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I was surfing around facebook one evening when I came across a comment by Berkeley’s “radical philosopher” Benjamin Smythe. It was in response to a guy’s question about dating, and while I don’t remember the specific question, I do remember the gist of Ben’s answer:

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“If you are meant to have sex with her, the sex will happen, and if you are not, it won’t. So there’s no point in worrying about it.”

So often when we go on a date, we don’t go empty handed, allowing the moment to unfold organically, however it unfolds. Rather, we come “pre-packed,” with a head full of things we want and don’t want to happen. And so naturally when we are hoping for a certain outcome or experience and it doesn’t happen, we feel disappointed/let down, i.e., we suffer.

laotzuNow compare that experience to going out with someone and simply going with the flow. You are genuinely open to whatever happens simply because you realize you have no idea what will happen! Why pre-judge (be prejudice toward) something if you haven’t experienced it yet? Besides setting yourself up for disappointment, oftentimes when we come with expectations, we give off a “needy” vibe that is usually a turn-off. It’s basically saying, I need you to be a certain way in order for me to be happy.

Again, compare this vibe to going out with someone who seems happy and content naturally, and doesn’t need anything from you. I can tell you from personal experience that women are more attracted to men who are present and happy to be with them, than a guy who is focused on trying to get in their pants.

And the first step to being present is to do less talking and more listening. Woman have told me that sometimes men will try to impress them with all their worldly accomplishments, but when it comes to being genuinely interested in their passions and interests, the men will turn the conversation back toward their own achievements… as if they are trying to “one up” the woman!?

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Another part of being a good listener is eye-contact. That’s why nothing kills a woman’s interest in a man faster than if she notices him looking at other women while they are out on a date. Bottom line: don’t do it.

Finally, I’ll share one last thing that I read in a comment section underneath an article on dating I read awhile back that I found very helpful. The commenter said that it wasn’t until he stopped “trying” to find someone that he met his current girlfriend. That it wasn’t until he learned to be happy on his own that she came into his life, and not before.

Those last three words really hit me: “And not before.” I remember reading that and realizing that he was right. That a part of me was “waiting” to be happy. In other words, I could feel that I had belief running somewhere that said, “I can’t be happy unless I have a girlfriend.”

And so, instead of focusing on trying to “get” someone, I made the decision to stop waiting to be happy and to just “do my thing” from a place of love and contentment. In other words, I discovered that the happiness and peace I had longed for was not in someone else, but inside me all along.

Well, sure enough not long after this I did meet a woman, and we are currently happily dating. But, like the guy said in the comment section, it didn’t happen until I learned to be genuinely happy in my own skin.