How to pick up a man. Any advice?

by singlemomseeking on July 24, 2008

On the way back from the beach this weekend, my Latina single mom friend and I talked in hushed whispers about meeting men, as our girls played with their American Girls in the backseat. (We turned up Disney Channel by the way.)

Neither of is going back online this summer. I’ve given JDate a good hard try more than once. She has had her fill of eHarmony.

“I’ve started to shop at the Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood,” she confessed.

“Why?”

“The men are cuter there.”

“They are?”

We talked about how important it is to turn down a different path once in a while, even if it means shopping in another ‘hood. As Dad’s House explains today, meeting strangers when you’re the single parent of older kids has its challenges. While you might have more alone time, what happens when you spot a hot stranger, and your kids are in the distance? “Hitting on someone cold can be awkward,” Dad’s House says.

Neither my girlfriend or I would flirt with a man in the check-out line if our girls were there. But what if we’re alone?

I dared my friend to smile at the next cute guy she sees at Trader Joe’s. But then I stopped myself.

“Let’s say that you see that he doesn’t have a wedding ring, and then you smile–”

“Make sure there’s no white band around his finger, either, because guys take their rings off,” she interrupted.

“Okay, what then?” I asked. “You look into his cart and say, ‘Nice watermelon?‘ ”

Seriously: Have you taken another path this week? Have you gone off your usual, daily route?

Have you done something bold, and out-of-the-ordinary, like talk to a cute stranger without a wedding band?


Photo from Synthetic D.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

laurakim123 July 25, 2008 at 12:43 am

Havent done it this week but did swop numbers with the car her serviced my car last year ;o)

Eating out is also not a bad spot – ok the kids are with but it can be fun subtly flirting with the dad on his weekend with the kids at the table next to you!

I met a cute guy at our local park once too!

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Karsi July 25, 2008 at 12:45 am

Hey SMS..I am a single mom and have been reading your blog for a while. Got the link off of MJM. I am about to be an emptinester at 44! I did not renew my JDate subscription this month. Like you it had no success and only one date. Maybe it is where I live. I am trying the old fashion way (not bars). Just at my normal spots. Work (blich), the gym and maybe at the grad school I go to but that is how I diverted off the normal path. Wish me luck!

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Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity July 25, 2008 at 1:05 am

Well, I’m done with the online thing for now. I live in a relatively small town and haven’t met anyone worth the price I paid… except one, but things don’t seem to be progressing…

however, I did meet a man at blogher… who was not a blogger. He worked at the hostel that I stayed at and after the conference festivities when I retired to the hostel, he had just gotten off work and we started talking… before you know it, we’re going for a drink and a stroll around the city. Too bad he lives there and I live across the country… but it’s the first time in a LONG time that I’ve met a man through chance like that….

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judy July 25, 2008 at 1:11 am

I have noted that most of the ‘fun’ unattached single guys here like the 10 – midnight happy hour scene. The nicer restaurant/bars almost all have great food at great prices. (So they are working late, hitting the gym and then a late dinner) It’s staying up that late and looking flirtatiously approachable that is hard as a single mom.

Let’s remember the mind set though. When I have been attached I could talk to anyone…being single is what dampens that freedom for me.

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The Exception July 25, 2008 at 1:12 am

I find myself doing things of late – and wanting to do things of late – that I didn’t do a year ago. I am not sure if I will meet any men this way, but my life is enriched by the change. I do crave more of it though!

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Vinnie Sorce July 25, 2008 at 1:12 am

I’m going to get attacked for this but why not smile at all the guys instead of just the “cute” ones?

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littlemansmom July 25, 2008 at 1:17 am

I once took a chance at a restaurant. I having a mommie-and-me evening with my mom and we both agreed that the gentleman serving us was a bit of a honey, AND was paying us some extra special attention. I shamelessly flirted with him and after the meal, I handed him my cell# (not something I do…maybe it was the wine…ha!) He did call, we went out a couple of times and even though it hasn’t worked out romatically, I made myself a new friend!

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Karsi July 25, 2008 at 1:19 am

For me cuteness is not always a “look”. I have my limits but cuteness comes from within as well and hence I smile and say to everyone. A man that I would not consider dating due to a physical “thing” I would still smile at and talk to but it would go no further!

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OneManThreeKids July 25, 2008 at 1:31 am

I say go for it ladies…you want us to be bold…well you can be as well. Initially we may be taken back in shock (because it is rare for women to be that bold), but we will get over it. We are supposed to be the hunters…so just make it obvious that you are willing to be hunted. Allow your glance to linger longer…Ask a question about a gadget or possible wine selection… Give us the in.

You ladies have given me courage to be bolder in my public interactions…for which I am thankful. Not every interaction will be positive, but rejection is life.

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Kat Wilder July 25, 2008 at 1:57 am

Like a Boy Scout, singles should always be prepared … to talk. Or smile. And, I agree, not just at the “cute” ones. It feels good, and it costs nothing.

That said, Sean and I were at a party last weekend and both noticed an attractive man. I made the rounds, chatted with him and her, thinking I’d make my way over sooner or later. Then, he was gone!
Later, Sean told me Mr. Attractive gave him “the look.”

And that’s how it goes …

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mc July 25, 2008 at 3:57 am

Years ago, I went on a date with a guy who chatted me up at a Taco Bell during lunch. He was super cute, and I gave him major points for having the guts to actually come up and talk to me, so I said “yes” to meeting him at an outdoor music festival in my town the next night. All my girlfriends were incredulous at my luck, and very jealous.

But when we were on our “date” and I ordered a beer and he ordered a lemonade, I found out he was 17…and I was 32 at the time! (Don’t blame me, he had a full beard and everything!) Totally Awkward.

Even lately, I still have had absolutely no luck meeting men randomly around town.

Although guys still do try to pick me up sometimes, virtually all of them are either 1) very young, or 2) very unsuitable (ex-cons, mentally-challenged, homeless). Believe me, I’m not flirting with them! The rest of the men I see in public places are usually very obviously married, and very obviously I don’t flirt with them either.

I don’t think normal single men in their 40′s hang out at bookstores or troll the isles of supermarkets looking for women. *sigh* Where are they? Probably off doing something more interesting, I’d guess.

Off topic—why do all the posts here say “July 25″? The future looks an awful lot like today…. :)

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Crazy Computer Dad July 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

It seems like there was another post about this not too long ago…

I work in IT, where there are VERY few women. After hours you can normally find my son and I doing something in the neighborhood, at some sports practice, at daycare, in the grocery store, hiking, kayaking, at the beach looking for STUFF, at a movie, piano practice, etc. I’ve met a couple of single moms at daycare, but sometimes it is awkward when trying to shuffle kids to activities or dinner, etc. When my son isn’t around (which would be very rare) you may find me in a bookstore, doing some coed sport, some extreme sport, mowing the lawn, at a movie, or hanging out with friends at a happy hour or something. You won’t find me dating online, but I’m rethinking this.

I’ve made a conscious effort to talk to people I run into. It is hard for me because I’m generally shy and introverted. Small talk is not easy for me. A little over a year ago I went to Salt Lake City to go snowboarding by myself. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. I swore I would just chat with everyone I ran into, and I did. I had a great time. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Going out with groups like meetin.org has really been good because it is all about just meeting and doing things with new people. It isn’t a dating or singles thing though. It does give me a chance to meet some great people and really practice talking to strangers.

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laurakim123 July 25, 2008 at 12:27 pm

LOL MC I also had a 17 year old experience! He was our waiter and really cute and very interested! I figured he was a student at Varsity so at the youngest 18 – turns out he was still in school!!!

But it is a pretty cool ego boost knowing 17 year olds find you attractive – especially after having 2 kids and not feeling exceptionally sexy alot of the time!

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singlemomseeking July 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Vinnie: By “cute,” I don’t necessarily mean physically. Of course, it’s only natural to be attracted to looks first. But a man might be smelling pineapples at the grocery store in such a way that’s really cute…

Heather: I LOVE the fact that you met a man at BlogHer. Classic.

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singlemomseeking July 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Karsi: Sending you much luck… and lots of confidence and warmth!

Kat: Who’s Sean? What did I miss?

Little Man’s Mom: Here’s to new friends… I will say that JDate brought some great guys into my life, as friends. I’m grateful.

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Mom2Maddie99 July 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm

In January when we moved into a house and realized we had fleas (thanks to the previous tenant and his 5 cats)…I had to get an exterminator. When he showed up, I thought he was cute and I said to him “I need you to get rid of these fleas because I have my 8 year old sleeping in my bed (the majority of them were in her room) and it really isn’t helping with my New Year’s Resolution to find a husband”. He laughed…I think at first he thought I was kidding. He later asked me if I was serious…I informed him I was. Before he left he asked me out. It didn’t work out, but it was the first time in awhile I put myself out there.

My single mom life consists of a job as a teacher where there aren’t any single men, picking my daughter up from school, Super Wal Mart for groceries, trips to Moes or Panera for dinner, the mall, and gymnastics lessons.

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Laura July 25, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Our building is brand new and they are still busy with the second part – the electrician is SUPER cute! I keep trying to think of something smart and relevant to say – I can think of NOTHING! So now I just sit and stare out my window at him and drool *sigh*

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singleparentdad July 25, 2008 at 11:16 pm

It’s great to read about the females “picking up” the males for a change! More, more, more! :)

I think all men would be extremely flattered if a woman was bold enough to make the first move. And I think under such circumstances, most men would be less inclined to consider the female’s “cute” factor in being positively responsive. The fact that a female would make the first move toward us would be attractive and interesting in and of itself.

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Avigail74 July 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

Life has it’s many funny twists and turns—it seems like we meet our partners at the my unexpected time and place.

I met my boyfriend at work—he is the assistant principal and I’m the teacher. We had our first real conversation at a bar that many of our staffs frequent to on Fridays. We didn’t expect this to happen—-who knew?

As for online dating, I always saw that as practice for several things: talking with men (I’m pretty shy around them), figuring out what I do or don’t want in a man, and it helped me get the ball rolling. Through practice, I became more confident and finally understood what I wanted in a relationship–hence, now I’m in a marvelous relationship.

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Avigail74 July 25, 2008 at 9:47 am

I think meeting someone often happens at the most unexpected time and place. I also knew in my heart that the right man would come along some day and I was willing to wait.

I met my boyfriend at work—and our positions made it challenging. He’s an assistant principal and I’m a teacher. Never in my life did I think I’d fall in love with an indirect supervisor nor with someone who is much older than me.

I saw online dating as a time for me to practice being with the opposite sex: it helped me communicate with them (I’m quite shy around men), it helped me figure out what I wanted in a man (I had no idea) and it gave me confidence.

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singlemomseeking July 25, 2008 at 1:12 pm

CCD: Either I have men on my mind… or I’ve run out of things to talk about. Oh no.

I think I’ll post something referring to you tomorrow. I’m serious.

LauraKim and MC: You hotties!! (MC, I don’t know how my calendar got off. Yikes. Let me see if I can fix that. Thank you!)

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Vinnie Sorce July 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Ok, guess I took cute to literal.

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dadshouse July 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Single Mom Seeking – great post and discussion! Women know when we’re looking at them. My suggestion – look back and smile. That gives us an opening, or “permission” that says you are single and approachable.

As for chatting up someone in the grocery with your kids there – go fot it. The talk doesn’t have to be sexual. Just chat about whatever. The more your kids see you interact with other adults, the more they learn that’s a natural part of life. And that will take the pressure off when you happen to chat with a hot guy. It will be no big deal.

mc – too funny! I get scared to death of asking a woman out only to discover she’s way too young. I’ve never dipped into the teens, but I’ve hit on early-20s women who I thought were late 20s. (I’m 44, so I really should hold back for women over 30 or even 34)

btw – I’m a single dad and I NEVER shop at Trader Joe’s. It’s Safeway, BevMo, and the local Produce Market for me. (Now all these single women will branch out and shop at Safeway, and I’ll branch out and shop at Trader Joe, and we’ll miss each other again. lol)

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singlemomseeking July 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Mom2Maddie: That flea story is too sweet, I’ve thought about it all day.

Laura: Let us know about the electrician. Start with “Hi.” And then a joke?

“Why did the lights go out?… Because they liked each other!”

Okay, that’s bad.

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