How to Stay Hopeful When Dating Becomes Discouraging


Keeping the right perspective to help us manage multiple first dates.

     One year, while teaching in New Mexico, I was asked to teach a personal responsibilities class to socially unacceptable teenagers. I used Connie Dembrowski’s material. We did an exercise that asked each person to determine what it was that they wanted and to ask everybody in the room if they could give it to them. Each person in the room was also instructed to say no to any request made of them ten times prior to saying a yes.  Thus we had a room full of students asking each other to give them what they wanted and them hearing no much more frequently than they ever heard a yes. You had to get three yes answers before you could sit down and finish playing the game.

     What this taught my students was to get comfortable with a no for an answer and also to keep asking as eventually there would be a yes.  Similar situations occur for writers who ask publishers to look at their books. There can be hundreds of no answers before receiving a yes response. For example, the author of “Gone with The Wind” was rejected 18 times before hearing a yes, the authors of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” were rejected 124; Judy Blume was rejected for 2 years before her books found a publisher, while Agatha Christie waited 4 years.  William Saroyan received an astonishing 7000 rejection slips before selling his first story. Even Dr. Seuss faced numerous rejections and some of his books are still unpublished.  This shows if you wish to have your book published by a company, then you need to keep asking.   

     Dating is no different. None of us wish to date 7000 people before finding Mr. Right, nor even 128 people.  Yet, if any of our authors had given up they would not have found the success they achieved. If we give up on dating, or become unwilling to risk being hurt or disappointed, then we too will be giving up on finding our Mr. Right. 

     So, instead of saying, "Oh, all the good ones are taken", instead think, suppose I need to go on one hundred first dates to find the right one. Well this date got me one person closer to my goal.  One down, ninety-nine more to go.  Who knows, you may get lucky along the path where it won’t take one hundred.