The search for your perfect match is underway!

Have you found the right one? The one you'll grow old with? Cash in your 401(k) and retire with? If you're still on the hunt, don't give up. It only takes one. You have to kiss a lot of frogs, after all.

Whether you're back on the hunt after being committed for more years than you care to admit, have been hopping around, or are serious about settling down, it may be time to get back out there. That means it's time to meet as many people as possible.

We know, we know ‒‒ it's DRAINING. To start, you have to have the right apps, resources, and online presence. What if they find that one picture from college? You know the one ‒‒ is it still public? Time to double check. Once you feel you've successfully crafted the perfect public persona, your search may look a little like this …

You'll hunt online for hours, talking to prospects that aren't the right fit. You'll get your hopes up about ones that seem like they could be perfect and feel devastated after getting ghosted when you thought things went well. You'll meet for coffee after coffee, sell yourself over and over ‒‒ it takes a lot of time and effort, to say the least. This pattern may repeat despite your best efforts to shake things up, but don't forget, it's all a means to an end. Ultimately, the effort will help you determine your likes and dislikes and show you the possibilities that are out there. You might even make a few key connections along the way, and you never know who they could introduce you to!

Time will pass, friends will find their perfect match, you'll be happy for them but you'll wonder, “Why not me? I've been hunting for what feels like forever with little success!” Then one day you'll get that notification ‒‒ the prospect that had particularly piqued your interest online is also interested in YOU … and they want to chat.

Nervousness, excitement, hope, anticipation ‒‒ all the feels will be coursing through your body and mind as you exchange those first few messages. They sound great and it sounds like they're looking for the same things you are ‒‒ looking for someone just like you. Your values are aligned! They're conveniently located! Is it too good to be true? And when exactly are they going to finally ask to meet IRL?

They want to have a phone chat first. The worst. They're essentially screening to see if you're even worth meeting in person. Sure, it's common these days (competition is fierce), but it takes out those key human elements ‒‒ gestures, smiles, things that just can't be replicated over the phone. How do you even prep for this? A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure you're in a quiet place with minimal distractions so you can hear them and respond appropriately.

  2. Make sure you have strong cell service.

  3. Smile! Interestingly enough, people can sense it. Animation and enthusiasm can still be contagious over the phone.

You survived. They seemed even better over the phone. They seemed nice! Genuine! They're real! There were only a few “No, no, go ahead's” ‒‒ nothing to be too concerned about. They even mentioned getting something on the calendar (ee!). That message with a time and place should be coming any minute now... any minute…. ANY MINUTE. OK seriously where IS it?! It seemed like they were interested. Maybe you misread the whole conversation. Maybe they were just being nice and didn't want to let you down over the phone. They're probably figuring out how to reject you as we speak.

BING!

THEY WANT TO MEET IRL. Phew.

Let the first meeting preparation begin! Do your friends think it's going to be a good fit? What if they ask you to tell them about yourself? You hate that question. What are some important questions you want to get answered? How are you going to explain those gaps in your background? How are you going to explain why you decided to leave your last arrangement? Will they check all the boxes? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR? You need to make the right first impression.

You pick the perfect outfit. It screams, “I am the total package.” But as go-time nears, anxiety builds. Being nervous is natural. You start to think of all the things that could go wrong. The list is endless … stop! Don't put too much pressure on it. You've prepared and you're ready! And besides, there are always more fish in the sea.

It goes … really well. It felt natural, comfortable, and you had so much to talk about! It seems like this could be what you've been searching for all along. Do you reach out and let them know or play it cool?

Pro tip: No matter how it goes, don't forget to say thanks. Even if it isn't a match, all parties involved took time out of their day to meet, and expressing appreciation will always work in your favor.

They finally reach out. It did go well! Round two is on the calendar. It's still early, but you're starting to daydream about the future and what everyday life with them could look like. While you feel confident, a part of you is nervous that others may be vying for them, too. You know you're getting ahead of yourself, but you can't help it! Nothing has felt like it had potential in a while. You know the conversation and questions are going to be tougher this time ‒‒ more personal. You welcome the challenge and mentally prepare.

Round two goes well. The conversation is productive, but new information emerges ‒‒ new details that make you less excited. They really seemed to be a fit, but they had yet to reveal all their cards. You hadn't anticipated this, but now you don't think they're the right one for you. If they want to meet again, you plan on declining the offer. You feel great about having come this far, but the prospect of starting from square one is daunting. Still, it's not just about finding the one, it's about finding the right one, and you need extra support. You don't want to do it alone this time. The emotional rollercoaster of getting your hopes up only to be disappointed time after time is wearing on you.

It's time to turn to the professionals. No, not a matchmaker. It's time to hire a professional interview coach.

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