by Laura Doyle
This excerpt is from the book The Surrendered Single and part of the Relationships Debate, “Does surrendering your idea of “Mr. Perfect” mean you’re settling?”
You might be tempted to say “no thanks” when you think there’s no chance of a future with a particular guy. Instead consider going out on all the dates you can. After you cast a wide net, take a look at the bounty. You may be pleasantly surprised by your catch.
One benefit of accepting all the dates you can is that you won’t prematurely rule out a man who’s right for you. You’re giving everyone a chance, and in so doing you’re letting go of your prejudices, assumptions, and quick judgments about them. Whatever your prior experience with a certain man, you’ll be able to make a more informed judgment about him after you’ve spent an evening together.
Going on a date with someone you might have refused before is simply about resigning your judgments — not your whole being. Remember that just because you agree to go out on a date with a guy doesn’t mean you agree to anything more than spending some time with him.
You haven’t committed to kiss him, to go on a second date, or to do anything else. You certainly don’t owe him anything. Paying for the date is his wager that he can win your affection, and you are being fair simply by giving him that opportunity. There are no strings attached to what he gives you, so don’t attach any yourself or act as if there are.
Your Personal Coming Out Party
Most important, accepting dates liberally helps you get into a groove. You’ve probably had prior experience with this groove. It’s when you suddenly go from having no promising prospects to having several men pursuing you at once. Being in the groove is the manifestation of that old expression “when it rains, it pours.”
When you are being wooed by a man, it awakens your feminine energy and confidence. Even if you’re not interested in someone, it still feels good to know he’s interested in you. That knowledge triggers you to “send out your scent,” as my friend Candace would say. What she meant was that it lowered my defenses and replaced them with openness and a self-confident glow.
Knowing that a man is enamored of you reminds you that you’re attractive and desirable. As a result you walk taller and smile brighter. You body language is open. You’re sending out the message that you are receptive. That why just knowing some man somewhere is interested in you will make you more attractive to all the other men you encounter. Thus, accepting a date from a man — any man — can help you attract other offers.
That means it’s in your best interest to accept an invitation, even if it’s not from a hot prospect. Look at it as practice or consider it the kickoff to the dating season. Think of it as your own personal coming out party. It doesn’t matter who you come out with, as long as you come out and let everyone know that you’re available.