You know the old adage, “you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince”? True, and not so true!
The next 3 articles are devoted to current clients’ dating experiences online---and are they all magical? Heck, no. Did they get results and find someone? Yep, they did…. some quickly, some took a bit of time.
And, let’s talk about lessons learned and why they had success.
Alyssa, 62, Laguna Beach, CA: Owner of Real Estate Company* (*For the 3 clients, all gave me their permission; I just agreed to change their name and location. The remainder is accurate!).
Alyssa met many people through her work but as the consummate professional, she made it a rule never to date her clients.
When she came to me in June, she was 5 years divorced with 2 children in their 20’s and one away at college. On our initial conversation here is what she told me:
1. Two years after the divorce, she signed up for two dating sites and it was exhausting and yielded no results---the quality was poor she remarked. ---Mistake: She was blunt that she put no effort into this endeavor, her profile was poorly written and she just put up one photo.
2. Alyssa was matter of fact that her friends had told her horror stories about online dating. And she listened to them.
--Mistake: Her attitude was negative (and she has a very sunny personality) but she let her friends comments get into her head and give her a bad vibe.
3. Alyssa did see some quality men’s profiles, but she simply responded with a smile or heart.
---Mistake: Men’s number one complaint is when a woman does not send a message; by sending a heart/like etc. she was throwing the ball into their court, making them do all the work. Then she was surprised she was getting no responses!
Ok, there were other mistakes, but let’s get to the solution.
When a potential new client calls me, we speak on the phone first to see if I can help as a dating coach and we are a good fit. While Alyssa was likeable and funny, she had a negative attitude. I’m not so subtle and said she sounded very negative and that won’t work for me. I want my clients to be successful! (That’s why you can’t just sign up online—you go through a screening process so you are not wasting your money on me and I’m not wasting my time on you). How’s that for graciously direct?
I listened and then told her the following in order to be a client of mine:
1. She needed to have a great attitude and approach this as an adventure.
2. She needed to stop listening to friends---better even, don’t tell them you are doing online dating.
3. I asked her if she could take direction from me and implement the tools I gave her. She said yes.
Here’s what happened next:
Alyssa had many good head shots from her career but they looked a bit too corporate. We had some new photos of her taken doing the things she loved: kayaking, yoga, cycling and pickleball. Oh, even one at Barnes and Noble as she’s an avid reader.
Next, I came up with a fun, engaging and a bit quirky (not weird, just unique) profile and chose two sites that were strong in her market both demographically and with the ratio of men to women.
Goal: 5 First Dates in the first 2 weeks. She laughed.
On our first weekly coaching call, we reached out with positive, personalized messages to 20 men. Yep, 20! We ignored the ones who liked her and used search algorithms to find these potential dates ourselves.
And, here’s where Alyssa shocked me! The following week she told me she had gone on 4 first dates with men we’d contacted---one was boring, one was shy, and the other two excellent. She had second dates on the books for both of them for the weekend. And, she wanted to pause with me. oh-oh. Not a good thing to do!
Of course, I said no. We reached out to another 8 men on that call. I especially liked Michael for her---a 61-year-old ER doctor who had written a very funny profile, was widowed after a long happy marriage and was in great shape. She was on the fence about him---she didn’t like the fact that he was widowed.
Long story short, they met for lunch on a Saturday. They kayaked Sunday. The following week they went stand up paddleboarding and she laughed that she went to lunch with him soaking wet.
And, the rest is history. They’ve been dating now for 6 months and are thinking of buying a home together.
The best part: When they both called me together on New Year’s Day a few weeks ago from his car and Michael said to me “Andrea, I had to meet you and thank you for pushing Alyssa to meet a widower”. And they were both laughing. And, it made my day---and the start of the New Year for me. It’s why I do what I do.
Lesson: When you are not sure, go out on that date. What do you have to lose? An hour?
Andrea McGinty Dating Counselor/Dating Consultant Founder, ItsJustLunch.com and 33000Dates.com Featured on Oprah, People, Today Show, CNN, NYT, WSJ and more 702-494-7344