Cristina and Andrea Morara are dating experts and own Stellar Hitch, a boutique matchmaking company catering to upscale professionals that incorporates dating coaching and image consulting in their matchmaking method.
Eight Things You Can Do to Improve Your Dating Life Now
There’s a reason why high season in matchmaking starts in September. People anticipate the pending holidays and nobody wants to go through it alone. The stress, expectations, frenetic pace, obligations, retail ruckus…OY! Of course spending the holidays with the one we love is simply delicious but I often wonder if people try too hard to create magic with the wrong person or Mr./ Ms. Right Now. It is a very vulnerable time of year for a lot of people that can foster social anxiety, family dysfunction, excessiveness and bad behavior. It’s also a very beautiful time when traditions and loved ones gather ‘round to make more sweet memories.
Being a matchmaker has tremendous rewards…and challenges. Everybody has a story and I always feel honored when people share their intimate details and difficulties with me. All I want to do is help and inspire them. Then there are those who seem to have it all figured out. They’re the “I’ve got it covered” clientele. They seem to know a lot about their strengths and very little about their challenges or blind spots. They “don’t need any advice and know how to date”; they just need a little more “access” to the right people according to them. Which is partly true, I’m sure. However the part that amazes me the most is that they’re not interested in modifying anything about themselves or their approach to dating even though they’re striking out left and right. “I’m just fine the way I am – it’s them” essentially is what they’re expressing. This is when I quote Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over (and over!) again and expecting a different result.
I grew up in an Italian Catholic family where the rules were strict but the food was amazing. My mother, who was born and raised outside of Venice, Italy always taught me the importance of having traditional values, strong morals, to respect my body and “never chase the boys”. As I got older, I began to think that her viewpoints were a bit antiquated and stale. But now that I’m in the business of matchmaking and working with singles, I realize how incredibly important the implications of her words were.
Often times we meet super cool women in their 30’s and 40’s who are attractive, have great careers and social lives and love to have fun. They work hard, play hard and are outgoing, spontaneous, adventure-driven women who are always ready for a good time. Men love these kind of women because they’re typically easy going and always up for anything, which means men can call them on a Thursday night at 6pm to see if they want to meet for a drink at 9pm. They’re usually game. I like to call them “GTG’s” (Good time girls). They’re great girls who are out in the dating field, enjoying themselves and squeezing the balls of life. Fearless and flirty, they can usually tie one on with the best of them. GTG’s live in the moment, do what pleases them and make no apologies for who they are. If they want to sleep with a man on a first date, they will easily allow themselves to get swept up into the moment. Because it feels good….until… (drum roll, please)..They. Start. Wanting. More.
Spending a part of the summer on the Adriatic coast in Italy does wonders for the soul..and little for the ego. These people are GOR-geous! Naturally so. Italians flock to the seaside with reckless abandon. Here, everyone is the same. Sunbathing is a sport with fit legs splayed open, thongs galore and bare breasts and tiny Speedos on display; it’s a caramel smorgasbord of super soft porn. And there’s more.
Men have always had to do much of the heavy lifting in the initial stages of dating. They’re the ones who have to approach women (except in LA) and open themselves up to rejection.
The first thing we tell people who ask us what they should be doing to find the right guy/girl is “Get a life!” What we really mean is go find your bliss NOW. Most successful professionals we meet are so wrapped up in their career that they’ve left little time to cultivate their passions. When I ask them what they do for fun, their eyes glaze over. Usually they’ll say “work out” (really?!) or go out with friends. Which is fine. But what I’m really asking is what sets you on fire? What makes your eyes dance? Your toes curl?
Being well-rounded and interesting with something other than your career to talk about is wildly attractive.
I was interviewing a new male client recently who had all of the time in the world to cultivate his talents. He was a career man who had accumulated financial wealth and little else. A one-trick pony. His topics of conversation revolved around the financial world. He lived a healthy lifestyle and took care of himself but other than that, he had very little to convey. I tried to find out how else he liked to express himself. He loved good food but got bored of going out to restaurants all the time. He had a beautiful home with a to-die-for “virgin” kitchen. After I told him that women think a man in the kitchen is sexy, his eyes widened. “Why not learn 3 dishes really well so when you invite a woman over for dinner, you can show her your confidence in the kitchen”. He was game. I also encouraged him to learn about wine. He got nervous. “Start exploring! Have fun with it. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your taste; pick three wines that you like and learn enough about them so you can tell a story”, I suggested.
A Renaissance man in the making. Bringing more layers into a relationship makes it more interesting and exciting. These are the basics, gentlemen!
The other day I was getting feedback from two clients who just went out on a date. She was smitten; he was on the fence. He wasn’t so sure about the chemistry he felt for her and mentioned that she was rigid and somewhat flat. When I encouraged him to tell me what he liked about her, he said something interesting. Apparently when she started talking about her art and music, she became more appealing. He used words like “animated”, “more attractive” and “passionate” to describe her. Tell me more! I urged. The more positive qualities he recounted, the more convinced he became that he was too quick to judge her (that’s a whole other blog!!!) and decided to see her again. All in the name of sharing one’s passion.
Being single is a fantastic time to design the life you want or at least enjoy the freedom of exploring your own tastes. When I was single in my 30’s, I used to think what an excellent opportunity it was for me to develop my “skills” – whether it was learning how to be a better cook, attending more art openings so I could be more well-versed in art, learning how to plant a garden or making a signature Bellini – I wanted to enter a new relationship “bearing gifts”. This mind-set not only increases your confidence level, it increases your value which means you get to choose higher-quality “fish” in the sea of potential love. Win-Win.
What are you bringing to the table?
I’ve been spending a lot of time interviewing men lately – “seasoned” single men in their late 40’s to 60’s -- and much to my dismay, I have been hearing the same thing from all of them. When I ask them to tell me stories about their first dates, (too) many of them say the same thing: women dump.
Body language is our loudest voice. Make sure you know what yours is saying
Today we can order men or women online like Super-sized value meals: hold the onions, extra beef and no ice, please! With the tap of our fingers, we can literally choose our Dream Date: 36C, non-smoker, over 6’ male, loves dogs, is FIT. When did we start kicking romance to the curb?
Moving to Milan when I was 29 and single changed my life forever.
I wasn’t looking for a husband; I just wanted a challenging life experience. I had enjoyed being single in Manhattan and Los Angeles; there were some great moments but I wanted to be spellbound.
Back in the day when I was single in my 20's, a little wild, bright-eyed and snarky, I found it incredibly easy to date. With two outgoing roommates who had cool jobs, we were always sharing friends, having parties and meeting interesting people. The opportunities for meeting Mr. Right Now were endless.
5 Steps to Clear the Pity Party
Oh SH%$, It’s the Holidays!
I am not a fan of the single’s holiday survival blogs…but let’s knock around a few points here to help keep the mind right during the holiday season.