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GOODBYE 2021! Let's talk about dating in 2022

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Ringing in the New Year and most if not all the holiday parties were cancelled...

We are resilient and will find other ways to celebrate the holiday. Yet what seems most present on my mind, and am observing in the people I coach, is we all have some version of the theme: new year, new me, new habits, new dates, better thoughts, and (for many of us), finding a real connection.

We all talk about resolutions – that part is easy, right? But let’s explore what it would be like if we each paid way more attention to our verbs and actions. For example, I want to be healthy physically, financially, emotionally, and I want to make connections with people who (not just talking) own their daily actions and are moving toward being a healthy person.

I suspect we all want this amazing smart healthy person to be attractive and obviously be attracted to you. The thing about it is we are the ones who need to make the effort to become someone who is attractive, thus attracting what we find attractive.

What does that even mean? I think it means something different to each of us, so this is a worthwhile question to jot down: What are my definitions of attraction, and attractiveness?

I am attracted to men, so my examples will often use the pronoun “he”, but you can pick your own pronouns – it isn’t about gender or always using the right words; I have noticed that attraction is an underlying dynamic.

Our definitions of attraction will differ, but will also form our experiences. So paying close attention to our own messages about someone else is important. My brain often sees a man I am dating differently than my gut feels.

I have learned that when my gut and mind are aligned, I’m usually more relaxed and feel more comfortable with the person or people around me. I think this is worth paying attention to whether it is completely explainable. For me, it is feeling comfortable with a person, I enjoy their way of being, and I want to know more.

When I was younger, my idea of attraction used to be: OMG I can't wait to see him, what is he doing, and constantly checking if he logged on and read my messages. Or, I would be on a date and saying to myself: OMG I am already bored with this conversation and if he talks about cars much longer I am going to scream. But he has such great eyelashes and he has three sisters, so he must get women.

On the other hand, and this part is crucial – are they actually paying attention and listening to us?

The conversation needs to be a shared dialogue, not a monologue and if you think of scheduling a second date, are you interested enough to learn more? And is your date showing true attention and concentration?

I think caring is being genuinely interested in someone other than yourself. It is not dragging on about bitcoin, cars, motorcycles, hot bodies, your acrylic fingernails, his ex, or the trophy fish on the living room wall. It is about listening carefully to the person you are sitting with and being curious about them and having a two-way conversation. That does not include pretend listening while thinking about the next thing I want to say.

Interest is getting a houseplant and learning how to keep it alive, it is doing the dishes whether or not you contributed to the sink full of dishes, it’s providing nourishment in the way of food, care, and feeding the soul while paying attention to someone else’s preferences and delights. Not about what pleases me – how about the other person’s favorite thing? Does he want to go have cheesecake for breakfast? Get online and find the best bakery in town and take him there.

We can all practice going out of our way once a month to do something for someone else!

Let’s explore what it is like to be creative around time spent with someone. Come up with fun ideas of places to go, activities to enjoy together, and to see if you like being playful. It doesn’t have to cost much – we are no longer looking to just date, hook up, or friends with benefits, we want to be interested, and interesting.

We can be different – maybe we are tired of serial dating with coffee dates and speed dating. But there is an energy exchange each time you go out with someone. I know a guy who goes out on ten coffee dates a week. Seriously? And he thinks that’s dating smart. Weird, right?

What is dating smart?

I pay a lot more attention to how I feel when I am out with someone. Am I drained, inquisitive, laughing, or sad? I try to answer questions with clear speech and look for the same in the other person.

I look for what I most admire in others and seek only people who show me a habit of kind treatment and respect to everyone. If we are being the most attractive, interested, kind, and curious person we can be, we will know what to look for.

As I said, this stuff applies to men and women equally. I just riff on men, because that’s what I date. So, men, I am serious about this: You’ve got to stop thinking with your dicks, and open your eyes to giving your date interest, attention, and empathy. I guarantee your dick will be happier.

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