The Man Diet
The single woman has never had it so good - or so you'd think. So says Zoe Strimpel's new book, The Man Diet. But, for Zoe, the reality of single life was one of what she describes as Junk Food Love - game playing, ill-advised hook-ups and general man-obsessing thoughts. Zoe wanted to stop binging on bad romance and so put herself on The Man Diet; ten tough rules to help her sort the wheat from the chaff.
The book is a practical guide to developing a healthy and successful approach to dating, allowing you to find the type of guy who's perfect for you and putting you on the right track to happiness (a perfect Christmas present for you and your single friends!). We caught up with Zoe and asked her a few questions about dating and The Man Diet.
What led you to create The Man Diet?
"I had recently become single and found myself in an almost manic state of man-obsession: dating, romping, talking about men nonstop with my friends, checking their profiles on Facebook. I thought I was being "single and loving it" but I was also aware that I was feeling out of sorts. I needed to calm down but wasn't sure how. Then a wise friend said: "why don't you just take a break from men"? This was a light bulb moment that led to me formulating the Diet as a way to re-focus on myself on my strengths and my wellbeing and to regain balance instead of flipping from man-related highs to lows constantly."
How has this approach to dating affected your dating experience and love life?
"It has curbed a lot of my "wilder" behaviour: whereas before I might have slept with someone because I thought it was a wild and crazy and fun thing to do, now I am really tuned in to whether I actually want to share my body with someone, and to what degree. I have no desire to jump into bed with people with whom I have no real connection now. As for my love life, I'm still single, but it's on terms I'm very happy with - more of an exploration that doesn't compromise who I am, than a carte blanche to go crazy and obsess about men (or their lack) in my life. "
What are your thoughts on online dating and how can the diet fit in with that?
"I think online dating is utterly brilliant for many people, but equally, it can feel a little overwhelming when it's not going well. It's a fabulous opportunity to meet great people, or that special someone, but it's also a numbers game and I know some people feel low when they face rejection after rejection - unreturned messages, banter that falls flat or dates that go nowhere or turn out to be with people who you thought were something different. The Man Diet advises tuning into yourself: if you're feeling that your self-esteem is being worn down, just step back. Internet dating is one example of something that people should feel they can take a break from - then they can return to it when they're in a better frame of mind, which is a far better scenario for going on fabulous dates."
Can you give us any advice on how to create a successful and healthy online dating experience?
"Set boundaries and be disciplined about them. Spend half an hour each evening max responding to messages, maybe an extra 15 minutes on weekends browsing for good people to ping. Also, I advise against the whole "get your money's worth" approach. If you fill your diary up with dates every night of the week, you'll burn out. With dating, whether you're online or off, it's always about quality over quantity. So choose your dates well. If you're unsure who is worth seeing or not, just trust your gut - it's telling you a lot if you'll only listen. It's always a gamble, but if someone seems genuinely appealing, give it a go. Those whom you sort of know aren't your thing - maybe from the way they write, their interests, etc - leave it. Finally, be strong in how you interpret "rejection" or a prolonged period of unsuccessful dates. It's not about you having something wrong with you, or about all members of the opposite sex being awful. It just hasn't happened yet - but if you keep a positive attitude and be yourself, it will do. Remember that all those dates have been a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of what makes you - and other people - tick. Such experience is valuable."
We recently received an email from a woman who was upset that her messages weren't being replied to. What advice can you give about moving on from this and maintaining self-esteem?
"See above: it's absolutely not about you. The problem with the online dating format is that it's very easy to ignore messages - and to forget that there are real people behind those messages. Also, most women do a fair share of ignoring too. It's part of the game. Remember that it's not until you've had a decent interchange, followed by a date, that someone will get a real picture of you - sending a message that goes unreplied to does not mean that the real you has not been turned down. That said, as I say in the Man Diet, if you're feeling low after a slew of ignored messages, take a step back. Don't log on for a week or so. This will clear your head, but also, when you do get back online, chances are you'll have scores of messages from guys - some of which you'll probably choose to ignore too! Finally, as I said before, stay positive: if you keep a light and upbeat view about your online dating, and remember that you're great, you're sure to come up trumps overall - whether that's meeting a handful of lovely guys, making friends, or finding the One. A few unreplied messages along the way is small fry."
Thanks very much to Zoe for her excellent advice! Keep your eye on the blog for more dating tips coming soon.
Click to go to the main site: mysinglefriend.com