Are Cell Phones Ruining Your Love Life?

Are our “communication devices” helping single love
seekers connect? Or are they getting in our way?

Well….the answer is….Both. Tips here on how to use ‘em or
lose ‘em in dating.

Lots of comments in my email box this weekend about how these handy and
helpful devices are actually keeping men and women from communicating and
connecting with each other. Puzzling, isn’t it? Examples…..

Candice got bent out of shape because Jonathan texted her when she would have
preferred to hear his voice. She thinks texting is lame and rude….

Sam was really jazzed to meet Caroline and called her to ask her out for
dinner and instead of reaching her or a recording of her sweet, welcoming voice
he got the “voice mail has not been set up” roadblock.

Traffic was keeping Mark from being his typically punctual self for Friday’s
first date with Jennifer. Wisely, he had her cell number with him, but when he
called it to let her know he’d be late the call went to voice mail (the darn
Crackberry didn’t ring for some reason) and she sat there at the cafe for 30
minutes….stewing….getting more anxious by the moment. She didn’t think to check
her messages.

I sent Gloria out on a flirting expedition on Saturday morning to practice
smiling and holding eye contact with the adorable men in her neighborhood and
she was defeated by the competition — all the cute boys’ eyes were locked in on
their iphones and she couldn’t catch attention from….anyone.

Catherine was thoroughly excited about her second date with Mike and it was
beautifully orchestrated — the perfect al fresco dining experience overlooking
the yachts in Marina Del Rey. She won’t get a third date. Wanna know why? She
had her iphone on the table all evening and every time it buzzed she couldn’t
resist; she had to check it. It buzzed…a lot… The impression Mike took away?
She’s not really interested in him. Her email box is more important to her than
finding a meaningful relationship with a man — a man who is right there with
her, courting her, ready and eager to connect with her. She missed her chance to
develop relationship with this man, who is…was….a really fitting and motivated
suitor. Does this make your friendly neighborhood matchmaker a little bit sad?
Yeah….it really does.

The worst part is, folks, she IS interested in him and she’s just fallen into
the trap that our communication devices have become for us.

Tips for how to keep your cell phone from ruining your love

Turn it off. Completely. When you are on a date, turn the darned thing off
altogether. Got kids? Got work challenges? Me too. Check in with those pesky
interruptors just before your date (or any important appointment) to make sure
they’re OK and let them know you’ll be out of touch for an hour or so. Create
these healthy boundaries with the special people in your life. 98% of these
oh-so-teasing calls, texts, and emails are not in any way urgent. Let them
go… with them later….. Give your date the present of your presence. Works
like magic. I promise.

Learn how to use your phone. Ask any teenager to help you figure out how to
set up you voice mail, check messages, retrieve your messages, send and receive
texts….if we’re going to have one of these “magical” devices we have a
responsibility (to ourselves and to the lovely people in our lives) to learn how
to use it.

Is your NAME in your voice mail greeting? Is it your voice speaking? It
should be. Otherwise how will Jack know he’s left his message with the right
Jill? Have you listened to your own voice mail greeting lately? Do you sound
cold or annoyed? I surely hope not!

Most importantly, cut each other some slack. Accept the reality that each of
us has our preferred methods of giving and receiving communication. Practice
being flexible and understanding with each other. Let people know what works for
you. Do you like text messages? Do you need to hear a real live voice? If the
buzzing cell phone on the dinner table is bugging you, can you find a way to
communicate what you need and want, instead of just getting grumpy about it?

Carol did it this way — After she lost Bruce’s attention to his iPhone
several times during the first 10 minutes of their date, she playfully swatted
it (like a fly) and he responded instantly by turning the silly thing off. Smart
move, Bruce! The rest of the date went really well and Bruce and Carol will be
meeting again for dinner…tonight…at her place. YAY! Humanity wins over
machinery. I love it.

Got tips to share about how we can keep our cell phones from running and
ruining our lives? Send them on to me.

Does height really matter?

Los Angeles Matchmaker, Julie Ferman. CEO of Cupids CoachMy Client, Diana asked me today if each of the 1144 women I’ve married off is partnered with a “taller” man.  Here’s my response.  If you’ve been wrestling with the  Height Issue, or if you’ve been operating in a hard and fast way about it…I’d say…take another look.

Hubby Gil and I have been bringing couples together since 1990, and we’ve seen lots and lots of happy pairings with people who have bent or stretched on their height preferences and in doing so…took home the prize.

This is the very reason why I push on The Height Issue — because I’ve seen so many couples surmount the obstacle.  In Diana’s case, she’s 5′8 and she’s been frustrated that the 5′10 and 5′11 men whom we’ve introduced to her thus far just don’t seem tall enough or big enough for her preferences.   She wants to “feel” feminine and protected by her guy, and she experiences that much moreso when she’s with a man who’s at least a six footer.   Also she likes to wear heels, as many women do, and while I fully respect and understand and support her preferences, I don’t like to turn away her suitor who’s interested, attracted, jazzed to meet her, and who meets all of her other critical criteria, short of…um…an inch or two.

The average height of an American male is 5′9.  And it’s a common preference for women of all shapes and sizes to want her partner to be a tall man.  I’m currently working proactively for a woman who’s 5′4 and another who’s a tiny 5′1 and they both tell me they much prefer a man who’s 6′ or taller.  So…as you might imagine, the super tall men are more “in demand” and typically have lots more women available to them from which to choose.  It’s harder to find these tall men,  and it’s also harder sometimes to get them to commit to one woman, as they’ve got so many options. Truly… Same goes for the men who are super successful — it’s just a matter of “romantic market value” unfortunately.

So I feel it’s my duty and responsibility while my client is here with me to help her learn about the benefits of stretching on secondary, less critical criteria. It’s always OK with me if the client chooses not to bend or stretch, as long as he or she knows that we’re doing our part to provide the most fitting introductions we’re capable of lining up, and also as long as our client is willing to engage with us in these coaching discussions, making an effort to really explore the issues and meet us half-way in giving those who are interested and attracted a real shot.

Here’s Candi’s story.  She’s a LOT like Diana. Candi and I were classmates in high school and later, in her 30’s, she became my matchmaking client in St. Louis. She’s 5′10, and was a size 8-10 — in good shape, but definitely a bigger girl.  At the time when she signed on with me, Candi was insistent that her guy be  at least 6′0 and a big man, clearly someone who’d “outweigh” her. Oh, and she also refused to date a guy who was balding or who had facial hair of any kind. These criteria all on top of her other requirements that he be well educated, successful, fun, and funny, and on go for marriage and having kids. Candi’s a nice looking girl, who always had a lot going for her, but she’s admittedly never been a Penelope Cruz or Cameron Diaz. It was a tough six months Candi and I spent searching together, with lots of extra coaching sessions and emails, and there were times when I thought she’d just walk away, thinking we just didn’t “get it” about who she is and the type of person she wanted to be with. But…we were childhood friends, so she hung in there with me, giving me and my (sometimes annoying) coaching and guidance the benefit of the doubt. 

Midstream Candi’s company transferred to Washington D.C. and was thrown into a new office where she worked with a consultant named Bruce on an all-consuming project. They worked late nights together for months, and in the process, they got really comfortable with each other. Whereas initially she didn’t think twice about Bruce as a romantic contender, they eased into a wonderful friendship, and then…one day…on yet another late night work session, their eyes locked in a way they hadn’t ever before.

I just read this month in our school Class Notes update that Bruce and Candi have been married for 15 years now, they’ve got two kids together and she’s a loving step-mom to his daughter from his prior marriage. They’re both political analysts and have what they call a “dream life” in Virginia together with their 3 kids, their dogs, and their co-mingled work projects. Bruce is what she calls “5′10 on a tall day” and after having lost most of his hair, he now shaves it all off and she loves the look. She even reports kinda liking the goatee he tends to sport in the wintertime for ski season.

It’s stories like Candi’s that cause me to err on the side of being the pushy matchmaker, as I don’t want to see my client being the girl on the sidelines years later, wondering where all of the “good” men are. I’ve got files and files full of women who will only date the tall guy, and so, so, so many of them are still single, years later.

So, if I’m just a tad bit annoying about this particular topic, this is why. I want each and every person who’s seeking loving relationship to have every opportunity to create it as a reality.  When evaluating your romantic prospects, just keep focusing on the three of four qualities or characteristics that truly matter to you personally, and if these critical elements do exist in your current prospect…well then by all means, spend some time together and see what you think, see how you feel. 

I’d love to hear from some of you who’ve also experienced love working quite nicely with someone who seemed “off type” for you initially.  Email me your stories.  I”m all ears.