Don’t Use Online Dating to Compensate

steven ward nervous-guyOnline dating is so prevalent nowadays that it has basically become the norm among a certain generation (and continues to spread to older generations as well). I can’t say it doesn’t make sense. People don’t want to go on dates that might lead nowhere. Dating profiles serve as a screening process, after which you can make an educated guess, based on common interests, type of relationship sought, and level of attractiveness (assuming people represent themselves accurately), about whether or not the interaction is a worthwhile endeavor. But there are other reasons people look to the internet for dating, and it is worth being cognizant of them.

It’s important for people to make sure that they are not doing online dating because they are afraid to ask someone out in person. If the idea of talking to someone you are attracted to makes you nervous, this doesn’t bode well for the prospects of your first date anyway. This piece of advice is repeated constantly, but that’s because it always needs to be: BE CONFIDENT!

There’s something else people should think about when dating online. The very thing that makes these sites and apps so popular, convenience, is the very thing that people should be wary of. It doesn’t take a dating expert to realize that a relationship based primarily on convenience is not going to last. And if convenience is a basis for a relationship from the very beginning, it may wind up being a constant throughout, until, of course, the relationship becomes inconvenient and falls apart.

Here’s what it comes down to. Online dating in conjunction with an already stable dating life can be quite fruitful. So make sure you use this tool in that capacity. It should add to your ability to meet people, but should never compensate for inability or laziness.

5 Steps to Finding, Forming and Maintaining Lasting Relationships

As a professional matchmaker and personal coach I find myself repeating a lot of the same advice over and over again. It’s remarkable how the more we change, the more things stay the same. The process for finding, forming and maintaining a long lasting relationship is the same for anyone looking for love regardless of your age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. If you keep these simple steps in mind your relationships will likely last, no matter what.

Be positive.  Doubt, uncertainty, skepticism, and fear are toxic to any relationship. Good faith, faithfulness, belief and trust are critical to success in whatever we apply ourselves to. Our relationships are no exception. When there is good reason to think or feel negative you may have to seriously reconsider whether or not you are in a relationship with the right person. But in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”

Speak your mind. Communication is the crucible of any relationship. If you don’t discuss what’s on your mind it will inevitably reveal itself in your actions, inactions or general behavior.  Information properly conveyed creates context and knowledge that may otherwise be impossible to ascertain. Assumption is the mother of misinformation so unless you discuss what you’re thinking and feeling you are only more likely to disconnect and confound one another. Don’t decipher what they may be thinking. Ask them.

Amplify your values. As the depth of your relationship grows and your investment in one another increases you must firmly establish the principles for which you standby. Communication, respect and trust are the foundational attributes of any relationship and in order for you to increase the magnitude of yours you must increase these levels over time. To cross over the threshold of love you must completely communicate, respect and trust each other.

Fight fair. Conflicts arise in any relationship. They are inevitable. But fighting fairly is a choice. By going below the belt you compromise your credence and the validity of your argument is lost. Regardless of how the other person chooses to engage, you can always choose to fight fair or not. If you expect your relationship to stand the test of time you must learn your limits and stay within bounds.

Compromise. Those who give are most likely to receive. No matter what it is you’re looking for in your relationship, you ought to give to get. The best partners are the best negotiators so if there is something you desire from someone else you might want to know what they desire of you. Use that knowledge to get what you want. That’s the art of compromise. Those who master this have the longest lasting relationships of anyone I know.

If you’d like some personal support, direction or guidance drop us a line at contact@mastermatchmakers.com.

Moving from Text to Real-Life Interaction

Steven Ward nice dateMany people find it difficult to move from text message and social media interactions with people they are interested in into real life interaction and conversation. This is not unusual at all. It seems that these days, many people would rather text than talk. Because of how ubiquitous texting, emailing, and social media updating is in our daily lives, sometimes it can be uncomfortable to vocalize yourself instead. When people get too used to communicating electronically, they seem to forget the basics of conversation. If this has been a problem for you, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

First, remember to not make it about you. Make it about her. You can start with something simple, the subject of her career for example, but don’t dwell on it forever or very soon you will find yourself in the friend zone. After that, ask noninvasive questions. For the most part, women love to talk about their family, their friends, and their pets. If they ask you a question you’re uncomfortable with, just provide a pleasant answer and pivot back to them. Turn the tables and ask something that is easy to answer to change the subject.

Let her do more of the talking. If you catch her fidgeting, slouching, playing on her phone, making less eye contact, or generally looking less comfortable, it means you’re losing her. Find out what she’s passionate about and hone in on it. Do your best to learn as much as you can about what she cares about. Let her go on for as long as she likes, but remember to participate in conversation, too.

Those are a few “Do’s.” Now here are a few “Don’ts.”  Unless you’ve slept with her already, don’t make sexual innuendos. Don’t discuss — or at the very least — don’t dwell on your ex. Don’t debate politics or religion, and, at all costs, don’t be negative.

Three Dating Issues

Steven Ward couple-on-a-dateDating While Unemployed

Without a doubt, the number one thing that women expect when meeting someone is gainful employment.  If you find yourself in a position where a woman wants to get to know you better, but you happen to be out of work, the best thing to do is to own up to your current situation. It is also important to put a positive spin on things.  With that said, don’t embellish or make excuses. That will only make matters worse.  Tell her that you are currently exploring your options and want to be sure that the next position you take is one that challenges, motivates, and satisfies you. Having a plan is always attractive, so be sure to let her know what you are doing to secure your next opportunity, whether it’s going back to school, tapping into your network, working with a recruiter, or going into another line of work altogether.  Just remember, above all else, to be honest and to be confident.

Steven Ward talk-to-womenApproaching Women

Many guys find that they can approach girls when they are in a group setting, but that when they are flying solo they have trouble going up to talk to them.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to approach someone of interest: Don’t catch them off guard or seem like you’re stalking them;  Make eye contact, but don’t stare;  Smile and project confidence.

Once you both have recognized each other’s presence, it’s time to make your approach. Casually close the gap between the two of you and get within chatting distance. In the words of my old high school football coach, “use the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid!” Don’t try to appear too witty and don’t be pushy.  Open with a simple question in the context of the surroundings – “Excuse me, do you happen to know the bartender’s name? I can’t seem to get his attention,” or something along those lines.  Ask questions that aren’t easily Google-able, and that won’t seem too out of the blue.

If she engages, introduce yourself, pay her a compliment, and assume she’s unavailable – “I’m sorry, I should introduce myself.  And you are? You seem like a great catch, is your husband or boyfriend going to appear any second?”  If she tells you she’s available, it should be smooth sailing. If she confirms your assumption that she’s spoken for already, tell her, “Well, he’s obviously a lucky guy. Have a great night.” And get out of there.

Also keep in mind that pickup lines rarely work.  And, as always, it’s important to be confident.  If you feel awkward, she will definitely feel awkward.

Steven Ward Dating-CoupleDating Someone Who Is Recently Divorced

Someone recently asked me a question on this subject, so I think it would be worth sharing it here with my response.

Hey Steve,

I’m dating a woman that I care about, but I found out she got a divorce two months ago. Am I her rebound? It seems too quick for her to be dating already.

You can’t rush to judgment. Without knowing the circumstances, it’s hard to say. You must consider a few things: Did she decide to end it? Did he? Was someone unfaithful? Did they grow apart? Could it be all of the above?

You must be sure to let her know how you feel. Tell her that you really care about her, and that you want her to do what’s best for her own well-being. If you’re ready to be in a relationship and she isn’t, or vice versa, it’s important for each of you to know where the other stands. Respect her privacy, her space, her time, and her boundaries. Showing your appreciation for these things will only help.

Most men and women I know who have ever been married actually enjoyed it. Whether they enjoyed their spouse, however, is another issue. The point is that she might prefer to be with someone than without someone. She may want the time and space to rediscover herself, or she may prefer the closeness and companionship that comes with a relationship. The only way to find these things out for sure is to discuss your hopes, your fears, your thoughts, and your feelings.  The things you want to happen won’t just happen on their own.

When Dating Online, Just Copy And Paste

Christian Rudder is one of the co-founders of OkCupid and to this day he is still crunching numbers and digesting its data. Because of his insider access into the databases of a prolific online dating site, he is able to get his hands on information that very few social scientists can. In his new book, Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking, Rudder looks at the mathematics behind online dating and sheds light on some of his most startling conclusions.

New York Magazine was kind enough to reprint a excerpt from his book that looked at the efficacy of messaging. The data shows that shorter messages receive the highest rate of response and that taking your time to compose a message is helpful, but only to a certain point.

dataclysm-chart_2_p66.w529.h352

What was most interesting is that the research showed that copying and pasting a message is the most efficient way of communicating because the user will receive the highest proportion of messages replied to as it relates to the time spent composing the original message.

Sitewide, the copy-and-paste strategy underperforms from-scratch messag­ing by about 25 percent, but in terms of effort-in to results-out it always wins: measuring by replies received per unit effort, it’s many times more efficient to just send everyone roughly the same thing than to compose a new message each time.

 

To read the reprinted piece in New York Magazine, click HERE.

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How Effective Is Online Dating

online-dating

Internet dating has taken America by storm. And with almost 125 million singles now living in the US, it doesn’t appear likely to slow down any time soon. At first matchmakers coast-to-coast felt threatened by this new way of meeting people, but as the industry matured it only reinforced the need for trusted intermediaries and experienced professionals.

San Francisco Gate author Amy Gaff reported this week on a recent study conducted by Aditi Paul, a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University’s Department of Communications. Aditi wanted to look at what happens to relationships of people who met online that don’t result in marriage.

She found that couples who meet online are not only less likely to get married, they are more likely to break up. Then she gave three reasons why she thinks online relationships are less successful than relationships formed offline.

1) Online dating has been shown to provide individuals with too many options to choose from that leads to a lack of exclusivity where individuals find it difficult to be locked into one particular dating partner when they know that hundreds of other potential dating partners are available. This also leads to delayed commitment to the person with whom they ultimately choose to date and start a relationship. This is because online daters know that they can easily look for other potential partners from the dating sites or SNS if the current relationship does not work out.

2) Relationships initiated online take more time to develop compared to relationships initiated offline.

3) Online daters have also shown to take more time to develop relationships purposefully in order to increase the level of trust with their partners, given some of the negative stigma associated with online dating. Eighty-six percent of online daters have reported being concerned about falsification of personal information and deceptive self-presentation of their dating partners.

If you’d like our team to do the work of weeding through the misfits for you complete our Getting Started Form.

To read the original San Francisco Gate article, click HERE.

To read the actual research study, click HERE.

Dating Disparity In America

With the exception of my commentary, nearly all of this post was derived from the research and findings of Wendy Wang and Kim Parker at Pew Research.

Pew Research Center has just released some telltale findings regarding marriage in America. I am color-blind when it comes to matchmaking, and I am as much for gender parity as anyone else. However, there are some startling statistics that relate to race, gender, education and employment that are worth noting and considering as you look for the “bigger better deal” in dating.

Let’s start with some of the more obvious findings. The average age of first time marriages for men has gone from 23 to 29 between 1960 and 2012. For women it has gone from 20 to 23. And now, ¼ of never married young adults 25 to 34 live with a partner. Why? Shifting public values, changing demographic patterns and hard economic times have all been contributing factors.

Somewhat unsurprising is that the proportion of single, never married adults who would like to get married versus those who are ambivalent or sure that they won’t has dropped considerably in just a two year span. In 2010, 61% of single, never married young adults said they would like to get married. In 2012, that dropped to 53%. 13% said they definitely do not want to get married and 32% are unsure (versus 27% uncertainty in 2010).

Some of the conclusions they found were not that startling. 46% of men versus 78% of women feel having a steady job is “very important” in determining whether or not someone would be a good potential mate. 62% of men versus 70% of women feel that similar views on having/raising children is “very important” when considering whether or not someone is marriage material.

This is where the rubber hits the road. According to authors Wendy Wang and Kim Parker,

In 1960, among never-married adults ages 25 to 34, the number of employed men per 100 women dropped from 139 in 1960 to 91 in 2012, despite the fact that men in this age group outnumber young women in absolute numbers. In other words, if all never-married young women in 2012 wanted to find a young employed man who had also never been married, 9% of them would fail, simply because there are not enough men in the target group. Five decades ago, never-married young women had a much larger pool of potential spouses from which to choose.

A lot of women that hire me insist that the man is at least college educated. That’s easy for them to say. Today, 1/3 of women over 25 that have never been married have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to ¼ men. When it comes to advanced degrees there are 77 never-married men ages 25 to 34 post-grads for every 100 women with similar educational credentials.

What has happened? In 1960, 93% of men 25 to 34 were in the labor force. Now, that participation has dropped to 82%. Additionally, median wages have dropped 20% over the past 30 years for men. And because the wage gap is closing between men and women as of 2012, among 25 to 34 year olds, women now earn 93% of the wages that men do. That’s up from less than 70% in 1980.

When it comes to racial differences it seems that in 2012 36% of Blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 16% of Whites 25 or older have never been married. In 1960 only 9% of Blacks, 13% of Hispanics and 8% of Whites 25 or older have never been married. Interestingly enough, 58% of Blacks believe that marriage is important if you intend to spend the rest of your life with someone, compared to only 44% of Whites.

In most racial and ethnic groups, men are more likely than women to have never been married. The major exception is among Blacks. In 2012, roughly equal shares of Black men (36%) and Black women (35%) ages 25 and older had never been married. In 1960, Black men were more likely than Black women to have never been married (12% vs. 8%). 

 

For Blacks ages 25 to 34, there are 92 never-married men for every 100 never-married women. When employment status is taken into consideration, there are 51 employed young Black men for every 100 young Black women. Among never-married White, Hispanic and Asian American young adults, the ratio of employed men to women is roughly equal—100 men for every 100 women. Several decades ago, there was a surplus of young employed men among Whites, and for every 100 young Black women, there were nearly 90 employed Black men.

Ultimately, Darwin’s law of natural selection will take over and the hunt for marriage will be about survival of the fittest. Women will have to outmatch each other in order to land an ideal mate. This is why it is so important to be on the top of your game when it comes to dating. Both marriage-minded men and marriage minded women will have to be their best selves in order to meet their match. Hiring a matchmaker, retaining a coach and increasing the frequency and modes of meeting people are all ways to increase your likelihood of finding a spouse.

There is one more conclusion worth noting. Previously married women are less likely to be interested in remarrying than previously married men. Only 15% of these women want to remarry versus 29% of these men. And 54% of these women state that they are “not interested” in getting remarried while only 30% of these men say the same.

To read the research from Pew please click HERE.

Texting Anxiety and Typing Awareness

This post pertains to an article written by Jessica Bennett that originally appeared in The NY Times on August 29, 2014.

There is a conversation I have with every client I coach which typically occurs in our second session that is usually focused on “finding” the ideal match. When people meet in person (or even online) it is customary to end your conversation by exchanging phone numbers and planning to speak again soon. In the last 15 years this custom has been upended entirely thanks to text messaging and typing awareness features. NY Times writer Jessica Bennett gives a candid, yet harrowing account of the personal anxiety she suffers from, and is currently being treated for, because of this particular “minutiae” in society today.

…it wasn’t until 2005 that BlackBerry became the first big company to bring the “delivered,” “read” and “so and so is typing” features to mobile with BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM. Two years later, Apple introduced the iPhone with SMS, and four years after that, iMessage, which added a real-time element to otherwise jilted conversations.

That is why I contend that it is crucial for self-actualized singles to convey their preferences for how they would like to communicate with someone of interest. Don’t merely comply. If you prefer to actually speak with a person to arrange a date, as opposed to texting up plans, just say so. Although a text message has become the defacto way of opening a dialogue, it doesn’t have to be the only way of communicating. I suggest to use it sparingly and only as a means of conveying information, not conversing.

To read the entirely NY Times article about texting anxiety, click HERE.

To receive your own personal coaching and guaranteed matches, complete our Get Started Form HERE and you will be contacted by a client coordinator to go over options.

The Coupling Inequality Is Here

For years the divorce rate has been a hot topic of conversation. Since the statistic was first measured it’s climbed steadily as the stigma of divorce has faded away. When The Great Recession began in 2008 the divorce rate actually dipped as unhappy spouses chose to stay in their relationships due to job losses, depressed home values and diminished savings. However, the same fear of financial failure has caused many more couples, and much more singles, to put off marriage altogether.

Bloomberg News was kind enough to share insights gleamed from economist Edward Yardeni in a recently published report to his clients entitled “Selfies”. After pouring over research from The Bureau of Labor Statistics Yardeni notes that “The percentage of adult Americans who have never married has risen to 30.4 percent from 22.1 percent in 1976, while the proportion that are divorced, separated or widowed increased to 19.8 percent from 15.3 percent.”

In another recent study conducted by PEW, researchers concluded that “nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s.”

There are many explanations for why these trends are continuing and the implications are profound. In short, with gender parity increasing across the spectrum and less social pressure on women to marry and have children, women are choosing careers over relationship much like men have done for years. For the women refusing to “settle” in either, or both however, the choice isn’t always their own. Although many women would like to have it all, it seems that only the most elite are likely of doing so except in instances where the woman significantly out earns her male counterpart or the couple was formed earlier in life. The same PEW study about childlessness mentioned above also pointed out that, “While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees.”

All of these trends combined have caused a new disparity to emerge in our society that I call ‘the coupling inequality’, the already massive and continuously growing divide between the most eligible women and most eligible men. Essentially, the number of physically attractive, well educated, high income, marriage minded women that desire children significantly outnumbers the same kind of men. Once beyond the age of 30 – 35, these men are predominantly seeking women 5 – 10 years younger than them. That creates an abundance of women in their mid thirties to early forties still hoping to meet their “equal”. I’d venture to say at around 30 this ratio is 2:1. At around 35 this ratio is 3:1. By 40 though, this ratio is 5:1 or higher.

Men who were already reluctant to “settle” because their attractiveness as a mate continues to improve, and the proportion of eligible women for them improves at an even faster rate, it only further exacerbates the “bigger better deal” complex. Because there are more and more eligible women to choose from as men become more and more eligible themselves, they are less and less likely to settle down until they meet a truly elite match. Now more than ever if women want to settle down before their childbearing years are up, and still want to have these kick ass careers, they are going to have to make meeting a match a priority and do something to give them a leg up on the competition. That’s where matchmakers like me come into play. But they’re also going to have to be more realistic in terms of the age, height, looks, education and income they would be willing to accept in a mate.

To read the article in Bloomberg, click HERE.

If you’d like personal coaching or guaranteed matches please complete an inquiry at http://mastermatchmakers.com/getstarted.

Does Texting Lead To Sex Sooner

This article originally appeared on WorldLifestyle.com.

 

We asked best-selling author and ‘Tough Love’ host Steve Ward why texting is a game-changer when it comes to dating.  This is his explanation of why texting may lead to intimacy sooner than you think:

Texting has taken on an ominous role when it comes to communicating in relationships. Believe it or not though, research suggests it has actually peaked! Not because we’ve grown tired of texting. It’s because people are craving better forms. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and SnapChat are taking over and since this mode of communication is here to stay I thought I’d share some best practices with you to avoid dating disasters.

For some people texting allows them to push the envelope because they’re able to say things over text that they might not otherwise be comfortable saying in person. For many people of these people it’s easier to express their thoughts and feelings over text than it is face-to-face.

Texting is an accelerant to emotional and physical intimacy.  When you express your thoughts, feelings and desires over text it actually strengthens the connection between two people just as it would if it were expressed verbally. Mind sharing makes people more comfortable with each other, but it can also make people uncomfortable with each other as well. Studies show, however, that couples who frequently text each other are more likely to jump into bed than those who only use text when necessary.

Texting can be fine and fun, but you might want to consider these few rules of engagement first:

1.    Be as careful about who you sext as you are about who you sleep with. Anyone can take a screenshot and attachments can be saved, altered and shared with or without your permission.

2.    Only sext with protection. If you do feel the need to send a scandalous photo use an ephemeral messaging app that disposes of it automatically.

3.    Address people by their name so they don’t think you’re mass texting.

4.    Never send more than three texts in a row before getting a response.

5.    Don’t text and expect. If you find yourself waiting for a response you will grow anxious and aggravated very quickly.

Texting is flirty and fun but it does not substitute a real face-to-face conversation. Use it sparingly.

Ward will soon launch Love Lab, an agnostic mobile dating app providing credible verification for all dating connections.  According to Ward, the app will be the Swiss army knife for your love life…the peephole to your dating world…the Nev Schulman for your catfishes, Love Lab is the security you need when looking for love.
To receive personal coaching or matchmaking from Steve Ward and his staff please visit http://mastermatchmakers.com/getstarted.