It’s not easy being single. After dating for months or years, one can feel discouraged and pessimistic. Here are five tips on how to better navigate the dating scene.
1. Be Open
At a singles gathering I approached a woman I know and asked if she would go out with a young man standing across the room. I had previously met him and knew him to be considerate, intelligent and a working professional.
As we spoke, her friend walked over and interjected her opinion.
“Him?” she said. “Ugh. I would never let you date him! He is a total TWOT”.
“A TWOT?” I asked. “What’s a TWOT?”
She looked at me and explained. “A TWOT is a Total Waste Of Time”.
They walked away and no introduction was made. Maybe nothing would’ve come out of their meeting, who knows? But I wonder how many dates never happen because of a dismissive remark from a friend, a rolling of the eyes, or a look of contempt. How often does someone share information that does not allow another to accept a date? Just because this person was not right for you does not mean that he or she would not be right for your friend. Your sarcastic remark or casual putdown just ruined it for someone else.
Don’t allow the views of another to prevent you from finding love. Be open to meeting new people even if your friends don’t believe this is the right one for you. Make an effort to break out of the box you have put yourself in. If you keep on dating the same type of personality without success, ask yourself if now is the time to be open to meeting a different sort of individual. Maybe you are stuck with an unrealistic picture of who your soul mate is.
2. Be Positive about Yourself
Torah teaches us “Love others as you love yourself.” Loving yourself is not a selfish love. It means that you are aware of your strengths and you know that you can make a difference in this world. Building strong relationships with another person begins when we have built a solid relationship with ourselves. Don’t be overly harsh on yourself. Focus on your positive traits. Radiate confidence; it’s attractive. If you do not love and feel good about who you are, why would the person you are dating feel differently?
A very attractive career woman came to meet with me about finding her soul mate. She felt that she was doing something wrong in her dating life. As soon as we began our conversation, I noticed that she radiated a sadness and defeatist attitude whenever she spoke about her romantic prospects. It was as if she gave off a message that she did not think she would ever find her bashert. She was carrying years of baggage with her. Without realizing it, she had been broadcasting that she felt awful about her chances of finding true love. Men felt her negative vibes. It was almost as if she was saying, “You won’t want me, just like the rest of them.” By transforming her attitude, she would give herself a positive emotional makeover.
3. Pay Attention to Your Body Language
You’d be surprised at how many of us totally ignore the signals we send out through our body language and actions.
Here are some ideas to think about before you go on your next date.
Show that you are interested. Smile. Maintain eye contact. Don’t fidget with your hair. Turn off your phone and stop checking your texts. Don’t keep scanning the room to see who else is there. You will seem bored and disinterested. Dress up for your date-at least show that you care enough to be well groomed and not wear stained or wrinkled clothing. It’s not about being shallow; it’s about taking care of your teeth, your hair, your shoes, and the way you wish to transmit your persona.
4. Work on Communication Skills
Communicating is not just about talking, it is also about listening.
Some of us know how to tell over a really good story but we forget how to listen. Give the other person a chance to speak and offer their opinions. Watch that you are not constantly interrupting. If you do not agree with a point of view or feel strongly about your own opposing convictions, try not to let the conversation get heated through an acrimonious tone. Watch that you are not coming off as judgmental.
A shy person may find it more difficult to share emotions, but even if you are introverted, you can add to the conversation. Show your personality by sharing an exciting incident that happened to you or ideas that you are passionate about. These are ice breakers and wonderful ways to keep a conversation going. Ask questions-most people enjoy talking about their interests.
You may not feel that this person is for you, but you should attempt to try and get to know the person anyway. Acting as if we just want to go home leaves us with a lost opportunity to gain insight and understanding. We can grow richer from every encounter we have in life. We are taught this lesson so beautifully in Ethics of the Fathers: Ben Azzai used to say, “Do not be scornful of any person and do not be disdainful of anything, for you have no person without his hour and no thing without its place. “
5. Make Time, Make an Effort
You need to make dating a priority in your life. You may feel that you know everyone out there so what’s the point in going to this mixer or that class… but there is a point. Staying home and watching Downton Abbey or your favorite sports team will not help you on your quest for love. Get out of your comfort zone and embrace the moment. You never know who you will meet. Your soul mate may even be a friend of a friend whom you meet that night. Be positive about blind dates; wonderful marriages have been made despite the couple being introduced and not finding each other on their own. Effort means we don’t just try to fit our desire to get married into our busy life.
When we say that we struggle to find the time to date between our packed work, friends and gym schedule, it means that we haven’t made dating and marriage our number one goal.
Though we cannot always determine where life takes us, we can make sure that we try our hardest to navigate the road successfully. Taking a good look at ourselves and making real changes in both attitude and action can help us build a life filled with joy and blessing.