Gloria MacDonald knows a lot about dating and relationships. Before she launched her dating service, Perfect Partners, the matchmaking guru, relationship expert and international speaker experienced the trials and tribulations of dating as a 40+ woman. She is proud to say that her process worked for her and she is now in a wonderful relationship.

Her best advice for making the most of your dating experiences (on Valentine's Day and every day) is to implement a 3-Date Rule. "As human beings we can't help but make instant assessments of people we meet. It's something our subconscious minds just do automatically," MacDonald says. "What we can do however, is consciously decide that we're going to withhold judgment of the person we're meeting until after we get to know them a little better. We have all had situations in life where our first impression of a person wasn't necessarily accurate, not just in dating. Don't limit yourself by cutting off your options because your first impression of someone didn't sweep you off your feet. I highly, highly recommend you live by the 3-Date Rule. Tell yourself you're going to suspend judgment on the person until you've been out with them at least three times. You'll be amazed at how far off base some of your first impressions may be."

She shares the story of Sheila, a 39 year old professional woman who had never been married, but very much wanted to be married and have children. "After she met the first man we introduced her to, she phoned to say he was nice, but she wasn't interested in him. Both Sheila and Jack are fairly introverted, and you can imagine how awkward that first meeting might be with two nervous introverts. I had received feedback from Jack and knew he was very interested in Sheila. After a lot cajoling, I finally talked Sheila into seeing Jack again. Seven weeks later they were blissfully engaged, about 7 months after that they were married, and about a year after that they had their first child. Now they have their second child, and are incredibly happy together."

MacDonald explains that Sheila was basing her decision to not date Jack again on her own initial reaction to a blind "date". Her judgment about him was off. She was admittedly very nervous about her first meeting with him. He was also not 100% himself at this first meeting. How can you possibly make any accurate assessments or decisions about an entire person and their life based on a meeting of an hour or so when nerves are on edge, emotions are high, and intelligence is low? Sheila would have totally missed a wonderful relationship with her soul mate, and two fantastic children, if she had stuck with her original decision not to see Jack again. She would have made a horrible mistake.

When emotions are high, intelligence is low. Do NOT make potentially life altering decisions when you're at your lowest point of intelligence.

"So many people say to me, 'yes, but there has to be chemistry, the physical attraction has to be there.'" Says Gloria. "Frankly I couldn't agree more. There does have to be chemistry and attraction, but it's been proven, and not just by me, that the attraction and chemistry can grow. So let go of limited thinking about what your patterns are. Give yourself the best possible chance to find your perfect partner."

This Valentine's Day call someone up that you may have dismissed too quickly! Give them another chance. Use the 3-Date Rule! You just might get a pleasant surprise.

Author's Bio: 

Gloria MacDonald is a Matchmaker and the Founder of Perfect Partners, the Personal Relationship Executive Search Firm and Worldwide Associated Matchmakers. Since 2003 she has earned her guru status by working with hundreds and hundreds of 40+ single men and women and has introduced over 2500 couples. She has appeared on numerous TV shows, is often quoted in the press, and is well-known as an expert in her field.

MacDonald co-authored the book, Laws of the Jungle: Dating for Women Over 40. She also created a variety of other workbooks and CD/DVD programs including Flirting Made Easy, The 7 Attitudes of Highly Successful Daters, The Mini-Mind Management System, and The 90-Day Relationship Attraction Conditioning Program and is co-founder of The Relationship Summit.

With a Bachelor's degree from Boston University, a Master's degree from Lesley College in Boston, and 15 years experience building highly effective teams and partnerships in the corporate world, MacDonald has now turned her finely honed business skills to assisting professionals in the 40+ market in meeting, and partnering, with their ideal mate.

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