flirting news - Flirting - GETTING to grips with the rules of attraction
.... An abundance of dating workshops, flirting academies and pulling
events have flooded on to the scene in what must be a hungry singles market,
and Edinburgh is ...
GETTING to grips with the rules of attraction
D'YOU come here often? You are so perfect - are you factory
made? Your dad must be a thief because he stole a star from the sky and
put it in your eyes...
All too often we hear or use disastrous and cringe-inducing
pick-up lines. And instead of making hearts flutter, these lines send
most people running for the sick bucket. But, perhaps we should have a
heart and spare a thought for those who are hopeless, inexperienced or
have simply forgotten how to find love.
For those who encounter no problems attracting the opposite
sexy fun , it is plain to see why others are not lucky in love. Would it not
be less painful if they just knew what they were doing wrong? Would it
not be easier if they were given a friendly nudge in the right direction?
Now, the lovelorn are learning. The image of sad singles
crying into their Chardonnay at tables for one and singing along to Celine
Dion's heartfelt ballad, All By Myself, is no more and modern singletons
are taking charge of their love lives and getting out there to learn how
and where to attract the opposite sexy fun .
An abundance of dating workshops, flirting academies
and pulling events have flooded on to the scene in what must be a hungry
singles market, and Edinburgh is becoming inundated with professional
cupids. This Christmas season alone sees four specific events designed
to give singles a helping hand in the right direction for that all-important
According to internationally renowned flirt coach Peta
Heskell, who was in the Capital at the weekend for her first Scottish
Flirting Academy, there are more single people in Scotland than ever before,
and most of them are looking for that special person to share their lives
"People nowadays are extremely focused on their
careers, and relationships are breaking down for various reasons,"
she says. "Marriages are similarly failing at a rate of 50 per cent,
and as a result people become very insular when it comes to relationships
and communicating with the opposite sexy fun ."
Indeed, many people find themselves single again in middle
age and beyond - after the breakdown of marriage - and are eager to find
Heskell's view is emphasised by the figures from the
Scottish Household Survey 2002, which revealed that the average household
size in Scotland is 2.3 people, with one third (31 per cent) of all adults
The acclaimed Flirting Academy developmental weekend
for both sexes of all ages is designed to install attitude, curiosity
and enthusiasm, as well as help people attract the right partner into
their lives. And the steep £180 price tag did not put love-seekers
and confidence-boosters off - they were serious when it came changing.
For those who missed Heskell's course, the Relationship
Academy is also due to hit the Capital on Wednesday, with a speed dating
workshop to be held at the Royal Overseas Club in Princes Street, giving
the lovelorn specific relationship advice on seduction, rapport, compatibility
and body language. There is also a quirky new dating craze from the United
States, the Traffic Lights club party, which arrives in Edinburgh this
month at the Royal Scots Club in Abercromby Place, allowing singletons
to find partners through a traffic light badge system. Red symbolises
those who are out of bounds, amber is for those who are open to persuasion
and green is for those who are definitely up for it.
And as if that wasn't enough to flood the singles market,
for those who crave animal attraction, Edinburgh Zoo has jumped on the
dating bandwagon with its first singles night on December 10. After a
night-time guided tour around the zoo, followed by some festive mulled
wine, love-seekers will be able to hunt away.
So why is this happening? Why are so many of us so bad
at attracting romantic playmates that there is such a need for professional
help? Can we no longer express ourselves, or is it down to unrealistic
Professor Alex Gardner, a Glasgow-based psychologist
who specialises in relationships, says that it comes down to evolving
individual attitudes, values and beliefs which control how people view
the world and relationships. Not unlike Shakespeare, he likens life to
a stage and says: "Think of yourself as an actor. Our script is constructed
by our attitudes, values and beliefs directed by our inner voices. We
act this out on-stage to the world every day."
He claims that these important factors have changed in
modern society, with today's generation placing emphasis on more superficial
liaisons than in previous generations, when the marriage rate was higher
and people settled down younger. The basis of this change, he says, is
due to the "personal reality" theory.
"We all construct a personal reality, and make an
individual representation of the real world as we see it," says Gardner.
"This reality consists of three main factors. Firstly, our past forms
our identification of values. Emotional memories are connected here. Secondly,
our future guides our expectations. Lastly, our present is our orientation
- our steering force in life. It is this combination of values and attitudes
which make us drawn to or repelled from individuals."
He asserts that as fashions change as to how people should
act and behave, people's expectancy of life alters and so does their individual
present and future guides of reality. This, says Gardner, is why people's
views on relationships and potential partners have evolved from previous
generations, and why many more people are single.
Relate relationship expert Paula Hall also blames the
increased amount of single people on their unrealistic expectations and
says this is what needs to be looked at and changed. "Too often,
people expect relationships to be Ôright' immediately. We look for
a finished product and don't want to work at it. We expect too much from
other people instantly and don't take time to get to know another person,"
She adds that relationships are about time and effort.
"You grow and change with another person and often people forget
this and want it all now. You will never find the perfect partner or relationship
It appears that singletons are making elementary mistakes
in their love search, and the instant gratification culture modern society
demands has filtered through to personal and intimate relationships. Good
old-fashioned hard graft is no longer an option for the quick-fix people
who want everything immediately. And this, say the experts, is why many
are single for longer.
Flirt coach Heskell says that often people don't realise
how they come across to others and need help to learn what they are doing
"What is in your head is manifested through your
body language and people need to be sure they are sending the right vibe,"
she points out. And she admits: "People have become more insecure
in relationships and strive for perfection - it doesn't exist. They won't
settle for less, and are too picky, thereby ruining perfectly good relationships.
People today need to learn what's really important, and let go of what's
Both Hall and Gardner are not fans of the new breed of
dating events and believe they feed on people's insecurities.
"What is important is meeting the right person,
not learning how to meet many people," says Hall. "These events
are fine if you want to pull, but not if you want a relationship."
Gardner agrees: "These dating events seem to be
the trendy thing to do, but they are simply gimmicks to make money and
capitalise on the insecure society we exist in. You are effectively training
people to be things they are fundamentally not. Their natural Ôscript'
no longer exists."
But Heskell's Flirt Academy seems to avoid the stereotypical
dating event and concentrates on getting people reacquainted with who
they are. The event does not try to change individuals, but help them
to be happy in their own skin and like what makes them an individual.
Perhaps this is the way forward, and the elementary way to find love.
And for those who do not know where to start, or do not
have the time, the Flirting Academy is a saviour. Most importantly, Heskell
says, it is vital to relax when it comes to matters of the heart and not
to assume it comes easy.
Hall says: "Magazines, books and films have made
us think we should have it all and this is wrong. Think of yourself as
a handful of raw ingredients, and your new friend as another handful of
raw ingredients. By spending time preparing, blending and making your
Ômixture', you may just create something beautiful."
Hall also emphasises that being plain and simple with
what you want and need works - so those looking for love should get back
to basics and express themselves clearly.
As my current partner so memorably said to me in a bid
to win me over: "Sarah, I really fancy you so, eh, how about going
out?" It certainly worked.
The Flirting Academy weekend took place at the Mount
Royal Hotel on Princes Street, with 17 attendees all hoping for flirting
success and general confidence building. The participants were from all
ages and backgrounds, with some travelling from as far as Aberdeen and
Newcastle to be part of the first northern course.
What was apparent was that these adults - ten women and
seven men, all in their late 20s to early 60s - were extremely attractive,
stylish, successful in their careers and already somewhat confident.
"This happens a lot," says Heskell. "We
often see people supremely confident in certain areas of their life such
as their career, but desperately need that same energy for other areas,
like their personal lives. They come here to expand their targeted confidence
and learn the same confidence for life in general."
The unique course focused on building self-confidence
and positive energy through working intensively on aspects such as body
language, eye contact, human interaction and expression.
Dancing, role-play, games and teamwork all aimed to help
the participants achieve what they lacked. Constructive criticism was
given in this self-help group and attendees all egged each other on enthusiastically
through whoops, chants and cheers when individual positive qualities were
"I am a vibrant and enthusiastic in the morning,"
shouted one male participant. "You are special," Heskell shouted
to a young female.
One young single male participant, in his late 20s, thought
the course was great and was happy to part with his money.
"It's been great fun and educational, and I feel
I have learnt a lot," said the man from Edinburgh. "I'm looking
forward to putting it into action in the real world."
And does he think he has changed? "Yes, definitely.
I feel much more positive now. It's not what you say but the way you say
something which makes the difference. I didn't know this before so it
will help me when it comes to meeting new people."
Heskell says the difference in the participants over
the two days has been tremendous. "They look so different now and
have come into their own, which is fantastic. They all look happy and
do have a new found air of confidence that perhaps was perhaps lacking
Full credit goes to: The Scotsman,
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