Friday, August 13, 2010

Dating vs. Networking- What is the Difference?

I thought of this topic as I was lying in bed last night. For those of you who know me this is not an irregular thing for me to do. On top of three kids, a husband, two successful businesses and planning a Women's Expo and Fundraiser. One would think I just crash. But I had an epiphany.

So, what is the difference between Dating and Networking? My hypothesis says nothing. There is no difference.

Dating is the process of meeting a person of the opposite sex (or same sex in some situations). Dating is the beginning stage to find that man/woman of our dreams. To marry, have children, and live a long and beautiful life with.

In the past, before the Internet, we met people through our friends and family who knew us and knew the other person. Therefore, you hoped that it would be a good match. Sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn't. This way of matchmaking has gone by the wayside. Now, the majority of single people are using social media sites to find people quicker, easier and a bit safer. We are busy. We don't have time for a long drawn out first date. If we don't like them why torture ourselves for an hour and a half. We can have coffee instead and see if it can go further. (Am I the only one who dated like this?)

Unlike going to a bar, they may join speed dating groups, dances and /or social Meet Up groups. I actually met my husband on eHarmony and we did have a long drawn out first date for 6 hours!!! Ok, so maybe my philosophy was not working. :)

So now they got a date after finding the right person, with the right picture and profile. They dress up to make a first impression. First impressions always make a lasting impression. They meet the person at a local restaurant, coffee shop or something along those lines. And now comes the conversation. It is not as if the person is intentionally trying to repulse the other. It sometimes happens. One talks to much or the other's conversation is not appropriate for a first date.

The behaviour is not well received. Some people may want to relax, but they relax so much they drink too much. One wants to put paws all over the other one. Basically, it is just not happening.

Respect, honor and confidence are the attributes one should have when they first walk out there door. Not what shoes they have on. Yes, that is important. As I said before- first impressions do matter. But the qualities of a person shine over that. So when they wake up in the morning with you 20 years later you still see the beauty of them from long ago. You will NEVER remember the shoes they had on.

We can not expect that everyone thinks we are attractive. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I remember walking around the mall when I was younger, saying "What is she doing with him?" I may not find that person attractive, but she does and that is all that matters.

Just as in dating, we are not going to get along with everyone in networking circles. Networking is expanding. We network on social media sites. This allows us to find more people, more quickly, any time of the day and night and it does not affect our work schedules. We network at referral groups and chambers where initial person to person contact is imperative.

Many people think or expect that everyone to do business with them. We are like sharks trying to see who we can bite. We are looking for that quick sale. I know I am looking to build that relationship. Just as in dating. Build a long, lasting and beautiful relationship where refferals just flow.
We need to RESPECT the person's time and efforts. We need to HONOR ourselves and others around us. With HONOR comes RESPECT. And we need the CONFIDENCE within ourselves that a NO is okay. No does not always mean No forever. It can be No for right now.

When dating, one should RESPECT the person they are out on a date with. Respect their space, body and time. HONOR yourself and don't give it up so soon. That will never lead to a long, lasting, loving relationship. And CONFIDENCE. You should have the confidence within yourself to know that you are the best, you are well respected and you have qualities that are good and giving without sounding arrogant.

There. I can not find the difference between dating and networking. Make the process fun and enjoy it. When you do find the relationships you want in your life- things will just flow. No fight, no battle. Just a continual partnership that will last a lifetime.


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