6 Ways to Find Love through the Guys You Already Know

Jessica Massa graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in psychology. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Elle, Variety, CNN.com, The Times of London, and Glamour.com, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.

YoungCoupleTheGaggle_400If you’re in your 20s, we don’t have to tell you that the old rules of dating no longer apply. So stop obsessing about finding The One, and start appreciating the great guys in your life now—your “gaggle.” Here’s why. From The Gaggle: How to Find Love in a Post-Dating World.

The gaggle allows you to figure out who you are, what you want, and what kind of guy you should end up with.
You can’t end up with the best guy for you, in the best relationship for you, if you don’t know who you are. Do you need a guy who will boost your ego? Is it really important to you that your sexual connection is on fire? How warm and fuzzy do you feel whenever your plus-one is making the whole table laugh?

When you can compare the different types of connections you have with the guys in your gaggle and figure out what you like and don’t like, then you’ll be ready for the right guy. And you’ll be able to recognize him when he comes along (or pops out of your gaggle). As a bonus, you’ll also know yourself well enough to actually make that relationship work.

The gaggle keeps you from feeling bad about yourself and thinking that everyone has this whole dating game worked out but you.
Having great guys in your life, even ambiguously, is a fun, eye-opening confidence boost that will raise your whole demeanor and energy. This positive vibe will bring higher-quality guys into your sphere. Guaranteed.

The gaggle pushes you to engage in your love life all the time.
No more compartmentalizing “dating” in your brain, and thinking that you don’t have time for it or aren’t good at it. With a gaggle, you’re just living your life with some interesting guys in it, every day keeping yourself open to that moment when love will suddenly emerge out of it.

The gaggle increases your chances of ultimately meeting the right guy.

Having an active gaggle encourages you to cultivate relationships with many different guys, most of which will not end up romantic or sexual. However, this will lead you to naturally expand your network and interact with people in circles that you enjoy, all making it much more likely that you’ll put yourself “out there” and meet a guy who’s right for you.

The gaggle forces you to be more open-minded about your tastes.

When a guy asks you out on a traditional date, you’re faced with a clear decision: say yes and give him a chance, or say no and reject him forever. The gaggle, with all its inexplicit connections and interactions, gives you more time and space to get to know guys and figure out if you are interested in them.

I’ve heard countless stories of women ending up with guys who they thought weren’t their type and living happily ever after. The gaggle lets you try things out and surprise yourself—often debunking whatever you thought you were looking for.

The gaggle prevents you from putting all your eggs into one basket, at least until that basket is perfect and ready.
By not investing every single ounce of hope and energy into one guy, at least until he has earned it, you avoid feeling desperate and obsessive. And since you’re not feeling desperate, you won’t settle for the wrong guy, and you’ll be less likely to put premature pressure on a budding connection and scare that guy away.

Long story short, cultivating a gaggle is a way to get all the perks of dating without having to sit around in one little black dress after another, waiting and praying to be wined and dined.

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