I recently asked a client, about a month after working with him, how things are going so far on the dating sites. For context, he’s in his mid-40s in a major Midwestern city. And this was his response:
“Thank you for checking. So far, crickets. However, I continue to speak with four women. Three are out of state (NY who I meet next week, Michigan who I meet at the end of the month, Alabama likely will meet in September, and a person I was set up with locally next week).
What I am about to write is only because you seem like a dating therapist in addition to a consultant, and you did ask how things are going so far. I am worried about communicating with so many. I understand it is possible none of these prospects could work out after we meet, but I do invest myself into each of these ‘relationships.’ In all my discussions either via text or voice I am authentic. I want to know these people as we build. I guess what I am dancing around is I feel bad if two end up liking me and I have to make a decision. I would much rather be the person who gets dumped, if that makes any sense. My projecting is what holds me back from reaching out to more (taking advantage of my new profile you wrote) and possibly prevents me from engaging at a deeper level with any of the women I am currently in conversation.
Okay, there you go. That’s how things are going. You asked – LOL.”
Here’s what I said back:
“You know you’re funny, right? You said, ‘So far, crickets. However, I continue to speak with four women.’ Those two statements completely contradict each other.
What I will say is this: You’re overthinking things. It’s like you’re trying to predict the outcome of every situation. You can’t. You should be so lucky should two of these women like you! How about just go into each situation open-minded to whatever the outcome is… and then see how it all plays out. Deal?”
He was sitting here worried about scenarios that weren’t even close to coming to fruition yet! I get it. We all want to have a plan in any situation, but sometimes you can’t. And shouldn’t.
In my former life as an economist (I worked at Fannie Mae for over seven years before I quit to start my business as a dating coach), I distinctly remember that there was a job within the company that I really wanted… but it was in California. I had moved to Washington, D.C. not too long before that, so I wasn’t necessarily ready to leave yet. But the job sounded perfect for me. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to apply for the job for weeks, because on the off-chance that I got it, I may have to turn it down if I ultimately wanted to stay in D.C. I was already planning a future scenario that hadn’t happened!
I ended up applying for the job… and not getting it. Case closed. But I never would have known had I not applied. Rather than planning every possible future scenario, I allowed myself simply to open the door to possibilities, and then decide based on the new information (whether I got the job or not) what my next step should be.
I would say the exact same thing to my former client. Rather than trying to predict the future and plan your course of action based on that fictitious future, instead, go into each situation on its own, open to any outcome. Then, based on those real outcomes (not the ones in your head), decide how to move forward from there. You’ll be less stressed, happier, and likely a better date… to all four crickets… ahem… women.