Good In A Room (a follow up to Stress-Free Dating)

Good In A Room (a follow up to Stress-Free Dating)

I wasn't always a good dater. In fact, I was kind of horrible.

As I explained in The Secret To Stress Free Dating, the nature of my job made it difficult for me to carve out dating time, so on the rare occasion I did go out, I sucked all the fun out of it by putting too much pressure on the experience. If I liked the guy, I desperately wanted things to work out. If I didn't like the guy, I was overwrought with disappointment about a wasted date.

After transitioning my career, I finally owned my time. And I dated like I had only 3 months to live. With joyful abandon and a light heart, I became quite good at dating.

A friend of a friend noticed and asked to pick my brain. She wanted to know where to go and what to do. How to do good in a room full of people.

I don't pretend to know anything about being happily married, but I know a lot about happily dating.

Based on my lessons and experiences in dating, I shared with her what I found to be true for my life. I was best able to convey my lessons through a marketing lens since that is my field of interest.

Below is the actual email I sent off four years ago. I've lightly edited it and added some detail, but the essence of the message has not changed. 

I hope you find a gem...

Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 17:39:43 -0400

These tips work best if you are in the mood to mingle. If you’re not, carry on doing what you love to do. Come back to this when you’re ready.


1. Roll solo
It’s powerful. It’s attractive. And makes it easy for a someone to approach you.

2. Roll solo
Your good looking friends may be distracting. You are just as gorgeous as your friends—it’s just that when there are so many beautiful people from which to choose, you may lose. Increase the odds of being approached by decreasing the number of distractions at the event. Do not make a habit of traveling with a posse. Go alone.


3. Get involved
In what professional, civic, social, or political organizations are you involved? Are you pursuing hobbies? Learn to cultivate your interests by getting involved with the things that you love. But first, do your...

4. ...Research
Look up events and meet-ups going on around town and attend a few. No exaggeration when I say that every industry has a professional association. Every interest has a group. And there are tons of concerts and festivals that you can attend. From crocheting to playing ball to volunteering, like-minded people are easy to find. Meeting someone special who shares your passion is a sweet deal.


5. Have the right mindset
First dates are for fun, not for hardcore agendas. Must you ask important questions to get to know each other? Absolutely, yes. Must you barrage your date with personal and deep questions on a first date? I’m going with “no.” Getting to know each other is a layered and nuanced dance. Peel one layer at a time.

Expect to have fun with a new friend, but don’t expect fireworks or to meet your “husband” or “wife.” If it happens, great. Just don’t expect it.


6. See #1 and #2
Roll solo.

7. Wear a conversation piece
Wear something that’ll stand out in a good way. A beautiful piece of jewelry, a vintage watch, a statement tee, a unique pair of shoes. Just ONE standout piece is all it takes. Look nice, but not flashy.


8. Have something to talk about
Talk about something fun and light. Do NOT discuss materialistic things. Do NOT discuss money. Do NOT discuss past relationships. Do NOT discuss personal drama.

Talk about sports, world news, celebrity gossip, local news (but not crime), travel, health & fitness, crazy uncles, and the weather. Don’t be concerned that this is all small talk. Small talk is a device. Use it to open up to a bigger, more interesting conversation.

9. Hold your judgement until...
Don’t decide after one date that a new someone is your future husband or wife. Do NOT hitch your wagon to what could turn out to be a loser. Allow someone to prove themselves worthy. Hold your judgement until they do.

10. Be nice, but brief
When you’re in the midst of networking, talk to people, exchange numbers, and move on.

Moving on from one person is necessary so other guys (or girls) who may be interested in you will not think that’s your sweetheart. It gives others an opportunity to talk to you.

As a precaution, do not let guys hold your time and space hostage or they just may. It’s called cock blocking. Girls do it, too. Be nice, but be brief. Save your long conversation for the first date.

11. Be brief, but nice
Even towards people you don’t find remotely interesting or attractive. Whether or not you realize it, others are paying attention to you. They want to know how you treat other people. If you’re kind and know how to handle yourself with class and dignity, the right one may stop by to say “hello” because they’ve already seen that you’re a cool person.
— Starr

Photo credit: Sue Waters via CC Flickr
> Cultivate your interests