Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Be prepared

Dating is anxiety-provoking, exciting, common, and individualistic as well as potentially straightforward and simple. The best way to have a good time dating — not just on a date, but throughout the whole process — is to be relatively sane and happy before you begin. Notice, I did not focus on any particular date because you have surprisingly little control over that. After all, there is another person involved and lots of imponderables. I don’t say this to scare you, only to prepare you for what you already know in other situations:
Life is full of surprises, and even with great preparation, things can go wrong, and sometimes, with absolutely no preparation at all, things can go astonishingly well.
The point is not to throw up your hands in frustration, but to realize you do the best you can with what you’ve got and be prepared to go with the flow a bit, which gets us back to my first point: your initial state of mind and welfare. The happier you are, the more ready you are to date. If your life feels terrific, but you’d just love to have a special someone with whom to share it — in other words, if your motivation is more focused whimsy than desperate need — you’re prime dating material. If you’re unutterably lonesome, desperate, miserable, or need cheering up, this section is definitely for you. I’m gonna get you in shape to date. Just as an athlete prepares for an important event or the opening of the season, I’m going to coach you about how to prepare yourself to Don’t go there, even if you’re tempted, even if it seems logical; the disaster is predictable.

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