Featured in Times Select:
No more Tinder mercies: ignore my age, beg over-60s. They say their chances at love are better if they lie about their age – and matchmaking agencies aren’t unsympathetic
Dutchman Emile Ratelband, 69, wants his official age adjusted to his ’emotional age’ – 49
13 November 2018
Featured on DatingNews.com:
Perfect Partners™ Dating Experts Shake Up the Dating Narrative by Saying Rejection Is a Good Thing
Everyone encounters rejection at some point in their lives, and it’s how they respond to that rejection that determines how successful they’ll be in the future..
26 July 2018
Featured on W24: Does playing hard to get really work?
Are you blowing him off or are you playing hard to get? ‘Cause man, he just can’t tell. Our experts weigh in on the timeless trend of dating.
09 February 2018
Featured on DatingAdvice.com
Perfect Partners: How Shannon Davidoff’s Personalized Matchmaking Services Are Helping Selective South African Professionals Find Love
If you’re a professional seeking a long-term, satisfying relationship, Perfect Partners can put you on the path to love with its bespoke approach to matchmaking. The agency’s CEO, Shannon Davidoff, and her team take the stress out of the dating process and make finding a connection the fun experience it should be. Through a selective vetting process and a unique blend of corporate recruitment and high-touch matchmaking, Perfect Partners has a proven track record of helping thousands of singles discover their mates.
19 January 2018
WeeklyMashup – Dating in the Time of Technology
With Candice being an active dater, and Tumisho being a divorcee and dater… they speak to Ryan Peimer and Shannon Davidoff on dating in the time of technology. Is romance dead? Are we accustomed to ordering partners like we order pizza? Is there a science to attraction? They ask these questions and so much more
12 October 2017
FEATURED IN WOMEN & HOME
Advice for elite singles, executive and corporate single men and women seeking the real deal in love……..be date ready! Perfect Partners snippet…….a quick guide to win at dating! YOUR gurus on all things singles dating, love and relationships.
Perfect Partners has a large database of eligible singles, 35 and up, and puts emphasis on personality, lifestyle, character and interests for each individual – members receive a short bio of their date beforehand. Fees cost R6 500 for a year for a personal singles dating service and much more, they walk the entire journey with you until you find your soul mate. [expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Advice for first dates:
Dating coach Shannon Davidoff gives brief tips for your first date with someone you’ve met online or through an agency…
What to expect Relax. Don’t set your expectations too high. Treat your first date as if you’re making a new friend. If you have good chemistry, you can move forward; if not, there’s nothing wrong with staying friends… or never seeing them again! You have nothing to lose.
What to wear If you don’t feel comfy, you won’t be able to relax and just enjoy your date. Find a balance between casual and done-up – your fave jeans with a great top and sparkly accessories looks laid-back, but like you’ve made an effort. Be groomed and smell nice!
Body language Be positive and upbeat. You want to appear open, so don’t cross your arms or clench your hands when sitting opposite your date. Communication means LISTENING as well as talking, give each other space to talk!
Stay safe Be careful about sharing your personal info (phone number, e-mail and physical addresses). Always meet in a public place, and make sure a friend or family member knows your plans, including who you’re meeting, where you’re going, and when you’ll return.
For more excellent dating advice, insider secrets on successful first date engagements, and more, Shannon and her Team are but an email away! Your enquiries welcome![/expander_maker]
COSMO INTERVIEW – VITAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SINGLES DATING LANDSCAPE
1. Do many people make use of your service?
It depends on what people observe as ‘many’! Where ever we go we are surrounded by thousands of “others”, but WHICH ONE IS “THE ONE” for YOU, and that is why it pays to have your own personal, bespoke “recruiter” for professional matchmaking. Considering there are only some 5 million tax payers in the country (and we work with the upper income group) and also have a basic entry criteria that prospects must be employed, have something to offer in a relationship, and have a good education or are successful in their career or in business, then yes, a few thousand people cross our path over a year, from all sectors and cultures, and because we have a quick turn-around (we hook up couples weekly, so newbies need to replace them constantly) we get a fair share of wonderful new members in a revolving door scenario. People who can afford us, join us! We work to our maximum output daily! We sadly need to reject some 30% of enquiries because they will not fit in or cannot afford us. [expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
2. How is matchmaking better than online dating?
A good matchmaker makes it her business to get to know EACH member well, their dreams, realities and hopes for the future, so can scour a solid database for individual, compatible and well matched singles, in order to act as the go-between, as a friend of both parties, and introduce them. They then have a right to accept or decline. As every member is well screened, it takes out 90% of risk factor, a safe environment is secured, transparency on profiles and photos, guaranteed. People pay for screening, recruiting and seeking out appropriate matches, and usually at least with a 50% accuracy for ‘two strangers’ to find synergy, half the battle is won, because they liked what they saw and are agreeable TO MEET AND CHECK IT OUT.
Online dating is fun, but much hanky-panky, games and agendas abound, and most people there are so insecure they pretend to be what they are not! Safest bet is get a personalised dating agency and bespoke service where you have recourse to a human (the matchmaker) than rely on electronics, rather outsource all the hard work, if you are fussy about who you let into your sacred space, heart or bed!
Love and romance leaves us all feeling warm and fuzzy, it is human make-up, but there are people out there who trade on human weakness, and there can be a very dark side to dating – online is a breeding place for scammers that prey on the most vulnerable! Also, we like to believe we are all sane and reasonable, but it is a fact mental and emotional illness abounds! A matchmaker is trained to know …….never judgmental though, as many ‘not yet ready’ singles can be offered coaching and help, to prepare to find lasting love, the right way! A matchmaker takes responsibility – even if it is fun, it is a life changing and serious mission.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve noticed singles face with the dating scene in South Africa?
Singles often have not really scoped out their own landscape!! Where do they find access to other singles? What is it they want? Is it out there? How much time do they have to search and research? Where is it? it is NOT simply “here is a man, here is a woman’, there needs to be common bonds, similar lifestyles, beliefs systems, cultural beliefs, dreams for the future, and much more! They NEED to be introduced! It is a global fact that personal introductions have at least a 71% success rate!
People often do not face who they are themselves, they seek the ideal and not the real! They often do not stop to ask “What is the reason I am single?” so getting out of denial is the first step to being real! Many singles are frantic with feeling ‘alone’ and think short term, just to get past another lonely weekend, they do not project into the future! Getting past instant gratification (also because of sexual needs) is the biggest challenge as they need firstly a strategy, an image that will attract that which they seek to engender possible permanent interest, and to know their own desires – is it just a passionate interlude, or ‘until death do us part’? People hop from bed to bed because they are impatient to find out about their new love interest……and it all blows up, which can be avoided! Improved ‘people skills’, which a professional matchmaker will impart, are sorely needed!! Ego is their downfall!! What they need is heart intelligence! And application with heart intelligence!
4. Do you have any recent statistics about singles in South Africa?
Not really, but we know 3 in 5 marriages end in divorce!! Usually because of bad choices in the first place! The younger generations (the Millenials and some Generation X) are late starters, so there are more never-marrieds under 38 than ever before!! They are very fearful of bad choices, as lesson learnt from previous generations! Fewer singles are committing to marriage, but happy to live together, as laws are prohibitive. I would say there are far more singles in this era than ever before! AND still, everyone deserves and needs real love and approval, and are seeking it! We do know there exists a niche for everyone, and they cannot be lumped together as a merry bunch of SINGLES!
5. Which parts of SA do most of the people using your service come from?
As we service a niche market of professional singles, executives, VIPS and generally positive and corporate singles, they need to be in the active economic arena, so they are mostly going to be found in the economically strongest areas where opportunity and reward are found, like Johannesburg, or even Pretoria. Coastal areas are more laid back and many professional singles do join us from these areas, and even some people from the country, who commute to the major centres often! The Northern Suburbs of JHB are the busiest as it provides the lifestyle discerning singles seek! We have many farmers in remote areas, happy to import a partner, like ‘n boer soek ‘n vrou!! We have had members in the USA successfully married off, , and our members are now with them, new USA citizens. Anything is possible, if requests are feasible! We even have had members from the Arctic Circle! Anywhere is fine if they commute to the major centres often.
6. What city in SA do you think has the most romantic potential for singles?
Any city has romantic potential! People create their own romance! But somewhere along the line, romantic holidays in the Cape seem to be a favourite! Johannesburg is vibrant and fast paced, cosmopolitan and universal, so there exists a sexually charged environment, until a couple wish to hole up! The Big Question is – are people aware what romance is? a matchmaker tells …….
7. What are people doing wrong when dating?
Singles have unrealistic expectations!! They have preconceived notions on what they NEED, not what they will GET! We need to break this down to the gender groups, even age groups! Generally though, men tell me daily women have lost their feminine goddess, are obsessed with power and even competing with men, as men simply want a woman to cherish, love and serve, even admire (strong and independent women are appreciated) and ‘protect’, but not when their power and success are used as a weapon to destroy men’s divine masculinity!
And women wonder then why men ‘use’ them? And women in general do not give a good man a chance to grow in the relationship, to learn what she likes (he will knock himself out for her if she is gracious, people must adapt and transform) and to understand ‘female speak’, women need to find solid potential, then gently change his dress code if he has no idea, as an example!! Men realise, unless they are practiced Players or Gigolos (or worse, married!), they are a bit clumsy in the courtship game, women need to be more tolerant!
Women condemn men outright that do not instantly meet their ideals, not realising he can quickly become what she wants, without bullying him, or belittling him – and men fear being laughed at! Too much emphasis is made on outward appearance, singles are not looking deep enough for solid values. Communication is key – and NOT on electronic devices!! It boggles the mind that people can fall in love when they have never even met – yes, it is happening more and more! cyber love is here…..and avatars abound! So what is wrong? GET REAL! Whether we like it or not, men are crucial to the equation, women have to win their confidence back!
Too many awesome bachelors ask me daily “Where have the REAL women gone? Please tell me you have NORMAL ladies if I join!”. And REAL women are asking “What has happened to chivalry and courtship, and don’t men believe in romance, where are the REAL men?” so maybe the answer is: if women behaved like ‘real’ women, then men will behave like ‘real’ men!! ERGO! Your matchmaker tells…….
8. Are there any common misconceptions about the dating scene in South Africa?
There are possibly many misconceptions!! Single men and women are everywhere but they do not ‘see’ each other! The notion is that there are many guys around, so just go online, some hunk will fall over himself to meet you soonest! Really? Or guys see all the gals around, same thing…but NO! People need to be compatible ….so back to the matchmaker!! Thousands of singles. But only one, just ONE, right for you!! Unless you have a strong magnet, the haystack is full of needles! Everyone has CHOICES! Competition is tough! In this day and age everyone is health conscious, you can’t look like the back end of a bus and expect to match the front end of a Maserati! AND there is a right “bus” waiting for you instead …….!!
9. What advice do you have for single South African women looking for The One?
Ladies!! All those amazing and awesome single women out there we love so much – remember we outnumber good men 10 – 1, discerning, decent and eligible men want a lifetime investment of love and happiness, not to rescue you, you need to be whole and ‘complete’ already (or get help first before you go on the market!) and they can pick and choose more than we can!! Do not be self-important as love needs humility! Look like a woman, talk like a woman, behave like a woman (you know, the archetype: gentle, loving, kind and supportive +)……men will notice! And never forget men are visual, their very libido depends on visual stimulation ……look good, lose weight, grow your hair, smell nice! Be POSITIVE! Your matchmaker knows what men dislike most, even if it is the brutal truth and hard to hear! Have a workable game plan ….your professional matchmaker will guide!
ADVICE TO ALL: rewire your “hardware”, lose bad subconscious imprinting and memories, put the past behind you – move forward into a positive new future by seeking an expert on dating, a professional matchmaker, and get a new strategy going with great new energy! There are eligible singles out there waiting to meet YOU!
Love and light to all,
NARCISSISTS AND HOW THEY DAMAGE US – LEARN TO RECOGNISE AND AVOID
(a quick read and you have new insights guys!)
Today I need to mention something about “dating persona”, especially for our many newbies (old members had chunks of advice in past months on “personal branding” for a specific reason). It is most sad when we get feedback that when meeting for the first rendezvous, members rock up looking rather casual or un-groomed (NO!), or work-stressed, or worse, look nothing like their pics on their profile!
We have all done much trouble to get the pics done (the best visual presentation we can muster that is authentic) and we have done a basic profile with your criteria you have approved! We have also ‘blurbed’ you and given you a great send-off, knowing what your TARGET MARKET is! Please know, when someone asks to meet it is because they like what they see …….all you need do is remember the “visual” and the basic profile we have used as your personal advert, and turn up like that!! No funny surprises! It is human then to feel duped and hoodwinked, no foundation for a new friendship! We also say how loveable, positive and charming you are, whatever, and you rock up moaning and whingeing about something! If you have a compulsion to talk about your ex and past love sorrows, please speak to our coach Veronica – she banishes spooks in hours! She has helped many, especially with GUILT, “I stuffed up” and must make amends – no – you do not have to pay the price for the rest of your life! And NEVER make amends with money – return to good old value systems, have boundaries, even if your loved ones kick and scream at the change, they will ultimately respect you for it! which brings me to todays very important topic – narcissism – we may all have a dose of it in varying degrees, so read please and see what you recognise in yourself, but MOST important, learn to guard YOURSELF against these toxic and very sabotaging types!! They are clinically impossible to change – most of the time! Love and light for a great weekend!! Fond Regards Shannon
11 Ways Narcissists Will Try To Manipulate You
Hopefully you are able to avoid having to ever deal with narcissists who will try to manipulate you. If you suspect you are affected by someone with this behaviour, it’s important to first recognize the signs of their clever (but hurtful down the line) tactics. Narcissists have several traits, but above all, a narcissist is selfish. They are motivated by what is best for them, not what is best for you, but is disguised as Best For You when it actually is not, and it is unlikely that you will ever be able to change that about them. Removing yourself from a narcissist’s influence is sometimes the best self-affirming thing you can do to protect your mental and emotional well-being. Shannon: we note that when people are harbouring guilt or any self-sabotaging trait, they are easy prey to narcissists, because the narcissist is telling them they ARE wrong (affirming the doubt) and so-called giving solutions! NOPE! [expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
A narcissist is pretty much wired to believe that they are always correct, so to prove this, they will bring in a third person who they have already convinced to support them. (this could be your close family member, friend or children! The closer the better because you want to please loved ones). This is pretty unfair to you, because if you had known that there was an evidentiary hearing, you would have brought witnesses of your own. You can possibly get away with a bluff of having plenty of your own people who are on your side….by then you are in a defensive position, which weakens you more!
Basically, you may have once seemed to be everything the narcissist wanted you to be, but now they seem to hate the very things that they once said that they liked about you. This is a way that the narcissist manipulates you into believing that you need to be even more than you are in order to please them.
Researchers studying narcissistic personality traits as they relate to aggressive behaviour say that narcissists show the strongest associations with overt aggression, verbal aggression, and the inability to control their behaviour or emotions. Shannon: remember the dramatic moment? Tantrums, weird behaviour or sullen silences? All part of the game ……!! Do not get into an unsafe situation with narcissists. Make sure that you protect yourself from being a victim of the abusive tendencies of a narcissist and know that you deserve better. Although physical aggression is easy to see, psychological aggression is harder to identify. These are the traits of a psychological abuser according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: * Intimidating you *Makes you feel afraid ….there are MANY angles…it could be they tap into your weak spot, biggest one, “someone” will leave or desert you because you not good enough…….or your new plan will never work …..making you feel foolish…it goes on and on * Threatening you * Denigrating language * Withholding emotional, physical or financial support * Controlling your access to friends and family * Controlling your behaviour * Pressuring you to do things that you don’t want to do
Belittling others and making them feel less valuable is one way a narcissist will try to manipulate you. A few examples: If they can make you feel ashamed for your appearance (opposite is make you believe you are vain because you liked a new pair of earrings), lack of education (which has little do with real intelligence, ask Richard Branson who is dyslexic), or social class then they feel better by comparison.
5. Playing victim
‘I can’t win with you’ is one of the narcissist’s tactics. By playing the victim, the narcissist is pleading with you to console them and help them justify their inflated ego. Don’t back down from getting things your way. They will attack with piteous bleating “You don’t understand my needs!” or “You will never understand what makes me tick!” ……”You only think about yourself!” …..”You owe me because I do so much for you!” you have heard it all, right?
6. Inappropriate behaviour
Researchers studying the everyday behaviour of teenage narcissists say ‘Narcissists do indeed behave in more extraverted and less agreeable ways than non-narcissists, skip class more (among narcissists high in exploitativeness /entitlement only), and use more sexual language.’ These people are likely to embarrass you in public and make you apologize to others for their behaviour. By doing so, you are supporting the ego of the narcissist by being their lackey and smoothing things over and making it easier for them to continue to be able to get away with acting like a jerk.
7. Monopolizing conversation
A narcissist believes that everything should be about them, so don’t be surprised if they weren’t listening to you. Not only that, but the narcissist immediately turns the topic back to themselves and cuts you off when you are speaking, but will not tolerate it if you cut them off.
Whatever it is that you accuse the narcissist of doing, they reflect and blame you for. They project their behaviour onto others because of course, they themselves are flawless.
Doing things you don’t want to do for a narcissist? Yes, they did that to you as another way of manipulating you. Somehow, they used a ploy to get you to obey their command in spite of your not wanting to. Shannon: this leaves you feeling frustrated because you don’t like yourself when you do things you know are against your grain/will/ethic, and leads to resentment, and the toxic bubble just grows! You are ALLOWED the freedom of choice …in everything you do!
Gaslighting is an insidious tool used by psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. This tactic makes you question your own sanity. For example, if you tell a narcissist that you dislike what they said to you in front of your friends, they will deny it, offer proof that you are wrong, and assert that it never happened. No matter what proof you can provide to support your claim, they will insist that you were imagining things. Now you DO doubt your sanity!
11. Verbal aggression
Yelling and insulting language is another way a narcissist will try to manipulate you. Again, the tactic is to make you feel small and fearful. Stay strong in the face of this kind of bullying behaviour. Keep your voice calm and normal volume and ask the narcissist to do the same. If they do not change the way that they are speaking to you, refuse to talk to them. [/expander_maker]
Featured on Sowetan Live
Featured On Sunday Times
Pro Tips To Find Mr Perfect
4 June 2017
SABC 3 “AFTERNOON EXPRESS” ON VALENTINES DAY 2017, SHANNON, CHARISSA and JEANIE D
As you know we have just participated in another world-wide survey with our international Blogger, Anat, which is VERY INTERESTING! Thanks to all the ladies who gave us input, most appreciated. We have received the results back from the second global survey on the challenges of dating men that women out there are experiencing, and really suggest that EVERYONE take time to read this really well as it holds universal advice for all those in the perpetual struggle that single men and women encounter every day in their search for a life mate! It seems that the picture is pretty much the same everywhere, with the same mindsets that may need adjusting, so please let us know your thoughts, and if you care, even comment directly on Anat’s blog! Last year we circulated the results to our entire database of what the men find challenging in dating women, so here it is again below, for all those that did not receive – the men gave us some brutal truths but also some very interesting pointers to work on! Let’s all see if we can improve relations between the sexes, now that we have both sides of the story! (If you cannot access the Challenges Men Face, please ask and we can forward – there were some very relevant points for bachelorettes to think about!). We thank Anat and her Team for including us in this global survey, and for their assessment of Perfect Partners as the leading and most professional matchmakers in SA, according to their experience with our competition here. Much love and light, Shannon and the Team Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Matchmakers on the Challenges Women Have in the Dating Scene Today
It is not a secret that the changing times and the changes in gender role have been affecting the dynamics of the romantic relationships between a man and a woman. To help singles understand the new courtship reality and challenges, I have asked matchmakers from different countries to share their insights on the subject. In December I published here Matchmakers on the Challenges Men Have in the Dating Scene. In this post the matchmakers discuss the feminine point of view on dating. I hope you will be inspired. Happy Valentine’s Day
Julie Ferman – Julie Ferman Associates, Los Angeles, USA
The biggest challenge today’s modern day woman has in dating is to accept the reality that every “real” man out there whom she might be considering as a potential candidate – he’s in direct competition with the “ideal man” who’s lodged in her mind’s eye as the perfect man for her. The mistake that women make continually in our complex, order-it-up culture is to compare a REAL LIVE man with the imaginary, fictitious guy who she’s hoping is out there, available for life-long love. In other words, get a grip on reality by really getting that the perfect guy is a fantasy. Real men are flawed, each one of them, just as we are…. Think of each man as perfect, with his foibles and his imperfections, just as you are… A better way to date is to consider the REAL LIVE men who are out there in your community, accessible to you via your personal and online networks. And in particular, give a shot to those guys who are stepping up to the plate to connect with you, to meet you, and to court you. The most important inner work you can do is to identify for yourself your Top Five Critical Criteria – the qualities and characteristics that you really need and want in your future partner. And yes, do the tough work of identifying the Top Five – those five elements, without which you’d rather do life solo forever. If the guy who’s pursuing you DOES appear to have those Top Five Critical Criteria, be open to him, connect with him, and say Yes to his invitation. Have one, two, yes THREE dates with this real man who’s hot for you. You’ll need to be with him a few times before that bonding thing begins to happen for the two of you. Attraction can develop for women FAR more commonly than it can for men – this may not be “fair” but it’s just a reality – men very rarely develop romantic attraction over time, so just accept this difference between men and women and work with it. The truth is that a girl only has a shot with the guy who thinks she’s hot…. So be careful not to chase after men or pine away for the ones who aren’t available, accessible or hot for YOU.
Harella Ishai – Doo-Lev, Israel
One of the biggest problems women encounter today in the dating scene is what I call identity confusion. Up until a few decades ago our gender roles were very clear; each person knew what it meant to be “masculine” or “feminine”. A woman who is warm, motherly, domestic, and a good cook was considered to be feminine. A man who is a gentleman, macho, and a good provider was considered to be masculine. Today there is a lot of confusion when it comes to gender roles. There are no rules or clear guidelines of what it means to be feminine or masculine. We have freedom – but this freedom is confusing. For people with self-confidence this situation might not pose a problem, but for people who are shy and hesitant it can be challenging. Take for example the dilemmas women have when dating: should she offer to pay half of the bill or should she wait for the man to suggest it? Should she call the man after the date or should she wait for him to call? In my opinion, before dating anyone, each woman must be honest and clear with herself about what kind of a woman she is, regardless of what she might think men want. Many times women work hard to act and project a certain persona that is very remote from their true nature. They do so thinking that it will help them to attract men. This approach is futile, since each man has his own preferences when it comes to women. I would like to use this platform to give men my advice: Don’t disqualify a certain woman just because of her lifestyle or because she doesn’t fit your “check list”. For example, if you were always sure that an “old fashion” woman is the perfect match for you, don’t dismiss a woman just because she has a career. Keep an open mind and give women a real chance. You will never find out who is the perfect woman for you if you don’t try.
Veronica Alcanda – Alcanda Matchmaking, Spain
Based on my European female clients’ experiences (almost 50% of my total clientele), and my own, I dare to say that the most common challenge women face today worldwide when looking for a life partner is that men are totally driven, on first sight basics, by looks over anything else. This, of course, supposes a great challenge to any female because there is always going to be someone younger or more beautiful than us out there. Thus, my day to day fight with male candidates, when looking for potential matches for my female clients, is trying to make them realize that looks fade away with time while personality, intelligence, kindness, so far and so on, characteristics a person need to have to ensure the relationship is going to last, don’t. Having said that, I am very glad to say that NOT ALL MEN are looking for just looks but a combination of things. True that they need to be sexually attracted by her partner-to-be but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the lady has to have the body/face of a top model. On the contrary, many men, specially high caliber ones, prefer an elegant, intelligent, educated and well mannered lady, with whom they will be able to maintain a good conversation and proudly introduce her to their friends, over just looks. When looking for a life partner, intelligent men know that getting a much younger girl will not satisfy their real needs in time and thus, they ask me for someone alike, with the same interests, social level and life’s objective and, in many occasions, even age. Many of my male clients have already experienced dating younger women and in little time realized that, although they did have a good time for a while, eventually, they saw they were not gonna be able to converge on the most important things in life such as; having a family (or not if they are divorce with children); enjoy their free time traveling and having long week- ends all over the world because the career objective has been already been achieved on both cases. So ladies, do not give up because there are MEN who know what they want as a life-partner and it’s not only looks.
Yvonne Allen – Yvonne Allen & Associates, Australia
Once upon a time – only decades ago – most women assumed they’d marry…and did. These days, in the western world, a gal can achieve in most areas of life that were once the preserve of the male. Given the appropriate education and experience she can fly to the moon, head large corporations or lead her country. However, for many millions of women who want to attract and keep their Mr Right, the chances of doing so are increasingly bleak. As a woman who founded my consultancy in Australia in 1976 for discerning singles seeking a partner, I have been in an unusual position to both witness and experience many of the ever increasing challenges women with careers can have finding – and keeping – love. It seems that the more a woman focuses on achieving, the harder it can be for her to attract her ‘Mr Right’. All too often the stress of a demanding work role, often combined with a long list of expectations re the man she seeks – including that he be at least as successful as she is – can leave her on a crowded shelf. It would seem that most guys do not have nearly as many items on their wish list re a potential partner. For many it is important that she is intelligent, he finds her attractive and that she makes him feel like her man. Unfortunately, in order to achieve, many a woman today does not readily reveal her more vulnerable, softer self – the femininity that for millennia has attracted the ‘protector’ and ‘provider’ in a man. Alas, all too often, the Mr Right a woman seeks is not looking for her!
Jane Carstens – Matchmaker for Hire, Vancouver, Canada
Contrary to popular belief, women in the dating scene today find there are lots of opportunities to meet wonderful men…it just takes longer! Sure it can be pretty tough – well not just tough, but confusing. Confusing in ways that most of us girls probably don’t understand. So having watched clients make more than a few mistakes, here are a couple points, as plain as we know how to say it, to help in essence see the situational truth in dating: Giving up to Soon? No matter the age, the most beautiful, most accomplished – if you’r dating there will come a time when you get rejected. Most often today, it comes in the form of never getting another call…and that means rejection can be good for you as you don’t want to waste time on that guy anyways. Keep your self-esteem intact; great communication is the beginning of a meaningful relationship. Are you saying NO to the Good Guys? We all have lists of what we want and those lists to judge the men we meet. Have you thought about whether there is anything there that might be making you say “NO” to the Good Guys? Time to rethink your list! Playing Hard-to-Get? Some men love the chase, pursuing romance and saying all the right things. And when you play hard-to-get, you’re likely to attract these men. But men who chase are often men who leave. Grown-up confident men of depth don’t participate in relentless pursuit.
Belinda Leung and Beth Harvey – Muse&Co., Seattle, USA
I love Dr.Ali Binazir’s quote: “To put it plainly, you are programmed to reproduce. Now quit thinking you’re smarter than the 3 billion base pairs in your genome and 4 billion years of evolution. Actually, just stop thinking altogether. Let the program do its work.” If we go back to basics, the key to finding a mate is instinctual, but somehow we’ve managed to disrupt it with phones and “deal breakers.” As women, we can often take our work demeanor on a date, and cues that scream equality at work, are likely negating natural mating cues. I do a short but powerful table showing some common dating activity women do, and how it compares to the basics men instinctually seek. You can then make your own conclusions about why dating is so difficult for women (and men) today. I’ve over simplified this because our lives are overly complicated already!
- 60-90% of our communication is non-verbal
- Research says flirty body language is more effective than looking good
- Men instinctually think about: availability, interest & procreation
|A woman’s common dating actions||Does this communicate…?||Suggestions to help communicate flirty behavior|
|Texting, and having difficulty coordinating a date||Availability Interest Procreation||Once he’s asked, commit to going on a date.|
|I’m really busy [working, exercising, etc.] so I can’t see you until….||There’s a difference between “being available” and being “in demand.” Try to get the right balance.|
|Join me while my friends and I are at…||Don’t invite potential mates to hang out with your friends. Go on a date, JUST the two of you.|
|Giving your resume||Ach! It’s a date, not an interview! How about, “Can you guess what I do for a living?” Think open ended…|
|Coming across too dominant, aggressive or competitive can be seen as unfeminine, not nurturing. Women may view this as confident and forthright, but too much gives off the wrong signals on a date.||Availability Interest Procreation||Arguably, this doesn’t negate our basics, but it still comes across negatively. Men do want a smart, equal partner; they don’t necessarily want to have to compete for it. Think about partnership, compassion, flirting! Even a woman CEO can communicate that she’s nurturing and feminine without downplaying her intelligence.|
|Dress with femininity.||Availability Interest Procreation||Please don’t go on a date after work. Go home, put on a red (or some derivative thereof) dress and relax. Think “physical attraction” vs power suit.|
This easy litmus test will help while you prepare for a date: Am I giving the right cues to communicate, availability, interest, procreation? Men are obviously much more complicated, however flirting techniques and showing your femininity are areas I continue to coach women to drastically improve their dating success. I never want a woman to pretend she’s something she’s not. Making a great first date impression gets you to the 2nd date, and that’s the first step!
Mairead Molly – Berkeley International, Global
At this point in history we as women are really getting comfortable with the idea that we’re fully in control of our lives and our futures. We celebrate no longer needing to seek permission or validation from men in order to believe that we’re beautiful or smart. Whilst this is an amazing achievement, it also presents particular challenges that perhaps weren’t so much of an issue a few generations ago. The challenge is that whilst this amazing cultural shift is happening, we still have our feminine instincts that hark back to hunter-gatherer times. Whether we like to admit it or not, we innately expect certain things from men and this is where it gets confusing, for everyone. We’re eager to prove we can look after and provide for ourselves and yet we still get offended if a man asks us to pay half the check. We workout, do yoga, build our core physical strength, but get upset if we don’t receive help with our (not very heavy) bags. The fact is that there are certain gender roles which are definitely not dead to us, but we like to pretend they’re bonus material rather than essential to the package. There is this unique dance currently happening between women’s fearless independence and our beautiful vulnerability. Frankly, we sometimes confuse ourselves and can feel guilty of letting the sisterhood down by admitting we still crave the feeling of certainty and safety that masculine energy can provide. I’m a big believer in starting with yourself first and then communicating clearly to others what you want. Get this right and regardless of what’s happening in your dating world, you stand a much better chance of overcoming any challenges. It’s helpful also to limit referring to it as a dating scene, this is your life not a social movement. Women are more successful at this type of thing what they learn to stand tall and strong in their individuality, which will always include some element of vulnerability. It doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human.
Shannon Davidoff – Perfect Partners, South Africa
Our response as the leading matchmakers in South Africa, and according to all our ladies who have given their careful thought and response to the questions of “What Challenges do Women find when Dating?” has been very interesting! It seems that the South African ladies are very forgiving over all but have some over-riding challenges and would like to see men in general spruce up a bit!
- Bachelors who are out to impress should work on their game and be more friendly and appealing (dress style, smell nice, relaxed and friendly).
- Bachelors should find time to work on a friendship/relationship. The ladies find one date is not enough to know if it can work.
- Good manners are a must – keep promises to call, turn up on time and remember their social manners, even with waiters, etc.
- Bachelorettes find men are not very approachable although they say they are, and women feel very judged before given a chance.
- Our ‘Continental’ ladies wish SA men would be more flirtatious like French and Italian men.
- Our SA ladies think this is bordering on lecherous, so what does a man think and how can he respond then, without getting a slap or a harassment accusation! They wish men were less anal!
- Generally SA men are lazy to date with charm, or there are players with no conscience! (We know those that join us are serious, and we help guide both parties on how the different sexes react to clear the path).
- SA bachelorettes find men under-informed in general, not very good listeners and often complain too much about their woes of the past.
- Our ladies would like to see men give them more of a chance and not be so visually influenced!
- Everyone agrees that there are more single women than men and it is very competitive as men have way more choices. Ladies, STEP UP!
- As matchmakers we see that the ladies value EQ and sensitive selection, while men do in fact go more for looks (our advice is: Ladies, use your assets to attract better and guide the object of your attention to the sensitive parts of interaction).
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” – Bob Marley
MARKETING THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FIRST – YOURSELF!
HOW YOUR EXPERT MATCHMAKER ‘SELLS’ YOU TO OTHERS! Whatever it is you do for a living, or do to make a buck or two, it will inevitably involve selling your brand (the item), your product, your service or dreams to change the world – no matter what, it is very important you are able to market yourself first! Shannon Davidoff, CEO of a professional and personal matchmaking agency, Perfect Partners, which literally ‘sells people to people’, has the unique task of ‘selling’ her Singleton’s to other likely interested parties, in a discreet and tasteful manner, as your ‘own product’ and apart from the science she needs to apply in the service of actual character/lifestyle profiling and matchmaking, she finds it always aids outcomes if people improve their visual image too, their ‘style’. Many people are not aware of their own attraction factor, or lack of it, or do not have their unique personal brand tagged! Here are her suggestions on how Singletons can up their game when trying to attract lasting attention from the opposite sex. Your personal style and charisma engenders confidence in the product, YOU, no doubt! Richard Branson IS Virgin! But what personal statement are YOU making about YOUSELF! What is self-marketing, and why is it important? Self-marketing helps individuals improve their image and reputation to advance their careers and personal objectives, or in a social context, in this case, attracting a life partner. Self-marketing is sometimes called personal branding because it uses branding tools to create an image around a person, rather than a product. We all have many personas, which is YOUR best angle? Do you ‘own’ your image? The most popular branding tools that people use to brand themselves is social media. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In is the most common tools. And then there are those well documented dating sites. Be honest with yourself. Do you really disclose who you really are on these platforms? The media is flooded with examples of how unsafe these mediums really are. Is this really the best way to market yourself? Even if you do find these platforms successful, how authentically are you representing yourself? Would you be noticed by the type of people you hope to attract? Probably not! How often do you step back and really, critically, look at yourself through the eyes of a new person? What does Joe Public see when summing you up? Shannon assists with helping you create the image you want to present, with a specific goal in mind, and knows what will work the best for you strategically, when she introduces you to new friends. She gets to know you well and can accurately profile you, sometimes with suggestions for some ‘outer’ physical changes too. Whether you want to promote your brand professionally or personally you need help. As human beings we are often not honest with ourselves when it comes to self-evaluation. From a professional perspective, there are loads of information out there to assist you with your self-marketing efforts. Some of the key tips in this regard includes:
- Get unbiased help! A Life Coach is often a good place to start. You might not have an honest and objective view of your strengths and weaknesses. Such a person can assist you to accurately portray and develop yourself. Your visual impact is pivotal if you want to attract a love interest, and you need to know what your ‘market’ is looking for also in a mate. You need a strategy!
- You should make self-marketing a habit. It is not something that you should only concentrate on when you are in the market for a new job. You are NOT invisible, you are surrounded by people all the time, but are they ‘seeing’ you? You need to be aware of your ‘packaging’ as it is something that needs constant attention. If you have a ‘presentation’ profile, look at it on a regular basis and update it.
- Network in circles where you want to be seen, meet the new friends Shannon introduces you to, and practice, practice that new style all the time, you never know who is watching!
Why should it be any different when it comes to your personal marketing objectives? Of course, we all feel good about ourselves, right, because family, friends and colleagues think we are awesome and love us unconditionally….because they KNOW us……..but how to get the same immediate buy-in from a stranger, especially if seeking a mate? The eyes are the first assessment tool – the visual! Beyond 80% of people feel they could shape up and trim down better, whatever, true or not, but the buck doesn’t stop there, so what is your physical impact, your body language, your ‘energy’ field also saying? What is your ‘attitude’ saying? What walls have you put up around you? Are you approachable? The most frequented place where people go who struggle to meet somebody is online dating sites. Not too different from social media, people sell what they know others want to see. Commonly, neither you, nor the person you are connecting with fit the stated profile completely. Why set yourself up for disappointment or be a disappointment? A matchmaker is your broker in all social situations and can present you from a more accurate angle, after you both ‘identify’ who and how you are. It is here where Shannon, who is also an Accredited Life Coach, shares her infinite wisdom. She has the most unique job of all – selling PEOPLE, to people!! IMPERFECT PEOPLE AT THAT!! And to very pernickety ones who often have no idea what they actually seek, because they cannot identify ‘what’ they are themselves!! She finds that people are often so blissfully unaware of their own ‘presentation’ that they don’t realise the power of personal attraction! She says that it is not going to fly when others are expected to ‘like me for who I am’ if they cannot recognise WHO you are or are interested enough to want to get to know the YOU in the first place! It is for this reason why “selling one person to another” is so difficult. Most people have not heard about personal branding. How is a stranger going to get to know your awesome character, loving heart and winning ways, if you have not attracted their attention visually, to evoke a desire to even WANT to get to know you! Shannon finds that the best tool to use for starters is a professional camera ……have that shoot and see yourself through a lens, without gimmicks, as a camera does not lie! Of course, it is unthinkable not to be clean, or smell good and be tidy first! Then imagine how much better you could present yourself – and not just with expensive labels – find a classic style that suits and is comfortable, even making small personal statements. We all have a certain amount of herd mentality – so if any part of that herd is your particular target market, you have to resonate to get the buy-in! (Your whacky, off the planet styles and eclectic tastes can be indulged in your own space, or the comfy clothes and scuffed shoes kept for those places where it does not matter). Shannon also says it helps to have positive body language, even if a person is a shy introvert, or a pin-up, fake it till you make it! Strangers will soon NOT be strangers once they start to respond to you! Limp handshakes, weak gestures, funny faces, mumbled dialogue, down cast eyes ……don’t hack it! Shannon helps many Singles get their groove back, by helping them identify with the TYPE of others they would want to meet, and then be sure to have a persona that attracts…….she laments that so many matchmakers simply believe ‘this be man, that be lady’ and after a very basic match (or not even) the couple are thrown together to muddle through their attraction factors, common bonds or ‘likemindedness’, often punching in the dark! It is far more efficient, and logical, to first receive a detailed profile with authentic pics, presented discreetly to a chosen person, and decide then to meet based on “Yes, I like what I see!” or decline, and exit graciously without wasting anybody’s time. Selling people is no different to any other show room …….and there are no ‘testers’ or test drives on purely merit, until someone steps up to look and give it a chance! Mother Theresa was a wonderful woman of great virtue and value, but would a man date her look-a-like? Generally women are much more forgiving when choosing a man because they do have feminine intuition and can see the good potential of a keeper …..that a good barber and shopping spree can soon fix! But still, good general hygiene, physical posture, charisma and charm, with some style, good communication, can win the day! Hence so many married men look so perfect – thanks to their women! They were hapless bachelors once too! Shannon finishes off by saying it is never too late to change, and re-inventing yourself is very exciting!! Develop your own brand! You want change? Well then, change what you doing! Shannon’s Company, Perfect Partners, specialize in Single’s lifestyle needs. Adding to her qualifications, she has a great sense of humour and vast tolerance for the human species. For the past 10 years Perfect Partners has not only helped individuals with their self-marketing, but have also connected people to one another in a professional, discreet and confidential environment through personal introductions. She also guarantees complete confidentiality, as no personal details of her members will be shared with any party unless the member requests to meet – and details of her vast database is kept strictly offline, absolutely no internet!
YOUR AWESOME MATCHMAKERS – THE REAL PROFESSIONALS
PERFECT PARTNERS ENDORSED BY FAIR LADY, FEBRUARY 2015
2015 – ADVICE ON DANGERS OF ONLINE DATING VERSUS PERSONAL MATCHMAKING – future article to appear in WOMAN AND HOME
Hi dear Stephanie, How nice that you considered us! We certainly can assist! My own very bad experience with online dating prompted me to start a caring matchmaking business ten years ago! I still am on 4 dating sites and use it purely for research now – I remain quite convinced that it is not ideal if you are seeking a genuine, balanced and honourable perfect partner with which to grow in a lasting and loving relationship that stands the test of time!! The biggest problem with online dating is that the Singleton’s have little experience or skills and get quite carried away with the excitement of expectation of finding someone – so they often make very bad choices, or even blow their chance at a perfect match through ignorance! I have evidence daily of the blood chilling things people experience, especially our ladies! (Even Carte Blanche have warned of scams, and believe it, it is true!). There are predators, emotionally unstable folk (worse, mentally unstable which usually only manifests down the line) married men and players with no conscience, and there is a very smooth operation (we think Nigerians) who target vulnerable ladies – and are so GOOD at their game they actually manage to part these ladies from large amounts of money before even meeting them ……courting and priming them for weeks or months until they get what the want – they parade as White guys and are very good looking, charming and skilled operators. How can we be so stupid? Sadly, when it comes to a possible cure for loneliness people lose their marbles! I can give you some very real life stories – because these devastated ladies call me in desperation and ask what they can do about it, but it is then too late? Men have suffered from nefarious agendas and fraud as well, so not all the ladies are that honest either. Of course, those that seek thrills and sex, happily use the internet and find what they seek – maybe they are folk that have commitment problems so the less emotional investment the better, beyond instant gratification. Online dating is like playing Russian roulette! Hence I started Perfect Partners 10 years ago – after my own experience of trying to meet decent eligible bachelors – with a mission to provide a safe environment where screening is pivotal, personal introductions are based on professional matchmaking, and ‘date ready’ coaching is provided from day one on how to succeed at this! We are hands-on and walk the journey with our members, advising as we go. There are many so-called personal agencies, but they do not have real people skills, have little knowledge on psychology (particularly of the Single’s condition or lifestyle/society) and offer little or no advice on how to proceed. They also have tunnel vision on culture and traditions, where we are well acquainted with the needs of our rainbow nation! I can tell you more if you are interested! I retired from the corporate world where I had vast experience on people development, psychology, profiling/team building and I am an accredited Life Coach specialising in the Single’s forum. Furthermore, even after a couple have fallen in love and are on a ‘high’ that blinds them still to the realities of life (hey, daily life is hard! New responsibility and accountability is hard!) we remain on board to ensure a smooth passage on the early rocky road to finding unconditional love through mutual negotiation! This whole transformational process is not just about being attracted to someone on a first date! We also have direct experience of how the different sexes think and feel, and often need to explain how the ‘other party’ operates, or needs, or behaves …..then there is better understanding! Men are still from Mars and women from Venus! But if they know the landscape they can deal with it. BUT!! We have loads of fun, share a lot, laugh with some and cry with others, and are very privileged to play a small part in people’s lives – and very honoured that they task us with the most important investment of a lifetime – a perfect partner! No mere mortal is perfect, but with understanding, a perfect bond can be nurtured and remain permanent. We are the hand that steadies the love boat! We are impressed daily at the high calibre of our Singles society and there are really awesome women out there – we applaud them – they deserve the best! (many have had a torrid time and can still have courage to start over with support!) and it is also an eye-opener that there are so many gentleman out there of all ages who are sincere and ready to commit! Where do they find each other and RECOGNISE each other? Men will respond with honour to a woman who has self worth and doesn’t sell herself down the river because she is desperate! Men want to feel they have earned a woman’s love and respect – the prize is worth the price! If she doesn’t know this, she will offer herself up and the result is a man will take ….but then move on to a more worthy prize! It therefore begs the question – are us women to blame for the fickle state of affairs that spawns a host of players? Boys will be boys! A women skilled and versed in the dating/mating/relating game can change this state of affairs! Men are really uncomplicated and inherently noble – we can encourage this! I hope you find this interesting ……..there is so much more! Maybe you would care to phone me – 083 235 5845 between 10am – 5pm tomorrow, or same time next Monday. Fond Regards Shannon Davidoff (nee Mac Naughton) CEO/Matchmaker/Coach
PROFESSIONAL MATCH MAKER, HIGHLY ACCLAIMED MATCHMAKER SOUTH AFRICA, PERSONAL INTRODUCTION SERVICE
Definition of a Matchmaker
“Matchmaker: a person who arranges marriages or initiates romantic relationships between others. A person or company that brings parties together for commercial or romantic purposes through professional, personal elite introductions.”