“Never frown, because you never know when someone is falling in love with your smile.”
Many women make the mistake of thinking that if a guy finds them attractive, they are on the path to a relationship. Even though they understand that the path may be full of twists and turns, still they believe that attracting the male is the first step. It is not the first step. Attracting the male is the first step to hooking up. When a man finds you attractive, he wants to touch what he sees. That’s it. If the attraction is mutual, you may go for the hookup. Afterwards, what you’ve got is a notch on your bedpost, a hookup with a cute guy. You do not have the beginnings of a relationship.
So what is the first step to a relationship? The first step is getting inside his head. He needs to think about you. He needs to wonder about you. He needs to be intrigued, and he needs to feel an impulse or urge to connect with you. That can happen with or without a hookup, before or after.
An interesting thing I have found in my research is that while most girls experience difficulty in getting guys to commit, there are some young women who complain that every guy they hook up with wants more from them. They are looking for casual hookups and don’t want a relationship. Naturally, that makes them irresistible bait. Of course it’s human nature to want what we can’t have easily. To paraphrase Woody Allen, we don’t want to belong to any club that will have us as a member.
If not wanting a relationship is the best way of being offered one, then what should you do if you want one? What can you do to be successful?
1. Be complete.
One of the worst movie lines ever is in Jerry Maguire, when Tom Cruise tells Renee Zellweger, “You complete me.” Ew. I remember cringing at that. You do not need a guy to be complete. In fact, a guy cannot complete you. You must live your life right now, today, without a relationship. Live it the best you can. Be thankful for what you have. It’s OK to want a special relationship, but you don’t need it to be happy. You really don’t. If you think you need it, you won’t find it.
2. Display enormous self-confidence.
Your mantra: “I am the desired object.” This is so important that if you don’t believe it, you need to fake it ’till you make it. No one can think you are fabulous unless you do. It always starts with you. When you know your own worth, it shows. And it sells. You know that you would be an awesome girlfriend. You know that you could make a guy really happy. Don’t ever forget that you are a catch! You are not right for every guy. Some guys won’t be interested. Your job is to be your best, most confident self to attract the guy who might be. If you don’t believe that you are pure fabulousness, you need to address that. Take action. What do you hate about yourself? Improve it. Talk to someone. Do something. Just getting moving will make you feel stronger and better.
3. Be classy.
A 2008 Cosmopolitan survey showed that 67% of guys are most turned on by “the girl next door” look. The “sex bomb” look only appealed to 12%. Understand that you are beautiful in your natural state. Stop trying so hard to get the guys all hot and bothered. The only thing you’ll get out of that is a booty call. If you are lucky enough to have a great body, resist the temptation to display all of it at the same time. Focus on one asset at a time. Use makeup to enhance your looks, not give you the appearance of a heroin addict. I’m not telling you to go ahead and wear sweats; just be more subtle in your presentation. Guys like wholesome.
4. Have the right kind of expectations.
Expecting a guy to become your boyfriend is not strategic. Expecting a guy to like you a certain amount, or display a certain kind of affection, is not effective. On the other hand, expecting a guy to do what he says he is going to do is good strategy. Expecting him to show you some respect; that’s good too. Guys don’t want you demanding love from them. But they will totally get it if you demand respect for your feelings, your body and your time.
5. If he hasn’t committed, you’re a free agent.
Guys are amazed when I tell them that back in the day, when we dated in the traditional sense, it was totally legit to go out with one guy on a Friday night and make out (or more), and then do the same thing with someone else on Saturday. We were dating; dating was shopping. And the guy might be shopping around too. Nowadays, guys want to hook up without commitment, but they think it’s really shady if a girl is hooking up with someone else the same weekend. You have every right to be choosy. So shop around, and don’t take yourself off the market until a boy that you really like asks you to be his girlfriend.
6. Create a little mystery.
I always advise women to hold back 10%. Never give a guy 100% of yourself (even when you’re married!). In every relationship, there is a pursuer and a distancer. Don’t be the pursuer. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Guys worry about the emotional neediness of women (with good reason, let’s face it). Fight that. Keep your feelings to yourself, or share them with your girls for now. Eagerness is repellent. Whininess is repulsive. He doesn’t want you to cling. He wants to pursue you. He wants to wonder what you think. So let him.
7. Slow down.
The best relationships happen between soulmates. You cannot become soulmates through sex. Through pillow talk, maybe, but not through sex. You stand a much better chance of becoming really close to a guy if you allow plenty of time and space for friendship. That means not having sex too soon. Sex can make friendship complicated. It’s much harder to go from sex to friendship, than from friendship to sex. Take time to get to know him. Make him spend time getting to know you. Guys appreciate a slow win.
8. Don’t overreact.
Don’t go all gloom and doom the minute he takes a step back. In Mars and Venus On a Date, John Gray talks about how guys are like rubber bands. They withdraw for a bit, and then they return. If he needs some distance, give it to him. When he comes back, welcome him. Chill out. If he doesn’t text you for three days, just live your life. If he thinks you’re going to give him a really hard time when he does get back in touch, then guess what? He won’t get back in touch. Guys hate drama. There are only so many long talks a guy is willing to have. So save your allotment of heart-to-hearts for the really important stuff.
9. Don’t waste time.
Cultivate a reputation for being a woman who doesn’t waste precious time on fools. You are too good to get hung up on a boy who doesn’t like you. Every tear you cry for a jerk takes up valuable psychic energy and sets you back. If you are feeling crappy about some guy, you are not open to a new guy. You may think you are, but your emotional funk will be telegraphed to those around you in subtle ways. If things don’t go your way, go ahead and feel sorry for yourself for a day or two. Eat junk food, get wasted with the girls, whatever. Then pick yourself up and live your life.
10. Cultivate a positive attitude in the meantime.
Here’s where I get all The Secret on you. You can be strong and independent, you can take no prisoners, you can even be a hardass without sending out negative vibes. You are open and friendly, you just aren’t cheap. You expect good things to happen to you. A bad attitude is self-fulfilling; if you believe that no one will want you, then no one will want you. I guarantee it. If you believe that you deserve to be loved and are willing to wait for that special guy, then you will find him. You won’t find him sitting in your room, though. The more interactions you have in your day, the greater your chances of encountering someone new. Go out. Psych yourself up as often as you need to, but keep on getting out there. Don’t give up. You can have what you want if you will believe in it.