5 Golden Rules For Finding Your Life Partner

Golden Rules For Finding Your Life Partner

by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.

A relationship coach lays out his 5 golden rules for evaluating the prospects of long-term success. When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake.Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50 percent, it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr/Ms Right! If you ask most couples who are engaged why they’re getting married, they’ll say : “We’re in love.” I believe this is the #1 mistake people make when they date.

Choosing a life partner should never be based on love (alone).Though this may sound not politically correct, there’s a profound truth here. Love (alone) is not the basis for getting married. Rather,love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will come. Let me say it again : You can’t build a lifetime relationship on love alone. You need a lot more.

Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you’re serious about finding and keeping a life partner.

QUESTION #1 : Do we share a common life purpose?
Why is this so important? Let me put it this way : If you’re married for 20 or 30 years, that’s a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need to share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common life purpose. Two things can happen in a marriage. You can grow together, or you can grow apart. Fifty percent of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life bottom line – and marry someone who wants the same thing.

QUESTION #2 : Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this person?
This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust i.e. trust that I won’t get “punished” or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel motionally safe with the person you plan to marry.

QUESTION #3 : Is he/she a mensch?
A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can you test? Here are some suggestions
Do they work on personal growth on a regular basis? Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of mine defines a good person as “someone who is always striving to be good and do the right thing.” So ask about your significant other: What do they do with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement. There are essentially two types of people in the world : People who are dedicated to personal growth and people who are dedicated to seeking comfort. Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.

QUESTION #4 : How does he/she treat other people?
The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.

Ask : Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped up themselves and self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the following : 1) How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as a waiters, bus boy, taxi driver etc? 2) How do they treat parents and siblings? 3) Do they have gratitude and appreciation? 4) Do they show respect? If they don’t have gratitude for the people who have given them everything, you cannot expect that they’ll have gratitude for you – who can’t do nearly as much for them! Do they gossip and speak badly about others? Someone who gossips cannot be someone who loves others. You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly will eventually treat you poorly as well.

QUESTION #5 : Is there anything I’m hoping to change about this person after we’re married? Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to “improve” them after they’re married. As a colleague of mine puts it, “You can probably expect someone to change after marriage… for the worse!” If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.

In conclusion, dating doesn’t have to be difficult and treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating, to be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues. Falling in love is a great feeling but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don’t want to find yourself in trouble because you didn’t do your homework.

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How to handle women’s googlies and other conversation tips

After our recent event I got a couple of mails and text messages from male attendees asking for tips on how to answer uncomfortable questions from girls at the event. Men want to know how to best respond without appearing too compliant or evasive.

A gentleman wrote…

“For most girls at the event, the first question was ‘So what do you do?’ Some of them were a little aggressive… this girl I spoke to asked me my Age, when I was planning to get married, etc… I’m not sure if she was serious or just having fun being aggressive… but I have to say every minute that I spent with these girls was filled with action!”


Here’s my response.

Women are naturally curious to know if a man is doing well financially. This is because, from an evolutionary viewpoint, it was the males who went out into the jungle to hunt for food while the women took care of the babies and gathered wild fruits and vegetables near the cave.

Today women earn as much as men. But remember, her instincts are millions of years old. At a deep level, she is still wired by evolution to check if a man is capable of providing for her and her baby before she considers mating with him.

Btw, when a girl asks “What do you do?” it’s a positive sign. It means she is interested enough to want to know more about you. Women don’t usually ask that to a random guy they have no interest in. Now you don’t have to vomit out your resumé as if you’re at an interview. Give her a gist of what you do. If she is interested to know more, tell her more.

Of course, women will sometimes ask a man uncomfortable questions just to test him, to see if he will stand solid or crumble under pressure. When she asked about your marriage plans within minutes of meeting you, she was testing you. :)

This is not the time for a logical response like, “In a couple of years”.

This is an opportunity to display your personality.

Here are some ideas for how you could have answered…

She : “So when are you planning to get married?”

You : “Hello, we’ve barely met and you want to marry me already?
Sloooooow down lady. I think you’re too fast for me.


You : “Could we just chill and connect as friends before you start
making honeymoon plans already?! Jeeeez!” (and roll your eyes dramatically)


You get the idea. :)

Important : You have to do this with a smile, in a light, playful, manner,
not from a place of resentment. She should have no doubt that you’re being playful.

Eventually do give her the information she seeks, but not like an employee instantly answering his boss. Be a challenge, make her work for it a little with some lighthearted banter.

Other questions I get from guys is about how to naturally open conversations
with woman at the event without appearing repetitive. Here are some ways to do that.


The art of the compliment
One gentleman asked if complimenting a girl is a good idea. Yes, it’s a good way to open a conversation, but there is an effective and ineffective way to compliment. Complimenting her physical beauty (“you have beautiful eyes”) is not a great idea because she gets it all the time and also because women (especially quality women) don’t usually feel proud about something they’re genetically blessed with. A better idea is to compliment something she has put an effort into achieving. “I like the way you co-ordinated your colours” or “That’s a really cool hair style” will be appreciated more than lazy compliments about her body parts.


Find something to tease her about
If she has a large bag you could ask, “That’s a big bag, what do you have in there…a GUN?! Oh my God, you plan to shoot all the guys you marked NO ?!” (with a shocked look on your face)

And you’re in conversation!

Teasing is a good idea because it’s easy to remind her about the interaction later. For instance, when you email her you can start with, “Hey gun toting lady with the monster bag…” and she instantly remembers the good vibes you created during the interaction.

Another quick example of teasing: As you approach a girl and she’s still scoring the previous guy on her card, you can pretend to peek and say, “Aaaah, I saw what you marked for him! Hmmm…I didn’t realize you’d mark THAT for him. Interesting! He didn’t seem the type you would feel THAT about.” And she’ll wonder whether you really peeked or not, and that sometimes spins her through a tizzy of emotions, which is not
a bad place to have a girl in. ;)

Important : Don’t forget to alternate these lighthearted moments with deeper interactions when you exchange REAL information about your professional and
personal life, because ultimately you are both there to get to know each other
enough to decide if you want to meet again.


Observe and improvise
Instead of starting with the usual “Hi, I’m [name]” observe something about her, especially if it’s prominent. Then, improvise. For instance, if she’s wearing shoes that stand out, say “Those are really cool shoes!”.  Then, improvise.  “You know what, I am sure EVERY guy here has marked you YES just because of those shoes. And with so much competition I don’t stand a chance, so I will just leave. Goodbye, nice meeting you.” Pretend to get up and walk away. Take a step away, come back, sit down and say with a smile, “on second thoughts what’s the harm in trying.” She is amused. The ice is broken.

Here’s another example of observe and improvise. If she has a cool hairstyle, say
“That’s a cool hairstyle. I am curious, tell me, was that your own idea or did your hairstylist suggest it?” …and you’re talking.

Relaxed and confident people observe stuff. Nervous people are too self conscious and inwardly focussed to observe stuff outside. So when you observe things, people think you are relaxed and confident. Simple.


Do a fun cold read
If she’s wearing an exotic multicoloured dress, jewelry or accessories and is clearly standing out because of it, you could say, “There’s something sooo…. artistic about you…let me quickly see what it is. Hmmm…no, you’re not a fashion designer, hmmm, you’re not an art director, hmmm, (then suddenly excited) I know, I know what it is! You’re a gypsy woman who has gate crashed into this event and you shouldn’t even be here! But Shhhhhhh (and looking around conspiratorially) don’t worry, I won’t blow your cover.”

Women love anticipation, they love to wonder about what’s coming next. As you cold read her, and eliminate the various options, she will be hanging on to your every word.


Disturb the universe
The difference between boring and interesting people is that the former try to maintain the status quo and the latter are always upsetting it. Example : As the gong rings and you approach the next single female, you can suddenly stretch out your arms toward her and say “BOOO!” As she’s startled, you can say “Oh my God, you are so easily scared. Sorry, this relationship is not going to work out, I am looking for somebody more ballsy. But since we have to talk for 6 minutes, lets chat. So, are you always such a darpok?” And you’re in a fun conversation.


Never put the burden of conversation on her
I often see guys who can’t hold a conversation put the burden on the woman. He’ll say, “So tell me something about yourself” and while she speaks, he takes the time to collect his nerves. But you know what, most women *know* that you asked her to talk because you are too nervous. She may talk to avoid the awkward silence, but chances are it’s game over for you.

Remember, you’re the MAN. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s the man who takes charge, it’s the man who goes out into the jungle, fights wild animals and brings in the hunt, it’s the man who leads from the front to protect his family from bad things in the jungle. And he cannot even hold a conversation?! That’s not attractive to women.

Even if you’re nervous and unable to think of anything, it’s better to say something like
“Oh my God, I can’t think of anything to say, I’ve just completely blanked out!” Women appreciate a man who is secure enough to admit his vulnerability. In fact, women find such honesty charming, often more charming than when a man talks glibly about his multiple Ph.D’s.


There are many more ways to be a fun conversationalist. But if there’s just one tip I could give, it is this : don’t be outcome dependent. Guys who are the best at conversation are not attached to the outcome. They don’t care whether the other person thinks of them favourably or not. They just live in the moment and express themselves spontaneously.

Don’t worry about what topics will interest her, or whether she’s liking you. Just chill, enjoy the interaction and talk about whatever interests you passionately. If you passionately love the topic you’re discussing (even if it’s the new Intel processor) she’ll love it. If you don’t love it, she won’t love it.

The best way to approach a SpeedCoffee event is to use it as practice for your social skills.

If you get a mutual match, that’s great. If you don’t, no problem, at least you spent an evening mingling with top quality men and women. Btw, at the last SpeedCoffee, the match rate was 96% !

Talk to you again soon.

Sandeep Shetty
Program Director, SpeedCoffee

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Great singles at 23 June SpeedCoffee!

We had a fantastic SpeedCoffee event on 23 June, at a private Bandra lounge.

Great ambience, fantastic single men and women!

Among the men were IITians, IIM graduates, pilots, an orthopedic surgeon, investment bankers, a technocrat, a pharma brand manager, equity analysts and more. Among the ladies was a fashion designer, a Chartered Accountant MBA, journalists from India’s leading media houses, HR managers, a telecom sales manager, a technology reporter with a business channel and more. Bright, well educated men and women with great personalities and communication skills.

Lots of mutual matches were made and there was happiness all around.  :)

Btw, the match rate at the event was 96% !

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Tips for SpeedCoffee attendees

Here are 3 basic tips to help you get the most out of a SpeedCoffee event.

  • Give the benefit of doubt
    As you rotate from person to person, resist the temptation to judge and reject
    in a hurry. You may feel the urge to compare people and quickly reject the one you ”like less”. Remember, once you mark NO for a person you will never get their contact info. We recommend that you keep an open mind. When you mark someone YES you’re not saying  you want to marry the person. :) You’re merely keeping your options open. You can always decline them later. A person who may not appear very charismatic at the event may later turn out to be The One. Here’s a good rule of thumb : If you like somebody even a little, mark them YES.
  • Ask interesting questions
    Have some questions ready. The worst thing that could happen is you have nothing to talk about. But avoid controversial topics like politics or religion. Best to stick with light and feel-good topics. Download our free eBook that contains 25 great conversation starters and other tips.
  • Smile
    Smile when you interact with people. People who smile appear friendly and approachable. Even if you don’t feel like it, a fake smile is better than no smile.
    And here’s a quick physiology fact : when you force a fake smile on the outside,
    you feel like genuinely smiling on the inside. It’s true, try it right now. See? :)

Last few seats left for June 23 event!
Register here


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Why men handle breakups differently than women

When a breakup happens, men and women deal with it differently.

Immediately after a breakup a man may go out, get drunk and party
with friends while a woman may stay home sobbing.

Although women appear to be shattered, and men seem more cool
after a breakup, the irony is that on the inside the opposite is true.

Research shows that men go through more distress and depression,
and feel more lonely after a breakup than women do.

There are 2 main reasons for this difference :

Men bottle up their feelings
It’s not considered cool for a tough man to cry or talk about his
feelings.  When he does, his friends will make fun of him, even
though they would feel the same in his place. This is an unfortunate
stereotype that the media and movies have thrust upon us.
The only way we can grow out of it is to reject these stereotypes.
When a guy friend talks about his feelings or about his loneliness
respect his emotions, and lend a sympathetic ear.


Men are more inclined to think the grass on the other side is greener
Men seek variety more easily than women. He gets bored faster with the
same old dates, same old conversations, same old sex. At the back of his
mind he fantasizes about being single again, sleeping with hotter women
and leading a more exciting life. However, after the breakup, he finds that
the singles scene is not so easy. In fact, it’s hard WORK. His many unattractive
qualities (physical or behavioural) which his ex-partner had accepted,
are now turning off the women he tries to charm.

Instead of the exciting singles scene he expected, he often finds himself
missing the comfort, intimacy and acceptance of his past relationship. By the
time he realizes that he was fortunate to have a woman like her in his life,
she has usually moved on. Studies done at the Carnegie Mellon University
suggests that women adjust better to a relationship ending because they’ve
already considered the possibility of a breakup, but men are usually
unprepared for it.

Share this post with a friend who you think needs it, perhaps it might
help save a relationship.

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His & Hers (personal hygiene)

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Girls decide in just 30 seconds!

Researchers analyzing a dating event in Scotland found that half
the women took just 30 seconds to decide whether or not a man
was boyfriend material.

The researchers said this showed just how important chat-up lines
were in engaging a woman’s attention.

That’s why men with boring conversation openers that talked about
their jobs, cars and computers are not usually attractive to women.

The researchers found that of all the participating males, those who
were most successful in finding dates at the event used chat-up lines
that encouraged their dates to talk about themselves in “an unusual,
quirky way”.

Asking a woman, “If you were an ice-cream what flavour would you be?”
has a much better chance of engaging her interest than telling her that
you have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

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Why Indian men can’t take a hint

Many Indian men think that if a woman gives a man her phone number it means she’s interested romantically and he has the permission to start propositioning her immediately.

Even when she makes it clear that his calls are unwelcome, men will continue to call.

That’s the experience of my female friends, some of whom had to change their phone numbers to finally stop the calls.

Hanna Ingber, who was an India correspondent with GlobalPost.com has written an amusing post about Indian men and why they can’t take a hint.  http://bit.ly/Jp0ZPk

She has actually quoted text messages that Indian guys (some of them MNC executives) have sent to her female friends in India. Read the post, it’s funny and sad.

Hanna talked to Indian experts to analyze why this happens. Growing up, most Indian men have very little interaction with women outside their family. Right from school, Indian boys sit separately from girls, which continues into their adult life with public transport requiring men and women to sit separately.

As a result, most Indian men never develop the skills to maintain platonic friendships with women. They don’t know how to open conversations, how to make small talk, how to take an interaction forward, how to be interesting and interested, how to flirt without making her uncomfortable, how to calibrate their talk so that her personal space is never violated.

But now, thanks to technology, they find they can talk to any woman without having these skills. A rejection in person may cause some public embarrassment but a rejection on the phone is no big deal.

This is one of the reasons why Indian women are so comfortable attending a SpeedCoffee event. Even though they meet and talk to 12 men, they don’t have to give their phone number to any of them. They simply exchange email addresses with the one they like most.  Click here to see how SpeedCoffee works.


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Where to find a good man in India

Going to a bar or a nightclub to find a quality date is not
the smartest thing to do.

You may find a one-night stand but not a keeper.

Because let’s face it, men who come to such places are
usually looking for just one thing. Sex.

Oh you think the bartender looks cute and you may want
to date him? Pssst…he is also there because of the women
he gets access to.

The best place to find a man is in the most unlikely place.
Bookstore, library, supermarket, yoga class, basically any place
where sex is NOT the overall theme.

SpeedCoffee™ is a quick, safe way to meet successful singles
in cities across India. We invite 12 single, successful men and
women, each interacts with an opposite single for
6 minutes,
and at the end you
decide which ones you’d like to know more
closely. Click here for details of how it works and to register
for an upcoming event.


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