A group of married women approached me recently asking me to get a message across to the single women out there who are looking for a partner.
Confidence, they insisted, is the key. You need that confidence to be able to approach people, to flirt, and to start a conversation; you also need that confidence to be able to be selective about whom you permit yourself to get to know.
Asked what made the married women so certain they had the answers, and they each had a story of their own insecurities and vulnerable times that had impeded them when they were single. Now, as women in a committed relationship, they feel safe talking to strangers, even those of the opposite sex.
It’s a laissez-faire attitude — whatever happens, happens — that these women claim is attractive to others. And I’d have to agree.
Often, when one is single and looking for love, there is an air of desperation about them, even if they’re not desperate. There’s an anxiety, albeit low-lying, that the nice, handsome person you’re meeting for the first time will have some dark side, a skeleton in their closet, or deep secrets.
Well, we all have deep secrets, some that even our partners don’t know until years later. (To confirm that thought, I just asked my husband if I had ever told him about something I did years ago that was a secret. I hadn’t.)
Sometimes you can even see the thoughts racing in someone’s head — is she the one? Will he fit in with my family? — all over a glass of wine at a bar on a second date. And no matter how much you think you’re hiding these thoughts, it becomes apparent to the other person. And it’ll cause many to run in the opposite direction.
Obviously, it’s easier for a committed person to chat someone else up or flirt because they have nothing to lose. But it’s the ease of conversation, the confident air, the self-esteem that’s exuded that is attractive and is what singles should try to achieve.
So how do you get there before you’re committed?
Practice. Think how much you’d like to meet someone who’s comfortable in their own skin, and interested enough to learn more about you rather than make small talk conversation about celebrities or sports. Someone who’s not afraid to spend much of their time away from their gang, just talking with you.
Next time you’re out as a single, try being that person. Try not to worry or over-analyze. Don’t go out with exaggerated hopes and expectations, or a shopping list for the type of person and credentials you’re looking for.
The best matches often come a surprise to both parties.
Just be your most natural self, since after all, that’s who you want someone else to love.