The number of men and women sounding the alarm and stepping forward to speak about sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct is staggering. As we’ve seen in recent weeks the allegations know no race, religion, social class, or sexual orientation. Men are stepping forward questioning their own actions as more and more allegations pour out onto the global stage.
The Kelleher matchmaking team wants all of our clients (both male and female) to feel safe and confident out in the dating world so we’ve put together some friendly reminders to set you up for success.
Trust your instincts.
As matchmakers we always encourage our clients to use their intuition. Most times our clients feel very safe being introduced through us based on our extensive screening process. Many report feeling a similarity to being matched with someone vetted by their best friend. However, when it comes to people nothing is fail-proof. There are so many variables when it comes to love and relationships that it is impossible to vet for everything; time and experience become the true test.
“At Kelleher, our experience in running point and being the middleman between two singles is that people can show themselves differently depending on who they are with. Situations are interpreted differently, and as matchmakers we are in the position of brokering perspectives on the daily,” explains Kimberly Colgate, head of matchmaking for Kelleher International. “We always tell our members to use common sense and don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable for them. This is critical to dating in general. It doesn't matter what others think, it all comes down to how YOU feel.”
React confidently and without apology.
Women are raised and genetically programmed to be people-pleasers, particularly towards men, which can create difficult and sometimes dangerous situations. If you find yourself in circumstances that feel difficult to escape consider this advice from matchmaker Doreen Justice.
“If something doesn't feel right and your internal alarms go off, trust your pre-programmed caveman instincts for self-protection and preservation. Don't feel you need to be nice and compliant to retain your likeability. Speak up. It's ok if it makes both of you feel awkward; the consequences of not trusting your gut when something doesn't feel right are far greater than hurt feelings or embarrassment.”
Matchmaker Nahla Grafer adds, “If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Simply excuse yourself and don't look back.”
Know your worth. You are fabulous.
In business, life, and love be confident and recognize your worth. No one is less than or insignificant in a healthy relationship. Kimberly suggests evaluating the type of people you surround yourself with. The majority of the people in your life should actively build you up and support you. If business or personal relationships stand out for the wrong reasons it’s time to address the particular issues clouding the relationship or eliminate the connection altogether. “For any relationship to grow there needs to be a level of comfort and ease. If this doesn't exist then the relationship will likely go nowhere,” Kimberly says.
Your romantic partner should be your biggest fan and support your personal growth and well-being. Kimberly adds, “We remind our members they are worthy of that level of companionship. Any date or person offering less should not be in the running for your long-term partnership.”
If you mess up, acknowledge your misconduct and apologize to the person/people you’ve hurt.
Nobody’s perfect; we all make mistakes, especially in dating. As we get to know one another there’s a learning curve to understanding each other’s non-verbal and social cues. So many men and women misinterpret social signals which lead to awkward moments or unappreciated advances like a big, juicy kiss on the first date. Clear, verbal communication is a critical part of the dating process and imperative to avoid these small misunderstandings from snowballing.
Men, remember these three simple steps to avoid a bad dating reputation:
Don’t assume she’s into you.
“Look into her eyes and be present. If you’re really interested you’ll learn more about what’s happening between the two of you that way than by talking about your past or boasting about accomplishments. Take a chance and show your authentic, vulnerable self. Especially on a first date, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” explains Nahla.
Don’t go in for the movie kiss on the first date.
Romantic advances can be off-putting to a woman, particularly on a first date. Feedback from our female clients suggest romantic behavior early on feels disingenuous and assumptive because a man they’ve just met can’t possibly know them well enough to feel anything more than a sexual connection. And a first kiss is something to be earned.
“Often she will allow herself to be kissed to avoid an awkward situation leaving her feeling cheap, annoyed, and turned off which I guarantee isn’t what you’re going for! My advice,” says Doreen, “ask her if she wants to be kissed and give a soft, friendly peck. Leave the heavier make-out action for later down the road when a real connection has been established.”
Act like your mom is watching.
And finally, the simplest piece of advice is to simply conduct yourself as if your mom is in the room. Respect women and treat them the way you’d want someone to treat your mom, sister, or daughter in that situation. Simple and foolproof.
If you’ve had your own “me, too” dating moments, we get it. As matchmakers we strive to help you confidently explore your dating options and empower you to vocalize what you do and don’t want along your journey. If you have thoughts you want to share or questions for our matchmakers, please leave a comment below. If you’ve never considered matchmaking and want to explore the process, give us a call. We’re happy to answer your questions and talk you through the Kelleher experience.