Dear Dating Coach,
I just turned 20 and I am still new to dating. When I go to my friends’ engagement parties, I feel lost in a sea of other girls who are dating just like me. Some of us are really looking for the same type of guy – same background, hashkafa, etc. There are so many of us that I often feel like I am just one of a million. How do I stand out? Any tips?
(Eerie music plays in the background)
It’s dark outside, and the air around you is still, as night fully descends. You wander through your yard, admiring your neighbor’s tree, reaching out to touch a perfect leaf. The large oak is quiet, the only sounds coming from a distant bird, or perhaps a passing airplane. You feel peaceful and calm, enjoying the solitude of the moment. For a second you thing you hear something, barely a rustling of the leaves. You tense up, but then dismiss the sound, sure you are alone.
Suddenly, two beady eyes appear two inches from your nose as a massive chameleon glares at you with disdain, for disturbing its slumber. You scream. (Like a ‘they can hear you two states over scream’.) You keep screaming and then make like ‘Bolt’ and race back into your house triple-locking your door. What? This never happened to you? Come to Miami, and the lizards will find you and swallow you whole for dinner. (Ok, fine. They may not swallow you whole. Maybe just one big bite…)
It is completely understandable that you would feel like there are so many other single girls in your position – because there are. Standing at a vort or dancing at a friend’s wedding with a forced smile plastered to your face can often bring up uncomfortable truths. There are a lot of girls who are looking to marry similar boys, and boys looking to marry similar girls. Sure, we are all individuals, but it is easy to get lost in the shuffle making you one OF a million, when you need to be one IN a million. There is an easy way to stand out though, and all you need to do is increase your dating GPA (Genuine, Positivity, Appearance.)
Instead of a forced smile, relax and let yourself smile for real. Showcase your happiness for the friend who is engaged and you will highlight your kindness and generosity of spirit. Talk to people, laugh, and be you. Your authenticity will shine brightly and others will take note. They will notice that you are present, that you have a lovely personality, and that you are unpretentious and true. When you are authentic, open, and real, people are drawn to you. This will naturally make you stand out, because being genuine makes you special.
Dating can be exhausting. The searching, the research, a date that doesn’t work. Then another wedding invitation arrives in your mailbox, and you feel that niggling negativity try to bring your down. So, dig deep and remember that everyone is attracted to enthusiasm. Everyone wants to be around someone who is happy to be where they are. Everyone around you will want to surround themselves with your good energy. Your attitude will let people who see you know that you are inherently happy, ready to meet the right person, and open to mazel. Your ability to be positive, will shine a light over you, and others will certainly take notice.
Your appearance matters when you are dating. Not only in the sense of a good first impression, but it tells people that you take care of yourself as a whole person. Someone who is ‘put together’ sends the message that they are ‘put together’ in their life as well. Not putting effort into your appearance not only affects how others see you, but sends a subtle message that you approach life without attention to detail. This is not about being the prettiest girl at the vort. This is about taking what Hashem gave you and maximizing it. Dress in clothes that suit you, in colors that work for you, and take care with your hair and makeup. By showing everyone that you have taken the time to look your best, you are telling them that you know your self-worth. You know that you are deserving, that you matter, and that will separate you from the rest.
In shidduchim, being a chameleon is dangerous as people may not realize that you are a uniquely special individual. So simply work on your dating GPA – be genuine, focus on your positivity, and take care with your appearance, and you will certainly stand out in the crowd. Shed your chameleon coat, and let people see you. Because you are one in a million.