Flirty Thirty: Real Life vs. Online

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Writing this series is SO fun. Seriously.
I get excited and nervous every time I sit down to write one of these posts! I am loving the comments, emails and tweets about how much you are loving these posts too. THANK YOU!

If you want to catch up, here are the past Flirty Thirty posts:

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The age old questions of dating, especially after a big break up, is HOW.
How do you start dating again?
How do you really "play" the dating game?
How do I know the good guys from the bad ones?
How am I really doing this again?

I don't claim to have all of the right answers to those questions. But I can share with you what I have learned and what I continue to experience. The best suggestion I can give is to just get out there and try it. Date, date and date some more. Do not go into every date thinking he is 'The One'. You will always be disappointed. Always. Even if you think that you know exactly what you want in a man and your next relationship, you may be surprised. Dating different guys and different types of guys is the only way to build confidence in the dating scene and truly determine what you deserve. Lastly, STOP looking for a relationship. Dating does not equal relationships. You have to have a completely different mindset to just DATE. IF something comes out of dating someone than you are blessed.

Obviously I am not shy, especially here in the blogosphere. I am a huge fan and advocate for all things social media. Even with a strong online presence I was still apprehensive to join a dating website. In some ways I still am, even though I have been pretty successful in dating these past couple of months. It took me awhile and I definitely tried all the avenues that I knew before joining. 

If you are scared, apprehensive or nervous to online date then here are some suggestions for finding some one in real life. 
  • YOU have to put YOURSELF out there. No one can do it for you.
  • You have to lose a bit of the dreamer mentality. Chances are... you are NOT going to bump into your soul mate, he is not going to materialize at the grocery store or restaurant, he isn't going to see you and chase you down because he can't live without you. 
  • Do not go out in large groups of girl. Smaller groups (2-3 girls) is less intimidating for a guy to approach you.
  • Position yourself in high traffic areas of restaurants, bars, outdoor events etc. Don't sit in the corner or at a hard to reach table. Sit in the center of a room, find the best table in the bar, sit at tables where people can join your group.
  • Attend events that interest you. I go to a lot of Country Concerts, Outdoor events like Beer, wine and food festivals because finding someone who likes to do those things is important to me. If I talk to a guy at one of those events I already know that we have a common interest. It makes conversation easier.
  • Wear a simpler outfit. Yes...I am saying do not dress like a Glamazon. You have to look approachable and not high maintenance. Jeans, a tee and some hot heels. Good. Cleavage, a lot of leg or both. BAD. Stay away from the fake lashes, clip in extensions and tons of make up. I promise you, guys do not get it.
  • Have something to say. Know what topics that are easy for anyone to talk about. Sports, Current events, hobbies are all safe. 
  • Laugh. A lot. Have fun. A smile goes a long way and makes guys want to approach you.

 I think that in addition to trying the tips above, that Online Dating is a great way to meet someone. I will tell you that online dating is hard work. You really have to weed through the profiles. 97% of the men that sent me messages were NOTHING that I was looking for. You have to figure out who actually read your profile versus those who just look at pictures. I was shocked at how many guys could care less about what I was looking for. I will admit that I didn't search any profiles, nor did I message anyone first. I waited for guys to send me an email. I only responded to a few of the hundreds (yes, hundreds. It is crazy how many people actually write to you) of guys that emailed me. I was/am picky and only felt the need to communicate with someone who I felt like I could connect with. I looked at the caliber of their initial email, I read their profile and made sure that they were looking for the same things I was (relationships, kids, had a job, family oriented etc), I looked at their pictures and then made my decision on replying or deleting the message. I think that everyone' process is personal. I know people that did the opposite and responded to many guys, giving chances and taking in the experience.

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Online Dating Rules
  • Fill out and be specific on your profile. Be open, honest and interesting.
  • Recent pictures only. Make sure that you have a couple close up pictures of your face AND make sure you include a couple full body pictures. Let them see who you really are, today.  
  • Set your own rules and stick to them. I mentioned some of mine above.
  • Be open minded. Don't just judge a guy by his pictures, they have a completely different idea about what a "good" picture is. I have found that they either look BETTER than their pics (which is always a pleasant surprise and I found more often than not) or they look NOTHING like their pics.
  • Email for a week or two before giving out your phone number or going on a date. Take this time to ask all of the questions that are important to you. I made sure to hit the hot topics about what was important to me so that I didn't waste time going on dates with someone who would eventually think something that would be a deal breaker to me.
  • Talk on the phone before meeting. Do NOT let the guy JUST text. Hearing their voice and having a conversation is a great way to see if you have a connection. Is he easy to talk to? Does he ask questions and seem interested in what you have to say? 
  • Make sure HE asks you out and plans the date. I am old fashioned. I want to be pursued. It is too easy for the guy to leave it up to you.
  • Before the first date make sure you know his last name and exactly where you are meeting. Then let someone know where you will be and with whom. You can never be too careful.
  • Meet in a happening place. Pick a popular restaurant or marketplace. Something fun and upbeat, not too intimate. 
  • Do not have high expectations, take what he says at face value and ask a lot of questions. YOU are dating him just as much as he is dating you. You know within the first five minutes if he is someone that you can date again. Listen to your gut! 

Obviously these are just guidelines and suggestions. They are working for me and I hope that they will work for you too! If you would like me to go more in depth then please comment or email me. I can definitely hone in on one of the topics in a future post as well. 


  1. Such a great series Mandy! I especially love your tips about not dressing like a Glamazon and looking too high maintenance. Art always loves me most in something casual, so I couldn't agree more with this.

  2. Thank you Mandy!! This is such awesome advice!!
    Smart n Snazzy

  3. Love it Mandy! Online dating is getting more and more common, I used to think it was few and far between but I've seen soo many marriages happen from online dating in the last few years. I just found out the CEO of my company (who has a Harvard MBA) met his wife on match.com (and she is a Harvard business school grad too!) Cut to 5 years later, they are happily married with two daughters. I admire your courage and look forward to more posts :)

  4. great post! all your advice is so spot on!

  5. love your approach to dating- I think it's the healthiest way to go! especially after a breakup! you need to just get out there (when you're ready) and expect the best.

    and great tips about fake lashes, makeup etc. When I was dating, my natural inclination was to get nervous and try to look as pretty as possible but then remembered all that- no need to look like a tranny so soon. I do like that now that i'm in a committed relationship, I can easily go from no-makeup hippie to drag queen and he just rolls with both, haha. :)

  6. I am obviously not (and never really was) in the dating world, but I think your tips are perfect. I especially love the one about not overdoing it with the make-up, clothes, and not too much cleavage. Can we actually just apply that one to real life?!? :)

  7. Great tips---absolutely phenomenal! Especially the one about what to wear-guys appreciate simple!!



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