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Red Flag: Karate

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This goes for ultimate fighting, WWF and MMA as well. I’ll admit, I can see how a guy might think this sort of male activity would up is appeal, but trust me, there is an internal red flag that goes up when someone you’ve just met tells you they are “into fighting”. We can’t help but wonder if you have a few screws lose. Perhaps it’s the anger thing, or the fact that we don’t understand it, or maybe some weird guy in college that everyone called “Karate Joe”ruined it for us. All I know is it’s a risky move. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve killed to go to the Fun Zone with Ralph Macchio too… I’m just not sure I could have agreed to it off-screen.


Red Flag Round 2: Jobless

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So when I sat down to do my red flag for “J” I couldn’t decide between “Jail Time” and “Jobless.” Little did I know this gem of a conversation would come my way shortly after posting “Jail Time.” I thought it warranted posting.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 4.02.03 PM


**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.
(image Michele Scarpelinni) 

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Red Flag: Inappropriate Nickname

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a red flag. We are on the letter “I” and this was inspired by two stories from last week.

A few helpful facts.

I started a new job. I’ve decided not to say where so I can talk about people without getting in trouble. Somehow that sounded moral in my head and doesn’t exactly compute now. …Anyway.

All you need to know is it’s in an office that houses three different companies. There are lots of young professionals and it’s been really fun getting to know everyone. My co-worker, we will call her Lady K, has been an exceptionally good find while navigating my new surroundings.

Me: Guess who I met over the weekend? Aaron, he said he was a friend of yours.

Lady K: Mack Attack

Me: What is that?!

Lady K: It’s his nickname because he makes out with so many girls.

Me: Oh, good.

Following Thursday

Me: So what’s the story on Tom? (Works in the building next door. Wasn’t sure if he was my type but had a friend in mind)

Lady K: Who? Kissing Bandit?

Me: Serious?! …Is this going to be  a thing??

Lady K:  Well, he’s made out with three of the girls that work here already. You decide.

I’m not opposed to a good time, but when it is your reputation, it’s too much. Don’t guys know we talk?? A girl is likely to walk away when she hears he’s earned himself a frat boy nickname.  What’s the phrase “Don’t ___ where you eat?” …It’s real. Be careful out there:)

Don’t forget to join the launch contest for 2 tickets to Mumford. 2 days left!

**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.
(image Michele Scarpelinni) 


Red Flag: Hunters

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images[2]This week’s Red Flags was sent in by my friend Laura and her sister, Molly, from Tennessee.  They texted their suggestion after leaving The Blue Bird Cafe. I throw that detail in out of my current obsession with Nashville and extreme jealousy over their ability to go there.

Back to the Red Flag.



According to these two lovely ladies, guys who hunt gives them cause to pause.  At first I was thinking this had something to do with violence or gun control but I was wrong.  They say that they don’t like to date hunters because, “It COMPLETELY overtakes their lives!  Every single weekend from November to March!”

I don’t think I’ve ever met a hunter out in California but I can see how that would get old.   Since the whole world of hunting is foreign to me I went ahead and googled ‘how to date a hunter’ and found this article on NBC Sports written by a female.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

It’s not easy dating someone that you don’t hear from for days without explanation. It’s not easy to dine on your love’s ‘kill’ let alone hold the leg while they gut the dang thing!”

No, I imagine not.  I don’t want to hold a carcass leg on a date at this point in time.

Next she talks about the difficulties of calling  a hunter. “I remember being in Cameroon’s jungle crawling up to the top of a makeshift water tower to place a stat-phone call to my sweetie; 95% of the time the call would drop.”

I’m not sure what half of those words mean.

And finally, her advice for relating to your hunter. “Ask to participate in things like scoring antlers, plucking feathers and cooking game-meat. Study the specie that your sweetheart is in pursuit of; it’s always fun to say, “So you’re hunting elk this week; did you know that another name for ‘elk’ is ‘wapiti,’ which means white-rump in Shawnee?” Your darling-hunter will be impressed and happy to see that you show a genuine interest.”


I still think I’d prefer a hunter to say a clubber or a Monster Energy rep …  But who knows, maybe a hunter wouldn’t be interested in me???  Wonder how they feel about hunting in red lipstick! Don’t forget to join the challenge, even for a day! I already have some great entries coming in that I can’t wait to share with you:)


**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.


Gamers- a Guy’s Perspective

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My friend Davey sent me a message this morning saying my post on gamers got him thinking.  He’s given me permission to post his take on it.  As a girl I KNOW I don’t understand the world of gaming and porn. I was thankful to have a male shed some insightful, intelligent, and helpful light on the subject.

I’m sitting on a train to London right now, two weeks into a three month European “walkabout” of sorts. They say these types of journeys end up being about self-discovery. You travel somewhere far away from home, far away from normal or comfortable, to the exotic and fascinating, the mysterious and wild. And at the end of it all, as much as you learn about others, you learn far more about yourself.

I’m a man of intensity and passion. I struggle greatly when that which is at hand is of little cosmic importance. If my eyes aren’t fixed on the horizon, it’s difficult to know where to step. I operate very well within a long term plan of action. Without it, I wander, searching for a sense of meaning in each new step. And I don’t think I’m alone. A good friend of mine wrote a piece on the effects of pornography and video gaming in the lives of men from a single woman’s perspective. (which you should definitely read here) And sure we could demonize the video game industry for playing its part in eternal adolescence and its easy (and absolutely necessary) to condemn pornography for the erosion of healthy human sexuality, but there’s a deeper reason why men gravitate towards these kind of digital shenanigans.

Men have lost their sense of purpose. And yes, I’m beating the same drum as many others right now, but I feel as if it really is the reason for most problems we have lately. This isn’t new revelation forged in the brilliant depths of Davey-brain, but I have the unique opportunity to be a man in the thick of it.

In the olden days, even only 100 years ago, a man’s duties were many. To be the legitimate protector of his family, to provide shelter against harsh environments, people and wildlife, to hunt for food, to gather firewood for warmth, etc. Life was hard, so man was to be harder. Men didn’t have much time for non-essential actions. Too much was at stake, too many lives depended on what he did with his.

And not every man lived up to this ideal, that hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the infrastructure. Rows of perfectly constructed houses with perfectly manicured lawns in master-built communities planned to bring our every need within arms distance. The idea of provision has changed for most men, each individual problem can be solved, for a small fee, by someone else. Men don’t need to be experts in anything anymore really. They just need to know how to make enough money to pay people who are.

Life in our modern age isn’t about survival… that is all but guaranteed. Life, for too many men, is but a vehicle for enjoyment. In order to continue, and even thrive, it would seem that life doesn’t need most men. But, that’s only because women seem keen to run things in a man’s absence.

How many married men do you know actually manage their money? How many are truly active in the lives of their children? I would venture to guess that its less than we’d hope. But how many men go off to work for sometimes 10 or more hours a day? Many men are so disconnected with their loved ones because of our ever-shifting definition of “provision”. Of course money is what makes the world go ‘round, but men are made by fathers, not finances. Families need emotional provision as much as (and many times more than) financial provision.

Without a purpose worth living for and when men work day-in/day-out without it, life becomes a mess of unfulfilling movement. Then, after a day of seemingly meaningless action, with what time is left, a man still longs to conquer or achieve.

Video games are a great substitute for a fulfilling life. They are scientifically designed to give men bite-sized goals to achieve, new enemies to conquer and an opponent to rise above. A pseudo sense of purpose. A few hours a night and we can be transported to a world that needs us. A world where there are immediate dangers to protect against and immediate rewards. The only problem is that none of it means anything once you are done! You don’t know your wife or girlfriend any better, your homework or housework isn’t any closer to done and you’ve practiced something for hours that gave you no noticeable advantage in the real world.

Now pornography is a great way to have an instant connection with someone far more attractive than you could ever have in real life. It’s quick and easy and never wants to cuddle or make you watch House Hunters International. The only drawback is that, ya know, it completely ruins your ability to love any woman the way that she needs.

The true love and devotion of a beautiful woman that loves you like crazy is traded in for a quick moment with a girl you will never meet and will never love you back. Women are reduced to a series of interconnecting parts created to bring pleasure to men. But once again, without a long-term purpose, the short-term fix is quicker and easier.

But do men feel like they have the power to change any of this? Maybe they feel as if they can change the little things, rebuild the fence out back, buy that new car, get a raise at work, but do men sense that their actions can change the whole? That their yes or no can collectively move their culture?

I believe we need men who believe in ideals. Men who believe that they can be achieved through hard work and a devotion to what really matters. Men desire to conquer and achieve, but we need to understand that there’s a world out there that needs the intentionality and effort we put into Call of Duty. We need to understand that there are a whole world full of beautiful, smart, amazing and fully-capable women who desire to be loved mind, body and soul. They are wishing, hoping and praying for men to save their hearts, minds and eyes for them.

I believe whole-heartedly that most problems woman have are because a man either did something he shouldn’t have or didn’t do something he should have. Men and women are forever tied to each other and are meant to live in harmony, using each others gifts to work in tandem.

So men, we’ve got work to do. I don’t mean to point the finger at video games or pornography, they are the effects of a hole in the heart of a man that needs to be filled with something for more long-lasting and fulfilling. We need to believe that everything we do effects those around us and that we can have immense purpose solely by choosing to look for it.

Great, right? You can read more from Davey here. As always, I’ d love to hear your thoughts. Any men or women want to comment on their take?


Red Flag- Gamers

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This is one of my favorite Red Flags. I’ve been looking forward to getting to the letter “G” for some time. But what started as a funny poke at socially awkward gamers took a sad turn as I began looking into the world of gaming addicts. So just a word of caution, this one is more serious than funny.



Here are some stats:

  • Americans spend $25.3 billion each year in video games.
  • 61% of games in America are played by adults.
  • The average American man spends 6.5 hours a week gaming and the average online adult gamer spends 8 hours a week. Teenage boys are spending between 16 and 18 hours a week.
  • By the time a boy is 21, he’s played 10,000 hours of video games.
  • Between $200 -$250 million will be spent in the U.S. on virtual goods alone this year. So while people are actually going without food and clothing, this is being bought:

Here’s the deal, it’s not just about the time and money. Have I spent an average of 6.5 hours watching crappy TV and wasted money on vices? You bet. It’s not just that women don’t get it, because we don’t. There is a lot about the world if gaming that is simply a mystery to us. Unfortunately, a quick browse at video game covers (if that’s what they are called) showed me the industry has changed quite a bit since my days dabbling in duck hunt.

If you have 9 minutes to spare, check out this video on the effects of gaming called, “The Demise of Guys?”

Great Expectations

I’m not saying all guys who play video games are addicted or that every game has bad material. I just think there are some things to be aware of. I wonder, how much time is spent in a fantasy world (ladies, that goes for excessive romantic movies, too) before it starts changing your perception of reality? Some of these games go a step further by offering players the chance to customize who they are. One game I found advertised that players, “can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to “engage” and then watch in crystal clear HD clarity as the video game “persons” have sex in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.” This can’t be helping men learn how to start and keep healthy relationships with real women.

If you want to watch a fascinating talk on what online addiction is doing to men, click here. Gary Wilson, who is responding to Zimbardo, submits that our brains literally can’t handle the hyperstimulation excessive internet use provides. Brain scans show that eventually the structure of the frontal cortex changes and addicts experience a, “numbed pleasure response, hyper-reactivity to porn, and willpower erosion.”

Each of those symptoms could be a blog post in and of itself. Brain studies show that given enough time, the real thing won’t be good enough. Turns out the dating red flag isn’t that women don’t like it; it’s that men who go too far with it stop liking real women.

Arousal Addiction

A hidden danger in excessive gaming and porn is that it creates an addiction to change. Kevin Kelly, a technology guru and executive editor at WIRED magazine, says ,”Technology’s first agenda is to expand the possibility for difference. Technology’s goal is to bring us diversity, options, choices, possibilities, and freedoms.”

This world of opportunity can be great, but when someone becomes addicted to change itself there is a big problem. If you watched the video above, you heard Zimbardo say online gaming and porn create a special kind of addiction, arousal addiction. “In a drug addiction, you want more. In an arousal addiction, you want different.”

Just think about that in the context of a relationship for a moment.

If what he really wants is choice, freedom, possibilities, options and diversity; he wants the very opposite of a relationship. A relationship is committing to one person and closing the door to options. I think looking into his level of fantasy interaction, be it porn, gaming, movies, or any other escape, is one way to tell what you are getting into.

I’ll admit, figuring out what “too much” means has been difficult for me. I imagine it’s hard for a guy to identify when he has a problem, too. All I know is after spending far too long in a relationship with someone addicted to some of this stuff, finding someone who isn’t is important to me. Never again will I date someone who isn’t grounded in reality. I don’t understand the power it has over men or why so many become addicted. I can only speak from what it’s like to be on the female side of things and say it wasn’t worth it. I’ll take a caveman or staying single over an internet addict any day.

Technology is what we call an ‘infinite game.’ … A finite game is played to win, and an infinite game is played to keep playing.” -Kevin Kelly


Red Flag of the Week

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Foot Care

You’d think this one would go without saying, but apparently not.  Real conversation from last week:

Me: How was it?!  Tell me everything!!

Jody: (back from a blind date): Um…it was good. We went to dinner and had good conversation. He’s really nice (interrupting herself) I’m sorry!! He had these awful, long yellow toenails!!

Me: gasp, hand covers mouth

Jody: I know!! I tried so hard to ignore them but I couldn’t! I just stared at them all night!

Good hygiene is a non-negotiable, especially while dating.   Treat it or cover it. Only two options, folks.  You are making a first impression and setting a tone for the evening.  It’s like when you see a spider from your bed at night and suddenly everything feel itchy.  When I see an untreated fungus in plain sight, everything feels icky. Not good.

**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.


Red Flag of the Week

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This week’s red flag is brought to you by the letter E!  E stands for earrings, but applies to all piercings.   There was a time where they may have enhanced your dateablility, but that was circa 1999 and it’s time to put it away.  Trust me.  …I even do a double take when I can still see the holes.  Probably too judgemental  of me.  Just being honest.  I will work on it.


**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.


Red Flag of the Week

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 As in, “Did he just call me dude?”

If a guy refers to you as dude, take this as your cue.  He is either not interested in you in that way or he has just come from a very long day of watching sports he doesn’t play, killing it at guitar hero, and eating HotPockets.

Move along.

This week’s red flag may call for ownership on your part.  You must also ask yourself if you are being called a dude because of something you are doing.  Are you:

a) wearing Chacos with socks

b) holding your sunglasses on with a Karokee

c) accepting invitations to watch this guy participate in any of the above mentioned activities.

If you answered yes to any of these, you may have brought this on yourself.

**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers.  They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?”  Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.

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