Are you single and currently in the dating world? Well, then you're going to want to read on! There are seven big mistakes you might be making that are preventing you from finding that special someone. Bela Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy in Chicago, stopped by to tell us all about the common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Bela says so much of a first impression is based on non-verbal communication ? how we look, facial expressions, tone of voice, posture, etc. The "SOFTEN UP" mnemonic device is to help you remember how important it is to soften up your body language. Keep this in mind and you're on your way to making a great first impression!
S = Smile
O = Open Body Language (open arms vs. closed arms)
F = Forward Leaning
T = Touch Appropriately (arm, shoulder, back, elbow)
E = Eye Contact (try to look at the person's face about 60% of the time)
N = Nodding (don't "stonewall" the person. Be engaged and nod, to tell the person subliminally that you agree with & like them)
U = Undivided Attention (give your date your undivided attention)
P = Positive (check all baggage at home! Bring your most positive self to the date)
The Dating Mistakes You Might be Making
Mistake #1: Not Making Dating a Priority Finding love is a process, and requires commitment (including time, money and effort!). We spend more time on email, running errands, hanging out with friends, at the gym, house shopping, whatever - and think "if it's not meant to be, it won't happen." If you're serious about dating and finding that special someone, you need to start making a priority in your life.
Mistake #2: Believing that Online Dating isn't for You!
The U.S. Census Bureau stated that there are 100 million singles over the age of 18, and at any given time, 20-40 million are dating online. If all of them are online, why aren't you!? Think about it...why is meeting someone in a bar better than meeting them online? At least online, you can see what they say about themselves (when they're not drunk...).
Mistake #3: Having a Poor Online Image
Good photos make all the difference in the world when determining your online success. Keep in mind the following when choosing a photo to post to your dating profile:
- Professional, natural photos are best, and something we do daily in our studio.
- Opening photo - An excellent, smiling, well lit photograph, looking at the camera!
- For back-up shots, good 1/2 body and full body shots
- Brighter, monochromatic clothing is best (not neons, but bright blues, greens, plums, pinks, reds)
- You should be the only one in your photo (no pets either!). Other people will take the focus off of YOU!
Mistake #4: Women - Bringing Your Inner CEO to the Date
Women have it tough! We take on a certain demeanor to succeed in a man's business world. Yet, that behavior works against us in the dating world - where many men want to date feminine women. Leave your Inner CEO back at the office ? and bring to the fun, softer side of you to the date! Men battle all day at work, and are looking for a nice, fun woman - a soft place to land after work - not someone else to battle with.
Mistake #5: Men - Not "Manning" Up for the Date
Men have it tough too - they're given mixed messages about what women want (do they want us to open doors, pull out chairs or don't they?!). Many women like masculine men that make us feel safe. Plan the date, bring back the chivalry, dress to impress, and pay for the date. Mistake #6: Too Much Texting!
Textual relationships can become SEXUAL too quickly. Texting leads to a false sense of intimacy and things go sideways quickly.
Mistake #7: Going into the Date Negatively
Automatically assume you're not going to like your date, or that your date won't like you. Stop trying to find a way to screen people OUT and focus on screening them IN!
About Bela Gandhi
Bela Gandhi is the founder of Smart Dating Academy, a dating coaching service that provides busy professionals with coaching, image consulting, personal shopping, professional photography and online dating consulting. Her services are responsible for many happy couples nationwide. She has been featured as a dating and relationship expert for Windy City Live, the Chicago Tribune and Today's Chicago Woman, among many others. She has been called "The Fairy Godmother of Dating" by the Huffington Post." Bela resides in Chicago, and has been happily married for 14 years with 2 children!