Tips for Successful Dating

Posted by in online dating after 40 | 0 comments

Last First Date RadioMy radio guest yesterday was Lisa Darsonval. She is a Matchmaker and Dating Coach at Santa Barbara Matchmaking, a discreet upscale matchmaking company for successful commitment-minded singles in Santa Barbara, Central and Southern California.  Lisa is an expert at and, and was a speaker at the 2013 Las Vegas iDate convention.  She is an active member of Matchmakers Alliance. Here are some excerpts from my informative interview with Lisa.

Tips for Successful Dating

Sandy: What do you need to do to be successful when dating?


  • Begin with self-love and self-confidence. You’ll project it out to others. Think about what you need to be happy. What is recurring that is bringing you stress? Maybe you need to exercise more, find a hobby that you love, or try a new sport. Connect with family/friends for support. If they can’t help you, seek professional help with a coach or therapist.
  • Date with excitement and a great attitude. Many people think negatively about dating, like ‘all the good ones are taken’. If you date with that attitude, that’s what you’ll find. You know the car analogy? You buy a new car, and suddenly, you see that car everywhere. That’s what happens in dating. Your attitude about dating is what you’ll attract. When you have that great upbeat mindset, you become radiant. People will be attracted to you.
  • Have realistic expectations. You need to ditch the long list, because you’ll possibly disqualify some great people. Just pick the top three must-haves, the top three deal breakers, and focus on that in choosing a partner.
  • Be willing to take a chance. Say yes to a date. Have the courage to put yourself out there. If you can’t get over that fear, you won’t be able to find love. Be vulnerable. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  • Don’t take things personally. It’s all a learning process. Not everyone is for you. Be selective, learn from the experience and move on. If you keep repeating a pattern, go to a dating coach who can help you analyze what you’re doing wrong to help you break the pattern and stay accountable.

Sandy:  Since you’re a matchmaker, what do you think about online dating?

Lisa: Online dating can be a wonderful tool a) if you know how to do it well and b) if you have the time to do it. You need the proper tools. First, know what you’re looking for. Next, have a great profile with interesting stories. I write profiles, and I want to know stories about you, like about your trip to Africa, or tell me about that pie you baked for your sick friend. This is what makes you come alive. Also, get professional photos. You’re in competition with others your age, so put your best face forward. Next, know how to choose a quality person, and finally, know how to correspond to people online.

Sandy: You said everyone who gets date coaching from you makes a  “Contract to Myself”. What is this?

Lisa: In this contract, my clients write the absolute needs they must have in a relationship, and what are the red flags, things that would make them feel uncomfortable and feel demeaning. They define top 3 deal breakers, top 3 must-haves, and top 3 ‘what am I bringing to the table’.

With this contract in hand, they go on dates with a lot of clarity. They know that if the person they’re dating doesn’t meet their needs, they will either do what they need to do to fix it, or release themselves from a relationship to honor who they are and what they need.

Sandy: When do you think it’s time to walk away from a relationship? 

Lisa: When your needs are not met in a relationship, when you’ve tried to make it work through talking or therapy/coaching, it is probably time to walk away. You have a choice to end it with respect and love or to drag it out in a painful way. End it before it gets to that point. Do it in a kind and loving way.

Sandy: Why would someone hire you as a matchmaker? 

Lisa: The majority of my clients are successful and busy. They don’t have a lot of time to date. Or they might be someone in transition, older (50+), who doesn’t want to spend too much time in the wrong relationships. I’ll be efficient, will weed out the bad dates, and present them with someone with whom they would have the greatest chance of success. I only represent people who are looking for a long-term committed relationship. They get a survey at the end of the date, and I ask for info that will help people be a better date. I learn so much about my clients through this process, too.

Sandy: How do you define success for your clients? 

Lisa: My client Ian got married because of my dating coaching. I helped him identify his limiting patterns and he changed his dating mindset. He learned to look for different qualities in a woman. The woman he married is someone he wouldn’t have dated without that work. My first matchmaking client was very overweight, but he was such a wonderful guy, I took him on. He refused to lose weight. He fell for a woman, and her feedback was that he was a great guy, but he was too overweight for her. All the women he dated said the same thing. He said he wanted to freeze his contract for 6 months, and he lost 57 lbs. in those 6 months. He looks and feels great, and is no longer depressed. Now, he’s able to date with confidence, and I’m sure he’ll meet someone special very soon. That’s success to me!

Lisa shared some great tips for successful dating, don’t you agree? For the rest of the interview, please listen here.

Please share your dating success tips below.

For more midlife dating advice and a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)”, please click here.





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