Christiana Maxion, aka The Dubai Matchmaker, is re-writing the blueprint of the Dubai dating-verse, helping men and women attract their ideal partner. The 33-year-old got her start in finance, has her master’s in education and even taught kindergarten before becoming a mentor and trainer for other educators. During the pandemic she started offering dating advice via Instagram, and now she has a full-fledged business that is all about coaching people in empowered dating, honoring yourself and implementing and maintaining high standards — and then finding them matches. So what are those of us who are single doing wrong in our search for love? And what do we need to focus on to improve our chances? Read on for tips from Christiana’s appearance on The Livehealthy Podcast.
When it comes to dating, how important is attitude?
That’s the whole thing. I think that there’s this whole negative perception behind it, but when you start changing your perspective, when you start changing the words that you associate with the dating, when you start changing that mindset, then you take the driver’s seat in the situation. Then it becomes fun. I want everybody do that, male, female, other, to start dating, like you are the CEO of your dating life. I think once you start looking at it from that angle, you start making better decisions.
What are we doing wrong?
The whole point of my program, it takes you from thinking when you go on a first date of, ‘oh my gosh, does he or she like me?’ into ‘do I like them?’ I know that that might sound like a little harsh or like too practical, but if I’m coming from the female side, right, maybe we are emotional when it comes to decisions. When you start becoming more practical, then it becomes an easier way to be a better picker, like I mentioned earlier… If you were a boss in a company or any kind of title and you were hiring for a position and they didn’t meet the bare minimum, why would you invite them for a second interview or why would you hire them for the position? You have to start thinking about it that way. It’s a little harsh, but sorry.
What do you think men struggle with?
I know men are visual creatures. I know they are. Let me go back to basically what I want people to start doing is being attracted to how the other person makes you feel and how they treat you rather than the initial, ‘Oh my God, it’s a shiny object’.
Do you think that people approach dating with this sense of lack?
Exactly. You know what it is, I hear the phrase a lot, my other half, ‘I’m looking for my other half, my better half’. You need to be a complete person first. You are a whole person before you actually meet your perfect match. I mean a good match for you, I would say. Because one plus one doesn’t equal two, it can equal three, but it only happens if both people are at or working towards their peak of the person. When I go through the program with both matchmaking and dating coach clients, I always talk about first, you put yourself first. You think about what do you need in your life in order to be better, how to make yourself happy, things that you need to excel in. Maybe you need to do better in your career, maybe you need to do better intellectually, emotionally, whatever it takes.
Then from there, then we put ourselves on a pedestal. This is really about your USP. What are your unique selling points, right? All the achievements that you have, all the successes, all of the amazing qualities, characteristics that you possess and what you bring to the table in a relationship. Because once you develop this and you start putting yourself on a pedestal, it’s much, much easier to see both the green and the red flags, which I think is super-important.
What about limiting beliefs?
Oh gosh, I hear it all. I’m going to tell you that people need to get those thoughts out of their head. I don’t like when people say, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m divorced and I have children. Nobody will want me’. What are you talking about? I’m saying it from a female’s perspective, do you know how many men are out there who are actually looking to have children with somebody and maybe not of their own or men who are also divorced or in a similar boat as you, who would be happy to be a part of that relationship? With my dating coach clients, 50-year-old woman, addicted to salsa dancing, she’s super-successful, divorced. I finished the program with her and I feel like I’m vibrating on a higher frequency. Literally, two days later I was speaking on a panel and this guy just dropped out of the sky, also in his 50s, also divorced, his hobby is being a salsa instructor, and they’re similar religion, similar nationalities. I’m putting them on a date this week.
Are there some steps that people can take to just elevate their app experience a little bit?
I think you need to start with yourself first and your bio, your bio and your profile. Honestly, if anybody needs help with dating app profile makeovers, just DM me and I can help them as well. I always say you need five photos, and these five photos need to be within the past six months or a year. The first picture should always be an up close of your face. Stop using filtered photos, stop using altered photos, because the point of a dating app is to meet in person. If your point is to meet in person, you better look like what your pictures look like.
You need a full-body shot. I’m not saying like bikini or anything, but just where you can see what your body looks like. One with friends or family, one doing a hobby and one related to work, whatever that is, depending on how much you want to show. I think your bio should have snippets about you and your characteristics, but I think that the second paragraph is probably the most important, where you put something along the lines of ‘I’m interested in meeting…’ and think about like top characteristics. For me, I would say I’m interested in meeting — and I never say guys or boys, I say men — intelligent, ambitious men.
Then I go on and say something I like to do and then hobbies that I like. When you do it like that and you set that standard or bar and you’re really clear and direct with it, I am not saying to put down I want kids within the next year, I want to be married within the next two years, do not do that, but I’m saying if you’re saying I’m interested in this, then I think that helps weed out some of the timewasters.
What’s a nice way to move people along from endless chatting on apps?
If you are on the app and they don’t ask you out within 48 hours, then be done with it. Let’s say you are interested in this person and maybe you just want to nudge him a little bit, like if they ask you a question, ‘Hey, I would actually prefer to answer that question in person. I’m free either Monday or Wednesday, whatever your timeline is,” and then see how they respond. That will give you a real clear indicator of whether or not they want to meet in person. That should honestly be done within the first 48 hours, because you should be moving off the apps into WhatsApp if this is something that you’re actually interested in.
How can you protect your feelings on the apps?
I think if you’re on the app, you need to have tough skin because you’re going to get ghosted. You’re going to ghost. Because especially with the app Bumble, you have to respond within 24 hours. If that’s not at the forefront of your brain, then you might lose out on things. ‘Oh my gosh, I missed this amazing guy’, and then you start creating the story in your head that Brian would’ve been your perfect match if you would’ve just done this one.
Anyway, the point is, in the app World, people have become disposable. We’re no longer humans because we just exist inside your phone. We live in your phone. We don’t live in real life to you. With that being said, people treat each other way differently than maybe if I were to introduce her to somebody, she were to meet somebody at work. You were introduced to somebody. My number one thing I tell people is just delete the apps, but if you are on the apps, it’s important to know that these people don’t personally know you. It’s never a personal attack. If they don’t respond, if it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s just you got to take it with the punches. Roll with the punches. It is what it is.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.