We’re nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century, and everything is changing.
What people want from relationships is changing.
How people meet and mate is changing.
If you’re still using 20th century relationship skills, you might get left behind.
I am so incredibly excited about what lies ahead for us.
Never have we had so much scientific insight and practical understanding into what makes great relationships tick.
The science just wasn’t there twenty years ago.
Culture wasn’t there twenty years ago.
When I was a kid, the “model relationship” was stable, predictable, and lasting. No one asked whether it was healthy or not.
You could admire a couple for staying together for 50 years, but that didn’t mean they treated each other with appreciation, kindness, and respect.
Young people aren’t dreaming of finding a husband/wife as much as they’re dreaming of finding their person, their best friend who they’re also passionately attracted to.
I predict that the quest for love that will come to define this century is NOT the quest to find your future spouse. (That’s so 20th century!)
Rather, in the 21st century what we all want is a soulmate.
Once you find your soulmate, nothing else matters.
You may marry, or you may not. You may start a family, or you may not.
What matters is your deep, profoundly connected relationship with this amazing person who teaches you so much and helps you become more than you could ever be on your own.
That’s what we crave.
But getting it requires reinvention.
You Are More Than a Wife
Twentieth-century dating advice was based on a single principle:
It is your job to be a catch for a man.
Whatever men wanted, it was your job to be that.
And if you couldn’t be it, fake it.
Books and advice columns galore described in detail what men supposedly wanted…
Because of course all men are completely generic and interchangeable. 😉
Meanwhile, women were told that their female genes predisposed them to prefer rich, handsome, successful men.
Luckily, we didn’t listen.
Instead, we followed our hearts into relationships that felt good and right to us.
(Just as most real-life men followed their hearts into relationships that felt good and right to them.)
It’s time to call out that old 20th century dating advice for what it was:
An attempt at turning wild, passionate, unique women into obedient wives.
It never had your best interests at heart.
It didn’t care in the slightest whether you were happy or healthy.
All it cared about was whether you were the “right sort of woman” doing your part.
That toxic advice is dated, but that doesn’t mean it has disappeared.
Many dating advice experts claim to have special insight into what men want just because they “happen” to be male.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of researchers, therapists, and psychologists who study healthy relationships never gain fame or followings.
You have a choice as to who you’ll listen to:
You can listen to the generic advice that aims to turn you into an averagely attractive woman so that you can snag the “average man”…
Or you can study and aspire to one of the very best relationships the world has ever known.
Bet you can guess which one I find most exciting!
When you set your sights on a soulmate, you’re not looking for a catch.
You’re looking for a match.
Someone who is so much like you, it’s uncanny.
He gets you. You’re on the same wavelength. You’re at home with one another.
There’s no need to impress him. The connection is instant. It feels like you’ve known each other forever.
If you are looking for a soulmate, you don’t want to go on a date asking the same old questions:
Are you a catch? and
Do you like me?
You want to go on every date asking new questions:
Are you like me? and
Do we click?
You don’t feel bad when a new connection doesn’t pan out. You simply acknowledge that you weren’t similar enough.
Put another way, it’s the difference between:
- “I really hope you’ll find me attractive,” and
- “I see something in you that I also share.”
What’s beautiful about this new mode of dating is that it throws out evaluation and competition.
Men don’t pick the “best” candidate.
Instead they pick the woman they resonate most with.
Your best dating strategy, then, is to create an environment where you can relax, share, and open up to one another.
Where neither of you has to hide. Where neither of you needs to impress.
Can you do that?
If not, then my book Effortlessly Likable can help you let your best self shine.