The most important lesson from my dating experiment

“Calling it an experiment gives you the permission to fail”
-AJ Jacobs, author

In order to have statistical significance for any test, you need a large enough sample size. You can’t draw any substantial conclusions when you ask only 3 people if their favorite soda is either Pepsi or Coke.

Recently, I conducted a social experiment with dating to test hypotheses about myself — what are my desires, values, and non-negotiables.

The experiment was a success. In fact, it was overwhelming. I grossly miscalculated how large of a sample size I could handle. But hey, it was a champagne problem to have.

Can’t a guy have goals in the name of science and have a little fun at the same time?

Anyway, through this experiment, I learned perhaps the most crucial lesson of all when it comes to dating. Because of its effectiveness in improving performance and well-being, I’d say it transcends the realm of mere peacocking and is 100% applicable to all realms of life, be it work, family, and social.

When you do what you want, I get everything I want.

Imagine your current prospect or significant other telling you this.

When you are unapologetically you without compromise, everyone wins.

When I agree to meet with someone I’m excited about…
When I suggest a place that’s equidistant for both of us…
When I tell her up front that I am not ready for long-term relationship, risking that she’ll up and leave shortly…

On the other hand, when I compromise my values, standards, and desires, all sides are worse off.

When I meet with someone, with half-heartedness, only to be nice…
When I pay for her drink, even though she wasn’t pleasant for my taste at all…
When I want to grab her by the waist and pull her in, but I tell myself “next time”…

Sometimes I get stuck in situations I really don’t want to be in, usually with someone I find insufferable. Other times, I’m walking home alone, kicking myself for not seizing the moment. Rejection is always better than regret — another key lesson from my trials.

Whenever I go against my intuition, the tiny voice in my heart and mind that knows me best, I turn into something else. A copy cat. And so long as I am a copy cat, I can never be the best copy cat.

Clearly, by not standing on our truth, we violate the most lazy, yet fundamental dating advice: be yourself.

When I am impeccable with my words, I am most happy. Not only am I most happy, but I end up stuck with someone who is also truly happy to be there as well. We will do things together not because we want to be “nice” or we feel obligated, but because we want to, honestly.

So long as you do what you want, you’ll prance with feather weightlessness. How could you not when you are unencumbered by shame, regret and hesitation?

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
-Stephen McCranie, cartoonist

Take it from a guy who continues to fail on a regular basis.

Do what you want, and your partner will get everything he or she wants — the best version of you.