“You didn’t marry a Betty Crocker…
I came across this great blog post on the web today that reinforces some of the techniques I picked up for meeting someone new. In the beginning, it is all about “saying hello” with your eyes before you even say a word to each other. I’ve written previously about The Art Of Smiling. But the post today reminded me of an important developmental step I did in high school.
STEP 1: Practice Brief Eye Contact With Strangers
While you walk down the sidewalk (during daylight hours!) look at the eyes of every person walking towards you long enough to see their eye color. Less than a second. Then look away. This is the best technique I know for building solid eye contact skills quickly. In my experience, if the eye contact is brief enough, no one minds at all, and you get tons of practice in.
That’s right, when I was in high school I used to walk around the mall making brief eye contact with girls my age. When coupled with the smiling technique, you’ll be able to say “hello” IRL, not just in your head.
[photo by Flickr user Jessica Garro]
Breaking up is hard to do, but you need to do it anyways. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t wait. If you honestly feel like you can’t be happy with the other person, find the courage to do what needs to be done – breakup.
The problem is that far too many of us don’t think our personal happiness is a valid enough reason to breakup with someone. So we do one or two things – we either wait for the other person to mess up, or we mess up ourselves. Of course, the biggest “mess up” is cheating or another similar unforgivable action. Yes, some people cheat to create an excuse to get out of their relationship! Don’t fall into this trap. People’s feelings get unnecessarily hurt. And if you are the one doing the cheating it hurts your reputation moving forward.
Please, if you can’t be happy with the person you are with, find the words and courage to breakup with them.
Photo from Flickr user katiew
If you fall in love too soon, you can fall out of love just as easy. To me, to fall in love means to be head-over-heels in love with someone. But if you look at it, falling in love can be completely one-sided. My entire time in high school was spent falling in love with one girl after the other. After I fell in love with one, I would try to get up enough courage to ask her out, but I usually just wrote her a letter professing my love. Eventually in college I found someone who was willing to fall in love with me, and we were “in love”.
The issue with falling in love is that the falling part requires a huge leap of faith, that the other person is worthy of our love. Before completely giving our hearts away to a relative stranger, take some time to date them and get to know them. Weed out the weasels or party girls “just looking for fun” and the losers with out their act together. “What do you mean you don’t have a checking account? You’re 24 years old!”
Once you’ve determined the intentions of the other person and you know your lives are moving in the same direction, then an en emotional commitment has a better chance of working. You can still fall in love with each other, but at least you know (for the most part) who you are falling in love with.
Photo by Flickr user pwbaker
When relationships end, someone is usually more heartbroken than the other. This is due to the uneven growth of love in the relationship. If you are the one more heavily affected by the breakup, you’ll need some time off from dating. A good rule of thumb is take one week off for every month you were in the relationship.
This time off is necessary to get over the last person. When you finally start dating again, you want to focus on the new person. If you start dating too soon, your mind will still be on the old person. Your conversations will then gravitate to your ex. And believe me, the last thing you want to hear on a first date is all about the other person’s ex.
Take some time off from dating. Get your footing until you are ready to stand on your own two feet and start to move forward on your own.
Photo by Flickr user wwarby
You don’t have to use cheesy or provocative pick-up lines to get the attention of someone you want to talk to. All it takes is a well-timed question. Be honest and sincere, but also relevant.
“What brings you here tonight?”
“What are you drinking?”
“Are you going to the Rally to Restore Sanity next month?”
After answering your question, a conversation should be easy enough to maintain. From there, it’s up to you to sound interesting!
[photo via Flickr]
P.S. Sound interesting by being an interesting person.
When you choose your friends, you choose your goals. This is true whether your goal is to win an Olympic gold medal, to get an A in Spanish class, or to eat healthy every day. And it is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships.
The people you surround yourself with say an incredible amount about you. Yes, people judge you based on who you are with. Beyond the visible association, you personally are also affected by what others are doing around you.
A recent studying indicated that teenagers that were in romantic relationships were less likely to drink and do drugs. The reason was that they spent more time with the person they were dating than with their peers. It is their peers that brought them in close proximity to drugs and alcohol. The study also indicated that teenagers were also more likely to drink and do drugs if the person they were dating was doing them as well. Again, being in close proximity to people who do certain types of things, whether it is your friends or the person you are dating, increases your chances of doing those things too.
Evaluate the people you spend time with. Would you want the new person you are dating to meet your friends? Are your friends going to get along with the person you are dating (or want to date)? Hopefully the answer is yes to both of these questions. We all know what can happen when that is not the case.
[Photo is of me (on the left) with my good friend Joe. Besides being a champion arm wrestler, he is a good friend to have with you at the Kentucky Derby when people try to cut in front of you.]