Ready to jump back in the dating pool? Here are 10 ways to make sure you’re on top of your dating game
KIMBERLY DAWN NEUMANN ON FEB 15, 2013 AT 4:04PM
Try to smile at three new guys per week
“Most guys need to be hit over the head to know that a girl is actually into them,” says dating coachJordanHarbinger, founder of The Art of Charm. Harbinger suggests that women be more obvious with the guys they think are cute instead of looking away and playing coy.
“If you think you’re sending a signal and the guys aren’t responding, amp it up by 5 percent and try it again,” suggests Harbinger, who says that most women underplay their interest because they don’t want to come on too strong. But, “Guys are dense. Or if we do pick up on your signal, our logic kicks in and we think maybe it was an accident or that you were smiling at someone over our shoulder.”
Identify the must-have traits you need in a partner
While the goal is to get a date, you don’t just want any date. Write out a wish list. What are your deal breakers? What are you willing to be a little flexible on? “Handwrite the traits you seek in your ideal partner and list only positive qualities — i.e. do not write ‘No coach potato smokers,’ but instead write ‘They have a healthy lifestyle and physical activity is important to them,’” says Lou Paget, certified sex educator and bestselling author of The Great Lover Playbook. “Be honest about what is most important for you and once you’ve got your list, which can be a few pages if need be, it’s time to look at you.” See what you bring to the table and where you could make improvements making yourself a more desirable partner to attract your dream date.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
“As a one-man woman, you’re inclined to put all your eggs in one man’s basket,” says award-winning relationship writer Dave Singleton, author of two books including Behind Every Great Woman There’s a Fabulous Gay Man. “But when you are dating and single with no committed relationship on the immediate horizon, consider dating more than one man as your emotional insurance policy.” Set up a short-but-sweet coffee date with someone new you met online, agree to a blind date or go to a singles’ event. “A man has to earn that special, exclusive place in your heart. He doesn’t get that status just because you have ‘a feeling’ or because of social conditioning that taught you to wait to be picked,” says Singleton. Don’t get overly involved with someone — stop trying out his last name with your first name — until you’re sure the feeling is mutual.
Stop using your smart phone as a social crutch
“In order to find love and romance you need to stop the love affair with the smart phone. Never check social media emails or tweet in public,” says dating coach David Wygant. “The time not spent in front of the phone can be spent gazing around the places you visit and smiling at strangers that can turn into real dates…time to lose the fake Facebook friends.” Also, take your ear buds out of your ears and turn off the music! Nothing says “I’m unapproachable and don’t want you to talk to me,” like an ever-present iPod.
Try new activities to get out of your romantic comfort zone
Afraid to have a drink alone at a bar because you’ll come off as Looking for Mr. Goodbar? Then try something different. “Grab a pal and sign upfor a new activity where you’ll be forced –in the best possible way — to mix and mingle with new people,” says Singleton. “One-shot meetings are tough, so sign up for activities that will help you engage over at least a 6-8 week period.” If you get involved in some new activity, you may meet different and interesting people outside of your “normal” circle who could also become romantic possibilities.
Another tactic? Try taking a new route home from work. Try shopping at a different grocery store. Try eating at a different restaurantthan your favorite stand by. “Take any one of the ‘routine’ activities of your daily life and make it not so routine,” says Ish Major, M.D., author of Little White Whys: A Woman’s Guide Through the Lies Men Tell and Why. “You’ll be amazed at how much you might like what — and whoyou may find!”
Dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes per week to making yourself happy
It can be anything you enjoy — mindless entertainment, your favorite guilty pleasure. “The goal is to make sure you carve out 30 minutes per week to dedicate to this activity,” says Dr. Major. “As you’re in a better, more pleasant state of mind you’ll notice you begin to attract the same to you.” By learning to give yourself pleasure and to value yourself, you up your self-esteem and the idea that you deserve a partner who brings you pleasure as well. Also, if you take care of yourself, you’ll be more relaxed and ready to welcome someone else into your life.
Get more comfortable naked
“Before you can love sharing your body with a partner of your choosing, you first need to learn how to love that body yourself!” Try choosing a workout with a sensual underbelly to create an awareness of your feminine body and how you move it. “Keep an eye out for exotic dance classes like pole-dancing, burlesque, Latin or African dance or even Zumba,” suggests Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor. “Put yourself in a room full of glistening curves, heavy breathing and girl-tastic vitality — it’ll give you a major boost of electric energy and in order to embrace your body’s beauty, you need to appreciate it in other women, too: feminine bodies in all different gorgeous shapes, from toned hotties to softer foxes.” Also try dancing in short shorts or naked in front of a mirror at home and appreciating how your body looks and moves. “The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll feel with your body,” says Myers. “And with practice, you just might find yourself wanting to invite a guy over to watch!”
Discover what really turns you on
“If you don’t know what turns you on, there is no way you can tell a lover what makes you hot,” says Joel D. Block, author of Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Save Your Relationship without Leaving Your Bedroom. “What kind of touch arouses you? What’s occurring in your fantasies? These are the questions to ask yourself and then be able to share with a partner someday, because he’ll want to turn you on too!”
“When you’re single, scheduling a sex date with yourself is an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself better and focus on what feels good to you…erotica and porn spark the fantasies,” says Rachel Vennning, co-founder of Babeland. This will get you running out the door to find someone to share your fantasies with.
Keep a dating journal
“Keeping a dating/relationship journal is one way to express your feelings about your intimate relationships — feelings that change month to month, year to year,” says Patty Brisben, founder of Pure Romance. “Try writing down those feelings along with your concerns, desires and maybe even fantasies.” This can help you keep perspective, learn from relationships that didn’t work out and identify the types of men you’re attracted to and your dating habits. It’s like writing your own romance novel that will hopefully have a very happy ending.
Love being single!
You’ll be happier — and way more attractive to other people — if you love the life you’re living right now. “If you truly believe life doesn’t begin until you’re coupled up, you lose the single most attractive thing about yourself — the joy and confidence that draws other people to you,” says staff sexologist for Good Vibrations, Carol Queen, Ph.D. “You’re answering to yourself, so make a list of the things you like to do, and make sure to do them on the regular!” This is your time to enjoy yourself. Get busy doing that and the rest will fall in place.