I met my fiance at a time in my life when I’d finally gotten my shit together. We’ve been together for almost a decade now and recently had our first child.
Before her though, I fumbled my way through relationships how most people do when they don’t have proper guidance/examples.
Putting yourself out there isn’t easy for anyone. And if you’re an attractive woman, your milkshake may bring the boys to the yard, but it won’t make them stay.
If you’re in the market for a boyfriend, this post will help you find the kind of guy you want and end the cycle of meaningless hookups and ‘situationships.’
Become more holistically attractive
First I have to share a harsh truth:
After sex appeal, many women are vastly uninteresting and I dare say unlikeable. Good men know this. The smart ones avoid the girls that are pretty on the outside and empty on the inside.
I say this to emphasize that any self-improvement or work you do to become your best self, immediately sets you apart from the crowd.
We all know physical attractiveness is social currency. But the type of women that attract men and build healthy relationships possess more than surface-level qualities. For example, they focus on:
- Developing high self-esteem rooted in experience
- Sending the right body language cues
- Eliminating/avoiding red flags in themselves and others
- Having standards and living with intention
I wrote an extensive piece on how to attract a man according to what men actually want that dives deeper into the above points. Check it out when you’re done here.
Ditch the list but know what you’re looking for
Before you start dating, ask yourself what you’re looking for in a potential boyfriend but beware of the ‘list of demands.’ Some women keep this list and overlook any man that doesn’t fit it perfectly. For example, He may be a nice guy who makes a decent income but doesn’t have a Ph.D.
Instead of creating a list of arbitrary traits, start with knowing the kind of life you want to live. Then consider what is necessary to achieve that.
How do you want your relationships to feel? Loving, full of laughter, peaceful?
When you start this way, you are more likely to hit your goal of finding a great guy but you leave yourself open too many possibilities that work.
Sometimes getting the man you want is an investment of time. Starting from how you want to feel has more potential to lead you to a satisfying life rather than a list of income or other superficial things. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll want to be able to recognize a high-value man when you see him but high income doesn’t equal high value.
Improve your chances on dating apps
Before online dating and dating apps, there were personal ads in the newspapers. These days the barriers to entry are far lower, making it feel difficult to find the right guy. However, recent studies show that meeting someone on a dating app as opposed to in-person is less likely to end in divorce.1 So the system works if you work it.
It’s not a secret that the more attractive you are the easier you will have it on an appearance-based swiping system but with a few tweaks, anyone can improve their chances. You want to avoid any obvious red flags in men.
Also, understand that on some apps like Tinder, men are more likely after casual hookups.2 If the conversation is veering too sexual too soon and you know you’re looking for something serious, don’t entertain it. Healthy relationships are more likely to develop if you don’t jump into sex immediately.3 Further, you’re less likely to link up with someone who is more reckless when it comes to sexual partners when you put it off. As an adult, you can discern when it is time to have sex but waiting till at least after the first date or first three dates can do wonders for your relationship.
Look and sound your best on your dating app profile by:
- Taking high-quality photos
- Using natural poses and a variety of pictures that show your personality, interests, and hobbies
- Being the only one in your profile photo and the main subject of all of your other photos
- Avoiding anything that reads as inauthentic
- Making sure your profile is well-written, positive, engaging, and error-free.
Upgrade your conversation
If looks pull them in, conversations keep them.
Learning to hold good conversations is a skill anyone can learn. And whether you’re on a dating site looking for your soulmate or building friendships, it’s always going to pay dividends.
Many people are conversation hogs. They can only talk about themselves or answer open-ended questions with one-word answers. Good conversationalists leave lasting impressions and are more emotionally intelligent. Being a good conversationalist will quickly set you apart in the eyes of others simply because you become more memorable.
People scientist Vanessa Van Edwards recommends these things for having better conversations:
- Know the purpose of your conversations, where you’ll be, who you’re with, and why
- Use relaxed body language and eye contact that signals you are interested
- Use conversation openers
- Share things you enjoy like funny memes or links
- Look for opportunities to bond over inside jokes
- Ask questions about topics people are excited about like personal projects, vacations, trying new things, etc.
- Look out for body language and facial cues like raised eyebrows that show interest in a topic
- Do equal talking and listening
- Learn to tell stories
- Leave room for follow-up conversations
Be in the right place to meet someone
Want to meet someone great? Get a hobby where men will be hanging out. Social hobbies almost guarantee that you’ll find someone with a common interest. If you’re in high school, this is the same as joining a club, activity, or sport where you can meet more boys. At best you’ll meet new guys at least you’ll gain a new interesting thing to talk about when you meet people.
Some hobbies include:
- learning to dance
- Running groups
- Team sports
- Cooking classes
Use a friend to meet a friend
In my article, How to make friends as an adult, I shared a simple trick to make a lot of friends. It’ll also work for meeting a potential boyfriend. Simply tap your social circle on a Friday night out and ask a friend to bring a friend.
If you know great guys, it’s highly likely that they also know great guys. Hang out as friends, host a cookout, go on a local adventure, but ask your friends to bring a plus one. Make it clear that you are looking for a potential boyfriend. Hanging out in groups reduces the pressure of meeting people. And not only does this expand your social circle, it increases the likelihood of finding someone that is a great match.
I don’t typically recommend meeting people in bars because I’ve been sober for 10 years. Plus, it’s hard to gauge intention when you’re drunk. If you don’t have friends you can turn to, you might start by making more friends.
Don’t believe social media
Relationships don’t look the way they do on social media. Endless pictures captioned with #couplegoals can fool you into thinking that you are supposed to be treated in a way that is unrealistic for most people. Also…
you set yourself up to be gamed. For example, if the standard thing to do is buy your girl flowers and chocolate, and a guy gives you those gifts, you are fooled into believing you have a good man. But really, you’ve just given him easy tactics to get you.
A good man is verifiable. His life online and offline looks the same. Mutual friends will have the same opinions or stories about him. Romance movies, and reality shows, lead you to believe relationships and dating are grandiose signs of attraction or should be a fairytale. Or that you should be feeling butterflies at all times. But most men are not prince charming. In fact, you’d be surprised that most guys are just trying to figure themselves out and find love the same as you.
If you want a boyfriend, move with the intention of being in a relationship. Don’t entertain casual hookups or being stuck in the friend zone. The right guy may not be someone you’d typically pick out, so be open to opportunity by focusing on the feelings you want to create together rather than an arbitrary list of traits.
to summarize how to get a boyfriend:
- Become more holistically attractive
- Know what you’re looking for
- Create a good dating app profile
- Work on your conversation skills
- Get a hobby
- Tap your social circle
- Don’t compare yourself to others
Cacioppo, J. T., Cacioppo, S., Gonzaga, G. C., Ogburn, E. L., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2013). Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(25), 10135–10140. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1222447110 ↩
Sindy R. Sumter, Laura Vandenbosch, Loes Ligtenberg, Love me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application Tinder, _Telematics and Informatics,_Volume 34, Issue 1,2017,Pages 67-78, ISSN 0736-5853, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2016.04.009 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736585316301216 ↩
Willoughby, Brian J., Jason S. Carroll, and Dean M. Busby. “Differing Relationship Outcomes When Sex Happens Before, On, or After First Dates.” The Journal of Sex Research 51, no. 1 (2014): 52–61. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43701750. ↩