Friday, October 27, 2017

"I'M DONE WITH DATING!"



People tell me this all the time, both in my day-to-day life and in my dating coaching. They get disgusted after dates with two or three potential partners who either didn’t impress them, didn’t call for a second date, or didn't say yes to the second date. So they throw in the towel, give up, and say they’re done.

Big mistake!

That defeatist attitude will get them nowhere—except defeated. Whatever happened to the old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”? How many times in our lives—especially those of us who are in midlife—have we failed at something but then got “back up on the horse”, tried again, and ultimately succeeded? Plenty!

Think about your own track record of life successes. When something didn’t work out the first time, did you give up? If it was something you wanted badly, I bet you didn’t.

So, ask yourself this: How burning is your desire for a life partner? How much do you want to be in a relationship? How important is it to you to find the right person for you? Important enough to take the time, make the effort, and experience some setbacks along the way? I hope so. There’s nothing more fulfilling that sharing your life with one special person who supports, respects, admires, and loves you. Nothing!

If you’re like me, it was very important for me to find someone to share the ups and downs of my life…and thus to enrich it. And I’m really glad I kept going back “out there” into the dating world time after time—even after pretty devastating heartbreaks and disappointments.

I did it because I really believed I’d find a partner one day. I didn’t let my past define my future…and I urge my clients—and YOU—to do the same! That’s how I met the man I’m with today—absolutely the best match for me in every way.

Searching for dating partners is a journey, not a destination. There will be hills and valleys along the road...and, yes, it can take a long time. But it’s always worth it, especially if it leads you to your true love. As Diana Ross sang in the 60s, “You can’t hurry love. You just have to wait. They say love don’t come easy; it’s a game of give and take.”

My decades-long journey to the “right one” took me through two marriages, several serious relationships, and many short dating periods with a variety of guys. I don’t regret a minute of that journey because each encounter/relationship taught me valuable lessons about men, relationship dynamics, and myself. Talk about personal growth!!

Those lessons not only helped me “Be Who I Wanted to Attract” but also toughened up my skin so I could cope with the inevitable disappointments of the dating world without taking things personally and thus retain my self-esteem and confidence. 

If you love and respect yourself, are healed from past heartaches, and have a clear partner vision, you’re almost ready for dating. Now, you just need the positive attitude I’ve been talking about here…and maybe a little extra support and guidance from a “love coach”.
I’m happy to help! Let’s get started! Just email me at gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NERVOUS ABOUT ONLINE DATING?

Since most of my clients are single, divorced, or widowed women between age 55 and 75, many are not computer savvy. As a result, they're often nervous about the idea and logistics of putting a profile on an online dating site (about 50% need help with the technology itself-- i.e., how to move a digital photo from an email or a computer onto the dating site). Or they're nervous about privacy and security issues related to using the Internet.

It's my job to help them overcome the nervousness so they can successfully date online.

First of all, I completely understand single women's concerns and hesitancy about privacy/security, and I remember when I too was intimidated by the technical end of things. So I'm happy to guide them through the process in a way that puts their minds at ease and helps them feel more comfortable using the technology. Because I was an online dater for 4 years myself, I've learned a lot about how to help women use this excellent tool--and hopefully meet some nice men for dating.  

About privacy: Yes, Internet dating involves putting a photo of yourself "out there" online. Some women clients are nervous that bosses, coworkers, friends, neighbors, or family members will see the photo and judge them for being an online dater. I tell them there's a small chance of that happening, but it's pretty unlikely unless those same people are also using online dating sites. Plus, I ask them: "What's the problem if someone does see your photo online? It's your personal life and not anyone else's business to judge you."

About security: Yes, there are scammers on just about every online dating site (and lots of other non-dating websites for that matter). Online daters have to accept that as a given. So I offer them tips for detecting the "bad actors" and for protecting themselves from being scammed. I steer them to expert advice about keeping their information secure and avoiding problems.

About technology intimidation: Yes, it may take a while to get up to speed with the workings of the computer, downloading attachments from emails, and uploading photos to dating sites. But, once I coach clients through the steps, they usually pick things up pretty fast. And, if they don't want to learn, they can hire me to post their profile text and photos for them. 

Everyone is nervous when they try something new for the first time. That's why I encourage women to reach out to me for mentoring and guidance. I love to help single women seeking a partner learn the facts about what's involved and to be the moral supporter they need whenever they feel confused or unsure about next steps. If that's you, please don't hesitate to get in touch...I'm here for you!

Monday, September 25, 2017

How Clear Is Your Partner Vision?

When I'm coaching someone who hasn't dated in a long time, my first question is: "Do you have a clear partner vision--a picture of the kind of person who's most compatible with you?" And I invite you to think about this question too.

People often think I'm asking what physical type they're attracted to. Or what age person they're seeking. Or what kind of job or income they want their partner to have. But those characteristics are much less important than 2 things I'm hoping they'll think seriously about:

 - What needs are most important for my partner to fill at this time in my life?
 - What lifestyle factors should be similar so we'll have a smooth-flowing life together?

To help them answer, I give examples from my life and relationships. After two marriages and many dating partners, I've gotten super-clear on the answers to those key questions. And my current partner definitely fits my desired vision in both areas--more than any other man I've been in a serious relationship with. That's why our relationship feels so right and so fulfilling.

Here are some examples. What would be on your list in these 2 areas?

Needs that are most important for my partner to fill
1. Attention - listen & care
2. Affection - touch me lovingly throughout the day
3. Acceptance - seek to understand and accept me just as I am
4. Acknowledgment - notice & mention things about me that you admire and respect

Lifestyle factors needed for a smooth-flowing life together 
1. Early risers
2. Healthy eaters & health-minded in terms of regular medical checkups
3. Daily exercisers
4. Good homemakers-diligent about keeping our house clean & well maintained
5. Thrifty shoppers who use coupons & look for bargains
6. Passionate travelers who plan out-of-town getaways a few times a year
7. Family-focused people who see our kids & grandkids often
8. Environmentally minded people who live with a focus on sustainable, green living
9. Not big TV watchers but do record and view comedy programs regularly
10. Spiritual people who attend services & regularly do spiritual reading/practices
11. Music lovers who enjoy listening to music during dinner & lovemaking

As you can see, this is a well-thought-out, detailed list...and that's what you need if you hope to find the right person for you. The clearer your vision the better. Then, when that person crosses your path, you'll KNOW he or she is the right match for you!

I love helping people clarify their partner vision and their relationship needs. If you need moral support with gaining that clarity, drop me a line! (gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Places Singles Over 50 Can Meet New People

My Baby Boomer clients are always asking me for ideas of new ways to meet dating-minded singles. And I often steer them to a great book that tells the "how we met" stories of 29 couples who began dating and fell in love later in life--"Autumn Romance: Stories and Portraits of Love After 50" by Carol Denker.

This wonderful book is a heartwarming look at the myriad ways older singles meet and connect, and I highly recommend it if you've gotten discouraged about the chances of finding love again. It will truly inspire you and give you hope! (You can order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Romance-Stories-Portraits-after/dp/0615314414.)

Here are just a few of the ways the happy couples in the book crossed paths:
- at a metaphysical lecture
- in a choir
- on a plane
- in an Italian class
- at the YMCA pool
- at a senior center activity
- at a speed dating meet and greet evening
- in a line dancing class
- at a support group
- at a wine tasting 
- at a singles walking group

In general, these folks were just out and about pursuing their hobbies and trying new activities. And they connected with someone else who enjoyed the same thing. It's a no brainer for 2 reasons:
1) When you're enjoying yourself and having fun, you're upbeat and happy and thus more of a natural attractor.
2) Your chances of meeting like-minded people increase when you go out to activities and events that reflect your passions.

Have you done that lately? If not, why? The reasons I hear from my clients are:
- I have nobody to go with and don't want to go alone to an event.
- I'm shy about talking to people I've never met before.
- I'm so busy with work and other commitments that I don't have time for fun outings.

Of course, these are more "excuses" than they are reasons:
- Going alone to an event is easy if you're going to something like a lecture, class, support group, wine tasting, or choir practice because you can chat about the activity you're participating in.  
- Shyness isn't an issue when it's an activity where there's a teacher, moderator, or leader who asks everyone to introduce themselves.
- Saying you're too busy for outings means you're not prioritizing fun/socializing, which is the only way to meet other people who share your interests.

So...are you ready to try some new ways of meeting people? For starters, check local newspapers or websites that list upcoming events and activities like the ones I listed above. Also: BE SURE to check www.meetup.com. And then call me for some ideas custom-tailored for you, your hobbies, and your region. I'm happy to assist!

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting Started With Dating After Losing Your Spouse

When widowed men and women call me to pick my brain about dating, many of them tell me it's taken them a lot of time to be ready to make the phone call...and are often not sure they're actually ready to date.

That's understandable.

In many cases, they are people in their 60s or 70s who had marriages that lasted over 40 years. They spent most of their lives being married--often very happily to someone they  considered to be their best friend and soul mate--and it's hard for them to imagine being with anyone else. 

Also understandable.

But a son or daughter or a good friend or sibling urged them to think about moving forward in life and told them their deceased spouse would want them to be happy again. Or they reach a point where they're tired of not having a partner...and want to explore a bit to see how the dating world has changed since they last dated. So they call me to figure out what steps to take to get started. 

They initially ask me:
- Should they try online dating? 
- Are there groups or activities where they could meet nice people for dating? 
- Is there any chance of meeting someone even half as wonderful and compatible as their spouse was?

The answer to all 3 questions is YES. Let me address each one:

Yes, they should try online dating because that's a good place to find people their age. The over-50 demographic has been the fastest-growing group joining dating sites for several years now. And, for women especially, that's where the men are. Men prefer using their computers instead of going to singles groups or other activities. That's been true for a very long time. They can use the key word "widowed" on any of the large sites to locate other widowed people (who, in my opinion, would be their best match). And there's even a dating site specifically for those who've lost a spouse: https://widowsorwidowers.com/

Yes, there are many groups and activities where they could meet nice people for dating. I can recommend some in their local area, and I also urge them to try Meetup.com (https://www.meetup.com) to search for groups of folks who share their hobbies and interests. I also recommend that they stay in touch with people from any bereavement/support groups they attended or join any social groups that grow out of the bereavement group since they'll feel most comfortable with other widowed people. I know several widowers who dated women they'd met in such groups. 

Yes, there is definitely a chance of meeting someone as wonderful as their spouse was. I know a couple, each of whom was around age 45 with 3 teenage children when they lost their spouse. They met at a book discussion group and hit it off right away. They were married 2 years later. They are very compatible and very much in love. And these happy-ending stories are more common than you might think.

If you or someone you know lost a spouse, grieved the loss and is relatively healed, and now feels ready to start over, let me know. It warms my heart to help widows and widowers have hope again...and possibly even to find love again!



 



 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Finding a College-Educated Partner Online

Many of my clients are well-educated people interested in dating someone intelligent with a similar education level. And I know they can find someone like that by doing an advanced search on most of the larger dating sites, such as Match.com, Matchmaker.com, or Plenty of Fish. But they can also try a site that specializes in those types of matches--Elite Singles.

Since 2008, Elite Singles (www.elitesingles.com) has been helping educated singles find lasting relationships. In fact, it claims that 2,500 people find love by using its site each month--or one every 8 minutes! 82% of its members are college educated, and over 2/3 have at least a Bachelor's degree. Many are "relatively affluent" as well. 

And the site has other things to recommend it:
- It attracts over 165,000 new members each month
- It safeguards members against fraud by personally screening every profile with "manual profile verification"
- It periodically removes the profiles of nonactive users so you don't waste your time emailing people who are no longer seeking dates
- Over 90% of its members are age 30-55 and looking for a serious relationship
- It uses a 200-question psychologist-tested personality test to send you 3-7 close matches each day (based on 5 factors: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism)
- It also lets you search for matches yourself
- Its fraud detection features work to cut down on scamming

I was out of the dating world when Elite Singles launched and so don't have personal experience with it, but I am beginning to recommend it to my clients. Any site that takes fraud detection seriously is worth a try in my opinion...especially for older daters (the majority of my clients). Since many singles over 55 aren't as computer savvy as the rest of the population, they are easy targets for scammers. 

I also direct clients to this website, which lists statistics about educational levels of users on dozens of online dating sites: http://www.giveyourhandabreak.com/education/

Here are some of the sites with the largest percentages of college-educated members:
1. TallFriends.com - 60%
2. RepublicanPeopleMeet.com - 54%
4. SoulGeek.com - 51%
4. MillionaireMatch.com - 48%
5. Match.com - 47%
6. JDate.com - 46%

Here's hoping you find your intellectual match! If you need moral support or guidance for reaching out and writing emails etc., let me know. I'm always happy to help. 
P.S. I have no education level stats on this site for more liberal people (http://liberalhearts.com/), but, in the interest of fairness, I offer it to balance out the mention of RepublicanPeopleMeet.com above. 😉

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Best Online Dating Sites

Clients always ask which online dating sites I recommend. The answer is: it depends on who you are and what type of person you're looking for.

If you're over 50, I can recommend sites specializing in that age group. If you're Christian or Jewish, I can steer you to the best sites for meeting other Christian or Jewish people. If you're seeking a spiritual partner, someone who loves pets, an environmentally minded person, or someone like you who is into art or an active lifestyle, there are sites specifically for singles in those categories too. There are even sites for disabled singles and those who are deaf.

My job is to direct you to the site where you're more likely to find a close match. And I have a list of over 50 sites I can share with you if you call or drop me an email (267-245-3023; gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com).

Today, I'd just like to tell you about the sites that are the busiest--that is, they get the highest numbers of monthly visitors. So you're more likely to see new faces all the time and have new possibilities to write to on a regular basis. 

As of February, 2017, the statistics were:
1. Match.com -- 3.2 million visitors per month
2. eHarmony -- 1.2 million visitors per month
3. Zoosk -- 1.1 million visitors per month
4. Our Time -- 879,376 visitors per month
5. Elite Singles -- 53, 984 visitors per month 

Other interesting facts about Match.com:
- The site says "travel" is by far the most common term its members use in their profiles, and "down to earth" is also used frequently. Match.com's biggest group of users is age 25-44, but there are also millions of older singles on the site as well.

And don't forget Plenty of Fish, which was acquired by the Match Group in 2015. It has 100 million users worldwide, 3.5 million active daily users, and 50,000 new signups every day. It says it creates 1 million new relationships every year. I always recommend POF because it's easy to use, free, and that's where I met my partner.

If you'd like a short consultation about which online dating sites are best for you, let's talk! I'm always happy to help!