July 11, 2010

Author Q&A:
The dating aim

The game has changed – gee, thanks, Internet – but one important key is getting to date No. 2, says 'Have Him at Hello' author Rachel Greenwald.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Did you know that if you send a quick thank-you e-mail after a first date, the guy is not likely to ask you out again -- even though he says he appreciates such gestures?

click image to enlarge

Rachel Greenwald

click image to enlarge


WHERE: One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday

HOW MUCH: $15 in advance; $20 at the door

INFO: 761-1757; www.onelongfellowsquare.com

And ladies, be aware that your date is quietly sizing you up as a potential future mother for his children. But don't you dare bring up the idea that you might want kids someday, or he's outta there.

Men often talk about how complicated women are. Well, pot -- meet kettle.

These are just a couple of the insights that Rachel Greenwald, a dating coach and matchmaker from Denver, pried from male brains during 1,000 "exit interviews" with guys who never called their dates back.

Greenwald has written two books on dating. The first, "Find a Husband After 35: Using What I Learned in Harvard Business School," became an international best-seller that was translated into 23 languages. The latest, "Have Him at Hello: Confessions from 1,000 Guys About What Makes Them Fall in Love Or Never Call Back" (Three Rivers Press, $14.99), contains dating advice that's not always what you want to hear, but is guaranteed to open your eyes.

Greenwald, 46, was born and raised in Denver, but lived in Boston for 12 years, where she attended Wellesley College and Harvard Business School. She spends her summers in Old Orchard Beach, where her grandparents once owned a motel and her mother now has a home.

Greenwald is married and has three children, ages 9, 13 and 15. She and her husband are about to celebrate their 18th anniversary as they do every year -- with a nice dinner in a Portland restaurant. While she's in Maine, she'll be appearing at One Longfellow Square to give some advice on "My 7 Best Secrets to Find the Right Man." 

Q: Your new book is so detailed and obviously very well researched. But honestly, by the time I was halfway through it, I kind of felt like it's a miracle that anyone gets into a relationship considering how many immediate assumptions are being made about the other person. Do you feel that way sometimes?

A: I think what has slowly happened in the last few years as online dating has exploded is that there's this mentality that there's always a better match just a mouse click away. And so daters' mentalities have changed. The mentality now is that they feel this almost arrogance that there's so much volume out there -- so many men, so many women -- that they're now looking to rule out instead of rule in. And so I think it's a miracle that anyone gets together, but this is a recent phenomenon, and it really comes with the arrogance that there's always someone better out there. You could be out to dinner or to coffee with someone, and you could be back at your home computer in an hour sorting through other singles. 

Q: You have all these categories of women that you call "date-breakers," including The Boss Lady, The Bait & Switcher, The Park Avenue Princess, The Closer. Was there one category where you thought the guys were really being too judgmental?

A: I think both men and women are way too judgmental. I think that we've come to create stereotypes so quickly. We just have so much information thrown at us all the time now through social networks and the volume of people that we are exposed to, that our brain has to create stereotypes just to sort through the volume. So I don't blame anybody.

The category that surprised me the most, I think, was the No. 1, The Boss Lady date-breaker. What was different about it than I expected was I think women go around with the assumption that men are intimidated by their success, and in reality he just doesn't respond to her abrasive personality. And peeling back that layer, it's not that she has an abrasive personality, it's that she is behaving in a social setting the way she has been rewarded at work. She is sticking up for herself, she is overly independent, she's argumentative, she's confrontational, and these are all things she has been nurtured and trained to do. 

(Continued on page 2)

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