Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Special Thank You to HowAboutADate.com

I am very grateful for your website (HowAboutADate.com), your singles group (via meetup, i.e. http://www.meetup.com/HowAboutADate-SF) and your concept in general. I haven't found a boyfriend or life partner yet. But I went on some dates, and met two very interesting persons who brought so much in my life.
One of them is BigDaddy. I contacted him because his profile said he liked to dance all night. Sounded just like me! I was just curious, open-minded and didn't set high expectations so I met with him. I met a very sweet, considerate and kind person, always very respectful of me and watchful for me. We met several times, always evenings getting into the night. One time we went to Audio listen to music. It didn't happen very well in the sense that I was glued to the DJ's booth the whole time -what can I say I just love music that much!- and neglected my date. But he was cool with it, I apologized. That ended our club outings, although we did go dancing at least one more time, where I made a better job. Most of the time we would just be cruisin' -like he called it- in his car, listening to deafening trap/house music, windows rolled down, the foggy wind cooling off my face, riding San Francisco's roller coaster streets while lights at night created the most animated neighborhoods. We would turn down the volume once in a while or stop for tea and Chinese pastries and talk about our life, catch up, or just casually chat. I always enjoyed and fully appreciating the present moments. Even thought we didn't have the chemistry or didn't check each other's wish-list boxes to take it to another level, those nights and moments with BigDaddy have been some of the best moments of my year. Magical, relaxing, fun and unique. Ultimately I found some of what I was looking for: a personal connection, a break in my loneliness, a soul who cared about how I felt and who was there for me, who accepted me and didn't judge me, and I hope I provided some of what he was looking for too.
Another time I came across Ron's profile. He described living an active lifestyle with exercise and hikes as well as cultural outings, so we had this in common. Our first date was a disaster. I made it a disaster by focusing on everything that was wrong, setting high standards and high expectations which were not met all the way. I got in a funk and wasn't very pleasant to say the least. The day after I felt very bad about my behavior because he didn't deserve it. I sent him an email sincerely apologizing and thanking him to have organized the meeting, picked a venue that offered music, showed up on time. Ron is a very forgiving person and brushed off the uneasiness of our first encounter and added me to his mailing list of group outings and events invitations.That's how we kept in touch.
Then I went through a very bad heartbreak with a person I was infatuated with but who wasn't interested in me. I was miserable, felt out of control and needed a shoulder to cry on. I reached out to Ron. He responded with good advice. He opened his ears and heart to my need of someone understanding what I was going through and my need for sharing my thoughts and sorrow. From that point on, we exchanged daily emails and texts, first to help me through the rough seas I was crossing. Then we met again, for activities we both have an interest for. We walked the trail at Land's End above the Ocean, strolled at an art exhibit in the Mission, hiked trails and discovered new neighborhood parks in the Peninsula, and so much more. Ron was there for me at every step of the way in my struggle to get over my heartbreak and then my various daily challenges big or small. Always listening and acknowledging my feelings, and bringing his experience, wisdom and natural kindness to help me overcome my moments of weakness, doubt or pain. We also shared our excitement, enthusiasm and stories of happy events.
I feel incredibly lucky to have met such a person, as in my experience it happens very rarely. We both know that we are not adequate to be each other's life partners. But we have developed this rare connection based on communication and helping each other out with presence, kindness and acceptance.
While I haven't met the "man of my dreams", your website (howaboutadate.com) did and do provide me with a place where I know other members are looking and available and ready to meet. I lead a very full life and my free time is limited and precious. So the quick sign up and profile creation, straight forward way to contact a person for a specific activity and place, and ultimately getting to go on a date or do an activity made the whole experience very easy and efficient. It gave me the opportunity to meet at least two wonderful unique individuals and shared special and delightful moments, all based on appreciating similar activities and taking the time to get to know each other - something we all forget or neglect to do. I don't think we would have approached each other in a different setting or even met each other otherwise. While waiting or looking for my perfect man, I didn't stay lonely or idle. Instead I lived and grew, discovered and learned new things, about other persons and about myself, and we helped each other out. It keeps my spirits up and gives me the energy and motivation to keep looking for my soul mate.
Thank you,

Veronica - San Rafael, CA - July 11, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why don’t I get asked out?

“Why don’t I get asked out?” This question has always plagued so many women. There could be numerous reasons. The guy may be too shy. The timing may be off. Or he’s just not that into you. Or do you think it’s you? You’re not pretty enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not funny enough. For many women it’s the later.  It’s our low self-esteem that creates a vicious cycle of self-loathing that, in short, turns the guys off.
  1.  Nobody fancies me. Everybody has a dry spell now and then. But if you let this thought consume you, it will cause you to:
  2. Ignore those checking you out and pay attention to rejection messages.  All because you think “nobody fancies you.” This in turn creates:
  3. Feelings of unattractiveness and self-consciousness.  Which can results in:
  4. Sloppy dress, acting unsocial and not mixing with others.  This leads to more:
  5. You don’t get asked out, which reinforces #1 Nobody fancies you.

Breaking out of this vicious cycle may take time but it’s completely doable. It all starts with raising your self-esteem.  (1) Dress up and go out with some good friends, friends that will complement you and you them. (2) Stay positive, which will cause you to laugh and smile. People are attracted to happy people; they don’t want to be around people who will bring them down. (3) Do activities that you enjoy. When you do what you love your personality shines – that’s when people will notice you. (4) And keep your eye out for those that do notice you. Let that boost your ego and raise your self-esteem.  (5) Lastly, remember that confidence is sexy.

Now that you have the how to, only practice makes perfect. Get out there and start dating!

By Dao Nguyen

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Singles, How to Survive Valentine's Day (7 day count down)

This day for the “celebration of love” can be especially hard on singles that are (currently) not in a relationship.  Singles, don’t let Valentine’s Day get you down.  Here are a few facts and tips to help you survive, if not enjoy, Valentine’s Day!  
Seven Day Count Down:

7. Realize that Valentine's Day is only made for money. Just like the many non-federal holidays created by the retail industry, it's to guilt people into buying flowers and gifts; thus making money for the rich.

6. You are not alone. More than 50% of the US Adult population is single.

For the first time, there are more single American adults than married ones, and here’s where they live – The Washington Post, Sept 15 2014

5. Know that many breakups happen on/around Valentine's Day since many couples feel pressure to "evaluate" their relationship around this time. Bonus: that means there will be more singles after Valentine's Day.

4. Avoid couples. If you have a friend who is with their partner, it's in your best interest to stay away from them, even if they ask you to go somewhere with them it's not a good idea. It's Valentine's Day, so obviously there will be a lot of affection and if you see that it will ruin your week and also you will feel like you're just tagging along and this will also hurt your feelings.

3. Realize that you're happier alone than with your ex. Just because one day can make you feel miserable doesn't mean you should force yourself to find a relationship and be miserable for the rest of the year.

2. Plan to spend Valentine's Day with your single friends or join a singles Meetup event or go out to a singles mixer/party. Now-a-days there's meetup.com, where many singles social groups and events are posted. There are big parties organized just for singles! For example, there's a huge Singles Valentine's Day Party in San Francisco CA on Sat Feb 14 2015. 

1. Treat yourself. Celebrate your beautiful self and show yourself some love. Book a day at the spa and pamper yourself, buy yourself flowers and chocolates, and/or treat yourself to a fancy dinner. You deserve it!

By Dao Nguyen, Social Instigator
Empowering singles and supporting & enriching the Singles Community 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How Disney and Playboy Keeps Us Single

Dating can be difficult! We learn a lot of about the dating scene and how to do it through media and other social outlets. All in all we're highly influenced by what we see, read, or hear regarding dating and what works and what does not. We even go into most dates with certain expectations and make judgments before the first conversation. It's interesting to take a step back and think about what influences our dating habits the most.

As kids we watch a lot of movies and TV that incorporate the “happily ever after” ending which we all so desire and find hard to acquire. Disney has done a great job of encouraging women to work hard and do what their heart tells them because their prince charming is out there waiting and looking for them. Now ladies, I'm not saying you can't live happily ever after or find your prince (I mean, I'm over here with an army of toads waiting for the right kiss), but I want to point out the fact that Disney has instilled this belief that you shouldn't ever change/settle and just keep waiting, looking and working hard until he comes to you.
On the other hand we have men being influenced by their dirty little secret – Playboy, who has done a great job of showing us what we should be looking for in a woman and there's no reason to settle for less. I mean come on, they can fill a whole magazine on a monthly basis with these women, it can't be that hard to find them. We see these sculpted bodies and beautiful curves and forget what is really important. Through these influences, men are encouraged to be a little more aggressive, confrontational, and direct in order to find their trophy wife.

The takeaway is that we're all affected by media and movies and it's important to get away from those preconceived ideas that have been forced into our minds over the years. Instead of going into a date with a preconceived notion of “the one”, take the time to get to know the person and give them a chance. Accept them for who they are, the good and the bad, their strengths and weaknesses (we're only human after all). They may surprise you.
As one of my favorite sport coaches used to tell us, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Happy Dating!

Arthur G. Bahr, guest blogger

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What Your Car Says About You to Women

Some people view their car as an extension of themselves, while others view their car as a practical means from point A to B. Whatever the camp you’re in, there’s no denying that people make quick judgments based on the car you’re driving. To many people, the car you drive says more about you than your clothes.

Economy Sedans (Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagon Jetta)

Driving one of these cars says that you’re practical, fiscally responsible, probably college-educated and not very conscious of image, a total family man. Out of any car you choose, this is the one that says you’re ready to settle down.

Luxury Sports Car (Jaguar Type F, Porsche 911, Ferrari F450)

If you’re lucky to be driving one of these cars, you probably are in a good place in life financially. Some women will think you’re a bit of a show off as a lot of them will assume you got the car to attract women, but they will be impressed nonetheless. You might attract the wrong kind of girl, but you’ll still attract them.

American Muscle Cars (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Charger)

This will tell women you probably grew up in the Midwest eating a lot of potatoes. You’re probably a pretty happy go lucky guy who loves a good time and maybe aren’t quite ready to settle down but will adjust for the right person. This tells women you can probably put some Ikea furniture together, anything but a baby’s crib.

Hybrids (Toyota Prius, Honda CRX, Ford Fusion)

This tells women you’re socially conscious of your carbon footprint, fiscally responsible, quite possibly a vegetarian and definitely educated, albeit a bit boring. According to the NY Times, women tend to find hybrid drivers the least attractive out of all cars.

Pickup Trucks (Ford F150, Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado)

In a survey done by the Washingon Post, 32%(majority) of female respondents said that they preferred men in Pickup trucks. This is because driving a pickup truck tells people that you’re handy and can probably fix a leaky faucet, have more than $100 in your bank account to get a full tank of gas and you’re probably a manly-man who eats meat which appeals to many women.

In the end, the car you drive doesn’t matter. Although you give off certain impressions with your car, if you find the right person, they wouldn’t care whether you drive a luxury sports car or a beat up jalopy. But if in doubt, just save the introduction to your car for the 2nd or 3rd date. By then, they’ll most likely know you’re more than just “what meets the eye.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Success Stories: Linda 2014-07-10

Hey Dao, 
Just wanna let u know that I'm leaving your meetup group because I have found my partner thru your group! I actually met him last November when your group had a meetup at a wine bar in Redwood City. I didn't think much of him then and only chatted with him briefly. Flash forward 6 months later and I see him again at the Memorial Day picnic in Golden Gate Park. We talked a bit more and just recently started going out, but everything seems to be going in the right direction. I just wanted to send you this note because I don't know if you get many success stories. So thank you, Dao, for giving me the opportunity to meet someone whom I believe is meant to be in my life! 

Thx again, 
July 10, 2014

HowAboutADate meetup groups: Our goal is to provide a fun low-pressure environment/activity where singles can meet and mingle and make friends... and who knows, maybe even find something more.  Do what you love... love will find you. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Show Cupid How it’s Done: The Mastery of Love and Archery

Ladies, waiting around and/or having a negative mindset will most likely not attract Mr. Right but rather Mr. Whatever. Instead, picking up a more positive attitude, adjusting expectations and detecting destructive patterns regarding your partner choice might just do the trick.

Start thinking positively and open your mind 

If you haven’t found the perfect partner yet it doesn’t always mean that you’re stuck in cupid’s blind spot. Maybe - to quote a famous poet – there are two souls dwelling in your breast: although you would really love to be in a relationship you fear closeness and commitment since you’re afraid of getting hurt (again). Thus, your subconscious will lead you to pick the wrong guy over kind hearted Prince Charming who is right for you and right in front of you. And when you do that over and over again the sum of your bad experiences will leave you with an even more negative mindset and more insecurities when it comes to falling in love. To blame men as a unitary group or a third party (cupid, fate, God(s), your zodiac sign…) is much easier than taking the time to assess your own morale on the dating field. Forget your chemistry classes where they taught you that a negative charged particle (you) ultimately attracts a positive charged one (Mr. Right). In life and love, a positive attitude will eventually attract positive people, good people. Also, don’t get caught up in an overly detailed description of your dreamboat concerning his looks and status: height, eye and hair color or his profession, etc. they don’t really matter if he shares your passion for horror movies and holds your hand during the scary (and non-scary) scenes. Many singles tend to exclude potential partners if they don’t match the exact vision they have created in their head, nipping unexpected love in the bud.

Look out for similarities 


"Two birds of a feather flock together“ or  “opposites attract”  - which one is true? Most of the times, both apply at the same time. People tend to feel drawn to people that are different from them. Subconsciously, they’re looking for someone who completes their personality - that is, somebody who features qualities that they might lack or that they admire. If you are a lively and adventurous woman, you might need a calm guy who is less likely to take risks and brings you back to earth. Sometimes, however, differences can also cause conflicts. If basic attitudes, life styles and life goals diverge greatly, the relationship may have little chance of survival. Someone who leads a life style that is very foreign and new to you might appear more exciting than the guy across the hall who uses the same eco-friendly laundry detergent and watches the same TV channels to fall asleep at night. As much as you’re attracted to your opposite, partners who share a lot of similarities and equal beliefs will lead a happier and healthier relationship in the long run. Little differences that don’t disrupt the overall harmony can be inspiring and refreshing but be sure that your decisions are driven by the same core values and that you agree on the direction you’re headed into. 

Create opportunities and become more active


Let’s be honest, waiting around and expecting him to knock on your door one day only happens in movies. You have to leave your house/work in order to meet him. Even if you are a notorious homebody, you should pick up as many (fun) activities as possible. Nonetheless, the chances that you meet Mr. Right in a yoga course or knitting club are rather low. Thus, choose activities that you love and that are most likely to attract all kinds of genders. Maybe a wine tasting event, a sailing course or joining a hiking group would be a good idea. Start going to networking events and join workshops that deal with topics that interest or move you. You could also take your four-legged friend to a dog park (borrow one if you have to) and socialize with other dog enthusiasts. People usually start bonding over a common passion or hobby which usually serves as a great conversation starter. Even if you just extend your circle of acquaintances – most couples  meet through mutual friends. At the end of the day you’ll enjoy what you do and attract the right kind of people…and maybe even fall in love. 


So Ladies, shake off your insecurities, grab your love arrows and aim for Mr. “not so different but can make me smile” and go do lots of fun social things.   when you’re doing what you love, that’s when your personality really shines… that’s when love fines you. That’s the Mastery of Love.