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School To Hand Out ‘Modesty Ponchos’ If Prom Dresses Don’t Meet Their Dress Code

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:29 AM PDT

Divine Child High School will have ponchos on hand for girls at prom who don’t meet dress code

In today’s edition of shaming girls for having collarbones and breasts, a Catholic high school in Michigan has announced plans to give out “modesty ponchos” at prom if female students aren’t dressed according to the school’s standards of appropriateness.

Because of course it’s all about the girls.

Administrators at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan are apparently very worried about what the sight of some shoulder or cleavage might mean for students attending prom and as such, have a ridiculous display at the school showing girls what they can expect to happen if they show up to prom dressed inappropriately.

Yup. A literal poncho.

The school even attached a cheeky note letting girls know the purpose behind the special cloaks.

“If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements – no problem! We’ve got you covered — literally. This is our Modesty Poncho, which you’ll be given at the door. :)”

An anonymous student at the school told Fox 2 News that it will be up to teachers to decide what dresses pass muster when students walk in the door for the dance. “I do believe the school has gone too far with this,” the student says. “As we walk into prom, we are to shake hands with all the teachers and if you walk through and a teacher deems your dress is inappropriate you will be given a poncho at the door.”

Anyone else just get a gross shiver up their spine? Teachers shaking students’ hands while creepily giving them an up-and-down visual assessment and making a quick decision over whether they’re showing too much skin? This feels wrong on every level and I’m uncomfortable just imagining it.

This anonymous student is also very concerned with how the school will handle anyone who complains publicly about it. “Who knows what will happen to those who try and speak out against it,” she says.

Divine Child already requires parents to sign off in advance on a dress code outlining appropriate prom attire, but the poncho was added after the fact by theology teacher Mary Pat O’Malley. She tells Fox 2 News that the ponchos were displayed in advance to give female students time to hopefully find a dress that won’t be poncho’d at the door.

“We are trying to focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it,” O’Malley explains. “It was really intended as a deterrent and a light hearted one at that.”

Nothing says light hearted like a little body-shaming of teen girls on one of the most memorable nights of their lives, right? Ugh.

O’Malley and the school’s principal tell Fox 2 News that no parents have complained yet, but an anonymous parent told the station the poncho threat is “a method of shaming” that’s “degrading to females and its interpretation what’s modest and what isn’t.”

The prom is May 12th and Divine Child junior Erin Wade tells Detroit Free Press that the poncho display now has her concerned enough to look for a new dress, worrying that her mermaid-style glittery gray one might not pass the modesty test.

She tweeted, “turns out the prom dress that i've had for months is against school code! looks like i have to return it and buy a brand new dress just so that i don't get adorned with this beautiful, totally not slut-shaming, modesty poncho!”

“It’s a very stressful time,” she tells the paper.

Yes, I imagine it is. I bought my prom dress several months in advance and picked out accessories and the perfect shoes to go with it. If my school pulled this a few weeks before the dance I would’ve been a total wreck. This is supposed to be a fun time for teens, but instead, the adults are ruining it.

The anonymous student who spoke to Fox 2 says if the school tries handing her a poncho at the door, she would be having none of it. “I would refuse the poncho and go to dinner somewhere else dressed up,” she says.

And good for her.

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Halsey Opens Up About On-Stage Miscarriage And Freezing Her Eggs

Posted: 01 May 2018 06:13 AM PDT

Singer Halsey had a miscarriage while performing

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, aka Halsey, is only 23, but she’s already experienced some difficult situations. The singer opened up about the miscarriage she had while performing, dealing with the disease endometriosis, and her decision to freeze her eggs now.

“Before I could really figure out what [the pregnancy] meant to me and what that meant for my future, for my career, for my life, for my relationship, the next thing I knew I was on stage miscarrying in the middle of my concert,” the singer said during an appearance on The Doctors. “And the sensation of looking a couple hundred teenagers in the face while you're bleeding through your clothes and still having to do the show, and realizing in that moment that I never want to make that choice ever again of doing what I love or not being able to because of this disease.”

The singer was part of a panel for the show that included actress Kate Bond and gynecologists Nita Landry, M.D., and Thais Aliabadi, M.D. She shared her experiences with endometriosis, which affects about 11% of women. The main characteristic of the condition is that the uterine tissue lining grows outside of the uterus, which is insanely painful and can cause additional issues with periods and fertility. The singer has spoken out about endometriosis to raise awareness about the condition, which is still relatively unknown and often ignored by doctors. “The thing with endometriosis is [that] doctors can tend to minimize the female experience when it comes to dealing with it,” Halsey shared. “My whole life, my mother had always told me, ‘Women in our family just have really bad periods.’ It was just something she thought she was cursed to deal with and I was cursed to deal with, and that was just a part of my life.”

The singer also shared how awful the disease can make women feel. “Reproductive illness is so frustrating because it can really make you feel like less of a woman,” she explained. “There's a lot of times when you're sitting at home and you just feel so terrible about yourself. You're sick, you don't feel sexy, you don't feel proud, you don't feel like there's much hope.” Halsey said the miscarriage coupled with the endometriosis diagnosis led her to freeze her eggs. Of, course not everyone respected her decision. She said, “When I tell people that, they're like, ‘”You're 23, why do you need to do that? Why do you need to freeze your eggs?'” But the decisions women make about their health care should only matter to them and their doctor. We each know what’s the best path for us.

“Doing ovarian reserve is important for me, because I'm fortunate enough to have that as an option, and I need to be aggressive about protecting my fertility [and] about protecting myself,” Halsey said. “Taking these measures to make sure that I get to have a hopefully bright future and achieve the things that I want to achieve by doing the ovarian reserve is really important.”

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The ’90s Are Back In Style. Wait…When Were They Not?

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:30 PM PDT

We all have that one friend who's stuck. Meet Rachel. No, not the one from Friends.

She’s a mom stuck in the ’90s. But wait until she meets the Hollywood Darlings. Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House), Christine Lakin (Step by Step) and Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven) will blow her mind. And to get your ’90s jam on every week, check out the Hollywood Darlings on PopTV 8/7C Wednesday nights.

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To The Child I Let Go: You Created Me

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

The last time I heard your heart beat was also the first time I heard it: a strange, fluttery hum that echoed in my skull. I was lying on crinkly paper, alone in a dimly lit room with two doctors (men aren't allowed into the ultrasound room in China) and the screen was tilted away from me.

I've never seen you, but I imagine you tow-headed and chubby cheeked — dutch inheritance courtesy of your dad.

You would be four this year.

In my head, you are a boy. I don't know why. A mother's intuition? An absurd wish for something I was always callously ambivalent about?

I think I've always wanted kids, but I'm not certain. I think about want in a very "big picture" sense toward Life, rooted in the belief that that's what you're supposed to do when you "grow up."

Meet someone, fall (hopefully) in love, get married, have kids, and a 2-car garage. You know, the white picket fence, Stepford dream.

I think I want it, and some small part of me does. There's comfort and solidarity in sharing a dream with someone. As human beings, we crave companionship and love; that's why this dream lives on. But Reality and Fantasy aren't correlated. And while a small part of me thinks about children and family and a 9–5 stability, the larger part of me, the actual me, doesn't.

The realistic and dominant part of me isn't family-oriented, isn't interested in the picket fence or things that tie us to any one place or person. I am pragmatic and cold, calculating and temperamental. I am aware enough about my short-comings to know that I would not make a good mother because I am, quite simply and honestly, not interested in being one.

So, imagine my surprise when you came along. My little bean.

I want to say you've been real to me since the moment I saw those two lines on that white stick. That while I was scared, I was also incredibly excited. I want to say that my world shifted until all that mattered was you. That I imagined you to be a precocious little thing, sucking on your thumb constantly the way I did, or so I've been told, till I was five.

I'd like to say that I thought you would have gotten your father's gentle kindness and my wild rebellion. That you would have inherited both our senses of humour and sarcasm (poor thing), and that you'd be a cookie monster, just like your father.

But the truth is, when those two lines appeared, I was shocked into disbelief.

I took the test eight more times, and it was that last time that I finally cried.

That's how your dad found me. Hunched in our bathroom, bawling. I remember forcing myself to cry, to feel something, anything… because all I was, was numb. Being pregnant at 21, felt, to me, an awful lot like being crushed under a building in an earthquake. My world came crashing down around me.

Abortion is a tricky thing to talk about. It comes with a sentence of pre-judgment. Black and white boxes bent out of shape to fit shades of grey. Pro-life or pro-choice. Yes or no. Simplistic redactions to a complicated situation, full of opinions about a body that somehow, no longer belongs to you.

There are so many facets to this truth and to this story.

1. It's taken me five years to face you. Or, at least, the memory of you.

2. I wanted you.

If I'm being honest, a part of me really did. I don't regret a lot of things in life. I'm too practical for that. Things that can't be changed, that have no solutions are things that I easily put out of my head.

But there's a part of me that wishes to turn back time and go back to that moment. I would've liked to have paused for a little bit longer, thought through to what I wanted instead of letting your dad, or my mom, talk me out of you.

3. I didn't want you.

I wanted to live my life. I was just starting my career, I'd just turned 21, and honestly, your father and I had been having problems in our relationship, arguing over the fact that I wanted to party and he wanted to stay home, all the time. He was older, more mature, and I guess, ready to be in love. I was a rebellious kid intent on playing house but incapable of handling the boredom that came with it.

I didn't understand then the way your father loved me. He knew we couldn't keep you because we weren't ready, and for a long time after, a part of me hated him for that. For being right. Hated him because it's easier to blame someone else than to accept guilt for your part in the problem.

You weren't the catalyst, in the end; you became the excuse I needed to get out.

The difference between adult love and teenage infatuation, though, is that he kept trying. Unfortunately, it's hard to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you.

I was selfish and immature and careless with love, life and, mostly, myself.

For years, I pushed the memory of you down. Sealed you tight inside a box marked, "do not touch," because that's what I do. I shut down, I compartmentalize, and I run.

I run and I hide until I'm ready to face whatever monster I'm running from. The difference a few years, and therapy, can make on your view of things.

I'm tired of punishing myself for letting you go. Of being guilty for not feeling guiltier. For the sense of relief I felt. For being sad. For the incomprehensibly mixed emotions I've carried. The tears that I've cried and the numbness that enveloped me, and the life I've managed to live because you didn't.

The truth is, I am thankful and sorry all at once.

You would be four this year, and I want you to know that you are real to me. You have always been real to me — two lines that changed my life, irrevocably. An infinite pool of sadness I will never be able to stop feeling sorry about. The thing is, I don't think I have to. You are not some thing or some one that I have to get over.

You exist in the periphery of my life, teaching me, reminding me, keeping me strong. You made me a mother, even if it's not in the literal sense. Motherhood changes people, and you changed me.

Every so often, I think about you. I daydream about who you are, who you'll grow up to be and I imagine you running bare-foot through the sand, canon-balling into a lake, unafraid, up in heaven.

I mourn you, but another facet to this truth, is that I am not sad I let you go. I would've resented you had I kept you. I would rather feel guilty for being a bad person by letting you go, then by being a bad mother and screwing up your life and your perspective of the world by keeping you.

I don't know if I believe in reincarnation, but I hope that the angels are taking care of you.

And I hope that one day, God willing, you'll come back to me, and I'll give you everything you deserve, everything that I know now about how to be a good person, because of you.

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Why I Don’t Stop My Boys From Roughhousing

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

Wham. My son has just been tackled from behind, a surprise ambush as he sat on the floor innocently watching TV. It's his brother (in his underwear, which is the best kind of clothing to fight in – ask any professional wrestler). In the blink of an eye, there's a blur of elbows and knees against a soundtrack of thumps and grunts, various body parts bouncing off the carpet.

Then, as quickly as it started and without a word exchanged, they're watching TV. Both of them this time, side by side, like they weren't just engaged in hand-to-hand combat two seconds ago.

This is why my living room has a lot of empty space in the center, why I keep all my furniture arranged against the perimeters, in a move that would draw a raised eyebrow from any design critic. Because there are very few things in life I'm absolutely sure of, but one of them is something that every mother of dudes knows: roughhousing is a thing that happens, every day, multiple times a day.

And if you don't want your stuff messed up, or somebody getting stitches, you just keep it out of the way – because you'd have better luck coercing an octopus into footy pajamas than you would trying to keep your sons from knocking into stuff in the process of pummeling one another.

In my early years of motherhood, before four boys rendered me completely unflappable, I was one of those moms who would intervene at the first sign of rough play, worried that someone was going to get hurt or that this meant my kids were going to be bullies.

"Be nice!" I would say sternly – until I learned a surprising fundamental truth: to them, wrestling around is nice. There's nothing malicious in it. And though I may not understand it, I have come to accept it as natural.

In over a decade of raising sons, I've seen not only my kids, but an endless stream of their peers, play this way. To be fair, not every boy is so physical; there's a spectrum, and some boys (especially those who don't have brothers, I find) aren't as into being tossed around. Even one of my sons isn't as physically expressive as his brothers. But for the most part, as weird and foreign as it may seem to those of us who can't exactly relate, this is how they interact with one another. It's how they bond.

If you can get past the urge to bubble wrap your little wrestlers, and everything around them, you realize there are a lot of benefits to this type of play. It's good exercise and a great way to burn off excess energy, for starters, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"Emotional intelligence improves with roughhousing; children practice revving up and calming down, which helps them learn how to manage strong emotions," say physician Anthony DeBenedet and psychologist Lawrence Cohen in their book, The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It.

The book goes on to discuss a phenomenon called “self-handicapping,” wherein the bigger or stronger kid throttles back his full power because the intent isn't to hurt his sparring buddy, or to win the match – it's just to have fun. This is what makes roughhousing different from actual fighting: it comes from a different place. There's no ill will or intent to harm involved.

Roughhousing teaches kids to pay attention to others' responses, learning through body language and facial cues, and to quit immediately when they recognize signs of discomfort (or hear a flat-out "stop"). It hones their reflexes and heightens mental alertness as their brains go through the motions of anticipating their opponent's next move and planning their own accordingly. And for boys, who don't always express their affinity for one another in words, it can help cement relationships. Nothing says "I like you" like a good body slam, amiright?!

So yeah, the constant roughhousing may mean that my decorative items are at risk, but at least I know my kids aren't – because when you really look at the motivation behind the action, it's not an out-for-blood power struggle, it's a beneficial pastime.

I may never fully grasp why an armpit to the face is so alluring to my boys, but given the positive effects, I'll let it happen. Maybe I'll just buy more couch pillows.

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This Image Shows Why Women Need Lots Of Time To Recover After Childbirth

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

It's an undisputed fact that that you need time to recover after you've gestated and birthed a human baby. Your uterus blew up to the size of a watermelon and needs a chance to get back to its former self. Your hormones spiked and crashed, and remain kind of all over the place for a while. And who the hell knows what's going on with your internal organs, pelvis, tailbone – and of course, your good old vag.

Some experts even say women need a whole year to recover from childbirth. And yet, so many women don't even get the 12 weeks of maternity leave they are legally required to have. And forget about getting paid for time off. That's a pipe dream for many postpartum women.

The whole thing is a bunch of misogynistic, patriarchal bullshit. Imagine if a working man broke his leg or had major surgery. There's no way he would be expected to return to work while healing from that. Hell, many men can't even deal with the common cold. But I digress …

Recently, I came across a really powerful image that perfectly depicts why women desperately need time to heal after having babies. It was shared on the Facebook page Labor of LoveLancaster, PA, a page curated by birth advocate and mom Laura Fry. Fry used the image of a paper plate to represent the wound left by your placenta after birth. And let me tell you: this simple image – and the explanation Fry gives to go along with it – is freaking genius.

"22cm or 8.6 inches," explains Fry, describing the dimensions of the paper plate she shared in the pic. "That is the exact diameter of a paper plate, AKA the fine china in our house. It is also the average diameter of a placenta."

Amazing, right? Fry then goes on the explain the significance of this paper plate (i.e., placenta). She explains that most women are given the advice to take it easy for a few weeks after birth, but that many of us don't even know what that would look like, or what the reason is for the advice. One of those reasons, Fry explains, is that after the placenta is delivered, women are basically left with a wound the size of their placenta — and it needs time to heal, dammit!

"[A]fter the baby is born, mothers are left with a wound on the inside of their uterus where the placenta was attached," explains Fry. "That wound will take at least 4-6 weeks to completely heal. During that time they are still susceptible to infection and hemorrhaging. Even if they have a complication-free vaginal delivery and feel okay, they will still need to take care of themselves and not overdo it for those first several weeks postpartum."

Welp. It's one thing to know in theory that a postpartum woman's body needs time to recover, but a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and Fry's pic and post seriously drive that point home. Most of us don't even know how big our placentas are, let alone the healing that needs to happen after said placenta leaves our body.

Now, Fry is careful to explain that she is not a doctor herself, but that her point is that we all need to use some common sense postpartum, and that resting and being pampered should be a priority for us all – whether or not we will be able to do so for 4-6 straight weeks. Our bodies really went through a thing when we had a baby, and our recovery should be of utmost importance. And everyone around us should support that (including our employers!).

Fry's post has gone viral, which is no surprise. With 2.5K commenters sharing sentiments along the lines of "Thank you" and "Now I get it!" it seems like Fry's message was one that many, many of us dearly needed.

Our postpartum needs should be taken seriously, especially because, as Fry points out in her post, not taking time to rest and focus on physical recovery makes women more vulnerable to postpartum complications like hemorrhaging and infections. And with the U.S. having some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world – a rate which appears to be rising – this is not something that any of us can afford to take lightly.

In an interview with Scary Mommy, Laura Fry, a former health professional turned stay-at-home mom from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, explains that her own knowledge and advocacy was born out of her first difficult birth experience.

"[W]hen my oldest was born … I sustained a 4th degree tear," says Fry. "I chose home births with my next two births and felt so amazing physically after those compared to my first birth, that I didn't take the time to rest like I should have. While preparing for those births I became very passionate about maternity care."

Fry even went on to create a Facebook group to support other women who sustained 4th degree tears after birth because she feels passionate about making sure that postpartum women receive good support and empowering knowledge, especially after traumatic birth experiences.

As for the inspiration behind her viral placenta/plate post, Fry tells Scary Mommy that it was inspired by a conversation she had after her friend had a baby.

"[A]fter one of my friends had a baby, I was in a conversation with a few of my friends about recovering afterwards," says Fry. "When I brought up that the wound left inside you is a big reason why we are told to rest for a few weeks, I could see the light bulb go off in their head. They all said 'I've never thought about that before, but it makes so much sense!'"

Don't you just love that? Fry says that soon after the conversation, she began searching around her house for things that were 22cm (the approximate size of a placenta), found the paper plate … and the rest is history, as they say.

Besides just how brilliant the idea was, it's also so necessary for us to be having these conversations, and raising awareness about these issues. Kudos to Fry for bringing this to light, and educating us all. And let's hope that more women will begin taking their postpartum needs seriously, that their communities will band together in supporting them, and that changes will come on a systemic level that will allow postpartum mothers to get the resources and support they so deserve.

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The Brutal Truth About Being A People-Pleaser

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

The first time I lied I was five, maybe six, years old. My brother and I had been playing with a small statue — my mother's favorite, a 16" ceramic dog — when it slipped from my fingers. When it came crashing down on the living room floor. Of course, it shattered on contact. Dozens of angular shards covered the credenza and the carpet. But I wasn't worried about getting in trouble. (OK, maybe I was a little worried about getting into trouble.) But mainly I was worried about hurting and disappointing my mother. So I lied.

I told her I tripped, and that the statue had fallen.

Of course, I know what you're thinking: no big deal. Kids lie, and my lie was “normal.” It was benign. But it was so much more than just another 5-year-old’s fabrication because — for me — it was the start of a cycle.

A "don't be mad at me, don't be hurt by me" people-pleasing cycle.

I don’t know why I became a people-pleaser. Not really. There was no a-ha moment or "my daddy left when I was born" moment, but the day I broke that damn cocker spaniel things changed. I changed, and I knew I could no longer speak the truth. I had to tell others what they wanted to hear.

And so I began telling stories. When I was nine years old, I wore glasses even though I didn’t need them. Sometimes I told people I was an award-winning artist and writer. Other times, I was an actor, a singer, a songwriter, and a dancer.

But people-pleasing is more than just stories and lies. It is a fear of rejection and abandonment. A genuine belief that you are inadequate, that your are not worthy of friendship, fellowship, or love. And it is all about an inability to say no.

(Yes, I am agreeable to a fault.)

I know I am not alone. There are millions of others who, like me, spend way too much time trying to please others, who go to great lengths to avoid conflict. We apologize often and never say no. We pretend to agree with everyone. In my case, when friends are fighting, I apologize. I attempt to take both sides, and I do what I can to play peacemaker. I try my best to smooth things over and make everyone happy, no matter the cost.

Of course, I know this doesn't sound terrible. Awkward and uncomfortable? Yes. But life altering? No. Well, probably not. I mean, I could just stand up and speak up. I could "grow a spine," I suppose. But it isn't that easy.

And while my people-pleasing ways hurt me — I feel fake and unfulfilled, dissatisfied and exhausted — it also hurts those I love. In fact, I lost a best friend because I told her what she wanted to hear and not what she needed to hear. I laughed fakely and loved half-heartedly and she was able to see through me. She felt betrayed, abandoned, and we lost not only “the good times,” but trust.

But why then do I continue? Why do I keep up the charade? Because, like many people pleasers, I worry I am not good enough. I worry I am not strong enough or smart enough.  I worry that I am inadequate. No one will like me for me. And because people pleasing is somewhat addictive.

According to Susan Newman, Ph.D, a New Jersey-based social psychologist and author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—And Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever, for some people pleasers "saying 'yes' is a habit"  but for others it's "an addiction that makes them feel like they need to be needed. [It] makes them feel important, like they're contributing to someone else's life."

(And, if I'm being honest, the latter is true for me. So very, very true.)

Am I proud of my behavior? F*ck no. I go to therapy every Wednesday to face myself. To confront myself. And to find a shred of confidence. To believe that, if left to my own devices, people may actually like me for me. That friends may like me for me.

But old habits die hard, and this? Well, this is one of my oldest.

Yet here I am: fighting, speaking, writing, and admitting the truth. And I hope that my truth is strong enough not just for me, but for you.

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Men Really Need To Stop Doing This On Dates

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

I've been on this first date way too many times. You meet somewhere and exchange pleasantries. If you're lucky, you start talking and you have an interesting, fun conversation. If you're not so lucky, you nurse your drink while your date launches into story after story about himself. You know how these go.

You ask a simple question, and he thinks you just gave him permission to perform a 15-minute soliloquy about himself, his interests, and experiences. You try to participate by telling an anecdote about yourself. He pauses for a half-second as if he just might ask you a question. Instead, he takes a deep breath and continues with his story as if you hadn't said anything at all.

This goes on the entire date. You've said about a dozen words. He's said about a million. You can tell he thinks it's going well because he grins as he tells you nonstop stories of his adventures. He has no idea this first date probably will be the last time he ever sees you, and he will be genuinely surprised when you don't want to go out with him again.

What do women do when we encounter these men? We could say, "Do you want to know anything about me?" That might jumpstart a conversation. If it doesn't, we need to weigh whether he's worth a second date.

I've met so many of these guys that I'm tired of them. Is it my job to teach them how to talk to a woman? I'm amazed they seem not even to notice my silence. They must think I'm so enraptured by their stories, I just don't have anything interesting to add to the conversation. I must be stunned silent by how incredibly interesting their stories are. Right.

First dates are nerve-wracking for everybody. We put on our best face and hope for a connection. Maybe he's nervous and that gives way to word vomit. It happens. We get it. Guys, if your heart's racing and your sentences are coming fast and furious, take a deep breath. Shut up for a minute. Look at your date. Is she smiling like she's in pain? That's a bad sign. Is she sitting there stone-faced? That's a worse sign.

Maybe you're a shy guy, so you overcompensate for it. Your friends say you're too quiet. So you go the polar opposite and monopolize the conversation. Sound familiar, ladies? Your date is so busy concentrating on talking, he's forgotten to listen. And guys, are you paying attention if your date has said much of anything? A good conversation doesn't mean you do all the talking and we do all the listening. This is a date, not an audition. You're not trying to win a part. We're here to get to know each other.

We women know men are accustomed to being the center of attention. We've have been conditioned to yield the floor to them. Too many of us are trained to be quiet and attentive. Think about your male coworkers. How do they behave in meetings? Men are notorious for sucking up all the air in the room. They show off. They brag. And they get rewarded for it. Women exhibit the same behavior and we're called aggressive or bitches. So we back down and let the men take the stage. We carry this same behavior into our dating lives. We allow men to lead and we follow.

Let's stop that nonsense right now. Men shouldn't be leading conversations to the extent that our stories remain unheard and our opinions unasked.

Outside of work, we know men aren't nearly as social as women. Maybe that's why, when it comes to conversation, they lag far behind us. Their idea of a good date is the same as a good interview. They spend the entire time trying to convince us to hire them for a second date, then a relationship. But the idea of listening to that same guy on a second date is depressing. While he's running his mouth, I'm running down a list of reasons I would go out on a second date with him — if there are any. For most women, communication with our significant others is challenging. While some men understand this, too many minimize it.

That's not to say men don't want interesting conversations, but those conversations are different from the ones women want and need to have. We accepted the date to get to know you. Just as importantly, we want you to get to know us. It's frustrating to go on a date and the man doesn't ask us any questions. Not a single one. Men, if you're trying to impress us, this isn't the way to do it. Work with me here. If you're not sure what to ask,  Google "questions you can ask on a first date." You will be surprised how much more fun the date will be when we're both engaged in the conversation.

Remember the reason we're on a date in the first place: We want to get to know to each other. We want to discover who the other person is and see what we have in common. We're not taking you on an audition. We want to find out who you are, and we want you to do the same.

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Men Really Need To Stop Doing This On Dates

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