10 Reasons Men & Women Ghost

By Amy Stevens Seal - CEO & Founder of The LDS Matchmaker®

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Since Halloween has just passed, we thought it would be apropos to talk about ghosting. We’re not referring, however, to the cute (or scary) little floating sheet that roams your creaky dark lofts at night. We’re talking about that adorable guy or girl you’ve been dating, who has suddenly, and quite inexplicably, simply disappeared. Poof. Gone. MIA. This common dating phenomenon is called ‘ghosting’.

This may sound familiar: You met a guy online, or with your friends, and there was great chemistry. You started texting back and forth, talking a lot, then went on a few dates. The last time you hung out, things were great, but you haven’t heard from him in days. You text him a casual “Hello”. Nothing. A week goes by. Another week. Nada. No phone calls, texts or FB messages. You’ve been ghosted. In brief, you’ve been blocked from the person’s life, and must accept the fact that it is over. In our modern age of technology, ghosting is one of easiest, most selfish and spineless ways to let someone know, “I’m just not that into you.”

Here’s a real-life example from one of our matchmakers:

            “I really liked a guy from my singles ward. We had flirted, talked a lot, messaged, and hung out. I knew he was really interested in me. One night, after making arrangements to spend a few hours together, I waited for him to come by and pick me up. When he was a half hour late, I texted him to make sure he was ok & was still coming. No response…even though FB showed he had read my message and was online. Fifteen more minutes passed. Still no response and no cute guy at my door. Fifteen more minutes. Another message sent. ‘Read’ & still ‘online’. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and, though seriously disappointed, went about my night without him. I saw him at church the following week, but he avoided me.
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 It’s been two years and I never did get an explanation as to why he blatantly ditched me that night…though I heard he spent that evening hanging out with a different girl (aka. found a better option). I still vividly remember how I felt: shafted, confused, angry, and shocked at the blaring immaturity of it all (the last time a guy had so obviously ditched & avoided me was in high school!). What kind of 35-year-old does that?!”

If you’ve been ghosted, or have been the ghoster, you’re not alone. Statistics state that 90% of people have ghosted or been ghosted.

To help you make sense of what you’ve experienced (or what to be on the look-out for), we’ve put together a list of ten reasons people ghost.

1. To avoid confrontation. Lots of people don’t like confrontation, but it’s a necessary life skill that needs to be learned. You don’t disappear from someone’s life just because your spine is made of jelly.

2. He’s just not that into you. Plain and simple, but it’s no excuse for ghosting. Tell the person. It’s common decency.

3. Lack of maturity.  Some adults never quite made the transition from adolescence to adulthood (i.e. missed the Adult 101 classes). If he/she isn’t mature at 35 or 40, there’s little chance of that changing anytime soon.

4. Feels suffocated. Girls, let the guys chase you! Guys, pursue the girls. Good old fashioned courtship. This method has worked for thousands of years. Modern societal norms may be changing, but this form of ‘courting’ is proven to get results.

5. Sees no future. Obviously, if someone can’t see a future with you, it’s a reason to stop dating. However, it’s no excuse to disappear without a trace.

6. Doesn’t know how to communicate. We live in a culture of minimal face-to-face communication these days. It’s one of the top complaints for failed relationships.  

7. Lack of respect and empathy. These two pillars in a relationship are paramount. If the guy or gal you were seeing doesn’t possess them, count yourself lucky to be free of the relationship.

8. Lack of confidence…in other words- passive and cowardly. Not everyone is direct and confident, but that’s no excuse for not being considerate of someone you’re seeing.

9. No personal responsibility. Excuses never equal results. Take responsibility for your actions….you know- the stuff your mom always tried to instill in you. Make her proud.

10. Personal issue triggers. In other words: FEAR. Let’s face it- most all of us have been hurt at this stage in the game. If a pain trigger waves it’s red flag we have two options: fight (communication) or flight (ghosting, in this case).

While these reasons give more insight about why you might have been ghosted, it doesn’t take away the pain; however, we hope it will lessen the damaging impact it has on you. On the flip side, if you're guilty of inflicting the heartache caused by ghosting, we suggest making amends and changing your ways. 

Remember, we’re all human beings who have feelings. We’re all just trying to get through this thing we call life. Let’s support, communicate and show consideration… leaving ‘ghosting’ to the real ghosts.

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The LDS Matchmaker® specializes in helping singles identify and overcome obstacles that have kept them from finding lasting love. Dating experts provide insight, ideas and specialized services that help clients make progress toward making marriage a reality.  If you’re ready to discuss how to get your love life headed in the right direction, schedule a free consultation with The LDS Matchmaker®. Contact us at info@LDSMatchmaker.org or by calling 801-495-1000. 

Source: http://www.theldsmatchmaker.com/blog/

The Benefits of Hiring a Faith Based Matchmaker

by Hayley Matthews

After his divorce, Scott struggled to meet someone new. He went to church-sponsored events, he joined dating websites, and he was left feeling “emotionally drained” as he tried to be single and a father at the same time. Finally, to save himself time and heartache, he turned to a matchmaker.

Read the rest of the article HERE

 

Becoming a "Repentant Dater" Might Just Save Your Love Life

by Stephanie Pack

I have long believed that if dating were fun, no one would get married. Dating is an institution riddled with confused feelings and bad communication, and I don’t blame anyone who decides to give it up. However, is what we risk by not dating greater than we realize?

In a talk in my ward last summer, a young woman posed a question that has stuck with me ever since. She asked if we were “repentant daters”. It was a puzzling concept, but I eventually came to really like the idea. I began to realize that dating and repentance have more in common than I thought.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article on Mormon Buzzz

 

Participate in active goals to take charge of your social scene

By Amy Stevens Seal. Founder/CEO, The LDS Matchmaker

Summer is coming fast, but maybe the thought of attending family functions and company barbeques without a date has you feeling down. You’re starting to tell yourself nobody would miss you if you weren’t there, and Netflix isn’t going to watch itself, after all.

You need a game changer!

Have you ever thought that the reason you’re so successful in other aspects of your life, such as your schooling, your career, and your finances, might just be the secret to turning your social life around?

Social science expert and professor at BYU, Dr. Brian Willoughby, says, “One of the fundamental traits of any successful person is that they have goals.”

Setting goals and working toward them is something we naturally do when we want to succeed, and improving ourselves through hard work and struggle is one of the things that brings us the most happiness in life. Just think about the last time you achieved something you really wanted. You felt awesome, right? You shared it with everyone you know. You Instagramed it. You rewarded yourself. You felt satisfied and fulfilled and maybe even wanted to set a new, bigger goal.

You can feel satisfied and fulfilled in your dating life, too. You can set dating goals and work toward achieving them.

As Mormons, we’re taught from a young age to set goals. An Ensign article entitled "Strengthen Your Sense of Self-Worth" gives suggestions about setting goals. Be realistic, it says, and be committed. Be accountable, too, by writing your goals down and sharing them with friends. But don’t compete with friends. “Compete with yourself,” instead. And most importantly, share your goals with Heavenly Father. He can help.

This can all be applied to dating and relationships quite successfully, and that’s one of the amazing things we do at The LDS Matchmaker. With our proven thirteen week learning program, we help daters recognize what they want and formulate specific, realistic plans to make it happen. We empower daters with knowledge and insight. We teach daters the skills they need to turn their dating and marriage goals into fulfilling relationships.

So make a goal to check out what The LDS Matchmaker can do for you. We’re here to help! Our kind and supportive dating coaches can help you achieve what you really want, and who knows, maybe soon you’ll be making goals for the future with the love of your life.

For information about our learning programs, click here.

Where are the best singles conferences? Here’s how to find a new social scene this summer.


Single and looking this summer? Get ready to mix and mingle. Here’s why you should take advantage of available opportunities and where to find them.

Our ability to find a long-term, loving relationship comes when our personal preparedness, God’s timing, and the right opportunity all intersect. Being in the right place at the right time is one element that’s in your control, and it will boost your chance for successful dating.

If you’re feeling isolated or in a social rut with the same people, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Attending a singles conference or summer function is a great way to expand your social circle and meet new people.    

“When we put ourselves out there, it shows God we’re willing to do everything within our realm of influence,” said The LDS Matchmaker founder, Amy Stevens Seal. “It might mean being uncomfortable at times, but vulnerability brings more social experience and a greater ability to handle life’s most difficult moments. Becoming better at handling the ambiguous not only makes you a better dater, but a better future spouse.”

Don’t be afraid to attend conferences or events alone. You don’t always need a “buddy” by your side. Sometimes being with friends can hold us back from seeking new opportunities. Your independence will inspire you to start conversations and will enable you to get to know people that aren’t currently in your immediate social circle.

We all hope to meet “the one” at these kinds of functions. However, completely fixating on finding that one special person makes it more difficult to see other connections and possibilities that would help us in the future.

“A lot of singles go to events with an all-or-nothing attitude. Meeting the person of their dreams means success. Not meeting them means failure,” said Amy Stevens Seal.  “The reality is, any time you expand your social circles, you build friendships and connections that increase your ability to meet and date new people in the future. Every time I attended a conference it led to something productive, whether it was in dating, friendship, or even business. And as I trace things back, most often, the times when the result was friendship or business connections, it almost always led to more dating opportunities down the road.”

Here are a few conferences on The LDS Matchmaker’s calendar. Consider joining us! 

•             The big kick off comes May 20-22 in Southern California at the Huntington Beach Conference.  The LDS Matchmaker is hosting activities on-the-beach and lodging at the Marriot Villas. Your room includes Sunday brunch and mingling with The LDS Matchmaker staff.  Register here to save your spot.  

•             For the East coast singles, the annual Duck Beach Gathering is ramping up. The LDS Matchmaker will be there to personally answer your dating and relationship questions. We will also be hosting the 4th Annual Glow in the Dark Party!  Click here for more information.

•             The Orange County Single Adult Conference is August 5-7. This conference will combine everything you love—the beach, great food, and singles-focused educational workshops from expert speakers, including members of The LDS Matchmaker staff and many more. 

•             The Salt Lake Mid Singles Conference runs the same weekend, August 5-7, at the University of Utah Institute of Religion.  Look for more to come on The LDS Matchmaker team’s presence at this conference.

A comprehensive schedule of LDS Single Adult conferences and events is shared here. Don’t let this summer pass you by without going to some new functions. Make a goal to attend one or more and create new connections for your future.

5 WAYS TO PUT DATING ADVICE FROM THIS MONTH’S ENSIGN INTO ACTION

In the April 2016 Ensign Magazine, there’s a must-read article written for everyone who is single-and-looking called Taking the Fear out of Dating. 

It’s written by BYU Professor and former mission president Michael Goodman, and brings to light five proactive steps that will shift your focus from dating fear to items IN your control. Implementing these easy-to-do steps will help you increase your chances of finding eternal love with the right one for YOU. 

We invite all single adults to read and practice the great advice shared in the article.  We add our years of experience and wisdom to echo his advice.   

Goodman first suggests that we Patiently Prepare Ourselves to be ready by focusing on becoming happier, more whole individuals. 

“I have clients who want me to make the love of their life appear with a big, glittery wave of my magic wand. Even if I did have the power to magically place my clients into marriage with a great partner, many still wouldn’t be happy,” said, Erin Schurtz, Dating Coach with The LDS Matchmaker.

“Unhappy, anxious singles make unhappy, anxious spouses, even after they are married. Marriage, even to someone great, won’t solve the underlying issues. It only adds new complexities and creates unmet expectations. It’s far better to address your underlying anxieties before getting into a serious relationship.”    

Goodman also suggests we should Live Life Relationally. “Some of my best advice to clients who are nervous on dates or in front of someone they’re interested in is to practice relating to everyone”, Hardenbrook said. “You need experience to master any art. Practice being warm, friendly and empathetic to everyone, even your grocery store cashier. The more practice you have relating to those around you, the better you’ll be with prospective mates.” 

Goodman’s article suggests we should Seek Opportunities. Saying yes, when you’d rather say no, often yields the new connections we’ve been waiting for. The next time you hear about a single’s conference, make plans to go!  If you hear about a gathering, but aren’t sure if you’ll know many people, jump at the chance to break into new social circles.

Find your tribe. If you like boating or watersports, hit the next boat show expo with a friendly smile and look to catch someone’s eye. If endurance sports are your thing, register alone with the intent to meet new people while you train. If you’re a gamer put on your game face and hit the convention. The possibilities really are endless. 

Goodman advises singles to Deepen Select Relationships

Creating opportunities to have alone time with those you’re interested in will help foster opportunities to connect on a deeper level. Hanging out is for college dorms, not for those who are marriage minded. 

During your alone time together, exhibit an appropriate level of vulnerability by volunteering new information about your desires, wishes or opinions. If it’s a connection worth developing, your partner will match your emotional investment and a bond will form deepening your trust with each other.   

Goodman says that being able to Communicate Expectations Openly will lead to successful partnerships. 

“My clients often want to keep their thoughts, feelings and viewpoints to themselves to protect what they have with someone. They don’t want to rock the boat, but doing so is disingenuous,” said Erin Schurtz.  

“Successful relationships develop when our thoughts, feelings and viewpoints are shared and your prospective partner responds well. If he or she isn’t willing or able to respond in the way you expect after you openly communicate your desires, it’s important to know sooner rather than later so you can shift your focus toward someone who will reciprocate appropriately and value your opinion.”

So before you give up on dating and love because it’s simply too scary or too hard, know that there are true gospel principles to assist you in your journey and even remove the fear!

 

Five ways to find luck on your next first date (even if you're not Irish)

Trying to make a lucky connection on a first date? The Irish aren’t the only ones interested in getting kissed on St. Patrick’s Day.  Here are FIVE simple strategies that will improve your first date tonight or any time after. 

1.     Control the length of the date. Experts say a first date should be short.   About 45 minutes is long enough to decide if you like the guy or gal.  Make the law of supply and demand work for you.  Keep it brief even if you’re having a great time.

2.     Sit next to your date. If you’re eating together, take a seat beside each other instead of across the table.  It might feel strange at first, but removing physical barriers like tables make it more likely that you’ll engage in casual, social-type touching. Touch is electric and your date is far more likely to feel a spark without physical barriers.

3.     Skip the eats and opt for activity.  Instead of spending the majority of your time together chewing, fill your mouth with conversation while you engage in some kind of activity. 

Head to the park and swing together.  Take a walk. Play a simple game like Frisbee.  Even sitting together on a public bench can be a great place to make observations and discuss the world around you.

4.     Know your lines.  Like any interview or important introduction, decide ahead of time what you’d like to say.  Being prepared with ideas helps you be confident and collected during your conversation. 

It’s also a good idea to come prepared with a few questions or conversation starters if the exchange starts to lag.  Keeping the banter going helps both of you stay relaxed.

5.     Make HER feel comfortable.  Make HIM feel interesting/useful.  Women are more likely to accept a second date if they felt comfortable and didn’t worry about details while they were with him. Be proactive about paying the bill, opening doors and leading conversations when they lag. 

Men know they’re interesting when his date smiles, laughs, or touches him lightly on the arm periodically.  They feel useful when she asks for insight about something he’s good at.  These kinds of positive reinforcements make him far more likely to want more time with her.

The Irish aren’t always just lucky, you know... Implementing new ideas can change your luck fast when it comes to finding a connection with someone who might be the love of your life!

The LDS Matchmaker wishes all singles the best of luck making new connections this St. Patrick’s Day.  For strategies and programs proven to turn bad luck into lasting love, consider setting up a strategy session with one of our experts.  Your next first kiss might just be one new strategy away.

Leverage Leap Day -- Why Feb 29, 2016 is your day to seal the marriage deal!

If you’ve seen the movie “Leap Year”, starring Amy Adams, you know February 29th is the day where an old Irish Tradition allows women to propose marriage to their partners. 

It isn’t just fiction from a movie. The tradition has been traced back to the 5th century were St. Bridgid and St. Patrick decided that women who’ve been waiting on their partners for too long should be allowed to take matters into their own hands once every four years on Leap Day.

There was even a law in place in the 13th century where men who refused a woman’s marriage proposal had to pay a fine!

While proposing marriage isn’t practical for most of us, putting yourself in the right place in front of the right person is doable for men and women.

Amy Adam’s ‘Leap Year’ role portrayed her frustration with her fiancé of many years. She flies all the way to Dublin, where her boyfriend was attending a conference to take advantage of Ireland’s Leap Year tradition.

When she finally arrives (after a turbulent journey that redirects her feelings of admiration), her longtime boyfriend proposes marriage before she has the opportunity. You’ll have to watch the movie to see how it ends (it’s on Netflix). 

The moral of this story revolves around the Amy Adams character. Being tired of waiting on others to make her romantic goals a reality, she takes action and puts herself in the right place in front of the right person.

This can be a possibility for all of us!  Is there a person you’ve had your eye on?  Why not use Leap Day as an incentive to put your best self in front of him or her to invite action towards progressing your relationship?

Erin Schurtz, Relationship Expert and Dating Coach for The LDS Matchmaker, gave some great advice in a recent article titled: SECRETS REVEALED – MEN say what they LOVE and HATE about their dates

“Be blatantly obvious that you’d like him to ask you out. The perfect recipe to get a date invitation is by dishing a compliment, followed by a casual, ‘I’d-like-to-get-to-know-you-better,’ followed by a ‘call-me-sometime.’ For an added effect, give a wink and then immediately exit. If he’s interested, he’ll ask you out. If not, you can feel free to move on knowing you left the ball in his court,” Erin suggests.

Use this Leap Year as your opportunity to be bold! Don’t let it pass you over without taking a dramatic step toward progressing a relationship or kick starting your dating life. Your dramatic LEAP DAY step might be investing in your own future by inviting others to be a part of your cause.

Selectively choose those in your network who might have strategic and innovative ideas on how to break out of your comfort zone and take charge of your dating life. 

And if you feel that it’s time to enlist the experts, The LDS Matchmaker is here to strategize how to jump start opportunities for love with their specialized services to make this YOUR year!

Ladies – mention this blog post when you contact us and receive a special offer just for you (through Friday, March 4th)! You can reach us at: info@ldsmatchmaker.org or (801) 495-1000.

SECRETS REVEALED – MEN say what they LOVE and HATE about their dates

Having good intel on what your date thinks about the things you say, the way you act and what you do on a date is the first step in transitioning dates into lasting relationships. 

The LDS Matchmaker gathered excellent gender intelligence when we asked men what they loved or hated about their dates and received brilliant first date tips when we questioned The LDS Matchmaker Dating Expert, Erin Schurtz.

According to our poll, here’s what MEN told us about their dates:

1.     They love women who aren’t afraid to be decisive about how they’d like to spend time.  They hate when women say they don’t care about where they go but then act disappointed or refuse his suggestions. 

If there’s somewhere you feel comfortable going or a place that sounds good, decisively tell him what it is.  Chances are he’ll be excited about the opportunity to give you something you want.  

2.     Men told us they love it when dates actively contribute to the conversation by offering a discussion that requires thought and provides insight into their personality and character. 

Skip talking about the weather or mutual friends. Dig deeper and be prepared to share something more interesting or vulnerable.  Ex: Your plan for the future, interesting hobbies, exciting moments in your life, etc.  Make an effort to highlight your personality and try to discover his.

3.     Men reported they’re turned off when women assume the date invitation is an indication that they’re head over heels for you, especially if you’ve just met. 

Try to keep expectations about what his invitation means to a realistic level until you have the opportunity to observe his behavior and understand his intentions. 

4.     Men told us they love women who display confidence and seem comfortable. They said these are usually the same women who have a plan for their lives and are working to achieve goals for their future. 

If you have a vision, feel free to share it and inquire about his ambitions. If you don’t have a clear plan of action for life, that may hurt your ability to attract ambitious, high quality men.  Put some thought into what the next steps are for your life are and take action towards achieving it. Ambition and goals are great topics to discuss on dates.  Put some thought into what the next steps are for your life and take action towards achieving them. Ambition and goals are great topics to discuss on dates. 

5.     Men report that they love when women aren’t afraid to ask questions to get to know them.  Many men felt they often work harder than their dates at asking interesting questions to engage their partner. They feel disappointed if their interest and questions aren’t reciprocated.  

Engage your date’s attempts to get to know you. Suggest playing some fun and flirty get to know you games like “what would you bring to a desert island” or “would you rather... “. This lets your date get to know you and your personality in a lighthearted way.

According to The LDS Matchmaker’s Dating and Relationship expert, Erin Schurtz, here’s what you need to know before your next date:

1.     The best way to make a great first date impression is to be warm, inviting and open to fun.  If casual conversation with new people isn’t your expertise, the best thing to do is practice. 

Practice small talk every time you’re at the bank or grocery store. Learn about the people around you by asking questions and good follow-up questions.  Practice changing topics when things start to lag a little, it’s an important dating skill.

2.     Don’t offer to pay the check when it arrives. It sends a message to him that you don’t consider it a date or that you don’t think he’s able to pay. Both are emasculating and make it less likely he’ll want to see you again.    

3.     Typically if women ask men for dates, it sets up the wrong perusal role. Instead, just be blatantly obvious that you’d like him to ask you out.

The perfect recipe to get a date invitation is by dishing a compliment, followed by a casual, “I’d-like-to-get-to-know-you-better,” followed by a “call-me-sometime.” For an added effect, give a wink and then immediately exit. If he’s interested, he’ll ask you out. If not, you can feel free to move on knowing you left the ball in his court. 

4.     During your date, give appropriate and sincere compliments. It’s the best kind of flirting. Appropriate touching will also help your cause. When he says something amusing, laugh and gently touch his arm. That will help him realize you appreciate his efforts and enjoy his company. 

Practical Steps to Embark on Your Marriage 2016 Campaign

If you’ve tried everything in your effort to meet people and win love in 2015 but still spent New Year’s alone, it’s time to incorporate new strategies in your Marriage 2016 Campaign. 

LDS singles often say they feel powerless when it comes to meeting the right people. They feel victim to circumstance, negative stereotypes and statistics that are stacked against them. 

You’ll start to see a light in the tunnel when you turn off old habits and routines and begin doing things different and better. If the old things didn’t work for you, it’s time to try something new in 2016!

The implementation of new dating strategies, methods and opportunities in your New Year’s resolutions will help you win your Marriage 2016 campaign. 

Here are three practical steps to guide your dating shake-up and resolutions:  

1. Take a look back.  

Identify what you’ve done in the past and figure out why it hasn’t worked for you (especially if it has worked for others). A conversation with a trusted friend or dating coach can go a long way in helping you identify what specific things hold you back.  

Here are some sample questions to ask:

  • What are the obstacles that block your progress?
  • What fears impede your dating progress?
  • Are you self-conscious about something? Can it be fixed?
  • Do you lack confidence? When and why?
  • Has your dating pool simply been depleted? 

2. Investigate the solutions. 

What are the remedies to get around the obstacles you’ve identified? Problem solving will be a big part of your success in 2016.  Finding love is more than just dumb luck.  A trusted friend or coach can be extremely valuable in suggesting applicable solutions you might not consider on your own. 

Possible solutions may include understanding the following:

  • What dating methods are others finding successful?
  • What resources are available to help you overcome your specific obstacles?  
  • How are specific people you know successful in finding love? What did they do?
  • Who can you recruit to be part of your Marriage 2016 Campaign? Sometimes it’s who you know that leads you to the right place? (Plus, everyone needs a cheerleader)

3. Take a new step. Once you’ve listed some concrete ideas it’s time to implement them. 

Examples include: 

  • A new or revamped online dating profile with flattering new photos and positive profile content intended to start conversations with like-minded singles. 
  • A regularly-scheduled (weekly or bi-monthly) meeting with a wise friend or coach to discuss actionable items that will help you solve specific dating-related problems. 
  • Clueing into course work, self-help books or seeking coaching sessions with a professional about whatever specific subject you’re struggling with. 
  • Install and use Tinder, LDS Matchup or any other popular dating apps. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because other people report negative experiences, doesn’t mean you’ll have one. Thousands of people meet their match using dating apps.
  • Consider a style update. If you haven’t changed your hairstyle or are wearing clothes more than 5 years old, consider updating your look.  

If fear, lack of experience, confidence issues, image problems, past heartbreak, divorce, baggage or almost any other challenges stop you, know that you’re not alone in this struggle. Enlist the help and support of those who already love you or those who would love to help and get to know you! Friends, family, mentors, counselors, coaches and yes, The LDS Matchmaker would love to be a part of your journey to love!

What NOT to say to single adults during the holidays (or ever) -- A married couple’s guide to party conversation with single adults

Family holiday gatherings often bring an empty feeling for single adults who sometimes feel defined by their marital status. It’s easy to inadvertently upset singles during casual conversations if you aren’t aware of certain landmines to watch out for. 

As a public service to both married and single people, The LDS Matchmaker has polled a variety of singles and created a list of conversation do’s and don’ts to ensure everyone enjoys uplifting holiday conversation.

The following list is comprised of topics and statements that single adults report they hear from married family members and friends on a regular basis. Also included are topics they’d rather discuss instead of hearing unsolicited suggestions about how to fix their obviously broken lives. 

DON’T: Say “I can’t believe you’re still single.” There’s no good way for a single person to respond to this statement without feeling or sounding really uncomfortable.   

DO: Ask your singles about work, travels, hobbies, friends and life in general.  This helps them know you care and are interested in their life.  

DON’T: Ask how their dating life is going. If they’re alone, chances are they probably don’t care to discuss why at a party. Imagine how awkward it might feel if the tables were turned and singles felt fine about pressing married people about their marital relationship or offered unsolicited advice about ways they could improve it.  

DO: Feel free to be interested and ask follow up questions if they volunteer information or want to discuss dating with you.  Be genuinely supportive but not too opinionated unless you fully understand their situation. When sharing your opinions, tread lightly and avoid judgmental or extreme comments. 

DON’T: Tell a single person you “understand,” even if you were single for (what you think was) a long time.  Everyone’s circumstances are different. Telling someone you understand often frustrates or irritates them.  

DO: Offer empathy. Tell them you want to understand and/or help. Meeting the right kind of people can be very difficult. Commiseration is helpful along with inspiration and insights about why marriage to the right person is worth the wait. 

DON’T: Tell a single person they’re being too picky (even if they are). What they’ll hear is…“I don’t think you’re worthy of the high standards you’re seeking”. Or…”Don’t you think it’s time to lower your standards a bit?” They’ll assume you’re telling them it’s time to settle for what they can get.  

DO: Reaffirm that you’re not worried about their future. Knowing your friends and family believe in you and have faith in your future (even if it takes some extra time to work itself out) is very reassuring. If they get this affirmation from you, chances are they’ll look to you in the future for advice or understanding.   

DON’T: Ask them if they have tried _______ (insert new age dating method here). Singles generally understand what approaches are out there. You won’t be the first one to tell them about Tinder, Matchmakers, or online dating. They already know.   

DO: Accept their decisions.  Chances are they have a good reason for not pursuing certain people or dating methods.  Going through the dating process is hard enough without friends or family second-guessing or questioning their rationale.  If they want to discuss various dating methods with you, offer to provide support and assistance if you feel qualified (but don’t be offended if they decline). 

DON’T: Tell single people you’re jealous their lifestyle affords opportunities to pursue travel or extravagant hobbies. They probably won’t appreciate the insinuation that having time and resources to participate in such activities is a comparable substitute for having a spouse or family. 

DO: Invite single people to be a part of your life.  Make plans to spend time, play games, travel or have shared experiences with single people.  With or without a partner, singles want to be included in your life and in fun, happy events.

DON’T: Tell a woman (or man) that if they’re not given the opportunity to marry in this life that they’ll be afforded the opportunity in the next life.  This is not a helpful or hopeful phrase for someone in the dating pool. It’s better to stick to talking about the weather.    

--

The LDS Matchmaker specializes in helping singles identify and overcome obstacles that have kept them from finding lasting love. Dating experts provide insight, ideas and specialized services that help clients make progress toward making marriage a reality.  Singles who are ready to discuss how to get their love life headed in the right direction can schedule a Dating Strategy Session with The LDS Matchmaker. Contact us at info@LDSMatchmaker.org or by calling 801-495-1000.  See our Special Holiday Offers here.

Find ‘Holiday Magic’ in the place you’d least expect

Online dating and holiday magic aren’t two phrases you think of together, but data doesn’t lie. More matches are made online during the holidays than any other time of the year.  

“I’ve found that people who begin online dating between Thanksgiving and Valentines are typically faster at meeting their match than at any other time of year,” reports Online Dating Expert Kristin Sokol. “It’s a recipe for success. I attend a lot of summer weddings for friends who started online dating over the holidays.”

Here’s a hypothesis about why holiday online dating works: The holidays are about taking a break from routines and migrating back to home and family. Once home, singles are motivated (or pressured) to stoke-up-the-fire when it comes to dating and getting married.

As it turns out, one very easy way to appease well-intentioned family and friends is to create an online dating profile. This demonstrates to loved ones that we are, in fact, taking steps toward meeting someone special and eventually getting married. 

A collective group of singles all engaging in the online platforms at the same time has proven over the last decade to produce millions of marriages on various dating sites. Meeting YOUR match might be only days away. 

“Everyone thinks online dating won’t work for them”, The LDS Matchmaker Dating Coach Erin Schurtz said. “Everyone thinks they’re the exception. I love telling my clients that they’re NOT special and that online will work for them if they put effort into it.” 

Online dating sites report their new account creations go up by 40 percent during the holidays. The data also shows messages sent between men and women increases by more than 25 percent in the same time frame. It’s real people reaching out to connect, and they might be looking for you.

According to data released by Match.com, the peak day for online dating is the first Sunday in the New Year. They report the peak time is just before 9:00pm. But, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for the New Year to get started.

While you’re enjoying family, friends and special holiday traditions, invite your loved ones to help you get online and in a place where you can be seen by those who are struggling to find you. 

If you’re warm to the idea of getting online, but don’t know where to start, The LDS Matchmaker offers specialized sessions and packages with experienced and successful online dating experts. They’ll help you create a profile that will attract the right kind of men and women, plus show you all the tips and tricks to optimize your holi-online-dating experience.  

The LDS Matchmaker Holiday special: Two sessions with an online dating expert, take-home educational materials to help you create an appealing online dating profile and training to optimize use of your preferred online dating site regularly priced at $397 - LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER: Save 25% = $297

How to make sure you never really connect with anyone – Avoiding the text trap

Many singles have found that the overuse of texting and technology has left them lonely.  There’s an easy change of course that will help you rapidly deepen romantic connections and personalize budding relationships.

ELIMINATE TEXTING  

Using our smart phones to text enables you to quickly, quietly and casually connect with anyone at your leisure. But is that really what you want? A casual connection? 

If you’re marriage minded, texting your way there will certainly take you a lot longer or even stop you from getting there. 

Although our goal usually revolves around deepening connections to the people we’re dating, our insecurities drive our hesitancy to put too much on the line. Texting is the easy way out. Don’t take it.

CHOOSE NOT TO TEXT  

Call your romantic interests to check-in after work instead of firing off a quick text. Share interesting or funny moments from your day and get an idea about how they’re feeling about their day.

If your love interest can’t answer your call, of course it’s okay to leave a text saying you were thinking of them and you’d love to talk when they had the time.  

Getting short, segmented replies, when it’s convenient is no substitute for even a ten minute conversation where you share, laugh and discover more about each other’s personalities, thoughts, feelings, needs and opinions.   

No one is saying never text again.  It just that texting needs to be controlled -  especially as a dating method.  

By choosing only to text for appropriate reasons, you can fast track your ability to have more opportunities for personal connections.

Be more than just a ding on his or her phone. Texting, although convenient, eliminates the warm, attractive, personalized things you’d communicate in a call.  Calls more often lead to in-person interactions, which of course is the real goal.

It’s certainly okay to text to let them know you’ll be a few minutes later or earlier than expected. It’s okay to text an address or directions. It’s okay to text if you’re in a meeting and there’s something urgent or important that you can’t communicate verbally. It’s okay to text a mid-day teaser about something you’d like discuss later.

If you’ve met someone online, don’t bother texting them all night or all week long.  Just give them a call. Let them hear your voice. If you’re not going to talk, what’s the point of going offline with your communication?  If you’d like someone to call you, just adorably invite them to do so. 

Once on the phone, discuss things like the major players in your life at home or work.  Share things you’re thinking about in the future. 

When funny, interesting or absurd things happen related to the things you’ve shared, make a phone call to tell him or her an entertaining story about something you’ve discussed in the past. 

Those kinds of stories are too complicated to text and will create a warm, personal opportunity to share parts of your life and gauge their interest in a future together.  The more personal connections you enjoy as a couple, the more likely it is that your love interest will linger.

As a rule of thumb, if you have to text more than five times back and forth, a call is in order. 

Is Online Dating as Scary as Halloween?

By Amy Stevens Seal, CEO/Founder, The LDS Matchmaker

While the end of October conjures up creepy, scary and crazy characters, the idea of putting information on a website for random strangers to review, can be equally disturbing for many women and some men.

We know from relationship experts throughout the world that one of the core needs of a woman is physical, emotional, financial and spiritual security.  

During the 12 years I spent in the mid-singles scene I consistently dated from online introductions. When I first started online dating in 2002, it was new enough that my parents were horrified to learn that I would be meeting up with complete strangers, who I met over the Internet and pled with me to abandon the idea. The many stories they heard and read about in the media were at the root of their trepidation.

While the tragic incidents we hear about do happen (as they do with any other method of meeting the opposite sex), there are many things you can do to keep yourself safe from scams and predators.  It would be a shame to eliminate online dating altogether as an option for meeting potential dates since at least one third of marriages are now the result of online dating.  

Sometimes it does feel like instant chemistry, even a spiritual connection with someone we meet online, as if they “get us” or we have known them forever.  It’s important to remember that a true connection builds over time and includes consistent, trustworthy behaviors.

As a veteran online dater and success story, I thoroughly enjoyed the ability to proactively find dates when other methods weren’t producing results. Even though most of my dates came from LDS focused websites, I learned firsthand the importance of keeping my guard up and following the spirit and my instincts.  

It’s important to note that the majority of scary stories, rapes and assaults happen when a woman lets her guard down, gives too much personal information, meets in a non-public place and/or gets in a car with someone she really doesn’t know. Too often women lose their common sense or abandon their self-protection to a total stranger to pursue a romantic connection. 

The advice and stories below are a compilation of my experiences, lessons learned and common sense tips to follow no matter how much of a connection you feel: 

#1 FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR DATE BEFORE MEETING IN PERSON

Cautionary Tale:

From reading Mike’s profile, there wasn’t much real information other than humorous anecdotes and the photo he used was so small that I really couldn’t tell what he looked like. 

After exchanging a few emails with him, I decided he was pretty hilarious and I was anxious to meet him in person.  When we spoke by phone to arrange details, he made me laugh a lot but it was clear from his stories and approach to life that he lacked judgment skills.  I had already convinced myself that he was great and so I minimized my concerns and arranged to meet him at a local restaurant in downtown Salt Lake.

The date couldn’t have been more of a train wreck as he talked about himself for two hours straight and complained about his lack of ability to get past the first date. He was also quite large, which wouldn’t have been a show stopper for me except that he spent time trying to convince me that healthy eating was a waste of time, since “everyone is going to die of something, right?” 

When dinner was over I thanked him and said goodbye. I would have chalked it up to just being a bad date but the following day I received a PayPal invoice from Mike asking me to pay him back for the full amount of both of our dinners (you can’t make this stuff up).  When he realized from my goodbye tone that I was not interested, he decided that he wanted to be compensated.  

I was shocked and a little scared as I recollected some of his stories about how he sought retribution in other circumstances.  I wondered what he would do if I did or didn’t pay the PayPal invoice. My heart sunk as I realized I had given him my last name and place of employment. I wondered if we would end up on Judge Judy or People’s Court battling it out for the $37.51 bill. 

Although I can laugh about it now, it was actually a very nerve racking experience for me. I realized that agreeing to meet him for dinner and giving him personal information about myself, when I virtually knew nothing about him, put me in a vulnerable spot.

Lessons Learned:

There is a fine line between spending too much time getting to know someone online and not enough to feel safe enough to meet for a date.  A general rule of thumb is to exchange 4-5 substantial messages and preferably talk on the phone to get a feel for their personality. 

Use a google voice number and a generic email to get to know someone before disclosing personal information or meeting in person. Be cautious when sharing personal information that could reveal your identity during this “getting to know each other” phase. Never include your last name, home address, place of work or any other identifying information in your initial communications. 

#2 MEET SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

Cautionary Tale:

My first year of online dating, I fell hard for a guy in Colorado named Dan.  Our email exchange quickly evolved into several messages each day and even talking about ourselves as a couple.  I became hyper focused on Dan and stopped messaging or dating other guys.  I really believed my feelings for him were real and meant something great about our future.

After building up the anticipation for 2 weeks, we finally had our first phone call.  It was a total let down!  He was nothing close to how he came across over email.  He was pessimistic and boring – talked about himself the entire phone call.  He also shared some disturbing facts about some previous addictions he had struggled with.  After the phone call, my excitement to meet Dan was gone and I was left to mull over the concerns I felt from our conversation.

Since we lived in different states, spending the time and money to see each other was going to be difficult and I didn’t feel good about pursuing things with him further.  It seemed that much of the chemistry we had was really an illusion based on who I wanted him to be.  

I felt foolish for putting so much energy into the relationship and closing the door with other men who could have been possibilities.  Although we never actually “dated” I still felt the disappointment of going through a break up – all because I put my heart on the line for someone I had never met.

Lessons Learned:

Don’t spend too much time and effort getting to know someone before you meet – or at least talk on the phone.  Avoid the temptation to spend too much time and energy on the relationship before you meet by keeping your options open.

Experts agree that emailing/dating a few different people at the same time in the early stages of dating help to avoid becoming too focused on one person.  It also takes the pressure off and allows you to be yourself and enjoy the process more fully. 

#3 TELL A FRIEND DETAILS ABOUT YOUR DATE

Cautionary Tale:

When I first started online dating, I was scared to death and so I gave my sister all of the details about my date.  I told her to call the police if she didn’t hear from me in two hours.  

Halfway through the date I got up to use the bathroom and looked at my phone.  I had a text from my sister, saying that I should try not to look so bored. It was then that I realized that she had actually been spying on me with her husband on the other side of the restaurant.  

It wasn’t the most exciting date but at least I was safe :). 

Lessons Learned:

Have a friend or family member act as your personal security advisor to stay safe and make the process more enjoyable.  Make sure you give them all of the details you have about the individual you are meeting and your plans for the date.  Have your cell phone with you to notify them of any changes.  

Although it’s not necessary to have your security advisor be at the same place as your date – it can’t hurt!  If you feel particularly cautious about a certain date or are new to the process, it might be a fun way to get them involved.  

#4 ALWAYS MEET (AND STAY) IN A PUBLIC PLACE

Cautionary Tale:

The one time I broke this rule was after I spoke on the phone for the first time with a guy I met online – we’ll call him Jake.  On the call, we discovered that Jake had gone to high school with my brother in law 20 years earlier. They played football together and had some good times.  

So I figured it was safe to let Jake pick me up at my house but I recall getting a strange feeling as we were driving off that perhaps I shouldn’t have broken this rule.  After a series of events, I discovered later that Jake’s story about his ex-wife didn’t match up and he had actually spent time in prison after their divorce.  Turns out a lot happened in the 20 years since my brother in law last spoke to Jake.  Luckily I went unharmed but let’s just say it was a close call . . . 

Lessons Learned:

Choose a time and place of your date wisely.  Meet for the first time in a populated, public location at a decent hour when lots of people will be around – never in a private or remote location, and never at your or your date’s home or apartment. It is important not to go back to your date’s home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.

#5 BE CAUTIOUS AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT

Cautionary Tale:

I met Casey online but not from a dating website at first.  We connected on Facebook through a group we shared in common.  I made some posts about job opportunities in the group since I was working as a recruiter.  He was very flattering and appreciative of what I shared and even made me an admin of the group.  

I admit that I was intrigued by Casey from the beginning and was excited to discover that he viewed my profile on an LDS dating site.  He seemed like a leader, was handsome and had appeared to be financially stable, with solid educational background – all things I found attractive.  Because of his accomplishments and the fact that he graduated from BYU, I made several assumptions about his character.  

He asked for my number and wanted to meet right away. We made plans to meet at a football game later that day.  As I interacted with him at the game, I noticed a lot of intensity and lack of empathy, which made me a little uncomfortable. 

After the game he offered to take me to a friend’s house to hang out a bit more.  For some reason I just didn’t feel good about it. It had been a long day and I wasn’t feeling the connection with him that I had hoped for, so I politely declined and said goodbye. 

A few months later Casey’s name attached to numerous rape and sexual assault allegations were all over the news.  I was shocked to realize just how close I had come to being another potential victim.  I was so thankful that I listened to that little voice that cautioned me away from spending more time with him. 

Lessons Learned:

Take notice of red flags and listen to your instincts. Drive yourself to and from the date. In case things don’t work out, you need to be in control of your own ride – even if you take a taxi. 

Keep personal items with you at all times to avoid personal information being stolen.  Keep your beverage with you and in your sight always so that it can’t be tampered with. 

Stay alert, keep a clear mind and avoid doing anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.

CONCLUSIONS

In summary, be cautious and use common sense. Trust your instincts and remember that you have control over the situation. If you’re talking to someone online or by phone and they say things that raise your suspicions, come up with a way to end the conversation.  

And last but not least don’t forget to have fun!  Instead of getting upset when you come across what may seem like strange or creepy profiles, allow yourself to be entertained by the process.  

*A good resource for advice on how to avoid online romance scams is available through the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at: http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams

**Names have been changed in all stories shared

 

Matchmaking – Your next DIY project

There’s a lot of myth and mystery surrounding the matchmaking industry, but it isn’t as difficult as it might seem. There’s a lot you can do to become your own DIY matchmaker.

Not everyone needs a contractor for home improvement projects. Similarly, not everyone needs a professional matchmaker working for them. Instead of starting your next DIY home project, start a DIY life project instead. You’ll love the results of your DIY matchmaking remodel. 

Like contractors, matchmakers have resources, including a team of knowledgeable experts and a deep rolodex of high quality men and women. However, they’re not the only ones with people who can help.

Turn to your own network to find tools you need for your dating-life remodel. Enlist a team and thoughtfully approach your project.

Here are a few ideas to get your DIY matchmaking project rolling:  

1.  CALL YOUR CUPIDS

Studies have shown that you’re usually only two degrees of separation from the love of your life. Do your trusted friends and family members know just how ready you are to find love? 

Your personal married-people network is more motivated than anyone to help you find what you’re looking for.

Consider sending a thought-out, positive message to a far-reaching team of those you trust. Include details about the kinds of men or women you are excited about meeting. Ask them to consider people in their lives who might fit well with you. 

Friends and family are delighted and honored to help. Consider motivating them further by offering some grand prize to keep them interested in your success. You’d be surprised how often this works.

2. INSTALL A MAGIC TRUTH TELLING MIRROR

Many matchmakers delve into the client’s closet and grooming habits to look for simple ways to improve or update their look.  

Enlist a stylish friend or family member to give insight about how you could improve your on-going presentation to the world. Tell them you want to maintain your identity, but want to get noticed more often by the opposite sex. 

Ask them for insight on things like hairstyle, makeup trends, or wardrobe updates including shoes. Invite them over for a closet consultation. Have your unbiased third party look through your closet and get rid of things that aren’t helping your cause.

Plan a shopping trip to acquire new eye-catching ensembles.  Investing a little time and money into your appearance will help you feel more confident and enjoy the process of looking for love.

3.     RECRUIT A DATING COACH  

Most matchmakers have clients meet with a coach on a regular basis to go over dating experiences, discuss potential prospects and identify new opportunities. 

Offer a free regularly-scheduled lunch or dinner to someone with wisdom and great insights.

Working with someone like a coach increases your accountability and improves your dating related behavior. Have them hold your feet to the fire as you discuss dating dilemmas and successes.  

If you don’t know where to begin, or your dating life is too complicated for a DIY project, that’s when it’s time to call the experts.  A dating expert will help you discover new possibilities, help you identify obstacles or recommend options that will give you access to a team of experts who can help replenish your dating pool, optimize your approach and diversify your portfolio of dating strategies.  

We invite you to learn more at our free seminars for men and women on Saturday, October 24th in Salt Lake City: http://www.theldsmatchmaker.com/#/events/ 

DATING FOR KEEPS -- DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?

by Lillie Buterbaugh, Senior Matchmaker and Stylist at The LDS Matchmaker 

Whenever a client comes in to meet with one of our Dating Strategists, one of the first things that happens is a discussion of what exactly the client is looking for in a partner, in a relationship and in life.

Surprisingly, most singles haven't given those things much specific thought.  They are very much like Alice in Wonderland during her exchange with the Cheshire Cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where -' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
'- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.”

-  Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Having a direction and a plan is one of the most important components to making progress in life.   

The same is true in dating and seeking a spouse.

If you don't have an idea of what you're looking for, sure you'll date, but not with much success. The fear is that you’ll date some incredibly high caliber people who you'll allow to slip away simply because you had no idea what you were looking for.

Take a second and do a quick internal assessment. Do you know what you're looking for? What are the qualities and characteristics that you hope for in a future spouse? What do those qualities look like in real life? If kindness is on your list, what does that look like in day-to-day interactions? Do you know how to identify it?

Here are four insights to help you understand this process. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone has their own unique set of criteria.

1.     IDENTIFY YOUR CORE VALUES

These values are at the heart of your needs and are not likely to change. In the LDS world, this includes looking at how you live the gospel and what faith means in your life.

Is church attendance every Sunday a must for you? Do you want to have children? How much do you value family? How do you handle money?

After you've identified your core values, look for similar values in the people you date.

Focus on your top three values. You’ll likely not find someone who meets everything on your list. Be flexible and accept that many things are a work in progress.  

If your top three values are commitment to living the gospel, a healthy lifestyle and putting family first, it is likely that finding someone with those qualities will ultimately be willing to embrace your love of travel even if they don’t currently. 

2.     REFLECT ON THE PEOPLE YOU ENJOY MOST AND BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOU

This will give you an idea of the kinds of qualities that you’d be happiest with in a life-long partner.

What qualities do these people have? Are they funny, honest, adventurous, serious, ambitious or stable?  How do these qualities show up in day-to-day interactions? 

Actively recognizing desirable qualities in those around you will help you select potential partners who possess these things in the dating process.  Focusing on what you do want rather than worrying about what you don’t want actually draws those positive qualities and people into your life. 

3.     UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS, AND RECOGNIZE SPOUSES CAN'T FILL EVERY NEED

Ultimately, our happiness comes from within us and it's not fair to expect another human being to make us happy. Realize that you are responsible for enjoying your life.

It’s realistic to expect a husband or wife to bring a large measure of happiness and fulfillment into your life. However, friends, family, coworkers etc. can and will complete the picture and fill in your emotional holes or share other interests with you. Everyone in your social circle can and should enrich your life as you do theirs. 

4.     DO PERIODIC CHECK-INS

Once you've started dating someone special, mentally check-in with yourself on a monthly basis to be sure this person has the things that you're looking for.

Check in especially at the three-month mark when you begin to think more logically rather than emotionally about someone you’ve been seeing regularly.

Be honest with yourself. You can change some things about a person, like their clothing or hairstyle, but you can’t change another person’s core values. If they don't have some crucial things that you know you need in a spouse, be brave, and stick to your plan to find the right person you can enjoy spending eternity with. 

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the Gender Ratio in the Church

by Amy Stevens Seal, CEO & Founder of The LDS Matchmaker

In a recent article published by Time Magazine titled What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis, the author, Jon Birger makes the assertion that the loosening of sexual morals is a result of skewed gender ratios in favor of single men, particularly when it comes to college educated, adults. 

Birger, who also authored a recent best-selling book called Date-onomics, illustrates how this skewed gender ratio negatively affects both Mormon and Jewish women seeking to find a husband.  

The article essentially gives women in these groups permission to feel frustrated by stating that there are just not enough men to go around. 

Since the article went live four weeks ago, it has been a significant point of discussion among both married and single members of the LDS faith. 

For single LDS females, the article seems to validate a frighteningly real perception many have held for a very long time.  At social events and wards for LDS singles, the gender ratio is noticed and lamented by many women seeking to find an eternal companion. 

The news and media is filled with negativity.  However, those who are wise, realize there is a force for good in the world that often goes unreported.

About a year ago, I received a call from Jon Birger, asking me to comment on his hypothesis of the gender ratio being skewed within the LDS Church.

As the founder of The LDS Matchmaker, it is not uncommon to receive media calls. Many media requests and questions are negatively slanted towards the Church.

I have learned by sad experience to be skeptical of flattering offers for fame and notoriety by participating in their productions.

I politely declined to provide the information he wanted, but he found other sources willing to validate his data and “prove” his points, backing up his analysis for his book and related Time article.

The points highlighted by Birger’s research, cut to the heart of the most painful and vulnerable issues LDS women have wrestled with for years. It’s understandably easy to get worked up about this kind of data and assume the worst. 

The world of dating is full of fears, insecurities and frustrations. When negative stories and statistics are circulated, it validates widely held thinking errors that “there is a man shortage” or that “to get a guy you need to be something different than who you are.” 

The tendency for women to compare themselves to others, to be critical of their bodies or to feel they are powerless in dating and pursuing relationships, are all part of the negativity and frustration that is so prevalent among singles.

I know that women reading this have degrees from prestigious universities, careers with the world’s top employers, significant relationships with friends and professional contacts that are remarkable.  There is a very large number of single women with hard-to-come-by accomplishments that have defied the odds. 

We belong to a Church that makes up less than one percent of the world’s population.  Does the ratio of the world not believing in what we know to be true stop us from believing?  No.

Since when did anything good come with an “even” playing field? Honestly, what worthy goal or pursuit in life has come easy? 

Does the percentage of applicants admitted to a given college or university stop you from pursuing your goal of a quality education?  Are you satisfied being a victim to the statistics?  Absolutely not! 

Most women cited in Birger’s so called gender ratio shortage graduated from a college or university that admitted less than half of those who applied.

Let me remind you that the adversary is cunning and continues to mix the philosophies of men with just enough truth to be convincing . . . and discouraging. 

What greater way to threaten our progression than to stop our eternal family from being created. Through these tools, we become captive to doubt, fear and feelings of lack and deficiency. 

To combat negative perceptions that hold us back, we need to ask productive questions and get focused on effective solutions vs. the problems that weigh us down.  Instead of worrying about how many men there actually are, focus on what you can influence, most importantly, yourself. 

As I consider the fruits of my matchmaking and dating coach labors over the years, I think of the many interactions I have had with thousands of singles in various stages of finding love.  It is clear to me that there is one important question to ask. What makes the difference for those who find love and get married?

I’d like to share three stories of women who were the least likely to find love according to Birger’s “statistics”:

  1. Julie, age 43, was working as an ex-pat, living in a very remote area of the world.  She received a master’s degree from a prestigious university and had achieved a great deal of success in her career.  She had minimal opportunities to meet single men, let alone men who were LDS. 

    After committing herself to a dating program, which emphasized personal responsibility, she got others involved in her cause and successfully found a wonderful man who was visiting the country she lived in.

    She made many sacrifices to date long distance and re-evaluated her expectations for marriage to align with the reality of the life circumstances she chose.  She is now happily married to the amazing man she attracted into her life.

  2. Emily was 40 years old and while she was highly thought of in the workplace, she had never even been on a second date in her life.  After being promoted to a leadership role in her job, she worried that her true desire of having a family seemed beyond reach.  She was not in any way what the world would deem as “physically attractive” but she was a beautiful person. 

    She decided to embark on a journey to become a better version of herself and make it her year to find love. 

    Although she struggled with her weight, she enlisted professional stylists to help her find flattering styles she felt comfortable with to update her look.  She worked with a professional writer to highlight the interesting parts of her life and personality to create an online dating profile that would get noticed.

    Most importantly, she was able to let go of many negative beliefs she had held onto for so long.

    Within two months of implementing these changes, she met her husband online.  She is now happily married with a darling baby boy.

  3. Marnie age 36 was an African American woman living in Utah, after graduating from BYU with honors.  She met very few men who seemed to consider her as a dating option. She felt rejected and unwanted. Her experiences led her to believe that men in Salt Lake were not open to her ethnicity. 

    She decided to hire a dating coach who helped her understand the law of attraction in drawing the right men into her life. 

    By applying her newfound knowledge, she succeeded in dating more in the year that followed than she had in the previous 16 years!  She experienced a stark difference by actively working to change her perception of the possibilities for her life.  She married one of the men and couldn’t be happier!

Many people argue that love happens when one is “not looking” - by chance, fate or God’s timing.  A closer look into the lives of those who have found lasting love, reveals that the real key to their happy ending was a good mix of the following:

  1. Creating the right circumstances in their lives to meet the right people

  2. Taking personal responsibility

  3. Being vulnerable, open and real

  4. Trying on new and different things

  5. Taking a new attitude or approach to the same circumstances

  6. Making a conscious choice to stay focused on what works rather than focusing on disappointments

Birger’s Time Magazine article quotes a matchmaker, who shared that she has three times as many women as men in her database.

The LDS Matchmaker database gender ratio is two females to one male. This doesn't demonstrate there are more women than men available, it simply means that more women have joined a matchmaking database. 

The majority of matchmakers are women, not men. Most matchmakers begin building their databases by pulling from their own social networks. It should be no surprise that female matchmakers have more women in their databases.   

Paul Brunson, one of the most successful male matchmakers in the world, stated in a recent conversation we had that there are many other factors to consider in analyzing the real gender ratio situation.

Paul has more men in his matchmaking database, for a variety of reasons. He markets many of his services specifically to men. Since he is a man, his message resonates with more men, thus driving them into his network.

There are certain activities, technologies and services that draw in more men than women and vice versa. The reality is there are certain ideas that connect with the male psychology and others that draw more women.

Tinder users are 70 percent male but no one tries to prove this means there are more single men than women.

Self-help seminar attendees are typically 70 percent female. Is this because men don’t care about self-improvement?  I would argue that men do care about self-improvement but many take a different approach to making positive changes in their lives than attending a seminar.

There are often gender ratio disparities at LDS singles wards or social events. However, this does not demonstrate that there are more women than men in the dating pool. It only illustrates that men and women take different approaches to why, where, when and what they engage in to pursue encounters with the opposite sex.

Evan Marc Katz, a popular male dating coach, sums up his thoughts on Jon Birger’s research:

“No matter where you go, no matter what your gender, there’s going to be a finite number of people who are actively dating, emotionally available, attractive, educated, commitment-oriented and interested in you. Go onto Match or OkCupid. That’s a random sampling of what’s out there and both sites’ gender ratios are close to 50/50.  And if that’s the case, how much time do you want to spend worrying that, societally, there are more women college graduates than men?”

“My point is not to entirely negate Birger’s use of game theory, which suggests that men turn into players because they don’t have to commit. It’s just not the full story. Eventually, most men WANT to commit. Which is why 80% of the population still gets married. And why, as a single woman, you’re never going to run out of college educated men to choose from. The game of musical chairs never actually ends. Match will never go out of business, I will never go out of business, and just about everyone who wants to get married eventually gets married.”

As a once divorced, now happily married, cancer surviving, 43-year-old, “infertile” female, who grew up as a shy, awkward red head, I have certainly defied the odds if that’s what we are focusing on. 

But, if you look deeper into my story, you will realize that my faith and action combined with determination and personal responsibility for my life are what made all the difference in finding the man of my dreams and creating my eternal family. 

In life we find what we are looking for.  If you are looking for reasons to validate your perception of a “man shortage,” you will find them in abundance.  If you are looking for a good man and notice good qualities in the people you meet, you are capable of finding that too.

There are so many reasons to have hope and faith.  Religion is built on the concept of true faith, which includes the way we think, act, feel, and experience the world.

Women you’ve got this.  Don’t let statistics, setbacks or naysayers stop you from achieving your eternal goals. 

There’s really no one stopping you but yourself.  Game on girls!  And if you need further reassurance, call The LDS Matchmaker - we’ll convince you that if you’re ready to make it happen, the odds really are in YOUR favor!

How to Salvage a Bad First Date

We've all been there. There are blogs dedicated to the sole purpose of venting about a horrible date. But just because they happen, doesn't mean they should, or that there's nothing you can do to save it before it's too late! Consider the following tips to avoid falling into bad first date pitfalls.

CRICKETS…

One of the biggest buzz kills of any date is finding yourself on the date and realizing you have little to nothing to talk about. Maybe they're not very talkative. Maybe you're not very talkative. Maybe one or both of you are feeling nervous or shy. Instead of sitting in uncomfortable silence or fumbling through a halted verbal exchange, have some thought-provoking, open-ended questions top of mind and ready to get conversation flowing again. Here are some examples of some great questions you could ask:

·       If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?

·       What would you say has been the biggest accomplishment of your life thus far?

·       If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be and why?

·       Tell me about one of your happiest memories.

·       What are the 5 things you are the best at?

T.M.I.

Aside from awkward silences, few things are more uncomfortable than listening to your date tell you WAY too much information about past relationships, family drama, health or financial issues, etc.

If your date is on a roll with a topic that is clearly not appropriate for a first date, find an opening in the conversation, interject a validating comment such as, "I can imagine how that would be a difficult situation." and then either casually change the subject to something more lighthearted or kindly state something such as “thank you for being willing to trust me with such sensitive information – I like to focus on lighter topics in the beginning stages of dating – if we end up being a match, I’d love to hear more details about _____”.

And make sure that you're not the guilty culprit here either. It's always wise to save more serious information for a date further along down the road. The first date should be fun and casual. Not a therapy session.

TELL ME MORE!

If you realize you're feeling zero chemistry with your date, instead of dwelling on the fact that you're not enjoying yourself as much as you'd like, just think of it as a real opportunity to practice good dating techniques. Smile. Ask genuine, open-ended questions.  Try to make them feel great. If you can do this successfully with someone you aren't excited about, you'll be able to do it with someone you are. As in all things, practice makes perfect – not to mention you’ll get a reputation for being a great date!

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION…

To avoid inadvertently finding yourself on a bad date in the first place, always do some information gathering before the date. Sometimes in this digital age, we'll find ourselves agreeing to meet up with people who've done little more than exchange a few email or text messages with us. Many bad dates are with people who have never spoke on the phone prior to the date.

A simple phone call can tell you if you'll be able to have an enjoyable time with this person, if they have good manners, and if they seem as great as you imagined them to be from their emails. If your conversation struggles on the phone, or you find they say things that raise little red flags or rub you the wrong way, chances are, it won't be much better when you're face to face with them. Schedule a phone call before meeting up with your potential date, and listen to your gut.

GET ME OUT OF HERE.

If you've tried your best to save the date from ruins and are not having success, it's ok to accept defeat and call it quits. Don't be afraid to politely end the date when you've reached a good stopping point. If the original plan was to do dinner and then an activity like mini golf, don't hesitate to let your date know when you've finished your meal that you should probably head home now and thank them for their time. Be gracious, but firm. You don't need to waste anyone's time or suffer in silence.

PRO TIPS:

Remember that a first date requires being on one's best behavior. To make sure that you're not the one sabotaging the date, consider the following common sense tips:

·       Silence your phone and resist any urge to check it. Emergencies excepting, your phone should never make an appearance on the date.

·       Remember your manners: Say please and thank you. Gentlemen, open doors and pick up the check. Give compliments where appropriate. Remember to use your best table manners. Watch your language and avoid saying things that could be misinterpreted as rude, offensive, or insulting.

·       Look your best. The very first thing your date will have to judge you on is your clothing. Always dress to impress. Avoid overly-casual clothing and ask a friend, family member, or roommate for their opinion about your outfit choice before heading out the door.

·       Make sure you brush your teeth before the date and have gum or breath mints with you. Many a date has been sabotaged by bad breath!

·       Lastly, keep first dates short and sweet. It's better that way.

The LDS Matchmaker specializes in assisting marriage-minded singles with their dating strategy, matchmaking, coaching and more.  Our team of experts have successfully cracked the code for thousands of singles throughout the world and would LOVE to have you be our next success story! If you’re ready to make it happen - schedule a Dating Strategy Session HERE or contact us at info@LDSMatchmaker.org or 801-495-1000.

Tips for Finding Love Again as a Single Parent

You played a key role in someone’s birth story, but the “loving partner” chapter unexpectedly ended. What comes next for you as a single parent?  How can you move forward and find love again?

The LDS Matchmaker believes some of the worlds’ best dates are with single parents. Overlooking this loving and mature group for potential partners is a missed opportunity.  As a single mom or dad, your experiences being married, demonstrate that you make a loyal partner who has already proven yourself reliable, adaptable and affectionate.

Below are a few questions to consider before entering into a romantic relationship as (or with) a single parent.

When is a single parent ready to date again?

If you’re trying to get back into the groove as (or with) a single parent, it’s important to understand expectations around dating.  Thinking a new relationship would fix your stress or cure the blues might set you up for disappointment.

While some experts give specific advice on how many months to wait before dating again, The LDS Matchmaker recommends going by your emotional readiness vs. the calendar. The right time to date is when you’ve made significant progress in forgiving the mistakes of the past (your own, your ex’s or others associated with the situation). 

Be mindful that pressure to “make something work” can influence you to date for the wrong reasons.  Feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness could cause you to tolerate a relationship with a less-than-ideal person for you, adding more stress and disappointment to your lives. Remember that a new relationship won’t fix underlying problems. Turn to friends, family and a good self-care regimen to help you cope with stress or situational depression.  

When you’re happy with life’s flow, you’ll be more successful as a great partner in a loving relationship.  

How do you re-enter the dating world as a single parent?

Finding the time to date as a single parent is often a challenge and many feel guilty for taking time away from children to socialize.

The LDS Matchmaker recommends that you plan ahead and schedule in advance some TLC for kids with family members or trusted friends a few times a month.  This will open the way for you to accept or extend invitations when you’re really available. 

If you end up without a date during your scheduled time, spend it investigating possibilities at singles activities, pursuing online dating or on some much needed self care to become the best version of you.

Many single parents take the first step back into dating by checking out the online dating scene. It’s an easy way to see what’s out there. Creating a great profile with flattering professional photos will help you see the kind of people interested in you.  

How do you shelter kids from stress or disappointment? 

Once you meet someone special, set an easy pace kids can accept.  If all of your free time and mental capacity suddenly shifts to being with, talking or texting your new love interest, it’s easy for kids to feel neglected and jealous. 

Help kids ease into your new relationship by asking them insightful questions about how would you feel if…

How would you feel if…I started dating? How would you feel if…You met a person that was special to me? How would you feel if…We spent Saturday together in the canyon with my new friend?

Gage each child’s acceptance or tolerance to the new situations. Control your talk/text time so it doesn’t interfere with parent/child time. Set the pace for the relationship based on their reactions. 

Kids should not make decisions about your love life, but should get a vote since their life is dependent on yours. 

Let your dating be an example to kids of how two people can lovingly enjoy and support each other. Show them how being courteous, kind and accepting of everyone’s feelings is important to both of you.  

What about crazy exes?  

Solving problems related to “exes” before you’ve decided if you truly like one another isn’t productive and holds back great couples from establishing lasting love. 

There is legitimacy to concerns about dealing with a “crazy ex” if there is one in the picture.  However, many couples split amicably and experience little to no drama after the relationship ends.  

Once your connection is committed, it’s time to fully understand the dynamics of the former relationship and solve any problems associated with the situation as it relates to you as a couple.  

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The LDS Matchmaker has years of experience helping single parents step back into dating with confidence.  Experts help single parents learn how dating has changed and how to enjoy the singles scene. Clients love learning everything from how to update your look, to creating an impressive online dating presence, to how you can be strategic with your time and energy.  We teach you how to have a diversified portfolio of dating efforts and how to handle specific dating dilemmas and situations.  If you’re ready to find lasting love, The LDS Matchmaker is ready to help you. Contact us at info@LDSMatchmaker.org or by calling 801-495-1000.  Access our online calendar here.

 

 

What would pioneer couples think of modern Mormon singles?

In the early stages of the restoration of the gospel, marital relationships meant partnering with someone who could help you thrive spiritually and survive physically. 

Pioneer era marriages were about more than experiencing love, raising children in the gospel and achieving Celestial blessings.  A pioneer spouse was also about selecting someone to help you make it, against the odds, crossing the plains and through the rigors of establishing Zion in the west. 

These special marriages have been remembered and celebrated for generations by their posterities and by members of a now, world-wide church.

The courage and tenacity exhibited by these pioneer couples paved the way for all of us to live the fulfillment of the restored gospel in peace. 

As modern singles, most of us look back on the sacrifices of the early saints and wonder if we could have matched their faith, strength and ability to endure.  Who and when would we have married if we faced similar circumstances?  

It’s curious to think what the early saints would have felt about the challenges, dilemmas and motivations to marry for singles in the church today. 

Would pioneers be overwhelmed at the pitfalls and distractions posed by intense careers, education or socially-accepted cultural ideas that delay marriage and families in our generation? 

Or, do our modern opportunities and abilities to become more self-actualized prior to marriage help us eventually become better marital partners, more prepared parents and leaders in the gospel?

Exposure to weather, disease and physical threats pose almost no danger to LDS singles today, but selecting the right marriage partner at the right time of life is still a vital decision that will affect the outcome of generations who follow you. 

What advice would our pioneer ancestors give about spousal selection and navigating spiritually perilous times?  Perhaps they’d suggest using modern opportunities to actively pursue finding the right spouse.

At our fingertips is a vast LDS network that pioneer singles could have never imagined.  

What a blessing to be able to meet other like-minded single members of the church anywhere in the world through modern social media platforms, faith-based online dating sites and other wonderful resources that connect us in ways never before imagined! Creating a diversified portfolio of dating efforts allows us to partner with the Lord in finding our eternal companion.

As single Latter-day Saints, it is exciting to be able to leverage the many opportunities which lead us closer to becoming part of a couple that will lead generations in righteousness.  We hope this holiday gives you a chance to reflect on the many sacrifices made by our ancestors and gain renewed hope and faith in your journey to finding that special person with whom you can experience the excitement and challenges of the last days.

Happy Pioneer Day!

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The LDS Matchmaker specializes in helping singles identify and overcome obstacles that have kept them from finding lasting love. Dating experts provide insight, ideas and specialized services that help clients make progress toward making marriage a reality.  If you’re ready to discuss how to get your love life headed in the right direction, schedule a Dating Strategy Session with The LDS Matchmaker. Contact us at info@LDSMatchmaker.org or by calling 801-495-1000.  Access our online calendar here.