Archive for May, 2008

Bliss vs Chasing the Carrot

If you read this, chances are you’re single in search of a partner.  You already know being single in this part of the world can be, shall we say, challenging.  We’re inundated with messages that suggest “True happiness is reserved for couples and families.” While you’re frantically pursuing a partner who will finally make you happy, complete and acceptable in the eyes of others, the unhappily coupled (contrary to billboard messages, they do exist in abundance) are more likely to pay attention to a different message: “Being single is exciting.  Singles are wild things, free birds who think nothing of flying to Peru on a whim for a 3-week hike in the Andes.”  The result is everyone wants to trade places, and once there, trade back. Nobody’s happy.

We are being played like ping-pong balls.  Just when you thought you were somewhat okay, another deficiency is pointed out.  I’d like to write a list of the top 10 alternatives to this madness, but there’s only one, really:  Pay attention!

Start noticing the messages you’re taking in.  You’ll find them running circles in your head as you drive to work, perform mundane tasks, exercise—“Should I get a prescription for… I might have symptoms of…I’m tired of driving this bland car…need something more exciting…this air freshener I heard about…”  We already know there’s no end to this, but like the bunny with the carrot dangling in front of his nose, we keep running after solutions to our imagined problems.   The better, more acceptable, cooler and happier “me” must be just around the corner.   

While chasing that carrot, we forget one simple truth: Each one of us is already enough; we’re standing on a field of carrots, right here, right now.  What if we shifted the focus from “out there” to “within” and started digging?  

How’s this relevant to dating? Simple.  Find within you the qualities you seek in a partner.  You want a partner that’s kind?  Become kindness; live it, breathe it, pass it on.  Want someone who’s physically fit?  Become fit first.  Looking for someone who’s honest?  Be very diligent about the truth of your own words.  Once you discover what you seek within you, you will find it reflected in the world.  Smile at others, and you will find a friendlier world out there.  It all starts with you.

 

May 26th, 2008

The Top 5 Secrets to Flirting Successfully

In the matchmaking world, we see day in and day out what makes people successful in their dating lives. 

Frequently, individuals are passive in their approach to making a connection to others while dating.  Healthy flirting is the best way to “send signals” to the people you date to get them to open up, feel comfortable, and let them know the real you. 

Everyone can learn to become a successful flirter.  You don’t want to be too over-the-top, but you want to show interest in your date as a person and take a few calculated risks to show your fun side, so they feel comfortable doing the same.    

The Top 5 Secrets to Flirting Successfully are:

 1)      Be Playful – Be sure you’re not using your job interview skills on a date.  This is your time to relax a little.  Ask a few fun questions and tell an interesting story about yourself.  Show your witty side and your sense of humor.

 2)      Make Effective Eye Contact – Everyone thinks they make good eye contact.  The truth is in a social situation, to look comfortable, you should hold your gaze for a 3 second period.  It may seem long, but it shows attentiveness.

  3)      Laugh a Little – Doesn’t everyone love to laugh?  Yet, on many first dates, it seems that people are too reserved to laugh.  Laughter breaks down any uncomfortable walls that are up and helps form a connection between two people.

 4)      It’s All About Body LanguageAmy Lindquist (our Image Consultant) and Christa Surerus (our Relationship Success Coach) both state that over 70% of how people are perceived is non-verbal.  What we are doing on the outside speaks volumes about what is going on on the inside.  Be sure to keep your body language “open.”  Face your date, keep your arms open, and have a positive look on your face.

 5)      Ask Them Questions About Themselves – Balancing conversation is SO important on a date.  A great way to be sure to do that is by asking your date interesting questions about themselves.  Ask something that you really want to know the answer to.  People like to talk about themselves and it gives them a feeling of importance.  Your question to them also makes you endearing to them.  Remember, it’s better to be “interested” than “interesting.”

Happy, Successful Flirting.

Matt

May 14th, 2008

Your Clothes: “I Have a Date – What Do I Wear?????!!!!”

Okay I’ve said this before, but spring really is here and since I’m a “glass half full” kind of gal, I’m stickin’ to it. That said, the weather IS going to get better and we’re going to be outside much more often. So what does one wear on a summer date?

Here are my fool-proof, Go-To date solutions for ladies and gents:

Women, men are attracted to us for the differences between us. Which means men love a woman that looks like a woman so in my opinion, nothing’s more feminine than a dress or a skirt. Both garments are ideal in that they are flattering, empowering and from a practical standpoint, slenderizing. Yes slenderizing because with the absence of an inseam, dresses and skirts have the ability to smooth out the hips, thighs, bum and tummy. Of course it takes some know-how to find one that will best flatter your particular figure, but in general make sure you’ve two things going for you:

1.) Hemlines; the two most flattering lengths are to the knee (just above, at, or just below the knee) and to the ankle. These are the two thinnest parts of the leg so when the hemline falls mid-calf, it just screams “ALTERATIONS!” to me.

2.) Fit; this is trickier, however if you’re looking in the mirror trying to convince yourself you look good in it or vacillating on it in any way – it’s a definite “NO”. You should be able to look in the mirror and think to yourself “YES!” That’s a home-run piece to own.

Gentlemen regardless of your height or weight, you look instantly buff in a sport coat, whether worn with jeans or slacks – doesn’t matter. It instantly gives you that Wedge-looking body, meaning if you have flaws, they’re minimized and if you don’t, it enhances your already decent physique.

Two main things to keep in mind with a sport coat are:

1.) Make sure your shoulder seams are congruent with your shoulders. Too much or too little shoulder looks like you’ve borrowed it from someone else.

2.) Jacket hems: the bottom of your jacket should cover your bottom. If it doesn’t, you probably need a “Long” in whatever size you wear.

Until next time…

May 4th, 2008

Top 10 Dating Mistakes

Being in the dating business for the last ten, almost eleven years, we at Table for Two have heard feedback from thousands of first dates.  First dates are tough!  There is often a lot of anxiety and people can say and do things that are outside their normal character because their nerves get the better of them.   Sometimes it just helps to hear what is and is not acceptable on a first date.  Our tips are all common sense; but, if you review them periodically, you may avoid the all too common foot-in-mouth syndrome!

#10)  Don’t go into a first date with undue pressure on the outcome.  The best outcome of a first date, is a second date!  If you go into a first date with the expectation that you are on your way to meet your future spouse, you are setting yourself up for disaster and you will appear desperate.  Be open and relaxed and go into the date hoping to meet a new friend.  If you are attracted to each other as friends, then the next steps will follow.  Discover that spark through getting to know each other.  Don’t force it!

#9)  Do not under any circumstances badmouth your ex.  Doing so makes you look bad in so many ways.  You may feel nervous about justifying your last breakup.  You need not be.  Relationships are not always successful and it does not have to turn into a blame game.  Someone who admits his or her part in the break-up and who maintains a civil relationship with prior partners is far more attractive than someone who harbors resentment and cannot move one.  Leave that baggage behind!  Your date will be more likely to give you a chance if he can anticipate you will treat him with respect, even if things do not work out.  Plus, you once were attracted to your ex, and if he is such a terrible person what does that say about your judgment?

#8)  Avoid inappropriate comments or jokes.  This should go without saying but it is surprising how often it occurs.  People get nervous and sometimes say things that are outside their normal character.  Do not make racial jokes, snobbish remarks, social stereotypes, anything to put down someone’s upbringing or heritage.  You may think you are being funny but the only person that it makes look bad is you.  It is a sure sign of insecurity and negativity.  Not once have we had a new client come to us requesting a “negative and judgmental person!”  Kindness goes a long way.  You need to be on your best behavior and put your best foot forward.  You cannot do that if it is in your mouth.

#7)  Do not go on a first date to a movie, play or concert.  A first date is a bit like an interview.  It is a chance to talk and find out things about one another.  You cannot do that in a movie theater.  Having dinner together in a relaxed environment is ideal.  Dinner is usually the ideal length to have a nice, interesting conversation.  There are usually enough interruptions by the wait staff to overcome any awkward silent periods and keep the discussion light and fun. 

#6)  A drink or two is fine, but do not drink too much.  First dates can be high anxiety and a drink can help relax the mood and calm your jitters but do not go overboard.  Even if you do not have a drinking problem, you only have one chance to make a first impression.  You do not want it to be as a lush.  You must keep your wits about you so you can be charming and attentive. 

#5)  Don’t neglect your appearance.  Again, you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Everyone could always use some sprucing up and when you are dating it is a must.  Consult a professional and put your best foot forward, be it an updated hair color or style, a new workout routine, or simply a new outfit.  No one ever comes to us requesting someone who appears “old” or “out of shape”!  Feeling good about your appearance boosts your self confidence and will shine through in your personality. 

#4)  Keep your skeletons in the closet!  Sometimes people are so nervous on a date that they share far more about their lives and the lives of their friends and family members than they should.  While you may be tempted to fill the awkward silences in the conversation with scandalous or highly personal information, save that for later in the relationship after mutual trust has been established. 

#3)  Don’t sabotague your chance of success by dating too far out of your own age range.  Be realistic.  You may not feel or “look” your age and you may want to date someone much younger than you.  Both men and women tell us that everyday. But, if you are looking for true compatibility, there is a limit to the age range you should consider.  Most people are successful staying +/- 10 years of there own age.  Much outside of that range you simply may not “speak the same language”.

#2)  Don’t only focus on beauty.  Physical attraction alone is not enough to sustain a relationship.  Compatibility is key for long-term success.  Of course having a spark is important.  But after that spark dies, is there substance beneath it?  On your first date, don’t be blinded by beauty.  See past it and look to discover what is underneath.

#1)  Look for compatible dating goals.  If you want to settle down and find someone to bear your children, and she is just out of a relationship and wants to sow her wild oats, then she is probably not a good match for you… at least right now.  There is a definite cycle people must go through to deal with their feelings and move on after a relationship.  If you catch someone too early, or too late for that matter, your goals may not be compatible with hers.

May 1st, 2008