Dating Again – Rewriting Your Story
A. Profile Verbiage: Be authentic, transparent and unique in whom you are and direct about what you want in a mate. Be real if you want a real person. Go deeper than you think you should…everyone likes to laugh and walk on the beach (who doesn’t?) so don’t be cliché! An example of being real is saying something like “I respond to people who wear their heart on their sleeve and open up to me about where they’ve been and where they’d like to go in life”. Edit and tweak your profile over and over again…until it sounds like YOU. Be unique. What differentiates you from the rest? You’re competing with a ton of other women.
B. Profile Photos: Headshot required, and with no sunglasses on! In FOCUS! If you can’t take a quality photo, what makes you think others think you are competent and really trying to attract competence? And, if you want to attract the committed type, no real sexy photos or you will attract those only looking for the booty call…not the committed type. Include full-length shots too to show your body type, and also shots with friends (social life) and on travel (activities, adventure). If you have a business photo, show your professional side. Add a description and date on each photo. Use several recent photos, not just old ones. People get ticked off if they later meet you and you don’t look anything like your photo! If they don’t like you for what you look like now, they aren’t for you! Your perfect match is out there just waiting to run across your life path.
Screening: 3-step process
1) Initial contact through email - if he contacts you, does he mention something specific about your profile? a simple “Hi” or “Hey, you’re hot” is not a good sign of the person’s depth and good intent. They are working the masses online without putting much effort into any one, and/or are only looking at photos. Go deeper. Do not give your number until you feel GOOD about the person’s intent. Let them know you’d like to chat via text (don’t mention a phone call). Mature guys will fairly quickly ask you for a phone number to talk to you as a “person” and not hide behind technology and shallow flirting that leads nowhere.
2) Texting - look for signs like politeness in wording, how respectfully they talk to you, their grammar, and how often they text you. Do they get annoyed if you don’t text right back? An example would be if you waited a few hours before responding to a man’s text and he texts you again with “What’s the matter? Too many guys to talk to?”. Could be a flag of someone impatient or with jealousy and control issues. Confident wait for you and don’t expect you to jump and emotionally stable men to jump to negative conclusions hastily either.
3) First phone call - where the real screening begins! Ask their full name. Some lighthearted flirting starts here…but so does some important screening questions to see if they are “Date worthy”. Ask about where they grew up, college, about their kids’ ages, their career and yes - how long married and how long now single.Do NOT ask what happened to their failed relationship - this is a question for in person when they feel more comfortable with you and are likely to be more honest about their fault in the matter.
The Internet Search
If the person passes the above 3 steps, Google the person’s name (you got it on the phone call)…check Facebook, Linked In etc to ensure what they’ve told you so far pans out. Also, even if you are not yet Friends with someone on Facebook, you can often see their Public Settings where their Friends list shows up. Search there for Mutual Friends…you’d be surprised at the Six Degrees of Separation! IF you see mutual ones, ping those friends for a reference before meeting them. I recently met a guy I like and we had not 1 but 2 mutual friends….luckily they both gave him a thumbs up, and we are now on date #2…which is a milestone!
The First Date
1) Timing meet no more than 1 hour for coffee or drinks - let them know up front your timetable to manage the expectation. Meeting for a longer date, like dinner, forces you to interact with the person much longer, and if your bells &whistles are going off half way through the meeting that this guy is “all wrong”, it’s nice to be able to leave rather quickly…which is easier during just drinks. Time is precious, don’t waste it. It’s a numbers game meeting new people.
2) Payment offer to pay for your own (if a woman, so you don’t “owe anyone anything” )…offer to pay for both (if a man, to be a “gentleman”)
3) Clothing dress conservatively but fashionable, in your favorite outfit so you are comfortable. think “best color” on you
4) Questioning do not interrogate your date to make them feel they are on an interview…it’s a turn off. Instead, ask what they are passionate about, trips they’ve taken, where they grew up, their kids…and intersperse your own info in between so it’s not just “a line of questioning” from you.
5) Likability Factor use humor to break the ice and see each others comfortable and real personality!
6) Dating Intent Be honest and clear about your intentions, casual dating? relationship ready? dating several at one time? Ask them the same. You can save yourself a lot of heartache and time if you know up front their intent. Give them the same courtesy.
7) Boundaries If there is chemistry and you like the person so far, mention your boundaries/expectations about sexual intimacy (timeframe into relationship, only if exclusive? only if both parties are tested for STDs? Be clear! If they can’t handle it, and trust me on this, they aren’t for you)
• Don’t be available every time a man calls or texts you as it”s still true as an adult male; they like the chase! “Chase him until he catches you!”. And don’t initiate contact a lot with him, even after a few dates. I read a dating coach suggested a ratio of 3 to 1, you initiate contact 1x to his 3x.
• If a man has ONLY posed professional photos taken/posted online, you have to wonder: “does he have a life? why no action shots or any with friends?” Hmmmm….
• Ladies, YOU CHOOSE. Many will want you if you’re doing the above correctly…but you are the power holder. You choose the best man for you, not vice-versa!
• If he blames everything on their ex, and are very bitter - one of two things are happening. Either 1) they are not self aware in their part of the problem (it takes two) and/or 2) they haven’t healed sufficiently from the relationship demise and do not need to enter another serious relationship. Either way, Next!
• If he has a poor relationship with their Mother - don’t walk, RUN. Psychologists say that the mother/son bond has to be fairly strong for a man to treat a woman well.
• If he is TOO close with their Mother - also RUN…you can’t compete to the one who birthed him!
• If he suggest sex too soon for you, under the guise of “you have to test drive a car before you buy it”…you respond “I need to test drive your personality and values before anything - cause you can improve on sex in a relationship with your partner, but it’s unlikely you can improve your personality or values!”
· Dating coaches say to always have 3 men in the “sales pipeline” while deciding whom to (if any) start dating exclusively. Why, you ask? If you have 3 guys interacting with you at once, you won’t seem needy or desperate if one doesn’t call. It’s also a time saver, as 1 or 2 of the guys will go by the way side as you get to know them better (and they you), and the goal is to end up with 1 to focus on.
• Dating studies show it takes approximately 3-4 months to know someone’s personality and values…it all comes out by then. So, if you are dating someone and at that timeframe, your bells are going off “flag!”…time to move on.