Monday, February 9, 2009

Making the Most of the Dating Game - How to Stay Fresh Out There

Why is it, when it comes to dating, men always seem to be winning the game? And yes, make no mistake, it is a game. So why can't women play right along with men? They can, as long as they don't let their female tendency to over-think get in the way!

Women can play as well as men, but they may have to play by the men's rules since they were the creators of the game. In other words, play the game right back at them! Have fun with the players! Why wait for a guy you are interested in to call you or not call you? Ask him for his number at the bar where you met him, and don't wait for him to ask for yours. In fact, don't even let him have yours, just ask him for his. Use it if you want to, but feel free and completely within your right to toss it on your nightstand and let it sit there for a few days too. If you do end up having a great conversation with a guy at the bar or at a party or other social event, don't feel the need to hang on his every word until he gets bored and decides to move on, only to come back to you at the end of the night to see if you'll leave with him. Do your own leaving!

Ok, so you're not the type to play these games and find then rather distasteful. Let's say you are ready, willing and able to jump headfirst into dating with no games whatsoever. Why, then, haven't you found the man of your dreams? You are attractive, witty, you have a great job and you are single. Perhaps you need to take a good look at your motives and re-think what's really important to you. Chances are you have been dating for longer than you would like to admit, and it may just be a matter of looking at your situation with fresh eyes. One thing to remember is not to sweat the small stuff. If you hate his shirt, who cares? So many women get hung up on trivial things like this. What if his ex-girlfriend told him it was the hottest shirt she has ever seen and you just happen to have a different opinion? For all you know, you could be wearing something that reminds him of his mother and you spent two hours getting as hot as you could get tonight preparing for your date. Even if he ends up truly being a bad dresser, this is something that can change over time or perhaps you can even learn to ignore it. There are more important things, which should come to light when you re-think why you are dating in the first place.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is another dating trap into which women fall and what I call the "He's The One" syndrome. Some women become so desperate for love that they convince themselves after very little time that the present guy of the moment is their One True Love. By romanticizing every little thing and making him into a larger-than-life character instead of recognizing his humanity, you do yourself a disservice. First, you fail to see this man for who he really is. This is a problem because in a few short months, when even more of his traits come to light, you may want to walk away from an otherwise great relationship because you have put him on a pedestal without his asking for it. Second, by making more of the relationship than it is too early, you may scare him away. Yes, men still do get scared. Even if he is very excited about the prospect of dating you, he is likely not ready for marriage after a month and neither should you be. In taking your time, hard as it may be, you will learn more and more about him. This is, in fact, the third reason to not fall prey to "He's The One" syndrome. Once you learn more about him, you may discover aspects that you truly dislike and this will help you to decide what you really do want in a man and be helpful later on in life when the next guy comes along. To the contrary, you may learn more about your current date and find new things to cherish all the time. By taking it slowly, you may discover the little nuances of his personality that you have missed if you had been rushing it and always trying to get to the 'next level' so to speak.

Men may think they have the market wrapped up when it comes to dating know-how, but there is no reason to perpetuate this myth. Women have just as much know how and should start to use it!

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