keeping your dating options openI have several friends who have gone through the process of applying to medical school to become a physician. Some of them have used what’s called “the shotgun approach.”

Basically, it means they abandon the detailed research of any one medical school and instead focus their time and energy on applying to as many medical schools as possible. Instead of trying to impress the faculty of one medical school with their knowledge of the research programs going on there, they put that effort into the essays and applications needed to apply to as many as twenty schools all at once.

They figure the odds are in their favor if they apply to a lot of schools. The admission rate is low for any given school, but if you have only a 10% chance of being admitted to any one med school, and you apply to ten schools; your chances start to look pretty good compared to the applicant who carefully researched and applied to only four med schools.

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” It’s unfortunate but true. We cannot predict which relationship will turn out to be the one that fulfills our heart’s deepest desire.

While I am generally a proponent of careful research of the particular qualities you want to find in a man, I am open to the shotgun approach when it comes to dating. I’m talking about the beginning stages of getting to know people here, not physical intimacy or deep relationships. That part comes after you have found someone great.

My advice is that you should put your energy into showing up in the right kinds of places where there are likely to be eligible men of a high quality that meet your standards. After that, open your mind and life to experience a wide variety of dating interactions. Put the shotgun approach to work.

One day, you will look back and recognize the point at which a special man entered your life. But chances are; you won’t recognize him as being that “special man” when you first meet him.

Don’t give up on refining the process you use for finding and attracting men of high quality. Just be open to the idea of getting to know a lot of men, even if they don’t seem to be the exact right fit on the first impression.

Taking calculated risks is quite different from being rash. So long as you enter interactions with a clear head and full knowledge of the fact that you will likely end your pursuit of most of those interactions in the near future; you can take advantage of the shotgun method for getting to know people on casual dates.

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