Have you ever considered the role that mindset plays in your dating life?
Lately, I have voluntarily removed myself from all social media in an attempt to achieve ever lasting nirvana. Initially, to get to this state of enlightened bliss, I thought I’d go to the Andes and try out some good, old fashioned Ayahuasca, but the coronavirus seems to have bottled those plans for now. Instead, I have turned my wrath on social media. I mean all social media — any app that allows me to communicate with the outside world has been banished from my home screen. I am all of 2 days into it, and I already feel great!
This doesn’t make it easier to meet women, of course. If anything, it has only made the process harder, with the additional torment of having to answer some very piercing questions on dates. The family doesn’t leave me alone either! ‘Are you OK?’ is a question I have already answered 7 times in 48 hours.
Of course I am OKAY! I’m great!
I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, so I have found ways to make amends.
With the cognitive load markedly lesser as a result of this self imposed virtual exile, I have time to think. Like, really f***ing think. And plan. And strategise. And experiment. And allow myself to be goofy and take risks I wouldn’t be able to if I were overly conscious of my (online) social reputation. The kind of freedom that only comes when you have very few external influences competing for your time and attention.
Given I am single(ish), and the author of an anonymous single man’s blog, one of the things that crosses my mind these days is the role that mindset plays in dating encounters.
By mindset I mean the map that you draw of the world that you see. The mind plays tricks on us, that we know for sure. It is why we see two lines of different lengths in the diagram below, even though they are the same length.
The key to success in life (and dating) is to reassess your map of the world ever so often. What you see is not always what you think you see. This process of continuous recalibration takes humility, awareness and most important of all, a mind that is free of worry, fear and other negative emotions we experience from time to time.
This practice of recalibration can best be summed up as the science of seeing differently. It is where you deviate from your usual vantage point, scramble to another portion of the branch you are perched on, and try and see if the land that sprawls out ahead of you really is as wide / narrow / dangerous as you mistakenly assume it is.
A quick cricket analogy. You are batting and an innocuous delivery that you would have played easily hits the turf, spins off an invisible grain of dirt and travels at great speed towards the space in between your eyes. BAM! It thuds against the grill of your helmet, and if the bowler is fast enough, can send you reeling from concussion. Trust me, I know. It’s happened to me.
Now, as a batsman, from thereon, your mindset dictates how you handle the NEXT delivery.
In your mind, as the bowler runs in for the next delivery, you can have one of two thoughts:
- that the next delivery could also be like the one that smashed into your face. You are therefore overly cautious, slow to move your feet and generally on the defensive, OR
- you can tell yourself that the delivery which nearly broke your nose was a one-off, a black swan, an event with such a low probability of occurence that it won’t happen again. Not in this innings at least. You assume that the rest of the deliveries will behave as you expect
Unwittingly, this is exactly what happens in the dating scene. One bad apple, one bad date and one bad relationship can lead us into a mindset of doom, despair and gloom.
The science of seeing differently as applied to the world of dating dictates that we constantly do the following:
- Stay conscious of the assumptions we make about people, especially those involving first impressions. Given sufficient time, we give ourselves the space and time to observe if the assumptions really are true.
- Make assumption bashing a ritual. Assumption bashing is where you go out and do things with the specific aim of invalidating certain assumptions you hold about the world.
- Avoid reading too much into what potential partners say and do, particularly when it is early days.
- Take breaks and time outs. Dating can be incredible fun, but it can also be exhausting mentally and emotionally.
The SIMBA blog is replete with me complaining about the hapless journey I had on dating apps. It didn’t matter what I did — I just would not match with the kind of women I found attractive.
This was where the science of seeing differently was forced upon me. At one point, I had so many self defeating thoughts that I feared I was going into a mini depression. I was clobbered into a situation where I had to re-evaluate how I could meet more interesting women. Which is how I landed upon Floh. Which is also how I began to take leaps way out of my comfort zone to chat with absolute strangers in every situation I found myself in. Which is how I realised that putting myself in situations where I was forced to get off my freaking phone would lead to some of the biggest adventures of my life.
I’m a better person as a result of this conscious assumption bashing and comfort zone smashing, that’s for sure. Subjective as it might sound, I have discovered facets about myself I didn’t know existed.
Where are you at in terms of dating mindset?
Do you feel like your general hypothesis about how women (men) react to you helps you in your search?
What do you wish you could change about your mindset, RIGHT NOW? How do you intend to go about achieving this?
Hit me up in the comments!
PS – If what I’ve written above resonates with you, I’m confident that you will really like being a Floh member. Floh is a curated community for Indian singles who are looking for a meaningful relationship. Click here to read more about Floh.