Thursday, 17 May 2018

Staying Positive After a Few Bad Dates…

You’ve committed to finding the one and have been out with a bunch of new prospects. Only problem is, you’ve had one bad date after another and now you’re questioning if sitting at home is actually more fun than going out with the most recent date you’ve planned for Saturday night.

When you’re dragged down by hours of looking at dating profiles, messages that don’t go anywhere and one mediocre date after the other, it’s really easy to get inside of your head and fill it with negativity.
Will I ever find the one? Am I just choosing the wrong ones? Isn’t love supposed to be easy? Is something wrong with me?
Sound familiar? As someone who’s been there, I know how it feels to go through those days (sometimes weeks) where you just want to throw in the towel. Don’t be discouraged; while dating is hard, a love worth having takes effort and a positive state of mind.
Here are some tips to help you get back on track.
Find the Lesson in Every Situation
There are no bad dates, there are only dating lessons. You may have not found the love of your life (yet), but you did meet a new friend, potential career opportunity or a person you can call up to share a hobby with. Those are all wonderful reasons to keep dating.
Continuing to date will also teach you more about yourself and what you’re looking for. Perhaps a non-negotiable arises for you or you realize that you need a partner who has more time to spend with you. The more dates you go on, the more in touch you will be with your needs in a partner.
Lean on Your Support System
When you are limited on time, it’s hard to both date and have time for your friends. But spending time with people we already like is a great way to refocus and reenergize our efforts. Call your friends or family and schedule a date with them. Go see a movie or have brunch so you can laugh and be at ease with the people you love.
When you hang with your support system, be sure not to go down the rabbit hole of venting that turns into complaining. Complaining about your relationship status, the men/women you meet, or the horrible dates you’ve been on will only bring more of that into your life. That’s the law of attraction. Instead, really focus on being optimistic.
Reconnect to Your Purpose
There’s a reason you keep going on all of these dates, right? You want a happy and successful relationship. It’s when things get tough that you need to recommit to that purpose.
Get out a piece of paper and start jotting down your purpose. “I want a great partner,” is not enough. Get detailed with your purpose and the life that you see for yourself in a relationship. How would that transform your life from where it is now and why is it important to you? Reconnect to that purpose and recommit to the journey that gets you there.
Add Variety to Your Dating Life
Are the mundane coffee dates and dinners not working for you? Make your next first date an activity that you know you’ll enjoy regardless of whether you and your date instantly connect. Take a painting class, go on a hike, or window shop through your favorite neighborhood. Whatever the activity, just be sure it still allows you and your date time to talk and get to know each other.

Friday, 11 May 2018

How to Tell if She Wants a Kiss

The first kiss can force you into a tailspin of over-analysis, uncertainty and fear of rejection. Once you understand the secrets to smooching, scoring some mouth music will be a minor gamble rather than a major flip-out. If determining the right time for a first kiss is a challenge, follow some of these tested tips to determine your likelihood for affection.

Gauging the Graze
Her responses to your casual touching can speak volumes about her readiness to move forward. The casual sweeping of her shoulders as you help her with her coat, or her response when you brush against her hand in the popcorn bag or touch the small of her back as you guide her to the table provides plenty of clues. If she pulls away at all, then slow down a bit and take some more time. If she smiles, blushes or giggles, then it’s time to prolong your skin contact. Maybe a hand on hers at the dinner table or a steady arm when walking her to the car will be a comfortable next step toward sealing the smooch.
Hug It Out
One way to learn about how a woman feels about you is to assess the hug response. When saying hello or goodbye, keep the embrace short and look for nonverbal feedback. Does she linger a bit and press into you? If so, you might even be able to get the short first kiss in right then. If she seems a little put off—delivers the dreadful double pat on the back or the famed rigid arm hug—then you have a little more work to do in loosening her up and heading toward romance.
Enthusiasm Matters
If she’s interested, her eagerness will show. It’s generally those “in-between” times that will reveal her level of interest, clueing you in to how she feels about spending time with you. It’s generally in the lull between dinner and the movie or during the walk to the car that she has the best opportunity for reasons—or excuses—to end the date and go home. See if she is anxious to continue the date with you. Does she suggest the idea of coffee or a cocktail to extend the evening or is she looking for an opportunity to ditch you?
Asking for Action
A completely personal preference for women is whether they expect to be asked for permission to be kissed. To be on the safe side, you may be better off asking if you aren’t sure. It will be received as a sign that either you’re a respectful gentleman or you’re a wuss. Keep in mind that we’re talking about a simple display of affection. All you’re going to do is kiss her, and the sexiest way to do this is to be spontaneous. This means that if you want her to get excited, you’re going to have to kiss her without asking for permission. Besides, she can always give you the cheek if she’s not into it. As long as her vibe is welcoming and you don’t turn into a lecherous loser, she might appreciate your first move without hesitation.
Timing the Tenderness
Women notice and welcome the romance and timing of making a first kiss special. They love it when it’s memorable and positive but looks as if it happened spontaneously. Find a time when she’ll welcome some sugar but doesn’t necessarily expect it. A good rule to follow is to not plant the first kiss at a conventional moment when your date might be expecting – and guarding against – a lip lock. The end of the date is full of pressure as you stand at her door awkwardly commenting on how the date went, looking at your toes while fighting stomach butterflies and sweaty palms. Instead, pay attention to her cues and try kissing her earlier in the date or not at all.
The key to determining the right time to go in for the kiss is to pay attention to her hints. Not every date has to end with a smooch. Sometimes it’s better to take your time and work up to the passionate peck. The timing and strategy of kissing is not a science, but it will look that way if you are mechanical and rehearsed. When it finally happens, relax, have fun and enjoy one right in the smacker.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Your Dating Image – What You Need to Know

When you go on a date, what will the other person notice?  Will it be your outfit, your hair, your skin, your weight, your physique, your self-confidence, or your interpersonal skills?  You know the answer already: all of them.  If any one of these is drastically out of balance your date might have the wrong impression and the evening could be less than successful.

Some people like to focus their attention on one aspect of their “look”.  In reality however, your image is made up of multiple components, all of which should impress your date as a unit simultaneously.  Your image reflects what you think about yourself and how you feel you should present yourself in social situations.  That’s why it’s extremely important to remember one of the more frustrating and fundamental rules of dating — that someone else’s perception of you will likely determine how that crucial first date will go. 
The outside world is the ultimate judge of how we look.  The good news is that you will be able to reinvent yourself in multiple ways upgrading and highlighting diverse aspects of your image in order to make a total and highly favorable impression.   I don’t want to create the perception that this is all quick and easy, but small changes in several areas can add up to a big overall difference.  As we work through this makeover it’s important to remember that, while outside changes are often considered superficial, they can have a dramatically positive impact on inner traits like confidence, happiness and physical health.
Your image, how the outside world (and your date) sees you, is composed of multiple components of appearance and behavior.  It is often said that a “first impression” is made in the first three seconds.  Moreover first impressions tend to stick with people a long time and you may not be able to undo errors of image at a future time.  People with public personas or very active social lives are usually “all put together” which means that they have thought about and attended to all of these components before leaving the house. By recognizing the aspects of image that create the overall persona, anyone can take easy steps to release their hidden outgoing and charming selves.
There are five components of your physical appearance that partially determine your image.  These are:
1.    Your weight
2.    Your muscular physique
3.    Your hair
4.    Your skin
5.    Your clothing. 
People who try to improve one and not the others usually are unsuccessful.  It may take a little extra time every day to improve and upgrade areas of weakness, but the payoff in terms of magnetic appeal can be tremendous.  Remember that we are not discussing your human qualities, your knowledge base, your inner spirituality, or any other good traits.  Despite the fact that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” or “appearances are deceiving” we are scrutinized carefully by friends, family, and most importantly someone we hope to get closer too.  We all deal with this reality.  I’m sure you are a very desirable person-but I also want you to look and act desirable. 
There are two components of your behavior that also determine your image.  They are your self-confidence and your interpersonal skills, and these are equally or more important than the appearance components we just discussed.  Your self-confidence will reflect a positive attitude that your date will certainly appreciate.  And good interpersonal skills will make the date an especially memorable experience or even more.  These two components of image are learned behavior, and you are capable of mastering and improving these skills at any time.  Why not do it now? 
To get ready for that important date, think of the process as “inside-out, outside-in” reinvention.  This acknowledges the fact that the various components of your image are interdependent.  For example, putting on sexy clothing immediately changes the way you feel about yourself and perhaps even the way you stand or walk.  By making a “superficial” change in your appearance you automatically radiate more self-confidence.  Conversely when you interact comfortably with someone very attractive, your increased self-confidence will motivate you to attend to various issues like clothing, skincare, and weight.  Change must occur therefore in two directions at the same time, so that physical, emotional, and social improvement is thought of as a single unit, not separate problems to be dealt with sequentially.
You should reinvent your image with attention to all seven components of image simultaneously as you look for companionship and love with someone very desirable, someone you may have felt incapable of meeting previously.  The good qualities that you have today will certainly last you the rest of your life.  By adding to them a newly reinvented and upgraded image, you will create the total package that will generate buzz, appeal, and friendship…and maybe even more.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Finding Love: Why You Shouldn’t Give Up

When love has eluded you for so long that giving up seems like the only sensible thing to do—don’t. Here’s why:

“There’s a lid for every pot.” After a painful divorce, Christa fell into a deep depression. The man she married turned out to be abusive and unfaithful. When he finally left, he took with him her confidence that she would ever find a loving, loyal partner. “One day I visited my grandmother,” Christa recalled. “I was sitting in her kitchen feeling sorry for myself while she made dinner. She knew what I was thinking.”
Christa was suddenly jolted by an especially loud clatter as the old woman searched noisily through a cupboard of pots and pans. Finally, she emerged with an ancient-looking cast-iron lid and placed it gently atop a simmering sauce pan on the stove—a perfect fit. “Don’t worry yourself sick, darlin’,” she said to Christa with a wink and a smile. “In God’s kitchen, there is always a lid for every pot. You just have to patiently search for it.”
“I laughed out loud for the first time in ages,” Christa said. “She was right. It was pointless to think there is no one in the whole wide world who would be a good match for me.”
Finding Love
No matter how futile it feels, hope in finding love is never misplaced. A famous general was once asked the secret of his phenomenal success in battle. He replied, “I never retreated.” After a pause, his interviewer commented that this was difficult to believe. “Oh, I sometimes had to ‘advance to the rear,’ but I never ordered a retreat,” the general explained. Then his point became clear: Victory frequently depends upon refusing to accept the possibility of defeat. It matters what you say—and even what you think—about your life. Hopelessness, fed by negative attitudes and ideas, often becomes a self-fulfilling condition.
Don’t think you are a failure at relationships. Say you are training to succeed.
Don’t complain there is no one for you. Say you are searching for a gem of exceptionally rare quality. Don’t consider your time alone as wasted. Say that you are improving yourself so you’ll be an irresistible catch for an irresistible partner.
Clinging to hope isn’t mere wishful thinking. It literally helps create the conditions you need for success. Giving up guarantees failure. Any coach of any sports team knows that the surest way to lose a game is to not show up. Similarly, what are the chances of a tennis player winning the championship if she doesn’t enter the tournament? Or a job applicant getting the prized position if he doesn’t arrive for the scheduled interview? That’s right—zero!
Simply put, there’s no reason you can’t find the love of your life if you hang in there, keep going, and stay persistent. If you want to dramatically increase your chances of “winning” a wonderful partner, start by deciding to never give up.
If you’ve been burned by relationships that went sour, if you’ve grown weary of dates that lead nowhere, if you’re tired of being disappointed, realize that you are not alone. And most of all, resist the temptation to give in to hopelessness. Believe the best about yourself, and then always believe that a delightful partner is searching for you, too.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

8 Reasons Your Online Messages Aren’t Resulting in Dates

There is no denying that it takes true effort to turn online dating messages into face-to-face dates. This process involves opening up, keeping a conversation going (and interesting), asking solid, engaging questions, and having the courage to ask someone out (or say yes). Most importantly, though, getting a date means the person you are talking to must connect with you in some way.
For many online daters, the course from online messages to actual dating has become a mindless, thoughtless experience, an anxiety-provoking adventure, or an incredibly confusing process. It’s natural to be left wondering what went wrong if messaging appears to be going well and the person you are talking to suddenly goes MIA. Was it something you said (or didn’t say)? Is the other person dealing with some baggage or external life event that has nothing to do with you? Could you have done anything differently to ensure the initial spark or level of interest didn’t fizzle? While you don’t have complete control, you can increase your probability of building a connection by ensuring you are sending high-quality messages and avoiding the eight messaging traps below.
Here are eight reasons your messages may not be resulting in dates:
1. You sound cynical or negative.
While it’s smart to be real and you are allowed to state your thoughts on unpleasant weather, for example, sounding like a Debbie Downer interferes with making a positive first impression. Sounding cynical, depressing, or negative deters potential partners from wanting to get to know you as they are likely to assume you won’t add anything positive to their lives and therefore, don’t see the point of getting to know you. Stay away from complaining about life stresses, such as traffic, illness, work, family, politics, and random disappointments in your messages. Keep your tone upbeat and don’t use messages as a platform to air grievances about your life or the world.
2. You are using messages with new potential partners to trash an ex, complain about your dating life, or ask about their online dating experiences.
It can be tempting to bond with a potential partner over the misery you both may feel being single, or the roller coaster nature of online dating, but this is not a healthy foundation to a relationship. Although these topics may seem to be positive for bonding and creating commonalities at first, it’s your best bet to steer clear of any past relationship talk or negativity around your singlehood. Badmouthing an ex or previous date reflects poorly on you, especially in the early stages of messaging or dating when you are still pretty much strangers.
3. You come off as judgmental or insulting.
If you are using snarky humor or cracking jokes early on without a trusting, solid bond, you are likely to come off as offensive and mean-spirited. Or maybe you turn someone off by responding with a comment that sounds more judgmental than validating. Technology can also blur your intentions and lead to misinterpretation if you aren’t careful. For example, you may believe you are giving a compliment, but if you need to type “I hope I didn’t insult you” at any point in your message, it’s a sign you need to rethink your words and make sure you are being kind and open-minded. It is also insulting to reference sex, overly comment on physical appearance, or make judgments about someone based on the little bit of information an online dating profile provides. Instead of being a total jokester or making assumptions or statements as if you know someone, ask questions with curiosity and interest.
4. You are trying too hard to sell yourself, which makes you appear arrogant or desperate.
It’s natural to want to be liked and understood, but too much selling can do the opposite. Using a phrase like, “I am intelligent, successful, handsome, and generous, but you’ll see this for yourself,” is a no-no. Remember there is a difference between sharing your strengths, accomplishments, and personality traits and bragging, boasting, and announcing your successes in a grandiose or snobby way. If your messages sound more like a sales pitch, suspicious, or disingenuous, you are likely to lose dates.
5. Your messages are way too long and overwhelming for the other person to read and respond to.
While it’s positive you are open to communicating and sharing as the means to getting to know someone, sending messages that read like chapters in a novel or ramble on and on, can lead to a lack of replies. These types of messages can scare off a potential partner or leave them wondering how to respond, especially if there is too much information, oversharing, or numerous questions within one message. Aim to be short and sweet and remind yourself that you don’t have to be overly detailed or share your entire life story. Let the connection grow over time. Think layers!
6. You are barely giving the other person anything to relate to or respond to.
If the person you are messaging with is doing all of the work to keep the connection going, they are likely to give up. They might assume you are not interested, ready, or available or purely be exhausted from attempting to get to know you. It’s important to actively engage and ensure you are not making the other person feel like they are pulling teeth to get you to communicate. If you are shy or reserved, it’s better to be upfront and honest about that than to barely give anything in return without explanation. It’s okay to take your time, but also make sure you are actively participating and pushing yourself to be open and communicative.
7. You make scheduling a date with you way too difficult.
Often I hear clients complain when they hit it off with someone online and then ask for a date and the person says yes, but then makes the logistics nearly impossible to coordinate. Or the person doesn’t give a definite yes, but also doesn’t say no, and just ignores the question altogether. This creates mixed messages, confusion, and is likely to cause a potential connection to fizzle. If you want to go on a date, be willing to show motivation and to help plan something, as well as clearly say yes or be honest about your needs (examples — wanting to schedule a phone call first or spend more time over messaging).
8. You are using generic messages or sending identical messages to multiple people.
If the person you’re chatting with feels you simply copied-and-pasted messages, with little effort on your part, it is unlikely you will get a reply. Instead grab his or her attention with a unique subject line that signals you actually read their profile. Also, be aware that friends may compare online dating messages and even consider dating the same person without initially realizing it, so there’s a good chance you will get caught for sending generic messages in big batches. Do your best to make a genuine effort, get comfortable starting conversations about diverse topics, and lead with what you connected to in an individual profile instead of a cookie-cutter message that reads like spam.
Each time you draft a message and before you hit send, reread it to check your energy, tone, language, length, communication style, openness, etc. and assess how your message may feel to the person receiving it. By avoiding the common explanations for not getting dates listed above, you can take control of your part in getting messages and replies, leading to more dates with your ideal matches.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

15 Ways to Get a Closed-Off Person to Open Up

You’ve heard it said many times that communication is crucial for good relationships. Few people would disagree that open, honest communication is important—but that doesn’t mean everyone is willing or able to talk effectively.

So what happens when your friend or love isn’t open and you’re having trouble coaxing the words out? Try these strategies:
1. If this person is a clam, don’t be a crowbar. In other words, prying someone open usually doesn’t work. It will get you nowhere to demand, plead, or threaten. A gentler approach will get you much further.
2. Realize that for many people, being open is scary. Closed-off people are convinced that being vulnerable invites judgment or rejection.
3. Create a safe environment. Getting someone to open up has everything to do with that person feeling safe and secure.
4. Understand that some closed-off people have hidden wounds. A difficult upbringing or past romantic disasters may have contributed to the fear of being open.
5. Recognize that everyone is wired differently. Each person falls somewhere on the continuum of extrovert and introvert, guarded and transparent. This doesn’t mean that someone naturally closed off can’t learn to open up—but it helps for you to understand that person’s basic temperament.
6. Be an ally, not an adversary. It can be frustrating when someone you love refuses to open up to you. Don’t let frustration become another barrier.
7. Express what openness means to you. Say something like, “Our relationship is so important to me. I want to us to have the closest relationship possible.”
8. Take time for togetherness. Many people need time—lots of it—to feel the freedom to open up.
9. Know that nagging will get you nowhere. When we see someone we love struggling to open up, we want to help—and that desire to help can sometimes cause us to nag and nudge. Doing so will only leave you both frustrated.
10. Set the tone. Make sure the context and conditions are right for open communication.
11. Emphasize empathy. Convey to this person that you “get” what he’s saying and you identify with his feelings.
12. Be a “role model.” Verbalize your own thoughts and feelings, and then allow plenty of space for them to do the same.
13. Accentuate affirmation. Any time he or she makes the effort to be transparent with you, make sure y
14. Meet halfway. It’s not realistic or fair to expect anyone to immediately move from closed to totally open. Be satisfied with small steps forward.
15. Employ all of your listening skills. No one is going to be open with you unless he knows he has your full and undivided attention.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Finding Love: 15 Behaviors to Guide You There

Your ability to stay aligned with your goal of a healthy relationship is bound to be put to the test as you navigate the highs and lows of dating. There are times when you may feel the urge to give up, crawl up on your sofa, and never date again. You could feel rejected and let down when someone you like doesn’t feel the same. You will also feel the adrenaline pumping when you meet someone new, and actually hit it off. In a nutshell, dating will test your capacity to stay present, be confident, handle anxiety, be vulnerable, and be patient.

Knowing deep down you want love and companionship, but feeling burnt out by what it takes to attain your dating goals, commonly presents an internal conflict for most single individuals. When in doubt about what to do, remind yourself you don’t have to make any major, rigid or permanent decisions on whether to give up on dating, and acknowledge that it’s natural to feel confusion and impatience when things aren’t clicking in the ways you had hoped.
If you are going to make the commitment to put yourself out there, it is important to approach your love life with a healthy and reality-based mindset and not give up prematurely. It’s about tweaking beliefs and behaviors that may interfere with dating. It’s also essential to grasp what it really means and what it ultimately takes to create the relationship of your dreams.
Below are 15 signs you are approaching dating with a healthy mindset and acting in ways that promote connection.
1. You allow yourself to take breaks from dating when necessary, but don’t give up on your relationship goals. This means having control of your impulses, and refusing to give in to urges to quit online dating after a few bad dates.
2. You do more than simply show up for dates. You engage, share, contribute, try and be present. I like to tell my clients they can go on 100 dates, but if they are not present, open and emotionally available, forming a connection will be nearly impossible.
3. You give potential partners a true chance. This may mean you go on multiple dates with the same person (even when the first date wasn’t a perfect 10) and you give yourself time to figure out how you feel about someone by taking the opportunity to get to know them better. Remind yourself you don’t have to rush to decisions.
4. You take emotional risks and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Believing being vulnerable is weak is a problematic perception. In fact, love, connection and intimacy are all based on vulnerability. Bonus: you understand that being vulnerable does not mean oversharing or moving too quickly. It is about developing trust over time.
5. You believe in authenticity. You don’t hide who you are, disown the qualities you aren’t proud of, or change who you are based on someone else’s wishes.
6. You work on yourself and participate in self-discovery and reflection. You remain open to learning about yourself as you date. You reflect on what’s working well for you and what needs improvement without shaming or judging yourself. You are willing to learn from your hardships and miserable dating experiences.
7. You are clear on the type of partner you hope to attract and the kind of relationship you aim to create. While you are open-minded about your dating life, you have a strong sense of your desires and goals.
8. You heal dysfunctional patterns and old relationship wounds so you don’t repeat them. You own it and let go of blaming others for your own life circumstances. Also, you are willing to say goodbye to and end relationships with toxic people.
9. You believe in love. While you may be persuaded otherwise, if you want love, you must believe it exists.
10. You focus on feeling deserving of love even when your mind tries to convince you otherwise. If you can’t think of ten things you have to offer to a partner, start a list right now and let it grow as you reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, personality traits and values. Long story short — be confident and believe in your worthiness.
11. You ditch protective behaviors, such as playing games or drinking too much on dates. When you like someone, you go for it even though it’s scary and anxiety-producing.
12. You understand dating is more than just picking the next person to ask out or profile to message. It’s about intention and deliberate action that is in line with what you are looking for.
13. You put your happiness in your own hands. You give your power away when you wait for someone else to bring you joy and make you feel good about yourself. Always validate yourself, create the life you want in this moment, and treat yourself with kindness regardless of your relationship status!
14. You try multiple dating methods to see what works best for your personality and relationship goals, as well as meet a wide range of like-minded singles.
15. You understand love is a choice and an action (not just a feeling). It is something that grows and shifts through continued efforts and nurturance.
By using the fifteen points above as an assessment tool for how you are currently approaching dating, you can ensure you are tackling your dating life with thoughts and behaviors aligned with love.