While I believe that everyone would benefit from learning the art of flirting, most of my students are single people looking to meet the right partner. They are sick of pain and heartbreak that comes from fruitless dating.
Most of them are ready to take a step forward and form a profound relationship with one quality person–their perfect match.
And I feel their pain–I remember when I was desperate to find the right one! It was like every cell in my body was constantly, collectively screaming, “Where is he?!”
As miserable as that was, though, I’m glad I went through it. Why? Because it forced me to take action. I confronted fears and worked through challenges that eventually led to me to finding (and keeping!) my Mr. Right.
One of the biggest (or at least, most obnoxious) challenges that I had to overcome was standing up against some well-meaning but totally misguided advice from friends, family and shitty magazines such as…
“Relax. It will happen when it’s meant to happen.”
“You don’t need to work on yourself. When you meet the right person, they will love you for who you are now.”
And my personal favorite…
“Quit trying so hard. It will only happen when you stop looking for it!”
Any of these sound familiar?
To be honest, I’m not sure where this advice comes from or why it’s so prevalent. Perhaps we have been influenced by one too many romantic comedies. Or maybe enough people actually have stumbled into relationships… like, they walked into a 7-Eleven to buy a donut and walked out arm in arm with their soul mate, had great sex, tra-la-la’d on home and told all their single friends that stumbling is how it’s supposed to happen. Who knows.
I do know that this passive “advice” is not something you would ever take in any other area of life (at least, I hope not!).
Think about it: what if you went to a personal trainer and asked him to help you lose weight and build strength? What if he said, “Hey, relax. It will happen when it’s meant to happen.” Would you go back to that personal trainer, or find one that will actually teach you about diet and exercise?
What if you went to a financial adviser and asked her for advice on where to best invest your money, and she responded with, “Quit looking. The best opportunities only show up when you least expect it.” Would you invest your money with her?
The point is, your dating life is one aspect of your life, just like health and finances. You need to be setting goals and taking action on finding the right relationship.
So, not to pick on happy couples, but don’t take advice on how to find the right person from your friends who have been together since they were kids. This is the equivalent of taking financial advice from an heir to a family fortune–and that heir is telling you that the best way to make money is to chill and wait for granddaddy to kick the bucket.
In other words, some people meet their soul mates in elementary school. But most of us don’t. And most people need to make some lifestyle changes–both internal and external–before their dream man or woman shows up.
So take it from me: if you want to find and attract the right person and form a relationship, you need to take action towards that. Every. Single. Day.
But what kind of action?
Start by ignoring anyone who tells you not to take action. Your life is not a romantic comedy and the stars have better things to do than align to play-matchmaker with us humans.
Ed. note: please don’t take me for a cynic. I’m a huge sappy romantic… who believes it’s up to you to create your own happily ever after. Shifting your mentality from “waiting for fate” to “actively seeking until I find him/her” could be one of the most dramatic improvements you make when it comes to actually finding the right person.
Another important action to take is to get clear on what you want. As with all goals, you have got to know your outcome.
Know what kind of partner you want to attract; the more detailed you can get, the better (in other words, you’ll need to be more specific than “nice, funny, attractive, and smart.”). Those qualities could describe anyone from your soul mate to a dolphin.
Instead, get specific. Make a list. Write out things you think are sexy. Try things like:
- Someone who can teach me how to do cool things like dancing and an 180-degree e-brake turn
- Someone who owns their own business
- Someone who wants to live in the big city
- Someone with strong family values
- Someone who likes pickled eggs as much as you do
Not that your list should be your only criteria… but you’ll want to be clear on what kind of lifestyle your partner lives – not just what their positive qualities will be.
You might think you’re getting a little picky… and you are. That’s good. It means you have standards. And, in order for those standards to be met, you must meet flirt with a lot of people. Flirting is how you know if you have chemistry. After all, who cares if you’ve found the person who looks perfect on a resume if you’re not even attracted to them? If you already meet a lot of people and go on a lot of dates that fall flat… that could be because you don’t know how to flirt!
Flirting is how two people build attraction, and it’s a process that everyone participates in. If you don’t know how to do your part of the process, then you won’t really know if you’ve just met the right one–or someone who isn’t right at all–because the attraction won’t be there either way.
In other words, don’t wait for fate. Go out there and flirt! Flirt with everyone you meet, everyone you think is “cute” and “good-looking” and “hot.” Flirt with those who deviate from your normal “type.” Flirt, flirt, flirt.
Keep flirting, and you’ll find yourself flirting with your perfect match. Seriously, if you flirt with that many people, it all comes down to numbers. And all of your hard work will make it that much more rewarding.