Sex and relationships

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The Running Start

Basically, it’s easier to get what you want, or where you want, if you’re moving towards it already, however slowly. In weight loss, obviously, it’s about trying to eat as healthfully as you can before you even start limiting calories. For dating, it’s about getting out there … even if you’re not that excited about who you’re getting out there with. Translation: if you want to meet the love or even the like of your life, get started now — before you reach your target weight. Heck, even if you’re not even in the target range yet … even if you can’t see the beginning of the start of the first digit of the target … get started!

Trust your erstwhile dating consultant on this one. You're much more likely to meet someone right when you’re currently going out with a lot of Mr. or Ms. Wrongs. Nothing takes out the shiny new car smell of the dating process — and makes you relax — more than realizing the guy or girl in front of you for this particular blind date hasn’t showered in over a week. Your evening with them might be boring, or even unpleasant, but it will a) put you one step closer to the right person and b) make it less nerve-wracking the next time you get ready for a date. After all, you at least shower.

When someone asks me how he or she can meet the right person, I always advise him or her to first, go out on as many bad dates as possible. Put up some big numbers! Date everyone you can, provided they make you feel safe (in other words, stalkers, drug addicts, violent people — they don’t count towards your lifetime batting total. They count as foul balls). Practice going out. Practice meeting people. Practice not taking their rejection of you — or your rejection of them — personally. Practice being so bored by the entire dating process that by the time you do get around to meeting your amazingly wonderful romantic partner, that you’re so kind of unimpressed that they really have to work to knock your socks off.

So, you say, this all sounds tedious. I want to meet the right person! I don’t want to waste my time! I want a relationship, not an it-got-funny-later-on-when-I-thought-about-it story to tell my friends!

Remember what the track coach said. The person who wins the race — or lands the girl or guy — is not the one who’s standing stock still, thinking about moving. It’s about building up to your top speed, not instant maximums. Imagine if you’re not dating anyone, you’re not practicing, and you meet the right person. Ever open a bottle of soda that you’ve shaken beforehand? You’re going to be like that can, exploding with all that pent-up feeling and want and waiting around — and drown out any new relationship that could happen between you.

So let some of the fizz out. Embrace the chance to have dinner with Mr. No Thanks or Ms. Faint Applause. It’s practice. You might make a new friend. And you’re taking the running start.

For more about dating and relationships, check out these titles from Amazon.com:

If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?: Ten Strategies That Will Change Your Love Life Forever

Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate

A thoroughly modern coronation chicken
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