Monthly Archives: April 2010

The No-Rules Rule

A recently single lady friend asked me for advice on dating. As if I know! Just kidding, lady friend who asked. Of course I know, even if I don’t follow my own advice.

Her questions were about how to approach a guy she met:

1. Is it okay to Facebook friend him?

2. Once we are friends, can I ask him out and if I do, do I email him over Facebook or use his personal email on his Facebook page?

3. Is it bad to ask him out? Should I wait to see him again or try to finagle a group meeting with our mutual friend?

I, of course, told her she is fabulous, that she should friend him and then email him over Facebook to see if he wanted to go out. To put it out there and let him respond. And if he was anything less than swimming in delight over her boldness and wonderfulness, I didn’t want her dating him.

So she asked him out. And he said yes.

Then she needed to know what they should do together and what day would be best. She had an activity in mind and a day and I was like, yeah! that sounds good. We agreed that Saturday might be better because the date wouldn’t be on a rushed work day. But then they decided on Thursday night. That works, too.

And so they went out. And it was awesome. And they went out again. And that was awesome.

My point in saying this is that we all get caught up in rules and details and being a perfectionist. I do it every single time. But I really think the most important thing is putting what you want out there, some how, some way, even if it’s fumbly and awkward. And if that person is interested, it WILL fall into place. There is a pretty thick dividing line between putting it out there and straight stalking and often, we know when we are crossing that line. Asking once is enough. If you happen to be asking over email or some other electronic forum and you’re worried that there was technical glitch and THAT’s why you aren’t hearing back: 1. Mostly likely not. It’s time to move on. 2. It’s fine to send a second email if you really need to confirm. But that’s it. No more, whether you hear back or not.

Sure some amazing romances have come to life out of hot pursuit. The guy kept asking and wore her down and then  10 years later they are married and laughing over the time he had to beg her to be with him. I’m not sure this works as often with the female pursuing male. But I only say that because, in my experience, if I’m doing the pursuing it generally means he’s not that interested and the romance won’t get off the ground. That sounds a little old fashioned–man has to pursue woman or nothing–but that’s just how it has worked out for me.

I dunno. I’d love someone to prove me wrong.

To recap: The No Rules rule. Be true to what you want, put that out there, and the people who want the same things will sniff you out.

Don’t Just Smile. Say Hi.

Damn, I love it when I’m right! And timely. WaPo’s coverage today on dating guru Demetria Lucas who says smiling and saying “Hi” is the #1 way to meet men. I’m so happy she agrees with me that I can’t even be mad at her for having my dream job.

Sadly, smiling and saying “Hi” is very, very hard when it’s someone you’ve been stalking eyeing, such as Gym Crush. Last night, I had the resolve of Evil Sayid angling for a Nadia resurrection. I was going to smile at GC. But he wasn’t there. Or so I thought. And then I see GC and I’m caught off guard, so I sort of smile in a constipated grimace kind of way. Like when Samantha runs into Jake at the dance in Sixteen Candles (delete sound and then go to :52). Or, not quite as accurate, but still works:

She looks more blank than constipated, admittedly. Still, no smile.

She turns away confused. He wants to talk.

Even at the end when Jake rescues Sam from her sister's wedding, she's still a little constipated. But hey, it's Jake Ryan. I don't blame her. He was much less intimidating in Vision Quest.

I will conquer you Gym Crush with your hunky biceps if it’s the last thing I do. Okay. Now I just sound creepy.

I should say, that I did this exact dance about 5 years ago with a bartender I was stalking eyeing. I did eventually say hi and introduce myself. We even went out on a date. It did not end well. But man, that was some brave business.

Just Smile

I smile at strangers tee shirt

The #1 way to get a date.

There aren’t a lot of random smilers in DC, and it’s a brave thing to be the one to break through the mold of sour-grapes grimaces and flash your pearly off-whites, mostly because you know about 87.46% of people you smile at will reject you – meaning they won’t smile back. But the ones that do…oh my, it can be uplifting. I practice smiling at strangers from time to time because when it comes time to smile at someone you like like, it won’t be so daunting. So they say. I started practicing the smiling tactic a couple years ago and I still remember the guy who beamed back at me that one time. Sun rays literally shot out of his head.  I think a unicorn flew by over a rainbow, too. It was magic.

I find this smiling-at-strangers practice important for meeting people in person because, let’s face it, no one walks to talk to a sour puss. Side benefit: smiling boosts confidence and it makes you look real approachable. Except when you’re me smiling at Gym Crush, in which case you’d look constipated.

Here’s a nice article on the different types of smiles and why they are so wonderful.

The Subtitle (thanks for your help)

Thank you typwritten

You know, I asked for help with a subtitle and then I never said what we came up with (or thanked you for that matter). It was a true conglomeration of at least five different suggestions, which makes me love it even more:

The Science of Single: One Woman’s Grand Experiment in Modern Dating, Creating Chemistry and Finding Love.

Nice, right? I’m into it. Thanks for everyone’s creativity, input, and wild ideas.

January 2011. So close! xo


How do you fly?

I got an email today from someone looking for info on how to groom your friends to be wingwomen. Truth be told, I haven’t had a wingwoman in, oh, eight years? That’s what happens when people get married and have boyfriends. If you don’t have to be on the scene, why on earth would you? Though I think at this point, I have some friends who would enjoy having a front row seat to my hemming and hawing over the mens. (Case in point: When telling Pia tonight how I drowned my gym crush in drool, she was like, “Why don’t you just go talk to him?” And if she were at the gym super-setting with me, I have no doubt there would have been an introduction, and I’d either be sitting on my couch crying over rejection or planning an outfit for a date with this poor man I stalk from time to time.)

Lack of a wingwoman hasn’t been such a bad thing, though. I think it’s important to learn how to show up alone. The first 537 times, it’s tough. I won’t lie. And I’m not sure it ever gets so easy I don’t think about it. But did I think twice about going to the 930 club alone last night because all of a sudden I had to go to the Wale/K’naan show and couldn’t find anyone to go with me? Not at all. And yes, I stood there in the sea of pimply faced white boys and had a pretty good time. (Kind of totally obsessed with K’naan right now.) Did I feel self conscious in between sets while everyone else was talking to their friends? Sure. Was it creepy when I realized one guy was standing 1.765 inches behind me when there was 5 feet of room he had to work with? Absolutely. But I’m alright with the flying solo business every now and again, because, for nothing else, I can leave whenever I feel like it. And that is gold.

As for wingwoman grooming, Ima have to think about that one. I will say, that bitch better not try to steal what should be mine. Just kidding. Sort of.

Ethiopian Courtship & Jennifer Love Hewitt

Did you know that there’s an old tradition in the Ethiopian countryside that entails a boy throwing a lemon at a girl when he likes her and perhaps wants her to be his wife. No joke. That’s what my guide said while I was there in March. I was like, Really? Throws a lemon? Like, hard? No, no, no, I was assured. Just enough to make a point. AND if the girl picks it up, that means she likes him. Talk about simplicity. No negotiating feelings or wondering. Lemon, chest, done.

It’s easy to make lemonade from these lemons.

Somehow this reminds me of an article I read in WebMD about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new book and her 5 bits of dating wisdom. (Everyone has a dating book these days.) Yes, I know how this sounds. While I do catch The Ghost Whisperer from time to time because what else is on Friday nights (nothing), I’ve never subscribed to anything Love has said. About anything. I didn’t even watch Party of 5. However, she made a good point about not dressing up your date to fit the mold you want him to fit AND that whatever a guy is telling you about himself and what he wants, that is EXACTLY and without fail what he means.

For instance:

If a guys says something along the lines of You should be wooing me he literally means You should be wooing me and not I want to woo you.

If a guy says I’m not sure I’m interested in a serious relationship, he means I’m not sure I’m interested in a serious relationship and not I’m not sure I’m interested in a serious relationship with anyone but you.

If a guy says I think I might need to date men, he means I think I might need to date men (i.e. He’s gay) and not I think I might need to date men…JUST KIDDING! I was just testing you to see if you really like me. Now let’s go have sex because I love women.

And when he says I like you and am not interested in anyone else, he does not mean I want to have sex with every single woman in the world (especially my ex girlfriend you are inexplicably jealous of) except you.

Basically, ladies, stop looking for hidden meaning in the words of men because you will be wrong.