Alejandro Pena is a popular guy. He should be – he spends about 13 hours a week managing his dating life. Most of his bus commute is dedicated to checking apps like OKCupid, Double, and Plenty of Fish, then texting and emailing dates.
In a sense, he’s been successful. After all, he’s out at least twice and up to 5 times a week. What’s missing in this flurry of activity? A girlfriend.
Alejandro isn’t unique; he represents the millions of people fixated on getting into the mix. No one likes feeling left out on Valentine’s Day, however, how often have you heard, “Dating 500 people was the key to my success!”
I didn’t think so.
Laura Fraser met a sexy Brazilian in New York in line for a film screening. One thing led to another and when Laura left later that week, she returned to San Francisco with stories about her new, long-distance boyfriend. Yet their relationship quickly fizzled. She said, “I thought our fling was the start of a relationship; he thought it was just a fling. Period.”
The Brazilian was her soulmate, but not in the way she had hoped. Their time together pushed her to see some painful recurring themes. She recalls, “I would fall for a brilliant guy with an irresistible smile who never quite fell for me but who possessed all the qualities I liked in a man: a sense of humor, certified smarts, smoldering looks. Each time, these men – dashing chefs, moody architects – would give me just enough attention to keep me in their narcissistic orbit. Whether or not they’d ever call was just part of the thrill, always keeping me on edge.”
A friend soon gave Laura a stunning piece of news. Should she obsessively spin up a wish list of 100 qualities she’d like in her next boyfriend? Did she need to change her hairstyle or lose ten pounds? Was relocating the answer? No.
“You need to be The Brazilian in your relationship.”
That enticing challenge was Laura’s turnaround. When you think about The Brazilian at his best, what pictures enter your mind? Fun. Romantic. Present. Passionate, with a lust for life. Whether you’re hanging with your friends, searching for love, or are in a long-term partnership, doesn’t that sound like the kind of Valentine’s Day you’d like to have?
This month’s series, Your Naked Soul, is looking at healthy relationships. Anxious chasing may be entertaining, but it’s rarely healthy. It doesn’t bring out anyone’s best self, let alone their naked soul.
Jonathan Zwickel was deeply involved in a love/hate relationship…with the technology. The apps that were supposed to help him were quietly driving him crazy. “Last thing I do before bed, first thing when I wake up. That is SO LAME.”
For the moment, he’s taking a break. However, all that time online helped him become clear about the partner he’d like to be. He tenderly says, “All I want to do is never look at OKCupid again. I would rather wake up and look at a person than wake up and look at my phone.”
This week, take the pressure off finding someone interesting. Be interesting. Better yet, be The Brazilian.