Let me quickly get through the beginning of this blog so I can get to the fun part. Is that enough of a lead in? OK, let’s dive right in! Who knew dating was such a hot topic for us? Just kidding! I think we all knew that, and after last week’s blog it was confirmed. So far, we have discussed where to meet potential dates/mates, the necessity of going out alone, and most importantly the necessity of knowing yourself. So, now, let’s talk about what to do when we meet that (potentially) special someone.
Again, I want to remind you, these tips have been tested on men. I say this because I am not sure if ladies who enjoy the company of other ladies will find this information helpful. I am hopeful, so please keep reading! Also, for my mom and husband, everything you read after this point is information I’ve gained from talking to other people. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Without further ado, here are this week’s additions to your dating toolkit.
Key 4: Have a male best friend
I want to start this tip by saying, this advice does NOT contradict what I said last week about going out alone. **smile** Read this as a both/and kind of situation. I can’t tell you the number of men I’ve met because I was hanging out with a guy. My BFF and I use to travel together. Without fail, some people would assume we were a couple so I would have to explain: “We are not a couple! This is my homeboy. We laugh together and drink together. If you do something really stupid, he is probably the first person who will hear about it. If I meet a really cool girl, I will probably introduce her to him.” That approach made me appear down to earth and drama free, and it seemed to put potential mates at ease. Shout out to Marcus for helping a sister out without even knowing it. I met my husband because of him, but that’s a story for another time.
In my experience, hanging out with someone who is similar to the person you’re seeking has been a plus. It is like a seal of approval. Once it has been established that you and your BFF are just friends, it is time to activate your flirt game.
Key 5: Flirting and Making a Move - THIS IS IMPORTANT!
OK, so flirting takes practice and can be tricky. Some men are shy, and need a little encouragement to make a move. Other men like to feel like they are making all of the decisions, and don’t want your help at all. In my experience, most men, in general, take FOREVER to make a decision, so I find a gentle, flirty nudge can help. Sometimes simply smiling at a man is the invitation he needs to come say “Hello!” But sometimes they need a little more assistance.
The key to an effective flirt is to master what I like to call, a “slightly uncomfortable, long stare.” This gaze happens when you’ve been caught staring at someone, but instead of looking away when they notice, you keep staring for a few more seconds. In that moment, I smile and hold my gaze. Here is where practice makes perfect, because a stare can go from sexy to creepy really fast. To strike the right chord, try to soften your eyes and think “Look at that cute kitten!” and not “Oh my gosh, there is a lion!” There is a difference. Practice your smirk, it will come in handy here as well. So, here’s the sequence: Make eye contact, smile, hold the gaze, smirk, look away, take a beat and look back. If they’re still looking at you, then you’ve got a contender!
If the person you desire is someone who needs more than “a glance and stare,” then you have to take it to Level 2, “the approach and a line.” We’ve all heard the corny and downright sad lines that people try, but I’m willing to bet at some point you’ve heard a few good ones. If you haven’t heard any good ones, you’ve surely heard at least one or two that made you laugh. And if you can make someone laugh you are halfway there! Here are a few of my most effective questions/lines:
Excuse me, I love your style! I wonder if you have any single friends that are a lot like you that you can introduce me to? **flash your flirty smile**
Why I love this question:
You have complimented their style, and everyone loves a good compliment!
You have indirectly asked if they are single or not.
You have given them an “easy out” if they’re not interested. The absolute worst case scenario is that they say, “No, I’m sorry I don’t.”, but I find that response is not common.
You can expect responses like, “Why are you asking about my friends instead of me?”, “There is no one is like me. I’m as good as it gets!”, or “Tell me more about what you’re looking for.” No matter what the response, you should flash another smile and respond appropriately. A well-timed laugh couldn’t hurt either!
I just wanted you to know, I think you are very attractive.
Why I love this line:
Again, EVERYONE loves a compliment.
If they aren’t interested, they will simply say, “Thank you very much.”, or something like that, and at the least you’ve brightened someone’s day.
If they are interested, it is a great conversation starter.
Hi, my name is …
Why I love this line:
It is short, sweet and to the point.
It is a universal conversation starter.
It allows for a graceful exit, if after you talk to them for a minute or two and you aren’t impressed. With this approach you can easily pivot to talk about work, or the weather, then excuse yourself.
It sets you apart from the crowd. I mean, you did just introduce yourself to a stranger, and not many people take that approach.
After you’ve made your initial contact, the key is to keep the conversation going while you are there. Why…because, if you discover you aren’t interested, you can skip the awkward text messages and phone calls later by bowing out before the number exchange.
There is so much more to say about this topic, so we’re going to keep the series going once a month. Guest writers will add to the conversation so you can get more than one perspective. Stay tuned, and let me know what questions you have. When you are happy with your dating/social life, it’s much easier to tackle all of the other things we Black women have to deal with every single day. Here’s to exciting, fun, and stress-free dates; and most of all here’s to your happiness!
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