Confidence Building

Nerdlets, I think the best way to build confidence when you are approaching someone is to have a theme song playing in your head.  You know, that one song that makes you feel like a badass, like the most attractive person in the world. Be it “Eye of the Tiger” or “I’m Sexy and I know it” or whatever, everyone needs a song that makes them puff out their chests, walk with confidence, and not care what anyone thinks.

I have two main theme songs, and I have been known not only to sing them in my head on or after the approach, but also to dance and sing them as loud as I can in the car.  My first is a “Portion for Foxes” by Rilo Kiley. It’s just got the right beat and the right words, and it makes me feel so damn good!!! Have a listen:

I also really love “How to Be a Heartbreaker” by Marina and the Diamonds.  Seriously, who doesn’t feel like a bad ass after listening to this song:

We all have songs that make us feel awesome, so What are your theme songs?

Oh Sh–! A SOBER First Date?

So my Nerdlets, we have talked about ways to approach a person you are interested in and how to make first contact with the person, now comes the dreaded inevitability of all of these successful endeavors–the first date.  First dates are so nerve-wracking, right?  Figuring out what to do, where to do it, what to wear, what to smell like (yes, this is very important) is exhausting and stressful.  I have some hints that will help you have a great first date, because every first date needs 3 things, in my humble opinion: conversation, fun, and romance.

This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not.  The most important part of the date is the conversation.  How are you going to know if you want to go on a second date or pursue a relationship if all you do on a first date is sit awkwardly next to each other at a movie or lecture, not knowing if you should speak or touch, you watch and/or listen, and then leave afterwards?  You can’t.

Now I am not anti-lecture or movie going.  Having an activity like that on a date is a good way to break the ice when moving into the conversation portion of the date, but you want to have some time for some good one-on-one time either before or after it.  A good way to find good conversation is over food, coffee, or walking.  These activities all give you and your date the opportunity to fiddle with something or look at something during the conversation without seeming as if you aren’t listening. It’s good atmosphere, too. Keep the conversation light–no heavy topics, no mind-blowing revelations, just small-talk with a more personal touch. This is my problem.  I’m a really open, straightforward person, and I tend to tell too much, too fast.  Alas, I’m working on it. 🙂

Fun can be had in so many ways; it’s hard to help you with any suggestions, especially considering that everyone’s idea of fun is different.  It’s important to know, though, that fun does not mean “laugh until you cry” (but it could) or to go to some raucous event (though, you could do that, too).  Just, think of something original and do that.  Go to a funny play or go on a picnic or go play on a swingset or go ice skating or go to a lecture (if that’s your poison) or go smell some old books at the library (if that’s your poison), but do something fun.  Mostly, do something to take your mind off the fact that you’re on a first date.  It’ll help get rid of the jitters.

Now the romance can be hard, but if you balance it with the fun you can do wonders.  The romance on a first date should be small, so you don’t look like a creepy stalker, and just sweet enough that your date thinks about it when he/she has gone home and hopes to experience it again.  Little things work the best:  touch your date gently on the hand or arm, a small compliment (example: You look great), smile thoughtfully, not creepily, look into his/her eyes, (when dating a woman) tuck her hair behind her ear, and really listen.  All of these are small, tiny things that can bring out the romance in any occasion.

Oh, and remember, sober doesn’t have to mean sober.  Just say no to the beer-goggles, and you will be fine!

I think my most memorable first date happened a few years ago.  I’m a theatre girl and met a man through a mutual friend, and he took me to a show, and then we went to a 24-hour restaurant and had breakfast at 11 o’clock at night and talked.  It wasn’t grand, but it was exactly right for our personalities, and we had our first kiss in the parking lot.  Simple, romantic, and pretty much perfect.  The relationship, however, went to hell in a hand-basket, but at least I have the memory of a great first date.

What was your most memorable first date?  Any advice to add?

Break the Ice, Don’t Shatter the Ice

So, you’ve me the guy/girl, you get the guy/girl’s number, it all finally worked for you.  You weren’t an idiot, you  might have been nervous, but you were always yourself.  Now, how do you make the first contact after that initial sweaty-palmed masquerade that is meeting new people?  Well, this is pretty simple, but can still be really weird.  It doesn’t matter the medium, thebest thing to start with is, “Hey, it was great meeting you yesterday” (if you just met, obviously) or “Hey, it was great seeing you again/running into you yesterday” (if it’s a person you’ve already met).  It’s nice, straight-forward, and non-committal.  It doesn’t say “All I want to do is talk about me” (a big no-no) and it doesn’t say “Ithinkaboutyouallthetimeandsometimesfollowyouhome.Pleaseloveme!” (again, uh uh).  Now, this approach works only if you are just meeting someone for the first time or you run into someone and tell them you’ll look them up on Twitter or Facebook.

Another way to approach someone you’ve known for a while but want to know in a different kind of way is just a simple, “Hey, how are you?”  This is super simple, and generally leads to a Here’s-what’s-new-with-me-What’s-new-with-you conversation.

The main goal of the first contact after you meet someone is to find time to spend together face-to-face, and getting to that is much trickier.  It’s hard to not sound like a creepy stalker, so a little tiny bit of creepy stalker is okay.  Generally, I would say you need to say something short and sweet but make sure the person knows you’re asking them out.  In the same way that people on the receiving end need to not be an idiot, so too do people doing the asking.  Saying “we should hang out sometime” is an idiot move, and it’s vague and annoying as hell.  “We should hang out sometime” is too friendly and can be really confusing.  Now, if you were to say, “You know, I’d like to spend time with you, we should hang out sometime,” that sounds much more like a date because you are being specific. You are saying you want to get to know the other person better and it’s much more obviously about the other person and a one-on-one situation.

Personally, I’m a fan of being straightforward.  Saying, “Listen, would you want to go out with me sometime” or “Do you want to go on a date with me” would work wonders on a girl like me and a lot of other women.  It’s very direct and it takes a lot of courage to come out and say it. For someone to put themselves out there like is very brave.  Also, if you’re nervous and it shows, it can be very endearing to the person you are asking out.   Most of all, you want to break the ice but not shatter the ice. Say “Hi, how are you, nice to meet you” keep it simple, make small(ish) talk (meaning get to know the person but no big hot-button topics), and ask the person out.  Don’t get too creepy or too needy, that would shatter the glass, make you look ridiculous and weird.  Just try to be natural, be yourself–because that’s the important part.  If you aren’t yourself, you’re selling yourself short and the person you’re interested in short.

Keep it flirty, too.  Make sure you’re slipping a little bit of flirting into the conversation, subtle compliments, things like that.  Remember not to go creepy stalker, and all, “You’re so pretty…hehe” because, well, that’s just weird.  It’s fun to find ways to flirt and update at the same time, flirt and meet someone new at the same time.  And you’re palms should sweat and you probably should stumble a bit over your words.  That’s endearing, and keeps it interesting. This stage is a balancing act, and if you balance right between feeling like an idiot (not ACTING like an idiot) and being direct in your approach, you will breeze passed the first contact and into your first date.