tells you something, for God’s sake, trust it! If you do start dating and they decide to go back to their ex, let them. They’ll see why that person was an ex to begin with, and by that time, you’ll be stronger, more confident and most likely move on to someone who truly deserves you.
So be strong, be confident and be you. I hope you enjoyed a Drink With Jess.
Sure, there is a raw sexiness. Yes, they dress better and have amazing accents. Unknown and exotic. It’s easy to get swept off your feet by a foreigner. We all say we love going on vacation, but it’s not just to unwind. It’s for the excitement of the culture. Right here, right now, I’m going to uncover just what makes us fantasize about that love affair with that enticing stranger who speaks in a foreign tongue. So make yourself a mojito and have a drink with Jess.
I have studied foreign cultures for many years. I guess it has always been a fascination of mine, from the music to the food, their thoughts on the world around them, and most recently what makes foreigners so attractive to women and men here in the US. Although I like to focus on the lesbian community, I decided to encompass men and women, straight and gay, and allow this to be a casual discussion on what makes foreigners, in general, so damn sexy.
After taking to the streets for some informal interviews over the past few weeks, I have encountered many responses that make sense. It also allows me to see how differently I function, behave and believe, than the typical American lesbian. My normal behaviors and passions reflect more foreign cultures than American.
So let’s get down to it. I will start off by saying that this is general, and that there are always exceptions. However, as many other cultures around the world think American women are easy or American men are unintelligent, beer guzzling, football watching baboons, with no class, we have the reputation of also being non-cultured, egotistical workaholics as a whole. Again, there are many of exceptions. So while you are taking your date to a dive bar, others around the world are drinking wine, dancing and talking. Yes, talking! You won’t see people more attached to their cell phones than their date in other countries. But I digress.
I am going to be very direct and concise with this information, to make it simple. In general, people from foreign lands have great qualities that differ from ours. They have a passion for life. They enjoy sharing what the world has to behold. I once heard a story from an old professor of mine from Spain. He and his friends wanted a beer, so they got in a car and drove to Germany to enjoy the best. Here in the US, we walk to the local pub for a Coors light (such a shame). In Italy, Italian guys will spend the day playing football (soccer) at the park, go back to someone’s house and cook a great meal together. Our guy’s bonding includes watching many unfit dudes tackling others in the dirt and celebrating that with high-fives instead of a kiss and hug goodbye.
In Latin America, a guy will ask any woman to dance, and take her hand while leading her to the floor if he loves the music and man… he does it well. Without pulling out 1984 break dancing moves, all he has to do is look at her and let her feel like the beautiful, fun woman that she is. And if there is no woman around, he will still break out salsa moves in a group with his guy friends.
If you think about it, why do you think straight women like gay men, other than smelling good, taking care of their appearance and dancing well? It’s because they are fun, and have no fear enjoying their friends. In many other cultures, men do join their guy friends for an afternoon chat over lunch and wine. In other countries, men are not afraid to approach and flirt with women, whistling at her as she walks down the street. It makes me realize that in our American culture, why we are attracted to entertainers, chefs, musicians and other artistic types. They have passion and love it. No chef cares if others will think he is gay if he is sipping a fantastic wine or pairing the perfect beer with an exceptional sandwich. They are just sharing their passion for the culinary arts. And that, for the men reading, is attractive. Take a lesson from the foreign, get some passion. Don’t just stand by the bar because that is what social convention here says you should do. If women like passion, positive outlooks, fun and proactive people who make no excuses for who they are, then take the hint.
Now… On to you ladies. I hate to be hard on the ladies, because I do love you all. However, stop being so damn tough. I know in the world of economic competitiveness not only with men, but with other women, we have become focused on being strong and independent, but for God’s sake let you fall into the feminine role sometimes. No wonder when couples get divorced or break up, they say their wife or partner (if a lesbian) was controlling or that they felt emasculated by their “female” counterpart. Women dress up and are looking great to go out, but then get offended if someone voices their attraction like it’s not OK. Do you want to feel attractive or not? Enjoy the accolades from those who profess it. It feels wonderful to feel sexy, wanted and attractive, so be flattered instead of making a grotesque face or voicing disapproval. I love being wanted and hearing that I’m hot even if I’m not interested in the person.
And please, by all means, don’t be a princess. Women put themselves on a pedestal. When someone else does, they are afraid of falling off. That insecurity is now on you. I was in a relationship with a woman who only wanted someone to take care of her. I also dated one who on the first date said she should be treated like a princess. It’s obvious to say, those didn’t work. I like a woman who has her own goals, but also cares for others. If I wanted to “take care” of someone, I’d have kids. You’re an adult, so act like it. I never need someone to take care of me. Yet, if there is a time, like having the flu, it is comforting to know that my girlfriend at the time held a soup pot under my face as I vomited and then stuck her finger in my mouth with toothpaste because she knew I didn’t like the taste of sickness. That moment was love! I would have done the same for her.
Finally, men and women, gay and straight, get this through your heads. Having friends and family involved in your relationships is natural. You are an extension of your family and friends, and in many cultures, a first date includes family and friends. I don’t know why it’s so scary, but don’t let it be. I dated a woman who had a blockade up when it came to friends and family. For me, if you want to know me then know them. They were around longer than you. They have formed my beliefs and personality. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for some of them, I wouldn’t have a presence here, so appreciate and love that. Here in the US, we get so insecure and scared about what others think, that it’s understandable to be scared and make it a “big deal” to meet friends and family. But get over it! It’s common in every other culture but ours. Besides, you may enjoy a lot of love and laughs.
Other cultures start to date only when that is the person they want to form a relationship with. They don’t date around like we do. They enjoy times as a group until. We tend to date as many as possible, weeding out the “bad seeds”, because being single has a bad connotation, like you are not whole.
So, to wrap up Drinks with Jess, be whole with you, find passion and enjoy life. Stop being so hard ladies. And stop being so scared to be yourself men. To all, don’t stress about family and friends and be happy with each moment. That, my friends, is joy! Join me next week for another drink and enlightening conversation.
Jess is a dating coach, best selling author, and radio personality in Philadelphia. She provides the LGBTQ community with no-nonsense, straight forward advice to understanding your mind in order to navigate the complex dating scene and go after and get the people you desire.