Stress cannot only ruin your dating life, but it can also keep you from having one at all. People under stress have a shorter fuse and less patience. They are quick to rule out a potential mate based on instant judgments. Stress tends to drive us to make too many hasty, negative assessments such as:
• “There are no good men”
• “Women only care about money”
• “Men only want sex”
• “Women don’t want to meet someone – they just like to reject”
• “No one’s relationship is happy”
These – and all other blanket beliefs – are disastrous to your open mindedness, and a hindrance to your chance of finding love.
One of my clients, a very attractive, newly divorced marketing executive named Teri, told everyone she knew that she was seriously back in the hunt. She went to dozens of singles’ events, burned through all her JDate matches, and dated at least two different men every weekend. Blaming her stressful job and incessant time crunch, she instantaneously sized up every first date and would break contact before anything had really begun. She told me she was too busy to date if she didn’t see long-term potential.
In reality, Teri’s current stress level created ambivalence about adding a relationship to her life. She hadn’t made time to have a relationship in her overly busy life. This ambivalence, plus her fear about her ability to be successful in a relationship (love is much scarier than work), drove her to invent reasons why 55 men in a row could not possibly be “The One.”
Before you meet your great mate, you should have an idea of how much stress has a hold on your dating life, and if needed, take the steps necessary to overcome it. Stress can be the equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot while shopping for love or keeping what you catch.
Quiz: Are You Suffering From Dating Stress?
1. Are you scared or tense about dating?
2. Do you discourage others’ efforts to meet you?
3. Do you work or date hard with no breaks?
4. Are you not enjoying dates because you’re distracted or worried about other parts of your life?
5. Are you having trouble saying “no” to dead-end dates?
6. Is your diet, exercise regimen, and sleep pattern not what they should be?
7. Do you criticize yourself and your dates?
8. Do you spend more time doing what you don’t want to rather than what you’d like to be doing?
9. Are you worried that if you start dating you won’t be able to get your work, care taking, ________ (fill in the blank) done?
Three or more “yes” answers means that you need to take care of you first! Seek therapy, meditate, take more rest breaks (or other time-proven stress reduction methods) and learn how to have fun!!!
Then, add to your tool kit of successful dating with these 7 dating tips:
1. Weed the Garden
Don’t date anyone who doesn’t help you feel good about yourself. If you are being charming and he isn’t making an effort; if she is not mate material and you know it; if you never laugh in their presence and rarely smile, by all means, quit – now. There is better ahead and deadwood just gets more depressing.
2. Stop Looking In All the Wrong Places
Anything you’ve been trying for more than three months (except for online dating) with no return, give up. Repeating the same behavior for a length of time hoping for a new outcome is one definition of crazy.
3. Get Out There
Prince or Princess Charming won’t make house calls. To have a dating life, you need a life. Self assign this homework: go out or get on line at least three
nights a week with someone who is either dateable or has potential for expanding your social network.
4. Be a Great Self-Marketer
You know that initiative you would put into finding a job? Put that same initiative into finding romance. Be conscious of your self-presentation, know what you want, believe you deserve it, and be diligent in putting in the time. In love and work, apply Woody Allen’s advice – success is showing up.
5. Show Off
If you have a good body, exercise in public places, go to the beach, and hit the gym. If you have a keen intellect and are up to date on current affairs, join a trivia team, take a political affairs class or other courses that attract both genders, and volunteer for campaigns. If you have a lovely home, invite people over, offer it for events, and give a “share the wealth party” where the ticket for admission is a same-sex friend or acquaintance
that your guest is not romantically interested in… but highly recommends. If you are a witty writer, make every online contact a funny new opening line – being entertaining sells.
6. Make It Clear
Make lingering eye contact with anyone you might be interested in meeting. Then look away and glance back again with a quick smile. Remember the
lingering part. Count to ten. Women will glance and think they’ve communicated interest when in fact their eye contact was so brief, he will assume he’s been rejected.
7. Use the Right Body Language
Have your body speak the language of acceptance. Uncross your arms. If at a bar, face into the room — not away from it. Open your shoulders, uncross those legs, lean into an experience with a full-face to share your welcome signal. Add a head tilt with a really slow smile and it’s an invitation!
Most importantly — always remember to “Fake it ‘till you make it.” Do work on self-improvement and expanding your spirituality, education, and health level, but don’t wait to be perfect. A great confidant attitude covers many a flaw.