You’ve got your reasons for being single. You’re picky. You’re career-focused. You just haven’t found the one. Whatever excuse you’ve given over the years about why you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t matter. The truth is you’d like to be in one, and as Valentine’s Day approaches yet again; you are reminded of just how much you really want to find your person.
I understand your plight all too well. I’m a dating and relationship coach and every day I talk to dozens of singles that are trying to best navigate the dating sphere in the hopes of living happily wedded-after. Like you, many of my clients have a lot to offer. They are smart, attractive, well rounded and thoughtful. And with so many dating apps rife with potential prospects you would think coupling up would be quick and easy. So why isn’t it?
The truth is that most of us go about looking for love the wrong way. Our culture of instant gratification has us impatient for anything that takes longer than a few nanoseconds. While you may be able to get a date that quickly, building a relationship with someone still takes ample time. We can’t order up our perfect match like a Starbucks drink, and yet that’s just what we try to do. We want what we want and we want it now. If you can let go of these bad habits, however, and embrace some important new ones, this can be the very last time you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
In 2008 it was all about “playing hard to get”. Ten years later we’ve that replaced that strategy with “go after what you want.” Gone are the days of waiting with anticipation to hear from someone. If you like them, you text them. Doesn’t matter if you said goodbye thirty seconds ago and they are still within eye shot. That’s what we do now. When we want something we go after it like an Olympic athlete goes for gold. There’s no holding back.
The problem is that as fast and furious as we make connections today, they burn out even faster. We have lost our restraint and will power to the technology God and he is royally screwing us over in the love department. If we want to make something last, we have to pace ourselves. Relationships are not built overnight, so regardless of how badly we want someone, making them wait a little is still a good move.
Try Someone New
Keep ordering your grande, iced, sugar-free latte, but when it comes to dating you need to branch out. You might daydream about someone who’s six feet tall, or curvy and blond, but love doesn’t always come in the package that we expect. Just because we are attracted to a certain type doesn’t mean we won’t be attracted to someone outside those parameters. Rosey, a 38 year-old stay at home mom remembers the day she met her husband at a local bar. “I started talking with him because he was standing there. Not because I was initially attracted. He had facial hair, which I’ve never been fond of, and he looked like he lived at the gym. But I said yes when he asked me out, and after our first date, I fell in love with him. We’ve been married for five years.”
A common mistake, especially with online dating, is to narrow your search preferences down to your seemingly “ideal match”. But we don’t fall in love with someone because their eyes are blue, they went to Dartmouth, or they live in a swanky part of town. We fall in love because of how we feel when we are with them. And that’s something you cannot tell until you actually go on a date. So widen your search criteria and sample date as many people as you can.
Ask The Right Questions
All too often I see my clients fall for someone that embodies a lot of what they want on the outside, but that they really don’t know on the inside. “If he’s Catholic, and we have chemistry, what else do I really need to know?” Said Jenna, a twenty-three year old graduate student at the University of Virginia. Actually there is a lot more that you need to know, although many singles today are focused only on physical attraction and have a fear of digging too deep. In an effort to seem fun and datable, women especially are keeping the conversation very light; sticking to non-controversial topics and steering clear of anything too personal. But getting personal is how you not only get to know someone; it’s how you form a real, genuine connection. If you don’t ask the right questions, neither of those things can happen.
In my book, “Was It Something I Said: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas” I stress the importance of asking meaningful questions on dates. Questions like, “When was your last relationship? Why did it end? What kind of men/women do you find yourself most attracted to?” These questions will give you good insight into the most critical aspect of the person sitting across from you – what they are like in a relationship. Other questions to ask, “Are your parents still together? What’s their relationship like? What was the last argument you had and with whom? While driving to and from work, what do you think about most?” There is no reason to fear asking any of these questions, and you should ask them early, before you fall for someone that isn’t your cup of specialty coffee…
When Jenny met Matt she thought it was true love. Finally, she had found a guy that did everything right. He would text her every day, pick her up at her house, pay for all their dinners, make plans in advance, and lavish her with compliments. He was perfect and after just three weeks, he was already saying those three little words.
So imagine Jenny’s surprise when after six weeks of dating, things started to change. The daily texts stopped first, and she began reaching out to him instead. Then the planning in advance came to a halt and it was all last minute, or late night get- togethers to “watch Netflix and Chill”. And finally, the amorous professions of love ended, and Jenny was left wondering where they stood.
“I feel like I need to have the DTR talk,” Jenny said to me one day. (That’s slang for Determine the Relationship.)
“I don’t think so,” I told her. “I think you know where your relationship stands. The question is, are you okay with it?”
“I was okay with it when he was paying more attention to me. Now I feel like I’m just there. How do I get him to be like he was before?” She asked me.
“Jenny, you’ve been “Love Bombed.” And the only thing you can do now is either accept the relationship for where it is now, or don’t accept it and move on.”
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is when a guy attempts to win you over with over-the-top displays of attention and affection, but then, after a matter of weeks that all stops. Love Bombing happens frequently in today’s culture because technology makes it so easy to “bomb” someone with words of affection and future promises without having to do anything more than lift a finger (or more accurately; two thumbs.) Some love bombing is normal. When a guy first meets a girl, and is attracted to her, he will naturally want to impress her by going above and beyond her expectations. As the relationship settles down a bit, and the two become a couple, however, the avid pursuit to “win” her over wanes, but should be replaced by a happy, contented relationship. The problem with Love Bombing happens when either the girl doesn’t know how to be in a relationship, and demands the constant attention and reassurance that Love Bombing provides, or the guy is using “LB” as a technique to sleep with a girl or get her attached to him for his own selfish purposes.
How To Spot A Serial Love Bomber
Jenny eventually learned that Matt was a serial Love Bomber, and routinely came on strong with all his other girlfriends. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a habit of coming being overly effusive when he wasn’t yet in a relationship. But not all guys are like Matt, and some will Love Bomb you just to get what they want, and then leave you confused, disappointed, and still very single.
It’s important to be able to know when you are being “Love Bombed” and to remain skeptical if you see any of the following signs within the first few weeks:
– He texts you “Good Morning, Beautiful” every morning and “Good Night, Beautiful” every night, even though you just met (or haven’t met in person.)
– He talks about future plans, vacations, and even marriage and you’ve only been on a handful of dates.
– He comments or likes all your posts the minute you post them.
– In almost every communication with you, he flatters you.
– He professes his feelings right from the start and tells you he’s “never felt this way about anyone” and “can’t believe he met someone (you) that is so beautiful, special, smart, etc” and “knows already that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.”
Be wary of Love Bombers because they can reel you in, sleep with you, and move on without hesitation. If you think you are perpetual victim of Love Bombing and need professional help, please email me about coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love Bombers are notoriously looking for “soft targets” – women with low self-esteem that they can bomb and manipulate. Don’t let yourself be a victim again.
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