The American Way – Top 10 Dating Tips

Written By Kaisa Kokkonen Published March 19th, 2010

No one is a dating expert – even the most beautiful and wealthy people all struggle with matters of the heart. In fact most of those that I have met in New York City really suffered the most. For most Europeans it is a cultural shock to learn all the “rules” people quote when they talk about dating. How does one define dating to start with?? What does it mean? Anyway, these are probably the most common advice American women will tell us about how to date more, how to attract the types of people we want to attract, and how to make sure initial chemistry will lead into an enduring relationship.

Honestly, there are no magic formulas, no fail-proof tricks, no cunning ways of trapping Mr. or Miss Right. Dating tips are just that — tips, not ‘one-size-fits-all guarantees’ . What works for you may not work for your sister. It depends on the situation, who we are, where we are in our lives, etc. However, most New York women feel there are some threads of advice that are somewhat universal and may benefit anyone who practices them:

Step 1. PREPARATION. If you really want to succeed in the dating game, be ready to commit to dating. Half-heartedness won’t work. In fact, it won’t even get you half-way. If you really want to date, put some effort into it. Do some research and think about what you want out of dating. Prepare yourself for the inevitable rejection we all face at some point in dating and commit not to give up.
Step 2. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER . Start a regime of looking your best. Get fit, start a diet – join a gym, read health magazines. Get your hair cut or styled. It will not find you a date in itself, but you will feel a million times more confident about yourself, and others can sense that. I have to say that after meeting so many women with wigs, implants, face lifts, botox at early ages – one wonders when the men will do the same?
Step 3. TREAT YOURSELF. Go shopping – get some new clothes and even a whole new look. Get your image right, one that you can manage and live with, but one that flatters you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, but amplify and accentuate your positives. Throw out those tired jeans, old sweaters or cardigans and spruce yourself up. Your date will appreciate that you demonstrated some effort.
Step 4. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. Think about what you want to gain from dating and what time frames you expect. Do you see yourself married within 2-3 years? If you do, then approach dating accordingly. If you are more laid back and don’t take dating too seriously then ask yourself some honest questions about why you are dating and what you hope to achieve. If it is purely sex then ask yourself if you are about to be honest with those you hope to date.
Step 5. SUPPORT SYSTEM. Surround yourself with people who will support your dating aims. By following the first four tips you will feel better and be more focused. Don’t sabotage this by sitting around with friends who are negative about love and relationships (often the married ones). Start attending social functions frequented by singles. Sitting alongside couples at dinner parties in suburbia is not necessarily where you need to be right now.
Step 6. REALITY CHECK. Be realistic – take a look into the mirror and scale. In other words, your dating is based on the whole package you present as well as just your personality. If you are looking for a glamour girl or boy and want to date someone trendy and gorgeous, great! Just know that others will expect you to be the same. You are overweight and not stylish – why would a great-looking guy/girl want you?? You better have an amazing personality and character, most of us don’t!
Step 7. BE ACTIVE. Join clubs, societies, sports events, drama groups — anything that might help you meet like-minded potential partners. You will not meet people by staying indoors and playing video games – many have tried and failed at this approach.
Step 8. DO NOT GO OVERBOARD. Take time off from dating occasionally if it’s not going well or causing dating fatigue. Recharging your batteries and keeping confidence and optimism levels high is an absolute must. We all hit rough patches, but don’t let your search for love become a fatal attraction. It is a great movie, bit lets face – we are not in the movie. Date in phases if necessary.
Step 9. TAKE PEOPLE AS THEY ARE – PEOPLE. Enjoy dating for what it is, dating. It is meeting people and socializing and spending time in the company of stimulating individuals who may or may not play a bigger part in your life down the road. The fact is, most people have something interesting to offer. While you may not be out on the dating scene looking for new friends, you may well find one or two fabulous people along the way. I have met some of my most amazing friends as dates – and introduced some to my friends.
10. MYSTERY. Never make yourself too available. People like mystery and enigma and the thrill of the chase when dating. As part of keeping up the mystery, do not sleep with your dates early on (exceptions do apply. I know couples who just went for it and are still married after 20 years). The longer a person is made to chase and fall for you within reason, the more likely that love may blossom. (And yes, this goes for both men AND women!) If the chemistry peaks too early, your emotions may never have time to catch up since it was all physical – and the relationship will eventually wither away.

European commentary: The differences are pretty obvious when you first move to the USA. After a few years you don’t mind as much – but you still hope that a guy would call immediately if he likes you and you liked him. No pretenses. And you wish that there weren’t so many rules..


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