Be curious not judgemental

Dating Advice

Be Curious Not judgemental

I very much doubt many of you will have heard of the Apple TV series, Ted Lasso. I hadn’t when I was introduced to it on a course I did a couple of months ago. The speaker is a big fan of Ted and describes the show as a brilliant, thoughtful and wonderfully written comedy drama. He showed us a clip from Episode 8 which had had a very profound effect on him.

If you’d like to see the clip, go to YouTube and search for “Ted Lasso Darts”.

Ted is in a pub, about to play darts for a HUGE bet, with the ex husband of the owner of the football club that he manages. Everyone assumes Ted will be rubbish at darts….

Here’s the transcript of the clip of Ted speaking.

“Guys have underestimated me my entire life, and for years I never understood why. It really used to bother me.

And then one day I was driving my little boy to school, and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman, it was painted on the wall.

It said, “Be Curious, Not Judgemental”- and I liked that.

So, I get back in my car, and I get to work, and all of a sudden it hits me, all them fellas that used to belittle me, not a single one of them were curious.

They thought they had everything all figured out, so they judged everything, and they judged everyone.

And I realised that they were underestimating me – who I was had nothing to do with it.

Cos if they were curious, they’d have asked questions. Questions like, “Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?” Which I would’ve answered, “Yes sir every Sunday afternoon at a sports bar with my father, from age 10 until I was 16, when he passed away…”

At this point Ted closes out with two treble 20s and a bullseye to win the bet.

The impact of the clip is greatly enhanced once you have the full background to it (a man who’s continuously been underestimated and abused by almost everyone around him), but truly those four words, “Be curious, not judgemental” should be the motto and the mantra of every person truly seeking a long-term partner.

It’s true that every time I’ve shared this with members (which I’ve done quite a lot in recent weeks!), everyone instinctively gets it and nods. But their behaviour doesn’t always match their apparent understanding. Often it’s these same people who then say they haven’t found anyone at all suitable in their latest batch of profiles – and when questioned haven’t even contacted anyone to find out any more than what they’ve read and seen on their profile.

I can tell so many stories of couples who’ve got married to someone who had an element of their character or circumstances that are first seemed unattractive to the other person. This could be where they lived (very common), what they did for a job, or how they spent their time, or even how they looked or behaved at first. But these people got married and are very happy. Oh yes, the person I am talking to says, that’s all very well for them, but I’m different. Really? No, you’re not. We’re all essentially the same – we all want love; we all want to be loved. We all judge, we all make mis judgements – just like the guys who mistakenly thought Ted was going to be rubbish at darts.

In effect when members say they are different and don’t like any profiles, they are saying,

“I get it, be curious, not judgemental.

But not about this person that I have already judged!!!”

That’s insane. But isn’t it true that we judge ourselves by our intentions but judge others by their behaviour? (That’s another line Ted could use!!) The reality is – it’s really hard to be curious, not judgmental. Especially if you’ve got to a certain stage in life! But my goodness, it’s important if you’re looking for your soul mate.

We’ve had lots of marriages of people that we’ve stayed in touch with. And it’s clear the people involved have become wonderful spouses – devoted and loving. And yet I can recall many members who saw their profiles berating me for sending them out – judging them as totally unsuitable for them – based on very little knowledge about them. Quite frankly they missed out!

I’m curious. And you should be too. I’ve just read a compelling, and very enjoyable book by John Preston called “Fall”. It’s the story of Robert Maxwell. Reading that book doesn’t mean I endorse what Maxwell did. It doesn’t make me a fan of his. It makes me curious. How did a war hero and a model of society become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck? I’m curious, not judgemental – and you should be too.

How come some of the most unseemingly attractive people in life have spouses and long-term loving partners. Could it just be that there’s so much more to them that you can first ‘see’?

For this month, at least, be curious, not judgemental. You might find you like it – and it makes a big difference…