Once I began studying the science of networking I discovered the quickest and easiest way to get to decide if the business person I was meeting for the first time is someone I wanted to get to know better. With a few prepared questions the process is quite easy. I have a friend that had been involved in a long distance relationship for about 6 months. Over lunch, she shared that they were no longer seeing each other. When I inquired as to why, she shared the several, in my opinion, legitimate reasons. As she was sharing, I was thinking, why did it take 6 months to figure it out? Could she have saved a lot of valuable time and money by approaching the “first dates” with great questions and meaningful conversation rather than getting caught up in the activity of dating? My husband and I have many friends who are single and looking, but are having a tough time in the dating department, which led me to giving thought to this topic.
I co-created The Espressobrain Works program which is all about maximizing the time you spend networking and how to turn those “chance” meetings into profitable relationships. When it comes right down to it, why should dating be any different? Why do we feel that we need to drag relationships out so long when we really have feelings in the beginning, especially in our gut, that it is either a good thing or one that we should just end and move on? Have you ever wasted time with trying to build a relationship that deep inside you knew would never flourish? Why?
In business, we are taught over and over to create a clear picture of our “ideal” client so when we are in a Business Networking situation we can quickly and easily share with another so they have a good idea of what we do and whom we serve. If you are single and on the dating scene, have you created a clear picture as to your “ideal” mate? If you create a clear picture which you can easily share with others it is very possible they may know someone who fits your description thereby making it easier for an introduction. If you have a clear picture in your mind, you can ask great questions that are in alignment with your “ideal” mate upon meeting someone for the first time. I’m not referring to the dreaded “checklist” but to have some sort of criteria which can easily be shared with another.
Business Networking is defined as the sharing of information, ideas, and resources. Dating is defined by Wikipedia as part of the human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each ASSESSING the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage.
So, how does one assess? Approach it like Business Networking and ask great (prepared) questions which will lead to good conversations. Add observation of another in social situations to measure what they say they are and what they say they want are in alignment with what they actually do. (Actions speak louder than words-Mark Twain)
Why not give it a try:
Create your “Ideal” mate.
Most people like to help others, so share your “Ideal” mate with others.
To maximize the time you spend dating and or taking advantage of that quick “chance” meeting prepare a list of great questions designed to discover if the person your are talking with fits your “Ideal” mate criteria. If their answers to your questions are favorable, you can move forward from that point. If not, you can politely end your conversation; therefore, no time wasted. Take it one step further and share your “Ideal” mate and ask him or her to share the same. Chances are, you might know someone whom would be a good fit and can make an introduction. Now that’s Dating Networking!
Feel free to use a few of these questions mixed in with your “criteria” questions and some ice-breaker warm up questions:
Are you currently married or in a committed relationship? (Why not just get this out on the table immediately!) This will save massive time and heartache. Depending on the answer, you might have a few follow up questions ready. For example, if the answer is I’m separated or I’m going to get divorced then ask, Does your spouse know? I have heard horror stories from my single friends.