Am I advocating singledom? Tough question... You know those days when you wish you were single, just because then no one would care if you're still in your PJs at 3pm, had cake for lunch and plan to nuke a frozen pizza for dinner all while guzzling a whole bottle of Mountain Dew while you TV-zapped through all the daytime soaps sitting cross-legged on the sofa with a pile of half-open, trashiest romance books you can find all around you... Let's just say I want one of those days...
But then too it's been so long since I've been single (doing a Susan Meyers of Desperate Housewives skit here, thinking 'when was the last time I was single... Uh, ever...?'). I'd be totally out of my depths in today's world - case in point, look at the scenario above.
And unless I want every single heroine I write next to be a Bridget Jones- wannabe, I seriously need to up my game.
That's where the article of today comes into play! You can find it, with all its good pics, here
on, as expected, my article bible, MSN Lifestyle Love & Relationships section. The piece is written by Laura Hagans Smith, and pulls knowledge and advice from a wide array of women out there.
The Dos and Don'ts of Being Single
We asked experts and women who've seen it all for their advice on being single and loving it.
by Laura Hagans Smith
Practice Your Dating Skills
"None of us is born knowing how to be in a relationship. Malcolm Gladwell, in his best-selling book Outliers
, argues that virtually every skill can be mastered, if it's practiced for 10 years. He writes: 'The tennis prodigy who starts playing at six is playing in Wimbledon at 16 or 17. The classical musician who starts playing the violin at four is debuting at Carnegie Hall at 15 or so.' View being single as practice for being in a relationship. Don't expect to have the skills to be in a relationship right away."
—Juliette Tang, community manager for zoosk.com
Be Prepared to NOT Be Single for an Evening
"Do carry a toothbrush, toothpaste and condoms in your purse. You never know what the night has to offer!"
—Krishana Clark, 24, Tampa, Fla.
Learn from the Mistakes (and Successes) of Others
"Do be interested. Listen to others and you'll be amazed by what you learn (about dating)."
—Debra Goldstein, coauthor of
Put Yourself Out There
"Don't feel silly striking up a conversation with a stranger. The only way to meet people is to talk to them — so say hello! Whether it's a friend's older brother, the waiter at your local restaurant or even a cute guy in the park, people are generally more receptive than you think to a friendly greeting. To start the conversation, ask him a question."
—Sarah Harrison, editor at yourtango.com
Dress Like You're Not Single (Especially Lingerie-Wise)
"Do wear sexy underwear. Who cares if you're the only one who sees it? The sex appeal it gives you will ooze through, and you'll feel super sexy and kind of powerful, too. Same goes for cute nightgowns to bed."
—Erin Scottberg, editor at lemondrop.com
Dating Someone Won't Change Your Entire Life
"Don't look for someone to complete you … you're the only one who can do that."
Stake Out a Good Spot for Dude-Spotting
"Do be a regular—at a bar or restaurant, coffee shop, etc. It's a great way to meet new people."
—Klancy Miller, 36, New York City
Enjoy Your Life Just as It Is, Right Now
"Do spend time dating yourself. Take yourself to dinner, spend the day enjoying your own company, pop into a museum alone and sit down and have a glass of wine by yourself. Too many women are afraid they'll look pathetic, but in reality a woman who does what she wants to do when she wants to do it looks confident (read totally sexy
) to the opposite sex."
—Brenda Della Casa, author of
Cinderella Was a Liar
Be Open to Taking a Friendship to the Next Level
"Don't rule out dating close friends — especially those who might have let it slip that they're attracted to you. There's always the looming dread of jeopardizing your friendship, but I've learned that these are often the most successful, since there is no cheap pretense of seduction — you can feel secure knowing that he likes you for who you really
—Alexandra Rodriguez, 20, Potomac, Md.
You Never Know What Romance May Be in Store for You
"Do remember that your life's plan is not written in stone. It's written on paper that can be ripped up. Be open to new people and events that weren't in the plan."
—Larry Wilson, founder and CEO of oppositesconnect.com
From Mauritius with love,
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