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Leave dating out of your business – and make it our business!

With all the news today about sexual harassment in the workplace, there are, no doubt, conversations going on in offices all over America about what is – and is not – acceptable behavior.

As these cases have proven, these conversations need to happen. For too long, many women thought they had no other option but to keep inappropriate behavior a secret. Now they have a voice – and they are finally being heard. As proof of a cultural milestone, look no further than Time Magazine, which, just this week, named “the silence breakers” as their Person of the Year.

But where does this leave singles who are respectful and professional, yet still consider their office as a good place to find dates? We’ve noticed that they, too, are asking a lot of questions now. Is it okay to flirt a little in the office? Can I tell an off-color joke? If I complement a co-worker on how nice she looks today, will I get reported to human resources?

For these singles (and let’s face it, we’re talking mostly to men here), we offer a novel suggestion: take any dating intentions out of your office and leave the matchmaking to us.

As elite matchmakers, we talk with many busy professionals who work very hard in their chosen fields. Often, they tell us that they don’t have time for dating, and the only singles they ever meet are co-workers.

This is an understandable dilemma. But the truth is, even for singles who do know the meaning of consensual when it comes to consensual relationships, there have always been obstacles with dating co-workers. There are fellow employees who talk behind your back, or treat you differently because they (rightly or wrongly) believe your relationship gives you an unfair professional advantage. There is the fact that, if your relationship does not work out, you probably won’t be able to make a “clean break” unless one of you leaves your job.

And then there is another issue that is just now being discussed culturally and professionally: power dynamics. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a senior partner in a law firm. Your firm has just hired an adorable young paralegal fresh out of college. You meet each other, you think there could be sparks, and you start dating. But ask yourself, even if this is a consensual relationship, is it really an equal relationship? Obviously, every relationship is different, but chances are, this would not qualify as equal, regardless of intentions.

For these reasons, many companies have what are called anti-fraternization policies, which discourage inter-office dating, especially if one employee is higher up on the professional ladder than the other.

That is why it makes sense to trust us to do your relationship searching for you. After all, we are busy professionals, too. As matchmakers, we are as dedicated to our business as you are to yours. We will meet with you, get to know you, and find out all about your values, life goals, and relationship goals. Then, we do our best to provide you with matches who are as determined as you are to find a serious, fulfilling, and respectful relationship.

As elite matchmakers, we only select clients we know we can match. And each potential client is seriously vetted (to ensure, among other things, that if someone has even a hint of sexual harassment in their past, we would not accept them as a client.) For us, matchmaking is not a job; it’s a passion. It’s a wonderful thing to have clients report back to us after first dates and tell us that they met someone special.

We hear this a lot from busy professionals who are frustrated by the lack of time they have for a social life. One of them recently told us: “As a physician, its became nearly impossible to juggle my career and make time to socialize throughout the week.  Barbara and Nancy make the dating experience easy and pleasant.  They connect me with quality singles of the community.  I highly recommend Elegant Introductions.” Click here to read more testimonials from clients who turn to us to help find their soulmates.

Now, more than ever, it’s best to be strictly business when it comes to your business. As for finding your soulmate? Well, that’s our business!

 

 

Yes, blind dates can work out very well. Just ask our clients!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met on a blind date, and now they are engaged!

Does the idea of a blind date make you shudder? If you answer yes, you are hardly alone.

This is understandable in some ways. In most movies or television shows, the blind date often goes horribly wrong. Or maybe you’ve had some experiences where well-intentioned people tried to set you up, and it just didn’t work out.

As elite matchmakers, we believe blind dates have received a bad rap – and we are out to change your perception of them. When you meet with us at Elegant Introductions, we do many things for you. We get to know you very well, we get a sense of what you are looking for, and we do our very best to match you with compatible partners. We also thoroughly vet all our clients, so you can be sure your matches really are who they say they are.

However, one thing we do not do is show you pictures of your potential matches. Nor do we allow you to contact them ahead of time. The singles we meet often resist this at first. Especially now, in the age of Tinder, OkCupid and so many other sites, they are used to seeing a photo first.

But here’s where we go back to the idea of blind dates, and their many advantages. In the best of circumstances, blind dates are set up by people who really know you well, and believe they have a match for you. Did you know that this is exactly how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met? It’s true! They were set up by friends who knew that they had similar interests — and they were right on target. Now, as most of the world knows, Meghan and Harry are engaged!

We set our clients, Carol and Blake, up on a blind date because we knew they shared similar values and interests. They clicked instantly, and now they are happily married.

We set our clients, Carol and Blake, up on a blind date because we knew they shared similar values and interests. They clicked instantly, and now they are happily married.

The best blind dates are based not on photos, but on the intuition of people who really know what makes you tick. This is exactly what we do at Elegant Introductions. We understand your values, your interests, and your hopes for the future. Then, we look through our extensive private data base to select potential matches. You won’t know what your potential date looks like right away, but you will know things far more important, like what you have in common, shared values and what his/her relationship goals are. These are topics that inspire conversation, and when you think about it, the best first dates are almost always about conversation. When you spend a first date talking about things that really matter to both of you, odds are very good that there will be a second date – and many more after that.

We know that blind dates work because we have a 90 percent success rate. We love matching clients like Carol and Blake. We arranged a blind date for them because we knew they had many things in common. They clicked instantly – and now they are married. We were so joyous and proud when Carol recently wrote to us and said, “Thank you for introducing me to the man of my dreams. You and your agency go above and beyond. I have you to thank for matching me with my soul mate!

You can read many more enthusiastic testimonials on our website. If you are single and searching for your soulmate, give us a call at 305-615-1900, or click here to get started. Once we get to know you, we’ll change your mind about blind dates — and get you going on the road to your own royal romance!

 

The dos and don’ts of dating “out of your league”

Sometimes, dating "out of your league" can actually work. Just ask Meghan Markle, who is dating Prince Harry.

Sometimes, dating “out of your league” can actually work. Just ask Meghan Markle, who is dating Prince Harry.

How many times have you spotted someone you’d like to date, only to have that little voice inside your head tell you she’s/he’s “out of your league”? Should you ignore that voice – or listen to it? The answer depends on a variety of circumstances. 

As elite matchmakers, we only accept clients who we believe we can match. As we always say, we stress quality over quantity. Yet even catches can have unrealistic expectations. 

Much of this is cultural. Society tells us that “marrying up” – or deliberately searching for someone wealthier, more successful, or better looking than we are — is the way to go. Who among us didn’t cheer for Cinderella when the Prince placed that glass slipper on her foot? Or commiserate with Snow White when she sang that someday, her prince would come? 

Unfortunately, there’s an enormous difference between fairy tales and the real world. When it comes to dating, I always encourage clients to be hopeful and realistic. A man with model-like looks probably isn’t going to be interested in you unless you also look like a model. A wealthy, successful woman probably isn’t going to put you on her radar unless you come close to where she is in life.

But then again, the key word here is “probably.” Because there are those rare – and I do mean RARE – cases where going out of your league proves successful.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Prince Harry and his romance with actress Meghan Markle. Some would say that Meghan is out of Harry’s league. She is certainly beautiful, but she’s not royalty. And she’s a working actress, but she doesn’t exactly have Meryl Streep’s name recognition. (Not yet, anyway.) 

The key here is that Harry and Meghan both have attitudes and beliefs that could very well transcend the usual norms of wealth, class, and success, and ultimately lead to a trip down the aisle. Harry has the ability to be very open-minded about the type of woman he dates. And even before she met Harry, Meghan possessed a keen sense of who she is. She quite rightly believes that Harry is as lucky to have her as she is to have him.

Too often, it’s a deep-rooted lack of self-esteem that makes people yearn for dating someone out of their league. They don’t like who they are, or where they are, and they’re hoping for someone to “rescue” them. The trouble is, there are very few people who want to do that. Even if they are willing, that’s not necessarily a good thing, because these types often demand someone that they can over-power. This is not anyone’s idea of an equal relationship. 

So, while I don’t normally recommend dating out of your league, I would say it’s okay if – and only if – you know yourself well enough to overcome any obstacles. 

It’s sort of like playing the lottery. There are people in this world who know full well that their chances of winning are slim, yet they still throw in a few bucks just because they know that there’s a chance (albeit a slim one) that they’ll hit the jackpot. When they don’t, they shrug it off, maybe joke a little (“Well, I guess they will see me in the office Monday morning after all.”) and let life go on as normal. This is exactly the type of person you must be to date out of your league.

If you’re really hoping to find lasting love, there’s something to be said for dating within your league. It shows that you know yourself well, and have realistic expectations. After all, love has nothing to do with wealth, looks, or even success. It’s about two people who support one another, understand one another, and stick with each other through thick and thin. It’s about being with someone who feels like a comfortable pair of shoes, someone you can trust and be your true self. This holds true, no matter what league you’re in.

Love,

Dr. Nancy

 

 

The power of communicating with your heart

You might have to take the lead when it comes to heart-to-heart communication with your man. But it's worth it.

You might have to take the lead when it comes to heart-to-heart communication with your man. But it’s worth it.

When it comes to lasting relationships, do you know what the most important part of a man’s body is?

It’s not what you think. It’s his…heart. That’s right – his heart. One of the biggest myths about men is that they can’t handle emotions. In my years of practice – and certainly in my life – I’ve learned that the opposite is true. Men love emotions. In fact, in relationships, they often count on them. The more you can communicate your true emotions, the more comfortable he feels about communicating with you.

So, when you are with your boyfriend or husband, how do you communicate with your heart? Here are some common-sense tips, based on years of experience.

Be observant. Before you say a word, it helps to truly take notice of what your partner’s doing – or not doing. Does he look you in the eyes, or does he look way? Is he comfortable standing close to you, or does he keep a distance? Is he calm during disagreements, or does he have a temper? There are no right or wrong answers here. The important thing is to be aware of where your partner is coming from.

Listen – without judgement. Granted, this is hard to do – especially if you are justifiably upset about something. Yet, for truly open communication, this is essential. If he is telling you something and you are not sure you understand what he’s saying, it’s fine to ask him to clarify things. You can say something like “Let me understand you correctly. You are telling me that…” Then, repeat what you think he said. Even in the heat of an argument, your partner will appreciate this. He will know that you want to understand him.

Ask questions. If you completely get what your partner is saying, that’s fantastic. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In this situation, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. Too often, women resist doing this with a man, for fear that they’ll come off as “too prodding” – or even worse, a “nag.” Do your best to resist that fear. Some men are great communicators – and others need help. This is where questions come in handy.

Tell him how you’re feeling. Once you understand of what your partner is saying, then share how you are feeling with him. Be honest. After all, he needs to know where you are coming from. Try to do this without placing blame. Even if blame is justified, it will only make him defensive. Just tell him how you feel, and see how he responds. If you have a healthy relationship to begin with, your partner should at least acknowledge your feelings.

Point out the positives. Even in the middle of an argument or a difficult conversation, it’s important to let your partner know that he is not being attacked. Before telling him something that he probably does not want to hear, start by communicating what he means to you. You could say something like, “You know I love you and our relationship means everything to me…” and then say what needs to be said.

Apologize…but only if you mean it. There will, of course, be times when he tells you things you don’t want to hear. If he points out an honest fault of yours, that needs to be acknowledged. An apology would be appropriate, but – and this is a big but – only if you are honestly sorry. And only if you can articulate how you can truthfully do better. Do not, under any circumstances, tell him your sorry if that’s not true. Yes, this might calm the argument down, but those hurt feelings of yours are sure to resurface in other ways.

Practice these steps, and in no time, you will be a solid heart-to-heart communicator. When you communicate with your heart, you pay attention not only to what you say, but also to how you say it. As a woman, you may very well need to take the lead on this, but it’s worth it. When your man knows that he can feel comfortable expressing himself with you, there’s a much better chance to have a relationship based on mutual respect, honesty – and ever-lasting love.

Love,

Dr. Nancy

 

Why instant gratification and relationships don’t go together.

As matchmakers and relationship coaches, we hear horror stories almost daily from our clients who are frustrated with today’s dating apps and online services.

There are many reasons for this – and they are all valid. You don’t really know who you’re communicating with. You don’t understand the online “lingo.” Their match’s profile photo was 20 years old. These are just a few of the complaints. But there’s another reason why so many singles are unsuccessful with the dating apps – and to us, it’s the most important reason of all. These modern dating platforms are all about instant gratification. And while you can certainly view this as, well, gratifying, instant gratification actually hinders relationships. At its worst, instant gratification can even stop potentially wonderful relationships from blossoming in the first place.

You might ask, how can this be in our wonderfully modern world? Isn’t it terrific that we don’t have to go to the bank for cash anymore, and that we don’t have to get up from our comfy sofa to change the television channel? These conveniences certainly are a big plus. But a relationship is not a convenience. It’s a commitment. While most successful relationships are gratifying, they are hardly ever instant. It takes much more than the touch of a button, or the swipe of a smartphone screen, for true love to occur.

Think about it. When you are using these apps, you are almost completely at the mercy of physical attractiveness. Sure, you can fill out profiles to tell potential matches about yourself, but be honest. Do you even read those before you make your “decision”? Probably not. This is why many people don’t even bother creating informative profiles. It’s all about outer attraction, and nothing about inner attraction.

No doubt, mutual physical attraction is important in relationships. But it’s far from the only factor, and it should never be Number One. Looks eventually fade – even for the most attractive people. If you’ve picked your partner mostly for their beauty, what do you have when they’re not as attractive anymore?

The dating apps do not take this into account. The big problem with instant gratification is, you start believing that the “perfect match” will appear right on your screen and that true happiness is just a click away. It’s a nice fantasy, but in the real world, it’s not very likely.

Even worse, instant gratification can be a problem even if you do get into a relationship. Ask online shopping addicts who don’t consult their partners before major purchases, and you’re sure to hear about strains in their relationship. Ask a serial texter about the last time he had a serious face to face conversation with his partner when a problem came up. Chances are, he’ll wonder why there’s “no communication anymore.”

There was a time, not long ago, when you had no other choice but to talk to your partner about important things. Now, you can text. Now, you don’t even have to say, “I love you.” You can send a heart emoji – and think that’s the same thing. It isn’t. Lasting relationships require constant communication. And by that, we mean actual communication.

When we meet with clients, we ask them to keep instant gratification to a minimum. And we ask them to forget about the dating apps. (Most of them are fine with this, since they don’t like the apps to begin with.) Instead, we take our time with our clients, and we really get to know them. We consider their relationship history, their values, and their future hopes. We ask them to look deep inside themselves – and to enjoy the journey. Then, and only then, do we set them up with potential matches.

This rarely happens “in an instant.” It can take some time – and this is a good thing, because healthy relationships require patience. They also require a deep appreciation for a person’s inner beauty, and the willingness to make time for your significant other.

Quite simply, relationships need time and effort to grow and flourish. Save the instant gratification for fun and entertainment. Serious love takes serious commitment.

 

 

 

How to avoid dating insanity.

You’ve probably heard this modern-day definition of insanity – doing the same things over and over, yet somehow expecting different results. Many singles have this same mindset when it comes to dating. The good news is that you can change this way of thinking.

It’s certainly true that the older we get, the more set in our ways we get. In the right context, these patterns and habits are very positive. They help us define our values, our desires, and our priorities. But if we rely on them too much, there’s a danger in becoming rigid. You become so set in your life and your ways that, when you do start dating, it can become difficult to have a healthy, communicative relationship with your partner.

This is especially true if you’ve recently been through a divorce or a break-up. It’s easy to say it was the other person’s fault. In most cases, though, it was a shared responsibility. If it takes two to make a relationship, it also takes two to break a relationship.

The best way to avoid dating insanity – using the same patterns on different people – is to take the time to look inside yourself to find out what worked (and what didn’t) in your recent relationship.

How do you do that? Well, if you’ll pardon the shameless promo here, you can contact us at Elegant Introductions. We are dating and relationship experts, and one of our major advantages is that, before we even set you up on a date, we really get to know you. This includes going over past relationships. We can help you discover things you might be doing that – even if they felt right at the time – could be blind spots or stumbling blocks to securing a new, happy and sustainable relationship. Maybe you’ve been too trusting. Or too demanding. Or too over-protective. You get the picture.

This is not about making you feel bad about yourself; it’s about taking a good look at yourself, and focusing on how you can do better the next time. We all have imperfections – and we all bring them with us when we enter relationships. Too often, it’s the failure to address them that drives a couple apart.

To change your patterns, you must be willing to look deep inside yourself and be open to new ways of thinking. Change isn’t easy, especially as we get older. But it is so worth the effort. Positive change brings about a renewed sense of self-confidence, and when you start dating again, this is something that future partners will notice and appreciate.

By saying good-bye to old, destructive relationship patterns, you say hello to self-discovery, self-love, and new romantic possibilities. This is how healthy relationships start – and how they last.

 

 

5 simple tips for relieving stress on a date

If you love the outdoors, a picnic date could be less stressful than a more traditinoal date.

If you love the outdoors, a picnic date could be less stressful than a more traditinoal date.

Stress – that’s a subject that most of us can relate to big time. It seems like we’re all stressed to some extent, but that doesn’t make it easier when you must deal with it.

When it comes to dating, many our clients say that they feel stressed. This is understandable. It’s natural to be nervous when you meet someone you don’t know very well. Add to that the possibility that this person might become your future soulmate, and you can see where nerves have a field day. But the key is to keep those natural nerves from festering. This is what breeds stress. The good news is that there are some simple tips to keep those nerves in check.

  1. Location, location, location. Believe it or not, the site of your date plays a lot into your comfort factor. For some, the finest or newest or hottest restaurant in town is perfect for a first date. But for others, there’s the feeling that this atmosphere creates a lot of expectations. If this is you, remember there are many other options. Many first dates now happen over coffee at Starbucks. There’s something about a coffee house that makes it a more relaxed atmosphere. If you’re both love the outdoors, a picnic in the park can make a terrific first date. Make sure you decide on a place that makes you both feel comfortable.
  2. Time matters, too. Just like the location of your date, the time of day also plays a factor in your comfort level. Traditionally, dates occur in the evening, but again, there are those who believe that night dates carry too many expectations. That’s why lunch dates are becoming more and more popular. They’re usually shorter, and if you say that you must get back to the office, it usually means that you really do have to get back to the office. If you and your date find that you’re connecting with one another, you can always plan for a longer date for next time.
  3. Remember to breathe. Before you say, “Of course I will breathe,” let me explain a little further. Sure, everyone breathes. But as far as relaxation goes, most people do not breathe correctly. We take short breaths, and we rarely even think about them. To relax, you need to take deep breaths, hold them for about a second or two, then release slowly. (There are many other deep breathing techniques, but this is one of the easiest ways to de-stress quickly.) If you don’t feel comfortable doing this in public, take a minute to go to the bathroom and breathe there. When you do this, you are literally giving your brain a message to calm down. Your brain then dutifully spreads that message throughout your body. Your heart rate slows down. Your blood pressure is reduced. Very quickly, you are much more relaxed, and ready to show your date how terrific you are.
  4. Don’t fear imperfections. Does this sound familiar? You’re out with a great date. You’re really clicking – and then you spill a little wine on your lap. You want to crawl under the table, right? Don’t even think about that. It’s much better to acknowledge this little slip up. You can crack a little joke about it (“Oh well, at least I’m giving my dry cleaners some new business.”) Or you can simply say, “I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous.” Often, this endears you to your date. After all, nobody’s perfect, and you’re showing her that when unexpected things happen, you know how to handle them.
  5. Exit plans are your friends. Of course, you hope the date goes well. But on dates, as in life, a little planning never hurts. A common one is to have a friend call you during the date. If the date’s going well, you won’t even answer the call. But if there’s no connection with your date at all, well then, my goodness, you’ve suddenly got an emergency to deal with. Of course, if you have the wherewithal to tell the guy that this just isn’t going well, then more power to you. But whatever your exit strategy is, it helps to have one.

Above all, remember that a date is just that. A date. It’s nowhere near a commitment. Once you realize this, it frees you up to be more like yourself. It is one more experience that will only help you as you continue your journey to find your soulmate. She is out there. You may just have to calm your nerves to find her.

 

Melania, Ivana, and the importance of boundaries with exes

Exes. You couldn’t live with them. You want to live without them. But – like death and taxes – they’re a part of life.

Under the best of circumstances, you and your ex part on friendly terms, and even remain friends. (Yes, this is possible.) Or maybe you’re not on great terms, but you both have sense enough to realize that it’s better to just move on, and go your own separate ways with no contact. You don’t talk to one another, but you don’t get on each other’s nerves, either.

But then, there are circumstances where exes cannot be avoided. The obvious example is when children are involved. But there are other scenarios, too. Maybe you and your ex work in the same office, or the same field. Maybe you are both still in the same social circles. And don’t forget, if you’re dating, your partner has exes, too.

So how do you face exes effectively? The answer is – drumroll, please – boundaries.

Last week, we saw a high-profile example of a lack of boundaries –  courtesy of President Trump’s first and current wives. It all started when the President’s first wife, Ivana, promoted her new book, Raising Trump. In an interview with ABC, she called herself “first lady.” She said:

“I have the direct number to White House but I don’t really want to call him there because Melania is there and I don’t really want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that because I’m basically first Trump wife, OK? I’m first lady, OK?”

Understandably, this didn’t sit well with Melania. It can be construed as a disparaging remark from an ex-wife who still considers herself to be more important because she married Trump first. Ivana crossed a boundary, and she did so very publicly.

Unfortunately, Melania’s response didn’t help. Perhaps she and Ivana are not on speaking terms, and that’s fine if they feel that’s what’s best. But Melania could still have found a way to respond privately to Ivana’s remarks. Instead, she, too, crossed a boundary publicly. She had her communications director release a statement that said:

“Mrs. Trump plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books.  There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. This is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise.”

Ouch. Clearly, the first Mrs. Trump and the current Mrs. Trump are not exactly pals – and that’s okay. No one is saying that you must like an ex. But here’s the thing: When you cross boundaries with exes, who does this help? Except for one fleeting bit of personal satisfaction, what are the benefits in reacting this way?

The answer is: none. It certainly does not help you deal with your ex, or your partner’s ex. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this kind of public sniping is more and more common. Too often now, couples post nasty things about each other – and their exes — on social media. Again, what good does this really do?

You might think that it helps to publicly “get back” at someone who “wronged” you. In reality, it doesn’t help at all. As matchmakers and relationship coaches, we encourage our clients to adapt a different approach when it comes to break-ups, exes, and boundaries. The goal is to be as understanding with one another as possible – and to set up rules if needed. If an issue needs to be discussed (or argued), do it behind closed doors; not in front of the entire world. (And certainly not in front of children.) If you’re having trouble with your partner’s ex, have your partner speak with her and set up boundaries. Since he had a relationship with her, he knows her better than you do. By the same token, you’re probably better suited to speak with your ex about boundaries, if needed.

No doubt, boundaries can be difficult, especially when it comes to exes. But they are essential for personal growth. Hopefully, Ivana and Melania will learn this. Hopefully, you’ll always remember it.

 

 

Prince Harry found love – and you can, too!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stroll hand-in-hand. (Photo by Splash News)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stroll hand-in-hand. (Photo by Splash News)

When it comes to relationships, everyone has their challenges. Even Prince Harry. He could well be the world’s most eligible bachelor. After all, he’s royalty, he’s wealthy, he’s charming in ways that remind many of his mother, Princess Diana, and he’s very easy on the eyes. You might think, “how tough could it be for him to find love.”

I would guess that it’s tougher than any of us realize. He’s dated a lot of women, but he has yet to take a bride. That could be about to change, though. He recently went public about his relationship with Meghan Markle, the actress best known for her role on the television series Suits. At last week’s Invictus Games in Toronto (a sporting event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans), the Prince and his new leading lady were everywhere, smiling, holding hands, and even kissing. There are already rumors that they’re secretly engaged.

As a professional matchmaker, what strikes me most about these two is how different Meghan is from the type woman many would expect Harry to fall for. She’s an American – a “commoner” in the world of the Royal Family. If Meghan and Harry do get married, Meghan would be the first American to marry into the Royal Family since Wallis Simpson famously wed King Edward VIII more than 80 years ago. Edward gave up the throne so he could marry Wallis – making for one of the all-time great love stories.

While Harry will probably never be King (he’s got four other family members ahead of him in line, and of course, the Queen is still going strong), I’m sure he envisioned marrying a British woman – probably one with royal blood of her own. Instead, he’s with Meghan, a proud native Californian who loves yoga, the beach, and avocados.

This, to me, is a sign that Prince Harry looked beyond what was expected of him, and focused on what was right for him. I talk to many clients who have trouble deviating from the vision of the ideal partner etched in their minds. I often tell them to “adjust their lenses” and be open to potential partners who don’t necessarily fit their pre-conceived expectations. Obviously, Prince Harry doesn’t mind that Meghan is not British. He adjusted his own lens, and now he’s found love as a result.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games. Harry created the games to help ill and injured veterans. Harry and Meghan both share a commitment to philanthropy.

There are other things that strike me as very positive about Meghan and Harry. No doubt, they look like a dream couple. Yet they both go much deeper. According to a wonderful article in this month’s Vanity Fair, one of the strongest bonds they share is their dedication to philanthropy. They are both, in their own ways, committed to making this world a better place. I’m not surprised at all that this is one of the “sparks” that drew them together. Most people I know who have found love also happen to be very generous. They look outside themselves and realize how fortunate they already are.

Meghan and Harry have also been careful about revealing their relationship. They dated quietly for six months before anyone outside their closest confidants knew about it. I’m sure their very public lives factored into this. It must be hard to date when the world is watching!

But this careful approach also benefits singles in general. We’ve all seen those movies where the girl meets the guy, and right away, she screams everlasting love from the rooftops. This makes for an entertaining film, but it rarely works in the real world. Why? Because everyone has opinions. And even if they’re well-meaning, they can often get in the way of a budding relationship. It’s almost always better to go on serval dates, and really get to know one another before “going public” as a couple.

So, even if Prince Harry will soon be “off the market,” fear not. His road to love is a positive lesson for singles. There are also many princes still out there, even if they don’t have royal titles. You just have to stay positive and keep an open mind about finding them.

Love,

Dr. Nancy

Our top 5 tips for dating success

There are few things in life that are as exciting, or as nerve-wracking, as dating – especially when you’re just getting to know someone. So many things go through your mind: Will he find me attractive? Will she think I’m interesting? Can I get through the date without spilling something? All these come into play – as well they should.

As matchmakers, we have the privilege of hearing about many first dates from our clients. One of the things we’ve learned is that it’s sometimes easy to take dating for granted. This causes some people to do things they would never do on, say, a job interview.

So, in our hopes of making you a little less nervous on your next date, here are our 5 tips for basic dating etiquette. They’re gleaned from what our clients tell us, so we speak from experience.

  1. Be on time. – This shows that you’re organized and considerate of other people’s time. On the other hand, very few things can sour a first impression more than being late. Do you like waiting for people with no explanation? Neither does your date. At the very least, call or text with a heads-up if you know you’re running behind – and even then, you should have a solid estimate of when you’ll get there. Nowadays, with so many ways of easy communication, there’s no excuse for not doing this. And speaking of easy communication…
  2. Keep your phone off. – When you’re on a date, focus on your date; not on your work emails, or your calendar, or a jillion other things that easily distract you. Sure, you’re successful and important, and people depend on you. But guess what? Unless you’re a brain surgeon on call for emergencies, chances are your messages can wait.
  3. Talk less, listen more. – Remember, when you’re on a date, you’re very much on a fact-finding mission – and if you talk a lot, you’re not finding anything out about your date. Granted, some people are naturally outgoing, while others are shy. This is where questions become a trusted tool for success. Ask questions, look him in the eye, and listen. This gives him the respect he deserves – and it gives you the information you deserve as you determine whether you are right for one another.
  4. Treat the wait staff with respect. – How you treat wait staff says a lot about your attitude and values. Of course, if the service is bad or they bring the wrong food, you should speak up. But even here, it’s best to be firm and calm. No yelling or name-calling. Show your date that you’re kind, you have a big heart, and that you can handle slip-ups with class.
  5. Go with a positive attitude – and just have fun! It’s a date – not a commitment. You hope it goes well, but even if it doesn’t, what is it but just a few hours out of your life? If you see a boring movie, that, too, is time you won’t get back. But does that mean the date was boring? Of course not! It’s the same with dating. If you have the right frame of mind, you’ll discover that all dates have advantages. If you already feel it’s not a good fit, you may be surprised at other connections or positive outcomes you may have with this person. At the very least, you will meet someone unique and special just like you. Just kick back and enjoy.

With these tips, you drastically improve your chances of a positive date. That’s good, because you’ll continue using them in a new relationship. After all, if you’re positive, calm, thoughtful, respectful, and a good listener, those qualities will certainly help you when you engage in a new relationship.