What is the secret to finding success in dating? Listen to children, of course.
Let's a face it—children are WAY smarter than adults.
I've never seen a child with a full-time job or a broken heart. They've certainly figured life out. Have you ever seen a 7-year-old complain about dating or being single, saying, "Mommy, nobody will go to Chuckie Cheese with me"? No, you haven't. Give them a piece of candy or a puppy and they're happy all day, finding joy in what they have, not what they lack.
As grown-ups we focus on what someone once was instead of understanding the strengths they offer us now.
We say, "I don't want someone who's been married." Well, maybe a divorce taught that person valuable lessons they carry into new (better) relationships; they are a better person and partner because of that "failed" relationship.
Just because a relationship ends doesn't mean it's a failure. You can find success if each person takes the lessons learned into future relationships. Each "failed relationship" gets us close to our last (and hopefully best) relationship in life. Often, a person can only appreciate the view of the mountain top because the divorce was their valley. Another person's journey is not ours to judge.
Kids, however, do not care about anyone's past.
Ever see a 3-year-old approach another 3-year-old in the sandbox and ask, "Tell me what it was like when you were a baby? I can only be friends with 3-year-olds who were breastfed and wore Huggies. If you wore Pampers, I'm afraid we can't be toddlers in crime. I'm sorry."
This would never happen! Kids focus on what exists in the moment, not what doesn't exist, especially in a person's past.
Sometimes we end relationships before they even begin because of what we think we want in a person. Instead of showing up with a script of what we want, why not remain present and see what manifests?
For instance, you may want a partner who is close to their family, but you only want that because you are close to your family. Maybe a person is amazing because they never had family and learned strength on their own.
Children enjoy the moment and create new memories together; adults regurgitate old ones. Kids judge a person by what the person shows them; grown-ups do not see a person because judgements block the view.
If you talk about where you went to college on a date, or what it was like in your past job, you've failed to live in the current moment. Who cares about what you did two weeks ago or two years ago? That was then, so why not live now? Do that; it's more fun. There is no fun in reciting your past, as you already know the ending to every story.
When you meet a date, look at each other and simply say, "What made you happy today?"
Begin there and don't script the next question. A successful relationship and emotional connection builds on new memories together, not talking about past ones that should stay buried. If you want to dig up past memories, you are also digging up those past relationships. Why visit the cemetery when the hearse drove away years ago?
We've known all along the lessons a child can teach because we were all children once. Sadly, we've forgotten. We become accustomed to the ways of the world, the world of fear. Our fear has us worried someone will hurt us or repeat what has happened in our past, but anyone you meet has never been in your life; they aren't "that person."
If we don't see what someone shows us, then we don't see them at all; we simply see our baggage and what hinders us from being in a successful relationship. We hold ourselves back.
The next time you see kids playing together in a park, pay attention. They are doing more than playing; they are creating happiness. When they're done, they create new memories and make their friendships stronger. As you date and begin new relationships, forget about what you know or read on a profile and think about what the person has to offer now.
If you see the best in that person right now they will likewise see the best in you, and that is a great start.
If you enjoyed this posting, please check out my book, "Pray Your Kids Are Ugly"—a philosophical and humorous look at the effects of technology and our interactions; specifically Online Dating. Likewise, subscribe to my site: www.justinkellymcclure.com. I have many posts and videos dedicated to the humor and sincerity of dating today. Here is my Twitter and Facebook. Please say hello.