Myth: Dating is a numbers game and the more dates you go on, the more likely you are of hitting the relationship jackpot.
Myth: By dating as many people as possible, you’ll figure out what you want and don’t want in a partner.
Myth: You need to constantly put yourself ‘out there’ in order to have a chance of meeting your next partner.
Fact: The average single Aussie goes along to 41 dates each year.
Fact: 51% of single Aussies claim that finding love is their biggest priority.
Fact: The average Aussie single spends only one hour per week actively seeking love.
There is clearly a disconnection between what we say we want and what we do about it. A contradiction between our dating goals and our choice of actions. A confusion about the best way to connect with our ideal, perfect partner.
Dating is NOT a Numbers Game
Despite all the clichés and myths, the data tells us that the old-fashioned scatter-gun approach to dating does not pay off. In fact, conversations with my clients indicate that it leads to frustration, confusion, self-doubt and a loss of confidence and motivation.
So, if not playing the numbers game, then what?
The answer is Strategic Dating
You wouldn’t approach your career in a haphazard, random manner would you? You wouldn’t go along to a job interview without knowing the job title or key responsibilities and with no knowledge of the culture of the organisation. Would you? So why do this with the most important relationship in your life?
Strategic dating is a bit like applying the intelligence, skill and experience you have gained in other areas of your life (e.g. Career, sport, finances) and applying them to your dating behaviour. Dating strategically gets you off the dating merry-go-round and into a more empowered, confident and successful state.
So, what is Strategic Dating?
Like any goal-directed activity, Strategic Dating involves understanding where you are now, where you want to get to and how to get there.
Essentially, it’s about quality rather than quantity in your dating life.
By following these four steps, you will start to see the unproductive nature of the numbers game and realise the value of being strategic in your dating life:
1. Date yourself – start by investing in you. Rather than countless, meaningless date nights, substitute in a few ME nights. Take that course you’ve been thinking about, write that blog, cuddle that dog – whatever is meaningful for you. Get to know yourself on a deeper level and tap into your greatest strengths. What are the top three things you like about yourself?
2. Positive dating mindset – next, it’s time to let go of any limiting beliefs or ‘baggage’ that is holding you back. Have you been hurt before? Do you expect all men/women to cheat? Are you preparing to be disappointed? Develop a belief that you deserve love and you are in the process of achieving it. Listen to your self-talk and make sure you are focusing on the possibilities and potential rather than fears or pitfalls.
3. Personal dating brand – just like in our careers, it is important to understand our personal brand in the dating world. Rather than the superficial stuff, work from the inside-out. What are your deepest values? What defines you as a person? How would you describe your personality? (Tip: your free eHarmony Personality profile will help you here). Having a clear picture of your brand will help you present your story in your profile and on dates, AND help you define what you are looking for in a partner. Remember, most Aussies are looking for someone with similar values and interests to themselves, so start with you.
4. Authentic dating strategy – once you get your head right, commit to a positive mindset and define your dating brand, you are ready to develop your strategy, both online and offline. By this point, you will be clear about who you are, what you want and don’t want and in a good position to set goals and build your strategy. This will help you take decisive action, effortlessly say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to potential dates and know within a shorter period of time if someone is worth getting to know on a deeper level.
But what about romance?
You may be thinking ‘strategic dating sounds calculated and not very romantic’. In fact if you’re like 65% of Aussies, you might be hoping that your perfect partner is going to fall out of the sky and land in your lap!
Although it may sound a little clinical, the primary purpose of strategic dating is to improve the QUALITY of your dating experience. This approach will ensure that you go on less first dates (and probably spend less on date prepping, taxis, meals and drinks…) but the dates that you decide to invest in will be more compatible.
And as we all know, higher compatibility leads to hotter romance!
By doing some rational, logical, methodical screening of your dates before meeting them, you’ll have a better chance of a high quality date and at the very least, an enjoyable conversation with a new friend.
So take a step back from your current dating approach and ask yourself, ‘Am I being strategic?’ Shift your focus from quantity to quality and notice how your dating experience flourishes.