The Mindset You Need to Date Like a Pro
Does this sound familiar? You’re newly single, back on the apps, and scrolling through countless online profiles with a mix of both hope and hesitation. After months on end of being swiped left on, you start to worry “Will I ever meet someone?”. Over time the excitement of potentially finding ‘The One’ is replaced by the fear of ending up alone, leaving you wondering if you should just call it a day, invest in a bunch of cats, and give up on the idea of love all together.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this actually is a common struggle for many in the dating scene. Let’s be real, finding love can sometimes feel exhausting. But just like any other challenging pursuit, whether it’s in business, sports, or the arts, your chance of success in dating often depends more on your attitude than your approach.
That’s why entrepreneurs, athletes, or artists, often attribute their success to the ability to ‘fail forward’ — the idea that each obstacle is a step toward success. Basically, it means learning from every hiccup and challenge and using it as an opportunity to inch closer toward the ultimate goal. The secret? It’s about adopting a growth mindset, the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. It’s about seeing setbacks not as defeats but as a chance to learn and grow.
This approach isn’t just all talk either; it’s a strategy that has led many to success. J.K. Rowling, before captivating audiences with her stories, was rejected by 12 publishers. Legendary basketballer Michael Jordan missed the game winning shot 26 times. Oprah, now an icon, was once told she wasn’t fit for television. And Thomas Edison found 100 ways not to invent the lightbulb before his persistence finally lit up the entire world. What do they all have in common? They never gave up or backed down after facing a perceived setback or receiving a temporary ‘no’.
How to Fail Forward in the Dating World
Here are six ways to develop this winning mindset for success in love:
1. Be Vulnerable
Just as an entrepreneur pitches to potential investors, put yourself out there. Vulnerability shows courage, not weakness. It means being honest about who you are and what you’re looking for, and not being afraid to show your feelings.
2. Learn from Rejection
Athletes review their games over and over again to pinpoint their mistakes. Approach dating in the same way. Reflect on your experiences to identify opportunities for self-improvement. Use rejection as a steppingstone, not a roadblock.
3. View Setbacks as Steps Forward
In the same way artists often go through many versions before creating their masterpiece, not every dating attempt will lead to a lasting relationship. Remember that each ‘no’ actually brings you closer to a ‘yes’.
4. Patience and Persistence
Like an entrepreneur building a business, you have to pay your dues. Love takes time, and the right relationship is worth the wait. Stay the course, and don’t let impatience lead to desperation. Focus on attracting, rather than chasing.
5. Positive Reframing
Athletes often visualise winning. Apply this to your dating life. Visualise a positive outcome and see challenges as opportunities. A date that didn’t work out? View it as a chance to refine your search.
6. Celebrate Small Wins
Just as athletes celebrate each winning game, celebrate the good moments in dating — a fun date or a sexy match, even if they don’t go anywhere. These are steps in the right direction.
If you’re finding that luck isn’t on your side in the dating scene, there’s no need to fret. Just like any skill, fortunately your dating acumen can be honed and refined. You might start out as a complete novice, but with time and persistence, as well as the right mindset, you can elevate your dating game to expert levels. It’s all about embracing the learning curve and viewing each interaction as an opportunity to evolve, to fine-tune the art of conversation, and to understand more deeply what makes a successful match for you.
Adopting the right mindset in dating is about resilience, optimism, and the willingness to learn from every swipe, every date, and every “thanks, but no thanks.” It’s understanding that, like any pursuit, finding love is a process. It requires the same intention, determination, and courage that any entrepreneur, athlete, or artist uses to master their craft.
Dating isn’t just about finding a match; it’s also a process of self-discovery that shapes us, teaching us about who we are and what we truly seek in a partner. And the beauty of it all is that in this quest for love, we might just find that in seeking ‘The One’, we actually become the person we are meant to be.
Nicole Colantoni is a dating and relationship expert. As POPSUGAR Australia’s dating columnist, Nicole will share updates on dating trends, advice, and answer all your burning questions. Slide into her DMs to share what you’d like her to answer next. Nicole hosts a podcast, Love Uncensored: The Modern Guide to Dating & Relationships, which you can learn more about and listen here.
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