Blog, Tips and Dating Support for Singles in Switzerland
How To Find Your Soulmate Without Going on Thousands of First Dates
What you’ll learn:
- If it’s not love at first sight, it doesn’t mean he’s not right for you.
- How to find your soulmate? Give your dates a fair chance.
- According to the Mere Exposure Effect, people “grow on us” once we get to know them better.
- My own marriage story confirms that sometimes we need more time to realize that this is the right person for us.
Many people believe once they find the right person, it'll be love at first sight, they’ll be swept off their feet. It most often isn’t like that at all. Many singles fixate on finding love at first sight or say, “When I meet the right person, I’ll just know.” But if you really want to know how to find your soulmate, you need to look somewhere else.
It’s Not Always Love at First Sight
Sometimes it’s not love at first sight and still people end up in happy, lasting relationships. A close friend of mine was at a university party when she spotted a guy dancing on top of a table. She turned to her friend and said, “I would NEVER date someone who would do that.” The man, of course, turned out to be her future husband and they have now been married for over 20 years.
It’s not uncommon to hear singles say, “I always pictured myself with someone who…” or “I could never imagine being with someone who…”
Getting Real About First Dates
When my client goes on a date, I ask them their general impression:
- Were they treated with respect?
- Did their date seem honest and straightforward?
- Were they attracted to their personality?
- Did they have fun?
- Did they seem to display some of the qualities they would be looking for in a partner?
I also ask them what they thought of the way their date looked on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least attractive, 10 being the most attractive.
It’s quite common to hear a client say, “He was OK, maybe a 5.5 or 6,” in which case I encourage them to go on a second date because a 5.5 can easily become an 8.5 as you get to know them more.
Recently I had one of these conversations and my lady client answered, “It was alright, a 5.5 or 6 I would say.” I asked if she would like to continue to get to know him better and since he had been kind and seemed nice, she agreed and thought it would be worth at least a second chance.
When I called the gentleman he said, “Well it was okay, but I wouldn't want to see her again. I wasn’t exactly swept off my feet or wowed by her.” I couldn’t help but respond to him, “I just spoke to her, and she wasn’t wowed by you either, but she still agreed to see you again to give you another chance because you were kind and interesting.”
They eventually agreed and met again, which was a good thing because he called me a month later thanking me for encouraging him to give it another chance. He’s now discovering what an amazing woman she is.
Looks are important but don’t overestimate first impressions
Give Your Date a Fair Chance
I frequently tell my clients to give their dates a fair chance, even if at the start it isn’t quite love at first sight. I’ve worked with a number of clients who were convinced that their current partners just weren’t the right match at first. Click here to read this adorable story from a couple in that category: From "Deal Breaker" First Date to Married with Kids
What many people don’t know is that I have first-hand experience with this. When I first met my husband, Pierre, we were both living in Los Angeles and went to a farewell dinner of a mutual friend at the Cheesecake Factory in Marina del Rey. There were 15 people at our table, many of them French. I vividly recall Pierre proposing we all speak in French and although I spoke French reasonably well at the time, I found it to be quite an annoying suggestion.
We were in Los Angeles and not everyone at the table spoke French fluently, but this French guy thought we should all speak French because it would be easier for him. It just rubbed me the wrong way. On top of that, he was wearing pants that were way too short with suspenders. It was very clear to me that he was not, ‘my type.’
While he tells me that he remembers me as pretty and wearing a beautiful dress, I considered him as only having the potential to be a friend. As fate would have it, we then met a second time at Cafe Casino in Santa Monica when we bumped into each other. We had coffee and chatted, walked around, and had ice cream.
I had planned a visit to Paradise Cove the next weekend and as he had never been there, and I had a car, I asked him if he wanted to join. We had a lovely day in Malibu. Later on, some of his students were having a concert and he asked if I wanted to join, and so we met up again.
Getting to know him as “just friends” showed me just how different we were. He comes from a progressive, socialist family whereas I come from a conservative, Christian family of farmers. He is very active in strenuous outdoor sports and activities; I enjoy light leisure outdoor activities, but most enjoy the lunches and coffee stops along the way.
Despite all our differences the more time we spent together the more I liked him.
Mere Exposure Effect
After years of studying dating and relationships, I know that this is a phenomenon known as the Mere Exposure Effect.
It’s a psychological phenomenon in which people feel a preference for people or things simply because they are familiar. Social psychologist Robert Zajonc observed that exposure to a new stimulus causes a fear/avoidance response in all organisms.
Each subsequent exposure to the new stimulus means less fear and more interest. After repeated exposure, the observing organism will begin to react fondly to the once novel stimulus.
The more you get to know someone, the more you begin to like them
After getting past what I thought were impossible differences, I discovered many virtues. Pierre was smart, interesting, reliable, he had a strong character, a different sense of humor, and good family values. He was always curious and interested in new things.
After being friends for months, we eventually started dating and this year we recently we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary alongside our three wonderful children.
So many times, we limit ourselves from connecting with an incredible match just because of the differences that only seem important when you first meet. I know this and deeply understand it because I was guilty of it too. Thankfully, I gave it a second chance.
How To Find Your Soulmate? Be Careful With Gut Feelings
Some differences end up being complimentary. What’s important is having similar values and goals and being committed to making it work by prioritizing the relationship and being able to evolve in the same direction. Knowing when and how to compromise always helps too.
When my husband and I now go on bicycle tours together, he rides on his regular bicycle, and I join him on an electric bike, and we are always sure to stop for a coffee.
Your gut feelings are an evolutionary feature to keep you safe in drastic situations. There is a difference between something keeping you safe and something holding you back. Gut feelings can be there to help keep us in our comfort zone which isn’t helpful when we are trying to grow.
But don’t prematurely filter out the man who could have been your husband. To learn more about what's holding you back so you can finally find your match, check out my free masterclass, "Why Are You Still Single?" now.