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The New Dating Game

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Are you suddenly single again? Welcome to the new dating game. Now that dating on-line is an acceptable way to meet your "match," women often are making the initial contact. The first date is also the first impression. How can you make a positive impression?

You react to people based on how you perceive them. That's why you need to see a current photo of the person before you even agree to the first date. Ask for a photo if one is not included in the profile. Otherwise what is the person trying to hide?

Your perceptions of the on-line profile and first date are influenced by your perceptual styles: Audio, Visual, Feeler, and Wholistic. You are a combination of all four styles but the primary style influences your actions and reactions the most.

For those with Audio as the primary style, maintaining personal control is important. If she is an Audio, the man may feel this "in-control" power emanating from her rather than warmth. Audios like being the boss. She might speak her mind and perhaps talk with a confrontational tone without even realizing it. He may back off because this is too forward for him.

Remedy for female Audios: Lighten up and be sensitive to your date's feelings. Allow him to pursue you rather than badgering him. If you relax and realize if it's meant to be, it will happen, that you can't make it happen, you will be more in balance with all four of the perceptions. Your softer side will emerge.

If he is an Audio, the woman might be turned off by his sarcasm or that he cuts her off if she doesn't get to the point. If she rambles he will become impatient. It's all right if she contacts him but he will prefer to take charge when dating. His bluntness is normal for him but might sting if she's a Feeler. Audios are not particularly romantic. They like a meeting of the minds-a stimulating dinner conversation makes for a great date.

Remedy for male Audios: Add a little romance to dating. Women like the attention. Avoid sarcasm and impatience, as they are big turn-offs. Instead, reveal your quick wit and be sensitive to her feelings. Although you like being the boss, remember she is your date, not your employee.

For those with Feeler as the primary style, giving and receiving love is a top priority.

If she is a Feeler, her desired outcome is: "I want him to share his life with me." However, this sets up unspoken expectations for her date. On a TV reality show, Hooking Up, one woman said upfront that she was looking for a husband. Honesty is refreshing. Feelers like to please people. Therefore they might like to do "considerate" things, such as appearing at his door with a batch of homemade cookies, but with hopeful expectations that they will be greatly appreciated.

Remedy for female Feelers: Be aware that the desire to please others causes you to have a difficult time saying no to requests-an easy target for men. Some men might perceive your "being considerate actions" as smothering actions. Instead, they will enjoy your natural enthusiasm for living-your fun side. They will also respond to your warmth.

If he is a Feeler, he will definitely be a touchy, feely type of guy and might feel that he can't keep his hands off of you. He will talk with enthusiasm about things he likes. He is a bit of a romantic in that he likes to do things that make you smile. However, if he likes you, you might feel a bit smothered.

Remedy for male Feelers: Touching her arm when talking and holding hands or putting your arm around her when walking is acceptable on the first date if there is a connection between you. But when you submit to "I can't keep my hands off of her," you might be moving too fast and she'll start to push back. Feelers often go off on tangents when talking. Ask questions to get her involved as well.

For those with Visual as the primary style, their Achilles' heel is perfectionism.

If she is a Visual, she can easily become frustrated or depressed because she can't seem to find the "perfect" man. If the date isn't turning out as she visualized it, her disappointment may transfer to him-it's his fault. Therefore, she might be critical of some of his behaviors but believe, "If you love me, you'll be willing to change."

Remedy for female Visuals: Let go of perfectionism. Otherwise you might miss many likeable qualities simply because he doesn't appear initially as you visualized him. If you love each other but there are a few behaviors that bother you, talk about it and offer solutions! Instead of expecting that he needs to change or you will change him, you'll find that he is willing to adapt if your requests make sense. But you also need to be willing to make concessions for him.

If he is Visual, he is a romantic. He might go all out in courting you with flowers and more. If you are responsive, he will be delighted. If you're critical or don't show appreciation, he might withdraw into his shell and become silent. He is sensitive as are Feelers. He is talkative including all the details, but his humor often makes his stories entertaining.

Remedy for male Visuals: A small bouquet/single rose is fine for the first date. Then find out what she likes so you can plan romantic dates that you both like. You're talkative side is entertaining to a point but allow time for her to talk too. If she isn't overtly appreciative of your romantic settings, don't take it personally. It doesn't mean that she didn't notice.

For those with Wholistic as the primary style, once they get the gist of something, they take action.

If she is Wholistic, when she spots someone on-line that attracts her, she won't hesitate to contact him and write, "Let's get together." She can quickly sense whether the two of you might click unless her perceptions are clouded by desperation. Then she might be blinded with, "I know you could love me if you'd just give me a chance."

Remedy for female Wholistics: You are spontaneous and adventurous. This can be a turn-on for some men but for others who like planning the whole date, a sudden change will be upsetting to them. They might say, "But I thought we were going to do this." Rein in your impulsiveness a bit if he is one that likes more structure. Be sensitive to what he has planned.

If he is Wholistic, he might make up his mind quickly about you. If he doesn't reply to your e-mail message despite how strongly he "courted you" in his first messages, he's lost interest. If he doesn't call after the first date, it doesn't mean there is something wrong with you. It just means he wants to move on rather than waste time on a relationship he intuitively knows won't work.

Remedy for male Wholistics: Since you are bored with routine, express on your first date that you like to be spontaneous according to your moods. However, she needs to know what to wear so keep that in mind. You are also adventurous but horseback riding might terrify her. Ask her if she would enjoy what you are considering rather than springing it on her.

No matter what is your style, the best impression you can make on a first date is a positive and friendly attitude while you listen attentively. Also listen to your feelings during the date. No matter how nice or attractive your date might be, if you don't feel any connection, be honest and move on. If you string him or her along, it will only make it more difficult to tell the truth later.
About the Author

Carol Welsh, M.S., has over 25 years of experience as a speaker and workshop facilitator. She's the author of Stop When You See Red (2005). Her Web site is http://www.stopred.com

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