London-based matchmaker Ziv Sigoura of reveals his expert tips for socialising on the dating scene
London-based matchmaker Ziv Sigoura reveals his expert tips for socialising on the dating scene
Have you ever gone to a party and stood in a corner feeling awkward? You’re not alone. Professor Robert Winston declared that attending a party, or similar gathering, is one of the most demanding and complex situations the human mind has to deal with – so it’s no wonder many of us find it challenging.
At the tender age of 25 I moved from Israel to Chicago. I was very shy and suffered from a severe lack of confidence. Thousands of miles from home, I knew I had to work through my shyness or I’d never make any friends, let alone find romance. I signed up to social events and dragged myself to them regularly. One night, I was standing on a rooftop patio overlooking the city lamenting that, once again, no one was talking to me. I was gearing up to leave but I stopped myself. I didn’t want this to become yet another wasted night, so I decided to take bolder action.
I acted as if I had a lot more confidence and began to smile and make eye contact with people as I walked past them. I came upon a group and listened in, joining in when I felt I could. Luckily I was given an encouraging response and began to relax. In fact, I ended up making quite a few new friends that evening, including one I still have to this day!
I mused on the success of my new approach and developed a range of techniques, some of which I share below. The more I practised them the easier they became until socialising in crowds was second nature. Today I use this knowledge to help single men and women become more at ease with dating and social situations.
If you’ve ever had a bad experience, or haven’t dated in a while, you may feel your socialising abilities are at an all-time low. The good news is there are some simple, effective steps you can take to become skilled at meeting new people and pave the way to romance.
You may be tempted to ask a friend or two to join you at the next singles mixer, but I urge you to resist. You may feel more comfortable, but you won’t push yourself to mingle with a mate beside you. Moreover, you may find fewer men approach you as most find groups of women rather intimidating. Be brave and go it alone – you’ll get more out of it.
You’ve paid for your ticket and your drink and given up your evening, so use your time wisely. If you’re mingling and don’t like the vibe of a group move on quickly. You’re seeking quality interactions and positive energy. Be polite of course, but create opportunities to move on when you can. You never know who you’re missing out on if you’re stuck in a corner with a relentless talker. Good get-out lines include: ‘I’m just going to get a drink’, or ‘I need to pop to the ladies. Bye for now.’
Instead of focusing on your search for romance, simply enjoy the process. We can become rather narrow-minded when doggedly pursuing an end goal, often missing opportunities in the process. Practising mindfulness is an excellent way to reconnect with the moment you’re in. To do so, simply listen to the noises around you, become aware of your breathing (and slow it down if necessary!), take notice of your surroundings – the colours and fabrics – and let go of the outcome. Enjoy being in the moment. This will help to relax you and ensure you give off less intense signals.
Just as I did, act as if you are confident and secure – even if you don’t feel it – and you become more engaging to others. We’re drawn to positive people. No one likes a grouch! Professor Richard Wiseman states in his book 59 Seconds that our bodies release ‘happy’ hormones when we smile and act as though we are bright and enthusiastic. So relax your shoulders, walk with your head held high and smile. Finally, when you talk focus on positive topics.
Listening is a vital skill. Truly listen without expectation, ask questions and take an interest in the other person, who knows what tales they have to tell? Conversations should be a two-way street, but if you find yourself stuck with a non-stop talker then refer to Tip 2!
If you’re short on topics to talk about pick one that’s currently relevant to you. My preference is for humour and I like to talk about current affairs. People tend to enjoy discussing present topics in the news. I wouldn’t advocate talking about religion or politics so early on, but there is always something interesting in the news to get people talking. This will help you converse more freely and allow the listener an insight into your personality.
Central Quest is a London-based Exclusive Matchmaking and Dating Agency that understands how, for numerous reasons, meeting that special partner is difficult. They offer bespoke solutions to counter the difficulties associated with dating and give clients the direction, guidance and tools necessary to pursue their goal of finding love. www.centralquest.com
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