I’ve noticed something lately.
As a generation, we are really picky when it comes to dating. No one is ever good enough. We’ve heard the advice “don’t settle” our whole lives, but if we don’t settle somewhat then we’ll never have a relationship! People are not perfect, but it still seems reasonable that we’d be able to find a person who gets us excited enough to say “OK, this one is a catch. I think I’ll stick around and see where this goes.”
So where’s the line? How do we decide who to date without “settling”? Personally, I’ve narrowed it down to four simple characteristics I look for in a potential mate, and it’s worked well for me so far. Let me know what you think.
Here they are, short and sweet:
- Physically attractive
- Has his/her shit together
- Fun to be around
Look – I even made a fancy chart to sum it up.
Unfortunately, it can be a real struggle to find all four in another person. It goes for everyone – men and women, gay or straight. Really, we should all strive to develop all four characteristics in ourselves and be the best potential boyfriend/girlfriend we can be. Let’s break this list down and figure out how to make sure we have it all.
- Physically attractive
- What does it mean? Self-explanatory. Would you like to see this person naked? Then yes, they are physically attractive.
- How do you make sure you have it? It’s not too complicated. Stay in shape, keep yourself groomed and wear clothes that fit you properly. Remember to stand up straight and smile!
- Has his/her shit together
- What does it mean? To “have your shit together” simply means to have your life in some sort of order. It means you have some idea of where your life and career are headed, that you have a somewhat respectable lifestyle, and that you can function as a productive member of society. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the rest of your life figured out and that you never make mistakes, it just means that you have enough discipline to take decent care of yourself and set yourself up for future success. It shows that you’ll still be around in ten years, and that a potential partner can count on you for some stability in the long run. Remember when I said people have needs? Stability is a big one.
- How do you make sure you have it? This is a big discussion that could fill up several books, but I’ll summarize a few big points.
- Take care of yourself. Adopt healthy habits. Always look for ways to improve yourself and grow as a person.
- Keep your place of living, your car, and yourself clean and organized. It’s not that hard.
- Learn how to interact with others and make friends. Read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
- Make good friends who also have their shit together. Remember, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Jim Rohn said that.
- Learn from your mistakes. Every time you screw something up, make note of how you screwed it up and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Bam, you have just improved as a person.
- Learn how to manage your money. Check out Mr. Money Mustache for guidance.
- Put some thought into your future and your career. Don’t know what you want to do as a career? Sit down and make two lists: things that make you happy, and things that you think you could do for others. Don’t leave anything out. Write it all down. Compare these two lists, find common themes, and see what careers might be a good fit. For example, if you enjoy giving advice and meeting new people, and you’re good at listening to people’s problems, then you should be a counselor or therapist. You get the idea. Once you have a few options, look into what it takes to achieve those careers and go for whatever one seems the most realistic.
- Fun to be around
- What does it mean? It means people like spending time with you because you know how to show someone a good time. It means you put people at ease and you can make people laugh. When someone leaves the office after a long day and wants to unwind, who do they call? Someone who is fun to be around. You can be this person.
- How do you make sure you have it? Here are some ideas:
- Develop some entertaining talents/skills such as cooking, playing an instrument, or dancing.
- Make a list of fun places to go in your city. Find the best happy hours, tastiest restaurants, most interesting museums, and most exciting activities you can. When people are looking for something to do, you’ll be the one with the ideas.
- Learn how to organize social events and vacations. Everyone likes the person who can organize a trip to a music festival or the beach and make sure everyone has a good time.
- Do interesting stuff. Travel. Volunteer. Party with strangers. Start a side-business selling personalized coffee table coasters or something. All of these things become stories to tell and will make people want to go on adventures with you.
- Be nice to people. Make them feel good. Read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” again.
- Learn how to tell funny stories and jokes.
- Have fun stuff at your home – games, alcohol, music, movies, etc.
- Cards Against Humanity is one of my favorite games to play at home with friends. Warning: it’s a bit offensive!
- Don’t be dramatic or crazy.
- What does it mean? To be confident means to be aware of who you are and what you have to offer, and to be comfortable with that. A confident person is comfortable in their own skin and doesn’t feel the need to pretend to be someone they aren’t in order to impress others.
- How do you make sure you have it? This can be a tough one, especially if you are still young and trying to figure out who you are. Part of confidence comes with age, experience, and personal achievement, and part of it comes from self-improvement and introspection. Here’s some advice you can use to start improving your confidence.
- Follow advice from the “physically attractive” bit above. Look your best.
- Write a list of specific talents and qualities you have that make you more awesome. Don’t put general stuff like “I’m nice.” Be specific! “I volunteer at the animal shelter once a month” or “I give awesome back massages” are good examples.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Only compare yourself to your past self. Aim to be better today than you were yesterday.
- Remember that everyone has their own struggles with confidence. It’s not just you.
- Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t deny it, just say “thank you” and return the compliment.
- Don’t apologize too much. Figure out how to fix the problem and move on.
- Remember that confidence is not a one-time achievement, but rather an ongoing process that you develop and maintain.
- When you are doubting yourself, try to instead think of good things you can do for other people. This serves as a distraction and also improves your value to others.
- Remove negative people and influences from your life. Surround yourself with people who build you up and encourage you to be better.
- Keep achieving your goals, but never brag about them. Confident people don’t feel the need to seek approval through boasting. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
Remember, self-improvement is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Always work on being the best person you can be, so that when you do meet someone special who has all four of these characteristics, you can be sure that you’re a good match for them as well. Keep at it!
Date Advice Guy
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