How to Find Play, Fun, and Love, Maybe
This whole business of online dating has gotten too serious. We’re way too focused on type-a goals.
- Find a date.
- Arrange an in-person meeting.
- Assess the “relationship” quality of the person
- Pass, Fail, Repeat
Dating Criteria – Type A Dating
But love, or looking for a real relationship, is not really a type-a task. In the driven mode of dating, we get criteria like:
- Has (or doesn’t have) children.
- Want’s more (or doesn’t want any) children.
- Is Christian, or whatever “spiritual but not religious” means.
- Would sleep with someone on the first date, given the right circumstances. Or wouldn’t consider sleeping with someone until the 6 – 10th date.
- Is successful in business and likes to travel to exotic locations. Or still working for a living.
- Partier (most pictures have a drink in hand) or “social drinker” or “doesn’t drink at all.”
- Has a rocking body. Or not.
And while these are some valid criteria, they are more for sorting through the cattle-call of online dating profiles, rather than looking for a relationship. In a word, they are a bit superficial.
Alternatives to Online Dating
So there are some other alternatives to online dating that are worth looking at, if you are seeking a mate. Or perhaps even a one-night-stand, if that’s your thing.
- Meetup Groups
- Activity Groups
- Spiritually-related Groups
- Workout Groups
When you think about the person you might like to be spending your Saturday afternoon and Saturday night with, where do you imagine you might be on any given Saturday afternoon? And then it’s your opportunity/responsibility to get yourself there. She/he might already be there. If you know the types of activities you’d like to be doing with another person, then get yourself to those activities as a single person and see if there are any other singles there.
The Five Challenges of Finding a Partner
1. Showing Up
For example, if you were recently excited by the World Cup, you might have found a public place to go view the game. You might have stayed home and watched it on your computer. And even if that is what you would’ve liked to do with a “special friend” it’s not very likely that you are going to be introduced to them while in your pj’s in your living room. Get out there.
2. Brightening Up Your Presence
You want to be the brightest spark in the room. If you are happy with yourself and confident in your mission, you can walk into a room full of drinking soccer fans and still hold your own torch. If your torch (your self-love, self-confidence) is sputtering, perhaps that’s a good place to put your attention. Get your game in order before going out looking for a game.
3. Learn How to be Charming
Listening is an art. Often it is the most confident people who can listen better than others. The ones who are always needing to tell stories, be brilliant, and obviously work too hard at being charming, are often the ones who are still trying to find their inner confidence. If you want to be heard, listen. It’s the most powerful thing you can do in the opening “is there chemistry” moments of a face-to-face meeting.
4. Showing Your Enthusiasm by Taking Action
If you want a second date, say it. If you don’t want a second date, tell them too. And if you BOTH want a second date, you won’t need to be emailing each other later to see if there was “chemistry.” Believe me, if there’s chemistry, you will both be asking “What’s next?” And the answer will sound like this, “What are you doing for dinner?” or “What are you doing tomorrow night, I’ve got tickets to …” If you have to ask, there’s probably not a connection. If there is a connection, and you are BOTH actually wanting a relationship, you will both be asking for the next meeting.
So much of this process is figuring out who is playing games, who is really ready for something, and who is so damaged from their previous relationships that they are in no real position to be available.
5. Being Brutally Honest
You don’t want games. You don’t want new drama. You want clarity, well-stated intention, and a clear communication style with this person you might actually be interested in. Anything less is a red flag.
If you feel it, say it. If you don’t feel it, say that too. Then return to task one, LISTEN. The more you listen the more attractive you will seem to the other person.
And the final tip of romancing a potential mate: Say their name back to them, repeatedly, like a poem.
“The sweetest sound in the human language is one’s own name.” – John Brock
Good luck out there.
How I Can Help
I am a relationship coach and a dating coach. I coach women in 1 x 1 zoom or facetime calls. I work in monthly blocks (4 sessions). We establish a relationship. I become your wingman in navigating and sorting through the bullshit of dating and relationships. If you are here, you’ve probably already read some of my opinions.
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- Self-Care and Appreciation: Can I Love All of Myself Right Now?
- 3 Required Traits for Building a Lasting Relationship
- Emotional Intelligence Essentials for Long-Term Relationship Success
- Pausing in the Gap: Trying to Force An Answer Is Not the Way
- 7 Habits of a Sizzling Sex Life: Relationship Building
- The 3-point Formula for Loving Relationships: Where You Lead I Follow
- The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman
- Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – Brené Brown
- **A General Theory of Love Thomas Lewis, M. D. et al.
- The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love Thomas Moore
- ** Care of the Soul Thomas Moore