I recently met a woman who had been dating for a while. As we talked, I could tell that she was unusually upset at the people she had been meeting, so I probed deeper to see exactly what was upsetting her.
She said she was frustrated because her dates did not see all the awesome qualities she brought to the table – they didn’t recognize the traits and capabilities that made her such a great potential partner.
As we continued to talk, she rattled off the list of things she brings to the table. She said, “I’ve worked hard on myself. I’m a great catch. I’m attractive, accomplished, and intelligent. I’m financially secure. I’ve got my shit together. I have a great career. I really bring a lot to the table. If they can’t see it, there must be something wrong with them.”
So, she was bitter because she believed that she had done ‘the work’, acquired ‘the skills’, and met all the requirements on ‘the list’ … yet no one was recognizing it and snapping her up.
Her perspective, I suspect, represents a widely-held dating and relationship belief:
If you do the work, have the skills, and tick all the boxes you are more likely to find and have a better quality love.
But is it true?
If you do the work and master the skills, does that make you a more ready partner than others?
Let’s peel this dating onion one layer at a time and find out.
First layer of the onion
Why did she feel ‘the list’ was important? What is the purpose of the list? Why is the list part of her dating/relationship/partner thinking?
Conceptually, she’s looking at the things she brings to the table as a kind of certification. If you compare it to college, she’s saying that she’s completed the general studies, did her undergrad, gotten her degree, and received her Ph.D(ating).
When it comes to being partner ready, she’s a hot candidate! She’s done the work to be the best person she can be. She has the relationship skills to be an outstanding partner. If she likes you and you like her, she’s going to be the perfect candidate for this relationship-job.
And that, to a large degree, is how we approach finding love these days: learn the skills, get the experience, and show that you’ve developed the acumen required to be a great partner-lover.
But, if you think about it, people who have worked on their relationship skills meet all the time, yet most of them don’t end up together.
So, we can deduce that knowing the tools, or sharing the tools in common, doesn’t automatically mean that the daters are right for each other.
No one is going to get snapped up just because they have good relationship skills.
Second layer of onion
If she found the perfect partner, would she still be talking about the list of things she brings to the table? What if her dating led her to someone who she really got along with?
Let’s imagine for a moment that she found someone who fits her perfectly, and now she has an over-the-top happy relationship. In fact, they get along so well that their relationship has a noticeable absence of friction or misunderstandings. (wouldn’t that be great?!)
Is what she brings to the table useful if they naturally get along together in a friction-free kind of way?
Think about it: Does her ability to find and keep this type of connection rely on what she brings to the table?
They get along so amazingly well because of who they naturally are together, not because of what she brings to the table.
The only thing she needs to bring to the table to have this type of love is her natural self.
Third layer of onion
Notice that in the last layer of the onion, they don’t need the tools when they just naturally get along with each other.
So, if you don’t need the tools when you naturally get along, when do you need tools?
The tools are only needed for the times when the couple is experiencing difficulties.
The fact that she only needs the tools when difficulties arise points out true purpose for ‘the tools’:
The tools exist almost exclusively to deal with a relationship’s misunderstandings, disagreements, and discord. They help you tolerate the things that don’t naturally align with you are deep inside.
The vaunted dating and relationship skills are nothing more than a toolbox of coping mechanisms!
Fourth layer of onion
What is the affect of bringing a toolbox of coping mechanisms to your search for love?
Underneath it all, ‘the tools’ and ‘the list’ are a big part of her dating philosophy and approach. The way she thinks about these dating elements strongly influences the way she dates and who she picks.
But does using ‘the tools’ during dating help her to pick the right person for her?
The way to answer that question is to predict what she will do when she experiences difficulties with a future boyfriend. Is she more likely to use her exceptional skills to deal with the issue, or is she more likely to dump him?
Let’s be honest: Doesn’t having and valuing the skills make it much more likely that she’ll use them when difficulties arise? Truth be told, as long as the difficulties aren’t unbearable, most daters continue use the coping tools all the way to the altar … and beyond!
Today’s daters are encouraged to use the tools to cope with the misunderstandings that arise during dating. Unfortunately, the tools rarely remove the underlying issues, so when the dating turns into an LTR, the difficulties become a chronic infection inside the LTR.
And once the LTR becomes infected, the tools are perpetually required to keep that infection under control.
When used during dating, ‘the tools’ are self-fulfilling and self-defeating. This is why 97.5% of relationships fail to thrive (article).
(Remember, at the end of the day, dating’s true purpose is to help you find and pick the perfectly right person for you. The moment the tools get in the way of that purpose is the moment they become dangerous. Yes, dangerous! Committing to the wrong person is a life-altering, big-impact mistake. If the tools influence you to pick the wrong person, then they are dangerous to the welfare and happiness of your life.)
Fifth layer of onion
Does using the skills somehow improve love? Does having your Ph.D(ating) mean that you’ll have (or create) the best love in the world?
Think about it: Does mastery of the tools mean that you’ll have the best love in the world, or does it merely mean that you are prepared to handle the misunderstandings?
Well, you might agree to disagree, but in the end, deep down, you still disagree, right?
Using the tools might help you control the erosion of love that occurs during arguments; but, the tools don’t create connection or affection.
The tools don’t create love; they are what you use when love and understanding are lacking.
Don’t cry! This problem is totally fixable…
Doing ‘the work’ and acquiring ‘the skills’ to tick off the checkboxes on ‘the list’ does little more than make you fluent in a toolbox of coping mechanisms … and being fluent in the tools makes it much more likely that you’ll keep the wrong person rather than ditching them.
If you’re thinking about what you bring to the table, then you’re concentrating on the wrong things for finding an epic, unfading love.
(Don’t get me wrong: Relationship tools are absolutely useful for couples who are already in a troubled relationship; but, ‘the tools’ are highly destructive to dating, especially if you want epic love.)
What you need to do. Write this down…
At the end of the day, if you want to find extraordinary, unfading love, then stop thinking about what you bring to the table and leave your Ph.D(ating) tools at the restaurant door. Instead, concentrate on getting the perfectly right person for you to the first date. When you get the perfectly right person for you to the first date, you’ll eliminate the need for the tools and set yourself up to have an epic, unfading love!
Here’s a great way to start moving in the direction of getting the perfectly right person for you to the first date:
Don’t look for someone who is understanding; instead, look for someone who naturally, innately understands you.
The former is a coping mechanism.
The latter means that you’ll never need a coping mechanism.
If you apply this type of thinking to all of your dating, you’ll be on your way to finding the unfading, life-fulfilling love that your heart really wants!
About Troy and Judy
Using this experience, Troy went on to develop the The Dating for True Love System which he used to find Judy – and, boy, did it work! When they met, their connection and shared affinity was so strong that they fell in love on the first date and were engaged in two months. Together now for seven years, they share a natural type of love which comes without the usual fiction and work.
They don’t have a relationship; they have a Loveship.
Troy’s email box is always open! He enthusiastically encourages you to reach out with your questions or comments. firstname.lastname@example.org.