Why you should stop going on dates and start going on adventures
Dating sets us up for failure before we even begin. Why is that? It’s because dating is centred around our unrealistic expectations instead of giving us space and freedom to be in the moment. We may also put on a mask during the dating process and hide who we truly are instead of being our authentic selves. Here are some of my thoughts on how to reframe the dating process so you can avoid this trap and go on adventures instead!
Why dating sets us up to be let down
From the time we are children through to adulthood, we are programmed to believe that every love story should have a fairy tale ending. Everything in your life will be perfect as soon as you find “the one”. Can this happen in real life? Absolutely! However, that’s not going to be everyone’s experience.
Since so many of us have been spoon-fed this belief from the time we could barely walk, we may be tempted to put our date on a pedestal and want to rush into a relationship without considering if we’re actually compatible with the person. Or we could go on a first date and start imagining our own happily-ever-after with that person without truly understanding what it takes to have a healthy, intimate relationship.
Dating puts an enormous amount of pressure on everyone to be perfect. We have to look our best, say all the right things, and be on our best behaviour at all times. Ultimately, this can set us up for failure before the date even begins!
How you can make dating an adventure
Dating only becomes exciting and adventurous when we drop our personal agendas, desires, and needs. We need to try to look at every date as a wonderful opportunity to discover ourselves and others, on a deeper level.
Go with the intention of meeting someone’s heart and soul up close. Every date you go on gives you the opportunity to meet and discover a new, beautiful human. A simple date can become an epic adventure when you let go of how you think you want the date to go and simply enjoy the moment together.
It is easier for everyone to give and receive love more when you remove all preconceived notions and expectations at the very beginning. When you are less focused on what should or shouldn’t happen, it will be easier for you to be present and enjoy the moment. Let go of any selfish thoughts that focus on how that person can satisfy your sexual, emotional, and mental needs.
Remember, dating is nothing more than an exciting dance. A date can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee together at a local cafe or as extravagant as a meal at a five-star restaurant. What ultimately makes a date exciting is your state of being.
Another way to appreciate the person that is in front of you more, as well as the entire dating process, is knowing it has taken 13 billion years of evolution that needed to happen, exactly the way it did, to make this moment a reality. So enjoy the moment!
Replace ‘me’ with ‘we’ when you go on a date
The less we are involved in the “me, me, me” the more we experience the “we, we, we”. While this may seem obvious, it can be difficult to shift our way of thinking. You know how you want to be treated, but how does your date want to be treated?
This goes beyond the premise of “being nice”. You may like being surprised with new experiences but they may hate unexpected changes. Or you may like going out for dinner but they prefer cooking with their partner and staying in.
You can avoid projecting what you want onto them by showing an interest in what they want. Ask questions and then make a mental note about what they enjoy talking about. In many instances, you will be able to notice a sparkle in their eyes or a change in posture when they are talking about something that genuinely makes them happy. After you get to know them and understand their personal preferences, you can use that information for future date ideas.
Admittedly, this approach may be a challenge for you. You may end up doing something that scares you (e.g. skydiving), but doing this will allow you to bond with someone more than you thought imaginable because your mind will have begun opening to new ideas and sensations. Mental stimulation triggers a sequence of events that starts with increased physiological responses or blood flow.
Maybe you are not quite ready for something like skydiving? Don’t worry! Studies have shown that being spontaneous can trigger similar physical and emotional emotions. And, while one may feel more stressed at the thought of being spontaneous (counter-intuitive by definition), studies actually show that true spontaneous (not actually thinking about the act) moments, reduce stress, keep your mental state sharp, and deliver more happiness overall.
Now that we have uncovered what sets us up for failure in the dating world and the ways we can increase stimulation, go out and have that adventure! Be open-minded, giving, and spontaneous so you can experience all that love has to offer.
Yuval Mann is an international sex educator, founder of the Sensual Alchemy School Of Integrated Sexuality, and a podcast host. Since his radical transition from orthodox Judaism to his path as a sex educator, Yuval has spent over 10,000 hours helping people bring pure ecstasy into their lives through conscious, connected sex and open communication.
If you need a little support regaining your confidence when it comes to dating, you may find it helpful to work with a relationship coach. Search for a coach to start your journey today.