Yep, still laughing out loud every week at How I Met Your Mother.
And this week’s episode hit on something I talk about in my upcoming book Meeting Your Half-Orange (February 2010, Running Press). We’ll call it the “I’m taking a break from dating” technique.
After Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) broke up last week, he took the opportunity to pull out his old playbook and pick up on as many women as possible. Robin, for her part, went the other route, saying she was taking a break from love to focus back on herself. This is how her conversation with the boys went, when she said she wanted to focus on…
Robin: “My career. That’s my number one focus right now. From now on, no more dating, it’s all about work. . . I’m taking a break from all that.
Ted: Mmm, mmm Marshall…it’s totally gonna happen.
Marshall: So gonna happen.
Robin: What’s gonna happen?
Ted: You’re gonna fall in love.
Marshall: So soon.
Robin: Ha ha, not likely. I’m focusing on my career. I’m done with dating.
Ted: No, okay, we’re playing The Pyramid? Okay… “Things People Say Right Before They Meet The Love of Their Life.”
Why do I love that conversation? Let me count the ways. Because the essence of my book about dating optimism is that you need to become the best, most absolutely authentic and happy you there is. In other words, take the focus off of dating and back onto yourself.
Why do so many people meet the loves of their lives the minute they announce, “I give up” or “I’m over it” or, like Robin, “I’m going to focus on my career”? Because the minute you take the focus off of the endless pursuit of love is the minute you actually settle into a comfortable, happy, content version of yourself: the you that isn’t scouring online dating sites every 2o minutes, the you that isn’t emailing every married friend you have and asking to be set up, the you that isn’t trying to hit three events a night with a panicked look on your face as you scan the room for single people you like.
Try it. Try Robin’s “I’m taking a break from dating” technique. Exhale all that pressure that’s been building up inside you as the clock ticks by and you fear you’ll never find someone. Then inhale yourself again—the most real, happy version of you there is. Focus on work for a while. Focus on your family. Spend quality time with your friends in locations where you can’t meet anyone. Do some things you’ve always meant to try with the intention of feeling good about yourself, nothing more.
Because it’s then—when you are the best, more natural version of yourself—that the person you’re meant to be with will be able to recognize you. The sooner you become the person you want to be in your ideal, happy relationship, the sooner your half-orange will show up!
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