As you know, my motivation is focused on the best possible dating outcome for you. I am a firm believer in the idea of win-win scenarios. I was first exposed to the concept by Steven Covey in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”
It’s a great book, but the one thing that stuck with me since I read it in college was this idea that successful people are always looking for situations where everyone wins. Rather than thinking of the world as a pie with only so many slices, Covey encourages people to constantly seek out situations where everyone wins.
Any small change you make in your daily habits can accumulate over time to become a significant positive or negative force in your life. Looking for win-win scenarios does not require much change. You already want the best for other people. You already work hard at various goals at work, school, or in various social contexts. I’m just suggesting a tiny habit change. Just look for one social opportunity for creating a win-win scenario each day.
When you look for something on a consistent basis, your mind learns to spot whatever it is you are looking for. Your brain changes over time, tuning-in to the things you make a habit of looking for.
What does changing your habits got to do with dating? Well, take a look at this list. Think about the social benefits that would come from looking for win-win opportunities:
- Your mind becomes increasingly accustomed to spotting opportunities.
- You feel less anxious when you focus on other people’s welfare (and a little less focused on your own).
- Your self-esteem goes up when you consistently help other people through win-win scenarios.
- It becomes easier to reach out to people when your motivation is for their well-being.
- You tend to meet more people in the process of making suggestions and introductions associated with various win-win ideas that come to your mind.
- Other people mention you more often in the context of explaining new opportunities and positive situations you suggested.
In other words, your social network tends to grow automatically and gradually over time.
I receive a lot of feedback emails from those of you on my email list. Thanks for that! One of the consistent bits of feedback I get is the request for examples to explain various concepts I bring up in my emails.
If you already have a pretty good grasp of what win-win scenarios are all about, you can stop reading here. For those of you who would like an example, read on.
There are thousands of ways you can bring the concept of win-win scenarios to life. I will just pick two specific applications that relate to the mission we are on together to find you a wonderful guy.
I’ll use an example from my friend, Tina. She was invited to watch her nephew at a kid’s soccer game at an outdoor soccer field. Sitting with a bunch of parents on hard metal bleachers was not the plan she had for her Saturday morning.
But her sister complained that it is boring and lonely to sit there by herself. She wanted Tina to chat with her during the game.
Rather than feeling guilty for saying no, or feeling frustrated that she was sacrificing her social time by saying yes, Tina’s mind went searching for a win-win scenario. Here’s what she came up with.
Tina’s sister had to agree to go clubbing later that night with Tina in exchange for Tina suffering through the soccer game. Her sister had not been out clubbing since her single days, but she loved to dance and just needed a good excuse to be there.
Her husband gave the okay, knowing Tina would be her chaperone, and knowing Tina had made this a special request because she didn’t want to go out clubbing alone.
This is a win-win scenario because both sisters gained more than they lost.
They got to spend time together while simultaneously pursuing their mostly different social agendas. The only reason I know about the story is because it turns out Tina met an eligible guy she struck it off with at the soccer match, not the club!
Here’s another really quick example of a win-win scenario.
A new employee is hired where you work. You take the initiative to walk her around the office and introduce her to a few people (in more of a social way than a work-related way).
This is a win-win scenario because you are building a positive alliance with a new employee who will appreciate the way you went out of your way for her. At the same time, she benefits because of your knowledge of the various people in the office and your ability to direct her to get to know certain people in particular who might share something in common with her.
Remember, small habit changes lead to big effects over time. All you need to do is look for at least one tiny win-win scenario each day until you find one and act on it. Soon you will start seeing win-win scenarios everywhere you look.
Talk to you soon!
Hi James! Thank you so much for your emails and taking the time to reply to people’s responses and questions! Well, I’ve been in a difficult relationship for about a year and a half now. We started talking about dating in December of 2017. He said that communication was one of the essential things in a relationship. I hadn’t dated in 10 years and thought I’d give this a try. We discussed some things we experienced in some of our previous relationships. When we first started talking I heard from him every day. Then in April of 2017 I saw a reply from a coworker on one of his posts. She said, wanna talk? I tried sending you a message but it didn’t work. He replied with his phone number and said text me. He still kept talking to me while being with her. Him and I had a lunch date in June of 2018. Mind you he was dating this other girl at this time. I found out they were dating one day as I was talking to her. I sent him a text and said, can we talk please? I got no reply. Where did the essential communication go? After he broke up with her we started talking again. I helped him with some things and he fixed my car for me. I recently found out on Facebook he’s been dating someone since this past January I think she’s one of his exes. He still talks to me but not as much. When we first started talking about dating he said let’s not call it anything until we’re together. It all sounded so good and so right, but what happened? I believe he doesn’t know what he wants. He’s 12 years younger than me and has four kids. None of them live with him, but he visits them. Kids ages range from 2 years old to 18 years old. I’m just very hurt and totally lost! I’d be so good to him if given the chance! Hope this all makes sense. Help please!
Dear James I am in a similar relationship to “RS”. The guy that I’m interested has been divorced for 13 years .He says he’s interested in me but due to the long distance (about 35 miles) and being on workman comp., he says it’s difficult to come see me as frequent . BUT he has been coming in my area going out to different places but not to see me. He said he has emotions for me .I feel like I’m being put on the back burner. How do I get a more serious commitment from him? He also stated he is looking to date towsrd marriage ..We are both in our late fifties.
My ex took our two kids and left me a few years back due to illness (on my part), isolation and ongoing stress. We are pretty amicable now and I share my the children with him evenly. My ex asked me out on a date last week just days after mentioning getting a divorce. We never stopped loving each other, we just were young and in need of support. I want to say yes to going on a date with him. I want to be able to say that we tried to make things work (or even better, that we DID make things work) but I don’t want to hurt my children if things don’t work out. My boys are both in school and it will not be easy to keep a potential relationship from them. Do you have any thoughts, suggestions or wisdom?
This is just my opinion, but here it goes.
The risk is real. Your heart could be broken again if you allow it to hope. In a way, your kids will share that risk. Yet I believe it is a worthwhile risk. The potential benefit seems to far outweigh the potential pain. When speaking to your kids about this, I would frame it honestly for what it is, “just seeing if we can find ways to support each other despite the hardship and pain we’ve gone through.”
Later, if things intensify, you’ll have to step up that explanation for your kids. At that point it will be a legitimate “update” on the status of what you are trying to achieve.
Nice to read ur mails..
Am a single mom..in a relationship with my high school friend for almost 3yrs now.. (We met on FB after 15+ yrs…he’s recently divorced)
Though we live in the same city, our busy schedules & distance (20 miles) make it difficult for us to meet up on a regular basis..Both of us live with our parents..
We would like to meet more often & spend time together… But it just doesn’t seem to happen !!!
You might find this special report particularly useful. It’s about long distance relationships.
You might also benefit from going through my special report on dating as a single parent.
Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it.
I have been reading thru a lot of relationship articles over a year & many of them have helped. But, my relationship with my guy is not all that great !!!! It was beautiful in the 1st one yr…But now…
Sometimes, he is emotional & shares things with me. But then, all of a sudden, he just disappears & doesnt contact me for days together or respond to my calls or msgs.
After a gap of 10-14 days, he calls me again. When I try to find out the reason for his disappearance, he just makes an excuse of being busy & held up with many things. I understand that part of it may be true, but I still feel that he could msg or atleast respond to my msgs if he really wanted to.
I don’t think he’s really into any other woman, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to be committed to me in any way. I am very much in love with this man & want to make things work & whenever he talks to me, he says tht he loves me too.
What should I do?
I’m really frustrated…I think I have tried all things possible. But, if there is anything I can still do, I would I really like to. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
Pls help me !!!!
I’m glad you found a person you want to invest in. I understand why you wish he would be more motivated to invest in you too!
Without background history on your relationship and what you’ve tried, I’ll just double check one thing with you. Do you know if he is interested in a committed relationship right now? Is it something he is actively seeking, or something he wants to avoid until a later point in his life?
The answer to that question can change a lot about the approach you take. In your next few interactions, see what you can learn about his “ideal life.” What does he want? What does he believe would make him happy? Ask these as general questions, not just specifically about relationships. Start broad (whole life goals, career aspirations) and gradually get more specific (what about relationships?).
It’s amazing how those kinds of conversations can reveal new paths or ideas that were previously hidden. Good luck!
Thanks a lot for the reply.
To answer your question – I’m not really sure if he is looking to be in a committed relationship soon. He is recently divorced and I understand his fears about not wanting to settle down immediately. But I wish for a committed relationship eventually.
Also, we have not been in touch over the last 3 weeks. His brother and family are in town which he had told me about & had also mentioned that he would be busy till they leave. But, at the same time, he had promised to take day out of his busy schedule so that we could spend together. I was home alone for a week and we had planned on spending a day together. But it never happened bcoz I was not informed of his plans and he didn’t answer my calls or msgs. I also fell sick and was hospitalized for a couple of days. While at the hospital, I sent him a msg informing him abt it & expressing my wish to talk to him. But it’s been more than a week since that msg. He has neither called / msgd. What should I make of all this?
I still feel / know that he will call me once he is free. But, is that the way a relationship works? I would never abandon him if I ever got to know that he was sick or in the hospital. What should I do James??
I am really unhappy!!!!
The first year of our relationship felt like a dream…& then slowly everything starts to fall apart !!!
Occasionally he expresses a lot of “Love & Affection” or so it seems & then all of a sudden he just disappears causing me so much heartache & turns up whenever he feels like.
Maybe, marriage is not on his mind right now & that’s ok with me. But i need that emotional commitment from him. I crave for it.
What should I do? Please help me James…
And then it all ends. So what’s the point? Better to stay self-sufficient. I’m done with being nice to nasty people.
Susie I find the exact same. .& unfortunately I found that stopping to care for other people was turning me into someone I didn’t know. So I’ve decided that I’m taking a step back & only helping people out to help me out.. For me that especially works with family…so the win win situation kinda sounds about right.
Thnx James for ur advices thy really change my attitude.d
I’m 49, recently divorced, my husband left me… I’ve dated some but it seems like the men I’m really attracted to are not as in to me, which makes them even MORE attractive to me. This pulling away that a couple of these men are doing is making me feel so insecure. I don’t like it. Feel like a teenager… in a bad way. What’s happening to me. How can I get their attention .. how can I boost my self esteem and become more attractive so they dont run away.. help
Hi Carmen. I know it’s not easy advice to take, but I believe you would feel less worried if you built up your own internal expectation for meeting someone who is perfect for you. In other words, choose to believe there is a guy out there going through similar frustrations, and the two of you will eventually meet so long as neither of you closes down in fear. Keep your heart open, don’t be possessive of any man. The right one will find you and pursue you as much as you pursue him. Believing that will allow you to focus on enjoying your life now, rather than waiting for the perfect relationship to arrive before you take a breath.
So true. The difference between and ordeal and an adventure is attitude and outlook. You get what you put out there. Be positive to attract positive people.
I am divorced and over 50; I have two adult children. Where would be a good place to meet men my own age?
I know it sounds simplistic, but I suggest you spend some time thinking about where those men (your ideal type of man and age group) tend to show up in the course of their daily lives. Any fitness clubs you know of, or coffee houses, or reading clubs, or highschool sporting events where they go with their teenage kids? Start with those types of questions and you will begin to see potential answers.
Interesting question for a mature person… where to meet older, more mature singles, eligible people. Men friends of my partner ask him where to go to meet women who are more their age (40’s-50’s), and he suggests keeping their eyes open in their daily life.
We talk about this because our social events seem to have music lovers of all ages. Last night at a concert (outdoors) a single friend was sharing her observations with me on the men who seemed to be “single”, interesting, with my partner giving his opinion occasionally (he and I met in a bar 40 years ago–I know more the scenario in those days perhaps).
I believe daily changes in life can be very rewarding.
Google meetups in your area..there are tons of them all organised by people with particular interests ..for example in my area there are photoraphy,walking,nature hiking,doodling,meditation,30+ group, divorce ,young moms,humour,coffe,movie lovers,music lovers ,40+singles..and many many more..you can even start your own group ..think of a group that you would be able to find people you connect with..find a meeting place..can be anywhere ..and plan a few events..if it is a theatre group for example pick a few local plays and a coffee time the next week to share about it..you can add age parameters if you like..there are even groups that are just to create a group of friends their age and they do different activities each week..anyways check it out it is an awesome way to meet people with similar interests as you
Thank you James, I always read your e-mails with great interest and find them rather original and effective.
Yes! you benefit more often if you practise to be positive in every aspects of your daily life, thanks James, I really got to learn that I lost some opportunities came out of those tiny habits because at first I did not focus, I only thought that every thing has to be strictly straight and of a serious habit.
This is so true, the more positive you become, the more positive things are happening in your life… thanks James, I look forward to your e-mails every week!
Thnx james,I realy apreciate ua advc
Hi james there is a guy that I like at work. I think he likes me too but I’m not sure. On one occassion he said ‘ I’m always happy to come to your office just to see your beautiful. Then the other day I waived at him wanted to ask him to assist with a work related issue, he held the hand that I was waiving. On our way to my office he suggested that we take stairs instead of the elevator, he said don’t worry if you get tired I will carry you. What does all these things mean. I like him and I don’t know how to respond.
LOL…it means he likes you too! Use a “challenge flirt,” where you playfully challenge him to ask you out if he thinks you are so wonderful. Then it’s up to him to ask you out, but you’ve given him the green light.
I say be carefull!,..my first instinct said he is a lecher i may have read it wrong ..way too slick with the flattery and excuse to get you alone..pay attention..does he a huge flirt around the office..and does he have any sort of reputation ..if he hasnt slept with anyone in the office then he probably is a huge flirt that likescyou..dont let him flatter you right in to bed right away..if he stays interested he probably is into..if he walks ,well then you saved your pride cuz he was going to walk after he got what he wanted anyways..just a womans instinct and experience talking here..dont let his flattery overwhelm any red flags that pop up..and take whatever advice you would give your best friend in the situation