Kimiko ran a large daycare and preschool facility where her own three young kids attended. After her divorce, she threw herself into her work and her children’s lives. She figured there was plenty of time to start dating once her children were in school full time. And she needed time to heal.
Finally, after a few years of her social life centering on Chuck E. Cheese and zoo field trips, Kimiko decided to try online dating. At first, she was thrilled. She had wonderful conversations by e-mail and chat, and she felt real connections with many of the men she met online. “For the first time in forever, I felt witty, intelligent, . . . beautiful.”
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But every time she met a man in real life, the date failed miserably. She couldn’t understand what was wrong. They talked about the same things that had seemed to interest them both online, and she could tell from the very first impression that her dates found her physically attractive. But by the end of the date, the man would seem impatient to leave, and she never got more than a peck on the cheek, much less a second date.
What was going on?
It wasn’t until Kimiko started paying attention to the voices of the men she was dating that she became all too aware of her own tone.
“I spent so much time around children that without even thinking about it, I was talking to my dates like they were kids!” Even though the conversation was adult, her voice was a little too sing-songy and animated, her tone sometimes patronizing. Only by consciously adjusting it to the men she was seeing did she recognize what had been turning them off—and how reawakening the woman’s voice inside her could be the key to turning them—and herself—on.
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