If something feels inauthentic or gamey, it probably is.
1. I shouldn’t have to date. Many people believe that falling in love should happen organically. I agree. But for that to happen, you need to increase your exposure to other single people, especially as you get older. That’s why you need to date. Otherwise, how are you going to meet this person? But there is another, even more important reason to date. Let’s face it. Men and women are really different. Successful relationships occur when two people can come together and embrace those differences. Dating gives you firsthand exposure to many members of the opposite sex so that you can begin to understand and appreciate how they think and operate. In the end, falling in love will happen organically, but there is a greater chance of that happening if you help the process along.
2. I can't contact someone right after a date. There’s lots of crazy advice out there about dating. Who knows? I might even be disseminating some of it myself. What you have to keep in mind as you go through this process is that, if something feels inauthentic or gamey, it probably is. Take the above example. The only reason to wait to call someone is because you don’t want to appear desperate or needy. Unfortunately, if you’re desperate or needy, the other person is going to figure it out eventually anyway. If all went well and your date really liked you, he or she won’t want you to wait and will be thrilled to hear from you right away. However, if your date didn’t like you, waiting to ask that person out again isn’t going to matter. The only thing you don’t want to do is stalk someone. If you contact someone and you don’t hear back, then you have to let it go. And ladies, I don’t care what anyone says. If a man takes you out, you have every right to call, text, or email to thank him. It’s just good manners.
3. When I meet the right person, I will be happy and I can get on with my life. Like a lot of things in dating, we have this one backwards. What really happens is that, when you are happy and together, you will meet the right person. As Wayne Dyer says, “You don’t attract what you want, you attract who you are.” Again, dating is the path to becoming an even more attractive person. You need to use the process to practice becoming the person your ideal partner will find attractive. To do this, I have my clients choose a quality like playfulness, sensuality, compassion, or vulnerability, for example. They practice this quality on every date. Even if they know that they don’t want to see the other person again, they use the date to explore this new side of themselves. In this way, they are preparing themselves for true love when it arrives.
Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach