Allow me to share what I’ve learned over the years as I rank the advice of popular love experts and introduce my very own 11-step guide to falling in love.
Long before I graduated college, my parents wisely impressed upon me the importance of having good job search skills. “If you know how to write a stellar résumé and can ace any job interview,” they advised, “you will have confidence in knowing that you will always have viable job options.”
Upon graduation, I bought tons of books about résumé writing and interview strategies. I would dispatch at least 50 résumés a day and ensured that every day I would have a job interview. Even if the job opportunities weren’t relevant to what I was looking for, I would get to practice my interviewing skills and avoid the trap of staying at home and feeling sorry for myself. As my career progressed, and I went from one job to the next, my approach became more targeted, and as a skilled job seeker, I always nabbed great jobs and writing contracts.
Unfortunately, my love life had not progressed so well. I was divorcing a man I had been with for 19 years. He was my high school sweetheart, the second boy I had ever kissed. We started dating when I was 17 and got married when I was 25. On the day of our 11th wedding anniversary, what we jokingly referred to as our “anti-versary,” we said our tearful goodbyes and drove away from our home in his and her moving vans.
I was 36, moving across the country, and absolutely TERRIFIED of being alone. I had no idea what it meant to be single, as my idea of courtship was handing a boy a note before a second period algebra class that basically said “Will you go with me? Check yes or no.”
So I decided to approach dating exactly the same way I approached job searches. I mean, how different could finding a good man be compared to finding a good job? With the right skill-set, I was certain I could control my love life.
I bought a ton of audiobooks to play in my moving van, as I white-knuckled the trip (I’m a lousy driver) from Florida to Indiana. I listened to advice about men, dating, body language, love languages – you name it. Upon arrival, I purchased every dating coach product I could find, read all sorts of books, and watched endless videos. I decided to accept fewer writing assignments, basically taking time off work, so I could focus on my new full-time career of making some guy fall in love with me.
Most of these so-called dating experts simply repackage the sound wisdom your mother already gave you: Be yourself. Build a good life of your own. Put on some makeup. Practice good manners. Don’t be such a whore. Etc.
I would say that of all the information I parsed through, 90% of it was good, if not somewhat obvious and repetitive. However I noticed a few disturbing trends:
- Most of this advice is old-fashioned and predicated on the notion that all women should be married. I didn’t really see any dating advice targeted to women where marriage was not the ultimate goal.
- Many of these experts had really bad relationship histories, and some had never even been married, despite offering “proven methods” to getting a marriage proposal and evangelizing the importance of marriage as an end goal.
- Every dating coach seemed to use an angle or gimmick. Some odd piece of advice or rule to distinguish themselves from all the other dating coaches. This is where things can get weird.
- In order for these coaches to sell the effectiveness of their products, they have to hold their audiences accountable for results. The general message is that it’s the woman’s job to be fascinating and irresistible, and to steer the relationship. Dating coaches grab your attention with outrageous claims such as “You Can Win Him Back” or “Married in a Year!” It doesn’t matter if the guy is a total idiot, or gay, or transferring into the Federal Witness Protection Program – if you can’t win him over, it’s because you’re not following the advice and making yourself irresistible enough with your magical feminine powers.
Please read my Guide to Dating Experts to get a more detailed account of these love coaches and the advice they dole out. Every day a new so-called expert comes out of the woodwork to take your money and sell you the dream of a fulfilling love life. Which begs the question:
Why can’t I make a little money from this?
I’ve done the research, pounded the pavement, and got results. For only $450, you too can benefit from my new love program, which guarantees that all of your wildest dreams come true, or else I will send you a free newsletter that offers alternative solutions. Either way – YOU CAN’T LOSE. I present to you:
“Finding Love in 11 Easy Steps”
(The program will be more detailed, but here are some excerpts.)
Step 1: Slut it up. Invest in high heels and plunging necklines. Get yourself a “ho bag,” a small, overnight bag with toothpaste, a clean thong, and at least two dozen condoms you’re gonna need for all those hot overnight sex sessions you’ll be having with wildly charming men in their ultra-cool bachelor pads.
Step 2: Put yourself online. Upload your profile on free online dating sites. Include lots of pictures of your lips wrapped around cigars, your boobs pushed up to your neck, or your arms around Ron Jeremy. Never forget that sex sells.
Step 3: Take down the slutty pictures immediately after you instantly find out how gross guys can be online. Upgrade your profile with a new façade that pretends you’re just nice, quiet girl who only enjoys an occasional cocktail in social settings. Continually change your profile to synchronize with your ever-morphing online persona.
Step 4: Date a ton of dudes you meet online. Try dating at least three new guys each week. Realize most of these guys aren’t worth even hugging, let alone fucking. Regret your ho bag investment. Meet so many guys at Starbucks that every barista within a 5-mile radius will know all about your futile exploits.
Step 5: Perfect your techniques. Flirt relentlessly with every single man you encounter. Act like you know nothing about wine as you flip your hair at some (dammit, of course he’s gay) guy in the grocery aisle. Learn how to perfectly light up a robusto at the cigar bar for the guy who’s recruiting a third for a creepy Twilight-themed three-way. Figure out the cutest drink to order while conversing with a married man who’s pretending to be single. Hone your conversational skills with sympathetic bar flies when your date stands you up. Perfect the art of faking illnesses and even strokes to get out of particularly bad dates.
Step 6: Try not to hate all men. Lean on a big support group of guy friends that you genuinely enjoy spending time with. Keep these relationships as drama-free and enjoyable as possible by acting like a frat boy around them. Lovingly address these guys with pet names like “fucktard” or “cunt muscle.” Make these relationships fun, easy, and platonic by being as vulgar and spastic as possible. Share your dating disaster stories with them and collect their feedback.
Step 7: Keep dating Internet dudes no matter what. Even if you’re exhausted and would rather spend your time downing Jägerbombs with platonic male friends. Especially that particularly sexy one who got divorced under similar circumstances as you and is also self-employed. You still need to keep your head in the game. Don’t lose momentum.
Step 8: Become a dating wiz. Learn from your mistakes. Get better at vetting potential dates. Become really good at politely and effectively ending it with guys you don’t have any chemistry with. Build your tolerance for being rejected. Develop a sixth sense for detecting assholes and discover what you are really looking for in a man. Begin to trust your instincts.
Step 9: Win the game. Become so good at winning mens’ hearts that you get a man to declare his love for you on the fifth date. Date this guy for three months until he presents a portrait of you and him to his mother on her birthday in front of you and his whole family. Freak out and feel smothered because this guy spends two nights a week at your house.
Step 10: For the love of God, stop dating. Chill the fuck out and delight in your independence for Pete’s sake. Enjoy your free time and get back to earning a living. Stop fake-laughing and only laugh at jokes that are genuinely funny. Love having your own place and your own schedule. Sleep in the middle of your queen-sized bed, dress however you’d like, and have fun with your friends. Especially that particularly sexy one.
Step 11: Fall in love. Let that particularly sexy friend eventually make you his girlfriend. Be as happy as you’ve ever been in an honest relationship with someone you are genuinely compatible with. Don’t stress about marriage because you know it’s not a guarantee for happiness. Just have a really good time loving your best friend and feel strong in knowing that you are with each other because you want to be and not because you need to be.
If you enjoyed this, you will love my next program called:
“How to Get that Wonderful Man to Marry You,” or “How to Get Over that Wonderful Man You Lost, You Stupid Bitch, You.” I dunno. I’ll see where life takes me.