You Had Questions – We’ve Got Answers!

14 Oct

A few weeks ago, I invited you, my readers, to submit your questions regarding almost any and every topic to be answered by our experts!   We received MANY questions and, I’m happy to say, I have the answers you were seeking! 

Before we get to the answers, let me introduce you to the experts who tackled your questions!

Dave Elliott

 
 
Dave Elliott
Relationship Coach
 
Find out more about Dave by clicking on Team RITA!
 
 
 
 
 

Jess McCann

 
 
Jess McCann
Dating and Relationship Coach
 
Find out more about Jess by clicking on Team RITA!
 
 
 
 

Jeffrey Platts

 
 
Jeffrey Platts
Dating/Relating Coach
 
Jeffrey Platts is passionate about helping men and women connect more deeply and authentically, both in dating and in life.  Jeffrey’s typical clients are everyday men and women who are interested in self-awareness and shifting their perspective of themselves, dating and love. His philosophy is not based on tricks or complex theories, but on solid practices and mindsets that get to the core of what makes you most attractive and approachable. 
 
 

Michelle Ezra Jacoby

 
 
Michelle Ezra Jacoby
Owner, DC Matchmaking
 
DC Matchmaking is a discreet, upscale boutique matchmaking company for attractive, successful commitment-minded singles in DC, MD and VA offering matchmaking, dating and relationship coaching.
 
 
 
 
 
QUESTION & ANSWERS
 
 
 Q1:  RITA – HOW DID YOU GET 35 DATES IN 35 CONSECUTIVE DAYS?  I CAN’T EVEN GO ON 35 DATES IN A YEAR!
 
A:  I asked!!  Trust me, when I came up with the idea for this project, I didn’t think that it would all come together.  So imagine my surprise when, within 2 weeks, I had 35 consecutive dates scheduled!  I e-mailed my friends, who e-mailed it to their friends/co-workers/family who e-mailed it to their contacts and so on and so on.  I utilized Match.com as well.  When I asked the dates why they decided to go they all said the same thing – it sounded different and fun!  I think by taking the pressure off of the date having to have any ulterior motive/meaning, guys felt comfortable to just go and meet someone!
 
Most importantly, I didn’t say NO to anyone (unless my schedule was full).  Really, it means I didn’t filter as I might have normally done outside of this 35/35 project.  Age, race, profession – none of it mattered.  If they asked, I said yes.  What’s the harm in simply meeting a person?  You never know why you are meant to cross paths until you let it happen! 
 
 
Q2:  RITA – AREN’T YOU TIRED??  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AFTER THE 35TH DATE?
 
A:  Yes, I did get tired!  But, every time that I would be out on the date, I would be having so much fun and would feel this crazy amount of energy!  I was so glad, each and every time, that I didn’t talk myself out of going to see the guy.  It really wasn’t the “dating” that was so tiring but, honestly, the writing afterwards.  Still, it became like any other routine you put into your schedule (gym, school, etc.).  My body adjusted!
 
After my last date?  I’m going to do laundry!!  In terms of dating, I’m not going to stop.  Some of the 35 have asked me on second dates, and I intend to go and I haven’t ruled out future dates with people who weren’t part of this 35 project.  I plan on meeting people and experiencing new things!   I rediscovered the city, found some new activities I enjoy and plan to just continue living life and taking mine by the reins and having a great time!
 
 
Q3:  DID YOU REALLY FIND 35 GUYS TO PAY YOUR WAY ON 35 DIFFERENT DATES OR DID YOU GO BROKE ALL IN THE NAME OF A SOCIAL PROJECT?
 
A:  The date “paying my way” was never a requirement for this project.  In fact, some dates didn’t cost any money at all (walking around the monuments) or were minimal in cost (coffee).  I offered each and every time to split the date down the middle.  Some of the dates allowed me to and others absolutely refused any offer to share the cost.  It wasn’t something that was discussed before hand and it wasn’t an expectation.  It was really no different from real life dates and that question of “who pays?” 
 
 
Q4:  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE 34 LEFT OVERS (AS I ASSUME ONE OF THE 35 WILL CLICK)?
 
A:  Well, as of right now, I came out of the 35 Project still single (as I should be)!  I clicked with a few of the dates and will see them again.  Still, as for ALL of them, whether I clicked with them or not – I feel they are great men and I would like to most definitely share them with the world!  I’ve been thinking of having a cocktail party or some other type of gathering where any of the 35 dates can attend and, of course, any ladies who would like to meet them.  It’s my hope that each and every one of them find their love before too long – they all deserve it!
 
 
Q5:  IS THERE ANY INFORMATION ON THE DATES THAT YOU AREN’T SHARING IN THE BLOG?
 
A:  Yes.  Not all of the information is making it into the blog.  Usually because it didn’t fit within the overall theme of the specific post.  Other information because I don’t feel it’s appropriate to link to specified individuals and also, some things you just want to keep private.  (And, yes, I do plan on turning this into a book eventually and am saving some of the interesting info that didn’t fit into a post for that!)
 
 
Q6:  WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE BLOG AFTER THE 35/35 PROJECT ENDS?
 
A:  Oh, I am so glad you asked!!!  It’s not going ANYWHERE.  In fact, it’s only just beginning!!  Of course, there will be more dates and more stories.  However, I’ll still be working and interacting with the dating coaches and other life coaches and plan to share their information.  The site will be revamped to become more interactive allowing the readers to contribute and direct how the site flows as well.  Also, I’ll be doing reviews on events and places where singles will want to go.  And trust me, much much more.  I think you guys will really like what’s coming!
 
 
Q7:  HOW DOES A MATCHMAKER WORK?
 
A (Michelle Ezra Jacoby):  As a matchmaker, I work with a small group of clients, each for a one-year term.  I get to know my clients extremely well so that I understand who they are on the deepest level and also what they are looking for in a partner.  I interview each potential match personally (face-to-face), run background investigations, coordinate schedules and arrange dates (make dinner reservations), am “on call” the evening of the date, get feedback from both parties and provide necessary coaching.  During the year that I work with my clients, I make myself extremely accessible, provide unlimited introductions, work extremely hard and strive to make each client feel that he/she is my only client!  Together we go on a journey, that in the end, often leads to love.  It’s wonderful!
 
 
Q8:  WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE USE A MATCHMAKER?
 
A (Michelle Ezra Jacoby):   My clients are exceptional. They are attractive, educated, savvy, and successful. I work with high-caliber singles who are ready for and committed to finding long-term relationships.  My clients hire me because they are too busy to find dates on their own and want to outsource the search.  Typically, they do not want to participate in the “singles scene”.  Some of my clients are single parents who want to utilize their time so they can focus on their children.  It all comes down to how you want to spend your time and the opportunities you create (or fail to create) for yourself.  I find, screen interview and arrange the dates.  All my clients have to do is show up and enjoy a fun evening with a quality person!
 
 
Q9:  WHY SHOULD I HIRE A MATCHMAKER?
 
A (Michelle Ezra Jacoby):  If you’re too busy to make the effort, if you’ve been picking the wrong kind of men or women for yourself, if you want to cast a wider net and meet people you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet, or if you’ve been talking the talk but have failed to walk the walk, then you might want to hire a matchmaker. A (good) matchmaker will introduce you to quality singles and then coach you to success.   If you are dedicated to putting in the time and making a huge effort on your own, then you probably won’t need a matchmaker.  But if you prefer to sit back, relax and have someone else do the work for you, matchmaking might be a great option.
 
 
Q10:  WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET A GUY TO COMMIT?

 
A (Dave Elliott):   I can guarantee that if you’re finding it hard to get a guy to commit, it’s because you are communicating on your values and not his necessarily.  As the masculine partner, it’s his job to be the hunter, not the prey. (Trust me, you wouldn’t want it any other way…unless, of course, you like weak, indecisive men you can push around).  A man will actually make a quick decision and take a woman off the market when he is offered a deal that is too good to pass up…men are competitive by nature and won’t want to lose an amazing woman to someone else. I would suggest you ask a better question. Instead of how do I get him to commit, ask how can I understand exactly what he needs and wants…and assuming that’s a match with what you want…then, how can I confidently demonstrate my value to him while remaining 100% true to what I need and want? Ask a better question, get a better result.
 
 
Q11:  IT SEEMS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO FIND SOMEONE READY TO SETTLE DOWN.  IS THAT JUST A DC THING?
 
A (Michelle Ezra Jacoby):   It’s hard everywhere, to be honest.  But in DC, we’re so incredibly work focused!  In fact, I think many singles use work as a crutch.  It’s easy to fill our time and our calender with work related activities when we should be making more of an effort to meet other singles.  I ask my coaching clients if they think they would be getting different results if they devoted 20% of the effort to dating that they devote to their work.  The answer is always YES.
 
 
Q12:  WHAT HAPPENS IN DATE COACHING?  IS IT LIKE THERAPY? ARE THERE ASSIGNMENTS? IS IT AFFORDABLE?
 
A (Jess McCann):  Dating coaches do many things, but in general we help people achieve their relationships goals. Often, it is the case that men and women unknowingly do (or don’t do) something that is preventing them for finding or maintaining the relationship they want. It’s my job to find out what that something is. By asking good questions, analyzing past patterns and using certain evaluating techniques, I can usually determine the root of a client’s problem fairly quickly. Then it’s just a matter of formulating a plan to help them tweak (or at times, completely renovate) their behavior going forward.” It’s not like therapy because it’s a forward moving process and therapy usually deals with reconciling one’s past.  I do a little of that but only in order to formulate a plan for the future!  There are always homework assignments – the majority of change happens not when you are sitting on my couch, but what you do when you are out on your own living life.  (Note from Rita – Jess McCann is offering a special to all of my blog readers.  Find out more by contacting her via www.jessmccann.com)
 
A (Dave Elliott):  As a relationship coach, I teach people the skills and awareness that make the difference between success and struggle. After each session, we have action items to address or act upon between sessions. The difference between coaching and therapy is that in therapeutic intervention, problems are addressed from point of origin (i.e. your childhood). In coaching, I focus on where you are now, where you want to be, and together, we create a plan to help you get you there. Along the way, I provide teaching, support, encouragement and real-time feedback that keeps you accountable for the result you want to create. As for whether my rates are affordable, I would ask the clients who called off a filed divorce and the accompanying division of assets and attorney fees or I would ask the ones who doubled their household income by getting married or engaged. In addition, I offer my clients who are committed to results a sliding scale on my rates because I believe those who commit deserve the very best pricing.  (Note from Rita – Dave is offering a special to all readers of this blog, so please contact him for more information!)
 
 
Q13:  DON’T GUYS ONLY WANT PHYSICALLY FIT GIRLS?  DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOUR INSIDES ARE LIKE IF YOUR OUTSIDES DON’T MATCH?
 
A (Jeffrey Platts):  No matter what your body type or physical characteristics, there ARE people out there that are attracted to exactly that type.  While looks are what people might be attracted to initially, it’s personality, values and energy that has them want to be around you long-term.  At the same time, there is something very attractive about a man or woman who takes care of the body he or she has.  When you work out, eat healthy, dress well, it shows that you have respect for yourself and value who you are.  Embrace the body you have and do your best to make it healthy, strong and well-dressed.
 
 
Q14:   I KEEP GETTING TERRIBLE RESPONSES TO MY ONLINE DATING PROFILE.  WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
 
A (Michelle Ezra Jacoby):  Do you have great photos?  If they’re not exceptional, you won’t get good results.  Online dating is very visual, and your photos are probably 80% of your profile.  I recommend having professional photos taken.  Have them taken in a casual outdoor setting.  When it comes to your essay, keep it light, breezy, positive and fun.  Show – don’t tell about yourself.  Instead of saying you have a good sense of humor, write a funny profile.  Instead of saying you’re “adventurous”, tell the reader about one of your adventures! I work with my coaching clients to help them understand how to brand themselves online. I point out that different kinds of bait catch different kinds of fish.  You must write your profile to attract the kind of person you wish to meet.  I help my coaching clients to date online effective so that they get the very best results with the smallest investment of their time.  There is a right way and a wrong way to date online. This article may be helpful: http://www.yourtango.com/experts/michelle-jacoby/12-common-online-dating-mistakes.
 
 
Q15:  HOW LONG SHOULD YOU WAIT BEFORE SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE?
 
A (Dave Elliott):  Honestly, I don’t believe in hard and fast rules so will resist in setting what could be an artificial or arbitrary amount of time because there are far too many variables. Here’s what I can tell you for certain. Men and women are wired in reverse. A woman in her feminine cannot open to sex until she fails safe and protected enough to be vulnerable, which for some, feels like love. The challenge is that the masculine tends to open to love through sex or physical intimacy. Can you see the dilemma? Of course, there are always variations in individual human behavior but by and large, that’s the way it works no matter how people behave. My best advice is that using sex as a means to get, catch or keep someone often ends up in pain…so be clear on that before you even consider it. If you are truly attracted to someone and feel like you have developed the emotional intimacy to share your love freely with them with no expectation in return, then by all means, sharing love and intimacy are beautiful gifts. Now, I know people will get hung up on the “no expectation” part…but here’s the secret: no one wants to feel trapped or obligated to do something. When love is freely given and received, people WANT TO come back…freely and of their own will.
 
A (Jess McCann):  Ideally you should wait until you are in a committed relationship for a period of time with the guy.  Most girls who sleep with a guy before then run the risk of falling in love with someone who isn’t fully invested in the relationship yet, or may never be.  Even if a woman sleeps with someone who she’s not sure she wants a relationship with is at risk – because, quite often, after she has sex several times, she becomes emotionally attached anyway. 
 
 
 
Q16:    SHOULD GIRLS ASK GUYS OUT?  IN PERSON?  ONLINE?  SHOULD GIRLS INITIATE A 2ND DATE?
 
A (Jess McCann)No, a girl should not ask a guy out.  She can initiate a conversation with a guy by using an “icebreaker” to strike up a conversation, but a girl should never flat-out ask a guy out.  If he’s interested he will ask her.  A girl can reach out to a guy online first, and suggest a coffee date to actually meet for the first time  (this is just to see if there is any mutual chemistry)  but once she has met the guy in person, it is his turn to do all the asking. 
 
A (Dave Elliott):  A huge part of what I teach is understanding how polarity really works. I compare it to another natural law called gravity that’s always in effect and never stops working whether you understand it or not. In order to have attraction, you need to have one partner in masculine and one in feminine. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but most of the time, relationships work best when the man is in his masculine and he does the pursuing…that’s what hunters do. That being said, the one thing that attracts the masculine most is a woman who is appreciative and open to receiving his gifts. So instead of asking guys out, I would definitely encourage women to let men know when they appreciate him and specifically notice when he does something well and praise that. Most men would tell you there’s nothing more attractive than a women who knows how to be open and vulnerable…yet at the same time understands that the pursuit is part of the process.
 
 

 Q17: HOW DO YOU BREAK THE ICE WITH SOMEONE?

A (Jess McCann):  Take a look at your surroundings.  If you are at a bar, ask the guy next to you if there are any happy hour specials, or to pass you a menu (that’s how I met my husband.)  You don’t have to break the ice with something witty, the point is not to wow the guy – it’s to let him know that you are friendly and willing to chat.  If he is interested, he will keep the conversation going.  Same thing online.  Take notice of something in someone’s profile – maybe they kite board, or used to live in Alaska.  Those are unique things. Ask a question about them to break the ice.  Just remember to K.I.S.S. all your emails – that stands for Keep it short and simple.
 
 

Q18:  WHAT ARE HABITS IN WOMEN THAT MEN JUST HATE?  TRUE DEAL BREAKERS?

 A (Dave Elliott):  There are 3 cardinal sins that will pretty much get you dumped quickly…especially by a good man who insists on a woman of character. First of all, never come across as unappreciative of his gifts and what he provides or act as if it’s just simply expected. Secondly, don’t act clingy or needy and try to tie a man down and limit his options without offering him something better in return. Most women fail to appreciate just how hard-wired it is for a man to live and die yearning for freedom because she’s just not wired that way. Lastly, if you don’t want him to try to change or manipulate you, don’t do it to him. Of course, everyone has their own unique “pet peeve” list (which was created by someone else messing up before you) but those 3 are pretty universal.
 
 
 
Q19:  WHAT IS AUTHENTIC GAME NIGHT?  WHAT IS BEING AUTHENTIC?  IS IT SAYING WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY, CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED?!

 
A (Jeffrey Platts):  By “authentic” we simply mean that each person is known, loved and celebrated for all of who they are — their unique gifts, AS WELL AS their quirky insecurities, kinks and blind spots. There is no cookie-cutter mold for how you “should” be or what relating “should look like”. It’s about acknowledgement, raw honesty, feedback & reflection AND fun, laughter & play. Yes, it does involve more honesty and going outside your comfort zone, but it doesn’t mean just blurting out things without sensitivity or regard for the other person. By “games” we mean fun, highly interactive partner and group exercises that demonstrate and explore relating, getting to know yourself better while at the same time learning to see and appreciate more about everyone you connect with. It’s exploring the art of relating with people.   (Note from Rita – Jeffrey’s next Authentic Games Night is in DC on October 15th.  Find out more at www.jeffreyplatts.com)
 
 
Q20:  HOW DO YOU END A BAD RELATIONSHIP?
 
A (Dave Elliott):  How do you get the courage to leave? There’s really no substitute for a healthy self-esteem and clarity on what you really want to attract into your life. When people stay long after they should, it usually comes down to either not believing they deserve better…or not believing they’ll find better which is all about a scarcity mindset. Both of those beliefs are severely skewed and with coaching can be eliminated. The sad truth is there are people out there right now…ones you probably know…who stay in poor relationships…or avoid them all together because they don’t realize there is another option available.
 
 
Q21:  WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR SPEED DATING EVENTS?!

 
A (Jess McCann):  Have fun! Be present. Don’t think or drink too much!
 
 
Q22:  WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH SOMEONE WHO CATCHES YOUR EYE?

 
A (Jess McCann):  Use the SEE factor.  It stands for Smile, Eye Contact, Energy.  If you see a guy that you think is cute, smile at him and maintain good eye contact for 10-15 seconds.  This will let him know that if he approaches you, he will not be shot down.  It’s also important to exude a good positive energy while doing this. 
 
 
Q23:   I’VE BEEN TOLD I’M A “MASCULINE” WOMAN (AND NOT IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL APPEARANCE).  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? DOES BEING MORE FEMININE MEAN I HAVE TO WEAR DRESSES, KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT AND DO WHAT THE GUY SAYS?
 
A (Dave Elliott):  There’s a huge difference between traditional gender roles and the core energy that you were born with inside of you. I really do understand the confusion and to be fair, there’s a lot of men out there who’ve been turned into wimpy pleasers by the well-intended feminine women who raised them, oftentimes on their own. There are tremendous upsides to being a powerful, independent woman at work…but the downside is if you stay in that mode 24/7, in order to have polarity where opposites attract…you will call in a man who is unempowered and reliant on you. For some, that will work…for most, I suspect it would be repulsive. The truth is, we all have both energies within us – and we have the operational flexibility to access what we need, when we need it. (By the way, that explains how so many powerful, independent women got that way in the 1st place). Bottom line; here’s the most important point to all of this – if you’re all-powerful and totally independent on your own – what would you even need a man for anyway? You simply need to create a space for a man to serve you…and the right one will…gladly.
 
 
Q24:  I AM DIVORCED (CHEATED ON) AND NOW I SEEM TO ONLY FIND EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE MEN!  HOW DO I CHANGE THAT PATTERN?

 
A (Jess McCann):  How do you change any bad dating pattern? There are unfortunately a lot of people out there that aren’t right for you.  You have to keep in mind that 99% of the men you date will NOT work out.  You are only going to end up with one person, so it doesn’t really matter that you went on 50 dates with 50 duds. What matters is that you keep a good attitude and don’t get frustrated while you are sifting through the slush pile, so to speak. The key to breaking a pattern is to recognize what kind of men does not work for you, and the early signs that men give you on a date that tell you he’s in that category.  Then instead of doing what you used to do and holding on and hoping for the best, you move on to someone else. This is why it is so important to “Fill the Funnel” when dating. 
 


 Q25:
  DATING IS OVERWHELMING!  STRESSFUL!  WHAT CAN I DO TO TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF AND JUST HAVE FUN?

 
A (Jeffrey Platts):  It all comes down to perspective. If you’re not enjoying yourself, take a step back and look at what you are DOING and how your THINKING that is making is stressful for you.  Are you putting pressure on yourself to find “The One” or be in a relationship right away?  Do you go into first dates as job interviews?  Is the rest of your life enjoyable so that dating is more like icing on the cake and not your sole source of fun?  Dating is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so find some ways of thinking about dating that feel good to you as you think it.
  

 

THANK YOU to Dave, Jess, Jeffrey and Michelle for taking time out of their regularly scheduled days to answer these questions! 

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS??!

There will be future Q&A sessions with a variety of experts!  Questions about dating, relationships, wardrobe, make-up, fitness, Washington, DC – anything!  Submit them to Rita@singlesinthesuburbs.com

 

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One Response to “You Had Questions – We’ve Got Answers!”

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  1. Project GetFit – Q&A with Personal Trainer, Natalie Marie « Rita's Quest - November 1, 2011

    […] I invited you to submit questions to be answered by Team RITA members – and boy, did you have some great questions!   As many of you know, I’ve recently started another “project” for my blog […]

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