Kathryn's Blog: Proactive Dating

Do you need help to get moving?

Get a date in 2009! was the lead article in my December 15, 2008, *eMAIL to eMATE*.  Yes, the holidays are over for now, except for the one that singles really dread: Valentine’s Day.  But the December holidays roll around once a year, and it is good to be prepared.  Really, though, what this article is about is how to get yourself moving to find love, no matter what time of the year.  If you are stuck, maybe this will help:

Get a date in 2009!

In case you haven’t noticed, we are right in the middle of the winter holidays.  For many singles, the holiday season is a sad time.  Without a Sweetheart, singles can feel like they are outside in the cold, peering longingly through the window at the happy families around the fire.

Of course we all know that not all families are happy, but many of us sure do wish we could have a chance to try making a family, happy or not.

If you tend to look towards the holidays with dread, you can do something about it.  And actually, you can use your sadness to work for you, to spur you on to do something about your situation that you let slide the rest of the year.

While others are working themselves into a frazzle with holiday preparations, too much food, and excess in general, how about taking a little time each day to build a “love trip planner” that will make it more and more likely that you will meet the Sweetheart of your dreams?

This time of year is a great time to start moving towards your goal.  Likely you will have some time off, and you could opt out of those miserable parties rather than to go alone.

But then again, what is your goal?  That’s your next step: define what you want, as clearly as you can.  Write it in big bold letters on bright colored paper and post it all over your house.

Then, get yourself moving by focusing on your discomfort: magnify your sense of aloneness until you feel so uncomfortable that you can’t NOT get moving and change things.  Do you really want to go through another holiday season alone and hopeless, and then to see yet another ghastly stretch of gloom next winter?  Don’t you just hate that the other side of your bed is empty and cold?

After you have made yourself sufficiently uncomfortable with the present and defined clearly where you want to go, the route to get there becomes more obvious.  That doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing—it’s all too easy to get thrown off your route.
But you do have a sense of where you are headed and you are readier to get started.

Continue to strengthen these two extremes—how uncomfortable, even miserable, you are in the present, and how much you would like to have what you currently do not.  The increasing tension will make it harder and harder to resist getting started.

P. S. If you are really serious—and why wouldn’t you be? – my book “Find a Sweetheart Soon! Your Love Trip Planner for Women” will take you step by step through a process to clear away any stumbling locks that might be in your path to love.  Check it out at: http://yourlovetripplanner.com


How did I get so lucky?

This morning, I am feeling incredibly lucky.  Drew (my Match.com hubby) and I are at our home in Maine.  It’s on an island, and last night we had a fierce rain and wind storm.  Then in the middle of the night, it cleared and the nearly full moon shown through our bedroom window and right on our faces.  Did you know that sleeping in the light from the full moon can make you loony?  Maybe you thought I was anyway.

So here this morning, the air is fresh, clear and cold.  We’ve got a fire in the wood stove to warm us up, the sun is shining, and we are watching the birds gobble up the suet, peanut butter and bird seed sandwich we hung for them from the maple tree out front.

So yes, I am feeling lucky.  But I got lucky by DOING, not just by crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.  I built this house myself, literally, thirty years ago.  I carved the woods back, planted, painted, and pruned.  Now Drew does most of the heavy stuff and I get to try new recipes.  Last week we made grape jelly—I’ve made jam plenty of times, but never jelly.  It was a first. 

I’m with Drew because of what we did, both of us.  We were lucky to meet, but we made our own luck.  Luck does not just happen.  You make it.

If you want to get luckier, you might want to try my ecourse Ten Days to Get Lucky at Love  Try doing something right now and see if you get luckier.


When is a date not a date?

Is Starbucks for coffee a date or a pre-date?  Does the guy have to pay?  From the following article, it seems like the man’s intentions are what makes a date a date: Whether he signals seriousness by the invitation, by intending to and paying, or by keeping intents purposely vague.  Do women have anything to say about it at all?  Other than yes or no?

First date dilemma
By Mark de la Viña
Mercury News

Gone are the days when a man and a woman meeting over a drink knew the outing was undoubtedly a first date. With lines blurring between the platonic and the romantic, defining what constitutes a first date has become a guessing game, as maddening as catching a gnat with chopsticks.

The various intentions behind a first date, from finding a mate to bedding a casual-sex partner, has forced many singles to define exactly what it is.

The way people in their 20s often socialize - by forming social cliques that can lead to a couple pairing off - makes what constitutes a first date even more unclear, says Tiffany Dang, 23, a student studying finance at San Jose State University.

“Now, it’s just so common that a guy and a girl will hang out without calling it a date,” she says. “But it is.”

Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, author of “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love” (Henry Holt, 2004), says that nearly every social engagement between men and women, whether it is called a date or is painted as a romance-free outing, becomes a date as soon as “they start looking you over.” Men and women are biologically wired to behave toward one another in specific ways.

“I was introduced to somebody at a dinner party, and we barely spoke to each other,” says Fisher, a Rutgers University professor who lives in New York City. “But then he said, `I’m going to the Eastside. Would you like a ride in the
cab?’ Already, a date has begun.”

Something as innocent as sharing a cab can be viewed as more significant than carpooling because the human animal is built to flirt, Fisher says. “Even old friends who are men and women often have some sort of subterranean flirting. We might never make a move, but there is subterranean flirting going on.”

Dating coach Evan Marc Katz, co-author of “Why You’re Still Single” (Plume, 2006), attributes part of the confusion to men and women not expressing their intentions. He says dating should be a simple matter: a social meeting between a man and woman, paid for by the man. If this evening goes well, there is an understanding that it can lead to a second date and is possibly a prelude to a long-term relationship, he says.

Marie, 36, a saleswoman in Santa Cruz who asked that her last name not be used, recently endured such dating confusion when a man invited her to go ocean kayaking.

“The context of the conversation was friendly,” she says. “It wasn’t `Are you dating anybody?’ We get out there on the water, and the next thing I know, he busts out this giant picnic lunch with a bottle of wine.”

Marie, who suddenly realized the plotting paddler had more in mind, told the suitor she was not romantically interested.

Men with amorous intentions have repeatedly approached her by suggesting they “hang out,” Marie says. They rely on vague language so that if she is unresponsive to their advances, they can save face by claiming their intentions weren’t romantic, she says.

“You shouldn’t put yourself in an ambiguous position,” Katz says. “If people are getting stuck, it’s because they have not considered whether this can be read any differently. `Me, you, dinner, alone, Saturday night’ can’t be read any other way. `Me, you, happy hour, friends after work’ can be read a million ways and is probably not a date.”

A slew of ingredients have been tossed into today’s dating stew pot, complicating what for previous generations was a clear-cut proposal, says Dan Baritchi, who with “life partner” Jennifer Hunt operates the Dallas-based dating and relationship advice column http://www.AskDanAndJennifer.com. The couple’s site, which spawned their self-published tips book “Online Dating,” attracted about 100,000 page loads in May, according to StatCounter.com.

Baritchi says people are attempting to maintain some level of courting formality in an atmosphere in which men and women are increasingly disconnected from each other. Hunt adds that the mingling of different cultural traditions, the acceptance of platonic relationships and the redefining of romantic unions have made it even murkier.

“We think that society and the nature of relationships are evolving and changing,” she says. “Up to this point, relationships and marriage and all of these constructs have been driven mostly by religion. With all the diversity and globalization, everybody is saying, `Wait, this is not the only way it has to be.’ They have more choices, and they’re expanding their viewpoints.”

What was once a general rule - that a date was that first baby step toward finding a husband or wife - no longer applies to the way men and women socialize today, Baritchi and Hunt say. In fact, they aren’t fans of even calling a date a date.

By putting a label on the social outing, pressure is unnecessarily turned up, they say. Suddenly, both parties have to prematurely weigh whether they want to have a romantic relationship before they know one another. Singles end up spending more time focused on reaching some imagined first date or the second date marker rather than thinking about whether the relationship is worth cultivating, they say.

Mike Murdoch, 39, a single engineer who lives in San Jose, says that all that anxiety over defining a first date is not new. Nor is the way he met his current girlfriend; she asked him out for drinks eight months ago. He attributes some of the uneasiness about dating to the cultural upheaval of the sexual revolution in the ‘60s and ‘70s: that it made men and women change their expectations about how they wanted to live - and date.

“But it probably always was confusing,” he says. “Go read the Bronte sisters’ books. They’re all about people being screwed up and baffled and trying to be with somebody. I think romance has always been complicated.”


Who Pays Redux

I got this note from a client who has met a great sounding guy on Match.com.  He has asked her out on a real date, and she needs to find a babysitter:

Assuming I get one, and he and I go out, is it appropriate for him to pay for the date? (we’ll probably go out to dinner) I’m no longer sure about any of this. I used to rely on The Rules. And my instinct still says ‘yes, he should pay’. What I bring
to the date will be great care in looking my absolute best, and being there for him as a pleasant, cordial, gracious companion. What do you think? Do you agree?

My answer:

Well, you know what I think of “The Rules” business.  I think frankly that The Rules are insulting to both men and women’s intelligence.  You are a grown up adult and so is he.  And also, you have a hint that he is sensitive to money issues, probably will be looking at how you handle him and the “who pays?” part.  I hear over and over that men do watch this closely. 

Also, I know that you have wanted to be asked out on “a date” and this guy is certainly doing so.  That’s a refreshing change, right? 

Think about how a real grown-up woman would handle this situation.  How about directly?  You could say/write something about how you love being asked on a date, with all that implies.  You could even say that you are going to let him pay, since he did the asking.  (Or you could say “How would you like to handle the ‘who pays for what?’”  Either beforehand, or at dinner.  If at dinner, when it time for the check to come, say “The check will be here soon.  How would you like to handle it?”) 

But then I strongly suggest that you open a discussion on how time together will be financed.  Maybe whoever invites pays, or all expenses are shared?  The first time Drew and I met, he pulled out his wallet for everything and I let him.  But after that time and before the next, I emailed him and told him how much I had enjoyed that part, but that I wanted us to share the expenses of getting together.  Believe me, he was very impressed.  It also gave me power and a say in what happened.

Here’s a link to a Q and A I saw today which is close to this issue, but with a much more oblivious question, and a straight-on answer.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Best Rules are to Forget Them

From my mailbag:

Ok Kathryn, I’m coming to you for more advice, if you don’t mind. 

I can’t find anything on-line that really answers this.  I have two problems: 

One, the guy that I initiated the contact with first—We had two dates and I thought we really hit it off well.  The second date he mentioned a restaurant he wanted to take me to the next week.  I never heard another word.  Even though I e-mailed him first, at that point I was waiting for him to make the moves—right?  Now I’m wondering if I should have continued to e-mail him to keep it going, and not wait for him.  Is there any possibility that by not e-mailing him, that he thinks I wasn’t interested?  Or is this just what it looks like, that he changed his mind and is not “that into me”?  I guess since I made the first move, it’s hard to justify reverting to the old-fashioned “let him chase me” rules.  What is the rule these days? 

Second problem:  Went for a first meet.  I’m not interested.  But he went so overboard about how successful this date was and on and on that I felt put on the spot.  And you know how bad I am about saying my true thoughts!!  So I guess I’ve got a second date.  Should I just e-mail him and end it?  How do you gracefully say you’re not compatible? 

Thanks so much for any advice you can give.  Roberta

Hey Robin Roberta – oh, those {“who chases who” rules, and how to say “No.”  Here’s what I say:

Guy #1:  You were on the right track in that you made the first move.  You are much more likely to get what you want when you do the picking.  Yea.  I do not think it is a good idea for women to hang back at any point, with the idea that guys want to chase, if indeed the lady is interested.  I say, “If something is important for you, do not give the control away to someone else.” 

Of course, you can’t MAKE him like you, but you can make sure that he knows you are interested and would like to see him again.  At the very least, you should follow up a successful date with an email saying how much you enjoyed yourself and how you are looking forward to seeing him again.  That is a MINIMAL response.  I strongly suggest going beyond that.  Go on a date with an idea about what to do next, if you like the guy.  I call it “Building a bridge.”  If you know that you want to see him again, start the ball rolling with “There’s a great movie opening in town next week that I want to see.  Would you like to go?”  Or something like that.

He will either say yes or no, or will act that out (saying yes but canceling) so that then you know rather than having to guess.  Guys get scared too, and back off for the slightest reasons.  Make sure it is not because he does not know if you are interested.

Guy #2:  Opposite side of the same problem.  Nobody wants to be the recipient of a pity date.  If you don’t want to indicate a “no” during a first date, say you want to think about it, then email a clearly worded “I don’t see a match here” statement, and then don’t back off. 

I have yet to hear ONE guy say they do not like it if women take the lead.  They LOVE it.  Resist the game playing that “The Rules” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” have spawned.”

Keep me posted!  K


Dating Advice Tidbits

Here’s a collection of little bits and pieces that have been collecting on my desk and are not long enough for full article treatment:

“Guilt coffee”—what you agree to when you can’t say “no,” even when you know this is not a match.

“Don’t ask for anything that you can’t bring to the table, and beware of those who do.”  Like good finances, youth and vigor, good health, basic truthfulness.

Especially on the first date, turn off your cell phone, pager or Blackberry and do not talk about you ex.  Do not make or take phone calls, answer a page,  or check or send emails during a date.

Act and dress your age, in other words, like an adult, and one who is on a date.  Spare the flip flops and cutoffs.

Ask questions.  You want to find out as much as you can about the other person.  And people like it if you ask about them.

Be honest so that you can back up what you say later if you have to.  While you shouldn’t be afraid to mention accomplishments, do not brag.

Be attentive and listen for clues about your date.  You may need or be able to use them later.

Do not use a date as a confessional. 

Not everyone is going to like you.  In fact, at least 95% of people won’t.  You don’t like everyone, do you?  So why do you expect everyone to like you, or get upset when they don’t?  Get real.  And if everyone DID like you, you would be completely overwhelmed.  Thank the universe for doing much of the sorting for you.

Know the expression “No pain, no gain”?  In dating, it’s more like “No risk, no gain.”  Falling in love means taking risks.  Sometimes you get brusied.  It’s part of the game.  And then you are back to the pain part. 

Dare to make the first contact.  If you don’t, you will be limited to those few weho contact you first.  You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking.

Try to get some distance on the whole “Looking-for-Love” business and not get too attached to the outcome.  Particularly with specific individuals.  Always send out multiple first contacts and do not allow yourself to get focused on one potential candidate.  You have no idea if they will respond to you at all until they do, and even then, take your time.

You can’t win if you don’t play the game.  And your chances are much better than winning the lottery.

Singles often lie or distort in an attempt to get an edge over others, to “get their foot in the door,” with someone who might otherwise not contact them.  It’s a waste of time, because they are much more likely to get the opposite reaction: anger.  People who discover they have been lied to feel tricked.

Have an exit strategy.

If you lie, you can’t complain that others do.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Making Luck

Here are two guys who are trying interesting techniques for marketing themselves to women:

Dave Greenberg of Waltham, MA, is circulating fliers offer $1000 to the person who sets him up with the woman he will eventually marry.  Greenberg seems like an okay guy, but has two stipulations that seem to be warding women off: he wants to move to San Diego and will not fly, so wants a partner who will do (or not do) both.

Brian Wolf at http://settleforbrian.com/ has put up his own website with his worst possible photo on the front page.  He candidly has listed his pros and cons.  56,833 people (at my last visit) had viewed the website, he’s gotten lots of supportive emails, and is dating someone now, according to the NPR interview

While both men say they had “no luck” with Internet dating, I am a firm believer that you make your own luck.  And regardless of their lucklessness on the Net, they certainly are making their own luck now.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


More on Women Making the First Move

I am interested in your take on something I read regarding internet dating and who writes first. The writer, another internet dating advisor, said that in her experience whoever writes first remains the pursuer throughout the relationship. Since reading this I have quit writing to guys first. I want to be pursued not the pursuer.
Do you think there is validity to her “research”? It would be interesting to know what your readers have experienced.
Thanks for your input and great site.

Hey Louise— I’d be interested in reading what this person wrote myself, if you know where it is on the web.  Please send it on.
You do not say how old you are, but in MY experience, the older singles are, the less interested they are in playing pursued/pursuer.  Of course, occasionally what you state is true, that the initial contactor becomes the pursuer in the relationship.  But the converse probably happens equally, and the shared pursuing as well. 
I often hear from my female clients about their attempts to play by “The Rules” who then get totally confused by what they are supposed to do next, or not do, and then wonder why they are not getting good results.  Rule #1 in “The Rules for Online Dating”  is “Don’t Answer Men’s Ads or Email Them First.”  To me, it feels too much like game playing (I don’t like the term “game playing” at all, but it fits here) and not being your genuine self (which by the way is who your future partner is going to really end up with in the long run). 
(See http://www.templetons.com/brad/rulesguys.html  and http://www.askmen.com/dating/heidi/39_dating_girl.html for men’s take on “The Rules.”)
(And http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-rules29.html about the fate of one of “The Rules” authors.)
I also get lots of complaints from women who are taking the “I want to be pursued stance” unsuccessfully.  Here’s a piece of a note that I got from a woman that I did a complimentary coaching session with:
I have been a subscriber to match.com for nearly 4 yrs.  Have STILL not met anyone with mutual interest.
Respondents have been many and varied;
very old (not just chronologically),
control freaks,
live over 1000 miles away,
married or “separated” (but still living w/ their wives),
men looking for casual flings,
those using the site as a catalog to shop for what is their absolute view of perfection. 
Please look at my profile and see if you can help me? Is there something there that attracts this that I am not aware of?

I looked at her Match.com profile and it was actually pretty good.  When we talked, I asked her right off what did she do to meet these men?  I really knew the answer, but wanted to hear it from her.  She practically never wrote the first email.  Well, that’s her biggest mistake. 
You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking.  I advised her to stop looking at her profile as “bait” and more as a resume or business card.  Assume that men who get in touch with you first have a high likelihood of being inappropriate for what YOU want, though who knows?  One of those guys may have actually read your profile carefully and also may have may an accurate assessment of himself and a potential match.  Guys who get in touch with you first should be a bonus, and not your prime focus.
In how many other areas of your life do you give up the right to decide what you want, from a very limited pool of choices?  If you were looking for a new sofa, would you wait for one to be delivered?  Or only go to the store that sent you a brochure?
Here’s another plus to doing your own work: Guys like it.  I have yet to hear from ONE GUY who does not like it when a woman contacts him first.  I made the first contact with my now husband, and he certainly liked it.  And I would say (and he agrees, because I just asked him) that we equally pursue each other. 
And thanks for the kind words about my site.  As you can tell, I work hard on it.
Best, Kathryn


Ongoing Debate: Should Women Make the First Move?

I ALWAYS encourage my women clients to date assertively.  You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking.  And bonus: Men like it.  Here’s a writer who agrees.  And Brady Wiltfong suggests something I had not thought of: If a woman approaches a man, it is a huge compliment and one he is unlikely to forget. 

Also, ladies and me, Wiltfong give some dating suggestions to guys, too, so run on over and take a look.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS I have NEVER had a man tell me that he did not like it if a woman got in touch with him first.


How to Use Your Free Calling Card

I wrote earlier about how to set up a private phone number and get a free calling card to use for your dating and social life.  Here’s how to use it:

1.  If you are in a social situation where someone asks for your phone number and you either want to protect your privacy and/or don’t want the person to be able to get to you directly, give them your card with its limited amount of information: Your first name, a blind email address and equally blind private phone number. 

2.  If you wish someone would ask you for your number and they haven’t, ask them if they have a business/personal card that you can have.  Likely, with that opportunity, they will ask for yours, too.  Or you can offer it then.

3.  I’m always looking for interesting potential party guests.  That can make a great cover for singles too.  You can say: “I regularly throw great parties and am always looking for interesting guests.  Would you like to be on my invitation list?”  If they say “Yes!” then ask for their contact info, and give them yours. 

BTW, I have a book coming out soon on making yourself the center of a social scene by entertaining: “Looking for Action?  The Find-a-Sweetheart Party Planner.” 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


When to Take Down Your Profile?

New technologies shape new behaviors.  Did you know that “Hello” as a greeting was sort of invented because telephone users needed some sort of greeting that signaled one had answered the ring?

Internet daters have had to develop whole codes and shadings of behaviors not in existance before online dating.  Men and women are now on equal footing as to who makes the first contact. 

How long do you email before moving to the phone?  I’d say within two weeks, not longer than a month or two, because that leaves too much room for fantasy.

When and how do you meet for the first time? How long do you allow for that meeting?  What about safety rules?

An altogether new wrinkle is when to take down your Internet dating profile.  Do you leave it up until the both of you decide to be exclusive?  It kind of has the feeling like the old-fashioned being “pinned.”  Do young folks still do that?  Not like getting engaged, but a sign of seriousness. 

The underside of leaving your profile up is that your date can go online and check if you are still there and looking.  Of course, you can do the same for her.  Here’s what Shirly Malove had to say in the Miami Herald:

Q: I’ve been dating a great guy for three months, BUT he still has an active profile on http://www.match.com. I took my profile down after we started dating. I casually asked if he was still seeking dates online and he said, ‘No. I have you.’ Why is he still checking his profile every night? And why am I checking to see if he is checking his profile? Am I insecure?

A: You have some specific questions about your boyfriend and yourself that are difficult to answer without being able to see inside of you. However, what I do notice is that you seem to have sensed something was amiss between the two of you, which led you to check up on his online activity.

For some reason, both of you are reluctant to candidly express your feelings or concerns about where your relationship stands and where it is going. Because you are both engaged in activities that are kept secret from the other, establishing a trusting relationship becomes difficult. Trust and communication are the building blocks of a solid relationship. Feeling uncertain about his commitment to you is both uncomfortable and puzzling and probably explains your tendency to secretly monitor his online involvement.

However, if you each continue on this path, your relationship will be mired in deception and doubt. You must find a way to openly express your concerns and needs in this relationship, along with your hopes and dreams for the future while encouraging him to do the same. By doing so, you discover things about each other which will likely give you better insight and enable you to decide whether investing in a long-term relationship with this person is right for you.

No matter how awkward it may feel to raise the topic, it would be more harmful in the long run for these issues to be ignored. Unless you can openly talk about the unspoken feelings between the two of you, a barrier will continue to grow and interfere with the establishment of a caring and fulfilling relationship, which is most likely what you were both searching for when you began dating. Perhaps this is the source of the insecurity you are experiencing.

What do you think?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Men on Women Making the First Move

In my June 1 *eMAIL to eMATE* newsletter I asked my guy readers how
they felt about being contacted first by women.  I did get one
reply, see below.  I know I’ve got lots of male readers, so hit
the keyboards, fellas, and add your voice to the solo.  Or comment here!

From Mark:

I am pleased, because it shows me that she is not one of those
“guess how I am feeling, or what I am thinking” wimmin.

She has the (female equivalent of) cajones to move toward what
she wants, and will in the future tell you what “is”, rather than
holding back, stewing, or waiting for you to “get it”.

Now, that said, maybe I am not the stud-muffin I imagine, but I
find that I am contacted by women I would never contact myself,
women too far away, even though I am clear about that in my
profile, and women who do not have pictures.  Get a clue,
wimmin’, men are VISUAL!!!!!!!

The only downside I find is that I am offended by the “wink”.  I
know what it means when men wink—they are lazy, and working on
volume rather than quality, or looking for low hanging fruit.  I
fear the same from women, so I ask them, and see if they can
compose a thought, or write intelligently, and spell correctly.


From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Rules to Ditch

In an article from the Home News Tribune, reporter Susan Reinhardt interviewed the women at econfident.com, who gave their insights on dating myths and new approaches.  They are great, so here are econfidant.com’s thoughts on the matters:

Here are the rules to ditch:

# Wait three days before you call: In an era of cell phones and text messaging, you aren’t being cool or fooling anyone by playing the waiting game. Do that, and you could lose out. Make contact when it feels right.

# Guys should do the asking: Not always. Thanks to e-mail and instant messaging, it’s never been easier for women to make that first move. Men are flattered when women ask them out. And nothing’s worse than willing a silent phone to ring.

# Give every date a second chance: Nope, don’t have to. Banish the negative, intolerable, perverted and such. Don’t waste precious time on bores and drones. Dating should be enjoyable.

# The right one will come along: Fate does intervene for a few, but don’t leave it to chance if you’re hunting for someone great. Be proactive and tell friends and family you are looking for someone new.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Mad for Stickers

Here’s an interesting idea for marketing yourself:  Jen Blue from the Albany, New York, area got impatient with the usual dating routes, including the dating sites.  She took matters in hand and had a sticker made up for her car that said: “Single-n-Looking” with an email address.  She says she is looking for “Mr. Great for Right Now,” and while the sticker hasn’t provided him as yet, Jen likes that the sticker puts the ball in the guy’s court and lets him take control.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Match.com, Internet Dating, and “The Rules”

Did you know that Match.com and the controversial book “The Rules” both came out in 1995? Just about everyone one of my female clients (and virtually all of them are strong, independent working women used to running their lives) seems to have read “The Rules” and then gotten thoroughly confused.

Internet dating sites have thoroughly trashed The Rules, thank goodness, and Ladies and Gentlemen, be on notice. Women do not have to play the extraordinary coquettish games that “The Rules” suggested.

Dating sites put men and women on an even keel. I ALWAYS encourage my female clients to look around and contact men they find interesting. After all, you are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking. And an Israeli survey noted that women never make the first move 25% of the time, but a shocking 34% of men never do! Can you believe it???

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

Now I do think that women have to be careful to let men do some pursuing. But I also think that it is not smart for a woman to leave all the “getting in touch” to the guy. It is just too risky.


The Percentages Get Better and Better

A recent indicates that more and more singles are having success with Internet dating. on biz.yahoo.com, 76% of singles who used Internet dating sites found “someone special.” 58% had built an online connection into a relationship that lasted at least several months. Online dating (16% met their last dates online) now beats out every way except friends and family (21%) for meeting prospective partners.

Interestingly, the survey picked up that 82% of women say it is okay for the woman to call a man after the first date, 49% say they never make that call.

I find with my clients that right after the first date is when things either pick up or start dropping off. While it is natural to have mixed feelings so early in the game (you can’t possibly be ready to MARRY yet, for heaven’s sake), it’s important to register strong interest about seeing your date again, unless you already fell a strong “No!” Both men and women are nervous and quick to pick up signals that are not clear. Many would rather fade away than get rejected, so that’s what happens. They fade away.

Fade away prevention: Register your interest clearly. Do not leave a date you’d like to see again without a clear plan for the next contact. Go to the date prepared with a suggestion for another meeting.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Me and The Geez Go At It Again

My loyal chum, reader, and frequent critic The Geezer sent me another volley this week on the subject of “Who pays for dates?” Here’s the link to the article that The Geez sent, and a link to the article referred to there. I’ve written about the etiquette of who pays before, a number of times, actually, and even run workshops on the issue. Seems like this is the top place that the pre-feminists, feminists, post-feminists, and all sorts of other varieties that men and women fall into fight out their differences.

The Geez (and his favorite author Glenn Sachs) argue that men should not be expected to pay on dates. Frankly, I agree. But whether or not they SHOULD, men ARE expected to pay and many fine judgments occur if they do or don’t, or have any hesitation about offering when the check comes.

By the same token, men watch women closely, too, and will form opinions about their date’s character, based on the woman’s assertiveness (or lack of it) around money issues.

The best idea for how to handle this awkwardness that takes care of the matter in the most proactive way comes from my money coach friend Lynn Hornyak: Lynn suggests anticipating the dilemma by bringing it up before the check arrives—we all know the check is coming sooner or later.

I can’t imagine a guy who would not be impressed by a woman saying “The check should be arriving soon. How would you like to handle it?” This gives a guy warning that he has a date who is willing to negotiate around financial issues. This also would be an opportunity for the man to make a generous offer (much appreciated by women) to pay this time, and then set a precedent for future dates by saying “Next time, you can treat me,” or “Next time, we’ll split the bill.” Even if the man pays, a woman offering to leave the tip would give a positive message.

Remember, men and women, you are both watching the other, and however you handle situations where money is exchanged will be noticed by your partner and reflected in his/her assessment of you.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


More on Women Making the First Move Online

Here’s a note from one of my Romance Clients:

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this internet dating. Tell all women it is definitely ok to make the first email contact. Two of the men I saw this week, I emailed a month or 2 ago and they are just now getting back to me but they’re both very nice.

This is another answer to a question I get often and addressed in an earlier blog posting. While it can be a treat if you are a woman to have the guys contact you (and if they do, enjoy it!), don’t sit around and wait! New fellas (and women) are signing up and dropping off dating sites every day, and your perfect match may find somebody else while you are waiting around. Would you go to the supermarket and then sit in the car, hoping someone would bring you the groceries you like? Well, I sure wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t either. Go shopping for what YOU want, and to heck with what your mother told you.

P. S. My mother told me that girls NEVER should call boys. When the first guy I had a serious online correspondence with sent me his phone number and asked me to call, I could not do it. Here I was, a grown-up woman, still governed by those old rules. And as you know, my mother has broken a few of those rules herself lately.

P. P. S. Why did my client’s guys wait around for a month or two to answer HER emails? Time is a real factor in Internet dating. Answer your emails, and do it promptly.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


“Your Wonderful Blog” and Women Making the First Move

Yesterday, I got two separate email blog compliments—one titled “Your Wonderful Blog”! Yea! I am doing something right! The other emailer asked that I write about “Is it okay for women to make the first move on Internet dating?” That’s a great question, and I said an immediate “Yes!” Here’s the short answer I sent back to the writer: “Absolutely! The Internet is a great leveler, and not only is it okay for women to take the initiative, I really urge them to. You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking yourself.”

Here’s a bit more detail: Even though we keep hearing the worn-out advice for women to hold back, that men like to pursue, lots of men find that role burdensome. Not only that, often guys are so discouraged themselves that they find it impossible to risk rejection. I interviewed one fellow who was a highly eligible professional, recently divorced, and so traumatized by the ending of his marriage that he didn’t even write his own profile—a woman friend did it for him. And he was determined that he would contact No One on his own. He sat and waited, and sure enough, his now lady friend got in touch with him first. He was so relieved.

And here’s another angle: If you only respond to contacts and never initiate, then you are restricted to whoever happens to stumble onto your profile and then have the guts to get in touch. Do you really want to limit your choice that way? What about the guys whose searches don’t come up with you? I found my Drew—he would never have found me, because he was searching closer to home, within 100 miles. I searched 500 miles, and he was 482 miles away, door to door.

Any more questions? Send ‘em on!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Proactive Love Searches, or How PeriWinkle Got What He Wanted

Since I showed y’all PeriWinkle’s picture yesterday, I remembered a story I wrote about him in my enewsletter *eMAIL to eMATE* almost two years ago, July 1, 2003. The story really captures PeriWinkle personality, and introduces T.J. who has his own story to tell. Peri and T.J.‘s getting together has a lesson for singles, so read to the end.

“Housebreaking a Junk Yard Cat”

It was PeriWinkle’s fault. He did it. We are now a three-cat household.

Blueberry had not been too pleased since we found PeriWinkle, a flea bitten three-week-old kitten, under a Ruby Tuesday in Nashville. Blueberry was perfectly content to be the rather moody, queen-like only cat. She wouldn’t play with PeriWinkle, who is the sweetest kitty you ever met. She would just growl and smack him hard.

So PeriWinkle went out and recruited a friend.

We think that TJ lived under the abandoned trailer across the road. He just started showing up whenever PeriWinkle was outside. They were clearly chums. He was skinny and wiry, all muscle, very talkative, and hungry. He’d eat anything we’d toss or leave out for him. He even figured out how to come in the house at night through the cat door. He’d then clean out the cat dishes, and unfortunately, spray to mark the house as his.

We had no choice in the matter. Or at least it felt that way. We had to tame him and take him to the vet to get a thorough going over and a tiny and significant operation.

It’s a long story and took several weeks, but now TJ has claimed the center of the living room floor. He can’t get enough loving, and knows that being a house cat is The Way To Be. He adores indoor plumbing (i.e. the litter box). And his presence has evened out the cat family, with everyone (including Blueberry) playing together.

Now, why am I writing all this domestic drivel in a newsletter about CyberRomance?

Because PeriWinkle had the right idea: If you want something, like a playmate, go out and find one. Give up trying to get a dead-end relationship to *work.* Do not sit around waiting for someone to come along. Accept that you need what you need, and go about seeing that you get it.

And TJ had the right idea, too: Even if you are a Junk Yard kitty, mistreated, skinny and rag-taggled, you too can find a loving home and a family, if you are willing to take a risk.



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