In both matchmaking and online dating singles go out with virtual strangers. At Kelleher Matchmaking we vet our clients which adds a level of confidence, but often we hear stories of someone coming on too strong or a woman feeling uncomfortable with sexual advances. The #MeToo Movement makes men and women equally leery of dating these days.
There are always three sides to every story, and as matchmakers, we hear both the man and woman's sides and then piece together the truth from there. This week we’re sharing insight and tips for managing your setting and situation on a date and the importance of not putting yourself in compromising positions. It's a delicate topic, but an important reminder. Although a lot of this information will seem logical, it’s about both men and women being present and conscious of the situation, the optics, and potential issues that might arise.
We hope these dating tools will empower you to make responsible decisions in the heat of the moment.
- On a first date take your own separate car and valet park if possible. He can wait with you until your vehicle arrives rather than walking you back to your car or driving you home.
- If you are meeting your date at a hotel and/or hanging out there, stay in the lobby or lounge.
- Be aware not to get yourself in an isolated position. If a recommendation is made, play through the scenario a few steps further before deciding.
- Do not accept an invitation into a man or woman’s home until you trust them. And naturally, don’t invite them to your place until you feel that mutual respect and attraction.
- If you aren’t feeling the match, don’t share a lot of specific information about yourself. Be vague, especially if you feel uncomfortable.
- Say “No!” You must have a clear, simple, and direct response to any unwanted advances. If their reaction is anger, then you know you did the right thing. Listen to your body.
- Some people are uncomfortable with a forceful “No!” If you fall into that category, then say no, but do it in a jovial way. Make sure your body language is clearly saying “No!” as well. “Not so fast. I don’t think so. I didn’t give you permission for that.”
- If your spidey senses are on full alert, sometimes it’s okay to get up and leave the situation.
- "Ladies, be careful about flirting and be mindful of your advances. If your actions cause your date to escalate things and you aren't on the same page, then you have to change your behavior immediately. Stop flirting. Change your posture. Redirect the situation without sending mixed signals. Use your words. Ask for what you want and speak up about things you don’t want," directs Pamela Nolen, Kelleher matchmaker.
- Once things get physical, it’s human nature for one green light to rev the engines to catch the next green light. Be mindful of the pace and keep things slow. If you both like each other, you’ll enjoy the slow burn. Savor the waiting!
- Be mindful of your dates sexual self-discipline. Are they handsy, ogling, and bringing up sexual conversation too soon? Call it out in a kind, yet objective way. Give him an opportunity to self-correct, but if he keeps moving way too fast, find your “No!” and don’t be afraid to use it.
You are never responsible for someone's consistent unwanted advances, but we’d like to pull back the matchmaking curtain to give you some context as to why men can feel shocked sometimes by the allegations of women they thought they’d had a seemingly great connection and date.
Kelleher International matchmaker Erin Soskin explains, “In the dating world, men especially are expected to "make a move" without seeming too forward or too passive. Most aren’t great at mastering that tightrope which leads to missteps at the very moment you're both trying to figure out if you have chemistry. Communicating your interest in a flirty way can be scary but is essential on both sides.
Women - a playful laugh and a gentle touch on the hand, good eye contact and angling your body in a way that invites close (not necessarily sexual) connection is a great move. Men - a thoughtful guiding hand on the back, good eye contact, and playful dialogue are definite ways to show affection and attention but not aggression.
Misunderstandings often occur when men and women aren't transparent with each other about their feelings and intentions. Never feel obligated to return an advance especially if you don't reciprocate the feelings of another. Always be kind and gracious; let them know that you're flattered but aren't feeling the romantic chemistry. If they drop their advances and you can have a pleasant evening and friendship great! If not, that’s okay, too. You can always exit a lousy date anytime it feels necessary.”
As matchmakers we love the possibility of love and strive to share insights that help you grow along your journey to finding the one. Is there something holding you back from dating with confidence? Share details in the comments section below and we’ll tackle it on a future blog.