Dating Advice: 10 Second Evaluator

If you’ve been part of the dating scene for at least a year (less for some) you’ve most probably earned the title of Ten Second Evaluator. That means, you can look at a member of the opposite sex and decide in ten seconds whether you’re interested or not. The longer you date, the less time you need. At first it might have taken you a full thirty seconds, maybe even a minute, to rule on the eligibility of the potential date under scrutiny. You might have even felt the need to actually engage in conversation to make an informed decision.Now, after dozens, scores, even hundreds of dates and thousands of hours of evaluation, scrutiny, and examination, you’ve become an expert. All you need is ten seconds at most, usually no more than five, and sometimes as little as a two second glance to eliminate a potential soulmate from further consideration. Mazal Tov! You’ve just made finding your soulmate nearly impossible!

I know that sometimes one look at a person is enough to know that they’re definitely not for you. If you see one of the “Biggest Loser” contestants, and you don’t fancy extremely overweight individuals, then it’s obvious after a two second glance from a distance that it’s not going to work for you. At the same time, when you see someone that matches the fantasy soulmate image you have stored in your head, you don’t need more than a glance to know you’re interested. But what happens in cases that aren’t so clear cut, when the potential falls somewhere between the beauty and the beast? If you simply rely on your 10 second evaluator instinct, you might be making a big mistake and passing up a golden opportunity.

I’ll never forget the time I was set up with a woman I had never met. I asked a couple of guys about her, but I didn’t get any clear cut answers, which of course, made me assume the worst. I called her and we spoke briefly. The only thing I remember from the conversation was that her voice sounded deep and masculine. Perhaps it was just her heavy Brooklyn accent, or probably a combination of the two. My evaluator got to work. I ended up not asking her out. There was no way I was taking a chance on someone who sounded like an unemployed Brooklyn longshoreman. I ended up meeting months later. She was smoking hot! It turns out she had a bit of a cold the night we spoke, which made her voice raspier than usual. The accent was still there, but so what? Seeing her in person, I hardly noticed. Needless to say, she wasn’t interested in giving me another chance. Maybe she did a ten second evaluation on me?

We get so used to making split second evaluations that we become physical unable to hold off for even the shortest time to give ourselves a chance to make an informed decision. Go for a stroll through Central Park on a summer day and notice how you rate every guy or gal that you pass. You’ve turned into an evaluation monster…the evaluator!

In most cases, it isn’t possible to evaluate someone in 10 seconds. You might think you’re getting it right, but all you’re really doing is making assumptions based on your own suppositions and projections. Guys and gals mess up evaluations in different ways. For guys, the evaluation is pretty much confined to physical appearance. Based on a quick look over, they’ll decide whether they think the gal is hot enough for them to pursue. This kind of evaluation can go wrong in many ways:

1. The gal might be wearing unflattering clothing. I can’t tell you how many times I crossed off a gal from my list based on a 10 second eval only to see her on another occasion looking very different and very desirable.
2. The gal might have just returned from a sweat lodge, and look it. Given an hour or two to pull herself together, she might make you feel like kicking yourself for dismissing her so quickly.
3. She might have just had the day from hell at work and be feeling grumpy, upset, and unfriendly. We all have those days. Catch her on a good day and you might be pleasantly surprised.

The female 10 second evaluation is usually much more extensive than the guy version. Gals don’t just look at looks. They also factor in intelligence, humor, confidence, personality, social status, financial stability, and earning potential (there are more, depending on the gal). Since they have been told that they possess higher levels of understanding and intuition, most women assume that they’re evaluations are always right.

Ladies, I hate to break this to you, but no matter how intuitive you are, you cannot depend on your 10 second evaluation skills. With all the factors that your judging, you probably need at least a date or 2 to make an educated evaluation. I remember one gal who rejected a guy who wasn’t a particularly sharp dresser, because she assumed that his lack of style meant that he wasn’t financially stable, only to later discover that the guy was a hugely successful derivatives trader who happened to always enjoy the casual, rainy Sunday afternoon look. She ended up repenting and marrying him.

Ladies and gentleman, my advice to you is this: cut them some slack! Trade in your stopwatch for an hourglass, and give yourself the chance you deserve to meet someone who might actually make you happy. A ten second evaluation might be the right way to find a ten minute relationship, but it’s not going to work for something long term, and real. You’re looking for someone who you’ll hopefully be spending many years with. You’re initial evaluation will, in most cases, be irrelevant. Most successful, long term, relationships don’t spontaneously pop into existence. Those super intense, hot and heavy, fast track extravaganzas usually fizzle out just as quickly. Real, lasting relationships take time to nurture. They grow organically, as the partners slowly get to know each other, and build connections and feelings. Your ten second evaluator will make sure you never get the chance to build that lasting relationship.

Take some time. Ask questions. Listen. Relax. Give love a chance. Give yourself a chance to find happiness.

Are you a 10 second evaluator? Has being one caused you to miss out on some good opportunities? What are your thoughts on the subject?

Keep reading jcoach.com for more dating advice and relationship advice, and please contact me if you’d like personal coaching or advice.

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