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Q: I just had a great couple of dates with a new match.  How do I keep the spark alive while practicing social distancing?

A: All over the world people are showcasing their adaptability, making the best of a challenging situation and creating new ways to connect!  It's important that you don't lose the spark of a new romance, so here are a few tips:

Dial them up. Before texting and social media, new couples would talk for hours on the telephone. Sometimes we forget how hearing tone and inflection can add so much depth and greater understanding to how we communicate. 

Add a little tech. Get camera-ready and have a virtual date on your computer. Free, downloadable applications like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Houseparty make it possible to get "face-time" while maintaining a social distance. Do the same things you'd do on a regular date: dress up, arrive on time, and to keep things social, BYOB. Pro Tip: make sure your camera angle is straight-on and flattering, and make sure you have ample lighting.

Stay Playful.  Engage with your date and perhaps learn a little bit about them by suggesting an online game. Some apps, such as Words With Friends or Trivia Crack, will let you play at your convenience so you can keep a game going for days.  It's a fun way to stay connected!

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: What are the top characteristics people are seeking in a partner?

A: This question comes up a lot and there are 5 qualities that I hear about from clients time and time again.

Be Positive. A happy, upbeat partner who sees the glass as half full is perhaps the #1 quality singles are seeking. Everyone has challenging moments but adopting a positive attitude in how you approach most situations makes you very attractive to the opposite sex.

Get Going. "Active and fun" is another descriptor I hear a lot.  Singles are looking for someone who has enjoyable hobbies and interests. Looking for something new? Sports like golf or tennis have the added bonus of being group activities you could share. Other ideas could be to take a cooking class together or attend a wine tasting.

Know Thyself.  Clients appreciate a partner who has a strong sense of self. Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses can make you a better partner! If you feel you could use some assistance in this, our dating coaches can play a big role in self-discovery during your It's Just Lunch membership.

Open Up. Singles list "emotionally available" as a top trait. Working through old baggage and approaching your dating experience with an open and clear heart will not only help you, but make you more attractive to others!

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker Heather Gair.

Q: Is business casual the best way to dress for a first date?

Q: How do I meet an honest; fun loving man?

A: The ideal first date dress code is smart casual. Smart casual is similar to business casual with one main difference. The main difference is with business casual you wear slacks, khakis, or chinos with a blazer and button-down. Smart casual, you wear jeans with a blazer and button-down. Smart casual shows that you are putting effort in for the first date in a less business-formal way - remember your outcome is to make a great first impression, and have fun!

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker, Dating & Style Coach Brandan Rader.

A: You are in the right place! IJL clients are serious about finding love. As far as meeting someone who you feel is an honest, and fun loving... What I have found to be the easiest, quickest way to finding the relationship you desire is to put that same energy out into the dating world. Show up to each date, with honesty and a fun loving attitude and you can’t lose. If you are finding it hard to trust, keep the first handful of dates adventurous and creative in order to allow enough time to learn about someone. If someone you are interested in is not matching your effort in connection then I would part ways and keep yourself open for a better fit. 

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: How do you know if person is honest?

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Q: I’m in my early 50’s and it’s been over 15 years since I’ve been on a date. Do you have any tips for getting back in the game?  

A:  You are not alone in feeling that modern dating might be somewhat different.  Remember, all you are doing is meeting someone new.

You are probably a better dater because you have not yet established bad dating habits. So seek to understand what is unique, interesting, special about the person you are sitting with. Share your personality through fun storytelling, music, travel, great books and interests.

If you have a good time, stands to reason it would be fun again!

Most importantly, always be transparent. Yes I am interested or no, I am looking for a different connection. This is mature dating. Let the seriousness of choosing a partner up to IJL - you just have fun! 

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: I'm a 66 years young. How would I engage in general conversation with a gentleman?

A:  One way to gauge honesty is to build trust in a relationship. Building trust is a mutual activity engaged in small moments over the course of time. People are the most honest version of themselves when they feel safe to share who they are and what they want. 

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: What are some ways, aside from yet another video chat, that we could get to know each other?

A:  There are so many ways that you can get to know someone, even over video chat! Just about everything has a “virtual” option right now – you could do a virtual cooking class and cook together, or a virtual museum tour or a concert! The two of you could follow along to a painting tutorial and enjoy each other’s company while you sip your favorite drink and paint!  You can even play games or start a new hobby together, the opportunities are the same as a face-to-face date, you just have to get a little creative!

This answer was contributed by IJL Select Matchmaking team.

Q: How do we date during a pandemic?

A:  Dating during pandemic is breeding a ton of creativity. First off, IJL is offering a virtual dating experience, until we can get back to in person dates. 

 

Remember, chatting for hours getting to know someone on the phone! Let’s bring it back! 

 

Zoom dates are a really fun way to meet someone, get creative with your questioning or maybe a name that tune challenge, even a show and tell with meaningful items around your house. 

People are staying connected with Words with Friends games. A great date idea might be to order the same food from a restaurant you bot like, then when you are able make that your first date spot! 

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: No one seems ready for commitment, how can I tell early on without sounding desperate?

A:  Most people that I work with feel like they have put a lot of effort into closure on past relationships, improving social connections, and ultimately being “ready” to be in a committed relationship. Sometimes it can feel harder at this point because you are so clear on what you are looking for it’s almost as though the universe is serving you up everything but.
Patience is key at this point in the dating world. Trust that you are “ready” to pick a good partner for life long commitment now focus on enjoying the process of how this special person comes into your life. Envision how your love story will start.

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

I feel like my clients in their sixties have so much success with us! Aging brings us tools that translate beautifully into the dating world. Dating is all about energy and conversation. I like asking fun questions like “Are you a Mountain’s, beaches, city, farm or desert person?”, “Have you read anything great lately?”, “ what was your first rock concert?” 

 

Here is my favorite blog for great questions..now start also thinking about how you are going to answer, sharing fun stories that highlight your personality.  

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton. 

Q: I feel so ready to find someone, why is it not happening?

A:  Most people that I work with feel like they have put a lot of effort into closure on past relationships, improving social connections, and ultimately being “ready” to be in a committed relationship. Sometimes it can feel harder at this point because you are so clear on what you are looking for it’s almost as though the universe is serving you up everything but.
Patience is key at this point in the dating world. Trust that you are “ready” to pick a good partner for life long commitment now focus on enjoying the process of how this special person comes into your life. Envision how your love story will start.

This answer was contributed by Matchmaker and Dating Coach Jolene Beaton.