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Speed Dating: The Quickest Way to Get to Know Yourself

Speed Dating: The Quickest Way to Get to Know Yourself

Our eyes meet across the table. You pull out the chair, smile nervously, and sit down. Could this be the one? You have four minutes to find out.

Speed dating is nothing new. We do it all the time: whether we’re on the train, at the public library, or in the supermarket. It only takes a few seconds for the sparks to fly. No wonder we call it love at first sight.

But what does our desire to flirt with others say about us? Let’s take a seat in that chair again and get ready to dig a little deeper. You know what they say: what you look for in a partner is very often what you look for in yourself.

Ready to get to know yourself? All right. Let’s go. The clock is ticking…

How do you describe yourself?

It’s difficult to describe yourself to a complete stranger. You don’t know where to begin. When you want to impress someone, you’re keen to highlight your accomplishments, naively hoping that a certificate on the wall or a job title is going to be enough to woo your date into believing that you’re the one. You couldn’t be more wrong. Your potential partner isn’t interested in your polished résumé. It makes you look perfect and we both know that’s not true. We have TV shows, Hollywood stars, and fitness magazines for that.

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At the same time, you don’t want to air your dirty laundry too early in the game. Four minutes can be an excruciatingly long time to endure an awkward moment. Haven’t we all been there? It’s not the most fun place to be, unless you actually enjoy those kind of situations. If that’s the case, then go for it! Make it awkward. There’s someone out there for everyone.

So, what is the best way to describe yourself?

Accept that you tell different stories about who you are.

It’s impossible to pin down one aspect about yourself. You want to be aware about your different roles and the stories that shape them. Here are only a few roles that you might have:

  • Parent
  • Child / Sibling
  • Friend
  • Single / Husband / Wife / Partner
  • Employee / Boss
  • Student / Teacher
  • Leader / Follower

Perhaps there’s a role that you’re ashamed of because you feel that you’ve failed to play your part. Or maybe there’s a role that you feel very comfortable with and therefore tend to show off to others as your personal trophy.

Your various roles say a lot about who you are. They also suggest areas where you can improve your relationships and your overall quality of life. Is there a role that you’re ignoring? Spend some time this week to explore that role. Act it out. Play the part and see what it does for you. Others are eagerly waiting for your performance.

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Date tip: Think about what you leave out. This says more about you than you might be ready to admit. It’s one of the quickest ways to get to know your warts and tap into your self-doubts.

What are your self-doubts?

Let’s address the elephant in the room: our self-doubts. Each one of us has hundreds of them, but since we only have four minutes we can only tap into a few of the most common ones.

What if nobody wants to date me?

This fear usually taps into the belief that you’re either:

  1. So boring that no one will like you, or
  2. So insecure that you think less about yourself

First, let me remind you that everyone walks around with this fear at one point or another. The fear of being alone is deeply rooted in our mind. We can still do something about it, though. If you think you’re “too boring” to be loved, then maybe you need to look at your life and see what you can change. Your life doesn’t have to be boring. This is your choice. Find ways to make it more interesting to you. After all, you’re the one who’s living your life. Not anyone else.

When you think less of yourself, you need to work on your confidence. You need to practice a sense of kindness and friendship towards yourself. Stop being so harsh on yourself. What’s the point – what purpose does your criticism serve? It doesn’t make you a stronger person, nor does it help you attract the kind of person who will love you for who you are.

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Date tip: Work on your insecurities and live the life you want to live. Then you’re more likely to attract the person who will make your heart beat faster.   

What if I’m not attractive enough?

When you doubt your own looks, you need to remember what you’re comparing it to. Movies, TV shows, blogs and magazines provide a certain ideal of beauty that consists of abs, voluptuous breasts, and Photoshop. You can choose to buy into it or create your own ideals. If you want to get a body like that, then get ready to work for it. Me? I’d tell my date to get stuffed. Merely the idea of getting a six-pack is enough to put me to sleep. But hey, that’s just me.

Just don’t bet your romance on winning the genetic lottery. It’s not worth it. Don’t believe me? Check out the American fashion model Cameron Russell’s TED Talk: “Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model.”

Date tip: Create your own ideals of beauty, and then you’ll always be beautiful. Stop living up to the ideals of the media. Ideals change and they are meant to be broken.  

What if I’m too shy to meet someone?

Love makes everyone blush. When we finally sit opposite to that special someone, our systems either shut down completely and we don’t say a thing, or we go absolutely mental and talk like we’ve had five cups of coffee. You know the feeling.

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If your shyness stands in the way of your love life, then be responsible and educate yourself. No one is expecting you to become a super car salesperson over night, but you can learn a few strategies that will be helpful to you. You can also try online dating and see if that makes it easier for you. Worst case scenario, maybe one of your extroverted friends can introduce you to a few potential dates. Leverage your network, feel the fear, and step outside your comfort zone. Your efforts will be worth it.

Date tip: Try online dating and educate yourself. Learn a few useful strategies that you can apply and seek support from friends and family.

Who do you want to be with?

To be in a couple, or to be single? That is the real question.

You don’t have to be in a rush to find a partner and get married. Take your time and get to know yourself first. It’s so easy to leech on to someone just because you’re too afraid to be alone. But this is not how healthy relationships are formed. They grow over time and teach us what we value in others and in ourselves.

I hope you’ll find that special someone who will bring out the best in you. But deep down, you and I both know who that person is. That person must be you.

Your turn

Pling! Time’s up. That was pretty quick, wasn’t it?

I hope you’re ready to hop on to your next date. Now you have the chance to voice your own thoughts and questions in the comments. See you there!

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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