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The Power of Knowing What You Want In Dating

The Power of Knowing What You Want In Dating

Dating can feel very disheartening in this age of instant gratification and social media. Our competence for true human connection has been stunted by the decline of in person social and communication skills caused by a lack of face to face contact, a novelty that seems to have been replaced with staring at a screen.

For some, dating apps work well and breed positive connection, and that’s great. But for others, the inability to assess a person’s energy through being in their physical space can lead to feelings of hopelessness around dating. For those who don’t want the first meeting to be through a screen with one photo as the judge of instant compatibility, or for the hopeless romantics who believe in fortuitous and organic meetings, dating apps can feel very discouraging.

My experiences in my very brief jaunt forcing myself to use apps upon moving to a new, giant city weren’t overall horrifying, but actually were mostly quite pleasant. However, after a short time, I knew it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to knock it until I tried it, but it definitely doesn’t suit this old soul with a hopeful romantic heart and extreme energetic sensitivity.

Dating became a source of frustration and disappointment, when it should be a fun addition to our already beautiful, rich lives.

After trying to squeeze myself into the box of my generation’s most popular meeting technique, I decided to shift my perspective and approach dating with more hope and positivity. I admit to myself that I did indeed want to have an amazing partner in my life, but I just wouldn’t find them via apps, which these days can be somewhat unheard of.

I proceeded to delete my account to the one dating app I had dabbled in, and erased the app from my phone completely. My goal was clear and I wanted to show the world I was completely serious about meeting someone in a way that felt more positive, hopeful, and right to me.

The universe, source energy, higher power, or whatever you believe in, understands action more than words. If you simply continue to say and wish for something without following it up with sincere efforts, there is no way for what you desire to manifest itself.

After I had made my unwavering decision, I focused completely on myself and my life.

Too many well intentioned outsiders will tell you that when you’re not looking, the right person comes. I’ve heard this old, overused falsity repeatedly. Perhaps it’s true for some, but I will say that though I was not hunting with frantic desperation, or even really searching at all, the desire to meet someone incredible remained.

I let go of a time frame, and understood that it would happen whenever it needed to. I was thriving on my own, and I knew eventually the right person would come in, whether it was in days or years. 

A somewhat cheesy and very long list of all the things I desire in a partner made its way onto a page in my journal.

The list was extensive, and I slowly began whittling it down to ten qualities. I continue this practice for all that I desire in life, from finding an apartment to hunting for the right job. 

The list can change with each person you date, as you learn more about yourself and what you do and don’t want. It’s important to get to the root of the desire, instead of simply writing common character traits. Plenty of people are nice, funny, or good looking, but be specific. Focus more on how you want to feel or what detailed characteristics you seek, writing down qualities like similar values or communication styles, makes you laugh, generous with love and time, similar love language, and so on.

The list remained in my nightstand, forgotten. I didn’t date anyone because I believe after a certain point of mediocre to negative experiences like many women have, you become fed up with it all, and that’s where I was at. I wasn’t giving up; it felt more like letting go, and it wasn’t in a cynical way where I thought no good men existed. Rather, I simply refused to waste my time on people who do not inspire, lift, and light me up. To be worth my time, they have to be a truly phenomenal person to me, and vice versa.

I began to feel highly empowered, positive, and centered deeply in myself and my life.

One night I felt particularly flirtatious while out with some friends, and though that desire to meet someone came to the surface just a little more that night, I remained unattached to anything happening. 

And of course, that’s exactly when I met the man I fell in love with. It was completely unexpected. All along the way, my patterns of self sabotage and waiting for him to be the typical frustrating male stereotype many women deal with kept rising to the surface of my anxiety, but he stayed and he continued to show me exactly who he is and who he isn’t. 

He keeps showing up for me, with love and understanding and endless laughs. He inspires me, challenges me, accepts all the parts of my crazy self, supports me, and never tries to make me small. He pushes me to grow, to succeed, to believe in myself, and he feels like a part of my family. He is a truly incredible human.

Months after we’d been together, I was chatting with a friend of mine about her frustrating experiences with dating apps. I asked her if she even knew what she wanted, to which she replied that she did not. Then I remembered the list I had made, and found it under layers of books in my nightstand. Looking at the writing, I realized my amazing partner is every single thing on the list and more.

As it was a full moon, my dear friend and I decided to do some witchy manifesting. I helped her write a list of all the possible things she could think of that she wanted, which ranged from respectful to attractive to bearded. And she took the list to keep working on and cut down to the ten most important qualities.

However, it’s possible that she perpetuates the cycle of dissatisfaction. She continues to use apps despite her negative experiences, confusing attitude, and constant stating that she just wants to meet someone in person and is so tired of apps. Each day she prepares for a date, she feels dread and tells me she doesn’t want to go. Again, the universe, God, higher power, emptiness, source energy, or whatever you believe in understands action more than words. Perhaps until she shows the world she is serious through her behavior and through putting out the right energy around dating, she will continue to have difficulty.

You never know what will come in if you make space for it.

Take actions to create what you desire, and allow it to come in. I can speak only to my experience dating men as a cisgender, straight woman. However, I do believe being clear on what you desire will empower you in any situation. Believe you deserve what you want and work as a team with the world to create it. You deserve someone who lights you up and is truly your match, whether they are your forever or not. Invite who you crave into your life. If you aren’t clear about your desires, the world may not understand what to give you. 

About the Author

Isabela Minogue

Isabela attended Lewis and Clark College, the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy. Her interests include ceramics, baking, being outside, poetry, and dancing. Her long term career goal is to do positive and loving work in the world to help people, and to inspire, lift, and spread as much light as possible to other humans.