Dating is a skill and you can improve at it!

     Most people approach dating, relationships, and love almost as if they were playing the lottery. They take whatever ticket they can get and hope to win. You’ll even hear people say things like, “I’m so unlucky when it comes to dating.” 

     Would it surprise you to learn that luck has very little to do with it? Yes, chance will play a role in determining who you meet next and how your chemistry is with them, but your long-term success with dating, relationships, and love can be dramatically improved by honing your skills.

Why people like to view failure as “unlucky”

  1. They don’t want to take responsibility. If your failure can be explained by a lack of skill, it’s your fault. If your failure is the result of bad luck, it’s not your fault. Labeling yourself as “unlucky” is one of the most self-defeating things you can do – but at least it takes the weight off your shoulders. 
  2. They want sympathy. When you can’t find a boyfriend because you’re unlucky, all of your friends and family will feel bad for you. If it’s because you’re not trying hard enough, though, nobody’s gonna cry for you.
  3. They’re too lazy to make the necessary changes. This might be the biggest reason. We’re all lazy. It sucks when something’s out of our control. However, there’s also some relief in knowing there’s nothing we could have done. Knowing that we can take steps to get the results we want is both liberating and daunting. Luckily…

The skills you need in dating apply to many things in life.

     Like I said, we’re all lazy. Learning, studying, and practicing are chores for most of us. However, building your dating skills is not like learning to play the harmonica, or some other obscure activity. 

     While the skills you’ll build as you learn the harmonica can only be applied to that instrument and some other areas of music, the skills you’ll hone to improve your love life will help you in so many other aspects of your life.

     As you improve the skills you need to help you romantically, you’ll notice you also get better at:

  • Making friends
  • Interacting with coworkers and colleagues
  • Communicating with your family
  • Everything else in life!

     I started making that list but then realized it would get quite exhaustive. Once you know which skills I’m talking about, you’ll understand for yourself that you’ll get better at pretty much anything you do by focusing on them.

Which skills, specifically, will help your dating life?

     Dating, relationships, and love are three words that describe a huge area of life. I’m talking about meeting new people, breaking the ice with them, having conversations, leading things in the direction you want them to go in, starting a real relationship, maintaining that relationship, and on and on and on. 

     With it broken down this way, surely you can see this is a complicated part of life you don’t simply get “lucky” or “unlucky” at, right? It should follow quite logically that you can be bad or good at each of these steps. And if you get good, your romantic interactions will go much smoother.

     So, let’s break it down further and look at some of the individual skills:

  • Communication. Any time you’re dealing with other humans, good communication skills will help.

  • Self-expression. Too many people overlook this one. Too eager to please and too afraid of offending the people they date, they become nice, boring versions of themselves. If you want to build any sort of real connection, you need to get really good at putting your personality out there – right away! The longer you wait, the less people will really know you.
     
  • Humor. Everybody likes to laugh. Especially in the early stages of dating, sharing jokes and keeping things light is the single best way to keep people wanting to see more of you.

  • Confidence. Without confidence, you’re pretty much fucked. You could even say the rest of these skills are impossible to thrive at if you don’t have confidence. Likewise, as your confidence grows, your communication, self-expression, humor, and so on will all improve as a result.

  • Handling rejection. Rejection is a huge fear for most people, and it’s easy to see why. Nobody is universally liked and if you’re gonna get out there and meet people, you won’t be either. In reality, though, rejection isn’t as awful as it is in our minds. See that for yourself, learn to handle rejection, and you’ll realize there ARE plenty of fish in the sea.

  • Taking initiative. In the same way you need to express your personality to the people you start to connect with, you also need to learn to go after what you want by taking initiative. Don’t be a passenger in any relationship, just waiting to be asked on dates and taken places. Tell them where you want to go and what you want to do. They’ll respect you for it.

     Just like the last list, though, this list isn’t even close to exhaustive. You can probably think of a handful of other skills that will help you with dating, too. If you feel like sharing, let me know what they are in the comments. I’d love to get a discussion going.

How to Build Dating Skills

     If you think you need to work on a specific skill, there’s no shortage of ways to improve. For example, if you want to improve your self-expression, you could try stand-up comedy, practice saying the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re with your friends, and start writing consistently. Google will be your friend for researching these individual skills. However…

     The best way to improve at anything is to do that thing. If your end goal is to get better at dating, maintaining relationships, and even experiencing love, you need to be doing those things regularly. So go out there and get experience! But don’t do it blindly. 

     As you meet new people, go on dates, and form deep relationships, try to keep the skills I mentioned in mind and look for opportunities where you could improve. For example…

  • Is the conversation during your first date going stale? Maybe humor would help.
  • Are you sick of the guy you’re dating always taking you to the same burger place for lunch? Maybe you should try taking initiative.
  • Are you upset with the girl you’re dating but don’t know how to say it? You need better communication.
  • Totally single and ready to mingle but got no options? There’s tons of potential pretty much anywhere you go. Suck it up, talk to someone new, and learn to handle rejection.

     Hopefully you can see now that your romantic success is not out of your hands. If you take responsibility for your dating and love life, there’s a lot you can do to improve your chances. If you take the time and expend the effort to build the skills I’ve mentioned, you’ll find that you don’t need luck anymore.

     On the other hand, if you’re not getting out there, gaining experience, and improving your skills, you’re probably gonna find that your dating life stays rather “unlucky.”

-Kyle-

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