Archive for December, 2009
Dating Means Waiting. link to original blog here: http://cupidscoach.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/dating-means-waiting/
Today, my client, Mark is wrestling with his frustration over the lack of a return call from his new Match, Lara. They’ve both studied each other’s Resume and photos, and they’ve both said Yes to meeting. He left a warm voice mail message for her two days ago, and he’s getting anxious over the silence he’s getting back from her. I can see that he’s jumping to some conclusions about why she’s not being responsive.
Yes, it’s holiday time, when I suggest cutting folks extra amounts of slack in the call-back/email-back department. Some of us are more attached to our laptops and cell phones than others, and our usual routines for managing business and personal communications are often disrupted with travel, relatives, and added logistical and emotional wackiness that comes with the holidays. (I know my usual routines are off-kilter at the moment, how about yours?)
In response to the Dating Means Waiting blog, Mark said, “While I agree that patience is essential I also think there is relevance to the ‘she is just not that into you’ school of thinking as well, we often deceive ourselves into thinking someone is busy and that the two of us could really work together, when the reality could be that she’s just not that into me. Both are relevant and they make the perfect Koan that we dwell in; a paradox unresolvable in the mind and only resolvable in real life.”
Well said, Mark! Yes, the paradox is unresolvable in the mind — only resolvable in real life for these two remarkable individuals, both whom I know to be thoroughly scrumptious and sincerely seeking lifelong love – the way to resolve the paradox is through communication – ideally delivered with compassion, respect, and a sincere desire to contribute to the other person, whether this connection will be a momentary passing of ships or a lifetime journey together.
I say, practice patience and practice compassionate communication. Give her another day to respond, and then check in by phone and by email too, as you don’t yet know if she’s a texter, if she checks her home messages while traveling, if she’s always got her laptop with her or if she “goes dark” when she’s away or hosting guests. Avoid at all costs leaving a tone of “pissyness” – which is always a surefire turn-off.
I see dating as an opportunity to practice the very same skills that we need to sustain a loving, healthy relationship:
Patience: taking that extra couple of breaths before blurting out (or texting or emailing or voice mailing) something that might be off-putting or hurtful. Practice reflecting on a troubling issue for a day or two before thoughtfully communicating it.
Compassion: Stepping aside to consider the various points of view that might be her current reality (a bad cold, an inconvenient airport delay, a drama-invested family gathering, visiting relatives, a simple memory slip, or another suitor, who might very well be just a brief distraction)
Happiness: Your sense of fulfillment can only come from within. The more peaceful, calm, upbeat, and happy you are, the more magnetic you’ll be and the greater your ability to attract and sustain love, relationship, and partnership. It’s not easy to do, but anytime you’re finding yourself being anxious or impatient, this is the very moment to practice being happy, unconditionally happy, regardless of who’s doing what or not doing what out there in your world.
While waiting for a response from one or more of your Romantic Possibilities, my suggestion is that you get comfortable with the uncertainty that dating is. Guard against the temptation to guess at or assign a reason, and get busy doing something that lifts your spirits or better yet, do something to life someone else’s spirits.
Always fascinating, often frustrating, and kinda fun too never knowing for sure how a new connection will unfold for two people. !! I guess this is why I never get bored bringing people together.
This particular couple? I’m really jazzed for them to meet. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up!
As a matchmaker and dating expert, the biggest frustration I have is watching GREAT people overlook other GREAT people for what are in my estimation…rather superficial reasons. Here’s a fun little test that will reveal to you the answer to the question, “Am I being too picky?”
Take a look at the last 10 to 20 ‘Candidates’ who’ve crossed your path. People you’ve dated, people you’ve selected through an online service, or just people you’ve met through your world whom you found interesting, attractive, and date-worthy. Go ahead – make the list. And start keeping this list and adding to it into the future. Every person you find date-worthy…write his name on your list. Secondly, note by that person’s name if he/she was also interested in YOU. Did this person pursue you? Was he/she attracted to you? Did this candidate “go for” you?
OK, here’s the tough part. Now you’ve got to do the math. I say, if the percentage of people on your “hot list” who also go for YOU is greater than 50%, then YIPPEE, you’re on track. If, however, a small percentage of your targeted candidates are interested in and attracted to you, then…we’ve got a problem. Tough as it is to accept, if the math shows you that less than 25% of your targeted date-worthy candidates are also interested in you, then it’s possible, um, well, likely actually that you’re being too picky.
What to do about it? You’ve got two choices: 1) Do some serious strategic and proactive marketing to better your chances in our highly competitive romantic culture (join dating services and singles clubs and be proactive, develop your flirting skills, meet lots and lots of people.) 2) Re-evaluate how you are doing your selecting, wrestle with and broaden your search criteria. A general rule of thumb to follow is – if you’re not averaging a better than 50% “Yes Factor” for the men or women you’re targeting, then your matchmaker here says you’re being too selective and limiting yourself too much to be able to expect success.
Homework assignment: Make your long list of the criteria you’re seeking in your mate. Go ahead, brainstorm, and have some fun with it. Then take a long walk and come back to that list. Isolate the Top Three Critical Criteria. Tough? You bet, but so important. Keep this short list handy, and notice that as you go through the dating process it might just change on you. If the guy/gal you’re considering has all three of your Top Three Critical Criteria, then I say, when in doubt, GO FOR IT. Meet this new person. Still in doubt? Meet again. Still don’t know? Meet one more time. We gals have the ability to fall in love over time, for the right reasons. If the CRITICAL stuff lines up, then I’d suggest (and so would your mama) saying Yes to meeting and exploring the possibilities with those who meet your critical criteria. That magical thing called human bonding doesn’t even begin to show up until date number three.
Be willing to stretch on the issues of lesser importance (height, hair issues, age, income, etc. Keep the heart and the eyes open, or heck, blindfold yourself! I often wonder if sightless singles have an advantage in today’s media crazed world. And be willing to be surprised as to whom He or She just might turn out to be!
Are your First Dates a hit-or-miss experience? Or truth be told, maybe more like a hit and run? Let’s look at this together. Are your dates mostly magical or …maybe more like milktoast?
Go ahead — take a plunge — into your 2009 calendar. Make a list of all of the first dates you had this year. And rate each one on a 1-5 scale (1 being Milktoast, 5 being Magical) — You’re doing some research here to determine the answer to the question, “How good a date are YOU?”
Got your list? Great. Lots of 4′s and 5′s on that list? No? Uh oh…if this year’s first dates have been mostly monstrous, then we have to ask a critical question — “Who’s the common denominator with each of these first dates?” Sadly, Darlin’ — YOU were present at each and every one of them. If this year’s dates have been mostly sucky, it’s you who’s likely doing the suckin’…let’s change that.
Remember this — Dating is full of mystery. We can never know for sure if your next first date will be an entree into the love of your dreams or if it will be simply an hour or two spent with a stranger who will remain just that. It’s your time — make it magical no matter what. Here are some examples of first dates that were memorable and anything but a waste of time.
Bill learned from his first call with Kelly that she loved roller coasters, ferris wheels, and cotton candy, so guess where he took her for their first date? Santa Monica Pier. They fell in love on that very first date over air hockey and popcorn.
John’s putting two kids through college and wants to land himself in a loving relationship without breaking the bank in the process of finding her, so he does coffee dates, but…he always graces the table with a gift — a sweet little flower vase with freshly clipped roses from his garden. He rarely doesn’t get a Yes for a second date.
Anna loves the outdoors, but works in a stuffy office Monday – Friday, so she often schedules her first dates over her lunch hour, in the park by her office. She loves providing the environment – Blanket, picnic basket, scrumptious edibles, even a tiny little CD player piping out her favorite music. Each of her dates is magical for her, no matter who He turns out to be. She has lots of suitors…
Sam suggested that he and Veronica have their first date at a dog park — He didn’t even have a dog, but he knew she did, and he thought that including the dog might make the date more fun. It did. They’re blissfully married now, living with that dog and two kiddos in Santa Cruz.
Sarah and Billy’s first date? At a rock climbing gym. Susan and Dirk did a yoga class together, then tea and a stroll at sunset.
In studying her date’s online profile, Robin noticed that he has a passion for fly-fishing, so she stopped by a bait and tackle store to pick up one of those tiny colorful lures for him — As you might imagine, this made a great impression and he instantly lit up with stories from his fishing adventures. Want a passionate man? Tickle his passion and watch him light up.
The lesson? YOU be the one to make sure that each of your first dates is an experience, for you and for the person who is fortunate enough to join you on the ride. This new person you get to meet? It’s a gift, a present that you get to unwrap. Set the stage for the unwrapping, using a little thought and creativity.
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Ken’s my new client. He’s 52, handsome, super smart, funny, accomplished, sincerely seeking relationship — all the good stuff. He met two of my female clients this past week and I was puzzled (and I’ll admit it — just an itty bit amused) when the post date feedback I received from these two women, about the very same man, were so completely different.
Wendy gave Ken rave reviews across the board, saying he was wildly entertaining, such fun company, she said he’s “boyfriend material” and she can’t wait to see him again.
Candice had met the very same man earlier in the week, and took away a completely different impression. She gave Ken low scores in every category and said he was dull, boring, that he was socially inept, that he had bad breath, and she didn’t find him the slightest bit interesting, attractive, or date-worthy. In short, she found him to be yawn-worthy…
Fascinating, isn’t it? Well, as you might imagine, Ken and Wendy are having a second date this morning. Both have emailed me about how excited they are to see each other again – they’re going to the Farmers Market and then they’re having brunch. And well…I just picked up a rather grumpy voice mail from Candice (which she’d left me at 9pm on a Saturday night) saying “Who do you have lined up for me next?”
Candice has fallen into a place of negativity with dating; her kneejerk reaction is to find what’s wrong, vs. what’s right or lovely or admirable in this particuilar man. She’s picking the poor guy apart, being judgmental and critical of her date and on her date, and she doesn’t realize that SHE is creating the problem.
I took a moment to review each of the post-date evaluations that Candice has written and…guess what…Four out of the five she’s sent in to me were also really negative — she lists the shortcomings and faults and she has nothing positive to say. The one guy she really liked was lukewarm in his impression of her, and he didn’t call her for a second date. His post date evaluation of Candice said it all. He said he found her to be “attractive, bright, but negative, a bit of a downer”
Crystal clear, isn’t it? Well, to everyone but Candice.
Are you being a Dating Downer? Here’s how to tell: Take a look back in your dating calendar and for each person you’ve met in the past 6 months, make a list of all the GOOD stuff and all the NOT so good stuff. If you find that your list of negatives consistently outweighs the list of positives, then…uh oh…you’ve become a Dating Downer. I mean, really, think about it. Who’s the common denominator in each of your not-so-great dates? Sorry, Sweetie, but that person is looking at you in the mirror every morning. Is this a happy face? Is this person uplifting, pleasant, magnetic, jazzed-up? Or…um…maybe not so much…
Fortunately, negativity is a Fixable Foible.
If you think you might be turning into Debbie Downer (or Critical Candice) in your dating life, here’s what to do. When on a date discipline yourself to find and see and appreciate fully this one-of-a-kind-special-like-a-snowflake human being whose path you were fortunate enough to cross on this very day. Practice noticing and relishing in what’s good, pleasing, interesting, worthy of respect in this person.
Those of you who’ve listened to my Audio CD set “Navigating the Romantic Marketplace” will surely remember stories about Feisty Frieda Ferman, my fabulous mother-in-law, who is also my company mascot. Frieda is currently 91, widowed after 50+ years of blissful married life, and in the 11 years since she’s been a widow, she’s never been without an adorable and adoring boyfriend. Here’s her secret — Frieda Ferman never says a negative, critical word about ANYone, she sees what’s magical and wonderful in her suitors — she calls it “looking for the donut, not the hole” and well, no surprise…she’s got her guy, Eddie by her side this morning at this very moment. Frieda says, “only boring people get bored.”
If you’re really stuck in a place of negativity about dating, about the opposite sex, I suggest that we put you on a Dating Diet — stop dating altogether for 2-3 months. And get yourself into one of Alison Armstrong’s PAX weekend programs, or just pick up her audio CD set, “In Synch with the Opposite Sex.” She’ll have you learning and laughing all the way back into a healthy perspective. No one wants to date a downer.
Oh, and funny thing about “bad breath” — we all think we’re good drivers, we all think we look younger than our age, we all think we have a great sense of humor, and we all think it’s the other guy who has bad breath. We should all carry breath mints with us, we should use them and we should share them freely. Hey, maybe the folks at TicTac or Altoids wants to be a Cupid’s Coach sponsor…
If you’re single and you wish you weren’t, and not yet registered with us, well then do that right now, right here: http://cupidscoach.com/NewRegister.aspx
If you dont’ have Alison’s CD set, In Synch with the Opposite Sex, pick it up here: http://cupidscoach.com/Item.aspx?ID=6
Upcoming Cupid’s Coach events: http://cupidscoach.com/FutureEvents.aspx
Love on, Folks!