People who have known me for years love what I do but are sometimes a little confused.  I am definitely a “live life to the fullest” kinda girl and they think that with dating comes a lot of rules, dos and don’ts and being on your best behavior.

It seems like an odd combination.

What they don’t realize is that when it comes to dating, my so-called “rules” are a little different then they might think. So I wanted to introduce a little theory that I have been coming up with for awhile. For those who are over dating (and I know you are) and ready for something better.

A few years ago, I connected with an ex-boyfriend. Nate had always been my “alternative” boyfriend. Not because he had tattoos or piercings, but because he was so comfortable in his own skin. He had his own wacky ideas, made bad films with his friends and built a lego castle in his freshman year dorm room. He lived his life just as he thought he should. At first it was confusing that someone could care so little what others thought of him, then it became inspiring. I was in awe how this incredible and quiet guy attracted so many people to him by just being his cute, somewhat dorky self.

On a fall afternoon, we were catching up over the phone and talking about dating. As soon as I mentioned dating, Nate chimed in.

“I don’t believe in it,” he said.

“Huh?” I asked. “Like it doesn’t exist? Is this a conspiracy theory like the moon landing?”

He went on to explain how he thought dating was the short track to complete and utter awkwardness and relationship doom. He thought there was no way that two people sitting across from each other over dinner would ever be themselves and start a real relationship. I believe that he then called dating stupid.

That conversation has stuck with me for quite awhile because well, it makes sense. It makes more sense than the almost job interview that dates have become where we pretend that there is nothing wrong with us and we carry a little checklist to see if they fit our six pages of expectations. Oops, was that a rant? 

(Warning: there may be more coming.)

So what is this theory?  Let me break it down for a moment (please add beat box sound here)…

The concept of The League of Adventurous Singles is this: There are no rules to dating. You don’t have to go to certain places or have certain conversations. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You are just out there meeting people, trying them on for size and being smart about it so that if there is something there, it can become something real. You don’t shove on a huge amount of expectations that no one can live up to and you communicate what you are looking for. You “be yourself (all of you) and trust that if someone isn’t a good fit that there is a probably a good reason and that something better is going to come along.” 

Here are the basics behind “The League.”

Get out of the waiting room.  Want to know something super unfun and super unproductive for a happy life?  WAITING for love to find you and not appreciating all of the wonderful that single life offers. When you are spending your life in this crazy-eyed focused tirade of trying to move from one dating situation/relationship to another you are completely missing the awesomeness and learning being single brings.

Being solo is not just the situation you are stuck in until someone deems you lovable, it is a time to deep dive into knowing yourself, grow friendships, try new things, get out of your comfort zone and if anything, create a better you for when someone does show up.

All important things to grow a healthy relationship.

Put chemistry in it’s place. Are you living for that spark?  Jonesin’ for that moment where you are on a complete high with all of the possibilities of love in front of you?  I know that feeling and it is just as much, if not more, addicting than any drug out there.  Unfortunately, it is not necessarily getting you to a kick ass relationship. Yes, having that connection is incredible, but it has nothing to do with whether they are a good communicator, have similar values and can do the hard work to make this relationship all of the amazing it can become.  So acknowledge the chemistry, but realize that it is only a small part of what makes up a relationship.

Go slowly. “But Kira,” you say, “I thought there were no rules?” This is true, but you are going to be smart and set yourself up for success. I think so many more relationships could grow and flourish if one person didn’t rush ahead and leave the other person sitting there scratching their head wondering what happened. Go slow enough to really get to know them in a natural way, to have fun together, to get excited and most importantly to REALLY find out if this person is a good match.

Create healthy boundaries. I am convinced that half of the demise of current relationships is because people don’t take care of themselves in the beginning of the relationship.  They are not honest about their needs up front, taking care of their hearts and giving themselves away in a way that is never going to be healthy.

If you are not healthy, your relationship is not going to be.  You may like this person so much in the beginning that you want to bend over backwards and do anything for them.  No, you don’t mind doing their laundry.  Sure, you are happy to go to that sporting event that bores you to death.  What?  You love fishing..kinda.  Here is the point, if you are not willing to do it for the rest of the relationship, don’t do it in the beginning or at least let them know you are happy to do it occasionally, but that is all.  That makes sure that no one wakes up five years from now and says I don’t even know who you are.  Get it?

Let go of the expectations. What if you walked in to an date with the idea of just wanting to find out what makes this person great?  What makes them different?  What are they passionate about?  What are they embarrassed of?  Did you notice that I said nothing about whether or not they were your future boyfriend, spouse or parent to your unborn child?  My best dates have been when it wasn’t a date.  When it was two people, no expectations and just getting to know each other.  I was able to be myself and that went so much farther than anytime I went in with expectations.  Who knows….they may end up being a new acquaintance, friend, skiing buddy, cat sitter or old movie video watcher.  Maybe even more, but taking it slowly you will figure out one way or another which leads me to….

The more the merrier. No, I am not being naughty.  But in the world of traveling light, slowly getting to know people and trying them on for size should be pressure free.  One of the best ways to do that is getting to know more than one person at a time.  Hear me out!  It is so easy to be obsessive and over-think every little thing which can lead to “the crazy” (you know what I am talking about) when you are just checking out one person.  If you have a few people, you can keep things in perspective, your eyes open and not put all your eggs in one basket.  Think of it this way…you won’t be so disappointed if you are not expecting this one and only person to change your life.  If you have been building something for a while and really want to check it out, then do.  But it will be because you have taken some time to know the person, kept it real and are making a conscious choice….together.  Not because they are the only option and seem to be good enough.

Look for the whole package. Wouldn’t it be great to find a smart, attractive, successful, athletic, funny, happy guy who also loved to cook?  Sure, it would also be great if I owned my own island.  The thing is the right person for you is going to have good stuff and not so good stuff.  Just make sure the not good stuff is stuff you can live with.  They may not look how you think or fit this mold, but really…who cares?  Great relationships have nothing to do with two perfect people.  They have to do with love, respect and a willingness to work together to keep it great.  I know I have said this before, it is not rocket science, but always a good reminder.

Know yourself. If you know that you get attached easily, tread lightly in the beginning.  If you get nervous, let them know.  If you tend to scare, set a pace that works for you making sure you communicate with them.  Are you very particular?  Make sure it is coming from a place of finding someone great for you instead of a fear of love or one where no one can live up to it.  Then you will  always be disappointed and blame the universe that “you just aren’t meeting people worth dating”.  We both know that bullsh*t.

Take care of your crap. It is no one else’s job to break down your wall, see through your games, give you confidence, make you feel pretty, find you friends, pay your bills, ignore the intimidation or figure a way into your busy life.  It is your job to figure that stuff out and the longer you wait, the longer you will be waiting for a person that doesn’t exist.  True story.

Have some fun already.  Seriously.  What is the point of love and relationships if you are miserable half of the time.  If you are giving away so much power that you are just waiting for someone to love you to make you valuable you are going to be riding that rollercoaster from hell for a very long time. Step back, take a breath and just start doing things you love to do.  Surrounding yourself with great people and happy thoughts.  The rest will come.

So, are we doing this or what?  Who is joining me at the cool table?

Your Adventure:  Share below which of these ideas you need to work on most.  How can I help you start?

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