Typically, I would start a blog with statistics, or pose a question, or use some other attention getting tactic. This time however, I’m writing this blog because y’all got my attention. A few days ago, I read a post on Facebook written by a friend, that said she had a single guy friend who was interested in meeting someone. Within minutes the post had 114 responses. More than 100 beautiful, brilliant, successful women posted a picture, a cute response or something to say, “I want to meet him! I’m ready to settle down.” I was shocked, but then I thought about some of my single friends, many of whom are beautiful, brilliant, and successful women.
Fast forward a few days to another post that announced: All women over 35 have failed our younger sisters because, we haven’t imparted our wisdom on finding a great man. After I got over the shock of realizing the post situates me as an “elder” in this community of women, I decided it was a great time for me to dust the cobwebs off of “Christy’s Dating Handbook” and share the knowledge.
Before I continue, I want to make sure you know two things: 1) I’m not a relationship expert; and 2) I know not all women desire to date men. First, about my status as a non-expert, I’ll say that I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I’ve also had a lot of great successes (if you are my mom or husband reading this, I’ve had minimal success due to minimal attempts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). I’ve been proposed to four times by great guys. I’ve also introduced some amazing guys to friends of mine because, I know just because he’s not right for me or I’m not right for him doesn’t mean he isn’t great for someone else. Now to my sisters who aren’t interested in misters, while all of my experiences have been with men. I do think a lot of what I am going to say will apply, regardless of the gender of the one you admire and desire. So, I hope you keep reading.
So, without further ado, here is the first installment of “Keys to Meeting the Right One.” **whispers** this was going to be an all-inclusive blog, but it got way too long so, come back next week for part two!
Key 1: Know yourself
Yes, the first key has nothing at all to do with someone else. This is really all about you, and your level of self-awareness. If you don’t know why you want a relationship, what is most important to you in a relationship, and what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do then, you ain’t ready. I said what I said. I am of the mind that you need to start with who you are and what you are willing to do, before you think about what you’re looking for in someone else. This is one of those things that I think is applicable universally.
For me, by date number two a guy knew what I stood for, what meant the most to me, and what I would and wouldn’t do. My end of the conversation went something like, “I don’t cook. I bring home the bacon and then use it to buy whatever food I want, including more bacon. I can clean but hate it, so I have a housekeeper. I love live music and I will spend time and money to listen to great music. I love my family. A LOT. My Family can be loud and intrusive. A lot of my life is lived by committee, but I will never disrespect you, or tell them things before I tell you. I have a daughter and niece, and I love them more than life itself, but I don’t want any more kids. If you want kids of your own, I am not the person for you. If you are cool with loving these two amazing people, then we’re good.”
Was it too much, too soon? Maybe. Did it turn some guys off? The directness didn’t, and the information I shared helped both of us know if there as any reason to even bother getting to know each other further. Would I do it differently? Absolutely not!
Key 2: Go out alone
How many people do you take with you to a job interview? The answer should be “Zero,” but if you gave any other answer please go to our coaching page and sign up for a career coach immediately. I digress. So, why do you take your “crew” when you want to meet a potential mate? I approached meeting potential suitors as strategically as I did everything else. If I wanted to go out with the goal of having fun, I went with my best friends. If my goal was meet someone, I went alone. I didn’t want the distraction of trying to talk to my friends, and I didn’t want the potential suitor to feel intimidated by approaching a group instead of an individual.
Now, while you are sitting alone, you have to look confident, happy and totally unbothered. I parked myself at the best cigar bar or restaurant in town and I waited. I experimented with expensive bourbons and red wines. I learned to smoke cigars (and the only reason I did was to meet guys… and it worked!). At the end of the evening, without fail, I walked out with multiple names and numbers.
Key 3: Location, location, location
Where you meet your potential mate matters. Where you meet is often is a partial determinant of the relationship’s success. People rarely meet their soul mate at a nightclub. The gym is another bad idea, generally speaking. Most folks in the gym aren’t there to meet women and the ones who are just might be narcissistic. Church can be a great meeting place, but if things turn sour it could be awkward later. Work could also be a good place, but it has the potential to get messy AF. Only go that route if you are absolutely sure the person is worth the risk!
So where should you go? I have had some of my best luck in airports, cigar bars, and movie theater lobbies. My all-time favorite place is to meet guys is in an airport. And I think this might also be a good spot for the ladies looking to meet ladies. A flight delay meant prime flirting time for me. Why is that? Think about it: A lot of people fly alone. In an airport, people are literally just sitting and waiting, wanting a distraction. In this scenario, you might already know something about the person, like where they’re going or where they’re coming from, and that, my friends, is an automatic conversation starter! Google “the best restaurant” in the city they’re coming from or traveling to, then ask them if they’ve been there. If that doesn’t appeal to you, ask a random question, like: “Do you know where the closest bar is to this gate?” The possibilities are endless.
I mentioned cigar bars, and can’t recommend those spots enough. Oddly, the movie theater lobby is another favorite of mine. Now there is a strategy to this location. Opening weekend of a blockbuster likely would not work as well. You’ll want to go a week or two later, on Sunday afternoon. Good movie choices include the latest Marvel or Star Wars installment, or maybe a slightly stupid comedy. Make sure you get there a few minutes early, so you can strike up a conversation while waiting in the concession line. Before you know it, you might have a new movie partner. I met a wonderful guy this way and he is now married to one of my best friends!
Now, these are only a few of the keys on the dating keychain. Come back next week when I talk about the art and science of flirting (my favorite topic), why you need a male best friend, and how a bad date can be the best thing that ever happens to your love life. I’m going to need a little help with my week two entry from the women who seek the company of women. Some of the tips may work but I am self-aware enough to know that’s not where my experience lies. So, if you’d like to submit a few tips, please email me! I’d love to include your advice.
Until then, have fun and here’s to wishing that you soon meet someone who makes you smile when they text and who makes all of the idiots of your past worth it!
Author and Our Truths founder, Christy Pruitt-Haynes combined her 20 years of leadership in organizations including The Memphis Grizzlies, MTV Networks and Infiniti with an education in Human Resources and Organizational Development to create Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting and change the professional landscape for women and people of color while helping organizations achieve excellence. This TEDx talk giving executive, wife, mother, aunt, daughter, sister and friend loves travel, laughing uncontrollably and losing herself in great music.
Theme song: I was here by Beyoncé
Proudest moments: The births of my daughter Christiana, niece Nia and organization Our Truths