School #1 says: “It will happen when it happens.”
Don’t force things. Trust that it’s all happening perfectly. Pay attention to your intuition and surrender the rest.
School #2 says: “You’ve got to MAKE it happen.”
Prince Charming isn’t going to show up at your doorstep. You’ve got to put yourself out there. Treat dating like a second job.
Which way of thinking feels more comfortable to you?
I’m a fan of both schools for different reasons.
School #1 is perfect for those who try so hard they end up burning themselves out.
When you’re working yourself to death trying to make something happen, it’s important to remember that you can’t control everything. Sometimes, the timing just isn’t right. Being too goal-oriented can take the fun out of searching for love.
School #2 is perfect for those who procrastinate.
Do you feel as if there’s always one more thing you need to do before you’re going to really get out there and meet someone?
Maybe you need to learn just a little bit more, or read a few more newsletters. 😉 Maybe you’re going to wait until things get less busy and you’ve got more time on your hands.
Maybe you want to wait until you lose 10 pounds, or you find a better profile pic for your hypothetical dating profile, or wait till you’re in a better mood. Maybe you’re waiting until you have time to go through my What Men Secretly Want relationship course one more time.
There’s a saying:
“If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting the rest of your life.”
No one is EVER ready for anything.
You’re never ready to have kids, or take on a mortgage, or go back to school.
You’re never ready to step into the boss’ seat, or start your own business, or put yourself out there as an expert.
It doesn’t matter whether you feel ready. You still have to take that next step forward, even if it terrifies you.
The danger lies in believing that conditions have to be right before you can have what you want, whether it’s the perfect relationship or your ideal career.
Here’s how you can bust through those doubts or hesitations holding you back.
CONSIDER YOURSELF QUALIFIED
In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg notes that women are less likely to apply for a job if they don’t meet all the qualifications, while less qualified men apply anyway, believing they can pick up those skills on the job.
In the dating world, the same holds true. Women are less likely to put themselves out there if they feel they have work to do on themselves first. You attract who you are, the thinking goes, so if you want a better mate you’ve got to become a better person.
To a certain extent, there’s a lot of merit in that idea. You do tend to attract partners who are on the same level you are. (I sometimes give this advice myself.)
But where that advice fails is in making you believe that you can’t attract someone amazing unless you “deserve” him.
You already meet all of the qualifications for an amazing relationship, even if you think you don’t. Don’t put off love until you feel worthy of it.
Next, recognize that it’s way too easy to put off taking concrete action steps in the direction of your dreams.
Thinking about dating, learning about dating, and talking about dating are all great things …
But they’re not going to get you a date!
So find ways to hold yourself accountable for doing something each week that will move you forward. Set some goals for yourself, write them down, and post them in a place you won’t miss them. For example…
- I will talk to 5 people I don’t know this week.
- I will browse the Sunday newspaper each week for opportunities to get out and socialize.
- I will join a meet-up that interests me.
- I will spend 15 minutes every night browsing an online dating site.
Make your goals realistic and measurable, but not results-based. If you tell yourself you have to meet 2 eligible single men a week, you’ll end up feeling stressed and pressured.
Goals can give you confidence, even if they don’t seem to be paying off immediately. Love will happen when it happens—but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a helping hand!