In some of my recent observations, conversations, and in a culmination of my own life experience up to now, I am going to make a case for the 7 in dating, and why it may just be a major mistake tossing the 7s aside. Confused? Allow me to explain.
In my reading and observations of the dating culture nowadays, I believe that there are two mindsets which have come to be prevalent, both of which are potentially problematic and contribute to people having seemingly more trouble with finding their next "big love."
Those two mindsets are: the efficiency which we have adapted with regards to dating, and, this perception that there are loads of romantic options at the ready, via online dating.
With regards to the first issue, efficiency. Most people have become all about rushing through dating. Swiping through loads of people in seconds. Going on one date with someone and, within minutes of it not being a fireworks show, chemistry crackling 10 of a date, tossing them aside and axing any consideration of a second date. Instead, doing things like going about lining up tons of people to meet in one week, most of whom will not pan out as ones we will actually mesh well with or want a long-term relationship with.
Dating is one of the few life veins that we should be doing just the opposite in. For instance, as opposed to meeting loads of people who seem like ok matches, who "look hot" but on paper seem meh, why not meet just a few but with far more partner potential? People with whom you have had a decent basis conversation with before meeting, and whose profile seemed thoughtful and truly interesting to you. This is maximizing your time instead of wasting it.
Or, what about going on a date with someone and, when the date turns out to be not necessarily a 10 right off the bat but at least a 7 (meaning, decent conversation, finding them fairly attractive and enjoying their company), assuming that this is absolutely grounds for a second date. Because how much can you truly glean someone's partner potential, or really, much about a person in general, off of just one date? Pretty much zilch.
You are only getting the barest hint, a tiny nibble, the briefest snippet of who someone is on that first date. So my point is, if the date is pretty darn good though not bombshell amazing? That's still potentially promising and, at least what should be, an intriguing thing. One I would urge as being worthy of a bit more exploration.
Everyone is awkward, shy or not totally themselves on the first date. So if the date was still a solid 6.5 or 7 overall, that is solid ground for spending some more time with them to learn a bit more about this person and what might be the potential that lies between you two. Sevens can, within 3, 4, 5 or 6 dates, absolutely grow into tens. Of course, if the date is totally lame or the person does something that right away makes it a deal breaker for you, then obviously there shouldn't be a second date. I am not advocating forcing something or settling. What I am advocating is not being so quick to toss aside something decent that could grow into something awesome if you gave it a just bit more time and curiosity.
Yes, on occasion in life, many of us have met or will meet someone with whom right off the bat, you feel an explosion. Instant intense attraction, major chemistry, immediate click, etc. I have experienced this like many people. That instantaneous, explosive, knee shaking attraction and connection. It’s thrilling, romantic, sexy, so much fun. It’s an awesome thing. It’s one of the most emotionally intense and outstanding experiences of one’s life. And of course, I want that too. But this is a rare thing. And even further, just because you have those feelings for someone does not mean they are a good match for you over the long term, nor does it mean the relationship will necessarily be a healthy or good one. It might mean that. But just as easily, it might not.
The problem is that when we make this the default for what we are searching and toss aside loads of people who we do find attractive and really liked but they weren't quite that firework worthy experience immediately, this is potentially missing out on incredible/worthwhile things that may have revealed themselves to you a handful of dates later.
Something I have also observed at this point, in watching my friends, hearing about others, and via my own experiences, is that you can still have this with someone whom you didn't necessarily feel it with right off the bat. A 7 can evolve into a 10 within a handful of dates.
Exploring an initial 7 can end up being a love of your life. But when you move on after just one date, you miss out on that possibility.
I see a lot of people doing this. My friends and loved ones, I’ve done it myself, and I see it becoming just a generally pervasive way of thinking and behaving within dating generally. Much to a lot of people’s eventual frustration and disappointment. The tossing aside of 7s ever in search of that immediate 10.
And the second potentially problematic mindset I have seen in dating nowadays is the skewed perception that there are loads of people at the ready at your fingertips (mostly via dating apps and online dating), which promotes all of the above behavior and potential losses. Tossing people aside who were actually pretty decent but, under the assumption of there being loads of better options waiting, holding out for that elusive right-off-the-bat 10.
Of course, there is always a chance of finding someone with whom you match well and will fall in love throughout the entirety of your life, no matter where you are geographically or at what age. I don’t think this possibility runs out or ever goes away. It's out there in the universe, waiting all the time. So I am not saying that in scrolling through loads of dating options, you are losing out on that chance at some point.
What I am saying is more that dating apps are an efficient way to move through your options but when you use a resource more efficiently, you ultimately use up more of it. On dating apps, the resource is people. You swipe through them as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you use up more romantic possibilities quickly. Many of which were likely to have been really good matches or partners for you, but who are overlooked in a glimpse.
While dating apps too can always result in finding a partner, there are just as many people on them, if not more, who do not. And I believe the reason for that is highly attributable to the mindsets I am outlining in this article. That these two mindsets impede our chances of finding that great relationship, or at the very least, make it a lot harder.
With the mindsets of, "eh, there's always someone better," or "there are loads more options waiting" again, these feeding into the first point of likely tossing aside people with whom you might really have matched well or ended up loving deeply, had you given a bit more time and investment towards seeing how things might unfold. These mindsets encourage us to be aloof. To be less mindful, to pay less attention, and to rush through dating. When instead, we should be doing the opposite.
Paying close attention. Slowing down. Choosing carefully. Giving something promising and interesting some more time. Being willing to invest somewhat and take a chance with someone who seems promising. Listening and watching. Being open. These are the mindsets that will bring you closer to love and finding a great partner.
Just as a clarification, I am not saying anything along the lines of "hurry up and nab someone fast. That the sea is dwindling. There aren't many good fish left, so grab someone while you can." That is not what I think at all, nor is it what I've observed in own life or in others. People find amazing partners and love at any age. You hear about those in their seventies who, for example, after their spouse has passed away, find love again. Saying things like "wow, I loved my spouse so much, I didn't think finding a love as powerful again was possible. But I love this person just as much, but in different ways."
People find and experience great loves in their teens, in middle age and well into being elderly. There is no age cap on love. And love is not a limited resource. Our potential for finding amazing partners is not dwindling with each year. That's a skewed perception. Especially as our relational needs, desires and goals change throughout the course of each of our lives. This means that who can make an ideal partner for us also changes and shifts. There are always a lot of people in the world with whom we can/would be well matched.
So I am not trying to say that this is at risk in people’s lives, of not finding this in general. And again, I am not advocating settling or forcing something that doesn't fit, which is a recipe for ending up miserable and totally mismatched down the road.
What I am advocating is slowing down a bit and playing more attention. I am promoting being a bit braver and more mindful in our dating and romantic relationships.
I'm saying that we do miss out on meaningful relationships opportunities and loves when we are:
1. too efficient, and
2. too steeped in the assumption that there are loads of options at our fingertips if this hundredth date doesn't work out.
Having all this theoretical choice may be working against us, in terms of our willingness to invest, slow down a bit, and really take the time to give someone a fair shot.
Research has shown that people you aren't necessarily attracted to right away can become attractive to you over time, as you get to know them better. Evaluating someone's compatibility as a partner or your feelings on them in the span of a single swipe, or even just one date, eliminates a lot of possibilities and potential.
Dating in general, can be so much fun. It’s a wonderful thing. Meeting prospective romances and partners, getting to know them, flirting, spending time together and adventuring into that thrilling experience together, seeing what happens, the anticipation, all of it can be so fabulous. Online dating can also be a fantastic tool. It helps people meet and cross paths who never would have otherwise, some of whom have the potential to be great partners for you.
The issue and disconnect instead seems to be how we are approaching dating nowadays and particular mindsets and attitudes that some people have begun adapting as their default dating modes and approaches.
If we can shift our mindsets somewhat, along with utilizing the tool of online dating to its intended and most effective degree (which is merely: to provide the initial introduction and door opening. Far too many people have long, drawn out conversations over weeks online which is kind of silly and aimless. Establish an initial connection and interest briefly online but then you need to meet in person to really know if this is going to click or not. Let the app provide the intro but then go out and do the dating in person!), I believe these shifts could result in a lot more people having better luck in finding fabulous, viable and satisfying romantic partners and dating experiences.