Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Is romance dead? Can a tall woman still wear stilettos?

DEAR NATALIE: I hear from women that they want romance, but in light of everything that has been going on in the media, I feel that if I am romantic it can “creep women out.” What’s the appropriate thing to do on a first date or if you are pursuing a woman? I feel like the rule book is out the window. -- NOT A CREEP

DEAR NOT A CREEP: This all comes down to respect and boundaries. There is nothing wrong with asking a woman out on a date. If she says no or doesn’t seem interested, just move on. This is where people get tripped up. We have seen too many rom-coms where the guy pursues and wears the girl down until she finally concedes. But in reality, do you really want to be with someone that you had to “push” into dating you? I know people can be fickle. I know they change their minds. I know they may “seem” uninterested but might really be. But for right now, in light of everything happening in the world, better to play it safe. If she says she would like to go out with you, then great! Pick a fun place for a first date, a casual restaurant or stroll a winter market (like the ones Downtown) and stop for some hot cocoa. A first date should feel light but also a space where you can actually get to know someone. Movies aren’t great for that because you don’t talk or look at each other for two hours. If you are a romantic man, nothing wrong with bringing her a token of affection like some flowers or chocolates. Find out what she likes and go from there. Some people may be rolling their eyes, but I like romance. I think the world needs a lot more of it. Bring on the corny, mushy, gushy love stuff. That’s the one thing in highest demand (even if people won’t admit it).



DEAR NATALIE: Is it OK to wear heels even if it makes me taller than my date? I have just started dating someone who I really like, but he is 2 inches shorter than me. (I’m 5 feet 11 inches.) Every time I wear heels, I feel like a giant over him, but I don’t want to give up my shoes! He doesn’t seem to mind, but we do get looks from other people when we are out together and I’m in heels. Any suggestions? -- STILETTO QUEEN

DEAR STILETTO QUEEN: If you love to wear heels and your new partner doesn’t make a fuss, then why do you care what other people may think? You are a tall drink of water, and there is nothing wrong with that! Throw those shoulders back, lift your head up high and walk with the confidence you have inside of you. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and if wearing stilettos makes you feel good, then just shake off any unwanted stares and enjoy the higher altitude!




Natalie’s Networking Tip of the Week: How you shake hands says a lot about your personality. A weak handshake indicates a doormat in a lot of people’s minds. You don’t want to shake too hard or you look overly aggressive. A firm but friendly shake indicates confidence but approachability. (Who knew there was so much in a shake?)



(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)