We grow up on Hollywood movies that promise us our lives will one day have the perfect man or woman and we will live together, happily ever after. The reality is that life doesn’t always fall into place and it certainly won’t fall into place on its own. We would like to think that if we sit back and remain open to the experience, someone who fits our every need and want, will magically appear. We would like to think that love will find us all on its own.
There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to be with someone. Knowing that you have a companion for life, someone to cherish and hold on to as you make your way through life. It makes sense. The problem occurs when we become complacent. We sit back and wait for this “happily ever after” to come knocking on our door.
I had this friend, Amy, who was always upset with her dating life. Over and over she would say to me, “Ryan, I just can’t find a guy that I like! Why aren’t there any decent men out there?” And do you know what I told her? I asked her, “Amy, where do you go to meet men?” She told me she went to the bar on occasion to find men. These are the two most common dating mistakes that I encounter in the women and men who come to me for relationship advice: not making active dating choices and not looking in the right places. Both leave you destined for failure.
#1. Not Making Active Dating Choices
The title of this article includes the phrase, “make it happen.” You have probably encountered this phrase before in your life, but have you ever really paid attention to it? To “make” something happen, you have to take an active role. Amy occasionally went to places to find men. Otherwise she stayed within her circle of friends. She wasn’t meeting many new men on a regular basis. It makes it difficult for a guy to ask you out if you aren’t around for him to ask. For men, it makes it difficult to ask a woman out if you aren’t meeting new women.
The first step that you have to take when looking to ask out someone or be asked out by someone…is meeting new people! Go places where you don’t know anyone or are likely to meet new people. Talk to others. Get to know them. Approach them. You don’t need to tire yourself out and it isn’t about going out every night. It is about choosing one night a week to go somewhere new or that will enable you to meet new people.
This has become one of the biggest problems with creating new relationships. Too many of the people who come to me for advice have become complacent and are unable or unwilling to meet new people. To find a lasting relationship, you have to be willing to put forth the effort. Part of this means “making it happen” for yourself, instead of waiting at home “wishing it to happen.”
#2. Not Looking in the Right Places
Once you are ready to put yourself out there and willing to take an active role in your dating life, you need to make sure that you are looking in the right places. Remember my friend, Amy? She was looking for men at the bar. A bar usually isn’t the best place to find someone unless you’re looking for something that isn’t serious, but rather partying or perhaps someone else who loves to frequent bars. It’s unlikely that my friend Amy was going to find someone who matched her lifestyle. Sure, she likes to go out and party, but she wanted to find someone who shared her interests.
I suggested that Amy look in a number of places based on what she enjoys doing. Amy loves volleyball, biking, is a religious person, and loves movies. The best way to find someone else who enjoys these things would be to look for them at volleyball leagues, biking leagues, church/mass – wherever her religious services were held, and at the cinema or a film club. Of course it isn’t possible to join a variety of groups or leagues for the sole purpose of meeting someone. It is, however, practical to choose one or two things to join. Amy decided to join a beach volleyball league near her home and started frequenting a local indie film joint. While she hasn’t found her Prince Charming yet, her dating life has dramatically improved. She is meeting new people and going on dates with men who share her interests.
If you’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, it helps to meet people who share some of your interests. It also helps to look for people who share similar lifestyles. The best place to meet these people is not at the bar. It’s at a place that
Not sure where to go? Check out http://www.meetup.com. This is a free site that lets you search your area for fun groups that match your interests. You would be amazed at the amount of groups available to join. You never know who might be waiting there for you! (PS. Some of the groups are actually speed dating groups! That can always be a fun experience if not a way to meet someone special).
No matter what way you choose to pursue a relationship, make sure that you’re giving it your all. It isn’t helpful to join a group and show up only to keep quiet. Introduce yourself to others and get to know them. At the very least, you’ll end up with a new friend. While it may not be possible to live forever “happily ever after,” you may find someone to bring along on life’s crazy journey by taking an active role in your dating life.