Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is Your Dating Frustration Keeping You From Dating Success?

At least 2/3 of my clients sound beyond frustrated when they come to me for help with dating. "I'm just not meeting anybody!" is what I hear all the time.

Either they're getting no replies to their email outreach online or they're struggling to meet even one person they find attractive at the groups or activities they attend--or both--which leads them to come to me when their hopeless, down feelings reach a peak.

Sadly, it's those very feelings that could be keeping them from finding people to date. These folks are unconsciously emanating negative vibes that are very unattractive...and which prevent others from wanting to hang out with them or get to know them. Yes, the "Debbie Downer" syndrome is real, and it's a BIG problem in the dating world.

What's the solution? Well, as Cher said to Nicholas Cage when she slapped him in 1987s' Moonstruck, "Snap out of it!" You need to put your frustration aside so you can shift your thinking from negative to positive. 

To do that, commit to focusing on these facts:
1) You have a lot to offer a potential partner. 
2) There are millions of singles out there looking for love, just like you are. One of them is very likely to be the partner you're seeking.
3) The more proactive and persistent you are, the more likely you are to cross paths with new people. Your best match is looking for you too!
4) It takes time to do some "practice dating"--to sort through different people until you find the right one. But it's a necessary and important part of the process.
5) Being in a hurry is self-sabotaging because it creates those unattractive "urgency" vibrations (desperation). By releasing any timetable, RELAXING, and letting things flow, you will be more easygoing, peaceful, and fun to be around (and that makes you a "natural attractor"). 
6) The dating journey itself can be fun because you learn things from every person you meet (even for a "coffee date") and are exposed to places or hobbies you may not have experienced before. 
7) Going outside your comfort zone to try new strategies in the dating world helps you grow as a person, especially in self-esteem and self-confidence--two vital ingredients for dating success.

Ready to stop being frustrated so you can start dating? Try these tips and you're sure to have better results. If you need help following through, I'm here for you!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Nonsmokers Have Much Greater Success With Dating

When I ask my clients to name their "deal breakers" in a date or future partner, the nonsmokers often mention smoking. It's a given: nonsmokers are VERY unlikely to consider dating a smoker.

And the smokers know this...so they lie about it.

In fact, my research shows that the characteristic that single people looking for love reported being most dishonest about is their smoking habits. Not their age or weight or height--their smoking!

I know from my own experience with online dating years ago, many people would click the "trying to quit" box in their profile no matter how much or how often they smoke, hoping to find a nonsmoker willing to date them (obviously a much larger pool from which to choose).

Yes, unfortunately, the market for smokers in the dating world is thin--only about 25% the size of the nonsmoking market. So dating sites have now sprung up for smokers only--so they can connect with people who'll accept them. And, if you're a smoker, that might work for you.

But most of my clients are nonsmokers. So I've done some research to help them:
1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 19% of Americans smoke (with more men being smokers than women). 
2) Most of the smokers don't have a college degree. In fact, statistics show that only 10.5% of college-educated men and 8% of college-educated women smoke.

So what's a well-educated female smoker to do? My answer is simple: stop smoking. I know it's hard (it took my best friend 3 tries and 4 years before she successfully stopped), but it's well worth it.

Just think of the huge world of nonsmoking singles that will open up to you!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dating Isn't Just for Singles

You've probably read articles where long-time couples are asked their secrets of success. One tip they usually give is "Don't stop dating!" Carve out together time just for the 2 of you at least once a week--to focus only on each other and so to keep your connection strong.

I couldn't agree more. That's why I make it my business (literally) to support people in learning the keys to dating success--both before they find the right match and after they're in a serious relationship.

            Relationship success starts with--and depends on--dating success.

After more than 2 years as part of a committed 60-something couple, I consciously model this behavior with my partner. He and I make sure we don't let a week go by without having a special "date"--doing something different, special, or new with each other. We do everything we can to build some fun into our schedule, even though we've been living together for months and have, of course, gotten into a "routine" in our daily lives.

Many couples who forget this success formula wind up getting into a rut, taking each other for granted, and/or falling unconsciously into a pattern of separate activities--which makes it tough to reconnect and feel close again.

I know. That happened in several of my past relationships, including my 2 marriages. And I'm determined to prevent that from happening again.

"Dating" of course takes effort. Both people must promise not to let fun slip through the cracks...by being on the lookout for and then suggesting cool things to do together (beyond the usual dinner and a movie).

For example, my guy and I have a "wish list" for future dates that includes:
- A visit to the "Stoogeum"--a museum all about the 3 Stooges--which promises to get us laughing for sure, as we share some nostalgia about movies/TV we watched as kids
- A trip to a local distillery for a tasting & food truck evening
- A night out with another couple for a play at a regional theater
- A Sunday afternoon picnic and bike ride at a nearby state park
- Running a 5K together on a Saturday morning, followed by lunch at a restaurant we've been wanting to try
- Taking a couples yoga class

The possibilities, of course, are endless. You just have to commit to planning regular outings (or even "at home" dates, like a picnic in front of the fireplace or a mutual massage night).

Local newspapers and websites always have listings of interesting and unique things to do. One 50-something couple we know has a standing date to go dancing at a favorite local venue every Friday night. Another has fun taking their dog to the dog park every weekend. It doesn't matter what it is...just so you're together enjoying yourselves.

Dating at any age and at any stage of a relationship enhances the getting-to-know-you process. By doing something you've never done before, you learn new things about each other...which keeps your relationship fresh, alive, and thriving.

Don't be the one who says "Remember how we used to do __________ when we were dating? Why don't we do that anymore?" The only reason you don't is that you aren't making dating a priority--and a lifelong adventure together!

If you need some tips on how to "date to mate" or how to "date after you mate", let me know. I'd love to assist!




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 Signs You're NOT Ready for Dating

I hate having to tell people who come to me for dating coaching that I can't help them. But sometimes I have to break that bad news. The biggest reason? They're not actually READY for dating.

The 3 most-common signs they're not ready are:
1) They still have negative feelings (such as anger, fear, sadness, or guilt) related to what happened with their ex- or soon-to-be ex-spouse.

2) They have negative feelings about themselves, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, or a lack of self-respect, self-love, or self-confidence. 

3) They have too much drama in their life related to their separation or divorce, such as:
- fear of leaving their children with the ex-spouse
- anxiety about getting a job to address their new financial reality (i.e., having to support themselves)
- chaos in terms of downsizing to a different house or an apartment in order to live within their means as their lifestyle changes
- worries about issues related to being a single parent, such as the effects of divorce on children, child support payments, and visitation schedules

In other words, their life is so hectic and complicated that they have little or no time and energy to search for a new partner, much less to date if they do meet somebody.

Pretty much everyone who's still married/thinking about divorce, separated, or going through the divorce process is grappling with one or more of these challenges. And trying to date when they have unresolved issues like these is an effort doomed to fail. 
Here's why:
1) A person with negative feelings about the ex- or soon-to-be ex-spouse has a lot of healing and forgiving to do (i.e., a heart that is definitely NOT open and welcoming for someone new). Grieving and healing from this loss often involves months of therapy and a commitment to forgiving the ex-spouse AND his- or herself. Carrying pain or other negative emotions into a brand new relationship will kill that partnership before it gets started because, believe me, a budding new romance always brings up unhealed past "baggage".

2) A person with negative feelings about herself/himself lacks CONFIDENCE, which is THE most important element in the success formula for dating. You need to believe you're lovable and special if you're going to attract someone else who thinks you are too. Not many folks are interested in spending time with people who are down on themselves.

3) A person with a lot of life drama/chaos is too preoccupied, distracted, busy, and scattered to focus on the dating search or, in many cases, to even have a social life of any kind. Most divorcing people I work with as a divorce support coach are so hyper-focused on making sure their kids are OK during the process they don't have a minute to think about themselves.

If you or someone you know wants to date but, for one of the above reasons, isn't ready yet, I can help. I support and guide people through the process of preparing for dating BEFORE they go back into the dating world...and would be happy to assist!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Common Lies to Watch for in Online Dating

Every client who comes to me for dating coaching asks the same question: "Don't most people lie in their online dating profiles?"

The short answer is "Yes" because a 2012 survey by the group OpinionMatters showed that 53% of online daters admitted to lying in their profiles (of course, that means that 47% don't, so you might get lucky and meet someone who's completely truthful). 

I always urge clients to be open minded and not to prejudge potential dates based on their photos or statistics until they've met them in person. You never know if there's chemistry until you're physically together. In the meantime, though, there are things you can look for when reading profiles so you can weed out the dishonest folks. If any of these things sound too good to be true, they probably are.

The top 10 things men lie about when online dating:
1. Job (better than it is) - 40% of men do this
2. Height (taller, especially if they're under 5'10")
3. Weight (losing a few pounds)
4. Physique (athletic)
5. Money they earn (more)
6. Seniority at work (more than they really are)
7. Profession (more interesting than it actually is)
8. Knowing celebrities
9. Having an assistant or employees
10. Working in the film industry
The top 10 things women lie about when online dating: 
1. Weight (losing a few pounds)
2. Age (younger than they are)
3. Physique (toned)
4. Height
5. Money they earn
6. Bust size (larger)
7. Profession (more glamorous than it is) - 30% of women do this
8. Knowing celebrities
9. Having an assistant or employees
10. Working in the entertainment industry

The reason people lie is to make a good first impression, but this backfires when they meet potential dates in person and can't live up to the image they tried to create in their profile. That's why I ALWAYS recommend being honest in how you present yourself online.  

Interestingly, as we age, we find this easier to do. In fact, research shows that the older online daters got, the less likely they were to lie. This tells me that older daters are wiser: they've learned that lying doesn't pay in the long run. You'll usually get caught in the lie, and things won't end well.

Studies bear this out: 33% of online daters said they falsified their profile so much that it prevented them from getting beyond the "meet and greet" for coffee (i.e., they never got an actual first date). 

If that's how you want things to turn out for you, go ahead and lie. If not, be honest. That, of course, starts with accepting yourself just the way you are and having the confidence to show that self to others. If you need help with that, drop me an email so I can support you...and ultimately help you get more dates using online dating.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to Avoid "Happiness Busters"

If you're like me, you keep sticky notes on your computer to remind you of important things. On mine is a note labelled HAPPINESS BUSTERS--things to avoid doing in life in order to be happier. And I believe they apply to dating as well:

1. Overthinking things
2. Taking things personally
3. Seeking validation from others
4. Having expectations

Let's talk about how each of these can rob your happiness and sabotage your efforts before and during the dating process...

Overthinking things means dwelling too much on something--analyzing and dissecting it until you've read into it more than is there. For example, you might have let a potential date's casual comment in an email, text, or phone call spin around in your mind, trying to figure out what it meant. And you did that to the point that you took the remark to be critical, thought you did something wrong, and believed you had to fix the situation or yourself. This can cause unnecessary turmoil for you and drama for the budding relationship.

Taking things personally means you interpret everything others say or do as if they're about you or a response to something you said or did. For example, you might think that a potential date's expression of a thought or feeling is actually an indirect comment about you...when usually it's nothing more than a general observation. It's better to ask the other person for clarity rather than assuming the comment is directed at you. It's often reflective of his or her "stuff" or mind-set and not about you at all.

Seeking validation from others means you're looking for outside approval because, inside, you don't approve of yourself and/or don't feel worthy and special just as you are. In other words, your self-esteem is low. In this case, you'd need to take time alone to improve your self-esteem before heading into the dating world. Confidence is the most important factor for dating success. 

Having expectations of others or expecting situations to go as you envision them sets you up for disappointment--a definite happiness buster. Just letting things flow and unfold naturally in the dating world is a much better strategy. That way, you won't emanate vibes of urgency, desperation, or impatience--definite turn-offs to potential dates. You'll be letting others be who they are...something they'll appreciate and that will help to create a nice bond based on acceptance.

If you notice yourself exhibiting any of these 4 behaviors while searching for dating prospects, in the initial stages of dating, or while building a relationship, you'll need to modify them. That's how you'll attract and sustain better partners and partnerships (and be a LOT happier as a result!) If you need support with this, let me know. I've "been there and done that"--which led me to my current happy relationship--and I'd love to help you too.

Friday, March 24, 2017

MYTHS ABOUT ONLINE DATING

At a recent presentation I did about online dating for people over 50, I heard a lot of confusion and negativity in the crowd's questions...and several misconceptions about what I think is an excellent dating tool for older daters. Let me clear up some of these myths:

Myth #1-Men online won't contact women who are their age or older. Yes, it's true that men will start off trying to meet their ideal woman, who is usually younger. But, when those women don't write back (which is often what happens if they're choosing women 10-15 years younger), it soon becomes clear it might be worth considering someone closer to their own age. That's why I always encourage my female clients to write enthusiastic emails to men 5 years either side of their age (younger and older). 

If a man gets a complimentary, flattering email from a woman with a lot in common with him, he's very likely to at least read her profile. If he finds her photo attractive, he'll often consider emailing back, even if she's outside his desired age range. My second husband was 7 years younger than me and said he ultimately wasn't worried about age--he just wanted to meet someone he was attracted to and felt comfortable with.

Myth #2-It's not safe to date online because there are so many scammers. Yes, the scamming thing is worse than it used to be and is definitely something to watch out for. But it doesn't mean online dating as a whole is unsafe. You just need to follow you intuition and this rule of thumb: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." If someone seems over-the-top into you when they barely know you, emails and texts you more than once a day, but then keeps making excuses about why they can't meet in person, move on--especially if they say their work takes them out of the country a lot, they have a sob story about a deceased child or spouse, or they begin telling you about their money worries.

Myth #3-Women online aren't interested in shorter men. There are plenty of women 5 feet to 5'6" tall who'd be happy to meet an average-height man. There are even women taller than 5'6" who'd date a shorter guy. It's all about whether your personalities, values, philosophies, and interests match up. Height is just a number.

Myth #4-Everyone online lies about their age and weight. Yes, people who aren't all that confident and whose self-image needs improvement might be less than honest about their age and body type. But you can't assume that everyone online does that. Daters who assume that anybody who lists his or her body type as "average" is actually overweight are cynical at best. Before jumping to often-incorrect conclusions, explore what you have in common with each individual and then, if you feel a click on the phone, take a chance and meet in person. You may be passing up a lot of great potential dates by erroneously prejudging them. Believe it or not, some people actually look BETTER than their photos! I certainly found this to be the case with several men I met online and wound up dating.

Myth #5-It's hard to find men online who are into the arts and culture. This is definitely not true. There are several dating sites for people who love art, theater, ballet, etc., such as:
- artistfriendsdate.com
- lovearts.com
- agreaterdate.com
- artist.singles.dating.com
- theatrebuddies.us
- balletpassions.com
 
There are also groups on www.meetup.com for those who love film, theater, opera, ballet, and more. You could also search the large sites like Match.com or Plenty of Fish (www.pof.com) for fellow arts lovers by typing in a keyword like film, theater, opera, ballet, etc. The site will sort through the profiles and show you the ones that mention that keyword.

That busts some of the common myths. Don't buy into these inaccurate mind-sets. If you enter the online dating realm with a positive attitude, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll be setting up phone calls and coffee meetings with nice people! Give me a call if you need some support with that (267-245-3023). I'd be happy to help!