10/18/2014 08:38 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Steps To Stressless Dating

Have you ever noticed that some people seem relaxed, content and satisfied as they embark on a new relationship?


Beginning an alliance with seemingly unlimited opportunities can make one feel fantastic, hopeful and euphoric. Both of you want to be with someone who is self-confident, at ease and prepared to enjoy your company.

Enter the "ever present" stress. It seems to be woven into the fabric of dating. How can you or your partner feel happy when worry and uncertainty are munching on your insides?

What is it that causes a surfeit of dating angst?

Let's talk about uncertainty -- it causes an emotional stress-filled roller coaster ride. Our comfort level and happiness quotient rise in direct relation to reduced worry and the acquisition of data and knowledge of what's expected of us.

If you're a Baby Boomer, older or a member of Gen X, you likely grew up with a very delineated behavior protocol. There were things you did and didn't do or say and lots of mind games played on the part of both sexes. What's certain is you were uncertain what was expected of you.

Unfortunately even now in the enlightened 21st Century many of the same outdated practices exist.

Most Millenials have little or no concept of life in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Our country has become increasingly tolerant and as a society we are far more open to new ideas.


Who would have thought that weed would be legalized medicinally or recreationally in some states!

However human nature is fairly static. As much as things change -- they stay the same.

Getting in touch with our inner-selves is on-the-rise but not fast enough, game playing still exists, and the bottom line -- people are people!

Look at columns and blogs about sex, dating and relationships. A day doesn't go by where you can't find an article on one of these topics. It doesn't seem like a lot has changed. So much for evolution of the species!

How can we move forward towards achieving happiness in our relationships? I use the word achieve because happiness as a state of being doesn't occur spontaneously. And often not at all for those who don't actively pursue and work at it.

We could chat about the fact that guys just don't know what gals want. "No matter what I do she's never happy." Of course the opposite is true."No matter what I do he's never happy." Some may disagree with me but I don't see huge differences between the sexes -- at least in the dating arena.

Happiness begins with exploring and understanding our own expectations. Know what we want and desire -- uncertainty disappears and stress dissipates.

Let's try a Mind Acrobatic's™ exercise. This will work for guys and gals!

Mind Acrobatics Exercise: "Happiness -- To Be Or Not To Be!"

Time Needed: Twenty minutes or whatever works best for you.
Materials: Pen, paper, beverage, and good music.
Location: Someplace you enjoy.

  • Turn on your music.
  • Take five slow relaxed deep breaths.
  • Put a smile on your face and keep it there for five seconds.
  • Stop smiling.
  • Smile one more time. It feels good.
  • Spend a few minutes thinking about something that once made you very happy.
  • Pause.
Super, you've just completed step one of an exercise designed to put you on the path to greater personal insight.

"Happiness -- To Be Or Not To Be!" (part 2)

  • Begin writing in stream of consciousness everything you can think of that makes you happy.
  • Don't self-censor. Like to sip cappuccino in the nude--cool!
  • Recall the absolute best and most pleasurable moments in your life. What did they feel like?
  • Were you alone or with someone?
  • Write for about 10 minutes and stop whenever you want.
  • Put your paper aside and don't look at it. Smile one more time -- or two or three!
Great, you've just completed step two and you're gathering interesting data to review.

The mind is a fascinating organ. Once put in gear it continues to work in the background much like the operating system of your computer or smart phone. You now have pleasure and optimism rooting around among the synapses of your brain.

Happiness is like a "poison pill" to stress! The more joyful your life the less worrisome it becomes.

You'll never know all that is going on in the mind of another individual. That's not important. Understanding what makes you tick is vital. It allows you to make informed decisions and plays a critical role in relationship satisfaction.

Refuse to be a game player or let someone play with your head and you're on the road to smashing the brick wall blocking happiness and greater dating pleasure.

"Happiness -- To Be Or Not To Be!" (part 3)

  • Take out the paper you wrote in part 2 of the exercise.
  • Review all the positive moments you recorded.
  • Detect "happiness patterns" that might exist--you may not see any yet--that's OK! You're now aware of what to look for!
  • Decide today to self-engage in an activity that will make you happy.
  • Pick a time to enjoy yourself and go out and have a ball.
Congratulations. You've completed three steps! 1 -- Gained personal insight. 2 -- Clarified what makes you happy. 3 -- Created an action plan!

Now put all of these into play.

Bring this awareness into your dating life! Don't tolerate or engage in behaviors that sabotage potentially rewarding relationships. Create your own personal satisfaction and seek out others who will enhance your quest.

Here's today's takeaway. Happiness is an aphrodisiac! Create it for yourself first and then look for opportunities to share it with your partner. Happy people attract one another!


P.S. A Bonus Thought For Maintaining Great Relationships!

Honest open communication and having a partner that is your best friend will ensure a satisfying more fulfilling life! Enjoy every precious moment!


Dave's articles on dating, self-insight and our ability to craft the quality of life we want.

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Excerpts of this post appeared in

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