in: Dating & Relationships

Do You Know What You Want? Dating Strategies for Everyone

The Good Men Project

It took three relationships to get it right. His third marriage, John hopes, will be his last. Here’s his plan for getting what you want in life and love.


Figuring out what went wrong in your marriage is a big puzzle. I hope you’ve done some work on your issues before you start looking for your next relationship.

We’re going to start with the premise that you’ve solved some of your own issues and identified some of the things that split you apart.

Online Dating

Let’s look at what’s great about online dating.

  1. Browse the available field from the comfort of your home.
  2. Put your personal value proposition together. (What you have to offer.)
  3. Put your wants, desires, and dreams out there. (What you are looking for.)
  4. Put what you like to do out there. (Friday nights on the couch or in a night club are two very different trajectories.)
  5. It helps you get your image together. (You didn’t post that one you took in the bathroom, right?)
  6. You can learn what parts of your profile people are picking up on, because you’ll ask them on the date.
  7. Try some dates. Learn what you like and don’t like about “dating.”
  8. Low commitment of time to get a date lined up.
  9. Flirting online is fun.
  10. Seeing all the potentials is inspiring.

Offline Dating

The goal of online dating is to get to an offline date. Meeting in person is the only way to really see if there is chemistry going both ways. Photos are. You’ve got to go toe-to-toe, face-to-face, to understand if you want to date this person.

I found that my initial efforts were fun and semi-fruitful, but they were lacking in the more fundamental aspects of relationships.

  1. Do they like to do the things you like to do? (Not just say they do.)
  2. Does your heart race when you are near them?
  3. Can you pick up the returning vibe when you are with them?

Being with someone should be an energetic experience. Both of you should feel energized after being together. And you can’t sense that through text messages or emails alone. And you can’t really see what a person looks like from photos; you get their BEST SIDE, but you want ALL SIDES. Meeting face-to-face is a must.

Priorities

This is the biggest decision for you to make: What are your must-haves and what are your deal breakers. And know this, these things will change. Things you thought were must-haves might fall off the list when you meet the right person.

A few of my priorities looked like this:

  • Must love being active.
  • Has a positive personality.
  • Whip-smart.
  • Athletic body shape.
  • Funny.
  • A single mom.

Know your priority list is changeable and resort-able… and you may change it frequently.

A Road Map

All of your ideas for who you are looking for are more like ancient treasure maps than today’s GPS-accurate maps. You do need a map, however. Here’s mine: The 6-Step Relationship Strategy

You also have to know this: Your map will be burned and charred from adventures. This is not a bad thing, it’s part of the process. Your map is an idea of where you want to go.

When the right person shows up, all of your priorities and maps will be blown away. At least, that’s what you hope for. You need the maps and plans and strategies; but when the right person shows up, you will be amazed how little those things mean.

Get your plan. Try online. Get to offline. Then see what fits and what doesn’t.

It took me three relationships to find the ONE. And this one I hope to be the last relationship I’ll ever have; and we are both committed to that idea more than ever before. You need someone who’s willing to fight for their relationship. When you both played that role in your last relationship, you might have found a like-spirited person who will fight for your love, just like you will fight for theirs.

That’s my dream, and I’m sticking to it.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent 

 

This article was originally published with the Good Men Project; republished with the kindest permission. 


About the Author

John McElhenney: 

My unwavering and immutable mission:

  1. 100% positive
  2. Kids first
  3. Honest feelings

I have been a single-parent for three years now, and I am finally getting the hang of it. There are plenty more bumps in the road, but I’m at peace with the life-changing event, and the now-I-can-see-this-is-better reflection of those past three years. My goal is to uncover the WINS and work to remove the MISSES and share those stories so that others who follow this difficult journey will have some illumination, from a previous sojourner.

 

About the Author:

The Good Men Project The Good Men Project

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