Comedians are usually social anomalies, and that’s why they’re so respected.  For anyone to stand in front of a gigantic crowd of people, living and dying purely on the words they say while at the same time trying to make a personal connection–takes a special type of person.

Eric Patrick is one of the hottest young comedians on the scene today–in more ways than one.   His time on The Real World: New Orleans may have introduced him to a wider audience, but his good looks, charm, and captivating comedic style have kept his audience growing, from the NYC scene, all the way to far-off Johannesburg and London.  Described by MTV.com as a “handsome ladies man,” and by Entertainment Weekly as “energetic and engaging,” Eric Patrick knows how to create and cultivate a relationship, as well as a crowd. Here are a few tips to help daters of either sex lighten up, straight from Patrick’s experience:

Don’t take rejection personally–it’s a fact of life. “A woman can usually tell within the first 10-15 minutes whether she likes a guy or not,” says Patrick.  “As you get older, you learn not to get hung up on it.  If a girl’s not into me, I just move on, because there are other ones out there.”

Don’t put too much emphasis on physical appearance. “Women just want to hear something cool.  If you can be funny or interesting, she’ll keep you around, regardless of what else you’re working with.”

Work in groups. It’s easier to win over a group of four to five people than one person, so try and work with groups of people instead.

Go with what you know. Change the subject to something you’re confident about if you want to feel comfortable in a conversation, rather than trying to seem knowledgeable about something you’re not.

Look for a change of scenery. Go to a foreign country if you’re having trouble meeting new people–the cultural difference gives both of you common ground.  “I went to South Africa to perform, and they love Americans over there.  From the minute they hear your accent, you have something to talk about.  I’ve never been attracted to so many bald, black women in my life.”

“Don’t be afraid to put your best self forward.” Fear of rejection will keep you from getting anywhere–and honestly, it’s only the creepy, weird guys with three gold teeth who are completely unafraid of going for it.  We need more normal people out there.”

As for dealing with a relationship once you’re in one, try to be more forgiving and look at things from a comedic point of view.  “As a comic, I’m usually more abstract with my feelings than upset when something bad happens in a relationship,” says Patrick, “because I’m always thinking about it in terms of potential material.”  The comedian type can also be needy though, says Patrick, so be prepared.

Patrick’s energetic stage presence certainly attracts attention, but it helps him stand out, in the right way.  Patrick describes it as being like an NFL quarterback: “the younger ones are the ones scrambling and running all over the place, and as they get older, they either stay in the pocket, or they get hit hard.”

Right now, Patrick certainly isn’t afraid to give his audience all that he has to offer.  More than anything, Patrick exemplifies the idea of “putting your best self forward” and being unafraid to try new things.  His time in the U.S. State Department gave him plenty of life experience to work with, as did his stint on The Real World, where his on-and-off again relationship with housemate, Sahar, gave him plenty of future material.

But, as he says himself, Eric Patrick is always on the move, always looking forward, not back, and his best tip for women involved with comics isn’t sugar-coated: “If you’re a woman dating a comic, be patient with him.  We can be emotionally involved and patient, but our instinct is to be nomadic. I took this job because I didn’t want to punch numbers every day. I wanted to get out and see the world.”

Hopefully, the world will get to see a lot more of Eric Patrick.  He’s developing an animated television series called Twenty Below, as well as a digital rooftop talk show.  And he’s talking about returning to MTV to do another show for them.  In the meantime, you can catch him on his website, www.ericpatrickcomedy.com, or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theericpatrick.