Conversation Tips

The Playing Field May Be Level After All

IJL - couple having coffeeWe’ve all seen the movies where Hollywood gives us hope that we can date someone out of our league – “Hitch,” “Knocked Up,” “Beauty & The Beast,” and the list goes on. But is it possible to “date up” in real life? 

According to science, the answer is yes! 

A recent study published by Psychological Science gives hopeless romantics a glimmer of faith that it can be done – by becoming friends with the desired person first as attraction can grow over time. 

The study surveyed 167 couples – 67 dating and 100 married for various lengths of time – about how long they knew each other before beginning to date and whether or not they had been friends before dating. Researchers also independently rated each individuals’ physical attractiveness. 

Results showed that people who started dating within a month of meeting were more similar on the attractiveness scale, whereas couples who knew each other, or were just friends for more than a month before dating, were less equal on the attractiveness scale. In other words, people do become couples despite not having an instant physical attraction. 

"If you happen to be shooting for someone ‘out of your league’ (in terms of attractiveness, at least), you may be more likely to succeed if you get to know the person for a while rather than going for it immediately," said the study’s lead author Lucy L. Hunt of University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.   

The study also detailed more about the influence attractiveness has on relationship satisfaction. Even though couples who started dating soon after meeting were more likely to match based on attractiveness, it didn’t effect long term happiness, and neither did being friends first. 

Let’s say you show up for your first date and the sparks aren’t immediately flying. Your first instinct might be to shut down mentally and emotionally and down your drink as quickly as possible so you can get out of there. 

Slow down and give it a little time. The study noted, “As individuals become acquainted over time, romantic impressions become increasingly unique and less consensual.” 

And what are some of the best ways to get acquainted? Things such as making someone laugh, the ability to have a great conversation and having common interests can help perceptions of people change over time. 

Are you ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


Confidence is Key, Too Much is a Dealbreaker

6a0120a55a0518970c01b8d10e27f6970c-320wiConfidence is sexy! A dash of self-confidence creates the perfect recipe for a positive first impression, whether it is a first date or networking community event. People who glow with a bright, friendly attitude tend to attract an abundance of people who want to meet them. 

The key to gaining self-confidence is to recognize and appreciate what's great about you and accept what's not so great. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If you love and accept who you are, others will too.

Try these three things to boost your confidence in time for your next date:

1) Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Stop putting yourself up against others as a way of measuring your desirability. Know that you are a hot ticket in your own right, with your own unique abilities and qualities. Something that turns off one person will spark romance in another. Don't waste your time with people who don't see what it is you have to offer.  When you like who you are, people will be naturally drawn to you.

2) Turn to Your Network for Your Net Worth
Surround yourself with people who treat you with love and respect. Weed out the ones who are overly negative or critical. Create a positive environment.

3) Date More! 
The more exposure you have to the dating experience, the easier it gets. As you handle all the different situations and come in contact with different people, it will reinforce your positive qualities. You will also gain confidence in your ability to meet, mingle and engage with new people.

But Avoid Crossing the Fine Line into Cockiness

There's a fine line between "Oh, he's interesting . . ." and "What an arrogant, self-absorbed jerk!"  How does this happen? A few symptoms of crossing into cocky country include one-upping conversation habits, interrupting your date to get your words in and treating others with disrespect.  Identifying when you veer off the confidence course will give you the chance to present yourself as charming and confident, not annoying and arrogant.

This post originally appeared on the Vancouver It's Just Lunch blog

Are you feeling confident and ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


Dating Communication: Call, Text, Email or Social Media?

466698613With so many methods of communication these days, it can be tough to know how you should contact someone once you’re interested in them. It can be easier to text, email, tweet, or write on their Facebook wall, but are there times when you really should pick up the phone and call? 

In a survey conducted by It’s Just Lunch of over 26,000 singles on how technology impacts relationships, 65 percent of respondents said they were more likely to text than call after swapping phone numbers with someone to whom they’re attracted. Nearly half of them indicated they interacted with their love interest on social media either daily or weekly. 

Let’s face it: typing is easier than talking for most people, especially when nerves and feelings are involved. Just because it’s the easy thing to do though doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do

Here are four instances to watch out for when it comes to your means of communication:

Plan dates over the phone 

There’s a time and a place for texts, emails and social media, but it’s not when planning dates early in your relationship. 

“Ultimately, relationships are built on communication,” said Julie Lopez, head of matchmaking at It’s Just Lunch. “The best way to develop a healthy line of communication is to start from day one.” 

Want to shoot the other person a quick message to tell them you had a great time on your date? Feel free to pull out your phone and fire off a short text or email. 

Never drink and text 

This one isn’t just a no-no for texting and other forms of messaging, it applies to phone calls as well. Rarely will anything good come from a drunk message. It’s entirely likely you’ll come off as immature if it’s obvious you’re drinking. It’s not outside the realm of possibility you might sound like a jerk. Plus, if you send one drunk message, you’ll probably send ten. Now you’re annoying. 

Not to mention liquid courage tends to make people say things they might not otherwise be ready to say, which leads us to our next inappropriate situation for typing . . . . 

Feelings should be verbalized 

When you need to express a feeling for the first time - whether that’s affection, love, disappointment or anger - it shouldn’t be through a device. It all goes back to developing communication as the bedrock of your relationship. If you can’t express your feelings to their face now, you may continue struggling to express those feelings throughout your relationship. 

Of course, if you’re already saying “I love you” in person, feel free to text, tweet, email or shout it from the rooftops. Just don’t let that first time the other person knows your true feelings be on a telephone screen. 

No fighting and typing 

Don’t be a coward. If you’re upset, speak with the other person (preferably in person). Without tone or body language, it’s easy for both sides to misinterpret the issue. 

Ultimately, the biggest danger in using technology to communicate for any of these reasons is the potential for misinterpretation and misunderstanding. One of the top reasons - if not the top reason - relationships fail is because of a lack of communication. Interacting via text, email and social media is fine for a quick, light-hearted message but should never be your primary means of communicating. 

Are you still looking for your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you. Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


Dating Conversation Etiquette Tips

Assistant entertainment editor Hayden Manders wrote quite the entertaining piece on modern dating problems over at Refinery29.com. The piece includes fun graphics displayed in a slideshow format illustrating 10 of the newest dating anxieties singles face as a direct result of text messaging playing a more integral role in dating and relationships. 

"Now that we're fully aware of our ability to hide behind emotionless, glowing words, our yearning to somehow convey emotion has skyrocketed," writes the beanies-crazed editor. "The emphasis has shifted away from tonal reflection to grammatical nuances and emoticons. Since we've removed the audible voice from conversation, our need to know whether our digital voice was delivered, heard, and seen is now paramount to our sense of well-being," he writes. 

Did you get my text?

The bane of our dating lives now rests on knowing whether someone saw our text message and wondering why they haven't had time to respond if they had time to read their text messages or update their Facebook status. 

For the record, do yourself a favor and turn off "Send Read Receipts" under your message settings (if you have an iPhone). If you leave it on, you're leaving others in agony when you don't respond right away. Leave it off and keep people in suspense instead. 

Um... ok.

Another interesting dating anxiety Manders brings up is the difference between "ok" and "k." You knew in your gut there was a clear difference between these two Ks, but shrugged it off figuring you may have been over thinking it. Well, we're here to tell you that you are not crazy at all. While the first variation denotes nonchalance, the second variation denotes irritation or annoyance. There is a caveat here dependent upon the texting style of the person you're texting. If the person isn't a real big texter or is always on the go, one word or one letter responses may be completely normal and thus no cause for alarm. 

Emoticons overkill.

Have you ever exchanged text messages with someone that ends almost every text message with a smiley face or a wink? After awhile, you start to wonder whether the person sending the text is overcompensating for something.... a lack of conversation skills, perhaps? The frustrating part about emoticons is that there aren't any clear-cut rules on how or when to use them. What we do know, however, is that using them too much can indeed hinder your dating prospects. 

Earlier this year, TIME reported that men who used smiley faces in their dating profiles or in messages received significantly lower response rates than those who refrained from emoticons altogether. You may want to play it safe and refrain from emoticons when first exchanging text messages with someone new until you get to know their texting style.

Visit www.ItsJustLunch.com to learn how our expert matchmakers can help you alleviate some of your biggest anxieties toward dating. 


The Money Talk

Couple_fight_money


Finances aren’t a priority when you first start dating someone new, but as the relationship progresses and you both pass over the initial hurdles with ease as a team, you’re eventually going to have to face the financial discussion at some point in time, sooner rather than later. When you’re serious about the relationship and your partner shares the same feelings, there’s no reason why the both of you shouldn’t be able to share your viewpoints on your personal approach to spending and saving money, especially considering that finances has often played a leading role in divorces. When you’re single, your decisions regarding finances don’t really affect anyone but you, but when you’re in a relationship, it’s always a good idea to get your partner involved in a way that benefits both of you.

The way you control your finances affects every tiny bit of your everyday routine. It impacts what you eat for lunch, what type of apartment you live in, what kind of clothes you buy and the mode of transport you use. You need to include your significant other in these decisions as the money is going to affect you both.

The truth is that partners love to talk to each other for hours on end as they get to know more about each other, but rarely does the topic of money and how to spend or save it ever cross their minds as something worthy of a discussion. Even if it does, most people are afraid to bring it up as they don’t want to scare away their new partner away by raising the topic too soon, causing possible complications for the relationship.

If the two of you feel really comfortable around each other and spend enough time together to feel like a real couple, it’s time for you to address the money issue. It’s not about being unreasonable or disapproving of the partner’s approach towards money; the goal of the money talk is to align your finances so that you can rest assured knowing that the two of you won’t have to face a monetary issue because of irresponsible expenditures and useless shopping. You also don’t want to have have to put your sweetheart on a leash for this or cause your partner to feel guilty about or even envious of your money habits.

Money is a concern that is associated with both of you and you two should be able to draw out a budget that works the best for the couple. The purpose for having a discussion about finances and saving money is to secure your future together, if there is one. When you plan on having the money talk with your partner, frame it in a positive manner so they won’t take it offensively. Negative terminology can trigger an argument so it’s best to talk about it in a casual or light-hearted manner to draw your partner’s attention to the subject.

The idea isn’t to impose your views on your partner. Each of you is an independent professional single with the right to make their own decisions. The money talk is mainly to help you two get to a better, mutual place of understanding that will  help you keep your expenses in line so you can both afford to do things you would love to do as a couple without worrying about one person contributing more or less than the other. By coming to a mutual approach to money management as a couple, you can save a lot for your future without compromising your respective lifestyles.