Dear Wendy Updates: “Ready For Love” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Ready For Love,” who, at 24, had never been in a relationship longer than six weeks and wasn’t finding anyone she was interested in dating despite numerous attempts to meet new guys. Hers certainly isn’t a unique story and I told her what I tell everyone in her shoes who asks me for advice: dating is a numbers game; you’ve got to get out and mingle as much as you can; smile at cute strangers (never under-estimate the power of a friendly smile!!); and fill your life with “things that bring you joy so that you aren’t just an empty vessel waiting for one person to fill you up.” Finding joy in other activities, I said, will also help keep the bitterness at bay. So, has she followed my advice? Are things working out for her? Find out after the jump.

Although your advice was spot-on, I still felt frustrated — I was glad to get the support, and hear that I was on the right path, but I was almost disappointed not to receive feedback that I’d been doing something wrong. As much as I knew I had to be patient and persistent, I was half-wishing that I was unknowingly doing something off-putting, and that getting some advice from an outsider might provide a quick fix.

Since then, I’ve continued dating and have exchanged numbers with a few guys, but unfortunately haven’t had much luck. You instructed me not to get bitter, and I’ve definitely been staying hopeful, but despite my outward attitude, I often feel lonely. Very recently, I met a friend-of-a-friend who was totally not my type, but seemed like a great guy — smart, funny, generous, and a great conversationalist — and there was a definite spark. We had a great first date and I was genuinely excited just to get to know him. Until our second outing. While on a double-date with my best friend and her boyfriend, it became apparent to everyone in the group (even my friend’s absent-minded boyfriend) that my guy was head-over-heels in love with my best friend! He openly fawned over her while flat-out ignoring me (a total change from his behavior on our first date), then denied the whole thing and accused me of being jealous. That was about the end of my lack of bitterness.

I know that if I go looking for someone to magically fill any voids in my life, I’ll be sorely disappointed, but I’m feeling desperate and starting to doubt myself. When I meet new guys, I don’t know whether I’m coming on too strong or not strong enough. I feel like my bulls**t-detector is either too sensitive or totally blinded to bad behavior. I’ve been getting a lot of support from my friends, but (I’ll bet you can guess it) most of them are in committed relationships. Can you offer me any words of wisdom? — Still looking for love

Yes, it’s time to clean your palate. You’ve made the hunt for a guy such a main focal point, it’s sucking the joy out of your life and making you desperate. Desperation is a turn-off, and believe me, men can smell it on you like a pack of cigarettes clinging to your clothes and hair. So, I recommend you take a one-month sabbatical from dating (or trying to date). That means: hide your online dating profiles; don’t take any offers for dates; and don’t go anywhere you wouldn’t otherwise go just to meet guys. You won’t be able to escape guys altogether, of course, but the point is to take the pressure of yourself and remember how much fun life can be when you don’t have this singular goal you’re constantly trying (and failing) to meet. During your month off, do lots of stuff to make yourself feel good: get a massage or a facial (or both!); dance around your living room every morning for five minutes before you go to work; cook a wonderful dinner for you and another single friend; buy an outfit that makes you feel sexy; volunteer in your community.

When the month is over and you hopefully have a cleansed palate, you can fire up the dating profiles again, put the word back out that you’re ready for a set-up, and set a mental intention to approach dating with the same positive energy you just spent a month cultivating. A month from now, we’ll be in the swing of holiday parties and people will be in a spirited mood. It’s a wonderful time to get out and meet new people — especially if you have a great attitude about it. And who knows — you might even meet someone to share a midnight kiss with on New Year’s Eve. And if not? 2011 is a fresh canvas, my dear, and all sorts of beautiful pictures could develop.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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