When we’re young, the concept of ‘help’ is extremely prevalent in our lives. From day one we’re assisted with doing the things we cannot figure out, or can only do so well. We’re taught how to eat, how to walk, how to interact with other people. In education we’re given private tuition or extra time when our efforts do not align with our results. Health professionals instruct us on the best way to care for and maintain our bodies. Help is everywhere. Not only are we taught the how, we’re also guided on the most efficient and effective way to put it into practice. Bizarrely however, when it comes to dating matters, our willingness to accept it appears to vanish.
Here’s the funny thing about human beings – or one of them at least – when it comes to our personal life of relationships, we expect to automatically have all the tools necessary to create our desired version of success. In different areas of life we acknowledge that other people do things better. Either naturally, through training or experience, they just do. We accept we need help from hairdressers, stylists, PAs, accountants, brokers, real-estate agents, lawyers, chef’s, cleaners – the list goes on. What we have a hard time accepting, is that some people are better at dating and some people are also better at relationships. Rather than seek to learn from them, we battle on year after year, hoping for a break.
Being Honest With Yourself
Why do we find it so hard to admit we need help getting a suitable date, when the truth is that a lot of people have the same problem? Well, usually because we don’t want to be like those people, we want to be like the ones for whom dating is easy. Unfortunately however, dating is not an organic or smooth process for everyone – fact. The sooner you admit it to yourself, the better. There are as many reasons why it may be difficult for you to date as there are stars in the sky, so finding your own Achilles heel is a safer strategy than denial.
The Prep Work
There are people who really begrudge the work that dating can take. This includes everything from writing profiles and initial calls or email exchanges, to meeting and discovering on date five that you’re not suited to each other after all. Truth is, the prep should be the most difficult part of a date because this is what can minimise surprises and hiccups later on. If you’re repeatedly entering dating situations that are not a fit, then it’s likely you need help with your pre-date communication, as something you’re doing is not serving you well. This is vital because when repeatedly let down, you’ll naturally reach a stage where you become disappointed and disillusioned. Re-evaluating your ability to pick real contenders is a must to avoid this.
Your Fitness to Date
Whilst your friends and family may have the very best intentions for you, they won’t always be as honest or have as much expert knowledge as a coach or matchmaker. You may have the clearest, most honest profile and attract the exact interest you desire, but if you’re unable to blend you powers of prep with the intricacies of real life, you will still find yourself struggling. For some, it is essential to work on yourself before being in any way ready to date the type of person you’re looking for. Whether it’s attitude, style or confidence, ensure your fitness to date is on par with the outcome you want. An impartial stranger, who need not worry about guarding your ego or ruining friendship, can be the fastest route to getting you date and relationship-ready.
Getting post-date feedback and perspectives from the people closest to you is okay and need not be limited to friends with good dating histories. It’s highly recommended to engage and speak with single, married or divorced friends as well. People can often offer insights you may otherwise miss. Do remember though, that just because someone has or had a car, it doesn’t mean they’ll be any good at teaching you how to drive yours. It’s the same with relationships. As well as asking those whose opinions matter to you, you also need to think and reflect, determining but not obsessing over what went well or what could be better next time. If in doubt, treat it like any other area of your life, get help from a professional.
Article commissioned by elite match making service Berkeley International