There are no shortcuts for meeting Mr. Right... To be lucky in love, you have to get out there!
As a thirtysomething gal-about-town, I’ve technically been dating for more than half of my life—to no avail. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. You name it, I’ve given it a shot, which is why I recently took matters into my own hands—literally. My new approach? Hitting the town solo, and you can read about all of my adventures on my blog, Bartender… Man Straight Up. But before taking this new approach, I was no stranger to more traditional ways of meeting men, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that they usually don’t work. Here’s why…
- Online dating. In today’s day and age, the internet helps us get just about anything we want to get our hands on, from food to clothes and things we’re too embarrassed to buy in person. But our computer screens are basically like a wall separating us from the rest of the world, which is why online dating is so hit or miss. We all put our best faces forward (usually in photos that don’t accurately reflect our actual day-to-day appearance) and hide the unsavory details. Sure, people have gotten lucky, but I’m willing to bet that nine out of ten people who try meeting someone online are left home alone (although with some good dinner party stories). Full disclosure: Since writing this story, I met a guy on Match.com… But we’ve only been on one date, so I’m not getting ahead of myself!
- The parental set-up. Parents (and grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc.) see things in black and white, or single and non-single. Most parents just want to see their kids happy, and for some reason that equals being in a relationship. Similar to assuming that setting up two gay men or women will result in a match, just because two straight people are single doesn’t mean they’re going to hit it off, and unfortunately parents haven’t caught onto this yet.
- Speed dating. Dating is stressful enough. Then try to present your authentic, witty, funny self with a timer ticking in the background. No thank you. I’ve been on more so-so first dates than I can count, and I usually give the guy the benefit of the doubt if he wants to try for date two. Spending five minutes with someone on a speed date is rarely enough time to discover what they’re really all about, and this method doesn’t give you the opportunity for a round two.
- Reality shows. Yes, I auditioned for a dating reality show—against my better judgment. We see how The Bachelor and The Bachelorette wind up… Even after the whirlwind romance and over-the-top proposal, they usually wind up in the Bachelor Pad hooking up with everyone they can get their hands on within just a few months time.
- Charity events. Sure, sitting at a table with a bunch of people you don’t know sounds like a blast. (Does it?) Somewhere along the line, someone thought that a person’s willingness to open their wallet for cancer, poverty or a religious institution translates to opening their mind to meeting “the one.” In my experience, I always wind up hanging out with the one or two friends I go to a charity event with, watching the single men and women drink too much and make asses of themselves.
So what does work when it comes to meeting Mr. Right? You need a few essentials... First, find a bar where you feel comfortable. Second, sit back, relax and make friends with the bartender. Third, be open to conversation and seeing where the night takes you. It might not happen on your first time out, but it's bound to get you somewhere...