As a matchmaker and a dating coach, the best advice I can give to singles of all ages is to forget your lists. Stop thinking about what you WANT in a partner and start thinking about what you NEED to make you happy. Maybe you think you have to have someone who loves dogs, or the opera or The Red Sox; but imagine the pleasure of introducing someone to an opera for the first time. Some couples share similar styles, talents and interests, while other relationships thrive on complementarity. Practice saying, “I am looking for someone wonderful to make me happy!” Clients often tell me they find this statement liberating because it allows them to be open to new romantic possibilities, and it feels natural and thoughtful when asking friends and colleagues if they know someone you might like to meet. Take the time to identify what you need in a relationship. Be honest and look inward before you start searching for that special someone. By telling yourself you are looking for someone wonderful to make you happy, and opening yourself up to new possibilities, you will be liberated from existing expectations and limiting requirements. This freedom allows you to be open to the possibility that love may come in a totally unexpected and surprising package!
Enjoy your coffee, but not in your kitchen. My mentor, renowned matchmaker, and New York Times best selling author, Rachel Greenwald, states emphatically, “No more coffee in your own kitchen.” Try new places for coffee, different supermarkets, stores and libraries. Go to social and professional networking events and share your new journey with everyone! It’s not always about meeting men; women are great connectors too. It’s easy to network for business, but you need to apply that skill-set to finding someone special.
You never know where you are going to meet someone. One of my favorite examples is a 59 year-old female client who was reluctant to attend her friend’s second marriage. She felt jealous and wished she could be the bride. It was a small wedding, only sixty people. This was the wedding toast we wrote together: “I am so happy for my dear friend, Emily, that she found Mark, and I hope someday I’ll find someone just as wonderful.” Toward the end of the afternoon, a gentleman introduced himself to my client, and told her he had a cousin he would like her to meet. They met, dated for nearly a year, and are happily married.
Finding love is about increasing your odds. It may not sound very romantic, but finding love is a numbers game. For singles over age 35, online dating is a necessity, not an option. When the bank robber, Willy Sutton, was asked why he robbed banks, he replied, “That’s where the money is.” Well, online is where the men (and women) are. Over 30 million people say they know someone who has been in a long-term relationship or married to someone he or she met online. That’s what I call increasing your odds. A GREAT photo online, and a well-written, unique online profile are musts. There is a big world of people out there; and you only need to find one.
Always look your best. Small clues tell big stories: your outfits, hair-do, make-up - even your fingernails. One client told me that she only wanted someone who appreciated how she looked when she ran out to the supermarket; worn-out jeans, tee shirt, hair pulled back and no make-up. Bad idea. Once you are in a relationship with someone, of course being this casual is fine, but this approach is not my advice for the first stages of dating. I have an excellent image consultant who consults with every client of mine to talk about the image they want to project. First impressions matter. If you care how you look, it’s likely your date will respect that quality in you.
A first date is an opportunity to meet a new person. First dates are not about deciding (or even thinking about) if this is the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. First dates are opportunities to meet people and to consider whether you want to go on a second date. Chemistry is not always a given on the first, or even second date. Be patient and enjoy meeting new people. Try to appreciate each date’s good qualities. Always be polite…you never know; he might know someone. You are only one, two or at most three degrees of separation from meeting your special someone.
Be positive. Stay focused on the positive and on your momentum to move forward. Naturally, you can be realistic and share what you’ve learned from past relationships, but name-calling or a bitter story is sure to never get a call back.Your story should be about what you want your life to be in the future. The past is over. The future is yours to create!
Trust your instincts. Each person has his or her own red flags. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. If questions, actions, and conflicts don’t resolve readily, remember you don’t have to go out on another date. There are so many wonderful people in the world; you don’t need to ignore things you don’t like.
Know Thyself! With Dr. Richard Wolman (yes, my husband, who is a clinical psychologist at Harvard), we ask clients to complete an in-depth Personality Profile. Dr. Wolman has used this Profile with over 16,000 singles. The more you know and understand about yourself, the more accurately you can describe yourself on dates, and the more likely you are to understand what you need in a relationship and to choose the right person.
What is the difference between matchmaking and dating coaching?
A matchmaker will seek out introductions for you. Unfortunately, and unfairly, most matchmakers only have male clients, and seldom take female clients. Some matchmakers (including me) with a large database, however, offer introductions to female dating coaching clients.
A dating coach is a personal trainer for finding love; someone in your corner to motivate and guide you to be successful. Having an expert can make all the difference. A dating coach, unlike family and friends, can be honest and objective. You are not outsourcing your love life and turning it over to someone else. You are still the one in charge. Like any worthwhile endeavor, finding love takes time, energy, effort, commitment and resources. By giving you the tools you need to attract, find and keep the mutually loving and respectful relationship you deserve, a dating coach empowers you to be your own matchmaker.
Make Love Happen: Before I trained as matchmaker and dating coach by, I directed theatre, taught public speaking and prepared high school juniors for college interviews for many years at one of Boston’s most prestigious girls’ schools. My advice to every actor and to all my students – and now to singles of all ages: Be brave, bright and beautiful, react authentically, trust your instincts, and have fun. You can then build the self-awareness and self-confidence necessary to create successful personal and professional relationships – and make love happen!
Check out my website: Peggywolmanmatchmaking.com. It is a privilege and joy to work with male and female clients of all ages who hail from New England and beyond. Please feel free to email me at: Peggy@peggywolman.com.
Wishing you all my best and good-luck!
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