Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures, so you can count on me to catch several episodes of “The Bachelor.” I watch reality shows like this one because I’m fascinated by human behavior. I try to figure out what compels female contestants to publicly argue, compete and embarrass themselves over a man. I thought I’d pause from my entertainment, take a moment’s reflection and offer you the 5 dating tips for women that I’ve derived from watching “The Bachelor.”
1. Your only competition is yourself. When dating, it seems like other women are your competition. In fact, that’s the wrong perspective. The right guy will love you for who you are, not because you’re better or worse than any other woman. He’ll love you for you. If the guy you’re dating is comparing you to other women, then he’s the problem. Move on.
2. First impressions should never be rehearsed. I’m horribly embarrassed when watching women give a canned introduction on the first episode of “The Bachelor.” They’ve clearly been rehearsing their first impression for weeks. It feels forced because it is forced. The best relationships, in person or online, start naturally. Put your best foot forward, but remember that trying to impress someone always reads like you’re trying too hard. And trying too hard isn’t sexy.
3. Smart girls lead with their strengths. Everyone has a sordid little secret, be it a previous marriage, thigh cellulite or an emotional insecurity. There’s no need to mention that at the first rose ceremony, I mean date. Let a man get to know your personality and interests before divulging your past mistakes and present weakness. If you divulge too much too soon, you’ll be labeled. He’ll think, “Oh, she’s the girl with baggage.” If you wait, he’s likely to think, “I’m really into this girl; I hope her previous marriage won’t be a problem for us.”
4. Unless you’ve been dating for several months, he’s not worth your tears. Crying after only a few dates (God forbid the first meeting!) means that you’re not crying about him. It’s really about your own issues. Be sure to sort those issues out before moving on to the next guy.
5. When dating becomes a game, it always ends in disaster. Don’t let a man play with your heart. Behavior like that is not the stuff of true love. Look for clues that it’s a game. Your first hint? Broken promises.
Remember, in real life (and “The Bachelor” is not real life), dating and falling in love is not a game. You’re dealing with people. And all people have rich histories, complicated family dynamics, intricate personalities and personal hang-ups. If it doesn’t work out with a particular guy, it’s probably less about you as an individual, and more about finding your right match. My advice? Stay positive, keep dating, and learn what you can from the people you meet.