Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To Have a Great First Date, Do THIS and THIS

To Have a Great First Date, Do This and This

Dating doesn’t have to be an arduous chore. Having to ‘turn it on’ for a stranger for the hundredth time and tempering hopeful expectations can run its toll on a person.

It’s exhausting, energetically consuming and often disappointing.
Imagine if each time you met someone new, it turned into a cool adventure.

Here are two things you can do on a first date to ensure that you have a meaningful experience and a fun time no matter what: 

First, think outside of the box when you plan your first date.
Instead of playing it safe with perfunctory ‘drinks’,  why not think about doing something that you genuinely like to do – something that you would do for yourself anyway on the weekend or even on a week night? Dying to see the Cindy Sherman exhibit at the Broad? Invite him to go.
Do you always get a hike in on the weekends? Make that your first date. Dreaming of going paddle boarding in the Marina with someone? Do it. Does a bike ride relax you? Suggest that for a first date. By planning an activity that you love or something that you’ve been meaning to explore, you are not only showing your date that you’re creative and thoughtful but you’re essentially ‘folding’ them into the rhythm of your life which makes you look more interesting AND if things don’t click with your date, you’ve still managed to do something you were planning on doing anyway. Less pressure, more fun. Win-Win! 
Second, let go and let your genuine side show.
It’s normal to have your guard up when you meet someone new for the first time. Everybody wears armor in the dating world. But if you want to have a more appealing experience, choose real over superficial.  Feeling nervous? Say so.  Do you take time to warm up? Admit it. Are you bad at first dates? Confess!  Own your story upfront so you can create room for more authentic sharing.  Being honest and real is disarming. Ask your date interesting questions that reveal their character (instead of straight up interview questions) like….What’s your most treasured memory? What’s your biggest accomplishment so far? What surprising quality do you possess?  What do you value most in life? Or ask them to sum up their life on a bumper sticker. Keep it entertaining, creative and sincere.

Vow to connect on a deeper level with your dates and notice the quality of your experience become more fulfilling every time.


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Four Things You Can Do To Have an Edge in Dating Now

Four Things You Can Do to Have an Edge in Dating Now
It starts with Go. The.  Extra.  Mile.  Here are four simple truths in dating that will immediately change your experience for the better:
1.  Looks matter. If you’re the type of person who says ‘this is me, take it or leave it’, we’re talking directly to you. That’s just lazy and rigid. Just because your friends are sporting a certain look (long hair / beards / love handles / oversized shirts) doesn’t mean it looks good on you. Change it up once in awhile (now). There’s always room for improvement. As shallow as it seems, you are being judged. There’s fierce competition out there so bring you’re ‘A’ game so that YOU feel more confident, which is the best look anyway.
2.  Being prepared is half the victory. We keep meeting singles who are completely unprepared for dating. They’re not sure what they want in a partner, or they’re unaware of the ‘rules’ of dating or how to be interesting on a date or show that they’re interested, etc... Think about what you’d like someone to know about you (what are five things / experiences that define who you are?) and figure out how you’re coming across (Needy or confident? Aloof or warm? Professional or relaxed?) and modify your behavior, if needed.  Have some great questions to ask. Being a good conversationalist is so attractive.
3.  Manage your mind, manage your love life. A lot of singles have the wrong mindset when it comes to dating. There are lazy daters, bitter daters, non-daters, needy daters, over-the-top-daters, etc…Most people just want to get it over with, few actually enjoy the process. The definition of adventure is ‘participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises’.  Approach your dates with a spirit of adventure and you will shift the energy immediately. Temper your expectations and vow to have a good time and find a point of connection with your date.  We tend to find what we look for; so look for the good.
4. Live an interesting lifeMost people cannot answer the question:  “what’s interesting about your life?” Working hard at your career and making money does not make an interesting life. One or two trips a year doesn’t cut it either. The small choices you make in your daily life determine the overall quality of your life. You can tell immediately who has fun, passion and play in their life and who doesn’t.  Learning new perspectives, saying yes to new experiences, connecting with more people, asking questions and keeping your eyes, ears and heart open paves the way for a more interesting life. How can you build more meaning in your life?

Top 8 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting A Second Date

8 Common Dating Mistakes
Dating is tricky. You show up, try to connect, share a little and say goodbye. Then what?!
You just spent two hours with a stranger and have no idea what will happen next. If you want to tilt the odds in your favor and get a second date, avoid these eight common mistakes:
1.  You talk too much and don’t ask questions. Successful men are often accused of doing this. If you’re talking the entire time, there’s no room to build a connection. The point of a date is to exchange information and share. Show your interest by asking questions. Even if you’re neutral about your date, it’s still an essential conversational skill to have and you may be surprised by what you learn from the other person.
2.  You come across as awkward and uncomfortable. If you’re not great at first dates, practice the art of conversation with close friends first.  And be honest. It’s very disarming (and charming) when someone starts a date with “Bear with me, I’m horrible at this” or “Give me a few minutes to find my mojo.” A sense of humor goes a long way.
3. You’re not fun. Ouch! Well, are you? Fun means you laugh easily; you’re light-hearted and don’t take things so seriously.  It means you’re engaging and have interesting stories. You’re flexible, spontaneous and playful. Fun is sexy.
4.  There’s too much, too soon. First dates should last 1-2 hours max. You should leave when the energy is high. People feel like they have to know everything about the other person all at once.  What’s the beauty in that? Build a little anticipation of what’s to come.
5.  You come across as rude or high maintenance. People forget that they’re complete strangers when they’re on a date and that they’re being observed in a hundred different ways.  How you treat other people around you is quite significant and telling, including the hostess/ waiter/ bartender/valet. Even how you order your food is being noted. Men always comment on these things.
6.  There’s no real connection. Having no chemistry means that you’re just not attracted to the person; but having no connection could simply mean that you didn’t ask the right questions.  Tapping into somebody’s emotional center breeds a certain closeness. Starting with just-the-facts is fine but you should gradually pose a few interesting questions that will reveal more about your date, like “What do you like most about yourself?”  Or “Name three things you can’t live without” or “What’s your idea of a perfect day?”
7.  You try too hard and it shows. If you’re constantly asking yourself “Does he/she like me?” your date will be over before it even began. This need for validation is a huge turn-off.  Try to focus your intention ONLY on enjoying yourself, enjoying your date and having a fun time.
8. You have no idea how to close. (For men) The date is about to end, you get nervous and act like a goober. Take the lead and let her know that you’re interested in her. If you want to take the pressure off to make something happen at the end, try to let her know during the date (when you have good momentum) that you’re enjoying her and “we should do this again…”  Or end with “I had a great time and would love to see you again. Could I call you this week to set something up?” Then do it.
                                                                       

The BEST Eight Ways to Meet the Love of your Life This Year

The Best Eight Ways To Meet The Love of Your Life This Year

The Best Eight Ways To Meet The Love of Your Life This Year

Another year has gone by and you still have not met your ‘person’. You’ve either not made dating a priority or you’ve chosen the wrong people or you have no idea how to attract the right ones.  Whatever the challenge, you owe it to yourself to do something different.

Here are 8 things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor to meet your mate in the new year:

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1. Upgrade your appearance. Choose one thing to modify or improve.  It could be something as simple as a new hairstyle, growing a beard or hiring a trainer; or even changing your entire wardrobe, getting a shot of botox or whitening your teeth. Do whatever it takes to get that extra spring in your step. Confidence is sexy.
2. Be loud and clear about your intentions. Tell everyone (friends, family, colleagues, the Starbucks barista) that you’re single and would like to meet someone. Ask them if they know anyone.  They may not have access to your soul mate (or they may!) but it will get you out there and help you understand what you want or don’t want.
3. Throw a dinner party where everyone has to bring a single friend.  It works best when nobody knows the person (as if you’re introducing a ‘new recipe’ that everyone is curious about). New connections will expand your social network and increase your chances of meeting someone.
4.  Respect the Rule of Three. Most singles have a long list of what they want in a mate; few know what they really need. Streamline your list and whittle it down to the top three qualities that you need to thrive in your ideal relationship. What do you truly need to go the distance?
5.  Accept that compatibility is overrated. John Gottman (founder of The Gottman Institute) says “how a couple interacts is the single, most fundamental aspect to creating a successful relationship. It’s not who you are or what you do that will help you find the perfect mate. It’s how you speak to each other, how well you get along, and how you move through time together”. In other words, YOU create compatibility so stop looking for it right away.
6. Reset your expectations. Most matchmakers will admit that their toughest clients are the ones with unrealistic expectations.  If you keep running into the same patterns, it has everything to do with you. Are you choosing to be with people who are ready and capable of building a relationship with you? It’s pretty easy to figure out. People always show you who they are in due time.
7. Live the life you want to live NOW. Too often singles talk about all the fun things they would do with their life if they were in a relationship. Don’t wait to build an interesting life.  If you’re not out there having fun, being active, cultivating your social life or indulging in your passions, the chances of you meeting someone is low. If you don’t’ think you’re worth it, why would anybody else?
8.  Hire a professional.  You’re busy building or running a company. You don’t have time to date or you’ve tried online dating and it’s been a nightmare. You’re ready to meet The One but have no time or energy to commit to the process. Consider hiring a matchmaker. Their (our) job is to make dating easier for you and find you what you’re looking for by selecting the best from all of the rest in a confident, elegant manner.

Here’s to a supreme ’17! The best is yet to come….


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Don't Waste Your Best Asset in Dating

Don’t Waste Your Best Asset in Dating


Don’t Waste Your Best Asset in Dating
The holidays are a wonderful time of year to reflect on and be thankful for our relationships.
It can also be a time to contemplate what may be missing from them.  As we quickly approach a new year, there’s no better time to decide on what you want moving forward. Since time is our most precious asset in dating, it’s important to consistently ‘clean out the closet’ (aka rid ourselves of unhealthy people, relationships and attitudes) to make room for something spectacular.
Right before I met my husband, I had an aha-moment.  A girlfriend of mine asked me a question that ultimately changed my life:  where are your exes now?  As I started to think about my past relationships and where they were in their lives, I was nearly mortified to realize that not one of them were married. At the time, I was a ripe 35 year-old and some of my exes were already in their forties.  Two things dawned on me. Either I was not dating the ‘marrying type’ OR I was just not interested in settling down. After much deep reflection on what attracted me to my old boyfriends, I realized that I was choosing ‘rollercoaster love’ over solid, mature love. Qualities like fun, spontaneity, charm and adventure were more important to me than emotional maturity, kindness, stability and integrity. I just wanted to hop on the rollercoaster and see where it took me. Carpe Diem! was my go-to phrase.  When I finally got clear and understood that I really did want to find my husband and build a strong, healthy relationship, the universe tested me.  I had just started dating a musician. In my heart, I knew that the music would always be ‘the other woman’ and there was little chance of building a solid relationship together. So I left. With no prospects in sight, I held onto the belief that I would eventually find someone who adored me, could laugh with me, charm me and build a beautiful life together.   And five months later, I did.
I share this story to encourage you to pay attention to your choices. We all have a long list of ‘wants’ but few of us really know what we need.  Sometimes we need to stop, get off the roller coaster and really dig deep to make sure that our relationships are giving us what we truly need. Always look for qualities that endure the test of time and challenges.
If you really want a healthy, long-lasting relationship, choose someone with whom you can build something solid together, who respects, supports and adores you and above all, has integrity. Or else you may find that once the ride stops, you’re left with wind-blown hair, a fun experience and little else.

Always Stuck in the Friend Zone?

Always Stuck in the Friend Zone?

(Here Are Three Ways to Make Sure You’re Not Anymore)
It happens. A lot. You go on a few dates with someone. Things seem to be going well. You enjoy each other’s company. Slowly but surely, you start getting hopeful:  could this be The One?  Your confidence starts to build and…. BAM! You get the call (or text / email) that blows it all apart:

“You’re such a great person; I really like you …I just feel more of a friendship growing…” 

Ouch! What happened?
Of course, you cannot make someone feel “IT” for you but there are certain things you can do to try to stay out of the Friend Zone. Start with these three:
First.  Stop “hanging out”. Keeping it too casual and friendly will almost always guarantee that things stay in the friend zone. Men need to plan romantic dates or at least dates where she can dress up and feel feminine like she’s being courted. This does not have to be elaborate or fancy; even just a quiet, charming wine bar sets the tone.  And Ladies, let him run the show. At least in the beginning. If he asks you what you want to do, don’t fall for it. Be demure and say “I’m in your hands” or something that conveys you’re up for whatever he chooses. No, it’s not playing games; it’s encouraging men to lead and engage in their masculine power so that women can trust and receive so that her femininity shines through.
Second. Even though you feel a great initial connection, try not to get too comfortable with sharing your shortcomings too soon. This means keep your financial challenges, crazy exes, family issues, job instability, former substance abuse, etc... on the down low. Getting to know someone takes time and since we all have a chapter (or two) that doesn’t need to be read aloud, keep bringing your best as you build a real foundation (that can weather the future storms).
Third.  Don’t be afraid to lean in a little, literally and figuratively. In our culture, people are extremely careful about being appropriate and not too forward. Dating is the best time to flirt and seduce with your personality, body language, playful teasing and sensuality.  Being too PC is not sexy. Being too much of a gentleman will relegate you to the friend zone. Being too ‘perfect’ with that mask tightly fastened does not promote intimacy. Be respectful of course, but beware of playing it too safe (or slow) or else your date will be wondering if you’re interested in romance or if it’s just a friendship.   
Being confident in your masculinity and embracing your womanhood is the first step to igniting the flame of romance. Keeping the flame ablaze is a little like dancing the tango.

It’s about power and vulnerability. Speeding up, slowing down, and taking a pause.






Monday, September 12, 2016

Ten Signs You’re Not Ready for a Relationship


Ten Signs You’re Not Ready for a Relationship
1.  You’re not willing to drive across town to meet someone for a drink. That’s lazy dating! Nobody enjoys LA traffic but if your initial reaction is resistance and wanting only to meet someone in your zip code, it’s evident that you are not in the right mindset for a relationship. 
2.  Your idea of communicating with someone whom you’ve just started seeing is constant texting and checking in but not making yourself available to see them. Big red flag when someone calls you and you text back instead.
3.  There’s a chip on your shoulder and you can be heard saying “all men / women are….…” If you’re using unsavory adjectives to describe the opposite sex, you’re on the road to becoming bitter and it will be apparent to whomever you meet.
4.  You’re always waiting for something better to come along. Thanks to online dating, singles know there’s always an abundance of people from which to choose. But if you’re worried that you’re missing out on the quantity of what’s available, you may never be in the right mindset to recognize when you have a quality person in front of you.
5. You keep finding yourself with the same (disappointing) type of person.  Allowing yourself to get involved in ambiguous and confusing relationships means you’re not clear on what your standards are and the value and worth of commitment. Change your approach, change your results.
6. Your green light is off. Most singles who want to meet someone are completely unapproachable. They give zero signals that convey they’re open and available. There are a lot of opportunities for you to be more connected with the world around you. Hide your phone, make eye contact and smile, for starters.
7.  Your job is your lover. This is a conscious choice. “I work a lot now because there’s nobody special in my life” is a safe excuse but the wrong approach. Carve out time for social activities, creating fun and getting out of your comfort zone (work). You have to be in it to win it.
8.  Your Must-Haves are longer than your Like-Haves.  Rigidity will dampen all chances of meeting someone special and leaves no room for you to be blown away by someone who’s not your ideal type. Unless you’re George or Gisele, get real with your expectations.
9.  You’re unprepared. You approach dating in a half-a** way, getting half-a** results. Being clear on what you’re looking for and how you’re coming across is important. An open, fun attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
10.  You’re constantly traveling for work and have no time to actually build a relationship with someone. Sure it’s your job and you have “no choice” – keep telling yourself that. You get to choose how to spend your time on this earth and that includes the type of career you have.

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