I’ve never been a casual dater, but recently I was stuck in such a rut that I knew I needed to change the way I was looking for love. Instead of having all sorts of restrictions and dealbreakers, I decided to keep my options open and date a bunch of different guys to see what I’d been missing out on. I don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner, to be honest.
- Dating the same type of guy clearly wasn’t working for me. I’d always thought I didn’t have a “type,” but when I looked back on my past dates and relationships, I found that all the guys I thought were so different actually had a LOT in common. Realizing this pushed me to leave my comfort zone and see what it would be like to embrace people I probably wouldn’t have given a shot.
- I had to step out of my comfort zone and truly branch out, which was actually a lot of fun. I knew that my little experiment was going to take some real effort on my part but I hoped it would be worth it. I’d accept invitations to go out with friends to new places and I joined a few dating sites and even some of the dreaded apps. Nothing could be off-limits; if I was really going to do this, I had to keep a very open mind. Once I was out there doing it, I found it surprisingly easy to strike up conversations with almost anyone and get asked out on a date. I decided I’d try for five different guys to give myself the best chance of meeting someone awesome.
- Dating totally different guys exposed me to totally different experiences. Not only were the personalities of the men I dated totally different but they all planned completely unique nights out. I went out for five nights in a row on dates that consisted of the opera, a karaoke bar, laser tag, a jazz club, and a monster truck rally. Spending time with someone new while experiencing such drastically different activities up close and personal told me a lot about the guy I was out with. Each guy had picked their respective date because it was something they enjoyed and it gave me a greater appreciation for and understanding of each of them.
- Different guys in a short amount of time = easier to narrow down what I want. The whole point of dating so many people so quickly was so that I could really compare each experience as they were all so fresh in my mind. I started to piece together all the things I liked about each guy and looked for the commonalities between them. I then knew what I was really looking for in a long-term partner when I started to see a pattern.
- I also realized my real dealbreakers instead of the ones I’d imagined previously. In addition to all the good things I started to pick up on, I could also pinpoint the things that I absolutely couldn’t deal with. No matter how contrasting these guys were, there were things they all did that I knew wouldn’t work for me long-term. I could see my future a lot more clearly because I was able to narrow down exactly what I was an wasn’t looking for.
- I became much more comfortable not just in dating but in my life as a whole. Since I’d never been good at dating before, this experience really forced me to be a lot more open with people in general. I had to put myself out there and be a little vulnerable. If I could do that on a date, I figured I could certainly adopt that quality in other aspects of my life. I became more confident around my friends and family, I could assert myself at work, and I found that I was generally a lot happier. I was able to let my guard down a bit and not worry about what everyone was thinking about me. I just wanted to be my honest self and let people get to know that person. I finally felt proud of who I was, and that was completely unexpected!
- Even if it wasn’t a match for me, I met some really great guys. I will say that none of these guys turned out to be an official love connection, but I’m still really glad I met and went out with them all. I learned something from each guy, and some I was able to keep in touch with despite the fact that we’d never have anything romantic between us. True, I was looking for something more romantic, but I’m not one to turn down expanding my social circle.
- I learned that the right person is worth waiting for. The whole experiment did me a lot of good, but the biggest thing I took away from it is that I’m willing to do the legwork to find the person that works best for me. I used to look at dating as an annoyance and just wanted to get to the good guy already, but now I view it in a whole new way, which makes the journey to the right guy a lot more bearable.