Cupid's Pulse Article: SWR Blog Crawl-Step Outside Your Dating Comfort Zone This FallCupid's Pulse Article: SWR Blog Crawl-Step Outside Your Dating Comfort Zone This Fall

 2010 Blog Crawl for National Unmarried and Single Americans Week

September 19 — 25, 2010
Day 2

Today’s Prize: Visit to enter to win one of
several great prizes including an introductory pack of cards to the new
dating site,, Modern Courtesan by YS perfumes, books, and
more.  Open to U.S. Residents only.

Guest Post by Melissa Braverman,

Summer may be over, but there’s no better time to heat up your love life than by stepping out of your dating comfort zone this fall.

Some of today’s hottest celebrity couples got their start because one half of the pair made a bold move.  During an appearance on Josh Duhamel’s Las Vegas,
Fergie walked right up to him and said ‘I read you had a dream about me’ for her opening line.  Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross first saw future husband Tom Mahoney at a flower shop and asked the owner to give him her phone number.

As a woman, making the first move isn’t always easy — and, in some countries it hardly happens at all, as I’ve discovered during my European Dating Blitz. Over the last five weeks, I have traveled far out of my own comfort zone to explore what being single is like in six European countries.  One recurring theme I‘ve heard, especially in England and Ireland is that neither gender feels comfortable initiating a flirty conversation.  “In Europe, people don’t really want to make the first move,” according to Fabrice LeParc, CEO of, an online dating site that caters to both Americans and Europeans. “Here, it’s not accepted for a woman to make a move.  A smile is the most you can hope to get.”

Part of the challenge in Northern Europe is single men tend to be reserved.  “Men here are more on their guard and shy than in Spain, France and Southern Europe,” observes France-born single Charlotte, 37.  “They just come and say hello and start a conversation.”  Something that most British single women don’t feel comfortable doing.  “I would never go and talk to someone in a bar and neither would any of my girlfriends,” says London bachelorette Nichola, 34. “As a single girl, you would never go to a bar on your own.”

When flirting does happen, sex happens more quickly without the so-called rules that are so much a part of the American dating scene.  For European singles, though, breaking the ice isn’t easy since small talk doesn’t happy in the same way that it does in the U.S.  “If you don’t know someone in Paris, you don’t talk,” says bachelor David, 35.  “In Anglo-Saxon places like the U.S., it’s normal to talk.  We are too closed in Paris.”

Perhaps one of the greatest differences between American and European dating is in how singles approach their love lives.  “People in France and Latin countries, they want to feel fate has a role to play,” says Fabrice. “Americans and Nordics are more organized, they want to take control of their lives.”

I’m no exception.  A few nights ago, I decided to venture out on my own to a bar in Berlin.  I wouldn’t think twice about doing this in New York, but I had a little trepidation in unfamiliar territory where a woman out on her own is not at all the norm.

“Are you here alone?” asked the bouncer, clearly surprised to see that I was.

Once I was inside, I spotted a cute redheaded guy also alone, at a table by the window.  Drink in hand, I gingerly walked in his direction and placed my glass on the table.  He said, “hello” and we ended up talking the night away.

Like Fergie and Marcia Cross, I’ve found that your love life can be full of surprises when you step outside of your comfort zone.  Here are three tips for shaking up your routine this fall.

Skip The Same Old, Same Old: Take a break from your favorite neighborhood haunts and venture to a new zip code.  Whether it’s exploring a watering hole you’ve never been to or discovering a new restaurant, act like you’re visiting your hometown for the first time.

Take The Why Not Approach: If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, whether it’s speed dating or a singles lock and key party, don’t ask yourself why. Ask why not? and just do it.  You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting yourself out there.

Recruit A Wingman: It’s no secret that getting out of your comfort zone is a lot more fun when you’ve got a wingman by your side.  Recruit a fellow single friend to join you as you embark on new season of adventure and romance.