Date Like A Model

how to date successfullyRuth Wakefield thought she’d made a mistake. She expected the chocolate to melt. It didn’t. But guests of the Toll House Inn loved the dessert anyway, and chocolate chip cookies were born.

There are times in life when success catches you off guard like that. In spite of your best planning, things can go horribly wrong or unexplainably right.

Of course, you can learn a lot by reflecting on your own stories of success. But sometimes the best course of action is to skip the analysis and simply do what you did again.

We call that “modeling” behavior. It’s a powerful technique, whether you’re modeling your own behavior or someone else’s.

In fact, one of the fastest ways to accomplish a difficult task is to find another person who has already mastered it. Then, just do what they did. Model their success-building behavior.

It doesn’t even matter if you understand exactly why that behavior led to success.

We rely on things every day that we can’t explain. For example, when you walk into a dark room, what do you do? You flip the light switch. You may or may not understand the details of how electricity works. With modeling, you don’t have to understand all the details before getting results. Modeling success is a shortcut to getting results.

Of course, there’s value in understanding how and why things happen. Ultimately, you should find the time to reflect on your moments of success. When you understand the underlying mechanics, you’re even better equipped to be successful in the future.

But when you’re facing a tough challenge and have no idea where to start, modeling successful behavior is always a good first step.

Most of the time, people model others’ behavior. I’ve done that. By tailoring my habits to match those of the successful, I’ve been able to take huge leaps forward in my life. It’s kind of like borrowing success from others.

But there’s a simpler kind of behavior modeling, and I’ve already touched on it. It’s this: modeling your own successful behavior. This technique works in your career, in your friendships, and yes, even in your love life.

Naturally, when you experience unexplained success, especially in relationships, it’s kind of a double edged sword. It’s wonderful to get it right, but frustrating that you don’t understand how you got there.

But remember, you don’t have to understand success to experience it.

For example, think of a time when you approached your romantic partner in the hopes of influencing him. Maybe you were pitching a fun date idea or trying to change how the two of you handle conflict. Whatever it was, think of a time when you pulled it off in a big way. A time when you were wildly successful.

how to date successfullyThe next time you’re facing a difficult conversation, think about the approach you took that led to that wild success. Try to duplicate as many of the factors as possible. It could have been the playful way you introduced the topic, or posing your suggestion as a question, or even beginning the conversation with a concession. Whatever worked last time, try it again.

You won’t get the same results every time. That’s true because you’re in the process of learning, and because you can only influence 50% of any given interaction. But, modeling your behavior after past successful conversations will give you better odds of success.

The next time you feel stuck in communication, try this simple but effective approach. Think of a time when the conversation went really well, and duplicate what you did before. By drawing on your memories of previous success, you can propel your communication with your partner to new levels of intimacy.

P.S. I would be honored if you modeled a few of my most powerful strategies. Start by learning the Respect Principle. You can model the conversation examples in my course and transform the way your man feels when he’s in your presence.

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5 thoughts on “Date Like A Model

  1. Ludah Gaabinelwe said:

    HI James! you really got it all, I hope the world could have that and we know about our BATNA, it was going to be easy to come to terms and solve the differences and challenges we find in our relationships.

  2. pam said:

    Thank you your messages I find them most helpful

  3. caroline said:

    James thank you for your inspirational messages. I would like to ask you what programmme you could recommended for me, but one that would speak to a male. If I could quickly let you know ow my position. I, met a Australian man on line. I returned to Australia with him. My bubble was burst as soon as I got off the plane. There was and is a dis connect. He doesn’t interact. He is distant aloof.
    However my life is not good in England I live in a run down area on minimum wage. We came back to England after one year to collect documentation the I would need to be with him in Australia. Once here I felt stronger to address some matters with him. He left. Now he is asking me to join him. Which I want to do. However, I don’t want to return to the relationship as it was. I have asked him if he will work with me at some growth, like what he asked a book. No. He replied.
    Now he keeps in touch by text e mail and phone. Talks to me like things are okay. I want to take a stance on this but he fears intimacy, I don’t know if I should make it a deal breaker or if that you make him run to the hills again. and if he agreed I need to find a ‘work’ to suit a macho crockadile dundee????

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Caroline. You might recall that I have talked about the concept of a BATNA before (best alternative to negotiated agreement). This is a situation where that comes into play.

      You need to figure out what your BATNA is. Are the things he does (or fails to do) bad enough to where the best alternative to an agreement for change would be to leave him? Or are these things you feel like you could be okay with, and just keep hoping he learns how to relate to you better?

      Once you know your BATNA it puts you in a position of strength while negotiating for what you want. Knowing in advance what you are willing to compromise on (and what you are not willing to compromise on) will cause you to feel certain and strong during upcoming communication with this man. Sometimes your BATNA is to walk away, sometimes it’s not. Figure it out before you talk with him further.


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