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“Hey Noah, Any advice for some Filipino dude that’s been out of the game since high school?"

“Hey Noah,

Any advice for some Filipino dude that’s been out of the game since high school and is almost 22, will graduate from a downtown Milwaukee college in May 2017? I haven’t dated or attempted to since high school or (5 years ago).”

– Mahalo, Gerald

Hey Gerald,

Aloha and mahalo for your question!  Here’s the thing, when I created the “Hey Noah” column, it was my intention to steer clear of “Dear Abby” topics like love and relationships. But I’ve received more than a few notes from people looking for help with dating in Milwaukee and, since I’m here first and foremost to help NEWaukeeans with whatever they need, what the heck…let’s talk about your personal life.

(Note: this answer isn’t just for some Filipino dude, it’s for any and all dudes…or dudettes!)

Dating (or finding a date) mirrors the job of a professional salesperson in many ways. Think about it – if you want to make a sale, you make a list of prospects, put yourself in front of them, create demand, and then ask for a commitment to move forward. If you want to go on a date, you pretty much do the same thing.

Salespeople use LinkedIn and Facebook, singles use Match and Tinder.
Salespeople go to trade shows, singles go to bars.
Salespeople earn referrals, singles get set up.
Salespeople nurture leads until they turn into customers, singles nurture each other until they turn into spouses (well, not always, but you get the point).

I could go on ad nauseam about the similarities, but instead I’ll cut to the chase: being good at dating requires you to be good at sales. More specifically, you have to master the art of selling yourself.

So, without further adieu, here are 8 ways to sell your way into a date:

  1. Go where your kind of people hang out. If you’re into dogs, go to the dog park or the humane society. If you like books, go to the bookstore. If you like to run, go to race. If you like to drink, go to a bar. If you can’t stand the idea of going anywhere, download Match, or Plenty of Fish, or Tinder and get to work. My personal opinion is that meeting someone in a bar is a terrible idea. Sure, things may seem easier at first because everyone has had their fair share of liquid courage, but the odds that you meet someone that you share a common interest with are slim to none. Give yourself a leg up on turning a first date into a relationship by looking for love somewhere you’d enjoy spending your time in the future. Then again, if you just want to have a good time…a bar or a club is a perfectly acceptable starting point.
  2. Show up…prepared. Put your best foot forward. Get a haircut, shave your scruff, put on your best clothes. Or don’t. Just present yourself in a way that makes you feel good. Confidence is everything. If you think you look good, you’ll do a lot better out there.
  3. Ask, don’t tell. Come prepared with engaging questions about the other person. Things like, “Where did you grow up?” “What’s your favorite band?” “Dogs or cats?” “What’s the best dinner you’ve ever had?” “What’s one place you’ve always dreamt of going?” Ask genuine questions about things that you are interested in. If you get them talking about themselves, you’ll be on your way to another conversation in the future.
  4. Go slow. Salespeople who press too hard reek of commission breath. Singles who press too hard reek of desperation. Both are a big turnoff. Act as if you’ve been here before. Approach your first interaction with the intention of learning more about the other person to see if there’s a connection. Don’t try to get past the first step too soon. I’m not talking about first base here. I’m talking about determining whether there’s a spark or a mutual interest.
  5. Pay attention, there are opportunities everywhere. You don’t have to go somewhere specific to find a date. Maybe you’ll find the person of your dreams at a coffee shop, or at your job, or in a class you take, or at a non-profit where you volunteer, or at a sporting event, or where you get your haircut, or…people meet in the most random places.
  6. Ask for a referral. Ask your friends who they know that might be good for you. Somebody knows somebody. Go on blind dates. They’re scary but fun. Anyway, with the advent of social media, blind dates really aren’t all that blind anymore.
  7. Wait for the right fit. Don’t get overly excited with the very first date you go on and decide you’re going to make this relationship work no matter what. You shouldn’t have to force it. When it feels right, you’ll know.
  8. Have fun. Enjoy the process. Dating can be (and should be) a lot of fun. Something (or someone) crazy is going to happen to you. Remember my motto: “It’s either a good time or a good story.”

Finally, don’t give up if you fail a lot. You only need one person to say yes to you. You only need one success. It doesn’t matter how many bad dates you go on…stick with it until you go on the best date of your life. And then make sure you hold onto that one forever.

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