Dating Re-Examined

Isn’t life supposed to get more predictable and easier to manage with age? Luckily most parts do, but love is and will always be an enigma. As modern society shifts and the culture begins to take shape towards equality, it’s important to reevaluate age-old societal rules.

The world is changing so we should re-examine the way we find love. The Kelleher International matchmaking mavens translate their daily experiences connecting eligible singles into dating advice for the times.

From our perspective, the move to real equality has both men and women scratching their heads when it comes to dating. Women assume they should take the bull by the horns. Men wonder if they should now let women take the lead. Nobody seems to be quite sure what will impress or offend. “As women embrace empowerment and find themselves on equal footing with men in the workforce, I see way more confusion in the dating world,” says Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell.

Men, by now you’ve figured out women don’t merely want your respect they deserve and demand it. But that doesn’t mean the entire dating landscape is turned upside down. The innate fundamentals of who we are as men and women haven’t changed. We’re evolving, but our nature remains rooted.

“Unless discussed prior, let the man host the date,” Patty says. “Ladies, Don’t bring out your credit card when the bill comes and don’t feel like you owe him anything beyond a sincere expression of gratitude. It is an act of chivalry.”

“I tell my male clients that their role on a date is to pursue the woman respectfully. It is so sexy when a man opens the door, walks on the street-side of the sidewalk, and pulls out your chair at the table. Equality doesn’t mean chivalry is dead, Patty urges. “I believe women appreciate a man taking the lead with those things. The male instinct to play the role of protector has nothing to do with making a woman feel weak or unequal.”

We are all about women taking charge of their life and business, but encourage ladies to soften when it comes to dating. “I have had many male clients tell me while recapping their date that they thought the lady was too aggressive and pushy.  Men love strong women but not one that is too controlling. Be self-assured and assertive, but allow yourself to be vulnerable and open for connection and romance,” Patty coaches.

Ladies, the best time for you to assert yourself and be the “aggressor” is in the very beginning when men tend to be more nervous and fearful of your rejection. Kelleher International CEO Amber Kelleher-Andrews encourages, “Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Flash a beautiful smile, hold eye contact, engage him in conversation, and if you’d like to go on a date encourage him to ask you out or suggest a fun activity you plan on attending and ask if he’d like to join you. The next move is his.”

There’s an important distinction to be made to the notion of being pursued. Ladies, it’s entirely okay to want to be chased, but men need to be encouraged to do so. Matchmaker Nahla Grafer explains, “I’ve worked with many women that assume when sparks fly on a great date it is the man’s responsibility to do all of the traveling and outreach to move things along. Although I do believe nothing is of real value to a man unless he feels that he’s worked for it, this notion is simply ridiculous. I keep hearing over and over from male clients that they need to be encouraged and know she’s into him, too.”

Two-way communication is critical and requires everyone to step out of their respective comfort zones and explore the potential match. “Men need to know they aren’t wasting their time, especially with a long-distance relationship,” Nahla warns.

Nahla shares a recent example, “I matched a male client at the tail end of his contract to a lovely woman he believed had potential to be “the one.” In six short weeks, he had flown out to see her three times and paid for everything, treated her so well, and stopped dating others to focus on her. At the end of that third trip, he felt he was more invested in the potential relationship than she was. When I spoke with her, she stood firmly in that he should continue to court her while she decided how she felt about the potential relationship. She did little in the way of communication and genuinely didn’t feel she needed to verbally let him know she was into him – which she was. You can see how that was a major hindrance. I kept telling her that men need encouragement; they need to know that you’re tracking and that what is happening between the two of you is a real and good thing. Men’s self-respect is critical for the health of the relationship. I think it’s important for women to be transparent with what they want and what they expect and then be the kind of woman that will warrant the kind of guy she desires.”

What have you noticed out in the dating world? Are the dynamics of dating changing for you? Do you struggle with unspoken dating rules? Share your story, question, or concern with our team of matchmakers. We’re in the love business and are happy to help! Leave a comment or question for Kelleher Matchmaking below.