If you’ve been single for a while it’s easy to become frustrated with the dating scene – particularly if you’re a busy single or professional who’s ready for a relationship.
But you might be surprised to learn this: dating success has far more to do with YOUR actions than on the available pool of compatible singles.
It may be time to fine tune your dating approach, start by avoiding these 6 common mistakes:
- Checklist dating: nothing will turn your date off faster than feeling that they’re being interviewed. Yes, having dating criteria is important, but being open to meeting a wide variety of people will maximize your chances of a true connection.
- Just another meeting: treating your dates like business meetings can seem like a normal thing to do, particularly if you’re a single professional. But here’s the problem with this approach – it can make your date feel like a business meeting, and who ever wanted a business meeting to go on forever?
- Less me more you: focusing more on your date than on your own feelings – particularly on a first or second date – will dramatically increase your chances of dating success. If your date is having a good time, you will too (and vice versa).
- The 10 second rule: deciding right away whether you like someone will likely mean you’ll miss out on the one that’s truly a great match for you. Chemistry is important, but true chemistry is not just physical. Take your time, you have nothing to lose but your single life.
- Self control: when you do meet someone you’re really interested in, try not to overdo it on a first date. Avoid drinking too much or trying too hard to ‘close the deal’… if the dates going well, propose a 2nd date right there and then – there’ll never be a better time to get a ‘yes’.
- Follow through: if you’ve met someone you like, don’t let them slip through the cracks because you’re too busy. There’s nothing more important to your dating success than staying true to your word – let your date know you’re interested in seeing them again, then make it happen. Your future happiness depends on it.
In the relationship of our dreams, there’s only happy ever afters. In the real world, sadly, that’s not always the case.
But does a failed relationship hurt your future chances of finding someone special? No, it doesn’t. In fact, if you take the right steps, it can INCREASE your chances of finding the right match for you next time around. Here’s how:
- Love (and life) is a circle: don’t look at your love life as a straight line from sadness (loneliness) to happiness (marriage bliss). Instead, look at every new relationship as a part of an endless circle, complete with ups and downs along the way. The end of a relationship doesn’t mean the end of the line, just an opportunity to start a new circle. Let yourself be vulnerable, but commit to picking yourself up – ultimately you’re the only one who truly can.
- If you’re not failing, you’re not trying: its easy to see yourself as a failure when bad things happen, particularly a failed relationship. But the truth is, not all relationships are built to last. And just because a relationship doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean that it has no value. Cherish the good times, even if they’re in the past.
- Visualize relationship success: all good things in life and love come from a vision. Imagine what happiness means (and doesn’t mean) to you. As the saying goes: if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
- Make an action plan: once you’ve thought about what you’re looking for, take some concrete actions towards meeting that person. That doesn’t mean you need to try every dating method out there; your best best is to choose the methods that suit you best and that maximize your chances of success. You want a strategy – and strategy is choice.
Seems everyone has an opinion about the Vancouver dating scene, and its mostly bad. But is it REALLY that hard to find your special someone in Vancouver?
Well, it depends. If you believe the naysayers then yes. If, on the other hand, you practice some simple dating habits then no.
If you’re ready to have dating success in Vancouver and find your special someone, here’s your how-to guide:
- Do: be proactive – in spite of what you’ve heard, its rare for singles in any major city to have success in love by sitting back and waiting for their prince or princess charming to come along. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something new.
- Don’t – wait for your love life to simply happen.
- Do: be positive – no-one enjoys spending time with a ‘Negative Nate or Nelly’, especially someone who’s looking for a long term relationship partner. Focus on positive topics and things that make you feel good.
- Don’t: complain about the Vancouver dating scene – if there’s such thing as the ‘Vicious Cycle of Vancouver Dating’, it begins right here.
- Do: be creative – the best way to meet different types of people is to do different things – check out some music events, art openings or community events.
- Don’t: become a regular – having a favorite spot is natural (think Norm from Cheers) – but expecting your perfect match to come walking through that same old door is a lousy strategy.
- Do: look outdoors and indoors – Vancouverites (unlike singles in Toronto, London or New York) are notoriously smitten with the outdoors. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all your free time on the Grouse Grind, but grabbing a coffee along the seawall might be worth a shot.
- Don’t: wait for the outdoors to come to you.
- Do: break free from your comfort zone – if you’re not meeting anyone new, then being completely comfortable with your approach may not be the way to go. Do some new things – if they make you feel a bit nervous at first, you’re on the right track.
- Don’t: let your own ‘happiness with who you are’ turn into ‘complacency’. Yes, happiness starts with you but ideally you want someone to share that with.
We’ve talked a lot recently about how you can have success in dating, and find a relationship you’ll love.
But once you’ve found someone special, what can you do to ensure your relationship lasts? The answer is 4 surprisingly simple rituals that you should practice every day. Here they are:
- Communicate: there is no more important factor in relationship success than open communication with your partner. Work on this daily, and your chances of long term relationship success will be far greater.
- Forgive: we all make mistakes, so if you’re unwilling to accept the mistakes of your partner your relationship is likely doomed from the start. Not all mistakes are created equal, but unless your partner consistently does things to purposefully hurt you, be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and move past it.
- Be willing to change: being in a relationship is quite different than being single – particularly when you’re at the stage of moving in together or having children. Be willing to change your routines (mental, physical and emotional) to accommodate your partner, unless you want to go back to being single again.
- Create intimacy: once you’re in a relationship, particularly when you’re balancing careers, family and kids – its easy to let intimacy slide. Don’t. Make an effort to please your partner – in the end, there’s nothing more important.