By John McElhenney
I am not ashamed to admit I’m a bit driven in life. I’m an ENFP, type-a, Sagittarius. I line up my goals and begin the dogged pursuit.
And, I’ve been heading down a different path when it comes to dating, lately. I think my idea is to listen more and sell less. When I’m so engaged in closing the deal, I’m less open to the honest feedback I may have ignored in the past.
Here are four ideas I’ve been cultivation about mindful dating:
- Ladies go first
- If she’s interested she’ll let you know
- Hot pursuit might be a turnoff
- I am enough, just as I am
1. Ladies go first in the new dating frontier.
It’s like Bumble, we’ve both signaled an interest and then ladies are in charge of the next step. That’s a fine rewire for me. I’m beginning to listen for her to take some initiative. If there is none, then perhaps there is no chemistry to pursue, regardless of how I felt or thought she felt. We’ve both expressed our willingness to meet, let the woman take the lead for a change.
I’m tired of always being the “let’s get a drink of your choice” guy. How about this? “I’m here. I’m interested. If you’re interested make time to get together.”
2. If she’s interested she’ll let you know.
I’ve been struggling with this one a bit when it comes to a woman I felt a lot of chemistry with. In the six weeks since high school restarted (we’ve both got kids) we’ve had two coffees. And while both meetings were absolute highs for me, perhaps she wasn’t feeling the same connection. Or, perhaps, she’s just incredibly busy. Either way, as I’ve been keeping up my end of the chat via a few texts and emails, my threads of “another time to meet” have been met with crickets. The communications have been very cordial, but the “meet” idea has not been responded to at all. Zero.
Now, I could mind read and imagine, “She’s just really busy,” but it’s only my projection. There are plenty of reasons she might not be picking up my offers.
- She might not have felt the same connection I did, and she doesn’t want to lead me on
- She might be busy to the point of overwhelm, in which case, I don’t want to be another obligation
- She might have really liked me and been terrified of the idea of a relationship, heading into the holidays
- She might be still recovering from her divorce and not ready for any type of relationship
- She might be happy alone and not interested in dating
And all the information I have is, she’s not responding to my offers of future dates.
Okay, I get it. I’m taking my friend’s advice. And the advice of Facebook today in this quote: Don’t force someone to make time for you, if they really want to, they will.
And that’s enough.
3. Pursuit might be a turnoff
My most recent relationship was with an introvert. I learned a lot by hearing her express how I missed her all the time by being so driven in “my ideas” and “my desires.” Okay, so perhaps this uber-woman is introverted and would rather not be pursued. That’s fair. So, my absence will either be noticed and responded to. She will follow-up on my email from last week with a “hello” email later this week. Perhaps, not for another coffee, but just to say “hello.” Because if she doesn’t miss the fact that I’m no longer texting and emailing her, well… that’s the answer right there.
And even if she is interested, I’m guessing that beautiful women are aggressively approached all the time. I’m not going to add to her distress by being another man on a mission. (Okay, so let’s see how this plays out over the coming months.)
4. I am enough, just as I am
The last one is a bit harder. Maybe I’m not fit enough or handsome enough. Maybe it’s me.
The real answer is “that’s okay.” If I’m not enough, then she’s not the right one.
“You’ve got to see it the other way around,” my friend said to me. “You’re the catch. Open, honest, and emotional men are hard to find. Someone is going to appreciate you. You’ve just got to be patient until you find each other.”
I do believe I am enough. I am practicing mindfulness and self-care in a way that encourages my own inner confidence. And, in my real measure of attractiveness, I’m really joyful. That’s the indicator for myself that I am in the right frame of mind. I am enough. I am the catch. And let her discover that. Or, in the case of this reticent women, listen when she doesn’t discover your absence and come looking for your warm voice again.
Does absence make the heart grow fonder, or in her case, will she simply forget about me? Either way, the answer will be obvious. I don’t have to go after the answer. I can breathe, be calm, and let her do her own dance.
This article was originally published at the Good Men project
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