You may not know this, but you probably have an unconscious dating mindset.
We all do. It might be learned from our parents, an early relationship, or any other kind of formative childhood experience, but it affects so much of our behavior when we meet someone we like.
In today’s new video, I’m going to share 3 of the most dangerous dating mindsets to avoid, and one powerful mindset that will let you enjoy the process while naturally attracting the person you really want.
There are three types of people that I see struggling in dating all the time. I’m calling them for the purposes of this video: The skater, the sinker, and the sideliner. And as I go through the characteristics of these three different archetypes, you let me know in the comments which one you most identify with.
The first archetype is the skater. Now, I don’t mean the kind of skating that Jameson does shirtless down on Venice Beach on the weekends. I’m thinking more like an ice skater on a frozen lake. The skater is someone who is out there dating a lot. This is someone who has definitely prioritized their dating life. They are very open about the fact that they are looking for love, but they date like it is their job.
There is a palpable fear of this person being on their own, of leaving any real gaps between anyone they’re dating, and constantly jumping from one person to the next. That could be in the form of lots of short-term relationships, and as soon as one ends, they go straight to the next one. It could also be in the form of dates themselves—going on multiple dates every single week, never really having the time to be present with any one person, not really allowing the time for a true connection to form, to see the other person, or to be seen by the other person.
In a sense, the skater lacks vulnerability. There’s no time to really go deep. There’s no time to really be seen, to actually open up about who they are. And importantly, there isn’t the space to actually get hurt. Because even if someone hurts their feelings, even if someone rejects them, even if someone that they’ve been seeing for a minute suddenly disappears, instead of in any way feeling or indulging that pain, they are straight on to the next person.
There is something inherently avoidant in a sense about the skater, because there is the avoidance of any real pain, the avoidance of true emotional vulnerability, the kind of vulnerability that can actually allow you to be hurt in a situation. And I think one of the greatest dangers of skating when it comes to dating is that dating, to get a real connection, actually requires us to be present. It requires us to slow down enough to actually see things that we don’t see when we’re going at pace. To see parts of someone that you don’t see when you’re dating so many people that you never really see anyone.
So, for the person who’s skating, it’s hard to ever find that true, deep, organic connection that we’re all looking for when we say we want to find love.
The second person I want to talk about is the sinker. This is the person who is very much in the water. They meet someone that they like, they quickly become obsessed with that person, they become engrossed in that person’s world, they go out of their way to try and impress this person to become what this person wants them to be or what they think this person wants them to be. They try to make themselves available for this person whenever they can, they go out of their way to please this person, they become anxiously attached.
So the sinker is much more characterized by a kind of anxious attachment style. The sinker makes the other person too important too quickly. They obsess over why someone hasn’t texted them, where the relationship is going, what the other person is thinking. They’re over-analyzing about the situation all the time, chopping it up in a thousand different ways. And it’s almost impossible for the sinker to be themselves or to really be seen because they’re so busy being whatever the other person wants them to be.
Hey, guys. Don’t want to interrupt the video but just a bit of housekeeping. On the 23rd of this month, which is only a couple of days from now, I have my free event, First Principles of Getting Commitment. If you’re sick of casual relationships, if you feel like no one’s ever ready anymore, if you want a real relationship and you want to know how to find one in a world that seems to not value real relationships in the same way anymore, this event is gonna really help you. It’s gonna be practical, full of advice. I’m excited about it. We’ve got over 15,000 people showing up for this. I think it’s gonna be a lot more by the time we get there. I don’t want you to miss it. So, you can sign up at lovelifetraining.com and it’s a virtual event, so you can do it from anywhere in the world. All right, back to the video.
The sinker is so busy trying to secure someone, trying to “get them” and to be whatever they think they need to be to get that person, that there’s no room left for them to truly be who they really are. There’s also no room left for them to have any needs, because when you spend all your time trying to please someone else, there is no space for the things that you want. You’re afraid to even voice what you want for fear of scaring someone away. So the sinker in the process of becoming obsessed with this person that they’ll do anything to get, ends up losing themselves.
Then there’s the third person: The sideliner. This is the person who takes themselves out of the game altogether. It’s like they’re standing on the side of the lake looking at all of the people in the lake saying, “That’s not for me.”
And they could say all sorts of reasons why this is true: I have been hurt too much in the past to ever do this again. I am so sick of men because all men are like this. Or I’m so sick of women because all women are like this. They will refer to dating as being impossible. They make generalizations. They become completely disenchanted by the process. As a defense mechanism so that they can never be rejected by a date, they reject dating itself.
The truth is that these different archetypes aren’t always different people. They can be the same person at different stages of the dating game. It could be that we get scared that we’re not gonna meet someone, and so we start becoming very Type A about dating itself and we go out there and we date and we date and we date, never really getting below the surface with anyone, almost treating dating like a game of how many dates can we go on, never giving ourselves time to breathe, constantly on a mission to find love but finding that we never really meet anyone we connect with or like, until finally, one day, someone breaks through, someone gets our attention. Maybe there’s a specific kind of charisma about this person, there’s something interesting, mysterious, gripping about them, and all of a sudden, we begin sinking with them.
And of course, by the way, when you’re dating that much, at a certain point, the person who’s going to stand out is not necessarily the person you have the greatest connection with on a deeper level, it’s the person who has the most charisma. That’s the person we suddenly go, “Oh my God, there’s something special about this person. I don’t know what it is, there’s just something about them.”
You don’t end up rewarding the person that would become the best teammate to you in a relationship, you reward the person who’s the best salesperson.
We over-obsess, we over-analyze, we make them too important, we go out of our way to please them, we drop everybody else, including our own life, and we do everything we can to try and secure them. And when we inevitably get hurt in a relationship like that with someone we are giving way more to than they deserve, we’re so hurt that we decide, “You know what? I am done with dating. I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to date anymore. I am just going to be on my own.”
And so, you do that for a while. You sideline yourself until eventually you get to a point where you start thinking, “This can’t be all there is. I need to get out there and meet someone,” and you jump in with a ferociousness again to try to find someone in a state of panic that leads to skating.
Now, this cycle of going from skater to sinker to sideliner, and all the way back again, leads to dating burnout.
And that’s the thing we have to avoid if we want to find real love. We have to find a way to go through the process of dating in a way that’s actually sustainable. And dare I say it, it even enriches our lives as we go.
We have to, cliche as it sounds, learn to love the process. And it doesn’t have to be that we have to learn to love the process of going on lots of dates with different people that don’t pan out. But there has to be something about the process that we love, something about it that makes sense to us, something about it we can frame in such a way that we can tell ourselves, “I’m learning as I go, I’m getting closer to what I want, I’m refining my tastes, I’m getting better at exerting my standards, I’m getting better at showing up as myself, I’m getting better at seeing other people through a compassionate lens and really getting to know them.”
There has to be something driving us beyond just the immediate result. And when we’ve done that, we’ve learned the antidote to skating, sinking, or sidelining ourselves. We’ve learned how to swim.
Swimming is the answer to not being one of these three archetypes. And people who know how to swim in dating, they go at an organic pace with people. They don’t overdate, but they don’t underdate either. Overdating is when you go on so many dates that you become the skater and you never really connect with anyone. Underdating is when you go on so few dates that you get obsessed with the first person that comes along.
We need to find a dating cadence that works for us to build organic connections, to actually get to know people a little better, at least having a few days between our dates so that we can have some follow-up, so that an attraction plotline can actually begin without it being interrupted by a date the next evening.
Swimming is about learning to stay hopeful during the process. It’s about knowing that, with someone or without someone, you’re going to keep moving forward in your life. If it’s progressing with someone, great, you’ll keep moving forward in that way. If it’s not progressing with someone, you’ll keep moving forward in another direction. And moving in another direction doesn’t always have to mean immediately finding somebody else so that you don’t have to feel any pain of the last situation. It’s about actually feeling your feelings, being present enough with your feelings that you can heal. And then, when you meet someone new, being present enough with them to actually get to know them, to actually reveal who you are.
I almost think of it as slow dating—the ability to take more time in the process but to have more real results to show for it. The truth is, if we can find more joy in the dating process, we’ll be able to be more productive in the process because we’ll be able to sustain our energy in dating for longer.
Swimming means not suddenly overvaluing the charismatic person that comes along, but instead, more slowly evaluating who’s got the kind of qualities that would make them great for a relationship in the way that they show up, in the way that they treat me, in how at home I feel with this person, in how much of myself this person brings out.
When I’m with this person, do I feel like the me-est me? Do I feel comfortable to do that? And do I make them feel comfortable to do the same?
When we think like that, we’re no longer rewarding the person who comes along and dazzles us. Someone may dazzle us, but we’re still going to reserve our judgment for a time where we know that they have the right stuff to be a great teammate, and that inevitably involves going slower. You can’t swim as fast as you can skate, but the results will be more real when you get them.
When we’re swimming, we focus on connecting instead of impressing. I remember my friend Ali Abdaal, in a recent conversation I had with him, talked about his original dating profile and how he designed it to attract the maximum number of people, until he realized that what he really wanted to do was find the right people for him. He wanted to stand out to a certain kind of person.
So, instead of having a generic profile littered with things that he thought would make him attractive to women in general, he started adding a couple of details that nodded to who he actually was. One of them was him saying, “My idea of a great evening is working on my laptop with someone for three hours, side-by-side, and then watching a Disney movie together.”
Now, that detail will have made some people go, “That’s not for me.” Other people will have seen it and gone, “That’s exactly me.” And that’s the kind of person that he wanted to attract—someone who was right for him. That’s swimming.
I’m gonna come on to the antidote to all of this, but before I do, if you identify with dating burnout and you want to actually put your love life on a path to success where you no longer feel like you’re burning out, I have a free training for you called Dating With Results. It’s a one-hour training with me that you can watch right now by going to datingwithresults.com. It’s completely free and it’s for anyone who is making their love life a priority for the next year, and you know you want to find love faster than is happening for you right now. So, that’s at datingwithresults.com.
So, what is the antidote to these three archetypes? How can we avoid them so we don’t keep ending up in dating burnout? Look, if you’re on the sidelines of dating right now, it takes courage to put yourself in the water. It really does. You can get hurt there, you can have disappointments there, but it’s also where the living is, because otherwise you’re denying yourself a key part of yourself. You’re not just denying yourself someone else, you’re denying yourself something that’s in you: the desire to connect, the desire to love, the desire for romance.
So being in the water is a way of connecting with ourselves, even if we don’t find the right person right now. But when you’re in the water, having taken that courageous step, it takes confidence to slow down to an organic pace, even when you’re faced with people who are trying to move at lightning speed or love bomb you with their charisma and all of the things that they want you to feel so that they can get theirs. But it also takes confidence to say “no” to the wrong thing when it comes along even if it’s the only thing that’s come along in a while.
Swimmers stay in the game, but they keep moving forward.
Hey, guys. Before you go, just a reminder that on the 23rd, I have my First Principles of Getting Commitment event. It is a free virtual event. It’s going to be amazing. We have over 15,000 people showing up and it really should be a must if you want a committed relationship and you’re struggling in this world where no one seems to be ready and everything seems to be casual and it seems harder than ever. This is an actual framework for understanding how you can get that relationship for yourself this year. The link is lovelifetraining.com. I hope you’ll join us and thank you as always for watching the video.