Grazia's weekly columnist, Laura Jane Williams, is looking for love - and she's not afraid to say it...
'Wow, he really took a liking to you didn't he?' Calum said, as we entered the cinema. I knew exactly what he meant: the guy who took our tickets kept us there for longer than strictly necessary, and I’d engineered it. Practised my charm on him. I didn’t fancy him, but as I explained to Cal, ‘I needed to reach my flirt target for the week.’ Calum furrowed his brow. ‘Your target?’ I admitted to him what I’ll admit to you: I’m trying to meet – and converse with – 20 new men a week.
Look. I might’ve stopped dating because of crappy sex and endless psychological warfare (and because I have, simply, run out of energy) but I still, secretly, want to meet men. I know! I don’t understand me either! I suppose I half-hope that , despite my protestations, romance will just sort of... happen, at some point. Like in the movies.
Effortlessly. That I’ll bump into him and spill coffee on his shirt and then we’ll get married. I’m not actively dating, but I still want to meet blokes. I just don’t want the circus that comes with dates – the performance of it all.
I never thought I’d be the woman to buy a book on men and where to find them, but somebody slides into my Twitter DMs to insist what Matthew Hussey writes in Get The Guy is imperative for every single woman to know. It’s no good only practising flirting with a guy you fancy, the book argues. That’s like saying you’ll learn your lines when you’re already onstage. In order to meet that one man, you’ve got to meet many: 20 a week, to be precise. I am to strike up conversation at the gym, at the post office, in cafes... everywhere. Anywhere. Always.
It occurs to me: you don't have to be clever to flirt, just interested. It boosts my confidence
Holding eye contact is the first key. Whenever I make eye contact with a guy – cute, or otherwise – I automatically look away. I don’t wanna be pervy, or weird. But who said smiling is pervy or weird? Friendly people are attractive, right? And so I make eye contact and smile with a tall guy when waiting for my friend’s kid at the school gates, and what do you know? Our ‘hey’ turns into a full conversation about the weather. It wasn’t clever or hilarious chat, but it occurs to me: you don’t have to be clever to flirt, just interested. I didn’t know that. I thought to flirt you had to be beautiful and only say witty things. It boosts my confidence.
I joke with the barista at my coffee shop: ‘You’re asking me more questions about my coffee order than my mother does about my life!’ Ask the Deliveroo guy how his day is going. Tell the man at the gym I like his shorts. Suddenly, men are in surplus. I’ve gone from feeling like none are to be found to swimming in their attentions.
Now I just need to figure out how to get them to ask me out.
Read Laura Jane's column each week in Grazia magazine
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