eHarmony Blog eHarmony experts’ take on dating, relationships and the science of love 2015-01-16T23:14:07Z http://www.eharmony.com/blog/feed/atom/ Dr. Seth Meyers http://www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com/index.html <![CDATA[How to Approach Someone New (Without Being Cheesy!)]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18588 2015-01-16T23:14:07Z 2015-01-16T23:14:07Z This subject doesn’t need much of an introduction because we all know how awkward it is to approach someone new, as well as how cheesy so many well-intentioned efforts can be. Yet mastering the art of an introduction is actually much easier than you may think. Ask for permission. Walking over to talk to someone […]

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This subject doesn’t need much of an introduction because we all know how awkward it is to approach someone new, as well as how cheesy so many well-intentioned efforts can be. Yet mastering the art of an introduction is actually much easier than you may think.

Ask for permission.

Walking over to talk to someone new is only stressful if you try to think of the perfect thing to say to open the conversation. Rather than put more pressure on yourself, keep it simple when you walk up to someone you don’t know. Below, I highlight some very basic, easy ways to open a discussion with someone who catches your eye. You’ll notice that the examples include an element of asking permission, and permission is important because it gives the person you walk up to a sense of control in the situation.

It’s interesting that most people focus on the fact that the person starting the introduction is the only one who feels nervous or anxious, but the truth is that it can be anxiety-provoking for the other person, too. Think about it: You’re sitting there in your own mental bubble until someone comes over to start a conversation, at which point you naturally have a lot of questions. What does he want? Is she interested in me? Do I know him? By following some of the examples below, you can quickly let the other person know what your motivations are.

Examples: “I noticed you and thought I’d like to say hi to you. Would that be okay, or is now not a good time?” “Hi, I’m so-and-so. I was wondering if you had a minute to say hi to me.” “Hi! I’d love to introduce myself if it’s okay with you, but it’s also okay if you’d rather just talk with friends or have some peace and quiet.” Finally, there’s always some version of humor you can use. “A little birdy told me to come say hi, but I’m not sure if that bird can be trusted. I’m so-and-so.”

Mention the awkwardness.

You’d think that mentioning the awkwardness would make things more awkward, but the opposite is actually true. It’s not so different from what I told my 7-year old son to do to avoid getting bullied at soccer practice when he was forced to wear his sister’s pink shin guards because he couldn’t find his own. I told him, “Say to the other boys, ‘Would you look at these pink shin guards? How funny is that?’” The point: Beat them to the punch. When you walk up to someone new, owning up to the awkwardness – and not being afraid to talk about it – empowers you and takes the power away from any social anxiety. I know many men, for example, who believe that women want a tough, polished guy, but I wish they knew how many women find a little shyness or awkwardness attractive.

Examples: “I feel a little weird going up to someone I don’t know, but I told myself that it’s worth the risk.” “Are you okay with people coming up to you, or do you usually wish people would leave you alone?” Again, humor helps. “This is the part where you thank me for facing my fears so I could come say hi to you.”

Give them an out clause.

This rule is similar to the rule about asking for permission. After you have asked permission, introduced yourself, and mentioned the awkwardness, give the other person a chance to end the conversation – for now. There are two different ways to do this.

You can cut the conversation short and let the new person know where to find you if he or she wants to talk more. If you are uncomfortable or unsure of whether that person is interested, this is the safest choice. The other alternative is to ask the new person whether he or she wants to get back to whatever they were doing before, or whether it’s okay to keep talking.

Don’t introduce yourself and simultaneously expect that the two of you should subsequently launch into an hour-long heart-to-heart. In fact, I find that most people like to meet someone new and then have a moment to process it on their own or with a friend. If you give someone the chance to continue the conversation later, you send an important message: You don’t need to seal the deal in that moment. By giving the new person an out clause, you also show a certain level of self-respect. Your behavior says, ‘I put myself out there because I wanted to meet you, but now you’ll have to show me that you’re interested, too.’

Examples: “Well, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing but I’ll be sitting over there if you want to talk more later.” “Do you want me to let you get back to what you were doing, or are you okay talking?”

Walking over to someone you’re interested in is one of the most understandably stressful things a person can do. Don’t kid yourself by thinking that it should be easy or comfortable. However, if you keep it simple and remember a few basic principles – permission, owning the awkwardness, and an out clause – the interaction will become much less stressful!

book Dr Seths Love Prescription lg 190x300 How to Approach Someone New (Without Being Cheesy!)About the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.

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Sara Eckel <![CDATA[How Dating Can Make You Strong]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18540 2015-01-14T20:04:45Z 2015-01-13T23:22:13Z In her memoir, Bossypants, comedian Tina Fey explains how performing improvisational comedy made her a stronger person: “What I learned about ‘bombing’ as an improviser at Second City was that it doesn’t kill you. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over,” Fey writes. This is […]

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In her memoir, Bossypants, comedian Tina Fey explains how performing improvisational comedy made her a stronger person: “What I learned about ‘bombing’ as an improviser at Second City was that it doesn’t kill you. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over,” Fey writes.

This is one of the most interesting things about human resilience: Very often the best way to deal with your deepest fear is to have it realized.

In January, online dating sites like this one see their highest level of traffic—because it’s a new year, and because Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Lots of people are boldly venturing into the coffee shops and wine bars of America and saying Hi, nice to meet you. Let’s see if we can start a life together, shall we?

It’s a lot like improv. You’re required to perform in a situation with many unknown variables, and the stakes feel very high—no one likes to bomb.

And yet, we all do sometimes. Despite our efforts—the selecting of nice clothes, the telling of (what we think are) amusing stories—sometimes our performance falls flat, and we sit across from a silent, mirthless audience of one signaling the waiter for the check.

It feels terrible, but as Fey might say, it’s not fatal. No matter how badly things go, you live. Spill soup on your date. Make a wildly insensitive comment. Tell a bad joke. You don’t die. Even if you get your heart broken, you find that your body refuses to expire.

When you know you can survive a bad date, you’re able to go on another—and another, and another. And you can start to notice that each one is different. You may not have been wildly attracted to the guy you saw on Tuesday, but he was nice and had interesting things to say about your city’s mayoral race. As opposed to Monday’s dude, who monologued about himself for forty minutes and stuck you with the check. You start to see that everyone walks into that coffee shop or brew pub with a complicated history that has nothing to do with you.

Even when you’re completely blindsided by a bad date or failed romance, you still recover. It may take some time, but at some point you find yourself absorbed in some project—preparing the company’s annual report, painting the dining room. You’ll go out with friends and realize you’re having a good time

Each time you do this, you build strength. It’s like going to the gym—the resistance of the weight builds the muscle. Progress happens slowly—the result of a zillion small decisions to forgo the cronut or take another step on that god-awful treadmill—but if you stick with it, you’ll see results.

Learning to manage the emotional challenges of dating won’t make you drop a dress size or win an Oscar. But it can enable you to develop an internal sense of confidence and dignity that is independent of other people’s opinions. That’s a skill that has applications far beyond the coffee shop.

About the Author:

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have a question for Sara? Go to saraeckel.com/contact and ask.

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Jeannie Assimos, Senior Director of Content <![CDATA[The Most Important Thing to Remember in Dating (Which You Likely Forget!)]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18530 2015-01-13T00:26:36Z 2015-01-13T00:26:36Z In today’s guest post, the amazing Lindsay Tigar returns with an inspiring new blog about how she shifted her focus inward, and has found some real happiness. You will love this one! Enjoy — and congrats to Lindsay. Can’t wait to see where life takes you next. Written by Lindsay Tigar My ex and I broke […]

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In today’s guest post, the amazing Lindsay Tigar returns with an inspiring new blog about how she shifted her focus inward, and has found some real happiness. You will love this one! Enjoy — and congrats to Lindsay. Can’t wait to see where life takes you next.

Written by Lindsay Tigar

being single and what you learn 300x199 The Most Important Thing to Remember in Dating (Which You Likely Forget!)My ex and I broke up in September of 2011 – it was one of those dramatic, romantic comedy-esque kind of scenes: I asked for more, he couldn’t give it, he offered a half-hearted plea for me to stay and I grabbed the next cab I saw uptown to my apartment, while it rained (of course) and I cried the whole way home.

In the months that turned into years after that I’ve been dating in New York – one of those cities with a bad reputation for being more about career than love – I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons. Like – if a guy says he’s 5’11 in his online dating profile, he’s likely around 5’8”. Or when a guy says he’s not looking for a relationship, he’s not, no matter how easygoing, beautiful, sexy or sassy you might be. And that there are more than enough men who are willing to wine and dine you, but not too many that actually want to talk to you and listen. I think that’s why love is so valuable when we do eventually stumble across it, the work to get there feels really, really hard.

And at times… exhausting. So tiring in fact, that last year, I decided I’d stop focusing on the men and I’d start putting the attention on myself. Seems simple, right? You would think so, but self-love is something I’ve been thinking about, writing about, talking about and figuring out for a long time. (In fact, 700 blogs worth on my personal dating blog, Confessions of a Love Addict).

For whatever reason, 2014 was different. I finally stopped sleeping with my ex (yeah, I know, shameful, but hey, a girl’s gotta admit her shortcomings), my family had been through a health scare and as far as years go, 2013 wasn’t exactly a great one for me. I couldn’t let another year go by of being unhappy or waiting for things to happen in my life – I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and if the men came, then they did. If not, at least I would find the peace in myself that I so badly craved.

Ya know what? I did. And more than peace, I found a sense of content, a happiness and a joy in my life that I never had before. Dating was still dating – fun, annoying, hopeful and at times, ripe with butterflies – but I was a better person. And it all came from loving the good – and the bad – things about myself, and learning from a place of acceptance instead of putting myself down.

That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the three years of flying solo: there is so much power and beauty in self-love. Not everyone is going to agree with you and even those who love you most might not understanding why you’re still single or why you can’t just find a nice guy (or girl) to settle down with, and at times, it can be hard to let those opinions go, but in 2015, I challenge you to do just that:

Love yourself. And focus on that love instead of searching for another love outside of it.

The best part about finding your confidence and saying kind things to yourself instead of continuously listing your shortcomings in your head (I know you do – we all do!) is that you become a better dater, naturally. You are more aware of yourself. You own that presence that is completely, utterly unique to you. You stop putting up with the drama that so many people can bring to your life. You believe you are more, and therefore, you find it. The quality of men or women who capture your attention changes, strengthens, and deepens.

But the most exciting part for me wasn’t that I met better guys or that my faith in love was rekindled when I started being kinder to myself – it was that my life really caught on fire. I traveled more, I moved to a nicer part of the city, I found a new job that challenged me and my day-to-day happiness skyrocketed.

I still haven’t met the right guy, and I’m not sure when I will. (I am only 26, so I know I have more than enough time.) But as I go into 2015, I’m keeping my focus on self-love. And sure, I’m dating. My heart is open to a great love, and I’m okay if it takes a while to find him. Because you know what? It’s taken me a long time to have the guts to say this, but…

…I’m worth the wait. He’s worth it – whoever he is. And you? You absolutely are too.

About the Author:

Lindsay Tigar is a 26-year-old single writer, editor, and blogger living in New York City. She started her popular dating blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, after one too many terrible dates with tall, emotionally unavailable men (her personal weakness) and is now developing a book about it, represented by the James Fitzgerald Agency. You can find her running along the East River, drinking champagne with her dog Lucy (don’t judge), and constantly tweeting and instagramming. In addition to Dater Diary, Lindsay also writes for AskMen.com, Women’s Health, YourTango.com, Shape, Engagement 101, and more. E-mail her at lindsay@loveaddictnyc.com.

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Marni Battista <![CDATA[Help: My Boyfriend Keeps Talking to His Ex!]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18520 2015-01-12T19:24:35Z 2015-01-12T19:24:35Z It’s inevitable, an ex is bound to pop up in almost every relationship. It can either cause your relationship to fail, or make you stronger. It’s all in the approach of how it’s dealt with. Although I believe it’s possible, I don’t believe it’s common for “friendships” with ex’s to work out well for anyone in […]

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when he is texting the ex 300x184 Help: My Boyfriend Keeps Talking to His Ex!It’s inevitable, an ex is bound to pop up in almost every relationship. It can either cause your relationship to fail, or make you stronger. It’s all in the approach of how it’s dealt with.

Although I believe it’s possible, I don’t believe it’s common for “friendships” with ex’s to work out well for anyone in the equation. When ex’s stay friends, there is a fine line between what’s appropriate and what’s not and because of this, there will always be one person who feels jealous whether it due to time spent, physical affection or favors done for one another.

Some people believe that beyond the intimate relationship they had, they can salvage just the friendship. It really depends on the situation. If your beau and their ex have been friends since elementary school, were friends for years before they dated, or are family friends, this may be the exception to the rule. It also depends on what your beau and their ex are doing when they hang out. Is it in a group with mutual friends? Or is it alone, watching movies or grabbing dinner? Go with your gut. If you think it’s inappropriate, it probably is.

Inevitably, there will be one person who still has feelings for the other. This may seem like a wild claim, but I believe that women are better at just staying “friends” with an ex than men are. Again, this is only my opinion. What should be most important is your relationship with your significant other. If you feel insecure about your relationship because his ex is still in the picture, that’s normal. It also shows that there may be doubts in your mind about trust and monogamy with that person.

There is really only one thing you can do…

Explain to your significant other that it bothers you and if you’re important to him, he needs to stop.

If he doesn’t understand or continues to fight you on why he needs to still talk to his ex, it’s your call. Either you tell him that the communication with his ex is a deal breaker and you leave him, OR you decide that as long as there is no “funny business” going on you’re willing to live with it.

What is not appropriate is to say that you’re okay with it but hold resentment or bring it up when you’re upset. Say what you feel and make sure you’re heard, loud and clear. Being direct with your significant other (or anyone for that matter) about what you want and what bothers you is the best route to go!

Have you been in this situation? How did it work out?

About the Author:

Marni Battista, deemed one of the 10 Best Women’s Dating Experts, is the founder and CEO of Dating with Dignity.

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Sara Eckel <![CDATA[Feeling Desperate? Don’t Worry. No One Can Tell.]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18509 2015-01-14T20:05:36Z 2015-01-09T18:51:37Z Singles have to navigate a razor-thin line. You have to show people that you’re happily single, but you can’t be too happy—otherwise people worry that you’re not “making room” for love. On the other hand, if you admit that you aren’t satisfied with your solo life—that you really, really want to meet someone—then the diagnosis […]

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Singles have to navigate a razor-thin line. You have to show people that you’re happily single, but you can’t be too happy—otherwise people worry that you’re not “making room” for love. On the other hand, if you admit that you aren’t satisfied with your solo life—that you really, really want to meet someone—then the diagnosis is much worse. You’ll never be able to attract a mate! You’re too desperate!

People mean well when they try to reconfigure our emotions and our personalities to meet the cultural ideal of a desirable romantic partner. They just want us to be happy. But not only do these “rules” make us feel terrible, they also don’t hold up to scrutiny.

Take the rule against being “too desperate.” It makes sense—we’ve all met that nervous, twitchy person whose frantic need for approval makes you want to walk across the room. But a University of Toronto study found that most of us are pretty good at keeping that uncomfortable vibe in check.

In the study, researchers gave participants at a Toronto speed-dating event an assessment to determine how anxious they felt about being single. Then each dater was paired with a member of the opposite sex for a brief conversation. After three minutes, everyone switched partners until all of the participants had met about 25 members of the opposite sex. At the end, the daters indicated whom they would share their contact information with.

The researchers found two things. First, the more anxious group were interested in dating a larger number of people, while the less anxious group was more selective. No big surprise there. The more fearful daters were less picky. But they were no less desirable. The researchers found that the more anxious daters received just as much interest from other potential dates as the more confident group.

“Fear of being single did not predict others’ romantic interest in a speed-dating context. These findings suggest that those with stronger fear of being single may not be objectively off-putting to potential romantic partners, and that such fears may be relatively unwarranted.”

Or, as they also put it: “They can’t smell your fear.”

The authors noted that it’s possible that the speed-daters did see a lack of confidence in some of their peers, but that’s it’s not the deal-breaker that some self-help authors lead us to believe.

Although our culture celebrates confidence and high self-esteem, University of Texas at Austin psychologist Kristin Neff notes that there is little evidence that these qualities make you more likable. She cites a study in which highly confident college students told researchers that they had superior interpersonal skills. However, their roommates rated their interpersonal skills as merely average.

“Typically, people with high and low self-esteem are equally liked by others. It’s just that those with low self-esteem greatly underestimate how much others actually approve of them, while those with high self-esteem overestimate others’ approval,” writes Neff in her book, Self-Compassion.

In other words, confident people aren’t always better dates—they just think they are!

How often have you come across the “desperate dater?”

About the Author:

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have a question for Sara? Go to saraeckel.com/contact and ask.

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Dr. Seth Meyers http://www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com/index.html <![CDATA[Romance Roadblocks: When Dating is Making You Angry]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18502 2015-01-14T20:06:05Z 2015-01-09T00:17:52Z People get angry when they don’t get something that they really, really want. If you’re one of those people who’s been duking it out in the dating world – date after date, trying to find someone who sticks – you can reach a point where you start getting angry. Getting angry makes perfect sense, too. […]

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dating is making me angry 300x190 Romance Roadblocks: When Dating is Making You AngryPeople get angry when they don’t get something that they really, really want. If you’re one of those people who’s been duking it out in the dating world – date after date, trying to find someone who sticks – you can reach a point where you start getting angry. Getting angry makes perfect sense, too. In the same way that you’d be irritated if you had sent out resumes without ever getting an interview, going on lots of dates without finding a lasting relationship can cause the nicest and happiest of men and women to become a little bitter.

Signs that you’re getting bitter about dating

Examples: You don’t believe a word anyone says in their profile for fear that it’s all lies anyhow; you schedule a couple of dates on the same day because you’ve lost faith that either one will be worth the trouble; you act sarcastic or get defensive on dates; you ask questions or make comments as if you’re testing the other person; you secretly fear that everyone you go on a date with is already being intimate with several other people; and you cancel a fair share of first dates because you doubt any date will actually result in a relationship you’d want.

If you find yourself feeling bitter, it’s time to 1) be honest that you’ve become bitter about the whole dating process, and 2) create a plan to improve your mood about dating so that you attract good and sane people into your life.

Ask yourself what kind of relationship you want.

Be clear about whether you want to casually date or whether you’re ready to set up house soon if you meet the right person. Also, make sure to ask yourself whether you’ve been too rigid – or not rigid enough – about the traits you’re looking for in a partner.

In general, men and women become bitter when they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. Go back to the drawing board and write down the five to ten traits you’re looking for in a partner, and ask yourself if you have been on dates in the past three months with anyone who meets these criteria. If you’ve been on dates with people who meet at least some of your criteria, take inventory of what’s going wrong.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are you trying too hard? Do you come across as anxious or desperate? Are you scaring people away by trying to make too many future plans on date number one or two? On the other hand, are you not trying hard enough? Are you not verbally communicating your interest? Are you not taking the initiative to call him or her after your dates? Are you waiting for the other person to do all the work?

Be vulnerable with your BFF.

Take the plunge and let yourself be vulnerable with your closest friend. (Guys, that includes you, too!) Ask your friend, “Why do you think I might be having such bad luck? What do you think I might be able to do differently?” No matter what, do not be defensive when you get feedback. Sit with it for a day or two, and odds are that you will see that there is wisdom in the feedback.

Try a new social scene.

When you get bitter in dating, it’s time to change your literal point of view. Besides trying your usual online dating, make more of an effort to go with friends to different restaurants, bars, sports events, or local activities. If you continue to go to the same places week after week, there’s a good chance that you’ll either become bored or bitter because you’re not varying your social routine enough.

Seek out self-soothers when your mood is down in the dumps.

There are countless ways you can soothe yourself when your mood and motivation are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Keep in mind that self-soothers aren’t active outlets, such as exercise or primal screams. Soothers include things or activities which make you feel comforted and calm. Examples: taking a bath several times per week; curling up with a blanket and good book or magazine; nesting in front of the fireplace on a cold night or basking in the sun on a warm day; hosting a small themed gathering at your place with your best friends; going for a massage; writing a poem or jotting down random thoughts in a journal; and cuddling with a pet or a bunch of comfy pillows on the sofa.

Sooner or later, we all hit a point where our emotional gas tank is running low, but the extent to which we seek out healthy self-soothing mechanisms determines how quickly and effectively we can break out of a bitter funk. If you take a step back and let yourself feel grateful about the positive things you have in your life already, you won’t feel as anxious about find a lasting relationship immediately!

About the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.

 

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Jeannie Assimos, Senior Director of Content <![CDATA[Are You Really Ready for a Relationship? These 6 Signs Point to ‘No’]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18489 2015-01-08T22:55:00Z 2015-01-08T21:24:58Z You might really want a relationship. But are you emotionally ready for one? Taking a look at ourselves is challenging, but rewarding and smart in the end. And not just for you — but for anyone taking the time to invest in you. I really liked today’s guest blog from relationship expert Aaron Kaplan. Written by Aaron […]

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You might really want a relationship. But are you emotionally ready for one? Taking a look at ourselves is challenging, but rewarding and smart in the end. And not just for you — but for anyone taking the time to invest in you. I really liked today’s guest blog from relationship expert Aaron Kaplan.

Written by Aaron Kaplan, YourTango

ready for relationship how to know 300x200 Are You Really Ready for a Relationship? These 6 Signs Point to NoMany people are so focused on finding someone to be their significant other that they overlook the fact that they’re not ready for commitment. You’d think you’d realize you don’t want to be in a relationship, but that’s not always true. Instead, you may be craving to have someone in your life to share things with. Don’t confuse this feeling with being ready to be in a relationship.

Here are some signs that suggest you might not be ready for a relationship:

1. You’re drawn to the wrong person.
Time after time, the person you’re attracted to is in no way the one you should be with. Even though you’re warned that they might be a huge player or a loser, it doesn’t stop you from latching onto them. It also doesn’t take very long to realize that you’ve made a big mistake.

2. You are only happy when you have “someone.”
When you’re invited to a social event, unless you have a date to escort you, it’s likely that you’ll make up an excuse to not attend. This is never a good reason to jump into a relationship. You need to learn how to be happy with yourself and on your own first.

Some women feel like they need to “fix” someone. This translates into drama. They find someone who’s dysfunctional and then keep busy by trying to saving him. Being a therapist isn’t the same thing as being a girlfriend.

On the flip side, you might want someone to save you. If you’re constantly talking about what a mess your life is, it’s important to fix it all before you’re ready for a real relationship. You’ll most likely attract another person with all of your same issues, so neither of you will get better.

3. You think a relationship will complete you.
While this sounds great in a movie or in a book, reality is a bit different. There should be no completing. In fact, you might consider looking for a partner who will complement you. This makes you look a lot less needy.

4. You spend more time looking for love than enjoying your interests.
Granted, you do need to be out there in social situations if you ever plan to meet the right person, but don’t plan all of your outings around “The Hunt.”

5. Your baggage is holding you back.
You haven’t truly and thoroughly dealt with any leftover emotional baggage from previous relationships. Until you do, all your future relationships will be “rebounds.” Another person isn’t necessarily going to take your mind off of your ex.

6. You don’t feel you can be your authentic self.
There is no need to turn yourself inside out to make sure you’re exactly what someone else wants. Be more concerned about whether or not the other person is exactly what you want.

More at YourTango:

Why You Should Date More than One Guy at a Time

The Surprising Benefit of Dating Someone Who Isn’t Your Type

8 Things No Woman Should Ever Wait for a Man to Do

 

Article originally appeared on YourTango: 6 Signs You’re TOTALLY Not Ready For A Relationship

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Sarah Elizabeth Richards <![CDATA[How to Score More First Dates]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18476 2015-01-14T20:06:46Z 2015-01-05T21:48:18Z You might think that planning a first date is a pretty routine affair these days. That’s because if you’re doing online dating, you’re going to go on a lot of them. Here’s how it should go down: Guy chats with girl. He suggests meeting. They settle on a place and time. They go on the […]

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You might think that planning a first date is a pretty routine affair these days. That’s because if you’re doing online dating, you’re going to go on a lot of them. Here’s how it should go down: Guy chats with girl. He suggests meeting. They settle on a place and time. They go on the date and are so enthralled with each other that they text each other smiley face emoticons as soon as they get home.

The point of the first date is to get you a second date and start the process of building a relationship. However, it’s shocking how many things can go wrong from the time you write “It would be fun to get together” to the moment you are sitting across from one another swirling your Syrah.

Yet possessing stellar first-date skills is especially important this time of year during online dating’s high season. That’s when the largest number of people subscribe to dating sites. That means there’s more competition than any other time of year, and a guy with date-planning game is going to beat out one who lamely writes, “Let me know if you ever have some free time in the near future to grab a quick coffee or something, if you feel like it.”

Note: I’m assuming traditional gender roles here. Even if you don’t embrace them, the reality is that the many daters are, and a lady is likely waiting for the man to take the lead. Read (“First Dates: Who Should Pay … and Why”)

Here’s a list of common problems and ways to fix them:

1) They wait too long to ask for the date.

There’s a sweet spot during communication when it’s wise to ask for the first meeting. You don’t want to write “I loved what you wrote in your profile. Can I take you to dinner?” At the same time, few people have the time or patience for weeks-long correspondence before someone suggests actually going on a date. Exchange a couple emails to establish some rapport (“I saw you’re a cyclist in your photo. Can you recommend some good trails around here?”) Maybe chat on the phone once. Then close the deal by asking “Would you like to meet up?”

2) They don’t make specific plans.

Asking a woman directly if she wants to go on a date is very different from vaguely stating “Give me a shout if you want to hang out sometime.” Even if your match really wants to meet you, she might feel too forward to forward you her Google calendar.

After asking if she wants to meet, then present a detailed plan, such as “Would you like to meet for a glass of wine next Tuesday or Wednesday?” Bonus points if you suggest a place. Although there seems to be a lot of pressure these days to plan a super creative first date (Stand-Up Paddle boarding Groupons! Truffle-making lessons! Karaoke!), the best dates are simple meet-ups that should last no more than a couple hours. You just want to chat and see if there’s an attraction.

3) They don’t confirm the date.

We all have busy lives and packed schedules, so it’s not uncommon to plan a date at least week away. It’s good manners to confirm at least a day or two before that it’s still on your calendars. It’s hard for a woman to get excited about a date when she receives a text at 3 p.m. reading “Still up for meeting tonight?” On that note, don’t ask if someone “still” wants to get together. Show off your confidence by writing, “Just checking in … Looking forward to meeting at Vino Vino tomorrow night.”

4) They suggest meeting halfway.

If you live more than 10 minutes away, asking someone to meet you in the middle is certainly “fair.” But it’s not romantic and comes from a place of caution. A woman might agree to make the drive, but she’s going to notice that her Thursday night date came all the way to her neighborhood for their first date. So make the trip. You can suggest meeting closer to her workplace, if that’s more convenient.

5) They don’t mention a second date.

It’s not fair to mention going on another date if you’re not feeling it. But if you are, a woman always appreciates hearing “I had a great time. I’d love to see you again.” Then get to work planning a fun second date idea.

About the Author:

Sarah Elizabeth Richards is a journalist and the author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Slate and Salon.

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Dr. Seth Meyers http://www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com/index.html <![CDATA[3 Crazy-Important Dating Resolutions]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18465 2015-01-14T20:08:08Z 2015-01-05T18:35:05Z Okay, here’s my take on new year’s resolutions: I recommend them as long as they are realistic and sensible. I also find that coming up with two or three resolutions makes a lot more sense than, say, five or ten. When it comes to dating, you can never be too good at it because it […]

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Okay, here’s my take on new year’s resolutions: I recommend them as long as they are realistic and sensible. I also find that coming up with two or three resolutions makes a lot more sense than, say, five or ten. When it comes to dating, you can never be too good at it because it takes a lot of time, effort, and discipline to date like a sane person. If you make at least one of the resolutions outlined below, I’m confident that you’ll be more successful on your dates!

Read e-v-e-r-y single word of that person’s dating profile.

If you’re all about attention to detail, this one won’t be a stretch for you. But I am here to tell you how common it is that someone goes out on an actual date without even reading much of their date’s profile in advance. Too many people get hooked by an attractive picture or a particular detail, and they end up glossing over other sections or details of the rest of the profile. Trust me when I say this: Every word in a profile speaks volumes.

In the new year, make a point to read someone’s profile in its absolute entirety before deciding to send an initial message. If your alarm goes off due to weird, negative or narcissistic statements, click out of that profile and head for the hills. Most importantly, make sure to reread – that’s right – your new date’s profile before you get together in person. You need to walk into that new situation with a sense that you will be safe and that you will be in the company of someone whom you’ll actually like and respect.

Go out on more dates with people who aren’t your usual, expected “type.”

If you poll a host of couples who are managing happy, long-term relationships, you’ll discover a theme. Specifically, many men and women will often say that the one they ended up with fell outside the confines of their usual or expected type. I find that some of the best relationships are born when each member of a couple eschews their usual restrictions about their “type” and gives someone different a try.

As the new year begins, make a concerted effort to broaden your type. Perhaps you say you don’t like blondes, or maybe short or nerdy-looking guys or gals aren’t your cup of tea. Instead of kicking those types to the curb, give a few new types a try – and at least one dinner date each! I constantly preach the same advice to my male and female clients: Don’t look for someone who looks or acts just like you, but look for someone who complements you. For example, my friend and I were discussing the non-stop charades of the cast of television’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” clan this week. When we discussed the unforgettable “NeNe” Leakes, I shared that I liked her husband and found him to be one of the few not-so-crazy people on the show. “He’s good for her,” my psychologist friend shared, underscoring the idea that we must all find someone to help round out our edges. (And NeNe has some edges!) Remember, your complement will often come in the form of a different type, so date more of these fine folks in the new year!

Call more dates back – even if you plan on never dating them again.

Karma is for reals, yo! The more respectful and kind you become to your dates – regardless of whether you want to be with them in the future or not, the sooner you will find a good and lasting relationship. In the new year, make a resolution to call others back when they call you, even if your only purpose is to say that you feel you’re not a good fit but that you’re nonetheless glad that you had a chance to meet them. If you learn to practice this very grown-up habit, you will also find an indirect benefit the next time someone rejects you. Simply put, you won’t take it so personally and feel so rejected. You’ll start to tell yourself that you aren’t what that one, specific person happened to be looking for at that one, specific point in time.

Now that you have a few good suggestions, try to incorporate them all but also pick the one that you’re set on building into your dating life for good. If you only choose one, let it be the first one, because an online profile can tell you 90 percent of what you need to know from the get-go.

About the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.

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Sara Eckel <![CDATA[3 Dating Resolutions to Skip]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=18454 2015-01-14T20:09:04Z 2014-12-30T20:52:21Z I’ve always loved New Year’s, because I love making lists. There’s so much promise in that sheet of resolutions to step up my career, become a vegetarian, or start doing Pilates. But the chipper “New Year, New You” mantra has a dark side: It suggests that something is wrong with the “old” you. Single people […]

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I’ve always loved New Year’s, because I love making lists. There’s so much promise in that sheet of resolutions to step up my career, become a vegetarian, or start doing Pilates. But the chipper “New Year, New You” mantra has a dark side: It suggests that something is wrong with the “old” you.

Single people are already deluged with information about how they can be better—more attractive, less needy, etc. New Year’s can present a double-whammy, encouraging you to believe that if you could only shed those ten pounds or become more optimistic, true love would be yours. So along with those vows to go to the gym and read more books, it’s also useful to think about the parts of you that don’t need improvement. In that spirit, I’d like to suggest three New Year’s resolutions that most singles can skip.

1. Be More Positive

Nearly every dating guide on the market tells singles that if they want to be more attractive to others, they need to have a positive attitude. That sounds reasonable, but here’s the problem with the positivity pushers—no one with an IQ over 40 can take a sunny outlook all the time. And forcing yourself to “be positive” can actually have the opposite effect.

What happens when someone tells you not to think about pink elephants? Suddenly, pink elephants are foremost in your mind. The harder you try to banish those images, the more stubborn they become. Research has found that it’s the same for people who vow to only think happy thoughts—the brain works so hard to shut out the negativity that it may actually become more aware of it.

I’m not suggesting you start your next date with “Hey, how about that global warming?” But if someone asks you how you like your job, you don’t have to pretend it’s terrific if in fact it’s a complete headache. Of course, no one wants to hear an hour-long rant about someone else’s impossible boss, but in general most people prefer humble honesty to shiny lies.

2. Be Less Particular

Singles are constantly told that they’d find love in an instant if only they weren’t so darn picky. And while there certainly are single people who maintain unrealistic standards of beauty or wealth for their potential partners, most are just looking for someone cute who is fun to talk to. The fact that concepts like “attractive” and “interesting” are highly subjective leaves the single shamers ample room to write off anyone who declines a third date.

There’s a Buddhist saying I like: “Of the two witnesses, trust the principal one.” Meaning: “trust yourself.” You are the only person who has spent your entire life with you. You were there on your first day of kindergarten and the day you quit your last job. You were there for your first kiss, your first breakup and everything that happened in between.

While others may have firm opinions about whom you should date, you are the only true expert on this subject. Of course, it’s great to let people set you up or date outside your type. Just don’t let anyone talk you out of your own good instincts.

3. Raise Your Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem consider themselves more likable than those with average or low self-regard. However, thinking highly of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean others will think well of you—in fact, a sky-high self-image could come across as arrogant or narcissistic.

Obviously, a positive sense of self-worth can be extremely beneficial. But if your goal this year is to find a nice relationship, looking into a mirror and reciting affirmations about how great you are probably isn’t the way to go. So instead of attempting to boost your self-confidence, try raising your self-compassion. That is, instead of trying to convince yourself that you’re the greatest, try accepting that you’re an ordinary and flawed person, and you’re still worthy of love.

What are your dating resolutions this year? And which ones are you skipping?

About the Author:

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have a question for Sara? Go to saraeckel.com/contact and ask.

 

 

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