Day: May 29, 2012

How Much Of An Age Gap Is Too Much When Dating?

At Linx, we really don’t match young clients with “old” clients, although there are a couple of examples like this. Historically a lot of matchmakers will focus on older men and matching them to their bevy of young women. Huge age gaps can happen like 20 to 35 years plus in difference. Is that a bad thing? For many, age is just a number and relative in the grand scheme of life. If chemistry is there, why should age be part of the debate of being together or not?

Most of our successful matched couples tend to be less than 10 years apart in age. There’s more in common, more similar life experience, pop culture, music, politics, the list goes on. Creating a strong foundation is what we specialize in at Linx and a lot of that comes from getting to know each client during their interviews with us. So many people crave someone who is going to “get” them and much of this comes from shared experiences in life- education, similar family background, occupation, etc.

Society, depending on culture and location can either turn the other way when age differences are so apart, embrace it, or confront it. I’d be curious to hear your take on how much is too much when its comes to the age gap and dating.

I once dated someone 30 plus years older. It definitely did not go over well with my father. He absolutely would not tolerate another minute of it. My mom thought the guy I was dating was super cool and interesting- he was- but I had to call it quits because it just became plain awkward and uncomfortable the more I thought about it. When my father called into question this situation, it shed light on (at least for me) how strange others might perceive it as well. I guess I grew uneasy with the whole thing too.

A lot of people would have stood their ground, declaring no one can get in the way of true love. Good thing for me, this wasn’t “a love”, instead a really interesting guy to date at a time in my life when exploring these things was what I needed.

Sometimes we need to do something out-of-the box, a little naughty, against the grain, and just do it for our OWN experience. Sure I knew it was definitely different when I first accepted a date from him. It felt exhilarating, sassy, unconventional, and school girl-ish. The month or so of dating him was a grand time; old school courtship, flowers, champagne, gifts, lovely meals, and being driven home. There is something to what it means to be a gentleman and be treated like a lady. Although he wasn’t for me, it was a lot of fun!

Zee Creep Who Knows A Little Too Much

We’ve all been there, I’m pretty sure of it. On a first date where that guy or that girl aka “zee creep who knows a little too much” has done their due diligence on you thanks to the world wide web, or simply put zee internet.

I‘ll admit, when I was out there dating, it was so the temping to pull up what seemed for some of these guys to be archive, after archive, of pure fabulous deliciousness DATA. I wasn’t one of those who mentioned these things on my dates, ok maybe once or twice, but more “that girl” who knew a fair amount about him and sort of nodded my head as she shared about growing up in the south, attending so and so school, and getting this first job at fill in the blank– simply cause I already knew. Geez! So I learned over the years that maybe that isn’t such a great thing to do after all and take pleasure in knowing less.

I tell my clients to not Google one another and definitely don’t FB your dates. I could write countless blog posts about it but a little mystery when dating is a really good thing and important. Case in point, why we don’t give last names anymore and try to keep much of the actual introduction totally private, under the mantra of less is more. 

Too much information exists for people to read about who they are going out with. Some people happen to be really good about not having an “identity” on the internet and others can’t help it. Either the nature of their job, tags in photo sharing sights, the list goes on. Try not Googling your date ahead of time and keeping the experience to be as bling date as it can get. Maybe you will feel more nerves walking into the date with less information. On the other hand, maybe it’s best that you don’t know everything out there, including the photos of his or her ex smothered all over FB.

Dating is a Skill

We do a lot of date coaching at Linx. This week I am coaching a young tech exec who has it all going on. He lacks long term relationship experience and as a result,  he second guesses himself.

 Dating is a skill.  Even the most experienced daters need practice, and practice makes perfect.  A lot of people dread the idea of going out on dates- what to say, what to wear, what if there is an awkward silence, what if within 5 minutes you know that he isn’t for you?!? Instead of panicking, we teach our students and clients to  look forward to dating, seeing it as an enjoyable and fun experience through a wide range of techniques held in the privacy of our offices.

One technique is about developing sound bytes for dates.  Sound bytes are short, colorful, positive “clips” about yourself that you can share on dates – it can makes things more fun and effortless.

The key is to inject PASSION each time you use your sound byte on a date.  One sound byte for anyone reading this is to come up with a colorful and short clip about your relationship history. Out of a 10 year relationship that went sour?  Dating after divorce?  Perhaps not had a long-term relationship in years?

Everyone of us has a story and the way you spin it adds zest, color, and excitement on your date. Why dwell on the negativity of why it didn’t work? Instead, I want each of you to think of one of the major reasons why you ended up with that person. He was so smart or she was seriously the most caring girl ever! 

When asked about your last relationship, press “play” in your head as you are about to use your relationship history sound byte. Keep it SIMPLE and SHORT.

Then the KEY is to bring it back in the moment, focusing on who you are out with.

Watch exactly how I would do it….

Him, “When was your last relationship?”

Me, “My last relationship was around 2 years ago, it lasted about 6 months. The thing that attracted me to him was he was really smart. It’s kinda hard to find those people who are seriously wicked smart. I think that’s why I’m actually really excited to get to know you tonight! Mike said you are a NYT crossword champ ;)” 

Him (secretly in his head), I think I am seriously in love with this girl stroking my ego….ahhh.

See how easy that is? Why would you elaborate about how he cheated, how she failed to tell you about her serious debt, how she this, how he  that?  No one wants to hear this. I repeat NO ONE.

If you feel you are one of those TMI (too much information) types on dates, I implore you to get a rubber band. That’s correct a rubber band. Wear it on your wrist and SNAP yourself if you fall into your bad habits when on your dates.

Him, “Do tell me about your last significant relationship.” 

Me, “Oh goodness, where to start! Well, it all went downhill one day when….”

SNAP the freakin rubber band already. It hurts right?

Good, that’s what I thought!  A reminder to keep it simple and to the point in the early stages of dating. Although your date might be smiling out of politeness, one one know what he or she is thinking.

Why not increase your chances of finding love by preparing yourself. Developing a sound byte for your relationship history is just one aspect we focus on here at Linx. Ask us your date questions any time!