They say physical attraction is half the battle when it comes to dating, so if a guy you’re interested in asks for your number, you usually feel pretty good about the outlook since women typically feel most insecure about their looks. The truth of the matter, though, is that looks won’t keep you around long if you don’t have much else going for you (or you’ve got a few major things you need to work on).

One day I was mentally rehearsing my answers to the typical first phone conversation questions a man asks (yes, I sometimes do this) like:

What do you do for a living? I work in medical publishing.

What do you do for fun? I don’t really get out much because I work a lot.

But when you do get out, what to you do? Happy Hour, shop?

That’s when I realized I was boring, plain and simple. I literally laughed out loud and thought, I wouldn’t even be surprised if I didn’t get asked for a date after that type of convo (did I mention that I’m also a pessimist?)

Word around the blogosphere is that men don’t care so much about what a woman does for a living. They like to know that a woman has a job, of course, but they don’t get caught up in the title, position, and paycheck quite the way most women do when they hear that a man is a doctor, lawyer, or business owner. So basically what that told me was that what I considered my best quality didn’t mean ish in the eyes of a man. Great.

Spontaneity, a fun personality, being outgoing, those are the things men look at first, and basically my one-on-one convo with myself almost put me to sleep.

And then there’s the other woman in my life—Sallie Mae. She’s not going anywhere until about 2038, so unless I hit the lotto somewhere between now and my 52nd b-day, Sallie is always going to come first when it comes to planning vacations, having celebratory dinners, and exchanging gifts, and a man could very well see this as a liability.

I say all this to say that, via my little introspection exercise, I realized that I had a few housekeeping details to take care of myself before I tried to roll up on a man. In reality I’m not boring, but I’m also not making the time to do all of those things that make me a well-rounded good catch like traveling, or going to concerts, or seeing plays, or any of the other things that I enjoy. Of course I could blame some of this on Sallie, but I take full responsibility for having a longer list of things that I want to do than things I’ve done.

And while we can easily look to the women we know and point out why they don’t have a man—she’s too bossy, too clingy, too uptight, too bougie, too ghetto, too loud, too shy, too controlling, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera–we might need to do a little self-eval ourselves and see if we’re really putting our best foot forward to attract the men that we want to date.

Alongside these “shortcomings” are my positive qualities like being thoughtful and considerate and a good cook, and caring and encouraging, but those attributes don’t show themselves until you’ve made it past the first test of keeping his interest (and proving you’re not crazy).

All things considered, I’m feeling like a strong B right now, but with a little work I’m sure I can pull that up in no time.

What about you, if you were being totally honest with yourself, would you date you?

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