How To Use the Sofa Theory of Dating To Find Love

THere are all the possible factors that can lead to dating burnout and discouragement. You may survive the societal and cultural pressures to mate. Or maybe the rise of dating apps (and the decision fatigue they induce) is keeping you from finding a partner. To counteract this, psychologist Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, developed the Sofa Theory of Dating, which helps put dates in the right place to date effectively — with less stress.

She suggests approaching a date night with a simple analogy: look for a partner like you would look for a sofa. As she developed her theory, Dr. Greenberg notes that many of the women and patients in her New York City therapy practice who seemed to have an easy time dating and finding a partner—people who are objectively good—handsome, accomplished, and interesting—felt with her Dating Life Worst.

Aside from the very real pressure women and women face to settle down and have children, her patients cite the pressure to look and act a certain way when dating. Like always seeming interested, but not to interested, warm and friendly, but not to warm and friendly. dr Greenberg noted that these influences made her patients fewer interested in dating and even more unhappy about it.

“The background of the sofa theory was to overcome shame and comparison and to reverse the actually counterproductive coping mechanisms.” -Dr. Elinor Greenberg, psychologist

“There are many hurdles that women have to jump through when dating, and there’s tremendous pressure on women that isn’t on men,” says Dr. Greenberg. “The rationale behind the sofa theory was to help with shame and comparison and to help them reverse the coping mechanisms they’re using that are actually counterproductive,” she says.

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Knowing what you like and need, finding something that suits your needs, and searching until you find what you want is the framework of their method.

5 applications of the dating sofa theory are now starting to follow

1. Be clear about what you want

You wouldn’t buy a sofa without having a clear idea of ​​what type or size you need. Before making a decision, you would probably research the dimensions of the room it will be going in and decide what type of style and material you are interested in.

Apply the same discernment when it comes to figuring out what you want from a potential partner, especially if you’re looking for something serious. dr Greenberg advises taking the time to decide what you want in a relationship and in a partner, and keeping that in mind when meeting people.

For example, when Greenberg was in a relationship before she met her 45-year-old husband, she knew she wanted a partner who could go toe-to-toe with her intellectually, so she seriously only pursued men she considered highly intelligent .

2. But be careful when looking for perfection in a potential partner

Don’t fall into the trap of making a list so exhaustive that no one can fit it, warns Dr. Greenberg. Instead, she encourages people to let go of the idea of ​​waiting for your soulmate to arrive.

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That doesn’t mean you have to settle for someone you don’t want, but Dr. Greenberg says waiting for the perfect match while ignoring some pretty good ones can leave you alone on the sidelines. “I believe there are thousands of people in the world that each of us can be happy with,” she says.

3. Only date people who have qualities you want in a partner

dr Greenberg says you don’t look at sofas in stores you can’t afford or in styles you don’t like. “You wouldn’t shop at a store that stocks sofas that you wouldn’t take home,” she adds — the same goes for humans.

On dating apps or IRL, Dr. Greenberg that you should match and chat with people who share your interests and values. She adds that you shouldn’t waste your time with people who have completely different values ​​from you, or who aren’t interested and serious.

4. Show yourself in places with high potential

Even if you’re an online shopper, you wouldn’t expect a sofa to fall into your lap – you’d scour stores and websites to find one you like.

The same goes for finding a partner, says Dr. Greenberg. You can’t expect to meet someone who stays at home, and you won’t meet people you care about by going places you don’t care about.

So, after figuring out what qualities you want in a partner and putting yourself in situations where you encounter such people. For example, if you are looking for someone who is athletic, joining an intramural sports league is a good choice.

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Conversely, don’t look for potential partners in places where you won’t find them. If you’re more of a couch potato and want a partner who’s the same, chances are you won’t meet a compatible pal at a club. Instead, find frequent places and groups that better suit your interests.

5. Use failed dates as a lesson, not a reason to lose hope

Coming back to the sofa comparison, you wouldn’t throw up your hands and say, “I’m not buying a sofa!” if the product you wanted was sold out or you couldn’t find one you like. They would make a different plan and regroup.

There’s no question that dating can be daunting, but Dr. Greenberg emphasizes that it’s a numbers game, so part of the process can involve making lots of dates, none of which will be winners. Take the time to analyze what you’ve learned from bad dates to see what you do and don’t want in a partner. If you have a string of bad data and unsatisfying connections, take the time to recalibrate yourself, but don’t count yourself out permanently.

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