The dating world can be a beast, and if you're in it for long enough, it might seem as though any and all fun has been vacu-sucked directly out of it, never to return again.
But in a new book, New York-based dating coach Rachel DeAlto makes the case that flirting and dating should be easy and not stressful...like, you should actually enjoy it.
Here, the 33-year-old lawyer-turned-relationship expert talks to us about her new book, "Flirt Fearlessly," and breaks down how to have a good time while you're trying to meet the love of your life.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I've been in the dating industry for six years. It started as a way for women to flirt without giving out their personal information it became this fun kitschy thing and I started getting asked for coaching - and I was like coaching for what I was a lawyer and advertising we want to know how to flirt like you do, tell me how you do this and talk to people and I've been working with people across the country so the book is long overdue.
It really is a compilation of everything I've learned that works and doesn't work. I'm trying to get people out there to connect; I don't care if it's love related, business related, friendship, I just want to get people out there.
What is the biggest mistake that people make in dating?
The littlest things really do turn people off; I can't stress enough. Bad breath, chewing with your mouth open, having an offensive stench that someone could get not excited by...these are things that are easy to take care of but could ruin a conversation if they aren't. It's the preparation, that's all - the minor things. It's also about reading body language and understanding other people. I think that's a problem that happened when we became attached to our technology; we lost our ability to read people and connect with then and tell if they're interested or not.
In the book, you talk about how flirting should be fun. Can you talk more about that?
Part of the thing with flirting especially is that it's light. Dating should be fun and light. A lot of singles, especially the ones that get frustrated after being out there for a while and unsuccessfully meeting people, they put so much energy into finding Mr. or Ms. Right, but it shouldn't feel like it's your second job. It should feel like an activity that you enjoy, that could lead to happiness. Otherwise it's not gonna work.
So if you're at an event or bar the conversation has to be completely light. People want fun people, and if they're not, you're gonna lose out. People are immediately eliminating you.
What's the most common complaint that you hear from people in the dating world?
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It varies. Men complain that the women want to move too fast, and that they don't let the relationship progress the way that they feel it should go naturally. I think that's part of the problem with women in general; you are trying to figure out if your kids would look good together, your last name would work, so you're not pacing it correctly. I'm a firm believer that expectations are the root of every frustration, and women don't manage them well.
You also talk about why it's important to flirt everywhere. What do you mean by that?
People ask me all the time, "where can I meet a good fill-in-the-blank?" The truth of the matter is that you can meet then everywhere; online, in airports, anywhere and everywhere is a place to meet people, unless it's completely inappropriate like a wake or a funeral. So flirt with everybody, talk to everybody. You can even get into a conversation with somebody who is attached, who could know the next person you date.
Rachel DeAlto will be at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium signing books and giving advice on Wednesday, December 12, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for Shecky's Girls Night Out.