Thursday, August 23, 2018

Curiosity Is Crucial in the Dating World

I recently read a book by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer called A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. The book's point is that curiosity is a valuable tool for learning about people and the world...and for making life richer and more interesting.

In the book, Grazer discusses how he had "curiosity conversations" when assembling the cast and crew for the many TV shows and films he produced over the years. Asking people to talk about things related to their background or experiences that piqued his natural curiosity usually resulted in more in-depth information and insights than typical interviewing techniques.

I firmly believe the same is true in the dating world. I'm a naturally curious person myself, and I usually ask a lot of questions when I first meet people--and later too--because I'm truly interested in learning more about their life, outlook, philosophies, etc. When I was unattached and crossing paths with new men all the time through online dating sites or at meetup groups or singles activities, it was fun learning about them. And the way I did that was by asking for more detail about whatever they were talking about.

Most of the time, that facilitated great two-way dialogues in which we each asked questions  and learned some fascinating things about each other. I really love it when someone is curious enough about me to ask follow-up questions about whatever we're discussing.

But there's a fine line between being curious and being "nosy". Some people find it intrusive if you ask too many questions. They might feel their privacy is being violated. They might not feel comfortable talking about themselves. Or they might wonder why you want to know all those things about them. In general, the latter group of people aren't naturally curious themselves--which is why they can't relate to your desire to know more.

In the early stages of meeting and dating people, women are often the ones who ask most of the questions. It's their nature to use conversation to build intimacy. Not so much with men. They talk more to convey information. I've heard men complain that women asked so many questions at a first meeting that they felt like they were on a job interview or being "interrogated." 

Sure, some women use the first meeting to gather the vital "stats" they want on a man about his profession, relationship status, living situation, financial security, etc. And I can understand why some men think women are prying and maybe even "gold-digging." But, more often than not, a woman is just trying to find out how compatible she might be with a certain similar they might be in world view, lifestyle, interests, and values. 

That was certainly my intent when I asked new guys more than just a couple questions. To me, it's a fun adventure to learn what makes people tick and what hearing their stories can teach me about my own life.

How about you? Are you a naturally curious person? And do you think that makes it easier to have easy-flowing, fun conversations when you're meeting new people in life and/or in the dating world? I'd love to hear your views! Drop me a note at  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Why People Hesitate to Start Dating Again

Have you been newly single for a while after divorce or widowhood and promising yourself you'd get proactive about dating?  Yet you procrastinate? Have you thought about what might be holding you back?

I can't count the number of people who call me saying they're interested in having me help them start dating again and then don't return my phone call. They say they want moral support or guidance about navigating the online dating process or figuring out other ways to meet people for dating, so I ask them to name a convenient time for a coaching session. But they don't reply.

I usually follow up to see if they're still interested but hear a myriad of reasons why they're not going to take the next step. These include:

"Things are so hectic now with my job and caring for my parents. I don't have time to think about dating."

"I tried a couple of dating sites, had a few dates, and then realized I wasn't ready."

"It sounds like too much work. I'd rather just meet someone organically in my daily life."

In my experience, what's really going on when people use these excuses about not entering the dating world is a 4-letter word: FEAR. 

In the first case, the person fears the unknown, not having yet ventured back into dating. In the second case, the person fears leading someone on or getting entangled with someone who IS ready for dating when he/she isn't. And, in the third case, the person is afraid to expend time and energy with no guarantee of a positive outcome.

But even more deeply buried in all 3 cases is often the fear of putting themselves out there, feeling vulnerable, and facing possible rejection. There's no shame in that. Everyone who re-enters the dating world is afraid nobody will like them...or fears they won't meet anyone who'd be their type. It can definitely be scary to start all over again when you're older with something you haven't done since you were young.

Just like those who go back to school after a long hiatus or those who start a new business after being laid off from a job, those who re-enter the dating world after decades of being married feel nervous and unsure of themselves. They're clueless about what they'll encounter, how to act, what the new etiquette is, etc. And I understand that completely. I was in their shoes in 1995 when my first marriage ended after 16 years, and I had no idea where to begin searching for dating prospects.

I wish I'd known back then there was such a thing as a dating coach--someone to hold my hand and advise me on what avenues and approaches were best for me to find like-minded men for dating. Instead, I stumbled along going to singles events for a couple years--and dated various guys without first stopping to assess whether they were a good match for me. I made a lot of mistakes, kissed a few frogs, and learned the ins and outs of successful dating the hard way.

I can save you the time and anguish of having to go through that. I can help you create a strategy for dating success that really works. If fear has been standing in your way, I can help you overcome it, take action, and meet some nice potential partners. Let's talk soon! or 267-245-3023.