old Ebony article with alot of good advice.
How To Get A Man In Four Weeks Or Less - If You Want One
Ebony, Feb, 2001 by Kelly Starling
PEEP this. You walk into a club and see a guy checking you out. The Brother is fine and appears friendly. You make eye contact and shyly smile his way. Fine Brother approaches you and extends his hand. He politely asks your name and if he can take you to dinner next weekend. Flattered, you give him the digits and give yourself dap for landing a possible "do right" man.
Fast forward to date night. Fine Brother is half an hour late. He hasn't called. When he finally shows up, he doesn't even offer an excuse. At dinner, Fine Brother spends the whole time talking about himself. "Can it get any worse?" you wonder as you nod and smile at his babble.
Then it does: The waiter brings the bill. Fine Brother picks it up, checks out the damage and looks at you: "So how do you want to do this?" he says in that Barry White voice you thought was so suave. "Are we going dutch?"
By this time--if you're smart --you've realized that you caught a dud. You say goodnight and throw him back. Tomorrow is ladies' night. Hopefully, Fine Brother will take a day off from the club.
For many single women, that scenario happens too often. They meet men without a plan. These are the same Sisters who make plans to go back to college. They strategize for retirement. They invest time in choosing and buying a home. But when it comes to finding a good man, they forget to prepare. How many times have you heard someone talk about "falling into love" or "stumbling upon happiness." Experts say that choosing a life mate is too to leave to chance.
Some habits last a lifetime. But some people believe you can change your dating attitude--and find a man--in four weeks or less. A month may be too short to find Mr. Right, but if you follow these tips, they say, you'll definitely increase your odds of meeting that special someone. So pick up a calendar and start working. Your date with a good Brother might be just days away.
The First Five Days: Work On You
You take the first step toward finding a man when you take a hard look at yourself. What do you bring to a relationship? What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Relationship experts say you should determine if you possess the attributes you seek in a mate.
Author Myreah Moore advises women to get honest with themselves by making two lists. On one side, write what you want in a mate or qualities that are part of your wish list. On the other side, write the deal breakers or the needs you must find in a significant other to make you happy. That does two things: First, it helps you to be clear about what you're looking for. Second, it lets you know that you need to work on yourself.
Women, experts say, sometimes hold Brothers to a higher standard than they hold themselves. They want a man who's financially secure, educated, politically aware, spiritual, sensitive, giving and honest. That's fine, if you have those qualifies too. But if you're one paycheck from poverty and only go to church on Christmas, don't expect to land a man with a portfolio of stocks and a flawless record of tithing.
"If you want a man with these qualities, all you have to do is develop them within yourself," says Moore, co-author with Jodie Gould of Date Like a Man: To Get the Man You Want and Have Fun Doing It! and America's Dating Coach. "When you are what you're looking for, there is no place you have to go. You'll become a man magnet."
Brittian Wilder says to get ready to meet a good man, you must begin to resolve past issues such as old relationships, baby-mama drama and heavy debt. Also, look at your appearance. Are there ways you could be more desirable? Maybe a different hair style or more flattering clothes. Finally, evaluate your emotional well-being.
"Just because you're single doesn't mean that something is wrong with you," says Wilder, author of Understanding the Games Men Play (How to Think Like a Man). "The first step is to emotionally prepare yourself to get into the game."
Some Sisters suffer from low self-esteem. Society, relationship experts say, teaches that Black women are the lowest on the social scale--what Zora Neale Hurston calls "mules of the world." "Men have a much higher self-esteem," says Moore. "They are taught not to settle. No matter how they look or what age they are, they believe that they can get Halle Berry. Most women believe they can't get Denzel, so they take whoever is around. It takes a courageous woman to say, `You're a wonderful man, but you're not for me.'"
Days 6-10: Expand Your Options
Forget the there-are-no-available-Black-men hype. There are good Brothers all around you. Your friends know them. Your co-workers know them. Your family knows them. You just need an introduction.
"I truly believe what you think is what you create in your life," says Moore. "If you think all men are dogs, gay or that no men are out there, that's what you'll find. The mind is a powerful computer. If you think it's raining men, that's what will show up."
Tell everyone you know that you're interested in meeting a quality man. Assure them that you're looking for a new friend, not an instant husband.
Consider different ways to get the word out. Placing a personal ad in a newspaper might work for some people. Others might think about writing or responding to an ad online. "On the Internet, you can meet a lot people without wasting a whole lot of time and [without obligation]," Michael Brown, founder of Blacksingles.com tells EBONY. "How many times have you gone out with someone and sat across from the person and have nothing to say?"
Next, think about what activities make you happy. Do you enjoy hearing lectures at the university? Listening to jazz? Do you love reggae or salsa? Your Mr. Wonderful probably enjoys some of the same things you do. Another good place to try is self-improvement classes. Community colleges and local universities offer lessons in cooking, French, African drumming, horseback riding, swimming--just about anything you want to learn. Pick a hobby and keep your eyes open. While helping yourself, you can meet plenty of new guys.
Dr. Chris Jackson of Nashville's Conqueror's Church offers a word of caution, however, about new pursuits. Make sure it's something you really enjoy and not just a temporary pastime to land a man. If you meet a new prospect at a basketball game and then he finds out you hate sports, that's fraud, the minister says.
"If you're going on a prowl or on a hunt, that intention will come out," says Dr. Jackson, author of The Black Christian Singles Guide to Dating and Sexuality. "But if you go with the right motive, pursuing your gifts and talents in life, you will have to take numbers. People are naturally drawn to others who are living their purpose."
Days 11-15: Give Your Expectations A Reality Check
You've told people that you're looking. By now, you might have met some interesting guys or identified some prospects. Continue scouting for new friendships, but also review your list of wants and needs. Author Wilder says women sometimes fall into the trap of defining a man by what he does or how he looks instead of considering his heart and soul. "Your soul mate is someone who completes you," he says. "He enhances that which you are lacking. A lot of times men are overlooked because they are not driving an impressive car or wearing expensive clothes."
While it's important to go after who's best for you, you also need to remain focused. What matters most --his job title or his drive? For the next few days, work on fine tuning your expectations. What qualities are important and which are insignificant? Does it matter, for instance, if he works at a garage instead of a bank as long as he is trying to get ahead and celebrates you?
Experts say some of the most important considerations are finding a man who believes in a higher power, who will love you, respect you, is ambitious and wants to build a life together. But only you can know what matters to you. Don't apologize for your standards. Just make sure they really count.
Days 16-30: Get Out There And Date
OK. It's time for the fun part. You're in the home stretch. Get ready to date.
"I'm tired of hearing women say `I want to find my soul mate and I want to be in a relationship' like that's the end all, be all," says Moore. "[Many] men aren't looking for a soul mate or a relationship. They're just looking for fun. I believe that our biggest problem is that we're dating-deficient."
The average man, she says, dates 200 women before he gets married. The average woman, Moore says, dates just seven men. The author says that Sisters can empower themselves by embracing a "pair-and-a-spare" approach to dating. That means you should be dating at least three men at one time. Now, let's be clear. Each man should know you're checking out your options. Moore says Sisters should also understand that when she says date three men, that's just what she means. Not having sex with three men or being intimate with three men--just dating.
Women, experts say, also need to learn how to approach someone who they find interesting. You could compliment him or just say hello. Or if you're feeling particularly plucky, you could ask him out for coffee or lunch. If the man doesn't return your interest, don't worry--at least you tried.
"If you see someone you like, don't be afraid to make the first move," Wilder says. "Remember, we're in the year 2001. Men's fear of rejection is as great as yours."
Whether you do the asking or he invites you on a date, women should have no expectations about these getting-to-know-you sessions. There's no reason to worry about blowing it. You're just there to have fun and learn about the other person.
Experts say that single men and women should work on becoming friends and let a relationship develop naturally. Take your time in becoming emotionally and physically intimate. Having sex too soon can confuse you into thinking that this man might be "the one." Instead, keep talking. Don't be afraid to let a date who has potential know that ultimately you're searching for a committed relationship. If he's not where you are, that's OK. "Every man you meet is not a soul mate," Wilder says. "Some men may be a potential friend or a buddy."
Moore says the worst thing women can do is to accept substandard treatment out of desperation. "[Some women] think it's their last chance," she says. "They think, `If I don't capture this one, I will not have someone in my life.' That's bull. It's a wide, big world."
When evaluating a potential mate, check out his values, financial and family expectations, your similarities and differences. Look for a man who is interested in you and who will make a contribution to your life. It may seem like a lot of work, but making an informed choice will pay off.
"People who think they don't have to work at dating, I tell them they're living in a fantasy world," says Moore. "Just like you just don't end up [being] a CEO, you have to work at this."
And don't forget to enjoy yourself. Dating should be a blast. If you don't find "Mr. Do Right" in four weeks, don't sweat it. Instead, look at the upside. You get to continue exploring.
"Reading books and articles, that's the hard part," says Moore,. "It's the lecture. Dating, that's the fun part. That's the lab."
All right, it's lab time.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group