MSN dating & personals:
By JANE HOSKYN
<< 1. First, be a happy singleton Dateable singletons are low on neediness and high on the freedoms of single life… >>
ME : *Tut* If life were all that great, we wouldn’t need to get out there and start dating… just too much to ask of us. Too much. It’s just too much. Frankly too much. Talk about wanting the world from us. Huh. Huh. Huh! huh. I’ll be needy if I want to be… huh . The freedoms involved with single life actually includes the right to be needy… .
<< 2. Dress for success … face the world in clean, comfy clothes that flatter your best features. Don’t overdo the sexy outfits, though. A great outfit speaks a thousand words, but flesh-flashing speaks just seven (“apply within for sex, bring own condom”). >>
ME : *Tut* As if sex were a sin. Huh, huh, huh? As if your mum and dad never did it. As if grandpa and grandma never did it. As if great-grandpa and great-grandma never did it. What about great-great grandpa and great-great grandma? Then that just leaves great-great-great grandpa and great-great-great grandma … I wonder if they ever did it either ? Hmmm… seems unlikely, huh? IVF must have been all the rage, de-rigeur back in the 1800s, the mid-19th century… unlikely still. Yes, so don’t go out there looking like a whore, it’s the worst you could do to get yourself another date.
<< 3. Be a lone shark Don’t take your mates along when you’re looking to pull… Be proud of your independence, and get out there on your own. >>
ME : OK, so now we have to go out looking like Billy no-mates. OK, is that supposed to increase our chances? By looking paranoid, awkward, lacking moral support and needy? Apparently so. So, you have to work yourself double-time. Remember it’s easier to meet people in when in groups, all your buddies and mates take up three-quarters of the conversation, leaving very little room to show-off what you’ve got. When you’re on your own, you’ve got no excuses but to show your true colours and pull your own weight in the conversation stakes. No faking, no leaning, no hiding… just you and the new person you’ve just met and pulled into your world for the time being.
<< 4. Flirt every day Practice makes perfect, so get into the habit of making small talk with people as you go about your day. The postman, the woman at the ticket office, the lollipop man, whoever. Your quick chat and smile will put a spring in their step and brush up your small-talk skills. >>
ME : Too true, but please know your boundaries, don’t start like a stalker and ramble like a moper who hasn’t seen a live soul in days, even weeks…
The postman is the postman, not your dad; the woman at the ticket office is the woman at the ticket office, not your long-lost auntie Beryl who was your mother’s youngest sister lost to a refugee camp during the war but today is found to be known as Bethany and you have re-discovered her by the Loving Grace of God; the lollipop man is the lollipop man, not your ousted, disowned and disgraced womanizing grandpa Joseph you’re trying to make amends with… OK? Get the picture? You chat with these people as they are: the postman, the woman at the ticket office, the lollipop man…
So when you get around to chatting with your date, leave the neighbour’s recorded mail out of it… and the price of a return ticket to Slough should be nowhere to be remembered and recalled… and the re-painting of the zebra crossing is nothing you know of. Alright?
<< 5. Fake your confidence Confidence is the bedrock of dateability. If you want more confidence, start by faking it. Think about how confident people act, and try it yourself. Your relaxed, sociable persona will earn a positive response – and your real confidence will get a useful boost. >>
ME : Nowadays, booking time with a Confidence Coach is properly a better bet… seriously, confidence isn’t born, it is and can be made. Why I say this? A baby’s confidence should not be the same as an adult’s… get it? Go get those professionals for their help.
There are industries for this kind of thing – which spells to me, it’s a tough gig to go it alone. No harm in trying though, eh? Maybe if you volunteer on behalf of a magazine or a TV series (why, oh why, would you do that?! I don’t know… ) you can get it for a fraction of the price.
<< 6. Listen Arrogant and insecure people tend to talk about themselves, but confident people talk less and listen more. They’re the ones who get the dates. If you can make someone feel like the most interesting person in the room, they’ll soon be back for more. >>
ME : But sometimes listening can also be very selfish. There’s no contribution to the conversation to keep it going… I think a good conversation is like an exchange, a to and fro of words, meanings, hearing and listening. If you get even better, there are also body languages and gestures to take note of.
With positive listening, be sure to capture the right body language e.g. nodding of the head, listening noises (uh-huh, hmm… yes, that’s right… I agree… I don’t know about that… etc.) and paraphrasing or repeating what the other person has said to denote you are actually listening and that you are not actually planning your week’s grocery shopping in your head. Although that would be impressive too, if you dared to admit it to your date! Brave, brave, very brave .
<< 7. Work your body language Pay attention to the signals your posture is giving out. Dateable people are interested and friendly, and it’s reflected in their body language. They lean towards the person they’re talking to, they subtly mirror their movements, and they always seal the deal with a smile. >>
ME : Do be natural and don’t lean too close i.e. be aware of other people’s personal space (maybe about 30cm around a person? But it varies depending on the situation) and don’t invade it… or at least not too often.
To some people personal space is sacred until you’ve been somehow “invited” in; to others to be able to step into personal space is a sign of initiating intimacy, or even commandeering or domineering the relationship and how it is to develop.
Know your boundaries, know yourself and what you enjoy and are comfortable with. As I was saying, it does vary from person to person and situation to situation, but there are general guidelines and standards.
But above all else, if you’re not happy with it, all guidelines and standards are false to you… unless you’re willing to learn, adapt and be more open to what the wider society says is OK for them. But then again, you still have to step back and ask: “Am I doing this to please others? Or am I also truly happy to behave and live in this way?”
Dating will test you, yourself and you… ultimately you must set yourself up to understand yourself and others, as well as how you enjoy interacting with other people, especially when it comes to intimacy, personality and sexuality.
It’s your learning curve: grasp it, harness it, use it, abuse it and exploit it!
<< 8. Improve your eye contact Good eye contact allows you to chat someone up without uttering a word. Meet their eye and hold it for a heartbeat too long, and you’re saying: “I like what I see”. Look away, look back, and you’re saying: “You intrigue me.” Now hit them with a smile, and they’re yours. >>
ME : Eye contact is a tough one.
Leave you to it on that one… not much comment from me for MSN tip #8.
<< 9. Relax your face Most of us frown when we’re not interacting with anyone, and we don’t even realise it (the “cheer up, love” syndrome). Don’t let an accidental frown sabotage your dating success. Relax your face, unravel those frown lines and lift your chin. >>
ME : I know this one only too well… yep, do practice your facial expressions in the mirror. Does your facial expression correspond with what you are trying to convey in non-verbal communication? Are you reinforcing what you are speaking, or are you contradicting yourself? Are you giving off mixed messages? With mixed messages people often pay heed only to what suits them… that spells danger to me, especially with strangers.
Just as an aside, our facial nerves run into the hundreds, if not thousands, and are complex things to harness and move by will. Many people have trouble with this, which can be rectified with some form of nerve or Craniosacral therapy.
Craniosacral therapy (from Wikipedia.org) : The practitioner claims to gently work with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position.
It’s worth looking into… but then again, some people say their unique facial expressions and facial features is what makes them unique and they like to leave it that way ! That really is up to you… no judgement… we all like a range of diversity… .
<< 10. Don’t fidget When your mind wanders and you forget that you’re in public, your hands embark on a fidgety frenzy of head-scratching, nail-biting, knuckle-cracking, ear-excavating… yes, even the nostril gets it. Control those mitts, or they’ll wave goodbye to your dating chances.>>
ME : That’s right! Do not dare to have any personal habits nor any unique identifying markers … how dare you.
Anyways, you know how it is: first impressions are much better if you can show that you can fit into wider society’s ideals of ‘what is normal’ and that you can have discipline and show you were well-brought up, have a caring home and family, loving parents and the like… not to mention that eventually, if it all goes well, you are deserving of being taken out and shown around… i.e. don’t be too embarrassing .
You don’t want to hear the words, “I can’t take you anywhere…” and it’s not in jest! Whoopsie.
A sure-fire way of losing that date you never wanted in the first place, huh ?
Don’t kid yourself. There is unique and there is freak. Less of the freak and more of the personable personality, OK?
Be approachable, be friendly, be you out and about in public… public behaviour rules, OK?