Body Language

How to Speak Fluent Body Language

Joe Navarro has written several books on body language and non-verbal communication. In his book, What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People, Navarro discusses how non-verbal communication is guided by the limbic system, a very primitive part of our brains. 

The limbic system assesses danger and risk, preparing the body for fight, flight, freeze, or fawn reactions. It is also the portion of the brain responsible for the high we feel when we fall in love. 

Once you learn how to read key phrases of your partner’s body language, you’ll be better equipped to decipher their needs and fill their love tank.

According to Vanessa Van Edwards, Author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, there are over 800 non-verbal signals made during a 30-minute first date

The problem is, we’re not taught to be aware of the signals we’re subconsciously giving off or how to read and interpret others’ cues. It’s just one of those social skills we’re expected to pick up and adapt to which is difficult or even impossible for some.

Decoding Body Language

Being even marginally aware of body language, can lead to better connections and conversations. Some suggest as much as 80% of human communication is non-verbal.

Although it may be difficult to decode, there is good news. Body language is a more honest form of communication than verbal because so much of it is subconscious. Even the best poker faces can’t control micro-expressions. 

She’s leaning in; that’s good. But is she trying to get closer to you or just the charcuterie board?

Fellas, we already know that women have better intuition, so learning to read your date, may take some practice. 

It’s true that crossed arms and fidgeting can be a sign someone is disinterested, angry, or closed off. But it’s important to take the entire situation into account.

Is this your first date? It could just be a sign of anxiety. Did you cross your arms first? Perhaps they’re mirroring you; in this case it could indicate increased interest. 

Positive non-verbal communication can include blushing, fumbling over her words, playing with her hair, fiddling with her clothes, or touching her lips. Getting tongue-tied often means one is nervous and trying to make a good impression.

Did you know hair follicles release pheromones?

Pay attention to whether she opens her body toward you or away. Subtle touches are great signs. If she slaps your knee when you make her laugh, or touches your arm for emphasis, you can bet she’s into you. 

Mirroring

Mirroring is subconscious mimicking. You know the saying, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? It’s true. If someone likes you, they will start to adopt your mannerisms and movements. 

We like people who are like us. Love and belonging are a vital part of our hierarchy of needs. It’s why cults exist and civilizations survive.

Now that you know this, you can alter your own behavior to mirror your date and build a stronger connection.

Don’t be creepy about it and follow her every move, but subtle things like mirroring the way she leans on her elbow, or fiddling with your tie after she adjusts her necklace. 

Know Your Angles

First and foremost, I want you to relax and sit comfortably on your date. Take a few deep breaths, because the most important thing is that you feel confident and secure.

Now, let’s think about how to make small adjustments to your posture so that you’re comfortable, but still giving off positive energy.

Tilt your head slightly when she speaks to show you’re listening intently. Try to maintain an open position and close some of the space between you.

Angle your body toward your date—head, shoulders, knees, and toes—pointed in her direction. Notice her body language, is she angled toward you or is she pointing directly at the door?

Touch Yourself

Your beard produces significantly more pheromones than your head. Increased testosterone causes facial hair growth, so twirl your mustache or stroke your beard, and watch the ladies come running.

On second thought, don’t touch your face during a Pandemic. But when it’s over, you should know how to use your hands to flirt. 

Touching your throat or neck indicates you’re not a threat. You can also mess with your hair, fiddle with your watch, adjust your glasses, etc.

Eyes Are Everything

Speaking of glasses, avoid wearing sunglasses.

Eye contact releases the bonding hormone, oxytocin. Studies show your eyes dilate when you look at someone you care about. Both of these are hidden behind shades.

I do want to issue a word of caution. Despite the heading, eye contact is not everything. There are a number of conditions and diagnoses which make eye contact difficult or impossible for people to maintain.

Even if she’s not staring longingly into your eyes, notice where she is focusing her line of sight. Has something just caught her attention briefly or is she signaling rejection?

Is she staring at your lips then coyly averting her gaze? It might be time to think about leaning in for the first kiss. 


Imbalance in Your Relationship

Imbalance in Your Relationship: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Nothing in life is even, fair, or balanced. There is always a give and take, credits and debits. But what happens when there’s a significant imbalance in your relationship for a long period of time? When one of you isn’t pulling your weight and the other's love tank is running on fumes?

Relationships are never 50/50, despite couples unfairly using this as the golden rule. Sometimes the split is 60/40 or even a 25/75 ratio. Shifting efforts is common and expected.

When it becomes a problem is when those inequities remain imbalanced long-term. Partnerships don’t run on autopilot. Both parties must take the driver’s seats at times. Great partnerships have two sets of keys and you both need to drive from time to time.

You Get Out What You Put in

My great-grandmother would always give me this advice:

With anything you do, the outcome will always reflect the amount of effort you put into it.

If you’re not expending the energy it takes to keep your relationship going, it will suffer. 

Relationships aren’t passive pleasures. They require continual effort and constant work. When one person stops actively participating, both people feel the effects. One person can only carry the weight for so long before it fails.  

Don't Put Your Effort Into Overdrive

So what happens when there is an imbalance in your relationship and your partner is perfectly content with cruising along in the passenger seat? If your primary Love Language is quality time or acts of service, you probably tend to make life pretty easy for them.

Years ago, I had a boyfriend whose job required him to move every two years. It was a financially sound, yet nomadic life best suited for someone single. When we first met, we were only an hour apart. But soon, visiting him required a flight instead of a tank of gas.

Before every move, we set expectations of how often we needed to talk on the phone and see one another before he moved on to the next new town.

I should note, made a conscious decision to view each of his relocations as a positive thing. Now, we could experience so many new firsts together.

So, taking two planes to see him was an adventure resulting in new shared experiences instead viewing it as a detriment of distance. After years of this, I paused one day and realized how much inequity of effort there really was in my relationship. His life became so easy. He no longer had to get on a plane, or drive to see me because he knew, even expected, me to do all the leg work of travel. He no longer had to try, because he knew I would.

Does the Weight of Your Effort Need to Go on a Diet?

I realized that all of the growth, strength of this long-distance relationship was solely attributed to the heaviness of the sacrifices and effort that I put in.

So, I stopped. I went on an effort diet. I stopped getting on planes. I stopped driving hours through multiple states. I stopped getting a house sitter for my pets. I simply stopped putting that level of effort into us, with the belief that he would jump into the driver’s seat.  

Guess what? We crashed and burned. Connectivity and communication halted. It is not easy to let go of the heaviness of your efforts, but at what point do you demand to fix the imbalance in your relationship? When it was his turn, he dropped the ball. I often would talk to him about it, inviting him to visit or join in on various activities in my city to no avail.  

Could I have continued as I had been? Yes. But, why would anyone opt to stay with someone who consciously chooses to not try? As a result, our relationship faded away, but sometimes break ups are positive things

Divorce Your Effort

If there is an imbalance in your relationship, and things aren’t 50/50 don’t panic. Just like life, relationships consist of constant ebb and flow. If there is no shift in the weight of your effort compared to your partner’s for a significant length of time, that’s when you need to take action.

Relax your level of effort and allow your partner to take the wheel. 

You will quickly see whether they’re a true partner, or your relationship’s success falls solely on your shoulders. If that’s the case, disengage from the imbalance in your relationship and reinvest that effort into yourself.

Self care is healthy for you and for your future relationship. Then, you can focus on finding a partner who wants to invest in you. Never doubt it, you are worth the effort.


Breaking Up With Your Deal Breakers

Breaking Up With Your Deal Breakers

Today I want to talk about breaking up with your deal breakers. The term deal breaker can refer to a lot of things, so for the purpose of this article, let’s define it as criteria you use to disqualify a potential match before ever even meeting them.

I’ve compiled a list of deal breakers (in no particular order) I’ve heard over the years, both understandable and ridiculous. 

  • Divorce
  • Religion
  • Political Affiliation
  • Dietary Restrictions
  • Body Shape
  • Height
  • Zodiac Sign
  • Education Level
  • Smokers
  • Cat Owners
  • Children
  • Distance
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Virginity
  • Age
  • Career Type

I once had a client refuse a first date after learning his match was lactose intolerant. I know a woman who has a strict no Geminis policy. The list could go on for days. 

The first step to breaking up with your deal breakers is to write out a list of all your perceived deal breakers. Take some time to really mull this over and create a comprehensive list. You’re the only person who will ever see this, so don’t be afraid to list even the deal breakers you’re ashamed to admit.

It doesn’t matter if your deal breakers are big or small. Just add them all to the list. Don’t worry, we will whittle it down later. 

Boundaries v. Barriers

Now, it’s time to categorize your deal breakers into Boundaries and Barriers. Boundaries are good; they keep us safe. Barriers on the other hand, get in our way and block us from achieving our goals. 

For instance, rejecting a long distance relationship is a Boundary—excluding anyone who doesn’t reside within a 5-mile radius of your front door is a Barrier.

There are people who have been in COVID lockdown for a year now. With facetime and Zoom, long-distance will soon be an extinct deal breaker anyway. 

Keep in mind, a lot of this depends on you and your situation as much as the other person. Let me give you a couple of examples.

I will not date anyone with a cat.

  • Boundary: if you have a severe allergy
  • Barrier: if you just prefer dogs

I will only date Catholics.

  • Boundary: if you’re a practicing Catholic
  • Barrier: if you haven’t been to mass since you were a child

I will not date someone who has children.

  • Boundary: if you don’t have or want kids
  • Barrier: if you have kids from a previous relationship

Now, I want you to reflect on your list. Organize each item on your deal breaker list into either the Boundary or Barrier column. After you decipher your Boundaries and Barriers, you can start breaking up with your deal breakers one by one.

Breaking Up with Your Deal Breakers

Next, I want you to rank your list of Boundaries in order of importance. Then, do the same with your Barriers.

Those Barriers are starting to seem a little trivial now, huh? Some of them may even feel ridiculous. That’s a good thing! That means breaking up with your deal breakers is going to be easier than you thought.

Starting with the lowest-ranked Barrier, think through each of your deal breakers. Go deep. Make another list of pros and cons for each if you need to. Ask yourself the following question:

If you met a beautiful woman tomorrow who possessed a myriad of positive characteristics, would this one single thing eliminate her in your mind as a possible mate?

If the answer is yes, then you’re not ready to let go of that deal breaker just yet.

But if the answer is no, or even maybe with a qualifier, then let’s work through it.

Is there an underlying reason for your deal breakers? Try to get to the core of your reason for wanting or needing that trait in a partner.

What if it’s less about you needing to date a Catholic, and more that you desire a partner with faith and a good moral compass? Perhaps you don’t necessarily need someone with a graduate degree, as long as they’re intelligent and ambitious. Both of those things alone can broaden your pool of potential daters significantly. 

Your Matchmaker will be able to shed some light on your particular situation and teach you how to increase your scope of potential matches.


Handle Rejection Like a Boss

How to Handle Rejection Like a Boss

The first step in learning how to handle rejection like a boss is to reframe the way you talk about and think about rejection.

You did not get rejected. Your proposal was rejected.

If you proposed going on a date and they declined, that’s okay.

If you proposed taking your relationship to the next level and they ghosted, that’s okay.

Unless you shared way too much information and downloaded your life story, they barely even know you. They are more or less a stranger, so don’t let them define you. Allow their disinterest or disapproval to roll right off your back.

Even if you proposed marriage and they ran away crying, it’s still going to be okay. 

Rejection is not a reflection of you or your character.

Don't Take it Personally

It wasn’t a good match, but that doesn’t mean either of you are bad people.

Even after a few dates, you don’t know someone well enough to make a full judgement; that’s why we always encourage our clients to give each match a minimum of three dates.

It is likely there are a number of both external and internal factors that contributed to the rejection. And you probably have control over little to none of them. For instance, maybe they’re already in a relationship, or they just got dumped.

Neither of those things have anything to do with you. It’s not that they don’t want to date you. They don’t want to date anyone. If you learn to handle rejection like a boss, it won’t negatively affect you.

There’s a good chance it’s not even about you. Don’t spend your time worrying about things that are out of your control. On the other hand, you should be open to listening to their reason rejecting you as well as any respectful feedback. 

Feel the Feelings

A study at the University of Michigan using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans, found that rejection actually activates the same parts of the brain as physical pain.

According to Dr. Winch, this suggests an evolutionary advantage to experiencing the pain of rejection.

"This phenomenon is a legacy of our hunter-gatherer past, when we lived in nomadic tribes. Back when a person couldn't survive alone without their tribe, "rejection served as an early warning system that alerted us we were in danger of being ostracized—of being voted off the island."

If someone reacts to your proposal with abuse or threats, if they try to belittle or degrade you—just get out of the situation as quickly and safely as you can. All that should do is prove you don’t want to be with someone who behaves that way. Don’t spend a moment of your time worrying about them or their issues.

I truly hope that hasn’t been your experience. And if you’ve ever rejected someone’s proposal in that way, shame on you.

Just because your rejection wasn’t abusive, doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Take some time to sit with your feelings

Work on Yourself

Dr. Guy Winch is a psychologist and the author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.

According to Dr. Winch, the best thing to do after a break up is: make a list of all the negative qualities or bad habits that you didn’t appreciate about your ex. Whenever you feel sad or lonely, every time you get the urge to call, read through the list.

This will also help you to manifest positive traits in your next relationship

It’s important to be strong in your self-esteem and confidence, otherwise every superficial interaction will have undue influence over your well-being.

On the other hand, you should be open to listening to their reason rejecting you as well as any respectful feedback. Reflect on the situation. Did you make a remark that made them uncomfortable? Did you listen to your best friend’s well-intended but bad advice?

You can own your part of the rejection, and accept responsibility without getting into a negative self-talk mindframe. 

Next time, you’ll be able to handle rejection like a boss. 

In the words of Ariana Grande—

Thank you, next.


Feeling Lonely

Are You Feeling Lonely or Are You Just Alone?

One can be standing in an arena full of people and still be feeling lonely. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, you’re capable of feeling completely fulfilled even when you’re all by yourself

Today, I want to focus on providing strategies that will help you achieve the latter. 

According to Psychology Today, long-term feelings of loneliness can have the same physical impact on the body as smoking or obesity. Extended social isolation can even lead to PTSD, anxiety, and addiction.

It's Okay if You're Feeling Lonely

As we move through the Holiday Season, I want you to be mindful of your emotional state. Studies show people are more likely to suffer from depression during this time of year. And recently single people are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely and hopeless.

When you’re used to being one-half of a whole, it can be difficult to learn how to be your own person.

You’re used to having a partner and having help. You used to negotiate chores and manage a household, but now you’re stuck doing everything by yourself.

It’s okay to feel frustrated and inadequate for those few moments, as long as you know that’s not actually true. You have to love yourself first and foremost. 

When you have a moment of weakness, allow yourself to exist in that moment. We often run from uncomfortable feelings, but I encourage you to sit with them for a beat and examine the root. These moments are a natural part of the healing process and necessary for learning how to be by yourself. 

Focus on Being Alone

If you don’t have children in the home, your newfound silence can feel deafening. An empty house can be the loneliest place on earth if you’re not careful.

It’s important that you learn to find security in the silence. Sit with it. Explore it. Whether you call it meditation, prayer, or quiet time, science has proven that dedicating time to silently focusing inward has phenomenal health benefits for the brain and body.

Use this quiet time to learn how to be happy alone. Learn how to be comfortable in your own presence. Fall in love with yourself. Engage in self-care. Finish all those projects you’ve been putting off. Do something that’s good for your soul, like volunteering or donating to a good cause. Try a new hobby. Reach out to an old friend. Start a new healthy habit.

Instead of dwelling on what’s missing in your life, fill your time with positive things.

Getting Back Out There

Whether you’re fresh off a tough break up or you’re dealing with the death of a spouse, or the heartbreak of divorce, putting yourself back out there is scary. 

It can feel like a lonely process full of uncertainty and self-doubt, but you’re not alone. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate this journey as comfortably as possible. In addition to our proven matchmaking skills, we can provide one-on-one coaching, expectation management, and professional advice.

Reflect on your previous relationships and dating habits. What will you do differently next time? Consider what, if anything, led to the destruction of your relationship? How can you keep that from happening again?

What is it about dating that keeps you up at night? Have these hard conversations with your Matchmaker.

If it has been more than 10 years since you’ve been single, be prepared for some changes to the dating scene. Online dating and dating apps have really affected the culture and attitudes of a lot of daters. Disappearing acts like Ghosting are unfortunately a common occurrence in the digital dating space.

However, people are less likely to engage in poor dating behavior if there is a Matchmaker or other third party involved.


frustrated man

Professional Matchmaking: How to Never Get Ghosted Again

If you have spent any amount of time in the dating scene over the past few years, chances are you have heard of the ghosting phenomenon. Hopefully, you aren’t guilty of ghosting anyone, and likewise have not been the victim of a ghost. At Executive Matchmakers, our priority is helping you find genuine, lasting love, so you never get ghosted again.

Did you know that over half of today’s daters have first-hand experience with ghosting?

What exactly does it mean to get ghosted?

Ghosting is the sudden, unexpected cease of all communication from one party within a relationship. Although the term is new, it wasn’t born through dating apps, and it isn’t a new concept.

I assume you have heard the cliché of a father who went out for cigarettes and never came back—that guy ghosted his whole family. It’s not specific to romantic relationships either, we all know a guy who ditches his friends whenever he gets a girlfriend.

The most common form of ghosting can be explained by the following scenario:

You matched with a woman online and shared a number of pleasant chats. You ask for her number and eventually to meet in person. After a few dates and weeks of FaceTiming, she suddenly stops responding to your texts. She dodges your calls, and bails on your weekend plans. You assume she’s caught up in work and give it a week or so before you start to worry. Eventually, you ask her what went wrong, but you get no answer. You’re then left wondering if you did something wrong, she met someone else, or even if she died. 

This is an emotionally painful situation to find yourself in. You may have been the perfect gentleman and said all the right things, but she just didn’t see a future with you for one reason or another. Unfortunately, she was unable to communicate that to you—so she ghosted.

It’s really important to remember if someone ghosts you, that behavior says more about them than you. It’s about their discomfort.” -Dr. Jennice Vilhauer

Why do I keep getting ghosted?

I’m a firm believer that most negative behavior stems from a basis of fear. When humans are afraid, they respond with either fight, flight, or freeze. Ghosting is a combination of the latter two. The ghost freezes communication because she’s afraid of the outcome if the relationship continues, and she flees from the situation in order to avoid difficult conversations or unwanted outcomes.

Fear isn’t the only reason women ghost though. Maybe she’s busy with her career or her family. She could be going through a rough time, either mentally or physically. I think we can all agree, COVID-19 has thrown everyone into a bit of a crisis. Maybe she met someone unexpectedly or an ex came back into her life. And there’s the hardest pill of all to swallow: she’s just not that into you.

But what is she afraid of?

Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection. A sort of get them before they get me first approach. People with this method of dating are not in the right mindset for a long-lasting, committed relationship anyway. Someone who has a pattern of leaving before they get left, will never stay long enough to work through the hard stuff that life tends to throw at us.

One of the most common fears that cause women to ghost is the fear of retaliation. We have been socialized and trained to play nice and never offend a man’s ego. Because of that, some women were simply never taught a polite but effective way to turn down a man’s advances.

How many comedies play off of a woman’s inability to kindly reject a man who buys her a drink at a bar, when she’s clearly not interested in him? There is more truth in that than most of us would like to admit.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side to this fear of retaliation. And that is the very real threat of violence and abuse women have historically experienced at the hands of men with bruised pride.

If the woman who ghosted you has been a victim of or a witness to abuse in her lifetime, try not to take it personally. She probably has a level of fear that revolves around her interactions with men, and ghosting feels like a safer alternative.

Is she too busy or just lazy?

Honestly, does it matter? Whether she’s hustling in her career working 80-hour weeks, or has been on her couch in the same pair of sweatpants all weekend—the fact is she hasn’t made time for you in her life. She may be actively ignoring you, AKA ghosting, or she may just have a mile-long priority list that doesn’t include you.

Will one scenario sting less than the other? I doubt it. It hurts when someone you were developing feelings for doesn’t reciprocate, no matter what the circumstances are.

That being said, I’m a proponent of second chances. If she reaches out with an apology and a valid explanation for being absent, why not give it one more date? That is if you still see potential in the relationship, of course.

How do I never get ghosted again?

Well, there are no guarantees in life, but matchmaking is a smarter, safer way to meet people.

The use of dating apps has created a lot of lazy daters. We pick up our phones and sometimes getting a date is as easy as ordering a pizza. If we don’t catch the other person’s attention within a few messages, they get bored and move on to the next app. We have thousands of possible matches in our pocket. We may give it a few dates, and if that person doesn’t blow our mind, we start swiping again.

It’s all pretty indicative of where we are as a society in terms of instant gratification.

But there is good news! There are alternatives to the monotony of endless swiping, texting, and eventual ghosting. There are better, safer, more efficient ways to date in 2020. At Executive Matchmakers, we have years of experience matching like-minded singles who go on to happy, healthy, long-lasting relationships.

The main reason that ghosting is so prevalent in recent years, is because we’re meeting complete strangers at an unprecedented rate. Previous generations met their mates through mutual friends, family members, church, work, and school. They typically had at least one other person in common with their date. 

Take the following situation for example:

Let’s say your Aunt set you up with a young woman from her church. If you were rude on your first date, or you completely disappeared on the woman, it’s likely that she will complain to your Aunt about your behavior. Your Aunt would then hold you accountable and you would face consequences. 

When you date strangers from the internet with no mutual connections, there is little to no accountability, and people feel free to behave in ways they probably wouldn’t if their Aunt was privy to the situation.

People are less likely to ghost if there is an additional person they have to answer to...like a matchmaker.

Your personal matchmaker will not only work to match you with your ideal partner, but she will also follow up with you and your matches to provide her expert coaching and advice. Our priority is helping you find genuine, lasting love so you never get ghosted again.