DESPERATION. I hate that word. Yet, I hear it a lot. It’s the favourite word used by singles (or anyone for that matter) who haven’t obtained what they want but are dead-set on not changing their MO.
It’s their go-to excuse for anything that is a little different…Attend a singles event? That’s for desperate people. Blind date? Ugh, I’m not that desperate. Hire a dating coach? Desperation to the max! Do the online thing? Smells like desperation.
It took me a while but I now understand what the issue is. “Desperate” is a synonym for “trying hard” and “trying hard” is perilously close to “trying too hard,” which, in the #Iwokeuplikethis era, is criminal because we don’t want people to know we’ve made a concerted effort to achieve the goal we so covet.
Somehow being strategic and thoughtful are no longer positive traits. Today, everything happens organically and everyone is nonchalant. We like to think things can be thrown together on a whim yet turn out amazing with lots of nuance and depth. It’s all about the universe delivering. Or serendipity and instinct doing the heavy lifting. It was based on a hunch. Everything just came together naturally.
Huh. Intent and intuition are all good but what happened to some old-fashioned elbow grease and grit?
It’s like we’re embarrassed if people realize we’ve made an effort to succeed because we’re embarrassed they may realize how important success is to us.
It’s all very confusing, actually, because when I ask people about their preferences and dealbreakers, ambition and drive come up at the top. I couldn’t agree more – having goals & making a plan to achieve them is sexy. Yet, while we’re OK with people knowing we’re interested in being in a relationship we don’t want them to know we’ve made concrete steps to achieve our goal.
Why not? Why do our education, career and investments get a strategic plan with KPIs and SMART goals but the most important decision – whom we share our life with – doesn’t get anything remotely like that?
My motto is, “If you are awesomely single, keep on being awesome.’ But if you’re done with being single and falling in love is a top priority, then do something about it.
This isn’t just about using a matchmaker. You can of course work with me but there’s a lot of other things you can do on your own to be proactive. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Decide what are your preferences and dealbreakers.
- Experiment with your criteria. This is to make sure your totally non-negotiables are really totally non-negotiable. For example, is it really that bad if he’s pudgy? Does it really matter if she’s a bit taller than you? Maybe it does but maybe it doesn’t. This experiment will test your preconceived notion of what a Significant Other should look and act like. You may find yourself surprised that a dealbreaker isn’t actually a dealbreaker…and that makes the pool of potential matches larger.
- Go where your type of man/woman hangs out. Many women spend their precious little leisure time doing hobbies that are solitary (e.g. learning to play an instrument) or don’t include men (e.g. belly dancing). If finding a mate is a priority then it is better to focus on hobbies that are co-ed so you will meet men. For example, learn how to play poker, join a cycling club or take a whiskey-appreciation class.
- Let your friends know you’re in the market and get them in on the hunt.
- Build up your confidence because you can’t always expect the other person to break the ice. (Yes ladies, you can & should make the first move if it’s something important to you.) This is very hard yet very necessary. Let me know if you need some help.
- Ask yourself if there’s anything you need to work on. Use my Past Dating Patterns worksheet to understand if you have certain patterns you need to reform.
- Try online dating—but be careful: Use a maximum of two apps at a time, don’t spend more than one hour per day swiping, and don’t chat with anyone longer than a week without setting up a date. Also, be on the look-out for scammers. For more tips go here.
Don’t let anyone convince you that being proactive equates to being desperate. It doesn’t. But, by the same token, if you realize your current MO isn’t working out for you, you have to change it because there are plenty of ways to achieve your goal.
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