What A Bad Business Meeting Taught Me About Dating

preparing for a date

I had a nightmare of a business meeting recently, one that I felt I should have worn a ‘Mad Men’ inspired dress to because what was said sounded like it came from a very rude man from the fifties.

Dating, I think is all about first impressions, so when I was approached by a dating agency to go to an initial meeting and discuss a workshop, I was confident that I would be in the company of a kind hearted business that understood the struggles of getting back out there. Instead, the next 45 minutes of my time was taken up with a man 20 years older than me telling me what women want, that their brains are smaller than men’s, how we all only want to date wealthy men and if my contacts didn’t fit a certain dress size, they wouldn’t be welcome in their agency. Oh, and he tried to use an example of ‘subtle’ cues men use to attract and sleep with women by touching my knee and my hand and taking a few (damn, she’s only an ‘A’ cup) glances at my chest.

Long story short, I left feeling flustered and even more protective of the clients I know who are trying to get back into the dating scene. I’m protective of my clients, they often divulge private and emotional information about their lives and their feelings towards their bodies because they feel like they’re in a safe place to do so. Many of my clients are trying to find a partner or are getting over a divorce, and they want to work on themselves and their confidence first before getting back into the scene. I know what a tough slog dating is, I was thrust back into single life after a very unexpected breakup and found no comfort in 2015’s dating hotspots like nightclubs. And this encounter got me thinking about all the things we do, prior to getting back out there that we should really stop doing to ourselves.

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Crash Dieting: After a breakup, we want to reinvent ourselves, and it can definitely be a positive process. Perhaps after a few years with the same partner we felt we’d let ourselves slide on those gym sessions or we’d eaten a few too many jars of nutella, but that doesn’t call for a crash diet. It calls for a slight lifestyle change that you want for yourself, not one that you think a possible suitor would want.

Botox/Fillers: I love a bold lip as much as the next person, and maybe it’s my generation that are the only ones doing this, but our lips are pretty damn fantastic and kissable as is. And think about all the money you’ll save on lipstick and gloss because you’ll have less lips to cover!

Dressing In A Way That’s Not You: I get approached by women, impulsively rushing into a session and after chatting to them for a few moments, I realise they’re freshly heartbroken and looking to dress in a way that isn’t natural to them and doesn’t suit their lifestyles. Shopping can be therapeutic if done correctly, but it’s not a bandaid for a broken heart.

Comparing Our Bodies To Celebrities: Chrissy Teigan hit the (obvious) nail on the head recently when she said everyday women should stop beating themselves up for not bouncing back after a baby like celebs do. They have dietitians, therapists, personal trainers, osteopaths, naturopaths, nutritionists and people pressuring them to get that perfect shot so the rest of the world thinks ‘this is perfect’, when it’s not. Us everyday gals have weight watchers, and I think they purposefully made their biscuits extra tasty so we’d want to eat more of them!

In my, no longer single, opinion: Getting back into the dating scene shouldn’t be about changing yourself in drastic ways because you eventually want to find the person who will accept you as you are. Doing new things to make yourself genuinely happier is important but getting that confidence in yourself first is the most important thing. A number on a dress that varies store to store, a bigger cup size or bigger lips aren’t the things that make you an Effortless Bitch. Your confidence and natural sense of self is!

ALARNA HOPE

Owner / Blogger / Stylist

Alarna Hope is a Fashion Stylist and Writer based in Sydney, she's considered an expert in her field as a Personal Stylist and is also quite good at writing about herself in the third person. She cries during movie makeover scenes, has a jar of Nutella under her bed for safety, and can tell you the synopsis of every Kath & Kim episode ever. She currently resides in Sydney with her Oscar worthy cat, Meryl Streep.

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