This week’s question comes from Nora:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I am reaching out, as I’m a hot 40-something year old woman who has a lot to give. I know I’m a catch and yet all the men I go out with don’t really pursue me. In the beginning it seems as if they are really into me, but it peters out quickly and I’m left wondering what is going on.
This recently happened over the holidays. I was hoping to spend NYE with someone special (even if he’s not the one long-term). I ended up alone and decided to do that instead of another girl’s night out.
Apparently there is something I don’t know about how to find the right guy for me. I don’t need a man, I simply want someone to share my life with.
Any advice you can give me?”
Thanks for reaching out. We can feel your frustration and we’d like to share with you a way to date for your soulmate instead of just dating by habit.
Most people learn to date in a haphazard way from the time that they start going on dates as teenagers, until they partner up with someone. The dating habits you learned along the way haven’t yet brought you success in finding the lasting-love that you desire, which means it’s time for an upgrade on your dating strategies.
There is nothing “woo-woo” about being intentional and what most people do incorrectly is place too much focus on the qualities of the person they desire.
You’ve probably heard that “You’ve got to place your order to the universe.” So you’ve sat down and made an extensive list of the qualities you’re looking for in a mate. You then go online and eliminate anyone who doesn’t fit your list because why waste your time dating the “wrong person.”
This strategy is not going to get you what you want because your subconscious mind doesn’t care what kind of car your date drives or if he/she graduated from college.
Our behavior (including who we find attractive) is driven by our subconscious mind. It controls over 90% of our behavior and not just simple things like which hand we brush our teeth with or how we tie our shoes. Our subconscious mind controls our random thoughts, our emotional reactions, and even our strategies for dealing with stressful situations.
You can’t think your way to finding an ideal match, but you can use better dating strategies that give you a ton of useful information about yourself and speed up the journey to your soulmate.
Throw out what you think you know and start Dating To Discover™. Turn the focal point of discovery off of whether or not this person is your soulmate, and put it on YOU!
This strategy may sound counterintuitive but we’ve seen it work over and over again with our clients and we’d like to share these revolutionary strategies with you.
When you use dating as an opportunity to discover more about yourself (rather than attempting to spot your Beloved in an online profile) you will reap the benefits of dating in a strategic way and shorten the time to finding an ideal match that will stand the test of time.
Here is how Dating To Discover™ works:
- Go on A LOT of dates!
How many exactly is not about a number, however it is essential you gather enough data by going on dates with multiple people. Most people are combing through profiles looking for reasons to say “No” to a date with someone. Too short, wrong color hair, no college degree, we’ve heard it all.
Look for reasons to say, “Yes” to a date instead. Stop creating barriers to meeting new people. Every person you meet will give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself, to get a clear picture of what you like and don’t like, and opportunities for you to be authentic and ask for what you want and need.
Also, every person you meet knows people you have never met yet. In fact, a friend of Orna’s is married to the brother of a guy that Orna met online. She would have never met her husband if Orna hadn’t agreed to go on a date with his brother.
- Resist the urge to evaluate if the person is a match for you or not until after date 5 or 6. Instead put the focus on you.
Use your dates to learn more about your ability to be authentic and ask for what you want. It is easy to be yourself when you don’t find the person attractive. How do you behave when you do?
Do you start looking for clues about what he/she likes so that you can present yourself in that way?
Do you go along or agree with what he/she says even if you disagree?
We call this twisting into a pretzel and it is not a good strategy for creating lasting-love. Eventually you’re going to get tired of going along with what they like and they’re going to feel duped. What happened to the woman who said she loved watching football, or the man who likes romantic movies?
Instead start tracking your emotions and your behaviors on your dates. Notice the differences between how you felt and how you behaved when you found this person attractive vs. when you didn’t.
Ask yourself 2 questions after each date:
- How did I feel during the date?
- How did I feel when I immediately parted from my date?
Track the answers as you continue to date multiple people. This will begin to give you insight into your own emotional and behavioral patterns around dating
- Attraction is not a requirement for a date.
Many of our clients ask us why would they bother going on a date with someone they’re not attracted to. This is where you will make some of your best discoveries.
We’re not suggesting you get into a committed relationship with someone you don’t find attractive – quite the opposite. We don’t want you to settle for less than you desire, but a date is only an hour or two out of your life.
Also, when you release the need to find attraction before going on a date you will find more people to date. Dating To Discover™ is like being in a “Dating Lab” that allows you to evaluate yourself and your dates from an entirely new perspective – one that will ultimately lead you to selecting a match for long-term satisfaction and commitment over time.
When you are not attracted to your date, you don’t have a lot at stake or high expectations it will lead anywhere. This gives you the opportunity to be authentic and to simply be unapologetically you.
This is the goal of dating – finding the person who wants YOU and not someone else, or someone who is simply convenient for right now.
This is how you find a partner who gets you, who claims you, who ultimately will stand by you no matter what.
- After date 5 or 6, then you can start to evaluate and see if the person is a good match for you or not.
Be careful that you don’t commit too early. Anyone who wants to jump into exclusivity with you will patiently wait for you to be ready to commit. If they don’t wait for you, then they’re not a good match for you long-term.
Putting off exclusivity allows you to evaluate the person for who they are instead of through the rose-colored glasses of excitement. See the person for who they are and evaluate their behavior without giving this person the benefit of the doubt.
Many people date backwards: They give the benefit of the doubt to a stranger and then once they’re in a committed relationship then they take the rose-colored glasses off finding disappointment in their selection.
Once you’re in a committed relationship and the person has proven worthy of your trust and a commitment – then they have earned the benefit of the doubt. This is when you are ready to put your rose colored glasses back on and see them in their best light, despite their faults.
So date without the rose-colored glasses – set them aside until your partner has earned it.
- Through the discovery process start to see how you would like your ideal relationship to function.
How do you feel when you spend time with this person?
How do the two of you navigate the bumps in the road?
How does he/she respond to you when you’ve been triggered or you’re upset in some way?
Is this person accommodating or demanding?
These questions and their answers are much more important for guiding you toward a lasting partnership than looking for someone who enjoys the same kinds of music or hobbies as you do.
Make sure to not shy away from the uncomfortable conversations early on in your dating. You’ll learn so much about yourself and about your date and whether or not you can discuss what’s really important to the both of you.
- Look for the person who is a match to your values.
When you connect with someone who has the same values as you do that person is an ideal candidate for a long-term match.
Through the dating process you’ll want to notice where your date spends his/her resources: time, energy, and money. This will reveal what that person truly values.
It’s not possible to have a conversation with someone about what they value, instead it is something that you discover as you spend more time with them.
There will always be challenges in life (whether or not you are in a partnership). It is having shared values that creates longevity in relationship. The two of you will find your way back to each other no matter the challenge because you both value the same things.
Ultimately the dating process is a selection process and it’s important to take your time with it rather than rush to a commitment.
Dating with our tried-and-true strategies will allow you to cultivate discernment through the dating process so you can select a match for long-lasting love.
We believe there’s no point to dating to a commitment only to have it cut short and end in heartbreak. Starting that process over and over again in a tortured lather, rinse, repeat, cycle doesn’t get you any closer to your soulmate.
Break the cycle by setting aside what you think you already know and date to discover – first about yourself – and then to discover a partner who will choose you every day for the rest of your life and vice-versa.
If you’d like to learn more about what gets in your way of creating the love you want, watch our free webinar, “Why Love Is Easy For Some, And Hard For Others” here.
Love and Abundance,