While I love giving general advice, I feel like some dating questions and topics require a deep dive to really tackle. Especially the question below. I know for a fact that I often tell people to “be the person you want to date” and so, the opportunity to detail what that means really stood out to me.
ConfusedWithoutAClue asks –
People always advise to live an interesting life and be the person others want to be with. But what does that really mean?
How does someone just start to be an interesting person without filling up their schedule so much that you can’t even date other interesting people. Is the point of doing all of these new “interesting” activities that you meet people in those activities that you can date since they share an interest? I realize it could be a pretty stupid question, but seeing as how I’ve participated in sports and a few other hobbies and I’ve never gone out with anyone through those experiences, I was wondering exactly what everyone meant when they gave the advice to develop a more interesting life.
Well ConfusedWithoutAClue, let’s just begin by saying that you don’t become interesting overnight. Interesting is a state of mind as much as it is experience-based. There isn’t one specific way to be interesting, it’s all about having a mix of Experiences and anecdotes, understanding the audience with whom you are trying to engage, and the belief that you actually are interesting.
We all live in an age where diverse experiences are the norm for most people of a certain age. You really can learn and explore a ton, even if you’re from a small town because of the internet. I’m not saying that you need to know a bit about everything, or that specialized knowledge is bad, but being able to discuss a wide variety of topics is a great skill to have. A great substitute for experiences is genuine curiosity. Having interest in a subject, whether because you’re knowledgeable about the subject, or just curious, will carry you a very long way toward being interesting. Interest is the root of Interesting after all.
When people talk about someone being interesting, their often talking about their ability to tell interesting anecdotes or stories. Part of being interesting has to do with being able to talk about yourself. I’ll touch on the necessity of confidence later, but ultimately you need to believe you have an interesting story to tell and know WHEN to tell it. When telling an interesting story or anecdote, make sure that discussing it happens organically and it doesn’t appear forced.
When it comes to experiencing new things, the easiest way to do that is to consume pop culture, especially the things you don’t normally seek out. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to watch every reality tv show out there, but at least become aware of what’s popular and have passing knowledge of it. I have no interest in reading or seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’ve read the Wikipedia articles about the series and film. That basic knowledge means that I can chat up anyone about the film or series without having to experience either.
I’d also recommend reading more. There are quite a few benefits to reading, specifically, reading fiction, that will not only make you more interesting, but easier to talk to in general. Book recommendations, whether people take them or not, are usually a good sign that someone is interesting.
Travel is a quick way to become more interesting and develop several new anecdotes but it’s not the cheapest. Travel if you can afford it, if you can’t do it now because of the cost, do some research on the places you do want to go to so that when you meet someone who has been where you eventually want to go, you have something to discuss with them.
Finally, try to experience things that you normally wouldn’t by purposefully getting out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s listening to a new music genre that wouldn’t normally interest you, or whatever else you can think of. Do something that makes you uncomfortable to build a new experiences.
Knowing your audience is important, especially when it comes to dating. If you’re wondering about what experiences or anecdotes to tell to a date, first figure out what sort of person you think they might be. Chances are if you’re on a date with someone, you have a basic understanding of what sort of person they are. If you’re meeting people online, they’ll probably lay out their interests either in their profile, or in their pictures. If you’re meeting in person, there is nothing wrong with asking someone what they like to do for fun, or if they have an interesting hobby. People tell you what they’re into whether directly, or indirectly, so try to be observant.
The most important part of any efforts you take into becoming more interesting is actually believing that you’re interesting. If you’ve scaled a mountain but don’t feel comfortable talking about it because you don’t want to come off as showy it doesn’t help you to appear more interesting. Being the shy, quiet guy or girl may attract some people, but being the person who scaled a mountain is a tad more interesting. I’m not saying that you need to be a showy person about your experiences or accomplishments, just feel confident that you bring something to the table.
When it comes to the time you’ll take filling up your schedule doing all those interesting things, try to balance it. Don’t be in a rush to be this amazing, interesting person. Take things slow and let yourself grow and develop naturally. If you’re engaged in new activities chances are that you’ll meet someone you’d like to date through that activity. If not, you’ve still got a new story to tell.
Ultimately, remember that striving to be a more interesting person should be a pursuit of a larger goal: To be a better person.
Good Luck Out There.