Newly single? Why You Should Wait Before You Date

Many women who are newly single are tempted to jump into the dating world right away.

Ending a relationship can be awful, and you’re eager to shake off the darkness and turmoil and have some fun. Besides, in this digital age of dating websites and social media, it’s easier to connect than ever—so why not get out there?

Because, according to Barbie Adler, president and founder of Selective Search, if you want to make a quality love connection, you might have some work to do. Barbie’s Chicago-based firm has made thousands of love matches over the last 12 years and, when it comes to romance, she knows what it takes to be successful.

“It’s like showing a house; you want to present your best self,” says Barbie pragmatically. “To attract a 8, 9, or 10, you’ve got to be one. So be prepared emotionally and physically to date—or wait until you’re ready.”

Barbie advises asking a trusted friend to tell you honestly what you need to improve, whether that means losing ten pounds, coloring your hair, resolving a financial issue or releasing bitterness toward your ex.

Amy of Wilmette ended her marriage ten years ago and agrees it’s essential to clean out the baggage before getting involved with someone new. “It’s easy to repeat patterns and pick the same kind of guy unless we do our work before we plunge,” she says. Amy has been in a happily committed relationship with David for the last eight years, and he’s nothing like her former husband.

When it comes to dating, timing is important. Barbie says, “If you get out there before you’ve done the work, you’ll miss your chance at the good guys.”

Over the years, Barbie has observed that quality men respond to women who are happy, appreciative and take care of themselves. They don’t like poorly groomed women, or women with messy homes or cars, or women who dress provocatively or drink too much. And they definitely don’t like women who complain about their problems or exes. Bitch to your girlfriends if you need to, but be positive and cheerful with your date.

Men need to prepare as much as women do, which often means getting in shape, updating their wardrobe and brushing up on their manners. Acting like a gentleman is crucial when it comes to courtin.’

But while you’re in prep mode, have fun! Take a tango class, book the trip you’ve wanted to take, learn to speak Italian, go check out a band.  And don’t be afraid to attend social events on your own. You want people to know you’re single.

The good news is that when you feel ready to meet someone special, he’s out there. Contrary to the gloomy notion that “all the good ones are taken,” Barbie says there are many wonderful men available right here on the North Shore.

“They have great careers, full social lives, and beautiful homes. They have everything except this one thing,” enthuses Barbie, who believes there’s a love out there for everyone, no matter what age.

“Keep your heart open.”