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All single women can learn from an epiphany I had by observing my 11-year old daughter.  She had just learned how to play speed from friends at school.  She played a game with me, won maybe 1-2 sets. I then found my mojo (it had been years), and it was over…10-12 wins for me in a row.   She tried it with my husband, who never takes it easy on the kids, and she lost the first round.  As you can imagine, discouraged, she threw the deck of cards back in the drawer and went to bed.

The very next day, she did the unexpected. She researched the rules on the web, different tricks on how to win, and practiced, every day, for weeks on end.  Eventually she asked for a rematch from the two of us, and sure enough, she won, every time.  She’s the QUEEN of Speed (as she calls herself), and has been for several months.

So now allow me to introduce a similar approach to surviving the dating game.

1) Get in the Game:  Dating is a requirement to get to your forever love, whether you like it or not.  Sure, you may have been hurt in the past.  You may be divorced, and it’s been years since you have dated. You may be growing weary, exhausted from relationships that haven’t worked out.  My response is the same: get up, dust yourself off, and try again.

2)  If it fails, learn the rules:  Notice I said, if “it” fails and not if “you” fail.  Failed relationships or friendships that never seem to take off, do not mean that you are a failure.  It’s a sign that something better is out there and that guy just wasn’t the one. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to do things differently.

  • Reflect back on relationship: did you ignore red flags? Did you pursue the relationship out of hastiness? What lessons did you learn?
  • Educate yourself on different dating techniques that have proven to work for women who are in a successful marriage.
  • Identity gaps and areas where you, yourself, need to change, before your last name changes. This may require some divine intervention. For a good example of this process, check out my book: The Don’t Before I Do.  It’ll bless you if you struggle in this area.

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3)  Practice the rules:  You put in motion everything that you’ve learned from self-reflection, prayer, and education.  Here’s a snapshot of my all-time favorite rules that I share with my clients.

  • Let a man lead: From the beginning.  He asks for your number, texts you, calls you first, asks you out first, etc.  Allow him to plan the date, pay for the date, open your door, pull out your chair and ask your availability for the next time he can see you.
  • Become a delight: Always look your best (stay ready), smile often, laugh more, walk around looking as if you are enjoying life.  If men look your way, greet them with a smile, instead of a rested b* face or turning your head right way.  While you are on dates, compliment him: on the ambiance of the location he chose, his outfit, tell him that you appreciate him being such a gentleman. Show real interest in his conversation, laugh at his jokes, and consistently say please and thank you.
  • Don’t waste each other’s time: The moment you see red flags, or have a feeling that things aren’t up to your liking.  Let him go. Expeditiously.
Couple enjoying dinner --- Image by © JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Corbis

Image by © JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Corbis

4) Then repeat: Sooner or later, the dating game will be over. You will now be the MRS, the QUEEN of your household, and you will move on to another game, something more advanced, taking things to a whole notha’ level:  MARRIAGE!

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