I’m someone who’s undoubtedly, and throughout my life, been uncannily successful in dating. Better at it than you, for sure. Wouldn’t you like to be as fabulous and desirable as me? I knew you would. Try the Hiking Theory of Dating.
Oh, and, if we ever dated, this entry’s not about you. It really isn’t, I promise.
So here’s the idea. Everybody goes out and tries to meet The One. It would be great if you met The One, everyone should have that, but isn’t that kind of setting your standards incredibly high? Let’s face it, you’re likely to meet pretty much exactly one of those out there, and, unless you plan to date just one person, The One is going to form some pretty small percentage of your total dating experience. So let’s concentrate on the other people you’ll date and figure out how to get past them and get to The One, all while having as much fun as possible.
Now, some of the time, when you’re not with The One, you’ll be hot, desirable, on top of your game. But, let’s face it, most likely you’ll be heartbroken or frustrated by one of those many non-Ones you’ve been dating. You’re down in the dumps and you’re, frankly, a little desperate.
But guess what? The people you’d like to date can tell that you’re feeling that way, and they’d never date someone with your attitude, they’re all out there looking for their One, and, I assure you, their One is not depressed and a little desperate. Sorry.
The trick is not to make yourself more depressed and desperate by vainly pursuing the high-quality people who could be The One. Instead, you need to think long and hard about exactly what you enjoy in the people you date, and start making compromises. If you’re looking for someone who’s attractive, and tall, and successful, and likes to bar-hop, and enjoys the humor of Monty Python, and can make puns in three languagess, then maybe, after some thought, you’d be fine with someone who prefers to drink at home while watching Benny Hill and dancing to old records on the Victrola. That’d be fine for a few months.
So date that person! I’m not saying lower your standards outright, but recognize what’s important in your long-term partners and what’s, therefore, unimportant in your short-term partners. Then go for what remains as important.
The great part of this is that these non-One people, they’ll be excited to date you, even though you’re depressed and a little desperate. You’re outside of the set of people they usually date (not necessarially better, but outside), and they’ll often be happy for the fun change.
The trick is to remember that these people are just a fun experience for now. Don’t get distracted by having a good time, this person is not a suitable One, unless you’re prepared to change all of your priorities.
So where does this whole Hiking Theory come in? Well, if you think about dating as hiking, then you have an easy way to keep track of where you are in this whole process.
The first step is to ask yourself: am I ready for a big 20-mile hike to the top of the mountain today, or do I need to start with a shorter hike?
If you need that shorter hike, then figure out where you’re going to compromise. Will you take a long, flat hike? A short one, uphill? A sunny one or one in the woods?
Then, when you’re on that hike, remember that you’re on a short hike, don’t delude yourself that you’re at the top of the hill just because you’ve finished your 5-mile flat hike.
And, when you’ve finished that 5-mile flat hike, ask yourself if you’re in shape for a more challenging hike, a steeper or longer one. If you are, then take it; if not, be honest and work to get in shape with another short hike.
Every time you move up, move up by a little bit, so you don’t get exhausted and miserable on a hike that’s too long for you, or fail to make it through the hike and end up more miserable and depressed. But move up bit by bit — and you’ll know when you’re ready to hike to the top of the hill. The best thing about this method is that you will be ready to hike to the top of the hill at the same time as, or before, you find yourself at the trailhead there.
So go for it. Take that short hike today. Hike to the top of the hill soon.