When I talk to people about what’s missing from their busy everyday work+life fit, those who are currently single will often rank “dating” at the top of the list.
You can listen to the podcast of our conversation or read the transcript below. Happy Valentine’s Day and happy dating!
Cali: Welcome everybody, each week I like to introduce you to another one of the experts who share their wisdom in my new book “Tweak It.” This week we have a special treat. We not only have Thomas Edwards, the founder of The Professional Wingman who is the dating expert I interviewed for the book, but we are joined by his fiancée Laurie Davis, who is the founder of E-flirt Expert. Two dating experts who are going to help us finally figure out how to make dating part of our everyday busy work life fit. So welcome Thomas and Laurie.
Thomas: Thank You
Laurie: Good Evening, how are you?
Cali: I’m great. I’m going to have you both start off by telling us a little bit about your respective sites and areas of expertise and then we’ll get started.
Thomas: Ladies first.
Laurie: Thanks. My company E-Flirt Expert is an online dating consultancy and we work with people one on one by writing their profiles, helping them educating them on what to say in an email and all the way up to helping them manage their accounts when they don’t have the time to just tweak it and make it work. I’m also the author of a new book that just came out called “Love at First Click, the ultimate guide to online dating.”
Thomas: I’m Thomas Edwards, founder of the Professional Wingman and we are a social strategy consultant agency that helps people develop better social skills primarily by going out and giving them real time feedback on what’s preventing them from making the kind of relationships that they want in their lives.
Why is finding time to date so difficult today?
Cali: Together I think you both are an absolute wealth of knowledge and will help us to crack this nut. I’ve told you both and everybody who’s watching this can tell I have been out of the dating world for a long time. But I consistently hear from people that they feel like they really just don’t have the time to date. What do you think makes dating so difficult for people who are busy?
Thomas: I think it’s a lot of things, I mean we now live in a world of infinite choice where now you throw in online dating where – so now there’s so many ways you can actually meet someone, then you combine the idea that we are working more and more in our lives – 60 hours plus – then you combine the fact that we don’t actually – we’re not taught these things. You know, we’re taught to get a job, we’re taught to understand math and geography and how to drive, but we are never taught how to actually go out in the real world and make personal connections with people that we may have just met.
Laurie: And even the things that you were taught like your grandmother or mom, these little snidbits of relationship tidbits, you never learned how to date online definitely – your grandmother did not teach you how to write a profile.
Thomas: Yeah, so it’s just a combination of a lot of those things that make it – I’m not going to say difficult, but just overwhelming. I mean, I personally think dating can be easy if you have the right strategies but if you don’t know where to even begin, you are more likely to not even start.
Cali: That’s interesting because I think that gives people permission to not blame themselves. It’s like I can’t do it – and just to say – well you weren’t taught. So maybe find some resources that can help you out.
Thomas: There’s … that’s one side. I also think the other side is if you’re doing the same thing or the same strategies and getting the same results then you start to look at yourself as a reason to blame because you’re not making the necessary adjustments to improve your life or at least make a change that you can record as data so you can tweak it along the way to improve it so it just – it works both ways. It’s something that you have to actually put in an effort to do – but at the same time getting that knowledge and letting the strategies are also as important.
What are some small dating actions, or “tweaks,” people can take?
Cali: Ok, so help us out. Thomas you offered some terrific tips for getting started in the book, but what would both of you say one small thing that somebody could do true to your point A. learn how to date and B. take action.
Laurie: Really easy, especially with online dating there’s so many choices there’s so many sites there’s so many people on them it really overwhelms and the easiest thing to do is to just make it part of your routine, it’s a 20 minute thing that you do every day, it’s part of your online behavior – so read the Washington Post, check your dating site account, you message a couple of people, you are on to the next thing – so it’s just part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be some big overwhelming thing that you have to sit in front of the computer and do for three hours.
Cali: That’s good to know. And people get results – you’ve seen that?
Laurie: Yeah, actually when you set a measurable goal like that you get better results, so whether it’s a time limit or whether it’s a number of people you are going to message that’s what I find works best.
Cali: Thomas what do you think people should do?
Thomas: Ah, so when it comes to something that you can do, I like to think that people should focus more on their interests and hobbies as a way to meet people – so before you even walk out of your home or apartment wherever you live, do some research and check out events whether it’s on meetup.com or eventbrite.com, twitter, Facebook – wherever – find events that are going on that you are interested in whether it’s an art gallery opening, whether it’s a wine tasting, whether it’s a photography exhibit – whatever it is – let your hobbies and passions guide you to those people who share things in common with as it will be a natural ice breaker when you start a conversation. When it comes to action, personally I believe there’s no better action then actually – there’s no better action than taking action – just go out there and start meeting people. When it comes to social skills, it’s not a knowledge thing it’s more of a experiential thing and so you are only going to get better as you continue to expose yourself to a variety of different environments and as you continue to do that, you will actually desensitize yourself to the anxiety and nervousness that you would normally get, and so if you keep doing it the results will get better and better, you’ll become more and more comfortable, and you’ll start to see more and more success.
Cali: Let me just recap. Set a time limit – everyday commit to 20 minutes, which really does fit quite nicely in the tweak it practice because you could put that on your calendar for everyday 20 minutes to do your dating activities, then to find an activity – a meet up, an art gallery, gym, whatever it is that you are interested in and engage on common ground as a good ice breaker and then just do it – go out and just start meeting people and it will get easier and easier. Plus, you know what’s good about that is you are also doing something you like. So often time’s people say I don’t get to the gym or I love art but I never go to an art gallery, well you’re kind of getting a two-for then. Right? Dating and an activity.
Thomas: Yeah, and I think it’s easy when it comes to looking for an event you can easily look on a Monday and find out if there’s something going on during the week. So you only have to look once. Then when it comes to actually meeting people, the true key to actually being attractive is people seeing you having a good time- and the best chance to give yourself by having a good time is by doing things that you love.
Laurie: And if you’re more into doing things offline too, and you’re not sitting in front of a computer for the majority of the day, like some people are, you can download apps. So you could download an app that would tell you who in the vicinity is single, or you could just simply download an app for the site that you’re on so that you can be in connection on the go too.
Cali: Very good advice. So tell me now, how did you two meet?
Laurie: We met on Twitter.
Thomas: Of all things.
Examples of “tweak it” dating success
Cali: Social media – there you go. Give me a quick story of an example of somebody who did a small thing and they met somebody.
Thomas: Very interesting. Do you want to go first or do you want me to go…
Laurie: You go.
Thomas: Ok. So… one small tweak that I saw one of my client’s make was he was always so focused on going out to bars, going out to clubs to actually meet people and I asked him – well, how many hours a week do you actually spend out at the bars and clubs? And he would say – anywhere between 5-8 hours over the course of a weekend. So I told him – well, what about the other time? Like, you can definitely use that time to meet people as well. And he didn’t think that that was available to him. As if walking down the street he didn’t think it was possible to actually meet someone – so I said well listen, try it out – be aware of your environment – if you see someone you’d like to talk to as long as it’s appropriate – make your move and eventually he said that he actually met someone waiting for the train on the train platform going to work and within a few weeks they were dating.
Cali: That’s a small change – just changing your perception. That’s easy to do right? Good. Laurie, how about you do you have a good story of someone making a small change and met somebody?
Laurie: I do I do. Sometimes it’s also about who you are searching for… when you are on a dating site. So I had a client who changed her preferences and her outlook on who she was looking for and stopped searching for her same type –but broadened her search and met up with someone who she might otherwise not find – and they dated for 6 months – and she said quote “it was the most adult relationship that she had ever been in”
Cali: Ok so to expand your preferences.
Laurie: Yeah, and to look outside of your comfort zone on who you’re dating too. Not just when you are dating but who.
Cali: You two are terrific. I hope everybody visits your sites and that I’m going to hear less often that “I can’t find a date.” I think everybody who wants to find a date should be able to find one. Now, where can people find out more about you and your work?
Laurie: And I am @eflirtxpert.
Cali: And also you can go to the tweakittogether.com site and find a bonus tweak from Thomas Edwards, again he just gave terrific dating advice in the book and we have another bonus today with Laurie. Thank you both! Really appreciate it! And remember if you want to make what matters to you happen, just tweak it.
What are your simple, get-started tips for making dating part of your busy work+life fit?
- Buy the book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day (Center Street/Hachette)
- Join the TWEAK IT Together community www.tweakittogether.com
- Like our Facebook page
- Follow me @caliyost and @worklifefit on Twitter