Hello there. Dr Alex here, your friendly neighborhood provider of insight into the single male’s mind.
I attended a pretty interesting relationship workshop this weekend where people shared their experiences very frankly. About 1/3 of the people were couples, and the rest were singles.
Several of the single women stood up and asked questions, and, the seminar leader being a fairly direct kind of guy, he asked questions back. Now these were really lovely women — attractive, stylish, young, well-educated. Probably a lot like you. Which raises the question:
Why were they still single — even when they were clearly looking for a relationship? Sometimes it was glaringly obvious why a given woman was single (e.g. way too picky). Other times, not so clear. But one thing was for sure: each woman was doing something that was keeping her single.
The paradoxical-sounding Taoist practice of ‘getting out of your own way’ is the solution to this issue. Once you remove the self-imposed barriers, the path to your own fulfillment becomes a lot clearer.
So some thoughts of getting out of your own way in your dating life would make for a pretty useful list. Because the whole idea behind The Tao of Dating for Women is that smart, fabulous, successful, attractive women like yourself should have fulfilling dating lives, too.
Now in compiling this list, I’m speaking as a single guy who’s been on a date or two, and know when something a woman does increases her attractiveness or decreases it. In other words, whether you like it or dislike it, this is how the world looks.
Another note: the subject of this article was framed negatively, mostly to get your attention. Now that I have your attention, I will frame the list items positively — things you *should* do, as opposed to things you shouldn’t. I’ve found that tends to be much more useful for folks. You can figure out what ‘the thing you should never do’ is from the context.
So, you’re ready? Here they come:
1. Do everything in your power to keep the first date.
So your guy somehow found you — at a party, an art gallery, online, through a friend. He stuck his neck out by writing the first email, making the first call, and setting up the first date.
The day of the date arrives, and for some strange reason, you just don’t want to Sober living near you go. Yeah, you hit it off when you first met. And the email and phone communication was fun and flowing.
But right now, as the moment of truth draws near, you just feel like you need to cancel or postpone. Maybe you feel queasy. Or your girlfriend called and she needs a tete-a-tete about her recent breakup. Excuses to cancel abound but…
DON’T CANCEL. KEEP THE DATE. SHOW UP.
If you like the guy at all — even a little bit — do everything in your power to keep the date.
Because if you cancel, it puts him in a very difficult situation. You’ve basically insulted him and showed through your actions (which speak much more loudly than words) that he’s second best, and something else is more important.
Now, legitimate excuses do come up. Illness, family emergency, blocked airway, lack of breathing, profuse bleeding. But short of those, your man will take it personally. Now that you’ve been rude to him by wasting his time and effort, if he has any shred of self-respect, he’s going to have a hard time calling you to set up the follow-up date.
A funny thing about human behavior is our strong need to avoid cognitive dissonance. We need to align actions with thoughts, and thoughts with actions.
So when you do something mean to someone — like cancel the date at the last minute — you will tend to dislike him as a consequence. Why? Because your unconscious mind goes, “Well, if I canceled on him, it must be because I don’t like him!” Even though 24 hours ago you DID like him enough to agree to spend time with him.
As a result, the whole edifice of romance comes down crashing in a heap of disappointment. He’s probably not going to re-invite you. And you’re certainly not going to ask him out. End of story, and a lost opportunity for both.