Stop Waiting For People to Pick You
Almost always, whenever I talk about social skills, I get questions about relationships.
And it’s interesting, because after doing a lot of dating I’ve now been with someone for 9 years. I know jack shit about online dating, except for the times I’ve swiped on Tinder for friends for fun and occasionally advised on what to say via Tinder text.
So of course–whenever people ask for advice–I used to say the things that Cosmo will tell you.
“You’ll just KNOW when you find that person!”
“Just TALK about it”
“Just go out and meet people!” (And get the fuck over your excuses that you don’t have time to meet someone)
But WHY did I say those things–that advice that I hated? I mean, I told you earlier this week about how awful advice like “Let your Prince Charming come to you is” and yet–that’s basically what I was telling people.
And it’s because 1) I have been quite lucky in that I was at the right place at the right time and 2) I have had a completely unconventional relationship. From how we met, to doing long distance, to breaking up TWICE, and now together.
But I never really broke down WHY what my partner and I did worked. What was ACTUALLY going on? Why were we able to get through phases we called ‘The Great Depression” and come out better on the other side?
Are we superheros? Are we secretly Harry Potter? (I really do wish I was Harry Potter)
But we’re not.
“So Fel–WHAT’S THE SECRET? How the hell do you find ‘that person’?’
Today, we’re going to talk about 3 things.
- My philosophy on dating
- The 3 biggest mistakes people make when trying to find ‘that special someone’
- An action that YOU’RE going to take this weekend
First things first: What I think about ‘Love’
Like most young girls, years ago I, too, was waiting for my Prince Charming to fall out of the sky. To be honest, it’s a compelling dream to believe in since all of us craved to be loved so badly in one way or another.
But one thing that was different about me, even as a 15 year old, was that I really worked hard at being self-aware. Mostly because I saw myself picking all the ‘wrong guys’–and wondering why everything would turn out so awful a few months later.
And of course–typical advice from family and friends:
“Next time, treat the guy like shit. That’s what they actually want.”
“You just need to play more hard to get”
“Don’t worry…he doesn’t deserve YOU”
So I listened to their advice, and skipped my way across the field of picking more of the wrong guys.
Even then, I knew something was wrong.
WHY AM I DOING THIS? I started thinking to myself. And instead of being satisfied with surface-level BS answers like: “Ah…I must be like my mother!” or “I just LOVE bad boys–I can’t help it!” (if you think that way, I have no sympathy for your relationship troubles)–I started to try and figure out MYSELF first.
Even though I wasn’t a therapist, I really tried to understand why I chose men who would treat me bad. And with the limited information I had, I began to think differently about relationships and decided that if I was ever going to get into a relationship I loved, it would have to be on MY terms. And, having made so many mistakes, I would be well-equipped to know what to do and what not to do next time.
All of which, prepared me for the moment when I DID meet someone (though I didn’t know it at the time). But instead of being like 99% of women and WAITING to be chosen, I decided to CHOOSE. I approached HIM. Like a boss.
Philosophy A: Stop waiting to be chosen. CHOOSE the person you want to be with. You can approach and pursue guys without being aggressive and weird like those women on Bravo’s dating shows.
Next main thought on Love:
I’ll never forget this day. I was working at a talent agency in LA and I asked my co-worker, Blair, what book I should read. He jumped up and slammed his hands on my desk: ROAD LESS TRAVELED.
I bought it that day. And that book changed my life.
And the one thing I remember to this day, is this: “The moment you fall in love is when you fall OUT of love”
But it changed everything for me. Because it meant that relationships were 10% lusty attraction feelings and 90% work. Thing #876 Disney didn’t tell us.
AND it meant that most of my friends were fools. Because they thought when that ‘passion’ was gone–so was the relationship. But the fact is, the deeper you go with someone–the MORE work you’re willing to put in–the more passionate you become about that person. It’s just a completely different feeling altogether.
Philosophy B: Don’t be seduced by dreams of finding ‘The One’, and maintaining your initial level of attraction for 10 years. If you’re not willing to put in the work, ANY small slight or hiccup or fight will rip you two apart. Love is a battefield. Thanks, Pat B.
Do You Make These Mistakes in Dating and Relationships?
Mistake #1: Writing down lists of what your ‘perfect man’ should be like, or who your ‘ideal woman’ should be.
This is hogwash.
You know why?
For one, Cosmo probably told you to do it. And two, this is the equivalent of creating a ‘10 year life plan’. Your plan will go to shit the moment you start because there is no way you can anticipate every single thing that’s going to happen.
So what’s a better option?
You should know your STANDARDS.
What behavior will you NOT tolerate? What kind of traits does your ‘ideal person’ exhibit?
One example: I always wanted someone who I could have FUN with. And specifically, someone I could act like a kid around and be totally at ease. Run around the house in the middle of the afternoon and wrestle kind of person. I didn’t want someone who was all locked up and afraid to express themselves. Hence, that one thing made it easy for me to sort who ‘fit’. (Obviously this is not the whole picture. But notice how different this is than what Cosmo will tell you)
But if you’re writing lists like: “He shall be tall! Funny! A CEO!” you’re severely limiting yourself, AND setting yourself up for disappointment. A CEO is a label, which is not indicative of character.
Mistake #2: You overanalyze like you’ve just taken a new job as an engineer
If someone shows me a text message and asks me what to say one more time–I may force them to work on their communication skills with me. But there’s actually a deeper reason why you’re over-analyzing so much. Do you know what it is?
It’s because you’re so focused on finding ‘LOVE’–on finding your ‘PERSON’–that it completely blinds you to what is actually in front of you! You don’t KNOW this guy or girl very well after a first date. So why the hell are you trying to gage whether or not he wants to marry you in his text that says: “What are you doing today?”
This is why adopting an attitude of CHOOSING vs. being CHOSEN can do wonders for you. It allows you to decide who is worth YOUR time, instead of trying to ‘get’ approval or ‘get’ love.
Mistake #3: You forget why that person was attracted to you in the first place
You start acting ‘weird’ once you decide you like someone, or that they like you. Because you’re making mistake #1 and think you find that ‘special person’ because he’s a tall, funny CEO…and then you’re making mistake #2 because you think he’s the one so you’re overanalyzing…and THEN you make mistake #3–which is forgetting that this guy loved how funny or comfortable in your own skin.
Then you wonder why that person is pulling away.
You chase more.
And you know what’s even worse?
The fact that we are ALL so easily seduced by dreams of perfect relationships. We feel awful about ‘thoughts’ we have–especially if you’re attracted to other people or have fantasies. Worse, we feel guilty for not having found someone–it’s like we have a fatal flaw and are a defunct toy sitting in a dark, gloomy factory. And then we feel ashamed of who we are, which completely kills confidence and the ability to attract the best person for you. I even talk about this ‘dark side’ here in my recent article for Mind Body Green.
I’m aware that this email is going to piss some of you off, and also that you may have so many beliefs around relationships that what I’ve said MAY have shocked you to life and made you want to change your dating and love trajectory.
So before I give you your ‘action step’ this weekend, I want you to read this case study from one of my clients, Elizabeth M. Notice that this isn’t just about dating…but having an amazing social life, too:
Before working with Fel I was a bit of a recluse. Sure, I’ve got a blog and online business, but I’d lost my mojo with real world interactions, with real people.
I found connecting and talking to people face to face extremely challenging, ya know — I’d always be planning my next quick witted comeback, and the constant pressure to ‘be funny, be smart’ to prove my worth in a conversation was tiring… which meant I found excuses to stop going out.
After working with her previously, I knew what she was offering was something that was going to be life changing… and so without a shadow of a doubt, I applied.
And today, finishing up the program, I’m a totally different person. A better person.
I LOVE going out and meeting people and talking to them. That in itself has changed my whole life.
But it’s not just that. She taught me how to connect with people again with a combination of techniques (something as simple as eye contact which I’d stopped doing because I felt too vulnerable) to our coaching calls laying out a play by play of an interaction so I can see what’s working and what’s not.
Oh, and if you want more proof this course is the bomb, I’ve also ‘closed’ on three make out sessions with my top choices….
Fel is a master of all things people, communication and connection.
And, I guess the biggest thing from all of this — I feel irresistible to myself. And that’s worthy of the biggest smile ever!
So here’s what I want you to do this weekend:
1.) For ALL people reading this, I want you to go out and APPROACH one person this weekend who you WANT to talk to and get to know better. Consider the very simple concept that you are free to talk to whoever you want, even if the only reason is that you think they’re attractive. You don’t need to act creepy, either.
Then–just like I have my clients do ‘field reports’ for me–I want you to comment (or email me) what ended up happening. Maybe you meet your person this weekend. Maybe you meet the rudest person in the world. I want to hear about it. Remember that in this case, it’s less about the interaction and more about you being brave enough to approach someone first.
2.) SPECIAL: For the single ladies only: I want to hear from YOU. Email me back and tell me what your biggest struggle is with dating right now. Are you attractive, smart, yet totally clueless with men? Are you wondering why you haven’t found ‘your special someone’ yet? Do you feel like ‘all the good guys are gone’? I’d love to hear from you, as I’m working on a special project.
And as a bonus challenge for my readers who want to go above and beyond, go buy The Road Less Traveled. (not an affiliate link). It will be one of the best books you read this year.
In the meantime, have fun, give me your ‘field report’ and I’ll be talking to you on Tuesday.