A transcript of an attempted conversation with a co-worker desperate for female companionship.

Desperation is a turn-off. The single biggest problem with finding a girlfriend is the fact that you want a girlfriend. It shows. You are radiating need and, at times, desperation. You might think that showing and telling women that you are searching for a serious relationship lets them know you are available. It doesn't, even if she is desperately wanting to find a boyfriend. The logic to that may be screwy, but on an emotional level, it just turns people off. Why? There may be several reasons.

  • You are obviously very available. If you are so wonderful then why aren't you already with someone else?
  • She doesn't feel special about your attentions. In her eyes, you would probably fling yourself at any woman who crossed your path.
  • There is no romance, no mystery and no challenge. The things we treasure most in life are those things not so easily attained. If people threw gold and diamonds at us all day long the value of these things would drop fast and soon they'd be out with the morning trash.

Don't be so damned available all the time. Making yourself available at any time and never having anything in your schedule that can cause conflicts in your availability makes you look sad. Even if you don't have any other plans, act as if you do. You don't have to lie. You just bend the truth a little. Besides, anything you do is plans. Eating a meat sandwich and watching old movies on cable is a plan. If you have nothing else to do and are also radiating a need for female companionship you might as well be walking around with "LOSER" stamped on your forehead. Anyone who is interested in finding someone to cultivate an interest in is paying attention to these things.

Be versatile. This is especially important if you have been flying solo for some time. You may be set in your ways, but now you are wanting to share your existence with another person. You are going to have to be open to change and new things. Stay who you are and don't try to become what you aren't to impress someone. It won't work because they'll see through you eventually and you will have deflated the value of honesty.

Listen first and talk second. Self-promotion is an art form but most people don't care for someone who comes out of the gate trying to sell themselves. You're not thinking drinking buddy or eager ear for your fishing stories here. You are thinking about wanting this person to develop a deeper interest in you. The first step is that they establish that you are interested in their life. You may have strong opinions on things, but don't express them as law. In listening you may also find this person would not be compatible with you. Those things you have strong opinions on are things she has opposite opinions on. This helps your filtering process. The difference between looking for a one night stand and a girlfriend is that one requires more filtering. You want this to be for the long term, so it is best to find out now if you are going to clash. Filtering reminds you that you aren't willing to settle for anyone who is interested in you and you shouldn't be.

Have some style. This doesn't mean fitting into the latest trends in haircuts or clothing. This means developing your own style and feeling good about it. However, remember that some of the basic elements of your dress and appearance might not be selling you very well. Consider the opinions of friends on these things. This goes along with versatility. Those Hawaiian shirts you buy at Wal-Mart and the 1980s hair cut might be setting you back. Be interesting. Have something about you that invites discussion and conversation (there are reasons I go out wearing silk pirate shirts). Make the style your own, but beware looking like you just have no idea how to dress yourself.

You are plenty happy being alone. Well, you are looking for a companion, so this isn't really true, is it? No matter. This is the impression you need to give to undermine the negative pull of what we've already discussed. This is something to master. When she seems standoffish, then smile and walk away. Don't cling and try to determine why she's gone cold. Don't throw yourself at her feet telling her that she means so much to you and you hoped beyond hope that she would go out with you. Resist the temptation to degrade yourself. Always walk away with a smile and a "thank you." Remember that you can be happy by yourself. Once you are with someone you will come to appreciate alone time. Think about that now.

Confidence. You have to be sure of yourself. There is no reason for you to feel any less than anyone else. We're all just people and in the end we're after mostly the same things. You are just as worthy of these things as anyone else. Just because you haven't found them doesn't mean you don't deserve them. In fact, the reason you haven't found yourself a girlfriend yet is because the right one hasn't come along and you have been too good for those who have turned you down. It is true. Every last word. And once you believe it you will find yourself going through a metamorphosis. People who are depressed, unhappy and radiate a morbid sense of "I have already failed, haven't I?" never get the worm. People walk away. Sometimes they walk away politely. Other times they will be rude. It will be a blow at your confidence, but you must always snicker inside and remind yourself that they are the ones who blew it. Not you. They missed the boat. Their loss will one day be someone else's gain.

Sail the seas.
Don't tread water.
Unless it is what you want to do.