Match Launches Stir, A Dating App for Single Parents

Think of it this way: With any other type of store, you only need to find a certain brand of jeans to suit you, right? A certain pair of shoes to keep you stylish? Dating is, well, different. Yes, you need certain items, but you need to find the perfect mix of you and your partner. So we asked anthropologists, sex researchers, relationship experts, and dating site users what they would recommend when looking for a mate. We even asked them to give us their very own expert “style tips.” Start a Conversation If you want to get a good sense of what someone is looking for before you even start talking to them, it’s pretty crucial to make small talk. While small talk with a stranger should be easy, if you want to know what people are looking for in an ideal mate, you need to play it safe. Here’s how. When you look at a person and start talking to them, you’ll get a sense of whether they will be someone you’d be comfortable talking to. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. If you think someone is inappropriate and want to avoid talking to them, you can create a rule for yourself that you won’t talk with certain people, or you can simply let them know that you aren’t interested in talking to them. “You don’t have to say, ‘I’m not interested in chatting with you; however, I’d like to be your friend,’ or ‘Why don’t you talk to my best friend instead?’ You can just say, ‘Good afternoon. I’m interested in having a conversation with you, but I’d like to take things a little slower,'” says Dr. Lorraine Burnett, who researches human mating rituals in her spare time. “If they get the hint, and they won’t take no for an answer or they will, and they will continue to pester you, you just say, ‘I’m sorry. I just don’t feel comfortable talking to you.'” Burnett advises against breaking into conversations as you’re meeting new people. Instead, only make small talk at the end of your conversation, if you like the person you’re talking with, or you can cut ties altogether. If you haven’t had much practice at making small talk, Burnett says you can talk about the weather, a shared interest, or even ask someone to show you photos of their kids. The important thing to remember is that just saying, “It’s been nice
Photo by Thinkstock What Should You Do the First Date? The first date is a fantastic and magical thing to do. Unfortunately, it’s the first step that can be a bit of an investment—not because it’s extravagant (though it usually is) but because you only get to see one side of your date. You don’t see how he or she behaves around friends or family, how he or she really speaks, or what the rest of his or her personality is. If you strike out with the first date, you could be left feeling a bit deflated. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be completely open and honest about what you’re looking for, and that means both beginning and ending the date on a positive note. Doing so means that your first date has at least a chance of going somewhere—and if it doesn’t, you’ll both have had the experience of a great first date, even if the relationship doesn’t work out. When you start a date, you want to have a good conversation with someone new—and not just because you’re getting to know each other. Instead, the best thing to do is to engage in a conversation where you talk to your date. In fact, a great first date is just conversation between two people, not a date itself. If you’re both looking for something serious, your date might have a suggestion as to the type of date or activity you can expect on your first date. For example, if both of you want to get to know each other better, you could agree to meet at a coffee shop where you can have a good discussion over a coffee or latté. Photo by Daniela Guzmán Should You Make Plans Ahead of Time? Nope. Unless you have a plan for the first date, it’s best to just have a good time and see where things go. Having a plan is a bit like bringing a work project home from the office. You might end up a more efficient worker, but it’s just not worth the hassle. The same can be said of plans for your first date. If it’s going to take you longer to find someone, you could end up wasting your time. Instead of making an appointment for a first date, just let fate take over and just see where things go. You’ll be more prepared and make your own fun if you just have a great conversation with your date and let things follow where they lead. As you get to know

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