The Strategy For Dating Success

Man and woman holding hands

The Equation For Finding Love

I believe there is an equation for finding love.

Relationship Readiness x Presentation x Opportunities

Relationship Readiness means how emotionally prepared you are to be very attractive to be in a relationship with.  

Presentation means how you present yourself to people you are interested in having a relationship with.

Opportunities refers to the number of interactions you have with people you are attracted to.

The Importance of Thresholds

When you’re looking for a relationship there’s a certain amount of people in the market that you might like.  

So maybe of all the available single people you’re going to narrow it down to people within a ten year window of your age.

Then perhaps you’re going to filter by physical characteristics that you find attractive.

Now maybe, there’s certain personality traits or other qualities that would be an immediate no no for you.  Maybe you need someone of a certain status, class, income level or whatever is important to you. So now you’ve whittled down to a much smaller number.

Then all of these people have done the same and so there’s a sweet spot of people who you like, that also like you.

So if this equates to your universe of potential dates.  Within this universe, there is another Venn diagram for all the make or break attributes within a longer term relationship.  These are all the factors that cause people to break up.

 

Venn diagram of compatibility

So it could be the fact that you need more attention than they’re willing to give.  Or that you can’t get on with their kids or friends. Or that he wants less or more sex than you are willing to give, that she’s more jealous or controlling then you can live with or whatever.  And this causes rows that you are unable to resolve and so you go your separate ways.

This is all about thresholds.  You know potentially you could be happy with the broad details of all the people you are mutually attracted to.  

However, it’s the emotional foundations, the relationship and presentation skills that determine how your approach to them will be received.  How your dates and early relationship stages work out and whether that develops into anything lasting.

All of these factors are things that are under your control.

Your emotional maturity is something you develop from experience, reflection and practice.

No one is born with relationship or presentation skills.  

Look at babies playing in a sand pit. Mine. I want. Slap!

Babies playing

We have to learn to communicate.  We have to develop more awareness of how we’re seen by others and learn how to say things in more interesting ways.  

People often talk about working on themselves or their relationship, but unless it tackles one of these three areas, they’re wasting their time.  None of us is as good at all of these elements as we could be.

And so, we can maybe last a year with 42% of the people we’re broadly compatible with and maybe 2 years with 31% of the people and 5 with 19%. 

The figures will depend on how good you are at these three variables.  Now, if you improve any of these areas, there’s more people you could develop a lasting relationship with.  Increase all three continuously and you have created a much increased sweet spot and so the odds of you meeting one of these people is much greater.

Of course, it’s not quite as exponential an increase as it might seem because as you become more relationally skilled, you’ll tolerate less from other people and will demand and expect a higher quality relationship and so your standards will rise.  However, the relationships you would have had with those people would have been far less rewarding anyway.

If you’re already in a relationship and you both work on developing yourselves, the relationship will naturally improve.

Be Ready For Love

The best strategy for finding and maintaining love is by being the most lovable person you’re capable of being and letting people in to see that.  

Duh!  Sounds so obvious.

Yet people mistrust this because they aren’t confident that they are that lovable.

Or they assume that everyone must see things from their eyes and so everyone else is the problem.

Or they figure out what a full-time job it is to be the best version of themselves.  And that seems overwhelming and so they want to know the magic technique or strategy to get the girl.  

Yet the only viable strategy to get to happy ever after in a great relationship is through being yourself and finding your equal.   

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect.  Because chances are that your partner isn’t going to be perfect either.  The more together, authentic and happy that you are, the more your partner will be.  And so the more prepared you are… the more solid a foundation the relationship has to build on.

Be Yourself

You can only ever be yourself.  It sounds simple, but so many people are lost trying to please others and fit into the expectations they think they have to live for.

Stop living for your parents or whoever.  Stop trying to impress people. Stop trying to be ‘nice’ ‘responsible’, ‘successful’ or whatever other bullshit you’re letting run your life.

Within a relationship is the easiest place to lose yourself.  You and your partner have a row and it descends into ‘he said’ ‘she said’.  So who’s right?

You’re sure you’re right.  That’s why you got mad, but if you both believe your version there’s no resolving the issue.

So then you question yourself.  Maybe you’re wrong. And so you adjust what you do in case you’re the one causing the issue.  This is where people who get into relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths and the just plain cantankerous can begin to lose themselves and get sucked into  a whirlwind where they lose their sense of right and wrong and then become lost and controlled by the other.

The best and the happiest you’ll ever be is by being yourself.  Genetically and emotionally you are built to a blueprint. You can never pretend to be anything other than you are for any significant sustainable length of time and enjoy it.

So what do you need to build a loving and lasting relationship?

You have to be worthy of the trust and love that you want to get.  People are scared to love deeply because so often they hope, but people disappoint them.  They disappoint them because they are inauthentic, petty or judgemental.

Be the one that is loving, trustworthy and accepting.

Make time spent with you so much fun, that it is easy to love you.  You have to be fun and interesting. Everyone is to someone. You just have to dig down deep enough and be in the environment that you feel comfortable with the people you’re relaxed enough to let see you.    

In short you want to be yourself, but the best version of yourself.  We can all be kind and loving and we can be mean, angry and petty. Your work is to focus on making sure that you are the kindest and most loving version of you, you can be.

Be Happy

In short this means get happy and share that happiness.

People mostly live reactively.  So they wait and see what experiences life gives them.  If they wake up tired and grumpy and someone pisses them off, they react and become the mean and petty version of themself.  If they wake up bright and excited and someone surprises them with a nice act, they’ll radiate love and happiness.

Your work is to stop reacting to life and start setting the tone.  It’s your life and there’s a world of people, cults, advertisers, politicians and organisations out there who want you dancing to their beat.

The first step is to work out who you are and what you want.  Then you decide ahead of time the qualities you want to embody.  Then you live them. The thesis is simple. Living it will be a lifelong challenge.

There is a story that gets often told. The usual version is of a wise old Cherokee teaching his grandson:
“A terrible fight is going on inside me between two wolves.

One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked:
“Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Every day from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep is a battle for your attention and loyalty.  You choose which one to nurture inside you.

Your future will either be the you that is kind, honest and honourable or the you that is mean, greedy and judgemental.  You get to decide who you become.

So let’s look more specifically at the qualities you want to bring to dating and forming and maintaining relationships.

You want to make the person feel good being around you and being associated with you.   

Sometimes people try to do this from flattery and filling people up on what they think they want to hear.  

This is a short term strategy.  People will see through this in the longer term or you won’t be able to maintain it through the inevitable hurts and wounds that happen once you develop feelings for someone.

The only sustainable strategy is to be as happy as you can and then openly and honestly share your joy.  You can’t fake happiness forever. Happiness or misery. Both seep out of your pores.

Think about waking up and feeling ecstatically happy.  Then your mate starts sniping at you for every little thing.

“Look at that beautiful sunshine out there.  Let’s go and do something”

“Makes a change from rain.  It’ll soon pass an we’ll be back to clouds.  There’s no point doing anything because everywhere will be crowded”

There’s only so many of these interactions you can have before you lose your sparkle. It’s not long then before you want to get away from this person because they bring you down and make you feel bad when you’re around them.

You want to make them love their time with you and look forward to being with you.  

The truth is that being around someone so happy can be aggravating to someone who isn’t quite as happy.  But that’s ok because you want to be in a relationship with someone as happy as you. Otherwise you’ll end up with someone that will bring you down to their level.

Happiness is not down to luck or fate.  It has a formula.

Happiness is not something you can chase for its own sake.  It’s a side effect of a life well lived.

And that’s really the key to being attractive.  Have your shit together or be working on getting there.

Too often people get lost in dating and relationships and are so busy trying to please or impress the other person that they don’t realise they’ve lost themselves in the process.  Then what do they have to give to the other person once they’ve become a facade.

Be Kind

No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who is cruel, selfish, overly harsh or judgemental.  You want your partner to be considerate, thoughtful and encouraging.

When we are down and at our lowest we want the reliability and the safety and security of our partner.  Knowing that we’re safe in their arms is a large part of the appeal of being in a relationship. When the sun is shining and the clouds are blue, friends and acquaintances are enough for us.  It’s when the clouds are black and the storm is in full flow that we need someone that we know is there for us in that way only a partner can be. Somewhere there is always going to be one or another who irritates the other.  In those times. Be kind. Be tolerant and be compassionate.

Be Fun

Life can be serious but it also has to be fun and light hearted at times too.  

What makes a relationship is largely the serious things, achieving economic security, loving each other and being able to talk through issues of conflict.  Yet these make the sponge of the cake.

What makes the icing is the ability to laugh and have fun together.

When we choose a cake it’s often from it’s visual appeal.  Likewise, when we first start dating it’s often more for the fun that the person promises to bring than the serious aspects.  They unfold as we get to know them at a deeper level.

It’s fun that leads to friendship that leads to love.  You need all three elements to develop a sound relationship.

Be Honest, Open And Trusting

Most of us have had one or more relationships.  And that we are looking for another one means that we have some level of disappointment and defensiveness in starting afresh.

Yet we have to have hope.  We have to remain honest and trust our partner or we will kill the relationship before it has had a chance to breathe.

But it’s scary to be honest.  It’s scary to be open and trusting.  Letting someone in means letting down our guard and trusting them, but if we don’t we die inside.    

Allow yourself to be vulnerable and tae that risk of getting hurt.  Because you know what?

If you do you may get hurt.  You may get hurt twice or even three times before you find you happy forever.

But if you don’t… you’ve condemned yourself to always be cut off from the future

Develop Confidence In You As An Opportunity

I could have written this one as being confident, but this is slightly different.  All the factors above are qualities that help you attract someone. This is more about the understanding of why you’re attractive, what you can bring to a relationship and being able to express that in a way someone can understand.

Confidence is a very misunderstood concept.  People often complain about not having enough confidence and want to boost that when actually what they need to focus on is their competence.  

High confidence and low competence is a disaster waiting to happen.

You need to have the self awareness to know why someone might choose you over every other option on a dating site.  Plenty of Fish has every possible type of man and woman. Every age group. Every ethnicity. Every shape and size. From the loudest to the quietest.  From the Fuckboy out to lay everyone he can, to the woman who wants a ring on her finger before she’ll think about kissing.

So why is this guy or girl messaging you?

It’s probably a question that’s run through your mind, but not one you thought you could answer.

If you’re really ready for dating you should have worked out what you’re strong at.  What is an area you will never be comfortable with and who would you appeal to and why?

Having an awareness and understanding of these questions can help you better get the right person’s attention, filter through the clutter and weed out people who are less suited to you.

So how do you do this?

You need to go deep into what drives you… what makes you different and what are you about at your core.

If you’ve ever looked at dating profiles, most of them are either a list of complaints, demands or mostly left blank.  Few people have the awareness to look deep into themselves and be able to write a profile that sells themselves to the person they want and puts off the people they don’t want.

But of course attraction is about much more than just what you want.  You need to understand the person you’re wanting to attract. What are they looking for and what about you meets those needs?

You see, it’s easy for men, jaded from rejection, to moan that women only want men with money.  Or for women to complain that men only want sex. The reality is that there’s far deeper layers to these things.    

Money isn’t just about the material thing.  Ultimately the human experience is based on feelings.  Money is just paper or increasingly digital numbers. What it means that someone craves is security or status or freedom or whatever.

Likewise, sex isn’t just the physical act.  It’s about connection, about feeling attractive, wanted and special or whatever it means to the individual.  There are many men that want to play the field. This isn’t because they want lots of sex. It would be much easier to settle with one woman for that.  

It’s not even for more exciting sex because the reality is that most first time sex is often more awkward and less rewarding than within a deeper context and many of those first encounters will be unfulfilling.  

It’s far more about a fear of connection and intimacy.  It’s more about feeling inadequate for the bigger step. It’s about wanting to feel important and attractive.  It’s about feeling you can win at the game, like the buzz of scoring a goal.

We tend to assume people want the same certain things, money, looks etc.  Each person is an individual with their own fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams.  The person they are looking for isn’t attractive because of any innate quality, it’s because he or she connects with their needs.  He’s tall and strong and can make her feel safe. She’s beautiful and makes him feel successful. He’s calm, gentle and kind so she sees him being a great parent and being supportive when life is stormy.   

This is why attraction looks so unfathomable at times.  We would need to look deep under the hood to know how a relationship works and why.

The Adventurous Quest For Love

Once you feel emotionally prepared and ready to meet someone and you’ve done the work to feel confident that you have something to bring to the table, the only thing holding you back is finding the person.

You could be the most perfect relationship ready girl, who knows what she brings to the relationship, but if you’re locked up in the tower and never meet any guys (or girls) then you’ll still never develop a relationship.

Equally if you go about it too seriously like you’re advertising people for a non paying job you’ll probably meet a lot of frustration.

If you have done the work with the first two stages then now you know it’s only a matter of time.  How much time depends on how many people you’re encountering. You just have to look at it as an adventure.  You’re on the quest for love and you’re going to have lots of mini-adventures dating.

Some will be disappointing.  In some you might even get hurt, but it is much like a game where you roll a dice and need a five.  Sometimes you’ll hit the 5 straight off. Other times you’ll get 3, then 6, then 2, then 3 again, then 4.  You’ll begin to wonder if you’ll ever get a 5, but statistically you have to. It’s only a question of how many rolls of the dice it takes.

Aside from arranged marriages most people get into relationships like liquid going into a funnel.  You date lots of people because you’re attracted to them. The ones that are most fun lead to dating.  Some never develop beyond that, but the ones where you both develop feelings do. Then one or two or a few lead to a shared life and a merged identity as you become a couple.

Sometimes that is something that evolves, but often it then hits a stage of disillusionment, which might end the relationship or cause the people in it to change it.

Dating at first is just getting the broad strokes.  Have fun and enjoy finding out about someone. Stay confident that you’ll find your match sooner or later and you won’t get too hung up on any one person.

Later, you’ll fill in the details as you both feel more comfortable and confident with each other.  Even at this stage though, you’re still finding out about the person. There’s a natural inclination to make them into the Prince or Princess of your fairy tale, but they’re not.  You still don’t know if they’re the 42% threshold or the 24%.

Whether it lasts a year, five or a lifetime, they’re part of your quest.  Enjoy the steps along the journey because it’s never the destination, but always the journey that counts most.