My philosophy on the art of dating is quite simple:
Dating is an opportunity to ask for what you want, say what you're looking for (your purpose for dating), date lots of people (as many as you'd like), have fun and enjoy the process, have almost zero expectations, and remain unattached to the outcome.
When you engage in the art of dating from the right place physically, mentally and emotionally, you actually stand a better chance of ending up with the person who is the best fit for you sooner. Much sooner.
If you've been searching for "the one" and beating your head against the wall, crying yourself to sleep, or lamenting to your BFF how "a good man is hard to find," well, stop it. You will only get what you want when you make up your mind about what that is, and get smart about your search.
I write all about my journey to finding my husband of five years, my Mr. Wonderful, in The Successful Single Mom Finds Love! Before I found him, before I got smart, I had to kiss a lot of frogs, cry too many tears, and spend countless hours and dollars on men who didn't deserve the time it took to write this sentence. I want to save you some time, aggravation, heart-ache and babysitting dollars. Are you ready? Then let's get started.
Ask for, and Get, What You Want
Remember: There is someone out there who wants for you to give him what you want to give and who will give you what want you to receive.
Your role in this process is to speak your truth (state your "purpose for dating"), and sort and keep sorting until you've found the person you're going to date, live with, marry, have children with, all of the above, or none of the above.
Oh yes, and you probably will want to enjoy the process. Therefore, decide right now that you're going to begin this process when, and only when, you can commit to yourself to enjoying the process and not before.
I make it sound so easy, right? Actually it's simple, but I recognize it's not necessarily easy because of the way we are wired and because of the way we're used to doing things.
Here's your new dating process:
- State your "purpose for dating" all the time. Tell everyone within the sound of your voice what and who exactly you're looking to find. They may have a brother, son, nephew, cousin, co-worker, or neighbor who sounds like a good fit. You just never know where your Mr. Wonderful is going to come from.
- Have fun and enjoy the process. What's the point if you don't have fun and enjoy the process? When all of your energy is wrapped up in "finding," you won't be "enjoying." Inject fun into the dating that you do! Go to new restaurants, indulge in new foods, try miniature golfing, go hiking, learn how to stand-up paddle, learn a new language, train for a triathlon. All of these activities put you in front of people, many of them new people.
- Have no expectations. What if you could just go on a date and the only expectation you have is that you're going to have a conversation (maybe even a good one) and a nice meal? Wouldn't that take the frenetic energy out of the date? The energy that holds expectation and hope and even a little bit of crazy? Wouldn't that be nice? Yes, yes it would. Nod and smile, so I know you're with me, okay?
- Don't be attached to the outcome. Don't worry if "he's the one," just do your best to have a good time, enjoy your dinner and movie, flirt your ass off, and then wait and see what happens.
There are two other love-finding tips I want to share with you.
First, do what you haven't been doing: go on more dates or dress differently. Go out with your girlfriends, or even take a weekend away by yourself. In other words, do the thing that scares you the most when it comes to dating. Shake things up. Shake yourself up! You deserve to try something new and get a new, great result.
Second, save yourself for the best fit, i.e., you deserve the best. So no settling! I mean it: this part is where I insist you not settle. Good enough is just not good enough.
This process isn't about finding Mr. Perfect. He just simply doesn't exist. This process is about finding Mr. Perfect-For-You. My husband isn't perfect (pretty darn close), but he is perfect for me. We compliment each other so well, and that makes our relationship harmonious -- most days, anyway. I'm so clear I'm not perfect, but he swears I'm perfect for him. That's a pretty great feeling, and a feeling you, too, deserve to have.