Welcome to TheDatingMarketPlace.com!


This blog specializes in the reinvention and restructuring of your dating strategy.  I started it as a way to take the uncertainty out of dating, by applying a business model to your personal life.  I also wanted to develop a dating formula to diffuse these tired stereotypes:  “All men are jerks” and “All women are bitches”.  These blanket statements are simply not true.  Not to mention, they propagate a destructive image of the sexes.

So, why me you ask?  Why am I an expert on dating, love, and relationships?  Why should I be blogging about it?  For starters, I have successfully dated several men prior to meeting my husband 12 years ago.  My husband and I have been married for 8 ˝ years, and we still “wow” each other every day.  I am also the beneficiary of two amazing parents who have been married for 40 years; their relationship is an outstanding example of true compatibility.  It’s heartwarming to see my Dad constantly grabbing my Mom’s ass after 40 years of marriage.

I could also tell you I have a degree in Communications and worked at Vogue magazine, as well as several of Boston’s advertising, marketing, and PR firms.  However, I believe this is the best reason to tune in:  each day, I advise several clients to effectively represent themselves in the dating marketplace.  I am proud to say all of my clients see the value behind Personal Edge Consulting, and I hope you will too.

I’ve created this Blog to extend a voice to men and women experiencing the uncertainties and frustrations of the dating marketplace.  There is no other market with greater volatility, or emotional impact.  One day your stock is up 50 points, and the next week it’s off the Index.  To diffuse the volatility, I would like to have productive, supportive conversations to restore the fun and excitement back into dating. - Nicole


Listen to our podcast:

A special thanks to our guests, Christina Brodbeck, CEO of theIceBreak and Psychotherapist, Dr. Joe Kort.  What are your thoughts on the Schwarzenegger scandal?  Is this just the beginning?  How many more women will come forward?

If you have a suggestion for our ongoing segment,  send an email to nicandneely@comcast.net  – We’d love to hear your feedback!

Falling Down The Sexual Rabbit Hole

I recently wrote an article for YourTango.com entitled,  Compatibility: 11 Point Checklist Challenge.  I deliberately left the category of sexual compatibility off my checklist.  My rationale for doing so hinges on one reason: the topic of sex and sexual compatibility deserves a separate, more in-depth discussion.  Sexual compatibility is a benchmark for long-term relationship success.  In order for a relationship to thrive, both people should share the same level of passion (and interest) for sex, and sexual exploration.  Compatibility aside, when discussing sex, the issue of timing is equally as important.

In general, men and women have opposing perceptions regarding sexual readiness.  The majority of men would like to have sex immediately (give them a break ladies, its physiology), while most women would like to wait for a certain amount of time to pass before committing to sex.  Guys, I’d throw money on the fact you already know this, but I would like to restate the obvious – women take longer to determine sexual readiness because of two fundamental factors: safety and self-preservation.  A woman must feel safe in order to engage in sexual activity, but she also knows she needs to protect her heart from becoming vulnerable.

To the women in the dating marketplace wondering how to protect your heart from vulnerabilities, I would like to say this:  beware of falling down the sexual rabbit hole before it is the right time for you and your standards.  Once you’ve fallen down the sexual rabbit hole, you can never revert back to life before sex.  Someone has seen you naked, this is permanent and irreversible.  Tread cautiously when considering sex…   Are you looking for a one-night-stand?  Are you are in search of a serious relationship?  Determine if you are absolutely ready to give your body to someone.  Because when a man has seen you in the buff, he will (initially) have a difficult time remembering you clothed…  He will be in full pursuit, hungry for your next naked rendezvous.  Please don’t make me break into a chorus of Duran Duran’s, Hungry Like The Wolf, but once the two of you have had sex, he will pursue you like a wolf.  This is a compliment, but may purpose a challenge if you are not truly comfortable with the timing of your sexual encounter.  (And if the sex was disappointing, that’s a different topic for a different day.)  So you can try to climb out of the sexual rabbit hole, but it will be fruitless…  sex is not reversible. Moreover, anyone who tells you there is no such thing as “sex without consequences” has never had sex.

To the men in the dating marketplace looking for love, I’d like to say this about sexual readiness: I don’t care how revved-up you are; put it away until the women are ready.  Be patient; when it comes to sexual timing, wait for a woman’s signal…  Your sexual eagerness is different from a woman’s, and the consequences of having sex are not the same for you as it is for her.  The obvious consequences women are confronted with (just to name a few) are pregnancy, pernicious feminine STD’s, and the possibility of being perceived as a slut.  The emotional consequences can be much greater…  Take this into consideration the next time you are looking to dive down the sexual rabbit hole.  Acting too soon could blow up in your face; you might lose out on a solid relationship opportunity…

A healthy sex life is one of the best aspects of adulthood.  Sex is also one of the greatest benefits of being in a compatible, loving relationship or marriage.  However the issue of timing is important; beware of having sex too prematurely.  When in doubt, ask yourself these questions before engaging in any type of sexual activity with your partner:  Am I ready for the responsibilities of sex?  Is the timing right?  Am I prepared for the consequences?  Do my partner and I share the same feelings about sex and sexual exploration?  The decision to have sex is a personal choice; never let anyone force you into a situation which is unacceptable to you and your standards.

Date and love boldly,


Unisex Dating Tips: Date like it’s your business

Here is the Dating Tip of the Week:

Date like it’s your business.

You are the CEO of “You Incorporated”.  By applying business logic to your personal life, you will be able to date with more accuracy and efficiency.

There’s a myriad of ways business logic can be applied to your personal life.  Here is one example: identify your target market.  This is of paramount importance to every business, and every person in the dating marketplace.

Neely Steinberg of, The Love Hangover , articulated this business philosophy in her recent article on boston.com entitled, Dating like an entrepreneur .

If you are uncertain who your target market is, how can you establish a compatible connection?  Every business covets suitable connections and certainty; this should include your business too !

Certainly, this is a desired connection…

The Testosterone Tango

The normal male testosterone range is 300-1200ng/dl

I’m not a urologist, so I don’t know what the hell this exactly means.  But I do know given the volume, you are guaranteed to be looking at Big Johnson & the Twins !  Unless he’s using steroids, then you’ll be looking at Limp Johnson and the Raisins…

So why am I talking about testosterone today?  Because today, I would like to stick up for every guy out there and say this:  Ladies, please stop treating the men like they are one of your girlfriends.  They are men.  A man will never talk or think like a woman.  They have a penis, not a vagina.  And don’t be afraid to double check; the movie The Crying Game was a real eye-opener for a lot of people…

The most common plight in dating is ineffective communication.  For decades, we’ve been bombarded with scientific evidence that men and women think and communicate differently.  The writers and editors at Cosmopolitan magazine are misleading; you can not change a man’s physiological core.  Men do not possess our emotional or verbal prowess.  Women need to accept this reality, and take responsibility for putting unnecessary pressure on men.   Even men with PhDs and MDs do not have our verbal skills.  90% of male energy is focused on food and sex.  They are not thinking about honing their communicative capabilities.  Embrace this fact; help them out !

If you are looking for a different response from a man, let your expectations be known.  If you’d like him to call you more frequently, tell him.  If you’d like to go out more, tell him.  If you’d like him to be more affectionate, tell him.  If you’d like him to stop wearing your underwear, tell him.  You get the idea…  Once you’ve politely stated your reasonable expectations, and he still can’t deliver; that’s a different story.  And if you need to bust out a Power Point presentation for his comprehension, I would reassess your situation.

To all the men out there, here is the best piece of advice I could possibly give you:  pay attention to the women and listen to what they are saying.   You will get further than you ever possibly dreamed, just by using your ears.  And to all the ladies out there:  be direct, state your feelings.  Don’t talk in the hypothetical, use metaphors, or make inferences.  Men are intimidated by women, cut them some slack; use obvious language.

I will open this up to all of you…   By treating the women like women and the men like men, dating and dating expectations will become easier.  Agreed?

Unisex Dating Tips: Dive In

Dive in; take the risk !

Dating half-ass will only frustrate you, and those you meet.  People will sense your indifference.  You do not want to be perceived as rude, preoccupied, or detached by not fully committing to the dating process.  Absolute availability and involvement are your chief objective.

My friend Kristen’s efforts of diving into the dating marketplace are chronicled in her blog, the Beantown Socialite, and exemplified in this post:  http://beantownsocialite.com/2010/08/06/diary-of-a-hopeless-online-dater/

Kristen’s raw, unabashed attitude is a perfect example of total dating immersion.  She’s  willing to pursue all avenues of online and offline dating.  And most impressively, she is exposing herself in front of a global audience.  Brava Kristen, your bravery is admirable !

There will always be an element of risk with dating, but the reward should out weigh the risk.  Dive in !

This looks pretty rewarding to me…

Facebook is your Friend

In the dating marketplace, Facebook is your friend !  In fact, it could be your best friend.

Here are three solid reasons: 

#1.  Facebook is FREE, and free is fabulous !  Facebook is an ideal adjunct to online dating.  eHarmony, Match, and JDate have monthly fees and binding agreements, yet provide the same basic concept:  online socialization and networking.

#2.  There are 500 million users on Facebook.  This means everyone and their freakin’ parakeet has an account !  You can “friend” someone you met offline to establish a further connection.  Plus, Facebook is a savvy screening tool.  You can run your own spy-ops and look up a person who was referred to you by a friend or colleague.  (Everyone does the Facebook snoop.)  This is why it is imperative to have an impressive profile photo.  I will address the importance of online photos in a later post.  But for now, I will say this:  if your profile photos, along with other photos, highlight you in compromising situations, please change them.  We’ve all seen those photos involving blow-up dolls, keg stands, and bachelor / bachelorette parties gone awry.  Yes, it’s absolutely hysterical seeing your friend dry-hump a plastic doll; however, save those types of pictures for your private collection…

* A quick word on privacy settings:

I know Facebook privacy settings are the new craze, however, ease up on some of your settings.  The idea is to have an attractive, accessible profile.

#3.  Facebook gives you an immediate peek into someone’s world.  This means you have the opportunity to make an enticing (online) first impression.  I’ve stated the obvious with the photographs, next is your profile.  This is your marketing sheet, and an opportunity to communicate your personal brand.  Talk up your interests, activities, education, employment, etc.  A word of caution, don’t lie !  If you do not have a Harvard degree, a Google employee badge, or a black belt in karate don’t proclaim you do…

This will 100% bite you in the ass, personally and professionally.  Deception is not attractive.  To illustrate my point, click this link:

Woman Discovers Husband’s 2nd Marriage on Facebook

I will open this up to all of you…

Do you find Facebook to be helpful or harmful in the dating market place ?

Trust Yourself

Trust yourself.

Guys, if it feels right, it probably is.  Ladies, if it feels wrong, trust yourself; you’re correct!  Don’t ignore your instincts.  Dirt bags are not accessorized with warning signs.  If Elin trusted herself, she would have wrapped Tiger Woods in caution tape, and then aptly beat the shit out of him !

If you continually find yourself justifying someone’s behavior, please re-evaluate the situation.  The only person who made the justification of love sexy was Madonna in Justify My Love.  And no one can compete with Madonna !

Rapturous Rapport

The best way to establish and maintain instant dating rapport is to talk about the other person, not you !  Successful dating starts with successful conversations. Successful conversations are sustained by placing full attention on the person in front of you.  By focusing on the other person, you are exhibiting interest, understanding, and genuine concern for whom you’re speaking to.

Dating is all about humility.  No one wants to hear about your personal and professional conquests upon an initial introduction.  I don’t care if you ran up Mt. Everest without crampons, or if you just landed a deal with Steve Jobs; hell, I don’t care if you came off a Patrón bender with Jay-Z, keep your mouth shut !  You will have plenty of time to talk about yourself as the conversation progresses.  Let the present moment revolve around your acquaintance.   Assert yourself; dazzle them with interesting questions !  You’ll be amazed by how quickly you will establish rapport, and calculate dating compatibility.

So, when is the best time to talk about yourself ?  The best time is when you are asked direct questions.  When presented with the opportunity, modestly promote yourself and your life, but know when to reel it in.  Conversely, if you are asked direct questions and you are without a relevant retort, people will begin to think you are part of a Russian spy ring…      ( How timely is Angelina’s new movie, Salt.  Hollywood is on-point ! )

Guys:  balance your confidence and charm with grace and humility.  Ask pertinent questions, use active listening skills, and give the ladies your full attention !  Your wandering eyes will only get you into trouble.  I don’t care how fabulous her breasts look in that shirt…

Ladies:  modestly maintain your confidence and charm, while helping the guys out.  (There’s no need to bitch about your bitter boss.)  Ask them about subjects you know they would like to discuss.  This will give you immediate access to their true character.

I’ll open this up to all of you…  By focusing your attention on the other person, you will be able to establish rapport and measure compatibility more expeditiously.  Agreed?

Unisex Dating Tips: Fragrance

We all love to smell delicious; however, apply your fragrance modestly…

Guys, take it easy on the cologne.  And ladies, use caution with the perfume.  You don’t want to asphyxiate someone with your scent.

As a general rule, your scent should entice a person up-close, not overpower from a far…

If this photo doesn’t make you want to apply fragrance properly, I don’t know what will:

Stop Texting, and Start Talking !

Texting has gotten out-of-control…
And I’m not taking about the jackass train operators who text-while-driving.
I’m talking about texting-while-dating; it’s dangerous !  

Texting is a toxic trend (especially in the dating marketplace).  In fact, I have texting blocked on my Blackberry.  Don’t get me wrong, I live on email.  I love a good TTYS, LMK, LMAO, and my favorite: WTF Text abbreviations are fun !  Texting someone you met the night before is not fun; it has cowardice written all over it.

Successful dating starts with effective communication.  Texting is not an effective way to communicate with an acquaintance.  If you don’t truly know someone, why are you texting them ?  You can’t understand the essence of how someone speaks through a text.  Tone, pitch, and inflection are indecipherable.   Why text a stranger, when a phone call is more compelling ?  Why allow your intentions to be misconstrued ?  Ambiguity is not attractive…

Here’s an example of a typical text, sent to one of my female clients by a man she met the night before: “hey, great 2 meet u”.  That was it, just one blurb !  Technically speaking, a text is like electronic flatulence:  quick, unexpected, and has a lingering effect.  Seriously guys, is this the best you can do?  I know men hate the phone and are in constant fear of rejection; but really, Scooby-Doo could whip up something better than that…

Guys:   If you’ve successfully received a girl’s number, step-up; call her !  Ladies:  If you’re annoyed that he’s texting you and hasn’t called, find your voice – tell him to call you.  If the two of you can’t manage a basic phone call, this is a red-flag…

Once you are in an established relationship, I say text your face off !  (If that’s your thing)
In fact, nothing like an afternoon “sext” to get you through the day.  5 o’clock won’t seem impossible.
But until you reach that point: try the phone, enjoy quality face-to-face time, and if you have to, fire off a nice email.  Dating is confusing enough as it is !  Don’t make it more confusing by sending esoteric texts.

I will open this up to all of you…
Do you find texting to be helpful or harmful in the dating marketplace ?

It’s All About the 1st Kiss !

I think its fitting to have my have my 1st post be about the 1st kiss.
Kissing is the gateway to intimacy, and the 1st kiss is a window into what intimacy could be like…

There is nothing worse than a bad 1st kiss.  And there is truly nothing worse than a bad 1st kiss without chemistry !  Chemistry is the #1 factor when considering compatibility with another person.  And by chemistry, I’m talking about physical chemistry.  When that 1st kiss happens, if you haven’t forgotten where you are for a moment, the chemistry is not intense.  And while you’re indulging in that 1st kiss, if you’re thinking about why Mel Gibson is so damn crazy, trust me: the chemistry is about as hot as BP Stock…

Sure, you can say:  “But Nicole, there are different levels of physical chemistry”.  Yes, this is true; and I would say:  if the 1st kiss felt like over-cooked calamari in your mouth, and you were not remotely interested in the possibility of getting naked one day, chances are things will not go very far.  Now, if you are looking for a Chess partner, that’s a different story.  However, I’d be willing to bet you did not go out on a Friday night looking for a Chess partner…

There are all different types of love, passion, and chemistry.  In order to build a foundation with someone, you need to feel some type of “wow” factor.  And by “wow” factor I mean feeling like a piece of chocolate has melted in your mouth after that 1st kiss.

The 1st kiss should be tender, yet enticing; classy, yet slightly erotic.  
To all the men out there:  please do not go crazy with your tongue, especially with a 1st kiss.  And to all the ladies:  if you like him and you are really enjoying that 1st kiss, put your back into it and really kiss him so he knows you are into him.

I’ll open this up to all of you…
If any one would like to share their best or worst 1st kiss story, let’s hear it !

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