I’ve coached over 1000 single people, most of whom are very successful in their careers. However, that confidence doesn’t always translate into their dating lives. Most of the time it’s because they’ve studied, practiced and cultivated their professional skills way more than their relationship skills. They also have completely different mindsets when it comes to dating vs work, and I’ve found that most of us do. If you just brought a few of your work mindsets to your love life you’d be much more successful too.
Here are 5 ways to do exactly that:
1. Educate yourself
If you want a high-level job you obviously need the right qualifications for it. You wouldn’t think that “just being yourself” would be enough, nor that the perfect job will be yours if you just “wait it out” and “don’t think so much about it”. You need the same mindset if you want to have a really good relationship; you have to cultivate great relationship skills and take smart action. And when you get into the relationship – keep learning and growing, just like in your career!
2. Figure out what you want
In our careers, we often know what our skills and areas of expertise are and apply for jobs that fit that description. But when it comes to dating we sometimes do the equivalent of applying for every possible job “just in case”. We give people a way to many chances instead of honing in on what would be a good fit for us. But if you are a dentist you won’t have success with applying for jobs as a police officer or kindergarten teacher and it is just as backward to give everyone a chance when you’re dating. Most people won’t be right for you so don’t date them. Focus on finding the right fit for you, which requires that you know who you are (see #3).
3. Know yourself
It is highly inappropriate to go to a job interview without knowing your strengths or what you would bring to the workplace. It is equally inappropriate to go to a date without being fully aware of your best qualities as a partner. Know your “love resumé”, meaning your best qualities as a date, lover and partner. If you don’t it will be very hard to feel worthy of a kind and loving partner and you might settle for something that is way below what would be good for you. Get to know yourself well so that you can feel confident and recognize who is a good match for you.
If you want your work projects to be finished on time you need to plan ahead. You have to make space in your calendar, prioritize the tasks in that project and possibly let some other balls drop, or at least wait. The same goes for your love life. You need to create time for meeting people and prioritize everyday flirting, going on dates and expanding your social circle. On top of that, you need to manage your energy. Having the time does not necessarily mean that you feel like it, or have the energy to meet new people.
If you feel that you don’t have time for dating, flirting and socializing, then you probably don’t have time for a relationship either. Which is perfectly fine, as long as you are aware of it and can stand by your priorities.
5. Don’t take rejection personally
If you don’t get the job you applied for you probably won’t take that to mean that you suck or will never find a job. This is however what a lot of people feel after romantic rejection. What I’ve seen is that the biggest difference is in regards to confidence in work vs love. If you feel confident and competent in your career you fully trust that there will be great job opportunities for you. Even if you didn’t get a certain job that you wanted, you know that something else will show up. Not everyone has the same faith when it comes to finding a partner. This usually correlates with a lack of relationship competence. When you don’t know your worth or trust your dating skills, it’s hard to stay hopeful. So remember that everything is learnable and apply the exact same strategies to mastering your love life as you have in your career: study, practice, grow and learn until you get where you want to be. Find excellent teachers, insightful mentors and inspiring coaches who will help you on your way.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
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