The Secret to a Successful Dating Life

couple_again_cute.jpg

Dating can be awkward; admit it. It feels almost unnatural, particularly online dating. Consider the process: shuffling through profiles, trying to think of witty messages to spark someone's interest, and then meeting a complete stranger for dinner, drinks, or ice cream sundaes. 

I mean, who really wants to do it? It's a spectacle, a circus. Even when you've met someone great and you're in that stage when you still feel butterflies every time you're getting ready to see the person, you know that the rush is fleeting; you're just holding on and going along for the ride.

So what's the secret to having a successful dating life? What's the key, particularly as it has become increasingly easy to meet people, and yet it can still feel like there aren't any "good men" or "good women" left? Or, you think you're doing the right thing: waiting to send a text, or not getting physical on a first date, but then you don't get a reply when you swore there was off-the-charts chemistry?

Here's the key, both in terms of finding the right match for you, while maintaining your sanity: You have to be willing to accept the awkwardness that is inherent in dating, and further, you have to be willing to radically step outside of your comfort zone. This means dating people who you wouldn't normally date, giving up your "type", and putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable.

There is a direct correlation between a person's willingness to risk embarrassment, judgment, and rejection and his or her ability to receive great rewards in the form of fun, forming unique connections with people, and letting life offer surprises that he or she couldn't have expected.

I remember when I started dating a man who lived six hours away from me. It was illogical, impulsive, and required me to expand my vision not only with regards to the sort of person I would be interested in, but also, the kind of lifestyle I would consider adopting, should the relationship had led to something more serious. But I understood this principle: Love (and it's the same with life) is just outside of our comfort zone. 

Doing the right thing is hardly comfortable; starting a new workout regime, joining a meetup group, agreeing to be set up on a blind date, or going on an interview when you don't feel confident - very few people make major changes in their lives without feeling a little bit of discomfort. Having a successful dating life is similar to being successful at anything: It requires you to push yourself a bit. When you most want to stay home, sit on the couch, and watch television, is the exact time you should go out. When it's easier to say no to a friend who wants to set you up on a date, that's the exact moment to say yes. When you're not sure if you're ready for love, but someone kind and gentle shows up in your life and confesses his adoration for you, that's the exact moment to be bold and give it a shot!

Dating is not tidy. It's not something that can be figured out with lists, or logic, or by reading a book. It involves a great deal of risk, as it can often feel difficult to put yourself out there, but your willingness to take this risk is directly proportional to your ability to receive love. This is the secret. Having a successful dating life requires you to live confidently, boldly, and be willing to look like a fool, or risk rejection. The more willing you are to adopt this mindset and learn how to declare Yes! when your mind is shouting No! the more you'll find yourself surprised by all of the love you will attract into your life.