What’s your definition of dating success?

For many women the answer to this question would be, “To find my next love/husband/mate.” I invite you to consider another possible definition.

If someone were to ask you, “What is your definition of success in life?” you would probably not answer, “To find my way to death.” Both definitions focus on the end result, not the process.

To the second question, you would probably answer something like, “To enjoy myself, laugh, grow, love, make a difference for others and live life fully.” You’d focus on enjoying the process, not on the end result. I believe the definition of successful dating needs to include appreciating the adventure.

Eifel towerNot that all aspects of the adventure are thrilling. Think of a trip you’ve taken to a destination you really wanted to visit. Did you like all parts of your journey to Paris? What about the long plane ride or the taxi trip to your hotel? Most of us wouldn’t consider these experiences particularly pleasurable. However, if you engage your seatmate on the plane, catch up on your sleep, and/or read an enthralling book, the journey is pleasurable.

Paris taxiYour trip from the airport can be interesting if you notice the people and architecture and query the cab driver on favorite non-touristy sites. It depends on what you make of the experience. I once had a grand time having a picnic in a Paris laundromat while doing my wash.

Consider defining dating success something along these lines:

“To enjoy meeting and getting to know some interesting men, broadening myself through new experiences, feeling the thrill of new romance, being willing to encounter the broad range of emotions from delight and love to disappointment and hurt, growing as a person and becoming more centered in what I want and who I am. And when the time is right, to meet my next long-term love.”

With this definition, you are bound to be successful. And when you do meet your guy, you will be so enticing he won’t ever want to let you go.

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7 Comments on “What’s your definition of dating success?”

  1. Elena Says:

    DG,
    Once again, I like your positive, upbeat outlook on this subject. However, let’s be honest…one can enjoy the process and the journey, so to speak, but still want to include the finding of an emotionally and physically compatible mate (notice I didn’t say soul mate or future spouse) as part of his or her definition of dating success. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be dating. That process would be better labeled as the search for new friends or making new acquaintances.


  2. Elena:

    That’s why the last sentence is in the definition! But without enjoying the journey, one can just think of the process as a waste of time.

  3. Mitsy Says:

    Unfortunately, I tend to view some of my past dating failures as a waste of time rather than a learning experience. I often look back with regret that I did not say or do something differently. The outcome might have been the same, but at least I might have had the upper hand and felt like my ego was still intact. At the very least, I would have preferred to not meet another guy who was going to change his mind after a few dates. (I’m thinking of one certain guy.)

    Too often women feel like the ball is always in the “man’s court”. That is the way I still tend to view dating in general. Although that wasn’t the case with this last guy that I encountered, I continue to find mostly waffling men who don’t really know what they want. Furthermore, many do not even know how to act in the game of dating. They don’t actively pursue but they don’t actually bail on you either. I’m beginning to get frustrated and want to say “do something or get off the pot.”

    Oh well, maybe 2007 will be a better year for me..funny, I said that LAST year as well. :0

  4. Gatti Says:

    I’ll have to let you know in a while what my dating success is. Till now it’s been OK, a few pleasant dates, but then nothing. Things are slowed down with the holidays. Perhaps January will be livelier. But right now I’m not thrilled with the whole thing. All the travelling is costing me a boodle!

    Of course maybe the coughing flu thing I’ve been battling for nearly two weeks isn’t helping either!

    I’m with you, Mitsy, let’s look to a better 2007!

  5. Bruce Daley Says:

    Wow! John Gray (Venus and Mars) is not the most profound thinker in western philosphical tradition, but he makes some good points. One of them is that dating is the process of discovering if the male can make the female happy. So some of the men you date are not going to be able to accomplish that. That is no reason to be sour. Even if you dates don’t make you happy you can still have a lot of fun going to dinner, going dancing, going to movies.

    Dating is a part of living and your attitude about dating reflects your attitude towards life. I think both of view life a journey of discovery. It is not surprising we (me and DG) see dating the same way.

    Many women are pretty sour about the process which makes it harder for them to complete it successfully because after all you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

    DG this has to be one of your best posts ever.

  6. Betti Lee Says:

    Hello:

    I’ve been dating one man for nine months. It is not an exclusive relationship as he still wants to see others. He tells me that I am not in competition with others as he just wants to meet them (via internet dating) to meet and view their world. He’s been officially divorced one year and I can appreciate him wanting to ensure he finds a compatible partner for a long term relationship. I’m a widow of three years. He’s very kind and generous, but his emotions/heart is small.

    Should I stop seeing him to let him explore others without me on the side lines? I once suggested that and he said it was like I took a gun and shot his heart in pieces.

    Thank you for your time,
    Betti

  7. Betti Lee Says:

    Hello:

    I’ve been dating one man for nine months. It is not an exclusive relationship as he still wants to see others. He tells me that I am not in competition with others as he just wants to meet them (via internet dating) to meet and view their world. He’s been officially divorced one year and I can appreciate him wanting to ensure he finds a compatible partner for a long term relationship. I’m a widow of three years. He’s very kind and generous, but his emotions/heart is small.

    Should I stop seeing him to let him explore others without me on the side lines? I once suggested that and he said it was like I took a gun and shot his heart in pieces.

    Thank you for your time,
    Betti


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