How do you keep safe in such questionable times? Let's cover some topic areas
Go make a coffee and get ready to read...
How to meet people
It's a mad world these days in dating and single life.
While some people are genuinely looking for love or companionship, see some treat online dating as a big named department store catalogue. They view, enjoy, then go to the store, pick out the thing they like, and take it home and, try it out and enjoy it. Some time later, they look at the catalogue again, decide to try something else out, package back up their original purchase, go back to the store with the item and receipt, head up to the service desk, return the original, get an exchange note, go pick something else out, take it home, and repeat the whole process until either the store stops allowing it, or they tire of the process itself.
People aren't things, and shouldn't be compared to objects.
Ways to meet people
Try to expand your social circle, so you have lots single and not just partnered friends. If you are attracted to the opposite gender, have lots of single friends of your own gender to network with. If you meet someone and think they are a decent person but just not for you, offer to introduce them to your single friends, have your single friends offer the same to their dates that were also decent but not their match, and in time may be your date might have a friend that matches you. Have some well meaning people pressuring you to meet someone? Tell them that if they find anyone decent to introduce you, you might get a blind date, a friend, or a partner out of it.
2. Activities (Actual FUN, see more about FUN below)
Are you actually going out and doing things that you enjoy, and where others might enjoy the same things and therefore have something in common with you. Look around at the events and activities you do, is your desired type of person and their gender at those events and activities in adequate representation? If not, what other activities have you not tried that you would like to try that would have those people there, and why aren't you going there?
I remember one lady telling me that her love life would only happen if a guy climbed up the side of her building and into her window. I replied that her only options were a fireman, or a burglar, and that the burglar wasn't an ideal partner unless she found Stockholm Syndrome attractive, and that the fireman would only be there if the apartment was burning down. Look with objectivity at whether or not you are making yourself available, or closed off from others.
3. Online dating, yes there can be horror stories, but some have good outcomes too.
How to online date - Some safety steps :
2. Chat on the app for as long as you need to feel comfortable, don't allow yourself to be pressured into moving off the app too soon. People might say they don't want a pen pal, but if you don't know enough about them yet, they aren't any kind of pal if they are forcing you into their way - or not at all - like that. Never give money to them, no matter what. Check if they can respect your boundaries, if you change dates, times, or if you respectfully disagree on some points. How do they respond? Not moving off the app til you are ready is a boundary too.
Are they interested in normal conversation or do they try to get sexual or seem to be love bombing you ( I write more about Love Bombing below). Are their initial approaches grand gestures and compliments on your looks etc? If so, be prepared to become Schrodingers person, both a god/goddess and simultaneously a fat/ugly/stupid person until you react positively or negatively to some person on the internet's pathetic pick up lines. Try not to let people's sudden and weird switch from complimenting to outright negging get you upon your polite rejection of them. That behaviour is really about them, it's not you. It's just another bullet dodged, my friend.
2. Phone call. (Call them while blocking your number to private first time, or have an alternative phone number, via anonymous internet number, or a burn phone)
Can you call them at night and on weekends? Are they regularly talking to you and wanting to get to know you as a person, or you as a sexual object? Are they open about themselves, their life, emotions, what is important to them in life? Do they have a short and long term plan both personally and professionally? Is their contact with you sporadic or reliable? Do they insist on calling you from a private number and never giving theirs?
If it's all one way and in their favour, end it early.
3. Video call - are they like their photos, do they let you see them on video call? Are they capable of being respectful on the video call? Scammers or people who don't look like their profile pictures typically will have all sorts of excuses to not to talk on a video call. Some people use heavy filters, or photos from 20 years ago and 20 kilos ago, and look nothing like they now look in real life, 20 years later, or they might be using someone else's photo. If they do agree to a video call, see how you get along face to face on video, before getting face to face in person. Some people will, oddly, see a video call as a green light to try to swing the conversation straight towards some sexy time ... before you have even met. You can make your own choices in life, but look at defining what you really want in making that connection, and assess if your and their actions are going in the direction of your goals or not.
4. Meet in a busy public place - Reducing risks and increasing comfort. Go to benign places for first dates art galleries, museums, theme parks, highly populated areas, ice or roller skating, heavily populated tourist attractions, restaurants, cafes. How do they treat wait staff? How do they handle things not going their way? How do they handle stress, or not being the centre of attention? Get to know as much about them as you go through the dating process with them and going out on dates with them over time. Take your time to get to know them as much as you can long before you let oxytocin take over your thinking and into the equation. The friendship underpinning any relationship is what will see you through difficult times far more than sex induced oxytocin can. What is oxytocin? Look here
Where to avoid being on initial dates Avoid something like a closed capsule ferris wheel ride where there is literally nowhere to run, equally hiking in remote areas on a first date can be super creepy or gropey. Avoid letting them drive you to a winery far away. Drive yourself or get to dates your own way until you know them enough to feel comfortable to let them do that. Ask for their address and full name. Never meet at their place or yours first time. I have talked online with guys who have offered ladies to cook at their place for a first date, and they have been quite innocent yet lacking in social awareness and been upset about women often not feeling comfortable about it and asked my views. A hint is that if you don't know them yet, you don't have to trust them yet. A lack of understanding of your safety concerns could also indicate they might not be capable of empathising with positions they haven't personally been affected by. If they display this character trait I generally ask them about their views on other cultures and watch them out themselves as covert supremacists pretty quickly to me and without their knowledge they have done that. Try it, it can be very revealing.
A restaurant or cafe you are familiar with is often best as wait staff will be more likely to know you and recognise if you look uncomfortable, and will look out for you. If you choose a busy area there may be a number of cafes and restaurants to choose from so that you can have the first part of the date at one place and move to another if extending you time together to a full meal. The great thing is, you also can just leave after coffee, with neither party feeling at a loss. When going on a date, tell people you know where you are going, with whom, have a back up plan and someone who can call, or can call you mid date if needed. Never leave a drink unattended.
Who's paying? Some people will purposely suddenly realise they left their wallet at home as a tactic to get you to pay for them, or to get a second date. Establish these sorts of things well in advance. Sometimes it's good to offer to meet for coffee that can become lunch, or drinks that can extend to become dinner - if both parties want too.
And, while honest feedback is usually best, go with your gut instinct, if it feels safer to politely leave and give a polite decline later, then do that. You can also set your phone to silent and then set a alarm for 5 minutes on most phones to then pretend to have an urgent call and get out of there, you can also alert staff at the bar or restaurant if you feel unsafe. Don't agree on the spot to a second date if you don't feel comfortable. "I'll get back to you" can be a good way to safely disengage if you don't feel confident to just say no.
5. After a date, take time to see how you feel about them. Don't rush in or out, just assess. If you want to spend more time with them and it's mutual, great. If not, be kind, even if being firmly against it. Don't be gaslit into giving someone - you don't feel right about - any more of your time. It is often better to just thank them for their time and for the date, but that you don't want to take it any further but wish them the best. There's no need to be mean by adding what you think is "wrong with them." They might be perfect for someone else. Some people don't take rejection well, try not to be one of them. Some people will engage in Negging AFTER being politely rejected. It is never okay, and is the tactic of an insecure personality at work.
The changing language of dating and singledom
Develop your career, your interests, life, and meet folks who have also have built a life.
There are now words that relate to dating that are handy to know. I cover some of the terms in this blog. One innocuous word is Fun. The word "Fun" doesn't mean what it used to, as a girl friend found out when making her dating profile. She had selected "Long Term Relationship," and had written " Love to have FUN" in her profile, and couldn't understand why guys were immediately getting sexual after asking if she liked to have fun and she had answered in the affirmative. When I explained it to her, she was horrified. I also said most probably they hadn't even read her profile before asking that ... Oh, to have their confidence, and audacity.
"Fun" had been such a sweet, innocent word, until somewhere in between 2000 and 2017 people decided it meant sex, and, they have been meaning that ever since. If someone ever asked me if I liked to have FUN I would reply with all my hobbies, an interest in the possibility of teaching English while travelling, my joy toward yoga, fitness, healthy eating, and making arts and crafts. I would then ask if that what they meant (while knowing that wasn't at all what they meant). I would also ask them what their hobbies and interests outside of work were, and every time, aside from drinking beer or spirits, if they liked "FuN" they didn't have any interests, at all. One even said that sex was the only thing outside of working and drinking that they thought was fun. I assumed they were probably terrible at it, and didn't want disappoint myself by testing my theory.
Sometimes guys would ask me what my biggest fantasy was, and I would say to "move to Bar Harbor, Maine, raise seven goats, and marry a lumberjack who will be the only one to understand my mysterious and tragic past." Many guys then and to this day probably have no idea I was copying and pasting the basic response used in content of a storyverse based on ladyfolks responding to creeps on the internet.
Being Happy Being Single
Being happy while being single is just as important as being happy if you are partnered.
Being single means you can plan and on the spur of the moment do things you enjoy without having to consult someone else first, or compromise for their comfort levels or any insecurities either of you might have. May be, while single you are having a full life, and are working towards your future in career, study, causes, your wellbeing, interests, family, and or social life. May be you are part of a community group , or your tribe of people who are also single and you look out for each other. But being partnered shouldn't mean losing yourself and your goals, joys, or dreams either. The best partnerships are where you both strive to be and live your best, while supporting each other.
Being single doesn't have to be lonely, even if you are still learning to like your own company. The longer you are single the more careful you will be - about who you let into your life and why - if you enjoy your own company, and are having a fulfilling life. You may be more vulnerable to allowing the wrong people in if you are not finding your niche and keeping your sense of self fulfillment in your single life alive. It also doesn't help if family and friends pressure you about your single status.
Women, particularly, are often hassled and judged about being single, by well meaning family, friends, and even SOME random guys. I have been left alone far more often when out if I have a male friend accompanying me. I will absolutely take myself out to dinner, latin dancing, or a movie, but if it's to a mainstream Night Club, I'll go with friends. Men have asked a male friend accompanying me if they could dance with me, assuming a guy - I am not in a relationship with - should answer for me. Thankfully the kinds of guy friends I allow into my social circle are respectful and have answered "ask her yourself." These guys have been equally quick to ask me if I am okay I looked uncomfortable with someone. Growing a good friendship base at the end of a long relationship might take time, but is well worth it.
The patriarchy benefits from marketing to women the romanticising of weddings, marriage, and having a family. So, people often form negative judgements about single women, without even really thinking about it, because the bias is on a societal level. We all know about the stereotype of the "Crazy Cat Lady" think about who benefits from reinforcing that stereotype. When you become more conscious you start to question things like this more, you also question why in hetro' relationships the guy must be tall, and women shorter, very skinny and diminutive, perhaps the guy is a bit older than her, just a couple of examples of the bigger theme at play.
Are you single and been called picky?
Some people will try to manipulate you by warning you that you will be single all of your life. The kinds of people who assume that you have never been partnered often do it because you aren't fawning at their lack of decency. Your period of being single might be longer than their longest relationship which will probably also be far shorter than their longest period of being single. That might be what they feel insecure about and why they are projecting their issues onto you. Try not to tell them you would rather remain single for the rest of your life than go out on a single date with them. Some arguments just aren't worth it. Especially when you See this link about the statistics for single women.
Ask any single person for a list of questions they dislike being asked, and high up on the list will be the classics :
Q "WhY aRe YoU SinGLe, is it cause you are CrAzy or SoMetHinG?"
Answer A. But you are single, and you are the one me asking that question?"
Answer B. Are you really making fun of people with mental illness and saying that I should accept just anyone, or someone who gaslights people so they feel shamed into be partnered just to be seen as having value to you?"
Q "You're too pretty, how are you single"?"
A "I have standards, and intelligence. And for me, looks alone aren't enough alone for me to be attracted to someone."
Q "You don't want to be single and be "left on the shelf" you?"
A "Don't threaten me with a good time."
Often, a thought of love, light, and moving on is best and easiest. Sometimes things are worth a clap back, or applying the type of burn they need beeswax gauze and antiseptic burn creme for. Other times it's just not worth the oxygen. And, yet some people are really excited by creating outrage or being humiliated by strangers, it's up to you to read which category they fit into, or to just unmatch.
And, to the partnered friends telling you to give someone a chance that you don't want to, the chances are that if they are pushing that line too hard, you haven't settled for the kind of spouse they often feel vexxed about. This only reaffirms the security you have in your choice to wait until and unless someone turns up who is adult enough to be worth your time and energy. The happier your friends are in their life, the more likely they will be happy for you whether you are single or partnered.
So, what do to when the partnered people in your life tell you to "Give that person another chance" or to drop your standards so that you won't be single?
My tip is to have a bucket handy, in case your friends need it, and tell them there is nothing wrong with you being single. It's really not that no one will "pick" you, it's that so far no one you met so far felt quite right for you, no one has come alone yet who you feel would add joy to your life and you to theirs. And that you don't mind waiting, because you are filling your life with purpose and joy already. The trick is to really be doing that purpose and joy thing first.
Are you vulnerable to the wrong kind of connection?
I assist all kinds of clients who are at all kinds of life stages, but here I want to address the singles who are stuck in a rut over a love interest that is going nowhere, fast. As well as the partnered people who suddenly find they are interested in someone else.
Sometimes clients tell me how they feel such an amazing, intense connection with someone they hardly know. They feel that person in their sleep, and feel that person thinking about them, they feel they might be their soul mate, but the relationship has either been on the skids, or never got off the ground in the first place. These clients will tell me about how the person they are hooked on is acting in ways that are actually quite manipulative, abusive, or display an avoidant or insecure attachment style, or their love interest is not monogamous, or a bit of a drifter for some examples.
So what makes people vulnerable to abusers, losers, and users ?
Often, but not always, a severe lack of fun or personal fulfillment, aka "all work and no play." Life could be under major stress about anything from family illnesses, bereavements, and so on. They could lack sufficient social connections to find enjoyment, camaraderie, grounding, and sufficient "sounding boards." They could also have low self esteem or self worth, or past personal history or family background experiences that makes them more vulnerable, and more of a target to manipulative people.
If you love your life, and the things, people, activities that spark your inner glow and joy enough, you will walk away from anything that doesn't look like the love and respect you deserve.
Love Bombing and Love Frauds
There are some cautionary tales about love bombing and love scammers, all over Digital TV from Tinder Swindler on Netflix, To Stan's various offerings : Love Fraud, Panorma : Catching Cat Fish, and Dating App Horrors. Also on ABC is Australian Story Stephanie Wood, as well as ABC USA news
What is Love Bombing?
Typically love bombing is when someone is coming on too quick, too heavy, and way too good to be true. Sure, some people truly are intense, others are really easy going, but a typical love bomber is going to cover you in affections before really spending any time with you to get to know you enough to know if they even really like you as a person before communicating their undying love for you. I have heard of people saying "I love you" to the other person on first dates, first weeks, in the first month or months, only to later leave in a hurry or without any communication at all, and often going straight to another relationship. Usually it's a narcissistic trait or characteristic.
Some words of warning : Anyone who falls in love super quickly with you without even getitng to know you is just as likely to leave the same way they arrived, quickly, and over nothing.
They might also leave because they suddenly can see they can't or won't be able to manipulate you. May be they see you have good people around you as support that they won't be able to easily isolate you from. One of the first tactics of an abuser is to isolate you. At times in people's lives they might move away from toxic families, but this will be of their own doing after a lot of work in trying to heal things first, and that is entirely different to someone swooping in like a one person cult and trying to convince you that those closest to you couldn't possibly understand you as much as they do. See this article for more on love bombing for more.
Some people will breadcrumb you, by giving you just enough to stay invested, but not actually really be with you. They want to keep you there as an option, or as an ego boost, but not actually commit to you.
Avoid these types and read up as much as you can. Modern dating is nothing like it once was in the "olden days" when you met someone at the pub who probably knew your friends, when introduction agencies were new, and they actually interviewed people, made really weird video interviews of them, and people had to write letters to each other, see the video for examples of the good olde dayz. (There's a viking dude is on this youtube clip).
Thankfully, after Covid Lock downs, more and more people have actually gone out to meet people after feeling locked in for so long, and wanting the social interaction.
The good thing about meeting someone while out in a group setting is that you get to observe their behaviour in groups and with less of a front on, rather than one on one where it can be harder to detect facades, and how they handle different types of situations.
Learn as much as you can about someone before totally investing, take your time, and enjoy yourself.
Good pages to follow on dating tips and to know you aren't going mad after all, and that it's not just you experiencing this weirdness :
La la la let me explain
Bad Dates of Melbourne
Let's not date
Women's Specific Pages
Men going out of their way to reject women who don't know they exist.
Live show, Digital Radio and TV, Public Event Date for May 2022
A1R Psychic Radio and Moonstruck TV
I'll be talking about The Lovers Card on the next episode of my show on A1R Psychic Radio and Moonstruck TV, Friday 28th April 10am AEST (Thur 28th 8pm USA Eastern)
Facebook live on Love Bombing
And I'll be doing a live chat on Facebook about Love Bombing on Friday May 6th at 8pm AEST (Melbourne Australia)
Morwell Psychic Expo - Sunday May 1st
Live Stage performance readings and talk, one to one readings at the stand,
See the tour page
Remember to look for relationship Green Flags and secure your space with loving you first.
And that if you love you enough you won't tolerate an unloving relationship.
I'm here if you need me
Lots of love, respect, and appreciation
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Jacquelene Close Moore