I know from all the emails I get from lovelorn Dappered readers that most men (and women, too) are afraid of taking a chance when it comes to dating. They fear rejection, embarrassment, and heartbreak. And I’m totally sympathetic. Being vulnerable in front of someone you’re interested in is so uncomfortable. It is the ultimate surrender of control. But, being the optimist o’ love that I am, when asked for advice, my default is to recommend taking a chance. Neither being afraid nor feeling uncomfortable are good reasons to avoid pursuing something that might really make you happy. With that in mind, here are 6 chances to take on men or women, depending on your preference. Happy love hunting.
Ask out a friend
For all the emails I’ve answered about making the transition from friend to boyfriend, I have countless more unanswered, so I know this is a common quandary. It’s really hard to decide to risk a good friendship to see if there is the possibility for intimacy…but I think it’s worth it. If for no other reason than it’s a pain in the tuckus to pretend–no, I don’t notice how amazing you look in that dress; sure, I’ll meet your new boyfriend and pretend to like him; please, tell me more about your crush at work. Cut the act and see what happens.
Wish you were sitting next to her? Try and make it happen. (photo credit)
Approach a stranger
What strikes fear in everyone’s heart? Approaching an attractive stranger. Perhaps it’s at a bar, or the gym, or the grocery store. You meet eyes across the room, more than once, and you just feel like there’s something there. Do you go over and say something funny or charming? Ooh, ooh, I know the answer! Yes. Do it.
Say I love you first
Are you madly in love with your sweetie? Are you holding in those three HUGE words? Do you have some kind of hang up about being the first person in the relationship to say it? Assuming you’re a rational, reasonable person who doesn’t say such things lightly and you’ve known this person for longer, than, say, a month…throw aside your hang up. Say “I love you,” first.
Date someone unexpected
If you have a storied dating history and still haven’t found long-term happiness, maybe the type of person you typically pick isn’t a good match for you. Think about your exes. What do they have in common? If you tend to date men who are quiet or reserved, why not break out of the box and date an extrovert? Maybe the dark-haired server at your favorite restaurant is always flirting with you but you usually prefer blondes? This isn’t a recommendation to try and force chemistry with another person, but simply widening the field of dating possibilities means you’re that much more likely to find success.
Pursue a long-distance relationship
There isn’t anyone who would tell you that dating someone long-distance is easy. Even people who are good at it (like yours truly) say it rots. But that’s no reason to avoid it if you feel a real connection with someone who happens to live far away from you. Write emails, send texts, video chat, send gifts via snail mail, arrange romantic rendez-vous. Give it your best shot. Even if it doesn’t work out, if you’re smart, you won’t regret having tried it for a chance at happiness.
Betcha weren’t expecting to see this one on the list, eh? This is for those of you who are stuck. Not being single, but stuck in a relationship that you know isn’t working. Maybe it’s comfortable. Maybe it’s convenient. Whatever the reason, unstick yourself. Give yourself permission to say good-bye to that which is safe, for the opportunity to have something that is spectacular.
About the Author: If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked. That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org .