Congruency is a word that most people are unfamiliar with.
Scientifically, it means a rapport within oneself, or internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity or certainty. What that means is basically that your actions mirror your thoughts and words.
An example would be if you are training for a marathon but eating at McDonald’s every day you are not congruent. Or you say that you are working on writing a novel yet spend your free time playing with your new Kinect (guilty!)
A person that is fully congruent would be a singer who has a big audition coming up quits smoking and chooses not to go to the Radiohead concert the night before. His thoughts/mind/actions are all lined up.
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How does this apply to dating? Well it’s oftentimes a forgotten element.
Imagine you are a shy guy and want to ask out a girl. You don’t have enough cojones to go up and talk to her so you stand at the corner of the bar trying to send out meek signals to her.
This is a girl you’d love to spend time with but you are doing nothing to try and achieve it.
In anything, sports, hobbies, life goals, if you are not congruent, you are not likely to reach your goal. When you say one thing but your body language and tone are singing a different tune, you lack congruency.
Imagine there is a total hottie and are trying to lay your best rap down. You’re trying to look cool and suave and debonair but your voice shakes occasionally, your hands are fidgety and you’re not giving her great eye contact. Do you think she is going to believe the words that are coming out of your mouth? Nope.
So, even if you’ve got the “right” things to say, she’s reading all of your non-verbal clues and it’s telling a different story. Sadly, this happens to most of us. It is almost a primal instinct.
When in a highly stressful environment your body sends out all sorts of chemicals and hormones to prepare you for your perceived threat. In front of a good looking, intelligent woman it can kick in causing us to stammer, blush and have our heart start racing. Obviously, not our best showing.
How do you tell if you are congruent or not?
When you ask a girl out, do you feel like you are shy or embarrassed when doing it or does it come out confident and nonchalant?
If it feels strained you are not congruent and it will affect how many times you talk to women, how you talk to them, how you get numbers, etc. The less congruent you are, the less you will be getting.
One of the main issues is that you might not even know that you are in congruency. You may be getting a lot of phone numbers but not getting any dates or you could have a lot of first dates but it doesn’t lead to many second dates. That means something isn’t congruent. She liked you enough for a first date but something you did didn’t jive with her original thoughts.
Okay, so if you think you haven’t been congruent in dating or want to check and see if you are, bring a friend out with you first. Ask him to watch your body language, etc. S/he may see something about how you are presenting yourself that might be sending mixed signals to the object of your desire.
It might be something that it easily fixed but chances are it’s fairly ingrained in you if you haven’t been noticing it yourself.
One of the things that I suggest is to take an acting course, specifically improv. You may think it has no bearing on real life but trust me, as a former actor it has a profound effect. What is dating except social improv?
When you can learn to tamp down your telltale tells and to have the ability to roll with any punch thrown your way, it can vastly increase your congruency.
And, obviously another way to work on it would be (surprise!) to work with a dating coach. We are trained to see things that you might not see and can find the ways to best help you through it. Are you confident but cannot project your voice? Can you go up to strangers easily but can’t seem to get any phone numbers? Are you a first date whiz but unable to bring it home?
These are all things that can be fixed. Together, we’ll make you the most congruent BAMF this town has seen!
Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).