Last night, I was having dinner with one of my best friends since childhood when the topic of men came up........
The men trying to be "slick" players on mobile dating apps, the men we wouldn't give the time of day (refer to slick players), the men we've dated who are now dead to us, and, of course, the men we hope to meet...and marry. Cute brothers, of course!
The conversation quickly went to the challenges of professional women meeting quality, relationship-oriented men in NYC. The everyone rushing from Point A to Point B. The commuters with headphones and angry faces--constantly looking down to avoid anyone's gaze. The young ladies (not excluding ourselves) who have often hid behind their career instead of really putting in the work to find and keep the husband material they've always dreamed of. Uggh and all those serial daters!
Is it just NYC where so many people are perpetually single and finding a sustainable relationship seems like rocket science? No, of course not---but dating, like anything else, can be a struggle in the big city. You can definitely learn a lot from dating in New York even if you aren't currently dating. Try being in the matchmaking industry for eleven years! Oh, sooo ripe with lessons. But with the dating scene of 2016, even the average Joe can live vicariously through the millions of people stuck on the-dating-merry-go-round. (Note: You needn't actually know millions of people, but trust that many of your friends are having a similar experience that the masses of single ladies are--as evidenced by my professional experience, and, you know, the dating articles on BuzzFeed.) Alternately, you can leave your comfort zone and "download" your love lessons through travel. No doubt, traveling for 487 days can be a very valuable teacher on relationships!
Some people say that wherever you go, there you are. I'm undecided on the validity of this adage, as I believe the culture of different places can bring out different sides of our personalities. (Follow me on Instagram to see what my upcoming Miami trip will bring out in mine!) Without a doubt, these diverse shades of us can either hinder or help our ability to attract the right relationships. There is, however, one thing that I am so certain about that applies to us wherever we are in life. It is this one thing I said with such conviction that my friend encouraged me to post it on my social media, and I did right there and then at our dinner. It is this:
You don't need to be perfect to find love.
Really, I swear.....
And you don't need to be in the perfect place either.
Love is available to you 24/7 and in any place. It doesn't care if you are fat or skinny, black or white, completed your master's degree or are struggling to get your GED. You can love yourself at anytime-blemishes,love handles, and all. You can trust that if you do, The Universe will eventually deliver you someone perfect (for you) who loves you too.
The truth is that dating in New York or anywhere else on the planet can suck big time. I know. No other polite way to say it, really! Sometimes, it is a necessary evil. If you want a real love relationship, you have to bring yourself to do it and get over the fact the fact that you aren't perfect. Stop waiting until you are perfect to start dating. In the meantime, why not grab your love life by the lapels, today?!
And tell the players to play on-without you- obvs........
Act as a fly on the wall among the average group of singles today, and you'll surely hear someone say that dating sucks.
Confession: Even I have said it! Without a doubt, there are a lot of things about the dating scene that are less than ideal, but perhaps the most annoying three are as follows:
Dating ADD: Anyone who has ever used a dating app can tell you that singles-especially those in the big city- don't have the longest attention spans. It seems that many people are swiping right and starting conversations that end after just a few exchanges--for no good reason other than someone simply losing interest. It is becoming widely accepted that singles go MIA in these chats on apps like Bumble and Tinder as well as on online dating sites. Even worse, people are "ghosting" those that they have had actual dates and relationships with!
The games: Scan a few online dating profiles, and you'll see lots of singles writing that they don't want drama and games. Yet start dating those very singles and you'll find yourself smack in the middle of that dance of intimacy. Pursuing. Pulling away. Pursuing again. Distancing again. Unfortunately, this is the way the dating game works for many--no matter how many people slap up a #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat on their social media. This frustrating dynamic even happens when people are married. Modern day technology only makes it worse. Because who hasn't gotten mad about that text message that was read and never answered? And, no he isn't laying in a hospital bed....
Lack of Commitment: Earlier this week, I was live-tweeting the show that I am not-so-secretly-obsessed-with, Married At First Sight, and paused to compose this gem of a tweet:
"I'm not going to give up on this marriage without one heck of a fight." Yup, that's my theory on relationships, and I'm always saddened and perplexed when people just give up on someone they care about.
Apparently, there are a lot of people who don't think twice about throwing in the towel with someone they are dating--whether its been two weeks, two months, or even two years. These days people are breaking up via text and posting pics with their "new love" on Instagram the very next day. In other words, they aren't even trying.
Despite all of this undeniable negativity that is a part of dating in the twenty-first century, it can get better. A lot better! People can focus in interacting with potential dates, they can stop pushing away their partners, and they can commit, goshdarnit. The question is....how?
What do you despise most about dating? Do you have any ideas as to how you can make dating more enjoyable for you and the people you date?
Do you want to date better in 2016? Please come see me live in NYC on February 2nd, as I take part in an engaging, co-ed panel discussion (suitable for singles of all ages) on Conscious Dating, moderated by Mary Reily . The event, taking place at DistrictCoWork, costs $30, includes wine, and will start at 7PM. Email Rachel@RachelRusso.com for more details.
Day 7 of the New Year, and you've got this "new year, new me" stuff down pat, right?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
"Out with the old, in with the new" is easier said than done.
And the decrease of members on the treadmill at my gym from January 2nd to January 6th proves it....
When it comes to your love life, cutting out the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors you engage in that relate to dating and relationships is no simple task, but it is an important one. If you don't have a handle on only engaging in what is right for you, destructive dating patterns will take over. If you don't stop them, they can have a profound and negative effect on your ability to find and keep a fulfilling relationship.
Your intentions are good. I know. In fact, there's probably a lot you'd like to let go of in 2016.
Here are four common trends that I see among men and women who struggle with relationships. (Raise your hand if you are guilty.) They are all things that should be stopped as soon as possible--if true love really is the goal.
Making the decision to date or stay in a relationship with someone who is "wrong" for you
Character and personality traits are difficult to change. If someone makes you miserable more often not, they are wrong for you.
Choosing a partner who is just like your ex
If you truly want to date someone who is very similar to your ex, you are either a masochist or not over your ex. If it didn't work with the first one; why would it work with the second? If you are ready to leave the past in the past, read my book, How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style. Change up your attraction template and learn to love someone new and different.
Refusing to go deeper:
Whether you only go on dates with men who are 6ft tall or women who are blonde with blue eyes or stay on the surface in conversation with your partner, your love life will be stagnant if you don't go deep. So go all in, and get real.
Thinking happily-ever-after comes easily, and if it does not come easily, it is not happily-ever-after:
The truth is that most people have to work to achieve happiness.They have to search for a match and go through ups and downs together before they achieve relational bliss. Don't let Hollywood fool you: Love isn't always a fairy tale.
So there you have it.......
What dating and relationship habits do you want to ditch in 2016?
To make 2016 the year to transform your love life, email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com