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 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!