Together we have dealt with various flavours of uncertainty, confusing signals from love interests, and the growth of our self-confidence.
You have tirelessly dated, swiped and sighed. You have held to the mystery of when, where, and how it’s all going to happen. We have explored your Love Readiness over Skype or I have met you on Instagram Live. You have come to Social Dating Experiment and had beautifully deep, conscious conversations.
Wherever your dating life is at, I think I would do us a disservice if I failed to mention one thing:
It is definitely going to happen.
And by “it” I mean the finding of the love of your life.
He may come in the form of a nondescript friend’s introduction as she bounces between names, and he accidentally knocks your wine glass while you stand next to each other.
He may approach you at a bar, in a sharp navy suit and cufflinks, and you just happen to be the greatest anti-fan of cufflinks.
She may be the shy woman in the corner at a speed dating event, where your first reference to the Marvel universe is met with a glimmering interest.
Or she may be the girl I introduce you to at a Sydney Comedy Club. And once I leave the building, you connect over the famous comic you both like who suddenly made a cameo-appearance that night.
Recently I ran into an old friend who was recently engaged. We chatted at length and caught up about how she met, fell for, and committed to marrying her now fiance. She was also at the Flirting Workshop DATEABILITY ran last year in October.
“Things just unlocked for me after that,” she said, “I think I just became more open… because 2 weeks later, it became clear to both of us after being friends for 2 years, that it was on.”
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Wherever you are at, you can permit yourself to see things in 1 of 2 ways:
First: ASSUME MOST Starts WILL BE unmagical.
If you can recall the first ever time you met your now best friend, were there peace doves circling the cove beneath the hill where you first exchanged names?
Did an angel descend from heaven to earth to reveal each other’s mutual identity and life stage to you, thus confirming your compatibility as good friends?
Was there a message written in long scrawling cloud calligraphy canvassed on deep blue, stretching over the expanse of the sky?
I’m guessing it was some version of “hello, I’m ______”, followed by a wave or handshake, and some meagre attempt at introductory conversation. That is of course until, shared context, or chatting about life crossed over into deeper topics and territory forcing your hearts together in friendship.
This non-romantic, sober approach to meeting new people exposes you to more opportunities, more volume of available dates (refer to the Week 5 email on Yes, You Should Talk To Strangers).
The basic science of starting a conversation with a guy, and interacting long enough so that he can decide whether to ask for your number is really the method behind the magic.
From this a friendship will spark if there is some connection, at least. And if you’re talking to 3 new people a day, you’re bound to connect with somebody!
SECOND WAY TO SEE IT: CONVINCING YOURSELF YOU KNOW THEM BEFORE YOU EVEN SPEAK TO THEM.
Every person who has ever told me “I just know when I’ll be attracted to him by observing him interacting with other people,” has been a single woman over 28 years. Who hasn’t been on a proper date in three years. Who also has a very specific criteria, like 'he must have dual citizenship in both a country in Europe and Australia’.
Most of you know I am pro-specificity when it comes to character and values within your dating life. Cloud and Townsend, authors of Boundaries in Dating, and How to Get a Date Worth Keeping even say “be willing to date anyone of good character”, and then assess whether he is right for you (the compatibility piece).
That willingness will open you up to new opportunities.
I want to acknowledge what you are probably thinking right now:
What if I give a chance to a nice Christian guy who has put his hope into this one date with me, and I will have to do the ugly work of rejecting him later?
My response: So be it! Why are you trying to predict every emotional response of every guy you will ever drink a flat white with?
Dating is learning about yourself and the opposite sex. It is flirting practice, training in how to have stimulating conversations with strangers, lessons in self-representation, topped with a thick layer of emotional (and physical) self-control, while you slowly assess whether this person is right for you (the compatibility piece again).
Get over yourself and recognise that you could be blocking the very introductions that could lead to an extremely satisfying and happy relationship!
After my first date with Tom, I thought he was kind of introverted and dare I say, a little boring! It turns out he was just nervous around me, and as we had not any shared contexts leading up to this very intentional 1-1 date with each other, he scrambled on how to keep things interesting when he knew nothing about who I was, or whether he could crack a joke and not leave me grossly offended.
ALL THIS TO SAY…
Be open. Give new people a chance. It’s super fun to be proven wrong and come out a winner in the end!
I understand how hard it is to be in the midst of winding uncertainty. Believe me, I’ve been there. I used to accuse the Lord of “not having my back with men”, and flitting in and out of doubt if He even cared for my intimacy needs.
Being on the receiving end of rejection is not enjoyable. You start questioning your worth, whether you missed the boat in your early 20s, whether you are enough. It’s a hard gig - dating. However: Rejection is a means to keep people apart who are not good for each other.
I wonder if we ever graduate from the sting of rejection in every area of life?
I have written blogs on this in the past, and can only conclude that as long as we choose to keep learning and humbling ourselves to God’s mighty hand, we will grow in shrewdness and wisdom from these experiences.
Control of others is not possible, but influence is. As painful as it is to ask ourselves how we stuffed things up, it’s a question worth asking.
A man I was coaching recently would continue to rationalise the feedback I gave him, not accepting it as something that was directly affecting his social and relational world. This lack of personal responsibility made it difficult to generate the results we both wanted in his love life.
Put it this way: there is a simple science to meeting and finding your compatible suitor.
I will attempt to expound these over the next few weeks, in terms of the ‘how’:
Step 1. Actively search for groups of single people within your demographic.
Step 2. Indiscriminately meet new people there.
Step 3. Be willing to open up a conversation with anyone.
Step 4. Wherever the conversation goes, be interested and supportive in whatever they are talking about, (unless of course it’s completely inappropriate!) More conversational doors will open up this way. (I see too many people stuffing up Step 4!).
Step 5. If you’re interested in connecting further, ladies you can ask for his details - “let me add you on Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram”. If you’re a guy, say “let me grab your number, I’d love to connect further”.
Step 6. GAME FOR LADIES: if the guy doesn’t contact you in a few hours… Send a message referencing the conversation you just had. If you get no reply, leave the connection and move on!
Step 6. GAME FOR GENTLEMEN: as you are expected to make the first moves: Either ask her to have coffee with you, or invite her to come along to an event you mentioned in the initial conversation. If she doesn’t reply or says no, be polite in your response and then move on!