January 17, 2013

Dating Is Healthy

Dating seems to always be a popular subject and I doubt that will ever change. I spent most of my time when I was single in my 20’s stressing over the subject. When I went through my positive transformation, about five years ago when I was thirty, my views on dating changed.

I am going to be releasing a series of articles covering this topic from beginning to end; from how we should view dating, to how to get the date you want, to the standards you set for a date, to the end game and ultimate goal of dating.

I’m sure many of you first reading this might ask, “Who the hell are you to give advice on dating?” Fair question and I feel some background is in order. My story in a nutshell is that five years ago I was in a completely different position. I was going through a divorce, a hundred pounds heavier, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Depression (stemming from childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile), and I had a crappy self-esteem with almost zero self-confidence.

Long story short, I went through a transformation after studying the mind, quantum mechanics, various philosophies and mindsets like Taoism and logo-therapy (founded by Dr. Viktor Frankl), along with my own philosophies I picked up along the way. I now have a great self-esteem and total self-confidence, I lost the fat, I no longer show signs of PTSD or depression, and I’m on no medications.

After my transformation my dating life skyrocketed. I went from the guy who was petrified of women, to a man who had 3-5 different dates a week. My longtime friend and economist was very impressed and decided we should form a business. Originally the idea of the business was for me to teach men how to interact with women and get dates. This idea really only lasted a couple of days, reason being; I wasn’t getting dates solely because I knew how to talk to the opposite sex; I was getting dates because of the inner achievements I had acquired. So I thought it would be better if I revealed how I transformed from negative to positive and achieved a great self-esteem and self-confidence. When one has these internal gifts, it helps every area of their life; work, friendships, relationships, and dating. So we shifted the focus of the business and that’s how Innovative Social Dynamics, LLC., was created.

Image Courtesy of Carter Lee

I also didn’t want to become known as a pickup artist, I feel there is a negative connotation behind that term; almost like player. To me this implies I’m willing to say anything or lie to get a date or to get in the sack with someone, which is not the case. I pride myself on my complete honesty whether it’s an innocent date or something more.

Dating then continued to be a regular topic in my life and business. I co-hosted a radio show called Really Genius Radio, where we answered questions on any topic from the listeners; ninety percent of the questions dealt with dating. When fans of my book or my show (Carter Lee Presents the Fever) email me questions more than 70% have to do with dating. If a friend of mine calls me for advice it’s almost always involving dating or a relationship. I have also spoken about this topic many times as a key note speaker.

The first mistake I think people make with this topic is that of defining what dating means. By dating I really mean casual dating. A twenty year old would call this, “talking to someone.” I call talking to someone, talking to someone, a date is a date let’s call it by its name.

Now casually dating doesn’t mean casual sex, unless it does for you and there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact a good sex life is healthy. But dating is just that, dating. It can be a fun, enjoyable, and a great learning experience. For those who are new to dating, it’s nothing to fear. There should be no pressure felt except for that of a good time. For those of you who are petrified of dating I suggest my book, When Jonathan Cried For Me, on overcoming this fear and fear in general. But for the sake of moving on to the topic at hand, I’m going to leap right into why dating is fun and healthy.

When you do something new, like spend time with someone you don’t know, you learn and become smarter. You become smarter because it’s what occurs whenever anything new happens to you. When you do something different it literally wakes the frontal lobe of your brain up, and this creates neural pathways. When new neural pathways are created it allows for more neurons to be created and stored. You can achieve this by doing crossword puzzles as well, anything new that wakes the brain up.

Dating is a learning experience because you are learning about someone else, when this happens subconsciously, and perhaps consciously, you reflect their stories with your own and you then learn more about yourself. So it’s a two-for, you learn about someone you may like even more after the date, and you learn about yourself.

Casual dating is also healthy because it doesn’t box you in. When I was younger I found myself in a relationship if I simply liked the person for a week or so or if we just clicked. Then six months later we would break up. Then I would be in another relationship, and then six months later we would break up. I learned that just because I liked someone and there was potential, that doesn’t mean I had to throw a label on the situation prematurely. When a label is thrown on so early, it may have good intentions, but so what. It creates pressure. Pressure is the proverbial pillow that can smother something that could have had potential to grow if the pressure wasn’t there.

You also learn more about what kind of person you would like your dream relationship to be. Here’s a tip though, if you are looking for perfection, just don’t date. The more dates you go on with different people, the more you learn about what you like and don’t like.

In closing I will say this; there is no way of dating without the risk of disappointment or perhaps feelings getting hurt. But good news, it’s not bad just because you may be disappointed or hurt. This is called…wait for it…wait for it…living. It’s better to get out there and live your life then hideaway in fear. In addition, just because someone may turn you down, turn out to be a creep, break your heart, or stand you up; doesn’t mean you lost something. Life is funny that way, something seems bad, and then it turns out good. I hated the idea of divorce at first, but now I can reflect back and see it was one of the best things to happen to me. My ex-wife leaving me is what propelled me to change for the better, deal with my past, and heal. Without that catapult I wouldn’t be where I am today, writing this, loving life, and enjoying dating.

Featured Image Credit: ESLINE / Shutterstock

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