I wrote a blog here not too long ago, about tearing up “The List.” The one we all most likely have in the back of our heads that reads: “Must be this size, this color, have this amount of hair, like this music, make this amount of money, likes to travel, likes to cook, etc, etc, etc.” The point was that this approach to dating is limiting, restrictive, and self-seeking. Furthermore, it does allow for the universe to do its work and bring you the love of your life, which many times, ends up NOT being our traditional type. Now that it is 2012, I think it is a good topic to revisit and develop a game plan of how you can definitely broaden your dating pool and create room for that surprise catch to end up in your net.
1) Throw Away the List
Of course, keep your values and non-negotiables in constant view, but leave the “Must Be This Tall to Ride This Ride” thought pattern back in 2011. Be open to what the universe brings your way; If you think you cannot fall in love with someone who is not your “type,” consider yourself forewarned.
2) Accept or Pursue Every Date
The main caveat to this one is if the potential date elicits images of the shower scene in Psycho...It may be OK to table this particular opportunity. If, however, an unexpected date comes your way via friends or your own pursuits, I would say go for it, and work that dating muscle. The worst case scenario is that you went out on the town, found a great spot for your next date, and learned more of what truly doesn’t blend well with your personality. The best case scenario is that you are pleasantly surprised, have a fantastic evening, and want to explore it a bit further. However, none of this will happen if you don’t even give it a chance. Also, there is something to be said about being in motion and dating consistently. Think of yourself like an ambitious actor in Hollywood that says YES to every opportunity, including student films; you are always on set and working and prepared for when the big studio opportunity comes your way. (Keep in mind that student films also become smash hits as well!)
3) Make It a Series
In baseball, teams usually meet up for a 3 to 5 game series during the season. Anything can happen at on any given day, so it is a true test of their skill level to play multiple times in a row. Such is dating. So much anticipation feeds that first date, and even if you are an experienced dater, you might have jitters that can cause you to be a little off your game. First dates can become too orchestrated and too mechanical to the point that we are not bringing our true selves to the table. If there is a smidgeon of hope on the first outing, I would give it at least one more shot (if not two) to allow your natural energies to flow more easily.
4) GET OUT!
Mr. or Miss Right is not going to fall into your lap. You have to get yourself together, look sharp, and get out there and share your beautiful self with the rest of the world on a consistent basis. Last time I checked, there are no single people hanging out in your closet. Make a list of the 50 things that bring you joy (where others are present) and go out there and do them. We are our most attractive selves when we are doing what we love, but this is useless from a dating perspective if only shared within the comfort of your apartment with your miniature schnauzer. Make that list and set a goal to get out ONCE A WEEK. I don’t care if you hit up a gallery opening, do a half day hike, take the schnauzer to the dog park, or attend a formal cocktail party; just GET OUT!
5) SELF CARE
This should be the first on every dating list. When I work with clients, the first thing we focus on before talking about attracting, dating, or committing, is the status of your own self care. If you are not caring for yourself and falling into a healthy relationship with yourself everyday, how are you going to attract a healthy person into your life? The big question is to ask is, “Would you date you?” If there are a couple things you want to work on, then work on them. You might even want to take a dating hiatus the first 3 months of the year to ensure you are in a place to share your most balanced, self-loving, and radiant self; all before embarking on that anticipated first date. Important to note, however, said hiatus does not mean for you to hold up in your room for 3 months…keep doing those things you love and keep venturing out; other opportunities always pop up unexpectedly, romantic or not.
Now, take up that aforementioned list of requirements right now, rip it up, and be open and available to what comes your way this year. If you keep that fishing net tight, small, and in shallow waters, be prepared for slim pickings and quiet nights. However, he or she who casts the largest net has a bounty to choose from, and increases the odds of finding the one that is the prize of them all…especially when that prize fish looks nothing like the “targeted” catch.
Seize the date,