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December 2010

New Year's Resolutions for Singles

Images By now, you've probably started to think of some New Year's Resolutions. And, if you're like most single people, one of those probably has something to do with a new boyfriend or girlfriend.  Maybe even getting engaged or married.

We here at It's Just Lunch want to do everything we can to help you with those goals. But we also have some other suggestions for you.  

Here are our Top 3 New Year's Resolutions for Singles

1)  Be open to meeting new people. Smile more.  Talk to strangers.  Take a leap of faith. It won't hurt, we promise.

2) Be positive about dating and each of your dates.  Dating can sometimes feel like work.  Hard work.  And sometimes, when we're not in a great headspace about it, we forget to give our dates the benefit of the doubt. Maybe s/he doesn't look exactly like our dream man/woman.  Maybe s/he said something early in the date that was off-putting. Being more positive about dating and each of your dates will earn you more better dates in the long run, guaranteed.

3) Be good to you. Take that class you've always wanted to take, or that dream vacation. Join the club or the gym...  Whatever it is that you've been thinking of/dreaming of that will bring you joy and happiness. You deserve to be happy and self-fulfilled. 

Gift Giving Tips for Daters

You date and you date in the hopes of meeting someone special.  But what happens when you meet someone new, just before the holidays.  Maybe this new person will turn out to be "the one."  Or maybe not.  It's too soon to tell.

What do you do?  Do you buy them a holiday gift?  And if so, how much do you spend?  And what if you buy them a gift, and they don't buy one for you?  Or vice versa?  

Here are a few common sense tips to help you decide what's right for you and your situation:

*  No one (in their right mind) should expect a gift from someone they've had less than 3 dates with. If you feel strongly about someone you just started dating, and want to purchase a gift for them, keep it small and inexpensive.  And be aware that it is unlikely they will be purchasing a gift for you.  

*  If you've been seeing each other for several weeks, so somewhere between 4-10 dates (approx.), it's entirely appropriate to purchase a small gift.  Again, it's wise to keep it inexpensive.  The longer you've been dating, the more expensive and personal/thoughtful your gift should be. 

*  A good rule of thumb is: if you've already talked about having an exclusive relationship then it's safe to assume you should purchase a nice gift.  If you haven't had that chat and you're both still free to see other people, gifts are still optional.

*  If you purchase a gift and do not receive one in return, be as gracious and casual about it as possible.  You don't want to make your date feel badly about not purchasing you a gift.

*  If you receive a gift and did not purchase one for your date, there is no need to rush out and buy something. This is a gray area and you haven't done anything rude or wrong.  Accept it with a heartfelt thank you and move on.

Do You Make Enough Time to Find Love?


By Evan Marc Katz, dating coach and author of the new book, “Why He Disappeared”. 


 I just got off the phone with a woman who came to me for dating coaching.

She told me she was the youngest vice president at her company. 

She told me she was starting up her own entrepreneurial side venture. 

She told me she was training for a marathon.

She told me she didn’t have time to waste with online dating. 

She told me she was extremely picky when it came to men.

 I immediately thought of two things.  One, I said aloud. The other, I kept to myself.  First, I told her that she’d have to shift her priorities and create time for love.  If she’s putting 60 hours a week into work and 0 into love, that ratio had to shift.  She replied that she’d make time for “the right guy”, but until then, she’d be focused on pursuing her own goals. 

Fair enough, I pointed out. However, if she’s booked solid with two jobs and marathon training, it would be very difficult for “the right guy” to show up in her life. 

Where could he possibly meet her?

 Not when she’s making pro-forma projections late at night for her new company. Not when she’s in a series of closed-door meetings at her current company. Not when she’s doing 10 miles early on Thursday morning.  And if she wasn’t willing to scale back on the relentless pursuit of perfection and give a fraction of that time to the dating process, I said that I couldn’t help her.  She was shocked to hear this.  But it doesn’t matter how effective I am at my job if a woman won’t make any sacrifices to pursue love. It’s like a personal trainer at the gym. He can tell you how to lose weight, but if you don’t want to wake up at 6am, cut out carbs after 6, eat more vegetables, and sweat four times a week, then he can’t really do his job.

 The fact is: we all do what we want in life.

 I’m writing this piece for It’s Just Lunch because it’s more fun than writing a newsletter. When I finish, I’ll check my fantasy football scores, because that’s more fun, too. And if I never get around to writing my not-so-fun newsletter to my list of readers, my business will die. By avoiding the hard work, I never actually conquer my problem – I just avoid it.

You may have signed up for It’s Just Lunch because you don’t have time to date, because the online dating process was inefficient, or because you want someone to hand you a partner without you having to do anything different.  But that makes me think of the other thing that I said to that woman last night.

 “What does someone get out of dating you?”  If I’m a man and I’m free to choose my ideal partner, do I want the woman who cares so little about a relationship that she isn’t willing to make time for it?  Do I want the woman who is working so hard at two jobs that she never has the chance to hang out after work?  Do I want the woman whose marathon training is more important to her than falling in love, getting married and having a family?

No, I don’t. And if you’re a woman reading this, you shouldn’t want a man who doesn’t make time for you either.  So the reason to make time for the ups and downs of dating is not because it’s always the easiest or most fun thing to do; it’s because if you don’t do it, you’ll never find the partner you truly deserve.

Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach and the author of “Why He Disappeared – The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever”.

Holiday Party Dos and Don'ts

What could be more fun than the office holiday party?  

Yes, that was a joke.

For many people, the annual holiday party is a potentially stressful experience. Made more so by the fact of the their single-ness.

Check online, and you'll find plenty of Holiday Party Tips written by PR gurus. Our tips would pass their inspection. But, we know the priority for many smart and savvy singles isn't always networking or career advancement. Rather, sometimes you just want to mingle and see if there are any interesting people at the party worth getting to know (and maybe dating).

With that in mind:

-If the invitation specifically states, "You and a guest" and you are not in a serious romantic relationship - DON'T bring a friend to the party.  We understand the instinct, parties can be intimidating. But this is an opportunity to mingle with colleagues and meet new people.

-DO go alone. We promise, you won't be the only single person there.

-DON'T spend the whole night talking to the same small group of people.  

-DO force yourself to mingle. Set a goal for yourself.  For example, I will talk to 3 new people tonight. It might sound silly, but it works.

-DO enjoy yourself. Eat, drink and be merry.

-DON'T drink too much. Watch yourself and count your drinks, especially if there are waiters constantly refilling your glass. You don't want to be that guy/girl who got drunk at the holiday party and made a fool of themselves.

-DON'T talk about work all night. You have a life outside of work. Or you should. Let people see the whole you.

-DO think about appropriate topics of conversation before the party.  That way you won't be tongue tied all night.

Enjoy the parties and Happy Holidays!

Conversation Tips: Things to Talk About this Weekend

It's the first weekend of December and already, for some people, it feels like Holiday OVERLOAD.  It was just Thanksgiving. Now it's Hanukkah (and Happy Hanukkah, for those who celebrate). And Christmas is weeks away. But everywhere you look and everywhere you go...

If you're on a date this weekend, you'll probably feel obligated to mention the holidays - in some way. That's normal, since we're all surrounded by it.

But try to make it a little more interesting than, "Did you have a good Thanksgiving?" Yes or no questions don't do much to open up a conversation. Instead, try one of these conversation starters:

  • What's your favorite holiday movie and why?  
  • Does your family have any special holiday traditions?  
  • What's your favorite childhood holiday memory?

And remember to be prepared to share your answers to these questions.