Monday, July 18, 2011

Casual Confidence

As you may remember I have been back in the dating game since about March after the end of a long and important relationship in October.  I waited six months before even attempting to date and it has taken me a while to find my groove.  
Out of the dating gate I met a very nice young man through an online dating service.  He had a car, a house and a dog.  He also had the best job ever – he made ice cream.  And not just any ice cream.  Hagen Daas ice cream.  My friends thought that this reason alone made him a good catch, and I didn’t disagree.  He was friendly, and pleasant, always respectful and kind.  Unfortunately, in the end he was also very intense and was moving WAY too quickly for me.  So, after about 6 weeks I had to end it.
Around this time my friend Amanda “set me up” with a friend of hers.  He was tall and handsome.  He played sports and loved children.  I knew he was younger than me but wasn’t sure exactly how much younger.  I am OK with dating a younger man, but I do have some limits.  So, when his birthday rolled around shortly after our third date I decided to ask.  As it happens he was 10 years! younger than me.  10 years!  I am sure I gasped when he told me.  Shortly thereafter we stopped dating and my friend Amanda was fired from any future matchmaking duties.
The next guy I dated was the exact opposite of Ice Cream guy.  He was friendly enough but very reserved and clearly was holding back emotionally.  We had 5 or 6 dates and the only physical contact we had was an awkward pat-on-the-back hug at the end of each date.  While I don’t expect my dates to ravage me like a romance novel character, I do expect some affectionate touching so I know you are interested.  After a month or so I decided I had to end this short-lived relationship too.
After 3 failed attempts at establishing a solid relationship my confidence was waning and I was worried that I had lost all of my flirting skills during my last monogamous relationship and I might not get them back.  It was official, I had lost my mojo.  This was a horrible realization for me.  I used to be an expert flirt.  Meeting men was never this difficult when I was in my 20s.  Was I getting to old, to fat, too desperate?  GAH!
So, I took a break from dating for a while and just decided to not push things too much.  Maybe I was being too proactive.  Maybe a laid back approach might be better.  I had recently realized that one of my issues with meeting men was that I was always out with guy friends.  And, as much as I love them, they put a serious cramp in my game when they are around.  So, last week, some girl friends from work and I (Kate, Jessica and Tiffany – best wing women ever!) decided to have a girls night out on the town. 
Girls night out was a HUGE success.  I decided to take my friend’s advice and approach things a little differently this time around.  Usually I am the girl in the heels and the skirt, full makeup and jewellery, nails done and ready to rock.  Apparently, this can be a little intimidating or overwhelming for guys.  They like to keep things simple.  So, this time out I wore flats (flats!!!  I never wear flats out!), jeans and a simple tank top.  I wore almost no makeup and only a simple necklace to jazz things up a bit. 

And you know what?  It worked.  It turns out Kate and Jess were right.  Considering one of them is married and one of them is in a 5 year committed relationship I guess they probably know what they are talking about.  I felt confident and relaxed and soon enough I was striking up a conversation with a very handsome guy.  Now, the most exciting part of this story (well, it was exciting for me!) was that this very handsome guy actually ASKED FOR MY NUMBER!  Usually, I am the one who takes the initiative to ask for numbers but he beat me to it, which was awesome.  And, not only did he ask for my number he also specifically asked to meet up at an event a few days later.  I was all smiles on the way home and I may have fist bumped my girl friend Kate.  That right, fist bump.  I did meet up with this very hot man a few days later and it looks like an official date is in our immediate future.
So, the moral of the story?  Casual and relaxed confidence beats dolled up fake coolness any day of the week

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