I finished reading this book on finding a man last week or the week before, Why Mr. Right Can’t Find You (thrifty Naija woman that I am, I have borrowed this book from the library).
This is another practical book about why Mr. Right might be having trouble finding you, but I feel like it speaks more to the oyinbo woman. I keep trying to recall whether I’ve seen Naija men hanging out in any of the following places mentioned in this book: art galleries, pubs, libraries or bookstores, and the answer is no. Granted, I don’t go to art galleries that regularly, or pubs even (I prefer somewhere where I can dance), but I do visit bookstores and libraries quite regularly. To give Naija men some credit, perhaps they visit these places at other times or go to locations on the other side of town (my side of town isn’t exactly known for its Naija population). However, if I should happen to see an eligible looking fellow I am supposed to walk up and strike up a conversation about the piece of art we’re viewing, or the book section we’re in, or ask for a book recommendation and see how things go. I hope I get an opportunity to try this out soon (sort of).
According to the book, the most ideal situation with a high potential of meeting Mr. Right is a private party: full of lots of people from different walks of life, held in a big old house or similar location with different rooms for dancing, talking or networking: basically a place with somewhere for all sorts of people to have a good time. I don’t know about you but I don’t have very many opportunities to attend such events, and the book acknowledges that they are fairly rare. Another suggestion is a dinner party hosted by friends where a good mix of single people with varied interests are invited. But for that you need friends who have a large bunch of single friends to bring together.
If you work with a lot of people your age, the workplace is suggested as a possible meeting place too. So are fairs and festivals, stores in general and at the gym.
Before you shake your head in horror that you’d be open to meeting a guy at the grocery store or the gym, the author illustrated it so well with the grocery story idea (paraphrased by me):
Imagine you get home late from work or school and just want to eat dinner and relax before going to bed. You get to your kitchen and it’s basically bare: there is nothing palatable to eat so you grab your wallet and head to the store. You’re wearing those baggy sweatpants that make your butt look big because you’re just running to the store and expect to be back home in 15 minutes.
You get to the store and you’re in the vegetable section when you feel like somebody is watching you. You look up and a normal looking guy who seems well dressed and non-threatening (and cute!) is eyeing you but looks away when your eyes meet. You smile and continue shopping, only to have your eyes lock again and perhaps he smiles and perhaps you begin to smile back. But then you remember what you’re wearing and immediately think “Oh, there is no way I’m meeting someone dressed like this!” and immediately your formerly open and welcoming (or even shy) attitude comes across as self conscious and embarrassed and the guy misinterprets it as disinterest, doesn’t approach you and you miss out on meeting someone that could have been great!
The biggest lesson I got from the book is to be open to opportunities, all opportunities. There is no right time or place to meet the right person. If you’re confident, open and warm, you will be surprised at how many men you can find anywhere (apparently), even at bars (and the men are not all sleaze bags)! The book really hits home the idea that if you, decent woman that you are, frequent these places, why can’t a decent guy also do the same? It also attempts to bust myths like “guys in bars are only after one thing” or “girls/women who go to bars alone are only after one thing”.
Another big thing I got from the book is to work on your own. If you saw a group of guys and one of them in particular caught your eye, and he seemed like the quiet one in the group but his three friends were making catcalls at girls as they walked by, or talking really loudly or obnoxiously, would you feel confident enough to approach the guy you’re interested in with his crazy pals nearby? The author asks you to compare that to a guy approaching you and your group of 4 best friends who are out on the town to have a wild time, talking and/or gossiping a mile a minute. Think how hard it would be for a guy to approach you ladies and single one of you out for attention.
(lol I don’t care how hard it is sef, I think he should still risk being torn to shreds by us and enter the lion’s den jare…but I do sort of understand the author’s point)
Anyways, so the author encourages us to not be afraid to go places alone, as long as we’re safe. Going to a poetry reading at a public place in the middle of the day: good, leaving at 10pm to go to a party on the other side of town that you don’t know very well alone: bad.
The book also has a really good guide to online dating if you’re interested in going that route.