In the April 2016 Ensign Magazine, there’s a must-read article written for everyone who is single-and-looking called Taking the Fear out of Dating.
It’s written by BYU Professor and former mission president Michael Goodman, and brings to light five proactive steps that will shift your focus from dating fear to items IN your control. Implementing these easy-to-do steps will help you increase your chances of finding eternal love with the right one for YOU.
We invite all single adults to read and practice the great advice shared in the article. We add our years of experience and wisdom to echo his advice.
Goodman first suggests that we Patiently Prepare Ourselves to be ready by focusing on becoming happier, more whole individuals.
“I have clients who want me to make the love of their life appear with a big, glittery wave of my magic wand. Even if I did have the power to magically place my clients into marriage with a great partner, many still wouldn’t be happy,” said, Erin Schurtz, Dating Coach with The LDS Matchmaker.
“Unhappy, anxious singles make unhappy, anxious spouses, even after they are married. Marriage, even to someone great, won’t solve the underlying issues. It only adds new complexities and creates unmet expectations. It’s far better to address your underlying anxieties before getting into a serious relationship.”
Goodman also suggests we should Live Life Relationally. “Some of my best advice to clients who are nervous on dates or in front of someone they’re interested in is to practice relating to everyone”, Hardenbrook said. “You need experience to master any art. Practice being warm, friendly and empathetic to everyone, even your grocery store cashier. The more practice you have relating to those around you, the better you’ll be with prospective mates.”
Goodman’s article suggests we should Seek Opportunities. Saying yes, when you’d rather say no, often yields the new connections we’ve been waiting for. The next time you hear about a single’s conference, make plans to go! If you hear about a gathering, but aren’t sure if you’ll know many people, jump at the chance to break into new social circles.
Find your tribe. If you like boating or watersports, hit the next boat show expo with a friendly smile and look to catch someone’s eye. If endurance sports are your thing, register alone with the intent to meet new people while you train. If you’re a gamer put on your game face and hit the convention. The possibilities really are endless.
Goodman advises singles to Deepen Select Relationships.
Creating opportunities to have alone time with those you’re interested in will help foster opportunities to connect on a deeper level. Hanging out is for college dorms, not for those who are marriage minded.
During your alone time together, exhibit an appropriate level of vulnerability by volunteering new information about your desires, wishes or opinions. If it’s a connection worth developing, your partner will match your emotional investment and a bond will form deepening your trust with each other.
Goodman says that being able to Communicate Expectations Openly will lead to successful partnerships.
“My clients often want to keep their thoughts, feelings and viewpoints to themselves to protect what they have with someone. They don’t want to rock the boat, but doing so is disingenuous,” said Erin Schurtz.
“Successful relationships develop when our thoughts, feelings and viewpoints are shared and your prospective partner responds well. If he or she isn’t willing or able to respond in the way you expect after you openly communicate your desires, it’s important to know sooner rather than later so you can shift your focus toward someone who will reciprocate appropriately and value your opinion.”
So before you give up on dating and love because it’s simply too scary or too hard, know that there are true gospel principles to assist you in your journey and even remove the fear!