Random hook-ups are fun until Friday night date-night rolls around and you’re stuck with your TV remote, a bottle of wine, some popcorn/candy and your silent, non-vibrating phone. While these sorts of situations allow for quality time spent with your fellow single besties, you all recognize that – even once in a while – you’d rather have a night that consists of good wine, a meal of more than just popcorn, and perhaps some company provided by a member of the opposite sex. And what’s more, you all deserve that. What is it, you ask, that makes you destined for the couch on the very same nights on which your school’s happiest couples allow themselves to enjoy a romantic evening alone? It just doesn’t seem fair, and sometimes, it doesn’t even make sense. Sure, we all have our flaws, but how is it that our little quirks turn into horrible habits that result in a shrinking “potential boyfriends” list?
Her Campus has a few hypotheses that seem to answer this question – it’s just up to you to figure out which of the following is preventing you from finding a relationship.
You don’t put yourself out there enough.
Choosing not to go out all weekend is one thing, but being plain old anti-social is another. If you’re looking for a relationship, make sure that you’re actively looking! Excuses like homework, tests and sleepiness can only be abused so much – get your work done and get out of your room. He’s not going to show up at your door one day with a bouquet of flowers. If you don’t show your face at any social events, guys won’t even know who you are. It’s important to reserve at least one or two nights a week to do something fun and social with your friends. Decide to do something unusual one night, and a new guy just might catch your eye (and you might catch his!).
You go to an all-women’s college.
Here’s a tricky one. You sit in class with girls, you dine with girls, you live with girls, you go to the gym with girls, you walk around campus with girls, you sit in the library with girls. At an all-women’s college, the only testosterone that exists is probably found in professors (ew), so it doesn’t seem like there’s much boyfriend potential. Find out whether or not any co-ed colleges exist nearby and see if you can take a class there. But if you want to keep things strictly playful, do some research and find out where the party scene is on the weekends and get there. Otherwise, in your free time, take a trip into the town or city near your school. Study at a coffee shop or wander around a nearby park. Any place that’s open to the public is prime boy-spotting space, so get to these hot spots and start lookin’!
Your standards are too high.
So he has to be tall, with blue eyes, wildly intelligent, in good shape, with a tan(ish) complexion, good teeth, a killer sense of humor and no acne. All I have to say is: good luck with that. If you have a checklist for what you want your guy to be/have/do/smell like, forget about ever finding him. Instead, search for positive qualities in every guy you meet, and don’t focus on the negatives. If you start with only the bad, chances are you’ll always find something wrong with a guy. When you set inhumanly high standards, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic when it comes to guys (and life in general?) – none of them are perfect, but certainly, one of them is right for you.
You compare every guy to your ex.
If this applies to you, rethink whether or not you’re actually overyour ex. If you’re not, take some time to get there – but ultimately, get there. Trying to move forward with a past relationship in mind simply isn’t healthy. You’ll get lost in a sea of comparisons – “but his teeth were straighter, and I really liked the way he smelled better” – that will start any new relationship off on a negative note. Keep the past in the past and enjoy the “newness” of a fresh relationship with a completely different guy.
You’re too nervous to make the first move.
If he’s not taking hints and you’d just rather get on with it, it’s time to take control. Whether you’ve been talking all night and he hasn’t made a move or you’ve got your eye on a cutie from afar, it’s up to you to make it happen. Often guys will be just as nervous as you are to go in for the kill – or they’re totally oblivious to your signals of interest to know to make a move at all. If you want him, go get him, and don’t let your nerves stand in the way. Make a bold move by leaving your number on a receipt or just going straight for his lips. You’ll seem confident (and you’ll probably feel that way, too) and assertive – two qualities a guy loves to see in a girl.
You fall silent and/or run the other way when a guy approaches you.
If you’re literally hiding when you sense him coming to talk to you, how do you ever expect to connect with a guy? Shyness is okay at first, but it’s important to push through that awkward stage in order to really get to know someone. You don’t need to force yourself to be overly talkative or super enthusiastic, but find something to say, no matter what it’s about, before he gets bored and walks away.
You’re looking too hard.
As much as we all want to find a boyfriend, it’s important to make sure that we don’t devote every night to the boyfriend search. Be careful not to obsess over it, or else he’ll nevershow up. Once you start looking for a suitor everywhere on campus, at every table at restaurants, and each booth at the bar, it becomes about finding guys in general (and in volume) – not necessarily the right guy. It might be hard to accept, but patience is a virtue when it comes to boyfriend-searching, and waiting for it to happen (to an extent) is certainly better (and less exhausting) than desperately trying to make it happen.
Think your 5-inch platform heels just make your legs look better? Well, maybe they do, but our intense going-out getups can be intimidating to guys. From the overwhelming glitz to the perfect hair and makeup, looking so put-together can also translate to intimidating – especially when you plop yourself down next to your nine best girlfriends and don’t move all night. Not only do you lookintimidating by being strikingly gorgeous, but you also make it hard for a guy to feel comfortable approaching you when you’re in a large group. He shouldn’t have to be glared at by your friends while he conducts a private conversation with you. Remove yourself from huge crowds once in a while, and make it clear that you’re letting your guard down and are available to chat. Going out with just one or two girl friends instead of the whole gang can also help make you seem more approachable.
You flirt with everyone.
Being an outgoing social butterfly is great – until you start to get a little too touchy-feely with a few too many guys. When guys see that you’re flirting with 75% of the party, they won’t be impressed – by the time you get to that one guy you’re interested in, he probably won’t buy it. Be open to talking to everyone at the party, and definitely make new friends, but reserve overtly flirty behavior – some classic light touches on his shoulder/arm, anyone? – for the guy whose attention you’re really vying for.
You take “girl code” too seriously.
It doesn’t matter if Sarah hooked up with him freshman year. It also doesn’t matter that your big’s best friend dated him for 3 weeks last semester. And when Susie says she’s over him, take her wordfor it – she can suck it up if she’s lying. “Girl code” is an important aspect in any collegiette’s life, but it’s important not to take it too far. At a certain point, any involvement a guy has had with a friend (close or distant) should become pretty much irrelevant. Considering how easy it is to make a hook-up web these days, chances are you’re going to be double dipping or crossing boundaries somewhere along the line. As long as no cheating is involved and your friend doesn’t have strong feelings for him anymore, he’s fair game. Talk to your friend about it first if you’re worried about how she’ll react, but if it was a long time ago, she shouldn’t be getting too bent out of shape at the thought of you hooking up with her been-there-done-thats.
So cast aside your nerves, forget about your sexy smoky eye for a night, find new places to go out and talk to someone you don’t know. These things will help open you up to new experiences – which go hand-in-hand with new guys. And of course, being comfortable and confident while being singleis perhaps the most important objective to keep in mind. After all, relationships are great, but it’s hard to jump directly from one to the next. Take time to stand on your own two feet and don’t have your heart set on finding a boyfriend within the next two weeks. Call off your desperate search and put away your “Boyfriend Checklist” for a while – and only expect him to come along when you least expect it.