“On the Date” Tips
There are many things that may have changed since you last dated, and one of those things that might be different is that you now have children. Whether putting yourself out there again excites or terrifies you, you’re probably wondering how to handle the situation with your kids.
Depending on the age of your children and your custody situation, there’s no one-size-fits-all way navigate things, but here are some tips from the matchmakers at www.itsjustlunch.com to keep in mind as you reenter the dating waters.
Talk with them about it first
If your kids are old enough to have a conversation with you, consider sitting them down to explain that you’re going to start dating again. Tell them about your need to develop friendships with new people, but assure them that you’re not looking for someone to replace their other parent.
Most importantly, listen to what they say. Try to really hear their concerns or hesitations and do your best to address them.
Take things slow
You might get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, but remember that your children might not be able to move at the same pace as you emotionally. Even if they haven’t met the person you’re dating yet, be careful about how much you share with your children and what you share. No matter how agreeable they are, or how much you view your child as a friend, most children will be easily spooked by something new coming into their life so fast.
Take introductions seriously
You don’t need to introduce your children to everyone you date. Consider what might happen if your children do develop an attachment to this new person and then you break up and they suddenly have to adapt to even more change in their lives.
Wait until you’re sure you’re serious about someone and that you see the potential for moving in together or marriage happening down the road. Talk to your children in advance about how the first meeting will go and set some expectations.
And once again, listen to your children. How are they feeling? Nervous? Angry? Even if there’s nothing much you can do to assuage their fears, being willing to take the time to truly listen and empathize with your children can go a long way.
Don’t get defensive
If the worst happens and your children dislike your new partner, don’t leap immediately into a defensive mode. Ask them questions about what specifically they don’t like. Try to get down to the root of the problem. Are they nervous about this person moving in? Were they hopeful you were going to reconnect with your ex?
Lead with listening. Your children want to know they’re most important. They want to know that your relationship with them will never change.
Make your children feel heard and have reasonable expectations about the time it might take for them to feel comfortable with the situation. Don’t let them stop you from pursuing a new relationship and someone who makes you feel hopeful and happy again, but be patient and remember your children might need to be on a different timetable from you.
We’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.
Listen up, Romeo! Flowers, candlelit dinners, and walks on the beach won't get you anywhere if you're still making these three dating mistakes! Read on to learn the pitfalls most men stumble into and the easy fixes to pull you out.
Talking About Yourself Too Much. Here's a little secret, fellas. Want to impress a woman? It's easy—listen to her. Most men approach a date thinking they'll wow us with a litany of successes and accomplishments. Yes, we know you're trying to impress us and we definitely want to learn about how wonderful you are, but slow it down! Prattling off your entire résumé in the first couple hours comes across as pompous—especially when you fail to ask your date about her.
Dating Tip: I've got three words for you: Listen. Reflect. Respond. Women are way more impressed by a guy who talks with her as opposed to one who talks at her.
Appearing Cocky, Instead of Confident. Few women can resist a confident man—but most detest a cocky one. There's a fine line between "Oh, he's interesting . . ." and "What an arrogant, self-absorbed jerk!" To complicate matters, guys often have no clue they're coming across as cocky to women because of commonly observed gender differences in communication styles. The one-upping, interrupting, and posturing characteristic to male speech doesn't typically fly with females. It works well in "Guy World" but such banter often strikes us as brash and conceited.
Dating Tip: Ask a female friend or your sister to let you know whenever you come across as too cocky in conversation. Identifying when you veer off course will give you the chance to present yourself as charming and confident, not annoying and arrogant.
Trying To Play It Cool. Of course you should take things slowly in the early stages when you're first getting to know each other. There's no need to rush anything. But once you determine your intentions, make them known! Women love being pursued! Playing it cool only fosters ambiguity in your relationship, which can instigate a cycle of confusion. If you keep things low key, she may respond in turn by pulling back to protect to herself from getting hurt. You then interpret her distance as disinterest and begin to lose faith in the long-term viability of what you two are developing. And just like that, a relationship with loads of potential can tank.
Dating Tip: Women love a man with a plan. If you're serious about her, show her! Pull out your schedule and lock in future dates. Demonstrate to her that you're making her a priority!
Remember, Romeo, you're not inking a business deal, you're wooing a lady. Save the bravado for the boardroom and showcase the romantic part of your personality—the side of you that listens well, projects confidence, and goes after what he wants. Avoid these three major mistakes and watch your love life soar!
It's a date! Whether you mustered up the courage to suggest a get-together with the cutie on your bus route or it was specially arranged by one of our matchmakers at It's Just Lunch, you are probably experiencing a bit of the first date jitters. You know, that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. Those feelings can be exacerbated for those of us who have been out of the dating scene for a bit, wrapped in our careers or in another relationship.
The best thing about those feelings -- they're totally normal. We all want to look good and put our best foot forward. It's normal to be nervous about whether or not you kiss on the first date, who pays (hint: if it's through IJL, the check is split) or what to wear. Our minds are programmed to get us worked up by triggering anxiety over "what if" scenarios. It has helped us survive centuries.
But dating has changed, and the key to surviving first dates isn't about living through the night (at least not for the majority of us). It comes down to confidence.
Don't believe me?
Have you ever known men or women who aren't necessarily "10s" on the attraction scale, but they never lack for friends or dates? What makes them so attractive, you may wonder? Confidence. These people are glowing with bright, friendly, fun attitudes and they have a genuine interest in others. They're happy with who they are and know what they have to offer. Think of confidence as a positive energy that pulls others to you.
Self-confidence produces amazing results. Here's why:
- It's sexy
- It allows you to relax and live in the moment (not worrying about what may happen or things that were said)
- It means you take rejection lightly, not personally
- It means you're content with yourself, your looks and life, which adds to your attraction
So, how can you up your confidence for your next big date? Well, us matchmakers at It's Just Lunch Vancouver have a few ideas:
Ease Into the Evening
Many of us are going full steam ahead before rushing out the door for our lunch or dinner dates. Whoa! If you are in a hurry or rushing about, you will bring that same anxiety to the Italian restaurant with you. Slow down. Give yourself about 30 minutes to decompress from the day and shift your focus to what lies ahead. A little bit of separation will gear you up for the date and present you in a better light.
Put a Positive Spin on the Self Talk
Take a few moments before a first date to give yourself a bit of a pep talk. A new study from the University of Illinois, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology says a little bit of self talk may be the best thing to boost your dating success. According to an article on Fast Company.com, "previous studies have found self-talk can boost willpower and help you psych yourself up when you need to calm nerves" before a first date.
The study also found that the pronoun we use to talk to ourselves matters. Using the pronoun "you" when talking to yourself can help elevate your confidence and give you that "can-do" attitude.
Dating is About Enjoying Life
Approach dating as if you are looking to meet a new friend or widen your circle of contacts. By looking beyond the end goal of finding a lifemate, you will experience the joy along the way. Think of it as an experiment or trying on clothes. Not every pair of jeans is a great fit -- but when you find one that is, it lasts a lifetime. Open yourself to the idea that you are just browsing and that it doesn't have to work out. Remember it is just a date. Stay in the moment and enjoy what it offers you.
Accentuate the Positive
It's easy to spot our flaws (yet another survival technique that may be out of date). It is within our nature to notice what is lacking or missing. But not on a date. Share your strengths and unique qualities. Build yourself up rather than working on tearing yourself down. First impressions are everything. Keep the date in a positive light.
Your Date is Human Too
Remember that the person on the other end is a person too. They have emotions just like you and are most likely just as nervous. Relax in this acknowledgment. Treat the other person as you would want to be treated and, most likely, you'll have a successful evening. Even if you don't work out as lovers, perhaps you will meet a new friend. Each person we meet brings to us a new point of view, a new perspective to see the world. Even if you never meet this person again, there is something he can teach you. Try looking at your date from this perspective and you find it much easier to relax and be confident for the experience.
A genuine smile goes a long way. It's friendly, warm, open, and inviting, Try not to focus so much on the end result of the date and just be happy to be having the experience. Greet your date with a smile, smile throughout the date, and say goodbye with a smile.
This post originally appeared on It's Just Lunch Vancouver's blog.