Friday, July 18, 2014

Dating 101: How to Not Suck in Dating

Dating Sucks.

Big time.

It can also be amazing.

I know. I've had my fair share of both ends of the spectrum, more times than I'd like to count. While I was in college I did my best to do my post missionary duty to date weekly, sometimes multiple dates in one week. The list of people I've gone out with is a particularly long one for me. So while I know I'm not the perfect person in the course of 'dating how to', I do feel I've learned a lot of practical sense in the arena. That goes for both dating guys or girls; I'll readily admit I've been out with many of both genders. Having been asked a few times by friends for advice or comfort, I thought it might be beneficial, at least for me, to get my thoughts all aligned on this subject and share them with you.

My 8th grade picture (I loved that shirt; Lets not talk about the teeth/smile shall we)...

Me now. *This really was just a moment for me to glory in myself a little. Sue me

1. Believe in yourself

 I've felt this way for a long time, and I've seen this principle work 100% of the time. Confidence is by far the sexiest attribute you can ever have. Hands down. People may say they like this or that in a person, but in the end this is what it boils down to.  In fact, everything else I say in this post will only be an appendage or clarification to this ideal. It's the hardest thing to do, I know, because it requires 100% effort on your end, and being numb to the ideas and opinions of others. But mark my words. When you change your thoughts and actions to actually believe you can be and do what you want to be/do, it'll happen.  I'll share one of my favorite quotes at the end of this post as a footnote that you may find helpful on this.

2. It's OK to be a little different

We all are. There is not nor ever will be a 100% match for you in this life. Never. Prove me wrong, I dare you. It's impossible to. Just as we are constantly evolving and shaping ourselves, you can never expect to always be 100% in sync with another person. And that's ok. Find someone who accepts you for who you are: your strengths and good qualities as well as your flaws. We all have them. So don't worry so much about the things you worry people might judge you for. Because in the end, that other person will be doing the same thing about themself. So take confidence. Be proud of the things you have going for ya and don't judge people or yourself in the ways you are different/not align in.

3. Never wait for a relationship to come to you

  So many people I've talked to have this messed up thinking that somehow if they keep hopelessly wishing for "Mr. Right" to come along that those wishes will add up into a Captain America at your doorway. That may have happened once for someone, but that would've been sheer luck. That's not how the world works. You have to go out actively seeking. Ask, knock, humble yourself, and listen. You'll be surprised at what will happen.

4. Expect the best in yourself- never in someone else

 This is a recent epiphany of mine. And it's perhaps the hardest thing to understand. I had a recent Facebook conversation on this and it seemed in the end I was still failing to help people see this. I always grew up with the understanding that if I did my best to be the person I wanted to be, I could then expect the same in my significant partner. That it was ok for me to be picky. And I would throw down any person who told me I needed to be more open.Wrong. Very wrong. Our expectations on ourselves should never be placed on another person. They have their own experiences, trials and circumstances that have led them to where they are now. If it's meant to work with someone it will work. You will attract most assuredly the kind of person you are. But that's never by force. Expectations place an unnecessary pressure on someone to live up to an ideal that in the end is never realistic, and it causes us to harshly judge others when they ultimately do fall short. I'm not saying here you shouldn't want great things in a significant other. But they should be that way not because you want it of them, but because they want it of them self. Does that make sense? Love is never forced. This advice goes for all people, including long wedded couples. Please ask me if you need further clarification.

5. Don't be scared of change 

 We live in a world where we have become very comfortable with ourselves. Cell phones, fast food, easy access to everything via internet, etc. We like (myself included)  to put forth as little effort as possible and receive the greatest return. This is not a healthy mindset. As noted through all history, we are constantly evolving, progressing (or the other way around) to a better/worse future. Our life is like our muscles: if we don't constantly work them, they get weak. We don't want to get weak and look like Mary Kate Olson (bless her heart- she's beautiful). We shouldn't at least want to. Be willing to let others change you for the better. After all, every single one of us has something to share and a contribution to give this world. So open up. Let them change you. Let life change you. You'll be surprised when you do how much happier life can be. This goes for going out with people you think are too different. No one is too different. Be open to dating new people. Really. Don't set your heights too high that you end up missing the mark.

6. Don't let your past define your present or future 

This goes for past mistakes, failures or even successes. All those experiences, whether good or bad have led you to where you are now. It's definitely important to look back on them and see what can be done to improve or stick with. But don't ever let yourself be overcome with all you've done wrong or can never do. Perhaps you've dated a lot, perhaps not at all. Perhaps you've never put yourself out there or you have way too much. Perhaps you feel you've made so many mistakes or are so far from the person you want to be that it seems there will never be a way out. Whatever it is, LET IT GO. Let all those worries, fears and anxieties slide like a greasy hamburger into the wastebasket. This is so hard to do. And something that will most likely take your whole lifetime to fully embrace; I sure know while I want to be like this I still find myself hanging onto those negative feelings every day.  Embrace where you are now and that you are a person who is capable of changing. Don't ever feel like you aren't worthy of love or a relationship. No matter what, you always are and will be. Believe it.

So that's my two bits for now on dating. I hope it helps some of you out there potentially. I know it has for me, as you can see I landed quite the bachelor:
I could die happy in this smile of his

Feel free to message me if you have questions or you think I may be wrong in some area. I'm open to that. Life has brought me to where I am now but I also know life can be very selfish and naive.

So yep. Peace all! Happy Dating

*Here's that quote of mine that I've found very helpful in several moments of my life: “Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, & fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, & put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood & do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; & then without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great & splendid things you would like to do, & then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfilment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, & the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into the particular individual… Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, & good cheer. To think right is to create. All things come through desire & every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high. We are god in the chrysalis.” - Elbert Hubbard

1 comment:

  1. Great write up!

    And you're a triplet! Stop it right now!