Hooking up. That seems like all people have time for and dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, etc. are keeping the hookup culture alive. What ever happened to dating? To meet cutes? To locking eyes with strangers across the room and to someone asking you out?. Picking you up and handing you flowers? Everything in today’s society is too fast paced. We all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to dating and are constantly looking for the next best thing.
We need to slow it down. We need to know that we can still date without feeling like we have to take our clothes off.
Harlan Cohen, the author of the Naked Roommate, wrote a book titled “Naked Dating: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober).” In his book, Cohen talks about ways to find the love of your life without having to hook up.
Here are five steps to finding happiness with yourself and to find a significant other.
1. Not Everyone Wants You
“Thousands will want you. Millions won’t,” says Cohen.
Let’s be honest. We tend to think that everyone we like should also like us. This isn’t the case. When someone doesn’t want us we tend to hate and get angry with them.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports, “There are 99.6 million unmarried people over age 18 in the U.S., representing nearly 44% of the adult population.”
In high school, I was in love with my best guy friend for over 3 years. He dated 3 girls throughout high school.
I told him how I felt. Yet, he only wanted to be friends. I hated him for a while. I didn’t know why he didn’t like me. I liked him. He should’ve liked me. But now I realized he was just was one of the millions that won’t want me.
And maybe it was for the best. After a year, I got over him. Later that same year, he told me he was gay.
2. Be Comfortable in Your Skin
“You have to be comfortable in order to handle the emotional risk taking that comes in pursuing your passion,” says Cohen.
Confidence is sexy. Arrogance isn’t. If you’re comfortable in your body, you’re less likely to hook up or have sex with someone you don’t know very well. Also, being confident in your body will make you realize that not everyone will want you and you can learn to be okay with that. If you’re confident in yourself, it’ll be easier to find a more meaningful relationship. Love yourself and you can love someone else.
For women, this often means learning to love our curves. According to About.com, “The average American woman is 5’4″ tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds. Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.”
“I think that what people see in the media is what they strive to be like. I think that there needs to be more models of different body types. More healthy ones,” says student Emily Dykstra.
3. Throw Away the List
That checklist. Admit it. We all have one – a list consisting of characteristics and qualities that we all look for in a potential significant other.
“Use excuses to help you find answers—not more excuses,” says Cohen.
The checklist is a list of excuses. Excuses for not giving a perfectly decent person a chance because they don’t fit your criteria. Our insecurities are what help us create those excuses.
Don’t be picky. But you can be selective.
“I think I would be open to anything. Yet, certain things stand out more. Sometimes a guy surprises me. Like where he might not have anything on my checklist but he stands out to me in some way,” says Dykstra.
4. Take the Risk
Who do I like? Who am I interested in? Take the plunge. Go after whom you want. Make the first move. A lot of women nowadays are taking the plunge and making the first move. Just remember that you’re giving them a chance to want you.
Many women believe though that making the first move should be left up to the guy. “It’s intimidating because it seems like it’s expected for the guy to make the first move,” says Dykstra.
Cohen says, “The biggest risk isn’t taking one. Take the risk that leads to love again and again.”
Although you might believe that men should make the first move, I suggest you do instead. You never know where it might lead you.
5. Celebrate, Reflect, and Repeat
“Celebrate that you took the risk. Reflect to figure out what went right and wrong. Repeat until you get desired results,” says Cohen.
Be happy that you had the guts to go out there and put it all on the line. Reflect on what you did right. In order to have the relationship you desire, continue with what you did right.
Now go out there and find the person of your dreams.
*Originally posted in 2012 on HubBub