The Dating Challenge

By Hunt Ethridge

The year is at its end. Are you still single? How different and more prepared are you for meeting and dating than you were last year? How about five years ago?

Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Are you guilty of that?

As this year and, amazingly, this decade wind to a close, we are faced with the inevitable task of deciding what our New Year’s resolutions will be and what we are going to do differently from last year.

Ending a bad habit or trying to start a good habit again are always high up on our lists. These will be things that we pour effort into, tell our friends so we can’t back out as easily, and use to guilt ourselves into good behavior. A lot is always written about what we choose and how to stick with it. The one thing that always amazes me is that people will devote hundreds of hours to, say, working out in the gym, but neglect skills that could use some attention and will ultimately make them happier than toned traps.

Why not use dating as a resolution?! This is the perfect time to get yourself out there and to put some WD-40 on those squeaky wheels.

You might have been dating last year, but did you have a plan, did you know who you want to meet, did you have the ability to meet quality singles you are interested in? You have to evaluate what have you done this past year, and if it hasn’t worked, then change it! Change your routine.

The dating challenge

Having a goal is important for any endeavor. Making sure you have a clearly laid-out plan of attack will give you the biggest chance for success. Work yourself up, and don’t jump in expecting immediate results. You wouldn’t go to the gym and expect to start bench pressing 300 lbs. right off the bat. I am always astonished at people that expect dating to be any easier. There is no quick fix or easy answer. You need to just get out there and do it. Start with something achievable and then ratchet it up once you reach your goal. Remember, always be pushing yourself. To use my off-beaten analogy, if you were in the weight room doing leg extensions with only 10 pounds, do you think you’d be making yourself any better?

Try this:

Dating should always be fun! If you look it at as only work or something to just toil at, you’re just going to burn yourself out and, frankly, not be very good company. Consider it the kind of fun that makes you nervous and that you have to push yourself to do. Like skiing a tough trail! Your heart’s racing, your body’s telling you not to make the plunge. Then you launch out, fear, excitement and adrenaline all mixing together as you skim down the hill! At the base of the hill, you feel the exhilaration and jubilation of an obstacle surmounted, a challenge met head-on, and you can’t wait to jump back on the lift! Sure you fell down four times before you got to the bottom, but that didn’t deter you from getting back up or from having fun. You just learned which pitfalls to avoid and are now a better skier than when you were at the top, looking down.

Turn your practice into a game. One of our clients, let’s call him Balthasar, came up with two games that he and his friends do when they go out in order for them to help push each other. One is called “The three-second rule.” When one of them sees a pretty, available girl, they will point her out to one of the others. That person then has three seconds to go up and talk to her or he has to buy a round of drinks for all the friends. The second one is my favorite: They all pitch in $10 at the beginning of the night, and the one who ends up getting rejected the most gets the pot at the end of the night. This forces you to go up and talk to many people, but it also takes away the anxiety of getting turned down. Having friends around is a good thing in that it pushes you, yet you’ve got a support system out. Use some tips like these when you go out for New Year’s Eve. Make it the first day of the rest of your life!

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