Men are big on practical and actionable advice that’s not based on touchy-feely platitudes. Serving up aphorisms, “Love will find you when you least expect it”, is utterly useless for a guy who is looking to fulfill his relationship goals through active measures. Platitudes are for women who only want to feel good about their decisions, even if bad ones. Men ain’t women.
With you men in mind, here is a checklist to determine if you’re actually ready to start dating again after the end of a long term relationship, marriage or otherwise. I have added my comments, italics, for each item in the list. Also, I have included links to resources, either from my own blog or outside of it. Finally, this checklist also includes items related to online dating because that is a valid, if time-consuming, approach to meeting women.
Most of these questions are quite basic. A few require a man to put in time and effort for his own masculine self-improvement (MSI). I hear way too many unhappy stories about dating. The vast majority of these stories can be avoided if the man is properly prepared.
If you answered “No” to any of the following questions, you’re not ready for dating.
1. Do you have a dating wardrobe and are willing to wear it?
If the answer is no, get yourself some decent and up-to-date clothes. You don’t have to dress like some fey hipster. The point here is to dress one level up from all the guys around you. This includes accessories like a watch or a belt that matches your shoes. Women notice these things. There are plenty of available resources, here’s just one.
2. Is your hair new, neat, and not an embarrassment?
If no, get your hirsute head to a proper barber. You’re not Donald Trump. A pony-tail is a cliché of Baby Boomer proportions that too many men think are edgy and risky. #facepalm.
3. Can you have a conversation that doesn’t involve droning on about only one subject such as your job, your family, or the one enthusiasm your pursue?
If no, you’re boring or worse, a blowhard. Women aside, being a well-rounded man is attractive and charismatic to everyone around you.
4. Do you have basic social skills so you can carry a reasonable conversation and recognize verbal and non-verbal signals?
5. Do you have a solid online dating profile complete with up-to-date photos?
If no, your profile sucks. For the text portion, write at least two paragraphs. Make sure your photos are good and recent. For both the words and photos, avoid clichés as much as possible. There are lots of resources for creating a good online dating profile.
6. Do you have interests and enthusiasms outside of work and family?
This is also part of being a well-rounded man. You get bonus points if your interests and enthusiasms involving real life social interactions with other people. You get bonus dating points if you actively attend singles group events and activities.
7. Do you have a list of interesting and cost-effective first date options ready to go?
If no, you’re not prepared to take the lead in the dating process. Women expect and respect that a man has ideas for a first date. She’s already decided to go on the date with you, any further decisions regarding that date are your responsibility.
8. Are you emotionally ready?
This question is a bit nebulous and requires serious introspection, I know. If you don’t think you’re emotionally ready for meeting and dating the dames, then you need some more time as a single guy and maybe if some professional help. Just watch out of politically correct therapist who is pushing an ideological agenda.
If you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you’re not ready for dating.
1. Do you feel compelled to talk about an ex (any ex) on a first date?
If yes, you’re not over your ex and you need to move on, no matter what wrongs you have experienced. Never ever talk about an ex, whether damning or praising, on a first date. Ever.
2. Do you have a hard time getting out of the house except for work, desperately needed errands, or child visitation?
3. Do you think life owes your something such as a great job and a hot dame?
If yes, you have an entitlement problem. You don’t deserve anything handed to you, you can only work hard for it and hope for the best. Oh, with this attitude, you’re likely an ass, too.
4. Do you avoid dealing with your health?
If yes, mortality is stalking you without mercy. Unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much will ultimately kill you. Fix these things for yourself. After a certain age, health issues accelerate dramatically but many can be staved off through exercise and diet. Being overweight is attractive to no one. Men over a certain age also have a pattern of avoiding the physician.
5. Have you ever been accused of having anger issues?
If yes, address your emotional self-control because too much anger is too much for too many people. Also, anger is exhausting. A touch of righteous anger is OK but showing it constantly does you no favors in the dating department.
6. Are you too sensitive emotionally?
If yes, save your tears for something truly important. The sensitive, new-age guy (SNAG) is a rather sad guy who has embraced way too much of his feminine side. Remember guys, the masculine attracts the feminine.
Guys, dating can be fun. You can the opportunity to meet new people, work on social skills, and maybe even fulfill your relationship goals. Keep me posted on your progress in the comments.
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