As an online dating coach, I hear about singles' flirting frustrations daily and in bulk -- and of course, help them through it all. The one thing I consistently observe is that dating is just as much about mindset as it is action. Your attitude on love impacts your experiences more than you know. Receiving a message from an undesirable match can make you feel less hopeful. A few failed dates in a row can affect your confidence. And seeing friends pair up while you're left solo can make your heart feel a little bit more lonely.
I recently read Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness, a book with so many lessons that can help shift your perspective in your dating life -- and beyond. Here are my favorite few lines from (the amazing) C.C. Chapman and how his new release can apply to your love life:
"The sooner you realize that the journey is part of the enjoyment, the more fun your adventure will be." It's easy to get discouraged in the dating world, especially since when you take your love life digital, a lot of singles get focused on "results." But just because you can quantify your prospects doesn't mean that the experience of finding your "One" is about numbers. Remember that dating is a journey without a time limit, and relationships don't always fit neatly into an inbox.
"The worst anyone can ever say is no. But you'll never hear yes if you don't ask." So many online daters, particularly women, tell me that they don't want to message matches -- they'd rather others do the approaching. This applies to offline approaching, too: If you don't start a conversation, you'll never know the potential someone has. Take control of your heart by remembering that it's not who says "hi" to you that matters, but ultimately, who you're genuinely interested in, regardless of who does the approaching. C.C. reminds us that fear of rejection and lack of action can be major dating debilitations.
"Although friends want to help you, many don't want to feel like they are imposing on you by suggesting changes unless they are directly asked for their input." Your friends want to see you happy. But everyone's journey to happiness in their love life is different. Don't be afraid to let friends know how they can support you. Maybe it's by asking them to play matchmaker and introducing you to a friend, having them help pick your pics for your profile, or getting their advice on a certain somebody in your life. Either way, don't be afraid to speak up!
"Listening and kindness are two skills that don't get taught in school, yet they are crucial for you to succeed in any capacity." Everyone who tells you to play "games" in your dating life is wrong; feigning disinterest only ensures that you won't connect. And these "games" don't translate well online, and changing your vibe offline can get confusing. In today's world of text messaging and tweeting, game play is virtually null and void. Show you're into a match by listening to what he or she says -- via profile, messages and on dates -- and kindly showing interest when you have it.
"The next time you catch yourself saying, 'I can't,' stop immediately." In your dating world, there are a lot of things to say, "I can't" to. He seems nice but I can't email him back because he's not my type. I can't join that dating site because I don't have enough time. I can't go on a blind date because that's scary. But finding love means pushing through fear. The thing that you think you "can't" do is usually the thing that will make your heart skip a byte.
"Handshakes and hugs will always trump likes and shares." While relationships often start online, offline is where they'll really develop. Dating site winks and Facebook likes equate to eCourting, but connecting beyond the broadband takes digital to reality. It's more important that your keyboard crush make you blush in person. Don't hesitate to set up a meet up.
Laurie Davis is the founder of eFlirt Expert, an online dating consultancy, and the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating. Laurie was nominated Best Dating Coach in the 2013 and 2012 iDate Awards and her advice has been featured in over 200 international media outlets including The New York Times, Good Morning America, Men's Health and Marie Claire.
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