Principle #1: Like Yourself and Know You’re Worthy
It always has been since the beginning of time. It takes diligence to continually set yourself up to win—not competitively but personally—and winning is the kindling for the brightly burning fire of self-esteem and happiness. When your self-esteem is heightened you carry yourself with more assurance, your energy is more vibrant, people respond to you more positively and you are more magnetic, so you attract opportunity. Basically, you walk differently, talk differently, rock differently.
When your self-esteem is lessened you feel bad about yourself, so you avoid things and people, your energy is heavy and sad, people are less likely to respond to you well, and you repel opportunity (including prospective dates!). If you like yourself, if you love yourself, if you feel good about yourself, if you value yourself, you will feel worthy of good things and you will get good things.
The whole concept of winning on a personal level is simple but not necessarily easy to do. The key is to constantly put yourself in a position to feel great about you and keep yourself out of harm’s way. This translates into stopping your bad behavior, staying away from the people that provoke your bad behavior, or people that make you feel anything less than good about yourself.
Otherwise, your self-esteem pays the price. Being a winner in life means finding a way to keep yourself in the personal space where you’re being the best and most vibrant you instead of the smallest you. That is the secret to success in anything you want to do in life. That means not comparing yourself to anyone else and concentrating on you. Because when your self-esteem is in the shitter and you don’t feel worthy, you look to others for validation, you settle for crappy things and all you get is crappy things and who wants that?
Principle #2: Get a Life, Have a Life …
Dating someone new is always exciting. The rush of feelings you get accompanied by the desire to spend every minute together basking in the yummy gooey feelings of first like are awesome. It’s like you’ve entered this utopian little existence where the two of you are in this bubble totally connected by these bursting emotions.
You can feel the shift when someone is willing to give you all of their attention, and though at first it’s flattering, shortly thereafter it becomes burdensome. It’s those shifts that cause you to back off, or to have someone back off from you. We’ve all done it or felt it. People don’t want you to give up your life for them even if they think they do at the beginning. Those that do want you to give yourself up for them are the ones that later will stalk you.
Many dating books, experts, websites and crystal balls suggest that you appear busy, ignore phone calls, pretend you have plans, and generally play a game called “I don’t have time for you; please fall in love with me.” And while this may appear like sound or at least strategically sound advice, it is ultimately encouraging you to start off your relationship by being dishonest and has the faint smell of something … What is it? Oh, right, manipulation. That’s how all of the great love stories start, right? Wrong.
So why does it seem like it’s the game of “I don’t have time for you; please fall in love with me” would work? Well, it has a certain logic to it, being that you are hard to get and thusly more desirable, and because everybody wants what they can’t have it makes sense that if you’re unavailable then they’ll want you more. But pretending you have a life is just pure game playing and misery. Well, then what is your magnificent suggestion, guys? Ready? Wait for it … GET A LIFE SO YOU WON’T HAVE TO PRETEND YOU HAVE ONE. Actually BE busy. Have unbreakable plans with your friends because they are as important as your love life. Be on time for work because it matters to you. Don’t blow off your responsibilities, family, dreams, values or well-being for the next Jett, Kingston or Maddox that comes along.
Principle #3: Pretty is as Pretty Does
Like it or not, men are visually stimulated creatures. Do you really think that when a guy sees two women—one of them styled out and groomed and feeling great, the other not particularly caring about what she looks like—that he thinks that the unstyled one must have a great personality? NO! He thinks the styled out girl might be interesting and the other one doesn’t really care, so why should he? It’s not about being pretty; it’s about telling the world that you care about yourself.
There’s a million different ways to style out and make the effort; not everybody has to look like Kate Upton. And not looking like Kate Upton isn’t a good excuse to not care how you look. Everyday you have to Outdress the Enemy! The Enemy is anyone (including yourself) who is getting in the way of your happiness. Every day you have to go out into the world dressed in the armor that prepares you for battle. You never know when you’re going to meet the person who will change your life, or run into an ex. Either way, you want to look like the best version of you so that you are walking through the world with your head held high, a spring in your step and confidence oozing from every cell of your being.
Principle #4: Don’t Accept Less Than an Actual Date
We’re aware that most of you are less likely to get asked out on a date than asked to hang out. The quasi date is vastly popular with guys for obvious reasons. Hanging out doesn’t require an actual plan and is a more nebulous proposition. But with a hang out you don’t actually know if you’re on a date, and of course there’s the possibility that you may end up going “dutch” to said unnamed hang out destination. There may or may not be other people involved in the hang, and it’s often at one’s house where there’s a bedroom nearby, and you know what that means. Actually you don’t, because when hanging out leads to having sex you still don’t know where you stand. Does it mean that now you’re dating because you had sex on your hang out? Or are you now the girl that he gets to have sex with without the pesky process of having to get to know you? Enough already—just stop it!
We’re not suggesting that you stop living your life spontaneously or veto advances from cute boys, but it’s up to you to be clear about the kind of woman you are. The key to finding a great relationship is to stop settling for less. You get to set the value of your time and company—not anybody else—and by participating in less than an actual date you set your value low. The longer you devalue yourself the longer others will too. Here’s the wildly obvious secret that you should remind yourself of daily: guys like hanging out, hooking up, getting it on and making out, BUT it means more to them if they have to earn it. That’s just part of their nature. Hell, it’s a part of human nature!
Principle #5: Don’t Freak People Out With Your Need
Don’t Be Needy. Sounds simple. Sounds easy. Yet this will be the most difficult thing we will be asking you to do because need is a cagey little bastard. No one likes to think of themselves as being needy. Needy is not sexy. Needy is not attractive. Needy is not the one you ask to move in with you and spend lazy Sundays with. You are not normally a needy person, are you? You probably aren’t (most of the time), but dating can bring out the only insecure fiber in the most confident beings and wreck them and any potential relationship that lay in front of them.
needing constant reassurance manifests itself in ways that will surely cause the person you’re newly dating to think you are an insecure freak and depart your company quickly. YOU MUST SHOW SOME RESTRAINT. Under no circumstances is it a good idea to plan the wedding after the 1st date, call him twenty times a day, analyze the relationship nonstop, or be desperate for definition before you know their middle name, because that’s what a crazy person does. Even when you think you have your need in check, it is often subconsciously motivating us to act on an impulse.
That’s why you have to actually work diligently at all times. Like, say you’re on a date and you have an uncontrollable urge to for him to reassure you that you’re pretty … instead of fishing for the compliment, stuff your mouth with pats of butter, breadsticks or your napkin until the urge passes. Run to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face, then lock yourself in a stall until you can resist, or borrow his phone and excuse yourself to make an important phone call to yourself, then leave yourself a voicemail on your mobile phone begging you not to blow it. That way you can recheck that message all night long if you need to. See how there are solutions right in front of your face? Only you can stop the crazy, needy girl in your head.
Principle #6: Doormats Finish Last and End Up in the Dirt
Many people go through their lives setting unnecessary deal breakers that ultimately keep them from succeeding in the areas that they want success in the most. And yet they’re the last people to see it, much less admit to it. They’re the people that proclaim things like: “He’s got to be taller than me and own his own home or I’m not interested.” Really? Why is that? Because you’re insecure about being seen with someone shorter than you? You sound really deep. Why can’t he move into your home if things get serious? Oh right, you probably don’t own one. That seems fair.
Setting parameters to determine someone’s worth or viability as a romantic partner assumes that they don’t have other areas of value that could possibly be more appealing than the ideas or wants that YOU have. It also assumes that how they are in this moment in time is all they will ever be. What if the love of your life turns out to be a social worker who fights for the rights of children and raises loads of money for worthwhile charities but doesn’t have much more than the shirt on his back and rents a tiny flat? You know Bill Gates wasn’t always as wealthy as Bill Gates and Ryan Gosling wasn’t always as hot as Ryan Gosling. Something to have a think about.
Principle #7: Don’t Show the Movie Before the Trailer!
Here’s a great way to think about sex and dating. Think of yourself as a summer blockbuster movie, or more specifically that having sex with you is a summer blockbuster movie. Now, with such a highly anticipated event you don’t just open it without any fanfare, right? What about a teaser? How about the trailer? Think about it. Don’t Show the Movie Before the Trailer is a philosophy and a strategy all rolled into one
Close your eyes. Now imagine it’s Christmastime and you’re in the movie theatre to see some holiday triumph-of-the-human-spirit flick. You’re settled into your seat with your popcorn, Junior Mints and Diet Pepsi … then the lights go dark, the curtains open, then BOOM! A giant glowing version of the Iron Man logo slams against the screen. It vanishes as quickly as it arrived and then you see the numbers: 7-4-14. The whole thing lasts less than ten seconds but it’s thrilling. It’s the teaser, and it’s a wildly effective way of letting people know that something great is coming.
Anticipation is the greatest aphrodisiac in the world, so if you like him and want him to stick around then don’t show him the whole movie right away. Let him check out the teaser early on, like a long hot kiss and the mention of things to come. The teaser gives him the complete understanding that yes, you’d like to show him the feature but it’s still a ways away from the opening. (Again, pun intended.)
Principle #8: Not Every Date is Going to Turn Into a Relationship
There’s something intoxicating about liking someone new and thinking that “this might be it.” We can’t help ourselves; we just race into the future with our thoughts and desires because we want that thing that we don’t have. We want to lock down our future happiness so we know that we’re not going to miss out. It’s the place where desire and desperation meet. It doesn’t feel desperate because the rush of feelings is so yummy, but the “end resulting” is a manifestation of fear that we might miss out.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t get the future that you want, just that you’re less likely to get it if you try to cement it prematurely. People arrive at their true feelings at their own pace. Rushing yourself or someone else into feeling something they’re unsure of or bending and reshaping yourself to try to be what will get them to commit is the beginning of the end. We know it’s exciting and anxiety riddled because you want so badly for it to work out. For something to be “the thing” that fills in the blanks you’re leaving open, you have to calm those feelings down. Take your time getting to know not only this person but also you with this person. Relationships are like desserts: they are to be savored and enjoyed; otherwise, you rush through them, get a headache, feel sick and wish you hadn’t had one in the first place. Besides, what’s the rush?
Even the best relationship is going to have parts that are dull beyond belief and not even noteworthy. The thing about a meaningful relationship is that it will continually change as the two of you change and become more attuned to each other. However, if you rush through the beginning to get to the middle of it, you miss so much of the good stuff that you really need to make a relationship last.