Monday, February 22, 2010

Feeling Bummed? Put Up An Online Profile for Some No-Strings-Attached Ego-Boosting

When you’re feeling down -- either from post-breakup blues or from that persistently dark cloud that’s been haunting you lately -- it’s nice to have a pick-me-up. And it’s even better if it’s in the form of positive attention from total strangers. The normal path would be to put on your hottest outfit and go out with the girls for a night of ego-boosting free drinks and well-meaning, albeit clich├ęd compliments. But what happens if you’re not ready for actual human-to-human contact and you still want the attention? Fortunately, you have options.

Online dating.
Pick your favorite site -- I like the free ones like okcupid.com -- and put up a profile. Select your top five favorite pictures from the last couple years where you look your most smoldering hot (bonus points for pictures on the beach that show off your killer physique). Pick and choose the questions you want to answer and respond in your wittiest fashion, but feel no pressure to answer all or even most of them. A couple of sentences will suffice. Then hit “Save” and pat yourself on the back for setting yourself up for some no-strings-attached, completely safe, relatively anonymous ego-boosting.And no letting the dark cloud negative voice in your head tell you you’re not attractive enough to garner attention on a dating site. Even if you didn’t get hit with the super-model stick, you’ll still get a lot of email -- emphasis on a lot. Most of it will be short and sweet: think subject line: “Hi”, message body: “You’re hot.” Some of it will be a bit weird ("I'd like to lick your ear"), and some of it from seemingly normal, intelligent guys whom you might consider responding to at a later date once you're feeling better. But all of it? All of it will be flattering.

Feel no pressure to respond -- after all, you’re doing this to give your bruised ego some R&R before you hit the dating scene again. What better way to do that than to accept compliments from well-meaning dudes? So grab your favorite cup of tea, cuddle up with your cat, turn on your laptop and bask in the complimentary glory. And if and when you’re ready, respond to the intriguing emails. You never know what might happen.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on www.bouncebacktolife.com, where I'm the dating expert.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Marry Him" is a must read

As someone who wrote a book to share my mistakes (and solutions) in dating, I took an immediate liking to Lori Gottlieb, the witty and talented author of the new and highly talked about book "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough". Don't be off-put by the "settle" part of the title -- as many of her nay-sayers are -- Gottlieb's most basic message is about figuring out what makes you happy and distinguishing between what you want and what you need out of a relationship, a lesson she wishes she'd learned early on and one she successfully drives home again and again throughout the book. As she discovered through her own life and the lives of the many, many others she interviewed, that perfect significant other may not look like -- on paper and in person -- what you've pictured your whole life, and as the evidence she presents suggests, there's an excellent chance you'll end up much happier for straying from your list.

She writes from a place of complete and at times brutal honesty, baring all so the rest of us can learn and grow from her experiences rejecting many potentially wonderful (for her) men in her twenties and thirties based on factors she later realizes are ridiculous. Her advice is pragmatic, smart and presents a no-BS dose of reality that we should all take care to remember. I'm so glad someone wrote this book -- it's great advice, and Gottlieb delivers it extremely well.

Sure, the most oft-referred ideal relationship in the book is marriage, but if that's not your thing, don't worry. Gottlieb does a good job of not alienating those of us who don't want to get married. She has her views -- she's religious, and wants a traditional marriage -- but she doesn't force them on the reader. As someone who has no interest in the traditional definition of marriage and is most definitely not religious, the advice is just as sound and in my opinion, is something every one of us, male or female, can benefit from a thorough soaking in.

Diablo Cody, one of my personal idols and the Academy-Award winning screenwriter of "Juno" says this: "What Lori Gottlieb is saying isn't subversive -- it's smart. A thoroughly entertaining reality check, it will make single women laugh and squirm, and married people appreciate their spouses even more." I agree 110%. Go buy this book.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on www.bouncebacktolife.com, for which I am the dating expert. Check it out!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

What if I'm in high school?

I received an email a couple weeks ago from an enthusiastic fan, who happened to be in her second year of high school. She very astutely and aptly pointed out that many of the examples in Screw Cupid don't directly apply when you're in a situation (like high school) where you're around the same group of people everyday and who watch your every move, making opportunistic conversation with strangers challenging. She also asked for alternatives to "going out" to meet guys, since she's not of the legal drinking age yet.

Her first point - that it's more challenging to approach someone you like when you and that someone see each other and the same 10/20/50/300 people every day - is valid, and applies to more than just a scholastic atmosphere. Offices, social groups, teams - how do you approach someone who clearly recognizes you, but who falls in the dead zone between stranger and friend? I'm of the opinion that although approaching these people takes a bit more thought, it's certainly possible. For example, if the guy is someone you see everyday in class or four times a week for your co-ed soccer practice, acknowledging the fact you recognize each other with a smile is a good way to break the ice. Catch him at a time when you're both waiting for something, or resting on the side of the field. Smile, and then, as though it just occurred to you, deliver your opener:

"Hey, mind if I ask you a question? I need a present for my brother for his birthday, and was wondering from a dude's perspective which is a better present: a sweater or some other item of clothing, or a gift certificate to Amazon. Gift certificates are so impersonal, but other than clothes, I don't really know what else to get him. He's got everything."

You don't need a prop or a reason to be near him - the fact you see each other on a regular basis takes care of your reason for being there.

Her second point (about not being able to drink and "go out") was easier to address - if you're unable (or don't want to) hit the bar scene or go out on the town to meet guys and your social circle is limited by school, work, etc., look to other social circles to meet new people. Extracurricular classes and/or sports, religious functions (if that's your thing) and intellectual excursions (think museums, art galleries, etc.) are all good places to meet people outside your normal circle. Coffee shops, smoothie joints, cafes, libraries, book stores and anywhere else people in your target demographic hang out are good options as well.

Yours in problem solving,