Summertime is the on the horizon, and if you are single, the idea of finding companionship might be top of mind. But what’s your plan of action?
Recently I spoke with Texas Dating Coaches – Kim Tucker, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Dallas and Shaina Singh, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker based in Austin – to gather some tips on the ins and outs to finding a partner. Check out our Q&A below where we talk tips to finding love, the topic of opposites attracting, and the keys to keeping a relationship fun and exciting.
Pop Goes the City: What tips would you give men and women looking to find love this summer?
Kim: The number one tip I would give men and women looking to find love this summer is to be active and to be yourself. Love isn’t going to come knocking at your door. You need to get out there; volunteer, attend church events, participate in local community functions, join a recreational sport, sign up for online dating, and go to new places with friends. The more you put yourself out there doing things that you enjoy you automatically start meeting people who have similar interests.
Shaina: Look for potential partners and dates in unusual places. You never know where you might find love. The bar scenes can get old and online dating can get overwhelming if that is the only thing a person is doing.
Also, we tend to be very set on the type of person we want to date. It can be physical characteristics, socioeconomic, social status, employment, etc. I always ask clients what they look for in a partner and challenge them to ask themselves if their criteria is making them miss out in any way. I think a certain criterion is really helpful, however, if you often find that people do not meet your standards, even the most amazing people, then I do encourage you to challenge your list of things you want in a partner.
PGTC: Where would you say most potential partners are meeting – online or in person?
K: In my dating coach practice, I find that both men and women are equally finding love and dates online with dating sites and in person through friends, family, or happenstance. We live in a hustle bustle world, so online dating sites can make the means to meeting someone easier because you have access 24/7. However, you still need to make time to set up meet and greets, dates, etc. Although online dating is convenient, it’s not for everyone. Some of the best matchmaking experiences come from your friends or family hooking you up. They know you and your personality and the last thing they want is for you to get hurt. So you can trust them and who they want you to meet.
S: I often hear from people who meeting through friends has been successful for them. Your friends know you well, they know who will be a good fit for you. Let them set you up. This doesn’t necessarily mean that online dating is not successful for people. Just know what you are looking for specifically and then join a site that will cater to your needs. I have heard from clients that they have met through friends, through work, through online dating, in college, at a party, even at an airport waiting to scan their boarding pass!!
PGTC: Not everyone is into the online dating scene…
K: We live in a city (Dallas) filled with people, so there are potentially opportunities to meet someone daily. When you are looking to meet someone in person, the most important thing is that you look up and make eye contact. If you’re stuck in your bubble, and your head is in the sand, rarely anything changes.
S: I totally get it! Online dating is not for everyone. It can sometimes leave one feeling defeated, overwhelmed with unsolicited advances, not to mention the ever famous and uninvited “private” photos. Ask your friends to set you up, join social clubs, join a hobby group, join an activity group, etc. Then, don’t forget to have fun and be proud of your confident, happy self because nothing is more attractive to a potential partner than seeing a happy and confident person.
PGTC: Do opposites really attract?
K: Well, I think it depends on what you’re opposite in. I think that opposites can attract if each person is open-minded, respectful, considerate of the other, honest, and allow themselves to be emotionally vulnerable within the relationship. The most important thing for a healthy relationship is balance, trust, communication, and quality time with one another. With that said, each person has their own deal breakers. I believe when dating, it’s important to know what your must haves and your deal breakers are.
S: When it comes to matters of the heart, I would say that it is complicated. Studies have shown that birds of a feather romantically flock together. For example, one study found that people of similar education level tend to connect.
Here is what I think really works when it comes to happiness in relationships – happy partners may not always have the same character, however, they have the best understanding of their differences.
PGTC: What can people do to keep their relationship fun and exciting?
K: Trying new things together. Talk about your interests, travel destinations, and adventure seeking activities. Even act like a kid again. Go play mini golf, video games, hike, dance, cook together. Don’t get stuck in the day-to-day. Make time for each other. Ask questions to get to know the person, and then schedule dates around those things. Quality time with your significant other is valuable.
S: Here are some things that I have seen my clients do that really keeps their relationship fun and thriving – set goals together, discover new things together, try new things in the bedroom, surprise each other (in a good way), go on dates, give gifts, use words of affirmation, discuss your hopes and dreams, ask meaningful questions, and greet each other with excitement.
Kim Tucker is a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Dallas and Shaina Singh is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker based in Austin, Texas. Texas Dating Coaches in their brainchild. Kim serves the North Texas region and Shaina serves Central Texas. Connect with them at http://www.kimkares.org and http://www.fiveonetwocounseling.com.