Stuck in a dating rut? Here are some gold nugget tips from the relationship experts that could help you find your perfect match….
By Julie Hodister
- Caution is Your BFF
“If you meet someone online and within a few messages they’re telling you how much you mean to them, and how they love you to bits: stay away,” says Telegraph Women’s writer and author of the novel ‘Virgin’, Radhika Sanghani. “This is not a modern day version of love at first sight (of your profile pic) – it’s a sign that they’re a bit of a creep.” Radhika, also points out, “If it wasn’t for online dating, most of my generation (twenty-somethings) would be single. But online dating is still a relatively fresh terrain. Be aware of some pitfalls.” For more Radhika wisdom go towww.radhikasanghani.com or www.telegraph.co.uk
- Don’t Expect to be One and the Same
”One of the more ridiculous myths about “true love” is the idea of the soul mate – that there is someone out there who is your perfect match,” says author Kate Figes. (Her non-fiction books include ‘Couples: How We Make Love Last’ and ‘Our Cheating Hearts: Love and Loyalty, Lust and Lies.’) Kate reckons a good relationship is about navigating the numerous differences between you. “It’s those differences that make life more interesting,” she claims. “Our lover can open up a whole new way of seeing or understanding the world. Enjoy what others have to offer rather than trying to change them to fit your own template of how life and love should be.” Go to www.katefiges.co.uk for more Kate.
- Revealing Vulnerability is OK
Even if it feels daunting, showing our vulnerability to a new date is perfectly fine, claims couples counsellor David Waters. “When we start a relationship we like to feel in control, powerful even – to protect ourselves from the vulnerability that comes with opening up to a lover,” says David. “We may carry the hurt from past relationships, so we protect ourselves by trying to appear in control. Yet no relationship was ever deepened by lovers’ attempts to assert themselves over each other – rather, it is through the mutual exploration of their imperfections that a connection occurs. It may sound counterintuitive but it’s true.” Check out Dave at www.davewaterscounsellor.moonfruit.com or www.theschooloflife.com where he teaches classes, including ‘How to Communicate better in Love.’
- Use Your Gaggle!
In her book, ‘The Gaggle: How The Guys You Know Will Help You Find The Love You Want’, Jessica Massa (www.the-gaggle.com) coins a dating term every woman should know. Say hello to your gaggle: the select group of men in your life – many of whom you are not romantically involved with – who play different roles, fulfill different needs, and help you to figure out who you are, what you want, and what kind of relationship you desire. These men could ultimately lead you to Mr. Right. “The more you’re open to letting men show you all the different sides of themselves, the more likely you could surprise yourself and fall in love with one of them,” Jessica explains. Guy friend aka ‘The Accessory’ in your evening art group? Ask him to go for a drink after class. You never know where this may go…maybe outside the classroom he’s a riot with a posse of sexy single mates!
Check out www.the-gaggle.com/gaggle-bookto decode your Gaggle
- Take a Gamble
A bit of risky business can pay dividends when dating, according towww.gethteguy.co.uk “You don’t need every individual transaction (or in dating, social interaction) to be a massive gain,” says GTG’s Stephen Hussey. “One big win (i.e. meeting one amazing person, making one big transaction) will immediately outweigh all of the little hiccups experienced on the way,” he explains. “As long as you stand to gain more than you lose, and the losses won’t cause you to go bankrupt, you should always be willing to take the smaller risk. Incidentally, since in the modern world we have a nearly infinite number of people to meet, date, interact and converse with, remember the losses from one interaction going badly are tiny.” Read more of Stephen’s dating advice atwww.gettheguy.co.uk/blog
- Hob Date!
By no means is Amy Loudon (relationship writer at The Independent) condoning becoming a ‘player’ or leading people on, but the idea she’s endorsing is that dating doesn’t have to be so rigid. “I read an article titled ‘Your Love Life on The Boil,’ written by Jane Mulkerrins; a dating theory which stood out to me,” writes Amy at www.independent.co.uk . “Despite its name, ‘Hob Theory’ has little to do with cooking but a lot to do with keeping your options open,” she explains. “The theory goes – on a gas hob you have four gas burners and people are the pans; you don’t want to have all four on a high flame simultaneously, too many timing issues and you’ll more than likely get burnt. However, you can turn the heat up and down on each; move the plans from front to back, set some to simmer, or whack one up to flash-fry if you wish. The beauty of multi-pan dating is that it gives you options,” says Amy. Follow Jane Mulkerrrins at www.twitter.com/mulkerrins and Amy’s dating advice at www.independent.co.uk/life-style/dating/advice
- Use the Power of Touch
One of the most effective secrets of strong relationships is the use of involuntary touch, claims dating and relationship author Dylan Tyler. “Simply by giving him an unexpected touch, you produce a pleasant physical connection that will leave him wanting more,” writes Dylan in his book, ‘How to make Him Want You Forever.’ “Try asking him to simply pass the salt while dining and reach across him, slowly letting your body rub his arm,” he advises. “Mini moments of pleasure and excitement will get your date subconsciously hooked and make him crave you when you’re not around.” For more of Dylan’s dating advice www.amazon.co.uk/Forever-Secrets-Understanding-Building-Lasting-Relationship-ebook
- Top Togs Win Second Dates
Whatever you do when you’re dating, avoid appearance apathy, advises says Elin Davies, image consultant at Style Doctors. Believing that vintage top and elegantly distressed pair of jeans lends you an air of charming nonchalance could be a big mistake. “Such attire suggests you’re not that bothered about the date. This will be her/his first thought upon seeing you and an overriding worry throughout. Not a great start, frankly,” says Elin. “Pick an outfit that inspires confidence and adheres to these essential style rules. Keep it classic and simple. Dates are impressed if you take care in your appearance, but will be put off if you mention price tags or name-drop designers,” warns Elin. “Also, before every date: shower and scent.” Not that difficult, is it? For more help with dressing for a date contact The Style Doctors at www.styledoctors.wordpress.com/contact
- Be YOU!
“As far as I’m concerned that sleazy guy who thinks hooking up with attractive women is a breeze, your family who nag you to find a woman/man, and that ‘helpful’ friend who told you to just lower your standards… can all take a running jump,” says love guru Hayley Quinn. “You have to make your date attracted to YOU and that doesn’t involve using a bad line/ changing your DNA. Stay true to who you are,” advises Hayley. Relationship expert and coach Jo Barnett agrees. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken,” says Jo. “Live your life authentically!” For more dating and love advice from Hayley and Jo, check out www.hayleyquinn.comand www.datingcoach.me.uk
- Have Crystal Clear Clarity
Finding the perfect person to spend your life with and how to you recognise them when they turn up in your life, requires clarity of vision reckons relationship coach, Sam Owen. “If you give your heart and brain instructions about the exact type of person and relationship you are looking for, you will do three things: You will create opportunities to help attract them into your life. You will easily spot your ideal-mate-candidates when they turn up in your life, and you will grasp opportunities to make acquaintance with Mr. or Mrs. Right when they show up in your life.” Clarify a vision of your ideal mate and regularly review it. For more of Sam’s dating tips go to www.relationshipscoach.co.uk
Former AOL UK Editor, Julie Hodister, has written for numerous women’s and teen magazines including, Heat, Bliss, Dare, more! 19, Smash Hits, Big! J17, Q, Sky and Chat.