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Randy Hurlburt
How to Improve Your Dating Success

Tara Kachaturoff: Drawing from your experience with coaching singles, why are some singles successful with dating while others are not? Is it mindset, relating skills, experience, or something else?

Randy Hurlburt: It is a combination of things. Here are some critical ones:

Successful singles put themselves "out there." This means being in places where they are likely to meet quality singles, and taking risks to make and maintain contact. Dating is a numbers game, and you have to sort through a lot of possibilities.

Successful singles know what they are looking for. This is more than having a laundry list of wants. It means knowing what is MOST important to YOU, even though it may not be important to someone else, and then screening possibilities according to these priorities.

Successful singles know what makes a good relationship. In addition to the qualities on ones list, there are two important indicators of relationship success: a high level of attraction and a high level of ability (ability to provide good treatment).

Finally, successful singles never give up. Dating is a dangerous game. Love is even more dangerous. Rejection, failure, and misunderstanding loom around every corner. Courage and persistence are key.

Tara: One thing that can stand in the way of a new relationship is not having closure with the prior one. What are your thoughts on dating while still working through issues? Good idea or not? Why?

Randy: My belief is that there will always be issues, and the best way to work through them is to get back into the world of dating. Staying at home, alone, just makes things worse. Often there is NEVER closure, and learning to live with that is important.

Much of the pain from a prior relationship comes from not knowing how to handle various dating and relationship situations. The best thing is to (a) get some training on dating and relationship skills, and (b) get more experience (preferably with guidance).

To my way of thinking the only true closure on a prior relationship is to find a new one that is better. Until that happens, and it feels secure, old feelings will still surface.

Furthermore, in some cases the "prior" relationship may be the "best" one for you, it's just that you haven't figured this out yet. It may be necessary to date others to get this resolved; however that is not reason to abandon the prior (and potentially good) relationship.

Tara: In our "instant gratification" society, everyone wants everything now! They want to go from "Hi, nice to meet you" to "living happily ever after." We all know this is unrealistic, yet time and again singles rush through the dating process. How does "speed" dating affect one's success with dating?

Randy: This is a really significant problem. People rush in because they feel lonely, want sex, or are insecure, and so they latch on to the first person who comes along.

People also mistake the first blush of infatuation for true love and start to make decisions, such as exclusivity or living together, based on that. When the infatuation bubble bursts (usually about three months), then they may find it difficult to back away from commitments they have already made.

People are VERY complex. You don't really know a person for at least a couple years, and even after that you are still learning about them as you go through the inevitable battle of wills that must ultimately be resolved before the relationship is secure.

Sex is an especially difficult aspect of this problem. Men tend to want sex quickly to ease their insecurity about whether or not the relationship is "going anywhere." Women tend to want to know that the relationship is going somewhere before having sex, because this eases their insecurity about taking a chance with their emotions. But women also don't want to lose the man by seeming too slow.

My solution to this dilemma is called "incremental sex" -- that is, gradually going through a progression of increasing intimacy starting with holding hands and working up slowly to intercourse. "Anticipation" is a good thing

Tara: What are three areas where singles can better prepare themselves so that they make better choices when it comes to selecting and dating the right person?

Randy: Here are my top three -- understand attraction, identify limiting beliefs and inner conflicts, and take a new approach to getting needs met. Let me explain these in a little more depth.

Randy Hurlburt

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