Celeb Dating Secrets

Sometimes their love lives are train wrecks; other times, they’re heavenly. Learn from the latter.

By Julie Taylor

ust take one glance at a tabloid or flip on ET or Extra, and you’ll hear about them: those glamorous celeb dates that just seem so much cooler than the ones you’re going on. But just because you don’t have a personal assistant or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame doesn’t mean
Pick a happening place that’s new to you.
you can’t go on dates that feel glamorous and exciting. You can have more fun — and date more successfully — by stealing some of the following celebrity secrets.

Go to high-profile places
What the stars do: Many celebrities take dates to the swanky nightclubs — like LA’s Hyde or NYC’s The Box — to see and be seen. Celebrities like to be where the action is, says Andrea Lavinthal, coauthor of The Hookup Handbook: A Single Girl’s Guide to Living It Up.
What you can do: If you live in a big city, it’s fairly simple to target prime date spots. But how can you apply this theory to your own dating life if you live in, say, Manhattan, KS instead of the other Manhattan? “The key to seeing and being seen is to go to a new restaurant or nighttime hot spot,” says Lavinthal. No new club in town? Pick a happening place that’s new to you.

That’s what Jackie, 33, of Midland, TX, does: “On my dates, I always try to go to places I’ve never been — preferably ones that are busy, crowded, or have some buzz,” she says. “This makes the outing more exciting, because I can people watch and feed off the energy of others. I don’t like to hit the same place twice!”

Become a regular somewhere
What the stars do: Regarding what we just told you… the opposite holds true, too. Celebs like Kate Hudson gravitate toward more intimate, less flashy spots. “Under-the-radar places offer celebs a feeling of exclusivity and privacy,” says Lavinthal. “Going somewhere like this will give your date an instant ‘cool upgrade,’ since it’s not the standard first-date spot everyone else chooses.”
What you can do: Find a relaxed hangout with a Cheers-like vibe. (Bonus points if “everybody knows your name.”) For the celebs, that may be the Ivy restaurant — but maybe for you it’s the all-night diner down the road. The idea is to find a place where you know you’ll feel comfortable. Jenni, 36, says her favorite date spot is her neighborhood pub. “I like it because it’s a place a guy and I can actually hear each other talk,” the Oklahoma City native says. “Plus, it’s not a ‘scene,’ where everyone is trying to be cooler than the next person. It’s just more chill.”

Be ready for your close-up
What the stars do: On dates, stars often look like they just stepped off a movie set — perfectly primped and coiffed. “Because they know the cameras are always flashing, public figures can’t
Think of how many stars you’ve seen photographed mid-smooch.
afford to be sloppy about their exterior on a date,” says dating coach Julie Ferman, founder of Cupid’s Coach and author of Marketing Yourself for Romance.
What you can do: Granted, you don’t have paparazzi following you, nor do you have a personal stylist, but isn’t your date worth looking good for? Go home before a date, change (shower if you have time), give your hair a once-over and brush those teeth. You’ll look great and give your self-esteem a boost, too. After all, you’re the star of your own love life — so you’ve gotta be ready for your close-up. “When you feel hot, you’ll exude confidence,” Ferman continues. “And there’s nothing sexier than that!”

Inject a little culture
What the stars do: Splashy gallery openings and philanthropic events are a big hit with celebs. Not only does it give them a chance to dress to the nines, it provides the perfect setting for wining and dining their dates in style. If they’re doing it for a good cause, all the better!
What you can do: Check the lifestyle or society section of your Sunday paper for events, silent auctions, or art gallery openings that will fit the bill. “I love taking dates to art museums,” says Thomas, 40, of Montclair, NJ. “When you’re surrounded by incredible artwork, it just elevates the date to a whole new level.”

Share some PDA
What the stars do: Think of how many stars you’ve seen photographed mid-smooch (or while “canoodling,” as the press calls it). According to Lavinthal, when they’re hands-on with their dates in public, it makes them feel even more adventurous and more carefree.
What you can do: It’s fun to sneak a little PDA into your date, whether it’s putting your arms around each other in a coffee shop booth or smooching on a street corner. Robin, 40, of Eugene, OR, prefers holding hands. “That way, you’re being affectionate without ramming your tongues down each other’s throats,” she says. Go ahead, canoodle: hold hands, nuzzle your date’s neck, and run your fingers through each other’s hair. Showing your date (and the world!) how you feel can be downright liberating.

Julie Taylor writes about relationships for magazines such as Redbook and Cosmopolitan. Since she lives in Los Angeles, she’s experienced many star-studded dates.
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