Going on date…after date…after date and not connecting with someone can get really frustrating. You may want to give up. You may think you’re never going to find someone..ever! These three tips will help you get through these dates until you find your person.
Tip 1: Take a genuine interest in getting to know this person. Start with small talk but don’t be afraid to also ask deep, meaningful questions like, “What kind of person do you think our child(ren) will become?” Kidding!!! But I’d love to see the expression on their face if you did ask! In all seriousness, even if you don’t connect, you’ll find that you can actually enjoy dating and won’t throw in the towel on finding love.
In the Modern Love essay “To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This,” Mandy Len Catron writes about an experiment conducted by Arthur Aron, now a psychology professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The experiment was to get two strangers to ask each other 36 questions for the purpose of creating closeness. They start off with questions like, “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” and gradually grow in intensity to questions like “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?” Click here to see the complete list of questions.
As a result of the experiment, a couple fell in love. Catron decided that she would attempt to ask these questions albeit not with a stranger, but a university acquaintance. Spoiler Alert: They ended up falling love. Does this mean that you will fall in love if you ask these questions? No…BUT what do you have to lose?
Do you whip out the list of questions for each date you have? You could, although it could get a little awkward. If it were me, I would probably say something like,
Hey, so I get tired of asking the same old questions that come up when I go on different dates, don’t you?
I know this is probably going to sound a little weird but I found these questions online that were created by a psychologist to help people get past the small talk…what do you think? Are you up for trying it?
Sure, why not!
The questions are broken up in three sets, each containing 12 questions. You have to ask the questions in the exact order given because, as I mentioned earlier, they grow in intensity. If you don’t want to ask all 36 questions, make sure that you start with some from the first set, then the second, and finally the third.
Tip 2: After the date, write down what you liked about this person, if anything. It’ll help you get more clarity around the type of person you’re looking for. If there was something you didn’t like about that person, think of the opposite and write that down as something you would look for in a partner.
For example, you could write, “I really liked how comfortable I felt around him. I felt like I could tell him anything.”
Or you would write, “I’m looking for someone who is kind and polite,” if your date was rude to the waiter or rude to other people on the date.
So the next time your next date asks, “What are you looking for in a partner?” You’ll be very clear about what you want AND your date will get to decide if they match that description!
Think of dating as practice for meeting your person. I had a section in my journal of all the things I was looking for in my partner. When I was dating my now husband, I remember looking at my journal and it was as if I had written a description of him. Sounds crazy, but it’s true! I’m telling you, this works.
You can start doing this today. Think about your past boyfriends/girlfriends, and the people you’ve dated in the past and start writing. Remember to change the negative behaviors or characteristics to positive ones…this is very important.
Tip 3: Dust yourself off and try again. I can remember having some bad dates in my time. Guys who didn’t match up with their profile, guys who were not great conversationalists, or guys who were just looking to hook up. I was even stood up once. I’ve also heard countless women tell me about their bad dates and how they just wanted to give up.
You know what I say (sing) to that? Dust yourself off and try again. PLEASE don’t complain it, don’t relive the experience by telling all your friends about it. Sure it can make for a good story but don’t make it part of your story (more about this in the Dig Deeper section below). Just follow tip numero 2 and follow it up with tip numero 3.
Dig Deeper: We all have a story, or a narrative, we tell ourselves and other people. This story becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. For example, the woman who says, “I always meet married men,” will always find married men when she’s dating. I get it, that’s her experience, but it doesn’t have to be her story. Make your story what you want it to be. I’m not saying you have to lie about your experiences but I am saying to change the words you use when you describe your dating life. Instead of saying “I always meet married men,” say, “the right person for me is right around the corner. He/She is available, unattached, and waiting to meet me.” I believe this is true for everyone by the way. Now, this isn’t some kind of hokey pokey stuff…it worked for me, and I truly believe it will work for you.
Think about the words you use to describe your dating life. Do it right now. Pretend someone just asked you about dating. Does it excite you or not? If it doesn’t excite you, change it! If you need help changing it, call me.