Not having any luck with online dating? You are not alone.
In a Wall St. Journal, December 29,2015, article, “A Better Love Life in 2016,” experts offer their tips for the most common questions from readers.
The relationship expert, Dr. Ish Major, recommends:
- Go to places that interest you so you can find people who share your interests
- Make eye contact and smile.
- Look presentable.
- Develop hobbies and then go to events to meet others with that interest, too.
- Go alone.
- Volunteer for charities and other events—but make sure your activities involve interacting with others.
- Tell your friends and family that you are looking for love.
- Go to your family events and celebrations. You never know whom you might meet.
These are great ideas. It’s the doing of them that gets a bit scary.
I’ve learned a lot from the thousands of women I’ve counseled and researched for my books.
Here Are Some of the Top “Tweaks” on the Ideas Above:
How to Fix Your Dating Rut by Getting OUT THERE!
1. Expect—and accept—to be nervous, to want to procrastinate and just generally to feel uncomfortable
Write on a piece of paper and in your cell phone:
“I am doing something new and different. And new and different almost always come with anxiety. I want to be happy, and I deserve to be happy.”
Read your note to yourself.
2. Sit down with something nonalcoholic and make a list of your:
- Accomplishments, personally and professionally, and things you’ve overcome and triumphed over
- Your good personal values
3. Yes go to places that interest you, and be sure to smile.
And, yes, again, go to family events and get involved in charities and other community activities. But, the women in my study did not find that doing those things was sufficient.
Here are the additional things that worked for them:
Make a pact with yourself that you will not leave the event until you have done the following for at least three new people:
- Looked around the room for potential partners who catch your eye
- Gone up to those people and introduce yourself. Yes! You must make that first move. Smiling is not enough. And what should say?
Here is what worked every time for my research participants:
“I (am in this dating group; have read dating article; took a dare from my family), and I am supposed to go up to people who look kind, smart and interesting, and then introduce myself to them. And I sense that is you. Hi, my name is…” (And then stand there talking or sit down with them.) As I said, it worked every time—even when the person was in a relationship because you never know their true status (getting divorced, moving out, etc.) or whether they might have a friend who might be interested in meeting you.)
And about those new hobbies? It can feel artificial to develop a hobby. Still, sit down and make a list of things that interest you that you haven’t done. They don’t have to be earth-shaking things. Read your local newspaper for upcoming events and see what interests you even moderately. And then follow the same guideline above for meeting people.
- Enact this pact at least twice a week.
- Apply the same technique when you are at the grocery store an any other places in your usual weekly rounds (“have you tried this brand?” Or: “Don’t try that brand.”)
4. Aim to look more than “presentable.” Look “approachable.”
Bring your smile, but, women, don’t bring the biggest handbag in the world or your low-cut blouses and too short or too tight skirts or pants.
Want to know what research studies about men and attraction say about a woman’s clothes?
The number one outfit: casual, well-fitting but not skin-tight top and pants or jeans. And leave all that chunky-clunky-I-am-women jewelry at home, too. The goal is not to turn yourself into a fortress.
Wear similarly casual clothes. Most of the time that designer suit could turn off—or turn away—some very good matches for you.
Of course, if the event calls for dressier clothes, still think in terms of what you can do to send signals of approachability. Few people court rejection.
5. Yes, tell your friends and family that you are “looking.”
But don’t stop there. Create a single/divorced group and invite single men and women—even if you only remotely know them. Have a party or meet somewhere at least every season and have everyone bring another single friend—preferably of the opposite sex. Exchange your worst gift or tell your worst—or best—dating story.
Have everyone select a buddy or two—but only for “reporting” about doing the things on this list. You still need to go it alone.
6. Finally, change the goal of “finding the One” to “reading people better.”
Go out on a second date to confirm or alter your impression. As you get more accurate, you will increase your trust in your judgment—and therefore be willing to get out there more!
You really do have to get brave so you can create your own dating luck.