If it looks like a slut and quacks like a slut

If you dress like a slut and act like a slut, don’t surprised if guys assume that you are a slut.  I know, I know…we should be able to wear what we like and act how we like but in reality you are being judged.

I’m not saying that you always have to be a librarian but consider this when you’re partying with your girls.  If you want to flash a lot of skin and dance on top of the bar – don’t give out your number that night.  I don’t care how sweet he may seem; he’s already developed a specific opinion of you.

When you go out with the intention of meeting a man with the hope that it develops into a relationship watch how your dress, what language you use and how you act.  Set the bar high because you’re teaching someone how to treat you from the moment they first see you.

Or something

Pop Quiz!  What do these phrases have in common:

  • Hey baby, want to hang out or something?
  • Why don’t you come over and we’ll watch a movie or something.
  • We can just grab dinner or something tonight.

Did you catch the “or something”?  That’s the international code for booty call.  He doesn’t want to hang out, watch movies or grab dinner.  He wants to have no-strings sex and if you say yes, you’re agreeing with the game plan.  His moves are not romantic nor are they “taking it to the next level.”  He informed you of his intentions and you agreed.

Alternately, if you use the “or something”, don’t be surprised if he’s expecting sex – you used the code!

So how do you get around the “or something”?  Define your terms and require that he define his.  Call him out on it.  Ask him point blank what the “or something” is.  If he firms up his plans, his intentions may be honorable.  If he hems and haws, refuses to define his terms or says something like, “you know…just something” then you know where he stands.  And if a guy thinks of you as a booty call, he’s not thinking of you as a potential girlfriend (and never will!).  Don’t agree to be someone’s momentary amusement – you deserve better.

Direct from my desk – week 17

Men attempting to get women to compete for them isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been going on at least since Cleopatra rolled herself in a carpet to catch Caesar’s eye.  How far you are willing to play along with it depends on the individual but you shouldn’t get involved with someone who attempts to denigrate you for his personal enjoyment.

A misogynist is “a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women.”  Consider that not all misogynists are upfront about or possibly even aware of their prejudice.  This means that you need to be savvy to how someone is treating you.  I wouldn’t recommend throwing the M word at every person who cracks a blond joke but carefully weigh how someone is treating you before getting involved with them.  If they’re starting out by insulting you, embarrassing you or otherwise being mean to you – beat a hasty retreat!  They may present themselves as a challenge but not every prize is worth winning.

Don’t let a man pick you up by tearing you down.

My mailbox is open:  girldontbestupid@gmail.com

Avoiding the game

There are men who fashion themselves as pickup artists.  Some are good.  Some are bad.  Some are merely pathetic.

The good pickup artist makes it a positive experience from start to finish.  They make you feel comfortable, seduce you, compliment you and leave you happy.  Of course, they’re only interested in sex but perhaps that is your interest in them as well.  Not that I’m recommending casual sex.

The bad pickup artist leaves you with a feeling of regret and the desire to bathe in bleach right after an hour-long confession.  They use techniques like

  • peacocking (wearing something outrageous to get attention),
  • statistics (the more women you approach, the greater your chances of success with at least one of them),
  • time-constraints (he doesn’t have time to chat because he’s really busy, not because you’ll figure out what he’s trying to do),
  • competition (attempting to force women to compete for his attention by paying attention to her less-attractive friend), and
  • the neg (a vaguely insulting comment designed to prey upon a woman’s insecurities).

When you meet a guy attempting to manipulate you – run away.

The pathetic pickup artist uses the techniques of the bad pickup artist but less successfully.  Again – run away.

If you want to know more, by all means read The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists by Neil Strauss but please get it from the library.

How to pick up a guy

Picking up a guy is, not surprisingly, remarkably easy.  Your biggest impediment is going to be your own ego.  You have to get over your fear of rejection.  The simple truth is that no-one is going to have a 100% success rate.  If you remember Construction Site Socialization Theory – it’s all about the numbers.  There are, however, ways to improve your score:

  • Eye-contact and smile!  If he returns your smile, it’s an easy approach.  Just walk up to him and start a conversation.
  • Touch.  Want to see if he’s interested by he hasn’t looked your way?  Squeeze your way past him with a light touch on the upper back or upper arm and, “oh, pardon me.”  This gives you the excuse for eye-contact and smile.  If he responds favorably, start a conversation.
  • Start a conversation.  Ask him an open-ended question, not a yes-or-no question.  If possible, make it topical and relevant.  Try to sound breezy and casual.
  • Ask him for help although this is not a great method for gauging interest as most men will try to be helpful.  You will need to come up with a strong second line of conversation.
  • Offer to buy him a drink, raffle ticket, whatever is small and on offer but go classic, not corny.  Most pick up lines are cheesy and should be avoided.
  • If you’re still interested at the end of a short conversation, ask for his number and make sure you call him (it’s important to be polite).
  • Brush off rejection.  If he declines be aware that there may be a good reason that has nothing to do with you.  Or he may not be interested but it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  You don’t want to stumble over an opening on a guy you really might want.  Practice and keep in practice so you’re ready.

Non-linear dating

Humans tend to be achievement-oriented and because of that, we tend to think in a very linear fashion.  Unfortunately we do that with dating as well.  This isn’t to say that there shouldn’t be forward progression in a relationship but we shouldn’t be thinking, “first we meet, next we date, then we become a couple, I get a drawer on at his place, then a key and we should be married by ohhhhh June 18th.”

Don’t lie, you know you’ve had dates where you’ve married yourself off to the guy before the appetizers even hit the table.

So as I have you considering guys that normally you wouldn’t have, I also want you to change your approach to dating.  Rather than daydreaming the relationship into existence (and thereby gifting him with traits that he may or may not possess), I want you to stay in the moment and listen to what he’s telling you.  Pay attention to the man and how he’s treating you.  Keep your guard up only as far as it needs to be and don’t get distracted by the glossy luster of a new relationship.

For the moment, consider dating an adventure without a specific goal.

Why a wingwoman is a bad idea

Wingmen work wonders for men.  Women are frequently more comfortable being approached by a guy if there is someone to vouch for him – even if we don’t know the wingman from Adam.

Men, on the other hand, have no such reservations about being approached by strangers.  In this regard, a wingwoman hurts you for several reasons.  One being that the attention will be focused on the person who broke the ice.  She will be perceived as bold, lively and fun.  The banter will center around her.  The person she’s introducing will be perceived as shy and weak.  She will be fighting to overcome the attention being paid to the wingwoman and will hard pressed to get a word in edgewise.  The men are already sparring over who will get the wingwoman and who will have to take home the “friend”.

You never want to be the friend.  You never want to be second fiddle.  Make sure that you are their only choice.

Don’t know how to approach a guy?  Stay tuned.

Interested and interesting

My last blog dealt with being approachable but there is also what happens after the approach.  Unless a guy is a hardcore masochist or trying to win a bet, he isn’t going to approach a woman who he reasonably believes will shoot him down.  This bring us to be interested and interesting.

Appreciate the effort he’s made by approaching you.  Smile and listen to what he’s saying.  It’s okay to banter but don’t be an outright bitch.  Comment on what he’s saying rather than concentrating on what you want to say next.  You’ll impress a guy a lot more by paying attention and keeping up your end of the conversation rather than coming up with pithy non sequiturs.  Be sincere with him and if he asks for you number but you’re not feeling it, politely decline.

On the other hand, there may be a variety of reasons why you decide to refuse an approach.  Maybe you had a bad day.  Maybe you’re playing it cool (btw, big mistake!).  Maybe you’ve seen him hit on too many girls and you feel like you’re simply the next number in the deli line.  Whatever the reason, remember to be polite until such a point where he no longer deserves to be the recipient of your good manners.

Be approachable

If your immediate response to the title was, “but I am approachable,” then you probably aren’t.  Most of us think that we’re approachable and most of us are wrong.  Most of us come off as aloof or preoccupied to people that we don’t know.  We worry more about how we’re looking than how we’re coming off to others.  We tend to surround ourselves constantly so that we’re never spending a moment alone (God forbid we be alone in public!) Remember my assignment to be alone in public?  This is where it was leading.

So how do you come off as more approachable?

  1. Have your friends take a few candid photos of you when you’re unaware and then have a peek at your “neutral” face.  Does it need improving?
  2. Practice smiling.  Smile at your friends, smile at strangers (except creepy ones), smile at nothing in particular and for no reason.  Just keep smiling.
  3. Be confident.  Watch your posture and body language.  Speak slowly and clearly.  Bloom where you’re planted.
  4. Do things by yourself.  Unless you don’t have a needed feminine product in your purse, you don’t need to drag a friend to the bathroom with you.
  5. If someone makes eye-contact with you, make eye-contact with them and smile. (Creepy guys need not apply)
  6. When approached, be receptive and friendly without giving away the whole farm.

Direct from my desk – week 16

People rarely think of dating as self-improvement but it can be.  While our friends and family happily coddle us to keep us happy, dating exposes us to the less-than-attractive sides of our personality.  With any luck, this knowledge can make us better, stronger.

Dating may bring to the surface jealousy, insecurity, obsession, etc.  The best thing you can do is identify these unflattering behaviors and work on them before they become a problem.  Listen carefully to the feedback you’re receiving, it may be couched in milder terms than it is meant.  Sometimes there is a kernel of truth in someone’s joking.  Just make sure that you’re differentiating between feedback and manipulation.

Be open to change and to constructive criticism.  It’s not always easy to hear but wouldn’t you rather have the opportunity to fix something that you didn’t know was wrong?