Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Instant Dating: How to Get a Date Within 24 Hours

As the holidays approach I get many inquiries from singles who don't want to be lonely while their family and friends are cozily spending quality time together. These singles don't want to be alone during the holidays, they want to have fun with someone!

So I got creative. If you're single and want to have fun with someone over the holidays (or any other time) here are five ways you can get a date within 24 hours.

One qualifier... in Conscious Dating a "fun" date is recreational dating, the purpose of which is to have fun, not find a long term partner, therefore anyone fun qualifies. Therefore, you don't need to carefully choose someone who is highly aligned with your requirements and highly attractive to you. The hard part of recreational dating is keeping it fun and not getting involved. Believe it or not, it's easiest to do this with someone that clearly is not a good match for you!

With that qualifier in mind here are some ideas-

1. Date your Ex

Got your attention? It's not as crazy as you might think! If you have a cordial relationship with an ex, why not? You know each other well and know how to have fun together.

2. Date out of your league

We get so focused on finding "the one," wouldn't it be fun to take a break and date someone significantly older or younger, of a different race or gender, etc, than usual? Recreational dating is easiest when it's with people we clearly wouldn't choose for long term, so how about dating someone dramatically different from your usual pattern?

3. Post a contest on Craig's List

"Win a date with me!" contest. Entrants submit a description of what they propose to do on their date with you, and you choose the one that seems the most fun. People cruise Craig's List and similar online communities for things to do, places to go, and people to meet. DO NOT use this strategy for anything other than recreational dating! (see above qualifier).

4. Date a "loser"

I know I'm going to get flak for this one... but search personal ads for the most pathetic lost soul you can find who would be happy to go out for a little fun and let loose, knowing it's a one-time thing. Someone who you wouldn't ordinarily consider dating in a million years. Who knows? You might have fun and learn something about yourself and the human race.

5. Date a family member or friend

Wouldn't it be nice to have fun with one of your kids, your brother or sister, mother or father, or a friend? Take this opportunity to get to have fun with them and get to know them better by breaking your usual pattern with them and go out to a dinner and play, etc.

No need to be alone during the holidays or at any other time if you're not picky. If you're lonely, use these strategies to have fun!

Want More Than "Fun?"

If these strategies don't appeal to you and you want more than fun, you want a relationship, then take care of yourself by not settling for less and continue your quest for your life partner. In the meantime, I recommend spending quality time with your family and friends, and perhaps widening your social circle by making new friends. Not only will this help you get your social and emotional needs met while you're single, but here's a secret... most people meet their soul mate through someone they already know!

Happy Holidays and my best wishes in your journey to live the life you love with the love of your life.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Frustrated with Internet Dating? Top Five Ways to Find Your Mate Without a Computer

In a new trend, singles are becoming increasingly disillusioned with internet dating and seeking alternatives. In spite of millions of singles using the internet and the promises and success stories of online matchmaking websites, I've heard the same thing over and over from singles across the country who are frustrated with internet dating-

"It's great to have a lot of choices, but it takes a lot of time and I don't seem to meet anyone I have much chemistry with."

This trend makes sense to me. In some ways, using a computer to find your soul mate is like trying to cook a souffle in a microwave. Some things just require time, effort, and the human touch.

This article explores the upsides and downsides of internet dating, attempts to explain why internet dating doesn't work for some (most?) singles, and suggests some alternatives.

Top Five Advantages of Internet Dating

1. Reach more singles

2. Inexpensive (relatively)

3. Enough information available for efficient sorting

4. Anonymous

5. Easy to control most aspects of the process

Top Five Downsides of Internet Dating

1. Overwhelming number of choices

2. Encourages "shopping" mentality

3. Many users are less than truthful

4. Some users are game players, predators. cheaters

5. Complacency- tempting to rely on the internet and exclude other options

The Internet, Chemistry, and the Law of Attraction

Today's singles seem to be relying on their computer a bit too much and complacently expecting the internet to deliver their soul mate. This is a version of the Fairytale Trap (one of fourteen dating traps in my book "Conscious Dating"). The internet is a wonderful tool (I use it!) but doesn't seem to work effectively as the only tool for finding potential partners.

I believe that the two biggest reasons why the internet isn't effective for many singles is the role of chemistry and the Law of Attraction.

Chemistry is critically important for a successful relationship. Everyone wants a partner they feel strong chemistry with, and a relationship would be pretty dry and unsustainable without it. The Fourth Principle of Conscious Dating is "Balance Your Heart With Your Head." Identifying your requirements, needs, and wants does not minimize the need for chemistry. You need both! I like to think of chemistry as the radar that helps you find your target, then you use your requirements, needs and wants to decide "yes" or "no."

The Law of Attraction is inescapeable and either works for you or against you. If you're "busy" or "shy" and the internet is your only means of reaching potential partners, in a way you're hiding behind your computer and the Law of Attraction is not likely to help you. The Law of Attraction states that "like attracts like" and "energy follows attention," meaning your results reflect your thoughts and your actions. Over the years I've become convinced that the Law of Attraction is a powerful law of the Universe, like gravity. Just like "what goes up must come down," try as you might, you can't avoid or change the principle that "like attracts like."

If you're hiding behind your computer, what people, relationships, and
results are you likely to attract?

Top Five Ways to Find Your Mate Without a Computer

1. Use your support community

Most people find their soul mate through someone they know, so don't be a lone ranger (another dating trap!) and lean on your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to assist you to meet potential partners.

2. Start a dating pool or networking group

Get a group of singles together (any gender mix) to support each other to meet potential partners. Most singles know lots of other singles of both genders, so pool your resources and do some matchmaking for each other!

3. Reach out to people

In today's busy world with cell phones, texting, instant messaging, e-mail,
and the internet promoting impersonal ways of interacting with others, it's easy to forget the lost art of engaging with real people that are right in front of you. Make an effort to reach out to the people you come into contact with in your everyday life and watch your relationships blossom.

4. Make more friends

Since most people find their soul mate through someone they know, be open to developing new friendships and expanding your support community. Chances are you already have acquaintances at work and other places that you would enjoy spending more time with. Friends are easier to find than dates, and friendships often last longer than romantic relationships!

5. Get involved

Too many singles lead isolated lives centered around work, home, and a few friends. Participating in clubs, groups, classes, charities, church/temple, is the most important way you can leverage the Law of Attraction to help you find your soul mate. You'll meet new people, make new friends, and pursue hobbies and interests important to you that bring you in contact with other compatible singles.

Balancing High Tech with High Touch

Technology can help us in many ways. However, let's not forget that humans are social beings and finding your life partner is a relationship goal that is probably more effectively acheived by getting away from your computer. You're more likely to find relationship fulfillment by living a full, rich life among real people doing the things you enjoy that make your life meaningful.

As the ancient Roman playwright Terence once said- "Moderation in all things." Do you think he meant the internet as well?

Let's address this problem of over-reliance on the internet for finding love. Please pass this article along to the frustrated singles in your life that you care about!

David Steele, MA, LMFT is founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the new ground-breaking book for singles Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World

Visit his website at www.consciousrelationshipresources.com for free audio programs, live tele-seminars, and cutting-edge relationship information for singles and couples.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Wooing vs. Courtship

By David Steele

As I spread the word about conscious dating and conscious relationships I'm amazed that not everyone agrees with me. I'm learning that for some singles "conscious" is a turnoff.

OK, it's just a word, so if Conscious Dating doesn't work let's use another one to get our point across. How about "Courtship?" Now there's an old-fashioned term few can take issue with!

According to the dictionary, Courtship means 1. The act, process, or period of courting. 2. Specialized behavior that leads to or initiates mating.

By contrast, Wooing means 1. To seek the affection of with intent to romance. 2a. To seek to achieve; try to gain. b. To tempt or invite. 3. To entreat, solicit, or importune.

So here's my take on the difference- Courtship is a conscious process of selecting and building a relationship with a potential life partner, and wooing is pursuing someone you're highly attracted to with a specific goal in mind; typically sex or to "get" the man or woman in some way.

Wooing seems romantic and desireable to some folks. To me it seems self-centered and impulsive. You are pursuing what YOU want based upon your feelings of attraction and immediate goals for sex, companionship, etc, and you've decided that THIS person is your target. People who woo are concerned with what they can do and say to accomplish their immediate goal.

Courtship takes the long view, respecting your potential life partner as someone to get to know and determine mutual fit over time. In our culture being patient and delaying gratification is undervalued.

Courtship means you're honest with yourself and the person you're courting about your intentions, and they are interested in you as well. When you're authentic there is a risk of rejection, which might be why wooing seems more attractive to some singles.

Conscious Dating means to be clear and intentional about dating. If you are simply seeking sex, that's OK, we call it "Recreational Dating" and recommend being honest about it. In spite of your scarcity fears, you'll find plenty of takers if you know where to look (such as Craig's List "Casual Encounters"). If you don't like to think of this as being "conscious," then go ahead and call it "wooing!" If you're single and seeking your life partner, I will stick to my guns and continue advocating being conscious, intentional, and authentic if your goal is to find the love of your life and the life that you love.