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.

Cut through the BS and Start Dating like this!

Cut Through the BS and Start Dating Like This

Dating is exhausting for most people. The high hopes, disappointments, effort, ‘rules’, white lies and currency (physical and emotional) it requires can be draining. But please don’t give up on yourself. Sometimes a simple shift in your perspective and approach will make all the difference.

 If you want to cut through the bull**** and have a more refreshing dating experience, do this:

Be transparent. The more clear you are about who you are and what you value, the more clarity you will get back in your personal experiences. Always. Being honest from the start will pave way for a more authentic relationship. Transparency breeds trust, the foundation of every relationship. You will immediately weed out the amateurs or players and take dating to a new level.
Be cool.  Being easygoing and flexible is very attractive. The first few dates should continue to be light, fun and intriguing with a few more layers being revealed each time. We had a couple who hit it off on their first date but nearly ended it on their second. The woman had high expectations in terms of the quality of the date. She wanted to be picked up, expected the restaurant and film to be pre-selected and well thought out. The gentleman, however, was feeling spontaneous; he happily picked her up but thought it would be fun to decide on things together and see where the evening took them.  She interpreted his not being prepared as not caring or being invested. He interpreted her expectations (and ribbing) as high maintenance and thought a second date should just be about getting to know each other better. Both were right; both lost in the end. He did not want a third date with her.
Don’t play games. If you want a grown up relationship, stop playing games. Buck the rules. Make your own. If you like her, ask her out right away. If you like him, don’t wait to text him back. The more adept you are at ‘being real’, the quicker your relationship will take off. And don’t listen to the peanut gallery around you. Even though your friends seem to ‘have your back’ they are all bringing their own experiences (some negative) to the table when giving you advice. Follow your heart. Only YOU know what you’re truly feeling when you’re with your person. Trust that.
Be kind. Remember that people are doing the best they can. You do not know what kind of day, month or year someone is having. So don’t be quick to judge; be quick to show kindness. This should be the #1 quality you look for in a mate. Sharing your life with a kind person is like winning the lottery every day.

Six Simple Ways to be Confident on a First Date

Do you feel anxious, awkward or exhausted when you think about going on a first date?

Here are six tried-and-true tips to have confidence on your date and get through it with ease, fun and grace:
1. Make it your mission to have fun no matter what. This should be your #1 goal. Levity and laughter are irresistibly attractive. Hopefully, you’ve done a little recon on the front end to know if there’s enough of an initial connection with the person you’re about to meet so you’re more relaxed and positive.
2.  Be Prepared. Have a handful of interesting questions ready. The best ones are those that give insight into someone’s personality. Try these:  http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2000/01/proust-questionnaire and be prepared to answer them as well. And it never fails to ask them to talk about something they love.
3.  Tell yourself that you’re just meeting your best friend’s brother/sister who are visiting LA for the first time. Low expectations and zero romantic pressure create an authentic level of connection and playfulness. Lower the stakes.  Actually, there are NO stakes – you are just showing up, being friendly and there to have a good time. (Our clients swear by this method!).
4.  Don’t make it a first date.  Choose an experience or situation where you feel the most confident or relaxed. The key is to roll your date into a plan you were going to do anyway so that it feels more organic and less pressure-filled. For example, instead of meeting for drinks or dinner, bring your date to the art opening you need to attend. Invite him/her to ride bikes on the beach with you. The purpose of a first date is not to see if you can check all the boxes; it’s to check how youfeel in the presence of the person.
5. Stop caring so much about what your date thinks of you. Everyone wants to make a good first impression but if you’re paralyzed by the fear of how you’re coming across, you’re essentially conveying this message “I am seeking your approval. I don’t already know that I’m a great catch so I need you to validate that I’m worthy of you” Total turn-off.
The best way to shift that mindset is to start asking yourself “I wonder if this person has what it takes to make me happy?”
6.  Make plans for immediately after the date. This sets a time limit and less pressure on you if things aren’t going so well.  It’s easier to go on a date knowing that no matter what, at x’ o clock, you have to leave and go do something else. (If the date’s going really well, even better; leave them wanting more and you’ll have a lot to look forward to on the next date).
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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:

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.