To start off, it’s important to realize that starting up a relationship is not as scary as it sounds. I know, because I started dating after I became a full-time writer and it was a lot of fun. You don’t have to actually come out and meet a complete stranger, but make sure you go to a party, find a group of people who are your «type,» and ask a few people if they would like to date a fellow party goer. As long as you are open and honest, there will be plenty of people who are likely to match you with someone, and if you’re open to the idea, chances are someone will bite. But, as with any encounter, you should also be prepared for the things that can happen when you meet someone you like. The next steps will help you figure out if this is a match worth pursuing. The next thing you should know is that just because you are open to the idea of starting a relationship, it doesn’t mean you need to be looking right now. In fact, if you’re already in a relationship, you might be afraid to break up with your partner. That’s understandable—especially if you’re the one who called the breakup—but you should remember that this isn’t a competition. And when things aren’t working out between you and your partner, you can always try the dating world. I know I certainly have. Once you’ve decided to give dating a go, there are a few things you should do before jumping into the fray. 1) Get in shape There are few things a girl can do to help set the tone for how people perceive her. I’m not talking about the countless magazine articles—which is helpful—but rather how she projects herself in real life. If she’s looking overweight and out of shape, she’s going to tell you about it. The same goes for being too thin, especially if she dresses in a way that highlights this. The best way to avoid this when starting up a relationship is to get in shape. Now you don’t necessarily have to take up running or join a gym, but you should probably start eating healthier and doing what you can to shed some pounds. Even if you decide to go the gym, this is something you can do that also shows you are a responsible person, so you don’t have to feel like you need to diet on the off chance someone looks at you wrong. 2) Create your online persona When it
The idea of dating has gone through quite a couple of major style changes in my lifetime. When I was in high school, talking to someone was mostly about asking questions, making jokes, and looking for a good time. In college, you’d approach someone by blurting out a question as if it were an obvious question. Now, the way in which you approach someone has more to do with what kind of impression you want to make. When I go out on a date, I’m going to make it a good one. I’m not going to start by saying, «Oooh, I see you have a heart. That is cute.» Even if they’re cute, I have to say that I have a heart. It’s a lot more elaborate than that. If I find someone I’m interested in, and I want to ask them out, I’ve got to make my best impression. Of course, it’s always been possible to make an impression with the cards you’ve been dealt. But, now that we’re so accustomed to being evaluated, going on a date without an agenda is a lot more hard. All of my experiences with dating and relationships have taught me what to do and what not to do. I think it’s time to share what I’ve learned. When I was younger, I remember wondering what exactly a good impression meant. My mother was a little insistent that if you were watching someone, you had to ask them questions. On the other hand, if you were hanging out in the hallway, she told us to ask if we wanted to talk to someone, or not. What I learned was that you have to be interested enough in someone to see if you have anything to say to them. When I first started to date, I would introduce myself, and I would say, «Hey, I’m Kevin.» I wasn’t really making a good impression, because I thought that was all I needed to do. Being real was always easy, so I knew I had to work on making a good impression, making people laugh. It’s hard to make people laugh on your first date, even with the best of intentions. I’d try to make my way through a flirty conversation and see if I found anyone attractive. That’s a fairly safe way to approach a date, although it is safe only to a point. My first experience with online dating was horrifying. I was on a dating site, and the guy asked me to meet him at the movie theater