Are YOU getting in the way?

I still get a little nostalgic when I think back to the beginning of my freshman year. Over the first few months Ann (my roommate, bestie and partner in crime) and I dominated in getting to know new people.  Somehow through classes, our brand new social life and dorm we were meeting people left, right and center.  Everyone had a story and was just as excited to meet us, as we were to meet them.  Every day was new and had limitless possibilities of friends, fun and dates.

Then something happened.  I am not sure if it was classes or winter kicking in, but we just fell in the rhythm of spending time with who we knew.  Our own little clique. Our clique consisted of ladies who lived on the same dorm floor and that was who we ate, studied and hung out with.  Judgments were made about other people (he’s a jock, she’s a library addict, he’s a science geek, etc) and although we were nice, we jut didn’t step out of our group much.

As college continued it was crazy how those cliques didn’t change much. People were still referred to by their friends, status and even freshman year dorm and floor.  Not until I started a “Kira’s Question o’ the Week” for the college newspaper did I realize how far in my comfort zone I had gotten.  The premise was that I would walk around campus and talk to people from all classes and cliques to get their take on a weekly question.  Some political, some thought provoking, but mostly fun.  From the minute I was asked I was really excited about it.  Using my gregarious powers for good but when my first week happened, it turned out it was really, really hard.  Even for a super outgoing person it felt weird to talk to randoms that I barely knew.  They gave me strange looks and I wondered if this was really such a good idea.  I called my parents and they reminded me of a special skill they had instilled in me, something I have since learned to perfect.  Suckin it up and just doing it.

Even though it felt strange at first, over the next year I mustered up my confidence to talk to everyone. Freshman, seniors, foreign exchange students, young republicans, sororities, artists, frats, jocks, geeks, brains, musicians, and you know what…it kicked ass.  I got in some of the best, most awe-inspiring conversations that I had in my whole college experience.  Conversations that would challenge my knowledge, open my mind and everything I knew.  Everyone had a story they wanted to share and the strange thing was all I had to do was ask.  All of my absolutely ridiculous preconceived judgments were kicked to the curb and I felt embarrassed by the people that I wrote off because of they were not part of my clique.

When I think back to college now I think that was one of my favorite parts.

In retrospect, I realize that this has actually become the core to my dating philosophy for not only myself but my clients.  Online dating sites want everyone to believe that it is where everyone is meeting their significant other, but the number one way to meet people is still through friends.  It is so much easier to crush on the guy that your friend has told you all about and all you have in common then the questionable rando in the bar, right?  So the bigger the social circle you have the better the chance to meet great guys to date.  Step outside and look around you.  You have no idea which amazing person might introduce you to your next great date.  The possibilities are endless.

So here is my inspiration for you…figure out how to make your own way to talk to everyone.  Talk to the guy whose socks don’t match, I bet he is fun.   The girl who seems to have everything going for her, you will find out she doesn’t.  The overly confident jock who has his own worries and concerns.  The library addict who may be the first one in her family to go to college and feels a pressure to succeed.  Everyone has a story and many times it is not that different from yours.  We all have hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities and are doing the best that we can.

The best part?  You never know who may become a great friend, a movie buddy, or even a ….date.

Dating Makeover Challenge:  Smile, say hello or talk to 3 new people a day.  What do you have to lose?

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About the Author,

Spunky dating coach, college and sorority speaker, radio host, travel junkie, mac lover, pop culture addict, anglophile, future super star, sushi fanatic, Italy worshiper, champagne drinker, like your big sister....with a lot better advice.