Why do we dip our big toe in the cold pool and then quickly withdraw our foot, taking a few steps back? Why do we repeat the same strange dance a few moments later? Will that method really get us used to the water so that we can swim, enjoy, and feel refreshed? Can we ever create a real splash using this “dip the toe” method? More importantly, how familiar does this pattern feel to you and where else is it showing up in your life?
Many of my dating coaching clients and workshop participants are dipping only their big toe into the pool of dating. Why? One of many possible answers is that if they are putting forth minimal effort, they will feel less rejected if the overture is not reciprocated. After all, they are not really trying, are they?
What does this look like practically? It looks like an internet dating profile that is incomplete, without photos that maximize the person’s attractiveness and without an appealing and accurate description of who the person is. It looks like a dating site member who is not initiating any emails, but rather waiting endlessly for the “right person” to express interest. It looks like someone at a singles event checking his/her phone incessantly and not really participating in the activities.
Do you want to experience dating success? Of course, we all do! Well then, it’s time to begin questioning your method and challenging yourself to modify it despite the hesitant parts of you that urge you to hang back. What would it be like for you to takes steps forward to fully get into the water? Clearly envision yourself making it happen. First, get your feet wet, then immerse yourself one segment at a time, get used to the cold water for a while, and finally start swimming. It’s time to get playful and create a splash! If you don’t generate a dating opportunity, at least you will enjoy a refreshing swim, and you won’t be so afraid of the cold next time. After all, next time may present the opportunity to swim with someone really special who you would never have gotten close to with only your big toe fleetingly touching the shallow end of the pool.