Dating – fun or not? Our contributor, Gayle Crist, Dating Coach & Online Dating Expert, explains what to do:
Singles dread this time of year. Valentine’s Day can make them feel alone and sad. But, take heart (pun intended): it’s just one day, and there’s always next year. I wholeheartedly believe that, by following certain strategies, you can exponentially improve your chances of finding love. How? Read on for some tips from dating experts…
Gilda Carle, PhD, author of Don’t Bet on the Prince: How to Have the Man You Want by Betting on Yourself, says that getting to know yourself before you try to get to know someone else is the key to success. Here are 5 ways to do that:
1) Define your core values-Nothing matters more for long-term compatibility than finding someone who shares your core values—the tenets you grew up believing and that still define how you live your life. These include beliefs about children, religion, politics, money, decision making, honesty, integrity, fidelity, and commitment.
2) Understand your emotional needs-Understanding what fulfillment means to you is paramount in finding a partner with whom you can feel satisfied and happy. But don’t expect that person to “complete” you. If you’re looking for someone else to make you feel worthwhile or whole or to rescue you from a boring, unhappy life, you’re setting yourself and the relationship up for failure.
3) Identify your love pattern-Think about the people who bring out the best in you and make you feel safe, secure, and comfortable and seek lovers with traits similar to those people. Look not only for character and personality traits but also the ways they relate to you. Feeling at ease with each other is the recipe for a lasting partnership.
4) Test drive a potential relationship-Don’t make the mistake of believing that someone with the looks and personality you want also has the important qualities you need in a long-term relationship. In other words, don’t let your heart overrule your head. It takes at least 120 days for logic to return after the early weeks of infatuation, so it’s best to “date” rather than “mate” for 2-3 months before getting too serious.
5) Once dating, stop and do a 3-month checkup-No matter how good the relationship seems early on, it’s wise to step back at that 120-day point to honestly answer some tough questions about your date: Is he really as honest as I first thought? Does he have the same moral fiber as me? Does he really share my core values? If he does, it’s safe to become exclusive.
I did all 5 of these things in my most recent relationship, and it’s been the happiest, most effortless connection ever! I also followed every single piece of advice dating coach Melissa Darnay offers…
Author of Dating 101: The Instant Cure for Romance Blues, Darnay says singles can, as she did, find love in just 90 days by:
1) Dealing from strength by joining 2 or 3 online dating services at once. After being widowed suddenly, she did this, had 48 dates in 3 months, and finally met the right one. I joined 8 sites over 14 months and had 50 coffee dates, which led to my meeting my second husband.
2) Telling everyone you know that you’re seeking a partner. Let others know you’re available and looking and the type of person you like.
3) Making a good first impression. You never get a second chance to make that crucial first impression. So, if you’re not at your best or feeling well, put the meeting off.
4) Keeping first dates short. Go for coffee or a drink instead of a meal. That way, if things don’t go well, you’re not stuck with each other too long.
5) Being proactive. Get out and do things you like to find others with similar interests. Also: Switch it up and try different groups or singles activities every few weeks. This maximizes your chances of crossing paths with new people.
6) Don’t expect anyone to change. As Darnay says, “Remember: you can change a person’s socks, you can change their haircut, but you can’t change their core values—or yours.” If those values aren’t similar, the chances for a long-lasting match are slim.
If you or someone you know is looking for love, these experts say that following a strategy of knowing yourself and your needs/patterns is critical. But so is using effective dating tactics such as being proactive about online dating and getting “out there”, telling others that you’re looking, and making a good impression on that first short, but sweet date.
After almost 10 years of post-divorce dating, I know these tips work. I would not have met my current partner if I hadn’t:
– Stayed true to my core values (especially those most important to me such as family, politics, and optimism)
– Gotten clear about my relationship needs (and been strong enough in my self-esteem not to expect someone else to fill needs I could fill myself)
– Been proactive (I was the one who wrote the first email on Match.com). I also ventured outside both our geographic comfort zones, since we each preferred to date people less than 25 miles away. Though we are 40 miles apart, things have worked out fine. So don’t be afraid to stretch your non–core value parameters a bit. Happy dating!
Gayle Crist, M.S., is a life coach and dating coach in Doylestown. As a life coach, she helps people navigate life transitions such as separation/divorce or set and stick to life goals such as writing a book or starting their own business. As a dating coach, she helps singles discover places to meet people their age, improve their conﬁ dence for dating, and create proﬁ les/choose the best websites for online dating. Gayle is also a motivational speaker, seminar leader, copy editor, proofreader, and author of the book How I Met My Second Husband Online at Age 50.
for life coach information and http://www.datingsuccesscoaching.com for dating coach info.
You can reach her at 215-489-0225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.