My, my, my how time flies!  Here we are at the end of another year and another decade.

Hopefully this year was better than the last. Or as my favorite toast goes, “May the best of your past be the worst of your future!”  As you lovely and glorious ladies march onward into the two-thousand-teens, let’s take some time to reflect upon what may not have gone so well in the past and what we can do to have you OWN these next few years!

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Now, having a wonderful mother that raised me right (black shoes go with a black belt) I was brought up learning that men make lots of mistakes in dating.  The trick is to catch them before they come too ingrained.

I still make ‘em but I have managed to cull them to a controllable quantity. To me, women are the greatest creation on the face of this planet.  A smile from a beautiful girl can make all your worries just wash away. However, this is not to say that they are infallible.

They are human also and are subject to the same forces, foibles and foolishness that men are.  So ladies, in the spirit of the holidays and goodwill towards all, here are some reasons that your dates may not have worked out.

Did you unknowingly bully or emasculate him?  Men, we like to lead. We want to show you that we’re strong and can get things done.  That’s not to say we’re always effective at it, we just like to think we are.

Whether you are a C-level executive or a personal assistant we know you can probably manage your life, your boss’s life and 3 other coworkers and friends’ lives without missing a beat. 

You might meet a wonderful musician that has trouble remembering what day it is. However if you start trying to take over the planning of the date or begin working over the maitre d’ to get a better table, we won’t look on it fondly. With women working in many high powered, high demand jobs we don’t look at you like shrinking violets anymore.  But, even though you know you could do a better job, leave it to us. I write for a fashion mag, but do you think I’m ever going to give my lady advice on what to wear?

What is your passion?  Everyone wants to meet interesting people.  What makes you interesting? I understand that a lot of the beginning dates are the “getting to know you” type.

Just make sure you also talk about what gets you excited. I am passionate about fishing and writing, among other things.  They may not be things that your date can join you on (“No baby, you attach the leader before the hook.”)  However, we want to know what drives you.  It may be knitting, it may be extreme sports or collecting Garbage Pail Kid cards.

It doesn’t matter. When you talk about what inspires you, you come alive. Your face lights up, you lean forward, you get animated.  It also lets us know that you have soul. I once dated a girl and when asked that question couldn’t come up with one thing she was passionate about.  It was a big turn off. You may think your little inane hobby is silly but knowing something enlivens you enlivens us.

It’s okay to blur the truth a bit but don’t lead us in under false pretenses.  In the age of internet dating I know a lot of us are gun-shy about actually going out on a date with someone for fear that they misrepresented themselves.  I hear horror story after horror story about people that meet their date and they are nothing like their pictures or profiles. Everyone fudges a bit. That’s called life.

I say I’m 6 foot tall when I’m actually 5’11 ¾” and 175 when I’m around 183. But when people start adding 3, 4 inches, dropping 15 – 20 lbs and their profile picture is 10 years old, then we have a problem.  Ladies, whatever you look like, someone out there is looking just for you.

We all want to find our lobster or green unicorn or what have you. The more you disguise yourself, the less chance you are going to find someone to get serious with.  And. it’s not like we’re not going to notice it when we meet you. Keep the little white lies ladies, but don’t misrepresent yourself.

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Are you scaring away potential suitors by publicly airing your dating woes?  I know that we all love to trade stories about our dates from hell and by no means stop!

Just be aware of your audience. If you are constantly talking about the last loser you went out with every time you’re out with your group of friends, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

If you have a friend or friend of a friend that has been harboring a secret crush on you, all that dating talk is going to make him skittish about asking you out. He’ll imagine that if it doesn’t work out, you may be soon telling stories about him.This is not only for in-person, be careful what you post on Facebook or elsewhere. Posts like “D8 last night sucked. H8 this crap” aren’t going to endear you to a possible future flame. Again, he’s going to see your post and have nightmares about you posting about all of his flaws to your hundreds of friends turning him into a dating pariah. 

Of course we all know the other main ones like being nice to the staff, engaging his friends, giving him eye contact, etc…  I just wanted to touch on a few that you might not be aware of. With the unseasonable cold and dreary days, now is a great time to find a hibernation companion.

Maybe you’ll find him this New Year’s! Add this li’l list in the back of your mind, keep being the wonderful women you are and have a great and joyous holiday season!

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Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).