If you’ve read anything I’ve written about singleness and dating at Boundless, you are well aware that I believe men bear the greater degree of responsibility for initiating relationships with the opposite sex.
At the same time, just because men ought to be taking the first step doesn’t mean that women don’t play their part in the dance. In fact, there are a few mistakes I see women repeatedly make that undermine their attractiveness. Here are six that stand out:
- Posting kissy-face selfies – actually, posting almost any version of the selfie online. Ladies, I know how exciting it must be to finally take a super awesome self-portrait in the bathroom mirror after repeatedly snapping photos of yourself for over half an hour, but believe me, it just makes you look desperate. Get around groups where decent, eligible bachelors hang out, and look good in person. Seriously, stop advertising yourself on the internet.
- Overtalking. I realize that men can dominate conversations just as easily as women, but if you’re the kind of person who talks too much when you get nervous, consider the advice from Lisa Anderson’s new book, The Dating Manifesto. She says that when you go on a date, “it’s good to have questions prepared (in your head — not on paper, your phone, or a whiteboard). Believe it or not, you like to talk about yourself more than you think. Don’t be a conversation hog . . . [Y]ou don’t want to interrogate, but too much talking on your part wears your date down.”
- Bad-mouthing your body. There’s nothing more unattractive than a woman who reminds men how out-of-shape she is. I remember back in my single days talking to this one woman who seemed really pretty to me, and then she started talking about how she needed to lose weight because she was so fat. All of a sudden, she began to look overweight and unattractive. Listen, I realize that having a positive body image may be a very real struggle for you, but work that out with your girlfriends or a counselor, not with potential suitors. You’re probably very attractive, and making insulting comments about your body only undermines your beauty.
- Failing to reciprocate. Like I said before, I think it’s the man’s job to take the first step, but once a man does, please don’t just stand there and hope he’s secure enough to do it again. Men often feel terribly insecure about initiating, so if you have any interest in him giving it another try, reciprocate in some way. For example, this might involve a playful emoji in a text, a compliment, or asking questions in return. It does not, however, involve throwing yourself at him, which is the subject of my next point.
- Coming off as desperate. When a woman projects desperation, it’s not usually because of what she’s doing when she interacts with a man, but how she feels when she interacts with him. Here’s what I mean: If you’re about to text, talk, touch or take a chance with a man and you feel that grasping, clingy, gotta-make-something-happen-or-I’m-never-gonna-get-married feeling, stop. Just stop. Men want to win their companion, not have her thrown across their front doorstep. Know that you are a valuable and desirable woman because God made you that way, and operate from that assumption whenever engaging with men.
- Oversharing. You probably want to wait a few dates before you start talking about your family issues, the way you felt excluded in high school, and that medical disorder that’s almost completely resolved. You’re interesting enough without having to turn the conversation into a therapy session.
I know it’s easy to read a list like this and have a panic attack as you realize you’ve dropped the ball in four or five of these areas. Calm yourself – these are things about which to think, not overthink. And although following the suggestions won’t necessarily make it any more likely that you’ll get married, it might make it easier for a guy to keep putting his best foot forward as he gets to know you.