Too often, young adults and even “grown folks” approach relationships without a practical set of guidelines. Men are notorious for using love for sex, and women use sex for love. Approaching relationships with emotion over practicality can lead to breakups or eventually divorce, along with money. Too many of us choose what feels good, over what is good. We are playing with our own emotions, but isn’t a dating a game, anyway?
Dating is, in fact, a game. However, so are professional sports. Like dating, any game involves strategy and rules. While most games are fun, dating is a something you should take seriously. Here are the five rules to increase your shot at finding Mr. or Ms. Right:
1. Be practical.
Being practical should guide you throughout life. Ironically people throw this concept out the window as soon as love, sex and dating come into the picture. Before choosing to be with someone, you should be realistic about your expectations. For example, if you date online, it is not practical to start a relationship with someone who lives across the country. Or, if you’re a “regular Joe,” it is not practical to expect beauty queens to chase after you.
You should also be practical about the people you wish to date. If you date a liar or someone with a promiscuous past, there is a good chance this person will revert back to this behavior. As the quote goes, “If they cheat with you, they will cheat on you. Be practical!
2. Be what you wish to attract.
This seems like common sense, but it’s not! Part of the problem with this idea is that people kid themselves, pretending that they are “flyer” than what they are. Being delusional is why so many people are not getting the results they want in dating.
A perfect example is the “thick phenomenon.” A bunch of women are running around calling themselves “thick” when in reality, many of these women are overweight and sometimes obese. Ironically, some of them cannot figure out why they have a hard time attracting a man who values fitness.
Similarly, many men feel deserving of an attractive woman, yet they cannot rub two nickels together to get one. Why would a woman on top of her game desire a man who brings nothing to the table?
“Being what you wish to attract” is about making an honest assessment of yourself and continuously working toward self-improvement. The easiest way to do this is to visualize the type of person you desire, and ask yourself, “What kind of person would I have to be, to get a man/woman like that?”
3. Look fly.
They don’t call me “Your Royal Flyness” for nothing! But seriously, you must present yourself correctly. Working out and eating right is essential. No one wants a slob. The way you look is your presentation to the opposite sex.
Personally I believe that every “single-and-looking” person should not leave the house without looking presentable. I’ve dated women I’ve met at Whole Foods, the gas station and even on the bus. None of that would have happened if she was looking run-down. That’s not to say that you have to wear a designer outfit at Denny’s. However, you should always leave the house knowing that today you might meet your future husband or wife (or at least the man or woman you’re trying to “kick it” with).
4. Understand when it’s time to cut the baggage.
Y’all know what I mean—exes and booty calls! Gentlemen, this means letting go of all the ladies who you call at 2 a.m. to come over. Ladies, this means letting go of all of the “male friends” who spoil you with gifts and attention and are still hoping to have sex with you, one day.
Cutting loose ends also means letting go of emotional baggage. If your ex-boyfriend abused you, you need to let that go. If your ex-girlfriend slept with your brother, you need to let that go. Bringing emotional baggage into a new relationship will sabotage your prospects and will propel you down the road of misery. This doesn’t mean don’t keep it in mind, but do whatever you can to handle your baggage before embarking on a new relationship. And if you cannot let go, you cannot start fresh with someone else.
5. Enjoy being single!
Too many single people are depressed because they feel lonely. They just want to feel loved. This is understandable, but this can lead to problems. Unhappy, single people end up bringing their unhappiness into relationships. Others end up “settling down” with someone, without carefully evaluating their new mate.
Lastly, no one wants to date someone who’s unhappy. Do what you can to find the joys in being single. Remember: people see you the way you see yourself. The more you love yourself, the better your chances in finding someone that loves you, too!
Flyness, author of three dating books, has appeared on “Dr. Phil,” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “The Planet Abiola Show” with Miss Picky of VH-1’s “Tough Love.” His interviews have also been featured on syndicated radio programs in both the United States and Canada.