Hey, you know what they say, the best way to learn about dating is by doing and reading. And I mean A LOT of reading. In my case, it was over 300 books in 7 years. That’s like reading the entire Harry Potter series, but instead of fighting Voldemort, you’re fighting that wanting feeling and a lot of shitty dates.
But eventually, I figured it out. I solved the problem, which was about 50% of my own issues if I’m keeping it a buck with you.
With all the books I’ve read, there seem to be common and consistent themes, and I want to share them with you! Save yourself a couple 100 bucks and read this article.
1. Pace yourself
A lot of relationships seem just to be based on momentum and conventional “next steps.” Oh, they talked to me, so I guess we’re going out?
Oh, we’ve gone out. So I guess we’ll start dating. Oh, we’re dating. I guess we’ll move in together. Well, we moved in together. Oh, now we’re engaged. We’ll get married and have kids, grow old, and blah blah blah. But you gotta be very careful here, people. Relationships based on momentum and conventional next steps are like a train on a track, moving forward without conscious direction or consideration, simply following the path of least resistance. This is not healthy and a recipe for disaster. If you’re not careful, it can shave years off your life.
Don’t let the fast pace sweep you away, and remove all pragmatism. Take time to assess and analyze what’s really happening. Ask thoughtful questions and make sure you’ve really thought out what an ideal relationship is and what you’re willing to do to unearth real and genuine conversations between both of you. Just remember how you dive deep into these questions is important too. Friends and lovers ask you questions; only enemies question you. Know the difference. Be more concerned with truth than opinions. Remember this one, despite what internet people or annoying social media talking heads might say, truth is objective and based on facts and evidence, while opinions are subjective and based on personal beliefs and biases. When you date, you gotta prioritize truth over opinions; you can make more informed and rational decisions and avoid being misled by false information or biases. If you fall into the seductive trap of relying solely on opinions or assumptions, it can lead to misunderstandings and, ultimately, the breakdown of the relationship.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell
Be sincere throughout the process, and never pretend to get someone you want. Never fear your vulnerabilities and be utterly accepting and free within loving yourself.
This helps you avoid the pitfalls of obligatory “next steps.”
2. Love can be different.
Love is important. It’s also an ambiguous term, right? Some people’s definition of “they don’t love me” is literally that they’re behaving in a way that’s not a hundred percent what I want all the time, which is bananas!
That’s not love. That’s control, my friends. Beware!
Love should never be based solely on the fulfillment of their wants and needs, rather than a deeper emotional connection and commitment to their partner.
Most modern folk’s definition of love is very short-term; this is why we have the highest amount of single people ever. It’s instant gratification. It’s very obsessive. That’s the first phase of love. And then if that goes away, people say, “the spark is gone,” and people think, “oh my God, I made a mistake.”
Modern society’s emphasis on individualism and autonomy makes it challenging for people to work through real issues and conflicts in relationships, leading to a higher rate of breakups and single people.
Most relationships have as much strength as a wet paper bag. They give no room for grace, patience, forgiveness, and understanding.
A study published in the journal “Social Science & Medicine” found that countries with higher levels of individualism tend to have higher divorce rates. The study analyzed data from 33 European countries and found that individualism was a significant predictor of divorce rates. A study published in the journal “Psychology Today” found that people who value autonomy and independence tend to have more difficulty maintaining close relationships. The study surveyed over 3,000 participants and found that those who scored high on measures of autonomy and independence tended to have less satisfying relationships and more difficulty resolving conflicts.
Trust me! I get it. I was single for 7 years and it was awesome! Some of the best years of my life. But the first few months of my current relationship were hard for me cause I was so used to living my own life. Part of being in love is relinquishing an element of selfishness you have and a lot of people are not willing to make that sacrifice.
Love will only ever be half of the equation. If that.
There’s so much more.
Compatibility: Love and compatibility are two separate things. It’s possible to fall in love with someone who is not compatible with you, leading to issues and challenges down the road.
Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is an essential factor in successful relationships. Understanding and managing emotions is critical for navigating conflicts, building trust, and fostering intimacy.
Communication: Effective communication is vital for any relationship to thrive. Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, arguments, and resentment.
Shared Values: Shared values are crucial for long-term relationship success. Couples who share common goals and values are more likely to work together and support each other through life’s ups and downs.
Personal Growth: Personal growth is an ongoing process that is essential for relationship success. Working on oneself, learning new things, and developing new skills benefit not only the individual but also improves the quality of their relationships.
And look, I get it; all the things I referenced above are not sexy, not polarizing, or esoteric. But they’re the basic fundamentals of relationship happiness. Settling less for anything like the above is like showering in the rain. Nonsensical.
Love occupies the same parts of the brain that light up as hard drugs. Yes, I’m dead serious.
Put that into perspective, how obsessive and addictive that can be if you’ve ever been in the first month, three months of a relationship and wondered, wow, why does it feel like I’m obsessed with this person?
It’s cause it’s like a hard drug, no wonder we want that it to last forever. And when that runs out, you know, we’re looking around for that next hit. That’s why you have a certain group of people who are labeled serial daters. Constantly looking for their next dopamine hit. Because once you move past six months, you’ll never be the same.
Be careful; that “in love” feeling can reduce the negative filtering in your brain. So you literally putting on the rose-tinted glasses. That’s where that term comes from. Meaning that you can overlook things that are red flags or choose to ignore glaring flaws in someone or a potential partner because that “in love” phase pumps those chemicals out, you don’t know what to do with yourself. Not seeing the logical parts or the logical flaws in someone is because that “in love” phase is hijacking your brain.
The other half is compatibility; love and compatibility are not the same things.
Yes, I know you already know this.
Dating without compatibility is like rubber lips on a woodpecker.
But, Sometimes, you actually fall in love with people you are not compatible with. It can happen. In fact, it happens all the time.
Or sometimes you’re really compatible with people that you know you’re not in love with.
This happened to me five years ago. To this day the worst break-up I’ve ever had. We fell in love and were besotted with each other. I didn’t realize till after we broke up that we were not remotely compatible.
Falling in love can be pretty easy. It seems the right circumstances, the right environment, and the right life settings can sometimes create magic, and this is a good thing. But without compatibility, you’re left with a bad joke that you’re the butt of.
Why is it You look at reality shows that are based around love? Then there are people on there that are head-over-heels in love.
A month later, they’re falling apart; love is blind on Netflix or something. Or the bachelor is a good example because of those manufactured situations; I don’t doubt that they weren’t in love. But they never lived in the real world to assess compatibility.
Falling in love doesn’t really take much skill, and that’s okay. That’s not negative. Love is abundant love is your natural state. Love is what you want to give to people. It’s all around us. You can fall in love with people that you’re not compatible with. And it’s hard to see it when you’re in the weeds.
When the Pew Research Center surveyed happily married couples, they observed that love is a choice and active verb that you must work on every day.
Just like you choose to get up and go to the gym every day, if you’re a healthy person, you’ve made that commitment. That’s love; It’s a choice. As some people say, happiness is actually a choice. Your beliefs create your reality.
Love is a choice. Commitment is a choice, not looking for something better in a world that you know; there are just endless options. One app away is all a choice.
I’m not pitying, judging, or lecturing you here. I want you to give and receive the best love your heart can muster. But if what you really want is lasting long-term companionship, remember that love and compatibility are two different things.
4. There is no perfect person.
Become the best version of yourself, and it will be easier to find someone special.
10’s attract 10’s. I don’t just mean conventional attractive people. I mean, energetically, lifestyle-wise, communication-wise, value-wise, job-wise, social circle-wise, and you don’t attract what you want. That’s a selfish and problematic way of thinking.
I believe you attract who you are when you raise yourself up and push yourself to live a life of abundance. This is controllable. You can control and work on yourself. I learned the hard way, but I learned nonetheless.
When you raise yourself up a level to whatever arbitrary number you want to get to, the change will truly come. I see so many people saying they tried everything, and it’s hopeless. Not true.
If you truly had tried everything, you would have something.
There isn’t a world out there where you deserve anyone anytime, anywhere, without actually working on yourselves. This is why you see so many people online who are stunning, I mean just incredibly good-looking, but they’re always complaining about why they’re single, or they’re always the victim, and the other person they were dating was terrible. It’s because they can’t see past themselves. It’s because they might be a ten physically, but it doesn’t go further than that cause most people realize how ugly their inner soul could be.
Inner work will always be your most powerful tool when it comes to dating. It ushers in and projects that still small voice to someone that you’re different and worth anyone’s time.
I think it’s one of the best things you can do to attract people into your life. Working on yourself.
So the next time you’re rifling down a list of things you want in your ideal partner. Ask yourself this, what do they get in return? If the list pales in comparison as opposed to what you want. You might have to take a long hard internal look at your approach to dating.
You can’t demand something that you’re not willing to give up, like attracts, like, and look; this is both men and women. None of you get off easy in this respect,
When you truly work on who you are, all those worthiness blocks, all those doubts go away. When you stop playing the games all together, when you drop them and stop trying to fake your way into confidence or fake your way into being a 10. Instead, you develop the long hard process of
becoming the ten and doing that inner work.
Most people don’t want to put in the work. This is a good thing. By putting in the work, you’re already miles ahead of the competition. The average American reads just four books a year. By you reading 8, you’re already ahead of the competition. You must work on yourself.
Looking for the right person doesn’t work if you’re not simultaneously trying to become that right person. Live the authentic life you were meant to live. So you don’t have all those self-doubts swirling around your head. A lot of people develop that inner core of self-worth, and lo and behold, their dating improves as a side effect.
I want this for you, and I know it will happen.
But I need you to believe it too.
Are you ready to take your first dates from mediocre to mind-blowing? Look no further, my friends! I have the secret weapon you need in my new book, “The First Date Fix,” available now on Amazon. With practical tips and advice for making a great impression on your first date, you’ll be well on your way to finding love or at least having a fun and enjoyable evening. Plus, for even more dating tips and tricks, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Youtube. I promise you won’t regret it. Don’t let another first date pass you by without making the most of it. Get “The First Date Fix” today and start your journey to success in the dating world!
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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