Matchmaker, Matchmaker?
Avoiding the Awkward
First Date

At some point in our dating lives, all of us have run into “the great fixup.” Whether your aunt works with a cute single guy or there’s an awesome girl who happens to live in a friend’s building, if you’re on the dating scene you’ve certainly heard, “So, I know this person who I think would be perfect for you…” at least once or twice.


Awkward first date alert! Right? Well, maybe…

If the thought of being set up makes you cringe, that’s totally understandable. Dating setups can feel awkward and uncomfortable. If your friend sets you up, there may be some unintended feelings of obligation. You may feel that if it doesn’t work out, things might get even more uncomfortable further down the road. Now that you’ve taken a dip in your own social pool, you may even imagine awkward post-date encounters at a friend’s dinner party or get together—so cringe-worthy!

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s time to get past all that awkwardness. It’s time to rethink the fixup.

Fixed Up By a Friend: Is It Really So Bad?

Let’s reframe. If you use an online dating service like Tinder or OkCupid, you’re essentially trusting an online matchmaker. But think about it: Would you really put more stock in an online personality test than in a trusted friend’s matchmaking abilities? I know, I know, it does depend upon the friend in question. Maybe your matchmaker friend isn’t the “Fiddler on the Roof” variety, but if you’re open, honest and authentic with your friends in your everyday life, they’ve probably seen you at your best and at your worst—so they just might be able to successfully set you up. It’s worth a shot.

Yes, you might feel vulnerable or just plain weird when you give your friend the OK to make an introduction. Just remember: good friends will typically suggest someone aligned with your values, who wants the same things out of life you do. Hey, your matchmaker friend doesn’t want to make things uncomfortable either! Yes, there might be hits and misses, but chances are, the Venn diagram of shared social circles isn’t a bad place to look for possible connections.

Birds of a feather flock together, so you and that “friend of a friend” will probably have some similar interests and compatible personalities. Not only that, but your friends might already be past the initial “tall dark and handsome” first impression, so they can help you see into the deeper, more meaningful stuff of great relationships.

How To Turn Any Awkward First Date into Fun Experience

First of all, shake off the mindset that a dating fixup looks pathetic or desperate. Most of us pride ourselves on our ability to engage with others and we enjoy the idea of meeting new people. But whether you enjoy meeting new people or not, anyone can have a hard time asking for a fixup or accepting a dating setup from a friend.

But dating doesn’t have to be awkward! Try this…

Instead of looking at your fixup like an inevitably awkward first date, think of your upcoming encounter more like a business networking opportunity. At a business networking event, you often express your values, engage in conversation, and try to find commonalities to make a connection. Many of us go into business networking conversations with the hope we’ll find someone who shares our positive intentions and is looking to elevate themselves and grow in a business sense. We want to meet new customers, clients and peers who are going to build our business network.

In dating, your approach doesn’t have to be any different. In fact, the importance of approaching your date with curiosity and openness can often be even more vital in a dating setting, because it’s about more than just “making a sale.”

You can even look at dating as a whole in this way! Have you ever been approached by a business contact with an invite for coffee or a request for an introduction? Of course. But have you ever thought that person to be super-lame for asking? Of course not! Because when we’re approached to make a connection in the business world, it often comes naturally.

Think of your dating life in the same light.

Treat dating like an awesome playground! It’s a chance to really meet new people, engage with others on a new level, and grow as a person as you experience your reactions and interactions with a myriad of different people in a bunch of different settings.

So if there’s someone who seems interesting to you and you’d like to know more, by all means GO FOR IT! The worst that can happen is you’ll meet someone who’s not exactly a love connection—but now you can add another person to your connections and network.

When YOU’RE the Matchmaker

What if the tables are turned and YOU have the chance to play matchmaker or give advice to a friend? Interestingly enough, when we receive unsolicited advice, even when it’s well-intentioned, most of us rarely listen.

When we train coaches and undergo leadership training, we learn that most of the time “giving advice” should generally be avoided, even if it’s wonderful advice. Most people need to be steered toward finding the answer on their own. So keep that in mind when you’re advising your dating friends: you can’t argue them into the direction you want them to take or push them into dating a person you think they’d be perfect for.

Instead, put the idea on the table and help your friend seek out their own direction and answers. Similarly, if you’re trying to figure something out, look for those who have similar goals and who are working toward the things you want. Ask them how they got there and follow your own epiphanies.

What works for one person may not work for another. There’s no set red flags when dating and there’s no rules—a deal breaker for you might be just fine for another person. Instead of applying a set of “rules” or limiting your interactions because you’re trying to follow a specific path, allow yourself to work within the here and now. Keep a growth mindset and approach each situation as a learning opportunity.

 

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.

Let us know how your dating is going! Tune in to our podcast every Wednesday to talk about dating, relationships, and how to bring out your best self. To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.

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About the Author

rachel-zwell-2

Rachel Zwell is one of the core coaches in the Year of Transformation program. She is an emergence coach specializing in empowering individuals to increase their fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives, to achieve their professional and personal goals, and to develop their leadership skills. She coaches and mentors people to develop self-awareness, vision, strategies, and to build skills in social and emotional intelligence. She believes in full engagement and aliveness, and trains people to see and overcome the barriers that prevent them from living fully.


Featured blog post image “Stops for a while” courtesy of Flickr user Seika licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was altered for this use.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Here’s How to Change Your Life

Do you ever think, “Is that all there is? Is this IT?” Do you often wonder why you rarely feel fulfilled? You might feel like you’re truly missing something from life.


 

Read this post if this sounds like you:

  • I feel unfulfilled and I want to get more out of life.

  • I feel unhappy and I want to find more meaning in my life.

  • I want MORE. I want to live life to the fullest.

 

I’m not just talking about introspection during major life shakeups like divorce, career changes, or moving across country; deep feelings of unfulfillment might not stem from a full-out midlife crisis or a breakdown of your belief system. What I’m talking about here today is more like a vague blasé feeling—an itch you can’t quite scratch.

Philosophers call the persistent feeling you should be doing more with your life and experiencing (rather than losing) opportunity: “ontological guilt.” Most of us have experienced this feeling at one time or another. Maybe you’ve got a decent marriage and a good career. Maybe your financial situation is fine (or more than fine)—but yet there’s still something missing.

I can’t tell you how many CEOs and really successful people I’ve sat down with who’ve expressed this feeling to me. They just aren’t getting what they want out of life and they can’t deal with it. So, what do they do to cope with these feelings of emptiness? They fall into soft addictions—spending money, eating, shopping, zoning out in front of the tube, and surfing Facebook.

In some cases, they fall into more serious addictions—alcohol, substance abuse, destroying their relationships…and for what? To try to scratch that itch—you know you want to change your life, but you don’t know how. So you’re left feeling lost, still trying to answer that nagging feeling of: “Is that all there is?”

Even the most successful of us experience periods of dissatisfaction and unrest.  We might be on top of our game and by all accounts successful and “doing well,” but still we just don’t feel like we are where we want to be. The feeling of wanting more continuously haunts us.

What’s Missing? The Secret to Kickstarting Your Life

Are you ready to change your life? When it comes to boosting your life’s satisfaction, the answer is transformational growth. People who are out there making transformational changes (radical and meaningful shifts in their life) and constantly growing, developing and engaging in their relationships report the most satisfaction. It’s NOT those people in relationships devoid of conflict or those working jobs that bring home million-dollar paychecks for showing up. In fact, it’s almost directly the opposite. Satisfied people are engaged in everything they do. They’re out there fighting FOR their relationships, not against, and they’re leaning in at their jobs, working harder to make a difference.

We’ve seen it time and time again in our students at Wright Graduate University and in leaders we’ve coached in Chicago and all over the world. Those who are the most successful and most satisfied are engaged and focused on transformational growth. They don’t have perfect lives, but they’re active, alive, energized and involved. They aren’t sitting back and waiting for things to come their way. They aren’t interested in keeping things status quo—they’re shaking things up and finding the meaning in the mess.


To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.


The amazing thing about transformation is it’s possible for almost anyone, given the right tools, the right life coaching, and a little strategic direction. People have an amazing capacity for growth and change; these positive deviations occur regularly. Some people are more disposed to a transformational mindset, but it’s really accessible to anyone.

So often, people seek therapy, a life coach or a workshop to solve a problem. They want to make more sales in their department. They’re fighting with their spouse too much. They’re stressed out about their parenting skills. They’re seeking change, but not in the transformative sense. They are seeking a solution to a problem.


Transformation is more than change. If you truly want to change your life for the better, you’re not looking for a Band-Aid or an answer to a singular dilemma. It’s an all-encompassing shift in thinking…in BEING. Transformational change means relationships deepen, careers transition, and potential is reached. It’s about fundamental change at the core toward a more positive and greater version of yourself.


You CAN Change Your Life but It Will Take Time & Effort

Whether you’re focused on your own transformation or you’re working to coach someone else through realizing his or her potential, transformation is a gradual process. It takes time. It’s not a “quick fix” or an instant solution.

I know a marathoner. He runs almost daily and he’s completed hundreds of miles and tons of races. I can put on the same Nikes he wears and don the same running clothes. He can teach me all about breathing techniques, PRs, Fartlek training and cross-training. After all that, I might be able to practice for a little while and keep up with him for a few minutes on a run—but I’m not a marathoner. I’m going to poop out long before the end of the race.

No matter how much I understand the process of running a marathon, how much equipment I have, and how much I even WANT to run—without practice, without logging the miles, there’s just no way I’ll make it to the finish line, let alone keep up with him.

When it comes to transformational living, it requires practice. It’s laughable to think you’d be able to buy a pair of shoes and run a marathon the next day. Similarly, we can’t expect radical, positive life transformation to occur after just one amazing weekend retreat, after reading one book, or after working with a life coach for one or two sessions. The transformational process is gradual. Just like any major task, it requires time and practice. It requires you roll up your sleeves and do the personal development work.

Human beings are hardwired toward growth and adaptation. We want to learn, explore and grow. Just like our ancestors who forged ahead to new frontiers, we too want to move forward, achieve and discover new things. The very essence of life is growth. We are constantly driven to interact, to engage, to explore, and to transform.

The desire to change and grow might be loud and obvious…or it might be subtler. It may manifest itself as this vague sense of dissatisfaction, this desire for MORE—and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not always an alarm bell or a major crisis. Sometimes the itch starts because you just don’t feel like your life is “enough.”

Once you begin your transformational journey, the desire to change will propel you forward. The yearning for something more is the driver of our transformation. The first step is wanting to get that satisfaction—then you’re on your way to achieving the growth, life, and fulfillment you’re searching for.

To discover how to change your life, reach your full potential and bring out your best, join us for our next More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value workshops. Join us to discover the tools you need to go forth and ignite your world. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Featured blog post image “Looking Out on the World” courtesy of Flickr user Brian Holland licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was altered for this use.

Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.


Teamwork Skills:
How Leaders Cultivate
Unselfish Teamwork

Whether you’re a team leader or a team player, you know full well nothing happens without teamwork.


 

CEOs, business psychologists, and career coaching professionals are constantly studying group dynamics and “group think,” attempting to understand what makes a group cohesive, which personality strengths and traits best ensure a group will click, and how they can apply these ideas to the workforce.

Whether we’re talking business teams or sports teams, what really holds teams together is unselfish teamwork.

We’ve all heard the old cliché, “There’s no ‘I’ in team”—but it’s true. When you walk into a room, you can either decide you want to succeed or you can decide you want the room to succeed. If you’re out for your own success and glory, then yeah, maybe you’ll get there. Maybe you’re gregarious, charming and fascinating enough to get people to like you.

However, while you might have the best ideas, if you’re only out for your own success you’ll eventually fall behind, never reaching your full potential.

In leadership, it’s about getting your team to share a vision. It’s about really engaging with each team member and understanding each other on a deeper level. It’s about taking the gloves off and getting into productive discussions—and yes, even engaging in conflict at work—to get to where you want to go.

I can’t tell you how many times in my own life I’ve been going along thinking I had all the right ideas about something, then someone engaged with me and opened my eyes to something completely different. I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy, but I’m only as smart as the room I’m in and those I’m around. I’m only as good as the team I’m playing for.

Lead From Wherever You Are with Visioning

Every single employee at your organization has a vision for your company, from the CEO to the janitor. When we go to work, we all have an idea of how we want our day to go. We have hopes and yearnings about what we want. We envision our boss praising our work. We picture ourselves scoring the winning goal, upselling the top account, or sealing the deal with a new client.

While there are some who simply want to come in to work, do what they need to do and go home, most of us who are engaged, active and growth-focused in our lives and careers hope we can come in to work, do something great and enact positive change. We hope we can be the best we can be, every day.

Yet, what happens when we step back and realize we’re in a room where everyone wants to be the top seller, the best closer, or the boss’ favorite? Wouldn’t it be stronger for the company as a whole if we endeavored to be the best organization we could be?

Instead of asking how we can do our job more effectively, shouldn’t we be asking how we can enable and support the effectiveness of the entire team?

To elevate your team, organization, or group and cultivate real teamwork skills, you need to listen and share in on every member’s vision. Does that mean everyone will agree on an outcome, join hands and sing Kumbaya around the conference table? Of course not!

It simply means we can lead from any position by sharing and listening, then getting the team excited about a shared organizational vision. “A good team doesn’t just know the company vision; a good team shares in the visioning and each team member embraces it as their own.”

Boost Teamwork Skills by Bringing out Everyone’s Best

Not everyone can be the star quarterback, the homerun hitter, or even the head referee. We can’t all play the same role and the ball doesn’t always come our way. If we each only seek the desire for personal glory, we’ll be knocking down the other players and our team will falter.

The same idea applies to our teamwork skills at work. We’ve talked about the importance of treating every meeting as though you’re the host. You know what the best hosts do? They let others shine. They listen. They serve those around them, and help them bring out their best.

The quarterback doesn’t always get the glory or get to score the winning point, and neither does the meeting host. It’s more important to ensure everyone is winning and working toward shared company goals.

I’ve been around some great people in my life and one thing I’ve learned is to recognize the way truly great, charismatic, and strong leaders have a way of making those around them feel like they’re just as important and fascinating. They engage. They listen and they take note. They ask questions to gain a deeper understanding. They’re not thinking of how they can prove to you how smart and fantastic they are. Instead, you walk away feeling like YOU are smart and fantastic. They help bring out the best in everyone they meet.

To continue the conversation, unlock your leadership potential, and discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to join us for our next More Life Training.
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Going from Dating to Relationship : 3 Life-Changing Concepts for Connecting

Each date we go on is like a new social learning opportunity. Every date, from the best to the worst is a chance to find out something new.


Read this post if this sounds like you:

    • I’m interested in going from dating to relationship, but I want to have great dates and find the right person.
    • I want my dating experiences to help me learn more about myself and how to have a healthy relationship.
    • I’d like to learn more about better living and how to find true love and happiness.

 

We often look for some sort of formula to apply: “Ask this question on the second date,” or “Never talk about your previous relationships until at least the fifth date.”

Those who are regular readers of our blog know there are NO hard and fast rules when it comes to dating, except to be honest with yourself and engage. Dating is actually a cool playground for personal development and growth. It’s a chance to learn who you are, what you want, and how others perceive you (or how you hope they perceive you).

Dating is also a great chance to let go of our limiting beliefs and explore the things holding us back. It can help you gain a greater and deeper knowledge of yourself and build your confidence and social opportunities.

#1: It’s Time to Let Go of “The One”

Many of us have been raised with this Cinderella/Prince Charming mentality: there’s ONE person out there for us. This is reinforced by romantic comedies, books, and unrealistic portrayals of relationships in the media. This leads to a scarcity mentality and the feeling we might “mess up” our only opportunity by a single misstep.

Thank goodness this is a myth! It’s so freeing to know there are many people out there you might connect with. If one situation isn’t right and you’ve put forth your true and honest self, then you can sleep well at night, knowing you’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future.

The most important takeaway is to be true to your yearnings, and to who YOU are.

So often, we find we hold back at first because we’re nervous about being honest and then being rejected. When he doesn’t call, we ask ourselves what “we” did to scare him away. Did we talk about our parents too much? Was it because we mentioned marriage, or children, or “taboos” like religion or politics?

The truth is, if he didn’t call and you were honest with your interaction, then it just wasn’t a good fit for the time. You can’t change someone at their fundamental level or trick them into being interested. That mentality will only lead to bigger problems and shortfalls down the road.

#2: Accentuate the Positive!

In “The Heart of the Fight,” Drs. Bob and Judith Wright discuss the Rules of Engagement and how couples can productively engage in conflict. These rules of engagement can be applied in other areas of our life. (Hint: it’s not just for couples.) They’re important for singles and those who are dating as well.

One of my favorite rules of engagement? Accentuate the Positive. Each interaction you go into, you should enter with an open mind and an open heart. Maybe it won’t be a love connection (or even a “like” connection), but you can always find positive aspects of humanity in each person (even if they’re kind of a jerk).

If they are a jerk and there’s nothing immediately positive about the connection, then reframe it into a great learning opportunity to see how YOU deal with jerks. It’s a chance for you to call them out on their jerky behavior and let them know why you didn’t like it. What a great moment for growth and self-exploration!

It can be hard to get into the growth mindset after the disappointment of a crappy date, but in truth, you learn even more when things don’t go as planned. You can explore the takeaways you gained from the situation, and you can rest easy knowing you were honest, it’s over, and you don’t regret placating him or suppressing your own feelings.

#3: Express and Agree with the Truth—Always!

Another rule of engagement is you must express and agree with the truth, always. This can be difficult. So often in conflict, we get in a tit-for-tat war where one person says, “You’re this way,” and we say, “No, I’m not ALWAYS this way—there was one time….”

Instead, step back; acknowledge that in almost every criticism or conflict there’s an underlying nugget of truth. It’s okay to still be bothered by it. It’s okay to say, “You’re right about this, but it really pisses me off that you said it.”

Finding the truth in conflict is a great opportunity for growth. Maybe it will lead to a deeper connection and a better date. Maybe you’ll find yourself going from dating to relationship. Maybe it will lead to the realization that the person you’re dating is fundamentally different and you’re just not connecting. Either way, it’s perfectly fine. It’s really all about the fun and excitement of dating and learning new truths and new things about ourselves.

Your deeper connection starts with you. It’s about allowing yourself to be vulnerable. We’ve all been there, and it’s not easy. It takes a lot of bravery and strength to be comfortable with yourself and share with another person.

Each time something doesn’t work out, there’s also a tendency to apply it to a formulaic way of thinking: When I talk about this, it doesn’t work, so I shouldn’t bring it up. Some of us might lean back on our limiting beliefs. We start to train ourselves to hold back more and more.

It takes a lot of bravery and strength to pick up, brush off, and overcome this mindset. However, once you find the strength, it will propel you forward to a more comfortable place. Be accepting of who you are and put it out there on each date.

To learn more about how to be yourself, find love, and get what you want out of your dating life (and life in general), click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.

Let us know how your dating is going! Tune in to our podcast every Wednesday to talk about dating, relationships, and how to bring out your best self. Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!


About the Author

Rachel Zwell

Rachel Zwell is one of the core coaches in the Year of Transformation program. She is an emergence coach specializing in empowering individuals to increase their fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives, to achieve their professional and personal goals, and to develop their leadership skills. She coaches and mentors people to develop self-awareness, vision, strategies, and to build skills in social and emotional intelligence. She believes in full engagement and aliveness, and trains people to see and overcome the barriers that prevent them from living fully.


Featured blog post image “couple” courtesy of Flickr user Wyatt Fisher licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was altered for this use.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Getting Real:
It’s OK to Be Yourself
on a First Date

Read this post if this sounds like you:

  • First dates are hard!
  • I want to explore the world and meet new people.
  • Sometimes it’s not that easy to “just be yourself.”
  • I want to get more out of my dating life.
  • I want to more real human connections in my life.
  • I want to be ready to really get myself out there.

Remember MTV’s Real World? The tagline always went something like this: “find out what happens…when people stop being polite…and start getting real.” Time to get real. Let’s talk about the “real world” of dating.


 

How often have you psyched yourself up for a first date by getting into the mindset that you’re going to put your best self forward? BUT, are you really putting your true self out there? OR are you actually psyching yourself up to trick or dupe the other person into believing you’re that someone they want you to be?

Ok, so everyone puts on a bit of a show on any first date. Most of us wouldn’t show up un-showered and in sweatpants, ready to spend the night showing off cellphone pics of our cat. However, six months or a year down the road, there’s definitely going to be a Sunday afternoon where you find yourself on your couch in those pants, looking at pictures of Mr. Fluffers. Reality happens…eventually.

So WHY do we work so damn hard to hide it at first?

I’m not just talking about the silly sweatpants scenario, either. On a first date, we may think, “I’ll order something healthy, so he’ll know I’m a healthy eater,” or “I’ll talk about my promotion at work, so she’ll know I’m a hard worker.”

We’re striving to be a version of ourselves we think the other person wants, but really, shouldn’t we just let our freak flag fly?

When do we stop being polite and start getting real? And how?!

How To Break Your Barriers & Really Be Yourself!

If you’ve ever been told you’re high-maintenance, too assertive, too nice, or another extreme, you probably have some negative self-talk going on in your head. On a first or second date, this same voice may tell you not to speak up when something rubs you the wrong way because your date might think you’re being a bitch. This voice also might suggest you ask for dressing on the side, so your date doesn’t think you’re high maintenance.

Tell that voice to hush! It’s perfectly okay to ask for what you want and to speak up for the things you desire and prefer. More than just being okay, it’s really important!

There’s a certain level of decorum in “polite society” that says you shouldn’t do anything totally out there, particularly when meeting a new person or on a first date. Try thinking about it this way: Yes, first impressions count—but not for everything and rarely are they accurate.

So be yourself. Really! Expressing your likes and dislikes can accelerate relationship challenges, but they can also get us past that surface interaction and into the real stuff. They can help us engage in conflict in a socially intelligent way, helping us grow and reach a greater potential.

And hey, it’s ok to engage in conflict! However, conflict is most productive when we follow the rules of engagement. (We talk about all of these rules in our book, The Heart of the Fight.) Two of the most important rules are to accentuate the positive and to eliminate the negative. On a date, this doesn’t mean we should tell ourselves “everything is great!” when it’s not. Rather, we should instead approach every situation (even the less-than-stellar dates) as growth and learning opportunities. After a bad date, ask yourself, what did I learn about myself from this interaction?

Date & Explore to Learn About YOU

Don’t limit yourself! Go ahead and try out a lot of first dates. Explore your interactions with many different types of people. Throw strangers into a situation (or an MTV reality show) and the interactions they have are compelling—they definitely bring some different personality traits to light.

Dating and “playing the field” is no different. By giving yourself permission to explore your rapport with all different types of people, you can discover so much more about yourself.

What do you truly enjoy about your friends? Are there certain traits they have that really resonate with you? Maybe their sense of humor, their warmth, their way of reframing things? Whatever you like about your friends, chances are there are some common themes, and those traits can and should be explored with the different people you date.

Not every date is a love (or even a like) connection, but every date has a human connection. To unearth the connection, you have to be authentic and genuine.

Challenge yourself to really let down your guard and explore what you want. What do you like about people—and what doesn’t work for you? How do you express those feelings?

Explore each new way each different personality works with yours and study your reactions. I’ve said it before: dating is a wonderful playground and a chance to really interact, have fun, and do some of this deep personal growth work. Dating gives us the opportunity to be real and genuine, and to express our truest yearnings and desires and see how they are met or unmet.

Exploring yourself while you have the freedom of being single allows you to really roll up your sleeves and discover and play. You can identify the things you really want and like—and discover the things you’d rather avoid. It’s all at your feet. You just have to get real and get what you want!

To learn more about how to be yourself, find love, and get what you want out of your dating life (and life in general), click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.

Let us know how your dating is going! Tune in to our podcast every Wednesday to talk about dating, relationships, and how to bring out your best self. Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!


About the Author

rachel-zwell

Rachel Zwell is one of the core coaches in the Year of Transformation program. She is an emergence coach specializing in empowering individuals to increase their fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives, to achieve their professional and personal goals, and to develop their leadership skills. She coaches and mentors people to develop self-awareness, vision, strategies, and to build skills in social and emotional intelligence. She believes in full engagement and aliveness, and trains people to see and overcome the barriers that prevent them from living fully.


Featured blog post image “Flirting…?” courtesy of Flickr user Chen Shiang Khoo licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was altered for this use.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.