Single? 5 Reasons to Get a Dating Accountability Partner
In last month’s article, we talked about the importance of prioritizing quality over quantity when searching for a romantic match. But what if most of the well-meaning people in your life—friends, family, coworkers—don’t support you in that approach. They are so eager to see you paired up that they suggest you are too picky or too difficult. Their advice is to give that poor guy a second look, even when your inner voice clearly says No Way.
Friends mean well, but what you really need is a Dating Accountability Partner (DAP) who respects YOUR goals and values, and pledges to help you steer the course you’ve set.
A great DAP could be someone who knows you well in real life (like a sibling or childhood bestie), but online partners can be just as effective at helping you break free from old patterns. Someone you connect with in an online support group or a community like The Wellness Universe can steer you toward decisions that fit your current value system and expectations—and they’re often just one click away.
Most single women identify with at least one of these five scenarios listed below. Let’s take a look at how a Dating Accountability Partner might provide support in each instance:
You are starting over after having been part of a committed relationship for many years. Some singles feel guilty about moving forward after a breakup; this can be especially true if children are part of the picture (offspring aren’t always happy to see mom or dad move on). A DAP can encourage you to take those first steps toward meeting new people; help you dust off and reconnect with your sparkly inner diva, and offer reassurance that—despite what your teenage daughter says—it’s not selfish to treat yourself to a makeover.
You don’t go on many dates; maybe you travel for work or live in an area where there aren’t a lot of singles your age. The harsh truth is that unless you make it a priority to expand your social network, your status will remain single. Online dating is convenient, but doing it well requires more effort than a “set it and forget it” approach. To maximize your options, you’ll want to meet men in real life and online. Make a pact with your DAP that each week you’ll send her 3-5 actionable ideas for meeting new men; she’ll hold you accountable for getting off the couch and making it happen.
You’re a “3-month wonder” who gets into—and out of—lots of relationships (often after getting intimate). You’re sure this amazing new guy is your future husband—yet you’ve only been on one coffee date. An intervention from your DAP will help you take things slow and steady. She will gently steer you to other topics when you start gushing about Mr. Wonderful and make sure you aren’t neglecting your work and your other friends. She’ll insist you keep dating others rather than prematurely committing to another Mr. Wrong.
You have a history of wasting time on fantasy relationships: i.e., the married boss; the hot neighbor who has never said more than “hey”; the platonic male friend who “just doesn’t see you that way.” Have you been accidentally-on-purpose encountering that new consultant at work, hoping that if you chat long enough, he’ll ask you out? Your DAP will steer you toward healthier actions (attending a Lock and Key singles party; re-working your online ad) and away from the day-dreaming that keeps many women singles.
You are a man magnet, but men mostly want to hang out with you in private rather than show you off in public. If a woman complains that men only want one thing or “all men are players,” she needs a DAP who will help her say no to offers that don’t meet her standards. It sounds obvious, but by clearly articulating what you do want (“proper dates” or “courtship leading to marriage”), you gain immense power in rejecting options that don’t match your list. Your DAP can encourage you to stick to the standards and boundaries that YOU have set.