It’s spring cleaning time, and this doesn’t strictly apply to car ports and wardrobes. For singles, getting organized in the context of dating is an essential strategy for continued success, no matter what dating methods are in-use.
So when Huffpost asked us how to KonMari one’s dating life, we started tawking. This Is How To Tidy Up Your Dating Life, Marie Kondo Style was published shortly thereafter, with Matchmakers Emily Polak and Justina Victoria featured, but we have more to say on the subject!
For those unfamiliar: Marie Kondo, otherwise known as Konmari, is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. She has written 4 books, which have collectively sold millions of copies.
To kick-off the courting clear-out, Matchmaker Majet Reyes, outlines 10 sequenced action items:
Write (at minimum) 10 qualities of your ideal mate: i.e. race, age, status, educational background, finances, height, weight, etc.
Narrow that list down to 3 qualities. Those 3 qualities are your top 3 priorities. You will date someone who has them; you will not date someone who doesn’t. Stick to that simple scheme.
Now, write down your deal breakers (I recommend 3, no more than 5!).
Set up dates with people who possess your top 3 priorities, but none of the deal breakers.
Show up to those dates.
On the date, speak your truth: if you are seeking a long-term partnership, indicate that. Doing this effectively does the “keep” or “toss” sorting for you. Those with similar values stick around, while those without go right into the goodwill box.
Then, return the favor. If you share and your date does not clarify their intentions as well, kindly (and with a little humor if you can manage it), ask why they are dating.
Let it go: don’t attach yourself to any particular outcome.
Be brave: If there is chemistry and you feel like kissing or touching, go for it.
When it comes to sex, ask yourself”: Is this someone I can have a relationship with? If no, then that’s also a no on sex. If yes, I still recommend waiting for the 2nd, or even a future date. My colleague, Alyssa Bunn, agrees in point #8 of her first date manual.
Emily Polak, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify & Clinical Psychologist, says getting organized begins from within:
Pay attention to your body’s signals. When on a date, tune into your body and pay attention to how you feel. Meanwhile, tune out all the reasons your brain is listing why this person isn’t right for you.
Spending time face to face with a potential partner is the dating equivalent of holding a garment in your hands..
You can’t make a good decision about how something makes you feel if it’s not right there with you. Check-in to see if you feel a spark of joy, or something similar, like ease or lightness. If there is a spark that feels good and nourishing, continue spending time with the person.
Date Night: Novelty Sparks Joy.
There are plenty of date nights that are surprisingly sexier than those you’ll experience with a heavy price tag. Focus on creating fun, one-of-a-kind events, as novelty sparks joy. Instead of dinner and drinks, treat your date to a bonfire, sunset swim, or scenic drive. Put a playlist together and practice yoga or an impromptu dance party. If it’s your first date, bring one thing that brings you joy to share and learn more about each other. Props take the pressure off.
Make Amends With Your Past: Tidy Up Your Thoughts.
If Marie’s KonMari method focuses on tidying up your things, love requires you to tidy up your thoughts. Let go of the negative feelings, memories, and mementos you harbor against yourself and others. Letting go of hurt, pain, and any gifts that no longer serve you will allow more space in your heart. Hit the personal ‘restart’ button, so you can leave the past in the past. There is nothing more joyful than a tidy heart, one that is present, positive, and open to receive.
Ditch the Apps: Smiles are Free.
Apps can suck your time, bank account, and ultimately, your joy as well. This Spring, elect to ‘go app-less’ and meet people in real life. Say ‘Hello!’ to a stranger, hold the door open for someone, and remember to make eye contact and smile, even on the busiest of days. You never know where these chance encounters will lead.
Like the KonMari method, success lies in many small steps. Great love is tackled in small actions: a call to say ‘I’m thinking about you’ or pausing your favorite show to hear about your partner’s day.
Nneya Richards, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, journalist and blogger at ‘N A Perfect World, suggests ‘piling your people’:
When I was in my mid 20s one of my best friends had a note in her phone’s notes app called “People.” On the people list, she kept track of who she was dating or entertaining at the time. We used to tease her mercilessly for it – considering it a smaller and less risqué version of “little black book!”
A lot of clients come to us burnt out from dating, whether it’s apps, introductions, meeting friends at bars; it’s time consuming keeping up conversations with so many people. My friend was ahead of her time and really was operating on step one of Marie Kondo’s method, which is:
Put everything you own in a pile.
Use that people list as your pile. Access to your full dating roster, laid out from close connections to that person you only hear from when there’s a lull in their dating life, helps you de-clutter your head and heart space (and eject the right people from your list!).
Matchmaker at Tawkify, Life Coach and Founder of Subtle Honey (Services for Healing), Maia Nikitovich MSW, echoes Bunn’s ‘heart cleaning’ tip:
A heart cluttered by disappointments and fear, perhaps heavy with longing over a lost love, can prevent you from seeing the potential of new romantic prospects. Like a closet filled to the brim, unexamined feelings or beliefs can keep you from finding the relationship you truly want and deserve. Give yourself some breathing room!
Let go, one by one: thoughts, feelings, or beliefs that are no longer a good fit. Be kind to yourself, leaving the hardest attachments for last. When you are ready to tackle them, you will be confident enough to search deep into your heart, honor the joy they once gave you and then gently say “thank you, and goodbye. I am ready for something new.”
Christine Todd, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, suggests a specific strategy for how to accomplish Maia’s recommendation:
How do you do that? Just as when tidying up personal space, be sure to take a step back and take inventory of personal relationships (past and present, romantic and otherwise).
I say ‘otherwise’ because unhealthy friendships and work connections can just as profoundly affect our dating space as the dating space itself.
Consider which relationships energize you (i.e. “spark joy”) and which drain your energy. Those that drain, must go down the drain. It’s OK to recognize that a relationship that once meant a great deal to you is now waning. And while we should express gratitude for the meaningful times of the past, we should also choose to move forward. A relationship that no longer serves you, is holding you back.