Finding Love: A New Way to Date

Getting beyond the stereotypical dating model and learning to impress yourself first can lead you to the right person

By Dr. Craig Martin

Let’s start this off by saying there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and act your best on a date. For all intents and purposes, there also should be nothing wrong with wanting to look and act your best with your spouse of 15 years. But this isn’t going to be about that.

Dating inevitably is very stressful. We all want to be liked, to be accepted, and to be loved. For single people, the dating process is the way in which we find someone to fulfill those needs. And for anyone who is out there dating – we soon discover this is not easy.

There are all kinds of reasons for that. People are odd, and finding just the right kind of odd that meshes nicely with you is a complex task. Often, on dates we find that people seem strange to us, and we can’t make a connection that feels like we want it to.

The truth is, by the time you find someone who is great for you, that person has been passed up by other people who thought they were strange. And so the dating scene is really about finding the right person – the one who makes you feel at home with them. It’s about finding the person whose strangeness isn’t really strange to you at all.

One thing that prevents this exploration from happening in a natural, and often amazing, way is that we put on a face designed to impress someone else. The problem with this is the face we put on isn’t really who we are. We don’t just show up looking and acting our best for a date, we show up looking and acting like someone we aren’t. This creates a problem.

If we go into the dating scene believing that “men want women who make them laugh,” or “women want men who are strong and unflappable,” then we make every attempt to mold ourselves into that kind of person. The issue that gets created is narrowness. Not all men or women are looking for the same things. And by the same token, not all men or women fit the stereotypes of specific kinds of behavior.

The more we try to behave in the particular way that we think will gain our acceptance, the further away we drift from our true selves. We often then learn to dislike who we are, thinking that if we are not a picture of the perfect date, then we are not desirable or attractive to anyone. This is not true.

The only person you ever need to impress is yourself. Once you’ve learned to do that, then the right person comes along. You don’t need to look outside yourself to find the validation and acceptance that’s been with you all along. It’s right there – in the mirror, in your actions, in your thoughts and in your deeds.

When you fully embrace the beauty that is you, then there is no other person who has the power to decide that for you. You’ve decided it for yourself and then someone comes along who sees it too! What a remarkable new way to date. Show up to impress yourself, and anyone who is not impressed by you is clearly not the right person. A number of wonderful things happen. You don’t have to waste too much time on people who don’t see you. And you, because you know better what to look for, don’t have to kiss quite so many frogs.


Dr. Craig Martin is an astrologer, interfaith minister and spiritual counselor. Working with both individuals and couples, he resides in Los Angeles, and practices in both New York City and California. He is the author of “Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship,” and can be reached through his Web site at