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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Are You Guilty Of Being A Distracted Dater?

Are You Guilty Of Being A Distracted Dater?

People are running so fast these days; overwhelmed is the new state of mind. Most of us live inside our heads instead of in the moment.

Living our lives online instead of offline is normal (and sad). Everyone is too preoccupied with their stuff to notice what’s happening right in front of them.
Being a ‘distracted dater’ is such a waste of time.
There’s a new-ish dating culture we dubbed “Generation Next”. Nobody wants to miss out on the next best thing – the taller, thinner, better, brighter, hotter version of whomever is sitting in front of them. Next! Online daters are getting a false sense of power—it’s so easy to pass on someone’s profile -- and time. Singles spend so much time texting and emailing strangers while pretending to get to know them as they simultaneously continue meeting more (better?) strangers online that they text and email… Suddenly because their plate (inbox) is full, they feel like their dating life is overwhelming when in fact, they have not actually MET A SINGLE PERSON.
We come across a lot of singles who hold on tight to their ‘ideal partner’ which actually serves to keep them safe and away from real relationships because their standards are completely unattainable. It’s not to say he / she isn’t out there, it just becomes a very limiting, disappointing and time-consuming experience while they’re waiting.

Having choices is great and not wanting to settle is normal but a ‘keep ‘em coming’ mentality will leave you exhausted and distracted.

People often say “it’s a numbers game”. We disagree. It’s not about the quantity of people you meet, it’s about the quality. Unless you need a ton of dating experience to understand what you want and don’t want, the truth is, it just takes one.
The million dollar question is: how good are you at quieting the meaningless noise around you and recognizing when you have someone special in front of you?
Being in the right dating mindset means being available and interested (and interesting!). It means looking for connection instead of rejection or appreciation for who the person is instead of expectation of who you want them to be.
If you can’t slow things down enough to be present in your love life, you’re not ready to date.

Can’t meet anyone because you’re “super picky”? Don’t worry, you won’t.

Can’t meet anyone because you’re “super picky”?

In our business, we meet many new clients who proudly begin with: “I’m suuuuuper picky” as a badge that explains why they’re single. In their mind it means that they have high standards and aren’t willing to settle but in reality, they most likely have unrealistic expectations that are rooted in fear and insecurity. They may think it’s about quality control, but ultimately it’s about control – and not losing it.
Romantic relationships require vulnerability. That’s scary for most people. Nobody wants to get hurt but there’s no guarantee that you won’t be. Constantly looking for or “picking” at their prospective date’s flaws is a perfect strategy to keep people away and keep them “safe” from the emotional exposure a relationship brings. The irony is that super picky people are secretly fearful of being judged for their own shortcomings or weaknesses. Oftentimes, our “proud and picky” clients will start the conversation with “So my type is …” In which we gently remind them that their type has clearly not been working for them since they’ve hired us. Our goal is to encourage them to pay attention to what qualities they’re placing a high value on and what important qualities they may be overlooking.

Here are three things super picky people can do to let go of their limiting beliefs and start giving more people a chance:

1. Look for the good. Focus on what you like about someone and commit to being open and curious about who they are. There’s a reason why we encourage 2-3 dates before a client makes up their mind. Sometimes it takes more time for an amazing connection to emerge. Shallow qualities have an expiration date so make sure you’re not holding on too tightly to your ‘ideal’ so that you leave room for someone else to come in and knock your socks off.
2. Get brutally honest with yourself. Often, extremely picky people have been deeply hurt by a past relationship. Or they’re carrying insecurities from their childhood or high school or from a highly critical parent. Dig deep and be loving with yourself. Everyone has experienced rejection. It’s a human condition. You are not alone. But you will be if you keep yourself so protected and closed off to the possibilities.
3. Enlist your close friends. Let them know that you’re working on being more open minded and less quick on the draw to say “NEXT!” so that they can support you and call you out if need be. Having people you trust who keep you accountable will help you notice your patterns and hopefully shift them.

There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, just make sure you’re not hiding behind inaccessible expectations that keep you isolated from what you really want.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Three Things NOT To Do After A Good First Date

Three Things NOT To Do After a Good First Date

Matchmaking is incredibly rewarding. To hear “you’re so good at what you do” or read a text that says “Bulls eye!” or simply “!!!” right after a first date gives us goose bumps.

Even though we’re very thoughtful and thorough when we introduce people to each other, there’s really no telling if both people will feel a spark. It’s completely elusive…and intoxicating. So when it does happen, people are really excited to see the other person again and they sometimes forget a few basic nuances.

Here are three ways singles can get tripped up after a good first date:

Having unfair expectations.
Most people lead very busy lives. This doesn’t change after they meet you. Even if there’s serious chemistry, they still have responsibilities, deadlines, friends, family, booked vacations, etc., that need to be looked after. People tend to make snap judgments though. We’ve heard: “It will be another two weeks before she can meet me for a second date; she must not be serious about dating”. Or “I left her a voicemail and she texted me back. She must not be interested”. Or (after a ‘home run’ first date) “she’s leaving for vacation for a few weeks; what’s the point of a second date when I won’t see her for awhile?”
These judgments are made after spending a nice 2 – 3 hours with a stranger.
If there’s a spark, you’re halfway there. Give someone the benefit of the doubt and try not to take things so personally. Just because timing is initially a challenge doesn’t mean that someone is not interested or playing games. They. Had. A. Life. Before. You.
Forgetting to Feel More and Think Less.
Approaching first dates with a sense of adventure is tantamount to having an interesting, engaging experience. There’s a lot of over thinking and over judging, too. Unfortunately, first dates (or relationships for that matter) do not come with guarantees. Decide NOT to decide if you want to have a relationship with the person and just connect, have fun and try to reserve judgment (everyone is flawed). And if you’re unsure, explore. The core of dating is wrapped in discovery and understanding what you feel when you’re with the person.
Overlooking their date’s sense of timing.
Sometimes the spark can be slow to show for one person while the other person feels more immediately. Usually this creates a bit of neutrality in the person who’s not sure which means they’re not chomping at the bit for a second date BUT have committed to one to see if things can grow. This does not mean they’re disinterested, it simply means they need more time to understand their feelings which they’re open to exploring. (A very healthy dating approach). Be tenacious! We’ve facilitated and encouraged many “neutral” first dates that have turned into beautiful, successful, long-term relationships. 
Chemistry doesn’t always hit at the same time.

Why Dating Like You Travel Will Be A Game Changer


Why Dating Like You Travel Will Be A Game Changer

We work with so many single professional clients who travel a lot for their career or pleasure.

They all typically remark about how often they meet interesting singles while traveling either at the airport, hotel bars or on holiday. They always seem perplexed as to why this happens. “How come it’s easier for me to meet someone when I’m traveling than in my own backyard?” they ask. Simple. You’re not “you”. Let me clarify; you’re a different you. A lighter, less stressed, more engaging and connected you. A better version of you. A “you” that is interested and interesting.
If you could date like you travel, you would not only have more fun but you would attract more people to you. Being fun and having fun makes you more attractive. Being more attractive makes you a magnet. Being a magnet means you’re killing it with the opposite sex. Which means you have a lot of choices.

Apply these four “date like you travel” principles on your next date and you will feel a remarkable difference in your experience:

1. When you first arrive in a new place, you automatically feel more enchanted, open and aware of your surroundings. Your curiosity grows and shows. Your “green light” is beaming. These are all qualities that make you extremely attractive in the dating world.
2. It’s natural to have a strong desire to engage when you travel to a new place. You want to learn about the country’s people, their culture, history, etc.. A deep need to connect is an essential ingredient in dating.
3. You reserve judgment. Hopefully when you travel, you don’t expect the same experience that you’re used to in your own country. The joy of traveling is experiencing a new perspective that you embrace wholeheartedly. Same with dating. Each potential date is like new terrain to discover with an open mind. Be willing to really see who the person is and don’t expect perfection.
4. You are not attached to the outcome. When you travel for pleasure, you have no expectations. You’re not doing it for any reason other than exploring something different, expanding your horizons, getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new pleasures. You have no agenda other than to enjoy your precious time moment to moment. That is the only way you should be approaching your dating experience. Like a meaningful adventure, not a means to an end.

As Henry Miller said: “One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

Seven First Date Mistakes Men Can Avoid

We respect single men so much. Especially for having to keep up with today’s mystifying mating mores. Men have to do all of the heavy lifting -- approaching, attracting, courting, organizing, maintaining -- in the beginning. (Perhaps it’s better to say they should be doing these things).


Here are a few things men should not be doing when they’re going out on those first few dates:

1. Looking shabby. Apparently this means different things to different people so we’ll spell it out: look like you made an effort. Women notice your shoes, (un)ironed shirt, hair style, hands, etc. It’s cool to want to make an excellent first impression wherever you go. Women love a man who’s “put together” and well groomed.
2. Being too nice. Being nice is a lovely quality. Only being nice doesn’t make a woman fall for you. Women like a challenge just as men do. So don’t just be nice, be other things, too. Confident, funny, intelligent, spirited, principled, charming and interesting go a long way.
3. Lacking confidence. Masculine energy is all about strength, purpose and having a mission in life. Feminine energy is about being open, soft and receptive. Confidence can override height, economic stature and educational status. A woman will choose an average-looking man with a high confidence level over an above average-looking guy who’s insecure. The more confidence you exude, the safer and more comfortable she feels (which means higher feminine energy for you to enjoy).
4. Being unprepared. (Aka, boring). Have funny or meaningful stories ready to share. And don’t forget about asking interesting questions! It should never be all about you. Taking a few minutes to actually think about how you want to come across or what you’d like to convey is smart. What makes you stand out from the rest?
5. Failing to show your “rock star” side. If you're not rocking your own world or have yet to create a stellar or exciting life for yourself, why should she be attracted to you? What makes you alluring is the set of images you’re sharing about your life which incidentally should be a little more fun and exciting than hers. Talk about your experiences, not your stuff.
6. Playing it too safe. Don’t be afraid of emphasizing your masculinity. Flirting and creating appropriate “sexual tension” between you and your date is normal and healthy (Just ask the Italians!). Sexuality is a beautiful part of who we are. Being flirtatious is an indirect, fun and playful way to show someone you’re interested in them. Playing it too safe may land you in the friend zone .
7. Trying to convince her to like you. You cannot convince a woman to feel differently about you with reasoning or trying too hard. If she doesn’t “feel” it for you, no amount of calculated effort will work. Preserve your dignity and try not to take it too personally. Every “no” will bring you closer to the “YES!” you’ve been waiting for.

And if all else fails, just be memorable.

This Valentine's Day Give Yourself The Gift of Clarity

This Valentine’s Day Give Yourself The Gift of Clarity
Whether you’re single or not, do yourself a favor: forget Hallmark for a second and dig deep.

By asking yourself these essential questions, you may discover the key to your own heart:

• Am I unhappy being single? If so, ask yourself why.
• What do you think a relationship can bring you?
• Are your expectations realistic?
• Do you secretly believe it will solve all of your current “issues”?
• Are you preventing Mr. /Ms. Right from coming into your life?
• Are you choosing emotionally unavailable people who are wasting your time?
• Are you doing anything to change your current situation of being single?
• Do you keep choosing the same types (and expecting there to be a different result)?
• Are you holding onto limiting beliefs (“there’s nobody out there for me”)?
• Or unhealthy thoughts (“all men are dogs; all women are shallow”)?

Now’s the time to talk with your closest (and hopefully brutally honest) friends about their observations of your dating life. Sometimes we do not see things clearly when we’re so close to them. The right friends (read emotionally healthy) will be able to provide valuable insight if you’re ready to hear it.
Oh and “they need to fit in with my friends” is a limiting belief that should never be a prerequisite. You’re not trying to build a meaningful life with your friends; they have their own lives. Your relationship should be your top priority; the right friends will understand and support that. Friends will come and go but your relationship is meant to last. Why does your friend’s opinion matter so much anyway?
These are all attitudes that keep you tucked into your sweet comfort zone (party of one?).
…And if you’re in a relationship, take stock of your current situation.

Slow down long enough to ask yourself these basic questions:

• Am I happy with my partner?
• Do I feel safe?
• Does he / she really see me and support me to be the best that I can be?
• Do I feel fulfilled?
• Can I see them being the mother / father of my children? (if you want kids)
• Are we actually building something together or are we just hanging out?
Checking in with ourselves consistently is our personal responsibility. Make sure your precious time is spent with the right person.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

May the “sweet nothings” you hear be genuine and fulfilling.

A New Approach to Dating in '16

 A New Approach to Dating in ‘16

It’s pretty amazing that you can tap your computer to find a mate in a matter of seconds.

The convenience and speed of online dating is intoxicating.

Of course it can also be overwhelming, time consuming and a little weird, depending on whom you ask. The fact that it’s such a popular option in today’s career-drunk, time swept culture is convenient for many. But it’s not for everyone.
If you’re looking for a new approach to dating this year, you may want to consider pursuing your love life in a more mindful manner. Start with a few simple steps. Take your time, notice any unhealthy patterns, and be more aware of the impressions and impact you leave on others. Mindful dating also requires ‘discerning the trivial many from the essential few’ so your precious time is spent with quality people in alignment with who you really are.
Here are three key ways to experience more mindfulness in your dating life:

Strive to always be in the present moment.

This means paying active attention to what’s happening in the “now,” staying out of our head and listening with our heart. It’s so easy to get caught up in our thoughts while we’re on a date that we’re constantly missing the authenticity of a moment. A great way to stay in the moment is to plan an activity that’s fun so that you both get lost in the moment and are fully engaged with one another. There’s no better way to get to know someone than when they reveal their inner child through an activity they thoroughly enjoy. That’s when spontaneous, priceless moments can be revealed. Skip the first-date drinks and do something more interactive instead like a theme park or street fair, bowling or shuffleboard, or a cooking or art class. Showing your capacity to have fun speak volumes about what kind of person you’ll be in a relationship with.

Suspend judgment.

Often in dating, our instant expectations (or disappointments) get in the way of actually accepting how someone is and allowing ourselves to enjoy them for who they are. Not reacting to impulses to judge and letting things (people) be as they are without trying to change them is incredibly powerful. When we let ourselves relax into a moment without being attached to the outcome, we win every time. It may not be evident at first, but the mere act of genuine acceptance is incredibly sexy and will attract like-minded people to you.

Expand your awareness. 

When you choose to date mindfully, you gain priceless insight about yourself. Just the pure act of paying more attention to how you connect with the people around you is worth the shift. When you start getting serious about committing your time and energy towards your love life, you start to see a change but only when you’re willing to change. This begins when you start asking yourself tough questions like: Is there room for improvement in how I present myself and interact with others? Are my choices and behavior in alignment with the type of person I’m trying to attract? Am I giving people enough of a chance? Am I looking for someone to date or someone with whom to build a long lasting relationship?
Cultivating these mindful dating practices will hopefully help you enjoy the process of dating with more grace, less struggle, meaningful connections and genuine fulfillment.

DO THIS MORE If You're Ready to Settle Down

DO THIS MORE If You’re Ready to Settle Down
Many people hope that their next date with someone new is going to take them ‘off the market’. They want to be blown away by chemistry. Unfortunately, it rarely happens that way.

The fact is that first dates are awkward which is why we believe in the two date minimum rule.

We have seen a significant number of ‘neutral’ first dates turn into full-on committed relationships. There are a thousand reasons why. Not everyone hits it out of the park the first time. Some people are really guarded and need time to warm up. Or they could be ‘off’ or have had a bad day. Maybe their nerves got the worst of them. Or they’re introverted and come across as aloof. Or there’s a lack of instant chemistry.

Unless it’s a disaster or you’re repulsed, you should definitely consider seeing someone again.

Too many quality people are being overlooked because of (too) high first date expectations. Seeing someone in different surroundings can tell you a lot. Observing how they move and deal with other people is insightful information. Chances are there will be more levity since you got the first date out of the way.
If you’re both athletic, perhaps meet up for a tennis match as a second date. Or if you like the outdoors, go on a walk or hike. If art is your thing, meet at the Getty. How about the zoo? Or driving out to some cool festival? Karaoke, anyone? You will discover a lot about someone when they’re out of their comfort zone or just being in the moment.
And don’t worry about leading someone on by accepting a second date. The whole purpose of dating is to collect as much information as possible (slowly; not in one sitting and in a fun way) so that you can decide if someone is right for you.

Some of our best success stories came out of “on-the-fence” first dates.

One of our favorites is when we introduced a lovely woman in her mid-thirties to a semi-retired doctor who was a bit older but super fit and attractive. He said amazing things about their first date; she was a bit hesitant, questioning the attraction factor. He suggested a hike for the second date. She wanted to cancel. I convinced her to go. You have an hour to lose or a life partner to gain; go explore! I knew she would be able to collect a lot of ‘quality data points’ by seeing the good doctor in another light. (It helped that he was athletic which highlighted his masculinity and led her to the coolest, secret trails).
Of course, she thanked us profusely for “getting me out of my own way”. They’ve been a beautiful couple for almost two years and are talking marriage.
So the next time you leave that first date undecided, consider giving it another chance. You may just be making the most important decision of your life.