As many of you know, I belong to a running group. This accomplished (and cute) group of women inspires me to keep going when I want to quit.
Right now, we are in the middle of our longest workouts. The repetition can be brutal. We take our mind off the miles by talking about things like families, vacations and Mormon prostitutes. We also talk about relationships.
I really want to weigh in on relationship issues . . . especially when it comes to dating. I am a writer who used to work in human resources. I know quite a bit about human behavior. But I have to remind myself that work is not like dating. And I am on record saying that it’s a bad idea to look for a job the way you look for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
So I have nothing to offer anyone who needs relationship advice.
Unfortunately, I forget to stay quiet when I am sweaty and dehydrated. And because I know a little something about matching up someone who wants something with someone who needs something, I get chatty. I think to myself — I’ve been married for 11 years, but I can still tell you how to find a partner.
I should really be quiet, but I can’t help myself. Here are some thoughts on dating from my weekend workout (miles 16.01-18.32):
- Be as authentic as possible. Don’t try to be the best version of yourself. That is a lie that will bite you in the ass. Know who you are. Make sure you understand your priorities. Don’t compromise. Sometimes it means saying no to something in the short-term that looks easy and tempting.
- Get your house in order. If your life is a mess, you shouldn’t be dating. While we all deserve unconditional love and support in our lives, dating does nothing more than distract you from your financial and emotional problems. Don’t expect a boyfriend or girlfriend to be a therapist or a financial counselor.
- Fish where the fish are. Looking for a partner is like looking for a house. It’s all about location. If you are a middle-aged woman looking for heterosexual love, you won’t find a man at a cupcake decorating class at Michael’s. (But I will totally go with you to that class.)
- Volunteer to be a better person. I think it is worthwhile to volunteer for the sake of giving back to your community; however, I have met so many people who fell in love while volunteering. It’s okay to look around and check out the scenery. Most dudes like to organize things and lift stuff (dog rescues, food banks, home/rebuilding efforts) and women often volunteer with animals and children.
- Get some faith. If you belong to a congregation of some kind, poke around. Let your community know that you are ready to meet someone.
- Crowdsource this shit. Tell your friends and family that you trust their judgment and you are open to any and all first dates. Put your future in their capable hands.
Looking for a job sucks but dating is harder. It can be miserable and depressing. But finding your partner can be fun and interesting, too. If you stop thinking about dating as a job and actually think about your life as an adventure — where you collect stories and experiences for some future use TBD — you might actually have some fun.
So keep pushing, keep improving and don’t give up. You deserve to have some fun in your life.