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Lanie's Articles  |   Essays From M.H Borden

Out of the Mouth of a Babe

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season.

And if you are single, I sure hope you didn’t suffer from that dread disease: Lack- of- a- New-Year’s- Date -Angst. As I often reminded you last year, a high percentage of the adult population is single. You are certainly in a huge boat if you were in your PJ’s before the clock struck midnight. Probably many of your married friends, of course, were also in the PJ’s. I’m willing to bet many crazy decisions have begun with someone not wanting to be alone on New Year’s Eve.

Far better, in fact, as your inner wisdom already knows, to take the time to prepare for a healthy relationship than to buy a fancy outfit (does anyone do that anymore?) and rush headlong into something that could take you years to get out of. (Valentine’s Day is another occasion to remember this advice.)

Speaking of inner wisdom, since the holidays are a time where focus is often on children, the Biblical saying from Corinthians comes to mind:

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

So when making those resolutions for next year, it might be good to heed this pithy saying. I know one of my clients sure wished she had: she married a man because she liked his telescope. We had a good laugh over that one. That kind of childish behavior eventually led, no surprise, to divorce court.

On the other hand, when it comes to dating, one child certainly knows what he’s talking about and seems to have a lot of common sense.

Have you been heard of 8-year-old Alec Greven, whose book “How to Talk to Girls” is a New York Times Bestseller? With a movie, I think, to follow.

Now some of young Alec’s book may seem a little sexist but on the whole this child could offer sound advice to many adults as they hope to attract the right person in 2010.

What seems like the obvious way to behave on dates, believe it or not, is often swept aside by otherwise perfectly bright and rational and educated adults. Out of the mouths of babes….

Alec says, for instance: “Some boys say silly things to girls and act goofy.” Well, I’ve been told that some folks on first dates are discussing their colonoscopies, their recent stomach upsets etc. etc. One woman told me she may never eat cauliflower again because she can’t get a certain image out of her head. Use your head, men.

Think Cary Grant.

“To get attention, you might want to show off a skill,” Alec instructs, “but don’t be a show-off. Most girls don’t like showoffs.” Yes, bragging about your skills or your kids or your accomplishments is a definite turn off to men and women.

Common sense that is often ignored.

“It’s good to let the girl start off the conversation. You want her to talk,” Alec suggests. Yes, monopolizing the conversation will not get you a second date.

Common sense that is often ignored.

“It’s good to give a girl compliments. Don’t go crazy with them, though.

It’s also good to give gifts. They don’t have to be big,” adds Alec.

Yes, some people are going overboard and insincerity is not going to work.

A dozen flowers sent after a date is hurtful, unless you mean business. Otherwise a man might be getting someone’s hopes up for nothing. I’ve heard of men making this gesture when they didn’t even want a second date.

Didn’t Aristotle say everything in moderation?

“If you like a girl, comb your hair and don’t wear sweats. You don’t have to try too hard but just try to look kind of clean.” You’d think this would go without saying but trust me….

Common Sense that is often ignored.

And perhaps the wisest advice of all from this young dating coach: “You have to be able to get over a crush if it doesn’t work out.

A crush is like a love disease. It can drive you mad. Try not to let it get you down.”

Indeed if I were to offer one wish for all the single people out there it would be to grieve what you need to grieve and move on. It is so easy for men and women to let someone take our power from us, and to fall into the mind- trap that there is only one person for us. Or that a relationship we know is unhealthy, like a disease, is worth pining for or sticking with. That being with the wrong person is better than being alone.

So to all of you, I wish you healthy thinking in 2010. There is no reason you can’t find the right person for you, someone trustworthy, who treats you well and who shares your values and goals. Happy, healthy dating and I hope next year you won’t be reading this column unless you find it amusing!

Lanie Delphin

Finding You the Right One, Not Just Anyone

Mass Match

6 University Drive


Amherst, MA 01002



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