"Stay out of 'I hate my ex-husband' territory," says De Alto."You want to show that you're fun and enjoying your life." Three go-to topics to ask him about: favorite restaurants, concerts and events he’s been to, and recent trips or vacations."When in doubt, the weather is the most platonic thing in the world." 10 Little Things Connected Couples Do Hang-up: What if—after all that—I get rejected?Help: "The best way to handle rejection is to reframe the way you think about it," De Alto says.Meeting people on dating sites may have seemed awkward in the '90s, but there's no longer such a stigma attached.
And when you are out mingling, take a page from men and bring along a wingman—er, wing—to encourage you.Hang-up: What if I mess up and say something awkward? "Everyone makes missteps, but I don't think any conversation is killed because someone says the wrong thing or laughs too loud," says De Alto.If you realize you've come on too strong with a touch or a comment, pull back for the next 20 minutes or so and take the conversation into a more generalized area, she advises.And when it comes to flirting, practice makes perfect." If the idea of even not my style.Help: If that’s not your cup of tea, an online dating site may be a better fit.Help: "If you see someone you're attracted to, smile, make eye contact and hold for three seconds," says De Alto."It seems like an eternity while you're doing it, but it works.Just don't do it too much, or it gets weird." Hang-up: What would I even talk about?Help: The number-one rule of flirty conversation is to keep itpositive.There was the ex who brutally dumped me but wouldn't stop emailing me for months, whose presence at dorky work gatherings made me dizzy; the sociopathic film critic whose shoulder I virtually cried on; the go-nowhere first dates; and the great, wide swaths of time spent single, usually pining after some unavailable director or writer who'd relish my attention and nothing else. There were a few things that sent me into a panic about turning 40, but the biggest — looming larger than the golden ring of a book deal or a staff job or, like, finally going back to yoga — was what it meant for me to still be single and actively looking for a partner at that age. If you're not familiar with the exciting world of online dating, sites and apps let you set search parameters that range from location to body type to education and, yes, age range.Not so much even that I was single, but that I and what that implied. There are plenty of things I simply do not give a single solitary fuck about when it comes to what women my age are supposed to be doing. Just as there are movies on Netflix you might never stumble across in your bleary-eyed scrolling, there are plenty of people you might never see through some whim of programming code.