Mai Tai Group

DESPERATION. I hate that word. Yet, I hear it a lot. It’s the favourite word used by singles (or anyone for that matter) who haven’t obtained what they want but are dead-set on not changing their set approach to meeting someone new.

Somehow being strategic and thoughtful are no longer positive traits. Today, we all want things to happen organically and everyone has a nonchalant attitude.

Desperation is their go-to excuse for anything that is a little different…Attend a singles event? That’s for desperate people. Blind date? Ugh, I’m not that desperate. Hire a dating coach? Desperation to the max! At least give online dating a go? Smells like desperation.

It took me a while but I now understand what the issue is. “Desperate” is a synonym for “trying hard” and “trying hard” is perilously close to “trying too hard,” which, in the microwave society era, is criminal because we don’t want people to know we’ve made a concerted effort to achieve the goal we so covet.

online dating swiping

Somehow being strategic and thoughtful are no longer positive traits. Check Twitter and you’ll see people dishing out relationship advice to singles along the lines of “don’t look for it and it will happen” or “the right person will come along when you least expect it, enjoy the single life.” Today, everything happens organically and everyone is nonchalant. We like to think things can be thrown together on a whim yet turn out amazing with lots of nuance and depth. It’s all about the universe delivering in due course. Or serendipity and instinct doing the heavy lifting. It was based on a hunch. Everything just came together naturally but you’re 35 years old and would really like to be in a relationship.

romantic picture

Huh. Intent and intuition are all good but what happened to some old-fashioned elbow grease and grit?

It’s like we’re embarrassed if people realise, we’ve made an effort to succeed because we’re embarrassed, they may realise how important success in love is to us.

It’s all very confusing, actually, because when we ask people about their preferences and dealbreakers, ambition and drive come up at the top. I couldn’t agree more – having goals & making a plan to achieve them is sexy. Yet, while we’re OK with people knowing we’re interested in being in a relationship we don’t want them to know we’ve made concrete steps to achieve our goal.

Why not? Why do our education, career and investments get a strategic plan with KPIs and SMART goals but the most important decision – whom we share our life with – doesn’t get anything remotely like that?

My motto is, “If you are awesomely single, keep on being awesome.” But if you’re done with being single and falling in love is a top priority, then do something about it. And take advantage of dating sites and apps because they allow you to be proactive about meeting your significant other.

playful couple

Dating sites work because they allow singles to meet a larger pool of potential matches and within the database of singles you can even filter your requirements and then start chatting online right away. Making an effort goes beyond using a dating site or a matchmaking platform. You can of course sign up with us but there are a lot of other things you can do on your own to be proactive. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Decide what are your dealbreakers you should go for 3 max if you’re being realistic.
    Experiment with your criteria. This is to make sure your “totally non-negotiables” are really totally non-negotiable. For example, is it really that bad if he’s a little overweight? Does it really matter if she’s a bit taller than you? Maybe it does but maybe it doesn’t. This experiment will test your preconceived notion of what your Significant Other should look and act like. You may find yourself surprised that a dealbreaker isn’t actually a dealbreaker if you consider what impact it has on a long-term relationship…and that makes the pool of potential matches larger.
  • Go where your type of man/woman hangs out. Okay, I totally understand that this isn’t possible during lockdown 2.0 but we can adjust our plans for the future and think of potential virtual communities. Many women spend their precious spare time doing hobbies that are solitary (e.g. painting) or don’t include men (e.g. belly dancing). If finding a man is a priority then it is better to focus on hobbies that are co-ed so you will meet men. For example, learn how to play poker, join a cycling club or take a whiskey-appreciation class.
  • Let your friends know you’re in the market and get them in on the hunt.
    Build up your confidence because you can’t always expect the other person to break the ice. (Yes ladies, you can & should make the first move and at least initiate a conversation if being in a relationship is important to you.) This is very hard yet very necessary.
  • Ask yourself if there’s anything you need to work on. Check out this blog to understand your past dating patterns.
  • Try online dating—but be mindful of your time: Use a maximum of two apps at a time, don’t spend more than one hour per day swiping, and don’t chat with anyone longer than a week without setting up a video-date. Also, be on the look-out for scammers.

Don’t let anyone convince you that being proactive equates to being desperate. It doesn’t. But, by the same token, if you realise your current approach to dating isn’t working out for you, you have to change it up.