by John Garret
In the past, most marriages were either arraigned by the parents or were an elaborate courtship. Just imagine a young boy and girl having a serious conversation about marriage.
And I wouldn't make light of courtships.
Remember the scenes in the movie, The Godfather? Michael Corleone asked a Sicilian father for permission to court his young daughter, Appolonia. They would meet under family supervision and have stilted (but extremely careful conversations). One wrong thing said - one perceived insult, and BLAM! Out comes the Luparas shotguns and vendettas would break out all over the place!
Although it is no longer predominant and is difficult for many people to understand today, arranged marriages still exist in many cultures. Bear in mind, arraigned marriages were generally done for business or political reasons. It was a very serious transaction that could very well determine the future prospects of the family.
Modern dating while varied is much more complicated. You can meet singles though: Internet dating, about the town, blind dating, speed dating, joining social groups, volunteering, walking in the park with your dog, and dancing.
But we no longer have someone speaking for us. We are on our own. Many of us are NOT comfortable expressing our need for companionship. And so dating can become a disastrous experience and we end up in monasteries (Ok, I made that last part up).
Modern dating can make your head spin and pine for the olden days.
In my opinion, meeting singles is not the hardest part. It is the conversation part that is the hardest. And us poor guys bear the brunt of it.
Just hold on a minute, let me explain...
Today's society still places the traditional responsibility of initiating social contact with the men. Although, there are exceptions.
Men are expected to charm the ladies, they are expected be extremely confident and they are expected to quote Shakespeare...(just checking to make sure you are paying attention).
To be honest with you, most of the guys are lousy at making conversations with a woman they are interested in. Their brains feel disengaged. They start sweating. Then they either stammer or say something really stupid that causes the girl to lose attraction.
Ring a bell?
What can we do? We could follow the business model of successful companies. They focus the most resources on important "big picture" ideas. And they don't sweat the small stuff. They believe it either takes care of itself or wasn't that important to begin with.
So, what is the important "big picture" detail we should focus on when meeting someone single for the first time? How about starting a conversation and keep it going?
In my opinion, "Hi, my name is John" is the best opener ever. It is simple and hard to screw it up. Next, use your listening skills. REAL listening is a valuable skill that most people never mastered.
I read an interesting article several years ago that concluded bad listening skills costs businesses billions of dollars. During your conversation, listen for cues WHILE the other person is talking. Then ask follow-up questions about the cues.
This process does two things, it show (1) you are listening and (2) you are interested in them! And why is this so important?
Well, I'm glad you asked...
I believe one of the most common causes of unhappiness for many people is lack of attention. We are just too busy to be interested in anyone except ourselves. You heard of the phrase, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Well, this is exactly the same thing! If you are a good listener, I guarantee you will be cherished.
And before you know it, you are having an interesting conversation with someone you would like to know better!
About the Author
John Garret believes that a successful man or woman gets validation from his/her life, not from relationships with other singles. And you should seek confident women/men that are not needy.