New Guide for 2015:

How to Go From Dateless to Daring
Step by Step!


This workbook dares readers to stretch their comfort zones and take chances. You'll learn, step by step, how to go from a dating rut to winning the ultimate prize - love!

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Chapter 1: Flirt

Right around my 30th birthday, I went a little crazy.

At the time, I could have opened a consignment shop for bridesmaid's dresses. Baby shower invitations were piling up like bar receipts. And even though I'd been pretty confident throughout my 20's, something about 30 hit me hard. I melted down in a blur of, "What's wrong with me? Why doesn't anybody want to love me or make a baby with me?"

All that whining and self-questioning did nothing to attract a good man. I mean, who wants to be with someone who thinks there's something wrong her?

You guessed it, guys who have something wrong with them.

As Patti Stanger would say, I have a "bad picker." I've always been outgoing, so meeting men wasn't the problem. Meeting the right men was. I could make MVP for choosing the wrong guy. I'd done it for so long, by then I felt comfort while being in that recognizable, yet somehow invisible space with a man who's interested in me just enough to keep me hanging around. It's like pulling on an old, bally sweater. It's not pretty, but at least I know it well.

First, there was Sam, who wanted to make every night a Blockbuster Night. He wasn't unkind. He just didn't want to leave the house. Ever.

Then there was Rob, the amazing guitarist who loved other women more than he loved me.

Beautiful Dean, who was great, when he was great. But he lapsed into moods so dark they scared me.

Then Charlie, whose messy basement apartment should have convinced me that his internal life was just as messy. He was smart and had potential, but what good is potential without action?

And the decade rolled on like that, dating guys who were, "good enough," until one night in my late 30's. My girlfriends and I were out at our favorite pub, where the wine and the whining flowed.

"It's just so hard to meet a guy," one friend said.

"Seriously, there are no good guys in LA."

"Well, you're not gonna meet a guy here. That's for sure," said my waitress friend.

This sounded so familiar. Like an annoying rerun of the week before. I think I actually rolled my eyes at them. 3

"It's not that hard to meet guys," I said.

"Well, it's not hard for you. You always talk to guys," one of them said.

"Right. Just walk up to them and say 'hi'," I said.

"I can't do that," they all said at once, like I was asking them to streak through the bar or something.

"What if I dared you?" I asked.

"Huh?" They stared at me.

I pointed at a guy in a baseball cap at the far end of the bar.

"What if I dared you to go and talk to that guy?"

All four of them turned and looked. The guy shifted on his barstool and pulled down his cap.

"I don't know," they mumbled and gulped more wine.

"Okay, what if we had a contest? Awarded some kind of prize to the winner?"

They stared at me again. At that moment, I really saw my friends, all doggy paddling through our stagnant love lives, miserable and defeated.

We couldn't go on like that. I flipped over my placemat and began scribbling on it. Points, charts and all sorts of stuff.

"What are you doing?" They asked.

I looked up at them, raised my glass and said, "Ladies, how do you feel about playing a little game?"

I had come up with an idea for a game designed to empower women to dare to date. Like other fantasy sports, people join leagues, set stakes and compete to earn points. It's just that when you Fantasy Date, you earn points by exchanging numbers, receiving texts, calls and going on dates.

We played and it worked. Knowing that our friends could be scoring valuable points at any moment, we checked the mirror before going to the grocery store. We smiled at strangers, stood a little taller and engaged men in conversation. The negativity melted, the points racked up and we went on more dates in the following two months than we had in the last two years.

In fact, all five of us met guys at that pub.

How to Get Your Flirt On...

Now that you're ready to get in the game, it's time to start flirting. For some of you, that may sound scary, but before you start coming up with tons of reasons why you can't flirt, rest assured, it's not as difficult as it sounds.

If you're going to get serious about finding love, you have to let go of the idea that men are supposed to approach women first. That rule is not only antiquated, but it gives away all your power. After all, nobody knows you better than you, right? Shouldn't you decide who you'd like to pursue rather than let someone else decide for you?

Waiting for someone to make a move can also be a bad idea because guys are just as nervous about approaching us as we are about approaching them. Why not relieve some of the pressure on men by being the first to approach? Just imagine how good the attention will make him feel.

In addition, men are not mind readers. They don't always know when a woman is interested in them. It's up to us to let them know.

But there's a delicate balance between letting someone know you've noticed them and coming on too strong and scaring the heck out of him. There are subtle ways to drop a hint.

That's all flirting is - dropping a hint.

This chapter breaks down flirting into manageable steps.

Don't Miss Connections

Years ago, I remember being in a grocery store, in the baking aisle, when a cute guy asked me if I knew how many cups were in a pint. This started a hilarious conversation that went from me knowing that eight ounces of cheddar cheese was a cup and him knowing that there are 16 ounces of beer in a pint, therefore, that meant there were two cups in a pint.

We laughed through the whole conversation. Then I wished him luck with his recipe and moved onto another aisle. That's when I realized I should have gotten his number. So, I raced down through the store with my shopping cart, but he had vanished.

That was years ago. I still remember the conversation. I still regret not asking for his number.

The point of Fantasy Dating is to not miss any connections. Craigslist has an entire column of "Missed Connections" where people post ads hoping to get in touch with someone they saw or spoke to, but with whom they failed to exchange contact information.

Here's an example:

This is a long shot, but we sat next to each other in traffic court. You have brown hair. You wore a blue dress. I'm bald and I wore a grey suit. You had the prettiest smile. We kept looking at each other. You said, "This is taking forever." I said, "I just want to go home." Then you were called up. You beat your ticket! I can't stop thinking about you. If you remember me, please respond. I'd love to take you out.

 

Missed connections are so common that Craigslist conducted a study to determine where the most common missed connections occur. According to the study, the most common place for missed connections in the United States was Walmart.

Crazy? Or does it actually sound pretty logical? I'm still thinking about the guy I met at the supermarket years ago, aren't I? It only makes sense that a store so many Americans frequent would be a hot bed for meeting singles.

In addition, other common places for missed connections include the train, bars, state fairs, parking lots, sporting events, the gym, the beach and slew of other places where people didn't slow down enough to make a solid connection.

One of the best parts about Fantasy Dating is that when you play the game, you are unlikely to miss a connection. Since earning points and finding love are your goals, walking away from someone you connect with will not only hurt your game, but leave you wallowing in the Missed Connections section of Craigslist.

DARE: Any time you feel nervous about approaching someone or asking for their number, think about missed connections and how it would feel to end up walking away without a means to contact that person. Then get that number!

For more information, please see the section, "How to Exchange Numbers."

To continue
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