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Relationship Advice
by Dez Bartelt

Hi girls. I’m sorry for the lack of recent articles. After four months on the road, I decided I needed a little Dez time. I want to just enjoy my days and ski, ski, ski. This may confuse some that live on the opposite side of the equator and in the heat of the summer but I’m in my home in Argentina. It is winter here and one of my favorite times to be in the outdoors. I have been spending most of my time on the mountain in a tent or skiing.

I have however missed womenof and wanted to touch base and say hi and give you a little insight. If you remember when womenof introduced me, the article explained that I would be giving insights on the good and the bad of travel over the next 6 months. After reviewing most of my articles, I see it was mostly about fun, fun, fun and not enough about being careful on your travels. As women, we need to stand strong and although I am a strong woman there are times even when I feel a little put out by the guy who is just too charming. I don’t mean to say that all men in Greece are like this, but take note as cultures can catch you off guard.

YES, Greece really is the land of sun, fun, and irresponsibility: luxurious swims amidst breath-taking beauty, long siestas with the songs of cicadas in the background, fresh seafood dinners in cliff side restaurants, and those Greek men…Ah! How they charm you- making you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world! There’s even a name for this game of charm they play so well. It’s called "kamaki;" the harpoon used to catch a fish in one deft stroke. It is nice to be thought of as a fish not to mention easy prey.

If you are determined to go and see all this for yourself and I say do and even date a Greek man, then there are several rules you should follow. First, it is imperative that he does NOT still live with his mother. Second, not only should he not live with his mother, but she should live as far away as possible. Third, your man of choice should be educated in a foreign country or well-traveled, preferably both. These experiences will broaden his mind so you won’t suffer from so much culture clash. And fourth, be sure you truly understand how your prince feels about women. How shocked I was when a 35-year-old man informed me that he really doesn’t think women are as mentally capable as men. As proof he offered, "There are so many more published male authors than female." My explanation that the discrepancy is owed to the fact that women have only been allowed to publish books relatively recently in comparison with men was petulantly answered with, "Well, no female writer has ever sparked my interest." I wonder if he’s read any pieces by women.

Also, if you are a woman with a little muscle tone, you are doomed to a dateless future. You will inspire awe, but not commitment. As one 40-year-old man explained to me, if I want to find a man I have to look less independent. "Relax your shoulders!" he told me. "No man is going to date a woman with such square shoulders. You look too strong and confident." With that bit of information I squared my shoulders even more and walked off. Imagine that! You’ll only get a date if your shoulders droop!

Overall I had an amazing time in Greece and this was my 2nd time to visit. However, like the never changing landscape the men were the same as the trip 20 years ago. My best advice is to keep your shoulders back and walk with confidence. Cheers, Dez