5 Signs You’re With The Wrong Person Mr. Right Now?

5 Signs You’re With The Wrong Person Mr. Right Now?

5 Signs You’re With The Wrong Person

Mr. Right Now?

 

When I first met John, I thought I had met my soul mate. He was handsome, intelligent, witty, and adventurous. The first few months of our relationship were bliss, but as time went on subtle changes began to take place within me. At first, I didn’t notice them. My best friends did. When they would point something out, I would shrug it off. “All relationships have their ups and downs,” I would say. While that may be true, our bodies do send us physiological signals that something isn’t quite right. My body had been trying to tell me for months that I was not with the right guy, but I didn’t listen. John was not abusive. We had a good time together. Yet, the signals were clear. He was not the one.

What physiological signs does your body send you when you’re with the wrong person? There are several, and you should pay close attention when they start to pop up. Learn to trust your gut and it will never lead you astray.

  1. You lose your smile. My friends began to notice that when I talked about John, I smiled less often. They noticed how my lips would pull tight and my eyes would grow sad. They noticed these months before I began to realize that when I thought of John, my spontaneous smile that was omnipresent in the beginning was fading. If you find yourself smiling less, you are with the wrong person.
  2. Your self-esteem vanishes. If you start to notice your confidence wavering when it was previously thriving, this is a physiological sign that the person you are with is not helping feel loved and supported the way you should be. If you can’t feel comfortable in their presence when you’re at your worst, then they are not the right person for you. The right person will help your subconscious feel completely at ease, so you are free to be completely and unapologetically you.
  3. You are emotionally exhausted. While I was dating John, I was completely emotionally exhausted. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was spending a lot of emotional energy trying to be the perfect partner for John. I was trying to manage my moods and anxiety to avoid provoking negative reactions in him. While it is important to be aware of how you affect your SO in healthy relationships if you find yourself micromanaging yourself in order to avoid conflict in you are in trouble. You are allowed to have emotions. You are allowed to express those emotions, and your partner should listen and be supportive. If they aren’t willing to be that shoulder to cry on, you are not with the right person.
  4. You are in denial. Do you spend a lot of time trying to convince yourself everything is fine in your relationship? I’ve got a little secret for you. FINE is the kiss of death. No one should settle for fine. While all relationships have their ups and downs, and there is definitely a happy medium to be found if you are with the right person you do not have to convince yourself everything is fine. You will FEEL stable and confident and optimistic. You will FEEL a deeper connection and commitment. You will FEEL it. If you find that your inner dialogue dwells on the pros/cons of your relationship a lot, then your body is trying to tell you everything is not FINE.
  5. You neglect yourself. While you may want to spend every waking moment with your SO, you should never put yourself last. You should not feel guilty about needing me time, and your partner should not begrudge that time either. If you need a night out with your friends or a few hours to yourself, your SO shouldn’t demand that you check in frequently with them. If you do not have time or energy to meet your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs within your relationship, then you are with the wrong person.

All relationships take work. All relationships vacillate between times of pure bliss and rocky roads. The difference is that if you are with the right person, you will FEEL it in your bones. Your body will let you know that you can weather the storm because your SO is committed to you and your happiness, not just their own. With the right partner, every day is beautiful. The struggles become conquerable. The highs become even more brilliant. So, listen to your body—it will guide you to Mr. Right!

6 Tips For Better Relationships                The Dance of Dating

6 Tips For Better Relationships The Dance of Dating

6 Tips For Better Relationships

The Dance of Dating

 

Dating is like going to a club to dance. As you approach the door, you hear the pulsating music float on the air, smell the mixture of cologne, perfume, and alcohol, and feel the heat rushing outside. As you enter the darkened room, you see dozens of potential dance partners. Everyone looks dazzling, but you have no idea if they are a saint or Satan underneath their shiny façade. It would be so much easier if everyone just wore a warning label that told the truth about themselves. The man leaning on the bar would have a label that said: “never texts back.” The woman dancing in the black mini-dress would have a label that said: “can’t hold down a job.” These kinds of labels would surely help the selection process, but since they don’t exist singles everywhere need to utilize the best dating tips available. Here is just a handful of some of the best dating tips I have found.

 

#1: Take a long car ride. Grab a drink and some snacks and invite the person you’re dating to take you on a long drive. They have to be the one behind the wheel. When people are out for a casual drive, they tend to relax. Their attention will be primarily on the road and secondarily on the conversation. This has the effect of catching them a bit off guard but in a comfortable environment so they will be open and honest with you. Plus, you are sitting side by side and that can be less intimidating for some people than sitting across from each other staring into each other’s eyes.

 

#2: Ask about their family. Let them ramble on for a while and eventually, they will say something sad. At that point, you can reach out and touch their arm and say, “that must be very hard for you.” This sympathetic response can help create a bond and encourage them to open up even more.

 

#3: Compliment people as often as possible. It’s especially important to tell the person you are dating why you like them. This general positivity is not only contagious, but it also helps keep your mood positive and will lift your spirits.

 

#4: Tell a vulnerable story. Be willing to share something close to your heart with the person you are dating. It can be something you are passionate about. It can be something that hurt you deeply. It can be something that taught you a mighty life lesson. The willingness to be vulnerable is attractive and will invite the person you’re dating to be vulnerable with you.

 

#5: If the person you are dating hasn’t responded to your last two texts, don’t text them again for any reason. Period.

 

#6: Read. Someone who reads is a more interesting person, in general than someone who doesn’t. Read books. Learn new things. People who read fiction and nonfiction are able to empathize better with others than those who do not read. Reading helps you to grow and change and become a new and better person than you were.

 

Remember that early on in a dating relationship, it should be all unicorns and roses and butterflies and magic. There shouldn’t be any drama. As time goes on, things will pop up and watching how the person you are dating deals with problems and conflict is an important part of determining if they are the right person for you. Everyone is flawed, but make sure that the flaws that are revealed to you as you date are ones that you can live with. If they aren’t, you need to end the relationship. There are many dancers in the metaphorical club and you don’t need to settle for just any dance partner. So, put on your best party dress and get ready to kick up your heels and dance.

Know Thyself

Know Thyself

 

Know Thyself

 

I have this coworker. He’s a decent guy. Hard worker. He often laments to me that even though he has a great job and is fairly attractive, he can’t seem to maintain a relationship for very long. He’s anxious to find someone he can spend his life with but usually after a few dates with a woman he’s interested in, she tells him she wants to date other people. He seems genuinely puzzled by this pattern. I know why women run screaming for the hills after a few dates. I just don’t know how to tell him. He has a personality quirk that is very off-putting, and he seems completely oblivious to it.

Somehow he never developed the ability to be introspective about himself. He never developed self-knowledge based on how people reacted to him. He missed the subtle social cues people give like changing the subject, breaking eye contact, turning their bodies away from him, that indicates they were uncomfortable with what he was saying or doing. He couldn’t recognize the negative effects his personality had on conversations he tried to have with other people. Because of this, he has developed a blind spot to self-knowledge. As a result, he has one failure after another as he tries to date and form relationships with women.

Self-knowledge 

Self-knowledge refers to the knowledge of your own tendencies of behavior or ways of being. It’s being aware of the parts of your personality that others may find annoying, bizarre, rude, embarrassing, etc. There is nothing wrong with embracing the parts of your personality that make you truly unique and special, but in the social dance we all participate in (especially when dating and forming relationships) some behaviors and quirks should be eliminated. Some people think their jokes are hilarious when they really aren’t. Some people monopolize a conversation. Some people think their distinctive style makes them unique when it doesn’t. Some people wear too much cologne. Some people wear too much makeup. Some people are arrogant. The list is endless.

Many of us develop self-knowledge as we wade through the tumultuous teenage years and into our twenties. We learn appropriate social interactions and how to present ourselves in a polished yet genuine way. However, we all suffer from blind spots to self-knowledge. This can be problematic when we are trying to find a companion and/or build a relationship with a SO.

If you have experienced a pattern of failed relationships or manage to get a couple dates out of a woman/man and then get politely brushed off, you may want to see if there are blind spots in your self-knowledge. If you are introspective and honest, you can do this on your own, but if you are truly clueless you may want to find some courage and solicit the help of coworkers or a past SO and ask for an “exit interview.” Be prepared to hear some things that might be painful. Truth can hurt, but it can also help you understand how you present yourself to others. If you solicit the help of an ex-, make sure they understand this conversation isn’t designed to get back together with them. Express to them your desire to understand how things went awry. After the conversation, spend some time journaling the information that was shared, how you feel about it, and what (if anything) you plan to do with that information.

During a similar conversation with my SO, I was given the feedback that I make people feel stupid when I talk. I never realized that that is how I came across. I was crushed and angry when I heard this feedback, but the more I pondered this information I realized that it was quite possibly true. I have been a teacher for over 20 years and part of that job requires me to be the authoritative voice in the room. That authoritative voice has become part of my personality, and slowly my classroom persona had crept into my social personality without me noticing it. I felt horrified that my interactions with others had become marred by this personality quirk I hadn’t been aware of until my SO brought it to my attention. Thankfully, I now have this self-knowledge and can be more sensitive to other’s feelings when I interact with them.

Research shows the average person tends to believe he or she is above average in many things. How can we all be above average? It’s statistically impossible! This just illustrates that many of us struggle to see ourselves accurately.  Every day we base decisions on how we perceive ourselves. When we base those decisions on flawed self-assessments, we run the risk of causing harm to ourselves or others. And, when we are trying to find our soul mate or building a life-long relationship with someone, overlooking our personality’s flaws can be fatal.

Lazy in Love

Lazy in Love

LazyinLove1

There is nothing more devastating than heartbreak. It comes in all forms. Breakups.  Divorce. Death. But although the pain is unbearable at times, most of us still want that perfect relationship. We swallow the hurt, learn from our mistakes, and move on with optimism and hope. At any given time, thousands of singles are dating and forming new relationships. How can you lay the foundation for a successful, long-term relationship? Are there any tried and true tips that can help you? The answer is an enthusiastic yes!

Everyone is busy. Between work and school and kids (if you have them), most of us end the day completely drained and exhausted. Unfortunately, the end of the day is when we try to connect with our SO. What happens when you give what is left over at the end of the day to your SO? The answer is not much! We need to give our SO the best of our time rather than what’s left over at the end of the day. This can be hard. It requires thought and planning.  It may require some special texts or phone calls throughout the day; special notes tucked into lunches or left on the mirror; a thoughtful treat left in their car; a heart drawn in the snow on their windshield; putting toothpaste on their toothbrush; setting out their clothes for them; a smiley face drawn on their water bottle. These little things take seconds to do but will pay big dividends with your SO. Then when you are together in the evening, don’t multitask as you share your day. Look each in the eye as you relay the day’s events to each other.

Another great idea is to have a quarterly meeting or ritual where you review your SO’s dreams or goals. Allow them to tell you how they are doing. Ask them how you can support them as they work towards their dreams or goals. Then share your dreams and goals with your SO and let them know how they can support you as well. Laura Hick, a therapist in Salt Lake City, said: “When your partner is the wind behind your sails, you not only feel supported but cherished, loved, appreciated, and validated in who you are as a person.” This helps build a strong, long-lasting foundation for a successful relationship.

While cruise control is a helpful feature for road trips, it is not a good place to be in a relationship. If you shift into cruise control, you become complacent about your SO and their needs. This can lead to stagnation and resentment. To ward off these problems, check in on the relationship on a monthly basis. Ask your SO, “How am I doing meeting your needs? What can I do better? What do you need more of? What should I stop doing?” Listen with an open mind and be willing to accept the feedback they give. Then take your turn and give the same feedback to your SO. Self-reflection and the willingness to be vulnerable will pay off big dividends in your relationship.

Create a relationship goal each year on a significant date. Think of it as a New Year’s Resolution. It could be on the anniversary of the day you met, the day you became a couple, your anniversary, etc. It should be based on something you want to work on as a couple. They don’t always have to be serious. Here is a partial list to consider:

  1. Do service together (not just around the holidays).
  2. Eat mindfully.
  3. Sweat together.
  4. Make sex a priority.
  5. Stop fighting over little things.
  6. Strive for emotional honesty.
  7. Stop multitasking with technology.
  8. Treat your partner as well as you treat your friends.
  9. Criticize less than you praise.
  10. Break a bad habit together.
  11. Play together.
  12. Practice active listening skills.

 

The reality is it is very easy to become lazy in love. NO one is to blame but ourselves if we let our relationships get too cozy, too comfortable that they become worn out and blah like a pair of old tatty slippers. Ask anyone currently looking for an SO and they will tell you to CHERISH what you have. Love is a verb. It requires constant action and nurturing, but it pays off in magical ways. If your relationship has grown a bit stagnant, start using these tips today to put your SO first in your life. Create space for and be intentional in the way you interact with your SO. No one should be more important in your life.

The Scintillating Silver Fox

The Scintillating Silver Fox

SilverFox1

Many were shocked when the gorgeous and talented Celine Dion publicly professed her love for her manager, Rene Angelil, who was 26 years her senior. As the details of their relationship began to circulate, the shock continued to reverberate through her fan base. She began to have feelings for him when she was just a teenager, but fearing the response they would get, they kept their relationship hidden. At age 26, Celine married her sweetheart and they were happily married until Rene’s untimely death after his valiant struggle with cancer.

Celine Dion is not alone in her attraction to older men. There are more celebrities who have proven that dating and marrying older men can be quite rewarding. Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford; Amy Yasbeck and John Ritter; Nancy Kerrigan and Jerry Solomon; and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are a just a few more of the celebrities with a 20 year age gap who are happily married and proving that age is just a number.

Do these women know something the rest of us don’t? What are the advantages of dating a silver fox? As it turns out, there are many. If you haven’t considered dating an older man before, you may want to after pondering these advantages:

  1. Older men know what they want in a woman. They won’t waste your time. If there isn’t an instant connection, they will politely move on.
  2. Older men know that sometimes women who are outwardly attractive are very ugly on the inside. They have become very good at looking at the inside of a woman and valuing her mind, her heart, and her personality.
  3. Older men are stable. They have a stable career. They have a home. They know how to budget. They have problem solving skills.
  4. Older men have a proven success record. They have faced a lot of challenges and have learned how to overcome them.
  5. Older men know how to treat a woman. They have manners. They know how to make you a priority. They also know how to find balance in life.
  6. Older men have their life figured out. They are not insecure about themselves, and they won’t try to change you.
  7. Older men have wisdom and patience—two gifts of age that younger men just don’t have.
  8. Older men are sexy. Who hasn’t looked at a silver fox and felt butterflies?

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some men never have life figured out, but in general, older men have been able to prove their stability and maturity through the way they have conquered life’s trials. Don’t underestimate the wealth of knowledge and experience these men bring to the table when you are looking for a life partner. After all, love knows no age.

 

How To Spot Red Flags…                                20 Signs To Look For

How To Spot Red Flags… 20 Signs To Look For

How To Spot Red Flags…

20 Signs To Look For

Recovering from a devastating break up is similar to a community recovering from a natural disaster. You do a lot of looking back and analyzing—trying to understand how you missed the signs and how you allowed yourself to be so unprepared for the imminent destruction that was headed your way. You are paralyzed with guilt for being so stupid and gullible. If only I had seen the red flags you yell at yourself! But upon further reflection, you are forced to acknowledge that you did see them. You saw ALL of them, but in the bliss and excitement, the lust and yearning for love your radar detector dims and you dismiss the signs. You are eager to forgive “little” mistakes because you want your partner to forgive you your foibles as well. However, over time the little mistakes begin to form a pattern of behavior and if you aren’t purposeful in how you approach a relationship, one of two things will happen: a catastrophic break up after you have lost your sense of self and any self-esteem you had OR you marry your partner and have a nightmare of a marriage that leads to a toxic divorce that leaves you breathless and quivering without a shred of dignity or self-respect.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it? So, how can you avoid this disaster? You have to be purposeful. You have to make a commitment to step out of the fantasy, momentarily, and record your thoughts and impressions and identify red flags while your relationship develops. Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but if you take some time to journal your relationship and track what is happening, you can see a pattern as it develops. Then you can use this information to create boundaries, make decisions, and end relationships if necessary.

The Gottman Institute recommends that you record each time your partner displays a red flag. You can draw them on a blank sheet of paper. Get out your red crayons and color in the boxes. Then, as you date, if your partner displays one of the red flags below, record the date and the details in one of the red flags on your sheet. Over time, you will be able to tell if there is a pattern or if they are just mistakes, which we all make. This is a powerful visual that can help you more clearly see what is happening in your relationship.

 

          Red Flags         

  1. Lack of communication skills.

  2. Irresponsible, immature, unpredictable behavior.

  3. Lack of trust.

  4. Your significant family and friends don’t like him/her.

  5. Controlling behaviors.

  6. You feel insecure in the relationship.

  7. They have a dark or secretive past.

  8. They have a history of not resolving past relationships.

  9. Abusive behavior of any kind.

  10. They push your physical boundaries.

  11. They tell you you’re perfect all of the time.

  12. The roll their eyes at you.

  13. They call all their exes crazy.

  14. They call you names during arguments.

  15. They have no work ethic.

  16. They are cruel or disrespectful to their parents.

  17. Their attitude or moods shift swiftly.

  18. They guilt trip you for everything.

  19. They make you feel stupid.

  20. The relationships is built on the need to feel needed.

 

Obviously, some of these are more severe than others, but they are ALL red flags. They ALL lead to toxic relationships. If you have a hard time being objective while you are being swept off your feet at the beginning of a relationship, consider using this visual activity to help you track your partner’s red flags. Use the information from the visual and trust your gut! Once you are sure there is a pattern, end the relationship immediately. April Mae Monterrosa said, “The red flags are usually there, you just have to keep your eyes open wider than your heart.” This strategy is one way to help you do that. Set yourself up for success in love and you will find it!

 

A New Year. A New You. A New Dating Strategy.

A New Year. A New You. A New Dating Strategy.

NewDatingStrategy

 

If you’re like many singles, you’ve been dating for a while. You think you know what you want, so each time you get on a dating site you make sure to select all the correct criteria: gender (male), age (35-50), height (at least 5 feet 5 inches), activity level (moderate to completely active), children (open to having his children), blah, blah, blah. You hit enter and then the program spits out a list of potential soul mates for you to wander through. However, after months and months (and maybe even years) of using this same strategy, you’re still single. What if this strategy of using criteria to limit who you meet online has been wrong all along?

What if this year you try a different strategy? What if instead of focusing on superficial criteria, you leave things completely open? What would happen then? And, stay with me, what if you committed to conversing with and committing to having coffee or ice cream with every single person who reached out to connect with you? Of course, if you felt there was a safety issue you should definitely listen to your gut. However, barring any safety concerns make a commitment to dating outside your box!

Ann Marsh tried just that kind of experiment in 2003. She decided to go on 100 dates in six months. She did her due diligence and vetted the emails as they came in, but she decided to cast off her preconceived ideas of what she was looking for and date outside of her box. Here is an excerpt from her article:

“I got a lot of responses right off the bat. Some were ludicrous, like the 50-something guy in a Hawaiian shirt who offered to fly me to Vegas for the weekend. I deleted far more than I answered. But Week One still found me on dates with 14 men at local coffee shops. In Week Two, I slowed down to seven. I shook hands with a Danish architect and an hour later zoomed across town to meet a swoony soap opera actor. The next day was tea with an airfreight handler, followed that evening by a walk with a real estate lawyer. I dated aerospace engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors, an oceanographer, film animators, a romantic man who lived impecuniously on a boat, and a self-proclaimed gazillionaire who resided atop a mountain.”

So, what did Ann Marsh learn from this experiment? She learned honesty. She learned how important it was to be honest about if she was truly interested in someone after the first date, and she learned to appreciate that same honesty from someone (even if it hurt a little bit). She learned that men who sounded fascinating in their profiles were less than fascinating in person while others who weren’t quite sure how to “advertise” themselves were really amazing. She learned how to set healthy boundaries by having exit lines prepared when it was clear a date should not continue. She learned how to take rejection and roll with it.

She met so many fascinating people she would have never met had she checked too many restrictive boxes on her dating profile. And, would you believe it? She met her soul mate. The man of her dreams who, as chance would have it, would have been weeded out by her selection criteria.

So, if finding your soul mate is a goal for 2019 consider a new strategy this year. Try dating outside your box. You will meet a lot of amazing people. You will learn more about yourself. And, you might just find what you didn’t know you were looking for.

 

Ann Marsh. “What I Learned From Dating 100 Men.” February 2003 issue of the O magazine.

An Open Letter to the Future Man Dating My Wife:

An Open Letter to the Future Man Dating My Wife:

datingmywife

The day I died was the most devastating day my wife has ever experienced. The pain of my loss took her on a journey that tore her apart and left her gasping for air. Like the mythical phoenix, she emerged a stronger version of herself. She is now more beautiful, compassionate, and resilient.

It is likely that you feel strong pangs of jealousy over me. You might feel like you are in competition with me in many ways, but you are not. You need to remember that just because her love for me will never dim doesn’t mean her capacity to love you is limited. She has an infinite capacity to love you with her whole heart and soul the way she loved me. I can promise you that to be loved by her in that way is heaven. However, you have to allow her to do that by allowing her to continue to love me.

You may wonder how it is possible for her to love me with her whole heart and soul and to still have room to love you with her whole heart and soul. Well, let me tell you how. Remember when you had your first child? You held that sweet baby in your arms. You breathed in his sweet scent as you kissed his soft little forehead. Your heart was filled to overflowing as you stared into his eyes, and you thought: how could I ever love another human being as much as I love this little boy? Fast forward three years later and your daughter is born. You hold that sweet little bundle in your arms. She wraps her tiny little fingers around your thumb and a tear trickles down your cheek. You notice your heart swells with even more love. You know that you do not love your son less now that your daughter has been born. Your heart has grown to love both equally and uniquely.

That is the magic of the capacity of the human heart. It has an infinite capacity to love. So, as you date my wife please remember that she will need to be true to her feelings for me even as she develops a relationship with you. We are not in competition. I was her yesterday. You are her today and tomorrow.

Here are some things that will help her honor me and love you even more.

  1. Allow her to keep some of my things in a special place. Allow her to take those things out on birthdays, anniversaries, and other special times to honor the place I held in her life.
  2. Don’t force her to get rid of things I bought for her. Let her decide what to do with the wedding ring, special jewelry, and other items of importance. Remember that just because she holds onto these items doesn’t diminish the importance of the gifts you give her. She will cherish those because of the unique and loving relationship you will have with her.
  3. Give her space to grieve. Grieving is a process. She may need to be completely alone on the day anniversary of the day I died or the day of my funeral. She may need to celebrate my birthday with the children we had together. Don’t try to erase the memories we shared or the significant role I played in her life. Give her the time to remember me.
  4. Remember that dating a widow is different than dating someone with an ex-. We had a loving relationship that neither of us decided to end. You are dating the woman of my dreams, the love of my life. We had our good times and we had our bad times too. You do not need to feel like you are competing with a ghost. I cannot come back.
  5. Always share how you are feeling. Allow her to share how she is feeling. Make sure you make time for each other. Your relationship with her will be different than the relationship I had with her. That is the way it should be.

 

I know that at times it will be extremely challenging to love my wife. It is hard for anyone who is dating or married to a widow or widower. It comes with its own unique challenges. However, you also get the benefits of a spouse who knows how to love someone, how to build a life together, and how to endure unimaginable pain and come through it a new and stronger human being.

So, please be careful with my wife’s heart. It has already been through so much. She truly is an amazing woman. Any man who has the opportunity to love her is a truly blessed man.

What Does Safe Dating Look Like?

What Does Safe Dating Look Like?

SafeDatingtipsA few years ago, using an online dating service was considered shameful and people would often lie about how they met their significant other if they met each other online. Today, times are changing. Last year, meeting someone online was the most common way people met their spouse or spouse-to-be (19%). This was followed by being introduced by friends (17%), meeting someone in college (15%), and then work place romances (12%). While you should always exercise safe dating practices, when you meet someone online you have an increased risk, so you should be extra cautious.

What does that look like? First, make sure you use a reputable dating service. Dating Safe is revolutionary in how we approach dating safety. We go over and beyond other dating services to vet and verify all of our members. No other dating service does that. However, even with all of the safeguards we use, we encourage our members, and everyone else for that matter, to follow these great tips as they look for their soul mate.

  1. When it comes to your online profile, limit the amount of personal information you give out. Particularly, pay attention to the pictures you post. Do they reveal where you work, live, or play frequently? Does it show your license plate or your jogging path? This kind of information should be kept private until you determine you can trust the person you are interested in. That should be several in-person dates down the road. There is a delicate balance to be reached between getting to know someone and revealing too much private information. You can talk about work, but you can keep the location private until you feel safe with that person.
  2. Do a little online sleuthing. Do a Google search on their name. Do a reverse Google image search on their pictures. If you find them on Facebook, see if you have any friends in common and message your friends to get information on them.
  3. Consider using a Google phone number and have it forwarded to your phone. This is free by using Google Voice. This is an easy way to avoid giving your personal number to someone before you are ready to give that to them. You can also use your online dating service messaging to communicate until you are ready to reveal your phone number.
  4. While it is tempting to text to set up the first date, psychologists highlight suggest you talk to someone on the phone. There are things you can only learn from talking to someone and your instincts will respond more clearly from hearing their voice than just reading some words on a screen.
  5. If the person you are talking to online starts to ask for money, this is a huge red flag. Do not fall for their sob story. Never send money. Usually the request for money is preceded or followed by passionate professions of love. Don’t fall for it. Delete the person. Block them.

Once you’ve decided to have a first date, there are some things you should do. These are essential when meeting anyone new for the first time even if your best friend has set you up and given you her full endorsement.

  1. Tell someone where you will be, who you are meeting, and how long you will be gone.
  2. Drive yourself there.
  3. Go somewhere public.
  4. Keep it brief. Meet for coffee or lunch. Grab a drink after work. If you are drinking alcohol, limit your intake so you can stay alert and aware.
  5. Consider carrying a self-defense tool and some emergency cash.
  6. Trust your instincts.
  7. Have your “gotta go excuse” ready to go in case the date is going poorly or your instincts tell you something is wrong. This can be coordinated with your check-in buddy.
  8. Go home alone.

Overall, whenever you are on a date, it is imperative to respect time, space, and privacy. While asking questions to get to know someone better is a natural technique for conversation, you need to be careful to respect boundaries. Someone may not be ready to divulge where they take yoga classes if they are protecting their privacy. So, instead of asking: where is your yoga studio?  Ask them: what do you love about yoga? You will learn more about your date by asking the second question and respect his/her need for privacy.

While online dating has its challenges, it is definitely worth it. The good news is, research is showing that marriages that result from online dating are happening quicker and are less likely to end the first year. Couples who met online are also reporting more marital satisfaction.  So, what’s stopping you? Get on DatingSafe.com and get your profile ready to go. We do a big chunk of the work for you by vetting and verifying our members so you get real people looking for real relationships. Then use the tips above and you are on your way to find the love of your life!

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