We can initiate dates or group hangouts just as lightly as studs do.

We can initiate dates or group hangouts just as easily as men do.

by Sonya Rhodes, PhD and Susan Schneider, coauthors of “The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match: How Strong Women Can Find Love and Happiness Without Lodging.”

In some ways, online dating and social media have leveled the playing field: Women can take charge of their dating and hookup lives in ways they haven’t before. We can initiate dates or group hangouts just as lightly as boys do. The dating world revolves around making the right proactive choices — and this means that if you’re ready for a monogamous relationship, you have to be clear about your goals, both to yourself and prospective playmates.

Consider this advice:

1. Finding a fucking partner is a project and requires time and energy. If what you want is a long-term relationship, treatment it with your goals in mind. The right mindset is key: Commence out by knowing that you are in control of the process.

Two. If you’re looking online, do your profile with a friend — this will help you lighten up. Don’t boast or be self-deprecating. Be funny, brief and concise, and don’t sound too cutesy. A photo that shows you actively pursuing an interest is good because it offers information without being wordy.

Three. Scan profiles selectively. Pick out three or four guys and signal your interest. When you contact someone, refer to a remark he/she made in their profile. If someone shows an interest in your profile, reminisce that you are not obligated to react unless you want to. You be the judge.

Four. With several prospects, begin an email exchange. But limit your emails to no more than two or three before suggesting a face-to-face meeting. Anyone who wants to prolong emailing is not interested in a relationship. He/she likes the anonymity of email flirting. Avoid this person — he could be married, in another relationship or just a creep.

Four. Arrange a coffee or drink at a convenient location. Talk about things you like to do, your job, college stories or latest practices. (Be on time — demonstrating up is at least 50% of success!)

Five. Pay attention to whether there is a good balance in the conversation. Does he predominate? Do you? Are you finding common interests? Avoid talking about your or his problems. Do not give advice even if he is begging for it, this is a bad way to begin. Stay upbeat.

6. On very first dates, make sure you have other plans afterward and keep them, regardless of how things are going. If you’re underwhelmed with this person, you will have a good escape route. If you are having a superb time and don’t want to leave, stick to your previous plan. If you are interested, say so explicitly upon leaving. (This may sound too forward, but there is nothing wrong about being clear.)

7. Suggest to split the check. Nowadays, single, college-educated women under the age of 30 are often making more money than boys, so don’t stand on ceremony waiting for him to pay.

8. Wait to see if he initiates an email or text. If he doesn’t, cross him off your list. He’s not interested or available. Begin over.

9. If he emails or texts (or makes the extra effort to make a phone call!), react, but stir along and suggest meeting again. This should be a real date with a immobile time and place. If he wants to keep it spontaneous, with something like “Let’s attempt for Tuesday,” don’t bother putting it on your calendar. It’s just not likely to happen.

Ten. After you’ve met, beware of texts that arrive at odd times and are friendly but unaccompanied by a suggestion of a date. These are false positives because they suggest more intimity than is real. Don’t be taken in. Most likely, he’s bored and is just playing with his phone. React only if you have seen him in person within the last week.

Postscript: If you embark observing someone on a fairly regular basis (at least once a week), realize that you are only beginning a relationship. Go leisurely. Get to know him. See whether he is consistent, reliable and respectful. If you are sleeping exclusively with him and are beginning to take him earnestly, consider discussing whether he is interested in having a monogamous relationship. If he balks, embark over! The two of you don’t share the same goals.

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