Frequently Asked Questions/ Very Important Principles
FAQ = frequently asked questions (well, of course!)
V.I.P.= very important principles, on which Relationship Chef© Recipe was built upon.
1. Why do I call myself “Relationship Chef”?
2. Attraction vs. Chemistry
3. Why relationships? Whatever happened to bad dates, casual hook-ups and one-night-stands?
4. Where do I go?
5. What do I say?
6. What do I wear?
7. How do I know if I’m doing well in the interaction?
8. What are we attracted to?
9. Smile? What kind of a smile?
10. What do men want?
11. What do women want?
12. Human behavior is predictable.
13. Women are in charge.
14. There is no such thing as “seduction”
15. Safety and exploration
16. Sexual habituation
17. Negativity bias
It was a few years ago. My ex and I were in her kitchen, making soup. Having spent 15 years in restaurant business I was a little shocked when she simply took various ingredients and tossed them in the pot. “Don’t you have a recipe?”, I asked her. “This is how you make soup” was the answer. “You throw a bunch of stuff in the pot and see what comes out! Come to think of it, it’s kind of like the relationships; you throw a ton of crap in, and see what happens.” Then she looked at me and said: “You should call yourself ‘Relationship Chef’ .” I liked the name, and it stuck.
After a while I began to give certain meanings to the words. “Relationship” is every interaction we’re involved in over an extended period of time. I especially liked “Chef” because I don’t repair relationships, yet I teach people how to find chemistry, all the while cultivating the ingredients (skills, notions of values and qualities) they’ve had all along.
“Attraction & Chemistry”
Attraction is that instantaneous “like/don’t like” experience that happens to us despite ourselves. It’s either there or not. It is something we acquire as a result of imprint. Attraction is in part a result of feeling “safe” when confronted with certain facial features.
Chemistry is much more complex, and consists of visual attraction, and intellectual, physical and sexual connections. Driven primarily by intellectual connection (we often convince ourselves that “we are in love”), a person can be fooled (or can fool themselves) that chemistry is there. “Want and Need” step was developed precisely for that reason, so the person can truly know if the chemistry is there, or if it is simply wishful thinking.
“Why relationships? Why not just sex?”
There is nothing wrong with sex for sex’s sake. As long as you can separate physical from emotional.
Sex, however, is better in a relationship. Because in a perfect relationship physical connection becomes an extension of emotional one, sex becomes better and better each and every time. Even though it’s the same partner, same situation (or environment), sex is better simply due to the emotional input. Remember that at our core we seek companionship. Unfortunately, we lack the full understanding of what makes us happy, and what we really are looking for. Sometimes we try to build a perfect relationship out of two or more imperfect ones. We attempt to satisfy ourselves with undeveloped portions of a complete relationship.
Whether it’s one-time encounters or multiple imperfect relationships, they always pale in comparison with the complete, perfect one. The kind where emotions get stronger, happiness grows, and, yes, sex gets amazingly better each and every time.
Those who pursue hook-ups and one-night-stands fail to realize the simplest truth; people are full of insecurities. We’re insecure about our bodies and appearances, our performances and our emotions. But that level of insecurity is instantly increased multiple-fold for a woman’s first act of intimacy in a relationship. If you are among those who only look for a one-night-stand, you’re robbing yourself of when a woman sheds her insecurities and opens up. Completely.
“Where to go”
If you have read “Opportunities are everywhere”, you’d know the answer by now. But if you’re still wondering, go where you’d like to go. Go where the people are. Go where interactions are encouraged. If, for example, you are a computer geek like me, don’t go to the website design seminar. Instead, go to a web design workshop. While the former will encourage learning, it will do little in terms of interaction. The latter, however, will revolve around people working together.
Nothing brings people closer like a common interest.
“What to say”
Again, if you have studied the Relationship Chef Recipe, you should understand that the answer is less relevant than the steps preceding “Communication/ continuing the interaction” step. However, many people are still baffled by this. First, don’t talk about useless crap. Forget speaking of politics, weather, traffic, or anything else that only leads you away from the topic you really want to talk about; the person in front of you and how they feel about you. Ask “When would you like to grab a cup of coffee?” instead of “What kind of food do you like?” (By the way, it’s OK to ask this even if you are a woman. If the man is a gentleman, he’ll pick up the tab.)
“What to wear”
Dress like you give a damn.
Even if your clothes were strewn around and it took you five minutes to gather them and put them on, as long as you look like you took care dressing, that’s all you ever need. If you still have trouble figuring out what outfit goes with what, invest in visiting a high-end department store. Go there and ask them questions. Even if you end up spending $50 on a scarf you don’t need, the education you’ll receive will be worth that many times over.
Remember, there is no need to dress like a million bucks. As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten some spectacular compliments on outfits I picked out at K-Mart and suits I bought for less than $100. It is all a matter of how you look in the clothes, not how clothes look on you (Note: Relationship Chef offers hands-on assistance and guidance with wardrobe selection)
“How am I doing?”
Look at the response. All the possible responses fall into three categories: “yay”, “nay”, and “meh”.
“Yay” is simple. It is the best possible response you could ever get. “Nay” is equally simple. It is the worst possible response you can ever get. Unfortunately, even though many people easily interpret “nay” (very properly, I might add) as “No way, no how, not even if you’re the last person on Earth”, their recognition of “yay” is non-existent, simply because they’ve never experienced it. So, many mistake the borderline “meh”, indifference, for a truly positive response. Do not make that error. Unless you can wholeheartedly say that the response you’re seeing is the complete opposite of “nay”, you’re faced with a rather indifferent response. And, please, do not fool yourself into thinking that things are going well. Life is too short to lie to yourself.
“Why am I attracted to some and not the others?”
This only happens to be a theory of mine, and I very much welcome anyone with access to Facial Recognition Software to see whether I’m right.
We are attracted to the structure and features found in faces of our parents/guardians/people we grew up around. No, we don’t look for someone who looks like our mom or dad. That would be a little weird. But someone who has similar facial features, similar facial patterns grabs our attention immediately. (See “Safety and Exploration”)
From the time we’re little kids, we sort faces into two categories: safe – we like, and unsafe – don’t like. When a child meets someone new, they react either very openly (“Will you be my friend?”) or very closed-off (hiding behind a parent, avoiding eye contact). I believe we retain this facial recognition throughout our adult lives. We may not be able to describe what we’re attracted to, but it only takes us a split second to know whether there is any attraction.
Fake it till you make it!
It’s such a simple thing, yet it is so very elusive to many. Why smile? What kind of a smile?
The simple reason to smile is that feeling of safety (remember, “safety vs. exploration”?). If you’re smiling, not only are you relaxed, more at ease, but the person you’re interacting with is further put at ease, and perceives you as “safe” as opposed to a threat.
There are many different smiles one can display. A happy smile, a pensive smile, a reserved smile, a silly grin. I found that one particular smile works best in a flirting interaction; the kind of a smile you might have after a truly satisfying orgasm. For those not very familiar with it, I shall attempt to describe it. Close your mouth, relax your bottom lip, dropping it slightly, and slightly raise the corners of your mouth. Practice it in the mirror until you get it. When done right, it will be both relaxing and flirtatious to you and your companion.
Wouldn’t you love to have a “disarming” and “charming” smile?
If you look like you have confidence, eventually you will!
“What men want”
Men simply want to be treated better. Just slightly better than their girlfriend, or their wife, or their mother treated / treats them.
To men mystery counts for so much more than skin. Tease them, and you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand. Be kind to them, and they’ll answer your every desire.
“What women want”
Women seek strength. Strangely so many cannot distinguish between strength and violence, yet underneath it all women in Western culture are drawn to strength and its manifestations. Remember that understated strength is always preferred to the brute display of power. The latter can turn many off, as it borders too closely to violence, and violent people can never be trusted to channel their aggression. Another words, if a woman sees that a man is prone to violence, she will suspect that he will soon become violent toward her, and that is (or should be) a big warning sign.
“But what really attracts you is his strength and air of purpose. The way other men obey, and follow and fear him. The air of command, of power and with it, success” (Wilbur Smith)
“Human behavior is predictable”
Society shapes our behavior. Asians exhibit different standards than Westerners or Americans. While individualism is admired in our society, it is hardly encouraged, and very often frowned upon. Such environment allows a good therapist to predict (given proper analysis) how this or that person will behave in (almost) any given situation.
Of course, free will and ability to choose allow for variations, but such cases are rare.
“Women are in charge”
In Western society, as strange as it may sound, women ARE in charge of relationships and interactions. They have the last word, and they are always the ones who choose what happens and where. Men are powerless against this. Even in scenarios where wealthy men seemingly purchase themselves a companion, it is the woman’s choice that dictates whether or not she is willing to go along with the scenario.
This holds even more true when it comes to sex. It is extremely unlikely for a man to turn down sexual advances (unless he’s in a long-suffering marriage), while it is almost always the woman who makes the decision whether or not sex will take place.
So, once again, women are in charge of relationships and interactions. Men act only with the fairer sex’s (explicit or implicit) approval. Yet (usually) neither men or women know what they want or are looking for.
And no, knowing what you don’t want doesn’t even come close to knowing what truly makes you happy (see “Want and Need” list).
Thefreedictionary.com gives three meanings. Third is to “win over, attract”, second is “to induce to engage in sex”, and first and primary meaning is “to lead away from duty, accepted principles, or proper conduct”. Primary meaning is also closely associated with “to lure”, with the only exception that “lure” means “to entice with the promise of a reward,” while “to seduce” offers no reward. Let’s think about this one. “To attract a woman with the promise of sex, thereby having her break all the proper etiquette and accepted behavior, yet offering her no reward, only a promise, with the slight benefit of momentary excitement.”
Yet, why? And why bother? It’s clear to see that there’s always somebody for everybody. Re-read “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” by Victor Hugo. Esmeralda was the most beautiful woman in town, and, Quasimodo, well, he was Quasimodo. A creature so ugly, his name became synonymous with the word “hunchback”. Yet Esmeralda fell in love with the bell tower creature.
History tells us that even the ugliest creature has something beautiful in them, and something that holds attraction for opposite sex. Then, wouldn’t it be simpler to search for that inner (and outer) beauty and learn to recognize those who admire these qualities in us? Or, is it more believable to feed your brain with “this technique cannot fail”, or, “this is the surefire opener!”?
Are we willingly deceiving ourselves, or, are we willingly allowing charlatans to take our money, while feeding our sense of insecurity?
Remember, women are in charge. So, if everything happens only with her approval (explicit or implicit), what “luring”, what “seduction” can there be? Perhaps some of us just like the idea that with a few clever words one can alter the predisposed outcome. But can you really change what you are attracted to? Or, more to the point, can you change what the other person is attracted to? Usually, no. Attraction is slowly built into us from the moment we are born. We cannot change whom we like just like it is impossible to change what we like. Remember “I don’t know what pornography is, but I know when I see it”? Well, I know what attraction is and I know when I see it. I also know that we like what we like. Period.
“Safety and Exploration”
I first learned this notion in a great book by Jonathan Haidt, “The Happiness Hypothesis.”
The gist is that we’re constantly split between safety and exploration. We’d like to learn more, but not if it means sacrificing our safety. This trend is highly visible in children (and baby animal behavior), and I believe we retain this principle into our adult lives. While men possess higher degree of disregard for safety, thus enabling them to be more predisposed to exploration, women tend to err on the side of caution. Creating safe environment is paramount for developing a future relationship.
A very interesting notion I first came across in Buss and Meston’s “Why women have sex.”
An experiment was conducted. A group of men and a group of women were shown the same erotic photograph. While men’s response was higher than that of women, it very soon decreased to that much lower of female response. Women, on the other hand, had more or less the same response throughout the length of experiment.
While nothing Earth-shattering in itself, this experiment lends to the following conclusion. Men see the woman in front of them as the only source for the immediate excitement, and are eager to sustain that excitement no matter the cost. Thus every new encounter is utterly precious to men, and very often they create fantasy world around what this encounter MAY bring.
Another psychological term that refers to our preference to choose bad things over good. Let me explain.
Imagine you’re fishing. (Interesting analogy, isn’t it?) You get a bite, and as you begin to reel the fish in, it starts to struggle and it looks like you’re about to lose it.
I guarantee that the only thing coursing through your mind is “I don’t want to lose this.” A negative thought. But what would be the positive side of this encounter? The fact that this fish will no longer occupy your time, which in turn will be better spent on another, less troublesome fish. The clear possibility that there are many fish here? (Otherwise it’d be called “sniping”, not “fishing”.)
At every turn, when we’re asked to make a choice, we inevitably choose the road that is associated with bad feelings. They are easier to believe than the good, positive ones. Thus, “negativity bias”.
However, all you have to do is realize what’s happening and make an intelligent choice. Certainly, there are headaches and heartaches associated with overcoming your “negativity bias” and making a positive decision, but the rewards are well worth it.
“Amazing Love & Romance”
Most people erroneously assume that “soulmate” means “one and only.” This usually stems from never having experienced the most amazing, nearly overwhelming feeling. I’m not talking about infatuation, which usually occurs as the person creates an imaginary world around the object of his/her affection (very common for one’s first love). A feeling that arises from the person in front of you so magically in tune with you, so ideal, so perfect. But, if you don’t know what you want, how will you know when it feels right?
This is exactly where “Want vs. Need” exercise comes in. In it you outlined your ideal. Your one perfect partner. Yet having someone in your life who satisfies not all, but most of the points on the “Need” list is still pretty amazing! And, therein lies the catch.
“Negativity bias” forces us to think that what we’re experiencing right now will never happen again. But think of the “Want vs. Need” list for a second. Chances are that the person in front of you did NOT satisfy EVERY point on the “Want” list. All you have to do is realize that there are more people out there who will measure up to the standard set by “Want-Need.”
Your soulmate is the “one and only”. Your soulmate is the one person who will answer every criteria on the “Want” list. Until then, you are free to share your feelings with as many “Need” list candidates as you please. (I recommend one at a time. No need to waste energy and focus)
Amazing love and romance CAN be yours. You WILL be the subject of love equal to that described by Lord Byron and Tennyson. Just trust yourself and Relationship Chef