A long time ago, I did not have the motivation to look for a girlfriend. Externally, my days were spent at work. After work, I watched action movies or played computer games (both alone and online with my friends).

Superficially, the reason could be that I was introverted and lacked the social confidence and skills to go and socialize. On the surface, I kept telling myself that my job was not paying a high salary, I did not have the money to buy a car and an apartment in my city and was therefore considered undateable.

Forward to many years later. I was actively taking action to look for woman to date. I still did not have a car. I still did not have an apartment. My career was still the same. I had more confidence, but compared to now, my social skills were very terrible.

So what had changed? The only thing that had changed was the type of woman that I was talking to. In the old days, I was only meeting woman from my ethnic community. The typical profile was a mid-20s professional, very closely tied in with their family/parents, and the typical expectation was an early marriage in the mid to late twenties with kids soon after and settling down in the city that I am living in.

Call me inexperienced or brain washed by the mass media that I have been consuming, I thought all the woman in the world were like that. Now I know that I was wrong, but back then I didn’t realise that I had options. Also most of my peers who had steady girlfriends were also marrying in their mid 20s and following the same pattern. It was like a social script.

A lot of my male friends were single. I did not think to ask them about why they are still single too. I think the script is that, if you did not have a girlfriend by your mid twenties, there was something wrong with you somehow. Once we across the early 30s, talking about dating was more common.

Maybe it is like what Ramit Sethi said about invisible scripts. Invisible scripts are hidden beliefs that you don’t question and don’t even think about, like water to a fish, or clean air to humans. You only start to notice the air when it gets hazy or smoggy.

So, if you are thinking of dating or why you don’t have a girlfriend, chances are you are interested in dating. Yet if you are not actively taking actions towards dating, there may be invisible scripts hindering you. If you feel more motivated to play World of Warcraft or League of Legends, it may be that there are some more hidden and underlying reasons for your hesitation in dating.

So here are some of the reasons that I have thought about:

1. Dating a woman from the same ethnicity

For some people, especially for people from more traditional families, dating woman from a different ethnicity is a big barrier to overcome. Dating a woman from the same ethnicity definitely would help later on if you decide to settle down, as there would be less friction for the woman to integrate into your family (eg parent and extended family) activities and for you to get along with her family. It does make a lot of business sense.

Yet, at the same time, if you harbor some beliefs that are at odds with the popular/prevailing beliefs in your ethnic community, this can kill your motivation to date faster than a raid boss in World of Warcraft killing your healers or faster than an assassin killing your carry in League of Legends.

Geography does matter in this case. If you are in the countryside or heartlands for your ethnic group, this might make it physically very hard. If you are in a more international city, this might just be keeping an open eye. Sometimes, woman with mixed ethnicity might just end up looking like one of their parents, but have very different cultures.

There are two different ways this can show itself. Some guys become attracted to a woman from a specific different ethnicity. This is quite easy to see in other people. Other guys have no specific preference, yet they just seem to do better, or work harder at dating when they are dating woman from a different ethnicity/mixed ethnicity. This second type is harder to spot.

There is no surefire test to tell if this invisible script is hiding inside you. There is also no surefire solution to this either. The only way to know for sure is if you are already dating a woman from a different/mixed ethnicity and then you discover this script is inside you. Guess how I know about this.

2. Career/work

Some careers are not dating friendly in that they require you to have a massive time commitment in your early years. In politely language, in some jobs “you will have a hard time for the first three years.”

In these kinds of jobs, you are so tired, and your weekends are also spent working or recovering, that you dont have the extra emotional energy to date.

In these situations, you are prioritising your career so that hopefully your life would be easier later on. Its like putting in investment upfront.

Examples include international business development where you are going to another country to setup a new office/factory for your company. Or an change of industry where you spend every free minute reading up about the industry so you can catch up with your co-workers. First year lawyers and doctors might be included if you count the hours worked per week but somehow lawyers and doctors find time to squeeze in dates between their sleep.

3. Deviation from the normal society script

If lets say the average society trend for your peer group is to settle down by age 2x and you don’t want to, you may not be interested to even try to date other woman in your peer group if you believe that every single one of them wants to settle down by 2x.

Society scripts are large and vary across countries. Even within countries it varying according to which peer group or family you come from. This may be something to think about too.

4. A criteria that you want from your future girlfriend that you have not admitted to yourself yet/realised yet

Sometimes, you wish your girlfriend to be x or have the quality of x. Yet you believe that it is not possible or that it is not reasonable to ask for that. Then you have an internal conflict.

The more difficult part is if you are not even aware if this internal conflict. For a ridiculous imaginary example, you want woman who wear spectacles. Yet you feel that it is somehow a trivial request and one thing you shouldnt be asking for. So when you mostly see woman who don’t wear spectacles (because a lot of younger men and women undergo lazik surgery or wear contacts), and you are not interested in them. Then you misunderstand the cause and think that you are not interested in dating in general.

Yes the example is trivial, yet it is also one that conveys the idea clearly.

Ok, above are four invisible scripts that I have found that might reduce your motivation for dating. I hope that it may help you in your journey.

This time around, I did not make it to the end of the 30 day trial.  Looking at the archives, I was actively posting until Day 9 and the trial ended around Day 14.

What lessons did I learn on the journey?

1. Trials – New Areas, New Skills

I learnt new areas and skills along the trial. The most impactful was learning to post WordPress posts on my handphone by installing the app. This lead to the secondary habit of installing a free app to do my journaling (I use the Day One app  free version on my iphone).

2. Trials – length of trial

Looking at my present level, the longest I can do a daily trial is for 14 days. In this case, a major change in my life situation relating to career and personal life (home renovation) happened right after. As a useful reference point, for future trials I would do 7 to 14 day trials.

3. Repetitions of trials

While this trial might not have met its goal of 30 days, sometimes I can repeat a trial again and again to install the correct behavior. The experience during this trial helped me to come to the viewpoint that behavior change is more like a skill that can be taught, like how an animal trainer trains animals, rather than a mystical hilltop that can only be reached with prodigous amounts of willpower.

4. Thoughts are energy

In personal improvement area, we keep hearing the sayings like “You are the sum of your recent thoughts” or that “thoughts are energy” or “thoughts shape beliefs which shape actions.” Throughout this journey, I keep realising the unproductive thoughts that I was usually thinking off before I replace them with the mantra/affirmation “I love myself”. Those unproductive thoughts include “I am not strong enough” or “I am wasting my time”

5. Create value

During this trial period, the most productive thing I created were the blog posts. Sure the blog posts are on a free blog. At the same time, as long as WordPress does not go down, these blogposts will go on to help other people.

6. There are resources out there

There are resources out there that are beyond your imagination. After starting the trial, I came across the youtube channel, “Infinite Waters”. The fact that someone can make a living doing spiritual videos on youtube really blew my mind on what is possible in the world.

These were some of the lessons that I learnt along my journey of the 30 day trial. I did not manage to raise my self esteem or remove my fears yet. Maybe that will come in the future.

 

Over these few days there was big difficulty in maintaining the trial.

On day 10, I came back and ended up listening to about 2 hours of conversation to help a loved one vent out about work. After going out for dinner, I felt more peaceful.

On Saturday morning (Day 11), there was minor drama about waking up late. Yet by non-reacting, which was helped by the loving yourself practice, the drama died down by itself. I had an enjoyable Saturday.

On Sundays evening, day 12, there was major drama about the state of my career. Yet after I took action by applying for ads on job board the drama went away.

On day 13, I discovered the YouTube channel Infinite Waters. I resonated with the message in the videos. I was also curious as to how the creator of the Channel managed to accumulate more than 1 million followers. On day 14, I found out that the answer was consistent posting non stop over a prolonged period. Or what the YouTube channel owner called earning your stripes by consistently creating output.

On day 13, a major work meeting removed some of the outstanding backlog at work, which is an unexpected surprise from the universe.

On day 14, more alpha waves  of my private  requests were happening. According to Steve Pavlina, alpha waves are manifestations which look a bit like your manifestation request but a lot smaller. It is like Colombia seeing birds when he was near to discovering America. Or like finding a ten cent coin when you are trying to manifest a million dollars.

It is like the universe is sending a hint that it has heard you and that it is working on your wish. At this moment, if you doubt the law of attraction, you may feel frustrated or give up. I did that previous times. Now when I see the alpha waves I know I can keep working harder at my inspired actions to help my manifestation turn into reality. 

Today started out a bit challengingly. The last few days I slept late.

As I was about leave house his morning a family member started to share their emotional concern with me. I cut the conversation off by saying that I needed to catch my bus if not I would be late for work. My englightenment before suffering caught on and I asked the person again about their emotional worry.

Today, while at work I was asked to help another person at work. My attitude was complain and I thought to myself that this was unfair and that I was being held back in my career. Looking back, I see this thought cycle keep repeating in my life. This complaining thought cycle has kept me in a state of lower vibration. Instead of thinking this complaining thought, saying I love myself would have been a more productive use of my time.

The helping at work issue resolved after lunch.

After lunch, a small thing happened where I was supposed to rush home after work to buy a replacement for something physical that had spoiled. I was sulky at first, thinking how unfair all this was and not appreciative of my family members.

After work, I surrendered myself to the universe and went to the shopping mall near my house to find the replacement item. When I found the replacement item, I called home and received the happy news. The item was no longer needed as my family had found a spare copy of the item in the storage. Last time, I would have felt angry for being sent on a redundant errand. Now, I am probably thinking that the universe noticed that I had learnt the lesson that I was supposed to learn and made the follow up of actually purchasing the physical item necessary.

There are two short learning lessons for myself today. The first is that loving myself practice made me more aware of the negative thought cycles that I have in my head. The second lesson is that surrendering to the universe let’s me learn my lesson in life faster, something that I forget frequently even when I am on the loving myself practice.

Yesterday the day started smoothly and ended with a bit of waves.

At the end of the day I had to interact with a family member who was emotionally charged. I handled it with a bit of irritation but otherwise better than I would have a few years back.

i spent the night working to help someone with their work. My attitude was a bit negative.

Yesterday showed many areas of anxiety and frustration in helping others with their emotional worries and in my attitude in helping other people with their work. These would be areas that the loving myself challenge could seek to improve.

Thanks went largely smooth and peaceful yesterday.

I read that not having angry outburst also requires self control. Maybe the practice of loving yourself also helps to increase self control?

I practiced more letting go and going along with the universe yesterday, with good results. Yesterday I agreed to take the cab home, which gave me a lot of extra energy to do additional work at home.

A random thought came to me that things are smooth cos of the work I had put in earlier to take care of my chores. For example, I had paid my bills last week, so there was no panic or anxiety this week from me putting away my bills. It is a long shot logically, but I may not be so disciplined to take care of my chores without doing the loving myself practice.

Yesterday I also read a quote from Thomas Watson that business is a game. Something feels significant to me about the quote but I haven’t figured it out yet.

I am glad I started this trial.

On a weekend there is less trigger points for panic attacks or anger. I was briefly flustered when I went to a crowded shopping district earlier in the morning.

The day was calm for the most part. I observed that other than my chores like wishing dishes, I didn’t have to interfere or open my mouth have life work.

I was asked to help other people in their work. Normally this would be accompanied with a lot of frustration. Today, the frustration was a lot less.

I also helped to comfort someone through their anger. I was a bit affected by the anger but this time it did not trigger a self pity routine as it usually would.

Lesson of the day is that I see that the world would not end if I stopped interefering with it.