First off, Happy New Year!!
Now the question is, are you going to simply continue your soulmate search exactly the same way as you’ve done, unsuccessfully, over the past year, or two, or ten? Maybe this is the right time to reexamine your dating MO. I know what I’m going to say is the very last thing you want to hear, and you might just get totally annoyed and stop reading when I say it, but I’m willing to take that chance so here goes: it might be your fault that you’re still single. There, I said it, and you’re still reading.
I understand that there are many factors beyond your control when it comes to dating and relationships. Believe me, I’ve been there. But I also know that there are many factors within your control that you mess up, often unintentionally. Let’s discuss dating styles.
Dating can be divided into two categories: casual dating and dating for marriage. The objective of casual or recreational dating is for YOU to satisfy your need for enjoyment, company, and intimacy (emotional and/or physical). The casual dater seeks a partner who can fulfill his needs and live up to his (self imposed) standards. He is always on the lookout for things that are wrong with his partner (I’m using “he” but it’s just as true for “she”). In his mind his partner must prove, continuously, that she is the right fit for him. As soon as she fails at doing that, by not meeting his standards (however idiotic or unrealistic they may be), he ends the dating relationship in order to find someone who might succeed at pleasing him where she failed.
Sometimes casual daters stay in relationships for months, even years, and sometimes they only last one or two dates. Regardless of the length of time and the pleasure experienced, the end of the story is always the same: “it just isn’t right for me.”
The objective of dating for marriage is, you guessed it, marriage. The dater for marriage has decided, after much soulsearching and introspection, that getting married and settling down to start a family is his number one priority. Of course he has his “list” and requirements and he doesn’t want to settle, but he’s worked hard to make sure that his list and requirements are realistic and obtainable. He’s really ready! He dates with the assumption, and the earnest hope, that the woman sitting across from him could be his soulmate/wife. Instead of having to prove that she is the “right one” (like in casual dating), she just needs to show that she’s not the “wrong one”. Since he really truly wants things to work (because he really truly wants to be married) he’s not examining every minute aspect of her under a super microscope to find fault. If she can meet most of his realistic criteria…Mazal Tov!!
Let me repeat:
A casual dater approaches every date as an opportunity for satisfaction and enjoyment. His date needs to constantly prove that she can “please” him in order to remain in the game. He’s looking for perfection. Any slip up on her part and he’s moving on to find someone who can potentially do better.
A dater for marriage approaches every date as if she could be his wife, and goes with that assumption until she blatantly proves him wrong. He’s not looking for perfection because he realizes that it doesn’t exist and that he certainly isn’t perfect either. He wants someone who has the qualities that will make a great wife and mother.
Think about all those girls and guys you know and sometimes even think about, who might be amazing spouse material, if you only stopped being a casual dater and started dating for marriage?
The new year is a great opportunity to examine how you date and make the changes necessary to move from “casual” to marriage. Once you make that change, I promise you that your prospects for meeting your soulmate will drastically change.