One of the worst things about being single over the holiday period is that almost everyone wants to know about who you are (or aren’t) dating. Every holiday party is a minefield of endless questions and patronising advice. For those of you feeling down and out about dating this New Year’s I’ve asked my friend Terri Trespicio to write a dating checklist. Terri is a lifestyle expert and dating coach. Her checklist below is also great for people who looking to get out more – perhaps your a little shy about networking? Terri’s list will help boost your confidence for 2015.
The List Every Dater Needs
by Terri Trespicio
In the realm of dating lists suffer two problems: They’re misused and underused. Sure, it’s fun to draw up a list of the Ideal Match for You: Funny, smart, good taste, 6’2”, lives within 5 miles of me, enjoys hiking and skiing, earns seven figures, subscribes to the New Yorker. That’s a wish list. That’s a list for Santa, and if you’re going to write it, might as well sign, seal, and send to the North Pole.
Of course you should have a good idea of what you want (whether it’s traditional marriage or a travel companion). But what makes a lot more sense right now is to shift your attention to what you’re going to do to open yourself up to more people and create the conditions for connection, which puts you in control (and which I teach in my new online workshop for doing just that). In other words, to focus on opening new doors instead of locking them.
How to Do It
Here’s my list of things you can do to push at the perimeter of your comfort zone, and give you more opportunities to connect and expand. The list is not a promise or a spell. It plots points for you into unchartered land so that you can start opening your life up. Make this a goal for the first month of the new year, and add to or modify the list as you get better. It’s not a one-off, but an inroad to being more practiced and comfortable at the very thing that cows people who have trouble meeting new people, either due to fears or just being in a rut. Ready? Here we go:
Dating Check List
Reach out to one person, man or woman (no romantic interest necessary) whom you don’t know well but have been meaning to. Set a date for a drink or coffee. Again, this isn’t a date—it’s simply a get-to-know-you, with a new acquaintance, colleague, etc.
Visit one new (or new-to-you) restaurant you’ve wanted to try—on your own. You can do it. Sit at the bar and take in the scene, talk to the bartender, fellow patrons.
RSVP to an upcoming event that you would normally bail out of. Think: Networking event, dinner party, work thing—ideally a group where you won’t know half or most of the people.
Initiate a conversation with at least one stranger this week (bonus if you do it more often). Doesn’t matter who it is, or if you’re attracted to him or her. The goal is to connect. You can do this many ways: Ask a question (“Is that the new Kindle? What do you think of it?” “Does this train go to Canal St?”) Tip: You can ask even if you know the answer. You’re not out to “get” something from them, so you don’t need to feel creepy about it.
Compliment one person today (and every day). Bonus points if you say it to someone you don’t know, in passing. It helps further wear down that fear of talking/connecting, but also is foolproof, because everyone likes compliments! The experience of saying something and receiving a warm response further rewards that brave, generous part of you.
Post an online dating profile. If you have one already, great—go in and shine it up if it’s been a while, make it fresh, current, and as real and relatable as you can. But if you don’t have one, yes, this can be a huge hurdle, but more of a mental one than anything else. Note I didn’t say “write a perfect profile” or “find your perfect match.” All I want you to do is to set foot into the world of virtual matches, because that’s where the people are (millions upon millions, by the way). Read about how to push through that mental resistance to online dating. For now, just get a profile up on one dating site—it’s not a final step, but it is the first.
The New Year holds all kinds of potential for you—tons of it. But potential remains potential unless you take action, take a risk, and open the door. Opportunity can only knock so many times.
And if you really want to hit the reset button on your dating life, join me for my 7-day online workshop, “Stop Hating, Start Dating,” where you’ll do a deeper dive into making powerful shifts that transform your dating life (and where you will also get 25% off for being a Listproducer fan, just by using the link above). Watch the video for a preview of the course).