By Susan Winter
In light of modern dating having “no rules,” what’s the right (and the wrong) approach to take when meeting a prospective partner? Clearly, the “wrong” approach is to use antiquated methodology. You’re not using an abacus to prepare your taxes, right?
Traditional rules of approach instruct us to reek of self-confidence and power. Women are to posture themselves as unattainable goddesses and men are to be as smooth as James Bond. When “image” substitutes for reality, no meaningful connection can be made.
Dating Newsflash: Here’s why doing it “wrong” is “right:”
1. Love Creates Love.
What would happen if we entered the dating scene with an open heart? But wait… won’t we look needy, or become “prey” for someone’s game? Isn’t this “wrong?” No. It’s right. The presence of love is what catalyzes the greatest possibility for love’s return. Contrary to antiquated dating advice, it’s in the act of being open that we find our greatest power.
All humans seek to love and be loved in return. Yet in the world of dating we’re advised to enter with our guard intact, superimposed by a cardboard cutout image of the person we’d like to present. This formula excludes our greatest asset… our heart.
The power of an open heart is unrivaled in its effect. “Open” is the most powerful position on the game board. An open heart activates a feeling a safety within another, as it fosters a love in return.
2. Real gets Real. Game gets Game.
When we start with game there’s no other course available. While honesty may seem to work against getting one’s needs met, games and manipulation guarantee a negative outcome for both parties.
If you doubt this concept, ask any fisherman. The type of bait selected directly determines the type of fish it attracts. If you want to draw in a person who is real, be real yourself. Honesty creates intimacy. Intimacy creates love. Real gets real. If you want a meaningful connection, show up as yourself.
3. Play your own Hand.
If you’ve ever been caught in the frenzy of someone else’s “game,” you know its anxiety and drama. We slip into another’sgame the moment we stop “playing our own hand.” Drama isn’t love. It’s a game for control that has no winners.
In the twists and turns of a power play both participants embark upon a wild “cat and mouse” chase. The insecurity, the questions, who’s the cat and who’s the mouse…. neither knows where they stand and both are too afraid to ask.
How can we break out of this cycle? The first person to speak their truth ends the game. Honesty is the only card that trumps game.
Playing your own hand means showing up real, giving honest responses, and being yourself. It means living by your own code of truth and integrity. It means calling it like you see it, and seeing it for what it is. This approach to dating provides a basis for exploration and discovery. Two real people are free to merge and create a rewarding outcome.