At 25, I knew far less than I thought I did about dating and relationships.
This news will not come as a surprise to many of the young women I dated in my 20s.
Neither will it be a surprise that in the context of a discussion of a “regret free” life, the subject of bad dates/relationships inevitably bubbles up.
But, despite the risk, single men and women in their 20s and 30s press on in pursuit of that next (or first!) great love.
Because relationships amplify our experience of life. With a strong relationship, the good gets better – and the hard stuff, which we all face at some point, is not nearly as hard (as it would be if we were alone).
But how to attract and secure that strong relationship?
Below, 3 practical, “regret-free” ideas on how to apply this in practice.
1. Have a good bar “pitch”
Nobody meets in a bar, right? No – that’s what guys and girls who are too afraid to approach members of the opposite sex tell themselves after coming home empty handed 5 hours, $50 bucks and 10 Miller Lites/ 5 RBVs later.
That said, the initial “Hey, my name’s…” can take a little courage so when you finally get her attention, you’ve got to make it count.
The key is a good “bar pitch.” The bar pitch is your story, your vision, of the world you want to live in.
It’s an introduction to you and an invitation to join you – on the extraordinary life you aspire to lead.
It has to be a clear, sincere, and compelling reflection of who you are and what you want.
It won’t appeal to every guy or girl you meet – if it does it’s not unique enough – but the more people you meet, the more likely you will be to find someone who shares, and complements, that vision.
2. Have a great first date.
You need a “go-to” first date.
A great time that reinforces your bar pitch; giving your date further visibility into the kind of person you are, and the kind of life you want to lead.
Forget dinner and a movie. All that tells her is that you lack the creativity and energy to 1) come up with an original/authentic first date and 2) maintain an engaging discussion for the balance of the date.
You need a first date that highlights who you are and the things you most like to do – and do well.
It’s not about showing off; it’s about letting them see your “best self.”
Again, if this image is clear and compelling, you will find someone who shares and complements it. Note: this advice is as much for gals as for guys.
3. Have a “first love”
In my 20s I used to tell friends that I fully expected “lightning to strike” – in other words, the woman of my dreams would enter my life like a lightning bolt; I would know immediately that she was “the one.”
And, as it turned out, that’s exactly what happened – but it was for me, not for her.
My future wife wouldn’t give me the time of day for 3 months! When we did finally start dating I realized why – she had a million other things going on in her life: other passions, hobbies and interests that she prioritized at the same level as her romantic relationships.
I was immediately smitten.
As a general rule, if you want to find a lasting and rewarding romantic love, you have to love something else first.
It doesn’t matter what it is – running, reading, painting, stamp collecting, whatever.
The benchmark: something that you would do whether you have a boyfriend/girlfriend or not; something that you do enough to do well.
If you are reading this right now and saying to yourself: “I don’t really have a ‘first love’…” then consider this a warning.
Find one. And then allow yourself enough time to pursue it and get good at it.