As a Love, Life and Dating Coach, I see a lot of the same mistakes being made time and again. If you're looking to bring more love into 2016, then learning a few new tips will make you an even better dater!
You're Only Online Dating
Congrats to you for embracing something that is a big part of our culture. While the latest statistics show that 1 in 4 relationships started online and is rising, maybe you still aren't finding good matches. So what's a frustrated dater to do? Remember to be putting yourself out there in public too. Join a meetup where you have a point of interest -- that way if you meet someone attractive there, you already know you like the same thing! Also when you are at the grocery store, out for a walk or taking your pet to the vet, try starting a conversation... remember those? Also, ask your friends if they know any single people, that's how our parents did it. If you live in a smaller town, then go to the nearest big city from time to time to festivals, outdoor concerts, charity events and more. Be OUT there because you just never know who you might meet.
You're Not Online Dating
I know online dating gets a bad rap in some circles and some people, especially those of us in the middle-of-life (ahem..."midlife"), don't want to fully embrace it. But like it or not, it's here to stay! It doesn't hurt to be online looking at your options, and there will seem like a lot of them on that dating site you just joined. Embrace the process, have some fun, initiate messages and you will meet some great people, even when they aren't a match.
Don't know where to start? My best advice is to try a free site first... I start my clients on OkCupid. So grab an up-close smiling photo and a full length one, write about your strengths, (you can even poke fun about your weaknesses), describe a perfect weekend with someone you'd like spending time with and give it a try... you really don't have anything to lose!
You're waiting too long to meet
You meet someone great online and then you keep talking on the site FOREVER! Do not do this... it's emotionally dangerous. If you keep talking and do eventually meet, you will likely find that the image you created over weeks, or heaven forbid, months, is not very realistic. It's not because the person lied, it's just because you are trying to build something in your mind without all of the parts. And truth be told, some people do lie about different things, so the sooner you meet and figure that out, the better!
My personal rule is to at least have scheduled a date/meet-n-greet within the first 48 hours of meeting online. Trust me, this weeds out the players, the window-shoppers and the incredibly insecure almost all of the time, you'll thank yourself for it!
You've forgotten how to flirt
I get it, maybe you were like me when I first started dating again after an 18 year marriage... you kinda forgot what it was like to talk to the opposite sex in a flirty way. I often teach smart and savvy women to shake off the masculine energy they have to walk in while working their jobs or being the sole caretaker of their kids, and put on the feminine. I teach male clients to stop overthinking being the 'nice guy' and worrying about coming off sounding creepy, and just say "hi!" Doing nothing is an action in itself, so start with a smile, some eye contact and then a relative question and get your flirt on!
You're dating from a place of no
This is a HUGE barrier to finding love. I get it, we have all been hurt but when we don't deal with those past hurts or the stories in our head that are keeping us from picking the best and healthiest relationships, we build an Iron Gate around our heart. The problem is we desperately want love, but we have made an impenetrable wall or set our expectations SO high that we are making love impossible. I often say, "We all have flaws, you just have to find a set of flaws you can live with!" So open your mind to accepting that you're not perfect and neither is any other person on the planet.
Online dating has made it easy for us to date from a place of no. We scroll down the matches, thinking... no, no, no, maybe... okay --c lick. Then we tend to read the profile and look for the first potential 'red flag' even when everything else sounds pretty good, quickly disqualifying them and moving to the next. Because it always feels like there are more choices, we've sadly forgotten these are people with real feelings and hearts.
Lastly, when we are on dates, we are still searching for the NO. It's like our minds are going "wait for it, wait for it... ah, yep, I knew it... he/she likes to wear crocs and there is NO way I can live with THAT!" That's a pretty silly example but you would be surprised at the stuff I hear. "Dating from a place of yes" is about paying more attention to their heart when they speak, know they are making mistakes in this practice of dating just like YOU and make it your intention to see their values and if they match yours.
If you can train yourself to make these simple shifts, I guarantee that you are going to have better dates, better matches and be on your way to finding your best love yet.
Love W I D E in 2016, my friends!