I keep dating losers – Here are 6 steps to get them out of your life for good
You consider yourself a bit of a dating pro. You spend the time screening your prospects Jason Bourne style, before even meeting. Your methodical and meticulous and have tried all the best online dating sites yet you still keep finding losers. You’ve gotten to the point in the past where you’ve thought… I just can’t get back on line again. Before you close yet another profile, read on…
If it’s any consolation, getting lemons, despite even the most artful of dating executions, still happens to the best of us. But here’s something that may improve your chances of getting it right.
Get a dating plan… did I just say dating plan?
And yes, I did. WTH, maybe I need to get out more. But I can tell you that a Dating Plan will be one of the best time investments you can make and if formulated well, is guaranteed to boost your dating results.
Most people don’t have a clear understanding of who they are wanting to meet and even if they did, don’t stick to it anyway. Of course, can can’t control the other person. There are those times when, regardless of your best efforts, your once-hopeful prospect doesn’t want to see you again. Their loss anyway. Stand right back up and push onto the next contender.
Here’s how you go about the plan
Step 1: About you
If you don’t know already, figure out exactly who you are, what your values are, what you want for the future, where you’re heading, your likes and dislikes, and what’s important to you. For many people, this part of the Plan may be a long process. Fine… but spend the time anyway because you can’t find a match that’s right for you if you don’t know exactly who you are.
Step 2: Assess yourself
Now that you’ve established a clear picture of you, check for its accuracy. Is this actually you or an image of yourself that you’d really like to be? This also includes figuring out if you are emotionally ready to enter back into the dating arena. Are you content or bitter about a past break-up? Do you have any emotional unfinished business to deal with before beginning to date? It’s fair to both you and your prospects to date from an emotionally clean slate.
There is no shame in still feeling soul wrecked from a past relationship, but sitting in the pain isn’t helpful either. The faster you can move forward, the faster you can regain greater joy in your life. If you don’t, you may risk watching your perfect-other float by because you’re not ready. A therapist may be helpful in supporting you to clear out the old and bring in a fresh new, and a more content outlook.
A male bestie of mine once had a first date with a lady who started crying 30 minutes in. She was still grieving a past relationship and my heart goes out to her. But I advised my BFF to run faster than a gazelle, right out of there. He agreed, a crying date wasn’t on his agenda either.
Step 3: About them
Figure out exactly who it is you want to meet. How old are they, what type of work do they do (professional, tradie etc), introvert v extrovert, what do they like to do on weekends, where do they live, do they have kids/want kids etc.
Step 4: Compromises:
Highlight which things are deal-breakers and which aren’t. For example, how far are you prepared to travel? If children are involved, how many or how young will you accept. Also assess what the really important things are that you’re looking for. There may be some things that you just must have in a partnership. Be clear about these and keep your eyes on these balls, figuratively speaking of course.
Step 5: The medium
Back to basics. You’ve tried different things in the past. Now assess how you will embark on this new journey. What are your best skills? Are you particularly talented at meeting people face to face and do you have the resources to do so? Alternatively, are you a wordsmith or George Costanza-funny, and therefore come across better writing an online profile?
If online is your thing, don’t necessarily return to previous sites you’ve used. Research online sites as they often offer a vast difference in the type of people you find there. Also consider that different times of the year might produce different membership numbers. I noticed one year that on a particular site, December was slow for new members joining. I assumed this was because people were busy with Christmas parties and the like. Try not to invest big until you’re sure about the numbers. Friends can be a good source of recommendations.
Step 6: Execution
If it’s online dating you’ve chosen, read the profile if it’s available on the site, not just make an assessment based on the picture. You’re looking to match the criteria you’d established above. Be open-minded when it comes to photos. Some people look more attractive in person than they do in their photos, whilst for others, the camera is far from their best friend.
Never meet based on messaging alone. If someone can’t talk to you on phone or Skype, they may be a Catfish wasting your time, or something else equally unpalatable. Likewise, if someone wants to forever message or phone-chat you off your feet but doesn’t set aside time to actually meet – Catfish!
Melanie Schilling from eHarmony, warns in 10 Ways to Catch a Catfish that Police estimate Aussies could be spending as much as $8 million per month on internet scammers. Their profiles present as perfect looking Western potential daters but in actual fact, are organised crime members based mainly in Nigeria and Ghana. You may notice a slight ‘off’ use of their grammar or spelling but on the whole, anyone is capable of falling prey to a Catfish. Follow the simple rule: if you can’t meet them in person, don’t waste your time. Also follow the guidelines to safe dating available on the website you’re using.
Stick to the plan! Well mostly
You didn’t go through all this just to throw the plan away when the first burly fireman with the biggest hands you’ve ever seen pops up onto your screen. I think one of the keys to successful living is fluidity. Rigidity only serves to make us feel like we’re living life in a straight-jacket. So, stick to the Plan as much as possible, particularly for the must-haves, but be prepared to sway on things that are of lesser importance. If we let go of the important things we want in a person, 4 months down the track resentment usually creeks in and by the time we finally exit the relationship, we’ve wasted another 6 or 12 months of our lives that we’re never going to get back.
Love the journey
If you really want to meet a partner, it’s hard to remain patient, but the process takes time so patience is an essential ingredient. Enjoy the wild ride that is dating and in the meantime, have meaning and purpose in your life to put things into perspective. Dating is only one part of your life’s matrix. Your life should also consist of many other parts from which you derive pleasure.