Ketan Anjaria has decided to toss the dating checklists, and suggests you do the same.
I’m writing this because recently there has been a spat of articles attempting to teach what kind of man or women you should or should not date. I won’t link to them because that kind of immature dribble doesn’t need more promotion, but I had to get a few things off my chest.
1. Attributes Don’t Make You Fall in Love
This girl travels. That guy has a nice car. This girl listens to the same music as me. That guy is vegetarian like me. While having things in common can lead to familiarity and romance, there’s no romantic movie where the girl says I fell in love with him because he’s vegetarian.
Most people confuse liking the attributes of someone as leading to love. It’s all based on ego…they do the same things as me, so I value them higher. Or they have attributes I want for myself or don’t have yet, so I value them higher. While that is totally natural behavior, as adults we need to learn to not confuse the infatuation of someone’s personality with true affection.
If the love of your life became poor, stopped traveling or started eating meat, would you love them less?
2. Nobody Can Predict Who Is Right For You. Even You.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience love a few times. And every time it wasn’t someone I expected. It definitely wasn’t someone who matched my “looking for” on my OkStupid profile. It’s hard enough to meet people as we get older, not because our dating pool gets smaller, but we become more close minded. We have lists of deal breakers that are miles long, we go through pics and people faster than most people go through popcorn (mmm…popcorn). While attraction is very important, defining your dating options by a single photo seems pretty narrow minded and rarely leads to something beautiful.
You really have no idea what good things might be coming for you. Falling in love is about taking chances.
3. Enough With the Slut Shaming
Girls have it hard enough living in this world where on one hand they are bombarded with highly sexualized images that they somehow need to live up to, but then if they do, they are called out for being slutty, cheap, whorish etc. It’s a no-win situation perpetuated by both genders. If a girl or a guy wants to dress a certain way, that has ZERO impact on their morality. If you choose to wear a miniskirt instead of pants, that doesn’t make you a ho.
As a father of a teenage girl I have to walk this fine line. I don’t want the wrong attention drawn to her for the wrong reasons but I want to promote her independence and ability to think for herself. Regardless of how she chooses to dress, idiots will always be idiots and choose to judge. It’s up to me and mostly to her to find ways to be strong in her identity regardless of other people’s judgement.
If someone perceives you in a different way because of your choice of dress, then that’s someone you probably don’t need to spend time with.
4. There’s a Reason the Word “Friend” is in the Word “Boyfriend”
Recently I sat down with my daughter to talk about the birds and bees. And not the physical aspects about sex but the emotional, mental and relationship ones. You know, the stuff they conveniently forgot to teach you in school.
I tried to spend more time listening than talking and she said something that blew me away,
“The word friend is in the word boyfriend for a reason”
Most of us are out there looking for our soul mate, our passionate lover, our roller coaster whirlwind love when really, the relationships that last are built on true friendship. Study after study has shown “passionate” relationships tend to fade very quickly.
If you can build a long lasting, supportive, positive, giving relationship with someone you consider your best friend, your chances for success are much higher.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Try Something New
The chance of you meeting the love of your life while reading an article on how to meet the love of your life is ZERO.
Most of us are deathly scared of actually achieving our goals, so we self-sabotage all the time. If you find yourself saying things like, “Oh she’s not right for me,” or, “This could never work out,” or, “That event has all douche bags,” or, “I don’t like this race/salary/hair color even through the rest of this person seems great,” what you are really doing is being a little chicken.
You say you want to be in love, but what you really want to do is to be safe. Stop self-sabotaging and be open to new things.
Really, all our preferences about body type, race, income level are just that, preferences. You don’t pick a partner the way you pick a stereo. Shared activities and interests are a huge part of life, but if you can work on having an open mind and improving yourself one step at a time, you’ll be more likely to find that beautiful stranger who one day might become your best friend.
Originally published at kidbombay.com
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