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!  

Friday, July 28, 2017

What is a "date"?

The Webster's definition is interesting: "a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character."

The words "that often has" imply that a date doesn't always have a romantic character--which means a date could be two people socializing without any hint of romance. That could just be you hanging out with your friends, right?

Think about all the other occasions in your life that could, by Webster's definition, be "dates":
- you and a friend having dinner together or going to a play, movie, museum, zoo, etc.
- you inviting a close friend of the opposite sex to accompany you to a family wedding, or even
- a first meeting between you and someone you've been corresponding with on an online dating site 

If someone asked you if you were "dating" the other person in the above 3 scenarios, you'd, of course, say no. Because our definition of dating differs from Webster's. We think of dating as going out to do fun activities with someone we're romantically interested in so we can get to know each other better...and, ultimately, decide whether we want to spend more time together learning more.

Of course, that IS the point of the first face-to-face meeting with an online dating site prospect. But I advise my clients not to think of it as a "date" because that complicates it, since:
- It means you worry about who will pay for the coffee, food, etc.
- It means you might have expectations that set you up for disappointment
- It means you're self-conscious, wondering what the other person is thinking or judging based on his or her first impression of your appearance and what you say during the conversation

My advice? Let it go!! Just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. 

Thinking of this "meet and greet" as a date puts too much pressure on both parties. Just go back to Webster's definition and think of it as a social engagement. That's all. It's nothing more than a chance to get out of the house and socialize with someone new. Period.

If, by some happy accident, you two hit it off, enjoy your conversation, and--miracle of miracles--have a mutual attraction, fantastic! But don't go in expecting that. Just show up with an open mind, look and listen for the best in the other person, and be your nicest, most lighthearted self. 

You may be surprised at how easily things flow, how comfortable you feel, and how well the other person responds. And it just might lead to that first real "date"--with some "romantic character" mixed in! 

(If you need help letting go of expectations and being yourself in the dating world, let me know. I'd be happy to give you some pointers and some moral support!)

 
 

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!