SPARKS, FLAMES & FIRST DATE SABOTAGE ADVICE
“I hate dating. I wish I could just skip it and find my person already.”
So often, today this is the exact attitude that many men and women express when it comes to the ongoing event of dating as a single person. Notice that I highlighted “as a single person” here. You see, the funny thing is that this attitude is the exact attitude that can seep into committed relationships as well. The idea that dating is a struggle or a chore and if you are already having this feeling when you are in the beautiful mysterious stages of meeting your person, then how do you think you will feel when the mystery is hard to come by with them years down the road?
Newsflash luv, you gotta love dating and experiencing new things in your life in order to keep the flames burning strong in a long-term relationship. So, look at this “job” of finding your person as practice to keeping your person.
Attitude is everything! And in the dating world it could not be truer.
If you are too busy, tired or pre-entertained to engage and be present with this stranger before you then do both of you a favor and decline. You may think that you can fake it and smile, and it will be okay, and sometimes that is the case, however 80% + it’s not so… attitude shows an emotional/mental state of being and that translates out to your actual “vibe” or how you are feeling during your date. This silent language speaks so loudly that the person you are meeting for the first time makes a decision on who you are and whether they like you or not within three seconds.
3 seconds! That’s all you got luv.
So, get your vibe straight, or decline the date.
How does someone who believes that they are simply bad at dating, or is exhausted with dating and all the game playing supposed to get their “vibe” straight though?
What about all the anxiety riddled folks out there, who are introverts?
First realize that all of that is because you are creating an emotional barrier to dating in your own head and this is causing you the physical response. Make a commitment to yourself that dating is fun, that you enjoy spending time sharing insights about yourself and learning about the world and this other person that may be the one that you have been looking for all this time. Make a commitment that you want to show them your best side, your humorous side, your easy-going side, and that you want to make them feel safe that they can do all the same with you. By starting a different conversation in your own head about dating, you drastically change the playing field in reality and you up your odds of meeting your person or at very least perhaps making a new friend.
I have quite a few single clients at this moment of my practice, all on dating apps, out meeting new people and pretty solid in who they are and what they want. I am always giving them advice on how to call in the love of their life. In all my years exploring single life, I discovered a few tried and true things that I see people consistently making errors on, outside of the number one challenge of attitude/vibe.
So, you have got the date, you are excited and yet not. It feels cumbersome and like you have been down this path all too many times. You don’t trust that they will show, or that they will look like their profile picture even. You have your checklist quickly at hand in your head, what you are wanting and more importantly what you are not wanting, and so you suggest your favorite little pub or restaurant to grab a bite to eat and drink. It’s safe, you may not trust your date, but you know you like the menu.
The issue with this common first date scenario is ALL the above.
It’s safe, you know it so well, there is nothing new to explore together, and you have on your agenda eating, drinking, checking your phone when your date runs to the restroom, making light conversation with your favorite waitress or bartender and making it through your checklist. (Insert yawn here) Seriously, I got tired and bored just writing that. It’s wonderful to have your “go to places,” but how much connection are you really gaining or knowledge about this new person in this scenario? First dates need to be not about the checklist but about the education. They have to be a bit vulnerable and intimate – and I am not talking romantic or sexual when I say intimate here. If you are wanting to vet this person and allow them to vet you, then it will require you to drop your guard some and loosen up. Nothing worse than entering the date with a straight-laced agenda and then some boring food, drink and light conversation based on your checklist.
You see the majority of people out there dating to find their person, don’t want to waste time or money. They understand that it is a numbers game, or so they have been told and believe this to be fact and they are all about speeding up the process. Let’s just cut to the finish line, the bottom dollar per say and see if we mesh, meaning do you have what I want?
When we make it a “cut to the finish” event, we are more focused on the interview.
We bombard this new person with questions that we believe will give us the answers that we are looking for and we pay attention to how they are acting during the date looking for the gotchas.
Simply put, we are looking for what we don’t want so we can rule this one out and be done with the date.
Years back when I did my 30-day date experiment, I went on a few coffee dates with men and I recall one man when I asked him why he wanted to do a mid-day coffee date tell me this,
“I can take an hour to finish this coffee or 10 minutes, it all depends on how I feel about you.”
(Can you say 3-second judgement call?)
He went on to explain to me that he was tired of spending a bunch of money on dinner and drinks with women that said all the right stuff just to get wine and dined and then to be ghosted or discover that these women were really fake. Coffee fit into his budget for mass numbers better and it worked into his day well and did not take away from his homelife.
As much as his idea makes logical and financial sense, he limited his ability to really get to know the person he was grabbing coffee with. His presentation on the coffee date was that of an interview. He was there to check his pros and con’s boxes and make a decision on the bottom line and if he wanted to invest more or not. He bombarded me with questions and tallied up my answers in his head. To be very frank with you dear reader it was one of the worst dates I had and have ever been on. I felt like he was completing a chore and some data collection for work.
My solution to these sorts of disconnected first dates?
You want to just grab coffee. Great but don’t do it at your local coffee shop, go to a bookstore and surf through books together, discuss what you really enjoyed reading in your teens, twenties and as the years progressed. What books really touched you. Transformed you. What’s on your list for this year to read and why.
Not into books, grab coffee and hookah, play a board game over hookah and an espresso. You get to see how this new person competes, handles a win or a loss. It’s casual, fun, and you can have an organic conversation around things outside of your list and yet still your list.
Not into hookah or board games? Tell your first date that you like museums, old school arcades, or something where you can talk about what you are exploring or have some laughs.
If you really want to see multiple sides of someone and speed up the dropping of the mask that takes 200 or so hours of face-to-face time, look at dating as knowledge gathering and sharing. In order for you to learn about them you have to be willing for them to be able to learn about you as well.
Important tip is to get out of your comfort zone.
Explore something new and if this person does not work out at very least you both got an experience and personal growth or some laughter.
Want to be even more real and see who they really are?
Remember high school when you would just hang out with friends and occasionally someone new would hang with your group or two groups would hang out together?
Make the suggestion that you each invite a couple friends to go with you out to some event or get together somewhere neutral to do something like volleyball or Topgolf. This takes a ton of pressure off of everyone, you get to see how this person acts in front of their friends and new people and even more important friends are great for sharing how they see us. You can get a better view of someone by meeting who they hang out with and count as friends and what those people have to say about them, and you give this gift back to that person as well.
Now, I know you might be saying, “That’s great but I want to maximize my efficiency. I am not getting any younger here. This is not high school or college. And I am not made out of disposable income. I need to know if this person has what I want or not before I invest and introduce them to people in my life.”
What if you chose to see this a tad differently?
What if you woke up to the possible reality that this person most likely won’t have everything that you are wanting. That they may have some of what you don’t want even. But what if… what if they offered you some things that you never knew you wanted or enjoyed?
What if your quick moving dating game actually was creating your worst nightmare and preventing you from meeting “your person?”
The mutual act of being vulnerable and intimate enough to show who we are some is a two-way street. We have to be willing to reveal parts of ourselves to get this other individual to reveal themselves as well.
Ask yourself this:
- Do you find yourself presenting your resume to this person on a first date?
- Do you identify yourself through your education, your degrees and what your career path is?
- What topics do you choose to focus on and why?
- What topics do you avoid and why?
- Do you find yourself talking and inquiring more than listening?
- Do you feel the clock ticking on your date?
Anyone who has been on a first date and thought it was going well only to be surprised that the person ghosted them the day after needs to understand that dating is all about seduction.
Seduction on both sides. In order for us to want to explore deeper with someone we must desire to get to know them more, we must find a mystery in them that we want to uncover. There will be a mental, emotional and physical attraction to this exploration.
However sometimes, it’s just not there.
Often it is not there in truth, and we all have to get more comfortable with rejection and how to go about it with respect and compassion. I am an advocate of being up front with your intentions right away. If your desire has been peaked, then say so and ask for the next date before the first one is over. The same is true if you are not feeling it, as you part ways with this person, don’t leave the door hanging open and them waiting on your text or call to set something up because you said you would but never had the intent. Instead, be clean and in integrity, this will do your confidence and attitude a world of good to stand in your truth. Simply say something like, “Thank you for a wonderful meeting, I really enjoyed tonight, and you are a great person. I don’t feel like we have enough in common to meet again however, I wish you all the best on your dating endeavors and hope you find what you are wanting.”
This is honoring them and being respectful.
Leaving no negative energy behind or pressure on either side.
The reality is that if you are dating, if you are wanting a serious relationship you have to realize that dating is a practice field and a school to gain education.
Even if you are on a date with Mr. or Mrs. Not Them, they have a bunch to teach you about the most important person in your fairytale, you.
- How you choose to show up.
- How present you are.
- What your agenda is.
- How you treat them.
- How vulnerable you are.
- How excited you are about the discovery process.
All of these things and so many more not listed, reveal the quality of relationship you will end up having when you find your person luv.
So, invest today in your dating world and learn how to kindle the fire of your love.
Want more tips on dating, love, relationships and more?
I have been working with individuals like yourself for two decades helping them become a match to their soulmate love and teaching them not only how to acquire and find it but keep it.
Reach out to me today to make this year your year of love.
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