Risky Dating Act Men Are Afraid Of

Podcaster Jana Hocking says it’s time to put our dating apps on hold and use another way to meet our next partner.

So something happened to me last Friday night that literally brought back my dating spark! I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit blaaaah about the whole dating scene lately, I just went through my millionth “kind-kind” To finish. You know what I mean, we weren’t officially a couple, but we were more than just a… casual hookup

Anyway, as is my style, it all ended in fireworks, and I did what any normal person going through a midnight existential crisis would do… I booked a trip to London and decided to be really careful (and bad guys) against the wind! Sidenote: Which recession?! That’s a problem “future Jana” should be concerned about.

So when my recently divorced girlfriend came to my house on Friday night and demanded that I put on a dress and come out with her, I can safely say that I reluctantly did.

We went to a local bar/restaurant down the street and ordered a bottle or rosé, all the delicious carbohydrates we could eat, and decided to right the wrongs of the world in one almighty diatribe. It was glorious. I wasn’t in the mood to give guys even a lingering look, and that, dear friends, is when it happened.

I felt a warm hand on my back and a bearded gentleman bent to my ear and asked what I wanted to drink. There was something about this waiter that just gave me the “va va vooms”. I can not explain.

I ordered a dirty gin martini pronto, and he brought it with a warm smile and said, “This one’s on the house.”

You could have knocked me down with a feather. It’s been a long time since a real guy, in real life, had the confidence to buy me a drink.

What followed was a really delicious ice cream “on the house”, and then a glass of wine “on the house”. All the while he was constantly checking our table, chatting and giving me those good old persistent looks I haven’t seen since my twenties.

It made me realize that we’ve really lost the art of picking up in real life. We’ve been so taken in by the left, to the right way of dating, that we’ve forgotten the excitement and sexual tension that comes with meeting someone sporadically, and to put it in the most Aussie terms… “have a tear!”

Of course it takes some bravado, quite a bit of courage, and maybe some Dutch courage, but I’m telling you, nothing else can beat that feeling. And can I just say, for those of you who think, “Oh no, no, it’s definitely not worth the risk of rejection” – you. To be. Wrong!

No one in their right mind would ever be offended by someone trying to pick it up. It’s a bit of a win/win. You see, if we don’t like you, we’re still thrilled that you found us attractive enough to try, so we’ll be nice to you. And if we like you, that’s not just a great story for your wedding day!

So I’d like to start a petition to bring back the art of retrieval! Yes, we have spent enough time in our comfort caves during the lockdown. It’s time to buckle up, put the dating apps on hiatus for a short break and get out into the real world.

Here are three solid tips that work for me:

1. Pretend Until You Make It!

You can go anywhere with confidence. Walk into the room as if you were the owner. Sure, you can panic inside, but have you ever tried that experiment where you fake a laugh and for some reason instantly put you in a good mood? Well, try that with confidence.

Give yourself a pep talk before entering the pub. Something along the lines of… I’m not going to be looking at my phone all night, I’m going to hold my head up and radiate confidence.

So many times I’ve been attracted to someone who isn’t stereotypically attractive, but they had their charisma in them and it made me limp. Seriously, pretend until you make it.

2. Eye contact

You need a cue before making your move, otherwise it can look a bit creepy when someone approaches you out of the blue. So scan the room and try to look eyes with someone you like.

According to the google sphere, a normal person tends to hold contact for about 3 seconds, but if they hold it for 4-5 seconds, that’s a good sign that they like you, and it’s worth stopping by to go for a chat. Don’t forget to blink…otherwise, like I said…creepy!

3. Keep the conversation light and fun

Remember, you don’t know anything about this person who caught your attention, so keep the first conversation very calm. Anything too intense can seem thirsty and desperate. Perhaps comment on the drink they ordered, or ask if their meal was worth ordering? The smallest thing can lead to a good conversation.

So go and be brave this weekend. And if you’re wondering about the guy who picked me up… well… plot twist… he’s married! Yeah girlfriend really needs to get better at detecting those big metal bands on a dude’s finger. Brutal bastard! So won’t be getting married anytime soon, but I’m glad to know I still have it.

Jana Hocking is a podcaster and collector of boyfriends. † @jana_hocking

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