"After being on a torrid online dating spree for about 9 months during which I had approximately 100 different dates, I finally found a terrific woman who I have been seeing now for about four months. I am happily off the dating sites," my friend Will announced when I caught up with him recently in New York.
We'd met and became friends through an online dating site when I'd expanded the search from California to my dad's zip code in New York. Initially I was researching an East coast man's perspective regarding online dating. I made a new friend in the process of walking and talking our way around Manhattan.
Fascinated, I asked him to say more about how he'd managed to stay laser focused through up to three dates weekly with different women. He spoke of viewing each woman as unique and being curious about each of them. With some he went on multiple dates giving them and the potential for a relationship a chance.
As I added up the actual number of dates he went on, images of my women colleagues dispensing kitchen wisdom flashed. I mentally compared their genius to Will's way. While he would stride forward, we stopped to endlessly mine each encounter for lessons learned and how we'd contributed to the dynamics. Then we'd take a break, sometimes a long one.
Will, too, had eyes wide open as he ran his marathon. "I learned much about myself and my peers in the process. I did have many interesting dates and very few bad ones, so I have no regrets. But I am certainly happier in a single dating relationship and I hope that this one lasts a long time."
Do men process disappointment differently and get back on the horse more quickly? Was it a gender thing? If so, it may be time to bring forth more of our masculine qualities.
From combining Will's way with what I've learned from my own path, here are our top 6 tips:
1. Be curious. Meet each person with the desire to see them as a person, rather than see them as the 'goal' you are seeking.
2. View what may turn out to be a marathon as a pleasurable social activity rather than a job.
3. On the continuum between not giving someone a chance and not knowing when to cut bait, listen to your instincts and be honest with yourself.
4. Cleanse your palate in between dates, so you are able to see each person as a unique being.
5. Get back on the horse. Disappointment is inevitable but, how quickly and well you deal with it is optional.
6. Trust. Act as if Life truly had your back as you go forward to meet the next person, and the next, and the next.
As it was for Will, finding a great love online may be all in the numbers.