Dating In Never Never Land

Before I start with this week’s blog, I’d like to congratulate “Rachel” from our last challenge.  She got the job for which we did the Interview Make-Over!  Now, on to this week’s challenge…

A dear friend is seeing a counselor to help her emotionally come to terms with how difficult dating can be for a successful business woman in Austin.  After telling a number of personal experiences, the therapist shared a comment he’s obviously said dozens of times to other women:

“Austin is like Never Never Land. It’s a young, care-free culture that attracts men who don’t want to grow up.”

Chew on that for a second.

Assuming you’ve accepted this statement as true, it brings a lot of perspective to the Austin dating scene, does it not? Suppose the 80/20 rule applies and 80% of single men are loving Never Never Land.  For very successful, well-educated, out-going women who are looking for Mr. Right, this a) cuts the dating pool down considerably, and b) leaves only 20% of men to realistically choose from, not discounting personality differences. Frustrating to say the least.

The Challenge: How do “grown up” single ladies present themselves to attract the right guys in this fairy tale world?

The Solution: Keep in mind the following three points, and you’ll at least be able to avoid the Peter Pans and zero in on the potential White Knights.

1.  Dress for your age and your unique style.  Too many times we’re pressured into wearing the latest trends meant for teens and college students.  Not only does dressing too young for your age group make you look OLDER, but it attracts a man who thinks you’re simply a party girl with no long-term plans or needs.  Decide if your style is classic, feminine, edgy or sporty and play off that look when on the dating scene.  Mini-skirts are for the under-30 crowd, but no need to be dowdy!  At the knee or up to 2″ above the knee works for all ages.

2.  Dress sexy, not trampy.  It’s such a fine line, especially in 100 degree heat when minimal clothing is fairly acceptable.  A few simple tips can keep you on the tasteful side: First, choose one sexy item that highlights your best asset and dress around that. So, if you have a plunging neckline that shows off The Girls, wear a pair of bootleg jeans or wide-leg linen slacks with a fun shoe.  If you look hot in skinny jeans, keep the top loose and flowing. Second, keep the focus on one facial feature.  Have a great set of lips?  Choose a skin-flattering red (super hot this season) or glimmering coral while keeping the eyes soft and low key. Conversely, show off striking eyes with a dramatic, complementary color palette paired with a natural, slightly shining lip color. Too much sex in clothes or make-up appeals to the guys who want a good-time girl, not a full-time girlfriend.

3.  Be confident and friendly.  With your appearance in “fab” mode, confidence will automatically exude.  Keep that confidence when men approach (and they do approach a lady who feels comfortable in her own skin).  The best thing to do during this awkward intro is to ask a few light questions, even if at first glance he doesn’t look like your type. It allows you to steer the conversation and make an informed decision on next steps. You may learn that he’s got a charming personality with a Harvard education and similar interests.  You may also learn that he’s a male chauvinist looking for “fun” (aka a fling) who works part-time because he doesn’t need the pressure of a career. For whatever reason, if he turns out to be a dud, kindly thank him for the conversation (and drink if he bought one) and move on.  Excusing yourself to the ladies room is a convenient out.

No matter what, be yourself and put yourself in environments that are safe and reflect your lifestyle and goals. The Chuggin’ Monkey probably doesn’t attract responsible, future husbands.  If you or a loved one would like a Find Mr. or Miss Right makeover, give me a call!  Visit for more information.

— Thea Wood, Austin’s Personal Stylist.

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