I haven't dated much since my divorce over a year ago. I've noticed a man a few times at a restaurant I frequent; we've made eye contact, but that's all. My brother - a single dad - suggested I write the man a note asking if he'd like to meet for coffee and include my number or email. What do you think? I lack self-confidence, but I'm also ready to date. - A.C., 42, Yuma, AZ
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Everyone from The Rules ladies to the considerably hipper author of Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys feels the same about this issue: Don't do it. There's a whiff of desperation, the least sexy odor in all of dating, that inevitably comes with the lady issuing the invitation.
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But you've got to find out what works for you, and do so in a way that builds your confidence rather than prompts you to resign yourself to spending the rest of your life watching romantic comedies.
If you feel a powerful urge to pass the note, go for it, if only in the interest of social experimentation. As long as your self-esteem can take the blow if he looks at you askance, truly, what's the worst that can happen?
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And if you do want to pursue dating in earnest, sign up for something like Match.com and/or put yourself in a better position to meet men. Do what men do: Join a gym, regularly visit the Sprint/Apple/Verizon store, get scuba certified (you'll need to partner up in class!). In any case, prepare yourself for some awkward, hilarious, fun, excruciating times: Once you jump back into the dating pool, there's no lifeguard on duty.
Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.
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Whatever's bugging or perplexing you - about your friends, brother, sister, parents, in-laws, husband, you name it - REDBOOK's Karen Karbo has the smart advice you need. Email your questions, rants, and worries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your initials, age, city and state. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.
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