“The Toyota Effect”

Why do you care so much about getting a girlfriend?

I remember being asked that by my friends, my brother, and my Mom. Being so fixated on relationships really effected the way I carried myself. My enthusiasm was just short of being desperate.

I wanted a “special someone”, but with each and every rejection I faced, I was constantly re-evaluating what that meant. I ping-ponged back and forth between thinking I was too picky and not picky enough.

And that was the truth! Back then, I rarely got the timing right. I’d be too idealistic when I needed a reality check. Then, I’d shoot for whoever when I should’ve had some standards.

Something that really helped me put everything in perspective was “The Toyota Effect”.

Getting a car is a huge investment. (People aren’t cars, Jon! Yeah, I know– just hear me out.) You really want to be sure that you get one that suits you. Horsepower, year, model, color– each factor’s importance depends on the person.

But once you’ve got your sights set, once you’ve clearly established your focus, a funny thing happens. You start to see more of it.

Let’s say you’re dead set on a blue Toyota. Suddenly, you start to see more blue Toyotas around you. Did everybody buy a blue Toyota overnight? No, of course not. They’ve always been there, but you just weren’t in tune to notice them.

Now to apply this to dating– Allan and Barbara Pease recommend making a list of what you’re looking for. Be open and honest as possible because this is yours, and you don’t have to share it with anybody. You might think this feeds into building impossibly high standards.

Actually, my list helped call me out on my bullshit.

Whenever I’d be all down and feeling sorry for myself, I’d check my rejector against the list. In the moment, it’s fun to get caught up in the butterflies and think of how things might work out. But the reality was– that girl wasn’t really what I was looking for in the first place. So sayeth the list.

My list kept me accountable. And remember, the list is adaptable! Over the years, I’d cross things off and add others. It helped me prioritize what really mattered.

What’s on your list?

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

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