My name is Jameka, and I am a recovering dating recluse.

I, like so many other single young professionals in the Greater Charlotte Metropolitan Area, had given up on dating and resigned myself to staying home on weekends, watching television and complaining about how horrendous the dating scene is here in the Qcity.

Well, no more sitting by the sidelines for me. I refuse to be that woman.

You know who I am talking about, the complainer: “There are no good men left.” “All the men in Charlotte are wack.” “No one ever asks me to dance.” “Nobody ever buys me a drink.”

Yadda.yadda.yadda. Girl please, shut up already.

While most of those statements may have some truth to them, complaining does not lead to change. The only way things will get better is to be the one to stand up and do something about it. I, personally, refuse to be a victim of dating circumstance any longer. It’s a new day.

Ladies, some of you will probably take offense to my point of view (gotta love free speech though) but we as women need to take control of our own emotional health. Stop allowing whether or not a dude asks you to dance or buys you a drink dictate whether your evening is going to be a bust. Be empowered, and consider some of the tips below. Who knows; they just may help you hang up the phone, turn off the television, close the latest Mary B. Morrison novel and get up off the couch.

5 Cool Tips to Jumpstart Your Dating Life

1. Smile: You would think that women would understand that a smile can get you almost anything. A smile is infectious and immediately puts a man at ease. It is a nonverbal cue that says: “Please come talk to me; I am approachable.” So PLEASE, for your own sakes, stop mean mugging every man who says hello or tries to maintain eye contact. Again, I repeat, it is okay to smile. It doesn’t hurt, I promise.

2. Talk: Contrary to popular belief, it is ok to strike up a conversation with a member of the opposite sex in a social situation. It’s called flirting and is often an acceptable prelude to dating. Trust me, it works.

3. Mingle: If I’m at one more party, gathering, church social or whatever where all the guys are on one side of the room and all the women are on the other and neither group is interacting, I will scream. Loudly. This is not 8th grade, people. Get up, mingle, walk around and discover something you didn’t know about the other people in the room. You actually might like it. Plus, if you are waiting for a man in Charlotte to speak to you first, I have some real estate on the moon that I would like to sell to you.

4. Less is more: Ladies, stop, I repeat, stop going out in a gang of 7-10 women, rolling so deep that even the nicest, most gentlemanly dudes will run away screaming in fear. No one is going to attack you; a gang is not needed. The danger of being in a large group of women is that your group may be intimidating for the single guys who may want to approach. Perhaps the guy who is giving you the eye from across the room just wants to talk to you, not your entire entourage.

5. Looks Can Kill: Just because you’re cute (and most likely you are cute or think you are) does not give you a free pass to be rude, obnoxious or generally unpleasant, no matter how beautiful you may be on the outside. A real lady knows how to command respect through her style, grace and manners. Remember, ladies, you can catch more bees with honey — a cliché, but it still holds true, even for my “independent” women.

Until next time.

Jameka S. Whitten is a hopeless romantic, (semi) regular blogger and Owner/Principal Publicist for JSW Media Group ( Her personal quote and motto comes from Cecil B. DeMille, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” Follow her on Twitter @JamekaShamae for constant updates on everything from veganism, social activities to just general random thoughts. Never a dull moment.

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