If you have read my book "Lessons From 15,000 First Dates", you would know that I am not the type who will white-wash my advice or just say things that your well-meaning mother, best friend, or colleague have been saying to you. Don't get me wrong… I believe in being positive and encouraging. However, I don't believe in telling you things that you would like to hear, but at the end of the day, not helping you at all in your dating journey. Hence, if you are looking to read politically-correct advice, then I would advise that you stop reading right now. 🙂

Before we embark on our journey of finding love, I think most important of all, we should find ourselves. Like they say, like attract likes! Just like we are looking for Mr. Right or Ms. Right, we should reflect if we are Ms. Right or Mr. Right to begin with!

In the last 6+ years, I have come across many singles who have the right attitude, the right mindset as well as the right skill set to be in a relationship and make a relationship work. Hence, they are the ones who sail into our doors, and sail out rather quickly after a few dates. Some might say they are simply lucky, but luck as we know is when opportunity meets preparation. As they have been preparing themselves all these while on being 'The RIGHT one', when given the opportunity of meeting suitable and hand-picked matches, the pair off very quickly!

On the other hand, I have also met singles who have gone for many dates, but at the end of the day, nothing much come out of it.

Some even lament that we are intentionally matching them with duds. Of course, there have been times that we ourselves thought it's a close-to-perfect match (and we get very excited in the office!), and the clients upon meeting up think otherwise. But for us to intentionally make bad matches does not make business sense. Why? Other than the obvious which is… the client would then go out there and bad-mouth us, we actually DO want to 'get rid' of our clients as soon as possible by making good matches. Because if we find someone a good match on say their 5th out of 10th date package, and the happy couple decides to pair off and get married, our work is done! We can then move on to help other singles who need our help more!

So actually, as matchmakers and dating consultants, we are motivated to find as good a match as possible, every single time!

Now that we have established that we are on the same side and working on the same team, let's look at how we can do a self-assessment of what's right and wrong about ourselves.

1. Make a list. Take out a piece of paper, and make a list of what you believe your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to dating. There's no right or wrong answer. Just write down whatever that comes to mind. Think from a multi-dimensional level – your profile attributes such as age, education level, earning capacity, your physical attributes – your appearance, your height, your dressing, your personality attributes – the way you interact with people, your outlook in life… any thing that comes to mind.

2. Make a date with 3 of your guy friends and 3 of your girl friends. Think of 6 of your friends, 3 girls and 3 guys who are most candid and you believe genuinely want to help you succeed in love. Once you have come out with the list of friends, make a date with them. It could be a coffee date, a lunch date, a dinner date… make sure you have sufficient time to have a heart-to-heart talk.

3. Prepare yourself for the 'date'. Understand that this could end up being an extremely painful exercise. However, psyche yourself up to be open-minded and to take a positive approach to this as this exercise can help you greatly improve your chances of finding love and meeting the right one.

3. Find out the 'goods' and the 'bads'. On the 'date', share with your friend that you are on a journey of self-discovery and you would like to seek his or her candid and honest opinion about you so that you know where your blind spots are. Ask your friend to share their opinions on your 'dateability' factors. Ask them to rate you on a scale of 1-10 on areas such as physical appearance and dressing, communication skills and positivity vs. negativity. This is also a great time to ask your friend why he or she seemed reluctant to introduce you to that 'great guy' or 'great girl'. 

4. Take down notes. On each and every one of these 6 dates, write down what your friends have said. Of course not everything that they have said is 100% right. Everybody are entitled to their personal opinions. However, before we start judging what they have said, let's just write them down.

5. Calibrate the notes that you have taken. After you have heard of all 6 of your friends, on another piece of paper, start writing down each item that has come up, and take count of how many friends have said the same thing. If 3 or more friends have said the same thing, then it's probably something that's true and consistent. If it's a good attribute, then that's great! If it's a not-so-good attribute, then this is an area that you should take note of and work on.

6. Compare others' perception of you and your perception of yourself. Then, compare the 2 lists – the one that you have written down earlier (item 1) and the ones that your friends have shared (item 5). Some of you might have 2 very similar lists, that's wonderful as that means you have great self-awareness. For others, you might realize that your self-perception is slightly different from what others perceive you as.

Looking at these lists, please do not be too hard on yourself as the purpose of this exercise is not to bring you down. The reason for this exercise is for us to come face-to-face with what's stopping us from finding the love that we deserve. 

Now that we know what's right and wrong about ourselves, we can work on the areas that we might not have scored so well in so that we can be an even better version of ourselves. For some of you, it might be physical appearance, for others, it might be conversation skills and confidence level. And for others, it could simply be your mindset and attitude. 

All the best with this exercise, and please do leave your comments on how it went! Do also let me know if you face any difficulties or challenges while embarking on th exercise so I can help you out!  🙂

Stay tuned for Day 2 – Finding a Way Back into Love.


Note: This is the first part of the Countdown to V-Day 2011 Series (also known as C2VD14)