Remember when I blogged about every date being a learning experience? Well, I’ve come up with something else that makes any date – no matter how painful or embarrassing – all worthwhile for me! It’s called, “50 Dates to a Mate.”
I’m a list kind of gal. I love checking things off. It makes me feel like my hard work is worth it in anything I do and I get a lot of satisfaction when I complete a list. A while I go, after I had several bad dates, I decided I would give myself credit for going out on them and “enduring to the end” of the date. I made up a chart with 50 boxes – numbering them from 1 to 50. And for each date I go on, I fill in the name of the guy I went out with.
The goal for me is to go out with 50 different guys. I read a book called, If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single by Susan Page and it talked specifically about how statistically speaking, the more a person dates, the better chance they will find the right person to fall in love with and marry. And let’s face it, most dates aren’t that fun – setups can be downright, tragically WRONG. But, if I can just remember to make it a learning experience AND a check on my chart, it’s much easier for me to take the risk and go out with a guy that may not normally qualify as the man of my dreams. Because ONE of these times, it’s GOING to be the right guy! It’s all a matter of getting through those 50 dates!
The rules for myself was that I couldn’t count a date if I wasn’t sure if I was asked out because in my painful, past experience (referring back to my relationship with “Rebound”) - if you aren’t sure you are on a date, then you’re not. (I went on about 6 “hangout dates” with him that never meant a thing to him much to my embarrassment.) I also couldn’t count a guy more than once. And I couldn’t count it as a date if I asked them out. I only started really trying to date about a year ago, so I allowed myself to count some past dates as well so I would have a good running start – because for a girl like me 50 is A LOT!
Once I made this goal for myself, I had to figure out how to get more men to ask me out – because the truth is, the ball is in their court to ask us out. So I decided to change some expectations and to go out with guys maybe I had already realized wasn’t going to end up in a relationship. That doesn’t mean I’ve gone out with creepy or mean guys, but it means I try to keep an open mind and go out with someone that may not be the perfect choice for me. For me, it’s about building some skills and trying to learn to get along and communicate with guys. And it’s a true known fact (because it happened to me once), that a girl that dates – even if it’s a lot of first dates – shows more confidence around guys and somehow becomes more attractive to the opposite sex and - as a result - gets asked out more. It’s a really strange phenomenon.
Also to help out my situation, I found some good flirting tips from Alisa Goodwin Snell’s book, Dating Game Secrets for Marrying a Good Man. I’ve tried not only smiling more and making myself look more approachable, but I also try to compliment them once during the conversation or touch their arm once while talking to them to show my interest. I made a real effort with ALL guys instead of just the ones I liked or was interested in. When I did that with any guy I met or talked to at a party, it was much easier later to talk to the guys I was really interested in. I try to make the few moments (and that's the key too!) with me good and positive. As I have done this, I have had success and am asked out more than I ever have. It hasn’t always been with whom I’ve wanted – but like I’ve decided, no date is a waste!
Now I might be wrong and at the end of 50 dates and I may still be single. But I’m pretty sure if I put all my effort into it and try as hard at that as I do with anything else in my life, I will be that much closer to my ultimate goal of marriage. (Maybe at date 65!?!?) And the experience will at least help me learn some important new skills in relating to that very intriguing, sometimes annoying, always surprising and downright confusing, opposite sex.