Does your dating life feel like you’re living in the extremes . . . where you’re either super-attracted to someone who treats you poorly, or you feel safe and loved in a situation where the chemistry’s lacking?
In this week’s new video, I share 5 ways you can expand your dating pool without sacrificing what’s most important to you.
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You shallow, (beep) judgmental, superficial, retch. Too much? Wikipedia used to say that I was 5′ 7. It’s not true, is it Jameson? I’m a healthy 5′ 11″, but that’s not the point, and that shouldn’t matter anyway, but it does to a significant number of you out there. And this isn’t just a video aimed at women, the kind of people that say, I wouldn’t even entertain someone on Hinge if they were under six foot. It’s also aimed at you men and all of the ways that you are superficial about those things. Most people at some point in their life have complained about how shallow the other sex is. Most people have been incredibly shallow about who it is they’re choosing. There is a wonderful hypocrisy about so many of us out there dating. I always thought it’s funny the idea of two people going on a date and one of them is just complaining.
Like he said, he was six foot, he is not six foot. But he’s then saying, you said that was your face and that’s not your face. There’s a filter on your face that made you look like a completely different person. There’s this feeling of everyone’s catfishing everyone, but if you think about it, why is it we catfish each other in subtle ways? Because we know that people are superficial and that if we say that thing, it might actually get our foot in the door in a way that we wouldn’t if we were just exactly who we were and how we look.
This is sad because it’s actually not how people tend to fall in love. There is a massive difference between who we fall in love with on paper in photographs when we’re describing what we want and who we fall for in reality, given the chance, given enough time and investment and shared moments. I believe that our standards are far too high about the things that don’t ultimately matter and they’re far too low about the things that do. Someone who’s kind, consistent, reliable, and amazing teammate, someone who listens to you. Now a lot of the time because we find the things that we think we want, the things we have high standards about, charisma, looks, height, age, clothes, or the style that someone has because we find these things, we then overlook the fact that this person doesn’t have the things that really matter and we have very low standards there.
Yeah, they’re not very nice to me. Oh, they’re not very consistent. Oh, I don’t know where I stand with them. Oh, I don’t know where it’s going. Oh yeah, they make me feel fairly unsafe. Yeah, they haven’t texted me in five days, but have you seen them? That’s how we behave in our love life and we invest based on these things that don’t matter. When we should be investing based on the things that do. Now, I made this point a couple of weeks ago and someone asked me a question that I thought was pretty interesting. It sounds Matt, like what you are saying is I just need to go for someone who’s really good to me and treats me well, but who I don’t really feel any excitement for whatsoever. Can’t I have it all?
I thought, you know what? That’s a perfectly phrased question because that’s our fear, isn’t it? That’s almost, there’s this rebellious streak in us that says, but I want someone hot. I want someone who turns me on. I want someone I have chemistry with. I don’t want to settle for someone who’s nice and boring. So I thought, let’s make a video about this because I have five things that I want to communicate to you in this area that are not fundamentally going to change everything that you’re attracted to because I don’t have that kind of power. But what they are going to do is shift you by perhaps 10% and that 10% massively increases the pool of people that could make you insanely happy.
Number one, go into a date with a generous lens. Try to go into a date with the mission of figuring out what’s great about this person. A writer that I know, Kevin Conley who interviewed people for a magazine and he had to write these columns, these profiles on these people. He said, I found that if I searched for a moment where I could feel gratitude for the person in front of me, I could get myself to really care. And then I would go away and I would write a great profile on this person. But if I couldn’t get to a place of feeling grateful for this person’s presence for what they were teaching me or the way that they were wonderful or just something about them that I felt lucky to be in the presence of, then I wouldn’t be able to write a good column.
You can apply this to a date. Imagine that when you go on a date, you are trying to get to the point of being grateful that you are with this person, that you’re getting to experience this person. And then ask yourself, what kind of questions would I ask if I was trying to get to that place of gratitude? How would I get to know them? What information or experiences or stories from them would I try to elicit so that I could feel grateful that I was with this person? Do that, and you’ll completely change the frame from immediately showing up, judging this person to showing up in exploration of what is wonderful about this person. Number two, remind yourself that on a date you do not need to feel the greatest attraction you’ve ever felt. Do you need to be attracted? Yes, on some level, of course. This isn’t a video about go for people you’re not attracted to, but it is me saying that attraction is just a box to be checked.
It’s not a sport that someone has to win. They don’t have to be the most attractive person you’ve ever dated. They don’t have to match up to that person that you once dated that you’ve felt an insane attraction for or this incredible spark with that you’d never felt before that. It’s not a competition between them and the chemistry you’ve had in the past or how good-looking someone has been in the past because a relationship that’s extraordinary is built and it’s built by two people who check a lot of boxes for each other. So attraction is a box that needs to be checked. Once you’ve checked it, now it’s time to actually see what other things they have that long-term perhaps are going to be much more important than that one box.
Number three, decide what qualities to value the most in advance. I think it’s an important exercise to ask yourself, what are the things that long term with someone are going to enable me to have a great life? Someone who creates peace with me and for me, someone who is an incredible listener because an incredible listener, by the way, will also adapt over time. They’ll learn. They’ll learn what turns you on. They’ll learn who you are. They’ll learn how to please you. They’ll learn the things that make you happy. A teammate because someone who’s an amazing teammate, someone who wants to be there for you is also going to go out of their way to grow in the ways that are going to enhance the relationship.
Someone who’s consistent, reliable, kind. These are things that are going to give you a great quality of life in a relationship. So if that’s true over the long term, it’s worth waiting those things very highly in the beginning. Not allowing them to just be an afterthought when we go, well, I’ve got chemistry and attraction, that’ll carry me through the first six months. Then I’ll worry about whether they can be any of these extraordinarily important things that a person needs to be for me to have a happy relationship. One of the greatest qualities someone can demonstrate is the ability to make you feel safe, to be who you really are. Someone who makes you feel accepted, someone who makes you feel like you can be you. Because when you can be you, the best parts of you come out and vice versa. When someone else feels like they’re accepted, when someone else feels like they’re confident around you, the best parts of them will come out too, and an amazing relationship can grow out of that.
A huge number of people in the beginning of dating value these superficial things that they’ve been taught to value. It’s not even necessarily what they want the most. We don’t realize this consciously, but in society we’re taught what’s attractive. There’s a fashion to what superficial features are in right now, this year, this decade, and so we start to think that’s our own mind. Oh, I really like this because that’s what I see in all of the magazines. That’s a status symbol of how hot someone is, but if you look over time, that changes. That’s not even consistent, so that doesn’t necessarily line up with our biology. It’s just what we’re being taught is hot. I like to think, what are the qualities in a person, what are the things that if I find them, they’ll never go out of fashion? Kindness never goes out of fashion.
Someone who wants to please you sexually never goes out of fashion. The way someone looks might go out of fashion, but the qualities that make someone an amazing partner do not. So one of the things we can do that’s not going to take away how important being attracted is to us, but is going to measure it appropriately with other important things is decide in advance what to value in a person. Number four, follow your curiosity, not your ego. Ego will have us chasing after something that we think is going to make ourselves enough. It’s going to sound like a strange and slightly counterintuitive idea. But a lot of our judgment of other people and the way they look or how they’re not cool enough, they’re not hot enough, they’re not tall enough, they’re not something enough, is actually contempt for ourselves. Think back to when you were at school, maybe you were insecure, you wanted to be with the cool kids. And you found yourself gravitating towards them, just wanting to be accepted by them because being accepted by the cool kids, by the popular ones meant that you were enough.
Now all of a sudden, you are sort of getting that reflected back at you. And so really being friends with those people is a way of saying, I’m good enough. The reason we might have at that stage in our life judged people or been mean to people who we didn’t deem cool or popular is because we worried that they were going to infect us somehow, that they were going to get us found out. I can’t hang around with you, you are exactly the part of me that I’m trying to get away from. You are going to bring me down with you, and I’m already down here, so I’m trying to convince everyone that I’m over here, that I’m worthy, that I’m good enough. I can’t be around you. There’s a lot of that in adult life too. When it comes to who we date.
It’s hard to separate how much of it is what we really want versus how much of it is our ego, but so much of what we’re going for is this adult version of adolescents where we think that if we get this person on our arm, then we’ll have made it. Then we’ll have proven to everyone that we are attractive after all, because this kind of person wanted us. And if we’re with someone that other people wouldn’t say is really attractive, then that’s just confirmation that we’re unattractive is confirmation of our lack of worth.
If you have a little bit of a feeling about someone, maybe it’s an unfamiliar feeling and you go, oh, this is odd. Why do I, I feel oddly drawn to this person? This isn’t someone that I would normally be attracted to, but it’s something about them, the way they carry themselves, their energy, the way they joke or laugh or the way they tease me, or. There’s something, follow that curiosity because it will take you places you haven’t been before and it might take you to the happiest relationship of your life if you actually let it instead of prejudging it all the time.
So instead of following your ego, the person that’s going to make you feel cool, good enough, finally worthy or the person that your friends are going to validate you for. Follow your curiosity.
Number five, don’t settle for a person; settle on a person. When we think of settling for someone, we feel like we’ve shortchanged ourselves. Like we haven’t got the best deal that we possibly could, and that makes us feel resentful, bitter. I should have got that. I should have got someone who look like that. I should have . . . And people aren’t deals. They’re people, and we’re going to build a life with someone. There is this intangible magic to certain people that just once we start to really invest in them, it just makes sense. It makes sense why you are my person. It just makes sense. There are things about you that other people don’t know.
There are things about us that other people don’t know. We have a world that we have created together that I wouldn’t give up for anything. It doesn’t matter who could walk into the room and check a box at a higher level in this area or this area. It’s all irrelevant. It’s redundant. You are my person. It’s something about you and what we have together. That’s the one plus one equals three of it, and you can only get that three by actual investment. And investment comes from settling on someone, not for someone. Settling on someone. Settling on someone implies a decision. There’s power to that. Of everyone in the world, I chose you. I chose us. I’m giving this a real chance, and I’m seeing what this can be if I pour myself into it. What happens if I go all in and you go all in with me?
And that’s how, I sometimes think when you walk down the street and two people are walking down the street together and someone will be like, that’s weird. How did that happen? How did those two people end up together? There’s always a part of me that goes, you just don’t know. I don’t know. There’s a world there that we don’t know about. There’s something that doesn’t make sense to us because they’re not rating each other in the way that we are rating them right now. There is something deeper that’s happened between these two people. There’s a world. You and I don’t have access to their world, but they do, and it makes sense to them. We have to get into the mindset that at some point in our lives, we’re going to settle on someone and that person is not going to be the optimal person in all of life.
It’s going to be someone that we’ve decided on because there’s something fundamental about who they are and who we are when we are with them that we do not want to lose. But the only way that you find that is by investing enough that you get to that point in the first place. And most of us at some point in our life have been such judgmental (beep) that we never get to that point in the first place. So take your curiosity, take your open-mindedness, take your generous perception of people and experiment. Don’t go for someone you’re not attracted to, that’s not what I’m advocating. Don’t go for someone who’s nice and boring but is going to treat you well. Go for someone that lights you up, but don’t be so narrow about who you think can light you up because there are people in the world that will shock you with their ability to light you up if you only give them a chance.
If you want something from me that can help you see what you might have with someone, I have a program called The Momentum Texts and the whole program is designed to see if you can create momentum with this person in a way that does excite you, in a way that does create attraction. There are so many superficial relationships that never go anywhere, that never get off the ground, and for people who are dating intentionally, it drives them insane. It leads to exhaustion, it leads to dating burnout. I created The Momentum Texts as a way to avoid dating burnout and give people genuine momentum, a genuine feeling of progress in their love lives. It’s $7, so it’s an easy investment. Check it out. It’s also a wildly practical program. It’s not a load of theory. This is stuff you can actually use today with someone you’re about to meet or with someone you’re already speaking to. Check it out at MomentumTexts.com and I’ll see you over there.