July 07, 2018



Tips and insights from Dating Coach Irene


The rules of the dating game have changed for everyone. And that’s no news. Throughout the years I have conducted regular dating workshops and seminars to help singles better understand dating, so they can take the best course to find their match.

If you're single, in your fifties, and coming out of a relationship that lasted many years, you may wonder if this is the same world it was when you were dating in your twenties. If you’re in your thirties or forties and have been dating on and off for a while, you must have noticed how difficult this game has become in the last few years. And if you're in your twenties perhaps you date by new rules, but are you aware of the old roles?

The new power that modern society has yielded to women and the equal opportunities that have been opened to them have helped a lot of women make a tremendous progress in their professional life. But many women are bewildered by the numerous possibilities they now face to exercise their emerging confidence, independence and assertiveness. In their social life, and especially in their relationships with men, many women feel confused and unsatisfied.

Men, traditionally the pursuers, are perplexed, too. In today’s world courtship is disgraced and women are often the pursuers. Men in the new dating game feel more like the hunted than the hunters, and at the mercy of a new genre of super-women they don’t know how to handle. Today’s men don’t understand what is expected of them, and therefore they are finding the ritual of dating confusing and to some degree threatening. Many believe that they have become more mature about dating than some women are.

What we have been witnessing in the last few decades, which is only now becoming evident, can be best defined as an increasing confusion in gender role preferences. In the 90’s and 2000’s, I talked about confusion in gender role perception, following the empowerment of women. But in the last decade as confusion has deepened due to the ever-growing uncertainty about dating roles, single people are not even sure what their own preference is. In dating, a lot of women show drive and initiative (traditionally identified as male behaviour), and as a result, a lot of men have become passive. But these practices do not prove that they are happy with these preferences.

The confusion in these preferences is also expressed in our language. The term dating in this context used to describe a stage in a relationship where two people were getting to know each other with the goal of establishing whether apart from chemistry there was also compatibility. They were dating exclusively, hoping to tie the knot down the road. In the days where marriage and family were the desired outcome of dating, the process of dating was clear to both genders, and each gender knew what to expect.

Today, the word dating itself is ambiguous. You can date someone “seriously” and you can “just date” … If you date “seriously” you are usually (but not always) seeing someone (not necessarily exclusively) with the goal of finding out whether they could be a good partner eventually. If you “just date”, you could be seeing several people simultaneously, or you are dating for fun, but do not wish to be in a committed relationship. People perceive dating in more ways than the above, which obviously adds to the confusion. In a study I conducted in the early 2000 I offered 6 definitions of dating to choose from, and although most people were divided between two or three options, each of the six options appealed to a certain number of people. Well, if people perceive dating so differently, how can they date successfully?!

Modern life has brought an overwhelming array of choices in every field of our life and left many people unable to take action because determining what constitutes a right choice, has become a tremendous challenge. In dating this means people will keep looking even though often they don’t really know what they’re looking for! Case in point: The Internet seems to offer an endless number of potential mates, so most people keep looking… Instead of focusing on finding, they focus on searching; instead of dating one person exclusively until they know if it works or not, they continuously go out on many simultaneous dates, unable to determine which one person could be the right one.

There are two main reasons why today’s single people can’t find their mates, but it all comes down to a deep sense of confusion they feel.

A. They are not sure if they want to remain single or not, or they want to enjoy both worlds; so, they oscillate between the two options intermittently.

B. If they do have an idea of what they want, they have no clue how to get it, because:

     a. They have not identified their gender roles preferences
     b. They don’t understand the dating process and therefore cannot use it properly to get what they             want. 

As a dating coach I work with clients to first help them define their relationships goals and preferences. I help them understand the big picture. I then guide them on how to find what they want within the context of their goals and preferences.

The changes in gender roles that we’re now witnessing are unlikely to revert to traditional patterns anytime soon, and therefore we will most probably need to make adjustments in our approach to courtship and relationships and update our dating skills. Like in the kingdom of animals, only those who adapt will survive. Our advantage as human beings is that we can mentally digest and understand the changes and we can take steps to rectify the situation, using resources that are available to us.

All Rights Reserved ®

Irene Yarkoni is the owner of The Single Option, a company catering for singles since 1995. In 2000 Irene has introduced in Canada Spin Dating and in 2002 Spin Dating Marathons. Since 2001 Irene has been coaching singles on how to find a mate. Her contact info is: Tel. (613) 596-6533, Email: Irene@CanadianSingles.com Web site: www.TheSingleOption.com

June 27, 2012

Are we really so picky, or... ?

"I know, I'm too picky..." a woman tells me with a sheepish and apologetic smile. She says she really wants to meet someone; it's just that she hasn't found the right one yet.

Most singles think that being picky is a positive trait since it sort of alludes to how worthy they are. They feel reasonably attractive; they are educated; they have good jobs, and they have some good friends. Now they hope to meet someone who is in a similar life situation.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

The problem is that if you tell yourself that you're alone because you're picky, you may be tempted to believe that anytime you do decide to be less picky, you will be easily able to find the right person and embark on your desired relationship.

The truth is that if you are used to disqualifying people after one hour dates, or screening out hundreds of profiles, it's unlikely that you can change this pattern until you investigate why you are doing this; why you are so picky.

If you are not interested in making efforts to understand the deeper motives for your pickiness, chances are you'll just keep looking, focusing on searching rather than on finding. And you will remain single for many more years...

If you're in your 20's and it is difficult for you to find your partner, what will happen at 35? or at 45? The longer people are single, the harder it is for them to get involved with someone and be in a relationship. And the longer you're not dating the harder it will be for you to get back in the dating scene. Seeking approval from family and friends also plays a major role in waiting for THE one. The longer you wait the more conscientious you will become about how your friends and family will accept your mate after all these years of waiting for the perfect one.

Sometimes being picky hides a real anxiety of intimacy, rooted in childhood patterns and experiences. Many people may actually be very successful on first dates, where the focus is more on lighter, and fun interaction. But as they proceed along the dating stages, where more trust, intimacy and commitment are expected, they often get cold feet and run away. The explanation often given why things didn't work is that the other person was not good enough, or attractive enough, or loving enough, or some other enough. But often the real reason is that they themselves were afraid of not being enough for the other person. After all it is quite scary to stand there naked - body and soul - and tell the other person: that's me.

Another reason why people may be picky is because they are are afraid of making a mistake and suffer the consequences for years to come. In a consumer society we are used to getting exactly what we want, and exchange easily if, for any reason, we don't like it anymore. Unfortunately most singles have adopted this consumer's attitude in dating. And since they worry about how easy it may be to "exchange the goods", and especially at which cost, they increasingly give up on dating altogether. The fear of making a mistake makes people hesitant and indecisive. So they prefer not to make a decision (not to date / not to commit etc.).

If you tend to avoid going out on dates, or go out on too many dates, and you're using pickiness as an excuse for any of these, what you're really doing is sabotaging your chances of eventually connecting with someone and being in a happy relationship.

Courage is needed to face the and acknowledge our vulnerability when we're opening up to a new partner. If you are aware of your needs from a partner, and are authentic in conveying them, chances are you will be able to create a close connection with someone.

And instead of talking about your pickiness, and what doesn't work, which sets the mood for more and more unsuccessful dates and matches, adopt a new language and start talking about how you are finding that special person. People will more easily connect with you if you come forward with a positive attitude, that's warm and welcoming. Try that for a month!

For more guidance on dating choices please check http://thesingleoption.com/datingcoach.html

May 31, 2012

About Confidence...

Confidence is what attracts women to men (and to be honest - men to women too). But you know how difficult it is to fake confidence... (and I'm not saying you shouldn't try). What works 100% of the times is when you are in a situation where you naturally have confidence. I call it: an opportunity to shine.

For example, you lived in Portugal, and you just joined a travel oriented group. You can offer to speak about Portugal at an upcoming meeting. Your enthusiasm will be interpreted as confidence and authenticity, and you will be more attractive to the audience (some of which may be women). Or, on a date for example, you could go to a Portuguese restaurant where you could confidently choose from the menu.

Natural confidence, that's based on your passion to do something, is really what most people are attracted to. Something in you, that you love doing, or know how to do well, appeals to them. Find what your areas/pursuits of confidence are and start using them. There's a double benefit here: the first is you learn to love who you are and what you do, and the second - you connect with others through it.

You may doubt that you have a talent or a skill that may attract others, but this could be because you have not realized it in yourself yet. Look for and become aware of those qualities and skills in you that you excelled in when you were at school for example. Think about something you have been drawn to learn as a teenager. Or an activity you pursued in your twenties. Focus on the things you are good at, appreciate these things, and develop them so they become your opportunities to shine!

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