Strategic Dating Advice: Be As Proactive at Dating As You Are at Work.|
Oh, White Knight syndrome-the idea that someday we’re each going to be sitting at our desks (or sleeping- how savvy was Snow White?), eating a Chop’t salad, and a knight in shining armor is going to just walk through the door. And that’ll just be that– a swift and passionate romance will be followed by a ginormous glistening diamond, a huge house in Connecticut, and 2.4 kids. That’s how it happens, right?
In this day and age, (and particularly in cities like New York, where single women outnumber single men 2:1 in some neighborhoods), women have to be as proactive about finding that special someone as they have to be about finding their perfect career.
Let’s be extremely clear about the ‘finding’ process: your white knight won’t just appear out of the blue (especially not while you are sleeping- and if a stranger tries to kiss you while you’re sleeping I highly suggest you slug him immediately and call 911), you have to go find him.
Wait, but what about that whole “men have to pursue me,” thing?
Eventually. But how can a man pursue you if he doesn’t know you exist?
In that proactive spirit, here are four strategies you can use to find that special someone- or even just a great Friday night date.
1) Get set up by a friend you trust
Think about three friends/family members who you trust without reserve. Explain to them that you think they are so great, and you trust them so much, that you would be honored if they set you up with someone.
But don’t just let them go blindly- give them a general idea of who you are looking for, and be sure to explicate any deal breakers (limit these to 5).
An even more strategic way to garner introductions with your friends’ friends. Systematically go through the fb friends of that person, and when you find guys who you think you might like, ask your friend for the 411. If they give him the green light, then ask for the intro.
Note: Make sure to follow up. Even if a friend says they’ll set you up, life often merrily interrupts, and it is easy for them to forget. Gently remind them- and if they want, offer to set them up in return.
BONUS CHALLENGE: Both of you pick someone for the other and arrange a double date. That way even if both are total “misses,” at least you had some QT (and hopefully, fun) with your friend!
2) Online Dating
But isn’t online dating for nerds? Umm…that was so ten years ago.
Think of online dating as just another resource. It’s not supposed to replace socializing, or meeting people out and about. It’s just another tool to give you more options.
Why Online Dating Rocks
You can screen to your heart’s content. Most sites let you screen by education level, age, height, religion, and the list goes on. Furthermore, sites like IvyDate screen people for you, so that you know every match you get is of a certain quality (and not a rando Nigerian scammer).
It’s multitasking at its best. You can literally be in a dozen places at once. I think of online dating as passive marketing. You put up a photo and some info, and you can be on the beach in Cabo and come back to five messages (one of which was sent while a guy was getting your number on the beach). Oh, and two messages received on another site. How much better does it get?
Gender preference is clear.
For gays and lesbians, online dating is awesome because you know that everyone you are looking at is actually interested in your gender! Particularly for more feminine lesbians, it can be difficult to know who is gay and who isn’t when you’re out- therefore meeting a partner in online is magnanimously less awkward/easier than it is out in public.
Online dating is a true bang for your buck. If it is a site that costs money, think of it as an investment- and one that pays off rather quickly. One nice dinner and you’re already ahead of the game. Ten nice dinners later? You’re at ten times what you put in.
Note: Your profile MATTERS. When I say “passive marketing,” remember that you are the product! Spend time and effort on your profile and photos, and be sure to get second opinions and/or professional help.
Note 2: Different dating sites work better for different people. Stay tuned for next week’s article, “A Definitive Guide to Dating Sites,” to see which is best for you.
Schedule at least one event into your calendar per week where you know you’ll meet likeminded people (who you don’t already know). Benefits, parties for specific interest groups, a community service afternoon: all are great places- and environments- to meet new people.
Note: Think about what really interests you- and think about the person you’re looking for- if they were looking at the same options, which activity/event would they choose? Also, refrain from going to the event and only talking to the people you know. Comfortable, but not doing anything for your dating life.
Number four appreciates that a great guy for you could appear anywhere, anytime, anyplace. No, not at Alcoholics Anonymous, sorry. But in order to turn an appearance into a date, you must:
A) Be open to it.
Stay off your cellphone. Make eye contact with hot strangers. If they make eye contact back with you, be bold, stop them, and say, you dropped something, and give them your card. Walk confidently with your shoulders back and head up, letting a small smile play on your face. Men will be drawn to you.
B) Look for windows of opportunity.
A chance to strike up a conversation- or to lay the groundwork for him to strike up a conversation with you- literally might last twenty seconds. So you have to act fast, before the moment- and the guy- are gone forever.
C) Be prepared.
A friend once said to me: You should always look good, because you never know who you are going to meet. She now owns a lipgloss line selling in Bergdorf’s, which makes a lot of sense.
This doesn’t mean full makeup, a cocktail dress and heels just to run down the street and get a bagel. That’s just ridiculous. What it does mean is wearing something in which you feel attractive and alive. Feeling ready to face the world when you’re, erggh, facing the world. Appreciating that you are just as likely to meet a guy at Whole Foods (or moreso- Whole Foods is a mecca of attractive, healthy men) as you are out on a Friday night. It’s less about what you’re wearing/how much makeup you have on than it is about how you feel. Guys pick up on the latter more than you might expect.