DATING is desperate and you've most likely been doing it wrong, author Jameliah Gooden has said in her most recent book A Needle in a Haystack: How to Find Love in the Rubble.
In fact, the pastor has offered her input on why you might not be finding your person and how you can help attract love.
Speaking exclusively with The US Sun, Gooden dived right in as she promoted her book on how to navigate modern dating.
"Dating is desperate, dating is a conundrum of confusion, dating has become so frustrating that people no longer want to do it," she began.
So how exactly do you make dating enjoyable again?
Well, she has a few ideas.
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CALLING IT DATING
The first thing you need to do, according to the author, is to switch your vocabulary.
"A lot of people like to say dating. Don’t say dating, say fellowshipping. There’s pressure associated with dating and even the name," she explained.
"When you say dating, it means you have to put your best foot forward, put a mask on, you have to impress the person, and even if it’s a blind date, the person that’s hooking you up, has to embellish who you are.
"But when you say fellowshipping, it takes the edge off. Immediately you think of meeting people, having fun, and getting to know them.
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"It makes you more comfortable."
She further explained that fellowshipping is a journey where you get to know someone and you see where it goes.
However, with dating, there is an expectation that they are worthy of your time but you're unsure of how long they'll be in your life.
NARROWING IT TO ONE PERSON
"A lot of the time, you focus on one individual and that person lets you down. You hurt even more," Gooden analyzed, suggesting you should fellowship with three to four people at the same time.
"If you can handle three or four people, do that, and wherever it goes, it goes.
"What happens with fellowshipping is that people eliminate themselves and the one who is worth it will be the last person standing.
"They have proved that they are worth riding along in this ship. You didn't narrow them down, they did it for you."
When you choose just one person to fellowship with, you also tend to put too much thought into something that's meant to be fun, she explained.
"Time tells the story that you're trying to unfold," she said, explaining that when you're fellowshipping and consistency begins to dwindle down, they've eliminated themselves.
NOT UNDERSTANDING WHY YOU WANT TO DATE
When you've decided that you are ready for a partner, you first need to ask yourself why you're choosing to get out there again.
"If you're doing it to get a match, you have to take a step back and evaluate why you need a partner right now," Gooden explained.
This means understanding if you want a partner because you feel like there's this pressure to be just like your friends who are getting married or because there's a societal push to start having kids.
"It's very difficult to find love from someone else when you can't find it within yourself. Ask yourself why you're so desperate to play the game that is dating. Yes, dating is a game and you have to be mature enough to play it."
NOT WORKING ON YOURSELF
When a relationship ends, it's easy to blame the other person for the failure, but sometimes, it's not that simple.
"You have to be accountable for yourself as well," she advised, claiming that some people will often "allow" years to be wasted in a bad relationship.
This, of course, does not apply to people in abusive relationships.
And no, getting over your last relationship should not be as easy as getting into a new one immediately.
"What happens when people want to move on is that I ask them why they want to heal so fast," she revealed.
"Broke people break other people and that means that you need to take the time to enjoy the years you gave to a person that didn't deserve it.
"You have to work on your mind, body, spirit, and finances. All the energy you put into the relationship, you will put into yourself. And before you know it, you will be stronger."
TOO MUCH PRESSURE
According to Gooden, the great thing about fellowshipping is that there are no expectations.
"Go in with the only expectation that this is a damn good meal," she revealed.
"The ambiance is nice, you're having a good conversation, and the person is nice. But don't go in thinking they are going to be your husband on the first date.
"Look at them like they are, a stranger sitting across from you. Your guard is coming down and you are meeting someone who is going to be a friend, not a partner.
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"I promise you, anyone that is in anything, started off with having a very fun dinner."
In fact, she applied this same advice to her life and has been with the love of her life for more than a decade.
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