An Interview with Kevin Darne – Dating Experts Month
Tell us about yourself. What makes you a dating/relationship expert?
Generally speaking those in the media bestow the designation of expert upon myself and others known for sharing their advice. I am the author of My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany). The book is about learning how to approach relationships with complete awareness, having realistic expectations, and using self-empowerment techniques. My Cat Won’t Bark! is laced with several humorous anecdotes and has received some noteworthy positive editorial reviews from the likes of Publishers Weekly, Reader’s Favorite, and Midwest Book Review.
I am also a former Chicago Dating Advice Examiner for Examiner.com where I published articles offering advice in the tricky world of dating. I have had the privilege of sharing my dating insights in various publications and media outlets. I have been featured on WGN-TV Morning News Chicago, The Chicago Tribune Newspaper, NBCNews.com, Askmen.com, ReadersDigest.com, Bravotv.com, HowStuffWorks.com, PsychologyToday.com, Bustle.com, Thisisinsider.com, Stylecaster.com, Match.com, Cheatsheet.com, Babble.com, Romper.com, Upjourney.com, BRIT + CO, AARP.org, Redbookmag.com, Zoosk.com, Tinder, along with several other websites and radio appearances.
In addition I was a Continuing Education Instructor for School District 211 located in the NW Suburbs of Chicago where I taught classes on “How to Find and Choose Your Ideal Mate” and “Avoid the Catfish! How to Date Online Successfully!”
How does your approach differ from other experts?
My approach is to first focus on who the client is and what she or he is looking for in a mate.
I then want to learn a little bit about what their past relationships have been like and why they chose those particular partners. Oftentimes people will claim they want a certain type of mate but they always seem to choose someone who is the complete opposite. I encourage them to stop blaming others.
Each of us chooses our own friends, lovers, and spouse.
Each of us has our own mate selection/screening process and “must haves list”.
Each of us has our own boundaries and “deal breakers”.
When we acknowledge these truths, it empowers us because we have the ability to learn from our own mistakes and make better choices for ourselves in the future. You are responsible for your happiness.
If you go to the grocery store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a better shopper!
Women often ask how they can stop attracting the wrong type of men. I tell them to stop concerning themselves with who is attracted to them. Millions of men are attracted to Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid. You have no say as to who finds you attractive!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You should instead focus on why you chose certain men to be with.
It’s not about which men are attracted to you but rather which men you find attractive.
Nothing happens until you say “yes” to someone. When we change our circumstances change.
If you want something different you have to do something different.
If you are having one bad dating/relationship experience after another it is probably time to reexamine your mate selection/screening process. The only thing all of your failed relationships have in common is you. Some people would rather attempt to change the world than to change themselves!
What are some of the biggest challenges/frustrations you see from the people you work with?
Some of my biggest challenges are trying to get people to take responsibility for their past relationship choices, getting them to let go and move on from past relationships, as well as giving up on the fairytale.
A lot of people still want to subscribe to the old adage of “follow your heart”. I say;
“Never separate your heart from your mind when making relationship decisions. The purpose of the mind is to protect the heart.” Some folks have told me: “You can’t help who you fall in love with.”
However, if we choose who we spend our time with we are by default choosing who we will love!
It is a little disingenuous to say “yes” to exchanging your contact information, to going out on dates, to kissing, to having sex and countless other things over and over again; and then claim that love just happened! If you said no or never had contact with him/her you’re not going to fall in love with them!
Communication is often bantered around as being the key to a happy successful relationship.
As it turns out many people do not find communication to be romantic.
Their idea of a “soulmate” is someone who will instinctively know what to say and do to please them!
Imagine a married woman complaining to her husband on Monday about him never buying her flowers anymore. On the way home from work on Tuesday he stops by the florist and buys her a dozen roses. Odds are she is not going to exactly jump up and down with joy. Although she got what she wanted there remains a bitter taste of resentment in her mouth from her having to ask him in the first place!
It’s almost a cliché to hear someone complaining to their mate by starting a sentence with the following:
“I shouldn’t have to tell you…. etc.”
While asking for what you want will increase the odds of you getting it the truth of the matter is most people want their mate to come up with the idea on their own. They don’t want to communicate!
Member submitted question
I’m 49, female and recently divorced. I met my husband when I was a teenager so I’ve never really done the whole dating thing. Where do I start?
– Catherine, 49
Catherine, you should start by doing some introspective thinking to figure out who you are and what you want and need in a mate. You also should decide if at this time you are simply looking to get out and have some fun or if your mindset is to find love.
Every “serious relationship” I’ve ever had began as a “causal relationship” and evolved over time. What you want should dictate where you shop.
Your personality and what you enjoy doing will usually indicate what you are comfortable with.
If you enjoy specific activities or hobbies you may want to join a few Meetup.com groups in your area. These groups generally meet once or twice per month and are made up of people who have similar interests such as horseback riding, photography, theatre goers, yoga, meditation, dancing, book clubs, writers, and countless other options. Many of these groups have single people in them and you can gradually get to know them over time while attending the meetings. In addition, there are usually some singles networking groups and activities as well.
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to dating, relationships, or finding love.
Ultimately life is a personal journey and you are the only one who knows what you want.
My advice would be for you to start off with having the goal of just meeting someone new who is compatible and you enjoy each other’s company. You should go out with multiple people and just focus on having fun until you find a situation whereby you both feel something special.
One common mistake many people make is focusing on (one person) too quickly. This causes them to become overly emotionally invested with someone they barely know. If you were looking for a job you wouldn’t submit your resume to (one company) and wait to see if they hired you before submitting your resume to another company.
If you’re really the adventurous type you might consider going on singlescruise.com whereby everyone on the ship is single. You have the option of sharing a cabin with someone or paying to have your own cabin. A wide array of events are set up on the ship for the cruisers to partake both on the ship as well as onshore excursions. Whether it’s a Caribbean cruise or a Greek Isles cruise at the very least you are bound to enjoy having a getaway.
Niche online dating sites are also available if you have some specific “must haves” such as particular age group, race, religion, pets, children, or whatever other requirements you desire.
It is important to do some research prior to selecting a site or app. You should also read any available reviews about the sites as well. It helps to know the ratio of women to men, average age of the subscribers, their education and income levels.
Sport bars, pubs, and nice hotel lounges with live music are good for unwinding and meeting new people. Nightclubs/dance clubs in upscale venues especially those in hotels can be fun.
If you’re uncomfortable going alone take a girlfriend with you.
In addition, there are beaches, gyms, and summer festivals where lots of people attend. Oftentimes people simply are not aware when others are flirting with them! They are too focused on their activity. Sometimes just being aware of how someone engages with you opens doors.
The most important thing is to enjoy life and be happy regardless of your relationship status.
People are drawn to those who are positive, personable, and have a great sense of humor.
Tell us about some of the projects/books/events you’re currently working on/just completed
I am putting the finishing touches on a new eBook regarding online dating which I plan to have available on Amazon by the end of July. I plan to have another one on “first dates” launched in late fall as well. I have also just made arrangements to offer services on Fiverr.com where I can be found under the user name lovealert911.
Do you find any patterns with respect to what women are attracted to? What are the main things women are looking for in a man?
What women find attractive about men varies according to the age of the woman and her life experience. Some younger women go through a “bad boy” phase where they want to be with guys who are somewhat of a rebel or nonconformist. Some of them are especially drawn towards guys who are narcissistic, arrogant, or emotionally unavailable. They see them as being more of a challenge, fun, exciting, a mystery to figure out, and unpredictable.
Any “nice guys” they meet while in their “bad boy” phase are placed in their “friend zone”.
Generally speaking it is not until after they have been hurt or betrayed several times that they consciously make the effort to try dating a “nice guy” or different type for peace and stability.
- Physical attributes – Everyone wants to be with someone they find attractive.
- Confidence: Women also love to be with a guy other men admire and respect.
- Strong in the sense of she feels safe when he is with her physically and emotionally.
- Great sense of humor: He knows how to make her laugh or put a smile on her face.
- Thoughtful and considerate: He knows how to melt her heart and please her.
- Financially stable and has a vision for the future and a plan for getting there.
Do you find any patterns with respect to what men are attracted to? What are the main things men are looking for in a woman?
Men tend to keep things fairly simple when it comes to what attracts them to women.
- Physical attributes: face, body, hair, smile…etc.
- Personality: Someone who is personable, easy going, with a great sense of humor
- Knows how to subtly and playfully flirt to show they are interested in a man.
(Everything else she has such as education and career achievements are icing on the cake!)
Member submitted question
I’ve recently started an age-gap relationship with a woman who’s 15 years older than me. I haven’t told anyone about us yet and she’s getting annoyed, almost like I’m ashamed of her. I really like her but I just don’t know how my friends and family will react. What should I do?
– Marv, 30
Marv, you will never truly be free until you stop caring what other people think.
You are approaching an age where most people start getting to that point where they feel they have earned the right to do as they please with their life without needing others to weigh in.
The fact you are bringing up the age difference in conjunction with your having not introducing her to your family and friends suggests one of two things. The first being you are embarrassed by her or the second which is you do not see her as being someone you are seriously into.
Most people do not introduce every fling they have to their “inner circle”. Anyone you have been dating for less than three months shouldn’t be pushing you to make them a staple of the family. The real question is: If she were your age would you be introducing her at this stage?
The first step is to always be honest with yourself. The next step is to be true to yourself.
If you do not wish to introduce her to your inner circle let her know why.
How can people connect with you on social?
Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you hold close to your heart?
The world may not owe you anything but you owe yourself the world!
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde