ELLE's advice columnist on using biology to get ahead of the dating pack
Dear E. Jean: I'm 37 and have never had a boyfriend. I've been on many, many blind dates, speed dated, tried online dating, and no luck. I occasionally socialize with people through Flickr, Twitter, and Tumblr; and, of course, I have friends at work. But when I go home at the end of the day, there's…just me.
When I was at university, I was never brilliant at attracting boys, and after I graduated I never clicked with anyone. Nobody dislikes me, but nobody is desperately seeking my companionship, either. I'm not shy, but I'm not the life of the party. I'm rarely bored, mind you: I find the world interesting, and I have hobbies; but I get so lonely and want things to change! I've read all the self-help books, joined gyms and groups of like-minded people, but I've come to a dead end! I need your help. How do I get out of this lifetime rut? I assure you, no suggestion will be too outlandish. -So Alone!
P.S. I've attached a cell-phone picture of myself.
Miss Alone, my moon orchid: So just when I'm saying to myself: "Ah, the poor girl's probably uglier than Clytemnestra's armpit," I click on your photo and-Huzzuh!-I'm in awe! You're a beauty! Why your front lawn isn't scattered with the bodies of chaps who've shot themselves because they can't have you is beyond me. So it's best to turn to…
Charles Darwin's Sex Tips for Girls
Chuck Tip No. 1: "Men love novelty."
Go where you'll be the only female. Guys can't resist a woman suddenly materializing in a place where women don't usually appear. ("It's all about exits and entrances," as Lauren Bacall says.) Best bets: Silicon Valley rifle and skeet clubs, meetings of Large Hadron Collider physicists in Geneva, rodeo circuits, etc. (Excuse me. You said "no suggestion will be too outlandish," and Auntie Eeee happens to have been shown a very good time by a cowboy or two in Montana, not to mention Texas.)
Now, your 20 billion foremothers didn't fight to crawl out of the ooze just so you could don the ears of a Playboy bunny (or maybe they did; either way, The Descent of Man would probably sell more copies if Darwin had mentioned this fascinating fact); but it wouldn't hurt for you to wear something haughty, naughty, and red (the color of estrus, sexual readiness, and orgasmic flushes) and laugh at the chaps' jokes. Chuckling together triggers the release of hormones and helps you bond tighter than a prairie vole couple, one of the most madly monogamous of all species.
I suspect that in the past when you met a fellow, you tried too hard; or worse, you wilted like a wallflower and therefore were treated like one-forever unplucked by the hand of man.
Chuck Tip No. 2: "When the animal is excited, all the naked parts become much more vividly tinted."
To maximize your looks, make certain you're ovulating and then-don't you love Auntie Eeee?-join a fly-fishing expedition to Vermont (Michigan, Wyoming, Alaska). When you're fertile, your scent causes chaps to chase after you with their tongues thrown over their shoulders (a distressing dilemma for married men), as Dr. Jon Maner and Dr. Saul Miller, psychology professors at Florida State University and the University of Kentucky, respectively, describe in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Your voice also rises, you send more mating signals, and dudes tend to find you more bewitching when you're at this stage of peak fertility. I'm referring to ongoing research by the resplendent Dr. Martie Haselton, an associate psychology professor at UCLA who's bearing more fruit in the field of "hidden ovulation" than any other human on the planet. Dr. Haselton has written a paper demonstrating that even your clothing choices become sexier when your fertility is highest. And for the time being, stay off birth control pills. Some research has shown they squelch your chemical signals. Finding and seducing a mate is the most powerful force in evolution. You come hardwired with more seductive apps than an iPad 2. Open up! Let it happen! Good luck, darling! And if anyone else needs a little help in winning the struggle of the Survival of the Hottest, I am now offering myself as a dating coach at DatingEJean.com.
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