Maybe you’ve been in the dating pool for a while or you’re just dipping a toe back in after a relationship has come to an end. You might be wondering how to stop having unsuccessful dates and find The Guy you’ve always wanted. To help you discover the best secret to successful dating, let’s start with asking yourself if any of these scenarios sound familiar:
Scenario 1: A new guy has taken your texts and emails to the next level. You’re setting up your first date! He’s the adventurous type and wants to try out a new indoor skydiving arena that’s been getting a lot of hype. Your dilemma: you’re terrified of heights. This guy is really attractive, smart, fun, and you both seemed to hit it off well while chatting. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to get to know him better. You agree to go even though inside you’re bemoaning what 120 mph winds will do to your hair, let alone what this will do to your anxiety levels. You push those fears aside because after all, he might be The One.
Scenario 2: After a few coffee dates, you and your new guy want to have a night out on the town. You immediately think of this terrific Italian bistro your friends have raved about. It’s intimate, cozy, and the food seems like it will be divine. Your new guy makes a comment about how heavy the food probably is, so you decide to go to a wine bar for nibbles instead. He’s just not a big eater, he explains. You ignore how hungry you are because you don’t want him to think you eat too much.
Scenario 3: It’s your third date with your cute new guy after a bit of a dating dry spell at your end. He’s been giving off strong signals that he’s ready for sex. There’s a little voice in the back of your head worried that once he gets what he wants (sex), he might vanish. Instead of focusing on that and its implications, you let him take the lead after a night out. After all, he’s a catch. And once you’ve taken this important and intimate step together, he’ll realize how great you are and stick around. …right?
If any of these situations sound familiar, you just might be a People Pleaser. What’s wrong with wanting the people in your life to be happy, after all? Not a thing! Well, nothing as long as those same people reciprocate with making you happy, too. The BEST SECRET for successful dating is being your own Brand of Sexy. What is that? Let’s look at these scenarios more closely to help you understand what that means.
Scenario 1 Revisited: You’re not a fan of extreme sports, and it doesn’t get more extreme than skydiving! While I like to encourage people to challenge their fears, that’s a pretty giant leap! There’s nothing wrong with having preferences in your life. While you’re white-knuckling this experience, trying to keep your anxiety at bay even though you feel close to tears, he’s having the time of his life. Notice that he’s not paying attention to your experience, to your having fun (or not!). If something terrifies you and your date isn’t picking up on that, is this really a healthy start to a relationship or is he even worthy of your time? Don’t forget that you’re on this date, too. Your feelings and wants are every bit as important as his. (For further reading, see my earlier post, Do You Train Men To Treat You Poorly?
Scenario 2 Revisited: There’s nothing wrong with people having food preferences. Plus, many people have food allergies that can be life-threatening. Open discussion about these needs and preferences can be incredibly important. This particular scenario, however, left you feeling insecure and self-conscious. Maybe you have a history with a parent chiding you for your eating habits or you’re self-conscious about a recent weight gain. It’s easy to say “love yourself,” but as we all know, it’s very difficult to adopt that mindset when you’ve been immersed in self-doubt. My eBook What To Say To Men On A Date can not only help you know what to say to men in tricky situations, but will also help you speak up about your feelings. Let him know that while nibbles are nice, you’re actually hungry for a proper meal. If that fails to make him aware of your needs for real food at dinner time, then he might not be the right guy for you. Your feelings matter!
Scenario 3 Revisited: This final scenario is one I hear about quite often in my private practice. In my 31 years of helping women find their own Brand of Sexy so that they can get the relationships they want, I’ve found that asking yourself these three questions can be a tremendous tool in building your self-confidence so that you can finally have the relationship and partner you want.
People Pleasing can often be related to a lack of self-confidence, to feelings of inadequacy and possibly even to a sense of failure. Perhaps it’s hard to see your own value at this point. Try setting small goals for yourself where you reward yourself in little ways. If you don’t want to meet at 6:00 pm, then say “6:45 would be better for me.” To someone else, that may seem small, but this might be a huge moment of self-advocacy for yourself! Be proud of these steps you’re taking, no matter how small.
Remember that it takes two to build a relationship, and you’re one of those two. You want a healthy, long-lasting relationship. Reading this blog and my books while taking actions to feel confident and happy are excellent steps towards getting what you want. Knowing yourself better can help you make a better choice in a partner, too. And never forget: You always have a choice.
Learning to trust yourself is an exhilarating and important step. The real secret to having success with dating is being your own Brand of Sexy. You can do it!