Your Two Steps to Winning in Love

I’m coming a little late to one game: Friday Night Lights. Until two night ago, I hadn’t seen an episode, but when a guy friend told me that it’s the only show that’s ever made him cry, I was in.

Coach Taylor's advice works for all of us. (Image: NBC)

Gus and I have only seen three episodes so far, but we’re loving it. And loving Kyle Chandler—remember him from Early Edition? I used to watch that show over a decade ago, when he got the one-day-ahead edition of the newspaper and then spent his whole day trying to stop all that bad news from happening. Kyle’s even better in this, as Eric Taylor, the new coach of the number one Texas high school football team, the Dillon Panthers. And every time he needs to give his team a pep talk, he closes with a line I think we would all do better in life to follow:

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

It’s just like dating. Because those two short steps can lead you just where you want to go in love. Here’s how:

How to have clear eyes: Pay attention to the person you’re meeting. Really see them for who they are—not who they dress like, who they act like, the job they’re in, the car they drive. Don’t let one or three glasses of Sauvingnon Blanc get you too tipsy on a date to miss how you interact with one another on a real, personal level. If you say, for example, you’re looking for a relationship and would like to be married with kids someday, pay clear attention to what they say and do next. Things like sweating brows and laughter, or saying things like, “Yeah, I’m just seeing where life takes me,” or “Now? Geez, I’m nowhere near ready for that” are big signals. If you want a relationship (yes, now), and the person across from you does not, then they are not the right person for you right now. Clear eyes will let you see things like this. Open your eyes, open your ears and let people tell you who they are.

How to have a full heart: Come to your dates with a big heart. Focus on how your heart feels when you’re with people you meet. It’s easy to get so used to the dating game that it becomes like a work To-Do list: Email three times to set up a date, meet for one hour, ask these questions, judge on these criteria. But the connection you will make with your other half—your half-orange—will be one from your heart. It will be true and full and real, and the only way you can tune into that connection is by focusing on it. Don’t let practicality and busy schedules and crazy fun times drown out the sound of your heart. Come into your dates and interactions with your heart full and ready and tune into how it feels.

What Coach Taylor tells his team works for all of us in life and love: Come at your next dates with clear eyes and a full heart, and whether you find love today or not, you can’t lose. You will be led in the right direction, toward the right person.

As I head back into the next episodes of the show, get your Friday nights lighting up in the best ways, too.

Big love,