Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Best Places to Meet Worthwhile Singles in LA

The Best Places to Meet Worthwhile Singles in LA
(Happy Valentine’s Day!) 

Being a matchmaker means knowing where to meet high-quality singles.

We need to be creative, discerning and efficient with time. Here’s a list of our tried-and-true places/activities where we have met some of the most eligible singles in Los Angeles:
  1. Cultural (networking) events. It doesn’t matter if you don’t really need to network for your business, go to events. Some business events solely focused on networking tend to be lame in terms of making solid work contacts, but these places always attract upscale, (mostly) single professionals. Some of our favorite events have been with these groups:
  1. Athletic leagues. Our clients swear by these. Did you know they have adult kickball leagues? This is a great way to stay in shape and meet others who want to have fun and meet other active-minded people. Volleyball clubs are very social. Hiking clubs tend to attract more women. Running/biking clubs attract more men. Explore!
  2. Faith-based communities. Most people we meet are ‘more spiritual than religious’ so exploring ‘light-religion’ and spiritually-minded communities seems logical. Agape, a spiritual center and community is very welcoming and attracts a lot of single professionals.
  1. Curated experiences. Fill your own cup first with cool experiences to add to your repertoire and make your life more interesting. Say YES to all invitations! EvenFaceBook Events. Check out Airbnb Experiences and explore something new with other curious locals. Or create your own experience. Start a club or throw a cocktail party and encourage your friends to invite their friends.
  2. Grocery stores after work. These places are teeming with singles from 6-8pm. We have met many eligible bachelors at Whole Foods on Lincoln J. Mondays nights are the best. Turn your green light ON and smile. Small talk is easy when it comes to food.
(Honorable mentions:  Alumni Clubs, higher education classes, salsa/swing dancing classes, volunteering (LA Works is our favorite), Travel clubs and of course, dog parks).
The most important aspect of putting yourself out there and engaging with the world is…just that. If you do these things for the sole purpose of trying to meet someone, you may be missing your opportunity. Taking a step out of your comfort zone to connect with other like-minded people is the first step towards finding your ‘One’.

Out with the Old! Seven Dating Patterns to Leave Behind in '17

Out with the Old! Seven Dating Patterns to Leave Behind in ’17.

 As you invite in a new year full of possibilities, hope and romance, make sure to leave these negative dating patterns in the dust:

  1. Focusing on what’s not working. What you focus on tends to show up in your life. If you keep thinking about your disappointment, struggle and the things that aren’t working for you, you will see more of that. If you keep focused on doing work you love, spending time with people you love, and engaging in activities you love, you will be in a much better place to invite romance into your life.
  1. Knowing” in the first five minutes. One of the worst assumptions in dating is thinking that you know everything you need to know right away about the person. First dates are really just “meet-and-greets” where two people are breaking the ice, getting familiar with each other and trying to understand if there’s a connection. Suspend judgment and aim for a second date where much more will be revealed.
  2. Comparing your RL to everybody’s SML. Real Life and Social Media Life are two different realities. The latter is the superficial highlights-only reel that tends to leave you feeling empty and envious. Take a break from it and see how the quality of your life improves as you stay more grounded and centered in your own life. If you have to document it, how much are you fully experiencing it?
  3. 4. The need to be in control. Nobody is ever in control of anything. You cannot change the way things happen or how people behave; you can only change your reaction to them. The quality of your dating life will improve vastly when you let go of how things should be and just let them be how they are.
  4. Making AssumptionsDon’t. Until you have enough facts and consistent experience with someone, you’re in no position to make any assumptions about them. Just remember that people were leading busy lives before you met them…So if she doesn’t answer your text within 10 minutes, it does not mean she’s not interested. And, if he reaches out to you within 2-3 days after your first date, he really likes you.
  5. 6. Judging everyone against rigid expectations. It’s normal to go on a first date wanting the person to align with your expectations of what your ideal partnershould look like. But the irony is that our "ideal" criteria tend to limit our perspective and keep us from actually being open to the people who are right in front of us. Sometimes subtle qualities like a kind heart, good listening skills, emotional availability or integrity can be overlooked but these are qualities that can nurture a long-term relationship.
  6. Caring about what your dating life looks like to others. Being overly concerned about dating the right people (who look good on paper, on your arm, on your IG) is about placing your ego above your emotions. YOU are the one who needs to feel happy, safe, fulfilled and adored in your relationship so make sure you are following your heart when you choose your partner or you will pay a steep price

Top 4 Dating Destroyers

Top 4 Date Destroyers
The Ultimate Dating Destroyer

The #1 thing that’s killing dating today is quick judgment.

It’s normal and smart to be discerning but too much harsh, nitpicky judgment right away will severely limit your opportunities to meet and date a great person. Here are four qualities that reveal you may be a trigger-happy dater:
  1. You’re a One-Date Wonder. If you rarely make it to a second date, this is a huge indicator that you could be way too judgmental. Think about it. There’s alwayssomething that comes up for you. His hands, her energy, an off-handed comment, their clothing, the length of time it took to answer your text. Could the problem be you? Are your expectations too high? Are you trying to play it safe? You owe it to yourself to ask these questions.
  2. You’re super rigid. When you make a decision about someone, you believe it wholeheartedly and no one can change your mind. Unless someone greatly insults you or your deepest beliefs, first dates should be where you simply collect information about the other person, stay open-minded and give them --and you-- a chance to experience each other in a different light on date #2.
  3. You always say “I can tell within seconds if there’s something there”. If you’re constantly shutting people down within seconds of meeting them (because you just ‘know’), you are in great danger of missing out on someone amazing (and being single for a very long time). We have tons of success stories that began with neutral first dates. Our favorites: “He seems too perfect; I’m assuming he’s gay” (um, no!) or “We had an amazing first date but I just don’t feel the chemistry” (until he kissed you, you mean) or “He’s a great catch and I can totally see why you introduced him to me but I just…can’t put my finger on it” (we did; he was emotionally available and interested in you and that scared you).
  4. You can’t help it, you always find the flaws. From the way they laugh to the way they dress or the way they walk, you can’t stop finding (and obsessing over) the flaws. What we see depends mainly on what we look for. Note: Looking for perfection will leave you single forever.
Consider adhering to a three date-rule before you rule someone out because you could be letting go of a wonderful person simply because you caught them on a bad day. Three dates will give you a clear enough vision to feel if there’s enough intrigue or potential to continue seeing the person. Also, one of the best ways to stop being too judgmental is cultivating a natural sense of curiosity about the world and the people around you.

It’s also a very attractive and intelligent trait that makes you irresistible in dating.

4 Quick Tips on How to Stay Real on a First Date.

4 Quick Tips on How to Stay Real on a Date
Last night I met a potential new client. She was very new to dating, bubbly and high strung. I take care to make people feel comfortable right away so that they can be their most authentic self with me. It didn’t work this time. The woman was almost tripping over herself to impress me. I could tell that she was nervous and really wanted her to relax so I reiterated that I was not there to judge her, just listen and inspire her. She was still a tidal wave of bubbles, bells and whistles. Finally ten minutes before it was time to go (at the hour mark) she settled into herself.

I couldn’t help but wonder if she were like this on a first date, would she make it to a second one?

Authenticity means you allow yourself to “be who you are”; that you don’t try to impress or present yourself as someone you are not, which is exhausting to do and to behold.
Being real is the only way to foster a true connection with someone.

Here are a few tips to help you stay real on a first date:

1. Mentally prepare. Think about what you’d like to share about yourself ahead of time. What’s interesting about your life these days? Any cool trips you’ve been on? Books/films you’ve experienced? Funny stories? Being mentally prepared means you do not have to grasp at things to talk about which will put you at ease. It also means you decide on which topics you’d like to steer clear of.
2. Location counts. Choose a comfortable, even familiar setting where you feel at ease. The more relaxed you feel, the more relaxed your date will feel. Dinner seems a bit much for most; a drink is ideal. Or a Saturday afternoon tea or hike.  Just choose what makes you feel the most confident. Think low key. First dates should be brief and light. Everyone should leave wanting more.
3. Just Listen.  The easiest way to be authentic and present is to get out of your head and pay full attention to your date. Everybody has a story so ask good questions. Shifting your focus onto them will take the pressure off of you and allow you to soften into a curious, interested role.
4. Create a touchstone reminder. Whether you need to remember to be present, be feminine, ask more questions or not overshare, sometimes it’s helpful to have a concrete reminder. One of our clients bought herself a pretty ring that she wears on dates to remind herself to be more feminine; a male client wears a red string bracelet to remind himself to lead more. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself grounded and centered in who you are. Because you are enough.
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Dating online. You never know who’s real, right or worth your time.

Dating online. You never know who’s real, right or worth your time.

The less control you have, the more control you need.

Having an idea of what you’re looking for in a partner is essential but holding on too tightly to that idea can be self-sabotaging.
Often we’ll sit down with new clients who give us their wish list of what they want in a partner. Women tend to focus on height, money, confidence and sense of humor while men focus on looks, age and key personality traits like ‘easygoing’ and ‘laughs easily’.
Usually, the list is pretty long and specific. It always starts with “He should have…” or “She needs to be…” and they go on to explain all of the things they want in their partner.
But is what you want always what you need?
A great question we ask our clients who are a little caught up in their list is this:
What are the five qualities you want in the mother / father of your children?
Suddenly, this brings it all home.  
Qualities like kindness, stability, loyalty and compassion start to emerge while superfluous traits start falling to the wayside. It doesn’t seem as important that she has to have skinny ankles or fit into a certain age range. Or that he’s 6’2 with a full head of hair… If you want to create a happy home with someone, they need to be a trustworthy and good person.
Looking at your partner through this lens will help you quickly sift through the Real Deals vs. the Fun-For-Now’s.
The Fun-For-Now’s are exciting when they’re with you but they’re never consistently available and they leave you feeling just a bit insecure.  It’s impossible to plan or build a future with them. But the Real Deals make you feel safe. They come over when your dog dies instead of texting you “Hey! Sorry about your dog”.  They remember what you said two dates ago and book tickets to that one-woman show you’ve been dying to see. They show up for you. Over and over again.
And if you’re not sure about having a family, just ask yourself what kind of relationshipyou want to have.
Is it warm, supportive and stable or exciting, adventurous and spontaneous? Or both? Get to know yourself better so you can understand what makes you tick, thrive and feel safe.  Pay attention to the person’s character and how they treat you.  Someone who shows up for you is way more important than a few extra hair follicles or a couple of inches.  Being with someone you trust that will always be there for you during life’s ups and downs is priceless.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Six Simple Dating Tips to Call in 'The One' This Fall

Six Simple Dating Tips to Call in The One This Fall
Fall has always been my favorite time of year with September being my lucky month when I met (and also married) my husband.  Promising new romances tend to bloom after summer flings die. People seem more energized and focused to find their One this time of year. Here are six effective ways you can attract the right person into your life now:
  1. Get rid of the pressure. It’s so important to keep dating in perspective. When you go out on a first date, tell yourself you’re simply meeting someone new to see if you share anything in common or if you find them interesting enough to see again. It’s an hour of your life so you might as well get the most out of it and have fun. No connection? No problem. Next!
  2. Stay visible. Change your routine, change your outcome. Don’t just Say Yes to everything; add something new and interesting to your life. Take a class, volunteer, create a social meet up group, organize monthly happy hours, or join a committee or sports team. Just do it for fun, not to tick something off your list. The spirit in which we do things is reflected in the quality of our experience.
  3. Always put it out there. Turn your green light ON during every occasion.  You never know when or where you will meet someone who interests you so don’t regret looking shabby over chic. Be prepared so that you will feel more confident when you  MAKE EYE CONTACT, SMILE and ENGAGE with people. The only reason we’re in this life is to connect with others and be connected.
  4. Fill your own cup first. Learn to be happy BEFORE you are in a relationship, rather than look for a relationship to make you happy. The moment you accept, value and love yourself, you start defining your own worth, instead of waiting for someone else to assign it to you. The kind of energy you project has everything to do with the kind of person you attract.
  5. Refresh your online profile. If you’re not attracting the type of people that rock your world, take another look at your profile. Most people make the mistake of trying to appeal to the masses. Don’t. You’re not looking for just anyone, are you? Describe who you are and what you’re looking for boldly, specifically and uniquely. Only post 2-3 of your best pictures, maximum.
  6. Do. Not. Play. Games. Ever. Let go of your ego and be direct and vulnerable. It’s the ONLY way to a) set yourself apart from the masses of insecure people b) attract like-minded people who value authenticity and are serious about being in a relationship and c) save valuable time. Those who are ‘in it to win it’ have no time for games.

5 Dating Mistakes Men and Women Make

5 Dating Mistakes Men and Women Make
The Biggest Mistake in Dating 
(Make Sure You’re Not Doing It!)
We recently met with a gentleman who had worked with four matchmakers and met over 100 women in one year. Not random women; quality, vetted women who fit his criteria. But according to him, ‘nobody really excited’ him. He was highly accomplished and felt like he did not have to do much to attract a woman. He thought his resume’ and bank account could do all the talking and he would just wait to be blown away. Out of 100 women, only 11 were willing to go on a second date with him. Sadly, he’s wasted a lot of time and resources because he wasn’t willing to be honest with himself.
The misalignment between expectation and reality is the #1 problem in dating today.

Here’s how to know if you need a reality check:

  • You keep going after the same type with the same disappointing results: ‘I can’t help it; I always go for (insert type)’.  Actually, you can help it. History will keep repeating itself until you learn the lesson. So stop hoping that this time will be different. Instead, try going out with someone who’s not your type but still intrigues you a little. It will be refreshing and you may be happily surprised...
  • Your relationships never last longer than 3 months.  Either you’re not choosing wisely, it’s always too much, too soon or someone is getting bored. It’s very telling if you’ve reached a certain age and have not had a significant relationship that’s lasted a year or longer. Usually, by the three-month mark, most true colors come out. There are people who are in love with love or the honeymoon stage of a relationship but the only way to understand if a relationship has what it takes is through time, honesty, vulnerability and a willingness to compromise.
  • You often say things like ‘There are no good men in LA’ or ‘All LA women are superficial’ or ‘All the good ones are taken’. None of which is true. It may make you feel better to say or think those things but you’re simply perpetuating those beliefs and you will, in fact, find evidence of exactly what you’re stating. What you dwell on determines your destiny. Instead, look for the good in people and you will find it.
  • It’s always their fault, never yours.  If you keep finding yourself in the same predicament over and over, you need to start looking at yourself. YOU are the common denominator which means YOU need to change something. If you’re ready for a game-changer, read about adult attachment styles and how they can affect your relationship. (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine is a great place to start). Your dating life will never be the same.
  • You rarely get second dates. This is a huge sign that you may not be aware of how you’re coming across. Enlist your friends’ help or an expert to determine how you can improve your first impression (conversational skills, appearance, communication style, etc.). Just a tiny shift in your approach can make all the difference.