Tuesday, May 8, 2018

One Simple Way to Stand Out on a First Date

One Simple Way to Stand Out on a First Date
We’ve recently started noticing that every time we ask a new client what they like to do for fun, their eyes glaze over. 

Nine out of ten of them cannot answer the question. Most of the time, they say ‘working out, hiking or spending time with friends’.

That’s fine. No judgement here but since we’re in the business of  helping people shine and make a remarkable  first impression as we introduce them to their match, it’s important to consider this:
If you’re not rocking your own world, how do you expect anyone worthy to want to be in it?
We live in a culture where our self-worth is tied to our net worth and living a fulfilling life means being busy. But boring lives attract boring people. Having a variety of interests that go beyond work is super attractive. People want to be around interesting people who are engaged with the world and their own life. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, fun, engaging, attractive person with whom to build a life, start paying attention to how you’re living your own life.

Here are four ways for you to stand out and show that you’re living a fun, interesting and engaging life:

Have good stories ready. If you want to show someone that you’re living an interesting life, have some good anecdotes ready to share. It’s more dynamic to show who you are through stories than statements.  Another great way to be interesting is to ask interesting questions. Like ‘What’s your idea of paradise?’ or ‘What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced on a trip?’ or ‘What’s something surprising about you?’
Be around people who inspire you to live a cool life. Jim Rohn said ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with’.  Are the people in your life interesting, positive, and adventurous who encourage you to explore life?  Or are they judgmental, close-minded and somewhat limiting?  The few who are closest to us have the greatest impact on our way of thinking, our self-esteem and our decisions. So take stock of the value that people add (or remove) in your life. It will greatly influence who you attract.
Be true to what moves you. Saying traveling (or anything else that you do infrequently) is your passion when you barely go on one trip a year for 10 days is a holiday not a passion. If you truly enjoy discovering new places and cultures, start planning more trips or at least research where you’d like to go so that you have something interesting to share. You owe it to yourself to discover what lights your fire. Why else are we here?
Pay attention to your everyday choices. The quality of your life is determined by the choices you make each day. Your lifestyle is about doing what you value consistently. It’s not about waiting for when you’re in a relationship to do cool things. That’s lazy and safe. Start small. Integrate one new or different experience every month. Strive to thrive in your life, not just survive and you will be a magnet for exciting, interesting people who do the same.

Men Dish about the Top 7 Things That Attract Them on a First Date

Men Dish about the Top 7 Things That Attract Them on a First Date

They say men fall in love with their eyes and women fall in love with their ears.

While physical attraction is the first thing that gets them in the door, there are a few other ‘essentials’ that initially captivate men and keep them interested in moving forward  with a woman they just met.

Here are seven qualities that consistently come up for our eligible bachelors (and guarantee them asking for a second date):
  1. FunThis is always #1. A woman who is playful, has a decent sense of adventure and doesn’t take life too seriously is wildly attractive for a man. “She laughs easily and appreciates the little things in life” is a recurring statement.
  2. Positive. Sometimes we hear “She was such a Debby Downer”. Everyone goes through challenging moments in their life where they need to vent but a first date with a stranger is not the place to unload in detail. “A woman who is happy with her life is wife material for me” said quite a few of the gentlemen in our portfolio.
  3. Flexible. “The opposite of high-maintenance. My dream woman loves champagne but she’s also cool drinking a beer with me” declared our European client. Too many rules, a rigid mindset or saying “I hate ….” Or “I can’t stand …..” is a big turn-off for men.
  4. Authentic. Being genuine comes up a lot. Poseurs, name-droppers, label-shamers and over-all superficiality were deal breakers. One gentleman was so turned off when one of the first things his date asked him was “What are you wearing?” (She worked in fashion, but still). Guys don’t care about whom you know either. They only care about how you make them feel during the date.
  5. Kind. This golden quality goes a long way. Men pay attention. They observe how you speak with the wait staff, others around you, on a phone call, etc...If you’re nasty or dismissive with others but turn towards your date with a smile, he will take note. And eventually, take off. “I had a huge checklist before I met my wife. There was only one thing on that list I would never overlook: a genuinely kindhearted person” said Mark, one of our happily married (former) clients.
  1. Smart. “Being intellectually stimulating and having the ability to hold real discussions about meaningful topics will always supersede shallow beauty in the long run” said one CEO of a huge technology firm. According to him, “it’s not about how smart she is or what she knows; it’s more about her curiosity about different topics and her desire to know more”.
  2. Independent. Many men try to steer clear of women who they perceive as“expecting me to go out of my way to entertain her or think of things to do”. They do not want to be a woman’s primary source of entertainment. This sentiment is consistent: “A woman with her own life is incredibly attractive”. Her own life means: her own career, her own set of friends, her own way of thinking and her own dreams.

It’s interesting to note that men seem to be more charmed by how a woman is being than what she is doing.

Four Simple Skills in Dating You Need to Master Now

Four Simple Skills in Dating You Need to Master Now

Dating is sheer torture for a lot of people.

And yet, there are some people who have had consistently good experiences and actually enjoy dating. How so?  With the right mindset. These savvy singles have learned how to approach dating in a very specific way that guarantees they have a great date every time.
Here are four simple skills you can apply to your dating life to have a significantly better experience:
1) Remember it’s more about choosing than being chosen. Successful daters are confident in their value and in presenting themselves authentically that they don’t worry about their date liking them but only about whether they like their date. This is wildly liberating and attractive.
2) Ask yourself this question. Going into a date wondering if the other person may be "The One" puts too much pressure on you, the experience and the other person. Go in with low expectations and instead of speculating if you’re about to meet your soul mate, ask yourself “What can I learn from this person?” Your feelings should stay on that question throughout the entire date. Curiosity is sexy. Tell yourself that all you want from the date is to know the person, hear their story and get their perspective on life. Perhaps you’ll make a life-long friend or valuable business contact or mentor . Or maybe you will never see them again. But with this mindset, it doesn’t matter. It's more about the opportunity to experience a new person and figure out what turns you on –and off—in a potential mate. Finding something interesting in everyone you meet is a choice.
3) Fire your monkey brain. Most people are in their head so much during a date that they are rarely present. How pointless. Dating should be a delicate dance of culling and sharing information; the only way to do that is to listen and be present. How can you fully experience a person if you’re constantly worried about what you’re saying, how you’re coming across or what you’ll say next? RELAX. Instead of focusing on how you think you should be, have the courage to be who you really are.
4) Nip the Negative Nancy’s in your life. There’s never a shortage of friends who love to commiserate with you on your / their nightmare dating stories or lack of available candidates. Don’t perpetuate the crazy. Words have power. If you speak too negatively about your love life for too long, you just may create your very own self-fulfilling prophecy. Try to surround yourself with positive people who are open-minded, encouraging and adventurous. Talk with your coupled friends who are supportive. Listen to their love stories. Say Yes to ALL set-ups and find the silver lining in each of them.
Norman Vincent Peale said “Change your thoughts and you change your world”.

Your happy ending begins with the right attitude. So if you’re going to show up, you may as well shine!

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! https://www.urbansportsla.com/https://www.kickball.com/la
  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. https://agapelive.com/
  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.