Has anyone ever asked you that dreaded question?
So…are you dating anyone yet?
My grandma used to ask me this all the time. To her, it was an innocent question, as she saw all of my 10+ cousins pairing off around their teenage years, and many of them would even bring their “special someone” to meet her (which, in my family, is a BIG deal – because once grandma knows, everyone knows).
But to me, this question felt like rubbing sandpaper on my open wound. Of course I wanted to take part in this tradition, and introduce my girlfriend to grandma. But that was like step 20, and I couldn’t even get past step 1! (a.k.a talk to the girl) So I couldn’t help but feel that something was seriously wrong with me, because all of my cousins made dating seem so easy.
But in fact, dating is not easy, and there are TREMENDOUS forces at work against us.
#1: comparing ourselves to others
When I was younger, I compared myself to my cousins, many of whom got married to the person they were dating in high school. Now, we all compare ourselves to literally everyone we’ve ever met, through social media, where your cousin is out with his girlfriend on Snapchat, some random guy you met once is getting married, and your college crush is having a baby.
#2: difficulty meeting new people
If you’re not in school anymore, it takes actual effort to go meet new people. At the end of a long day at work, eating a burrito and watching Netflix just seems so much more enticing than possibly getting rejected or feeling creepy when trying to meet new people or approach women.
#3: unrealistic expectations
Speaking of Netflix, our technology has completely warped our expectations. There are thousands of movies and TV shows on Netflix where people are falling in love in about 1 to 2 hours. And there are millions of porn videos where people are having sex within a few minutes of meeting each other.
Plus, it doesn’t help that you can lose hours of your life checking out hot, tattooed girls on Instagram, or that there’s an entire industry of dating coaches telling you that you can have the girl of your dreams tonight, if you just do these 7 things (my links are never that baity).
So we all want that girlfriend NOW.
And we already have strong desires as men – I mean, I could go for little somethin’ somethin’ right now, but all this information slapping us in the face just makes it worse. Because back in the day, you couldn’t meet “miss perfect” at any time of day. But now, with online dating, we are all thinking that we could just be one swipe away from our perfect match.
So we become little monsters – we want her now, we want her to be perfect, and we get angry when she’s not in our lives already.
And that kind of entitlement leads to tons of frustration, and then neediness, which is super unattractive. A healthier perspective is to recognize that it is tough to date, because of everything above, and to understand that it takes work to be a sexually attractive man. Particularly in the domain of unavailability (the opposite of neediness) which is much harder to cultivate nowadays, because we are so connected and accessible to each other.
To be unavailable, you really have to fight your urge to reach out to her all the time. Even when you find that great article that she would really love, even when you haven’t heard from her for longer than usual, and even when you wake up at 5 AM and can’t go back to sleep because you’re SO turned on thinking about her.
If you’re always available, you are not letting her enjoy the anticipation of hearing from you. Everyone has heard the phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” and it’s true, but it applies to more than just physical distance.
So how do you do it? How do you cultivate unavailability? Well, there are 3 main ways.
- Reduce your overall media consumption, and favor “slow” media like books, to condition your mind to a slower pace for romantic endeavors.
- Don’t allow your phone to distract you unnecessarily, and be specific about when you allow yourself to text her back or use social media/online dating.
- Take time to plan an exciting social life, so you’re not scrambling to come up with plans at the last minute. If you have something fun on your calendar, you’re more likely to get out and have actual human interaction, instead of just being a silent observer at home.
I know, I know – this is just scratching the surface, and you want more details.
Amin, don’t just tell me what to do, tell me how to do it!
Well you’re in luck, because I’m SUPER excited to announce that I’ll be doing my first LIVE webinar this Tuesday, at 5:30 PM. For the first 30 minutes, I’m going to go in-depth on these 3 strategies and give you the how, no – show you the how (via video chat and screen sharing), and finish with 30 minutes of answering your questions about dating (put them in the chat throughout the webinar). To join me on Tuesday (and get a link to the video recording), just enter your name and email below. Talk to you then!