Oh Solo Mio: Secrets of a Successful Dater
9 Tips to Get Back in the Dating Game
Have you recently found yourself back in the dating game after a long and painful divorce? Take it from us: dating after divorce doesn’t have to be daunting. Follow these simple steps and it can actually be (gasp!) fun.
1. Flirt with Great Abandon.
There aren’t many people who don’t enjoy feeling attractive, desired and worthy of being fed a few, heaping compliments. Laugh at his or her jokes, flash your wit, and give lingering eye contact that says, “I am really enjoying your company.”
2. Know Your Manners.
We live in a disconnected world where text messages replace real phone calls and dates have been chipped down to 15 minute dinner auditions which are often held after work over cocktails. It’s enough to drive an old-fashioned romantic insane. Stand out from the crowd by calling to invite someone out, always thanking them for a great time, and never saying you will call when you don’t plan to.
3. Understand What a Date is.
Here’s what a date isn’t: a night out with your ex or an audition for a ring. Instead of infusing your night with pressures, expectations, and daydreams, take it one date at a time and remind yourself that you are a unique individual with specific talents, gifts, needs, wants, and desires — and that means you’re not going to fit with every person you share a meal with. And you know what? That’s OK.
4. Avoid Sex Until You Are Ready.
It’s less about morality and more about not placing yourself in a position where you are going to wonder what he or she has, regret doing anything you did, or feel discarded if you never hear from them again. If you wouldn’t trust them with your wallet, why trust them with your body?
5. Avoid The Monologue.
Most people have a few skeletons in their closets — and who doesn’t have romantic war stories to share? Though you might feel that you want to “lay it all on the line” the fact is, the person sitting across from you is there to have a good time and get to know you little-by-little. Don’t ruin the fun of peeling off the layers by saturating them with heavy stories about your cad of an ex or your sister’s stint in rehab. Even if they can handle it, who wants to cry over dessert with someone they just met?
6. Dress Appropriately.
Just because you wore that mini or those torn jeans when you were on the scene 15 years ago doesn’t mean you should wear them now.
6. Leave The Badge At Home.
Answering 20 personal questions under a proverbial heat lamp is hardly what your date had in mind when they asked you out or agreed to meet you for dinner. Yes, you want to get to know one another, but do you really need them to talk about their relationship with their mother on date three? Keep conversations interesting and fun by asking them where they have travelled, what their hobbies are, what they enjoy about their work, and what their favorite books, foods, movies, and bands are. You’ll get to know more about them at an organic pace and they will enjoy sharing parts of themselves that are likely overlooked by others in their lives.
7. Sip Responsibly.
While it’s fine to have a cocktail or two, getting hammered isn’t attractive and it doesn’t offer any excuse to say or do things you normally wouldn’t. Have a glass of water in between cocktails and avoid the urge for one more if you can’t say, “Should I Have Another or Should I Say No?” without giving someone a shower.
8. Women: Offer to Split the Bill — And Guys: Never Accept.
During a recent, informal interview we conducted, most men said they would never accept the offer — but also wouldn’t ask a woman out again unless she offered. And most women will not accept another date unless the gentleman picked up the first tab.
9. Don’t Waste Your Time With Someone Who Toys With You.
If someone is interested in you, you’ll know. They will call (at decent hours, when they say they will) and they will treat you in a way that leaves you feeling respected and cared for. If you have to wonder how they feel, they don’t have strong enough feelings for you for you to be freaking out about the situation. That said, we are all human and make mistakes, so allow your better judgment (and not your desire to get out of the game) to lead you.