by Dating Coach Laurel House
Looking for love? Craving a real connection? Sick of the games? Then stop playing them.
You might not even realize the games you play. You may think that you are just abiding by "the rules," following the conventional dating expectations that dictate when you should call, not call, make yourself available, pretend to be busy, and tip toe around the truth… which isn't lying, it's just not being exactly transparent. Well screw the rules! It's time to get real. This new column is the no-games approach to dating that will help you break down your barriers, be your authentic self, and step out your strategy to finally meet "the"one, as opposed to just another "some"one.
On your first date, don't stick with "safe" subjects like your career, your dog, and your favorite travel spots. Get raw! Open up. Share something about yourself. That's the purpose of the first date right? To figure out if there is chemistry, if you're a potential fit, if you share common ground… So why would you hide who you are, avoiding meaty topics that matter, and be careful not to fly potential red flags?
Fly Your Potential Red Flags
Wait… did my flag comment raise a few for you? Here's the reason- if you say something on a first date like "I'm divorced. Twice actually. I was young and not ready- both times. 21 the first time and it only lasted for 6 months. I was trying to have what my parents have- who were married at 21 and are still happily together. My 2nd husband, we really didn't take the time to get to know each other…" Do you think that's appropriate? The answer is YES! Absolutely! Why? Because being divorced twice could be a red flag for someone. Don't you want to know that now, before you invest in the relationship, before you open your heart and dedicate your days? If you are raw and honest and revealing, not just for the sake of dumping your baggage on the table, but instead to say… "and I have learned so much about love and what I am looking for…" and you fess up to having made mistakes- which shows vulnerability, but then you show the silver lining- the lessons you learned and how you are better because of it- which shows strength! That SAYS something. That's real. And if they still say… "you know, the fact that you were married twice, that's a red flag for me and I can't date you." Fine- there are, no joke, plenty of fish in the sea and you will find someone else who finds it attractive that you were open to taking a chance, to throwing caution to the wind, to jumping into love feet first… even if it unfortunately bit you on the butt.
When it comes to dating, and really most relationships, the easiest way to create a connection and to initiate a bond is by being open, revealing something about yourself, even being vulnerable. If you're open, chances are that they will be open too. If you're both open, you are allowing for the possibility of a deeper connection, one rooted closer to your core as opposed to something surface and fleeting. Once you reveal something about yourself, you have an automatic bond. You shared on a level that you don't generally expose. You have confided in each other.
If you want to find that deep guttural love, the love that lasts, that hooks your heart and implants itself in your soul, you've got to screw the façade, the protective layer, the walls, the hiding of the feelings, and the front. You have to be raw. Afterall, you're not looking for a friend. You're looking for love. If you want depth, you've got to dig deep and form your connection there.
Laurel House is a Healthy Living and Dating Expert, 4x published Lifestyle Author, NASM Weight Loss Specialist, and nationally recognized Print and Online Magazine Writer covering travel, relationships, healthy food and fitness (New You, Women's Health, First for Women, Men's Journal, Yahoo! Shine, Elegant Bride, Fit, Spa, Fit Yoga, Playboy, etc). Beyond writing, she has appeared as an expert on television morning shows including E! News, Weekend TODAY, The Daily Buzz, Better.TV, Good DayLA, CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC Morning News shows both locally and nationally, and her YouTube videos have received over 12 million views. Her 4th book "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget" was published by St. Martin's in May 2012. She is currently writing her next book-"Screwing The (dating) Rules."