10 Ways To Win At Modern Dating

God & Man
God & Man

Humans really are creatures of emotion.

Advances in technology make our lives faster, smoother, more convenient and ultimately – more enjoyable. We as a modern day society want our cake and we want it now.

Even if it may not be good for us.

Let’s take health.

Prior to the industrial revolution, hypokinetic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes weren’t even on the radar.

Then, we all began to drive cars. We ate processed foods. We took up sedentary jobs.

By the 50s and 60s, heart disease had become the leading cause of death in the developed world, while the ultimate lifestyle disease – Type II Diabetes – had exploded.

But here’s what interesting.

While a lot of people got sick and suffered due to their new, convenient circumstances, there were others who adapted.

They exercised. They ate well. They put time into taking care of themselves.

Can you guess what happened to the rates of heart disease and diabetes in these ‘adapters’?

They went down, and stayed down.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“How the hell does this help me win with modern dating?”

Here’s how.

By applying the same logic.

What is modern dating?

In the 50s, dating required serious effort.

A guy had to call up your house and get through to your dad. If he managed to navigate that minefield and then had the balls to ask you out, he’d have to plan a date, pick you up and have you back by 11.

Now, if a guy doesn’t impress, you can be back on Tinder scheduling another date in your uber home.

We demanded convenience because, in the short term, it makes us feel good. Well, we got what we asked for, now it’s costing us our emotional health.

Access to thousands of people, the ability to meet someone in the comfort of our own homes and the lightning fast validation we can derive from social apps are major changes to the dating demographic that no generation before us has had access too.

We’ve got it, and yet, we all seem so displeased by it.

I read about how dissatisfied we are again and again in the most viral dating articles today:

“The modern dating scene is just horrendously fucked up”

“Dating is hard and until you meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, it’s going to suck.”

“Modern dating feels like one giant crapshoot.”

Dating has changed, I know that. But here’s something else I know:

Sitting around complaining about dating is about as useful to fixing the problem as complaining about how your sedentary lifestyle led to diabetes.

Going back to “how things were” in dating is about as likely as everyone deciding to ditch their cars and walk to work tomorrow.

As with healthy living in an age of convenience, there’s always a few who adapt and succeed regardless.

So right now, make a choice. Either continue to blame the circumstances as to why your dating life isn’t where you want it to be, or be one of the few that adapts and thrives.

Adaptation #1: Stop believing ‘modern dating’ is responsible for your results

There is only one thing responsible for your results:


You are the only reason you are where you are today and have the results you have.

I know you hate me for saying it, but I promise you it’s a truth that will set you free.

If you have a sedentary job, it doesn’t mean you’re condemned to diabetes. You adapt.

If you don’t like the way your dating life is – you can start adapting by switching your mindset to realise your results cannot be blamed on your circumstances.

Adaptation #2: Realise that men STILL put in effort for a stand-out woman

The second mindset adaptation means no longer believing the myth that ‘modern dating’ means men don’t put in effort anymore.

Now before you lose your mind at me, I do empathise with where this myth comes from.

You’ve probably been around tens or even hundreds of men who have given you plenty of evidence of how modern day men don’t put in effort. I’m sure you can cite me numerous examples involving yourself, your friends or women you know, of men who; can’t use the word “date”; who’s only effort was literally to invite you over to their house after 10pm; who are scared to show interest OR thought you were needy and flaky because you showed interest in them; plus many more.

I get how frustrating that is.

But the truth is men HAVE, and always WILL, put in effort for a stand out woman. You and I both know of women in happy relationships who have found such a man – ample evidence to the contrary exists if you’re open to seeing it.

However, as long as you go on believing it can’t happen, that’s what you’ll keep attracting to your life.

Adaptation #3: Understand today’s dating dynamics mean you’ll need to put more effort into standing out

It was easy to avoid diabetes 100 years ago. Active movement and non-processed nutrition were intrinsic to our lifestyle.

It was easy to stand out in dating 20 years ago – genuine interpersonal communication was intrinsic to our dating.

No more.

When you have 5 things you pay attention to, how easy is it to find a standout?

What about when you have 1000 options to pay attention to?

Previously, it was easy for the average “Joe” or “Jane” to stand out.

Now, men and women have ‘average’ in abundance.

Today, if you want to attract an outstanding man, then you need to set yourself apart as an outstanding woman.

Modern dating is pushing all of us to develop ourselves. The sheer numbers mean it’s harder to stand out than ever before, and those who don’t work on being outstanding – in their own way – are going to be as left behind as those who don’t exercise will be in their health.

So face your fears and put time and effort into building a life you love that men want to share in. Trust me, you’ll be a stand out if you do.

Adaptation #4: Realise today’s dating pool means you’ll need to meet a lot more men without becoming discouraged

It’s time to face reality. Low quality connections are likely to occur in today’s dating world due to sheer numbers. If you go in with the expectation that you won’t have to date more than a few men before finding the one, you’ll be spat out the other end of the dating game and find yourself being the next jaded author writing about how terrible modern dating is.

Success in modern dating requires a mindset adaptation that few are willing, or able to make. It’s a mindset that enables you to acknowledge; 1) That bad dates are something to laugh at, not get disappointed with. 2) That most connections ARE going to be low quality. 3) That you’re in for the long haul.

Almost every negative emotion is a function of unmet expectations. Understand that to get what you want in the long term, modern dating means you’ll have to change your expectations in the short term.

Adaptation #5: Form the habit of investing in men who invest in you

With so many men available yet so few standouts, here’s a single adaptation that will help you sort through the riff-raff better than any other woman.

If you form and nurture the habit of investing in men who invest in you, you will instantly filter out large numbers of men who don’t have real interest, thus filtering down to a small number who do.

In other words, if he’s a tall, handsome doctor who doesn’t respond to your text, then he’s a tall, handsome doctor who gets put in the “no” pile.

It sounds easier than it is. Many women see ‘generally’ attractive men (those with all the superficial traits of attraction) and let their feelings run away with them. They’ll chase without any effort or reciprocation from him.

He can have all the bells and whistles – but remember, a man’s potential to make a good partner is directly proportional to the effort he puts into being one for you.

Adaptation #6: Kill the ‘messenger’ habit

Here’s a clear and simple adaptation you can make right now to instantly improve the health of your dating life:

Get the hell off Messenger.

Off Tinder. Off Facebook. Off Text Message. Off Instagram.

That’s not to say give them up entirely. But once you’ve met each guy on there, flirt briefly, then ask for their number (or give them yours) and get the hell off.

You will instantly rule out a large proportion of men who are only interested in sex or don’t have the courage to call a woman, and you’ll build better connections with quality men who ARE willing to talk to you.

Seems simple, right?

If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

One word.


We all fear phone conversations because we’re all in the damn Messenger habit.

A stand out woman still experiences fear. She just acts despite it.

If you want to beat the odds in modern dating, don’t only rely on interacting with men via any form of messenger.

Adaptation #7: Meet men everywhere – especially real life!

We have more people to connect with than ever before, and yet – feel more disconnected than ever before. A recent lifeline study reported that over 80% of Australians consider themselves lonely – a staggering statistic – and a very real reflection of how our convenience based lifestyle is costing us dearly.

It’s time to adapt.

Mixed sports. Seminars. A cocktail bar. Meetup groups. There’s a plethora of real places to connect face to face with real men – that are being disastrously underutilised.

Expecting Mr. Right to fall into your lap or thinking today’s convenience means you no longer have to meet men in real-life are both fatal maladaptive thoughts in today’s dating scene. If you want to succeed, exercise your social skills like so few do, and find outlets to consistently meet new men face to face.

Adaptation #8: See dating as an end to itself, not a means to an end

I talk to many women who are jaded with dating. They dislike it. They don’t enjoy it. They see it as an obstacle – a painful speedbump to getting a relationship.

It’s usually men who get the bad rap for having an agenda. If you’ve ever met a man who was meeting you with an agenda for sex, I’m sure you can relate.

But women too unknowingly turn men off by coming to the dating table with an agenda.

The difference is, women – rather than having an agenda for sex – often show up to dating with an agenda for a relationship.

The guy gets a weird vibe. He senses she is more in it for a relationship – any relationship – than a relationship with him.

When you enter dating with no agenda to take things further – ready to enjoy it for the fun and varied experiences it presents – men sense that they will have to “sell” themselves to you. They wonder what’s so great about your world that you’re so happy in it, and they’ll want to become a part of it.

The less you enter dating wanting to ‘get’ anything, the more likely you are to wind up with something.

Adaptation #9: Have the strength to be vulnerable but have the self-worth to stop.

Here’s the fine balance that clears up all mixed signals and eliminates the ‘games’ everyone complains about.

Most of us today are either:

  • Too scared to show real interest in someone, or;
  • Continue to show interest when it isn’t reciprocated.

A strong woman can show interest in a man. If you want to get the best out of modern dating, you have to be a strong woman who can show clear interest. Never be scared to call a man up or show him your enthusiasm to see him again.

However, you also must have the self-worth to stop doing these things when they’re not being reciprocated.

In other words:

If he doesn’t respond to your call, wait for him to show common courtesy and get back to you.

If he declines your date invite, that’s ok, but let him initiate the next plans.

If you communicate you’d like to be in a relationship, and he decides to keep things casual, that’s ok too, but his priority in your life gets downgraded to ‘casual’ as well.

It’s not playing games – it’s expecting common courtesy. It’s what self-esteem looks like, and it stands out because it’s rare.

A direct indicator of interest is both clear and vulnerable. It takes strength. It only crosses into neediness when you keep indicating your interest, despite no reciprocation from him.

Adaptation #10: Put any bitterness with men, or modern dating, behind you.

People who are grateful for their lives, excited for the challenge each day brings and seem in full control of their own happiness are exactly the kind of people who win at modern dating. No matter their gender, they’ll attract great people to their lives.

People in the habit of whining, complaining, blame and being worried will not. They’re not fun to be around, and they’ll attract people who reinforce their negativity.

Dating will never go back to the way it was, so it’s up to you. You can hold onto your reasons as to why today’s circumstances have wronged you and left you unable to find love, thus continuing to attract the same rubbish while you complain and suffer.

Or, you can be one of the few who understands the adaptations you can make to not just succeed – but thrive – in today’s dating culture. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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