I’m back to blogging and as with everything in my life, I’m in a state of transition. I’ve recently graduated from school, moved back home, and I’m ready to take on life and all it has to offer me. As a single woman, that includes testing the waters in the Sea of Dating.
What continues to be made clear to me is that it can be a very daunting experience — dating that is. You take the chance and put yourself out there to be accepted or rejected. You wonder if you’ll meet someone with the same likes and the same dislikes. You believe in the possibility of finding your one true love and imagine that you will run into the ONE.
Tricky thing is: you have to DATE first (or at some point).
One thing to that continues to pop up in talks with girlfriends of mine is that people don’t date anymore. I say, people don’t know how to date and are afraid to say, “I prefer that you put in effort to court me.” So, while lying in bed (I’ve been a little sickly) I came up with a list of ways to “Win Her Heart”. Without further ado, here is my advice!
1. Respect is KEY!
I’ve seen a disturbing trend when it comes to people interacting with one another — the lack of respect. While some may think that it’s easy to turn this behavior off, it isn’t. It’s especially unnerving to be approached by someone who spouts something that leads you think, “Are they operating with a full brain?” You don’t want the possibility of this to run through a person’s mind in your initial meeting because you probably won’t have the opportunity to practice steps 2 – 9. Take home point, RESPECT IS KEY!
2. Pay attention to where you meet the Lady.
I can’t count how many times I’ve had an awkward encounter because the seemingly interested party forgot where we met OR didn’t use the surrounding as an indication for what I liked to do. But why pay attention to this? Humans are creatures of habit and we frequent our favorite places. If you meet in a bookstore while browsing titles on the shelves, it is safe to say that the person enjoys leisurely reading. If you meet in the organic aisles of your neighborhood grocery store, it is safe to say that the person enjoys things related to their health. If you meet while at a lounge where a jazz group is playing, it is safe to say the person enjoys jazz. By taking the time to really reflect on where you meet a person and what you’ve learned from the first conversation, you already have some insight into the kind of person they really are.
3. Be clear about your intentions.
This one should go without saying BUT since it’s on the list, it needs to be stated. If you are not looking for a relationship and just dating, say this. If you have multiple options say this. If you really just want sex, say this (with tact). Much heartbreak can be avoided if people are clear about their intentions from the beginning. Also, when you take this step, you signal to the other party that you welcome their honesty. By having necessary discussions and being clear from the beginning, you can avoid your car being keyed, windows being broken out, and ads being placed on DontDateHimGirl.com. Seriously.
4. Figure out similarities and differences.
Why is this important? Because it is. You don’t tackle friendships without knowing key differences between yourself and your friends, so you shouldn’t tackle a relationship (or a potential relationship) without figuring this out. It leaves awkward moments to a minimum as well. Here’s a story. I once dated a guy (seriously, we had one date) and I made it very apparent that I didn’t eat certain foods. The foods that he loved however, were foods that didn’t love me. He suggested we go to a restaurant that at first glance struck a perfect balance between the two of us. We get there and I can’t eat 90% of the menu. Key difference between the two of us is that I have severe food allergies. While he enjoyed the date, I didn’t. We still keep in contact though.
5. Actually date!
Even though this is a blog about dating, I saved this for now because people need to be reminded that a solid foundation needs to be built between the two people. Steps 1 – 4 remind you to get to know the person for who they are (or who they wish to let you see). Step 5 is simply a reminder that if you want to become good at dating and increase your chances for love, then you need to date. And I don’t mean, call that person between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am because you’ve confused dating with becoming acquainted with their insides. I mean, DATE! Go out at 6 pm. Take a walk somewhere. Catch a movie. Cook a dinner. Play at the arcade. Go bowling. Do something. DATE!
6. Cheap and thoughtful dates ARE okay.
Now, the big thing about dates is that we wish to make a GREAT impression. What usually happens? Standard dinner at some restaurant that neither one of you would probably ever go to just because where you wear a dress that you forgot you had and a girdle that pisses you off (wait…is this just me?). STOP THAT! Thoughtful dates are great. Cheap and thoughtful dates are even better. As a Soror/friend of mine made clear on Twitter the other night (shoutout to @GMDud), cheap and thoughtful dates show you care. She mentions going to a music store and discussing music. I say have a themed dinner at someone’s house and a discussion about your careers (to figure out how they connect to each other). We are both admitted nerds and realize that those two ideas may not work for everyone BUT the point is that a date that is memorable, enjoyable for both, AND cheap is always a win.
7. Show her who you are.
By showing her (or the person) who you are, it gives them the opportunity to really be their TRUE self. How many times have you shown interest in a person and dated for three months only to realize that you dated their representative? It’s annoying. Quite annoying. When you let your guard down, there is a certain comfort that comes with the transparency. And in dating, you need all of the comfort you can get! (Sidenote: This is not to say that you shouldn’t put effort into anything because you should always put some effort into dating).
8. Don’t bad mouth those exes of yours.
When you talk negatively about your exes, the person isn’t saying, “Poor you for dating them.” The person is thinking, “What is the nearest exit so I can escape?” Your dating past is your resume to your current dating situation. If YOU say that every other person that you’ve dated is crazy, then my dear, it’s you. You are the common denominator. If you let it out that every other person you dated was a liar, my dear, you can not be trusted. If you let out that one person keyed your car, then you two belong with each other. Again, your dating resume is the best reflection as to what kind of dating candidate you are. So, don’t bad mouth those exes…after all, they are your references.
9. Give her the opportunity to do the same for you.
This should go without saying, so I won’t say much. The take home point with this is that dating is all about the game of reciprocity. If you want to make a good impression and win the heart of a special someone, allow her (or him) to do the same for you!
I sincerely hope that my advice helps someone out there, not to mention, you should head on over to this BLOG to see the kind of people that you shouldn’t date…at all.
~Miss C. Jayne