As I mentioned last week, a regular on my message board, Marc Davidson, took it on himself to work my side of the street and start a thread on my board about dating. Since I have pressing deadlines on a few projects, I thought that I would collect his tips for the blog. Here are his last few tips:

11. This was going to be on the first kiss, but I don’t know how to talk about it without making Chritian singles stumble, and I don’t want Jesus being mad at me.

12. Kissing part 1. How can you tell if she wants you to kiss her? She sits real close to you, always getting into your “space”. She touches you a lot. She looks you right in the eye.

13. Kissing Part II: Making the Kiss. I am a firm believer that you should never just kiss a woman you never kissed before without first asking her permission. I cannot think of too many instnces where not asking would be okay. I don’t think it spoils a moment to ask first,, plus, it demonstrates that you respect her and resepct her space.

Don’t get all slopply with it by using the tongue (let her take the lead on that). And don’t let lead to something else. Plus, don’t kiss her unless you are pretty sure that you really want to be with this person and you know enough about her to know that you want a serious relationship. I don’t care what anyone says, kissing is a big deal, and if you know how to do it right, it can be just as intimate as sex, sometimes even more so. So if you are not careful, you could wind up in a stupid relationship just because you like the intimacy and the physical encounter. And as I said before, you really don’t want to go there. It is not worth it.

I was thining that I was going teach guys how to kiss, but I thought better of it. I might create a monster. Instead, I will talk about how to get a woman to WANT to kiss you. Besides the obvious (bathe, use deodorant, brush your teeth, use a breath mint) the main thing is to be a good listener, be relaxed, and be comfortable with yourself and her. And don’t rush in. Let her feel that you are “safe”. Treat her like she is your best friend, and be more interested in getting to know her than her getting to know you. In short, treat her the way that SHE wants to be treated.

14. After the Well Runs Dry. What do you do when the initial excitment of being in a new relationship wears off? Is it time to call it quits and go to the next relationshio? I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone should date just to date. I think dating should lead to a lasting commitment. When you know that you are compatible with someone and deeply care about them, share core values, and like to kiss ’em too, what else is needed? Newsflash, every relationship will ebb and flow, you are always going to “feel” love towards the person who has got you all hot and bothered right now. I heard a great quote from someone in India talking to an American (I don’t remember where I read it though), “You Americans start out hot but end up cold. We Indians (who often times have arranged marriages) start off cold and end up hot.”

I think most of us American men have this notion that we are supposed to have the hottest babe who is always multi-orgasmic and ready for hot sex. But when we get in real relationship with a real woman, this notion is destroyed pretty quick. We think thaqt women are here to serve us and to fulfill our deepest fantasies and desires. But women have fantasies and desires too (and expectations that their boyfriends and husbands fulfill them). I don’t think that anyone should enter a relationshiip thinking about what they can get out the relationship, but rather, what they can give. I know this, if I want to get hot sex from wife, I have to treat her well, wash the dishes, and be exrra sensitive to her needs, or I ain’t getting none. Relationships are hard work, and losing that “loving feeling” is not the end, it is just the beginning.

15. “Breaking up is Hard to Do” Not every relationship works out. You come to a point when after thinking things through, you realize that this person just is not the right fit for you. How do you end a relationship well so that you both really can be friend? I will speak from experience because I have done it both right and wrong.

The wrong way: I dated one woman where the relationship was physical right from the beginning. I later learned that she was very unstable and I knew that I did not want to continue a long term relationship with her. I broke it off with her and she took it really hard, even leaving a rather bitter and disturbed message on my answering machine. Bad break ups happen because of bad beginnings. If the relationship is not built on a solid friendship, the break up will almost always be bad and you will not be able to continue a friendship with that person.

The right way: I dated one young woman in college, there was nothing physical about the relationship. We were both deeply attracted to each other, but it was clear that we were not right for each other. We ended the relationship mutually and remained friends. There was guy who was a friend of mine who actually liked her better than me. He eventually married her and they are doing great.

I had another relationshp with another girlfriend in college. That relationship was pretty physical (well, all we did was kiss), but we really liked each other and were good friends. We ended the relationship, but we would connect from time to time and just smooch. I eventually lost contact with her, but we ended as friends.

I really believe in mutual breakups, and when you limit physical contact, it is easier to end a relationship that makes no sense to continue. I know this is easier said than done, after all, you would not be in a relationship with this person if you didn’t find her desirable in some kind of way. I think that this is where faith and accountability come in, you just cannot do it by yourself.

In the second relationship, I was dating a young woman who was in the fellowship that I was a part of, so if I messed I was going to be in big trouble.

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