The Wisdom of Experience
I spend a decent amount of time thinking of ways to express universal sentiments in a unique fashion. It’s what I do for online dating profiles, it’s why I enjoy being a dating coach, and it was definitely the impetus for me to write my latest book, “Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not To Get Mad”.
Yet the longer I do this, the more it occurs to me that there are few unique situations, and even fewer definite answers. True wisdom comes in the form of synthesizing past experiences in order to prepare for the present. If you don’t have past experiences in a particular realm, that’s when it becomes useful to seek advice from those who do.
To wit, I received a really great email today from a client who had an experience with a man who has some personal and emotional problems. It’s a shame, because my client liked him, was attracted to him, and was cautiously optimistic about their potential. But, unfortunately, this gentleman’s “issues” will most definitely prevent any potential future between them.
Anyway, my client emailed me to ask for my take on things. She also gave me four bullet points about what she got out of her two-date experience with this man.
1. I started to like the emails and phone calls (you’re right, if they don’t call very often, they’re probably not that interested.)
2. It was okay to tell him I liked him, thought he was cute, looked forward to seeing him again, etc.
3. Found that I can still be physically attracted to someone and don’t need to settle for just companionship and no sparks.
4. It’s okay to pick up the phone and call a guy if he likes me. Also okay to initiate plans for another date.
At the end of the email, she asked me for my “professional” take on this whole thing. Of course, I told her the truth – she’d already figured out my take on this whole thing, just by working with me for a few months. The only difference is that she finally had the experience for herself, which reinforced the theoretical stuff we’d discussed on the phone.
So what could I possibly say to this woman who already had it figured out? Simply this: “You’ve already done the best thing; gleaned the positive from it. Cute guys are rare. Cute smart guys, even rarer. Cute, smart guys with their heads on straight? That’s the holy grail. Keep looking for it. You’re doing great.”
As I said in my last E-Cyrano newsletter, part of being a dating expert is making lots of mistakes and attempting to learn from them. It also means knowing when not to speak and when to acknowledge that someone’s doing everything right. I’m thrilled when clients can put the pieces together, draw logical conclusions, and act accordingly, as this woman did.
We can probably all agree that dating ain’t easy, but, with enough practice, I do think that we can all become “experts” on human behavior.