If I had a dime for how many times I’ve heard another woman whine about how she “needs to find a man,” I’d have enough change in my purse to buy a pair of slouchy new Frye boots and a ticket to Barcelona for the holidays. (Seriously, doesn’t that sound like a nice place to spend Christmas day?) But I don’t have a dime for every whine, and since I’m getting kind of tired of listening to it all, I’m going to tell you exactly how to land a man, so we can finally talk about more important things, like whether I should cut my hair like Katie Holmes. Forget that monkey business about not ever calling a guy, and follow the real rules after the jump.Get a Life: Just like women, men want someone who’s got it going on. And what’s more attractive than a person who has an exciting and interesting life, full of great friends, hobbies, a fulfilling job, fun classes, travel, and culture-packed weekends? Maybe you’ve been in the dating pool for a while, or maybe you’re about to dip your toe back in after a bit of a hiatus. Whatever your current status, I implore you to do yourself a favor, and do not even think about taking the plunge until you have at least three things planned every week, outside of work, television, and dating. (And that should continue even after you land yourself a significant other!) Three things. Obsessively reading your horoscope online does not count.
Make Eye Contact, Smile, and Wave: One of the easiest things you can do to land a date is to make eye contact with a guy you find attractive. See a cutie on the subway on your way home from work? Look at him! Look at him long enough to hold his gaze and then…? Smile! You’d be amazed at how well this simple tactic works. It works because guys want to meet girls, too! But bless their hearts, they’re scared of us most of the time, so give them a little encouragement — that’s all they need — some eye contact, a smile… Even a little finger wave if you’re feeling brazen. Trust me, if they’re even the slightest bit attractive to you, they’ll do the rest of the work.
Cultivate an Air of Mystery: Okay, so you’ve landed yourself a date with hot train guy. You’re out having a good time, and you like him so much, he’s really cute, and, oh my God, that smile, and you really want him to like you, and… Just shut up. The best thing you can do is shut the eff up. Limit your compliments to two at the most, and resist the urge to go on and on about yourself. I know you want him to like you, but I promise, if he’s attracted to you and you can manage to stay quiet long enough for him to get a word in edgewise, you’ll go out again. Besides, if you tell him everything about yourself on the first date, what will you talk about on the second?
Date More Than One Person: So you’ve gone on a few dates with Mr. Irresistible. You really like him. He seems to like you. Things are moving along really well. Great! Now, go get yourself a date with someone else. Anyone else. Quickly! The very worst thing you can do now is put all your eggs in one basket. (Not this early on, anyway.) Remind yourself you’re still desirable, that you’re a catch, that you don’t have to settle, that this isn’t the only fish in the sea. You never know — you might actually have more fun with someone else that you do with train guy, but you’ve gotten so wrapped up in the possibility of finally finding a boyfriend, you haven’t given yourself a chance to find out. Eventually, when you’ve gotten to know each other better and your connection is based on more than initial attraction and the desire for a relationship, you can decide if you want to be exclusive. You’ll know you’re ready for that when you can articulate at least 10 good reasons why you want to date only this guy and no one else. Fear of loneliness does not count!
Be Picky: This is tricky because I just told you to go out with anyone, right? But that’s only when you already have someone you’re seeing and are interested in. If you aren’t seeing anyone and haven’t had a date in a little while, be picky. Desperation smells bad and will undoubtedly turn off all prime candidates. If you start going out with people just to go out with people, you’ll quickly inherit that telltale stench, the smell that warns prospects that you are hard up and should be avoided. What to do if you’re in a dry spell, and you’re getting antsy and nervous that maybe you’ll never meet anyone again, and there’s nothing worse than being single and sitting around, and what are you supposed to do with all that time on your hands? Go back to the beginning and get a life. If you do that, the rest will take care of itself.