Monday, July 25, 2016

Stop Scoring and Start Solving

My dad once told me that it would take 100 first dates to find one good guy. That was 5 years and about 100 first dates ago. And I still haven't found one person who is a fit for me.

The question should not be 'Does he like me?' but instead to ask yourself 'Can this person meet my needs?'  So you first need to be clear on what your needs are. I've spent a lot of time convincing myself 'I could do without this' or 'It isn't THAT important' - but the truth is, your needs are your needs and they are all viable. 

My relationship needs include consistency between actions and words, consistent communication, openness, intellectual stimulation, kindness (toward myself and others) and understanding.

During my five year, 100 date sprint, I've met many who could meet some needs but not others:
  • I've met far too many Avoidant Attachment Types (if you haven't, it's time to read up on Attachment Types - it is must-read material for all relationships!)  These types of guys do a great job of pulling you in, only to do a 180 when things start to require any type of effort or emotional connection from their side. They are, literally, relationship Avoidant.  The biggest giveaway is inconsistency. They may communicate a lot and then none at all. Want to hang out a lot and then be busy. They don't want you infringing on their freedom so as soon as you get too close, they will push you away. This inconsistent experience is crazy-making for me (and most others!)
  • Many genuinely Nice Guys. Guys who clearly could meet my relationship needs. However they weren't particularly intellectually stimulating. There was no banter, no humor. I wanted to like them purely for their niceness but I would find myself daydreaming about being home rather than continuing the present conversation.
  • My weak spot is for Intellectuals. They are very mentally stimulating, its a great workout for the brain. They are usually very open, often intuitive and understanding.  However, the ones that I have dated have all been consistently unreliable! They drop in and drop off when it is convenient. They are consumed with what they are doing and not considerate of my time and needs. I end up feeling taken for granted and they end up baffled why it isn't ok just to get in touch or hang out when it's convenient...even if that means days or a week go by with no contact!
The only trend I've seen is that the more I'm able to both define and articulate my relationship needs, I meet more and better people who have more potential for the long term. Sometimes a date appears ok at first but I can quickly let him go now that I can express what I need and find out if he is able or unable to meet it.

Many people talk about what is right or wrong with another person but I've come to see it more as a give and take. I have certain needs and someone may be a fit for these. But there are many guys I could never date, but they may fit another girl's needs. It isn't so much a scoring system of dates' personalities as a puzzle that can only be solved by finding the piece that fits the right away.