There are a number of cliches when it comes to dating advice out there, each of them hollow and infuriating.
But none of them are quite as mystifying as the perennial classic: “The best way to find a girlfriend is to not want one so badly.”
“Don’t try so hard and it’ll happen.” “You’ll only find a relationship if you aren’t looking so hard…”
It’s gets tossed out almost as often as “Just be yourself” and is about as useful, but with the added benefit of borrowed authority and meaning by sounding like a zen koan delivered by an ancient master. “Meditate on this truth and you will understand the path of the Player, grasshopper.”
More often than not, this is the advice handed out by someone who believes in the binary state of dating skills – you’re either good or you’re not. It’s advice hinged on the idea that dating should be effortless and that attraction is magical and you can’t actually create it; your dating future is in the hands of fate, so there’s nothing you can really do to force the issue.
Thing is though – and you had to know by now that a twist was coming – they’re not entirely wrong.
The idea – that your best success comes with less effort – is sound. The issue is that most people misunderstand why this is true.