All posts by Paddi Rice

The 5 Most Important Things To Look For In A Partner

You’ve met someone new and you’re ready to take the next step – a relationship!

But what should you be looking for to tell if they’re truly ‘The One’ for you?

Well, there’s not just one thing. There’s 5 – and here they are:

  1. The same direction in life:  its important that two people have similar goals and trajectories for their lives. When your both heading in the same direction, you’re likely to end up in the same destination – happiness.
  2. Chemistry:  it might go without saying, but chemistry is a key element in successful relationships. It can take time to become evident, especially if you or your date are too nervous in the beginning to be yourselves, but it has to be present (at least a little bit to start). Don’t forget, chemistry that starts small but grows over time lasts for a long, long time.
  3. Looks & similar place in life:  two pillars of a successful match are looks and status (ie. where you are in life). If those two factors align, it’s likely that the rest will, too. Matchmakers often say: “If people like the way the person looks, they will like the person. If you’re relatively the same status, you will be happy.”
  4. Common interests:  maybe you both like cooking and share new recipes with each other. Maybe you enjoy hiking or hate-watching bad movies. Whatever it is that brings you together, there should be something that you both can talk about and partake in. Matchmakers often say: “They have to have enough in common to have a conversation and also to teach each other different things.”
  5. The intangibles:  some of the traits on this list are temporary, and that’s okay. While looks, status, and interests can change, they’re still important catalysts for sparking a connection and bringing people closer together. But even before these things begin to fade, look for someone who demonstrates evergreen qualities like kindness and respect. Matchmakers often say: “You don’t really need perfect teeth and broad shoulders when you’re 70 years old, but you should be looking for someone that genuinely respects you and makes you laugh and is kind. That’s what we find are the most important traits to look for in a match, are really the intangible.”

7 Simple Strategies To Help You Find Love

You’re single & ready to find your relationship – but where to start?

Here’s the truth: where you start doesn’t matter.  Any road will take you there, you just need the right strategy to find your special someone.

Here’s 7 simple strategies to help you find love:

1. THE ‘YOU’LL FIND LOVE WHEN YOU’RE NOT LOOKING’ APPROACH MAY BE WRONG:  that’s like saying, “You’ll find a job when you’re least looking for it,” it’s possible, but rarely happens. Be proactive!

2. GO WHERE PEOPLE LIKE THE SAME THINGS YOU LIKE:  you can skip singles events if you don’t like them, but you have to go where you can meet people. Join social groups or meet-ups; be a worker bee in a cause you believe in; get involved in political parties. At the very least, you’re doing something you like and at the very best, you’ll meet somebody like-minded.

3. DON’T SEEK ROMANCE, SEEK PARTNERSHIP:  romance is for dates, and it’s fun to have on occasion in your marriage, but it’s partnership that will get you through the rough times. Don’t look for someone who sweeps you off your feet. Look for someone who likes give-and-take, who seeks your opinion and considers it, who cares about what you want, too.

4. HAPPY PEOPLE ATTRACT PEOPLE:  maybe the biggest issue in not being able to find love is that you’re not feeling good about yourself. Like yourself and like your life — really work on that. You have to be the person that you’d want to meet. If you’re not a happy, positive, self-confident person, you cut your chances of being in the right space for the right kind of person.

5. INSTANT SEXUAL ATTRACTION OFTEN FADES:  most good love is a slow burn — it takes a while to develop. Attraction is important, but you don’t have to feel it right away since that instant spark is more about lust and less about the stuff of real relationships. Emotion can change and deepen over time so give people a fair shot.

6. BEWARE OF THE ‘OPPOSITES ATTRACT’ THEORY:  opposites attract at first, but they’ll likely face major friction points down the road. Like-minded people actually make for easier and healthy long-term relationships. The more you see eye-to-eye on, the less there is to argue and compromise about.

7. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL:  who says you have to go it alone? If you’re too busy to meet people on your own – or just not meeting the right type of person – consider hiring a professional matchmaker. You’ve nothing to lose but your single life! Contact us today at:  ExecutiveSearchDating.com to learn more.

6 Things You’re Doing That Will Kill Your Relationship

Do you want to find the person of your dreams? Then be the person of their dreams.

Often, the biggest obstacle to relationship bliss is NOT your partner, its you. Maybe its time you take a step back, and get out of the way of your own happiness.

But how you ask? Start by stopping these 6 relationship-killing behaviours:

1. Stop sulking:  repeat after me: Sulking is not communication. Sulking is not communication. Sulking is not communication. Sure, your partner may eventually figure out that you’re pissed off when you cross your arms and pout, but you come across looking like a petulant child. Playing the wounded victim is neither cute or sexy. If you’re upset about something, take a breath and communicate. Here are the steps: Put on your adult pants. Open your mouth. Say something honest in a reasonable tone. Now, listen.

2. Stop trying to change your person:  I know you hate it when they lose their car keys again. While her absent-minded professor act was one of the reasons you initially found her so adorable, it stops being cute when you’re both late for a movie because you’re rifling through the couch cushions. But stop driving yourself crazy thinking that it’s going to change!

Most of the time, what we love about our partner also becomes that thing that also drives us absolutely mental. Take a breath and step back. Rather than wishing things were different, remember that your person wouldn’t be your person without their odd little quirks. And if you start feeling righteous, take a step back and think about all of the stuff that they’re putting up with right now, too.

3. Stop spending so much time together:  I know, I know, falling in love is so romantic! And when you do fall hard, you often want to merge with your new person. But pull back and take a breath. Coming up for air occasionally reminds you that you already have a life and -god forbid – if the relationship ends, you will have a life again. A little distance makes the heart grow fonder and allows you to appreciate your person a bit more. And wouldn’t you know, they’ll likely appreciate you just a bit more too.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff:  Mom was right: don’t sweat the small stuff. When you freak out every time your partner leaves a dish in the sink, you’re basically sending them a message that being a control freak is more important than their feelings. Everyone in the relationship is trying their best: creating some wiggle room for human difference is part of relationship compromise.

Create boundaries when it’s important (“How about not leaving dishes in the sink for more than four days”), but give your person the benefit of the doubt when you can. A little latitude goes a long way. And when you can let the small stuff go, you’ll have the bandwidth for a meaningful discussion when something that actually is important comes up.

5. Don’t ignore bids for affection:  people communicate their love in different ways. Some buy gifts, others say nice stuff, some like physical affection, other people like doing activities together. It’s important to have these gestures acknowledged. However, it may not always be obvious when your person is reaching out for your attention. For example, they may say, “Wow, look at that bird over there,” and secretly mean, “I really want to share a moment with you so I’m finding something to connect with you about.” Even if you think it’s a dumb bird, respond to their intention rather than the content. Remember to appreciate all the small moments of connection that you have.

6. Love the one you’re with:  your presence and attention is the most powerful gift that you can give someone. If you’re hanging out with your honey and are constantly checking your texts and insta-feeds, you’re waving a huge red flag that says, “You’re not important to me.” Put your phone down (hey, turn it off) and have some real time with another human.

While being alert for these relationship buzz kills doesn’t guarantee that you’ll live happily ever after, it will certainly give you a better shot. By being on the lookout for bad behaviour, you will proactively derail those insidious bad habits that can so frequently undercut a good relationship. And in the process, you’ll get to know yourself better too.

How To Impress Your Date In 10 Seconds

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”… so the expression goes.

This is true in life, and in dating… here are some quick and easy ways to make a GREAT first impression on your date:

  1. Dress for success: taking the time to dress nicely for your date is the first and most important element of a successful first date impression.
  2. Be on time: the most basic of all courtesies is to show your enthusiasm by being on time, or even a few minutes early for your date.  Good manners are a turn on for both sexes.
  3. Don’t worry, be happy: a wide smile and a warm and confident greeting sends a positive message that you are truly excited to meet someone.  Be it a hand shake or hug, make it firm but not crushing.
  4. The power of a sincere compliment: everyone wants to feel good about themselves.  Giving someone a sincere compliment (on how nice they look, or on a particularly appealing fashion accessory, etc.) is bound to make someone look more favorably upon you.

Dating Lies And How To Spot Them

It could be said there are 3 types of lies – lies, damn lies and dating lies. Half-truths, non-truths, supposed truths; all are a regular feature in the world of dating.

Successful dating starts with separating dating fact vs. dating fiction. Here are some classic ‘dating lies’ and tips on how you can spot them, and overcome them:

  1. The Internet has made it easier to meet your special someone: online dating and other modern ‘dating innovations’ can in some cases make it easier to meet people, but the lack of screening can make it challenging to meet someone truly compatible with you. Focus on meeting relationship-minded matches that have your basic criteria and you’ll get better dating results.
  2. All the good single people have been taken: in fact, the number of single people has stayed relatively consistent over the years or, in some cases, even increased. However busy singles tend to steer clear of singles bars and often don’t have the time or energy for online dating. Mixing up your approach is a good way to overcome this – ie. if you are looking to meet other single professionals, head out for drinks after work at a popular downtown drinks spot on a weeknight and you’ll find a very different selection of singles than you might otherwise find at a bar on the weekend.
  3. The male to female ratio in Vancouver & Victoria is ‘way out of whack’: again, the truth is that the number of single women and men in the city is roughly equal and has always been so – if you don’t agree then go to a popular sports lounge on a hockey night (where you’ll find mostly men) or a wine tasting event (where you’ll find many women). Be creative in your search and attend some events that move you out of your comfort zone (an art exhibit, a poetry recital, a karaoke lounge, etc.), and you’ll increase the chances of meeting someone new.
  4. Chemistry has to be incredible on a first date or its not worth pursuing a second date: actually, true chemistry can’t always be determined on a first meeting. Look at a first date simply as a chance to meet someone new and, unless you are absolutely certain that you’re not interested in them, arrange to meet someone in a relaxed setting for a second or third date. Giving each date your full consideration will increase your chances of finding true long term chemistry with someone when you do connect.

5 Surprising Ways Spring Helps You Find A Relationship

Are you single and ready for a relationship? Well, there’s great news: Spring has arrived!

Dating Experts consider Spring “The Matchmaking Season” for good reason: its the time of year when most relationships begin.

Why you ask? For these 5 (surprising) reasons:

  1. Are you positive?  as simple as it may seem, people are just feeling more ‘sunny’ in Spring. If you thought that doesn’t matter, consider this: your chances of connecting with someone new are far higher when you (both) have a positive attitude.
  2. Lose the layers:  let’s be honest for a minute – chemistry matters, in dating and in life. And its hard to feel attractive when you’re in a parka – and when you’re not feeling attractive you’re much less likely to approach someone new (or be approached). As the temperature warms up, show ’em what you’ve got.
  3. Time is on your side:  with the Spring time change, evenings are longer, which simply gives you more time to spend with someone. The winter “Netflix and chill” date option only really applies once you’ve started seeing someone – proposing it on a first or second date will almost surely keep you single for a while longer.
  4. Activity weather:  BC singles are notoriously addicted to outdoor activities. But its hard to get excited about a hike or bike when its freezing outside. With the warmer temps its time to activate your most powerful date option – an outdoor activity. Just do it.
  5. Patio fever:  if you’re more inclined towards a ‘sit down’ date, Spring has that covered for you as well. Restaurant and bar patios across the city start opening up again. If you don’t think it makes a difference, try patio drinks for your next date. Your love life with thank you for it.

3 Common Habits That Make You Look Really Unapproachable

If you’ve heard only one thing about the Vancouver dating scene, its probably this: its hard to meet new people in social situations. Vancouver women are unapproachable, and Vancouver men simply don’t approach at all.

But is this true? Well, if you look unapproachable the answer is yes. But if you look approachable, the answer is no.

So how can you look more approachable and start meeting people when you’re out socially? Start by fixing these 3 common body language mistakes:

  1. On a date with my phone:  in today’s smartphone-obsessed world, it’s easy to spend your evenings out messaging friends and checking social media. Here’s the problem with that – it sends the message to that cute guy or girl beside you that you’re not interested and/or not available. If you wanted to spend your evening checking your phone, why did you come out in the first place?
  2. You’re protected (from meeting anyone new):  its hard enough to approach someone in a busy social situation, particularly for men (and its typically a man’s role to approach women). But what makes it even harder is when you don’t make yourself available to be approached, or your back is turned to the outside world. If you’re out with a group of friends, and you notice someone interesting – find a chance to break free from the crowd to give someone a chance to say hi. Better yet, approach that person and say ‘hi’ yourself. You’ve nothing to lose but your single life.
  3. Not feeling it:  next time you’re out socially, change your default facial expression from a disinterested frown to a positive, pleasant or even neutral expression. Your smile is the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac for meeting someone new. When you’ve noticed someone interesting, make and hold eye contact for a few seconds, then smile. If they reciprocate, find a moment to head over to say hi – or simply give them a quick wave and invite them over. Yes, its that easy. The more complicated your system of meeting new people is, the more likely it will fail. And vice versa.

4 Ways You’re Making Dating Harder Than It Needs To Be

If you’re single & ready for a relationship, dating can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be hard.

In fact, if your dates feel like “work” – or if dating itself feels like a “second job” – it’s probably not going to work out well for you.

So how do you change your dating approach & INCREASE your relationship chances? Start by stopping these 4 toxic dating habits:

  1. Turn off the volume:  if you’ve been using (multiple) dating apps, you’ve probably encountered one of two (equally frustrating) scenarios, A. You swipe & click for hours but don’t end up meeting or truly connecting with anyone; or, B. You’re inundated with messages (some polite, some not so much) from people you’re not interested in. In either case, the solution isn’t to ‘dig in’, its to ‘dig out’. Put away your dating apps for a while & try some other dating methods.
  2. Me, Me, Me?:  its natural to think the key to finding someone special is to focus on what YOU’RE looking for, right? Wrong! Start focusing on the person across from you – or across the room from you – you’ll be surprised what you mind find out about them & you, and maybe both of you together.
  3. Quest for perfection?:  its easy to write exactly what you’re looking for on a dating profile or piece of paper. Where it all falls apart, however, is the real world. Its natural to have some basic ‘deal breakers’, but avoid making your list so long that nobody makes the grade (maybe even not you?). Focus on truly getting to know someone below the superficial – that’s where true chemistry happens.
  4. The 10 second rule?:  can you know if someone’s perfect for you within 10 seconds of meeting them? Not really. Yes, its true you can tell if you’re physically attracted to someone right away – but you likely can’t tell if they’re truly ‘the one’. Why? Because – yes – physical chemistry is important, but connecting with someone at a deeper level is a more important indicator of long term relationship potential. Throw out the “10 second rule”, and replace it with the “10 date rule” (or at least the “3 date rule”)!

11 Things People In Successful Relationships Do Every Day

So, you’ve met someone special and you’re ready to start a relationship together. Now comes the hard part.

Yes, ‘positive dating’ is an essential part of finding your special someone. But if your relationship skills aren’t up to par, it might all be for naught.

Here’s 11 things people in successful relationships do every day to make their relationships grow stronger over time.  Hint: you should do this too!

1. They ask for help:  when you ask for help several things happen. You implicitly show you respect the person giving the advice. You show you respect that person’s experience, skill, and insight. And you show you trust that other person, since by asking for help you’ve made yourself vulnerable. While it’s relatively easy to ask for help with something practical, it’s harder to ask when the help you need is personal.

People who want a successful marriage are willing to ask for help, both because they need help and because they realize their partner will in turn receive a lot in return in terms of self-respect, self-esteem, and self-worth.

They get to know they made a difference in your life, which we all love to feel.

2. They’re patient:  showing patience is an extraordinary way to let people know we truly care about them. Showing patience–which is another way to show genuine confidence in the other person–is an extraordinary way to let your spouse know you truly believe in him or her.

Showing patience is an incredible gift–because, ultimately, it shows how much you care.

3. They set a great example:  researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that people with relatively prudent and reliable partners tend to perform better at work, earning more promotions, making more money, and feeling more satisfied with their jobs.

That’s true for men and women: “Partner conscientiousness” predicted future job satisfaction, income, and likelihood of promotion, even after factoring in the participants’ level of conscientiousness.

4. They compliment, they recognize, and they praise:  we all do some things well. We all have at least a few strengths, a few good qualities, a few positive traits…and that’s why we all deserve praise and appreciation.

Think of it this way: It’s easy to recognize great employees; after all, they do great things. But it’s very possible that consistent praise is one of the reasons they’ve become great.

People who work to build a successful marriage sometimes see the good in their partners before they see it in themselves–and that can provide the spark that just might help their partners reach their true potential.

5. They allow space and privacy:  everyone shares. Everyone “Likes” and “tweets”. Lives have increasingly become open books. Over time, we’ve started to feel we have the right to know more about others than we ever did before.

That includes our spouses.

But sometimes we don’t need to know. Sometimes the best gift we can give is the gift of privacy, of not asking, not prying–yet always being available if and when the other person does want or need to share.

It’s not necessary to know in order to care.

6. They actively search for opportunities the other has missed:  we all want to improve, to grow, to succeed…but sometimes we’re too deep in the trees to notice the forest.

People working to build a successful marriage take the time to look for the opportunities their partner might have missed. They’re able to not only know your dreams but to help you work towards those dreams–and to help open doors that might otherwise have remained closed.

They want you to succeed, because…

7. They find happiness in their partner’s success:  great business teams win because their most talented members are willing to sacrifice to make others happy. Great teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else.

And that’s exactly how great marriages work.

Every great entrepreneur answers the question, “Can you make the choice that your happiness will come from the success of others?” with a resounding “Yes!”

So do people who want their spouse–and their marriage–to be successful.

8. They’re sincere and genuine:  lip service is easy to pay. Sometimes it’s harder to show sincere excitement when things go well. Sometimes it’s harder to show sincere appreciation for a thoughtful gesture, a kind word, or extra effort. Sometimes it’s harder to show sincere disappointment–with others, sure, but also with yourself.

People who want a successful marriage openly celebrate. They openly empathize. They openly worry. In short, they’re openly human.

Your spouse married a person. Be a person. Be the person you are.

9. They know that sometimes tough love is the best love:  I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We all want to be better than we are. Yet we all fall into habits, fall into patterns, develop blind spots…and that’s why we all need constructive feedback. That’s why we all need advice, guidance, and sometimes a swift kick in the pants.

It’s easy to make a snarky comment. It’s easy to frown or smirk or look disappointed. It’s a lot tougher to say, especially to someone you care about, “I know you’re capable of a lot more.”

Think about a time when someone told you what you least wanted to hear…and yet most needed to hear. You’ve never forgotten what that person said. It changed your life.

Now go change your spouse’s life.

10. They weigh the personal against the practical:  sometimes seeking professional success can impact the success of your marriage.

Here’s an example: According to at least one study, if one spouse commutes longer than 45 minutes, that couple is 40 percent more likely to get divorced.

(There are some caveats. If you’ve already spent five years or more commuting more than 45 minutes, then you’re only 1 percent more likely to get divorced than couples with short commutes. In all likelihood, that’s because you’ve worked through the practical and emotional issues involved. Plus, if one of you had a long commute before you started your relationship, then you’re also a lot less likely to get divorced than husbands or wives who start a long commute later in their relationship.)

Just in practical terms, a long commute might not be worth it. According to another study, economists determined a 40 percent increase in pay is necessary to make an additional hour of commuting time pay off in terms of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. A few dollars an hour more won’t make you happy if you have to drive an extra hour every day to earn it.

Factor that in with the potential cost to your relationship, and personal considerations could definitely outweigh practical advantages.

People working to build a successful marriage always look at the big picture. Professional success is just one factor in the happiness equation. Make sure you look at every factor–especially the health of your marriage.

11. They build a shared sense of purpose:  fulfillment is often found in becoming a part of something bigger. We all love to feel that special sense of teamwork and togetherness that turns a task into a quest, a group of individuals into a real team.

We all look for that at work…but where we really need to feel it is at home.

Together, create your own mission. Create your own vision. Decide where you want to go, together, and make a plan to get there together.

Few things will make you feel more like a couple than being able to say, “We did that.”

Go do that.

The 5 Best Ways To Impress Your Date

If you’re on a date, first impressions matter. But second impressions matter even more.

In your perfect dating world, everyone will see you for who you really are – and that’s true (eventually).

But to make it that far, you need to make a positive impression on your date. How? Here’s 5 proven ways:

  1. Too late:  in dating, its often the simplest things that matter. Arriving late to your date may not seem like a big deal to you; buts its probably a big deal to your date. It sends the message that your time is more important than theirs. Stop with the excuses! Show up on time to every date – or better yet, 5 minutes early.
  2. Be excited (or fake it):  you may find it hard to muster any excitement on a first or second date – particularly if you’ve had a long, hard day;  or your dating life is frustrating, or… (fill in your excuse here).  But here’s the thing – if your date senses you’re not excited to see them, why on earth should they be excited to see you – let alone consider starting a relationship with you!? Be energetic & excited on your date. If you don’t feel that way, fake it.
  3. Positively positive:  griping about your day, your job, your dating life, how you’re really feeling, etc, is a perfectly natural thing to do when you’re with your friends, family or co-workers. But on a first or second date, its a true chemistry-killer. Keep things positive on your date; there’ll be plenty of time in the future to open up about your issues, but a first or second date is not that time.
  4. I hear you:  there is no greater skill you can display on a date than this – be a good listener. Active listening sends your date the message that you care, that you’re interested in them & that you’re fun to be around. In other words – that you’re great relationship material. Did you hear that?
  5. Chivalry is (not) dead:  (Men, this applies mostly to you) did you hear that one about chivalry being dead? Its dead alright – dead wrong. Men and women are equals (of course!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t display some common courtesies on your date – holding the door, offering your jacket or sweater if your date is cold, walking your date to their car or taxi at the end of your date, etc. If you’re treating your date exactly as you treat your friends, expect your date to consider you as ‘friend material’, and not ‘relationship potential’.