Alan Hughs advises: How do I get a second date?
I’m a 38-year-old woman and six months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of four years. Since then I’ve been trying to date...
The problem is that I don't seem to make any impression on men, not enough to even get a second date. I've only been in one relationship in my life so far -- I met him through work and it was quite easy from the start. There were never any major problems or bumps. We got on fine, but looking back, I think there definitely wasn't any passion between us. I don't think it's normal not to fight about anything.
In the end, he broke up with me, saying that he wanted to travel and be by himself. I was gutted, but with my best friend's help, I've been going out at weekends and have even joined a dating site -- for all the good it's done. I'm terrible at flirting -- always have been -- and always break into a panic when I'm speaking to a guy. I get tongue-tied and can't think of anything to say.
When I meet a man for a drink or dinner, it's always awkward because I'm so self-conscious. The last four guys I met for a date never called or texted me again afterwards.
I need help! My friend says I'm a good-looking, interesting girl and that I should just relax. But it's easier said than done! What is it that makes someone attractive or sexy? Melissa
Dear Melissa, first, your search for love and romance is worth a bit of time and effort. People have killed for love and died for love: it's a very serious thing.
You need to realise that you are in the majority and not the minority. We always believe everyone in the club or bar 'scored' and we were the only one who went home alone. This is not true.
You also said you joined a 'dating' site. I'm wondering if it was a fee-based site where you give your likes and dislikes and are 'matched up' on compatibility? Or is it a chat site where you enter chat rooms and strike up conversations with strangers?
All of these, as well as the old-fashioned way of meeting in a bar, are perfectly good ways to meet people, but always be careful to have your dates in public places.
You say your dates so far have basically flopped. Well, ask yourself some questions. For example, are you being yourself on the date? Are you listening to the other person or just talking about you? Or are you committing the mortal sin of talking about your ex?
But to get a date at all is where flirting comes in. If you are in a bar or club, try to relax and have fun. That is what you want a guy to see if he looks in your direction, not a girl waiting around desperately hoping.
Something we all forget to do when on a night out is smile. It's a scary thing for a guy to make the first move, so you need to signpost that you wouldn't reject him if he did say hi. You can do this with body language and making eye contact.
Also, sometimes we play so hard to get, that we never get gotten! Don't be afraid to not be cool; if he's a nice guy, he'll find this endearing.
If you do get chatting to a guy you like, and this is where you normally get tongue-tied, remember to keep the conversation light. Don't get into heavy discussions! Leaning in and even gently touching him on the arm, or leaning lightly on his shoulder with your hand as you lean in to talk in his ear (if the bar is noisy) are all signs that you are interested.
If you get the date, remember to relax and again smile! People like to be asked their opinion or asked about themselves, so ask your date something about him, his family, his taste in music or where he has travelled.
The perfect scenario is that you find his answers interesting or have something in common. There is nothing wrong with having a few standard questions already at hand. Ask questions that require more than a one-word answer.
If you are internet savvy, check out online stuff like 'How to flirt'. Just type it into Google. There's a surprising number of short videos giving tips!
A survey recently suggested we needed to date an average of 50 people before we found love. So each failed romance is one step closer to Mr Right.