One of the most interesting things to happen to me this week was listening to a group of 20 somethings discuss dating. I couldn’t help but think “Was I like this at their age?” I had a sudden urge to call my friends and family and apologise for being so young and naive 🙂 I quickly snapped out of that thought because I realised – you’re not supposed to know it all in your early 20’s. Hell, even at my age I am still trying to work it all out. But what I have learned and what I do know I like to pass on. I like to think of it as looking after my sisters, and trust me… that is what life’s all about. The more you know the better equipped you are to handle the dramas in life – right?
Later in the day when I saw them again in one of the local department stores I walked up and introduced myself. I explained my blog and asked them a few questions. I soon realised that these young women were not necessarily naive, they just felt confused. What do we do when we feel unsure and embarrassed? We mock each other and laugh it off. There is so much information out their today, as well as peer group pressure and the more we talked the more I understood their predicament. This group of women were no different to me at their age, trying to understand the opposite sex and what was expected of them.
When I asked the women what was the most difficult aspect of dating I received all kinds of comments from “I never know if I’m good enough, like what does he want?” and “Some guys wait until you have had a few drinks because they want to save money and want you to be more willing to go home with them” to “It’s all this analysing, the ‘what ifs’. By the time you think you have it worked out you’re tired and want to go home.” I got the feeling I bit off more than I could chew. We ended up getting coffee and over a steamy hot brew I shared some of my own dreadful experiences and what I have learned.
It doesn’t matter whether its the 80’s, the 90’s or today, the same problems still exist. Guys really are not that much different from us, some of them want to date until the pool of women is so low that they have no choice but to finally face the fact that maybe they should settle down. Some guys meet a girl when they are in their teens and think this is the one. Just like us, they are all different. Some guys like hooking up, letting off some steam and playing footy on the weekends. Some guys like watching The Devil Wears Prada and think Anne Hathaway would make the perfect bride – true! 🙂
When it comes to dating it’s like a game of Happy Hippo – only the person with the best game plan and stamina can win 🙂 When you walk into a bar, a cafe or stroll into your neighbours backyard barbecue you never know what you are going to get. Some of the guys might still live at home, some might be living in a one bedroom apartment the size of your bathroom yet tell you they live in the city and have harbour views. Some guys might like a woman who is bold, brash and has a wit Miley Cyrus would be proud of. Some guys might be looking for a replica of their mother, someone who will cook them a roast, drive them around and wash their dirty socks on a Sunday.
Just like us women, we come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of personalities to boot. Because of this we never know what will happen if we approach the opposite sex. How many times have you gone to a party and seen name tags on everyone’s chests? Plum bobs floating above their heads declaring job, interests and hobbies or a list of ex’s for recommendations stamped to their butts? It just doesn’t happen and as a result we have to rely on our judgement. Our game plan kicks in each time we meet or see someone we like. We are attracted to someones looks, body, smile, demeanour and try to analyse their personality from a distance. We try to interpret how our approach would be received and if the risk is worthwhile.
My advice, go on gut instinct and don’t wait till the end of the night or until the person moves away to find out. Sound a little blasé? Unless you have ESP it’s all you can go on. Watch the way they interact with others, are they kind and gentle or abrupt and rude? Dresses and looks like he takes care of himself, or a slob? Nice smile, friendly demeanour… maybe this could be someone special 🙂 One thing I have learned in life is most men like a woman who is confident. Not stuck up but sure of herself. They also appreciate a woman who makes the first move. They think this is incredibly sexy, however not everyone feels that way. There are a small percentage of men who feel intimated by a confident woman. Why? Some guys are quiet by nature, and if you are outgoing and boisterous it will be all too much for the schmuck to handle 🙂 There is nothing at all wrong with that, remember we are all different. If you do approach someone and he isn’t what you expected, politely move on. It’s not personal, but if some doosh makes it personal, or if his friends do – move away and let it be.
Dating is all about using your instincts – your intuition and relying on your best judgement. If you see someone who interests you, why not introduce yourself? It might work it, it may not… you will never know if you don’t give it a go. There is no right or wrong in regards to who should approach who first. In a room full of strangers it is almost impossible to know how you will be perceived. Be respectful, courteous and friendly. Pay attention and don’t ignore your judgement. If alarm bells are going off in the back of your head then it is time to move on. If you both get along, communicate well and are drawn to each others personalities then work from that.
Who should make the first move is up to you. You can sit around wishing or you can do something about it and make the first move. Life is about taking risks and living a fulfilling life. You won’t always get it right, but if you keep on trying you will get better at judging people and you may even make some great friends along the way. You gotta take chances to grow.
x x x