There’s no guidebook for how to date. Take it from me — when I was single, I heard every “rule,” and I broke it later that night. However, there are certainly some pitfalls you can try to avoid while you’re out on the town. Avoid these classic mistakes and you’ll be a few steps closer to meeting Mr. Right!
1. Going on a Man Hunt
Stop searching for your soul mate. Looking for the man of your dreams isn’t like grocery shopping — you can’t run to the corner store and pick up a half-gallon of Channing Tatum with a quart of Daniel Craig. No one has ever found the love of her life by HUNTING for him, and the best stories from the happiest couples come from people who met their better halves when they weren’t really looking. Once you give up the notion that he’s “out there waiting for you,” you can stop scouring the city, and focus on improving yourself.
2. Putting Others First
Remember, people love people who love themselves. This isn’t a free pass to become a narcissist, but instead of pulling that pathetic “woe-is-me” routine, take this time to focus on you. What are your goals for the future? What interests would you like to explore? By becoming more well-rounded and more in tune with your wants and needs, you become much more attractive to potential dates. No guy wants a chameleon – someone who will shift and change her “passions” with every new relationship. Develop your own interests and guys will fall in love with your great sense of self.
3. Keeping a List of Requirements
Forget that long list of “must-haves” and “can’t-stands.” It’s a good idea to know what things are important to you – religion, aspirations for the future, smoking and drinking habits. However, when single women keep a list (mental or literal) of dos and don’ts, they’re being too closed-minded. You can really overlook some great opportunities by narrowing your dating pool. Won’t date a man more than five years older? You could be missing out on a Pierce Bronson lookalike. No one from Wall Street? Not everybody in a suit is a workaholic; he could be the world’s greatest dad someday. Skip the list and stick to what’s in front of you.
4. Going Against Your Gut
Chemistry is a great indicator. Avoid falling for a man that looks great on paper, but isn’t so swell in person. If you’ve got nothing to talk about over dinner, it won’t matter that he makes six figures. If you can’t agree on a single movie to see, chances are good you won’t see eye-to-eye on bigger decisions. When you can’t get a word in edgewise, his good looks won’t make you feel better about being ignored. Ignore all of the justifications that women use so often, and go with your gut.
Stop being so scared and make the first move. Everybody loves a gentleman, but (short of opening doors) gender roles are becoming a real thing of the past. If you’ve really got your eye on that guy across the bar, suck it up and say something. Too shy? Send a drink to his table with a sassy description on a napkin. Maybe write something like, “For you, from the blonde who’s trying to get you drunk.” It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. Make a move and make your presence known.
6. Not Speaking Up
You’re allowed to have your say in a relationship. When you’ve had three or four dates and you’d like to make things exclusive, don’t be content with ambiguity. Too many women are afraid they’ll scare away their guy by making any sudden movements. The truth is, you’re trying to find a man, not feed a squirrel. If he runs at any signs of attachment, you’re so much better off without him. And if he responds positively to your suggestion of being exclusive, you’ve won!
7. Worrying Too Much
Have fun. Stop worrying about the photos you’re tagged in. Stop fussing about whether or not your makeup is flawless. Stop hoping everybody else thinks you’re having a great time. Once you stop stressing about how much fun you look like you’re having, you’ll start to relax and learn how great single-dom can be. I guarantee it – the second you stop worrying about finding the man of your dreams, he’ll appear out of thin air and fall in love with the fun-loving woman you’ve grown to be!