There are two simple things you’re doing that make you invisible to the opposite sex. And everyone, actually. It doesn’t really matter what your sexual orientation, culture or shoe size is.
A lot of people talk about the basics of dating and relationships.
But none of that matters and you’ll never meet anyone if you don’t interact with people.
Imagine you are feeling great, looking strong and sexy, fully enjoying your life, in a job that lights you up—thriving in all areas of your life, except your love life. And you complain that you never meet anyone good. And what if the Universe was putting beautiful, sexy, kind, compatible partners in your path each day but you couldn’t even see them? How frustrating would that be? Well, you’re probably doing that a lot more than you think. I know I do. I just did it today. Here are the two simple reasons why you’re likely missing out on meeting more interesting people in your life. And maybe feeling alone in the process.
1. You don’t look up.
You are walking down the street texting. Tweeting about your burnt bagel. Reading the top ten reasons New York bagels are the best, Instagraming the filtered photo of your burnt bagel. Rarely is something really that important that it can’t wait until you’ve reached your destination or can step aside and pause. And of course, there is the basic safety of looking out for people, cars, bikes and baby strollers (been there). It’s scary when I look up after walking a few blocks and I can’t remember anything I walked past. My head has been tilted down 45 degrees, just like Charlie Brown. “Wow, there is whole world out here that I’m not paying attention to.”
Or I’m sitting on a bench in a park crowded with fun and interesting people, but they might as well not even be there because I’ve chosen my little glowing box as my security blanket. Or I’m at a sidewalk cafe but as long as I look like I’m being productive, I won’t be that weird person who eats a meal by himself, enjoying his own company. That’s so uncool.
How is someone supposed to make eye contact with you if you’re distracted and looking down? Or how are you supposed to notice OTHER people that you might find cute or interesting? Living like this is like taking a big ass bedsheet and covering the top half of the movie screen. That movie would suck to watch.
2. You plug up your ears.
After the eyes, come the ears. I love my iPod and iPhone. Having all my music with me at all times was incomprehensible 20 years ago. Unless I wanted to lug around five boxes of cassette tapes. (Anyone under the age of 25, click here.) And my default used to be that whenever I was out of the house and in transit somewhere, I always needed my soundtrack of Bobby Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire to musically lubricate my strut. But then when I looked up from my phone one day, I noticed everyone around me was doing the same thing. They felt so unapproachable with their white cords dangling from their ears. “Whoa, that must mean that I’m probably looking unapproachable myself.” Yes, there are no rules. You can always tap a cutie on the shoulder and say hello. But chances are most of you aren’t going to do that if they have earbuds in. And yes, there are times when I do want to listen to music or I don’t want to be bothered by anyone. Earbuds are great for that.
This is not a tirade against smartphones, texting or listening to music. It’s about bringing awareness to our habits so we come from a place of choice, not auto-pilot. Yes, take pictures. Yes, listen to Billie Jean. Yes, text your mom. But do it as a choice not an unconscious habit. Monkey don’t see. Monkey don’t hear. Monkey don’t date.
These two simple choices help accomplish two things:
So look up, unplug and see what happens. You might just meet a new friend. Flirt with a potential new lover. Recognize an old friend. Get a new job contact.
Or you might see a happy kid with a balloon and just smile.
I’ll leave you with the words of a wise young man:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferriss Beuller
BONUS: Watch this great TED Talk by Sherry Turkle
Jeffrey Platts is a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler.