How to Present Your Best Self, Insights from Sarah, the eH+ Matchmaker
The wise and wonderful Sarah is the matchmaker for eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , which combines eHarmony’s matching + premium professional matchmaking. Priced at $5,000 a year, eH+ is a fraction of the cost of most high-end matchmaking services. Read on as Sarah offers her latest learnings!
As the eH+ matchmaker, I have the unique opportunity of preparing clients for their first dates. This is exciting and fun! You’re about to get to know someone and there’s a great possibility of something special. It can be experienced as awkward or unfamiliar when really it’s exhilarating and new. Here are my top four tips for putting your best foot forward.
1. Get Moving
Often times I find that my eH+ clients are caught in online inertia and are slow or reluctant to move out of the email or text phase of communication. With online dating, it’s important to move to meeting in person as soon as you are both able and comfortable. Typically it’s difficult to gauge someone’s personality or sense of humor over text or email. For example, self-deprecating humor tends to read pretty poorly over text. Meeting in person also allows you to determine if there is any physical and emotional chemistry between you. So get moving and go on that first date so you both get to know the real person, not an idealized version of them.
2. Manners Matter, But Chivalry Rules
In today’s modern dating world it may appear as if chivalry is dead, or at least comatose. But it doesn’t have to be. It may seem like simple advice to “mind your manners” and remember etiquette but it’s very important in making a strong first impression.
For men, when you’re asking someone out, do not text them asking if they want to get together sometime. Be chivalrous and proactive, make a phone call and say “I would like to take you to lunch.” I suggest to my eH+ clients that they be specific and identifiable with their requests for dates. Put some thought into where your date might like to go and bring those suggestions to the table.
Once you’re on your date, don’t spend time on your phone or check out other people. It’s rude. Look at your date while they are speaking, actively listen and engage in conversation.
Don’t correct your date on little things or be insulting to anyone else. Good etiquette is an undervalued skill that can make or break a first date.
3. You’re Courting, Not Racing
You’re on the first date, you’ve assessed that you have chemistry and you’re both having a great time, it’s easy to want to start picking out wedding venues in your mind. But it’s important to take things slow as you’re getting to know one another.
With men, I remind them that women can feel vulnerable about online dating and meeting an unfamiliar man. I urge them to be comfortable and respectful with their date’s discomfort, be sure you listen to them, take things slow.
I caution my eH+ clients about prematurely using terms of endearment or talking too much about the future. There’s plenty of time for that as you’re getting to know one another. This type of behavior can be off-putting and alarming to your date.
4. Let’s Not Get Physical
Speaking of sex, hold off on it. Part of the joy of two people forming a deep partnership involves getting to know each other. This takes time and starts with respect, comfort, and expression. I stress to my clients the importance of building emotional intimacy with their partners before physical intimacy. Engage with one another thoughtfully and respectfully, spend time building a mental and emotional connection.
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