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The Date Maven: Dating In The Modern Age

srgpicker, flickr Creative Commons
Credit thedatemaven.com
Founder and President of The Date Maven Suzanna Matthews

Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic days of the year, and  it's also a busy time for Dating Coach and Strategist, Suzanna Matthews.

Matthews is the Founder and President of The Date Maven. For nearly 25 years, she's been studying dating, mating, gender communications, and human sexuality. She coaches clients throughout the Midwest on how to choose well and find love.

So give us some dating examples. What should we keep in mind on a first date?

The first date is a lot like a job interview, if you will, but I always remind people to keep it light and keep it fun. You don’t have to share everything there is to know about you on that first date - just as you wouldn’t necessarily share all of your baggage and all of the skeletons in your closet in that job interview. If someone asks you a question that you feel is maybe a little bit too deep or your not quite there yet, it’s ok to say, "You know there is an story and an interesting answer to that. Let’s save that for the second or third date and see where things go."

Social media plays such a big part in dating. In fact, I read that a third of recently married couples say they met online.

That’s true. There are a lot of success stories from online. One of the pitfalls, though, of getting online is a lot of people expect instant results. They think they're at the drive through at McDonalds and all they have to do is pull forward and there’s the man of their dreams or the woman of their dreams. It can really take a lot of investment of time and energy. Online dating is but one tool in the toolbox. It simply is a way to cast a wider net. I remind people to don't just sit back and date online and then expect to hit the jackpot. It can take up to a year or more, according to a lot of the research that's out there from eHarmony and Match.com, to really meet the person your looking for.

Do you serve older clients? 

I do. So my clients tend to range in age from about 30 to about 65. They're certainly the younger and older ends of the spectrum, but that's where the bulk of my clients are at. I have that a number of people who are second time around daters - in other words they have been married, either divorced or widowed.  They're back into the dating scene and it's been a long time, so they're like "I'm a little rusty, how do I get back on this horse?" Or they realize that these brand new technologies that didn't exist 10, 20 or 30 years ago when they were dating have completely changed the game. I have real heart for these kinds of people and helping them.

And how has it been? Have you found success with helping some of those clients?

Absolutely. So one of the key things I think is important to understand they may or may not be looking for what you think they're looking for. I can't count the number of times I've heard from a woman who is in her 50s' who says to me "Alright listen, I've been married, I've been there done that. I have my education. I have my career. I've raised my kids. I want love. I want affection. I want companionship. I really want someone just to kick around with on the weekends." And it doesn't necessarily have to come under the label of marriage. They're not necessarily looking for husband, they're looking for a guy that kind of makes life a little sweeter when they have some free time, like on Valentine's Day.

Tell me about this idea of "swagger." You know swagger isn't just for the young, it's even for the young at heart.

You know if your heart is still beating, and you still have a pulse, you can have swagger. Swagger comes about with just sort of how you carry your self in the world. There are four things that research tells us men want in a woman regardless of age, shape or size: that is they want a gal who is sweet, smart, funny and hot, but let me tell you, hotness is in the eye of the beholder. You can be any age, any size and you can be hot. It's how you move and it's a way that tells people, "Pay attention to me. What I have to say matters. I have something kind of awesome going on here." I'm not talking about arrogance. I'm not talking about being cocky or egotistical. Just moving through the world like you get that you're a person of value.    

For the full interview, please listen to the link above.