You identify opportunities, take action, and see if anything comes of it. You never, ever force it, lest you be stuck pursuing something you don’t really want in the first place.
So, what do we do when the situation appears promising? Can we put ourselves in a position to capitalize on that?
Let’s explore 4 ways you can tilt the odds of love in your favor.
Superficial fixes, like getting in shape and gleaning fashion tips from someone with better sartorial savvy could go without saying, but it’s deeper than those things…
1. Be real with yourself.
Yeah, you’ve got a 50-point list describing John/Jane Doe. Right. It’s good to have standards.
But have you ever stopped to consider the other side of the coin? What might this Mr. (or Ms.) Right be looking for? What kind of man or woman would they want? How might they look or carry themselves? Are you really bringing all of this to the table?
Empty relationships are built on the superficial. Preoccupation with money, status, or looks (without substance) lure many to ruin.
You might be a match made in heaven on paper, but only you know what’s in your heart. Are you hanging around because of who they are or what they represent?
A legitimate, shared emotional foundation along with compatible lifestyle preferences bode well for the future of any couple. Anything less is a house of cards.
If there’s any uncertainty about who stands where, have a conversation and get all the cards on the table. Is there mutual interest? Are your values compatible? Are there any ulterior motives lurking?
If you’re not thinking about what other people want, in addition to your own needs and wants, you’re in for a world of frustration.
This raises an important point:
You need people around you with both the situational knowledge and willingness to tell you the truth on all matters of importance. Too many friends and family do a disservice to their loved ones by pulling punches. Yes, I know criticism can sting both its source and intended target. But, learn to embrace the fire. The highest form of companionship is marked by a willingness to share the hard truths in order to push you in the right direction.
So, in addition to being realistic with yourself, surround yourself with people who are willing to be realistic with you.
2. Be an adult: pick up the phone!
You’ve met someone new and exchanged contact information. You want to make that initial contact successful in the courtship process.
Should you text or…(cringe)…send a Facebook message?
The answer is neither. Pick up the phone and call.
Texts are near effortless and remain our current default mode of communication. But, that doesn’t make them the right tool for every situation. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Our words and the manner in which we present them can be powerful. Unless you live in different countries (and even then, we have video and internet communication technology), face-to-face contact or phone calls should be the standard for any milestones.
This is because certain social cues that enhance interpersonal bonding are lost in text-only exchanges. The more social distance between a pair of people, the more difficult it is to establish common ground. Face-to-face interactions and phone calls really are the most compassionate form of communication .
Don’t be a coward. Let someone else hide behind the “everybody sends text messages” excuse. It will set you apart from the crowd, and everyone respects the courage it takes to push through those first few uncomfortable interactions. In fact, part of the reason people opt for text messages is they don’t know how to handle those early, awkward conversations.
So, what should be the goal of the first phone call?
The primary goal of the first call should be establishing rapport and setting up a time to meet in person. It shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out ordeal.
3. Understand the value of commitment
There are ways to impact human behavior to encourage certain choices over others. Introducing a sense of commitment offers some value here.
One method to employ could be the Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon, where the other person agreeing to small requests raises the odds of committing to subsequent larger ones.
Positive early interactions beget future success . This is why good planning is important (in all things, really).
Thinking ahead defuses many of the self-imposed obstacles in our way. You cannot guarantee the progression of a relationship, but you can encourage an environment that keeps it moving forward.
Play to your strengths early in relationships. If you hate sports and don’t know the difference between a three-point shot and three-point stance, don’t choose a football game for a first date because you think the other person might be into it (unless you want people to make fun of you).
Get that face time in, but do it in a medium where you shine. The more you’re in their life, the more likely you are to stay there.
4. Know that your life isn’t a fairytale
… and that’s a good thing.
Perception is reality. Our world view colors everything we see and hear.
I wouldn’t put much stock in the “you’ve only got one soul mate” line of thinking. It’s a romanticized, unrealistic view. It sets up our lives as a fairy tale where we magically find the people we were meant be with. It encourages a fear-based response pattern, characterized by settling for the wrong people and rushing to get married before we’ve even learned enough about ourselves, let alone what sort of partner might make us happy.
Most of these are ploys to avoid the angst that comes with dating. The lie is enticing; yet it encourages unsatisfactory shortcuts, instead of reasoned planning.
We’re compatible with a number of archetypes, a fact that should put you at ease. In that sense, finding love is less like finding the single missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle – more than one piece is suitable.
Again, you can’t trick, goad, or pay anyone to fall—or stay—in love with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the driver’s seat. The key is understanding what we can control and what needs to be relegated to the area of “C’est La Vie.”
Dating shouldn’t be a passive process. Simply hoping you’ll bump into the right person and form a happily-ever-after relationship is a real roll of the dice; we don’t live in a romantic comedy. When we start looking for big, underlying principles we get a sense of how to make our own luck.
How have you tilted the odds of love in your favor? Let’s talk about it!
This post was written by Kene Erike, a strategy consultant and author of “No” Doesn’t Always Mean No, a guide to decoding human behavior, forging relationships, and formulating business strategy.