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Advice Finding Someone Special


As you go about your day, doing what you do, do you encounter or see people you find attractive? At church? At the park? At the gym? Many people, especially women, find it extremely awkward to approach strangers and try to strike up a conversation. What to say? How will you be seen or judged? Will you be seen as desperate, weird, too forward? Here's my advice... Forget all that. You see some attractive person over there? Step one of course is to check for a wedding ring. One thing I used to do was discreetly pocket my watch and ask the time, both as an excuse to get up close, and to make the ring check easier. If you're a smoker (quit) you can ask to bum a smoke or for a light. Next step, assuming there's no ring, is to make the leap. This generally begins with something "I hope I'm not being too forward but..." followed by a very flattering and sincere compliment regarding their eyes or smile. If you see their face light up, and you probably will, you've made the initial connection and the other person will generally take the conversation forward. If they are otherwise romantically committed, it won't take long for them to politely indicate so, but you will still have left them feeling good about themselves, and what harm is there in that?

I have been both on the receiving and initiating end of this type of encounter. When on the receiving side, after talking with the girl for a bit, I found out that her compliment was intended as nothing more than that as she went on to say that I reminded her of her boyfriend. On the positive side she had basically made my week. However, as the initiator, I have had very positive results. Taking the face to face initiative is often very effective. It shows a strong interest without appearing desperate. It also demonstrates self-confidence, which both women, and a great many men find very attractive.

Even if the approach is a wee bit less than smooth, the willingness to clearly step outside of ones comfort zone to engage someone can be seen as courageous, adventurous, and/or flattering. Perhaps this is less so for men approaching women, but practice makes perfect and there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you're a guy aiming to get the attention of a special "fish" and you're feeling very nervous about it, make the mirror your friend until you've smoothed out your technique. Women don't generally need to resort to such measures because they are... well... women. A smile and an upward glance can compensate for a multitude of Faux pas, even for a girl with middle-of-the-road looks. Incidentally, the nice guys are the ones that aren't judgmental.

Some common mistakes made by men on a first date or during an initial conversation include:

- Talking about ones self too much. Offer a tidbit here or there, but otherwise wait to be asked for information. Don't hog the conversation or the spotlight, and don't brag, or at least don't brag much. Dates are about the girl.

- Being fake/pretentious: Trying to come off as something you're not is going to show like grape juice on white cotton, and is going to leave the other person with the impression that you think she's gullible and stupid. Don't go there. Be yourself, even if it's a bit awkward at times. Awkwardness is the lesser of two evils.

- Getting too personal too quickly: Let your date reel you in, don't push and pry. Save your "Do you mind if I ask you something personal?" card for something good, and don't be crass unless you've clearly established that you're both already on that wavelength. Also, watch your dates body language for clues to how successful the conversation is going, but don't assume too much.

- Being cheap: You don't have to be rich to impress a woman (or at least not every woman) but you can't appear to be holding back within your means either. Don't go dutch on the first date, even if she suggests it. Women often suggest the opposite of what they want or like to fish to see if the guy will bite. The answer is not in the suggestion, but in the conversation. Women like to test men to see if they have been listening when they've been talking about themselves. (Tip: Remember everything your date says... Forever. :D)

- Being a pig: A certain demographic of women are okay with pervy little pigs, as long as they have a good sense of humor. Never ever assume your date falls into that demographic. Treat her with class and respect and mind your P's & Q's until you've confirmed where her boundaries and comfort zone are.

- Improper grooming: Don't show up looking like a shlep. Look your best, smell your best (but don't asphyxiate her with cologne), and dress your best. You don't have to necessarily suit up, but don't show up looking like a homeless person unless you actually are one.

- Talking about previous relationships: This is a biggie! If asked, offer as little as possible and get off the topic as quickly as possible. Your date should be the focus of your attention and shouldn't have to compete with one of your ex's. Every word about an ex is a reason to potentially think you're still hung up on her. If asked why you and your ex split, think very carefully before answering. This is the acid test.

- Smugness: The mother of all turn-off's. If you're a smug pompous a$$ then I offer no advice for you and wish you only failure in your attempts to find some girl with a low enough self esteem to put up with you. Unfortunately, based on observations, my wish will probably not be granted.

... For women, the only dating mistakes I've sometimes seen made are:

- Single mothers fishing for an instant daddy: Ain't gonna happen, and if it does, be very suspicious. Women who appear desperate to find a man to fit a specific role (any role) are prime targets for manipulative sorts. Someone with genuine motives will most likely want to move very slowly toward a role that involves a heavy commitment and/or lots of responsibility. It's a lot to consider, especially if the role is unfamiliar.

- Being quick to judge: First date's are already hard enough for men. They want to impress and get to know you at the same time. If your date gets picked apart on the first date he's going to see it as snobbery and probably also as ingratitude and that's usually a deal-breaker. If you must offer criticism, do so gently.

- Not being able to take a compliment: The correct response to virtually any compliment is not "I know." unless of course you're just being cute. Most men are not into the Diva sort because they are so into themselves there just isn't room.

- Complainers: Try to keep the conversation mostly positive. Both men and women sometimes open the floodgates as soon as they get a compassionate ear. It's the first date. I know it's tempting, but take it easy. There'll be plenty of time to go the rest of the way down peeve street.

Ladies... You're beautiful, especially when you smile. I haven't seen you, but I just know, because this is true of virtually all women. Don't sweat first encounters or first dates. You might think the pressure to impress is on you, but it's not, it's on us. Men are generally MUCH easier to impress. So if you're looking for a great guy, take the initiative and dare to be bold. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

- Chameleon
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Free Spirit
Staff member
You make a lot of excellent points but there is one thing I might add. Just because someone is not wearing a wedding ring does not mean they are not married. They may not have one on because they are looking to cheat. I would still ask.


If they are looking to cheat then what is the point of asking? They would only lie.
Along the way though it might be cool if the topic of the importance of monogamy in relationships came up. :D

- Cham
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That's your choice, but in this part of the world it is normal for people to choose someone based on genuine affection and trust rather than convenience or financial or class status. If you still hold to traditional values, you may be in the wrong place. The only traditions valued by most Americans are those that involve a lot of alcohol consumption.