Dating: Do’s and Don’ts of hooking up

Don't be a creeper — make sure you have an interesting, unique reason to approach a new person. Credit: Digital Images
Don’t be a creeper — make sure you have an interesting, unique reason to approach a new person. Credit: Digital Images

Creepy, desperate stranger isn’t a good look. Whether you are interested in meeting friends or flirting your way to a good relationship, it can be difficult to forge connections with interesting people. Think of it this way: If an unknown person came to your front door and started a conversation with you, you’d wonder, “What do they want? Why are they talking to me?”

It’s the same when picking up a stranger. Barging in with little purpose — other than getting into their underwear — can feel awkward or make you look like a jerk. You can do better than that. The propagation of the human race depends on it. Here’s how to rope someone into a conversation, friendship or your bed.

DON’T do it by yourself.

Invite the hot stranger and their partner (or friends!) to join you and your partner (or friends!) for drinks, a comedy show or dinner. Triads and quads keep things light and provide a higher number of possible conversation combinations and permutations. It’s the platonic version of threesomes and swinging.

At the same time, DON’T be afraid to be alone.

It’s OK to fly solo at public lectures, gyms, art gallery openings, author readings at your favorite bookstore and city-sponsored cultural events. Going solo means you’ll grow more comfortable with independence — a necessity for all healthy interpersonal relationships. You’ll also meet other singles with shared interests.

DO put your typing fingers to work to get creative in breaking the ice.

Dating sites aren’t only the tip of the iceberg — they’re also melting. Seriously, who doesn’t have an Internet dating horror story?! Try MeetUp.com or DiscoverOutdoors.com. Google local film societies and social sports clubs. Make the earth below you your common ground; a hiking trip, movie or soccer game provides great conversation fodder. Remember: It’s easiest to connect when you have a connector. For example, instead of rushing out when credits roll, casually mention to the person seated near you, “God, wasn’t the end of that film awful?! I love this director’s work, and she’s usually much better with closing films.”

DO your research.

You may already have potential targets among friends of friends. Ask around. Chances are that those you love and respect are in touch with like-minded souls. Tell everyone you want to meet someone new and suggest they recommend others who might be good matches for you. Have the friend introduce you or make direct contact.

OUTDOOR DATES CONTEST
Discover Outdoors is inviting you to make it easier to get outside with the one you love (or maybe just like a little bit). Send the story of the time you had the most fun on a date outdoors and compete for a $150 gift certificate that can be applied to any trips offered by Discover Outdoors. Send your story to contest@discoveroutdoors.com. For more details on destinations and activities, visit www.discoveroutdoors.com.

Twanna Hines
Twanna A. Hines is an award­-winning educator and sex columnist. Follow her on Twitter @funkybrownchick.


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