Newly Single (Again!)-Don’t know what to do?

WTF just happened to your life? Three days ago you were contentedly living with your long-term partner. Today? You’re single. Before you run to Wegman’s to buy a gallon of ice cream, a box of tissues, Titanic and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, pour yourself a delicious cocktail and prepare for some awesome advice.

The very first thing I do after a breakup is call my girlfriends to celebrate. I realize that some women aren’t as happy as I tend to be after this type of situation. Some women get squished in the relationship and can finally breathe. Others might be feeling confused, hurt and alone. But I really believe this is applicable – CELEBRATE! You don’t necessarily have to celebrate the end of something, just the begging of something new! There are millions of things women can do to boost self-esteem. Dress up and go out with friends. Go on a wine tour, to a movie, get super-hooch and go clubbing all night, do lunch…whatever! Just get pretty and have fun with the girls.

When you’re ready to get back out there in the big, bad world of dating, remember that you’re looking for someone you can connect with. The best place to find someone is somewhere you weren’t even looking. Join a yoga class, town ball team, craft or cooking workshop, even your local theater guild. Have a wine or beer tasting party at your house and have attendees bring their favorite wine/beer and a guest! Have a themed costume party! Surround yourself with your friends’ friends. Your circle will get bigger, you’ll develop more friendships, learn new things and – almost by accident – your self-esteem will be sky-high.

Depending upon how long your relationship lasted, you may need to familiarize yourself with the new world of dating. There are web sites for soul mates, web sites for love, web sites for flings and even a web site for discreet cheating. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are an almost never-ending source for finding new people with similar interests to befriend, or even more.

When you do find someone you’re interested in connecting with, remember what it is that you want out of a relationship. Try to sway from any obvious patterns you’ve made when choosing mates. Instead, let a new friendship grow into something more. It can be very rewarding to live with and love your best friend.

You don’t have to jump back in the saddle the second a cute guy makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. But you also shouldn’t dismiss any tingles because “you’re just not ready yet.” The key is to just let it happen. Now chug that cocktail and get dressed up!

There’s No Room for Jive on a Date

A lot of us say and do really, really dumb things. When we’re on a date, the chances of our “duh” showing increases tenfold. It doesn’t necessarily mean we lack intelligence; just a filter. Maybe it’s the wine or the candle light, the butterflies, or perhaps that sexy thong is cutting off the circulation to your thought process. The fact is, it happens. Friends, family, magazines and the internet are always on hand to provide advice and tips on how not to screw up. For the most part, the advice is logical. Useful, even. For the sake of your relationship – and your date’s sanity – do not take advice you receive too literally.

Full disclosure is an absolute no-no. I can’t stress this enough. Sure, your date wants to know who and what he or she is dealing with. Are you a psycho killer? Do you plan to slip her a rufie? Are you riddled with diseases? Married? These are all genuine concerns for your date to have. Knowing how much information to give up is key.

“But you were talking to your ex-girlfriend!” or “I saw you looking at that guy at the bar!” are common when your date has absolutely no trust in you. Guess whose fault that is? Yours. Yes, yours. Never share your number of sexual partners. Plain and simple. Or, if absolutely necessary, stick to a very low number. Do not give names of people you’ve dated or slept with, unless it was a long-term relationship and/or children are involved. At that point, it’s not omission, its flat-out secrecy. Trust me, not divulging every detail of your past will save you from stressing yourself right out of the relationship.

I’ve heard this one a million times: Don’t talk about your embarrassing hobbies/interests/personality quirks. This little tidbit is pure BS. All of those eccentricities are what make you wonderful and unique. Embrace your inner dork! Unless you collect human feet in your freezer, you should be OK. If your date doesn’t like your personality, it wasn’t meant to be. Move on.

Another thing I hear, as a woman, is that you should be dressed as sexy as possible. I call malarkey! Be classy or comfy, or both. If you’re wearing 6-inch stilettos, a halter top and a micro-mini, you’re not really going on a date. You’re going on a pre-planned one-night-stand…and he’ll be thinking the same thing. Unless you’re in a long-standing relationship, leave the hooker heels at home.

Don’t expect to be swept off your feet. Romance is dead. If you are not a celebrity, king or president, don’t expect anyone to open any doors or pull out any chairs for you. Most guys don’t even think to do so on a date, so don’t freak out if it doesn’t happen. If you choose to end the relationship/date because of a lack of romantic gestures on your partner’s part, then you’re a stuck-up snob. Hire an assistant.

If you’re going to lie, you’re going to get caught. If you tell her you’re an orphan, your parents had better be dead. If you tell him you’re a ballet-dancing, cheerleading-yoga instructor with “killer flexibility,” look the part and prepare to prove it. Making up outlandish crap to impress and/or get into someone’s pants is beyond sketchy. So, unless a micro-mini is present at your dinner table, skip the jive.

They say not to order more than two alcoholic beverages while on a date. Who are these “they” people you ask? Dumb-asses, that’s who. If you typically get blitzed when you are out, do so. The same goes for any other mind-altering activities that you may or may not partake in. Do it up and do it right. Save your date the trouble of finding this stuff out down the road.

Ladies, skip the salad. Seriously. That doesn’t mean you have to order the house challenge meal, but at least order something more than lettuce and fat-free dressing that you’ll probably just pick at anyway. This move just screams high-maintenance. Eat like you’re comfortable. Leave the dainty nonsense for work functions, weddings and funerals.

If you’re the type of person to openly complain to staff about the restaurant’s food, music, lighting, air conditioning, color scheme, etc., keep in mind that if you continue to date this person, they will see this behavior eventually. Like the alcoholics, the hotheads really should show their true colors up front. So, complain away!

The wandering eye is a slayer of many a relationship. So your date perked up a little when the double D’s carrying your drinks out came into view. So f@#$ing what?! There are millions of beautiful people out there. To insist that your date/partner find you, and only you, attractive is not only narcissistic, it’s unrealistic. If you can’t handle his or her appreciation for the aesthetically pleasing, then leave. Check your ego at the door next time.

On the flipside, staring intensely at your date in order to not get caught staring at the waitress’s legs can be just as damaging as staring at the waitress’s legs. Staring is creepy. It won’t come off as a genuine gaze-into-her eyes play, especially if you are mid-bite and there is no conversation. Don’t do it.

Don’t be too aggressive or direct. This only works if you’re not an aggressive or direct person. Like the booze and the whining, this behavior should be put right up on the table for all to see. Give your date a chance to decide for him or her self whether they like your personality or not. Tweaking your individuality reeks of desperation.

It’s common practice to not talk about marriage and kids on a first date. They (those jerks again) say that this topic kills relationships before they start. If he doesn’t give you the impression that he’s desperate enough to discuss marriage plans with you on your first date, he probably doesn’t intend to ask you tonight. He’s probably just sharing goals and dreams with you. Goals and dreams should be shared with your date if you have a connection. Even at the risk of making them run away scared.

The key point to take away from this is simple – Be Yourself. If your date isn’t into you, who gives a damn? This is 2014. There are billions of people on this planet. Someone is bound to like you for you. So to ensure a successful date, you need only remember these four things: don’t lie, pretend, hold back or divulge too much info. Remember, you’re trying to connect with a potential best friend, so just be you.

Five Reasons That You Are Still Single

Still single after all these years? If you have never found the proverbial “one” – then there may be a reason that you are still alone.  Maybe you have a bad attitude when it comes to meeting the right person – or maybe you’re afraid.  Let’s look at five possible reasons that you haven’t marched up the aisle to wedding bliss (yet).

Reason You Are Still Single #1: You Have a Rotten Attitude

Sure, your heart may have been ripped from your chest and danced upon a half dozen times in the past, but you cannot allow your previous “luggage” to come across when you are trying to find your soul mate.  Being negative is an instant turnoff; it’s worse than onion-breath, in fact.  You’re not alone.  Nearly anyone on the dating scene can tell you a horror story or two, but savvy ones let the bad times roll right off their back – and they get over it, and move on.  Think of bad attitudes like this.  If you’re in a room full of people, are you drawn to the person who is laughing, having a good time, or to the one sitting in the corner with a scowl on his or her face? People want to be with people that are fun – so remember to keep those negative experiences to yourself – at least until you’ve gone out with someone for awhile, and even then, some tales are best left untold.

Reason You Are Still Single #2: You’re Afraid of Commitment

This is one of the biggest fears for men, and many women are likewise afraid of settling down and the stigma that it brings.  Many want to ‘have their cake and eat it, too’, while others just fear that settling down makes them old.  Newsflash: every moment you are alive, you are getting older.  Don’t you want someone to settle down with, share your life with, and to grow old with? It’s okay if you don’t.  But letting your fear of commitment rule your dating persona is the best way to ensure that you’ll always be a bridesmaid (or groomsman) and never a bride or groom.

Reason You Are Still Single #3: You’re Fearful of Online Dating

Recent surveys show that one in five relationships now starts online.  Online dating is a great way to meet new people, and it can be a refreshing change from the club or bar scene.  Online dating allows you to meet people all around the globe, broadening your horizons, and opening you up to people that you would have never otherwise have met.  Some people think of online dating as a last resort, reserved only for losers.  Millions of happy couples, however, can prove them wrong!

Reason You Are Still Single #4: You’re Not over Your Ex

If you have just ended a relationship that was meaningful to you, it is natural to take some time to recuperate and allow yourself to heal before jumping back into the game.  Many people find that they end back up on the dating scene much too fast, not allowing the lessons that they learned from their previous relationship to sink in.  Once you have had a few months to spring back to your old self, go forward.  The problem arises when a particularly hard break-up causes you to stay off your game too long, turning you bitter and affecting your future relationships.  Keep in mind what your mother may have told you: you have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet Prince Charming or Cinderella.

Reason You Are Still Single #5: You Are Needy or Picky

Two vices will definitely keep you in the single’s lane for the foreseeable future: neediness and pickiness.  People who are lonely tend to latch on to others too quickly (even those who are not compatible for them), and this is neediness in its finest form.  Perhaps you have ‘given up’ on finding the right person and just plan on making it work with whoever will love you back.  The flip side of the needy individual is the picky individual.  These people will find faults where there are none, and set the bar way too high for any potential mate to meet.  There must be a fine line between not ‘settling’ for just ‘whatever’ and having a strict checklist of what a mate must have, do, or be.  Finding that middle ground is the key to finding a wonderful person to spend your life with!

Why Dating a Nerd Can Be Fun

The “Nerd”, as we know him at least, seems to always get a bad rap.  And some Nerds believe that they don’t stand a chance with women.  But one look around is proof positive that the Nerd has become fashionable “arm candy” for many women, even those gorgeous women who the Nerd of days gone by might have figured he didn’t have a shot at.  The reason is that many women are realizing that the nerdy guy really has more to offer than the average Joe on the street – things that go beyond good looks and fancy clothes.  Dating a Nerd can actually be fun, and here’s why:

He’s Secure in Himself

The Nerd is not easily moved by things that other guys are into. He could care less about what the ‘guys’ think about him. He makes his own decisions and stands on his own two feet; damn what anyone else thinks.  He isn’t into the latest trends – and he has his own unique style.  He focuses on things that are truly more important. This is a much sought after trait in a partner.  The clothes that he wears on his back and the car he drives are just trivial matters to him.

He Makes Good Money

Perhaps you always heard that the guys who study hard in school, the guys who are members of the chess or science club, and the ones that go to the prom without a date are the future movers-and-shakers of the world. And its true. While the jock with the six-pack body and the fancy sports car may have been the most popular, the guy who was sitting at home alone on Saturday nights, writing a new computer program or designing a better mousetrap is the guy that’s now running the big corporations or, at very least, bringing home good money. The washed-up has-been jocks of the world are often left pumping gas or working some other menial job.

His Friends Aren’t Complete Jerks

How many times when dating a guy have you had to ‘put up’ with his ignorant friends just to please him? With the Nerd, this is not the case.  Like him, the Nerd’s friends are Nerdy, and they will likely treat you with the utmost of respect and don’t cheat with you.

He’s Dedicated

The Nerd is nothing if not a dedicated partner.  The same focus that he puts into his work is magnified when he finds a woman that he cares about.  Unlike guys who are out for a few rendezvous before they move on to the next flavor of the month, the Nerd is rarely that fickle.  He is loyal to a fault, which is a fabulously endearing trait.  With a trustworthy Nerd, you don’t have to worry about the competition – there is none; he’ll be focused on you and you alone. No matter how many pretty young things come along that would tempt an ordinary man.  If a Nerd says he’ll call, he will.  You can bet on it.

He’s Not Into Sports

For 99.99% of the women who read this, there’s no further explanation needed.  The Nerd will not be hurt if you don’t sit through an entire weekend of football, baseball, karate, basketball, Gladiators, and so on.  He knows little about sports and prefers to do what you want to do.

He’ll Love You For

And last of all, the Nerd is fun to be around because for him, it’s not all about your waist size, or your clothing, or the clubs you can get into – but you, the real you, faults and all.  That’s because he knows that looks are only skin deep – but a solid relationship with a person that you enjoy being with can last forever.