Thursday, February 22, 2018

Have Dating Apps Killed Romance? by Robin Gorman Newman

 As a multi-tasking mom and entrepreneur, I wear several hats. One of them is as a Love Coach for singles.

Thinking back to my single days….I remember how challenging it felt to be out there navigating the socializing waters in NYC (mostly). Not only was it time consuming to go out, but figuring out where to go was one more thing to do. All that research and longing for a primary source of information led me to put my writing ability to the test….for both personal gain…and to endeavor to help others

I am the author of two dating books, How to Meet a Mensch in New York and How to Marry a Mensch. Mensch, for those who might not know, means decent, responsible person. The origins are Yiddish, but it’s become quite mainstream. And, in the dating arena, it doesn’t get any better than finding your Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch. (Stay tuned for the upcoming Off Broadway musical inspired by the books.)

After doing many speaking engagements and special appearances, a single friend suggested I offer personal advice….because no two people are the same, nor do they have the same needs or challenges. She was so right….and I launched a practice as a Love Coach — offering private consults to singles to help boost their social lives. In light of that work, which I still love to do, I decided to take advantage of the invitation to attend a recent panel discussion in NYC at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College entitled “Swipe Left: Dating Apps Have Killed Romance.” With a title like that, how could any red-blooded single person (or Love Coach) not be intrigued?!

 Many of my love coaching clients participate in online dating, especially because most are busy (who isn’t?!) and see it as an opportunity be in the dating game, whether they have time to go out and meet people in person or not. I, actually, remain a fan of the old fashioned way of connecting, as the web is such a numbers game, but that’s not to say it can’t or hasn’t worked for some. And, since it’s an ever-changing and growing landscape, I was curious to hear some experts take it on. I somewhat questioned the topic since, while I know there are pros and cons to online dating, I don’t see how apps kill romance, because true romance, in my book, follows once you have made a connection with someone and develops over time. Sure you might become smitten quickly, but that’s not the same.

The panel debate, orchestrated by Intelligence Squared U.S., featured in support of the motion, sociologist Eric Klinenberg, co-author with Aziz Ansari of Modern Romance, and Manoush Zomorodi, host of the Note to Self podcast from WNYC Studios. Debating against the motion were’s chief scientific advisor Helen Fisher, who studies the neural systems associated with romantic love, and OkCupid’s Vice President of Engineering Tom Jacques.

The evening opened with a keynote Q&A with Daniel Jones, editor of the New York Times’ hugely popular “Modern Love” column. It was a very well executed and engaging two hour event before a love hungry, packed crowd, and attendees were given the opportunity to pose questions as well. At the end, the audience got to vote electronically for the team that was the most convincing. (They had also given their electronic vote at the beginning in terms of how they felt before the debate began.)

Each speaker was both entertaining and informative, and moderator John Donvan, an author and correspondent for ABC, was top notch both in terms of wit and skill and keeping speakers on point and timely. It proved to be a stimulating evening, and perhaps a dose of encouragement for those singles hopeful that online dating will lead them to love.

To view the full debate, see which side won, and to weigh in….visit

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flirt Like a Pro

Flirting is the playful art of catching someone’s eye. It can be done with a simple smile and show of receptiveness through open, positive body language. Opportunities to meet an appealing person are often fleeting, and if you don't go for it, you're left only with regret. So, seize the flirting moment if you see someone who looks interesting! Consider the following Flirting Dos and Don’ts:. FLIRTING DOS: *Be a good listener – silence can be sexy. When you engage in discussion with someone, gaps in a conversation are natural. Don’t try to constantly fill them. Give the other person a chance to talk. Don’t get nervous that the conversation may not flow right away. Some people take time to warm up to someone new, as we will discuss later. Additionally, if you can be a good listener, that is so appreciated. Everyone likes to feel that someone is genuinely focused on them and taking in their every word. *Have a prop – i.e. a cute dog can help attract someone. A prop could be anything that catches someone’s eye and invites comment….ideally positive. Other than a cute dog, examples of props include articles of clothing or accessories. Consider the following. You work out at a gym three times/week or jog in your neighborhood or go rock climbing on the weekend. Instead of your usual sweatshirt, what about wearing a t-shirt with a striking saying or logo? It could be something funny, could be from your alma mater, or potentially your favorite rock group or Broadway show. It offers the perfect conversation opener for someone who sees it. If you’re going out some place more formal, another type of prop would be an interesting pin, hat, colorful tie or scarf. Again, it’s an item that someone may notice and approach you to comment on. In turn, you may do the same if you see someone wearing something that grabs you. *Make direct eye contact. The key to flirting is to make sure you connect with the other person. If you are on the shy side, it’s easy to think that you have caught someone’s eye, when in fact, they are oblivious to your overtures. You want to look someone straight in the eye, look away, and look back, so that you’ve connected more than once, and you’ve made it clear that you are looking at them. Don’t stare….just catch their glance in a friendly manner. *Smile and exhibit positive, open body language. Once you have made direct eye contact with someone, you want to smile and look like you’re receptive to meeting them. This is done by maintaining open body language. For example, you don’t want to stand with your arms crossed. If it helps to hold something, buy a drink or grab a glass of water, and keep it in one hand. If your arms are crossed, you’re closing yourself off and may look stiff. When you are talking to someone, lean toward them. It shows you are not afraid to get close….though not too close….unless you’re looking for a fling and want to get touchy-feely. *Pay a compliment, make someone laugh, or ask a question when initiating a conversation. Aside from commenting on someone’s “prop,” other approaches are to pay a compliment, make someone laugh or ask a question. If you’re paying a compliment, you want to keep it “clean.” The goal isn’t to embarrass someone, but make them feel good about themselves. To make someone laugh, you don’t want to be offensive, and humor can be very subjective. No dirty joke telling, until you know if it’s their style. Asking a question is the most neutral and natural way to go, as long as you don’t get overly personal right away. For example, if you’re at a neighborhood happy hour at a restaurant you frequent, you can approach someone by asking if they live nearby and what their favorite local restaurants are. If you’re in a gym, you can ask how to use a particular weight machine. It is flattering to be asked to share your knowledge, and this can be the equivalent of paying a compliment because the other person will feel that you consider them worthy of offering instruction. FLIRTING DON’TS: *Don’t get overly touchy. There’s a fine line between flirting and sexual harassment. You don’t want to get overly touchy with a stranger or invade someone’s personal space. When approaching someone, stay a comfortable distance from their face and don’t touch their body in an inappropriate manner. It can a person someone or at the very least, turn them off. Along with this comes understanding when to take no for an answer. It’s important to hear someone loud ‘n clear and not dismiss their response, if they aren’t reacting positively. Don’t take it personally. They don’t know you, so who knows what their reasoning is? *Don’t force yourself to go out if you’re in a bad mood (unless you’re always in a bad mood). While you might feel like you need to go out as much as possible to try to meet someone, there’s no point if you’re not mentally up to it. Now, you might say, “I’m never really up to it”. And, I would understand, because it’s not always easy putting yourself out there, especially after a hard day at the office. Transitioning from work to play doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re burnt out and really want to go home and chill, do it. Just don’t give into yourself constantly, because you may never go out. *Don’t be afraid to laugh….it’s attractive…and contagious. If you’re out with friends, don’t be afraid to show you’re having a good time. If you come across as a fun-loving person, that will suggest you’re someone who likes to enjoy themselves, appreciates friends, and welcomes the opportunity for a good laugh. You know how to let you hair down and sharing that zest for life is something you’d love to do with the right person. *Don’t look around for other prospects when you’re talking to someone. The kiss of death for a potential love interest is for them to catch your wandering eye. You’ve flirted your heart out and connected with someone….don’t blow it by overtly checking out others around the room. If you think he won’t notice your distraction, you’re wrong. Focus on talking to the person in front of you, as opposed to wondering who else is there. The grass isn’t always greener. *Don’t go searching for a pen or piece of paper if you meet someone. One of the best ways to lose an opportunity to get someone’s number or give out yours is to be ill-prepared. Always have a business or personal calling card available. If you’re scrounging around for paper, a pen or even a napkin to write on, it can become embarrassing and kill the moment. Plus, you may prefer to be subtle in a crowd when you give out your number, and having a card is the most discreet way to pass on your information. If you’re not certain you want to give out your home number, consider your cell number. Additionally, you might want to create an e-mail account for socializing purposes, so that you can also give out that e-mail address. I caution you, however, not to get too personal if you e-mail each other. Use e-mail just as a means to arrange a date. Don’t rely on it initially as a big information sharing vehicle. It is way premature to take that approach. The same holds true for the phone. Try not to talk for hours on end before you’ve had a date. You might think that’s indicative of a heartfelt connection, but that’s not necessarily true. It takes time to be certain of that, and in the interim, it is more hurtful to grow attached to someone before you’ve spent quality time in-person and can see if the connection is there.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

International Flirting Week: Who Flirts More?

In celebration of International Flirting Week (February 13-19, 2013), created by Robin Gorman Newman, and Valentine’s Day,, the romantic social network, conducted a survey among more than 13,000 of its members around the world to gather their thoughts on flirting – why they do it, how they do it, and who does it best. “Flirting is the playful art of catching someone’s eye, and while some are natural flirts, others require practice to do it well,” says Robin Gorman Newman, founder of International Flirting Week and, and author of How to Marry a Mensch. “As the Zoosk survey shows, many view flirting as fun even if they don’t want to date the person, but it’s also a way to jumpstart a relationship or rekindle romance. In our busy lives, flirting can be a quick and effective way to remind your mate that you love and are excited by them.” Zoosk’s survey findings include: It’s a battle of the sexes! • The majority of men (60%) think that women are the biggest flirts, and the majority of women (53%) think that men are more flirtatious! #1 reason why people flirt? It’s fun. • 41% of men and women around the world say, “flirting is just playful fun!” • 20% say is it a good ice breaker when dating, although only 11% say they flirt to attract a partner. • 18% say flirting helps keep the romance alive in a relationship Both men and women admit to flirting just for fun. • More than half of men (54%) will flirt with a woman even if he is not interested in pursuing a relationship with her. • 41% of women will flirt with a man even if she is not interested in pursuing a relationship with him. Flirting keeps the romance alive. • 89% of men and women think that it is important to flirt with your significant other even when in an established relationship. Biggest turn-off when it comes to flirting? • 32% say coming on too strong and invading personal space are the biggest turn offs. • 20% say corny pick up lines are a turn off. • 20% say inappropriate comments about one’s physical appearance. • 7% say suggestive body language. We all know it and they admit it: Italians are flirts! • 97% of Italian men consider themselves a flirt, but American men are not too far behind at 76%. Zoosk conducted the survey online in January 2013. The survey garnered 13,611 responses from members of Zoosk in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, and Sweden.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dating & Doing for Others by Robin Gorman Newman

The new year is here!  It's a chance to shake things up in your life, and that includes dating.

What can you do differently?

How can you live fully and socialize and even give back?

I'm not a huge fan of just pursuing blatant singles activities.  There are so many more options.

Ask yourself.....what can you do that would feel good?  Have you ever made an effort to do for others?

I'm a huge fan of doing volunteer work.  This can also include joining a committee to help plan a fundraiser for an organization you'd like to support.

This past year, one of my love coaching clients was a big dog lover.  After our first private meeting, I put together a personalized socializing plan of action for her which included various non-profits that featured events for dog lovers.  Despite her passion for pooches, she had not gone that route in terms of socializing, so it was a new direction for her. 

What causes might you embrace?

Do you enjoy sports?   Consider The Special Olympics.

Are you Jewish?  Consider United Jewish Appeal (UJA).

Want to raise money for a health cause?  Consider Society Ties -- the young professional arm of Leukemia & Lymphoma.

I could go on 'n on....but you get the idea.

And, if you give back, it comes back to you.  If you join a committee or volunteer regularly, you'll likely see some of the same fellow volunteers more than once, and that makes it all the easier to meet, chat and get to know each other in a comfortable environment.

So, give it a shot!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Robin to do Chat with Women

I will be a guest on a cool radio show on Monday, June 29th, 11:45AM EST. Hope you'll tune in. Visit to hear me that day, and it will remain posted on the site.

You can listen to the Chat With Women Radio Show 5 days a week! Pam and Rochelle bring you their pearls of wisdom, insightful tips and crafty wit.

I look forward to it, and hope you'll listen in.