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.
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.
The great thing about self improvement is that it's a win-win. Taking up a new hobby or learning something new only expands your dating opportunities, since you'll have more interests to connect on with people you meet. And if you don't meet someone right away, you're improving yourself.
Running for Love
I started taking up running in 2009 because I wanted to relieve stress, get in excellent shape, and do something I always wanted to do: run past 3 miles. I started running with a run club, then trained with a track group, and ended up running two half marathons. Running made me feel great, and I believed that if I had the endurance and commitment to train for a half marathon, then perhaps I could have the endurance and commitment to go through the up and down journey of finding the one. This also came in handy because in one of my earlier dates with Alena, she invited me to do a short run with her after work. It turns out that she put me to the test, because that short run was over 7 miles long! I was a bit tired at the end, but thankfully I was able to do it, and it made her only more interested since I wasn't one of those guys that lie and say they work out when they don't.
Other things I did: I read several books about body language, dressing well, and cooking, and started to revamp my wardrobe, try out new recipes at home, and be more conscious of making eye contact, smiling, leaning forward, and listening better when I would socialize and date. I saw the quantity of dates double when I started upgrading myself. There's always things you can do to improve.
Note: Again, you don’t have to swear off dating until you run a marathon. The idea here is to find challenges that you can do that build your confidence, improve your life, and make you a more attractive catch.
Be sure to check out the next blog for Part II…to be continued.