Friendships During The Christmas Season

When you are single during the Christmas season, you lean hard into friendships. Coupled-up friends will more than likely ice you out, but your fellow singles will have time to chill. Work and school will be put on pause and the hometown crew might surface again. What can you do to enrich your connections and get festive?

Say no gifts…..

And mean it! You may think it is doable at the beginning of the season. Then once reality of long lines and how much money you actually can spend hits, it will be a regretful decision. It’s better to make it known to all friends that there will be no gift exchange. No secret Santa, or white elephant. Just stop the madness! Even if you feel you can juggle everything, it is a burden for others to reciprocate. The best gift is giving someone peace.

Cocktail and carol night….

I own a portable karaoke mic that hooks up though bluetooth. Some people have a whole set-up in their basements. It’s fun to do a karaoke Christmas carol party with booze (or a festive non-alcoholic punch). You can dress as festive as you like or show up in a cozy sweater. 

Decoration and cookie party….

You can rotate to each other’s places who have not decorated yet. The cooks who burn things can bring the break and bake cookies, and the pastry chefs can shine. Help the host decorate the tree and get the apartment spruced up. Play a Christmas playlist mixed with regular songs as a palette cleanser. You can also have a classic Christmas movie playing in the background.

Go to the Christmas parade….

Fill your thermos with a peppermint hot chocolate, wear a cozy outfit, and watch the parade. 

Go to your friend’s Christmas party….

If a friend is single and doesn’t have a plus one, then volunteer to go. You never know who you will meet and you get to dress up a bit. Depending on where they work there might be a nice spread. Your friend might feel relieved they have a a friend and you will get to mingle.

Play Christmas Tree Beer Pong….

Buy green solo cups and place it in a Christmas tree shape in the middle of the table. Whoever collects the most cups wins. You can make it fancier by throwing some tinsel or garland down. 

Have a Green and Red party….

The singles wear green and the people in relationships wear red. Keep up with the theme and serve green and red food and beverages. 

Bottom Line….

Christmas season can bring out the joy…or stress. It honestly comes down to your own mindset and attitude. Do not take on more than you can chew and shut down any idea that involves buying gifts. You have enough gifts to worry about and probably work is forcing you to do Secret Santa. Bring up fun things your friends can actually get behind. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people while you are in a jolly mood. 

How Can A Guy Successfully Approach A Woman In Public

For a man it’s a tightwire act to approach a woman in public these days. The advice is to just “be a man” and “shoot your shot” while juggling not coming across as creepy. It’s understandable that most men have opted out of any in public interaction and rely solely on the apps. There is however, a wrong way and right way to get a woman’s attention. What are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you are at a bar and feeling brave?….

Don’t neg….

Listen…. Will it work on insecure women?… Maybe it did a decade ago. It’s so obvious you are doing a move, or you are just not a pleasant person to be around. Look, leading with negativity off the bat is just bad. I get that you don’t want to be the “nice guy,” but negging has a tipping point and will leave the receiver feeling yucky. She will associate that feeling whenever she sees you. Make people feel good in your presence. 

Do make a shared observation….

Great tip is to bond over something. Maybe something funny happened in the bar, or “Cotton-Eye Joe” started playing on the sound system. A knowing smile and laugh shared together is the perfect opening to strike up a conversation. This can only work when you are next to a girl at a bar or waiting in line for the bathroom. It’s not an across-the-room kind of thing. 

Don’t use a pickup line….

Even with self-awareness, it feels cringe. We have heard them all before since middle school. It’s not a hot take to use a “is that a mirror in your pocket…” shtick. It’s not funny enough to be taken seriously and shows you are maybe out of touch or inexperienced. 

Do ask a question….

Steer away from “what time is it”? That can come across as non-specific and not reading as flirting. A good one is asking about what drink she just ordered. Resist talking about appearance because it can come across as an insult. Even a seemingly harmless, “where did you get those shoes?” Could be interpreted as a question of taste not a compliment. 

Don’t approach if she is with friends….

If she is with a gal pal, then the friend will feel a little awkward and the “ugly friend.” It is a little rude to flirt with only one girl in the group. (Not saying you should flirt with all of them). It’s best to approach when she is separated from the group temporarily. 

Do offer to buy her a drink….

I will always accept a free drink, however I know it is buying my time. It is rude to take a free drink and walk away. If she rejects the drink, then this is the reason. The rookie move is opening with the drink offer. You have to feel out the vibe and chat for five to ten minutes. See if she is low on her drink or says she wants to get another. This is your cue to say, “oh, can I buy you a drink?” 

Don’t word vomit….

It’s a balance of flirting without taking it to a vulgar place. It’s best to stay in the polite lane, rather than being overly complimentary (Especially about appearance). This way, she will wonder where you stand about her. She might think it’s just a friendly interaction. The best strategy is to not show your cards. Having her wonder can work in your favor long term if she is interested. 

Do know when to abort the mission….

You have to be self-aware. Nothing worse than not picking up what people are putting down. Facial cues and body language speak volumes. It’s safer to assume she is not interested versus being overly cocky. Be prepared to walk away or not attempt at all based on her vibe or if she is in a large group. The only exception to be a little more forward would be if you are on vacation and have a time limit. 

Bottom Line….

When you land a successful “meet cute,” it will cause a ripple effect of confidence. Most men are traumatized by rejections that happened at the cafeteria in middle school. There is no harm to test the waters and strike up a conversation. A negative reaction could be because she is married or offended by your behavior. Honestly, in certain cases the more a person does not like you, the more polite they become. I end up going into costumer-service mode around people I do not like. Take baby steps instead of aggressively hitting on her. You sort of have to have a “hat in hand” attitude about starting an interaction. It does take practice which can honestly start with chatting more with a bartender or cashier. You need to get used to breaking the ice with strangers without crossing a line. The magic moment is the shared experience interaction which can segue perfectly into a nice introduction. 

“Quiet Quitting” For Dating

There has been a lot of buzz about “quiet quitting” in an office setting. Meaning, not being a total slave 24/7 to your boss and putting up healthy boundaries to have a balanced life. This can translate into dating for people who tend to overextend themselves. With the apps, it’s tempting to send the first message and then keep up the pursuit. As a woman dating men, you run into guys who are excited to hook up, but are not pursuing you back. Being in a masculine energy creates a lot of “busy work” rather than results. How can you work smarter, not harder, when it comes to love?…..

Clock out more…..

Once you have the apps on your phone at your disposal, it’s easy to be on call 24/7. Turn off notifications and only get to swiping and chatting for an hour, tops, a day. 

Don’t give out all your contact info…..

When he has access to Snapchat, Instagram, your phone number…and the app… he will choose the lowest form of communication. Be strategic and only give out one way to contact you (preferably, not Snapchat)

Try not to circle back…..

Priorities are crystal clear in early dating. Anyone who has ever canceled, then wanted to reschedule in the distant future, had doubts (or found a better option). Yes, they can always say “work got crazy!” But if he knew work could have gotten in the way, the date would have been on a Sunday. Trying to revive the date and poke him to take you out never works.

Pick his brain before the date…..

Yes, a first date is all about vibes. However, it’s good to actually know his situation before you agree to meet. You need to know his living situation, what he is looking for, and anything that is a waste of time to you. Your time is precious and should not be given out willy-nilly. 

Take it offline….

There is a window of attraction for both parties. Some matches can live online forever. I have seriously matched with the same men for years. Expect your match to get to the point and ask you out within a 48-hour period.

Give 110% on appearance….

Do not phone in your look for a first date. Men fall in love with their eyes first, then they will see if you have a personality. However, consider the time and place. (You don’t want to wear a ball gown at a coffee shop). Just looked pulled together and feminine.

Only accept total synergy….

Yes, there are guys who are slow burns. On a first date, there should at least be some intrigue or attraction. It doesn’t have to be sexual. It could be a feeling of “knowing a person” or feeling at ease around them. Trust your gut with who you want to spend time with. Even if the connection only results in friendship, it’s much better than forcing a vibe. 

Bottom Line…..

Dating is hard work. And just like in an office setting, you are better off being strategic with your energy and time. A lot of time is wasted chasing the wrong guy who only wanted a hookup. Go out with your friends more and outsource to others for a setup. Your main job should be to dress up a bit more when you go out, even if it’s just hanging with friends. Turn off your notifications on the dating apps so you won’t be distracted all day long. Don’t get caught up for too long on a rejection. Think in abundance, not scarcity when it comes to a job and dating.

Meeting People In The Wild Part 2

My social life completely shifted once I took a few brave steps. There have been trials and errors and data collecting. It can be overwhelming to even fathom going out by yourself. However, that’s where the magic happens. It’s when you are confident and having fun solo that people want to go up and talk to you. You need to flex your social muscles to be able to be approached by a guy. Your not knowing how to chitchat will make the first impression suffer and you might not get that phone number. It all starts with baby steps. What are more tips to meet men or new friends in person?….

Pick events to go to….

It’s more likely you will get people chatting at an event. This can be a band playing, comedy show, or drag show. When there is a focus for the night most people are so occupied with the event they do not notice who is alone or in a group. A concert, especially, is the type of event that you can weave around with ease…and there will at least be entertainment if nothing else.

Start with a question or compliment….

The other weekend I was out at a bar. I turned my head and saw these two girls laughing with each other. One girl was wearing a “dump him” tee shirt, a la Britney Spears. I had to ask about the shirt. That snowballed into dancing and hanging out the rest of the night. It can be that simple.

Go to the bars where you got social before…..

In my town, there are bars where not even the bartender will chat with you. And on the flip side, there are bars where I make a new friend every time I go. Certain vibes are something to pay attention to. This could also be any place in general, not just bars. Maybe you meet friendly people at a certain grocery store. Go where there is a welcoming vibe and become a regular there.

Do less than you think you need to….

I used to try so hard to be the funniest in the room. I found when I stopped cracking jokes was when more people said, “you are so fun to hang out with.” I was baffled because I felt I was doing nothing and was even boring. Remind yourself that it’s fine to listen more and just enjoy yourself. You aren’t the hired entertainment for the evening.

Trust people will like you…..

It can get very nerve-wracking to be out alone. You get flashbacks of the cafeteria where no one would sit with you. People are going to be more accessible than you expect. Try to erase those old tapes of you as a child. Your ego wants to keep you small and safe and that’s normal. You need to collect positive data.

Practice with the bartender….

As a first step just dip your toe and chat with the bartender for a minute and see how it goes. You need to be cordial in a short bite-sized form because they are working. It’s a great lesson in how small talk works. It’s easy to bring up what’s going on around town or what’s the best drink to get, toeing the line of professional chitchat. This is the energy you need for the first impression with a new person. Have a boundary of not diving too personal and keep it light. Most importantly, know when to walk away.

Don’t have an agenda….

Enjoy your night just for you. See if the other person wants to exchange numbers or socials. I have found most who give out information usually do not follow up. It’s best to carpe diem the night and know that you will probably run into each other again. This is why it’s great to be a regular at a bar / cafe or two. You want people to start recognizing you and feel comfortable to chat.

Bottom Line…..

Building basic social skills starts with trusting yourself. Most people have been hurt in the past and get flashbacks of being bullied in middle school. Your ego wants to keep you safe from being burned again. You can gather positive data for yourself by dipping your toe in socially. Once you gain a few positive interactions it will build up your confidence. The biggest lesson I have learned is to do less. You think you have to be the prettiest, funniest, or smartest. The reality is you don’t need to entertain all night long and can just listen and throw in your few cents here and there. Know how to do surface level chitchat and know when it’s time to leave the conversation. Less is always more. If you left too soon, they can seek you out later. The network you build can lead to what I call the golden introductions. You getting an endorsement from a friend is going to go so much further than you “cold calling” a guy at a bar. Remember to gain positive interactions and practice once a week and you will be miles ahead of swiping on an app.