The Savvy Girl’s Guide is back! This series is an oldie but a goodie. (You can read the other posts here!) In honor of the comeback, I (Blair) decided to touch on a topic that most of us single ladies don’t go a day without complaining about: The difficulties of dating in a big city. Not only am I a Midwestern girl learning the ropes of the Los Angeles lifestyle, I am also attempting to navigate the dooming dating world out west. So for all of you savvy girls who are cruising in the same boat as myself, I reached out to two magical matchmakers, May Hui from Catch Matchmaking and Cristina Morara from Stellar Hitch, who gave us some solid dating tips so we don’t have to continue eating pints of ice cream while watching Friends reruns on the weekends. (I’m kidding… kind of.)
1. Location, Location, Location
I frequently hear about my girlfriends meeting guys at bars. They totally hit it off for the night, but do they hear from him the next day? Probably not. I always have liked the idea of meeting someone at a coffee shop. Since I spend a lot of time consuming caffeine, I thought finding my soulmate who shared a love for lattes would be incredibly convenient. Unfortunately, most of the men there are too wrapped up in writing their next “screenplay,” so I quickly moved on from that fantasy. I asked the ladies for some perfect places to meet a potential date. They suggested Whole Foods, happy hours after work, sporting events, high-end hotel bars, networking events, cigar bars, bbq’s, or wine tasting events. Cristina added that “it’s less about where you are and more about how you are being. Are you approachable? Is your ‘green light’ that says “I’m single and open” on? A simple hello can lead to a thousand things, wherever you are.” And then what? If a woman spots a person of interest, May suggests that she should “hold his gaze for three seconds and give a genuine, confident smile.”
2. Who, What, Wear
What about savvy style? I sometimes find myself loving certain trends that men just don’t understand. They can’t comprehend the idea of stacking millions of bracelets… and the clanking noises confuse them tremendously. May was telling me that “men are visual creatures. They like it when women look feminine, make the effort on the dates, and that usually means a dress is always a nice way to go. Men don’t like the bulky, chunky shoes that women like to wear, but prefer to see women’s legs rather than hiding them under a pair of skinny jeans. And always remember to wear minimal and classy jewelry.” There we go ladies, my arm party has apparently been scaring away all of the eligible bachelors out there! Cristina makes a good point when she says, “Men aren’t all attracted to the same thing, but one thing they all agree on is this: there is nothing sexier than a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin. It’s less about what you’re wearing and more about what you’re feeling. So feel good about yourself and you’ll look even better!”
3. The First Date
So, hypothetically of course, say we meet a guy that is going to take us out. Let’s hope this wasn’t a match on Tinder, but rather a cute guy that initiated conversation at a friend’s housewarming party. Where is the perfect first date spot? May recommends “somewhere where it’s quiet to talk, but not so secluded that it’s awkward. There’s got to be background noise, while an intimate vibe still remains. Remember to avoid any talk on sex, religion, politics, or the ex on the first date! And not to drink one too many margaritas with dinner.” On the other hand, Cristina stresses to “use your imagination.” She likes to let the gentleman choose the venue since it’s a tiny glimpse of his taste. Meeting for a drink is safe, short and sweet and can lead to dinner if there’s a connection. She adds an important note: “Women rarely like to meet for coffee; they consider it non-committal.” In addition, “women can be too serious, too attached to the outcome and stuck in ‘work mode’. Men are more interested in a woman’s feminine, light, flirtatious side than her position at work. A first date is meant to be fun and to see if there’s a connection. Throw your list of questions and deal breakers away for now and just be in the moment,” Cristina stresses. More mistakes include: women wanting a guy to make more than them in terms of salary, negativity, inflated expectations, forgetting that the person sitting across from her is ultimately a stranger, and a woman wanting to date someone her age. But if you feel the love at first sight, should these things even matter?
4. Now What?
After this much anticipated and over-analyzed first date comes to an end, May believes that the biggest struggles are writing off someone too soon. “If the date was nice, neutral, or positive, then go out with that person again. Because we live in a big city, people are always quick to judge and they may be really missing out on a great person. They think the grass is greener but that isn’t always the case!” With that being said, I have always been a firm believer of love at first sight. Even though I haven’t experienced that feeling quite yet in my life, I do believe it is real! May absolutely agreed with me, but she also believes in love at first shared experience. “A woman falls in love using her ears and a man falls in love using his eyes. Conversation is so important to women, so women like it when men ask questions on a date to show he is interested in her. She loves a compliment when they first meet. While, men love a woman who looks great and well put together.” Hmm… are you at all surprised by this? Although Cristina absolutely believes in love at first sight as well, she adds that “it requires the right timing and care; it will only last if both partners are ready and willing to feed the plant of amore.”
In conclusion, a few of Cristina’s words really stuck out to me throughout this connection chat. A struggle of dating in Los Angeles (as well as other big cities) is the fact that people have no sense of adventure at times. It’s all work, no play. Los Angelenos get set in their ways and tend to want to make minimal efforts for potentially maximum results. “The key is to abandon one’s comfort zone, accept all invitations and do something different.” In other words, say yes more! (Maybe I need to just go ahead and hire these two fabulous females while I am at it!)
Happy dating and good luck, friends!