November 17, 2011

How to Survive the Dating Challenge - Marcus, NYC (part 2)

Yesterday, I introduced you to Marcus, a recently-turned-33-year-old from New York City who dared to date differently. In honor of his birthday, he decided to help kick off my book release by taking on my dating challenge. Marcus aimed for 15 dates in three weeks - and he's the kind of guy who will work hard, commit, and make sure he finishes what he starts.
Now that he's had a few weeks to gain a little more perspective (and sleep), Marcus is sharing some of his insights. Thanks Marcus!

Marcus, New York City

Tam: What was it about your dating life that led you to doing something so dramatically different?
Marcus: I've been single for 33 years. Obviously, something hasn't been working for me. I saw how this sort of endurance dating was affecting others so I gave it a shot.

What made the idea of a "dating project" seem interesting to you?
It seemed like a good opportunity to learn and to mix up my dating life.  Besides, the idea of immersing myself in dating was something that I've never done before.

What were you hoping to get from your dating project experience?
A girlfriend?!? (insert laugh here) That would have been nice and I guess it still could happen, but really it was to learn about dating, to get over some fears, and to figure what I need to change in order to get into and be in a good relationship. 

How did you manage to find so many people to go out with you?
This was the easy part.  First I let the world know what I was doing it through Facebook, then I emailed some trusted friends for suggestions, made a list of women I knew that I wanted to ask out anyway, and went to it.  This was much easier than I thought it would be and with a little more planning I think I could have done more than I did.

Does that mean you'll do it again??
No. It was a lot of fun and was really a great experience, but I feel fairly confident that I got out of this what I needed

In what ways did your dating project seem different from your dating life previously? How did you deal with those differences?
This project was an excuse to ask women out, which I sort of appreciated. I was hoping that the perception would be that going out on a date with me during this wasn't a big deal, since I was also going out with so many other women. However, I was also concerned that I wouldn't be taken seriously. Eventually I realized that these were silly excuses and before too long it felt easier to date since I was doing it all the time and I got into a habit of finding of coordinating something just about everyday.
What was the most memorable part of your project?
Probably when I realized that it was all coming together. I was worried that I would miss my goal, especially since I didn't have many dates the first week. About a week before it was over though I finally had all of my dates lined up. It was at that point that I realized how important this project had become to me because I had proven my commitment to making my goal happen to myself.

Do you foresee this project changing the way you'll date?
Yes. I have renewed and strengthened sense of what's important to me and I won't let anything stand in my way.

What else did you learn?
The most important lesson I learned is what's really important to me and that there will always be excuses to keep you from dating, if you let them, something I've been guilty of for too long. While things like rejection, time constraints, confusion about how women think, finding women to date, or even issues with my own self confidence are very real, I refuse to let these or any other excuses keep me from dating, relationships, and eventually marriage.
Something I quickly discovered through all of this is that I would always rather be going out on dates than "hanging out." This was proven to me in a very real way about week after my challenge was formally over when I found myself renting a car and driving to Delaware (a 2.5 hour drive) to go on a date over hanging out with some friends. While I feel very lucky to have the friends I have, the date was completely worth it and was a much better way to spend my evening.
As part of all this I learned that hanging out is fine, but it pales in comparison to dating. While dating certainly requires a lot more of both people (emotionally, mentally, and otherwise), it's so much more fun and is far more rewarding. I wish that more singles would realize that, or if they do, that they would be daring enough to promote dating over hanging out or figure out what it takes to promote dating (that goes for both men and women).
Going forward, this is going to be hard for me personally, as it means I will be consciously withdrawing from social activities that in the past I would have attended. However, I believe very strongly that "if you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got."
Marcus, thank you for taking the challenge and for taking the time to reflect on your experience and respond to all my nosy questions. I'll be checking in with you (as I'm sure everyone else will be just as curious about you in the future!).

As a reminder, the E-BOOK version of 31 DATES IN 31 DAYS will be released next week on Sunday, November 20th. Do you know anyone who could kick off its release with a dating challenge like Marcus did? Let me know!

Much love to you!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...