Q. I’ve been single for 3 years. How can I make sure I don’t come across as being desperate to meet someone?
A. You need to keep things slow and take your time. Desperate singles will typically feel anxious and uncomfortable with dating, and want to meet someone ASAP. This leads to bad judgments and pushing too hard when they meet someone (e.g. texting/ringing too often, wanting to spend too much time with them, losing their own interests and friends, pushing to meet their friends and family, having sex too quickly). Instead, be selective and patient and take your time. Have fun and let things evolve naturally.
Q. I seem to get knocked back time and time again. I am 47 with a 6 year old son whom I have 100% of the time. I have amazing supportive parents who help me. I’m attractive, have a good career, own my own home and I’m happy and secure. I just don’t understand. Any advice would be appreciated.
A. Sounds like you’re a in a perfect position to meet someone special. This is simply about you sticking with it and meeting as many different types as possible. Freshen up your online dating profile and use a new photo, join some local groups, and get outside your comfort zone. It’s going to happen – you just need to stay in the game and be ready to leap when the right one comes along. It’s a numbers game and you need to continue to sift through the bad to get to the good.
Q. I’m new to dating online. What should I do when a man sends me a message, but I can tell from his profile that I’m just not interested? Is it best not to reply? I don’t want to be rude or hurt anyone’s feelings.
A. I think it’s respectful to answer back politely and gently turn them down. It might be that you say ‘Thanks for the interest but I’m looking for something different’, or ‘I appreciate you making contact but it’s not quite the fit I’m looking for.’ As long as you consider their feelings in your response, you allow them to move on to someone else without feeling dejected.
Q. I have a real problem with coming on too strong when I like someone. I see it as a way to let them know I’m genuine, and not a player. I’m a 45 year old male. My dates are getting quicker and quicker! How can I fix this?
A. Do the opposite. What you’ve realized is that coming on too strong is holding you back. It doesn’t work because your dates aren’t turning into long-term relationships. So change it up. Do everything that you don’t normally do. Reduce your texts/ phone calls, only catch-up for 2 dates per week, spend more time with your friends separately, never talk about the future or your feelings early on, and let it develop slowly and naturally.
Q. I’ve been on a few dates with a lovely man. We have great chemistry. I admire him for his values, intelligence and wit, plus he is good looking. However, I don’t feel that physical spark. Is there a chance that that will develop later on or must one feel that from the very first date?
A. Yes – the physical spark between you may develop over time and you don’t need to feel this immediately. So I would give this guy a few more opportunities to see if you develop some sexual chemistry. If after a month of dating however, you’re still not feeling it then you’re probably best to call it a day and turn your attention to someone who really spins your wheels.
Q. When is an age gap between two people who are dating too big? Do we risk losing an opportunity to find true love by being too restrictive on age? Isn’t age just a number and isn’t it more important to find a chemistry that works and will last?
A. The age gap is an issue only if you say it’s an issue. Some people want a partner who is in the same ballpark as them, while others are happy to fall in love with people who are 20 years their junior or senior. The age gap isn’t the important thing – it’s how you both handle it that will make or break you. If there’s a big age gap – you need to be clear about your expectations around your commitment levels and what you want, or don’t want, in the future. Also, be open about how you’re going to handle different sets of friends, family expectations, financial differences and health, fitness and lifestyle needs. If you can get on the same page about this – then the age gap won’t matter.
Q. I’ve just gotten out of a relationship and I’m finding it hard to trust people again. How should I go about learning to trust new dates and potential partners?
A. The best way to do this is to dissect your past relationship and understand what happened and learn from this. Once you can see the big picture – then you’ll realize that not all people will act and treat you badly, and that new dates can be trustworthy. To help you out – sit down with a friend and answer the following – ‘why was he/ she wrong for me?’; ‘what do I want to be different in my next partner?’; ‘why am I so good at relationships?’. This should give you a positive mindset that allows you to trust again and gives your new date a chance to get close to you.
Q. I have trouble saying to someone I’ve been on a date with that I’m not interested in a second date. What’s the best way to express this in a positive way that doesn’t cause offence or ill-feeling?
A. I think most people struggle with this one. We don’t want to crush someone’s feelings, but we also don’t want to lead them on. The best way to let them down gently is to say ‘Thanks for the date, I loved it, but I’m not feeling the chemistry so I’m going to leave it there’, or ‘I really enjoyed catching up with you, but it’s not quite the fit I’m looking for’. Be gentle and respectful.
Q. I need your help. I’ve been single for 17 years. The ones I like aren’t interested in me, and they ones who do like me, I’m not interested in! Can you please give me some tips on how to overcome this? I’m no good at the dating game.
A. If you want different you have to do different. I would enlist the help of a close friend and sit down with them and completely overhaul your online dating profile. Change up the photos and get them to help you write a new different profile. Do some research and look at the way people present themselves online and make changes. You sound stale and frustrated with your dating approach – so let’s really freshen things up for 2016!
Q. How can I avoid the ones who are just after a one-night stand? What are some tell-tale signs that I should look out for?
A. It’s pretty easy to filter out the players from the stayers. The ones that just want one night stands will do the following:
- Put pressure on you to sleep with them or go back to their house
- Talk immediately about sex or their sexual fantasies
- Put pressure on you to sleep with them or go back to their house
- Invade your personal space and start touching you
- Have a history of playing the field and cheating
- Flirt with you and everyone else in the bar or club
- Avoid discussing their feelings or anything serious
- Have no interest in making a follow-up date
- Tell you that they’re ‘not looking for commitment’, ‘they’re bad at relationships’, ‘they don’t want anything serious’, etc.
The quickest way to get rid of a player is to simply say to them up front that you like to wait 6 weeks before you sleep with anyone new. That will get them running to the hills!
Our next round of answers will be published in early February. To ask a question of your own, join FindSomeone’s Bootcamp for Better Dating – a free week by week programme written by relationship expert John Aiken and delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to findsomeone.co.nz any time between January and April of 2016 to get started!
John Aiken, Findsomeone’s dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit TV 3 show Married At First Sight. He is a best selling author, appears regularly on TV, radio and in magazines, runs a clinical psychology private practice in Sydney, is a sought after speaker, and offers intensive couples retreats. (www.johnaiken.com.au)