I pretty much love dating as much as I love getting a pap smear, living without AC during the Texas summers or running 10 miles with hyenas chasing me. Forget waterboarding, awkward first dates are the worst form of cruel and unusual punishment. Among my girlfriends, the mythical concept of finding “the one” seems almost as realistic as discovering the eternal fountain of youth or the Loch Ness monster.
So, why do we subject ourselves to this torture time and time again?
We, Gen-Y girls, can’t help it! We want and deserve to have it all! In my opinion, our generation is the first to truly believe that we can dominate in the boardroom, all while having the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Call us optimistic, but we modern career girls, aren’t going to let anyone hold us back professionally or personally. Thus, we continue to endure dating in hopes of finding the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.
There are a myriad of situations we have grown to fear: the awkward first date with the guy that won’t stop talking about his cat, the assh*le guy who never calls after you share an intimate night together, and the endless worrying about will he call or will he not call. I am not going to lie to you: there is no way to get around the dating bullsh*t. However, after conducting extensive research, using my bffs as test subjects (so scientific!), here are 4 ways to be more successful at dating:
Stop being too busy
As soon as a guy asks you out, it is common to suddenly have to wash your hair, have drinks with an old friend or work late every night of the week. It is easy to convince yourself that your calendar is fully booked, leaving no time to date. All of the sudden those tasks that have been on my to do list for months seem more appealing than going on another first date. News flash: You are not too busy to find your potential soul mate! Closing ourselves off is just another defense mechanism. Like anything else, if you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t get anywhere.
Have more confidence in yourself
You are a rock star! Anyone would be lucky to date you! I know how it is; every time you go on another date, a flood of insecurities replaces your rational thinking. All of the sudden you are insecure about things, you didn’t even know you could be insecure about: your left pinky is fatter than your right. The list goes on and on. Before you go on any date, build yourself up, and think about all your accomplishments, successes and strengths. Have your friends give you that extra pep talk; that is what they are here for, after all. To find a worthwhile partner, you have to know you are bringing a lot to the table.
Play the game
I know this is not what we want to hear because there is nothing more annoying and frustrating. We are all strong career girls, and we want to take charge, but sometimes (at least at the beginning) it is better to take a backseat. Don’t be too available. Ever heard of the old adage, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”? This definitely applies to dating. It is cliché, but true: guys like the chase. I am not saying that it has to be this way forever, but play it cool at the beginning.
I am totally guilty of it, when I get nervous, I can be standoffish and a bit snippy. If you come off as a bitch right away, no one is going to want to be around you (can you blame them?). Try to be extra aware of the vibe you are giving off. Ask questions about his life because it will show you are making an effort. Also, when he asks you questions, answer with more than one word to keep the conversation flowing.
As painful as it is, we are going to continue to date because we can have it all. Who is telling us that we can’t? The saving grace is that each catastrophic date becomes another funny story to laugh about with your girlfriends. Think of it this way dating is a numbers game, so the more men you meet, brings you one step closer to finding your knight in shining armor.
Rebekah Epstein | Elite.
Rebekah is the founder of Fifteen Media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Rebekah also blogs about all things Gen Y at Neon Notebook. Follow her at @BekahEpstein.