As puzzling as it seems, going on dates is counterintuitive for many singles in the modern dating culture.
“If you’ve ever used digital dating apps you know it can seem like a full-time job making connections,” explains Kelleher’s Director of Matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate. “Most busy, successful people don’t have time to both search in earnest and actually go on dates, so they simply don’t date. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You just have to date smart!”
In order to date smart, you need a game plan.
- Define who you want to meet. Make a list of the qualities you want in your match. Create an avatar of your ideal mate.
- Think like that person you just described. Where might they hang out? Put yourself in places and situations to meet the type of person you want to date. Don’t hide behind your screen.
- Keep your energy high. Dating can be a roller coaster so it’s important to not take things too seriously. Remember that joy is attractive – make sure you enjoy the ride.
Now that you have a plan how do you date smart?
The key is to not overthink it.
In our culture we’ve become so accustomed to making decisions only after gathering all of the facts online, reading pages of reviews, and consulting a handful of friends and a few relatives for their opinions.
“Don’t let technology shadow the mystery and spontaneity of discovering someone in real life,” says Amber Kelleher-Andrews, CEO of Kelleher Matchmaking. “As matchmakers, we do the digging for you; we encourage clients to lean in and explore their potential matches by saying ‘yes’ and going on dates.”
What do you mean? No digital digging? No pre-date Q&A via text? How am I supposed to know if I’m going to like them?
Spending too much time talking on the phone, texting or messaging potential matches can lead to overthinking. For someone who struggles to put themselves out there, overthinking is a slippery slope to never actually going on dates. And going on dates is when you truly find out if there’s a spark. Physical chemistry can’t be gauged through digital communication.
Another way singles tend to overthink is by deciding before they even meet if the person is right for them, which can backfire. When someone seems perfect on the page, the story begins to build. On paper, someone might seem perfect for you, and then you go on the first date. You may have all but planned your wedding with this stranger only to find that there’s zero chemistry. Instead of your first date being a pleasant evening with a great person that just wasn’t your match, it feels like a tragedy.
“Don’t waste a lot of time on the phone,” advises Kelleher matchmaker Pam Nolen. “It’s not a good idea to get prematurely invested; people that ask a lot of pre-qualifying questions can come off insecure, rigid, and fearful. Save the exploration for when you meet in person. Going on dates with an open mind allows the space to be pleasantly surprised with what you discover about both yourself and your date.”
Actively dating is a great exercise for your social skills and personal growth.
We’re social animals and pick up consciously and unconsciously on tones of voice, facial expressions, and touch. Set yourself up for success in finding love by actually getting out there and going on dates. You’ll hone your listening, flirting and social skills with every interaction.
“If you have fifty questions to ask your potential match, do it face-to-face and make it a fun conversation. But certainly, don’t ask them all on the first date,” Pam laughs. “These are the things you discover over time that will help shape and define your feelings about the person. You can’t expect to figure it all out on the first night you meet.”
There is one exception that Kelleher International matchmaker Nahla Grafer explains, “If you find yourself exploring a long-distance connection, the phone can be a powerful tool. Of course, it takes great communication and a willingness to lay the foundation of a potential relationship in this manner. FaceTime or video calls can give you a similar connection to being face-to-face. Strive to be transparent, open, and playful in your communication holding no expectations and see what unfolds.”
Finding love is not an Amazon Prime transaction; your smartphone can never tell you if someone is indeed the one. As matchmakers, we challenge you to focus more on consciously connecting in real life with your potential matches rather than leaning on technology to guide you. Yes, what we’re asking of you takes vulnerability, but we all know that’s the space where the magic happens.