This week we are going to address a few questions that we received after last week’s article on online dating and matchmaking services. None of the questions were about online dating specifically but instead about dating specifically in this incredible valley and community that we all live in. And each shared the same complaint: that dating is really difficult here, and the pickins are really slim…
The first question we received was from a reader in their 40s, divorced and now single. Their issue is, they believe, unique to their situation: a belief that dating in the valley in one’s 40s and after a divorce is tremendously hard. That’s because from their perspective — and experience — this is a valley saturated with ski bums, gold digger/sugar daddies and people just passin’ through. How, then, is this person supposed to find love?
The next two questions we received were from single people in their early to mid-30s. Both have never been married and both have the same complaint about dating here: It’s hard. Their reasons, though, did not center on their age — or a recent divorce, ski bums and people all about the benjamins. Again, each person believed their reasons were unique to them. It was all about the mindset of the dating pool: people too interested in partying, not enough “inventory,” not deep enough, not driven enough, etc.
Over our years coaching clients around the world, we have heard myriad different reasons why dating is hard. But what’s interesting is that we hear the same complaints from clients of ours who live in New York City, San Francisco, LA, Europe — all the way to the United Arab Emirates — and small towns all over the world. And each person we coach really believes their story and believes in their reasons why it’s hard.
Look, on the surface, you’re right: It is hard! We believe every person who has shared their challenges and reasons with us over the years and don’t want to diminish or discount the difficult experiences anybody has had or is having in the world of love and dating — here or anywhere. What can’t be glossed over, though, is that every single person who has voiced their reasons for why dating is hard shares something in common. It’s a mindset that is not in alignment with the results that they want. The fact of the matter is that people are attracting love in this valley every day — we know so many of these people, some close friends of ours who were single last year and happily coupled up this year. Statistics are real, yes, but what matters more than statistics, as in any area of life, is your own belief system.
If you really believe that it’s hard to date here, then no matter what, it will be hard to date here. There are enough successful entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes in this town who had statistics stacked against them, whose success can’t be decoupled from a steadfast belief in themselves and their ideas. Contrary to what most of us were taught about love and dating, your mindset about it is indeed a real factor — perhaps not the only factor, but definitely the primary one. Start by shifting that first, and then see what happens.
If you are busy finding and believing all the reasons why it’s hard, you will miss all the reasons why this is the perfect place for you to find the love of your life and all the evidence in support of that belief. It’s a cliche for a reason: “as within, so without.” So we lovingly urge you, plead with you and challenge you to take a look, first and foremost, at your own belief system. Take a good, hard look at your own list of excuses and get more curious about the consequences those excuses are having on your love life than all of the reasons for why this might not be going your way.
This is the only way to change your situation. You are here in this valley for a reason. You don’t end up here by accident — with very few exceptions, we all choose to live here. And it takes something to make it work. It’s expensive; for many, it’s far from family, place of birth and many familiar amenities (like Grubhub!). But the vast majority of us are making that choice because there is something, if not many wonderful things, that makes us need to call this magical place home. So if you are making that choice, practice believing that somebody else is also making that choice, too, and that they are out there, searching for you as well.
This is not the only way to shift your experience dating in this valley, but it is for sure the first and most important step.
Sally and Zach Maxwell, owners of Max-Well Coaching, have a combined nearly three decades of coaching experience and two decades together in marriage. Email your questions to [email protected].