Lately I’ve been obsessing over relationship status changes on Facebook. The complexity that this public display brings about has been written about many times over – that’s not what has me intrigued. What has me intrigued is the way that friends respond to relationship status updates. My research (it should be noted that it is informal and therefore statistically insignificant) shows that generally speaking guys get virtually hi-5’d and given invites to strip clubs when their status moves from “in a relationship” to “single” whereas girls get a virtual pity party and offers of consolation (i.e. “I'm so sorry sweetie. He was no good for you anyway”) when their status does the same. On the flipside, when girls move in the opposite direction from “single” to “in a relationship”, they get congratulated, however guys typically receive no comment or something sarcastic (i.e. “Another one bites the dust).
So this all has me thinking, why is being “in a relationship” this giant homerun for women? What makes it a symbol of achievement worthy of congratulations? A box that when unchecked makes us need a pity party? And what if we started making other boxes the success metric? Might we feel uplifted more of the time?
I remember when I played softball as a kid. I wasn’t the knock-it-out-of-the-park hitter, so since there was little to no chance that I was going to get a homerun despite my thinking that was the only way I could be great, my dad set up smaller goals for me. Goals like just getting a hit, avoiding a strike out, learning to judge a walk vs. a hit ball, catching the ball when I was in the outfield, throwing it in to the right plate and so on. Instead of fixating on racking up homeruns, I began concentrating on developing other skills. And after a few seasons, I actually became a pretty good all around player.
Accordingly, try thinking of your dating skills as opportunities for victories; consider those moments homeruns, not just an end of the road relationship. Celebrate them! Celebrate when you flirt like a pro! Celebrate when you have the courage to call a new mandidate! Celebrate when you let go of a guy who you know isn’t worth your time! Celebrate a great 1st date, 2nd date! Celebrate handling rejection with a laugh, a new outfit, a great orgasm! By celebrating your micro achievements you’ll increase your playing stamina, try harder and ultimately improve your game.
Live and love largely,