The Eligible

As you take your first steps back into the singles scene, you may want to consider ways you can become a better candidate to attract a suitable mate.

From a man’s perspective, here are some areas to hone in on:

Current affairs: Keep up with what’s going on in the news and educate yourself on international affairs, economics, trends, politics, culture, and some major or local sports.

Good character: Get your act together. Guys definitely are attracted to physical characteristics first, but when they start shopping for a wife, their antennas tune in to more substantial issues:

* Are you reliable or flakey?

* Can you be depended upon to help out or contribute?

* Are you a taker or a giver?

* Can you be trusted?

* Are you organized? (finances, personal schedule)

* Are you independent, or is someone (such as family or an old boyfriend) supporting you until the next “meal ticket” comes along


Physical fitness: If you’ve let yourself go, it’s a good time to get in shape.

Domesticity: Take care of your own household. When I was dating, I once went into a woman’s home and the relationship was over before it started. Dirty dishes in the sink, disgusting bathrooms, and laundry scattered on the floor are all turn-offs.

Computer literacy: In this day and age, being technology savvy is critical for communicating and getting information, both in professional situations and on matters of health, child care, home improvement, entertainment, and other aspects of family life.

Social life: Men have disdain for women that have a 100 percent emotional dependency on them. They like to escape periodically to bond with the boys, focus on their work, or recharge, and it’s good if you have friends and family who support you and provide you with your own getaway opportunities.

Conflict resolution: If you’re always unhappy and complaining about your relationships with co-workers, family, and friends, chances are that you’ll be equally miserable with a significant other.

Children: If you want to have children, get some experience with them. Be an involved aunt or friend to the kids in your life. Guys who want a family look for maternal characteristics in women they date.

Telephone etiquette: Don’t try to keep interested men on the phone too long, or call them at odd hours. A woman who can’t keep herself from needlessly bothering


a man when he’s at work or with his friends is extremely annoying.

Sexuality: Now that you’re looking for a life partner, you should be more cautious about how many men you sleep with. Many men don’t want woman with an overly promiscuous track record as a wife. You don’t need to be a virgin, but show some restraint.

Bad habits: Smoking is one of those “deal breakers,” unless you’re looking for another smoker. Same goes with drinking or substance abuse. Even if you’re not an alcoholic or a drug addict, avoid getting smashed, especially in public. You’re likely to behave foolishly.

Tune up: Make sure you don’t have bad teeth, a real turn-off, and that you’re well groomed. Cosmetic surgery may be going too far. Consider it only if it’s really required.

Finances: Don’t be financially needy. I know guys who’ve moved in with a woman and found that the first thing they had to do was pay off her credit cards. Then they helped with her car payments and co-signed her mortgage. If men are going to have to pay for sex, they can go the professional route and limit their losses.

Now that you’ve spruced yourself up, you’re ready to meet new men. How many stories have you heard from your friends about meeting Mr. Right in a bar, nightclub, or someplace else even more decadent? Probably not very many. So where should you go to meet a quality guy?

Start with attending activities you already enjoy, and exploring new areas where there’s a decent likelihood of finding a guy with a strong character and common interests.



House parties: The hosts and their friends can help you prescreen men they already know.

Health clubs: Here you can network with presumably healthy people, and most facilities have great social activities.

Sporting events: The male-to-female ratio will be ideal, and guys will be curious about a woman who’s into sports.

Church or synagogue: In addition to regular services, houses of worship frequently sponsor singles events—the perfect opportunity to find someone who shares your faith.

Festivals: Mingle at cultural events celebrating local wine, art, or music, often held at downtown locations.

Holiday and special-occasion parties: Dress up in your seasonal best and spread some cheer!

Office social events: I suggest getting invited to activities at your friends’ companies, since dating at your own workplace may be risky.

Sports teams (e.g., co-ed volleyball or softball) or leagues (e.g., tennis, golf): Have fun, stay in shape, and meet men with whom you already have something in common.

Volunteer work or community organizations: Meet someone good by doing good for a cause in which you both believe.


Nicholas Aretakis, author of Ditching Mr. Wrong: How to End a Bad Relationship and Find Mr. Right.

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