Now that the Beyonce song will be stuck in your head all day (sorry about that), I have an important question to ask you, “Would you want to date yourself?”
Yikes. What a question.
One of my best friends recently asked me this when I was sobbing to her about a recent “breakup” from a “relationship” that hadn’t even reached the official relationship stage. We had been seeing each other for about two months, and though things weren’t perfect, there seemed to be a lot of great things going on that excited me. I was sad when he said, “I think I’m feeling more of a friendship here.” I mean, really, who wants to hear that? Not me, and even though the timing of my friend’s questions wasn’t great—I kind of wanted to punch her—it was a valid question. One that I now, a few weeks later, have been thinking about.
My first reaction was, “Um, of course! I’m super awesome, fun, beautiful, genuine, loving, sexy, giving, etc and yes I would want to ‘be’ with me.” And I say this with real modesty—I think we all are all of these things and you should definitely think you are all of them and more. If not, that’s where your growth starts. But that didn’t answer her actual question. Her question wasn’t, “Would you want to be a partner to yourself?” It was, “Would you want to date yourself?”
In looking at the way I showed up this last time, I have to admit that the answer to that question is a big fat no.
Maybe for a month or so, it would be a yes. But as soon as I started to develop real feelings for this guy, I got all weird. I remember the moment it happened—we had a great date and he spent the night. I woke up in the morning, with sunlight streaming into my room, looked at him sleeping next to me, and was like, “Uh oh. I like you.” Now, you might be saying that I didn’t follow the “rules” and shouldn’t have let him stay over so soon, yada yada, but we didn’t have sex and I don’t know if I believe in following “rules.” I just do what feels good for me. Anyway, in that moment, as I started to like him, I got scared.
Everything after that changed. I changed. I was less sure of myself, less comfortable, much less open and vulnerable, and what’s worse is that I resorted to playing games. I didn’t want him to know that I was feeling something so I backed off and played it cool. Yet, I had a needy and clingy energy that I’m sure he could feel even if I wasn’t contacting him—not a good situation. I suddenly stopped being fun and authentic and instead second-guessed everything I did and said. It was not fun being in my own head, and I can’t imagine it was fun trying to date me. And when something he did upset me a bit and I tried to be authentic and share my feelings with him, it came across as an accusation rather than a vulnerable sharing moment—all because I was terrified to let him know that I was starting to care.
In exploring the situation for my growth and evolution, I have realized a lot. I’ve found that fear for me comes from a limiting belief I have deep down in my consciousness that “I’m just not good enough for a relationship” or that I’m “broken.” Ouch. It only comes up in the context of romantic partnerships, as I have no problem with friends and other relationships. But something deep within me gets so triggered when it is a romantic context, and this belief just takes over. Well, up till now it has, because now I am fully aware of it. Because I assume he won’t really want to be with me, I act accordingly—I shut down, stop sharing and stop being myself, and this leads to exactly what I am fearing will happen. Of course he wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with me at that point—I’m not even being myself. Who is there to have a relationship with?
Not to mention that it throws off the masculine/feminine dynamic completely. The feminine is supposed to be the vulnerable, emotional, passionate, open, loving energy. When I shut off all of those things, I went way into my masculine—playing it cool, not sharing, acting like “whatever.” For a romantic relationship to thrive, there needs to be the yin/yang of the feminine and masculine. It’s what creates a polarity and creates that electric chemistry. No wonder it felt like “friends” to him—I became one of the buddies.
In hindsight, that morning that I woke up scared that I was feeling things for him, I would have told him. I would have said, so openly and vulnerably, “I’m starting to like you and it’s freaking me out a bit.” I would have said in an authentic way exactly what was going on for me. It might not have changed the outcome, because who knows where he was at, but at least I would have felt authentic and true to my experience and myself. Of course, with my limiting belief of “he’s not going to want to be with me because there is something wrong with me,” I couldn’t say that. But now that I know where the challenge is, I can consciously face the fear and move forward anyway.
I am sharing all of this in hopes that you’ll explore how you show up when dating. I used to look at the girls who seemed to always have a boyfriend and wonder what they had that I didn’t. What was wrong with me? If you’ve ever had that thought I’m telling you the answer is nothing—absolutely nothing. You are amazing and wonderful, and I bet that if a guy got to know the real you, he would see that. There is nothing that anyone else has that is better than you—you might just have blocks when it comes to dating and romantic relationships that are getting in your way.
Do you relate to any of this? Can you uncover any patterns you have in dating? Are there any limiting beliefs around romantic relationships that may be getting in your way? I encourage you to be authentically honest with yourself and see what might be there—you deserve it. It is truly a gift to look and see what core patterns and beliefs might be keeping you from the beautiful, romantic relationship you dream of. I’m with you, supporting you and loving you the whole way.
Erinn Alissa Selkis is a health and wellness coach who compassionately supports her clients in the areas of personal growth and emotional health, specialty diets and healthy substitutions, and emotional eating. She also works with women to help them discover and live into their femininity and sensuality. Check out her coaching website at http://www.erinnselkis.com.
Editor: Maja Despot