This is one of those tips that I had to learn the hard way - in that, I didn’t even notice it until Tawkify matchmaking pro, Jules Armet, brought it to my attention and put it into words. Now, it’s something I have to tell myself regularly and practice daily.
In jobs, and matchmaking is no exception, “getting things done” is usually a big priority. To be successful, we have to able to execute tasks. In our daily lives, the ability to execute is generally a highly valued quality. We get things done, we see results, and we are rewarded, whether in the form of money, success, moving up the ladder, or simply the endorphin rush from checking off an item on a to-do list. Often, I see that daters fall into the trap of trying to tackle dating the same way they tackle their jobs. In this arena, this very same quality can actually interfere with success. You might ask - what is the problem with approaching dating with the bounty hunter mindset of getting things done?
Well, if you think about it -- even the word “execution” is a bit terrifying. It calls to mind images of guillotines, electric chairs, high-security prisons, and other unpleasant things. However, for one thing, one of the problems with this mindset is that it will lead to frustration and emotional volatility. For another, it leads to expectations of certain results. You might counter: “What is the problem with expectations? I like my expectations,” or “A person needs standards” you might say. Well, my fellow daters, expectations, for reasons I will go into in another post, are like relationship Raid. Unmet expectations lead to things like disappointment, sadness, guilt, and anxiety, which then can very easily become the fault of the person we are dating or in relationship with. Those unmet expectations become easy to dwell on, they fester, and they lead to stories we make up in our head about the other person, about dating, and can lead to renouncing the process or viewing it as “hard.”
Instead of trying to accomplish results (i.e. keep hitting people up on Tinder when it feels like a waste of your time), take on a problem solving mindset. If online dating is taking too much of your time, think about other ways to meet people---ask your friends to start matchmaking you, or research matchmaking sites (insert plug for Tawkify here! ;). Get creative and involve other people if your mind feels stumped by this idea. Instead of getting upset that the freeway is shut down and your date is running 15 minutes late, use the extra time to line up a different date or finish the work that you left behind because you tried to get there on time. Instead of allowing your anxiety about your potential future date’s response time lead you down a path of anxiety and distress, ask yourself, what can I do to change my feelings in this situation? Apply logic, make a flow chart, journal about your timeline expectations, readjust them, and go take yourself on a date instead.
Take a few minutes after reading this to jot down some of your dating roadblocks. Leave space under each one, and spend a few minutes per dating roadblock in a creative brainstorm. Remember those bubble trees from third grade? Yes, those could be applicable to your dating life. Get as creative as you want. That’s one of the core aspects of problem solving it’s easy to forget.
Lauren Korshak is a San Francisco-based Dating & Relationship Coach, Marriage and Family Therapist, and professional connector (and former matchmaker). She has a BA in Psychology from USC and an MA in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. In her free time, Lauren can be found dancing, meditating, adventuring outdoors, making music, and spending QT with loved ones.