Self Awareness + Self Improvement + Time + Opportunity + Luck = Dating Success

In our first blog of this two part series, we talked about the 5 key factors for dating success and the importance of preparation.  In this blog, we’re going to discuss the remaining 3 factors: time, opportunity, and luck.

Time
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”  - Bruce Lee, Martial Arts Legend

In one of my favorite books, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell said that you need about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve something major, and I think it’s true for dating.  If you’re just starting to date, understand that it can take some time, perhaps years, before meeting the right person.  You need all the time you can get.  And that means:

- Making dating a priority.  When I decided that I was ready to settle down and find a relationship, I decided that I was not going to pursue a management position at work for a few years, knowing the extra time commitment working after hours would eat up my time dating.  I have the rest of my life to work, but I only had a certain window of time to date and get this right.  After I married Alena, I pursued and landed a management position. 
- Dating efficiently.  In other words, don’t waste time dating the wrong people, and increase as much time as you can dating people who match you and what you’re looking for.  It’s not just about the quantity of dates, it’s about getting a high quantity of quality dates.  In my last year of being single and by the time I met Alena, my dating efficiency was high.  I knew what I wanted and didn’t want, and was able to turn down girls who were incompatible from the first conversation or first date, even attractive one’s, and focus my energy towards girls who had similar interests and goals in life.


Opportunity

 
 
After years of dating, I learned that one's success is influenced heavily by 5 key factors:

Self Awareness + Self Improvement + Time + Opportunity + Luck = Dating Success

The more you:

- are aware of who you are, and what you want and don’t want in a relationship (self awareness), 
- improve your life (self improvement),
- increase the amount of time you spend dating quality people (time), and
- increase the pool of eligible singles in your life (opportunity).

…the more ‘luck’ that will appear to come your way in dating.

“Every Battle is Won Before It is Fought”

The great Chinese General Sun Tzu said in his influential work, the Art of War, “every battle is won before it is fought” to emphasize the importance of preparation.  In dating, if you’re prepared, you’ve already won half the battle before you even meet anyone.  And being prepared means growing in self awareness and self improvement.

Self Awareness

Know who you are, and what you want and don’t want in a relationship.  Some questions to ponder:
• What kind of lifestyle makes you happy?  Are you more of a homebody or a social butterfly?
• Do you want to have children someday?  If so, when?
• How often do you exercise, eat healthy, and drink?
• How do you spend and save money?     
• Are you just interested in playing the field, hooking up, or looking for a relationship?
• How religious are you, and is that something you need in a partner?
• What are the things that you ‘must have’ in a person?  It’s good to have standards, but be realistic too.
• What are your dealbreakers?


Note: You don’t have to put yourself in house arrest and forgo dating until you figured out everything about your life.  If you do, you’ll be in your 90s!  Go out, meet people, have fun, and you’ll figure yourself out and what you want and don’t want with each person you date. 

Keep a Dating Journal

If it helps to ask a trusted friend or relative what they think, do it.  If it helps to write it all down somewhere, do it.  I kept a dating journal in my last year of dating, and it helped me to see that I was falling into a pattern of dating people who were just interested in playing the field while I was playing for keeps.  When I met Alena, she said she was looking for a relationship in our first conversation, and I knew I was looking for the same and asked her out confidently.  She told me years later that it really impressed her that I was bold and it made me stand out.  The more you know who you are and what you clearly want and don’t want in a partner, the easier and quicker it will be to recognize if someone is a match, and also quickly filter out someone who isn’t a fit.

Self Improvement
A month before meeting my wife, Alena.