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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 November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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