This chapter of The Confidence Gap was written for me, I swear it. Too much focus on the destination of dating rather than the journey led to a low point last week – making the most basic error in self-esteem problems in comparing myself to others.
I lamented that both my ex wife and my best friend had met somebody they felt a connection with within a matter of months while I am here over a year later never progressing beyond a second date.
It is easy to become frustrated with online dating because it is all about the numbers, because too many people make snap judgements, because it attracts the emotionally unavailable looking for a quick fix and because some cling to unrealistic expectations of meeting their “tall, dark, handsome and rich Prince Charming”.
It hasn’t helped that both women I am exploring options with are both, in slightly different ways, emotionally unavailable. That is something that I cannot help, something that they need to address and ask themselves whether their heads or hearts are in the right place. That is not my problem.
What is my problem is how I react to this emotional unavailability. It is not my fault and is and should be no reflection on me.
So anyway, the theme of this chapter is two rules:
True success is living by your standards
Don’t obsess over the outcome, get passionate about the process.
Goals vs Values
The perfect example is a story of two rock climbers on a climbing trip. One is fully focussed on the job of getting to the top – nothing more. The other is more focussed on developing his skills as a climber, appreciating the climb for itself and seeing every climb -whether he makes it to the top or not – as developing his climbing skills.
In the beginning of this dating journey, I was very much focussed on the journey of meeting new people and learning to date, flirt and attract people. The problem is that a lot of people online dating are like this. You can easily reject somebody online that might in real life hold your attention – that’s also where the “kid in a sweet shop” attitude develops. I know I need to get back to this way of thinking.
It shouldn’t matter whether I’ve been at this a week, a year or ten years. It seems on reflection that I gave myself a mandatory cut-off period where I moved from “Dating Mode” to “Looking for a Girlfriend Mode”.
Assuming nothing works out with either Indiechick or Mirror Image, I guess I’m back to dating in the New Year.
The next part of the book has some interesting exercises.