March 7, 2012

Houston, We Have a Project

Becca, Jess, Kim, and Mauren 
A couple months ago I received an email from Mauren, a recently-turned 31 year old single gal from Houston. She'd just read my book, 31 Dates in 31 Days, and was inspired to kick off her own dating project with a few of her closest friends.
Mauren's request: I'm just looking for some ideas on ways that we as a group could start a dating project that would challenge each of us but help us learn something from it, too. 

Of course! 

Step #1 - I sent her and her friends a copy of my Dating Boot Camp Starter Kit
Step #2 - We set up two group meetings over Skype. With poor lighting and herbal tea, I got to chat with Becca, Jessica, Kim, and Mauren about their hopes for their project. Understanding their backgrounds and hopes made it easier to help come up with some rules and parameters. They decided on the time frame: 40 Dates in 40 Days. Here's the way their project works: Each of the girls will go on a total of ten dates, taking turns throughout the entire 40 days.
Step #3 - The ladies set up their blog, came up with some great date ideas, and started asking friends to help find some men who might be interested in having fun around Houston.
Step #4 - Kick off the project! The day after Valentine's Day marked Date #1.

I found the timing appropriate actually. After all, 'tis the season of Lent, when people give up something for 40 days. For these women, they're setting aside their old dating ways and trying something new.

They just passed the halfway mark, with Becca going out on her fifth date (and the 20th date of the project). From her blog post:
Oh Blog, I can't believe I'm half way there. My first five dates have been so much fun! I know there are people out there wondering how much we are leaving out to make these guys seem so great. I am blessed to tell you that it's not that much. :) These guys are awesome! I am learning a lot. Thanks to everyone who is making this journey with me! Wish me luck on the next 5 dates.

Yesterday, Jessica shared some insight with me about how the project has already given her one of those "AH HA!" moments! She had a big revelation about herself and the way she's been handling her life when it comes to romance and relationships. Here's what she's realized about the way she's been dating for many years:
There comes a moment early on with each of them where I decide where the relationship is going to go, either because I'm "sure" they would never be interested in me, or vice versa. When I realized I do that, I started asking myself the chicken or the egg question. Do I never date because no one is interested in me, or is no one interested in me because I decide they wouldn't be?
On my date with Nick, there was a moment in the car on the way to the lake where he said something and I felt It. That moment where normally I decide I could never be interested and steer the conversation into friend territory. I stopped myself and forced myself to react differently than I normally would, to keep an open mind and to let the conversation and night evolve naturally instead of steering the ship like I usually do.
It was an amazing experience. So far, he has been my favorite date and the only one of the guys that I have serious interest in dating. I'm so glad I didn't hit the switch and make the train go on to a different track that night! I'm working really hard to continue this new approach. Maybe most or all of these boys will just end up being my friend. And I'd be really happy with that, because they are all so great. But if we're "just friends" I will try to be sure it's because that's how the relationship evolved naturally, and not because I deliberately took it there, either because of insecurity or close-mindedness.

I'm so happy for these Houston gals! They've been having fun, they've learned about themselves, and they've also been downright spoiled.

From Kim:

So, I think I have been a little spoiled so far with the guys I have gone out with. I mean really... I got flowers from 3 of them. That's not normal, right? I have thoroughly enjoyed myself though, and am discovering that along with there being a lot of great guys in the area and fun things to do, I am date-able. I'm pretty fun, turns out. :) It's all just been a good confidence boost for me. I am hoping the 2nd half is as good to me as the first, because I truly have no complaints about the dates so far.

That's right. Flowers from THREE of the guys she's met. Looks like the Texas boys are giving a nod to the classic Southern Gentleman!
You can check out their blog to read all about their 40 Dates in 40 Days. It's quite an adventure and has plenty of great date ideas to do in any town!
Keep up the great work ladies!

My book, 31 Dates in 31 Days, is a finalist in the's Reader's Choice Awards for BEST DATING BOOK! Here's the link to cast your vote every day until March 21, 2012 when the contest ends. 

Thank you for your support!

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