Often when we meet new people or agree to meet certain people it's when we need something from them. Whether it to be ask for a favour, to enjoy their company because we find it fun to be around them, because we are hoping for a new career opportunity or it's our speed dating night and we hope to meet the person who will suddenly love us for who we are, and will instantly tell us what an amazing individual we are.
What we tend to ignore, when we decide to jump head over heels into the dating soup, that in dating, speed dating, online dating or blind dating, each of us turns up with a very limited amount of trust and an enormous stash of barriers and protection. Why though as it's irrelevant, because all of your baggage relates to your previous experiences and not this brand new shiny face or that tightly packed masculine t-shirt staring at you for the first time, ever.
In order to learn that new people really are not the same as the people that were in your life previously, you need to get used to being in the company of brand new people. Yes! No dating process should commence in an ideal world, unless you can be present in the company of brand new people without feeling nervous, anxious, blushing away left, right and centre, behaving like a jerk or making others feel uncomfortable or below you. Given we live in a world full of surprises, and the earlier suggestion is oh-so-relevant, here are the three key steps that I recommend to my clients whom I teach to learn to trust people and help improve their dating process.
- Learn to build relationships. With anyone.
- Learn to enjoy stranger's company.
- Learn to enjoy the company of the opposite gender, irrelevant of your sexual gender preferences!
We are so spoiled with instant gratification lately. Hungry? I'll eat something now. Tired? I'll find an excuse. I feel unloved, I'll go on the internet and see how many likes I can get.
That's all fine for the social media and shopping, where everything is really pretty much immediate. When it comes to relationships however, it takes time, patience, perseverance and the ability to understand or see another person's point of view, and most importantly accept that that's ok when another person has a different perspective to you.
Where is a good place to start? Your family members and your friends. When have you seen them last? How often did you listen to their stories, issues or complaints? How often did you find a joy in being a part of their world? If you are not happy to invest your time and energy into other peoples' lives, why do you think others should do the same for you? Fair is fair.
Succeeded? Then let's move onto step two.
It may sound easy, yet so many people are so enclosed in their work-gym-home-food-sleep, or work-home, or even jog-work-snack-home-sleep environment, they rarely get out anywhere. And if they do, it's either with their friends or solo. And when I say solo, I mean solo, no interaction with others, other than a cashier or a ticket checking person.
I mean here: genuinely learn to be around strangers.
The easiest way of course is to sign up for a workshop where you can learn or develop the skills you are passionate about. Photography and writing as well as wine tasting are lately very popular among the majority of people and any of these events will always be packed with an interesting variety of people.
If you have no passions you want to develop, then join a community, a meet-up group, a book club or get involved in charity events. Join something! Where there is interaction, and a lot of it, is paramount.
Done? Then you are ready for the third and final step.
The 3rd stage is extremely important, because your future dates will come with friends, brothers, sisters etc. And you want to be nice to them, or at least polite to them and, most importantly, you want to feel comfortable in their presence.
Here, the limit is your own imagination. Sign up for the sport activity where the opposite gender is dominating. Sign up for a class or an activity where the opposite gender prevails. And don't repeat the mistakes so many girls and boys do. I still vividly remember when a friend of mine asked for help to accompany her to a fancy bar, as she was thinking that was the way to meet a guy, while my boyfriend and his friends were all chilling in a nearby pub! When my next female friend asks for a bar to go to, the only bar I send her to, is a sports bar ☺ Ok, it's a joke, but it pretty much delivers the point.
Here is the list of activities preferred by my female clients, just to get you started. By all means do your own research ☺
- Book Clubs
- Art Classes or Studies
- Drawing Classes
- Running or Jogging Clubs
- Cookery Classes
They also prefer hobbies such as photography, writing, wine tasting and yoga but it is no longer gender-preferred, so I did add those interests to the second part, where you learn to enjoy stranger's company.
Here is the list of preferred activities based on my male clients' suggestions:
- Skiing or Snowboarding
- Investing, (And yes men treat it as a hobby!)
- Bouldering (This sport is oh so good for your body! Trust me, I'd know, off to my next rock-climbing trip shortly)
- Music Producing
- Beer Brewing
- Fishing (if you got the patience and ability to stay silent - good luck!)
The goal of this part is to have more gender balanced group of close new-friends, you never know whose friend is finally ready to search for his or hers 'The One'.
If you succeeded at all the parts, you are probably are enjoying your third date ;)
And of course keep me posted with your comments, personal suggestions and experiences.