Dating Advice: Come Home Safe!

You know the story: The text and photo did not belong to the person who put them on his/her profile. There you are, stuck with someone you wouldn’t answer the door for and you’re out on a date. Ugh. Let this be a lesson to you. If you were shopping for a second-hand dining room table, you’d have asked the color, the wood, the length, the width, the carving or other artistic features, perhaps the style of the chairs, the number of those chairs, and, of course, the condition of the set long before you put your key in the ignition to take a look. So why should a date get less scrutiny than that? Common courtesy demands that you put at least as much effort into selecting your date as you would a chair. Not to mention the incredible difference it would make to you to not end up in a dark alley with the wrong person. In these days of ecstasy, rohypnol and the rest of the buffet of date-rape drugs, it happens. So here are some guidelines to avoid all that. Don’t ever, under any circumstances, feel desperate. If you catch yourself doing the desperation thing, take a walk, work out, say affirmations, call your friend and talk for two hours, take a bubble bath, read an absorbing book, plan a vacation, but under no circumstances should you allow yourself for one single moment that panicky feeling of desperation.   If you find yourself nursing feelings of desperation, take out a few pieces of loose leaf paper and make a list entitled, “My wonderful attributes,” and...

Dating Advice: Loneliness Is Better Than Abuse

We all know what positive reinforcement is: Something you give to someone to increase behavior you want. You give it following the behavior and, if done with skill and intelligence, it will lead to more of the same. For example, you tell the woman you’re out with, “You’re so pretty,” just after she accepted another date with you and you can be fairly certain that, barring anything stupid you do, you’ll get still another date out of the deal in the future. That’s positive reinforcement.   Punishment you know only too well. It’s something that follows an undesired behavior and serves to decrease the probability of that behavior happening again. When your date got up and walked out following your picking your teeth at the table, that was punishment (unless of course you wanted her to walk out).   Watch Out For Negative Reinforcement In Your Dating Relationships   It’s negative reinforcement that confuses people, and that’s bad because it’s dangerous. It’s the decreasing of pain following some behavior of yours. So, for example, on April 15 you file your yuchy taxes and on April 16, you breathe a deep sigh and feel like the world is no longer resting on your shoulders (unless, of course, you had to send a very large check with the return, in which case this example doesn’t apply). That’s negative reinforcement: the relief and joy you feel when you are no longer suffering.   Another example: You broke your back, your shoulders, your rear end, your brain and whatever else studying for some awful exam. It’s over–yaaaay! Whew. Negative reinforcement.   So here’s...
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