Singles & Dating

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.


The 3 Biggest Dating Mistakes Women Make (with tips for how to avoid them!)

 

Bigstock-Urban-Girl-Feeling-Upset-and-A-86020649Here's the deal, ladies—when on the dating scene, we can be our own worst enemy.  We complicate relationships and sabotage them before they even get off the ground!  Read on to learn the mistakes women frequently encounter on their quest to meet The One.

Moving Too Quickly.  After a promising first date, it's natural to feel excited about the possibilities.  But don't start flipping through bridal magazines just yet.  In fact, your enthusiasm for your burgeoning relationship could inadvertently scare him off!  Early on it's best to show restraint and keep your feelings in check.  Women often get frustrated at this stage—we're falling in love and want to express it!  But although you're getting to know him, there's still a lot you don't know.  Look at it this way—if you unleash too much emotion too soon, he'll wonder, "Does she really like me?  Or is she just glad to have a guy—any guy—around?   And frankly, that's a reasonable question on his part.
Dating Tip:  Think of your new relationship as a movie.  Sit back and watch it play out—let things evolve naturally.  Don't project!  When we project what we hope will happen, we can't see what actually is happening.

Overanalyzing.  Women love nothing more than some good girl talk!  And what do we typically talk about?  Guys, of course!  We dish, dissect, and analyze our relationships ad nauseum.  Most of it's harmless, of course.  But we can get into trouble when nit-picking situations and making something out of nothing.  Furthermore, for some reason, we tend to ask our girlfriends to help us figure out our boyfriends.  Does that really make sense?  
Dating Tip:  Cut out the middle-man (or in this case, middle-woman) when trying to discern what your new guy is thinking.  Instead of asking your girlfriends to decipher his last text, see what your brother, cousin, or dad has to say.  Let the men in your life provide insight into the male psyche. 

Being Too Available.  Men like a challenge.  Don't deny them the fun of pursuing you!  We all value things we have to work for, so it behooves women not to appear overly available early in the relationship.  Yes, you want to be authentic.  No, you don't want to play games.  But smart women live busy, full, fantastic lives.  So honestly, we can't be very available to a guy we've just met!
Dating Tip:  Live your life to the fullest!  Consume yourself with your passions, goals, and dreams.  Carving out space in your schedule for your new guy will communicate two things—1) you've got a super busy fabulous life and 2) you like him enough to make time for him!

Listen, ladies!  You have so much to offer!  Put your best foot forward and give your new relationship a strong chance of success by following the tips listed above.  Let the connection develop slowly, don't over-think it, and no matter how much you're into him, stay fully "into" your own life! 


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.


Your Back-To-Dating Checklist

Hot Towel ShaveThere’s something nostalgic about this back-to-school time of year . . . newly sharpened pencils, binders in all your favorite colors, old friends and new friends. Back in the day, your mom probably took you shopping for new clothes, and you stocked up on all of those fresh, new school supplies that armed you with confidence for the new school year.

Just like you had to get your ducks in a row before school started, it’s smart to prepare yourself before you go back out into the dating world after you get divorced or end a long-term relationship. Not only will it set you up for success, but it will calm any nerves and make you feel more confident when you go out on that first date. Just like sixth grade when you had those brand new Chuck Taylors.

Think you’re ready to get back out there? Here’s our back-to-dating checklist:

Get a haircut

You don’t need a major change to your ‘do, a trim is enough. Men, most women prefer you to be well groomed. It shows you care about your appearance, which will make her feel like you care about the date. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch the facial hair, just keep it trimmed and neat. Or if you really want to treat yourself, head to the barbershop for a nice hot towel shave.

Ladies, even a quarter of an inch off the ends will make your hair feel lighter and healthier. Who doesn’t feel more confident when they walk out of the salon? If you want an even bigger boost, go for a blowout before your first date. Indulge – you deserve it!

Wear some new duds

The women out there probably don’t need an excuse to go shopping for a new outfit, but men are sometimes a tougher sell. We know many of you hate shopping, but consider grabbing a new shirt for your first time back out on the dating scene.

It’s tough to go wrong with a nice button down that fits you correctly (i.e., fitted without buttons bursting across your chest or your stomach and the sleeves are the right length for your arms), and you can keep it untucked with jeans if you’re going somewhere more casual.

Purge photos and mementos of the ex

Go ahead and throw out or put away photos and mementos of your ex – not because you expect this first date to come back home with you, but because it’s time to put yourself in the right mindset for meeting someone new. Imagine coming home from a great date and spotting the piece of art you and your ex picked up in Asheville last year. That’ll kill your good mood fast and make you less receptive to new possibilities.

Stop being angry

While we’re talking about exes, if you’re ready to date again, you’re ready to let go of any anger you feel for your ex.

Have you ever been on a date with someone who couldn’t stop talking about their ex and how they were so inconsiderate or did so many things that drove them crazy? If you haven’t, you will. It’s not pretty, so don’t be that guy or gal.

Get excited for your new adventure

You’re likely to go through a whole range of emotions as you re-enter the dating scene: nervous, anxious, hopeful and even angry. Embrace the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life. Take some time to think about what makes you happy, and then open yourself up to finding someone who enjoys those same things. Imagine what it will feel like when you find that person, and let that fuel your forward. 

Are you ready to get back out there and meet someone new? 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.


The One Word Preventing Your Dating Success

9UVAGMWV89One simple three-letter word could be creating a speed bump on your road to dating success. 

But . . . 

"I'm excited about my first date, but . . . "
"I'm ready to start meeting new people, but . . ."

That one word means your mind has shifted gears and the excitement for the first date is now being funneled into reasons not to take a risk or put much value on the event. It is anxiety about what may happen, and your mind has started broadcasting the "All Negative Scenario" station at high-frequency.

In short, you are now putting the brakes on what could be before you even get to the restaurant. You are sabataging your chances of a great first date -- of a great relationship.

According to an article on Psychology Today.com, "[t]he word but allows you to take fewer risks, delay making vital changes, avoid intimacy, resist suggestions, rationalize the status quo, numb your brain with chemicals or mindless entertainment, and decrease your capacity to see opportunities and different points of view."

So, before you can move forward with new experiences and meeting new people, you have to tackle what it is you fear. Failure? Embarrassment? That the other person won't like you? That your ex-boyfriend is right and that you are just too difficult to live with? Jot it all down. Even if it is unrealistic. By getting it out of your head and onto the paper, you take away a small amount of its mental hold on you.

Next, after you have acknowledged your fears, turn it around and inject a positive thought. Do this by stating the fear but infusing a dose of hope. For example, you may be afraid that the guy you are set to have lunch with won't dig you. Say to yourself, "I am a bit nervous about the upcoming date, but I'm going to put my best foot forward and have a good time."

Then, ask yourself:

* What can I control at this moment?
* What if no buts existed? 
* Am I really willing to get stuck at this hurdle in dating?
* What do I really have to fear?

Being mindful of what you can control (hint: emotions, thoughts and actions in this moment) is the first step toward your goals. Choose how to direct your thoughts, especially when you are embracing a new experience or meeting someone for the first time. Let go of the buts and you will notice how much you open up to the possibilities.

Happy Dating . . . no buts. 

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