I was browsing Facebook last night,
and yet another dating guru was telling me
that I was dating all wrong and that he had the answers.
His answers all sounded so technical too.
Polarising. Attraction funnels. Online dating systems. Luxury profiles. Engaging your feminine energy. Text scripts. Dating conspiracies.
It sounds like I need a bachelorette’s degree just to figure this science out. Do I really need to do a dating apprenticeship?
I’m too busy for that, I’ve got a job and yoga and friends to worry about. I don’t have time for ‘Date TAFE’.
Can’t I just meet a man the old fashioned way?
What does that even mean?
I’m sure Mum and Dad, or Nan and Pop never had to deal with this palava, and they managed to find someone perfect!
Why is it so hard for me?
Is it actually that hard?
Or have some clever marketers made me think dating is hard so as they can sell me the answers? Wait, is that what that dating guru meant by a dating conspiracy?
OK, take a breathe. Slow down. Don't panic.
I'm old enough now to know that I don't know everything, and that my parents are actually quite wise.
So I went to Mum with my serious questions.
Mum’s been married to Dad for 46 years, she has 5 sisters, 6 brothers, what feels like a thousand uncles, aunts and cousins, plenty of friends, 6 kids and 12 grand kids. You could say she’s seen some stuff.
I lamented to Mum about how hard it is to find a good man these days, and how times have changed.
Well it’s Mum. So first she scoffed and chastised me for always making things seem harder than they are.
Then she gave some sage advice that I thought had some merit to it.
I’m going to pause you here, and caveat.
My mum is not a dating guru.
The advice that follows has not been scientifically tested and does not come with testimonials from hundreds of women that you don’t know.
It’s just tough love from someone’s Mum….
If you’re curious, read on.
People have been dating for hundreds of years. It’s like spelling, math and the planets (she actually said that!). The concept doesn’t change. You can get new words, make bigger numbers and find more planets, but at the end of the day, it’s the same.
You figure out what you like to do. Figure out what makes you smile from the inside out.
(What the hell is an inside out smile? Sounds different to duck lips or chin forward and to the left selfies! Sorry Mum, go on.)
Make a hobby out of what makes you happy. Do it, as often as possible. Then figure out how you can share that hobby with other people. If you can find a group, join it, if you can’t, start one. (I had no idea Mum had an entrepreneurial spirit!)
You’ll find people. You’re not special, you’re not the only one in the world that likes doing that. (How dare you Mum! I am special!)
You’ll fall in with a crowd, and they’ll see a happy side of you, and you’ll see a happy side of them. You might not like the people at first, but you’ve got something in common, so keep at it, and they might grow on you. Either you’ll end up falling for someone, or you’ll be introduced to someone.
There’s no magic pill. You need to get to know people.
You hear about people who find someone on-line, but that’s like hearing about people who win the lotto. You tune in on that, and don’t question how much money they’ve gambled in their life, and you don’t look at the stats of all the people that bought a ticket and didn’t win.
There is no shortcut.
Like everything else in this world, you’ve got to get out of bed, get off the couch and get out there in the world.
Do things you love and get to know other people that also love the same things. And for heaven’s sake, get to know people a bit before you write them off. (I can be a bit judgemental, she’s right on that one)
There you have it.
A bit of tough love ‘dating guru’ style advice from my Mum.
There’s no surprise that it started with, “Get. Out. Of. Bed. And. Put. That. Phone. Down.” Words she has screeched to me many times before.
I swear that’s her answer to everything.
I’m clearly a product of my Mother’s wisdom, because the foundation of our #DateDifferently strategy is to build a social life to serve your dating life.
But like Mum says, only you know what makes you smile “from the inside out”.
Your #DateDifferently journey starts with you.
You need to pause and think.
What is it that makes you smile?
If you don’t know yet, try a few things and just notice when it is you feel truly happy.
It could be food. It could be puppies. It could be the outdoors. It could be wine. It could be craft. It could be movies. It could be the beach. It could be art. It could be travel. It might even be politics (who even are you?)
How could you get more of that into your life and include more people in you doing it?
P.S. If you’re in dire need of a new perspective on dating. Hit pause for a minute and download our Dating Detox Guide.
It might help get your head in the game. Download it here.