Love

The Surprising Dating Advice That Gets Real Results

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How singles dated: then and now

Before online dating and matchmaking services existed, dating was simpler. Men and women met the old-fashioned way: through friends and family, at events, at church, or while they were out and about. Since there were a limited number of ways for singles to meet, men and women were more thoughtful about the way they approached dating and their roles were clearly defined — men acted as men and women behaved like women.  

In this day and age, online dating and matchmaking services have given singles exponentially more ways to meet. And since many women now act like men and many men aren't as clear on what their role is, listening to old, stale dating advice won't yield successful results.

These worn-out approaches may catch a man's eye and land you a date or two.

But if you want your dates with a man to turn into a promising relationship, you need dating advice that's insightful, meaningful, and empowering. Before we get to this advice, let's look at why the "same old" dating advice no longer works — and why modern dating rules are confusing. Knowing this will give you a better understanding of why real-world advice is needed.   

Why the same old dating advice and modern dating rules don't work

Old dating advice is fluffy and lacks substance. It focuses more on the superficial aspects, like showing your cleavage, being flirtatious, and flipping your hair to get asked out on a date. It says to not call him unless he calls you. It tells you that dating is a numbers game, and to date as many people as possible. 

When I put old dating advice into practice in my life, things felt forced. I felt like I was wearing a mask and being deceitful, keeping my inner beauty from shining through. I unintentionally behaved and acted in ways that compromised my integrity hoping to get asked out, which didn't make me feel good about myself.

It diminished my self-worth because I was at a man's mercy of whether he approved of me enough to ask me out. If you're a smart woman, the thought of having to behave in these ways just to get asked out may leave you feeling cheap and disgusted.

Modern dating rules have become complicated as the role of men and women are blurred. Anyone can ask anyone out, no one knows who is supposed to pay, or if a date is really a date or just a hookup. Women who initiate contact are left wondering why they have a hard time attracting and dating masculine men. Following modern dating rules will make you feel discouraged and confused.  

If you're sick and tired of getting dismal results in your love life, stop following old dating advice that lacks substance and modern dating rules that are confusing. Instead, follow real-world dating advice, like these 12 nuggets of wisdom, and meet more of the right men and make meaningful connections.     

Real-world dating advice for smart women:

1. Stop dating for a while

If you are no longer enjoying the dating process, don't force yourself to date. Stop dating if you're burned out, in the wrong mindset, or carrying residual baggage from the past.

When you're not having fun, the heavy energy of disappointment and skepticism will repel high-quality men, reinforcing all of the reasons why you don't like dating. Get into the right frame of mind, open your heart and lighten your load. Working through and releasing negative energy prepares you for a better dating experience. 

RELATED: 15 Dating Tips I Wish I'd Followed While I Was Single

2. Control your dating destiny

Getting dismal results tends to occur when you let your dating life happen to you. Instead of letting dating control you, do what's within your control.

This means developing and sticking to a dating strategy. When you stick to your strategy, you won't be as tempted to hang out and hook up with good-looking bad boys, and you won't get sidetracked by the wrong relationships. You'll be able to hold a clear vision, stay the course, trust in the outcome, and let the universe bring to you who you're supposed to be with.

3. Embrace your single status  

If you hate being single, you may come across as too eager and desperate, which scares good men away. This can also cloud your vision from seeing red flags because you’re fixated on being in a relationship. If you're having a hard time being single or feeling bad that you haven't found that special man, it's okay.

Take this time to embrace and enjoy your single status so that you can learn the lessons needed in order to move forward and create the love you desire.  

4. Don't compare yourself to others

Stop comparing yourself to other women. You are on your own path in life and love. Your path is based on your experiences, what you need to learn, and how you need to grow.

The path your friend has taken may be more direct while your path may have more forks in the road. Both paths lead to the destination of love. It's my experience that the path with the forks in the road gives you a richer, more dimensional experience.  Replace the temptation to compare yourself to others by believing that everything is happening for your greater good. 

5. Don't be yourself

If being yourself hasn't gotten you asked out on subsequent dates or captured a man's heart, act like a person you want to attract. For instance, if you have a hard time trusting men yet want a man who is trustworthy, work on your issues with trust.

If you have a hard time being vulnerable and want a man who communicates openly, you will want to become more vulnerable. Remember, you attract who you are, not what you want. Determine the qualities and traits you'd like in your ideal man, and work on embodying those within yourself. 

RELATED: 6 Ways To Redeem Yourself After A Truly Awful First Date

6. Set the pace and standards

If you're tired of meeting men who try to rush you into having sex, bring back the genteel days of being wooed. When you let a man woo you, you learn if he is looking for a fling or is interested in getting to know all of who you are for a long-term relationship. Setting the pace and standards will bring forth the man who is right for you. This approach increases the probability of turning your dates into a promising relationship. 

7. Be selective about who gets to go out with you

You are a prize. Instead of going out with just any man who asks you out, be selective. Only date men who are deserving of being with you. A man deserves to date you if he makes you a priority in his life, calls when he says he's going to, communicates in between the times you see each other, makes time to see you, and treats you well. 

A man doesn't deserve you if he only sees you when it's convenient for him, has you paying for most of your dates, and doesn't do what he says. Being selective reinforces positive feelings and gives you better dating experiences.

8. Cut ties early on

If you're looking for a long-term commitment and the guy you like says he isn't looking for anything serious, believe him.

If you keep seeing him hoping that he'll change his mind, you'll waste precious time and regret that you didn't believe him. Walk away so that you can be available for a guy who is looking for the same kind of relationship as you are.    

9. Use the 80/20 rule

Don't fall prey to a man who says what you want to hear, then behaves and acts differently. If you tend to take a man's words at face value and are constantly let down, stop believing what he says. Pay attention to his behaviors and actions and let them reveal his true intentions.

Adopt Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 rule. If a man is 80 percent talk and only 20 percent action, let this guy go. If a man is 20 percent talk and 80 percent action, he is a keeper. If you use the 80/20 rule in your dating life, you'll weed out the talkers and make room for the men who actually walk their talk.

RELATED: 5 Blunt Reasons Men Don't Call You Back

10. Let your feelings guide you

Over-analyzing every little thing makes it impossible to enjoy dating, have a meaningful connection, and make clear decisions. Relax your mind and notice how your body feels when you're on a date or have a decision to make. If your body feels open, expanded and light, you are feeling a strong connection, enjoying your date, or should move forward with your decision. 

If your body feels tight, contracted, and heavy, self-consciousness is causing you to worry too much about what he thinks of you. This makes it hard to enjoy your date and build a positive connection. If you're trying to make a decision, don't move forward or wait for more information to gain clarity on what to do. Your feelings are the truest indicator of what to do when it comes to matters of the heart.      

11. Keep your options open

If you've been seeing a guy you really like, don't assume you have an exclusive relationship. Leave your options open by keeping your online dating profile up and being available for other guys to ask you out. When a woman really likes a guy, she usually initiates "the talk" with him to see where their relationship is heading. Don't be like every other woman who is desperate to be in a relationship. 

Instead, determine your reasons for wanting to be in a committed relationship with him. Then answer these relationship questions to determine if he really is the guy for you. Captivate him with your inner beauty, build a meaningful connection, and he will soon initiate the talk. If he loves being with you, he won't want to lose you to another guy.

12. Get feedback

When dates that seem to go well don't work out with men you really like, you may wonder what happened. Instead of being left in the dark, ask these men for feedback on what you can do to improve as you move forward.

As an experiment, contact a man you recently went out with and ask him what his perception of you has been and what you can do to improve yourself. Be open to hearing what he has to say and take action to make improvements. If you're open to experimenting even more, contact a few more men for feedback.   

Take Control of Your Dating Life 

You have the power to create the experience you’d like in your dating life. Putting these 12 nuggets of wisdom into practice will keep you feeling empowered and re-energized about dating. You will get asked out by great men, enjoy the dating process, and go from date to mate. Which suggestions will you start practicing?   

RELATED: The Modern Relationship Advice That's Key To Cultivating A Good Relationship

Janet Ong Zimmerman is the founder of Love for Successful Women, and creator of the Woo Course: 9 Juicy Ways to Bring Out a Man's Desire to Woo You. 

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