On August 14th, 2013 a girlfriend and I made a commitment to simply date for six months without getting exclusively involved with anyone.
Do the math and you’ll find that the pact ends on February 14th, 2014. How convenient.
Our goal was simple: to date with no expectations. So much of the dating experience is based on self-created stories about where things are going and obsessively mapping out the future which ends up being a huge detriment to the present. Instead of stressing, we wanted to approach the process with ease and simply form as many connections as possible.
So for the first time in my life, I’ve jumped headfirst into the dating rabbit hole. About two months ago I joined Match.com and have since learned how to navigate the site to produce the best and most plentiful results (more on that later).
I’ve had good dates, I’ve had bad dates, I’ve had downright boring dates. And no matter the outcome, each of them has taught me something. I’ve been hurt—badly—and run crying to my closest friends for a venting session. Problem is, I rarely felt better after dumping all that negativity. Because guess what? What we resist persists. Repeat after me: what we resist persists.
It’s time for a new approach.
Rather than focusing on what I don’t like about someone I’ve gone out with, I am committed to celebrating only the positive things they have to offer. I truly believe that by practicing compassion and reinforcing the good, more of those positive qualities will be presented to me and one day all this manifesting will find me passionately in love for the rest of my life (or something along those lines).
So with positivity and compassion in mind, here’s what happened last week:
Monday: The Pro-Athlete Turned Entrepreneur
Tom and I connected online—he is a former pro-tennis player turned internet marketer who “isn’t looking for anything too serious” and as a former competitive tennis player and internet entrepreneur myself, I figured it would be fun to connect for a dinner date. Our conversation flowed easily from tennis to The 4-Hour Work Week to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work in neuroplasticity. Tom had some awesome insight to share about his work with Dr. Joe and sent me some follow-up emails with guided meditations and book recommendations. How thoughtful!
What I loved: Tom is clearly focused on building a successful business and loves what he gets to do. He is a fantastic listener, asks engaging questions and feels very present in conversation. Plus he opens the car door like a true gentleman!
Tuesday: The Warm-Hearted Country Boy
Zach and I met at a party a few days prior and totally hit it off. He was good-looking with the most adorable tattoo a man could have (in Italian, to boot), spoke hilarious conversational French and owns his own business. We texted a bit and made lunch plans at my favorite restaurant in Cherry Creek. While he may not be a romantic match, I had a blast with Zach.
What I loved: Zach seems very close and appreciative of his family. He is the neighborhood “Mr. Fix-It” and loves to hang out with his neighbors in a community setting (and really sees the importance of this). He also has that country-boy charm that makes my heart melt a little bit.
Tuesday night: The Connoisseur
Jack and I exchanged a few lengthy messages on Match before meeting up for drinks. He seemed intriguing: lots of flowery language, intelligent humor, good style. He’d recently moved from LA which immediately told me we could connect on that big-city level. Plus he owns his own internet marketing firm (do you see a pattern yet?). We met at a cool speakeasy and had two very inventive cocktails. I don’t have much else to say except the pretzel bites were out-of-this-world.
What I loved: Jack does very well in his business and truly has seemed to master his craft. He also has a deep appreciation for fine things: fine spirits, foods, clothing, etc. Next…
Friday: The Quirky Entrepreneur
Ahh Todd. We first connected at an event during a week-long conference and talked into the evening. He was immediately smitten and didn’t hold back. This man has no filters, no shame and is incredibly driven to make big things happen. We ran into each other a few times over the next few days and ended up having a post-party midnight meal at a diner the week prior. After talking throughout the week we made plans to meet at a coffee shop in the afternoon to co-work and catch up.
What I loved: Todd is so transparent and even better, he wants all his feelings to be heard (a rare find these days). His openness even makes me a tiny bit uncomfortable which is awesome (I love being out of my comfort zone). Todd is also one of the most passionate, driven people I’ve met in a long time. I’ll admit: I find his dorky, quirky nature totally endearing and refreshing.
Friday evening: The Burner Firelight
It’s rare to see a guy on Match with pictures from Burning Man and other spiritual-type festivals, so when I saw Peter I was immediately interested and agreed to meet for a drink. Turns out this guy has beat to the rhythm of his own drum for years. After his first year at Burning Man he moved halfway across the world and lived on the road for six months before coming to Denver. I’ve got mad respect for this dude.
What I loved: Peter also has his own business and seems so satisfied with his life. He’s got a great network of friends and makes a point to go to festivals and travel on a regular basis. And man he can hold a good conversation! We talked excitedly for an hour non-stop.
Sunday: The Buddhist Businessman
I saw Paul on Match and liked that he seemed to have an awesome balance of introspection and success in business. On my profile I say (twice) that I expect guys to pick up the phone and call me when we first connect rather than send a never-ending slew of text messages. Our first phone conversation lasted almost an hour and a half. It felt kind of like high school and I was super excited to meet him. We made plans to go to the farmers market that weekend, then he rescheduled to meet for lunch instead because he was stuck in a Sunday morning meeting (clue #1 that he may be too focused on work). Turns out this guy is a high-powered businessman which has its upsides and downsides. Since I’m here to focus on the good, I’ll decline to comment further.
What I loved: Paul is clearly accomplished and loves being in business. His dedication to his meditation and Buddhist studies was impressive and allowed me to see his softer side. He had a great laugh the few times I heard it.
Sunday evening: The Sweet All-American Guy
About a month prior I was at an event in Boulder and from across the room spotted a guy who looked remarkably like my ex of five years. I pointed him out to my girlfriend and we ended up chatting later that night. Matt reached out a few days after asking if I’d like to go out to dinner. I got the feeling he was a little younger and a tad bit nervous, which was kinda cute. We ended up at one of my favorite Denver restaurants and had a lovely dinner.
What I loved: Matt is a sweet guy—communicative, thoughtful, kind. This Fall he is on four different sports leagues and he’d just started a 30 day cleanse, so he clearly values his health. I really appreciate his ability to bounce conversation back and forth in a way that made me feel heard and understood.
* * * * * * *
Saturday: An Intuitive Calls Me On My S***
I’d made an appointment to see an intuitive healer over the weekend and the first thing she told me (totally unprompted) was to let go of my rules and my belief that no man is good enough for me. I was floored she saw that so quickly—I barely even recognized that about myself. But she was totally right. I have a tendency to create “rules” around who is right for me or not, which causes me to judge too quickly. With my hands enclosed in Linda’s deep wisdom, I committed to put that judgement aside, be truly open and to let my heart rule (rather than my head).
Which leads me to…Saturday night: The Unexpected Bonus
Earlier in the week I met a man in passing at a yoga class. It was so brief that the only words exchanged were “hi” and “hi”. He was cute—tall, dark-featured, kind eyes and nice smile. Later that week some guy sent me a message on Match and I thought it might have been him (they looked quite similar) so I wrote back asking if he’d been in that yoga class with me. He said no. (#lostconnections!)
Flash forward to Saturday evening just a few hours after my session with Linda. I’m at a huge Burning Man party dressed in my finest playa gear, running around like a butterfly and having a grand ole time. When all the sudden this man stops me and says “Hey you, pretty girl from the yoga class!”
I spun around and smiled. He smiled. And we began talking…
How do you reflect on your dating life? Do you write things down? Do you try to focus on the positive? What works, what doesn’t?