06/27/2012 09:11 am ET Updated Aug 27, 2012

How to Be a Fearless Dater

Many women come into my office frustrated with the dating scene and fearing they will be single forever. Most of these women's expectations are reasonable: They want a guy who is sensitive, funny, doesn't cheat, and isn't afraid of commitment. They fear that finding such a guy is impossible and that "all guys are jerks."

Here's how to beat that fearful thinking and find that special guy:

  • Keep your negativity bias in check. Just because you may have dated a few guys who turned out to be jerks doesn't mean all guys are jerks. Know that as long as you continue to believe they are, though, you won't find a good guy who meets your criteria. Accept the notion that there are more loyal and good-hearted people looking for a relationship than there are jerks looking for relationships. Mathematically, the odds are in your favor.
  • Actively look for and remind yourself of examples of men who disprove your negativity bias. They don't have to be men you want to date. They could even be family members.
  • Know what your goals, beliefs, and values are in respect to relationships. Make a list of what you are looking for. What qualities are important to you? What qualities are not important in a relationship?
  • Think about where you see yourself a year from now, two years from now, and five years from now. Write down what you see.
  • List the qualities this man would ideally possess. What would his personality be like?
  • Know where to look. Many people find dates at bars, but think about why certain people hang out in bars to begin with. The reason a guy might be there is rather ambiguous and the quality of guy might be lacking. Online dating is targeted, while speed dating is efficient. Also consider getting involved in activities that you naturally enjoy. This will ensure that you meet like-minded people. It also eliminates anxiety that often comes with a more formal dating scenario or dating service.
  • Start meeting potential candidates. When dating, look for guys who meet your list of qualities. Think of yourself as an employer who is looking for the right employee for the job.
  • Remember, it's a numbers game. Meet many and connect with a few.
  • Have fun!

For more by Jonathan Alpert, click here.

For more on becoming fearless, click here.