PROFILING IS THE ONLY WAY to date. Nothing else is more empowering. Nothing else is more effective. Nothing else is more fun. Profiling Your Date is how I have dated; it's how I live; and it's how I found the love of my life. Even though men frustrated me at times, I loved them and couldn't stay away. I never gave up.
Profiling my dates has been a joy because it has allowed me to get to know the testosterone - ridden human being next to me. In writing this book, I wanted to provide a mix of fun and entertainment together with serious relationship information for serious relationship decisions. Date profiling is a unique and effective way of learning about a man in-depth and, if you choose, establishing an intimate connection with him.
I am a psychotherapist (P.C.C.), an educator (Ed.D.), and someone who knows dating. Through my personal and professional experience I have developed an approach to dating that will help you gain quick and easy insight into each of your dates to determine if he's the one for you.
Of course, every woman who dates tries to understand the man she's with. It's natural. People habitually perceive, judge, analyze, classify, and sometimes criticize. However, it's possible to create a more objective picture by using the tools and techniques of psychology and counseling theory. Now we can call on expert advice and research to add to our understanding of a man. By psychologically profiling the men we date, our perceptions become crisper, our judgments more accurate, our analyses wiser, and our classifications increasingly well defined.
How Can Profiling Benefit Me?
THERE ARE SPECIFIC WAYS you can benefit from the profiling process.
PROFILING GIVES YOU AN INTENSITY OF UNDERSTANDING THAT WILL IMPRESS HIM
Profiling gives you depth of insight into his beliefs and behaviors that will blow him away. With incisive understanding, you'll break through his social veneer and get in touch with who he really is. And he will love it!
He will love it because he'll sense your interest in getting to know him and your growing awareness of who he is. As discussed in Chapter 2, "Getting into His Head and into His Heart," one of a man's greatest desires is to be understood by a woman. A feeling of empathy and warmth will wash over him as you gain understanding of him though profiling.
While profiling may sound as if it is intrusive, abrasive, and lacking in emotion, it is not. When you do it right, profiling is subtle and insinuating. There's delicacy in listening to and interpreting a man's words. There's grace in reading his body language. There's beauty in psychological awareness of another human being. You are not becoming an amateur therapist and analyzing every thought, word, or deed. You are fine-tuning your awareness of him so you can connect beyond a superficial level.
You have the opportunity to establish a connection between yourself and the man you choose. You can distinguish yourself by connecting with him at a deeper level. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to talk to him about "deep" topics like life and death on the first date. The connection can start small--acknowledging that you get certain things about him. Over time, he'll notice not onlythat you're getting the small stuff but that you're perceptive enough to develop the big picture about him as well.
Where the connection you develop will lead is hard to say. For a romance to develop, there has to be more than understanding. You may find that you get him and can't stand what he's about. He also may not be making the attempt to understand you; however, this won't happen often.
In many cases you'll find that the connection you've established leads to a fantastic friendship or a wonderful relationship. As your relationship develops, don't stop the profiling, because it played some part in getting you to your current situation and can help maintain the understanding in your relationship.
PROFILING GIVES YOU COURAGE
Profiling gives you the courage to say, "Next!" which is not always easy. It can be an extremely gut-wrenching decision to pass on a guy, particularly if he's interested in you. There are pressures to couple up, and we have to deal with our feelings of loneliness and the very natural desire to share a life with someone.
Because profiling makes dating much clearer, you'll become more and more confident in your decision-making skills. When the unpleasant truth is staring you down, you'll rise to the challenge and muster the courage to make the appropriate decision. Being miserable with a man isn't an option, whether it's the first date or the first-year anniversary. Profiling brings clarity to your situation so you have to deal with it. Rather than settling for less than what you want, you will have the confidence to try again with someone else.
Happily, profiling also highlights goodness and can give you the courage to take a chance on a man. Due to bad experiences in the past, you may be overlooking some men with wonderful qualities. Or you may be just plain scared to grow the relationship beyond acertain point. Profiling sheds light on both of you so that you can move forward in a positive direction. It takes a lot of courage to take a chance on someone.
Last but not least, profiling builds your confidence so that you are less intimidated and more apt to try today's new dating venues.
Along with the old standbys like pubs and clubs, there are Internet and speed-dating events. Communities are also seeing the need to cater to singles. More and more church groups for singles are popping up, as well as neighborhood organizations and clubs designed to get people mingling.
Today, many men and women are remaining single. A survey from the University of Chicago found that on average, typical city dwellers are going to be single for half of their lives.1 That's a big change from previous generations.
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there are 95.7 million singles in this country.2 That means 43 percent of U.S. residents age fifteen and over are unmarried and single.
You are not alone, and profiling is a tool to help you find the courage to go out and start dating for a mate.
PROFILING LETS YOU SQUEEZE THE PRODUCE
Psychiatrist Dr. Alice Onady uses a fun analogy to describe the dating process.3 She likens it to being a cabbage on the produce shelf that is going to be squeezed, thumped, and either chosen or rejected. She maintains that in relationships, you want to be the one assessing the produce. At all costs, you should avoid being the cabbage that gets picked up, sniffed, squeezed, and thrown back. How do you avoid this fate? Through profiling, of course, because it allows you to be the one making the assessment.
In essence, Dr. Onady is saying that you want to be empowered in your dealings with men. Forget lying there like a passive cabbage,handing him all the power. Recognize the amount of control you have. Profile him and look at who he is and decide if that's what you want!
There is no reason to go on a date worrying excessively about whether he likes you or not. Have the attitude that you are going out to see if you like him. This makes dating and relationships so much less nerve-racking and so much easier on your self-esteem.
This is not to say that he has no input in this relationship. Just like you, he is going to be looking at who you are and if you're right for him. That's okay. However, there is simply no reason to completely turn over the reins and let yourself get oversqueezed and picked apart.
Over the years, there may have been a number of things you blamed yourself for that may have had more to do with him than you thought. For example, Chapter 8, "Date with a Narcissist," is about the narcissistic man who loves no one but himself. In all likelihood, if you dated such a man, you became very self-critical when this guy didn't show an interest in you. Maybe you thought you weren't attractive enough or smart enough, when the reality was he wasn't emotionally healthy enough to establish and maintain a relationship.
Profiling helps you see that with some men, what you look like, what you say, or the way you act have little to do with how much they like you or not. With these types, their own mental health issues are the driving force in what keeps the relationship from getting off the ground, not anything you do or say.
You can stand on your head and sing an opera, but a sociopathic man will always be manipulative. You can hop on one foot and plead for trust, but a paranoid man will always be jealous and suspicious. By squeezing the cabbage in the right way, you'll be able to tell if you're dating this type of pathologically driven man.
When your cabbage squeezing has helped you discover a relatively healthy man, profiling helps you examine your role in therelationship from a more objective perspective, encouraging self-examination and constructive self-critique.
Profiling doesn't seek to blame and shame men. It's simply that we want to put our energy and work into a relationship in which there is a chance of a good payoff. Why waste time getting upset over a man who's not worth getting upset over? Instead, it's much better to move down the produce aisle!
PROFILING HELPS KEEP YOU SAFE
While growing up, the rule was not to talk to strangers. But dating inevitably involves talking to someone you don't really know. You may find yourself sharing a meal with some guy who seemingly dropped from the sky or, in worse circumstances, crawled out from under a rock!
If you were to ask your friends, you would discover that many have gone out with a man not knowing his family, friends, or much else other than his name and job. The unknown can be exciting but also scary.
There's no guarantee that if the guy comes with "references" from friends or family he will be without problems or issues. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. "Well, if he's Mom's cousin's friend, of course he has got to be a safe date!" Not necessarily. The more contextual information the better, but in essence, Mom's cousin's friend is still a stranger to you.
Admittedly, it's uncomfortable to think about all the horrible things that could happen when you go out with a man. Dating shouldn't be about dread and fear. It should be about fun and romance.
Unfortunately, we have to look out for ourselves. We can count on friends and loved ones, but at the end of the day, we must value ourselves enough to take charge of our own safety. This means beingconscious of what can happen to us and facing that fear by taking the appropriate actions.
In his book The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker talks about the importance of listening to fear and protecting yourself by systematically evaluating a man. He emphasizes: "The whole process is most similar to an audition, except that the stakes are higher. A date might look like the audition in Tootsie, in which the man wants the part so badly that he'll do anything to get it, or it can be an opportunity for the woman to evaluate important pre-incident indicators. Doesn't sound romantic? Well, daters are doing an evaluation anyway; they're just doing it badly. I am suggesting only that the evaluation be conscious and informed."4
Although dating need not be fear driven, we do need to incorporate the potential for danger in our conception of the dating process, along with hearts and chocolate. It's just smart to be safe.
After the initial shock of having to think about the dangers of dating wears off, you'll find that your anxiety level decreases over time with profiling. It won't plunge to zero and it shouldn't, because having some anxiety serves as a protective function during relationship building. It motivates us to guard ourselves and alerts us to possible danger.
With profiling you should maintain a healthy level of fear, because you're taking care of business, but you're not letting fear get in the way of meeting people. You're doing all you can to protect yourself, so there's no need to obsess. Profiling lets you recognize the clues you need to weed out the scary dates, and gives you safety tips to use with every guy, just in case.
PROFILING MAKES YOU NATURALLY HARD TO GET
A pleasant side effect of the profiling process is that you become naturally hard to get through your selectivity. Being naturally hard toget versus playing or acting hard to get are two completely different scenarios. For one thing, acting aloof and uninterested never really works. Men instinctively sniff out the act and treat you accordingly.
On the other hand, truly being hard to get carries some weight. With profiling, you get some objectivity and perspective that cause you to stand back a bit. You're not being cold but are maintaining a warm independence.
With profiling, there is no need to play the head games that are supposed to make a man think the woman is indifferent. If you're interested in him, the authentic and spontaneous thing to do is to let it show in your own natural way. You can return his phone calls. You can tell him what a nice time you had. Profiling allows you to be your genuine self while at the same time helps you maintain your autonomy.
If you're not desperate and needy there is simply no reason to worry about appearing desperate and needy, because you won't. Let other women waste their time, energy, and IQ on rude games. It's time to throw out the old rules and make way for profiling!
PROFILING IS YOUR CRYSTAL BALL TO HIS BEHAVIOR
Once you have a good understanding of his past and current behavior, you have a better chance of predicting his future behavior. In statistical terms, when one variable forecasts another, it's called predictive validity.
It's like having a crystal ball that gives you glimpses into the future. You can get an idea of whether or not this guy has long-term potential. You can get a preview of what your lifestyle with him will be like. Not to mention how he will treat you, your family, and any future children.
Imagine the luxury of knowing what he's going to do ahead of time--and maybe before he knows it himself. Understanding what setshim off, as well as what gets him off, gives you more to work with in the relationship. You won't get blindsided by a creep in sheep's clothing.
The great thing about predictive validity is that you can test for it. Using the information you've gathered from profiling after you read this book, go ahead and make some educated guesses about his behavior and keep them in mind. For instance, you can try predicting when he will call next or how long it will be before he's ready to be exclusive. You can also hypothesize how he will react to certain situations, both emotionally and behaviorally.
You can also make predictions about your friends' relationships, celeb hookups, and reality TV show romances. No matter what you're making predictions about, be sure to keep tabs on accuracy. The more you practice and the more you profile, the more you'll find you're right!
Past behavior foreshadows future behavior. Want to know what he is going to do now or ten years from now? Look at what he did in the past. Has he cheated before? There's a good chance he'll do it again. Has he been very controlling with you in the past? Most likely he will be controlling with you in the future. Has he consistently treated you with respect over time? Looks like he'll probably always treat you with respect.
Of course you don't want to go overboard. It's important to leave some room for change. It does happen--for good and for bad. However, nobody wants to be stuck wishing, waiting, and hoping for positive change for too long. With accurate predictions, you won't.
One last cautionary note: Don't turn your predictions into self-fulfilling prophecies. The danger here is that you may unconsciously start to make the prediction come true. For example, if you predict that your relationship won't last past two months, then you might actually contribute to the destruction of the relationship without being aware of it.
Keep the predictions objective and in perspective. They'reprobabilities, not certainties. And after all, pleasant surprises in relationships can come out of left field.
PROFILING PROMOTES LOOKING BEFORE YOU LEAP
A few women might say, "Stepping back and being partly objective stinks! I'm an emotional, spontaneous person who would rather dive in headfirst as long as it feels right." Profiling gives you the advantages of looking before you leap rather than leaping before you look. The best strategy for women who have the habit of plunging into relationships is to contemplate the negative consequences that come from bad choices:
• Have you ever slept with a seemingly caring man only to find a cool stranger next to you a few weeks later? How did it feel?
• How would you react to being swept off your feet by a tirelessly attentive man who turns into a dangerous stalker? Has it happened to you?
• Have you ever thought you were in love, made the announcement to everyone you know, and practically set the date, only to realize it wasn't really love? What would it be like to go through that more than once?
• How do you feel after wasting time and energy on a man who isn't for you? Drained? Discouraged? Disappointed? Cheated?
For the purpose of evaluating a man, you need to maintain some initial distance so that you can be objective and truthful with yourself about his fabulous qualities as well as his flaws. Becoming physically intimate too quickly, pouring out your soul after the movie,picking out the wedding dress, and other ways of forcing him into your life prematurely render you impotent in terms of profiling.
In the end, a little remoteness born out of the profiling process can help you avoid some of the more disastrous consequences of relationships, so you can better experience all the joyful things that make being with a man wonderful. You don't have to throw out all the spontaneity and emotional energy. Profiling simply helps you to channel that energy in the right direction so that you don't waste it.
POWER IS KNOWLEDGE; PROFILING IS POWER!
Having information, seeing things, knowing things is power! Ignorance really isn't bliss. Ignorance or hiding from the truth can sneak up on people awfully quickly and with dire consequences. At some point, every one of us has chosen to look the other way when she wasn't seeing what she wanted to see.
What woman hasn't ignored warning signs about a guy because she wanted him to be "the one"? Women often try to wish a frog into a prince by running from the truth of what they know or choose not to know. At what cost? We all pay for the sham bliss of ignorance down the line.
Go ahead and claim your power! You'll be happy that you did. Think of people you know or are familiar with who have achieved some success in life. They were informed and knowledgeable about their area of expertise. They watched people, understood human interaction, and were psychologically aware. They faced the truth--good or bad--and dealt with it.
PROFILING IS FUN!
Profiling simply makes dating more fun--particularly if you're on the fence about the dating process. It is fun because it takes a lot ofthe pressure off of you. The emphasis is getting to know the man you're with, which enables you to take the focus off of your insecurities. When you go into the date with more confidence, you almost automatically have more fun.
It's entertaining to get to know a man this way. It's a richer experience filled with the amusing nuances of human behavior. Go out, profile, and have fun!
A word of caution: The profiling process isn't meant to make a man feel as if he's being grilled or investigated. Yes, profiling is in many ways pragmatic. However, the date profiler cannot sacrifice beauty, joy, and passion to pragmatism. That sucks the fun out of life.
Profiling or developing an understanding of someone and how that someone fits with you should have an elegant flow and natural feel. If at any time it turns into an obsessive point-by-point evaluation, dial it down!