So, you’ve been out of the dating game for a while? Maybe you went through a break-up and you felt the need to stay on the sidelines while your heart healed. Maybe you’ve been too busy with your career to slow down and find someone to share life with. Or maybe there’s been nothing stopping you but the fear that comes from low self-confidence. Whatever the reasons, if you’ve decided you’re ready to get out there and start dating, you’ll want to stop and take a few moments to conduct something of a personal inventory. Maybe you’re tired of hearing dating advice from others. But the fact is, if it’s been a while since you last dated, it’s easy to forget those things we all need to do to make ourselves more dateable. If that’s you, take a few moments to read the following list. It just might mean the difference between grabbing dinner with a potential soulmate next Friday night or eating frozen pizza alone as you watch TV. Again.
Look in the mirror. Before you protest, this has nothing to do with dropping pounds or bulking up biceps. No one needs a sculpted body to find the love of his or her life. What it does mean, however, is that we all tend to get a little rough around the edges when we live life alone. When we have no one to impress, we might let that hairdo get a bit unkempt or that beard go wild. We might wear clothes that have seen far better days. Ultimately, we might not take steps to represent our best selves to the world. So, again, look in the mirror and be honest. A haircut, a shave, a new dress or polo shirt, and so on: these things can communicate to your potential date how much you care about making a positive first impression. And of course, this goes beyond just appearances. Take smokers, for instance. Now more than ever, smoking rubs people the wrong way. It smells bad. Secondhand smoke gets on clothes and in the lungs of your potential date, not to mention ash in the air, nicotine-stained fingers, and yellow teeth. You get the idea. Switching to something like NJOY E-Cigs, which offer all the perks of smoking with none of the off-putting side-effects, can be one way to go.
Be assertive. Assertiveness and confidence have always been and will always be attractive. By assertive we mean this: unafraid to go up and talk to someone, unafraid to ask for a phone number, and unbroken if/when we’re told no. Make eye contact, stand tall, and speak clearly. If you are afraid, if your nerves do have you quaking in your boots, that’s fine. No shame in that. You just have to fake it until you make it. The more assertive you act, the more you’ll find just how capable of it you are and how little one person’s rejection has to hurt. Now, by confidence we mean this: knowing just how good you are. Not arrogance, mind you, which happens when you delude yourself into thinking you’re better than you actually are. No, confidence means you’ve taken the time to examine yourself, found the many strengths you actually possess, and chosen to believe another person out there will value you for those strengths. It doesn’t matter what strengths you possess. Maybe you can speak the Star Trek language Cling-On. Admittedly, many people won’t find that a turn-on, but that’s good. Those aren’t the right people for you, anyway. The person who does value that strength will be the kind of person you’ll actually want to spend time with, and vice versa.
Use an online dating site. Yes, you read that right. Online dating no longer carries the stigma it once did. The conventional wisdom once went like this: dating online means you can’t cut it out in the real world. Whether or not that was ever true remains to be seen. However, today everyone and their grandmother uses online dating sites. And for good reason. With intricate algorithms that match you with potentials partners based upon a vast amount of data, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find someone right for you, and without all the legwork. Now, for this to pan out, you have to be totally honest when you create your profile. That goes for height, weight, and age as much as it does for likes and dislikes, as well as facts regarding your education and career. And once you do find a match and set up a date, take the time to review One and Two above. You’ll need it.
So, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and tell yourself: I can do this! Because you can. Follow the steps above and dive right in to your new dating life. There will be ups and down, no doubt, but those will be nothing you can’t handle.
Thanks so Margaret Hilton for this guest post!