Archive for the ‘Single’ Category

If I were Rich, I would be Married…but Not for the Reason You Think

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dating rich people

A few years ago I had a startup. It got some good publicity, I was working with some huge companies and it was a lot of fun.

 

Then I found out that my main competitor sold for $80million to Facebook.

 

Ugh.

 

While things turned out fine with my company, it never was sold for that many commas.

 

I have, from time to time, imagined what my life would have been like had my company been the one to sell for $80M.

 

One thing is almost for sure: I’d be married already.

 

…but not for the reason you think.

 

I wouldn’t be married because I would have found some gold digger, but rather because more girls would have given me a chance.

 

See, I know that there are people whom I could have married (granted, I’m SO GRATEFUL I didn’t so that I could meet someone as incredible as my fiancee), but they just never gave things a shot when I was in the right place.

 

While money wouldn’t have bought them, it might have helped them to go on one more date, keep their mind open a little bit more, ignore some of the stories and preconceived notions of what a small-time dating blogger might be like. We might have fallen in love and gotten married. But it wasn’t until Annie that the right girl gave it the right shot at the right time…and I still don’t have $80M.

 

Now here is where it comes down to what is important: YOU!

 

All I’m saying is this: there are people, whom you probably already know, that you can marry, if you just give it a shot. Pretend as if they do have all the money you could ever want and ask yourself if you would honestly try just one more time.

 

So look over to your friend list, overlook your initial impressions and really look it over. Keep your heart open to the possibility and just give it one more honest chance to find love. I’m not saying find some tatted up crazy person and try to fall in love, but don’t be so scared because someone isn’t as attractive, isn’t as funny, isn’t as dynamic or isn’t as rich. You may just be seeing things wrong.

 

Because they might not be a millionaire…but, I think it was in the Bible or Gandhi or something who penned the ever-true words, “Money can’t buy me love.”

 

 

 

Before You Dump the Perfect Prospect (on Paper) Read these 5 Principles

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dating frustration

 

Wait, you’re NOT going to keep going out with him?! He’s tall, good looking, super cool, solid in the gospel, smart, great family, and you know he’s going to be rich—what more could you possibly want?”

 

The condescending tone in your roommate’s voice is familiar.

 

You mumble a response filled with certain confusion, “I mean, he’s awesome…but I’m just not excited about it.”

 

“You’re getting too old to be this picky, you know.”

 

A flush of frustration begins to bubble up, but you realize that it’s true. Still, you know what you feel, even if you can’t quite explain it and drop to defensiveness, “I thought you told me last week that I shouldn’t settle.”

 

“[ugh] You’re just stupid.”

 

We’ve all been there.

We’ve been the one confused at the uncertainty, when all logic points to certain.

We’ve been the roommate, exasperated at the friend dropping the person they secretly wish they could have dated.

We’ve even been the poor sap left for no seemingly good reason wondering, ‘is something wrong with me?’

 

This situation boils down to one question:

Should I keep dating someone even if I’m not excited about them? Or in other words, how do I settle without settling?

 

At times, we find ourselves with those who are perfect on paper but prosaic in person and something just doesn’t propel you to pursue the possibility of considering them to be a positive prospect.

 

Do you have to make the choice between finding someone that you are super excited about, but you know they might not be a good fit for you; or someone who is perfect for you, but you just aren’t excited about?

 

THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!! (Why you gotta be so rude?) …so long as you abide by these 5 principles.

 

 

  1. Love is a choice.

Love doesn’t always just happen to you. You must work for it and put time into it through serving them. Don’t make yourself a martyr to emotions and a victim to fate. You have agency in love. Yes, truly, you have agency in love. I’m going to say that one more time…you have agency in love.

 

  1. Make a list.

If you don’t have a list where you can objectively see if the potential person is worth a shot, you might either dive in with the wrong person and ignore red flags because there is too much emotion involved, or you will toss great people to the side and make up excuses not to date them because there isn’t enough emotion.

SERIOUSLY…try these 4 steps out right now to make your list. I PROMISE this 10-minute activity of coming up with a list will help you get married.

 

  1. Be open to the possibility of love.

This includes getting rid of old heartstrings and not dating so many people at the same time to help you differentiate your emotions.

 

  1. Wait with wisdom.

Give it some time and be patient. Not like going out with the same person that you are woefully indifferent towards for months, but give it a few dates. Try things out and be open. Know though, that if you aren’t open to the possibility of love, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

 

  1. Be honest with yourself.

Believe that you are abiding by the first four principles and then follow your heart…just don’t leave your brain behind. If you don’t like them, it is okay to move on and disregard all of those around you who are telling you how wrong you are.

 

At the end of the day, know this: You are not “stupid” just because you can’t understand why you don’t like that “perfect” person or because you got caught up in the “wrong” person. You are just…human.

 

When I’ve broken up with people for, according to outsiders, ‘no good reason,’ I’ve been attacked. But guess what? All of that led me to my fiancée—a woman that I’m thrilled to be with AND meets everything on paper.

 

I waited to find both for a simple reason: I felt I deserved it. And if a guy as fault-filled (even on paper) as me deserves it and got it…you certainly do too.

 

 

“It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!”

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free yourself in dating

 

I have a friend who was dating this guy for a couple of years. He was ready to pull the trigger, kill his single life and propose, but she couldn’t get herself there. She always felt like something within was holding her back and trapping her heart.

 

So she tried to get herself out of her own prison.

 

She went to therapy to improve, but was discouraged.

She read books about how to be exclusive, but had eyes for others.

She prayed to get over her fears, but it was still scary.

 

Nothing worked.

 

Then…she finally dumped him.

 

She fed him the line, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ garbage and she honestly believed it.

 

He told her that she had crazy phobia of commitment.

 

BUT…

 

Two weeks later she met a guy, a month later she was engaged and a few months later she was married.

 

She felt free. Turns out, she was trying to escape the wrong prison the whole time.

 

Now look, a lot of you are going to read that story and think that you are great and don’t need to change and you just haven’t met the right one.

 

Chances are, you do need some fixing.

 

But when you meet someone who could be the right person, you want to change and be “fixed” to make yourself a better you (NOTE: not just a ‘better person,’ but the ‘better you.’).

 

When you meet someone you want to be with, guess what…? YOU WANT TO BE WITH THEM!

 

Improving is encouraging, not a bummer.

Not dating other people is a relief, not a sacrifice.

Long-term talks are exciting, not scary.

 

So if you are in a relationship and have worked at improving and getting over your fears and aren’t sure why you are still feeling uneasy, try to walk away. It might give you the perspective to help you understand the source of your fear.

 

Because if you don’t want to be with someone and are fearful about the relationship, maybe it isn’t you, but them for you.

 

Find a new ‘them’ to make a free ‘you.’

 

 

4 Steps to Making a “List” of Your Future Spouse and How We Always Do It Wrong

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swan dating ducks
With a spouse, I don’t want someone to be the wind beneath my wings (nor vice versa), but rather, I want someone to fly with me. That sounds nice, but what does that actually mean, on a human day-to-day level?

 

To help me answer that, I came up with 4 steps to make a list of what attributes I want in my future spouse.

 

BUT before we get into making a list, there are two stories that are absolutely critical to read.

 

STORY 1

 

I have a friend who was dating this guy.

 

She really liked him, but couldn’t quite figure out if it was worth going to the next level, so she wrote out a list of pro’s and con’s. There were some really good things about him, but just some stuff that bugged her too.

 

If only he could change these things,’ she thought.

 

Then, she took the list to the Lord in prayer to find out what else she might be missing. She felt prompted to open up her scriptures to a random verse and what she read hit her right between the eyes.

 

“Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?…Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).

 

Bam. #GodSlap

 

STORY 2

 

I recently had my buddy write out all of the things he wanted in a wife. After reciting a long list, I read it back to him and he nodded in agreement.

 

Then I asked him if that list described him.

 

He didn’t even need to think about it.

 

The answer was no.

 

The 4 Steps:

 

You might be like me, when, after reading these stories, could give a tisk*tisk finger wag and think of a few friends who should read this post.

 

But I would encourage you to fight against the urge of thinking of others and take a fresh batch of humble pie to realize that so often in life, we underestimate others while overestimating ourselves. We find the fallible in others and excuse the errors in ourselves by feigning good intentions without giving the benefit of the doubt to others.

 

Is it wrong to make a list? NO!

 

But make sure you include all these steps:

 

  1. Think of the people you wish you could have married/dated and think about what you respected most about them. Write it down.
  2. Think of your ex’s and why you broke up. Write down the opposite.
  3. Choose ONLY 5 must-have’s and 5 nice-to-have’s. Put the others aside for review later.
  4. Make those attributes your personal goals.

 

So today, make a list and check it twice…but make sure the second time is for yourself.

 

For remember, you don’t attract a swan by looking like a duck.

 

 

 

How to Fight the Fear of Dating After the D-Day (Divorce)

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11426205_10153288275406900_2218536451413950685_n

Janice pictured here metaphorically thinking of the sweet dating options in her life.

I don’t often do guest posts, but if you met Janice, you would be fascinated with what she thinks as well. While we’ve covered a dating post about not being defined by being divorced after dating (guest post by Jordan Moss), the 7 D’s of dating after divorce and how to avoid divorce through adventure and confirmation bias…this takes on the angle of FEAR of dating and how to combat such a frightening fight. I hope you will find perspective or peace from her writing.

 

[enter Janice]

 

Let me just start by saying that I hate dating, with a passion. It’s akin to eating your greens as a child or exercising as an aging adult—necessary but dreadful. But it is just that, necessary.

 

Hi, I’m Janice and I’m a recently divorced 20- something year old. Divorce is terrible; I wouldn’t wish it on my arch nemesis. Marriage is lovely, on the other hand, and you should totally try it sometime, just be real sure you and your someone are in it to win it. Turns out my someone wasn’t remotely in it to win it, but that’s not what this post is about—this is about dating after D-Day.

 

If you’re anything like me, which I’m going to assume you are, the thought of dating also makes you want to vomit. This is no exaggeration, post-divorce dating gives me anxiety—bad anxiety. I’m talking cold sweats, shaking, uncomfortable in my skin, super nervous to the point of regretting eating anything hours prior. There are a million reasons why I get anxious, but that’s not the important part, the important part of this post is how we can get over it.

 

The only way to get over the fear of dating is…

You’re not going to like this answer.

Are you ready for it?

 

The only way to get over the fear of dating is to date.

 

Ugh. I know right?! I remember coming to this realization with my therapist some months after D-Day and trying in vain to negotiate some other solution, but here’s how he put it to me:

 

You have an internal smoke detector; it’s that part of you that gets uncomfortable in a bad situation. It starts pinging when someone’s acting suspicious, or maybe lying to you. It’s that voice in the back of your head that says “Maybe you shouldn’t be here…” when you are chilling with your way shady friends on a Wednesday afternoon and you enter a dingy club through a back ally after someone whispered the passcode to a giant bouncer with some gnarly looking teeth and a forehead tattoo (not like that has ever happened to me).

 

Anyways, that smoke detector used to be spot on and you relied on it daily to keep you safe and protected.smoking hot

 

Then one day, out of nowhere, a huge, raging and completely unexpected fire broke out and your smoke alarm went off.

 

Since then, your smoke alarm has been broken. It’s been chirping and going off like it needs a battery replacement at 3 AM on a Monday. Someone looks at you and smiles, it chirps. Someone sweetly puts their hand on your back, it chirps. Someone asks you on a date, it chirps.

 

 

And every time it chirps, you freak! I mean it’s going off, there must be something wrong and you should probably run. But alas, this is not the case; your smoke alarm just needs a hard reset.

 

It’s tough realizing that you can’t trust that part of yourself anymore, and I know you want to! So let’s work on this together. You need to retrain your detector into recognizing what is and what is not a potential threat. You need to help yourself see that not all guys are bad and out to completely obliterate your heart. Good guys do exist. (The same can be said to guys about girls)

 

Learn about them; be aware of how you feel around them. Compare how you feel with one date verses the next, learn how to feel again. Learn how to trust yourself and those feelings. Trust me when I say I know this is hard, I am right there with you. But we need to get our smoke alarms back to a reliable and functional place because it is only then that we will be able to find love after D-Day.

 

 

 

3-Word Formula to Choose Your Love

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Young couple holding hands

“Choose your love and love your choice.” When Thomas S. Monson made that statement, I thought I understood what he was saying.

 

I still think that I get the second part—love your choice. To me, that means being committed.

 

But what does that first part mean? How do we choose our love?

 

We often get so lost in trying to understand what it means to choose our love, that we never gain what we want (or at least want to want): marriage. Or better-put, a great marriage.

 

For years I was convinced that I was doing my part to get married, until I realized recently that there was a three-word formula. It is a formula for helping us all to choose our  love—not just waiting around for him or her to appear.

 

  1. Open.
  2. Service.
  3. Time.

 

See, not long ago, I met this girl. She was pretty, smart, and motivated, but we weren’t really one another’s type. I thought she was a little too high-strung, and I could tell she thought I was immature (turns out one of us was right–her). I never asked her out, but we became good friends. Then one day, I thought to put the “choose your love” counsel from President Monson to the test and see if I could really like her. So I decided I would make myself vulnerable and not even care if she didn’t like me back. Every time I saw her, I would give her a compliment, try to make her day a little better, and be more eager to help her out. Basically, I served her. Not in a creepy way, but in a way to help her day be a little bit better.

Over time, something happened.

 

Week 1: I did not feel much of a change.

Week 2: I started to notice myself glancing at her more often.

Week 3: I caught myself thinking about her randomly.

Week 4: I noticed butterflies.

Week 6: I was looking forward to seeing her.

Week 7: I really liked her . . . a lot.

 

I realized this was the same lesson I learned on my mission with difficult companionships, but I didn’t think it would translate into romantic relationships as well. But why shouldn’t it?

 

Gordon B. Hinckley said, “If every husband and every wife,” (and I don’t think he is excluding singles,) “would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce” (“The Women in Our Lives,” General Conference, Oct. 2004).

 

To read the conclusion of this post and my epiphany on how this relates to the Atonement, continue reading at LDSLIVING.com <–click that!

What to Do When the Things You LOVE Most are the things you also HATE Most?

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dating frustrations

Crayons and significant others are so similar…so frustrating to pick a single one.

“The things I love about my husband are actually the the things that frustrate me most about him.”

 

I was speaking to one of my best friend’s mother when she dropped that one on me. She had such a happy and loving marriage and I wanted to know how I could build a relationship like theirs.

 

She continued, “See, I love how charitable he is, but when money is super tight and he is paying for other people’s dinners and helping out people financially, it is a bit stressful for me.”

 

In my life I’ve realized a similar truth.

 

The very reason I was attracted to the women I date is often the reason we break up.

 

I love women who are ambitious! They think, plan, dream, believe, act and achieve. They are so impressive…to a point that it is irritating. They are so independent that they don’t need me, don’t call back often and are so busy with their lives and being pursued by so many other people that I often walk away.

 

I love women who are kind! They are so caring and gentle and always let others shine in groups. They are so wonderful…that I can’t stand it. They can be boring or pushovers and are always seeking to agree.

 

This is a truth regardless of man or woman. It just is.

 

Those who are energetic can be annoying.

Those who are passionate can argue too much.

Those who are funny can tease ad nauseum.

Those who are spiritual can be self-righteous.

 

Well then…what are we to do?

 

So far, my plan seems to be to break up or sabotage…that’s worked out super well.

 

As I was considering this recently, I remembered the end of the conversation with my friend’s mother where she put it all in perspective, “I just need to decide that the things I love are more important than the things that frustrate me.”
Basically, as simply as a Thomas Monson said, “Choose your love, and love your choice.”

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Fell Out of LIKE

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planing a relationship seed

 

Wow. She was amazing.

 

You met at the bonfire and couldn’t hardly sleep that night thinking about her.

 

The next day you found her on fbook and then messaged her and got her number.

 

You went out on a few dates and there were just sparks like crazy.

 

After a few dates, you even kiss her!

 

Things are going so well…until one day about two weeks into this, you go to another bonfire and meet someone else. You ignore the text of the first girl and slowly stop calling her back as this new girl starts to envelop your thoughts.

 

And by the beginning of week three, the first girl is a distant memory, a story, and another tally when you are asked how many people you’ve kissed.

 

[sigh]

 

On the subject of falling out of love, I can’t comment. I’ve been in love a few times and each time, the conclusion has been involuntary.

 

But on getting over liking someone, ah, this blog has volumes on that.

 

I’ve found there are typically three reasons why we fall out of like:

 

  1. Something is wrong with them. Before you go off about this, it is important that you do this one task: write down specifically WHY you don’t want to date them anymore. Share it with a couple of people and see if you really are incompatible with them or if you are victim of the second reason.
  2. Something is wrong with YOU. Yes, you have issues, my friend. You fake date. You look for crushes instead of foundations. You are not over that ex. You have daddy problems. Or….you don’t think you have issues, in which case, you are in denial. Whatever the case may be, make sure you fix you to a point that you can let someone into your heart and life. You don’t have to be perfect, but workable. I promise it isn’t as scary as people think it is…or so my therapist tells me.
  3. The relationship is wrong. Ah, the indescribable, irrational and irritatingly honest, ‘not sure why, but just don’t feel right about it’ thing. It really is a real thing (sometimes). And as long as you are being honest with number one and two, I would take this for a decent answer. BUT BUYER BEWARE: if you abuse this, you will be held accountable at the last day (a.k.a. when you turn 31 and are kicked out of a singles ward).

 

So remember to use caution when throwing a crush into the wind. It might just be the perfect seed to your soil if you would but ‘Alma 32’ that relationship.

 

 

Why I Only Hang Around Beautiful People

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lots of ugly fish in the sea

I hope you aren’t the person offended by this post, but if you are, I sincerely apologize for the hurt caused, but not for the truth written.

 

I try to make it a habit to only be around beautiful people.
And before you judge me, know that you do too.

 

Because by beautiful, I don’t mean supermodel (although I’m not opposed, per se), but I mean beautiful souls. Usually, a common factor in all beautiful people is an ease when it comes to gratitude. Despite all they lack, there is a steady awareness of what that they do have. And it is that type of person who uplifts all around them. That is why we love being with them.

 

One of the biggest disparities between the beautiful and ‘not beautiful’ is in the singles ward.

 

While there are some of the most beautiful and positive people I have ever met, there are also people who have given up and can only see and speak about that which they don’t have.

 

We all have been that ugly person at times. When things have been super hard at times, I have been guilty of complaining about the people I’ve been out with, envious when my friends find their special person, bad talking exes and ranting on social media [insert ironic comment here].

 

But guess what?

 

That just perpetuates the ugliness!

 

We need to take a step back from the judging throne, recalibrate our cynical conversations, take an honest inventory of our topics and sincerely consider the state of our heart.

 

Bitterness never was prettiness.

 

No one wants to marry an ugly Ursula, aka negative Nancy.

 

The more bitter we are, the more negative energy we put out and the less people will want to be around us.

 

So am I saying that we aren’t allowed to talk about our trials and our hardships or that sever depression is just something that we choose to have? No! But we need to be beautiful–truly beautiful.

 

Let’s stop talking about how little we get asked out, how bored we are of first dates and how disenchanted we are with our life situation–and let’s start expressing gratitude for our agency to flirt, the lessons we are learning and the opportunities to grow! There are a lot of fish in the sea, so let’s not to be that really ugly one.

 

Let’s plant more than we dig up.

Let’s build more than we break.

Let’s be beautiful more than bitter.

 

Don’t Put Stock in Emotions on Dates

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emotions lie

My friend and his fiancé were playing tennis.

 

They were about 2 weeks away from getting married and everything was going well.

 

But something changed on that court.

 

Maybe she wasn’t looking as good, maybe he was feeling a bit sick, maybe he just was feeling off. Whatever the reason, he all of a sudden…just didn’t feel it.

 

As a result, he almost broke off the entire thing.

 

Luckily, he didn’t, and now, 25 years later, he has a very happy and fulfilling marriage.

 

As he was telling me this story, I couldn’t help but think of what that means for me and how often I put so much stock in my CURRENT—moment-by-moment—emotions on a date that I don’t give things a chance.

 

See, if I feel ‘off’ about a date, I don’t ask them out again; if I feel ‘on,’ I do.

 

But whoa whoa whoa whoa! There are so many factors that go into how I feel at any given moment, only a portion of which have anything to do with the girl. My emotions might be completely out of both her control and mine when I arbitrarily decide to take my emotional temperature.

 

It isn’t about that moment as much as it is how things are trending over time.

 

There are plenty of emotional snapshots, or thin slices, that, when taken for what they are, look ‘off’ when they are, in the long run ‘on’ and, quite frankly, visa versa.

 

It is just likes stocks.

Take a look at these three stocks. Looking at this, would you say they are good or bad investments? (dollars per share is on the right and time is on the bottom in each chart)

google decline

Stock 1

apple decline

Stock 2

fbook decline

Stock 3


They all look pretty bad in these snapshots. Well, do you know who they are?

Here is the whole picture, with the portion above highlighted.

google trend

1 is actually Google.

 

apple trend

2 is Apple.

 

fbook trend

And yes, my fellow Millennials, 3 is the opening STINK of our beloved Facebook.

 

Any stock can have a bad day.

 

These are all snapshots that make these stocks look like an awful investment, but if you look at the TRENDS, these moments are just bad examples of a positive trend.

 

Conversely, there are stocks like Enron, where it looks like it is heading up with great days and then crashes and dies (much like my third dates)…but that is perhaps for another time.

 

So what are you expecting me to do, Zack? Go in with a brazen blindfold over my heart and put on my accounting hat to calculate the positive investment potential of a relationship?!

 

No!

 

What I’m saying is that we go in with our minds and hearts open to the potential of love while giving the relationship a chance despite an ‘off’ day and not giving too much credit to an ‘on’ day.

 

What I’m saying is that we all need to do an honest inventory of how much stock we place in our emotions and I, for one, have realized that I’ve passed a lot of great trends because of a snapshot at the wrong time period.

 

What I’m saying is that we all need to take a step back and not stress so much just because it is one moment.

 

The ‘on or off’ calibration of human emotions is a highly inaccurate estimate in the moment, for a moment. From what I hear, even marriages have on days and off days, on weeks and off weeks, and yes, even on months and off months.

 

Because as my friend proved on that tennis court and as those snapshots of some of the most successful companies in the world metaphorically proves, if there is commitment AND love, chances are, you’ll bounce back.

 

And yes…this IS a post giving a shout out to the fact that this is my last week of MBA classes.