Earlier this summer, I went out with one of my best friends on a Saturday night. While waiting to get into a club, we struck up a conversation with a pretty girl in front of us. I don’t know how it came about, but we must have started talking about our love lives, because the girl threw her hands up and said, “why is it so hard to meet guys in New York?” The thing that struck me was that this girl was actually stunning, stylish, and obviously outgoing enough to have an easy conversation with total strangers. I’m sure what she meant was that it’s hard to meet not just anyone, but “great” guys, aka boyfriend material.
There was also the fact that right next to me was my beautiful, accomplished, confident best friend who has complained similarly about not just New York, but other major cities in the Northeast. But while it’s easy to lay the blame on the culture of these cities (“guys here are just not willing to settle down,” “there are more girls here than guys”), objectively these are much better places to meet anyone than say, Beaverton, Oregon, where I went to high school. The truth is, you could be in the middle of nowhere and still meet someone, or be on Ground Zero of eligible bachelors/bachelorettes and not connect with anyone. This has little to do with your outward credentials and a lot more to do with the energy you’re giving out and attracting.
I’ve never tried online dating, so I can’t speak for attracting love on the web–but in real life, meeting people can be the easiest thing–or the toughest–just depending on your attitude. Here’s the real deal on how to invite love into your life.
1. Try to know someone for who they are, not what they do/ where they went to school/ etc.
When some women first meet people, they very quickly move on to asking these “resume” types of questions. It starts innocently enough (“Oh what are you doing in New York? When did you graduate?”) but then it soon becomes like an Inquisition. Usually this comes out of a (completely legitimate) wish to vet the quality of the potential suitor: his intelligence, ambition, financial independence, etc. But it’s completely distracting if you’re trying to really get to know one another, and it’s not exactly fun to be on the receiving end of this questionnaire, either. On the other hand, if you voluntarily tell me you went to Yale Law within a few minutes of meeting, I’m going to find it a bit off-putting, too. Basically, it’s a terrible way of flirting. (For the record, I didn’t know what my boyfriend did for a living or where he went to school until we had an actual dinner date).
There are so many other more relevant questions to ask someone that you meet in a romantic context. For heaven’s sake, you’ll never ever meet this person for the first time again (or ever), so why do you need to know how much he makes? In case you do get together, make the first meeting be about things that matter like what you’re passionate about or how charming you find his smile. If you need ideas, just email me and let’s talk. 😉
2. Be empathetic.
This is in the same vein as #1. Attracting love is about showing you could give a damn about the other person, potentially. The possibility of empathy and understanding between two souls is what distinguishes between a spark and non-spark in a first meeting. For instance, if he complains about working 100-hour weeks, do look like you care as a human being–and not impatient or indifferent. The truth is, indifference can make even beautiful people seem extremely unattractive.
Likewise, empathy means caring about someone beyond your own motives–so don’t be focused on what you’d like to do with this person, whether that’s short-term (hooking up) or long-term (a relationship). Don’t have an agenda about what this connection is supposed to be, and just connect for the sake of connecting.
3. Be confident.
I find confidence is literally the most attractive quality, ever. If you build your confidence, it’s really hard *not* to attract love. This doesn’t mean you have to be arrogant, but just that you’re assured of your own individuality, beauty, charm, and sincerity–basically, that you know your own value. If you have profound self-esteem, it’s easy to get over a fear of rejection. Don’t just wait for someone to come talk to you–if you see someone you like, just walk up, smile, and say, “hi, my name is xxx.” Nothing bad ever came out of this. Ever.
4. Know yourself.
Recently I’ve realized that people can be inherently interesting, or appear to be a collection of whatever they find interesting. The latter group can be up-to-date on all the latest news and also be deeply- and widely-read, have a few “obsessions” etc–and still not seem, well, interesting. The worst is when people don’t seem interested in anything at all. The best option–to be inherently interesting–is to be self-aware. What are your likes and dislikes, fears, quirks, and dreams? Why are you such a unique, strange, fascinating person? What’s your mystery?
5. Dress the part.
This is the only unambiguous piece of advice I’ll give because you’re probably gorgeous even if you go out wearing a potato sack. It really doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive your dress is, and you could even wear a tee shirt and jeans. But do wear a great pair of very high, high heels, ideally no less than 4″. Flats and mid-heels don’t belong after dark, no more than you should wear sweatshirts or leggings. And if something doesn’t look right with heels on, change the clothing and keep the shoes.
What is your advice for meeting a new love interest?
Photo: Knivesout via Flickr