This story is about a girl named Mary. Mary is my friend. Mary is currently single, but going on dates. Now Mary and I have known one another for over two decades. She and I have traveled to the depths of the dating world together and been single to sulk our relationship losses. We’ve watched every chic flick on how to be good at being a strong but super cool, chill girl. (Come, on!) Every woman in the world is trying to be a good wife, partner, girlfriend, dating person, or single chic. And being “good” is so subjective.
Then we are given dating advice in Cosmopolitan, or told to be rude by outlandish books; Why Men Love Bitches. All the information becomes conflicting and overwhelming. We are inundated with friends opinions and strangers judgements. We are overthinking, over-trying, and overdoing.
So, lets get back to Mary’s story. She had been single before and in other relationships before. Ones that worked and ones that didn’t. Ones that ended cordially with a hand shake and ones that ended tragically with cheating. She has played the field, given up dating to pursue a career and come back around again. Before she began dating again she saw a counselor. She worked on some fears, then after another year, she got back out there. She was not active in pursuing men, but she was attracting good and decent men who wanted to take her out. She was confident, happy, and fun. She had her contagious energy back that she had before her heartbreak. But it took Mary time to get there. Before that she laid on the couch with me and cried, she asked for hugs and she figured out what she wanted. She rediscovered who she was.
Then something happened. Mary met someone. She met someone she really liked. She was overwhelmed by trying to remember the rules to dating because she actually liked this guy. She thought about texting in 3 days instead of hours; how to keep him interested; when to introduce him to her friends; when he should meet her family; was she actually ready for a real relationship; what if he rejected her; what if she needed to have multiple people to date at the same time while not making him jealous, while keeping him interested, while trying to stand on her head while sitting in a chair and juggling 4 balls in the air while playing guitar and making dinner for 12 people…….. Mary was having overwhelming feelings and emotions of doubt. She just had to remember, it’s going to be ok. She had to remember what she wanted and not digress to the conflicting information. She had to calm her fears, anxieties, and doubt.
She had to go back and remember what she had learned. She learned that just because she grew from an experience that she could not control future situations and that there was no promise she wouldn’t be hurt again. She had to let go of her need to control and she had to be vulnerable. My point is……we ebb and flow in all stages of dating and relationships. Relax. Breath. Stop trying to figure it out and enjoy the journey.
Why does it all have to be so complicated? We get so much conflicting information from so many avenues and it keeps us from developing our genuine selves. It prolongs the confusion and chaos. Mary has no idea how to be single. She has no idea how to date or how to be in a relationship. Not the “right way”, at least, whatever that means. But who does? We are all sort of the blind leading the blind. This is messy stuff. This is complicated stuff. We have to give ourselves room to breath and grow. We are making it up as we go, learning from the past, and taking notes for the future. There is no right way to date or right way to be single. The best you can hope for is good and supportive friends that hang in there with you along the way. My point is……Relax. Breath. Stop trying to figure it out and enjoy the journey, single or not.
This was derived by happenings in my life this morning. I was at the gas station before work. I wasn’t looking very sexy as I have had a cold and needless to say it is also making me a bit irritable. So I pass this guy who is with a friend and he proceeds to hang out of the driver seat window and yell, “Hey girl, what’s up.” Not only is this kind of hitting on someone completely appalling to a girl, it comes close to the behavior of a dog. You want to act like one and that shock collar might be the next best thing for you. So in a world where bad “hitting habits” take place, let’s look at the right way to approach someone you are interested in.
Let’s recap the bad. You don’t “hollar” at someone out the window of your car. You don’t yell at someone to get their attention, it’s plain rude.
So how can you talk to someone subtly and sneak in a way to hit on them? It’s about sparking up a conversation that can lead into asking someone for their phone number. If you are a social person starting conversations may come easy to you. If you happen to be shy, start trying with other people. Begin a conversation with a stranger in the grocery store and try it out. Josh Duhamel’s character, Messer, in Life As We Know It, does a great job showing how hitting on someone is an art. He hits on Katherine Heigl’s character at the supermarket. He subtly picks up an item and asks her how to say a word. She replies, that it is Acai. He compliments, “Wow you must really have an ear for languages.” She is flattered and it goes from there. So take note from Josh and try these rules of engagement:
1. Find a way in. Whether you are at a bookstore, in line at Starbucks, in a class together, or at a bar find something that you can inquire about or discuss. Ask about a book. Ask a question in class. Find a subtle way to make contact with the person without coming on to strong.
2. Compliment. After engaging in a conversation with the person about what got you “the way in” find something to compliment that goes along with it. An example is: “That book looks interesting (the way in), you must also be a great writer.” (Don’t make this compliment too much. It needs to be subtle and not too direct. You are very intelligent or you are beautiful are too vague and it lacks real motivation). It needs to equate to something more than a blanket statement you could use with anyone. Give the other person an opening to talk about themselves.
3. Don’t over do it. Be yourself. There is nothing less attractive than someone who tries too hard. Even if you are awkward and can’t get it completely right, that can be somewhat attractive in itself.
1. Always call the person the first time you want to make plans with them. Do not text.
2. Make sure to be gracious and thankful when someone else is footing the bill.
3. Don’t Facebook stalk. Get to know the person as a person, not their profile page.