In this issue:
Free Online Assessment
Confidential online assessment for evaluating your new or dating relationship. Access here
A, B, C's of Getting Acquainted: Three Tips for Easier DatingBy Lynne Michelson, MSW, CPCC
Whether you use the Internet for dating or you attend singles events, meeting a potential dating partner can feel like a wild white water rafting trip without a guide. So you either gird yourself for the task or avoid it altogether. A client told me recently that he felt dating was like putting toe after toe into icy water without ever feeling warmed up. Since the dating waters are unpredictable and first impressions are so key, I encourage you to be prepared. Then, when you meet someone special -- you will seize the opportunity -- even when the raft you are on seems to be moving very quickly.
Below are 3 tips to help you when you meet someone new and you feel ill at ease or uncertain. These are less about impressing someone and more about co-creating a connection. Having coached many singles and been a 50-year old newly minted single myself, I know that many questions swirl around at this time. We get lost in worry about whether we are talking enough, talking too much, seeming too eager or appearing indifferent. These tips are to help you be yourself, relax, and exude curiosity, which builds relationship easily and authentically.
Since you don't know when you will meet someone special, use these tips wherever you go. One client met her match in a grocery store. A friend met his partner at a swimming pool. Take some time to explore these suggestions below and see if they help you first with friends, family and co-workers.
A,B,C's for Easier Dating:
A= All Here:
ALL HERE - In Bingo, as in the game of relationship, you must be present to win.Think about being at a party, where the woman you are talking to is scanning the room for someone else - maybe you think more interesting than you. Or you feel bored with the man you are speaking with, and can't wait to connect with the attractive tall fellow in the corner. Your ear keeps hearing intriguing conversation elsewhere: something about dance venues or a cool book called "The Brain on Music," or whatever calls you. What chance is there for connecting when one of you is itching to move on?
At a workshop recently, I had the opposite experience. I was partnered with someone I didn't
know for an exercise to hold eye contact, and then to imagine being together for eternity.
In a very surprising way, my partner became familiar to me and, as his eyes softened, I thought of him as a special someone. What makes this relevant to first encounters? I heard that Bill Clinton was excellent at making the person he was talking to feel as if they were the most important person in the room, for he looked fully into eyes, curious and attentive. It doesn't have to be a reality-suspending eye gazing experience, but you might choose to imagine your date, or the person you are with right now as someone you really want to know, want to talk to and could enjoy for a long time. Being attentive and curious is tip number 1.
BEING RELAXED - Handling the butterflies and taming tension
Why do we feel tense or uncomfortable when we meet someone really attractive? Strange how that works. The more we desire someone at this early stage, the more adrenaline and cortisol flow and we might sweat or forget words. One client told me he wrecked his car going out on a second date. Let's get him to relax! Not so easy for many reasons, including stress chemicals coursing through us, and our particular self-judgments that limit us from being calm and at our best.
So try this for reducing anxiousness. Imagine you are in an elevator going down five floors. As you drop each floor, breathe out slowly and move your attention down from the face, to the shoulders, to the back and belly, and finally the feet. Now think of sitting across from a person who really interests you and practice this technique. Or practice the next time you meet someone new, whether at work or a social event.
CONVERSING - What is happening when there is a flow?
It is important to take your conversation partner on little journeys sometimes. Story tellers are taught to enjoy their story and feel it is happening in the present moment. When you share, bring in sensory details, see it happening, and make the story relevant. Or notice when the conversation ball is in your court; but don't keep it too long. Many ways to send it back - try paraphrasing what the person said, or expressing empathy, or ask them to tell you more. Most of us love being asked a good question. You might read the book Intellectual Foreplay, filled with intriguing questions.
I was on a date where the guy never asked me a question. No second date. Do share both authentic interests and hopes, and ask about theirs.
It is hard to overestimate the power of a first meeting and you can enhance its success by giving the other person your entire attention, be in a state of calm curiosity and learn to engage them so you both can see if there is potential for eternity.
Copyright © 2013 by Lynne Michelson, MSW, CPCC. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Is she just dating me for my money?
I met a woman 3 months ago and we've been dating a couple times per week since then (not intimate up to this point). We really enjoy each other's company and we participate in a variety of activities. We talk a lot, laugh a lot and share common values and interests.
On our last date, she revealed that she is in deep financial debt and she wants to borrow some money from me. This makes me uncomfortable and makes me wonder if she's dating me for my money/potential or if she really enjoys me for who I am. I'm not comfortable lending money to anyone and the idea of debt doesn't work for me either. Any suggestions or should I just end things? I really like her, but...."
~Mitchell in Manhattan
Transcripts Now Available -
for innovative relationship information, tools and strategies for singles
|Darlene Steele | Editor, Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles | CONTACT DARLENE
Copyright © 2013 by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved.
Feel free to share this with others as long as our contact information and authorship is included.