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18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

“The Rules” of dating seem to get blurrier the more we achieve in recognizing gender equality. When we clear away the confusion, though, dating is just a life skill, like healthy eating or applying for jobs.

Here are 18 simple dating tips to help you prepare yourself, navigate the online scene, build quality relationships, and feel successful, regardless of how the date or the relationship ends.

Before You Start Dating Tips:

1. Get clear on your expectations.

People date for different reasons. Are you looking for casual connections without any expectations, to find some companionship, or to find an empowering partner for the rest of your life? Be honest with yourself about your expectations, and then communicate them openly. Don’t compromise just because a man is especially sexy, charming, or successful.

2. Define success in empowering terms.

People can now expect to change careers three to five times in their lives and to move multiple times to new places. We’re still taught that a successful relationship is “happily ever after.” But does it have to be? Katherine Woodward Thomas teaches us to consider that a successful relationship could be one that is loving from start to finish, even when the finish comes as a break-up. If the only definition of success in a relationship is one that lasts until death, then very few relationships could be called “successful.” Redefine success in terms of being loving, having integrity, and learning.

3. Have standards.

Our standards slide when we fear we won’t find somebody, so we settle for anybody. While this speaks to the nurturing capacity of women to love just about anybody, we need to learn that we can still be loving and be selective. Decide now that you will only date a man who meets your “Musts.”

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What are the attributes that a man must have to be worth your heart? Make a list with two headings: “My man must” and “My man should.” Give yourself 10 minutes to list without censoring or second-guessing. Then go back through your list and ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Keep revising until you have a very clear picture of what you want. These are your “Musts.”

4. Raise your standards for yourself, too.

On the flip side, we often have huge expectations for our ideal partner, but we let ourselves get by with less than our best. If you are going to attract and date your “Must” man, make choices to develop your best self.

Make a new list with these headings: “To be my best self, I must” and “To be my best self, I should.” List for 10 uncensored minutes. Again, look back asking, “Is this true?” Make a plan to address every “Must” on your list at least twice over the next 10 days. This helps you nurture your own needs, regardless of how any date goes.

5. Remember that dating is a process.

If you want to have a fit body, you eventually learn that it is an on-going process. You can’t do 100 sit-ups once every six months and expect your body to change. Dating, too, takes persistence to see the results you are seeking. If you get frustrated that you aren’t finding what you’re looking for, remind yourself that there is no failure as long as you keep learning. Bad dates and relationships are opportunities to help you get clearer on who you are, how you can improve, and what you value most.

Online Dating Tips:

6. Initiate contact intelligently.

When a man’s profile seems to indicate that he could be a candidate who meets your “Musts,” message him. People have busy lives, and there’s no reason to wait for him to notice you. Don’t send messages that give him no idea of who you are or what you want, like, “Hi! How was your day?” Instead, be clear and put the ball in his court. A better message is: “Hi, Chris. There’s something about your profile that attracted me. I’m interested in getting to know you better. Are you open to the idea of meeting? Leslie.”

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7. Play the numbers.

Ignore this tip if it doesn’t work for the expectations you established in Tip 1.

Online dating, in fact all dating, is a numbers game. Your goal is to connect with as many men as you can. Remember that these are total strangers, and you don’t owe them anything. Like fishing, you can put out one line, wait around to see what happens, reel it in, decide it’s too small, throw it back and start again. Or you can throw out a net and have your pick of the harvest. If you’re looking for the right one for you in a sea of strangers, the more contact you make with different men, the better your odds.

8. Don’t waste time messaging.

You can message with a man for weeks, have deep conversations, or do some steamy sexting. But you’ll never know if there’s a real spark until you meet face to face. Use messages, emails, and calls to establish contact and arrange the logistical details of the date, with a touch of playful banter. Save the good conversation for one-on-one, when your eyes and tone of voice add to the allure. And your first meeting should always be in a public place.

Early Dating Tips:

9. Allow some communication lag time.

Whether you’re texting, messaging, or returning phone calls, avoid the urge to respond immediately to every little message. This isn’t about playing hard to get. Rather, it’s about setting healthy boundaries. Returning messages the instant you receive them can appear co-dependent or needy, as if his every word fuels your survival. Relax, and get back to him when you’ve had a moment to check-in with your higher self.

10. Smile.

There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman’s smile. It makes a man happy when he feels he can make a woman happy. If a man doesn’t believe he can make you happy, he will eventually leave, either physically or emotionally. There’s no need to be fake. Just share sincere smiles and laughter as they come. A beautiful, genuine smile is ten-million times more attractive than your hair, make-up, clothes or figure.

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11. Say “No.”

No matter how much money he’s spent on you or how badly you think it may hurt his feelings, don’t ever do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You have a gut instinct; listen to it. If a man is really worth it, he will understand. Feeling resentful or violated should never be something you have to accept to be in a relationship with anyone.

12. Protect children.

If either of you have children, protect them first. Never use children to build your relationship. It’s very confusing to children, even teenagers, when their parents date. Children can form bonds and expectations very quickly. Only bring the children into the picture when you are certain that the relationship has become one with longevity. And if the relationship seems that it may end, be sure to allow the children to voice their feelings and grieve the loss, too.

Long-term Dating Tips:

13. Play games.

People often say they don’t want their partner to play games, but that’s not 100% true. They don’t want to play hurtful, manipulative games. They do want to play inventive, imaginative, expressive games. These games allow our fullest selves to come alive. In a healthy relationship, people play with each other. Let your time together be fun and adventurous in whatever way feels good for you.

14. Give love to give love.

When people give love to get love, inevitably, someone will feel that they are giving more than they receive. Love isn’t even measurable in the first place; it simply is. While many people try to protect themselves from getting hurt by waiting to say, “I love you,” and guarding how expressive they are with their feelings, this actually leads to more pain. Choose to be a woman who expresses love to all people because that is the truest reflection of who you are. You only truly feel love when you are expressing it. You’ll be amazed at how much love you feel when you focus on giving rather than receiving.

15. Appreciate the gifts and resources that he shares.

Whether you are dating a man with significant wealth or a poor poet, thank him for the gifts he shares with you. If the man you’re dating has an abundance of money, talent, intelligence, accomplishment, or prestige, acknowledge these realities and that you may feel intimidated. Appreciate the entire person he is, not just those impressive bits. Be generous in sharing your own gifts and resources, knowing you are worthy in your own right!

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16. What if you’re the breadwinner?

Sociologist Christin Munsch found in her research that in marriages where the woman brings in significantly more income than the man, the man is more likely to cheat. While this finding decreased in non-married committed relationships, a noticeably higher number of men reported cheating in relationships when they were economically dependent on the woman. The most critical finding in Munch’s study actually had to do with the role conflict played in infidelity: lower reported conflict correlated to lower reported cheating by men. If you are a woman making more than your man, invest in conflict resolution coaching as a couple. Learn how to uncover conflict and see resolution as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your relationship.

Dating Tips for Parting Ways:

17. End all dates with gratitude.

Accept that dating is about finding the right fit. When you put together a puzzle, you don’t measure your skill by your ability to jam pieces together and “make it work.” You have to keep going through the pieces, trying and discarding until you find the right match. Stop defining “good dates” as matches. Instead, no matter how the date goes, be grateful that you and he were willing to try. If either one of you feels that it is not a good match, that’s great! Now you can be free to go find someone who fits with who you are and the person you are working to become.

18. Get back on the horse.

No one knows how much time it takes to recover from a break-up. For a while, you may choose not to date as a part of a healthy grieving process. Be careful not to wait too long out of fear of experiencing hurt or rejection. When you are genuinely interested into a new relationship, start dating again to practice these skills. When you go on dates, share your hopeful dreams for the future because this will help you solidify all that is possible and compelling. Choose love over fear.

What do you think about these dating tips? Are there any you would add? Leave them in the comments below!

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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