Dealing With Extreme Circumstances

I’ve been living under circumstances that most people would not consider normal.

I don’t technically have a home. I don’t technically own a car. And I don’t technically have a girlfriend anymore.

The first two are things I’ve dealt with for about 5 years now. The latter is something that I seem to deal with on a yearly basis, regardless of how many people I try dating or establish relationships with.

One person I started seeing just broke it all off.

Another person that I’ve been seeing for about 7 months asked to take a break.

And another person that I’ve been dating for over a year is looking for work out of state and moving away.

That effectively leaves me alone in the area where I work.

Having contracted HSV last year from another ex as they were leaving, my dating prospects are slim. I’ve tried dating so hard, and it has been a complete uphill battle.

But I’ve found solace in two things, independence and money.

I keep all of my bills to about 1/2 of my take home pay. Of what’s left, 1/2 pays a little for me to live on and 1/2 goes to savings.

Without anyone to date, I cut down considerably on what I spend on a day to day basis. It’s how I live under “extreme circumstances”.

I’m almost like a migrant worker in some foreign country that happens to speak my language, living out of hotel rooms, eating very little, spending most of my time working, and just trying to pass through as much time as possible so that the money accumulates faster.

And then, at the end of the day, I’ll find myself wanting to get away and I’ll have some money in the bank for a little unique get away to a far off place.

I used to travel quite frequently. And this year, I also travelled quite a bit as part of dating. But that lifestyle is best suited when one has another person in their life. Going to meet someone, or going somewhere with someone is quite nice. But I’ve never been one to travel alone.

When I’m on my own, I have fewer reasons to travel. I want to share my experiences with someone. I don’t want to just share experiences on Facebook, or make memories that only I can talk about.

So, when I am not expressing this independence, I’m just working on money. And what makes that an extreme circumstance for me is the fact that I don’t live the life that I want.

What I want to do with my life is to first share experiences personally and intimately with someone I love. Second, to share some of those experiences through my writing. Third, to be happy with my work because it is funding my experiences.

If life were all about working to pay bills to survive to continue working to pay bills to survive ad nauseum… what’s the point? If life can’t be experienced, if we find ourselves just a hamster on a wheel without attaining a goal to do the things in life that we enjoy, we may as well just turn in our humanity.

Some people say, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. But the idea there is to just replace work with fulfilling work. Make “live to work” your dream, so you don’t have to dream anymore, is how that seems to me and the kind of work that I do. And I’m not that kind of person.

I work to live. And this is the extreme circumstance because all I have now is my work. I’m on pause. I’m waiting to live, at some point, far in the future.

ENTJs, Polyamory, and Compersion

As I’m currently working on the second edition of my book, Polyamory: It’s Not Complicated, I’m expanding on my thoughts of personality type.

In the book, I talk about alpha and beta people. And what this is translating to in my book is defining more granularly with my own alpha personality, the ENTJ, aka the Commander, aka WORLD DOMINATION! ;)

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And in looking how this personality type interacts within Polyamory, and even more to why there seem to be so few of us ENTJs and ENTPs in poly, something started to stick out in my mind.

For the near decade that I’ve been in nonmonogamy, why have I never once really felt compersion?

It’s not that I haven’t felt some level of it, but never to the extent that other people describe it. It’s possible that the NT group simply doesn’t have the tendency to it.

As an ENTJ, I can easily set feelings aside and be a fully intuitive thinker type. An INTJ is a Mr. Spock. Give Mr. Spock a more leadership personality, and you have an ENTJ.

So we can set our feelings aside to make decisions. Let me give you an example.

I once had a partner who made some very hurtful choices in their other partners that was stressful with me. Someone more emotional might have demanded a veto and told them to choose them or me.

And an ENTJ, there is right and wrong, black and white, logic, and a solution. So, I insisted that ethical polyamory be restored, which absolutely did not include a veto. It included me meeting with each of these metamours and having a chat. Getting on the same page. Coming to agreement.

I was able to divorce my feelings from my decision. That doesn’t mean I’m unfeeling. It, in fact, hurt like hell. But I was able to “be the bigger person”.

So when it comes to compersion, I often have found that I classify external relationships (metamours) in a few criteria, none of which has to do with feelings.

First, is that relationship successful or not. If my partner is happy, all is well. If they are not happy, maybe they need me to intervene.

Second, is that relationship healthy for my relationship. If it is neutral or healthy for my relationship, all is well. If it is not, maybe my partner and I need to sit and discuss the negative impact and how to solve it.

What is often termed as jealousy and compersion might look like this for others… if those two things are going good, an NF personality type might feel about it, and that feeling is compersion. But an NT doesn’t necessarily “feel” about it, but accept it and be satisfied.

If one of those things is wrong, or going very wrong, an NF may “feel” jealousy. An NT, by comparison will find it unacceptable and dissatisfied.

And these two things can look very similar. Both types can either come with a smile, or with depression/anger. Neither way is superior. While compersion might be a big positive for the NF, it’s offset by the chance for jealousy. So they need emotional tools for dealing positively with negative emotions.

On the other hand, NTs need logical tools for dealing positively with negative situations.

And of course, none of these personality types are hard and fast. An NT can feel compersion, jealousy, and every other real emotion. And an NF can be very logical.

But with these overriding tendencies in play, this might be why NTs, and especially ENTJs have been apparently slower to adopt polyamory. They don’t get this super high emotional boost from the large metamour network, even if they find it logically positive for everyone.

As the Commander type, they also may fall into more emotionally unsympathetic patterns, such as polyfidelity, harems, and One Penis Policy situations. And while emotions may play into this, they’ll back up these stances with very logical and cold calculating excuses.

What do you think? ENTJs make up less than 3% of the population, for both men and women. Does polyamory truly appeal to fewer of them than the general population? What about NTs in general, are they more the monogamous type? What’s your type, and why does that make you well suited for polyamory?

Nail That Lusty Dating Profile Picture!

Most people who are serious about setting up a dating profile spend a lot of time writing up long profiles detailing who they are and what they want.

But it turns out that most people are spending a very disproportional time on something that most people will never read.

That’s because the picture doesn’t invite anyone to actually read any of that.

Your dating profile picture is the thing that 100% of all people in your preferences will see and make an immediate judgement on. And while the world talks about how looks are only skin deep, you will be sunk deep if you don’t take the time to put your best look out there.

In this tutorial, I’ll tell you what pictures to take, how to take them, how to edit them, and how to order them on your profile.

First, if you have not read my article or listened to my podcast on starting dating profiles, go back and read them, , or listen to them, .

Step 1

We’re going to be remaking all three of your favorite photos in reverse order.

The three photos you need are, in order Portrait, Fun/Action, Dressed Up/Classy. And we’re going to take these photos in reverse order.

To prepare, find the best camera phone app you have. This is often, ironically, the default one. On all photos, we’re going to take a basic photo with no filters or special settings.

Also, we’re going to use the app Snapseed to edit all apps. And as always, install Google Photos to back up every photo you have.

Step 2

We’re going to start with the dressed up photo. Here is an example of mine.

As you can see, in this photo, you are going to dress to kill. Take a shower, shave and trim, put on cologne and dress to the nines. Yes, I said cologne, or perfume. If you take it seriously, you won’t cut corners, and you’ll psychologically prepare yourself to have the right mood for the photo.

Step 3

For our first shot, pick an inside location with warm, even light. This can be either yellow light or diffused sunlight. There are only 4 rules to follow.





Choose a location with little in the background, but not a blank background either. Show that you are somewhere, not up against a wall. This can show off a house, pictures or art on the wall (but NOT pictures of people, this is not how you introduce people to the fact that you have kids).

And one last note about being alone. Nothing is worse than seeing men and women in a group. Who the hell are you? Which one are you? Am I supposed to compare you to your much prettier friend? Am I supposed to think you are a good parent because you took a picture with your baby or child?

Yes, all of those photos are fine, so long as they are after the first 3 profile photos. The first 3 photos must establish who YOU are, not who your friends or family are.

Step 4

Place the camera in a good inside location without too much distraction in the background. Don’t worry, we’re going to blur the background a little as well.

Using the timer function on your camera, set a 10 second timer with the camera in selfie mode (screen facing you so you can see yourself as you take the picture).

Make sure the entire top of your head is in the frame.

Make sure the photo captures a large portion of your body. (You may not like your body, but this is the body shot so you aren’t “false advertising” on your profile… get people who like you for you, not people tricked into liking someone you are not.)

Make sure your arms aren’t cut off.

Make sure you are centered.

Make sure you aren’t standing like you’re taking a police mug shot. This means slightly angling your body, cocking your head, etc. If you are a man, you should be standing above the camera ,so that the picture is taken at a slight upward angle. If you are a woman, you should be standing below the camera, so that the picture is taken at a slightly downward angle.

A note about this. We don’t need to see under your chin or the top of your head. Men, don’t hold the camera so low that it looks like a shot from someone standing at your crotch. Women, don’t hold the camera so high that it looks like a shot from someone whom you are standing at the crotch at.

That’s not sexy, that’s desperate and thirsty.

Step 5

Take multiple shots. Stand in different poses. In each pose, look a little more serious, a little smirk, a little smile, and a big smile. Remember to smile with your eyes.

If you have other clothes to try out, change, and repeat the process. Sometimes different clothes play better on our skin tone and eyes. You won’t know until you try it in the exact light you have available.

If you have another location to try, change locations and repeat. Often, during editting, you find something very annoying in the background that you can’t edit out.

Step 6

You now have a collection of photos in various poses with various expressions. You should have a collection of at least 20 pictures.

Go through them and pick out the best 2 that are very different from each other.

Step 7

Edit in Snapseed.

First, Crop and Lens Blur the photo so that there is only a few inches around the outside of you, and that everything outside of you has a slight blur, making you the focus.

Second, use Tune Image. Use the automatic wand to auto-tune your image.

Third, use Pose. Adjust your angle, size of your pupils, and smile to ehance your face.

Fourth, use Enhance to adjust your skin smoothness, your face highlights, and your eye highlights.

NOW SAVE (so you have a regular enhanced, then continue).

Fifth (optional), use filters like HDR Scape, Drama, Grunge, etc to see if there are filters that can help compliment you and make your photo stand out.

Remember, use small adjustments or you’ll look like a ridiculously smooth, large eyed, giant crooked smile, horror movie barbie doll!

Looking back at my classy photo, you’ll see that I’ve done all of these edits.

Step 8

Take the fun photos. Fun photos show you outside, at an event, or otherwise enjoying the real world outside your home.

If you don’t have such photos, you have some work to do. Everytime you go out for the next month, take selfies prolifically like you are in Instagram model. Create a collection.

The key to the fun photo is to show you are at someplace fun. It could be hiking, or a party, or a concert, or whatever. They key is to highlight color, action, travel, and fun with you (and you alone) in the picture with everything else in the background. Show yourself as the center of attention.

Have you ever read those stories about people who see another person across the bar and it’s like the spotlight fell on them, and the world turned into slow motion? This is what you are capturing with this photo.

Make sure to frame, light, and center as best you can using the rules you learned with the classy photo.

See how I framed and edited this photo so that it can be either portrait or fun?

When you have a nice collection, select 2 or 3 and edit them in snapseed the same way that you did with the classy photo. The only difference here is to NOT Lens Blur very much or at all. The point here is that there is an exciting background. Don’t cover it up if it removes the fun.

I’m including an off center framed fun photo I use. It demonstrates how the background can make you seem alluring.

Step 9

Now it’s time to take the portrait.

The portrait is you, all you, a face shot. It’s similar to what actors and actresses use to give to casting directors. It’s the face your date will put on his or her phone as your contact. It will be turned into a tiny circle icon on the dating app to identify you.

Because of this, you can’t put anything else in here. Not your body. Not your shoulders. Not a background.

Take the photo exactly as you would the classy, but go light on the makeup. Look natural, clean, charming.

This photo can be taken inside or outside, so long as your entire face is lit.

Edit this photo the same as you did the classy photo.

I’ve included two portrait photos that I use for comparison.

Step 10

Upload your photos to your three dating apps, in reverse order. Many dating sites make the last photo you upload your “current” profile picture.

Also, we are putting these photos in a specific order for a reason.

After uploading, make sure your pictures are in this exact order: Portrait, Fun, Classy.

The reason for this is psychology. You are mimicking a first date, and an entire relationship.

You meet someone, and they get to know your face. Portrait.

You take them on a fun date and show them a good time. Fun.

You get interested and take them on a more classy date to impress them. Classy.

It also has the effect of how attraction works. Your face will always be what makes or breaks your dating and relationships. It’s what people always see. So this is what you want them to swipe left and right on.

Second, if that interests them, the fun photo shows that you have a good personality and have interests… rather than sitting at home begging for someone to love you.

Third, the classy photo shows that you are responsible, have a job, have car/apartment. Even if you work at Burger King, you show that you clean up and take care of business. You can take care of yourself, which is very attractive.

The reactions you want from this order are: “Oh cute!”, “Oh wow!”, and “Mmm…”


Pictures are what get people to read your profile, which we’ll be covering in the next article. You have to have good bait before you can reel the fish in.

For more information, listen to my podcast on SoundCloud,