The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been more true than it is today. Whether you’re a waitress or an heiress, dreams of a more exciting life differ only in the specifics. Expanding your world can be made much easier and more fun when you know people who can act as a companion and a guide.
Your best option for meeting the people who can help make your life more lively may be through online dating. A first date could involve a nice dinner or night out on the town, or it could be the start of something longer-term. Either way, going on dates with a variety of people may greatly increase your chances of developing a wider, cooler life. Think about Ryan Reynolds—he’s sexy and popular, but his romances with even hotter stars Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively arguably increased his visibility.
This isn’t without its pitfalls and caveats, however. There are a lot of … well, jerks out there in the dating pool. I’m not referring here to criminals or poor guys pretending to be rich—our dating site works hard to weed them out. No, I’m talking about guys who just aren’t what they make themselves out to be. Here’s my list of people who will not be making your life better, more comfortable, or any fun at all. These are guys on whom aspiring young women should not waste their precious first-dating time:
Freddy the First-Date Fornicator. Look, you’re an adult. You can do anything you want, including bedding a guy on a first date. But it should always be your decision. Men who pressure you—especially those who pay for the privilege of such a date by reimbursing expenses and whatnot—are treating you like a hooker, not a date. A better future is rarely on the plate when he can’t even wait for a second date. It doesn’t matter if he’s a millionaire with his own private jet if his sole intention is to put another notch on his belt. Listen for these deal-breaking utterances:
“What am I paying for here?” (He’s paying for your outfit, your time getting ready, and your potential interest in further dates.)
“Sex is the only way to know if we’re really compatible.” (If he says this, you already know that you and he aren’t compatible.)
“Let’s go back to my place so we can discuss the fact that I’m a millionaire and I have a private jet.” (Even if he does, how will that improve your life if he considers getting you in bed already bought and paid for?)
Sammy the Somewhat Sketchy. Let’s say that, in addition to being young and attractive, you’re also aiming for a career in some hard-to-break-into field, whether it’s acting, singing, lobbying, stockbroking, any career in which “who you know” is a foot in the door. A date with someone who can not only genuinely open those doors for you can be extremely helpful (again, avoid that first-date sex). However, anybody can get a business card with “Producer” or “Agent” printed on it. If you do go on a date with such a guy, be sure to do a little research and ask him a slightly esoteric question or two to see if he’s full of promise or full of something else. If he’s the real deal, you’ll get immediate answers. If not, you’ll get a blank look and sputtering confabulations.
Movie producer: “What’s better, points in a back-end deal or up-front compensation for those above the line? And why?”
Record producer: “What’s the difference between Payola and today’s pay-for-play deals with industry power brokers?”
Agent/Talent Scout: “Up yours.” (This isn’t technically a question, but you should say this to anyone claiming to be an agent or a scout but seeking a date with you. Actual agents and talent scouts don’t go on dates with prospective clients. How you hold a fork or what wine you prefer has nothing to do with whether you’ll make them money with their 15% cut. That is what professionals care about—as it should be!)
Nick the Name-Dropper: This one is both the easiest and the most difficult to resist being suckered by. That’s because, like David Duchovny on The X-Files, we want to believe. On a first date with Nick, you might hear industry superstar names oh-so-casually mentioned: “That reminds me of what Beyoncé told me one time …” Or “Tom Cruise stole my lighter.” Or “If you hook up with me, I’ll get you in front of Simon Cowell.” (This last one may seem laughably obvious, but what if you have always dreamed of getting on X Factor? Our brains can fight the adrenal system only so long.) But be strong and don’t let your aspirations beat out your common sense. To root out the truth about this (potential) door-opener, go to IMDb and check for any credits. (Also Google his name—if he’s worked with top actors, it’ll show up on there somewhere.) If he allegedly has the ear of Jay-Z, check for his name in music trade magazines, of which there are many. Some tips:
Don’t let him tell you he uses a different name for showbiz, so his background is under [Name X]. He’s lying.
Check his Google account (if he has one) and look for pictures of him with some famous people. Nobody with (alleged) connections can resist posting these pictures anywhere they can.
Remember: Even if he does know all of these people, that doesn’t mean that he’ll necessarily use those connections to do anything to help you. Don’t give him everything he wants … at least not until he comes through with that meeting with Spielberg.
You can improve your life through dating different guys, getting to know them, and letting who they know become who you know. Then you can chase your dreams on your own merit, and maybe end up with a great romance too!