The Entitlement Myth
I can't tell you how many
clients have come to me and said, "David, you're my last resort.
I've done the right things. I've been a good person. Yet,
nothing ever happens to me. I never get asked out. I'm alone and
I'm tired of being alone. Aren't I entitled to a little
happiness?" My response to them is a resounding, "No."
People aren't entitled to
happiness. People have to work for happiness just as they have to
work for a successful career, and in the very same way they have
to work and save for a house, a car, a stereo, retirement, or even
to maintain friendships.
When you believe you're entitled
to something, you won't go after it. You passively wait around
hoping whatever you feel entitled to will be handed to you on a
silver platter. When no one serves it up to you, you become
angry, upset, and frustrated. "Damn it," you proclaim.
good person. I do the right things. I'm entitled to this." You
become reactive, instead of proactive.
In our daydreams, we'd all like
the most important and most difficult to achieve things in our
lives to be handed to us. Many of us sit around, look out the
window and dream of being famous, admired, rich, and super
successful. Yet, in reality, that just doesn't happen to most of
us. However, even if it did just happen to us overnight, would we
really be able to appreciate it the same way as if we'd strived
and worked hard for it? Most likely not. Therefore, it's in the
process of striving for something that we find the greatest
rewards. We grow by working for something, not just getting
You may desire dates and to fall
in love, but you're not entitled. You must put effort into
finding a mate just like you must work for anything else in life.
You'll have to be proactive instead of reactive. You'll have to
take chances, move around, explore, open up, go against your
natural human instinct to wait for a prince--or princess--charming.
Now, some of you may say, "David,
I've never felt entitled to love. I've done everything I can to
find someone. I've dated hundreds of people, done blind dates,
Internet dating, and speed dating. I walk up to people on the
street and introduce myself. I've had one relationship after
another. Yet, nothing substantial has ever come out of any of
it. I'm getting older. I don't feel entitled, I just feel tired
and worn down." My response to these people--KEEP GOING!
In the professional world, some
people don't become successful at a career until later in life.
If they had stopped pushing for success after some negative
experiences, they may never have had the profound impact that they
eventually did. For instance, Abraham Lincoln lost more than five
elections before he was elected President of the United States and
Henry Miller didn't sell his first book until he was in his
forties and even then he was broke until late in his life. KEEP
Success happens to each of us at
different times in our lives and the same is true when it comes to
love. So, don't compare yourself to your friends or the average
person your age. You may be forty and still single, while all of
your friends are married with kids. However, they may be in
unhappy marriages, headed for divorce, or even cheating on their
significant others. They may sit around and daydream of the days
when they were free to experience the world and actually be
jealous of you--despite telling you otherwise. Consistently be
aware of negative thoughts and try to look at the big picture.
Start to look at your life as one
long journey where there is no timeline as to when significant
events must happen to you. Erase the idea that you must go to
school in your teens and early twenties, get married in your
mid-twenties, have kids in your later twenties and early thirties,
build wealth in your forties and fifties, retire in your sixties,
and start dying in your seventies. Leave this conventional
thinking to the sheep in our society. You may not find the great
love of your life until you're sixty--and there's nothing wrong
The Pop Culture Myth
We're bombarded with
pop culture. It's next to impossible to go through a single
moment of your everyday life without encountering a book, a
magazine, television, advertising, music, billboards, movies--and
they all send a message about how love is supposed to happen.
D. H. Lawrence once
said, "...the real trouble about women is that they must always go
on trying to adapt themselves to men's theories of women." If
Lawrence were alive today, he may reword that bit of wisdom to
read, "...the real trouble with society is that it must always go
on trying to adapt itself to the theories of those few people
controlling the media."
The most dangerous
theory that the media tries to sell you is that love is fate.
Movies like Serendipity and Sleepless in Seattle
play on our hopes that our love is predetermined and written in
the stars. Ask yourself how many times you've seen the storylines
in those two particular movies happen in real life! Rarely, if
Recognize that love is not fate
or predetermined. In fact, there isn't just one person in this
world that would be a great match for you, there's many. There
are over five billion people in the world. Is it realistic to
think the preordained one for you just happens to be living in
your hometown and that you're meant to meet them between the ages
of twenty and twenty-five? No.
Sometimes as an audience, we
forget that we're watching escapism. We forget that we're not in
a movie and tend to believe that our lives should be like one.
Recognize that if you think this way, you're setting yourself up
for a disaster.
Don't buy into the myths that
Hollywood sells to you for entertainment and allow it to affect
your reality. Don't let what you watch on the big or small screen
convince you to passively wait for love to fall into your lap.
Chances are, it won't. You have to get out there, be proactive,
and start meeting new people everyday so you increase your chances
of finding someone that you relate to. If you meet the right
person, love will develop over time. Your only fate is the fate
you create for yourself by being proactive.
The Societal Myth
Have you ever
complained to someone you know about your dating life and they try
to console you by saying, "Oh, honey. Don't worry. It'll
happen. The right person will come along when you least expect
it. That's how I met my spouse."
For the majority of us, the right
person will come along when we least expect it, but not before
we've worked to find them. Some people are lucky--they marry their
high school or college sweethearts and live happily ever after.
The majority of us aren't that lucky. Yet, there's nothing wrong
with having to work a little bit harder or wait a little bit
longer to find the right one. As I said before, when they do come
along, it will make you appreciate them even more.
Personally, when someone I knew
in a relationship use to say to me, "it will come along when you
least expect it," I got annoyed. People mean well when saying it,
but it's also condescending and doesn't make you feel any better
about your current state of loneliness. Perhaps this can make you
feel better; the majority of people, your family, friends, and
co-workers know nothing more about love or finding it than you
do. Again, many people get lucky at a young age, many people have
worked harder at finding love than they lead you to believe, and
many people may not be as complicated and sophisticated as
you--they may have settled for the first person that came along
that was attentive to their needs.
When it comes to the societal
myth, my advice is simple. If certain friends, family, and
co-workers of yours don't understand the concept of proactive
dating, then don't talk to them about your dating life. It will
only serve to frustrate you. When you need a boost either reread
this book or call upon people that relate to your current
situation. It'll make you feel better to know that you have
people to lean on who have the objectives.
Many women believe
that men are always supposed to make the first move and that it's
a man's responsibility to do the courting. Books like The
Rules teach women how to play men with regard to this
tradition. It's trickery and it's unhealthy. Women must stop
buying into this deceptive nonsense on how to draw men to them by
It's the year 2005. Women run
large corporations, governments, are successful doctors and
lawyers, and are highly paid movie stars. If women have become
assertive in their careers, why do they fear the same sense of
empowerment when it comes to men? Most of the time I believe
they're simply afraid they'll scare men off or be perceived as
"loose". The fact is, if you scare a man for starting a
conversation with him and asking to get together some time, he's
the wrong man for you anyway. You don't have to live your life
playing to the backward thinking of men who aren't evolved.
Men, if a woman approaches you,
be flattered and thank your lucky stars that for once in your life
you didn't have to make the first move. Women, go after what you
want. Get out there and get in the ballgame. Don't spend your
life passively waiting for men to approach you. If you see
someone you want, go after them.
The Introvert Myth
Introverted people develop
shyness from an early age--it's every bit as much of their
personality to keep to themselves as it is for an extrovert to be
the life of the party. Introverts are non-aggressive in most
areas of their lives, not just when it comes to dating.
introverts, because of their shyness, become wallflowers. In the
world of dating, this translates into their taking what they can
get. Rarely, if ever, would an introvert see someone they were
interested in and approach that person. Instead, they stand
around like magnets, hoping that someone will be attracted to them
and make the first move. They're condemned to a self-imposed
prison where they wait around and simply hope that they get a
Being introverted is a crutch
that timid people rely on to stay within their safety zones.
can't approach people. I'm too shy," they say. It's a myth that
introverts can't be more proactive in their quest to find dates or
the very thought of approaching a new person is anxiety
provoking. What introverts don't realize is that it doesn't have
to be that way. Just because you've had problems meeting people
in the past doesn't mean you won't have new opportunities. One of
the reasons you may feel so much anxiety