All posts by Paddi Rice

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4 Dating Red Flags You Can’t Ignore, No Matter How Good Looking They Are

In dating, looks matter – who are we kidding? But if you’re seeking a long term relationship partner, looks aren’t the most important thing.

Matchmakers will tell you: “Beware the person you find EXTREMELY attractive when you first meet them – you may be blinded to the fact that they’re not actually a great match for you.”

Here’s 4 dating red flags to look out for on your date:

  1.  Just not that into you:  if your date is constantly checking their phone, or seems distracted during your date, it may be a sign that there’s no real spark. By all means, try and get things back on track (ask about something that interests them; or go see an event you’re both interested in), but consider pursuing other dating options if that doesn’t work.
  2. Not relationship-material:  if you’ve got your life together (career, health, finances, etc.), its natural to want to meet someone who’s in the same place. Looking at a pretty face will only go so far; once you discover that you’re not really a good relationship fit, even the strongest chemistry can fade in time.
  3. All sizzle, no steak:  being physically attracted to someone is great, particularly if you’re on a first or second date. But after a while, you should find that you have other things in common; and have good conversations about a variety of topics that interest you both. Ask yourself this question: does being around them make you feel good about yourself?
  4. Different life-goals:  if you value family and want to have one of your own some day – but your partner doesn’t – it may be a sign of problems ahead. Similarly, shared feelings about education, travel, views on the world, etc. can be an important part of a relationship where chemistry GROWS over time. You don’t have to date someone exactly like you, but where there are major differences be sure to talk through them before committing to something long-term just based on physical chemistry.

5 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Relationship Goals

In love and in life, you’ll get better results if you have a plan. No, you can’t just make the perfect person appear in your life – but you can be truly ready once they do.

The key to being open & ready to meet your special someone is to understand exactly what you want in a relationship and why.

Here’s 5 questions to help you find your special someone:

  1. Are you ready to spend your life with one person?:  part of being ready to meet someone special, is being ready to commit to one person. Relationship minded singles want the same in a partner – if you’re not there yet, consider a change of attitude.
  2. What does happiness look like?:  not everyone wants the same thing from a relationship – some want marriage and a family right away, others may already have kids, others may be open to having kids or not, etc., etc.  Understanding what your ideal relationship looks like is a good place to start – but be open to some flexibility if/when you meet someone great who doesn’t necessarily fit all your ideal criteria.
  3. What are your life goals?:  thinking through what you really want from life can help you zero in on the right person once you’ve connected. Once you get beyond the first few dates with someone new, having some shared goals in life is an important aspect of finding your special someone.
  4. What are your ‘must haves’?:  are there some things that you just can’t compromise on when it comes to a relationship partner? Is having kids a must? Or not having kids? Or meeting someone with a similar background? Keep this list as short as possible, as you’d be surprised how many successful relationships are created between people who don’t necessarily have ‘all the boxes ticked’!
  5. What are your ‘deal breakers’?:  similar to point #4, are there some qualities that you’re  simply not willing to bend on – someone who smokes, someone who already has kids (or doesn’t have kids),  someone who doesn’t share your relationships goals (ie. they want something casual and you don’t, etc.).

7 Tips To Help You Move On From Dating Rejection

Its hard not to take rejection personally, especially when its from someone you really liked – and maybe even saw as “relationship potential”.

But here’s the truth: relationship success requires both parties to be equally committed. If that’s not the case, you’re better off finding out now (for whatever reason) than later on down the road.

Here’s 7 tips to help you move on from rejection & find your (truly) special someone:

  1. One step in a journey:  no, its not the worst thing in the world. In fact, there’s something worse – not putting yourself out there at all. Don’t stop.
  2. It wasn’t the right fit for you:  it may not feel like it now, but it wasn’t the right fit if both parties weren’t equally into it.  Be sad for a while, but move on.
  3. Reach out:  reach out to friends or family in your inner circle who can remind you of the bigger picture. Their support can be helpful.
  4. Be thankful:  its probably the last thing you feel like doing after being rejected, but do your best to be positive to the other person. There’s little benefit in burning bridges with anyone. Who knows, you may even develop a friendship out of it.
  5. Be self-aware:  if this isn’t the first rejection, it might be time to look in the mirror and see if there’s anything you need to change about your dating approach. Perhaps you’re going too fast, or too slow, or maybe you need to freshen up your look, or hire a personal trainer, etc, etc.  No-ones perfect, and that means you (and me) too!
  6. Be open-minded:  when you do get yourself back out there, try this – open up the criteria of what you’re looking for in a relationship partner. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start meeting new people again; and the more open are your criteria, the more people you’ll meet. Yes, its that simple.
  7. Hire a professional:  the online dating game can be a grind, especially if you’re a busy single or professional looking for a relationship. Consider hiring a professional matchmaking service like Executive Search Dating to get your love life moving in the right direction again. Contact us today to find out more!

5 Perfect Opening Lines On Your First Date

Are you dating & looking for something serious?

Then know this: good dates start well & get better. Bad dates start poorly & get worse.

So how can you make sure your date gets off to a good start? Use one of these five perfect opening lines:

  1. “You look fantastic”: sincere compliments are a sure-fire dating winner. But there’s a catch – it has to be a SINCERE compliment. So don’t compliment someone on how great they look if they’re soaked from the rain; compliment them on how good they look in spite of being soaked by the rain.
  2. “Its so great to see you!”: again, this should be heartfelt – but if you’re not completely feeling it (yet), then fake it! Your date wants to be appreciated – if they don’t feel that way at the start of your date, why should they appreciate you?
  3. Talk about the weather: I know, I know – how boring could an opening line possibly be, right? But here’s the thing; people are generally a bit nervous on a first date – launching into some detailed story or joke at first sight will likely fall on deaf ears. Talking about something simple like the weather (‘isn’t it beautiful out tonight?’) is easy to answer and will likely relax your date. Once you’ve ‘warmed’ each other up, there’ll be plenty of time to talk about more important things.
  4. “Have you been here before?”: on the same theme of ‘keeping it simple to start’, get your conversation started by talking about your date location. Hint: find something POSITIVE to say about the place (ie. ‘the staff are great’; ‘they make fantastic martinis here’; ‘its a great people watching place’, etc.) – saying something negative at the start of a date (about anything) is a sure-fire first date chemistry-killer!
  5. Less cheese, more meat: cheesy opening lines don’t work at a bar, nor do they work on a first date. Ditch the “Do you have a name or can I call you mine?”, and their kind. Be in the moment and comment on something real – “Wow, its really busy out tonight!”, or “I’ve heard they have great appies here – can’t wait to try one!”, or “Must be my lucky day, I found a parking space right outside!” It doesn’t matter what you say, just make it real (and positive).

11 Facts About Flirting You Need To Know

Question: what is the most exciting and terrifying thing at the same time?

Answer: flirting with someone you’re attracted to.

And, in spite of what you’ve heard, there’s this: flirting is important for couples as well as singles.

Here’s the 11 key flirting facts you need to know today!

  1. People flirt for six different reasons:
    1. Sex: trying to get in bed.
    2. Fun: treating it like a sport.
    3. Exploring: trying to see what it would be like to be in a relationship.
    4. Relational: trying to increase the intimacy of a relationship.
    5. Esteem: increasing one’s own self esteem.
    6. Instrumental: trying to get something from the other person.
  2. Couples need to flirt, too:  why? As a means of maintaining and emphasizing intimacy. Oftentimes, married couples flirt to “create a private world with the spouse.”
  3. People feel connected when they get past the small talk.
  4. Men overestimate how interested women are.
  5. The most attractive characteristics depend on gender, studies show:
    1. Happiness was the most attractive female expression, but one of the least attractive for men.
    2. Pride was the most attractive male expression, but one of the least attractive for women.
    3. Interestingly, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.
  6. Flirting can enhance your attraction:  in fact, flirting is a “negotiation process” that happens after the first moments of attraction.
  7. It’s not about being the most attractive person in the room:  for example, women who smile and make eye contact with others are more likely to be approached than those who were simply good looking.
  8. There may be four main styles of flirting:
    1. Physical flirts tend to subtly touch the person they’re interested in.
    2. Traditional flirts believe men should make the first move.
    3. Sincere flirts get other people to open up to them.
    4. Playful flirts see the interaction as a game and may be using the flirtation as a means to another end.
  9. The best flirters shift their strategy depending on context:  for example, if you’re flirting with someone perceived as higher status than you, being more subtle will lead to more success, according to research.
  10. If you’re flirting on an app, there are some words that work better than others:  for men, calling a woman “beautiful” led to a conversation 20% of the time. Women messaging men first receive responses less often, but using the word “nice” works best.
  11. Flirting could be all about biology:  flirting may have less to do with words or body language, and more to do with biology. Pheromones, or chemicals released by your body, have an impact on people around you and can contribute to physical attraction.

5 Tell-Tale Signs Someone Is Interested In You

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in dating is to judge someone too quickly on a first date. The reality is this: you’ll likely not know if someone is your perfect match on a first meeting.

The key to successful dating is focusing more on a second (or third) date with someone to determine whether they are a good match for you or not. But how do you know if your date is interested in you, and open to going on a second date? Look for these 5 signs:

  1. It’s in the smile:  a smile is a person’s most basic way of showing their interest in you… if your date is smiling easily and often consider it a very good sign. On the other hand, if your date is frowning consider it a sign that you need to change topics.
  2. Doesn’t feel like a date:  when conversation is flowing freely its typically a sign that the date is going well… avoid turning the date into an ‘interview’; keeps things casual, and you’ll increase the chances of a second date.
  3. Body language:  as important as words, a person’s body language can often tell you how the date is going… if your date’s body language is open, warm and inviting its a sign that they are enjoying your company. If they are exhibiting ‘closed’ body language (arms crossed, body pointing away from you, tense, etc.) its likely a sign that the date isn’t going well.
  4. Fun times:  if you are having fun on your date, it likely means your date is having fun as well. Focus on enjoying yourself and being positive on your date and your chances of a second date will be good.
  5. When in doubt, ask:  the single biggest mistake singles make on a first date is not asking for a second date. There’s no need or reason to wait for days before contacting someone again. If things are going well on your first date, ask for a second date (something casual, a coffee, movie or an upcoming event that interests you and them, etc.). You’ll never have a better chance to ask for a second date, then at the end of a good first date.

Why It’s Better To Have An “Okay” First Date Than An “Incredible” First Date

Dating – like life – is an expectations game.

When you’re expecting something incredible, life usually disappoints (how could it not?). But when you keep your expectations in check – you’re often surprised to the upside.

Matchmakers will also tell you this: when you first meet someone and have “incredible” chemistry, you often overlook the fact that you don’t really have that much else in common.

So forget about “love at first sight” – here’s 5 ways your “okay” first date will lead you to (true) Love:

  1. Focus on what matters:  when you’re not overly focused on someone’s looks, you tend to get to know them better. Physical chemistry – no matter how strong – can fade over time. Its the stuff below the surface that truly matters.
  2. What grows slowly stays forever:  chemistry’s important when you meet someone new (who are we kidding), but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming – even a little bit will do. Once you get to know each other, that chemistry  can grow over time – and that’s the chemistry that can last a lifetime.
  3. Swipe the slate clean:  in today’s dating app obsessed world, its easy to think you’ll know the right person for you right away – just ‘swipe right’ and let the dating universe handle the rest, right? Wrong!  Some things in life – especially relationships – take time to develop. Put your phone down.
  4. Friends (with benefits):  have you ever met someone great but then thought “I think we might be better as friends.”  Here’s the thing: at the core of every successful relationship is a great friendship. Yes, you do need some chemistry for sure – but just a little at the start is okay. Stop getting in your own way and see them again!
  5. What’s the worst that can happen?:  so you’ve had an ‘okay’ date, but instead of ruling them out entirely, you decide to see them again (and again). Here’s what might happen next: you get to know each other better & chemistry grows; or, you decide that you’re better as friends and become friends.  Sounds like two pretty good outcomes to me!?

The Secret Ingredient To Lasting Love

Are you confused about how to make love last?

Here’s the key ingredient that’s often overlooked: when relationships break down, you can bet that respect has already gone out the window.

But rather than trying to figure out all the different components of how to make love last, focus instead on creating an atmosphere of respect with your partner.

Here’s 5 practical ways to begin increasing the level of respect in any relationship:

  1. Take your own life seriously:  your health, your finances, your career, your mental and emotional well-being. It’s your responsibility (not your partner’s) to ensure that you are functioning as a healthy adult.
  2. Express gratitude:  every day, look your partner in the eyes and say, “thank you” when they do even the simplest thing to make your day nicer. It’s amazing how easy it is to take those closest to us for granted. A simple, but thoughtful expression of gratitude will help you remember how special it is to have someone care about you. And, it will ensure your partner feels acknowledged and appreciated.
  3. Be real:  when challenges arise between the two of you, avoid cheap ways of discharging your pain by name-calling, eye rolling, sarcasm, ignoring them or being intentionally hurtful. Try this instead: openly communicate exactly how you’re feeling – without any drama. When in doubt, try the truth.
  4. Focus on what you do respect about your partner:  is your partner great at their job? Do they have a kind, compassionate heart? Are they a committed parent? What you focus on expands and this is definitely true in our relationships. When you intentionally choose to admire and appreciate your partner, you will begin to notice more and more of the things that make you feel proud to be with them.
  5. Accept that your partner has legitimate needs:  just like you, your partner will need emotional and physical safety, regular touch and closeness, a sense of purpose, solitude, recognition, etc. When we spend a lot of time with someone, we can forget that they are a separate individual with valid needs of their own. We see this often with desire for sexual intimacy or your partner’s need to zone out for a while after work.

2 Snap Judgments Your Date Makes When They Meet You — And How To Overcome Them

First impressions matter – in dating & in life – whether you like it or not!

People generally ask themselves two questions when they meet someone new: “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?”.

But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just means you need to MASTER the art of the first impression.

How you ask? By doing these 6 simple things:

  1. Positive body language:  becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice and making certain they’re positive will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the speaker are all forms of positive body language, which can make all the difference.
  2. Be the best version of you:  make an effort to look your best, and have positive energy. You’ll never bore someone into liking you.
  3. Ask before you tell:  ask your date some engaging questions. Trust and warmth are created when people feel understood, and they need to be doing a lot of sharing for that to happen.
  4. Put away your phone:  it’s impossible to build trust and monitor your phone at the same time. Nothing turns people off like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
  5. Start well:  in dating, all’s well that starts well. Be prepared with some fun conversational topics & avoid awkward silences at the start of your date.
  6. Active listening:  active listening means concentrating on what the other person is saying, rather than planning what you’re going to say next. Asking insightful questions is a great way to illustrate that you’re really paying attention. If you’re not checking for understanding or asking a probing question, you shouldn’t be talking. Not only does thinking about what you’re going to say next take your attention away from the speaker, hijacking the conversation shows that you think you have something more important to say. This means that you shouldn’t jump in with solutions to the speaker’s problems. It’s human nature to want to help people, but what a lot of us don’t realize is that when we jump in with advice or a solution, we’re shutting the other person down and destroying trust. It’s essentially a more socially acceptable way of saying, “Okay, I’ve got it. You can stop now!” The effect is the same.