Tuesday, April 3, 2012

how to mingle

This feels silly... I'm hardly a dating expert. Still flying solo means I clearly have not had too much "success." Even so, a reader asked: "Where did you meet people to go on dates with? I'm single and interested in meeting guys but don't know where/how."
At the time, I responded: "Out and about. Because I oftentimes work from home, and because I just enjoy going to different places, I make a lot of PM plans during the week. I meet friends for drinks, or crash their casual office get-togethers, or join them at openings. I don't do this to meet guys, but I meet them anyway. When you expose yourself to multiple situations in which you are with people you've never met before, I don't doubt you'll get asked out on a date too. I'm adventurous with my weekend activities as well and I've found the same result. With that said, I don't meet someone everywhere and I certainly don't like everyone I do meet... but I figure if I do, one day, want to fall in love again and I recognize that I am worth falling in love with, then I might as well provide myself with every opportunity to do so. Enjoy your friends, and good luck!"
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about that philosophy. In a city like New York, teeming with young professionals, an unrivaled cultural diversity, and abundant offerings for fun date ideas, doing all of the above may seem simple. But I don't think dating is truly simple anywhere, just by the nature of what it is. (Still, it does sound at least a little more exciting in Montreal, Taos, or Berlin.)
At the end of the day, it's not just about having a place to meet potential guys, it's about being ready and willing to meet them. If you're currently single or have been for a decent period of time in the past (4 weeks or before the age of 15 don't count), you know that being so is a wild ride. Sometimes it feels so gosh darn good to be "selfish," to commit to doing what you want, when you want, without a second thought. Sometimes it's flattering to know that men are interested in getting to know you and it's entertaining to have the experiences of getting to know them, even if the dates solely turn into funny stories you share with your friends. Sometimes the mere thought of multiple dating possibilities is exciting. Other times though, being single just kind of sucks.
It does, but it shouldn't. First, don't let your relationship status define you. Single or not, you're awesome; I'm sure of it, despite the fact that I may or may not personally know you. You are accomplished (most likely in more ways than one) and you're loved by many. Surround yourself with these people that make you happiest, and use your you time to further explore, and fulfill, your passions. Second, realize you're not the only one. Assuming you're American, did you know that the 2010 U.S. Census revealed we currently have the highest rate of single adults? Over 100 million. Whether being single is a new thing or an ordinary detail, you, my dear, are in good company. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. It's a waste of negative energy that you don't need nor deserve.
By focusing on those two tips, you will certainly be in an opportune place to meet someone new and even possibly significant, but I've got a third one to add anyway: live life to its absolute greatest capacity. Regardless of the relationship you seek (serious to not-so-much), it's important to feel great with or without a special someone. Be curious, be playful, be yourself, be true. Say yes to appealing new things and turn down options you find yourself dreading. You'll suddenly be having more fun, and that's always an attractive and satisfying quality to have.
It may be easier said than done, but it's most definitely worth a try. Perhaps the funniest part, is that I myself have decided to take a break from the dating scene in favor of some honest-to-goodness independent "personal growth." Ha, whatever works, right? Wherever you're at, I hope you're enjoying yourself too.


  1. I probably haven't commented before, but I just love these honest, insightful posts of yours. I've only been back on the dating scene 2 months after 2.5 years, and I totally agree with the 'ready and willing' thing. I've met some cool guys and started friendships and jumped onto online dating, but after throwing myself hard into "I must be dating" mode given the way my breakup went down and friends encouraging me, I realized I just don't want to. Or at least I just don't want to actively pursue it. Living alone and being single can be great, and I have a lot more growing, learning, and moving to do, so I might as well embrace the randomness of life without trying so hard to make something happen. Can you tell I've done a lot of thinking about this myself? ha.

  2. @liveloveramble: Thank you for commenting! I'm glad that these thoughts of mine resonate with you. I experienced a very similar thing when I found myself suddenly single. I think it's an attempt at forcing the okay-ness before we're actually able to be fully okay. As for the self-reflection, I'm pretty sure it comes with the territory :). You seem to be in a good place though. Good luck with everything!

  3. This is such a GREAT post Danielle!! I agree with everything you've discussed and seriously, putting yourself out there and just being yourself is enough to attract anyone! we all have our individual qualities that someone is bound to find intriguing!

  4. It's so true- the more you put yourself out there (for spontaneous dinner plans, a night out with friends, a road trip...), the more likely you are to meet people! People in general (whether that be a potential boyfriend or new friend).
    Such a great post my dear!
    Enjoy your "time off" and get some good ME time in! :)

  5. Preach, sister!

  6. @alovelyglass: Thank you, darling. I'm so glad you agree/understand.


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