Thursday, May 23, 2013

Consider Speed Dating Post-Divorce

I know how difficult it is to consider returning to the dating scene after a long marriage or relationship has ended. I like speed dating for getting back into the dating world. One of the benefits of speed dating is that you don't have to experience the same kind of rejection. It's not in your face rejection. It's not even on the phone rejection. It's just computer rejection when your list matches, or doesn't, with theirs.  This is a good way to get your feet wet. For those who can't quite accept the on-line dating idea, speed dating can be a compromise. It's not like a traditional date, but it's also not a totally virtual date, with all the attendant worries about who this person really is.
Here's the thing about speed dating, women have more power in the speed dating area. Not surprisingly the research shows women are more selective in their speed dating choices. Other non-surprising findings for women: be attractive; don't be more ambitious or intelligent than your prospective date. Hold on! If women are the "deciders" in speed dating, I have to say that there's no gain in dumbing down. Instead, be as ambitious and intelligent and you want to be. As far as attractiveness, I suspect you're as attractive as you feel. I wouldn't worry about it. As with shopping for shoes or cars, too many choices is overwhelming and tends to result in fewer dates. You might want to try a speed dating group that's not too large.
The findings are a little different for men. A Stanford study found that it's important for men to be enthusiastic, to listen, and to focus on the woman's concerns in conversation. In other words, it's not all about you. Men should ask about things related to what the woman is saying. Don't just ask random questions to fill the time. Guys, that means you need to be engaged and understanding.
The research on salespeople has a lot to offer both men and women. Talk, but not too much. Listen, but not to the point that you seem like you have nothing to say. Show your understanding and engagement by mirroring. If they sit straight, you do the same. If they touch, you touch. Keep in mind that waitresses that touch get bigger tips. Make it a friendly touch; nothing too suggestive.
Go into the speed dating with your expectations in check and your intentions clear. Decide if you're just having fun. It could be an experiment in getting back into the dating scene and you're going to see how it goes. You might be practicing your social skills and reducing your anxiety about dating again. If you're looking for your dream-date remember, it's not about quantity, it's about quality. Of course, it's always good to start with a few good tips and a great pair of shoes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10 Post-Divorce Principles From A Non-Random Sample

I've been interviewing people about their post-divorce experiences for a project I'm working on. These are some of the principles I've learned through these interviews. In my mind they combine two excellent overarching themes that emerge post-divorce: "How I want to live now," and "How I can avoid future mistakes." Most of the principles apply to both.

1.       Figure out who you really are and be yourself. Who you are in a relationship is not always the same as who you are solo. Take time to identify your likes, dislikes preferences, wants and needs.  Then be the person you really want to be.

2.      Be honest with yourself and others. Sometimes you really have to dig deep to know your truth. Often you know what you honestly think or want, but telling someone else is another matter. Being true to yourself is the best way to live.